Dear Tita Cory, thank you  

Posted by Laya in

Dear Tita Cory,

I cannot count how many times I had thought to myself how fortunate this martial law baby was to grow up a child of EDSA. I was six years old and several islands away in 1986, and the most I can remember of EDSA was being shushed by my parents as they listened to the live broadcasts on the radio. I could not have known then that what was going on was changing the country and the world in ways I could not have imagined.

I was a child, uninterested in current events and politics, when you struggled to restore democracy to this country in 1986, and during the six tumultuous years that followed until you turned over power to Ramos in 1992. I only realized what EDSA was about when I began reading about it in high school and later in college, when I began asking my elders about martial law and EDSA. When I learned how dark were the days in which I had been born, and how different they had been from the days in which I now lived. My elders spoke of fear in the night, of armed men suddenly knocking on people's doors and taking them away never to be seen again, of never knowing what was to happen next, of suspicion and threat everywhere. Yet now, they said, because of EDSA, all that has changed. And I would always think how thankful I am for EDSA.

Studying the Philippine Constitution for law school made me appreciate EDSA all over again, as I learned to dissect the fundamental law of the land, look at its framework, know why it was crafted-- to avert another Martial Law, to protect the people.

Then, a couple of years ago, I wrote your biography
for Wikipilipinas. For that article, I had to dig deep, to learn about you... your strengths and your failings, your shortcomings and your triumphs. And what I learned only made me marvel all the more at the indomitable spirit underneath that serene exterior. Faced with many trials and heartbreaks in life, you persevered and you prevailed. You stood up for what you believed in. You dared to face off with a dictator. You united a fragmented people. You showed them that the true power of a country resides not in its officials but in its citizens. You gave them back their freedom. More... you led them in showing the world what People Power really is, for EDSA blazed the way for other, similar revolutions around the globe.

When your term ended, you were unique among all our past presidents in that you stepped down with a light heart, content to pass the torch to another. The power of the position had not corrupted you and although you may have safely gone for another term, you refused. Yet, whenever the democracy you had sought to reestablish was threatened, you were always there to defend it.

Many would point out the shortcomings of your administration. I would dare them to stand up and do as you did, if they were in your place (and they better do a good job of it). You are much more than your presidency, so much more than housewife, mother, grandmother, and wife. You are Cory, Inang Bayan personified, our own version of Lady Liberty, symbol of democracy. Your legacy cannot be quantified in tangible terms, but intangibly, in all the ways that hearts and minds and lives were changed for having been touched by you, not just in our country, but throughout the world.

Now you have gone to your rest, leaving a country bereft of your presence. Where will we find another like you? I only hope that your legacy will never be tossed aside and forgotten, and that someday still, yours and Ninoy's dream of a truly democratic Philippines will still be realized.

Thank you, Tita Cory. We love you.


Facts about Cory Aquino:

1. She was the first female President of the Philippines.
2. She was the only President who has not held any previous office in government.
3. She was the only President to run by direct nomination of the people... all 1.2 million plus of them who signed the petition endorsing her candidacy.
4. She became President not after a regular Presidential election but a "snap" election.
5. She was the only President to be declared so not by virtue of the official results of the counting of votes, but by a "People's Resolution" signed by about 150 people.
6. She remains the only President who, given the chance to run for a second term, did not do so.


Awards and Accolades

* 1986 Time Magazine Woman of the Year
* 1986 Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award
* 1986 United Nations Silver Medal
* 1986 Canadian International Prize for Freedom
* 1986 Nobel Peace Prize nominee
* 1986 International Democracy Award from the International Association of Political Consultants
* 1987 Prize For Freedom Award from Liberal International
* 1993 Special Peace Award from the Aurora Aragon Quezon Peace Awards Foundation and Concerned Women of the Philippines
* 1994 One of 100 Women Who Shaped World History (by G.M. Rolka, Bluewood Books, San Francisco, CA)
* 1995 Path to Peace Award
* 1996 J. William Fulbright Prize for International Understanding from the U.S. Department of State
* 1998 Ramon Magsaysay Award for International Understanding
* 1998 Pearl S. Buck Award
* 1999 One of Time Magazine's 20 Most Influential Asians of the 20th Century
* 2001 World Citizenship Award
* 2005 David Rockefeller Bridging Leadership Awards
* 2005 One of the World's Elite Women Who Make a Difference by the International Women's Forum Hall of Fame
* 2006 One of Time Magazine's 65 Asian Heroes
* 2008 One of A Different View's 15 Champions of World Democracy
* EWC Asia Pacific Community Building Award
* Women's International Center International Leadership Living Legacy Award
* Martin Luther King Jr. Nonviolent Peace Prize
* United Nations Development Fund for Women Noel Award for Political Leadership


Corazon Aquino Quotes

"I could have rigged the 1993 elections for my successor. Instead, I directed the chiefs of the military to do the country proud by assuring a fair and free election, whatever the result. Better still, I could have run myself. The constitutional limitation of a single presidential term did not apply to me; I had taken office under the old Constitution. But that limitation was a cornerstone of the new Constitution I had caused to be drafted and for which I vigorously campaigned. How could I serve as the first example of its moral violation?'"

''January 20, 1993 was therefore one of the proudest moments of my life. I was stepping down and handing the presidency to my duly elected successor. This was what my husband had died for; he had returned precisely to forestall an illegal political succession. This moment is democracy's glory: the peaceful transfer of power without bloodshed, in strict accordance with law. As I left the Palace for the last time, the sentry at the gate gave a final salute to his Commander-in-Chief. With the exception of my predecessor, no President had been so deeply involved with the military as I had been. But there was this distinction between us: I had treated the military with trust and respect, and left it with honor. When the story of the many coup attempts against the young Philippine democracy is told, the treason of a few will be seen against the backdrop of the majority who held firm. They repaid my compliment with loyalty.''

'It is never too late to advance the cause of democracy by honoring its struggles and celebrating its victories. For somewhere in the world, there are always women and men who see what their jailers cannot, through the bars of their prison: in the distant triumphs of democracy – the hope of freedom...There is never a wrong time to honor courage, conviction and right, because these qualities are always in short supply yet ever in infinite demand, wherever freedom is sought and democracy is threatened.''

In Memoriam, Maria Corazon Sumulong Cojuangco Aquino
11th President of the Philippines
January 25, 1933 - August 1, 2009

This entry was posted at Saturday, August 01, 2009 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

1 people cared

thanks for this post! truly great and hope someone else like her will become our leader!

August 1, 2009 at 7:00 PM

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