YEAR 12, No. 9 MARCH 2009

Home Paper of the 1999 Canadian Ethnic Journalists’ and Writers’ Club Winner for Best Editorial

Toronto, Ontario

Ooops & Bloops
Lovely hubby Nestor -7 Touring Europe - 12

They sometimes labor for long hours. They endure lonely and depressing days in icy cold environments. They sacrifice the prime of life to fulfill a self-imposed responsibility: sending enough cash back home to the Philippines so that their families would be decently fed, clothed and housed and their children well-schooled. Against all odds, they hope to claim permanent resident status, that which has been rightfully and morally theirs after complying with state-imposed terms and dues with their sweat and tears. Some pay with their life. Finally, they anxiously look forward to the day when they reunite with their loved ones. Many got what they wished for. But for a number, making dreams real just had to come the hardest way. This is the saga of Filipino live-in caregivers in Canada. This is the saga of Juana Tejada and Celia Mansibang.

Being fishy, crabby at Kisi Kisi - 26 Dancing Remittances To Be A Star to drop - 32 - 33
At 39, she lost her bout against cancer. She died on March 8. However, Tejada’s sad but telling story has gained notice anew in political debates, most recent reports said. Galvanizing factor On March 9, Member of Parliament Paul Calandra (Conservative, Oak Ridges-Markham) told Parliament that Tejada’s “own tragic case threw into stark relief the need to improve the Livein Caregiver Program (LCP).” Calandra said Citizenship, Immigra(To page 4)

At 46, she hangs on to dear life. Terminally ill with stomach cancer, Mansibang was earlier denied permanent residency (PR) under the Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP) because of her illness, which medical tests showed she could have contracted while working in Canada. Her Ontario health insurance coverage was also canceled, even as she paid taxes during and after her LCP days, that started in 2003. However, all is not lost yet. Most recent reports gathered by the Manila Media Monitor showed her case has taken the notice of immigration and labor officials. Todate, Mansibang is preparing to see and have husband William and children Vincent and La Sandra by her side in the few months doctors said she could spare. Granted temporary stay In a March 5 communication to Mansibang’s lawyer Maria Deanna Santos, the Ottawa-based Citizenship and Immigration Canada Case Management (CICCM) branch said it would “issue temporary resident permits for the family to join Ms. Mansibang in Canada.” Temporary resident visas are granted to visitors to Canada. Santos, who is helping Mansibang pro bono, earlier appealed to the office of the CIC Minister and that of the CICCM Director General to expedite the processing of Mansibang’s PR application. In the letter to Santos, CICCM ana(To page 5)



There is a big problem with the Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP); and almost always, caregivers are the ones punished with removal, work permit refusals, misrepresentation charges while unscrupulous labor and immigration agents go on their merry way exploiting more unsuspecting caregivers and foreign workers who are desperate to enter, work and gain permanent residency status in Canada. This, in retrospect, was the reaction of lawyer Maria Deanna Santos to a Toronto Star March 14 article that detailed the sad plight of Filipino caregiver Joelina Maluto and several other victims of foreign labor and immigration agency misdeeds. Maluto’s story The Star report said Maluto, 44 and mother of four, claimed in court documents that she was lured to come to Canada with a promise of a caregiving job that turned out to be non-existent, that her recruiter stripped her of her passport, that she and 16 others were detained and made to cram and sleep in a basement, and that she was forced to work illegally in menial jobs. The report said nanny recruiter Rakela Spivak, who runs the Rakela Care International and who denied the allegations, had since sued Maluto, claiming the nanny owed her $3,500 in brokerage fees. (To page 6)

Plea made to help nanny
Fr. Ben Ebcas - Mission Director of the Archdiocese of Toronto Filipino Mission Center, Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church on Bathurst - has sounded a plea to help Filipino caregiver Madonna Galinato, who contracted aneurysm and underwent and operation on March 12. Galinato, 42, mother of four, had just arrived in Canada as a caregiver. “Unfortunately, she does not have the Ontario Health Insurance Program coverage yet. She needs our help,” Fr. Ben said. “In this holy season of Lent, we are called to pray, fast, and perform works of mercy. No one is too rich that he can no longer receive and no one is to poor that he can no longer give,” Fr. Ben intoned. Fr. Ben also bared plans to form a core group of people who would sit down and reflect on the concerns of Filipinos who are in crisis in Canada. He noted the need to strategize so issues could be addressed. With JULITO TIGLEY

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RP ties with Canada, 6 others reach 60th year
This year, the Philippines marks its 60th year of healthy diplomatic relations with Canada, home to more than 350,000 Filipino immigrants and host to tens of thousands of Filipino overseas workers. The Philippine Consulate General in Toronto said the office and other diplomatic posts in Canada are on top of activities commemorating this landmark year. Canada, in 2007, ranked 22nd among the Philippines’ top trading partners with trade amounting to some US$522 million. Canada was also the Philippines’ 18th largest export market, with exports reaching US$258 million. Last month, President Arroyo signed Proclama(To page 14)



New CIDA foreign aid focus may leave many vulnerable
The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) has cut to 20, from 25, the number of countries getting Canadian aid; and the Philippines is notably absent in the priority list. Lately, CIDA said it would steer foreign aid toward a smaller pool of countries, namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bolivia, the Caribbean, Colombia, Ethiopia, Ghana, Haiti, Honduras, Indonesia, Mali, Mozambique, Pakistan, Peru, Senegal, Sudan, Tanzania, Ukraine, Vietnam and the West Bank/Gaza. Internal Cooperation Minister Beverly Oda said CIDA’s bilateral aid priority shift, part of the government’s aid effectiveness agenda, would push several poorer countries to secondtier status. She, however, stressed that the aid policy changes would not affect some ongoing programs, particularly humanitarian assistance to areas hit by natural calamities. Abandonment? “This surprising move

Holmes named envoy to Asean
Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon has announced the appointment of John Holmes as Canada’s first ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian NaAMB. HOLMES tions (Asean). Concurrently, Holmes is envoy to the Republic of Indonesia, with accreditation to the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste. Holmes was Canada’s ambassador to Jordan until 2006. In 2005, he was named non-resident ambassador to Iraq. Holmes’ Asean posting showed Canada’s commitment “to deepening its relationship with (Asean) in areas such as health, security, counterterrorism, transnational crime, human rights, and trade and investment,” Cannon said. He said Holmes would play a vital role in advancing Canada’s political, economic and security interests in the (To page 14)

South Upi officials and residents join CIDA representatives in planting commemorative rubber seedlings, in a bid to popularize agro-forestry systems among farmers. AGRITEAM CANADA not only abandons those who need our help the most, but it also risks tarnishing Canada’s once proud reputation as an international player,” Liberal International Cooperation Critic Glen Pearson said. More African countries have been removed, than added, from CIDA’s list; and “it is highly questionable as to how Sri Lanka and East Congo, two of the world’s most urgent-need regions,” were omitted, Pearson said. “This is very bad news indeed for developing countries,” added Member of Parliament John Rafferty (New Democrat Party-Thunder Bay). Philippine reaction An official of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) in the Philippines, hoped the situation would be reconsidered. “ARMM has received CIDA aid that has helped in peacebuilding measures. If CIDA withdraws from its commitments, peace efforts in the region may suffer a huge setback,” the official told Manila Media Monitor in a phone chat. In the Philippines, CIDA’s resources has come in to help regions hit by natural tragedies; to imbibe entrepreneural skills, particularly among women; to strengthen local governance; and to enhance reforms in the judicial system. CIDA’s exposure to the (To page 14)


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made Tejada eligible for permanent stay in Canada, it was on humanitarian grounds; not because of the LCP, the reader added. “Is there any compelling reason why officials could only talk about the LCP but could never muster the political will to make the law more humane and more protective of caregivers?” the reader asked. Tejada’s tale Tejada came to Canada in 2003. Besides having acceptable personal, academic and job qualifications, Tejada at that time passed a comprehensive medical test to gain entry into Canada. She labored to complete the two-year LCP requirement to be eligible for permanent resident (PR) status. While in Canada, she contracted cancer. The illness floated when Tejada received the results of medical tests required for LCP-related PR applications, and CIC officials denied, on two occasions, her status eligibility. She was even told that she would be an added load to the Canadian health care system; even as authorities stripped her of her health insurance coverage. With her remaining resources and that given her by supporters, Tejada contested the CIC decisions but appealed for eligibility under humanitarian and compassionate grounds. Favorable action On July 17, then CIC Minister Diane Finley used her discretionary power under new IRPA provisions to countermand earlier CIC decisions on Tejada’s case. Finley said Tejada deserved exemption from the rules and declared her eligible for PR status. “(The) hardships she faced were excessive” and “were the result of circumstances beyond her control,” the minister averred. Tejada’s health insurance coverage was also restored, retroactive August 2007. Community help Tejada’s case came to the attention of the Manila Media Monitor in March 2007 through civic leader Gene Lara. Lara spearheaded calls for assistance to get Tejada through her personal and immigration ordeals then. Individuals and community groups have since responded and helped. Migrante Ontario, in a statement, has committed itself “to pick up where (Tejada) left off and (to) continue the fight that she started.” Juana Tejada may have gone but the inspiration she left lives on, Migrante said. With a report from FAYE ARELLANO

(From page 1) tion and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney, before assuming his portfolio from Diane Finley, met with Tejada several times. Kenney sought for recommendations on making the LCP more responsive to the needs of those within its purview, he said. Calandra said: “I know” he has made it one of the government’s top priority. “Ms. Tejada’s case galvanized the Filipino-Canadian community and, in fact, all Canadians,” he added. Deliberations Meanwhile, the federal Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration has initiated discussions on changes to the Temporary Foreign Workers Program (TFWP). Member of Parliament Olivia Chow (NDP, TrinitySpadina) called for the changes, particularly that on ensuring a fair immigration process to LCP workers seeking permanent residence (PR) status. A report from iWorkers, the Independent Workers Association-Homeworkers Section, said the proposals included: ► An amendment to Section 38(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA),

Juana Tejada
seeking the addition of members of the Live-in Caregivers Class on the list of foreign nationals exempted from the “excessive demand” ground of inadmissibility. The amendment would recognize that, if a caregiver has done her work and paid her taxes, she should be entitled to PR status no matter what her medical condition would be, iWorkers said. ► Making LCP participants eligible for the Interim Federal Health plan, to ensure that they would get health coverage from the day they arrive in Canada to work, until the day they are granted permanent residence, with no coverage gaps at any time. ► Significantly reducing the current 12- to 18-month processing time for work permits of new entrants to the LCP; and, similarly, for permanent residence to the eligible, including their family members who have to wait for 15 to 22 months to be granted visas. ► A review of reasonable wages and benefits for LCP participants. Of all workers under the TFWP, only the wages of live-in caregivers are set according to prevailing minimum wages in each province.

JUANA TEJADA and GENE LARA The results of the deliberations, which went on for two weeks and ended March 12, have not yet been released as of presstime. State inaction Beyond continuing talks on the LCP and occasional political promises to take up caregiver issues, the government has yet to show concrete steps to shield caregivers in Canada from abuse, exploitation, discrimination and violation of human rights, a Manila Media Monitor reader commented. “Are politicians just trying to attract votes from a large and fast-growing Filipino community (at least 95 percent of caregivers come from the Philippines)?” “For two years since media profiled the Tejada case vis-a-vis the LCP, nothing more than the evasive and non-commital ‘we will look into it’ has been officially mouthed, the reader said. If ever Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC)

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(From page 1) lyst A. Bilich wrote that “our office does sympathize with your client’s situation” but Mansibang’s and her dependents’ PR applications should satisfy “statutory requirements, including background and medical checks” before a PR visa could be issued. However, Bilich wrote that “under S.25 (1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, one can ask to waive a requirement of the act, based on humanitarian and compassionate (H&C) factors. The Minister’s delegate authorized to assess the request will render a decision based on submissions.” Bilich said CICCM, after consulting the Minister’s office, “has decided not to intervene” in the processing of Mansibang’s application. But it could continue to be processed through normal channels, “by requesting a waiver of the medical inadmissibility due to H&C factors” to the CIC office processing the file. “The dependents can be processed concurrently on Ms. Mansibang’s Livein caregiver application. If the dependents choose, they can also submit and H&C application for permanent



OFFICERS OF THE CANADIAN AID AND RELIEF PROJECT residence and await the outcome of either application,” Bilich advised. The CICCM letter was forwarded to the Manila Media Monitor by Caregiver Resource Centre moderator Terry Olayta. Petition Meanwhile, Olayta said individuals and groups have come out and supported calls to assist Mansibang. Olayta said more than a thousand signatures have been affixed on online and hard copy petitions seeking a CIC grant of PR status to Mansibang and her family. Many petition signatures were initially gathered from parishioners of St. Paschal, St. Thomas Aquinas and The Assumption churches; and from community groups, including the media. Appeal for compassion The petition also asked officials to scrap the second medical test LCP participants have to go through when they apply for PR. Until then, LCP participants diagnosed with a major ailment during the second medical test should not be disqualified from PR eligibility; but should instead be afforded proper care and their PR applications hastily processed with human consideration and compassion. The petition likewise urged for a continuing information, education and

Canadian aid, relief project takes off
communication program on the rights and protection of LCP participants during their stay in Canada. Very encouraging Olayta said the response to the petition was “very encouraging,” particularly that initiated by Mansibang’s fellow caregivers. “This is what we had been praying for a long, long time time ... a great awakening for all those who came (to Canada) as domestic workers,” she said. Political support Olayta said a number of political figures have come forward to hear Mansibang’s case and lend the sick caregiver and similarly-placed peers a helping hand. Among them are Member of Parliament Bob Dechert (Mississauga-Erindale) and Labor Minister Peter Fonseca. Olayta said developments in the caregiver protection movement has lately been getting due notice from the New Democrat, Liberal and Conservative political parties. With reports from RODEL RAMOS “Let us, from this moment, tell (the poor, hungry, sick and calamity-laden in the Philippines and elsewhere) that they are no longer alone. Let’s tell them that together, in the spirit of Bayanihan (collective cooperation), we join them in facing life’s many challenges ... Together we can (get them through their affliction).” Thus stressed Dr. Francisco Portugal as he led officials in launching the ambitious Canadian Aid and Relief Project (CARP) at (To page 23)



Neric said the association has helped some of the workers find another job and in the processing of their papers. “I can’t just stand to watch these people being walked all over by their employers. I am grateful that some Caucasians are backing me up on this.” Manila Media Monitor managing editor Ace Alvarez, in a letter, referred “Our government takes a zero-tolerance approach to immigration consultant fraud,” Kenney said, as he launched a video that warned against immigration fraud and scams. The video would be available to media in Canada for use as a public service announcement. It would be posted on YouTube. Multilingual versions would be fanned out to CaParliament Olivia Chow (New Democrat, TrinitySpadina) continued on urging government “to crack down on unscrupulous immigration consultants and corrupt agencies that take advantage of vulnerable people and cheat them out of money and false promises.” In the House of Commons on March 12, Chow bared that Parliament’s immigration committee spent over a year travelling across that once the law is passed and changes are made on the Employment Standards Act (ESA), it would cover foreign hands, including caregivers. Replication The Ontario bill hoped to replicate recently-implemented pro-worker practices in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia that required all labor recruitment agencies to be registered and licensed; and likewise prohibited from collecting placement fees from workers, including those coming from foreign lands. Currently, the recruitment of foreign workers in Ontario is deregulated, after the Harris government introduced amendments to the ESA in 2001. Laws in the four Canadian western provinces likewise provided strict accountability mechanisms for violations. In Manitoba, employment standards director Dave Dyson said employers or recruiters found by ministry inspectors to have charged placement fees or have reneged on agreed wages and benefits would have to pay back the monies to the aggrieved foreign worker. With various PR reports and Internet sources

Disgusting treatment of Filipino workers
(From page 1) The report added that federal authorities knew about situations similar to that of Maluto’s and a lot more, but are turning a blind eye to the exploitation. Disgusting “It is disgusting how (Citizenship and Immigration Canada and the Canada Border Services Agency) are well aware of this and still choose to turn a blind eye against the exploiters,” Santos said. “Any changes to the LCP will not be effective if there is no real and efficient monitoring and prosecution of (those who commit these illegal activities),” she added. Santos noted: “The time is definitely right to aggressively push for LCP reforms.” “However, we should ensure that there is also a comprehensive review of the systemic problems surrounding this program. “It is extremely important that the piecemeal changes proposed never lose sight of the broader issues and problems that the LCP perpetuates. “Otherwise, the exploitation will just continue to rear its ugly head perhaps in other forms, but with the same sad outcomes.” More reactions to the Star story can be found at ParentCentral.ca. SOS from Alberta Reports on the maltreatment of Filipino workers have come to the attention of Manila Media Monitor from as far as Alberta. Alberta-based Gina Neric, a viewer of Front Page Philippines TV, has written to raise her “concerns about Filipino workers on

The time is definitely right to aggressively push for reforms. Otherwise, the exploitation will just continue to rear its ugly head perhaps in other forms, but with the same sad outcomes. - Maria Deanna Santos on maltreated Filipino workers
the treatment they are getting from their employers in Whitecourt, Alberta. Whitecourt is an oil, forestry and agricultural town some 175 kilometers northwest of Edmonton. It is located on the eastern border of the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Neric, although unable to provide details, appeared frantic to seek official help as she disclosed efforts to put up an “association to assist the foreign workers in Whitecourt regarding their concern on how their employers are treating them.” the workers’ case to Frank Luna, chief of the Torontobased Philippine Overseas Labor Office. Immigration fraud In Parliament Hill on March 10, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney cited the state’s vow to protect potential immigrants and their families “from unscrupulous immigration representatives who charge exorbitant fees and either fail to deliver promised services or provide false information about Canada’s immigration programs.” nadian overseas missions and regional offices. Immigration anti-fraud warnings are posted on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website, among other official information. Foreign worker abuse Kenney said he would soon issue new draft rules banning employers - who abuse and repeatedly violate labor laws - from further hiring foreign workers. He said this would help contain the exploitation of foreign workers. No more talk, just act However, Member of Canada to study the issue of immigration consultants and issued a comprehensive report with nine recommendations. Instead of more talk and more public relations campaigns, the Conservatives should act,” Chow said. No more fees ... when? Since it was introduced on Dec. 9 last year, a proposed Ontario law banning labor recruiters and temporary help agencies from charging fees from potential workers might have gone back to the morgue. The labor ministry said


menstrual spot? *** During U.S. President Barack Obama’s six-hour working visit to Ottawa recently, one TV field reporter commented, “Change is here”. Great! For a change, too, because … nowadays, the only “change” people are familiar with are the “change” in their pockets; no more $20, $50, or $100 bills. *** Still on “change” … the places where “change” is very apparent are at those OLG casinos; they only give “change” now; jackpots are slack. *** Looking at photos in various Filipino Canadian newspapers recently, I can’t help but seeing the same materials resulting from the mass transmissions of press releases to all publications; and most of them were the same faces from various community organizations I’ve been seeing during the last 12 years that we’ve been publishing Manila Media Monitor. Fortunately, that was not the “retirement” call that Philippine Retirement Authority Chair Eduardo Aglipay made during his visit to Toronto recently. *** An item in Marketing Daily on February 24 states, “Many of Canada’s talented and up-andcoming young music artists are



“And so to your lovely husband, Nestor”
I happened to listen to the 12 noon news round-up of Philippine broadcast newscast pioneer Bon Vivar over government-owned DWBR 104.3 FM Radio (Manila) on Thursday, February 19. His lead story that day cited Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as saying that the Philippines is not one of those countries affected in the worldwide economic slowdown, described by historians and economists as the worst since the Great Depression. Perfect! And thank you, Madam Philippine president. So, this being the case, I have the following suggestions (and everything is not necessarily addressed to the President Arroyo, except tha last): 1) That families left behind in the Philippines by their loved ones here na sila naman ang magpadala ng pera dito, because of the very tight financial situation in Canada at the moment; 2) For the reliable money remittance companies (namely, PNB Remittance Companies, Western Union, Saratoga Money Remittance, Remit X, Money Gram) to change their mode of remittance operation this time from the Philippines to Canada, such that loved ones of remitters from Canada from hereon will be able to receive money from their loved ones through the services of these companies, deserving of special mention here being Manila Media Monitor advertisers. (Note to these specially mentioned remittance companies, this is added value to your Manila Media Monitor advertising. To other remittance companies, not mentioned, mag-advertise muna kayo – bago honorable mention). 3) Now, it is the Philippines turn to send economic aid to Canada, the United States and the rest of the G countries! If GMA is able to do this, maniniwala na ang mga abang Filipino na totoo ang sinasabi ni Gloria! *** The following situation happened on February 21 as I was paying my bill at the Rogers Video on Ellesmere and Victoria Park Avenue in Scarborough: While inputting all information on my payment, she said, “Thank you so much for waiting, sir. This thing is so slow.” I replied, “You don’t have Rogers?” Laughter from all store staff. I followed with, “Hold it down, baby!” *** One South Asian businessman inquiring on advertising rates on Front Page Philippines TV told us that his advertising contract with an Asian television network in Toronto (network, and not program), if computed on the basis of the number of airings for his year’s contract with the network practically amounts to only $4.00/ 30-second spot. Hello … are we talking here of a TV commercial spot, or a

now appearing at a beer or store near you.” To my music-loving friends at the Philippine Press Club-Ontario, please read this item carefully. It refers to the volume 2 CD, Untapped, and does not mean we have to appear and buy cases of beer, ha? *** Browsing over some books at the Carlton Cards on Cedarbrae Mall on Lawrence Avenue East and Markham Road in Scarborugh recently, I chanced upon one title which read, 50 Places To See Before You Die. One of those listed is Niagara Falls, Ontario. I don’t know if you’ve been to Niagara Falls, but in my case, now I only have 49 left to see. *** Also at the same store, one knick knack read, “Love is one, nestled in two people”. Hhhmm … in your case, readers, in the case of opposite genders, I hope the other person is your spouse. *** In one e-mail message, media colleague Faye Arellano capped her e-mail with “Regards to your lovely wife, Gie.” I responded, “And so to your lovely husband, Nestor.” Manila Media Monitor may be read online at




VIEWS From The Monitor’s Desk
At school later in the afternoon before classes started, my classmates and I chanced upon one another at the school cafeteria. Some of us who were of the serious type talked about our future in journalism; the others, of course, continued to talk about rock music and bands; still, others, who were active in the school drama club, discussed their roles in the forthcoming school staging of Jesus Christ Superstar, among them were Pat Dionisio (from Taguig, Rizal, and whom I lost contact after our audition at GMA Channel 7’s DZBB); and, Homer Alvarez (the last time I saw him was when he paid Gie and I a surprise visit at our home in Muntinlupa, Rizal [now a city] in 1982 coming home briefly to his native Cavite City working with an Australian company in Sydney, and came with our compadre, another Alvarez - Aquilino Alvarez, Jr. – by then one of the godfathers of my oldest child, Lennart Leigh, and who was one of the secondary sponsors on my wedding; likewise by then the Public Information Officer of the Bureau of Fisheries, after nearly seven years as editor of the Philippine Army’s official publication Ang Tala.) During our first class that evening, our professor, Cesario del Rosario, who was one of the star reporters at Manila Times, briefed us on the journalists whom he heard have been arrested early that morning and during that first day of martial rule. Later, our class discussion went (To page 17) There is an abundance of material imported from the West and a very scant number that have been conceived and produced locally. Time was when we were exposed to a diet of entertainment fare chiefly form the United States. Our childhood was overrun by staples like Popeye, The Road Runner, Mighty Mouse, Rin Tin Tin, Lassie, Donald Duck and the like, all subtle extensions of American imperialism. Today, the pie once held wholly by the US had been apportioned among Japan, England, Korea, Canada, Australia, even Indonesia and Germany. Only about ten percent is homespun. In effect, the Philippines is now rearing its next generation with the values and realities of other countries other than its own. The cause and effect of this sour fact is evident in the way Filipino kids seek fast food, mostly fried, rather than homecooked meals. In the way Pinoy kids look upon barongs and the baro’t saya with disdain and embarrassment. In the way social status is measured by the clothes one wears, the kind of English he spews out and the gadgets he is able to flaunt. All these from television, one may ask. Certainly, most parents would insist on their home-prepared lunches and suppers. (To page 36)

Three weeks after The Rocky Mountain News in Denver, Colorado printed its final edition after 150 years of newspaper publishing history, the Seattle Post-Intelligence - owned by newspaper and magazine giant Hearst Corporation, also printed its final edition, Tuesday, March 17, 2009 - after 146 years of chronicling news in the city of Seattle, Washington. These and other related news on the established print, radio and television media during the first quarter of this year across North America have sent chills to journalism students. Amidst all these, my grandnephew Kirk, a journalism student in New York, phoned me recently seeking my thoughts on his future in journalism considering the present situation happening in both print and broadcast media across North America. He sought my thoughts on his future in journalism since it was I whom he sought for advice, too, and who gave him encouragement to finally enroll at j-school two years ago when everything seemed bright and rosy for him to pursue the career discipline (which he probably inherited from his granduncle in my person). My pep talk with Kirk was in the form of a first person story my own experience. I told Kirk that the uncertainty that he and thousands of j-students feel about their future is not far from what we, during our time, at j-school experienced back in the Philippines. When attending symposia and seminars such as those that were recently staged by the new seat of radicalism and campus activism, the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, we learn new things. The audiences are goldmines of raw data with the questions they surface and the concerns they raise during open fora. Other speakers bring years of research and scrutiny of the business with them. They regale both organizers and attendees with new information or differently processed data. Luz Rimban, professor at the Ateneo and speaking for and about journalism, confirmed that Philippine ad spend had indeed declined for print because much of the business had migrated to the most popular, most prevalent medium today, television. That virtually three fourths of ad spend is now directed at TV makes it the medium of choice these days. Of that ad spend, Rimban said that nearly P80 billion were poured in by health supplements and beauty products, soft drinks companies and telephone companies. It was amusing to run through Rimban’s data. Per A.C. Nielsen’s report, the country now has 24 million internet users. Just over eight years ago, there were only 2,000 users! The top websites in the country are yahoo, friendster, youtube,

12 years of dedicated community service
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J-students should not lose hope in spite of bleak state of journalism
As a sophomore then at jschool in the Philippines, then President Marcos proclaimed martial law throughout the Philippines in one single stroke of the pen on September 21, 1972 through Proclamation 1081. I still remember that Thursday morning when my father put on the radio for his everyday morning news that he could not tune in to his favorite DZMT news and public affairs station (nor any station for that matter) and listen to his daily dose of Teodoro F. Valencia’s (fondly “Ka Doroy”) Over a Cup of Coffee. He asked my brother Tony what happened to the radio; my brother, Tony – a techie, could not solve the puzzle either. Leaving the matter behind, Tony and I proceeded to go to work. It was at the interior design office on Mabini Street in Malate, Manila that at about 8:30 in the morning that we learned what was happening when our boss, Ka Doroy, came and told us that the country has just been placed by President Marcos under martial law and that the writ of habeas corpus has been suspended. It was at this office that Ka Doroy dialed the phone at about 10 a.m. that September 21st, and where we overheard him on the phone, saying, “General, my friends have all been arrested and are now in prison. So, what time are you coming for me. I’ll wait for you here!” Any political scientist would tell one that the first thing that a state leader would do when he, or she, declares martial law is to close down all media outlets. So, there goes journalism to the drain, one would say. “But any journalist worth his salt,” I emphasized to Kirk, “will never run out of ideas on how to make a living out of the many transferable skills that one has learned, or would learn, from jschool.” Kirk listened on the phone attentively.

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TV has clearly dislodged other media in RP
google.com.ph and google. The Pinoy is also in the top five among users of social media, the others being China, Korea, Mexico and Brazil. Strange that the Pinoy has indeed come of age as he is now an arduous user of podcasts, blogs, photo sharing, video sharing, microblogging and social networking. Korea is acknowledged as the country that reads blogs a lot, the Philippines is only second. “We are not news readers anymore, as seen in the decline of newspaper circulation and readership. We have become a country of TV news watchers,” claims Rimban. There are seven dailies and two business dailies as well as twelve tabloids that come out of Manila everyday. However, there are only 1.5 million copies of broadsheets circulated and read daily. Add to that total only two million of tabloid readers. With a grand total of only 3.5 million, the figure is alarming when one factors in the national population of 88 million. Manila Bulletin still lords it on weekends but settles at number two to Philippine Daily Inquirer during weekdays. What we see in the data is a hefty responsibility being heaped on television, it being the medium of choice by almost 85 percent of the entire population. With a predominantly young population, television should clearly be a youthful medium. But is it? Prix Jeunesse of Munich commissioned us to undertake a survey of program offerings in the Philippines for youth and children. After only two weeks of study in February and early March, we have reached a conclusion that we pander to the adult more than we do to the child.

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The US, Asia-Pacific Security and Canada
By AMITAV ACHARYA (Amitav Acharya is Professor of International Relations in the School of International Service at the American University, Washington, DC, and a Senior Fellow of APF Canada.) US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s decision to make Asia her first overseas destination after taking office was not just an act of symbolism. It also holds important policy implications for Asia -- and for Canada. The new US focus on Asia is not without significant challenges. For the US, it is the implication of the global financial crisis. For Canada, it is in overcoming years of neglect if it wants to keep pace with the renewed US emphasis on Asia. Asia a solution to global economic crisis The past year has shown that while Asia is not immune to the financial crisis, this is clearly not an ‘Asian crisis’ nor an ‘Asian contagion.’ Asia is much more a part of the solution than the problem. Unlike the 1997 financial crisis, which started in Thailand and remained largely confined to Asia, the financial meltdown in 2008 began in the US and engulfed Asian nations, some more so than others. There are indications that Asian victims of the contagion may be doing better than the West, and better than they did during the 1997 crisis. Ironically, as some Asian commentators have pointed out, Asia learned the lessons of the 1997 crisis while the West had forgotten to apply them itself. Moreover, Asia is moving to expand its system of currency swaps regionwide, with a total commitment of US$120 billion. There is some irony in this, as Washington vetoed the idea of an Asian Monetary Fund mooted by Japan in the aftermath of the 1997 Asian financial crisis, not to mention its earlier opposition to an East Asian Economic Caucus mooted by former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. North Korean nuclear disarmament North Korea poses a renewed challenge to the US, especially in light of its threat to retaliate against the halt to unconditional aid from the South, including the threat to carry out a ‘satellite launch.’ Whether it will lead to the unravelling of the nuclear agreement painstakingly worked through the multilateral six-party talks remains to be seen, but there is little question that dealing with North Korea will remain a major challenge for the Obama administration, which will be hard pressed to preserve the one major foreign policy triumph of its predecessor. Despite the multilateral umbrella of the six-party talks, the Bush administration’s direct dealings with North Korea left key allies like Japan and South Korea uncomfortable, raising concerns there and elsewhere in Asia that the US might have sacrificed the objective of North Korean disarmament in order to contain and manage the North Korean nuclear proliferation. Reversing this perception will consume some energy of the Obama administration. Security alliance One ostensible purpose of Obama’s Asia policy is to reaffirm the US alliance relationships in Asia. In the past, this would have meant its security ties with Japan, South Korea, Thailand, the Philippines and Australia. But the US alliance relationships in the region are in a state of flux. Some allies are becoming more important than others and new strategic relationships are being forged. Clinton’s visit to Indonesia was largely a symbolic but fitting recognition of the progress achieved by the largest Muslim nation and the largest Muslim democracy in the world. Indonesia has defied dire predictions by Western analysts (and some Asian neighbours like Singapore) not so long ago about an imminent collapse. It has consolidated its democracy, found a peaceful settlement to the Aceh separatist movement, and also managed its economy creditably. The Clinton visit came in the wake of a steady revival of USIndonesian security relations. US-Indonesia ties Yet, the US courting of Jakarta is likely to cause discomfort in (To page 14)

Family Day 2009 a real hit
One of the less felicitious of media concoctions was the apparent sudden discovery that the recent Ontario Family Day, February 16 was a disaster for small business. The province suffered from headline overkill. Yet that same day and the day after, television showed hordes (yes, hordes) of families visiting the Toronto Zoo, the ROM, the Science Centre and other places of interest. It was quite obvious that Family Day was a hit. *** Let us not forget that Family Day was conceived out of a wish expressed across Canada that there should be a statutory midwinter holiday. The obvious date would have been February 15, the anniversary of the raising of our own flag in 1965. But according to Heritage Canada, there were too many obstacles to such a national holiday. One can scarcely blame Dalton McGuinty for making a midwinter holiday -- an Ontario election issue at a time when the follies of the Bush administration had not been fully revealed and the debt crisis had not yet threatened the economy of the whole world. It takes time to develop something of quality. This is true with almost anything worth having or doing. Cooking a tasty dish or raising a successful child (and here I have to say that the definition of success for our children is as varied as there are parents – but that’s another column), these take time, care and attention. There are no magic shortcuts. The things we do in our daily lives tend to be mundane and difficult to measure. The pace of their progress is slow and incremental. So it’s no surprise that we are often frustrated when we take a snapshot of our situation and feel like we are getting nowhere. This is especially true in today’s digital world. Over the past few decades we have been conditioned by our environment to want quick easy solutions for all our problems. TV conditioned us to be intolerant (and in some ways suspicious) of any solution that took a long time. It shortened our attention span and focused us inward. Now the Internet has taken our impatience (and self absorption) to a new level. We expect instant customized responses and our ability to focus on a task (or a relationship) for any length of time is becoming more difficult. Even our language has evolved We may be sure that Premier Mc Guinty will take steps to avoid further suffering on the part of small business proprietors, but it would be sheer madness to throw the baby out with the bath water and cancel the celebration, so long coveted by a nation and finally activated by a government that believed at least, Ontarians deserved it. *** Since last month, when I announced the founding of Losode, a non-profit web site, my colleagues and I have uncovered a number of interesting facts about the availability of low sodium and no sodium foods in Canada. If you’re interested in a balanced diet that looks seriously at the presence of salt in what we eat and drink and considers the advice of many medical experts that an excessive intake of salt can lead to cardiac problems, especially strokes, please feel free to check out our web site at http:// www.losode.com/ *** When I’m in between books scheduled to be read for their serious content or as mere timewasters, I frequently turn to two tattered paperback anthologies of

writings by Alexander Woollcott, chronicler of his times - the 30s and early 40s – and also raconteur of times and crimes of an earlier past. The books are While Rome Burns, published in 1933, and Long, Long Ago, published posthumously in 1943. This last reading, Woollcott turned me on to two great movies which fortunately I possess on DVD: Noel Coward’s World War II sea epic and Hitchcock’s The Lady Vanishes. The first piece was a paean of praise for In Which We Serve, which was the story of a destroyer and its dedicated captain, written and played by Coward. The astonishing Coward and co-director David Lean brought me back to those wartime days and the combination of comedy and tragedy experienced by those at home and those in the fighting forces and made us all part of the same effort to survive and conquer. The second was that time honored legend of a young woman’s mother disappearing without a trace during the World Exposition in Paris. We jump several decades to Ethel Lina White’s novel The Wheel Spins, which, as a film, became one of Hitchcock’s finest comedy dramas with an elderly woman disappearing on board a train in Europe and the efforts of a young Englishwoman to prove her existence. It’s entirely possible that Ms. White had read Woollcott’s story. (To page 14)

Our Journey

Kissing frogs and success
to reflect our impatience: LOL, HRU, OIC, IMHO, BRB. Just have a look at your child’s IM conversation and it’s like reading a foreign language. Robert was on his way to building a successful cleaning business. One client at a time. But it was taking time. He started the business in January 2008 with a couple of clients and made barely enough to cover his family’s needs. He, like all of us, had big dreams and ambitions. He saw a real need in Toronto and an even bigger need out west where things are booming. And he is right. But Robert made some mistakes. His first (and I think his most serious) was impatience. My advice to him at the time was build your business slowly one small client at a time. Knock on doors (literally) and ask for their business. This takes time. A friend of mine has a saying: You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince. When things didn’t pick up immediately, Robert began to get frustrated. Rather than double his effort (and kiss more frogs), his tactics became focused on finding the “big” deal. This, in his opinion, would resolve everything. So he turned his attention to landing big accounts and ignored the smaller easier deals. One of the challenges of landing a large deal is that the big players typically want to do business with established companies. One of the reasons is references. If you approach a small business owner, she is more likely to take a chance on an unknown. If you approach IBM, their appetite for risk is much lower. Their wrong decisions have much larger consequences than a small business owner. (To page 16)


the ugly piece of news to me and Roy Sinfuego, a defense reporter of Manila Bulletin visiting the city. “Tatlong granada ... sa plaza ... Yusingco ... may patay ... maraming sugatan (three grenades ... at the plaza and Yusingco ... someone killed ... scores wounded),” Jimmy stuttered. (Jimmy was my teletype operator at the Philippines News Agency Cotabato, opened by PNA senior reporter Lito Catapusan some seven weeks past. I was its bureau chief until 1990.) “Pare, pang-headline ito. Trabaho tayo (Buddy, this is headline material. Let’s go to work),” Roy told me, stopping any continuation of the small talk we were having at DXMS where PNA’s small office was located under an exchange deal. As we geared up for the job ahead, we agreed to work as a team and share every piece of information we could dig our pens into. It was mid 6 and 7 p.m. We had to work fast to get an accurate account of the story across to Manila Bulletin and PNA newswire clients. We knew we only had until 9 p.m. to do that, be-

VIEWS Omerta
an excited Jimmy intoned: COTABATO CITY, Feb. 25 (PNA) -- Three grenade explosions rocked different parts of the city at dusk today, killing at least two and wounding scores, two of them seriously. Police believed the bombings at the plaza and inside a theater were the work of terrorists. (PNA) PNA Manila desk editors burned my reply-back telex machine with requests for periodic follow-up reports, fodder for national radio and television. ***** One of the grenades exploded inches away from Jennifer and Virginia. The impact of the blast could have killed them instantly. But despite mangled and bloodied bodies that caught deadly shrapnel, both hanged on to dear life. Jennifer was brought to the City General Hospital about 120 meters away; Virginia, to the Cotabato Regional Hospital about a kilometer away. The other grenade blast happened quite far from Maguid, but grenade fragments reached and hit one of his legs. Maguid felt lucky to be seated with crossed legs, or both his legs would have been wounded. He was able to hop to the nearby City General Hospital. The third grenade went off very far from the students, who were shielded by the row of movie seats from shrapnel. Like the rest, they scampered out of the theater, nursing the trauma of near injury or death. They both went to school and attended classes, with a terrifying tale to tell their mates. ***** Shortly before 9 p.m., I, Roy and Jimmy got our facts together and wrote our reports on the bombings. After transmitting our stories, we decided to go out for follow-ups. Roy went to interview Constabulary commander Major Brassim Mamalinta, while I went to the City General Hospital to get the tales of the wounded. Jimmy had to stay to receive any possible field report from me and to attend to any official eventuality. ***** At the hospital about three hours after the blasts, Jennifer was unconscious but continued to breath. I watched while an op(To page 30)

Metallic thuds. Blinding flashes. Piercing blasts. A moment’s panic. Subdued pleas. Death. On Feb. 25, 1980 in Cotabato City - at the edge of a sunset when the night sky started to dim and stars peeked and teased for a fervent wish, three grenade blasts broke the promise of a peaceful dusk and instantly claimed two lives, ripped the bodies of two young girls beyond help and scarred, if not maimed, 70 others. Separately but almost simultaneously, three men each lobbed a fragmentation grenade in three sections of the city where many people milled and stayed for cooler air after a day’s survival. One of the grenades exploded at the half-packed orchestra section of the Yusingco Theater near the city’s waterfront; another in front of Sanitary Barber Shop at the southeast corner of the city plaza; and the last, at the jeepney waiting area along the city’s main thoroughfare Sinsuat Ave. fronting city hall. ***** Panting heavily, Jimmy Deboma rushed into the glass doors of Radio Station DXMS and broke out

Helpless bystander
fore editors put their newspaper editions to bed. ***** Late that aft, Jennifer Rodriguez, 11, went with her cousin, Virginia Dimaano, 15, to the city plaza. They had to. Vending balut (steamed duck eggs) had been their family’s source of living as far back as they knew. They took their posts near the queue of jeepneys waiting to be filled by peakhour commuters, about 15 feet from the corner of Sinsuat Ave. and Almonte St. Jennifer and Virginia hoped to raise enough money to buy part of the regular meager provisions of their joint households. Before dusk, Maguid Alilaya, 28, went to a comics stand near the Sanitary Barber Shop to read and rethousand pairs of shoes that can confuse even the longest centipede. Have we forgotten to be satisfied? We need to be reminded every now and then, that it is still humanly possible to stay with the basics and be content with what have. We need to learn the art of contentment. The art of contentment? Is there such an art? Y e s , surprisingly, there is. A family of robins that were nested on a plum tree in my backyard last summer gave me a crash course on the subject. It was a case of Mother Nature presenting an amazing show-and-tell. The robins’ interesting behavior had me riveted for hours, prompting me to take notes in the three days that I observed their daily routine. The strings of movements were well timed and swift. Every morning, the parent robins would take turns flying out of the nest to gather worms and insects for their young while the (To page 15) lax away his time. He was on his way to finishing his third comic book when ... About 300 meters away inside the Yusingco Theater, a Notre Dame University student was enjoying a movie with his girlfriend. They had classes that night, but thought of skipping these for a date. It was in the middle of the movie when ... ***** Roy and Jimmy hit the phones to get some fast answers from the police, hospitals and clinics. At the same time, they picked facts from DXMS live feeds from its staffers. Meanwhile, I sat before our antiquated M15 teletype machine and rattled off my news bulletin to PNA Manila in similar lines as The latest fad in motivation is the Law of Attraction or more popularly The Secret after the motion picture and book by Rhonda Byrne. The idea being that if you use the power of The Secret you will attract health, wealth and friends to you in abundance. The Secret takes an old idea and repackages it for our today’s society. The core idea is that your thoughts control the world around you. If you have positive thoughts, good things come your way. If you have negative thoughts then bad things come your way. In other words, if you wish hard enough for the things you want -- you will get them. Simple. Or is it? If it were simple, then countless people throughout history would have figured it out over and over, and it would not be much of a secret. Perhaps it takes a little more effort than suggested – or perhaps it is just a pipe dream. We, as modern educated people, need more proof. In order to make it palatable to the skeptic in us, The Secret adds an element of science. We are told that quantum physics has identified that all things at the sub-atomic level exist as both particles


The 3rd Eye

Un-Comfort Zone

Art of contentment
Less or more? These are the two opposing words that often cloud our thoughts when caught between greed and need. More is the side of the scale that can outweigh logic, when our selfish motives fail to recognize the thin line that divides excess from enough. How much is more? How little is less? We all know the answers but we allow our wisdom to be absorbed by consumerism and other self-serving reasons. We are trapped by the lure of pointless acquisition and its promise of false happiness. And in the process, we get disconnected from other more important issues in

The Secret for people who don’t believe in voodoo
and as waves – constantly shifting between being solid matter and being pure energy. It is then proposed that our thoughts create brain waves which in turn influence the subatomic waves of the entire universe. The Secret claims that the more intent you are in your wish the faster the universe will act upon it. Is it real, or is it VooDoo. science? If real, it sounds wonderful! Now, if I understand correctly, if I wish real hard I can become a concert pianist and play to a sold out audience in Carnegie Hall? I only see one hitch: I’ve never had a piano lesson in my life. The Secret also presents the Law of Attraction as if it had been intentionally kept hidden for centuries.That it was suppressed and held by a few conspirators so that they could control all the wealth of the world. Unfortunately, that notion is nothing other than a marketing ploy to generate interest in the book. It also contradicts the concept of Law of Attraction. The idea that a select group of people have kept it away from the masses intentionally preys on the destructively negative emotion of envy. To the contrary, people who have understood the Law of Attraction have made numerous attempts at sharing it with the world at large. The best example is Andrew Carnegie, who was one of the most successful so-called “Robber Barons” of the Industrial Age. Carnegie hired Napoleon Hill to research (To page 15)

our lives. Interestingly, a classic example is our feet. We are born with a pair. One is left and the other is right. How many shoes can they wear, each time they take us out for a walk? Common sense tells us that two is the norm. But there is a woman in Asia whose outlandish taste for luxury re-defined the word “excess” with a super extravagant twist. She shocked the whole world with her nearly three

Where many school children will forget the date when Ferdinand Magellan “discovered” the Philippines from text books, thanks to Yoyoy Villame, students of the Martial Law era will remember it to be March 16, 1521. The late King of Novelty Music, in characteristic broken English, comically described how Magellan and crew were “sailing day and night, across the big ocean, until they saw small Limasawa Island…” It was actually the outline of Samar Island that the crew first saw on that day, the ennui and fatigue of trans-ocean travel erased from their faces when the watch of the day shouted “tierra”, “tierra”, “tierra”. Not that Samar was the first landfall Magellan made since the Armada de Molucca left the shores of San Lucar de Barrameda in Spain on September 20, 1519 to head out to the Atlantic Ocean. Magellan had delivered his crew from hostile South American natives and the treacherous waters of Patagonia and what is now known as the Strait of Magellan out into what eventually came to be known as the Pacific Ocean. Combining myth, science, and personal grit, Magellan had maintained a water passageway existed at the end of the American landmass, the westerly route to the coveted Spice Islands. Magellan had to take this route not only to prove his theory that the earth was round (arrive in the east by travelling west) but also because of the terms of the Treaty of Tordesillas that divided the world into Portuguese and Spanish spheres. The treaty provided that all lands that lay east of the Atlantic Ocean (Cape Verde) belonged to Portugal, and west of it to Spain. Technically, both the Philippines and Moluccas, the Spice Islands, fell within Portuguese territory. Guam was the armada’s first major landfall, a very significant one considering that it had been more than three months since it left the strait with no land in sight for them to obtain provisions. Their numbers had been greatly decimated by then, thanks to scurvy, mutinies (one ship returned to Spain), and hunger. It was in the Philippines where Antonio Pigafetta,

Filipino-Canadian students organized a forum of sorts billed as The State of the Filipino Union (SOFU). It was held at the University of Toronto and attended by an impressive number of students and community members who filled the auditorium. Based on the title of the activity, I had expected the tired subject of “Filipino disunity” (regionalism, or what-not) to be the issue of the day. With one of the prime organizers harping on the need for the Filipino community to forge what he called a “functional solidarity”, I thought the forum was well on its way to addressing the issue of factionalism within Filipino associations, the social divide between FOBS and bacons, or the gap between the first generation (with their heavy Pinoy accents and all that is embarrassing about Filipino parents) and the second generation (and their confused sense of identity). I really wanted to know what parameters define “functional solidarity”. Instead, much of the evening was spent listening to oldtimers recall their early years in Canada



March - A month of discovery
the Venetian chronicler and diplomat, noted the greatest hospitality that the crew experienced from since leaving Spain. It was also in this country where Magellan lost his life in the famous Battle of Mactan, depriving himself of the glory and honors that were heaped upon Sebastian El Cano, the Basque mariner who presented himself to King Charles as the first man to circumnavigate the world by bringing back Victoria and its cargo of cloves the 18 survivors. These are but a few details from the book Over the Edge of the World written by Laurence Bergreen. Published in 2002, it is the latest in the historiography of Magellan and the Age of Discovery. This is a must-read for the serious student of History or the casual reader interested in a thoroughly absorbing read. What I like about Bergreen is his evenhanded approach in writing about the era known as the Age of Discovery. He makes very special mention of the fact that the Europeans did not really discover the Philippines, or Asia for that matter. Ample pages are devoted to the degree of civilization Philippine natives had achieved at the point of contact with the Europeans. I used to tell my students in History class that Magellan did not discover the Philippines, that discovery is a western notion. Let me digress a little. Early this month, a group of

and their experiences of discrimination, etc., something that is staple in newcomer orientation sessions and in daily conversations. It was quite impressive for the organizers to bring together a number of community leaders to share their thoughts. Well, with around a dozen speakers allowed to speak for only two minutes each, there’s hardly enough thought to go around and comment about. Maybe it was the format. Or the sheer number of speakers (there was another dozen youths in another panel). But, for all these observations, student leader Mithi Esguerra rightfully pointed out in her closing remarks that this was only the beginning. It is nothing short of remarkable for these young Filipino-Canadians to embark on their own voyage of discovery by organizing such gatherings, providing the venue to discuss their origins and sense of Filipino identity. My generation was taught that Philippine society is paternalistic. We look up to our (To page 30)




Traveling Europe on a bus and on budget … it’s harder than you think
By ABIGAIL SANTOS, Hamilton, Ontario
One girl, 11 European countries, 22 days … sounds like a dream. Now, add one friend, one boyfriend, 47 other twenty-somethings in one sardine can of a bus = a Euro Trip to remember! Last summer I was able to experience a trip of a lifetime. A trip I’ve wanted to do for over 8 years. A trip to Europe. Just like many young twenty somethings who have just finished school and are ready to explore the world, I knew what cities I wanted to visit but had no idea where to begin when planning for a trip like this. So instead of trekking Europe with a backpack for months on end (something I’m sure I’ll do in the future), I chose to sign up for a Contiki Tour, a safe bet and great way to “taste-test” Western Europe and what it has to offer. I, along with a girlfriend and my boyfriend, picked the European Experience Tour - 22 days exploring 11 countries: England, France, Monaco, Italy, Vatican City, Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, The Netherlands and Belgium. Although there were plenty of wonderful aspects to this trip; how many people can say they lunched in Liechtenstein? There are some things I’d like to tell you that the tour book didn’t mention. (Now, this isn’t an advertisement for Contiki, and it definitely isn’t a negative article against the tour company. It is however, my hope that this will allow you to get a sense of what to expect on a trip like this. I mean, if you are taking that much time off work and spending so much money on it, you might as well know all about it, right?) What it included In the brochure it was classified as a budget tour, but by the end of the three weeks, budget was no longer the term to classify the trip. Here’s why … The European Experience tour cost us $2,535 each (not including the flight). It had 19 breakfasts, 1 lunch (since you’re exploring the city for the day you might as well eat with and like the locals), 13 dinners, all accommodations (ranging from a hostel in Ger-

THE UNITED KINGDOM’S STONEHENGE many, a campsite in Paris, and a hotel in Amsterdam), a chartered bus (a.k.a. your real home away from home. You spend more than 1/3 of your time on the bus than on actual European soil), a tour manager, a bus driver, and the ability to SEE famous landmarks. I say SEE because the tour doesn’t include the entrance fees to the attractions and historical landmarks. In other words, you can get dropped off at the Eiffel Tower but you can’t go to the top of it. What it didn’t include As mentioned, there are some meals you have to pay for; most lunches and a few dinners here and there. But instead of starving and waiting for the next provided meal, there are plenty of cheap and delicious options around that are big enough for you to share with someone else. And for those less adventurous there are also plenty of McDonald’s and BK’s if you don’t want to veer away from Western cuisine. Also, be willing to spend a huge amount of money on water … apparently tap water doesn’t exist in Western Europe. I don’t need to say this but water and food are necessary expenses, and you can spend over €100 easily on the three week tour. I should also make mention that on a bus full of young adults, there were many a night where the Contiki campgrounds bar was frequented, so if you drink, allot the money for it, because one can easily spend their food money on this nighttime activity. Speaking of meals, when we first landed in London, we decided to visit (To page 13)


Dr. Gilbert Chan Dr. Daphne Chien Dr. Janet Ho Dr. Janet Wong Dr. Michael Chin

Traveling Europe ...
(From page 12)



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stop the garnishment. the local pub and as I saw the prices on the menu I thought they were similar to back home. And you will not lose your house and car. Then I was quickly reminded that I needed to convert the currencies and the 7 GBP for fish and chips was in fact close to $14 Canadian. HERE IS WHAT SOME SATISFIED CLIENTS HAVE TO SAY .......... After a few seconds of wondering why the in huge debt. Credit Manageing with Mr. Amit Bhatia, I felt very “I had six credit cards and was British pay so much to eat a tiny piece of fish enment Services reduced my debts relaxed and he reduced my $34,000 paying $550 per month. Bank grossed in two inches of butter, I had to stop and which I am paying in interest-free debts to just half. Amazing .......... did not give me consolidation say, “You’re in London, in an authentic English monthly installments now and I I can pick up my own phone now.” loan because I had bad credit. pub having a traditional meal, when will you can keep my car.” E.J. M.M. Then I met Mr. Amit Bhatia and have this experience again?” he reduced my loans and made That’s when I told myself to stop converting “My husband was so stressed “After making us debt free, now Amit one payment of just $200. I’ll be and just think of everything as being in Canawith these credit card bills that Bhatia helped us getting the mortdebt free in 36 months. Credit once he forgot to stop at a red gage. We are happy to move to our Management Services is the best dian dollars. If you do this early, it will make traffic signal. Fortunately no acnew house.” S.S. place to contact when you have a things a lot easier. cident happened but I called money problem.” J.G. The tour also didn’t include the excursions Credit Management Services “I went back home to get married, Contiki offered. Tandem paragliding in Austria, right away. Two weeks later my then I had to go again because my “I was afraid to pick my own a gondola ride in Venice, going to the Top of Euhusband was back to stressfree mother got sick. Because of that I phone. I was so confused and rope on the oldest cog railway in the world in life.” M.A. had to borrow money from my credit stressed all the time that I didn’t cards and also, I lost my job. I was know what to do, but after meetSwitzerland, along with many other excursions are at the expense of the participant. It’s not like you have to participate in any of these activities but again, you should ask yourself, when will you ever get the chance to do them in Europe again? Tip: if you have to do something, go on the Call for a free and confidential consultation first group dinner in Paris. It’s a great way to meet the tourmates you’ll be spending 24/7 with for the next three weeks. Similarly, throughout your trip you will find Head Office : 970 Lawrence Ave. West # 105 (Lawrence & Dufferin) the tour manager and bus driver trying to “sell” Toronto ON M6A3B6 (Located on the main floor in back of the building) you everything Contiki. This can range from going to a beer hall in Germany or a bar in Austria Web : www.cmsgroup.ca that is only for Contiki tours. That means the people you meet are other 3 convenient locations - Toronto, Mississauga and Scarborough tourists, not the locals you really want and should be meeting. It was an accident, but a good accident for us. In addition, expect to work on the tour as a cookie or Another tip: when in Munich, don’t pay for the extra One of my favorite moments during the tour was in dishie. While you arrive to your new accommodations in excursion to the beer hall, it is overpriced and again only Paris. We had the choice of going back to the campsite each city you visit, your tour manager will let you know if Contiki groups attend. Go to Hofbrauhaus for the real ex- with the bus at 8:00 p.m., but that was way too early to say you’re either going to prepare and serve the meals you have perience. I’ve been to its Oktoberfest counterpart in Water- goodnight to the city of love, the city of lights. that night, or if you are going to clean up after everyone is loo, but that definitely doesn’t compare to the real beer hall So my boyfriend and I decided that we would take a cab done eating. that made Munich famous. back to camp after exploring Paris. You’ll be doing it with a few of your tourmates as well Something important to know is that all the places you We roamed the streets taking in the most amazing sights. as some permanent Contiki staff that work at each site. stay at are outside of the city you are visiting. We sat along the Seine River watching the lights reflect on Although this might sound funny to some, work while For me this was the biggest disappointment of the tour the water, looking at the Eiffel Tower in all its glory, hear- on vacation, this undeniably offsets the cost of your tour. If since it meant that the time we spent in the actual city was ing Parisians speak their romantic language while watching no one prepares the meal or cleans up after it, then Contiki limited because the bus driver had to drive us back to our teenagers on a bridge having a midnight party. would need to hire more employees at each campsite and hotel/hostel/campsite (which was almost always close to We probably could have stayed there forever, but left thus the cost of the tour would increase. an hour away). only after the lights on the bridge beside us turned off. So being a cookie or dishie is a small, yet fun, price to Now, as I look back on the trip, there was only one point Paying that €30 or more for the cab ride back to the pay. Don’t worry, you only have to do it once on the trip, where our hotel was right smack dab in the middle of the campsite was nothing compared to what we saw, smelled, and some people might be lucky enough not to do it at all. city we were visiting. experienced. Something else to expect is what we lovingly referred This was in Lyon, France, a lovely little town just outTherefore, if you really want to discover and know the to as the “Contiki cough”. Everyone, and I mean everyone, side of Paris. But the only reason we were centrally located city you are in, you have to bring it upon yourself to do will catch a cold or get sick while on their vacation. was because the chateau we were supposed to stay in was so, and if that means taking a taxi and paying that extra Long days of touring, early mornings and late nights (To page 14) over booked by another tour. expense, then so be it.


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Traveling Europe on a bus and on ...
(From page 13) make it easy to get sick. Bring Tylenol, cold and sinus medication and lozenges. Although Europe has fine and abundant pharmacies, you don’t want to spend precious time looking for them and you definitely don’t want to spend your money paying for meds. So just bring some to be safe, and when you’re coughing up a lung, you’ll thank me for having them. Other important things to expect on the tour that are at no cost are: experiencing Europe and all it has to offer, gaining memories to last forever, meeting new friends and maybe a special someone. Also, most importantly, definitely do expect a trip of a lifetime! The European Experience was an amazing trip, and it was more than I could have ever hoped for. Although there were things here and there that bothered me, but what vacation doesn’t? ticle gives you more insight on Contiki, Europe and this specific tour itself. Bottomline You have to expect to spend, spend, spend! The European Experience tour was supposed to be a budget tour, and I suppose it can be one if you don’t visit any attractions, if you don’t do any of the extra excursions or buy souvenirs (but risk the wrath of your family and friends upon your return), or if you don’t drink water or eat for that matter, but what kind of vacation would that be? If you want to enjoy your holiday, don’t worry about every euro you spend and be willing to let go on the purse strings a little. You’re in Europe, for heaven’s sake! You made it that far, and you know what they say, “When in Rome…”

EIFFEL TOWER It was a great way to see Europe for the first time. So for those of you who are considering taking a trip like this, I hope that this ar(From page 9) Woollcott, in his time, was a college graduate, World War I soldier, columnist, critic, broadcaster and even an actor. He was a member of the notorious “Algonquin Round Table” that gave the “Smart Set” a literate and sophisticated gloss. He was far from shy about mentioning his presence at great events and meeting famous and infamous people but his abounding curiosity and sense of what made a good story led him to profiling some lesser known and even obscure people. There’s his account of lunching with an aspiring young unknown whose name was Orson Welles soon to electrify the airwaves with a radio generated Martian invasion. And a long essay reveals the essential goodness of Jack Humphrey, cowboy, roughneck, animal lover and founder of the Seeing Eye dog program for the blind. The George Kaufman-

Family Day 2009 a real hit
Moss Hart comedy, The Man Who Came to Dinner, satirized a real character while he was still alive with Bearded Monty Wooley, academic turned actor as Sheridan Whiteside. It was a hit on Broadway and later became a top movie with Wooley. Although the part of Sheridan Whiteside was immortalized by Wooley, Woollcott himself, far from being offended by the satire written by two Round Table friends, basked in its glory by actually playing Whiteside in a road show tour. These are what normally would be “dipping into volumes, but when I find myself going after a certain piece, I find myself reading on and on. Who can deny the wayward genius of a man who coined such phrases as “His huff arrived and he departed in it”; “There is no such thing in anyone’s life as an unimportant day.”; “Germany was the cause of Hitler as Much as Chicago is responsible for The Chicago Tribune.” Thanks be for the irreverent and stylish Alexander Woollcott, who died all too young at 56. (Used with permission. Ben Viccari is past president of the Canadian Ethnic Media Association [CEMA] and makes frequent appearances on OMNI TV Commentary. Some of his commentaries are republished in this publication and slightly expanded in some cases from their 70-second broadcast originals. For more of his work, please visit Ben’s website at: http:// canscene.ripple.ca)

Holmes ...

(From page 3) region - composed of member-nations Brunei Darussalam, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Canada has been a dialogue partner of Asean for more than 30 years. Trade between Canada and Asean members exceeded $13 billion in 2007. In the same year, Canadian direct investment to the region was nearly $7.7 billion. PR

New CIDA ...

(From page 3 Philippines in 2006 and 2007 totaled some $24.5 million. Canada’s assistance to the Philippines began after the February 1986 People Power Revolution, which ousted the 20-year regime of strongman President Ferdinand Marcos. It took off as aid to restore democracy in the country. It has then evolved into programs supporting peace efforts, responsible governance and private sector development. With PRs

RP ties ...

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(From page 3) tion 1724 declaring the last week of June of each year as International Friendship Week. The yearly celebration “shall ensure that all countries enjoying diplomatic relations with the Philippines are given a fair and equal treatment in celebrating their respective milestone years,” the proclamation said. This 2009, the Philippines also recognizes its 60-year old ties with the Republic of Korea, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Thailand and Turkey. PR

(From page 9) its traditional treaty allies, the Philippines and Thailand, both of which earned ‘Major Non-NATO Partner’ status for backing the Bush administration’s war against Iraq. The concerns of these two allies will be further aggravated if Indonesia, the largest regional power in Southeast Asia, pursues -as suggested by Indonesian analyst Jusuf Wanandi -- a leadership role in a ‘remodelling’ of the regional architecture of the Asia Pacific region that bypasses Asean. Clinton’s decision to visit Indonesia was seen by some in the Philippines as a snub to Manila generally, and President Arroyo personally. But the US military is deeply engaged in counter-terrorism training in the Philippines, which it cannot afford to abandon or neglect. The chances are that left-wing politicians and the Philippine Congress will demand a scaling back of security ties with the US if Washington does not reward Manila with summitlevel exchanges. In so far as Thailand is concerned, Clinton is likely to visit the country in July to attend the annual meetings of Asean and the Asean Regional Forum, although this will be in a multilateral context. The US and Japan The Obama administration has reaffirmed its security ties with Japan. Not only was Japan the first stop on Clinton’s trip, but Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso, despite a popularity rating below 10 percent and facing the distinct prospect of leading the LDP to electoral defeat for only the second time in history, also secured the distinction of being the first foreign leader to meet Obama in the White House. The US and China Yet, the Obama administration has also reaffirmed the importance of US-China ties, dubbing it as the most important bilateral relationship in the world. To be sure, the Obama administration inherited a healthy relationship with China from its predecessor, but from preliminary indications, it seems to be intent on placing its relationship with China on a new footing without appearing to neglect Japan. This requires an extremely delicate balancing act, given emerging suspicions in Tokyo about a closer Sino-US relationship. The US and India India enjoys increasingly close strategic ties with the US, although New Delhi has disavowed any kind of formal alliance directed

The U.S., Asia-Pacific Security, Canada
against China. President Bush was immensely popular in India, an anomaly in a period of growing anti-Americanism in the world, because of his support for the US-India nuclear deal. Although Clinton gave India a miss, there is every likelihood that President Obama himself would visit the country. There is some fear in New Delhi that a Democratic administration will take a stricter approach to the USIndia nuclear deal (in terms of monitoring), just as in India (as well as throughout Asia) there is concern about renewed protectionist sentiments traditionally associated with a Democratic administration. Moreover, New Delhi firmly rejects any attempt to make India part of the new ‘Afpak’ policy, which seeks to deal with the problem of terrorism and extremism in Afghanistan and Pakistan through a single framework. This was reflected in New Delhi’s successful effort in lobbying against including India in the mandate of special envoy Richard Holbrooke. Two other directions in the Obama administration’s Asia policy stand out. The US and Asean The first is that there is likely to be a great commitment to multilateralism. Clinton is unlikely to miss the annual gathering of ASEAN foreign ministers and its dialogue partners as did her predecessor, Condoleezza Rice. Already, Washington has indicated its intention to accede to Asean’s Treaty of Amity and Cooperation, following in the wake of all other major powers, including China, India, Russia, France and Australia. And Clinton’s visit to the Asean Secretariat in Jakarta was a powerful endorsement of the new administration’s recognition of Asean and Asean-centred East Asian and Asia Pacific regionalism. It now becomes more plausible that the US will seek membership in the East Asian Summit, which the Bush administration had looked on with secret disfavor while publicly feigning disinterest. And there are indications that the US will devote greater attention and resources to ARF particularly with respect to transnational security challenges. The main challenge for the US will be to deal with renewed East Asian financial cooperation, which threatens to diminish the clout of US-controlled financial mechanisms such as the IMF. Anti-Americanism A second direction is a conscious attempt to reverse the tide of anti-Americanism stirred up by the Bush administration’s war on terror and its unilateralist approach to world affairs, particularly during its first term in office. Indonesia will provide a key test of this approach. If the reception of Mrs Clinton is any indication, there has been a good start to restoring US standing in this nation. On the downside, however, is the likelihood that the Clinton visit might have ended the prospect of Indonesia being the destination of a presidential visit anytime soon. Whether and how soon Obama reverses Asian anti-Americanism will, of course, depend on actions it takes at the global level, including its approach to the war on terror, torture and multilateralism. Despite the declared intention to close Guantanamo Bay, the US approach to the war on terror may be difficult to change. Much will depend on progress on the Palestinian conflict, where a good starting point must be the recognition that lack of progress on this issue is a worldwide stimulus to terrorism and extremism. Canadian implication It is clearly too early to pass judgement on the Obama administration’s approach to Asia, despite having made a promising start in dealing with the region. But for Canada, one clear implication stands out: if the US is appearing to take Asia more seriously, can Canada afford to be left behind? Despite persisting doubts about the viability of an East Asian Community, a recent survey of Asian elite opinion by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington found growing support within Asia for the idea of a regional community. The new American support for Asian regional institutions such as Asean is also a reminder of the need for Canada to reverse its diminishing standing and role in these institutions, a direct result of years of neglect of these institutions after playing a major role in the creation of Asia-Pacific Regional Forum. It is time for the Canadian policy community to debate the country’s role in Asian regional institutions, including seeking membership in the East Asian Summit, especially if this summit replaces APEC annual summit as the region’s highest level forum for diplomatic interactions.

Art of ...
(From page 10) other stayed on guard to protect the babies. Food would arrive one beak-full at time, no more and no less than what was needed for consumption. The opened little beaks of the baby robins receiving the ration, guaranteed that nothing went to waste. Their easy way of life was just as simple as the nest, which was made of grass and twigs that perfectly conformed to the specifications of the architect Mother Nature. The design was simple but it clearly met the needs of the birds. And that easily explained why there were no visible attempts from the robins to modify it. Unlike most humans who are hardly satisfied, birds have no use for huge and fancy homes. They just wanted a simple and happy life. Their mastery of being content is highly admirable and a good lesson to all of us. The photo of the mother robin feeding her babies is one of the shots I took during the watch-and-learn session with the masters of the art. It also echoes a verse from the gospel of Matthew which reads: “Look at the



FMWF set on Aug. 14-16
The Filipinos Making Waves Festival (FMWF) promises to make a bigger splash when it highlights anew Philippine arts, culture, music, cuisine, crafts and many more at the Yonge-Dundas Square from Aug. 14 to 16. Hosted by Focus Philippines and Friends Cultural Arts & Music, the festival is open to the public for free. Organizers say the 3rd FMWF focuses on trade, tourism and talent. Major Philippine exporters have joined in to give Canadians an experience of Filipino products. Food booths will serve authentic Filipino cuisine. FMWF will also feature cultural shows and concerts from an array of talents and visual art exhibits. A big part of the FMWF will be a stunning showcase of Philippine culture. An assortment of worldclass dance troupes, marching bands and live bands and an impressive array of entertainment artists and celebrities grace the event. Singer search on FMWF organizers have also launched Sing Galing, a Canadawide singing talent quest for individual and group performers of Filipino ancestry or affinity. Sing Galing categories include kids (7-12 years), teens (13-17 years) and adults (18-40 years). Winners will perform at the festival. Search coordinator Zena Zagala invites those interested to visit www.filipinosmakingwaves.com. PR

Peers welcome Marshall McLuhan awardee Glenda Gloria

Glenda Gloria, winner of the Canadian Embassy’s Annual Marshall McLuhan Award for 2008 in the Philippines, was tendered a welcome dinner at the Aristokrat Restaurant by the Philippine Press Club-Ontario when she came to Toronto recently. Glenda is the chief operating officer of the ABSCBN News Channel and managing editor of Newsbreak magazine. She is shown standing at center, back row. Kneeling (from left) are Edwin Mercurio, Dindo Orbeso, Ruben Cusipag, and Nestor Arellano. Standing (from left) are Tony Sicat, Ricky CalCHEAPEST AIRFARE IN: uen, Tenny Soriano, Faye Arellano, Jojo Taduran, Tess Cusipag, Rey Sunga, and Carlo Figueroa of • Asia the Canadian Embassy in Manila. Photo: EDWIN • Europe MERCURIO birds: they do not plant seeds, gather a harvest and put it in barns; yet your Father in heaven takes care of them!” If we can only emulate at least 80 percent of the robins’ less demanding life, then, we can certainly discard many of life’s unnecessary complications and live a happier life.


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FCMA, KCCC medical fair in the offing
The Filipino Canadian Medical Association (FCMA) and the Kalayaan Cultural Community Centre (KCCC) will conduct a medical fair at the KCCC in Mississauga on Sept. 13. The fair, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., is geared on educating the public on health and medicine. Lecture topics include (From page 10) the most successful people in the world, how they got that way, and then record his findings in a book. The book is Think and Grow Rich and was published in 1937. The best thing about Think and Grow Rich is that it takes the mysticism out of the Law of Attraction. So, for those of you who find wishing on a star a bit difficult to swallow as a method for acquiring wealth, here is the real secret: Identify your goal. Make a written plan to acquire that goal. Work your plan persistently. Give it your time, attention and energy. The more time and effort you give, the quicker you will achieve it. Visualize it coming to addressing common medical conditions: detection, prevention, treatment, and health promotion. Lectures will be in two sessions: 10 a.m. to 12 noon and 2 to 4 p.m. Medical exhibits will also be on display. Para-medical associations of nurses, dentists, pharmacists, and physiotherapists will join in to give the event a lift. Attendees are urged to bring medicines from home, under advice of a qualified pharmacist, for sorting in a “brown bag” program. A fee of $10 will be asked from each attendee to cover medical fair costs, including light lunch and a lecture kit. PR


The Secret for people who don’t ...
fruition. Draw it, illustrate it, photograph it, then keep it in front of you. Revise your plan as your knowledge grows. Be open-minded to opportunities that arise that may deviate from your plan, but still move you toward your goal. The world’s most successful people were extremely focused on achieving one goal. They focused to the exclusion of everything else including family, friends, lovers, recreation, entertainment, vacations and hobbies. Next, tell everyone you know about your goal. Spread the word, so that people who can assist you are aware of your intentions. I truly believe that positive minded people attract more opportunities to themselves because they are so pleasant to deal with. The formula is simple, but most of us compromise our goals because we want to enjoy a full balanced life. A life filled with friends, family and good times. We focus on our goals when time allows, and in turn, our goals take much longer to achieve. The true secret is staying focused on your goal. Robert Evans Wilson, Jr. is a motivational speaker and humorist. He works with companies that want to be more competitive and with people who want to think like innovators. For more information on Robert’s programs please visit www. jumpstartyourmeeting.com


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Word Int’l presents cantata
Word International Ministries, Ontario will present its Easter cantata Redemption: The Power of the Cross, at Unit 18, 951 Wilson Ave. on April 12. Admission is free. Redemption is a praise and worship celebration of the power of Jesus Christ as demonstrated in His resurrection. It is a testimony of how Jesus’s sacrifice more than 2,000 ago can still change lives and destiny today. It is also a timely reminder that even though life is difficult and full of challenges, God is there to continuously love His flock and is willing to help His people though their trials. PR

COMMUNITY UPAA sets council polls Kissing frogs and success
Sketching of Life session. The sketches were sold to raise funds. UPAA Toronto was represented by Mississauga artist Romi MananQuil at a solo art exhibit at the UP College of Fine Arts, Diliman, Quezon City to mark UP’s centennial. Cruz led a UPAA delegation to the centennial celebration, during which UPAA presented a cheque for the UP Professorial Chair to UP president Emerlinda Roman. On its own, some 300 UPAA attended the UP Centennial Ball at the Marriott Hotel with former president Fidel Ramos as guest. Cruz called on UPAA members to show up, rejoin, exchange pleasantries with fellow alumnus and vote during the election. ROSE TIJAM/PR (From page 9) Robert had no references to show prospects. Though if he’d invested his time and accumulated a list of smaller clients then he would have had everything he needed to go after the big deals. Robert spent nearly all his time chasing large clients. Hopping from one opportunity to the next. The net result is that he failed to get a single large client. And he failed to build a sustainable business with the smaller clients. True, individually, each small client was not worth a great deal. But taken together, they would have made Roberts business successful. I’ve lost touch with Robert over this past year. But I understand that he has all but given up his dream of creating a cleaning business and is chasing the next big thing. The point is that anything worth having take time and effort and there are no shortcuts. Talk to a successful entrepreneur. She makes it look easy. But what she might not tell you is that there were many many years spent with little or nothing as she worked to build her business one client at a time. We only see the end result. Also ask her how many frogs she had to kiss. info@thenannyexpert.com

PCUAA suits up for 8th Summerfest
The Philippine Colleges and Universities Alumni Associations (PCUAA) is gearing up for its 8th Summerfest at the Mississauga Valley Community Centre Park on July 12 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. As in the past, hundreds of graduates of at least 16 academic institutions in the Philippines will wear their school colors as they gather to renew ties, share food, and get involved in other activities. They are also expected to compete in team sports and fun games to bring home the honor of bagging the revolving trophy. The University of the Philippines Alumni Association won the over-all trophy last year. Event organizers said the PCUAA had a successful Awards Ceremony and Dinner Dance on Jan. 31, and raised funds to cover picnic ground fees and other Summerfest costs. They decided to waive shared expenses. They also called on officers of PCUAA member school groups to help finalize the summerfest by attending meetings at the Kalayaan Cultural Community Centre on April 19, May 24 and June 21 from 2 to 4 p.m. ROSE TIJAM/PR

The University of the Philippines Alumni Association (UPAA) has set the election of its council members during its General Meeting at the YMCA, 20 Grosvenor St. on March 20 from 6 to 11 p.m. UPAA president Noel Cruz said the group’s membership and financial status and future plans and activities would be announced during the meeting. As for UPAA’s accomplishments, Cruz said members have been seeing each other regularly during the monthly Kapihan, and fundraising activities. He said UPAA is also involved in a mentoring program that has assisted newcomer alumni in job searches and networking. Last year, UPAA tied up with the Philippine Artists Group and conducted a www.

Police host int’l day to ‘end racism’
The Toronto Police Service (TPS) Community Mobilization Unit will host the commemoration of the 8th Annual International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination at the main lobby of the TPS headquarters on March 25 at 11 a.m. A media invite said the event would focus on the youth and their perspective of what the day meant, working towards a common goal. End Racism, Embrace Human Rights is the 2009 theme. Dignitaries and community members will join TPS Board Chair Alok Mukherjee, police chief William Blair and Canada’s Olympic bronze medalist and 100m hurdler Priscilla Lopes-Schliep in celebrating the day. The event will also feature cultural entertainment.

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Pillars to conduct free info fair
The Pillars Cultural Association (PCA) will conduct its 2nd Annual Information Fair at the Wellesley Community Centre on March 28, from 1 to 4 p.m. The fair is open for all and free of charge. The PCA said government and community-based agency representatives would provide information on pension and benefits, elderly abuse, crime prevention, safe medication, fall prevention, and others. Participating are the Parkinson’s, Alzheimer, Osteoporosis and Cancer societies, Canadian Diabetes Association, Sheena’s Place Nutrition, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, Spectrum Health Care, Service Canada, Ontario Seniors Secretariat, Paralegal Services, Toronto Police Crime Prevention and many more. PR

Obit: Consul Eloy Luis Bello
OTTAWA - The Philippine Embassy here has announced the untimely demise of 2nd Secretary and Consul Eloy Luis B. Bello, who succumbed to subarachoid hemorrhage on Feb. 21. Eloy Luis was born on March 4, 1971 in Quezon City. A graduate of Fordham University, BELLO New York (B.S. Administration), Eloy Luis started his career with the Department of Foreign Affairs in 1999 as Principal Assistant of the Office of the Legal Assistant for Migrant Workers’ Affairs. He held officer positions with the Office of American Affairs and the Office of Personnel and Administrative Services and became a fellow of the Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Institute, Kansai, Tajiri-cho, Sennan-gun, Osaka, before being assigned as an Officer of the Permanent Mission of the Philippines to Vienna, Austria. He arrived in Ottawa on 2006 and assumed as 3rd Secretary and Vice Consul. He was promoted to 2nd Secretary on the same year. Eloy Luis is survived by his father, Ambassador Eloy Bello III and his mother, Maria Consuelo.

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J-students should not lose hope ...
(From page 8) to our future in journalism. I should mention that in this class belonged Honey Estaris (now Mrs. Johnny Gahol – a former Philippine military officer and a former councillor in his native town in Batangas), who lives in Toronto with her family and connected with Pidoy Pacis’ AC Tristar company. I should also mention that Honey, after graduation from j-school, became the executive assistant of Tony Barreiro at the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkasters sa Pilipinas (The National Association of Broadcasters in the Philippines) – an association which was created to regulate the radio and television media and their personnel and a byproduct of martial law. Professor del Rosario gave us some ideas on how to earn a living armed with our baccalaureate degrees in journalism, stressing that, “Journalists are supposed to be universally-minded people,” and capping it up with, “Don’t be scared, basta huwag la’ng kayo tula ng tula, I assure you that you’ll earn a living somehow. Reinvent yourselves!” The second class that evening was under Bert Corvera – at that time, an editorial consultant for the Philippines News Agency (PNA), and who later became Manila Media Monitor editor Butch Galicia’s boss after the latter joined the state-owned news agency. Bert counselled us: “If you can’t find jobs within the country, go find connections and move elsewhere.” Bert, then, came home to the Philippines after a short stint as editorial consultant to a large Asia-circulated weekly news magazine with offices in Hongkong. Bert also had previous stints before this for two or three years in editorial executive positions based in other major Asian cities. Raising my hand, I asked Bert: “How do you easily find these jobs?” He said through connections, adding that, “Connections are not bad for as long as after you have been placed there, you can prove that you can tackle the job.” Two and half years later, we graduated from j-school – a time when the country continued to be under martial law and remained so for another five years, for a total of nine years. Regardless of, most of us got into journalism, others in related fields, such as public relations and advertising. A couple of us even happened to be in the same news organization: Jimmy Montejo - who later became an editor at Philippine Star and also worked with editor Butch at the PNA; Ador



“If you can’t find jobs within the country, go find connections and move elsewhere. Connections are not bad for as long as after you have been placed there, you can prove that you can tackle the job.” - BERT CORVERA
Dava (I don’t know where he is now); Linda Lacorte (now Mrs. Bong Lintag) who later joined the PR Department of the Philippine National Red Cross and now based in BC with her family and connected with the Canadian Red Cross, and I got employment at the News and Public Affairs Department of DWXB-FM Business News Radio. Others got hired in other industries but later given a break in the advertising and PR departments of the same companies which gave them their first job experiences. Starting Over In 1990, considering all the right reasons for having done so, my wife, Gie, and I decided to come to Canada, regardless of good careers and economic blessings we have been showered by the good Lord in the Philippines, for the sake of our children’s future. When we came, recession has started to cloud this country. Jobs became so scarce two weeks after we landed, and when the Toronto Star’s headline on July 19 read, “Govt admits Canada in recession”. It was seven months later after landing in T.O. that I found my first job, connecting with Renato ‘Bong’ Gratela – a product marketing manager in one of the leading pharmaceutical companies in the Philippines with whom I had occasion working with for several years, and who, in Toronto, was instrumental to refer me to his boss at the city directory publishing company – the jolly good real estate agent Joe Nolasco of Homelife Cimerman. “So, you see, Kirk, as Bert Corvera counselled us, ‘Connections are not bad for as long as you can prove that you can tackle the job’.” While underpaid, Joe appointed me a supervisor of a section under his department, and for which, I deeply appreciated, saving me from doing those odd jobs that I was never used to doing. While I was at this, I exerted all efforts to go back to journalism and offered my knowledge and experience to the mainstream print and broadcast media outlets in the city – only to receive as frequent as I sent my covering letters and my resume, rejection letters stating that they were not hiring and that they would keep me in mind when an opportunity arises. From time to time, Joe would bring me issues of Filipino newspapers whenever he, and his wife, (To page 18)

“Journalists are supposed to be universally-minded people. Don’t be scared, basta huwag la’ng kayo tula ng tula, I assure you that you’ll earn a living somehow. Reinvent yourselves!” - CESARIO DEL ROSARIO


Ratna Omidvar, president of Maytree Foundation and the Greater Toronto Leadership Project of the Toronto City Summit Alliance, will introduce DiverseCity during the Canadian Ethnic Media Association (CEMA) Speaker Series at the Majestic Board Room of OMNI TV on April 2. Omidvar will expound on how efforts are being made to transform Toronto’s leadership landscape by enabling a new group of diverse leaders to emerge in the next (From page 17) Ate Linda, would have a chance to shop at Filipino stores in the city. When my pail of disappointments finally was filled to the hilt, I said to myself: “Fine, these established media would not give me a chance, so, I will create my own media.” Thus, was born Manila Media Monitor (for the complete story on this publication, visit www. manilamediamonitor.com). When we, academically trained and experienced people in the ethnocultural community media, were in the mainstream back in our respective countries of origin, absent a chance to be likewise in the established media here, we reinvented ourselves. In the Greater Toronto


► MARCH 20: Philippine Press ClubOntario Celebrity Night, Casa Manila, 7 p.m. ► MARCH 20: University of the Philippines Alumni Association General Meeting, YMCA, 20 Grosvenor St., 6 p.m. ► MARCH 21, 22 and 29: Kababayan Community Centre (KCC) Tax Information Session and Clinic, Praise Christian Family Church and KCC, 1 p.m. ► MARCH 22; APRIL 5, 19 & 26: Filipino Centre Toronto Free Income Tax Preparation. ► MARCH 26: Philippine Chamber of Commerce Toronto Taxation Seminar for Small Business. ► MARCH 28: Kababayan Community Centre Spring Dance, 20 West Lodge Ave., Toronto, 6 p.m. ► APRIL 4: Pangasinan Association of Canada Spring Dance, Dufferin Clark Community Centre. ► APRIL 9 and 10: The Pillars Cultural Association Traditional Pabasa. ► APRIL 11: Launch of Mikey Bustos’ CD in Sabado de Glorya Night, Rex Saigon Buffet & Resto-Sheppard. ► APRIL 11: Extreme Heartthrobs Canadian Tour, Massey Hall. ► APRIL 12: Word International Ministries Ontario Easter Cantata Redemption: The Power of the Cross, Unit 18, 951 Wilson Ave., 10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. ► APRIL 18: Filipino Canadian Association of Vaughan Spring Dinner-Dance, Garnet Williams Community Centre, Vaughan City, 7 p.m. ► APRIL 18: Ilocos Sur National High School Alumni Canada-Ontario Spring Dance, Our Lady of the Assumption A public service feature of the Manila Media Monitor. Also visit pakulo.com.

Filipino book author cites harmonious growth of RP-Canada ties
A Filipino book author gave the story of the harmonious growth of relationships between Canadians and newcomers from the Philippines – now Canada’s fourth largest immigrant group, when he spoke before members of the Canadian Ethnic Media Association (CEMA) – the premier organization of print, radio, television and news media people from various ethnocultural communities reflecting Canada’s diversity on March 5, 2009. Forte Gerardo, author of Kaintindi’han (Mutual Understanding), used a number of compelling historical facts on how, since the 1950s, sound relationships have developed between Canadians and both transplanted Filipinos and those who reside in that island nation. Gerardo believed that these defined a role model for relationships between diverse communities. He said the mainstays of this relationship have been a mutual understanding of each other’s core values and economic success. Gerardo cited that in 1996 there were 157,872 working Canadians of Filipino origin and ten years later, 300,000 of the estimated 400,000 in Canada now reside in (To page 30)

Omidvar dwells on DiverseCity in CEMA Speaker Series
three years. Research shows that while the Greater Toronto Area is the most diverse region in Canada, its leadership is not reflective of this reality. The Greater Toronto Leadership Project is working actively to address this through distinct initiatives that will strengthen institutions, expand networks and advance knowledge on the role of diversity in leadership.

J-students should not lose hope ...
Area, in fact, ethnocultural media appears to be thriving, according to a CBC Television news report on March 6, 2009. The story quoted a source from the Canadian Ethnic Media Association (CEMA) saying that “unlike TorStar, CanWest and the CBC, the ethnocultural publications are not struggling to find advertising revenue. The CEMA spokesperson told CBC that the ethnic media survives because outlets keep minimum staff, who regard their work as a “labor of love”. When, during the 90s, ethnic media outlets were ignored, the situation has changed a lot by the onset of Y2K; thanks to the work of CEMA through the leadership then of its president Ben Viccari – whom Ontario Premier Dalton Mc Guinty attributed to as the Dean of Ethnic Journalism. “So, Kirk, I impart to you the same wisdom cited by one of my j-professors, Cesario del Rosario: reinvent yourself if there is need after you complete j-school. “Also, while it may seem to you, Kirk, and all j-students that the present state of journalism is bleak, an annual study of the industry, published on March 15, 2009 by the ‘Project for Excellence in Journalism’ in its sixth annual State of the News Media survey suggests that all hope should not be lost.” ace.alvarez@rogers.com

Western Union (2) Dr. Evangeline M. Bernabe and Associates (3) All Debt Solutions, Consulting Services (4) Dr. Arla Rondilla Professional Corp. (5) Dr. Albine A. Miciano Cosmetic & General Dentistry (6) Russell International (7) Kaakbay Financial Services (11) Ellesmere-Kennedy Dental Centre (12) Amit Bhatia Credit Management Services (13) Infinity Travel & Tours (15) Mendoza’s Debt/Financial Services (15) Timeless Images (16) Forex (17) Photographers for Christ (18) Henderson Weekes (19) Dr. Roslyn Sabilano Dentistry Professional Corp. (19) Clem Cabillan (20) areyouindebt.ca (20) Pilot Courier Canada (21) Laguna Jewellers (21) Kantor (22) JC Eye Care (22) New Conservatory of Music (22) Sabado de Glorya Night (22) UMAC Toronto (23) Gonzales Dentistry Professional Corp. (23) Dr. Miriam Bernacer (24) Neil Padilla Insurance Agency (25) Lovely Travel and Tours (26) Dr. Bernarda Rosales Verzonilla Family & Cosmetic Dentistry (27) LDV Computers (28) Liland Insurance Inc. (29) Superb Travel Services (30) House For Rent (30) OCDC Parcel Services (31) musicpad.com (32) needananny.ca (33) Rhowena Adolfo, Investors Group (34) Innovation Video/Photo (34) Wanted: Nanny (34) Fiesta Filipino (35) T.H.D. Consultants (35) Seoul Driving School (35) Roadsport Honda (36) Front Page Philippines (37) Perlas ng Silanganan (38) Sega Productions, Inc. (39) Dr. Santiago & Associates (40) Fairview Dental Centre (40)

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To all gifted photographers out there who have the third eye in capturing photos that reflect a Christian message, there is a Christian Fellowship of talented photographers that awaits you. They are Photographers For Christ who use the art of photography in spreading the word of God. Listen to your hearts, the Holy Spirit is calling you.

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MARCH 2009





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Mikey Bustos et. al. in Sabado de Glorya Night
(Story on page 35)


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Community media representatives join Dr. Francisco Portugal (4th from left, standing) and other officers of the Canada Aid and Relief Project during the project launch on March 14. Photo: ARIEL RAMOS

Canada aid, relief project takes off
(From page 5) the Sheraton Parkway Hotel on March 14. In his speech, Portugal talked about the social and economic blessings Filipino Canadians have, compared to many families in the Philippines and other developing countries in the world. “We who are here in a very affluent nation like Canada are very fortunate to enjoy health care and social safety nets that many consider a birth right ... From cradle to grave the government will care for us.” He added that many who came to Canada seeking better opportunities, have become successful. He lauded the “many who have heeded the cry of the poor” through donations to World Vision or Doctors Without Borders and those who spearheaded medical missions. Helping ease poverty in the Philippines by delivering health care services to its needy but impoverished communities is CARP’s major goal, Portugal said. CARP evolved from medical and dental missions Portugal led in Purok Maligaya, Antipolo City and in Milaor, Camarines Sur - the latter battered by a strong typhoon - in the last two years. The missions led to the establishment of the Antipolo City-based KMED Klinik - under the auspices of Kup Kop Kita Kabayan (I’ll Take Care Of You, Countryman) Foundation that offered primary health care and lying in facilities for normal pregnancies and medical emergencies. The KMED clinic operates 24/7 and is staffed by qualified doctors, midwives and nurses. Portugal said the CARP is funded by donations and kept afloat by volunteers from Canada and the U.S. who look forward to reaching out to other depressed areas in the Philippines. During the CARP launching, Portugal led officials in presenting at least $100,000 worth of donations in the form of cheques and medical equipment. “The soldiers who are needed to fight this war on poverty are never enough; but together, we can do it,” Portugal said. BG





Spring Safety Tips
Spring-like weather is near and it is a very good time to remind family members, especially young people, of the importance of personal safety during this part of the year. It is a time where more people are outdoors enjoying the sunshine and more children can be seen playing at local basketball courts, playgrounds and parks. From Traffic Services “There will be many children enjoying the milder temperatures, which means more potential hazards on and near our roads,” said Traffic Services Sergeant Tim Burrows. “Everyone needs to be prepared from a traffic perspective,” Burrows said. The easiest way to prevent collisions and reduce injuries is simple, slow down. According to Safe Kids Canada, a child struck by a car travelling at 50 km/h has an 80 percent chance of being killed, while that same car travelling at 30 km/h results in a 95 percent chance of survival. Slowing down will increase the ability to perceive, identify and, more importantly, react to potential hazards. “A child’s actions are often not predictable and, after a winter of being slowed down by snow and bulky clothing, the newfound freedom of nice weather could cause basic safety strategies to have become easily forgotten,” Burrows said. Motorists should exercise extra caution and always be alert at areas such as school zones, parks, TTC stops, tourist attractions, libraries and community centers. During March Break, Burrows said “all road users should do their part to ensure that everyone who uses Toronto’s streets and roadways has a safe and pleasant week.” “Drive, ride and walk as if every child you see is your own,” Burrows said. From Marine Unit The Marine Unit is cautioning kids to stay clear of lakes, rivers and streams, as the rise in temperatures means a rise in water levels. “Don’t go near water unless you have to and there is an adult around. It can be very dangerous,” said Marine Unit Constable Gary Gibson. Gibson said it is especially important to teach children about water safety because they are unaware of the risks and dangers that could follow. With 14 years experience at the Marine Unit, he has seen his fair share of waterrelated tragedies, many of which were preventable. “There was one incident where two young fellows were playing on ice. One fell through and the other felt obligated to help. They both died,” Gibson said. “Those were two very preventable deaths.” said Gibson. Gibson’s advice for parents is to always be within arm’s reach of their children when playing in the water. The safety of all family members during this time

3 in community among bets in Top 25 Canadian Immigrants of 2009
Three members of the Filipino community have been selected among the 75 shortlisted finalists in the Top 25 Canadian Immigrants of 2009 Awards program. The three are: ► Ching Quejas, who has received several awards including the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Gold Medal, Province of Ontario Senior of the Year, Walter P. Kohlmeier Award and Senior Citizen Outstanding Service Award from the Peel Multicultural Council. She has also been inducted into the Order of Ontario. ► Rolando Cabrera, who is the publisher and editor of a biweekly community newspaper, which goal is to provide the community with a means to read about their loved ones, their birth country and to feel “at home” while away from home. ► Elna von Dach, of year is paramount to the Toronto Police Service. “Lets all do our part in keeping our families safe and away from harm,” urged Toronto Police Service community liaison officer Constable Philip Mendoza. For any questions, get in touch with Mendoza at 416-808-7071 or email him at Philip.mendoza@ torontopolice.on.ca. PR

VON DACH who has volunteered at the Multicultural Society of Kelowna for many years. She’s the founding member of the Immigrant Women’s International Network of Kelowna, which has expanded and is now called the Inter-Cultural Women’s Educational Network (WEN). WEN promotes the advancement of female education of children, young adults and women who live in poverty primarily outside Canada.

QUEJAS Presented by Canadian Immigrant magazine in association with RBC, the national people’s choice award seeks to uncover and celebrate the untold stories and remarkable achievements of outstanding Canadian immigrants. Until March 31, Canadians can go online at www.canadianimmigrant. ca/top25 to cast their vote for their favorites. All voters are automatically entered to win a $500 Visa gift card

CABRERA issued by RBC. The Top 25 winners will be announced in May. Winners will be recognized in Canadian Immigrant Magazine, as well as receive a commemorative plaque and a $250 donation toward an authorized Canadian charity of their choice. The awards program kicked off in November 2008 with a successful call-for-nominations phase, garnering hundreds of submissions over a twomonth period. PR

Gerardo heads business council
International business expert Forte Gerardo has been elected president of the Canada Philippines Business Council (CPBC). Elected with him are Bill Pomfret, vice president; Yuri Canete, secretary; Camilo Tabalba, treasurer; and directors-at-large Rey Pagtakhan and Otch von Finckenstein. Ex-officio officers are past president Alicia Natividad and special adviser Elliott Tepper. CPBC Board of Advisers include ambassadors Robert Desjardins and Jose Brillantes, former ambassadors John Treleaven, Peter Sutherland and Robert Simmons. Gerardo said CPBC’s first 2009-2010 Update and Networking for Membership and Trading would be conducted at the Kalayaan Cultural Community Centre on March 20, 12 noon to 3 p.m. At the event, members and guests would be updated on the state and outlook of Canada-Philippines trade, on prospects for new suppliers and agents in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and York Region (YR), and on the promotion of products, expertise and skills. The event also includes a display of advertorial materials on free table top spaces as available; a forum on the smarts of marketing to Filipinos in Canada; and the exchange of ideas on bilateral trading. Gerardo said the CPBC, for the first time, is based in the GTA and YR. Most Canadian companies involved in trading and investment in the Philippines, as well as of business units owned by Filipinos of Canadian origin, are located in Ontario, and largely in the GTA and YR. “CPBC is a nationwide inclusive organization open to and cooperative with corporations, entrepreneurs, professional practitioners, skilled trade persons, associations and other entities interested to interact productively in the economic and cultural arena to expand and to enhance the relations between Canadians and the Filipinos in the private sector area,” he added. PR


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Leaders: Close growth gaps, build Asean community

HUA HIN, Thailand - Heads of state of membercountries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) have vowed to push mutual efforts to accelerate the establishment of the Asean Community in seven years, by signing the Chaam Hua Hin Declaration on the Roadmap for an Asean Community (2009-2015). The signing came at the close of the 14th Asean Summit of the Southeast

Heads of state of member-countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) form a chain during the opening ceremony of the 14th ASEAN Summit at the Dusit Thani Cha-am Hua Hin Hotel in Phetchaburi, Thailand. Fourth from left is Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. (MARCELINO PASCUA/OPS/NIB Photo) Asian Nations (ASEAN) here on March 1. The declaration was pillared on Asean’s political and security, economic and socio-cultural communities. In the declaration, the Asean leaders said that “narrowing the development gap shall remain an important task to ensure the benefits of Asean integration are fully realized.” The leaders also signed and adopted 24 Asean-related documents since the start of the summit on Feb. 26. The documents dwelt on trade and investment, sub-regional economic cooperation, food and petroleum security. Global crisis The leaders agreed to jointly deal with the world economic crisis, as the global financial meltdown had increased impact on Asean member-countries. In a press statement, the leaders noted that while Asean’s economic fundamentals remained sound as a result of significant structural reforms made since the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis, the deepening global economic downturn, coupled with heightened risk aversion in financial

markets, have adversely impacted trade and investment in the region. These developments posed significant downside risks to regional economic growth, they said. The Asean leaders: ► Concurred on the need of proactive and decisive policy actions to restore market confidence and ensure continued financial stability to push sustainable (To page 30)



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March in Negros Occidental


Kisi-Kisi Festival: When being fishy, crabby is nice
It is a pity that the ignorant and the uneducated give the fish and the crab a bad reputation, as when they speak of “something fishy” and “crab mentality”. But in progressive Ilog town in Negros Occidental, being fishy and crabby in the third week of March is part of a celebration to honor the town’s patron Señor Santo Niño and to thank God for a bountiful seafood harvest reaped from Ilog River. This is the time when residents of Ilog (a vernacular that means river) go out for a widely-participated street dancing gig, as they lay out seafood delicacies for all to see and taste. It is the time for the Kisi Kisi Dance Festival. The Kisi Kisi dance imitates the flip-flopping and twitching movements of fish caught by a fisherman. Performers don colorful costumes and headgears resembling fish and other aquatic creatures that have abundantly filled many a table in Ilog homes through centuries past. And every Kisi Kisi dance is incomplete without fishing props and adornments. Ilog’s history Beyond being religious and cultural, the Kisi Kisi Festival is an acclamation of the town’s rich history. Augustinian priests Geronimo Marin and Francisco Bustos founded the town on May 16, 1584. It was the biggest settlement, a commercial and political center, in Negros Island during the Spanish conquest. The name Ilog was offered by a Tagalog guide of the Spaniards, as the place was surrounded by the longest river in Negros – the Ilog River. In 1628, Ilog became a garrison town for Negros. From 1632 to 1795, it served as the capital of Negros Island and Siquijor. Besides sourcing food from Ilog River, residents and settlers pursued diversified agricultural interests. They grew rice, cacao, tobacco and coconut. Fr. Juan Avila set up a cacao industry that could match demand in the Philippines. Trading went as far as Spain and Mexico. In 1727, Ilog was attacked and conquered by marauding Moros. The natives regrouped, fought back and regained the town. Twice between 1751 and 1756, the Moros raided Ilog anew; but in both attacks, they were repelled by Ilognons led by parish priest, Fr. Matias Guerrero. In 1860 until 1889, Ilog was at the height of its grandeur and glory. During the Philippine Revolution in 1826, the Ilognons showed their defiance to Spanish rule. Ilog’s landmarks Ilog is known for its Dancalan cave system: the Cueva Kabog, Cueva Tubig, and Cueva Intsik. In the town is nestled Mt. Kanlaoron, a coneshaped mountain with a large cross at the peak. Birdwatching and swimming are enjoyable activities at the Andulauan Bird Watching Sanctuary, the home of migratory birds.

Pagcor erects Bagong Nayon leisure city
The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) has started the construction of the P25-billion Las Vegas-styled Bagong Nayon Entertainment City in a 150-hectare lot along Roxas Blvd. and Coastal Road in Parañaque City. Dodie King, Pagcor vice president for corporate communications, said Bagong Nayon is expected to be a hub of entertainment and tourism in Asia when it starts operations in 2012. King said the entertainment city would deviate from the notion that Pagcor focused on casino gaming. “The goal is to shift into entertainment, because tourism is now our approach,” he said. Pagcor has been developing entertainment Broadway-type musicals. The magical show Wanders will be Bagong Nayon’s initial offering, King said following the gala premier of Pagcor’s latest musical play Flow at the Pagcor theater. Flow involves cultural performances from a cast of 150 that included dancers from Cuba and Chinese acrobats. Pagcor chairman Efraim Genuino said three more shows were in the pipeline. Jobs, income King said the entertainment city is expected to create over 250,000 jobs during construction and operations. Bagong Nayon would have hotels, convention centers, theaters, sports arenas, restaurants, shopping centers, cultural complexes, museums and amusement parks. Pagcor expects to double its income to about US$1.3 billion when Bagong Nayon operates. PR

The annual Kisi Kisi Festival in Ilog, Negros Occidental is highlighted with a street dance parade wherein participating dance groups wear colorful costumes and headdresses (above are dancing crabs and below are gyrating shrimps). The dancers also use fishing nets, poles and baskets for props. Kisi kisi refers to the way the fishes flip-flop and twitch as they are hauled up a boat during a bountiful harvest. Before the dance parade, performers re-enact the legend of how town patron Señor Santo Niño twice delivered Ilog villagers from plundering Moro raiders between 1751 and 1756. Photos of CHARLIE SINDIONG, www.pbase.com/wishland, used with permission.

The PHILIPPINES Filipino Games medalists to earn more than US athletes
CHICAGO - Filipino athletes stand to earn more cash incentives if they harvest medals in the 2012 London Olympics compared to what members of the United States track and field team will get for the same feat. While the Philippine government, with the help of a giant telecommunication company, has pledged to award cash prizes worth P12 million (US$232,800), P3 million (US$58,200) and P1 million (US$19,400) for gold, silver and bronze medal winners, respectively, the United States Olympic Committee will give only $25,000 (P1.175 million) for gold medalist, $15,000 (P705,000) for silver medalist, and $10,000 (P470,000) for bronze medalist in track and field. However, USA Track and Field chief executive officer Doug Logan recommended paying additional $15,000 to those who will achieve personal bests at the Games and $5,000 to those who will hit their high mark of the season. Logan wanted the US track and field team to improve from the 23 medals it won in Beijing in August 2008 to 30 at the 2012 Games in London. The Associated Press quoted Logan: “We have to do more to support and cultivate our talent, but it is undoubtedly there.” Logan also recommended shortening the trials for the Games as ways of improving the team’s results after a disappointing effort in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. This was his response to an unflattering 69-degree report issued last February by a panel that examined the federation’s problems after the US won only seven golds in Beijing. He said the failures in Beijing were not merely aberrations but were proof that validates “the unease felt by many” in American track and field. Meanwhile, more windfalls await victorious Filipino athletes - most particularly amateur boxers - in international competitions aside from the World Summer Olympic Games. These are: P2 million, P1 million and P500,000 for gold, silver and bronze (To page 30)



Albay: Suman, latik makers get P200K grant
STO. DOMINGO, Albay - Suman at latik makers in Barangay Fidel Surtida at the southern tip of this town received a P200,000 government grant to boost much-needed capital and spur production of their famous snack/dessert. Bicol labor and employment regional director Ernesto Bihis said the grant was given to the Fidel Surtida Women Association under the state agency’s Workers Income Augmentation Program that aimed to assist small and medium enterprises in rural areas. PNA

Balanga City: Dogs have their day
BALANGA City, Bataan - Pet dogs, of pure breed and locals popularly called asong kalye or askals, had their special day here on March 13, when they competed against each other for the title of being either the fattest, biggest, smallest, hairiest, most active or fastest eater in the Search for Asong Pinaka, an event to mark Rabies Awareness Month. The dogs wore costumes and paraded before a panel of veterinarian-judges. Winners were crowned and seated on thrones to watch a program prepared by their best friends, the humans. Two guest poodles did tricks and danced the waltz, cha-cha and tinikling in an entertainment fare that awed the crowd that filled the city plaza fronting St. Joseph Cathedral. During the day, officials also led in the vaccination of dogs against rabies. PNA

Kalayaan Group holds more oil than Kuwait
PUERTO PRINCESA CITY - The Kalayaan Island Group (KIG) in Spratlys off the South China Sea is believed to be sitting on top of what could be the largest oil and natural gas deposits in the world, holding large quantities of hydrocarbon concentrations. It could ably generate 17.1 billion barrels of oil, more than Kuwait’s 13 billion barrels, China’s Ministry of Geology and Mineral Resources reported. This was revealed by Jose Antonio Socrates, a known geologist here who is consultant of Palawan on maritime affairs. Socrates, also a doctor of orthopedics, is monitoring KIG and the Malampaya oil project in northern Palawan. The KIG is the subject of territorial claims by six Asian countries - the Philippines, Brunei, China, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam - in part or as a whole. With the signing of Presidential Decree 1596 in 1978 by then President Ferdinand Marcos, the territory was incorporated within the jurisdiction of Palawan province to strengthen the Philippines’ claim over the area. All claimant countries believe there are some 200 billion barrels of oil, natural gas, minerals and polymetals — such as gold, silver, iron and nickel — under the sea surrounding the KIG. One of the oil prospects in the KIG is the Marantao Petroleum Fields, located in the South Palawan ShelfReed Sedimentary Basin. The Marantao prospect is a carbonate build-up (reef) interpreted to be at least five times larger than the Malampaya gas project. The potential oil reserve in Marantao - under Service Contract 55 - is estimated at one billion barrels. Malampaya only has about 2.5 million cubic feet of natural gas reserves, and 85 million barrels of condensate that could provide 2,700 megawatts of electricity to Luzon for 20 years. Socrates said that aside from Marantao, KIG could be hosting other prospects like Sirinao, Bajallanura, and a string of other structures collectively known as the Rizal Leads. These structures, or areas where possible oil and gas deposits can be located, lie along the giant petroleum fields offshore Borneo up to Mindoro in the continental shelf of the eastern coast of the South China Sea. Socrates reported that that continental shelf of the South China Sea has geological structures that can trap oil in large quantities. Meanwhile, Malampaya is just one of many petroleum deposits of one vast reservoir rock formation offshore both east side and west side of the province. There are 15 service contracts within Palawan covering an area measuring about 11.85 million hectares. Some of the service contracts (SC) in Palawan are: SC 50, which covers 128,000 hectares in Northwestern Palawan; SC 55 covering 900,000 hectares in West Palawan; SC 61 covering 1.3 million hectares in northeastern Palawan; SC 62 covering 1.3 million hectares in southeastern Palawan; SC 67 covering 648 million hectares in eastern Palawan, SC 68 covering 983,000 hectares in eastern Palawan; SC 59, which covers 1.47 million hectares in West Balabac in southwestern Palawan; and SC 63 covering one million hectares in southwestern Palawan. PNA

Basilan: US, RP troops in medical mission
ZAMBOANGA CITY - At least 1,500 residents of eight far-flung villages in Sumisip and Ungkaya Pukan towns in Basilan received basic medical services in a three-day mission conducted by the U.S. Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines and the Philippine Marine Battalion Landing Team-10. A total of 1,849 bottles of infant medicines, 296 boxes of multi-vitamins for adults, and 888 boxes of basic adult medicines were provided to beneficiaries in barangays Central Sumisip, Giyong, Manaul, Bacung, Sapah Bulak, and Upper Cabengbeng, all in Sumisip; and barangays Amaloy and Balon in Unkaya Pukan. Officials said this is the first of a series of medical missions the joint US and Philippine military teams will be conducting. PNA

Bulacan: Townfolk run vs. crimes
GUIGUINTO, Bulacan - Mayor Isagani Pascual and town officials led hundreds of residents here in the weekly two-kilometer run against crime and drug abuse, the fifth leg of a provincewide campaign initiated by Bulacan police director Senior Superintendent Allen Bantolo. Pascual said the run “is a convergence of efforts in crime prevention, particularly that which pertains to drugs.” Takbo Laban sa Krimen has earlier swept through the towns of Hagonoy, Paombong, Calumpit, the provincial capitol compound and Malolos City since it began in January. Police Superintendent Manuel Lukban Jr. of the 305th Provincial Mobile Group said the response from the people of Bulacan to the program was very encouraging. PNA

Davao Oriental: OPD for poor opens in Mati
MATI CITY, Davao Oriental - Governor Corazon Malanyaon led officials in opening the new P6.5 million fully-equipped outpatient department (OPD) complex of the Davao Oriental Provincial Hospital, built to serve constituents who could not afford private hospital services. Malanyaon said the complex’s presence would stop the costly and time-consuming erstwhile exodus of indigent patients from Davao Oriental to Davao City where modern and bigger government and private hospitals are located. PNA




SC junks Manila law on motel ‘short time’ rates
MANILA - The Supreme Court (SC) declared as “unconstitutional” a Manila ordinance banning motel “short time” rates. The SC said the local law was similar to an earlier one barring motel operations in the Ermita-Malate area, which the SC junked. City Ordinance 7774, approved on Dec. 3, 1992, prohibited all motels, hotels, inns, lodging houses, pension houses and other similar establishments from offering “short time” and “wash up” rates to clients. That time, Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim signed the law to protect the people’s interest and morality, especially that of the youth. But Victoria Court and Anito motel owners questioned the legality of the ordinance before the Court. The SC said that while the ordinance might have aimed to stop the use of “short time” rates for illegal sexual activities, the ordinance also affected the rights of legitimate spouses and those of motel owners. PNA

CHR: Solve vigilante slays
MANILA - The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has decried the resurgence of vigilante killings in Metro Manila, and called on the Philippine National Police, Department of Justice and local governments to take steps to stop such crimes. “We maintain there can be no validation of the taking of life except where the law provides justification such as in circumstances of self-defense or armed conflict,” CHR Chairperson Leila de Lima said. De Lima cited the discovery of an alleged holdup man inside a wooden crate in Quiapo, Manila, as well as of two hogtied and tortured male corpses along Mindanao Ave. in Quezon City as among the latest cases of vigilante killings in Metro Manila. She warned: “Authorities must stop vigilante killings the soonest and bring the perpetrators to justice since such atrocities jeopardize the people’s right to life and due process.” “The right to life and due process are firmly enshrined in law that applies to everyone ... Without our clamor against vigilante killings and street justice, we bring society down through a spiral of injustices,” she said. De Lima feared the country’s human rights situation would worsen if such crimes continued, at a time when vigilante killings outside Metro Manila have been reported as on the rise. “The esoteric Davao Death Squad remains beyond the ambit of local law enforcement,” she said. De Lima noted that suspected criminals like drug pushers, thieves and robbers have been targets of vigilante slays. The CHR also urged judicial and police authorities to resolve pending viguilante-related cases. “Let us preserve the rule of law and the protection that every person derives from the law,” De Lima said. PNA

Strict watch on motorbike riders urged
PA R A Ñ A Q U E CITY - Mayor Florencio Bernabe has ordered city police and traffic enforcers to be strict with motorcycle riders, who recently have been regarded as major violators of traffic and road safety rules. Bernabe cited reports saying motorcycle riders frequently disregard traffic rules and light signals; are known for speeding, reckless driving and doing counter flows; and drive without safety helmets. These acts have caused serious, if not fatal, accidents. Worse, the incidence of motorcycle thefts, hold-ups, hijacking and other crimes staged by motorcycle-riding gunmen have soared,” Bernabe said. PNA

DFA sets Foreign Service Officer examinations
The Philippine Consulate General in Toronto has announced the schedule of recruitment tests leading to the position of foreign service officer (FSO). The qualifying test would be on May 10. Applicants from North America could take this test at the Philippine Embassy in Washington D.C. The preliminary interview is on July 18 and 19, the written test on July 22 to 24. However, these are all tentative dates. The interview and written test would be given at the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) main office in Pasay City. Depending on qualifying test results, the Board of Foreign Service Examinations (BFSE) shall decide on whether interviews would be conducted in testing centers in Cebu, Davao, Iloilo and Zamboanga cities. The oral test is on Nov. 11 to 13, and the psychological test on Nov. 23 to 27. These again are tentative dates, but definitely taking place in Manila. North American applications (forms at www.dfa. gov.ph) should have been received and processed by the Philippine Embassy in Washington D.C. not later than March 20. Applicants must be knowledgeable on Philippine economic, political and social conditions; and must possess facility in oral communication and personality traits essential to the performance of FSO duties. They must also be willing and able to accept assignments to any post. Applicants shall be less than 36 years old on May 10; must have completed a four-year course or its equivalent; and must be a Filipino citizen. If married to a foreigner, the applicant must obtain prior authorization from the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, through the BFSE, to take the qualifying tests. The exams are given pursuant to provisions of the Foreign Service Act of 1991 and the Revised Administrative Code of 1987. PR

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(From page 10) erating team led by director Dr. Eduardo dela Fuente frantically worked on her wounds. Then I heard Dr. dela Fuente asking for blood to be transfused on Jennifer. I have never seen in Doc that surge of adrenaline and sense of urgency, but when he looked in my direction, it was a sad pleading glance. “Sir, I am a universal donor and have been giving blood before. Perhaps a few drops for the girl would not matter right now,” I said. “Have you had a good sleep last night? Have you had a drop of alcohol in your veins? Are you not tired?” he asked. “I had a few hours of sleep. I had a few rounds of beer with a peer from Manila. Of course, the mad rush for news made me tired,” I honestly replied. “Then I won’t let you give blood,” he insisted. “But ...” was all I could say, sad to have been shut off from Jennifer’s time. I waited and watched. Nearing 11 p.m., Dr. dela Fuente came to me and whispered: “We’ve done everything possible. Even if she survived, she would lose her legs. It’s just a matter of time.”

Leaders: Close growth ...
(From page 25) regional economic growth. They welcomed expansionary macro-economic policies - including fiscal stimulus, monetary easing, access to credit including trade financing, and measures to support private sector, particularly small and medium enterprises undertaken by each Asean member-state to stimulate domestic demand. They called for coordinating policies and taking joint actions that would be mutually reinforcing at the regional level. ► Reaffirmed their determination to ensure the free flow of goods, services and investment, and facilitate movement of business persons, professionals, talents and labor, and freer flow of capital. They agreed to stand firm against protectionism and to refrain from introducing and raising new barriers; while intensifying efforts to ensure a strong Doha Development Agenda outcome. ► Acknowledged that regional cooperation should be expanded to mobilize savings for investments in productive areas, particularly infrastructure development, to spur regional growth; and welcomed discussions to promote regional infrastructure financing. ► Recognized efforts to promote financial sector cooperation in various Aseanled fora and consultations, which would be essential to safeguard the region from future economic and financial crises. ► Urged that more coordinated action by both developed and developing countries be taken to restore financial stability and ensure the continued functioning of financial markets to provide support to growth. ► Called for a bold and urgent reform of the international financial system to achieve a more comprehensive, equitable and inclusive system that would consider the interests and voices of emerging and developing economies. ► Looked forward to working with other partners to convey their views at the G20 London Summit in April. Asean was established on Aug. 8, 1967. Its member-states are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. PNA/Xinhua

Helpless bystander
Shortly before midnight, Dr. dela Fuente told me that “Jennifer had gone to heaven.” So did Virginia, who expired a few hours later. ***** Indeed, the news story hogged the headlines in most Manila-based national dailies on Feb. 26, 1980. Roy’s byline was tops in the Manila Bulletin; mine in the Times Journal and the front pages of other newspapers, including those published in Mindanao. It was my first national daily headline story. However, it was no longer a question of an egoinflating headline or grim proof that I did my job well. Sleep was wanting for me that night. I dared not close my eyes, fearing a nightmare. I could vividly imagine the ghosts of Jennifer and Virginia hovering above. They would not be (From page 18) the Greater Toronto Area. In 1970, imports to Canada from the Philippines amounted to $4 million. But in 1996, with a population growing from 300,000 to 400,000, these imports amounted to $990 million. A corresponding rise pleading for justice, but rather for mercy on those who did the dastardly deed; perhaps praying for hope for those they left behind. I could not believe that I was unable to extend an arm to save two fine girls from being wasted by beasts. I could not believe that all I could do at the moment was count the number and jot the names of victims, oblivious to the fact that these men, women and children suffered from the indignities of a cowardly act of terrorism. I came to realize that if I ever wanted to talk to them, it was not out of sympathy but to merely use their stories to strengthen mine. I could not believe that I nearly stood aback and maintained the callousness - overly mistaken for objectivity - some peers said was a mark of a good coverage. Recalling this episode of my life as a news reporter, I felt like a hapless

March ...

(From page 11) leaders for guidance and emulation. In its worst form, we leave it up to those of positions of authority or social standing to do things for us. But I know today’s Filipino-Canadian doesn’t wait for things to happen. He makes things happen. Where the youth fails to find community leaders worthy of emulation, they poise themselves in positions of leadership. Now, that’s a reversal of roles. And it seems to me that the youth have gained the upperhand. Might as well. bystander just looking on as more helpless bystanders get caught in the web of a vicious and seemingly hopeless cycle of violence and death that have gripped the world. God! I hate that feeling. Would you, too? butchgalicia@yahoo.com

Filipino book author ...
in Canadian exports to the Philippines to nearly $590 million has also resulted. Gerardo is also the president of the Canada Philippines Business Council and member of the advisory board of The International Import & Export Institute.

Filipino ...
(From page 27) medal winners in the Asian Games; P1 million, P500,000 and P250,000 in World Championships; P300,000, P200,000 and P100,000 in the Southeast Asian Games and P30,000, P20,000 and P10,000 in minor international tournaments. The Philippines, however, has not won a gold medal in the Games. Its highest achievements were two silvers in boxing.

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As others cut back on services


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PAL MLA-YVR flights go daily
At least two Asian airlines have trimmed or cut flights to Canada, thanks to the prevailing global economic crisis. But in a twist, flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) said it would upgrade its five-days-a-week service to a daily frequency starting March 23. In a press release, PAL officials said the airline, Asia’s first, would have direct Manila-Vancouver-Manila flights on Mondays and Wednesdays, two days of the week when the service did not previously operate. Officials said the airline would maintain its Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday Manila-Vancouver-Las Vegas-Vancouver-Manila route. Allan Coo, PAL country manager based in Vancouver, said the two new flights were meant to meet the needs of a growing Philippine community in Canada. “Our passengers are mainly ethnic Filipinos that go between the Philippines and Canada,” Coo said. He acknowledged the “wave of temporary foreign workers that have come to British Columbia and to other western Canadian provinces via Vancouver. “That community has increased over the years and right now, the Philippines is the second-largest source of foreign workers in Canada,” after the U.S., he added. PAL’s move came at at time when when Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific have been forced to suspend, if not limit, its established routes to Canada. Singapore Airlines said that it would, after 20 years, completely drop its service to Vancouver. Cathay Pacific has cut one flight per day. Cathay reported a record $1.4billion net loss for 2008, compared to a net profit of $1.1 billion in 2007, its first shortfall in a decade.

Philippine National Bank (PNB) Remit Canada official Feliciano Miranda III explains the impact of the global recession on the money remittance and foreign exchange industries, as people cling on to their cash for liquidity. Miranda was guest of the Philippine Press Club-Ontario (PPC-O) during the club’s breakfast forum at Casa Manila on Feb. 28. With him are PPC-O president Tenny Soriano and forum chair Tony Sicat. Photo: JOJO TADURAN

RP eyes P50B more in domestic borrowings
MANILA - The Philippine government is planning to raise domestic borrowing by P50 billion this year, after an upward revision of the budget deficit on account of the global economic turmoil. “That is the residual domestic borrowing,” National Treasurer Roberto Tan said. Domestic borrowing in 2009 was earlier pegged at P386.5 billion, or 76 percent of total borrowing mix. With the planned increase, the figure rose to P436.5 billion. The other 24 percent is the external programmed borrowing amounting to US$123.4 billion. The government has changed the borrowing mix for 2009 to 75-25, still in favor of domestic sources. This, after the deficit target was raised to P177.2 billion or about 2.2 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) from P102 billion (1.1 percent of GDP). In 2008, the government targeted a budget deficit of P75 billion. The 2008 deficit reached only P68.1 billion, which officials attributed to enhanced tax collection. PNA

Statistics compiled by PhoneBusters showed that in 2008, at least 17,000 people fell victims to scams in Canada. Lost to fraud was a staggering $36 million. The numbers, however, were based solely on reported cases. Potentially, countless more have gone unreported. Thus, the Toronto Police Service has compiled a list of online resources that could be used to identify threats and protect against fraudulent scams. The list: ► PhoneBusters is an anti-fraud call center managed by the Ontario Provincial Police, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the Competition Bureau Canada (CBB). PhoneBusters’ website, www.phonebusters.com, provides a list of fraudulent scams to watch out for, channels for reporting suspected fraud cases, and links to Canadian fraud prevention groups. ► The RCMP website, www.rcmp-grc. gc.ca/scams-fraudes/index-eng.htm, gives practical information to help Canadians protect their personal information and (To page 34)




Check out if you got your peso’s worth for the dollars you have had exchanged since Feb. 16. March 13 March 12 March 11 March 10 March 09 March 06 March 05 March 04 March 03 March 02 Feb. 27 Feb. 26 Feb. 25 Feb. 24 Feb. 23 Feb. 20 Feb. 19 Feb. 18 Feb. 17 Feb. 16 US$ 48.42292 48.39015 48.22207 48.27524 38.51022 48.37852 48.50332 48.61298 48.73293 48.90116 48.74403 48.24489 47.99912 48.09397 48.10734 48.18212 47.85553 47.21325 47.82403 47.47134 Cdn$ 38.00693 37.50985 37.67170 37.74266 37.31309 37.61756 37.68472 38.09577 37.68766 38.20242 38.37883 38.74889 38.24381 38.56548 38.45305 38.42023 38.00824 37.49890 37.95368 38.18848

RP inflation rate rises to 7.3%
MANILA - The Philippines’ inflation rate increased slightly to 7.3 percent in February, from January’s 7.1 percent, due mainly to higher prices of some food items and fuel costs. The February figure brought the average inflation rate for the first two months of 2009 7.1 percent, well within the government’s original target for the year at 6 to 8 percent. Bureau of Agricultural Statistics data showed that the average price of regular milled rice rose by 6.5 percent (from P28.94 per kilo in January to P30.83/kilo in February) while white corn grain went up by 2.2 percent (from P22.00 to P22.47). Fuel prices also rose by 6.5 percent from the previous month due to higher gasoline cost (P1.50 to P2.00 per liter), diesel (P0.25/liter), and liquefied petroleum gasoline (P6.00 per kilogram). However, light and water costs decreased. And so did that of transport and communication. In Manila, light and power consumers had a five-centavo per kilowatthour relief (kwh) as generation charges dropped to P4.45/kwh in February. Transportation costs also dipped with the 50centavo jeepney fare reduction in mid-February. Economic planners are counting on easing inflation to boost private consumption, to ease the impact of the global financial crisis on the local economy. Private consumption accounts for 70 percent of the gross domestic product. The government is predicting a 3.9-percent average inflation rate for the Philippines this year and 4.7 percent in 2010. PNA

The rise in the price of rice, which along with that of other cereals and of fuel, pushed the Philippine inflation rate to 7.3 percent in February.

Canada loses 295,000 jobs since October ‘08
The construction sector shed off at least 43,200 jobs, over half of the 82,600 jobs lost in February. The February job cut pushed Canada’s unemployment rate up from 7.2 percent in January to 7.7 percent last month. The jobless rate has not been this high since August 2003. Statistics Canada said the February figures brought to 295,000 the number of jobs lost since October, when the economy began to feel effects of a global recession. Of the total, 129,000 jobs were lost in January. Ontario leads The largest February job loss was in Ontario, where 35,300 jobs were shed off, followed by Alberta, 23,700; and Quebec, 18,400. In four months past, Ontario has lost 160,000 jobs, most in manufacturing, business and construction. The February employment losses were all in fulltime work, with 110,900 jobs disappearing, while part-time employment edged up slightly. Job losses were also reported in professional, scientific and technical services, with 31,100 jobs cut. The trade sector lost 17,700 jobs, while employment in educational services fell by 14,700. The manufacturing sector added 24,700 jobs in February, but employment in the sector was down by over 104,000 from February 2008. Agriculture was the only other sector to add jobs last month, as employment rose by 16,700.

Remittances likely to drop 33%
MANILA - Money sent home by overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) may drop by as much as a third this year, cutting consumption demand and compromising the country’s growth goals. Remittances may decline to $11.4 billion for 2009, Citibank said in its Asia-Pacific market analysis. The figure is about 30 percent lower than 2008’s $16.4 billion. Lower remittances may compromise the country’s economic growth targets since funds from OFWs boost demand for products ranging from cellphones to condominiums. The “global supply” of OFWs may diminish, Citi analyst Jun Trinidad said. New hires and rehires were seen to decline by anywhere from 37 to 51 percent as the crisis cuts demand for labor in foreign shores, he said, adding that OFW deployment may fall to an eight-year low. In 2001, only 800,000 secured jobs abroad. Todate, 8.7 million Filipinos work abroad. They make up ten percent of the Philippines’ population and 24.2 percent of the country’s labor force, as of 2007. If OFW earnings are cut by 15 percent to preserve jobs, remittances would plunge to as low as $11.4 billion in 2009. The lack of OFW dollar inflows may increase the budget deficit to three percent of the country’s gross domestic product, an amount equal to anywhere from P229 billion to P238 billion, Trinidad said.

Statscan: 538,200 go on EI
At least 538,200 Canadians received regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits in December 2008, up 25,000 or 4.9 percent from November. Statistics Canada said the number of those receiving regular EI benefits rose by 79,100 between December 2007 and December 2008, a 16.6 percent rise. The number of men on benefits went up 21.7 percent; while for women, 8.6 percent higher month-onmonth. The number of EI beneficiaries rose in all provinces and territories year-on-year, with the largest increases in British Columbia, 33.2 percent); Alberta, 30.3 percent and Ontario, 29.6 percent. Most census metropolitan areas experienced an increase in the number of regular beneficiaries. The largest year-overyear changes occurred in London, +75.5 percent; Windsor, +61.3 percent; Kitchener, +50.9 percent and Victoria, +49.1 percent.

























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Why pay tax on money you never see?
By the Investors Group Financial Services Inc.
Based on their in-depth knowledge of the investing habits of Canadians, investment professionals estimate that half to two-thirds of all investable wealth in Canada is held outside registered savings plans (RSPs). That’s understandable because most conservative investors take a practical approach to investing that seeks to reduce risk and volatility while delivering a desired level of returns over the long term - in other words, creating and maintaining a properly diversified portfolio with the best prospects for long term growth. Often, those investors seek the safety of ‘guaranteed’ or ‘fixed-income’ investments such as bonds, mortgages, Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs), and other interestgenerating securities, which generally provide a stream of income while preserving capital. (Fixed-income investments are one of the three basic types of investments; the other two are cash and equity). The problem is that interest income is the least tax-efficient income type. Every $1 of interest income is fully taxable, just the same as your employment income. So, if you are heavily invested in interest-generating investments, you are likely to incur a stiff tax liability each year -- even though you may not currently need that income. And, your tax liability becomes even more problematic if your investments produce taxable income each year but this income is automatically reinvested (or compounded), creating a tax bill with no corresponding cash flow to pay the tax. After-tax return Even though your interest income investments may be delivering a significant return, that return may also be significantly reduced by the high rate of taxes you must pay. One option is to move a portion of your non-registered investments into ‘equities’ that provide income from dividends and capital gains, which are taxed at a much more favorable rate than interest income. For example, any realized capital gains you receive from an equity investment are taxed at just 50 percent -- in other words, only 50 cents of every dollar of the capital gain is subject to tax. Dividend income also benefits from federal and provincial tax credits that provide a fair degree of tax relief. Tax relief, investment security If you’re a conservative, tax-sensitive investor yet feel uncomfortable about increasing your level of risk by expanding your portfolio of equities (typically more volatile investments) there is a ‘conservative’ solution available to you: corporate structured mutual funds can often be as ‘safe’ as fixedincome investments yet can also provide same tax deferral benefits similar to equities (or equity mutual funds), as along with the advantage of having your returns realized as capital gains. A professional advisor can help ensure your portfolio is both tax-efficient and capable of delivering the levels of return you want in order to help realize your financial goals.

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AFCA launches free tax clinics
A tax seminar joined in by 80 members of the Association of Filipino Canadian Accountants (AFCA) launched this year’s AFCA Tax Clinic Community Service. Resource speakers included Winston Lim, AFCA founding president; Ted Dayno, past president; and Jun Perez, public relations officer. Members who signed up as volunteers went through (From page 31) ensure their identity and finances are uncompromised. ► The CBB chairs the Fraud Prevention Forum, a group of private firms, consumer and volunteer groups, government and law enforcement agencies fighting fraud aimed at consumers and businesses. The CBB and the Forum work to educate Canadians on recognizing, reporting www. hands-on workshops on personal income tax preparations for the tax clinics. The tax clinics started on Feb. 28. Remaining clinics are scheduled on: ► March 21 at the Tri-Care Academy and Kababayan Community Centre; ► March 22 at Tri-Care Academy; ► March 28 at the Kababayan Community Centre; ► March 29 at the Kalayaan Cultural Community Centre; and ► April 4 at The Gateway Centre for New Canadians. The free tax clinics are open only to tax filers with an annual 2008 gross income of $25,000 and below. However, generous contributions are appreciated, to go to sponsoring community centers. PR

Guard against fraud
and stopping fraud. Its website is www.competitionbureau.gc.ca/eic/site/cbbc.nsf/eng/h_00122.html. ► The Privacy Commissioner of Canada, through h t t p : / / w w w. p r i v c o m . gc.ca/ind/index_e.asp, offers information on privacy rights and protecting private information. ► Debit and credit card providers. Some criminals have turned to debit and credit card fraud for gain. Banks work with credit card firms and the Interac Association to prevent card fraud and protect customers. Fraud prevention web pages for card holders and merchants are: -- Visa card holders: www.visa.ca/en/personal/ securewithvisa/fraudprevention/; merchants: www.visa.ca/en/merchant /fraudprevention/. -- MasterCard card holders: www.mastercard.com/ ca/personal/en/mastercardsecurity/; merchants: www.mastercard.com/ca/ merchant/en/security/. -- Interac card holders: www.interac.ca/consumers/security.php; merchants: www.interac.ca/ merchants/security.php.

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Arts & Entertainment Canlapan, Malabanan topbill PPC-O Celeb Night
Rising singing sensations Cassandra Malabanan and Inah Canlapan are set to topbill the Philippine Press Club-Ontario’s (PPCO) Celebrity Night at Casa Manila on March 20. Malabanan and Canlapan have shown their vocal prowess as guests during the PPC-O’s installation of officers in July last year. PPC-O Celebrity Night co-chairmen Ramon Datol and Ace Alvarez said talents from Studio Six Productions would also be featured in the club’s monthly event. Invited celebrity guests include officers and members of the Philippine Independence Day Council led by Jun and Rosemer



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CANLAPAN Enverga, of PNB Remit led by Jun Miranda, and of the Mississauga-based Gateway Centre for New Canadians. Master DJ and PPC-O member Larry Torres will provide the night’s music. PPC-O prersident Tenny Soriano said Celebrity Night

MALABANAN “is one occasion for community mediamen to unwind and share thoughts.” It also provides the relaxed forum by which PPCO members could interact and network with community leaders invited as celebrity guests, Soriano said.

4800 Sheppard Ave., East Unit 123, Scarborough, Ont., M1S 4N5 Tel. Nos. (416) 335-8555; (416) 609-8912 ACCOUNTING/BOOKKEEPING SERVICES Computerized Accounting Financial Statement INCOME TAX SERVICES Individual & Corporate Tax Returns Small to Medium Size Companies COMPUTER SYSTEMS Installing, Training & Support of ACCPAC Simply Accounting Package For free consultations please call ................... Ted H. Dayno, BBA Registered Professional Accountant To book your appointment please call ........... Anna Eusebio @ (416) 609-8912

Mikey Bustos to launch CD in TPC’s Sabado ...
AMADO D. GAMBOA Livewire performer Mikey Bustos will again showcase his musical wizardry on April 11 when he heads a star-studded cast of Filipino singers in a fundraising show titled Sabado de Gloria Night at the Rex Saigon Thai Viet Restaurant in Scarborough. Sabado ... is presented by The Philippine Courier in cooperation with PNB Remittance Co. Canada and Nyren Salon. Bustos, the most successful Filipino-Canadian (To page 38)




Search for Young Pinoy Singing champ on
The search for the 2nd Young Pinoy Canada singing champion is on, as hopefuls gear up for judgment day at the Kalayaan Cultural Community Centre in Mississauga on April 11. This year’s winner will succeed 2008 champion Candace Santos, who later won the Young Asian Canadian singing contest. The hopefuls are between 14 to 25 years old on February 11, 2009; have full or part Filipino ancestry; have legal status in Canada; not under contract for any entertainment-related interest; and have not joined last year’s contest. The deadline for registration is on March 31. Detailed information may be secured at www. cmcasians.com or through Jose Saavedra. Prizes, spots The Young Pinoy Canada winner gets an automatic

CANDACE SANTOS and JOSE SAAVEDRA spot in the Young Asian Canadian singing contest prefinals on May 29. The 2nd placer is eligible to compete in the open competition on May 24 against 2nd place winners from participating communities and ten contestants from the open audition. The competition finals is on June 14. The top placer of the Young Asian Canadian singing tilt will receive $1,000 plus a trip to Asia; the 2nd placer, $500 and a trip to London, England; and the 3rd placer, $250 and a trip to Orlando, Florida. The open, pre-final and final competitions will be conducted at the Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto. The search is in conjunction with the celebration of Asian Heritage Month. PR


Arts & Entertainment
ABS-CBN’s Sunday night show Sharon continues to touch lives and bring joy to Filipino families around the globe. And once more, Sharon brought the Best Celebrity Talk Show plum from the prestigious Gawad Tanglaw (Gawad Tagapuring mga Akademisyan ng Aninong Gumagalaw), which has given honors to exceptional achievements in the field of entertainment arts, broadcast and print media since 2003. Sharon, hosted by Megastar Sharon Cuneta, has received numerous


Sharon bags another award
awards in the past, including the 2007 Best Entertainment Program by the Catholic Mass Media Awards. It has also been highly commended in the Asian TV Awards. It airs every Sunday after Rated K! on ABS-CBN. PR Western Union promo Western Union has launched a promo that gives away two VIP tickets each for five winners for the Sharon Cuneta Live! concert at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on June 7. Western Union will also book free one-night hotel accommodation for winners during concert night. Winners from outside Ontario will get round-trip airline passage for two. Winners will be drawn on May 19. To join, send three qualifying transactions to the Philippines from participating Western Union agents between March 1 to April 30. Fill the entry form and send - together with three original “To Send Money Form Receipts” to the address on the entry form. This should be received on or before May 15. (See ad, page 2)

You Changed My Life co-star John Lloyd Cruz visits the ABS-CBN International Office in Redwood City and poses with (from left) community relations (From page 8) manager Mitos Santisteban, managing director Most parents would think Chinky De Jesus and Kerwin Du of Starry Starry twice before pampering their Store and Theatricals. PR/Photo: NIÑO NUCUM children with expensive gadgets that would only lure criminals. Hence, it is not the home but television in particular, media in general, that may be culpable. As part of the 15th anniversary celebration of TFC, ABSThe rest of the fault lie CBN International’s Starry Starry Store and Star Cinema with the social and family are taking the film You Changed My Life to Toronto and environment. Mississauga, after sold-out premieres in the U.S. At the just concluded Starring John Lloyd Cruz and Sarah Geronimo, the film awarding of the most will be shown at the Coliseum, Scarborough Town Centre child-friendly cities from March 20 to 26 and at Empire Studio 10, Square One, and municipalities, we Mississauga from March 27 to April 2. challenged the winning Cruz and Geronimo were named SM Cinema Box mayors. Office King and Queen in 2008, after their first starrer A Being child-friendly Very Special Love grossed P180 million and topped all does not stop with putting other movies in the Philippines during the year. up playgrounds or day-care Directed by Cathy Garcia-Molina, You Changed My centers. Life also stars Rayver Cruz, Dante Rivero, Rowell Santiago, There is a more sinister, Matet De Leon, Bernard Palanca, Joross Gamboa, Johnny more pervasive influence Revilla, Bing Pimentel, Al Tantay, among others. that they should mind. You Changed My Life is on a 12-city theatrical run in It is the medium that has the U.S. and Canada. PR all but replaced reading.

TV has ...

You Changed My Life hits Scarborough, Mississauga

First Get Lit! competition reels off
To mark the 35th anniversary of the Toronto Arts Council (1974-2009), the City of Toronto invites residents of all ages to get creative and submit their Toronto-inspired works to the first-ever Get Lit! competition. Creative work includes poetry, short fiction, painting, collage, sculpture, poster art, banner design, or even photography, a short video and a sound recording. Get Lit! submissions must include a literary element – either printed text or spoken word incorporated into or accompanying the work. There is no minimum word count required. Applications must be submitted to the Toronto Arts Council Foundation (TACF) on or before May 4. A special jury will review all submissions and consider how the works make people think about Toronto in new, interesting, and inspiring ways. The first prize winner will get $700; the second, $200; and third, $100. Get Lit! submissions will be featured at a special exhibition at the TACF on May 23 and 24. Winners will also be featured on the TACF website and in Open Book Toronto. Get Lit! is produced by the TACF, in association with Lit City, where Toronto stories meet Toronto settings taking place from March to May 2009. PR

Arts & Entertainment



Ragual eyes anew USA Worldshowcase Talent title
Brampton songstress Jasmine Elaine Ragual has been invited anew in the USA Worldshowcase Talent Competition in Las Vegas. Jasmine was the Most Potential awardee in the solo child female category, earning her a spot in the internet voting process that began on March 11. In August last year, she came in third place over-all after the final cyberspace voting. This year, Jasmine has eyed the title, as she conveyed her thanks to those who have been supporting her to reach for her goal. To vote, log into www. usaworldshowcase.com, and click ‘vote’. Results are posted weekly, until the Top 10 are left for the final poll. Jasmine, 12, has guested and has sung solo with the Brampton Symphony Orchestra (BSO) under the baton of Maestro Robert Raines. On March 20, she will again be a featured soloist at the BSO’s world concert tour to South Beach in Miami, Florida. Jasmine was 2008 junior champion of the CNE Rising Star Search and 2008 Arts Acclaim Awardee of Bramption City. She is active with the Fiesta Filipina Dance Troupe of Canada that will touring Poland in Aug. In Oct., Jasmine will play Annie in the Taste of Broadway charity concert of the Markham Federation of Filipino Canadians. PR

Maghanoy presents new play
Filipino Canadian playwright Jason Maghanoy has been included anew in the Buzz, which recognizes new plays and theater artists in Toronto. Maghanoy, who has been receiving excellent reviews for his works, showcased his play Throat at the Theatre Passe Muraille on March 12. Maghanoy is one of two playwrights commissioned by the Playwrights Theatre Centre (PTC), The News Program! He will be in Vancouver from June 8 to 12 for the presentation of his newest play, tentatively titled Tear, as part of PTC’s New Play Festival. PR

Big Penoy is coming!
Jarrel Montes is an aspiring stand-up comedian. Born in Cagayan de Oro, this young fellow has been bringing joy and laughter to the people around him. At a very young age, his talent for making people laugh has become apparent. At nine years old, he would make family and friends cry their eyes out laughing with his jokes and funny antics. He was so entertaining that his short skits became a crowd favorite during gatherings. He even won the Best Actor award in one of his school plays when he was in Grade 5. His family migrated to Canada when he was 13. But that didn’t stop Jarrel brought the house down! Everything else was history. Some of his past performances included front acting for a comedy night at M Studio where Rex Navarete was in the audience. He even hosted and front acted for another comedy show – Comedy Week – which featured a group of Filipino comedians from Laffline and Punchline. It’s now his turn to have his own show. On May 9, Jarrel will perform at M Studio with guests Darius CirIa and Ruth Morales. When asked what the audience could expect from him, he summed it up in three words – Fun, Fun, Fun!

MONTES from sharing his passion with others. He joined the group Youth for Christ (YFC) shortly after they came to Toronto. He first showcased his talent during one of the group’s activities. He played the character of a potato during one of their plays and his act

Jasmine (center) poses with artist-real estate developer John Cutruzzola (left) and Brampton Mayor Susan Fennell after the Art for the Arts dinner gala and concert at the Rose Theatre on Feb. 15.

3 P.M.



TO diva Josie de Leon to have TV show

Life & Leisure Joel Recla

Toronto-based songstress Josie de Leon (center, seated) is all excited as she talks about her upcoming television show with members of the community media, during the launching of the Canadian Aid and Relief Project. Expected to air near the end of March, De Leon’s TV appearance is produced by Studio Six. Photo: JOJO TADURAN

Mikey Bustos to launch 2nd CD ...
(From page 35) entertainer this part of North America, blossomed into a very fine performer after capturing 8th spot in the inaugural Canadian Idol Reality TV show in 2001 . Since then, he was embraced by the Filipino community in Canada as its ‘iconic’ entertainer the way boxing hero Manny Pacquiao is acknowledged as the living hero in the Philippines. Mikey will sign autographs on his new CD, his second, which he will launch after the show. Aside from Bustos, other popular singers lending hands in Courier’s fundraising show include Toronto diva Josie de Leon, high-energy performer Darius Ciria, Zena ‘Lady Elvis’ Zagala, new singing sensation Jiva Andola, singing princess Inah Canlapan, Hamilton’s Prince of Song Emman Alavata and young artist Nicole Datol Bello. Dinner will start at 7 p.m. and the show at 8 p.m. Dancing starts at 10 p.m. The Philippine Courier (TPC) publisher/editor-inchief Ramon Datol said the event sought to raise funds to pay for the cost of doorto-door delivery of used wheelchairs and walkers to three provincial hospitals in the Philippines. The healthcare equipment were donated to TPC by Filipino nurses and caregivers working in several Homes for the Seniors in North York. “We have been doing this in the last three years and we will continue to do this as long as we receive used wheelchairs and walkers from these kind-hearted donors,” Datol said.

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Aries (March 21 –April 19): A new age, a new start, you are admired by your subordinates in the workplace for your objective and strong nature. However, with your strengths come your weakness, and that’s what you need to work on. Know what it is your fighting for, what are your goals? Where are you really headed? Lucky Number 12 Taurus (April 20 – May 20): Life is full of celebrations and you think that you deserve a gold star, and that’s okay. Just remember that other people have feelings too, and that there is a time and place for everything. Some things in life require competition, and others don’t. Deep down, you know who your real friends are? You don’t want to burn any bridges. Watch what you say, and know the fine line! Lucky Number 25 Gemini (May 21 – June 21): You are attractive both in and out, people are drawn to you and you use this to your advantage to manipulate others to get what you want. Your childlike nature is fascinating, but not in the workplace. Do remember, that there is a time and place for everything. Lucky Number 2 Cancer (June 22 – July 23): People see you as insensitive and tenacious. Deep down, your sensitive nature means well, if only to prevent yourself from getting hurt. Your tenacious nature is amusing to others. Lucky Number 29 Leo (July 23 – Aug 23): Your commitment to your cause is admired by others. Though things may not necessarily go your way, know when to stop and admit when you are wrong. Your pride is important to you, but sometimes you must let go, and allow yourself to learn from other people. Lucky Number 9 Virgo (Aug 24 – Sept. 23): You should consider using your sweet accommodating nature as one that may lead to your career path. People come open their hearts to you because they feel that you can understand them most. Consider going into the medical field. Lucky Number 2 Libra (Sept 24 – Aug 23): You have done well with all the things being thrown at you left, right and centre. Your balanced nature, and positive attitude has gone a long way. Your influence is appreciated by others. Your loved ones will need you most this month for support. Continue to strive to be the best that you can be. Lucky Number 14 Scorpio (Oct 24 – Nov 22): Your hardwork, drive and persistence will reward you in plenty. Though people may covet what you have. Know that you have earned it! Use your goodwill to inspire others to achieve their dream. Lucky Number 8 Sagittarius (Nov. 23 – Dec. 21): You’ve got the right stuff and you’re on the right track, baby! Lucky Number 88 Capricorn (Dec 22 – Jan 19): Sometimes, the world may seem cruel because everyone seems to be giving you unwanted advice. You don’t wish to hear it, because it’s not true, right? Perhaps you should consider being more open minded – you will be surprised how much you can learn about yourself, and what you can change to make things better for you. Lucky Number 12 Aquarius (Jan 20 – Feb 18): Feeling sorry for yourself will not help you win in the end. Wallow for awhile if you must, but don’t drag it on and on. No matter where you are in life, you should count your blessings. Be thankful, and continue to smile, and good things will happen to you! Lucky Number 23 Pisces (Feb 19 – March 20): Taking some time off to reflect is the first step towards your next journey. Try to remember a really trying time in your life, one that you didn’t think you could ever get over, and compare that to a time when something really amazing happened to you. What was the difference with your emotional state? Pretty obvious… your positive attitude will go a long way! So what are you waiting for? Go out there and celebrate, you’re already halfway there. Lucky Number 30

PAHALANG 1. Tatay 4. Pagbaba ng tubig 8. Bighani 12. Rin 13. Diyos ng Muslim 14. Bangkarote 15. Pantukoy 16. Maton 17. Asar 18. Paglulugas sa uhay 20. Bangin 22. Isalin 24. Bintang 27. Hulapi 28. Pangunahing tauhan 32. Konstitusyon 35. Sangkap sa hitso 36. Pang-angkop 37. Wari 38. Itali 40. Binago ang pamunuan 44. Pag-aalis ng balbas 48. Bagyo 49. Angkan 51. Saksak 52. Panghihina 53. Bawas gatong 54. Gamit sa biyahe 55. Biskwit ng Cebu 56. Siyudad sa Bikol 57. Pansin PABABA 1. Tagulamin 2. Kutkutin 3. Amoy ng sunog
1 12 15 18 19 22 24 32 35 38 40 48 52 55 41 42 43 49 53 56 50 25 26 33 36 39 44 45 51 54 57 46 47 23 27 34 37 28 29 30 31 2 3 4 13 16 20 21 5 6 7 8 14 17 9 10 11

4. Hawak na pera 5. Dahilan 6. Katiwala 7. Ihambalang 8. Tanong sa mamimili 9. Pasubali 10. Gukgok ng baboy 11. Yeso 19. Gara 21. Pangatnig 23. Bagsak, pag inulit 24. Asam 25. Puno ng barangay 26. Parte ng katawan 28. Inang-bayan 29. Disinteriya

30. Tinggalan ng tubig 31. Bantay ng bahay 33. Reklamuhan 34. Balat ng niyog 38. Estado ng Amerika 39. Higaang kawayan 40. Bisiro 41. Gawi pagkagising 42. Maiksing sulat 43. Asong nakakahilam 45. Pinatuyong hipon 46. Huwag isama 47. Kubli 50. Negrito (Sagot sa PAHINA 32)





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The team of professionals who make up the Fairview Dental Centre are completely dedicated to the needs of their patients.

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Rosedale Medical Clinic

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SPECIALTY DENTISTRY Dr. Ali Adibfar & Dr. Robert Eng - Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons Dr. Mark Mojgani - Periodontist Nickee Dela Cruz & Catherine Ibeas - Registered Dental Hygienists


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