Marcos looks back on family's time in Hawaii as he visits Honolulu 37 years after EDSA People Power

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 19) — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. looked back on this family's time in Hawaii during a meeting with the Filipino community in Honolulu on Sunday (Philippine time).

"Let me say that I have waited a very long time to say, aloha!" Marcos said to a cheering crowd at the Hawaii Convention Center.

The US state is Marcos' last stop in his six-day trip which began in San Francisco for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit. He is set to visit the Indo Pacific Command.

The Marcos family fled to Honolulu, Hawaii after the EDSA People Power Revolution toppled the dictatorship of Ferdinand E. Marcos in 1986. They were allowed to return to the Philippines in 1991 by then President Corazon Aquino, wife of slain Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr., a staunch critic of the elder Marcos and Martial Law.

The elder Marcos died in 1989 and was brought back to the country in 1993. His 2016 burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani was heavily denounced by critics as his 20-year presidency was historically remembered for its record of corruption and human rights abuses.

RELATED: Marcos: No forgiveness needed for father’s ouster

The president turned nostalgic as he recalled his life in Hawaii.

“We landed here with nothing,” he said. “Kung hindi dahil sa inyo, palagay ko, wala na ang pamilyang Marcos kaya't hindi ko makakalimutan.”

[Translation: If not because of you, maybe the Marcos family would have been no more, so I will never forget this.]

“When my mother (former first lady Imelda Marcos) found out I was coming to Honolulu, she said, ‘You make sure that you go back to all of those people who went out of their way to keep us comfortable and keep us alive,’” he added.

The chief executive said even if he thanked them every day for 1,000 years, it still would not be enough.

"The Filipinos and the Filipino-Americans in Hawaii hold a very special place in my heart for all the wonderful experiences that we had here with our Filipino compatriots," Marcos said.

During the meeting, Marcos again thanked Filipinos for trusting and voting him and Vice President Sara Duterte.

"From the bottom of my heart, I must say thank you for believing in this leadership. In return, I and my administration will be hard at work, and have been hard at work, from day one to ensure that we accomplish all that we have set out to do,” he said.

Before traveling to Hawaii, Marcos met with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the APEC summit in San Francisco to voice his concerns over persistent tensions in the West Philippine Sea.

The Presidential Communications Office said Marcos asked the Chinese leader "that they go back to the situation where both Chinese and Filipino fishermen were fishing together in these waters, a point that he thinks was well taken by Xi.”