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.com T H E F I L I P I N O –A M E R I C A N C O M M U N I T Y N E W S PA P E R

Volume 20 - No. 100 • 3 Sections – 30 Pages


DECEMBER 15-17, 2010

UN prods PH on Millennium Development Goals by CYNTHIA


MANILA – The Philippines’ performance in meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) has remained “generally low” with barely five years into the deadline to achieve the goals set by the United Nations, according to a UN official in the Philippines.

Renaud Meyer, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Country Director to the Philippines, revealed the country’s dismal performance based on the MDG Report launched early this September. “Accelerating progress to attain the MDGs requires increased resources to deliver what has been promised to those for whom the MDGs are not a reality,” said Meyer during a public forum

on promoting human rights, justice, integrity and democracy at the University of the Philippines last week. The MDGs are eight international development goals that all 192 UN member states and at least 23 international organizations have agreed to achieve by the year 2015. They goals are to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; achieve universal primary education; pro-

mote gender equality and empower women; reduce child mortality rate; improve maternal health, combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases; ensure environmental sustainability; and develop a global partnership for development. According to Meyer, poverty incidence in the Philippines has risen from 30 percent in 2003 to 33 percent in 2006 as the population increased


Tourists ready for PH; PH not ready for tourists by DJ


MANILA – It’s not about terrorists. Tourists aren’t deterred by travel warnings to the Philippines, but by a host of other factors, major tourism industry players said Monday. “There are not enough flights, not enough seat capacity, ill-prepared marketing and the quality of accommodations is not good enough,” said Alejandra Clemente, president of the Federation of Tourism Industries of the Philippines (FTIP). Simply put, the Philippines is “not ready” to take in tourists in large numbers, Clemente said in a press conference at the Mandarin Oriental called by tourism stakeholders


2010 TEN OUTSTANDING YOUNG MEN. President Aquino with the Ten Outstanding Young Men of 2010 after the awarding ceremony at Malacañang on December 13. With the President are (L-R) Harvey Keh, Jun



STUDENTS, professors and analysts convened for a discussion on the Asian American and Latino voter poll in the past November 2010 election on Dec. 9 at the University of Southern California. Manuel Pastor, Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity at USC and director of the Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration at USC; along with Jane Junn, Professor of Political Science at USC, research director of USC College/Los Angeles Times Poll; and Daniel Ichinose, director of Demographic Research Project at Asian Pacific American Legal Center,


Obama signs Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act

Fil-Am couple jailed in Florida for exploiting Pinoy workers by JOSE


WASHINGTON – A FilipinoAmerican couple has been sentenced to a combined 129 months in prison for forcing 39 Filipino nationals to work against their will in country clubs and hotels in Southeast Florida, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations said. Federal prosecutors said Sophia Manuel and Alfonso Baldonado Jr., owners of Quality Staffing Ser-

vices Corp., a labor contracting service, compelled the victims to work under threat of having them arrested and deported, knowing they faced serious economic harm and possible incarceration for nonpayment of debts in the Philippines. Manuel was sentenced last Friday to 78 months in federal prison and Baldonado to 51 months in prison. Manuel also was sentenced for making false statements on an application she filed with the US Department of Labor to obtain

foreign labor certifications and visas under the federal H2B guest worker program. Prosecutors said Manuel and Baldonado seized the passports of the workers upon arrival, forced them to stay in quarters provided and did not allow them to leave without an escort. “These deplorable conditions will not be tolerated in this country and ICE will continue its commitment to rescue victims of this form of modern day slavery and arrest the traffickers that exploit them,” said ICE Director John Morton. ■

US envoy visits Pres. Aquino amid Nobel flap by AUREA


MANILA – United States Ambassador Harry Thomas Jr. met with President Aquino at Malacañang on December 14 just as the Chief Executive was defending the country’s skipping the Nobel Peace Prize awarding ceremonies, citing the need to save


US Amb. Harry Thomas Jr.

Gaa reveals he has cancer by JOSE


WASHINGTON – But for what he described as “an inconvenient thing,” 2010 would have been a near perfect year for Philippine ambassador to the United States Willy Gaa. He played a major role in the US Millennium Challenge Corp. giving the Philippines a $434-million development grant, orchestrated a one-on-one meeting in New York between Presidents Benigno Aquino and Barack Obama and masterminded the transfer of the consular section from the embassy to a bigger office in the old chancery to better serve the public. Professionally he couldn’t have had a better year. “I accomplished all my plans. There were

ON December 13, President Obama signed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act into law. Flanked by Cabinet officials, top Democrats and schoolchildren in green and yellow uniforms, President Obama said that “across the country, too many kids don’t have access to healthy meals. We’ve seen the connection between what kids eat and how well they perform in school,” he said, speaking at Harriet Tubman Elementary School in Northwest Washington. “We need to make sure our kids have the energy and capacity to go toe-to-toe with their peers.” The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act will


Yaputun, Beatrice Valdes, Edcel Salvana, Efren Peñaflorida Jr., Rachel Gerodias, Sen. Allan Peter Cayetano, Paolo Aquino IV, Therese Badoy and Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara. Malacañang Photo Bureau

Philippine Amb. Willy Gaa.


BELEN CAPITAL OF THE PHILIPPINES. If Pampanga is the country’s “parol” (lanterns) capital, Tarlac is fast gaining a reputation for the ingenuity and beauty of its “belen” (Nativity scenes). Moncada’s elaborate belen is just one of so many unique Christmas tableaus that are lighting up all 18 towns of Tarlac this season and attracting holiday tourists. photo by Elmer Kristian Dauigoy

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A DECEMBER 15-17, 2010 • LA MIDWEEK ASIAN JOURNAL • (213) 250-9797

From the Front Page

Tourists ready for PH; PH not ready for… PAGE A1 t

in support of embattled Tourism Secretary Alberto Lim. Clemente said travel advisories cautioning foreigners about purported terrorist threats in the Philippines hardly made a dent in tourist arrivals. She said 2.8 million arrivals had been so far recorded this

year, including returning Filipinos, compared to about 3 million last year. Even the Manila bus hostagetaking incident that left eight Chinese tourists and the Filipino gunman dead on Aug. 23 had not caused a noticeable decrease in the number of tourists, she said. Holiday security

On Monday, Philippine National Police Director General Raul Bacalzo announced he was fielding more police units in tourist spots across the country for the Christmas holidays. Bacalzo and Lim signed an agreement that will pave the way for the establishment of the Tourist-Oriented Police for Com-

munity Order and Protection Program. Pilot projects will be set up in 14 travel destinations, according to the deal. Clemente said the problem went deeper than security issues, noting that the government was not being aggressive enough in marketing the coun-

UN prods PH on… PAGE A1 t

from 80 to 86 million. He said that problems in providing access to primary education have been prevailing as 5.2 million Filipino school-age children have not entered school. Also, 53 percent of these school age children are not enrolled u PAGE A3 in Grade 1, while the majority usually drops out after reaching Grade 1, according to Meyer. Meyer likewise said that the Philippines has been facing difficulty meeting MDG 5 on improving maternal health as 54 percent of pregnancies (1.9 million women) were unplanned. He said the lack of access to reproductive health services has caused 11 mothers to die every day due to pregnancy-related causes. There is also concern on the high incidence of HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) cases

with 126 new cases reported in 2009, the highest since 1984. Meyer noted that meager resources due to corruption hurt the country’s chances in achieving the MDGs. “We all know that corruption heavily impacts and diverts meager resources meant to deliver services to the poor. Concretely, this translates to lesser government budget to fund critical MDG services,” he said. Meyer said that recent estimates put the cost of corruption at about 20 to 30 percent of the national budget. “This means less classrooms, less hospitals, less kilometers of farm to market roads for farmers, less protection from diseases in remote communities, less potable water for waterless villages. In all these aspects, it is the poor who suffer the most,” he added. n

US envoy visits Pres. Aquino… PAGE A1 t

Filipinos on death row in China. The President, however, did not give details about the meeting. Thomas, when asked about what was discussed, told The Star only that the US side asked for the meeting and “we wished each other Merry Christmas.” In Beijing, the government said on December 14 it was handling the cases of five Filipinos sentenced to death for drug offenses according to law. “China’s judiciary handled the cases of the five Philippine drug traffickers independently and in accordance with law,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu told reporters when asked about Manila’s no-show at the Nobel rites in Norway. “Their rights have been ensured and we have been following the conventions on consular affairs and regular Chinese laws and regulations,” Jiang said. “We will update the Philippine side on the case in a timely manner and provide necessary assistance and convenience for Philippine consular officials.” Aquino said on Monday he would have an informal chat with Thomas and that there was no reason for the Philippines to apologize to the US for not

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sending a representative to the ceremony honoring Chinese dissident writer Liu Xiaobo. “Certainly, we are trying to repair relations between China and the Philippines. We do not want to have another irritant coming along the way of Philippines and China relations,” palace spokesman Edwin Lacierda said in a press briefing. Lacierda said the decision was in the interest of the Filipinos and should not be connected to other issues like the new travel advisory issued by Hong Kong. He said the Philippines’ efforts to harmonize relations with China should actually be considered. “The fact that we would not want to irritate Philippines-China relations should have prompted the Hong Kong special administrative region not to issue that black travel advisory. But, again, we don’t know where the basis of the Hong Kong SAR (Special Administrative Region) decision to issue that came from. Metro Manila is fine. Peace and order situation is fine so there’s no reason for them to issue that black travel alert,” Lacierda said. Lacierda added that the Philippines had given assurance that the second phase of the in-


12/14/10 4:11:09 PM

(213) 250-9797 • 

From the Front Page



US envoy visits Pres. Aquino amid…


cident investigation and review committee on the Aug. 23 hostage crisis would focus on institutional reforms. “We’re coming up with tourism police, we’re coming up also with tourism courts. We are also finalizing the crisis manual, we have set up the presidential situation room – all these institutional recommendations are in place and are being done. So, insofar as our determination to provide safety for all our tourists, it’s all there. We are doing our part right now,” Lacierda said. “Again, we have started institutionalizing the recommendations of the IIRC. We have done our part. We are very, very con-

fident that once they are all in place and some of them are already in place, that we would be able to prove to the tourists from around the world that we are a safe country to visit and we do hope that the tourists will not stop coming to visit us as well as all our balikbayans from abroad,” he said. He admitted though that the Philippines would need to do more to improve its relations with Hong Kong and Beijing. “We need to assure the Hong Kong people since the Hong Kong residents were affected by the hostage-taking incident. We need to further improve our relations with the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Insofar

as China is concerned, we have a good working relationship with them,” Lacierda said. But Lacierda said they could not tell for sure if China would accede to the Philippine request to spare the Filipinos on death row in China even after skipping the Nobel ceremonies. “Again, it’s dependent on the Chinese legal system. But again, this would at least smoothen the flow of relations between China and the Philippines. It will not provide further cause for strain between our countries. So we do hope and we pray that the letter of the President will be received favorably by the Chinese judges and by the Chinese government,” Lacierda said. n

Tourists ready for PH; PH not ready… PAGE A2 t

try and the lack of an open skies agreement with other countries heavily restricted potential tourism traffic. But she said there was reason to be optimistic about the chances of the Philippines becoming a major tourism destination, if it effectively taps the lucrative Japan and Korean markets. She noted that All Nippon Airways would begin direct flights from Japan to the Philippines at the end of February, while Delta Air Lines was expected to add two flights per week in its US-Japan-Philippines route. Former Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry

president Jose Luis Yulo said developed countries were shifting their attention to Asia, particularly China, and this opened a lot of possibilities for Philippine tourism. “The Western world is not only looking at China, but other countries in Asia, and that’s where we should focus,” Yulo said during the open forum. Slogan fiasco Commenting on the “Pilipinas Kay Ganda” fiasco, the stakeholders said no tourism slogan could instantly solve the industry’s problems. Marciano Ragaza, president of Travel Enterprise and former president of the Philippine Trav-

Gaa reveals he has… PAGE A1 t no missed opportunities, no regrets. I was looking forward to my retirement (on July 24, 2011 when he turns 65),” he said. Then he found out he had lung cancer. When a doctor told him the troubling news after a routine checkup for a nagging cough in September, Gaa said his whole world collapsed. “It hit me hard. I couldn’t believe it. Why me, I asked myself as I saw my retirement plans crumble,” he told The STAR. Gaa admitted he went through a variety of emotions including fear, anger and sadness but after the initial shock, he decided to face up to the problem, challenge it and beat it. Surgeons excised one-third of the right upper lobe of his lung

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after a five-hour lobectomy in a New York hospital and he now faces four to six months of chemotherapy and radiation. During the interview he said he felt stronger than he did before the operation and acknowledged with a chuckle that his retirement plans – becoming a university professor, traveling and doing some consultancy work – were coming back into focus. Asked what he thought of former Central Bank governor Jose Cuisia Jr., Aquino’s nominee to be the new ambassador to the United States, Gaa said Cuisia was an excellent choice to succeed him. “He’ll be a good addition to the economic team of the Aquino government. He’ll be good for the embassy and he’ll feel at home in the US business community. In a

el Agencies Association, said the Department of Tourism had promised a more “democratic process” in choosing a new slogan. The speakers mostly agreed that it was time to rest the “Wow Philippines” slogan, which former Tourism Secretary Richard Gordon had championed. “It was already working for several years, so I feel we need a new slogan to boost our image, and to speak better to what we can sell,” said Margie Moran Floirendo, former president of the Davao Tourism Association and former chair of the Southern Philippines Regional Tourism Council. n word, he’ll be a plus,” said Gaa, one of the few Filipino career ambassadors posted to Washington. He expects Cuisia to assume command in the first quarter of the new year after his confirmation by the Commission on Appointments. Trying to make light of his situation, Gaa said one of the first thoughts that flashed in his mind when told he had cancer was “na loco na.” “This is a very inconvenient thing to have,” he said. Gaa should have been recalled home in 2008 after six years overseas. But his term was extended by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. When President Aquino assumed office in May 2010 his term was further extended. It is a measure of Gaa’s stature and accomplishments that he has lasted in the plum Washington post for as long as he has. n

PNOY AND THE AZKALS. PNoy congratulates the Azkals. The win by the 151st-ranked Philippines against Vietnam, 13 notches higher in the FIFA world rankings, was the biggest upset in the tournament, and perhaps even in the history of Southeast Asian football.  Malacañang Photo Bureau

Obama signs Healthy, Hunger-Free… PAGE A1 t

improve the quality of school breakfasts, lunches and other foods sold in schools while also strengthening nutrition programs that serve young children, including WIC and the Child and Adult Care Food Program. The bill will increase federal funding for school lunches by about 6 cents per child and allow the Secretary of Agriculture to set standards for foods sold in schools. It will also help combat childhood hunger by making more than 100,000 children on Medicaid eligible for free lunch. Championed by First Lady Michelle Obama, the bill is an important advancement of the Obama Administration’s goal

of solving the problem of childhood obesity within a generation. The signing of the bill into law capped months of advocacy by the first lady. “While we may sometimes have our differences, we can all agree that in the United States of America, no child should go to school hungry,” Michelle Obama said Monday. “All children should have the basic nutrition they need to learn and grow. . . . Our hopes for their future should drive every decision we make. Nothing is more important than the health and well-being of our children. Nothing.” Many well-known celebrity chefs including Jamie Oliver, Rachael Ray, and Cat Cora have

supported the bill, which passed the House by a vote of 264 to 157. USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack and nationally-renowned cook and healthy kids advocate Rachael Ray held a conference call with reporters last Monday to discuss the impact of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act being signed into law by President Obama. The Washington Times reported that President Obama joked about the consequences if the bill was not signed into law. “Had I not been able to get this bill passed, I would be sleeping on the couch,” he said. The first lady, laughing, replied, “Let’s just say it got done.” (AJPress)

California’s Asian vote discussed at… PAGE A1 t

presented graphs and charts representing specific data from their recent poll. “One thing about this poll is that it was right on the money,“ Pastor said. “This was the poll that had the most success at the top of the ticket.” APALC is the nation’s largest organization providing legal services and civil rights advocacy on behalf of Asian-American and Pacific Islander communities. According to the data Ichinose presented, Governor-elect, Jerry Brown, could not have won without the immigrant vote. “White voters were equally likely to support Brown versus Meg Whitman,” Ichinose said. “In contrast, Asian American and Latino voters supported Brown

convincingly.” Meg Whitman, Brown’s opponent in the election, faced controversy regarding her former housekeeper, Nicky Diaz ; it was an event that affected the Latino vote. “She did very badly among the Latino voters that were Spanishdominant,” Pastor said. Asians clearly voted Democrat in the election and contributed to the success of Democrats statewide, thus making immigration itself an important topic to candidates running for office in California. According to Ichinose’s data, Asians and Latinos were mostly in agreement on the topic of immigration. Evidence of disagreement appeared in Ichinose’s graph showing 73% of Asian voters in

support of a $1000 fine on employers hiring illegal immigrants, while only 42% of the Latino voters were in support. Of course, there were difficulties while conducting these surveys, including barriers in language, despite surveys conducted in a preferred language. “One has to understand how difficult it is to translate phrases such as “global warming,” Junn said. The poll was opened for further discussion by a Q & A which left the speakers with favored results. According to Pastor, the Q & A brought on very sophisticated questions from the roughly 40-person audience. “We had a much bigger turnout than we thought,” Pastor said. (Terence Calacsan)

12/14/10 4:11:58 PM


From the Front Page • (213) 250-9797

Obama-GOP tax bill clears Senate hurdle with ease by David

Espo Associated Press

WASHINGTON – Far-reaching legislation to avert a Jan. 1 income-tax increase for millions won overwhelming support in a Senate test vote on Monday, backed by an uneasy and unusual alliance between the White House and lawmakers in both

parties. Even before the vote was complete, President Barack Obama said the show of support “proves that both parties can in fact work together to grow our economy and look out for the American people.” Senate passage, expected within a day or two, would set up a final showdown in the House

between Obama and liberals in his own party who want the White House to scale back the billions the bill includes in relief ticketed for the rich. In his remarks, the president gave no indication he was willing to accept further changes to the measure he negotiated with senior Republicans. “I understand those concerns,” he said of the objections from some of his usual allies in Congress. “I share some of them. But that’s the nature of compromise, sacrificing something that each of us cares about.” Despite strong criticism from fellow Democrats, Obama has made passage of the bill a key year-end priority, essential for the economy as it struggles to recover from the worst recession in decades. In the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and his GOP counterpart, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, were joint sponsors of the bill, a symbolic gesture of bipartisanship on an issue that produced nothing but gridlock until midterm elections gave Republicans additional leverage in negotiations. “We’re telling the American people to keep money that’s rightfully theirs, so they can spend it and invest it as they please,” said McConnell. In a jab at Democrats, he added, “This is an important shift, and the White House should be applauded for agreeing to it.” Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont.,

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., talks on Capitol Hill in Washington Monday, Dec. 13, 2010, before going to vote on a procedural motion on the tax cut legislation.  AP Photo by Alex Brandon

who chairs the Senate Finance Committee, said, “This bipartisan compromise is about creating jobs. Extending middle class tax cuts will help create jobs. ... Job creation needs to be our number one priority.” The bill needed 60 votes to clear a procedural hurdle. It achieved that level quickly in a long roll call, although no final tally was expected for hours. The bill would provide a twoyear reprieve in the tax increases scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1 at all income levels, reduce Social Security taxes for every wage earner in 2011 and extend an expiring program of jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed. The estimated cost, $858 billion over two years, would be added to already-huge federal

deficits. The measure represents a reach across party lines after two years of political combat in which Republicans wanted a permanent extension of all the tax cuts enacted when George W. Bush was president, while Democrats insisted rates be permitted to rise on incomes over $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for couples. Despite the bipartisanship in the Senate, disgruntled House Democrats have vowed to block a final vote unless the legislation is changed to scale back the tax relief for the nation’s wealthiest. “I think we’re going to have a vote on the Senate bill, with possible changes,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, DMd., said. “We may have it with

amendments, we’ll see what the process is.” The compromise emerged a week ago after private talks involving the White House and top leaders in Congress, including Republicans who emerged from midterm elections with significantly increased strength. In the days since, Obama has drawn strong criticism from liberals unhappy that he agreed to changes in the estate tax and income tax that will benefit the rich. Firing back, he said failure to compromise would produce gridlock at a time the economy is still frail and unemployment is at a persistently high rate of 9.8 percent. The administration’s outgoing top economic adviser, Law-


Tax package heads toward passage in Senate WASHINGTON – The tax package negotiated by President Barack Obama and GOP lawmakers is headed toward passage in the Senate even as House Democrats consider changes to the estate tax. The Senate voted 83-15 Monday evening to advance the package, which would provide a two-year reprieve from tax increases scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1 at all income levels. “This proves that both parties can in fact work together to grow our economy and look out for the American people,” Obama said. “I recognize that folks on both sides of the political spectrum are unhappy with certain parts of the package and I understand those concerns. I share some of them. But that’s the nature of compromise.” House Democrats are scheduled to meet in a closed-door caucus Tuesday evening to discuss the package. Last week, House

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Democratic leaders said they would not schedule a vote on the tax bill without changes to make it less generous to the wealthy. Assistant Democratic Leader Dick Durbin of Illinois told CBS’ “The Early Show” Tuesday that the wide margin by which the measure cleared the procedural vote should help facilitate its passage in the House. “I think the House takes notice,” he said, adding that he believes the bill will be passed by Christmas. Durbin said he understands opposition to the bill from liberal Democrats outraged over the substantial relief given the wealthy in estate tax provisions. “In the spirit of the season, it does say `God bless Tiny Tim and Donald Trump,” he said. This week, several Democratic leaders said they may settle for a vote on an amendment that would impose a higher estate tax

— a vote that would face an uncertain outcome. “I think, frankly, that ultimately we will pass legislation,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Tuesday. “The vote in the Senate indicates an urgency that is felt by a broad spectrum that the middle income taxes not be increased come Jan. 1. In order to affect that, you’ve got to pass the bill.” Hoyer said many House Democrats still have concerns about passing a lower estate tax. But, Hoyer said, killing the package would be bad for the nation’s fragile economy. “We believe that there are provisions within the bill which are very, very helpful to growing the economy, to step in to assist those who have lost their unemployment insurance,” Hoyer said. The most sweeping tax cuts in a genera-


12/14/10 4:12:32 PM

(213) 250-9797 • 

Dateline USA



HONORING THE LAKERS. President Barack Obama waves as he arrives for an event to honor the NBA basketball champion Los Angeles Lakers, in Washington, Monday, Dec. 13, at the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington, in Washington. Coach Phil Jackson (left), center Pau Gasol (second from left) and Kobe Bryant (center) were in attendance. AP Photo by Evan Vucci

Tax package heads toward…


tion, enacted under former President George W. Bush, are scheduled to expire Jan. 1. The $858 billion package negotiated by Obama would extend them for two years. It would also renew a program of jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed that is due to lapse within days and enact a one-year cut in Social Security taxes. “It is a substantial victory for middle-class families across the country who would no longer have to worry about a massive tax hike come Jan. 1,” Obama said. “It would offer hope to millions of Americans who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own by making sure that they won’t suddenly find themselves out in the cold without the unemployment insurance benefits that they were counting on. And it would offer real tax relief for Americans who are paying for college, parents raising their children and business owners looking to invest in their businesses and propel our economy forward.” At the insistence of Republicans, the plan includes a more generous estate tax provision: The first $10 million of a couple’s estate could pass

to heirs without taxation. The balance would be subject to a 35 percent tax rate. The lower estate tax infuriated some Democrats who were already unhappy with Obama for agreeing to extend tax cuts for individuals making more than $200,000 and couples making more than $250,000. The estate tax was repealed for 2010. But under current law, it is scheduled to return next year with a top rate of 55 percent on the portion estates above $1 million — $2 million for couples. House Democratic leaders want to bring back the 2009 estate tax levels. That year, individuals could pass $3.5 million to their heirs, tax-free. Couples could pass $7 million, with a little tax planning, and the balance was taxed at a top rate of 45 percent. Senate Republicans, however, warned that any changes to the estate tax provisions could unravel the deal. “If the House Democratic leadership decides to make partisan changes, they will ensure that every American taxpayer will see a job-killing tax hike on January 1,” said Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. (AP)

Obama-GOP tax bill clears Senate…


rence Summers, said in a speech a few hours before the vote that the agreement should increase consumer spending and help the economy “now and for the next several years.” On the other end of the political spectrum, some conservatives have spoken out against the bill, saying that the renewal of jobless benefits should be offset by spending cuts elsewhere in the budget. In fact, even supporters of the bill were at pains to point out parts they found objectionable.

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Baucus singled out the decision to leave tax rates unchanged on upper income earners. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., highlighted a series of energy tax breaks added to the bill late last week, including an extension of the federal subsidy for ethanol. McConnell cited “the Democrats’ insistence that we borrow the money we need to pay for a further extension of unemployment insurance. In my view, if both parties agree that the debt is a serious problem, we shouldn’t be writing checks that we don’t have the money to cover.”

Many House Democrats objected strongly to a change in the estate tax that Republicans won as part of the deal. The first $5 million of a couple’s estate could pass to heirs without taxation, and an additional $5 million could be passed along for the spouse. The balance would be subject to a 35 percent tax rate. The estate tax was repealed for 2010. But under current law, it is scheduled to return next year with a top rate of 55 percent on the portion above $1 million, $2 million for couples. n

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A6 DECEMBER 15-17, 2010 • LA MIDWEEK ASIAN JOURNAL • (213) 250-9797



Something’s gotta give ACCORDING to Renaud Meyer, UNDP Country Director to the Philippines, the country’s performance in meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) remains “generally low,” with barely five years into the deadline. “Accelerating progress to attain the MDGs requires increased resources to deliver what has been promised to those for whom the MDGs are not a reality,” said Meyer in a public forum promoting human rights, justice, integrity and democracy at the University of the Philippines last week. 192 UN member states and at least 23 international organizations have agreed to achieve the MDGs by 2015, which are eight international development goals -- to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; achieve universal primary education; promote gender equality and empower women; reduce child mortality rate; improve maternal health, combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases; ensure environmental sustainability; and develop a global partnership for development. Poverty incidence in the country has increased from 30 percent in 2003 to 33 percent in 2006 due to population increase from 80 million to 86 million, said Meyer. 5.2 million Filipino school-age children still do not have access to primary education with 53 percent unable to enroll in the first grade and a majority dropping out of school after reaching the first grade, he further added.

54 percent of pregnancies (1.9 million women) were unplanned so accomplishing MDG 5 on improving maternal health remains a gargantuan task. 11 mothers die due to pregnancy-related causes everyday because access to reproductive health services is still lacking. 126 HIV positive cases have also been reported in 2009 -- the highest number of incidences since 1984. Meager resources due to corruption has been cited by Meyer as the culprit that’s deterring the country from achieving its MDGs. These figures seem to paint a rather dismal future for the Philippines when it comes to fulfilling these goals. The proposed yet still highly-contentious Reproductive Health Bill may possibly address goals to improve maternal health and reduce child mortality, but the question remains -- is the Philippines culturally ready to achieve these MDGs? If so, what beliefs or values are we willing to sacrifice in order to achieve them? Time is running out and decisions have to be made. One thing is certain – we can no longer afford to live in the status quo. (AJPress)

Editorial photo

Filipino legal victories in the US OUR kababayans received early Christmas presents through legal victories won early in the month of December. Last December 10, Balitang America reported a string of good news befitting International Human Rights Day. Filipinos had a lot to celebrate about. First, Filipino caregivers Victoria Aquino and her co-worker Lourdes Torres won a settlement of over $71,000 in back wages. Through the help of Marci Seville of the nonprofit organization Women’s Employment Rights Clinic in the bay Area – they were finally able to receive their proper wages as live-in caregivers after working so hard seven days a week, being on call for 24 hours, with each caring for six elderly and disabled patients. Aquino and Torres represent the plight of many of our Filipino caregivers working in America who have been abused by their employers, overworked and underpaid with almost no care and benefits to hold on to and protect them – especially in times of sickness and injury. Some of our kababayans endure the abuses of care home operators because of their immigration status, scared of being prosecuted and deported when they come out and complain against their employers.

Seville said their group plan Sophia Manuel, owner of to release a “Know Your Rights” The Fil-Am the Quality Staffing Corporaguidebook for caregivers and tion Services and the masterwork with organizations like the Perspective mind of this human trafficking Filipino Community Center to operation was sentenced to reach out to abused caregivers, 78 months while her husband legal or undocumented. Alfonso was sentenced to 51 Advocates stress that this fight months in federal prison. is not just workers right issues, GEL SANTOS-RELOS Kababayans victimized by but also covers the right of the the couple came to the United patient to quality care that they will not get from States in 2007 and 2008 as “guest workers” afan overworked and exhausted caregivers. ter paying about $5,000 each in recruitment and If you are an abused caregiver and would want placement fees – money that most of them had to to fight for your right and know how the law can borrow just to have a shot in fulfilling their Amerprotect you despite your legal status, contact the ican dream to help their families back home. Filipino Community center at (415) 333-6267. However, when they arrived in the US, they *** were subjected to inhumane treatment, forced The other recent legal victory of Filipinos was to provide cheap labor and services to some bittersweet as it was a case of Filipinos vs Filipi- hotels and resorts in South Florida. The victims nos. In West Palm Beach Florida, a Filipino cou- said they were repeatedly threatened with arrest ple has been sentenced to maximum prison time and deportation, if they failed to perform their for human trafficking. jobs. Balitang America Correspondent Don Tagala When they could not take the abuse anymore, reported that Sophia Manuel and her husband these 39 Filipino workers ran away from their emAlfonso Baldonado forced at least 39 of our ployers and sought help. Former Florida Assiskababayans to work, under threat of arrest and tant Attorney General Marissa de Guzman Cobb deportation. represented them in their legal battle against

Manuel and Baldonado. T-Visas are now being processed by the Department of Homeland Security for these Filipinos who were victims of human trafficking. This will allow them to work legally in the United States and file for US citizenship, which will eventually give them the privilege of petitioning their immediate family members to join them in America in the near future. The victory of these 39 Filipinos is also considered a landmark case as this is the first visa fraud successfully prosecuted in the State of Florida. *** This double victory of abused Filipinos in America wouldn’t have happened if our kababayans chose to suffer in silence and not muster enough courage to fight for their rights. If you are a victim of human rights and labor abuses and you do not know what to do and where to start, feel free to write me a letter or email me so I can refer you to the person or organization who can help you. *** Gel Santos Relos is the anchor of TFC’s “Balitang America.” Views and opinions expressed by the author in this column are are solely those of the author and not of Asian Journal and ABS-CBN-TFC. For comments, go to, gelrelos,

Branding the Philippines THE aggressive HK Tourism Campaign The Kite started right after the British handover to Runner China. It was triggered by the uncertainty of the tourism market, as a result of the hando- PROF. ENRIQUE M. SORIANO ver in 1999. Ten years later, the campaign remains a very good business case for our Department of Tourism (DOT) leaders to learn from, especially after the failed “Pilipinas Kay Ganda” campaign launched by DOT last month. The activity not only wasted government money, time and resources but was flawed as it lacked the most basic fundamental elements in conceptualizing a brand story. We all knew what happened. What made it worse was the repeated finger pointing by the various stakeholders and proponents immediately right after the concept was cancelled by PNoy. The least they could have done was to admit that a mistake was made and vowed to come up with a very comprehensive brand activity next time. The aborted campaign eventually resulted in the abrupt resignation of Usec Enteng Romano. Some say Romano was the fall guy. Others believed it was accountability at its finest. But that is another story. The Hong Kong tourism model To articulate the tremendous success of the HK tourism campaign, it must be stressed that Hong Kong focused its efforts on five key elements – built addi-

tional infrastructure, improved existing facilities, enhanced service quality standards, encouraged seamless visitor entry, and actively promoted Hong Kong’s business and tourism programs under a sustainable infra-

structure base. The planners initiated the first phase by integrating the infrastructure component and upgrading facilities selected in the tourism blueprint. The next campaign was raising service standards in all tourism touch points. To promote quality service in retail and catering sectors, the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) launched the Quality Tourism Service (QTS) initiative. The campaign resulted in 3,700 plus shops & restaurants undergoing rigid QTS accreditation, inbound travel agents regulated and the travel industry introducing a comprehensive training and retooling program for tour guides. The service transformation was immediately felt by tourists especially by frequent Filipino shoppers to HK in early 2000. Customer service standards in retail stores and hotels became noticeably different. Foreign tourists were pleasantly surprised with the new image. Front liners and service providers became overnight people pleasers, courteous and promptly greeted customers when they entered their stores.

Word of mouth spread and HK’s brand of service delivery became a hot topic worldwide. Promotion came in after service standards started to show a ripple effect. A sustained year round campaign was instituted starting with the hugely popular international Chinese New Year Parade and a range of marketing activities worldwide to promote HK. Various activities were launched simultaneously, the most popular ones like the “World city - My city” essay and photo competition became a global success, generating thousands of excited participants. Campaigns were relentless and reinforced with abovethe-line advertising and promotions. “Win a Trip” contests were broadcasted nationally & internationally. Events (HK Rugby Sevens, Forbes CEO Conference, HK Products Expo) were launched month after month. In 2003, after only 3 years of aggressive campaigning, visitor arrivals topped 15.5 million. The following year, a whopping 21.8 million tourist visited HK and a year on year increase of 40.4%, the highest growth in the number of visitor arrivals in HK’s history. The uncertainty was over. With an integrated plan and a singular focus,

HK tourism officials’ efforts paid off. The biggest challenge was sustaining the brand momentum which to this day has been laudable. Reflecting on the Branding campaign of HK and fighting for market share in the region with more than 1,000 competing destinations all over Asia, what can we learn from this resounding success? Lessons learned The answer lies in formulating the “big idea” and having a powerful destination story to tell the world. The success of the brand HK campaign spawned similar concepts by its Asian neighbors. Of course, who could ever forget our very own “WOW Philippines, India’s Incredible India campaign, Malaysia Its Truly Asia initiative and countless other countries fighting for a piece of the tourism revenue? The information highway is cluttered with other international branding campaigns, therefore differentiation and a

compelling message are indispensable elements to incorporate in a brand building exercise. Just like consumers, tourists are hardwired to notice only what is different and looking at the successful HK campaigns. We saw a lot of multi-year, featured multimedia activities highlighting messages that are consistent, well-managed, coordinated and under stringent quality control. The DOT leadership headed by Sec Bertie Lim clearly started the brand activation on the wrong foot, but with a 79% percent confidence rating meaning 8 out of 10 Filipinos are happy with the way the PNoy leadership is managing the country, full recovery and a great tourism story should be the order of the day. Most of our brandbuilding initiatives should be tourismled. DOT leaders need not look far, the successful HK tourism model is a good business case to start. As I write this column, 15,000 hotel rooms in Manila alone and 4,500 rooms in Boracay are in dire need of tourists. The time to act is now. Its either we differentiate or we disappear in the radars of these tourists. *** Prof. Soriano is the CEO of, business advisor of and the Founder of Asia America Policy Institute for Real Estate Studies. He is the Chairman of the Marketing Cluster at the Ateneo Graduate School of Business. For comments, please email

The views expressed by our Op-Ed contributors are solely their own and do not necessarily reflect the predilection of the editorial board and staff of Asian Journal.

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Dateline Philippines New witness to back Mancao testimony by Edu


MANILA – A new witness has surfaced to support the testimony of former police senior superintendent Cezar Mancao II in the killings of publicist Salvador Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbito in November 2000. Mancao and his lawyer Ferdinand Topacio went to the Department of Justice (DOJ) on December 13 and submitted an affidavit of the new witness whom they claimed was also a former personnel of the defunct Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force (PAOCTF). Topacio refused to identify the witness, but revealed that he would corroborate Mancao’s claim that the latter was inside the van where now fugitive Sen. Panfilo Lacson purportedly ordered the killing. “We believe that this witness is credible... He is part of the organization and he has the credentials to prove it,” the lawyer stressed but refused to elaborate. The new witness said in his affidavit that Mancao in several instances rode in the same vehicle with Lacson during that period when the killing was supposedly being planned – a statement contested in court by


Cezar Mancao II

More OFW kin turn to savings by Lawrence


MANILA – More beneficiaries of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are turning to savings instead of making major purchases such as house and lot, appliances, and motor vehicles, a survey conducted by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) showed. BSP Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo said the fourth quarter 2010 Consumer Expectations Survey (CES) showed an increase in the percentage of households with family members abroad that allocated portions of their remittances to savings and a decline in the percentage for those shifting to investments and other major purchases. Guinigundo said that it was important to note that the number of Filipinos who save the money sent home by their relatives abroad to 43.7 percent in the fourth quarter of the year from 43 percent in the third quarter. He pointed out that the percentage of Filipino families with OFW relatives overseas who are turning to savings has increased significantly from 7.2 percent in the first quarter of 2007 when the survey started. On the other hand, he explained that the percentage of those who apportioned part of their

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remittances for major purchases and investments declined. “The percentage of OFW households that utilized their remittances to savings climbed to 43.7 percent from 43 percent in the third quarter. Meanwhile, the percentage that apportioned part of their remittances to purchase consumer durables, houses and lots, and motor vehicles declined compared to the previous quarter’s results,” the BSP added. The survey revealed that the percentage of those who used the money sent home by their relatives abroad to purchase appliances fell to 28.9 percent in the fourth quarter from 31 percent in the third quarter while those who allocated their remittances for the acquisition of house and lot declined to 11.3 percent from 15.5 percent. Meanwhile, those who used the money sent home by their loved ones abroad to buy cars fell to 7.7 percent in the fourt quarter from 11.3 percent in the third quarter. Furthermore, the data showed that beneficiaries of OFWs who invest their remittances declined to 5.8 percent from seven percent. Guinigundo added that OFW households continue to utilize their remittances primarily for food, education, medical expenses, and debt payments in the fourth quarter. n

12/14/10 4:14:22 PM


Dateline PHILIPPINES • (213) 250-9797

Noy rating still ‘very good’ - SWS by Helen


COMMITTED. P-Noy receives the copy of the commitment to the Millennium Development Goals and Convention on the Rights of the Child, signed by CWC Chairperson and Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon Juliano Soliman and BCLP President Julio Jaime.  Malacañang Photo Bureau

Court dismisses case vs Hayden by Non


MANILA – Citing insufficiency of evidence, a Pasig City judge dismissed on December 14 the case against Hayden Kho Jr. regarding his sex video with actress Katrina Halili, which circulated on the Internet last year. Judge Rodolfo Bonifacio of the Pasig City regional trial court (RTC) branch 159 also dismissed for lack of merit the P100-million civil damages claimed by Halili against Kho. In his 10-page decision penned Dec. 10, Bonifacio granted the demurer to evidence filed by Kho, which in layman’s terms is equivalent to motion to dismiss in a civil case. The Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a case of violation against women and their children against Kho before the Pasig RTC Dec. 7 last year after the sex video of the accused and Halili circulated on the Internet. To date, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has not yet established who uploaded the sex video, which circulated all over the world. Bonifacio pointed out in his decision that Halili’s admission during the Senate hearing last May 8, 2009 that she consented to the taking by the accused of three prior video recordings showing her and the accused together performing salacious acts

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“clearly indicates that she agreed to the taking, or at the very least knew, of the subject sex video recording.” The judge also noted that during an ocular inspection at the hotel where the sex act was committed, the camera used in video recording must have been placed where it was not hidden from Halili. Citing facts and circumstances, Bonifacio concluded that the video recording cannot be possible without the private complainant’s knowledge because the camera was situated in an open and unconcealed place. The court found the evidence insufficient to prove that the sex video was taken without Halili’s knowledge. Bonifacio noted that Kho’s mere taking of the sex video without Halili’s knowledge and consent is not yet a violation of Republic Act 9262 otherwise known as Anti-Violence against Women and their Children Act of 2004. It becomes a crime only when the said act “alarms or causes substantial emotional or psychological distress to the woman,” the decision reads. Kho’s lead counsel Lorna Kapunan was not present during the supposed presentation of evidence but held a brief conference at her office in Taguig City. “We are happy that the court ruled that there is no basis to the

cases filed against Hayden,” she said. Kapunan said the court’s decision would also be used to convince the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) to lift the revocation of Kho’s medical license. “It’s frustrating,” said Halili’s lawyer Raymond Palad as he vowed to file an appeal. “It is not an acquittal for Hayden who refused to take the witness stand. We believe that justice will be on our side at the end of the day,” Palad said, adding the decision was “just a temporary setback.” No license, no medical practice But Kho’s victory in court does not mean anything to the PRC and the Philippine Medical Association (PMA). The PRC on December 14 said that the court decision acquitting Kho on criminal charges had no bearing on immorality charges pending before the Commission. “The court case has nothing to do with the revocation of his license. These are two different cases, the one pending before the PRC is administrative,” explained PRC’s medical board member Dr. Restituto Ocampo. Ocampo said the PRC medical board previously revoked the medical license of Kho after finding him guilty of immorality and dishonorable act of taking

MANILA – President Aquino maintained a “very good” net satisfaction rating in the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey. The SWS poll, conducted from Nov. 27 to 30, found 74 percent of those surveyed satisfied and 10 percent dissatisfied with Aquino’s performance in the last three months for a net satisfaction score of 64. SWS said Aquino’s “very good” score was similar to his September rating of 60 when he was first rated as president. Results of the SWS poll were published on December 13 in the newspaper BusinessWorld. SWS said Mr. Aquino’s fourpoint improvement in net satisfaction rating showed that he was “having a normal honeymoon period” like his predecessors who all received improvements

in their first ratings. His mother, the late former President Corazon Aquino, recorded the biggest increase of 19 points to +72 in October 1986 from +53 in March the same year, the SWS said. Former President Fidel Ramos’ rating rose by three points to +69 in July 1993 from +66 in September1992, while former President Joseph Estrada improved seven points to +67 in March 1999 from +60 in September 1998, it said. Former president and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo received a six-point improvement to +30 in March 2004 from +24 in March 2001, the pollster said. The SWS November poll showed Aquino’s ratings improving across most geographical areas, except in Metro Manila. The highest improvement was recorded in Mindanao from + 52 to +65 (74 percent satisfied, nine percent dissatisfied).

In balance Luzon, Aquino’s score jumped by four points from +65 to +69 (77 percent satisfied, eight percent dissatisfied). In the Visayas, the President obtained +56 net score (71 percent satisfied, 15 percent dissatisfied) from +54. However, the Chief Executive’s rating dropped by seven points to +59 (72 percent satisfied, 13 percent dissatisfied) in Metro Manila. In rural areas, the President’s satisfaction rating went up by nine points from +58 in September to +67 in November. But Aquino’s score in the urban areas slightly moved to +61 (73 percent satisfied, 12 percent dissatisfied) from +62, the SWS said. By socioeconomic class, Aquino’s score was an “excellent” +75 (82 percent satisfied, seven percent dissatisfied) from a “good” +49 among class ABC while he

u PAGE A10

New witness to back Mancao…


Reynaldo Oximoso, former personal driver of the fugitive senator. Topacio asked the DOJ to admit the corroborative witness to its witness protection program. He believes the new witness would further establish the guilt of Lacson, who had been tagged as mastermind of the killings. “He wants to be placed under the protection of the WPP before he comes out and testifies in court. We know how sensitive this case is,” the lawyer explained. In an earlier affidavit submitted to the Manila regional trial court Branch 18, Oximoso belied Mancao’s claim and said there was no instance when the state witness and Lacson rode in the same van and where the latter allegedly ordered the killing. He explained that during the whole period that he served as Lacson’s security aide-driver, the front seat was always reserved for the aide de camp. He said Mancao’s claim that he occupied the front seat was not true. Topacio said their new witness would disprove this testimony of Oximoso. Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said the DOJ would examine the credibility of the new witness before placing him under the WPP and presenting him in court as corroborative witness. “I cannot yet give any opinion on it because I have not seen or met the corroborative witness of Mancao. I’m not in a position to pass judgment on the credibility of the so-called corroborative witness,” she explained. De Lima only said the hunt for Lacson continues. The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) recently conducted a raid at a compound of Star Paper Corp. in Grace Village, Quezon City owned by Sebastian Chua, a close friend of the fugitive u PAGE A10 senator.

Agents also swooped down on the house of former Tanauan Mayor Tony Halili in Josefa Subdivision in Tanauan, Batangas last Saturday. Both operations yielded negative results as no signs of Lacson were found in those places. Lacson reportedly fled to Hong Kong last Jan. 5, a month before the court ordered his arrest in connection with a complaint filed by the Justice department implicating him as mastermind in the Dacer-Corbito killings. Last August, the Department of Foreign Affairs canceled his regular and diplomatic passports on grounds that he is a “fugitive from justice” as provided by the Philippine Passport Act of 1996. The DOJ approved the indictment of Lacson earlier this year based on the testimony of state witness Mancao. In his affidavit signed on Feb. 14 last year in Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in the US, Mancao said it was Lacson who ordered the killing of Dacer when he was still head of the PNP and PAOCTF. Mancao said it was sometime in October 2000 when he heard Lacson ask another PAOCTF officer, Superintendent Michael Ray Aquino, “Noy, kelan ba titirahin si Delta kasi naiirita na si Bigote sa kanya (When do we hit Delta because Bigote is already irked with him),” apparently referring to Dacer’s codename. Aquino replied, “Uunahin na muna namin si Bero (former police intelligence chief Reynaldo Berroya) malapit na kami sa kanya (We will hit Berroya first, we are already close).” Lacson, according to Mancao, replied, “Pagsabayin na ninyo sila…(Hit them both simultaneously).” Lacson headed the PAOCTF while concurrently chief of PNP. Aquino, on the other hand, was operations chief of the PAOCTF while Mancao served as chief of the group’s Task Force Luzon. n

12/14/10 4:14:42 PM

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News Briefs Aquino leads barangays for good governance BELIEVING that “good governance starts in the community,” President Aquino led 42,000 barangays nationwide last Dec. 11 in reciting the Panunumpa Para sa Mabuting Pamamahala Tungo sa Tuwid na Landas for an effective public service rooting from the smallest political unit of the country. In his speech held in his hometown in Tarlac City, President Aquino noted that the first barangay assembly under his term will serve as an opportunity for the newly-elected barangay officials to make their plans and programs known to the public for the next three years, and the barangay constituents to raise any concerns if there are any. Under Proclamation 74 issued by President Aquino, the Barangay Assembly Day is held every Dec. 11 nationwide, requires a barangay assembly every first Saturday of March and third Saturday of October as stated in the 1991 Local Government Code.

PNP finds ways to address firearms shortage TO address the shortage of firearms among the 132,000-police force in the country, Philippine National Police Chief Raul Bacalzo said that the PNP is currently adopting a strategy that attends to each officer’s need of firearms for law enforcement. Bacalzo said in a report from the Star that to attend to the shortage of firearms among policemen, the PNP allows police officers to use their registered firearms instead to compensate for the ideal requirement advised by local police experts that every police officer in the Philippines should have both short and long firearms in performing security measures. With a 50 percent fill-up on long firearms and 70 percent on short firearms, Bacalzo said that they are currently issuing one firearm to one officer, with its size depending on the assignment. The PNP chief also said that elite forces that are sent to fight rebels and crime syndicates require the long firearms while policemen stationed on posts usually get the short firearms.

DSWD spares street children this Christmas, prohibits street caroling THE Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) announced recently the program “Paskong Ligtas sa Batang Kalye,” a program that prevents street children from caroling and begging on the major roads by suggesting to them alternative activities. DSWD Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Juliano- Soliman said that the Paskong Ligtas sa Batang Kalye program is one of the projects that aims home-based income generating opportunities for street families to keep them from begging or selling in the streets. In cooperation with the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), the Paskong Ligtas sa Batang Kalye program will be implemented in the areas within Metro Manila where most street families and street children are situated according to an article posted on the DSWD site.

BI keeps an eye on monitoring aliens for deportation OFFICER in charge Ronaldo Ledesma of Bureau of Immigration (BI) recently approved the suggestion of BI intelligence chief Faizal Hussin to closely monitor foreigners who are granted bail by forming a special unit that will ensure that deportations against the foreigners will not be suspended or delayed. Hussin said in a report from The Star that the aliens “mistakenly thought that being out on bail gives them the license to freely roam the country whenever or wherever they want. It is about time that we throw the book on these recalcitrant foreigners.” The special unit is tasked to monitor the foreign suspects who posted bail after it has been reported that many of the latter disappeared after being posting bail following the statement from Ledesma that the aliens avoid paying visa extension fees which makes the local government suffer.

IMO honors 4 Pinoy seamen THE International Maritime Organization (IMO) recently awarded four Filipino sea men for showing courage at sea as they assisted the passengers of the Super Ferry 9 which sank last September 2009, making sure that all passengers have been safely evacuated. According to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the Philippine Embassy in London reported that the members of the Task Force Sea Marshals received the Certificates of Commendation from the IMO at ceremonies for the 2010 IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea at the IMO headquarters in London. The Filipino awardees were, Coast Guard Petty Officer Second Class Samuel Boniol, Navy Petty Officer Third Class Anifer Bucao, Navy Seaman First Class Oliver Cogo, and Philippine National Police Senior Police Officer 3 (SPO3) Loreto Justo.

MILF welcomes UN’s offer of ecosystem restoration in Mindanao THE rebel group Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has recently expressed its approval of the United Nations World Food Program (UNWFP) to rehabilitate the 288,000-hectare Liguasan marsh located in the Maguindanao province. While most part of the Liguasan marsh is situated at the heart of the Maguindanao province, some parts of it lie in North Cotabato, and Sultan Kudarat found in southwest Mindanao where most MILF members could be found. Meanwhile, MILF Secretariat chief Muhammad Ameen, said in an interview in a local newspaper that although the rehabilitation project of the EU is being welcomed by the MILF, there is still a need to explain to the leaders of the MILF why there is a need for such restoration.

Philippines’ second Quadruplets recorded in Cagayan de Oro A SECOND time since the birth of the first ever quadruplets in 2007, a woman gave birth to four baby boys in the Southern Cagayan de Oro last Dec. 10, according to a local radio report. 25 years old Emilyn Deoduco gave birth to the quadruplets, who still have to be monitored having been 37 weeks premature weighs from 1.6 to 1.8 kg.

PNP, DoT ink pact for creation of special tourist police units MANILA – In an effort to provide better security to tourists visiting the country, the Philippine National Police on Monday announced the creation of a special police unit that will focus on providing safety to foreigners. The creation of “Top Cop” (Tourist-Oriented Police for Community Order and Protection) was made through the signing of a memorandum of agreement by both the PNP and the Tourism Department on Monday’s flag ceremony at Camp Crame. This special unit will be composed of young and athletic police officers who are well-conversed in English to communicate effectively with tourists. Members of this special unit should be between 25 to 45 years old, at least 5’8” in height and ability to speak other foreign languages will be an advantage. Members of the unit will also be made to undergo training on tourism awareness, cultural sensitivity seminar, emergency response and lifesaving, crisis management, and other tourist-oriented activities. PNP Director General Raul Bacalzo identified 14 local destinations that will serve as pilot areas for the new unit. These are: Cebu, Camarines Sur, Metro Manila, Baguio City, Davao City, Boracay, Cagayan de Oro, Zambales, Bohol, Puerto Princesa City, Camiguin, Cagayan Valley, Negros Oriental and Ilocos Norte. Bacalzo said the PNP will be deploying more policemen in these travel destinations for security. (Abigail Kwok/

Don’t attack Supreme Court, Congress advised MANILA – A think-tank on Monday warned against Congress’ attempt to impeach Chief Justice Renato Corona following the Supreme Court’s decision declaring as unconstitutional the law creating the Truth Commission. Forensic Law and Policy Strategies Inc. or Forensic Solutions, headed by former justice secretary Alberto Agra, said that the legislative department, which is a co-equal branch of the judiciary should respect the latter’s independence because “judicial independence is the backbone of any democracy. Iloilo Representative Niel Tupas Jr., chairman of the House Committee on Justice, earlier said he and his fellow lawmakers are mulling the filing of an impeachment case against Corona. Tupas made the statement after the high court ruled against the constitutionality of Executive Order 1 which created the body that will look into the alleged corruption during the Arroyo administration. “Political retaliation is not a ground for impeachment,” it added. The group also pointed that the power to impeach should not be used to intimidate members of the judiciary. The group added that there are other ways of expressing its grievance to the court aside from airing threatening impeachment or airing it through the media. “The primary forum for the redress of grievances brought to court remains to be the courts in the halls of justice, not the halls of public opinion,” it said adding that it can be done through a motion for reconsideration since the decision is not yet final. (Tetch Torres/ 101215 - MW SEC A rev w-ads.indd9 9

12/14/10 4:15:01 PM


Dateline PHILIPPINES • (213) 250-9797

Webb, 5 others freed by Edu


MANILA – After 15 years behind bars, Hubert Webb and five others convicted for the sensational Vizconde massacre in 1991 walked out of prison on December 14 after being cleared by the Supreme Court (SC). Voting 7-4 with four abstentions, the High Court ruled that Parañaque Regional Trial Court Branch 274 judge and now Court of Appeals Justice Amelita Tolentino erred in handing down in January 2000 a guilty verdict on Webb, Hospicio “Pyke” Fernandez, Antonio “Tony Boy” Lejano, Michael Gatchalian, Peter Estrada, and Miguel “Ging” Rodriguez for the crime of rape with homicide. The SC’s ruling covered former policeman Gerardo Biong who was released last month after serving his 12-year sentence for destroying evidence including bloodstained clothing. The CA upheld Tolentino’s ruling on Dec. 15, 2005. “They should be released soon unless they are held for any other unlawful cause,” court administrator and SC spokesman Jose Midas Marquez told a press conference. “There is no more motion for reconsideration that can be filed. That would be tantamount to double jeopardy,” he added. Marquez stressed that even if guilt was not proven beyond reasonable doubt, the freed convict cannot be automatically considered innocent. He added that Webb and the other convicts may claim damages from the government for being wrongly imprisoned. “They would have to file a separate case for that, and their claims would have to be proven,” Marquez said. Marquez also vehemently denied allegations of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption that money changed hands in the acquittal of Webb and the six others. “It would be better if they read the majority decision,” he said. He declined to comment when asked if VACC founding chair Dante Jimenez could be penalized for hurling profanities at the justices in a press conference. ‘Lingering doubt’ The 38-page decision penned by Associate Justice Roberto Abad cited “reasonable and lingering doubt on the guilt of the accused” as well as “failure of prosecution to establish the guilt beyond

reasonable doubt.” “In our criminal justice system, what is important is, not whether the court entertains doubts about the innocence of the accused since an open mind is willing to explore all possibilities, but whether it entertains a reasonable, lingering doubt as to his guilt. For it would be a serious mistake to send an innocent man to jail where such kind of doubt hangs on to one’s inner being, like a piece of meat lodged immovable between teeth,” the SC stressed. Six magistrates concurred with the ruling: Associate Justices Conchita Carpio-Morales, Diosdado Peralta, Lucas Bersamin, Jose Perez, Jose Mendoza and Ma. Lourdes Sereno. The SC also cited “inherent inconsistencies” in the testimony of Jessica Alfaro, saying she was an asset of the National Bureau of Investigation and that she was coached to testify after she presented herself as replacement of a witness she had promised but failed to produce. “Alfaro was the NBI’s star witness, their badge of excellent investigative work. After claiming that they had solved the crime of the decade, the NBI people had a stake in making her sound credible and obviously, they gave her all the preparations she needed for the job of becoming a fairly good substitute witness,” it explained. “But was it possible for Alfaro to lie with such abundant details, some of which even tallied with the physical evidence at the scene of the crime? No doubt, yes,” the SC added. The SC cited for instance Alfaro’s error in personally identifying Rodriguez. She pinpointed a certain Michael Rodriguez in a police lineup, a drug dependent from the Bicutan Rehabilitation Center. “She ran berserk, slapping and kicking Michael, exclaiming, ‘How can I forget your face. We just saw each other in a disco one month ago and you told me then that you will kill me’ but as it turned out, he was not the Miguel Rodriguez the accused in this case,” it recalled. Another inconsistency in Alfaro’s testimony, according to the High Court, was her claim that she left the house and went to her car because she was afraid to be caught. But this was inconsistent with her subsequent claim that she went back to the house to watch Webb rape Carmela on the floor of the master’s bedroom and kill Carmela’s mother and younger sister. Alfaro then testified that she got scared again and went out of the house after Webb gave her a

Two lawmakers, CNN hero, Noy’s cousin top TOYM awardees by Delon


MANILA – Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara, CNN Hero 2009 Efren Peñaflorida and a cousin of President Aquino were among the recipients of this year’s prestigious Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) awards. The awardees received their trophies from Aquino in a ceremony held at Rizal Hall of Malacañang. Supreme Court Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales led the board of judges. “It’s a great honor and at the same time there are great challenges and expectations that hopefully we can all live up to,” said the 38-year-old lawyer son of Sen. Edgardo Angara, a former colleague of Aquino in the Senate. “It’s an honor for our province, being the first Auroran to win, and I think it also brings honor to the House, which is the institution I belong to, because it is an acknowledgment that we can

make a difference in the lives of our constituents,” the younger Angara said. On Cayetano, Aquino told reporters they were only adversaries in the last presidential elections and that they don’t have to fight “kung hindi niyo kami pag- aawayin (if you don’t pit us against each other).” “This was not my first meeting with Alan (since becoming president). When I did report to the Senate in my last days of office, he was the first person I saw when the session resumed,” Aquino said. Cayetano, 39, was an ally of Aquino’s rival in the presidential race, Sen. Manny Villar of the Nacionalista Party. Aquino and Cayetano had also been colleagues in the House of Representatives. Aquino was Tarlac representative while Cayetano represented Taguig. They won Senate seats in 2007. Angara was awarded for his role in government service (legislative), Cayetano for government and public service (public

accountability and transparency), Peñaflorida for grassroots education and community service. Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV, Aquino’s cousin, was cited for social enterprise and community development, Harvey Keh for public education and good governance, Therese “Gang” Badoy for alternative education and youth leadership. Maria Rachelle Gerodias for arts and music (classical), Edsel Maurice Salvana for medicine and social activism, Beatrice Valdes for fashion design and enterpreneurship and Jun Yupitun for enterpreneurship in pioneer studies. Aquino’s martyred father, Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr., was himself a TOYM awardee some 50 years ago for public service. This year’s theme was “Heroes Create Heroes.” The TOYM awards recognize outstanding individuals who excel in their professions and make a difference in the lives of people in their communities and in the country in general. n

Former senator Freddie Webb leads son Hubert out of the New Bilibid Prisons after the Supreme Court acquitted the younger Webb and five others on December 14. photo by Jonjon Vicencio

threatening look. “This emotional pendulum swing indicates a witness who was confused with her own lies,” the SC stressed. Webb in the US The High Court also believed Webb’s alibi that he was in the US when the crime was committed on June 29, 1991, saying documents supported his claim. “Alfaro’s quality as a witness and her inconsistent, if not inherently unbelievable, testimony cannot be the positive identification that jurisprudence acknowledges as sufficient to jettison a denial and an alibi,” it stressed. The SC ruled that the documents submitted by Webb’s lawyers during the trial, including two immigration checks showing he left for San Francisco in California on March 9, 1991 and returned to the country on Oct. 26, 1992, were authentic. “The prosecution did not bother to present evidence to impeach the entries in Webb’s passport and the certifications of the Philippine and US immigration services regarding his travel to the US and back. The prosecution’s rebuttal evidence of the fear of the unknown (was) planted in the lower court’s minds,” the SC added. Dissenting opinion Chief Justice Renato Corona dissented along with Associate Justices Martin Villarama Jr., Teresita Leonardo-de Castro and Arturo Brion. In an 88-page dissenting opinion penned by Justice Villarama, the minority upheld the findings of the RTC and CA that Alfaro’s testimony was credible. Villarama said five witnesses had corroborated Alfaro’s testimony. “Appellants’ (Webb and co-accused) presence at the scene of the crime before, during and after its commission was duly established. Their respective participation, acts and declarations were likewise detailed by Alfaro, who was shown to be a credible witness,” he said. Villarama said Webb’s defense of “alibi” that he was in the US from March 9, 1991 to Oct. 26, 1992 “is inherently weak.” “Given the financial resources and political influence of his family, it was not unlikely that Webb

could have traveled back to the Philippines before June 29-30, 1991 and then departed for the US again, and returning to the Philippines in October 1992,” Villarama said. “There clearly exists, therefore, such possibility of Webb’s presence at the scene of the crime at the time of its commission, and his excuse cannot be deemed airtight,” he added. According to Villarama, Webb’s travel documents were “unreliable proof of his absence in the Philippines at the time of the commission of the crime charged.” “The non-submission in evidence of his original passport, which was not formally offered and made part of the records, had deprived the RTC, CA and this Court the opportunity to examine the same. Such original is a crucial piece of evidence which unfortunately was placed beyond judicial scrutiny,” Villarama said. He also said the existence of conspiracy among the accused was “satisfactorily proven by the prosecution.” Four other magistrates inhibited from the case – Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio and Associate Justices Mariano del Castillo, Presbitero Velasco Jr. and Antonio Eduardo Nachura. Carpio had testified during trial while Nachura had handled the case when he was still solicitor general. Del Castillo opted not to take part in the voting since his wife had served as lawyer for one of the accused, while Velasco is related to one of the parties in the case, according to Marquez. No need to air stand President Aquino said he sympathized with Vizconde but said it was up to the SC to explain its decision to the public. “Initially of course we sympathize with Mr. Lauro Vizconde. I asked for a brief to be prepared,” the President said in a text message. Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said it was not for Malacañang to comment on why it took the courts 19 years to decide on the case with finality or on why the accused had been convicted in the first place. “The Palace has no position one way or the other on the Vizconde case. We leave it entirely to the parties to comment on that,” he added. n

Court dismisses case vs…


video of his sexual relations with Halili. “Ethical concerns are different from legal concerns. The PMA has found him guilty of violating our Code of Ethical Standards and it has nothing to do with the

law,” PMA president Dr. Oscar Tinio said. Kho, a cosmetic surgeon, was suspended by the PMA due to “conduct offensive to the profession” and was suspended by the PRC for two years on that basis. Tinio said that the PMA’s decision against Kho is still in effect as their ethical standards are not “under the jurisdiction of the law.” Ocampo said Kho’s legal counsel filed a motion for reconsideration of the PRC board’s decision to revoke his license, but they junked the petition. “The Board rejected their appeal so Kho’s lawyers filed another motion for reconsideration before the Commission, which is still unresolved until this time,” he said, adding that Kho may file a motion before the PRC for the reinstatement of his license after its revocation. Kho may elevate the case before the Court of Appeals and

even before the Supreme Court if the decision of the board is against him. Meanwhile, Sen. Ramon Revilla Jr. said the decision is a black eye in the campaign on the violence against women. “I am saddened because I have faith that there will be justice. The public was waiting for justice to be served to Katrina and all women,” he said. Revilla said the sex video, which was highly publicized in the media and the Internet, showed how Kho committed wrongdoing. “It is clear to everyone. It was clear in the eyes of the public what could have been the outcome of this case,” the senator said. He said the decision was surprising but urged the people to respect the decision because Halili has other legal remedies and justice will be served ultimately. n

Noy rating still ‘very… PAGE A8 t

received a “very good” +63 (74 percent satisfied, 11 percent dissatisfied) from +59 among class D or “masa.” His score stayed at a “very good” +65 (74 percent satisfied, nine percent dissatisfied) in class E. By gender, the President’s net satisfaction rating was also “very good” among men and women at +65 (76 percent satisfied, 10 percent dissatisfied) and +63 (73 percent satisfied, 10 percent dissatisfied), respectively. The SWS survey used face-toface interviews of 1,200 adults. It used sampling error margins of plus or minus three percentage points for national and plus or minus six percentage points for area percentages. Palace elated with new survey result Meanwhile, Malacañang said the latest survey is a sign that the Aquino administration’s efforts to move the country forward through transparency and accountability in government are appreciated and felt by a vast 101215 - MW SEC A rev w-ads.indd10 10

majority. “The people continue to overwhelmingly support a President whose heart they know is in the right place, and who they see as fighting for their welfare. We are on the cusp of fulfilling the great potential of our nation,” presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said. “Let us be mindful that the enemies of reform are locked and loaded, and with this latest expression of the people’s solidarity, they will come out with guns blazing. There will be continuing attempts to shroud in secrecy the corruption and wrong policies we have cast daylight upon,” he said. Lacierda said the President reiterates his call to all that the banner of reform remains upright and ready for those who would rally behind it. “Let’s be faithful servants to the truth. Let’s not be used as pawns. Let’s do right by the people, who are solidly behind the President, and who will remain so as long as he exhibits the honesty and integrity that they expect of every public official,” he said. n 12/14/10 4:15:22 PM

(213) 250-9797 • 

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12/14/10 4:16:28 PM


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12/14/10 7:41 PM

(213) 250-9797 • 





House passes DREAM Act, Senate vote forthcoming

Your Immigration Solution Atty. Robert Reeves Jeff L. Khurgel

ened eligibility requirements, making it tougher than before to qualify. In order to be approved, IMMIGRATION Reform advoan immigrant’s entire period of cates around the country were time in the US will be examined, enthralled last Wednesday when and an officer of the Department the DREAM Act, recently adof Homeland Security will need vanced by Senate Leader Harry to make the determination that Reid, passed the House of Repthe applicant has been a person resentatives. The bill, which of good moral character. passed the House in the final The next stage in advancing days of Democratic control, was the DREAM Act is a Senate to favored by a vote of 216 to 198. vote on the bill – which originally By now, supporters of the prowas to take place last Thursday. posed law are aware that their However, in a strategic move, optimism must be tempered by Senator Reid decided to delay caution. Under disthe vote until after legUnder discussion for almost islation regarding tax cussion for almost a decade, the legislation a decade, the legislation would give cuts is finalized. It is would give certain thought that doing so undocumented im- certain undocumented immigrants will raise chances of migrants the chance bipartisan cooperation. the chance to stay in the US by to stay in the US by Meanwhile, DREAM serving in the military serving in the military or attending Act supporters hope or attending college college if they entered the US before that the delay will alif they entered the low them more time the age of 16 and have no serious to make their voices US before the age of 16 and have no seriheard. law-enforcement violations. ous law-enforcement For years, voters violations. Qualified applicants with clean criminal records and have looked to Congress for would receive an interim condi- promising futures the platform leadership and wisdom in entional permanent-residency sta- from which to build a respon- acting a solution to the nation’s tus and many would be on track sible life. In one fell swoop; immigration system. With the for gradual naturalization. An es- the law would create legal tax- passage of the DREAM Act, timated 2.1 million immigrants payers out of people who were Congress can make Americans already in the US may qualify for once confined to living in the proud by moving beyond petty benefits under the act. shadows, motivate young immi- party politics to fix a system that The newest incarnation of the grants to attend college and at- needs mending, for the benefit DREAM Act is a stricter version, tain necessary skills to use in the of all Americans. It is now clear in an attempt to engender bipar- American workplace, and entice that a vote on the DREAM Act tisan support. The revised bill immigrants to join the military will be forthcoming. Supporters would still offer a path to citizen- at a time when our forces need should continue to contact their ship to immigrants who entered bolstering. Senators to express their supthe country illegally as minors if Critics of the bill hope that it is port for passage. *** they graduate from high school once again defeated. They have and pursue college or military applied the contentious and mis- Atty. Reeves has represented clients in service, but the path would take leading label of “amnesty” to the numerous landmark immigration cases longer and exclude more immi- bill and have made unsubstanti- that have set new policies regarding INS grants. Senator Reid’s proposal ated exaggerations about the ef- action and immigrants’ rights. His offices lowers the maximum age of eli- fects of passage, including that are located in Pasadena, San Francisco, Las gibility to 30 from 35, creates a the bill would benefit criminals. Vegas and Makati City. 13-year wait for citizenship and On the contrary, the DREAM Act Telephone: (800) 795-8009 closes some of the loopholes is comprised of strict eligibility E-mail: that immigration reform op- parameters and would only ben- Website: *** ponents have argued were too efit a very narrow percentage of broad-sweeping and generous. the immigrant population – ex- The analysis and suggestions offered in this column do not create a lawyer-client relationship All prior version of the DREAM cluding serious criminals. As and are not a substitute for the personalized Act have excluded immigrants described above, the newest it- representation that is essential to every case.  with serious criminal records, eration of the bill creates height-  (Advertising Supplement)

but the compromised version also disqualifies immigrants convicted of evading the draft, smuggling, voter and marriage fraud, as well as other misdemeanor and felony crimes. Qualifying DREAM Act beneficiaries would not be able to become US Citizens until at least 2024, until which time they would not be eligible to vote, to petition certain relatives for immigration benefits, or to receive most forms of public assistance. Proponents of the bill feel that it would allow young immigrants

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12/14/10 3:06:32 PM


Immigrant Living: 101 and Beyond Monette Adeva Maglaya

Community Journal

Have yourself a merry, scam-free Christmas! “There is a sucker born every minute.” — A quote mistakenly ascribed to P.T. Barnum of Barnum &

(This article is being reprised Bailey Circus, but actually said by an unknown competitor from 2006. Nothing much has changed since then except in the level of sophistication scam- can send a seemingly authentic grammatical errors are red flags mers have morphed into. Inter- check by mail from a real bank that tell me these con artists net scams ratchet up during the with so many zeroes on it. If you have breached my spam guard. holiday season when most of us bite at the first overture, they No legitimate financial entity are stretched to capacity and then ask for a processing fee will ask you for information of likely to be distracted.) from you for you to get the rest such nature. If you do have an SUCKER or not, we must ad- of the winnings. This is called account, cut these scammers off mit to living in interesting times. the Nigerian scam apparently at the knees with the simple exRough estimates of $183 million because the first perpetrators al- pediency of calling the fraud unit on average have been scammed legedly were well educated but of your bank or credit card comfrom the unsuspecting via the destitute Nigerians who found pany yourself. Take the bull by internet every year since the that their facility for the English the horns. Generate the call. Get dawn of cyber commerce. language could be exploited to the telephone number from your The electronic age has brought scam millions using the inter- statement or your card and DO us wonders and unbelievable net. The scam has spread and NOT CALL THE NUMBER that convenience defying space/time morphed with mind-boggling the caller or e-mailer provided constraints and accomplishing variations but with only one ne- you with. It’s a trap. Report such things we can only do in previ- farious purpose. No one race emails as spam. Don’t just deous times if we were physically or culture has the monopoly on lete it. Sure, they will morph into present in one place. With another form but be Rough estimates of $183 an internet connection, we proactive and make can do great and wonderful it more difficult for million on average have been things that were the stuff of These scams scammed from the unsuspecting them. science fiction not so long are like viruses or via the internet every year since the shape shifters and ago. But there is a sinister can mutate faster dawn of cyber commerce. side to the internet. than the speed of The amount of available crud these. These can originate any- ligh. PC users are more vulnera(translate that to disgusting where in the world. I have had ble to spammers/scammers and things like porn and some such mine come in purportedly from pesky pop-ups than Mac users. variation of evil) on the net is G8 as well as impoverished coun- C’est la vie. staggering. In the book I wrote tries. If you have not consciously Is there karmic justice? Befor immigrants, for old-timers as joined any lottery, why in heav- cause con artists rarely ever well as for johnny-come-latelies, en’s name would you think you see the faces of their victims or there is a chapter dedicated on have a snowball’s chance in hell know the full extent of the damavoiding the pitfalls of scams of winning even one thin dime? age that they wreak on real peoand the schemes of con artists Also, legitimate lotteries will ple with real lives, these crimes designed to separate you from NEVER, repeat NEVER, ask you seem impersonal in nature and your hard-earned money. This for money in order for a winner rarely, if ever, do con artists get time, the level of sophistication to claim a prize. their comeuppance. Often, these is up a notch. Come to think of it, Some scams feed on your fear. scammers are based overseas if we are internet users, we are One of the most deceptive things outside of any jurisdiction. The all at risk, unless and until we is to receive an email from your wheels of justice grind pondertake the necessary psychologi- bank instructing you to click on ously, exceedingly slow and cal precautions to deal with this a link and verify your informa- you sometimes wonder, if they and become relatively “scam tion since someone supposedly would ever catch up with this proof.” No one is sacrosanct. is accessing your account and distinct phenomenon of the inThese scams are designed to if you don’t verify your informa- teresting times we live in. Be on prey upon two basic weakness- tion, particularly your pin num- guard. For now, a healthy dose es in our human nature: GREED ber or password, this can result of cynicism and a smidgen of and FEAR. in a temporary hold on your common sense work as well as Here’s one blanket caveat to funds. The modern term for this an ounce of prevention. keep us on our toes about how is “phishing” which refers to the *** lottery scams play out in cyber- activity of defrauding an online Nota Bene: To ask questions and send space. REMEMBER – and I can’t account holder of financial infor- feedback, e-mail monette.maglaya@ emphasize this often enough, on mation by posing as a legitimate If you want to read this matter, and perhaps, other company. more articles on aspects of immigrant living, significant areas of life – IF IT’S I received a legitimate authen- go to, search using my name and TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, IT tic looking email from Bank of two entries will pop up, with the titles, “The PROBABLY IS. Okay, repeat that America with such a story line. Complete Success Guide for the Immigrant as your mantra. The thing is I don’t have an ex- Life: How to Survive, How to Thrive, How to The scams that feed on greed isting account and reading the be Fully Alive,” and the portable, handy, “The are so sophisticated that they fine print below and editing the Immigrant’s Little Quote Book for Success.” • (213) 250-9797

Foreclosures: What to expect in 2011

Minding Your Finances Atty. Raymond Bulaon IT HAS been almost five years since we saw the first signs of a falling housing market. You would think that by this time, the worst is over and that it would be at a point of sustainable recovery. Unfortunately, the outlook for next year 2011 is dim, according to experts. In 2010, we saw very little improvement and this is not likely to change in the coming year. One economist stated that it may take a minimum of 10 years for home prices to go back to 2006 levels. The problem, of course, is the high number of foreclosures which still continue unabated. As long as foreclosures continue to boost the supply of homes, demand can only grow at a slow pace and this is what

dictates home prices. And then, you also have the major obstacle to recovery: unemployment. Currently, the national unemployment rate is nearing 10% (In California, it’s even higher at 12.1%). Unemployment keeps new buyers out of the market. And although mortgage rates are low, tighter lending guidelines by the banks are still

Program (HAMP) has been a failure. Did you know that out of the 3 million people facing foreclosure who have applied for relief under HAMP since the beginning of 2009, only about 466,000 have been granted a permanent loan modification? But it gets worse: A lot of the homeowners who have been approved still end up in foreclosure anyway because of the fees, interest and late charges that have accrued while they were waiting for approval! Thus, this government program has done very little to help struggling homeowners. As the year 2010 ends, we are looking at approximately 1.2 million homes that would have ended up in foreclosure (compared to about 900,000 in 2009). The numbers are expected to even be higher in 2011. About 23% of homeown-

As long as foreclosures continue to boost the supply of homes, demand can only grow at a slow pace and this is what dictates home prices. And then, you also have the major obstacle to recovery: unemployment.

making it difficult to purchase a home or refinance an existing mortgage (And what bank would agree to refinance your mortgage, anyway, considering the fact that your home is way “upside down?”) Sadly, the government’s Home Affordable Modification


Reinstating a deceased petitioner’s family based petition

Barrister’s Corner Atty. Kenneth Ursua Reyes IT IS very common for beneficiaries of family based petition to wait many years before their petition’s priority date becomes current. This is usually the case with US Citizen parent petitions to adult son or daughter. This is also common among petition’s between Siblings. What happens when the Petitioner dies? Are all those years of waiting wasted? Not quite. Normally, the Petition is automatically revoked once the Petitioner dies. However, all is not lost by the death of the Petitioner. The beneficiary has a couple of options depending on whether they are inside the US or outside the US. The beneficiary

may either avail of the new INA 204(l)if the beneficiary is inside the US at the time the petitioner’s death and continues to reside inside the US. Alternatively, if the beneficiary is outside the US, beneficiary may seek to reinstate the

law, father-in-law, sister-in-law, brother-in-law, grandparent, or grandchild or legal guardian of the beneficiary, as long as the petition was “approved” prior to the Petitioner’s death. DHS discretion does not mean “guaranteed” approval. The case will be evaluated on a case by case basis. Some of the factors that the DHS may consider are 1) disruption of an established family unit; 2) hardship to US citizens or lawful permanent residents; 3) beneficiary is elderly or in poor health; 4) beneficiary has had lengthy residence in the US; 4) beneficiary has no home to go to; 5)undue delay by USCIS or consular officer in processing petition and visa; 6) and Ben-

What happens when the Petitioner dies? Are all those years of waiting wasted? Not quite. Normally, the Petition is automatically revoked once the Petitioner dies.

petition based on humanitarian grounds. The DHS (Dept. of Homeland Security) may exercise discretion “for humanitarian reasons” to reinstate the petition and to allow the Affidavit of Support requirements to be satisfied by the qualifying I-864 of a souse, parent, mother-in-


Efc`QfjX#D;`ekif[lZ\je\nXe[fecp efe$`emXj`m\#Yf[pjc`dd`e^#cfn$c\m\c cXj\iki\Xkd\ekn`k_gifm\ei\jlckj Low Laser offers safe alternative for painless reduction of inches and body fat in Whittier


OCAL physician announces the arrival of the Low Laser, the only non-invasive, body slimming, low-level laser treatment, to its practice, making him one of the first physicians to offer the Low Laser in Whittier, CA. During clinical trials, the Low Laser has been scientifically proven to result in an average of 3.6 inches lost from patients’ waists, hips and thighs. Unlike invasive weight loss surgery, Low Laser is a revolutionary method that is applied externally without the dangers associated with surgery or other non-invasive devices which rely on heating the tissue. The new technology has been proven to reduce inches from target areas such as the tummy, back, hips, thighs, buttocks, chin, neck and arms; contour and reshape the body; and tighten and tone loose skin. The introduction of Low Laser to Dr. Zosa’s practice will provide those seeking a safe alternative to surgery with a body contouring program that causes no bruising, scarring and discomfort. The simple procedure consists of six 40-minute treatments over a two-week period. Dr. Zosa says, “Our patients have been pleased with the results from Low Laser treatments and because there are no needles, no incisions and no recovery time involved, they can continue with their daily activities immediately after each treatment. Low Laser is an excellent option for patients who do not want to experience the downtime, health risks or pain associated with more invasive procedures for body contouring.” Low Laser uses a patented and clinically proven low-level laser technology developed by Erchonia, the global leader in low-level laser healthcare applications. The results were provden effective through a double-blind, randomized,

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multi-site and placebo-controlled study. Clinical studies demonstrated that the Low Laser low-level laser targets adipose tissue (fat storing cells) and stimulates the fat cell to liquefy the fat within the cell. A small pore is then naturally created in the protective membrane of the fat cell enabling the fatty matter to seep out of the cell until absorbed by the lymphatic system. The excess fat is then passed out of the body during its normal course of detoxification which results in millions of fat cells becoming smaller and inches are reduced. “Low Laser is the leading technology for body contouring without surgery,” says Steve Shanks, Vice President at Erchonia, the creator and manufacturer of the device. “We are pleased to bring such a superior product to highly-respected doctors such as Dr. Zosa who can now offer Low Laser as a perfect solution for those who want to jump start or maintain a healthier and slimmer lifestyle in Whittier, CA.”

For more information on the Low Laser treatments at Rio Hondo Medical Group, visit Washington-Whittier Medical Center or call (562) 698-0161. *** ;i% QfjX# X n\cc$befne G\[`Xki`Z`Xe ]fi fm\i +' p\Xij `j Xcjf X =\ccfn f] k_\ 8d\i`ZXe9fXi[f]8ZlgleZkli\D\[`Z`e\% ?\`jXgif^i\jj`m\Xe[`eefmXk`m\d`e[\[ g_pj`Z`Xe n`k_ Xe Xggi\Z`Xk`fe f] Zlkk`e^ \[^\k\Z_efcf^p%?\`jXcjfn\cc$befne]fi _`jc\X[\ij_`g`ek_\d\[`ZXc$gfc`k`ZXcXi\eX Xe[`j_`^_cpi\jg\Zk\[%N`k_k_\X[m\ekf] e\n d\[`ZXc k\Z_efcf^p# _\ `j ZfeZ\ie\[ n`k_Yi`e`e^c\^`k`dXk\Xe[\]]\Zk`m\d\[`ZXc [\m`Z\j Xe[ gifZ\[li\j% ?\ _Xj i\m`\n\[ k_`jCfnCXj\ik\Z_efcf^pXe[_Xj]fle[`k kfY\m\ipZi\[`Yc\Xe[Y\e\ÔZ`Xc%

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Community Journal

(213) 250-9797 • 



DREAM Act passed in House; Senate to vote next week

Immigration Edge

nations. Most importantly, DREAM will create a mechanism through ON December 8, 2010, the which young people who meet DREAM Act passed in the House certain criteria, including having of Representatives, by a vote of good moral character and hav216-198. Among those voting in ing lived in the US for at least favor of the bill were 8 Repub- five years preceding the Act’s lican Representatives. Senate passage, may apply to “adjust Majority Leader, Harry Reid (D- status” or become lawful perNevada) has delayed vote on the manent residents of the United States. measure until the next week. The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act (DREAM ACT) was first introduced in 2001 and reincarnated in 2003, proposing to create an avenue of relief for deserving children who have been raised in the US and managed to attain a high school diploma allowing them to realize their own dreams Senator Reid has long chamof attending college or joining the military and becoming law- pioned the DREAM ACT, and ful permanent residents of the recently attempted to include it in the Defense authorizaUnited States. Originally introduced as tion bill, as enactment of the S.1291 in 2001 by Senators bill into law would improve the Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Rich- nation’s military preparedness. ard Durbin (D-IL) will reverse Moreover, research has shown a harmful provision of 1996’s that providing legal status for IIRAIRA that denies States the people who have striven for right to determine who quali- and achieved success in the US fies for in-state tuition.  As most would contribute to improving students and parents are aware, the economic conditions in the out of state tuition can render US as well. With High School the college experience at State graduation as a an incentive schools as expensive as tuition to attaining legal status in the at some of Nation’s most exclu- US, fewer foreign born children sive private Universities. The would drop out of school than DREAM Act will give States the in the past, where lack of legal authority to make such determi- status imposed an enormous

Atty. Daniel Hanlon

barrier to admission and obtaining student loans for college. Promoters of this long-overdue bill hope that members of Congress will be swayed by the cases of many minor aliens who had come to the US at tender ages with their parents or other adults, without any choice in the matter, and had performed well in school, but had no chance to ever adjust their status or attend college. Before it becomes a reality, the DREAM Act must pass in the Senate and be signed into law by the President. Senator Reid most likely delayed vote in the Senate in order to gauge whether the bills’ proponents can garner the 60 votes necessary to overcome a Republican-led filibuster and pass the bill. As for now, students in the United States who feared that attending college in the US was an impossibility should remain hopeful. A chance to attend college at one of this nation’s fine institutions and live the American dream may be just around the corner.

Originally introduced as S.1291 in 2001 by Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Richard Durbin (D-IL) will reverse a harmful provision of 1996’s IIRAIRA that denies States the right to determine who qualifies for in-state tuition.

*** Daniel P. Hanlon is a California State Bar Certified Specialist in Immigration and Nationality Law and a principal of Hanlon Law Group, PC, located at 225 S. Lake Ave., 11th Floor in Pasadena, California; tel. No. (626) 585-8005. Hanlon Law Group, PC is a “full-service Immigration Law firm.” Email: and www.  (Advertising Supplement)

Searching for a kababata from your hometown, a college buddy or a Pinoy colleague? Your search is finally over. The Asian Journal brings you Re:Union, Filipino American Associations in America -- your link to a network of kababayan associations here in the United States. As your Filipino-American community newspaper, the Asian Journal recognizes your need to nourish and maintain ties with the people and the culture you were born with. This is our way of connecting our kababayans to the past, of creating new opportunities for the present and of inspiring you to pay it forward by becoming active members of your association and the FilAm community at large in the future.

Movement to Eradicate Rape and Other Child Abuse (MOTHER)

Political empowerment is still a treasure that eludes us as a community here in America. While we are the second largest Asian American community in the United States, we have yet to harvest the power that comes from our numbers. The Voice of FilAmerica features elected and appointed officials – regardless of political affiliation – in the different US states who are of Filipino ancestry. As your Filipino American community newspaper, the Asian Journal recognizes the fact that we all have a responsibility towards bringing political empowerment to fruition, especially for our future generations. It is our hope to have our voices heard all over America.

Mae Cendaña Torlakson Director, Ambrose Recreation and Park District Contra Costa County, California

LAST November 2, Filipino American Mae Cendana Torlakson was elected as Director to the Ambrose Recreation and Park District, joining two others bidding for the three open seats in the district. Cendana Torlakson was the top vote-getter, garnering 1,275 votes or about 23.95% of the total votes cast. She is married to Tom Torlakson, a former senator, who likewise won in the elections, for the post State Superintendent of Public Instruction. Mae Cendana was born in Manila, Philippines and moved to the US in 1988. Her father is a lawyer and businessman and mother was a high school teacher before she passed away in 1974. She has seven sisters and two brothers, most of them living in the San Francisco Bay Area. Cendana talked about herself in her website. “I went to high school at St. Paul College of Manila, an all-girls Catholic school. Then I studied at the University of the Philippines, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Tourism.” “As a young girl, my parents encouraged me to sing and perform on stage. I enjoyed this and became a professional singer and recording artist. I have also worked as a scriptwriter, a clothes designer, a duty free shop supervisor, a property manager and a fashion boutique owner. I am lucky to have traveled to Australia, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Canada, Mexico, China and Brazil --- meeting people from different walks life and diverse cultures. I love experiencing the varied cultures of the world and learning to speak different languages.” “I work as the statewide coordinator of the University of California Mathematics, Engineering, Science, Achievement (MESA) program where I help encourage students to build their careers and become leaders in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields,” she said. Before her election as director, Cendana was an elected Park Board member. Below are some of her accomplishments:

Secured $1.7 million for the improvement of Ambrose Park and pushed for more programs at the recreation center that benefit youth, adults and seniors. She fought for waterfront access and the completion of the long-awaited Bay Point Shoreline Park and worked hard to obtain millions of additional funding for this project. As the Chair of the Great California Delta Trail, Cendana-Torlakson led in the advocacy for a dedicated bike and walking trail in East Contra Costa County and helped obtain $4.5 million for the construction of this trail – to be started in Bay Point. She organized the Bay Point Spring Derby (Parade and Festival). For the past three years, this event has brought together local businesses and thousands of our residents to celebrate the diverse cultures of our community. As the president of the Bay Point Garden Club over the past 5 years, she led in the efforts to create the Ambrose Community Garden and did beautification projects to enhance the community. The garden encourages residents to plant their own produce and share the abundance of the land with neighbors. A very active health fitness buff, Cendana was the captain of the TEAMO bike team that raised funds for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. She also participated at the American Cancer Society Walk, the Best Buddies Bike Challenge, Kops for Kids Run and the Breath of Life Lung Cancer Walk. Mae has two children, Tallulah and Yves. After graduating from UC Berkeley and co-hosting a cable show on Filipino-American issues, Tallulah moved to Los Angeles to pursue her acting and singing career. She recently opened her own PR consulting business and launched an online fundraising campaign to help typhoon victims in the Philippines. Yves, on the other hand, is a UC Berkeley senior studying Social Welfare. He is also working full time as an Eligibility Specialist at the Contra Costa County Social Welfare Department. n

Contact: Mailing address: 304 N. Reno, Los Angeles, CA 90026 Tel. No: (213) 487-0962; (213) 616-8796; (213) 221-9424 Email: Website: BASED on the principle that self-defense is an instinct that needs to be developed, MOTHER, a non-political, non-sectarian and nonprofit organization, is positive that through its crime prevention program comprising of discipline, awareness, orientation and hands-on training, prevention of most crimes is do-able. The Movement’s goal is to empower women and children and to enable them to defend themselves from various forms of attacks such as hold-upping, bag snatching, pick-pocketing, and other physical violence including sexual harassment and rape. Thus, knowing what to do in the event of imminent danger builds selfconfidence inhibits fear and panic when confronted with impending risks. Board of Directors (2009-2010) Joselyn Geaga Rosenthal - Chair Rey Ganon - Vice Chair Jess Espanola - Treasurer Perla S. Reyes - Founder & Board Secretary Simon Santos III - Auditor Jesse del Rosario

Sue Castro Executive Officers Jesse Del Rosario - Executive Director Susan Arrieta - Assistant Bernie Ganon - Program Director Aurora Estrera, Logistics Director Noli Reyes, Asst. Logistics Director Nestor Ylagan, Technical Director Web Administrators Mark & Honeylet Pineda Volunteers Flory del Rosario Rosalie Caratao Carlos Castro Tony Duldulao Pam Tampoya Rachel Fulginiti Special Projects Romy Borje – Search for Outstanding Filipino Seniors, Chairman Advisers: Jorge Prado, Dr Ben Marte, Ryan Carpio n

Foreclosures: What to expect… PAGE A2 t ers are now “underwater” on their mortgage. If you are one of these people, welcome to the high-percentage group of homeowners with negative equity. These are the people who are most vulnerable to foreclosure- especially if you have an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) that has already reset. So, you may be trapped in your current home because (a) you can’t sell it, (b) you can’t refinance your mortgage because no bank will finance you and (c) your current lender has denied your request to modify your loan to make your home more affordable. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but if you want to know the truth, we are not out of the woods yet. As this year ends, you need to brace yourself for another rough year ahead, according to the experts. If you are facing foreclosure, perhaps you are wondering whether your property is even worth keeping considering the fact that is now worth a lot less than what you paid for it just a few years ago. Should you just let it foreclose, save your money and hope that 101215 - MW SEC B.indd 3

in a few years, perhaps you can buy another home again? Or should you struggle to keep it no matter what happens, even if you had to hold 2 jobs just to be able to afford the mortgage payments? I wish the answer to this question was simple but unfortunately, it isn’t, because there are several factors to consider in every situation. The economic downturn has been nothing but brutal for a lot of people. This is definitely not a good time to be in debt. Look for ways to reduce unnecessary expenses and set aside as much as you can for the rainy days. Now is the time to practice good financial discipline and stop accumulating new debt. If

you are already overextended, find a way to get out of debt as soon as possible. In some cases, bankruptcy may be the only way to get a fresh financial start and/or to stop a foreclosure. If you need legal advice, call toll-free 1(866) 477-7772 to schedule a free consultation. We have offices in Glendale, Cerritos, West Covina and Valencia. *** None of the information herein is intended to give legal advice for any specific situation. Atty. Ray Bulaon has successfully helped over 4,000 clients in getting out of debt. For a free attorney evaluation of your situation, please call Ray Bulaon Law Offices at TOLL FREE 1-866-477-7772.  (Advertising Supplement)

Reinstating a deceased…


eficiary has strong family ties in the United States. The beneficiary must be prepared to show proof of the original I-130 that was filed, proof of I-130 approval, a copy of the Petitioner’s death certificate, proof of substitute sponsor’s relationship to the beneficiary, and meet all the I-864 requirements.


Attorney Kenneth Ursua Reyes was President of the Philippine American Bar Association. He is a member of both the Family law section and Immigration law section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. He has extensive CPA experience prior to law practice. Law Offices of Kenneth Reyes, P.C. is located at 3699 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 700, Los Angeles, CA, 90010. Tel. (213) 388-1611 or e-mail Website  (Advertising Supplement) 12/14/10 3:08:31 PM


Community Journal • (213) 250-9797

Accountant with Master’s degree denied discharge

Debt Relief Atty. Lawrence Yang IF YOU are a debtor with a Master’s degree in accounting, you better make sure that your bankruptcy petition is 100% accurate on date of filing. In Re Gorman, the chapter 7 debtor had a master’s degree in accounting. He worked as a controller for 4 different companies. Moreover, debtor owned and operated a professional services company that provided accounting and tax services to the public. In all of these positions debtor either prepared financial forms and reports, or arranged for their preparation. In addition to his work in accounting and finance, debtor was engaged in numerous business ventures. However, he failed to disclose that he owned equity interests in at least 10 closely held corporations in the statement of financial affairs of his bankruptcy petition when he filed his chapter 7 case. Instead, his statement of

financial affairs debtor said he had no “stock and interests in incorporated and unincorporated businesses.” He did disclose his interest in one defunct entity which he valued at zero. Debtor blamed his high level of accounting background as the culprit for failing to disclose his equity interests in ten corporations. He said that his accounting background turned out to be more of a hindrance than a help when it came to preparing his bankruptcy schedules. As an accountant, he said, he was trained to recognize assets only if they have value. He also said he was under great stress when he filled out his bankruptcy schedules because he was the primary caregiver for his parents, both of whom were terminally ill. The usual, blame it on the parents excuse. Debtor argued that he cured

any deficiencies in his schedules and statements by making a full disclosure at the 341a meeting of creditors and providing tax returns to the trustee. Although he had the right to make amend-

to amend the petition because he might have been representing himself without counsel. If he made the amendments soon after his testimony at the 341a, there probably would not have

case, (a)made a false oath or account; (b)presented or used a false claim; (c)gave, offered, received, or attempted to obtain money, property, or advantage, for acting or forbearing to act; or (d)withheld from an officer of the estate entitled to possession under this title, any recorded information, including books, documents, records, and papers, relating to the debtor’s property or financial affairs.” “The court finds that the debtor knowingly and fraudulently made false oaths on his Schedules been any problem. and statement of financial afThe court denied the debtor’s fairs by failing to disclose his discharge pursuant to Section interests and positions in the 727(a)(4) which states that the operating and non-operating court shall grant debtor a dis- entities. In the face of clear and charge unless… “The debtor unambiguous directions on the knowingly and fraudulently, Schedules and SOFA calling for in or in connection with the disclosure of the identities of his

The court denied the debtor’s discharge pursuant to Section 727(a)(4) which states that the court shall grant debtor a discharge unless… “The debtor knowingly and fraudulently, in or in connection with the case, (a)made a false oath or account; (b)presented or used a false claim; (c)gave, offered, received, or attempted to obtain money, property, or advantage, for acting or forbearing to act; or (d)withheld from an officer of the estate entitled to possession under this title, any recorded information, including books, documents, records, and papers, relating to the debtor’s property or financial affairs. ments to his bankruptcy petition which would date back to the date of filing to flesh out his full disclosure at the 341a meeting, debtor apparently did not do so. I can only surmise that debtor did not know about his right

stock ownership in corporations, the debtor failed to disclose the identity of several corporations in which he had an interest as of the petition date. I find not credible the debtor’s testimony that, by virtue of his training as an accountant and the alleged lack of value of his interests in the omitted entities, he did not appreciate the need to disclose these entities in his schedules,” the court said. Debtor then argued the Tiger Woods excuse. Debtor said that his pre-occupation with sex had led him to adultery and fornication causing him to completely forget about his equity interests in the 10 corporations. He said that he was going through sex rehabilitation but the court nevertheless denied discharge. “If Tiger’s wife divorced him, why should this court give you a discharge?” the court said. ***

Lawrence Bautista Yang specializes in bankruptcy, business, real estate and civil litigation and has successfully represented more than five thousand clients in California. Please call Angie, Barbara or Jess at (626) 284-1142 for an appointment at 1000 S Fremont Ave Bldg A-1 Suite 1125 Unit 58 Alhambra, CA 91803. (Advertising Supplement)

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Community Journal

SCE provides a holiday shopping gift guide of energy-efficient products ‘Be an Outlet for Change’ Sweepstakes Winners to get HD TVs ROSEMEAD, CA — Southern California Edison (SCE) has a reminder for customers shopping for holiday gifts. Items that plug in have two costs: the cost to buy them, and the cost to run them. The more energy efficient an electronic device or appliance is, the less its owner will have to spend to use it. To help navigate the dizzying choices of electronics and appliances, SCE created a downloadable gift guide, which can be found at www.sce. com/shopping. In addition, SCE is holding a sweepstakes for two HD ENERGY STAR-labeled televisions. All eligible California residents who pledge to “Be an Outlet for Change” by unplugging electronics, using energy-saving surge protectors and choosing ENERY-STAR-qualified devices are able to win prizes. Each week through Dec. 31, 10 winners will receive either a solar powered cell phone charger or an energy-saving surge protector. Grand prize winners of the two HD TVs will be selected in early January 2011. To learn more or to enter the sweepstakes, visit change. “It’s our mission to help our customers make smart energy decisions – this season and beyond,” said Gene Rodrigues, SCE’s director of Customer Energy Efficiency and Solar. “The ENERGY STAR icon is an easy way to identify the most efficient products that help save money, energy and the environment.” The SCE gift guide includes the following energy-saving tips: ENERGY STAR-qualified TVs use about 40 per-

cent less energy than standard units. The most energy efficient models are liquid crystal display TVs with light-emitting diode (LED) screens. The average cost to run a 50-inch ENERGY STARlabeled TV is more than $46 per year; the same sized plasma TV without the ENERGY STAR costs about $92 per year, nearly twice as much. DVD players and combination TV/DVD units account for the greatest portion of “standby” electricity consumed in homes – approximately 35 percent. (Standby power is the electricity used by a device when it is off or in sleep mode.) ENERGY STAR-rated players use as little as one-fourth of the standby energy of standard models. Holiday light strings with LED bulbs cost a fraction of the price to operate as light strings with incandescent bulbs, and they’re safer because they emit almost no heat. The average American household spends $100 a year to power electronic devices while they’re off or in standby mode. (That’s more than $10 billion annually in wasted energy costs.) Energy-saving surge protectors or “smart strips” can help by automatically turning off the power to electronics when not in use. Ninety percent of the energy used in operating a washing machine goes toward heating the water that will wash and rinse the clothes. Water-saving models can cut water and energy use by more than 40 percent. The most energy-efficient washers are front-loading models, which use about a third of the water to wash the same amount of clothes. n

Welcome aboard!


Calendar of Events across




Simbang Gabi at the Cathedral The whole Filipino community is invited to attend the traditional Archdiocesan Simbang Gabi at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels on Dec. 15 at 6:30pm. For any questions, you may get in touch with Ms. Cora Aragon Soriano (213) 999-1993.


6th Annual Parol Parade and Contest All are invited to watch the 6th Annual Parol Parade on Dec. 17 at 5:30pm. The parade route will start from the Manila Terrace Social Hall 2328 W. Temple St., Los Angeles CA, 90026. It will then proceed from Temple St to Carondolet St to Council St to Park View St to Beverly Blvd To Rampart to Benton Way and will end at the Center of Hope at Temple St. For more information contact Erlinda Lim (213) 924-4048 or Leo Pandac at (213) 810-0279.

AFAA Christmas Party The Association of Filipino American Accountants (AFAA) New York chapter will hold its annual Christmas party at the Astoria World Manor, Astoria, Queens on December 17 starting at 7pm. Dinner $50 per person. For more information please contact Neva Fajardo, AFAA NY Secretary (718) 275-1422.

Cinelayan Filipino Film Festival Mark December 17 on your calendars for the Filipino Film Festival happening at the Portland Community College Cascade Campus (Terrel Hall 122) at 3am-6am. For inquiries and reservations email

Simbang Gabi 2010 The Filipino-American Association of Idaho, Inc. invites you to A Filipino Traditional Mass Celebrated by Fr. Victor Manuel called the Simbang Gabi 2010 happening on December 17, 6pm at the Sacred Heart Church 811 Latah ST Boise. For inquiries,please contact: Jimmy Lara 559-4284, Auring Arellano 375-4781, Irene Berntsen 860-2046, Tita Veloso 375-7481, Edith Teves 841-6623 (Event Coordinator).

JFAV/SPACE Joint Christmas Party The Justice for Filipino American Veterans (JFAV) and Seniors for PACE will hold a joint Christmas Party as it end-year event for 2010 on Friday, Dec. 17 from 11:30am-3pm at the Kapistahan Grill at Luzon Plaza. 1925 W. Temple St. Los Angeles, CA 90026. There will be a voluntary donation of $ 10 at the door for the JFAV Defense Fund for the civil suit that was filed in San Francisco Federal Court. But nobobdy will be turned away for non-donation For more information please contact Al P. Garcia at (213) 241-0995 or Ernest Tamayo at (213) 503-0429 Email as at or visit our facebook account at jfav-los angeles.

Simbang Gabi sa Philippine Center Everyone is invited to attend the Simbang Gabi at the Philippine Center, 556 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10036 on Dec. 17 at 7pm. The mass’ main celebrant is Rev. Msgr. Oscar Aquino assisted by Rev. Fr. Jomar Legaspi. For more information please call Ner Martinez (347) 837-5853, Fe Martinez (973) 222-0085, Sofie Abad (347) 453-9851, and Art Diongon (917) 822-9225.


FASO at the Monrovia Public Library Holiday and classical sounds from the Filipino-American Symphony Orchestra at the Monrovia Public Library – 321 S. Myrtle Ave. Monrovia, CA 91016. Admission is free! Violin and Guitar Duo from 2pm–3pm at the library lobby, Clarinet Quartet from 3pm–4pm and Flute Ensemble from 4pm–4:45pm at the Library Community Room. The event is sponsored by the Friends of the Monrovia Public Library.

Holiday Ball 2010 The Filipino-American Association of Idaho Inc., invites you to come and enjoy a spectacular evening of fine dining and dancing in the Holiday Ball of 2010 with music by the Mix Emotions Band on Dec. 18, 6pm, at the Red Lion Hotel Downtown 1800 Fairview Ave., Boise ID 83702. For more information, please call: Jimmy Lara at 559-4284, Billy Reyes at 440-4921, Lani Bright at 407-1101, Irene Berntsen at 860-2046, and Auring Arellano at 375-7481.

SISA Annual Christmas Party The SISA’s Christmas Party 2010 will take place on the 18th of December at 5pm at the Granada Pavilion (near Trader Joe’s/Chase Bank, next to PepBoys/PetAdventure). Address: 11128 Balboa Blvd. Granada Hills CA. There will be dancing and it’s potluck! Holiday attire: purple and/or green. Contact Erlyne Arugay at (818) 624-3369 or Ludi Santos-Martin at (818) 267-4618.

PASCPA annual Christmas Party Let’s all come together and celebrate, bring all your loved ones and friends on December 18, 2010 Saturday, starting 4pm at The Philippine Village, 4515 Eagle Rock Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90041. Entrance Fee: $15 per head, All kids come FREE. Bring a gift worth $15 for “White Elephant.”

SMISAN Christmas Party Please join us for dining and dancing at the SMISAN Christmas Party on Dec. 18 fro 6:30pmmidnight at Danceworld USA, 1950 South Rainbow Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89146. Suggested donation is $25. Bring a gift worth at least $10 for gift exchange if you want to participate. For RSVP please call Alex Pena (702) 373-9522 and Madelyn Banez (702) 370-3152.

International Migrants Day health screening for immigrants

MANY Filipino-Americans who haven’t been exposed to the term OFW might not be aware that many jobs filled by Filipinos, especially in the hospitality business, are for contract employees that companies like hotels, resorts and cruise ships recruit from different parts of the world, the Philippines being one of them. And most of these positions filled by Filipino OFWs are domestic in nature. I’ve been on a few cruises before, where many of the stateroom attendants, housekeeping, maintenance and wait staff were Filipino (OFWs). Most of them are at sea for about 10 months at a time or longer. They get to break and go home to see their families until their next contract. Keeping on the contract schedule, reporting for duty, and not abandoning ship at any ports of call is vital for these workers because they are able to stay in the mainstream pool of the contract labor force, and as long as they follow the rules and keep in good standing with their company, they are eventually able to move up in the ranks as well as maintain good employable status. I don’t know how accurate these situations are, but it seems that many of the cruise staff just enjoy the conversation with fellow Filipinos who happen to be passengers, and they share with us their employment stories. Most stories are delivered with a tone that simply represents their appreciation for having a job, and that they are able to meet so many different people and travel to places they wouldn’t otherwise be able to visit. My family’s first cruise was with a very nice eight-day cruise to the Mexican Riviera. The majority of the stateroom attendants as well as the dining room wait staff were Filipino. They gave us superior service because their cruise line proudly offered first class service, and because Filipinos tend to treat fellow Filipinos well, just because. On this cruise ship we noticed that Europeans and Australians held positions that were non-domestic, like cruise entertainment staff, activities staff, pursers and dining room maître ds. One recent trip that my family took was a Caribbean cruise to the Bahamas. It was nice to see Filipino staff working in higher positions on that cruise line to the Caribbean, typically filled by Europeans. The cruise director was Filipino, and the maitre’d of the main dining room was, 101215 - MW SEC B.indd 5

too. Even the game host was Pinoy. As usual, we were treated extra well by our kababayans, from our state room to our formal dining experiences on board. Even the customs officers welcome us home each time with a friendly, “hope you enjoyed your vacation, welcome home” and a little friendly conversation. Most customs officers we have dealt with during our travels are usually straight faced, don’t make much eye contact, and don’t say much. My entire family loves to cruise, and they have been on many more cruises than I, all of which they were well taken care of by Filipino stateroom attendants, dining room wait staff, and more. Since we tend to travel in large packs, it’s usually difficult to get seating for everyone together in one area. But every dining experience we have had aboard a cruise ship has been fantastic, and our waiters really take care of us. For my family, next on the agenda is Central and South America! We often wonder what it’s like for these Filipino cruise workers who spend 4 to 8 days with us at a time, and they let us have a chance to get to know them a bit for those few days. Once we disembark and end our trip, they get ready for the next batch of passengers, while they stay aboard and do the whole thing over and over again until their contract ends. How many other kababayans do they meet and serve and take care of? How many other lives have they touched with their hospitality and their personal stories? When during our time on the ship we feel like we are the best passengers they have ever had the pleasure of serving! But once we say our good-byes, the next set of passengers will come aboard, meet all of them just like we did, and will probably go home feeling the same way. I hope they enjoy meeting us passengers as much as we enjoy meeting them! If you haven’t already cruised before, you should try it, and you might see how well you are taken care of by your kababayans. Go with fun on your minds, don’t expect much, be just as friendly, and you will see how well you will be treated by the entire staff, especially in the dining rooms. Once you have as pleasant of an experience as my family has, you will start to miss that friendly greeting, “welcome aboard!” (Anna Soriano - West Hills, CA)

Philippine Forum, in collaboration with Kalusugan Coalition, La Guardia Nursing Club, APICHA, and Wyckoff Hospital, bring a health screening to Jackson Heights, Elmhurst, and Woodside. From 10am - 2pm, everyone may avail of services and screenings at Bayanihan Filipino Community Center at 4021 69th Street, Woodside, NY 11377. Services will include blood pressure screenings, cholesterol and glucose screenings, HIV testing, STD screening, and patient teach-ins. Nurses are on hand for consultations for the community members in the area. Jackson Heights, Elmhurst, and Woodside are neighborhoods with very high concentrations of Filipino, Latino, and South Asian recent immigrants.

Aurorans to hold Christmas Party The Aurora Inter-Organizational Alliance-USA will hold its annual Christmas celebration on December 18, Saturday, starting at 4 pm at the house of Mr Ed and Linda Querijero, in Cerritos, California. California-based immigrants from the municipalities of Baler, San Luis, Maria Aurora, Dingalan, Dipaculao, Dinalungan, Casiguran and Dilasag are hereby enjoined to grace the affair. Aurorans are urged to get in touch with Treasurer Lucy-Gonzales-Entac (818) 428-9906, Secretary Violy Feraren, (562) 466-6403, Roland Protesta (562) 691-2136 Dr. Belen Guerrero (626) 749-5806, Robert Teh (818) 331-7586, Primo Teh (323) 728-8365, Letty Porter (619) 829-7693, Rose Mangosong (805) 478-4784.

Paskong Pilipino Everyone is invited to attend the Paskong Pilipino on Dec. 18 at the St. Paul UMC, 33350 Peace Terrace, Fremont, CA 94555. The event will have three parts Himig Pasko, Simbang Gabi, and Salo-salo.


FAAWC Simbang Gabi 2010 Thee Filipino-American Association of Western Connecticut (FAAWC) will hold a ‘Simbang Gabi’ mass from 3pm - 9pm at the St. Rose Church at Newtown, CT.


Celebration The Orleans Hotel and Casino is proud to present the Philippine Music Icon, Imelda Papin in a one-night concert called the Celebration,on Dec. 26, 8pm at the Orleans Showroom. Performing with Imelda Papin are: John Gummoe of The Cascades together with Ron Dante (who sang Sugar, Sugar). The Orleans Hotel & Casino is located at 4500 W. Tropicana Avenue Las Vegas, NV 89103. Ticket prices are $40, $60, and $80. For tickets, you can visit or call the ticket box office at (702) 365-7075 or 1-800- 365-7111.


Amore, An Afternoon of Timeless Music with Philippine’s Prince of Operatic Pop Ahiah Center for Spiritual Awakening presents “Amore, An Afternoon of Timeless Music with Philippine’s Prince of Operatic Pop,” Jonathan Badon on January 9, 2pm, at 277 North El Molino Ave. Pasadena, Ca. 91101.Donation is only $20. For more details, you can text or call Genny Go at (626) 278-1970 or (626) 795-4216 office.

If you have an upcoming event and would like us to post it, please email us the details at or 12/14/10 3:09:00 PM


People & Events • (213) 250-9797

JFAV-Seniors for Pace hold joint Christmas Party

LOS ANGELES – The Justice for Filipino American Veterans (JFAV) and Seniors for PACE will hold a joint Christmas Party as it end-year event for 2010 on Friday, December 17, 2010 from 11:30am to 3pm at the Kapistahan Grill at Luzon Plaza. 1925 W. Temple St. Los Angeles, CA 90026. JFAV and SPACE cordially invites all veterans, seniors and widows as well as student and advocates to join this end-year event. There will be a voluntary donation of $10 at the door for the JFAV Defense Fund for the civil suit that was filed in San Francisco Federal Court. But nobobdy will be turned away for non-donation. The Christmas Party and Fundraiser was decided by two organizations in a strategic planning meeting with People’s CORE last December 7 in commemorative event for Pear Harbor Day, December 7, 1941 or the 69th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the Japanese attack

TORONTO POLICE CHRISTMAS PARTY. Toronto Kapuso Lions Club President, Manny Yanga, vice president Marcus Pe and journalist Jojo Taduran were among the special guests during the first-ever Toronto Police (P-ISN) Christmas party held at the prestigious Prestige Restaurant and Bat located at corner Dufferin and Finch, Toronto, Ontario, Canada,on December 10, 2010 (Friday). Representatives from many Filipino organizations were in attendance.  Photo by Romy Zetazate / St. Jamestown News Service

Historic Filipinotown’s 6th Annual Parol Parade and Contest 2010 HISTORIC Filipinotown’s 6th Annual Parol Parade and Contest will be held. Dress warmly for Caroling; hot Salabat, Coffee, Tea and Merienda will be provided at both the beginning and end points of this event. Participants could win prizes for there glittering creations so come and join us this year in sharing everyone’s cultural heritage in our multiethnic community. The Parol without an “E” on the end of the word (and in Spanish, Farol, which means light) is a star-shaped bamboo lantern that represents the happy spirit of the holiday season in the Philippines. Hung in the window of every home the Parol is a sign of welcome to all our neighbors and friends. This year’s theme “Ang Iyong Paskong Pangarap Ay Magpapatuloy”, (Your Holiday Dreams Will Persevere) will bridge cultural and multiethnic divides uniting us all in celebration of this festive time of year. Make your own homemade lantern and help in continuing this unique tradition in the heart of Historic Filipinotown! The parol parade will be held on Friday, December 17, 2010. Please bring your parols before 5:15pm. The Parade will begin promptly at 5:30pm. The 2010 Historic Filipinotown Holiday Parol Parade and Contest Organizing Committee consisting of members of: Historic Filipinotown Improvement Association (HFIA), Temple Westlake Neighborhood Development Corporation (TWNDC) and the Lord of Harvest Ministries’ (LHM) Center of Hope, in cooperation with Pilipino American Network and Advocacy (PANA); (This is a partial list of organizations that have

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contributed their time); Pacific Asian Alcohol & Drug Program (PAADP), Rampart Village Neighborhood Council (RVNC), Greater Echo Park Elysian Neighborhood Council (GEPENC), Rotary Club of Historic Filipinotown (RCHiFi), Filipino American Community of Los Angeles (FACLA), Filipino American service Group, Inc (FASGI), Silver Lake Adult Health Day Care (SLAHDC), Search to Involve Pilipino Americans (SIPA), Pilipino Workers Center (PWC), Filipino Christian Church (FCC), Walk by Faith First Filipino Church of the Nazarene, The Praise Christian Fellowship (PCF), Congregational Christian Church (CCC), Los Angeles Rampart District SLOs and their Officers (LAPD) and the Office of City Council President Eric Garcetti (CD-13) are all proud to present Historic Filipinotown’s 6th Annual Parol Parade and Contest The Parade starts at The Manila Terrace Social Hall at 2328 W. Temple Street, Los Angeles, CA 90026 Proceeding west down the sidewalk on Temple Street to Carondelet Street and Temple Street; we will turn left till Council Street; we will turn left again till Park View Street; then proceed to Beverly Boulevard turning right till Rampart Boulevard; where we will make another right proceed back to Temple Street; where we will make a left going one block more to Benton Way; where we will cross the street to our final designation. The Parade will end at The Center of Hope; 2707 W. Temple Street Los Angeles, CA 90026. The Center of Hope is where the festivities and judging will be held from 6:15 pm to 8pm. n

that started World War II in the Pacific. Donations accepted. For checks and donations please write or send the checks to People’s CORE. 1610 Beverly Blvd. Suite 2, Los Angeles, CA 90026. Donations of more than $50 is tax-deductible. People’s CORE is a non-profit organization. Seniors for Filipino American Community Empowerment is a new organization composed of seniors, veterans, widows and community residents formed was formed last July. Elected president of the organization was Errol Santos, Jovy Alejandro, Arturo P. Garcia, Jack Vergara, Heidi Dela Torre and Filipina Esteves to name a few. It will be a fun-filled day for dancing, eating gift and karaoke. Merry Christmas to all! For more information please contact Al P. Garcia at (213) 241-0995 or Ernest Tamayo at (213) 503-0429. Email as at or visit our facebook account at jfav-los angeles. n

Young Filipina CPA receives 2010 Career Achievement Award by Irwin

V. Jazmines

THE Women’s International Film & Television Showcase (TheWIFTS Foundation), a nonprofit organization in Los Angeles, CA, was organized primarily to recognize and promote women filmmakers and others who have proven to be pioneers in their field and to foster the ideals of equality and the promotion of women in all sectors of society.   The Foundation hosted its 2010 annual International Visionary Awards last Sunday, December 5, 2010 at the Beverly Cinema in Los Angeles. Among the awards presented to women internationally (ie., England, France, Iran, Brazil, Turkey, Peru, Guatemala, US) was our very own Filipina CPA, Susan Legaspi, who received the Career Achievement Award for her selfless dedication and hard work in championing the various causes of nonprofit organizations, mentoring young professionals and spearheading leadership training to college students, new graduates and young professionals entering our workforce. TheWIFTS Foundation honors outstanding women who continue to “raise the bar” in their respective fields or profession. The Foundation continues to research noteworthy, unknown or known individuals worldwide who have made a difference in their respective communities but have yet to be acknowledged and commended for their extraordinary efforts and positive impact on our society. Such recognition, motivates and empowers women worldwide to continue their outstanding achievements making our world a better place. The recognition of the outstanding achievements by these women will propagate the awareness of the important issues and challenges universally. Ms. Legaspi is the CEO and President of the public accounting firm of Zuehls, Legaspi & Company, located in downtown Los Angeles.

An auditor and forensic accountant, Susan is the first Chairman of the National Executive Board of the International Society of Filipinos in Finance and Accounting (formerly ISYFA), a Filipino nonprofit organization. She sits on the Board of Directors or acts in an advisory capacity for several other nonprofit organizations. She is a frequent technical or motivational speaker at firm events, conventions, seminars, or training workshops. In her acceptance speech, she said, “the best part of my work is that I deal specifically with nonprofits. Each nonprofit is special – they are for most part benevolent entities that are dedicated to the public good – to lift the burdens of the needy and our government- to help the poor, save the environment, conduct life-saving research, nature preservation and so on.” As a Filipina who migrated here more than two decades ago, she has managed to overcome discrimination as a woman and a minority who was educated in the Philippines, to become, at that point in time, one of the very few female, minority managers of one of the four largest accounting firms in the world. Susan enjoys mentoring college students, new graduates or new entries into the workforce helping them realize that what they learned in class does not entirely prepare them for life. She has made her personal mission to ensure that everyone gets a chance to climb the proverbial ladder of success: to be role models with the proper credentials such as integrity and high ethical values, hard work, love for learning, and most importantly, the desire to share their success with others and giving back to their communities. She ended her speech with one of her favorite quotes: “An extraordinary life requires the mastery of two skills, the capacity to turn dreams into reality and the ability to find joy in each moment.” n

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The Asian Journal

We d n esday, December 15, 2010



Sweet Holidays Fil-Am cake designer and pastry chef in TLCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Cake Boss: Next Great Baker


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The Asian Journal MDWK MAGAZINE - D e c e m b e r 1 5 , 2 0 1 0

Greggy Soriano Fil-Am cake designer and pastry chef in Cake Boss: Next Great Baker

Sweet Dreams Are Made of These by Joseph Pimentel AJPress


ou can’t help but put a smile on your face when you talk to Gregory “Greggy” Soriano. The 26-year-old affable Fil-Am is a gregarious and fun-loving cake designer and pastry chef. His outgoing personality shows in his designer cake work and is probably a big reason why so many TV reality show producers cast the Filipino—self described as the Lady Gaga of cake designs— on their programs. Soriano has already appeared on Beauty and Geek season 5 and this December you can watch Greggy, as his friends like to call him, on the Cake Boss: Next Great Baker airing Mondays at 9pm on TLC. The Next Great Baker is a show where 10 of America’s top bakers compete to win a cash prize of $50,000 and a chance to work with renowned awardwinning cake designer Buddy Valastro of Cake Boss.   In an exclusive interview with the Asian Journal, Soriano, the diva of wedding cake designers, said he was chosen out of thousands who auditioned for the show.  He said being a former reality star on Beauty and the Geek, he thought it would be fun to be a part of a show where he can express his creative side and something he’s very passionate about—food and design.   “I literally use my cake as a

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canvas,” said Soriano. “It’s art and something I’m passionate about. “I wanted to show the world that there’s more to cake design than just sculpting a cake in the shape of The White House or a typical Mad Hatter-style cake,” he added. “I like things to be avant-garde and lush. I’ve always been artistic and crafty and I want people to go out there, get inspired, and make something.” He’s done well so far.  In the first episode, which aired on December 6, Soriano rebounded from a horrendous start (in which he literally broke down in tears when Valestro commented that his “hugyour-baby-momma-all-nightlong” chocolate hazelnut cake looked “disastrous”) to win that episode’s elimination challenge. The win was a little bittersweet. The challenge was for the contestants to make a celebration cake. Soriano chose to make a sweet 16 cake since growing up, he never had a sweet 16 of his own. He also brought up a tidbit of his life. He said that his father had passed away during this time.  “The win was in honor of my dad,” said Soriano. “It’s the most amazing feeling ever.”  Born in Glendora, California, Soriano sad his family is originally from Lucena City, Philippines.  Soriano said he grew up around food, though none of his family members are professional chefs.  “Food has always brought my family together,” he said. “My mom and dad are amazing cooks. My aunts and uncles have competitions on who can make the best longganisa and the cousins would do a blind tasting and be the adjudicators.  My Dad would always win.” Soriano said he knew in high school that he wanted to be a

cake designer. In high school, he took classes from a local cake decorating supply store and loved it. His first cake creation was a woman’s torso wearing a red Cornelli lace bodice. He brought it to class and everyone marveled at the creation, although, he did get in trouble. “The principal said that ‘It’s very well done and you have great talent, but it’s something I would bring home to my wife, not to Mrs. Kendricks,’” recalled Soriano. “I cried like a lil’ girl, but at that moment, I discovered that I had an unusual talent.” Soriano honed that talent at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY and studied under pastry and cake industry luminaries Bettie Van NorStrand and Dieter Schorner. Soriano said he approaches a cake like an artist looking at a blank canvas.  “I’m inspired by all things beautiful,” he said. “ 24/7, I’m constantly aware of the beautiful things around me.  I have a large collection of images on my Blackberry archives of anything and everything that inspires me.  I digitally sketch and design cakes before working on it.” Soriano said he’s living his dream and this is the perfect time to be a Filipino chef since many of them are being recognized for their work in the mainstream media. “Growing up, I’ve always wanted that person where I would look up onto the screen

Greggy’s sweet tooth recipe Ube Trifle

and say, ‘Hey, I want to be like him!’ Unfortunately, there wasn’t really any of that. It makes me so happy to see Filipinos gaining recognition by the mainstream.” Soriano is now part of a small Filipino group who are being recognized for their talents and are being showcased in reality TV programs. Fil-Am Dale Talde of Chicago is on Bravo’s Top Chef All-Stars; Lou Ross Edralin was a contestant in Fox’s Hell’s Kitchen with Chef Gordon Ramsey; and Cristeta Comerford, the executive chef at the White House, is a regular on the Food Network. Soriano was not allowed to divulge how well he did in the Cake Boss show but it doesn’t matter. Soriano is a treat and fun to watch. He said he plans to open his very own cake design business in New Jersey sometime next year. You can visit his website www. for more information.

Ube Cake 2 large purple yams (ube) 4 large eggs, room temperature 2 cups sugar 1 cup vegetable oil 1 teaspoon vanilla 3 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup evaporated milk (I like to do these in cupcake form, because they’re easier to cut into bite-size pieces, for layering the trifle. • Peel and slice the yams into inch thick slices. Transfer into a medium pan, rinse, then cover with cool water. Bring to boil and simmer until tender. Mash with a fork. • Crack eggs into a large bowl. Beat with a whisk until eggs are combined. • Gradually add sugar and whisk until combined. • Add oil and whisk until combined. Add vanilla and stir with a wooden spoon to combine. • Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in another bowl. • Add about a third of the flour mixture to the wet mixture and mix to combine. • Add about one half of the buttermilk and mix to combined. • Repeat above, alternating flour and buttermilk and ending with the flour mixture. • Scoop into cupcake papers about half to two-thirds full (depending on whether you want flat or domed cupcakes. Note that these cupcakes will don’t shrink. Two-thirds full will result in domed

cupcakes.). •Bake for 22-25 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean. Ube Halaya Ingredients 1 1/2 cups grated cooked purple yam 1 cup evaporated milk or (traditionally) coconut milk 1 14oz can condensed milk a pinch of salt 1 tablespoon butter/margarine  •In a deep pot or saucepan, combine all the ingredients except the butter or margarine. Stir to combine well and on medium high heat, cook until the mixture thickens. Constantly stir to avoid lumps. • Halfway through the cooking, add a tablespoon of butter. Mix well and continue cooking until it starts to pull away from the sides of the pan. • Allow to cool for layering trifle. Leche Flan Pastry Cream 2 cups scalded fresh milk ½ cup condensed milk 6 tbsp. flour 4 egg yolks • Combine all ingredients and stir with a whisk until thickened.  Stir constantly as it can curdle and burn easily.   • Allow to cool and place plastic wrap directly on top of pastry cream to avoid a skin on top. Chantilly Cream 2 pints heavy whipping cream. 2 tbsp powdered sugar 1 tsp vanilla • Beat heavy cream to a

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features 3 The Asian Journal MDWK MAGAZINE - December 15, 2010


elcome back to Isla Kulinarya. Last week, we have shared with you the winning recipe of Nathan Camba, winner in the Amateur Division at the recently concluded Kulinarya : A Filipino Culinary Showdown held at the Metreon in San Francisco last December 4, 2010. Organized by the Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco along with the various government agencies, namely, the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Tourism, Department of Trade and Industry, and the Philippine National Police with the goal of increasing the awareness and appreciation of Northern California residents on Filipino cuisine.

Kulinarya : A Filipino Culinary Showdown has been organized to discover and showcase the talents and expertise of Filipino chefs and foodies. $WRWDORIĂ&#x20AC;QDOLVWVFRPSHWHGLQWKH$PDWHXU 'LYLVLRQ DQG  LQ WKH 3URIHVVLRQDO 'LYLVLRQ in cooking regular meal items that included an appetizer/salad, adobo and another Filipino entree, and a Filipino dessert. The judges consisted of notable culinary experts, professional chefs and IRRG FULWLF VXFK DV &KHI 7KRPDV :HLEXOO DQ accomplished chef for over 25 years and who has worked in numerous three star restaurants in the Bay Area from One Market, Aqua, Rubicon and 3ORXI  &KHI .HOO\ 'HJDOD([HFXWLYH &KHI DW the Academy CafĂŠ at the California Academy of 6FLHQFHV /\QQH &KDU %HQQHW 6) &KURQLFOH 6WDII Writer and Food Critic; Nancy Freeman, President RI WKH$VLDQ &XOLQDU\ )RUXP -XQH %HOHQ ZULWHU for SFoodie, SF Weeklyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s widely read food blog and has been featured at Saveur Magazineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Best of the Webâ&#x20AC;?; and Mrs. Tess Paynor, wife of Consul General Marciano A. Paynor. Winners were selected according to the cohesiveness of menu, SUHVHQWDWLRQFUHDWLYLW\DQGWDVWHĂ DYRU This week we are featuring the recipe of Chef Ed Grajo, the winner in the Professional Division. Join us again next week for another sumptuous UHFLSH IURP RQH RI WKH Ă&#x20AC;QDOLVWV RI WKH .XOLQDU\D Challenge.

FUNFARE by Ricardo

F. Lo

FISH ESCABECHE* By Chef Ed Grajo, Winner, Professional Division Kulinarya : A Filipino Culinary Showdown *Copyright 2010, Philippine Department of Tourism, San Francisco Ingredients: s 3 pound firm white fish (halibut or Ling Cod) s 1 cup of olive oil s 1 cup pearl onion s 4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced s 2 bay leaf s 1/2 whole black peppercorn s Salt to taste s Sugar to taste s 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes s 2 cup rice wine vinegar s 1 whole roasted yellow pepper, julienned s 1 whole roasted red peppers,julienned s 1 whole roasted orange peppers,julienned s 1 whole chayote, julienned s 1 whole carrot, julienned s 2 cups heirloom cherry tomato s 1/2 cup section of lemon s 1/2 cup section of orange s 1/2 cup section of grapefruit s Bunch of banana leaves s 1 red onion, julienned s Fresh dill leaves Instructions: 1. In a large pan, heat 1/4 cup of oil over medium heat. Add fish in batches and cook until brown on all side and just cook enough, and drain. 2. Roast yellow, red, orange peppers and pearl onions, peel the skin and julienne. Set aside. 3. In a clean sauce pan, heat 1/4 cup oil over medium heat, add garlic, bay leaf, peppercorns, salt, pepper flakes for 1 minute. 4. Add 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar, sugar and bring to boil. Add julienned chayote and carrots. Cook until al dente. Cool down to room temperature. 5. Drop into the sauce the julienned sweet pepper and stir. Lay the sauteed fish on the sauce pan and bath the fish with liquid. Taste the liquid if it needs salt, pepper or sugar to taste. 6. Red Onion Chutney-- Combine julienned red onion and 1/2 cup rice-wine vinegar. Add sugar to taste. 7. Heat up banana leaves in the oven or on the burner to be more pliable. 8. Lay down the mixed vegetables on the banana leaves and the fried fish, pour some liquid, top it with red onion chutney and dill leaves for garnish. 9. Close the banana leaves and warm it on a 450 degree oven for 5 minutes. Bring closed on the table and open it up on a plate. **The featured recipe and some references were taken from Kulinarya: A Filipino Culinary Showdown Event Magazine published by the Philippine Department of Tourism, San Francisco, December 2010. Published with prior consent from the Philippine Department of Tourism, San Francisco. Photo by Jun Belen,


Chef Ed Grajo works as Hospitality Consultant servicing various hotels and restaurants. He is a Chef Instructor at the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena, Kitche Academy in Sacramento and Center of American Studies in Manila. He was also the Banquet Chef at Meritage Hotel and Resort for the last 5 years. Chef Ed graduated with a B.S. in Hotel and Restaurant Management from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, CA. He also completed the Arts in Garde Manager program in Contra Costa College, French Culinary School in Sausalito, Ca and Post Graduate Studies in Culinary Arts at Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena, CA.

Which wedding are NY Pinoys more excited about?

Did you know that many Pinoy New Yorkers are more excited about the Ogie AlcasidRegine Velasquez wedding on Dec. 22 at the Punta Fuego Resort in Nasugbu, Batangas, than the April 2011 royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton at the Westminster Abbey in London? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Yes, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s true,â&#x20AC;? confirmed Funfareâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Big Apple correspondent Edmund Silvestre. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You know how we Filipinos are, we love our own.â&#x20AC;? Another reason is that one of the Pinoy New Yorkers, Dr. Rosario â&#x20AC;&#x153;Chingâ&#x20AC;? Ojeda Legarda of Westchester County, New York, is one of the weddingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s principal sponsors. Dr. Legarda, who is Tita Ching to all, has been a major concert producer in the US since the late â&#x20AC;&#x2122;80s, when she, along with her husband Dr. Ramon â&#x20AC;&#x153;Tito Monâ&#x20AC;? Legarda, and her cousins Alicia Ojeda Martinez and husband Redentor Martinez, established Lemar International, a group credited with numerous top-caliber Filipino concerts that remain unmatched up to this day. (When Lemar was dissolved in the late â&#x20AC;&#x2122;90s, the Legardas put up Group Ole, while the Martinezes created Re-Al Entertainment.) It was through Lemar that Tita Ching met Regine and that paved the way for the very first US concert of the then fast-rising teenage belter at the world-famous Carnegie Hall in October 1991. It gave Regine the honor of being the first Filipinoâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;at age

19â&#x20AC;&#x201D;to stage a solo performance at the main hall of Carnegie Hall, â&#x20AC;&#x153;even beating Tony and Laurence Olivier-winner Lea Salonga to that feat,â&#x20AC;? said Edmund. Edmund added that Tita Ching and Tito Mon would always tell an anecdote about Regine not being able to sneak into a New York bar because she was underage. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Regineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Carnegie Hall concert ended late and all the restaurants were already closed by then,â&#x20AC;? Tita Ching recalled. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Only bars were still open but patrons below 21 were not allowed. So we all ended up having dinner at McDonaldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s. At wala namang reklamo si Regine. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I actually met Regine through Jose Mari Chan, who is one of the original artists of Lemar. Joe Mari invited us to his benefit concert with Regine at Leyte State College in Tacloban (in August 1990) for the Cathedral School of La Naval. At that time, Regine was so gorgeous, so young, so fresh at hindi pa siya mahilig sa

Ogie Alcasid and Regine Velasquez at Trump Taj Mahal last May 23 for the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Heart 2 Heart concert.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; photo

mga signature bags. She was so quiet and so simple, but everyone already knew then that she was an extraordinary talent. She was managed then by Ronnie Henares. I also got to meet for the first time Mang Gerry, Regineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s father, who was so supportive and protective of Regine.â&#x20AC;? After her Carnegie Hall concert, Regine and Mang Gerry stayed for a few days at the Legardasâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Tony Westchester home in the New York suburbs. The Legardas have two childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Denise L. Gallagher (she has a young daughter, Fiona); and Aldo Legarda, who is getting married next year to Charisse Luk in Bali, Indonesia. The Legarda family owns the avant garde restaurant

Continued on Page 5


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The Asian Journal MDWK MAGAZINE - D e c e m b e r 1 5 , 2 0 1 0

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features 5

The A s i a n J o u r n a l M DWK MAGAZINE - December 15, 20 1 0

TV network wants quick response to Revillame case MANILA—ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp. has urged a Quezon City judge to immediately rule on the network’s plea for him to withdraw from hearing Willie Revillame’s case, citing the judge’s partiality. In an urgent motion to resolve, the TV giant called on Judge Luisito Cortez of Regional Trial Court Branch 84 to immediately resolve their November 9 urgent motion for voluntary inhibition. Cortez is hearing Revillame’s case against ABS-CBN, in which the TV host asked the court to confirm the end of his contract with the network and also sought P11 million in damages.

In its urgent motion to resolve, ABS-CBN said Cortez’s wife, lawyer Angelita OrtegaCortez, worked in the same law firm with lawyer Ray Espinosa, now the president of the ABC Development Corp. ABC runs TV5, where Revillame’s new show Willing Willie is being aired. “Espinosa’s relationship with the spouse of the presiding judge gives rise to the question of whether such relationship was taken advantage of here, given the manner that the presiding judge handled this case to favor Revillame and prejudice ABSCBN,” the motion filed Monday said. (

Greggy’s sweet tooth recipe From Page 2 medium peak with powdered sugar and add vanilla. Keep cool in refrigerator How to construct the Trifle -Vanilla wafers -Macapuno Shreds 1. Slice each cupcake into 4 pieces. Put a layer of the ube cake at the bottom. 2. Place even chunks of ube halaya on top of cake. 3. Evenly place some Macapuno shreds on top. 4. Drizzle with Leche Flan Pastry Cream 5. Cover entire layer with a lil’ bit of pastry cream. 6. Crumble Vanilla wafers on top. 7. Repeat layers, starting with more ube cake.  Top off with more crumbled Vanilla wafers. *Be creative with the layering.  It’s all about getting every single yummy component when you take a bite.  I like to place this dessert in those really nice, large Trifle Bowls.

Which wedding are NY Pinoys... From Page 3 La Cocina de Tita Moning near Malacañang. I’ve been to the place upon the invitation of celebrity lawyer Katrina Legarda (Tita Ching’s cousin-in-law) and dining there is a memorable experience. Tita Ching said it was Ogie who actually informed her on the phone last Oct. 16 that they’re getting her to be a ninang. “It was just a casual call from Ogie,” Tita Ching told Edmund. “Ogie said, ‘Can you be one of our ninangs?’ Of course, I was surprised and happy, and I simply told Ogie, ‘Yes, I’m honored and I accept’.” Tita Ching said she and Mon (who always call Regine a “Lemar baby”) are so happy that Regine finally met the man who “completes her.” “They are very much in love with each other,” she said. “Ogie is very down to earth and funny, and a brilliant singer and songwriter, ang dami niyang hit songs at pareho pa silang Entertainer of the Year ni Regine. All her life, Regine dedicated herself to her family. She made sure all her siblings graduated from college, have their own careers, at nasa maayos na estado ang buong

pamilya niya. I think she’ll be forever like that, very close to her family. And I salute her for that.” I told Edmund to relay the message to Tita Ching that Regine will wear a dazzling red gown specially designed by Monique Lhuillier, and to ask Tita Ching what she will be wearing. Laughed Edmund during an overseas call, “Tita Ching won’t tell dahil hindi naman daw siya ang ikakasal.” Said Edmund, “All Tita Ching would say is that she wishes Regine and Ogie lots of love and understanding.” Tita Ching added, “And since they’re both really busy and very dedicated to their careers, they must find time for each other. Love is self-sacrifice. They should give and take in order to have a successful marriage.”

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MDWK Magazine DEC 15.indd 5

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The Asian Jour n a l M D W K M A G A Z I N E - D e c e m b e r 1 5 , 2 0 1 0

Moonlighting by Mylah de


All of LA County’s sufferings come through the doors of the emergency room. Accidents, shootings, heart attacks, beatings, rapes, suicides—just as gory and exciting when I was covering the police beat for People’s Tonight of The Journal Group, before I defected to Hollywood. Stories that would make you clasp your chest and spit out your coffee over breakfast when you read it. I was giddy with the drama of it all, forgetting temporarily reasons for admissions at the emergency ward’s Trauma Unit, last Sunday evening. The countenance of Florence Nightingale still floats in the corridors of this great county hospital, she had designed herself. Doctors assigned to the wards of LAC-USC Medical Center for their first clinical experience find it a colorful place to work, like Dickens in modern clothes. Here they learn a lot of medicine and other things as well. The emergency ward, had major and minor trauma units with a huge room of beds—one along each other of the sidewalls. It was like a place of refuge; in spite of the advent of managed care, it was not uncommon for people to be treated at the hospital with a chief complaint of cold and hungry or even homeless in fall, with fever. It was a place with its own culture, its regulars and

MDWK Magazine DEC 15.indd 6

Sunday night at the ER newcomers, and its politics. Good news and bad news, examination and treatments, family relationships, even death happened in full view of everyone, it was an extraordinary experience of community. As a story unfolded, I was there—when a young woman was brought in comatose, having taken a massive overdose of anti-depressant pills. Shortly after she arrived, her heart stopped. The ER staff worked to resuscitate her for some time, not because they had much hope of success, but because they knew it was important to those who survived to feel that everything possible had been done. They weren’t successful. It fell on the physician, who led the Code Team, to tell her husband that his wife had died. The doctor sat there with him for a while and listened to his story. That’s what doctors are for. The couple had come to California with the hope of making something better for themselves. Both their parents had a history of violence, alcoholism. He was a mechanic, she waited tables in a bar. All they owned was a truck, which was more of an apology, and his tools. A week ago, the tools had been stolen and there was no money to replace them. Welcome to the human race! They both had suffered from depression. She would wake in the night and wander in their hovel; he would always hear her and awaken to sit with her in the dark. They were all each other had. She had gone to the medical cabinet and taken down the whole bottle of a four-month supply of pills that had been given at the mental health clinic, a week before. She had swallowed it all. When she didn’t wander that night, he tried waking her up. The man thanked the doctor for his efforts. It had been too many pills, too much pain, many

years too late to bring her back. Once again, the doctor assured the man that “everything possible had been done.” The man sat quietly. Nodding, he said “Everything? Then she is healed and in heaven now.” The doctor told me how deeply he was moved by the simplicity of the man’s life and depth of love for his wife. His heart went out to him in his loss. He had been a devoted husband, but she had been mortally wounded, long before she had been loved so completely. And it was while I was lying down by the gurney of the emergency ward last Sunday, yielding to unbearable anxiety between blood tests and all the poking and prodding and humiliating assault to one’s body—while fluid drips down from a plastic bag into your arm—that I found myself thinking of that man and his wife. I had sensed in him a sort of acceptance that was bewildering. He was young. Perhaps it never occurred to him that some pain might be beyond the power of love to heal…the thought was humbling. Is that what her husband had known? Is that what he had accepted? If so, how had he found the courage to love her so completely? And having loved her in this way, how could he go on? In the anguishing aftermath of a spouse’s suicide, surrounded by many well-intentioned and impotent words of comfort, the man must have understood the power of acceptance as the only way for those who survive to find peace and heal. In time, he will be able to go on, because he knew that he could not have loved her more. No one could have. But, she had been mortally wounded a long time ago… long before he even knew her name. Now, he would have understood. ***

E-mail Mylah at moonlightingmdl@

by Paco Arespacochaga

100% or nothing at all

In the world of sales, there is a saying “50% of something is better than 100% of nothing.” At the end of a sales transaction, this is called a “consolation” prize. And this is perfectly okay. Having no sales in a given month is uncalled for in my world. In the game of life, the same above quote will NOT WORK in your favor. In the game of life, 100% is the starting point. Less than this is NOT acceptable. I’m not trying to be extreme , but it really is true. Let’s start with you. If you’re not giving 100% of who you are to whom you want to be, you’re going to come out half-baked. Think of every successful individual around you. All of them gave 100% or more to get to where they are now. They had to put in the effort, right? Look at the people around you and be honest with yourself. Are you giving them 100% attention when you’re spending time with them? Is your mind wandering when you’re with your spouse, your kids, your friends, etc? How’s that relationship going? Can you honestly tell yourself you’ve logged on at least 40 hours toward your career or job in a given week? And while you were “on the clock,” did you give 100% of your efforts to the job? I could go on and on but I’m pretty sure you’re getting it. The sad part about everything I’m saying is that we tend to not give 100% until



When we first wrote about singer-composer Bruno Mars months ago and revealed that he was part Pinoy, a number of movie buffs told us that they were pleasantly surprised. Indeed, Bruno’s current popularity on the global music scene is a big psychic boost, despite the momentary glitch of his recent run-in with the law over drug charges—which he seems to have survived with his popularity relatively unscathed. Fact is, Bruno keeps going from strength to strength. The latest feather in his cap is his feat at the Grammys, where he’s clinched an impressive seven nominations. He has two nominations for Record of the Year, for Nothin’ On You and Forget You. He and his cocreators have also been cited for Best Rap Song collaboration, and his interpretation of Just The Way You Are has gotten

we get in “trouble.” Isn’t “an ounce of prevention better than a pound of cure?” Why then, do we wait for our spouse to pack their bags and leave before we make them feel important? Why do we wait for our children to hang out with the wrong crowd before we start spending quality time with them? Why do we have to wait for friends to leave us before we take a minute to touch base with them? Why do we wait for our bosses to give us the final warning or for our businesses to be in the “red” before we begin to act upon what should’ve been done? Why do we have to wait for a major disease to come to us before we care for our body? As we celebrate the holiday season, take a step back and reflect on the year that was. Make amends with loved ones. Rebuild relationships with friends. Make your family feel important. Most importantly, know that you need to take care of yourself because there are people who are counting on you and want to see you around for more years to come. At the end of the day, all that matters is the fact that you’ve given 100% to the people and things that matter most to you. *** Paco Arespacochaga is a musician/songwriter for the award winning band Introvoys ( He is an Internet Marketing Consultant for ReachLocal ( and runs his own media company, 2heaven Media ( He is also a husband, a father and a friend. Read more of his thoughts by going to www.pacoarespacochaga. com and send him an email at

From strength to strength him a citation for Best Pop Vocal Performance. Some weeks ago, Bruno was the featured artist in a mini-concert on the Today show—a signal honor and recognition of his current popularity. Local TV-film comers On the local entertainment scene, one of the hot, young comers to watch is Solenn Heusaff. The singer, VJ and model is bent on making waves as an actress as well, and was effectively launched on Survivor PhilippinesCelebrity Edition, where she ended up among the Top Three “survivors.” It also hasn’t hurt her fledgling career that, this early, she’s being linked to Richard Gutierrez. Competing in the Survivor challenge was an exceedingly gruelling way to launch her career, but now that the ordeal is finally over, Solenn can console herself with the realization that it has made her more popular.

Now, the big question is, does she have what it takes to fascinate and delight viewers for the long term, instead of just being local show biz’s flavor of the month or year? Celebrity Survivor grand champion Akihiro Sato’s career is similarly on the upswing after his victory, but his prospects are being limited, we trust temporarily, by his “language problem.” That may be the most difficult challenge for him to surmount, but deal with it he must, or else his career could end up going nowhere, fast. A third local comer, Alodia Gosiengfiao, now cohosts a “prank” show with Luis Manzano—a good break, especially for one so new. Before “going TV,” Alodia was a Cosplay sensation with a fan base not just here but also in other Asian countries—thanks to her gamin, kewpie-doll, Asian looks and projection.

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The Asian Jour n a l M D W K M A G A Z I N E - D e c e m b e r 1 5 , 2 0 1 0


V. Nepales

Angelina more balanced, ‘but still wild at heart’

LOS ANGELES—Hailee Steinfeld, the 14-year-old actress who stars with Jeff Bridges in the Coen brothers’ remake of the classic John Wayne western True Grit, is part Filipina. The sensational newcomer, who is earning raves in the film recently picked to open the Berlin Film Festival in February, told us in a party announcing Miss Golden Globe 2011 that her mother’s dad is Filipino. *** Which Angelina Jolie does she like most—the carefree young girl with the colorful offscreen quirks, or the woman she is now? “I love the woman,” the actress answered during a press conference in a meeting room at the Ritz Carlton in Central Park. Angelina, her lips full and her smoky eyes seductive as usual, added, “I’m more comfortable with who I am today but that other side of me is still there. It just comes out in better ways. Maybe a little more balanced, but just as wild at heart.” “It’s funny, when you’re younger, the things that are wild tend to be a tattoo or a thing you do,” Angelina, who stars with Johnny Depp in The Tourist, pointed out. “When you get older, you seem more tame but instead, you’re traveling to certain countries that give you a more extreme life experience. You’re flying an airplane and you’re having a full, extraordinary

MDWK Magazine DEC 15.indd 8

wild time with your children. There’s nothing as wonderful as the chaos of a houseful of children. There’s no wild 20-year-old who can compete with that. It’s a different kind of fun and freedom. It’s so calming because somehow all that energy goes somewhere focused now that I’m older.” “I am very lucky. I had a great mother who, even through my wild times, kept me centered in some way. I had the experience of traveling in my early 20s to certain parts of the world where I realized how fortunate I really was and to be grateful and never be selfish. There’s nothing like being a mother. Every single morning, I wake up knowing that the only thing that matters is that I raise the children right and that they’re healthy. Absolutely nothing else is worth anything. It’s such a pleasure to be a part of this business but when you have that gift of knowing what matters, you’re very happy.” Down-to-earth Typically candid and down-toearth, Angelina didn’t balk when asked what, for her, is love. “I think love is when you both have the same values and dreams for the future,” she replied. “That and a really good laugh hold you together. Brad and I are close because we’re exactly on the same page—how important our family is, how we plan to raise the kids, how we teach them everything, from their education to their

religion, how we see the world, the way we discipline. We have a similar sense of how we feel we should walk through this life, what’s the right thing to do. We tend to stay on the same side.” All black In director Florian Henckel von Donnersmack’s The Tourist, Angelina’s mysterious character checks into a hotel in Venice and finds glamorous clothes and jewels in her room closet. A female journalist asked what she would see in the actress’ own closet. “Black,” she said with a laugh. “We always joke about it with every man I’ve ever been with—my closet is smaller. I don’t like having to think about clothing so I have pants, skirts, tops and T-shirts which are pretty much the same and almost all in black. It’s not out of moodiness but just out of practicality. I have lots of boots. Like most women, you have your secret drawer and your high heels. Does this mean that Brad’s closet is bigger? “Possibly,” she quipped with a wicked smile. In The Tourist, Angelina plays a glamorous English woman, Elise, who crosses paths with Johnny’s Frank on a train traveling from France to Italy. Both cops and thugs chase the couple, mistaking Frank for Elise’s criminal lover who has disappeared. Five takes The film’s opening scene— Angelina’s stately walk, swaying

hips, took some effort from the star. “My first take was me just walking across the street,” Angelina said. “Florian made me do it five times. Every time I walked over, he said, ‘Slower.’ I finally understood that we often rush through life these days. I’m very fast-paced. I had to learn to really enjoy the day, find out what it’s like to take a deep breath, feel the room, understand luxury and being female. My character also has these very deliberate movements that are from these old movies where things are not done sloppily. They’re not false but they’re very carefully done. It was an elegance that I had to work hard to try to achieve.” Laughing, Angelina remarked: “This character is hands down more female than I’ve ever played. When we were doing the action scenes, where I had to be thrown on a couch or held hostage and not do anything about it, that was very strange. When somebody jumps on my character’s boat, my instinct was to punch him. They said, ‘No, you can’t. You wouldn’t know how to do that.’ I said, ‘What do I do?’ They said, ‘First, you retreat.’ I thought, ‘Oh.’ “And then they said, ‘You get a life raft and you bang the man with the life raft.’ I thought, ‘Really!’ It felt so funny because I was in my corset, skirt and heels and pounding this guy with a life raft. Even the woman who I do a lot of stunts with, who was there, couldn’t watch. She was so disturbed that I was so female that she didn’t want to be there.” Stunt teammate Of Johnny, she said: “It was lovely to have a teammate that you’re playing and doing stunts with all day long. For the romantic side of it, the amount of outtakes of us laughing goes on for about an hour. I don’t know if

it’s because we’ve become such good friends or whatever it was but we laughed a lot. We really liked each other.” The two new pals even got to waltz in one ball scene. “The dancing was fun but we did have many dance classes together,” Angelina said. Filming in the canals of Venice did not feed her urge to steer “fast boats. I was a little frustrated with the nine miles an hour restriction in Venice, especially during a chase scene—very difficult. I like speed but I think you have to enjoy both. I didn’t get to go on a gondola with the kids which would have been nice. I was looking forward to that.” Asked if Johnny invited the Pitt-Jolie family to visit his Caribbean island, Angelina admitted: “Oh, yes, Johnny tends to extend that invitation. He’s wonderful, generous about that. He extends his invitation to many people all the time but we haven’t taken him up on it.” Controversial debut On the controversy surrounding her directorial debut—her permit to film in Bosnia was briefly cancelled due to protests from some folks who maintained that the story portraying a Bosnian woman falling in love with her torturer—Angelina said: “We had an absolutely wonderful experience. We had all our permits. We were able to shoot in Bosnia. There were a few individuals who had no information on the material, had never read the script, who were concerned about some gossip stories they heard that had no basis in reality. It was explained to them that they had no need for concern. The entire cast and crew were local as the film was shot in two separate languages. It’s very much made for the people.” Angelina herself wrote the

Angelina Jolie: Black stuff in her closet. photo by Ruben V. Nepales

script which led to her first directing job. She narrated how the project, which was also filmed in Hungary, began: “I had the flu so I was quarantined from the kids. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I was reading and then I started to write. When I finished, I didn’t intend to do anything with it. But Brad read it and said, ‘It’s not so bad, honey. You should think about doing something with it.’” “Then a lot of the pieces came together. I started to send the script out to people I respected. I got a lot of positive feedback. I had such a wonderful cast and crew. It was such an extraordinary experience that I will forever be grateful for. It made me fall in love with film all over again. I was so excited to take that spotlight off myself and put it on these other extraordinary actors and make them shine. It was a pleasure. It was better than doing it myself.” Angelina promised that we’ll get to see her untitled film next year.

12/14/10 5:26:09 PM


The Asian Jour nal MDWK MAGAZINE - December 15, 2010

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12/14/10 5:27:43 PM


The Asian Jou r n a l M D W K M A G A Z I N E - D e c e m b e r 1 5 , 2 0 1 0

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LA Midweek Dec 15-17, 2010  
LA Midweek Dec 15-17, 2010  

Asian Journal LA Midweek Dec 15-17, 2010