Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Farewell, Corazon Aquino

I still remember 22-2-1986, People Power Revolution or the Yellow Ribbon Revolution took place in Manila, Philippine.1986, I was at Kuantan, Pahang, east coast of Malaysia. Just across the South China Sea is that nation of Philippine. The people power movement and the yellow ribbon, has great impact to the democracy of Asia, and the world. It was exciting moment when Marcos run into exile. Still remember the thousand pairs of shoes belong to Mrs Marcos.....I followed closely with the news of yellow ribbon revolution. She was the one who stand up for democracy of Philippines at the right time, and she succeed.

She is great.....

A beautiful poem by Ninoy Aquino (the husband of Corazon Aquino)which made into song performed by Jose Mari Chan.

I have fallen in Love with the same woman three times

I have fallen in love
With the same woman three times
In a day spanning nineteen years
Of tearful joys and joyful tears.

I loved her first when she was young
Enchanting and vibrant, eternally new
She was brilliant, fragrant and cool
As the morning dew.

I fell in love with her the second time
When first she bore her child and mine
Always by my side, the source of my strength
Helping to turn the tide.

But there were candles to burn
The world was my concern
While our home was her domain
And the people were mine
While the children were hers to maintain.

So it was in those eighteen years and a day
Till I was detained
Forced in prison to stay.

Suddenly shes our sole support
Source of comfort
Our wellspring of hope
On her shoulders fell the burden of life.

I fell in love again
With the same woman the third time
Looming from the battle
Her courage will never fade.

Amidst the hardships she has remained
Undaunted and unafraid
She is calm, composed
She is Gods lovely maid.

Corazon Aquino(1933-2009)

Maria Corazon Sumulong Cojuangco was born to Jose Cojuangco of Tarlac and Demetria Sumulong of Antipolo, Rizal. She was the sixth of eight children in what was considered to be one of the richest Chinese-Mestizo families in the Philippines, in Tarlac. Her ancestry was one-eighth Tagalog from her maternal side, one-eighth Kapampangan and one-fourth Spanish from her paternal side, and half- Chinese from both maternal and paternal sides.

She was sent to St. Scholastica's College in Manila where she finished grade school as class valedictorian in 1943. In 1946, she enrolled for a year in high school at the Assumption Convent in Manila. Later, she was sent to the United States to study in Kuba at the Ravenhill Academy in Philadelphia, the Notre Dame Convent School in New York, and the College of Mount Saint Vincent, also in New York. Meanwhile, she worked as a volunteer in the 1948 United States presidential campaign of Republican Thomas Dewey against President Harry Truman. She studied Liberal Arts and graduated in 1953 with a Bachelor of Arts in French Language, with a minor in Mathematics. She intended to become a math teacher and a language interpreter(source: wikipedia).

She was not a willing politician. Her husband, opposition leader Benigno Aquino, Jr was murdered at Manila Airport in 1983 while returning from USA. The death of her husband and the problems faced by the country and the people, provided the justification for her to enter the politic.

Marcos declared martial law on September 21, 1972, by virtue of Proclamation No:1081. Marcos, ruling by decree, curtailed press freedom and other civil liberties, closed down Congress and media establishments, and ordered the arrest of opposition leaders and militant activists, including his staunchest critics, senators Benigno Aquino, Jr., Jovito Salonga and Jose Diokno. President Marcos only lifted martial law on January 17, 1981.The opposition dubbed the lifting of martial law as a mere "face lifting" as a precondition to the visit of Pope John Paul II(source: wikipedia).

On June 16, 1981, six months after the lifting of martial law, the first president election after 12 years was held. As to be expected, President Marcos ran and won a massive victory over the other candidates. The major opposition parties, the United Nationalists Democratic Organizations (UNIDO), a coalition of opposition parties and LABAN, boycotted the elections.

On June 30, 1981, President Marcos was inaugurated in grandiose ceremonies, and he proclaimed the “birth of a new Republic,” stating that he would love to be "eternal president" of the Philippines

In 1983, opposition leader Benigno Aquino, Jr was assassinated at the Manila International Airport upon his return to the Philippines after a long period of exile. This coalesced popular dissatisfaction with Marcos and began a succession of events, including pressure from the United States.

Marcos's regime was marred by rampant corruption and political mismanagement by his relatives and cronies, which culminated with the assassination of Benigno Aquino, Jr. Critics considered Marcos the quintessential kleptocrat, having looted billions of dollars from the Filipino treasury.

On February 22, 1986, the People Power Revolution was triggered after two key Marcos allies, Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile and Armed Forces Vice-Chief of Staff Fidel Ramos called on Marcos to resign and holed up in two military camps in Quezon City. Aquino, who was in Cebu City when the revolt broke out, returned to Manila and insisted on joining the swelling crowd that had gathered outside the camps as a human barricade to protect the defectors. On the morning of 25 February 1986, at the Club Filipino in San Juan, Aquino took the presidential oath of office administered by Supreme Court Associatge Justice Claudio Teehankee. Marcos himself was sworn into office at Malacanang Palace on that same day, but fled into exile later that night(source: wikipedia).

Aquino bought back democracy to Philippine, from Ferdinand Marcos, who was the President from 1965 to 1986, more than 20 years. Aquino held the position of President from 1986-1992. From an ordinary housewife, she become the President of Philippine(1986–1992). She was the first female President of Philippines and the first female President from Asia.

Aquino died of heart attack after complications of colon cancer at the age of 76 on August 1, 2009, 3:18 a.m., at the Makati Medical Center. Aquino was diagnosed with the disease in March 2008 but kept up public appearances in 2009. A devout Catholic, she was a regular at weekend Catholic mass until shortly before being admitted to hospital in late June 2009.

The People Power Movement drove Marcos into exile and installed Corazon Aquino as the new president. That is the history of Yellow Ribbon. But sad to say, despite the courage of Aquino to fight for democracy, with the hope of bringing good life to people of Philippines. Philippines is still facing political and social problems. We hope that another great leader will appear in near future, that will bring Philippines into better future.....that is still the remaining hope of Corazon Aquino.

“The only thing I can really offer the Filipino people is my sincerity”. (NT Times).

" An observant Roman Catholic who sometimes retreated to convents for contemplation, she attributed much of her success to a divine will". (NY Times)

We will always remember Corazon Aquino for the yellow ribbon......her sincerity to serve people and for the service to God, when called upon to stand up for democracy.

She has fight a good war in her life. May God bless her soul.

Related article:
1. Corazon Aquino, by
Corazon Aquino, Ex-Leader of Philippines, Is Dead, by Seth Mydans, NY Times , 31-7-2009,
3. Official websites:

No comments:

Post a Comment