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Philippine election fever high among Filipinos in North America

Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 03 2021 01:11 PM

With the Philippines' 2022 elections less than 7 months away, election fever is starting to heat up among Filipinos in North America.

In Southern California, supporters of Vice Presidenti Leni Robredo revved their engines for a pink caravan over the weekend in support of her presidential bid next year. 

"We hope to succeed with freedom and democracy for the Philippines because pink is a sign of hope," said Rainer Gerona, Robredo's cousin.

In 2016, Ely Ayao was a supporter of President Rodrigo Duterte and organized local US events during his campaign. But, he said, he has since switched sides. 

"I perceived him to be a big chance for the betterment of the Filipinos but he represents himself to be the worst Filipino I’ve ever known. Even cursing [at] my very Pope," Ayao said.

Robredo’s pink caravan of hope also made its way to New York City on Sunday.

Dozens of Filipino-Americans hopped on at least a hundred cars and drove throughout Little Manila in Queens to show their support. The caravan was organized by Global Filipinos for Leni.

"Isa lang ang tunay na lider, si (There's only one true leader, it's) Leni Robredo," said Loida Nicolas Lewis of the Filipino opposition leader.

In Canada, supporters of former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr's presidential bid put on their red shirts and caps for a rally.

Stella Daza-Beldad said she organized the gathering after seeing how much support Marcos had from Filipinos in greater Vancouver.

"Ang daming Marcos [supporters] and parang punong-puno na sila sa paninira," she said of the candidate who continues to be confronted with questions over his father's violent and repressive martial rule.

(There are a lot of Marcos supporters and they are tired of all the mudslinging.)

Supporters of Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso, meanwhile, listened intently as he held a virtual town hall with Filipino-Americans and the press where he and running mate Dr. Willie Ong addressed issues involving overseas Filipinos and the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We’ll make sure that we’ll put somebody there representing the country in the embassy to really address the real situation and give attention," Moreno said.

He said he hoped to rebuild the diplomatic relationship between the Philippines and the US. 

Meanwhile, supporters of boxing champ Manny Pacquiao, who launched a US-based movement last summer, told ABS-CBN News that they were planning for an event in December in Southern California, which has served as the Pacquiao's US home base during his storied boxing career. 


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