As the 2016 U.S. presidential election draws closer, I believe that my political ideology as a Republican resonates with the Filipino culture, which includes family, faith, self-determination through entrepreneurship and my desire to serve the Nevada community.
My parents passed down to me the importance of countless Filipino traditions while I was growing up. Family and faith are the two most important fundamentals deeply embedded in me. Like many of my fellow peers growing up as first-generation Filipino Americans, we always had family gatherings filled with trays of lumpia and singing karaoke throughout the Christmas season.
Both my mom and papa are overseas Filipino immigrants. This is what makes America unique—my parents and numerous immigrants built their own foundations and sought opportunities to make their lives better for themselves and their families in the United States and back home in the Philippines. My mom came to New York City as a registered nurse and worked tirelessly for many long hours to provide for me and her family. My papa would also tell me that when he arrived at John F. Kennedy International Airport, he felt proud to finally be able to live in the land of endless opportunity without the fear of political oppression.
I am thankful that my mom and papa became my role models by teaching me the true Republican values of perseverance, self-determination, faith and education, which are the pillars toward living a comfortable and purpose driven life here in America. I recently just graduated with my master’s degree in global affairs with a concentration in international relations at New York University with the desire to serve and empower Filipinos in the Philippines to overcome poverty.
As a Fil-Am, I have a deep devotion to God and the Catholic faith, which were instilled in me throughout my upbringing. Now as an adult, I understand why faith and family are important for the Filipino community: hope for the future. From witnessing the devastating effects of Super Typhoon Yolanda, the world witnessed Filipinos remaining resilient and hopeful in the wake of a natural disaster. The Catholic faith essentially became the very essence of my morals and values. The teachings of upholding the sanctity of life from conception to natural death and protecting religious freedom act as the central reasons why I politically identify myself as a Republican.
The Republican Party also embraces the freedom bestowed by our Founding Fathers and the Creator within the U.S. Constitution. When I was younger, my papa would always take me with him to vote for the best candidates suited to represent our interests in government. My papa emphasized to me our civic American duty to vote and to be proud of the American flag. Voting sparked my interest to pursue elected office in the near future as an opportunity to serve my people. I hope to engage political dialogue with the Fil-Am community in Las Vegas and beyond to be the voice of our needs in American politics as a future elected official.
Lastly, I pride myself as a small business owner and entrepreneur, who proudly creates my own opportunity to earn a living. I looked up to my lola (grandma in Tagalog), who owns a small storefront in Palawan and other family members that are also business owners. I own LPN Trading LLC, an e-commerce company, partnered with Amazon.com. As a Republican, I believe in smaller government and less regulation for small business owners as a gateway for to grow the economy by providing jobs. Being self-employed, I also value the importance of sacrifices and personal responsibilities of running a business, in order to succeed in the future.
As the reader, I ask that you be proud of the rich array of Filipino heritage living in the land of opportunity. I have always surrounded myself with my family and Filipino friends growing up in New Jersey and New York City. However, my experience thus far living in Las Vegas this past month opened my eyes to the vibrant and thriving Fil-Am community. It is refreshing to see Fil-Ams actively participating as volunteers for the Republican Party. I also the attended the APIA Presidential Election Forum at Caesars Palace on August 12. It was a truly inspiring experience for me to witness the influence of Asian Americans, including the Fil-Am community, involved in social and political discussions by voicing their concerns and asking questions with those representing the presidential candidates. They are concerned Fil-Ams, like me, who care deeply about the direction of our beloved country under the threat of extending President Barack Obama’s third term under Mrs. Clinton’s potential presidency.
Fil-Ams have the ability to affect the outcome of this presidential election by increasing their presence in political participation as volunteers and also advocates standing behind Mr. Trump and the Republican Party. As a volunteer, it is crucial to reach out and persuade undecided and unregistered Fil-Am voters, why the Republican core values correlate to the Filipino way of living: family and faith. We need to take the time to attend events and social gatherings and get Fil-Ams to register to vote. As the Filipino population continues to increase in areas such as Nevada, California, and New Jersey, the Filipino voice must be represented with an individual’s vote in the upcoming election.
As a Fil-Am Republican, I am calling you to register to vote and put your trust in Mr. Trump as our next president of the United States. He displayed humility during his nomination speech at the Republican National Convention and the willingness to bring back opportunities to Americans. Let us help him win back America because he is willing to preserve our American values of personal freedom, self-determination, and faith. Let’s make America great again for future generations to grow and become prosperous.