She stares at me and implies: “I, am Imelda Marcos”…I staring back and loudly say…” I” …”Am an American Citizen!”

This is short, but true, and was I proud! Proud to be an American

While working with the FTD buyer, I would meet him and a man who sold him many things starting in the Philippines in it’s capital Manila. I would work with him for a couple of days on products I was developing there, such as rattan basket, mini straw figures, an 8 foot chain garland made out of weaved thin branches found in the jungle. he would then leave me and work and travel with this other supplier, Tom ??. I would then work with the young man, Estivan, I hired there to set up a small office. He worked hard and followed my instructions perfectly. He was brite and spoke fairly good English. At the time, I didn’t know he was part of a group trying to overthrow Ferdinand Marcos and all his wealthy devious, government officials.

One day he asked me if I could help him send a young relative his to America. I naturally said I would find out what was necessary and get back to him the next time I would be there. I said that I would like to meet this child while I was there, so the next day, he took me in a car he borrowed to a place further south. It was a tiny village that was really very poor, as almost all the people there were living in grass huts, or rattan shacked. I had a wonderful time with most of the villagers and children. Most never saw a white man and were very nervious in the beginning, but with my smiles and bantering, they came to like me. When I saw this young little girl, I fell in love with her. She was brite and alert, with eyes alert and challenging. I was definitely going to help this little girl. It turns out that That I was able to send her to relatives in California. Esti, paid for it all, and I wondered where he got that kind of money, but said nothing as he was perfect to run my little office there. Each time I arrived in Manila, I would stay at the Manila hotel in a suit on the ground floor along side of their pool. As was the  case in each hotel I stayed at while in Asia, I became well known and would banter with the help. Now when I came, and went to some small village, I would look at all the young people that would be sitting among all the workers, all in a circle, maybe 50 to 100. I was looking for one like the one I had sent to America. I thought it was a way to give these little children a chance in life. I did find another little girl who fit the bill, and asked Esti to find out from her parents if they would like me to send her to america, that is if they had someone there tro take her in. Sure enough they did and were so happy for a chance to send her. I did a few months later, and now I knew just how easy it was for a Philipeeno to enter into America, as it was considered a protective country of the United States. Word got around about what I was doing, a people now began to recognise me. They called me “The one and only”, the man with the scarf! I guess it somehow got back to the Marcos, cause all of a sudden, i Could not send someone to America unless I paid to Marcos $8000.00 for each one. At the time, I didn’t care as what I was making from that office was 10 time more.

One time when I was strolling about the lobby of the Manila Hotel with a drink in my hand, A commotion was going on at the entrance. Everybody moved out of the way, and who entered was 6 armed men with machine guns held at their sides. They told everyone to move aside to allow Madam Marcos to pass. When they arrived in front of me, they motioned me away, but not me, I stared them down, so they were confused, as they never expected, or had, any resistance. They stopped dead, and who should speak out in Philipeeno language something that was demanding, but Mrs Marcos. The men hesitated! I stared at Mrs Marcos and she at me. I pointed to my eyes and said “I’m an American” and didn’t budge. She stared back, told her men to go around and that’s what they did, but did she give me a death wish. Guess what I didn’t even notice her shoes. Word got out at what happened, and Esti couldn’t do enough for me. It was then that he told me he was part of a gorilla organization trying to depose Marcos. At the time, anywhere an American went he or she was respected, not as it is now! all we’re good for now is Ransom, or maybe worse!