75-year-old American stranded in NAIA living on food handouts from airport workers

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 30 2021 01:26 AM

75-year-old American stranded in NAIA living on food handouts from airport workers 1
Photo by Raoul Esperas for ABS-CBN News.

MANILA — A 75-year-old American, who claims to be a Vietnam war veteran, has been living at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) for the past 2 weeks.

Maurice Francis O'Connor said he missed his flight to Thailand.

O'Connor who hails from Massachusetts, was first spotted roaming the departure area of NAIA Terminal 1 two weeks ago by airport security patrolling the area. 

Security personnel said O'Connor later went to the terminal’s arrival extension area. 

Since then, he has occupied the front of a public comfort room at the arrival extension's well-wishers' area. 

“Sa upuan din po sa departure area una siya natutulog dahil madalang po ang flight. Kitang-kita siya kaya po pinaalis namin, pero sa arrival extension area naman siya lumipat at sa upuan pa rin siya natutulog” an airport security guard told ABS-CBN News.

(He was first seen sleeping in the departure area because there were limited flights. We saw him, and we drove him away but he went to the extension area and he slept on the chairs ever since.)

He occupies at least 2 rows of seats which serves as his bed and space for his few remaining clothes. 

75-year-old American stranded in NAIA living on food handouts from airport workers 2
75-year-old American stranded in NAIA living on food handouts from airport workers 3

Maurice Francis O'Connor was first spotted roaming the departure area of NAIA Terminal 1 two weeks ago by airport security patrolling the area. Photos by Raoul Esperas for ABS-CBN News

Maurice Francis O'Connor was first spotted roaming the departure area of NAIA Terminal 1 two weeks ago by airport security patrolling the area. Photos by Raoul Esperas for ABS-CBN News

O'Connor said he has not bathed for the past 2 weeks. He showed signs of depression.

When asked why he missed his flight, he was not able to give a straight answer. He said he was married to a Thai, served the US Army, and fought in the Vietnam war.

Airport security personnel and janitors, meanwhile, said that they have been contributing money and food for him.

The American expressed his gratitude, and said he was satisfied with his current situation and is being fed at least 4 times by NAIA’s employees, whom he considers as his own children. 

“The airport workers here have made my stay easier here at the airport, I can not ask for more, they are my guardian angel,” he said. 

As of this story’s posting, O’Connor is still at NAIA Terminal 1 and has no money for his food and his way back home. 

ABS-CBN News is getting the side of the US embassy in Manila regarding O'Connor's situation, as of posting. — report from Raoul Esperas 

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