Marcos arrives in Los Angeles
President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Saturday (Manila time) arrived in Los Angeles, California, after his successful participation in the 30th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Meeting in San Francisco, according to a report by Philippine News Agency.
The presidential plane landed at the Los Angeles International Airport at 12:11 a.m. (PH time), Communications Secretary Cheloy Garafil said in a statement.
“While in Los Angeles, Marcos will meet with the Filipino community there as well as business leaders and other entities,” Garafil said.
Marcos’ LA trip is the second leg of his week-long visit to the United States.
He will fly to Honolulu, Hawaii the next day to likewise meet with Filipinos and visit a defense facility and training center of the US Pacific territory.
‘Very successful’ participation
In a media interview in San Francisco before flying to LA, Marcos described his APEC participation as “very successful,” with many of the major economies and smaller developing economies attending the regional gathering.
“We talked about climate change. We talked about AI (artificial intelligence). We talked about food security, energy security, and what each of us can play in facing those challenges that the new world economy has brought us,” Marcos said.
He lauded the US for its successful chairmanship of the Leaders’ Meeting and related activities.
“I commended the chairmanship and the hosting of APEC 2023 by the US as they were able to provide for us a forum in which a good deal of important work was done in these past two days,” President Marcos told the Malacañang Press Corp during the Kapihan with the Media in San Francisco.
However, Marcos said he missed the chance to discuss with Tesla chief executive officer Elon Musk the investment opportunities in the Philippines that the American multinational automative and clean energy firm may consider.
Marcos was supposed to hold a meeting with Musk but it did not push through because the latter “fell ill.”
“He was supposed to come here to San Francisco. Marami siyang ka-meeting dapat dito pero binalitaan kami nagkasakit nga. Kaya wala muna (He was supposed to have a lot of meetings here, but we were told that he got sick. So, it did not prosper), which is a missed opportunity,” he said.
“I was really looking forward to it. But we’ll find ways again to [meet him] because [we] have much to discuss with him in terms of the technologies that we would like for Tesla, for example, to bring to the Philippines specifically battery technology, even the manufacture of fully electric vehicles. All of these things that we are hoping to be part of in the future,” Marcos added.
Marcos expressed optimism that he will find an opportunity to meet with Musk “as soon as we can.”
Apart from Musk, Marcos also failed to meet with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau because the APEC meeting “ran very late.”
Meeting ‘old friends’
Marcos said he looks forward to seeing his “old friends” in Hawaii when he visits there.
To recall, former president Ferdinand E. Marcos Sr. and his family fled to Hawaii after the 1986 People Power Revolution.
“Despite the circumstances of our enforced stay in Hawaii, Hawaii is – the Hawaii and Hawaiians are – it’s a great place to be. And then, we made very many friends. Siyempre malungkot kami dahil hindi kami maka-uwi (Of course, we were sad because we could not go home at that time) but that doesn’t detract from how kind we were treated, the hospitality that we were afforded,” he said.
“Now, of course, Honolulu and Hawaii in general have different dimensions also because that was the time that we were in exile. But that dimension is not some kind of, I don’t know, full circle. No, it’s not like that. It's just I really want to go and see my old friends. These were the people who looked after us after ‘86. These were the people who fed us. They brought us clothes. They brought food. Kung hindi sa kanila (Were it not for them), I don’t know what would have happened to us,” Marcos added.
Marcos also clarified that he “never blamed” the people who ousted his father from power, adding that “they don’t need [his] forgiveness."
He is scheduled to return home on Nov. 20.
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