How high giants grow?


The Philippines:

We have crossed the threshold of our own history. Written in the palm of this woman, who "knew nothing", is a freedom that we still question today. Look at what we have, as people of this nation, a woman who have lost her life but save millions from the gratuitous insolence of that dark history of our lives. I am speaking not as an individual of sheer indifference but as a collective soul, who believes in faith and, above all, love. Today is August the first. We shed tears because of her death, emptiness looms over board, and we recall once again that unfolding in our history the moment when: in 1986, people crossed the streets over EDSA Ave. in Manila, with a pack of prayers and yellow ribbon. They wanted to free their nation. And they did. But somehow, years seemed to toll behind and the quest for freedom is still there. What then constitute a free state? I guess to answer this question without theory, the archaic language of Politics and Governance that have spurred the minds of thinkers and philosophers throughout our short human history, would require enough courage as that of a battalion of soldiers forging an unknown territory. It places oneself in a zone of fear, and one can unravel with a jolt if not eased. This is what Corazon Aquino faced when she was elected as the President of the Republic of the Philippines last 1986. And this is what i have known so far from my Kasaysayan lectures during my elementary years about the fate of my country more two decades ago. I realized how frail my own sentiments were at that time, and how impossibly numb i was as a young teenager. What concerns me, during Ma'am Chona's, my history teacher, lecture on the revolt of 1986, is nothing but the expectation of a pop quiz that she would give minutes later. I saw Ma'am Chona like a giant, a life force piercing through our young soul, enlivening our fragile little conscience with a solid story from our history. Along with many criticisms and prejudices in her lectures, she still put a central figure for emphasis: Corazon Aquino who stood not just a President of our nation but a symbol of hope, freedom and democracy. But look at what we have now, a symbol of life in her deathbed. What does it mean? What has become of our nation's freedom that embodies her? Have our freedom become stale and unclear? How free am I? What constitute my freedom? Questions after questions after questions, we suddenly become vacuous and meaningless yet we recover from this shocked day by day, through our constant prayers and hope that someday we come together and free ourselves from these endless agony of insecurities, imperfections, and repressions that our nation have truly incurred through the years of silence. I have to clamor this from my heart, though Corazon Aquino is not a perfect president, she has truly become a meaningful part of our lives, an inspiration to rebuild a fallen government after the Marcos regime.

Perhaps, I have become a monster and blamed her for giving headaches to landowners upon passing Republic Act No. 6657, also known as "The Comprehensive Agrarian Reform". Or to call her government the most unstable during the military insurrections for the first three years of her term. But these issues have lost their meanings in time.

We face new era.

She was such a giant, a woman who became a president, who knew only one thing: to change a nation in peace.

How high giants grow?

"The more you look at it, particularly in light of recent events, the more you see the awesome differences between Corazon Aquino and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. At first blush, they have similarities too, which are that they are both women and the product of People Power. But at second blush, even those similarities are differences."

- Condrado de Quiros (here)

Essential Links:

Kimboi's "Yellow" post.
Condrado de Quiros' "Difference" article in PDI (July 21, 2009)
Michale Tan's "Tita, Ate, Madam" article in PDI (July 10, 2009)

Video Supplement: From Ninoy Aquino TV

First part of President Cory Aquino's
Historic speech before the U.S. Congress

part 2
part 3

Ciao Cory!