CORY AQUINO: WHY SHE WAS BLESSED AFTER ALL… (CORTEGE PICS AT AYALA AVE.)
It was almost 7AM in the morning. The traffic was heavy because the rain has been pouring so hard. I know it must be one of the typhoons that are frequent passers-by of this island nation but deep in my heart, I know as well that even Mother Nature is mourning over the death of the Mother of Philippine Democracy – the late former president Corazon Cojuangco Aquino whom we all know as Tita Cory or simply Cory.
She was battling colon cancer for almost a year since she unexpectedly learned about her illness from a sudden medical checkup as she was experiencing loss of weight and appetite. Amidst this, she braved her illness and she would time and again be found actively partaking in various social crusades for justice, social equity and freedom – from corruption, oppression and poverty.
Just last Saturday, I learned from the province as I woke up and check www.inquirer.net that she had died of cardiac arrest at 03:18 at the Makati Medical Center while praying the rosary at its 5th sorrowful mystery. Her eldest and only son Noynoy Aquino made the announcement at 5PM. She died on August 1, 2009 at exactly 20 days before her husband’s 26th death anniversary and on the 1st Saturday of the month which just proves her devotion to Our Lady of Fatima.
She left peacefully to join her husband hero Ninoy Aquino who has fallen-in love with the same woman three times and that is to her, Cory Aquino as the lyrics of the song would narrates their love story as normal couples aside from their prominence as public figures. I am sure as well that both are now with the company of their fellow good friend, Jaime Cardinal Sin who has always stood for the Aquino couples ever since their struggle to liberate the nation from dictatorship and give peace and democracy a chance.
So as I was listening to DOS POR DOS by Anthony Taberna and Gerry Baja, the rain poured as hard as I passed Paseo De Roxas going to Ayala Avenue. There I saw several broadcasting journalists taking refuge on their media vans. I saw the statue of the late Ninoy Aquino as well filled with flowers. Later, Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay who was a good friend of Cory Aquino would detail that the remains of the late former lady president will get to pass Ayala Avenue from Mandaluyong City to EDSA on its way to Manila Cathedral. I got worried and I was led to pray.
As I stopped at the traffic light of Insular Building, I asked myself a question. How can the people march along with the funeral convoy if it were to rain still come lunch time? Often, the Arroyo Administration and all those who opposed various rally and protests against corruption and various scandals would laugh at the United Oppositions and to the known protesters when it rains because that would limit the number of people joining the rallies. Thus, I worried that perhaps the rain would deprive Cory Aquino the best timing for us professionals in Makati Business District to give our last tribute and respect.
I checked on the place and almost all places had yellow ribbons tied and even banners telling that SHE IS NOT ALONE! I wonder how the confetti would be showered on marchers when rain is so hard. I felt sad. Thus, as I was driving, I prayed for sunshine even just for the moment that Cory Aquino will get to pass Ayala Avenue. I parked my car at the basement parking and the signal of DZMM 630 RADYO PATROL went out. I paused for awhile and said… Rain or shine, everything will be fine!
I went to work. Time was so fast. Soon, I heard my officemates rushing down from 37th floor to the Main Lobby to peak at the crowd below. My colleague sent me an SMS inviting me for a lunch outside. I said yes! I took my digital camera with me and headed the elevator. As I reached the glass-walled lobby, I saw the crowd just outside the street and a few blocks away was a huge truck with Cory Aquino’s coffin surrounded by flowers. I couldn’t get a perfect spot as everyone was taking the spaces available to capture the event with their mobile phones and cameras.
I rushed outside the building. The sun was shining so bright and too perfect that I had to thank God for answering my morning prayers. So I went near the street but it was too crowded so I said to my colleague Joseph – “Compadre, space may be a problem but my height does matter! We need to make it near!” Well, we made it. All hands were raised! Some were showing their hand gestures with Cory Aquino’s LABAN hand sign while some whose hands were full because of mobile phones and cameras just chanted the words – CORY! CORY! CORY! The rest clapped their hands and said their prayers as it was raining confetti!
As soon as the convoy passed our post, strong winds made the confetti circle the crowd and her convoy. It was like in a fairy tale that papers shred went to fill the sky like snow. Everyone clapped their hands. Even until the convoy passed RCBC Tower, the wind blew harder as if there was a sand devil. I looked at the sky and the sun’s rays passing through clouds were like ladders from the gate of heaven showing that indeed, Cory Aquino has made it and she is happy for being able to unite us all once again and in the very last time. Even the sky gave her funeral procession a big smile with a yellow sunshine filling up the day! I call that a miracle!
In just minutes, all was done. The Ayala Avenue and Dela Costa Street was filled with people all walking back to their offices and some heading to lunch places. It was like having a FIRE DRILL with all buildings and companies along the place participating. The place was really filled with people! I was amazed at how a simple and quiet lady can unite millions of people in prayer that I got the inspiration to actively partake in her crusade for a better nation! After all, Cory and Ninoy Aquino did not die for me and my country just for nothing. The call for us to continue the fight and the struggle for reforms and social change is even made stronger now when the path has already been paved for us to tread.
Now, after having seen all these, I realized how blessed Cory Aquino was. I was born during the time that the martial law was still in effect. I was a toddler when Ninoy Aquino was assassinated. I saw his funeral and his coffin was placed in a truck as well same as his wife Cory Aquino’s funeral march. Two decades ago during the snap election, I would end up praying for my mother to vote President Ferdinand Marcos because I fear of her losing her job as a government employee. More so, I had an uncle who was my mom’s cousin who was a “DESAPARECIDOS” so I was really afraid then as people who would not vote the former dictator had to fear for “forced disappearance”. I had the Marcos-Tolentino fans and other memorabilia then because he was so feared that it seems it was a little hard for people then to express opposition. Thus, I often would wish that my mom who was with DTI then to vote for him instead.
After the Election Day, my mom went home only to tell me in secret that she voted for Cory Aquino (that is as how I remember it). I was so afraid then that I prayed. Soon, Cory Aquino would win and be declared as the First Lady President of the Philippines. Ferdinand Marcos would soon leave the country and die later on. Then I went on a higher grade and heard about all the coup attempts. I even heard some blasts nearby as a camp was near our place then. We would often hear helicopters then and some blast-like sounds. She survived all 7-8 attempts to topple her government by the very same military leaders who forced out the Marcos Regime. Thanks to Fidel Ramos and Cardinal Sin plus the millions of supporters who continue to protect freedom and democracy. The nation was united.
I grew up to know and admire President Cory Aquino. I grew up knowing the LABAN sign as well. All these forms part of my memory of the late former lady president and I will long to treasure and cherish these memories for as long as I live. We only get to pass this life once and we only get to have a Cory Aquino once in a lifetime. We are lucky to have witnessed her life until the very last day that she remained faithful and hopeful to God, to the Nation and to the Filipino People. Besides, she is too blessed after all to be forgotten… Thank you President Cory Aquino!