President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. arrived in Honolulu on Saturday with deep sense of nostalgia especially as he met the Filipino community there.
The President was received with a heartwarming welcome by the Filipinos in Hawaii.
Speaking during a gathering at the Hawaii Convention Center, he said he could have travelled directly to Manila after attending the APEC meeting in San Francisco, California, but opted to drop by Honolulu to say hello to his friends and acquaintances.
“So I said, we have to go down – we have to land in Hawaii. I have to say hello to all our friends in Hawaii because Honolulu, Hawaii holds a very… The Filipinos and the Filipino Americans in Hawaii hold a very special place in my heart for all the wonderful experiences that we had here with our Filipino compatriots,” he told Filipinos during the event.
“In behalf of my entire family, wala na ‘yung aking ama, but when my mother found out that I was coming to Honolulu, she said you make sure that you go back to all of those people who went out of their way to keep us comfortable, to keep us alive, literally alive.”
The President recalled that they had literally nothing when they landed in Hickam Air Force Base in Honolulu from Malacañan Palace in 1986 and Filipinos in Hawaii provided the Marcos family with everything, from clothes, appliances and other necessities.
When he tells people about the story of the Marcos family during those times, people do not believe it, he said.
“And that is something that I will carry in my heart, that the Marcos family will carry in our heart. We tell our children about this and how wonderful you all were to us in the time that we were here. We could not have survived that very difficult period if not for you.”
“These are the people who kept body and soul together of the Marcos family. [cheers and applause] Ultimo… When I tell this story, people do not quite believe me. But I tell them, you do not realize how – how close we became and how kind and how generous the people – the Filipino Americans in Hawaii were.”
There were also some old members of the Presidential Security Command (PSC), who provided security to the Marcos family during those tumultuous times, during Saturday’s event. The PSC eventually became the Presidential Security Group (PSG).
While in Hawaii, the President is scheduled to visit a US defense facility, observe capability orientation on the West Philippine Sea, join a barge tour and a wreath laying ceremony, as well as a roundtable meeting at the Daniel Inouye Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies.
Marcos and the members of his delegation will depart for Manila afterwards. PND