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My fond farewell to Tita Cory

One of the perks of working here in the heart of Makati is to witness historical events be staged along the road. Never did I expect that to start it off, it was the Aquino cortege that I have to behold. I was then 2 years old when “People Power” demonstration took over the streets of Manila and I apathetically sleep instead of walking my way to EDSA (since I lived along Ortigas) to take part of what they called “People Power 2"in 2001. Now, I was among the crowd to honor the passing of former President Corazon “Cory” Aquino, who by this time captured my heart, the hearts of every Filipinos, by keeping democracy alive in our beloved country.

As I went outside the TEC tower, I was amazed by the number of people standing still along the street fervently anticipating for Aquino’s convoy to pass. Not only that, more and more employees left their offices rushing out to join the growing number of crowd converged along Ninoy Aquino’s monument. Most of them, if not wearing yellow themed shirts, are clutching yellow balloons, yellow umbrellas and waving yellow ribbons. Slogans of both Ninoy and Cory were inscribed from huge banners. Minutes before the parade pass by, yellow confetti were showered from high rises on to the street. The feeling is so intense and never did I experience such a feeling of unity with the crowd. I know deep within that I am one with them … I feel for them.

I had to pass through the center island to get a good glimpse of Tita Cory’s casket. I was even caught and warned by a uniformed personnel that I’ll be sent to their quarter should I cross the island. I still did and retort with a grin. A precursor to the cortege, a rondalla from Ayala Tower One started to play as soon as the convoy passes along the streets of Makati. Then, a reminiscent of Ninoy Aquino’s funeral procession, Tita Cory’s Philippine flag draped casket carried on a flatbed truck garlanded with flowers overwhelmed us. I was a meter away from the carriage and I tend to be stoic at first but with that glance of her casket and her family swooning behind, I can't help but strangely felt intimate and emotional. Not only me, and her family, but all Filipinos are mourning.

More and more confetti showered the motorcade and the crowd started cheering“Cory! Cory!” whilst flashing the Aquino’s trademark “L” sign with their hands. I was mindfully dragged by the crowd en route to Ninoy’s monument. Little did I know, I was already walking with the Cojuangco’s and was meters away the Aquino’s van. I am surrounded by a gathering of different classes. The convoy briefly paused near Ninoy’s statue where everyone chanted “Mahal ka namin, Cory” and “Salamat, Cory”. We all sang “Ang Bayan Ko” followed by a short prayer as we bid farewell to the Icon of Democracy.

It was a grand display of Filipinos outburst affection, unlike the recent gatherings brought upon by anger and hatred. This has been the greatest honor we could offer. This made me proud of being a Filipino. The event transcends class and wealth. We are all together as one.

It was just saddening to know that I was there to pay respect to the passing of a well respected, so beloved leader of the country. The only President I’ve known to live with integrity and valor.

Having experienced this let me say “I am proud to be a Filipino. One of whom Ninoy died for, and Cory lived for.”

Thank you, former President Cory. You’re legacy will forever be remembered and your name will never be forgotten.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

your first-hand experience of the event is something to treasure for a lifetime. i did not have the guts to go out into the streets to be one among the crowd. just hooked myself to live tv coverage all day. yesterday was a rather "emo" day for me as i mourn the loss of Tita Cory as much as everybody does. i was in 2nd grade during the EDSA revolution and was old enough to understand what Cory was there for. may she rest in peace, and her memory lives in our hearts, forever.