Bacolod residents joined a thanksgiving mass for the life of former president Benigno Aquino III at the San Sebastian Cathedral in Bacolod City Saturday morning, hours ahead of his funeral in Metro Manila.
He was laid to rest at the Manila Memorial Park in Paranaque City beside his parents, Senator Benigno Aquino Jr. and former President Corazon Aquino, at about 1:44 p.m. Saturday after a funeral mass at the Church of the Gesu at Ateneo De Manila University in Quezon City.
Aquino, 61 , died peacefully in his sleep on Thursday morning. He succumbed to renal disease secondary to diabetes.
In Bacolod City, 150 residents wearing yellow and black T- shirts joined the mass at the San Sebastian Cathedral, where a photo of the former president surrounded by yellow and white flowers was placed in front of the altar.
After the mass they laid the yellow and white flowers at the bell area in the Cathedral grounds in front of a streamer that read “Pasalamat Kay PNoy”.
Fr. Agustin Hinayan, who delivered the homily at the mass, said the legacy of Aquino should serve as an inspiration to Filipinos.
Bacolod, Negros and the Philippines need people with conviction, who cannot be bought, and have a strong sense of responsibility to help put in office leaders who will serve the interest of the Filipino, especially the poor and the marginalized, he said.
Lawyer Andrea Si said “we are here because we want to be part of the whole country as it grieves for the passing of PNoy and also to give thanks to him for his humble service, his decency and love for the country, and also to thank God for him.”
She said Aquino’s passing “reminds us of how much we have lost and how we must strive to be able to regain what PNoy stood for so that we can save our country’s soul.”
Bernaldo Eres, Liberal Party Bacolod chairman, said “we are gathered here today to celebrate the life that PNoy gave the nation by serving selflessly when he was president…we are proud to have had this man as our president.”
Rhoderick Samonte, director for external affairs of the Carlos Hilado Memorial State College, said he joined the mass to pay his respects and to honor the former president.
“ I am here to express my gratefulness for the great service that he has done for our country. During his administration he restored our sense of dignity as a people,” Samonte said.
Meanwhile, Julius Drilon, Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital chief, in a statement said one legacy of Aquino that has benefitted the country was his health care agenda during his presidency.
It vastly improved health facilities and sustained financial support assurance for indigents, Drilon said.
CLMMRH benefitted from this tremendously through the Health Facilities Enhancement Program, he said.
“I am deeply saddened and grieve for the loss of gentleman, who served our country well with all sincerity and honesty, and with the purest of intentions,” Drilon said.*