Sen. Benigno Aquino III thanked people who attended a novena mass Wednesday and "those who have continued to pray for his mother's healing," The Philippine Daily Inquirer reported.
Aquino "is in a very serious condition," a family friend said. "Tita Cory is conscious. She can talk and pray but she's not well. It's serious."
Local, regional and national officials also attended the first day of a novena of healing masses said for Aquino. In the Catholic church, a novena consists of prayer said on nine successive days for special graces.