Two Modern Day Heroes
AS WE wrote this column, we were celebrating the 23rd death anniversary of the late Senator Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. He was assassinated while disembarking from a Taiwanese flight at then Manila International Airport.
After years of exile in the US, he chose to return home despite rumors of plans to assassinate him. His death led to street protests which eventually became the rallying point to the world-famous EDSA Revolution that ended the 20-year rule of strongman Ferdinand E. Marcos.
We also celebrate the life of a great Filipina, former DENR Secretary Gina Lopez, who died at the age of 65. Her now famous line, “The Key to Life is Love”, was something she truly lived in her life. She was a champion of children’s rights, an advocate for the environment and a philanthropist. As ABS-CBN Foundation President, she established Bantay Bata, receiving the United Nations Grand Excellence Award. She was also responsible for setting up Bantay Kalikasan which helped victims of natural calamities. As DENR chief, she took a strong stand against mining and its adverse effects on poor and indigenous communities. Her life of love and joy was the fruit of her missionary experiences in Africa, Portugal and India.
When my spouse Minda heard of her passing, she tearfully came to me and said, “I never knew her personally, but her death seems so personal to me.” It is as I should be, because with her passing we have lost an iconic Filipino whose advocacies touched the lives of many. She was many thing to so many people: an advocate, a protector, a friend, a sister, a mother, but above all a human being whose heart was so big that she could share love to everyone she meets. As we bid our final goodbye with a heavy heart, we say “thank you for the miracle that was her life”.
Greetings to Bishop Jose R. Rojas of the Prelature of Libmanan who celebrated his birthday last August 18.
QUOTATION OF THE WEEK:
“THE FILIPINO IS WORTH DYING FOR” BENIGNO S. AQUINO, JR.
FOR OUR WORD OF LIFE: “AND THESE THREE REMAIN: FAITH, HOPE AND LOVE. BU THE GREATEST OF THESE IS LOVE.” 1 CORINTHIANS 13:13