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Forgive Me, Tita Cory August 15, 2009

Posted by Maddog in Politics and Law, Religion and Social Issues.
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Cory in 1986

This article of mine appeared in Celebrity Sun.Star on August 9, 2009 (http://specials.sunstar.com.ph/entertainment/?p=952). I think it also appeared in the print edition of Sun Star Cebu on August 8, 2009

One February day 1986, somewhere on EDSA, I wondered if I would really be ready to die for my country; for freedom and democracy. Could I really? Well, it was too late to turn back. The soldiers were coming for Camp Crame.

I heard June Keithley’s voice on Radyo Bandido announcing that Marcos loyalist forces were moving in. There was more than a hint of alarm and dread in her words. This was it, I thought. The soldiers were moving in.

I felt real, mortal fear. What would I do if I were in the path of an armored car or staring at the muzzle of an assault rifle? Would I take a stand or run?

Then I heard the National Anthem over the speakers. A familiar tune to which in the past I had often onlly grudgingly gave respect. But today I realized what it stood for. I stopped at the center island of EDSA, raised my heart to God and shed tears. I guess many others were doing the same. I had never sung the Lupang Hinirang with as much fervor as I did that morning, choking with emotion and close to shaking in fear. Though we were all afraid, we took heart in that suddenly stirring martial tune. If some of us were going to die, we would at least die on our feet, standing up for our beliefs. I was a proud to be a Filipino.

And so I chose to stand with the millions of ordinary Filipinos, praying that People Power would not turn into a bloody massacre. But if it came to that, I hoped, and doubted too, that I would be ready to give up my life for my country, my people.

No rivers of blood flowed that day. The helicopters that landed at Camp Crame had joined Ramos and Enrile. The soldiers were stopped far from where I had stood with a group near the Camp Aguinaldo corner of Corinthian Gardens. Later we heard that the loyalist forces had pulled back and Ramos had the initiative. Soon after Cory took her oath of office at Club Pilipino, Marcos left the country peacefully. Our merciful God gave us the miracle of People Power.

Now, 23 years later, having survived without EDSA without actually coming close to being harmed, I wonder if I ever truly lived for them.