Saturday, August 01, 2009

Cory Aquino passes away, 76

She was a mother to a new beginning, a fresh start for a fledgling democracy that had lost its way.

I just found out right now that Corazon Cojuanco Aquino passed away at 3:18 AM this morning from cardio respiratory arrest at the Makati Medical Center. Mrs. Aquino has been diagnosed with late stage colon cancer early in 2008.

My yaya, who's usually chirpy and happy in the morning greeted me with the news, saying it as if it was her own dear relative that had passed on. I then relayed the bad news to my wife who came down from the bedroom just minutes after I logged on to this blog.

I belong to a generation who spent its childhood years and early adolescence under the Marcos Regime. We grew up singing the Bagong Lipunan Anthem and my school was one of those regularly hauled off to the CCP to greet First Lady Imelda Marcos as she descended from the sky on a helicopter. We were taught that President Ferdinand Marcos was the greatest President of the Philippines and for some reason that fact never really impressed me.

When Ninoy Aquino was shot dead at the NAIA on August 21, 1983 I was riding a jeep going home and wondered what all the ruckus was about.

I watched Ninoy's funeral procession on TV and wondered with amazement why so many people had turned out for the funeral. Why did so many people mourn the death of this man? And who was Cory Aquino?

Three years later in 1986, I missed a week or two of classes in my highschool freshman year when the EDSA revolution broke out. When we came back from our vacation, we were told to write about our thoughts on the revolt and our teacher, Ms. Songcongco(?), seemed particularly happy with everything that we wrote -- even if we couldn't fully grasp what had happened.

I can't say if Cory Aquino's path in our nation's history shaped the way I view what democracy should be or what good government should be.

Then again, I always remember the time when Cory Aquino became our President and even when I couldn't fully understand what was happening, I could sense that a new beginning was happening and everything was possible.

We're still struggling with that new beginning.

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