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Sep 30th
Home Columns San Diego Happenings Caravan Rolls for Ditas Yamane’s Candidacy in National City
Caravan Rolls for Ditas Yamane’s Candidacy in National City PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - San Diego Happenings
Monday, 13 October 2008 07:02


The News UpFront: (TOP STORY) as of Monday, October 13, 2008 


On a Sunday set aside for a Chargers game, Filipinos turned up and joined a motorcade to build up interest in the November 4 elections and push their candidate of choice for the City Council of National City, a local entrepreneur named Ditas Yamane. The caravan attracted huge crowds of motorists and pedestrians alike as it waded for hours through the maze of residential streets and business districts. While it created awareness to the upcoming polls, it also drew attention to Yamane, the persistent and untiring "bundle of energy" who promises to advocate for Filipino interests in local politics.


Caravan Focuses on Elections, Candidacy of Filipino Entrepreneur




The author is a member of the Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE), Asian-American Journalists Association (AAJA) and the National Press Club of the Philippines-USA.

M ost of those who turned up, including the primary organizer, were political novices but their inexperience proved no hindrance in mounting the largest campaign caravan to get out the vote in the southern suburb of National City.


At about 11 a.m. yesterday (Sunday, October 12), about 50 enthusiastic volunteers aboard 20 vehicles of all makes and sizes journeyed through the city's labyrinthine thoroughfares, blaring their horns, waving signs, yelling "Mabuhay".


The caravan's objectives were two-fold: create grassroots awareness about the Nov. 4 elections to entice voters to vote, and root for Filipino candidate Ditas Yamane, whom the regional newspaper San Diego Union-Tribune calls "a bundle of energy who, win or lose, will stay involved".


Indeed, election or no election, Ms. Yamane is engaged in several community undertakings, the latest and most current being the president of the National City Chamber of Commerce.


PHILIPPINE VILLAGE VOICE - Redefining Community News
BREAKING NEWS -  Exclusive
Volume 2, Issue No. 20 / News Without Fear or Favor /
. . . . . A community service of San Diego's Philippine Village Voice ( or at 619.265.0611) for the information and better understanding of the public . . .

It had been only four days when business owner Wilma F. Ventura conceived the idea of a motorcade. She has heard of the difficulties volunteers faced walking and knocking on doors, talking out voters to elect Yamane in the heat of the summer sun.


The hot weather, the number of volunteer walkers and the speed to cover the city block by block, etc. Weighed against a big caravan, the latter proved to be a perfect fit to overcome the natural and human elements. That's when Ventura's idea kicked in.


Ms. Ventura called Ms. Yamane, saying she would initiate and sponsor the event if she would accept. Yamane said yes. So from Wednesday onwards, Ventura wondered how the caravan would materialize.


On Sunday, it came to fruition. The non-believers had been proven wrong the moment volunteers, their families and friends assembled in Nordan Plaza in front of the landmark Richard's Bakery on Eighth Street and Plaza Blvd. in National City.


First was the middle-age lady in her van. Then the two men in a car. Then the two pickup trucks with the huge Ditas Yamane signs. In just a few minutes, the plaza's parking lot was fast filling up.


By 11 o'clock, the number of volunteers had swelled to at least 25, enough to start off the caravan and create the noise for the campaign. 


Business leader Glen Barroga then summoned every one to an instant meeting, making sure every driver is licensed to drive and had all the identification papers. Then he asked them to say a prayer.


The first vehicle, a yellow pickup, rolled out of the parking lot, tailed by eight other cars, among them a white convertible with no less than Ditas Yamane occupying the passenger seat.


The turnout was big, if measured simply by the number of people and cars on a Sunday when most people were awaiting the football game on television.

"It was fun. This is my first time to get involved in such activity and I'm glad I did it," says Mona S. Sebastian who drove her white SUV with a friend,  Edie N. Alberto, in tow.


"You know the feeling . . . when people waved back after you waved to them?" intones Alberto. "It's exhilarating! I like it."


Realtor Ellen Nobles-Sexsion brought her sister Juliet and a niece. And a special guest, the singer Patricia Javier.


Excepting community activist Jimmie Sober who is quite well-known, most of the participants were the ordinary folks whose names and pictures rarely appear in community newspapers.


They are the one who have a stake in the election, being residents of the city and business owners, too.


"I have my business in National City and I believe Filipinos deserve to have a voice in the City Council," explains Ms. Ventura.


Home to Filipinos who comprise 18 percent of the city's 55,000 population and, for the most part, the center of Filipino commerce, National City beckons as an election battleground.


Ms. Yamane is one of two full-blooded Filipinos, and a half Filipino-half Mexican, vying for two council seats. The other is incumbent Fideles Ungab whose term ends in December along with Rosalie Zarate, the Filipino mestiza.


Filipino voters care less about the city-wide issues than in having someone their own occupy the elective post and advocate for them.


That's because in the last 10 years or so, the two Filipinos who had been elected to the City Council of National City had failed to safeguard Filipino community interests, much less echo those in chamber meetings. # # #



This Breaking News is posted online, as credited to Romeo P. Marquez, editor, Philippine Village Voice, San Diego, California. Mailing address: P.O. Box 2118, La Jolla, CA. 92038. Volume 2, Issue no. 20, October 13, 2008.


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Last Updated on Monday, 13 October 2008 07:20

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