Statue and Swatch for Madam Cory

MANILA, Philippines – Hundreds of Filipinos gathered outside the historic Manila Hotel on Roxas Boulevard Monday to witness the unveiling of a bronze statue of the late Philippine President and democracy icon Corazon Aquino.

photo from inquirer.net

Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim and Aquino’s son, Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino, led the unveiling of the 15-foot monument on Padre Burgos Drive corner Roxas Boulevard at 8 a.m today.  The unveiling commemorates the 77th birthday of the former president.

During the ceremony, Aquino said he hopes the monument will serve as a reminder to all Filipinos about how his mother united all Filipinos after her death last Aug. 1, 2009.

Mayor Lim, meanwhile, said the monument should also remind students of how President Aquino ruled the nation uprightly for 6 years after the 1986 EDSA Revolution. “Our prayer today is that we emulate her example,” he said.

The monument, which was commissioned by Mayor Lim, was done by sculptor Eduardo Castrillo. It shows Aquino flashing the “L” Laban sign with her right hand while holding the 1987 Constitution with her left. The statue is right across a statue of Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr., the former president’s husband.

Castrillo, who worked on the monument for 2 months, said the statue symbolizes how Aquino restored democracy in the country.

Among those who attended the unveiling were representatives from the National Historical Institute, employees of Manila CIty Hall and students from various colleges.

CORY SWATCH

Swatch Philippines on Sunday launched a collection of limited edition Cory Aquino tribute wrist watches in honor of Asia’s democracy icon, who died August 1, 2009.

The watches were launched at the Ayala Museum, on the eve of what would have been the late former president’s 77th birthday (January 25).

Along with signature wrist watches, the company unveiled a giant Cory Aquino Swatch that stands 24 feet high against a large metal casing.

The giant watch is displayed at the museum’s front plaza along Makati Avenue.

The area is just a stone’s throw away from Ayala Avenue, the historic site of the 1980s “confetti revolution” that helped propel Aquino to power and one of the areas where her funeral convoy passed 20 years later.

“This is the expression of the love and admiration that [the Ayalas] have for my mother. How can we not be touched?” said Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III in an interview with abs-cbnNEWs.com/Newsbreak.

Noynoy, Cory’s only son, said he interrupted his presidential campaign plans to attend the Cory Swatch launch.

The Cory tribute watch project was initiated by Swatch Philippines, led by Gift Gate president and Cory supporter Virgie Ramos.

Ramos owns the rights to distribute Swatch watches in the Philippines.

The idea was immediately approved by the Swatch Group based in Switzerland, who recognized Aquino as an international icon and a so-called “mother of democracy.”

Collector’s item

There are only 801 sets of Cory Aquino tribute watches in the world. They cost P8,100 for each set.

The numbers 8 and 1 stand for August 1, the day when Cory died of colon cancer. Original Swatch watches usually cost around P3,000 to P7,000.

The Cory Swatch set includes 2 watches, one of which is tagged with a serial number, encased in a picture book called “A Woman Dressed in Sunshine” written by Makati City Rep. Teodoro “Teddy Boy” Locsin, Cory Aquino’s press secretary and speechwriter.

At the back of the book is a stylized copy of a letter written by one of the country’s richest businessmen, Don Jaime Zobel de Ayala, the day after the former president died.

The two watches vary in design. One has a lemon yellow watch face with a steel watch dial, while the other has a black watch face printed with a yellow sun.

Both, however, have yellow and black straps printed with a shower of yellow ribbons and the faces of Ninoy and Cory Aquino.

The watch straps also bear the words “Ipagpapatuloy Ko!” in bold black letters.

Almost sold out

Swatch Philippines brought 150 wrist watch sets to the launch, which was attended by Aquino’s family, friends and supporters.

The watches were sold out in the first few hours, mostly to members of high society.

All of the proceeds reportedly go to the Benigno S. Aquino Jr. Foundation’s scholarship fund.

James Locsin, Swatch Philippines Brand Manager, said all 801 sets are close to being sold out. The watches are available upon reservation at any Swatch store or kiosk nationwide.

“The response has been great,” he said.

“But I don’t know if the company will design more Cory watches. Swatch made 801 sets and that’s that,” Locsin said.

The first set was presented to Aquino’s eldest daughter Ballsy Aquino-Cruz. Her siblings, Pinky Aquino-Abellada and Viel Aquino-Dee, later sported their own yellow Swatch watches.

Swatch often makes commemorative wrist watches in honor of special people and special occasions.

The last one they designed was 10 years ago for the Philippine Centennial celebrations, during the administration of former president Joseph Estrada.

source: abs-cbnnews.com

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