Tita Cory, your legacy will live on

August 5, Wednesday, our beloved President Corazon C. Aquino will be laid to rest at the Manila Memorial Park.

The former Chief Executive and Philippine democracy icon, who died at the Makati Medical Center before dawn of August 1, will be buried next to her husband, former Senator Benigno Aquino Jr., at the family mausoleum in Manila Memorial Park.

On Tuesday, on the eve of her burial, heartfelt eulogies and song were heard in tribute to our Tita Cory in necrological services at the Manila Cathedral.

“You have fought the good fight and undoubtedly you have kept the faith,” the former president’s son, Senator Benigno Aquino III, said in his response to the 19 speakers at the service.

One of the most emotional speeches came from Mrs. Aquino’s former security aide, Inspector Melchor Mamaril, who said the former leader saw dignity in his work. He later saluted his former boss’ casket.

Aquino’s eldest daughter, television host Kris Aquino, cried as Mamaril delivered his eulogy.

“Malaki ang aking utang na loob sa inyo. Ipagpatuloy namin ang inyong sinimulan [We owe you a big debt of gratitude. We will finish what you started,” said Brother Armin Lusitro, head of the La Salle education system.

“You have fought a good fight. Thank you Tita Cory” said Margarita Juico, Aquino’s former personal secretary.

Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim, who was Manila police chief during the Aquino years, saluted the former leader one last time.

“Utang namin sayo ang kalayaan na tinatamasa namin ngayon. Para sa amin ikaw ang pinaka-marangal, matapat na presidente ng Pilipinas [We owe you our freedom. For us, you are the most honorable and honest president of the Philippines]. You’re the best! What I’ve been and what I’m now, I owe you,” said Lim.

The Aquino family’s longtime doctor, Alex Ayco, said: “Even if treatment abroad was offered, you said, I trust the Filipino doctors. I want to be treated by them.”

In between eulogies singers Christian Bautista performed “Ugoy ng Duyan,” Rachelle Ann Go sang “Only Hope,” Kuh Ledesma sang “Somewhere,” and Jamie Rivera sang “Lord Heal Our Land.”

Gina de Venecia, said “she’s a second mother to me. I knew that I can always count on Tita Cory,” De Venecia said, adding, “She valued my friendship and my loyalty and she believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself.”

Another friend from Cebu, Nonie Uy, reminisced how her friendship with Aquino was. ”Your family has another home in Cebu. I will surely miss you,” said Nonie Uy, a friend of the former president from Cebu province.

Mrs. Aquino’s former environment secretary, Fulgencio Factoran Jr. said the former leader had only love and goodness in her.

Designer Paul Cabral said he was awestruck by Aquino’s humility, He said the former leader used to visit him in his shop.

“I’m a recipient of your thoughtfulness. You’re the most wonderful person I know,” said Cabral, who nearly broke into tears in his last statement.

Banker Ramon del Rosario Jr, said the former leader helped poverty through micro-financing. “She made us (business community) proud to be Filipinos again. Our businesses exist to make lives better,” said Del Rosario.

Quezon City mayor Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said: “Her good governance was her greatest legacy. Your legacy lives on.”

Philippine Daily Inquirer columnist Conrado de Quiros recalled how the former president called thanked him for a positive article.

“She called me up and thanked me for something that I wrote. I could not remember what I written about her but she’s one damned good person in the world,” he said. (goodnewspilipinas)

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