Goodbye, Superboy: a Fond Farewell to the Last Romantic

1718 Words Jan 29th, 2013 7 Pages
Goodbye, Superboy! A Fond Farewell to the Last Romantic."
MANILA, August 21, 2003 (STAR) BY THE WAY By Max V. Soliven - Much has been written about Ninoy Aquino, whose name needs no introduction to many of our readers. Commuters pass by his statue daily on Ayala Avenue in Makati’s Golden Mile, and another monument to him in Manila. But monuments and statues, and glowing encomiums do not a hero make.
But my thesis is that today, Ninoy is a forgotten hero. There was so much hype in the first halcyon years after the overthrow of the tyrant Ferdinand E. Marcos, and too many silly celebrations, with excessive hoopla, of each succeeding anniversary of the EDSA "people power" revolution (and then an EDSA II, and, sanamagan, even an EDSA III
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Ninoy had nudged me cheerfully in the ribs and exclaimed in a stage whisper, "Eto na, eto na! Firing squad na tayo." (This is it, this is it. We’re going to the Firing Squad). Yet, they didn’t shoot us. They trucked us instead to Fort Bonifacio, where they sent a military chaplain to hear our confessions — thus reinforcing our conviction that we were to be executed. Once more, we were disappointed.
All throughout, it was Ninoy, who surely realized he was the number one target, Marcos’ favorite bete noir, the dictator’s pet nemesis, tried to cheer us all up. The days of captivity stretched into weeks, the weeks into months.
Nobody who has never been in prison can understand what you suffer from is simply being caged — you suffer from the uncertainty of it all, and from boredom. You never know when your military jailors, who have the power of life and death over you, will drag you out and shoot you, at any hour of day or night. After a while, the world outside becomes a memory — you begin to forget that there are streets with people and vehicles in them, and noise, and hustle and bustle, and bright colors and pretty girls. One gray day follows the other and you learn to live from one day to the next.
Yet, I wasn’t bored, because I had Ninoy to entertain me. We talked, we read. We swapped ideas, jokes, argued ideologies. We dreamed dreams. We went jogging during the exercise hour and steeled ourselves to run a mile in seven minutes. It was then that I
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