“Learn why Filipino people admire Ninoy Aquino…”
The Manila International Airport, presently known as the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, houses two memorials of former Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Sr. whom the airport is named. Found on the departure ramp of Terminal 1 is the assassination site memorial. It is a piece of tarmac removed from the terminal apron where the senator fell after he was shot dead in August 21, 1983 after returning from his exile in US.
The check-in hall of Terminal 3 houses a bust of Benigno Aquino Jr. Rosalio Arcilla Jr. completed the bust when it was unveiled in 2001. The bust was mothballed in a warehouse for years due to controversies hounding the airport. It was unveiled again in 2008 along with the opening of Terminal 3 to passenger traffic. The bust was unveiled by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
The statue was donated by then Philippine International Air Terminals Co. President Cheng Yong. His family is one of those hounded by the dark days of the martial law. Yong wanted to repay former President Aquino and the nation a commemorative statue of the man who helped shape the country.
Aquino is a popular modern-day icon in the Philippines. He is a known opposition of President Ferdinand Marcos. He was vocal of his opposition to the Martial Law declared by Marcos and was one of the prominent figures to go to jail because of it. He was in exile in Boston for years before deciding to come home in 1983. He was assassinated at the tarmac shortly after the plane he boarded landed in the Manila International Airport.
His death served as the spark that launched movements to oust the Marcos dictatorship. His funeral was attended by millions of people igniting a spirit of nationalism. In 1986 the world-renowned EDSA People Power attended by millions installed his wife Corazon Aquino as president of the Philippines.