Farewell to the Gracious Cory Aquino, R.I.P.

The year was 1986. I was 16 the first time I saw Cory Aquino on television. She was leading a seemingly endless parade of prayerful, frightened, but determined people in Manila, calling for the dictator Ferdinand Marcos to step down. This event has been called “The People Power Revolution” and also “The Bloodless Revolution”. She has led a life of public service and last Saturday that life ended. I wanted to commemorate it here with a poem I wrote some years ago — about the experience of being a young Fil-Am teen seeing, for the first time, nonviolent and collective action in Manila. I have never been prouder of a historical event that a woman of my own heritage led. Maraming salamat sa inyo Tita Cory. R.I.P.

“Cory in Yellow”

by Mary Grace Bertulfo

Here on EDSA

there is a statue

of Mama Mary,

her hands outstretched

in blessings over Manila.

It is to help us


the place

where peace won out.

Cory in yellow,

I saw her on TV,

she looked like my mom,

short, permed hair

and glasses.

But she marched

in front on EDSA

making an “L” with her fingers.

“Laban! Laban!”

Fight! Fight!

She led her people

to walk and face the police

who guarded the dictator.

Her people swarmed

behind her,

Cory in yellow

who fought greed and killing

with peaceful marching

and prayers

instead of guns and fists.

They stormed Malacanyang Palace

The police gave way

the dictator fled.

Cory in yellow

made the victory sign.

Cory in yellow.


They called it

the Bloodless Revolution.