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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. 99 • 5 Sections – 46 Pages


DECEMBER 11-14, 2010

Democrats delay action on young immigrants bill by JULIE

HIRSCHFELD Associated Press


WASHINGTON – The Senate moved Thursday to delay a politically charged showdown vote on legislation carving out a path to legal status for foreign-born youngsters brought to this country illegally, putting off but probably not preventing the measure’s demise. Facing GOP objections, Democrats put aside the so-called DREAM Act and said they’d try again to advance it before year’s end. They’re short of the 60 votes needed to do so, however, and critics in both parties quickly said they won’t change their minds in the waning days of the Democratic-controlled Congress. “This is mainly a political exercise rather than a




Bill to end life sentences for juveniles reintroduced Sen. Yee’s SB 9 would give sentenced youth a chance at rehab

Sen, Leeland Yee

SENATE Bill 9, a legislation that will end life sentences for juvenile offenders, was introduced by Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco). Under the bill, courts could review cases of juveniles sentenced to Life Without Parole (LWOP) after 10 years. This potentially would allow some individuals to receive a new minimum sen-


California’s population hardly growing Less than 1% increase in one year, says report THE California State Department of Finance recently revealed that the state grew by less than 1% from 2009 to 2010, the Los Angeles Times reported. As of July 2009, the state’s population was around 36,961,664. But from July 1, 2009 to July 1, 2010, California’s population grew to less than 1%, with the state adding only about 350,000 new residents. This slow population growth is actually a slight increase from the 2008-2009 numbers. In Los Angeles county, it was reported that more people more people moved out of the county than moved in. Nicknamed “The Golden State,” California is the most populous state in the US and the third-largest state by land area, after Alaska and Texas. It is home to eight of the nation’s 50 most populous cities. Its five largest cities are Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, San


serious attempt to deal with our broken immigration system,” said Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas. Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska, one of several Democrats who have broken with their leaders to oppose the bill, said he too would block efforts to consider it. The bill grants hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children a chance to gain legal status if they enroll in college or join the military. The House passed it Wednesday night after Democratic leaders painstakingly lined up the votes to push it through. Just eight Republicans joined Democrats to support it while almost 40 Democrats defected to vote “no.” In the Senate, Democrats had virtually no chance


Fil-Am support urged as DREAM Act elevates to Senate by DYMPHNA



LAS VEGAS - Lawmakers in the US House of Representatives passed the DREAM Act late Wednesday night -- a bill granting undocumented students in the US a path to citizenship. Already, a Filipino-American community leader has urged members of the community to call their state representatives and push them to vote in favor of the Development, Relief, and Education for Minors (DREAM) Act. This is because the bill, to be discussed in Senate on Dec. 16, still faces a tough hurdle as Senate Majority leader Harry Reid tries to get the 60 votes needed to advance its passage before Congress lame duck session adjourns. “As a group, we have the numbers to motivate our senate


PAL says flights remain normal

MANILA – Philippine Airlines said Friday that all PAL flights were “normal and continue to operate according to published schedules.” PAL made the assurance in the wake of the announcement of the results of the strike vote conducted by the PAL Employees Association (Palea) showing that 86 percent of the voting union members favored to stage a strike. “PAL would like to assure the public the airline is doing all it can to prevent any flight disruptions,” the airline said in a statement. It said that “in the unlikely event of a work stoppage,” PAL has put the following contingency measures in place:


Filvets urged to create will, inform organizations of executor by JOSEPH


LOS ANGELES – Filipino World War II veteran Miguel Narzabal always told those around him that if anything happened to him, his son Diego would take care of it. When the 88-year-old Narzabal died suddenly of a heart attack two months ago, his son Diego, who lives in Tayabas, Quezon, Philippines, thought he’d be able to leave the country and bury his father in a Riverside cemetery. But when the US embassy denied Diego’s visa to the US twice in a two-month span, no one knew what to do with Narzabal’s body. “It was really sad because there was nobody

here taking charge of his [Narzabal’s] burial wishes,” said Dr. Jenny Batongmalaque, a friend of Narzabal and the Executive Director of the Filipino Veterans Foundation. “Every time I spoke to Diego, he kept telling me to not to worry about it, that he would take care of everything but I don’t think he anticipated the US embassy denying him.” “After the second denial, he was crying to me on the phone because he couldn’t give his dad a proper burial,” added Batongmalaque, whom Diego, after the second denial, endorsed to handle his dad’s final arrangements. “How can this happen to a hero of WWII? That’s why we’re telling all of our veterans, most of them


Pinoy food exporters target major ethnic consumers by CYNTHIA DE



A BIG delegation of 19 Filipino food exporters recently visited Los Angeles for an “Outbound Business Matching (OBM) Mission” organized by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and jointly implemented through the Bureau of Export Trade Promotion (BETP) and the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PITC), Los Angeles, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) through the Office of the Philippine Consulate General, Los Angeles, USA., the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), and the Philippine Food Industry. Consul General Mary Jo Bernardo-Aragon, Vice Consul Dan Espiritu and Trade Representative Archie Gomez from PTIC-LA hosted the delegation in Los Angeles. The Filipino food exporters with Trade Representative Archie Gomez, Vice Consul Dan Espiritu and other members of the Mission.

1150 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90017-1904 • Tel: (213) 250-9797 • Fax: (213) 481-0854 101211 - WE SEC A rev w-ads.indd1 1

FOR THE CHILDREN. P-Noy at the Children’s Hour Philippines Inc. Annual Benefit Lunch in Makati City held on December 8.The event’s theme is APIR! (High Five), Sampung Taong Pagtulong sa Batang Pilipino. Malacañang Photo Bureau



A DECEMBER 11-14, 2010 • LA WEEKEND ASIAN JOURNAL • (213) 250-9797

From the Front Page

Democrats delay action on young… PAGE A1 t

of attracting any GOP support to move the legislation since all 42 Republicans have signed a letter pledging to block action on any issue until bills to extend expiring tax cuts and fund the government were completed.

Even once those agreements are reached, though, it’s unlikely Democrats would be able to gather the 60 votes needed for quick action on an issue as emotional and complicated as immigration. “We have to demonstrate that we are serious about fixing our

broken immigration system, we have to secure the border, we have to enforce our laws, and then I think the natural compassion of the American people will kick in, and they’ll let us deal with these sympathetic situations like these kids who are not culpable, but were brought here by their parents and find themselves at a dead end,” Cornyn said. The measure is viewed by Hispanic activists and immigrant advocates as a down payment on what they had hoped would be broader action by President Barack Obama and Congress to give the nation’s 10 million to 12 million undocumented immigrants a chance to gain legal status. It targets the most sympathetic of the millions of undocumented people — those brought to the United States as children, who in many cases consider themselves American, speak English and have no ties to or family living in their native countries. “We owe it to the young men and women whose lives will be affected, we owe it to America who needs their service in the military and needs their skill in building our economy to honestly address this issue and ask members of both sides to sit down, pause and reflect as to whether or not we can afford to say to these talented young men and women, ‘There is no place in America for you,’ “ said Sen. Dick Durbin, DIll. “There is a place.” Critics denounce the bill as a backdoor amnesty grant that would encourage more foreigners to sneak into the United States in hopes of eventually being legalized as well. “The American people ... tried to tell this Congress, but the Congress and the political leadership refuses to listen. What they’re saying is, ‘Do not continue to reward illegality. Do not continue to provide benefits for people who violated our law, please,’ “ said Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala. With the GOP taking control of the House and representing a stronger minority in the Senate next year, failure to enact the legislation by year’s end would dim the prospects for action by Congress to grant a path toward legalization for the nation’s millions of


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(213) 250-9797 • 

From the Front page



Fil-Am support urged as DREAM Act elevates…


representatives. We can call, fax and email them,” Rozita Lee told Asian Journal in an interview. She added, “Let us also read and educate ourselves about it because people have misconceptions about the proposed law.” Lee -the national vice chair of the National Federation of Filipino-American Associations (NaFFAA) and Presidential advisory commissioner on Asian and Pacific Islanders- said Filipinos should let their voice be heard on the issue. “The Filipino-American community is a viable group. We matter now and our leaders know that,” she said. It is believed the Filipino-American vote in Nevada helped Sen. Reid win the neck and neck race against his Republican foe in the November mid-term election. The victory enabled the Democrat senator to retain his position as Senate majority leader. As majority leader, Reid remained in charge of the Senate’s legislative calendar. He has tried to have the DREAM Act passed last September as part of the Defense bill. But this was shot down by Republicans. The senator has since committed to make it a priority in Congress lame-duck session. But even with Sen. Reid’s tireless support of the bill, prospects for its passage remain dim given the lack of interest from Congres-

sional members. Democrats face an uphill climb to gather the 60 votes needed over opposition by most Republicans and a handful of their own members, an AP report stated. Nonetheless, President Obama had already praised House leaders “for taking the historic first step of passing the DREAM Act” with a bipartisan vote last Wednesday, Dec. 8. “This vote is not only the right thing to do for a group of talented young people who seek to serve a country they know as their own by continuing their education or serving in the military, but it is the right thing for the United States of America,” the president said in a statement. “This vote is a vitally important step to doing what the American people expect their policymakers to do: work together to address the nation’s most pressing problems. The DREAM Act corrects one of the most egregious flaws of a badly broken immigration system,” he added. The President noted he commends the House “moving past the tired sound bites and false debates that have pushed immigration rhetoric into the extremes for far too long.” “The DREAM Act is not amnesty. It’s about accountability, and about tapping into a pool of talent we’ve already invested in.

The bill gives qualified immigrants conditional status for six years, during which he or she will be required to either serve two years in the US military or complete at least two years in a 4-year degree program. After the conditional status, the person can apply for US citizenship. Earlier this week, the White House in a series of telephone conference calls in an effort to inform the public about the piece of legislation and at the same time, sway Congress into approving it. “We believe prospects for the DREAM Act should be good if we move past politics and look at what is good for the country,” Cecilia Muñoz, White House Director of Intergovernmental Affairs said in a Dec. 7 telephone conference call. Approval of the DREAM Act in the current lame-duck session of Congress is seen as the last chance for the bill to be made into law. Next year, Republicans will take control of the House and get a stronger minority in the Senate, virtually ending an opportunity to pass a measure that would grant millions of undocumented youth a chance to be US citizens. “I strongly urge the US Senate to also pass the DREAM Act so that I can sign it into law as soon as possible,” President Obama said in his statement. n

Filvets urged to create will, inform…


in there 80’s and alone here, to let us know who will take care of their final arrangements and next of kin.” World War II hero Like many Filipino WWII veterans in the 1990’s, Narzabal took advantage of a US immigration law that provided Filipino veterans that served during the war citizenship. A widower, he left behind his four grown children to live alone in the US. “It’s hard to be alone here in the US,” said Ramon T. Lladoc, an 87-year-old Filipino WWII veteran and friend of Narzabal. “My family is also in the Philippines so we have rely on each other here.” During WWII in the Philippines, Narzabal, then 20-yearsold, joined a guerilla unit formed by Army Major Bernard L. Anderson. The unit became to be

known as “Anderson’s Battalion”, a successful platoon recording more than 3,000 Japanese killed and 1,000 captured. After the war, Narzabal settled in his hometown of Tayabas, Quezon where he raised a family and farmed the land. In the 1990’s, at the age of 73, Narzabal left his home and fought his toughest battle. Alone in the US and living in Los Angeles, he joined the Filipino WWII veterans’ movement when he found out that he, like many of his Filipino counterparts, found themselves bereft of recognition of services when it came to applying for Veterans benefits claims. He joined and eventually became an officer in the Filipino Veterans Foundation and fought for VA benefits for him and his comrades. When President Barack Obama

Democrats delay action on young… PAGE A2 t

undocumented immigrants. Obama’s drive to enact the legislation and congressional Democrats’ determination to vote on it before year’s end reflect the party’s efforts to satisfy Hispanic groups whose backing has been critical in elections and will be

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again in 2012. The legislation would apply to illegal immigrants brought to the United States before the age of 16, who have been here for five years and graduated from high school or gained an equivalency degree, and who join the military or attended college. n

signed the American Recovery Act of 2008, it included the recognition of services of the surviving Filipino WWII veterans and onetime bonus of $9,000 or $15,000 depending on the veterans residency. Along with the one-time balloon payment, Narzabal also started receiving disability compensation but he was only receiving 70 percent. Many Filipino WWII veterans and Batongmalaque told Narzabal to take his money and go back home to the Philippines and rejoin his family. But Narzabal wanted to wait for 100 percent disability payment. “He waited because he knew once he goes back to the Philippines, his disability payment would be cut to 50 percent. That’s the law,” said Batongmalaque. “But that 50 percent goes a long way in the Philippines.” Proper burial On September 28, Narzabal began complaining of chest pains to his landlady. Two hours later, he passed away. Usually, final arrangements are made right away when some one passes away. In this case, with Narzabal’s next of kin more than 7,000 miles away, no one was able to sign the death certificate or make any plans for the

remains. For two months, Narzabal’s body decomposed in the hospital morgue. Finally, when Diego’s visa was denied a second time, he requested to have his father’s remains be flown to the Philippines but the body was not embalmed and so badly decomposed that the only option was cremation. “I know the family did not want his father to be cremated,” said Batongmalaque, “It was the only way.” On December 8, the 69th anniversary of the outbreak of WWII in the Philippines, Batongmalaque, a handful of members of the Filipino Veterans Foundation, and friends held a funeral mass for Narzabal at the St. Columban’s Church in Los Angeles. Batongmalaque said Narzabal’s death serves as a lesson to the surviving Filipino WWII veterans in the US. Many veterans are still awaiting some form of payment either disability or other benefits. She said it’s important for them to create a will and inform the local Filipino veterans organization of their next of kin that way they would know how to make final arrangements in case of emergency. “Miguel was a World War II hero, he deserved a better and proper burial,” she said. n

GIANT CHRISTMAS TREE. A 50-foot Christmas tree lights up Plaza Pershing in Zamboanga City. photo by Roel Pareño

Pinoy food exporters… PAGE A1 t The goals of the trade mission were not only to penetrate the Filipino-American market but to also expand their business by penetrating major ethnic consumers in the US like the Hispanics, other Asians, and the mainstream American market. The food exporters from the Philippines which participated in the OBM were Aiza’s Sweets (pastillas and cashew marzipan), Amarich Marketing International (brewed coffee), Bonsure Evergreen International Corp, (shredded tuna), Concio’s Food Corporation (bottled gourmet balut), Cormel Foods (sukang Iloko), Jamla Corporation (hot chocolate), Mapagmahal Foods/ Q.F.C. USA Inc (dalandan and calamansi concentrates), Marigold Manufacturing Corp (Mama Sita products), Marikina Food Corporation (HOBE pancit bihon noodles), Mega Fishing Corporation (sardines), MLGS Herb Products (malunggay products), Monde M.Y.San Corporation (snack crackers), Monde Nissin Corporation (Voice combo

sandwich), Namica Enterprises Inc (tea bags), Navarro Foods International Inc (crab paste), Sasmuan Delicacies (polvoron), Universal Robina Corporation and Weambard International Traders Inc (fruit concentrates). These products are guaranteed to meet the US import requirements on food safety and quality. Held from December 2-8, 2010, the OBM had three components, namely: (1) Overseas Sales Promotion at Seafood City dubbed as “Barkadahan Food Fair”; (2) Business Matching/ Meetings; and (3) Meetings with Asian, Hispanics and US mainstream supermarkets/hypermarkets. A market survey of fresh and processed foods in major hypermarkets/supermarkets was also conducted. During the press briefing, Ferdie Chanpongco, Monde Nissin Corp Export Manager and Head of the Delegation, said that FilAms should not only buy Filipino products but also encourage their non-Filipino friends to try


12/10/10 5:06:40 PM


From the Front Page • (213) 250-9797

Bill to end life sentences for juveniles‌ PAGE A1 t

tence of 25 years to life. The bill would require the offender to be working towards rehabilitation in order to submit a petition for consideration of the new sentence. In an earlier attempt, Yee introduced SB 399, which was approved with bipartisan support in the Senate but died during the final days of session in the Assembly. Outside of the United States, no other country allows children to be sentenced to LWOP. In California, there are approximately 275 people serving LWOP for crimes they committed as kids. “There is clearly a growing understanding

that sentencing kids to life without the possibility of parole is wrong and I am hopeful that with a new class of Assemblymembers we can pass this bill in 2011,� said Yee.  Supported by child advocates, mental health experts, civil rights groups, churches and correctional officers, Yee believes that SB 9 reflects the science of the process of brain maturation of an adolescence and “thus (their) impulse control, planning and critical thinking skills are not yet fully developed.� “SB 9 reflects that science and provides the opportunity for compassion and rehabilitation that we should exercise with minors. 

Pinoy food exporters‌

SB 9 is not a get-out-of-jail-free card; it is an incredibly modest proposal that respects victims, international law, and the fact that children have a greater capacity for rehabilitation than adults,� added Yee.  Prosecutors and judges have discretion on whether to pursue LWOP for juveniles.  However, several cases call such discretion into question.  In a report published by the Human Rights Watch, it was found that in many cases where juveniles were prosecuted with an adult for the same offense, the youth received heavier sentences than their adult co-


and enjoy our products. “That is why we called our fair at Seafood City Eagle Rock PlazaBarkadahan Food Fair or BFF for short. BFF also means Bring Foreigner Friends to let them sample our delicious products,� said Ferdie. “The best promotion is sampling that’s why we had that 2-day event at Seafood City to give our target market a taste of our products,� he added. The business matching event u PAGE A6 at the Pacific Palm Resort Hotel in the City of Industry was intended to broaden the market base of the retailers by expanding their reach to new gen-

erations of Filipinos and other ethnic consumers. The market survey took the exporters to different mainstream and Asian supermarkets to provide them a glimpse of the market outside the Filipino ethnic market for their future expansion. “If there are Chinese or Thai or Hispanic food sections in US supermarkets, why not a Filipino food section as well?� said Chanpongco. Other members of the trade mission stressed the fact that buying Philippine-made products will help so many of our kababayans in their livelihood and boost the country’s economy. n

PAL says flights remain‌


1.) Hiring of professional service providers, including inflight catering companies, to augment workers not joining the strike; 2.) Deployment of all available manpower, including supervisors and managers, that is more than capable of manning critical frontline posts; 3.) Endorsement of affected passengers to its sister airline, AirPhilexpress, as well as 134 international airline partners. PAL said employees who participated in the December 7 strike vote were ground workers mostly assigned at the ground-handling, catering and call-center offices. “While their jobs are important, these workers play support to

flight operations. They are not directly engaged in flying or maintaining the aircraft. The pilots, cabin crew and mechanics/maintenance workers of Lufthansa Technik Philippines are not part of the planned work stoppage,� PAL said. The PAL-Palea labor dispute is currently being reviewed by Malacanang. PAL hopes the union will heed Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa’s appeal to exercise restraint by deferring any mass action at this time and allow the Palace to decide on the case,� it added. PAL also said legal avenues could still be exhausted in resolving the management-labor differences. (

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12/10/10 5:07:01 PM

(213) 250-9797 • 

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12/10/10 4:52:08 PM


Sec. Romulo and Ambassador Gaa meet with US legislators WASHINGTON – Secretary of Foreign Affairs Alberto G. Romulo and Philippine Ambassador to the United States Willy C. Gaa met with key American legislators during the former’s visit to Washington, D.C. The US officials included Senator Daniel Inouye, who is Senate President ProTempore and Chairman of the

Senate Committee on Appropriations, Senator Christopher Bond of Missouri, Senator Jim Webb of Virginia, Senator John Ensign of Nevada, Representatives Howard Berman, Bob Filner and Mike Thompson of California, Representative Eni Faleomavaega of American Samoa, and Representative Mazie Hirono of Hawaii.

Dateline USA

Among the issues raised during the discussions were several bills pending in US Congress, which would benefit Filipinos. The Save Our Industries Act is a trade initiative that would grant duty-free perks on Philippine garment exports processed from US-made fabrics, and reduced tariffs on those that use US-made yarns. The Family Reunification Bill would exempt children of certain Filipino World War II veterans from the numerical limitations on immigrant visas. And, the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act (DREAM Act) would provide certain illegal and deportable alien students, who graduate from US high schools, the opportunity to earn conditional permanent residency if they complete two years in the military or two years at a four year institution of higher learning. The meetings also afforded Secretary Romulo the opportunity to brief the legislators about the program of the Aquino administration as well as recent developments in the Philippines. Views were likewise exchanged on a variety of regional and international issues. Secretary Romulo and Ambassador Gaa were accompanied by the Embassy’s legislative, political and economic officers. ( press release) • (213) 250-9797

MORE EDUCATION. President Barack Obama peers through a microscope while touring classrooms at Forsyth County Technical Community College in Winston-Salem, N.C., on Monday, Dec. 6. Warning of a future where America could lag other nations, Obama called Monday for more spending on education, innovation and infrastructure to ensure that doesn’t happen.  AP Photo/The News & Observer, Shawn Rocco

California’s population hardly… PAGE A1 t

Francisco, and Fresno. The same article reported the following interesting findings: – County population totals range from 1,186 persons in Alpine, the least populated county, to over 10.4 million persons in Los Angeles, the state’s most populous county. – The state’s nine largest counties, Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Santa Clara, Alameda, Sacramen-

to and Contra Costa, each have over 1 million residents. They are home to 70% of Californians. – Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Orange, and San Bernardino counties posted the highest numeric population gains and account for over half of the state’s growth. Growth in these counties was primarily due to natural increase. Los Angeles County experienced net out-migration. – Riverside and Placer counties had the largest percentage increases in population, each growing more than 1.5%. Population change ranged from the highest growth rate of 1.58% in Riverside to -0.09% in Sierra. – Natural increase was the primary source of growth in the

state and for 33 of the state’s 58 counties. Twelve counties experienced natural decrease (more deaths than births during the year) –- Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, Lake, Mariposa, Nevada, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Trinity and Tuolumne. – Net migration was the primary source of growth in 25 counties. Three counties experienced net out-migration (more people moving out of the county than moving in) -– Kings, Los Angeles, and Madera. – Twenty-four counties had a higher growth rate than the state and 34 counties had a lower rate. Alpine county had no change in population while Sierra and Plumas posted slight declines. (AJPress)

Bill to end life…


defendants. It was also found out that LWOP is not reserved for children who commit the worst crimes or who show signs of being irredeemable criminals. Nationally, it is estimated that 59% of youth sentenced to LWOP had no prior criminal convictions.  Forty-five percent of California youth sentenced to life without parole for involvement in a murder did not actually kill the victim.  Many were convicted of felony murder, or for aiding and abetting the murder, because they acted

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as lookouts or were participating in another felony, such as a robbery, when the murder took place. California also has the worst record in the nation for racial disparity in the imposition of life without parole for juveniles.   Each new youth offender given this sentence will cost the state upwards of $2.5 million.  To continue incarcerating the current population of youth offenders already sentenced to life without parole until their deaths in prison will cost the state close to $700 million.  (AJPress)

12/10/10 5:07:28 PM

(213) 250-9797 • 

Dateline USA



DREAM propels America forward Legislation is right for immigrant students and our nation’s future growth, prosperity, and security

DREAM ACT SUPPORTERS. Led by Cardinal Roger Mahony of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, supporters of the Federal DREAM Act participate in a candle-light procession and vigil in downtown Los Angeles Tuesday, Dec. 7. The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, would allow the legalization of people who illegally entered the United States before they turned 16, who have been here for less than five years, and who complete at least two years at a college, university, or join the military, among other requirements.  AP Photo by Damian Dovarganes

Asian American voters in Cali support DREAM Act and Dem candidates Data from recent poll shows a complex Asian-American electorate

LOS ANGELES – Asian American voters in California support many pro-immigrant policies like the DREAM Act and provided strong support for Democratic candidates in the November 2010 election, according to the recently released USC College /Los Angeles Times poll. As the nation continues to struggle with its broken immigration system, the poll shows that Asian American voters tend to favor pro-immigrant policies such as reductions in family backlogs (82%) and legalizing undocumented children (76%). “Asian Americans are a community of immigrants,” said Stewart Kwoh, President and Executive Director of APALC. “We support policies like the DREAM Act and family reunification because we want to give everyone in our community a chance to achieve the American dream.” In addition, Asian Americans as well as Latinos voted convincingly for Jerry Brown in the Governor’s race and Barbara Boxer in the US Senate race, while white voters were divided. In the Governor’s race, Asian Americans favored Democrat Jerry Brown (60%) over Republican Meg Whitman (39%), compared to white voters at 46% for Brown and 48% for Whitman. In the

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Senate race, Asian Americans supported Democrat Barbara Boxer (59%) over Republican Carly Fiorina (34%), compared to white voters at 43% for Boxer and 50% for Fiorina. “Candidates who won the Asian American and Latino vote succeeded on Election Day,” said Dan Ichinose, director of APALC’s demographic research project. “In California , this meant that Democrats rode to victory on the backs of immigrant voters, including Asian American voters.” The poll also confirmed a pattern observed in other research on Asian American voters – Asian Americans are more likely than any other group to register as “decline to state” voters (35% of Asian Americans compared to 21% of Latinos and 26% of whites). “Asian American voters are a complex electorate, with shifting alignments that are not tied to a particular party or issue,” said Karin Wang, APALC’s vice president of programs and communications. “With the rapid expansion of the Asian American electorate, we need more data like this, to allow an in-depth analysis of Asian American voting patterns and attitudes.” The poll was conducted immediately after the election and, with

support from the Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC), included an oversample of Asian American voters, including those who speak Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean, Tagalog or Vietnamese. The data is available at: http:// index.php?ID=2548. (APALC press release)

LOS ANGELES – The 111th Congress tackled the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act (the DREAM Act) on Wednesday. The DREAM Act is a piece of legislation first proposed in 2001 that offers young talented immigrants an opportunity to legalize their status if they attend college or university or serve in the armed forces. The following is a statement by Angelica Salas, Executive Director at the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights in Los Angeles (CHIRLA), a regional human and immigrant rights organization based in Los Angeles. “The DREAM Act is a humane, fair, and practical piece of bipartisan legislation that opens doors to talented young immigrants who represent the best and brightest this nation has to offer. In addition, the DREAM Act will reduce the deficit by $1.5 billion, strengthen and diversify our nation’s work force, and bolster recruitment efforts to our armed forces. This bill makes sense: these are our children, they grew up in the United States, they want to give back, even risk their lives defending this nation if they have to. The time to vote for the DREAM Act is now. Seventy percent of the American public supports giving children of im-

migrant parents an opportunity to succeed and give back to the nation they call home. Congress cannot continue to remain sleep at the wheel and pretend all is well. We urge Congress to make the tough choices now not because one party or another holds the majority, but because it is the right choice. While Congress delays, thousands

and thousands of psychologists, biologists, journalists, chefs, computer technicians, athletes, teachers and other professionals remain sidelined unable to develop their full potential. As has been amply demonstrated throughout our nation’s history, the success of these young Americans is the backbone of


12/10/10 5:07:55 PM


Dateline USA • (213) 250-9797

Grajo, Camba top ‘Kulinarya’ finals by Joseph

L. Peralta


Hospitality consultant Edgar Grajo and college student Nathan Camba topped their respective divisions in the cook-off contest organized by the Philippine Consulate General-San Francisco and Philippine Department of Tourism at the City View Room inside the Metreon in downtown San Francisco last December 4. Grajo bested fellow professional chef competitors Kristela Mendoza and Cornelio Ventura III, while Camba beat out fellow amateurs Clemente Escopete and Aileen Suzara in the five-hour event which saw each competitor present a soup or appetizer, two entrees (an adobo dish and their winning semi-final dish) and a Filipino-style dessert to a board of judges. Grajo, who is Chef Instructor at both the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena, Kitchen Academy in Sacramento and the Center of American Studies in Manila, presented Kinilaw na Tuna as his starter, followed by Grilled Squid with Adobo Aioli as the first course and Fish Escabeche as his winning semi-final dish. He finished his set with Halo-Halo Deconstructed as his dessert offering. The Hotel & Restaurant Management degree holder has been Banquet Chef at the Meritage Hotel & Resort for the last five years. Camba, who learned his way

in the kitchen via his mother and uncles, started with Kang Kong Fingers, then followed this with Chicken Adobo Bicolano as first course and Escabecheng LapuLapu as his semi-final winning course, and finished his presentation with Ginumis with Langka. Camba is an avowed adventurous eater who says he is always willing to try new foods and cuisines everywhere he visits, and, so far, has not encountered a dish that he won’t taste. By winning their divisions, Grajo and Camba each won a roundtrip ticket to the Philippines and a tour of Philippine culinary destinations. The other finalists did not leave empty-handed as event sponsors also gave roundtrip tickets to Hawaii and the Philippines which was handed out by the organizers via luck of the draw. Along with the showdown, Kulinarya: A Filipino Culinary Showdown featured a tasting area where local restaurants offered tasty treats for attendees for a entry fee, and a bazaar where participants could buy or win products from participating exhibitors. The event also featured a raffle where ticket buyers won gift certificates to local restaurants, and other prizes. Consul General Marciano Paynor Jr. was on hand to personally greet the contestants, guests and attendees, along with members of the Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco and its attached agencies – the Philippine Department of Tour-

ism and Philippine Department of Trade and Industry. In his brief remarks, the Consul General said that the event represented their advocacy to bring Filipino cuisine into the mainstream, and highlight the rich heritage and culture of the Philippines and its 7,107 islands. ConGen Paynor added that they are hoping to bring this event to other key cities in the United States, including Los Angeles, Chicago and New York. The plan is to make this annual event a part of the calendar for Northern California residents looking to broaden their knowledge and experience of Filipino cuisine and culture. The finalists of Kulinarya: A Filipino Culinary Showdown were chosen from semi-final competitors who had a cookoff at the Metreon during the Pistahan event last August. The competitors for the first round were chosen from entries submitted through a call for participation announced via the Philippine Consulate General website and local newspapers. Kulinarya is a project of the Philippine Consulate General San Francisco (including the Department of Tourism and Department of Trade & Industry), and the Philippine National Police, with support from the Filipino American Arts Exposition. Its main objectives include the deepening of acceptability by diners of Filipino cuisine and making it comparable to the popularity of other ethnic cuisines, improving

PINOY CHEFS SHOWDOWN. Amateur and professional Filipino chefs competed in the recent ‘Kulinarya’ showdown at the Metreon in downtown San Francisco. Nathan Camba (3rd from left) emerged victorious in the amateur division, while Edgar Grajo (4th from left) beat his fellow chefs in the professional division. With Camba and Grajo in photo above are (from left) Clemente Escopete and Aileen Suzara, who both competed in the amateur category, and Kristela Mendoza and Cocoy Ventura, who competed in the professional category. AJPress photo by Joseph Peralta

the quality of taste and presentation of Filpino dishes, encouraging residents to explore various Filipino dishes and patronize Filipino restaurants in the Bay Area, and making the event a vehicle to publicize various Philippine tourist products and encourage potential travelers to visit Philippine culinary destinations. Additional information can be found at n

Pinoy teacher faces child porn charges LOS ANGELES – Silvestre Layug Ela, a 53-year-old Fil-Am elementary teacher who has taught in Dominguez Elementary School in Carson, CA for 15 years, is free on bail after prosecutors charged him with one count each of possession and distribution of child pornography. Ela appeared in court with his lawyer for an arraignment Wednesday but it was postponed until January 6, 2011. An LAPD investigative unit that specializes in internet crimes against children arrested Ela in his home in Carson on November 16. He was released after posting a $20,000 bail. He is currently on unpaid leave, according to media reports. Investigators said Ela admitted

to downloading and viewing child pornography upon his arrest. He, however, denied distributing child pornography and said that he never victimized children. Over a thousand pictures were found in his possession by prosecutors. They also alleged that Ela was part of a website where members shared child pornography. Investigators are now trying to identify the children in the materials they seized from Ela. They are also investigating if Ela made inappropriate contact with the kids he taught. Ela faces three years in state prison, if convicted. He has also been prohibited by the court to associate with minors, unless accompanied by another adult, ABS-CBN reported. (AJPress)

Statement from Sen. Yee in response to lawsuit filed by Pinoys vs Delano Regional Medical Center SACRAMENTO – Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) issued the following statement in response to the lawsuit filed by workers at the Delano Regional Medical Center. “Discrimination based on national origin and ethnicity will not be tolerated. Individuals have a right to speak their native language when it is not affecting their work or in this case, the care of patients. Speaking one’s language, especially during break times, is clearly protected by federal and state law. The workers at Delano Regional Medical Center deserve greater respect from the hospital’s management. It is particularly discriminatory to single out the Filipino language over others. It is an insult to the profes-

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sionalism of Filipino-American medical workers throughout the State who work to keep the people of California healthy and well. The hospital management should immediately rescind this policy and apologize to their workers. Short of such action, I am confident the workers will win their suit in court, which will only come at the expense of patients. If the courts disagree with long-standing case law on this issue, I will reintroduce legislation that I first authored in 2009 and that was vetoed by Governor Schwarzenegger. This bill ensures individual’s freedom to speak their own language within business establishments without unwarranted discrimination.” n

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(213) 250-9797 • 

Dateline USA



Authorities burn down explosive-laden CA house by Julie


Associated Press

ESCONDIDO – In the end, there were no big explosions. No flames leaping from house to house. Just residents, watching anxiously as a house packed with explosives in their neighborhood went up in flames. All of it, thankfully, without a hitch. “I feel better,” said Pat MacQueen, 76, standing on a porch Thursday as reddish-orange flames rose into the sky about a block away. The blaze devoured the ranchstyle house filled with so much homemade explosive material that authorities said they had no choice but to burn it to the ground. It popped and crackled. At one point, a deep boom from the fire echoed through the neighborhood. While the immediate safety threat had passed, MacQueen and other residents were still haunted by the man who rented the house – George Jakubec. How did he amass so much explosive material and what did he plan to do with it? Investigators are still trying to find those answers as Jakubec sits in jail on bomb-making and bank robbery charges. Their immediate concern, however, disintegrated in less than an hour. The plan was to stoke a fire so hot – at least 1,800 degrees – that it would neutralize the volatile chemicals before they could cause major explosions. Crews built a 16-foot firewall and covered it with fire resistant gel to protect the closest home at least a dozen feet away. Firefighters and ambulances were on hand, just in case. The fire began with puffs of

smoke that rapidly grew larger, thicker and blacker. It billowed up through holes in the roof before flames overtook the house. The smoke rose about a half-mile into the sky. The inferno was shown live on cable news networks and over the Internet. Onlookers snapped pictures with cameras and cell phones. They “oohed and ahhed” over popping noises that authorities said were likely hand grenades and ammunition. The flames quickly consumed the attached garage and then large chunks of the house. Within minutes, the wooden frame was exposed and nearby shrubs were burning. A remote-controlled fire sprinkler nearby was activated to keep the fire from spreading. Nearly all of the home was destroyed in about 30 minutes. “This has gone according to plan,” said Jan Caldwell, a spokeswoman for the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. The plume drifted away from houses and toward Interstate 15, which authorities had closed for a time as a precaution. Authorities had delayed the burn as they waited for an atmospheric condition known as an inversion layer – which traps warm air and could have held the toxic smoke close to the ground – to clear. Afterward, as a plume of gray smoke rose into the sky behind her, Caldwell added proudly: “It’s a good day for a fire.” The fire will likely smolder for much of the day, she said. Officials said they received no reports of high levels of pollutants in the air. San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore said the toxicity levels were probably lower during the fire than they are when traffic flows down the nearby freeway.

DREAM propels America…


America’s success. The DREAM Act is a step towards fixing our broken immigration system. The requirements are tough and rigorous. It is the next rational step in the investment this nation has made in the education of these students. As Americans we value fairness, opportunity, and sec-

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ond chances. Let us not play politics with the lives of these young people who through their determination, patriotism, and commitment have over and over again shown that they love and care for the United States of America, the nation they call home.” (Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) press release)

“I don’t think it could have gone any better to be quite honest,” Gore said. Residents, who had been evacuated from the neighborhood, were expected to be allowed to return by Thursday night. Authorities plan to assess the property and then bring in hazardous material crews to remove two to six inches of topsoil from the half-acre lot to ensure no dangerous residue was left behind. Police and prosecutors can now turn their full attention to Jakubec. The out-of-work software consultant, 54, has pleaded not guilty to charges of making destructive devices and robbing three banks. Jakubec rented the house for more than a year. Authorities say he filled it with enormous quantities of explosive chemicals, including the kinds used by suicide bombers and insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan. The materials included Pentaerythritol tetranitrate, or PETN, the explosive used in the 2001 airliner shoe-bombing attempt as well as airplane cargo bombs discovered last month. Bomb experts determined the house was too dangerous to enter, so they drew up plans to burn it down. The home was so cluttered with unstable chemicals that even bomb-disposing robots couldn’t be used to enter it, for fear of setting off an explosion. Nearly every room had piles of explosive material and items related to making homemade bombs, prosecutors said. A coffee table was found cluttered with documents and strewn with detonators, they said. In the backyard, bomb technicians found six mason jars with highly unstable Hexamethylene triperoxide diamine, which can explode if stepped on. Prosecutors said they did not know of a commercial use for it in the U.S. The jars were discovered after a gardener accidentally set off an explosion by stepping on a byproduct of the chemical that had been on the ground, prosecutors said. Investigators said Jakubec told them he had been dumping the byproduct in the backyard. As Abernethy watched the fire, she wondered how all of it could have happened in her neighborhood. n

12/10/10 5:08:35 PM


Dateline USA • (213) 250-9797

Winston Damarillo, Three-time Red Herring Awardee

The key driver of the Philippines’ IT industry by Joseph

Pimentel / AJPress

WHEN prominent technology publication Red Herring announced that Morph Labs made it to their Asia’s Top 100 Tech Companies award list this year, Filipino businessman Winston Damarillo wanted people to know that the company he founded is based in the Philippines. The Philippines is not exactly a hub of technology and innovation, trailing powerhouse Japan, Korea and China and even India in Asia but Damarillo felt it was important for people to recognize that there is great technology capability in the Philippines. Damarillo said Red Herring recognizes the top 100 companies in Asia every year for the past several years and as far as he knows only two Philippine based tech companies have ever won it. “It’s sad,” said Damarillo to the Asian Journal. “The award recognizes companies in Asia and the Philippines has only had two winners, I think we should be getting five to ten companies on that list. That is one area that needs to be discussed.” “We haven’t built really good products yet,” he added. “If all we’re doing is outsourcing then we’re not getting the leverage or running a product and until we build great products we’ll continue to lose talents in the Philippines.” Damarillo is trying to do his part in developing, providing and marketing the Philippines as a place to develop business especially in technology. He is regarded as a key driver in the development of the Philippine IT industry and sits on the board and serves as the international marketing director for the Philippine Software Industry Association, a non-profit organization that promotes the growth and global competitiveness of the Philippine software industry. He’s also a Young Global Leader (YGL) honoree for 2010 and an active participant of the World Economic Forum, a place where young leaders envision and create a brighter future. Winning a Red Herring award is nothing new for Damarillo. The 40-year-old De La Salle University Philippines graduate has been CEO to two other Red Herring awarde e s . Aside from

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Morph Labs, Damarillo founded Exist Global, which won the award in 2006, and Simula Labs in 2007. Damarillo, a Chinese-Filipino, said there’s no secret to creating a successful business just hard work. After graduating from De La Salle with a BS in Industrial and Mechanical Engineering, Damarillo moved to the US at the age of 19 and began his career at Intel as a venture capital professional. He stayed with the company for eight years before leaving to start his own business Global Gateway Innovation Exchange (G2iX), which focuses on building start-up technology companies. Right away, G2iX was very successful in building start-up companies and selling them for a large profit. Within the past five years, he’s founded and sold three companies, Gluecode to IBM in 2005 for $60 million, LogicBlaze to Progress Software in 2007 and Webtide to Intalio in 2009. “It’s a very rewarding experience to build a company from the ground up and sell it,” he said. “I made my engineers a lot of money but one thing I failed to do or wished I could have done better after I sold my first company was to market the Philippines. From then on in, I make sure the companies that I build I highlight that it’s engineered in the Philippines, it’s run by a Filipino team and CEO.” Damarillo said he tries to stay ahead of the game when it comes to creating a start-up. “I like to discover products and technology just before it becomes mainstream,” he said. “I like to be far ahead of the game and I want to keep doing that. That’s my strength and I’m really good at finding out what’s next.” PH as a technology resource Damarillo, who grew up in Mindanao, said it’s time for Filipinos to start opening businesses in the country. With a new administration, there’s a sense of hope, he said. He said the foundation to start up technology companies in IT and software – businesses that don’t require a lot of overhead - is there in the Philippines but there are still a lot of things lacking. Among them, he said, are mentors. “We need to invite the global Filipi-

nos and get together and unite and coordinate and invest back into the country,” he said. “We would be able to develop our own industry there. Another thing is Filipinos helping Filipinos. Not just sending money back but really investing. It’s a good time to do it.” He also said it’s time to create world class opportunities for Filipinos so they don’t have to leave the country for a better opportunity elsewhere. “That all goes back to entrepreneurship,” he said. “There needs to be more companies there. If we don’t create more companies there, there will always be more people leaving and you won’t see any world class opportunities there so that’s what we need to do. It’s going to take a while maybe five to ten years but if we focus and have a good partnership with businesses, government and academia it’s possible.” Damarillo is doing his part in the process of helping Filipinos start their own business and bring companies to the Philippines for business. Now, it’s time for other Filipinos to do theirs. “Don’t settle,” he said. “That’s the problem with Filipinos. We’re happy with certain levels in life but there [are] substantial rewards [in] starting your own business.” n

12/10/10 5:09:00 PM

(213) 250-9797 • 



Dateline Philippines

PH committed to ‘full respect Balikbayan from NY claims of human rights’ — DFA P741-M grand lotto prize MANILA – The Department of Foreign Affairs affirmed Friday, Human Rights Day, the country’s commitment to the “dignity of every human person and the full respect for human rights.” In a statement, the DFA pointed out that the Philippines had not carried out the death penalty since 2001. It added that in June 2006, the country abolished the capital punishment altogether through Republic Act 9346. “The sentences of 1,230 death row inmates were commuted to life imprisonment, in what Amnesty International said to be the largest ever commutation of death sentences,” said the DFA. In the statement, the DFA also said that the Philippines plays an active role in the campaign for the abolition of capital punishment worldwide, or a moratorium on its implementation at

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the least. “This is an important advocacy, as capital punishment remains part of the penal laws in many countries in the Americas, Africa and Asia,” it added. In this respect, the DFA said, it had made constant appeals for clemency for Filipinos who have been meted the death penalty overseas, particularly in the Middle East, China and in other countries. The DFA likewise said that the Philippines had been an early strong advocate and staunch supporter of the Asean Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights, which offices the country has offered to host. It further said that the country had been a leading voice for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi. “The Philippines is and will remain a strong advocate for the full respect for human rights,” the DFA stressed. (

by Perseus


MANILA – The suspense is over. A 60-year-old balikbayan from New York City showed up on December 9 at the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) in Pasay City and claimed the P741,176,323.20 jackpot of the 6/55 Grand Lotto on-line lottery draw last Nov 29, ending wild speculations on who the lone winner was. Jose Ferdinand Rojas II, PCSO general manager, told The Star that the winner was with his family and was shopping at the Royal Duty Free at the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) in

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A12 DECEMBER 11-14, 2010 • LA WEEKEND ASIAN JOURNAL • (213) 250-9797


FEATURES The impassable DREAM? THE fate of the DREAM (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) Act and the young people who would benefit from it still hangs in the balance. It seemed like there was a sliver of hope for young, undocumented Filipinos when, on December 8, Congress passed the bill. However, due to lack of vote confidence, it has been temporarily shelved by the Senate and is unlikely to be voted on this year. The House voted 216-198 on the DREAM Act, offering a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants brought to the US as minors. There is an estimated 2 million (out of about 11 million) undocumented immigrants in the country that would have an opportunity for a better future. The bill is suppose to provide a pathway for undocumented youth under 30 years old, to become legal in status. High school graduates who have lived in the US illegally and continuously for the last five years may apply for conditional non-immigrant status. They can later earn legal immigrant status after ten years as a conditional non-immigrant. But critics have called this opportunity as a “backdoor grant of amnesty that would

encourage more foreigners to sneak into the US in hopes of being legalized eventually.” Opponents of the bill have been asked to make considerations, especially since these young people did not decide for themselves when they came to the US. The DREAM Act has been fighting its way in Congress and the Senate since 2001. It is a persistent legislation that refuses to go away. Many see its inability to be passed as a deterrent to relieving some of the illegal immigration problems this country has today. At the end of the school year, thousands of undocumented students will graduate with a bleak future. Instead of adding to the country’s ailing economy by paying taxes, they will be then included in the millions of illegal immigrants working who are being paid under-the-table. So where does this leave the DREAM Act? We are hoping that it will get its day again in Congress and the Senate, and not remain as an elusive dream for many undocumented immigrants. (AJPress)

Editorial photo

The (un)lame duck session A LAME duck session is when Congress The Fil-Am meets after the November election, until Perspective the Christmas break. Many of these people in Congress failed in their bid for re-election and will therefore GEL SANTOS-RELOS be replaced by newlyelected officials when Congress opens again in January. But many are hoping that the lame duck sessions will not live up to the name, as what Congress will be doing in the next couple of weeks will have tremendous consequences to the American people, including us FilipinoAmericans. As the balance of power tilts from a Democrat-controlled House to a Republican-led chamber, the chances of legislative bills being passed hang in the balance. But such new dynamic will become reality, beginning January. For now until the end of the year, it is still the Democratic party that leads the House and the Senate under a Democrat Chief Executive. While we have seen how this seemed inutile in the past year, one must give consideration to the fact that election 2010 is over – no one is campaigning anymore and this may play a big difference in how the members of Congress,

especially the outgoing ones, will vote for or against any pending legislations. Many lame duck sessions in the past administrations have produced very important results and affected the way we live in America

until now. The New Republic website rundowns the following: The lame duck session of the Ninety-Third Congress, after the Watergate election, approved the nomination of Nelson Rockefeller to be vicepresident; gave the president broad trade-negotiating authority; passed a continuing resolution to substitute for several appropriations bills that had not passed; established federal energy research and development policy; and enacted, over the vetoes of President Ford, a vocational rehabilitation bill and amendments to the Freedom of Information Act. The lame duck session after the 1982 election during the Reagan years was acrimonious and partisan, but Congress managed to pass a number of delayed appropriations bills – an increase in the gasoline tax, and a pay raise for itself. The post-1994 election lame duck session was focused on one thing: passage of a major trade bill to implement the

General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), done on a bipartisan basis. And we can add the lame duck session after the 1998 elections, when House Republicans reconvened to impeach President Clinton. ( Before Christmas, President Obama hopes to sign into law the deal he struck with Republicans – extending the Bush tax cuts for all Americans, including the top 2% richest of the rich, not to mention the hefty gift to millionaires who will not have to pay 35% inheritance for another two years. Justifying such compromise to the liberal and even moderate Democrats who called this move “caving in to Republicans,” President Obama stressed this was the right thing to do in response to the Republicans’ taking “hostage” of middle-class Americans’ tax breaks and extension of jobless benefits for unemployed Americans and their families. Obama added that with such compromise, “we will be able to protect key tax cuts for working families – the Earned Income Tax Credit that helps families climb out of poverty; the Child Tax Credit that makes sure families don’t see their taxes jump up to $1,000 for every child; and the American Opportunity Tax Credit that ensures over 8 million students and their families don’t suddenly see the cost of college shoot-

Leading with a conscious heart (Part 1)

“DO NOT stick out your booty, Rhizomes lead with your chest!” — Quoc Ngo, 2010 Who would think that this line would inspire me to write this essay? It started this morning with a hearty workout, guided to do cor- PROSY ABARQUEZrect push-ups “to align my booty DELACRUZ, J.D. with my back and to lead my pushups using my chest first.” I immediately saw the wisdom in Quoc’s statements and reinterpreted it as “ Do not start your relationships with lusty appreciation of your booty, but instead, lead your relationships with your heart.” First let me share what it is not in Part I. Then, allow me to share what it should be, in Part II – lessons I gathered from observing many human conditions. When I used to work with inept leaders in an organization, they hid behind their insecurities. I had worked in many settings: federal, state, county and city governments for close to three decades, including community service to non-profit boards and professional associations for close to four decades. Inept leaders emphasize numerical outcomes, insisting on numbers and volumes of work, irrespective of personal circumstances, training, and field situations. It is as if folks are robots, machines that, on their own, would simply operate without motivation and inspiration. Their emphasis on outcomes was sold to others, as their own ‘love for the organization,’ – that others are viewed

as disinterested in the welfare of the organization. Their universe is constructed solely to benefit them. So, when there is a common activity, they view others as objects, all must obey or comply. If not, they feel entitled to scream, to ridicule, and even humiliate folks in public. If you take the time to examine their underlying intentions, they carry a personal agenda – motivated by their blind love to get to the endpoint of what they believe is success, where “their own booties are taken cared of” but not others. No one has to discover their ineptitude or lack of imagination, while folks are busy being angry for being humiliated in public. But, God is so good. He brings in a process of cleansing misery and suffering away, as a new generation of leaders is installed with superior people skills, to remove the dead and dying booties on the ground. When Governor-Elect Jerry Brown announced his recent appointments, he underscored three qualities: an insider’s knowhow, an outsider’s mind and a set of people qualities. He brilliantly reduced to its essence what a state worker must be, to function in the state bureaucracy that has not experienced an abundance of effective, imaginative leadership. I believe Gov. Brown alluded to leaders with a conscious heart -- the way Gary Hendricks, a psychotherapist, would define a conscious heart with

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ing up.” What else could be accomplished in this very important lame duck session? The administration is adamant about pushing for the ratification of the new bilateral agreement with Russia – the new START (STrategic Arms Reduction Treaty) that hopes to limit the number of deployed strategic nuclear warheads to 1,550, which is down nearly two-thirds from the original START treaty, as well as 30% lower than the deployed strategic warhead limit of the 2002 Moscow Treaty. Obama also believes Congress will now pass the repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy after studies have shown that allowing openly gay and lesbian individuals to serve in the military will not have detrimental effect on the military operations of the country. Another legislative agenda being pushed by the Obama administration is the DREAM Act. As of press time, DREAM Act has already passed the House but the Senate decided not to act on the measure before the end of the year. This bill will give a pathway to legal status for undocumented students who were brought to the US by their undocumented parents when they were very young, provided that they have no criminal record and will either go to college or serve in the US military.

Another Obama campaign promise that has yet to be fulfilled is the passing of the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill. This will give undocumented immigrants a pathway to US citizenship given that they do not have any criminal record, pay fines and taxes, learn English, and get in line to put their immigration papers in order. These are but some of the very important bills that may be debated upon and voted on during the lame duck session, if it would lead up to such a vote at all. Pending the signing of the tax break for the rich, Republicans vow not to pass anything, effectively stalling legislative arm of the government. Will Obama’s reaching out gesture to Republicans change the tenor and climate of debates in Congress and gather more support from the GOP to pass these controversial bills? How will the Obama brand of leadership push forward to have these agenda enacted into law? Lame duck sessions need not be lame after all. Or maybe yes. Let us wait and see. *** 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,

Mark Twain and the US war on Filipinos

CALIFORNIA – The great news in the publishing world is that the Kuwento first volume of Mark Twain’s complete autobiography has finally Kuwento come out. The bad news – which is also good news – is that the book is so popular, it’s currently out of stock. So those of us who want to BENJAMIN PIMENTEL know more about Twain, who is known to Filipinos for his incisive commentary on the Philippines, will have to wait a bit longer. Twain had stipulated that his complete autobiography should not be published until after 100 years after his death, which is this year. He was supposedly worried that some of his insights may be too provocative, too hard to swallow for American readers of his time. He was probably right. As Richard Lacayo noted in a Time Magazine review, Twain “was probably smart to think twice about going public too soon with a description of American soldiers in the Philippines as ‘uniformed assassins.’” Fortunately, even though I have yet to get a copy of the book, Twain’s insights into the US invasion and occupation of the Philippines at the turn of the 20th Century have long been made public, thanks to an American academic named Jim Zwick. Zwick was the editor of Mark Twain’s Weapons of Satire, a compilation of Twain’s anti-imperialist writings on the Philippine-American War published in 1992 by Syracuse University. For those who read it, the book was an eyeopener.

“This book transformed my opinion of Mark Twain – from the classic, if somewhat shopworn, American humorist we’re all forced to read in junior high, into a passionate defender of American ideals,” an reviewer wrote in 2001, shortly after the September 11 attacks, when outrage over the terrorist acts morphed into bellicose chauvinism. “Today, as words like ‘war,’ ‘treason,’ and ‘patriotism’ are once again in the headlines, flags are flying, and nationalist feeling runs high, these essays by Twain, and commentary by Jim Zwick, are as important and timely as they were nearly a hundred years ago.” Twain was initially supportive of the American invasion of the Philippines, which he first saw as a benevolent campaign to end Spanish oppression in the archipelago, Zwick wrote in the introduction. In a letter to a friend, Twain said, “It is a worthy thing to fight for one’s freedom; it is another sight finer to fight for another man’s.” It didn’t take long for Twain to change his mind about the US military adventure. Upon reading the Treaty of Paris, in which the US gained control of the Philippines from Spain for $20 million, Twain argued that, with that transaction, the United States had paid an “entrance fee into society – the Society of Sceptred Thieves.” “We do not intend to free but to subjugate the people of the Philippines,” Twain was quoted as

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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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Opinion & Features



Leading with a conscious…

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Mark Twain 

Credit: Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

Mark Twain and the US war on…

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saying. “And so I am an anti-imperialist. I am opposed to having the eagle put its talons on any other land.” Twain became one the prominent members of the Anti-Imperialist League, a staunch opponent of the US occupation of the Philippines. He and the other anti-imperialists “took the declaration of independence seriously,” Zwick told me in 1999, as I was writing about the 100th anniversary of the start of the Philippine-American War for the San Francisco Chronicle. “They saw a lot of that being reversed by the annexation of more territory,” he added. “They saw that as the end of the country they believed in.” Twain himself was shaken by the brutality of the American forces whom he referred to as “uniformed assassins” and “Christian butchers.” “Weapons of Satire” included a chapter on a US military operation on Jolo Island. In 1906, American forces trapped hundreds of Moros, including children, in a crater on Mount Dajo. Over a few days, they were mercilessly slaughtered. “The enemy numbered six hundred,” Twain wrote, “including women and children – and we abolished them utterly, leaving not even a baby alive to cry for its dead mother.” Referring to the order to “kill or capture those savages,” Twain said US soldiers apparently interpreted the command to mean kill or capture “according to taste, and that their taste had remained what it has been for eight years, in our army out there – the taste of Christian butchers.” Twain argued, “Our uniformed assassins had not upheld the honor of the American flag…They had dishonored it.” What made Twain’s pronouncements stunning was that his views at that time were very unpopular. For in fact, many Americans and Europeans then thought that it was the right, even the duty, of the US to conquer the Philippines. The way this view was expressed was at times absurd. President William McKinley famously said

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that it was necessary to Christianize the Philippines, conveniently ignoring the fact that the country was a predominantly Catholic nation. American leaders then routinely made what today would be condemned as outrageously offensive comments, like the US general who declared: ``It may be necessary to kill half of the Filipinos in order that the remaining half of the population may be advanced to a higher plane of life than their present semi-barbarous state affords.” As Steve Haller, a military historian at the Presidio in San Francisco, told me many years ago, “It was an era of undoubted racism. We looked at things strictly from a white point of view.” British writer Rudyard Kipling expressed this sentiment in the poem that became the famous exhortation to Western domination, The White Man’s Burden. “Take up the White Man’s burden Send forth the best ye breed Go, bind your sons to exile To serve your captives’ need; To wait, in heavy harness, On fluttered folk and wild Your new-caught sullen peoples, Half devil and half child.” Mark Twain fired back: The White Man’s Burden has been sung. Who will sing the Brown Man’s?” I’m also writing this to pay tribute to Jim Zwick, one of the most respected scholars on the life of Mark Twain. In the 80s, Jim was an active member of Friends of the Filipino People, an organization of Americans opposed to US support for the Marcos dictatorship. Sadly, Jim died nearly three years ago at the age of 51. He would have been thrilled with the renewed interest in Mark Twain. For he clearly believed that Twain’s powerful, humanitarian insights into what he saw as an unjust war are as relevant today as they were a century ago. (

these qualities: tells the truth, keeps agreements and listens non-judgmentally. Why is telling the truth so important? Truth is the language of the heart and soul. When lies are spoken and repeated to oneself and to others, the soul cringes and moves to the corners of darkness. The depraved mind now starts imagining its own horrific scenarios, harvesting more negative thoughts of others and spirals its own negativity. It was recently described to me as “ Bad energy of one leader + bad energy of another leader = Evil.” Folks can no longer trust, and somehow the leader attracts folks who encourage negativities to layer on her, as if lace wrapped around her body. She retreats to her isolated universe, capable of pandering only to her wrongful beliefs and inappropriate viewpoints. There is no love here, not for herself nor for others. In a recent Desperate Housewives episode (entitled “Pleasant Little Kingdom“) Paul Young was depicted as a malingering neighbor, whose intent is to make everyone pay – innocent or not -- for what he went through. It is case of “I will make society pay back for the harm I suffered.” He was wrongfully framed for a murder and in his wrongful incarceration, he came upon a pot of gold to settle his lawsuit. Instead of moving forward, he plots to buy seven houses in Wisteria Lane with plans to convert one into a halfway home for those previously jailed

to come back to society. At a neighborhood association meeting, the neighbors impulsively thought they could defeat Paul’s plan with a vote of 14-1. Paul announced he owns seven houses in the lane and all he needs is one more to have his desired outcome. Earlier in the episode, he said, “I have faith in people, and this is a testament to how I feel about you.” His words are loving. Yet his sinister, evil intentions are lurking underneath. Paul panders to the vulnerable to gain an upper-hand: a laid-off worker, a senior citizen couple, a financially-indebted Susan. He lures them all with above market price offers, a case of ‘taking care of their booties’ first and forgetting they are all bonded with trust in that neighborhood, relying upon one another for advice, support and guidance. The once united group disintegrates, forgetting their common interest as a united body. They proceed to put first their narrow self-interests: How much should I sell my house? Should I sell so I can pay off my debts and Mike can come back? How much can I cash in to ‘save my booty?’ At some point, Lynette turns to Paul, “ We are not going to let you destroy this street.” Paul responded, “I don’t have to. You are going to do it yourselves. “ How many times have we become a Paul to our community folks? How many times have we considered our booties first and forgot to lead our communities with our conscious hearts? (Part 2 in the next issue) *** Email me, folks, with your own stories,

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The Week In Review US embassy welcomes news of Cuisia appointment MANILA – The US embassy here on Wednesday welcomed the appointment of former Central Bank governor Jose Cuisia Jr. as the Philippine ambassador to Washington DC, saying it would be closely watching developments. The news of Cuisia’s appointment was also received positively by the Department of Affairs (DFA), which said the official’s business expertise would be a big boost to the department’s “economic diplomacy thrust,” a key feature of the Aquino government’s foreign policy. Malacanang on Wednesday confirmed the appointment of Cuisia, who also recently served as chairman of poll watchdog National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections, and once acted as administrator of the Social Security System (SSS). “We welcome the news and will be watching the confirmation process closely,” US embassy in Manila spokesperson Rebecca Thompson said in a text message. DFA spokesperson Eduardo Malaya said: “Mr. Cuisia is a highly competent individual, as evidenced by his previous stints with the Central Bank and SSS and his various achievements in other fields.” “We look forward to the favorable consideration by the Commission on Appointments of his nomination by the President as the next Philippine Ambassador to the US,” he said in a text message. (DJ Yap/

Palace to amend ‘Truth’ order to include past gov’ts

NOY IN PANGASINAN. P-Noy, together with by DSWD secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman, views the exhibit displayed by the local government of Bani, Pangasinan after the inauguration of the Olanen Core Shelter Project in Dacap Sur, Bani, Pangasinan on Tuesday December 7. Malacañang Photo Bureau

Legarda backs bill for journalists by Christina


MANILA – Sen. Loren Legarda backed on December 10 the passage of a bill seeking to classify as murder the killing of journalists. Senate Bill 455 aims to amend Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code for that purpose. Legarda said a study by the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility showed 28 journalists and media practitioners killed in the line of duty since 2001, excluding the victims of the Maguindanao massacre. In her privilege speech, Legarda said these numerous cases have tarnished our country’s state of press freedom, supposedly one of the freest in the world. “As a former journalist myself, I cannot let this cycle of violence go on,” she said. “We cannot sit idly by and watch our country, which is a democratic state, be branded as a nation where the media’s freedom is curtailed by silencing the messengers of news and seekers of truth.” Legarda called for a stop to the killing of journalists and media practitioners. Bill on extrajudicial killings filed Iloilo Rep. Jerry Treñas wants to end extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances, and put to bars perpetrators. He authored House Bill 3594, seeking the passage of law on summary executions and disappearances. Citing the Supreme Court, he stressed the rule

on the writ of amparo is just “a remedy to any person whose right to life, liberty and security is violated or threatened with violation by an unlawful act or omission of a public official or employee, or of a private individual or entity,” covering extra-legal killings and enforced disappearances of threats. He said the writ of amparo does not have the provisions bringing forth the perpetrators of such heinous violations. “Even the High Tribunal admitted that a law must be passed defining extra-judicial killings and disappearances,” he said. “The writ is not enough to send perpetrators to jail. That’s why I have spearheaded and authored the passage of a law criminalizing such dastardly acts.” He said such crimes are merely charged with Revised Penal Code of the Philippines, such as murder, abduction, illegal arrest and arbitrary detention. “There is a need to pass a specific law defining extra-legal killings and enforced disappearances that is beyond the ambit of the Code,” he added. He noted failed prosecutions of the crimes despite available evidence of involvement of the culprits. “We often to fail to trace the whereabouts of the victims, and unmask and punish the perpetrators,” he stressed. He said the bill, if passed, would also deter the execution and abduction of media members, citing the country’s reputation of being one of the most dangerous places for journalists. n

MANILA – The controversial Executive Order No. 1, which aims to create the Truth Commission to investigate alleged corruption in the Arroyo administration, will be amended to include previous administrations, an official said Thursday. The plan to amend the EO was among the options discussed in a meeting with President Benigno Aquino III, Presidential Adviser on Legal Affairs Ed de Mesa said in an interview on Radyo Inquirer’s “Tapatan” Thursday morning. De Mesa said he and other Malacanang legal advisers met with Aquino after receiving a copy of the Supreme Court decision declaring the Truth Commission “unconstitutional” by a vote of 10-5. De Mesa maintained that executive order was “well-studied, well thought out” by lawyers assigned by Malacanang. “We believe we did the right thing,” De Mesa told Jay Sonza, anchor of Tapatan. “Maybe there were just differences in opinions,” he added. (

‘Corruption risks, hot spots must be identified’ MANILA – There is a need to map the terrain of corruption in the government in the effort to fight graft and corruption. The Center for Asian Integrity (CAI) said there are corruption risks and “hot spots” that should be identified and contained in order to clearly recognize power structures in the country that allow corruption to thrive. The CAI stressed this strategy during its two-day workshop entitled “Mapping Philippine Corruption” that brought together several government agencies and state institutions, including the University of the Philippines-NCPAG, the Development Academy of the Philippines, and the Office of the Ombudsman. The group conducted the workshop under the Institute for Ethics Governance and Law (IEGL), a joint initiative of the United Nations University (UNU) and three Australian universities. The IEGL was tasked by the UNU to engage in independent interdisciplinary applied governance research. CAI was established with its consortium partners to promote regional participation to build integrity and fight corruption. The CAI invited several resource persons to speak during the seminar that was attended by a mixture of top academics, private sector captains of industry and veteran investigative journalists. Journalist Amando Doronila kicked off the sessions by talking about the institutional obstacles hampering government campaigns against corruption in the Philippines. Other resource speakers discussed the issues with particular sectors and institutions under the “Chatham House Rule,” in which participants can speak frankly on the issue without making any attribution. Dr. Gabriella Quimson, director of research at CAI, was the convener and Prof. Charles Sampford, director of IEGL, was tasked to assist and advise on the corruption mapping exercise. (Michael Punongbayan/

Aquino not singling out Arroyo but giving her chance to clear name MANILA – President Benigno Aquino III defended the creation of the Truth Commission and said that he was not singling out his predecessor, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. He emphasized he will pursue solving cases involving officials in the Arroyo administration before his six-year term ends. The Truth Commission is not focused on a single person only,” Aquino said in Filipino as he addressed the whole nation in a televised news conference at Malacanang Palace on Wednesday at around 6:45pm. Aquino said he received the decision at exactly 5:47 pm on Wednesday and admitted he needed more time to study the documents, together with his team of legal consultants. On Tuesday the Supreme Court, which the reporters kept on referring to as an “Arroyo court”, ruled out that the Truth Commission was unconstitutional because it targeted one person, among other reasons. In the same speech, though he repeatedly did not single out Arroyo, the President cited cases linked to her administration like the “Hello Garci scandal”, “NBN-ZTE deal” and the “fertilizer scam,”which he said is like a movie series with parts 1, 2 and 3. Though not naming an actual case, Aquino also cited a midnight deal that originally cost the government P981 million but because his administration was able to intervene and made revisions on time, the budget was reduced to P600 million. Aquino emphasized the Truth Commission would give Arroyo and others allegedly involved in the said scams to clear their names. “Am trying to be neutral about it [high court decision] but let’s start on what actually happened on the cases involved,” Aquino said. He added his office will file for a motion for reconsideration regarding the Truth Commission. (

Aquino urged vs ‘extensive’ use of veto power on budget MANILA – To avoid disagreements, the chairman of the Senate finance committee urged President Benigno Aquino III against using “extensive” exercise of his veto power on the 2011 national budget now being discussed in the congressional bicameral conference committee. “One of the things that I’d like to happen is, I would want an extensive veto, I would not want an extensive exercise by the President of his veto power,” said Drilon, head of the Senate panel in the committee. “Because in the past, we’ve seen numerous instances where the President would exercise the line item veto powers and this is because of the lack of coordination between the executive and legislative branch in so far as the budget is concerned,” he said. The senator also noted that under the present system, the legislative branch has all the liberty to introduce amendments to a budget bill but the President has all the liberty also to veto any provision. “So it’s a futile exercise if we keep on inserting provisions and amendments which may not be consistent with the President’s policy and would just therefore veto the provision,” said Drilon. “My preference is that we have close consultation with the budget department so that there would be less exercise of the line item veto power because if we can explain the provisions that we have inserted, [we can] avoid the exercise of veto power,” he pointed out. So to ensure “better coordination” and “less disagreements,” Drilon said Congress would be closely consulting with the Department of Budget and Management about special provisions or certain inclusions or amendments in the proposed budget for 2011. (Maila Ager/Inquirer. net)

Sotto hit for blocking P880-M family planning budget MANILA – Reproductive health bill advocates on December 9 criticized Sen. Vicente Sotto III for blocking the approval of the proposed P880-million family planning budget of the Department of Health (DOH). Jun Almocera Jr., manager of the Center for Advocacy and Policy Development of the Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development (PLCPD), said the proposed family planning budget is not intended solely for the purchase of artificial contraceptives but would cover the expenses of all the family planning programs of the health department. These include the purchase of iron supplements for pregnant women, vitamin A for lactating women, and capacity building for health workers, among others. Sotto had said senators reduced the proposed budget from P880 million to P8 million to raise the allocation for state universities and colleges (SUCs). Mercy Fabros of Women Health Philippines said if the government wants to increase allocation for SUCs, it should get funds from the P90-billion lump sum funds in the proposed 2011 budget. “The proposed budget for family health and family planning was actually reduced from P1.4 billion in 2010 to P931 million,” she said. “This budget will not help the country in achieving MDG (Millennium Development Goal) 5 which is improving maternal health.” (Helen Flores/

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12/10/10 4:50:36 PM


Dateline PHILIPPINES • (213) 250-9797

US fears Sino pressure on PH, allies by DJ


MANILA – China may exert economic pressure to force the Philippines and other US allies in the Asia-Pacific region to “choose between Beijing and Washington” as a result of perceived threats from Japan and America itself, said a confidential US memo released by the online whistle-blower WikiLeaks. The assessment came from a former US ambassador to Beijing, Clark T. Randt, in a January 2009 review of trends in China and how these might affect dynamics between the two superpowers. The two countries celebrated 30 years of diplomatic relations last year. Randt said “Japan’s participation in missile defense” or “future high-tech US military technologies” might induce future Chinese leaders to change their foreign policy toward America’s Southeast Asian allies like Thailand and the Philippines. His 4,300-word assessment dated Jan. 5, 2009, was posted on WikiLeaks on Dec. 4, one of the more than 250,000 diplomatic memos from 274 US Embassies that the website started releasing in batches last month. The ambassador said Chinese officials had come to “begrudgingly acknowledge,” over the past 30 years, the benefits of a US military presence in the Pacific, especially the extent in which it provided an alternative to a more robust Japanese military presence. “Perceived threats to China’s security posed by Japan’s participation in missile defense or by future high-tech US military technologies might cause tomorrow’s Chinese leaders to change their assessment and to exert economic pressures on US allies like Thailand or the Philippines to choose between Beijing and Washington,” he said. Randt also surmised that a peaceful resolution of the threat posed by North Korea might cause China to call for an end to the presence of US bases on the Korean Peninsula.

Most important In the memo, Randt acknowledged that China was the United States’ “most important relationship” and that it was impossible to predict where such a relationship would go 30 years from now. “Just as no one in 1979 would have predicted that China would become the United States’ most important relationship in 30 years, no one today can predict with certainty where our relations with Beijing will be 30 years hence,” he said. Randt cited several issues, including “China’s insatiable resource needs, our growing economic interdependence, China’s rapid military modernization, a surge in Chinese nationalism, China’s demographic challenges, and (its) increasing influence and confidence on the world stage.” The Department of Foreign Affairs and the US Embassy in Manila have separately declined to comment on WikiLeaks-released documents with references to the Philippines. US Embassy in Manila Of the US memos acquired by WikiLeaks, a total of 2,036 documents referenced the Philippines. Some 1,796 originated from the US Embassy in Manila although none had so far been posted online (as of Wednesday). Ethan Y. Sun, deputy chief of the political section and spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in Manila, said: “As for the content of the ‘confidential files,’ the Chinese side does not have the comment at the current stage.” Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile took seriously the WikiLeaks report on the warning that China might force the Philippines through economic pressure to sever its ties with the United States. “We might not even reach that. We might choose to go with China at that point. Don’t kid yourself, within this decade or a little beyond not more than the next decade, China will attain a very influential position in world politics,” Enrile said in an interview with reporters. Enrile voted to kick out US bases in Subic and

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Balikbayan from NY claims P741-M grand…

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Olongapo City when he decided to buy five lotto tickets using the lucky pick system, wherein the computer picks the number combination for the bettor. The lotto outlet owned by Necitas Garcia that is located inside the Royal Duty Free at the SBMA sold the ticket with the winning number combination 11-16-4247-31-37. “He has been a lotto fan in the US,” he said. Rojas said the winner, who is married and a devout Catholic, plans to donate a portion of his winnings to charity and his relatives in the Philippines, and put the rest of the jackpot in the bank. The lucky winner of the biggest lotto jackpot since the PCSO launched the on-line lottery in

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1995 said he would return to the US and retire there. He will return to the Philippines after one year and retire here and live on the interest of his huge bank account. Several men carrying handheld radios escorted the winner to the PCSO. As a policy the identies of lotto winners are kept secret for security reasons. The Star spotted Interior and Local Government Secretary Jessie Robredo near the room where the winner was waiting for his check. A PCSO official said that the presence of Robredo was just a coincidence. The winner and his escorts, for security and confidentiality purposes, had told PSCO security guards that they wanted to visit

PCSO chair Margie Juico or the general manager. The visitors were told to get security passes but when they reached the chairman’s office, the winner revealed that he would claim the jackpot. “It took only an hour and the winner got the jackpot prize intact,” Rojas said The lotto jackpot was finally released after a nationwide frenzy over the Grand Lotto jackpot. Juico said the lotto jackpot generated total sales of P4.1 billion in 86 draws. She said 30 percent of lotto sales are used for medical and health services of indigent patients nationwide, including hospitalization assistance, medical/ dental missions and ambulance donations, among other charity concerns. n

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Corona appeals to critics: Read ruling on EO 1 first by Ed


AUSTERITY. An employee at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport cleans last year’s Christmas lanterns for re-use as part of the austerity program of the airport authority. photo by Rudy Santos

‘No basis to impeach Corona’ by Lira


MANILA – There are no grounds yet to impeach Chief Justice Renato Corona, several members of the House of Representatives said, in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision declaring as unconstitutional the creation of the Truth Commission. The lawmakers said they are not privy to the purported impeachment moves, which have swirled following the high court’s striking down of Executive Order No. 1, which created the body to look into graft cases of officials of the Arroyo administration. “I’m not privy to any moves, but if a complaint is filed, it will go through the regular process as any impeachment complaint,” Deputy Speaker and Quezon Representative Lorenzo Tanada III said in a phone interview Friday. Tanada and Majority Leader and Mandaluyong Representative Neptali Gonzales II expressed the same view that there is no basis yet to impeach Corona only because of the decision on the truth body. “I don’t know what grounds they will cite,” Tanada said, adding that he understands the people’s frustrations with the ruling because it hindered the “search

for truth.” In a separate interview, Gonzales said impeaching Corona is “impossible” at this point. “This decision can’t be the sole basis, maybe later, we will see if there is a trend showing similar decisions. Error in judgment is hard to prove,” he said. Corona is one of the last appointees of former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to the high tribunal. Zambales Representative Ma. Milagros Magsaysay said it appeared that it was President Benigno Aquino III himself who wanted Corona to be impeached. “We all heard it for the first time from PNoy (Aquino), the motive is very clear that he wants revenge for the Supreme Court rebuff that his administration suffered. The question is who will accede to the wishes of PNoy,” Magsaysay said. Akbayan party-list Representative Arlene “Kaka” Bag-ao said her group is not aware of any impeachment moves, but said that they have already called for the resignation of Corona and nine other justices appointed by Arroyo whose “string of decisions shows they cannot transcend their loyalty to the President who appointed them.” If there is any initiative to remove Corona, then it might come

from the Arroyo camp, she said. “They might file a weak impeachment complaint, thus shielding the Chief Justice from impeachment for one year,” Bagao said. Arroyo’s son and Ang Galing Pinoy party-list Representative Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo dismissed the impeachment talk. “I think the best thing to do here is just to go back to their law books, study again and probably realize their executive orders in the proper legal way,” Arroyo said. n

MANILA – Chief Justice Renato Corona appealed on December 9 to critics of the Supreme Court (SC)’s ruling against the creation of the Truth Commission to examine first the details of the decision before denouncing the High Court. “Take the time and effort to read and understand the decision and my 24-page separate opinion,” Corona said in a text message to reporters. He voiced the same appeal at the Manila City Hall where he was guest speaker during the launch of the Judiciary Internet Access Project with Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim. “The only assurance I can tell you is that right is right and wrong is wrong,” Corona said. “Just read the decision and you would see for yourself. You decide if it is political or legal,” Corona said. “If you read the decision and opinions, the justices really support the campaign of the Palace against corruption,” Ma. Victoria Gleoresty Guerra, acting chief of the SC’s public information office, said in a press briefing. She was referring to a portion in the 45-page ruling penned by Associate Justice Jose Mendoza which states that: “Lest it be misunderstood, this is not the death knell for a truth commission as nobly envisioned by the present administration.” “However how noble the purpose is, the means and instrumentality must be in accordance to the law and the Constitution,” she said. “I’m confident that those who would read the decision will understand the basis of the court,” she added. She also stressed that the High Court respects the President’s show of dismay at the court ruling. “The President is just expressing his disappointment and he is aware of options available for the Palace, including possible filing of motion for reconsideration and amendment of the assailed

presidential order,” Guerra stressed. She also advised critics of the court to carefully study their supposed plan to move for the impeachment of the chief justice. She said critics should not single out Corona because the ruling was “a collegial decision of the court.” She also said the Palace may revise EO 1 to settle its legal infirmity. “Perhaps a revision of the executive issuance so as to include the earlier past administrations would allow it to pass the test of reasonableness and not be an affront to the Constitution,” part of the ruling read. The SC, voting 10-5, declared the EO unconstitutional. In his dissenting opinion, Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio said the creation of a Truth Commission was within Aquino’s powers. “This Court, in striking down EO 1 creating the Truth Commission, overrules the manifest will of the Filipino people to start the difficult task of putting an end to graft and corruption in government, denies the President his basic constitutional power to determine the facts in his faithful execution of the law, and suppresses whatever truth may come out in the purely fact-finding investigation of the Truth Commission,” he stressed. Defending the SC Sen. Joker Arroyo, meanwhile, chided Aquino for his “combative” remarks against the SC and accused his legal team of always wanting to be “spoon fed.” “It would have been more statesmanlike had the President not been so combative in his disagreement with the Supreme Court. His legal team should not have egged him on,” Arroyo said in an interview. “Why? For the simple reason that the President, like the father of the family, has the duty to unify, not to divide the country, even when sectors dis-

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Clark in the landmark vote of the Senate in September 1991. “This is a distinct possibility that we might have to decide and think for ourselves and find that it would be better for us to ally ourselves with our neighbors in Asia,” he said. Enrile said the world was changing. “(W)e are being divided into several blocs already. You have the European bloc; the American bloc composed of Canada, America, and some Latin American groups, especially Mexico. It’s for ASEAN and China to get together and form a bloc,” he said.

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No need to choose But Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III and Sen. Joker Arroyo said there was no need for the Philippines to choose sides. Sotto said the interests of the Philippines should not be tied with either China or the United States because the two countries do not always have the interest of the Philippines in mind. Arroyo said it was in the best interest of the Philippines to remain a fence-sitter and not take sides. “If ever, we should always side with the winner, so it’s better to wait,” he said. n

12/10/10 5:12:04 PM


Dateline PHILIPPINES • (213) 250-9797

Noy donates portion of salary to Children’s Hour

by Delon


MANILA – President Aquino has agreed to donate a portion of his P65,000 net monthly salary to an Ayala-led organization that supports the UN Commission on the Rights of Children. It was not clear how much Aquino would donate but Children’s Hour Philippines Inc. (CHPI), where his eldest sister Ballsy is honorary chair, encourages donors to give the peso equivalent of one hour of their monthly salary for a whole year. Aquino takes home only P65,000 of his P95,000 gross monthly salary. Dividing this by 26 working days, his daily pay would be P2,500, and dividing this further by eight working hours, his hourly pay comes up to P312.50. Multiplying P312.50 by 12 months, Aquino’s donation would come up to P3,750 for the year. “To Children’s Hour Philippines and to all its benefactors, donating at least an hour’s worth of your salaries and earnings may seem so little, yet it has already made a big difference in the lives of Filipinos this past decade,” he said at on December 8’s benefit lunch at Makati City. “I am grateful that you have

chosen to tread the straight path with us, the path that leads to human development and ultimately to national progress. Thank you for making the world a better place, one hour at a time,” the President added. He lauded the efforts of business tycoon Jaime Zobel de Ayala and Ambassador Bienvenido Tan – founders of CHPI – for making the organization’s funds soar from only P22 million to P181.79 million, with donor companies now numbering 1,280 from only 351. “Your dedication and commitment to service is evident in your many achievements as of June 2010. Children’s Hour has raised more than P200 million in cash donations and has funded more than 545 projects nationwide that have benefited almost 620,000 children,” he said. “There is no other way to effectively solve our lingering problem in education than to address the root cause of that problem through early child care and development. It will also support our efforts to achieve universal primary education – one of the Millennium Development Goals we are expected to accomplish by 2015,” he said. Aquino said his administration would continue to support the program, just as is mother did during her presidency.

“She would have been happy to see the unity you have shown here on December 9 in the service of the less fortunate children of our country,” he said. “Rest assured that Children’s Hour and its many worthwhile endeavors will continue to enjoy to support not just of my family but also of our administration. Thank you for capitalizing on the inherent goodness of our people,” he said. “We welcome your efforts to expand coverage by supporting more projects in the Visayas and Mindanao regions,” he pointed out. “This will help address the plight of underprivileged Filipino children whose limited access to their fundamental needs have led to many wasted opportunities for our country’s growth,” he said. “Children’s Hour’s advocacies and programs are consistent with what we are doing. I urge you, therefore, to continue with your meaningful endeavors that have already significantly improved the lot of our people. But may I also ask you to see what you can do for children in the pre-school levels. Even as my administration focuses on primary and secondary education, our children need help even before they enter grade school,” Aquino said. n

Corona appeals to critics: Read ruling… PAGE A17 t

agree over an issue,” Arroyo added. Arroyo said the administration’s defeat over Executive Order 1 is not the end of the world for them. “They can go after President Arroyo through the Secretary of Justice if they don’t trust the Ombudsman,” he said. “The problem is that the President’s legal team is averse to hard work. They don’t want to undertake the laborious task of gathering the evidence against GMA,” the senator said. “They want it the easy way – let the Truth Commission gather the evidence in a celebrated case, and turn over their findings to the Department of Justice which has publicly prejudged the case when it is duty bound to be neutral,” Arroyo added. “In short, the legal team does not like the dirty, tedious task of case-building. They want to be spoon-fed,” he said. Sen. Edgardo Angara, for his part, said the “legal, practical and constitutional” way to put together a Truth Commission is through Congress. “The way I understand it, the Supreme Court’s principal ground for declaring the Truth Commis-

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sion’s unconstitutionality is its legality. This kind of investigative body should originate from Congress and not from the Executive,” Angara said. He said that if the Aquino administration is really determined to organize a Truth Commission, it should let legislators do most of the work. “This is the only constitutional, legal and practical approach if PNoy is truly intent on creating the body,” he said. “The Supreme Court made a sound, logical argument on the EO’s unconstitutionality so I believe Malacañang should respect the decision. Perhaps the President’s legal advisers should take some legislative measures to correct this situation since the ruling was already made. This would also show unity among the different branches of the new administration,” he said. Meanwhile, Butuan Bishop Juan de Dios Pueblos appealed to the executive and the judiciary to show respect for each other. “The executive must respect also the judicial department in order for us to have a good form of government. So President Aquino and his Cabinet members should respect the judicial process,” Pueblos said over Radio Veritas. n

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Neri denies tax evasion charges

Neri was accused of failing to declare his income as board member of Philex Mining Corp. and Unionbank of the PhilipMANILA – Former Social pines, where the SSS owns Security System president Roshares of stock. mulo Neri denied on December The BIR said Neri earned 9 that he evaded paying taxes P11.3 million in 2008 and to the government. P34.2 million in 2009. Neri said he plans to file He did not declare his incriminal charges of perjury, come, resulting in a tax defimalicious prosecution and viociency of P6.2 million for 2008 lation of Republic Act 3019, the and P11.9 million for 2009, the Anti-Graft and Corruption Act, BIR added. against Internal Revenue ComHowever, Neri told the DOJ missioner Kim Jacinto-Henares through lawyers Paul Lentejas and the other complainants. and David Domingo that the The BIR failed to give him a BIR’s claims were wrong. chance to answer the charges He claimed that he did before they were filed before not keep for himself the full the Department of Justice amount of profit sharing earn(DOJ), he added. ings in 2008 amounting to The allegations are reckless P7,923,427.97 but remitted and unverified assumptions, half to the SSS. and malicious imputations, Former SSS president Romulo Neri “I only and actually received, Neri said. In his counter-affidavit submitted during prelim- the balance of the other half, which I honestly deinary investigation, Neri said he did not owe the clared in my year 2009 (income-tax return),” he government P18.2 million in taxes as the BIR has said. “What actually happened in this case is that the accused him in a complaint filed last month before BIR never informed or assessed me on my alleged the DOJ. “I believe I have honestly reported my income tax deficiency,” he said. Neri said that his profit sharing for 2009 amountand had thus paid income taxes thereon to the BIR, so the instant charge of tax evasion is utterly ing to P15,431,036.51 was not completely reflected wrong, baseless and precipitate, and it even smacks in his income tax return because he received the of malice and bad faith on the part of the complain- greater portion of the amount only last January. “Therefore I am not bound to declare it until ing witnesses and those who ordered them to file it April of next year in my 2010 ITR,” he said. ■ against me,” read the counter-affidavit. by ED


Congress to approve budget next week by JESS


MANILA – Congress will approve the proposed P1.645-trillion 2011 national budget early next week, House Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II said on December 7. The bicameral conference committee targets approval of the budget on plenary by Tuesday or Wednesday. “There are only a few differences to reconcile. The House largely kept the President’s proposal intact, while the Senate proposed certain changes,” Gonzales said after attending the first meeting of the committee. The committee has authorized Cavite Rep. Joseph Emilio Abaya, appropriations committee chairman, and his Senate counterpart Sen. Franklin Drilon to prepare the report for the reconciliation of the budget. The two lawmakers are expected to submit a report by Monday. Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. earlier said the administration

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does not want to operate on a reenacted 2010 budget. Malacañang did not provide for debt payments in the proposed budget even if it is authorized to automatically appropriate for payments under a presidential decree dating back to the Marcos administration. In the past, budget proposals contain insertions of millions of pesos for interest payments on loans. Payments for principal amortizations were automatically appropriated. Last year, the bicameral conference committee diverted P65 billion for interest payments to the congressional pork barrel. Of that amount, then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo released P16.5 billion just before the May elections. Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said these releases have bloated this year’s budget deficit. One of the questioned items in the 2011 budget is the allocation of P21 billion for the conditional cash transfer program for indi-

gent households. President Aquino on December 7 said he would continue to entertain proposals to improve the implementation of the program, which will be managed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). “We’re still open to other voices who might tell us ways on delivering this vital service to quite a significant amount of families who live below the poverty line,” he told reporters in an informal briefing in Bani, Pangasinan where he presided over the distribution of new houses to victims of typhoon “Emong” last year. He is confident that the P1.645trillion national budget for 2011 will be approved before yearend and is glad that the proposed budget for the cash transfer program was approved by Congress. He hopes it would be retained by the bicameral conference committee. Aquino said he has ironed out the details of the program with Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman. ■

12/10/10 5:13:06 PM


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12/10/10 4:50:00 PM

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Yahoo’s Most Irresistible Lyrics for 2010

Charice’s ‘Pyramid’ ranks fourth among top 10 songs Top website Yahoo! recently released their choice of 10 songs that have the “Most Irresistible Lyrics” for 2010 and Charice’s Billboard D a n c e chart-topper Pyramid ranked f o u r t h place. Pyramid is the lead single of Charice from her self-titled debut album. The song was written by David Jassy, Niclas Molinder, Joacim Persson, Johan Alkenäs, Drew Scott and R&B singer Lyrica Anderson and produced by Twin. The album version was released to US mainstream radio on March 15, 2010. It is Charice’s first single to achieve mainstream airplay. The promotional music video for the track was released on March 2, 2010, showing Charice and Iyaz in the studio singing and recording the vocals to the song. The official music video for the track was shot at the Orpheum Theatre, in downtown Los Angeles and was directed by Scott Speer, premiering on Oprah Winfrey’s website. Kimberly Chun, writer of the


Yahoo! article on the 2010 Most Irresistible Lyrics described C h arice’s song as “homegrown yet polished breed of gospelt i n g e d pop-R&B,” with “potentially forbidding m e t a phors… dispelled by the 18-year-old’s feisty, soul-stirring performance—and a charisma, on full display in the song’s video. The article said Charice’s performance for the single removes all doubts about her talent. “The lyrics of Pyramid don’t venture further than assurances that ‘We took it from the bottom up / And even in a desert storm / Sturdy as a rock we hold / Wishing every moment froze.’” Other songs that made it to the top 10 list are: (1) Baby (Justin Bieber); (2) Love The Way You Lie (Eminem feat. Rihanna); (3) Bad Romance (Lady Gaga); (5) Just the Way You Are (Bruno Mars) (6) Tik Tok (Ke$ha); (7) Solo (Iyaz); (8) Two Is Better Than One (Boys Like Girls feat. Taylor Swift); (9) Hey Soul Sister (Train); and (10) Fireflies (Owl City). (AJPress)

Angelica finds her biological dad by Jherlyn



It is important for every person to know their roots and where they came from. It’s that something that makes a person’s identity complete. Actress Angelica Panganiban recently learned her true identity after 24 years. She found out that she was adopted and personally took on a quest to find her real dad. On December 5 at The Buzz, Angelica opened her heart and shared everything to Tito Boy. Her story is an inspiration to those children who have been adopted. She was given for adoption when she was a baby and instead of feeling angry and bitter, in her heart she was able to find forgiveness, understanding, love and gratefulness towards her biological parents. According to Angelica, she already had an inkling that she’s adopted when she was still in high school. Someone told her that she knew who her real parents were and that one of her best friends’ brother also attested to have known her parents in Olongapo. At that time, she didn’t have the guts to ask. “Nahihiya po kasi ako baka mali ako. Never naman nilang pinaramdam sa akin na iba ako,” she narrated. The confirmation happened by accident—she found out through her cousin whom she considers her best friend. On January 5, 2010, right after the taping of Banana Split, she casually told her cousin, “Alam mo, feeling ko, ampon ako.” Her cousin, instead of answering simply cried. Angelica took that as an affirmation from her and said “So ibig sabihin hindi kita kamag-anak? So wala akong pamilya?” Instead of feeling angry, she felt insecure because she wasn’t blood-related to the family she grew up with. “Parang sa akin ang perfect ng lahat. Hindi ko maharap ang pamilya ko. Hindi ako makauwi sa amin kasi nahihiya ako, na baka nasasaktan ko pala sila. Baka may

nasasabi akong hindi maganda.” But to Angelica’s surprise, her adoptive mom did not deny the fact that she was adopted. She even had pictures to prove it. “Wala naman silang planong itago sa akin ng ganon katagal. Siguro po nag-iba rin ang buhay namin noong naging artista ako. Kasi baka pag nalaman ng mga tao, pagtawanan ako or maging iba ang tingin sa akin. Maraming taong makikisawsaw. So hinintay nya po siguro ang pagkakataon na kaya ko ng ipaglaban ang sarilli ko. Sobra akong grateful, sobra akong blessed. Sabi ko nga sa kanila, kung ako ang papipiliin, kung kaya ko ng magsalita noon, kayo at kayo ang pipiliin ko.” At first, Angelica did not feel the urge to look for her biological parents. It was only after Valentine’s Day when one of her friends (who also knew about her story), told her that her biological mom passed away two years ago in Singapore. The actress said “Doon ako nagkaroon ng pakiramdam na kailangan ko syang bisitahin. Magbigay respeto at magpasalamat. Kasi naisip pa rin nyang buhayin ako, bigyan ng pagkakataon ang ibang pamilya na sumaya. Hindi nya ko naisip na ipalaglag or kung anuman.” Angelika visited her mom’s grave last Holy Week and said “Hindi ko sya kilala pero mahal ko sya.” She learned that her real mom gave her away for adoption because she couldn’t provide for her. “Mas minabuti po nyang ibigay ako sa pamilyang mas may kaya noong mga panahon na yun.” Her biological mom never took advantage of her when she became a big star. She never asked for money nor blackmailed them in exchange for the truth. She just really wants the best for her. Her biological dad, on the other hand, thought that Angelica and her mom were already dead. He received a telegram, saying that they died in a car accident two months before she’s due to be delivered. At that time, he couldn’t go back to the

Philippines because he was stationed in Arizona. Upon learning the whole story, Angelica took it upon herself to find her real dad. She searched the name “Charlson” at the US Navy website, found a fan page of the ship he boarded, and on it was a post from a man who said would never forget his experience during Martial Law in the Philippines around 1984-1986 (the period when Angelica was born). She said “Nagbakasakali ako na baka kilala nya yung Mr. Charlson na yun. So nagpadala ako ng message sa kanya. Tinanong ko kung me kilala siyang Charlson tapos sumagot sya ng ‘yes, why?’ Nung nabasa ko pa lang yung yes nya, para akong nabunutan ng tinik, hanggang sa I think after two weeks, nagkausap kami ng dad ko.” Around March, Angelica and her dad were already chatting. However, it was on Angelica Panganiban and off and Angelica felt that her dad was hesitant. So she sent him a message saying that she is not after any financial support and just simply wants to get to know him. Upon learning about her accomplishments as an actress in the Philippines, he said that he is still not ready to face her. She said “Ang tagal Tito Boy. Simula March travel ako ng travel. Tanggap ako ng tanggap ng shows lalo na sa States para lang makita sya. Then pag malapit PAGE B4 photo

12/10/10 4:06:12 PM


Entertainment • (213) 250-9797

Music-Ally in Jazz-Phil-USA by Prosy

Abarquez–Delacruz, J.D.

Charmaine Clamor, Michael Konik, Mon David and Mark Winkler 

“Pure, honest intention can bring out the beauty of any emotion. And like notes, there is a world of beauty reading each one... Is your intention only to make yourself better? If so, all the forces of your being may come to help you. But if your pure intention is to make all musicians better, the same way musicians before you have done, the forces of all these beings may come to your aid. The spirit of MUSIC herself will be on your side. Now, listen closely. Strive to make all LIFE better, and you will have all of LIFE’s power backing you. With this power on your side, you will not have a thing to worry about, ever.” (Michael, as written by Victor L. Wooten, 4-time Grammy Award Winner) Did Nicole David read this quote from Victor Wooten? When asked if she worries about her future, her optimism conveyed: “ I never feared the future in pursuing music. The feeling is more of excitement and optimism. I witnessed and am still witnessing my dad’s (Mon David) musical and life journey and I cannot imagine myself not taking on that same journey. Whenever I’d feel impatient or disheartened, my dad would always tell me that something good is definitely

Photo by Hydee Abrahan

going to happen, as long as we focus our energies on our craft and strive hard to be good people. My sibling (Carlo) and I are fortunate because we were never forced into anything we weren’t passionate about. We had to discover and recognize our passions in life by ourselves. Our parents helped by providing us with opportunities.” Mon David shared with me that he and his wife, Ann are the fortunate ones. Somehow there is a “ great, grand design “ for him to be in the US. As he estab-

lished his musical career, with full faith in MUSIC and backing from Michael Konik and Charmaine Clamor for his first album, Mon feels blessed. He is thankful for being with his wife Ann, witnessing the unfolding of the careers of their two children, Nicole and Carlo in Manila and US. “Looking at a flashback of my life, like at my young age, and comparing it with Nicole and Carlo, their pace is so fast. They are discovering different genres, aside from jazz, and they are always surrounded by great musicians,” said Mon. He told me that Carlo felt overwhelmed at the sound check, sharing the stage with incredible musicians at play, with their creative juices freely flowing. “Now, I know how you feel Dad, when you perform.” Carlo said. Music-ally was on display, where all musicians are allies at sound check and onstage. That is one of the beautiful strengths of Jazz-Phil USA’s Jazz festival. I have watched them grow in musicality and diversity for five years now, missing only one year when I was out of the country. When Angelo Pizarro played at PAGE B5 u

FLASHBACK: BEST HITS OF THE 80’S. An unforgettable evening of love songs from David Pomeranz, Joey Albert and Stephen Bishop was held on December 5 at the indoor Events Center of Pala Casino Spa and Resort in Pala, CA.  AJPress photo by Bert Jaurigue


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12/10/10 4:09:04 PM



Krista’s humane hero By Monet


This week, I was meeting my deadline, doing an interview with one of the best actors and matinee idols of his generation, Matt Ranillo III. I was checking the internet to find about more about him, when I came across this beautiful piece from his daughter, Krista. She composed this tribute in 2007. I was so touched by the essay and decided to share it with you, my dear readers. I know all of you will feel the same way I did after reading it. Why I didn’t have to look far to find my hero By Krista Ranillo Early in kindergarten, I recall how we were tasked to write about our hero. It was the time of superheroes and fantasy characters such as She-Ra, the Care Bears, Rainbow Brite and others. I idolized these characters, just like any other girl back then. But when it was time to talk about our chosen hero and share it to the class; I chose to talk about my father. As a young girl, my father has always been protective of me. He would take me to Tagaytay to make sure that I got fresh air; he made sure I didn’t get any bruises from playing and stopped me from doing gymnastics because I might get hurt.

Matt Ranillo III and Krista Ranillo-Lim

As a father, he was also very loving. He never hesitated to tell me that he loved me every single day and I would often get hugs and kisses from him. My classmates and teacher thought that I wanted to talk about my father because he was popular for playing roles such as Kristo and Lorenzo Ruiz. For me, my hero was and still is my dad because he was better than any other superhero - he was human. Just like the superheroes of today, he has his weakness, his “kryptonite” so to speak. But unlike Superman, his weakness is not an external material but his love for others. At the peak of his career back in the 80’s, his first born daughter came into this world—me. He decided to give up his career and be a full-time dad, taking daily pictures of me, putting me to sleep, collecting my teeth and even my baby hair. His love for me became a weakness because the matinee idol put his flourishing career on hold when he could have just en-

trusted me to a yaya and enjoy his superstardom. Even before I was born, and many people might not be aware of this, he was stabbed 2 times in his lungs and chest area. In the year 1979, before he left for shooting, he asked two of his housemaids to buy him something from the nearby store. Unfortunately, there were 3 men who attempted to hold up the maids and my grandmother, Gloria Sevilla (who was on her way home) saw the incident and screamed for help. My dad, my grandpa Amado Cortez and some of my titos came out of the house to help. My grandma, being closer to one of the men decided to stop him from running away. Just in time, my dad pulled my grandma away and got stabbed instead. He was on the brink of life and death because the stab wounds were an inch away from his lungs and he was losing blood fast. Witnesses did not help because they thought that they were watching a shooting. Little did they know that Mat Ranillo’s life was 50/50. He saw injustice and decided upon himself to act without question, without hesitation. He put his life on the line to save his mother’s and helpers’ lives. It was his love for others that pushed him to act and not out of duty or for the sake of machismo. His health suffered, he lost projects and he is left with scars on his body and a weakened lung. In the year 1992, my younger sister Trixie was born in the States. She was born with an open cleft-lip palate and had to undergo surgery as young as 10 months. The family had to live there for a while to accommodate my sister’s surgeries and monthly check-ups. My father had to get a regular job and raise

his family on his own. It was hard enough to take care of a child with a delicate situation but it was harder to uproot yourself and take risks in a foreign country. I had, ironically, called my father’s love for others a weakness because time and time again he sacrificed his career for others. In the kind of world we live in, people would sacrifice their families and loved ones for their chosen career. My father did otherwise and his love for others, which was metaphorically his weakness, became his strength. He showed me the value of having genuine concern for others, to put others before yourself. People may have advised him to put more importance on his career but it showed that love can really make a person do extraordinary things— even put your life on the line. What mattered for my dad was not the fame, money or worldly things. In fact, I don’t even remember the last time he bought himself something he liked. My dad’s acts of bravery did not make him a hero to me. His humanness did. People know him as Mat Ranillo, the artista. In my eyes, he will always be my hero, my protector, my source of strength. I didn’t have to look far to find my hero—because he was beside me all along. *** The author is a Marikina-born, awardwinning celebrity beauty stylist with his own chain of salons across Southern California and Las Vegas, Nevada. Ultimately, Monet is known as an all-around artiste who produces sold-out fashion and awards shows as well as unforgettable marketing campaigns. Monet is also the founder of the revolutionary all-natural beauty products available at www.skinbymonet. com. He supports many humanitarian efforts to include projects in his native Marikina, The Bantay Bata Foundation, and many more. To contact Monet, please visit www.monetsalon. com for more information.

Angelica finds her...

PAGE B1 nakita ko na ang picture mo.” na, hindi na sya sasagot. So hangIt was during her birthday when gang sa napagod na ko. Sabi ko she got a CD from her real dad, kung ayaw mo, di huwag. At least greeting her. “Hindi ko ma-explain yung pakiramdam kasi nanggaling pa sa pamilya ko yung ganong klaseng regalo. Hindi ko po masabi sa kanila kasi baka sumama ang loob nila. Baka iniisip nila hindi ako naging masaya sa kanila kaya hinahanap ko ang tatay ko. Kaya ang laking bagay po sa akin na pinuntahan pa ng tita ko sa Iowa yung dad ko para lang makuhanan ng birthday greeting para sa akin. And then nung araw ng birthday ko, tinawagan nya ko. Yun ang first

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An evening of Heart and Soul by Terence

Calacsan AJPress

Tucked away in the industrial parks of San Gabriel Valley, Heart and Soul emanates from an otherwise hidden location. The Promenade at Gano Excel in Irwindale served as the venue for Heart and Soul: Derek Santos (and his band of trusty musicians) on Dec. 3. Serving up tasty pop, soul and R&B treats from yesteryears, Santos played to an audience of family and friends. Decked in banners representing various nations, more than a handful of flat screen televisions, and a coffee/tea bar stocked with samples of Gano Excel’s own brand of unique beverages, the Derek Santos Promenade at Gano Excel accommodated both young and old. The Promenade’s weekly regulars, Bibop’s Kabob, served up $7 plates to those in need of a late dinner. On to the show. Santos opened the night with the ever-favorite toe-tapper, September, by perennial and influential R&B/disco group Earth,Wind and Fire. Santos’ vocal prowess not only enchanted the nearby families, but his band’s seasoned musicianship played a heavy factor in the cover’s authenticity. This is no karaoke act, people. “I started singing, as far as I could remember, at the age of 7,” Santos said. “I tried to be in the limelight in the Philippines when I graduated college. I was 19 then. A couple of years ago, through Santos’ friend, Glenda Rodriguez, he was able to join a band which led him to where he is now. Santos pleased the crowd with his strong, clear, and very controlled voice through favorites like Frank Sinatra’s The Way You Look Tonight and Gino Vannelli’s hit I Just Wanna Stop. “I’m so delighted that people took time off from there work or whatever. I’m not expecting anything out of this, but if ever this thing turns out nice and gets some gigs later on, I’ll welcome that.” Santos’ wife, Lalaine, was also in attendance at the event. According to her, Mr. Santos belongs to a family of music lovers and is a nephew of the Tiongco Brothers of the Philippines. “As a little boy, his mother, who was his first mentor, would show off his son’s talent by having him sing not only in family gatherings, but in all conceivable festivities as well,” Mrs. Santos said. Of course, the event wouldn’t have been complete without a ceremonial kick-off to the holiday season: the lighting of a Christmas tree. Santos counted down from 10 from which the crowd chanted along. Once they hit one, the Promenade was ready for anything. According to Mrs. Santos, the audience was already asking when the next show was by the end of the evening. time na nag-usap kami. Narinig ko pa lang boses nya, iyak na ko ng iyak.” She was also able to see her dad and spent time with him for five days. Angelica described the meeting as ‘magical.’ “Parang hindi ako makapaniwala hanggang ngayon.” Her dad also got to watch all of her movies and was patient enough to read all the subtitles just to understand it. She also gave him her “Best Comedy Actress” trophy, which she won at the Star Awards for TV last year. According to Angelica, they

were both emotional when they said goodbye to each other. For her, it was just brief but those were the happiest five days of her life. She said “Hindi ko po ine-expect na mangyayari ito sa buhay ko. Alam ko na hindi lang sa akin ito nangyayari. May iba ring bata na gustong makita ang nanay at tatay nila or mga kapatid. Gusto ko pong maging inspirasyon sa kanila.” Her message to her family “Mahal na mahal ko po sila. Kahit po pagbali-baligtarin natin ang sitwasyon, sila po ang pamilya ko, sila lang.”

12/10/10 4:10:38 PM


(213) 250-9797 • 

CITIZEN PINOY FEATURE A STORY OF FAITH AND GREEN CARDS. Rey (left) and Maria (center) are music ministers who surrendered their fate to God as they heeded His call. But the couple encountered several crosses along the way. Witness how miracles happened in the lives of this couple when leading US immigration attorney Michael J. Gurfinkel (center) brings an encore presentation of your most popular immigration program on television—’Citizen Pinoy’ this Sunday at 5:45pm PST. Also—Kapamilyas in Houston and surrounding neighborhoods in Texas have the chance to get their immigration questions answered live, when leading immigration attorney Michael J. Gurfinkel brings your most popular immigration program on television- CITIZEN PINOY to Houston, Texas on December 12th, Sunday. Audience call times are at 12nn /3pm /6pm. As a public service from TFC and the Law Offices of Michael J. Gurfinkel, seats are FREE, but you need to reserve now at or you may call toll free 1-866487-3465.


Sunday Sunday

5:45pm PST 12:10am PST

original replay


Sunday Thursday

11am PST •7pm PST

original replay


Monday Friday

3am Phil •11am Phil

original replay

*aired within TFC regions only

Music-Ally in... PAGE B2 one festival, the shouts of bravo were non-stop, his prowess and high level of intensity showing through his classical guitar. During the fusion number of Bo Razon, Abe Lagrimas, Jr. and the band, the camaraderie among them was evident, and their synergy was high. That synergy carried through to the David Family, when Nicole and Mon came onstage to join Carlo David in singing Anthropology by Charlie Parker, with a funky arrangement done by Carlo, who had been exposed to music in the womb, and as early as 3 years-old, showed interest in music. He wrote his first composition at age 5, and had formal music lessons at age 7. When he auditioned at the College of Music, took the entrance exam, he qualified for a full scholarship at the UP College of Music. His first song at this festival was Centerpiece by Jon Hendricks, Annie Ross and Lambert, a vibrant rendition, though his second song, the artist’s favorite, Detour Ahead, was not quite ours. These Philippine Jazz artists were featured: VJ Rosales,


Johnny Alegre, Abe Lagrimas, Jr., Bo Razon and Maguindanao’s master artist, Danugan “Danny” Kalanduyan and the crowd’s favorite, Annie Brazil, who at 77 years old, commanded and owned the stage. When she sang It Had To Be You, Jeff and Tricia were seated next to me. Jeff confided that he could have proposed to Tricia then, right after Annie sang, but he recognized they were there as attendees of the jazz festival, and the event was not about them. The next morning, he did, and Tricia accepted. Love was won over one more time when the world Indigenous musical sounds, played by Bo Razon from the kudyapi (a pre-hispanic and a pre-Islamic musical instrument), master artist Danny Kalanduyan on the mini gongs or kulintang. Bo Razon alternated playing: a kudyapi, a two-stringed instrument, an 8-string guitar, a tambourine, two coconut husks, and a bamboo two piece vibrating instrument, similar to the nose flute. To be able to play one instrument is a challenge, but to play

multiple instruments takes the artist to his highest level of mastery, and obviously, overcoming innate challenges of playing each unique instrument that MUSIC becomes them. MUSIC is Abe Lagrimas, Jr. who played the drums, vibraphone, ukelele, during the festival. He is the musical director of Charmaine Clamor and he led the 8-men performance band, which accompanied Charmaine Clamor in her CD release concert of Something Good, at the second day of the festival. Three of her 14 songs stood out for me: Sweet Shot, Motherless Ili-Ili, and Breakfast with Bubba. Charmaine had an evolved style on stage that night, it was hers to declare as truly her own. When she finished her repertoire, folks stood up to give her standing ovation. Something Good, her new CD, had climbed from #43 to now #20 on World Music charts according to her website. Interestingly, the Jazzcharts for Dec. 6, 2010, did not track Charmaine’s Something Good in the top 40,. So Asian Journal’s readers, we have lots to do—get her CDs as Christmas presents and fully support our festival musicians so they can be recognized on mainstream stage. PAGE B7 u



How to get $25,000 loan without collateral Are you in dire straits? Are you in your last rope? Are you being laid off? Do you have so much debt? Do you have so many bills? Do you want to be your own boss? Do you want to own a business? Do you suffer from a financial hardship? Is your house been foreclosed? Do you need money to purchase a house, a car or for whatever reason? Do you want to send your kids to college? Do you want to pay off your student loan? If your answer in any of the above question is yes, Unique Financial Services, Inc. can help. Anyone can be approved for a minimum of $25,000 without collateral. It is easy to qualify one must be at least 18 years of age, have a valid driver’s license or I.D. and Social Security Number. This is the second batch since the company has started the Business Loan program in April, whereas many kababayans applied and get the loan worth at least $50,000. With the current economic instability, banks have been so strict in lending money to consumers. They require strict qualifications to the borrowers and only limited number of borrowers are lately been approved. Unique just recently opened again the business loan program but for a limited time only that’s why everyone is encouraged to take advantage of this very rare opportunity. Unique Financial Services, Inc. also offers Legal Debt Settlement Program, Credit Repair, Loan Modification, etc. Unique, is a sister company of H. D. Remodeling Inc., a construction company which has been in the business for 20 years serving Filipino communities in Los Angeles and Orange counties. Unique also conducts semi-

nar for Business Loan program and Legal Debt Settlement Program every Saturday. Please call (323) 733-2190 for more information how to get a loan and also to reserve seats for the seminar. Unique Financial Services, Inc. is located at 4156 W. Pico Blvd. Los Angeles, Ca 90019. Call (323) 733-2190 or email

at uniquefinancialservices10@ for immediate appointments before the loan application runs out. Unique also gives away FREE BALIKBAYAN BOX for all loan applicants and Legal Debt Settlement Qualifiers through Victory Cargo. Please call (323) 733-2190 for details. (Advertising Supplement)

12/10/10 4:14:07 PM


LAWKEND SEC-B DECEMBER 11.indd 6 • (213) 250-9797

12/10/10 4:15:53 PM

(213) 250-9797 • 

Have a beauty makeover, with VIP service




Empowering the Filipino community

At iTocco Hair

Friendly Stylists of iTocco (L-R) Jimin, Grace, Angie, Monica, Yoo ree, Nicole, JiYoung, Annie & Helena

There’s a beauty salon along Western Ave. in Los Angeles that has gained a reputation for giving clients amazing beauty in hair and make-up design and skin care with great personalized service. The salon is called iTocco Hair and Beauty and it has brought world-class style and service to Los Angeles, California. With over a decade of experience in high fashion hair design, iTocco is known for not only hair dressing, but also for the finest make-up. iTocco has the finest and professional stylists and make-up artists who are best known for their ability to create and define the perfect look for any client. iTocco offers extraordinary full salon services in a luxurious ambiance, providing the latest hair styles and colors, facials, make-up, perfect waxing and amazing manicures and pedicures. Monica Chon, the owner of iTocco, is an avid “people watcher,” with a deep appreciation for diversity. “I’m not just about creating one kind of look,” she says. “I work with all kinds of hair from the soccer mom to the punk rocker. I can come up with something that will suit every individual.” And also, it was important to Monica to hire the right staff in order to create a unique family environment where the artists could thrive and the clients would feel welcome. She encourages her staff to get to know everyone’s clients, not just their own. “ I’ve been in this business for 16 years and I still love what I do,” said Monica. Open from Monday to Sunday from 9:30am – 8pm, iTocco is located at 324 S. Western Ave. #4 Los Angeles, CA, 90020. Phone: (213) 384-6000. (Advertising Supplement)

Now is your opportunity to contribute quality care to people in need of dialysis treatment as well as securing your job for life! In as little as four months, an in-demand career in the health care industry, could be your best solution. For over a year now, Dialysis Education Services, as a leader in dialysis training, has been empowering the Filipino community in Southern California. Each month, Dialysis Education Services produces highly qualified and highly trained dialysis technicians, who are willing and able to help contribute quality care to hemodialysis patients. Dialysis technicians work with patients who are being treated for kidney failure. Not only must they be compassionate with patients, they must also be skillful in operating the machine as well as mixing the solutions required in the dialysis process. At Dialysis Education Services, our students will experience classroom and hands on curriculum to give them the edge when they graduate and work in the real world. A dialysis technician is neither a doctor nor a nurse, yet his or her role is vital and important to everyone at the clinic. Dialysis technicians take care of both patient and machine. In as little as four months, you can be on your way to help people in need. And not only is being a Dialysis Technician emotionally rewarding, the income potential is also promising. As you mature as a dialysis technician, your income potential increases as well. And because there are more people in need of dialysis because of kidney failure than there are technicians to be there for them, the need for a qualified dialysis technician will continue to grow even more. Dialysis Education Services has partnered with

leading dialysis centers and has been providing these centers with highly qualified dialysis technicians, who can make an impact in a patient’s life. Recognized by the Department of Health, Dialysis Education Services offers a Hemodialysis Technician Training Program with

classroom and clinical training and a certification exam review class. The general objective is to provide an educational experience for the student that will lead to employment in a dialysis facility. And increase the quality of care delivered to patients on the dialysis.

Come and visit Dialysis Education Services at 17138 Bellflower blvd #203 Bellflower CA 90706. Give us a call at (562) 215-2429 and speak with one of our councilors. You may also visit us on the web at  (Advertising Supplement)

Music-Ally in...

David family, Annie Brazil, Charmaine Clamor, Abe Lagrimas, Jr., Bo Razon, Master Kalanduyan, PAGE B5 Davis was inducted into the Rock Johnny Alegre and even our new With our support, it is only a and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006. artist, VJ Rosales and more! matter of time that they become Davis was noted as “one of the key After all, there are 4 million part of a world-class, mainstream figures in the history of jazz.” Filipino-Americans residing in stage. We wish and pray for this kind the United States, 90 million in It was not a full house at the of sustainable stature for our the Philippines and another 10 Catalina, possibly dampened by jazzipino artists, starting with the million around the world. the recession. The crowds that should have been attracted by full blast outreach in the last two weeks did not come. 2009 was a recessionary period for the economy, yet the festival was unaffected. 2010’s outreach had attracted Friday’s 90 folks, mostly Filipinos and Filipino-Americans, and Saturday’s 75 folks, a multicultural crowd. Talent and caliber of the artists were high on both nights of the festival, with Bo Razon as a session musician, a composer and a multi-instrumentalist; a National Endowment of Arts grantee in Danny Kalanduyan; a multi-instrumentalist in Abe Lagrimas, Jr. and Carlo David and of course, Charmaine Clamor on Saturday, those talents should have been enough to draw more folks to the festival. And the past track record? In 2008, Jazz-Phil USA was packed—folks lined up to get their artists’ CDs and clamored to buy multiple copies as gifts. Jackie, Charmaine’s friend, ran back to the parking lot, in the hopes of getting more CDs from her car—only to disappoint. Her website reported that JazzWeek announced months earlier “that Charmaine Clamor’s groundbreaking new CD, Flippin’ Out, was the week’s #1 Most Added record to world radio playlists. No other recording in America was added to more stations. Charmaine’s new musical form of “jazzipino” was heard on 155 jazz and world radio stations in the United States and Canada in 2007.” That is what we are seeking to recapture. Could it be that the magic of love of good jazz comes only once around? We, as a community, have a lot to learn from Miles Davis. Wikipedia reports: “On October 7, 2008, his album Kind of Blue, released in 1959, received its fourth platinum certification from the RIAA, signifying sales of 4 million copies. Miles LAWKEND SEC-B DECEMBER 11.indd 7

12/10/10 4:17:05 PM


Features • (213) 250-9797

Goldilocks spreads holiday cheer with free items and huge discounts Coming soon: All-youGoldilocks is bringing lots of cheer and adding more spirit to the holiday season with a promotional extravaganza that offers customers the best deals on the most popular food items during Christmas and New Year celebrations. Beginning December 11, 2010, Goldilocks customers can avail of the following FREE items and substantial discounts: FREE one (1) bag BBQ Siopao Sliders (10 pcs. per bag) when you pre-order a minimum of one (1) any size Hot Food Party Tray. Promo is valid for pre-orders until Dec. 22. Also available at a discounted price of only $5.99 per bag with any $30 minimum bakery purchase, valid until January 1, 2011. Regular price is $8.99. FREE Goldilocks designer tote bag, perfect as a souvenir item or pasalubong for out-of-towners. Fill it up with all your favorite Goldilocks goodies and it becomes a uniquely elegant gift! GOLDILOCKS is offering the chic, reusable, eco-friendly bags FREE with a minimum bakery purchase of $30. FREE (choice of) Halo-Halo, Fresh Lumpia, Palabok or CD Christmas Album (Pamaskong Handog ng Goldilocks) with $50 purchase of Goldilocks Gift Cards. FREE two (2) pieces BBQ Siopao Sliders with $25 purchase of Goldilocks Gift card. FREE 2011 Goldilocks calendar with monthly coupons that add up to hefty savings all year-round. No purchase necessary. Huge discounts on Kakanin when you purchase any size Hot Food Party Tray or select Kakanin platters. Discount on CD Christmas Album entitled Pamaskong Handog ng Goldilocks, a compilation of OPM songs by popular Filipino artists. Only $9.99 with minimum purchase of $30. Regular price is $14.99. FREE raffle ticket for VIP members

(exclusively for members only) with every $30 purchase. Get the chance to win two FREE roundtrip airline tickets to the Philippines plus a Kulinarya Tour courtesy of the Department of Tourism-Los Angeles, plus other major prizes worth thousands of dollars. VIP members will also get the chance to earn more points during the holidays, with a $10 reward coupon for every 200 points earned. Aside from birthday and wedding anniversary coupons and other benefits, VIP members also get $5 OFF towards the purchase of any birthday motif cake. The VIP Rewards Program is open to all Goldilocks customers in Los Angeles County and Nevada. To sign up and become a Goldilocks VIP member or to update membership information, please visit any participating store in those areas or call 1-888-54-GOLDI. Promos cannot be combined with other promotional offers. All promotional items are available while supplies last at the following Goldilocks Restaurants and Bakeries in Los Angeles County: Goldilocks Cerritos (Restaurant and Bakeshop) 11489 South Street Cerritos, CA 90703 Tel. no. (562) 924-5990 Goldilocks Eagle Rock (Restaurant and Bakeshop) 2700 Colorado Blvd. Ste.110 (inside Eagle Rock Plaza) Los Angeles, CA 90041 Tel. no. (323) 543-2676 Goldilocks Panorama City (Restaurant and Bakeshop) 8340 Van Nuys Boulevard (at Roscoe) Panorama City, CA 91402 Tel. No. (818) 891-5253 Goldilocks North Hills (Restaurant and

can-eat Pinoy Buffet

3Js Restaurant and Buffet at Eagle Rock

GOLDILOCKS DESIGNER TOTE BAG. Fill it up with your favorite Goldilocks goodies and it becomes a uniquely elegant gift. FREE with minimum $30 bakery purchase at participating stores in Los Angeles County.

Bakeshop) 16130 Nordhoff St. (At Seafood City) North Hills, CA 91343 Tel. no. (818) 895-9100 Goldilocks West Covina (Bakeshop) 2429 So. Azusa Avenue West Covina, CA 91792 Tel. no. (626) 964-1811 Goldilocks Los Angeles (Bakeshop) 207 So. Vermont Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90004 Tel. no, (213) 382-2351 (Advertising Supplement)

Next weekend, a special Filipino restaurant will open at 4420 Eagle Rock Blvd LA 90041 (former site of Barrio Fiesta restaurant). Called 3Js Restaurant and Buffet, the beautiful and newly renovated venue is sure to attract Filipinos who love good food and great value for their money. The buffet spread will include close to 50 different Filipino dishes, all guaranteed to please the Pinoy palate. Dine-in customers will enjoy eating to their heart’s content but 3Js will also offer food to go with combination value meals for take out. The eatall-you can buffet is available for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Opening just in time for the holidays, 3Js can accommodate

more than 100 people. It’s the perfect venue for Christmas parties, birthdays, weddings and other big or small occasions. They are also available for catering. 3Js is named after the children of the owners, Chi and Quezon Guerrero—Joanna, Justin and Jan. “We have been in the food business since 1998,” said Chi who also owns the Nanay Oriental Seafood Market along Eagle Rock Boulevard. “Customers can call us now to book their holiday Christmas party. Our number is (323) 535-0031. Hopefully, we can meet the expectations of the Pinoy market,’ she added. Abangan ngayong Kapaskuhan—3Js Restaurant and Buffet. (Advertising Supplement)


Anne Carvajal

Ruffa: Nothing to hide about ‘mystery guy’ RUFFA Gutierrez was spotted at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport arrival area with a gorgeous foreigner. Who’s the mystery guy? “I’d rather not call him a ‘mystery guy’ because we have nothing to hide,” Ruffa clarifies. “We traveled with a group of friends to attend the launch of Lanvin in Hong Kong. It’s funny that they took shots of just me and him. I’m no mistress nor am I doing any hanky-panky so it’s really no big deal with me to be seen in public with him.” Ruffa says the guy is a Brazilian-Spanish businessman and she’d rather keep his identity private, “because he’s not in show biz anyway.” Does her mom Annabelle Rama approve of him? “Mom and Dad have met him,” says Ruffa. “They like him but it’s too early to say where things would lead. What’s important is I’m happy because I can be more of myself with him.” The twinkle in Ruffa’s eyes is back. It outshines all her bling combined. No rift? Joey Marquez refutes the rumor that he has a rift with John Estrada and Richard Gomez, allegedly because of unsettled money matters after the death of their beloved manager, Douglas Quijano. But is it true that when Joey was invited to be a guest on TV5’s Sunday noontime show PO5, hosts John and Goma were not too keen about it? “Busy lang kami pare-pareho,” explains Joey. “Pero madalas pa rin kami magtawagan. Sa lalim ng pinagsamahan namin, wala nang intrigang makakasira sa friendship namin.” To end all speculations, the three of them should do a remake of their legendary sitcom, Palibhasa Lalake. Or else lalaki pa ang issue. Loudest whisper The loudest whisper is that Sarah Geronimo, Anne Curtis and Cristine Reyes are leaving their home network and moving to TV5. If and when that materializes, the three beauties will be more than just eye candy in the Kapatid network. Could it be true that because of Viva’s boss Vic del Rosario’s pivotal role in Willie Revillame’s TV comeback via Willing Willie, ABS-CBN is taking it out on Sarah who happens to be Viva’s prized ward?


12/10/10 4:18:11 PM

(213) 250-9797 • 




12/10/10 4:19:42 PM


LAWKEND SEC-B DECEMBER 11.indd 10 • (213) 250-9797

12/10/10 4:20:38 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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12/10/10 3:54:13 PM


Minding Your Finances Atty. Raymond Bulaon TOUGH financial times are pushing strapped consumers over the edge. Delinquencies and balances on delinquent credit cards are on the rise with no signs of slowing down. Faced with layoffs and difficult economic times, a lot of people are resorting to use of their credit cards in order

Community Journal

Are you carrying a heavy debt load? to pay for basic living expenses such as food and housing. A lot of people tap into their credit cards hoping it’s nothing more than a temporary solution “until things get better”. The bad news is that credit cards come with a steep price tag attached- the sky-high interest rates, not to mention late fees and over-the-limit fees. Once credit cards are maxed out, some people resort to even

more desperate measures just to make ends meet. Lately, I’ve seen a lot of people going as far as getting some of these so-called “payday” or “emergency” loans, which are ten to thirty times worse than credit cards! In most cases, the interest rates on these loans can be anywhere from 390% to 900% APR if you continue to “roll over” the loan (i.e., ask for an extension of time to pay)!!! Can you believe that? I’ve seen clients have 2, 3 or sometimes more payday loans at the same time. No wonder that these people are broke before pay day even comes! The “loan sharks” often prey on people who have bad credit and are already overextended on debt. If you are struggling with debt, perhaps you are finding it more and more difficult to catch up every month. If some of your accounts have been turned over to collections, this is even worse because this means that you can get sued by your creditors at any time. Once they obtain a judgment, creditors can then garnish your wages or levy on your bank accounts. Some people get paralyzed with fear and do nothing, hoping that somehow by ignoring their debt problems, creditors will simply give up. Get real. You can’t ignore your debt problems. If you do nothing, one of these days you will realize that your inaction has simply made your debt problems worse. If you’ve done everything you can but nothing has worked up to this point, should you file for bankruptcy as a last resort? Bankruptcy can often be an option for a lot of people who can no longer afford to pay their debts. In Chapter 7, credit card debts, personal loans, medical bills and most types of unsecured debts can be wiped out. That means you can start over and rebuild your credit instead of having all your delinquent debts reported to the credit bureaus every month. Your fresh start begins the day your bankruptcy case is filed and creditors can no longer collect from you. For the first time perhaps in a very long time, you can finally breathe and feel like a human being again. If you are able to pay a certain amount every month, you may also qualify for Chapter 13 debt consolidation in order to signifi-


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Immigration Edge Atty. Daniel Hanlon ON MONDAY, December 6, 2010, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is expected to file cloture on his recent compromise version of the DREAM ACT bill, S. 3992, setting up a full Senate vote on Wednesday, December 8, 2010. vote. The House is set to take up a different version of the bill also on Wednesday, according to Capitol Hill insiders. The exact date and version of the bill the House will consider is not clear, however, many expect that the House could vote before the Senate. The DREAM Act was first introduced in 2001 and reincarnated in 2003 and will 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 attain their own dreams of attending college or joining the military and becoming lawful permanent residents of the United States.

Immigration Highlights Atty. Crispin Lozano QUESTION: Mario was petitioned by Jose, his father who is a Lawful Permanent Resident in 1985. His father became a US citizen in 1993. Mario got married to Linda in 1988. Mario and Linda have a child born in 1989 named Cindy. In 1991, Mario was interviewed at the US Embassy, Manila for an immigrant visa. He declared that he was single and has no child. Based on this declaration he was given a visa and entered the US in 1992. Mario married Linda again in 1993 and filed an immigrant visa petition for his wife and daughter. The petition was denied because the USCIS discovered his prior marriage to Linda in 1988 and committed a misrepresentation of material fact by not disclosing his marriage to Linda in 1988 and the existence of his daughter. Mario received a Notice to Appear to the Immigration Court. What is Mario’s immigration status? • (213) 250-9797

Senate to vote on DREAM Act Originally introduced as S.1291 in 2001 by Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Richard Durbin (DIL) will reverse a harmful provision of 1996’s IIRAIRA that denies States the right to determine who qualifies for in-state tuition. As most students and parents are aware, out of state tuition can render the college experience at State schools as expensive as tuition at some of Nation’s most exclusive private Universities. The DREAM Act will give States the authority to make such determinations.  Most importantly, DREAM will create a mechanism through which young people who meet certain criteria, including having good moral character and having lived in the US for at least five years preceding the Act’s passage, may apply to “adjust status” or become lawful permanent residents of the United States. Senator Reid has long championed the DREAM ACT, and recently attempted to include it in the Defense authorization bill, as enactment of the bill into law

would improve the nation’s military preparedness. Moreover, research has shown that providing legal status for people who have striven for and achieved success in the US would contribute to improving the economic conditions in the US as well. With High School graduation as a an incentive to attaining legal status in the US, fewer foreign born children would drop out of school than in the past, where lack of legal status imposed an enormous barrier to admission and obtaining student loans for college. Promoters of this longoverdue 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, pass in the House and be


What relief is available for misrepresentation of material fact? Answer: Mario committed a fraud or misrepresentation of material fact in obtaining a visa at the US Embassy. By entering the US without disclosing his marriage and children is again a misrepresentation to the US Immigration Officer. These two acts of misrepresentation made Mario inadmissible and deportable. Question: What is the relief available to Mario? Answer: Mario may request the immigration court for a waiver of the misrepresentation. Question: Is Mario qualified for the waiver? Answer: To avail of this waiver Mario must: 1. Have a parent or son or daughter who is Lawful Permanent Resident or US citizen. In this case he has his father who is a US citizen. 2. Mario must be otherwise admissible at the time of admission except for the fraud or misrepresentation. In this case Mario

must have no criminal records that will disqualify him. Question: What is the purpose of this waiver? Answer: The purpose of this waiver is maintain unity of families by forestalling deportation where it would break up family composed in part of US citizens or lawful permanent residents. Question: What will happen if the waiver is granted to Mario? Answer: This waiver is discretionary to the Immigration Judge. If granted the waiver cures the defect in the immigrant visa of Mario allowing him to become a lawful permanent resident as of the date he was admitted as permanent resident in 1991. Note: This is not a legal advice. Immigration news The USCIS may check your personal information on Facebook. The Ninth Circuit Court decided that the death of US citizen


12/10/10 3:55:16 PM

Community Journal

(213) 250-9797 • 

Protecting Employee & Consumer Rights Atty. C. Joe Sayas, Jr. (‘Tis the season to know your rights) Q: I AM an hourly employee working as a staffing personnel for an agency. When we are able to sign up more than 100 clients in a 6-month period, we are paid a bonus. I work more than 8 hours per day every day and work some hours on the weekends. However, I am not paid overtime. When I asked my employer why I am not paid overtime, I was told that I was already receiving a bonus so I am already paid. Is this right? A: No, it is not. Under California law, you are still entitled to overtime pay if you worked more than 8 hours per day or more than 40 hours per week. A bonus is money paid to an employee in addition to the hourly wage, monthly salary, or commission paid as compensation for work performed. There are two types of bonuses: discretionary bonuses and non-discretionary bonuses. A discretionary bonus is a bonus that may be paid as a form of a gratuity or a gift for past service. This type of bonus is usually not measured by or dependent on an employee’s hours worked, production, or efficiency. A perfect example of this type of bonus is the holiday bonus at the end of the year. Other special-occasion bonuses are also included in this category. A nondiscretionary bonus is bonus that is usually dependent on performance over and above that which is paid for hours worked or sales completed. This type of bonus is intended to increase an employee’s efforts in

Legal Lifeline Atty. Gene W. Choe PROPERTY values of most houses in California have not yet gained momentum. In fact, a lot of homeowners have loans above the current market value of their homes. In real estate parlance, the property is underwater. Nevertheless for many reasons, homeowners choose to keep their property. As such, they are allotting almost half of their income towards their mortgages. Note that many of them have not refinanced or bled their property dry. Hence, through no fault of their own, decent folks have to pay high mortgages in order to keep their home. In some instances, the finances of the family are further strained because one was laid off or his/her work hours was cut. To sustain the cut in their budget, some turn to credit cards. At first, they do not feel the impact because they can still pay the minimum balance of their credit cards every month. This gives them a false sense of security. It’s definitely hard to adjust one’s lifestyle. Before, they know it, it get’s harder and harder to pay off the debt and bills every month. They juggle paying one credit card with an-

How bonuses increase your overtime pay the performance of his or her job, to induce them to work more steadily, more rapidly, more efficiently, or to remain with the company. Examples are bonuses for production, efficiency, quality and accuracy of work, attendance, duration of service, and bonuses promised when an employee is hired. A nondiscretionary bonus may have been agreed to by both employer and employee. The agreement may state that the employer promises to pay a bonus in return for a specific result; for example, if an employee exceeds a minimum sales figure or piece quota, or if the employee promises to remain with the employer for a certain period of time. It is important to distinguish the type of bonus an employee is receiving. Under California law, money earned as a nondiscretionary bonus will be treated as wages. This means that a nondiscretionary bonus is included in determining the regular rate of pay for computing an employee’s overtime pay. Therefore, given the situation above where an hourly employee receives a bonus for exceeding the number of clients signed up in a 6-month period, the employee is receiving a nondiscretionary bonus intended to make employees work harder at signing up more clients. The bonus cannot take the place of overtime pay. The employer still owes the employee compensation for work done in excess of 8 hours per day or 40 hours per week. Because the employee is receiving a nondiscretionary bonus, this amount must be included in the employee’s regular rate

parent will not be a hindrance to seek waiver of misrepresentation. On March 17, 2010 we received an approval in Immigration Court of adjustment of status for a conditional residence whose status was terminated before. When a conditional residence is terminated the USCIS will refer the alien to removal proceedings. On January 5, 2010, we received an approval in Immigration Court of an adjustment of status based on good faith marriage despite an age difference of 18 years. On Dec. 7, 2009, our client Ms. E was approved for a waiver of

other and just end up with more in debt. Some even drain their savings and retirement funds to pay for taxes and other unforeseen expenses. I’ve seen clients with many unopened letters and bills as though they are afraid of what’s in there. Always be on top of your finances. Always open your mail. Knowing your problem is better than hiding under all the strain. Many clients only seek the services of attorneys if their situation is desperate, e.g., foreclosure, lawsuit, wage garnishment, etc. The best time to seek the advice of an attorney is when your financial circumstances have change. Examples of such changes are: your income got lower; your are unable to pay your entire credit card debt; or your mortgage payment is more than 30% of your household income. At this time, your lawyer can act as your financial consultant and give you several options. As your financial situation gets desperate, your options becomes more limited. For instance, it will be hard to get back a wage garnishment but it is easier to settle your debt with a collection

misrepresentation in the Immigration Court. In another case, on October 29, 2009, our request for waiver of misrepresentation for entering as single but actually married for our client Mr. D in Fresno, CA was approved by the Immigration Judge. Tip of the week Petitioner’s death is not a problem if the beneficiary is in the US when the petitioner died and at the time of adjustment of status. Abused spouse of US citizen or permanent residents can self petition even if there is a problem with their passport and entry documents. Income tax filing is required in

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cantly reduce your monthly debt payments. In most cases, credit card payments can be reduced to half (or even less) of what you are currently paying. You also pay 0% interest on your credit cards and can get out of debt anywhere from 3-5 years, depending on how long your Chapter 13 plan is. If you are in foreclosure, Chapter 13 can also help you save your home and help you bring your payments current. If you have a second mortgage not supported with any equity, a “lien strip” may also allow you to completely wipe out the underlying debt. See an experienced bankruptcy attorney who can explain to you 101211 - WE SEC C.indd 3

C. Joe Sayas, Jr., Esq. is an experienced trial attorney who has successfully obtained significant results, including several million dollar recoveries for consumers against insurance companies and big business. He is a member of the Million Dollar-Advocates Forum—a prestigious group of trial lawyers whose membership is limited to those who have demonstrated exceptional skill, experience and excellence in advocacy. He has been featured in the cover of Los Angeles Daily Journal’s Verdicts and Settlements for his professional accomplishments and recipient of numerous awards from community and media organizations. His litigation practice concentrates in the followaing areas: serious personal injuries, wrongful death, insurance claims, unfair business practices, wage and hour (overtime) litigation. You can visit his website at www.joesayas or contact his office by telephone at (818) 291-0088. 

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The best time to seek the services of an Attorney is when you are not desperate

What relief is available…


in computing the employee’s overtime pay. When including the bonus in the regular rate, the bonus must be apportioned back over the workweeks of the period in which the bonus was earned. For example: The employee receives a regular rate of $10 per hour, and receives a bonus of $2000 in a 6-month period (or 26 weeks) for signing up more than 100 clients. The employee’s normal overtime rate would be $15. However, if we include the bonus as part of the employee’s regular rate, then the employee’s overtime rate would be $17.88, not $15. The difference of $2.88 may not be much by itself but spread over time, it becomes a significant amount for the ordinary worker. Determining the correct amount of your overtime compensation under the law may mean more wages to benefit you and your family. In today’s economy, knowing your rights to wages can go a long way. ***

how this works. In a lot of cases, it is a lot better than doing a loan modification because you can significantly reduce what you owe on your property. If you are in debt and need to find the best solution for your situation, 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)

agency. It’s even easier to answer an lawsuit by a credit card company than to fight a default judgment. A default judgment is a final judgment obtained by a creditor because the debtor did not respond to the lawsuit. Many times, the client have no option but to file for bankruptcy. Whereas, had he sought the advice of a lawyer earlier, the debt could have been settled. If some homeowners was able to modify their mortgage loans, such that they will be paying only 30% of their income, then they don’t have to resort to using their credit cards to augment their income. Bankruptcy is not a solution for everything, but it gives the debtor many reprieves. Please consult a competent lawyer if you have any financial or legal problem. ***



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 benefi-

ciary is outside the US, beneficiary may seek to reinstate the 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-inlaw, 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) benefi-

ciary 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 Beneficiary 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) 3881611 or e-mail Website  (Advertising Supplement)

Open for business: The revamped federal investment program

Inside Immigration Atty. Darren Silver

THE Federal Investment Program has been reopened. The new investment program is still offering applicants permanent residency; however, there have been significant changes to the financial requirements. The Canadian Government now requires applicants to make an investment of $800,000CAD and illustrate they have a net worth of at least $1.6 Million CAD. There is, however, a banking option that will allow applicants to pay far less. The banking options run between $200,000.00 to $220,000.00, the applicant pays this amount to the bank and the bank then makes the full investment of $800,000 to the Canadian Government on behalf of the applicant. International immigrant investor programs Country

Minimum Net Worth

Minimum Investment






$1,438,350.00CAD ($719,175.00CAD regional program)




New Zealand




Not Specified

$1,031,700.00CAD (515,850.00CAD regional program)

Although the Canadian Government doubled the required investment, $800,000CAD still remains substantially lower than most of the other popular International Investment Programs. The benefit of the new Federal Investment Program, besides the obvious benefit of acquiring Canadian permanent residency, is the speed in which applications will be processed. Essentially the Canadian Government has made this program more exclusive by raising the financial requirements, meaning they will have fewer applications to process. Also, the Canadian Government has announced that they intend to process new applications at the same time as the old investor applications. This has led to speculation that the new program will process applications much quicker. The Canadian Federal Government began accepting Investment Programs December 1, 2010. *** We look forward to answering any of your questions. You are invited to call our office or e-mail Mr. Silver Directly for his personal response to your immigration question.    Please contact the office for Free Consultation: Darren Silver and Associates Address: 3699 Wilshire Boulevard Suite 600, Los Angeles, CA 90010 Telephone: 1-800-971-7013 or 213-384-1900. E-mail: Go to and sign up for a free newsletter *** This article is not intended to provide legal advice, but to provide general information.  (Advertising Supplement)

If you have any impending foreclosure, please call our office at 213-639-3888 or e-mail us at Our office is located at 3699 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 720, Los Angeles, California 90010. *** This article does not constitute any legal guarantee or advice for any individual matter and does not create attorney client relationship with the readership. 

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the proposed legalization. Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) can be used for filing tax returns and is required before bank accounts can be opened. It is also needed by employers to charge to expense payment for contractual job. Our office assists clients in obtaining ITIN. ***

Chris Caday Lozano is an active member of the State Bar of California and he specializes in immigration law. He earned his Juris Doctor at Western State University College of Law in Fullerton, California. He is also a CPA and a Bachelor of Business Administration Cum Laude graduate. His offices are located at 1290 B Street, Suite 203, Hayward, California 94541; at 17057 Bellflower Blvd. Suite 205, Bellflower CA 90706 and at 777 N. First St., Suite 333, San Jose, CA 95112. You can contact him at telephone number (510) 538-7188.  (Advertising Supplement)



signed into law by the President. 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. *** 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) 12/10/10 3:55:56 PM


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

Community Journal

Accountant with Master’s degree denied discharge 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 amendments 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 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 been any problem. 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.” “The court finds that the debtor knowingly and fraudulently

made false oaths on his Schedules and statement of financial affairs by failing to disclose his interests and positions in the operating and non-operating entities. In the face of clear and unambiguous directions on the Schedules and SOFA calling for disclosure of the identities of his 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 cred-

Problem Solved Atty. Kelly O’Reilly I AM privy to some pretty good jokes about lawyers. Friends, family and fellow attorneys have shared some very entertaining thoughts about lawyers and the individuals who represent the legal profession. Often these jokes revolve around the great lengths that an attorney will go for money or about how hard it is to speak with an attorney once you hire him. Though meant to be funny these commentaries, unfortunately, find their humor in how close they come to the truth. To an immigrant in need of a work authorization so the bills can be paid or to a daughter asking for a travel document to see her sick mother in the Philippines, there is nothing funny about a lawyer who cannot be reached and the only contact with the law firm seems to be the monthly bill. I know that these scenarios are familiar to many people and to these folks you need to know there is something you can do about it, Maria did. Not too long ago, Maria came to the US with a tourist visa to visit some friends and to get some ideas for her business back in the Philippines. After a few months here, she met a man that would soon be her husband. After courtship and marriage, Maria applied for her permanent residency using one of the attorneys referred to her by a friend. At first the fees seemed expensive but she was assured that it was in her best interest as “you get what you pay for.” Confident that her case was being taken care of, Maria signed the retainer with the attorney knowing that she was leaving her life and trust with him. That was the last time she saw him. Like most of us, Maria had things pop up in her life that re-

Bridging Financial Gaps Evangeline A. Giron FOR most of us, our home represents our largest asset. Over time, the management of this asset can make a big difference in our overall financial outlook. One of the largest planning opportunities home ownership brings is the favorable tax treatment afforded the sale of a primary residence. Home Sale as Capital Gain The gain on the sale of a home is considered a gain on the sale of a capital asset. Any taxable profit you make is subject to a maximum long-term capital gain rate of 15% (5% for gains in the 10% to 15% federal income tax brackets) if you owned the house for more than 12 months. Gain on the sale of a home may only be taxable to the extent it exceeds $250,000 ($500,000 for joint filers) if certain conditions discussed below are met. To determine your profit (gain), you subtract your basis from the sale price minus all costs and commissions. For instance, if you

Insurance 101 Melody Avecilla WHEN it comes to American families and financial planning, perception is not reality. Although they are overwhelmingly optimistic about their financial future, their financial planning habits paint quite a different picture, according to a recent study commissioned by State Farm Life Insurance Companies and conducted by KRC Research. The study reports that although 82 percent of Americans are optimistic about their financial futures, American families in reality are not adequately saving or protecting their finances. From saving habits and financial goals to life insurance coverage and retirement saving tools, American families have room to grow when it comes to protect101211 - WE SEC C.indd 4 • (213) 250-9797

ible 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)

Is anyone listening? quired her to speak with her lawyer. Things like her employment where her manager wanted to speak with her attorney, a family illness in the Philippines and the need for permission to travel and other things that required the assurance of her attorney, so that she could have some peace of mind. However, each time Maria called her attorney she was given the choice of speaking with a paralegal or to leave a voice mail. At first Maria just left a voice mail thinking she would receive a return phone call. Days would pass and no such call came. Each try seemed in vain as she became very familiar with how the phone system worked in that law office. When it became apparent that the lawyer would not speak with her she decided to contact the paralegal assigned to the case and through her get the messages to the attorney. The paralegal was polite at first but Maria still did not get that return phone call from the attorney. After a few more attempts with the paralegal, Maria was told not to call back and if she did she would be billed. Despondent, feeling alone, Maria looked elsewhere for help. Now this type of treatment does not happen to every immigrant and there are many fine law firms that have made customer service a top priority. However, there is a growing trend where an attorney disappears after he is hired. You can take steps to make sure this does not happen to you and here are few ideas to help. When you seek that first consultation with your attorney ask him about your right to speak with him, can you call him, will he return your calls, can you have his cell phone number in case of emergency and will he be the one working on your case. If the attorney who you consult with will not be the one to work on your case ask to speak with the lawyer who will be assigned to you and go over the previous

questions again with the attorney actually assigned to work on your case. After you have hired the attorney, you should realize that you are the boss and you do not have to stand for an attorney who gives you the run around. If the attorney will not answer your calls you can use email to try and contact him and if that still does not work call the office and set up an appointment to meet with him or her personally. Make sure to discuss your feeling about your treatment and what will be done differently. If the lack of proper treatment continues you can leave that attorney and find another that will better serve your interests. Many immigrants are under the wrong impression that if you sign a retainer agreement with a lawyer that you are stuck in that relationship even if you are not happy. This is not true. An immigrant can terminate that relationship at anytime and find counsel somewhere else. When the possibility of leaving is expressed the customer service of the offending law firm usually improves. It is bad enough that the Immigration Service is this large, unfeeling behemoth that does not listen that your attorney should mirror its practices. Find a lawyer that you can speak with, that you can trust and put yourself at ease. There are plenty of good firms that do this and you will find that someone is in fact listening. ***

Kelly O’Reilly is a nationally known immigration expert and former immigration officer. He is a highly sought after speaker on immigration and employment compliance issues. Mr. O’Reilly serves as the current chair of the Riverside County Bar Association Immigration section and is a partner in the full-service immigration firm of Wilner & O’Reilly where he provides free consultations. Mr. O’Reilly can be contacted at (562)207-6789 or he welcomes email inquiries at  (Advertising Supplement)

The tax aspects of selling your home sell a house for $250,000, and must pay your broker 6% of the sale price -- or $15,000 -- your sale price for determining capital gain tax is $235,000 ($250,000 minus $15,000). Say you bought that house 20 years ago, for $35,000. You have since redone the kitchen and bathrooms, put in new windows, added a bedroom, and a new roof. Your basis in the house is $35,000 plus the cost of all of the capital improvements you have made, providing you have paperwork to verify the costs. Let’s assume the total cost of those improvements over the 20 years you owned the home is $40,000. In such a case, your basis would be $75,000. Your capital gain would be $235,000 minus $75,000, or $160,000. If you are in the 28% federal tax bracket or higher, your capital gain tax on your home sale would be $32,000 unless you use the principal residence exclusion. The Primary Residence Exclusion $250,000 exclusion for single

filers ($500,000 for joint filers) is now available to all taxpayers. You can claim the exclusion once every 2 years. To be eligible, you must have owned the residence and occupied it as a principal residence for at least 2 of the 5 years before the sale or exchange. If you fail to meet these requirements by reason of a change in place of employment, health, or other unforeseen circumstances you can exclude the fraction of the $250,000 ($500,000 if married filing a joint return) equal to the fraction of 2 years that these requirements are met.

*** Evangeline can be reached at her marketing location at the Ground Floor of Eagle Rock  Plaza (in front of Jollibee), 2700 Colorado Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90041 or  at her business address at 450 N. Brand Blvd., Ste. 600, Glendale, CA 91203, phone number (323) 356-3803 or (323) 254-6787. * ** The purpose of this article is to provide information of general interest to our clients and prospective clients. The information provided is general in nature and should not be considered complete information on any product or concept described. 

(Advertising Supplement)

Perception is not reality ing their financial futures. Americans cannot just “hope for the best”; they must take a critical look at where they are financially and lay out a clear roadmap that guides them to their hopes and dreams. Key highlights from the study show the gap between perception and reality: Savings habits Perception: Most Americans (82 percent) are optimistic about their financial futures. Reality: Nearly four in 10, more than 77 million Americans, say that they live paycheck to paycheck and are not able to put money into savings. Life insurance Perception: More than seven in 10 Americans are confident that they have enough life insurance. Reality: Only 12 percent of Americans report having the industry recommended coverage of seven or more times the

family’s annual income. Retirement savings Perception: The majority of Americans (58 percent) are not worried about outliving their retirement savings. Reality: Many Americans are not utilizing a full range of retirement tools. Social Security is the most prominent source of retirement income over other retirement savings tools, with a fifth of Americans reporting that it is their only or main source of retirement income. The sooner you start planning for your future, the better off you’ll be. Small investments made early can make a big difference in your financial health later in life. Don’t put off planning for your future.

*** If you suspect a scam, call the NICB hotline at 1–800–TEL–NICB. For information about auto insurance and insurance fraud, contact your insurance agent.  (Advertising Supplement) 12/10/10 3:56:37 PM

(213) 250-9797 • 

Community Journal



2011 global forecasts: South and southwest regions

On Feng Shui Jenny Liu (Part 4 of 5)

COME the Chinese Lunar New Year on February 3, 2011, the stars and planets take on new positions and acquire a different ability to affect and create certain natural phenomena all over the world. Interpreting the Nine Star Charts by understanding the laws of nature through the Yi-Jing, 5 Element Theory, and the philosophy of feng shui, we can get a glimpse of how nations across the world will fare. Knowing which economic sectors will go up or down allows you to focus your effort on attaining positive results and avoiding loss. This fourth article in a five-part series presents an overview of events that may occur in south and southwest regions of the world in 2011 based on the annual and 20-Year Nine Star charts applied to the world and the United States. Refer to the graphics to identify corresponding regions in each direction. Keep in mind, the Nine Star chart can also be applied to individual countries and states. SOUTH – 8, 6, 2

leaders of the south regions. They may face, or be involved in, corruption and theft. Star 2 can also potentially bring agricultural problems such as diseases or infestations that affect crop production. This can be a source of rising food prices. Stars 8 and 6, along with double Star 8 in the 20-Year chart show that entrepreneurs from the younger generation are innovative and make contributions toward definite, though gradual, economic growth in the south. Annual Star 2 and 20-Year Star 3 indicate conflict between female leaders and their male subordinates. They need to communicate well in order to succeed together. High stress

DECEMBER SERENADE. Gelo Francisco, Joan Cano and Pete Avendano with Bob Shroder and Chamber Orchestra performing at the December Serenade Concert held last Dec. 3 at the St. Genevieve Catholic Church in Panorama City.  AJPress photo by Andy Tecson

Under the tree: A community outreach event

brings risks in health for female leaders. SOUTHWEST – 6, 8, 4 Argentina, Chile, S. California, S. Arizona Feminine wood Star 4 combining with the southwest earth element energy brings conflict between female leaders and civilians. Leaders who define a clear path and proceed with teamwork will find that they will reach their goal, although economic improvement is slow. Stars 6 and 8 show that wealth comes as property values go up in southwest regions such as Los Angeles. Also, old officials retire and the younger generation comes in to make changes and improve business systems, bringing new wealth. Annual Star 5 and 20-Year Star 4 warn that leaders are likely to encounter serious problems with contracts, paperwork, accounting, and tricky people. It is better not to be greedy and to avoid risky investments. 20-Year Stars 1 and 6 bring support for academics, spurring new ideas and economic progress. Please visit our website to learn more about the 2011 Nine Star Forecasts. *** S. Africa, Brazil, Texas, Louisiana Star 2 is a feminine earth energy related to female leadership, natural lands, real estate, and the civilian or native. Because Star 2 is out-of-cycle, it can bring challenges to female

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ROSEWOOD United Methodist Church (RUMC), in a joint effort with (RRG) Rosewood Revitalization Group will hold another Under the Tree Community Outreach Event to extend its helping and caring hands anew to our less fortunate and needy brethren in the neighboring communities. The Under the Tree event will be held on Saturday, December 11, 2010 from 10am to 3pm under the big tree on the church’s front lawn. Rosewood UMC is located at 4101 W. Rosewood Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90004. The Under the Tree event is a recurring joint outreach effort by RUMC and RRG to provide community services such as health services/ screening, comprehensive care, free legal/immigration assistance, senior social services; job/employment application/placement assistance, food stamps; and other community services and is held twice a year. The program’s targeted recipients are the low/moderate-income families in the neighboring communities around the church. So far, the previous Under the Tree events have been highly successful in that the indigent families that have been served have requested that it be held

more frequently and on a regular basis. Other than the Under the Tree outreach, the RUMC and RRG are also involved in their own food distribution programs (every 1st and 3rd Fridays of the month) and in the church’s Justice For Our Neighbors (JFON) program that offers legal/immigration assistance to the underprivileged. The Under The Tree event on December 11, 2010 will be graced with the participation of FACLA (Filipino American Communities of Los Angeles), SIPA (Search to Involve Pilipino Americans), Children’s Bureau, Sunset Hall, Work Source, Center of Hope, St. Barnabas, 211 L.A. County, Dept. of Public Social Services, along with Rosewood’s very own Justice For Our Neighbors (JFON), Housing Concerns, Health Screening and Comprehensive Care unit. There will be food distribution and toys will be given out that day. For particulars regarding the event (inquiries, donations, how to volunteer, etc.), please call the Rosewood UMC office (323) 662-1194, Patsy Sapinoso at (818) 765-6594, or Ding Lapus at (626) 354-3500. n

The 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 Master Jenny Liu is an expert in Feng Shui who shares her knowledge Hills, CA. through seminars, periodicals, and the internet. Please join Master There will be dancing and it’s Liu for a free seminar on “2011 Feng Shui Guidelines” at Cerritos potluck! Holiday Attire: purple Library, January 4, 2011 at 7pm. For more information please see and/or green. Contact: Erlyne or call Jenny at (626) 272-4901. Arugay (818) 624-3369 or Ludi  (Advertising Supplement) Santos-Martin (818) 267-4618.

About SISA Established in 1997, the Santa Ignacia Society of America (SISA) is a duly registered nonprofit organization with its headquarters in Southern California. SISA was conceived to bring together the sons and daughters of old hometown Santa Ignacia, who opted to reside in the United States and take part in the quest for the American dream. Santa Ignacia is a town in the province

of Tarlac, Philippines. SISA aims to: (1) promote unity, understanding and harmony among members in America; (2) uphold and carry on the social and cultural values and legacy of Santa Ignacia; (3) assist and uplift the economically disadvantaged individuals/families in our beloved hometown, and (4) contribute to Santa Ignacia’s beautification projects. n

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People & Events • (213) 250-9797

Parade of Parols to kick off Simbang Gabi at St. Brendan Church THE traditional Simbang Gabi celebration at St. Brendan Catholic church will have a colorful start with a parade of parols (Christmas lanterns) on December 15. The theme of this year’s Simbang Gabi celebrations is: “Pagkilala sa Pananahan ni Kristo, Ang Daan tungo sa Pagkakaisa at Kapayapaan” (Recognizing the Presence of Christ, Way to Unity and Peace). Mass at the parish church of the tony neighborhood of Hancock Park, Los Angeles begins at 6:30pm. This was announced by Ester Cunanan, overall coordinator of the nine-day novena masses, a Filipino advent tradition. She further explained that each evening, the mass will highlight a Filipino value or cultural practice. “The Simbang Gabi is very much a part of the Filipino Christmas tradition and we are proud to have it in Los Angeles,” she said. “The inherent spirituality of the novena with its added cultural value makes it a truly unique. We want to share this experience not only with Filipino-American Angelenos but with other peoples as well.” The Simbang Gabi or the Misa de Gallo (mass of the rooster) was introduced by Spanish friars during the colonization and Christianization of the Philippines in the 1500s. The masses were celebrated nine days before Christmas, during early dawn. During those times, devotees find their way to church with paper lanterns fashioned in to stars to commemorate the star of Bethlehem which shone above the manger where the baby Jesus was born.

In the past years, vigil masses were held in the evening but the early morning masses continue to have a strong following in the Philippines. It is believed that completing the nine-day devotion is akin to enjoying the merits of the novena to the Our Mother of Perpetual Help and other similar novenas. The Filipino Ministry of St. Brendan is organizing the festivities this year as it has in the past. Aljo Perez, current president of the group, will lead the first -day novena’s parade. “The parade of parols is a fitting way to start our celebration as it is not only colorful but is historical and representative of an enduring Christmas symbol, the star of Bethlehem,” he said. Another highlight of the novena masses will include the panunuluyan or the posada, as it is known in Mexico. This is a dramatization of the hardships of Mary and Joseph as they try to find a place for the night only to be turned away time and again because “there is no room in the inn.” “We have invited the participation of FilipinoAmerican children, the Knights of Columbus, and visually-challenged youth and adults to make the celebration truly diverse and memorable,” Cunanan said. The novena mass will run from December 15 to 23 at 6:30pm on weekdays, and at 5:00pm on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 18-19. For details, call Aljo Perez at (213) 300-9479; Estoy Cunanan at (818) 245-0924. n

PICPA-USA induction and holiday party

THE Philippine Institute of about giving back to the PhilipFor more information about Certified Public Accountants - pines. Together with his wife, the event, please contact: USA, Inc. (PICPA-USA) will be Maria they funded a fellowship Wendy Andong – (415) 505holding its Christmas Party and grant for computer science and 8802 or wendy.andong@gmail. Induction of Officers and Direc- engineering faculty from the com tors on December 17, 2010 at University of the Philippines Lederle Guinid –(415) 574the Double Tree Hotel in Burlin- to collaborate on research pro- 7323 or loraine1711@yahoo. game, CA at 6:30pm. grams with counterpart pro- com Special guest speaker is Mr. fessors at UC Berkeley on the Daisy Pingul – (415) 972-9109 Dado Banatao. Mr. Banatao is Berkeley Campus. Through the or a well-known Filipino entre- Asian Pacific Fund, they have For more information on how preneur and engineer working provided scholarships to assist to become a member of PICPAin the high-tech industry. He California high school students USA, please visit our website at is a major player in the Silicon of Filipino heritage in pursuing or you may Valley and a three-time start- a college education in science contact: up veteran. He is currently the and engineering, a field which Wendy Andong – (415) 505managing partner of Tallwood Filipinos are currently under- 8802 or wendy.andong@gmail. Venture Capital. He serves as represented. He is also Chair- com Chairman of the College of En- man of PhilDev, a public charity Lederle Guinid – (415) 574gineering Advisory Board and group that bridges US-based 7323 or loraine1711@yahoo. is a member of the UC Berkeley Filipino individuals and com- com Daisy Pingul – (415) 972-9109 among the Kapampangans’ “lu- Chancellor’s Executive Adviso- munities, and Philippine-based ry Council. Dado is passionate social development institutions. or n tong-bahay” of former President Ferdinand Marcos. Press record showed the former president will not pass Angeles City without first stopping to his favorite “sisig” carinderia. Celebrated worldwide by Kapampangans and related orgaAMBASSADOR Willy C. Gaa welcomed guests This is largely because of the willingness of many nizations, the Los Angeles celebration will be highlighted by to Paskong Pinoy 2010 last December 5 at the Pry- actors to work together. The Northern Virginia Rondalla opened the cultural programs, culinary arts zbyla Center of the Catholic University of America. and display of “parols” (Christ- Paskong Pinoy started as a collaboration between show with a unique rendition of Pasko na Naman, mas lanterns). There will be a the Embassy of the Philippines in Washington, DC Mano po Ninong Mano po Ninang and Hark the serving of Kapampangan-style and the Philippine American Foundation for Chari- Herald. They were followed by a crisp performance foods and mini entertainment ties six years ago with the aim of drawing together of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas by opera program. Raffle will be held on the Filipino-American community to usher in the major Ernest Zalamea. The talented Quion siblings Justin Michael, Althe same day and on-the-spot holiday season. All the performers in Paskong Pinoy 2010 gath- exander Philip, Christopher James, Patrick Anholders of winning stubs will be given the prizes during the cel- ered on the stage to perform O Holy Night for the thony and Katherine Michelle performed O Holy ebration. Invited choir ensemble finale. Paskong Pinoy also serves as a venue for Night and Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy and Trewill sing Christmas Carols and promoting Philippine culture and heritage in the pak (from the Nutcracker Suite) as a string quinserenade the guests and attend- mainstream DC community during the yuletide tet. A delighted audience sang with the Filipino season. Among the guests in the concert held on Capitol SDA Children and Teens Vocal and Dance ees during the day. This year’s celebration is led December 5 at the Pryzbyla Center of the Catholic Ensemble as they sang and danced Pasko na Naby Rodel and Shirley Lumanog, University of America were Ambassador Constan- man. To add to the distinct Filipino sound of PasJosie Borja and Chuck Phillips, cio da Conceicao Pinto of Timor Leste, US Army kong Pinoy, the Tanghalang Pilipino and Friends Mike and Nymia Cucueco, Ruby Major General Antonio Taguba (Ret) and rep- Angklung Ensemble played Himig Pasko, Pasko na Beth Paguinto and Larry “Placer” resentatives from The Heritage Foundation and Sinta Ko and Kling Kling Kling. Peace Corps Alumni Foundation for Philippine The choral groups showed the wide array of Pelayo. n Development. Filipino singing talent. The Filipino Ministry Choir An appreciative audience gave the performers a of St. Columba gave a soothing rendition of Night standing ovation after the choral singing of O Holy of Silence and Simbang Gabi. The Young Adults Night at Paskong Pinoy held on December 5, 2010 Choir of St. Columba displayed the extent of their at the Pryzbyla Center of the Catholic University of singing prowess with Jingle Bells Calypso and America. More than 400 guests came out to watch Light of a Million Mornings. the Christmas concert which is now running on its The Medical Mission of Mercy USA Choral sixth year. Group brought an air of nostalgia with their medDecember 6, 2010, Washington, DC – Paskong ley version of Namamasko, Kami Po’y Paskuhan Pinoy 2010, Christmas Celebration of Unity and and Noche Buena and the Filipino Teachers Compassion, was staged on December 5, 2010 at Choir revealed the power of their voices with the Pryzbyla Center of the Catholic University of You Raise Me Up and Villacinco (Pastol, Pastol America. It was streamed live via www.theglobal- Gumising). The nine-man SHOWPOW further enlivened the More than 400 guests came out to watch talent- crowd with their flawless rendition of Christmas ed Filipino-American artists in the DC area perform favorite Carol of the Bells and Broadway hit Seafamous Filipino Christmas songs and other Christ- sons of Love. Elisabeth Carlton, who played Kim mas carols including His Excellency Constancio in the Roxy Regional Theatre’s production of Miss da Conceicao Pinto, Ambassador of Timor Leste, Saigon, then gave a moving performance of Where US Army Major General Antonio Taguba (Ret) and are You Christmas and Pasko na Sinta Ko. representatives from The Heritage Foundation and To close, all the performers went back on stage Peace Corps Alumni Foundation for Philippine De- to sing O Holy Night. velopment. Paskong Pinoy is presented by the Embassy of In his remarks, Ambassador Willy C. Gaa noted the Philippines, the Philippine American Founseveral occasions in the past year where Filipinos dation for Charities, the Filipino Organization of joined hands to achieve a common goal. He added Catholic University Students and the Filipino comthat on its sixth year, “Paskong Pinoy continues to munity in the greater metro DC area. This year’s enjoy the support of many individuals and orga- event was covered by GMA Pinoy TV and The Filinizations and has in fact, become an institution.” pino Channel. n

Kapampangans celebrate 439th anniversary of Pampanga LOS ANGELES – Kapampangans and friends will celebrate the 439th anniversary and foundation day of the Province of Pampanga on December 11, 2010 from 10am at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Santa Monica, Los Angeles, California. Pampanga was among the earliest settlements of the Spaniards because of its proximity to the City of Manila. One among its cities, Angeles City, was the site of the first Philippine Independence Day celebration after General Emilio Aguinaldo’s proclamation in Cavite. This fourth year Los Angeles celebration gives another chance for Kapampangans and devotees to join the public in praying the Rosary honoring the Virgen de los Remedios, Patroness of Pampanga. Manangs and prayer leaders from Pampanga and other prayer communities are invited to join the praying of the Rosary in native Kapampangan. A concelebrated mass by Fr.

Rodel Balagtas, Pastor of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church. will follow Floral offerings to the Virgen de los Remedios will be a part of the mass. Mrs. Nymia Cucueco will serve as the hermana-mayor in charge of the Rosary and the mass participants. Overall coordinator of the church activities is Mr. Vidal Aguas. The courtyard of the Church will be decorated with “parols” which give Pampanga the additional monicker “Parol” capital of the Philippines for its Christmas lantern designs from basic to the most sophisticated and computerized lightings. Lately, the town of Candaba, known for its fishing grounds and watermelons earned for the province the additional title Tilapia Capital of the Philippines. Pampanga until today is known as the culinary art capital of the Philippines; known for its mouthwatering food entrees, among them betute, tucino, burung asan at talangka, boboto (tamales) and “sisig” which was the favorite

Filipino community in DC celebrates ‘Paskong Pinoy 2010’

Citizens Redistricting Commission Q&A Q: WHAT does redistricting mean? A: Redistricting means to redraw the lines of an election district. In California these districts must be adjusted every ten years following the census.* Q: Why is redistricting important? What does it do for me? A: Redistricting equals representation. It determines who is represented, how well they are represented, and what laws are passed. Q: Why should people of color care about redistricting? Aren’t jobs, schools, and housing more important to our families? A: Redistricting is directly responsible for how much money goes to our schools, job creation in low-income neighborhoods, and the development of affordable housing. If people of color aren’t active redistricting participants, our neighborhoods and communities could be divided up and lose their unified political voice for at least 10 years. Q: What do you mean “divided up”? How can my community lose its voice if we actively vote in state elections? A: Throughout California’s history Asian American, African American, and Latino communities have had district lines drawn through them in a way that weakens their political voice. The needs and concerns of active voters could become less important if their community represents 10% of 101211 - WE SEC C.indd 6

a district’s populations versus 30-40%. On the other hand, communities of color can also suffer when they are “packed” into a single district in order to minimize their political voice. Q: How can I make a difference? I’ve never been involved in politics before. A: In 2008, California voters created the new Citizens Redistricting Commission. Fourteen (14) ordinary and committed Californians will draw the new district lines for our state beginning in November 2010. YOU can play a direct role in making sure that your community stays intact and fairly represented by a) APPLY to the commission b) HELP to organize your community around this issue. Contact the Greenlining Institute ( for more information on how you can help. *The Commission will draw Senate, Assembly, and State Board of Equalization districts, as well as Congressional lines. Citizens Redistricting Commissioners The first eight commissioners were selected by random draw from a pool of 36 top applicants. These eight will review and select the final six commissioners who will join them, no later than December 31, 2010. • Ms. Cynthia Dai, Asian, Democrat, San Francisco Coun-

ty, $75,000 - $124,999,CEO of consulting firm and part-time teacher at UC Berkeley • Ms. Elaine Kuo, Asian, Democrat, Santa Clara County (Mt. View; grew up in Oakland Chinatown), $125,000 - $250,000, higher education researcher/ cared for father while ill • Ms. Jeanne Raya, Latino, Democrat, Los Angeles County, $125,000 - $250,000, commercial insurance industry • Mr. Vincent Barabba, White, Republican, Santa Cruz County (Capitola), Over $250,000, Marketing, former director of U.S. Census Bureau • Ms. Jodie Filkins Webber, Asian, Republican, Riverside County, $125,000 - $250,000, attorney • Mr. Peter Yao, Asian, Republican, Los Angeles County, $125,000 - $250,000, Former mayor and councilman of Claremont, CA • Mr. Stanley Forbes, White, Decline-to-State, Yolo County, $35,000-$74,999, small retail business-owner and former owner/operator of family farm • Ms. Connie Galambos Malloy, Black (mixed; Latino), Decline-to-State, Alameda County, $75,000 - $124,999, executive director of a social equity nonprofit The final 14 member commission must be composed of 5 Democrats, 5 Republicans and 4 individuals unaffiliated with either major party. n 12/10/10 3:57:37 PM

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NVC must send notice ‘to the alien’ before terminating visa registration

Immigration Corner Atty. Michael Gurfinkel On my show, Citizen Pinoy, I always remind people to keep their addresses current with the National Visa Center (NVC) while waiting for the priority date on their approved petition to become current. In many cases, the wait for an immigrant visa can be from 10 to 25 years! During that time, people move and thus would no longer have the same address as when the petition was originally filed. The problem is that when the priority date finally becomes current, the NVC sends the forms and paperwork to the last address the NVC has on file. So, if you move without giving your new address to the NVC, it will be sending the forms and other paperwork to your old address. Immigration laws and regulations state that once a person is notified that their visa is available, they have one year to apply for the visa. If they fail to do

so, their visa registration could came current, the NVC sent an immigrant visa within one year interpretation of these materibe terminated, and the file de- instruction package to the attor- following notification to the alien als... Therefore, any notice sent stroyed, resulting in the loss of ney who had helped file the peti- of the availability of such visa...” by the State Department to [the that priority date. In fact, the tion over a decade earlier. The The court held that the statute attorney concerning the alien’s] regulations state that it is the NVC sent follow up letters to was explicit in stating that the visa eligibility cannot serve as alien’s responsibility to keep his that attorney in 2001, 2002 and notification must be to the alien. the prerequisite for terminaor her address current with the 2003, but the attorney’s records Therefore, notification to the tion under INA Section 203(g). NVC, not the NVC trying to track did not indicate that he received alien’s attorney or to the peti- Because the government did you down. any of those notices. The NVC tioner did not comply with the not send notice “to the alien,” I know of many people who eventually terminated the alien’s law. (Of course now, the NVC termination of [the alien’s] visa failed to apregistration Any notice sent by the State Department to [the attorney concerning the was contrary ply for their visas within alien’s] visa eliginility cannot serve as the prerequisite for termination un- to law.” one year (beIf your visa cause the NVC der INA Section 203(g).Because the government did not send notice ‘to the r e g i s t r a t i o n notices were alien,’ termination of [the alien’s] visa registration was contrary to law. was terminatsent to the old ed by the NVC, address), and thus their case visa registration and destroyed sends to the alien a form “Des- but you never received notice, I was terminated under Section all the related records, based on ignation of Agent,” whereby the would suggest that you seek the 203(g). the alien’s “failure to apply” for alien can designate his attor- advice of an attorney who can However, there was a recent his visa within one year of noti- ney to receive such paperwork. evaluate your situation to deterdecision by the Ninth Circuit fication. The alien sued to have However, at the time this visa mine if notice was properly sent which held that an alien’s visa his visa registration reinstated. registration was terminated, and/or whether you should be registration was improperly terThe Ninth Circuit noted that that procedure was not in place.) entitled to have your visa regminated because the notice of the law governing termination Accordingly, the court held that istration re-instated. Rememvisa availability was not sent “to of visa registration states that because the law and regulations ber, the stakes are very high. In the alien.” Instead, notices were the “Secretary of State shall ter- “unambiguously required ser- some cases, a person may have sent to the petitioner and/or the minate the registration of any vice “to the alien,” we need not waited more than a decade for alien’s attorney. alien who fails to apply for an look to the State Department’s the priority date on their petition In that case, an alien was petitioned by his brother in the F4 category. Twelve years later, when the priority date finally be-

to become current. It would be a shame that after all that waiting, the case was shredded by the NVC because you did not “apply within one year.” *** Michael J. Gurfinkel is licensed, and an active member of the State Bar of California and New York. All immigration services are provided by, or under the supervision of, an active member of the State Bar of California. Each case is different. The information contained herein (including testimonials, “Success Stories,” endorsements and re-enactments) is of a general nature, and is not intended to apply to any particular case, and does not constitute a prediction, warranty, guarantee or legal advice regarding the outcome of your legal matter. No attorneyclient relationship is, or shall be, established with any reader. WEBSITE: Call Toll free to schedule a consultation for anywhere in the US: (866)—GURFINKEL Four offices to serve you: LOS ANGELES ∙ SAN FRANCISCO ∙ NEW YORK ∙ PHILIPPINES 

(Advertising Supplement)

ADB sees economy easing to 4.6% growth in 2011 by Ted

P. Torres

MANILA—The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is forecasting the Philippine economy to grow by a slower 4.6 percent in 2011, following an estimated 6.8 percent growth rate in its gross domestic product (GDP) this year. In the latest edition of its Asia Economic Monitor released on December 7, the ADB said the weaker outlook for 2011 “is due to weaker external demand and the need for fiscal consolidation.” For most of the emerging markets including the Philippines, the ADB has expressed concerns over the uncertainty of the global economic recovery since the emerging markets are vulnerable to a number of downside risks, given the weaker external environment and uncertain effects of further monetary stimulus in advanced economies. The ADB said average growth in emerging East Asia will likely hit 7.3 percent in 2011 after growing 8.8 percent in 2010. In September, ADB had predicted growth of 8.4 percent for the region this year after a 5.2 percent expansion in 2009. “The 2010 upgrade was in large part due to the faster-thanexpected growth in the People’s Republic of China which ADB now sees at 10.1 percent this year. That is higher than its previous forecast of 9.6 percent in September,” it said, adding that it still expects the Chinese economy to expand 9.1 percent in 2011. Meanwhile, the report noted that the capital adequacy ratio (CAR) of the Philippine banking system has been slipping since registering a high of 18.5 percent in 2006. The country’s banking system is expected to register a CAR of 16.2 percent in 2010, hardly registering any improvement from 16 percent in 2009. The rate of return on Philippine commercial bank assets, from a low of 0.8 percent in 2000-2004 to a high of 1.7 percent in 2007, is estimated to end 2010 at 1.3. But the rate of return on commercial bank equity is forecast to reach 11.8 percent, among the highest in recent history. The last time it reached over 11 percent was in 2007 when it closed at a similar 11.8 percent versus a low of 5.9 percent average from the 2000-2004. The non-performing loan (NPL) level for 2010 is forecast to be among the lowest at 3.3 percent, slightly higher than the three percent in 2009, but well above the high of 14.8 in 2000-2004 period. No concerns of property bubble were likewise seen in the Philippine market, as property loans only accounted for 15.2 percent of total loans so far this year. However, it may be different for the rest of the emerging East Asia’s large, long-standing trade surpluses against developed economies. This, in turn, has attracted calls for emerging East Asia to allow its currencies to appreciate to match its growing economic strength. Asia’s swift recovery from the recent global crisis is also drawing foreign investment to the region. Managing capital inflows to prevent asset price bubbles has also become a concern. The Asia Economic Monitor suggests the best way forward would be for East Asian economies to adopt informal monitoring zones for their exchange rates against an external reference currency or a basket of currencies.

We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better. — Jeff Bezos, founder


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game changers




by Jason


25 of the most significant cars from the past 25 years

TWENTY-five years may be a mere eyeblink in history, but is an eon in the automotive world. Where model cycles are measured in typical four or five year spans, 25 years represents multiple generations of vehicle, each superior (usually) to the preceding model. Taken in that context, the progress of automotive technology has been slow and evolutionary, particularly when compared to how computers and gadgets have evolved. Although we don’t have flying cars with fusion-powered reactors yet, we do have subcompacts with features that would shame a luxury car from 1985. Fuel injection and common-rail diesels are commonplace. Anti-lock brakes and airbags are standard on all but the most basic entry-level models, and warranties last from three to an amazing five years and 150,000 km. Although prices have shot up by several multiples—you can no longer buy a Japanese compact at P300,000—so have vehicle content and reliability. With Toyota and Mitsubishi at the top of the sales charts, as they were more than 25 years ago, you might think that the industry is pretty much the same. But the reality is that there are massive changes underway. Imports from Korea and China (particularly the cars from Hyundai) are becoming more popular, and have caught up and overtaken some previously unassailable Japanese brands. SUVs and MPVs are more popular than passenger cars. It used to be a given that the most popular models would be assembled here, but that is no longer the case. Even as the automotive industry has been breaking sales records, the local assembly industry is in danger of stagnating, unlike in neighboring Thailand and Indonesia. From the dozens of car models launched in the Philippines since 1985, a few stand out by being the most influential on the market or the perception of a brand, by containing major technical innovations, or by simply being exceptionally good—or execrably bad. Here is our list of 25 of the most significant cars from the past quarter of a century. These are the cars that stirred our passion, kept us awake at night, or at least persuaded us to pull out our checkbooks: 1988 Nissan Sentra: This car marked the beginning of the return of major manufacturers to the Philippines. It may seem unbelievable now, but the Philippine car market was starved of new car models for nearly five years, as the Marcos era came to its troubled conclusion. Nissan was the first to jump back into the local market. Anyone who wanted a new compact car in 1988 had only one choice—the Sentra. Fortunately, it had a modern three-box design and interior, and up-to-date engines, including a very frugal diesel, something uncommon in this class even to this day. 1988 Nissan Maxima: The big brother of the Sentra, the Maxima laid out the template for all Philippine midsize cars that followed. After this car, no executive car could do without power steering, door locks, windows and mirrors. The 2.0-liter inline-four paired with five-speed gearbox and front-wheel drive delivered spirited performance. Just as importantly, the Maxima looked the part, with a dignified exterior and plush seats. 1990 Toyota Corolla 1.6GL: The Corolla marked the return of the 800-pound sumo wrestler, Toyota, to the Philippine market, and the reintroduction of its most popular model. Initially assembled in Japan, the Corolla featured a 1.6-liter twin-cam 16-valve engine, the first mass-market multi-valve in the Philippines. During the early 1990s, it seemed that every family had a Corolla 16-valve in their garage. Its success paved the way for Toyota’s domination of the local market. 1991 Toyota Tamaraw: Toyota’s return could not be complete without the Tamaraw. It became the default taxi and shuttle vehicle, transporting office workers and students in the relative comfort of its airconditioned cabin. It was so popular that the Tamaraw’s FX designation became a generic term; we could hardly believe it when Toyota announced they would axe the Tamaraw, in favor of its new MPV. 1991 Mitsubishi Galant GTi-16V: Mitsubishi unabashedly called this a supercar in its sales manual. That may be stretching it a bit, but it was undoubtedly one very attractive performance car. Starting with a 2.0-liter 16-valve twin-cam fuel-injected engine (the first local car to combine all those attributes) capable of 145 hp, the Galant also featured disc brakes on all four corners, and a stiffer suspension. Just as importantly, it carried the aero kit of the Galant VR4, in all its rear-spoiler, front air-dam, side-skirt glory. 1992 Kia Pride: Based on an old Ford/Mazda model (a Fiesta, no less), Kia introduced the Pride as the “People’s Car.” It had a very low initial cost, but little else to recommend it. The poor reliability and performance of the “Kia Shame” would attach a stigma to the brand and Korean cars in general that even now are hampering their acceptance as world-class vehicles. 1996 Honda Civic: The Honda Civic was moderately successful since it first launched, but this was the generation that made Honda a runaway success. What the Corolla was one generation earlier, the so-called bug-eyed Civic became for Honda: a cool compact that was suitable for executives as well. The Civic was roomy, comfortable, and a hoot to drive, and the 160-hp Civic SiR became the Philippines’ first pocket rocket. 1998 Honda CR-V: Before the CR-V came along, there was only kind of 2.0-liter executive car: a midsize sedan. Then the CR-V, with its sedan-like ride, comfortable interior and tall driving position, defined the preferred choice in this price class, particularly for the ladies. Today, midsize executive cars are no longer popular, but compact crossovers are thriving. 2001 Hyundai Starex: If Toyota’s empire was built on the Tamaraw and Corolla, Hyundai’s was built on this. And to think that the first generation of Starex vans was imported by the gray market, with no factory support whatsoever. Even so, the Starex easily thrashed the Mitsubishi Space Gear, with which it shared a platform. Hyundai put that right by officially selling the Starex in its most up-to-date guise, and providing the appropriate warranty and service support. 2001 Toyota Corolla Altis: Corollas were dependable transportation, but by no stretch of the imagination were they sexy. Then came the Corolla Altis in all its Brad Pitt-grinning, Ricky Martin-singing


2004 BMW 3 series

2009 Toyota Prius

1991 Mitsubishi Galant GTi-16V

Hyundai Genesis Coupe photos

glory. The Corolla was rebranded as a mini-luxury sedan, thus break- rable for two things: for exposing the ridiculousness of Philippine ing the stranglehold of the Honda Civic for a couple of years. The tax regulations, and, for many Honda loyalists, destroying the brand’s prestigious image. The reason is that Honda managed to Corolla was still not sexy, but became much more desirable. PAGE E3 2002 Honda CR-V: The second-generation Honda CR-V is memo-

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McKenna Audi: giving you the best deals before the year ends For most people, new year means new things. For car enthusiasts, picking a new car as the year comes to an end is the best time to accommodate the demands the ever-changing lifestyle of the year ahead. In finding the right car, however, one might get lost in a sea of beautiful cars which assures a hopeful owner that it bears the quality, performance, and the style he or she likes but later surprises the latter with surging charges. As you think of buying your dream car, questions like, “Can I afford this?” or “Will there be a financial plan available for my unique situation?” and a whole set of “What ifs” will start to crowd the mind—making the deciding process a frustrating one instead of something fun. Good thing the McKenna Audi offers advantages perfect for those who wants a stress free car-choosing experience. The McKenna Audi staff comprising of the Internet Sales Department: Director ray Balbin, together with Chris Blair and Lisa Webb to name a few, will be more than happy to introduce you to simple and easy-to understand packages best suited for your unique lifestyle. The McKenna Audi team recognizes all sorts of financial situations and has proven to be trust worthy in the car industry for 26 years and is also well known in the Fil-Am community as well when it comes to the car-dealing industry. Among the most popular mode of acquired at McKenna Audi is the leasing method. Leasing according to is preferred by most car enthusiast because of its low monthly payment offer that entitles the consumer to pay only a portion of car that he actually uses. When a person decides to lease, 30- 60 percent of the monthly payments are lower than that of purchase loan for the same car and same term.


Because of low monthly payments, car aficionados enjoy driving a new vehicle every two to four years, depending on the coverage of their lease. Most people also prefer to lease for the term that covers the length of the manufacturers warranty period so that the repairs are always covered. A car owner who uses a leased car is also freed from the hassles of selling his used car because when the lease of the car ends, he only has to turn it back to the leasing company and not to worry about anything else unless he wants to buy or trade it. Little or no down payment is also required when leasing, therefore allowing a buyer to make use of cash for other purpose. The McKenna Audi team believes that the average modernday Filipino-American deserves only the finest of luxury brand cars that is Audi. Audi’s technology boasts of being simple and being technologically adept at the same time. one can choose from the spanking new models of Audi that any car aficionado can enjoy: The 2011 Audi A3 2.0T 4WD is a fun vehicle that boasts of superior handling as well as overcoming any adverse road condition (premium lease of $329 per month, excluding other fees ). The biggest, fastest and most fuel-efficient vehicle in the sports sedan category is the 2011 Audi A4 2.0T 4WD. This sleek car features the 2.0T engine which is named as one of Ward’s Ten Best Engines five years in a row (premium lease offer of $429 per month, excluding other fees). The design, performance, and utility of the 2011 Audi Q5 2.0T has made it a raving favorite among consumers and press alike. Car and Driver even hailed it as “Best in Test” and Motor Trend recognized it as a win- • (213) 250-9797

Experience Pinoy Christmas at Galpin Motors

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He Holiday season gives an opportunity for the whole family to go out and bond like they never did the rest of the year. Add a sweet and spanking new ride to that family trip and you are sure to have a holiday experience you will never forget. But with a tight budget, a cautious buyer might find it hard to turn to a car dealership that is truly worth it.


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ner in a crossover comparison test (premium lease offer of $ 499 per month, excluding other fees). The manufacturers of Audi are committed not only towards creating a state-of-the art design, safety, and performance but also aims to create a legacy of responsible and caring stewardship for their customers and their families. So no matter what the model, Audi assures its owners every driving experience with Audi will be a memorable one. For further questions on how to get your very own Audi, you can call the McKenna Audi and ask for the Internet Department at 1-866-539-0648. 



In choosing the best car dealers around, a buyer mostly plays by instinct. He chooses the one who makes him feel that he is putting his hard-earned money in the right hands and getting the best deals that he would not get anywhere else. Over the years, people have come to know that Galpin Motors is the best among the car dealers around; not only because it has been the number Ford dealer in the world for the past 20 consecutive years, but it is also committed to nurture and satisfy every customers trust, always bearing in mind that the latter is something that cannot be bought but earned. Although Galpin is widely known especially in California for its best deals on the latest and most in-demand vehicles, not many know that it has a “pusong Pinoy” and has long been happily serving Filipino communities in the area. The Filipino influence in Galvin began when the smart and beautiful Filipina, Teena Valdes married Brad Boeckman who is one of the owners. Teena, together with other hospitable Pinoys have indeed “Filipinized” Galpin. “Welcome na welcome ang mga Pinoy dito sa amin sa Galpin,” said Teena. “Ako po ay nasa inyong serbisyo sa Galpin Honda. But kahit saang Galpin dealer kayo pumunta, you will feel right at home kasi iisang pamilya lang tayo sa Galpin.” The same goes for Galpin Honda, Galpin Mazda, and Galpin Jaguar/ Volvo. In April 2005 the Boeckmanns also opened Club Aston wherein a full-service design bar,

private entrance, and serene lounge never failed to give any visiting customer an extraordinary and luxurious automotive experience. Galpin Motors has the reputation of having 90% of its customers come back for another dealership or give referrals because of its assistance in giving the right selection, right price, and the right service. It is also known for its succession of innovations fueled by the desire to continuously satisfy every customer’s needs according to their varying lifestyles To attest to this is kababayan Philip Policarpio of Galpin Mazda who says he had many clients who keep coming back and sometimes even referring their friends and family to him because of the VIP treatment they give to Pinoys at Galpin. Philip has helped kababayans with no credit, new credit, or very minimal credit get their dream cars for over 9 years now and will be more than willing to guide you in getting your dream car too. Philip is also a top 3 sales performer in the Western Region. If a Jaguar or a Volvo is what your heart desires, fellow Filipino Vonce Duldulao will be assisting you with a smile as he shows you the best new car deals of your choice of car. Without a doubt, Pinoys are sure to feel at home and welcome at Galpin motors be it this holiday season or any season of the year. For more information you can visit or call 1-866-661-3187. 


12/10/10 3:24:16 PM

(213) 250-9797 • 



Botchi Santos

Blipping the Ferrari throttle MY birthday is only a few days apart from Christmas, so for as long as I can remember, I always got HALF the gifts I should have received because my parents, along with my friends and relatives always gave me a two-in-one present that is for both Christmas and my birthday. It’s cool, I’m used to it and besides, it is better to give than to receive anyway as the Good Lord tells us. But sometimes, a gift can come from the most unlikely of people. And the gift is so powerful, so overwhelming that your only recourse is to be tickled pink and shout like a schoolboy. This year, I got two very early gifts, one from Formula Sports, and the other from a good friend of mine who builds cars. A few weeks back, I was in a shoot for Top Gear’s highly popular Wrong Car, Right Car series. We were accompanying a young power couple searching for a high-end, high-performance and highly fashionable weekend car and of course, no high-street cruiser would be complete without a visit to the Jaguar/Land Rover/Ferrari/Masseratti showroom. While our guests, Robert and Joyce Ignacio took the time to sample the classy cats (Jaguar XF-R and XJ-L) I had been staring intently at the Ferrari F599 GTB Fiorano parked in the releasing area of the dealership. Now the F599 had replaced the highly regarded F550 and the updated F575 Maranello, Ferrari’s front-engined V12 GT coupe. But the F599 boasted of a V12 engine very closely based on the ground breaking Ferrari Enzo, so hearing the sound alone was worth a kidney in my books. Finally after enough hemming and hawing inside of me, I pleaded with the representatives if I could get in and just try it out for size, so to speak. I love big, front-engined and powerful GT’s because a.) my own Toyota Supra is of the same vein; b.) these cars represent the golden era of high-speed motoring during the late

50’s through the 60’s and onto the early 70’s and lastly; c.) while every kid who loved cars in my time had a poster of either a Lamborghini Countach or a Ferrari Testarossa in their rooms beside Brooke Shields and Cindy Crawford, the moment I saw a Ferrari 250 GTO, with its smooth curves and long nose, I was hooked! Getting in gently, mindful not to rub the leather seats too much and not to scuff the door sills, I was inside, and suddenly, the big, spacious Ferrari felt like a small b-segment car. Despite the roomy interior, the whole car just seemed to wrap around me and I was developing tunnel vision just by being inside a stationary car. I thought that since I was inside, I might as well start her up. Pressing on the brakes, I fingered the START/STOP button and the big, burly V12 roared into life, more like a sport bike than any car engine I can remember. The sound was a deafening roar, yet somehow pure, not some fabricated, made for the masses exhaust note but a noise brought about by the need to exhale, strangled just enough to pass noise regulations. This, I would imagine, is probably the closest one can ever get to being beside God Almighty Himself as He speaks. His voice and power is so overwhelmingly strong, you almost fall back over. Waiting for a few minutes to warm the engine oil and let pressure stabilize, I blip the throttle a couple of times such that everyone around walks either closer, or further away. This, I imagine is one proper car meant to frighten little children and make men tremble in the knees while bringing its driver close to the throes of ecstasy. Overwhelmed and tickled pink, shouting with glee each time I’d blip the throttle, I remembered why I fell in love with cars all over again. Thank you, Formula Sports, for probably the best Birthday and Christmas gift I’ve ever received in a long time.



Banks interested in Chrysler Financial by Tom

Krisher Associated Press

DETROIT—Several big banks are in talks to buy a stake in Chrysler Financial, the automaker’s old lending arm, a person briefed on the matter said Tuesday. The banks are interested in acquiring Chrysler Financial’s substantial pool of car loans and leases because their value has increased as used car values and the economy have recovered, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private and in the preliminary stages.

The person would not identify which banks are interested in Chrysler Financial. The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg News reported this week that ING Group and Toronto-Dominion Bank are among the banks. A Toronto-Dominion Bank spokesman would not comment, and messages were left with ING and Chrysler Financial. Chrysler Financial is now owned by New York private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP, which acquired the lender when it bought most of the automaker

for $7.4 billion in 2007. Cerberus lost control of Chrysler when the automaker nearly ran out of cash and faced liquidation in 2008. The automaker was saved by a US government bailout. It went through bankruptcy protection last year, and the government turned control over to Italy’s Fiat SpA. Cerberus, however, kept ownership of Chrysler Financial. Chrysler Financial was once the exclusive lender for Chrysler dealerships, and it still holds loans made to dealers to buy real estate.

Ford joins GM, Chrysler in hiring more workers by Dee-Ann

Durbin Associated Press

Ford is the latest US automaker to hire hundreds of workers as the economy picks up and auto sales improve. At an announcement in front of workers in its Louisville Assembly Plant, Mark Fields, Ford Motor Co.’s president of the Americas, said the factory plans to hire 1,800 more employees—or nearly 5 percent of Ford’s current US work force—to build a new version of the Ford Escape small SUV. The Escape is the second bestselling small SUV in the US behind the Honda CR-V. Ford will invest $600 million in a year-long renovation of the plant and Fields said the upgrades will help Ford shift to smaller cars and boost its competitiveness. The new Escape will be built on the Ford Focus car platform instead of a truck one to boost fuel economy.

When the Louisville plant reopens in late 2011, it will be one of the most advanced in the company, able to switch quickly between car models in response to consumer demand. Fields said such flexibility is necessary as the market grows more competitive. Other car makers such as Toyota Motor Co. and Hyundai Motor Co. have newer, more nimble US plants. The Louisville plant will be running on two shifts with 2,900 workers when it reopens. Some of the 1,800 added workers will be new hires, but many will come from Ford plants where they have been laid off, Ford said. Under a 2007 contract, new hires will make around $14, or half the wages of veteran workers at the plant, which will mean significant savings for the company. Ford plans to keep making the current version of the Escape at a plant outside Kansas City, Mo., until

production moves to Louisville. The company hasn’t announced a future product for the Missouri plant. The Louisville plant currently builds the Ford Explorer and employs 1,100 people on one shift. Production of that mid-size SUV has already moved to a Chicago plant. Ford will get $240 million in tax incentives for the Louisville project from Kentucky and local governments over the next decade. Fields said the jobs may not have been created without the tax incentives. Ralph Hearn, a plant production standards representative from Louisville, said the news was a long time in coming for factory employees struggling with Ford’s woes over the last few years. Ford cut thousands of workers and closed plants in a major restructuring that began five years ago. “I think what it has done is lifted the morale of the plant,” Hearn said.

25 of the most significant... PAGE E1 squeeze 10 seats into the compact SUV, thereby allowing it tax-free status. A CR-V with ABS and disc brakes thus managed to sell for less than P1 million. On the negative side, the “ten-cheater” layout made it uncomfortable and the cheap interior materials reduced its stature. 2002 Isuzu Crosswind XUV: We were understandably skeptical when Isuzu launched the Crosswind XUV soon after Honda introduced the second-generation CR-V. Which would you choose: a blinged-up AUV on stilts created for the Philippine market, or a car-based compact crossover with ABS and airbags and that meets world standards? With similar pricing, it seemed like a no-brainer. It was soon proven that the folks at Isuzu know a thing or two (and that the press have something to learn) about selling to the Philippine market, as the XUV proved popular and enduring. Isuzu’s headquarters also took notice-the XUV is the only Philippine-made vehicle to have been displayed at the Tokyo Motor Show. 2003 BMW X5: Before the BMW X5, SUVs were about crawling through rocks and wading through rivers. Instead, true to its performance roots, BMW made the X5 as good as its sedan siblings on the road. Now all luxury brands worth their hood ornaments have a performance SUV as part of their lineup. 2004 Ford Everest: Utility vehicles based on pickup trucks had been built before, but it was left to Ford to introduce a proper SUV with optional four-wheel drive. The Everest featured three rows of front facing seats built on top of the indestructible Ranger chassis. The boxy and functional interior, with its easily foldable middle row of seats, did not disappoint. 2004 BMW 3 Series: There were hardly any sports cars in the Philippine market 10 years ago, but if you had a BMW 3 Series, there was really no need for one. Its communicative, precise rear-wheel drive chassis could shame many sporty cars, while still carrying four in comfort. Its inline-six engine was as smooth as silk and produced a spine-tingling roar when revved hard. 2004 BMW 530d: BMW made a daring move by introducing the new 5 Series with only one engine choice—a diesel. This luxury car forever banished the idea that diesels were only for trucks and jeepneys. The massive torque of the diesel allowed spectacular performance while returning km/liter figures in the double digits. The 5’s avant-garde styling may not have withstood the test of time, but no luxury car lineup can be considered complete nowadays without a diesel variant. 2004 Mazda3: Compact cars were obsessed about packing in luxury features, getting heavier and less enjoyable to drive. Then Mazda3 came along to remind us that driving fun should be an inherent part of the equation. With its sharp-edged looks and dynamics to match, the 3 represented a resurging, newly focused Mazda. 2005 Toyota Innova: We couldn’t understand why Toyota wouldn’t continue the Tamaraw name for its people-carrier, until the wraps came off the new model. Indeed, it was a world away from its predecessor, and its competitors; only a completely new nameplate would do. A one-box exterior, modern interior and up-to-date engines finally put to rest the AUV class and created a new bestseller. 2005 Ford Focus: In a market where Japanese-designed compacts rule, Ford introduced its European bestseller, the Focus. Featuring a swoopy exterior, particular for the hatchback version, the Focus brought introduced its fun-to-drive nature to the compact class. It slowly caught on, particularly after the introduction of the diesel model. 2005 Honda City: After establishing the model’s reputation with the first-generation City, Honda came out with a radical subcompact for the second round. Combining a twin-spark high-torque engine with a continuously variable transmission, the City redefined what a subcompact could do in terms of space, comfort, and flexibility. Its trunk carried a massive 500 liters and its flexible seating gave it the carrying capacity of a small SUV. Its sci-fi form followed its function, which may not have helped its market acceptance. 2005 Subaru Impreza WRX: the Japanese supercompact was just a pipe dream until this car came along. After languishing under the GM stable, the brand finally was done justice by a new distributor. Such high performance was never this affordable. 2006 Mazda6: Japanese executive cars were a stodgy bunch until the 6 came along. With its facelift came a larger engine and improved styling, rocketing it to the top of its class and Car of the Year honors. It also marked the end of the right-sized Japanese executive car. Successive models from Mazda and its rivals are all on the too-large side. 2009 Audi R8: Mid-engined exotic cars were invariably Italian, until the R8 came along. With its space-frame chassis, high-revving V8 engine, the R8 is a supercar for the new century. Its interior is as ergonomic and user friendly as its sedan stablemates. 2009 Toyota Prius: Is buying a hybrid worth it? Based on the Prius’ sticker price and the resulting 1.5 million km/75 years to recover your investment in fuel costs, apparently it is not. When driving the Prius, it’s best to avoid excess water and other common perils of Philippine roads. But Toyota did the right thing to introduce the car. The technological advantages are undeniable, and hopefully Toyota can bring that unpalatable price down by the time the next model comes around. 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe: As it introduced new models, Hyundai’s cars became quite acceptable for transport purposes but were not in any way truly desirable. Then the Genesis Coupe arrived and changed the perception of the brand. The coupe preserved the brand’s relative affordability, but provided a genuine sports-car experience with its rear-wheel drive chassis. LAWKEND SEC-E DEC 11.indd 3

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LAWKEND SEC-E DEC 11.indd 4 • (213) 250-9797

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LA Weekend Dec 11-14, 2010  
LA Weekend Dec 11-14, 2010  

Asian Journal Los Angeles Weekend Dec 11-14, 2010