MANILA — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Sunday (Monday in Manil) thanked Filipinos in the United States for supporting his candidacy in the May 9 polls, which later led to his landslide victory.
Speaking to the US-based Filipino community at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Marcos said he was "humbled and overwhelmed with Filipino pride" to see thousands attending his visit, thanking them for being among the over 31 million Filipinos who gave him a "resounding mandate" to lead the country.
"Kulang po ang pasasalamat ko sa inyo sa inyong naging suporta. Hindi man tayo nagkita, hindi ko man kayo napuntahan dahil sa pandemya, hindi man tayo nakapag-selfie, hindi pa tayo nagkamayan, pero sumuporta po kayo sa amin," he said.
(My thanks for your support is lacking. Though we did not see each other, we failed to visit you because of the pandemic, we did not take selfies nor shook hands, you supported us.)
Marcos also honored the Filipino community in the US and in other parts of North America for their contributions "in advancing the interest of the Philippines and Filipino people."
In particular, the President paid tribute to Filipino nurses and other healthcare workers in the US for their efforts in combating the COVID-19 pandemic, including those who died from the infectious disease.
"Sa gitna ng trahedya, kayo ang naging haligi ng pag-asa, kayo ang naging bagong bayaning Pilipino," Marcos said, amid resounding cheers.
(In the midst of tragedy, you became a pillar of hope, you became the new Filipino heroes.)
Marcos also thanked Filipinos in the US for their remittances which he said helped the Philippine economy. About 40 percent of P34.88 billion worth of remittances in 2021 were from them, he noted.
"Hindi lang ninyo tinulungan kundi binuhay po ninyo ang ekonomiya ng Pilipinas... You sent this record-breaking figure, even as many of you were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Maraming salamat po sa inyo at sa remittance na inyong ginagawa para sa pagtulong sa ating ekonomiya," the President said.
(Thank you very much for your remittances, which you send to help our economy.)
Marcos added that in his working visits to the US, he would meet potential business leaders to convince them to invest in the country. This way, he said, Filipinos would not have to leave the country to look for jobs.
The President will also meet with other world leaders during the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), including UN General Secretary Antonio Guterres and US President Joe Biden.
"Kailangan nating makipag-partner at makipag-usap sa lahat ng iba’t ibang bansa nang sa ganoon ay makapagtulugan tayo na makalabas at makaahon dito sa sitwasyon na ating nararanasan ngayon," he said.
(We need to partner and talk with all countries so we could help each other get past the situation that we are experiencing right now.)
Marcos was accompanied to the United States by his economic managers, his son Ilocos Norte Rep. Sandro Marcos, and his wife First Lady Louise Marcos, who he said he met in New York some 25 years ago.
During the program, some Filipinos, particularly anti-Marcos groups, also staged a rally outside the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in protest of his visit.