Goodbye, Superboy: a Fond Farewell to the Last Romantic

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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 so-called) that the man whose heroism and sacrifice inspired not merely the first people power barricades, but a national upsurge I prefer to call "The Spirit of 1986" has been forgotten. These days, in fact, the Filipino spirit has been dampened, our self-confidence crushed under the weight of each revealed inequity, and tales of resurgent corruption, graft, vaulting ambition — plus the disgraceful debacle of a contrived escape of the Jemaah Islamiyah mad-bomber, Fathur Rohman al-Ghozi, from police "prison." This is a time for us to remember a man who believed the Filipino was "worth dying for," and from him gather the renewed resolve that the Filipino is worth living for, as well. But let us not sound maudlin. Ninoy would have laughed at such sticky sentimentality. When he was sent by the old Manila Times to cover the Korean War (the 50th anniversary of whose conclusion was just commemorated some weeks ago) he was 17, the youngest correspondent of them all. The Time’s editors Dave Boguslav and Joe Bautista had spotted that gung ho quality in Aquino that was to rocket him to fame — and, in the end, impel him remorselessly to his final rendezvous with treachery at the Manila International Airport. Ninoy was a hard-nosed...
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