PBBM meets with the Filipino community in San Francisco
Ahead of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. commenced his activities in the United States by engaging with the vibrant Filipino Community in San Francisco, California. This gathering took place at the South San Francisco Conference Center (SSFCC) on November 14, 2023. (Photos: RTVM)
The Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco provided valuable insights into the profile of the Filipino community. This understanding is derived from the diverse range of organizations that represent overseas Filipinos, including immigrants and Filipino Americans who actively participate in various initiatives. These organizations encompass both formal associations with ties to professional organizations in the Philippines, as well as informal networks that serve as social platforms.
The Filipino community in San Francisco is comprised of professional organizations, hometown associations, faith-based groups, socio-cultural organizations, socio-civic organizations, and school-based associations. These entities play a crucial role in fostering a sense of unity and support within the community.
Furthermore, it is worth highlighting the significant contributions made by exceptional Filipino Americans at the state and local levels as elected officials. Their involvement in policymaking and governance has greatly influenced the San Francisco Bay Area. In the recent 2022 elections, an impressive 13 candidates of Filipino descent were successfully elected to office in the Bay Area, further exemplifying the community's impact.
Notably, San Francisco holds a special place in history as it is home to Filipino veterans of World War II. The consulate has documented approximately 2,000 living Filipino war veterans to date, a testament to their bravery and sacrifice.
Philippine Consul General Neil Frank Ferrer emphasized in an interview that the Filipino Community in San Francisco actively engages in crucial sectors such as healthcare, education, business, and high technology. He expressed the community's eager anticipation of the President's visit to the city, highlighting the overwhelming support he received within the Consulate's areas of jurisdiction during the 2022 national elections.
During Marcos' keynote address, he fondly reminisced about his late father, former President Ferdinand E. Marcos Sr., and his first visit to San Francisco in 1966. The President emphasized that his father regarded the city not only as a hub for the Filipino community but also as a crucial historical, cultural, and economic bridge between the Philippines and the continental United States.
Highlighting the immense presence of Filipinos and Filipino-Americans in the United States, the President underscored that it has now surpassed 4 million, with 1.3 million residing within the jurisdiction of the Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco alone. He further emphasized that it has been 436 years since the first recorded arrival and establishment of Filipinos, known as the 'Luzones Indios' or Luzon Natives, in the continental United States. Today, Filipinos and Filipino-Americans have made significant contributions across various sectors of the American economy, society, media, as well as in politics and government.
This remarkable growth and integration of the Filipino community in the United States exemplify the enduring bond between the two nations. The President's address served as a reminder of the shared history and cultural ties that continue to strengthen the relationship between the Philippines and the United States.