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V Issue 172
U.S. urged to show PH ‘strong’ support
By JUN MEDINA
WASHINGTON -- The United States should demonstrate “strong” support for the Philippines in the face of a five-day standoff between the Philippine Navy and eight Chinese vessels at the Scarborough Shoal (local name: Panatag Shoal) 124 nautical miles west off Zambales province. The standoff started Sunday when the Navy tried to detain eight Chinese vessels fishing in its waters but was stopped by two Chinese surveillance ships. The eight Chinese fishing vessels were later found to contain endangered marine species, coral, and live sharks. “For the U.S., it is vital to continue supporting the Philippines, as a strong Philippine position in the South China Sea is the best way to ensure peace and prevent Chinese adventurism,” said the Heritage Foundation, a conservative U.S. think tank based in the capital. Robert Warshaw, research assistant in the Asian Studies Center at The Heritage Foundation, warned that “if shots are fired,” Washington is under obligation to “begin formal consulta-
Philippine Navy Vice Admiral Alexander Pama shows to media pictures of Chinese vessel at Scarborough Shoal (Photo: Mike Alquinto/NPPA Images) ca’s] own peace and safety’.” Warshaw added that the treaty obliges the U.S. to “act to meet the common danger.” Warshaw stressed that Washington should continue to reinforce Manila’s ability to protect its territorial integrity and “remain resolute” in its treaty commitments.
tions” with the Philippines on how it could help. Warshaw made it clear that while America does not take sides on ongoing territorial claims in the Spratlys, the 1951 U.S.-Philippine Mutual Defense Treaty is “explicitly clear that any attack on Philippine ‘armed forces, public vessels or aircraft in the Pacific’ will be deemed ‘dangerous to [Ameri-
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Ping family needs closure to tragedy
By JUN NUCUM
NEWARK (Bay Area, Calif.) -- A memorial service was held Tuesday, April 10, for Katleen Ping, the 24-year-old receptionist who was among seven people slain last week at Oakland’s Oikos University in a shooting rampage by former student One Goh. The solemn gathering of Katleen’s family, friends, and relatives took place in this city’s Bay Area Baptist Church, even as her remains still await release to her nearest next of kin, her husband Christian ‘Ian’ Rafanan Vicuna, who, according to Katleen’s brother, Kaine, is waiting for proper documentation to be able to travel from the Philippines to the U.S. The uneasy feeling that Katleen’s body would remain under lock and key for some time hovers over the Ping household in Oakland. But at the same time, the family said it has been getting help from both the U.S. and Philippine agencies in expediting the travel papers of Ian.. Model daughter Katleen, had been determined to fulfill her dream of starting a new life with her family in the U.S. Becoming an American citizen was first on her agenda so she could bring Ian to America to be with her and their son Kayzzer Bryant. This had been her quest ever since her father immigrated in 1994, when she was attending grade school. A consistent oratorical contest gold medalist, Katleen had a happy life in the Philippines and had a good educational foundation studying in private schools in Pangil, Lumban, Siniloan and Pakil -- all in Laguna -- from kinder to high school. “She was my trusted partner in raising our family particularly in taking care of her siblings --- her brother, Kaine, together with younger sisters Kendell and Kizzy -- when their Papa (Liberty Ping) left us,” mother Mary Jean related. When they had to transfer to Tanza, Cavite to be closer to Manila where she studied nursing at the Far Eastern University (FEU), Katleen helped the family in the preparation and distribution of pork barbecue in the Export Processing Zone Authority She studied nursing at FEU for only two years and, while pregnant with
The Ping family weeps as hymns of faith, love, and hope are sung to celebrate Katleen’s life during a memorial Tuesday, April 10, at Bay Area Baptist Church in Newark. From right: Katleen’s dad, Liberty; mom, Mary Jean; sister Kendell; Katleen’s 4-year-old son, Kayzzer; and close family friend, Belen Rodriguez
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PH pulls off warship to ease tension in standoff
MANILA—The Philippines pulled its biggest warship away from a standoff with Chinese vessels Thursday, but said the dispute was far from over with both nations deploying more non-military boats to the area. Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said the Philippines decided to remove the navy’s flagship from the tiny set of islands and reefs in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) while trying to negotiate an end to the five-day impasse. “We are pursuing the diplomatic track in terms of com-
ing to a resolution on the issue,” del Rosario told reporters. The dispute began on Sunday when Philippine authorities found eight Chinese fishing boats at Scarborough Shoal, 124 nautical miles west of the country’s main island of Luzon. The Philippines accused the fishermen of being there illegally, asserting the area was Philippine territory because it was within the country’s 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone, as recognized by international law.
Ariza warns Pacquiao to take fight seriously
Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao could find himself in trouble unless he comes fully prepared for his welterweight title defense against unified light welterweight champ Timothy Bradley, according to Pacman’s strength and conditioning coach, Alex Ariza. Pacquiao is currently a 5-1 favorite to keep his World Boxing Organization welterweight title against the unbeaten Bradley, on June 9, at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas. Ariza, who suggested a rigorous training regimen similar to what brought knockout victories for Pacquiao, did not hide his frustration over the fact that the Filipino pound-forpound best boxer in the world will not
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Milpitas mayor Joe Esteves (L) presents Jose Vargas with proclamation
start formal training camp in Baguio City until April 16. That effectively gives Pacquiao, 33, about eight weeks preparation compared to the usual 10-month training camps he spent preparing for his fights against Oscar De La Hoya and Ricky Hatton. In his career-defining fight with De La Hoya, the smaller Pacquiao forced the former Mexican-American top boxing draw to retire at the end of the eighth round and eventually forced him into retirement. Against Hatton, then the lineal light welterweight champion of the
Leading uncomfortable immigration discussions
Text by HARVEY I. BARKIN Photos courtesy of NaFFAA Region 8 Media Group
MILPITAS (Bay Area, Calif.) – “My border is the Pacific Ocean. I don’t know if there is any border in history that can beat the human will.” Jose Antonio Vargas has been to 50 speaking events in 10 months. Ten cities in the past three weeks including Iowa, Alabama, Florida and Michigan. Vargas has been flying with a passport provided by the Philippine government and fortified by nine lawyers. Anytime, Immigration authorities can come and pick him up. But it has been almost a year and nothing has happened. Neither has the Pulitzer Prize been retracted.
UNDOCUMENTED PULITZER WINNER
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April 13 - 19, 2012
Philippine Frontline Scenes by NPPA Images
Her Excellency, Quentin Bryce, governor-general of the Commonwealth of Australia, was in the Philippines on a state visit Thursday, April 12. The Australian official, a staunch advocate for the welfare and advancement of women and children, has taken a particular interest in the status of women in the Philippines, recent developments in health care for Filipino children, as well as in Philippine poverty alleviation efforts. While in the Philippines, Govearnor-General Bryce was scheduled to get on-site briefing on the Conditional Cash Transfer program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the Building the Resilience and Awareness of the Metro Manila Communities to Natural Disaster, and Climate Change Impacts program of the Australian Agency for International Aid (AusAID). She was to also visit a local refuge for women and children. The Philippines and Australia have been enjoying a vibrant and dynamic partnership for 66 years (Photos: Jay Morales/MPB/NPPA Images)
Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario (L) and Philippine Navy Vice Admiral Alexander Pama answer media questions during a press conference on the Scarborough Shoal standoff situation between the Philippines and China, held at the DFA building in Pasay City, Wednesday, April 11 (Photo: Mike Alquinto/NPPA Images)
Family, friends, and co-workers gather Tuesday, April 10, to pay tribute to the late veteran news anchor, Angelo Castro Jr. at Dolphy Theater, ABS-CBN compound in Quezon City (Photo: George Calvelo/NPPA Images)
On April 10, President Benigno Aquino III received the Emir of the State of Qatar, His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, who flew in on a state visit together with his official delegation. The visit is the first-ever of a Qatari emir to the country. The Philippines and Qatar have been nurturing a 31-year-old friendship. During the expanded bilateral meeting, the Al-Thani and President Aquino discussed ways to further enhance relations between the two countries especially in the areas of labor, tourism, agriculture, trade and investments. The State of Qatar is one of the fastest growing economies in the world and is the richest country in terms of GDP per capita. It is host to about 175,000 Filipino workers (Photos: Gil Nartea MPB/NPPA Images)
Baguio-Benguet Vicariate Bishop Carlito Cenzon joins the protest rally Wednesday, April 11, against cutting of pine and alnus trees in Luneta Hill in Baguio City by Shoemart, to give way to SM mall expansion. A temporary environmental protection order has been issued, calling for SM to stop the tree-cutting activity (Photo: NPPA Images)
April 13 - 19, 2012
April 13 - 19, 2012
(Two incidents have focused attention on Philippine sovereignty, how Filipinos defend it, and actually, how little can be done in the face of another country’s armed might or cluelessness.) We’re talking about China, of course, and its assertion of sovereignty over the Scarborough Shoal, which lies off the province of Zambales in the West Philippine Sea (otherwise known as the South China Sea). President Aquino has asserted Philippine sovereignty over the disputed area, and said he hoped for a “peaceful resolution” of the issue. The standoff took place when eight Chinese fishing vessels were blocked by two Philippine Navy ships which would have detained the crews of the vessels had not two other Chinese surveillance craft prevented them from doing so. The other incident has to do with the planned launch of a rocket by North Korea in the course of which a booster, approximately the size of a refrigerator, would have fallen into Philippine territory. Latest news is that the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea has postponed the rocket launch in view of unfavorable weather conditions. But it still begs the question: What could we have done if indeed a piece of hardware had fallen into the Philippines? True, projections put the area in which the bit of metal would have fallen as firmly within open water. But what if an errant wind or failed calculation nudged the “refrigerator-size” remnant over occupied land and ended up flattening, say, the house of a law-abiding citizen? There is more, of course, in this rocket launch than just sending a missile into space, ostensibly to place an observation satellite in orbit. South Korea views the launch as a “hostile act,” given the enmity between the two countries. Japan, also in the path of the errant rocket, has threatened hostile action, saying it will shoot down the Unha-3 rocket if it should stray into their airspace. And since both South Korea and Japan have alliances with the United States, it’s not farfetched to assume that the latter will be drawn into any resulting conflict. Unlike Japan, though, the Philippines, say our officials, has no capability to stop the rocket or divert any falling debris. Which is why they have been limited to mapping out areas at risk and warning off civilians from these areas. It’s a most sobering reminder of our puny defenses and lack of power. That may be the reason China feels free to test our resolve again and again in the contested territory occupied by the Spratlys and the Scarborough Shoal. Our President is all bluster and bluff when discussing reported incursions of Chinese vessels, especially those belonging to the Chinese navy. But after making the necessary noises, he usually steps back, calling for a diplomatic solution and more talks between our foreign affairs department and theirs. Of course, nobody wants war, or an armed confrontation, to erupt when peaceful solutions exist. And yet the Philippines, precisely because it is neither as rich nor as mighty as China should speak up whenever and wherever its sovereignty is threatened or ignored. If we allow the slightest violation to go unprotected or unpunished, then we risk even more incursions, and even more claims to what is rightfully ours. At a lunch with some Chinese diplomats, one of them asked: “How can we build ChinaPhilippine relations beyond the Spratlys?” My reply was that China should explore more “people-to-people” exchanges, building goodwill and relations among Chinese and Filipino students, bureaucrats, journalists, professionals and others, so that our links go beyond the question of territoriality to shared values and aspirations. China may indeed be the emerging superpower in our part of the world, dominating discourses on trade, technology and arms. But if it wants to “win friends and influence people” among its neighbors, China needs to realize that it needs to change its image from a domineering bully asserting its rights over disputed islands and waters. Instead it should show itself a willing ally sharing in its neighbors’ plans for regional development and crafting visions for a shared future. There are many negative images to alter and biases to overcome before the China “brand” becomes more acceptable to governments and people, including Filipinos who have been embroiled for decades in an anticommunist struggle. The ties between our homegrown revolutionaries and the politburo in Beijing may only be mythical by now, but myths die hard. And it’s difficult to make friends when the only overtures we experience are threatening naval incursions and poaching vessels. (By Rina Jimenez-David, courtesy of inquirer. net)
Defending our sovereignty
The Capitol Perspective
SEN. LELAND YEE Last week, the San Francisco Chronicle highlighted several major problems at the California State University (CSU) regarding employees who report waste, fraud and abuse. The Chronicle reported that CSU has spent $9 million over the past three years to settle and defend cases in which whistleblowers were retaliated against – often dismissed, denied promotion, or other retribution as a result of coming forward with wrongdoing. Rather than being rightfully applauded and thanked for reporting malfeasance, all too often CSU employees are unfairly retaliated against. Taxpayers and students can ill-afford to be pay millions and millions of dollars for abuses by managers and administrators. It is past due for the Chancellor to mandate all his executives receive training in California’s whistleblower protection laws. The Board of Trustees needs to support these whistleblowers. It is mind-boggling that rather than cracking down on bad behavior, they condone it by attacking the messenger and promoting the abuser. In my years serving in Sacramento, I have authored several laws to protect whistleblowers throughout California. This session, I am authoring Senate Bill 1336 to require public agencies, including the CSU, to disclose the findings of whistleblower complaints. Under current law, such whistleblower complaints are frequently sealed and the public is often never made aware of any findings or if any action was taken in response. SB 1336 would continue to maintain the privacy interests of those initiating an investigation and any witnesses involved, but would allow the public to be made aware of the findings from an investigative audit. Absent a lawsuit, too often whistleblower complaints are just swept under the rug. SB 1336 will allow the public to have confidence that improper governmental activities are being properly investigated and that when a complaint is substantiated, officials take appropriate disciplinary action. SB 1336 will be considered in committee this week. The Chronicle highlighted several examples of retaliation against whistleblowers that were ignored by campus authorities until lawsuits were filed and the university was forced to pay millions of dollars by courts or through settlement. A Cal State Long Beach language professor reported abuses of falsified teaching loads and plagiarism, and was then denied promotion and faced other forms of retaliation. The university settled for $1 million and spent over $500,000 in legal costs. A San Diego State fitness coach received poor assignments as retaliation for accusing a colleague of being drunk and cooperating with an investigation of the athletics department. CSU settled for $2.7 million and spent $1.9 million lawyers. Three human resources employees at the Chancellor’s office were fired after questioning Chancellor Charles Reed for awarding $2.45 million in contracts to a consulting firm without a competitive bidding process. The three employees settled for over $300,000, while CSU spent more than $160,000 in legal costs. A lecturer at CSU East Bay reported a colleague spending thousands of dollars of public money on personal recreational equipment. As a result, the whistleblower was fired and the offending employee continued to work at the university. CSU has created a culture in which whistleblowers do not feel comfortable coming forward. The result is that abuse continues and millions of dollars are wasted at the worst possible time for students and California families.
PH Political Scene
Practicality vs technicality
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A petition has been filed with the Supreme Court seeking to nullify the contract signed March 30 between the Commission on Elections and Smartmatic-TIM to purchase the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines of the latter for use in the 2013 midterm elections on the ground that such purchase option already expired and is therefore illegal. Moreover, the petitioners argue that the PCOS machines did not make the 2010 elections entirely hassle-free to be ideal for reuse. Under Republic Act 9369, the Comelec is required to hold another automated election in 2013. The poll body earlier sought a P10-billion budget for this particular exercise but Congress approved only P7 billion. Obviously, the legislature thought a midterm election did not require more. The Comelec quibbled, saying the money is not enough to purchase a new set of machines or a new OMR (optical media reader) system. Neither does it have enough time to bid out a new automation contract. Adopting such a new technology will take at least a whole year, as shown in 2010. Bidding out a new contract will also take considerable time. And Comelec is in a race against the clock, as it were. To conduct a successful election, the Comelec needs at least 15 months to prepare. Thus, exactly 14 months before the May 2013 midterm polls, the Comelec en banc decided to buy the PCOS machines of Smartmatic. According to Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes, this was the most prudent and practical route. The deal struck with Smartmatic will have the poll body pay only P1.8 billion for the machines. If new technology and machines were acquired, it would have cost about P6.2 billion. With a P7-billion operating budget, the Comelec would be left with a measly P800,000 for voters’ education, personnel training, printing of ballots, and the purchase of election paraphernalia, among other expenses. As further justification of the Comelec decision, it said the voters already know how to use the PCOS machines. This eliminates the need for a costly voter’s education campaign and just as expensive infomercials. But here comes the petition for a TRO and writ of preliminary injunction that gives more importance to the technical flaws than the practicality of the Comelec’s move. There are suspicions that hard-core politicians are behind it, out to drive a wedge into automation that discourages much of election cheating. (RA 9369 provides that if automated election could not be held for reason or another, the Comelec may revert to manual voting as a last resort.) The folks who filed the case were former Vice President Teofisto Guingona, Bishop Broderick S. Pabillo, DD, Auxiliary Bishop of Manila, economist Solita Monsod and leaders of civil society groups called We Watch, Transparency National-Phils., Solidarity Philippines, Philippine Computer
Society, CenPEg and Transparentelections.org.ph. *** Spokesmen for Vice President Jejomar Binay brag that it is a powerhouse team he has put together as his United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) senatorial ticket for 2013. Binay himself predicts a resounding win for this coalition. But many are unimpressed, not only because they are going up against the ruling Liberal Party but also because of perceptions that the UNA senatoriables are the same old tradpols with all the dirty connotations of the term. Except for reelectionist senators Francis Escudero, Loren Legarda, Gringo Honasan and Alan Peter Cayetano, the other names in the lineup have no proven vote-getting record on a national scale. The congressmen in the ticket – San Juan’s Joseph Victor Estrada, Cagayan’s Jack Enrile, Mitos Magsaysay of Zambales and Cynthia Villar of Las Pinas – have name recall alright but this is no guarantee of poll victory. In the case of Estrada and Villar, their father and husband, respectively, lost in the 2010 presidential elections. Together with former senators Ernesto Maceda and Francisco Tatad, the UNA ticket as a whole will be in for a rough ride, especially if the Senate convicts Chief Justice Renato Corona. If that happens, President Aquino will be standing 10 feet tall and everything he touches will turn into gold. Meaning, the LP candidates handpicked by Mr. Aquino will be unbeatable. *** Long before the age of televised debates and interactive online discussions on politics, there was Plaza Miranda in Quiapo which was the symbol of democratic dialogue. It became famous as such that the late President Ramon Magsaysay asked about controversial policies: “Can we defend it in Plaza Miranda?” A journalist couple, Alan and Raissa Robles, is on its way to recreating the concept and practice of Plaza Miranda through what they call Cyber Plaza Miranda or CPM. Anybody that participates in the political discussions is called CPMayer. Last time I visited the site, former Cory Information Secretary Tomas “Buddy” Gomez III and retired newshen Chit Navarro were enthusiastically involved in the online discussions of a property in Tampa, Florida listing Renato Corona as the buyer. The growing influence of Cyber Plaza Miranda came to fore when the Corona defense panel at the impeachment trial went at Raissa with guns blazing. Denying that Corona owned such property, the lawyers tried to intimidate Raissa by asking the impeachment court to summon her as witness. Earlier, Corona’s lawyers charged that Raissa was the “little lady” who gave to the prosecution the bank documents on the CJ’s dollar accounts. The subject of Corona’s bank deposits has been discussed exhaustively on Cyber Plaza Miranda. So were the supposedly fake academic records of the chief magistrate, who claimed that he graduated with top honors at Ateneo grade and high school. After the subject was hotly debated on CPM, the said SC records underwent changes. (Send comments or suggestions to email@example.com)
April 13 - 19, 2012
As I See It
Education 101: Easter is a time for reflection, a chance to amend our ways
ELPIDIO R. ESTIOKO
Act of Valor stokes anti-Filipino prejudice
RODEL E. RODIS
In less than one week, more than 106 comments were posted online to my criticism of the movie “Act of Valor” as “racist propaganda”. In that article, I included a criticism of the movie from a JewishAmerican writer, Debbie Schlussel, who labeled it “an anti-Semitic tripe wrapped in the American flag with a Navy SEAL cherry on top” because “the script makes a Jewish billionaire the bad guy and the smuggler and financier behind the major terrorism plot.” No one from Schlussel’s Jewish community posted any disagreement with her outrage at the film. While Filipinos in the US may have the same number of people in the US as members of the Jewish faith - about four million, the response to “Act of Valor” has been markedly different. About half of the 106 posted comments criticized my criticism as “overreaction” even though, unlike the one Jewish and the one Chechnyan character in the film, there were 16 men and women who were identified as Filipino terrorists. “C’mon, it’s just a movie” was a common reaction. One reader who identified himself as “Joe Kano” wrote that he found it “incredibly racist” that I only objected to the portrayal of Filipinos but that I did not seem to care that the mastermind in the film (who spoke Tagalog) was from Chechnya. The reader demanded that “Rodis be banned from the Inquirer until he learns to apply his criticism equally, without regard to race or national origin.” I replied to Kano that I would hope that a Chechnyan columnist writing for a Chechnyan newspaper somewhere would denounce the antiChechnyan reference in the film just as a Jewish writer denounced the anti-Semitic reference in the film in a Jewish blog. I wrote my article for a Filipino publication so I make no apologies for only criticizing the racial profiling of Filipinos in the film. The negative reaction of many Filipinos in the Philippines may be due to their lack of awareness of or experience with the pernicious effects of racial profiling in the US. Filipinos in the US, however, are more acutely aware of how racial profiling can affect an entire American ethnic community for the actions of people of their ethnicity outside the US. After the Navy of Imperial Japan bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, US Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt, on February 19, 1942, signed Executive Order 9066 which authorized the internment of 110,000 Japanese-Americans who lived on the west coast of the US even though not a single one of them was ever charged with involvement in any activity against the United States. They spent three years cooped up in concentration camps that were set up in deserts all over the US. Almost 50 years later, in 1988, the US Congress passed legislation that apologized for the government’s internment of Japanese Americans which, according to the legislation, was based on “race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership”. The U.S. government disbursed more than $1.6 billion in reparations to Japanese Americans who had been interned. In his book, “Racial Formation in the United States, “ UC Santa Barbara Professor Howard Winant wrote that “the United States has always had this tendency to racialize its international conflicts domestically, to view international conflicts as domestic threats…As a nation of immigrants, it’s the easiest place in the world to internalize its external conflicts.” In numerous polls conducted in the US after 9/11, a majority of respondents said that authorities should single out people who look “Middle Eastern” for security screening at locations such as airports and train stations. A Gallup poll showed that 39 percent of Americans admit to being prejudiced against Muslims and declare that they would not want a Muslim for a neighbor. Ansar Mahmood was a young Pakistani green card holder working as a pizza delivery man in New York when he was detained in October 2001, a month after 9/11, for taking photos of the Catskill Mountains near the Hudson Water Treatment Plant. He was cleared of any charges but after FBI agents learned that he lived with two Pakistani citizens who were from his home town whose US visas had expired, he was charged with “harboring illegal aliens” and deported from the US after spending 32 months in federal custody. As Anthropologist Paul Silverstein concluded, Muslims in the US “are the object of a series of stereotypes, caricatures and fears which are not based in a reality and are independent of a person’s experience with Muslims.” Even though Filipino Muslims make up less than 15% of the Philippine population, most of America is not aware of this statistic and may easily believe from watching “Act of Valor” that most Filipinos are Muslims and then extend their hostility towards all Muslims to all Filipinos and make us all victims of guilt by association and the politics of fear. On October 10, 2007, I wrote an article (“Desperate Apologies”) criticizing a September 30, 2007 episode of the ABC-TV comic hit “Desperate Housewives” where the Terri Hatcher character inquired from her gynecologist about where he graduated from, voicing her concern that he may have acquired his medical training from “some med school in the Philippines”. The clear implication of the Hatcher crack was that Philippine-trained physicians are quacks. In my article, I inquired about how this script was vetted with the writers, producers and ABC executives. Were any of them sensitive to how this reference may affect Philippine physicians and how it may subject them to ridicule? Through the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA), we sought and obtained a meeting with ABC executives to discuss our concerns. Because ABC is owned by the Disney Corporation, we even demonstrated in front of a Disney store in San Francisco’s Union Square to press ABC executives to meet with us. The offshoot of all this activism is that ABC apologized and edited out the demeaning reference to graduates from “some med school in the Philippines” in the episode’s reruns and in the DVDs. “Act of Valor” is far more destructive of the Filipino character and reputation than that “Desperate Housewives” episode could ever be. And yet where is the outrage? The executive producer of “Act of Valor” is Ryan Kavanaugh, the billionaire mogul who owns Relativity Media. His office address is 9242 Beverly Blvd. Suite 300, Beverly Hills, CA 90210 and his phone number is (310) 724-7700 in case you want to inquire about how “Act of Valor” was vetted. Mr. Kavanaugh, sir, with tens of thousands of Filipinos actively serving in the US Navy, was any thought given as to how your film may affect their morale and their image? Mr. Kavanaugh, sir, you claim in your $30 million publicity campaign for this movie that it is “based on true events”. What factual incident can you point to that involved Filipino Muslim terrorists attempting to infiltrate the US to sow terror? Perhaps Mr. Kavanaugh can be requested to consider editing the scene where US Navy SEALs, hiding out in a hill overlooking a Somali dessert, spot a plane that lands and unloads a group of 16 men and women who then bow down and pray on their knees. Using his binoculars, a SEAL immediately identifies them as Filipinos. How could he possibly know that? Perhaps the scene could be changed so that the soldier identifies them as “Muslims”, which would be the logical conclusion as they were facing east towards Mecca and they were wearing Muslim garb. If they are not identified as Filipinos in that critical scene, then their later attempts to infiltrate the US border wearing suicide vests would not cause a major racial profiling problem for Filipinos. Otherwise, in viewing this film, I am inclined to paraphrase Mark Twain: There are lies, there are damned lies and then there’s “Act of Valor.”
How many of us ever paused for a moment and reflected on our past as a way of seeing our future? If we never did this, this is the time to do it! The month of April, Easter month so to speak, is a reflection month. It is not the time, as many are doing, on how many times we fooled somebody. Let us not be carried away by this practice handed down to us for generations. The real meaning of April Fool’s Day actually, to my point of view, is to make us remember that fooling somebody is never fun! Don’t you think so? I remembered, on April Fools, somebody told my friend his wife is cheating on him. Wow! Do you think this is fun? My friend never talked to this guy again, because he found out he was just April fooling around! In fact, he lost a dear friend on April Fool’s Day. My friend Lito Roldan and wife Susan invited my wife Delia and I to watch an Easter Musical presentation on Friday, April 6. I think, watching the play, is a better option than fooling others. Not Just a Man is the title of the Easter Musical depicting the life of Jesus, the Messiah, from boyhood to His resurrection directed by Debbie Moreno Balajadia and Joshua Bendanillo. As we watch the Easter presentation, we can reflect on our lives and picture how we can improve our life-style from the point of view of the greatest man on earth. According to Lito, this will be a good watch because the play depicts a “short but soulinspiring pilgrimage in the life of the Messiah from his boyhood to his death on the cross and resurrection with carefully arranged and orchestrated script and musical.” I remember the same group presented last year an Easter play showing people to make the right choice in life. The Easter Drama Musical presentation was dubbed as The Door with original script and direction by Pam SerranoFernando. That was great because the play depicted 13
realistic ways of life that are showcasing the life of Americans today. Yes, 13 different life-styles that started with a door – a door of opportunities – and ended with a door of one’s choice. As I watch television today, I noticed the sensational NBA player Jeremy Lin do an unusual thing, other than his superb basketball play. For every field goal he makes, he thanked the Lord, either by murmuring Jesus’ name while rushing to go back to the opposite goal or kneeling in every break time, thanking the Lord for successfully making a goal. I saw the same thing with professional football player Tim Teebow. For every goal he makes, he thanked the Lord for making one. Our very own Congressman and EightDivision Boxing Champion Manny Pacquiao do the same thing. In addition to seeking the Lord’s help before a fight and thanking the Lord after the successful fight, he became a Bible Ambassador. Manny is hopping from one place to the other preaching the goodness of the Lord and narrating his story that he is a changed man. He brings with him his choir, led by his wife Jinky, in every religious engagement he makes or attends. His testimonial on how he dropped his baggage and embraced the Lord is inspiring every Filipino to reform their lives. This personal invitation from the Lord is transforming people. They are presented a choice, a choice for a better life, in this day of economic uncertainties. During Easter, we are not just hunting the eggs, but we are celebrating the resurrection of the Lord, Jesus Christ. According to Scripture, Jesus came back to life, or was raised from the dead, three days after his death on the cross. Through his death, burial, and resurrection, Jesus, according to Christian belief, paid the penalty for sin, thus purchasing for all who believe in him, eternal life in Christ Jesus. Surely, after watching The Door and the More than just a man, people will be able to make their choices… choices for a better tomorrow. My friends Lito and Susan, and to their Christian community, we need people like you to continue educating the faithful and keep on showing them the way to make right choices in life… at this time of the year!
(Elpidio R. Estioko is a full-time academic instructor of San Jose Job Corps; a part-time faculty of De Anza College; a regular online faculty of Axia College, University of Phoenix; and a former journalist from the Philippines. He has also taught essay writing at the San Jose State University; journalism and other communication subjects at the University of the Philippines; Polytechnic University of the Philippines; Arellano University; and the Graduate School, Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila. He is the chair of the Milpitas Library Advisory Commission and a member of the School Site Council of Independence High School. He can be reached at (408) 719-1995; (408) 254-5627 Ext 317; firstname.lastname@example.org; or email@example.com).
Thinking Out Aloud
Social Darwinism economics
Finally someone said it out loud. It was about time that a big political name took a different approach and stopped trying to pair Democrats and Republicans in an illusory union of generous bipartisanship. In a recent speech to the American Society of Newspaper Editors, President Barack Obama exposed the House Republican’s—and for that matter the wider Republican Party’s—budget plan for what it is: a harsh, anti-progressive, and inequitable solution that is rigged in favor of the rich. President Obama remarked in the speech that the proposed House Republican budget was a “thinly-veiled” form of “Social Darwinism.” Social Darwinism is a 19th century theory that exercised Darwinian concepts in the study of society. It formed much of the basis of deregulated, free market capitalism that has adopted a central role in American economics in the last few decades. Social Darwinism is popular with Republicans and their conservative minions because in its survival-of-the-fittest scheme, what passes for the superior and the deserving are the wealthy, while what passes as the weakest and therefore undeserving are the comparatively lower rungs of society which include the middle class. Formidably self-exonerating, socioeconomic Social Darwinism inspires Republicans and conservatives into believing that their affluence is something of a god-given bequest that only a select, worthy few have a right to. Former Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain was sitting at the juncture of economic philosophy and Social Darwinism when he benightedly but seriously said that if you aren’t rich it’s your fault. Obama hit back at this facile, sink-or-swim description of why the distribution of wealth in the United States is so stratospherically unbalanced. He also recoiled at why the Republicans refuse to concede their Social Darwinist estimations and perspectives of American society. Obama said that the House Republican budget, authored by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, was a “Trojan Horse” that was “antithetical to our entire history as a land of opportunity and upward mobility for everyone who’s willing to work for it—a place where prosperity doesn’t trickle down from the top, but grows outward from the heart of the middle class.” The Republicans grasp the free market system as any coherent Social Darwinist would grasp the law of the jungle: in free market capitalism, only the strong will and should survive. Anyone who does not measure up to that ideal will not be thrown a life preserver as the tonnage of their incompetence, their natural inferiority, their indolence, and their callous mediocrity will bring them down to the depths anyway. Too often, Republicans strengthen a hard judgment that defends the conservative wisdom that people’s fates in life depend on what they do or fail to do, and not on socio-economic processes that can define and exploit human character and behavior. There is an obvious connection between an individual’s character and how they act in public. But there is also an obvious connection between an individual’s character and how social codes, variables, and institutions readily prime people to consider and respond to the world around them. Barack Obama is right on the mark: the spirit of America and its democratic tradition does not hold sacred the expression “every man for himself.” Americans are not supposed to treat those who struggle to make ends meet, who work hard for a pittance, and who may have made costly financial decisions but made them with pure hearts, like lepers who are to be cast aside. America is supposed to be a melting pot community of disparate groups and cultures, a country where everyone without exception should get a fair opportunity to make whatever they want to out of their life. That is not only Barack Obama’s dream or the Democratic Party’s. It is the American Dream. That dream however, is running against the reductionist tenor of the times which are giving way to fear and paranoia. This is the overwrought, fictional horror story the Republicans are trying to peddle to the American public. If it is true, to paraphrase the political philosopher Leo Strauss, that modern societies are better off choosing “life-giving delusion” over the truth, then we might hope as the Republicans and conservatives enjoy their view from the balcony of their towering self-righteousness and hypocrisy, that they would find it in their cold, Social Darwinistic hearts to leave a few crumbs for the non-white, non-male, non-wealthy, and non-Social Darwinists that they share this country with.
(Send comments to Rodel50@gmail.com or mail them to the Law Offices of Rodel Rodis at 2429 Ocean Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94127 or call 415.334.7800)
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April 13 - 19, 2012
Aquino opens Mindanao power summit Friday
DAVAO CITY—President Benigno Aquino III’s role in the Mindanao Power Summit here Friday would be more than just ceremonial, as he was expected to approve short-term and long-term proposals for implementation by the government to solve the power shortage on the island. Secretary Luwalhati Antonino, chairperson of the Mindanao Development Authority, said the President would also actively participate in the discussions during the summit, described as the “largest gathering of power industry stakeholders.” About 350 people will be in attendance. The summit was convened amid claims by National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP), the private company that distributes power to Mindanao utilities, that there has been a declining supply of electricity in Mindanao. NGCP then resorted to forced power curtailments, which burdened consumers in some Mindanao areas with up to 10 hours of outages. Power utilities that were trying to make the outages as short as possible were forced to buy additional power from private companies operating diesel-fired plants to compensate for the NGCP-imposed curtailments. As a result, the cost of electricity for the power utilities’ customers went up by more than half. For example, Davao del Sur Electric Cooperative previously charged about P6 per kilowatt hour. It now charges P10 per kWh. Malacañang earlier said the government could not do anything to stop the curtailments because there was indeed a shortage of power supply. But Antonino and many Mindanao officials would not toe the line. “The Power Summit accords us the opportunity to discuss the real Mindanao power situation and the specific short to long-term measures that stakeholders wanted acted on jointly by the government and the industry players,” Antonino said. “This is being done for and by the Mindanaoans who have a direct stake in the Mindanao power issue and what needs to be done, and the President will be there to see to it that the proposed measures are thoroughly studied and the doables are carried through,” she added. Solar resources Bayan Muna Representative Teodoro Casiño said consensus on substantial issues and options should come out of the summit and not done deals. He said the government should be able to solve the energy shortfall without jacking up electricity rates. Casiño said one measure was for the government to take over management of private power barges “to ensure that power is being sold at cheaper baseload prices.” He said for the long-term solution, Congress should approve House Bill No. 5405 or the proposed One Million Solar Roofs Act. The bill proposes incentives and financing facilities to encourage the use of solar energy by ordinary electricity consumers like residences, offices and small to medium business establishments. “Solar resources are the most promising. This is because the average range of hours of sunshine in the Philippines is between 4.3 hours per day in July and August and 8.6 hours per day in April. On balance, there are 2,105 sunshine hours annually and approximately 5.8 sunlight hours for each day the whole year,” Casiño said. Epira amendments In Kidapawan City, North Cotabato Governor Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza said she would present her proposals such as amendments to the Electric Power Industry Reform Act or Epira Law. Mendoza, a former lawmaker, said the Epira Law provided the legal framework for the privatization of Napocor and the deregulation of the country’s power industry. She said this was also being used to privatize the government’s remaining power assets. “The power outages are but a way of conditioning the minds of consumers that there is a power crisis, and such conditioning has something to do with the privatization of the remaining government-owned power utilities in Mindanao,” she said. (inquirer.net)
The annual reenactment of Christ’s crucifixion, “Maleldo,” at Barangay San Pedro, Cutud, Pampanga, on Good Friday, April 6, again drew devotees from all over. Although Maleldo is not sanctioned by the Catholic Church, as it is seen as a commercialization of Christ’s death, the tradition remains a religious spectacle witnessed by thousands (Photo: Ibarra Siapno/NPPA Images)
2 Filipinos killed, 8 freed in anti-piracy operations
By JUN MEDINA
Two Filipinos were killed during a rescue operation by the Iranian navy against Somali pirates who hijacked the Cypriotflagged and Iranian-owned MV Eglantine early this month. Citing a report from the Philippine Embassy in Tehran, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) spokesman Raul Hernandez said eight other Filipino sailors were rescued during the operation on the high seas off the Gulf of Aden last April 2. One Filipino sailor died of a gunshot wound in the head while another died of suffocation in the engine room, where he had sought refuge during the rescue operation that lasted two days, according to reports. According to the DFA chief of mission in Tehran Mariano Dumia, the eight rescued crew members were booked to arrive in Manila on April 11 via Malaysian Airlines flight 804. Dumia said 12 Somali pirates were captured during the Iranian navy’s rescue operations. MV Eglantine was hijacked on March 26 off the southwestern coast of India. The ship had 23 crew members of mixed nationalities, including 10 Filipinos. According to the rescued Filipinos, the pirates used tied the crewmen and used them as human shields as the pirates fought Iranian commandos involved in the rescue mission. Meanwhile, the Kish Shipping Lines Managing Director in Bandar Abbas assured the Philippine Embassy that his company will provide sufficient financial compensation to the families of the deceased and facilitate their immediate repatriation. The families of the crewmen have been informed about the incident, the DFA said. In Tehran meanwhile, Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari disclosed in a press conference that the Iranian Navy has detained 13 pirates (not 12 as mentioned in other reports) 3,000 kilometers off Iran’s territorial waters, a Fars News
Agency (FNA) report said. Sayyari said the pirates were captured in the Indian Ocean after they tried to seize a cargo ship loaded with commodities heading for Iran, adding that the detained pirates were being transferred to Iran. The Iranian Navy began conducting anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden since November 2008, when Somali raiders hijacked the Iranianchartered cargo ship, MV Delight, off the coast of Yemen, the Iranian Navy commander said. UN Security Council resolutions allow different countries to send their warships to the Gulf of Aden and coastal waters of Somalia against the pirates and, with prior notice to Somali government, even enter the territorial waters of that country in pursuit of sea pirates. The pirate-infested Gulf of Aden – which links the Indian Ocean with the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean Sea – is vital energy corridor because Persian Gulf oil is shipped to the West through the Suez Canal.
Marcos crony to return $50-M
The Sandiganbayan First Division has ordered businessman Herminio Disini, a crony of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, to surrender $50.6 million in commissions that he received for helping two foreign firms obtain the contract to build the mothballed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) in 1974. The antigraft court said the commissions were “ill-gotten” and that Disini should reconvey to the government the total amount, with interest, until fully paid. “The evidence presented by the Republic proves that Disini used his influence and close relationship with President Marcos to obtain and amass large amounts of money, which he subsequently stored in various accounts,” the court ruled in a decision issued on April 11. Although it found Marcos to have had a “personal financial interest” in the transaction, the Sandiganbayan said there was no evidence to show that either Marcos or his wife, Imelda, received any part of the commissions from the BNPP deal. “Considering that there is no preponderant evidence that defendant Marcoses received any part of these commissions, the Court cannot pronounce any liability on their part,” the Sandiganbayan said. Pay-offs shared with dictator The court also found no evidence to support several other allegations of the government, such as that Marcos ordered the massive and unlawful withdrawals of assets from the National Treasury, the Central Bank and other depository institutions; that Marcos and Disini embezzled government funds or used them for their own benefit; and that Disini acted as a dummy for the Marcoses in controlling several corporations. The decision ruled on Civil Case 0013 in connection with the BNPP that the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) filed in the Sandiganbayan in 1987, against Marcos, Imelda and Rodolfo Jacob, an officer of the Disini-owned Herdis Corp. Jacob turned state witness in the civil case. The ruling was penned by Justice Rafael Lagos and concurred in by Justices Rodolfo Ponferrada and Efren de la Cruz. The government charged Disini of having facilitated the award of the BNPP contract to two US firms, the Burns & Roe engineering company and Westinghouse Electric Co., which allegedly
Key suspect in Ortega case surrenders
PUERTO PRINCESA CITY—One of the key suspects in last year’s murder of Palawan broadcaster and environmentalist Dr. Gerry Ortega surrendered to police Wednesday night, authorities announced Thursday. Puerto Princesa City Mayor Edward Hagedorn and City Police Chief Supt. Abad Osit announced the surrender of Arturo “Nonoy” Regalado, the personal aide of former Gov. Joel T. Reyes, the alleged mastermind in the Ortega killing who has gone into hiding after an arrest warrant was issued against him by a Palawan court. Hagedorn said Regalado turned himself in to police in Malate on Wednesday past 11 p.m. Regalado, a former employee of the provincial capitol when Reyes was governor, has been tagged by investigators as the main contact for the group of hired killers from Pagbilao, Quezon, who performed the hit on Ortega last Jan. 24, 2011 inside a used clothing store in the city. Regalado presented himself to the National Bureau of Investigation in Palawan the day after Ortega was shot and asked to be placed under voluntary custody, executing an affidavit that implicated Reyes as the mastermind in the killing. Coordinator In his affidavit, Regalado narrated his role in coordinating with Rodolfo Edrad Jr., Reyes’ former bodyguard who had recruited Marlon Recamata and two other companions from Pagbilao, Quezon, to kill Ortega. Edrad, also known as “Bumar,” is currently under the state witness protection program of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and is the government’s lone witness against Reyes. Regalado had recanted his affidavit when he suddenly left NBI custody and went to Manila supposedly to participate in the initial preliminary investigation of the case. He later issued another affidavit to the first panel of prosecutors at the DOJ, denying participation in the murder. Police had said that Regalado served as the main contact of the group of confessed gunman Recamata who arrived in Puerto Princesa less than a week before Ortega was gunned down. Hagedorn added that another Reyes aide, Val Lecias, also a suspect in the case, “has extended surrender feelers” to authorities. “He (Lecias) might also come out very soon,” the mayor said. Flight Hagedorn said authorities were validating reports that Reyes and his brother, Coron Mayor Mario Reyes, also an accused in the Ortega murder case and in hiding, have left the Philippines through Zamboanga and fled to Kuday, Malaysia. “This is just an unverified report but I understand the police are investigating it,” Hagedorn said. In a recent interview, the former governor’s wife, now Vice Gov. Clara Reyes, broke her silence on the case, saying her husband went into hiding because of threats to his life. “He is not hiding to avoid justice,” said the vice governor. “He will surface at the right time when he thinks there is no more threat against him,” she said during a break at the provincial board’s regular session last Tuesday. (inquirer.net)
paid Disini $18 million in bribes. The pay-offs allegedly went to companies co-owned by Marcos and Disini. Marcos micromanaged deal In its April 11 ruling, the Sandiganbayan said Disini used his ties with Marcos to secure the BNPP contract for Westinghouse and Burns & Roe, and got commissions in return. It said the testimony of several witnesses clearly showed that Disini and Marcos were close associates or relatives by affinity, and that Marcos agreed to have Disini act as the exclusive agent for the two US firms in the BNPP transaction. It said Marcos’ participation in the transaction was driven by his financial interest in the lucrative deal. “The Westinghouse contract was a very lucrative deal not to catch the attention of the President, and given Disini’s special position in the Marcos circle of associates, it would not be stretching one’s imagination too much to assume that they hoped to profit from the deal,” the court said. It also found “unusual” the level of attention that Marcos and Disini gave to the power plant contract, as well as their alertness to minute details and the substantial amount and efforts they exerted. “And the only reason this court could think of behind the former President’s level of micromanaging the BNPP contract is a personal financial interest,” it added. Still a free man The state presented as witnesses Jacob, the president of Disini’s Herdis Group, Herdis vice president Angelo Manahan and Westinghouse representative Jesus Vergara.
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April 13 - 19, 2012
U.S. URGED TO.... from A1
“Negotiating from a position of strength, not weakness, will allow the Philippines the best opportunity to reach an agreeable compromise with the Chinese,” Washaw added. He noted that top Philippine and American officials have agreed to an increase in U.S. ship visits and joint exercises, adding that a second refurbished U.S. cutter is scheduled to be delivered to the Philippine Navy. Warshaw said America has to do more. “The Philippines should be provided the F-16 [fighter jets] they want on a program that will best equip and train them in their usage, as well as the two additional cutters that it has requested, among other requested equipment,” Warshaw said. Moreover, he suggested the two countries should pursue greater military cooperation -- from potentially operating reconnaissance flights from Philippine airfields to rotating U.S. Marines for training, like they are now doing in Australia. “Finally, to maintain the credibility of its own commitments, the U.S. has to reverse course and increase its own Navy’s shipbuilding budget,” Warshaw said. Warshaw thinks the current Philippine-China standoff will not end in conflict. But he observed that China “is becoming more aggressive with each passing day,” adding that without a formal agreement between 10-member Association of Southeast Nations (ASEAN) and China, these incidents will only increase in frequency and intensity. “Until a diplomatic solution can be reached, it is up to the U.S. to guarantee stability in the region,” Warshaw said. “And this is best done through strong support for our treaty ally, the Philippines.” In Manila, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario told newsmen that Manila was “pursuing the diplomatic track in terms of coming to a resolution on the issue.” Del Rosario summoned Chinese Ambassador Ma Keqing Wednesday to the Department of Foreign Affairs to discuss the issue. At the end of their meeting, Del Rosario handed Ma a diplomatic protest for the alleged intrusion into Philippine territory. The foreign secretary later told a press conference that the Philippines will insist on its territorial claim and is prepared to secure the country’s sovereignty, but it will pursue a diplomatic solution to the impasse. Manila accused the Chinese fishermen of being there illegally, asserting the area was Philippine territory because it was within the country’s 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone, as recognized by international law. China, however, claims all of the West Philippine Sea as its own, including waters up to the coasts of other countries, and Chinese authorities insisted the fishermen were allowed to be at the shoal. President Benigno Aquino III instructed the DFA to exhaust all diplomatic means, and the Armed Forces and the Coast Guard to abide by the rules of engagement and ensure there will be no violence. Aquino also said he has talked with the Chinese ambassador and stressed that Scarborough Shoal is within the Philippines’ territory. He said the Philippines would not give its territory away. Aquino said he was optimistic the issue would be resolved. He said China, during the Association of Southeast Asian Summit in Cambodia last week, expressed openness to resolving the issue through international laws like the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Navy chief Vice Admiral Alexander Pama said the impasse started Sunday when a Navy aircraft on a routine maritime patrol spotted eight foreign vessels anchored at the shoal at around 6:30 a.m. Pama said the BRP Gregorio del Pilar or Patrol Frigate 15, which was on its way to Northern Luzon as part of contingency measures for the North Korean rocket launch, was tapped to check the information. The BRP Gregorio del Pilar is a Hamilton-class coast guard cutter acquired from the United States last year. It was deployed to the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) off Palawan after it was commissioned last December.
This Week in History
(Research by Jun Marcelo, Union City, California)
April 13 1976 - $2 bill re-introduced as U.S. currency 1994 - President’s guard at Kigali Rwanda chops 1,200 church members to death 2002 - Pedro Carmona, interim president of Venezuela, resigns one day after taking office April 14 1902 - JC Penney opens his first store in Kemmerer, Wyoming; Marie and Pierre Curie isolates the radioactive element radium 1912 - The RMS Titanic, one of the largest and most luxurious ocean liners ever built, fails to divert its course from an iceberg, ruptures its hull, and begins to sink just before midnight in the North Atlantic April 15 1998 - Pol Pot, the architect of Cambodia’s killing fields, dies of apparently natural causes while serving a life sentence imposed against him by his own Khmer Rouge. The Khmer Rouge, organized by Pol Pot in the Cambodian jungle in the 1960s, advocated a radical communist revolution that would wipe out Western influences in Cambodia and set up a solely agrarian society April 16 1724 - First Easter is observed 1943 - Dr Albert Hofmann discovers the psychedelic effects of LSD 1947 - Bernard Baruch, multi-millionaire and financier coins the term “Cold War” in a speech given during the unveiling of his portrait in the South Carolina House of Representatives; the termt described the relations between the U.S. and the Soviet Union; the phrase stuck, and for over 40 years it was a mainstay in the language of American diplomacy 1962 - Brazil nationalizes U.S. businesses 2008 - Start of papal journey of Pope Benedict XVI to the United States April 17 1815 - Heavy eruptions of the Tambora Volcano in Indonesia which began rumbling on April 5, killed almost 100,000 people; the eruption was the largest ever recorded and its effects were noted throughout the world 1875 - “Snooker” (variation of pool) is invented by Sir Neville Chamberlain 1956 - Premium Savings Bonds introduced in Great Britain April 18 1956 - American actress Grace Kelly marries Prince Rainier of Monaco in a spectacular ceremony April 19 1902 - The last and most powerful in a series of earthquakes ( 7.5 and 8.2 magnitude ) rocks Guatemala during a thunderstorm which causes flooding and mudlsides; more than 2,000 people were killed and 50,000 left homeless by the destruction
UN Council to condemn N. Korea rocket launch
UNITED NATIONS -- The UN Security Council ordered an emergency meeting for Friday to condemn North Korea’s failed rocket launch, but is unlikely to order immediate new sanctions against the isolated state. Japan and South Korea would like tougher action against the hardline state, which already faces UN sanctions over its two nuclear tests. But fears that the unpredictable North is preparing a new atomic bomb blast has clouded diplomatic outrage over Friday’s failed rocket test. “We have to hold our fire. This was bad, but we have to expect worse to come,” said one senior UN envoy, referring to reports of a new underground nuclear test in the making. The Group of Eight powers on Thursday condemned North Korea over its defiant rocket launch and said they would consider taking “appropriate actions” at the Security Council. Foreign ministers of the club of industrial powers, who had just wrapped up a meeting in Washington that warned North Korea against a launch, issued a fresh statement saying the firing “undermines regional peace and stability.” The Security Council will meet on Friday at 1400 GMT to discuss the launch which ended with the North Korean rocket disintegrating and falling into the sea. Permanent members of the 15-nation body -- Britain, China, France, Russia and United States -- have already held informal talks and the council is expected to pass a statement condemning the North’s latest act. Germany’s Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, who was at the United Nations, said the launch “will increase tensions on the Korean peninsula” and the Security Council “must give a strong answer.” “But a diplomatic protest may be the best step at this stage,” said a second UN diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity because no decisions have yet been formally decided.
PH PULLS OFF.... from A1
However China claims all of the West Philippine Sea as its own, even waters up to the coasts of other countries, and Chinese authorities insisted the fishermen were allowed to be at the shoal. The Philippine Navy deployed its biggest and newest warship to Scarborough Shoal on Sunday, immediately after the Chinese fishermen were discovered there. The Philippines had planned to arrest the fishermen, but the two Chinese surveillance vessels appeared on the scene on Tuesday and blocked the warship from approaching the fishing boats. The standoff escalated into a diplomatic brawl on Wednesday when both governments publicly protested each others’ actions, and traded accusations as to whose presence in the area was illegal. Del Rosario said the Philippines had been hopeful of resolving the issue by Thursday, but that appeared now unlikely. “Yesterday, I was hopeful that we would arrive at a conclusion… I guess that didn’t come about,” he said.“So I guess the next milestone is to try and get this done before the weekend.” Del Rosario, who has been leading the negotiations for the Philippines, heads overseas on the weekend. The pullout of the warship left the Philippines with a 56-meter-long (184-foot) search and rescue coast guard vessel as its only presence at Scarborough Shoal. However the region’s military commander, Lieutenant General Anthony Alcantara, said the warship would
(Research by Jun Marcelo)
Q-tips * Leo Gerstenzang invented the cotton swab in the 1920s after attaching wads of cotton to toothpicks. His product was originally named “Baby Gays.” * The word “Q-tip” is an abbreviation for “Quality tip,” though the Q once stood for “Quilted.” SPAM * SPAM was invented in the late Depression and became a godsend during wartime. * Margaret Thatcher once reported that SPAM was a “wartime delicacy.” * Hawaiians eat an average of 4 cans of SPAM per person per year, more than in any other place on earth. Monopoly * In the 1970s, Hasbro created a Monopoly edition in Braille for the blind, but it was never released to the general public. * In Cuba, the game once had a solid following until Fidel Castro ordered all known sets Destroyed. * According to The Guinness Book of World Records, the most expensive Monopoly set is made of 23-carat gold with the houses and hotels decorated in rubies and sapphires. Its value is a whopping $2 million. * The official mascot of Monopoly, originally known as Rich Uncle Pennybags, was renamed Mr. Monopoly in 1998 Rubik’s Cube * A Hungarian by the name of Erno Rubik invented the Cube in the spring of 1974. He created it as a working model to help explain 3-dimensional geometry, and this led to the creation of the world’s best-selling toy. * In 1981, a 7-year old Norwegian boy named Lars-Erik Anderson was one of the youngest Cube solvers.
still roam around the area and that a second coast guard vessel would also soon arrive. Meanwhile, del Rosario said the Philippines had been taken by surprise when a third Chinese maritime vessel arrived at Scarborough Shoal on Thursday. “There are three ships there now. Three white ships,” he said. Asked whether the Chinese side had informed Philippine negotiators about the deployment of the extra ship, Del Rosario said: “No they did not.” Competing claims to the West Philippine Sea have long been regarded as one of Asia’s potential flashpoints for military conflict. Aside from the Philippines and China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei also claim all or parts of the waters as their own. More than 70 Vietnamese sailors were killed in 1988 when China and Vietnam battled for control of the Spratlys, an archipelago south of Scarborough Shoal. The sea holds huge economic and political significance as it is believed to sit atop vast oil and gas resources, is home to vast fishing grounds and hosts shipping lanes that carry a third of the globe’s maritime trade. The Philippines and Vietnam complained last year of increasingly aggressive acts by China in staking its claim to the West Philippine Sea. The Philippines accused Chinese vessels of firing warning shots at Filipino fishermen, as well as harassing an oil exploration vessel and placing markers on islets within Philippine territory. However this week’s standoff is the highest-profile in recent years. (AFP)
The United States, South Korea and Japan -- key players in the international showdown with North Korea -- have all called the rocket launch a “provocative act.” Even those who take a softer line on the North, such as Russia, agree that the launch was in breach of UN resolutions 1718 and 1874 which imposed sanctions after its first two nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009. Only China, the North’s last major diplomatic friend, has not openly said the launch breaches UN resolutions. “We are very concerned about that issue and we have been working on that along with the friends, the countries, the parties concerned in the region,” China’s UN ambassador Li Baodong told reporters on Thursday. “We think the peace and stability in the region is really important. We have got to do everything possible to defuse tension rather than inflame the situation there. I think we should do everything possible to make sure that peace and stability will be maintained in the region,” he added. South Korean officials say the North is making preparations near the town of Punggye-ri for a new nuclear test. The two previous atomic blasts were staged there. “Recent satellite images led us to conclude the North has been secretly digging a new underground tunnel in the nuclear test site... besides two others where the previous tests were conducted,” a South Korean government source recently told AFP. After North Korea announced it would stage its rocket launch, the United States suspended a recent deal to offer food aid to the North in return for a freeze on some nuclear and missile activities. Pyongyang in November 2010 an apparently operational enriched uranium plant, which could potentially give the North another way to make atomic weapons. China, the United States, South Korea, Japan and Russia have been involved in so-called six-party talks with the North on ending its nuclear weapons program. The last meeting was in December 2008 and China’s efforts to relaunch the talks could set back by the rocket fiasco, diplomats said. (AFP)
ARIZA WARNS PACQUIAO.... from A1
world, Pacquiao had the same grueling regimen to produce a devastating second round knockout against the British star that won for Pacman “Knockout of the Year” honors. Like De La Hoya, Hatton never quite recovered from that loss and eventually hung up his gloves. “We can’t have a bad camp,” Ariza told Boxingscene.com. “His physical conditioning is very important. This must happen all the way.” In his last three or four fights, the hard-punching Pacquiao failed to deliver knockout wins that have catapulted him to the top of the world boxing totem pole. And in his third fight against Mexican arch-rival Juan Manuel Marquez, Pacquiao was pushed to the limit and escaped with a controversial majority decision against the 38-year-old counter-puncher. Against the 28-year-old Bradley, holder of the WBO and World Boxing Council light welter titles, Ariza wants to see Pacquiao no less than in his devastating best by putting in the hard work to attain tip-top conditioning. “He’s a high-volume puncher who’ll come forward,” Ariza said of Bradley, who is nicknamed “Desert Storm.” “Bradley’s not a technical guy like [Juan Manuel] Marquez. He fights somewhat like Manny. That’s why I think it’ll be an explosive fight. It’s up to Manny how to prepare for Bradley. And against Bradley, he wants to prove something.” Ariza said Bradley’s attacking style suits Pacquiao’s speed and explosiveness well and would bring out the best from the reigning Filipino World Boxing Organization welterweight champion. “[Manny’s] competitive spirit will take over. How he trains will impact on how he does against Bradley,” Ariza, adding that if he trains properly, Pacquiao “could blow that guy away in less than five rounds.”
April 13 - 19, 2012
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April 13 - 19, 2012
CA’s ethnic elderly health services face more cuts
By HARVEY I. BARKIN
SAN FRANCISCO – New America Media (NAM) executive director Sandy Close calls them society’s new invisible members. They’re not the right age. They don’t have trendy achievements you can e-blast. And not too many people want to talk about them. They live at the periphery, teetering at the edge of the poor house. Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) Director Roxanne Murray says, “They’re one step away from the poor house. One health problem away from it. One lost job away from it.” These are the elders, ages 55 years and over. Language barrier Recently, NAM held a media briefing about the Bay Area’s vulnerable ethnic elders. Vulnerable in the sense that these elders have Limited English Proficient (LEP) capacity and they still have to contend with the Great Recession. More than 3.3 million of America’s seniors do not speak English as their primary language. A partial language breakdown by the National Senior Citizens Law Center (NSCLC) puts at the top Spanish, Armenian, Chinese (including Cantonese. Mandarin and others), Russian, Vietnamese, Tagalog and Farsi. To the young and mobile tech worker-immigrant, language is a job barrier that must invariably be conquered. But to vulnerable ethnic elders, it might as well be a wall obstructing access to necessary healthcare services. like understanding medical appointment dates and locations on complex forms that NSCLC staff attorney Anna Rich says she would find hard to understand. Or navigating through the impersonal extension mazes of telephone-accessible service. Health centers Like displaced schoolgraders, some of the disabled and handicapped, and others with plights unheard, ethnic elders are also prone to cuts -- unkind budget cuts that further marginalize their precarious situations. “Cuts without caring,” says Family Bridges (FB) CEO Corinne Jan. With a cashstrapped state government sniffing out ways to economize, Hong Fook Adult Day Health Care Centers (ADHCCs) were subjected to intense scrutiny. FB, according to Jan, gets about 10,000 mostly Asian immigrants every year with 60 per cent of those mostly frail elderly. FB operates two of the largest ADHCC (out of the six they have) in the state, says Jan. Elders don’t have fun at ADHCCs – it’s not a senior center where they learn crafts, dance, or socialize. ADHCCs were started as a community-based setting alternative for seniors with usually five to four different chronic illnesses so that they would not prematurely go to a nursing home. It would prevent them from tying up emergency rooms and much needed hospital beds. About 35,000 seniors receive ADHCC services in California, says Jan. ADHCCs are medical models where seniors come three to five days a week to receive nursing services, occupational therapy, nutrition therapy, physical therapy, social services, recreation, transportation and meals. “If you eliminate ADHCC, In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) is not the answer because IHSS is not a medical model,” will have to go to hospitals if they have emergencies. The state was trying to save $177 million per year but they ended up spending over $3 million, not counting legal expenses,” Jan says. Home care The situation isn’t much different with IHSS. Unlike ADHCC, IHSS provides home care to frail elderlies or those with disabilities or those that need any assistance in performing activities in daily life. This would mean someone who needed help moving from bed to toilet or going to the doctor or preparing food to eat or eating that food. IHSS is a one-on-one care for those who have Medi-Cal. “Just like ADHCC, IHSS has been on the chopping block for years,” NSCLC Staff Attorney Anna Rich says. “At first, they tried to cut services to elderlies who had cognitive impairments. Seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease who needed reminders that translating the complex forms into several languages was not enough. Working seniors But even if resources and funding were available for the frail ethnic elderlies, their peers who are still able to work are beset by the staggering impact of unemployment brought about by the Recession. More than half of unemployed older workers have been looking for jobs for more than two years. And according to a National Academy on an Aging Society research brief, “nearly three-fourths of workers ages 4765 remain in the work force – the highest proportion since 1950.” SCSEP’s Roxanne Murphy says, “You realize that in order to get a semblance of a quality life, you must continue to work well into your 70s and 80s. I just had a 91-year-old woman exit our program. This is not the American dream we anticipated.” Murphy is talking about the Family Service Agency of San Francisco, founded in 1901 by Katherine (Kitty) Felton, “We prepare people for employment through work training with nonprofit organizations and some public institutions.” FSA serves over 400 individuals and their families “who, without intervention, would have been homeless or jobless without access to resources,” says Murphy. FSA serves “a proportionate ethnic, gender, racial, LGBT and disabled population of San Francisco and Marin County. Many of these individuals had been gainfully employed prior to the Recession. I get lawyers and engineers.” “It changed in 2007. Access to jobs became more difficult and it became our goal to help these senior workers find the pathway to jobs. We used to serve the traditional low-income. Now we’ve expanded to include the new low-income.” Again from the Aging Society brief: “Labor market problems go beyond unemployment; older workers also have growing rates of underemployment (working part time but desiring full time jobs), hidden unemployment (not seeking but want unemployment), and mal-employment (working at jobs well below their education or career level). In 2010, nearly one million low-income older adults were in this underutilized pool, yielding an underutilization rate of 39 per cent.” Even with the numbers screaming for help, SCSEP’s budget was cut from $2 million to $1 million in June last year.
Senate panel okays Lieu’s bill on coastal conservancy
SACRAMENTO – In its first policy review, a plan by Sen. Ted W. Lieu of Torrance to help ensure the California Coastal Conservancy can work on addressing climate change was approved by the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee. “Rising sea levels and extreme storm-driven waves pose direct risks to the state’s coastal resources,” Lieu said about the need for Senate Bill 1066. “With the coastal economy contributing $40 billion annually to the state and with 80 percent of California’s 38 million residents living within 30 miles of the coast, we must take steps now to ensure the coastal economy survives.” Lieu said SB 1066 is needed in the wake of record-high temperatures, changing weather patterns and rising ocean levels. “The Nature Conservancy applauds Sen. Lieu’s leadership on this important issue,” said Louis Blumberg, The Nature Conservancy’s California Climate Change Program Director. “SB 1066 will help ensure that our coastal communities, economy and the critical natural resources that we rely on are prepared and protected against the impacts of a changing climate.” For more than 30 years, the state Coastal Conservancy has worked with public and private entities to protect, restore and enhance coastal resources and habitats, including deteriorating urban waterfronts and poorly designed coastal development, Lieu said, adding: “This bill would specifically authorize the Conservancy to address climate change and adaptation to a warmer climate - especially projects that maximize public benefits. SB 1066 also helps the Conservancy capture additional federal and non-state funds.” Any costs of SB 1066 would be paid with non-state funds. The bill will next face fiscal review, which is expected to occur by the end of May.
Bay Area media briefing on elderly health care, organized by New America Media
Jan argues. ADHCC got its start during California Governor Jerry Brown’s first term in the 1970s. In January last year, Governor Brown proposed to eliminate ADHCC. But AB 96 created Keeping Adults Free from Institutions (KAFI) to replace the ADHCC program. “Gov. Brown vetoed it, which left $85 million not for KAFI but for transitioning the 35,000 seniors elsewhere,” says Jan. In March, ADHCC ceased to be a medical benefit. In June, the NSCLC and other pro-bono agencies started the class action Darling vs. Douglas to halt the elimination of ADHCC. The lawsuit was settled in November with the creation of Community Based Adult Services (CBAS). The new program though has stricter eligibility criteria which are still being argued in court. “Meanwhile 35,000 lives lost their lifeline in ADHCC. They to eat or to do other necessities in daily living. They also tried to cut domestic services, including grocery shopping. They probably reasoned out it wasn’t a necessary service and neither was having fresh food.” Because of the diversity of language spoken in California, there are strong federal requirements protecting the rights of ethnic elderlies to healthcare access. One of these is the requirement that each county must provide translations for IHSS recipients. But Rich argues that the state could just come up with the translations and easily distribute them to all counties. Recently, a 20 per cent across-the-board cut in home care hours was passed by the state legislature. In March, the court decided the cut was a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The judge even decreed
SAN FRANCISCO -- Since December last year, an intergenerational mix of Filipinos have been coming to the Bayanihan Community Center for a research training course to prepare them for conducting research about the lives and work conditions of caregivers in the San Francisco Bay Area. The training, under a program called “The CARE (Caregiver Research) Project,” pulled together Filipino immigrants working as caregivers, American students from surrounding colleges, and Filipino young professionals. The twice-a-month series taught trainees skills needed in building research tools, conducting interviews, and analyzing data. The research project calls for the study of the living and working conditions of caregivers in San Francisco and San Mateo Counties. On April 4, the training program culminated in a commencement ceremony attended by, among other guests, San Francisco Supervisors John Avalos and Eric Mar. “This is the kind of power we need to build in order to see the change we need for our communities,” said Avalos in his opening re-
Caregiver research project launched
marks, citing the importance of the CARE research project. National Domestic Workers Association speaker, Guillermina Castellanos, expressed her deep appreciation for the time and effort the researchers have and will continue to put in for the project. Pam Tau Lee of the Bay Area Care Council, on the other hand, articulated her excitement over significant possibilities the project might yield in terms of producing and moving legislation to promote and protect the welfare of caregivers. Other Filipino migrant worker organizations, such as Pawis from the South Bay and East Bay, sent representatives who said they would be interested in replicating the San Francisco research initiative. Kabalikat Domestic Worker Support Network from New York City and Migrante International from Manila sent videos of solidarity, urging caregivers and community members of the CARE Project to keep their momentum going. Highlight of the day’s program was the awarding of certificates to the graduate-researchers by Supervisor Mar, alongside Mario De Mira,
Fresh from training, researchers are ready to embark on landmark project
CARE Project coordinator; and project partners Dr. Valerie Francisco of University of San Francisco and Dr. Robyn Rodriguez of UC Davis. A caregiver gave a moving acceptance speech that recounted his story of hopelessness as he was a victim of wage theft in his job as caregiver. She noted that the CARE Project renewed his faith in the community’s collective effort and strength to change the lives and conditions of caregivers. “In my place of darkness, I not only found a light in the CARE Project, but a family, friends, and people who are willing to fight for what’s right,” she emphasized. In the months ahead, the researchers will begin collecting both qualitative and quantitative data about caregivers’ workplace conditions in the Bay Area. The work will be conducted over the summer through various events at the FCC and mobile outreach efforts to important Filipino institutions. The CARE Project is conducted in collaboration of the Filipino Community Center (FCC), the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns, and GABRIELA USA. Caregivers who wish to contribute their story to the project may contact Mario de Mira at 415-333-6267 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
April 13 - 19, 2012
Filipinos Around the World
Memphis in May to toast Philippine culture
By MARICAR CP HAMPTON
With Ben Menor (R) and Fil-Ams But he reserves his ire for some of his people. “I’m stunned whenever I meet a Filipino who is a naturalized U.S. citizen and he isn’t even registered to vote. I’m disappointed and angry. Here I am fighting for my life. People like me paid $11.2 billion in taxes in 2010. And there are naturalized Filipinos who are content just being in America, not participating in civic duties. That’s irresponsible.” Final preparations are being made for this year’s Memphis in May International Festival (MIMIF), which will honor the Philippines with a month-long series of events that focuses on the country’s expansive culture and rich history. “We will be presenting a very broad variety of Filipino culture in Memphis,” said James Holt, president and CEO of MIMIF. “Wherever you travel within our city, it will be difficult to turn around without seeing a bit about the Filipino culture. Whether its museum exhibits display, group performance treat, culinary delight, high-level business speakers and intellectual speakers, there’s just numerous components during the entire month and great excitement in the city of Memphis.” In a media briefing held at the Philippine Embassy, in Washington DC, Calvin Anderson, the board chairman for the 2012 MIMIF, disclosed that the criteria in choosing the Philippines as this year’s honored country was based on its historical significance, cultural depth, democratic credentials, political stability, positive relations with the US, and the potential to strengthen and develop trade opportunities. “It’s really an extensive process, which goes over a certain period of time,” Anderson said. “We have a rotation of continents, once we arrive at the continent; we go though a range of criteria from the stability of the government, the political environment. We also go through a standpoint of looking at what are the cultural offerings and the historical framework within the country and culture. We then go and look at the potential business opportunities that it may have, a current and potential match.” Holt added: “Interestingly enough, the Philippines has been on the list for sometime the first time was in 2001 ultimately Korea was selected. The Philippines was a finalist in 2008 when Turkey was selected. So the Philippines was always on the top.” The Philippines was chosen over three other Asian country finalists. They were Singapore, China and Malaysia, who made it to the final four from the initial 19 countries considered by the international selection committee. Philippine Ambassador to the US, Jose Cuisia, was appreciative of the privilege bestowed upon the Philippines. “We certainly hope that the event will further promote the Philippine tourism to the Americans and showcase the countries culture,” said Cuisia. “We want to encourage our American friends to see first hand the beauty of our islands and experience the warmth and hospitality of its people.” The festival organizers recently travelled to the Philippines to firm up the participation of several performers and speakers during the event. “We had the excellent opportunity to engage the Filipino people while we were visiting in both November and March in the Philippines,” Anderson said. “And we came back with the great knowledge and appreciation of jeepney and mangos and lechon. And so that is what we want o say to the people in Memphis that it’s more fun in the Philippines.” Holt agreed with the board chairman’s assessment.
LEADING UNCOMFORTABLE.... from A1
For the first time, Vargas is speaking in a city densely populated by his people and in their own mall. The event was organized by the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) at the Seasons MarketPlace. Vargas acknowledged that NaFFAA provided him a lawyer. Milpitas Mayor Jose Esteves presented Vargas with a proclamation while NaFFAA Region 8 Santa Clara chairperson Ben Menor moderated the forum. Union City Vice-Mayor Pat Gacoscos represented the first city that passed a resolution to endorse the DREAM Act, although “it is a Federal, not a local, issue.” NaFFAA Region 8 Chairperson Lorna Dietz moderated the pressonly Q&A session. Vargas said, “I’m no hero. I’m not running for (public) office. I don’t want to do a talk show. I’m opening this (event) to have uncomfortable conversations about immigration.” Vargas explained the not-so-forthcoming way many Filipinos approach the issue. “We call it TNT (literally in Tagalog, hiding and hiding). We don’t want to talk about it. Your family doesn’t want you to talk about it.” Vargas came to the U.S. from Iba, Zambales, in 1993. He didn’t know he was undocumented until DMV told him his green card was fake. He was in high school in Mountain View, California, and in denial. At 16, he began writing stories, and at 17, he found his passion in journalism. His coverage of the Virginia Tech shootings was well received. He was part of a team that won the Pulitzer for Breaking News Reporting in 2008. He was on the verge of admitting his undocumented status a few times as a reporter. Vargas was pheasant-hunting with author, radio and TV host Mike Huckabee in Des Moines. Huckabee was talking about immigration. Vargas was the Washington Post reporter covering the event with others from the Associated Press, New York Times and CNN. For five minutes, he considered coming out and telling Huckabee he was “one of those illegals.” “I actually peed my pants and said I can’t do this.” At another time he had a chance to interview Ted Kennedy in New Mexico when he campaigned for Obama. “Ted Kennedy is one of the biggest reasons why we are here in the U.S. The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 which he incredibly and aggressively fought for changed the whole face of this country. It changed the quota system. So I was going to tell him about my status and I chickened out.” When a friend in Capitol Hill told Vargas the DREAM Act was defeated by only about five votes in December 2010, he finally found the fortitude. He said, “there comes a point in everybody’s life when you have to stand for something bigger than yourself.” In June, the next year, his coming out as undocumented essay appeared in the New York Times Magazine. Vargas has little tolerance for the “ignorance, stupidity and intellectual laziness.” He railed against leading Republican would-be presidential candidate Mitt Romney who “said that I should self-deport myself. What does that mean?” He remembered his trip to Alabama. “There’s hardly any Asian in Alabama. When I introduced myself to one of three I saw, she asked me where the Philippines is. So I said, ‘It’s only the 12th most populated country in the world and you don’t know?’”
With Lorna Dietz of NaFFAA Region 8 “We are a culture that embraces Manny Pacquiao. When he wins, we win. We root for Jessica Sanchez (on American Idol). But we have to be more than sports and entertainment. Not just content watching TFC and sending balikbayan boxes home. Being a successful Filipino-American is not just about buying a house and driving a car. It also means being civic participants of this country we call home.” A testimony to Vargas’ courage is that he came out twice. Once in high school to admit he is Gay. Then last year, to admit he is an undocumented alien. But this did not make his new purpose any easier. “When I decided to (come out as undocumented), I asked myself where do I fit in. In Washington, DC, where a lot of immigration rights groups are based, they don’t know what to make of me. Do they put me in with the Filipino groups or the Gay groups?” Undoubtedly, his niche was in telling stories. “So we started Define American.” The multimedia campaign was launched about the same time the New York Times Magazine ran Vargas’ coming-out-as-undocumented essay in June last year. According to Google News analytics, Vargas’ essay was the most shared story in the Internet in its first two weeks. It encouraged sharing of individual immigration stories to be uploaded in video, text or photo. Craigslist founder Craig Newmark, writer and TV host Stephen Colbert, Senators Harry Reid of Nevada, Michael Bennet of Colorado and Robert Mendez of New Jersey are among the featured story-tellers. Vargas said, “We collected testimonials of 500 people over the country. It has attracted 400,000 page views in the last 10 months and was written about in 200 news articles. To my surprise, we raised $20,000 on-line from donors giving under $50 and up to $300. I’m hoping to get Manny Pacquiao and Lea Salonga, too.”
“We found the country and the people to be warm and inviting,” Holt said. “It reminded us of the southerners in the US. We’d like to think we are known for being friendly people, festive, tend to eat a lot, so there’s a lot of similarities. We were struck with the warm and graciousness of the people every where we went.” As part of the activities, MIMIF distributed a curriculum guide on the Philippines to the schools in Memphis City that administered student exchange programs between the Philippines and Memphis. “Memphis in May is known for our educational program,” Holt said. “As part of the salute to the great nation of the Philippines we have over the course of the past year engage in a comprehensive educational curriculum to educate our young ones in the city of Memphis about the Philippines’ culture and history, from as young as 6 years old to high school.” According to a Philippine Embassy statement, among the artists scheduled to perform in Memphis are the world renowned Bayanihan Philippine National Dance Company, the Worldwide Family of Arnis, and the Filipino rock band, Spongecola. Also appearing will be Filipino chef Claude Tayag, of the restaurant Bale Dutung in Pampanga. Tayag, and his restaurant, was featured in an episode from Anthony Bourdain’s ‘No Reservations’ show on cable’s Travel Network. The Filipino foods culinary master will also be in Memphis to prepare a special dinner fare at the historic Peabody Hotel. The famous Cebu lechon (roasted pig), courtesy of Marco Polo Plaza Cebu, will compete in the World Championship Barbecue Contest. There will be critically acclaimed films from the Philippines shown at the Memphis Film Series, and exhibits will run in several of the city’s museum.
An added attraction, during the event, will be the introduction of the country’s famous Pili nut to the American pallet. “During the festival we will also take the opportunity of introducing a new product that is unique to the Philippines --the Pili nut. It is like the macadamia nut. It is unique to a region in the Philippines and it is considered an organic health food.” Ambassador Cuisia said. “The entire program is designed to extend the hand of friendship, break down barriers and cement long ranging bonds,” Holt proudly said. “And we hope to accomplish that in a fun and festive fashion during the month of May.” The Memphis in May International Festival is a non-profit organization that attracts about 500,000 visitors yearly. For the past 35 year, it has paid tribute to at least 30 countries worldwide.
Speaking to audience gathered at SeasonsPlace
Congressman Bernardo Vergara, Mayor Mauricio Domogan, Councilor Betty Lourdes Tabanda, and City Administrator Carlos Canilao – representing the government of Baguio City – officiated the wreath-laying rites together with representatives from the Veterans Federation of the Philippines, USAFIP-NL, and Veterans of Foreign Wars in commemoration of Araw Ng Kagitingan, at the Veteran’s Park, on April 9. As part of the celebration, the Baguio City National High School presented a special performing arts number with a rendition and a dance interpretation of Bayan Ko, also at the park. (Photos: Monch S. David)
April 13 - 19, 2012
Short Masters for Day
Undefeated Jr. Welterweight champion Timothy “The Desert Storm” Bradley Jr. gets ready to co-host ESPN Friday Night Fights with Bernado Osuna at the ESPN studios in Bristol,Conn. for his upcoming World Welterweight title mega-fight against superstar Manny Pacquiao. Promoted by Top Rank, in association with MP Promotions, Tecate, AT&T and MGM Grand, Pacquiao vs Bradley will take place, Saturday, June 9 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, live on HBO Pay Per View (Photo by Chris Farina/TOP RANK)
Bradley says he’ll outlast Pacquiao
Oozing with confidence, Timothy Bradley thinks he could take the hard-punching Manny Pacquiao to the late rounds in their June 9 title fight, outpoint him and wrest his world welterweight title. In an interview Tuesday on “The Boxing Lab,” Bradley said he expects Pacquiao to go for an early knockout because the 33-year-old Filipino World Boxing Organization champion is gunning for a “decisive win.” The Boxing Lab, Boxing Scene’s official radio show, is hosted by Ernie Gabion, Luis Sandoval and Ryan Burton. “They don’t want this fight to go past [Round] 5 or 6 [and] they want to get me out of there early because I get more dangerous as the fight goes on,” said Bradley, the undefeated light welterweight champ of the World Boxing Council and World Boxing Organization. Bradley, 28, believes that Pacquiao and his handlers want the unbeaten challenger “to come out blazing and get me in a slug fest,” hoping to end the fight early. “They want me to go out wide and for Pacquiao to catch me in between and hurt me and finish me off,” added Bradley who hinted that he has figured out a way to outwit the reigning pound-for-pound best boxer in the world. Bradley said if he could deal with the vaunted power of Pacquiao early in the fight, then the Pinoy champion is in for a long night. “If he (Pacquiao) can’t rattle me it’s going to be one hell of a fight. If it’s nothing too crazy then it’s one hell of a fight. I think I will make an adjustment,” said Bradley, who has an unblemished record of 28 victories, 12 of them by knockouts. “I turn it up after six rounds, when most fighters start to fade,” he added. Bradley said that except for a little more weight to lose he’s “already in good shape,” adding that he’s been “training for a while in the gym.” He said he wants his opponent to keep guessing on the kind of training camp he is into or what strategy he intends to bring into the fight. “I’m not a dumb pressure fighter... I’m a very intelligent fighter in the ring and I can adjust easily to any style,” Bradley said.
“I can box as well, move and hit...and I bring that intensity in all my fights,” he added. Apart from his stamina and a track record of outwitting and outlasting bigger and stronger opponents, Bradley thinks what makes him dangerous is the fact that he is “hungry” to join the ranks of the world’s elite fighters by beating the only boxer to win eight world titles in as many weight classes. “If I beat Pacquiao, man, that takes me to the next level,” Bradley said, adding that he is physically and mentally ready for his coming fight “A lot of people don’t know how bad I want this. I want this for my family and my fans,” Bradley said of what he considers the biggest fight of his career. “I think it’s a new era. I want to prove to the fans that I am the best,” Bradley added. (JUN MEDINA)
Professional golfer Jason Day had hoped that this year’s Masters Tournament would be the turning point in his young career. Last year, the talented 23-year-old from Australia, with Filipino roots, did everything in his power to win his first major title. He shot a 4-under-par 68 in the final round to finish the tournament tied for second place with a 72-hole score of 276, which set a new Masters record for rookie competitors. Day placed second at the 2011 US Open and ended his PGA Tour season ranked tenth in the world, but leading up to the Masters the 2012 golf season had not gone well for the swashbuckler. Beginning in mid-February, with his initial foray at the Northern Trust Open, Day competed in four events but was unable to place in the Top-10 in any of them. Day, whose wife, Ellie, is pregnant with the couple’s first child (they’re expecting in July), made $247,831 during those four events. Lucky for him, the Filipino Australian raked in a whopping $3.9 million last year. Going in, Day fully expected to be fitted with a Green Jacket after Sunday’s final round. With a win, Day would become the first Australian golfer in 75 years to win at Augusta National and be the first pro of Filipino ancestry to win a major event. But the hopes of Day were all but dashed even before the first round of play when he injured his left ankle while practicing on Wednesday. Day reportedly reaggravated a strained tendon that he had suffered in a tournament a few weeks back. Even with the injury, Day decided to give it a whirl and gutted out his first round by posting a four-over-par 76. Not bad considering he allegedly limped the entire way. On Friday, Day decided that he’d had enough. After seven holes, Day was fiveover for the tournament, and struggling mightily, so he withdrew his name from the competition. No matter the outcome, Day had to have been happy to see friend Bubba Watson win the Masters with a sudden death victory over South African Louis Oosthuizen, who did the unthinkable earlier in the final round by scoring a double eagle on the Par-5 second hole. Kick the right rhyme When Tiger Woods booted his 9-nine off the tee box in frustration on the 13th hole at last week’s Masters Tournament it was further proof that the 36-year-old golfing great, a 14-time major winner, continues to struggle keeping his emotions in check. Is Woods carrying too much baggage? Will the extra weight hold Woods down from ever capturing another major, better yet, win five of them? That’s a double yes. It’s true that the Tiger of new can still show flashes of brilliance and remind us of the old Tiger. But his new challenge is stringing together four straight rounds of quality golf something he used to do routinely on sheer talent alone. His putting is inconsistent, and for the most part, suspect. He doesn’t trust his driver more than you or I do out on the course. It’s played out seeing Tiger talking constantly about his game being “so close” but in actuality he’s farther away than ever from getting it back. And by the way, Tiger, what are you “so close” to? For his sake, I hope he’s not delusional enough to believe he’s on the cusp of regaining the form from over a decade ago, around the year 2000. It’s funny that I say this about an athlete as great as Woods, but it’s become obvious that he’s constantly overanalyzing his golf game, to the point where the guy is known to stand in front of mirrors at 4 in the morning, peeping at his swing like the ultimate narcissist he apparently has come to be. A few weeks back, at the Bay Hill, in Orlando, Woods got hot on a course he knows like the back of his hand. But talent can get him only so far nowadays. For starters, the other golfers on the tour are no longer in fear of Woods, which makes an enormous difference. The field used to cower from him when he had a lead, now they embrace the challenge and go head-to-head. Even his most ardent fans, the same ones who gave him a pass after hearing about his personal transgressions, have tired of his act. Alas, poor Tiger.
‘BIR right in going after Pacquiao’
MANILA—Following the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s filing of the tax evasion case against its former poster boy, boxing icon and Representative Manny Pacquiao, half of INQUIRER. net readers think it was only the right thing to do. In a poll conducted between March 29 and April 12, 51.73 percent or 2,682 answered “BIR is only right to go after Pacquiao” to the question, “What do you think of the BIR’s tax case against Manny Pacquiao?” However, 32.15 percent or 1,667 thought it could be talked over by answering “BIR and Pacquiao should settle the case amicably.” Meanwhile, 16.12 percent or 836 voted that “Pacquiao is right in calling the BIR move as harassment.” In March, the BIR filed a tax evasion case against Pacquiao, for his alleged failure to submit complete tax records for the year 2010. It said that Pacquiao ignored summons issued by
the BIR office in Central Mindanao asking him to explain his failure to submit complete tax documents. Pacquiao cried foul over the case, claiming that it was “without basis” and a form of harassment. “The institution of the case against me is plain and simple harassment. Contrary to public perception, I am not charged with Tax Evasion or Tax Fraud. That is farther from the truth. Over the years as a boxer, a product endorser and a businessman,” he said in a statement. Pacquiao said the BIR violated its own rules when it served the subpoena to a person unknown to him. He also asked why the BIR served the subpoena in General Santos City when he is now a resident of Sarangani. The boxing sensation, who topped the taxpayer’s list in 2008, made a 30-second television commercial for BIR in 2009 reminding citizens to pay their taxes. (inquirer.net)
April 13 - 19, 2012
April 13 - 19, 2012 Vol. V Issue 172
TAHOE’S MONTBLEU LATE-SPRING LINEUP
Hip-hop, 5 de Mayo, and Gary Valenciano
STATELINE (Nevada) -- As the weather warms the stage is set through spring at MontBleu Resort Casino and Spa (http://www.montbleuresort.com) with internationally known bluegrass, rock, rap and DJs added to the entertainment lineup. Yonder Mountain String Band, Lotus, Vokab Kompany, Gary Valenciano and plenty of spice on Cinco de Mayo will make Tahoe South the ideal springboard to summer. Progressive bluegrass favorites Yonder Mountain String Band with special guests Brown Bird will jame the MontBleu Theater April 12. Banjos and mandolins will collide in this high-energy acoustic performance that has become a Tahoe favorite. Mix one part rock, one part electronic and add a dash of jam and you get the international sensation Lotus, which will take the stage for the first time at MontBleu on April 20. Special guests, Eskmo, Lynx and Bass Heavy’s eclectic mix of music complements the evening jam session. Ready for all that spice and everything salsa for Cinco de Mayo? Festivities begin at noon at Café del Soul with a $500 Taco Eat-Off Challenge. Eat the most street tacos in 10 minutes and win $500 cash. Last year, the contestant ate 14 tacos to win, do you have what it takes? Cinco de Mayo will feature 99 cent tacos and margaritas. Meanwhile, $2 Corona and $2 Patron will be available at all bars and nightclubs noon to
f only magic could undo events in life. This is what Alakim the Magician probably has in mind right now. Alakim is the famous Season 1 grand finalist of ABS-CBN’s reality search, Pilipinas Got Talent. Allan de Paz in real life is now facing charges of parricide, being the prime suspect in his wife’s death last April 3. Maricar de Paz was found dead inside the couple’s car, parked just outside their home in Lamar Village, Marikina City. Maricar’s own family filed the charges against Alakim. According to police reports and from Alakim’s own testament as well, the two arrived from a birthday party, and had a heated verbal tussle inside the car. Maricar allegedly threatened to shoot herself with a gun, which Alakim said he tried to prevent, adding that the scuffle wounded his hands. The gun went off just the same, mortally wounding Maricar in the chest. That much Alakim told police, and did not give any other in-
Allan de Paz
midnight with giveaways, body painting and Go-Go dancers. San Diego-based Vokab Kompany will mix its eclectic hip hop beats by way of sax, violin, drums and electronic sounds, Saturday night, May 5, at Blu Nightclub. This glitch hop band has been making waves performing at hundreds of shows and festivals across the West Coast.
formation. Police investigators are now verifying the identity of the real owner of the .38-calibre pistol. Alakim can only do so much, mainly by cooperating with police. Unfortunately for him, no magic can bring his wife back to life. uis Manzano is a man for others and that’s not solely because he has had to live up to such image, having politicians as parents. Last March, Luis, son of Batangas governor Vilma Santos, got involved in a controversy, where one of the drivers of the taxicab company he runs was the victim of an attempted mugging. Presence of mind saved the cabbie’s earnings for the day: he steered
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Cultural night at UC Berkeley
The University of California, Berkeley Filipino American Alliance is presenting on its 36th Annual Filipino Cultural Night “Our Legacy: Ang Ating Pamana,” at the University of California Berkeley. The Pilipino Cultural Night (PCN) is an annual theatrical and community production hosted by the Pilipino American Alliance. It is the longest-running cultural show on campus and the second-longest running PCN in the nation. PCN aims to showcase the Filipino-American experience through political, cultural, academic and social lenses. In addition, PCN strives to bring community individuals inside and outside of the Filipino community at University of California Berkeley for a one time experience to celebrate the Filipino-American culture through the performing arts. This year’s theme “Our Legacy: Ang Ating Pamana” embodies a representation of an “inheritance”. The intent behind the theme is to serve as a communication of what has been left behind for us and a reflection of what we leave behind for future generations. In addition, these ideas of “pamana” are not limited to physical representation of history but are inclusive of abstract depiction through untold stories, lessons and experiences. “Our Legacy: Ang Ating Pamana” goes onstage at the Zellerback Hall of the University of California Berkeley on Sunday, April 15, 2012. Door opens at 1pm and show starts promptly at
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Jackie Cuevas to perform this Sunday with Filipino students
2pm. Tickets are available at $13(pre sale), $15 (at the door) and $20 (VIP reserved). For more information email email@example.com or log in to website http://paa.berkeley.edu/pcn
April 13 - 19, 2012
‘Corazon: Ang Unang Aswang’ screens in seven U.S. cities
REDWOOD CITY (Calif.) -- A quick glimpse at the current movies reigning at the U.S. box office this spring shows the domination of the combined action-fantasy-adventure genres. “The Hunger Games”, “Wrath of the Titans” and “Mirror, Mirror” have taken the top spots in the hearts and minds of moviegoers. It is in this kind of movie environment that ABS-CBN International’s Starry Starry Store presented its theatrical screening of Star Cinema’s latest film offering, the horror-drama, Corazon: Ang Unang Aswang. It opened April 6 in seven cities in California: Milpitas, San Bruno, Union City and Sacramento in Northern California, and in Cerritos, Orange and San Diego in Southern California. Do not expect any direct English translation of the Tagalog word “aswang”: there is none in the Filipino language. Part of the interest in Corazon: Ang Unang Aswang is that it proffers its own version of the origin of this Philippine mythical creature which is the most feared and widespread in Philippine folklore. While it is difficult to come up with just one universal description of the characteristics and appearance of an “aswang”, there is one common theme that separates this creature from others: they eat unborn fetuses and dead children. It is no surprise then that the force that drives Corazon: Ang Unang Aswang revolves around the obsessive desire of the main character, Corazon (Erich Gonzales), to conceive a child. Ostracized by townsfolk for being the daughter of a woman of ill repute, the virtuous Corazon wanted nothing more in life than to have a child of her own with her loving and protective husband, Daniel (Derek Ramsay). But try hard as they did for five years, their efforts remain futile. Desperate, the couple seeks the help of a “hilot”, a term for a healer practicing a unique art of massage therapy. This female “hilot” lends Corazon an image of San Gerardo (a.k.a. Saint Gerard Majella, whose intercession is requested for children and motherhood). Corazon is asked to bring the image to a quiet place and pray for two weeks. During this time, Corazon and Daniel try anew to produce a child. They do. But when Corazon gives birth, the child is stillborn… and Corazon’s descent into horrific madness begins as does the terror in the town. The curse is on for the children in the midst. “People may be wondering why we’re offering Corazon: Ang Unang Aswang during Holy Week,” chuckled Kerwin Du, ABS-CBN International’s head for theatricals. “But if you strip the layers of eeriness and horror that surround the movie, it actually tells a story of faith that faces the challenges of a seeming betrayal by God in the mind of the main character and the actual judgmental cruelty of the people where she lives. This is a situational challenge that most of us experience! The message may have been presented through a uniquely Filipino horror-fantasy myth but it’s a message that rings true, nevertheless, especially during this time of reflection.” Directed by Richard Somes, a production designer-turneddirector who has helmed episodes of the successful “Shake, Rattle & Roll” movie series and the TFC teleseryes, “Maria la del Barrio” and “Imortal,” Corazon: Ang Unang Aswang should score very highly in creative visuals. Critics have raved over the fantastic cinematography as well as the imaginative storyline. Joining Erich and Derek in the cast are screen veterans Techie Agbayani, Maria Isabel Lopez, Mark Gil, Jeffrey Quizon, Bodjie Pascua, among others.
(Photo by: Mike Alquinto/NPPA Images)
Members of the Irish rock band, Cranberries, field questions from Filipino media during a press conference at Red Box Karaoke in Eastwood City, Libis, Quezon City, on the eve of their performance Tuesday, April 10, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City. The Cranberries, which last performed in Manila 16 years ago, was formed in Limerick in 1989. The band consists of vocalist Dolores O’Riordan, guitarist Noel Hogan, bassist Mike Hogan and drummer Fergal Lawler. Although widely associated with alternative rock, the band’s sound also incorporates indie pop, post-punk, Irish folk and pop rock elements. The group rose to international fame in the 1990s with their debut album, Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?, which became a commercial success and sold over five million copies in the United States. It was one of the most success(Photo by: Voltaire Domingo/NPPA Images) ful rock acts of the ‘90s and sold over 15 million albums in the U.S. alone. The band has achieved four Top 20 albums on the Billboard 200 chart (Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?; No Need to Argue; To the Faithful Departed and Bury the Hatchet) and eight Top 20 singles on the Modern Rock Tracks chart: “Linger,” “Dreams, “Zombie,” “Ode to My Family,” “Ridiculous Thoughts,” “Salvation,” “Free to Decide,” and “Promises.”
SAN FRANCISCO, California—The concert’s timing wasn’t accidental, said Malou ChoaFagar, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Television and Production Exponents Inc. (Tape Inc.), producer of the GMA 7 noontime show “Eat Bulaga.” The cast and some crew members (collectively known as Dabarkads, slang for barkada or gang) held a one-night concert dubbed “EB Loves San Francisco” at the Cow Palace in Daly City recently. Not the entire cast was present: Joey de Leon, Jimmy Santos, and Ryan Agoncillo had problems with their travel papers. Pia Guanio is pregnant. Cow Palace, where such luminaries as Prince, Dolly Parton, The Rolling Stones, and Rod Stewart have performed, was booked for “Bulaga” in time for the long Holy Week holiday, explained Fagar. After the concert, the main hosts proceeded to Los Angeles, then Las Vegas and New York. During their week-long stay, Tito and Vic Sotto and Anjo Yllana tried out the golf courses in Palo Alto and San Francisco. Anjo said he liked San Fran-
California dreamin’ with ‘Eat Bulaga’
cisco’s TPC Harding Park course better. “That’s where the President’s Cup and other big tournaments are held,” Tito said. The trio also played in Los Angeles’ Trump National Golf Club. “We can’t do without golf,” Vic said. It was basically the same touring production that the team brought to Singapore last year, with a few tweaks here and there. The performers found they were freer with their spiels in the United States, whereas in Singapore, Jose Manalo and Wally Bayola had to cut down on the off-color jokes. “To see our kababayans’ happy faces makes every trip worthwhile,” said Vic. Vic sprang a pleasant surprise on the audience with a rendition of Adele’s “Someone Like You,” a new addition to his repertoire—written by Filipino politician /lawyer Adel Tamano, he jested. That shifted the onstage repartee to the Corona impeachment hearings (Tito is a senatorjudge). Some audience members made known their opinions, so Tito assured them that the Senate was proceeding with the case very carefully. Tito told Inquirer that the concert’s goal was to give
Filipino-Americans a piece of home. “It’s always inspiring [for us]. We feel like the beginners that we were 30 years ago.” Tony Tuviera, Tape big boss, pointed out: “Fans based abroad know Tito, Vic, and Joey well. Many of them left the Philippines when ‘Eat Bulaga’ was already on air.” During a “meet-and-greet” the day before the show, at the Seafood City Supermarket in Concord, newer hosts Allan K, Paolo Ballesteros, and Jose and Wally (who stood in for Tito and Vic) were mobbed. “The fans know them,” said Tuviera. “They’re also familiar with Paolo’s Shamcey MwahMwah Tsup-Tsup character and the games ‘Pinoy Henyo’ and ‘All for Juan, Juan for All.’ This means they watch the show regularly on GMA Pinoy TV.” Fagar added: “The concert was conceptualized to be different from the TV show. It’s meant to showcase the cast members’ talents in singing (Julia Clarete), stand-up comedy (Allan, Jose and Wally) and dancing (Ruby Rodriguez and Pauleen Luna).” (By Bayani San Diego Jr./inquirer.net)
HIP-HOP, 5 DE MAYO.... from B1
Native Californian Dev will bring her mega pop hits to Lake Tahoe on Saturday, May 12. Best known for, “Like a G6,” “Bass Down Low” and her dance hit “In the Dark.” Dev has collaborated with The Cataracs, Far East Movement, David Guetta, Timbaland and Snoop Dog. Expect songs from her recently released CD “When the Sun Comes Up” as well as her previously released favorites. The Academy of Dance Arts returns, “A Spring Celebration,” May 18-19. The show is split into two parts with a first-half ballet dedicated to fairy tale classics. The second half, called “Divas and Dudes” provides for a wide variety of music ranging from the Black Eyed Peas to Phantom of the Opera. Dancers of all ages will perform jazz, tap, hip hop, contemporary and lyrical styles of dance. The summer music season at MontBleu kicks off June 23 when internationally-acclaimed musician, actor and singer Gary Valenciano, known as “Mr. Pure Energy” will perform at the MontBleu Theater. Valenciano’s talents have been best recognized consistently collecting Gold, Platinum and multi-Platinum awards across Asia, Latin America and the Philippines. He has released 28 albums worldwide and has had the most illustrious track record in the Philippine recording scene winning a total of 11 Awit Awards, equivalent to the U.S. Grammy Awards. For information on lodging packages, events, activities, accommodations, ticket sales and showroom entertainment, call 800-648-3353, or visit www.montbleuresort.com. Contact Jenn Boyd or Phil Weidinger, Weidinger Public Relations, 775-588-2412 or jennifer@ weidingerpr.com. About MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa. MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa appeals to both the traditional gamer and the late-night club-hopper with its stylish sophistication and attractive, metrocool atmosphere to create a complete casino-resort experience. The 440-room MontBleu features distinct restaurants and chic nightlife venues, in addition to a newly-remodeled, 40,000 square-foot casino, spa and a new poker room. MontBleu is owned by Tropicana Casino & Resorts. For more information, visit www.montbleuresort.com. About Tropicana Entertainment Inc. Tropicana Entertainment is a publicly traded company (Symbol - TPCA) that, along with its affiliates, owns or operates 8 casinos and resorts in Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, and New Jersey. In addition, the company owns a development property in Aruba. It owns approximately 5,750 rooms, 8,300 slot positions and 240 table games. The company is based in Las Vegas, Nevada.
GUESS WHAT.... from B1
his cab wildly and rammed it into a truck. But the incident badly injured him though. After some time, the suspects were featured on a local TV show, and there they publicly apologized to Luis and his employee. In a recent press conference for his new film, Moron 5 and the Crying Lady, Luis was asked by showbiz reporters if he was able to catch that TV show. He actually did, he said, but pointed out that he will still be filing charges against the suspects. He fears that letting them go would be condoning a dangerous behavior that endangers innocent lives. Moreover, he does not want to give his employees the wrong idea that he is not doing anything to protect them. He said he owes his employees a lot and will do everything possible to keep them. He explained that sometimes, people really need to learn life’s the hard way. For the suspects who attacked his employee, he said, this is one example of getting their own dose of medicine. He added that his conscience will bug him if he just lets this incident fly with nary any legal action. Amen I say to you, Luis Manzano! fter the success of Unofficially Yours, Angel Locsin wishes to take a break from the movie scene. Not that she is going to be choosy with role offers, but she just hopes that projects coming her way would be better and different. However, despite her being vocal about taking a break, the movie industry never seems to get tired of her acting prowess. According to Angel herself, something is in the works already. She said she will talk about it once everything is final. After John Lloyd Cruz, who does Angel want as her next leading man? Believe it or not ladies and gentlemen, but Angel Locsin is eyeing Vice Ganda as his next on-screen partner… or co-leading lady. This is gonna be something, don’t you all agree? She is hoping that before the end of the year, she would be able to work with the TV host-comedian. What Angel misses also is the teleserye work, which is why she hopes her next project would be a TV series. Hopefully this time, she said, it’s going to be with a little touch (if not all the way, if she Angel Locsin would have her way) of action. This actress digs fight scenes -- just like what she had way back when she was still with GMA 7. In Asian Treasures, Angel thought it cool to be taking on roles that would require her to run, carry a sword, or do extreme stunts. For now, Angel is keeping her fingers crossed as to roles she would land.
MANILA - Quezon City court has ordered the wife of comedian Jose Manalo to answer a petition of producers of noontime show Eat Bulaga seeking to bar her from going near or calling her spouse. Judge Luis Cenon Maceren of Regional Trial Court Branch 218 issued the summons on April 10 directing defendant Anna Lyn Manalo to file her reply within 15 days. Should she fail to answer within the given period, plaintiff Television and Productions Exponents Inc. (TAPE) will take judgment by default and may be granted the sought-after temporary restraining order against her. Manalo has 15 days to submit her answer to TAPE’s civil complaint upon receipt of the court’s summons sent by registered mail. “You are reminded of the provision in the IBP-OCA Memorandum on Policy Guidelines dated March 12, 2002, to observe restraint in filing a motion to dismiss and instead allege the grounds thereof as defenses in your answer,” the document read. Last month, TAPE, which produces the GMA 7 noontime show Eat Bulaga lodged a damage suit for injunction against Manalo, a resident of Greenhills
Court gives wife of Eat Bulaga’s co-host 15 days to answer TRO plea
in San Juan City. In its 22-page civil complaint, the producer sought to bar Manalo, whom they alleged to be harassing her husband Jose since Nov. 2011 at his place of work. Aside from a TRO and permanent injunction, TAPE asked the court to award them P100,000 nominal damages, P250,000 moral damages and P100,000 in attorney’s fees. In the same petition, the plaintiff also asked the court to issue a permanent injunction against the defendant, her agents or any person acting for and in her behalf. The plaintiff claimed that to allow Jose’s wife to “continue harassing him” would disrupt TAPE’s efficient and orderly operations, specifically Eat Bulaga’s live broadcast. Manalo’s acts led Jose to miss mentioning some paid advertisements due to emotional stress, the plaintiff claimed. His schedule became unpredictable, harming TAPE’s business interests. Meanwhile, the hearing on the prayer for a TRO will be conducted Friday at 2 p.m. during which TAPE is expected to present its witness. (inquirer. net)
April 13 - 19, 2012
Sex-change women allowed to enter Ms. Universe pageant
lawyer Gloria Allred, Talackova took on the system, arguing, as Allred said, that “she did NEW YORK -- Donald Trump’s Miss Uninot ask Mr Trump to prove that he is a natuverse contest on Tuesday threw open its doors rally born man. Or to see the photos of his to transgender models, allowing men who have birth to view his anatomy to prove that he was had a sex change the chance to be crowned the male.” world’s most beautiful woman. Talackova, 23, underwent her sex change The transgender contestants will be able operation when she was 19 and is identified on to strut their stuff in the international beauty her Canadian passport as a woman. championships starting in 2013, while pioneerMiss Universe gave in last week, saying it ing sex-change model Jenna Talackova will would “allow Jenna Talackova to compete in be allowed to take part this year, said gay and the 2012 Miss Universe Canada pageant protransgender rights organization GLAAD. vided she meets the legal gender recognition “The Miss Universe Organization today requirements of Canada, and the standards esfollows institutions that have taken a stand tablished by other international competitions.” against discrimination of transgender women Tuesday’s announcement saw that ruling including the Olympics,” said Herndon Gradexpanded to include all transgender beauty dick, a spokesman for the Gay and Lesbian hopefuls. Alliance Against Defamation. Miss Universe is “close to finalizing” the “At a time when transgender people are wording of the new policy but it “includes still routinely denied transgender women equal opportunities in time for the start in housing, employof this fall’s 2013 ment and medical pageant season; a care, today’s decitime when most of sion is in line with the competitions the growing levels around the world of public support for begin to take place.” transgender people The entry of across the country.” transgender conPaula Shugart, testants does not president of the Miss actually mean that Universe Orgaany woman can vie nization, said on for the crown. Not GLAAD’s website: only must hope“We have a long fuls be between 18 history of supporting Jenna Talackova, who advanced to the finals and 26 years old, one equality for all women, of the Miss Canada competition, part of the major taboo remains: and this was something Miss Universe contest, and was recently motherhood. we took very seriously.”forced out of the competition, shows her “No, contestants passport that lists her gender as female, at may not be married The reversal of a news conference in Los Angeles on April or pregnant,” the mislongstanding policy followed a cam3. Talackova says she was forced out of the suniverse.com/mispaign by Talackova, competition because Pageant officials alsusa website says. a statuesque, blonde leged she was not ‘a naturally-born female.’ “They must not transgender model have ever been mar(AP) from Canada, who says ried, not had a marshe underwent surgery to become a woman riage annulled nor given birth to, or parented, because she was born in “the wrong body.” a child. The titleholders are also required to The Miss Universe organization, owned remain single throughout their reign.” by flamboyant and controversial real estate The 2011 Miss Universe winner was 25magnate Trump, cited a rule that contestants, year-old Leila Lopes, Miss Angola, who told who appear before judges in a variety of gowns judges she was so beautiful she “wouldn’t and skimpy clothing, must be “naturally born” change a thing,” but her best trait was her “inwomen. ner beauty.” Backed by GLAAD and celebrity feminist
By SEBASTIAN SMITH/AFP
John Robinson at SF’s Risque Lounge
The celebrated disc jock, John Robinson takes center stage once more on Saturday, April 14, 2012 at the Risqué Lounge in San Francisco. John for years was the resident DJ of Rumors Disco in Manila and his name became synonymous with the dance scene in Asia. His after house parties in Tokyo have achieved legendary status in the dance music community. In the early ‘90s, after his decade-long Manila stint, John was based in Tokyo and became one of the driving forces behind Juliana’s Tokyo. He subsequently branched out into the pop scene and has had a successful recording career, released seven solo albums, and had No. 1 hits both as artist, producer and remixer. Once more, Pam Guevara of Trick Entertainment brings back John Robinson and his music and vibe of Rumors Disco, Manila’s hit club of the 80s. The event titled “Rumors Disco Once Again at Risqué Lounge San Francisco” is Trick Entertainment’s initial salvo as a promoter and will be promoting different events every Saturday at the said venue. The events will be catering to crowds of all ages, with various re nowned DJ’s from both the Bay Area and Manila featuring their kind of music and themes from all eras and genre. This Saturday, prepare to be taken on a journey back in time with DJ John Robinson, together with Bay Area DJ’s Willi Castillo and Gilbert Villaroman. The Risqué Lounge is located in the heart of San Francisco’s Union Square, at the 3rd floor penthouse level in Maiden Ln, the cozy modern bar and lounge with upscale music of the ‘80s, hip hop, Top 40, dance/electronic, R&B, and mash up. Door opens 9 p.m.
Members of the soul music vocal group, The Stylistics, answer questions from media during a press conference held at the Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria in Quezon City, northeast of Manila, on Wednesday, April 11. The group performed at the Smart Araneta Coliseum also in Quezon City on April 12 and, the following day, at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino (Photo by: Voltaire Domingo/NPPA Images)
Wrath of the Titans
1 hr 39 mins
Note to Readers: Chris “Poserseidon“ Herren is blowing morse-code bubbles in the hot tub at the Greek bathhouse, so Greg “Apollo“ Abreu will summon god-like radiance to the review this week. WHY WE CHOSE IT – Hollywood is spewing enough crap this April to clog a Tijuana outhouse, so WRATH OF THE TITANS is one of those LastMan-Standing kinda flicks. ONE SENTENCE PLOT – Perseus, on self-imposed hiatus from demi-goddery for the last 10 years while playing the humble fisherman to raise his son in something resembling Greek normality, is summoned by his father Zeus, in a lastditch effort to keep the Gods from falling to the evil plotting of Ares, the God of War, who intends, with the help of Zeus’ brother Hades, God of the Underworld, to revive Kronos, the evil father of Zeus and Hades, which would lead to the release of the Titans, and the destruction of the world of the humans and their gods. Perseus reluctantly consents to help, with the help of Queen Andromeda and her cool small army, then the 3-D shenanigans begin. HOLLYWOOD PITCH LINE – CLASH OF THE TITANS meets…CLASH OF THE TITANS. Yeah, you read it right. SUBTEXT – If 2-D is good, then 3-D must be better. CAST – Toby Kebbell, Ralph Fiennes, Liam Neeson, Sam Worthington, Edgar Ramirez, Bill Nighy, Rosamund Pike; Director: Louis Leterrier; Writer: Travis Beacham. WARNINGS - Rated: PG13 – Violence; men wearing leather skirts sweating and grunting with other men wearing leather skirts. GREG’s TAKE – There’s not a lot new to say about WRATH OF THE TITANS (WOTT) that I didn’t already say about last year’s CLASH OF THE TITANS (COTT) (see our review in Fil-Am Star Apr 9, 2011). That’s because there’s not much different about WOTT that wasn’t already done last year in COTT. That’s possibly because the movies were made almost back-to-back. COTT was released in March 2010; in April 2010 the script for the sequel WOTT was written. COTT was shot in the Canary Islands; WOTT was shot in the Canary Islands. WOTT had the same director, writers, and producers used in COTT, and WOTT had many of the same actors featured in COTT. WOTT has most of the same plot as COTT. WOTT has most of the same FX and CGI as WOTT. WOTT is COTT. COTT is WOTT. What the FOTT? Ok, here’s the diff: WOTT is “Greekier.” It has more of a feel that you might actually be in the Greek states, in ancient times. In contrast, COTT felt like it was on its own planet.
By CHRIS HERREN & GREG ABREU
he hunt is on for a director for the next “The Hunger Games” movie after the record-breaking film’s maker announced he was pulling out of the franchise. Gary Ross said he will not make the planned sequel “Catching Fire” for Lionsgate Films, the company behind the movie phenomenon based on a teen book trilogy set in a postapocalyptic world. “Despite recent speculation in the media, and after difficult but sincere consideration, I have decided not to direct ‘Catching Fire’,” Ross said late Tuesday. “As a writer and a director, I simply don’t have the time I need to write and prep the movie I would have wanted to make because of the fixed and tight production schedule,” he added. Lionsgate issued a statement at the same time, saying it was “very sorry that Gary Ross has chosen not to direct ‘Catching Fire,’” adding that he “did an incredible job on the first film and we are grateful for his work.”
divorce petition Tuesday, including claims which could set the couple against each other, TMZ reported. The pair announced their split in January, and Klum filed for divorce in Los Angeles last week, citing “irreconcilable differences,” referring to a post-nuptial deal and seeking primary physical custody of their four children. But Seal’s legal submission, published by the celebrity news website, makes no mention of a post-nuptial agreement, claims there are joint assets and seeks joint physical custody of their four children. Klum, believed to be worth $70 million according to TMZ, said in her filing to the Los Angeles Superior Court that the date of separation was January 19, 2012. Seal, estimated to be worth $15 million, gives no date of separation in his court documents. The couple vowed to be “civil” for the sake of the children when they announced their split in January, with Seal saying it was “difficult” but made easier because of their continued feelings for each other. In her divorce papers, Klum asks for joint legal custody of their four children -two boys and two girls, aged 7, 6, 5 and 2 -- but says she wants primary physical custody, with Seal getting visitation rights. The papers were made in Klum’s married name Heidi Samuel -- Seal is listed by his name Henry Samuel -- and the German model is asking to restore her maiden name, Klum, which she has always used professionally. The couple married in years of marriage, after much soul-searching we have decided to separate.” Seal echoed that in a television interview. Asked about a risk that their separation could turn nasty, he said: “We’re just not those kind of people, we never really have been.” Klum, 38, and Seal, 49, were famous for renewing their vows every year on their wedding anniversary. But the model raised eyebrows when she attended the Golden Globes awards ceremony in January without her husband. (AFP) US police force is investigating two of its officers after Tyler Perry accused them of racial profiling for stopping him in his car and questioning him in a “hostile” manner, a spokesman said. The African-American writer-director made the allegations regarding an incident in Atlanta, Georgia, in which he performed an illegal turn as a precaution to evade someone possibly tailing him. In a statement alluding to a high-profile case in Florida
April 13 - 19, 2012
ensued when Perry reached to get a key from a cupholder, only to realize they might think he was reaching for something else -- at which he recalled his mother’s advice when stopped by a white policeman. “My mother would always say to me, ‘If you get stopped by the police, especially if they are white policemen, you say ‘Yes sir” and “No sir,’ and if they want to take you in, you go with them. Don’t resist, you hear me?’” He decided to step out of the car, at which point another car, with a black officer, pulled up. “He took one look at me and had that ‘Oh No’ look on his face. He immediately took both officers to the back of my car and spoke to them in a hushed tone. “After that, one of the officers stayed near his car while one came back, very apologetic,” he said, “Now I know that there are many great officers, patrolmen and security guys out there... But although we have made significant strides... the world needs to know that we are still being racially profiled. “And until this situation has improved greatly, I’m not sure how a murder in Florida can be protected by a ‘stand your ground law’,” he said, referring to Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teen shot by a neighborhood watchman. The Atlanta Police Department said it was looking into the alleged incident. “Mr. Perry’s concerns... will be the basis for referral of the matter to the department’s Office of Professional Standards,” a spokesman said by email. “OPS has opened an investigation to determine if Mr. Perry’s claims can be substantiated, and whether any departmental policies or procedures were violated during the stop,” he added. (AFP)
The FX is a little better. The acting is a little better. The overall tone is a little more fun. I can’t comment on the 3-D, because as usual, I refuse to pay 3 more dollars to watch dark, annoying gimmickry that usually gives me more headaches than watching another TWILIGHT. Sorry, loyal readers, but there’s not much more to say. CUT TO THE CHASE – Wait to rent this routine effects-saturated sword-andmonster extravaganza sequel that is one small step for fankind above last year’s CLASH OF THE TITANS. WORTH SPENDING THEATER BUX? – NOT WORTH IT. WHAT WE DON’T WANT TO SEE – MIRROR MIRROR – As much as it pains me to diss anything from that Visual Virtuoso of Lush, director Tarsem Singh, who gave us THE CELL (2000) and the eyegasmic THE FALL (2006), don’t fall for this silly Princess Jekyll-and-Bride treatment of one of the more gripping but under-sold horror stories in Western folklore. Hold out for SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN in June, which will also be Chris’s last chance to convince the Manong that Kristen Stewart can act; though she did do a decent Joan Jett in THE RUNAWAYS (2010) (see our review in Fil-Am Star Apr 2, 2010) WHAT WE REALLY REALLY REALLY DON’T WANT TO SEE – THE THREE STOOGES – Nyuk nyuk nyuk means hellno hellno hellno. WHAT WE WANT TO SEE – THE DEEP BLUE SEA – From the acclaimed 1952 British play by Sir Terrence Rattigan about a post-WWII troubled upper class maturing hottie played by Rachel Weisz, who while married to a stiff older dude, falls into an intense affair with a dashing but emotionally battle-scarred and impoverished RAF pilot, played by Tom Hiddleston (better known as Loki in the THOR series). I know, it sounds snoozy, but there’s more to it that makes it worth a much closer look. As 18th century French writer Bernard De Fontenelle almost said, the greatest obstacle to enjoying movies is to expect too much. So go watch something good, then meet us back here next week.
“This will not be the end of our relationship, as we consider Ross to be part of the Lionsgate family and look forward to working with him in the future,” he added. “The Hunger Games” topped last weekend’s North America box office for the third straight week, and has made over $300 million in North America, according to box office tracker Exhibitor Relations. Set in Panem, a fictional land born of the ashes of a ruined North America, the film stars Jennifer Lawrence as a young girl forced to fight for her life in a Roman circus-style televised blood sport -- known as “The Hunger Games.” The blockbuster film has been hyped as a potential successor to the “Twilight” or “Harry Potter” franchises. The latter had four different directors over its eight-movie life. (AFP) ritish singer Seal filed his legal response to German supermodel wife Heidi Klum’s
Seal 2005 and have three children together. Seal, best known for hits such as “Kiss from a Rose” and “Crazy,” also adopted Klum’s daughter from a previous relationship with ex-Formula One boss Flavio Briatore. They announced their split in a statement issued via Klum’s German publicist, saying: “While we have enjoyed seven very loving, loyal and happy
fueling debate over racism nationwide, Perry described how he was pulled over by two white officers after turning left from the right lane, while driving home from work. “Most times when I leave the studio I have an unmarked escort. Other times I constantly check in my rearview mirror to be sure that I’m not being followed. It’s a safety precaution that my security team taught me,” he wrote. After he stopped, an officer told him he had made an illegal turn. He told the officer he did it because he had to be sure he was not being followed. The policeman asked him why he thought someone would follow him. “Before I could answer him, I heard a hard banging coming from the passenger window,” he said. He wound down the window, which was tinted, and another officer asked him “What is wrong with you?” he said. A “tense” moment then
he tiny Pacific atoll of Niue is attempting to lure US pop superstar Lady Gaga to its shores by pledging every single person from the island will attend if she performs there. The island, about 2,500 kilometers (1,500 miles) northeast of New Zealand, has about 1,600 inhabitants and Niue Tourism spokesman Mike Hogan said they were all keen to see a concert by the charttopping diva. “It’s not a promise many places could make, every person coming along,” Auckland-based Hogan told AFP. “She’s really struck a chord with the kids on the island. She’s so unusual and she thinks outside the box. So we thought we’d think outside the box and invite her here.” The hope is that Lady Gaga will add an appearance in Niue after performing concerts in New Zealand in June. (AFP)
Grown-up boys back for more American Pie
LOS ANGELES - Thirteen years after “American Pie,” the adolescents from the worldwide hit movie are back for a fourth helping, still tempted by the juicy bits despite having grown up, somewhat, in the meantime. Released in 1999, the original was the latest to tap into US moviegoers’ huge appetite for adult-rated comedies, harking back to 1978’s “Animal House” and more recently demonstrated, arguably, by the “Hangover” films. Famous for a scene in which Jason Biggs pleasured himself with an apple pie, the movie and its two sequels went on to make more than $700 million at the box office around the world. Universal, makers of the franchise, then made a series of directto-video follow-ups, but have decided to come back to regular theater distribution with “American Reunion,” released Friday in the United States. And while the actors remain mostly the same, the studio chose new filmmakers in co-directors Jon Hurvitz and Hayden Schlossberg, whose previous credits include the “Harold and Kumar” comedies. The pair insist that taking over an already-huge franchise wasn’t a problem. “We were just enormous fans of the first American Pie. We were in college when it came out, we watched it over and over and over again, we knew the characters, we knew the franchise very very well,” said Hurvitz. The original movie’s characters were adolescents, and the decision to bring them back together for a high school reunion seemed the obvious storyline. “The reunion concept was just so perfect for us to take everybody in this large ensemble and give each person a storyline and moments to shine,” said Hurvitz, presenting the movie recently in Beverly Hills, before its release. Each of the characters has grown up, personally professionally, but the reunion throws them up against their adolescent emotions, and lots of the laughs come from that confrontation. “For the actors too it was a nostalgic film,” said Dania Ramirez, who plays Selena. Since the last movie in 2003 “they’ve followed their
(Chris and Greg area couple of regular Filipino-American guys who love and study movies. Chris is the Gen Xer who has dabbled in acting and screenwriting, and has a Ph.D in Psychology. Greg is the baby boomer 20 years senior to Chris, has dabbled in screenwriting and freelance journalism, and has three degrees. Chris and Greg are friends and co-workers dedicated to their day jobs working for Uncle Sam.)
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own paths, careers, they’ve become adults, some of them have married and had children. “They got back together for the film after several years of not seeing each other, for some of them.” The Dominican Republic-born actress is the only new character in the movie, bringing a Hispanic touch to the franchise which wasn’t there before. “That says something about what Latinos represent in this country. It’s become very important for Hollywood to include more Hispanic characters in films,” since Latinos are the most avid moviegoers in America, she said. This type of movie, which was perhaps relatively rare when the original “American Pie” was served up, is increasingly common -“Bridesmaids,” and the “Hangover” films are recent examples. The makers of “American Reunion” say they hope their movie doesn’t go too far into the excesses of the genre, even if it has its fair share of dirty jokes, full-frontal nudity and scatological references. (AFP)
April 13 - 19, 2012
By ERNEST GONZAGA
Cebu, the queen city of the South, is a cosmopolitan city of many contrasts. The city prides itself for its valor in resisting the conquest of Portuguese Ferdinand Magellan, one of the greatest explorers of the western hemisphere, whose expedition first circumnavigated the globe and trail blazed the new route to the Spice Islands. Lapu-lapu, the warrior chieftain who stood against Magellan for the latter’s final sojourn, is hailed as the country’s hero and his imposing statue is prominently displayed in the city’s capitol. However, in the aftermath of the subsequent voyage of Spanish El Viejo Miguel Lopez de Lagaspi and henceforth, Cebu openly embraced Christianity and no less than Magellan’s cross, situated a few meters from the Basilica Minore de Sto. Nino, has been revered as a sacred pilgrimage site. Cebu’s population is predominantly Catholic and embedded in its culture is the annual celebration of the feast day of Sto. Nino, which culminates in Sinulog. This festive pomp and pageantry has become a renowned tourist attraction similar to Rio de Janeiro’s Mardis Gras, in terms of scale in production and flamboyance, yet a pious version despite the street revelry that ensues in the night. Tourists from all over the world and from neighboring provinces flock to the city to witness the dazzling choreography, elaborate floats, and production numbers. Heritage trails which include Fort San Pedro, Parian, the
Cebu remains prime as global destination
Cebu furniture designers Kenneth Cobanpue and Vito Selma
Ayala Mall Cebu
Bantayan Island in Cebu
Bird watching in Olango Island Cebu
Internationally acclaimed Cebu fashionn designer Monique Lhullier
Hanging rice and puso, a traditional snack food in Carcar market
The Hilton Cebu as seen from the pier in Olango Island
Fashion designers Jun Escario and Cary Santiago old Chinese District, Colon Street, the oldest street in the Philippines and Casa Gorordo, are important links to the city’s past and present. Like the mysterious lady who once lived in the Spanish era that run for more than three centuries in the Philippines, Cebu is an enticing multi-faceted mystery not easy to unlock by pedestrian travelers. Its soul teems with artistry, its heart open and welcoming, its lips only knows the freshest and scrumptious cuisine, and its hands bears an entrepreneurial instinct. The city is a wellspring of notable figures in the international stage of fashion couture, accessories, furniture, cuisine, film, and the arts. Internationally acclaimed fashion designers Monique Lhuillier, Cary Santiago, Jun Escario, Philip Rodriguez, Arcy Gayatin and Philip Tampus, as well as young furniture designers Kenneth Cobanpue and Vito Selma are some of the famous personalities from Cebu who have made their mark on the global platform. With a thriving artistic community vis-à-vis the city’s strategic position as a central hub for aeronautics and marine engineering, people from all corners of the globe congregate in this place to hone their craft in educational institutions such as Big Foot Film Academy, Fashion Institute of Design and Arts, International Culinary Arts Academy, and the Marine and Aeronautic School. The local artisan’s attention to detail makes Cebu a top choice among businessmen in the meticulous fields of exporting accessories and furniture. Many exhibitors from Cebu are key pillars behind the Center for International Trade Commission and Exposition’s (CITEM)’s Manila FAME, Asia’s second longest-running trade show and the country’s premier trade event for furniture, furnishings, holiday and gifts, and fashion
Cebu’s famous Italian restaurant Anzani’s
I.T. Park Cebu
Olango Island Secret place The Terraces at Ayala Mall at the Ayala Business Park Cebu
The I.T. Park, Lahug Cebu City
Mouthwatering caviar at Cafe Elysa Parian Cebu
Fresh crumbs from Maya Taqueria, Cebu’s finest Mexican restaurant
Maya, Cebu’s finest Mexican restaurant
Oslob Island Cebu
with latest statistical contribution of $31.3 million to Philippine exports. From a colorful array of designs to myriad flavors, Cebu is also known as a foodie haven. For intrepid food lovers: Carbon market for an assortment of dried fish and exotic sauces; Carcar market for rare seafood, lechon and cracklings; and Pasil market for Tsukiji-vibe for the bidding of the freshest and best quality seafood. Local fare of lechon with puso (steamed rice wrapped in coconut leaves) as well as a variety of fresh seafood prepared in sutukil-style (broiled, simmered in broth and prepared in ceviche-way recipe) dot almost every corner of the city and its outskirts. With the city’s multi-cultural diversity, a roster of restaurants cater to specific palates -- Café Elysa for Southeast Asian fare, Maya for Mexican cuisine, Anzani’s for Italian foods, and A Café for American favorites – are just among the many specialty restaurants. Scintillating tastes lead to the pulsating rhythms of the city’s cosmopolitan allure. Cebu is a burgeoning 24/7 hotspot for business and leisure. The I.T. Park and the Ayala Business Park abound with multinational companies in information technology and business process outsourcing. The Cebu International Convention Center, once home to the 12th ASEAN Summit, can host large-scale conferences. Nightlife in the city is vibrant with some of the most stylish and uppity crowd converging in Vudu, Bellinni’s, Formo, Gilt and Penthouse. Another side of the city is its laidback charm tucked in the nearby pristine white sandy shores of Mactan, Banyatan, Malapascua, and Camotes islands. Adventure seekers and nature lovers will certainly have a grand time cycling, hiking, horseback riding, bird watching in Olango, and diving and swimming with whale sharks in Oslob. (Photos by Harvey Gaisano/ Photo Bureau Cebu. For comments and suggestions email viceernest@ yahoo.com)
PING FAMILY NEEDS.... from A1
Kaysser, left for the United States in 2007 with the other members of the Ping family to immigrate. She had to send son Kayzzer Bryant to the Philippines when he was about three months old so he would know his father Ian and his family In Pangil Laguna. That way, she can also attend to her own studies. Katleen then started to take prerequisite courses to continue her nursing degree requirements in the U.S. and in between, she went back to the Philippines to finally marry Ian. Upon her return to the U.S. with Kayzzer, she had to put her studies on hold to concentrate on a job and also work on papers to petition her husband who was also a graduate of architecture at FEU. The Ping family’s dreams were starting to unfold as Katleen and Kaine would have their own jobs while the younger sisters study. Then last week’s tragedy struck. They learned that there was gun shooting at work place of Katleen at Oikos University. Mom missed Her immediate superior called the Ping’s land phone to let them know of the incident. Only then would they know Katleen tried to leave voice messages that turned out to be inaudible.
April 13 - 19, 2012
They then rushed to the scene where they confirmed from a family friend also working at the school with Katleen and from the policemen themselves that she was one of those shot then later died in the hospital. Mary Jean worries about four-year-old Kayzzer as he often misses his mom especially at night and when he sees his mom’s car at the garage. Like any other child his age, Kayzzer would be a playful and cheerful during the day but would suddenly stop to remember his mom occasionally when reminded of things they did together. “Once, his uncle Kaine offered to help buttoning his shirt. Kayzzer politely turned the offer down saying his mom already taught him how to do it alone. Then tears began to fall on his way to his room. He went to his room so we won’t see him cry for he believes only girls cry,” narrated Mary Jean. A pastor for the youth broke the news to Kaysser two days after the shooting incident as no one else knew how to best do it. The pastor told the family it would be better that Kayzzer mourns and grieves together with them, rather than Kayzzer doing later by himself. Liberty always says Katleen she did not have to suffer such violent death.
“I will miss the way she was a loving sister to her siblings treating them out during payday and pampering them sweetly,” Liberty said. “The lessons I learned from what happened to her are that life is too short so live it well, and that one should never be afraid of death.” But in extending their family’s deepest gratitude to all who expressed their love and support to the Ping family during the memorial, Kaine said: “I lost my sister who I considered as my best friend. She prayed for an interview for her American citizenship to come. But, with what happened, the Lord promoted her. Instead of giving her American citizenship, God made her heaven bound.” (Photos by Jun Ilagan)
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The versatile ‘kamote (sweet potato)’
MANILA -- Several weeks ago, I had a recurring very bad headache. As I do not really like taking pills for aches and pains, I asked a herbalist, Boy Fajardo, if he had any suggestions. He said it could be due to acidity and suggested I should include kamote in every meal. I am happy to report that although the root crop, unlike chemical preparations, did not bring instant “cure,” the problem has gradually disappeared. I suspect what the root crop did was sop up the acid in my system. Now I have just learned that the lowly kamote is indeed far more valuable than many Filipinos think. The kamote has long been dismissed by many Pinoys as food suitable only for those in the poorest of the poor. In fact, even the less affluent would not be caught eating it, if they have other options. The root crop also has a bad rap as causing a major gas problem. But, in a recent study, the Philippines’ Department of Science and Technology’s Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI) found that kamote is far more versatile— health wise—than we give it credit. As reported in “Inside intake of root crops reduced bad cholesterols in the body because of their dietary fiber or roughage content, that part of a vegetable or fruit the human acids…(lower) the risk of colon cancer, (among others).” Root crops were also found to contain vitamin C, calcium, phosphorus and iron. Aside from kamote, the team used other root crops like gabi (taro), tugi (lesser or Chinese yam), ube (purple yam) and kamoteng kahoy (cassava). The team found that all the root crops studied, especially cassava and kamote, decreased the level of bad cholesterol. It was also discovered that tugi, a root crop abundant in northern Philippines, increased good cholesterol. Another DOST-FNRI study found that corn was good for the heart because it contained folate that lowered the level of homocysteine, an amino acid that damaged the lining of arteries and could make blood clot more easily than normal. High homocysteine levels could lead to heart attack. Corn also has thiamin and pantothenic acid that help produce energy and reduce stress. (Linda B. Bolido/inquirer.net)
Dental X-rays linked to brain tumors: US study
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- People who get regular dental X-rays are more likely to suffer a common type of brain tumor, US researchers said on Tuesday, suggesting that yearly exams may not be best for most patients. The study in the U.S. journal, Cancer, showed people diagnosed with meningioma who reported having a yearly bitewing exam were 1.4 times to 1.9 times as likely as a healthy control group to have developed such tumors. A bitewing exam involves an X-ray film being held in place by a tab between the teeth. Also, people who reported getting a yearly panorex exam -- in which an X-ray is taken outside the mouth and shows all the teeth on one film -- were 2.7 to three times more likely to develop cancer, said the study. A meningioma is a tumor that forms in the membrane around the brain or spinal cord. Most of the time these tumors are benign and slow growing, but they can lead to disability or life-threatening conditions. The research, led by Elizabeth Claus of the Yale University School of Medicine, was based on data from 1,433 U.S. patients who were diagnosed with the tumors between the ages of ages 20-79. For comparison, researchers consulted data from a control group of 1,350 individuals who had similar characteristics but had not been diagnosed with a meningioma. Dental patients today are exposed to lower radiation levels than they were in the past, but the research should prompt dentists and patients to re-examine when and why dental X-rays are given, said Claus. “The study presents an ideal opportunity in public health to increase awareness regarding the optimal use of dental X-rays, which unlike many risk factors is modifiable,” she said. The American Dental Association’s guidelines call for children to get one X-ray every one to two years; teens to have one every 1.5 to three years, and adults every two to three years. The ADA said in 2006 there was little evidence to back up the routine use of full-mouth dental X-rays in patients without any symptoms. Michael Schulder, vice chairman of the department of neurosurgery at Cushing Neuroscience Institute, part of the North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System in New York, said he was not shocked by the findings. “This should come as no great surprise given the connection between radiation and meningioma development that has been established in various other contexts,” said Schulder, who was not involved in the research. “The chance of these tumors arising in patients who were Xrayed yearly still was low. Nonetheless, dentists and their patients should strongly consider obtaining X-rays less often than yearly unless symptoms suggest the need for imaging.” (AFP)
STII” (Science and Technology Information Institute) by Framelia Anonas, kamote and other root crops could keep bad cholesterol levels down. The DOST-FNRI research team, headed by Dr. Trinidad Trinidad, found that daily
digestive tract was unable to digest. As explained by Trinidad, “Dietary fibers come from a family of carbohydrates that ferments in the colon, turning into short-chain fatty acids that release energy…. These fatty
Heart test could predict future attacks in elderly
A test to measure the heart’s electrical activity could help predict future heart attacks in otherwise healthy adults over 70, said a U.S. study on Tuesday. Researchers followed 2,192 healthy adults aged 70-79 for a period of eight years, according to the study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The subjects started the study by getting an electrocardiogram, often called an EKG or ECG, which measures the heart’s overall health. People who showed abnormalities in their EKGs saw a higher risk of heart disease over the course of the study than people whose EKGs were normal, even after researchers adjusted for risk factors like diabetes and high cholesterol. Those who had minor abnormalities show up on their first test had a 35 percent higher risk of heart attack, while those with major abnormalities had a 51 percent increased risk, said the findings. “This research is taking the information from an EKG and adding it to other traditional risk factors to better predict who is going to have a heart attack,” said co-author Douglas Bauer, director of the University of California San Francisco Division of General Internal Medicine Research Program. However, organizations such as the American Academy of Family Physicians do not back routine use of EKGs for cardiac screening in low-risk patients, citing high costs and a lack of evidence that the test would improve health outcomes. “For the time being, in the absence of clear evidence of benefit and no clear implica-
tions for costs, the best advice is not to perform ECGs in asymptomatic patients, regardless of age,” said an accompanying editorial by Philip Greenland of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “However, a careful and detailed cost-effectiveness analysis would be a useful next
step in the translation of the cumulative risk information into an evidence-based practice recommendation.” Heart disease is the leading killer in the United States, and accounts for one in three deaths, according to the American Heart Association. (AFP)
Radiation from Japan found in West Coast kelp
LOS ANGELES -- Radioactive iodine was found in kelp off the US West Coast following last year’s earthquaketriggered Fukushima Daiichi nuclear meltdown, according to a new study. It was already known that radioactive iodine 131 (131-I), carried in the atmosphere, made it across the Pacific within days of the March 11, 2011 tsunami disaster, albeit in minuscule amounts. But marine biologists at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) discovered the radioactive isotope in ocean kelp, which is “one of the strongest plant accumulators of iodine,” within a month of the accident. “We measured significant, although most likely non-harmful levels of radioactive iodine in tissue of the giant kelp Macrocystis pyrifera,” said Steven L. Manley, author of the study with Christopher G. Lowe “Although it is probably not that graze on the tissue because fish have a thyroid system that utilizes iodine.” Japanese Reactor Measured in Macrocystis pyrifera,” appears in the online edition of the journal Environmental Science & Technology. The Fukushima Daiichi plant, 220 kilometers (135 miles) northeast of Tokyo was crippled by meltdowns and explosions after the quake and tsunami, which killed more than 19,000 people. Radiation was scattered over a large area and made its way into the sea, air and food chain in the weeks and months after the disaster. Tens of thousands of people were evacuated from their homes around the plant and swathes of this zone remain badly polluted. The clean-up is proceeding slowly, amid warnings that some towns could be uninhabitable for three decades. (AFP)
2 1/2 ½ 8 1 cubes 2 1 6 2 120 ½ 2 lbs lb lb cups bowl pcs pc cloves pcs gms lb pcs Porkloin, sliced Pork spleen and kidney Pork liver Fish sauce Water Coagulated pork blood, boiled and cut into Cooking oil Ginger (thumb-sized), cut into strip Onion (medium), sliced Garlic, chopped Chayote, sliced Salt and ground black pepper Chinese vermicelli Pepper leaves Hot chili
(By NSG, San Leandro, CA)
harmful for humans because it was relatively low levels, it may have affected certain fish
The study, “Canopy-Forming Kelps as California’s Coastal Dosimeter: 131I from Damaged
LONDON -- A cruise ship carrying descendants of some of the people who died on the Titanic set sail from a British port Sunday to retrace the doomed liner’s route on its maiden voyage 100 years ago. The Titanic Memorial Cruise is carrying 1,309 passengers, the same number as were on the White Star ship, and departed from Southampton docks in southern England. Many turned up to board the MS Balmoral in period Edwardian costumes, with some as first class passengers, others as steerage travellers and some as crew. As part of the 12-night voyage, the cruise will also stop at the location in the Atlantic Ocean where the original ship hit an iceberg and sank on April 15, 1912, and those on board will hold a memorial service. “It is still quite unbelievable what happened that night,” said Jane Allen, who was travelling on the memorial cruise with her husband Frank. She said her great aunt and uncle left on the Titanic on their honeymoon. The aunt survived aboard one of the lifeboats, but her uncle stayed on board and was among the more than 1,500 people who died. Around 50 of those on board were related to Titanic victims, organisers said. Passenger Graham Free, 37, was dressed as a Edwardian gentleman but said he did not think the cruise was exploiting the tragedy.
Titanic memorial cruise retraces tragic voyage
“I have been a fan of the Titanic since I was nine years old and this cruise is the closest you are going to get to it,” he said. “We are not here to mock. We are here to enjoy and remember those who were unfortunately lost. I think it’s going to be emotional when we get above the wreck site and have the service.” Organisers are trying to recreate the experience of travelling on the Titanic -- albeit safely this time -- with food from the original menus and a band from Belgium to play period music. The band is in honour of the musicians who played on the Titanic as it sank beneath the waves with the loss of 1,514 lives. People from 28 different countries booked places on the voyage, which cost between £2,799 and £5,995 ($4,441/3,390 euros and $9,512/7,261 euros) per person. However the Balmoral had to leave two days earlier than the Titanic did as it cannot steam as fast. Cruise organiser Miles Morgan said it was a “very, very special cruise”, especially for the relatives of those who died. “This cruise has been five years in the making and every step of the way we have sought to make it authentic to the era and a sympathetic memorial to the passengers and crew who lost their lives,” he said. The boat will also stop at Cherbourg in France and Cobh in Ireland, just as the Titanic did. Carmel Bradburn, 55, who is originally from Manchester in northwest England but now lives in Australia, said she was “fanatical about the Titanic.” (AFP)
Using a casserole, saute ginger, onion and garlic. Add pork and pork spleen, kidney and liver. Season with fish sauce. Cook until meat changes color. Add water. Boil and then simmer for about 10 minutes. Add pork blood and chayote. Simmer until chayote is tender. Season to taste. Add Chinese vermicelli and cook for 2 minutes. Add the pepper leaves and hot chillis, and cook for 2 minutes. Serve hot.
Fried Pork Chops
6 1 1 1 6 pcs cup tsp tbsp cloves Pork chops Toyomannsi Ground black pepper Sugar Garlic, smashed Cooking oil
In a bowl, combine pork chops, toyomansi, black pepper, sugar and garlic. Mix well and cover. Set in the fridge for an hour. Heat enough cooking oil and fry pork chops for 5 minutes on each side. Serve hot with pickled vegetables (e.g. atchara).
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April 13 - 19, 2012
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