August 1, 2009 at 3:18AM, former Philippine President Corazon Aquino passed away after a year-long battle with colon cancer.
23 years ago, she brought the country together to put to an end a 20-year dictatorship. And during the past 5 days, the Philippines is once again united but this time in gratitude.
I can’t count the number of times I have fought back tears this past 5 days. Every time I watch TV, I end up teary eyed. It’s not just me. Almost all my friends have mentioned being in tears these past days.
It’s not grief or sadness I feel. In fact, I don’t even really feel anything specific. I think it’s an overwhelming sense of gratitude. The country isn’t perfect, it’s one of the most corrupt in Asia. But it’s because it’s what we choose to be as a country. And that freedom to CHOOSE is what President Cory has given the Philippines.
Once again, crowds are taking to the streets. This time however, it’s not because of anger and frustration at the government. It’s because we all want to honor the person who gave the country back it’s freedom. This time there has been no call to gather, no propaganda talk. People are just spontaneously going out to honor Tita Cory.
This yellow ribbon has become a symbol of the country’s gratitude to her. It’s on trees, on the side mirrors of vehicles, on many cable channels beside their logos, on websites… it’s everywhere.
The country is united - old and young, male and female, the government and the opposition, the rich and the poor – in this sense of gratitude for the freedom this country is enjoying.
Thank you President Cory. Thank you for the freedom to choose.