The Last Journey of Ninoy

11:05 am PHT

I wasn’t able to watch the TV screening of The Last Journey of Ninoy on ABS-CBN but I heard many good things about the film from those who’ve seen it. So when I learned that it was being screened at Glorietta 4 during the last week of August, I really went out of my way to see it.

The Last Journey of Ninoy chronicles the last days of Ninoy, from his departure in Boston, Massachusetts to his arrival and assassination at the Manila International Airport. Interspersed in between are scenes and stories from his journalistic and political life, mostly told through the recorded words of his wife, Cory. These flashbacks includes snippets from his speech addressed to the Filipino people given while he was in exile, and heartbreaking stories of his family life while he was detained.

Being a late Martial Law baby, I have no recollections of Marcos’ final years or even of Ninoy’s assassination. Even my memories of the People Power Revolution were very hazy. And since those events were quite recent, their historical perspective wasn’t really included in my formative education. So watching The Last Journey of Ninoy was quite an eye-opener for me. The revelations contained in the film were definitely things I haven’t learned about nor have read from boring old history books.†

Ninoy definitely had charisma. I would even dare say that he is like Obama (or that Obama is like Ninoy, except Obama successfully became President and was never imprisoned). Yes, Ninoy was politically ambitious and his love for politics had a negative effect on his family life, but his spiritual reawakening during his detention (I guess that’s one positive thing about Marcos’ dictatorship) convinced me that he would’ve been the greatest Filipino leader had he not been assassinated. So if I was utterly happy when Barack Obama won the U.S. Presidency, I guess I felt an equal amount of disappointment for Ninoy’s unfulfilled legacy. I actually got teary-eyed in the movie house when I look at how low the Philippines have come since the assassination and the People Power Revolution.

This movie is a must-see for every Filipino. I was quite surprised that the movie house was a bit packed when I saw it and it was probably the only time I ever saw a movie audience give an enthusiastic applause during the film’s ending credits, something that is definitely not part of the Filipino psyche. I guess I’m lucky I saw the film together with other people in the cinema because watching it on TV would not have the same emotional impact.

† I generally don’t like history as a subject, not as much as science or mathematics. So it was actually a surprise that I got the highest grade in my Senior High School batch for Araling Panlipunan (Social Studies), which covered World History.

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