-By Don Tagala, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

Washington, DC– Filipinos who witnessed President Obama’s inauguration ceremony yesterday said it was as electric and awe-inspiring as his first oath-taking four years ago.

Coby Lopez flew to the nation’s capital, all the way from San Bruno, California to watch history unfold.

“To watch my favorite President Obama is a once in a lifetime experience,” he said. “When Obama gave his speech, it sent chills out my spine.”

In front of the sea of nearly a million flag- waving spectators, Obama laid out his fundamental beliefs and vision for the next four years.

Whether it was about gay rights, gun control or immigration, Obama’s inaugural speech touched on a number of controversial topics that resonated with many Filipinos.
“I was really happy to hear him talk about equal pay, for men and women,” said Athena Mison Fulay of Washington DC. “I am also very excited to hear him finally discuss climate change.”
“As a Filipino, of course immigration is number one, then healthcare,” said Gigi Lopez of San Bruno, California. “Just everything he stands for, just moving forward.”

Agnes Cornibert of Arlington, Virginia said Obama’s administration seems to recognize social issues more than others. “Especially yung women’s rights at LGBT community,” she noted.

For the first time, an American president boldly included gay rights in his inaugural address.

“Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else. For if we are truly equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well,” Obama said.

San Francisco-based award-winning visual artist Marconi Calindas is an advocate for gay rights and anti-bullying. Obama’s inclusion of gay rights in his address brought tears to his eyes.

“Times are changing. We feel like one day at a time, we’re getting there, were going get what we’ve actually longed for,” Calindas said.


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