Thursday, August 6, 2009

Cory Aquino = Yellow = Hope, Joy & Optimism

5 August 2009 – It’s funny how days before former President Corazon Aquino passed away, my fiancé and I decided to change our wedding motif from champagne, red and orange to champagne and yellow. Prior to August 1, to me, yellow was just a pretty color and a cheery motif for our upcoming wedding, but now it has become full of meaning and symbolic of a woman of change, great spirit, love, patriotism and courage. The color yellow will forever remind me of Corazon Aquino, the first lady president of the country, a woman of faith behind large lenses and the Philippines’ mother of democracy, among others.

I wasn’t in Manila Cathedral, nor was I part of the hordes of people in a flurry of yellow who lined Roxas Blvd., Quirino Ave., Osmena Highway, Paranaque, Nichols Interchange and all the way to Manila Memorial Park to pay their last respects to the lady in yellow, but I was glued to the TV from the requiem mass to the whole way of the funeral procession to the former president’s resting place. Just the sight of the outpouring of gratitude and sympathy from hundreds of thousands of Filipinos who went despite the unforgiving rain gave me goose bumps quite a number of times. I couldn’t help but imagine the wave of emotions I would have, had I been out in the streets with my fellow Filipinos. The flood in our village hindered me from being a part of history.

But I was unwilling to be left behind by a people mourning for the loss of the nation’s mother. So I decided to send my thoughts out into the void through a chain text message (a first that I crafted on my own), which I sent out to almost all contacts I had in both my phones. I sent out a message saying ‘Now is a good time to be a Filipino. Let us all be inspired by Cory Aquino’s spirit, faith and patriotism. Please pass and help ignite the true Filipino in everyone.’ I had this hope that in my own way, I could make people think and realize that we all have a great Filipino spirit waiting to be ignited within us.

I was so moved by the chain of events that stemmed from Cory’s death that I am writing this today. I think yellow is the perfect color for Cory because it is characteristic of the legacy she leaves with her passing – a legacy of hope and optimism for a people who are in dire need of it amidst personal and external conflicts. I pray that this great loss would lead to something good. That somehow, even days after today, even just one by one, Filipinos would be inspired to step up and be better versions of themselves for their own good and for the good of the country.

Today is both a sad and glorious day for the nation. Sad because we have lost an icon of moral leadership, benevolence, gentleness and love for the nation, but more than that, today is indeed a glorious day. With the turn out of people bearing and wearing all things yellow with words of love and patriotism written with arms held high showing the L sign, we have a concrete sign that Filipinos have not forgotten and that the democracy we are enjoying today isn’t being taken for granted. Days, months and years from now, we will have all the footages of today vis-à-vis with those from 1983 and 1986 to remind us that we should be proud of our rich heritage – not just for a day, but for always.

Now is really a good time to be a Filipino. I realized this while making myself a makeshift yellow bracelet ala yabang pinoy and I have Corazon Aquino to thank for that.

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