The FREE PRESS celebrates its 101st anniversary in this issue. We also take this occasion to pay tribute to the late President Corazon Aquino. Cory!—the private woman who was thrust out of her domesticity to the arena of politics, the prison cells of the Marcos regime, the parliament of the streets, the leadership of the Philippines and the world stage. Manuel L. Quezon III’s “Filipino of the Century” is an inspired retelling of this now-legendary story—one that resonates even amid the flamboyance and machismo prevailing in our culture, as the late FREE PRESS editor Teodoro M. Locsin pointed out in his eloquent editorial on Mrs. Aquino. The highlight of Mrs. Aquino’s international acclaim is, of course, her triumphant 1986 address to the US Congress, which we reprint here.
A tribute to Mrs. Aquino also serves as a tribute to her martyred husband, Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr., whose association with the FREE PRESS is underscored by Locsin’s being thrown in jail together with Aquino (and nine other critics of the Marcos regime) in 1972. Teodoro L. Locsin Jr.’s interviews with Aquino are fascinating chamber pieces that hint at Marcos’s impending dictatorship. Another cellmate of Aquino and Locsin Sr. is the brilliant political analyst Napoleon G. Rama, whose article on martial law has unfortunately become more relevant in our time. With the articles by Rama and Locsin Jr., we also reprint the classic political cartoons of former FREE PRESS art director E. Z. Izon.