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Filipino Woman in the Biography by Lucy Komisar Essay

Literature is any form of expressing human’s simple to complex experiences that blend, combined and applied into words, well-chosen and arranged. It is full of thoughts, feelings, dreams, sorrows, aspirations and grief of human expressions in every harmonious way of expressions. It is a choice, choice of expressing everything without the hesitation from any hindrances. It is just like entering into a voyage, not to find good fortune but to have pleasure and satisfaction. It can be compared to choice of writing. Humans are writing not because of compliance but because they want to express something for the sake of self- satisfaction. They are not reading because they want to learn a lot but because to feel enjoyment while reading. It is not like going abroad for good but because of the experience. Through literature, people confide on to, talk to, rely on and can be the source of every emotion that they have to feel, feelings that distinguishes the level of their personality that evokes their admirations.

It is believed that the social and sexual conditions of women essentially embody their nature that the manner they are treated in society is congruent with what they really are. Thus, women’s social environment, can be generally described as subordinate to men, sexually colonized in the system of dominance, submission and denied rights and the basis of sex, historically chattel, basically considered biologically inferior confined to sex and reproduction. For most part of society and across time and space, man dominates the upper level of political, economical and social power while women are rarely or only partially included. The worth of men is generally more valued than that of women and is usually more compensated. Men are typically more valued in themselves as person, a fact often expressed in social customs, rights and laws. In fact, in almost every culture, the tools and conditions necessary for analysis, the means of communications and the forms of legitimating of knowledge have been jealously and effectively kept from women.

Today, Filipino women are no longer confined to the manual task of household chores but their full potentials, talents and innovativeness are explored and utilized. The power of women is such a huge and limitless tool of intellectual resource, a very vital factor behind a nation’s growth and development. Empowering the women at home, in the community, in work, in every aspect of society would mean empowering the other half of every aspects of nation’s human resource. At present, the Filipino women are already leaders in their own rights. They occupy high positions in the society. As they are free, they are also able to participate in social, economic and political activities. They command the respect of men – rights denied to them with the introduction of the Spanish culture in the country.

After, nearly four hundred years after the Spaniards conquest of the Philippines, the Filipino woman has come full circle. She is now able to cooperate more effectively with men with the realization of common aspirations—a better world to live in, governed by the principles of justice and good will. Many writers have been supporters of Cory. They have produced books and a journal containing Cory’s life and Lucy Komisar is one of them. Lucy Komisar is a free-lance journalist, whose articles and analysis of foreign affairs have appeared in the wide variety of publications, including the “New York Times, the Washington Past, the Christian Science Monitor, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Miami Herald, News day and the Toronto Star, among many others. She is the authors of two books; “Down and Out in the USA: a history of Public Welfare and the New Feminism and has lectured at universities through out the country.

She a member of the executive board of PEN, American Center, a past National Vice President of the National Organization for Women (NOW). She reported from the Philippines during the election campaign and peaceful revolution only in 1986 and returned recently to write the biography of Cory Aquino. The book “Corazon Aquino: the Story of Revolution”, is the first biography essay of Corazon Aquino by Lucy Komisar. The book traces her life from the childhood in the wealthy family in the Philippines, her marriage to Benigno and her life in exile, a dramatic revolution that install her as President. It also describes the evolution of her life as political leader as she began putting a government together and taking on political and economic problems that face her country.

A timely and evocative book, Corazon Aquino is moving portrait of a woman who demonstrates a new kind of heroism. Indeed, there is no doubt that Komisar is one of the writers and journalists who believes in the proper rights of women exercised in the society. The researchers believed that the writer, though an American journalist and writer has a big concern in the status of women in the society. Thus, the thorough analysis of Lucy Komisar’s biography “Corazon Aquino: the Story of Revolution” vividly reflect the personalities of the former president Corazon Aquino and the women’s rights that rarely Filipino women exercised.

Theoretical Framework

The study is anchored on the general view of women’s right as well as human’s right. According to Legazpi (1998), the 1987 Constitution declares that “the state shall value the dignity of every person and guarantee full respect for human rights.” Enshrined therein, as a state policy is the recognition of the role of women in nation building and fundamental equality before the law of men and women. Within this framework, guaranteed respect of their personal dignity and human rights and equal treatment in all aspects of life is presented.

The Constitutional Acknowledgment of Women’ rights are reiterated in numerous statutory enactments and relating to such subjects as civil relations, family rights and labor conditions. Various internal instruments to which the Philippines are the signatory signify and reinforce the state’s commitments towards upholding these rights. With particular focus on the character of Corazon Aquino as a Filipino woman, the researchers gave much attention on how the former president exercised her rights on every character and how she gained recognition from these characters. Meanwhile, through the application of formalistic approach of literary analysis, the writer’s point of view in his essays such as styles, purpose and theme were studied.

Statement of the Problem

The study discusses the Character of Corazon Aquino as a Filipino Woman in the biography by Lucy Komisar.

Specifically, this study answers the following questions:

1. What are the events that project the character of the First Female President?
2. How does Corazon Aquino show the character as a Filipino Woman in the following personalities:
2.1Wife and Mother,
2.2 Widow,
2.3 Leader?
3. How do the author reveal the character of Corazon Aquino in relation to:
3.1Style,
3.2Purpose,
3.3Theme?
4. What implications of the essays are portrayed to uphold women’s right?

Scope and Limitations
The study focuses on the Character of Corazon Aquino as a Filipino Woman in the biography by Lucy Komisar. In the study, the researchers gathered the events that project the character of the First Female President. It also analyzes how the late president shows her character as a leader, wife, and widow that makes her a strong and powerful president. The style, purpose and theme are also analyzed The study is significantly devoted to the evaluation, analysis and interpretation of the biography written by Lucy Komisar, “Corazon Aquino: the Story of Revolution”.

Significance of the Study

The study on the Character of Corazon Aquino as a Filipino Woman in the biography written by Lucy Komisar, “Corazon Aquino: the Story of Revolution” is important in providing greater understanding and insights about the social issues in the society. Nevertheless, for those who specialize in English, the study could serve as a literary drill so that they may engage into critical analysis and interpretation and in the process that understand their value and significance. With the dynamism of education, the teaching approaches, instructional materials, references should conform to the changing times of our societal history. In this regard, the study can be used as a reference and instructional materials or tool in teaching the life of Corazon Aquino.

For the teachers of literature, the study can help them generate insights on how students will be directed and/ or guided in dealing with and analyzing literary works. Likewise, the study may also enlighten the Filipino women especially of the contemporary times with regards to their rights and their roles as individuals, and as members of the society. For future researchers, the study may help them bring about the techniques, treatment and approaches in analyzing literary works. The study may also be used as a reference in sociology. It may help the readers understand the nature of the Filipino woman and her complexities. Most of all, the study may serve as a significant indication on the life of Corazon Aquino and the Filipino woman that can set a great pattern for the rights of women.

Definition of Terms

For the purpose of clear and consistency of terms used in the study, the following terms are hereby defined: Character – combination of qualities that distinguishes as individual person. In the research, it refers to the personality of Corazon Aquino as a wife, widow and leader. Civil Law – refers to the body of customs or practices applicable to specific group of community. It is the kind of law that the Corazon government exercise during her term. Concepts – it is the general idea toward a thing of universal specially, an abstract one. These are the ideas about the character of Corazon Aquino as Filipino Woman. Criticism – it is an intelligent appreciation of any work of art. It is the process of studying the literary piece in the present study. Descriptive Research – type of research that requires a detailed analysis of various aspects and phenomena and their interrelationship. It is the kind of research that researchers used in the present study.

Historical Research – the systematic collection and evaluation of data to describe explain and thereby understand actions or event that occurred in the past. It is the basis of the researchers to present study, to collect data and references about the life of Cory Aquino. Liberalism – a doctrine of constitutional promulgation that presents liberty and freedom leaned on the consumption that liberty is natural right and that all over are born free. It is the vision of Corazon Aquino to the Filipino women during her presidency. Maidens of Antiquity – they are women who are perceived to play the traditional child hearing and house keeping. It is the kind of Filipino women that Corazon Aquino wants for a change. Silent Dictatorship – this relates to the characteristics of unobtrusive women over the household, personally take care of everything and have the power over all action and decision of a household. It is the relationship of husband and wife.

The wife took all the responsibility and household chores while the husband holds the power. Social Liberation – refers to the ideology that women are capable of fuller and more positive involvement in the growth of the society in which they are apart of advocates, the woman should be viewed as valuable human resources of every fact of natural and international life. It is the organizations that builds women as part of the society and play a crucial role. Women are the center of society and highly regarded. Style – the manner of writing or composing piece with passion or elegance. It is the manner on how the author writes the essay in formal form.

Personality – excellence or distinction of social and personal traits. It refers to the characteristics of Aquino as a Filipino woman and all women in the society. Purpose – the aim of an essay which is intended to deliver to the reader him/herself. It refers to the goal of the author on how to show the character of Corazon Aquino in the essays. Presidency – the office, dignity, terms, jurisdiction or residence of a President. It is the position Corazon Aquino holds after the EDSA revolution of 1986 over Marcos’ government. Theme – an idea or motive in a work which may be varied or developed. It is the basis of the topic or concept in the present study.

CHAPTER II
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE AND STUDIES
This chapter presents the review of related literature and study of the research.
Related Literature
Foreign Literature

During the time of Roman republic, women are underestimated by men. In the women’s lifetime, they have to obey their husbands as well as their father. Women are to take care of their guardian. Roman women are typically married off by the age of eighteen. After marriage, women cannot claim rights in her husband’s property and can not appeal in court. But the law has changed, wherein woman becomes powerful in terms of rights and can inherit the property whenever their husband dies. Some women in the elite class become powerful because of their richness, power through marriage and their adulterous. (Russel, 1996) Before, women were not allowed to vote, to be part of the public and political life and even going out without covering everything except their eyes. In other countries, they were not allowed to drink alcohol and if they were caught, they would be punished severely or punished to death. Women have played different role in different society and in different times. In matriarchal society, women are more powerful than men. In paternal society, men are everything to women.

Women and men have the same right. Men occupy the position as the group leader more often than women, but old women assume such roles. Women are now working industriously and earn money to support their family. They work hard as men, but they do not get some respect and salary as men. Women have been tired and worked hard to gain some rights as men. (www.women @society.htm, 2008) It has been clear over the last half of the century that women have made the great strides and effort to achieve equality in all areas of society. It might be able to shed some lights as to where our society is going in regard to women in elected office. One will surely think that men are the ones against women in politics; in fact, in the beginning, men are the ones who vote before a woman president, before the women can. The same instance holds for the amount of people who believe that women are not suited for politics.

The religious and non- religious sects are expecting more liberal views about women in politics as time passes. But people have believed that women have the right to be representatives in politics. The trends that people see bring up the problem in our society. Yes, it is true that men and women, the religious and non religious, all feed that women have place in the politics but still lack in equality as to the number of offices that women hold. In order for a change to be made, women must have the courage and belief that they are just as qualified to be in politics and must be extremely aggressive in their action. ([email protected]\html, 2008) Frummer (1981), states that critical essay helps reader understand a subject. To be critical means to be keen in every detail of the research a person is studying. Its Greek root means “to separate, discern or choose”; thus the critical essay attempts to enhance the reader’s understanding of subjects by analyzing different parts and interpreting its meaning.

It may deal with any subject worthy of serious study like a painting, a film, a social movement. In most writing classes, however, the critical essay assignment focuses in literature although similar procedures are followed in writing other essays. The success of the critical essays depends on another process- the informed reading of another imaginative literature. According to Harmon (1992), the essay is divided into two: the formal essay and the non formal essay. Formal essay is diversified in form, spirit and length. At one extreme, it is represented by brief, serious magazine article and at the other by the scientific and philosophical treatises like books rather than essays. The technique of the formal essay is now practically identical with that of all factual or theoretical prose in which literary effect is secondary.

The informal essay, on the other hand, has its beginning in aphoustic and moralistic writing, animated by the infection of the personal, broadened and lightened by a free treatment of human manners, controlled somewhat by the limitations of periodical publications has developed into a recognizable genre, the first purpose which is to entertain. Stanford (1999) suggests that when responding to an essay one should consider its central purpose. An essay may make significant comparisons or contrasts; it may explain the reasons of an occurrence or explore the effects of a particular event or action. Some essays contemplate or speculate on an idea, exploring many possibilities without insisting on one final conclusion; many other essays, in one way or another argue for or against a point of view, a solution to a problem or a new way of thinking about the word. Whatever the essay’s purpose, a reader should look carefully at the writer’s choice of words as well as the way he or she structures both the essay itself and its sentences and paragraph.

Local Literature

The highly personalized word of action in an impediment to the development of a wider, institutional sphere is based on abstraction such as “the rule of the law” and “the common good”. It may be assumed that this has much to do with the central position of the mother in the Filipino household and all the burdens that it entails. This position becomes the ideological pivot that places women apart from men. The purity of women symbolizes the wholeness of the home. As a superego representative, the term “Mother” remains the primary embodiment of conscience. In extending and symbolizing warmth and goodness, the female as a wife and mother should love, that is forgiving: she should be gentle and compassionate with those who morally depend on her. (Mulder, 1997) According to the Asian Development Bank (2002), the major constraints affecting the sociological status of Filipino women are very often quite separate from the substantive nature of law itself.

Even in countries where women’s right are fully guaranteed in law, the actual implementation and protection of those rights are often compromised by a complex system of practices based on historical, cultural, linguistic, religious, political and other traditions. In many cases, the factor giving rise to the discrimination is many deep-rooted and relate to non legal or paralegal issues. During the period of revolution, the aim of Katipunan was to work for the independence of the Philippines. Besides the pursuit of this aim, there was valuable reaching which the manners were strictly required to follow. Respect for womanhood was the moral qualification of an applicant before she could be accepted as a member. The observer of the article referring to woman was strictly demanded during the early days of the association. There were not a few in who was expelled because of failure to live up to teachings of the organizations. (Kintanar, 1996) Among all the domains in which the Filipino woman participates, it is perhaps in the home where she enjoys the highest status.

When women themselves strongly believe that their place is at home, they become household centered. The wife’s work is to be a loving and loyal mate to her husband. She is responsible for keeping the marriage intact by means of her patience, hard work, submissiveness, and virtue. A mother must attend to her children’s needs such as meals, health, clothing, school needs and moral and religious development. She remains a good household manager and puts her own welfare before that of her husband and children. The recent upsurge of interest in advancing the development of women and increasing their participation in community affairs has also resulted in a realization that they can and should become effective partners of men in development endeavors. Women are therefore urge to refrain from confining themselves to the home and household work– their social, economic, political and religious endeavors altered to. (Torres, 1995) Cory Aquino has already earned a unique place in the history.

In the world dominated by men in action, she is a rarity by virtue of her sex; in a political world, where man assumed power through the traditional electoral process or violence, she became the nation’s President through circumstances without any known precedent. As a family member, she is a very clear about her likes and dislikes. She has never been neutral. She tries to do it in a nice way but she makes it very clear that, for example, “I’m sorry, I can’t support you”. As a mother, she has always cooled under pressure. When her husband was arrested, she was upset that she was in perfect control. Her siblings could always look up to her as a source of strength. (Crisostomo, 1986) As a housewife, she never missed a chance with her husband. She stood by the side of her husband and never questioned all his decisions. She never chided him for the troubles he brought into her family. When Ninoy was challenged by Imelda in his prison cell, Cory took his place in the campaign. She, who did not have the experience in the political stage, nor entertained much, hope that she would make it.

For seven and a half years, she stood outside the gate of his maximum security prison. As the color of her life changed, she followed a few days later, no longer as a housewife but as a widow to lay his body in the grave. The military soldiers took away her husband’s life by shooting him at the back of his head. Before, she was declared as a President, there were lots of consequences she encountered. The chanting done in the computer during the election offered to her just to reject the position and more. Despite of this consequences and offer, she was not dictated by them; instead, she made some moves to fight for what she deserved. (Tica, 2007) As a president, she forced three major tasks: rebuilding democracy, reserving the economy and ending the communists’ insurgency—the longest running of its kinds in the world. Her camp and her military advisers suggested that the inauguration be held inside Camp Crame where they would ensure security.

But the civilian activists wanted it before the huge crowd of EDSA to dramatize the fact that she was being installed not by military but by People’s Power. For almost 13 years of Marcos service in the government, the communist turned into a formidable force enjoying the distant admiration of the nation. Everybody wanted Marcos government to lose, but nobody wanted communists to win. Cory Aquino was fortunate. Almost everybody wanted her and they did everything just to place Cory in the position. It made the Filipino people admire the power and bravery of Corazon Aquino. She was the first Filipino woman president who proved to the nation that women could also place in the politics of a society. (Philippine Daily Inquirer, 2003) The essay is the communication from the individual author, as person to the reader.

Like fiction, the essay is read rather than heard or seen and for these reasons, the author will typically identify himself as one addressing the audience. Since the essay is read from the printed page, its content is not objectively present. This is also true of fiction. However, the typical essay is thought off by the reader as a communication from the author to itself. (Tan, 1995) According to Ramos (1991), an essay may be of any length, breadth, death, density, color, savor, odor, appearance, volume or uselessness.

It is broadened on one side by the hell fire sermon and or the other by geometrical demonstration; and it ranges easily between these extremes of heat and occasionally steals from both of them. The main division into which the essay may be divided, is the personal/ familiar essay – a transcript of a personal reaction to some phase or fact of life; the author does not regard life with the cold eyes of the scientific thinker. The second is formal essay – a serious and personal. It undertakes to discuss a subject critically and coldly; and though it also reveals the author’s tastes and views, the intimacy between writers and readers hardly exists, for the personality of the former is suppressed. (Roseburg, 1969)


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