Maria Corazon Cojuangco Aquino, the first Philippine female President, known for her symbolic and heroic presidency in my birth country – the Philippines – died this morning of August 1 at the age of 76.
There is no need for further presentation of achievements Corazon C. Aquino had done for the Philippines and for the Filipinos. Just by shouldering the candidancy for president and winning the ”people power” election way back in 1986 – three years after the assassination of her late husband Benigno ”Ninoy” Aquino Jr. – was brave enough for a widow and a mother of five.
Who was she?
Maria Corazon Aquino, popularly known as Cory, was born on Jan. 25, 1933, in Tarlac Province in central Luzon, the sixth of eight children of José Cojuangco.
Like her future husband, she came from a wealthy and politically powerful family. Their banking and commercial interests, along with their 15,000-acre sugar plantation, made them one of the wealthiest families in the province.
Like the Aquinos, they belonged to the class of oligarchs of Chinese, Spanish and Malay descent who have held the real power in the Philippines since colonial days. She attended exclusive schools in Manila until she was 13, when she was sent to finish her education at convent schools in the United States. Teachers and students remembered her as a quiet, studious and devoutly Catholic girl.
She studied at Ravenhill Academy in Philadelphia and Notre Dame Convent School in Manhattan, a small institution on West 79th Street (now called Notre Dame School), where she was a member of the class of 1949. In 1953 she graduated from the College of Mount St. Vincent in the Riverdale section of the Bronx with a major in French and a minor in mathematics.
She enrolled in law school in Manila, where she met Benigno Aquino, a promising young journalist with a future in politics clearly ahead of him. She left the law behind and married him in 1954, and the couple had four daughters and a son.
I was already residing in Sweden when Corazon C. Aquino became the President of the Philippines. This meant that I was not able to closely experienced the effects of her presidency. Nevertheless, it was, and will always be unavoidable not to admire her determination, courage, and strong patriotism to serve the country and its people.
”Ms. Aquino played a crucial role in Philippines history, moving the country to democratic rule through her non-violent “People Power” movement over twenty years ago,” read the White House statement on Saturday (Manila time).
”Her courage, determination, moral leadership are an inspiration to us all and exemplify the best in the Filipino nation. On behalf of the American people, the President extends his deepest condolences to the Aquino family and the nation of the Philippines,” said the statement issued by White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.
”Cory Aquino was beloved by her nation and admired by the world for her extraordinary courage after the assassination of her husband, and later, during her service as president,” U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said in a statement.
by China and the chinese people:
”Her vision would be remembered and her contribution would be long cherished by China and the Chinese people. May she rest in peace,” the statement added
by the Canadian government:
”President Aquino will be remembered as a leader who ushered a new era of freedom in the Philippines and inspired millions around the world,” the statement read
Maria Corazon Cojuangco Aquino had obviously proven that a humble widow and mother could be a great moral leader when unity exist together with ones countrymen. In the name of patriotism and love to the motherland, she served the nation with dignity and sincerity. A noble cause by an honorable woman.
Maria Corazon Cojuangco Aquino´s journey in life has ended, but her name and memories shall forever live in the heart of Filipinos and to infinity echoing the history of the Philippines and the world.
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