Ninoy Aquino’s Memorable Speech in Los Angeles (1981)

(click here to skip to the video of the speech)

I have been and always will be a staunch supporter of the most brilliant and charismatic opposition leader the Philippines ever had, Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino.  But the truth is I that I never knew much about what this person experienced and achieved in his lifetime until I first heard this speech on a cassette tape, almost two years after his assassination at then Manila International Airport.  I have wondered why my parents back then were almost rabidly supporting this person, as well as my other relatives, saying that he is better than the current president at the time, President Ferdinand Marcos. But then again, I was just a six-year-old kid during the time…

I admit that I have greatly admired President Marcos when I was in grade school.  When he did his speeches, I got the impression of a very intelligent, very wise, and very articulate man who knew what he was doing.  Back then there was no Google to try and see what was happening in the background during his almost 30-year reign as president of the Philippines, and again, I was a kid who didn’t know any better.  I think I was in third grade when Aquino was assassinated, and I didn’t actually get to hear the guy speak until I was already starting sixth grade.

Ninoy AquinoBut when I did hear this speech, it was a very huge revelation for a 12-year-old kid who was naive to Philippine politics.  Back then, I didn’t quite understand some of the things he was saying, but the impression I got was that of a charismatic leader who loved his country more than anything else.  More than his own life.  And it put into context the assassination footage I saw on TV a couple years back.  And as I grew up, I began to feel a deep regret for the loss of a great man whenever I listen to those tapes again.  People said he was the greatest president the Philippines never had, and I am more than inclined to agree, especially after seeing the current state of politics in our sorry little homeland.

I have long since lost those cassette tapes (they were probably carried away by the flood waters that kept coming into our house in Las Piñas almost 15 years ago), and I never stopped hunting for a copy ever since I moved to the United States and discovered the Internet.  Thanks to Limewire, I procured an MP3 containing some of that speech, but not all of them.  Yet I was so happy at hearing them again that I didn’t complain at the crappy quality and the abrupt end to the speech…

Imagine my extreme excitement at finding the entire Los Angeles speech on Youtube a few months ago – in its entirety!  This video footage has been in my Youtube favorites for some time, and now that I have decided to blog again, I can’t resist the urge to re-post the entire speech, for those who admired, respected and loved the man who could have been our president.  Who could have saved us from all the crap we are experiencing right now from the Philippine government.  Who could have led the Philippines to a better life… maybe…

So here is the speech that changed the way I looked at Philippine politics when I was a kid, and one that always filled me with angst at the loss of such a great human being…



Feel free to share this blog post, or even just the video.  More Filipinos should remember that there are still more important things worth dying for…

Comments Closed

  • sir do you have a copy of this speech?
    pls post it… thanks….

    Comment | February 25, 2011

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