Read her full transcript below:
by Loida Nicolas Lewis:
“At least one out of every eight Filipinos lives overseas. Our remittances are a major boost for the Philippine economy. Just because we are Overseas Filipinos (OF) does not mean that we have lost our right to be involved in or speak out on developments in our home country.
Like myself, many of us are dual citizens and therefore retain our full rights as Filipinos. We have a right, even a duty, to be involved in our homeland and participate as much as we can in its politics.
Love of country is not limited to those who reside in the Philippines. A waiter on a cruise ship in the Carribean, an accountant working with a New York City firm, a nurse carrying for patients in the suburbs of London – we are all a part of the greater Philippine nation. Many of us had to leave our country to earn a living for ourserlves and our families back home, but we did not leave behind our rights as Filipinos. Nor did we leave behind our love for our fellow countrymen.
As for me, I founded The Lewis Collge in my hometown of Sorsogon, which offers low and affordable tuition for college in