Thursday, August 13, 2009

Of freedom, meekness and doing good - Lessons I learned from Tita Cory's life and death

By Lec David

For the past few days, I came to mourn together with the whole nation the passing of a former president who to me epitomizes humility, grace and kindness. I was in 4th grade when EDSA revolution came to be. I was always picked as the one to be Tita Cory in classroom plays or activities as I was still wearing glasses then.

Back then, the meaning of freedom maybe just superficial to a 10 year old kid – a showing of the "L" sign, the yellow color, the many makabayan songs (Magkaisa, Handog Ng Pilipino Sa Mundo, etc). But I remember how as a nation, we were happy and proud as Filipinos. It was like Cory = Proud Filipino.

Fast forward to August 1, former President Cory died at 3:18am. I just suddenly wondered, does this mean the death of the proud Filipino as well? As a co-Aguman also posted on Facebook after her burial, "What's next?" For almost three days, I have cried and laughed together with the Aquino family while watching her eulogies. For the first time, Kris was able to make me cry. Not just a tear or two but buckets of it. It just dawned on me how Tita Cory is genuinely the nicest, kindest soul a person could luckily meet. One can't copy that nor could one fake it. I once read an article by Bo Sanchez telling that a meek person doesn't mean a weak one, but a person who knows when to be firm and when to let go, when to serve and when to be a leader, of knowing which battles to fight and when to surrender. Truly, Tita Cory was a MEEK person.

As I was watching her funeral procession yesterday, I just had the realization of what really matters when you're alive - TO DO GOOD TO OTHERS. No one made a big deal that Tita Cory was valedictorian, that she had many honorary degrees or that she was the only Filipino to be TIME Magazine's "Woman of the Year". Instead, people who were able to know her reminisced at how caring, loving and respectful she was. It got me thinking, I just hope I am sowing some good stuff in my own little way, that someday when my time will come, I may also get even an iota's worth of what Tita Cory was given.

Now, she has finally been laid to rest. Her people gave her their final and much deserved respect. I am now back to praying that with her death we may once again find in us the strength and courage to do what should be done so we could once more be proud as Filipinos.

Elaine "Lec" David is an Aguman alumna from batch Pecat-Pecat 1993B. Like Ate Candy and Ate Monette, Ate Lec shared such a personal post so we published it separately. This is still part of the Aslag Online tribute to the beloved former Philippine President, Cory Aquino.

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