I‘ve made it a point not to discuss politics in this blog but today is an exception. In 1986 my brothers and I were part of the popular uprising in Manila which brought about the ouster of dictator Ferdinand Marcos and help install a revolutionary government headed by Corazon Aquino.
Millions of filipinos crowded the streets and formed human barricades where a breakaway faction of the military had holed up in defiance of Marcos, who had just won a systematically rigged election. The people had had enough of twenty six years of dictatorship and did something about it behind Mrs. Aquino who united the opposition and was carrying the fight after her husband, Senator Benigno Aquino was assasinated presumably by Marcos as he returned from exile in the U.S.
We were there as history unfolded before our eyes. In the ultimate act of defiance, she was inaugurated as president in a non-descript conference hall while Marcos could only watch as his grip on power slowly slipped away.
Mrs. Aquino had a tumultous presidency yet her legacy was secure. She had symbolized hope for many and that was enough to get the Philippines out of the dark. She showed courage and strength when the masses felt low and downtrodden. From housewife to President, she showed the world that change can come without violence. She showed even more when she fought hard battling colon cancer.
I join filipinos everywhere in mourning her passing. May she truly rest in peace.