This was sent to me by a Filipino friend residing in Canada. It’s good to hear something good being said about us Filipinos, and by an influential person at that.
Mabuhay and Filipino at Pilipinas!
“Hillary Clinton pays tribute to Filipinos
NEW YORK, United States—State Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton is probably the highest American official who has an intimate knowledge of Filipinos, their dreams, and aspirations.
This was manifest during the signing of the $434-million US Millennium Corp. grant that she and visiting President Benigno Aquino III presided over last September 22 at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City.
Speaking extemporaneously, Clinton—who speaks openly of her close relationship with Filipinos, especially during her term as senator representing New York—gave a glimpse of how much she knows about the Filipino psyche.
She said: “Millions of people in the Philippines have left their native land for a better opportunity. They love the Philippines, I know because I know many of them. They try to go home when they can afford to do it. They retire back to the Philippines. They want to be sure their children and grandchildren are raised in the Philippines.”
Then Clinton, dressed in an elegant indigo blue suit, addressing the new Philippine president continued: “We hope that, Mr. President, the people of your country will be able to make a good living in their own country. And in order to do that, there must be a partnership that creates the conditions for economic opportunity.”
But what endeared the charming state secretary to the Filipinos in the audience were these words: “I know how smart the Filipino people are. I know how hard they work. I’m not sure there’s any group of people anywhere in the world that work harder than Filipinos.
“But let’s be very honest here. Too many of them feel that they cannot progress in their own country. Too many of them feel that the elite in business and politics basically call the shots, and there’s not much room for someone who’s hardworking, but not connected. Too many of them believe that even if they get the best education they can, that there won’t be an opportunity for them, and so they take that education and help build someone else’s economy, very often here in the United States.”
This writer observed that as Mrs. Clinton made her way to the stage where the signing ceremony was to take place, she hugged some Filipino friends in the audience. And on her way out, she blew kisses to the same groups of Filipino American friends and constituents from New York state.
Not too many top diplomatic officials would risk speaking these strong words in an official function. But Hillary Clinton, because of her close relationship with the Filipino people has the inside track—and the charm and candor—to speak up. Even the usually skeptical media people covering the event were quite impressed by the gracious top American diplomat.
Clinton’s remarks—and how she delivered them with graciousness and tack—were the topic for conversation during dinner among the Philippine media people who covered the event.
Here is a powerful US official who knows and understands the dreams and aspirations of Filipinos, especially the three million Pinoys who have chosen the United States as their adopted country. For most of us who toil in the “land of milk and honey,” it’s really nice to know that Hillary Clinton is there for us.
– Jun Medina, FilAm Star”