Goodbye to my first president

Published on August 04, 2009

I woke up on a Saturday morning to catch up the latest weather update to help us decide whether we’d push through with our Tagaytay trip. I switched the channel to Teleradyo and found out the sad news early in the morning. Our first lady president, Corazon Aquino passed away on the first day of August.

It was a gloomy day for us Filipinos. I remember taking the bus trip to Tagaytay and everybody was paying close attention to the television. Everybody has something to say about this fine lady.

She was my first president. Born in 1984, the legends of dictatorship were merely stories from my parents. They made sure that I understand how this plain housewife brought back the democracy that we are all enjoying right now.

Just last night, my mother told us that she and my father were both volunteers for Ninoy Aquino during the 1978 elections.

When Ninoy was assassinated, my mom insisted on joining the funeral but my dad refused to let her since she was already four months pregnant with me.

I remember as young as six years old when my mother gave birth to my younger brother on February 25, 1990, I suggested we name him Edrev, short for EDSA Revolution.

She was my hero. Since she was the first president I have known of, it was instilled in my young mind as a child that women can do anything. I remember being asked by a teacher what my ambition was. My classmates said they wanted to be doctors, teachers, lawyers, astronauts. I said I wanted to be a housewife. They laughed at me. They didn’t know that I had my mom and my president in my mind when I said that. My mom works and takes care of the family at the same time. And my president then, takes care of her family singlehandedly and takes care of every Filipino.

These only prove that Cory and Ninoy, in one way or another, have been a part of every household.

When I learned that her cortege from La Salle Greenhills to Manila Cathedral would pass the Ayala Avenue, I patiently waited by our office window. I felt my blood surge to my head as the yellow confetti started to rain from the buildings along Ayala. I felt a sense of pride realizing that the fire of patriotism in our hearts is still burning.

I heard some people laughing about the trivial things during the march. I almost snapped, but I chose not to. I just told myself that maybe they were just too young to know her and the things she did for this country. But I was so tempted to tell them that if not for this lady you are laughing right now, you might not be laughing now because of the fear that some dictator might kill or imprison you.

Why are we sad about her death? Maybe because we lost a symbol of peace. We lost an icon of democracy. But more importantly, I feel that we all lost a mother. Kris Aquino was right when she said that to many of us, her parents are our heroes. But for her and her siblings, they are their parents.

She didn’t die battling with swords and guns. She died battling cancer. Her death is perfect example that what matters more is not how you die but how well you lived your life.

Noynoy Aquino, in one of his interviews said that usually the oppressed later on becomes the oppressor. But her mom defied this. Had I been the president, I would hunt every single soul who killed my husband. As of this writing, the Marcoses visit Cory’s remains at Manila Cathedral. Until her death, she is the perfect example of forgiveness and reconciliation.

The Philippines first saw her as the weeping widow of Ninoy Aquino. But now, history is treating her because of the things she did for this country. And this generation is enjoying a lot of things because of this simple housewife.

I remember one of her interviews. She was asked what made her decide to run as president. She said that she does not want to look back and ask herself what if she did something when the opportunity was given to her but she refused to take it.

Photo taken from http://www.pcij.org

I suppose we all have to change in the sense that for those of us who have done nothing yet or have done very little for the rest of our fellow Filipinos, it’s time to wake up and to do something. - Corazon C. Aquino


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2 comments

  1. i have one word for this post, je: superlative!

    okay, additional 12 words:
    i agree that we will truly miss tita cory, our great president..

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  2. thanks sis! it's a sad phase for s filipinos. i pity this generation for not being able to know and appreciate the things cory did for us. too bad :(

    ReplyDelete