Marcos, to have stayed in power for so long, must have been a smart man. This is proven by his history. While attending law school, he was charged with conspiracy in a murder. The murdered man, Julio Nalundasan, was a political rival of his father. He still managed to receive a Bachelor's of Law, graduating cum laude. He would have graduated magna cum laude had he not been in prison. He reviewed for the bar exam while in jail, and posted bail to take it. He scored extremely high on the exam. He was eventually found guilty for the murder, but appealed his own case to the Supreme Court. He successfully argued for acquittal, based on the prosecution's faulty case, before he had even started practicing law.

Okay, now for some stuff not found in most history books.

Marcos knew how to get the United States to support him. All he had to do was scream Communism. To be fair, there really was a problem with Communists and Muslims, especially in the south, but he milked it for all it was worth, while committing human rights violations and plundering the treasury. This lasted for well over a decade, and probably would have continued if not for the People Power revolution. The revolution was sparked largely in part by the assassination of Benigno Aquino. The assassination was rather blatant and it was obvious Marcos was behind it. However, it is doubtful Ferdie actualy gave the order. He was smart enough not to make a martyr out of the man, and besides, "Ferdie" was in extremely ill health at the time. It is rumored his wife, Imelda, was the one that ordered the hit.

I was too young to understand at the time, but I knew my parents had a hatred for this man. They were glued to CNN during the revolution, and it was an extremely joyous occassion. Like any good parent, they passed their hatred down to me. While visiting the Philippines shortly after the revolution, we visited a large statue of his face carved out of the side of a mountain (Think Mount Rushmore, on a slightly smaller scale). I promptly gave it the finger. The next day I caught a cold. My family joked that it was more than a coincidence.