MANILA — Former First Lady Amelita "Ming" Ramos on Tuesday thanked Filipinos for condoling with her family following the death of her husband, former President Fidel V. Ramos.
After the inurnment of the leader's remains at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, his widow recalled how he managed to raise their family despite his responsibilities as a military official and later, the country's chief executive.
"Alam n'yo, mahirap ang buhay sa military. Pero kinaya namin. Tumulong si President Ramos. Kayang kaya niya, at he was able to raise 5 daughters, 8 grandsons, and 5 granddaughters," Ming said.
(You know, life in the military was difficult, but we managed to pull through. President Ramos helped out, and he managed to raise 5 daughters, 8 grandsons, and 5 granddaughters.)
"Mahirap mag-adjust. Dalawang taon nasa bahay siya. Dalawang taon nasa probinsya. Tapos nag-volunteer pa siya, 2 taon sa Vietnam," she said.
(It was difficult to adjust. He was at home for 2 years, and another 2 years in the province. Then he volunteered in Vietnam for 2 years.)
A graduate of the prestigious West Point military academy in the US, Fidel V. Ramos had a lengthy career in the military, including combat against communist rebels and deployment in the Vietnam and Korean wars.
He was later commander of the paramilitary Philippine Constabulary, under his second cousin Ferdinand Marcos Sr., who was overthrown by the 1986 People Power revolt, which Ramos joined.
Ramos later served as military chief and defense secretary of Marcos Sr.'s successor Corazon Aquino. She endorsed Ramos in the 1992 presidential elections.
At Ramos' state funeral, Ming drew cheers from family and supporters when she ended her short message with, "Kaya natin ito (we can do this)," a slogan that was popular during her husband's presidency.
MING AS FIRST LADY
Historian Manolo Quezon said Ming restored the traditional expectations of being a First Lady, a role that had become "defined in so many ways and changed by" former First Lady Imelda Marcos.
"She brought it back and very consciously did so... a much more restrained, much more supportive, and much more traditional role," he told ANC.
But even as she took the more traditional, supportive role of being First Lady, Quezon described Ming as being "formidable herself, and took no nonsense."
He also described Ming's attendance at Ramos' state funeral as her "last service to the nation, accompanying the last journey of her husband with dignity."
Fidel V. Ramos, the country's 12th President, died on July 31 at the age of 94.