Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Woman In Yellow

I have to write about Cory Aquino. That's the least I can do to honor her and her memory.

On February 16, 1986, Ding and I went to Luneta to join the hundreds of thousands of people who believe, with full conviction, that Cory Aquino was elected by a great majority of Filipinos in the snap election earlier the same year. With so much challenges that we had to face on the domestic front at the time, we still managed to squeeze in our patriotic duties, because after all, our children will have to face an uncertain future given the turbulent times then. I need not write how this episode in Philippine history ended. It was one glorious moment for the country.

On August 5, 2009, Ding and I again went to Luneta. This time, we came to bid Cory Aquino goodbye. The woman in yellow died quietly and peacefully at dawn of August 1, 2009. It was so sad I felt it would be contrary to human nature if I didn't cry. And I did, like the hundreds of thousands of other Filipinos who loved Cory and the ideals she represents.

It was raining so hard that day. We decided against bringing a car since we expected heavy traffic even if it was declared a holiday. We thought it would be better to just wait for the funeral cortege at the Luneta where many people converged. We positioned ourselves at the middle of Roxas Blvd. where buses and cars were parked. I kidded the driver of a GMA7 pick-up to allow us to ride at the back and he was gracious enough to invite us to join them ( despite a reporter's refusal) even up to Manila Memorial Park in Paranaque. Ding welcomed the idea but expecting that it would reach the park at around 6pm or even later, we foresaw that the travel back to Bulacan in heavy rains would be pretty messy. So we decided to just wait for the cortege at the Luneta and catch the procession on tv as soon as we arrive back home.

To get a better view of the truck carrying her coffin and the funeral cortege, Ding and I went up the carabao sculpture facing Jose Rizal's monument. There we saw all sorts of people, young and old, men and women, boys and girls, barkadas, classmates, cause-oriented groups, media people- everyone cheered for Pres. Cory as if it were another political rally that she led. There was a fiesta atmosphere and yet there was sadness all around, especially in the faces of those who, in all likelihood, were veterans of the Edsa Revolution.

Pres. Cory was a personal inspiration for me. I particularly am so awed by her faithfulness and submission to God's will. She was THE biblical wife. And she was a great mother. Everything has been said about her and all the facets of her life. It will take another lifetime for this country to have another one of her kind.

Pres. Cory, the woman in yellow, is too well loved to ever be forgotten.

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