in memoriam

Last Saturday, August 21, 2004, the Philippines celebrated the 21st death anniversary of a hero. Some may argue that he isnít a hero. Other may even try to argue that he is a terrorist, but for me, he is a martyr. Ninoy Aquino, the late senator. I sometimes call him the president that never was. For he was deprived of the chance, he was assassinated before he even ran for President. He was assassinated the very first day he went back to the country after his long exile from Boston, Massachusetts. Just a few steps from the ladder, his foot didnít even touch the Philippine soil. Many can only wonder who the real mastermind was. Many claimed it was the Marcosís, the incumbent tyrant as he was called during those days. But no one can really tell whoÖ

I will not relate on how he died or how the country felt during those times. Google can tell you with more accuracy than I can. But I will tell you how I felt. I was only a kid then, a 6 year old kindergarten student. When I was 4 or 5, my father was held in Fort Bonifacio by the government in suspicion that he was anti-Marcos. The entire delos Santos clan is anti-Marcos. He stayed there for a good 3 or 4 months. I learned to hate the Marcoses then on. And when the family heard from the news that Ninoy is coming back, we were ecstatic. I really didnít appreciate his coming back then. All I know that my dad and uncles were rejoicing. August 21, 1983, we were glued to the tv. Then it happened, a great man fellÖ

21 years later. I thank Ninoy for his sacrifice. I thank him for being the person he is, selfless, courageous and above all, a true hero. I thank him for the freedom I now enjoy. I can go on gimmicks till 6a.m. and not worry about abusive police or ban. I thank him for I was able to graduate from collegeÖ

He is indeed a personal hero, he and my dad. And of course Kris.


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