Tuesday, August 4, 2009

yellow fever

It's Cory Aquino all over the television stations. And I don't mind. Nobody minds at all. I am discovering more and more what an incredibly extraordinary yet simple woman she was. She is my idol now!

During the necrological service tonight at the Manila Cathedral, several people gave eulogies. As eulogies go, only good things are said about the dear departed. But these eulogies were quite moving because, instead of the usual political beatifications, most of them were very personal accounts of the exceptional kindness, integrity and character of our past president, as related by close family and friends.

Particularly touching was the simple and heartfelt thank you of Insp Mel Mamaril, the former president's close-in security for the last 23 years, who remembers Cory as the boss who personally prepared a bowl of noodles for him when they arrived at their Time's Street home after a trip and the house cook was not yet around.

He said he was brought closer to God not only by Ma'am Cory's life of faith and prayer but also by her life of genuine concern for other people, "whether they are big or small."

Even when she was in pain, she would always ask if we, her security detail, had eaten already. "Nahihirapan na nga siya, naiisip pa niya kami." Youngest daughter, Kris, was crying unabashedly all throughout Mamaril's eulogy and the congregation applauded as he saluted his former boss' casket on his way down from the lectern.

What brought smiles and laughter amidst all the crying was the eulogy given by Maur Aquino-Lichauco, Ninoy's sister, who called Cory her BFF (best friends forever) and even as her voice cracked, managed to crack a joke by saying "I am looking forward to seeing you again someday... but hopefully not too soon."

Among the others who gave their eulogies were: Teddy Locsin, Mayor Feliciano Belmonte, Jr., Dr. Alex Ayco, Mrs. Gina de Venecia and Condrado de Quiros.

The live coverage of the wake is still ongoing, with frequent replays of the eulogies as well as real time images of the thousands of people who have lined up to pay their last respects to the former president in spite of the heavy rains.

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