Filipino-Americans win in U.S. elections

Several Filipino-Americans have emerged winners in the Nov. 9 US general elections, The Inquirer reports.

Assembly member Rob Bonta, who became the first Filipino to serve in the California legislature, was reelected to his post.

According to the Inquirer, Bonta captured 87 percent of the vote, defeating Republican Roseann Slonsky-Breault. He represents the 18th Assembly district, which includes Oakland, San Leandro and Alameda in Northern California.

Since his first election to the California Assembly in 2012, Bonta has authored bills promoting Fil-Am heritage, including the annual proclamation of Larry Itliong Day honoring the late Filipino farm labor leader.

He also introduced AB 123, which required California public school curriculum to include the contributions of Fil-Ams to the farm labor movement.

 
Juslyn Manalo calls it a dream come true.

Juslyn Manalo, a former community service worker who fought for the rights of Fil-Am veterans, became the first Filipina to win a council seat in Daly City, the largest city in San Mateo County, California.

Juslyn Manalo, first Filipina-American council member for Daly City.(FB)

Juslyn Manalo, first Filipina-American council member for Daly City.(FB)

“I think it’s long overdue actually and I’m really honored to be in this place and serve,” said Manalo.

With a background working for non-profit organizations in San Francisco such as the Veterans Equity Center and the Bill Sorro Housing Program and in the private sector as a Community Engagement Associate for Forest City Enterprises, Manalo says she will fight against the fear of gentrification while still finding appropriate ways to bring about new housing in Daly City.

“I think there are possible areas for responsible development in Daly City that will bring forth more jobs, housing and also revenue to make sure we don’t cut services that we need,” said Manalo. “Also looking at building a hotel with a conference center so that we’ll be able to use that hotel tax for our community.”

With the rise of fear in the immigrant community in the wake of the election of Donald Trump as president, Manalo, a Clinton supporter, calls for unity and strength.

Manalo said, “We have been communities that have been able to push through struggle and stand together and always ensure that now is a time more than ever that as communities of color, immigrants that have paved the way and really built this nation that we are not afraid and we will continue to stand for our families and communities.”

Bergenfied, New Jersey

In Bergenfied, New Jersey, businessman and community leader Salvador “Buddy” Deauna won a city council seat. A farmer’s son from Camarines Norte, Deauna is the eldest of 16 children.

Farmer's son Buddy Deauna wins in New Jersey .

Farmer’s son Buddy Deauna wins in New Jersey .

 

 Bob Sampayan was elected mayor of Vallejo, California. A retired police officer, he has served as Vallejo City couBoncilmember since 2011.

Bob Sampayan, Mayor of Vallejo (Provided)

Bob Sampayan, Mayor of Vallejo (Provided)

 

Three other Fil-Ams emerged victorious in Vallejo. Hermie Sunga and Rozzana Verder Aliga were elected city council members while Ruscal Cayangyang won a seat in the school board.

New Jersey

In Bergenfied, New Jersey, businessman and community leader Salvador “Buddy” Deauna won a city council seat. A farmer’s son from Camarines Norte, Deauna is the eldest of 16 children.

Trump win shocks Filipinos

According to Inquirer reports, Filipino-Americans have mixed reactions to the Trump victory.

“I really did not expect that,” said Manny Ramos, a registered Democrat, told Inquirer.

The myriad emotions that reflected off Ramos during the NPR broadcast was a nutshell of what Filipino-Americans felt on Wednesday, a day after Trump returned the Republicans to the White House.

In Democrat strongholds, shock was the overwhelming sentiment, closely followed by anger and resignation.

“I was disappointed about the election result,” said Ivan Dasig, a lead nurse at Northbay Medical Center’s intensive care unit, citing Trump’s history of bigotry.

“There’s the discrimination. (Trump’s win) might validate white supremacists now that their president is elected. We might see a rise of bullying at school and prejudice against immigrants.”

In the swing states, the reaction was a lot more varied.

For Ramos, who has raised a family in a beautiful suburban home, racism isn’t as much of a concern in a melting pot state like Florida as the future of health care and the economic repercussions of Trump’s volatile personality.

“He wants to repeal the Affordable Health Care act and there is uncertainty as to how that will affect those who were able to purchase health insurance because of that law,” Ramos said, referring to the 20 million or so who have health care because of the law.

In Raleigh, North Carolina—another swing state Trump wrested from the Democrats, fear was among the emotions that overcame Fil-Ams.

Lowell Onting, a software developer and tester, said fear drove him to the poll booths in an attempt to stop a man who he felt “could start a war in a heartbeat.” And that fear was raised a notch when the effort went for naught.

Deena Omega Tañedo, a 40-year-old physical therapist who voted for Clinton, woke up at 5 a.m. just to check the election results.

“I was shocked Trump won despite what (early) polls showed,” she said, adding that there is a sense of apprehension that fills her about the Trump presidency.

“His foreign policies,” she said. “And in his 1st 100 days, he wants to get rid of illegal immigrants and the H1B visas. I hope he will grant amnesty to those who deserve it instead of (opting for blanket) deportation.”

North Carolina lived up to its swing state reputation as there were Fil-Ams who voted for Trump.

Bem de Guzman, who initially had no intentions of voting, eventually picked Trump because the Republican platform lined up with her views.

“I voted for Trump. I expected him to win here in NC but I did not expect him to win the presidency,” said Cesar Torrefranca.

Serge Rocamora, who voted for Clinton, said his apprehensions about a Trump presidency mellowed somehow, but the spate of protests over the election result reawakened his fears.

But as is common with the Filipino culture, Fil-Ams who voted against Trump remained hopeful about his presidency, with some looking at what Dasig, who worries about the effect of Trump’s win to jobs outsourced by American companies to the Philippines, calls “silver linings.”

“He promised to lower income taxes and if he repeals Obamacare, our insurance premiums will be lower,” he said.