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President Marcos in Hawaii for final leg of US trip

MANILA, Philippines — The Marcoses entered what could be their darkest days in 1986, when the dictatorship was toppled and the family banished to Hawaii while hounded by allegations of human rights violations and corruption.

More than three decades later, President Marcos, who was in his late 20s when his father and namesake was ousted in a popular revolt, returned to Hawaii as the leader of the Philippines to reconnect with people who did not abandon them during their lowest point.

Marcos, now 66, was nostalgic when he faced the Filipino community yesterday, heaping praises on people whom he said “kept the body and soul of the Marcos family.”

He said the Marcoses landed at Hickam Air Force Base from Malacañang in 1986 with nothing. According to the President, Filipinos provided them with clothes, appliances and other necessities, keeping his family “literally alive.”

“We could not have survived that very difficult period if not for you,” the President told a crowd of about a thousand people at the Hawaii Convention Center.

“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,” he added.

Marcos said people do not believe him whenever he tells the story of his family’s exile.

“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,” he added.

The Marcoses were banished to Hawaii after their patriarch, the late president Ferdinand Marcos, was ousted in the 1986 people power revolution. They lived in exile until 1991.

A New York Times article published in 1988 quoted friends and associates of former first lady Imelda Marcos as saying that she and her husband still enjoyed the “high life they were accustomed to in Manila.”

According to the article, the Marcoses were “hosts to weekly Sunday afternoon gatherings and lavishly catered dinners at their multimillion-dollar Makiki Heights estate and dinner parties at some of the most expensive restaurants in town.”

An Associated Press article published on July 31, 1991 said the government of