Almost all of the speeches of the late former president Corazon C. Aquino have moved and inspired a many Filipinos as well as other nationalities. If there is one piece of literature she ever wrote that I will never forget, that’s her haiku, which was shared by Rev. Father Catalino Arevalo, SJ during his homily for the final mass for the most admired and loved woman in Philippine history. Accordingly to Father Arevalo, this haiku was written at the back of her painting which was given to him. It depicted seven crosses surrounded by petals of different colors which symbolize her experiences in life as a wife, mother, public servant, leader, and lay preacher. The haiku goes like this:
Crosses and roses
make my life more meaningful
I cannot complain
This haiku made me cry but stronger, guilty but repentant, and worthless but optimistic. I will keep these words to guide me as I spend the rest of my life as a Filipino citizen and a human being. Her life inspires me to be selfless and nationalistic, have a strong faith in God, stay calm, composed and principled in times of hardship, remain strong and optimistic, stand for what is right and truth, accept challenges and sacrifices, never lose hope, never stop caring for, loving and respecting others, and live in prayer and meekness.
I kept crying as I watched the live coverage from the 9:00 A.M. mass until the funeral motorcade from Manila Cathedral in Intramuros, Manila to Manila Memorial Park in Sucat, Parañaque today. Her death is a great loss to the Filipino people but her life and Ninoy’s will always be remembered as invaluable gifts Filipinos could ever have. Their example is a call for each of us to have a change of heart and continue what they fought for, our freedom, our democracy, our life, our dignity and our hope for a better society with ideal leadership.
So long, farewell and thank you so much for everything you have done and for teaching us how to live a great and wonderful life, our dear president and mother, Cory! Gob bless you and please continue praying for us all.