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Marcos jokes: I got ‘lei’d’ in Hawaii

MANILA, Philippines — Wearing a Hawaiian garland or lei usually given to the Pacific island’s visitors, President Marcos cracked a joke printed on souvenir shirts sold on the island.

“I was in Hawaii. I got lei’d,” the President said yesterday during an interview with reporters who covered his latest trip to the US.

He also said that his mother, former first lady Imelda Marcos, would have joined him in his visit to Hawaii to thank the people who took care of them while they were in exile.

“She would have loved to have come just to see all of the people, but she cannot travel,” Marcos said.

“My mother will never forget, can never forget. None of us can ever forget the experiences that we had here. It could have been worse than it was, but it wasn’t as bad as it could have been because of the people,” he added.

Marcos said his 94-year-old mother asked him to say hello to Joe Lazo, a supporter who helped the family during “very difficult circumstances.”

He added that he asked Lazo to make a video to show Imelda.

Marcos’ visit marked the first time he set foot in his family’s place of exile after more than 30 years.

The Marcoses were banished from the Philippines after the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos was unseated by the 1986 people power revolution.

Asked what he missed most about Hawaii, the President replied: “Hawaii is as beautiful as the Philippines. We can be proud of that. But it’s the people. It’s the people who were with us and the locals were always very kind and very gracious.”