I had come back from buying something from the store, when JG told me that former President Corazon Aquino had passed away. News of her battling Colon cancer has already been circling the country even before JG and I flew to Libya, I even remember skimming through a “Pray for Cory” website but despite the overwhelming concern and many prayers for her recovery, she went.
I’m not a big Cory follower (I don’t have much interest in politics in general), I was after all two years old when she held office in Malacanang, and was eight when she stepped down. During her term as president, all I could remember was that black-outs lasted for hours. And it wasn’t such a big deal to me anyway, since I would be outside playing anyway. I don’t know why though, but I always stumble on articles and TV specials about her and Ninoy Aquino. So even though I’m not a big government history geek (say compared to JG), I have developed a mild interest on the Aquino’s (excluding Kris Aquino of course; she is a very different story on her own); especially their struggles during the Marcos regime. And should I am asked to write about my favorite Philippine President, I would most probably write about her, instead of the three most recent Presidents, who took office when I was already mature enough to know their role in my life as a Filipino.
I guess I like her simply because it was brave of Cory to step-up after her husband was assassinated. There could have been many other more experienced politicians and personalities who could’ve done it, but a teacher turned housewife took the responsibility aware of the challenges she would be facing. If it was me in her situation then, I would’ve packed up everything I owned and live in France or somewhere away from the bad memories, to a simpler, more peaceful life. And even though there was still a lot of instability during her presidency, she should still be given, as we say today, props for trying.
And it is hard to ignore how much she loved by many, as we now see in the number of turn outs during her wake. I was watching some parts of her necrological service, and I could not help but cry at the speeches given by people she has known and touched. As I have mentioned, even before she died there have been many who expressed their concern for her health and her battle against such a serious disease as cancer. I remember thinking then, that God forbid, she did not survive treatment, she would to at least know how much she is loved and appreciated. Unlike many artists, leaders, and personalities who never had that chance. I always hate it when they honor someone after death; I always think that all the tributes would be too late. But that wasn’t the case for President Aquino. By her example, we can all hope that we receive that much love when we are the end of our lives.