Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Rest in peace, Cory (1933-2009)

I was too young to understand nor appreciate the importance of the Aquinos to Philippine history. But because of all the tributes for President Aquino before and after her death, I came to realize how much she and her husband have done for and how much they mean to our country's democracy.

Today's farewell to President Aquino was very moving, instilling both a sadness for her passing, as well as pride in being Filipino.

Once again, it crosses my mind how painful it is for the immediate family to lose their matriarch. After all the news cameras are packed away, after the crowds have gone home, they are now left to mourn by themselves, and that is when the real sadness usually sets in. For us, we have lost an icon of democracy. For them, they lost their mother.

But at least now Cory is at peace already and free from pain. Her daughter Kris revealed in interviews over the weekend that Cory was looking forward to being with Ninoy again. It was only tonight that I found out (through my mom) that it was Ninoy who penned the words to "I Have Fallen In Love With the Same Woman Three Times". I first heard the song when Christian Bautista sang it during ASAP's tribute to Cory. I heard it played again as I watched Cory's burial on TV; it was the original version by Jose Mari Chan (edit: Just learned that the song is on Chan's Constant Change album, which I had as a kid; I guess I never took notice of the song until now.)

Here are the lyrics to the song. You can view the full poem on YouTube, where a montage of pictures have been uploaded as a tribute to President Cory. According to the YouTube description, the poem was written by Ninoy for their 19th wedding anniversary, while he was imprisoned in Fort Bonifacio. This is an excerpt from the poem, which was not included in the song:

My only escape is to cling to the woman of my dreams
Who gave me a life full of love, a love full of life,
She is my urge to live, my sole motivation to survive,
She taught me not only to dream, but to make dreams alive.

I heard on TV earlier today that one of Cory's grandsons tweeted that his Lola Cory and Lolo Ninoy are having a contest in heaven whose funeral would have more attendees. (Just heard a few minutes ago on The World Tonight that an estimated 300,000 turned out for Cory's funeral today, while around 2M people were there at Ninoy's funeral procession in 1983.) The image of them together again is the one thing that makes all this less sad and painful, I guess.

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