In celebration of her 77th birthday, a monument built for the late President Corazon ‚ÄúCory‚Äù Aquino was inaugurated at the Rizal Park in Manila today, January 25, 2010 (Philippine Time). The inauguration was led by her presidential candidate son Noynoy Aquino with Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim, a loyal ally of the late Pres. Aquino. The monument was placed beside the statue of her husband, martyred hero Benigno Aquino Jr.
Meanwhile, the three Aquino daughters – Ballsy, Pinky, and Viel ‚Äì went to her burial place at the Manila Memorial Park in Para√±aque City to offer prayers. Kris, the youngest of the Aquino sibling was not present in any of the event.
It is the first memorial shrine honoring the well-loved Aquino, or simply Cory to the Filipino people, according to its sculptor Eduardo Castrillo.
Castrillo made the country‚Äôs first statue of Aquino‚Äôs martyred husband, Sen. Benigno ‚ÄúNinoy‚Äù Aquino Jr. in Concepcion, Tarlac, as well as another Ninoy statue in the People Power monument on Edsa.
The newly unveiled 15-foot bronze statue of Aquino stands beside a statue of Ninoy (not by Castrillo) on Roxas Boulevard and Padre Burgos Drive across the historic Manila Hotel.
It shows the country‚Äôs first woman president flashing the ‚ÄúLaban!‚Äù (Fight!) sign with her right hand and holding the 1987 Philippine Constitution with the other.
The project was personally commissioned by Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim
A Mass would be celebrated later in the day at the Church of the Gesu at the Ateneo de Manila University campus in Quezon City.
On Sunday, a Mass was held at the Edsa Shrine wherein Mrs. Aquino’s children said that while they still feel the sadness of losing their mother, they are grateful to the multitude of their mother’s supporters who joined them in the event.
“What gives me consolation, and courage to overcome the emptiness, is the realization that I am not alone in my grief. There are many others, like you, who felt the loss of a truly phenomenal woman,” Noynoy said in his speech.
Mrs. Aquino passed away last Aug. 1, 2009 after fighting colon cancer for over a year. Days after her death, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo ordered that a statue be built in honor of the democracy icon.
Mrs. Aquino rose to power in February 1986 through a popular street uprising in EDSA that toppled then strongman Ferdinand Marcos.
Video Credite: GMANews.tv