Since yesterday, at work and at home, I’ve been wearing my yellow shirt... just like many other Filipinos across the globe, I have also been expressing my gratitude and giving honour to the late Pres. Corazon Cojuangco Aquino—the global icon of democracy.
Thanks to the modern technology, even if I’m thousands of miles away, oceans apart, from the Philippines, I was able to watch the live coverage of the memorial services in honour of the first woman Philippine president who, I believe, served and loved the Filipinos selflessly. The coverage, updates and news during her late husband’s cortege 26 years ago, they say, were not as intricate as how it is now. With this, I say, thanks to democracy and to the freedom of the press!
Honestly, I never expected to see the outpouring of love from a very big crowd—rain or shine; daytime or night-time—who wore or had yellow ornaments with them, tirelessly lining along the streets while repetitively chanting the heroine’s name, throwing yellow confetti, releasing balloons and freeing doves when the remains of the late Philippine president were passing in front of them. I have never expected because in the past months or even years, it seemed that the essence of liberty in the country—which Tito Ninoy, and Tita Cory together with the thousands of unsung heroes and heroines of EDSA I have fought for—has already been set aside; and was once considered irrelevant and immaterial.
For me, Pres. Aquino’s passing does not only mean that her meaningful life and her battle against her painful illness have ended. Her death has also reinvigorated the spirit of People Power back to life. ...it has reminded both the older and the younger generations that Philippine democracy should be cherished and upheld at all times.
Her sickness and death have, obviously, regenerated faith, peace and unity to the Filipino people, as well. The series of novena prayers and healing masses held all over the Philippines and in other parts of the world, the rapid spreading and posting of the images of that meaningful yellow ribbon in the web and on the prints, as well as the yellow ribbons tied, the gold-coloured banners, flowers and balloons swarming along the streets in every Filipino community have reminded me that Filipinos can always unite and work as one for a brighter and progressive Philippines.
In my very humble views, the personal appearance of the Marcoses, and Arroyo with her cabinet members in the wake of the former Pres. Aquino to express their sympathy to the bereaved family was an indication that even ‘after life’, the 'power' of Tita Cory is still working in a very mysterious way! Mysterious as it may seem, but as a Filipino, I am very happy to see that the ‘pillars’ of my nation—who have different political beliefs and separated by undeniable animosity—could possibly reconcile and eventually lead as one towards the common good of my beloved country. Perhaps, Tita Cory—having that very strong religious devotion while she was still alive, reminds her children, as well as every Filipino whom she also considered her child or grandchild that loving an enemy is still one of the greatest virtues in life.
The speeches said during the necrological service have summarized and revealed the kindness and humility of Corazon Aquino as a friend, a leader, a sister and a mother. But the funeral rite, especially the words of Mrs. Aquino’s youngest daughter, had not just highlighted Mrs. Aquino as a loving and caring mother but it has also reminded me of the value of loving and honouring my own mother while both of us are still together in this world.
To exist during the time of Ninoy and Cory, for me, is the same as being alive during the days of Andres and Pepe; and I consider myself lucky because of this!
As the remains of Pres. Aquino were laid beside her husband’s tomb, tears had flooded not only in Manila Memorial Park but also inside the caravan in number 22 Pareora Rd. in the township of Port Wakefield, South Australia. ...but I believe that her stories of nobility have never been buried with her inside that mausoleum, but instead engraved in the heart and embedded in the mind of every Filipino who loves her so much! I wish that the Aquino couple’s very meaningful life and death, as well as their heroism will continue to live within me so I can proudly share its important lessons to the coming generations.The late Pres. Aquino’s gift to us—our country’s freedom from the decades of corruption and dictatorship is the living and the most precious legacy she has ever given to me and to every Filipino. Today, August 5, 2009... I have been feeling homesick again! How I wish I’m in the Philippines to be physically present along the streets of Metro Manila as the new chapter of the Philippine history unfolds! Today, I am glad and very proud of being a Filipino!
***photos from the The Filipino Channel
I would like to thank all my friends in the blogosphere who voted for my article ‘The Keynote...’- an official entry to the 2009 Pinoy Expats/OFW Blog Awards.
Mabuhay ang PEBA!