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About Gail Howard's Philippines Travel Adventures
In 1964, Gail Howard has a nasty encounter in Bacolod City, Philippines, with a thug named Alfredo "Junior" Montelibano, son of a very powerful family closely allied with the notoriously corrupt Ferdinand Marcos.
Badly injured by the assault, the ever-fearless Gail Howard insists on justice and not only gets restitution for her injury, she receives an abject apology from the usually arrogant Junior Montelibano.
Still wounded, she decides to do some sight-seeing, visiting Corregidor, Zamboanga, Jolo (seat of the ancient Sultanate of Sulu where she manages not to get her head chopped off), Cotabato, Davao (where she experiences the delicious wonders of durian) and finally to Manila where Gail meets a spiritual group of healers and mediums called Espiritistas Christiana de Filipinas, led by renowned sculptor Guillermo Tolentino.
Gail hears tales of visitations by Jesus and gifts of "apports," messages from angels written on nuts and fruits in the tiniest handwriting. Eleuterio Terte, the most famous of the healers (who refuses all payments), helps heal Gail's wounds and others with touch and psychic surgery. Gail meets other healers and mediums, including Mrs. Pangan, Juan Blanche and the soon-to-be-world-famous Tony Agpaoa who help Gail Howard develop her own healing powers.
In an achingly beautiful coincidence, Gail arranges to restore the eyesight of Ann McPhie's little girl, Teru. Unfortunately, Gail Howard's stories reach the ears of a Dr. Nelson Decker who, with the financing of millionaire Henry Belk, relentlessly promotes the psychic surgeons of the Philippines, introducing money and greed into what was once considered a God-given gift.
Alas, when the psychics start charging for their operations, the healing powers fade, and then disappear completely. Sadly, after losing their spiritual connection, most of the psychic surgeons resort to deception and trickery.
Written by Gail Howard
I had just stepped through the doorway to my room at the Bascon Hotel in Bacolod City, Philippines, when a man appeared behind me. Suddenly all fury burst into my room. The man grabbed me and forced his way in. I struggled and screamed for help. He threw me on the bed. Flashes of pain rushed down my right arm as he forced and twisted my arms. While fighting him, I screamed as loud as I could. He tossed me on the floor. I scrambled up and bolted toward the door. He grabbed me again. I couldn't get away from him.
The crazed man was six feet tall and strong, but in my terror I was stronger. With my free hand I pummeled his face, his eyes and nose with my fist. I grabbed his skin with my nails and dug into his flesh. The pain from my nails gouging his face unbalanced him. I threw him on the floor. He landed on my Samsonite suitcase and actually crushed it.
When he lost his hold on me, I staggered to the door and swung it open. Dozens of people were huddled in the hallway, listening to the racket. The door had been closed but not locked. Anyone could have entered at any time to stop the assault.
As I reached the hallway, my attacker tackled me again. Crying and screaming, I begged someone in the crowd to please help me. To a security guard in uniform, I implored, "Help me! You have a gun, why don't you use it?"
A man's voice said soothingly, "There, there. Don't exert yourself, Junior."
The attacker loosened his grip.
My assailant was Alfredo 'Junior' Montelibano, age 31, fourth generation of the most powerful family on the island of Negros. His father, Alfredo Sr., had been a Mayor, Governor, Minister of Foreign Relations and currently was Secretary of the Treasury. His father-in-law, Senator Fernando Lopez, was campaigning for Vice President of the Philippines with Ferdinand Marcos for the 1965 election.
Not one person on the island of Negros would dare to defend me from this powerful rogue. They would have seen me beaten to death before lifting a hand to help me.
I demanded to see a doctor, who gave me a pain killer and took me to a hospital to be X-rayed.
As the doctor and my attacker's lawyer studied the X-ray, they buzzed back and forth. When I walked up to the X-ray, I could clearly see two splits in my forearm bone. I pointed to the breaks, and exclaimed, "It is broken!" There were two fractures in my ulna. I suspected they were discussing whether or not to admit my arm was actually broken. Once I had pointed to the breaks, they could not deny it.
The doctor put a cast on my arm which he hung from a sling around my neck. He told me I must wear the cast for two or three months, followed by a month of physiotherapy.
I convinced the doctor to give me a copy of the X-ray. More whispering with the lawyer, and the precious X-ray was finally given to me.
Immediately, I packaged the X-ray and the medical report with the doctor's name, lawyer's name, and all the essential facts. I specified names, places and dates, addressed it to my parents and dropped it in the mail box. In my letter, I wrote, "If you don't hear from me within two weeks, contact the American Embassy with the facts and come looking for my dead body."
With my right arm broken and the left one badly injured, I was helpless. I couldn't comb my hair, cut my food or dress myself. The slightest movement of the broken arm was painful. I began figuring how to survive. By calculating my expenses until my arm was healed, I came up with a figure of $10,000.
At a meeting with Montelibano's lawyer, I presented my figures and asked for $10,000.
"I would rather go to jail than try to raise $10,000," was Junior's response.