when ninoy died and his remains lay in bloodied state sa times street, pumila kami that night, my husband and i, to pay our respects, never mind that marcos might get mad or his military might be watching. we just had to pay homage to this man who won our respect when he, alone, suffered jail for seven years and seven months rather than bow to a dictator, and when he dared come home from exile because the filipino is worth dying for.
past the gate a couple of kids handed us a black ribbon each, a small strip with aspili. the patio too was small, the space enough only for the line of people snaking single-file around the coffin for a quick hello and goodbye, as quick as the pass-by cory’s coffin i’m now seeing on tv. it was also very quiet. the house was closed, there was no sign of any family or friends. except for two or three watchful guys standing by (security siguro) we, the people, were alone with ninoy. a starkly simple affair.
with cory, aba, sosyal! what a case-study of a scene. the huge venues and tv cameras, the people quietly filing by the coffin while family and friends sit around, move around, make chika nearby. how rare, masses and elite sharing the same space happily, clear divisions and all. the silent masa are just happy to be allowed a glimpse of cory one last time, never mind that they enter by a different gate, and are not treated like guests and offered seats. the elite are just happy that the masses are there too, imagine if they weren’t, what a snub, how embarrassing.
interesting, too, that gma the once lucky bitch is now the the odd woman out. indeed, she’s damned if she goes, damned if she doesn’t. pero dapat kaya niyang magpunta. just as dapat kaya ng mga aquino na tanggapin siya. of course kung type niyang magdrama, she could always do the unexpected, like, line up with the people, why not, pay her respects to cory first, before facing cory’s clan. i’m sure even kris would be lost for words (well, at least for a while ;).
of course it would mean gma counting on the people to be too awed by her pa-humble chutzpah to do anything but welcome her among their ranks. but what if the people remember only that cory had asked her to resign. what if they do an edsa instead, like, you know, stop her from getting any closer to cory, kapitbisig human-shieldeffect. lol. that would be the end of her. safer not to cross lines. safer to face kris.