Surviving the First Years
This chapter details the early years in exile of personalities who managed to escape the Philippines after the imposition of martial law. The anxious months spent hatching schemes to escape, compounded by the perils of the trip, were bad enough. Getting settled as an exile proved to be the real struggle. Raul Manglapus, like other prominent Marcos opponents, had a wide circle of friends who provided temporary support. But for those without such a safety net, economic survival was of paramount concern. For instance, Charito Planas, a lawyer and former candidate for mayor of Manila, was a well-connected leader of various civic organizations and political groups in the Philippines, living a comfortable cosmopolitan life. She arrived in Virginia on June 5, 1978. At one time, home was a basement furnished with wares salvaged from flea markets and the streets. Unable to obtain gainful employment, she worked as a telemarketer; ran a pizza parlor, and delivered parcels. Bonifacio Gillego, former deputy secretary-general of the Christian Social Movementand a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1971–72, worked as a security guard and as a hotel accountant in Washington, D.C.
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