Philippine President Ferdinand "Bongbong'' Marcos Jr. visited the Filipino community in San Francisco, expressing gratitude for the selfless service of Filipinos in the U.S.
Thanking Filipino healthcare workers: On Tuesday, Marcos delivered a speech at the South San Francisco Conference Center ahead of his participation in the 30th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting. He acknowledged the significant contribution of Filipinos and Filipino Americans, particularly healthcare workers, during the COVID-19 pandemic, noting that one in every five nurses on the West Coast is trained in the Philippines.
“[During the COVID-19 pandemic], Americans experienced first hand the Filipino way of caring and acting on the needs of others,” Marcos said. “Our Filipino nurses, doctors, our first responders, essential workers have all demonstrated the timeless Filipino virtues of [concern, companionship and heroism].”
Acknowledging Filipinos in American politics: Marcos also recognized Filipinos making strides in the U.S. government and American politics, citing examples like Utah Attorney General Shaun Reyes and California Attorney General Robert Bonta. He emphasized the importance of Filipinos in the U.S., expressing hope for their contribution to the Philippines’ innovation ecosystem.
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“'Let us remain united and firm towards our common goal so that together we’ll be able to leave behind a new Philippines that our children and grandchildren deserve,”' Marcos said.
The Philippines and San Francisco ties: Marcos mentioned the historical ties between the Philippines and San Francisco, with the Philippine government purchasing buildings in 1974 that are now known as the Philippine Center in San Francisco. He also highlighted California’s role as an essential trade and investment partner for the Philippines, which is a popular destination for greenfield investment.
“On the sidelines of the APEC meetings, my delegation will conduct business meetings in San Francisco to seek mutually beneficial exchanges and partnerships,” he said. “Our presence in the Bay Area this week also supports the development of the Philippine innovation ecosystem, in line with the national innovation agenda framework.”
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Filipino population in the Bay Area: There are reportedly more than 4 million Filipinos and Filipino Americans in the U.S., with 1.3 million of whom reside in the 10 states under the jurisdiction of the Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco. Approximately 700,000 Filipinos are living and working specifically in the Bay Area. According to the consulate, the city is also home to many Filipino veterans of World War II, with approximately 2,000 living Filipino war veterans to date.
APEC is an inter-governmental forum for the member economies in the Pacific Rim that promotes free trade throughout the Asia-Pacific region. As many as 30,000 individuals are expected to be present during the APEC event.
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