Monday, July 06, 2009
Not just Ninoy's widow, not merely Kris Aquino's mom
The news media have been abuzz as of late because of the latest developments in the battle of former president Cory Aquino versus colon cancer. Because of her illness, made known to the public in March of 2008, Mrs. Aquino has spent a considerably less amount of time on the political radar. Just recently, though, she last lent her voice in the rally in Makati City against Con-Ass via the statement read onstage by her grandson. And people seem to still listen to her words, regardless of whose mouth they emanate from.
I was a little over six years old when the Aquino presidency began but I hardly remember the nitty-gritty of her administration. We used to memorize names of her cabinet members when we were in grade school; oddly, I still recall that Fulgencio Factoran was an Environment and Natural Resources department secretary during her time in office.
I recall the 1990 killer earthquake. I recall the Mt. Pinatubo eruption. I recall the Ormoc City flashfloods. I recall the various attempts to take over government. I recall being pissed at Gringo Honasan for the December 1989 coup that cut short our country’s streak of months and quarters of almost double-digit GNP growth. I AM still pissed at Gringo. Honorable my *ss.
I recall the magazine covers and newspapers headlining Cory as she reviews the troops alongside then Chief of Staff Fidel Ramos. I recall her salute that warranted respect inasmuch as she was showing respect to the men and women in uniform before her. I recall her presence before the joint session of the United States congress. I hope I recall correctly that she flashed the “L” sign for Laban during that appearance abroad.
I recall my sister’s unabashed adulation for Kris Aquino, most famous of the presidential children. I recall the Aquino family shunning the excesses of life in Malacanan Palace.
I recall Cory Aquino singing a parody, that she’ll never run again, pang-snap elections lang ako, she declares. I recall a time when a president made a promise to not run and kept it, unlike somebody we all know. I recall Cory Aquino joining the ceremonies for the inauguration of Fidel Ramos as Philippine president. I recall Cory Aquino stepping down from power, still wielding a moral compass, referred to in times of political uncertainty.
But there are things about Cory Aquino that I do not recall, details I never knew in the first place. Her website, CoryAquino.ph contains interesting tidbits about her personal life and the paths she’s taken to Malacanan and beyond. The site likewise contains the best of what her administration endeavored to bequeath to the country while she was president- an online presidential library of sorts for those looking to the Aquino years for inspiration- or as a scapegoat.
I plan to swim through the pages of her website to sharpen my recollection of her as well as to somehow celebrate what the Philippines achieved through her. Regardless of what our collective memory of the Aquino years will look if it were painted on a canvass, I’m absolutely confident it will be so much better than what we can muster to condure to represent the Arroyo years.
May God grant her and her family healing, comfort, and peace.