last friday, along katipunan avenue, ugly pink MMDA street dividers had yellow ribbons. today, driving through The Fort, lampposts and trees adorned with the same. on GMA 7’s sunday noontime variety show earlier today, all artists had yellow ribbons and pins on their shirts, Judy Ann Santos was in a crazy yellow bustier.
the UAAP’s main game between U.P. and Ateneo this afternoon had all basketball players and coaches with yellow ribbons attached to their uniforms.
and as in 1983, when mama had a yellow ribbon tied to our car, i found myself tying a yellow ribbon on my car last friday. it was meant to disappear, which it surely did by late that evening. but it was also meant to fly with the winds of the University of Makati, where the car was parked the whole day, the only car that was yellowed.
my love for cory isn’t so much about what she did for country as president — my activist-self keeps me from appreciating her in that way. but her icon is replete with memories.
of Lolo Ding who waved a bright yellow foam hand that formed an L for Laban. he who was nationalist in his intent to buy books, and read read read, of nation and freedom. he who collected everything that Ninoy Aquino wrote, in exile and otherwise.
of a mother who found her own freedoms in the 1986 EDSA Revolution and the kind of life’s work ithas allowed her to create, the kind of life it has allowed me to imagine.
of Cory, after her stint in Malacanang, going to rallies against the ConAss and ChaCha, supporting the movements for truth and accountability, across the regimes of Ramos, Erap and GMA. it was always difficult not to be overwhelmed by Cory’s presence onstage, with a serenity that to me was never simply about her religiosity.
now that i think about it, i have always thought of Cory as an icon for women who have survived the loss of their husbands. left behind, widowed, and everything in between. for Cory did rise to the occasion of individuality and freedom even when she didn’t seek it. she grappled with her loss by seeing the bigger picture of nation and its contingent urgencies.
this is why even with Kris Aquino in our midst, and despite my activist-self, i cannot help but feel sad about the painful state Cory is in now. as icon, she knew to espouse her notions of freedom and liberation regardless of who was on her side. more importantly, as woman, she knew to survive.
and now, knowing her physical suffering, it is difficult not to see that letting her go just might be the kindest way of repaying Cory. she has taught us after all to roll with the punches, and face our losses.