Cory statue unveiled in Manila

Posted at 01/25/2010 10:57 AM | Updated as of 01/25/2010 6:09 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Hundreds of Filipinos gathered outside the historic Manila Hotel on Roxas Boulevard Monday to witness the unveiling of a bronze statue of the late Philippine President and democracy icon Corazon Aquino.

Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim and Aquino's son, Sen. Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino, led the unveiling of the 15-foot monument on Padre Burgos Drive corner Roxas Boulevard at 8 a.m.  The unveiling commemorates the 77th birthday of the former president.

During the ceremony, Aquino said he hopes the monument will serve as a reminder to all Filipinos about how his mother united all Filipinos after her death last Aug. 1, 2009.

Mayor Lim, meanwhile, said the monument should also remind students of how President Aquino ruled the nation uprightly for 6 years after the 1986 EDSA Revolution. "Our prayer today is that we emulate her example," he said.

The monument, which was commissioned by Mayor Lim, was done by sculptor Eduardo Castrillo. It shows Aquino flashing the "L" Laban sign with her right hand while holding the 1987 Constitution with her left. The statue is right across a statue of Sen. Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr., the former president's husband.

Castrillo, who worked on the monument for 2 months, said the statue symbolizes how Aquino restored democracy in the country.

Among those who attended the unveiling were representatives from the National Historical Institute, employees of Manila CIty Hall and students from various colleges.

Yellow ribbons in Bacolod

In Bacolod City, yellow ribbons were seen along major streets in celebration of Mrs. Aquino's birthday.

Various groups, such as Tuloy Pinoy, were already busy Sunday evening in preparation for Monday's celebration of the 77th birthday of Aquino. 

Yellow ribbons were tied on posts from the capitol lagoon to the Goldenfields commercial complex.

Yellow ribbons were also hung on trees reminding Bacoleños of the time when Filipinos yearned for the return of democracy and waited for the homecoming of the late Senator Benigno 'Ninoy' Aquino Jr., who was gunned down upon arrival at the Manila airport on August 21, 1983.

At 3 p.m. on Monday, a yellow motorcade will be held on major streets of the city followed by a Mass. -- with a report from Mark Salanga, ABS-CBN Bacolod