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Last Updated: Friday, 23 July, 2004, 12:37 GMT 13:37 UK
In pictures: Philippine hostage's homecoming
Angelo de la Cruz (2nd-L), is reunited with his brother Feliciano, (L) sister in law Ligaya (2nd-R) and sister Nelia Cayanan (R) on his arrival in his hometown of Buenavista,
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Mr de la Cruz (centre) has been given a rapturous reception by friends and family in his home village, north of Manila.
 Angelo de la Cruz, (R) his wife Arsenia (L) with their sons Efferson (L) and Jerick (R) listen to the Philippine national anthem during arrival ceremonies in his hometown
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Mr de la Cruz was whisked off for special arrival ceremonies.
Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, right, greets freed Filipino hostage Angelo dela Cruz, left
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His release was a triumph for Philippine President Gloria Arroyo (R), who has risked Manila-Washington relations to save him by pulling out troops from Iraq early.
Wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with 'I Am A Filipino
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At times, Mr de la Cruz, has seemed overcome after his two-week ordeal.
Released Filipino hostage Angelo de la Cruz, centre, is escorted out of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila, Philippines, after addressing the media upon arrival Thursday, July 22, 2004
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Media interest in the former hostage is intense - he has become a national icon.
Relatives and friends of Filipino hostage Angelo de la Cruz react as they see him on television after his release (July 20, 2004)
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Mr de la Cruz's release on Wednesday came as an enormous relief to his village....
Children gesture under a welcoming banner for Angelo de la Cruz outside his house in Buenavista, north of Manila 22 July 2004
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...and they pulled out all the stops to make his homecoming special.


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