“They came out. There, I cannot ask for more.’ — the reaction of Senator Noynoy Aquino (son of late Philippine senator Benigno S. Aquino and former Philippine president Corazon C. Aquino), who is running for president in the coming Philippine elections in May this year, to the warm reception his party received in a campaign visit to Ilocos Norte, hometown of the late Apo, former President Ferdinand E. Marcos. It was the first time he and his sister, moviestar/television host, Kris Aquino, set foot in the Marcos bailiwick. People Power Revolution, also known as EDSA Revolution, toppled the 20-year Marcos regime. It is the same people’s power that catapulted their late mother to presidency in 1986.
“I was surprised because I was expecting that this airport would be empty, but I’m very grateful that the people were here, but, of course, when we went out, it’s a whole different story altogether. On the way here, I said two rosaries and I said, ‘mom, please give us strength that I won’t say anything that might cause the Ilocanos to be angry towards Noy and me, and I pray that our trip here will be fine,” Kris was quoted to have said.
Kris looked happy while she announced, “… nanggaling kami sa Laoag, eh, grabe naman po ang pagmamahal na pinaabot sa amin (… we were in Laoag… the love that they extended to us was super).”
In a reconciliatory tone, former Ilocos Norte representative Imee Marcos, eldest daughter of late former president Marcos, said in a television interview, “We should forget the past… I’m quite relieved by the Marcos-Aquino situation. I’m hoping that it is the same with them.”
The Ilocanos, known for their warm and enthusiastic hospitality, proved that magnanimity is also part of their culture.