A year ago, the whole country wept as our beloved Tita Cory left us to be with the Lord. Her passing made a great impact to Filipinos around the world. Everyone felt the loss. Everyone remembered the noble strength. Everyone wished she could live a bit longer. I just hoped her suffering will end. When it did, I was both relieved and full of grief. You know when you’ve lost someone very important in your life. The world seems to stand still while your heart wails inside. That’s how I felt exactly a year ago.

I have a different admiration to hardship, but suffering (and experienced by a noble heart) is just too much for my weak tear ducts to handle. I also have the highest respect for those people who’ve gone through fire and survived. President Cory went through both– hardship as the first woman president of the Philippines and suffering from colon cancer. And that’s just a speck of what she had to endure during her existence.

I was two years old when her life totally changed; not by personal choice, but by the circumstance. My main objective waking up and welcoming the day that time was to play. I had no idea what the rest of the household was talking about and I had no idea why people suddenly decided to wear yellow.

I am now twenty eight years old and fully aware of what’s happening around. I have spent my childhood under the blanket of the government that stood for democracy and never really thought how being alive then was very relevant. Yellow has a different meaning already. Thinking about it and remembering what I know of the lady in yellow from history books, I have come to realize that our strength (Filipino strength) is drawn from our own suffering. We are used to escaping from a sinking ship only when it is on the brink of vanishing from the ocean. We are used to rising above the quick sand. And one of our major weapons is… prayer. So much like Tita Cory.

I would have a bit of regret not being 28 when she started her quest. My appreciation might be deeper than what I have for her right now. I guess for the people in my generation, the yellow ribbon should stand for something more. It used to mean the color of freedom brought by a fearless woman. Now, it signifies our commitment to bring light to this country filled with gloom. It is now a shout out to every Filipino around the world to kneel down and go back to the forgotten God who used to be our only source of strength.

As I was reading the newspaper this morning, I felt my tears wanting to just burst out. The photo mosaic in Quirino Grandstand might actually be the biggest in the world- a tribute to our dear Corazon Aquino. I hope she won’t be just a memory to us. With her death, our hearts were covered with bright yellow ribbons. Let us not waste the opportunity to share the gift that the lady in yellow has left us with. Love and prayer.

written 01 August 2010, 10:15am