Sunday, January 20, 2008


On a very cold, frosty, early December morning, I made a decision that I needed some down time for myself, to re-coup, and regain a new perspective about the direction of my life.
Having lived in Kansas City, Missouri, since my release from prison on April 15, 1999—after serving 12 years for a capitol murder, I knew nothing about— I decided to go to the Philippines to promote my book, Journey Toward Justice.
I was a little unsure of what to expect (as I had never been on a vacation by myself ), as the overwhelming noise from the powerful jet-engines began to roar, engulfing me with mixtures of anticipation and tingling excitement.

As the giant bird lifted from the runway, I looked out the small-framed, interior window with the realization that I would actually be in Manila, Philippines, within 24 hours—for the start of a 10 day book tour that included Sebu City, and Dumaguete City.
After landing and checking into the Hyatt Hotel, I obtained the address of the National Book Store. With a heavy bag of my books dangling from my hand, I then explored the over-populated city of Manila—where I would reside for the next 3 days.

The air was filled with the sounds of hundreds of small motorcycles simultaneously tooting their horns as they buzzed throughout the cramped, unmarked, city streets. I suddenly became aware that there were no speed signs or stop lights to caution any of the motorists.
Wow! I thought, what a difference this was compared to the U.S.
The savoring smells of cooking meat permeated into my nostrils, as I passed continuing rows of outside vendors earning their daily wages, each blurting out a redundant sale’s pitch to sell their prepared food. Beads of perspiration dripped from my face onto my shirt, as I flagged down a nearby cab to further my intended journey, to the National Book Store.
The days passed by quickly, underscoring each new encounter that I made with the very friendly people in both Sebu City and Dumaguette City—where I have very fond and lasting memories of my vacational book tour.
They all welcomed me warmly in each of the bookstores that I visited; whereby accommodating me with their fullest appreciation and support.
There is a genuine saying in the Philippines that best describes the personalities of the native people living there: “If I’m late, who cares!!”

I found myself to be very comfortable within this new and different world, that turned on the value system of hard work, less stress, and larger families with close, traditional ties.
Who knows, maybe next year I will take my Journey Toward Justice to another foreign land, to bring about the much-needed greater awareness—that we ALL need to learn.