Of Bodies, Death, and Martyrdom: The Case of Ninoy and Cory Aquino’s Death and the Re-articulations of Philippine Political Narratives

By Mae Urtal Caralde.

Published by The International Journal of Critical Cultural Studies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: September 7, 2016 $US5.00

The bodies of Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino and former President Cory Aquino, upon their death and burial, were revered, appropriated, and loaded with patriotic and biblical meanings. Ninoy’s and Cory’s lives were as remarkable as their fateful death. However, what must be asked is, what of the lifeless body, of their deaths (one through an assassination and the other through an irreversible illness), and of the imagination of the Filipino, stirred the nation into action? This study attempts to describe how cultural values—inscribed in the Filipino’s personhood and interpretation of the pasyon; the workings of death as theorized by Hegel and Bataille; and the notion of martyrdom through the conception of necropolitics by Mbembe—factor in the construction of Philippine political narratives such as the reformist “Aquino Magic” and the consequent resurgence of “people power” attempts that call for either tactical political change or radical structural reforms.

Keywords: Cory/Aquino Magic, Necropolitics, Pasyon, People Power

The International Journal of Critical Cultural Studies, Volume 14, Issue 3, September 2016, pp.17-29. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: September 7, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 606.511KB)).

Mae Urtal Caralde

Independent Filmmaker and Multimedia Arts Instructor, Mapua Institute of Technology, Manila, Philippines; Doctoral Student, College of Mass Communication, University of the Philippines, Quezon City, Philippines