FilAms pledge four more years for Pres. Obama

‘He understands our issues.’ Photos by Bing Branigin & Elton Lugay

By Elton Lugay

WASHINGTON D.C. — Asian American leaders gathered here May 8 to celebrate the Asian American-Pacific Islander Month, and to reflect how much the community has accomplished throughout the Obama administration, and what else needs to be done.

The event was the gala for the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS), and Filipinos filled up several tables. Councilmember Mark Pulido of Cerritos, Calif., was among those honored for being a former intern at APAICS. Also awarded was the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (Apala), whose executive director, Gregory Cendana, is FilAm.

Mark Pulido

Pulido said Obama has been a staunch supporter of Filipino World War II veterans, and an inspiration to a new generation of Asian Pacific Americans.

“I am inspired by the fact that he understands our issues, our community’s history, our contributions to this country. I’m excited to be able to work on his behalf to reelect him to another four years,” said Pulido.

Cendena, executive director of Apala, said he is looking forward to represent the Filipino and Asian Pacific community “to help reelect the president.”

Gregory Cendana

Senior Analyst Angela Lagdameo, who works for the Office of the Maryland Governor, said it was brilliant the way Obama “described the struggles of Asian Americans.”

“He said we need to look at all Asian Americans that there are subgroups within each that are still struggling with many disparities whether it’s in health or whether it’s in education so we can’t look at as one Asian American but look at it as Filipinos, Vietnamese, Chinese, etc.,” she said.

Dante Basco

Actor Dante Basco said he’s never experienced anything like the APAICS gala where he felt proud of his community.

“To be in the presence of a true rock star, who’s an iconic character of our time, definitely made me proud of my community. I look forward to doing what I can do to support further our community,” said the “The Debut” actor.

Toby Chaudhuri, strategic marketing communications associate of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders said, “Pinoys are on the rise, politically.”

“We saw in this room today that they’re gaining political sophistication, institutional capacity, strength and popularity. New generation of leaders that are changing the debate in this country,” he said. “Activists in the community are organizing and moving changes that wouldn’t otherwise happen, and President Obama realizes that. Judging from the audience here…this is a historic time for our community, seeing Pinoys on the rise.”


  1. Robert Hawes wrote:

    This statement is NOT true “Pulido said Obama has been a staunch supporter of Filipino World War II veterans, and an inspiration to a new generation of Asian Pacific Americans.”.

    It was President Bush that pushed that effort in Congress. Your article would make a reader think that all Philippino are Liberal Socialist Democrats.

    Fortunately, there are many intelligent American/Philippino (notice “American” first) who are Christian and conservative. Why isn’t FilAm covering Republican candidates?

  2. ELTON LUGAY wrote:

    I’m sure there are Filipinos from both sides of the aisle but in this article, the FilAms were clearly rooting for Obama.

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