Filipino voices from the Women’s March on Washington

/ 04:45 AM January 27, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC — Filipino Americans were among the hundreds of thousands who packed the streets of the capital during the Women’s March on Washington Jan. 21.

It was important for me to be present and support the march not only as a woman, but to show solidarity with all of people of color, immigrants, sexual orientations and multiple identities.


It’s important also to recognize that Filipino American showed the highest number of support for Trump among Asian American voters, according to the National Asian American Survey.

But for me, the purpose of the march was not strictly to oppose the president, but also to stand together to show respect for one another as human beings.

Here are more reflections from the march from other Filipino participants:


Gisela Camba with friends at the start of the march.INQUIRER/Mary Tablante

Gisela Camba

“I marched to get hope back. After Inauguration Day, it was disheartening because it seems to validate that more people in this country are against us, but the women’s march gives you hope that that isn’t the case and there are more people out there that believe in women’s rights than we might have thought.”

4-Jhett Arzadon Epp -PhotobyJonMelegrito

Jhett Arzadon Epp (left) and friend Maria Sison Wright. INQUIRER/Jon Melegrito

Jhett Arzadon Epp, Alexandria, Virginia, mother of two sons and a program manager

“As a woman and an immigrant, with diverse friends from all religious backgrounds and race, as well as friends and family who are in the LGBTQIA community, I stand in solidarity with those who believe in basic human rights. This President and his administration need to know that every single human being should be treated with respect and dignity. They need to know that we will be watching, opposing and defending our friends and family whose basic rights may be violated. We’ve come too far. We can’t be pushed back. We won’t allow it to happen. Our voices will be heard!

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Mitzi Pickard (right) is joined by friends Bambi Lorica and Eric Lachica. CAROLYN CASTRO

Mitzi Pickard, Alexandria, Virginia, Filipino American community leader

“Throughout the campaign, Trump insulted women. His rallying cry against Hillary was ‘that nasty woman,’ which he applied to women as a whole. We’ll be watching Trump and his administration to make sure that rights of women, immigrants, migrant workers, laborers, special needs, LGBT community, are protected. This march will be a testimony to the rich, diverse country America is. We are the FORCE indeed.”



Robert Reyes at a post-march session hosted by the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum in Washington, D.C. INQUIRER/Mary Tablante

Robert Reyes

“I came out to show my support and solidarity for women’s rights and black lives matter. One key takeaway it was great to see how crowded it was and how many people also support this issues and there was definitely a lot of positive energy.”


Sarah Coloma (left), this writer (Mary Tablante) and Annie Xiao before the start of the Women’s March on Washington. EDGAR RODRIGUEZ

Sarah Coloma

“I marched because the girls I’ve mentored deserve a much better world than what Donald Trump and people that rally around his regressive beliefs are offering. I marched because millions of people and I benefit every day from quality, comprehensive and affordable health care because of Obamacare. I marched because the day after the election, my friends and colleagues felt less safe in their own skin. Ultimately, I had to stand in solidarity with others who felt that Donald Trump went after their dignity and self-worth and the policies that have protected that dignity and self-worth.”


Raymond Partolan, Immigrant advocate. AAAJ-ATLANTA

Raymond Partolan, program associate, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Atlanta:

“As a Filipino American, I marched in solidarity with millions across the globe on Saturday, January 21, to demonstrate that a united people are strong and resilient. As an undocumented immigrant and DACA recipient, I marched for the over 700,000 DACA recipients, their friends, and their families who would be negatively affected if President Trump were to dismantle the program with a stroke of his pen. As a person of color, I marched for every single one of my brothers and sisters who have historically been marginalized. Overall, the experience was empowering and inspirational.”


April Siruno, Marita Etcubanez and Anname Phann. APRIL SIRUNO

April Siruno

“There’s so much at stake when it comes to upholding our liberties for all people in this new administration, a true test of our democracy.  I marched for women’s health and equality, access to affordable healthcare, for freedom of religion, immigration reform, standing up for the marginalized, protecting the environment, fighting poverty in inner cities to dying economies in rural America, the right to marry the one you love, and the right for people to plan and choose when to have a child.”

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Amie Beloy, a Filipino American pediatrician from Leesburg, Virginia marching to protest Trump’s plan to dismantle Obamacare. CPIE GALLARDO VERCAZA

Dr. Amie Beloy, Pediatrician, Leesburg, Virginia

“I’m marching to protest everything that Trump stands for: anti-immigrant, anti-LGBT, anti-Obamacare, anti-climate change. As a doctor, I am seriously concerned about his plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act and its devastating impact on the lives of millions of Americans.”

What kind of actions can we take after the march

Moving forward, we should all commit to volunteering our time, energy and resources to organizations that are working day in and day out to protect the rights of our communities. We should also continue to share our own stories because it really does make a difference.

The official Women’s March on Washington website recommends to take 10 actions for the first 100 days. All over the country, events and rallies are being planned to continue to mobilize communities and advance justice and equity, and make sure that voices from every perspective are not silenced.

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TAGS: Donal Trump inauguration protest, Filipino protest participants, Filipinos in Washington protest march, opinions, Women's March on Washington
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