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.