As I write now, President Corazon Aquino is being brought to her final resting place beside her murdered husband, Ninoy; after the magnanimous eulogies given to her the previous night, today the Filipinos listen to the grateful, totally heartfelt response by daughter Kris Aquino being replayed on tv.
Kris could not almost finish her address as she fought against her tears choking her. But when she reached the part where she said Noynoy and she were in the best position to continue the legacy her parents left, she became grave-faced, short of a threat to everyone who has expressed ambitions to become the country’s next president.
I will not be surprised if Kris will soon study economics, the laws, and other things that will make her capable of becoming the leader of the country loved by both her mother and her father. Kris is popular and I do not think it needs more explanation. Kris is also transparent. She does not seem to have a definition of what is private and public. Almost everything for her and about her is public property. Are we all not looking for a leader who is completely transparent?
Cory’s death and the public’s reaction to it will surely be a turning point in Kris’s life. She is no more a rebel child looking for her identity apart from her parents’. It is her identity as an Aquino that has found her. Aquino–the family name of a man who was shot in the tarmac, fighting for the restoration of democracy, and of a woman who became Asia’s first woman president who happened to be her mother.
People will not take her seriously at first. But with the camera following her every move, it will be very hard not to take notice.
Or, at least, Cory’s death and Kris’s public statement of gratitude to the Filipino nation has brought Noynoy in the limelight. If in the past, people have never considered Noynoy as the next president because he seems to lack the star quality of someone who will win a presidential election, with Kris’s eulogy, not anymore. If Judy Ann can make a senator out of a Jamby Madrigal, it is not impossible for a Kris Aquino to make a president out of her brother Noynoy, who unknowingly, himself exudes the quiet dignity, simplicity, and moral persona of his mother.
I have seen pictures of people power, but of course few pictures are nothing compared to the constant barrage of high quality pictures streaming through our television sets by the hour since President Cory died. I am awed by the sight of the people on the streets, in churches, and in the cemetery.
The soldiers have folded the flag. It has passed the hands of one official to the next and has rested on the hands of Noynoy. The circumstances surrounding the surrender of the flag to Noynoy has brought a new meaning to the ritual. Doesn’t the flag represent our Republic or the Presidency–by design?