Throwback: Where were you when Ninoy died?


Posted at Aug 21 2014 06:34 PM | Updated as of Aug 22 2014 02:36 AM


MANILA - The Official Gazette has its own microsite for the death anniversary of former Senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr.

The page includes testimonials from some personalities who shared stories about where they were on August 21, 1983.

Musician Jim Paredes said he was on his way to the airport then to welcome Aquino.

He later headed to the Times Street where the Aquino family lived, and witnessed the crowds swelling as a show of support for the Aquinos.

Paredes said Aquino's death defined him as an artist, adding that the APO Hiking Society fought the dictatorship through songs and performances.

"His death defined me as an artist. I fought my fear. I figured that if I were a true artist, I must be courageous enough to express my outrage otherwise I could never rightfully claim the dignity in being one," he said.

Paredes later wrote the song "Handog ng Pilipino sa Mundo" during the 1986 EDSA Revolution that removed President Marcos from power.

Former Vice President Teofisto Guingona said he was at the airport 31 years ago also to welcome Aquino.

Guingona said he was saddened by Aquino's death, which he felt was the beginning of the end of dictatorship.

"I felt grave sadness for a man worthy of the sacrifice he made in the wake of a cruel dictatorship. To me, it meant the beginning of the end of that dictatorship."

Meanwhile, former Commission on Elections Commissioner Gus Lagman also had a lengthy story to tell.

He said he was at the airport parking lot along with hundreds of people who waited for Aquino's return.

Lagman was then part of the groups that organized the welcoming event.

"All of us were wearing a yellow T-shirt printed with 'HINDI KA NAG-IISA...' at the back and, ironically, 'MABUHAY! NINOY' in front," he said.

He said days after Aquino's death, the same groups that organized the crowds at the airport also led the demonstration along Ayala Avenue in Makati -- an event that was unthinkable at that time.

Lagman said that rally was the first of many protests organized in the lead up to the 1986 People Power Revolution. - ANC