Saturday, August 1, 2009
CORAZON COJUANGCO-AQUINO, My Idol
"I've reached a point in life where it's no longer necessary to try to impress. If they like me the way I am, that's good. If they don't, that's too bad.” Corazon Aquino quote.
I was carrying my 4-year-old son when the 20-year rule of then President Ferdinand Marcos was ended by the people power that took place at EDSA. Activist by heart, I failed to join any of the assemblies before that successful day. I had to follow the orders of my husband. Ding strictly gave his instructions never to leave my three children. From February 22 to 25, 1986, hubby was not able to come home. He was under the command of the Manila Police Superintendent as they were supposed to guard Channel 4 round-the-clock. He would only have 2 hard-boiled eggs and rice for lunch and alternate of one-piece chicken. According to them, what they were doing for the country was an advantage rather than performing their work. I remember the words that Ding told me in a telephone conversation that whatever happens to him, he was doing a heroic act. As I faced the boob-tube, I was trembling in fear seeing the army tanks. Hearing the accounts of the correspondents, I almost forgot that my husband was right inside the TV station. Split-seconds and I would become a widow. Thank God that the situation got better when the dictator left Malacanang.
I jumped for joy not because Ding was safe. Such display of emotions was the result of the perceived victory over the long revolt. As I was crying, Yang also cried with me. Mabel and Nini were inside the room and had very little knowledge that their Dad cheated life and that a new government was about to be installed.
When Ding went home, he told me that his group was recalled from the original assignment and was made to guard Malacanang near Arlegui. That, I only knew when he went home to tell his account of the stories behind the television.
My experience as a police officer's wife on February 22 to 25 in 1986 is an unwritten novel. How much more can a writer pen about the experiences of a wonderful woman who joined her husband in all of his political aspirations for the country? And after the loss of Ninoy, continue the unfinished mission?
I cry every time I see Cory in her triumphs and pains. She was my idol and would be my idol till my last breath. I have yet to see a woman who can surpass the love and patience she gave to her family and country. Now that she's gone, only her memories will be left as my guide.
And I will do the same for my husband. Only, in a smaller dimension.