Pinoys head to Washington to witness Obama's inauguration

by Nadia Trinidad, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Posted at Jan 21 2013 06:48 PM | Updated as of Jan 22 2013 03:21 AM

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Evangeline Balbuena flew to the East Coast from San Jose, California to pay homage to a man who brought her sons back to her.

Balbuena has never gone out of her way to witness the inauguration of an American president but she makes an exception on this one because he delivered his promise to end the war in Iraq.

A lofty goal that hits close to home.

"Yung kanyang bring the troops home—yan ha personal sa akin yan. I have 3 identical boys, I have triplets, yan lang ang tatlo kong lalake lahat yan nasagsag sa giyera sa Iraq," Balbuena said.

Charmaine Manansala was a senior adviser of President Obama. She admired his work ethic she said, as well as his drive to understand the issues that affected the Asian American community.

"All I can say is he’s one of us," Manansala said.

She would never forget how the boss she called Barack once rolled up his sleeves in an attempt to understand what it's like to work as a nurse's aide in America so the government can better serve them.

"So in the morning he served breakfast to the elderly, he changed their linens, he helped do the laundry and he did the dishes," Manansala said.

Over the next four years Obama will embark on a second term that comes at a time of deep partisan divisions in Washington. The world looks to him to lead the US to an economic recovery while conflicts overseas will test his legacy.

But for four students from the Philippines invited by the White House to take part in this momentous event, it's enough to bear witness to how one man set his sights on the impossible and pulled it off not once but twice.