‘Hindi ako nag-iisa’

That was the truth then. Now, ‘hindi ka rin nag-iisa’

The author as a kid, when Ninoy, running then for the Senate, dropped by his family home for a photo with the Lopa family. (Photo courtesy of Rapa Lopa)

Inspired by the homily of Bishop Soc Villegas, I decided to do my own imagined conversation with Uncle Ninoy to find out what he might want to tell me in these very troubling times. I was not close to Uncle Ninoy because I was just in grade school and in high school throughout his incarceration. I had only one or two occasions to see him at Fort Bonifacio when I was brought by mom and dad on one of their chance visits as well. I witnessed his heroic life only from a distance.

Below is what I imagined him telling me in our brief conversation:


Please thank everyone who continue to pray for me as you commemorated the 39th anniversary of my passing. Please tell everyone that I am okay where I am now to a large extent because of all their prayers. As Bishop Soc Villegas rightly pointed out in his homily, I am no saint. Kung hindi dahil sa dasal nila mahihirapan tayong pumasa kay San Pedro.

I know you are very concerned these days about the many lies being spread about me, your Auntie Cory and Noy. I feel so sorry for Ballsy, Pinky, Viel, Kris and their families as they are left to bear the pain that all of these untruths bring. Please tell them to be strong and hope you can help unburden them in any way you can.

I am also certain that many of those whom we fought with in the dark days of Martial Law are unsettled if not disheartened by the recent turn of events. I feel the pain of many who suffered during the reign of Ferdinand Marcos, Sr. I will not be surprised if they and their families are struggling to accept the return to power of the Marcos family. The wounds are very deep and cannot be easily forgiven or forgotten. Some of them probably even had worst circumstances than what I and my family had

The world has really changed so much since I left it. It has become more complex and unfortunately, has also become more vulnerable to evil motivations. The lies are nothing new. Remember, I had my fair share of lies thrown at me so they could keep me incarcerated for seven years and seven months. But what is new is how technology has weaponized the spreading of lies to the point that it creates virtual realities that the great majority are made to believe.

Worst, technology today has emboldened some people to play God.

Intimidated? Daunted? Overwhelmed?

I’m sure you are! But have faith and do not fear. Believe that there are many others who are still ready to fight the good fight. You’ve seen for yourself how so many Filipinos, especially the younger generation, have already made their presence known in the recent campaign of Leni Robredo.

Oh by the way, please send my thanks to Leni and her daughters for embracing her leadership calling. Jesse and I are no match to  her and your Auntie Cory. Speaking of wives, please send my best wishes to Didi on her birthday. Please tell her that I never intended to spoil her special day, as I did not know that my departure from this world would fall on her birthday.

Stay the course, Rapa. There will still be many hurdles and challenges ahead. Do not be surprised if more setbacks come your way. There is even a chance that you will not live long enough to see the outcomes of what you are working or fighting for. What is important is just to strive to do good always. Being the sinners we all are, I know it’s not easy to be consistently doing it. But believe me that is really all that’s needed. I know for a fact that in the end, in all that we do the good will always prevail in God’s time.

Coming home 39 years ago, I had no idea if our countrymen still believed in what I was fighting for. Of course, my assassins made sure I would not see for myself the outpouring of support of the hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of Filipinos who came to my wake and my funeral. But as I said, that did not matter. The fact then was, I was not alone. Hindi ako nag-iisa. That was the truth then. That is the truth now. So be strong and be brave. Hindi ka rin nag-iisa!!

Watching over all of you from here,

Uncle Ninoy

Credit: AquinoFdn/YouTube

Read more:

Turkey tour with Leni: Escaping and keeping the faith

Noy: Kumusta na ang love life mo?

Only three minutes of self-pity

About author


He is the author of “To Love Another Day,” the memoirs of democracy icon Corazon Aquino. He continues to work with NGOs—evidently one of the Filipinos who continue to believe in the Filipino.

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