Filipino Americans in Northeast US gather in Jersey City for Leni Robredo

Hundreds of Filipino Americans in Northeast USA trooped to Lincoln Park in Jersey City on Sunday, December 12 for the Pink Caravan for Leni organized by a team of volunteers led by Nilda Gonzales-Chan and Jujo Cunol. | AJPress Photos by Momar G. Visaya

By Manny Caballero

DRIVEN by a common and united desire to help make VP Leni Robredo the next president of their native country, Fil-Ams from around the East Coast trooped to this city on Sunday, Dec. 12, and joined the much-anticipated Pink Caravan For Leni.

Over 250 Pinoys rode in more than 100 cars decorated with pink Leni-Kiko posters and drove along West Side Ave. where many Filipinos live and Filipino businesses thrive. The cars were escorted by the Jersey City Police.

There was a brief program before the caravan and another program and group photo after the motorcade.

Dr. Tricia Robredo, VP Leni Robredo’s daughter

Dr. Tricia Robredo, daughter of VP Robredo who is attending a medical training in New York, attended the morning program. In her talk, Dr. Robredo emphasized the importance of next year’s elections and that there are many things at stake. She also said her mother’s fight is the fight of every Filipino inside and outside of the Philippines.

Nagulat po ako sa suporta ng mga Pilipino dito sa New Jersey, hindi ko po inasahan. Very thankful po kami sa suporta at pagmamahal ng mga tao,” Robredo said. “Nakakalakas po ng loob kasi alam naman natin na dehado tayo. Mas may lakas tayo ng loob kasi alam natin na may mga kasama tayo.”

Dr. Jocelyn Robredo, sister of VP Robredo’s husband Jesse, echoed the younger Robredo’s gratitude. She has been based in the United States since 1982 and currently lives in Pennsylvania.

“I was so overwhelmed but very thankful. This is so heartwarming,” Dr. Robredo said. “The motivation here is about working for what’s good for the country. It is not just a mission, now it is a movement.”

During the program after the caravan, Loida Nicolas Lewis, Jersey City FilAm Councilman Rolando Lavarro, Jr., and Hudson County Commissioner Bill O’Dea delivered speeches.

The Brizuela family from New Jersey brought various Filipino dishes including lugaw, pan de sal, pink puto and cupcakes to feed the volunteers who attended the caravan.

Many participants brought food for sharing. Some brought “lugaw ni Leni” while others brought pink puto and cupcakes.

“Mahal namin si Leni, mahal namin ang Pilipinas,” said Noemi Brizuela, whose family brought in a variety of dishes to serve the volunteers who joined the caravan. “We are supporting her not because she is the underdog. We are supporting her because it is the right thing to do.”

Aside from New Jersey and New York, It was learned that some caravan participants came from Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia Beach.

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