Filipinos in Hawaii eagerly await President Aquino’s arrival | Global News

Filipinos in Hawaii eagerly await President Aquino’s arrival

/ 02:57 AM November 12, 2011

HONOLULU—A leading member of Hawaii’s state legislature is one of those eagerly awaiting the arrival of President Benigno Aquino III for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Summit here this weekend.

“For us, it’s tremendously significant that we get to see our President coming, we’re very honored and happy to have him here,” said Joey Manahan, Vice Speaker of the House of Representatives and a leader of the Filipino community here who, according to election website, was born in Makati City.

Manahan told Malacañang reporters he personally wanted to meet Mr. Aquino to see if he was just like his father, martyred opposition leader Benigno Aquino Jr.


“For me personally, it’s very thrilling and I am very excited to meet him and see whether he’s like his father who had a profound impact on history in the Philippines,” Manahan said.


More than 1,000 Filipino residents in Hawaii have signed up and paid $75 to attend Mr. Aquino’s event with the Filipino community on Sunday at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Hotel.

“So we have this challenge of trying to say, ‘No, the house is full.’ The thing is, this is an evening where we have all the leaders of Filipino communities in attendance,” said Consul General Leoncio Cardenas Jr.

There are more than 600,000 Filipinos in Hawaii but the hotel ballroom can only accommodate 1,200, Cardenas said.

Big factor

“If you have that big a number, it’s really such a big factor in terms of your critical role in the affairs of the state. You have to remember that we have a lot of Filipinos in all branches of the government,” he said.

According to Cardenas, there is another high-ranking Filipino-American official in the Hawaii state government, aside from Manahan.


Donna Mercado Kim, the vice president of the Hawaii Senate, is also of Filipino ancestry.

“In the executive branch, we also have a lot of Filipinos. There are also Filipinos in the state judiciary. In the state legislature, we had at one time a Senate president who was of Filipino ancestry. And now the vice president of the Senate and the Vice Speaker of the House of Representatives are of Filipino ancestry,” Cardenas said.

“So in government affairs, Filipinos are already playing a very, very important role,” he said.

The event on Sunday will be the first time Filipinos in Hawaii will be meeting Mr. Aquino.

“They are so eager, they are so excited to meet with the President,” Cardenas said.

“I think it’s going to be a two-way communication because they would like to tell the President how much they have achieved here in Hawaii, something the Filipino people and the President particularly should be very, very proud of,” he added.


There are many Filipino professionals in the state, particularly medical professionals.

“We have doctors, we have nurses. And one particular instance is that it is in this state where the health care industry is dominated by Filipinos. Practically 90 percent of the health care industry, those who take care of elderly people, is mostly in the hands of Filipinos,” Cardenas said.

When Tropical Storm “Ondoy” ravaged Metro Manila in 2009, the community raised some $200,000 without being asked, he said.

Cardenas said that Filipinos in Hawaii would like very much to hear from the President, regarding his programs to realize the objectives of peace and security and prosperity for the Filipinos.

They care a lot “for their brothers and sisters in the Philippines,” he said.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

“They would like to listen to him, to what the President has so far done or what he is going to be pursuing in terms of his programs in government. It’s going to be an exciting evening here.”

TAGS: Apec meeting, Filipinos in Hawaii, President Benigno Aquino III

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.