U.S. Democratic presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden said that if elected, he would work alongside Filipino Americans “to protect the American people.”
The presidential candidate’s promise came as October marks Filipino American History Month in the United States.
“During Filipino American History Month, we celebrate the community’s immense contributions to our country — from early immigrants to the millions today, many who serve in the military or as frontline workers. As President, I’ll work alongside them to protect the American people,” he said in a tweet on Thursday, October 1.
During Filipino American History Month, we celebrate the community’s immense contributions to our country — from early immigrants to the millions today, many who serve in the military or as frontline workers. As President, I’ll work alongside them to protect the American people.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) October 1, 2020
In a longer statement posted on his campaign website, Biden said Fil-Ams “have enriched and strengthened every aspect of our country.”
He also paid tribute to the “countless Filipino American essential frontline workers and caregivers” working during the pandemic as over 208,000 individuals have died from COVID-19.
“And we offer our prayers to the families of Filipino American nurses, who represent 4% of nurses in the United States, but make up more than 30% of nursing deaths due to COVID-19. Their heroism is a reminder that Filipino Americans embody the heart, the courage, and the values that define the United States,” he said.
Biden concluded by saying that if elected to the highest office in November, he would “build on that proud American legacy, including by celebrating the history of the Filipino American community and expanding access to a future of opportunity for all.”
On Friday, October 2, Dr. Jill Biden marked the community’s history month during a virtual fundraiser with affinity group Filipino Americans for Biden-Harris.
Filipino American History Month is celebrated in the United States every October, marking the first recorded presence of Filipinos in the country.
It was on October 18, 1587 when the “Luzones Indios” came ashore from the Manila-built Spanish galleon Nuestra Senora de Esperanza under the command of Spanish Captain Pedro de Unamuno and set foot in what is now Morro Bay, California.
The late Dr. Fred Cordova, along with his wife, Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) Founder Dr. Dorothy Laigo Cordova, first introduced October as Fil-Am History Month in 1992 with a resolution from the FANHS National Board of Trustees.
In 2009, U.S. Congress officially recognized the month of October as Filipino American History Month.
According to FANHS, this year’s theme is the “history of Fil-Am activism,” a reflection on how the community has been involved in social justice movements over the years. Though the pandemic continues, organizations and groups nationwide are moving their celebrations online.