Filipinos Lament How Far They Haven't Come





When former President Corazon C. Aquino died this month, Filipinos filled the streets in mourning and in celebration of the golden moment in 1986 when she led them in a peaceful uprising that some called a revolution.

The nation’s dictator, Ferdinand E. Marcos, had fled as masses of people faced down his tanks, and democracy was restored after 20 years of repressive rule. Mrs. Aquino, the opposition leader who became president, ushered in wide-ranging political reforms.

But the weeks since Mrs. Aquino’s death at the age of 76 have been a period of self-examination and self-doubt among many Filipinos, as they consider how little has really changed since then.

“The legacy is the mess we are in,” said F. Sionil Jose, 84, the nation’s most prominent novelist, pointing to continuing poverty, inequality and political disarray as evidence that the nation failed to capitalize on its moment of possibility.

“We have a word for it — sayang — ‘what a waste,’ ” he said...



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