Saturday, August 1, 2009

Musings on losing an icon

Former President Corazon Aquino died today August 1, 2009. Philippines lost an icon while being mired in a political turmoil that has remained unresolved.

Having been born in 1979 and being 7 years old during the ascension of Cory to the presidency, I might have my own stories to tell. They are not much considering that I was just a lowly elementary school student in Mindanao in the 6 years that Cory was the President of the Philippines.

This is a personal view of how I look at Cory. My views are based on my personal observation as well as from books that I've read.

If there's one word to describe Cory, I might say that she is (or was) brave. Here was a woman without any political ambition and she experienced politics only because she was the wife of Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino, Jr. but she was thrust into the spotlight after the assassination of her husband. She became the leader when no one else was brave enough to take it - Fidel Ramos and Juan Ponce Enrile were both asked if they would be willing to become leaders but instead they didn't give a straight answer. Cory did what she had to do. She was brave enough to put the whole country on her shoulders. With her effort, she thankfully didn't face the dictatorial regime of Ferdinand Marcos on her own. People looked to her for leadership.

One of her most important contributions to the world is being the leader of the peaceful revolution that has since been called as People Power. This has been copied by other countries and has been very much abused by our own country. We've seen People Power 2 and 3 and I'm not sure if there has ever been a 4 or a 5. These so-called other movements has disrespected what Cory achieved with the "original" People Power.

I never really experienced People Power. I was too young then. But I vaguely remember Cory in a parade around the city of Iligan. She wore her traditional yellow amidst bodyguards and supporters. That parade was the only time that I ever saw Cory personally.

After People Power, she set forth in spearheading the changing of the Constitution. The new Constitution made sure that another Marcos would not happen again. 6 years maximum as the President of the country (oh look, someone is sitting as the president for more than 6 years...). I think there were other changes pertaining to Martial Law and stuff but I never listened to my Political Science teacher.

I have to say that it was a presidency filled with turmoil. Cory had to face a coup here and there. The very people who helped put her to power was becoming dissatisfied with her. Well, in the first place, these guys should have taken the power for themselves during People Power and be done with it but they didn't.

It is understandable that Cory had a lot going against her. She was taking over from a dictator. She did well. She wouldn't garner an A+ grade but she did well to get the ball rolling for democracy again.

So, to recall my elementary school days. The best (or worst) memory pertaining to the country would have to be the power crisis. Should I blame her (especially now)? Well, I have to blame someone. Mindanao was trying to save power and we had days of having only 8 hours of electricity. Yes, it was that bad.

Oh, and she made sure that people wouldn't forget Ninoy Aquino by placing his face on the 500 peso bill which, unfortunately, has been joked as the reason for the country's misfortune. That's a feng shui story that I will not divulge here. What has happened since then? Fidel Ramos had a 1,000 peso bill and Gloria Arroyo had 200 pesos. What's next?

Not to put down the late Fernando Poe, Jr. but I think he thought he'd do a Cory by relying on the people to win the presidency. It is a far fetched theory but consider the variables. Here is a person without any prior experience in politics save for a deposed president as a best friend and he's running for the highest position in the country. The people looked to FPJ as the savior from a possible "dictator" but unfortunately it wasn't enough. All this just looks so familiar to how Cory got to the top position of the country. Not exactly the same but...


In my personal musing after the death of Cory, I can't help but think that her legacy is further tarnished by the (mis)adventures of her youngest daughter, Kris. Ey, it has to be admitted that without Cory as the president, Kris would never have been "successful" in the show business. And I must say that Kris probably appears more on TV than her mother ever did. And I don't care that Cory looked monotonous in her yellow (and later black) attire. She is still better (and sane) looking than her daughter.

The more that people and the younger generation will see Kris, the more that they will fail to realize how important Cory had been. Kris is probably more famous than her mother now. I just wish that somehow the younger generation will not forget how vital Cory was to our country albeit the situation our country is in now.

I look forward to the next leader to immortalize Cory. I wonder what will be done. She is that important to our history. If not as important as Ninoy, maybe more important.

God bless her soul.

Rest in peace.

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