Monday, August 02, 2010

ZEKE XX: The Thrill of being there...

The date was August 04, 2009. After a day of celebration for the Priests of the Diocese, we proceeded to the Manila Cathedral to take a final glimpse of the woman behind our democracy: the late President Cory Aquino. With me were my mother, my priest-friend, Fr. Junjun de Guzman, a handful of parish friends. we left Tanza at 10:00 PM, and arrived at Intramuros at exactly 12:00 Midnight of August 05.

What I thought of as a peaceful line of people turned out to be a flood. I experienced first-hand the whirlpool of people waiting amidst the rain and bad weather to enter the magnificent Cathedral to pay their last respects to Tita Cory. Truly, I saw how the Filipinos love the woman that stood for their rights from the hands of a dictator; The woman behind the freedom I am experiencing right now.

While everyone was behind, I stayed close with Fr. Junjun in the line. When we were near San Agustin Church, we heard the rumors that the wake would be closed to public viewing. I knew, though, that it would be closed by 4:00 AM, but when I looked at my cellphone, it was only 2:30 AM. OMG! It is very early than scheduled.

The crowd turned eery, and so does my emotions. Fr. Junjun knew it already, so he pursuaded me to come with him back to the van. However, I thought of my mother who was behind the line. I must see my mommy!

At one point, I realized why I searched for my mother. Then did I realized, Just as I loved Tita Cory, I still love my mom more. Though I had many wrongdoings against her, I still cannot resist the love that I have for her. And everytime I remember that crazy night, I would also remember how much I loved my mommy at that moment.

I returned, alone, to our van only to find out that she was there. Because I was really wet, she helped me change my upper clothes. That was the moment I said, "Salamat, ma."

it was already 4:30 AM. We were ready to leave in dismay, when we found out that priests are privileged all these time to go ahead the line to show their last respects. Fr. Junjun, together with me and another friend, proceeded to the barricade near the entrance of the Cathedral to inform of this. He was allowed to enter with one assistant. He called my name and that was it!

That was my first and last time to see Tita Cory. It was also my first time to enter inside the Manila Cathedral. I saw her, though thin, in her most serene mood. It was like she was sleeping in her bright yellow dress, and with a rosary in her hands. As I make the sign of the Cross, I said, "Salamat po, Tita Cory!" It was a thrilling moment for me. I knew in that instant that she was truly at peace with God. In her was a living testimony of somebody who trusted in God.

As for my mom, she did not managed to see Tita Cory because the public viewing came to its close. But for her, being close to the Cathedral is as good as seeing the Lady President in person. "Mas mabuti nang nakalapit ako sa Simbahan. Ayos na iyun." That was her good thought.

As for me, I learned two things while I was there...
Love your parents, especially your Mother, since it was she who gave birth to you, and continues to provide you with everything you need.
Love your Country, for it is your identity here on Earth. Be proud that you are Filipino. Be proud because somebody helped you to become a true Filipino.

We left Intramuros in a good mood. We came home at the early morning of August 05. I slept for barely 6 hours, as I managed to watch only her Funeral March on TV. It was the time of my life for that day. Being there among the crowd amid the heavy rain, and seeing her in her serenity. It was worth it. Up until today, I still thank the Lord for giving me the grace of being there, and seeing the woman, the Saint, behind the democracy of the Filipino People.


KuyaZeke,ccs_080210 :)

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