A “Yellow” Funeral


I learned of Former President Cory Aquino‘s death on Saturday night. It was reported on Korean news. As they say, it was inevitable and we know that she’s going to die sooner or later but when it happened it still shocked the majority of us. Like almost everyone I know, we look up to “Tita Cory” not only as a woman but as a symbol of strength and an icon of democracy.

I used to just respect her as a President but when I got to know her life story through the various documentaries I’d seen through the years, I realized she was more than a housewife who became the Philippines’ first woman president. What she had gone through in her life and how she carried herself well, raising her children almost all by herself (since her husband was in prison for such a long time) and embracing the Filipinos as her children as well is astounding. Like Kris Aquino said, she is the embodiment of a Filipino mother.

What I remember most about her presidency are the coups. I used to live in a dormitory along Legarda St. in Manila during my last two years in high school and we were always scared by the mere rumors of a coup. I also remember with “fondness” the blackouts that occured during her administration. Ice creams were sold at half the usual price and we would sleep at the veranda when there was no electricity. Our neighbors did the same and during the summer vacations, the whole neighborhood would play bingo until daylight. Of course, I also remember that it was during her administration that we experienced a damaging earthquake (July 1990), the explosion of Mt. Pinatubo (June 1991) and the exodus of the Americans, which made a lot of Angelenos feel insecure about their future. Ah, we went through a lot during those days and I can just imagine how strong Cory was.


^^ at Roh Moo Hyun’s funeral

I’m currently watching a live stream (thanks to JustinTV and ANC) of the funeral mass of Tita Cory. I would probably attend her funeral procession just to pay my respects like I did for Former President Roh Moo Hyun last May. Like Tita Cory, Roh Moo Hyun’s color is yellow. Thus on his funeral march, people wore yellow paper hats and they carried yellow balloons, armbands and posters. People in the buildings threw yellow confetti wherever the carriage passed. The funeral ceremony were held in Gyeongbok Palace and ordinary people like moi watched it on the big screens at the buildings in Gwanghamun. People would boo and shout invectives whenever President Lee Myung Bak’s face was shown on screen.

When I read that Former President Kim Dae Jung sent condoloces to Cory’s family, I hurriedly searched for their connection. Tita Cory attended the former South Korean president’s inauguration in 1998. What a coincidence when I saw an article about the event that says: “This week, as luminaries from George Soros to Michael Jackson to Corazon Aquino descend on Seoul for his inauguration, Kim is doubtless aware that the real celebration will have to come later.” The former is still alive, of course.

We will surely miss Former President Corazon Aquino. I’ll miss most her simplicity, which is actually a mask for the kind of woman she was – strong, courageous, selfless and magnanimous. Goodbye Tita Cory!

9 thoughts on “A “Yellow” Funeral

  • Pingback: Yellow Shirt for Tita Cory « Super Tine

  • August 5, 2009 at 11:21 pm
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    I saw pres. cory aquino’s funeral cortege with my very own eyes. In fact I just came home.
    My family and I stood beneath south super highway and waited for almost an hour for the convoy. It wasn’t a long wait since most people have been standing there since 6 am.

    I remember watching President Roh Moo Hyun’s funeral on KBS World and couldn’t help comparing how different both funerals were held. His funeral looked so organized and extremely solemn and it seemed like most people who went to downtown Seoul were old people. Whereas, in Cory’s funeral, all sorts of people were out in the streets. I guess I’m being biased but Cory’s funeral looked like a wild party compared to his. Actually, his funeral reminded me of Sharon Cuneta’s movie “crying Ladies”. I won’t elaborate, but yeah…

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  • August 6, 2009 at 8:01 pm
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    Sayang..I wasn’t able to attend Pres. Cory’c funeral but my eyes are glued on TV the whole day.Most of the people there wanted to thank Cory for the sacrifices and love she had shared to all of us.The Filipinos are worth dying and living for as they say and I believe in that too. As I see thouasands or even millions of people gather on her funeral,I see hope on the future of us Filipinos^^

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  • August 7, 2009 at 2:32 pm
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    together with 2 relatives and a neighbor ,welined up for 2 and a half hours to pay our last respects to president aquino in greenhills. we parked our vehicle in robinson’s galleria an dlineup at the corner of edsa across the poea building. we noticed rich people alighting from the their suvs, the not so rich from buses and jeepneys, the hakot crowds of politicians with signs an dplacards like’ condolence from vice mayor so and so and senator manny villar’also queueing. i noticed a group of people making sign languages, they were deaf and mute also wanting to see and view the remains of tita cory. we got in at past 4, at the entrance you would be greeted by her grandsons and daughter ballsy. on one side of the gym, you have the set-up of ‘the buzz’ , boy abunda and kris were starting their show.
    president cory looked good and at peace, she wore a yellow gown, rosary on her hands and her make-up was done by juan sarte-a most sought after make-up artist in commerials etc.

    on our way out we bumped into senator francis pangilinan and sharon, the two little girls and kc, mayor lim and senator noynoy.
    i felt relieved that i had done what is to be done as a filipino after visiting her in lsgh.
    the next 2 days found us glued to our tv sets watching the necrological services and the funeral. president cory may not have been the best president we ever had nor the most intelligent but she was true, honest and sincere. she never enriched herself while in office. it was so refreshing to hear kris say that the latter pays for the former’s cellphone account.

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    • August 8, 2009 at 3:11 pm
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      hi ellen! i was also glued to ANC’s live streaming and sometimes to the ABS-CBN streaming on justinTV… and i watched the whole service from morning until everything was over… i listened to the homilies as well… too bad i didn’t get to see the necrological services but i had read Teddy Locsin’s eulogy on jessica zafra’s blog and wow…

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  • August 7, 2009 at 7:59 pm
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    Not only that we should consider Tita Cory’s sincerity but her simplicity as well..My sister and some of those who lined at Pres. Cory’s wake had the chance of being appreciated and accommodated well by the Aquino family..They were so simple my sister said..”Pasensya na po nabasa po sa ulan..thank you”..And they would repeat those words again and again to those who wanted to pay their last respects to tita Cory..even Josh would say “Thank you po”..that’s how appreciative and accomodating they were..Hindi nakapanghihinayang na pumunta doon^^

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