I have blogged about almost anything and everything under the sun, from the most trivial to my most personal. This one I promise myself I will do just to show how deeply I admire the greatest woman that I have ever known in my lifetime, former Pres. Cory Aquino. I did not get the chance to meet her in person but just like the thousands of Filipinos who woke up last Saturday to the news of her passing, I can feel that great loss now that she is gone.
Yesterday, I devoted all my classes to Pres. Cory Aquino. I prepared videos that I showed to my grade two students so they would know the vital role that she played in our country’s history. What struck me most yesterday was the answer that most of my students gave when asked who Cory Aquino was. Most of them only know her as the mother of TV personality Kris Aquino. I cannot blame them for that because they really were not here yet during the people power revolution. But still, I felt that deep sadness in knowing that later on Cory Aquino will just be reduced as one of the figures in our children’s history books. That she would be known only as one of the characters that played part in one of the many historical events that happened in our past. That they would only recognize her as the woman who was brave enough to fight for democracy but would never really understand the magnitude of that action unless we really take the time to explain it to them in great lengths.
Cory Aquino’s greatness did not come from the fact that she bravely fought against Marcos to restore democracy but from that inner strength that she has consistently shown all throughout her lifetime, that only a person of extraordinary character can possess. She may not be the greatest president the Philippines has ever had but she was for me the greatest leader the Filipinos have ever seen. She did not rule but instead lead. She mostly lead not according to the laws that govern our society, for even that can bend and weaken in the hands of mishandled power, but according to her principles and beliefs that were anchored on church’s teachings and were guided by God. She did not lead with an iron hand as expected of head of states but instead lead using the gentle but firm hand of a mother. That is the reason why she did not have many “followers” but instead many supporters even up to her death. She detested creating noise but quietly went about her ways doing as much work as she can with deep fervor. She bowed down and worshiped no one but God. She draws her strength not from the power that was thrust to her by her presidency but from the rosary that she held in her hands each day, even up to her last days. The words that came from her lips were not mindless bragging nor broken promises but instead words of hope, encouragement, love, support and most of all prayers.
Tomorrow, the whole nation and perhaps the whole world will give their final respect to our dear Pres. Cory Aquino as she makes her final journey to her resting place. Let us all pick up where she left of and continue to fight for her causes and advocacies. Let us continue her devotion to the rosary and to Mama Mary and most importantly, let us all continue the work that she has started, for our children and for our children’s children. May her spirit continue to live on.
You make us proud Pres. Cory Aquino, may you rest in peace…