Fil-Am leaders drum up support for Romney, Ryan

by Joseph Lariosa, The Philippine Star

Posted at Oct 15 2012 10:07 AM | Updated as of Oct 15 2012 06:07 PM

ROSEMONT, Illinois – Some Filipino-Americans in Pennsylvania are getting their act together for the upcoming Nov. 6 presidential elections.

These Fil-Ams are part of what the 2010 census says are the residents within the New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area) of the estimated 217,349 Fil-Ams and Filipino multiracial Americans, with an additional 15,631 in the greater New York-Newark-Bridgeport, NY-NJ-CT-PA CSA (Combined Statistical Area).

They annually host the Philippine Independence Day parade, which is traditionally held on the first Sunday of June at Madison Avenue in New York.

Ernesto Gange, a long-time resident of Bensalem, Pennsylvania, and an officer of the National Filipino-American Coalition of the Republican Party, is trying to rally his fellow Fil-Ams to go out and vote in the upcoming elections.

The 72-year-old mom-and-pop businessman from Guimaras island province, who was an accountant by profession, had presided over the National Filipino-American Coalition of the Republican Party workshop during the 10th National Empowerment Conference and 5th Anniversary Celebration on Aug. 2-5, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan of the National Federation of Filipino-American Associations (NaFFAA).

Gange is in-charge of NaFFAA’s national membership campaign.

When he attended the 18th edition of the Gintong Pamana (Golden Heritage) Awards ceremony last Aug. 25 at the Hyatt Hotel at O’Hare at Rosemont, Illinois hosted by Fil-Am Megascene and Gintong Pamana Foundation headed by Bart and Yoly Tubalinal, Gange also extended moral support to awardee Erlinda Sayson Limcaco, founding president of the International Network of Filipinos overseas.

From taxi to 757 passengers

Gange believes the Fil-Am Republicans around the nation are now getting bigger.

“Fifteen years ago, members of the Filipino-American Republican Party can fit in a taxi. Now it can fit in a 757 plane. That is how humongous the size of Filipino-American Republicans has come to be.”

He believes that as the only Christian nation in Asia, Filipinos identify with the aspirations of former Gov. Mitt Romney and Rep. Paul Ryan, who oppose abortion.

Gange added the triple-digit jump of the economic deficit and the forceful effort of China to control the exclusive economic zone of other countries, including the Philippines, at the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) are two other reasons why Fil-Ams should support the Romney-Ryan tandem, which, he believes, is critical of Chinese intimidation.

“We will continue to hold workshops to drum up support for Messrs. Romney and Ryan at the homestretch of the campaign. We want to tell the Romney-Ryan campaign that if the Republican Party captures the White House, the government should address the West Philippine Sea issue and tell China to abide by the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) that limits navigation beyond the 12-nautical miles limit of UNCLOS signatory countries.”

At the same time, Gange said the Romney White House could urge the US Senate to ratify UNCLOS so that the US can check China’s overreach of its territory in the West Philippine Sea.

The retired employee of the Pearl Buck Foundation urged his fellow Fil-Ams to put up their own Republican Party in their respective communities and get involved in the political process.

He paid tribute to other Fil-Am Republicans who are actively campaigning for the candidates of the Grand Old Party (GOP).

Gange noted that Fil-Ams in Nevada are gaining visibility and are stirring the pot to attract the uncommitted to vote for the Republican Party candidates.

Gange could be referring to some Fil-Am- leaders, including real estate businesswoman Fely Quitevis, a recent guest at the 2012 Republic National Convention in Tampa, Florida and past chairman of Nye County, Nevada Republican central committee and founding chairman of the Asian-American Republicans of Nevada.

Quitevis was accompanied at the GOP national convention by Las Vegas, Nevada Fil-Am- Minerva Wimperis, treasurer of the University of the Philippines Alumni Association of Nevada.