It was my Mom who received the text message that former president Corazon Cojuangco-Aquino, a.k.a. is dead after more than a month fighting for her life inside a room in Makati Medical Center.
She was diagnosed with colorectal cancer last year and has undergone series of treatment. The family and the whole nation is hoping that she would recover.
A devout Catholic, she died in praying the rosary. Incidentally, she died on the fifth mystery of the Sorrowful Mystery which is the death of Jesus in the Calvary; the consummation of His work of saving the human soul from eternal damnation in hell.
Tita Cory, as she is known to many, is the icon of Philippine democracy. Even the Left has recognized her position in history, and that is, one of the leaders of the anti-dictatorship struggle which has ended in a bloodless “revolution” in Highway 64, better known as EDSA.
Together with the late Archbhisop of Manila, Jaime Cardinal L. Sin, she courageously fought Marcos until he stepped down, flown to Hawaii by a private charter, then died there. In the 5th day of the peaceful Edsa People Power Revolution in 1986, she became the first lady president of the Philippines and the whole Asia.
The sound of that peaceful revolution echoed in almost all part of the globe. After EDSA I, the Berlin Wall in Germany has been destroyed. And so many other EDSA-type uprising followed.
It happened again in 2001 against former President Joseph Estrada. Aquino was also one of the key persons who led the campaign for Estrada’s resignation because of the issues of plunder and deceit.
Personally, I don’t know Tita Cory except that she has been a person to see during rallies against tyranny and corruption.
As a journalist, I always wanted to hear what Mrs. Aquino, or Tita Cory, wanted to say against a government perceived to be corrupt and unjust. Her statement means more than a news for Tita Cory signifies a government also perceived to be less corrupt and less unjust.
Now that she’s dead, her memories linger. And I wanted to remember her not only a part of my people’s and my personal history as a Filipino, but as a part of my struggle to attain genuine democracy and social justice, which, sad to say, she has failed to restore after Marcos.
However, notwithstanding that fact, I want to remember her as part of my religious and spiritual transformation as a Catholic. I want to imitate her prayerfulness and faith, until it will become part of my personality.
She died praying, not for her healing but the health of the Filipino nation, now being devoured by a different type of cancer. And I will also pray for that.
We love you Tita Cory and Pumayapa ka nawa. Siya nawa.