PHILIPPINES: TIME Hails Cory as Amongst Most Powerful Women of Past Century

Saturday, December 4, 2010
South Eastern Asia
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
Reconstruction and Peacebuilding

The legacy of the late Philippine President Corazon “Cory” Aquino continues with her inclusion in TIME Magazine's “The 25 Most Powerful Women of the Past Century” list.

Cory, the mother of incumbent President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III and controversial TV host-actress Kris Aquino, is hailed as the country's mother of democracy. She is the only Filipino (and one of three Asians) who made it to the list released last Nov. 18.

TIME writer Rachelle Dragani recalled how Cory, “initially had no political ambitions of her own,” until the assassination of her husband, former Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr., in 1983.

“Almost instantly, she became a unifying force against the autocratic President Ferdinand Marcos and ran in the 1986 presidential election. Her sudden ascension as the first female President of the Philippines was the battered islands' first step toward democracy,” Dragani wrote.

Dragani ended her piece on Cory by recalling the impact she made.

“Weathering both coup attempts and corruption charges, Aquino was unable to push through much of the social reform that her supporters had hoped for. But when she stepped down in 1992, she still stood tall as the people's choice,” she stated.

The prestigious list also includes Asians Indira Gandhi (dubbed as “the longest-serving Prime Minister"), and Jiang Qing (wife of China's communist leader Mao Zedong); as well as media mogul Oprah Winfrey, Queen of Pop Madonna, US senator Hillary Clinton, beatified nun Mother Theresa, and Britain's “Iron Lady” Margaret Thatcher.

Cory, who died at 76, graced the cover of the magazine's international edition four times. She appeared thrice in 1986, in its Feb. 3, Feb. 24, and Mar. 10 issues. The same year, TIME named Cory its “Woman of the Year,” for which she was put back on the cover of its Jan. 5, 1987 issue.

Prior to this recent recognition by TIME, Cory was named one of the international publication's “60 Asian Heroes” in 2006.

And following her death in 2009 due to colon cancer, TIME Asia put her on their cover for the first time with the title, “the woman who changed Asia.” She concurrently appeared anew on the international edition in the same month that came with a special report.

“Whenever the country appeared to be in a crisis, Cory Aquino rose above the bureaucratic procrastination that had always bogged it down, reminding her people that they once astonished the world with their bravery — and that they could do it again,” read a part of Time Asia's cover story on Cory called “The Death of Corazon Aquino, Saint of People Power.”