Greatest outpouring of love for Cory…


Flower petals fell from the sky, ships sounded mournful horns, volunteer fire trucks wailed their sirens, and hundreds of thousands of people, soaked with rain and fighting exhaustion, bade Corazon C. Aquino farewell on her final journey home.

 

Around the country, church bells tolled and military canons boomed in a salute to their former Commander in Chief before Aquino was laid to rest at Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque City Wednesday night.

 

Everywhere along the 22.8-kilometer route—from Manila Cathedral, where a Requiem Mass was held for Aquino, to the cemetery—chants of “Cory! Cory! Cory!” rang out.

 

It is believed that Cory is the most loved Filipino in our country’s history.  The nation showed it’s greatest outpouring of love for the former President during the funeral procession comparable only to that of former President Magsaysay in 1957 and of Tita Cory’s husband Ninoy in 1983.

 

A common theme may be found along the route – that of how people endured the pounding wind and intermittent rains, waiting for hours just to catch a glimpse of the casket of the former President and say goodbye.

 

Wednesday’s procession took about nine hours. It left the cathedral at about 11:30 a.m. and reached the gates of the park at 7:30 p.m.

 

The atmosphere seemed joyful rather than sad as people cheered, clapped, sang and danced in the rain, as though to celebrate the life of their beloved icon of democracy.

 

Crowds were so thick the procession was delayed for hours. Dozens of men and women in yellow shirts marched with the cortege.

 

At times police had to shoo away the crowds so that the procession could move on. Volunteers formed human chains around the “Cory Truck” to prevent the crowd from blocking its path.

 

Roads, highways, center islands, footbridges and flyovers were packed. At times, greatly outnumbered policemen and volunteers could hardly contain the crowd pouring into the streets.

 

Barriers were of no use as portions of steel fences were forcibly parted by residents who wanted to cross over to South Luzon Expressway and watch the cortege pass.

 

In other areas, the crowd, many in yellow shirts and holding umbrellas and yellow flowers, stood fast even as the rain poured.

 

Obet Sumayao was among those who said goodbye.

 

But what set him apart from others was that he was on a wheelchair.

 

“This is my way of paying homage to Cory for giving us back our freedom,” Sumayao, 45, said in Filipino.

 

“This is a small sacrifice for her.”

 

Sumayao, who lost his legs in an industrial accident in 1983, said he was determined to reach Manila Memorial Park. He hung on to cyclists, who pulled him along.

 

The funeral cortege had to skip the Buendia flyover which swarmed with a thick crowd.

 

The endless waving of yellow flags stretched as far as the eye could see.

Full Military Honors for the former President…


Opting not to have a State Funeral, the family of former President Corazon Aquino however welcomed the full Military Honors given by the Armed Forces of the Philippines to its former Commander-in-Chief.

 

As the remains of the former President was laid to rest at the Manila Memorial Park Wednesday night, the AFP, a tradition laden institution, and all its major services performed military rituals and rendered the highest military honors for their former Commander-in-Chief.

 

The military’s major units – the Army, Air Force, and Navy – and the Philippine National Police made their presence felt.  There was an honor guard, a military vigil, and flags in military camps were in half-staff.  There were also arrival and departure ceremonies throughout the entire course of the private funeral.

 

Three 21-gun-salutes by 105mm howitzer cannons were rendered all through Wednesday.  First was when the former President’s coffin was placed on top of the flat-bed truck after the requiem mass at the Manila Cathedral.  Second was when the cortege arrived at the Manila Memorial Park and third an hour after the funeral rites.

 

The gun-salutes involved volleys of the 105mm cannon fired at one-minute intervals until it reached the 21st.  The AFP did this in 4 military camps in Metro Manila: the Philippine Navy Headquarters in Roxas Boulevard; the Army Headquarters in Fort Bonifacio; the Airforce Base in Villamor; and, at the headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in Camp Aguinaldo.

 

Several 21 gun salutes were also rendered when President Aquino’s remains arrived in La Salle gymnasium on Saturday.

 

Aside from the rituals on Wednesday, there was also a firing of volleys on Saturday, August 1, the day President Aquino’s death was announced.  The ritual started at 8 a.m. with 8 volleys fired.  Thereafter, a volley was fired at 30-minute intervals until sundown.

 

The 21-gun salute is the highest military honor rendered to an individual.

 

 

Four honor guards stood at attention on top of the truck guarding the former Commander-in-Chief, representing the three Major Service Commands and the Philippine National Police.  They were handpicked from elite honor guard units of the Philippine Army, Philippine Air Force, Philippine Navy and the Philippine National Police.  The Honor Guards stood at attention, guarding the coffin for the whole duration of the funeral procession.

 

Perhaps the most indelible image of a presidential state funeral that was lacking in President Aquino’s was the procession of 6 horses pulling the artillery caisson that bears the flag-draped casket.  Three of the 6 horses were supposed to be mounted, a tradition dating to when one artillery horse in every pair carried provisions instead of a rider.

 

Behind the caisson should have been another rider-less horse caparisoned with an empty saddle and its rider’s boots reversed in the stirrups.  In the military, it was a symbol that the deceased is a warrior who will ride no more.

 

The simple reason – We don’t have a cavalry (for war horses).

 

Instead, the caisson was pulled by a mechanized contraption to bring the casket closer to the mausoleum.

 

A trumpet fanfare called the ruffles (short drumrolls) and flourishes (a bugle call), traditionally conducted in state funerals, was also performed by a military band.

 

It was followed by the playing of the national anthem as her remains were laid down by pallbearers into the artillery caisson.  The march towards the entrance of the mausoleum was conducted in a very solemn manner.

 

A 21-gun-salute broken in three seven-man squad accompanied the national anthem.

Five Facts about Cory…


  • Corazon Sumulong Cojuangco was born on January 25, 1933, in a farming town in Tarlac province, north of the capital Manila, the sixth of eight children in a wealthy Chinese-Filipino family that owned a sugar plantation and bank.

 

  • Popularly known as Cory, she attended a convent school in New York and completed a degree in French, with a minor in mathematics, at the College of Mount Saint Vincent, also in New York, in 1953.  When she returned to Manila, she enrolled at a law school at the Far Eastern University, but quit a year later when she got married.

 

  • She married Benigno Servillano Aquino Jr, a politician, and had five children, including Benigno Simeon Aquino who was elected senator in 2007 after serving nine years in the House of Representatives.

 

  • In 1986, three years after her husband’s murder at Manila‘s airport, she was swept into power by an army-backed popular revolt when election results were manipulated to keep dictator Marcos in power.  Later the same year she was voted Time magazine Woman of the Year.

 

  • After retiring from the presidency in 1992, she led street protests in 1997 to stop her successor from amending the constitution to remove limits on how long he could stay in power.  In 2001, she helped topple the government of President Joseph Estrada, who was accused of corruption and mismanagement.  In 2005, she called on President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to step down and apologized to Estrada last year for leading the uprising against his administration.

 

 

May you rest in peace, madam former President Cory Aquino…

It’s hard to say goodbye to Tita…


Tita Cory was buried on Wednesday night beside the only man she loved, amidst huge outpouring of public affection.

 

The marathon procession that preceded Tita Cory’s interment unleashed an unprecedented display of love for her.  Even the heavens seemed to be in inconsolable grief as it poured heavy rain on the mourners. 

 

Thousands of mourners lined and swarmed the streets waiting for the procession against a backdrop of glum, gray skies, and intermittent heavy rains and showers.  People openly wept, agreed that they owed Tita Cory that much and just wanted to say goodbye one last time.  They are aware of what Cory has done for the country and just wanted to see her one last time to say thanks.

 

The cortege arrived at the memorial park at 1930H where Tita Cory was finally laid to rest beside Ninoy at the family Mausoleum at 2035H amidst chants of “Cory! Cory! Cory!” following unprecedented honors given by a joint contingent of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police.

President Aquino laid to rest…


Former President Corazon Sumulong Cojuangco-Aquino has been laid to rest.

 

The cortege left the Manila Cathedral at exactly 1124H, and after almost 9-hours of making its way, it finally entered the Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque after nine hours of traversing the 20 kilometer route (12 miles).

 

The former president was scheduled to be buried in the late afternoon, but the throngs of mourners reduced the funeral procession to a crawl.

 

Hundreds of thousands of people, most of them wearing yellow and black, took to the rain-soaked streets on Wednesday braving the elements, to bid farewell to former president Cory Aquino.  Most of the people were already waiting along the route as early as 0600H, ahead of the 1100H schedule that the coffin bearing the remains of the former President was set to be brought out of the Manila Cathedral, not withstanding missing meals, the rain and wind and the discomforts and inconveniences that came along with it.  People in buildings lining the route opened their windows and showered the sea of people below with yellow confetti. 

 

Millions more all over the country, including the estimated 9million overseas Filipino Community monitored the slow progress of the cortege on television and internet streaming sites.

 

Men and women, young and old, rich and poor, standing at least 12-deep on both sides of the road openly wept as the truck carrying the remains of Tita Cory crawled through the swelling crowd. 

 

Ships docked along the Manila Bay sounded their mournful horns, while the 35 fire trucks, including Metroplex Pumper of the MCFRVI, and ambulances of the Association of Philippine Volunteer Fire Brigades opened their lights and wailed their sirens in requiem to the passing President.  A crowd of nuns with their habits wet from rain released white doves and yellow balloons.  All sectors of the country did something in their own little way to show respect and bid farewell to the lady who brought the country together.

 

Some mourners broke the cordon to touch the hearse while everyone shouted her name and threw flowers at her coffin where four members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines stood in silence on each corner of the coffin.

 

Cory was buried according to her wish – beside her husband Ninoy.  The wife is finally together with her man, -forever.

 

May she rest in peace!!!