Saturday, August 1, 2009

Yellow Ribbons Reaching Heaven

It was just days ago when I wrote about someone's death on this blog and I was not expecting to do the same thing again today.

This morning, I woke up to my dad's voice telling my mom, "Patay na si Cory." (Cory is dead.) Dad was talking about former president Corazon Aquino. She has been called home by God at 3:18 am today after 17 months of battle with colon cancer.

Now, I don't know much about her. Nor was I been blessed with a chance to meet her in person. But as a Filipino, I knew she was one reason to be proud of being who I am. Hearing people's recollections about being with her, as a leader and friend, I was astounded. That someone who was once a simple housewife and mother had that strength and courage to be a leader and a mother not just to one or four Filipinos but a million of us.

She had shown leadership by example. As I watch those stories and testimonies given by people close to her, I agree to the statement I once heard. No other leader would surpass the respect that she had earned and gained from the Filipino people. And she deserves that kind of respect for the things and the sacrifices that she had done for the country.

I was a year and a half year old when she became the head of the country. I met her youngest daughter Kris, five years ago out of chance. Yes, people tell a lot about her but in that succinct moment that I have seen and talked to Kris, at the back of my head, I was firmly telling myself "now I believe that a president can actually raise a beautiful and kind daughter." Far from the usual connotation that once you're from a famous family, you're a spoiled, disrespectful brat. And Cory was able to do that despite the demands of her work and the status of being the powerful person in a country.

As a common Filipino I admire her. It was such a blessing to have a leader like Cory Aquino. It was through her and her husband Ninoy that we have the democracy that all of us are enjoying today. We won't be this free if not because of her husband sacrificed his life and her courage to fight and continue what he had started. She and her faith was a proof that we can achieve freedom-- and call for war is not necessary. If not because of Cory Aquino's efforts, we won't be able to tell anyone or everyone that "I live in a democratic country."

She was an epitome of how faith in God and prayers greatly help in effective leadership. The power of a praying wife and president has been a great weapon before, during and after her reign. Her faith has helped the country and its people be united at the time of crisis. Even during the last few days of her life, she was able to pull the Filipinos together in prayer. Hoping that God would hear the people who are in deep prayer for her healing.

Now that she's finally on her way to heaven, I know that yellow ribbons like these are lined up waiting for her. The same way that she will be welcomed by God and her husband, Ninoy in the gates and premises of Paradise.

It is indeed a loss to all of us to be left by someone as great, dedicated and faithful as her. But then, she left us a legacy--something that even the next in line will cherish. And now, it's her turn ro reap the rewards of the good deeds that she performed here on earth. She deserves all of them.

Thank you President Cory. You will be greatly missed. More than every Filipino (or individual for that matter), God is surely proud of you. I end this post quoting what Father Jerry Orbos stated: "When there's a presence of suffering in a person then she is an authentic servant of God."

And indeed, our dearly beloved former president was not just a public servant during the course of her life. More than that, she is indeed God's faithful servant.

Top and middle photos courtesy of
Ribbon photo taken through Wikipedia courtesy of Library of Congress

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