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Fil-Ams join cheering for Obama’s second term

Filipino-Americans celebrating Obama’s inauguration at the Asian American Gala

WASHINGTON, DC—Among the nearly one million people at President Barack H. Obama’s inauguration on January 21 were many Filipino Americans who came to see a historic event, the installation of America’s first African-American president for a second term.

They also saw the Democratic president, who won his reelection with a convincing majority, pledge to defend Americans’ social safety net and uphold civil rights in the next four years. Pundits described the president’s speech as an assertion of a bold liberal vision.

Obama exhorted Americans to help him preserve social security, Medicare and other social services against efforts diminish the role of government in guaranteeing the public’s wellbeing.

Union man Rudy Gonzalves is ready to lend him a hand.  Among the hundreds of thousands that braved the bright but wintry day, the 42-year-old Gonzalves flew in from Los Angeles for the occasion.

“It is important for everyone to continue supporting him and the progressive aims he campaigned on,” he says. A member of the Service Employees International Union Local 71, Gonzalves says there is “a window of opportunity for good changes in immigration and pro-labor policies.”

Gonzalves says he “enjoys being around people who are happy for him and his family and the country.” He adds, “It’s good to be around strangers who are supporting him and know that the nation has an opportunity to make things better—the whole vibe in this city is amazing.”

Marissa Sunio, a 25 year old civil litigation attorney from Orange County, California, at the Asian American Gala

Sheila Napala, a 60-year-old teacher from Falls Church, Virginia felt lucky to get into the inaugural ticketed standing area.  She also attended the 2009 inauguration but was pretty far away in the back. “I just have to be here,” she says. “When I see a woman get elected, definitely I’ll be there and wouldn’t mind paying a lot of money for the opportunity to see that inaugural.”

What would she like to see in the next four years? “I want to see is that the Dream Act go through.” The bill would offer undocumented students a path to US citizenship.

“I see so much promise in these students from Guatemala, Mexico, Bolivia, parts of Africa,” Napala says. “I’ve been a teacher for about 20 years. They have really come along way learning our culture and I really feel bad that they have to go back and be deported because they are undocumented.”

Napala says she had three students from the same Bolivian family, who were raised by a single mother. They have all gone through college, one is now a doctor, another is studying to become a doctor and the last one wants to become a physical therapist. But one undocumented and may have to go back to Bolivia soon.

”I’m just hoping that since Obama got the second term that he just doesn’t ride it out, that he follow through about the deficit, health care and gun control,” she adds.

Another Obama well-wisher was 28-year-old Filipino Australian Carlo Velayo, a graduate student doing research at the Library of Congress and Smithsonian. Velayo, who looked forward to “being part of history,” would like to see Obama build on recent victories for gay and lesbian rights.

Professor Theo Gonzalves

“As a recently out person, I am extremely interested in how that space grows, how marriage equality would look like in the next four years,” he says.

The Sunday evening before Inauguration Day, many Filipino Americans were among the giddy celebrants at the Asian Pacific American Pearl Inaugural Gala.

Marissa Sunio, a 25-year-old civil litigation attorney from Orange County, California, says she missed the first inauguration in 2009. “It’s a very exciting time because America is making history again by re-electing the first African American president. The energy is great everyone is here for one common purpose.”

Sunio, too, is “really hoping for immigration reform–being an Asian American and Latina I know that will affect both my communities a lot.”

Meanwhile, Theo Gonzalves, a professor and the department chair of American Studies at University of Maryland, Baltimore County, savored the “historical irony” that a new monument of Martin Luther King Jr., the first monument to black American to be placed at the National Mall, will be staring across the tidal basin towards the Thomas Jefferson Memorial

“A slave master and author of the Declaration of Independence now has the man who led a mass-based social movement staring back at him—and 2013 also marks the 150thanniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation that legally ended slavery,” Gonzalves observes.

Rose Ibanez, Blanca Nepales, Janet Nepales and Cris Comerford at the Asian Pacific inaugural Gala

He notes that there are unfulfilled promises that not only go back four years with Obama, “but hundreds of years in what freedom really means for this country.” Dr. King, he says, was really taking about social justice for the majority of the people.”


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  • phantomofhope

    so what if they join cheering? is it a news?

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GRJCBEOUL25WWKSSM3JV7IFFII syaoransangel

      no, it’s not “a news”, it is news.

  • Pitbulldog

    And what are they shouting? BOOOOOOOOOOO………….BS

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GRJCBEOUL25WWKSSM3JV7IFFII syaoransangel

      sa fox news ka ba laging nanunuod?

      • Pitbulldog

        He he he, ang kapit tuko sa buntot ni Obama, umangal.  Pag bitaw mo diyan, puro itim na himulmol na nakakapit sa pald mo……

      • kanoy

         FAUX NEWS THE LAUGHINGSTOCK OF THE USA

  • Twister12

    LOL you’re all just for publicity. I’m sure if Romney won the election you would be cheering too.

    • Pitbulldog

      The world be cheering of course….just think of the trillions of dollars in debt, and this idiot wants to raise their borrowing to high heavens…..

      • murtson

        The journey will continue until America can’t stand anymore with pride and dignity…

      • kanoy

         CLINTON LEFT AMERICA IN THE BLACK BUSH LEFT AMERICA IN THE WORST DEPRESSION/RECESSION IN ITS HISTORY, THE BAILOUT WAS INITIATED BY BUSH AS WAS THE TAX CUTS FOR THE MOST WEALTHY AND WE ARE TO EXPECT THIS IDIOT TO FIX IN 4 YEARS WHAT IT TOOK THAT IDIOT 8 YEARS TO WASTE? IF OBAMA WANTS TO SPEND THAT BASKET CASE DONALD TRUMPS MONEY GO FOR IT THIS WORKING CLASS FAMILY WONT MISS IT A BIT

      • murtson

        Another idiot continues to bankrupt America with his out of control spending… Good for the gullible Americans airheads in believing the pied piper…

      • kanoy

         THE GREAT THING ABOUT THE US IS THAT IT HAS THE MONEY TO SPEND AND AT THE END OF THE DAY THE MILLIONAIRES ARE NOT POLITICIANS AND THE US HAS MUCH TO SHOW FOR ITS MONEY,,VS,,THE RP WHERE ALL THE RICH ARE POLITICIANS,,THE COUNTRY HAS NOTHING TO SHOW FOR ITS MONEY AND ITS THE ”HEROES” WHO ARE DANCING TO THE TUNE OF THE PIED PIPER
        WHEN THE US RUNS OUT OF MONEY IT JUST PRINTS MORE WHEN THE RP RUNS OUT OF MONEY IT BORROWS MORE
        THATS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A CROOK AND A THIEF

      • Pitbulldog

        Alam mo Kanoy, mga kano, ma-pride ang mga yan.  Kumukulo na sikmura, pinupuno na lang ng tbig ang tiyan para sabihin may laman.  kakahiya kasi, tinuringan pa naman na pinakamayaman na bansa….noon yan.   Nong wala pa ang idol mong Obumma.

      • Pitbulldog

        Komikero ka Kanoy.  Economic sense mo kagaya ni Obum-ma – SENSELESS.  Kandarapa sa kauutang ang engot tapos magpa-panic sa fiscal cliff niya.  Four years ago, he will fix up everything daw ang promis and if he cannot, he deserves a one term only.  What did he do?  He messed it further.  Tapos nagmakaawa ang engot sa pang-Oscar  speech nya – LET ME TRY AGAIN.  Saka sasabihin nyo, kulang ang 8 years para ayusins.  Engot, 4 years is too short for a good president antdtoo long for a bad one.  Kaya nga nasa-Limbo na ang beloved USA mo. Ano akala niyo sa gobyerno ng US, bolahan ng huweteng?  Dapat diyan sa idol mo ikiskis nang matindi sa wetpu ng palayok til maalis ang mga libag at pumuti.

      • kanoy

         YOU JUST DON’T GET IT,,,WHAT COUNTRY OR ECONOMY HAVE YOU GOT TO RUN, TO WORRY ABOUT, TO CONTROL? NONE OTHER THAN YOUR OWN, PERSONALLY I DONT CARE IF AQUINO BECOMES A DICTATOR AND EMPTIES THE TREASURY I DONT CARE IF OBAMA MULTIPLIES THE NATIONAL DEBT BY 100
        NOTHING EITHER OF THEM DO PAYS MY BILLS OR PUTS FOOD ON MY TABLE…..I DO
        THEY DO NOT CONTROL WHAT I DO IF I FAIL TO PROVIDE FOR MY FAMILY THATS MY FAULT….NOT THEIRS
        SO WHILE WHAT THEY DO YOU MAY WISH TO BLAME FOR YOUR FAILURES,,,MINE ARE CAUSED BY ME

      • Pitbulldog

        Okey saludo ako sa yo, Kanoy.  I suggest you start thinking about  pitching your tent in Timbuktu.  Perhaps in that imaginary kingdom, no government will ever wag your tail, pull the hairs out of your nostrils or shove their policies up your blacker than Obama’s behind (heee, he) when you are remiss in your duties to it.

      • kanoy

         LOL YOU SAID A MOUTHFULL BABY CAKES THAT IS CERTAINLY ONE OF YOUR BIGGEST DOWNFALLS,,,,YOU HAVE NO PRIDE,,,YET AS SOON AS A HYPHENATED AMERICAN MAKES A SPLASH YOU THUMP YOUR CHESTS LIKE IT WAS A PERSONAL ACHIEVEMENT,,,SHHH I HEAR GMA CALLING YOU

      • kanoy

        >>>Kanoy.  I suggest you start thinking about  pitching your tent in Timbuktu. ???? FOR WHAT? IF YOU WANT THE GOVERNMENT TO RUN YOUR LIFE, GIVE YOU HANDOUTS AND PAY YOUR WAY THEN WHAT THEY DO WILL FOREVER CONTROL YOUR LIFE…I DON’T NEED A DARN THING THEY GOT..I DO FOR MYSELF AND IN TURN MY FAMILY,,,I DO NOT SIT ON MY ASH WAITING ON OBAMA, I RETIRED WHEN REAGAN WAS PRESIDENT AND I WAS 33 NOW 31 YEARS LATER I FIND MYSELF JUST AS I DID THEN BOTH COMFORTABLE, CONTENT AND LIVING WIYTHIN MY MEANS
        SO WHY SHOULD I SWEAT OBAMA AFTER LIVING THROUGH TRIPLE BUSH AND REAGANOMICS AND COMING OUT SMELLING LIJKE A ROSE…IF SOMEONE CAN’T BUDGET AND CONTINUES TO LIVE OUTSIDE THEIR MEANS NO PRESIDENT CAN HELP THEM

  • kanoy

     CORRECTION……

    Among the nearly one million people at President Barack H. Obama’s inauguration on January 21 were many Americans who have some Filipino relatives who came to see a historic event, the installation of America’s first American president who has some relatives living in Kenya for a second term

    AFRICAN-AMERICAN SUGGESTS OBAMA IS AN IMMIGRANT,,,IMMIGRANTS CAN NOT BE PRESIDENT OF THE USAThe terms of citizenship for presidential candidates are interpreted very strictly. Any person wishing to run must be a natural born citizen, meaning that immigrants are not eligible to run, no matter how long they have lived in the US.
    OBAMA IS A BLACK AMERICAN CITIZEN

    • murtson

      Black American citizen made in Kenya…. 

      • kanoy

        TO A NON CHRISTIAN THAT IS AN ASSUMPTION
        HOWEVER
        TO A CHRISTIAN

        A BLACK AMERICAN CITIZEN MADE IN HEAVEN
        CONCEIVED & BORN IN HAWAII USA

  • NY_Pinoy

    This news is great!  During the time leading to the election, Fil-Ams have shown themselves to be the most conservative ethnic group and flocked towards the white candidate (I can’t remember his name now).  Even the Inquirer have shown its white bias.  Thankfully, democracy’s choice finally prevailed.

    • Pitbulldog

      Walang bias bias dyan, engot. Kung Ogag, di kami pabor.  pag di pumabor sa itim, racist.  Sa america mo lang puwede yang racist racist na yan.  We will call a spade a spade, an egoy an egoy, a morena a morena.  A supot a supot.  BS.  Yang utak ng mga itim na yan, kulay lang ng balat and sinisino at nasa bawat kasuluk sulukan ng isip nila.  Kaya pabayaan mo ang mga yan at walang direksiyon ang mga gobyerno.  E pati bulag sa kanila, alam kung ano kulay ng balat ng kaharap nila.  Itanong  yan kay Stevie Wonder, he he.

  • dprotector

    I am just wondering what is the significance of these to Philippines.

  • riza888

    America survived Bush. America will survive Obama.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/FFSZ7TIZZG47FYQFAZFIGYXKPM Pers

    walang epekto sa pnas yan. kahit sino ang presidente sa US ang pilipinas ay hindi importante kaalyado kasi mahirap ang pnas.

  • RightCowLeftCoast

    Not cheering, mourning
    At least we know we will only need to endure another 4 years of liberal statism that has increased the federal debt at the highest rate since the end of world war two. Unfortunately, we (the younger generations) will have be burdened with the debt authorized by our elder statesmen who will have died long before the debt has been paid off.



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