Corazon Aquino: Woman of simplicity
She was a woman of simplicity, honesty, and integrity. This was how most of her family and close friends remembered the late president Corazon Aquino.
In the necrological services at the Manila Cathedral Tuesday, Aquino was described as a woman who was never extravagant, yet full of love and always ready to share whatever she had.
“Simplicity characterized her in her lifetime. She is the most credible and outstanding embodiment of integrity,” said a nun, identified as Sister Remy.
“She is a loving sister. Cory, you will forever be with us,” Aquino’s brother, Jose “Peping” Cojuangco Jr. said.
Aquino’s sister-in-law, Maria Aurora Lichauco, meanwhile, tagged the former president as a great mother, having been able to raise “refined, responsible and beautiful offsprings,” despite the absence of her husband, Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino who was killed at the tarmac upon his return to the Philippines in 1983. It was his death that sparked People Power revolution, which catapulted his widow to power in 1986.
“I promised Cory I will always be here for her children,” she added, making Aquino’s children emotional.
Designer Paul Cabral who made Aquino’s yellow funeral dress said the icon of democracy was “truly a wonderful woman.”
“Thank you for the fond memories. I feel blessed for the privilege of loving you and being loved in return,” he added.
But the most memorable speech came from Aquino’s bodyguard of 23 years, Inspector Mel Mamaril.
“She nicely treats people around her, no matter how big or small. She treated us just like how a mother treats her son,” said Mamaril who gave his boss a final salute. His act made Aquino’s youngest daughter Kris more emotional.
Aquino’s only son, Senator Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, again thanked the public for condoling with their family, noting that they were deeply moved by messages from grade school students who were not even born at the time Cory was president.
“Mom, I really, truly believe you have fought a good fight and you have finished with a cause,” the senator said.
Also present the necrological services were Former president Fidel Ramos, diplomats, cabinet members of the Aquino administration, heads of business communities and ranking officials of the police and military.
You make Filipinos free. And now, that she is on our Gods kingdom, may she always pray for us, lead us to a great and peacful nation. So long and thank you…