MANILA, Philippines - The Aquino sisters are deep in preparation for the 25th anniversary celebration of the EDSA People Power Revolution this Friday, February 25.
Ballsy Aquino-Cruz, the eldest among them, believes it is fate that led her brother, Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III, to be elected to head the country at this historic point in time.
"Fr. Catalino Arevalo, who's really very close to us, has told us several times that there is no such thing as a coincidence, that God plans everything. Heaven must have planned it that Noy would be president 25 years after that," she said.
Looking back at the uncertain events of 1986, Pinky Aquino-Abellada said she thought her wedding would not push through.
The snap elections had just finished and her mother, former President Corazon "Cory" Aquino, was supporting a civil disobedience campaign to protest the victory claimed by Ferdinand Marcos a few days before the EDSA revolution.
"For security reasons, she wanted sana a small private chapel. But I said, 'Mom, the invitations are out. [The] church we kept it in San Agustin, pero 'yung reception, pinalitan. I never opened the wedding gifts kasi baka nga may bomba. So binuksan lahat ng security ng mom ko, then binigyan na lang ako ng listahan," Aquino-Abellada said.
When the People Power Revolution began on February 22, former President Cory and daughter Kris were at the Carmelites' Monastery in Cebu.
The Aquino sisters said despite the unrest and threats against her, their mom was never afraid. She would always tell them to pray. And the thought of leaving the country never crossed their minds.
|Part of the crowd during EDSA People Power in 1986.
Kris revealed she was asked, "'May mga binalak ba na kung hindi nag-work ang People Power, kung tatakas na lang kami?' I said, 'Hindi talaga character ng mom ko 'yon'," Kris said.
On February 24, 1986, there were no flyovers and no shrine along EDSA. Instead, millions of Filipinos flooded the streets.
Opposition leaders had convinced President Cory and her family to hide in a safe house in Mandaluyong City while the revolution continued.
It was on February 25 that President Cory received a call from US Ambassador Stephen Bosworth. The US government was talking to Marcos to give way to President Cory.
"Ambassador Bosworth called mom tapos tinanong niya sa kanya kung ok lang daw na matulog pa muna sa Ilocos si Marcos. So sinabi niya kay Ambassador Bosworth, 'Kung kakayanin naman niya na magbiyahe na, eh di sana tuloy-tuloy na. 'Wag ng mag-stopover pa para mas madaling ma-resolve 'yung problema'," Aquino-Cruz said.
When Marcos left, the Aquino family could finally rest easy since after close to 20 years, a dictatorship had finally fallen and the Philippines was finally free.