CHICAGO – Several dozens of Filipino-Americans joined a rally conducted last July 8 in front of the Chinese consulate office in Chicago, Illinois as other Fil-Am groups staged similar rallies in Washington, D.C., New York, New York and San Francisco, California.
Members of the Illinois chapter of the US Pinoys for Good Government (USP4GG) led by Yoly Tubalinal staged the demonstration in this city, waving placards denouncing China’s bullying of the Philippines over Spratlys islands issue.
The rally was conducted under the watchful eyes of Chicago policemen, who secured what was believed to the first rally by Filipinos against China over the brewing crisis in Philippine Western Sea (South China Sea).
Chanting “our soil, our oil,” “stop China from drilling our oil” and “China Stay Out of the Spratlys,” the rallyists started massing in front of the consulate building at 100 West Erie St. here at about noon, attracting the attention of motorists and passers-by.
USP4GG volunteer Carlos A. Cortes Jr. said the turnout was “very good despite the short notice. But I always believe that law and diplomacy should prevail.”
Attorney Arcadio Joaquin said, “I was not able to attend the rally because I had a hearing in Wheaton, Illinois. Had I known earlier, I could have made arrangement for the continuance of my hearing. Sayang, I could have volunteered as one of the speakers.”
USP4GG member Marlon L. Pecson said that ”although most of us who joined the rally are American citizens, we are never detached and are very concerned about the crisis the Philippines is facing against China.”
The rally started with a prayer led by Joe Balmadrid and the singing of national anthems by Ellen Balmadrid and speeches by Ms. Tubalinal and Ging Capio, who was in wheelchair.
In Washington, D.C., Eric Lachica reported that “it was a great day waving our flags and placards at the China Embassy. We had fun singing and chanting with Mary Ann, Daisy, Bambi, Chris, Luis, Emma, Digna plus 50 supporters who are Pinoy teachers, Oxon Hill (Maryland) seniors and US Filvet Celestino Almeda, 94).”
It “brought back memories of my UP High and USC college days protesting the Vietnam War and during the Cory days. Stop China’s oil rigs in Philippine seas! Laban!”
In New York City, rallyists led by Loida Nicolas Lewis, one of the national USP4GG leaders, also chanted slogans in front of the Chinese consulate. They shouted, “stop China’s invasion now.”