APRIL 9 - CORAZON AQUINO
Although she was the leader of a revolution and the first woman to serve as the President of the Phillipines , Corazon Aquino had never set out in life to become involved in politics. She viewed herself as a “plain housewife”, supporting the career of her husband Senator Benigno Aquino and raising her five children at home.
However, that all changed in 1983. Her husband had been a major critic of President Ferdinand Marcos’ declaration of martial law in 1972 and was imprisoned for eight years for speaking out against the corrupt government conditions. He was exiled to the United States for three years, and upon his return, he was assassinated at Manila International Airport.
Her husband’s death prompted her to become an active leader in protests and demonstrations against the Marcos regime. When it was announced in 1985 that he would hold an election to eliminate doubts of his legitimacy, Aquino initially had hesitations about running a campaign, until she was presented with one-million signatures urging her to run in the presidential race.
During her campaign, Aquino was the victim of sexist, arrogant remarks from Marcos. He dismissed her as “just a woman” whose place was in the bedroom, to which she replied “may the better woman win in this election” (a remark which cleverly referenced public sentiment that his wife, Imelda Marcos, was really calling the shots behind the scene). When he criticized her inexperience, Aquino agreed that she indeed had “no experience in cheating, lying to the public, stealing government money and killing political opponents.”