Speech of Sen. Benigno S. “Noynoy” Aquino at the Mass Commemorating the 77th Birth Anniversary of former President Corazon “Cory” C. Aquino, January 24, 2010, at the EDSA Shrine
As we commemorate the birth anniversary of our mother, we again feel a sense of emptiness from no longer having her around.
We have gotten so used to the comfort of her presence, especially when situations demand the best of us.
She almost always had a ready answer whenever problems arise. When she didn’t, she would provide wise counsel that always managed to make us feel better.
We looked up to our mother as our leader, especially after my father passed away. She instantly became our source of strength, while becoming the face of fortitude for her countrymen. She later managed to carry through not just her children but an entire nation now freely enjoying benefits of a hard-fought democracy.
It is in these trying times when our fragile democracy hangs in the balance that I feel her absence even more.
What gives me consolation, and courage to overcome the emptiness, is the realization that I am not alone in my grief. There are many others, like you, who felt the loss of a truly phenomenal woman.
When people from all walks of life came in droves at her wake and joined the 9-hour procession from the church to her final resting place, we witnessed a nation that genuinely looked up to her as an inspiration much as we in her family did. People wanted a piece of Cory Aquino, patiently waited in line and braved the elements just to get it, perhaps to remember what her sacrifice truly meant for all of us.
Such a strong commitment to make sacrifices, and willingness to somehow emulate her character, demonstrated a people longing for a semblance of the sincerity that she embodied.
It also showed what we CAN do. The spirit of People Power was reignited in those five days.
Is it possible that what we so admired in Cory Aquino is something that resides in each of us all along?
Imagine a country where each citizen is honest, obeys the law and is never at the mercy of shady law enforcers.
A country where citizens show their trademark bayanihan qualities at all times, not only when disasters strike.
A country whose citizens take care of other citizens, in whatever way possible.
Imagine if we do live up to that ideal that my mother exemplified. Her unique brand of heroism and sacrifice could finally have younger, stronger and more creative versions that could only come from those of us she had left behind.
Only through our participation, and our willingness to live by her example, can we make her legacy meaningful and able to effect the changes we want today.
Sa matinding pagsubok na kasalukuyang hinaharap ng ating lipunan at ng buong sambayanang Pilipino, hindi maaaring ako lamang ang magsisikap na tularan ang mabuting ehemplo ng aking ina.
Perhaps if we try to keep her spirit alive in our own daily struggles, we would realize that she did not really just leave us. She is in our dreams of having a government that works, that makes justice and a decent life accessible to every citizen. She is an inspiration on so many levels.
Working together in fulfilling our own aspirations for our country would be an ideal tribute to the woman who loved her country until the very end.
[Archived from the official campaign web site of President Benigno S. “Noynoy” Aquino III]