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Thursday, November 30, 2023

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    Chapter XIV: Many unbelievable surprises but also a sad one 

    "Immediately leave the territory of the German Democratic Republic!" 

    The tone of the border guards was very stern. We had spread our picnic basket and blanket on a meadow and were just about to start eating. 
    "Don't see that our state border is meters away from the wall?" 

    The voices were getting louder and louder. We quickly packed up our things and were allowed to leave. 

    From now on we always had big problems when we were on the transit highways from East Berlin to West Germany. There were hours of waiting for us at the East German checkpoints. There was no other choice for us, after all, we wanted to visit my mother in West Germany – ca. 500 kilometers away from Berlin.

    Another very well-known visitor arrived in the Philippine Community in Berlin: Cardinal Jaime Sin –  instrumental in the People’s Revolution. 

    Jaime L. Sin (born 1928) was a cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church who served in the Philippines. He was instrumental in the defeat of the Marcos regime in 1986 (during the EDSA Revolution, aka People Power Revolution).  He was born in the town of New Washington, Aklan, in the Visayan Islands of the Philippines on August 21, 1928. 

    Rossana had meanwhile passed her C2-German Language Test. We decided that she should apply for German citizenship. We loved to travel. But it meant that she had to apply for a visa for every country we wanted to travel to. So we found ourselves again at the Spanish Embassy for our vacation trip to our favorite island: Gran Canaria.

    We were astonished at how many Filipinas and Filipinos lived on this wonderful Spanish island in front of the West African coast. We got to know Luzviminda – star dancer in a Filipino ethnic dance group. There were indescribable moments. Luzviminda and Rossana knew only one topic that they talked: dancing. 

    In the meantime, we were able to build up our own dance group: the New Manisan Dance Group Berlin. 

    Countless stage appearances followed – including our first TV show "Mabuhay" with me as a somewhat stuttering and bumbling host. Thank goodness it wasn't a live broadcast!

    Then came a very sad event: Rossana, three months pregnant, lost our first child. "If I'm not allowed to dance at the moment, I'll help you with your work,” she said with tears in her eyes. Said and done: lay-outing and proofreading – she really was a tremendous help.

    And then, the next Filipino statesman and later president Fidel V. Ramos and his wife came and visited the Philippine Community Berlin. Rossana and I met him six times – especially later during our numerous stays in Manila.

    During Ramos' stay in Berlin, we heard another awesome piece of news. President Cory Aquino had been invited by our chaplain Father Gene Bacareza to visit Berlin – and?

    (To be continued)


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