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AS I SEE IT: Happy anniversary, Joel!

Joel Wong, president of the National Asian American United (NAAU), is celebrating his blog’s one-year anniversary today whose main purpose in his blog was to support the “Empowering Asian Americans & Promoting Better relations with China and Asian Pacific countries.”

Having in mind the strength of our Asian culture and the need for diversity and unity, Joel thought of coming out with a medium, so he could articulate his ideas about Asian culture and its heritage. Pursuant to this, he thought of starting a blog to pursue his goals by highlighting Asian strength, culture, heritage, and its best practices to be able to rally support and cooperation among Asians.

“At the encouragement of some of you, I started a blog at joelwong.net about a year ago… It has been a rather prolific year, as I have averaged about 1.6 blogs per week. As well, I am gratified by the general positive feedback for my efforts,” Joel said.  Joel continue to capture Asian presence in the Bay Area and finds it encouraging to continue because of the support being extended to him. He is actually overwhelmed by the pouring feedback he is getting from his blogs.

Joel is willing to work with individuals and organizations to be able to promote unity and diversity. This has been the tenor of his blogs for one year now.

I met Joel during the celebration of this year’s Lunar New Year held at Ding Ding TV (Silicon Valley Community Media) Studio founded by Diana WP Ding located at Santa Clara City.

He moderated the Civic Leadership Forum Silicon Valley during the Lunar New Year celebration this year with Dr. Xiaoyan Zhang delivering the keynote speech on “How social media divides us and how AAPI leaders leverage their cultural strengths to work together.”

After his speech a panel discussion ensued participated in by known Asian community leaders in the Bay Area in the persons of Francis Espiritu, President/Publisher of Philippine News Today (PNT) and past president of the San Mateo County Filipino American Chamber of  Commerce; Naomi Nakano-Matsumoto, President of  Fremont Union High School; Christine Von Raesfeld, CEO for non-profit organization; Tran Vu, Vietnamese journalist and TV Announcer; Chris Norwood, President, Milpitas Unified School District (MUSD); and Kathy Watanabe, councilmember, City of Santa Clara.

Wong explained: “Without a doubt, my most popular work was ‘All Of Us Belong Right Here which started out as a poem on April 10, 2022. At the suggestion of some of you, I composed a rather catchy chorus and made it into a song, and then a Music Video. The crowning achievement of this effort was a float, named after this theme song, at the recent San Francisco Chinese New Year Parade, with a 70+ strong multi-ethnic group of singers, dancers and band members celebrating our country’s diversity.”

He further said: “At this point, I have to pause and thank the many people who have supported my efforts and, in particular help make the video, the float and the parade possible. My partners in crime are Ken, Diana, Dennis, Jeff, Christine, Herbert, Maeley, Da Hsuan and many others.”

Joel acknowledged that: “Through my blogs, I have made friends and gained supporters. The US has in general been good to us but alas, some fellow countrymen (and women) fail to appreciate that there is strength in diversity and unity. Others could not or would not stop playing a “zero sum game” and accept a world that has increasingly turned multi-polar.”

He finished his comments by saying: “Overall, it has been a year of great experience for me!”

Of course, Joel, I’m one with you 100 percent in saying: There is strength in unity and diversity! In fact, I can safely say that this is the crowning glory for the strength of California and even the whole of the US with immigrants contributing and helping continue to shape America as a world leader.

 Joel has been an advocate of unity and diversity. He believes that diversity is very important in our society because we can learn various cultures that will lift us up to greatness and will teach us to be innovative and creative. It will also lead us to understand each other promoting better communication leading to good relationship not only among individuals but with the community.

Joel, enjoy your day and I just hope your blog will continue to usher hope and inspiration to our fellow Asian Americans!

(ELPIDIO R. ESTIOKO was a veteran journalist in the Philippines and a multi-awarded journalist here in the US. For feedbacks, comments… please email the author at estiokoelpidio@gmail.com.)