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Pedro Calungsod also known as Pedro Calonsor (born: 1654 – died: 2 April 1672) was a young Roman Catholic Filipino migrant, sacristan and missionary catechist, who along with Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores, suffered religious persecution and martyrdom in Guam for their missionary work in 1672.

While in Guam, Calungsod preached C

hristianity to the Chamorro people through catechism, while baptizing both infants, children and adults at the risk and expense of being persecuted and eventually murdered. Through Calungsod and San Vitores’ missionary efforts, many native Chamorros converted to Roman Catholicism.

Calungsod was formally beatified on 5 March 2000 by Blessed Pope John Paul II. On 18 February 2012, Pope Benedict XVI officially announced that Calungsod will be canonised on 21 October 2012.

Saint Pedro Calungsod also known as Pedro Calonsor (born: 1654 – died: 2 April 1672) was a young Roman Catholic Filipino saint, migrant, sacristan and missionary catechist, who along with Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores, suffered religious persecution and martyrdom in Guam for their missionary work in 1672.

While in Guam, Calungsod preached Christianity to the Chamorro people through catechism, while baptizing both infants, children and adults at the risk and expense of being persecuted and eventually murdered. Through Calungsod and San Vitores‘ missionary efforts, many native Chamorros converted to Roman Catholicism.

Calungsod was formally beatified on 5 March 2000 by Blessed Pope John Paul II. Calungsod was officially canonized by Pope Benedict XVI at Saint Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City on 21 October 2012.

Early years and Missionary work

Mariana of Austria, Queen of Spain, the benefactress of the mission to the Ladrones Islands.

Calungsod (spelled Calonsor in Spanish records) was born ca. 1654. Historical records never mentioned his exact place of origin and merely identified him as “Pedro Calonsor, El Visayo“. Historical research identifies Ginatilan in Cebu, Hinunangan and Hinundayan in Southern Leyte, and Molo district in Iloilo as probable places of origin. Loboc in Bohol also makes a claim.  These locations were parts of the “Diocese of Cebu” during the time of Calungsod’s martyrdom.

Few details of his early life prior to missionary work and death are known. It is probable that he received basic education at a Jesuit boarding school, mastering the Catechism and learning to communicate in Spanish. He likely honed his skills in drawing, painting, singing, acting, and carpentry as these were necessary in missionary work. Calungsod would have been expected to have some aptitude in serving in the Tridentine Mass (now known as the Extraordinary form of the Roman Rite).

Calungsod, then around 14, was among the exemplary young catechists chosen to accompany the Jesuits in their mission to the Ladrones Islands (Islas de los Ladrones or “Isles of Thieves”). In 1668, Calungsod travelled with Spanish Jesuit missionaries to these islands, renamed the Mariana Islands (Las Islas de Mariana) the year before in honour of both the Blessed Virgin Mary and of the Queen Regent of Spain, María Ana of Austria, who funded their voyage. Calungsod and San Vitores went to Guam to catechise the native Chamorros.

Missionary life was difficult as provisions did not arrive regularly, the jungles and terrain was difficult to traverse, and the islands were frequently devastated by typhoons. Despite all these, the mission persevered, and was able to convert a significant number of locals.

Martyrdom

A Chinese named Choco, a criminal from Manila who was exiled in Guam began spreading rumours that the baptismal water used by missionaries was poisonous. As some sickly Chamorro infants who were baptized eventually died, many believed the story and held the missionaries responsible. Choco was readily supported by the macanjas (medicine men) and the urritaos (young males) who despised the missionaries.

In their search for a runaway companion named Esteban, Calungsod and San Vitores came to the village of Tumon, Guam on 2 April 1672. There they learnt that the wife of the village chief Matapang gave birth to a daughter, and they immediately went to baptise the child. Influenced by the calumnies of Choco, the chief strongly opposed; to give Mata’pang some time to calm down, the missionaries gathered the children and some adults of the village at the nearby shore and started chanting with them the tenets of the Catholic religion. They invited Mata’pang to join them, but he shouted back that he was angry with God and was fed up with Christian teachings.

Determined to kill the missionaries, Mata’pang went away and tried to enlist another villager, named Hirao, who was not a Christian. Hirao initially refused, mindful of the missionaries’ kindness towards the natives, but when Mata’pang branded him a coward, he became piqued and capitulated. Meanwhile, during that brief absence of Mata’pang from his hut, San Vitores and Calungsod baptised the baby girl, with the consent of her Christian mother.

When Mata’pang learnt of his daughter’s baptism, he became even more furious. He violently hurled spears first at Pedro, who was able to dodge the spears. Witnesses claim that Calungsod could have escaped the attack, but did not want to leave San Vitores alone. Those who knew Calungsod personally meanwhile believed that he could have defeated the aggressors with weapons; San Vitores however banned his companions to carry arms. Calungsod was hit in the chest by a spear and he fell to the ground, then Hirao immediately charged towards him and finished him off with machete blow to the head. San Vitores absolved Calungsod before he too was killed.

Mata’pang took San Vitores’ crucifix and pounded it with a stone whilst blaspheming God. Both assassins then denuded the corpses of Calungsod and San Vitroes, tied large stones to their feet, brought them out to sea on their proas and threw them into the water.The Catholic Church considers Calungsod’s martyrdom as committed In Odium Fidei (‘In Hatred of the Faith’), referring to the religious persecution endured by the person in evangelisation.

Beatification

Banner by Filipino artist Rafael del Casal depicting Calungsod during beatification rites in Vatican City, 2000.

A month after the martyrdom of San Vitores and Calungsod, a process for beatification was initiated but only for San Vitores. Political and religious turmoil, however, delayed and halted the process. When Hagåtña was preparing for its 20th anniversary as a diocese in 1981, the 1673 beatification cause of Padre Diego Luís de San Vitores was rediscovered in old manuscripts and revived until San Vitores was finally beatified on 6 October 1985. This gave recognition to Calungsod, paving the way for his own beatification.[13]

In 1980, then-Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal asked permission from the Vatican to initiate the beatification and canonisation cause of Pedro Calungsod. In March 1997, the Sacred Congregation for the Causes of Saints approved the acta of the diocesan beatification process. That same year, Cardinal Vidal appointed Fr Ildebrando Leyson as vice-postulator for the cause, tasked with compiling a Positio Super Martyrio (position regarding the martyrdom) to be scrutinised by the Congregation. The positio, which relied heavily on the documentation of San Vitores’ beatification, was completed in 1999.[14]

Wanting to include young Asian laypersons in his first beatification for the Jubilee Year 2000, John Paul II paid particular attention to the cause of Calungsod. In January 2000, he approved the decree super martyrio (concerning the martyrdom) of Calungsod, setting his beatification for 5 March 2000 at Saint Peter’s Square in Rome.

Regarding Calungsod’s charitable works and virtuous deeds, Pope John Paul II declared:

…From his childhood, Pedro Calungsod declared himself unwaveringly for Christ and responded generously to his call. Young people today can draw encouragement and strength from the example of Pedro, whose love of Jesus inspired him to devote his teenage years to teaching the faith as a lay catechist. Leaving family and friends behind, Pedro willingly accepted the challenge put to him by Fr. Diego de San Vitores to join him on the Mission to the Chamorros. In a spirit of faith, marked by strong Eucharistic and Marian devotion, Pedro undertook the demanding work asked of him and bravely faced the many obstacles and difficulties he met. In the face of imminent danger, Pedro would not forsake Fr. Diego, but as a “good soldier of Christ” preferred to die at the missionary’s side.

 

Shortly before his scheduled canonisation, a Triduum of masses in honour of Calungsod were celebrated in the Basilica of Saint Augustine, the Church of the Gesù and the Papal Basilica of Saint Mary Major from 18-20 October. A wooden image of Calungsod approved by and flown in from the Archdiocese of Cebu was displayed for public veneration. Archbishop Emeritus of Manila, Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales presided over the 20 October mass,[16] while Philippine Vice-President Jejomar Binay led the Philippine delegation along with Ambassador to the Holy See, Mercedes Arrastia Tuason.

Sainthood

A statue of Calungsod featured in an earlier model.

On 19 December 2011, the Holy See officially approved the miracle qualifying Calungsod for sainthood by the Roman Catholic Church.[17] The recognised miracle dates from 26 March 2003, when a woman from Leyte who was pronounced clinically dead by accredited physicians two hours after a heart attack was revived when an attending physician invoked Calungsod’s intercession.

Cardinal Angelo Amato presided over the declaration ceremony on behalf of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. He later revealed that Pope Benedict XVI approved and signed the official promulgation decrees recognising the miracles as authentic and worthy of belief. The College of Cardinals were then sent a dossier on the new saints, and they were asked to indicate their approval. On 18 February 2012, after the Consistory for the Creation of Cardinals, Cardinal Amato formally petitioned Pope Benedict XVI to announce the canonization of the new saints.[21] The Pope set the date for the canonisation on 21 October 2012 (World Mission Sunday), 340 years after Calungsod’s death.[22]

On 21 October 2012, Pope Benedict XVI canonized Calungsod in Saint Peter’s Square. [1] Filipino Cardinal Ricardo Jamin Vidal concelebrated with Pope Benedict XVI at the official canonisation Mass for Calungsod while among the seven new saints canonised, Calungsod was the only one without a first class relic exposed for veneration since his body was thrown into the sea. The cutlass knife, a second-class relic used to hack Calungsod’s head and neck however was retrieved by Cardinal Ricardo Vidal from Guam. During the papal homily, Pope Benedict XVI maintained that Calungsod received the Sacrament of Absolution from Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores before his martyrdom and death.

After Saint Lorenzo Ruiz, Calungsod is the second Filipino to be declared a saint by the Roman Catholic Church. The Roman Martyrology celebrates Calungsod’s feast along with Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores every 2 April.[23]

Birthplace issue

Various areas in the Visayan islands make the claim from which Pedro Calungsod was born and raised. An extensive research provided by the census research of Ginatilan, Cebu provided a longstanding record of Calonsor and Calungsod natives from their area, from which a strong claim had the most Calungsod natives originating since Filipino-Spanish era since the late 1700’s. According to the Parish Pastoral Council William Pancho of Ginatilan, Cebu, there is a strong claim that in the mid 1600’s, there were three Calungsod brothers:

  • Valerio Calungsor who migrated to Iloilo
  • Casimiro Calungsor who migrated to Bohol
  • Pablo Calungsor who remained in Ginatilan, Cebu and was the father of Pedro Calungsod.

In a public televised interview with ABS-CBN chief correspondent and newscaster Korina Sanchez, Cardinal Ricardo Jamin Vidal emphasized his dismay that when the original beatification of Pedro Calungsod began in 1980’s, no province except for Ginatilan, Cebu wanted to make a claim on his place of birth. Consequently, when the canonization was approved, Catholic bishops from the provinces of Cebu, Bohol, Leyte, Samar, and Iloilo and various Mindanao provinces wanted to claim Calungsod’s official birthplace.

As a result, Cardinal Vidal ruled that he will not establish a definitive judgment on his birthplace, since Spanish records only indicate the words “Pedro Calonsor, El Visayo” as his native description. Furthermore, he stated that all Visayan provinces were under the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Archdiocese of Cebu during the Filipino-Spanish era.

Iconography

Calungsod is often portrayed clutching a Catechism book, notably the “Doctrina Christiana”. Only known surviving copy by Fray Juan de Plasencia. Library of Congress, Washington D.C. Circa 1590’s.

It is not known exactly what Calungsod looked like, as no contemporary depictions survive. The writer Alcina, who was a contemporary of Pedro Calungsod, described the male Visayan indios of his time as usually more corpulent, better built and somewhat taller than the Tagalogs in Luzon; that their skin was light brown in color; that their faces were usually round and of fine proportions; that their noses were flat; that their eyes and hair were black; that they— especially the youth—wore their hair a little bit long; and that they already started to wear camisas (shirts) and calzones (knee-breeches). Pedro Chirino, S.J., who also worked in the Visayas in the 1590s, similarly described the Visayans as well-built, of pleasing countenance and light-skinned.

Calungsod is often depicted as a teenaged young man wearing a camisa de chino that is sometimes bloodied, and usually dark loose trousers. His most popular attributes are the martyr’s palm pressed to his chest and the Doctrina Christiana. To indicate his missionary status, he is depicted in mid-stride, occasionally also bearing a rosary or crucifix. In some early statues, Calungsod is sometimes shown with a spear and catana (cutlass), the instruments of his death.

In art

The first portraits of Pedro Calungsod were drawings done by award-winning artist, sculptor, and designer Eduardo Castrillo[25] in 1994 for the Heritage of Cebu Monument in Parian. A bronze statue of Calungsod was made and now forms part of the monument. Sculptors Francisco dela Victoria and Vicente Gulane of Cebu and Justino Cagayat Jr. of Paete, Laguna, created statues of Calungsod in 1997 and 1999 respectively.

When the Archdiocese of Manila in 1998 published the pamphlet Pedro Calungsod: Young Visayan “Proto-Martyr” by Jesuit theologian Catalino Arevalo, the 17-year old Ronald Tubid of Oton, Iloilo, was chosen to model for a portrait of Calungsod.[27] This then became the basis for Rafael del Casal’s painting in 1999, which was chosen as the official portrait for Calungsod. The Del Casal portrait is the first to feature a Christogram, the seal of the Society of Jesus with which he was affiliated. The original painting is now enshrined at the Archdiocesan Shrine of Blessed Pedro Calungsod in Cebu City.

Several statues of Calungsod were also commissioned for the beatification, with one brought to Rome and blessed by John Paul II. This became the “Pilgrim Image”, now enshrined at the Archdiocesan Shrine of Nuestro Padré Jesús de Nazareno of the Society of the Angel of Peace in Cansojong, Talisay City, Cebu. Another image is permanently enshrined at the Archdiocesan Shrine of Blessed Pedro Calungsod in Cebu City. Both images also depict Calungsod wearing a white camisa and trousers, with his characteristic palm, a rosary, and a crucifix pressed to his breast. During the novena before his feast day, a replica of the catana used to kill him is set into the arm of the statue.

Images

  • Bronze statue in Plaza Colon, Cebu City

  • Closeup of portrait at Archdiocesan shrine, Cebú

  • Processional Statue, Manila

  • Stained glass window, California, USA

  • Altar of St. James the Apostle Parish Church, Paombong, Bulacan

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Benigno S. Aquino, Jr.
Senator of the Philippines
In office
December 30, 1967 – September 23, 1972[1]
Presidential Adviser on Defense Affairs
In office
1949–1954
Governor of Tarlac
In office
December 30, 1961 – December 30, 1967
Vice Governor of Tarlac
In office
December 30, 1959 – December 30, 1961
Mayor of Concepcion, Tarlac
In office
December 30, 1955 – December 30, 1959
Personal details
Born November 27, 1932
Concepcion, Tarlac, Philippines
Died August 21, 1983 (aged 50)
Manila International Airport, Pasay, Metro Manila, Philippines
Resting place Manila Memorial Park, Parañaque, Metro Manila, Philippines
Nationality Filipino
Political party Liberal (1959–1983)
LABAN (1978–1983)
Other political
affiliations
Nacionalista Party (1955–1959)
Spouse(s) Corazon C. Aquino
Children Ma. Elena Aquino-Cruz
Aurora Corazon Aquino-Abellada
Benigno S. Aquino III
Victoria Elisa Aquino-Dee
Kristina Bernadette Aquino
Residence Times Street, Quezon City
Alma mater University of the Philippines
Ateneo de Manila University
San Beda College High School (Class of 1948)
St. Joseph’s College, Quezon City
Occupation Politician
Profession Journalist
Religion Roman Catholicism

 

Benigno Simeon “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr. (November 27, 1932 – August 21, 1983) was a Filipino Senator and a former Governor of Tarlac. Aquino, together with Gerry Roxas and Jovito Salonga, formed the leadership of the opposition to the Marcos regime in the years leading to the imposition of martial law in the Philippines. In 1973 he was arrested and incarcerated for 7 years, but was allowed to depart for the United States to seek medical treatment after he suffered a heart attack in 1980. He was assassinated at the Manila International Airport upon returning home from exile in the United States in 1983. His death catapulted his widow, Corazon Aquino, into the limelight, and prompted her to run for President as a member of the UNIDO party in the 1986 elections. Manila International Airport has been renamed Ninoy Aquino International Airport in his honor, and the anniversary of his death is a national holiday in the Philippines, Ninoy Aquino Day.

Early life and career

Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. was born in Concepcion, Tarlac, to a prosperous family of hacenderos (landlords), original owners of Hacienda Tinang, Hacienda Lawang and Hacienda Murcia.[6]

His grandfather, Servillano Aquino, was a general in the revolutionary army of Emilio Aguinaldo.[7]

His father, Benigno S. Aquino, Sr. (1894–1947) was the vice-president of the World War II Japanese collaborationist government of José P. Laurel. His father was one of two politicians representing Tarlac during his lifetime. The other was Jose Cojuangco, father of his future wife. His mother, Doña Aurora Aquino-Aquino, was also his father’s third cousin. His father died while Ninoy was in his teens prior to coming to trial on treason charges resulting from his collaboration with the Japanese during the occupation.[citation needed]

Aquino was educated in private schools—St. Joseph’s College, Ateneo de Manila, National University, and De La Salle College. He finished high school at San Beda College. Aquino took his tertiary education at the Ateneo de Manila to obtain a Bachelor of Arts degree, but he interrupted his studies.[8] According to one of his biographies, he considered himself to be an average student; his grade was not in the line of 90s nor did it fall into the 70s. At age 17, he was the youngest war correspondent to cover the Korean War for the newspaper The Manila Times of Joaquin “Chino” Roces. Because of his journalistic feats, he received the Philippine Legion of Honor award from President Elpidio Quirino at age 18. At 21, he became a close adviser to then defense secretary Ramon Magsaysay. Aquino took up law at the University of the Philippines, where he became a member of Upsilon Sigma Phi, the same fraternity as Ferdinand Marcos. He interrupted his studies again however to pursue a career in journalism. According to Maximo Soliven, Aquino “later ‘explained’ that he had decided to go to as many schools as possible, so that he could make as many new friends as possible.”[8] In early 1954, he was appointed by President Ramon Magsaysay, his wedding sponsor to his 1953 wedding at the Our Lady of Sorrows church in Pasay with Corazon Cojuangco, to act as personal emissary to Luis Taruc, leader of the Hukbalahap rebel group. After four months of negotiations, he was credited for Taruc’s unconditional surrender.[9]

He became mayor of Concepcion in 1955 at the age of 22.[10]

Political career

Aquino gained an early familiarity with Philippine politics, as he was born into one of the Philippines’ prominent oligarchic clans. His grandfather served under President Aguinaldo, while his father held office under Presidents Quezon and Jose P. Laurel. As a consequence, Aquino was able to be elected mayor when he was 22 years old. Five years later, he was elected the nation’s youngest vice-governor at 27, despite having no real executive experience. Two years later he became governor of Tarlac province in 1961 at age 29, then secretary-general of the Liberal Party in 1966. In 1967 he became the youngest elected senator in the country’s history at age 34.[citation needed]

In 1968, during his first year as senator, Aquino alleged that Marcos was on the road to establishing “a garrison state” by “ballooning the armed forces budget”, saddling the defense establishment with “overstaying generals” and “militarizing our civilian government offices”—all these caveats were uttered barely four years before martial law, as was typical of the accusatory style of political confrontation at the time. However, no evidence was ever produced for any of these statements.[citation needed]

Aquino became known as a constant critic of the Marcos regime, as his flamboyant rhetoric had made him a darling of the media. His most polemical speech, “A Pantheon for Imelda”, was delivered on February 10, 1969. He assailed the Cultural Center, the first project of First Lady Imelda Marcos as extravagant, and dubbed it “a monument to shame” and labelled its designer “a megalomaniac, with a penchant to captivate”. By the end of the day, the country’s broadsheets had blared that he labelled the President’s wife, his cousin Paz’s former ward, and a woman he had once courted, “the Philippines’ Eva Peron“. President Marcos is said to have been outraged and labelled Aquino “a congenital liar”. The First Lady’s friends angrily accused Aquino of being “ungallant”. These so-called “fiscalization” tactics of Aquino quickly became his trademark in the Senate.[citation needed]

Martial law, hunger strike

It was not until the Plaza Miranda bombing however—on August 21, 1971, 12 years to the day before Aquino’s own assassination—that the pattern of direct confrontation between Marcos and Aquino emerged. At 9:15 pm, at the kick-off rally of the Liberal Party, the candidates had formed a line on a makeshift platform and were raising their hands as the crowd applauded. The band played, a fireworks display drew all eyes, when suddenly there were two loud explosions that obviously were not part of the show. In an instant the stage became a scene of wild carnage. The police later discovered two fragmentation grenades that had been thrown at the stage by “unknown persons”. Eight people died, and 120 others were wounded, many critically. Aquino was absent at the incident.[citation needed]

Although suspicions pointed to the Nacionalistas (the political party of Marcos), Marcos allies sought to deflect this by insinuating that, perhaps, Aquino might have had a hand in the blast in a bid to eliminate his potential rivals within the party. Later, the Marcos government presented “evidence” of the bombings as well as an alleged threat of a communist insurgency, suggesting that the bombings were the handiwork of the growing New People’s Army. Marcos made this a pretext to suspend the right of habeas corpus, vowed that the killers would be apprehended within 48 hours, and arrested a score of known “Maoists” on general principle. Ironically, the police captured one of the bombers, who was identified as a sergeant of the firearms and explosive section of the Philippine Constabulary, a military arm of the government. According to Aquino, this man was later snatched from police custody by military personnel and never seen again.[citation needed]

President Marcos declared martial law on September 21, 1972 and he went on air to broadcast his declaration on midnight of September 23. Aquino was one of the first to be arrested and imprisoned on trumped-up charges of murder, illegal possession of firearms and subversion. He was tried before Military Commission No. 2 headed by Major-General Jose Syjuco. On April 4, 1975, Aquino announced that he was going on a hunger strike, a fast to the death to protest the injustices of his military trial. Ten days through his hunger strike, he instructed his lawyers to withdraw all motions he had submitted to the Supreme Court. As weeks went by, he subsisted solely on salt tablets, sodium bicarbonate, amino acids, and two glasses of water a day. Even as he grew weaker, suffering from chills and cramps, soldiers forcibly dragged him to the military tribunal’s session. His family and hundreds of friends and supporters heard Mass nightly at the Santuario de San Jose in Greenhills, San Juan, praying for his survival. Near the end, Aquino’s weight had dropped from 54 to 36 kilos. Aquino nonetheless was able to walk throughout his ordeal. On May 13, 1975, on the 40th day, his family and several priests and friends, begged him to end his fast, pointing out that even Christ fasted only for 40 days. He acquiesced, confident that he had made a symbolic gesture. But he remained in prison, and the trial continued, drawn out for several years. On November 25, 1977, the Commission found Aquino guilty of all charges and sentenced him to death by firing squad.[citation needed]

1978 elections, bypass surgery, exile

In 1978, from his prison cell, he was allowed to take part in the elections for Interim Batasang Pambansa (Parliament). Although his friends, former Senators Gerry Roxas and Jovito Salonga, preferred to boycott the elections, Aquino urged his supporters to organize and run 21 candidates in Metro Manila. Thus his political party, dubbed Lakas ng Bayan (“People’s Power”), was born. The party’s acronym was “LABAN” (in Tagalog). He was allowed one television interview on Face the Nation (hosted by Ronnie Nathanielsz) and proved to a startled and impressed populace that imprisonment had neither dulled his rapier-like tongue nor dampened his fighting spirit. Foreign correspondents and diplomats asked what would happen to the LABAN ticket. People agreed with him that his party would win overwhelmingly in an honest election. Not surprisingly, all his candidates lost due to widespread election fraud.[citation needed]

In mid-March 1980, Aquino suffered a heart attack, possibly the result of seven years in prison, mostly in a solitary cell. He was transported to the Philippine Heart Center, where he suffered a second heart attack. ECG and other tests showed that he had a blocked artery. Philippine surgeons were reluctant to do a coronary bypass, because it could involve them in a controversy. In additional, Aquino refused to submit himself to Philippine doctors, fearing possible Marcos “duplicity”; he preferred to go to the United States for the procedure or return to his cell at Fort Bonifacio and die. He also appeared in the 700 Club television ministry of Pat Robertson, where he narrated his spiritual life, accepted “Christ as his Lord and Savior” and became a born-again Christian, which sprang from a conversation with Charles Colson, founder of Prison Fellowship, who was involved in the Watergate Scandal during U.S. President Richard Nixon‘s administration.[citation needed]

On May 8, 1980, Imelda Marcos made an unannounced visit to Aquino at his hospital room. She asked him if he would like to leave that evening for the U.S., but not before agreeing on two conditions: 1) that if he left, he would return; 2) while in the U.S., he would not speak out against the Marcos regime. She then ordered General Fabian Ver and Mel Mathay to provide passports and plane tickets for the Aquino family. Aquino was placed in a closed van, rushed to his home on Times Street to pack, driven to the airport and put on a plane bound for the U.S. that same day, accompanied by his family.[citation needed]

Aquino was operated on at a hospital in Dallas, Texas. He made a quick recovery, was walking within two weeks and making plans to fly to Damascus, Syria to meet with Muslim leaders, which he did five weeks later. When he reiterated that he was returning to the Philippines, he received a surreptitious message from the Marcos government saying that he was now granted an extension of his “medical furlough”. Eventually, Aquino decided to renounce his two covenants with Malacañang “because of the dictates of higher national interest”. After all, Aquino added, “a pact with the devil is no pact at all”.[citation needed]

Aquino spent three years in self-exile, living with his family in Newton, a suburb of Boston, Massachusetts. On fellowship grants from Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he worked on the manuscripts of two books and gave a series of lectures in school halls, classrooms and auditoriums. He traveled extensively in the U.S., delivering speeches critical of the Marcos government.[citation needed]

Planning return

A moving screen shot of Sen. Aquino as he was being escorted out of the plane by military personnel, minutes before being killed.

Throughout his years of expatriation, Aquino was always aware that his life in the U.S. was temporary. He never stopped affirming his eventual return even as he enjoyed American hospitality and a peaceful life with his family on American soil. After spending 7 years and 7 months in prison, Aquino’s finances were in ruins. Making up for the lost time as the family’s breadwinner, he toured America; attending symposiums, lectures, and giving speeches in freedom rallies opposing the Marcos dictatorship. The most memorable was held at the Wilshire Ebell Theater in Los Angeles, California on February 15, 1981.[11]

In the first quarter of 1983, Aquino received news about the deteriorating political situation in his country and the rumored declining health of President Marcos (due to lupus). He believed that it was expedient for him to speak to Marcos and present to him his rationale for the country’s return to democracy, before extremists took over and made such a change impossible. Moreover, his years of absence made his allies worry that the Filipinos might have resigned themselves to Marcos’ strongman rule and that without his leadership the centrist opposition would die a natural death.[citation needed]

Aquino decided to go back to the Philippines, fully aware of the dangers that awaited him. Warned that he would either be imprisoned or killed, Aquino answered, “if it’s my fate to die by an assassin’s bullet, so be it. But I cannot be petrified by inaction, or fear of assassination, and therefore stay in the side…”[12] His family, however, learned from a Philippine Consular official that there were orders from Ministry of Foreign Affairs not to issue any passports for them. At that time, their visas had expired and their renewal had been denied. They therefore formulated a plan for Aquino to fly alone (to attract less attention), with the rest of the family to follow him after two weeks. Despite the government’s ban on issuing him a passport, Aquino acquired one with the help of Rashid Lucman, a former Mindanao legislator and founder of the Bangsamoro Liberation Front, a Moro separatist group against Marcos. It carried the alias Marcial Bonifacio (Marcial for martial law and Bonifacio for Fort Bonifacio, his erstwhile prison).[13] He eventually obtained a legitimate passport from a sympathizer working in a Philippine consulate through the help of Roque R. Ablan Jr, then a Congressman. The Marcos government warned all international airlines that they would be denied landing rights and forced to return if they tried to fly Aquino to the Philippines. Aquino insisted that it was his natural right as a citizen to come back to his homeland, and that no government could prevent him from doing so. He left Logan International Airport on August 13, 1983, took a circuitous route home from Boston, via Los Angeles to Singapore. In Singapore, then Tunku Ibrahim Ismail of Johor met Aquino upon his arrival in Singapore and later brought him to Johor to meet with other Malaysian leaders.[14] Once in Johor, Aquino met up with Tunku Ibrahim’s father, Sultan Iskandar, who was a close friend to Aquino.[15]

He then left for Hong Kong and on to Taipei. He had chosen Taipei as the final stopover when he learned the Philippines had severed diplomatic ties with the Republic of China (Taiwan). This made him feel more secure; the Taiwan government could pretend they were not aware of his presence. There would also be a couple of Taiwanese friends accompanying him. From Taipei he flew to Manila on then Taiwan’s flag carrier China Airlines Flight 811.[citation needed]

Marcos wanted Aquino to stay out of politics, however Aquino asserted his willingness to suffer the consequences declaring, “the Filipino is worth dying for.”[16] He wished to express an earnest plea for Marcos to step down, for a peaceful regime change and a return to democratic institutions. Anticipating the worst, at an interview in his suite at the Taipei Grand Hotel, he revealed that he would be wearing a bullet-proof vest, but he also said that “it’s only good for the body, but for the head there’s nothing else we can do.” Sensing his own doom, he told the journalists accompanying him on the flight, “You have to be ready with your hand camera because this action can become very fast. In a matter of 3 or 4 minutes it could be all over, and I may not be able to talk to you again after this.”[17] In his last formal statement that he wasn’t able to deliver, he said, “I have returned to join the ranks of those struggling to restore our rights and freedom through violence. I seek no confrontation.”

Assassination

The aftermath of Aquino’s assassination

Aquino was assassinated on August 21, 1983, when he was shot in the head after returning to the country. At the time, bodyguards were assigned to him by the Marcos government. A subsequent investigation produced controversy but no definitive results. After the Marcos government was overthrown, another investigation found sixteen defendants guilty. They were all sentenced to life in prison. Some were released over the years, the last ones in March 2009.[18]

Another man present at the airport tarmac, Rolando Galman, was shot dead shortly after Aquino was killed. The Marcos government claimed Galman was the trigger man in Aquino’s assassination.

Funeral

Sen. Ninoy Aquino’s grave (right) is next to his wife Corazon Aquino‘s (left) at the Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque, Philippines.

Aquino’s body lay in state in a glass coffin. No effort was made to disguise a bullet wound that had disfigured his face. In an interview with Aquino’s mother, Aurora, she told the funeral parlor not to apply makeup nor embalm her son, to see “what they did to my son”. Thousands of supporters flocked to see the bloodied body of Aquino, which took place at the Aquino household in Times St., Quezon City for nine days. Aquino’s wife, Corazon Aquino, and children Ballsy, Pinky, Viel, Noynoy and Kris arrived the day after the assassination. Aquino’s funeral procession on August 31 lasted from 9 a.m., when his funeral mass was held at Santo Domingo Church in Santa Mesa Heights, Quezon City, with the Cardinal Archbishop of Manila, Jaime Sin officiating, to 9 p.m., when his body was interred at the Manila Memorial Park. More than two million people lined the streets during the procession which was aired by the Church-sponsored Radio Veritas, the only station to do so. The procession reached Rizal Park, where the Philippine flag was brought to half-staff.[citation needed]

Jovito Salonga, then head of the Liberal Party, said about Aquino:

Ninoy was getting impatient in Boston, he felt isolated by the flow of events in the Philippines. In early 1983, Marcos was seriously ailing, the Philippine economy was just as rapidly declining, and insurgency was becoming a serious problem. Ninoy thought that by coming home he might be able to persuade Marcos to restore democracy and somehow revitalize the Liberal Party.[19]

and called him “the greatest president we never had”[19]

Legacy

In Senator Aquino’s honor, the Manila International Airport (MIA) where he was assassinated was renamed Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and his image is printed on the 500-peso bill. August 21, the anniversary of his death, is Ninoy Aquino Day, an annual public holiday in the Philippines.[20] Several monuments were built in his honor. Most renowned is the bronze memorial in Makati City near the Philippine Stock Exchange, which has become a popular venue for anti-government rallies and large demonstrations. Another bronze statue is in front of the Municipal Building of Concepcion, Tarlac.[citation needed]

Although Aquino was recognized as the most prominent and most dynamic opposition leader of his generation, in the years prior to martial law he was regarded by many as being a representative of the entrenched familial elite which to this day dominates Philippine politics. While atypically telegenic and uncommonly articulate, he had his share of detractors and was not known to be immune to ambitions and excesses of the ruling political class.[citation needed] However, during his seven years and seven months imprisoned as a political prisoner of Marcos, Aquino read the book Born Again by convicted Watergate conspirator Charles Colson and it inspired him to a religious awakening.[21]

As a result, the remainder of his personal and political life had a distinct spiritual sheen. He emerged as a contemporary counterpart of Jose Rizal, who was among the world’s earliest proponents of the use of non-violence to combat a repressive regime. Some remained skeptical of Aquino’s redirected spiritual focus, but it ultimately had an effect on his wife’s political career. While some may question the prominence given Aquino in Philippine history, it was his assassination that was pivotal to the downfall of a despotic ruler and the eventual restoration of democracy in the Philippines.[citation needed]

Personal life

On October 11, 1954, he married Corazon “Cory” Sumulong Cojuangco, with whom he had five children (four daughters and a son):[citation needed]

  • Maria Elena Aquino-Cruz (Ballsy, born August 18, 1955), married to Eldon Cruz, sons Justin Benigno “Jiggy” Cruz and Eldon “Jonty” Cruz, Jr.
  • Aurora Corazon Aquino-Abellada (Pinky, born December 27, 1957), married to Manuel Abellada, son Miguel Abellada, daughter Nina Abellada
  • Benigno Simeon Aquino III (Noynoy, born February 8, 1960), the 15th and current President of the Philippines
  • Victoria Elisa Aquino-Dee (Viel, born October 27, 1961), married to Joseph Dee, son Francis “Kiko” Dee, daughter Jacinta Patricia “Jia” Dee
  • Kristina Bernadette Aquino (Kris, born February 14, 1971), married to James Yap (2005–2010), sons Joshua Philip “Josh” Aquino Salvador and James “Baby James/Bimby” Aquino Yap, Jr.

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Mr. Rodolfo “Dolphy” Quizon, passed away, July 17, 2012 at 2034H (8:34PM) due to Multiple Organ Failure, secondary to complications brought about by Severe Pneumonia, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, and Acute Renal Failure. According to Makati Medical Center .

Every Filipino People now give the sympathy to the Family of Dolpy because of his death. Six (6) decades of laughter given by the One and Only King of Philippine Comedy ” Rodolfo Quizon” Dolpy. Thank you for the joy you share for every Filipino and even to all people around the world who watch your movie, you are the model to us. I’m sure you are in the hand now of our  Lord.

Despite his high regard for the late King of Comedy Dolphy (or Rodolfo Vera Quizon Sr. in real life), President Benigno Aquino III won’t intervene in the process to select the new set of National Artists.

“The President thinks very highly of Mang Dolphy. However, we have stated in the past that we do not want to politicize the process. We do not want to make any prejudgments,” deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said during a briefing in Malacañang on Wednesday.
She issued the statement amid calls to declare Dolphy, who passed away on Tuesday night, as National Artist.
The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), together with the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), manages the process for the award.
The selection of nominees is administered by the Special Research Group, which validates the works of the nominees, and the National Artist Award Council of Peers, which screens the nominees and recommends them to the NCCA and CCP boards. The boards then deliberate and make a vote.
The final list is then presented to the President, who confirms the list and confers the award.
Dolphy nominated
Valte said that Communications Group Undersecretary Manolo Quezon had spoken to the NCCA last week and was informed that Dolphy has been nominated for the Award.
She said the late comedian was nominated by the Manila City Council.
“They will be receiving other nominations. The NCCA has gotten clearance from the Office of the Solicitor General to proceed with the screening and the vetting of nominees for National Artist for 2012. So they will be proceeding with their screening and vetting,” she said.
Valte said that when Dolphy was nominated for the same award in 2009, he only managed to pass the first screening and not the succeeding ones.
She noted, however, that they don’t want to preempt the selection process.  She likewise refused to comment on Aquino’s inclination regarding the issue.
“The President obviously has very great respect for Mang Dolphy. Nakita naman din po natin ‘yung naging pahayag ‘nung Pangulo—‘yung naging pahayag ng Pangulo noong ginawaran po siya ‘nung Order of the Golden Heart—and apart from that the statement of the President yesterday,” she said.
“[Pero] magsasalita na lang po tayo kapag nakapagbigay na ng shortlist ang NCCA for the award,” she added.
Earlier in the day, the Palace official also said that the conferment of the award must go through the proper process.
The award
The National Artist Award (Gawad Pambansang Alagad ng Sining) is considered “the highest national recognition given to Filipino individuals who have made significant contributions to the development of Philippine arts.”
The award is given both to living artists and to those who died after the establishment of the award in 1972 who excelled in the following fields: Music, Dance, Theater, Visual Arts, Literature, Film, Broadcast Arts, and Architecture and Allied Arts.

Of the 57 National Artists listed by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, 17 were recognized posthumously, including the country’s first National Artist Fernando C. Amorsolo.
Other National Artists who were recognized posthumously are Amado V. Hernandez (Literature), Carlos “Botong” V. Francisco (Painting), Ernani Joson Cuenco (Music), Felipe Padilla De Leon (Music), Ishmael Bernal (Film), J. Elizalde Navarro (Painting), Jose T. Joya (Painting), Lino Brocka (Cinema), Ramon Valera (Fashion Design), Rolando S. Tinio (Theater and Literature), Severino Montano (Theater), Vicente S. Manansala (Painting), Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero (Theater), Gerardo “Gerry” De Leon (Film), Pablo S. Antonio (Architecture), and Ronald Allan K. Poe, more popularly known as Fernando Poe Jr. (Film).
Fernando Poe Jr. is the only film actor to receive the award.
Recipients of the award are entitled to a cash prize of up to P100,000, monthly life pension, medical benefits, life insurance coverage, and a state funeral.
Valte, meanwhile, said Aquino has expressed his intention to visit Dolphy’s wake but has yet to set a specific schedule for it.

She also said that the President will still have to hear proposals to declare a National Day of Mourning for the actor’s passing.

Close friends and family members pay their last respects to Comedy King Dolphy during the private viewing at the Dolphy Theater in Quezon City on Wednesday.

After Dolphy passed away at the age of 83 on Tuesday, Filipino celebrities in the Philippines and abroad took to Twitter to pay tribute to the Comedy King.

Actor, television host and politician Edu Manzano said on Twitter “Heaven became a happier place today. The angels will be laughing together with our one and only King of Comedy. Rest in peace, friend.”

Dolphy, born Rodolfo Quizon Sr.  in Tondo, Manila on July 25, 1928, passed away at the Makati Medical Center (MMC)due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Dolphy was embraced by the Philippines for his jokes as he appeared in various films and television shows such as “John en Marsha.”

One of Dolphy’s sons, Eric Quizon, an actor, said about his father just after midnight on Wednesday: “He lived a full life. He’s at rest. He’s at peace. He knew as he was going how much the country loved him.”

Dolphy has been confined at the MMC since June 9 due to difficulty in breathing, pneumonia, and kidney ailments.

“He knew how everyone was praying for him. And if he could, he would have stayed just so he could thank you personally. But where his spirit was strong, his body had so weakened. He had to go,” Eric said.

“Pray for his eternal repose and in his honor, please smile at the person standing next to you. Heaven is a happier place with him there. And for us whom he’s left behind, comedy is dead but long live comedy,” he said.

On Twitter, Filipinos here and abroad tweeted their reaction to Dolphy’s death:

Boy 2 Quizon: “I love you lolo!”

Bruno Mars: “RIP Dolphy. King of Comedy. Made in the Philippines!”
Lea Salonga: “RIP, Comedy King. You are sorely missed. Condolences to the Quizon Family, you are in our prayers.”

KC Montero: “Dolphy has them all laughing”

Tim Yap: “A moment of silence for The King of Comedy. RIP Mang Dolphy.”

Jim Paredes: “Farewell King of Comedy.. We love you. Salamat sa lahat..Naiiyak ako…”

Bea Binene: “May you rest in peace, The Great Dolphy. R.I.P.”

Allan K.: “They say its not how long but how sweet you have lived life. Dolphy had the luxury of enjoying both. Rest in peace now. Hail to the king!!!”

Sharon Cuneta: P.9 my beloved Tito Dolphy. I will continue to do my best to follow the beautiful example you set for all of us, even when you didn’t”

Vice-Ganda: “Lord we thank you for giving us THE DOLPHY who unselfishly and passionately dedicated his whole life to make this world happy. Amen.”

Pia Magalona: “RIP Tito Dolphy. Thank you for being family to me and Francis. We love you <3”

Clara Magalona: “RIP Dolphy ☹ You have made lots of Filipinos smile because of your comedy. Our prayers are with you †”

Edu Manzano: Thank you for paving the way for those of us who tried to walk the path you made. You will be missed, my mentor and friend.#RIPDolphy

I pray for the soul of the comedy king dolpy. May his Soul Rest In Peace eternal Grant O Lord for eternal Life , In Jesus Name… Amen….

Thank you for the 6 decades of laughter and Goodbye The Comedy King , You Always in our Heart.

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Today June 12, 2012 , Philippine celebrating the 114th Independence Day.

President Aquino leads the flag raising ceremony outside the historic Barasoain Church in Malolos, Bulacan on Tuesday in celebration of the country’s 114th Independence Day.

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In the Philippines, Independence Day (Filipino: Araw ng Kalayaan) is an annual national holiday observed on June 12, commemorating the Philippine Declaration of Independence from Spain on June 12, 1898. It is the National Day of the Philippines.

The declaration of Philippine independence from the colonial rule of Spain concluded the Philippine Revolution. Philippine independence, however, was not recognized either by the United States or by Spain. The Spanish government later ceded the Philippine archipelago to the United States in the 1898 Treaty of Paris, and the United States granted independence to the Republic of the Philippines on July 4, 1946 in the Treaty of Manila

July 4 was observed in the Philippines as Independence Day until 1962. On 12 May 1962, President Diosdado Macapagal issued Presidential proclamation No. 28, which declared Tuesday, June 12, 1962 a special public holiday throughout the Philippines, “… in commemoration of our people’s declaration of their inherent and inalienable right to freedom and independence. ” On August 4, 1964, Republic Act No. 4166 renamed the July 4 holiday as “Philippine Republic Day”, proclaimed the twelfth day of June as the “Philippine Independence Day”, and enjoined all citizens of the Philippines to observe 12 June with rites befitting Independence Day. June 12 had previously been observed as Flag Day, which was moved to May 28.

Independence Day
Araw ng Kalayaan
Independence DayAraw ng Kalayaan
Aguinaldo Shrine where Emilio Aguinaldo declared independence
Also called Araw ng Kalayaan
Twelfth of June
National day
Observed by Philippines
Type National
Significance Declaring Philippine Independence from Spanish Colonization
Date June 12

Philippine Centennial Celebration

On June 12, 1998, the nation celebrated its centennial year of Independence from Spain. The celebrations were held simultaneously nationwide by then President Fidel V. Ramos and Filipino communities worldwide. A commission was established for the said event, the National Centennial Commission headed by former Vice President Salvador Laurel presided all events around the country. One of the major projects of the commission was the Expo Pilipino, a grand showcase of the Philippines‘ growth as a nation for the last 100 years, located in the Clark Special Economic Zone (formerly Clark Air Base) in Angeles City, Pampanga. Some other important events includes the re-enactment of waving of Philippine Flag at Aguinaldo shrine, and raising of flag at Independence flagpole.

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It was billed as a “Manny Pacquiao weekend,” but no one apparently told Timothy Bradley

The undefeated challenger Bradley shocked the world by eking out a split decision over Manny Pacquiao, backing up his pre-fight bravado with an unyielding performance that allowed him to keep his record immaculate, while also claiming the WBO Welterweight title, Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, in front of a largely pro-Pac-Man crowd.

One judge gave Pacquiao 115-113, but the other two scored it the same, but for Bradley.

Boos drowned out Bradley’s post-fight interview, as the predominantly-Pacquiao audience let their feelings known.

It was a stunning victory by 28-year-old, who was ranked eighth by The Ring Magazine on its list of pound-for-pound fighters, as he dispatched the number one-ranked Pacquiao.

Earlier in the week, Bradley told BET.com that he didn’t think Pacquiao was as hungry as he used to be, and indeed, the fighter known as “Desert Storm” seemed to want it more.

Bradley also went to town with mocked-up posters, tickets and programs advertising a “Pacquiao versus Bradley II” fight during training and during their pre-fight press conference, based off a clause in the fighter’s contract that would allow Pacquiao to immediately seek a rematch in event of a defeat.

That turned out to be exactly what happened.

The fight will also give additional fuel to calls for Pacquiao to retire. His own trainer, the legendary Freddie Roach, had said that he would call on his ward to step down “if he looks bad,” while back in March, Pacquiao himself told a radio show that God had told him in a dream to retire.

The beginning of the actual bout was delayed as Pacquiao wanted to finish the ending of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals, and then took extra time to loosen up his calves. – GMA News

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