Corazon Aquino, a Filipino Miracle!

Corazon Aquino died on  the early morning of 1 August 09, a first Saturday,  before the breaking of dawn.  She had been battling cancer of the colon for over a year.  Her family had given her the best medical and surgical treatment.   The chemotherapy had worked for awhile, considering the cancer had been at stage 4 when it was discovered.  The bonus months of life had probably been for the youngest grandchild James who had been only two at the time of her demise.  She was 76.

The stately funeral that followed was a testament to a life well lived.  Cory Aquino was just a housewife to a Filipino martyr called Ninoy.  She took care of her brood when her erstwhile senator husband was incarcerated in prison during the grim years of  martial law.  When he was murdered in cold blood on a broad daylight of 21 August 83, Cory took to the streets: first, to bury her husband in the longest Philippine funeral procession ever, and second, to be with the people whom her husband died for.

Cory Aquino toppled a dictator who dismissed her as an ordinary housewife.  Little did he know that this quiet woman who responded to his condescending  snap election challenge was a valedictorian in grade school, pursued higher education abroad, and even enrolled in law before she yielded to become the better half of a seemingly better man.  She was also made of good stock, coming from a wealthy political and business-wise family from Central Luzon.   And the years she endured as spouse of a political detainee had put the icing on the cake.  None could have been more prepared to clash arms with a toughie tyrant who had ruled with ruthlessness and abuse.  Surprisingly, the widow called Cory armed herself only with a rosary against battalions equipped with lethal weapons.  Amidst  threats of termination, Cory carried her people to a peaceful revolution the world had never known.

Cory’s presidency had been besieged by coup d’ etats and natural calamities.  Cory once said that her beloved husband cringed at the knowledge that whoever succeeds the dictator would suffer the consquences of the Marcosian avarice.  Little did Benigno Aquino Jr, in all his genius, realize that it would be his unassuming wife who would be in that position.  Yet, he also did not know that his housewife could perform miracles.  The world was watching when the Filipinos overturned brutality into peace.  The world’s finest legislators stood up for an ovation to Cory in yellow as she delivered the story of her people.  That was, thus far, the most thunderous applause the Congress of the United States had given to a mere wife and mother.   And it brought in the much needed aid.  Cory needed just one more miracle to make her a living saint.  But just as quickly as we see her doing good, so as quickly did she bequeath the presidency to her successor at the end of her term.  The constitution was obeyed to the letter.  This could have been the third miracle, the humility of not hanging on to power.  But the people did not give it much thought.  They had focused their attention to a new found freedom of living in democracy, the Cory legacy.

So citizen Cory had obligingly gone back to her original task of building home and family.  The trials could have ended when she passed on the baton, but alas, it was not to be.  Being a mother made her vulnerable to hurt and pain.  When her youngest child Kris had gone astray, she stood the grounds of morality.  Yet everyone witnessed how she embraced her erring child when she comes home down trodden.

Cory never advertised her life, but every now and then, she is seen on national television backing up a cause or supporting someone in desperate need.  She still wears yellow and still kneels in prayer, but everyone had alloted that image as her trademark.  She does not always win in her many battles yet she never speaks of any ill feeling towards another.  When actor Joseph Estrada won a seat in the senate, she extended her congratulations but straightforwardly said “Your charisma is different. I campaigned against you but the people still voted for you.”

When Cory had finally been confined in the hospital  for lack of appetite, people commenced praying for healing.  Somehow, in the depths of the people’s soul, mortality had caught up with Cory.  But then again, what if God is willing to extend the lease on life.  Who knows?  But of course, that is not to be.  Cory had succumbed to an illness that had never bothered her.  In fact, she had said that she had lived a full life. Her date with her Creator had at long last come.

And the people finally recognized miracle 3.  The outpouring of grief extended from Cory’s home to as far as the Philippine embassies abroad where  books lie for  messages to the bereaved family.  The queues for the public viewing of her mortal remains had been lashed out with hard rain and piercing heat, but the people did not budge.  Friends and foes gather together for the final respects they could muster befitting a president.  And the eulogy at the necrological rites and the requiem mass divulged a thousand and one secrets of generosity and loving kindness.  The Cory magic was real because  Cory was as genuine to each and everyone, that someone be her seamstress or security guard, her cabinet minister or her chauffeur, or just the peasant in the fields who gave his last centavo for the country.

Cory was laid to rest after a volley of fire and a 21 gun salute.   She would not have liked pomp and circumstance anyway.  As it is, the streams of yellow ribbons from the harbor to the expressways, from the  corners of student dormitories to the corn and rice fields, Cory must be smiling down upon us from the high heavens.

Time magazine had immediately honored her on the front page cover as the saint of democracy.  Whoever can refute that?

By way of saying good-bye to a beloved president, we can only say “Godspeed!”

“You made us proud being Filipino and we are glad we existed in your time.”

In My Diary 18 August 09

Gosh!  Had it been a month already since I’ve written something here?  I had been busy with mylot, an internet site where people get to discuss ideas and get their two cents worth.  I have something like eleven dollars to my credit.  Sigh!  That is over two months work.  The only rewarding part is you get to converse with people from all walks of life and from some unbeknowest part of the globe.  I have masked computer friends from India and China.  The acquaintanceship is limited to the profiles posted.  The avatars have concealed the true identities.  But there are people who showed photographs of themselves.  The people from the UK and the USA are straightforward.  The senior ones are rather open and confident about their viewpoints.  I was amused by a grandmother from Chile, a Budddhist English teacher from Malaysia, and a speed enthusiast from Croatia.  My interests had been limited to the things I know like homemaking but I had heated arguments in religion.   I discovered how poorly I faired in politics, music and sports.   My only consolation perhaps is that I get to express and share my ideas, however humble those may be.