“Ako’y nagpapasalamat sa Panginoong Diyos na ginawa niya akong isang Pilipino”
“I thank the Lord for making me a Pilipino.”
— Cory Aquino, September 2008
I was seven at the time of the revolution. I rallied with other kids (and their parents) from our subdivision in Parañaque. I sported the yellow shirt and did the “Laban” sign. I remember singing the nationalistic songs that came out. Most of my memory/knowledge of the Edsa (People Power) Revolution came from dinner talks. My dad went to Camp Krame (is it spelled with a ‘C’?), my mom to Malacañang with my aunt. My lolo and lola, my parents, my aunts, and uncles went to Edsa. They were a part of that group of thousands who went to Edsa, prayed, sang, and peacefully protested against the corruption of the (Marcos) dictatorship.
I never really saw Cory as a personal hero. Yes, she’s the first female President but I always thought she was just the right person, at the right time. I acknowledge that she, with her administration, restored the freedom of the Filipino people. I thank her for that. I never saw or felt that the Philippines was corrupt, the time I was growing up and she was the country’s leader; i was a kid then, what do i know about corruption?
People say when Cory was president she never abused her authority. I guess compared to the dictator before her and the incompetent ones after, she deserves to be praised. I listened to her youngest daughter, Kris, speak of her mother: the president, the mother, the grandmother. On a normal day, I probably wouldn’t be able to stand listening to Kris for two hours but what she had to say was from the heart. I cried while she tearily spoke about her experiences, sad and happy ones, with her mom. You can’t help but symphatize with her. She is (still) a daughter who lost her mother, it doesn’t matter if she’s from a very public political family. Her family’s public life, her influence on the Filipino people and her gift of freedoms made Cory Aquino’s passing feel a little too personal for everybody. She was my generation’s “nanay”.
I hope we remember her and the legacy she left us. May her legacy remind the Filipino people that the power is theirs and their voices will be heard if they just participate.
ROCK THE VOTE, PHILIPPINES!