President Corazón “Cory” Aquino — the icon of democracy, Asia’s first woman president, champion of modern Filipino freedom — has finally been reunited with her spouse, fellow freedom fighter Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, together with the Lord God in heaven…
As of this writing, her remains are still being carried off in a mammoth parade from the Manila Cathedral in Intramuros towards her final resting place in Manila Memorial Park, Parañaque City. She is to be buried beside her husband’s simple grave.
It was raining profusely since last night (it seems the skies were crying, too), but countless Filipinos kept vigil outside the Manila Cathedral during the final morning mass for her (with a touching sermon by Tita Cory’s spiritual adviser Fr. Catalino Arévalo, S.J.). But as soon as her coffin was taken outside the historic church, the torrent miraculously stopped — having lived a life of prayer and faith, don’t even think it’s just coincidence.
It’s unfortunate that I work the night shift (and I still have a lot of eProcurement documents to track down right after this); I couldn’t cover this historic moment live. So I just content myself watching the whole event unfold on ABS-CBN Channel 2.
After 23 years, Cory Magic is back on the streets! The massive throng, the yellow clothing and confetti, the Laban hand sign being displayed by those who honor her… almost everything reminiscent of the original EDSA People Power Movement have returned even if just for one day, for one final moment.
In Facebook, my dear friend and fellow blogger Arnold is teasing me that I’m a Cory fan. A Cory fan I am not (I even used to despise her for having approved the death of the Spanish language in the country). But ever since she apologized to Joseph Estrada for having made the terrible mistake of supporting today’s most unpopular Filipina (aside from having lived a life of prayer and faith), she earned my full respect and praise. Thus I am sure that if she only knew more about the importance of the Spanish language in our country, she wouldn’t have approved its deletion as one of our official languages in our current constitution.
And if memory serves right, Tita Cory is the only Filipina politician who has apologized publicly for her mistake; Mrs. Arroyo’s pathetic “I am sorry” speech doesn’t even prove anything because she is still desperately holding onto Malacañang.
Tita Cory has left us not just a legacy of freedom, democracy, and a prayerful life; she has also taught us the goodness of humility and repentance.
Let us be thankful that she has left a world of pain. She is now in a much better place, the greatest place in the universe.