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19/01/2009: Ambassador Gaa Looks Forward to Stronger RP-U.S. Alliance; Encourages Filipino Americans to Actively Engage in Mainstream Politics in the U.S.

On 19 January 2009, Philippine Ambassador to the United States Willy C. Gaa hosted a reception at the Philippine Embassy on the occasion of the inauguration of President Barack Obama and to welcome around 100 prominent leaders and members of the Filipino American community from all over the U.S. who have come to the U.S. capital to take part in the various Presidential inauguration activities and events.

In his remarks, Ambassador Gaa said, “This great point in history comes at a time of great challenge for America and for all nations. At this crucial moment, the Philippines stands as one with America and its leadership. We will not falter as we pursue our mutual goals. We will remain firmly committed to our common values and ideals of freedom and democracy.  We will honor our shared history and the brave sacrifices of both Filipinos and Americans that have allowed us to remain free. Now more than ever, the Philippines looks forward to even greater cooperation and stronger alliance with America.”

Addressing the crowd of community leaders and representatives of the Filipino American community, Ambassador Gaa lauded their achievements and contributions to American society and made special mention of the election of the first first generation Filipino American to the U.S. House of Representatives. Ambassador said, “We will remain steadfast in our support for Filipino American associations in the United States. Filipinos in America are the living symbols of the historic friendship between our two nations. They have made valuable contributions to America, but have always helped out back home in the Philippines.  They have done well in their communities in this country. I take this opportunity to make special mention of the recent outstanding achievement made by our very own Congressman Steve Austria of Ohio.”

Ambassador Gaa also encouraged all Filipino Americans to involve themselves more in mainstream politics by nurturing and expanding Filipino American organizations because a united Filipino American community will give a stronger voice to this big minority group in the U.S.

The Ambassador ended his remarks with a toast to U.S. President Barack Obama, the Filipino American community and to the friendship and close partnership between the Philippines and the United States.