Corazon Aquino, 76

I am too young to remember Cory Aquino. I was born long after the EDSA Revolution she led, long after her ascent to power, long after she graciously stepped down from office once her term was over. By the time I was born, she had returned to being an ordinary citizen, detached from all the pomp and splendor of the presidency she used to occupy. As a child, I knew her not as a symbol of hope to my country, but simply as the wife of Ninoy and as the mother of that annoyingly hyperactive woman I kept on seeing on TV.

But I am not too young to know how much I owe to Tita Cory. She was the woman who toppled an oppressive dictatorship, who stood for freedom when no one else dared do the same. She was the woman whose role proved pivotal in restoring democracy to a troubled people. She was the woman without whom I would possibly not be enjoying the liberties and freedom I enjoy today.

For her admirable leadership in a time of crisis and conflict, for her courage to stand for freedom and liberty no matter what the cost, for her role as a beacon of hope to the Filipino people and to the world (not only in 1986, but even today), we are eternally indebted to Mrs. Aquino.

On this occasion, I join my countrymen—no, the entire world—in celebrating the life of Corazon Aquino. She may have left us, but her legacy remains and will always remain alive and well. On this sad occasion, I join the entire world in mourning a profound, deep loss of a beacon and icon.

Corazon Cojuangco Aquino. Gone in the flesh, alive and well in the spirit. May her legacy—what a great legacy it is!—live on forever.

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