Filipino-Americans full of hope over Joe Biden-Kamala Harris victory in US polls

Published November 11, 2020, 7:00 AM

by AA Patawaran

According to Philippine ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez, up to 60 percent of Filipino-Americans voted for democrat Joe Biden in a bitter campaign against current President Donald Trump. Here’s what some of them have to say about the outcome of last weekend’s historic presidential election, which has also led to the first woman and colored vice president in American history, Kamala Harris.

I wasn’t prepared for the tideof joy and relief that came over me. I was hoping for a landslide but at the same time dreading the same result from four years ago. I was disappointed with how close the race was and that was when I realized how deeply embedded biases were in this country. I feel like we have to start prioritizing teaching history starting from a very young age to raise awareness about inequalities. Education is key moving forward. —Mia Villarin, Los Angeles

The day Joe Biden won the presidency was a good day to be a Filipino-American. It was a historic and cathartic event for a nation that has been deeply divided all throughout this current presidency. It was a day of firsts. Kamala Harris, the first woman, first Black and South Asian woman and a daughter of immigrants to be elected vice president. Joe Biden has always been a moderate figure in American politics and that is what the country needs after the highly divisive Donald Trump. In his victory speech, Biden promised to govern for all Americans: “gay, straight, transgender. White. Latino. Asian. Native American. And … the African-American community.” Trump’s lack of humility and decency in refusing to concede will make no difference other than to make him look like a sore loser. We can all hope that come January, the Biden presidency will work for an ever more perfect union of these United States of America. —Rafe Totengco, New York

I prayed for Biden to win the elections similar to how I pray daily for the health and safety of my family. Basic health and safety are my prayers for humanity. Everything good should follow. Trump and his followers’ ideals diminished basic health and safety for all. —Pia Miralao, Virginia

For years a storm had been brewing but not enough was being done to stop it. Then it came, with the biggest, baddest opportunist directing it and magnifying its power. I was so afraid the four years of dark, raging, violent storm would continue for another four years and maybe never end. But it did! There’s now some light peeking through the clouds to give us hope even as it reveals the aftermath: demonization of immigrants and people of color; what felt like weekly manifestations of systemic racism; bolder, more violent racist attacks among ordinary people; 230,000 pandemic deaths; erosion of trust in our institutions; lack of civility and even violence in treating those who differ with our opinion; willful neglect of the nation’s responsibility to save our planet; the highest income inequality in the past 50 years. Now, we have a chance to fix things with a new leader who will first stabilize the ship and reorient its compass before, with hope, leading it to the right direction. Thank God! —Debbie Aquino, Michigan

I am leaving my cave, breathing fresh air again, seeing the sun shine the way it used to on America. I am filled with hope that unity and decency are on their way back with our new President and Vice President. —Mavie Castrillo-Escalona

It’s good to see that we can still believe in the American people, democracy, and liberty. —Lukas Villarin, New York

I don’t really identify my perspective on the US elections as that of a Filipino-American. My hope is that this is the beginning of the end of the politics of torment everywhere, where the fanatical divisiveness of religion, race, and political affiliation rules over virtue and common sense. —Brigida Bergkamp, San Francisco

It’s been four turbulent years since Trump was elected to the presidency of the United States, where we have had to regress on equality and progressive ideology over pressing issues such as climate change, women’s rights, and LGBTQ rights. Yet 2020 proves more than ever that we the people can mobilize against bigotry, misogyny, and racism and use our voices and vote. I urge the Filipino people to do the same in these perilous times to mobilize against tyranny, fascism, and dictatorship. Our administrations in the US and the Philippines mirror each other and, if the the tide holds true, your vote needs to end this impunity. Two more years can’t come soon enough and I stand with all the human rights defenders and freedom fighters to continue their fight for justice. There is hope restored with the Biden-Harris tidal wave and I hope the Filipino people hold on to their humanity and continue to find the same glimmer of hope that has made this historic election in the US. —G Toengi-Walters, Los Angeles

I felt an immediate relief personally and also for the social climate, especially for being in the city. But I think there’s still a lot to improve on. I wish there would’ve been a more progressive candidate from the primaries but I’m hopeful Biden and Kamala can start to undo the chaos Trump caused. —Noa Villarin, Brooklyn, NY

It’s like a heavy weight has been lifted and I can finally breathe easy again. Biden’s win brought back my hope for humanity— that we can still build a better future, a compassionate, kinder, healthier world for all of us filled with truth, science, joy, love, dignity, and respect (complete sentences too!). This is the America I want to be living in and be proud of. —Happy David, New York