MANILA – For the five children left behind by former President Corazon “Cory” Aquino, it would take a lifetime for them to become okay.
In her eulogy Wednesday, Cory’s youngest daughter, actress and television host Kris, tearfully said how their lives will change now that their mother is gone.
Kris said eldest sister Maria Elena “Ballsy” Aquino will no longer have her mom to go with her everytime she leaves the office.
Aurora Corazon “Pinky” Abellada lost a prayer partner, while Victoria Eliza “Viel” Dee will no longer have someone to marvel at the simplicity of her family.
Her brother, Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, lost a campaigner who helped him during the four times that he ran for public office, Kris said.
For her part, Kris said: “Wala ng magte-text sa akin tuwing magla-launch [ako] ng bagong programa ko ng ‘good luck.’ At pagkatapos, as soon as mag-end ang show, nagco-congratulate agad to say, ‘I’m proud of you.’”
“I’m sorry mom, I lied to you. Nagsinungaling ako when I told you na we would be okay. I did this because we wanted you to be free from all your pain at para hindi ka na mag-alala tungkol sa amin. Pero, mom, it would take a lifetime for us to be okay because we will forever miss you,” she said.
Kris’ eulogy sent her three female siblings crying while Noynoy was visibly holding back tears.
Cory, 76, died last August 1 after more than a year-long battle with colon cancer. The former president is credited with restoring democracy after the1986 EDSA Revolution that removed President Ferdinand Marcos from power and catapulted her to the presidency.
Her husband, former Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr., was Marcos’ staunch critic. His assassination in 1983 triggered a series of protest rallies against the Marcos regime that eventually led to the 1986 people uprising.
“The last words mom expressed to each of us [was] take care of each other. I know that those words weren’t meant just for our family but for all of us as a nation,” she said.
“Kagaya po ng pangako na iniwan ng dad at mom sa ating bayan, ‘Noy ikaw at ako, ang nasa posisyon para ipagpatuloy ang lahat ng kanilang nasimulan. You know that, in our last conversation, nangako ako sa kanya [na] whatever support you need, I would be there for you,” she added.
The actress revealed her late mom's last request to her before her death--to thank the Filipino people for the love and honor they extended the Aquino family.
"What words can I use to convey to all of you that debt of our gratitude for the respect, appreciation and love you've showered upon our mother? How do we say thank you to all of you for the expressions of sympathy and support for our family during our time of bereavement? Come to think of it, from March of 2008, you are one with us in constantly praying for our mother's healing," she said at the requiem Mass at the Manila Cathedral.
"Paano po ba kami makapagpapasalamat sa inyong lahat sa effort niyong pumila sa gitna ng matinding init at malakas na pagbuhos ng ulan para masulyapan ang mommy namin? Magbigay respeto at maipagdasal siya sa huling pagkakataon?"
"Isa po sa huling binilin ng Mom sa akin ay ang magpasalamat po ako sa inyong lahat. You have given our family honor beyond anything we could ever have hoped to receive, that no matter how great the sacrifices of my parents, I can honestly say to all of you that for my family, the Filipinos are worth it," she said.
Kris said she and her family are also forever indebted to Fr. Catalino Arevalo and Balanga, Bataan Bishop Socrates Villegas who were there for them.
Kris said it was hard to say goodbye to her mother, knowing that in her heart the time they spent together was not enough.
“But maybe that’s what love really is all about. It means sacrificing your personal happiness and interest for the good of the one you love. It’s forcing yourself to let go so that your mom would be free from pain,” she said.
She said she and her siblings are also comforted by the thought that their mother is now reunited with her “one and only love” – their father.
She said that although her mom “went through the most for me” she also believed that she was able to give her “the most joy.” She also thanked her for “the privilege of being your child.”
“I will remind myself that my greatest gift to you will be living a life that will make you proud that I am your daughter… I love you, mom. Goodbye, mom. Maraming salamat at paalam,” she said.
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