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The guards and other security people are generally polite and respectful but sometimes they are pushed to their limit by inmates who are obnoxious and mouthy.  I saw this lady inside their room and so I got curious. She said she had a fight with one of the guards and told him to f… off.  So she was locked in for the rest of the day.

One inmate was as heartbroken as I was. We talked, and I found out she has a master’s degree and Ph.D. and lived in a mansion in the US. She shared custody of her kids with her ex-husband but the kids are being abused while in his custody so she flew and had a big fight with him that turned violent. Both of them were taken to jail.

I saw the devastation and disappointment on her face when she told us her story. She vowed not to leave Canada without her children, and I pray that she will succeed.

Scary episode

It was night when I was moved to the 4th floor, so I was not able to say goodbye to the ladies. Claudia was so concerned and called my sister and told her I was missing. It made my family and friends so worried. Some thought that I tried to escape.

On the fourth floor, it is more open, and people look more relax and jolly. Our wing has 24 rooms, but only 13 were occupied.

Comparing war wounds

I looked at the small room and remember my late husband activist/editor and Balita founder Ruben Cusipag who was a political prisoner during the martial law regime because of his critical articles about the Marcos dictatorship.

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Did he have the same size of the room? Was he treated well? I have a single bed, a table, stool, mirror and shelf. I wonder if Ruben was allowed to mingle with the other inmates. I remember him telling me that he was in the same cell with Ninoy Aquino till Ninoy was transferred somewhere else.

In one of the Upsilon Sigma Phi International reunions in San Francisco, the late ex-vice president Doy Laurel said to everyone listening and pointing to Ruben, “he is one of the guys that drove Marcos to declare Martial Law.” I was truly elated.

Missing my family

I tried to forget that I am not at home so I don’t get attacked by depression. I call my family whenever I get the chance. My oldest boy had a booked trip with his family to Mexico, and I wanted to reassure them that I am okay and wish them to enjoy their vacation.

I really miss my children and grandchildren. I take my grandkids to Kung Fu lessons every Thursday night, and the two little ones whom I help babysit every now and then.

They have their nannies but I volunteer to do it to regularly bond with them.

Things we take for granted

On my first day, food was the last thing I wanted to see so I was not eating and just throwing them away.

An inmate told me to stop throwing the food because the others would surely appreciate it. It was a realization: The others think they are not getting enough so I started giving the food to them.

The inmates do not have the luxury of getting snacks from the outside except to order from the canteen which will deliver it the week after. They try to save whatever they have left over such as tea bags, instant coffee, sugar and cream, bread, condiments, muffins, and crackers, especially by those who would be here longer. Juices and milk I consumed right away to sustain my energy.