Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Seeing Corazon C. Aquino the First and the Last Time

I woke up on a gloomy morning on the first day of August with an SMS in my phone saying:

“Former President Cory Aquino died of cardio-respiratory arrest at 3:18 am today. She was 76.”

It was a message from a friend who has been watching the news since early that morning.

Despite saddened, my day went on just like any Saturday morning. I went to my review class in school and ended up in Trinoma having dinner with my students and watching The Half Blood Prince. What was not normal there was the fact that I’ve watched already that movie in silver screen, hence, the waiters and waitresses at TGIF sang me a birthday song despite I already had my birthday three months ago. Nice one Abbey…

And thank you for the dessert!

(That reminds me, I still have to add your Dad on Mafia Wars).

From Trinoma, to Gateway, and soon I was at UP Ayala Technohub to catch a group of plurkers who had been to a death-defying-sumptuous-meal at Kanin Club. To wrap things up, some of us ended in California Berry in Tomas Morato to partially detox ourselves employing the powers of nonfat frozen yogurt. Well of course, the night won’t be complete without synthesizing what’s happening and what happened lately in our beloved Plurklandia.

Past 1 am we decided to go to La Salle Greenhills to visit the wake of the late President Aquino.

On the way, I was anxious.

Not that am still outside my room that late at night, but because, in my 25 years of existence, I’ve never seen anyone inside a coffin. Yes, it’s a big issue for me. Almost all of my relatives are in the province, since I’m staying in the Metro, I’m always absent in that kind of family affairs. And so, I took a deep breathe and pretended that everything will be okay.

After a few minutes of driving, our carpool reached Ortigas Ave. Around 1:30 am, it was still full of parked private cars stretching to a kilometer long. We crossed the street and found ourselves in a line that started at the school’s inner gate. Flowers filled the corridors leading to the gym. Approximately 300 meters of falling in line, we’ve reached the place.

Fifteen feet. Ten feet. We were three feet away from her coffin…

To my amaze, all of my qualms were released the moment I saw her face. It seems she was telling me: don’t worry; I am very much happy where I am right now.

She was at peace, very much at peace.

I remember Karen telling me while we were still on our way to La Salle when I told her I’ve never seen anyone inside a coffin, “Don’t worry, she still looks like Corazon Aquino.”

“The point is,” I blurted out, “I’ve never seen her before. In fact, I haven’t seen any Philippine president in my entire life.”

To President Corazon C. Aquino,

Seeing you for the first and the last time was a great honor for me. Your love for the country, our country, will always be remembered as untiringly genuine and persistently authentic. As you finally unite with our Father, the Filipino people will eternally remember your greatness of restoring to us our rights —most importantly our freedom.

“He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,
the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.”
– Psalm 37:6

Thank you very, very much!

By the way, I’m grateful to Manolo for giving me his commemorative pin of the late president, and oh, not to mention the chocolate bar he gave us when we ambushed him inside the La Salle gym.