SoCal Filipino community leader John Eric Swing succumbs to COVID-19

Another Filipino American has succumbed to COVID-19, but to the Filipino community, John Eric Swing, is not just another statistic.

Throughout the years, Swing, a former U.S. Marine veteran, has built a reputation for his community work and business expertise, spearheading programs of groups like Search to Involve Pilipino Americans or SIPA, Filipino American Service Group, Inc., and the festival of Philippine Arts and Culture, to name a few.

No matter which organization he was with, Swing, who grew up in Los Angeles’ Historic Filipinotown, was eager to help the community grow, as he told ABS-CBN News at a 2017 event.

“I grew up knowing this area and being a part of it now I think I can really push an idea along with everybody else that would help us out with this organization to really stimulate as an incubator program to really invest in the businesses out here especially with artists and especially with a lot of the immigrants that are coming through.”

Three months ago SIPA named Swing the next executive director, but as the pandemic struck a formal announcement was postponed.

Nonetheless, Swing went straight to work, helping lead the economic fight against COVID-19 by hosting webinars to help struggling Filipino businesses.

“We’ve all been friends for many years, and have gone through a lot. John is my coworker at SIPA, he’s my colleague but has also become my family through his wife Ellen who’s my best friend. Our families are intertwined. We love John deeply and we’re all saddened by the sudden loss of John. Like we said we have so many good memories of John so let’s celebrate his life instead,” said Tina Buchland.

Swing’s family, friends and colleagues, as well as community members, began this nightly novena since the 48-year-old battled COVID-19 from his hospital bed last week.

A GoFundMe also raised over 40 thousand dollars to help pay for swing’s hospital bills. His sister Karen Bromley remembered her kuya’s big and warm spirit, saying he made many people better.

The money which has doubled from the original goal will also help his family, which includes his wife, four children and two step-children.

“She wanted to extend her thanks to everybody who’s been sending their messages to the entire family, and all they ask for is prayers, for peace, for the parents and siblings and kids of john and of course ellen his wife.”

And as the nightly novenas continue, those closest to swing are inviting the community to share their stories during these virtual gatherings.

SIPA which is currently rebuilding its facilities, announced that it will name its new small business center after this fallen community hero.

2 Comments on this post.

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  • Giovanni Delrosario
    2 July 2020 at 5:31 am - Reply

    I knew John when I was the Director of the Culinaryy Program at LA Harbor College. SIPA has collaborated with the Culinary Program with seminars to help our graduating students open their businesses and the whole gamut of financing an enterprise. John was my partner in these endeavours. I will miss my dear friend and all the former graduates from LA Harbor College that has taken those seminars John has presented or facilitated. Thank you John for all you’ve done for our community.

  • Community leader John Eric Swing, who died due to COVID-19, remembered as LA sees record number of infections
    10 July 2020 at 8:38 am - Reply

    […] ★ SoCal Filipino community leader John Eric Swing succumbs to COVID-19 […]