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Editorial: Keeping the Legacy Alive

“The measure of how well you’ve lived your life does not depend on how much you have done when you were alive, but on the persistence of the changes you’ve made after you die.”

For weeks, various EDSA I documentaries were simultaneously aired in almost every Philippine television station, all to honor the “Asia’s Icon of Democracy”. It was during EDSA I when not even a single drop of blood was shed. It was also in EDSA I when the rosaries in the hands of the people outnumbered the numerous army tanks that lined the fear-stricken streets. And it was in EDSA I when a frail widow stood steadfast to her faith, and this faith empowered the nation and granted them the unity to fight against the country’s own oppressors.

The whole world was left in an ‘expected shock’ as the death of the late President Corazon C. Aquino greeted the month of August. Everyone knew that, with the progression of her cancer, it was only a matter of time when she’ll meet our Maker. Various accounts of her suffering became widespread throughout the media, and as a response, the nation joined hands in prayer as they hoped for her recovery and well-being.

But the time finally came and we Filipinos were left with no other choice but to bid goodbye to our “Mother of Democracy”.

As we take some moments of silence for grieving over our loss, we also take some trips down the memory lane to revisit the instances wherein “Tita Cory” stood up for our country’s freedom and democracy.

Yes, she may not have single-handedly conquered Marcos’s dictatorship, but she was definitely one of the key persons who united the Filipinos to stand up and fight for their rights in what was deemed as the most peaceful and successful demonstration in history: the EDSA Revolution.

Yes, she may not have been the best political strategist or the most educated president, but no one can refute that she was the most purely intentioned and the most nationalistic leader that the Philippines ever had. Amidst all the public and political mockery, she maintained a calm and unshaken disposition. She remained undaunted as numerous taunts and criticisms were thrown at her direction by her political opponents. Her undying faith in God, her love and loyalty for the Philippines and the Filipinos and her unshakable/unfailing morals were her only sources of strength.

Yes, she might have given up the throne a score year ago, but the nation has always put her in the same place, recognizing her presence. We have always had the safeguard, knowing that “Tita Cory” would be there to promote our freedom and democracy whenever it is in jeopardy. She became the voice of the nation, airing out its unheard cries. Whenever she sees a desecration imposed onto the country’s democracy, she breaks the silence that had been her solace, courageously yet peacefully expressing her disapproval through the power of prayer. Indeed, she had always been our president.

But now that she’s “gone”, who will protect our democracy when it is in the midst of threat and oppression? Of corruption and societal infidelity? Of confusion and chaos?

WE, the Filipino people, should have learned by now to protect our own rights for our own sake and for our country’s sake. History was the teacher, and the present is now our test. We owe it to Tita Cory to make sure that all that she had fought for would not be compounded within the time frame during which she existed, but across generations of Filipinos as well.

Her legacy must neither be buried together with her in the grave, nor must it be exhumed when her death anniversary comes. Her legacy is nowhere near a coffin’s definition—it lives on.

It must not be confined within a cold-stoned monument that could withstand corrosion, yet is defeated by time and ignorance. The stone can be destroyed the same way a decorative title is forgotten.

Instead, it should be kept alive in our hearts, in our words and in our actions. Like the robust and unswayable evergreen that withstands the havoc-wreaking winds of winter, or a mighty dyke that shields an entire population from a deluge, her legacy should remain strong and indelible.

Let us continue the legacy of Tita Cory by fighting for our freedom and democracy wherever we may be, by ensuring truth and justice in everything thing that we do and in every decision that we make, and by doing all the aforementioned in a peaceful and Christ-like manner.

By: UST Nursing Journal


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