To commemorate Ninoy Aquino's 22nd death anniversary, I'm sharing with you this letter that I wrote my mother.
Mandaluyong, M. Manila
Hi! Hope you have lesser worries now. You shouldn’t, really. Because as Ninoy said, “I want a reconciliation with no violence.” That’s why we, here in the Philippines, are just cool. There is no violence. At first, people were panicking because they were afraid that there would be a rampage. But there hasn’t been any. It was kind of funny nga eh. We heard that people were withdrawing money from the banks, just in case of a turmoil. Then, on August 22, the day after Ninoy died, most of the schools here suspended their classes. My school (PSBA) was one of those. Did you really see on TV when Ninoy was shot? You see, that wasn’t shown on the news here. We saw when he got out of the plane, went down the steps, then CUT. The next thing we saw, his body was being carried away. He was already gunned down. That’s why the question, “Who shot him?” was a really big issue. At first, the story being reported on the news was that it was a “wanted” person (by the government) who shot him. Later on, it was reported that it was one of his escorts. One more thing, it was 2:00 pm when they televised the news here, when in fact, he was shot at 12:00 noon. I think, abroad, the shooting was shown on TV right away after it happened. It’s really very suspicious. It has been on the news ever since, up until now. People are really very dubious of FM, FL, and JPE. I think FM is the least guilty of the three. Because, you see, there are reports that FL and JPE are planning to resign. Siguro hindi na kaya ng conciencia nila.
Ninoy was buried on August 31. (You mentioned on your letter dated August 29 that you saw on TV his funeral. He was buried on Aug. 31. How did that happen?) Well, anyway, there were many people who attended the funeral. I was one of them. There were barely any students when I went to school that day. I saw two classmates, Tess and Lyn, and we went to Lerma-Espanya to watch the funeral. The procession, which started at Paranaque, passed through Espanya, on the way to Memorial Park. There were so many people on the streets, even on the rooftops. Hindi nga mahulugang-karayom eh. Even the overpass was full of people. Duon kami nakisiksik. We placed ourselves by the stairs so we could see clearly down below. We waited for a long time. When the procession came, we saw people carrying banners saying “ Ninoy hindi ka nag-iisa,” “Marcos the great liar,” “Marcos nag-iisa ka na lang,” “Fight for justice and freedom,” and many more. I didn’t see any representatives from the government, which was a good thing, because the writings on the banner were all against the government. And it was interesting to see that the police officers were not carrying guns. Batuta lang ang dala nila. Ninoy’s widow suggested that because he didn’t want violence. He wanted a peaceful reconciliation, which wasn’t granted to him. Then we saw the coffin, which was surrounded by yellow flowers. At the exact moment that the coffin came right below where we were watching, rain started to pour. We all got wet. Umuwi ako na parang basing sisiw. People in the jeep were staring at me because I was soaking wet.
That was done and over with. There was no violence. People are expressing their anger in the newspapers. Everything that we read in the papers is against the government. One paper was asking FM to resign in order to better the condition of the Philippines. Yesterday, September 11, was FM’s birthday. Only a few TV stations run tributes to him, unlike the past years, when every radio and TV stations have something to offer him. Ay naku! So much for that.
Is it true that you are planning to come home in December? I really hope so. Hindi naman delicadong magbalik-bayan. As I’ve told you, there is no turmoil here. You have nothing to worry about.
O sige ha, ‘til here. I am very sleepy now. I hope you can still read my handwriting. Don’t worry, okay. Bye. Ingat.
I love you,
You can also view this at Hello Dolly.