A Short Story: My Dad and President Corazon Aquino

I was only 8 years old when news of coup d' etats went around. Being 8, I was not really that interested in politics or war. All I knew were descriptions from my yaya about "tora toras" and that we should put our "mattresses" in the front of our homes to protect us from the bombs. Everytime we heard an airplane flying overhead,we would go out to see where the tora toras would go.

We lived in Mandaluyong back then so we were really far from where the action was.

At that age, all I really cared about was Super Mario on my Family Computer and how to get 100 lives by jumping on a turtle...

But happen it did, Gringo Honasan launched the "most serious coup d'etat against the government of Philippine President Corazon Aquino beginning  on December 1, 1989. It was completely defeated by the Philippine government by December 9, 1989." [Wikipedia]

For me, memories of those are just a blur.  I quoted from his book: Filipino Isa Kang Alipin.

"On December 25, 1989, in the middle of a series of coup d'etats against the newly elected President Corazon Aquino, he expressed his staunch opposition to an armed uprising in the form of a full page advertisement in a major daily here in the Philippines entitled 
"An Enraged Citizen Speaks Up!"

Here, he defended the Philippine Government and encouraged adherence to the Philippine Constitution and the rule
of law. With the overwhelming show of support that the people gave to the then besieged president, he was summoned by the President in Malacanang Palace, to be personally thanked."

Here is the full text:

That advertisement appeared on Christmas Day. By that time we were already in Baguio. We stayed in the Court of Appeals compound, inside the cottage of then Court of Appeals Justice Buena - the father of his Ateneo de Manila College of Law classmate Justice Buena.

To me it was just a vacation. But my father was edgy and he kept moving around the house. Fortunately no untoward incident happened. We enjoyed Baguio which was very very different from the Baguio that we see now. Oh yeah, and I played computer games in the Maharlika Complex.

Looking back, I figured that what my father wrote had a profound effect on the President. The President called my dad up and asked him to go to Malacanang to simply thank him for showing his support.

I couldn't really remember how that transpired. All I recall is that my dad showed me a grainy tape in VCR showing him shaking hands with the President. It was quite funny and awkward. Cory asked my dad to sit and my dad in his profound respect said that the President should sit first. Finally at the behest of the President he sat down.

My father said that he was offered a Cabinet position in the Aquino Administration. But he politely declined because he wanted to do what he loved best - which was to practice law in a private capacity.

And that was the end of it.

A short story of how our family is dis - apolitical.

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