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February 13-15, 2019 Volume 29 - No. 11 • 3 Sections - 20 Pages


DATELINE Fil-Am federal workers reflect on longest gov’t shutdown ahead of a possible second closure FROM THE AJPRESS NEWS TEAM ACROSS AMERICA

‘Move to change Philippines to Maharlika? Referendum needed’ by ALEXIS


rename the Philippines “Maharlika.” In a speech delivered in Maguindanao last Monday, February 11, Duterte said former president Ferdinand Marcos was right in calling for a change in the country’s name to Maharlika, noting that the name “Philippines” has colonial origins.

CHANGING the Philippines’ name would require a new law and the public’s approval in a referendum, Malacañang said after President RoFILIPINO-AMERICAN Ted Aquino has been drigo Duterte revived a proposal to an air traffic controller at John Wayne Airport in Irvine, California for more than 20 years. After emigrating from Manila, Philippines to Tustin, California, a lengthy job search got him this gig, which he said he enjoys. “I’ve always loved airplanes, and wanted to be a pilot originally, but I figured air traffic controllers also have an important job, so THE Department of Tourism (DOT) has allowed more I got it and have been happy for the last 20 or than 300 hotels and tourism hubs to operate in Boraso years,” Aquino told the Asian Journal in a cay following a rigid assessment by the Inter-Agency recent phone interview. He’s been happy with it, that is, until re- Task Force that carried out the island’s six-month recently. Aquino was one of the thousands of habilitation. These establishments were allowed to accept reser“non-essential” federal workers who worked without pay during President Donald Trump’s vations from visitors, bringing the number of available 5-week government shutdown, the longest u PAGE A3 shutdown in American history. As previously reported by the Asian Journal, the shutdown was the result of an impasse

Trump ‘extremely unhappy’ with current deal

He said Spanish colonizers had named the country after King Philip II who also financed Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan’s expedition to the Philippines. “Actually, Marcos was right. During the time of Marcos, he wanted it changed. Maharlika. The Republic

of Maharlika because Maharlika is a Malay word and it means serenity,” Duterte said. The president lamented the proposal was overshadowed by allegations that Marcos was a dictator. “Pero OK na yan. Balang araw pali-


Hotels, tour hubs open in Boracay


Governor Newsom announces draw down of California National Guard on Southern Border SACRAMENTO — Governor Gavin Newsom on Monday, February 11, announced that he has signed a General Order rescinding previous authorization for California National Guard operations at the U.S.-Mexico border that allowed California National Guard personnel to perform duties traditionally undertaken by the federal government there. “The border ‘emergency’ is a manufactured crisis. And California will not be part of this political theater. Which is why I have given the National Guard a new mission. They will refocus on the real threats facing our state,” said Newsom. “This is our answer to the White House: No more division, xenophobia or nativism.” Currently, approximately 360 members of the California National Guard are deployed at the U.S.-Mexico border. These National Guard personnel were deployed at the request of the White House to provide support for the federal government in border operations. Last week, President Donald Trump an-


World-renowned Boracay island reopened its doors to local and foreign tourists, delighting them with a rehabilitated beachfront that looked like what people fell in love with 30 years ago. photo by Walter Bollozos

EXCLUSIVE TOUR. President Rodrigo Duterte goes on a tour inside the new Maguindanao Provincial Capitol Building in Buluan, Maguindanao for the unveiling ceremony of its marker on Monday, February 11. Also in the photo is Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Governor Mujiv Hataman and Maguindanao Governor Esmael Mangudadatu. Malacañang photo by Albert Alcain

More parents having their kids US providing PH P300-M vaccinated for measles – Duque for intel operations by JOVIC




WHILE the measles outbreak has yet to be controlled, the Department of Health (DOH) is slowly regaining the trust of parents who are having their children vaccinated for the preventable disease. Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said this on Monday, February 11, as he made his rounds in Metro Manila and Parents wait for the names of their children to be called for inoculation at noticed that the number of chil- Corazon Aquino Health Center in Tondo, Manila.


THE United States has vowed to provide the Philippines about P300 million in funds to help boost its intelligence operations as it grapples with threats posed by extremist groups, Malacañang said Monday, February 11. Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said the commitment reflected the “very strong” alliance between the Philippines and

its defense treaty partner U.S. “Terrorism knows no boundaries, politics, religion and creed. It is the new evil in the world that strikes at every country and every continent and all membernations of the United Nations really should help and cooperate with each other to combat and crush terrorism,” the spokesman said in a press briefing. He made the announcement weeks after a twin bombing

u PAGE A3 photo by Earvin Perias


Mirror, mirror who are the wisest senatorial bets of them all?

MANILA – Day One of the 90day campaign period for the senatorial derby kicked off on Tuesday, February 12, with the usual pomp, gimmicks, giveaways and glowing political speeches of aspirants. Did somebody say something that’s music to the voters’ ears? Take a look at how various candidates from political parties and coalitions put up their best to sway the decision making of the electorate: Breakfast at Old Balara Bayan Muna chair and MakSenator Grace Poe spends the first day of the campaign period on Tuesday, February 12, with the school children of Payatas in Quezon City. photo by Ryan Leagogo abayan senatorial candidate Neri

Colmenares found a unique way to start his campaign for the 2019 midterm elections on Tuesday: answering questions of senior citizens during a breakfast in Barangay Old Balara, Quezon City. Around 50 elderly residents of the barangay asked Colmenares’ views and plans on issues like the pension of senior citizens and beneficiaries of the Social Security System. The former lawmaker vowed to continue fighting for the causes Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said the commitment reflected the “very strong” of the masses, as this has been alliance between the Philippines and its defense treaty partner, the U.S.


Released photo by Jason W. Fudge/U.S. Marine Corps

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From the Front Page

‘Move to change Philippines to...

PAGE A1 tan natin (But that’s OK. One day, let’s change it),� he added. Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said congressional action is needed to change the country’s name. “The Constitution provides that Congress may enact a law that can change the name of the

country and submit it to the people for a referendum,� he said at a press briefing Tuesday, February 12. “Let’s see how it evolves. He is expressing an idea again as usual.� Article XVI, Section 2 of the 1987 Constitution states that Congress may, by law, adopt a new name for the country, a

national anthem, or a national seal, “which shall all be truly reflective and symbolic of the ideals, history and traditions of the people.� If done, it will only become effective after its ratification by the people in a national referendum. Proposals to change the name of the Philippines have been around since the 1970s. According to an article posted on the National Historical Commission of the Philippines’ website, former senator Eddie Ilarde filed a bill seeking to change the country’s name to Maharlika in 1978. The article quoted Ilarde as saying that Maharlika is the Filipinos’ “ancient heritage,� long before the arrival of Western colonizers. “Maha� is Sanskrit for noble or great while “likha� means create, thus, “Maharlika� means “nobly created,� according to the article. But some scholars are opposed to the name change, saying it would disregard the Filipinos’ historical roots and national identity. While those who support the name change claimed “Maharlika� connotes royalty, some critics said the term literally means “big phallus.� It is also the name of the guerilla force Marcos claimed to have led during World War II, which The New York Times disputed in a report published on Jan. 23, 1986. For Sen. Panfilo Lacson, Duterte’s idea “sounds good.� “Without the politics involved, Maharlika sounds good to me as well. I may have to agree with President Duterte on the possibility to change our country’s name,� he said, noting that the word Philippines will always remind Filipinos of King Philip II of Spain, which colonized for the country for three centuries. “While the colonization brought out the best in our ancestors and taught us their valiance and heroism, those 300 years also influenced our culture and attitude as a people and which we cannot claim as originally our own,� Lacson added. For Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Episcopal Commission on Mission chair, the name PAGE A3

Mirror, mirror who are the wisest senatorial... PAGE A1

his advocacy since his stint as a congressman in the House of Representatives. The breakfast was one of Colmenares’ events on the official start of the campaign period, including a forum at the University of the Philippines at 10 a.m., a noise barrage along East Avenue at 2 p.m., and a proclamation rally in Muntinlupa City at 5 p.m. Hugpong ng Pagbabago for continuity In Angeles City, the senatorial slate of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio’s Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) vowed to carry out the Duterte administration’s agenda. Composed of President Duterte’s allies and supporters, HNP’s 13-man senatorial lineup pledged to continue supporting the President in the remainder of his term to fulfill his promised change to the nation. The HNP is endorsing the candidacies of Senators Cynthia Villar, Koko Pimentel, Sonny Angara and JV Ejercito; former senators Jinggoy Estrada, Bong Revilla and Pia Cayetano; Maguindanao Rep. Zajid Mangudadatu, Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos, former police chief Ronald dela Rosa, former presidential aide Bong Go, former presidential political adviser Francis Tolentino and journalist Jiggy Manicad. In HNP’s back-to-back campaign sortie in the cities of San Fernando and Angeles

Bayan Muna chair and senatorial bet Neri Colmenares at a rally along East Avenue in Quezon City on the first day of the campaign period on Tuesday, February 12. Photo courtesy of Bayan Muna

ment,� Dela Rosa said. Go and Tolentino, for their part, said that they would continue the President’s fight against corruption and criminality should they make it to the “Magic 12� of the May elections. Rock star welcome for Revilla Two months after he was acquitted of plunder over the multibillion pork barrel scam, Revilla was accorded with arguably the loudest cheers by supporters at the two campaign rallies. Speaking before the audience, Revilla, who enjoyed a seasoned acting career before joining politics, lamented his detention inside the custodial center of the Philippine National Police in Camp Crame for four years. He also said he would continue his fight for the people as he eyes a Senate comeback. Revilla was accused of allocating P224 million from his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to bogus non-government organizations of Janet Lim-Napoles, the scam’s alleged mastermind. Estrada brothers bury the hatchet The start of the campaign season could also mark the end of the feud of JV Ejercito and Jinggoy Estrada, as the estranged brothers, shake hands with smiles on their faces at the HNP Reelectionist Joseph Victor “JV� Ejercito (left) and former Senator Jinggoy Estrada raise campaign launch. The two brothers, known for each other’s hands at the campaign caravan of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte’s Hugpong in Pampanga, Ejercito touted Duterte’s infrastructure initiative that would generate thousands of jobs for Filipinos. As Duterte’s former chief of police, Dela Rosa, meanwhile, defended the administration’s brutal crackdown on narcotics, which he said the President launched to protect the youth from the drug menace. “We wanted to save your future. Kayong kabataang Pilipino, you are the reason (kung) bakit ang inyong kapulisan namamatay, nasusugatan o nagkakaso sa war on drugs. Dahil gusto ng inyong kapulisan na bigyan kayo ng safe and secure environ-

ng Pagbabago (HNP) on Tuesday, February 12, in San Fernando City in Pampanga province. photo









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US providing PH P300-M for intel... PAGE A1 rocked Jolo, Sulu — a known bailiwick of local terrorist group Abu Sayyaf, which has pledged allegiance to the extremist Islamic State (IS). More than 20 people died and dozens others were injured in the blast. Indonesian suicide bombers aided by Abu Sayyaf bandits were behind the explosions, according to security officials. President Duterte has vowed to take no prisoners of IS, which he described as “insane” and “made in hell.” “In Mindanao, as we all know, terrorists apparently have gained a foothold in that region and they BALLOT PRINTING BEGINS. A foreign consultant supervises the printing of official ballots to be used in the May 13 mid-term elections at the have unleashed in fact bombs that killed our soldiers, as well as our National Printing Office in Quezon City. The Commission on Elections targets to print a total of 63,662,481 ballots for the upcoming polls. PNA photo by Oliver Marquez civilians,” Panelo said. “We would

‘Move to change Philippines to...


Maharlika is better suited for a highway and not as a replacement name for the country. “It is distasteful for Duterte to change the name of country, especially at this time when we are remembering history. Not even the dictator (former president Ferdinand) Marcos succeeded to call our country Maharlika. Let

this name be used for the highway connecting our Islands!” he said. He added that he is also opposed to the idea of changing the name of the country because “Philippines” is connected to the arrival of Christianity to the country and that Duterte broached the idea at a time when the Catholic Church is

preparing to celebrate 500 years of Christianity in 2021. Human rights lawyer Jose Manuel “Chel” Diokno said changing the name of the country should be set aside and the present administration should prioritize providing food, jobs and justice for the people. (With Cecille Suerte Felipe, Evelyn Macairan)

More parents having their kids... PAGE A1

dren being inoculated with the measles vaccine had increased “quite substantially,” especially after the DOH declared an outbreak last week. At Baseco Compound in Tondo, for instance, Duque said at least 500 children were vaccinated, a far cry from the previous weeks when there was virtually no one queuing at barangay health centers. “I am glad that now the parents seemed to have changed their views on the immunization program of the DOH. It helps ease our worry and, hopefully, they would continue to trust our vaccination [activities],” Duque told reporters. But the parents’ apparent change of heart came too late for some, like Maricel Lumanog, whose 4-year-old daughter Analisa has been confined at Rizal Medical Center in Pasig since last week. Enough vaccine supply Lumanog said she was unable

to have her daughter inoculated because she did not have the time to bring her child to a health center. The DOH has assured the public that there is enough supply of the vaccine, although more health workers needed to administer the drug. “We are requesting for more personnel. In Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon), we need around 300 more,” Dr. Eduardo Janairo, regional health chief, said, referring to nurses and doctors. In Calabarzon, the DOH said it needed to vaccinate 1.6 million children, adding that those between 6 months and 6 years old were the most vulnerable to the contagious disease. The DOH has vaccinated about 15,000 children in Antipolo City, Rizal, and about 8,000 in Laguna province since last year. The number of vaccinated children in Quezon, Batangas and Cavite provinces is still being verified, Janairo said.

Lack of time Based on a study conducted by the World Health Organization in October last year, the lack of time among households was the second biggest reason why children in some areas in Metro Manila were not immunized. The top cause was the parents’ fear of vaccines due to the controversy that surrounded the government’s dengue immunization program. To deal with the problem, Duque said he had instructed DOH regional directors to coordinate with local chief executives on the extension of health center operations to 6 p.m., as well as to cater to residents even on weekends. In the National Capital Region, talks are also being held with church groups and shopping mall owners for off-site vaccination areas, he said. The Philippine National Red Cross, he said, has offered volunteers to man additional immunization centers. ■

like to assure the public that our armed forces are relentlessly pursuing these mass murderers, even as some of them by now have been criminally charged and are presently detained.” As the government intensifies its campaign against terrorism, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) is also beefing up its capability using at least P1.320 billion to purchase 50 fast boats. PCG commandant Admiral Elson Hermogino said four of these boats – the 38-meter response boats – were bought last year for P120 million from the U.S. and are expected to arrive in the middle of this year. The boats could travel at 40knots, enough to run after the motorized boats used by terror-

ists and pirates in the waters of Mindanao. The remaining P1.2 billion would be used to purchase 40 units of 33-footer boats from local shipbuilders. Deliveries are expected to start this year and will be completed by 2020. “These boats would be used for anti-piracy and law enforcement operations in the southern part of the Philippines. So, expect a more enhanced (Coast Guard) operations in this area,” Hermogino said. He added that the purchase of the small boats is part of security measures the PCG is undertaking as it increases its vigilance along coastal waters. (With Evelyn Macairan, Ramon Efren Lazaro, Helen Flores)

Hotels, tour hubs open... PAGE A1 rooms to 11, 612. “[We] are pleased to announce that 316 accommodation establishments have complied with the requirements of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of the Interior and

All establishments were shut down during the rehabilitation of Local Government (DILG) and the island. the DOT,” the agency said in a Boracay reopened on October statement. 26, 2018 . The establishments that were The Tourism Congress of the opened include the Shangri-la Philippines (TCP) said establishResort, Savoy Hotel Boracay, ments that are still closed are exFairways and Bluewater Resort, pected to be fully operational in Hennan resorts and Alta Vista de April. (Neil Jayson Servallos/MaBoracay.

Mirror, mirror who are the wisest senatorial... PAGE A1

their sibling rivalry, also raised each other’s hands onstage, disproving their alleged feud which was aggravated when their father, Manila Mayor and former president Joseph Estrada decided to support Jinggoy’s bid to return to the Senate return even JV had already expressed his intention to seek reelection. Duterte-Carpio often pokes fun at the two during HNP gatherings, saying that they are both members of her party’s slate but never attend events together. The hand-raising gesture of the Estrada brothers was warmly welcomed as the crowd cheered for both candidates. Pampanga’s political clans In the provincial capitol event, which drew at least 20,000 supporters, former president and now Speaker Gloria Arroyo reminded her constituents how Duterte won in Pampanga via “landslide” in the 2016 presidential elections. She then asked them to vote straight for HNP’s slate. The twin Pampanga event was hosted by Pampanga Gov. Lilia Pineda, through her regional

party Kambilan. This was a complete turnaround from the 2016 presidential elections when they supported the then-ruling Liberal Party. LP is now backing the opposition-laden “Otso Diretso” coalition. Pineda claimed that since Duterte assumed the presidency, Pampanga has been on the receiving ends of “billions” of development programs, reminding her constituents to return the favor by voting straight for HNP’s slate. “Pag-upo ni President Duterte, billions and billions ang binigay niya sa probinsiya ng Pampanga. Isa sa mauunlad ang Pampanga dahil sa pondo na ibinigay,” Pineda said. “Nakikiusap po si Nanay Gov…Pagbibigyan ‘nyo ba si Nanay Gov? Straight po tayo sa Hugpong, ha? Nakikinig si Mayor Sara, sana hindi mapahiya si Nanay Gov,” she added. Pineda, however, failed to deliver her promise to LP’s Mar Roxas in 2016 as he came in at 4th place in the province’s presidential race. Duterte topped the Pampanga polls followed by Senator Grace Poe and former

Vice President Jejomar Binay. Otso Diretso charms Caloocan’s common folk The Otso Diretso slate — a coalition of candidates opposed to administration policies — started the official campaign period by engaging people living at the heart of Caloocan City. Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano, re-electionist Senator Bam Aquino, human rights lawyer Chel Diokno, Marawi civic leader Samira Gutoc, former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay, election lawyer Romulo Macalintal and former Deputy Speaker Erin Tañada conducted several door-todoor persuasion campaigns. Gutoc and Macalintal, in particular, talked with housewives and vendors in Barangay 13 near Padre Gomez Street, as Tañada persuaded sellers inside the Poblacion Market. On the other side of the road, along 10th Avenue, Alejano and Hilbay went to barbershops, food stalls, and tricycle terminals to discuss the Otso Diretso’s platform, while Aquino and Diokno met campaign volunteers at the plaza of the Old PAGE A4

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Governor Newsom announces draw down of... PAGE A1 nounced he will be deploying 3,750 U.S. military personnel to the U.S.-Mexico border. Newsom’s order cites this development as yet more reason for California to reprioritize its National Guard deployment. Newsom’s order redeploys these personnel to focus on the actual threats facing the State of California. It does so by: • Authorizing 110 personnel to prepare for the upcoming fire

season by supporting CAL FIRE in fire prevention and fire suppression efforts; • Authorizing the expansion of the California National Guard’s statewide Counterdrug Task Force by at least 150 personnel; and • Authorizing 100 personnel to conduct counter narcotics search and seizure operations targeting transnational criminal organization around ports of entry.

The guard will begin making preparations to carry out the order immediately and draw down by March 31, 2019. The Governor today also sent a letter to Acting U.S. Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan requesting financial support from the federal government to expand the California National Guard’s statewide Counterdrug Task Force, starting with — but not limited to — redeploying 150 personnel from the border. n

Fil-Am federal workers reflect on longest gov’t... PAGE A1 over Trump’s demand for $5.7 billion of federal dollars allocated for his long-awaited U.S.-Mexico border wall. Democrats have repeatedly declined the request, which led to Trump’s refusal to sign the spending package, which didn’t include said border wall funds. “I have kids who need to be fed and taken care of, [so] I really can’t afford being a pawn in this whole [expletive] situation,” Aquino said, venting out his financial grievances over the phone. “And I know I’m not the only one.” Aquino is right in that the 5week shutdown that began on Dec. 22, 2018 to Jan. 25, 2019 resulted in 800,000 federal workers being furloughed or working without pay. The government reopened when Trump agreed to a stopgap bill that temporarily opened the government until this Friday, Feb. 15. Ahead of the bill’s expiration date, Trump on Tuesday, Feb. 12 said that he is “extremely unhappy” with the bipartisan deal that congressional lawmakers offered to avoid another shutdown. That bill lacked the $5.7 billion for the wall, and only included funding for a southern border fence. “I am extremely unhappy with what the Democrats have given us,” the president told reporters. “It’s sad. They’re doing the country no favors. They’re hurting our country very badly. But we certainly don’t want to see a shutdown.” Trump doubts that there would be a second shutdown, but preemptively placed the blame on Democrats if it comes to that. “And I accepted the first one, and I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished because people learned during that shutdown all about the problems coming

in from the southern border,” Trump added. “I accept it — I’ve always accepted it. But this one, I would never accept it if it happens, but I don’t think it’s going to happen. But this would be totally on the Democrats.” But Trump indicating he is “proud” of what was accomplished sugarcoats the frantic upheaval that plagued the federal workforce. Amid the partisan battle in Washington over spending packages and border walls, the economic well-being of individual employees were at stake, Aquino remarked. “It’s not a game, it’s our lives here, and that time was really hard because I would go into work unsure if I would get paid for my work that day, which, I admit, did mentally affect me most days [during the shutdown],” Aquino said. Aquino also emphasizes the public safety concerns of “playing” with the jobs of air traffic controllers. Aquino said that the typical process to become an air traffic controller involves years of training before being certified for the job. “There are no rest days on the job. You have to be on guard since you’re overseeing as many as 30 planes at a time. There’s no room to slip up, but when you’re worrying about if you can’t pay your rent on time, naturally it affects your overall well being,” Aquino explained. Air travel is a uniquely, almost totally federally-operated system that hinges so much on safety, and that safety hinges upon its hundreds of thousands of workers. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) under the Dept. of Homeland Security is responsible for security of travelers in the U.S. that was created after the September 11 terrorist attacks. Dolores Harden, a Filipina-

American TSA worker at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, saw the irony in the 35day shutdown’s furloughing of Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano, re-electionist Senator Bam Aquino, human rights lawyer Chel Diokno, Marawi civic leader Samira Gutoc, former “actually essential security em- Solicitor General Florin Hilbay, election lawyer Romulo Macalintal and former Deputy Speaker Erin Tañada conducted several door-to-door ployees” because of the border persuasion campaigns. photo by Gab Lalu wall. “As TSA agents, it’s our job to protect the American people and thwart any terrorism threats. I PAGE A1 except for one — Roxas. Ac- her campaign with a simple was with some of my coworkcording to Roxas’ team, he was feeding program of school chilCaloocan City Hall. ers the other day, and we were But aside from Caloocan, at in his hometown of Capiz prov- dren in Payatas. laughing about the government She chose to spend the first shutdown over a wall — which is least 2,000 volunteers have al- ince for a separate send-off proday of the campaign period with purportedly supposed protect us ready started campaigning in gram. However, Roxas’ absence kids to remind herself of the reafrom drug dealers coming into 50 districts all over the country, the country —actually caused Otso Diretso campaign manager only added fuel to speculations son why she started to run for an of discord between him and the elective post. already employed protectors Senator Kiko Pangilinan said. “Yung mga bata…sila talaga According to him, Otso Di- rest of the Otso Diretso. It did of terrorism and harm to miss our pay,” Harden told the Asian retso’s grassroots campaign not help that Tañada, who was ang simbolo ng pag-asa kaya Journal in a recent phone inter- dubbed as “Project Makinig” is supposed to be absent for the gusto ko dito mag-umpisa kasi view on Wednesday, February an ode to political campaigning event, arrived sometime when masaya, hindi man sila botante pero napapaalala sa akin kung before the advent of technology the press conference started. 6. And then, comedienne and so- bakit ako tumakbo sa unang Harden was one of the 55,000 — a face-to-face interaction with TSA workers who were expect- constituents in an attempt to un- cial activist Mae “Juana Change” pagkakataon at bumabalik ako Paner slammed Roxas’ absence, dun,” she said. ed to work without pay. TSA derstand their problems. She also noted that it had been “Ang unang sigaw no’ng re- urging him to be more supworkers are categorically — and perhaps, truly are — essential bolusyon no’ng 1896 ay sa portive of his co-candidates. In her advocacy to reach out and federal employees. She was also Caloocan. Pangalawa, as we a separate interview, she also help those who were less fortuone of the thousands of TSA speak today, 50 districts nation- asked Roxas to accept that the nate. “Hindi botante pero sila naagents who missed work during wide from 2,000 volunteers are opposition, including candidates going door-to-door knocking (to outside of Otso Diretso, has a man talaga yung sa umpisa pa the shutdown. When asked if she missed campaign),” he explained when greater chance of winning if it lang…yun yung talagang pinaglaban ko sa Senado na dapat work in protest of the shutdown asked why they chose to start was united. The candidates and other of- yung pinakamahihirap at yang (as some “essential” federal their campaign in Caloocan. Recent surveys for the 2019 ficials from Liberal Party (LP) mga nangangailan, talagang workers did), she declined and said that it was for “economic elections showed that of all the dismissed the rumors, stressing unahin, eh yung mga bata talaga eight candidates, only Aquino that Roxas would join the rest of yun,” she said. reasons.” “Akalain niyo kung lahat ng But she did imply that the and former Interior Secretary the slate in their official kick-off overall tension at work during Mar Roxas made the cut. How- rally in Naga City, Camarines public schools bibigyan ng mainit na pananghalian ang mga the shutdown was palpable. ever, Pangilinan said it was still Sur. Caloocan 2nd District Rep. bata eh ‘di ang laking tulong yan Harden said that she felt resent- too early to tell if it was really a ment towards the government losing cause, noting that elec- Edgar Erice who acts as Roxas’ sa pamilya,” she added. Children from pre-school, for “such a willy-nilly decision tions would not be held tomor- campaign manager clarified that Roxas has a tradition of start- Grade 2, Grade 3, Grade 6 and that impacted a lot of us nega- row. “This is a 90-day campaign. ing his campaign in Capiz — as those with special needs were tively.” “I’m not trying to be partisan Kung bukas ang election baka dal- he did in the 2016 Presidential given food packs during the program. here when I say that what hap- awa lang ang mananalo sa amin elections. Starting, ending with prayers Around 800 children filled the pened, and what might happen pero di bukas ang election,” he The Caloocan sortie actu- covered court with cheers when next week was not right. I don’t explained. “Dahil tayo nakinig, maliwan- ally began and ended with a Poe entered and went around think it’s partisan to say we don’t need a wall. We need federal ag sa atin ang sinabi ng saloobin prayer. Around 10:00 a.m., Gu- to greet them. The senator was workers with jobs [that] are sole- ng mga kababayan […] Lahat toc was accompanied by the also crowded by both teachers ly to protect the American people hahanapan natin ng paraan para Muslim community in praying and little kids who approached to be respected,” Harden said. makumbinse – manlilimos tayo for peace in Mindanao and the her for a photo. whole country, especially during The lesson from past camng boto kahit saan,” he added. (Klarize Medenilla/AJPress) the election season. paigns Platform “Wala akong billboard pero Poe, who won a Senate seat During the press conference before the sortie proper, the ang kwento ninyo ang billboard in 2013 but lost in her presidencandidates introduced their ko. Wala akong advertisement, tial bid in 2016, said she had legislative agenda which they ang advertisement ko ang kwen- learned a thing or two when she claimed are based on needs of to niyo. Ang kayamanan ko, ang campaigned during those years. “Ang natutunan ko talaga, unthe Filipino people. Alejano, for kwento ng mga katutubo,” she ang-una dapat respetuhin natin example, said he would contin- said. After the candidates roamed kung ano man ang kagustuhan ue to uphold the security of the Philippines’ territorial claims, around Caloocan, a concelebrat- ng ating mga kababayan. Pero especially in the West Philip- ed Mass led by Bishop Emeritus pangalawa, natutunan ko rin sa Deogracias Iñiguez was heard, pag-iikot ko, marami talaga tayo pine Sea. “Ang programa na gusto kong which was attended by Vice puwedeng gawin para makatudalhin ay seguridad ng bayan at President Leni Robredo, former long maibsan ang kahirapan,” buong mamamayan ang pagde- president Benigno Aquino III, she said. “Hindi ko sinasabi na ako lapensa ng ating karapatan at ka- and Senators Risa Hontiveros layaan sa West Philippines Sea,” and Antonio Trillanes IV in a mang ang may sagot nito pero show of solidarity. sana ‘yung 12 na makakasama he said. This was followed by an ecu- ko lahat kami makatulong para Human rights lawyer Chel Diokno, on the other hand, vowed to menical prayer which focused mas maging maayos naman strengthen national justice in the on a peaceful campaign period ang kalagayan ng ating mga and conduct of the 2019 elec- kababayan,” she added. Philippines. The senator also said she “Matagal ko na rin pong tions. The Otso Diretso will formally would push for the Freedom of pinagtatanggol ang katarungan sa ibang arena, para sa mang- kick-off the campaign in a pro- Information as she saw this as a gagawa, estudyante, biktima ng gram in Naga City, Camarines way to watch over public funds. EJK, biktima ng trahedya. Pero Sur, on Wednesday, February She vowed to ensure that these funds went to government projako na ang magsasabi sa inyo, 13. The real deal from Grace ects that would serve Filipinos. kulang na kulang na ang laban “Tataasan natin ang tulong para sa hustisya,” Diokno ex- Poe Senator Grace Poe launched pagdating sa cash transfer, pagplained. “Kailangan na kailangan nat- her campaign in Payatas, Que- dating sa edukasyon, pagdating ing isulong ang katarungan sa zon City, declaring: “Wala nang sa pagkain; at ‘yung coco levy funds na hanggang ngayon ay ating bayan. ‘Yan ang nagiging kaplastikan ito.” This was how Poe described hindi pa rin nadi-disburse ‘di hadlang — ang pagbabaluktot ng hustisya sa ating bayan sa paga- her approach as she returned to ba, so tututukan natin ‘yan na senso ng bayan at sa pag-angat the campaign trail on Tuesday mapupunta talaga sa mga magng buhay ng mga Filipino,” Dio- clad in her signature white long- sasaka natin; mga drayber nasleeved polo shirt as she seeks tin, mga pasahero natin, lahat kno said. For re-electionist Senator Bam reelection in the May 2019 mid- ‘yan patuloy nating gagawin,” Poe said. Aquino, he promised to continue term polls. The senator said she would “Pinangako ko ‘yan at ang bolstering the Free Tuition Law which offers free tuition and mis- push for the “very basic” needs mga pangako ko sinisikap kong cellaneous fees in all state uni- of Filipinos if she would be given hindi mapako,” she added. Front-runner’s challenge versities and colleges. Marawi a chance to serve another term. “Basta kung ano lang ang sa While Poe expressed gratitude civic leader Samira Gutoc took from her experience in Marawi, tingin ko na magagawa kong tu- for her consistent lead in the Lanao del Sur, in seeking to en- long, wala nang kaplastikan ito; pre-election surveys, she admitact laws which would establish ako, ito ang gusto kong gawin ted that it posed a big challenge relief centers for victims of war, para sa ating mga kababayan, for her. very basic, pagkain nila, mab“Unang-una siyempre, nakaconflict and calamity. Former Solicitor General Flo- igyan sila ng pagkakataong la- kataba ng puso ‘yan ‘di ba…pero rin Hilbay said his priority bill banan ang korapsyon, ‘yun ang ‘yan ay malaking hamon sa kahit is the institutionalization of the inaalay ko, sana maging katang- na sinong kandidato kasi alam government’s cash transfer pro- gap-tanggap sa kanila,” Poe naman natin na kapag nangunguna ka, malaki ang expectation gram, throwing a swipe against told reporters. “Alam mo sa panahon ngayon sa’yo,” she said. the administration. Poe may also face another “It is possible for a popu- talagang inaalay ko lang ang sarlist government to be not pro- ili ko. Parang, kung tatanggapin challenge as she is running as people. May mga hamon sa ako ng ating mga kababayan an independent candidate. However, she said she was ating demokrasya dahil sa wave natin muli, marami talagang ng populist governments,” Hil- salamat, kasi napansin ko, hindi banking on the support of famlamang batas ang dapat itinutu- ily and friends to help with her bay said in jest. Meanwhile, election lawyer lak, dapat ang implementasyon campaign. “Sa tingin ko naman ay saRomulo Macalintal said he will din, na may sapat na pondo para champion senior citizens’ rights mabigyan ng buhay ang mga pat naman paraa matugunan by improving discounts and ben- proyekto na makakatulong sa natin ang pangangailangan ng efits of the elderly, while former mga bata, sa ating mga kababay- kampanya, may mga kaibigan naman tayong tumutulong, ang Deputy Speaker Erin Tañada as- an,” she added. Just three years ago, she ran aking nanay ay tumutulong rin sured Filipinos that he would put emphasis on the rights of work- for president but lost to Presi- pero higit sa lahat katulad nito, itong pagpunta rito, hindi naers and fisherfolk by expanding dent Rodrigo Duterte. But far from her proclamation man ito napakalaking bagay insurance and wage benefits. rally in 2016 which included a na dapat i-organisa,” she said Where’s Mar? All of the Otso Diretso candi- medley song number by the fe- referring to her first campaigndates were present in Caloocan male group Aegis, Poe started related event. n

Mirror, mirror who are the wisest senatorial...

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Dateline PhiliPPines

Creation of department of OFWs pushed by Bernadette


HOT BLOOMS. Bouquets are displayed at the flower market in Sampaloc, Manila several days before Valentine’s Day on Thursday, February 14. The cost of flowers had started to shoot up and prices are expected to more than double as the frenetic observance of love day starts. photo by Rene Dilan

Eco groups urge Trudeau to finally resolve issue of trash dumped in Philippines garbage “so that this protracted deal can finally be promptly ended.” MANILA — Local and interThe 103 shipping containnational organizations called on ers—which contained household Canadian Prime Minister Justin trash, used adult diapers and Trudeau to take action on the electronic waste—arrived in the long-standing issue of tons of country’s ports between 2013 garbage illegally brought into the and 2014. Philippines from Canada. EcoWaste Coalition said the Environmental group EcoW- shipment violated the Basel Conaste Coalition sent letters to vention on the Control of TransTrudeau and Canadian Environ- boundary Movement of Hazardment Minister Catherine McKen- ous Wastes and Their Disposal, na on January 30, urging them to which says that “the state of exresolve the dumping scandal in- port shall ensure that the waste volving 103 containers of mixed in question are taken back by the garbage. exporter or the generator or, if Copies of the letters were giv- necessary, by itself into the state en to reporters on Tuesday, Feb- of export.” ruary 12. The local environmental group In a letter addressed to also called on Canada to ratify Trudeau, EcoWaste Coalition the Basel Ban amendment. The National Coordinator Aileen Lu- amendment prohibits the export cero dumping Canada’s trash in of hazardous waste for any reason the Philippines is immoral and from a list of developed countries illegal. to developing countries. “The scandal has dragged on Canada is one of the eligible for five years without resolution countries that have not supportdespite promises from the Cana- ed the amendment. dian government to address the Int’l, Canadian groups to problem, including public state- Trudeau: Heed EcoWaste’s call ments made by yourself as prime International and Canadian enminister,” Lucero said. vironmental, health and human She appealed to the Canadian rights organizations backed the government to provide a definite latest bid of EcoWaste Coalition date on when it will take back the to get the garbage returned to its by Gaea



In this file photo, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addresses journalists at the ASEAN media center in Pasay City, Philippines on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017. photo

source. In a letter sent to Trudeau last February 11, the groups urged the prime minister to ensure the expeditious return of the wastes dumped in the Philippines and ratify the Basel Ban amendment. “We applauded your earlier statements that Canada is back as a responsible global citizen and intends to provide strong, positive leadership at the United Nations, particularly on environPAGE A7

SEN. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III on Monday, February 11, raised the need to create an agency that would solely promote the welfare and focus on the concerns of over 10 million overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). The senator stressed that the creation of a department for OFWs was one of the campaign promises of President Rodrigo Duterte. He reiterated his call for the immediate creation of a Department of Overseas Filipino Workers (DoFW), saying the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) cannot fully attend to the needs of OFWs. “Both these government agencies are already understaffed to meet the growing number and demands of our OFWs. A dedi-

cated executive department for our foreign workers is the solution,” Pimentel said. “For instance, OWWA has already complained in 2018 that it has just 420 staff worldwide, 300 locally and 120 abroad, addressing the concerns of 10 million OFWs.” Pimentel filed on May 10, 2017 Senate Bill 1445 creating the DoFW. “We urgently need this OFW department. Deployment of workers abroad is not a temporary phenomenon,” he said. The senator cited reports that the Philippines stands to lose about $1.5 billion worth of remittances due to the projected 10 to 15 percent decrease in the deployment of OFWs to the Middle East. “That’s a big number, considering Saudi Arabia is the most preferred country of destination among OFWs at 25.4 percent, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA),” Pimentel said.

Last year, OWWA repatriated around 3,000 workers. The deployment of Filipino workers also declined by 10 percent because of the instability of crude oil prices. “The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas has lowered the growth targets for both personal and cash remittances to 3 percent instead of 4 percent for 2019. We need a more proactive stance to stem this decline,” the senator said. “We need a national level policy, implemented by a separate government department, that squarely addresses key employment trends and developments abroad because these have direct economic consequences back home,” he said. “When foreign countries freeze hiring of skilled and unskilled workers, or when maritime agencies rationalize the hiring of our seafarers, the economic consequences are direct and immediately felt.” he added. n

A6 FEBRUARY 13-15, 2019 • SoCal ASIAN JOURNAL • (818) 502-0651 • (213) 250-9797


Fair and peaceful campaign


THERE they go… candidates for the Senate and party-list groups are officially off and running this week. For many voters, the official start of the campaign period may be confusing. Since the end of the period for filing certificates of candidacy, several of those who filed have been displaying billboards and tarpaulins and pitching their virtues on multimedia. A Supreme Court ruling on a provision of the automated election law, however, effectively declared that there is no such thing as premature campaigning. So the emasculated Commission on Elections can begin regulating campaigning only starting today for national candidates, and on March 29 for those seeking local positions. Since there are thousands of candidates, the Comelec is inevitably swamped. Now the poll body also sees the need to regulate the use of social media for campaigning and the deployment of trolls for character assassination of

rivals. This effort can achieve a measure of success only with the help of groups and individuals who want candidates to compete fairly. It is said that all is fair in love, war and politics. The way a candidate carries out an election campaign, however, is usually an accurate gauge of the quality of service he or she will render in case of victory. The campaign supporters and financing can indicate a candidate’s vulnerability to sweetheart deals and corruption. The worst candidate is the one who uses armed violence for political ends. Election violence thwarts the people’s will and weakens democracy. Everyone can contribute to preventing violence during the campaign period. Violence need not be a permanent fixture in every election season in this country. (

Editorial photo

Dear America: Lest we forget, this was how democracy and decency looked like before Trump

The Fil-Am Perspective GEL SANTOS-RELOS

Think about it: Impoverishment of the elderly because of medical expenses was a common and often accepted occurrence. Opponents of the Medicare program that saved the elderly from that cruel fate called it “socialized medicine.” Remember that slander if there’s a sustained revival of silly red-baiting today. Not five decades ago, much of the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth — our own Great Lakes — were closed to swimming and fishing and other recreational pursuits because of chemical and bacteriological contamination from untreated industrial and wastewater disposal. Today, the Great Lakes are so hospitable to marine life that one of our biggest challenges is controlling the invasive species that have made them their new home. We regularly used and consumed foods, drugs, chemicals and other things (cigarettes) that were legal, promoted and actively harmful. Hazardous wastes were dumped on empty plots in the dead of night. There were few if any restrictions on industrial emissions. We had only

the barest scientific knowledge of the long-term consequences of any of this. And there was a great stain on America, in the form of our legacy of racial discrimination. There were good people of all colors who banded together, risking and even losing their lives to erase the legal and other barriers that held Americans down. In their time, they were often demonized and targeted, much like other vulnerable men and women today. Please note: All of these challenges were addressed by Congress. Maybe not as fast as we wanted, or as perfectly as hoped. The work is certainly not finished. But we’ve made progress — and in every case, from the passage of Medicare through the passage of civil rights, we did it with the support of Democrats and Republicans who considered themselves first and foremost to be Americans. I’m immensely proud, and eternally grateful, for having had the opportunity to play a part in all of these efforts during my service in Congress. And it’s simply not possible for me to

adequately repay the love that my friends, neighbors and family have given me and shown me during my public service and retirement. But I would be remiss in not acknowledging the forgiveness and sweetness of the woman who has essentially supported me for almost 40 years: my wife, Deborah. And it is a source of great satisfaction to know that she is among the largest group of women to have ever served in the Congress (as she busily recruits more). In my life and career, I have often heard it said that so-andso has real power — as in, “the powerful Wile E. Coyote, chairman of the Capture the Road Runner Committee.” It’s an expression that has always grated on me. In democratic government, elected officials do not have power. They hold power — in trust for the people who elected them. If they misuse or abuse that public trust, it is quite properly revoked (the quicker the better). I never forgot the people who gave me the privilege of representing them. It was a lesson learned at home from my fa-

“DEMOCRACY is the government of the people, for the people, by the people” is an old adage that we have associated with the very democratic principles that have been guiding the United States of America toward a more perfect union. Abraham Lincoln went further in his Gettysburg Address to say that “The government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth,” but the toxic climate of division, hate and fear during the age of Trump has made many of us wonder how we, the people, have allowed the very principles of democracy seem to be elusive, with the government seem to be moving toward serving the “governors” instead of the governed. It has not always ben this way. Lest we forget about what has propelled the United States of America become the greater and most powerful union in the world, John D. Dingell — the longest-serving member of Congress in American history — dictated these reflections to his wife, Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), at their home in Dearborn, on Feb.

7, the day he died. John Dingell, a Michigan Democrat who served in the U.S. House from 1955 to 2015, left us with “My Last Words for America”. May this help us discern the truth that is in our heart: “One of the advantages to knowing that your demise is imminent, and that reports of it will not be greatly exaggerated, is that you have a few moments to compose some parting thoughts. In our modern political age, the presidential bully pulpit seems dedicated to sowing division and denigrating, often in the most irrelevant and infantile personal terms, the political opposition. And much as I have found Twitter to be a useful means of expression, some occasions merit more than 280 characters. My personal and political character was formed in a different era that was kinder, if not necessarily gentler. We observed modicums of respect even as we fought, often bitterly and savagely, over issues that were literally life and death to a degree that — fortunately – we see much less of today.


Rebuilding new roads to peace, security and human development

FORMER SPEAKER JOSE C. DE VENECIA, JR. (PART 1 of 3) (Remarks of former Philippine speaker Jose de Venecia founding chairman, International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP); co-chairman, International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP); chairman emeritus, Universal Peace Federation (UPF); Special Envoy of the President to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and for Intercultural Dialogue at the UPF World Summit 2019 “Peace, Security and Human Development” Seoul, Republic of Korea; February 711, 2019) Excellencies, friends, ladies and gentlemen, Let me express our greetings to Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, Co-Founder of Universal Peace Federation (UPF) and Founder of the celebrated Sunhak Peace Prize; and the outstanding UPF President Dr. Thomas Walsh. Let us congratulate Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon for deepening and enlarging the late Reverend Sun

Myung Moon’s sustained commitment and tireless efforts in promoting peace, reconciliation and unity, interfaith dialogue, the strengthening of marriage and family, and many other heart-warming initiatives in Asia and in the global community. The life and legacy of Reverend Moon and Madame Moon, especially in advancing the cause of peace in our troubled world, have continuously elicited praise and support in the United Nations family, in the continents, with admirers and dedicated Universal Peace Federation (UPF) and International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP) members in Asia, Europe, North and South America, Africa and Australia. Mother Moon’s leadership and the UPF initiative in establishing the IAPP—earlier launched and inaugurated in more than 80 countries, attended by more than 3,000 parliamentarians—today mobilizes parliamentarians not only in Asia but throughout the world to a dedicated, single-minded agenda and purpose: the achievement of peace—peace

among nations, peace among peoples, and peace in the hearts of men. For we must focus today on the need for peace in Northeast Asia, most specifically in our immediate environs in the Korean Peninsula and in the South and East China Seas, and onward to South Asia and on the Middle East areas and the danger zones of the Persian-Arab Gulf. A crucial juncture in history Excellencies, friends: We meet at a critical time. Two contrary impulses pull at every new state in the developing world. The first is the elite impulse to centralize political power, the better to achieve economic development and social modernization. The other impulse stems from ethnic nationalism—as people forcibly put together by colonialist powers seek to rally round some icon symbol of unique group identity. Democracy’s rise and fall The post war wave of emancipation had produced a generation of fledgling liberal democracies in the new countries of Africa and Asia.

But parliamentary institutions have not always worked as advertised. Political democracy at times has proved unequal to the complex problems of societies characterized by great inequality and hierarchical traditions and capitalism. Less than a century after independence, most of these fledgling democratic societies set up so grandiosely had reverted to authoritarian regime of various intensities. Indeed, there have been instances that transition from democracy to authoritarianism has become so common that the Harvard professor, Samuel Huntington, seems to justify an “authoritarian transition” for Meiji Japan, Ataturk’s Turkey, Lee Kuan Yew’s Singapore, Park Chung Hee’s South Korea, and Chiang Ching Kuo’s Taiwan, all of which were forced to march to modernization to wealth and power. None of the successor state has escaped this authoritarian transition. Only some regions have been relatively lucky. But, they, too, are feeling the tensions of separatist extremism and religious terrorism. The China challenge

Meanwhile, China offers herself as a model of the new “mixed economy” under state direction and control. And the Chinese model has strong credentials. In the late 1970s, China’s economy had been smaller than Italy’s and just about the same size as Canada’s. It surpassed Germany as the largest exporter in 2009, and overtook Japan as the second-largest economy in 2010. Now only the U.S. is ahead in GNP terms—and even that may change by 2025. During the Cold War, the communist bloc challenge led by the Soviet Union, is at bottom military. Now China, on its own, is challenging the West in its own field, that of the economy. The Beijing model—free market guided by state control—has resulted in an unprecedented growth for China and in some respects appears to be superior to the western model. Consequently, China sees itself as rising in economic, military and diplomatic power. This phenomenon is transforming the world order: the center of global gravity shifting from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

ther and mother, and one I have tried to impart to the people I’ve served with and employed over the years. As I prepare to leave this all behind, I now leave you in control of the greatest nation of mankind and pray God gives you the wisdom to understand the responsibility you hold in your hands. May God bless you all, and may God bless America.” REST IN PEACE, Rep. John Dingell. Thank you for your service. Thank you for your legacy. Thank you for believing America can still rise above the challenges we now face. Dear America: the power to rise above the challenges we now face is with us, we, the people. Let us reclaim that power and decency and leave a better America for our children, grandchildren and the generations more to come. *** Gel Santos Relos is the anchor of TFC’s “Balitang America.” Views and opinions expressed by the author in this column are solely those of the author and not of Asian Journal and ABS-CBN-TFC. For comments, go to, https://www.

Promoting peace and reconciliation Excellencies, friends: In the light of the many difficult, intractable political, territorial, religious, separatist, ideological, and ethnic conflicts in Asia and in various parts of the world, we, in the Universal Peace Federation (UPF), the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP), and the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP), the members of parliament, political leaders, civil society, and religious leaders must contribute our share in promoting peace and reconciliation, peaceful settlement of disputes, sustainable human development; and in fighting poverty, disease, and climate change and environmental degradation. While we are deeply aware of the historical and cultural roots of many of those conflicts—and the enmity and bitter divisions that have grown between rivals—we cannot turn away from the pursuit of peace because the alternative, which is conflict and war, would be immeasurably costly and make all of us losers. (To be continued next week)

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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SoCal ASIAN JOURNAL • febRUARy 13-15, 2019


Eco groups urge Trudeau to finally resolve... New law to boost HIV, AIDS prevention – La Union lawmaker by Glee Jalea

A MEASURE signed into law in December last year would strengthen the country’s policy on Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), a lawmaker said on Monday, February 11. Republic Act (RA) 11166 or the “Philippine HIV and AIDS Act,” which was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte in December 2018, will expand access to HIV-prevention strategies nationwide. The new law repealed RA 9504 or the Philippine AIDS Prevention and Control Act of 1998. It will strengthen and reconstitute the Philippine National AIDS Council (PNAC) with full budgetary support. The measure was co-authored by La Union 2nd District Rep. Sandra Eriguel and consolidated into a substitute bill under the House health committee.

“This law will help prevent the further spread of HIV-AIDS among Filipinos, especially among the vulnerable groups,” Eriguel said. Department of Health (DoH) data showed that HIV and AIDS cases in the Philippines rose to 11,103 in 2017 from 9,264 cases in 2016. Under RA 11166, the PNAC will promote and adopt a range of measures and interventions to prevent or control the spread of HIV among the general population, especially among the key populations and vulnerable communities. The law will promote the rights, welfare and participation of people living with HIV and the affected children, young people, families and partners of people living with HIV. It would also prohibit mass media from identifying persons with HIV or AIDS, Eriguel said. She noted that an important provision of the law makes health services for HIV-AIDS

available to minors. The provision allows persons aged 15 to 17 years to undergo HIV testing even without the consent of their parent or guardian. She said this would prevent the spread of the epidemic among young Filipinos and remove the stigma on people living with HIV or AIDS. The law also contains provisions penalizing discrimination against people living with HIV or AIDS in employment, school enrollment, travel, housing, public office, credit and insurance, hospitals and health institutions, and burial services. Violators of the law will face imprisonment of 1 year to 10 years and may be fined P50,000 to P500,000. The law authorizes the DoH to establish a program to provide free and accessible treatment and medication to all persons living with HIV and AIDS. It also establishes an annual budget to implement the provisions of the law. n

‘I really like the Philippines’: Chinese student sorry for ‘taho’ tantrum MANILA — The 23-year-old Chinese student arrested for throwing her soybean drink or “taho” at a police officer implementing the liquid ban at an MRT-3 station expressed remorse on Monday, February 11 over her actions. Jiale Zhang, who is studying fashion design in the country, said she was just in a bad mood last Saturday, February 9, when the incident happened. “I’m really in bad mood and I was not able to control my emotion. I really admit the mistake I made and I feel so regretful,” a teary Zhang said in an interview with GMA News. She was asked by PO1 William Cristobal to finish her “taho” or choose other transportation options as a ban on liquids is being implemented on Philippine train lines amid stricter security following the deadly Jolo cathedral bombing last January 27. Zhang, who has been living in the Philippines for over six years, appealed for a second chance. “I’m really really sorry. And I really ask if it’s possible to have an-

other chance for me,” she said. “I really like the Philippines that’s why I stay here. I like people here. I really love Filipinos.” Meanwhile, Zhang’s legal counsel, lawyer Sandra Respall, addressed criticisms hurled at her client online. “This was a very minor omission which just went viral,” Respall said referring to the photo of the incident that gained attention online. “It’s a case where somebody got emotional over an incident,” she added. Zhang is detained at the Mandaluyong police headquarters for disobedience to a person in authority, direct assault and unjust vexation. Mandaluyong City police chief Senior Supt. Moises Villaceran Jr. said they would recommend to the Bureau of Immigration to declare Zhang as an “undesirable alien” and deport her. Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Locsin, however, argued against deportation on Sunday, February 10, a day after the incident happened. “... Charge her. But deport?

In this Feb. 9, 2019 photo, cops talk to Chinese design student Jiale Zhang after she was arrested for throwing “taho” at a cop. photo by Boy Santos

She’s a student who believes enough in us to study here,” Locsin said in a tweet. Meanwhile, Vice President Leni Robredo said the incident is a wake-up call as she raised her concern on the “special treatment” afforded to China by the Duterte government. n

PAGE A5 mental issue,” the groups said. They added: “The Basel Convention is an important UN Convention to uphold environmental responsibility and environmental justice. We call on you to demonstrate commitment to the Convention and fulfil the actions requested by the EcoWaste Coalition of the Philippines.” Among the signatories were Greenpeace Canada, Basel Action Network, Toronto Environment Alliance, European Society for Environmental and Occupational Medicine, ToxicsWatch Alliance of India. Trudeau in 2017: Canada committed to cleaning up garbage dumping issue Trudeau said during the 2017 Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in Manila that his country is committed to solving the garbage dumping issue. “I am committed to him (President Rodrigo Duterte) as much as I am committing to you that Canada is working hard to resolve the issue,” he said. “It is now theoretically possible to take it back,” he added, saying legal impediments on the

return of the garbage had been resolved. But two years later after his statement, the Canadian garbage is still languishing in the Philippine soil. Trash dumping in the Philippines Lucero of EcoWaste Coalition noted the “stark contrast” between Canada and South Korea on resolving trash-dumping issue. “In contrast to Canada’s apparent disinterest in resolving the issue, South Korea has acted to address illegal waste shipments to the Philippines,” she said. The first batch of garbage illegally brought into the Philippines finally arrived in South Korea last February 4—around seven months after the waste shipments arrived at a port in Mindanao. EcoWaste Coalition earlier called on the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to ban plastic waste importation “to safeguard human health and the environment.” The Philippines is one of the most plastic polluting countries along with its fellow Asian na-

tions China, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. In 2018, China closed its doors to plastic waste imports from overseas. Vietnam followed, temporarily banning plastic waste imports after the surge in trash shipment caused by China’s ban. Two months later, Malaysia permanently stopped the issuance of import permits for plastic wastes. An article on The Conversation stressed those living in the global north has responsibility for the plastic crisis in the global south. “The export of waste from the global north to the global south has been controversial for more than 30 years. The United Nations Development Programme argued in 1989 that this perpetuates inequality and supports the movement of waste across borders,” the article said. It cited news reports on how Canada, the United States, United Kingdom and Australia diverted much of their waste to Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam flowing China’s ban on imported waste. n

A february 13-15, 2019 • SoCal aSIaN JOurNaL • (818) 502-0651 • (213) 250-9797

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Strong peso helps shore up PH forex reserves THE country’s dollar reserves rose slightly in January as bullish sentiment on the peso encouraged investors to keep their assets denominated in the local currency during the period. In a statement, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. said the country’s gross international reserves rose to $82.13 billion as of end-January 2019, according to preliminary data. This was higher than the $79.19 billion recorded in December 2018 due mainly to inflows arising from the net foreign currency deposits by the national government, BSP’s foreign exchange operations, revaluation gains from BSP’s gold holdings resulting from the increase in the price of gold in the international market, and the BSP’s income from its investments abroad. However, the increase in re-

serves was partially tempered by payments made by the national government to service its foreign exchange obligations. “The end-January 2019 level of dollar continues to serve as an ample external liquidity buffer and is equivalent to 7.2 months’ worth of imports of goods and payments of services and primary income,” the central bank said. It was also equivalent to 6.2 times the country’s short-term external debt based on original maturity and 4.2 times based on residual maturity. Net international reserves, which refer to the difference between the BSP’s gross reserves and total short-term liabilities, likewise increased by $2.94 billion to $82.13 billion as of end-January 2019 from the end-December 2018 level of $79.19 billion. (Inquirer. net) n

PCCI chief calls for more flexible rules by tyrone Jasper

C. piaD

THE Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) wants more flexibility in market regulations to boost investments even though the government has already opened additional opportunities for foreign investors. “We wish they (government) would be more flexible so we can attract foreign direct investments (FDI),” PCCI chairman George Barcelon told The Manila Times in an interview. Barcelon said the Philippines should seek parity with the other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) as they are “maybe more open or extending more incentives.” He said adapting to other Asean countries’ framework could

Investment pledges nearly double in January 2019 Investments approved in January are for projects in energy, information and communications technology, manufacturing and healthcare. by LoueLLa


information and communications technology, manufacturing and healthcare. Driving the growth of investPROJECT approvals by the Board of Investments (BOI) took ments in January is the power off at the start of the year, surg- development sector with P48.4 ing 91 percent in January from the billion, following the approval of the 603-megawatt wind project of same month a year ago. In a statement Monday, Febru- Rizal Wind Energy Corp., which is ary 11, the BOI said it approved wholly owned by 7 Balboa Energy P97.9 billion worth of projects Holdings Inc. Other investments approved by in the first month of the year, up from P51.3 billion in January last the BOI last month are the P33.1billion broadband infrastructure year. Investments approved in Janu- project of Converge ICT Solutions ary are for projects in energy, Inc.’s subsidiary Metroworks

Construction Inc., Solid Cement Corp.’s P12.5-billion project and the P849-million hospital project of Allied Care Experts in Dumaguete City. Bulk of investments approved last month are from domestic sources which reached P87.2 billion, up 70 percent from P51 billion in the same month last year. Foreign investments, meanwhile, jumped to P10.6 billion in January this year from just P33 million in the same month a year ago. Netherlands topped the list of file photo

foreign investors last month with investments of P6.8 billion. Japan was on second place with P202.1 million worth of investments, followed by South Korea with P102.4 million. In terms of the location of projects, BOI managing head Ceferino Rodolfo said investments outside the National Capital Region accounted for almost 100 percent or P97.86 billion, showing the wide dispersal of funds being poured in. Of all the regions, Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal


Philippines eyes more international air routes by Catherine


PCCI Chairman George Barcelon file photo

provide a “level-playing field” for the Philippines and make it more attractive as an investment destination. The PCCI chief also called for improvement in the government’s tax incentive to raise the country’s competitiveness. The Tax Reform for Attracting Better


THE Department of Tourism (DOT) aims to further boost the number of international flights to and from the country as the Philippines is set to host two major aviation events. In a statement, the DOT said Cebu would host this year’s edition of Routes Asia and CAPA Asia Aviation, which is in line with the country’s effort to boost its bid as one of Asia’s aviation hubs. Routes Asia is slated from March 10 to 12 at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino. The event will bring together top-level speakers from across the sphere of aviation,

including airlines, airports, destinations, aircraft manufacturers and more, to discuss the most pressing issues facing aviation now and into the future. Meanwhile, CAPA Asia Aviation to be held in June is expected to gather some 300 aviation executives and decision makers. “This will be the perfect avenue to converge and discuss new possibilities in mounting new routes to the Philippines,” the DOT said. Tourism Secretary Bernadette RomuloPuyat said the upcoming events would showcase the newly developed Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) and would further bolster the country’s international networks


Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said that through both Routes Asia and CAPA Aviation summit, the Philippine aviation industry looks forward to further capacity and infrastructure enhancements in the coming years. photo by Miguel de Guzman


Business news

Gov’t regulator gives policyholders time to study health plans before buying by Ben

O. de Vera

THE Insurance Commission (IC) has ordered all insurers in the country to give customers five to 15 days as “free-look period” for health insurance products. In a statement on Monday, February 11, Insurance Commissioner Dennis B. Funa said insurance companies must allow a five-day free-look period for health insurance policies covering six months or less, while a longer 15 days must be given to coverage of over half a year. The Insurance Commission defined the free-look period as “time in which a new health insurance policy owner can terminate or cancel the insurance policy.” “A free-look period allows the policyholder to decide whether or not to continue with the con-

ment is not what he/she signed up for and protects the insuring public from dangers of misselling.” As such, “if the insured for any reason does not want to accept the coverage or cancel the policy, he or she may demand for the cancellation or termination of the contracts,” file photo according to Funa. tract, and if he or she decides to The free-look period starts as cancel it for whatever reason/s, soon as the policyholder receives the policyholder can demand the the health insurance contract. cancellation thereof… It is that “If an insured decides to canwindow of time given to policy- cel or surrender the policy within holders to read the policy provi- the free-look period, he or she sions, understand the inclusions shall be entitled to the return of and exclusions, and if he or she all premiums paid,” Funa said. has purchased the right prodAs for health maintenance oruct,” Funa explained. ganizations (HMOs), Funa also Also, Funa said “a free-look ordered them to “incorporate period protects a customer if a similar free-look period in all he/she feels that the policy docu- health maintenance contracts.”n

and local tourism. “It’s all system go for these two major aviation events. We are looking forward to boost not just the number of air seats, but also that of new routes and development opportunities for smoother and faster travels to and from the country,” Puyat said. In 2018, the DOT’s Route Development Team under the tourism development sector facilitated the opening of 40 new international air routes that provided a total of about 1.6 million air seats. Of this number, 23 are from local airlines, while the remaining 17 are facilitated by international carriers. “We’re not only trying to increase the utilization of our secondary gateways like Cebu, but we’re also trying to decongest Manila, not only of its passenger traffic but as well as the aircraft movement.” Puyat said. She added that through both Routes Asia and CAPA Aviation summit, the Philippine aviation industry looks forward to further capacity and infrastructure enhancements in the coming years. Of the new air routes added this year, the DOT reported that a total of 21 new routes to and from China were produced, providing for some 745,000 additional seat

while three routes to and from Taiwan created an additional 84, 000 air seats. This is in line with the country’s efforts to cater to the growing interest from the Chinese tourist market. In 2018, China registered the highest growth among source markets at 29.62 percent to 1.26 million arrivals. A Filipino-Chinese business group earlier said it is optimistic that the Philippines will be able to attract more Chinese tourists to visit the country, driven by the country’s improving air connectivity. “Nowadays the air route has been increasing from Cebu to different parts from China, from Ilocos Norte, from Palawan. So we are sure that this year, many more tourists will be come from China,” said Fernando Gan, secretary-general of the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce & Industry Inc. (FFCCCII). Data from the Official Aviation Guide (OAG) analytics show that the Philippines saw an increase in international traffic of 11.33 million or a 5.4 percent growth from the 10.71 million recorded for the same period last year. This growth translated to more than 600,000 increase in international air passenger traffic as

Immigrant Living: 101 and Beyond Monette AdevA MAglAyA

[Select a handful of those things in your bucket list that have the highest chance of coming to fruition given your time frame. In tech speak, it means before your life’s energy goes into ‘ low batt mode’ and life has run out of sockets to plug into.] Things break. Once broken, a thing loses its value. If it is worth fixing, it can be fixed and in the hands of a whiz, can be as good as new. In our throw-away consumerdriven, impatient society where quality has taken a back seat to quantity in the name of profit and the bottom line, we are encouraged to simply toss away the broken item in the trash heap and replace it with a new one. For those of us who grew up and were trained by mothers, fathers, teachers and even great nuns (in my book) who taught us the meaning and value of preserving items, we tend to find the demand for international in- the fix for the broken item. We look at the rip in the hembound air seats to the Philippines remained very strong. Tourism Undersecretary Benito Bengzon Jr. emphasized that further developments are expect- PAGE B1 t ed to draw higher foreign tourist and Quezon) topped the list with arrivals are anticipated for the P60.9 billion worth of investments eleven priority gateways: Laoag, in January this year, 213 percent Clark, Manila, Puerto Princesa higher than the previous year’s and Legaspi in Luzon; Iloilo, Ka- P19.4 billion. libo, Bacolod, Cebu and Bohol in This was followed by Davao the Visayas; and Laguindingan in region, MIMAROPA (Occidental Mindanao. Mindoro and Oriental Mindoro, Last year, the DOT said it is Marinduque, Romblon and Palaworking with the Department wan) and Cagayan Valley, with of Transportation (DOTr) to pri- investments exceeding P500 miloritize the development of more airports through a convergence program between the two government agencies. This aims to PAGE B1 t accommodate the growing de- and Higher Quality Opportunimand for travel across the coun- ties (Trabaho) bill, which seeks try. to reduce corporate income tax “Now we’re focused on look- from 30 percent to 20 percent in ing at least 85 airports all over 10 years, is still pending in Conthe country to make sure that gress. they are really capable and that Further, Barcelon said the they would have the capacity to government should invest in hureceive guests directly,” Tourism man resource development to Undersecretary Arturo Boncato increase the skill set of the work Jr. earlier said. force. Under the National Tourism “The government must inDevelopment Plan, the DOT iden- centivize companies that impart tified transport infrastructure as technical skills. That’s important. one of the strategic programs in We want the higher value investpursuing competitiveness and in- ment rather than the low-tech clusive growth. n skills. That can also be an attrac-

Philippines eyes more international...

PAGE B1 t • (818) 502-0651 • (213) 250-9797

The bucket list Fix the broken (7th of a series)

”Broken hearts? Broken relationships? The solution is always the same. FORGIVE. Forgive as you have been forgiven. And while you’re at it, FORGET.” line of a nice dress and figure out carefully how a stitch here and there can make it good as new. That is probably why I can never get on with the supposedly “fashionable” items of ripped jeans. It is, to me, a nod toward rottenness and ugliness. Why pay good money for something so unattractive? Oy Vey! We look at holes in the wall and buy spackle and paint to patch it up and smooth out the flaws. We crazy glue crockery to weld things back. We solder metals so that the thingamajig, whatever it is, functions once again. We replace batteries so watches and clocks go tick tock-

ing again. We repair broken items. That is our default setting when we see things that are broken. But how about when the breakdown is with affairs of the human heart? How do you fix a broken heart? There are no easy answers. In the physical realm, if something is broken, you can fix it. And if you can’t, you relegate it to the trash heap. But not so with the human heart … Though broken to a thousand pieces, the heart can live through the dark days until time brings its healing effects. The pain be-

lion each. “We are definitely off to a positive start in 2019 and it augurs well for the rest of the year as we aim to cross the uncharted trillionpeso mark in investment approval for the whole year,” Trade Secretary and BOI chairman Ramon Lopez said. “Breaking a record is getting to be a habit as we aim to set a new mark for the third successive

year. And given the strong and sustained confidence of domestic and international investors in the Duterte administration, we hope to make it a yearly record breaking habit until 2022 and even beyond,” he said. Last year, investments approved by the BOI hit an all-time high of P907.2 billion, 47 percent higher than the previous record of P617 billion in 2017. n


Investment pledges nearly double...

PCCI chief calls for more flexible... tion for a company to say that they have a nice program on human resource development,” he added. Other issues like cost of doing business and port congestion should also be addressed, Barcelon said. Barcelon appreciated the fact that the government was now ‘more open’, citing the latest draft of the foreign investment negative list (FINL), which allows 100 percent foreign ownership in five sectors, including the internet business. “Foreign companies come in to some of the public works and

in the e-platform. Those are flexibilities but we wish they’d be more flexible,” he said. Meanwhile, the PCCI expressed support for Senate Bill 2102 or Foreign Investment Act (FIA) amendments that are currently pending in the Senate. “Yes, I am in favor of that,” Barcelon said, adding that he is awaiting the chamber’s decision. The bill seeks to relax the rules on allowing foreign professionals to practice in the country and reduce the company size requirement for foreign firms with full ownership in the domestic market. n

(818) 502-0651 • (213) 250-9797 •


IN this issue’s column, we will address practical tips to help protect yourself from becoming a victim of a fraudulent immigration services provider. In looking for a lawyer or a lawful immigration consultant to help you with any immigration issues, it is good practice to check with community groups you trust and to ask if the immigration consultant or lawyer is trustworthy. If you are working with an attorney, you should ask for the attorney’s State Bar number. You can use the number to check on the State Bar website or call at 800-843-9053 to learn if their license is active and whether they have any disciplinary history. On the other hand, if you are working with a non-lawyer immigration consultant, you can check online at icbs to see if they have registered with the state. If you can’t find the consultant’s registration, it may mean that they are operating unlawfully.

Debt Relief

ATTY. LAWRENCE YANG THE client is 61 and her husband is 60. In my book, they are young seniors. They bought their house in 2006 just before the crash of the housing market. They used a zero down 10 years interest only mortgage for the first 10 years. Thereafter, they have to start paying interest and principal. They paid $2,400 a month for the purchase date up to early last year, which is interest only. As you well know, interest rates have been very low for the last 10 years. The Feds have been keeping rates at rock bottom so as not to derail the slow but steady improvement in the performance of our economy. With the expiration of the 10 years, mortgage payments doubled to $4,400. It appears that they have $250,000 of equity in the house. Since they could not pay $4,400, they asked the bank for a loan modification last year. The bank placed them on a three-month trial period that they complied with. However, nothing happened after the trial period. The bank started to send them statements demanding $4,400 after the trial period ended. The clients received the recorded notice of default last October. A foreclosure sale is now scheduled for February 15, which is next week. Their arrears on the mortgage is $60,000. A third party continues helping them to get the loan modification but they have now decided to try to sell the house. But one week is not enough time to sell the house. If the house is foreclosed next week, the auction sale may wipe out more than half or all of their equity if there are no serious buyers that show up for the auction sale. If no serious buyers show up, then


Protecting yourself from immigration services fraud If you decide to hire an immigration consultant, it is important to take precautionary steps to protect yourself from immigration fraud. Upon discussing the services that will be provided, you should always review, understand, and obtain a copy of any contract in writing before you sign. If payments are necessary, always ask for signed receipts with the agency’s or provider’s name and address on it. In addition, as much as possible, keep a paper trail and be wary of anyone who insists on cash payments. If you don’t have a bank account, an alternative way is to use cashier’s check as a form of payment. Also, if someone charges extra fees indicating that they know someone at USCIS who can quickly process your documents or charges fees for blank U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) forms, you should not proceed with that person and instead find other help. Moreover, only provide copies of original documents such as contracts, birth certificates, passport, statement, financial records, or

any other documents. Most importantly, never sign any forms, application or papers that are blank or contains any false statement or inaccurate information. The information provided on all of your forms, applications and/or documents must be truthful, and accurate. Lastly, do not sign anything you do not understand. If you cannot read or understand English, ask someone to translate documents for you. *** Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Los Angeles (Advancing Justice - LA) is the nation’s largest legal and civil rights organization for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (NHPI). Founded in 1983 as the Asian Pacific American Legal Center, Advancing Justice - LA serves more than 15,000 individuals and organizations every year. Through direct services, impact litigation, policy advocacy, leadership development, and capacity building, Advancing Justice - LA focuses on the most vulnerable members of Asian American and NHPI communities while also building a strong voice for civil rights and social justice. For more information, please visit https://

Seniors face end of interest-only mortgage payments Need Chapter 13 to stop foreclosure

the bank will bid the balance of the loan for the house and that will wipe out the entire $250,000 of equity. The house is worth $800,000 while the balance of the mortgage owed to the bank is $550,000, leaving equity of $250,000. But if there are no buyers at auction, the bank will bid $550,000, the balance of the mortgage, resulting in the debtors getting nothing. If a serious buyer shows up and bids $700,000, then the bank gets paid $550,000, and the clients realize an amount over the balance owed to the bank or equity of $150,000. The higher the purchase price, the higher the equity realized by clients. It is certainly to their advantage to prevent the foreclosure next week, so they can have enough time to get a serious buyer for the right price. The clients decide to get Chapter 13 relief. What will Chapter 13 do for them? First, it will immediately stop the foreclosure next week, so it creates time for them to sell the house for the right price. Second, if they can find the right buyer, a motion seeking court permission to sell the house can be filed in the Chapter 13 case. The court protects the house by preventing the foreclosure while the court gives them permission to sell the house. Third, it makes their loan modification request stronger because the filing of the bankruptcy proves financial hardship, which is a sine quo non-element of a loan modification request. If they decide not to sell the house if the loan modification is approved, or for some reason, they are now able to afford to pay interest and principal as well as the plan payment, then they can just stay on the 13 for five years. But of course, a serious buyer for $800,000 would do the trick

because clients walk away with at least $200,000 of equity. They can use the cash to buy a more affordable house with a smaller mortgage payment. Senior needs Chapter 13 to stop sale of $1-M house by judgment lien of $30K The next client is 66. He owns a house with a small mortgage balance of $140,000. His house is now worth $1 million. So he has over $850,000 of equity. The problem is that his divorce 15 years ago “wiped him out.” I don’t really know what that exactly means. I surmise that the divorce judgment required him to pay alimony and to buy out his ex-wife’s 50 percent share in the house. As some famous actor said, two divorces wiped him out. Each divorce felt like his heart was being ripped through his wallet. I can’t remember his name right now but the description of the financial agony that the client went through with his divorce is appropriate. Oh, yeah, it was Robin Williams who said this. His first divorce wiped out half his assets and the second divorce wiped out the other half of his assets. The client has social security of $1,400 and makes $2,600 driving Uber full time. A judgment creditor had a judgment lien of $15,000 on the house 15 years ago. That lien has now ballooned to $34,000. And judgment creditor has just filed a motion to sell the client’s house to pay the lien. Is this even possible that the enforcement of a judgment lien can result in the involuntary sale of the debtor’s house? Sadly, it is true. The CA Code of Civil Procedure allows the judgment creditor, by motion, to request court permission to force the sale of the house


Can the family court deny a custodial mom’s enforcement of a child support order against dad when it was the grandparents who were actually taking care of the child? IN the case of In re Marriage of Wilson, the Mother was attempting to enforce child support arrears against the Father for the period in which the child was not living with the Mother but instead was living with the Grandparents. The Father filed a request for an order in court, seeking a stay of enforcement of the child support arrears on the ground he had overpaid Mother; equitable setaside of the child support arrearages on the ground Minor had lived with Grandparents since she was two years old; credit for child support charged during the time Minor lived with Grandparents; and set-aside of interest on arrearages. In re Marriage of Wilson, 4 Cal . App. 5th 1011, 1014, 208 Cal . Rptr. 3d 779, 780, 2016 Cal . App. LEXIS 910, *3-4. The trial court denied Father’s request because Father did not support child in his home. In appeal, the appellate court held that a family court had to consider whether it would be inequitable to allow a minor’s mother to enforce some or all of the child support arrears incurred during a certain period the minor lived with her paternal grandparents during that period and that her father had contributed to her support by providing money to the grandparents, and there was no evidence in the record that, during the period at issue, the mother provided any support for the minor.In re Marriage of Wilson, 4 Cal . App. 5th 1011, 1011, 208 Cal . Rptr. 3d 779, 779, 2016 Cal . App. LEXIS 910, *1 Fam. Code, 3651, provides that, with certain exceptions, a sup-

Barrister’s Corner ATTY. KENNETH URSUA REYES port order may not be modified or terminated as to an amount that accrued before the date of the filing of the notice of motion or order to show cause to modify or terminate. However, it is within the court’s equitable power to deny enforcement of the arrears on equitable grounds under certain circumstances. However, it is within the court’s equitable power to deny enforcement of the arrears on equitable grounds under certain circumstances. (Jackson v. Jackson (1975) 51 Cal.App.3d 363, 366–367 [124 Cal. Rptr. 101] (Jackson).)In re Marriage of Wilson, 4 Cal . App. 5th 1011, 1016, 208 Cal . Rptr. 3d 779, 782, 2016 Cal . App. LEXIS 910, *8 The appellate court found merit, in the peculiar circumstances of the case, in the father’s position that the trial court’s discretion to deny enforcement of a support order is not limited to circumstances in which the obligor parent cares for a child in his or her own home, but is broad enough to embrace a situation in which neither parent is raising the child at home. The record did not foreclose a conclusion that the father’s obligation to support the minor during the relevant period was discharged, in whole or in part, through the

grandparents’ care of the minor on his behalf and through the payments he made to them during the period for which the mother sought arrears. Moreover, there was no evidence in the record that, during the periods at issue, when the minor lived with the grandparents, the mother provided any support for the minor. If the mother was seeking child support arrears for times that she neither cared for the minor nor provided for her financially, enforcement of the arrears might well be nothing more than a windfall to the mother, bearing no relation to any support or care the minor actually received during her childhood. In re Marriage of Wilson, 4 Cal . App. 5th 1011, 1011, 208 Cal . Rptr. 3d 779, 779, 2016 Cal . App. LEXIS 910, *1 The appellate court agreed with father’s contention that the family court’s discretion to deny enforcement of a support order is not limited to circumstances in which the obligor parent cares for a child in his or her own home, but is broad enough to embrace a situation in which neither parent is raising the child at home. In re Marriage of Wilson, 4 Cal . App. 5th 1011, 1011, 208 Cal . Rptr. 3d 779, 779, 2016 Cal . App. LEXIS 910, *1. The bottom line, parents that owe substantial arrears in child support may have a defense against enforcement under In re Marriage of Wilson if the child was not actually living with the custodial parent but was instead living with the Grandparent and where the noncustodial parent is actually paying



Calendar of Events across




Franchising Retail & Trade Conference in Cerritos, CA The Coalition of Filipino American Chambers of Commerce (COFACC) hosts this highly anticipated business event at the Cerritos Sheraton located at 12725 Center Court Drive South, Cerritos, CA 90703. Attendees will have access to opportunities in business match making & referrals, roundtable discussions, entrepreneurship training programs, and networking & business connections with participants representing both the United States and the Philippines. Business owners, entrepreneurs, corporations, and the general public are all invited to attend. The Philippine Retailer Association (PRA) and the Philippine Franchise Association (PFA) will be present to network with the US business community. Also present will be local franchisor and franchisee business owners, the U.S. Small Business Association (SBA), the National Asian American Coalition (NAAC), the National Diversity Coalition (NDC), the Asian Pacific Islander Small Business Program, the Philippine Consulate Los Angeles Office, Philippine Dept. of Trade & Industry (PTIC) Los Angeles, and the Search to Involve Pilipino Americans (SIPA).Basic entry is only $10 but can and will vary depending on the participation experience desired. Registration for the Conference is simple and is processed online at by going to

F E B R UA RY 1 6

Domestic Violence Prevention Symposium in San Fernando, CA The Valley Care Community Consortium partners with the Lions Clubs International/District 4-L3 to host the inaugural Domestic Violence Prevention Symposium to be held on Saturday, February 16, from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at the San Fernando Regional Recreation Park (208 Park Avenue, San Fernando, CA). Admission is free, open to the public and registration is strongly encouraged. For more information or to register for the event, please contact the Valley Care Community Care Consortium (VCCC) at (818) 904-5566 or email at healthy@valleyccc. org.

F E B R UA RY 2 0

FACCGLA hosts Music and Merlot in Sherman Oaks Join us for evening of Wine & Cheese to unwind after a busy day on Wednesday, February 20 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. as we enjoy the music of jazz guitarist Ric Ickard. Get to know the members of the the Filipino American Chamber of Greater Los Angeles (FACCGLA), and get a chance to tell us about your business or profession. We love to meet new people to share our plans for the year, with some time for a Q & A and inspirational talks from Asian Business owners. We will announce a special perk for our members AND you can be one of the first to get hold of the FilAm Entrepreneurship Magazine. Register at Venue is BFG Room, 2nd floor, 5121 Van Nuys Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403.

F E B R UA RY 23

Free oil filter exchange in Lynwood, CA Free oil filter & motor oil recycling event! Everyone is invited to bring in their motor oil and used oil filters on Saturday, February 23 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. All those who recycle their used oil filter will receive one FREE new oil filter. Recycling motor oil and filters helps save our environment and keeps our water clean. It will be held at O’Reilly Auto Parts at 10727 Long Beach Blvd. Lynwood, CA 90262.


LolaLand: The Grandmother of All Shows in Los Angeles Rejoicers Events brings to Los Angeles, “LolaLand: The Grandmother of All Shows,” the show that sold out in Manila, and soon restaged in New York and the Bay Area. It will be held on Saturday, March 9 at the Aratani Theatre (244 San Pedro St, Los Angeles, CA 90012) at 7 p.m. Headlined by comedienne Fe delos Reyes, award-winning songwriters Cecile Azarcon and Odette Quesada are joined by singers Jam Morales and Chiqui Pineda, who popularized numerous OPM Songs. Part of the proceeds of this much-anticipated concert benefit Philippine Patrons of the Arts USA, a non-profit organization that helps bring Filipino Artists to U.S. stages.


Philippine Medical Society of Northern California installation of officers in Foster City, CA The Philippine Medical Society of Northern California will hold its 47th anniversary and installation of officers for 2019-2021 at the Crowne Plaza in Foster City, CA on Saturday, March 30. For sponsorship information, please contact Dr. Clementina Manio at drtina0427@gmail. com or visit

United Bicolandia Los Angeles induction in Montebello, CA United Bicolandia Los Angeles will hold its 45th Anniversary and Induction Ceremony at Quiet Cannon in Montebello, CA on Saturday, March 30. For tickets and sponsorship information, please contact Lanie Berrei at or (818) 281-3169.


Ryan, Ryan! The Maestro and the Ryan Cayabyab Singers in Glendale, CA Recently proclaimed National Artist for Music Ryan Cayabyab’s works will be showcased on Sunday, April 7 at the John Wayne Performing Arts Center (1440 E Broadway, Glendale, CA 91205) at 6 p.m. by his multi-talented singing group, the Ryan Cayabyab Singers joined by some local artists like Mon David, Annie Nepomuceno, Louie Reyes and many more. Come and hear how his work that spans five decades has made an indelible impact on Filipino culture. Copresented by Philippine Patrons of the Arts USA, a 501 (c) 3 organization that brings exemplary Filipino Artists to U.S. stages. For ticket information ($35-$125) visit and to learn about other tour stops in Las Vegas (April 7), San Diego (April 12) and Seattle (April 14).

A P R I L 25 -28

Philippine Nurses Association of America - North Central Regional Conference in Columbus, Ohio The Philippine Nurses Association - Central Ohio will hold a regional conference from April 25 to 28 at the Embassy Suites (2886 Airport Drive, Columbus, Ohio). For more information, please visit

J U LY 2 0

The Ibaan Association USA-Canada gala dinner in LA The Ibaan Association USA-Canada will hold its 32nd Annual Gala Dinner & Dance July 20, 2019 from 5 p.m. to 12 a.m. at the Hilton Los Angeles / Universal City - Ballroom A at 555 Universal Hollywood Drive, Universal City, California 91608. For reservations call Monica Benitez at (323) 697-3731 / email: or Irene May Villafranca at (323) 4232299 / email: Tickets are $85 for Adults and $40 for Children (3 to 10 years old). Please make checks payable to: Ibaan Association USA-Canada and mail to: Merly Pagunsan at 5025 Heintz St. Baldwin Park, CA 91706. For sponsorship information on our 2019 Souvenir Program please contact President Noli Reyes at or call (818) 458-7888. Please RSVP by April 12, 2019.

J U LY 24 -28

40th annual Philippine Nurses Association of America National Convention in Atlanta, GA The Philippine Nurses Association of America (PNAA) will have its 40th annual national convention from July 24 to 28 at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis in Atlanta, GA, hosted by the PNA-GA chapter. More information and details TBA. To learn about the PNA-GA, please visit:

AU G U ST 3 - 4

Travel, Trade & Consumer Expo in Carson, CA The second annual Travel, Trade & Consumer Expo is back on Saturday, August 3 and Sunday, August 4 at the SouthBay Pavilion in Carson, CA. The two-day event is Southern California’s largest B2B expo showcasing tourism, trade, and investment opportunities in the USA and Philippines. It will feature networking opportunities for business-to-business, business-to-government, and business-to-consumer. The event is powered by the Asian Journal and Balikbayan Magazine. For more information, please visit

If you have an upcoming event and would like us to post it, please email us the details at or

B4 FEBRUARY 13-15, 2019 • SoCal ASIAN JOURNAL • (818) 502-0651 • (213) 250-9797

People and Events

A writer’s plea for life—his journey, realizations and newfound mission by DEE


IT was year 2008, I was a newly graduate and was very idealistic to start a professional life. I was unstoppable and always on the go for that big break. Days passed into weeks, and weeks to months, I was not able to find a job I like— there were a few but they were not my cup of tea, to say the least. I thought what is the use of my being smart, if I will just be unemployed? I thought I was simply useless. It wasn’t until February of that year when my father, Isidro Garcia Mandigma, started to fell ill. He was diabetic, but it was only then when we found out that his kidneys were failing. He was diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and had to go through the dreaded dialysis for life. We had no choice but to put him on this renal replacement therapy. He had it thrice a week and at that time, dialysis was at its infancy—


not a popular choice for kidney patients. It was very expensive. Imagine, we have to shell out P15, 000.00 a week for my dad to live longer. I saw my dad suffered from kidney failure. I took care of him, brought him to his dialysis treatments and saw him develop complications and deteriorate over time. It was very taxing for all of us, especially for mom, who was the breadwinner of the family at that time. My mom Evelyn Angeles Mandigma, is a public school teacher for 30 years, but was only earning half of the salary of an ordinary clerk. It barely made our ends meet, just enough to feed a family but not a husband going through dialysis. Good thing, my brother Lee and I were both scholars in college. I had no choice but to seek help of all kinds—financial and medical—to the point of begging from my relatives, and friends alike. At first people were still very enthusiastic to help, very selfless, but later

kindness and empathy turned into apathy. Soon enough people end up giving and funds for my dad’s medical needs ended up dry and empty. It was very frustrating and saddening that these things would happen to a very kind man such as my dad. He was very giving, altruistic and charitable when he was still at his prime. I thought where have all the people gone? Where have all the people whom he once helped gone? I almost gave up. It was tiring—begging for dole outs worn me out. One day when dad said, “It’s all good for the day—let us stop dialysis, will you? Let me just rest and wait for God’s mercy.” I willingly obliged my father’s request, but was very worried because no dialysis means toxins could pile up in the body. And true enough, it was only a day or two when dad went heavily toxic to the point of hallucinating. It was the time I saw him become a child again. Indeed,

ACLU files suit against sheriff for censoring BLM leaders on Facebook Banning people from government Facebook pages based on speech, identity, or views is unconstitutional

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The ACLU Foundation of Northern California along with the law firm Rogers Joseph O’Donnell filed suit last Thursday, January 31, on behalf of Black Lives Matter leaders who were unlawfully blocked from Sacramento Sheriff Scott Jones’ official Facebook page. Tanya Faison and Sonia Lewis, co-leaders of Black Lives Matter Sacramento, have been vocal critics of the sheriff and other law enforcement officials over the past several years. After a report was published critical of the sheriff’s department in the death of Mikel McIntyre, one of several black men killed by Sacramento deputies, Sheriff Jones responded by refusing to allow any investigation of his deputies. Sheriff Jones u PAGE B5 used his official Facebook page to


seek support for his actions and criticize his opponents, including BLM. In October and November, Faison and Lewis posted criticism of Sheriff Jones’ resistance on his Facebook page. In response, Jones deleted their comments and then blocked them. “This attempt to silence us shows how little the sheriff values Black lives and the movement to combat injustice and inequality,” said Faison, who remains blocked and unable to comment. “It is our role to call public attention to state violence and racist policing whether the sheriff likes it or not.” Sean Riordan, a senior staff attorney with the ACLU Foundation of Northern California, said the local leaders have the right to criticize the sheriff under both state and federal constitutions.



“The sheriff’s decision to silence them based on their views violates their free speech rights, undermines public trust of government, and offends democratic values,” Riordan said. “Free speech must be protected from government censorship on social media just as it is in a public meeting or any forum where people debate politics, religion, and other social issues. The methods may change but the protections of the Constitution don’t.” A growing number of courts are affirming that First Amendment protections apply to governments social media pages and accounts. The ACLU has sued public officials in several other states, including governors in Maine and Maryland, after they blocked


B FEBRUARY 13-15, 2019 • SoCal ASIAN JOURNAL • (818) 502-0651 • (213) 250-9797

A writer’s plea for life—his journey... PAGE B4 t

when death was almost within arm’s reach, one turns childlike, as if coming full circle. Then one gloomy morning, dad breathed his last at age 52. He never had the chance to get a kidney transplant because of its high cost and the lack of a kidney donor. Dad left us without a single word—so heartless way to leave the family who loved him most, I thought. But I guess it was his way of bearing the pain and agony—all to himself. What love! While dialysis and other medical procedures proved to be very daunting for us family, burying the dead was also equally challenging. Our funds went down the drain when my dad got sick and when he died, not a single centavo was in the bank or on our hands. Giving my dad a proper and decent wake was a problem. I had to ask everyone to give—one last time—to dad, one last time for his wake and funeral. With enough money to buy a coffin, we chose the most affordable—the cheapest, to stay the least—a lowly coffin made of recycled box to look like a wooden coffin. I pity my dad, he was born to a privileged family, studied in the best school—Lyceum in Intramuros—and was very intelligent, opinionated and principled. But that day, his last day on earth, was the poorest, the lowliest and the saddest wake you will ever see. No flowers from people, not a single daisy was sent to us, except for a simple flowerpot I bought for him. We had no place to bury him, so I took the courage to go against the tradition of the clan and had dad cremated. I was the talk of the old folks—everyone cursed me for burning my dad into ashes. “Had I no love for him?”, they said. I thought how come they are say-

comes dull and as life goes on, the sunlight breaks through the darkness and the heart is made whole. Resiliency of the human heart is based on the deep and enduring understanding in the wisdom of the words: “This too, shall pass.” But when the pains and the hurt are forged into the deep recesses of the memory and the wounds are encouraged to fester, the brokenness can be as deep as the Grand Canyon. These are the very sad cases, when the heart never heals. It is true what they say about dying of a broken heart. There is that thing called pride and in extreme cases, hubris, the kind that damned the fallen angels. This is the one that makes it hard to fix brokenness. We become so big for our britches that forgiveness is beyond us. We equate forgiveness with weakness and our supreme pride won’ t let us do it. Broken hearts? Broken relationships? The solution is always the same. FORGIVE. Forgive as you have been forgiven. And while you’re at it, FORGET. You


sued public officials in several other states, including governors in Maine and Maryland, after they blocked constituents on their official pages. In May, a federal court in New York ruled that President Trump violated the First Amendment by blocking Twitter users based on the content of their speech. Earlier this month,

the federal Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the interactive portion of a public official’s Facebook page is a “public forum,” so an official cannot block people based on opinions they hold. The ACLU is seeking a ruling declaring Jones’ actions violate the First Amendment and California Constitution, an injunction requir-

ing Jones to unblock Faison and Lewis, and damages. “This case is about ensuring that every voice is heard,” said John Heller of Rogers Joseph O’Donnell. “The First Amendment requires no less.” The full complaint can be viewed here: Faison_v_Jones_Complaint.pdf n

I am wondering why the client waited until the last minute to take care of this problem that it should come down to this. After all, he had 15 years to take care of it. Court judgments accrue interest at 10 percent p.a. until they are paid in full based on diminishing balance. The client said he wasn’t able to think right after the divorce. I guess it’s a traumatic event that has devastating financial implications. Don’t wait until the last minute. Credit card debt must be wiped out now by Chapter 7 or 13. Otherwise, these debts will become lawsuits that become judgment liens that

will put your house at risk. If you wipe them out now, they are wiped out, nipped at the bud. Peace of mind and security are what you get by getting rid of your debts now.

Seniors face end of interest-only...


Dee Angeles Mandigma

ing these things to me now—now that dad is already lifeless. They had no choice, but to accept my decision. We brought home dad’s ashes for a week until his birthday had passed on. And on the day of his birthday, we laid him in to his final resting place beside my lolo and lola—beside his parents whom he had served all his life. I thought it was the best homecoming for dad now that they are all together in heaven, with lolo and lola and Uncle Lody, his kuya. My dad was already free—free from all the pains, misery and sadness of this world. He is home with Jesus Christ. It pains me to remember my dad now that I myself am on dialysis twice a week. It took me a while to accept my health condition. In fact, there was a time I questioned God. I got angry at Him because I know that I am not a bad person and I do not deserve to bear this

The bucket list


ACLU files suit against sheriff...

do yourself no favors by letting the pains and hurts fester. Not that it’s easy to forgive and forget. Nothing worthwhile is ever easy. But that’s the whole story of our redemption. God forgives and forgets our iniquities. Who are we not to try and do likewise during our short time here on earth? The full benefits of forgiveness accrue first to the aggrieved party, the one who forgives and forgets. Why? Because then the heart is allowed to mend and heal with time, it becomes whole once again. There is a play on words about time and healing that one wit wrote. It is said that. “Time heals all wounds.” And if you believe in karma, “Time wounds all heels.” Let that sink in for a moment. God makes the prayerful heart resilient. In time, the human heart can love again as though it was never broken. Next week: Another idea to consider for The Bucket List … *** Nota Bene: Monette Adeva Maglaya is SVP of Asian Journal Publications, Inc. To send comments, e-mail monette.

to satisfy the lien! Surprised? As POTUS Trump will tweet “NOT NICE AND NOT FAIR!!” “ THAT JUDGMENT LIEN CREDITOR IS A TERRORIST AND MUST NOT BE GIVEN A VISA!” Well, the only way to stop the forced sale of the house is to file for Chapter 13. Even a missile from Iran will not stop the foreclosure but Chapter 13 stops it dead on its tracks. Yes, Chapter 13 is more powerful than a missile from Iran. In Chapter 13, the client health condition, this burden. I will be allowed to pay the $34,000 questioned God—I questioned over 60 months without interest Him when I had a hard time find- — that’s about $570 a month. ing a job then; I questioned Him why He had to take my dad’s life at such an early age and at the time when my brother and I were barely turning adult, at the time PAGE B3 t the Grandparent for the support of when mom was still penniless and the child. neck-deep in debt; and I ques*** tioned Him now that I have to go through this in life for myself, to Please note that this article is not legal advice and is not intended as legal advice. be on dialysis like dad. (Read more online at: www. The article is intended to provide only general, non-specific legal information. *Dee Angeles Mandigma, 35, is This article is not intended to cover all an Information IV (Supervising In- the issues related to the topic discussed. formation Officer) with the Philip- The specific facts that apply to your matter may make the outcome different pine Department of Tourism. n

*** 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, Mailstop 58, Building A-1 Suite 1125, Alhambra, CA 91803. (Advertising Supplement)

Can the family court deny a custodial... than would be anticipated by you. This article does create any attorney client relationship between you and the Law Offices of Kenneth U. Reyes, P.C. This article is not a solicitation. *** Attorney Kenneth Ursua Reyes is a Certified Family Law Specialist. He 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

is a graduate of Southwestern University Law School in Los Angeles and California State University, San Bernardino School of Business Administration. He has extensive CPA experience prior to law practice. LAW OFFICES OF KENNETH REYES, P.C. is located at 3699 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 747, Los Angeles, CA, 90010. Tel. (213) 388-1611 or e-mail HYPERLINK “mailto:” kenneth@ or visit our website at (Advertising Supplement)

(818) 502-0651 • (213) 250-9797 •




Asian Journal

mdwk The Asian Jour nal MDWK MAGAZINE - February 13, 2019

Wednesday, FEBRUARY 3, 209







cover story The Asian Jour nal MDWK MAGAZINE - February 13, 2019

Managing a business and marriage: How 3 Fil-Am couples make it work by

They moved to an outside office space last year to delinlike the one at Melrose Place ev- eate that physical boundary between home and work. Having ery Sunday, which “was our test a weekly date is also important and laboratory, essentially what to remember they’re a married validated that we had a good couple foremost. product,” Zach shares. “Every Thursday night Val The manual process that and I have a date night. Whether went into making each jar from we’re at each other’s throats their home kitchen took a toll, especially when Valerie was preg- or not, it’s something that’s nant with their second daughter, sacred to us. It’s what allows us so she suggested outsourcing to to unwind, recharge, reflect and we let any tensions melt. We’re a facility. “I cried and said, ‘I’m having a good dinner, a bottle done making peanut butter and of wine, or whatever it is…it’s doing the farmers market.’ This something we need to do. It was heavy work,” she recalls. really helps us survive as a team “We got smart with how we and married couple,” Zach says. marketed our products so we Be authentic ended up moving out of our As any successful company kitchen and into a co-packing facan attest to, a strong and aucility in Central Valley where our thentic brand story establishes time and effort could be spent a connection with the audience. growing the business and not necessarily roasting and grinding The Fishbains’ wedding story is the reason why Spread the Love the peanuts. That’s something exists — it shows a human elewe were able to outsource,” ment to the brand and customZach says. ers can trust that they’re talking From the farmers’ markets, to actual people. Spread the Love made its way “I came here to the United onto the shelves of local markets States when I was 15 so we’re and secured large food service a minority, woman-owned busiaccounts in Los Angeles and naness,” Valerie says of her story as tionally, such as Erewhon where an immigrant from the Philipthey produced buckets of the pines. “It’s part of our narrative peanut butter to be used in the that we’re very proud of.” market’s ice cream and smoothAdds Zach, “Our daughters ies, and Porto’s Bakery. Being parents with a business are growing up in a multicultural, multilingual household. They’re has also led them to seek some seeing mom and dad work hard help with child care as well. Val — they know what Spread the notes how her mom is “a very Love is, they ask for it every day big part of our family and busiand it’s pretty cool as our business because she allows Zach ness, family and lives grow. It’s all and me to really focus on work very intertwined in a good way.” by helping out with the kids.” Align on business plans and Recognize each other’s goals strengths and set boundaries Going on six years in busiVal handles most of the ness, Spread the Love has branding, marketing and partgotten creative with engaging nerships for the business, while with its audience, whether it’s Zach manages the operations, partnering with social media insales and logistics. fluencers who share how they in“I wouldn’t say we stay in each other’s lanes because we’re corporate the products into their daily lives or doing in-person a small company so there’s events where potential customoverlap but Val and her thought ers can sample the brand. leadership when it comes to They are now at the point brand management will override where they can give back to any decision I may make when their community — ‘spreading it comes to that,” Zach says. it forward,’ as the Fishbains say. “When it comes to production They teamed up with People or which shipping carrier to use, some of the less glamorous stuff, Assisting The Homeless (PATH) and held a fundraiser for the that’s on me.” organization last year. Unlike couples who work The couple is conscious separately and can see off-duty when it comes to introducing hours as time to decompress, it new products as they don’t want can be easy for entrepreneurial to “spread too thin,” but they couples to transfer the work to can agree that in the coming the household. However, the Fishbains agree that a line has to years, they envision developing more offerings and fortifybe drawn. ing Spread the Love as a go-to “You have to have limits and health brand. boundaries…It’s a challenge, “We listen to our audience but at the same time, it’s a gift because we like being with each before we introduce other prodother and get to communicate a ucts and that’s what we stand for lot about the family and the busi- now. We don’t try to be a gourness. You have to make it work,” met company, but we try to be a company that is fueling healthy Val shares.

Christina M. Oriel / AJPress

IT’S Valentine’s Day this week and you can expect couples posting on social media about how they’re spending the day, their “love story,” and what they enjoy about one another. Among the relationship dynamics that exist, there is a rare crop of couples who have added another level by working and running a business together. The National Federation of Independent Business reveals that 43 percent of small businesses are family businesses; of that number, 53 percent of managers say a spouse shares day-to-day management duties. Continuing a series by the Asian Journal, in this issue we speak to three couples on the lessons and challenges that come with successfully balancing business and family. Valerie and Zach Fishbain — Los Angeles When Valerie (“Val”) and Zach Fishbain gave away 150 jars of homemade peanut butter — using a Vitamix Valerie received as a bridal shower gift — as their wedding favors in 2013, little did they know that it was a sign of another union they would enter. The peanut butter was a resounding hit that friends would put in special orders, which soon led to the couple acquiring a business license and starting a venture together called Spread the Love based in Los Angeles. “This opportunity presented itself and as an entrepreneur, it was so exciting because it was the chance to build a business quite literally as old as our family,” Zach says. “This business, although we didn’t know it at the time, started the same day our marriage did.” Nearly six years later (and with two young daughters in tow), Spread the Love’s handcrafted, all-natural, vegan and gluten-free products can be found in over 100 stores across the United States and is an Amazon Best Seller for the peanut butter category. The brand has expanded its offerings from the initial ‘naked’ organic peanut butter to unsalted and crunchy varieties, as well as almond butter and raspberry and marionberry artisanal jams. Delegate and outsource tasks Spread the Love started as a side venture for the couple, with Val working as a social worker for LA County’s Department of Children and Family Services and Zach running a translation and multilingual content creation agency. They would spend their free time concocting peanut butter to sell at weekly farmers’ markets

Be careful with your heart

Tips on how to show some TLC for your physical heart by 2030. In the U.S. alone, heart disease is responsible for one in evFEBRUARY marks the month ery four deaths; about 735,000 wherein Valentine’s Day is Americans are expected to have celebrated. Tokens of affection a heart attack this year. It is also — candies, chocolates, flowers one of the main causes of death, and pieces of jewelry — are second only to cancer, for Asian often seen sprouting around, or Pacific Islanders. with lovers exchanging sweet High blood pressure, high gifts with each other. Specifically cholesterol and smoking are key commemorated on the 14th risk factors for heart disease, day of the month, Valentine’s is according to the Centers for often associated with romance, Disease Control and Prevention love and matters involving the (CDC). Oher medical conditions heart. and lifestyle choices can also put The heart is often the people at a higher risk for heart metaphor for affection and disease, including: diabetes, romance. The organ is the star overweight and obesity, poor every month of February, being diet, physical inactivity, and the default decoration in the excessive alcohol use. celebration of love. More often However, statistics rethan not, its figurative represen- veal that about 80 percent of tation overpowers its literal one cardiovascular diseases may be which holds so much meaning preventable with education and in the human body. The heart in prevention. its entirety stands out in human February is American Heart anatomy, having more tasks Health Month -- which is meant than some of the other organs to raise awareness on the dancombined. gers of heart disease and what The heart works as a pump can be done to reduce the risks. that allows your blood to stream Here are some tips to all over your body bringing help maintain a heart-healthy with it oxygen and nutrients lifestyle: while leaving carbon dioxide Schedule an annual check and waste products. Along up and consultation with blood and blood vessels, it Be familiar with the overall makes up the human circulatory status of your body by schedulsystem also known as the body’s ing an appointment with your transport system. That is why doctor to have your blood prestaking care of one’s heart should sure, cholesterol and glucose also be of utmost importance. levels checked. Ask your doctor Cardiovascular or heart to help you reach or maintain diseases remain the leading a healthy weight with considglobal cause of death with more eration to any past and recent than 17.9 million deaths each medical conditions. Be sure to year. That number is expected follow your healthcare proto rise to more than 23.6 million fessional’s recommendations, by nathalie



including taking prescribed medications as directed. Maintain the prescribed healthy weight Follow the prescribed healthy weight based on the doctor’s prescription. Excess weight increases your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. To achieve steady, painless weight loss, follow a lifestyle of a balanced diet and exercise. Each day, if you eat 200-300 calories less than you would normally consume, and exercise at least 30 minutes on most or all days of the week, you’ll get closer to your goal and be able to achieve weight loss that’s steady and painless. Exercise regularly Physical inactivity increases the likelihood of obesity and other medical complications. It is advisable to step, march or jog in place for at least 15 minutes on a daily basis. Increase your activity in increments — like five minutes each week — until you get a minimum of 30 minutes most days of the week. Your physician can help you create a specific exercise regimen that is right for your specific needs. Always hydrate and eat healthy Studies reveal that up to 60 percent of the human body is composed of water. It is a must to take a water bottle with you wherever you go. Consistent rehydration will also help flush out toxins that can be deemed as harmful not only for the heart but for other organs as well. More than keeping one’s body Continued on Page 4

lifestyles — a company that’s focused on nutrition, quality flavor...something that people can have confidence in, knowing that what they’re feeding themselves and their families is something that is made with integrity and that’s very healthy,” Zach says. Adds Val, “We see ourselves definitely as a leader in the natural food and condiments space. It’s not just peanut butter and almond butter. But we want to do other spreadables, like cream cheese, honey or hummus. We see ourselves getting into more lines of products.” Marisse Panlilio and Cosette Malig — New Jersey Marisse Panlilio and Cosette Malig first met in the Philippines, but reconnected in New Jersey. They have now been together for 29 years and married for three. Over the years, the couple has delved in various entrepreneurial ventures from health care to apparel. But today, they juggle three: MPEntertainment, an events company; MP Grafx, a printing and graphics service; and Popsie’s Mobile Food Concession, a Filipino cuisine pop-up/food truck. “It’s [about] feeding each other’s strengths and correcting one’s weakness and flaws. Patience is the key,” Marisse says. Designate roles Marisse shares that with the three ventures, they have clear roles and responsibilities for each. For MPEntertainment, she trained Cosette on how to handle the equipment and connect wires and cables because outside contractors wouldn’t take extra care of the expensive equipment. MPGrafx is “pretty much my turf,” Marisse says, but Cosette occasionally helps with t-shirt production and finishing touches on signs and graphics. Cosette is in charge of the front end of Popsie’s, but the two prepare the food together. “She does play an important role in my business,” Marisse says. “There are times when nerves cannot be avoided, but at the end of the day, we realize that it is a day’s worth of work.” Seek advice and feedback Marisse sees Cosette as her “extra eyes and ears” especially when there’s a business decision to be made. “She tells me like it is when she does not feel right or good about a project, an individual, [or] money matters,” Marisse says. Having that sounding board has been proven useful because Marisse is quick to say ‘yes’ on projects or purchases. Cosette “gives me her input on why she thinks it is ok or not. We argue, yes,” Marisse says. “I have invested thousands of dollars in all my businesses from buying a

Val and Zach Fishbain of Spread the Love, which handcrafts all-natural, vegan and gluten-free spreads like peanut and almond butters. Contributed photo

In this photo taken by Jersey Journal photographer Reena Sibayan on June 26, 2015, Marisse Panlilio and Cosette Malig celebrate the Supreme Court decision legalizing marriage equality across the 50 states. Contributed photo

Mia McLeod and Len Mercado of McLeod & Associates, a real estate and mortgage company in Walnut, California. Contributed photo

$35,000 printer in cash to countless light and sound equipment for my production company. With my new business, I listen to her input first before I make the move.” Keep it transparent “If we were not meant to be, we would have parted ways a long time ago,” Marisse says. “Twenty-nine years is a testament that love does endure the test of time.” The couple says having no secrets and adopting and rescuing pets (“great pacifiers” that they treat as their own children) have contributed to the longevity of their relationship. Spend time out outside of work, but also give each other space When they’re not mounting

events, the couple likes to go watch movies, eat out and have a routine where they de-stress and spend time together outside of a professional setting. They also make sure to give each other space, like Marisse going out to run errands alone, while Cosette stays at home to catch up on her favorite TV shows. Mia McLeod and Leonard Mercado — Walnut, CA When Mia McLeod and Leonard “Len” Mercado met over a decade ago, it was “instant chemistry.” The couple can thank Mia’s mom for playing matchmaker after she introduced Len to Mia because they were both real estate brokers. In 2004, Mia established Continued on Page 4

Party for one: How singles celebrate Valentine’s Day by ritChel

MendiOla AJPress

THE most romantic day of the year is here once again, and the telltale signs are everywhere. An increase in flower sightings — especially red roses — and decorations that range from sweet to overbearing, and love songs being played make sure that you don’t miss out on the holiday. It’s Valentine’s Day, the one day where public displays of affection are celebrated all over the world. For cynics, it’s an occasion invented to produce consumerist desires. But for everyone else, it’s an opportunity to celebrate love through sweet gestures, endearing gifts, or romantic dinners. It’s easy to feel alone during this particular day though, especially if you’re flying solo. The romantic festivities for Valentine’s Day tend to cater more to couples, after all. Because of that, singles find different ways to get through the day. Work first Valentine’s Day happens to fall on a Thursday this year, which means it’s just another workday for Narlyn Balidoy, a junior research consultant for a BPO company. “Work is always busy, so I don’t have time to celebrate Valentine’s Day,” she said, adding that she doesn’t have plans to do anything after work hours either. “I work in a business district; it’ll just be a hassle to brave through the thick crowd. Being single, her feelings to-

ward Valentine’s Day are mostly neutral. A lot of times people feel the need to seek company on this day, but Narlyn said she’s fine on her own. “Even with couples around, I really don’t feel compelled to get a date. I don’t want to wallow in a pity party. I chose to be independent — and I like it,” she said. Figuring it out For Patricia Benito, plans for Valentine’s Day aren’t concrete yet. Currently, she’s in an “it’s complicated” relationship — that weird limbo between being more than friends but less than lovers. “I’d like to think I have plans, but he hasn’t really asked yet,” she said. She admitted that, in the past, Valentine’s Day wasn’t special for her. “I didn’t care that people were being very public with their displays of affection,” she said. “But now it’s different. The day is approaching and I still don’t know if I should get him something because we’re not exactly dating.” For singles who are not totally “single,” Valentine’s Day is like walking a tightrope between expecting something to happen and not wanting to expect that something will happen. Benito, at least, has a backup plan in mind for herself. “I’d probably go to a Valentine’s Day gig for singles and just party,” she shared. “There are a lot of people during Valentine’s Day but it’s nice because even if you’re alone, you won’t feel alone,”

she added. Self-love All types of love are celebrated during Valentine’s Day, and that includes self-love. For Chester Padilla, who experienced a breakup months ago, that’s exactly what he has in mind for the occasion. It’s a completely different experience, celebrating Valentine’s Day alone when you had someone to celebrate it with in the past. Sometimes, the day becomes a bitter, if not cruel, a reminder that your heart isn’t what it used to be anymore. “I get a little nostalgic, and there’s always that twinge whenever I see other couples,” Padilla admitted. “But you learn everything happens for a reason,” he continued. “And acceptance is key. This year, I just want to spend Valentine’s Day with myself.” Other ways to celebrate the day could be to host a dinner party with your fellow single friends, splurge for yourself with a decadent meal complete with dessert or a treatment like a massage, have a movie marathon with films that make you feel good, or unplug from technology and stay off social media. In the end, there are many ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day, whether you’re in a relationship or single — what matters is that you don’t let the weight of the day pull you down. Valentine’s Day is just one day, after all; come February 15, it’ll be a thing of the past.


The Asian Jour nal MDWK MAGAZINE - February 13, 2019

A star is born: Fil-Am R&B sensation H.E.R. wins 2 Grammys by Klarize

Medenilla AJPress

RISING R&B star H.E.R. had a successful night at the 61st GRAMMY Awards on Sunday, Feb. 10, nabbing two golden gramophones: Best R&B Album for her EP “H.E.R” and Best R&B Performance for “Best Part” with Daniel Caesar. “So first thing I wanna say is this is unbelievable and second, it’s not even an album. It’s an EP!” the 21-year-old artist said in her acceptance speech after winning Best R&B Album. “I’m speechless right now. I’m holding back tears,” the first-time nominee and winner said. H.E.R. was also nominated for Album of the Year (for compilation album, “H.E.R”), Best New Artist, and Best R&B Song (for “Focus”). Wearing her signature dark sunglasses paired with a vibrant fluorescent yellow ensemble, the half-Filipina and half-Black Bay Area native (real name Gabriella “Gabi” Wilson) seemed at home on the Grammy stage. She also took to the stage as a performer, delivering a soulful rendition of “Hard Place” from her now-award-winning EP. As previously reported in the Asian Journal, the talented H.E.R. (which stands for Having Everything Revealed) has had a busy last few months and is on track to become a mainstay in R&B. In April, she will perform both Sundays of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and is currently working on a debut album. “It feels like I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be,” H.E.R. told the Recording Academy. “It’s so easy to question your art, even to question what you’re doing, to question the path that you’re on. But this is such confirmation to me. It just feels amazing. It feels like I found my objective and I’m fulfilling it. I’m so blessed.” Fil-Am record producer !llmind also nabs Grammy H.E.R. wasn’t the only

RISING R&B star H.E.R. had a successful night at the 61st GRAMMY Awards on Sunday, Feb. 10, nabbing two golden gramophones: Best R&B Album for her EP “H.E.R” and Best R&B Performance for “Best Part” with Daniel Caesar. Photo from Instagram/@hermusicoffical

Fil-Am to win a Grammy on Sunday. Filipino-American record producer and songwriter !llmind (real name Ramon Ibanga, Jr.) won Best Urban Contemporary Album for his work on Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s collaboration album “Everything is Love.” “Woke up to my first Grammy win,” the Brooklyn-

based producer wrote in an Instagram post. “I’m just so thankful for all the people in my life who truly believe in me. To me, this doesn’t make me better than anyone else. All it does is prove that when you never EVER give up on something you truly feel in your heart, things will eventually manifest.”

Armida Siguion-Reyna passes away at 88

entertainment The Asian Jour nal MDWK MAGAZINE - February 13, 2019

Julia Barretto cuts vacation short due to ‘homesickness’ “To be absolutely honest, I am A LOOK at Julia Barretto’s extremely Instagram would fill one with excited but wanderlust. The actress has at the same been traveling around South time extremely America and taking stunning nervous for photos of Cuba and Mexico. our next The “Ngayon at Kailanman” destinations… actress announced Friday, Feb. Only because 8 on Twitter that she would be as early as now packing her bags to come home I can already sooner than expected. tell that these “Not easy to feel homesick. places will Cutting my trip short to be with change my life the ones I love most,” she wrote. and help me “I am satisfied with the time I find my peace gifted myself… it’s time to go and serenity.” home.” “Here’s In another tweet she said, to the year of “Take care of your soul and getting out of prioritize it.” my comfort Julia Baretto On Feb. 4, Barretto exzone, surrenpressed hesitations at traveling dering and most of all living.” to the next set of places after One of the recent destinavisiting Tulum, Mexico and Hations she went to was the Inca vana, Cuba. citadel Machu Picchu in Peru. “We spent 5 days in our first As per her Instagram Stories destination and spent only two last Feb. 8, she described the days in our second destination UNESCO World Heritage site and flying out again tomorrow as “Stunning. Breathtaking. Life for another country,” she narchanging.” rated. Just as Barretto already by niña

v. Guno

doesn’t serve anyone.” Seek mentors and have a conflict resolution plan Over the years, Mia began to understand the importance of personal and leadership development and has since extended those opportunities to her team members through access to coaches, trainings, and a monthly book club for example. She and Len have mentors for their work and personal lives, such as coaches, role models in their industry, or other couples in the community. When brainstorming or having to make crucial decisions, Len says they turn to one of their trusted advisers for guidance or they take on the mindset of these people and think about how they would handle the scenario. “We also ask, ‘Are we looking at it in alignment with our core values and purpose?’” he adds. They have found that their values and mindsets are so aligned that even if a team member asks them a question separately, they will usually have the same answer. One of the questions they frequently get asked is, ‘do you both ever fight?’ to which they laugh at because they “are not super humans,” Mia says. Though they do have small ‘fights’ — which “people find refreshing and relieving to hear” — they choose their battles and remember that the end goal is to find a solution. “Conflict happens but it doesn’t feel like it happens. I hate to sound like it’s all rainbows and unicorns because it’s not. The truth is, when you dig deeper and when you understand that your goals, purpose and dreams are the same and you respect each other, for us at least, it’s really hard to get into heated conflict and discussions,” Mia says. “It doesn’t really happen on the business side, it’s more of asking questions: Are we missing something by not looking at it this way? Do we need to bring in a coach to help us find clarity in this particular decision? It’s more that so it never becomes what you think of as an argument or conflict.” Cherish the time together and be each other’s champions The couple warns that working together is not for every couple, but they don’t take it for granted that they spend almost 24/7 with one another. Faith is a core value for them so they pray daily and carve out time for church on Sundays. On most days, they carpool to the office and have lunch together which allows them to catch up and

organs in the human body. Even inhalation of secondhand smoke can cause lung cancer so it is important to refrain from smoking. If one has started smoking, it is essential to gradually quit the habit by cutting off its consumption slowly to avoid withdrawals. In line with the said tips and precautions, the United States government has also designated an event to remind Americans to focus on their hearts and encourage them to get their families, friends and communities involved. Aptly placed in the month of February in 1964, the American Heart Month is commemorated to remind the people that cardiovascular dis-

Enrique Gil and Liza Soberano

In the world of opera, she performed lead roles in Lucia de Lammermoor, Rigoletto, La Traviata, I Pagliacci, The Merry Widow and Ang Mestiza (a zarzuela). In television, aside from Aawitan Kita where she sang kundiman and harana among other Filipino classics, she also hosted Cooking Atbp and Let’s Talk Movies, one of the early showbiz-oriented talk shows with Mario Bautista as co-host. She recorded two Aawitan Kita albums for Villar

ABS-CBN photo

Records and Dyna Records, and another album titled Sa Lungkot at Saya… Aawitan Kita (Viva Records). She put up two companies, Pera Films and Reyna Films, that produced films directed by her son, Carlitos Siguion Reyna (married to actressscriptwriter Bibeth Orteza), among them Laruang Apoy and Bilanggong Birhen. As of press time, the family hasn’t announced where the wake and when the interment will be.

Enrique, Liza admit two-year relationship on TV show

talk about a multitude of things beyond work too. “These are special things that are not typical in today’s environment because both husband and wife are working,” Mia says. “When we talk to our other friends, couples and even clients, we realize what a blessing it is because a lot of these people…don’t really get to see their significant other because they’re so busy in their individual careers,” Len says. “So for another relationship if I was working elsewhere and in a totally different frame of mind, I could see how that could cause some friction. If you’re not growing together, you’re growing apart.” The couple also shares that one of their recipes to success is having that support system, whether it’s understanding that they need to shut off work or finding opportunities to boost their business. Each year, Mia has a handful of speaking engagements and workshops, “which makes me proud as her husband and partner,” Len says. “Why wouldn’t you want to be with a boss lady and…do everything you could to support your partner? I know Mia is very supportive of me,” he adds. “Mia gets invited to all these engagements and I want to see more of them because she has so much substance to share. If I could support that, would that make me insecure? Absolutely not.” Define a purpose statement Mia and Len advise that couples who want to be in a venture together must have a guiding principle to remind them why they’re in this business. Though selling homes is what McLeod & Associates does, at its heart they are focused on the difference they make in people’s lives and what kind of legacy they want to leave — that is something they want to impart on their one-yearold son Leon as well. “The purpose statement, how you decide you want to live your life and the impact you want to make, needs to be so clear. In a marriage, what kind of life do you want to live together? You really have to put time and effort into that statement because when challenges do come up — because they will — that will be your foundation and you can always go back and build on that,” Mia says. “If you’re coming together for a business or a project, you need to understand why and the purpose behind that and make sure you are 100 percent aligned there.”

Be careful with your heart...

From Page 2 hydrated, the bottle’s weight will also help strengthen one’s arms. Keeping a healthy diet is not just about the consumption of nutritious food nor the avoidance of junk food. It is equally important to know how to cut off your supply of salty, fatty, cholesterol-rich and diabetes-inducing food. Fruits and veggies, low-fat or fat-free dairy products and whole grains are the most common alternatives to help reduce the risk of cardiovascular and heart diseases. Quit smoking Habitual cigarette and tobacco use is harmful to any

THE entertainment industry is mourning the passing of Armida Siguion-Reyna at 3 on Monday, February 11 at the ICU of a Makati hospital. She turned 88 on Nov. 4. As of last night, members of the family were not available for comment on what caused the death of the feisty head of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) during the Estrada administration and a strong defender of the industry that she loved so much. Fondly known as Tita Midz, she left an impressive body of tri-media work – in television, theater and film. Her wellloved and enduring TV show “Aawitan Kita” is considered a national treasure as Tita Midz also was. Armida Ponce Enrile Siguion-Reyna was the daughter of Spanish lawyer-politician Alfonso Ponce Enrile, and the sister of artist Irma Potenciano Instagram/@juliabarretto and half-sister of former senator Juan Ponce Enrile. misses home, she is also missed back home. Just a few days into her trip, love team partner Joshua Garcia tweeted on Feb. 1, “Go home! Now!” Last Friday, she also shared on her Instagram Stories a video of youngest sister Erich telling her to go home. She wrote over by Jan MiLo SeveRo the video, “Coming my love.”

Managing a business and marriage... From Page 2 McLeod & Associates, a real estate and mortgage company in Walnut, California, at the age of 22 and was recognized as a 30 under 30 honoree by Realtor Magazine at 25. “I was in the thick of my career and I was super driven in building my own business. The chemistry was so strong but I almost didn’t want to see it in a way because I wanted to stay focused on my business,” Mia recalls her initial interactions with Len. “But when it’s really meant to be, there’s nothing you can do.” Len joined Mia’s team as a broker in 2008, but their relationship was professional and platonic. In fact, he would see her leave work at the end of the day and head to dinner dates. Set a professional working environment When Mia and Len started dating, they kept it professional and private that their colleagues, for the most part, did not sense there was a romance brewing between the two. Mia says she was discreet about the relationship until she was “comfortable” enough to share it with her team. When she was ready, she called a meeting and told them because she “knew we would move into the next stage where engagement and all of that would come.” Mia and Len got engaged in 2014 and were married the year after. Len, who started out as a broker associate at the firm, is now also a partner. “Even to this day as husband and wife, we are still professional and keep that same environment,” Mia says. Though, don’t expect their office atmosphere to be stiff and uptight. Len, who is known for his playful humor, says that being in business together is serious, but that doesn’t mean “you should take yourself so seriously.” “He has grit, perseverance, strength, and a caring and loving spirit, while I’m more of a feeler and have a strong intuition. Bringing those two spirits together has worked well for us,” Mia shares, adding that the way that they communicate with each other and their team is without much of a filter, but “we just say how we feel in a caring way. What you see is what you get.” Len also says that they are intentional and think about whether their responses would add value to a situation, especially on sensitive topics because “sometimes proving a point

by Ricky Lo

eases know no borders. The biggest part of living healthy comes down to simply making healthy choices. While you can’t change things like age and family history, the good news is that even modest changes to your diet and lifestyle can improve your heart health and lower your risk by as much as 80 percent. As Proverbs 4:23 said, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” What the said scripture meant remains a mystery. However, guarding your heart could save you from getting hurt — figuratively and literally.

LOVE team Enrique Gil and Liza Soberano have officially confirmed that they are already in a relationship. During the Lie Detector Test segment of “Gandang Gabi Vice,” host Vice Ganda asked Enrique if he and Liza are already a couple. Enrique answered “Yes,” which drew cheers from the audience. Liza later admitted that she and Enrique have been in a relationship for more than two years and that they celebrate their anniversary in October. Last March 2018, during the press conference of their show “Bagani,” Liza slipped that she and Enrique are in a relationship. Press conference host MJ Felipe asked the cast if all the “Bagani” main characters are already taken, which Liza replied with “O.” She later then tried to pull

Enrique Gil and Liza Soberano

back her answer “Oo” with “Oh no.” To make it clear, MJ repeated his question, and this time, Enrique answered a firm and loud “Yes!” In an exclusive interview with The Star’s Ricky Lo published on Sunday, the veteran journalist asked Enrique, “Are you and Liza alone or togeth-

ABS-CBN photo

er?” which he answered, “Yes, we are.” When asked if “On-screen or off-screen?” the young actor replied, “On screen and off screen. I wanna say that we are together.” The couple’s upcoming Valentine movie “Alone/Together” will be shown in cinemas nationwide beginning February 13.

Dr. Edgar C. Banez:

An outstanding doctor with compassion by : RITCHEL MENDIOLA AJ Press

Defining what a good doctor should be is not an easy task. You can’t just say someone who has cured the most patients, because in several specialties, recovery is not an outcome that happens often. Nor can you say someone who knows more facts or treatments, because there is always something new being discovered in the enormous puzzle of biomedical research. You can’t also say someone who is gentle and compassionate, because these are not enough for an effective medical course of action. A good doctor can only be defined when he or she has acquired the above attributes — and then more. He or she should be efficient, compassionate, optimistic, and honest — someone who makes patients feel assured that they are in good, capable hands. These virtues may be difficult to find in one person, as there is always at least one in every corner of the world. Here in Los Angeles, the Seoul Medical Group is fortunate to have Dr. Edgar C. Banez be a part of their clinic. Outstanding doctor An internal medicine specialist born in the Philippines on August 10, 1952, Dr. Banez is married to Liezl Banez. They have two children, Melissa Jade and Pia Ruth. He completed his undergraduate education in 1972 at the University of the East with a Bachelor of Science degree in Pre-Med and earned his medical degree in 1976 at the University of the East Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center. This was also where he started his postgraduate training with a rotating internship. Dr. Banez did his orthopedic surgery residency program at the National Orthopedic Hospital in Quezon City from 1978 to 1983. Sometime in 1982, he completed a fellowship in joint surgery at Kobe University School of Medicine’s Department of Orthopedics in Japan. In 1983, he became Chief Resident at the National Orthopedic Hospital, selected for his exceptional clinical and leadership skills. Later on, he became the junior consultant at the same hospital until 1984. After migrating to the United States, Dr. Banez became the orthopedic assistant at the Hawthorne Community Medical Group in Reseda, California from 1985 to 1989. Then, he became the orthopedic assistant to Dr. Ha Gun Lee from 1989 to 1992. Dr. Banez went back to being an intern in 1992 at the Martin Luther King/Drew Medical Center in Los Angeles. This was also where he did his residency for two years before becoming the chief resident in internal medicine in 1995. He became a physician at the Universal Primary Care in Los Angeles, California for a year, before moving to Glen-Eagle Medical Group in 1997 up to present time. During his various medical training, Dr. Banez accumulated several awards for his excellence and dedication to learning. In 1982, he received the Outstanding Community Service Award from the Quezon City Lions Club, and Most Outstanding Resident in orthopedic surgery from the National Orthopedic Hospital. He was awarded Most Outstanding Intern

(PGY I) in 1993, and Most Outstanding Resident (PGY II) in 1995 at the Martin Luther King/Drew Medical Center. He was also awarded as one of the Outstanding Filipino Doctors by the L.A. City Council. If those weren’t enough to show his passion, Dr. Banez is also a visionary leader who consistently defines being proactive and dedicated to his life work through various associations and activities. He carries with him a good heart by doing humanitarian medical missions in the Philippines for the last 20 years. He is also the former president of the Philippine Medical Association of Southern California and former president of the University of the East Alumni Association of Southern California. Stellar care For more than 30 years, Dr. Banez has been providing services and care to all types of patients, especially seniors. Under his care, patients are very satisfied with their treatment method and better understanding of needed care. Dr. Banez prides himself on being a good listener. He always spends quality time with his patients not only to deal with their medical issues, but also to focus on prevention and proactive wellness. In doing so, he manages to foster patient-physician relationship wherein trust and comfort are abundant. He also makes sure that his patients leave the appointment satisfied that their questions were addressed with sincerity and candor. Always humbled by the amount of trust his patients place in him, he is deeply committed in everything he does in order to provide the best care. He is also fluent in English, Tagalog, and Spanish, making it easy to communicate to a diverse group of patients. Aside from his own practice in California, Dr. Banez is also affiliated with multiple hospitals in the area, including Glendale Adventist Medical Center, Glendale Memorial Medical Center, and Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital. (Advertising Supplement)

The Asian Jour nal MDWK MAGAZINE - February 13, 2019

The Asian Jour nal MDWK MAGAZINE - February 13, 2019

Profile for Asian Journal Publications, Inc.

021319 - Southern California Midweek Edition  

021319 - Southern California Midweek Edition