I was too young when Ninoy Aquino was assassinated and EDSA 1 happened. As much as I tried to rack my brain of EDSA memories from 23 years ago I could not. Maybe because Mama was a Marcos loyalist and discussing EDSA 1 would mean reliving the last days of her idol.
When I grew older and became more politicized after voraciously gobbling editorials from PDI, Philippine Star, Today and opinions from the likes of Max Soliven, Randy David, Conrado de Quiros, Amando Doronila I learned who Ninoy Aquino was and why he was assassinated. I learned who Cory Aquino was and how she came into power.
She was, as the media put it, an icon of democracy and the nation’s moral compass. So when she died on the early hours on Saturday after more than a year of battling colon cancer Jolina wept without respite. The Filipino mourned. And so did the heavens.
What made Cory endearing to Filipinos is not because she had Ninoy Aquino as a husband or Kris Aquino as a daughter but because she was not the traditional politician you see on TV and read about on the news. She was sincere, decent, honest, and good. The outpouring of sympathy that she has received from all social classes since her death is a testament that the Filipino appreciated these traits that we seldom see in our present crop of politicians.
Today when she is finally laid to rest at the Manila Memorial Park I will be watching it on TV. The first time in many weeks that I will be tuning in to Philippine TV. Manny Pacquiao could not make me do that. Nor Michael Jackson. Corazon C. Aquino did.
Allow me to end this paean of mine by quoting a few lines from Howard Chan-Eoan’s article on Aquino in Time Magazine.
“Whenever the country appeared to be in a crisis, Cory Aquino rose above the bureaucratic procrastination that had always bogged it down, reminding her people that they once astonished the world with their bravery — and that they could do it again. But Filipinos must now take stock. Whom will they march with now that their saint has gone to meet her God?”