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Filipino BAYANIHAN in America

#bayanihan is a unique Filipino custom derived from a Filipino word “bayan”, which means nation, town or community. The term bayanihan itself literally means “being in a bayan”, which refers to the spirit of communal unity, work and cooperation to achieve a particular goal.

With the loss of lives and loss of income brought about by the coronavirus global pandemic, the Filipinos and Filipino-Americans in America are pulling together to help each other and their communities.

In segment 1 – Mariela Fletcher, National Vice Chair of National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA), talks about the organization’s Tulong-Sulong project which collects donations from communities here, in order to buy food packs to send to poor families in the Philippines. Mariela explains that U.S. citizens, though also hurting from the global health crisis, are getting stimulus checks and unemployment from the U.S. government; and so are still better off than Filipinos back home – jeepney drivers, day laborers who have lost their livelihood because of the lockdown. Mariela adds that it only takes $10 to feed a poor family in the Philippines, for a few days.

As a non-partisan and non-profit organization, NaFFAA is the largest national affiliation of Filipino American institutions, umbrella organizations, and individuals. Its fifteen-member regions cover the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, and the Pacific Islands.

According to their website – NaFFAA envisions a unified Filipino American community that is culturally, economically, and politically empowered and engaged. Its vision is to serve as the voice of all Filipinos and Filipino Americans by uniting, engaging, and empowering diverse individuals and community organizations through leadership development, civic engagement, and national advocacy.

National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) promotes the welfare and well-being of the four million Filipinos and Filipino Americans throughout the United States.

In segment 2 – Roy Mercado of Financial Rescue, LLC share this tips for employers to survive and possible thrive even during a pandemic –

He opens the segment by sharing that small businesses have a unique challenge in navigating the Coronavirus pandemic. While the large multi-national, billion-dollar conglomerates often grab the headlines — and bloated bailouts, the truth is small businesses are the backbone of the U.S. economy. There are approximately 30 million small businesses in the U.S., which incredibly, makes up 99.9 % of all businesses, nationwide (SBA, 2019). Small businesses also create 15 million jobs annually and account for 64% of all new jobs created in the U.S.

The vast majority of employers have attempted to take advantage of the Paycheck Protection Program rolled out by the federal government. ​The first round of PPP was quickly depleted, with $349 billion in funds claimed in thirteen days over 1.6 million loans. The $195 billion in funds that have been claimed so far in round two have supplied 2.5 million loans, according to the SBA.

As of May 7, there was still approximately $125 billion of PPP funding still available, according to a spokeswoman for the Small Business Administration.

And he shares the following tips –

  • Look Beyond Your Immediate Organization
  • Planning Ahead
  • Get Help With Debt Relief During the Coronavirus Pandemic

In segment 3 – Noel Omega of NaFFAA- Greater Los Angeles, a chapter of NaFFAA National – talks about the group’s partnership with Filipino supermarket Seafood City in a project to give out $25 gift certificates to front liners in Los Angeles, for their grocery needs.

In segment 4 – Desi Danganan of Kulitvate Labs in Northern CA, talks about the program they started – #filipinosfeedthefrontlines – which gathers donations to give to mom and pop restaurants to cook and prepare food for frontliners. In this way, the small businesses also affected by Covid-19 are getting some financial support, so they can stay afloat, while feeding workers on the front lines, who also need help and support.

He shares that while this project is concentrated in Northern California, similar programs are being implemented by different groups elsewhere in the U.S.

As we continue to shelter in place – we aim to share relevant and accurate information and tools to help the public manage during this time of global pandemic.

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