Yesterday, Mom got an email from her officemate about volunteers for the wake. Mom told me about it immediately. We called her officemate agad. I was asked to email him my details. After awhile, I received a reply about the details. I was scheduled for the 1am – 7am shift.
I didn’t have second thoughts on this. I said “Yes” immediately, even if I’m still sick or still in the recovery stage. My thought that moment was “For once in my life, I will be able to serve the person whom we called the mother of our nation, the one who served my homeland, even for the last time, one time big time”. It would be an honor serving Her.
They always say, “To lead, you must serve” — Mommy Cory exemplifies that. That’s one characteristic of hers that I believe I was able to emulate. I’ve been a leader in my Church a few years back when I was still an active server and in my college, ESA, I’ve been a really active leader, working for my school (projects/events) and for some social entrepreneurship activities. I’ve been leading and serving at the same time.
Even before learning about the volunteer job, I had plans of falling in line in the streets of Intramuros already. I was not feeling well that morning, that’s why I somewhat had second thoughts. Then came the invite, no more second thoughts na! YES AGAD! So, I braved the rain, the traffic, not knowing how to get there and my not feeling well condition. I was there 12mn sharp. But then again, there are things that we couldn’t control. There was an outburst of volunteers, our help wasn’t needed anymore. We were told about that 3 hours later. It doesn’t matter that I wasn’t able to do a job. My time and effort to go there would be enough sacrifice for Her — yes, instead of playing Farmtown, Twittering and Facebooking all night, right? It’s as good as serving her.
Thirty minutes after, thanks to Ms. Jackie Aquino, we were finally able to enter the VIP gate. But PGMA arrived so we have to wait until she leaves. The moment has come, my first and last time to see the Woman in Yellow. Such an honor to finally meet her. When I was 2 ft away from her casket, I suddenly felt goosebumps. I suddenly remembered that I’m scared of looking inside the coffin. But there’s no way I’m backing out, not now, after all I’ve been through. A moment later, I am gazing at her, just a few seconds, few seconds that will last me a lifetime of memories. She is beautiful and peaceful, a life worth lived. She is the very first person that I viewed in her dwelling place. I’ve viewed anyone, not even my grandfather.
I was baffled after that. I lost my companions, even their yellow ADB umbrellas can’t be seen from the sea of crowd in front of me. I walked around the streets until I got a ride home, bringing home memories that I’ll forever cherish, memories that I’ll pass on to my children and their children. I guess what we can all promise Tita Cory now is to be forever vigilant and always ready to get up and march again whenever her and Ninoy’s legacy of our democracy is once again threatened.
This is history and I am part of it.