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Michael Jackson fan from Philippines seeks to be 'one with the people'

July 7, 2009 | 11:25 am

On the corner of Flower and 11th streets in downtown Los Angeles, about 200 Michael Jackson fans and bystanders stood behind barricades during today's memorial service, singing Jackson's songs or chanting his name.

Rey Culava, 62, of the Philippines sat atop a large concrete barricade silently. He said his purpose for attending, even without a ticket, was to "be one with the people," because that's what Jackson's music was about.

Culava is on a solo two-month vacation from Manila and so far has traveled to San Francisco and Portland, Ore., and will be off to Toronto and New York next. He said Jackson's music is just as popular among Filipinos as it is among Americans.

He said he's excited to tell people back home that he was in L.A. for Jackson's memorial service and didn't just watch it on TV.

"It's coming together physically and, I hope, spiritually as well," he said.

-- Nicole Santa Cruz

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