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Pinoy Abroad

Filipinos celebrating birthday become target of racism in California resto

A night of celebration quickly soured for this Filipino family when they became the target of racist remarks in a restaurant in San Francisco, California.

In Maki Pulido's report on "24 Oras," Raymond Orosa said they were celebrating his wife's birthday in a restaurant when they were disturbed by another customer.

Michael Lofthouse, who was later found to be the chief executive officer of a tech-based company, was recorded on video giving the family the dirty finger and cursing at them.

Lofthouse had told the family that United States President Donald Trump was gonna "f--k" them and called them "Asian pieces of sh-t." He also told them that they "need to leave."

Orosa said that this was the first time he experienced racism in America.

"I've never felt racism in America for the almost 26 years of me being here. And that night, I felt it first hand, so I was really surprised," Orosa said.

"I actually don't know what triggered it, you know. All I know is that he reacted that way and he addressed it to us. In fact, he was looking at the camera," he added.

Due to the harsh remarks, a server of the restaurant immediately defended the family and ordered the man to leave.

"Get out of here! You are not allowed here. No, you do not talk to our guests like that. Get out! Now! They are valued guests. You are not allowed here, ever again," the server said.

According to Orosa, the man continued to insult them even as he left the restaurant.

"Hanggang sa lumabas siya, tuloy-tuloy pa rin 'yung pagsasabi niya yung f-ing Asians niya. 'Yung we should get the f-ing out of the country," he said.

"...You live in San Francisco, ang daming Asians doon, ang daming Filipino doon. I don't understand how he can live in a community full of Asians and hate Asians at the same time," he added.

In a report on ABC7 News in America, Lofthouse said that his "behavior in the video is appalling."

"This was clearly a moment where I lost control and made incredibly hurtful and divisive comments," he said.

"I would like to deeply apologize to the Chan family. I will take the time to reflect on my actions and work to better understand the inequality that so many of those around me face every day," he added. —Joahna Lei Casilao/LDF, GMA News