Salamat, Tita Cory, Salamat
It is 2:40 a.m. as I write this and the first thought that came to me was Cory Aquino, our former president who’s been reported in critical condition at the Makati Medical Center two weeks or so after undergoing surgery for colon cancer.
When news broke of her being brought to hospital the story also immediately said a 9-day novena for her recovery was being mounted.
It’s difficult to say this but I know this meant Tita Cory, as everyone calls her, may be near death.
So it is in hopeful prayer and a creeping feeling of grief that I write this tribute.
Corazon Cojuangco Aquino, now 76, is fighting her final gallant battle but if she does not overcome this, it will not be her loss but ours.
I remember clearly how not a few scoffed and raised their brows when Cory Aquino accepted the challenge of running against embattled dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
Marcs thought mightily that his monolithic Kilusang Bagong Lipunan would handily beat the housewife, the widow of his assassinated arch enemy Ninoy Aquino.
So Cory did fight her Quixotic battle and Marcos, in the only way he knew how, attempted and failed to steal the vote.
The wholesale fraud was exposed with the COMELEC’s own tabulators walking out.
People Power ended Marcos’s reign as Filipinos backed the revolt which began with Juan Ponce Enrile and Fidel Ramos withdrawing their support for the discredited regime.
The rest is history asCory Aquino used the powers of her revolutionary government to rebuild the democratic institutions Marcos had ravaged.
Cory Aquino could have gone into quiet, disinterested retirement after that ‘transition’ presidency.
Instead she emerged as stateswoman and the moral barometer of many Fiilipinos, taking to the streets again as her own eleted successor Fidel Ramos tried to bring untimely charter change.
Cory was also there when Joseph Estrada dropped the ball and got embroiled in high stakes corruption leading to Edsa Dos.
And even as cancer struck her, Mrs. Aquino denounced the creeping misrule of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
Her own presidency was not a perfect one.
It was hobbled by several coup attempts by Gringo Honasan and other adventurist soldiers, bedeviled still by the communist and Moro secessionist insurgencies, and intrigued by complaints about Kamag-anak, Inc. (relatives, and friends who were supposedly favored by her), and the unkind tales about friendly mag-jong sessions in Malacanang.
But in all these, Cory’s own personal integrity never came into question.
As Tita Cory now lies on her deathbed, let our prayers storm the gates of Heaven to ease her pain and lighten her final journey.
Salamat Tita Cory, salamat.