Last week Corazon Aquino died. She died of colorectal cancer. Believe me, hearing news like this only motivates me more to kick cancer in the teeth.
I was seven years old when she became president in one of the amazing non-violent political movements ever seen by the world. In 1986 the Filipino people forced out Dictator Ferdinand Marcos after the bishop urged them to flood the streets. In his place the "People Power" movement installed Corazon, the widow of former presidential candidate Begnino Aquino, who had been murdered upon his return from exile three years earlier. Time magazine named her woman of the year, calling the people power movemnts a "fairy tale come true."
Filipino people are known for lots of things. For Lumpia. For being jokesters. For being short. For having funny accents. I personally thinking being a short, lumpia-eating, funny accent jokester is excellent but then again, I also know that my heritage is so much more than fried food or short stature.
My heritage is determined hearts, iron-clad work ethic, reckless optimism and a long history of strong women. All of those elements came together to create the fairy-tale of 1986 and in the middle of it was a small woman dressed in yellow.
Corazon means heart in Spanish. It's so fitting.
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