A Yellow Ribbon For Cory…


Mrs. Marketman was searching for a yellow ribbon today to tie on the car, the tree in front of our home, the gate, whatever. She (and I am as well) is really rather upset about President Corazon Aquino’s (Cory’s) serious medical condition and what newspapers report as basically being the inevitable last stages of cancer. I won’t go into any discussion about how good or not of a President she was, and how she would compare to anyone who came after her, but I will say she did manage to get rid of a dictator (after her husband was murdered), and if only for that, she will have a special place in both of our hearts.


I vividly recall those days in the mid-1980’s as I was a sophomore in Boston and lived a stone’s throw from the Aquino home in Newton. I didn’t know them personally, but I attended a speech Ninoy gave just shortly before he returned home and was murdered. Mrs. Marketman, on the other hand, worked as part of President Aquino’s staff at the Guest House of the Malacanang Palace beginning in 1986, all pumped up with unbridled enthusiasm and idealism. Hoping to help make a difference.

It upsets me no end that Aquino’s dramatic and historical removal of the Marcos dictatorship, followed by 3 other Presidents and 23 years to effect improvements, does not appear to have improved the life of the average Filipino. We may be free and democratic, but on average we are probably poorer, hungrier and not as well educated as our fathers, grandfathers and ancestors before them.

I just did the numbers, and I was shocked to calculate that a MAJORITY of Filipinos today, some 50 million out of roughly 90 million population, are actually 23 years old or younger. If you throw in all kids up to 5 years of age when Aquino took power in 1986, some 60-65% of the Filipino population today would have NO RECOLLECTION WHATSOEVER of that historic moment in our recent history. That means that a majority would NEVER have seen this pretty darned good speech (written by Teddy Boy Locsin) that Aquino delivered to a joint session of the U.S. Congress in 1986, which we will have the Teen watch in the next day or two so that there is some appreciation for why many older foggies in their forties and beyond are so saddened by Cory’s current condition.

I remember the speech. I remember the hope and idealism of the times. I wish the younger generation at least listens to the speech and acts and votes wisely in the years ahead. Our prayers are with Cory and the entire Aquino family.

Aquino Speech (Part I)
Aquino Speech (Part II)
Aquino Speech (Part III)

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69 Responses

  1. It is sad. We have seen bits and pieces regarding the status of her condition from ‘Isang Bandila’ – the only Filipino news televised in my neck of the woods. Filipinos knotting yellow ribbons around every tree, building, house, vehicle, gate etc. Taxi drivers assisting in ‘promoting’ the yellow ribbon fight for Cory.

  2. President CORY AQUINO deserves YELLOW RIBBON as a sign of respect, she may not excel much during her presidency but she actually changed the atmosphere of politics in the philippines.. There is one word which i cannot forget she delivered during one of her campaign speech****Magkano na ang presyo ng galunggong ngayon? 12 pesos kada kilo na! paano mabubuhay ang isang payak na pamilya kung kahit sa galunggong lang ay mahirap mabili?*****that was year 80s speech of her and that is still my basis of fish price in the country up to now! 1986 to 2009,,,how much the difference?i think price increased 6 folds?….AH! thats my remembrance from her anyway,,,,may our ALLMIGHTY GOD help her…..

  3. President Corazon Aquino will always have a special place in my family’s heart. She not only brought back democracy to our country, she also was our wedding ninang.

    Our prayers are with her.

  4. I was 12 years old when I walked the streets of EDSA with my Dad. I remember how it felt, I remember the energy and hope in the air. If only for the hope she inspired, she will always be a hero. I hope that in their lifetimes, my children will also experience the same. Praying for a peaceful, dignified and painless end to a remarkable life.

  5. It’s been 23 yrs since that time… I still have those yellow shirts with me and it’s just about right to tie a yellow ribbon to keep her in our prayers. May God bless her and watch over her and her family.

  6. Its such a sad thing about Pres. Cory. All the suffering that she has endured and now this!
    Let us all pray for her! That is the least that we can do.

  7. I remember how proud I was to be a Filipino, listening to her speech before the US Congress.

    Mrs. Aquino knew how to be brave, and how to serve the country. From the start – through Ninoy’s unjust jailing, through his assassination, through her trying moments as President, to her present health condition, she has shown that she knows how to suffer, never losing faith, never losing her calm. She has gratefully accepted all she has received.

    She also knew how to step down from being President – she had no attachment to Malacanang, a rare virtue. And after stepping down, she continued to quietly serve the poor through her foundations.

    God Bless her and her family.

  8. MM, even though I was too young to know or understand what was going on during the late 80s and the the early 90s, I grew up appreciating what she did and what she does for the country. Just because we didn’t witness it doesn’t mean we have to be ignorant about it. I’m lucky, I guess, to have parents who value history and school administrators/teachers who taught/teach me to never forget.

    I may not know Pres. Aquino personally (I only saw her once during a speech when I was in grade school) but I know that she is one of the most unselfish Filipinos to have ever served the country.

    Thank you for the links. :)

  9. My heart and prayers go to Cory and her Family too. You should have seen me today, I am all dressed in yellow from head to toe. I have a yellow hair pin, dress, purse and sandals. I look like a sunflower. I will dress up in yellow for two weeks. I have a big yellow bow that I made two weeks ago hanging in my porch. Cory changed the page of our history. Yes, she has had courageous fight even endangered her own life and family to remove Ferdie and Meldy from power. Even before the Peoples Power the incarceration of her husband upon the declaration of Martial Law. Just visiting your husband in a jail cell is heartbreaking and nerve wrecking experience with no crime committed. Ninoy was a victim of political power. I firmly believe she did well during her administration but cannot do much as our National Treasury was emptied by the previous administration. The Philippine Peso had no buying power. It was smoking everywhere from the distressed area in Mindanao, the military, the loyalists, poverty and bad economy. She was like a fire marshal putting out fires in every corner of the archipelago. Even our gold bullions which served as our borrowing power from foreign banks were missing from our National Treasury. The Makoys really knew well in corrupting the Country. But never underestimate/undermine the power of a dwarf. She is so small you can keep her in your pocket like a Genie but it’s a collective mind and efforts with her family carting out our National Treasury and it is not even Martial Law. We are supposed to be a democratic country with check and balance. My heart goes out to my fellow Filipinos who are being robbed and raped by corrupt politicians from barangay captain up to our President! Will my beloved Philippines be free from the hands of these corrupt politicians? Will we go out on the streets again or familiarity breeds contempt? No one can tell.

  10. There are no words to express the sadness I feel right now knowing that she is dying. I realized only now how much influence she had on me. After the EDSA years, I’ve learned to speak my mind and be politically involved. I wish I had her courage to bring about change like her. Maybe I have it inside me.

    Thank you, Tita Cory!

  11. Yesterday, while hubby was driving, I woke from my nap and out of the blue told hubby…it seems that everyone I know has cancer of some form…bought t–shirts too at the beginning of ourtrip and they were all YELLOW. Boys told me I look like a walking BANANA. Yes, MC…without knowing that Mrs. Aquino has cancer, I am all yellow as well today…yellow clip om my hair and everything.

    To Mrs. Aquino: our prayers are with you!!! I don’t know if you would remember us, but we were your next door neighbou on Times St…the house on your right with the coconut trees on the front yard.

  12. I remember the day when we welcomed Mrs. Aquino to Washington, DC. Hubby was there in the halls of US Congress and listened to her speech. Yes, MM, so many years have passed and our situation has not gotten better but even worse. Tomorrow we join a prayer vigil at Lafayette Park in Washington, DC to call attention not only to the dismal human rights situation in the Philippines and the true state of the nation but also to protest the current administration, timed with GMA’s visit.

    I shall dress in yellow in remembrance of what Tita Cory stood for and pray for her comfort and peace at this hour.

  13. I will never forget that day when I saw a ray of hope and felt that things will never be the same again. Tita Cory gave us that hope and vision and as we started a whole new life as we had always felt we deserve and we still keep on to this day, we will always be thankful to you, Tita Cory, for EDSA for Ninoy, we are Filipinos after all, we are resilient and the future is always for us to work as a nation, together
    and make the world a better place for our children’s children.

  14. the best days of our lives – being able to witness history unfurl before our eyes – in our own motherland and to be a part of it. people power revolution – we proved to the world that a peaceful means to ending violence can be done.
    thank you tita cory. all filipinos are storming the heavens with prayers. our love and thoughts are of you and the family. thank you mm for sharing your thoughts. that means a lot.

  15. Hey Connie C. Your group should all wear yellow during the protest and bring signs of prayers for Pres. Cory. That should send a clear message to Pres. Cory that you all love her and also a clear message to GMA as well.

  16. “President CORY AQUINO deserves YELLOW RIBBON as a sign of respect, she may not excel much during her presidency …”

    Mr. Gener, do you even know what you are talking about. President Aquino inherited a $26Billion loan which was neither found in the country’s infrastructure nor in the coffers of the government, an insurgency problem gone wild, a people hungry for both freedom and food, political division, families who have lost fathers, mothers, sons & daughters to the struggle and can’t wait for justice to be meted out …. I SERIOUSLY DOUBT IF YOU COULD HAVE DONE BETTER IF YOU WERE PRESIDENT AFTER MARCOS.

    When President Aquino took to the presidency, she was clearly not there to take power but to SERVE THE PEOPLE FOR WHOM HER HUSBAND GAVE UP HIS LIFE. That can never be doubted. That was and is, never equalled.

    All of us will die eventually. But not all of us can talk about a life as purposeful as President Aquino’s. SHE IS MY HERO.

  17. One thing i’m certain though, Cory Aquino will go to heaven if her time is really due and she will live long after she has gone in our deep recesses of memory and hearts. She will be gladly welcome up above not unlike some people who rot even while they live…

  18. two prominent women figures side by side today as I observe—one totally respected, the other one trying to get the respect due to her. I guess it basically is not how the media projects them but how deep in our hearts, they seem to us. I know no one of them personally—i’m just a face (nay) a number in the Philippine census. I have even perhaps been erased from the COMELEC list of voters for boycotting elections throughout the years. Lost confidence in it. But Cory showed me how to struggle and keep up the fight in a quiet way.
    God Bless Cory Aquino.

  19. we marched with her here in davao, dug up and cut up scores of telephone directories into confetti, and wore yellow to the office when simply doing so was an act of defiance. for so many fridays, ay 4pm, we went up the roof of the office building to throw confetti and cheer on the rallyists on the street, totally oblivious to the fact that a gust of wind could have sent us plunging to the street three floors below.

    this is a sad time indeed. i watch for chronicles and updates on her condition as if she were family. my heart skips a beat and fills with dread everytime regular tv programming makes was for “breaking news”. i guess the aquino family knows that they will forever have to share her with the world, as she will always be everyone’s tita, mother, lola.

    prayers, hopes and wishes for tita cory and her family at this most difficult time.

  20. she’s not my favorite president but i have utmost respect for her because she reminds me of my mom, fiercely loyal, prayerful and influential in subtle ways.

  21. I agree with you totally. Cory will forever my hero. She stood up against a dictator, united the country and made me believe that change is possible despite all odds. I can’t think of a single other politician today who puts the country’s interest ahead of their own. Thank you Cory!

  22. I remember the exciting, tense, and hopeful period between Ninoy’s assasination in 1983 and EDSA in 1986. I’m proud to say I was there with my family and friends.

    It was a heady time, full of promise. Everyone hopeful at the real possibilty that Marcos was on his way out. Whatever one may think about Cory’s presidency (and I for one think that she truly did the best she could, with the best of intentions), the country should always be grateful to her because she served as the focal point for people to rally around. She was the catalyst that helped the stars align to finally topple the dictatorship, because the country’s different factions, social classes, and interest groups all coalesced around her to achieve a common goal. Without her, the opposition would have remained fragmented and ineffective.

    Unfortunately, the nature of Philippine politics and its culture of corruption and backstabbing proved to be too deeply entrenched for Cory to make a real difference (besides driving the Marcoses out, of course).

  23. Betty Q! Are you referring to the property with the white wall with arches (facing the Aquino house, yours is on the right)? If it is, I think my cousin just bought that lot. My parent’s home is on T Benitez…small world

  24. Yes, there is heaviness in my heart everytime I think that our Tita Cory’s days may be numbered. Yellow is Cory’s color and I shudder when I see politicos wearing that color on the guise being true to what that color represents.

  25. My facebook profile is now a yellow ribbon. I pray that President Cory overcomes this trial. Hindi ka nag-iisa!

  26. Hi! Bea,
    Sure i know about this 26 billion dollars inherited debt and its not a burden to our president only but even “US” too! all the next presidents will have to carry too…Its not her fault as it was inherited only,,thats what makes her not excelled a lot as she changed the atmosphere of politics in the country which is BIG thing! she cannot do much as if its like she arranged a war ravage zone…I dont like to argue politics here as im sad for her too…i only hope that she will get better soon and stay with us more longer..

  27. Agree with you MM. I was in 2nd yr college when Ninoy was murdered, joined the rallies on Ayala Avenue, the sunday protest runs on roxas blvd and was EDSA. Pres. Cory got rid of the dictator, may not have been the best president, but power-hungry she wasn’t. I continue praying for her and our country!

  28. As a kid born in the late 80s, I consider myself lucky not to have experienced Martial Law while growing up. When I was younger, I often pestered Ma about what that regime was like, but she preferred not to answer. Studying here in UP and meeting a few friends who had parents who studied here and hearing 2nd-hand stories about it (especially about the 1st Quarter Storm) is very illuminating. Thanks very much for sharing the vids, MM, I really appreciate it.

  29. I am an EDSA baby, i was born on 1986, although a few months after the revolution (the main reason why my mom didn’t go to edsa). You are so lucky you’ve witnessed Ninoy’s speech before he went home. I saw a documentary when I was in 2nd year HS, and I heard his speech, even back then, I was so amazed and impressed by Mr.Aquino. I still consider him as the greatest president we never had.

    I really hope Cory would get well, or if it’s God’s will, then don’t let her suffer too much, and I know that whatever happens to her, God and her husband would always be with her.

  30. I was studying at university when Ninoy Aquino was assasinated. I and my classmates went to rallies and demonstrations during those times and had to cut classes when the EDSA Revolution began…She had a big campaign rally in Antipolo because she’s half-Antipolonian—first time I saw Kris, too, she was very cute. I got the chance to shake hands with her after the mass at the Antipolo Church and she patted the head of my 3 year old nephew who was with me (we were both wearing yellow t-shirts). There was no way that anyone in my family was going to vote for Marcos; Inang (grandmother) decreed to vote for the niece of her good friend Pacheng Tanjuatco. So that was it—no choice at all but to vote for Cory. She was the best choice, not the better choice. I hope and pray that God will ease her pain and grant her peace.

  31. I’m also deeply affected with President Cory’s condition. I pray for God to alleviate her physical pain.

    I’m with you and the many Pinoys who tied a yellow ribbon in respect and gratitude for Mrs. Aquino. I’ve one also in my blog’s sidebar.

  32. ah, dyan tayo magkakasundo MM hheheheh, about Tita Cory.

    She woke my political mind up when I was in grade school, stilll very young but I think I understood then what was going on with our country.

    And yes she’s like no other. GMA on the other hand, a disgrace to our country and I could blurt out a Mar Roxas on her (GMA is the most annoying one we’ve had, can’t stand the way she talks and what she stands for).

    And that’s that.

  33. Part of comment deleted. You guys will have to take this outdoors. Let’s keep this on topic. Thanks. MM

    MM, I beg your indulgence for using YOUR blog for this purpose. The freedoms that you and I now enjoy were hard won by both Ninoy & Cory Aquino that I just cannot take badly written casual remarks about them sitting down. Again, MM, my apologies.

  34. I truly admire President Cory and Ninoy too. She is one of the best Presidents we have ever had – a truly honest one. My family’s thoughts and prayers go out to the Aquino family. President Cory is a big loss. I still remember those days we would see her in the elevator in the Cojuangco building when she was not President yet and my husband was working for them. She even pinched my son’s cheek lovingly once and said: “You’re so cute”. She was so unassuming.

  35. I’m sure she’s in heaven and will continue to look after her country. God bless her soul.

  36. Solemn day for Pinoys at home and around the world. Thanks for letting us share on your site MM. I feel out of sorts and wish I was home.

  37. Cory is with her beloved Ninoy now and forever and another democratic icon that helped in her crusade, Cardinal Jaime Sin. Dr. Jose Rizal, Andres Bonifacio, Gabriela Silang, Tandang Sora, Julian Felipe, all the fatalities of Martial Law and the conflict in Mindanao and all other unsung heroes along with Cory, Ninoy and Cardinal Sin are singing together Bayang Magiliw at the tune of Julian Felipe. Thank you much Cory for restoring our democratic form of government, put in place our Constitution back in order (which the current administration uses it as a toilet paper and wants to flush it down the toilet) and returning a lot of business establishments that were taken by the previous administration to their rightful owners. Thanks to MM for allowing me to use your site as a memorial for Cory.

  38. How ironic. GMA moved heaven and earth just to have an audience with Pres. Obama. And in her moment of glory (almost), the event was overshadowed with the demise of our beloved Pres. Aquino. It only shows GOOD will always triumph over wickedness. God truly works in mysterious ways. Paalam Tita Cory….at Maraming Salamat.

  39. GOD will have her,she will be on my heart in the rest of my life,,,

    Rest of comment was deleted. Let’s keep this on topic. Thanks. MM

  40. I had to laugh at sonny sj’s comment, how ironic indeed. Tita Cory is my hero, and we are all lucky to have been here in her lifetime.Thank you MM for this post.

  41. so sad we lost one of our heroes that lives with this generation.but surely it will remind us to fight for our rights to get what we want

  42. Thanks MM!!!
    May she rest in peace and condolence to her family,,,I shall offer her prayers…

  43. Thanks for this post, really enjoyed the speech. For someone who was born after the EDSA revolution it made me appreciate more what Aquino and company did for our freedom. To Pres. Aquino thanks for everything and may you find peace with our Creator!

  44. I was crying (from sheer pride) as I was watching Tita Cory give her speech to the Joint US Congress and the never-ending applause and standing ovations given to her by the members of both Houses. RIP, Tita Cory. You will truly be missed.+

  45. Cory Aquino and Cardinal Sin were the true moral compasses of our generation. It is sad that their spirit and all the hard work of millions in both EDSA 1 & 2 were destroyed in this administration. May Cory, Ninoy, and Cardinal Sin continue to live in all of us and remind us of what true service really is.

  46. MM, not only did Pres. Cory have first class seats and the keys to heaven, but she also had the Blessed Virgin Mary as her escort!!


  48. lost with words, Philippine politics had shaped my life, from the dictatorship years to our life in exile…. and was saddened to hear the news of her passing away.

  49. for those in Bacolod and Negros Occidental, we will have a mass and tribute for our dear departed Cory Aquino at the University of St. La Salle Coliseum tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. til about 8:30. It is open to the public. thanks Marketman and all readers.

  50. Watching Cory Aquino on tv giving that speech at the US Congress gave me one of those rare fleeting moments when I could definitely say, “Yup, that’s right … we’re Pinoys and we’re not just some invisible minority — the unseen ones and the unheard of in this great country of the USA.”

    Sometime later that year, there I was … photographing her up close at the burial of Jose Diokno. The challenge of getting that close was kind of funny in itself but the aftermath of the ceremony was even funnier … ah, but I digress.

    I salute Cory’s and Ninoy’s sacrifices for the Philippines and its people. Their adherence to the politics of suffering and advocacy of change through non-violence means will always be remembered.

    Oh yeah, thank you YouTube as well :) … you do a better job sometimes than those antiquated college textbooks.

  51. God works in mysterious ways. This year 2 major peace advocates died unexpectedly. For an instant, the world stopped and was left reflecting among themselves. Despite the hardships they have to face in their lifetime, they have rised to every occasion and in that way they have touched a lot of people’s lives.

    Perhaps this event is God’s way of bringing us together as one people under one world and reminding us what Peace really means in our lives and in the world we live in.

    For Tita Cory, I may not be an avid fan before, but with what I saw, with the support that the world has given you mean so much to us. You have inspired a lot of people in your most simplest ways and that will make a mark on all of us!

    Thank you for sharing your life to us!

    I am proud to be a Filipino!

  52. We love you Cory….You are now with the Lord….No one like you….Your faith in the Lord is unmatchable….

  53. “I truly admire President Cory and Ninoy too. She is one of the best Presidents we have ever had – a truly honest one.”

    She is and always will be an important symbol–a symbol that helped topple a dictator and give people hope. But even many of her supporters will admit she was less than competent as a politician. What did she accomplish while in office? Land reform? Let’s not forget the brouhaha when she, herself, refused to give up any of her family’s land “to the people” as she was demanding to be done by other land owners.

    If Cory Aquino really is one of the best *presidents* the Philippines has ever had, then I truly grieve for the country. There really is no hope.

    The country lost a great *symbol*, but not a great president.

  54. Pres.CORY served as the real mother of democracy,she was a great woman with a big faith in GOD and that i should say the secrets for all her success.she always consider GOD in all her endeavors..she set good examples in terms of true leadership,loving mother to all the filipinos not only to her children,thinking about others condition above her own,and a great symbol and GOD’S humility,kindness,peace and unconditional love!!! she will always be remembered and her legacy is engraved to evry filipinos heart!

  55. Just reading a few of your old posts.
    Kakamiss si President Cory. Kakamiss ang may matinong tao sa gov’t.

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