January 2004

Perryscope
By Perry Diaz 

 

Filipino farm workers

Filipino farm workers

Last week I attended the installation of officers of the Sacramento/Delta Chapter of the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS), one of 22 chapters across the United States.  In addition to the swearing-in of the chapter’s new leaders, two Filipino-Americans were presented with recognition awards.

Alfred Raquel, Sr., born in 1910, who came to the US in 1928, was part of the First Wave of Filipino immigrants.   Maestro Eugene Castillo, in his 30’s, was born to parents who came to the US in the early 1960s and were part of the Third Wave of Filipino immigrants.  They were honored for different reasons.  Mr. Raquel, honored for his community leadership, represents the dwindling number of a rare breed of Filipinos — the pioneer manongs and manangs — who came to the US from 1901 through 1945.  The US Department of Commerce documented their numbers from the 1910 census through the 1940 census at 200,393 men and 35,967 women.

Maestro Castillo, honored as the only Filipino-American conductor of a metropolitan symphony orchestra in the US, represents a fast-growing number of Filipino-Americans who are gaining visibility in the American socio-economic-political landscape.  Some people refer to them as the Fourth Wave — the US-born Filipino-Americans since 1946.

It is interesting to note that at the FANHS installation event, each wave of Filipino immigrants was represented.  There were members of the Second Wave, the Filipino immigrants who came after World War II.  The Second Wave consisted mostly of families of Filipinos who were veterans of the US armed forces.  The Second Wave also included descendants of American soldiers who fought in the Spanish-American War of 1898.  A large number of American soldiers, including regiments of Buffalo soldiers — African-American soldiers — sent to the Philippines to fight in the Spanish-American War decided to stay after the war and married Filipino women.  After World War II, the US government allowed the descendants of American veterans of the Spanish-American War to come to the US and become American citizens.  Since almost all of them were raised in the Philippines, their native language was Tagalog or any of the regional dialects.  It was not uncommon in the 50s and 60s to meet a Caucasian or African-American in the US who speaks fluent Tagalog.

Another group of Filipinos in the Second Wave was the First Wave Filipinos who enlisted in the US Army when the US declared war on Japan.  They were part of the much-decorated First and Second Filipino Infantry Regiments who landed in Leyte with General MacArthur.  Since most of them were bachelors, a lot of them went back to the US after the war with their Filipina “war brides.”

The Third Wave started with the passage of the Immigration Act of 1965, which increased the immigration quota of Filipinos from 50 per year to 20,000 per year.  Most of the Filipino immigrants were professionals needed to fill the shortage of teachers, nurses, doctors, engineers, and other professional fields.

The “annual quota of 50” was imposed in 1934 when the US Congress passed the Tydings-McDuffie Act.  The Act provided for the independence of the Philippines on July 4, 1946.  However, it stripped Filipinos of their status as US nationals and severely restricted Filipino immigration by establishing an annual immigration quota of 50.  Henceforth, Filipinos in the US were no longer considered “nationals.”  They were labeled as “aliens.”

With the influx of Filipino immigrants curtailed and with a ratio of seven Filipino men for every Filipino woman, no more than 10% of the Filipino men got married.  Those who were lucky were married the few Filipino women available in the US.  A large number of Filipino men married white women and other races including blacks, Indians, and Mexicans due to the rarity of Filipino women.  A small number of Filipino men spent their savings and went back to the Philippines to find a bride.  The Filipino men were known to be romantic and good lovers.  It was not uncommon for five or more Filipino men to pool their savings and buy the flashiest car in town.  Then they took turns in driving the car with their dates.   The anti-miscegenation laws in most states — including California — prevented the Filipinos from marrying white women.  Undeterred, the Filipino men went to states with no anti-miscegenation laws and marry their non-Filipino brides.  Mr. Raquel was one of them.

Out of these institutionalized racist laws, a new generation of Filipinos emerged.  About 20,000 of the First Wave Filipinos were able to marry and raise families.  Their children — a good number of which were of mixed parentage — assimilated easily into the American mainstream.  However, to survive in mainstream America, virtually all of them were not taught the language of their Filipino parents.  They grew up without the idiosyncrasies of their Filipino heritage.  A lot of them succeeded in life.  And for a while they lost their links to their Filipino heritage.  Some called them the Invisible Generation and others called them the Lost Generation.

When Fred and Dorothy Cordova in Seattle, Washington founded FANHS in 1982, the Invisible or Lost Generation began to be surface.  One of the society’s priorities is to research and document the “Filipino presence as early as 1587 and of Filipinos’ permanent settlement as early as 1763 in the Continental U.S.”  FANHS was successful in achieving its goals.

One of the prominent leaders of FANHS is Pete Jamero.  Born in Oakdale, California, he received his bachelor’s degree at the San Jose State University, his master’s degree at UCLA, and a one-year graduate work at Stanford University.  Pete and his family moved to Seattle, Washington and consequently were appointed by Governor Don Evans as State Director of Vocational Rehabilitation in 1972.  He served until 1980, the first Filipino-American appointed as a Director of a state department.  He was also the first Filipino-American appointed as a department head in the City and County of San Francisco from 1989-91.  Now retired, Mr. Jamero is back to his roots in California.  He told me that in 1994, at the FANHS national convention in San Francisco, the society redefined the Invisible or Lost Generation as the Bridge Generation — “the sons and daughters born to at least one Filipino parent prior to1945.”

The list of successful members of the Bridge Generation is long.  Amongst them is a United States Senator from a western state.  Now in their 60s and 70s, they served as the living bridge between the pioneer manongs and manangs — who came and established a new community in the United States — and a new class of Americans that we know today as Filipino-Americans.

 

(PerryDiaz@gmail.com)

 

Perryscope
By Perry Diaz

 

OFWs

OFWs

Two weeks ago, someone posted an article called “Globalization” on one of the Filipino list-serves.  The following was posted: “What is the truest definition of Globalization?” Answer: “Princess Diana’s death.”  Question: “How come?” Answer: “An English princess with an Egyptian boyfriend crashes in a French tunnel, driving a German car with a Dutch engine, driven by a Belgian who was drunk on Scottish whiskey, followed closely by Italian paparazzi, on Japanese motorcycles, treated by an American doctor, using Brazilian medicines!  And this is sent to you by a Paraguayan, using Bill Gates’ technology, and you’re probably reading this on one of the IBM clones, that use Taiwanese-made chips, and a Korean-made monitor, assembled by Bangladeshi workers in a Singapore plant, transported by lorries driven by Indians, hijacked by Indonesians, unloaded by Sicilian longshoremen, trucked by Mexican undocumented immigrants, and finally sold to you by Jews.  That my friend is Globalization!”  I was intrigued by this posting and so I posted on several other list-serves and titled it, “Globalization: Where is the Pinoy?” and added the following: “Question: ‘Where is the Pinoy?’ ”

The following day, two readers posted their comments.  Cesar and Celia Vasquez of Houston, Texas, said, “Where is the Pinoy/Pinay?  Is she a housekeeper/maid at the Hotel or a nurse/doctor at the hospital where Princess Diana died?”  The other posting, by a certain Perlita, said, “The Pinoy would have been more widely represented – by her housemaids and nurses at home and in the hospitals that tended to her, bell-boys that carried her bags in the hotels she visited, and the waitresses and cashiers in restaurants she visited, all supporting the balance of payments back in the Philippines.”

Isn’t that incredible?  It’s amazing how much the Earth has shrunk in the last 500 years.  In the 16th century, it took a Spanish galleon eight months to travel from Madrid to Manila.  Today, you can travel the same distance in less than 10 hours.  Within the next 30 to 50 years, man can travel from Earth to Mars in eight months — the same amount of time it took to travel from Madrid to Manila 500 years ago.  If you have the money to spend for airfares, you can have breakfast in Manila, fly to Paris for lunch, and fly to New York for dinner on the same day.

In this age of globalization, economic boundaries are disappearing.   Look at Europe.  Sixty years ago, they were fighting each other.  Today, most have joined the European Union and merged their economies into one.  The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has created the largest trading conglomerate in the world.   But where is the Filipino in a globalized economy?  The Philippine government — still struggling to free itself from its internal political problems — is years away from extracting itself from an economic quagmire.  The more the government tries to get out of the quagmire, the more it gets sucked in.   And there’s nobody that is powerful and strong enough to pull the Philippines out of the quicksand, except, maybe, for the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).

With eight million OFWs, which constitute at least 15% of the Philippine labor force, the annual remittance is more than $6 billion.   The number of OFWs is increasing very fast.  With a resurging global economy, it is estimated that at least 600,000 Filipinos a year will be going for jobs in foreign countries.  In addition, there are the 3,000,000 Filipino-Americans who are also contributing to the dollar income of the Philippines through investments, tourism, and remittances.

If the Philippine government rids itself of corrupt practices, the OFWs and the Filipino-Americans could help get the Philippine government out of the economic quagmire.  In the end, the Philippines’ best hope would be its own sons and daughters working in a globalized economy.

Being one of the most educated groups of people on earth, Filipinos have a place in a global economy.  The American presence in the Philippines from 1899 to 1946 had paid off.  Thanks to the “Thomasites”  — the American teachers who came aboard the SS Thomas in 1901 — who provided the backbone of the educational system in the Philippines when the United States instituted a fast track program to educate the Filipinos.  With the Filipinos’ craving for knowledge and education, it made the Philippines the most literate country in Asia when it gained independence in 1946.  And the best part of it was:  they learned to communicate in English since the medium of instruction in Philippine schools was — and still is today — English.

With English as the universal language used in the world, the Filipinos found themselves  marketable in the global economy.  The “Brain Drain” that started when the United States passed the Immigration Act of 1965, has caused the Philippines to lose the best and the brightest among its professionals and the most skilled in its labor force.  They comprised the OFWs in Europe, Asia, Australia, and Africa including the oil-rich Middle East, and in North America.

Filipino historians have dubbed the migration of Filipinos as the new “Diaspora.” It has a negative sound to it; however, if you look at the bright side of it, the biblical “Diaspora” was what made the Jews the envy of the world’s financial community.   And in today’s global economy, it does not matter where a Filipino lands a job.  He is just a phone call away.

 

(PerryDiaz@gmail.com)

 

Perryscope
By Perry Diaz 


Law-of-supply-and-demandAn old Erap joke (deposed Philippine president Joseph “Erap”
 Estrada) talked about Erap telling his staff to repeal the “Law of Supply and Demand” because it is not good for the country’s economy. When advised by his minions that this particular “law” cannot be repealed, he replied: “Just pay off the congressmen and they will do it.”

The Law of Supply and Demand states that, in a market economy, “the forces of supply and demand generally push the price toward the level at which quantity supplied and quantity demanded are equal.” Had Erap has known how the mechanics of the “law” work, he may have been able to save his presidency.

The United States, being the “Number One” market economy in the world, the Law of Supply and Demand is the paramount economic principle of a free market economy or Free Enterprise.  The proper economic principle of the Law of Supply and Demand is called Say’s Law, for Jean Baptiste Say (1767-1832), that “supply creates demand.” This means that overproduction in a free market economy is virtually impossible. Thus, manufacturing industries would avoid the pitfalls of overproduction by encouraging the demand to increase. It is then no surprise that California’s economy is robust and the New England states’ economy is stagnant. The reason is that California’s population is increasing at a faster pace than any of the New England states.

There are groups in the United States that are advocates of population control.  One of them is the Zero Population Growth (ZPG). When I first encountered ZPG in 1981, I thought that they were proponents of birth control as a way of preventing overpopulation. I was then the president of Lions Club whose membership, by the way, was predominantly of Filipino descent. One of our guest speakers was from the local ZPG. As she explained the objectives of ZPG, a shock wave engulfed the meeting room. The ZPG speaker outlined in clear language that for the United States to achieve “zero population growth,” it has to close its borders and stop immigration. In addition, the ZPG speaker
indicated that all illegal immigrants have to be jailed or deported immediately.  In a room that was filled with about 90% immigrants, the speech had a chilling effect.

It has been more than 20 years since my first — and only — encounter with ZPG.  Since then California has undergone quite a bit of change. A state with a high rate of immigrants, roughly 50% of Californians are foreign-born or of immigrant parents, its economic progress is at a much faster rate that the rest of the nation. Today, California ranks as the fifth or sixth economic power on earth.   Recently, California elected its first immigrant governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Immigration is probably the number one factor why California has a healthy economy. And immigration has always been the economic booster of the United States. When the transcontinental railroad was built, immigration from China was opened and tens of thousands of Chinese workers were allowed into the United States. When the United States’ agricultural economy was growing, Filipino and Mexican farm workers were allowed to work in the United States. In 1965, due to the lack of manpower to fill professional and skilled white collar jobs, the 1965 Immigration Act was enacted by the U.S. Congress to allow hundred of thousands of foreign-born professionals and skilled workers to immigrate to the U.S. This caused the Philippines to start losing its pool of professionals. It was dubbed the “Brain Drain.”

In 1990, President George HW Bush signed the Immigration Act of 1990 increasing the number of immigrants to 675,000 a year. Foreign-born professionals including high-technology specialists came to the United States. An amnesty for illegal aliens was also incorporated in the law. The decade following 1990 was one of healthiest economic periods of the United States.

Recently, President George W Bush broached the idea of making it easier for immigrants to work legally in the United States. The program would allow immigrants to cross the border legally if jobs are waiting for them. It is also reported that the Bush administration also wants to provide a way for some undocumented workers in the U.S. to move toward legal status. If implemented, this Immigration Reform would be the most significant changes to immigration law in 18 years.

Allowing temporary workers to cross the border legally is not a novel idea. In 1942, due to the shortage of manual labor in the U.S., the U.S. and Mexican governments instituted the Bracero program, which allowed more than 4 million Mexican farm laborers to come to work the fields of the U.S.

Today, it is estimated that there are 8 million undocumented people living in the United States. Half of them are Mexicans. However, there are a large number of undocumented Filipinos in the United States. Known to the Filipino-American community as “Tago Ng Tago” (TNT), these undocumented Filipinos are highly educated and English speaking. If the Bush Immigration Reform is passed, it will benefit the estimated 500,000 to 1,000,000 TNT’s, a large number of them living in California. A smaller group of former TNT’s is now in Canada with legal Canadian immigration visas. However, given the opportunity to come back to the U.S., they will do so.

From the beginning of the 20th century, Filipino workers have contributed to the economic development of the United States. You can find Filipinos in the medical and nursing professions, in business, in the information technology, in the engineering fields, in the care home industry, in finance, in real estate, in the agricultural fields, in the military, in the canneries in Alaska, in the plantations in Hawaii, and in politics.

President Bush’s Immigration Reform will resolve the problems faced by the fast-growing U.S. businesses: a shortage of labor.  In order to increase productivity and resolve labor shortage, they need to increase immigration. As Jean Baptiste Say saw it more than 200 years, “Supply creates demand.” And demand justifies the increase in supply.

 

(PerryDiaz@gmail.com)

PerryScope
By Perry Diaz

Philippine-and-US-flags.2The year 2003 has been a very good year for the Filipino-American community. A lot of things happened that have huge impact on the lives of Filipino-Americans.  Indeed, 2003 has been a banner year for Filipino-Americans. No other years in the recent past had seen so much success than 2003. That does not mean to say that nothing could have been done better in 2003. Yes, there were. However, all things considered, Filipino-Americans were better off in 2003 than in the past few years. While none of those events that happened has immediate impact on the Filipino-American community, they have elevated the visibility and political influence of the growing Filipino-American community.

With a strong lobby from the Filipino-American community, the Philippine Congress passed two important legislations that would affect the political process in the Philippines and also create an opportunity for Filipino-Americans to establish a physical presence in the Philippines. The passage of the Dual Citizenship Act and the Absentee Voting Act last year, will allow the Philippine election this year to be influenced by the Filipino-American vote. The question is: How many Filipino-Americans will exercise their voting power in the Philippines? There is a lot of debate going on in the Internet about the forthcoming election in the Philippines. Internet groups have formed supporting specific candidates. There is even one Filipino-American who has declared his candidacy for Senator in the Internet and has conducted a great deal of campaigning in the Internet. It is anticipated that several `candidates will be coming to the U.S. to campaign for the Filipino-American vote.

On the local political front, two Filipino-Americans were elected mayors of two cities in Michigan. Owen Diaz, a political novice, beat the incumbent mayor of the City of Milan. On the same day, Andrew Luzod, a city councilman, captured the mayorship of Melvindale. What made their victories intriguing was that Milan and Melvindale have hardly any residents of Filipino descent. Their dual victories drew acclaim from the Filipino-American community and may have sparked an interest among Filipino-Americans to run for political office. In California, three Filipino-Americans are running in cities with large number of Filipino-Americans. The question is: Will the Filipino-Americans in their respective districts turn out on election day and vote for them?

Last May, Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo went to Washington, DC on a State Visit, only the second head of state accorded a State Visit to the U.S. by the Bush Administration. President Arroyo’s state visit was reported in the media that a lot of business investments were secured from American businesses that would like to do business in the Philippines. In essence, President Arroyo brought home the bacon.

In reciprocity, President George W. Bush went to Manila in October on a State Visit that included an address of the joint session of the Philippine Congress, only the second time that a U.S. president addressed the august body. President Bush’s visit was significant because of the largesse that he brought with him — he gave the Philippines a status of “Major Non-NATO Ally” of the United States.  Now that President Bush has brought the “piggery” to the Philippines, the Philippine government could make their own bacon.

And finally, the U.S. Congress has passed — and President Bush has signed them — two important legislations that added more benefits for the Filipino World War II veterans. Using a “step by step” process, the Filipino war veterans have accumulated a number of benefits that have come closer to achieving full benefits, which the U.S. Congress denied to them when they passed the “Rescission Act of 1946.” The question is: Can the Filipino war veterans and their growing number of support groups across the United States and the Philippines convince the U.S. Congress to — once and for all — repeal the Rescission Act?

The year 2004 could be the turning point in the Filipino-Americans’ quest for empowerment. Once a community that the political establishment does not care about with their votes, the Filipino-Americans’ growing number is beginning to be seen on the political radar screen. Mind you, nobody has yet captured the Filipino-American vote. Some politicians who have taken the Filipino-American community for granted, thinking that they already have their votes in their pockets might wake up one day to see that their pockets were full of holes. On August 31, 2002, Governor Gray Davis did not show up at the First Filipino Global Convention held in San Francisco. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Anthony Principi and Bill Simon, the Republican gubernatorial candidate at that time,
showed up. The day after, I posted on the Internet list-serves that Governor Davis “snubbed” the Global Convention. The “snub” made it to the Filipino-American and mainstream newspapers. And it was played up again during the Recall Election in 2003. In today’s information technology, a politician’s misstep could be his downfall. Nobody should take the power of the Internet for granted. The “click” on today’s computer keyboard is mightier than the “pen” of yesterday’s printer.

With the 2004 election process already in progress, the Filipino-American vote could be the swing vote that would determine the outcome of a close election.  There are about 15 states with large number of Filipino-Americans. The outcome of each of these states’ election process would determine which candidate gets the state’s electoral votes. In most states, “the winner takes all” rule applies; that is, whoever wins the popular vote gets all of the electoral votes from that state. California with the largest number of electoral votes – with about 10 percent of the total — is a “winner takes all” state. With more than 50% of the Filipino-Americans living in California, the Filipino-American vote could be the leverage to tilt the state’s electoral votes to their favored candidate. And that’s where lies the Filipino-Americans’ power.

 

(PerryDiaz@gmail.com)

Perryscope
By Perry Diaz


Bishop-Oscar-SolisOn December 11, 2003, Pope John Paul II appointed Father Oscar Azarcon Solis, pastor of St. Joseph Co-Cathedral, Thibodaux, Louisiana, as Titular Bishop of Urci and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Bishop-designate Solis, who will be ordained to the episcopacy on February 10, 2004, at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles, becomes the first Filipino-American bishop in the United States.

Bishop-Designate Solis, 50, born in San Jose city, Nueva Ecija, Philippines, completed his theological studies with a Bachelor of Sacred Theology at the University of Santo Tomas in 1978 and post-graduate studies in Oriental Religions and Cultures in 1980. He was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Cabanatuan, Philippines, on April 28, 1979. He was Chaplain, Christian Family Movement, 1979-1980, Campus Minister, Araullo University, 1980-1984, and Chaplain, Knights of Columbus, 1982-1984. He was also diocesan vocations director and secretary of the Senate of Priests.

Bishop-Designate Solis immigrated to the United States in 1984. He served as associate pastor of St. Rocco’s parish, New Jersey, 1984-1988 and as associate pastor of St. Joseph Co-Cathedral. In 1999, Fr. Solis was appointed pastor of St. Joseph Co-Cathedral.

At a press conference last December 11 at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels, Cardinal Roger M. Mahony of Los Angeles said, “With one of the largest Filipino Catholic populations in the country, it is fitting that our Holy Father recognizes Los Angeles as the archdiocese to receive the first Filipino bishop.”

With Bishop-Designate Solis at his side, Cardinal Mahony said that Bishop-Designate Solis would serve in a newly created administrative capacity for the archdiocese. His office will be at the Archdiocesan Catholic Center. He will head a new coordinating council “to help serve and unite our many ethnic groups across the archdiocese,” the cardinal said. He added that Bishop-Designate Solis would also assist with the sacrament of confirmation and take other pastoral assignments.

Cardinal Mahony further stated that, “With the greatest blend of people from all over the world, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles is home to everyone.” He concluded, “I have wanted to harmonize our pastoral outreach efforts to all of the various populations of the archdiocese, especially in harmony with the pastoral initiatives and goals of our recent Synod. The appointment of Bishop Solis now affords us a new leadership in this area.”

Of his new appointment, Bishop-Designate Solis said, “I am truly awed by the responsibility it entails. Like the prophet Jeremiah, I want to say, ‘Lord, I am too young.’ I am just an ordinary pastor by heart with no important credentials than my openness to God’s grace, submission to his divine will and the readiness to serve in whatever capacity I am called, for God’s greater glory and the good of the church community.” He concluded, “I look forward with enthusiasm and excitement to continue exercising my priestly and ministerial calling here in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. He added that he felt honored to serve the diverse cultural communities in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles is the largest and fastest growing archdiocese in the United States. There are more than five million Catholics in the archdiocese. With the recent Synod proclaimed by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles last September 28, 2003, Bishop-Designate Solis’ appointment coincides with the implementation of the “New Evangelization” proclaimed in the Synod. It is
expected that the Archdiocese of Los Angeles will be more proactive in order to meet the goals of the “New Evangelization,” which requires an aggressive outreach effort to bring to the fold inactive Catholics and new Catholic immigrants.

The recent Synod was in response to the call of Pope John II a few years ago.   As everyone knows, Pope John Paul II’s election to the Papacy on October 16, 1978, was one of the greatest events in modern world affairs or more specifically, world politics. Born Karol Josef Wojtyla on May 18, 1920, in Poland, he began courses in the clandestine seminary of Cracow in 1942 and was ordained a priest on November 1, 1946. On June 26, 1967, he was appointed a cardinal by Pope Paul VI and was assigned in the Vatican. In June 1979, he went back to Poland on a pilgrimage that became the catalyst for the demise of communism in Eastern Europe. Within 10 years, his “political activism” was credited for the “Revolution of 1989” — the beginning of the end of communism in Eastern Europe.

It is not uncommon for the Roman Catholic Church to be involved in “politics.”  Actually, the Vatican is no less political than the U.S. government. However, they do things differently — like how they elect the Pope — but the end results are driven by “political” interests. The Vatican acts just like any government; it has an ambassador — known as Papal Nuncio — to every country to which they have diplomatic relations. The Vatican is known to take a stand against certain forms of governments. In the United States, cognizant of the separation of church and state, the Roman Catholic Church is indirectly involved in politics by taking a stand on certain social issues such as abortion, birth control, and gay marriages.

If the “New Evangelization” succeeds in reaching out to inactive Catholics and create a congregation bound by core beliefs, a powerful block of voters would emerge — the Catholic Vote. Up to this time, the Catholic Vote in the U.S. is just a myth. No such thing, folks. And this is true because of the attitude of most Roman Catholics that their Church is purely spiritual. They go to church to satisfy their basic religious duty. They observe and celebrate certain religious events.  They even send their children to Catholic schools. They are mostly known to be “Catholics in Name Only.”

With the direction towards “New Evangelization,” a group of political activists within the Roman Catholic Church could emerge. And within the Filipino-American community, which is 95% Roman Catholic, Catholics spiritually enlightened in the “New Evangelization” would begin to realize that their core beliefs are intertwined with the political issues of the day.

Bishop-Designate Solis would be overwhelmed by the size of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and he would be challenged by the diversity of its congregation.   However, I believe that he is the right person for the job — intelligent, energetic and broad-minded. And I further believe that he will be looked upon as a role model by the Filipino-Americans, not only in his archdiocese, but also from
the entire nation. His work will be an inspiration and pride of the Filipino-American community. He could become the catalyst, unwittingly, to the emergence of the Filipino-American Catholic Vote.

 

(PerryDiaz@gmail.com)