Notes & Essays

Kris Aquino Remembers Her Father, Ninoy, on His Death Anniversary

Benigno Aquino, Jr. was assassinated 37 years ago.
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Kris Aquino has been in the public eye since 1978, when, as a seven-year-old little girl, she went on the campaign trail to stump for her father, Benigno Aquino, Jr., who was running for a seat in the Batasang Pambansa. He had been in jail since she was a year old.

He was assassinated on August 21, 1983, on the tarmac of the Manila International Airport. Kris Aquino was 12 years old.

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Now 49, Aquino recalls a brief time of freedom, when the family was in exile in Boston, after her father had been allowed to leave the Philippines for medical reasons. 

On the 37th anniversary of his death, she posted this note on Facebook.

"From our 1st winter in Boston...

"God greatly blessed me for that was the only time in my life I experienced what having a dad was really like. My mom told me I was lucky because my dad made time for me to truly get to know him (I was 1 year and 7 months old when he was imprisoned) and he worked hard to win my love — I was the bunso that got the most and the best of him (maybe he had an inkling that we only had 3 years of borrowed time)—he went to all my school programs, went with my mom and charmed all the Sisters teaching in my school when it was time to get my report card, and we had monthly “just the two of us” book shopping and ice cream dates...

"I know I've shared this story many times, when “Return of the Jedi” had its opening day, my dad patiently waited in line with me (almost four hours) so we could watch together. The local news was interviewing those in line and I was I of those chosen. My dad was so excited and since that was before cellphones, he left me and went home to tell my mom to please record the local news just in case I was chosen as part of the feature. Maybe even in 1983 they were already conscious about diversity, and my soundbite did air.

"When we got home, and my dad and I watched the tape, it remains unforgettable for me the look of pride in his face. From my parents I have learned that the strength and resiliency of our children, and their determination to work hard to fulfill their ambitions will come from the love and encouragement they saw in the eyes of their parents.

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"Thanks to my Dad for allowing me to believe that my dreams could and would come true, because looking back, ALMOST everything we ever discussed —they did come true. Isa na lang ang utang ko sa kanya..."

"Benigno “Ninoy” S. Aquino Jr.
November 27, 1932-August 21, 1983"




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Yvette Fernandez
Yvette Fernandez is the editor in chief of Esquire Philippines.
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