Transcript of Kris Aquino response to the Filipino people for the overwhelming show of love and respect for the late President Cory Aquino, Manila Cathedral, August 5, 2009. It is part eulogy and part message of thanks, emotional and authentic, delivered in a way only Kris Aquino can, certainly one of the most moving messages of its kind in recorded history.
'Minamahal kong mga kababayan,' yun po ang opening line ng Mommy namin everytime 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 that you've showered upon our Mother? How do we say thank 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 were one with us in praying for our Mom's healing.
Paano po ba kami makakapagpasalamat 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! (applause)
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 believed that true public service did not end when one's 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 dream of a college education.
I continue to meet a lot of people, some a lot, some a little older than me, some a decade younger. They proudly tell me that they are Ninoy's scholars.
Mom believed because of her experience of having to raise us single-handedly during my Dad's incarceration and after his assassination and the importance of empowering women. In her later life, she did this through her support of microfinance 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 makita siyang pagmamalabis sa hawak na kapangyarihan. Para po sa kaniya, kailanman, hindi mo pwedeng biguin ang tiwalang ipinagkaloob sa 'yo ng taumbayan.
For her, silence and passivity were never options. Above everything else, she had a deep faith in God, an 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 pray for all those who were suffering from illness and other forms of pain. She would always reach out in compassion to 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, nung mamatay ang Dad, in Boston you were there for us, for every Christmas eve after that, for everytime 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, everytime kailangan naman, nandun 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.
When I was asking myself why you have come to embrace our family as your own, why 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 we wish our mothers could be ... somebody who will love you, pero hindi kukunsintihin ang 'yong mga pagkakamali ... isang taong parating nandiyan, na maaasahan, pero walang hinihinging kapalit. At isang inang kahit kailan, hindi nawalan ng pag-asa na kayang maging mabuti ng kaniyang 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 words 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 nephew Jiggy and Lottie, 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 pain 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 not 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 talent.
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 ospital sinabi sa 'yo ni Josh, 'Please, Tito Noy, never get married.' (laughter) 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 sa'n ka liligaya, pwede na rin.
Kagaya po ng pangako na iniwan ng Dad at Mom sa ating bayan, ikaw at ako ang nasa posisyon para ipagpatuloy ang lahat ng kanilang nasimulan. You know (applause) ... Noy, you know that during our last conversation with Mom, nangako ako sa kaniya, whatever support you needed, I will be there for you (applause).
James told me that now that Mom is gone, he has lost his no. 1 supporter. James and I thank 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 nung pinanganak ko si Baby James, sa dalawang taon na nakapiling siya ng Mom, everytime nakikita ng Mom si Baby James ... pag ini-enjoy niya ang attention ng mga tao, pag china-charming niya lahat, sabi ng Mom, akong-ako daw si Baby James ... for all my life, I would constantly her Mom tell everybody that I was the female Ninoy ... I was truly my Dad's daughter. Maybe that's why I always felt I was Mom's favorite.
Mom, I know in your liftetime, among your children, you went through the most for me. Pero gusto ko ring maniwala, dahil nasabi mo sa 'kin 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 moments 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 ba magpaalam kapag alam mo ... sa alam ng puso mo, na hindi pa rin sapat ang panahon na binahagi sa 'yo ng Diyos, sa piling ng 'yong 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 pain at para hindi ka na mag-alala tungkol sa 'min. 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 makakakwentuhan niya about everything na nangyari that day. Wala ng magdadasal kasabay ni Pinky that Miguel will have a good job. Wala ng magsasabi kay Viel how impressed she was at the simplicity of Viel's family. Wala na rin yung taong hindi lang nagkampanya pero gumastos nang malaki para matulungan si Noy manalo sa apat na beses niyang pagtakbo. Wala nang magte-text sa 'kin tuwing maglo-launch ang bagong programa ko ng 'Good luck!' at pagkatapos as soon as mag-end yung show, magko-congratulate kaagad to say, 'I'm proud of you!' But maybe that's what love really is 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 everyday 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.
This is the video clip of Kris Aquino's response courtesy of GMANews.tv: