"In societies where Robbing Hoods are treated like a celebrity it is but natural to expect political parties to act like a Mafia syndicate" Political Jaywalker "In a nation where corruption is endemic people tend to confuse due process with aiding and abetting criminals" Political Jaywalker "War doesn't determine who is right, war determines who is left" Bertrand Russell "You have just one flash flood of money, you keep your people poor. It's like a time bomb and it's scary" Philippine Lawmaker

The FILAMS are coming!

One of the greatest gifts of U.S. citizenship is the individual’s right to vote and to participate in the American electoral process.
While many look upon U.S. citizenship as the door towards the realization of their American Dream, many of us who enter this portal, forget that our entry to this door does NOT ONLY lay open for us the many opportunities to realize our own American Dream but it also imposes upon us certain elemental obligations to insure that those, who are fortunate enough to follow us, would have the same, true and real opportunity for all times.

We ought to remember that before America came to existence and became a reality, it started as a mere set of ideas, borne out of that painful experience, with oppression and tyranny, by a group of people, who believed that it is part of their God given dignity, as human beings, to chart their own destiny without malice nor injury to others. From this basic belief in the primacy of human dignity and in every human being’s ineluctable right to liberty, the genesis of American democratic political ideas came to being. The American fidelity to these lofty ideals, written with posterity in the American Declaration of Independence, became the fundamental bases upon which America turned herself into one of world greatest countries and with the fall of the Iron Curtain, the only superpower in the world. Sure there are emerging powers in the horizon such, as China a
nd India but that is another matter.

The American political ideas, enshrined in the American fundamental law, provide, among others, that sovereignty in this country resides with the people. Simply stated, we, the people, choose those who shall govern us. With our consent, we allow our chosen representatives to run the governance of our society. In this manner, order is preserved through the rules and regulations they established for the enjoyment of opportunities that are open to all Americans to realize their own dream. To insure that the consent of the governed is always secured in the stewardship of the United States of America, the American Electoral Process is established as a matter of institutional practice under the American political System. Basically, it demands that all qualified citizens should register and vote in every election, be that local or national. By participating in the electoral process, we, the people, affirm our sovereign right in our society, and our birthright, as human beings, to chart our own destiny under the laws promulgated or to be promulgated by our chosen stewards. Necessarily, every time we affirm these principles, we also strengthened the health of the myriad American democratic institutions that drew life from these principles

On the other hand, when we refuse or do not vote and thus, fail to exercise our right to suffrage, we in effect abdicate to OTHERS our prerogative to chart the course of our own destiny in America, or even possibly, the realization of our fullest potentials. And every time we fail or refuse to vote, we also weakened our democratic institutions by a vote. Since we did not participate in the electoral process, we are indirectly declaring that we do not have to be counted in the determination by those chosen to lead us on how the public at large ought to pursue its dreams. For that reason alone, we lose, in many ways, our right to complain or be heard effectively, by those at the helm of governance, who, in the first place, are there as a result of this political exercise. What is tragic here is that those in our family and community, such as our children, other family members and friends, who depend on us for our leadership and guidance, may have to share in the effects of our own folly – our failure to exercise one of the most important aspect of being an American – the right to vote.

It is in the wake of this truism that FILVOTE has become a flagship program of NaFFAA national. NaFFAA strongly believes that the seed of the FILAM political empowerment in America lies at the heels of a successful FILVOTE program, a program that envisions every FILAM anywhere in America must be a registered voter of his/her community and who participates in the electoral process of that community.

By the participation of every FILAM in the electoral process, by registering and by voting in the election, the FILAM ceases to be an invisible people, whose presence in the past is only recognized in statistical records under a general heading –Asian Pacific Islander! By exercising our right to suffrage, we are declaring to all sundry that FILAMS are now taking over their role as an equal partner in what makes this nation the greatest on earth. By our participation in the electoral process, we are adding a WORTHY human face and voice to that general description of a people from Asia Pacific. By exercising our right to vote, we are in effect announcing to everyone in America, “LOOK and LISTEN, the FILAMS are coming!”

Emerito F. Salud, Esq.
National Director
Emerito F. Salud - A lawyer from the Ateneo law School ' 73, a member of the NY Bar since 1994, a FILAM community activist, a radio-commentator of RadioPinoy USA, he is currently the Director for Advocacy of NaFFAA REgion 1. He is also a member of the NJ Chapter-Movement for Free Philippines, founded by the late Senator Raul Manglapus, and a founding member of Kaibigan Inc., based at the Port of Newark, NJ, a support group for Filipino merchant mariners (seamen).

List of States where early voting is allowed from Rock The Vote site, please verify with your Secretary of State to be guided accordingly or for more information.

North Carolina
South Dakota
New Mexico
North Dakota
West Virginia

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