As I write this, I listen to the live feed of President Cory Aquino’s burial on TV and try to remember what her significance in my life has been. I was born during the tail end of the 70’s and have no recollection of Martial Law during Marcos’ term. I do have vague memories of the 1986 People Power Revolution and remember my Dad constantly singing “Tie a Yellow Ribbon,” hearing him recount his experiences, and recall my parents wearing those yellow Ninoy shirts. Although my Dad was a huge Aquino supporter, I knew that he didn’t believe in Cory as much as he believed in Ninoy. His lack of enthusiasm for her leadership apparently rubbed off on me and I was never a big fan of President Cory Aquino.
It was only in the last few days that I really understood President Cory Aquino’s importance to our country. She led the Filipinos in a non-violent revolution which helped the country regain it’s democracy; how, as a wife, she supported her husband’s decisions; and how, as a mother, she raised five children practically on her own. After reading more on her and talking to people who did experience our country’s transition from a dictatorial government to a democratic one, I now understand why thousands of people flocked over to pay their last respects to the woman who symbolized Philippine democracy, faith and integrity. We did lose a great woman.
Now as the country mourned the loss of a former leader, my family also mourned the loss of my Dad’s brother, Tito Reg. I knew Tito Reg as a music lover (who enjoyed making mixed tapes and CDs for my Dad), coffee lover, prolific writer, loyal brother and doting father. My Dad always turned to him to discuss political issues and relied on him to write his campaign speeches. Tito Reg was one of my Dad’s closest siblings and it makes me smile to think that he and my Dad are now together, hamming it up in heaven.
These losses have inevitably made me miss my Dad even more. So it was quite serendipitous for me to find a picture of him as I was browsing one of Cory Aquino’s online albums. I think this was also one of my Dad’s ways of saying ‘”Hi.”
R.I.P President Cory Aquino.
I will miss you, Tito Reg. Give Daddy a big hug for me.