An OFW in Saudi Arabia narrates his Martial Law experience
“Our salaries were paid in US Dollars, as mandated by the agreement (Saudi-Philippines) signed by President Ferdinand E. Marcos, and monitored by the Department of Labor then. Accounts were opened at Citibank which allowed withdrawal in US Dollars with no extra charge.” – Alberto Mega
I was a young 13-year old at the time of Martial Law. Up until college, I liked it that there were no fears about drugs, holdups and other harsh crimes. As a working student, I walked from Morayta to Rizal Avenue without issues, to board a bus to EDSA-Frisco with a travel time of 30 minutes or less. Makati was wonderful and very disciplined. Police women were tough and made people toe the line. No one dared to jaywalk even. Luneta was clean and safe. There was a skating rink and beautiful gardens. Soothing Music was played all over the place. There was a weekly Concert at the Park. Foreign artists performed at the CCP and Miss Universe was held at the FAT. We we biked and had picnics around the reclaimed grounds. We took enjoyable PNR rides from Tutuban up to Dagupan, then rode Pantranco to Baguio with a travel time of 1.5 hours, while enjoying sweet mangoes, patopat, boiled mani and grilled mais, along with tupig, singkamas and other delicacies. Burnham Park was clean and free from elements. After a walk there and a visit to the Baguio Cathedral, we ate meals cooked with fresh vegetables for less than Php10, inclusive of drinks. Steak Dinners at Camp John Hay were formal, very enjoyable events, with live Orchestra music. We also went to the White Beach of San Fabian, Agoo and Bonuan that were better than Boracay. In Pozorubio and Manaoag, we climbed various sineguelas trees with green, yellow and red fruits. Side trips to Calasiao delighted us with puto, bibingka, suman and sweet mangga.