Hope Of The Future

Hope Of The Future

Yesterday, August 5, was declared as a non-working holiday. I had it all planned out: meet with Mrs. Harvey of Adphoto in the morning, meet with some business associates in the afternoon, shop for some office clothes in the evening, and then exercise a bit at my brother’s condo before going home.

And yet, it’s probably the thing that I had NOT planned that was the most rewarding. It was the day that President Cory Aquino, one of the greatest hero’s of Philippine democracy, was to be put to her final resting place. After my meeting with Harvey at about 11:30, I went to Osmena highway to take a peek, parked my car, and stepped out onto the streets. There weren’t that many people there yet at the time.

Aton holds on to a picture of Cory

Aton holds on to a picture of Cory

I met a woman, Aton. She had with her an 8×10 framed picture of Cory with her and her children.  The picture was probably 15-20 years old, since his son, who in the picture looked like 10-12 yrs. old, was now a father of his own 7-year old daughter.

She recounted how during the martial law, massive outpouring of people on the streets like this was very different. For their safety, whenever they would go out to a protest or rally, they didn’t wear their ribbons, shirts, nor displayed their paraphernalia immediately after going out of their house, because their neighbors and even the baranggay captain was a Marcos-supporter, or at least fearful of the consequences. At one point, the barangay captain spoke to them and told them that the mayor wanted to speak with them. Fearful for their lives, they naturally declined and stayed inside their house.



She told of how the rallies and the People Power Revolution were solemn events and the fear of danger always loomed in the atmosphere. This was in short contrast to the following People Power revolts, and even partially to the funeral march, where the people were audacious and bold.

Aton also told of a beautiful anecdote of Cory’s conviction. When Cory lost to Marcos during the February 1986 elections, people believed the election was plagued with voting fraud. And Cory told one of her allies, I want to have a rally in Luneta.

A Flower For Cory

A Flower For Cory

The other person reacted, “It would look better if we hold it at Plaza Miranda. The place is smaller. We just lost, how can we possibly fill Luneta?”. Cory replied, “if the Filipino people do not come, it means that they do not believe in us.”

Right now, I’m writing this suffering with a flu which I probably got by getting soaked in the rain. But to see Cory Aquino pass by one last time, it was worth it.

Farewell, President Cory!

Farewell, President Cory!

See more photos here

Categories: Musings, Philippines

3 Responses so far.

  1. Kenny says:

    Very admirable yet solemn photographs. Good by Tita Cory..

  2. Hi Jeff,

    I wasn’t planning to watch the funeral procession either, and thought I should just watch it on TV. But just before you came, I saw on TV a crowd of people standing with their opened umbrellas outside the Manila Cathedral braving the heavy rains just to be where Cory was. I was touched, and cried, but I stopped myself from crying because the maid told me you were already at the gate. Actually, I had tried to get out of our appointment but you were very businesslike about coming, and I was embarrassed to postpone our meeting one more time.

    But when my daughter peeked into the room to tell me that she was leaving to watch the funeral procession, and that she was going, not to take pictures (she’s a photographer) but just to say thank you to Cory, I felt that that was it – I had to go. So, I’m sorry that we did not get to finish our conversation.

    Your pictures are great. I am sorry to hear that you are sick. Hope you get well soon.

    I forgot to give you another booklet – the ASAP-PANA-4A’s Tripartite Agreement.


  3. Marvin says:

    isa sa mga magaling at marangal na presidente si dating pangulong Cory Aquino. sana magkaroon pa ng presidente na katulad niya.

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