Bea doesn’t know who Corazon Aquino is. She doesn’t know who Ninoy is… or what EDSA people power meant. She is too young to understand that the freedom and democracy she is now enjoying are fruits of the noble sacrifices of these gallant people. Children are very bright though. She knows that there is something wrong. That there is a serious atmosphere in our home and in the TV programs that she often watches. She sees Kris Aquino crying on TV and she somberly says “wawa naman Kris, wala na mommy nya”. When we ask where Kris’ mom has gone, she promptly replies “sleep na”.
But how do I tell a 3 year old? How do I tell her that we should look up to Ninoy and Cory with gratitude and respect. How do I tell her that this couple gave up their cherished private lives to fight for a people, most of whom, back then, seemed to have accepted their fate, doomed forever to be under the dictatorship, with their human rights trampled on by everyone who was in power. How do I tell my little girl that being a Filipino is special and something to be proud of?
For now, I think I may have to be content with the fact that she has learned to say Tita Cory’s name. She likes to jump around shouting in a sing-song voice “Cory, Cory ko..ko..ko..!” She has also mastered flashing the laban sign. The sign that has been the symbol of our struggle for freedom and democracy. She now knows that yellow means Tita Cory. Her lola Linda would’ve been so proud of our little Cory-ista!
In time, when she fully understands, I will tell her our history. I will tell her what we had to go through to get back the freedom that was taken from us by a dictatorship. Sure she may have questions by then, like how come nothing much has changed since then? Why are we still poor and struggling as a nation? Why is there still so much hate and segregation in our society? Hmmm…. I’ll just have to cross that bridge when I get there…