Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Cory Aquino, 1933-2009

"The only thing I can really offer the Filipino people is my sincerity," Cory Aquino said early in her campaign against Ferdinand Marcos.

Indeed, no one questioned her sincerity. Indeed, her presidency offered little else. But she offered the right message for the right time, resuscitated the Filipino sense of identity and pride, and momentarily weaved history into some sort of fairy tale.

The rule of decorum in such matters is to speak only good of the dead. I'm not going to jump on the bandwagon of making it sound like she was a perfect president. She didn't put an end to corruption, or poverty, or instability, or hopelessness. Her record of success was mixed, at best. But I don't think it diminishes her legacy to say that-- far more than her accomplishments in six years as president-- she's a greater gift to our country as a symbol of restored democracy, and the best we can do is to keep that memory burning.

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