Bago ihatid sa kanyang huling hantungan ang mga labi ni dating Pangulong Corazon Aquino, isang Requiem Mass ang ginanap kaninang umaga, August 5, sa Manila Cathedral, Intramuros, Manila. Tumagal ng halos dalawang oras ang Misa na dinaluhan ng pamilya, mga kamag-anak, mga kaibigan, at ilan sa prominenteng personalidad sa lipunan, pulitika, at maging sa showbiz.
Sa pagtatapos ng Misa ay umakyat sa altar ang bunsong anak ni Pangulong Aquino na si Kris Aquino upang magbigay ng pahayag mula sa kanilang pamilya, pasalamatan ang lahat ng mga Pilipinong nakiramay sa pagpanaw ng kanilang ina at maituturing na ina ng bayan.
"THE FILIPINOS ARE WORTH IT." Tumagal ng halos 20 minutes ang speech ni Kris, na naging emosyunal muli habang nagsasalita siya.
Narito ang kabuuan ng pahayag ni Kris sa Requiem Mass para sa kanyang ina na si dating Pangulong Cory Aquino:
"Minamahal kong mga kababayan.
"Yun po ang opening line ng mommy namin every time na kakausapin niya ang bayan. In a very specific way, that sums up exactly how our family feels.
"What words can I use to convey to all of you the depth of our gratitude for the respect, appreciation, and love you have showered upon our mother? How do we say thank you to all of you for the expressions of sympathy and support for our family during our time of bereavement. Come to think of it, from March of 2008, you are one with us and constantly praying for our mother's healing.
"Paano po ba kami makapagpapasalamat sa inyong lahat sa effort ninyong pumila sa gitna ng matinding init at malakas na pagbuhos ng ulan para po masulyapan ang mommy namin, magbigay respeto at maipagdasal siya sa huling pagkakataon?
"Isa po sa huling binilin ng Mom sa akin ay ang magpasalamat po ako sa inyong lahat. You have given our family honor beyond anything we could ever have hoped to receive. That no matter how great the sacrifices of my parents, I can honestly say to all of you that for my family, the Filipinos are worth it."
Sa puntong ito ay sandaling nag-pause si Kris sa kanyang pagsasalita dahil sa palakpakan na ibinigay ng mga tao sa loob ng Manila Cathedral. Matatandaang naging pamoso ang linya noon ng ama ni Kris na si dating Senator Ninoy Aquino: "The Filipinos are worth dying for."
"...SILENCE AND PASSIVITY WERE NEVER OPTIONS." "Allow me please to speak in my Mom's voice so that I can share with you her wishes for our country that she instilled in us by virtue of her example. Mom believes that true public service did not end when one term of office ended. She continued selflessly working for the betterment of the lives of our countrymen. Immediately after my dad's assassination, she set up a foundation in my dad's honor to help further my dad's advocacy, started when he first held elective office, of helping deserving students fulfill their dreams of a college education.
"I continue to meet a lot of people... some a little older than me, some a decade younger. They proudly tell me that they are Ninoy's scholars. Mom believes because of her experience of having to raise us singlehandedly during my dad's incarceration and after his assassination, the importance of empowering women. In her later life, she did this through her support of micro-finance programs by giving women viable means of livelihood. Masisiguro na maayos at maginhawa ang pamumuhay ng bawat pamilyang Pilipino.
"Dahil po binuwis ng dad namin ang buhay niya para makamit natin ang kalayaan, ang mom namin, inalagaan at pinaglaban ang demokrasya natin. Tuwing may nakikita siyang pagmamalabis sa hawak na kapangyarihan, para po sa kanya, kailanman, hindi mo puwedeng biguin ang tiwalang ipinagkaloob sa 'yo ng taong-bayan.
"For her, silence and passivity were never options. Above everything else, she had a deep faith in God and unwavering belief in the power of prayer, a more personal devotion and relationship with Mama Mary. She was unwavering in her faith in the innate goodness of every Filipino.
"While it's true that she was overwhelmed with gratitude for the prayers people were offering for her healing, she never failed to mention that we must all pray for those who are suffering illness and other forms of pain. She would always reach out in compassion for those she felt were in distress and she reminded us constantly that we must pray for each other.
"Allow me please, on a personal note from our family, Father Arevalo, noong mamatay ang dad, in Boston , you were there for us. For every Christmas Eve after that. For every time we needed spiritual guidance, maraming-maraming salamat.
"Kay Bishop Soc Villegas, hindi ko alam kung anong guardian angel ang kumakalabit sa 'yo, pero sa loob ng kuwarto ng Mom, every time na kailangan namin nandoon ka to lay your healing hands. Bishop Soc, the last time that Mom shed a tear, it was because you laid your healing hands on her. For the rest of our lives, we will be indebted to you.
"TAKE CARE OF EACH OTHER." "When I was asking myself, why you have come to embrace our family as your own? Why do you regard our mom as your own? I came to the realization it is because you see in our family the journey of your own family. You had seen in my Mom all that you wished all mothers could be. Somebody who will love you, pero hindi kukunsintihin ang iyong mga pagkakamali. Isang taong palaging nandiyan na maasahan, pero walang hinihinging kapalit. At isang inang kahit kailan, hindi nawalan ng pag-asa na kayang maging mabuti ng kanyang anak.
"Kagaya po ng inyong mga pamilya, kami man ay nagkaroon ng maraming pagsubok. Dumaan kami sa mga panahon ng hindi pagkakaintindihan. Pero natuto kaming humingi ng tawad at magdamayan sa panahon na kailangan namin ang isa't isa.
"The last word mom expressed to each of us, 'take care of each other.' I know that those words weren't meant just for our family, but for all of us as a nation. In the way that all of you have been thanking us for sharing mom with you, our mom never failed to thank each of us.
"To my Ate, our oldest sister, Ballsy, I would like to say thank you for being beside mom, working for her and with her from the time of dad's death. Thank you ate for always keeping the peace. For always being so patient with all of us. For always being ready to listen to each of us.
"To my brother-in-law, Eldon, my nephews Jiggy and Lloydy, thank you for sharing your home with mom during her entire illness. Sa inyo siya tumira, thank you.
"To my sister Pinky, you and I will forever share that most painful memory of seeing mom finally break down and release all her pains that she so bravely tried to conceal from all of us. Mom never allowed us to see her vulnerable because she was always our strength.
"Pinky, you and I needed to witness this for us to understand that it was time to let her go. To my brother-in-law, Manolo, to Miguel and to Nina, every night you made the effort to pray the rosary with Mom. Together with Ate's family, you all made sure that mom would never feel that she was alone.
"To my sister Viel, you've always been the most quiet. And yet you organized everything in the hospital. You were the one meeting with mom's doctors and together with Dodo, you were the one who tirelessly researched all medical options and possible treatments for mom. Kiko found his voice and was so articulate in our family prayers. Gia made mom feel so proud with her musical talents.
"To my brother Noy, in the same way that mom was so patient and loving towards Josh, I want to thank you for giving Josh so much of your love, your patience, and your caring. Noy, alam ko, sa hospital sinabi sa 'yo ni Josh, 'Please, Tito Noy, never get married.'"
Sa puntong ito ay tumawa ang mga nasa loob ng Manila Cathedral.
"Sana maintindihan mo, you're now his security blanket. You've taken Mom's place as his protector. Pero huwag kang mag-alala, kaming mga kapatid mo, kung saan ka liligaya, puwede na rin.
"Kagaya po ng pangakong iniwan ng Dad at Mom sa ating bayan, Noy, ikaw at ako ang nasa posisyon para ipagpatuloy ang lahat ng kanilang nasimulan. Noy, you know all that...during our last conversation with Mom, nangako ako sa kanya. Whatever support you needed, I will be there for you.
"James told me now that Mom is gone, he has lost his number one supporter. James and I thanked Mom for reminding us to constantly try to be supportive of each other. Mom always told us, we should bring out the best in each other. Mula po nang ipinanganak ko si Baby James, sa dalawang taon na nakapiling siya ng mom, every time na nakikita ng mom si Baby James, 'pag ine-enjoy niya yung atensiyon ng mga tao, kapag tsina-charming niyang lahat, sabi ng Mom, akong-ako daw si Baby James.
"MOM, I LIED TO YOU." "For all my life, I would constantly hear mom tell everybody that I was the female Ninoy. I was truly my dad's daughter. Maybe that's why I always felt that I was mom's favorite.
"Mom, I know in your lifetime, among your children, you went through the most for me. Pero gusto ko ring maniwala, dahil nasabi mo sa akin, that I was able to give you the most joy. I would also like to believe that in the last twelve days of your life, when I never left your side, during the moment when you most needed me to be brave, when you needed me to be reassuring, to be decisive, and to be strong for you, the very same best qualities in you, I was finally able to find within myself.
"Thank you is not difficult. Expressing your love is not hard. Pero ngayon, how do I find the words to say goodbye? Paano bang magpaalam kapag alam mo at alam ng puso mo na hindi pa rin sapat ang panahon na ibinahagi sa 'yo ng Diyos, sa piling ng iyong pinakamamahal?
"I'm sorry, Mom. Mom, I lied to you. Nagsinungaling ako when I told you that we would be okay. I did this because we wanted you to be free from all your pains, at para hindi ka na mag-alala tungkol sa amin. Pero, Mom, it will take a lifetime for us to be okay because we will forever miss you.
"Wala nang makakasabay si Ate pauwi from the office, na makakakuwentuhan niya about everything na nangyari that day. Wala nang magdadasal kasabay ni Pinky that Miguel would have the good job. Wala nang magsasabi kay Viel how impressed she was at the simplicity of Viel's family. Wala na rin yung tao na hindi lang nagkampanya, pero gumastos ng malaki para matulungan si Noy manalo sa apat na beses niyang pagtakbo.
"Wala nang magte-text sa akin tuwing maglu-launch ang bagong programa ko ng 'good luck', at pagkatapos, as soon as mag-end ang show, nagko-congratulate kaagad to say, 'I'm proud of you'.
"But maybe, that was what love is really all about. It means sacrificing your personal happiness and interest for the good of the one you love. It's forcing yourself to let go, so that your Mom will be free from pain.
"I love you, Mom. I thank you for the privilege of being your child. And for every day that I will be missing you, I will remind myself that my greatest gift to you will be living a life that will make you proud that I am your daughter.
"Dad, please take care of Mom. It's your turn now. You were her one and only love, and now that you're together again, no matter how painful it is for us to let her go, we are comforted knowing that Mom is happy to be reunited with you.
"I love you, Mom. Goodbye, Mom. Maraming salamat at paalam."
At presstime ay kasalukuyan pa ring binabaybay ng cortege ng mga labi ni Pangulong Aquino ang daan papuntang Manila Memorial Park sa Parañaque, kung saan ihahatid sa kanyang huling hantungan ang dating Pangulo.
(Click HERE to view photos taken during the August 3 mass at the Manila Cathedral)