Friday, August 7, 2009

My Share of History

I wasn't born during the times of EDSA Uno, not even during the 1983 Ninoy Aquino Jr.'s assassination. I was perhaps inside my mother's womb when President Corazon Aquino was inaugurated as this nation's 11th president. Not to mention, the first woman president not just in the Philippines but in Asia.

I grew up to become a person of principles. I have my share of opinions whenever relevant issues arises (meaning, issues that has something to do with our nation). I grew up with the teachings of my parents on the side: standing for what you believe and living for what is right no matter how much criticisms be thrown at you.

As an ordinary citizen who belongs in this generation, you may find me as too idealistic. Maybe, some would even raise their eyebrows and would comment something like, “Yuck! Napaka-nationalistic!” Well, to them I say, at least I care for this poor nation.

Anyway, when I heard about former President Aquino's death, my initial reaction was, “Oh my God! Patay na Sya.” Just like most of us, curiosity filled me. I was after the reaction of the people surrounding her, and the reactions of her critics from the other side of politics. I didn't feel the loss of a Filipino icon or something to that effect. It was indeed pure curiosity.

I got hooked with all the news about her. Seemed like it was another Michael Jackson aura. Most of news-related websites were talking about her and her death. They kept writing over and over again about who she is, and who she was. They kept giving tributes on how she has restored the democracy in this country. Still, I wasn't moved. Not that i'm insentive, it's just that I wasn't able to witness her presidency. Though I know the history as foretold during my early childhood down to my college years, still, I had no sad emotions about her passing away.

But everything changed came Monday, August 3, 2009. I did not plan to go out of our office building to witness Aquino's procession. I had no plans, really. But seemed like history told me to be part of it. Out of nowhere, I just found myself walking down the stairs from sixteenth floor down to the street. Not just that, some of my colleagues and I waited for almost two hours before finally, the convoy came.

I couldn't explain why, but as the truck carrying her body came, I felt a sudden heaviness. I witnessed really, a history. People around me were saying out loud her name, some wear yellow blouses and shirts, others with yellow ribbons and flag lets being waved, while others displayed the very prominent Laban sign. Yellow confetti were like rains pouring down from the sky. Very memorable indeed.

After witnessing such a historic event, I planned to go and pay my last respect to someone I don't personally know but has enough knowledge on her contributions to my beloved country. Apparently, though I had the willingness, the heavy rain stopped me. Instead, I just kept myself updated through the internet and watching television news programs.

Wednesday came, the burial day. I woke up just in time to watch the live telecast of ABS-CBN. Serenity is the perfect word – I guess – to describe the aura inside the Cathedral. Though I was not physically there, I felt how at peace yet gloomy the place had become. As the mass started, I kept singing along with the choir. Really, I was like taking part of the history even if I was just inside the four corners of our apartment.

The emotions were really felt. I appreciated the former leader more when the priest, Fr. Arevalo gave his homily. Wow! I was amazed with how she had lived her life according to what the priest had said. I was in awe when he spoke of the goodness of heart, the humility, the love, and the faith she had. I was like, could I be just like her? In spite of the gold spoon on her mouth, she lived a life of simplicity covered with love and her deep faith in God and Mama Mary. Then I thought, is there someone among the present queue of politicians that live with the same ideals? I don't know why, but as I looked on the list, I couldn't think of any.

I must say, she's not perfect. Perhaps she had her share of flaws during her presidency, but I guess, as a young Filipino - who just like many of my fellowmen - I believe we badly need someone who is like Cory who I must tag as someone who became a good example to the people. We need a leader who knows how to live in humility, has a great love for the country and its people, and has an undying faith in the Almighty.

Come 2010, we again are to practice our right to vote, our very right to elect our leaders. About nine months from now, we are going to put someone in power. As that day comes, as it approaches, I wish we could think of Cory, her ideals, her simplicity, her leadership, her faith, and let those be our guide as we select and elect.

As my words come to an end, let me say my own farewell and thank you to a woman who now I idolizes because of who she was and how she had lived her life. Allow me to utter my words of gratitude to someone who brought back the democracy and freedom that I am enjoying now. Kudos President Cory for a life well-lived.

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