Corazon Aquino remembered in Manila despite stormy weatherBy Jamie Marie Elona
MANILA, Philippines – The skies were dark, but the yellow clad supporters of the late former President Corazon “Cory” Aquino who flocked to her monument early Wednesday gleamed like the morning sun as Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim led a wreath-laying ceremony in commemoration of her third death anniversary.
The ceremony, held at the Ninoy-Cory Aquino Park at the corner of Burgos Street and Bonifacio Drive in Ermita, started around 8 a.m., and coincided with the celebration of the “Corazon C. Aquino Day,” as proclaimed by Lim last year.
At the site stood the 15-feet tall monuments of the late president alongside her husband, the late Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr., which were built in honor of their contributions to the restoration of democracy from dictatorial rule.
Manila Police District estimated the crowd to be roughly 2,000.
After laying the ring-shaped yellow blooms at the Aquino shrine, Lim, in a short message, called on leaders of the government and private sector to treasure Cory Aquino’s virtues.
“Hopefully public servants and those in the private sector will learn from the good examples of Mrs. Aquino who promoted the good than the bad,” Lim said.
He said the late president was a “revered national heroine, an icon of democracy, a God-fearing leader and a liberator of the country who had helped restore freedom and democracy.”
Lim also rallied for support for the administration of President Benigno Aquino III, both from the public and private sector, saying that just like what his parents have espoused when they were alive, President Aquino “will also offer nothing but good governance.”
“I guarantee that the President will never do anything that will taint the good memory of his parents and their family as a whole and I hope you will all help him and his leadership towards the straight path,” Lim said.
The mayor was loudly cheered by the students present as he called on everyone to be a hero in their own little way, citing that students should prioritize their studies instead of spending time on “gimmicks.”
“Mag-aral, mag-aral, mag-aral, ‘yan ang susi ng inyong magandang kinabukasan (Study, study, study, that’s the key to a good future),” he said.
Corazon, also known as Cory, was the 11th president of the Philippines who led the 1986 People Power Revolution that toppled Ferdinand Marcos and his authoritarian rule over the country.
Born on January 25, 1933, Corazon was hailed by Time Magazine as “Woman of the Year” in 1986, and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006.
She returned to being a civilian after her term ended in 1992 but remained in the public eye with her views and opinions on pressing political matters.
When Corazon succumbed to colon cancer on August 1, 2009 after a year of battle with the disease, millions of Filipinos braved the rains to pay their last respects to the former president, whose funeral cortege took 14 hours to get to the Manila Memorial Park in Paranaque City from the Manila Cathedral.
The event was graced with the presence of former Senator Butz Aquino, Ninoy’s brother; Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office chair Margie Juico; and Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, among others.