Saturday, August 21, 2010

Rebirth of Ninoy Aquino

Today, August 21st is Ninoy Aquino's death anniversary. It was 27 years ago when the news of Ninoy's assassination at the Manila International Airport shocked many Filipinos and sparked a united revolt that will eventually put his widowed wife Corazon Aquino to be the next president of the Philippines ending the 20-year regime of dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

Although Aquino was recognized as the most prominent and most dynamic opposition leader of his generation, in the years prior to martial law he was regarded by many as being a representative of the entrenched familial elite... While atypically telegenic and uncommonly articulate, he had his share of detractors and was not known to be immune to ambitions and excesses of the ruling political class. However, during his seven years and seven months imprisoned as a political prisoner of Marcos, Aquino read the book Born Again by convicted Watergate conspirator Charles Colson and it inspired him to a religious awakening... As a result, the remainder of his personal and political life had a distinct spiritual sheen. He emerged as a contemporary counterpart of the great Jose Rizal, who was among the world's earliest proponents of the use of non-violence to combat a repressive regime (Adapted from WikiPinoy).

I was nine years old when Ninoy was killed. I don't know much about politics then but I'll always be thankful for my school UPIS (UP Integrated School) for introducing me the value of reading and understanding current events and my late dad for demonstrating prayer and concern for the Philippines.

Lastly to remember Ninoy, I want to post this quote that I think gives us a clear picture of the transformation or rebirth that took place in his life that you and I can also experience the way Ninoy did,

In the loneliness of my solitary confinement... I found my inner peace. He stood me face to face with myself and forced me to look at my emptiness and nothingness, and then helped me discover Him who has really never left my side; but because pride shielded my eyes and the lust for earthly and temporal power, honor and joys drugged my mind, I failed to notice Him. (Ninoy Aquino, letter from prison)

Click here to read Ninoy's undelivered arrival speech, supposedly scheduled to be read on August 21, 1983. We all know what happened next.

(Acknowledgement to Tina P. and my friend Ramil D. for the note and quote)

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