By Greg Macabenta
Filipinos in America were involved in the recent polls more actively than in any other presidential contest since the snap election that catapulted Cory Aquino to Malacañang. To motivate them, it had to take the candidacy of another Aquino and the obsession to get rid of a corrupt government.
One group, USP4NM, which stands for US Pinoys for Noynoy-Mar, did everything from organizing chapters across America and holding weekly fund-raisers to conducting get-out-the-vote drives and monitoring the manual count in the consular offices. Manny Villar also had his Pinoy supporters but they were no match for the zeal of the USP4NM volunteers.
This showed in the vote tally which had Noynoy and Mar Roxas winning handily.
But unlike the aftermath of People Power I, which saw the highs of the victory celebration and the inexorable backsliding to the old ways, Filipinos in America want to make sure that, having helped Noynoy Aquino win, they will also help him succeed.
Perhaps the most interesting manifestation of this commitment to help is a project being undertaken by a young man who, interestingly, is surnamed Macapagal. Mike Macapagal, son of human rights lawyer and former mayor of Olongapo, Ted Macapagal, is organizing a business forum in cooperation with the Joint Foreign Chambers of the Philippines and the American Chamber of Commerce.
Mike is a uniquely successful businessman in the US – unique in that he owns and manages the largest escrow company in Northern California and the only one of its kind owned by a Pinoy. According to him, on a visit to Manila at the height of the presidential campaign (where he and his father hit the road across Central Luzon for Noynoy), he met Robert Sears, executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce and other officers of the Joint Chambers conducting a business seminar in a Makati hotel.