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August not a good month for Aquinos

September 08, 2010

abs-cbnNEWS.com
Posted at 09/08/2010 5:01 PM | Updated as of 09/08/2010 5:01 PM

MANILA, Philippines - It seems the month of August has not been kind to the family of President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III.

A feedback post by reader cjcool2000ph showed that the month of August has been a pain in the neck for the Aquinos.

On August 21, 1983, Aquino's father, Sen. Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr., was assassinated at the tarmac of the Manila International Airport. The assassination fueled growing anti-Marcos sentiment that would later lead to the ouster of dictator Ferdinand Marcos during the EDSA People Power Revolution.

On Aug. 28, 1987, the government of then President Cory Aquino faced a serious challenge when rebel soldiers led by RAM leader Gringo Honasan attacked Malacanang Palace in a power grab. The siege left several casualties including Noynoy, who was shot 5 times. One bullet is still embedded in his neck to this day.

The bloody coup left 53 dead and more than 200 wounded.

On August 1, 2009, tragedy struck the Aquino clan yet again when the former president, Cory Aquino, succumbed to colon cancer. Her death and the widespread outpouring of support for the Aquino clan is widely acknowledged as the factor that pushed her son "Noynoy" to pursue the presidency. Aquino won the presidency last May via a landslide vote.

On August 23, 2010, Manila police bungled a hostage-taking incident in Rizal Park that left 8 Hong Kong tourists dead. The event has chilled relations between Hong Kong and the fledgling government of President Aquino. A 5-man panel is currently investigating the incident.

The hostage crisis was not the only misfortune that befell Filipinos last month.

Last month also saw the tragic death of 2009 Binibining Pilipinas International Melody Gersbach, along with 2 companions, in a car accident in Camarines Sur on August 21.

August also saw several major traffic accidents involving buses. On August 18, a bus fell off a cliff in Sablan, Benguet, killing 41 out of 49 people onboard. Two days later, 8 Don Bosco students died after the bus they were riding hit a pine tree in Dalaguete, Cebu province.

On August 29, five people were killed and another 47 injured when a bus fell off a cliff in Pagbilao, Quezon.

Mechanical failure has been blamed in all 3 cases.

Ironically, the hostage crisis in Rizal Park also involved a bus.

Hungry Ghost festival

August is also considered an unfavorable month for the Chinese because it falls on the 7th month of the Chinese lunar calendar, also called the Ghost Month. In Chinese tradition, the Ghost Month is when ghosts and spirits, including those of the deceased ancestors, come out from the lower realm.

Feng shui expert Marites Allen states that Ghost Month climaxes on the 14th day of the month when the Chinese celebrate the Festival of the Hungry Ghosts.

"They believe that hungry ghosts are ghosts of people that have not found everything they need to survive in the afterlife. If a ghost passes on, but does not have enough food, water, shelter, and other material things, it will come back into the world of the living to scare people and feed off their energy and fear. This month is believed to be the time when the gates of hell are opened to free the hungry ghosts who then wander not only to seek food on earth but also to cause misfortune to the living," Allen said in a Philippine Star column.

Allen said the Hungry Ghosts Festival is an occasion that the Chinese take seriously. She said Chinese families forbid swimming during the month and advise their children to go home early and not wander alone at night.

"Thus, it is not surprising that swimming pools, beaches, shopping malls, and cinemas suffer a dip in business during this month. This is also a month considered unlucky to get married, start a business, move house or even to travel," she said.

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