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Vol. XXII, No. 12
Online: www. manilamail.us
April 30, 2013
Smithsonian opens APA exhibit on May 1
The Smithsonian Institution will open Asian Paciﬁc American Heritage Month on May 1 with a 30-banner exhibition of “I Want the Wide American Earth: The Asian American Story.” The exhibition, whose theme is derived from FilAm author Carlos Bulosan’s poem, will open on May 1, from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the National Museum of American History. This will be followed on May 4-5, 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. by Paikbot Family Day also at the Art Museum, Kogod Courtyard with a family festival. The banner exhibition, the ﬁrst ever made by Smithsonian, explores and celebrates the history, culture, and literary works of Asian Americans in the United States will last up June 18 and later go on a tour in key cities in the US. The Family Day will consist of activities such as arts and crafts, gallery tours, conversation with curators, and a scavenger hunt. Local writers featured include Wendy WanLong Shang (“The Great Wall of Lucy”), Eugenia Kim (“The Calligrapher’s Daughter”), and Scott Seligman (“The First Chinese American: The Remarkable Life of Wong Chin Foo”). Filipino American Reggie Cabico, considered as one of the
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DoH Secretary Enrique Ona dialogues with FilAm doctors, leaders. At right is Dr. J. Montero.
WASHINGTON D.C. - The US Senate last week opened hearings on the immigration reform bill that will, among others, allow unlimited number of immigrant visas per year for spouses, children and parents of US citizens and permanent legal residents but will eliminate their brothers and sisters. This was the analysis of the DC-based Capitol Immigration Law Group of “The Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013” crafted by the socalled “Gang of Eight” and released on April 17. Already, some Republican senators have raised the issue of laxed border security and linked
Ona asks FilAm docs to adopt PH hospitals
By Bing C. Branigin
WASHINGTON D.C. – Philippine Secretary of Health Enrique Ona has urged Filipino American doctors to support the Adopt-a-Hospital Program in the Philippines to provide a longer term approach for foreign medical missions to deliver health services to the underserved communities. Dr. Ona made the suggestion during a two-hour dialogue with Filipino American doctors and community leaders at the Romulo Hall of the Philippine embassy on April 18. Many Filipino American doctors .who undertake medical missions to the Philippines have been complaining of stringent regulations imposed by DOH and other agencies of the government. (See related story inside). The DoH chief noted that every year, many FilAm health care practitioners travel back to the Philippines, spending their own money to provide free medical services to poor Filipinos. Occasionally they bring along used but still relatively advanced medical equipment that are donated to public hos-
Sen. Patrick Leahy (2nd from left) presides at hearing with, from left, Sens. Chuck Grassley, Diane Feinstein and Chuch Schumer. Meanwhile, FilAm activthe Boston Marathon bombings to foreigners who were granted green cards or citizenship without proper background checks. ists and labor groups have announced plans to continue the
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BOSTON: Sigh of Relief, a Smile
By Boots Felixberto
To many in the city where I used to live, the recent capture of the Boston Marathon bomber Dzokhar Tsarnaev and the killing of his brother, Tamaerlan, by police spelled a sigh of relief and a smile in the city. Many of my Filipino American friends there say Boston is now back to the daily routines of life, to others it meant new respect for the city and an utter of prayer of thanksgiving for having been spared from the harm and damage from the bombing and empathy for those who were in the middle of destruction. The Filipino American community is proud that medical volunteers were there to assist the injured. They are so intertwined with the city of Boston that while the hurt was felt, so was the relief, gratitude, and most importantly, celebration after the capture of the surviving bomber. “It’s good that they caught the Boston Marathon bomber, Boston can feel safe again,” Manny Felina says when I contacted her.
Aquino wants 12-0 win in Senate race
By Leandro Coronel
(Special to the Manila Mail)
MANILA -President Benigno Aquino III wants his hand-picked senatorial bets to sweep the May 13 election and shut out the opposition with 12 wins and no losses. (PNoy is his political nickname, Noynoy is his family nickname.) Will his wish come true? Not likely. Aquino has been doing the rounds of campaigning around the country and using TV and radio to bat for his candidates, earning brickbats from some people for supposedly “neglect-
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4 Pinoys die in Fla. P4
Donaire vows return P6
ANA bares upgrades P8
PH aids Bahamas OFWs P9
Evelyn with Asian women P17
LOS ANGELES - Out of an estimated 1.2 million un documented Asians in the United States, about half are Filipinos, accrding to a report in the Asian Journal. Earlier estimates put the number at about 300,000. Citing some Asian and Filipino-American immigrant groups, the Asian Journal said the undocumented Filipinos will be “most affected, if certain family-based immigrant visas will be limited or even removed from any proposed reform legislation.” The Asian Journal said a Filipino Migrant Center’s immigration forum was conducted on April 3 at the First Lutheran Church in Long Beach, California, to address some of the Filipinos’ immigration concerns. The forum answered several questions about immigration raised by members of the Filipino community in the United States in line with the country’s upcoming comprehensive immigration reform bill. Panelists Betty Hung of the Asian Paciﬁc American Legal Center and policy consultant Cynthia Buiza ﬁelded questions that Filipinos raised about immigration concerns, especially those pertaining to undocumented immigrants. “There are a lot of undocumented Filipinos in our community- adults and youths. It’s important for them and the immigrant community to understand what is going on so they can make the right decision when this legislation comes out,” the Asian Journal quoted Buiza as saying.
April 30, 2013
FilAm paper says there are 600,000 Pinoy TNTs
April 30, 2013
chosen delegates will take part in an immersive program in the Philippines from 7 to 9 July and will likewise participate in the 8th Ambassadors, Consuls General and Tourism Directors Tour (ACGTDT) from 9 to 11 July. Consul Fernandez said the special FYLPro program will afford them the opportunity to meet and dialogue with the highest ofﬁcials and policymakers in the Philippines, leaders of industry, legislators, media, artists and cultural experts, entrepreneurs both traditional and social, as well as innovators in different ﬁelds. According to Consul Fernandez, applicants should be no younger than 18 years old or no older than 40 years old by July 1. They should be ready to travel by this date (i.e. have a valid passport for international travel). The chosen participants are expected to commit time, skills, and resources to engage with the Philippine Foreign Service posts in the United States in ways which would advance the causes and interest of Filipinos and Filipino-Americans. The application form for the search may be accessed at the following link, http://www.philippineembassy-usa.org/uploads/ pdfs/embassy/2013/20130315-FYLPro.docx, or interested parties may contact the Philippine Foreign Service post in the US, which has jurisdiction over their place of residence. The deadline for submission of applications is 30 April 2013. The names of the chosen delegates will be announced on the website of the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C., www.philippineembassy-usa.org, on 15 May 2013
Embassy launches search for 10 youth leaders
WASHINGTON, D.C.— The Philippine Embassy has embarked on this year’s search for 10 outstanding youth leaders who will take part in an immersive program that seeks to transform them into effective advocates of the Filipino-American cause here in the United States. The Embassy is now accepting applications from FilipinoAmericans between the age of 18 and 40 for the 2nd FilipinoAmerican Youth Leaders Program (FYLPro) that will take place in the Philippines in July. The Embassy said the youth leaders will be selected for the program that was initiated last year by Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. and Mrs. Victoria J. Cuisia in cooperation with the Ayala Foundation Inc. (AFI). “We hope to attract more young Filipino-American leaders who we hope will be among the movers and shakers among the emerging generation of FilipinoAmericans,” Cuisia said. “The involvement of these emerging leaders in the Filipino-American community is expected to further add vibrancy and dynamism to the development of the Philippines and to the Filipino-American community in the United States.”According to Ambassador Cuisia, this year’s FYLPro intends to build on the success of last year’s program that yielded a remarkable batch of young Filipino-Americans who continue to embark on different advocacies to help promote further progress in the Philippines and to further engage the multi-faceted Filipino-American community. “The ﬁrst batch of delegates have gone to undertake, among others, political advocacy initiatives, cultural and tourism promotion programs, social entrepreneurship activities, education innovations, Filipino-American heritage projects, voter awareness and education, and have even launched political campaigns of their own,” Ambassador Cuisia said. Among the qualiﬁcations for the outstanding Filipino American achievers and leaders are the applicant’s scholastic achievements and other accolades, leadership skills, accomplishments, active involvement in school, civic, political, business and other organizations as well as their vision, innovativeness and commitment to making a difference in the Philippines and within the Filipino-American community. First Secretary and Consul Emil T. Fernandez, FYLPro program coordinator, said the
MIAMI - Four Filipinos coming back to their Miami Beach hotel after watching a basketball game in Fort Lauderdale were killed on the evening of April 2 when a SUV Suburban being chased by police slammed their vehicle head-on along Interstate 95. All four victims were of Filipino descent. One was an ofﬁcer of the U.S. Navy while two were representatives of Ayala-owned Alveo Land Company. The four died instantly when the SUV made a wrong way turn toward I-95 and collided with their Kia minivan which was going south. The Kia burst into ﬂames, killing all four passengers and driver. The Florida Highway Patrol identiﬁed the victims as Dennis Ryan Rinon Ortiz, 33, of Daly City, California; Albertson Anthony Almase, 31, and his sister, Kristina, 26, both of Fort Lauderdale; and Lily Marie Azarcon, 26, of the Philippines. Willie Dummel, 26, identiﬁed by police as the driver of the wrong way vehicle, was taken to the Memorial Regional Hospital for treatment of broken legs. He was later found to be an ex-con who was carrying a false identity card. Opa-locka ofﬁcers said Cpl. Sergio Perez, quit pursuing when the SUV enter the was ﬂung out of the SUV, and that the gun had been recovered near the crash scene.
April 30, 2013
4 Filipinos killed in ﬁery Florida car crash
(U.S. Territory) of Alveo Land, an Ayala Land Company, while Azarcon was one of his member con, who were showing them around Miami during their visit. According to the Alveo
The victims: Kristina Almase, Lily M. Azarcon, Dennis Ortiz and A. Almase. property representatives from a group of ﬁve who were sent a few months ago by Ayala Land to sell condominium properties to the Filipino American market. Almase was a petty ofﬁcer 2nd class in the U.S. Navy. He had served in San Diego and was about to begin his next assignment in Virginia. Kristina, on the other hand, reportedly just got married in December and moved to Fort Lauderdale, from Cebu City, Philippines in March. Meanwhile, a close associate of the victims who refused to be named told the media that the Almases were a friend of Azar-
Willie Dumerel, driver, suffered foot injuries. representative, the rest of them refused to join Ortiz and Azarcon to watch the basketball in Fort Lauderdale. They were trying to convince us to go (with them) but we preferred to stay in the hotel (located in James Avenue, Miami Beach). Ortiz’s sister, Rochel, apparently ﬂew from the Bahamas to Miami the next day to arrange for the transfer of the victims’ remains to San Francisco.
The burnt wreck of the Kia SUV. interstate going the wrong way, according to news reports. The city claimed that a gun Ortiz, a graduate of the Ateneo School of Business, was the International Sales Director
April 30, 2013
deadline.’ But Los Angeles resident Mae Espiritu is not waiting until the last minute. She ﬁlled out and mailed her ballot on Sunday. “I feel that it’s my responsibility as an overseas Filipino to help make sure that only the best candidates get elected,” said Espiritu, 22. “I’m doing this not just for myself but for my fellow Filipinos back home.” Rey Ganon, who has dual citizenship, said he has already received his ballot from the Comelec, but was not yet ready to vote on Sunday. “I’ve already picked my ﬁrst six senators, but I’m still doing more research to help me pick the other six,” he said. Barber-De la Vega, who noted that the number of registered voters nearly doubled for this election, expressed hope the number of actual voters would similarly increase. She reminded voters that those who failed to cast their votes in two previous elections can reactivate their registrations by showing up at the consulate ofﬁce within the voting period. The Comelec reversed its earlier ruling deactivating some 237,000 OAVs for failing to vote in the last two elections. The list of overseas voters who failed to vote in two consecutive elections can be found in the Comelec and Department of Foreign Affairs websites. The list is also posted at the consulate. Out of the more than 700,000 registered OAVs, 125,604 are in the Americas, according to the Comelec. Polling precincts in Philippine embassies and consulate ofﬁces serving large numbers of absentee voters have been equipped with precinct countoptical scan (PCOS) machines.
OAVs voting in CA slow; no report from DC, NY
LOS ANGELES - Overseas absentee voting (OAV) at the Philippine Consulate General here got off to a slow but smooth start as consular ofﬁcials said they were anticipating the bulk of the votes to come in “by mail or delivered to the consulate ofﬁce in person” during the last two weeks of the voting period. There has been no reports yet from the Philippine embassy in Washington D.C. or the consulate in New York. There are 31,348 registered voters within the consulate jurisdiction covering Southern California, Southern Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. The Commission on Elections (Comelec) mailed the ballots, along with voting instructions, to their registered addresses. As of Sunday, the start of the month-long voting period for overseas absentee voting, the consulate has received 67 mailedin ballots from early voters. A few showed up to hand in their votes. “We expect to receive most of the ballots during the last two weeks before May 13,’ said Consul General Hellen Barber-De la Vega. “Based on our experience,many of our kababayans will vote closer to the
UNION CITY, California The New Haven Uniﬁed school board has approved the renaming of a school here to honor two FilAm leaders who helped Cesar Chavez organize the farm labor movement in the 60s. Slated to become the nation’s ﬁrst school named in honor of FilAm labor leaders Larry Itliong and Philip Vera-Cruz is the Alvarado Middle School. But the name change will only take effect in September, 2015. The renaming process, deemed murky and rushed even by supporters, has left the school community divided. The school board voted 3-2 on April 16 to rename to Itliong-Vera Cruz Middle School because it seemed a good ﬁt for Union City, where one of every ﬁve residents and one of every three students is of Filipino heritage. But Lance Nishihira, a Union City parent who opposed the name change, said the school board did not follow its established policy, which says a renaming should occur only after a thorough study. And by disregarding a signiﬁcant part
April 30, 2013
First US school to be named after FilAm leaders
The proposed Vera-Cruz-Iliong Middle School Philip Vera-Cruz of the city’s opinion, Nishihira said the board opened community wounds that won’t be easy to heal. “The damage has already been done, and we have learned that we now need to keep an eye on this school board,” he said. School board member Michael Ritchie, who voted against the name change, said the “acrimonious situation” could have been avoided if school board President Linda Canlas had communicated better with the school’s parents and neighbors. “I’m particularly disappointed in our board president that she didn’t try to ﬁnd a way to help mend the community rather than create this problem that we now have,” said Ritchie, whose proposal to name other buildings after the labor leaders was rejected by board members. Canlas started the process in January, when a committee was tasked with providing renaming options for Alvarado Middle School. The school was targeted because Juan Bautista Alvarado -- a 19th-century Mexican governor -- is well-represented in Union City, where a neighborhood, an elementary school, two streets and a park already carry his name. The Filipino-American community -- thwarted in past efforts to honor Itliong and Vera Cruz -- jumped on the issue, holding rallies and packing school board meetings to show visible support. The city’s Filipino-American community has pledged to raise money to pay all of the renaming’s fees. Originally estimated to cost $10,000, school district ofﬁcials now say the tab will be about $15,000, and an additional $25,000 in school uniforms and other inventory will have to be replaced.
Larry Itliong Kari McVeigh, New Haven’s superintendent of schools, said the price has grown because the school has more signage and inventory to replace than previously estimated. McVeigh said she has faith that any community divisions can be healed.
Actress counter-sues Filipina ex-nanny
LOS ANGELES - Actress Sharon Stone is really using her “Basic Instincts.” She has ﬁled a countersuit against her Filipina former nanny who has sued her for wrongful dismissal and harassment including racist abuse, new court documents show. In a breach-of-loan-agreement action ﬁled in Los Angeles Superior Court early this month, Stone says Erlinda Elemen owes $9,500 of a $12,500 loan she made to her in 2010. Elemen, who worked as a live-in nanny for Stone until she was sacked in 2011, repaid $3,000 between August 2010 and January 2011, but then stopped repayments to the 55-year-old actress. Her lawyers announced last year that she was suing the actress. A judge has ruled that the former nanny had provided enough evidence to support her charges of harassment, failure to prevent harassment, retaliation and wrongful dismissal. Stone’s lawyers sought to have the case -- which has a tentative trial date of July 30 -- dismissed, arguing that comments by the actress did not amount to harassment. “All we have is that Ms Stone made comments about Filipino food, Filipino accents,” said lawyer Daniel Gutenplan. When the lawsuit was announced in May, the actress’s publicist slammed the legal action as “absurd,” claiming the ex-nanny was simply trying to “cash in” on Stone. The lawsuit claimed the
‘I’ll come back and do better’ - Donaire
NEW YORK - Filipino American boxer Nonito Donaire Jr. said he wants to rest, get well, enjoy fatherhood then return to the ring. “I’ll come back and do better,” said the boxer who just lost his WBO super-bantamweight title to Guillermo Rigondeaux April 13 in New York City. Donaire was a 2-1 favorite to win against the two-time Olympic champion from Cuba but came unprepared for his opponent’s hit-and-run tactic. “We fought the Cuban boxing way, hit and don’t get hit,” Rigondeaux’s trainer, Pedro Diaz, said in a report by the Associated Press. Donaire ﬂoored Rigondeaux in the 10th round but didn’t really hurt him, and the latter went on to win the last two rounds to seal the unanimous victory. One judge had it 116-111, another 115-112 and the third one 114-113 all for Rigondeaux, now the WBO and WBA champion in the 122 lb division. The judges saw Rigondeaux as the clear winner. They were unanimous in giving the 32-yearold Cuban defector the ﬁrst, third, sixth and 12th rounds. The only time they all gave Donaire a round was in the 10th when Rigondeaux went down after a short exchange. That was all Donaire had to offer because Rigondeaux threw more punches and landed more in the entire ﬁght. With a badly-swollen right Donaire took the loss in stride. Yesterday he tweeted that he took his pregnant wife Rachel to dinner, and was touched by the way his fans came up to him.
Sharon Stone star equated being Filipino with being stupid, and ordered her not to speak in front of her children so they would not “talk like you.” Stone also banned Elemen from reading the Bible in the actress’s home, even though the live-in nanny looked after the actress’s three children and frequently traveled with them. Elemen, who was hired in October 2006 and was promoted to head live-in nanny two years later, was dismissed in February 2011, after Stone learned she was paid overtime when traveling with the children and on holidays. In 2011, the actress was ordered to pay $232,000 in compensation to a worker who injured his knee after slipping and falling in her backyard in 2006.
Guillermo Rigondeaux connects a left on Nonito Donaire’s chin. eye, Donaire said it’s time to rest. He fought four times last year and won them all, and was named the 2012 Fighter of the Year. He hasn’t lost in 30 ﬁghts in the last 12 years, in the process winning world titles in the lightﬂyweight, ﬂyweight, bantamweight and super-bantamweight divisions. But it all came to a screeching halt last Sunday at the Radio City in New York. Rachel is scheduled to give birth to their ﬁrst child, a boy, in July. As they await his arrival, Donaire said he will go under the knife for an injured right shoulder. Then he plans to return to action by October -- as a featherweight. In a message to his fans, Donaire said: “I know they (fans) are sad and I apologize for not getting the win. But I’ll be back and I’ll be better,” he promised.
April 30, 2013
Text and photo By Maurese O. Owens
bers during the solemn “Lighting Ceremony” which was of the oath-taking. Ms Mendoza, treasurer. Febes Galves anTeresia Delima, serve as auditor and asst. auditor, respectively.
April 30, 2013
PNAMDC inducts new ofﬁcers, cites accomplishments
42 years of existence. The association’s mission when it was founded in 1971, was to help nurses prepare for state board examinations and obtain licenses to practice in their respective states. Through the years, each of the nine presidents added significant programs such as job placement and assistance to newly arrived nurses, health screening programs and educational services for the community; training to improve nurses’ skills and promote professional excellence. In 1995, the association collaborated with the national PNA to pass a bill that would extend H-1A visas and avert the layoff of hundreds of nurses across the country. Another important achievement was the elimination of the CGFNS exam for licensed practicing Filipino nurses from other states who desired to practice in the District of Columbia. In 2002, annual medicalsurgical-dental missions to the Philippines were introduced to provide free healthcare services and medication to indigent patients. Eleven missions have treated close to 50,000 patients at a cost of $154,000. Recently, the association sought apology from Council Member Marion Barry of the District of Columbia Ward 8 for “insensitive, disrespectful and divisive remarks against Filipino nurses working in Washington, DC.” On May 24, 2012, at a press conference, Marion Barry apologized to PNAMDC. The Philippine Nurses Association’s success has also been attributed to its working closely with numerous organizations in the community and bringing services that the community needs. Filipino Americans recognize and value the Filipino American nurse -- they are the human component in the healthcare delivery system. They occupy almost every hospital in the country, extending human care in clinics and hospitals that are often times devoid of empathy and compassion, in the way that Filipinos are accustomed to.
The Philippine Nurses Association of Metropolitan DC, Inc. (PNAMDC) held its induction of ofﬁcers for year 201315 last April 6 at The Hilton, in Springﬁeld, Virginia. PNA National President Victoria B. Navarro administered the oath of ofﬁce to the new ofﬁcers, led by Leonora Mendoza as president, with Lorna Imperial Seidel as president-elect. Photo above shows the new ofﬁcers and board mem-
the incoming president, is to the right of the podium, Philippine Consul Elmer Cato who presented a special message and Buen Abo who sang an inspirational song. Other ofﬁcers sworn in were Vivian Sola, recording secretary; Emilie Dearing, asst. recording secretary; Prima Colburn, corresponding secretary and Achilles Amados, asst. corresponding secretary; Carol Robles, treasurer and Mila Caria, asst.
Public Relations Ofﬁcers are Elsa Aquino, Alicia de Leon, Trinidad Padama, Rosabella dela Pena, Lourdes Careaga, Zeny Amado and Joy Arellano. The new Board of Directors are Alice Andam, Diana Comiso, Emma dela Rosa, Marissa Usman, Resurreccion Jao and Teresita Samoy. PNA Accomplishments. The auspicious affair was a testimony to the vitality of the association whose success reﬂects the leadership of 9 presidents in its
ANA starts new cabin service in DC-Tokyo Route
Text & photos by Jennie L. Ilustre
ANA, chosen the 2013 “Airline of the Year” by an industry magazine, recently launched its enhanced cabin service and products in its Washington, DCNarita route. The enhanced service started March 31, operated with the Boeing 777-300ER. A program launch, held March 27 at the Mayﬂower Renaissance Hotel in the nation’s capital, presented mock-up displays featuring seats that turn bigger TV screens, as well as meal displays. On March 26, Board Chairman Yoji Ohashi received the Airline of the Year award on behalf of the ANA group. President and CEO Shinichiro Ito called it a great honor when Air Transport World (ATW), a top monthly magazine on the global airline industry, announced the award. ATW cited the airline’s “exceptional ﬁnancial performance, ﬁscal management, customer service and technology Since the 70s, the ATW award have been regarded as the benchmark of quality and achievement for companies and individuals within the airline industry. Winners are chosen by a panel of judges composed of ATW editors from all over the world. Vice President and General Manager Yoshiharu Naoki described the new service features in an interview before the program started. The new features in the First, Business, Premium Economy and Economy class cabin products, are now
PNAMDC marks National Nursing Week
The Philippine Nurses Association of Metropolitan DC, Inc. (PNAMDC) is collaborating with four other professional nursing organizations (see logos above) to raise awareness of the nursing shortage in the United States, promote the nursing profession to the attending public, and raise monies for nursing scholarship funds by celebrating National Nurses Week on Friday May 10, 2013 at the WASHINGultimate luxury in space, privacy and comfort. The high-panel walls are furnished in contemporary wood tones on both the exterior and interior, creating the perfect room exclusively for our esteemed guests. A large adjustable table with an intricate wood ﬁnish adds a touch of elegance and sophistication. Passengers can enjoy a wide range of entertainment in their personal theater with the 23-inch LCD wide screen monitor. With “Ana Business Staggered,” every seat has aisle access with perfectly staggered seat conﬁguration. The seat reclines 180 degrees to become a fully ﬂat bed. With the 17-inch LCD touch panel wide screen monitor, passengers can enjoy 160 programs of digital AVOD movies, video, TON NATIONALS BASEBALL CLUB, NATIONALS PARK, WASHINGTON, DC. The Washington Nationals will be playing against the Chicago Cubs. The event will start at 7:07 pm and end at the conclusion of the game. Please show your support by purchasing your tickets through this link: www.nationals.com/nurses. For further inquiry, please contact Nora Mendoza at 571-7238273. music and games. Premium Economy class seat has an increased seat width of 19.3 inches. It boasts a 10.6 inch touch-panel monitor that enables passengers to select and view programs with ease. Each seat is also furnished with a personal reading light, universal laptop power port, USB port, and an *2 iPod connector. Complimentary sparkling wine and soup in addition to regular Economy class meals are available. Economy class is equipped with “Fixed-Back Shell” seats that feature a sliding headrest and adjustable footrest, ensuring passengers are able to relax without having their space invaded. All Economy class seats are equipped with the 10.6-inch monitor.
ANA Passenger Sales Supervisor Odette Martinez, a Filipino American, celebrated her 22 years with the award-winning airline last January. ANA VP and GM Yoshiharu Naoki (standing) with Maintenance manager Atsushi Chiba modeling as a passenger in the business cabin seat which reclines to 180 degrees to turn it into a fully ﬂat bed. into a fully-ﬂat bed, more arm room, wider aisle space and leadership that set the bar for the entire global airline industry.” available three to four times a week (otherwise operated by the conventional Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.) “Ana First Square” offers the
April 30, 2013
the Bahamian capital of Nassau this month to convey the request. Ofﬁcials from the Bahamian side who met with the Filipino team included Bahamas’ foreign affairs and labor ministers and the chief of the Royal Bahamas Police Force, said the Embassy in a statement. During the meeting, Bahamian ofﬁcials recognized the Filipino community’s contribution to the islands, the Embassy said. Filipinos in the Bahamas are mostly employed as domestic helpers, medical workers, cooks
Embassy seeks retention of 1000 OFWs in Bahamas
MANILA- The Philippines has requested the Bahamas to allow Filipinos to retain their jobs as the independent British commonwealth starts implementing a new labor policy seeking to cut unemployment rates on the islands by replacing foreign workers with locals. The Embassy dispatched a consular team to the territory just off the US state of Florida earlier this month to make the appeal to the Bahamian government to let Filipino workers keep their jobs despite the pro-local labor initiative. “We presented Manila’s position on behalf of many of the more than 1,000 Filipinos in Bahamas, particularly housekeepers, cooks, hotel employees and medical workers who stand to lose their jobs as a result of the so-called Bahamianization of the local labor force, said Consul General Ariel Penaranda in a statement. Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Cuisia, Jr. sent Penaranda and Labor Attachs Luzviminda Padilla to
Philippine Consul General Ariel R. Penaranda, Labor Attche Luzviminda Padilla and the consular staff undertook an outreach mission to the Bahamas April 5. They paid courtesy calls on top local ofﬁcials, met with Honorary Consul Gonzalo Bolisay and tended to the needs of Filipinos residing there. Photo shows Consul Penaranda and Bolisay posing with Filipinos in the Bahamas who renewed their passprots and sought other consular services. But (Philippine Embassy Photo by Lyra Ocampo) and hotel employees. The Philippine side meanwhile aired its concern about the new labor policy. The Embassy said the ofﬁcials â œvoiced their concern over the reported plan of Bahamas authorities to suspend the issuance of work permits to foreign workers as this would impact negatively on Filipino workers there. Bahamian ofﬁcials then explained that the new policy aimed to give jobs to unemployed locals.
By Rodney J. Jaleco
Thousands of Filipino doctors, engineers, teachers and other successful professionals and entrepreneurs in the US and around the world are prepared to share their talents, skills and experiences to the country of their birth! But the Philippines does not seem to be ready to accept them, according to Dr. Johnny Montero. Instead of welcoming their paybacks, the government has imposed a lot of impediments along the way. Now, the Commission on Filipinos Overseas which is aware of the problem is launching a three-year “Balinkbayan” project to build a one-stop portal so that it will be easier for doctors and other professionals to share their expertise. CFO chair Imelda Nicolas, who is very much aware of the problem experienced by FilAm doctors is set to tap the talent pool of overseas Filipinos most of whom have acquired skills and experiences abroad, according to Dr. Johnny Montero. The launching of the project is expected to be held in June to coincide with Philippine independence day. For instance, Dr. Domingo Alvear, founder of the World Surgical Foundation in Pennsylvania, lamented that “we seem more wlecome in other countries than our motherland.” “Our generation is very loyal to the Philippines and we will continue to help regardless of how we are perceived. Our life span is short and if the Philippines do not recognize and use our talents, they lose,” he added. Chicago-based Dr. Cesar Co for his part told Bong in Virginia blog: “ We are all getting older. Most of us are developing agerelated issues. The Government of our Mother Country has failed to tap an enormous work force of retired Filipino doctors, nurses and health care providers worldwide.” “First generation immigrants (like many FilAm doctors and nurses) are more likely than those farther removed to be actively engaged with their countries of origin; many have close family members there, own property, and follow social and political events closely,” explained Susanna Groves, an associate policy analyst of the DC-based Migrant Policy Institute (MPI). Dr. Alvear, whose recent assistance to the Culion, Palawan hospital was featured in the “Manila Mail” April 15, 2013, said he’s been doing medical missions in the Philippines for the past 5 years and feels he’s only got 2 more years left for the rigors of frequent travel and volunteer work. “Many of us only ask for acceptance by our colleagues back home. We are not competitors. Our desire is to serve,” stressed Dr. Co. He said many volunteers are brought to tears seeing the enormity of the needs and the lack of equipment and resources to meet them.
April 30, 2013
CFO set to launch ’Balinkbayan’ project
land.” He welcomed CFO’s proposed the one stop portal for ‘Balikbayan’ projects. The importance of diaspora engagement has been recognized by the US, which has the largest diaspora community in the world. Diaspora members living in the US sent nearly $52 billion in remittances in 2011, according to the World Bank. Filipinos were the 4th biggest senders of dollars back home, next to India, China and Mexico. “In addition to sending remittances, US-based diaspora members make investments, establish or support businesses, make charitable contributions, volunteer, support political parties, campaign for human rights and good governance, promote post-conﬂict reconciliation and (in countries where such activities are permitted to non-residents) vote and run for ofﬁce in their countries of heritage,” Groves explained. Dovelyn Agunias, also with the MPI and now based in Manila, dissected the various agencies created for diaspora engagement in Asian countries, including the Philippines. She noted that the government has created, aside from CFO which is directly under the Ofﬁce of the President, sub-ministry level special ofﬁces in the Departments of Labor and Foreign Affairs. The country’s Health Department still has to ink a memo of agreement to join the “Balinkbayan” project (it already includes the Departments of Trade, Science, Agriculture, Environment & Natural Resources, Agrarian Reform and Tourism), Nicolas intimated. Agunias noted that limited resources made it difﬁcult to fully assess the impact of diaspora institutions. She identiﬁed two key elements “understanding disaporasâ” needs and potential; and creating institutions that are trusted and embraced by diaspora members. Attaining these goals, she added, can be aided by inviting diaspora involvement in setting agendas but should also be careful against “creating a privileged insider group of diaspora partners.” The US Agency for International Development (USAID) has begun working with diaspora organizations to promote diaspora engagement. They are funding collaborations with the Diaspora Networks Alliance (DNA) that “focuses on creative mechanisms through which diaspora communities can contribute to growth in their countries of origin or heritage” in the ﬁelds of diaspora philanthropy, volunteer corps, direct investment, capital markets, tourism and nostalgic trade, and advocacy and diplomacy. Nicolas indicated they will formally unveil “Balinkbayan” on June 12, Philippine Independence Day.
Dr. Johnny Montero Dr. Conrad Zapanta, an otolaryngologist from Harrisonburg, Va. said he’s been joining medical missions in Ifugao since 1989.”We are not supported by any organization and we pay our own way,” he revealed, “although I retired last year, I will continue to organize and lead surgical medical missions to the Philippines, the land of my birth.” “The ultimate solution,” Dr. Jimmy Montero of Virginia Beach surmised, “is a government initiative to create a subCabinet level agency to act as a clearing house/sounding board, whose only job description is to facilitate the process of expatriates giving back to their mother-
New PH trade mission to NY, LA, Chicago
WASHINGTON, D.C.—A topnotch business delegation from Manila is now in the United States for a week-long investment roadshow that will underscore why the Philippines is now considered the newest darling of international investors. The Philippine Embassy, which organized the 2ndInvestment Roadshow with the Philippine Consulates General in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York, said the private sector-led delegation is in town to try to convince US investors to pour their money into the Philippines. Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. said the delegation led by prominent Filipino economist Dr. Bernardo Villegas will meet with more than 200 senior American corporate and government executives in Los Angeles on 23 and 24 April; in Chicago on 24 April; and in Boston on 26 April. “With the success of the 1st Investment Roadshow in Washington, D.C., New York and San Francisco in 2012, this year’s Investment Roadshow will showcase more positive macroeconomic developments under President Aquino’s good governance agenda,” said Ambassador Cuisia, who is accompanying the business delegation along with Consuls General Maria Hellen Barber-De La Vega in Los Angeles; Leo Herrera-Lim in Chicago; and Mario L. de Leon, Jr. in Boston. Ambassador Cuisia said that in addition to Dr. Villegas, the other members of the business delegation who will serve as resource persons are Philip Romualdez, President of the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines; Isidro Consunji, President of DMCI Holdings; Roberto Dispo, President of First Metro Investment Corporation; Rainerio Borja, President of EGS Philippines; and Jesus Zulueta, Chairman of ZMG Ward Howell. The other resource persons for the Los Angeles and Boston programs are Dr. Dan Lachica, President of the Semiconductors and Electronics Industries in the Philippines, Inc. and Martin Pascual, Board Director of Pascual Laboratories. Noted FilipinoAmerican venture capitalist and technopreneur Dado Banatao will also serve as a resource speaker on “Science & Technology in the Philippines” for the Boston leg of the roadshow. Aside from business-tobusiness meetings, the delegation members will make individual presentations that will highlight speciﬁc business opportunities for American investors in key sector winners such as Business Process Outsourcing and Knowledge Process Outsourcing; Infrastructure and Real Estate; Financial Services; Manufacturing (Electronic Medical Devices); Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology; and Human Resources. “The 2013 roadshow is scheduled at a better time, now that the Philippines is considered one of the best performing economies in Asia,” Dr. Villegas said. “The Philippines is now the darling of international investors.” Aside from bringing more investments to the Philippines, Ambassador Cuisia said he expects the roadshow to further improve trade with the US, the country’s third largest
Aquino in ‘Time’s ‘inﬂuential list’
NEW YORK -Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III is one of Time magazine’s 100 most inﬂuential people of the world. “The sputtering economy stabilized and became hot,”wrote Time news director Howard Chua-Eoan in the magazine’s proﬁle of Aquino, adding that he pushed through a reproductive-rights law that many said was impossible in the fervently Catholic nation.” Time also cited Aquino’s confrontation with Beijing over its claim to virtually all of the South China Sea. “It is a brave stance, given the partner. He cited statistics from the US Trade Representative that pointed to growing two-way trade between the two countries—from $13 billion in 2009 to $15 billion in 2010 and $22 billion in 2011. Consul General Barber Dela Vega said the delegation
President Benigno S. Aquino III long-term consequences still unknown.”Aquino landed in the category of Leaders together with such leaders like US President Barrack Obama. launched the roadshow in Los Angeles because of its role as the Philippines’ primary gateway for US trade since 1992. She said Los Angeles also handles 25 percent of total US trade with the Philippines, which is also its 16th largest trading partner.
April 30, 2013
one-day celebration of faith and heritage,” said Fred Semendy, executive chairman of the event co-sponsor Asian Paciﬁc Catholic Network (APC-Network) of the mid-Atlantic Region. “It is open to everyone.” The Shrine is located at 400 Michigan Avenue Northeast, Washington, D.C. 20017. Participating communities include Bengali, Burmese, Cambodian, Chinese, Filipino, Lebanese, Indonesian, Indian (Latin, Syro-Malabar and Syro-Malankara rites), Japanese, Korean, Laotian, Montagnard, Pakistani, Samoan, Sri Lankan, Tongan, Thai and Vietnamese American Catholics. The celebration will begin at 1 p.m. with a procession with many of the Marian images venerated throughout Asia and the Paciﬁc. It is followed by a call to prayer and the Crowning of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The recitation of the rosary will follow at 2 p.m., with each mystery lead by a different Asian community. A multilingual mass at 2:30 p.m., with Bishop Barry C. Knestout, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Washington, as celebrant, will cap the event. Last year, the event drew over 800 participants, including several who came with their families. As in the past, the pilgrimage is sponsored by the APCNetwork), in collaboration with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Secretariat on Cultural Diversity. Sr. Anna Nguyen is the USCCB Assistant Director of Asian Paciﬁc Island Affairs.
FilAms join APA Pilgrimage at Basilica
WASHINGTON, D.C.–Filipino Americans will join other Asian Paciﬁc American Catholics from the area and the East Coast at the 11th annual Marian Pilgrimage on May 11, a Saturday. Venue is the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in the nation’s capital. The Filipino Ministry of Northern Virginia said a 60-member Filipino American Choir will perform at the event. “We’re inviting the general public to join us in this
FilAms holds ﬁesta in Richmond
The ﬁrst annual Filipino Fiesta RVA was held at the Richmond Convention Center on Saturday, April 27 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. The event celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Filipino American Association of Central Virginia – with a giant party open to all celebrating the food, music and culture of the Phillipines. Authentic Filipino dishes like lumpia (Filipino egg rolls), chicken adobo, and chicken kutsinta (sticky rice cakes). Filipino dancing was a lot of fun to watch – from the acrobatic moves to the traditional costumes. This ﬁesta had both traditional Filipino dancing as well as modern day Filipino artists who performed throughout the day. There was a Kids Zone with fun and educational activities. Kids were able to make parols (Christmas lanterns) and other katutubong laro (native games).
April 30, 2013
What’s sweet about Sweet City
By Angelica Felixberto
If you do want a slice of heaven, you have to check out “Sweet City Desserts” in Vienna, Virginia, a Filipino-owned, French, Italian and Filipinoinspired cafe that caters to the most nitpicky sweet tooth and taste buds. In 2007, Wilma Galang and Manny Tagle came up with the idea of a Filipino-themed pastrybakery-coffee in a contemporary bake shop set up, serving mini cakes, pastries, gelatos and coffee, all prepared by some of the youngest and most exciting chefs in the area. When the doors opened in 2011, it became a hit among the locals and the Filipino communities all the way from Maryland and other states. People lined up to try their choice of desserts. Be it the Vienna crunch (Peanut butter mousse), Kalamansi Pie, Red Velvet, Mousse cake, Sans Rival, creme brulee and other variety of mini pies, tarts and cupcakes with a mixture of fruity flavors, your tongue will delight in the exotic taste of the ingredients, its mixture and baking to perfection. Hard to Find but Worth It When I was told we were going to have our meeting at the Sweet City Dessert, I was expecting an ordinary cafe that looked more like a franchise, nothing fancy, nothing classy and I was proven to be wrong. It was both cozy and classy and the place was very clean. Ed was already basking on his kalamansi pie when I arrived. The other patrons and I had to stand in front of the glass counter for a while unable to make up our minds to see which one we would like. By the way, the place was quite hard to find because it was not on the main street it. It was in an alley where there were about four stores, I think another one was also a food establishment, and the other maybe a gym. Works out, I thought. So anyway, all the choices looked so yummy and inviting. Ed asked me to try the kalamansi pie before ordering anything else and I got myself some exotic tea. The pie was delicious that I took very small bites to savor it. The ambience was relaxing and refreshing, perfect for a small group event, cozy enough for pairs, families and a bunch of friends. The Sweet Things People Say: “Sweet purple yam treat/ My lonely heart aches for you/ Will you be my wife?” - a Haiku from Christian, Reston VA “Awww....this place is so adorable! Tidy, comfy and inviting, one can relax in a booth sip frou frou coffee and nosh on assortment of pastries ranging from mini key lime cakes to mousse filled brownies, some with a Filipino twist. I am happy to find a place where I can pick up pan de sal and have a nice cup of coffee.” - Cielo S,. Fairfax, VA “What a wonderful surprise...I quickly found out the items I wanted to try quickly outnumbered what was sensible to buy...the mango and melon shooters were delicious...the taro cake dessert I tried was fantastic-subtle, sweet...yummy...the runaway favorite for me was the kalamansi cake...the birthday party took 2/3 of the seating area.” - Greg M. “I had two scoops of dulce de leche gelato atop a shot of espresso and that was really good. Tasted like a cold caramel macchiato...the overall ambience was cool but cozy...” Marissa, Manassas, VA “Whatever I got turned out to be DELICIOUS! I’m glad it was 5 or 6 bucks because if it was half the price, I’d be a fat bastard in a month!-Russell, Vienna, VA. All I know is that people say a lot of sweet things about the “Sweet City Dessert.”
Boots, a ‘catalyst writer,’ to write for ‘Mail’
Angelica “Boots” Felixberto, a journalism graduate of the Ateneo de Manila University, has volunteered to be a contributor to the “Manila Mail,” a 22-year-old Filipino American fortnightly in English in Washington D.C. At the Ateneo, Boots was voted to become Associate Editor of the College newspaper and was nominated for the prestigious Catholic Mass Media Awards. After graduation, she was hired to work for the Ateneo Center for Community Services, the university’s social development arm that engaged in community organizing, research and other development work assisting peasants, laborers and the urban poor to collectively uplift themselves for a better sociopolitical-economic standing. Later, she took graduate courses in Broadcast Communication in the University of the Philippines, and also found a job as research associate of the Dean of the College of Mass Communication. A perfectionist Journalism professor, I honed my writing skills through the tutelage of Dean Georgina Encanto, while a graduate student at the same time. Half-way through the program though, I had to leave for the United States to join my family waiting for me. Thrown several curves in life which included marriage
Angelica “Boots” Felixberto and divorce, and pretty much characteristic of a midlife crisis, I yearned to go back to my ﬁrst love of writing. From living over a decade in Boston, Massachusetts, I ﬁnally decided to move to the Washington DC area. With family support, I am ﬁnally able to trek back to the journey I wanted to go to in the ﬁrst place. Every turn, every chapter in my life, happened for a reason, making me a more sensitive writer, and hopefully a better person.
April 30, 2013
April 30, 2013
April 30, 2013
8277. May 4, 11, 18 & 25 (Saturday) 8:00pm-12:00mn Philippine Multi-Cultural Center Fundraiser with Julian Oteyza and his Tutubi Band, 7500 Livingston Rd, MD. Guest bands and entertainers are welcome. Visual artist create artwork to the music of the band. Help sustain the Center -- donations encouraged for its support. Contact: Grace Villanueva – 301-567-2280 May 10 (Friday) 7:05pm – 10:00pm Philippine Nurses Association of Metropolitan DC -- PNAMDC Nurses Day at the Washington Nationals Baseball Club, Nationals Park. Watch CHICAGO CUBS VS. WASHINGTON NATIONALS. Support the nursing scholarship fund while relaxing and having fun. Purchase discounted tickets at nationals.com/nurses. For more information, Contact Nora Mendoza 703-765-8474 leonora239@ yahoo.com May 11 (Saturday) 12:00noon-4:00pm. Asians for Mary Annual Pilgrimage, includes a 60 Filipino man/ woman choir for the event. Basilica Shrine of The Immaculate Concepcion, Upper Church. 400 Michigan Ave., Washington, DC 20017. Contact: Jacinta Mascarenhas email@example.com. May 11 (Saturday) Marinduqueneo Assn of the Capital Area Atlantic City Fundraiser. Pickup at Montgomery Mall, Bethesda 6:00am, drop-off 10. $45(21 and over) $35(under 21) includes busfare and voucher. Contact: Leo Monroyo at firstname.lastname@example.org. May 11 (Saturday) 10th Annual Asian Games. Free Murphy Jensen Clinic (Coach of the Washington Kastles World Team Tennis Champions). Followed by a Round Robin Team Tennis Tournament for teams representing countries such as Thailand, China, Philippines and more. Regency Sport & Health Club, 1800 Old Meadow Rd., McLean, VA 22102. Contact: Ed Tiong email@example.com May 16 (Thursday) PAFC Planning Meeting for Philippine Festival and Asian Festival Philippine Multicultural Center, 7500 Livingston Rd., Oxon Hill, MD 20745..Contact: Aylene Mafnas 703 868 5660 May 18 (Saturday) 6:0011:30pm, Feed the Hungry, Inc. “Spring Shindig.” Fort Myer Community Center,228 McNair Road, Fort Myer, VA. $40 per person; $45 at the door. Contact: Mila Nazal 301-288-7010 May 18 (Saturday) Mabuhay 10th Annual Fundraising Golf Tournament, Marlton Golf Club, 9413 Midland Turn, Upper Marlboro, MD 20772. Regist ation Fee: $95 per player or $380 foursome. Contact: Jimmy Cardano 301-352-5126 May 18 (Saturday) 7:30pm Filipino Mass at St. Bernadette Catholic Church, 7600 Old Keene Mill Road, Springfield, VA 22152. Sponsored by Filipino Ministry of St. Bernadette. Contact 703-569-1054. May 23 (Thursday) 6:308:30pm. PAFC Planning Meeting for Philippine Festival and Asian Festival. Sweet City Desserts, 131-A Maple Avenue W, Vienna, VA 22180 , tel: 703-9388188. Contact: Aylene Mafnas 703 868 5660 May 26 (Sunday) Miss Teenage Philippines Pageant, Inc. Annual Coronation and Ball. Hyatt Regency Crystal City, 2799 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, VA 22202. Contact Trini Padama-301-705-8550 . May 29- 31 PAFC Philippine Festival’s Brown Strokes on White Canvas Art Exhibit. Opening reception Wednesday, May 29 at 6:30pm. Loca-
tion Romulo Hall, Philippine Embassy. Contact: Julian Oteyza at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703.969.5469 May 30 (Wednesday) 6:308:30pm. PAFC Planning Meeting for Philippine Festival and Asian Festival. 12700 Fair Lakes Circle, Suite 120, Fairfax, VA 22033 Contact: Aylene Mafnas 703 868 5660 June 2 (Sunday) Maryland Philippine Festival. Maryland State Fairgrounds, Timonium, MD. Call for performers and vendor. Interested parties may contact Luis Florendo at email@example.com June 6 and 13 (Thursdays) 6:30-8:30pm. PAFC Planning Meeting for Philippine Festival and Asian Festival. June 6 at Philippine Multi-Cultural Center, Oxon Hill, MD June 13 at 12700 Fair Lakes Circle, Suite 120, Fairfax, VA 22033 Contact: Aylene Mafnas 703 868 5660 June 15 (Saturday) 6:00pm12:00pm. Philippine Independence Gala Ball. JW Marriott Washington, DC. Continues the tradition of celebrating Independence Day with Philippine Embassy dignitaries, the FilAm community, special guests. $85; premier seats $110. Contact: Nanette Carreon at NSuyat1681@ aol.com. June 15 (Saturday) 7:30pm Filipino Mass at St. Bernadette Catholic Church, 7600 Old Keene Mill Road, Springfield, VA 22152. Sponsored by Filipino Ministry of St. Bernadette. Contact 703-569-1054. June 15 (Saturday) 7:00am PAMWE-FtH Joint Benefit Golf Tournament. Algonkian Regional Park Golf Course, 47001 Fairway Drive, Sterling, VA 20165. 7:00am Registration & Continental Breakfast; 8:30am Tee Time or Shotgun. Contact: Pepito Solis 703)979-0838 firstname.lastname@example.org June 30 (Sunday) PAFC Philippine Festival’s Community Picnic and Sports Fest. Fun and food, games for children and sports for grownups plus a cultural show and a band marathon pull the community together. Special Feature: Parada ng Lechon, Tucker Road Recreational Park, Fort Washington, MD Contact: Mya Talavera at email@example.com. July 20 (Saturday) 7:30pm Filipino Mass at St. Bernadette Catholic Church, 7600 Old Keene Mill Road, Springfield, VA 22152. Sponsored by Filipino Ministry of St. Bernadette. Contact 703-569-1054. July 27-28 (Sat-Sun) Asian Festival with Philippine Village at Fairfax Government Center. Cultural performances and food from different Asian countries; product and service booths, children’s area and more. Contact: Bing Branigin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to include your organization’s event in this calendar, kindly send your information to Maurese Oteyza Owens at email@example.com. May 2 (Thurs), 6:30-8:30pm. PAFC Planning Meeting for Philippine Festival and Asian Festival. 12700 Fair Lakes Circle, Suite 120, Fairfax, VA 22033 Contact:
Aylene Mafnas 703 868 5660 May 4 (Saturday) OLGC Atlantic City Bus Trip. Pickup/Drop-off Point: Navy Federal Credit Union at 820 Follin Lane SE, Vienna, VA 22180. Destination is Atlantic . Club Casino Hotel (was Hilton Hotel/ Casino). $45. For more information. Contact: Chiqui 571-499-
16 Around DC
April 30, 2013
MHC’s ‘People’s Ball’ June 22
The 8th annual People’s Ball of the Migrant Heritage Commission will be held at the Marriott Wardham Park Hotel on Woodley Road in Washington D.C. from 5:30 to 12:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 22, 2013. With its theme of “America is Powered by Immigrants,” the ball will mark the 107th year of Filipino Migration to the United States, the 115th anniversary of Philippine Independence and the 68th anniversary of the Philippine-American Friendship Day. The MHC press release said: “Once again experience the excitement and vibrant colors, dance to the pulsating music of a live band (D-Oracle Band) and of our gracious DJs from our community.” Gel Santos Relos, ABS-CBN’s Balitang America TV Star newscaster, will once again be the emcee. Attire : Formal Black tions to MHC are tax deductible to extent allowed by law. $ 75.00 (SOLD OUT!) $ 85.00 (still available) Limited Corporate/Sponsor Seats also available @ $ 100.00 Tickets may also be purchased online: go to http:// www.migrantheritage.org/ click on MIGRANT FUND then click on DONATE, you will be prompted what to do next (it’s another convenient, faster and safe way to reserve your place at the Ball!) But pls email us that you did your payment online and bring a copy of your receipt during the actual gala. Proceeds will go to the pro-bono,serviceoriented,humanitarian and charitable programs, projects of MHC made available all year round. (Legal immigration consultations, health,medical, cultural, non-formal education, humanitarian cases etc.)
Vargas is guest speaker at PAFC gala June 15
Filipino American Pulitzerprize winning journalist and community trailblazer Jose Antonio Vargas is the guest speaker at the annual Philippine Independence Gala Ball sponsored by the Philippine American Foundation for Charities (PAFC) at the JW Marriott in Washington DC on Saturday, June 15. Three main events of the month-long celebration will once again bring the community together in celebration of Philippine Independence from Spain and our American journey. The theme chosen this year is: Our Family, Our Communities: Helping Shape America. PAFC will highlight how Filipino Americans have shaped and molded America through their signiﬁcant and countless contributions in the American tapestry of life. The Festival kicks off with “Brown Strokes on a White Canvas,” showcasing Filipino American artists of the Washington, DC area and guest artists. Opening Reception will be held on Wednesday, May 29 (6:30 pm) at the Romulo Hall of the Philippine Embassy. A special feature will be the work of those who pioneered the exhibit 11 years ago including Pacita Abad, Joey Manlapaz, Jon Melegrito, Julian Oteyza, Frank Redondo, Nilo Santiago, and Marvin Santos. and returning artists will also exhibit. The Philippine Independence Day Gala Ball will be held at the JW Marriott in Washington, DC on Saturday, June 15. PAFC is pleased to announce that the guest speaker is Jose Antonio Vargas. Mr. Vargas, since his coming out as an undocumented Filipino immigrant in the most public way possible through a picture and cover story on Time magazine last year, has been the Filipino face of immigration reform on what has normally been perceived as a Latino issue. With the pace of immigration reform increasing and becoming one of the leading issues of the day,
Gel Santos Relos tie, Evening gown or Filipiniana Barong Tagalog. Donations to MHC are tax deductible. For R.S.V.P. 202-631-8856 / 703-2731196/ 703-675-6334/ 202-2470117 migrantheritage@gmail. com www.migrantheritage. org. Please make checks payable to MHC. Balance should all be mailed to 3930 Walnut St. , Suite 200, Fairfax, VA 22030. Dona-
Jose Antonio Vargas having someone with the prominence of Mr. Vargas come and speak to Filipinos will indeed make the evening special and a night to remember. Mr. Vargas has an impressive résumé. One need not look farther than his Pulitzer Prize he garnered as a journalist with the Washington Post. He is articulate, intelligent and passionate. Most of all he engenders those values that all Filipinos appreciate--loyalty, familial piety, hard work and dedication. Regardless of where you stand on the issue of immigration reform-there are many good arguments either way-- it will be worthwhile to hear a distinguished son of the Philippines speak with passion and conviction. The ﬁnal event will be the Community Picnic and Sports Fest on Sunday, June 30. Fun and food, games for children and sports for everyone plus a cultural show and a band marathon pull the community together. A special feature will be the Parada ng Lechon, a colorful parade of decorated lechons that will vie for prizes. The picnic will be held at Tucker Road Recreational Park, Fort Washington, MD.
Asian Heritage Fest May 18 in DC
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In celebration of Asian Heritage Month, Asia Heritage Foundation once again brings Asian ﬂair to the Nation’s Capital Main Street with its 8th annual National Asian Heritage Festival--Fiesta Asia. The Signature Celebration is a multicultural street fair on Saturday, May 18, 2013 from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM along Pennsylvania Avenue NW between 3rd & 6th Streets in the District of Columbia. Fiesta Asia Street Fair is a Key Partner Event of Passport DC. This year’s featured highlight is the new Fiesta Asia Emerging Stars Contest - a live talent search for ages 5 to 17. AsiaMoves, our annual ‘learn online, dance in the streets’ project is rocking a Bhangra Mania theme. Everyone can try their skills at the Fortune Cookie Writing Contest and vote for their favorite ‘word of wisdom’ online. Entertainment and activities are scheduled for nine consecutive hours featuring ﬁve stages, ﬁve zones, over eight hundred performers and seventy diverse groups from over twenty cultures locally, regionally and internationally. Admission to Fiesta Asia Street Fair is FREE and open to the public. In addition to the May 18th street fair, DC metro area residents can explore and experience a variety of cultural activities including, Fiesta Asia @ Silver Spring on May 4th, Fiesta Asia Planet Family @ Smithsonian’s National Zoo on May 12th & Fiesta Asia Film Fest @ West End Cinema on May 28th -30th.
GMU celebrates Asian Heritage Month
The George Mason University celebrates the 20th Annual Asian Paciﬁc American Heritage Month on Thursday, May 2, 2013 at 7:30 pm at the Concert Hall, Center for the Performing Arts. Free Admission. www.gmu. edu/cfa (703) 993-8888 It is sponsored by the College of Visual and Performing Arts, Center for Asia Paciﬁc Economic Cooperation, Center for Global Education, Ofﬁce of Global and International Strategies Ofﬁce of Diversity, Inclusion and Multicultural Education, University Life Programming Committee and the Confucius Institute. Also participating are Asian Embassies in Washington DC, American Government Executive Network, Asian American Music society (www.aamsopera.com) ,Asian/Paciﬁc American Heritage Council, Federal Asian/ Paciﬁc American Council and New World Bilingual Institute (http://www.nwbi.us/)
April 30, 2013
ASEAN Women’s Club annual get-together
Front row, Chef Evelyn Bunoan with Madame Hoang Minh Ha, president, AWC, and wife of the Vietnam Ambassador to the US. Also in photo are: Gouri Mirpuri of Singapore, Datin Mahani Abu Zar of Brunei Darussalam, Madame Ghanista of Thailand, Rohhayazam Kamaruzaman of Malaysia, Khin Win Yee, of Myanmar, and representatives from the embassies of Cambodia, Philippines, and Indonesia. (Photo: Bing Cardenas Branigin) The ASEAN Women’s Club (AWC) of Washington, D.C. held their annual get-together with a Culinary Exhibition last April 16. It was hosted by Executive Chef Evelyn Bunoan at her residence in Fairfax, Virginia. Over 60 members attended the get-together. AWC is made up of members of Asian embassies here and is aimed at raising awareness of the culture and the arts in their respective countries. AWC also contributes to local charity organization such as the Salvation Army. Each participating Asian countries held a food demonstrations on how to prepare the food, and also recipes and where to buy them. A buffet lunch was prepared by each country participating and enjoyed by all the guests.
The 2013 Cherry Blossom Princesses visited the Philippine Embassy early this month as part of their weeklong education and cultural exchange program, which provides an opportunity for young women from across the United States and around the world to come together and network. The Princesses participate in educational, leadership, and cultural activities as they serve their nation and respective state, territory or embassy, by introducing the princesses to many government, cultural, military, business leaders and female role models in Washington, D.C. More than 3,000 have participated in the program since 1948.. The Philippines is represented this year by Samantha Salazar Domigpe, a nursing student at George Mason University and 2010 Mutya Philippines-USA Migrant Heritage. (Philippine Embassy Photo by Christine Rubio)
FCA presents ‘Hating Gabi’ on culture night
Xavier “Cugie” dela Santa celebrated his 60th birthday recently with wife Terry (right) and a host of family, co-workers and friends from the community, including Mitzi Pickard, Froilan Tiglao, Grace Villanueva, Maurese and Kevin Owens, Thelma Estrella,Elvie Melegrito and Ernie Cordero. They feasted and danced all night to the music of Julian Oteyza and Tutubi. (Photo by Jon Melegrito)
On Sunday, April 14, 2013, The Filipino Cultural Association of George Mason University presented their annual Philippine Culture Night at the Avery Hall. Theme of this year;s presentation was Filipino courtship (Hating Gabi).
The story followed the cultural education of Tony, a Filipino-American trying to win the heart of his close friend, Marie. Learning the ways of his ancestors, Tony faces the inner struggles brought upon by maturity, commitment, and tradition. Photo shows the cast and
members that worked behind the scenes for GMU FCA’s Philippine Culture Night, In the front are the three writers and directors of the show (from left to right) Andrew Flores, Bernard Madayag, and Keisha Padello. (Photo credit: NamPhuong Thai)
Outgoing Philippine Defense Attache to Washington, D.C, Cesar B. Yano, (6th from left), was feted with a going away party last April 23, at the residence of Bill and Bing Branigin in Reston, VA. Among those toasting to the General are Tito Alpapara, Mitzi Pickard, Mel Reyes, Henry Balagtas, Col. Arnel Duco, Air Force Attache; Capt. Alison Aguilar, Naval Attache; Al Santoli, Elvi and Jon Melegrito, Mya Talavera, Mimi and Lito Katigbak, and other guests. (Bing Cardenas Branigin)
The UPAA-DCMDVA, led by its president Dr. Albert Coo, Board Chairman Atty. Ramon A. P. Paterno, and Secretary Alma S. Conty hosted a despedida dinner for Team Philippines/UP Diliman Law Team, on April 7, 2013, at the Vinh Kee Restaurant in Falls Church, Va. Team Philippines are shown, seated from left: Senior Coach Atty. Harry Roque, Margie Lim (Team Captain), Crisela Bernardino, Peterson Poon, Gil Anthony Aquino, Ana Rodriguez, Arienne Ferrer, and Coach Atty. Maricel Seno. The Team reached the Advance Round, after a 3-1 winning record in the mandatory Preliminary Round. Out of the more than 600 teams from 80 countries that competed in the 2013 Phillip Jessup Moot Court Competition in International Law, 118 teams--- all winners in their national and regional rounds--- competed in the international rounds in Washington, D.C. from April 1-6, 2013. Team Philippines lost to Jamaica in the Run-Off Rounds, unable to reach the Octaﬁnals Round. For the right to represent the Philippines, the UP Law Team won over Ateneo Law School and 7 other law schools. Standing L-R: 2 children and wife of Coach Roque, Fred Vinuya, Dr. Alberto Coo, Spunky Policarpio, Liza Virata-Theimer, Alma S. Conty, , Bobby Manasan, Attys. Olma Inocentes, Jun-Jun Villareal, Miriam Riedmiller, and Ramon A. P. Paterno. The UPAA-DCMDVA also hosted a welcome dinner for the team on April 2, 2013 at the Hokkaido Restaurant, Falls Church, Va. (Caption and photo by Atty. Ramon A. P. Paterno).
18 U.S. News Briefs
WASHINGTON D.C. -The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) published the long-awaited agency regulation that will automate Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Form. The change will be implemented at air and sea ports of entry in a phased approach beginning April 30. Form I-94 provides international visitors evidence they have been lawfully admitted to the U.S. which is necessary to verify alien registration, immigration status, and employment authorization. The automation means that affected visitors will no longer need to ﬁll out a paper form when arriving to the U.S. by air or sea, streamlining the admissions process for individuals lawfully visiting the United States and reducing costs. When the new system is launched, most foreign travelers entering by air or sea will receive a stamp in their passport rather than a paper I-94 card, and the immigration category and period of stay will be recorded immediately in CBP’s database. The database will also contain the foreign national’s basic biographic, passport and visa information, collected from the advance passenger manifests that air and sea carriers transmit to CBP before departure for the United States. term was considered offensive. “I used a term that was commonly used during my days growing up on a farm in Central California,” Young said in a statement. “I know that this term is not used in the same way nowadays and I meant no disrespect.” Boehner issued a statement saying there was “no excuse,” for the comments. “Congressman Young’s remarks were offensive and beneath the dignity of the ofﬁce he holds. I don’t care why he said it - there’s no excuse,” Boehner said in a statement. food truck ,” when it opened in 2010. The book will be released on May 7 by Tuttle Publishing, according to Amazon.com.
April 30, 2013
New US arrival forms I-94 start April 30
sinan,” Kern said.
■ Bataan Death March held at Phoenixville
PHOENIXVILLE - For Dale Yeager, holding a ceremony remembering the Bataan Death March goes far beyond the fact that he teaches Filipino culture and Kali martial arts. Purita Acosta, President of the VFW Ladies Auxiliary speaks at a ceremony Thursday night commemorating the Bataan Death March during World War II. Looking on is Dale Yeager who hosted the ceremony. Journal Register News Service. Yeager’s uncle was a prisoner of war after the U.S. garrison in the Philippines surrendered April 9, 1942. Lawerence Jackson was one of the men put on the 80-mile death march, but he never reached Camp O’Donnell. “He was cut apart by samurai swords,” Yeager said. Between 600 and 650 other Americans and 5,000 Filipinos were killed on the march that Yeager commemorated for the second year at his Kuntao martial arts studio in Franklin Commons.
■ Book on fall of PH Supreme Court
SAN FRANCISCO - The Philippine Consulate General partnered with the Philippine American Writers and Aritsts (PAWA) and the Literacy Initiatives International Foundation (LIIF) for the launch of Marites Daguilan-Vitug’s latest book, “Hour Before Dawn: The Fall and Uncertain Rise of the Philippine Supreme Court” on April 11 at the Philippine Center in San Francisco. The multiawarded Vitug is one of the Philippines’ most accomplished and respected investigative journalists. She has written for international publications and now serves as editor-at-large of online news site rappler.com and president of the Journalism for Nation Building Foundation. The book is about what might have been the darkest hour of the Philippine Supreme Court, when its integrity was compromised by the actions of its Chief Justice, who was subsequently impeached, and by a series of highly irregular reversals of its own rulings.
Kabang gets ready to go home to Zamboanga. a speeding motorcycle, losing her snout and upper jaw in the process. After beating cancer last year, she is now on the road to full recovery and would soon be sent home from the University of California-Davis (UC-Davis) where she had undergone maxillofacial surgery on March 27. During the ﬁve-hour surgery undertaken by UC-Davis doctors Boaz Arzi, Frank Verstraete, Bill Culp and Amy Fulton, Kabang’s wound from the loss of her upper snout was closed “with skin ﬂaps pulled from the top and sides of her head.” The UCDavis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (VMTH) said Culp also “reconstructed (Kabang’s) nasal openings and inserted stents in those passages to allow for two permanent new nostrils to form.”
■ FilAms in Hawaii get $450,000 for solar panels
HAWAII - Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie on April 22 presented a $450,000 check to The Filipino Community Center, Inc. (FilCom), to fund a new photovoltaic (PV) system in the organization’s community center located in Waipahu, Hawaii. “This project will produce electricity for the FilCom Center that will substantially reduce its electric bills and move our community toward energy independence,” said Gov. Abercrombie. “The FilCom Center will use the savings to expand its services while perpetuating the Filipino heritage within the larger multicultural community in Hawaii.” The PV system is made up of solar panels that provide renewable solar power-generated electricity. The system is being funded through a state capital improvement grant, which the Hawaii Legislature appropriated for last year.
■ H-IB visa petitions ﬁlled up in 1 week
WASHINGTON -For the ﬁrst time since 2008, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has reached the statutory H-1B cap of 65,000 for ﬁscal year (FY) 2014 within the ﬁrst week of the ﬁling period. USCIS has also received more than 20,000 H-1B petitions ﬁled on behalf of persons exempt from the cap under the advanced degree exemption. USCIS received approximately 124,000 H-1B petitions during the ﬁling period, including petitions ﬁled for the advanced degree exemption. On April 7, 2013, USCIS used a computer-generated random selection process (commonly known as a “lottery”) to select a sufﬁcient number of petitions needed to meet the caps of 65,000 for the general category and 20,000 under the advanced degree exemption limit. For cap-subject petitions not randomly selected, USCIS will reject and return the petition with ﬁling fees, unless it is found to be a duplicate ﬁling.
■ Boehner hits Alaska solon’s racist remarks
WASHINGTON - House Speaker John Boehner on April 5 condemned a reference to
■ FilAm trader speaks at Pangasinan Day
LINGAYEN, Pangasinan - Filipino-American trader and social worker Alma Quintans-
■ Good news for Hillary supporters
WASHINGTON D.C. - A group has already ofﬁcially launched a super PAC for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the 2016 presidential race. Since its formation earlier this year and its ofﬁcial launch at the beginning of the month, the Ready for Hillary PAC has already had an impressive track record. The group, which calls itself “the nation’s premier organization urging former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to run for president in 2016 and laying the groundwork of support for her potential candidacy,” has developed more than a whiff of legitimacy. According to organizers, ﬁnancial contributions -- more than 1,000 of them -- have been pouring in. Activists have gathered for boisterous pro-Hillary events outside two of the former secretary of state’s recent speaking appearances (in Washington, D.C., and New York). And Ready for Hillary has built a slick website and a fast-growing social media presence. Ready for Hillary has also amped up its credibility in a big way over the past two weeks with a series of high-proﬁle endorsements from three prominent Clinton backers: Democratic strategist James Carville, longtime Clinton conﬁdant Harold Ickes and former California congresswoman Ellen Tauscher.
■ FilAm cook releases Adobo Road book
LOS ANGELES - Marving Gapultos, a Filipino-American food blogger, is releasing a cookbook in the United States that
Alma Quintans-Kern Speaker John Boehner migrant workers made by fellow Republican Representative Don Young, calling the comments “offensive and beneath the dignity of the ofﬁce.” Young referred to migrant workers as “wetbacks” in a radio interview aired in his home state of Alaska earlier, but issued an apology late in the day after criticism. The term is considered a slur against illegal immigrants who crossed into the United States from Mexico. “My father had a ranch. We used to hire 50-60 wetbacks ... to pick tomatoes ... it takes two people to pick the same tomatoes now. It is all done by machine,” Young said in the interview. The lawmaker was speaking about the economy and technology. He later said he did not realize the Kern never thought that one day she would speak in the provincial capitol that her grandfather built almost a century ago. But on April 5, she addressed a big crowd led by the province’s ofﬁcials as guest of honor during the 433rd Agew na Pangasinan (Pangasinan Day) commemorative program in the capital Lingayen. “It was the best experience of my life,” said Kern, granddaughter of former Governors Daniel Maramba, who served from 1916 to 1922, and Pedro Quintans, who served for three months in 1928. Maramba built the capitol from 1916 to 1917. “I want you all to know that I come before you today as a true-blooded Pangasinense. Just like my grandfathers, I love Pangasinan and I’m a proud daughter of Panga-
Marving Gapultos includes nearly 100 recipes of Filipino dishes including adobo, sisig and sinigang. The book, entitled “The Adobo Road Cookbook: A Filipino Food JourneyFrom Food Blog, to Food Truck, and Beyond, <http://burntlumpiablog.com/>” is written by Marvin Gapultos, who writes the blog Burnt Lumpia and owned The Manila Machine, which was considered “Southern California’s ﬁrst-ever gourmet Filipino
■ Hero-dog ‘Kabang’ is going home to Zambo
CALIFORNIAKabang, the hero dog who delivered the daughter and a niece of her owners from what could have been a potentially fatal accident in December 2011, is set to come home. But the snout that she lost in her heroic deed cannot be restored. The Asong Pinoy (Aspin) saved 9-year-old Dina Bunggal and 3-year-old Princess Diansing from possible harm when she blocked the path of
April 30, 2013
‘Noli’ opera lures NYFilipino culture lovers
By Randy Gener
NEW YORK – Industrialist Loida Nicolas Lewis hosted a special dinner at her Fifth Avenue residence last month for leaders and advocates of the Filipino American community in the Northeastern U.S. who have pledged to do their part to invest funds and raise public awareness for the highly anticipated New York premiere of the “Noli” — a landmark opera based on the great novel by the Philippine national hero Dr. Jose Rizal. Conversations delved deep into the subject of how a classical music piece from the Philippines could garner global appreciation from opera aﬁcionados and Western centers of culture. The New York dinner also offered a unique opportunity for lead sponsors and potential investors to personally meet Bayani Mendoza de Leon, the son of Philippine National Artist for Music composer Felipe Padilla de Leon who wrote and completed the opera in 1950. “Lovers of Philippine culture would have heard of Rizal’s classic novel,” says Loida Lewis, the project’s lead producer. “When they hear the ‘Noli’ opera sung in the Filipino language, Filipino Americans everywhere will be curious and amazed that this masterpiece could be presented in New York.” As the guest of honor, Bayani de Leon told boyhood “Noli Me Tangere: The Opera” performs October 4–6, 2013 at the Sylvia and Danny
19 Advocates: Lobby, or it’s end for sister, brother visa petitions
Washington-savvy leader Irene Bueno urged Filipino Americans in an April 24 forum to lobby lawmakers not to elimiVida Benavides urged Filipino Americans to lobby their senators and representatives, and to use their numbers (“We are
Loida Nicolas Lewis is ﬂanked by M. Dapdap and Bayani Mendoza de Leon. stories about growing up with a legendary father whose original music compositions celebrated the deepest meanings of signiﬁcant events and symbols in Philippine history. He stated that his late father’s afﬁnity with Philippine folk culture was the foundation of a passionate Filipino nationalism, which he articulated through music. After dessert, the guests retired to the living room. Michael Dadap, music director of the “Noli” staging and Bayani’s childhood friend, entertained the guests by performing his own guitar arrangements of two kundiman songs written by Felipe de Leon. Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College. What’s at stake goes far beyond ensuring the success of this stage production. What ultimately matters, the dinner guests agreed, is the sustainability of Philippine arts and culture in an increasingly global landscape: Can we promote and sustain the arts and culture we have created? How do we U.S. Filipinos and Filipino Americans build, cultivate and engage passionate communities that will rally for arts and culture over materialism — for the perpetuation of Philippine art forms and musical literature that transcend language barriers?
Irene Bueno addressing the audience at the Romulo Hall of the Philippine embassy. nate the F4 sibling category – everywhere”) in ﬁghting for petitions for brothers and sisters. family reuniﬁcation. S. 744, the 844-page sweep“It is still a proposed legislation, Congress has not yet ing reform bill, was ﬁled last passed it,” she stressed, refer- April 17 by a bipartisan group of ring to the comprehensive immi- eight senators, the Gang of Eight. gration reform bill. “Mark-up It puts priority on merit-based petitions over the current familyin committees will take place based visas. in May, amendments can still Another Washington be introduced. Voting is not insider, who declined to be expected till June.” named, noted the elimination of Ms. Bueno is co-founder the sibling category was a necesand partner at Nueva Vista con- sary compromise to get the bill sulting ﬁrm. A veteran of legisla- passed. The bill faces a tough tive and policy battles, she was a hurdle because it addresses both former aide to Sen. Alan Crans- legal and illegal immigration. ton and former special assistant There are 11 million undocuto the President for domestic mented – those who entered the policy under the Clinton admin- country without proper docuistration. ments, and those who have overFormer APIAVote Chair stayed their visas.
April 30, 2013
NPA warns poll candidates; Guingona wife hurt in ambush
MANILA - Philippine communist rebels warned politicians April 22 tha they must seek their permission before campaigning in the insurgents’ strongholds following an ambush that wounded a town mayor and killed two of her aides. The New People’s Army (NPA) launched an attack with grenade launchers on a convoy carrying Ruth Guingona, the 78-year-old mayor of Gingoog and wife of former Vice President Teoﬁsto Guingona, on April 20, killing two of her aides and leaving her and two policemen escorts wounded. President Aquino III reacted and ordered the military to crush all NPA checkpoints throughout the country. Gingoog lies in a remote, mountainous area in the southern island of Mindanao where the rebel group has been ﬁghting the government since 1969. Jorge Madlos, a spokesman for the NPA, told AFP it would continue to man checkpoints to “impose revolutionary policies” rebel areas with armed escorts could touch off violence. “Our ﬁghters are calling politicians on the phone to inform them we are serious in implementing our policy,” Madlos said. “They are free to campaign in our areas, but they should ﬁrst coordinate with us.” The military has accused the communist guerrillas of extorting money from politicians in exchange for letting them campaign. The attack came less than a month before local elections in May, when more than 18,000 posts are at stake, from town mayors and governors to members of congress. In 2011, the military said the rebels earned at estimated 300 million pesos ($7.3 million) in illegal “revolutionary taxes” collected from individuals and businesses.
Despite PH economic boom, poverty still up
MANILA - Despite the economic boom and higher investment rating, the beneﬁts of growth are not trickling down to the poor, according to government statistics. President Aquino acknowledged this but said that in three years, the poverty level will go down. Economic growth over the past six years hardly made a dent in poverty incidence in the Philippines, as the percentage of Filipinos living below the poverty line remained practically the same between 2006 and 2012, ofﬁcial statistics showed. The poverty incidence stood at 27.9 percent in the ﬁrst semester of 2012, “practically unchanged” from the same period in 2009 (28.6 percent) and in 2006 (28.8 percent), the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) reported April 23. Unlike in previous poverty reports, the NSCB did not indicate the number of families and people who fell below the poverty line. Although the poverty incidence was practically unchanged in the past six years, the number of poor people was expected to be higher in 2012 because of the country’s growing population. Norio Usui, senior country economist for the Asian Development Bank, said the government must solve the problem of jobless growth if it hoped to reduce poverty. “I am not surprised at all. The beneﬁts of strong economic growth have not spilled over to the people because they still cannot ﬁnd a job, he told Agence France-Presse in a telephone interview. He said the Philippines’ economic model depended on consumption, strong remittances from its large overseas workforce and the business process outsourcing industry, which employs college graduates. However, the country, with its weak industrial base, has stood out in the region, he added.
Ruth Guingona on candidates for the May 13 local elections. “They should secure permission and coordinate with our local forces when entering our area, and they should also not have armed escorts,” he added. Madlos said Saturday’s ambush was unfortunate, but stressed that Guingona, a member of President Benigno Aquino’s ruling party, had been previously warned that entering
IT billionaire’s wife is a Filipina
MANILA, Philippines Kim Dotcom, the controversial founder of ﬁle-sharing website Megaupload, over the weekend launched a new cyberlocker called Mega.co.nz with much publicity. Dotcom, who is ﬁghting extradition to the US on charges of internet piracy, says the new site allows users to control who can access uploaded ﬁles. This would mean that Mega would not have access to the ﬁles, which could strip them of any possible liability for enabling users to distribute pirated content. Despite his legal problems, the multimillionaire has continued to be supported by his Filipina wife Mona. The pretty Filipina is an ex-model who has been married to Dotcom for several years now. On her Twitter account (@ MonaDotcom), she tweeted about the Mega launch and her husband’s birthday. “Happy Birthday to the BEST, most loving and sweet husband in the world!!! @KimDotcom So proud of you! I will always be your no.1 fan,” she said. her family. One photo shows the Filipina with a white Birkin bag. According to various news reports, Kim met Mona Verga in the Philippines in November 2007. They married in July 2009, a day after her 21st birthday They now have ﬁve children, including twin baby girls. The Dotcom family lives in an estate just outside of Auckland, which was where Kim was arrested last year. New Zealand’s elite special tactics forces arrived by helicopter on the mansion’s grounds to arrest him on copyright charges. During the raid, the police seized numerous items. The New Zealand Herald reported last May 2012 that Mona applied with the court for the return of her personal belongings, including a G55 Mercedes, Christian Colin sculptures, a Chanel diamond wristwatch and a Rolex Oyster Perpetual watch. She said these were gifts from her husband.
Front page photo in Manila Mail
Mona Dotcom, wife of Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom, listens as he launches the new ﬁle sharing site “Mega” in Auckland January 20, 2013. (Photo by Nigel Marple, Reuters) Mona is also active on Instagram, where she posts photos of
El Shaddai endorses 6 Senate bets
MANILA - Retired El Shaddai leader Mike Velarde has endorsed six pro-life senatorial candidates after a prayer rally April 13, 2013. Endorsed were Rep. JV Ejercito, Sen. Antonio Trillanes, Sen. Gringo Honasan, Cynthia Villar, Sen. Koko Pimentel, and Rep. Mitos Magsaysay. Bacani, El Shaddai’s spiritual director, cited the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines which states that lay people in responsible position are urged to get elected those who are worthy candidates. “That’s endorsement. They should work to get elected those candidates they deem worthy,” he said in an interview after presiding a Mass for El Shaddai and other members of the White Vote Movement in Paranaque, on April 13. The endorsement comes after Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas came out with a pastoral letter, wherein he said that bishops, priests, and lay people should not endorse candidates since they will just come out as losers even if their candidates win in the elections. Instead, the Lingayen-Dagupan archbishop said the Catholic Church must be contented with playing its role as conscience, mother, and teacher of the faithful in going about the conduct of elections.
The Manila Mail published on page 1 (April 15, 2013) the picture taken by volunteer National Editor Bing C. Branigin of a group carrying the Philippine and US ﬂags during the immigration rally on Capitol Hill early this month. The editor picked the picture out of several photos that Ms Branigin forwarded to the desk. Because of the policy of making captions in the front page as brief as possible, the editor failed to give credit to the group that carried the ﬂags. That group was the Migrant Heritage Commission. Atty. Arnedo Valera, coexecutive director of MHC, sent an email to the editor-inchief calling his attention to the omission. He said “the picture was taken from our group, the Migrant Heritage Commission, which carried the placards “Comprehensive Immigration Reform Now and Now” and “Legalization and Full Rights for All Immigrants,” as well
as the Philippine and US ﬂags. The placards in your banner headline photos are some of our calls for a Comprehensive Immigration Reform.” “As part of media SOP, we deserve and would like to be acknowledged in the photo caption, at least, and be quoted in the story because we were the group who went to the rally and which Ms. Branigin had taken some pictures of. “In fact, MHC was the biggest contingent of the Fil-Am community in the April 10 rally in solidarity with other immigrant groups, the biggest of which was the Latino contingent.” In response, the editor-inchief said: “Due to deadline constraints, we have failed to contact Ms Branigin for more information about the picture. We apologize to Atty. Valera and the Migrant Heritage Commission for the unintended omission.”
April 30, 2013
Gregorio del Pilar will be ﬁtted with similar new cannons. A complement of 88 Filipino ofﬁcers and crew under the command of Capt. Ernesto Baldovino have been living aboard the Alcaraz while it has been undergoing repairs to familiarize themselves with all the technical, mechanical and computerized aspects of the ship. They will be joined by a six-member technical working group including training evaluation experts scheduled to arrive from Manila in May to give the vessel and crew the ﬁnal go ahead to cross the Paciﬁc to its new home in the Philippines. Alano told the Manila Mail in an interview that the prestige of the Philippine Navy was on the rise because of the acquisition of new ﬁrepower and the due recognition it was receiving from the government and the public. Moral was high, more PMA graduates were opting for naval careers and the service was attracting more interest from recruits with technical and computer skills, he said. The Philippines last year expressed an interest in acquiring a third Hamilton class ship but is not now actively pursuing it. Alano said given the current exigencies to create a credible maritime defense force interest has shifted to purchasing new vessels and helicopters to extend the range of the these vessels. He said the Philippines was looking at proposals from several countries for two new 2000ton frigates with full surface and anti-air and anti-submarine capabilities. It was also interested in acquiring strategic sea-lift vessels to give the navy the capability to transport heavy cargo and large numbers of troops.
PH Navy chief slams China sea maneuvers
By Lito Katigbak
WASHINGTON - Philippine Navy chief Vice Admiral Jose Luis Alano said Chinese naval maneuvers in the South China Sea and use of nonmilitary maritime vessels way beyond its coastlines to advance sovereignty claims to most of the sea were both “aggressive and excessive.” Alano who was appointed Flag Ofﬁcer in Command of the Philippine Navy last December met with Admiral Jonathan Greenert, Chiefof US Naval Operations, at the Pentagon on Thursday to discuss the security situation in the South China Sea and navy-to-navy issues. News reports from China said the PLA Navy dispatched a large contingent of ships to circumnavigate the South China Sea last month, a maneuver likened to marking Chinese territory. Beijing’s claim to the South China Sea is based on its socalled nine-dash map which shows a U-shaped area encompassing most of the sea including territories claimed by the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan. From Washington DC Alano will travel to North Charleston, South Carolina to inspect the second of two Coast Guard cutters that the Philippines has acquired from the US. The 378-foot Hamilton-class vessel Dallas rechristened BRP Ramon Alcaraz, is in the ﬁnal stages of refurbishing and reﬁtting and will soon join the BRP Gregorio del Pilar, the ﬁrst US Coast Guard cutter acquired by Manila in 2011 for duty in the West Philippine Sea. Alcaraz was ofﬁcially handed over to the Philippines in
Navy chief Vice Admiral Jose Luis Alano May 2012 and should have been operating in Philippine waters by now. But unexpected technical problems and upgrades on the ship have caused some delays and Alano said he expected the Alcaraz to set sail for the Philippines around the third week of June. He said Alcaraz has been ﬁtted with two new secondary guns -- fully automated Mk 38 25mm bushmaster cannons -and a modern radar system. The
PH-MILF talks hit stalemate?
The peace negotiations between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) have encountered a rough patch and the chief government negotiator Miriam Coronel is trying to hide it in a thicket of double talk, according to a story in the Philippine Daily Tribune. “It was rigmarole at its best as Coronel said ‘we are where the process has never been before. Never before had the negotiations between the government and the MILF come to the stage of actually deﬁning and listing down powers; of actually identifying sources of funds and revenues for the new political entity that we are creating. Never before has the transformation of an armed group been discussed, let alone imagined in detail.” The Tribune said that sifting through Coronel’s gobbledygook, the reality springs out that the negotiations have encountered problems on the powersharing, wealth-sharing annexes of the Framework Agreement on Bangsamoro (FAB), along with the disarmament schedule for the MILF forces. The Tribune continued: It was the three most contentious portion of the peace agreement. Earlier the MILF stated that a 75-25 wealth sharing equation was a done deal but it seems the government now is balking at the ﬁgure. The sharing provision is a complete absurdity and if there should be any sharing in the proposed Bangsamoro agreement, it should be aligned or near to what is provided under the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) Act which is a little above 35 percent. The MILF also wants greater control on the Bangsamoro substate than what has been provided for under the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). It is puzzling why the Noynoy government is bending over backwards to please the MILF by giving in to its demands supposedly in exchange for peace, which will not be had anyway, as other Muslim groups have been shut off from these peace talks and agreements. Disarmament also has become a sticky issue since the MILF wants that to be done only after it has secured the creation of the Bangsamoro state and in full control of the sub-state. Coronel said the MILF and the government agreed to suspend the talks until after the May 10 elections which it seems was not even an agreement.
New venue for Katipunan festival
The Katipunan Philippine American Assoc of Md. Inc, a 501 c3 organization, has been holding the Philippine Festival in the Baltimore/Towson Maryland area for 31 years, as a way of bringing the community together in a manner that fosters understanding among each other, and to the community at large. It is done through sharing of our foods, culture, and hospitality in a festival atmosphere. This year, a new venue of the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium Maryland, affords a new level of comfort and climate control (air conditioning!) while at the same time, offers mainstream visibility and accessibility to the larger American community to come join the Filipino-American community in celebrating and sharing who the Filipinos are. All Filipino organizations are invited to attend and to participate in this sharing, which takes place on the whole day of Sunday June 2, 2013 Cultural performances are especially encouraged, as well as organizations wishing to set- up cultural displays. Please contact the Katipunan at: katipunanmd@gmail. com and visit their website KatipunanMd.org or: Luis Florendo at 443-812-3241 or Helen Sadorra at 410-668-0178.
US Senate debates... from page 1
rally in Congress to denounce the elimination of brothers and sisters from the bill and other issues. Analyzing the bill, CILG said 18 months after the enactment of the law, immigrant visas for foreign brothers and sisters of US citizens, and married children over 30 yers of age will be eliminated. But on this date, deriative beneﬁciaries (spouses and children) will be exempt from the annual visa numerical limits thus removing the backlog of approved applications. The bill creates a path to citizenship to the 11 million or so people who are currently in the U.S. without authorization. The bill creates a Registered Provisional Immigrant (RPI) status. To obtain an RPI status, a foreign national must have been in the US as of December 31, 2011 with continuous physical presence in the US, must pay a $500 penalty (except Dream Act youth), pay taxes and application fees (to be determined). Ineligibility grounds include: conviction for aggravated felony; conviction of felony; conviction of three or more misdemeanors; conviction of an offense under foreign law; unlawfully voting; and otherwise inadmissible due to health, security or moral grounds. Immigrants who are granted RPI status and their spouses/ children will obtain work and travel authorization. The RPI status will be for a 10-year term, with the possibility of extension. After an immigrant has been in RPI status for 10 years they can adjust to a permanent status under the merit-based system (described above) and assuming all existing immigrant visa backlogs have been cleared and after paying a $1,000 ﬁne (and only after the borders have been secured, see below). CILG has emphasized that the bill is just a legislative proposal and not yet a law. The bill will substantially revise the current family- and employment-based immigrant visa (green card) system. It will aim to eliminate the current backlog in most of the immigrant visa categories and then, in ﬁve years, introduce a merit-based immigrant visa. Out of the four family-based preference categories (which have annual limit of 480,000), two will be eliminated and the eligibility for the rest will be revised. Under the bill, there will be two family-based categories and they will cover unmarried adult children; married adult children who ﬁle before age 31, and unmarried adult children of lawful permanent residents. The V visa will be expanded to allow individuals with approved family petition to reside in the US and other family members to visit the US for up to 60 days per year. The bill removes immigrant visas for siblings of U.S. citizens (in 18 months after the bill is enacted) and amends the deﬁnition of “immediate relative” to include a child or spouse of an alien admitted for lawful permanent residence. Also, the existing category for married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens is amended to include only sons and daughters who are under 31 years of age. The bill will exempt the annual numerical limitations on the following categories: derivative beneﬁciaries (spouses/ children) of employment-based immigrants; aliens of extraordinary ability, outstanding professors/researchers; multinational executives and managers; Ph.D. degree holders in any ﬁeld; and certain physicians. Currently, all of these categories are counted under the annual numerical limits and, as a result, are slowing down the approval of the immigrant visas for everyone else. Backlogs will also be removed for the employment visa program because they will also be exempt from the annual visa numerical limits. Also, exempt will be extraordinary ability, outstanding professors/ researchers, multinational executives/managers, Ph.D. holders and certain physicians. Startup visas (green card) will be created for entrepreneurs who seek to emigrate to the U.S. to start their own company. After ﬁve years, a new merit-based visa (green card) will be created and would allocate green cards based on points awarded on the basis of education, employment, length of residence in the US and other factors. A quota of 120,000 visas will be available per year, with annual adjustments. The existing H-IB visa cap will double to 110,000 with the possibility of raising the cap up to 180,000 per year. However, it speciﬁes increases in minimum salaries and fees to be paid by employers. Employers are limited on how many H-IB they can have. The minimum H-1B salary will increase and the fees paid by H-1B employers will be increased. Employers will see limits on how many H-1B workers they can have. The bill also provides for a Guest Worker Program. Establishes a new visa program for 20,000 foreigners in low-skilled jobs starting in 2015. The number of visas increases to 75,000 in 2019. A new federal agency will analyze employment cent of the U.S. population, more than 17 million people and those numbers are growing. Their ancestral roots represent more than 50 percent of the world, extending from East Asia to Southeast Asia, and from South Asia to the Paciﬁc Islands and Polynesia. The exhibition will next open at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles in September, before continuing on a 13-city national tour. With this exhibition, the Smithsonian celebrates Asian Paciﬁc American history across a multitude of diverse cultures and explores how Asian Paciﬁc Americans have shaped and been shaped by the course of the nation’s history. “I Want the Wide American Earth” tells the rich and complex stories of the very ﬁrst Asian immigrants, including their participation in key moments in American history: Asian immigrants panned
April 30, 2013
date to make adjustments on the cap with a maximum of 200,000 annually. Construction companies will be limited to no more than 15,000 per year. The Diversity Visa (Green Card) Lottery will be eliminated in 2015. US companies must implement the E-Verify employment uthorization system which ensures that workers are legal residents within ﬁve years. All non-citizens will be required to show “biometric work authorization card” or “biometric green card.” A new entry/exit tracking system will be implemented at ports to better track foreign visitors who overstay their visas. The bill will substantially revise the current family- and employment-based immigrant visa (green card) system. It will aim to eliminate the current backlog in most of the immigrant visa categories and then, in ﬁve years, introduce a merit-based immigrant visa. Forty percent of the employment-based immigrant visas will be allocatedto what are now considered to be EB-2 workers with the addition of recent (the ﬁve years before petition is ﬁled) U.S. master’s degree holders in a STEM ﬁeld. Additionally, an increased allocation (forty percent) of the annual employment-based limit will be allocated to skilled workers, professionals and other professionals. The limit to immigrant visas for special immigrants will be ten percent and visas for those who foster employment creation (entrepreneurs/job creators) will also be limited to ten percent. The bill would also create a startup visa for foreign entrepreneurs who seek to emigrate to the U.S. to start their own companies (and presumably create jobs). in the Gold Rush, hammered ties in the Transcontinental Railroad, fought on both sides in the Civil War and helped build the nation’s agricultural system. Through the decades, Asian immigrants struggled against legal exclusion, civil rights violations and unlawful detention, such as the 120,000 Japanese who were interred during World War II. Since the 1960s, vibrant new communities, pan-Asian, Paciﬁc Islander and cross-cultural in make-up, have blossomed. The banner exhibition is complemented by an e-book, which is a 14-page illustrated adaption of the exhibition. Produced in collaboration with SI Universe Media, creators of the ﬁrst-ever Asian Paciﬁc American comics anthology, the e-book will tell the Asian Paciﬁc American story in graphic narrative, featuring work by seven Asian Paciﬁc American comic artists. The e-book is free to downUntil the merit-based program starts (ﬁve years after enactment), the government will allocate the visa numbers to employment-based applicants who have been pending for more than three years, family-based petitions ﬁled prior to enactment and pending for more than ﬁve years, long-term immigrants (those who have been in the US for 10 years). In other words, the government will use these numbers to decrease the current backlog in the employment and family immigrant visa categories. H-1B Visa Reformed Cap and Fees Will Increase; H-4 Spouses May Work; Additional Requirements on H-1B Employers. The H-1 work visa program will be doubled from 65,000 to 110,000 per year, with the U.S. master’s cap amended to include only U.S. master’s degree holders in STEM ﬁelds and with the cap for such holders increased to 25,000 per year. The H-1B cap will be adjusted annually, depending on demand and can go as high as 180,000 per year (but with maximum annual adjustment of 10,000). The bill would create dual intent for F-1 students who apply to come to the U.S. to study in a bachelor’s (or higher) level program. This should make it easier for many F-1 students to obtain a visa stamp at the U.S. Consulate as a substantial number of F-1 visas are being denied due to some immigrant intent. The bill proposed a new guest worker program which would be a “W” visa. The W visa holder will be able to come to the US to perform services or labor for a “registered” employer in a “registered” position. Spouses and children would be able to accompany the worker and would be given work authorization. load and viewable on all tablet devices and e-readers. The exhibit also features a mobile tour app, which includes interviews with authors Maxine Hong Kingston and Monique Truong; U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta; Smithsonian Asian Paciﬁc American Center director Konrad Ng; activist Deepa Iyer; and U.S. retired major general Antonio Taguba. A set of educational posters based on the exhibition will be distributed to schools and other learning and cultural institutions and organizations to serve as a resource for learning Asian Paciﬁc American history and culture. Curated by Lawrence-Ming Davis, Smithsonian Asian Paciﬁc American Center Initiative coordinator, “I Want the Wide American Earth” is a moving, dramatic and evocative narrative of Asian Paciﬁc American history and culture.
Smithsonian opens APA... from page 1
innovators of spoken word and theater, will blend storytelling and slam poetry in live performances on stage. Sponsors are the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Asian Paciﬁc American Center, Smithsonian Asian Paciﬁc American Heritage Committee, Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies, Smithsonian Heritage Months Steering Committee, and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden’s ARTLAB. The Smithsonian celebrates Asian Paciﬁc American history across a multitude of diverse cultures and explores how Asian Paciﬁc Americans have shaped and been shaped by the course of our nation’s history. Rich with compelling stories and images, this 30-banner exhibition takes a sweeping look at this history, from the very ﬁrst Asian immigrants centuries ago to the complex challenges facing Asian Paciﬁc American communities today. The theme of this year’s celebration is Carlos Bulosan’s “I Want the Wide American Earth: An Asian Paciﬁc American Story”. Taking Bulosan’s poem as inspiration, this exhibition tells the stories of the brave, the proud builders and workers of Asian Paciﬁc America. The exhibition will then travel to museums and cultural institutions across the country. “ Want the Wide American Earth” exhibition was made possible by a generous grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation and is a collaborative initiative with the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES). Asian and Paciﬁc Americans make up more than 5 per-
April 30, 2013
So, if the elections were held today, the following senatorial bets will make it to the winners’ circle: Loren Legarda, Chiz Escudero, Alan Cayetano, Nancy Binay, Cynthia Villar, Grace Poe, Koko Pimentel, Sonny Trillanes, Bam Aquino, JV Ejercito, Sonny Angara, and Gringo Honasan. Will the Observer vote for these people? First of all, I don’t vote for the full slate of candidates. I usually don’t vote for the sure winners because they don’t need my vote anymore (this category includes Legara, Escudero and Cayetano who will be sure winners). And, because I usually like only a small number of the candidates. So, who will I vote for? While I’m not telling people who to vote for, I will tell who I will vote for and why. As I said, I will not vote for the sure winners anymore. I will vote for: Ramon Magsaysay Jr., not only because he’s the son of a pro-poor former president, but also because he’s squeaky-clean, without any scandal attached to his name. Jamby Madrigal who, even though she comes from one the wealthiest families in the country, is propoor. Both Magsaysay and Madrigal are former senators. And, if I’m still in the mood on election day, I will vote for
Aquino wants 12-0... from page 1
ing” his presidential duties in favor of politicking. He wants doggedly to get a clear majority in the senate, the better to push his reform agenda. But it’s going to be a hard push. He has good candidates on the senatorial slate, but the opposition too has some popular, if not exactly good, bets. The surveys currently give the president’s slate a winning margin of nine likely winners to the opposition’s three. Twelve senatorial seats are being contested (the full Senate consists of 24 members, elected in batches of 12). As you’re reading this, the campaign will be on the homestretch (or maybe over, if you’re late in picking up this paper), and in a couple of weeks we shall know the winners. The campaign has been spirited as usual, but the names and faces of the candidates are mostly familiar mug shots, the usual suspects, as the quip goes. This is what’s sad about Philippine politics -- elections and government are dominated by the same people, the same families and the same cliques. While public service and governance need new blood, new aspirants to positions are unable to squeeze themselves into the fray, mainly for lack of money to ﬁnance their campaigns and because of the stranglehold by traditional politicians of the system. New hopefuls don’t even get to the starting gate because of the prohibitive cost of running for ofﬁce and the viselike grip of political warlords on the electoral process. In the May 13 elections, a small number of new faces are vying to be senators. But their chances of winning are between zero and nil. Yes, that’s how tough it is to get a foot into the door of Philippine politics. The dominance of traditional politicians is so powerful that no newcomers are welcome or tolerated. The last Observer column gave you the senatorial candidates doing well in the surveys. The same people remain in basically the same survey positions at this writing. But surveys are just indicators of people’s preferences taken as a snap shot. Surveys, even though they are more and more scientiﬁc and reliable, have been known to err in past elections. Candidates who hadn’t been doing well in the surveys eventually came out as winners. So far, though, no candidate who had been high in the surveys failed to win.
Ona asks FilAm docs... from page 1
pitals. Under this program, foreign-based organizations can partner with local public hospitals drawn up by DoH. This collaboration will be covered by a Memorandum of Agreement, which shall include commitments, as well as the roles and responsibilities of the concerned stakeholders. After touching brieﬂy on the complaints of doctors and community leaders who undertake missions to the Philippines, Dr. Ona painted a rosy picture of the state of health case system in the country. Dr. Ona during his speech also talked brieﬂy about ways to ease the problems on medical donations. The proposed outline for the adopt-a-hospital program was also reportedly discussed in Chicago. Dr. Hernan Reyes, a former president of the Society of Philippine Surgeons in America, said This is deﬁnitely a worthwhile project and I hope many more of our FilAm physician colleagues including FilAm leaders will support these programs, Dr. Johnny Montero agreed, “The meeting with Dr. Ona was fruitful. It was good that he was here to assure us that the problems we encounter when we donate things or do mission work are being addressed.” He said that healthcare reform in the Philippines “is actively ongoing for the past three years now and hopefully we can give our very poor Filipino families the kind of care that ordinarily would only be available to some.” Citing statistics, Dr. Ona said there are now roughly 25 million Filipinos covered by the universal health care systemPhil health care out of a population of more than 90 million. But the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), which prepares regular “country score cards”, noted that health expenditures in the Philippines represented only about a third of the median, and there were also gaps in spending for children’s health and immunization rates. Dr. Ona said the controversial Reproductive Health Law which has been suspended temporarily by the Supreme Court, represents signiﬁcant progress especially for the Aquino administration. Dr. Montero, founder and president of the Montero Medical Mission, said his group has already adopted a hospital in Surigao del Sur. He said adopt-a-hospital Angeles, Honolulu and Agana also expressed their deepest sympathy and solidarity with the victims of the explosions in a statement. There are 10,577 Filipinos in Massachusetts, many of them working in the medical and health care industries. The city with the largest Filipino American population is Boston, with more than a thousand Filipinos, followed by Quincy, Cambridge and Randolph. Most of the Filipino nurses were at their posts in the Boston hospitals to assist in treating the wounded that ﬂowed in. Recalling the fateful day, Eden said she woke up with an achy body and her sinusitis acting up. Still, she knew she had to show up, because she promised the marathon organizers. She took two pain relievers and went to her assigned spot at Copley Square. “I was helping one of the runners who was shivering (from the cold) when I heard the explosion, then another explosion. I said to myself, ˜Oh my God.” I continued what I was doing, as our team leader said we had to stay until we found out what was going on. They told us to stay calm, although we knew what happened when the ambulances and police cars passed by in our street,” Eden said.
Boston: Sigh of Relief... from page 1
“So do you really feel much safer and secure now?” I asked. “Well, there is still a lot of improvement that needs to be done, security wise, but people can live their lives again,” Felina says in quite a conﬁdent tone. Others say they are able to walk the streets again, dining out and enjoying out what the city has to offer, and now with a deeper respect for law enforcement people. “Its about sending a message to the world, that we have the capability to secure our grounds against terrorists, and take care of our citizens.” ___________ WASHINGTON D.C. - Filipino American nurses, runners and some spectators were in the tragic Boston Marathon April 15 when it was marred by two bomb explosions that killed 3 and wounded more than 150. The nurses, who were posted along the way to aid any marathon runner that needed medical attention ended up helping the scores who were wounded by the blasts. Some of the 10 FilAm runners had already completed their run while others were still along the way when the twin bomb explosions occurred. One of the Filipinos who participated in the Marathon immediately assured the rest that she was back in the hotel when the blast hit near the ﬁnish line. Filipino American Maria Sobrepena from New York did not reach the ﬁnish line because of asthma. She returned to her hotel room and texted her friends that she was okay. Sobrepena posted on her Facebook wall: “Just got back to my hotel room. Was close to the ﬁnish when I heard the two explosions and got stopped moving forward by the police. I feel quite lucky and blessed that my asthma held me back today from my usual faster pace. Thank you to all for your concern and thoughts. I am keeping those hurt in the explosion in my prayers.” Fellow marathoner Mia Fernandez described Susan as “athletic” who has “been running all her life.” The Philippine Consulate in New York reported that there were no reports of Filipino casualties in the bombings. It was only the Philippine ﬂag that was ﬂying with ﬂags from other countries signifying their participation was toppled when police and ﬁrst responders tore down the fence holding them to reach the wounded bystanders in the ﬁrst blast. The consulate said all Filipinos who participated have been accounted for. The Boston Marathon website listed 10 Filipinos as registered for the event. They are identiﬁed as: Arnie Aguila, 36; Amanda Carpo, 38; Leila Carpo,
Volunteer Filipino American nurses with wheelchairs at route of Boston marathon. 44; and Noel Colina, 53, all from California; Richelle Embree, 37, Massachusetts; Arland Macasieb, 37, New Jersey; Ricardo Mansueta, 32, Ontario; Rolan Ocampo, 53, New York; Jose Martin Paiso, 50, Virginia; and Angielyn San Juan, 25, Illinois. Sobrepena is not in the list. A U.S. citizen, she may have not registered as a U.S. runner. Ocampo wrote on his FB wall: “prayers for all of the survivors of the explosion. one of the two victims who died in the explosion.” “May their souls rest in peace.” But three people of Filipino descent were within a few feet of each other and the two explosions that killed three people and injured 176 others at Copley Square. They were within earshot of the deafening sound of the explosions. And they all saw the smoke that engulfed the area like a war zone. Maria Eden Gianan, a medical volunteer at the marathon, is the president of the Philippine Nursing Association of New England; Hanah Natalio-Fadrigalan, 25, is a production assistant at NBC Universal and freelance photographer; and Jessica Bolandrina, 21, is a journalism student at Northeastern University and one of the ofﬁcial marathon photographers. They were already in their posts when the bombings happened. Each of them had a riveting story to tell, but they were one in saying they were caught by surprise, shock, sadness and anger over the incident on Patriots’ Day. The Philippine Embassy and Consulates General in New York, Chicago, Francisco, Los
April 30, 2013
Bb. Pilipinas’ 50th year
The Binibining Pilipinas pageant is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year as the most prestigious pageant in the Philippines. In the recently concluded televised ceremony two nights ago, the show was more elaborate than previous ones. Host Martin Nievera opened the show belting out the pageant’s theme song. Then the former Binibining Pilipinas winners from 1964 to present all came out onstage including Miss Universe 1969 Gloria Diaz. Miss Universe 1973 Margie Moran was conspicuously absent though. Martin was joined by cohost, the lovely Dawn Zulueta, with additional hosting duties by Miss Universe-Philippines respectively, Venus Raj and Shamcey Supsup. Arielle Arida, a 24-yearold from Laguna, was crowned Binibining Pilipinas-Universe. She will be the country’s representative to the Miss Universe Pageant. Meanwhile, Bea Rose Santiago, 23 from Masbate, was named Binibining Pilipinas-International, while Joana Miranda of Nueva Ecija, was crowned Bb. Pilipinas-Tourism. Pia Wurtzbach, 23, who is a member of Abs-CBN’s Star Magic was named 1st ruuner-up. ***
Dolphy monument on Roxas Blvd. unveiled
The monument of late Comedy King Dolphy, built in front of the Museo Pambata in Roxas Boulevard, Manila, was unveiled recently. Leading the ceremony was Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim - a close friend of the beloved ace what is true.” He likewise encouraged the youth of the city to emulate the Tondo, Manila native - respected and admired not only for his talent but also for his kindheartedness and professionalism. Divine Diva Zsa Zsa Padilla
Mayor Alfredo Lim inaugurates the Dolphy monument. The Hello Dolly Cast. Irene Molloy for a crotchety half-a-millionaire Horace Vandelgelder. But when Dolly falls for Horace, she hatches a clever plan to marry him. And also ﬁnding suitable mates for Irene and her niece and two eligible bachelors. Though this Tony Awardwinnning musical has been staged countless times, it remains a well-loved one. And Director Eric Schaeffer, who is back at Ford’s brings his own fresh interpretation to it. Nancy Opel is brilliant as Dolly Levi. She gives a rousing delivery of the Act 1 showstopper “Before The Parade Passes By.” Carol Channing is best remembered as the original Dolly but it seems that Opel has made this role her own. In Act 2, she is in one particularly hilarious scene at the Harmonia Gardens. When she is pretending to eat dinner and act nonchalant while the rest of the characters argue around her. Awardwinning actor Edward Gero is equally brilliant as Horace Vandergelder. Gregory Maheu as the earnest Cornelius Hackl, mesmerizes when he belts out two of the evening’s showstoppers, “Put On Your Sunay Clothes” and “It Only Takes A Moment.” Tracy Lynn Olivera is wonderful as Irene Molloy, she gives a powerful delivery of “Ribbons On My Back” Kudos to Adam Koch for his elegant Victorian-era sets, Wade Labiossoniere’s sumptuous 18th century costumes, Award-winning choreographer Karma Camp for her agile choreography. There is so much joy in this revival in one of the greatest musicals of all time. Go see “Hello, Dolly!” and I guarantee that you will have an unforgettable evening at the theater! HELLO DOLLY- Directed by Eric Schaeffer Till May 18 Ford’s Theatre-511 10th St. NW Washington, D.C. Tickets: $10 to $61 comedian - who also shouldered the expenses for the construction of the said monument. Dolphy’s family, including his children Dolphy, Jr., Eric, Epy, Nicole, and Vandolph, graced the unveiling, “News To Go” reported. Movie and Television Review and Classiﬁcation Board (MTRCB) chairman Eugenio “Toto” Villareal was also present, laying a wreath upon the statue. In his speech at the event, portions of which were quoted on MTRCB’s Twitter account, Villareal related the wisdom he got from Dolphy’s work, such as “John en Marsha,” saying, “I learned the beauty of the adversarial process... the discovery of thanked via Twitter the city government of Manila and Mayor Lim for honoring her long-time partner. She, however, failed to attend the ceremony. In her tweet to Manila Bulletin’s Art Samaniego, the singer-actress said, “Unveiling of statue? Blood works this morning and now at therapy and back at hospital for more tests today. Part 3 of check up.” The approximately 300-kilo statue by sculptor Jonas Roces is a seven-feet bronze hot cast antique, and shows a standing, smiling Dolphy as he points his right foreﬁnger upward. Museo Pambata, meanwhile, happens to be one of the beneﬁciaries of Dolphy’s RVQ Foundation.
“Hello, Dolly!” was last staged in the DC area many years ago and it is back in a latest revival at the historic Ford’s Theater. Originally staged in 1964 on Broadway, it won eight Tony Awards. Top notch performances, agile choreography and a timelessscore by Jerry Herman are one of the highlights of this superlative production. Based on the Thornton Wilder play “The Matchmaker”, “Hello, Dolly!” is about an enterprising matchmaker Dolly Levi who arranges for her friend,
Allan Pineda once courted actress KC
Allan Pineda or apl.de.ap of The Black Eyed Peas admitted that he once courted actress KC Concepcion. In an interview with the press recently in Manila, Pineda said that he was serious with his intentions to court Concepcion but that time constraints prevented him from pursuing her. “I was [serious] at the moment, you know,” he said. “But unfortunately, time didn’t connect well and I got too busy. But, you know, we are still friends.” Denying that Concepcion turned him down, Pineda said: “No, no, no. Nothing stopped or anything, we still communicate. Once I found [out] she had a boyfriend, I kind of stopped texting a little bit.” Asked to give a message to Concepcion, the international singer said: “What’s up, KC. I
Stars clash on set of ‘Never Say Goodbye’
Rita Avila is complaining about her “Never Say Goodbye” co-star Alice Dixson supposedly doing things beyond what is called for by the show’s script. In a text message sent to *Bulletin Entertainment,* Avila said that Dixson “throws things” at her even when she is already “exiting the (camera) frame.” She also related an instance when Dixson allegedly “kicked soil” in her direction and cussed at her - actions that were both, script. Rita Avila Rita claimed, not included in the According to Avila, Dixson explained that she simply got ‘carried away’with the scenes given her role in the series. Without mentioning names, Avila revealed that a co-actor suffered elevated blood pressure and was even hospitalized for it due to Dixson’s alleged antics. Dixson is yet to air her side on the matter. Prior, rumors about her ‘behavior’ on the set of the series made the rounds of various tabloids.
Allan Pineda or apl.de.ap and KC Concepcion guess, sorry to hear what happened with your relationship. But enjoy yourself and, you know, it’s time to be single and have a good time and hang out with apl.” Pineda added that if Concepcion would have time, he would gladly take her out to lunch or dinner again. Earlier, it was reported that Pineda gave Concepcion a bracelet and a bouquet of ﬂowers. These gifts came when Concepcion was in a relationship with actor Piolo Pascual.
April 30, 2013
Only in the Philippines
Rocky Going to Boston
he other day, I watched TV coverage of the teenager pulled out of a boat by the police in Boston, after evading them all day. Young Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his older brother had detonated bombs that caused death and destruction in the Boston Marathon. In the meantime, my teenage son Rocky had been accepted in the prestigious music school ---the Berkelee School of Music— located in that strip of Boston affected by the bombings. A feeling of sadness came over me, not only for the deaths and injuries, but also for this Dzhokhar — a college teenager in a Boston area school who had everything going for him--- a naturalized citizen from Russia, living what seemed to be a regular teenage life, and standing at the brink of his American dream. In a“there-but-for-the-graceof-God” moment , I thought of my son, who just a few weeks before, appeared at the Kennedy Center and won ﬁve thousand dollars in the annual Washington Post DC Cap performing arts tournament. Six thousand local kids had competed and ten made it to the ﬁnals at the Kennedy Center In the audience that night was former U.S. Consul Sonny Busa. Here is his depiction of what transpired.
ten performers, an unenviable position considering that these were the best of best of D.C. The ten were culled from over 6,000 performers. All were winners in their own right, but that evening they were competing to see who really was the best— the ﬁrst among equals. This was not your garden variety community talent show. The powerhouse judges were the ﬁrst clue that this was something special. One judge was the famous soulful songbird Patti Labelle. She has been a major music force for several decades and is still beautiful and sounding beautiful. Another judge was Amber
Riley who plays Mercedes Jones on the musical comedy Glee. Next to her was American Idol winner Jordin Sparks. And beside her was Denyce Graves, one of America’s most accomplished operatic singers. With judges like these the performers were in for a special evening of high powered scrutiny and professional critique. Rocky’s performance followed some of the ﬁnest singing, dancing, and instrumental performances by D.C. youth or any youth for that matter that had ever been seen at the Kennedy center. As Rocky took the stage he knew he had tough acts to follow. But with a professional and artistic grace that belied his
’m still jetlagged as of this writing after almost a month stay in the Philippines. I apologize for not writing about Real Estate for the past two issues as my travel journal is full and did not ﬁt in one issue. I promise next issue will be back to normal; I know my avid readers understand since I get good feedback from my last piece. They were also excited to go back home. My son sent me a write up by a certain blogger named Jaywalker entitled “I hate Filipino Culture” and he was smart putting some sort of a disclosure like this “Now before you post hate comments, let me ﬁrst say that I’m no elitist. I’m not even rich in the ﬁrst place so I have no right to be elitist. I’m not one of those snobs who wouldn’t recognize the country of their origin either. Read the entry in its entirety before commenting”. My son thinks I will be interested because I keep on telling him that I love the Philippines and it bothers me when some balikbayans go home and complain about the heat, the trafﬁc, the people, and the culture and seemed like they were not born and grew up here. I always say, then don’t go if you feel that Philippines is a worst place to be. The write up was a detailed satire on how ironic the Filipino culture is. I give credit to the writer because I agree on most items he brought up. Here is the link if you want to read the full blog. It is very informative and worth reading http:// internetjaywalking.blogspot. com/2007/07/i-hate-ﬁlipino-culture.html I checked in at Marriott in Resorts World for my ﬁrst week of stay in Manila before I go home to Cavite. I was fascinated by the whole area and it’s really world class. I feel like I’m in small Vegas and got disoriented
most of the times. Performers at the casino are foreigners, shops are franchised by famous brands, restaurants are locally owned but menus are comparables here in the US. They are pricey of course but the good thing is; we have it and it is very good in the Philippine economy. The scary part is, can we keep up to the world class standards. Let me give you an example; when I checked in, I was given instructions as to the bar items once consumed, Wi-Fi usage and so on. I was escorted to my room to give me instructions on their AC controls and the elegant bathroom operations. The staffs were impressive and very attentive. Wow!! World class and I’m so proud. When I checked out, I was charged extra couple of thousand pesos for my phone usage which I used phone cards to call my clients in the US. I was so surprised but was still nice to the receptionist. She keeps on saying I’m sorry and nothing more. I asked for a Manager because I feel bad that a ﬁve-star hotel like this cannot come up to the world class standards. I love our country so much and I cannot stand looking at these young employees so scared and so helpless. As I expected, the Manager did not come out and I was told he or she was on the phone talking with a client. I said I will wait; until another employee came out and said Manager is still busy. I don’t have so much time so I talked to the employee. First, I was not happy that the manjudges it was almost a foregone conclusion that an intrumentalist was at a disadvantage. But music competitions are subjective. Everyone was a winner. Congrats to the Garcia family, who were all there to see Rocky. Rocky has been accepted to the prestigious Berklee School of Music in Boston and will report next year. He will only get better and no doubt become famous. We are all in for a treat! “ ---------On Monday, Rocky joined the two other winners in local Channel 7’s “Good Morning
ager cannot talk to me and I will provide them best feedback and suggestions they could get. They missed that opportunity. Their clients came from different parts of the world and most likely are businessmen. They will call back home and they will use the phone. Why not disclose the phone usage fees just like how they disclose the bar consumption. This will prevent a lot of aggravation. Their grade to me was 100% until the phone usage fees, no manager is available and their staff does not know how to handle the situation. When I was new in the USA, all I know is yes although I mean no. That’s how we are and how we were brought up. Sad to say, that will not get us anywhere. I always believe when you presented a problem, you have to suggest a solution. When you say sorry, be ready to offer something to compensate for the mistake being committed. These are just simple customer service rules but looks like our people are not equipped with that. This will give them conﬁdence, empowerment, being ﬁrm and assertive so they will come up with the standards. I am not just referring to the hotel staff but this is what I observed and I feel bad because we have so much to offer but not enough training. I should say Philippines is at its prime right now regardless. The booming economy, the real estate market and I know we will get there very soon, the World Class standards. Washington.” There were times when peer pressure swayed Rocky one way or another in the past, as it had to me when I was growing up. I pray that justice ﬁnds its place in the Dzhokhar case. I will always be there for Rocky. But as a criminal defense attorney, if defending the young surviving Dzhokhar, I would explore the role that brotherly inﬂuence exerted on him; and I would make an issue of whether it was his older brother with the detonating ﬁnger. firstname.lastname@example.org
Rocky at the Eisenhower
17 years, he simply wow’ed the crowd with his jazz rendition on the saxophone of “Loving You” ,the song popularized by Minnie Ripperton. He held the audience in thrall. Even the relatives of the other performers could not contain their enthusiasm as the hall rocked and swayed to the music of this young star. When the last notes sounded the crowd knew that they were witness to history. Rocky took third place and was the only instrumentalist in the top three. The winner was a singer and second was a dancer. Given the composition of the
by Sonny Busa
A star was born on March 26, 2013, at the Eisenhower Theatre of the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington D.C. The event was the performances of the top ten ﬁnalists from the DC-Capital Stars Talent Competition among D.C.’s Public and Public Charter High Schools. The star was none other than Rocky Garcia, the son of everyone’s favorite attorney Rodney Garcia. He was the last of the
April 30, 2013
(Fried Banana Rolls)
This recipe was demonstrated at home to the ASEAN Women’s Council guests on April 16. They raved about the sweet and unique taste of this simple recipe. This dainty creation of mine a few years back is totally different from the bulky turon we are used to having. If followed to the letter, this delectable golden brown favorite will tickle your palate. It is best to use the Philippine banana called “saba” for that authentic taste. Ripe plantains is a good substitute.
5 ripe cooking bananas (saba), peeled and cut into quarters, lengthwise (available from any Asian store) 10 thin egg roll pastry wrappers (lumpia wrapper) available from any Asian store 5 pieces of ripe or sweet jackfruit (available in canned or bottled), sliced into thin strips
Sugar for sprinkling the bananas and jackfruit Vegetable oil for deep-frying 1 tablespoon cornstarch, dissolved in 1/4 cup water and cooked in the microwave for a few seconds until it becomes a paste.
In a platter, lay the banana and sprinkle lightly with sugar. Do the same with the jackfruit.
Place the banana strips alongside each other in the middle, leaving at about an inch on both ends of the wrapper. Then put 2 or 3 slices of jackfruit on top or beside the banana. Next, glue the rounded edge with the paste without folding the 2 sides, then roll and seal. Repeat the procedure with the remaining ingredients. Heat the oil in a deep fryer or non-stick sauce pan. Before frying the turon, you may or may not sprinkle or roll them slightly in sugar, depending upon your option. Initially, the heat should be on high. After dropping in the turon, check and regulate the heat to medium while in the process of frying. Wait until golden brown, then remove from the deep fryer and transfer to a colander lined with parchment paper. Make sure to lay them in an upright position to drain out the excess oil. Let cool for a few minutes in room temperature
before transferring to a serving platter. Best if served while freshly cooked. Editor’s Note: Master Chef Evelyn: 100 Most Influential Filipina Women in the U.S., 2009, Filipina Women’s Network; MHC Most Outstanding Migrant Award in Culinary Arts, 2011; PAFC Dakila Special Achievement Award, 2011; Owner/Chef, Philippine Oriental Market & Deli, Arlington, Virginia; Founder and President of CHEW (Cancer Help – Eat Well) Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) public charity formed to help and cook pro-bono for Filipino-Americans who are afflicted with cancer and other serious illnesses; Culinary writer; Member, Les Dames d’Escoffier International, Washington DC Chapter; Member, International Cake Exploration Society, Member: Culinary Historians of Washington, D.C.; Master Chef, French Cuisine and Patisserie, Le Cordon Bleu, London.
A senior citizen decided to visit the Social Security ofﬁce to sign up for his beneﬁts. Upon his arrival, the clerk asked for proof of his age. When he reached for his wallet the embarrassed man realized he had left it home. After explaining his problem to the clerk, she replied, “Don’t worry, just open your shirt, and if your chest hair is gray you will qualify.” The senior citizen opened up his shirt and was soon signed up for his beneﬁts. Upon arriving home, he related the story to his wife. She looked at him, smiled and said, “Too bad you didn’t drop your pants. You would have qualiﬁed for disability too!” So when I left for the ofﬁce. I was feeling pretty low and despondent. As I walked into my ofﬁce, my secretary Janet said, “Good morning, Boss. “Happy Birthday”. And I felt a little better that someone had remembered. I worked until noon, then Janet knocked on my door and said “You know, it’s such a beautiful day outside, and it’s your birthday, let’s go to lunch, just you and me. I said, “By George, that’s the greatest thing I’ve heard all day. “Let’s go!” We went to lunch. We didn’t go where we normally go, instead we went out to a private little place. We had two martinis and enjoyed lunch tremendously. On the way back to the ofﬁce, she said, “You know, it’s such a beautiful day. We don’t need to go back to the ofﬁce, do we?” I said, “No, I guess not.” She said, “Let’s go to my apartment.” After arriving at her apartment she said, “Boss, if you don’t mind, I think I’ll go into the bedroom and slip into something more comfortable”. “Sure!” I excitedly replied. She went into the bedroom and, in about six minutes, she came out carrying a huge birthday cake followed by my wife, my children, and dozens of our friends, all singing Happy Birthday. And I just sat there on the couch ..... naked!
A teenage girl had been talking on the phone for about half an hour, and then she hung up. Wow!” said her father, “That was short. You usually talk for at least two hours. What happened?” “Wrong number,” replied the girl. Parrot: Psst! Baho! Baho! Baho! Kulas: Pag sinabi mo pa uli sa akin yan, papatayin kita! The next day... Parrot: Psst! Psst! Kulas: O, bakit?! Parrot: Alam mo na yun! Sinabi ko na kahapon. ka! Darating ka rito, ni ha ni ho, wala kang sinabi. Aatupagin mo agad yang lecheng TV na yan! Hindi mo man lang ako kumustahin, halikan, o tapunan ng kahit kaunting paglambing man lang… pagkatapos para kang kung sinong may daig pang utusan. Hindi mo ba alam na pagod na pagod din ako sa kaaasikaso sa mga gawaing bahay? Buwisit na buhay ito, oo!!!” Napabuntong-hininga na lamang si Kaloy, at sabi: “Ayan na, nag-umpisa na ngang magalit!”
Lumindol ng malakas noon... Nagkagulo ang lahat at nag-panic! Sumigaw ang isang lalaki...”Katapusan na! Katapusan na!” Sumagot naman si Joe...”Tanga! Akinse pa lang ngayon... wala pang sahod, gago!”
I FIRED MY SECRETARY
So I ﬁred my secretary today...because as a man, I can get to feeling a little sorry for myself and because yesterday was my 40th birthday and I wasn’t feeling too good that morning. I went to breakfast knowing my wife would be pleasant and say, “Happy Birthday!”, and probably have a present for me. As it turned out, she didn’t even say good morning, let alone any Happy Birthday greeting. I thought, well, that’s wives for you, the children will remember. The children came in to breakfast and didn’t say a word.
Galing trabaho si Kaloy, umupo sa paboritong upuan, pinaandar ang TV, at sabi sa asawa, “Ne, dali… abutan mo ako ng beer bago mag-umpisa. Medyo naguluhan si misis, pero nag-abot pa rin siya ng beer. Nang maubos, sabi ni Kaloy: “Ne, dali, bigyan mo ulit ako ng isa pang beer. Mag-uumpisa na. Medyo galit na si misis, pero nagtimpi pa rin at inabot ang serbesa. Nang maubos ulit, sabi ni Kaloy: “Dali, isa pa nga bago mag-umpisa. Sumigaw na si misis. “Ayoko na!! Tamad kang hayop
Ama: Kumusta ang pagaaral mo? Anak: Nag-lesson at nagtest po kami tungkol sa tamang pag-aalaga ng mga manok at iba pang mga hayop. Ama: Ano, madali ba? Anak: Chicken na chicken po ‘Tay! Ama: Anong grade mo? Anak: Itlog po.
HINOLDAP SI LOLA
Lola: Wala akong pera! Holdaper: Alam ko kung nasaan nakatago pera mo (sabay ipinasok ang kamay sa bra ni lola). Lola: Ituloy mo pa, iho. Me cheke pa sa may banding ibaba!
SUTIL NA PARROT
April 30, 2013
The Season that Refused to Leave
Poetry and Pleasure
n his foreword for the book, Poetry for Pleasure, Webster Schott wrote: “The way to read a poem is with an open mind, not an open dictionary.” How open a mind did you mean Mr. Schott? When I was still at OLRA, a Maryknoll run school in Lipa, Batangas, our high school English class tried to tackle BEOWULF. Miss Reyes, our English Lit teacher, was a dainty woman who was all of 4’10” if that. But she was bullish and insisted that her class of twelve-year-olds be able to paraphrase the epic poem written in ‘olde’ English. I looked at the ﬁrst stanza and started to giggle. Yeah right, try paraphrasing that! Miss Reyes was not amused. She turned her head slowly towards me. The room became silent. Several eyes darted between me and the imperious woman who stood in front of the class. She was visibly annoyed. With arched eyebrows she ordered me to stand up and remain standing until I translated the assigned verse of the day. Google was far into the future so I was really and truly on my own. Illustrations were scattered generously throughout the lengthy poem. It stood to reason the drawings followed and depicted close to the narration of the stanzas. I looked at the strange words and conjured up images of the hero Beowulf and the monster Grendel. I don’t remember what I said but I made up a story and started to speak. Miss Reyes paced the length of the classroom and chewed on the pencil she carried in her hand. I don’t know if she believed what I was saying or was just bent on
torturing me. She left me guessing and grasping for the slightest connection. Several times she seemed to be on the verge of saying something but changed her mind and kept her peace. I continued my made up stories stanza after stanza until she ordered me to stop. I was swept away by my own nonsense and was surprised to ﬁnd out I had ‘interpreted’ three. I heard relieved sighs from my classmates. Miss Reyes had her sacriﬁcial lamb so they could relax. I sat down as she began her lecture. I neither heard her words nor cared. I was numb from my mental and emotional exertion. Below are few lines of the poem in old and modern versions. Let’s see how you do. Have fun.
Ða wæs on burgum Beowulf Scyldinga, leof leodcyning, longe þrage folcum gefræge (fæder ellor hwearf, aldor of earde), oþþæt him eft onwoc heah Healfdene; heold þenden lifde, gamol ond guðreouw, glæde Scyldingas. ðæm feower bearn forð gerimed
Now Beowulf bode in the burg of the Scyldings, leader beloved, and long he ruled in fame with all folk, since his father had gone away from the world, till awoke an heir, haughty Healfdene, who held through life, sage and sturdy, the Scyldings glad.
ell, spring has ﬁnally sprung! Old winter was tough, overstayed and did not leave us for quite some time. Remember the snow in April? Consequently, spring was late, left us waiting for it to arrive longer than expected. Even the cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C. were adamant to appear. The avid camera bugs and the local, out-of-state and foreign spectators were getting disappointed, impatient and intolerant. But what can they do? These imposing and showy ﬂowers, “having minds of their own and attitude,” cannot be dictated and hurried up. They will show their splendor and grandeur at their own term. Of course, Mother Nature if not confused, could also be hard-headed. When I woke up one morning, I saw the buds that were sleeping the previous night were suddenly in bloom, seemed to be greeting me with “Good morning, we’re here!” Oh, their colorful petals were so vivid and bright as if telling me “Like the promise of spring, things will be alright.” Thank goodness, spring’s voice was ﬁnally heard! I shall now feel and see the message of spring. I believe I already have recovered from the miseries of having pollen allergies I endured for more than twentysome years. I cited this in my last article, putting the blame on the pollens as the culprit of my seasonal miseries. Now that I can fully enjoy the beauty of spring, I regretted the blame for the simple reason that if plants and trees did not pollinate and propagate how can we appreciate their beauty and be inspired with their meaningful representation of life? Mea culpa for this bungled idea! *****
As our children matured, they found ways to do things among others, to celebrate family occasions coming up with ideas delineating from what were normally or usually done in the past like having home parties with lots of invited guests; home parties for families only; big celebrations in restaurants or just small family dinners at restaurants. It started fall of last year when my son, Rick, the oldest of our four children, had planned with my two daughters in the area (the third one lives in St. Petersburg in Florida) on celebrating their dad’s birthday with an Apple Picking Picnic in Markham, Virginia. My husband and one of my daughters will have a joint celebration since their birthdays
UP Madrigal Singers in D.C. on May 11
The US-Philippines Society and the Embassy of the Philippines will present the Philippine Madrigal Singers on its 50th Year of inspiring music at the Crypt Church of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception at 6 p.m on May 11, 2013. Organized in 1963 by Philippine National Artist Andrea O. Veneracion, the group’s musical virtuosity has earned many prestigious awards including the coveted European Grand Prix for Choral Singing. If you have any questions about the event, you may contact the Philippine Embassy’s Cultural ofﬁce at 202 467 9300 or the US Philippines Society at 202 525 3982 or by email at info@usphilsociety. org <mailto:info@usphilsociety. org>.
were just a week apart. We were to bring sandwiches, chicken macaroni or potato salad, chips and dips, fruits, desserts and drinks. My husband was extra happy with my suggestion that I will also bring adobo and rice with tomatoes and itlog na maalat. The dish did not complement the picnic items but I did not hear any negative comments at all. It turned out that everyone was happy with the adobo. Ubos lahat! We all stayed overnight at my married daughter’s home. My chef daughter, who was the other celebrant, had offered to bake the apple pies with the fresh fruits that we just picked. We had a Filipino mocha cake and had a pancit dish to wish for the celebrants’ long life. With much enjoyment, the simple but creative celebration was a success. Unfortunately, we missed my youngest daughter who lives in St. Petersburg, Florida. Then, the next birthday celebration, my birthday, was in Emmitsburg, Maryland where we visited the famous home to the National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seaton, Grotto of Lourdes, Mount St. Mary’s University and the National Fire Academy. We also saw the Historic Battle Fields of Gettysburg, PA which was only ﬁfteen minutes away from the Shrine in MD. Our lunch was at the Carriage House Restaurant, an elegant rustic restaurant listed on Emmitsburg’s National register of Historic Places. The succeeding trip was at the Harper’s Ferry, another historical place in Virginia, just about one hour and a half car drive from Washington, D.C. The place had seen and experienced the battle between the Union and the Confederates during the presidency of Abraham Lincoln. The imposing St. Peter’s Catholic Church could be seen at all angles of this historical place. The walk steps, trails, old stores and restored ofﬁces kept our energy challenged. We dined at a Thai restaurant in a nearby city and did not expect a highend restaurant in a rustic place. With no occasion to celebrate, Rick had made the arrangements for this trip.
glimpse of nature along the parkway, which offered famously scenic views of mountains and valleys, as well as the most aweinspiring and incredible sight of the sun, peeping through, between the cleavage-like effect of two neighboring mountains. My son had his camera busy clicking and I so with mine. Oh, I had a blast taking shots of the three-dimension beauty of nature as I looked through the lens - the nearby trees, the mountain views and the horizon with the blazing sun in the background against the vivid hues of the blue sky. I intend to make some picture cards out of these photos or I could frame them to be hung in my computer room. By noon time, traversing between the designated overlooks along the parkway, we had lunch at the only restaurant atop the mountain. I was reminded of the scenic views of the Taal volcano in Tagaytay City back home. Beautiful! Next week, we shall celebrate Rick’s birthday and his pick was the Luray Caverns. We’ve been there ages ago, but we are excited to re-visit this magical world that lies beneath, soon.
Discovered Family Values
This wonderful non-traditional way of our family celebrations was a well-thought off collaboration of our four children. Being both retired now, my husband and I are very happy with what our children are doing for us, their parents, and keeping our family intact. As we went on, these outings to the National Parks unconsciously have created and are keeping our family values alive: First and foremost, a deeper family bonding because of constant and closer interactions as we encountered various unfamiliar situations; strengthened our interest to have more similar activities for increased family togetherness; education wise, learn more about the historical background and culture of each site that we have visited, other than just reading printed materials; greater appreciation of the wonders of nature and resources in our adopted country; last, but not the least, an opportunity to exercise as we enjoyed the walks through the trails. Exercise could be boring sans attractive motivation. For all these, we have greater appreciation for our children, praying that we be given longer time to enjoy them. I share this experience with other parents.
The Shenandoah National Park
Two weeks ago, we went to above park to enjoy the highlands. There was always more to love in the vast, unspoiled beauty of this park. We got great
April 30, 2013
‘The Wide American Earth’
The Smithsonian is celebrating Asian Paciﬁc American month starting next week with a 30-banner exhibition whose theme is Filipino American author Carlos Bulosan’s poem, “I Want the Wide American Earth.” The exhibition - the ﬁrst of its kind undertaken by the Smithsonian - explores and celebrates the history, culture, and literary works of Asian Americans in the United States. It will show the multitude of diverse cultures and how they have shaped and been shaped by the course of America’s history. It will open on May 4 to June 18 in Washington D.C, and later go on a tour in key cities in the US. It tells the story of the ﬁrst Asian immigrants’ participation in the gold rush, the transcontinental railroad, their participation in both sides of the American civil war and the building of the nation’s agricultural landscape. It also shows the challenges that they faced at that time and are still facing today. In selecting Bulosan’s poem, the Smithsonian said it’s because these are the “stories of the brave, the proud builders and workers of Asian Paciﬁc America.” The Asian Paciﬁc American population now stands at more than 17 million and is still growing. Like Bulosan’s other books, there are still a multitude of stories that need to the told and to be written for the beneﬁt of future generations. There are still struggles that have to be overcome, such as civil rights violations, racism, discrimination, etc. It’s time for Filipino Americans and the Asian Paciﬁc American communities to tell their stories about their continuing struggles and contribution to the growth of the United States.
The TNTs are coming
Like the legendary cicadas, millions of undocumented immigrants, including Filipino TNT s (in Tagalog “Tago ng Tago” – hiding and hiding), are emerging from the shadows. They are preparing to proclaim themselves as Americans, no longer afraid of the dreaded ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents. But the ﬁght is not yet over. The bill still has to pass through the gridlock in the US Congress. Opponents are now predicting dangers, tying it up to the bombers of the Boston Marathon who have become legal residents of the US. But many are praying to all the saints that Congress will approve the immigration reform bill. They are willing to wait 10 years or more for their green cards, pay ﬁnes, learn to speak English ﬂuently and subject themselves to a rigorous background check. There is no accurate ﬁgure as to how many Filipino TNTs there are now. ICE estimates it to be around 340,000, a private census puts it at 600,000 and some FilAm newspapers put it at almost a million. *** Dear Mr. Tsismoso, Why is it that Filipino American restaurants in New York and other US cities are thriving but not in the greater Washington D.C. area? Why did restaurants like Manila Café or Little Quiapo close shop or are on the way of shutting down? What is the reason for their demise? (Sgd) A concerned Pinoy Pareng Pinoy, Tama ka. My instinct says it;s because some of our kababayans here are like me, a gossip-monger. Whenever a new restaurant or store opens, instead of praising the entrepreneur, they start looking for ways to criticize it. In the case of Manila Café, the gossips started as soon as its doors opened. “Pare, sobrang mahal.” “Parang leftover yata ang chicken adobo they serve.” “Mas masarap pa ang luto ko sa bahay!” “Panis ang sinigang!” “Walang ambiance.” Etcetera, etcetera. And when it closed its door, they exclaim: “I told you so!” And if a business shows some signs of success, the crabs in our midst will start working. They will set up their own shop to compete with it. Then they unleash the rumor machine to undermine the competitor. Instead of praising these entrepreneurs, they are viliﬁed, their characters analyzed, etcetera. They will set a similar shop and try to undersell the competitor. In New York, Pinoy restaurateurs are successful because they do not resort to destructive competition….. If one restaurateur sets up a Lechon Shop, another Pinoy will put up a ‘pan de sal,” or pancit restaurant or Max Fried Chicken, Many Americans who have been to the Philippines are always asking friends where they could ﬁnd a Filipino restaurant in town. They look for the well known lechon, chicken pork adobo or pancit. And the stock answer from Pinoys is there is none. Nada. Zero. Wala. When a retail shop opens, the ﬁrst instinct of the crabs is to ﬁnd out what’s wrong with it. Then they start grinding the gossip machine. If a business is successful, others will try to duplicate it. In the case of the Manila Mail, some Pinoy stores do not want to distribute the newspaper if there are advertisements that compete with them, particularly in prices. Never mind that their shop attracts clients because they want to get their free copies of the newspaper. One shop in Chantilly will ﬁrst ask to look at the newspaper. The owner will scan the pages and when he sees there is an ad by another Pinoy or Chinese store, he tells the newspaper carriers, “ don’t want it.” Some stores accept the bundles but then hides it so their clients cannot compare their prices. Never mind that by distributing the newspaper, they are helping make the community informed about developments in their midst. Another Pinoy attitude is their desire to remain anonymous. Instead of promoting their children who have excelled in school, or others who have reached the zenith of their careers or achieved greatness in their ﬁelds of endeavor, they decline to do so. The reason is that people might think “we are mayabang!:” “Nakakahiya.” *** Here are some tweets from The Great Senator from Pampanga, actor Lito Lapid: “You people should read my bio. Anyway, doing my best to help my kabalens. Hope you’re all doing ﬁne.” “My sympathy goes for all my fellow Kapampangans during this time.” On fellow Sen. Sotto: “Sen. Sotto
Continued on page 31
April 30, 2013
Al Gore’s wolf?
Boston and Beyond
hortly after the suspect in the Boston bombings was captured, Katrina Dizon posted this on Facebook: “As much as I am happy and relieved for the people of Boston, that bombing suspect #2 has been caught, seeing media coverage of drunk college kids partying in the streets screaming ‘USA!’ does not sit well with me. After 4 deaths and hundreds of injuries, I think it’s time for a moment of quiet celebration and reﬂection, not a frat party.” More than 40 people clicked “Like,” indicating agreement with the comment. But one friend had a different view: “I get what you’re saying but I think people should get to cope with tragedy in whatever way gets them
Katrina Dizon at her swearing in last year. through the day. Particularly if it renews the spirit of a city that has been shell-shocked and lockeddown the past week. Since it was pretty spontaneous I’m not sure how many people were actually ‘drunk’ (similar to the insta-rallies in NY/DC post-Bin Laden killing) and from accounts I hear residents of all ages were out on the streets and supportive. I dunno maybe having been a Bostonian I see nothing that honors the true spirit of this hurt city more then a spontaneous rally coming together showing love for one another, pride for the city and appreciation for law enforcement.” He makes a good point as well. Katrina, a 29-year-old Silver Spring resident who just turned US citizen a few months ago, explained to me later that while “people have the right to express joy and gratitude in whatever way they want, I just felt that that kind of reaction was a bit insensitive (and slightly
arrogant) given how so many of the victims still continued to suffer.” When Katrina posted something similar after al Qaeda leader bin Laden was killed, someone accused her of “disrespecting our troops.” It made her “wonder sometimes if this puts my ‘loyalty’ and ‘patriotism’ into question, especially since I am a new citizen.” One wonders too, in light of the ongoing debate on immigration reform, if part of the nation’s resistance to legalizing the more than 11 million undocumented immigrants – many of whom are Hispanics – is their perceived unwillingness to assimilate and become loyal and patriotic Americans. Happily, the election results of 2012 conﬁrm a growing acceptance by the American public that those in the shadows deserve full political rights as US citizens, instead of being threatened deportation. Not too long ago, Chinese migrant workers in the US were feared as “the yellow peril,” Filipino farm workers as “criminals” and Japanese Americans as potential traitors. Hopefully, we are in a better place today where, as Carlos Bulosan puts it, we can embrace everyone regardless of race, religion or national origin as belonging to “the wide American earth.” But I digress. Like Katrina and many others to be sure, I had the same reaction when media accounts celebrated the “resilience” of the people of Boston, thankful that things are back to normal again, that life can move on. No question, because of an inhumane act, lives were lost and many more are broken. Life will never be the same again for families who now have to deal with recovery and healing. Yes, they will survive these tragic losses of life and limb and we can only hope and pray that they will prevail and be whole again. But Katrina’s point about the drunken revelry and the pumping of ﬁsts and high-ﬁves gives us pause. Fact is, without diminishing the horrendous dimensions of the Boston bombings on the dead and injured, what happened on that Monday afternoon is a daily reality in the lives of thousands of others in other parts of the world. Normal
lobal warming skeptics have been dismissed by environmental activists on the left as “ﬂat earthers”, never mind if their ranks include astronauts, Nobel Prize winner in physics and past directors of NASA’s climate agency. But as the dire prognostications of the climate change advocates have failed to materialize there are responsible thinkers in the media who are reconsidering their acceptance or even endorsement of the theory that global warming is largely caused by the byproduct of human activitycarbon dioxide emissions. The Economist, one of the most respected and widely circulated international newsmagazine is taking a second look of its past global warming assessment. It points out that air temperatures at the earth’s surface have been ﬂat over the past 15 years while greenhouse gas emissions have continued to soar. This is conﬁrmed by James Hansen, the head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies saying that the ﬁve-year mean global temperature has been ﬂat for a decade. There is clearly a mismatch between rising green-
house gas emissions and not rising temperatures. Global warming advocates rely on the assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicting a rise of as high as 7 degrees centigrade in atmospheric temperature if the greenhouse emissions continue unabated. A rise of at least 3 degrees centigrade is extremely damaging according to IPCC, bringing more drought, extinction of many species, biodiversity damage in coral reefs, cyclones and rise in sea level. The Economist however found other studies that project a far lower temperature rise of approximately 1.9 centigrade. It refers to the ﬁndings of the Research Council of Norway compiled by the team of Terje Bernstein of the University of Oslo, the work of Julia Hargreaves of the Research Institute for Global Change in Yokohama and independent scientist Nic
Lewis. Their calculations indicate that chances of climate sensitivity above 4.5C become vanishingly small. Other scientiﬁc sources considered by the Economist include Reto Knutti of the Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science in Zurich, Piers Foster of the University of Leeds and Jonathan Gregory of the University of Reading, Natalia Andromova and Michael Schlesinger of the University of Illinois, and Magne Aldrin of the Norwegian Computing Center. Skepticism has also crept into London Telegraph’s environmental journalist Geoffrey Lean who now asserts that climate change might not be as catastrophic as the gloomiest predictions suggest and also recognizing that warming now expected could be less than the 2C danger level.
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Hunting for Tapsilog, Adobo etc.
Continued on page 31
y now, Jollibee’s mounting a PR blitz after its halohalo and Spam-laden pan de sal were featured in Anthony Bourdain’s maiden episode of “Parts Unknown” on CNN. But here in DC, I’ve often wondered why Filipino cuisine – a diverse blend of Chinese, Spanish and American inﬂuences – is slower rising through America’s culinary consciousness than, say, the Thais or Vietnamese. I’ve long been a fan of Bourdain’s “No Reservations” (Travel Channel) where he once traveled to the Philippines to feature the lechon. It was a culinary and cultural adventure show where he would try out exotic dishes like sheep testicles in Morocco or the beating heart of a freshly slaughtered cobra in Vietnam. According to Bourdain, the most disgusting thing he ever ate was a Chicken McNugget. “It makes no goddamn sense at all,” he said of the halohalo, “I love it!” It seems appropriate that Jollibee would ﬁgure in the middle of that episode. The fast-food chain, which started as an ice cream parlor in Cubao in 1975, became a symbol of Filipino
competitive excellence when it consistently beat back American fast-food icon McDonald’s in a tit-for-tat battle for the Philippine market that saw the lead changing hands several times especially in the late 1980s. They now have 26 branches here in the US, part of a chain of nearly 800 stores in China, Vietnam, Brunei and the Middle East. In the Philippines, small towns working to win ofﬁcial recognition as a city or municipality usually show off their Jollibee branch as proof of their claim. Here, they signal the size and strength of the local Fil-Am communities (the nearest branches to DC are in Virginia Beach, Va. and New Jersey). Some Filipino dishes like the adobo or pancit have gained a small following in the Metro DC region, mainly because of exposure in Fil-Am events or gatherings. But for the most part, their primary clientele is still the Filipino community.
Sure, dried Philippine mangoes are now available in Costco or you can actually order Tito Al’s chicharon on Amazon.com. The man behind those tasty Tito Al products – retired Philippine Constabulary Maj. Arsenio Alpapara – believes it’s all a matter of good marketing and hawking quality products. He is convinced that Filipino food and cuisine have a market in America and cites his experience with “SkyFlakes” – a popular soda cracker made in Marikina – he’s having difﬁculty keeping up with the orders because of the way they’ve been ﬂying off the shelves. “Americans have discovered it because it’s tastier than the other soda crackers here,” he explained. The lack of good Filipino restaurants has often been cited as part of the reason why Filipino cuisine hasn’t really taken off. They’re more likely to open
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April 30, 2013
Racism at Play?
By Emil Guillermo
By J.G. Azarcon, Esq.
VISA PRIORITY DATES FOR THE PHILIPPINES APRIL 2013 • FAMILY-SPONSORED PREFERENCES First: Unmarried sons/daughters of US citizens Feb. 15, 1999 Second: A: Spouses/minor children of permanent residents: Dec. 15, 2010 B: Unmarried sons/daughters 21 years of age or older of permanent residents Jul. 15, 2002 Third: Married sons/daughters of citizens Oct. 01, 1992 Fourth: Brothers/sisters of citizens Aug. 15, 1989 • EMPLOYMENT-BASED PREFERENCES First: Priority workers Current Second: Professionals holding advanced degrees or persons of exceptional ability Current Third: Skilled workers, professionals Sep. 08, 2006 Other Workers Sep. 08, 2006 Fourth: Current Certain Religious Workers Current Fifth: Employment creation/ (Million or half-million dollar investor) Current
for additional six years if the alien satisﬁes any applicable federal tax liability and demonstrates regular employment and is not likely to become a public charge and generates income not less than 100% of the poverty level. Exempted from the income requirement are aliens under 21 years of age at the time of the ﬁrst extension, those over sixty on the date of ﬁling, RPI dependents and those with disability. RPIs are authorized to work in the U.S may travel and return without a visa provided that the trip is not more than 180 days. Who are eligible to apply? The alien must be physically present in the US on the date the application is submitted and must be physically present on or before December 31, 2011 and maintain continuous physical presence from December 31, 2011 until RPI status is granted. There are bars to eligibility. Felony conviction and three
s a minor barrier breaker myself, I honor Jackie Robinson. Today is the 66th anniversary of the breakthrough in our nationâ pastime. I didn’t play shortstop for the Brooklyn Dodgers. My barrier was in broadcast journalism. In 1989, I was the host of NPR’s “All Things Considered” for two years. I was the ﬁrst AsianAmerican male andﬁrst-FilipinoAmerican to host a national news program. Since then, let me know if you’ve seen or heard all the Asian-American males in similar roles. In that sense, as important as a breakthrough can be, sustaining the momentum is equally as important. That’s called progress, and it’s harder to come by than you think. Just look at baseball today. Nearly three generations after Robinson, the number of Black players in the major leagues is just around 8.5 percent. By MLB’s own estimate, that’s half of what it was from the mid-70s through the mid-90s. According to the “Player Diversity Report” (released on 11/13/12), the diversity of the player proﬁle on 40-man Major League rosters was 62 percent Caucasian, 28 percent Hispanic, 8 percent African-American, 1 percent Asian and 0.2 percent American Indian. Compare that to the overall U.S. 2011 Census Data: 63 percent White non-Hispanics; 16.7 percent Hispanic; 13.1 percent African-American; 5 percent Asian-American; 1.2 percent American Indian. Frankly, the Asian numbers in the big leagues are misleading. Most of the Asians are really Asian from Japan or Korea, and not Asian-American like, say, the Giant’s Tim Lincecum from the state of Washington. Just the same, the numbers, in particular the Black-player numbers, are giving Major League Baseball a diversity attack. Last week, it announced a diversity committee, which is the surest sign of institutional guilt.
At least a committee can issue a report when nothing substantial gets done. Still, maybe the situation is not as bad as some think. Diversity, as it turns out, complicates the issue. There are a lot of Blacks in the game, if you count Black Hispanics in the major leagues. In the old days, Puerto Ricans, Venezuelans, Dominicans and Cubans were included in the number of Blacks that brought that number to nearly 20 percent or more at times. The new numbers leave them out, and count only African-Americans ,the descendants of the Henry Aarons, not the Roberto Clementes. In fact, if you count the Latino and Afro-Latino players, there are more players of color than ever before. The reasons U.S. Blacks aren’t becoming baseball players is still an issue, but it may be due to other issues. A lack of ﬁelds in urban environments certainly contributes. In their place are the concrete playgrounds where basketball reigns. There is no lack of African-Americans in the NBA. But it’s also tough to impose “quota” -like standards for any sport when it comes to athletes on the ﬁeld. Diversity works well for evaluating front ofﬁce personnel. But as for players who play the game, shouldn’t it be less about race, and more about sheer talent? Sports, after all, is the ultimate meritocracy. Robinson was an important marker because talented Black athletes were shut out of the game and relegated to the “separate but equal” Negro Leagues. Now talented Black athletes have real choices. As I mentioned, there may still be racism at play. I’m just not sure at this point in history if the lack of African-Americans in Major League Baseball is due to the same kind of racism Robinson faced.
he “Gang of Eight” composed of four Republican and four Democrat senators introduced into the Senate on April 16 their proposed “Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act”. It’s too early to get excited. But considering that it is a product of legislators from the opposite sides of the political divide, there appears to be a consensus to do something about reforming the current system, including addressing the undeniable presence of millions of aliens without lawful status. What’s in it for the undocumented aliens? The proposed bill creates a new category for certain aliens who are currently unlawfully present and who entered the U.S. before December 31, 2011, to adjust status to that of Registered Provisional Immigrant (RPI). Dependent spouses and children of RPIs may apply if they are physically present in the U.S. on the date RPI status is granted and on or before December 30, 2012. The initial duration of the RPI status is for six years unless revoked and may be extended
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MANILA s the May 13 elections campaign careens into home stretch, many candidates get strident. There are 18,053 posts up for grabs --almost quadruple the number of ofﬁce seekers. Candidates of outstanding – or dubious --- credentials seek 12 Senate seats and 233 slots in the Lower House. Elective posts in 80 provinces, 143 cities plus 1,491 towns, are to be ﬁlled. Add 58 “Party List” representatives. Wait. The Supreme Court just granted 54 petitions for inclusion, ﬁled by party-list groups blackballed earrlier by the Commission on Elections. And Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao elects a governor, vice governor and 24 “regional assemblymen.” Overseas foreign workers, started casting ballots April 13. Comelec says 975,263 Pinoys abroad are eligible to vote, This time around, 60 percent of OFW electors -- around 585,000 -- may vote,. . Is there basis for that optimism?. In the 2004 overseas voting, 65 out of every 100 qualiﬁed
voters turned up, Rappler recalls. .That slumped to 16 percent in 2007, then to 25 percent in 2010. Candidates meanwhile zigzag from one rally to another. Their pitch for votes range from the thoughtful to the silly. ”One more chance” pleads Joseph Estrada convicted for corruption. Ernesto Maceda shasays on stage to disprove he is not decrepit. “Keep the focus on issues that matter”, be they the Sabah controversy or a strained school system, Dick Gordon urges These voices clash and. Poll zarzuelas are part of the cost in rebooting the Marcos’ dictatorship’s “unanimity of the graveyard” elections..x Journalists are padlocked, by their craft, into this sound chamber, Louis Lyons would drill into editors at Harvard University ’s Nieman sabbaticals.
A babel of voices batters them They range weak whimpers to imperious tones, shrill screams to fading tones. Swirling beneath the obvious, fester survive-or-perish issues. Often, these lethal threats are overlooked. “Learn to listen,” Lyons would say. “Extract what is true and relevant from this chaos. At the same time, think for yourself. That’s the only way you can serve those you write for or broadcast to.” There is no substitute for water . A Filipino has 4,476 liters of this “internal renewable resources.” A Malaysian has 21,259 liters. “The wealthy have better access than the poor to water ” asserts “Asian Water Development Outlook 2013”. “Most striking is inequality in access to sanitation”, this Asian Development Bank study adds.
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April 30, 2013
City which he promised would be offering Filipino-inspired fare (prepared by chefs brought over from the Philippines), expanding on the premise of Sweet City. Whether puritanical or fusion, Filipino cuisine obviously has a rich potential in our region, one of the most culturally diverse but also gastronomically challenging in America. And as reactions to Bourdain’s show over the weekend demonstrate, a source of pride for Filipinos everywhere. Lacson does.” What he does in the Senate: “Secretly my staff is busier than I am. Unfortunately I was told by the older dogs in the senate to nod whenever they stare at me.” “...then formulated questions from my staff will be read by yours truly so that I will appear a truly honorable senator.” “I’m still trying to arrange meetings with my staff so that they can read the passage before me.” Lito referring to a colleague: “I have sleepless nights thinking about that but I guess you can’t teach a new trick to an old dog but not to a bitch.” On education: “If you think being educated is good, try being an uneducated ﬁlthy rich “. On speaking English: “Actually I do understand English. What I don’t understand are the statisticd & the medical terms being presented.” during the mother’s pregnancy and the child’s ﬁrst two years of life” Chronic hunger reduces one out of three into a puny underweight. They don’t starve to death. But debilitating – and preventable — diseases like TB, anemia, diarrhea take their toll. A Nutrition National Survey found that progress inched forward by only ﬁve percent “At this rate, it will take maybe half a century before we can eradicate the problem of malnutrition”. But kids can’t wait. “Their name is today”. These are preventable deaths . Yet, there is no outcry, Why? Because death stalks kids in city hovels or farm shacks. Their burial shrouds are usually out of sight. As a result, their cofﬁns blend into the woodwork. So the massacre persists. Striking a child in anger may be pardoned,” George Bernard Shaw once said. “But a blow, against a child in cold blood,” as in continued tolerance of malnutrition, “is an obscenity”. That’s an apt handle for our candidates’ myopia. ( Email: juan_mercado77@ yahoo.com )
Hunting for Tapsilog... from page 29
a chicken place or coffee restaurant, some complained, unlike Thai or Vietnamese restaurants that showcase their indigenous cuisine and have proven to be commercial successes. Or they’re content to cater to a purely Filipino clientele, unable or unwilling to pursue the large restaurant-hunting crowds of DC. Unfortunately, some of the Filipino restaurants in the area have been forced to fold but that’s been attributed more to poor quality (too oily, bland taste, etc.) rather than a lack of appreciation for Filipino cuisine. Manny Tagle, part owner of Sweet City Desserts in Vienna, Va., embarked on a strategy of welding Filipino cuisine to standard American breakfast or dessert fare – pan de sal, Ube cupcake and calamansi as substitute for lime. He recently softlaunched Bistro 7107 in Crystal
Boston and Beyond... from page 29
to them is the constant threat of death and destruction, thanks to American-made drones. And I’m being critical here of President Obama who orders them. To these innocent men, women and children (“collateral damage,” we call them), they never have a chance to pick up the pieces of their broken lives. Life never really moves on for them, unlike the people of Boston who have vowed to continue on with the Marathon. We are fortunate to live in a democracy, in a so-called “free world,” where our daily safety and security are assured. Incidentally, the same day two bombs exploded in Boston, 20 simultaneous bombs went off in Iraq, killing 63 innocent people. A drone strike in Afghanistan a year ago killed 34 at a wedding night. These are daily realities in Palestine and the war-torn places in the Middle East, terrors inﬂicted on human beings by faceless machines, towns and villages shell-shocked not just for a week but for years on end. There is never a sense of triumph at all, of ﬁst-pumping and high-ﬁves because it’s not life that goes on. What goes on is the ever-present danger of grinding poverty, violence and despair. Maybe Boston is an aberration. I’d like to think that what’s happening across the nation is more like the way a prominent Egyptian blogger describes it. He was reportedly on a visit to Manhattan when the Boston bombs struck. He was surprised to see, he wrote, that the reaction of most Americans wasn’t ﬁnger-pointing or anger, but “an eerie sense of calm. I guess from what we’ve seen over the last 12 years, people somehow got used to such incidents. Sad but true,” he said. My hope is that “getting used to such incidents” translates not into indifference but to heightened awareness about the plight of other victims around the world. And with that a greater sense of responsibility to do something to ease the pain and be part of the healing. Katrina is right. What we need is a moment of quiet celebration for the blessings of living in America. And reﬂection not only on our own wounds, but the wounds of others. Send your comments to email@example.com
Washington Tsismis... from page 28
spends much more time in Eat Bulaga than reading the RHBill, and yet he can interpellate. I guess I can do that too.” On acting and the Senate: “I learned how to perfect acting. That’s why I am a senator now. But acting in the senate is hard.” On Sen. Miriam Santiago: “As she always says, she is psychology but I won a Best Actor award for Lapu-Lapu. Do the math.I think it’s fair.” On schooling: “Yes I entered UP. And of course I did went out of the premises.” Again on Sen. Sotto: “What can I do? After all I have my staff with me. Just like Sen. Sotto, he has his staff looking for 10 death certiﬁcates a day.” About another senator: “Oh yes. And a polygamous one too. Never uses a condom though.” On the RH bill: “Thank you iha. Maybe I should take one pill now. This is why I don’t immerse myself with the RHBill debate. Again, on Sen. Defensor: “I am encouraging some of my staffs to speak on my behalf. Unfortunately they suffer nausea like me, when they hear Sen. Miriam.” On why he was in Baguio: “I’m here in Baguio because I want to know why Cong. Manny Pacquiao is opposing the RHBill. So far nagkakaintindihan naman kami.” Still on the Pill: “Can anyone educate me about the morning after pill? Should I take it before or after breakfast?” Lito’s staff: “I mean constituents. I stand corrected by my staff.” On resigning: “I do miss the old days but giving in to your plea of resigning, I think you should ask all my continents. They voted for me.” On Sen. Panﬁlo Lacson: “I think I have spent longer invisibility in the senate than Sen. Lacson did in hiding.” Still on RH bill: “Can’t I just be a Saling-pusa in the RH Bill Debates? Or maybe I can raise random questions like Sen.
Al Gore’s wolf?... from page 29
Why should we care if Al Gore is wrong in his alarmist assertions? Many believers in Al Gore’s climate change crusade are in government crafting policies with the ultimate goal of cutting down on CO2 gas emissions with far reaching consequences to the economy and employment in particular. Crippling coal ﬁred plants means loss of pay checks for many. Refusal to build the Keystone pipeline means lost employment opportunities for thousands and unearned revenue for government. Limiting oil and gas drilling in public lands or offshore areas suppress economic activity. If the projections of the climate change prove to be wrong, the government could waste billions of precious taxpayers’ money in green investments that do not tame nature’s behavior. “There is no point buying earthquake insurance if you do not live in an earthquake zone”, counsels the Economist. It sums up its newfound skepticism with the statement- If climate scientists were credit-rating agencies, climate sensitivity would be on negative watch. But it would not yet be downgraded.”
Sound Chamber... from page 30
“The disparity is widening, especially in burgeoning smaller cities…” Here, only 43 percent of households have piped water. That’s better than Indonesia ’s 20 percent, But dry taps jack up incidence of illness and number of deaths. Thus, “sanitation access” is 74 percent for us. .It is 96 percent for Thais.. Lack of water crimps handling of “DALY” --- shorthand for “age-standardized disabilityadjusted life years”. This gauge tracks diarrhea toll per 100,000 people. DALY counted 528 Filipino victims and 483 Indonesians. In contrast, Sri Lanka pared that toll down to 153. How did Colombo do that? You won’t know from candidates seeking to be elected senator. Only former Palawan . governor Edward Hagedorn discusses water policies. Abortion is called the “silent scream.” Number of Filipino mothers, who die at childbirth, are quadruple that of Thailand . About 11 mothers died every day due to complications during pregnancy and childbirth — up from three years back, National Statistics Ofﬁce reported. Only 90,000 mothers get post-abortion care. About half of 3.4 million pregnancies are unintended There’s no hard data to show that the number of bootleg abortions --- estimated earlier at 560,000 yearly --- ebbed. The bitter quarrel over the Reproductive Health bill merely delayed access to family planning services, even to non-Catholics. Surely, that ‘s as important as that Bacolod diocese billboard on “Team Patay” and “Team Buhay”? In 2013, the old scourge of malnutrition put on a new mask: the faces of 67,000 ill-fed kids in Compostela Valley and Agusan del Sur, ravaged earlier by Typhoon Bopha.. In the Philippines, malnutrition accounts for more than a third of deaths of children younger than ﬁve years Only six out of ten kids, in the vulnerable age bracket of 6-23 months old” get a good diet, Unicef notes. After two years, the damage sets in for good. Two of the biggest culprits are lack of vitamin A and zinc
Immigration reform... from page 30
or more misdemeanors, foreign offenses that would render the person inadmissible or deportable if committed in the U.S., terrorism and unlawful voting will disqualify the alien. Aliens with three or four misdemeanors can apply for waiver based on humanitarian ground to ensure family unity or if it is in the public interest. To obtain RPI status, the alien must ﬁle an application within one year from the date of the publication of the ﬁnal rule in the Federal Register, satisfy all tax liabilities and pay a ﬁling fee and penalty of $1,000.00. Can RPIs become permanent residents? Adjustment to lawful permanent residence status for RPIs is not automatic. They can only apply for green card status after the Secretary of State certiﬁes that immigrant visas have become available for all approved petitions that were ﬁled before the date of enactment of the reform law. In other words, they cannot jump ahead of the line. They still have to meet certain requirements, including paying all tax liability, continuous employ-
ment, knowledge of English and civics, proof of selective service registration and meeting certain criteria in the merit-based system for immigrant visas.
April 30, 2013
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