“The outpouring of sympathy and national solidarity is just tremendous. We hope that Cory’s life would continue to inspire Filipinos to fight tyranny whenever and wherever it is present,” is how Renato Reyes Jr. of the militant group Bayan described the way people showed their love and appreciation to on the sacrifices of former president Corazon C. Aquino in restoring democracy in the Philippines.
Thousands of people braved the rain and heat of the sun waiting for their turn to see for the last time this so called icon of democracy. From the lowest people in the provinces to the leader of East Timor (Jose Ramos-Horta) all came together to pay their last respects. Even the children of former President Ferdinand Marcos came to say their sympathy and to see for the last time the former successor of their father. Movie/TV celebrities, business people, religious people, politicians, and cabinet members of the Arroyo’s government also were present during the necrological service of President Cory Aquino.
Despite being rejected by the Aquino Family of her offer for a state funeral for Cory, president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (cutting short her visit to US) made a pre-dawn visit. As soon as her plane landed at the airport, she immediately went to the Manila Cathedral where the remains of the former president was laid to pay her last respects. She did not stay long, after shakinghands with president’s Cory’s son Noynoy (Senator Benigno Aquino) and said her prayers at the casket she left.
Past Philipippine presidents Joseph Estrada and Fidel Ramos were invited to the Mass but never president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, an indication of cold relationship between the Arroyos and the Aquinos. Cory Aquino and son Noynoy are known to be staunch critics to the Arroyo’s administration on corruption issues and injustices. In this necrological mass attended by invited-only guests Cory’s daughter Kris Aquino recited her famous eulogy in tears which motivated millions of Filipinos glued on their televisions to cry.
Now Cory is finally laid to rest beside her husband Ninoy. Hundreeds of thousands, if not millions, of Filipinos lined on the streets amidst strong rains to see the funerals procession which lasted for 8 hours. People chant Cory, Cory and even flashed the L sign (laban or fight) as if saying the people now are awake to continue the fight and struggle against corruptions and injustices, and to secure democracy.
But it’s the people’s endless outpouring of sympathy to the bereaved family, admiration to Cory, and their expression of gratitude of her heroism and unselfish commitment to freedom and democracy that made me cry. And while many cry of the street, “mabuhay si Cory (long live Cory)” I still fear that soon people will forget and renege with their promise to continue with Cory’s struggle for freedom, honest government, and preservation of Philippine’s democratic ideals. And this is what induced me most to cry during her funeral service.
But I still believe on the resiliency of the majority of the Filipinos; and I still believe that no bitch could forever cling on to power and continuously lie and fool the people of this land. I still believe on people’s ability to unite and promote the goals and gains of democracy in this land. Mabuhay si Cory!