Much has been said about Maria Corazon Cojuangco Aquino. It’s safe to say that she did not have the perfect administration but because of her and her husband, Ninoy, we are enjoying the freedom we often take for granted. She’s the plain housewife in yellow who stood and fought the authoritarian rule of Ferdinand Marcos and succeeded. And as unassuming as she was, she keeps forgetting that she has privileges as president.
Here are a few tidbits I gathered on the news and tv specials on President Cory:
- During a visit in a rural area, one was overheard saying, “Yun ulit ang damit niya? (She’s wearing the same dress again?)” It was relayed to her and she merely said, “Yes, I’m the President. But I’m the president of a poor country.”
Pretty much poles apart from this one atrocious first lady who said, “Filipinos want beauty. I have to look beautiful so that the poor Filipinos will have a star to look at from their slums.” Seriously pathetic. Preposterous. Tasteless. Insensitive.
And if that is not enough, another garbage spewed from the dumpster. “Never dress down for the poor. They won’t respect you for it. They want their First Lady to look like a million dollars.”
Don’t ask me where the brain went. I don’t know either.
- She refused to use the siren (the infamous wangwang) when her convoy passes by. Instead, her Presidential Security Group (or whatever they’re called) would use the megaphone and announce, “Makikiraan lang po. Dadaan po ang Pangulo,” or something to that effect.
Unlike some people who just happen to breathe the same rancid air as the current head of state, they are actually the ones causing traffic because they want all the vehicles in EDSA to make way for them. And their escorts will raise hell if you don’t let them pass.
- She led the Revolutionary Government in 1986; ratified a new constitution in 1987, which gives her the chance to extend her term but she did not. Instead, she endorsed Fidel Ramos to run for president in the 1992 elections. No trace of greediness there. Unlike what’s the name of that Girl Most Abhorred (at the moment) again???
- She doesn’t want to be treated differently. In gatherings, she will sit on the same chair as everybody does; she doesn’t need that special ‘high chair’ to let everyone know that she is the most important person in the table.
- In her last few days, she managed to ask one of her daughters to ensure that the people in their home at Time Street are given their salaries and allowances.
- She prepares one mean liver pate, according to Mayor Alfredo Lim. And if she ever prepares one for you, that means she’s really thankful for whatever it is that you’ve done.
- She dyes her own hair. No fancy salon for Madame President.
As I’ve said, I know she’s not perfect. But who is? All I know is that I am enjoying my freedom because of Ninoy and Cory; something that people in the 70s could only hope for. I can go out in the streets to protest or write just about anything without fearing that I might be taken into custody by the government.
More than two decades has passed and I want to believe that the Filipino is (still) worth dying for.