Monday, August 3, 2009

Time's Woman of the Year, 1986

This past weekend Filipinos had to say a sad good bye to their loved former president Corazon "Cory" Aquino (pronounced uh-key-no). She passed away early Saturday morning from colon cancer and by the time I had woken up at 6, the news stations were alreadybroadcasting tributes to her and showing her son, who is a senator here in the Philippines, announcing his mother's death. They said she died with her family around her while they prayed the rosary.

From what I've gathered from my host family and others here, most Filipinos greatly admired Aquino. She was had a very active political past here, including being the wife of an exiled senator who was one of the leaders against the famous Marcos' autocratic rule in the 1980's. Ninoy, her husband was later assassinated in Manila when he finally returned to the country. From there Cory continued the fight for democracy. Eventually Aquino was nominated President in 1986 and was able to keep a peaceful presidency from 1986-1992. People say she was an icon for freedom and democracy, and as my host mom said, "She was a very, very good president."

To honor Aquino there will be a HUGE mass and memorial service for her in Manila. I can only imagine the millions of people who will turn out for it. Flags are also being flown at half mast and school will be canceled on Wednesday to honor her.

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