A Filipino Worth Dying For…
I still vividly remember chanting “Cory! Cory! Cory!” in front of a sari-sari store where I used to buy some candies when I was a child. I think that was during the presidential elections in 1986 because there were posters everywhere of Cory with her fingers showing the ‘L’ sign. I was just four years old then.
Growing up, the television for me is for Shaider, Voltes 5, and Batibot that I loved to watch and totally cry when my father would dial the channel to watch the news. Yes kids, ‘dial.’ There were no teleseryes on TV before so I and my siblings would go to the kitchen and turn the radio on to listen to Sarsarita ni Uncle Pit while the TV is solely owned by our parents indulging with the news after dinner. Politics and history were almost never a topic in our household, so I thought. And honestly, I never even cared until my college days. For me, it was just a mandatory subject to take and to pass.
When Corazon Aquino passed away in 2009, all channels on TV showed tributes for the former president. I didn’t know what came to me, but I got hooked. I suddenly had the interest on the Aquino couple and started watching more tributes and clips about the couple on Youtube. I learned that Ninoy was shot on this day in 1983, before that – exiled in the US, and before that – was sent to jail for seven years. I read articles and watched videos of the couple’s love life, his battles in politics, her strength as a widow and most especially, the root of all this, his love for the country.
As for most of us, childhood life is the best life we’ve ever had. We start dreaming, to become a doctor, to become an astronaut, to become a scientist, to become the president. Life was happy, simple, and innocent. Then suddenly we grew up, facing adult life unwary most of the time. Dreams come crashing down, and relationships start falling apart. You also see someone else in the mirror. Life is complicated, confusing, depressing. Now we know, life is unfair.
But watching Ninoy’s life has changed my views about life. His friends turned their backs when he was in jail. He was separated from his family for so long. And he battled heart decease. But he remained strong and fought for his ideals and dreams until he died. This made me realize that you become your best during your lowest moments. That the realization of dreams will always come as long as you work on it no matter what. That hope should always be there as long as your alive, and in his case even in death. And that life will never be fair to us, but we should be fair to our lives. We should play it well, well enough that we just don’t solely benefit but everyone.
I thought politics and history were not a part of our family. But digging on our family albums one time, I saw my father’s picture in a big crowd doing the Liberal party sign with a yellow badge in his arms. He was in Manila during the 1987 EDSA Revolution. Maybe that’s why I was chanting “Cory!” at that time. I discovered that politics and history have always been a part of us. It’s the core of the current time we are living in.
Remembering Ninoy has greatly influenced my current stand in life. In spite of all the hard times, I wish I can do great things like he did and be a real ‘Filipino worth dying for.’