When Ninoy met Cory

Note: Image lifted from Lean Gabot.

Before the country was placed under martial law, an ambitious Ninoy was eyeing the presidency. The Aquinos of Tarlac was published to prop up his chances. It tells the story of three generations of Aquinos in critical periods of our history.

This excellent book was written by National Artist Nick Joaquin. Cory appears in the pages. I’m lifting some excerpts:

How did Ninoy and Cory met?

It was certainly, says Cory, not love at first sight. “Heavens, no. I was nine years old. What does a nine-year-old girl feel about a nine-year-old boy? I remember Ninoy kept bragging he was a year ahead of me in school; so I didn’t even bother to talk to him.” (page 250)

How they got married?

Ninoy and Cory went out for a date tagging along her elder sister, Josephine, as chaperon. Then:

Going home, we went by Highway 54 — my family lived in Pasay then — and suddenly a jeep hit us from behind, hit the back of Ninoy’s white Buick convertible. Such was the impact that the door flew open and first Josephine was thrown out of the car and then I followed. I thought it was the end. (page 251)

What followed was Cory being rushed to the hospital and had to stay the night there. Her parents were expecting her to be with them in Baguio. Ninoy followed her and faced Cory’s parents. She told the author:

“For once in his life he was really quiet. My parents had said: ‘Don’t you ever ride in his car again!’ Ninoy said to me: ‘You fell from that car on purpose, to force me to marry you.’ My goodness! But he now insisted on setting the date. So finally I told my parents and they said: ‘Let’s not have a long engagement.’ Their own wedding anniversary was October 11 and we decided on that date, though it was only ten days away. So, everything was one big rush. But it all went well.” (page 252)

Cory Aquino is not a saint BUT she comes close to that. There were some positions that she took which I was really against (apologizing to Erap, Mendiola Massacre, the rallies, etc.) BUT undeniably, she makes me sing: kay sarap pala maging Pilipino.

Tita Cory, thank you. Thank you for having the guts to take a stand. Thank you for being our country’s pillar of strength and for being an example of honesty in government.

You may not have the technical qualifications to be president but you showed us that character counts a lot.

Things were looking up after EDSA I. We were expecting a lot from you and it was unfair to expect too much from you. Over the years, this is what I’ve learned: The story of EDSA’s success does not end by getting a president to solve almost all of our problems. It is for us, a united people, to finish it and we know that you’ll be praying for us right beside another patriot, Ninoy.