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  • "Oh, you grew up in the Philippines.... that must have been different!"
    "I don't know, maybe"


    .....When I was eight years old my parents decided to vacation in Zamboanga City on Mindinao Island. They must not have known that the city was considered unsafe as a vacation area. Even so, by the time we arrived at the hotel from the airport (it couldn't have been a 20 minute drive), an Colonel from the local regiment was waiting for us.

    He was very nice, as most everyone is in that country. He told us that he would be to our personal escort for the next couple of days and take us through the beautiful city of Zamboanga, safely.
    We spent the next day going down water slides and shopping in the famous black markets and seeing the sites which included some beautiful mosques that you just wouldn't find in the rest of the country during those years.

    We ate lunch and spent an entire two days with the Colonel and three escorts armed with M16s. I don't even remember having conversations with him, but I knew he was important. He carried a certain presence that only high ranking officers seem to carry.

    The second day on the way back to the hotel, the jeep pulled over to the side of the road next to some other army jeeps and he and the driver got out. He and the other soldiers were staring off the side and the roading and speaking in the local dialect After a few minutes of discussion he called our family over.

    In the ditch was a body with what appeared to be several bullet holes.
    " Boys" he said "That's what a dead rebel looks like"....


    ...."Oh, you grew up in the Philippines.... that must have been different!"
    "I'm sure it was different, but to me, its just my life."
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