Posts Tagged ‘Cory Aquino’
In between Trick Or Treat activities several weeks ago, the clan made a trip to The Aquino Center in Luisita, Tarlac. Being a hard core Ninoy-Cory fan as well as a closet history nerd made me really excited for this trip.
That Sunday it seemed our clan were the only visitors at the Center. As soon as we set foot in the museum, it felt like we were in a church or some sort of hallowed ground. Everyone automatically spoke in hushed tones. And I don’t recall seeing any “Silence Please” signs.
This is the entrance hall where some very dramatic and iconic images greet you.
There are some nice mosaics too.
The museum takes you through Ninoy’s life chronologically. There are many interesting personal effects on display such as the camera he brought with him while covering the Korean War, various hand written notes and the like but the real highlights are the bloodied bush jacket he was assassinated in and the reconstruction of his cell in Bonifacio.
No picture taking is allowed in the actual museum but this image is from Wikipedia.
You really have to make the trip there yourself to understand the feeling of being near the clothes that Ninoy Aquino was murdered in. It will make your hair stand.
Aside from the obvious, the blood stained clothes do have a story of their own. Only on the day of the funeral were they removed from Ninoy’s remains. Soon after, they were sent to some family friends in the US who were tasked with having them properly, expertly preserved. However, because they were so soaked they were told the treatment would not preserve the suit but rather only delay its eventual decay. The suit was tucked up somewhere in the family friend’s home in the US until Tita Cory asked one of her nieces to bring it back to the Philippines shortly before the opening of the museum in 2001.
The other highlight is the exact replica of the 3 x 5 meter prison cell where Ninoy was kept in solitary confinement from over 7 years.
Aside from marveling at how he kept sane in such cramped quarters, I couldn’t help thinking about how the family managed to keep so much of his stuff – things that I would not think twice about throwing out like his rusty bathroom shelving, old towels and slippers.
The point is, you absolutely come out of there with a whole new appreciation the price Ninoy and Cory paid to precipitate the return of freedom in the Philippines. They don’t make heroes like they used to. But remember:
And if you’d like to visit, here’s the schedule:
I know this post is a month overdue but better than never…
During the 25th Anniversary of the People Power revolution which I blogged about before we were invited to Tito Peping’s party cum book launch.
He wrote a book? Yes. Apparently, he, Tita Tingting and Marisse had been working quietly on and off over the past few years to bring this book to fruition.
The book details the long road from dictatorship to democracy. There are chapters written by people other than the three. Some of the writings are by Ninoy and Cory. Other parts are told by Ballsy, Nick Joaquin and Lupita Aquino so it’s a personal telling of historical events. Skeptics might say this could taint the accuracy of the content but years from now when there is no one left to tell the stories first hand, this book will be truly priceless.
For me, since I was just a twinkle in my parents’ eyes at the time of many of these events, His Story gives me a more coherent picture the Martial Law years. I would hear of the rallies , riots and arrests but did not have a good grasp as to the chronology and details.
I started on the first few chapters then stopped to finish other books on my night stand but I am due to start His Story again soon.
As for the night itself, you missed some succulent lechon baka…
Here’s what Tito Peping and Marisse wrote. (Note Rocio asked for her own dedication!!)
You should ask LittleTwinBro what was written in his copy
This was aired yesterday. Missed the airing so ended up watching it online just this afternoon.
It’s a candid, casual, sincere look at our nation’s leader. All biases aside, I think he puts his critics to shame with his informed answers couched in a disarming folksiness. None of that arrogance that so often accompanies political successes and egos.
I liked that he showed subtle but telling emotions when talking about his dad’s incarceration and assassination. And how he joked about what he would say to his folks if they were still around.
My hope is that he stays this grounded and accessible for his entire term.
* The video doesn’t seem to want to load. You can click on here.
Here’s a billboard I’m sure you saw when you were in town.
When we passed it one day, I realized I was thinking out loud.
Lala: I really don’t get Kris Aquino’s expression in that ad! She doesn’t look happy or inspired or proud…
Rocio: Mom! She looks like that because her mom just died!
Since the 25th death anniversary of Ninoy Aquino in 2008 and with the death of Tita Cory last year, it’s become cool among Martial Law babies and those even younger to get all nostalgic about this beloved couple.
And why not?? The importance of understanding their sacrifice can’t be over emphasized in an age when we take so many aspects of freedom for granted. And good things have come of looking back – like the iamninoy campaign which is all bout becoming our own heroes when our generation’s quota for such has run out.
I also like the cool graphic tees that creative young Pinoys have churned out. These are from OhWe’reSoFilipino.
But here’s what bothers me…
Maybe I’m losing my sense of humor as I age.
Don’t get me wrong. I think as works of art these shirts are awesome and I WOULD happily purchase and wear them… EXCEPT there’s this little election coming up and a major issue is Noynoy’s supposedly riding on his parents’ name and gaining votes thanks mostly to sentimentality.
I’m sure that the folks who put out these lovely shirts are supporters of Noy and the Aquinos but is this really helping? What’s your take?
Kiki, you have to watch this.
Rapa talks about how the Ninoy Cory love story evolved into a force that changed the face of the country.
We’ve written a lot of pretty words the past few weeks. And we do feel them from the heart. But this talk made me realize good intentions are not enough. The road to hell is paved with such after all…
Let’s get our project going. I have some ideas to add to it.
I finally got to watch the much-anticipated docu last weekend. I know you’re madly wanting to watch it too. Since we are all too familiar with the story line – no spoilers here even if I wanted to! – I’m posting this review.
The basic format for The Last Journey of Ninoy features his almost week long journey back to Manila from Boston. Each leg of the trip flashes back to a particular period in his life. And this is all superbly edited using a mix of real footage and recreated scenes.
Perhaps the strangest part is Bam cast as Ninoy. It’s no surprise I guess given their physical similarities but having Bam as my good friend is a disadvantage as a viewer. He also looks decades younger than Ninoy was when he made that fateful trip. They tried to age him with makeup but that didn’t work out so they cast a young Cory to match a young Ninoy – banking on the audience’s suspension of belief. The “Aquino kids” who did not get much screen time were also cast at least six years younger than the age of Ballsy et al in 1983.
The art direction was excellent. The effort put into the details of the set design really came across. The scoring was well chosen too. It gave more energy to the events being recounted without over dramatizing them.
But the reason The Last Journey is unlike any other Ninoy docu ever made is because his story is told by Cory. I’ve seen a ton of Ninoy material in my life but none narrated so personally by her. I didn’t realize what a good story teller she was! This is probably the most emotional she’s ever been on cam. No tears, no voice breaking but subtle things like misty eyes – again, something I’d not seen before.
There is footage of her interviews when she was still healthy. But most of the interview material seems to have been taped when she was already ill You can’t help but feel then end of an era.
I loved how she talked about seeing Ninoy in Laur. He had lost a massive amount of weight and he was for the first time, hopeless. Ninoy wrote in his diary how amazed he was at his wife’s strength at that moment, when the children were crying and they all thought this might be the last time they were going to see him alive. But she recounts with much amusement how that came to be. I won’t spoil that anecdote for you.
Tito Paul was also cast in the film. You never see him but he is Ninoy’s “voice” as there are parts in which “Ninoy” talks about his experiences on those late August days. I thought he did a great job sounding like his brother.
I found the film’s pace quite peppy – there are no parts that drag. In fact, the whole story is so fascinating you want to know more about this incredible life, things that couldn’t possibly fit into a docu of this length. But that works because if this moves its viewers, they’ll ask more questions, do research and come to a more complete understanding of Ninoy.
The film ends on an high and inspiring note. (Tissue, please). Kuya Jun concluded his first full length film with resounding lines from Ninoy’s famous speech in LA that ring more true today than ever. I’m going to transcribe them and put them on the fridge or my dresser or somewhere!
The purpose of The Last Journey was to make known to those born after ’83 and ’86 how the freedom they enjoy today came about and I think it succeeded. Tita Cory never got to see the final edit of this film but one of the last things she told Kuya Jun was, Jun galingan mo ha. And that he did.
The DVD will be out soon. I’m getting us a copy each.
Today, for the 26th time, we commemorate the assassination of Tito Ninoy. Feeling the need to write about him on this day but having never met him, I invited a guess writer to Kiki and Lala Land instead.
Here are the thoughts of a man who goes by many names: Tatong, Groucho, and “President For A While”.
The first time I met Ninoy, I was 22 years old and about to get married. Although he is the husband of my first cousin, you have yo understand that Cory was a lot older than us – Paching and Meding’s children. So I was intensely aware we were related but they were distant celebrities until then. (Boss Ding and I stayed in Tio Pepe Cojuangco’s house until 1949 when I was 2 years old because Tio Pepe and Tia Metring wanted my parents to kind of watch over their house while they were traveling and attending to their many business ventures).
So there we were, Mommy Paching and I in Times St. one sunny morning. She and Daddy Meding had decided that the primary Ninong for my wedding was going to be Ninoy. He was the helicopter-riding Super Boy and everybody’s favorite brother/nephew/uncle/best friend and the much-anticipated future President of the Philippines.
Being painfully shy, I really didn’t want to be there in the company of the Superstar. I just wanted to get married. When we arrived at Times, the first one to greet us was Cory. Good morning Tita Paching. Kamusta kayo? O Titong, magaasawa ka na pala. Hintayin natin si Ninoy – nasa shower pa siya.
Without warning a whirlwind, wrapped in a Japanese bathrobe storms into the room. My first impression – basa pa ang buhok, ang puti ng legs. He goes to Mommy Paching and kisses her hand very respectfully, then turns to me and exclaims with calculated familiarity, At eto naman ang Titong! Balita ko magaasawa ka na!
Almost sheepishly, I answered, Oo and I was wondering if I could ask you to be our Ninong. That is, if you will be available on January 31. With the master politician’s aplomb Super Boy immediately committed. Available? Even if I’m not, I will make myself available! Then he sat me down and with his quick mind and gift of gab, started engaging me in a long semi-monologue on all topics under the sun from the stock market to world events to young people issues while making me feel like we were long lost friends and I was the most important person in that room. From then on, it was NINOY FOREVER.
Whatever else destiny had in store for Ninoy and Cory after that October 1969 morning, it was clear in my mind that I would always be on their side even in the direst of circumstances.
P.S. Ninoy did not actually make it to the wedding because the night before which was January 30, The First Quarter Storm erupted in full fury. Marcos had just emerged from Congress after giving the State of the Nation Address when thousands of student demonstrators vented their ire on his corrupt regime. The police and the soldiers went after the students who were beaten up and jailed after running battles all through the night. Naturally, Super Boy was in the thick of the action trying to protect the protestors. And somehow a wedding in Cebu the following morning could not take priority over a national tragedy. So instead, Cho Enchong Sumulong – also a senator and my father-in-law’s UP Law School classmate – stood in for Ninoy. But no need to forgive, we understood. Ninoy belonged to the country. NINOY MORE THAN EVER!
Ten days and some after her passing, I still find myself moved by her sacrifice and her genuine love for our country.
How many people will you meet like this in your lifetime? How many of them are you actually related to? After all that was said and written about her, what more can we possibly say? Perhaps the question should be rephrased: What ELSE can we possibly DO?
“We’re on our own, now it’s up to us” was the resonating theme in the days after her death. “Ninoy and Cory have made their sacrifice, now it’s our turn.” But what does this really mean to you and me, Lala…to our generation? Our turn to do what?
While we fully comprehended the gravity of August 21, 1983, we were too young to actively participate in the events that followed. I just remember those days to be a dark BUT passionate time.
Wearing yellow tainted glasses, our generation got to witness history unfold. While it was all yellow, we also saw red in the generation before us… Red from the fury, from the unwavering desire to fight for freedom.
In our own little way we did our part. We wore the pins, flashed the sign and even became fans of Kris Aquino. But that was all. It was a fight our generation couldn’t really call our own. As fate would have it, we were destined to watch and learn. Activists in training.
And then it happened. We got back our democracy. The Filipinos were worth dying for after all. Kay sarap pala maging Pilipino. We not only became witnesses to a miracle, but we became heirs to a newly minted democracy and a more promising future.
Fast forward to twenty plus years later, and here we are again. Now we ask ourselves: Do we enjoy the same brand of democracy bequeathed to us in those yellow days of yore? Are we really living that promising future EDSA ’86 paved for us? I say NO. I think we forgot to recognize that with the gift of freedom and democracy comes great responsibility. Our generation is responsible for safeguarding this democracy, for warding off forces that threaten to take this away from us again. We are defenders of our own destiny. We are the gatekeepers of the future that Nad, Rocio, Mik, The Twins and everybody in their generation deserve. This is our cause. This is what they mean when they say “It’s our turn.” This is our role in the epic drama of Philippine History. This is our legacy. Only this time, we are not fighting for something we do not have. We are fighting for something we do not want to lose. And I think that is what HER life and death should mean to us.
So to answer the question I posted earlier “What else could we possibly do?”, I say everything…anything that will prevent us from losing the now very fragile state of our democracy, anything that will keep our sinking hope stay afloat, anything that will give our greedy leaders a conscience. Anything…until it is all yellow.