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Cory in the Eyes of Foreign Countries

Aug 5, 2009

I proudly wore the yellow ribbon to show my support for Cory, and naturally it drew the curiosity of the other participants of the summer school here in Marseille. I was a bit reluctant to tell them the story because I do not know the extent of their knowledge of our history. But to my surprise, they knew Cory Aquino. I should have known, she was the first female president of our country. I should have known, for she is known worldwide as an icon for democracy.

And yet when they asked me if she was a good president, I could only say, “Not exactly.” All we know is that compared with the Martial Law of Marcos, her presidency was definitely better. This is all that our history books told us when I was a kid. And even now, as I was reading this entry by Martin, I find it disturbing that our people knew little of what Cory did for our country. And I hate to admit it, the foreigners here in Marseille probably knew more about Cory compared with many Filipinos (especially the young generation) at present.

Still, I am amazed by the show of support that is happening right now. I woke up at 6:30am expecting the funeral rites to be over, but it’s almost lunch time and her remains are still en route to Manila Memorial Park. And I am sure, the foreigners are amazed as well.

However, I am afraid that this wave of nationalism will die out soon. A time will come when there will be no one to tell us stories of Martial Law and the importance of Cory’s rise to power. I fear that Cory’s legacy will be forgotten.

I pose this challenge now to teachers of Philippine history. The future generation should learn more about Cory. They must understand why we would go out of our way to say our final goodbye to the mother of Philippine democracy.

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