Saturday, August 21, 2010


Like stamps, a country's currency is one of the most tangible, iconic items any traveler can literally take home. More than just a printed collection of numbers, currency symbols, and security details, paper bills and coins offer a glimpse of what or who the nation holds dear and in high esteem. For me, they are wallet-and-coin-purse-sized history books and museums.

While preparing for a presentation about the Philippines in a course I took in Finland with Filipino classmates a couple of years back, I snapped a photo of our 500-piso bill. It contains the image and life and times of a modern-day Filipino hero- the late Senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino, Jr. He was at the forefront of the fight against the Marcos dictatorship that spanned from the late 60s to the mid 80s until their eventual toppling via the bloodless 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution. Aquino's political savvy, sharp wit, excellence as a communicator, and all-consuming love for the nation inspired a whole legion of Filipinos to stoke the tiny embers of hope for a truly democratic Philippines.

He is widely hailed as the greatest Filipino to be not elected president- he was assassinated at the tarmac of the Manila International Airport (now named after him) exactly 27 years ago today- un/fortunately. His death in 1983 increased the rumblings of discontent on the ground until it became one gigantic push to overthrow the Marcoses in February '86. His widow Corazon became President and since then, the Philippines enjoyed a (relatively) stable democratic form of government. Ninoy's son Benigno III is now Philippine president.

He only had one life to live but he offered it up for the nation because he is the firmest of believers in these most important words he has ever uttered- The Filipino is worth dying for.

More on the Ninoy's life can be found in a colleague's blog here.

Tampere, August 2007, using a digicam.


  1. A superb choice for the theme and a great man

  2. I suddenly remembered our president. Great entry! :)

  3. I don't mind having lots of this type of numerical notes in my pocket. :P

  4. wow, this is unique!..perfect picture for todays theme!

    mine is up here

    see you!

  5. I really enjoyed this post for numerical!

  6. Wow - money was a great idea for this weeks theme - good for you.

    Have a super weekend.

  7. Hey, did you notice that "Faith in our people and faith in God" then signed by GMA? I wonder...

  8. should it be LIMANDAAN OR LIMANGDAAN?


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