Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Mourning for Something More

“Ako’y nagpapasalamat sa inyong lahat at lalong-lalo na sa Panginoong Diyos, na ginawa niya akong isang Pilipino. Talagang karangalan ko iyon, na maging katulad niyo…" – Corazon C. Aquino (1933 – 2009)**

Tita Cory gave me a long-stemmed yellow rose way back in 1986 when she was on that historic presidential campaign trail. Those were the heady days of yellow Fridays, and the subversive Mr. & Ms. magazine.

Those early days, I didn’t know much about politics—but I recognized then, in human form, abstract words like hope, faith, justice—and consequently, other abstract words like despair and injustice. Tita Cory embodied the former—until the day she died.

I feel like I am in a strange time warp as I commute the past few days and see yellow ribbons tied in buses, jeepneys and fluttering from many a lamp post and tree branch. The TV images of confetti-filled skies in Makati and the truck carrying the flag-draped coffin and surrounded with yellow blossoms—all brought back the memories of 1983 and the death of Tita Cory’s husband Ninoy.

The memories are bittersweet—gone now are two iconic figures of Philippine democracy. As the nation goes into mourning, I wonder---are we just mourning for Tita Cory’s passing or are we mourning for something more?

Tita Cory was not just an icon of democracy---but an icon of virtues tragically lacking in the Philippine political landscape: decency, simplicity, integrity, humility, and patriotism. Even the staunchest anti-Cory person can never accuse her of corruption. That she made mistakes during her presidency nobody argues against. But who doesn’t make mistakes? At least with Tita Cory, she did it with the interest of the nation at heart.

Her passing means we have lost something very rare but hopefully, in view of God’s compassion for this suffering land, not irreplaceable.

**"I give thanks to all of you, and most especially to the Lord for making me a Filipino. This is truly an honor for me—to be like all of you…"

14 comments:

backpacking philippines said...

goodbye, tita cory. i was only able to visit your home on times street and greet you on ayala but not during the actual funeral...

such an icon we've lost, hope filipinos fight for democracy

Abaniko said...

With the passing of Cory, sorry to say pero wala nang credible na opposition leader na nakikita ko who can equal her stature. Nakakalungkot talaga.

Rudy said...

I just hope that those near and dear to her will not use their pedigree in order to advance their own political career. The last thing this country need is another family dynasty.

theLastJedi said...

the memories are indeed bittersweet.. i dunno if there shall come a time when a leader whose only interest is that of the nation.. selfless and no hang-ups to power.. haizz..
- one smooth read you have here.. i shall definitely be visiting your space again.. keep it up.. =)

7thstranger said...

everyone is moved with her passing... and the ideals she stand for are revived in our hearts... but lets hope its not gonna be another typical filipino practice na months or years after, people forget and apathy sets in.

freeze said...

i really cried a bucket of tears watching Kris Aquino narrate her last days.

bing said...

it saddens me to think that there is nobody who is equally credible and with integrity in the list of the wannabes.

everybody makes mistake but who among the seated can accept theirs?

manilenya said...

OO nga, tagal na ng post mo mag iiisang bwan na :)

curacha said...

Like freeze, i cried a lot too watching Kris relate the last days of her mom. It reminds of the passing of my own Dad...
Tita Cory was definitely the only Phil. President with a clean record of service. May she rest in peace.

ht said...

Kris really loves her mom and she really is the speaker of the aquino clan...

ipanema said...

really sad. i like that you've highlighted virtues. to find it in a political leader is seldom. no more like or even in the shadow of Cory.

Annamanila said...

How wonderful to have that in your cache of Cory memories -- Cory and you and a yellow rose between you. I have also a small Cory vignette (which I tried to blog about weeks ago but couldn't. More than 10 years ago, she was our guest of honor in the opening of an international training program. I remember approaching her and asking "may I kiss you?" And she smiled that broad grin of hers that seemed to say "of course, silly" as she offered me her cheek. Still, I tended to underestimate Cory and all that she did for our country. I was slow to realize what a great moral leader she really was.

niceheart said...

What a remarkable person. She will be remembered for a very long time.

Anonymous said...

hi gyps.
~chesca silva