Sunday, August 2, 2009

Remembering Cory Aquino

Although I never had the chance to see her personally, I'll always remember her in yellow memories, her hair short, her glasses huge, and her voice like the guidance counselor's back in high school.

Cory Aquino, 76, has passed away. And the country, even most of the world that still remembers the tumultuous eighties, is mourning for the loss of a "great gift."

This tells us something. That the leaders this world remembers kindly are the ones whose loss they mourn for deeply. And these are leaders who believe in their people, who show pride and respect, dignity and integrity, and a sense of being one with them, not separated by hierarchy or the ability to wield political power.

Mrs. Aquino has become an icon of Philippine democracy after assuming the presidency from the Marcos dictatorship. Being the better half of the assassinated Ninoy Aquino, she ascended to the highest position in the land. While her administration was far from perfect, it brought back the meaning of democracy.

She mattered to the Filipino. I don't know of any president—save perhaps, President Magsaysay—who was loved and cherished by the people, to the same degree.

I had the chills when I read the Inquirer editorial on Mrs. Aquino's death, referring to this great woman as a light to the Filipino people:
It was the light of liberty, the unquenchable flame of democracy, the light of optimism and faith in the Filipino, snuffed out in her husband’s case by an assassin’s bullets, but which lit so many more little flames, so that it dispelled the darkness that had engulfed the country since 1972. It was a light that could not be extinguished by coups and natural disasters, by the mocking of those who saw in her merely a woman, merely a widow, merely a person trying to return power where it belonged—in the people’s hands, to do with as they chose.

Now it makes sense why, when I woke up this working, President Aquino was among the first thoughts that came to mind. And I felt deeply saddened.

2 comments:

  1. When I read about Cory in the news, I get chills for very different reasons. I'm sorry, I respect her and all, but it really disturbs me to read the write-ups talking about her "faith" and the objects of that faith. If there's anyone we should mourn for, it should be our countrymen who are still lost and under bondage. :{

    -rem

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