The Last Journey of Ninoy


I have just seen the video documentary entitled, The Last Journey of Ninoy, which chronicles Ninoy's last nine days before he was assassinated. I have heard and read so much about Ninoy's seven years of incarceration during the Martial Law, but it was only after watching The Last Journey of Ninoy that I able to really understand the enormous sacrifice he did for his country. It was a very moving documentary. My heart stopped for an hour while watching it.

It was one thing to learn that he was put in an isolated cell and shut off from all means of communication with the outside world. It was another thing to hear him narrate his own ordeal and catch that painful tone in his voice.

It was one thing to read about the difficulties he endured in his prison. It was another thing to actually see a photo of his family huddled around him during a rare visit, trying to extend a short one hour to forever.

It was another thing to hear and see Cory relive those trying days. You could look into the depths of her eyes as she struggled for words to describe that one fateful visit in the Sierra Madre. Ninoy was losing so much weight and slowly dying before her eyes.

Recalls Ninoy, "They brought me in a mountain hideout in the Sierra Madre and placed me in a box. I had only my brief and my t-shirt. I refuse to eat because I thought they were poisoning me. There was nothing in the room, barely nothing. And I had nothing to do but twiddle my thumb. And for the first time in my life I heard the ticking of every second, and I was counting every second into minutes, and as the minutes marches into hours, and the hours into days, and days into weeks, I knew what loneliness meant."

Public humiliation is ruthless. Being humiliated in front of your family wrecks the heart and soul so much more. But as Ninoy held on to his pants literally as his belt was sequestered, he at the same time was holding on to God for comfort in that time of desolation.

There are no words enough to describe Ninoy's strong spirit and unwavering faith in God. If Marcos had a long string of bullets that could shatter lives, Ninoy had more powerful bullets in the beads of his rosary that kept his family safe as he held on to his fight against the dictatorial rule. Violence vs. Non-violence. Which road will you choose?

"If we use violence against him, he will only justify the use of violence against us. And since he's a more violent man with more forms of oppression, we will be the loser.... Because if you are not violent then before the bar of public opinion and before God, he's the only sinner."

For Ninoy, his choice had always been very clear in his mind. He made no compromises to his stand up to the day that he succumbed to Marcos' bullet. His conviction is what most of us could only dream of having.

"If I die, then I die and there's only one to suffer. So long as you will continue the struggle and carry the torch then I think we'll have a better Philippines... We should not depend on one man. We should depend on all of us. All of us are expendable in the cause of our freedom. And therefore I say, stand up now and be a leader. And when all of us are leaders we will expedite the cause of freedom."
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