Why TIME chose Cory Aquino as 1986 Person of the Year


Posted at Dec 12 2018 01:34 AM

Former President Corazon Aquino as TIME's 1986 Person of the Year. Photo courtesy of TIME

MANILA - In 1986, former President Corazon Aquino became the first Filipino to become TIME's Person of the Year.

The wife of a slain opposition senator, Aquino succeeded dictator Ferdinand Marcos who fled to the United States, and became the first female president of the Philippines.

Aquino was chosen, the magazine said, because she ″managed to lead a revolt and rule a republic without ever relinquishing her buoyant calm or her gift for making politics and humanity companionable," according to the Associated Press

Her revolution ″with a human face was no less a triumph for women the world over″ and it ″held up a candle of hope in some of the world’s darker corners,″ it said.

Aquino told the magazine that restoring the people’s belief in the government was an important achievement.

"I don’t want to say that this is my achievement. It is the Filipino people together who were able to believe in themselves because of what they were able to do in the election and then in the revolution," she said.

″Because of this belief in each other they were now also able to look up to their leaders and follow their leaders."

Aquino said she identified herself with the victims of Marcos' injustice during her husband's imprisonment.

″All of a sudden, with my husband in prison, he was suffering, I was suffering. Yet we knew that others were worse off. We didn’t have to worry about where our next meal was coming from or whether our children could go to school,″ she said. 

″So then, I guess, I started to worry about other people. I guess I identified myself with the victims of Marcos’ injustice."

Aquino was the third woman to occupy the cover of TIME as Person of the Year alone, after Britain's Queen Elizabeth in 1952 and American divorcée Wallis Simpson in 1936.