Editorial: President Aquino’s Death and the Immortality of Hope

The death of former President Corazon Aquino was met with much public grief. She has been regarded as an icon of democracy, both by supporters and former critics. Aquino showed, through her administration, that democracy and liberty can be regained through collective effort.

Mrs. Aquino's succession as president after the Marcos administration was a surprise. Nobody expected the housewife of Marcos's political nemesis to lead a peaceful revolution against the dictator to redeem democracy. Critics doubted if Corazon Aquino was equipped with the skills and values needed to lead the country from a tyrant regime.

Her administration from 1986 to 1992 was shook by numerous military uprisings and natural calamities. But she was able to finish her term. She chose not to stay in power, just to show that in order for a democracy to work, the leader must first submit to the rule of law. Her submission to the law is one evidence that democracy matters by letting a peaceful election process in 1992 determine who will be the next to lead an economically and politically struggling country.

Her administration showed that our country still has much to learn and work for if it wants to attain its envisioned development and progress. Changing leaders may not necessarily lead to a better future for everyone if it is not accompanied by hope, as well as fidelity and work in order to achieve the set aspirations for the nation and its constituents.

The resurgence of nationalistic sentiments through our media and yellow commodities is a manifestation of the public’s desperate need for a hero or a hero-figure that will lead them to the project of nation-building. Becoming a hero also demands one to be committed in living a responsible and reasonable life while simultaneously upholding the public good. No one may have lived a life free from irreconcilable contradictions but what matters more is the perseverance to live a morally sound life amidst adversaries.

More than two decades ago, the world witnessed that social changes intended to promote the general welfare of the public can be attained through collective action, as was exemplified by the People Power revolution. The promised social changes may not yet be fully attained but this does not discount the fact that it is possible. This historic revolution proved that revolutions need not be bloody and costly. Hope is an important requisite for the public to move forward as the search for the better country continues. Hope allows one to transcend the limitations of his contingency and to strive better each day to achieve its ideals.

Too much has been said about how our current and past administration sucks. To hope for a better tomorrow is a requisite for collective action. The use of imagination to see the limitation of the present and how things can be improved spares one from being enslaved to the whims of a selfish few. An icon of hope may have passed away but it does not discount the fact that the Filipino people are also capable of hoping. The country may not have another Corazon Aquino, Jose Rizal or some other personality the common Filipino will be proud to have but it does not matter. What matters more is to exercise the faculty of hope before putting whatever theory learned into practice.