MANILA, AUGUST 2, 2012 (PHILSTAR) By Aurea Calica - PHOTO:President Aquino sprinkles holy water on the tomb of his mother, former President Corazon Aquino, during a Mass to commemorate her third death anniversary at the Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque City yesterday.]

MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino and his sisters led the commemoration of the third death anniversary of their mother, former President Corazon Aquino, at a private Mass at Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque City yesterday morning.

The President did not give a message but his mother’s spiritual adviser, Fr. Catalino Arevalo, paid tribute to Cory and her contributions to the country.

In his homily, Arevalo said he remembered her quoting from the Bible: “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”

Arevalo cited Cory and her husband, former senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr., as the best examples of heroism by offering their lives for the country.

Cory is considered the country’s democracy icon for continuing the fight for freedom of Ninoy, who was imprisoned and slain during the Marcos dictatorship.

Arevalo shared one of Cory’s speeches about power and how Ninoy inspired it: “That it was because he had given his life for his people; that after his passing to the Lord, he gave the power to awaken people power in our country. And she says in that speech that it was because he had given his life for his people that this power was given to him.”

Arevalo said giving one’s life to God and sharing it with others would not only mean “life everlasting” or “peace and joy in heaven” but “the gift of their life gives life for others.”

Arevalo said Cory offered her sickness and her suffering for the country and “those of us who were able to be there in the last days of her life when there was great suffering, I could always remember that she said that she was giving her life for her country.”


Cory died of colon cancer in 2009 and her death sparked calls for her son, then a senator, to run for president.

He won overwhelmingly in the 2010 national elections.

“And so, that gift continues to give life for our people. The heritage has been passed on to President Noy and those of you who are close to him know that he is also giving his life. Ballsy, I don’t even know if she remembers saying to me: My brother is willing to give his life for his people,” Arevalo said.

Cory was survived by her children Ballsy, Pinky, Viel, actress Kris Aquino and the President.

Kris said they still miss their mother so much. “But she must be smiling in heaven because her only son is a good president,” she said after the Mass.

She added that her parents would be proud of what her brother had achieved and that they were also trying to continue her legacy in their own ways.

“Of course, that is my feeling... Love your own... But I think any parent would be happy with what (his/her) child accomplished. The economic gains that (the President) achieved are being felt by many Filipinos,” Kris said.

Kris said she herself was trying to help improve education and health in the country by donating funds for the construction of classrooms and equipment for hospitals. – Aie See Balagtas, Sandy Araneta, Jose Rodel Clapano

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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