Benigno Aquino led the crusade against the couple’s dictatorship of over two decades. His popularity soared, and the citizens saw in him, a ray of hope during the times of corruption and vulgar indulgence of the Marcos’s. When Benigno came back from America, he was brazenly murdered right at the Manila airport in front of TV cameras. The country was shocked and angry. Suddenly his reticent wife- now a widow- Corazino – also known as Cory- rose to prominence. Millions rallied to support her and considered she was the best option to counter the despotic rule of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos.
Corazino humbly resisted the spotlight- she confessed she had always been a simple housewife, content to raise her five children, and support her husband in whatever way she could. Often during Benigno’s rallies, she would refuse to share the stage, and instead prefer to cheer her husband from the crowd. But now the situation had changed dramatically. After due deliberation and sincere prayers, she decided to lead the struggle of the Filipinos for democracy. When Ferdinand called for snap elections, and shamelessly rigged the results and declared himself the winner, Cory vehemently opposed him. To weaken her, besides spreading rumors, Ferdinand played a dirty Macho card saying she is, after all, a weak woman whose place is in the bedroom. Imelda too ridiculed her abilities and warned the nation of dire times if she was at the helm of the country’s affairs.
Undaunted, with a quiet determination, Corazino Aquino led her people to the world’s most successful non-violent uprising against a dictatorial government. Hailed as the Mother of Asian Democracy, she was the first female President of Philippines. With a natural humility, Cory admitted she isn’t a leader really, and therefore refused to stand for re-election after her term expired. Unaffected by power and position, she gave charity of her wealth and lived with grace.
To be continued….