PRESIDENT Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. hailed Filipinos and Filipino-Americans in the United States on Tuesday for their success as well as contributions both to the Philippines and their host country that encompass different fields.
Speaking during his meeting with the Filipino community in San Francisco, California, President Marcos recognized Filipinos who won statewide elective positions in the US.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Americans experienced first-hand the Filipino way of caring and acting on the needs of others, said Marcos, stressing that one in every five nurses in California are trained in the Philippines, with Filipino nurses, doctors, first responders, and essential workers all demonstrating the timeless Filipino virtues of malasakit, pakikipagkapwa, and bayanihan.
“We are all grateful for your selfless service to humanity, and we look up to you as role models for future generations of Filipinos and Filipino Americans,” he said.
“We recognize the hard work of Overseas Filipinos in the US. In 2022, the workers, health workers, injected [USD] 14.89 billion to the Philippine economy in cash remittances—making the United States
the Philippines’ biggest single source of remittances.”
He also mentioned Bay Area’s Sarina Bolden, who made history at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup as the Philippines’ first-ever goal scorer at a Soccer World Cup and the President also commended the rising number of Filipino Americans in the Bay Area and Silicon Valley who are now active partners in Philippine development and nation-building.
Marcos also recalled those who took part in the 2023 Very Important Pinoy, or VIP, Tour in Malacañang last July, and expressed pride on their achievements, and for the positive image of the Philippines and of the Filipino people that they created in the US.
“Mula noon hanggang ngayon, pinatutunayan ninyo na kayo ang mga bagong bayani ng ating salinlahi. Kaya naman sa Bagong Pilipinas na ating itinataguyod, nais ng inyong pamahalaan na suklian ang inyong pagsusumikap upang bigyan ng mas magandang bukas ang ating mga anak,” he said of the Filipinos in the US.
According to the President, he is honored to follow the footsteps of his late father, President Ferdinand Edralin Marcos Sr., who first visited San Francisco in 1966 during his first year in office.
Considering San Francisco as an important city because of the significant Filipino population, the Philippine government in 1974 purchased a set of buildings off Union Square in the downtown area, which is now known as the Philippine Center in San Francisco, the President said.
There are now more than four million Filipinos and Filipino Americans in the US, of which 1.3 million reside in the 10 states under the jurisdiction of the Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco.
Out of this figure, around 700,000 Filipinos are living and working in the Bay Area.