So Cory Aquino was finally laid to rest. The number of deaths this year has been extremely shocking. I haven’t seen this many unexpected deaths since ever. Here are some of the people at the top of my head who I am familiar with that passed away through the first 8 months of 2009.
- Cory Aquino (January 25, 1933–August1, 2009; cardiorespiratory arrest–colon cancer) – First female president of the Philippines and in all of Asia.
- Michael Jackson (August 29, 1958–June 25, 2009; cardiac arrest) – King of pop. ‘Nuff said.
- Farrah Fawcett (February 2, 1947–June 25, 2009; anal cancer) – One of the original, and arguably most popular, member of Charlie’s Angels.
- Wayman Tisdale (June 9, 1964–May 15, 2009; osteosarcoma in the knee) – Former NBA player (Pacers, Kings and Suns) and Olympic Gold Medalist (1984).
- Bill Davidson (December 5, 1922–March 13, 2009; cause of death was not released) – Owner of the Detroit Pistons and Detroit Shock.
- Francis Magalona (October 4, 1964–March 6, 2009; acute myeloid leukemia -multiorgan failure) – King of Pinoy rap, Filipino music icon.
- Johnny Red Kerr (July 17, 1932–February 26, 2009; prostate cancer) – The original iron man of the NBA and former Chicago Bulls coach and TV analyst.
- Norm Van Lier (April 1, 1947–February 26, 2009; probable heart failure) – 3-time NBA All-Defense First Team for the Chicago Bulls and former post-game analyst for the Bulls.
- Larry H. Miller (April 26, 1944–February 20, 2009; complications from type II diabetes) – Long-time owner of the Utah Jazz, the guy who ushered in the Stockton –Malone era.
Heck, I’m even including…
- Randy Smith (December 12, 1948–June 4, 2009; heart attack) – Coincidentally, he broke Red Kerr’s streak of consecutive games played and the MVP of the 1978 NBA All-Star Game as a member of the Buffalo Braves.
- Roh Moo-hyun (August 6, 1946–May 23, 2009; suicide by jumping from a 45-meter cliff) – A relatively beloved South Korean president whose reputation became severely damaged after he stepped down from office, thus leading to him committing suicide.
- Jung JaYeon (December 8, 1982–March 7, 2009; suicide by hanging) – Part of the three female villains in Boys Over Flowers.
I first heard of news that Cory had died last Saturday, August 1 at around 8 am.
Unfortunately, I was on a bus and had no other choice but to bear watching Arnold Clavio and Vicky Morales cover the Cory tribute. Needless to say, GMA’s “Salamat, Cory” tribute became very infuriating and fast, especially when it was Vicky’s turn to talk. She started her damn offensive streak by telling Erap to come closer to the phone, and boy did he sound pissed after hearing that. “Wala na ko magagawa” was his reply to the “request” of Vicky, which she asked of Erap, I think, twice.
Well the suckfest has only started it seems. They followed this up by posting a bunch of Twitter posts from random people who twitted their sentiments about Cory’s passing. They showed probably 10 of them, again, from RANDOM PEOPLE. Does a media entity as big as GMA-7 really need a Twitter account? What the hell happened to RSS feeds? Its Twitter account is just basically linking news posts from the gmanews.tv. I heard ABS-CBN 2 has one too and I have no idea who started this Twitter race. Have people really become that lazy to get their current events or has Twitter become a pathetic and desperate outlet by both ABS-CBN and GMA-7? This is off-topic and will be for another post.
Anyway, I thought that at first that the communication problem might have been on Erap’s end, but the same shiznit happened with the FVR and Jose Mari Chan dialogs. To my not so surprise, Arnold tried to amuse the viewers by not blaming GMA-7 for the craptastic phone patches. Instead, he claimed that Erap, FVR and JMC were too emotional to talk clearly, hence, the disappearing audio. Can I say, WTF?
Furthermore, they had to call FVR twice. And during his segment, FVR released a short statement of his reaction on Cory’s passing. He said he won’t be answering any questions. Yet, Vicky insisted, practically begging FVR to grant them a short interview, complete with curled eyebrows and pouting lips.
Same pitiful thing happened with JMC’s segment. This time, Vicky really begged for Jose Mari Chan to sing I’ve Fallen in Love (With the Same Woman Three Times), Ninoy’s song for Cory. I think one reason is that Vicky hasn’t heard it yet. Hey Vicky, here’s a suggestion: why not do some ACTUAL RESEARCH instead of just reading from the IDIOT board? Being the very kind man that he is, JMC obliged even if he repeatedly emphasized that he cannot sing when he gets emotional, which he was during that time. He turned Vicky down at least three times, but JMC was just too kind, and probably already annoyed to not oblige. I’ll end my accidentally long rant right there. Let’s not even get to the Winnie Monsod’s portion. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to compare GMA 7’s coverage with ABS-CBN’s. But fortunately, the traffic finally loosened up and my stop mercifully came. Again, byane-yo.
I never really thought much about Cory before her death. I just knew she freed the Philippines from the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos in 1986. I also became mildly annoyed when she apologized to Erap late last year for joining the infamous Edsa Dos, which elevated GMA to the presidency. And apparently, I wasn’t the only one who was disappointed with the apology.
But now, especially after watching the highlights of GMA’s 2009 SONA (note how I didn’t say “GMA’s last SONA”), I think I understand why Cory apologized to Erap. After stepping down from office in 1992, the leaders that followed Cory became progressively worse. Who would’ve thought that the Philippines would crumble even further after Erap?
Cory’s ascent to presidency was the ultimate underdog tale. She was as plain a housewife there is, while the man he opposed was a genius who graduated cum laude with a law degree from the University of the Philippines, reportedly studying for the bar while in detention and passing it with one of the highest scores ever. This was a man who ruled the country for 20 damn years, and the man who shot her beloved husband.
Imagine an NBA head coach with no previous coaching experience whatsoever (amateurs, college, high school or even pick-up ball) leading a team like the Clippers (a team that because of its awfulness, gave up on finding a legit head coach) to the playoffs, and ultimately all the way to an NBA championship. To top it all off, the Clippers’ coach won the championship against the person who used to bully him in high school, or something like that. That’s how dramatic Cory’s rise to power was, only 1,000,000 times more impressive.
Perhaps, there will never be another like Cory, and I am realizing this just now. Her voice has always been reassuring. When she tells you everything will be alright, you just know it will be alright. Just like they all said, it’s that motherly love she developed from all those years being a housewife. I’m not sure if her years as a law student in FEU helped, but to say that she did an amazing job transitioning the Philippines to a new democratic era would be an understatement.
This kind of comforting tone is what the Filipinos have been expecting of GMA all these years. GMA tried, topped by her “lapse of judgment” speech in 2005. However, she is obviously incapable of being tough, while being sincere and comforting at the same time. This entire event has made me very curious on what the reaction and turnout will be during GMA’s funeral.
Without a colossal villain as corrupt as Marcos, the Cory we now know would probably not exist. So in some way, we should thank Marcos for forcing out the biggest Filipino hero of them all, which turned out to be a Filipina. It’s stunning that the two biggest funerals in Philippine history belong to one couple. Can I say Power Couple? I bet this will be even bigger on Ninoy Aquino Day. What a crazy day that will be!
Already, people are pushing for Cory to be made a Saint of People Power. Although I know their intentions are noble, this sounds too absurd and over-the-top. Renaming EDSA to Cory Aquino Avenue seems ok, but let’s just leave that strip to Epifanio de los Santos. I suggest that the most acceptable way of remembering Cory is to name a National non-working holiday after her. Think about it, there are only 3 such occasions in the Philippines named after a person. One of them is his late husband and two are bonafide heroes from the 19th century. Not even Ramon Magsaysay, the original President of the Masses, has that distinction. At least Manuel Roxas is in the 100-Peso bill.
Just 8 months have passed and 2009 has proven to be a truly sad year already. Who will be the next prominent personality to pass away this year? Or will this be the last?
RIP Cory Aquino. Thank you for uniting the Filipinos again. Hopefully, it won’t be the last time. And hopefully, it unseats another corrupt leader once again.