Thank you, Tita Cory (1933-2009)

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I am going out-of-town last Saturday, August 1, for a funeral so I have to be up early since the rites will start at nine in the morning and I have to travel with friends for at least two hours. I woke up around four but went out of bed around five. When I turned on the television for UKG (Umagang Kay Ganda, Channel 2), it was the reading of the official statement of the Aquino family courtesy of her son, Benigno Aquino III, on the state of former President Corazon C. Aquino: she succumbed to cardio-respiratory arrest and passed away peacefully at 3:18 am.  I was saddened.

The whole nation knows that Tita Cory was diagnosed with a terminal colon cancer last year and has been undergoing treatments. But the nation had been praying hard for her recovery the past couple of weeks until her last moment (“Quarant’ore for Cory Aquino” – the prayer vigil in EDSA Shrine was not even finished yet).

Tita Cory, as she is fondly called by almost all Filipinos, was instrumental to the ouster of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos and the restoration of constitutional democracy in the Philippines through the People Power Revolution. I would not elaborate more on what happened then since it is of general knowledge already but I would like to thank her –

  • for saying “yes” to the challenge that was presented to her when she ran for president against Marcos; that yes gave hope to the people who long for freedom from an authoritarian rule
  • for restoring democracy in the Philippines
  • for laying the foundation of economic recovery
  • for that strong faith in God and simplicity that inspire people

The best lesson I learned about the life of Tita Cory is to forget about one’s self and always think of other people. I hope our current government leaders will be inspired to follow the same principle and for all of us to emulate her life of simplicity and fear of God.

Thank you and goodbye, Tita Cory….you will be forever etched in the hearts of your countrymen and may you rest in peace.

Her remains will be buried beside her husband Ninoy at the Manila Memorial Park on August 5, 2009.

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3 thoughts on “Thank you, Tita Cory (1933-2009)

  1. Hundreds of thousands of Filipinos, many chanting ”Cory! Cory!” and tossing confetti in the air, jammed pavements in Manila to bid farewell to revered former President and democracy icon Corazon Aquino.

    Office workers skipped lunch to join students and ordinary residents waiting hours to catch a glimpse of her flag-draped coffin passing slowly through the streets on a flat-bed truck after her death from colon cancer on Saturday.

    Television reports described the crowd as the biggest since a million people came out in the 1986 “people power” revolution that ousted dictator Ferdinand Marcos and catapulted Aquino to power.

    “I was here more than 20 years ago to fight for what I believe was right and moral,” said Norman Hernandez, a lawyer at a mining company in the Makati business district.

    Aquino, he said, was inspiring Filipinos after her death to guard against new attacks on democracy. “I thought that was over, but she is inspiring us to carry on the fight.”

    Many in the street were clad in yellow, the colour associated with Aquino’s drive to entrench democracy.

    Aquino’s family was moving the body of the late president from a school gymnasium to the Manila Cathedral for memorial services late on Tuesday.

    As the cortege passed through Makati, well-wishers waved yellow balloons and banners and flashed the “L” hand sign, her trademark during the revolution.

    Office workers, many too young to have joined the uprising known as EDSA One, took videos and snapped photos from mobile phones as patriotic songs popular during the revolt blared through loudspeakers.

    ”I didn’t experience EDSA One,” said Jen David, a publishing house employee. ”I am the EDSA Dos generation. I only heard stories from my parents, so I wanted to feel what was their experience in the 1980s.”

    Aquino will be buried on Wednesday beside her assassinated husband Benigno at a private cemetery in southern Manila.

    She will be accorded full military honours as a former president and commander-in-chief, but her children have declined state honours.

    ”The honor should come from the Filipino people,” Aquino’s youngest daughter, Kris, told national television. ”It shouldn’t be a Malacanang decree,” she added, referring to the presidential palace.

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  2. Pingback: Hero: Live like we’re dying « A Can of Coke

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