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undaunted and unafraid cory August 6, 2009

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during the mass

during the mass

guarding cory's coffin

guarding cory's coffin

cory-guard

the estrada's

the estrada's

lea salonga sings bayan ko

lea salonga sings bayan ko

lea salonga

lea salonga

Kris Aquino's response in behalf of her siblings and family

Kris Aquino's response in behalf of her siblings and family

Filipino Artists singing ang Handg ng Pilipino sa Mundo

Filipino Artists singing ang Handg ng Pilipino sa Mundo

after the mass

after the mass

the fathers of the society of jesus

the fathers of the society of jesus

As we headed for the Manila Cathedral this morning, the clouds momentarily broke their ranks to let in some light. The side streets were flooded from all the rain and from the Pasig that was almost overflowing its banks.

Inside, I remembered Sto Domingo, 26 years ago; remembered the long funeral procession we joined. I can still see some of their faces, the woman who was flailing her arms in grief, the grimness of the march, the hymns we sang, the flickering of despair and hope, the drenching and gathering of resolve.

This morning, it all came back. There beneath the cathedral arches and mournful memories, I found myself confessing, asking how we had all gone astray. So many have suffered and died for this country to be free. May their oblation, the shedding of their blood be not in vain.

Today, I saw graciousness in the midst of grief. Again multiplied many times over. So Filipino. I saw faith in the midst of death. So Filipino. Once more, I discovered love and compassion walking over the waters that have divided us. Nabanhaw nasad ang gugma sa nasud. Nabuhay na muli ang pagmamahal sa inang bayan.

Salamat Cory.

By your faith in God, you directed our gaze to the skies: even if clouds do not break ranks for days on end, they only merely eclipse the light. The light continues to shine. By your faith in the Filipino, you showed us how even intermittent drops of water, falling from the sky, can gather to a river of strength, spilling over.

May your life and your passing be not in vain. May true heroes come forward to lead our country. May we be sincere in discerning democracy and choosing those who will empower the voiceless to find their voice. May we become brave again to line up and be enlisted, to step up and be counted upon.

May today begin us once more, giving us enough hope and courage to make an oblation of our lives for God and our people, this country we have always loved and cherished.

Jose Ramon T Villarin SJ
5 Aug 2009

*remembering cory. an icon. a president. a mother. a devotee. a fighter. a filipino heroine.

photos courtesy of  Fr. Jessel Gerard Gonzales of the Society of Jesus and the blog entry from Xavier University President, Fr. Jose Ramon T. Villarin of the Society of Jesus.

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