Democrats in PH celebrate Obama reelection


US President Barack Obama. AP PHOTO

While thousands of miles away from their homeland, American Democrats in the Philippines celebrated the reelection of President Barack Obama.

Democrats Abroad, an organization of Americans based in the Philippines, marked the second inauguration of Obama in a modest gathering on Saturday at a pub in Makati City.

“Someone asked me during the elections ‘Why do you care [when] you live here?’  I said, well, it’s actually close to me, I have family there and I keep in touch and care about my family,” said Democrats Abroad vice chairperson Lisa Kircher Lumbao.

A Philippine resident for 20 years now, Lumbao has been participating in US polls from the Philippines for the last four elections.

For Lumbao, Obama’s reelection bodes well for both her birthplace and her current residence, citing the close relationship between the Philippines and the United States.

“The Philippines is very affected by the US economy. The whole world is affected by the US economy. And having Obama elected is really good for the economy, compared to what the Republicans were proposing,” said Lumbao of the opposing party’s proposals on tax and spending cuts.

More than 20 members showed up for Saturday’s inauguration party, where the group watched the Jan. 21 inaugural ceremonies at the National Mall in Washington D.C.

Asked about international interest in the Democratic president, Lumbao said: “I think a lot of people are interested in the fact that he is half-black. That makes people relate to him a little better … just being a minority, and a lot of Filipinos in the US are minorities.”

“He lived in Indonesia, he has a much more multicultural view of the world than (former) President George W. Bush, who was very focused on the US and he didn’t have much understanding of the world.  So in that sense, maybe Filipinos can relate to him better, too.  He’s also much more of a regular, self-made person,” said Lumbao.

Reaching out to more US citizens in the Philippines, including Filipino-Americans, Democrats Abroad is hoping to encourage wider participation in US elections outside the mainland.  As Lumbao herself described it, voting outside the US can be a “hassle” as ballots have to be sent via registered mail.

“We want people to show up, start and get more members and all.  We just run into so many Americans, a lot of Filipino-Americans, who have no idea how to vote here,” said Lumbao, adding that the organization could not get an accurate count of US citizens residing in the Philippines.

The Democrats Abroad Philippine chapter intends to take up other causes such as lobbying for their right to use their US medicare benefits here in the Philippines. They say they continue to pay for medical insurance to the US government but cannot access the benefits in the Philippines.

The group, mostly expatriates and retirees, gets together every quarter to discuss issues affecting them in the Philippines.

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  • Usi Sero

    “I think a lot of people are interested in the fact that he is half-black. That makes people relate to him a little better … just being a minority, and a lot of Filipinos in the US are minorities.” — Mr. Lumbao

    Not sure if there are ethnic groups that are partly minority.

  • desi derata


  • elms

    What a bunch of idiots!

  • adriel0104

    a party  of ABNORMAL people and baby killers!

  • Rene V

    loosen up, criticizers. these guys are just ordinary folks who just happen to live in the Philippines. of course, they have some beliefs, principles and loyalties unique to their status and citizenship. the home country gives the citizen the right to affiliate with whatever political party he/she wants to be with. this is the right of choice and i know a lot of Democrats have reservations regarding abortion. the Democratic party is not all about abortion but is a whole lot of principles with regards to the citizens in relation to the country the same way the Republican party is to its constituents. 

  • Franklyn Flores

    Turning America into a welfare society one step at a time…. nuts! Soon he will take out your guns too

    • Rene V

      the 2nd Amendment is forever. i am a sports enthusiast and i love firearms but i also notice the loophole that gun shows enable some sellers to sell firearms without the legal parameters. people buying guns should go through a standardized check system.

  • juan

    Philippines should be worried. BHO is pro union which means bad news for export oriented countries. BHO is a skilled politicians. He tells people what they want to hear just to get elected and now that he got his way, he will ruin America for good. First is the national debt, second obama care and now the 2nd amendment. What is next? My paycheck now is $200 less a month than what it was last year. Im really surprised that alot of pinoy voted for him. THink about this,
    HE is no friend to PINAS. Call centers employees and nurses to the US, watch out. Those are next on the chopping block. REMEMBER this guys. DEMOCRATS are pro UNION. REPUBLICANS are pro business. enought said!!

  • riza888

    Asian-Americans – including Filipinos, happen to be the highest-earning group in the U.S., out-earning whites, and they generally place enormous emphasis on family. A perfect fit for Republicans, no? No. Asians voted for Obama by 73-26; they were more Democratic than Hispanics. The GOP is overwhelmingly white and insistently, at times militantly, Christian. Democrats, by contrast, are multiracial with a laissez faire attitude toward religion and spirituality. If you were a black-haired Buddhist from Taipei or a brown-skinned Hindu from Bangalore, which party would instinctively seem more comfortable? There is also the problem that polite people avoid identifying: the persistence of a rump of racists in the Republican base and on conservative airwaves.

  • votermom (D)

    I don’t know why Pinoys support the Obamas. They spend money like the Marcoses did and they are just as corrupt  – pure crony politicians. And noe the US media treats them like Ferdie & Imelda – they don’t allow anyone to criticize them.

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