My mother asked me if I was willing to accompany her to the wake of former President Cory Aquino.
The prospect of falling in line for hours instead of studying for class the next day was not appealing at first. But I agreed, paying respect to a good and upright former president never felt wrong.
Yesterday afternoon, before leaving for class, I watched the live coverage of Cory’s cortege from Ortigas to the Manila Cathedral. It was quite overwhelming. Tens of thousands of people lined up the streets and showered the funeral procession with flowers and confetti. I don’t remember Cory being that popular the past years. Perhaps its because the longing for an upright and moral leader is intensified in times when we are beset under the leadership of an evil woman. Cory’s presence, and the leadership she exemplified, though not perfect, is something that is greatly to be missed today. We appreciate something so much more when we don’t have it. Indeed. The cortege arrived in Intramuros two hours delayed due to the throngs of people that slowed down the funeral procession.
My mother and I had planned to proceed to the Manila Cathedral right after my afternoon class, but we decided to postpone the visit till midnight. We thought there would be much less people queuing by early morning. We were wrong.
When we got to Intramuros by midnight, the line was still probably a mile long, snaking around the streets of Intramuros. We were able to stand before the casket of the former president after almost two hours.