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Filipino reporter got stuck in China during the revolution and stayed for 39 years

November 1, 2011

Chito Sta. Romana, a 63-year-old Emmy-award winning journalist from the Philippines, has been living in China for the past 39 years, but just retired and returned to his home country, according to The Inquirer Global Nation.

"It wasn't meant to be. It was supposed to be a three-week visit to China," Sta. Romana explained to the news source. "I led the Philippine Youth delegation of student leaders - 15 of them - invited by the Chinese People's Friendship Association in 1971."

However, political unrest in the Philippines led to martial law and Sta. Romana and his constituents feared that if they returned home at that time they might be arrested. So he and a few others decided to wait things out, but the journalist wound up staying a lot longer than he thought, according to the news source. Romana got a job as a reporter for ABC News and covered momentous events such as the Tiananmen protests in 1989.

Romana was able to visit and make calls to the Philippines to reconnect with his family in 1986 when the revolution finally won and former dictator Ferdinand Marcos was taken out of power.


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