Paying my last respects for Her Excellency…
I never thought I’d make three entries for Her Excellency. So I guess, this is the last part of my trilogy entry regarding the passing of our former dear president, Cory Aquino.
Two days back, my Mom told me that she wanted to go to Roxas Blvd. to see Tita Cory’s transfer procession from La Salle to Manila Cathedral. Unfortunately, she wasn’t able to find any companion so she missed it. But last night, I made sure that she’d be able to see and pay her last respects for the president. I accompanied her to Manila Cathedral.
It was all over the news that thousands of people spend so much time to fall in line just to get a glimpse of Tita Cory in her casket. Not to mention, the inclement weather that has been plaguing the metropolis for the past few days. But that did not deter me and my Mom to proceed to Manila’s Minor Basilica.
We left home at around 8:30 pm and had a short dinner before going there. Mommy learned from the news that the end of the line is already in somewhere in Lawton area. So dinner was really necessary for us. Kelangan may powers kami ni Mommy to sustain the ordeal of falling in line.
We reached Intramuros some minutes before 10 pm. Since I am very much familiar with the place, I decided that we enter via Round Table slash PLM entrance (my alma matter) slash Muralla corner General Luna Streets. But I got shocked as soon as were at the General Luna dungeon. Hundreds of people were lined up in front of PLM, which is some 5 to 6 blocks away from the Cathedral. We tried to trace the end of the line and followed the flock of people from behind my alma matter. We walked further… further… further and farther. The line seemed endless. Until we reached Manila Cathedral. But still it wasn’t the end of the line yet. That’s how long the line was. At some point in front of the Cathedral, we got pushed by a lot other people since there were vehicles passing through… we were pushed into the line. In short, nakasingit kami accidentally. And the rest is history, hehehe!
Rain started to fall as we all made baby steps towards our goal, inside Manila Cathedral that is. Suddenly, there was a hard downpour and everyone got wet despite the big umbrellas and thick jackets. At that moment, I was thinking of backing out and just go back home. But my mom was really serious and determined. She even said she was having fun like that. Ibang level din talaga ang nanay ko noh?!
Time passed by and the line was moving so very slowly. The inclement weather really so much of a hassle. We were all drenched with rain.
We were back in General Luna Street again, in front of PLM. The line stopped for quite a while. It was good though because we were able to see some of my choirmates who were way ahead of us. They called my mom and asked us to join them. So that’s singit number 2, hehehe! As the line moved, people became more and more aggresive and it had gone a bit chaotic. Not much of a movement as we were still in front of PLM. But it didn’t deter us from our goal. We joined the crowned and moved further and farther. Sobrang siksikan and everyone was darn wet.
Our determination got us through that chaotic scene. Through the help of some younger Cory supporters, we were able to reach San Agustin Church. It was already 2.m. We were hopeful that we still can make it to the Cathedral and have a glimpse of Tita Cory.
Thirthy minutes more and we passed through a steel fence managed and monitored by some Police Officers. Our hopes got stronger because, the officers were organizing the people in 2 straight lines. Similar to that as seen in the funeral coverage inside the church. The line smoothly flowed but the rain continued to pour and drenched us.
So, to cut the long story short, we got lucky and blessed to reach the Manila Cathedral. It was 3 a.m. when we entered the doors of the church. We had a 5-hour excruciating ordeal and we only got a glimpse of Tita Cory’s remain for less than 10 seconds. I’m glad I listened to my mom. I was able to see Her Excellency in person, for the first and the last time. I was able to touch her casket and whispher to her, “Thank you, Ma’am.”
Our 5-hour ordeal was all worth it… way worth it!
In President Cory’s burial today, I decided to stay home because I’m still tired from that excruciating-but-so-worth-it experience in Intramuros. Today, I opted be with her all throughout her last journey via the television. And just hours ago, I saw that she was laid to rest beside her loving husband, Senator Ninoy. Tita Cory’s physical journey has finally ended. And now, a new life in heaven awaits her.
God speed, Tita Cory! You will always be remembered.
Lastly, I wanna share a song composed by Fr. Manoling Francisco, S.J. which was dedicated to both Ninoy and Cory Aquino.