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You knew you were going to die. 1
And yet you came, thinking no matter how insane,
the man on the seat of power would never want you dead
… it would be too much on his head.
And so you came, and there in the brightness of the day
they took your life away, on the tarmac… in broad daylight. 2
I was too young to fully understand, and yet I cried -
The greatest leader we never had, the greatest leader we needed to have … died.
August 21, 1983 was a day of ignominy.
The nation suffered from shamed infamy;
Too many people, not just one witness,
yet not anyone saw, everyone was witless.
The world mocked our country of too little people.
Seemed all we could do was pray on the steeple,
we were hopeless, hopeless…helpless…
Quo vadis, Filipino?
The tide of justice was slow in turning,
even though on the streets, one felt intense mourning.
Peace loving people were silently seething,
faithful and compliant, yet inwardly…defiant.
Seventeen years seemed still not enough,
the man on the throne just couldn’t give up;
With close-knit advisers, and media sanitizers -
If one contradicts, he sees the gunpoint…with silencers.
What must have you felt the days after you left?
Did you think we were too blind, too mute and deaf?
Took almost three years for us, to finally get our act
I guess we were too set in our ways, too afraid…to react.
What the man in power and his cronies up the tower.
must not have considered… are the new movers and shakers.
There was only so much we could take…
There was only so much we could tolerate…
February 25, 1986 was the day we started to fix 3
the road of our shamed history.
It was the day People Power came to be
the man in power was kicked out from tower
as ordinary citizens , nuns and everyone
faced his armed men aboard the tanks.
People unarmed, just some bottled water,
a few sandwiches and bunches of flowers.
It was the day we looked up the sky,
offered a fervent gratitude to heaven’s door -
and told Ninoy…thank you for believing
“The Filipino is worth dying for”. 4
1. Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino, Jr., then senator and leading opposition leader (to Pres. Ferdinand Marcos, Philippine dictator who was in power 1965-1986) was advised by the First Lady not to come back from 3-year exile in the USA, as there was a plot to assassinate him. As to whose plot, it was not clarified.
2. Manila International Airport, right after he went out of the airplane. Media took photos from the window.
3. There was so much social unrest, and Cardinal Sin, through the radio and other respected media men, finally appealed to all people to go out and stage a massive peaceful protest with people making human barricade against the tanks in EDSA Avenue, Metro Manila's main thoroughfare. No one was killed. Ninoy's wife Cory Aquino who won the election, took the oath of office. The People Power Revolution, the first of its kind, in the Philippines and in the world, was eventually copied by France and other countries.
4. Ninoy Aquino, in an interview a few minutes before he left the plane to his death.
31 July 2015
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