Cory’s Funeral March: Biggest in 21st Century
August 5, 2009 § Leave a comment
It was the biggest funeral march of the 21st century, a fitting tribute and a huge expression of love and thanks to the one woman, the only one, who taught us how to be Filipinos again. More than a million Filipinos witnessed the funeral cortege bearing the remains of the former president.
At exactly 11 in the morning, after an elaborate and heart warming send off, the casket bearing the remains of the Philippines’ greatest democracy icon was given full military honors and laid to a truck decked with thousands of flowers. The distance between Manila Cathedral and the Manila Memorial Park is just 22 kilometers, enough for an hour or so of drive. Yet, the cortege took nearly eight to ten hours to reach the park.
The sheer number of people who turned out to bid Cory goodbye easily reached millions. Authorities tried to fool us by saying that those crowds were just a fraction of a million, an attempt by this government to lessen the historical significance of this event. But, we cannot be fooled this time.
Everyone saw how thousands upon thousands went out of their homes to see Cory and utter a prayer for her. Millions watched her on television and millions more read about the event and followed her on twitter and the net. ABS-CBN said that they got more than 80,000 tweets from 11am to 2pm and I’m sure that by the time it ended, tweets would have reached a million too.
There were a million clicks of cameras, a million prayers uttered and millions more of chants of her name. The sheer banality of it all leaves one thinking if there will still be another one such as this. Cory touched every one of us because she’s the exact opposite of the one who rules us now. People even remarked that Cory deserves this huge expression of love. Hindi lang natin maisip ngayon kung ilan ang dadalo sa libing ni Gloria Arroyo. Baka nga wala.
These numbers here, in the streets, is also the clearest expression of rage, of disgusts and of silent anger against the Arroyo administration. Many people here vowed never to go to Arroyo’s wake nor her burial.
Arroyo got everyone’s anger and she represents the vile in us. Aquino, meanwhile, expresses every single good in us. Cory taught us how to love one another, how to cherish our “Filipino-ness” and how a single act of kindness for the sake of the majority can electrify a nation into action.
It is important that we share this with our children and most especially to our grandchildren. The lessons that Cory taught us should always be remembered and practised. She taught us how to give God all the glory and sacrifice everything to Him. She taught us how to love our fellowmen without expecting anything in return. She gave us the value and sanctity of living by doing good every single time. And she taught us how to be proud again, how to value one’s citizenship and the joy and blessing of being a Filipino.
You ask—why did we went out of our homes to march for the last time with Cory? Simple. Because we know deep in our hearts that she deserves our support. We feel deep within that we are unworthy of her because when she asked for our support in 2006, we were never there. We were afraid.
This is the very last time to tell her, to impress upon her, that we are one with her in spirit and in struggle. That each and every one of us share her suffering, her passion and her conviction. That’s why, after this day, we will struggle hard to oust the very cause of our monumental malady, this lady who rules us with impunity and utter immorality.
The millions who has shown their love for her, shared the ideals of the Spirit of EDSA. I believe that, the next time we march again, our ranks would swell by the millions because the old warriors and the veterans of the streets now share the same passion as those who first saw, and felt, the sheer power of the Spirit of EDSA. The fusion of the old and the young, the synthesis of the aspirations of the rich and the poor, will again manifest itself right after we lay Cory to rest today.
Let me share with you some scenes which I took when the cortege went pass our house in Makati. For my fellow Filipino Patriots who live abroad—bumalik na kayo sa Inang Bayan. Panahon na para itama ang kamalian.