I was 9 years old when the 1986 snap election for presidency happened. The candidates were President Ferdinand Marcos and Mrs. Corazon Aquino the widow of Senator Benigno Aquino. That was the first time I got acquainted with her because this event was the talk of every news and the discussions amongst adults. I also recall that during the campaign period President Marcos had more advertising power and budget while Mrs. Aquino had less yet her slogan “Tama na, Sobra na, Palitan na” had made a significant signal than the “Marcos Pa Rin” slogan. As a child then I really did not care too much, I was just fascinated with the campaign materials both parties were sending us (I loved the stickers) and entertained by the infomercials with jingles I see on TV.
Few weeks later, the Commission on Elections or COMELEC declared that President Marcos had won the election. Many, including the Catholic Church believed that this declaration was manipulated and a fraud. The frustration of the people, church, military and other civic groups had eventually led to the legendary People Power or EDSA Revolution or as per my history books it was also recognized as a bloodless revolution. This turn of event was not favorable for President Marcos thus he resigned and flew to Hawaii in exile and Mrs. Aquino was then declared President. I remember people were chanting the name CORY and rejoicing because the Filipinos are finally free. That time I also felt the People Power fever but on a child’s level though. School was suspended for a week and my parents stayed in the house as well. It was a like holiday for everybody and that made me rejoice. That was People Power for me twenty three years ago.
President Corazon Aquino died last August 1, 2009 due to colon cancer. The announcement of her death made me sad because as a Filipino we lost a person who was an instrument in uniting our country once upon a time. On a personal point sad because as a woman and a mother I admired her strength as a leader and her devotion as a mother. She was the first woman president in Asia and was able to lead a nation even if she had many detractors. She also cared for the country like a mother because she continued to serve even after her term. She is also a proof that a mother’s love is the greatest because she was always there for her children to be their source of strength even during their lowest. I will never forget Kris Aquino’s statement years ago on television, she said that the only person who gives her unconditional love is her mother and I totally agree with Kris.When I learned that she will have funeral procession along Ayala Avenue corner Paseo where the statue of her husband Senator Benigno Aquino stands, I right away decided that I will be attending. So I went there under the 12 noon sun, patiently waited for the arrival of her casket. As minutes passed the crowd got bigger. The windows and rooftops of the buildings along the mentioned streets were also filled with Cory supporters. The scene I am seeing stirred my vivid memories of People Power. Dominant color on the streets was yellow, flying confetti, and people shouting Cory-Cory. But now instead of fighting for democracy people are showing their respect and final farewell to our dear president and mother.
Finally her casket arrived and I have seen the sincerity of the people’s love for this great woman. The most touching scene I’ll never forget is when her casket stopped in front of her husband’s statue then everyone started singing “Bayan Ko”, I said to myself, so this is how it felt 23 years ago in EDSA, being united with millions is nirvana.
After attending her funeral parade I felt that People Power is not just a part of my childhood days. Only after 23 years I realized that People Power is a PART OF MY LIFE and I am lucky that I lived in the time period of this historical event.
Can you imagine what would it be now if it did not happen? Maybe if it really did not happen then we may not enjoy our freedom of speech and I wouldn’t be having a blog site now because government will not allow it.
Again thank you President Corazon Aquino, our Tita Cory, you will be forever remembered.