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April 24-26, 2019 Volume 29 - No. 30 • 2 Sections - 20 Pages

Duterte: War with China ‘not worth it’ for the US by RITCHEL


PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday, April 21, said the United States knows a war against China over the Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal is “not worth it,” stressing that the Philippines’ longtime ally was unreliable during the country’s 2012 standoff with China. He recalled how the U.S. brokered a deal between the Philippines and China, asking them to withdraw their respective ships from the resource-rich fishing ground. The Philippines pulled out its Navy flagship, BRP Gregorio del Pilar, but China did not. Duterte continued that the U.S. negotiated the deal because it knew a war in the vital maritime route would EARTHQUAKE IN PAMPANGA. Rescuers pull out a male survivor out of the rubbles of Chuzon supermarket. Eleven fatalities have so far been be destructive. President Rodrigo Duterte


Malacañang photo


DATELINE Plastic straws on request ordinance takes effect in LA

reported in Pampanga on Tuesday, April 23, in the wake of the magnitude 6.1 earthquake that jolted the province and other parts of Luzon, including Metro Manila on Monday, April 22. Inquirer.net photo by Grig Montegrande

After Luzon, 6.5 magnitude earthquake hits Visayas by NATHALIE




IF you need a straw while dining in Los Angeles, you’ll need to ask for one, thanks to a new ordinance aimed at reducing single-use plastic waste. The ‘Plastic Straws on Request’ ordinance, which requires businesses to withhold plastic beverage straws unless a customer requests them, went into effect on Monday, April 22 for sit-down restaurants and fast food chains with more than 26 employees. At drive-thru restaurants, the customer will be notified to ask for a straw if needed. The city’s ordinance expands on a California law that was implemented on January 1, which says diners have to ask for a straw at full-service restaurants, but does not apply to fast-food restaurants, coffee shops, or take-out restaurants. “The new city law picks up where the state law stops,” said Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell,

A MAGNITUDE 6.5 earthquake struck parts of the Visayas at 1:37 pm on Tuesday, April 23, following the 6.1 magnitude tectonic earthquake in Luzon at 5:11 pm on Monday, April 22. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Philvocs) said that the epicenter in the region was located in San Julian, Eastern Samar. Philvocs Director Renato Solidum said the Luzon and Visayas earthquakes “are not related.” San Julian in Eastern Samar experienced Tenants of buildings at Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City evacuate after a strong earthquake was an Intensity VI while Tacloban City, Catbafelt on Monday, April 22. Philstar.com Gaea Katreena Cabico logan City, General MacArthur, Salcedo,

LOS ANGELES Mayor Eric Garcetti on Tuesday, April 23 nominated a Filipina American public servant to join the city’s Board of Water and Power Commission. Susana Reyes, who has been in public service for 32 years, was picked to replace Susana Reyes outgoing commissioner Aura Vasquez, who stepped down earlier this month. Reyes previously served as the director of LA Department of Water and Power’s (DWP) Low-Income Customer Access, a position that helped ensure low-income ratepayers could access financial assistance, discounts, and rebates offered by the utility. “Susana has spent her life and career help-



DFA: No Filipino hurt in Sri Lanka attacks by BERNADETTE

TAMAYO ManilaTimes.net

NO Filipino was hurt in the explosions that rocked Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, April 21, killing more than 200 people, including foreigners, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said. The Philippine government has extended its condolences to the families of the fataliu PAGE A3 ties from the multiple bombings that targeted churches and hotels. Ambassador to Bangladesh Vicente Vivencio Bandillo said that the Philippine Embassy in Dhaka contacted Philippine Honorary Consul to Colombo Hugh Sriyal Dissanayake, who informed his office that

Garcetti nominates Pinay to LA’s Dept. of Water and Power board of commissioners

Guiuan, Naval, Biliran, Catarman, Palo and Pastrana were at Intensity V. Abuyog, Hilongos, Javier, Capoocan, Julieta, Baybay, Barogo, Jaro, MacArthur, Matalum, and Villaba in Leyte; San Francisco in Southern Leyte; Bislig City in Surigao del Sur; Iloilo City; Naga City; Sorsogon City; Panganiban and Catanduanes were at Intensity IV. Binalbagan in Negros Occidental; Cabalian in Southern Leyte; Dimasalang in Masbate; Butuan City and Cabadbaran City were at Intensity III while Bago City and Bacolod City were at Intensity II. Phivolcs warned that damage and aftershocks must be expected. The seismology

the embassy was in touch with the Filipino community in the affected area. Established in 1981, the Association of Filipinos in Sri Lanka has 180 members as of April 2014. “The community leaders reported that so far, there has been no report of any Filipino hurt in the explosions,” Assistant Secretary Emmanuel Fernandez said. The explosions happened at St. Sebastian’s Church in Negombo, a city about 20 miles north of Colombo, the St. Anthony’s Shrine in Colombo and Zion Church in the eastern city of Batticaloa during Easter Sunday service.


547 bets running unopposed ‘False, wrong’: Ressa, Tordesillas, Rappler CEO Maria Ressa


CRISOSTOMO Philstar.com

OVER 500 candidates are running without opponents in the upcoming midterm polls, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) announced Monday, April 22. Official ballot templates posted on the Comelec website showed that 547 candidates seeking public office are unchallenged in the polls. Of the number, 46 bets are seeking seats in the House of Representatives. There are nine candidates for governor and 18 for vice governor. The poll body said there are 211 candidates for city and municipal mayors and 263 as- Official ballot templates posted on the Comelec website showed that 547 pirants for city and municipal candidates seeking public office are unchallenged in the polls.


Philstar.com photo by Boy Santos

Philstar.com photo

PCIJ on plot to oust Duterte by RITCHEL


NEWS chiefs Maria Ressa of Rappler and Ellen Tordesillas of Vera Files on Monday, April 22, slammed Malacañang after the release of a matrix linking them and other journalists to an alleged plot to oust President Rodrigo Duterte. Malacañang revealed that the“Oust-Duterte” matrix, which contained a web-like matrix implicating journalists and lawyers, was based on a questionable intelligence report received by Duterte. Supposedly, the Palace was going to reveal the informa-

tion on Monday but The Manila Times already published the report. According to Ressa, the report was “garbage.” In a tweet, she said: “It’s embarrassing for supposed ‘intelligence’ using i2 analyst notebook software to make fantasies look plausible. Go back to the drawing board. I’ve worked with many good folks in PH intelligence. Sad to see them reduced to garbage. Yet another Palace ploy to harass journalists.” She also denied receiving an email from Vera Files’ Tordesillas like the report claimed, saying


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From the Front Page

‘False, wrong’: Ressa, Tordesillas, PCIJ on... PAGE A1 they haven’t talked in years. “It’s bad when the government lies through its paid PR to manipulate its people. They should also get it through their heads that I do not run day-to-day editorial. It’s been years since Ellen and I have even emailed each other. Good God,� Ressa said. Tordesillas also denied the

allegations, saying they were “downright false.� “It’s hilarious. But what I find disturbing is, if this is the kind of intelligence report that the president gets and bases his actions and policies on, the country is in big trouble,� she said. Wrong on so many points The Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ),

who was implicated in the matrix as well, said the report is “wrong on many points.� The news agency also said it never received any email from Tordesillas regarding the so-called narco list video of Bikoy — the anonymous witness in a viral video that linked Duterte’s family to illegal drugs. “The video was posted on YouTube from where the news media and citizens got to watch it. That is where the so-called ‘cybercrime experts’ of the unnamed ‘highly placed source in the Office of the president’ should look instead,� PCIJ said. It also called out The Manila Times and said its story “offers tacit admission that these ‘experts,’ apparently working with the Office of the President, had invaded the privacy of the emails and correspondence of journalists now being singled out.� Meanwhile, Rappler said the report was an example of “how not to write an investigative report or even straight news.� In a statement, the news site said: “The Manila Times under Dante Ang, appointed special envoy for international public relations by President Rodrigo Duterte, is the reason why journalism schools and newsrooms in the country should be actively educating the youth and communities on what truthful, responsible and ethical journalism is.� n

MANILA BAY VISITORS. Despite the repeated warnings of the Department of Health and various government agencies against swimming in Manila Bay, people flock to the area, particularly near SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City. Authorities said the waters of the bay are not yet fit for swimming and other recreational activities despite some noticeable progress since the Manila Bay cleanup started. PNA Photo by Avito C. Dalan

Duterte: War with China ‘not...


“[Albert] del Rosario was Aquino’s Foreign Affairs Secretary. He was the only one who negotiated. But America was scared. They knew that a war about something so small is not worth it. Because if they hit us and America decides to help, it could trigger a world war. America knows it. Everybody does,� he said in a speech during the campaign sortie of PDP-Laban in Agusan del Norte. “If those nuclear bombs, atom bombs, and hydrogen bombs will explode, nothing will be left of this world. We would all be destroyed. So America said, both of you should retreat.’ Del Rosario PAGE A1 ordered our ship to retreat, but vice mayors. China refused to follow. That is Comelec spokesman James why they filed a case,� he added. Jimenez said having no oppoBy not honoring the deal, Beijing nents in an election does not got the Scarborough Shoal under automatically assure candidates its control — which prompted the of victory. “We are a first-past-the-post system. Meaning, you have to get the most number of votes cast in an election,� he said. “If PAGE A1 no votes are cast, even an unThere were also explosions opposed candidate will have no at three hotels in Colombo: the basis for winning.� Shangri-La, the Cinnamon Grand Rona Caritos, executive di- and the Kingsbury. rector of Legal Network for Foreign Affairs Secretary TeTruthful Elections or LENTE, odoro Locsin Jr. proposed that said having unopposed candi- the Philippines showed its solidates is a “difficult aspect of the darity with Sri Lanka by turning elections� because voters lack off the lights of tall buildings in choices. n Manila.

547 bets running...

Aquino administration to take it up with an international tribunal to invalidate China’s claims to the sea. The United Nations-backed arbitral tribunal ruled in favor of the Philippines. Beijing, however, refused to acknowledge its decision. Duterte maintained that the U.S. ‘did not do anything’ to stop China from fortifying its claims to the sea. “Over the years while the case was heard in the arbitral court, they started building. So why did they not go there when China situated their ship there?� he said. “America did not do anything. Now it’s almost complete. It looks like a real camp. They have guns. They want me to visit it. It’s fine, it can be done just to show off. But we would all be destroyed. And my soldiers and my policemen will be

massacred,� Duterte added. He said he has doubts on whether the U.S. will back up Filipino forces should Manila decide to assert its claim on the sea by force, adding that it has its own problems to resolve. According to him, it’s wiser to stick to negotiations with China to resolve disagreements over the contested waters and its territories. “We can’t defeat them. So let’s stick to just talking unless you want me to say, ‘O sige (Okay) I’ll attack China. Who’s with me?’� Duterte said. “Will America join us? They can’t even resolve their problem with Iraq and Iran in the Middle East. They’ve been at war for a long time. But who won it? Nobody. Many lives were lost including those of civilians, children, the elderly, and the women. That’s the story,� he added. n

DFA: No Filipino hurt in Sri Lanka...


He made the suggestion as France’s Eiffel Tower is set “to go dark� on Monday midnight to express its support for Sri Lanka. “The Philippines has no landmark like that (Eiffel Tower) or the Chrysler Building (in New York City, United States) but we can ask to turn off the lights of all tall buildings in our capital to

show solidarity (with Sri Lanka). It’s a great idea,� Locsin said on Twitter. Sen. Joseph Victor “JV� Ejercito also tweeted, “Easter day bombing on several churches attending Mass in Sri Lanka is really depressing. Praying for our brothers and sisters who perished and were injured in Sri Lanka.� n

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DOJ backs OSG vs settlement on $20-million Marcos assets by Edu

Punay Philstar.com

Ambassador to the U.S. Jose Manuel G. Romualdez (middle) is joined by the new Houston Consul-General Jerril G. Santos (fifth from left) and all the Philippine Consuls-General and Honorary Consuls. Left to right: Andre Peter Estanislao, Special Assistant to the Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs, New Orleans Honorary Consul Robert Romero, Texas Honorary Consul Ethel R. Mercado, New York Consul-General Claro Cristobal, Chicago Consul-General Gina Jamoralin, Hawaii Consul-General Joselito Alegado Jimeno; L.A. Consul-General Adelio Cruz; and San Francisco Consul-General Henry Bensurto.

The Philippine Consulate General in Houston reopens for first time in 25 years by RosE-ann



hOUSTON — It was a big week for the Filipino community in Texas and the southern region of the United States. The Philippine Consulate General in houston celebrated its reopening after it closed 25 years ago. Dignitaries and consuls general from all over the world came to houston at the new consulate in southwest houston to celebrate the inaugural ceremony Friday, April 19. “I would say it’s pretty big, because we bring our services to their doorstep rather than have them go to places like Chicago or LA, which used to cover this area. Now they are just minutes away,” the newly-appointed houston Consul-General Jerril G. Santos said. Santos said the consulate shut its doors 25 years ago due to budget issues, but officials say with 200,000 Filipinos in need of its services here in Greater houston, the Philippine government approved its re-establishment. “This is the beginning of a new day, and it bodes well for the Filipino community,” Mercado said. “honorary Consul ethel Mercado here and the Philippine American Chamber of Commerce have somewhat filled the void and mitigated the Texas Filipinos’ suffering with the Consular Outreach Program that we’ve been doing here for 10 years with the Consulate General officials and staff from Los Angeles. We’ve helped 40,000 Filipinos with their consular needs through the Outreach. But this is a very welcomed development. We are delighted that the consulate has finally been reopened.” Mercado and his wife honorary Consul ethel helped lead the decades-long effort to bring the consulate back. According to consular officials, the plan was finally approved and funded during the term of President Benigno S. Aquino III and came to fruition during the term of President Rodrigo Duterte. “Several former ambassadors and all of the former consul generals and then the community at large have been petitioning the Philippine government for 20 years to make this a reality, and finally it’s here,” Gus Mercado,

a longtime Texas Filipino community leader, said. “Our community is very grateful to the L.A. Consulate General headed by Consul-General Adelio Cruz for taking good care of us in the last 10 years,” Mercado added. The program included the singing of the Filipino national anthem and the Star Spangled Banner by “Filipino Chit Chat” talk show host Vincent evangelista and Sheryn Regis. Speakers included Santos, the associate regional director of the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Foreign Missions Robert hopkins as well as the consul general of Panama, Juan B. Sosa. Ambassador Romualdez was the special guest of honor. “We have 200,000 Filipinos who actually live around here under the jurisdiction of houston, and I know it’s actually a growing community. We have a lot of Filipinos who are actually migrating here,” Romualdez said. Also in attendance were the consul general of Los Angeles, Adelio Cruz; consul general of Chicago, Gina Jamoralin; consul general of New York, Claro Cristobal; consul general of hawaii, Joselito Alegado Jimeno; consul general of San Francisco, henry Bensuerto; consul general of Louisiana, Roberto Romero; and the honorary consul general of Texas, ethel Mercado. When the Consulate in houston was closed down 25 years ago, it was placed under the jurisdiction of the New York Consulate for a few years, then Chicago took over briefly. Then, for 15 years, Texas was placed under the Los Angeles Consulate, along with Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Arkansas and the entire southern California. It was when houston was a part of the Los Angeles consular region that the Outreach program was established, managed by the honorary Consulate in Dallas and the consulate’s volunteer partners, the Philippine-American Chambers of Commerce in houston, Dallas and McAllen. In addition to Texas, the new consulate in houston under Consul General Jerril G. Santos will now serve New Mexico, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Oklahoma. “Anything and everything that a consulate can offer, we are doing that,” Santos said. C








The consulate will also work to expand and strengthen ties with the U.S. “eighty-five percent of Filipinos believe that the U.S. is our most trusted ally, and we will continue to trust in them, just as they trust in us,” Romualdez said. Many attendees said this day is one they would never forget. “Just to hear our national anthem being sung here gives me goosebumps,” Santos said. (Rose-Ann Aragon is a FilipinaCBAmerican UNI_CB-168283 Loan Offer reporter for KPRC Ch2 News for NBC in Houston.)

The Department of Justice has supported the Office of the Solicitor General in opposing the settlement agreement that allows the distribution of $20 million worth of Marcos assets seized in the United States to martial law victims. Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra agreed with Solicitor General Jose Calida that the settlement agreement in the interpleader case pending at the New York District Court is disadvantageous to the Philippine government. “We are opposing the settlement agreement simply because it does not favor the interests of the government, which we are duty-bound to protect,” Guevarra explained Sunday, April 21. he clarified, however, that the government does not exactly want to block the award of monetary compensation to the martial law victims but “simply wants that the Republic, as a whole, get a better deal.” “The government’s position is not antagonistic to the interests of martial law victims who are also citizens of our country, but to protect the interests of the republic as a whole,” he explained. Guevarra also confirmed that his office reviewed the terms of the deal. Calida has revealed that the settlement agreement in the New York court case is grossly disadvantageous 2019.pdf to the government that Asian_Update 1 3/28/19 would get only $4 million from the proceeds from the sale of paint-

ings recovered from an aide of former first lady and Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos. The solicitor general pointed out that the deal is also for the best interest of 9,539 martial law victims in this case as they will receive a measly $1,500 each while their lawyer Robert Swift has sought a hefty $4.125 million in attorney’s fees. Calida further explained that the proposed settlement required that the Philippine government grant immunity to Vilma Bautista and move to dismiss the cases against her in the Sandiganbayan. “The government cannot grant immunity to Vilma Bautista. She is a principal defendant in a case currently pending before the Sandiganbayan. The authority of the PCGG to grant such immunity is limited only to a witness who can provide material and relevant information or testify against a defendant in an ill-gotten wealth case,” he added. The New York court presided by Judge Katherine Polk Failla has reportedly already approved the settlement deal and ordered its enforcement. Guevarra said that unless the government takes any further remedial action, the New York court order approving the settlement could be “immediately executed.” “Note that the subject of this interpleader case (the proceeds of the auction sale of the disputed paintings) is in the custody of the 2:28 PM District Attorney of New York, and not in the Philippines, and so ex-

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra Philstar.com file photo by Edd Gumban

ecution of the judgment will be in the U.S.,” he added. The Presidential Commission on Good Government, an agency tasked to run after the ill-gotten wealth of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos, earlier entered into negotiations with the camp of the martial law victims, represented by Swift, that won the $2-billion class action suit filed in hawaii in 1995. The negotiations involved some $20 million worth of assets seized from former Marcos’ aide Bautista in New York, including high value paintings. In the agreement, the government was set to receive $4 million while the victims in the class action would get $13.75 million. A third party, the Golden Buddha Corp. and the estate of Roger Roxas that allegedly discovered the Yamashita treasure, would also get a portion of the proceeds from the sale of some of the paintings. n

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With U.S. State Department Director Robert Hopkins and Panama Con-Gen and Dean of Consular Corps Juan B. Sosa.

Plastic straws on request... PAGE A1 who introduced the ordinance last year along with Councilmember Nury Martinez. “As a coastal city and state, we owe it to our environment to do everything in our power to ensure we reduce singleuse plastic waste. This could not have been accomplished without collaboration with our city departments, our environmental advocates, and our business community, many of whom are already taking steps to find alternatives to plastic straws.” The ordinance, which was passed unanimously by LA City Council in March, also requires all other food and beverage facilities to comply by October 1. Business that violate the ordinance will receive warnings for the first two violations, and will face a $25 fine for the third and each subsequent violation. The fine will be imposed for each day the establishment is in violation but shall not exceed $300 per cal-

endar year. A recent report indicates that Americans throw away 500 million plastic straws each day. Worldwide, plastic straws are among the top 10 marine debris items according to environmental advocacy group, Ocean Conservancy. “Plastic straws are one of the top items our volunteers find at beach cleanups in Los Angeles County,” said Shelley Luce, president and chief executive officer of heal the Bay. “We’re thrilled to support the roll out of a comprehensive solution that not only reduces singleuse plastic pollution from winding up in our environment, but also ensures that anyone who needs a straw can still have access to one.” The next phase of the initiative is already underway, with the City’s Department on Disability convening meetings with the disabled community to discuss future expansion of the program. (AJPress)

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Duterte: ‘Take back garbage or I will sail to Canada and dump trash’ by Alexis

romero Philstar.com

PreSIDeNt Duterte ordered the Customs bureau to return to Canada the trash it sent to the Philippines a few years ago as he chided the North American country for supposedly turning Manila into a “dump site.” Duterte said tuesday, April 23, that Canada should prepare a “grand reception” for its waste, which arrived in the Philippines in 2013. “I want a boat prepared. I’ll give a warning to Canada maybe next week that they better pull that thing out or I will set sail, there in Canada, I will dump their trash there,” the president said during a meeting on the effects of an earthquake in Pampanga. “I will really return (the garbage)...Load the containers to a ship, and I will advise Canada that your garbage is on the way. Prepare a grand reception. eat it if you want to,” he added. Duterte said he could not understand why Canada is turning the Philippines into a “dump site.”

“they have been sending their trash to us. Well, not this time. We will quarrel with each other. So what if we quarrel with Canada? We’ll declare war against them, we can beat them,” he said. “Buang ito kinakaya-kaya tayo. Hindi ako papayag ng ganoon (Crazies. They are pushing us around. I won’t let that happen).” Valenzuela-based company Chronic Plastics Inc. imported more than 50 containers with wastes from Canada in 2013. More than half or 29 of the containers with trash were dumped in a landfill in tarlac. environment groups have expressed concern that the shipment might have contained toxic materials that could harm the health of local residents. During his visit to the Philippines in 2015, Canadian Prime Minister Justin trudeau said a “Canadian process” is being developed to solve the problem but did not provide specifics. “I have obviously been made aware of the situation and I’ve also been told that there is a Canadian solution in the process of being developed,”

trudeau said on the sidelines of the Asia Pacific economic Cooperation summit hosted by the Philippines four years ago. “But, at the same time, I know that this has exposed a problem that needs fixing within our own legislation that we’re going to lean into and make sure happens,” he added. earlier this month, environment groups urged Canada to take back the garbage sent to the Philippines in 2013, noting that the sending of the waste was a violation of the Basel Convention. Duterte claimed Canada sent the trash to the Philippines after agreeing to extend educational grants. “We will bring it back to them...Prepare...and celebrate because your garbage is coming home. Other wastes, which can be loaded in five trucks, dump them in the Candian embassy,” Duterte said. He also vowed to fire customs officials if they allow garbage to enter the country. “the next time they do it I will sack all of them,” the president said. n

Stress, overtime, disease lead to workers’ deaths yearly by PiA lee

BrAGo Philstar.com

StreSS, overtime and illness contribute to the deaths of nearly 2.8 million workers per year while an additional 374 million people get injured or fall ill because of their jobs, according to a report of the United Nations’ labor agency. the International Labor Organization (ILO)’s report titled “Safety and health at the heart of the future of work: Building on 100 years of experience” identified new and existing occupational risks that affect women more than men. the report on Occupational Safety and Health was published ahead of the World Day for Safety and Health at Work on April 28. the report said changes in working practices, demographics, technology and the environment are creating new occupational safety and health

concerns. Growing challenges include psychosocial risks, work-related stress and non-communicable diseases, notably circulatory and respiratory diseases as well as cancers. “No work should threaten your wellbeing, your safety or your life,” the ILO report said. the report highlighted four major transformative forces driving changes: technology, demographic shifts, development and climate change as well as changes in the organization of work. technology such as digitization, robotics and nanotechology can affect psychosocial health and introduce new materials with unmeasured health hazards. Demographic shifts are important because young workers have high occupational injury rates while older workers need adaptive practices and equipment to work safely.

Women, who are entering the workforce in increasing numbers, are more likely to have non-standard work arrangements and have a higher risk of musculoskeletal disorders. Development and climate change pose risks such as air pollution, heat stress, emerging diseases, shifting weather and temperature patterns that can bring job losses. According to the report, new jobs will be created through sustainable development and the green economy. Changes in the organization of work can bring flexibility that allows more people to enter the labor force, but may also lead to psychosocial issues such as insecurity, compromised privacy and rest time and excessive work hours. the report said approximately 36 percent of the world’s labor force are working more than 48 hours per week. n

ALL-FILIPINO SCIENTIFIC EXPEDITION. The RV Kasarinlan, the first research vessel of the UP-Marine Science Institute, will be used for this month’s all-Filipino joint scientific expedition at the Kalayaan Island Group in the West Philippine Sea, which will be led by Dr. Deo Florence Onda (2nd from right), chief scientist of PROTECT - WPS Program. The all-Filipino crew was sent off for the scientific expedition at the South Harbor in Manila on Monday, April 22. PNA photo by Avito C. Dalan

The homeless are dying in record numbers on the streets of LA by NANNA

GormAN ANd HArriet BlAir rowAN Kaiser Health News

A reCOrD number of homeless people — 918 last year alone — are dying across Los Angeles County, on bus benches, hillsides, railroad tracks and sidewalks. Deaths have jumped 76% in the past five years, outpacing the growth of the homeless population, according to a KHN analysis of the coroner’s data. Health officials and experts have not pinpointed a single cause for the sharp increase in deaths, but they say rising substance abuse may be a major reason. the surge also reflects growth in the number of people who are chronically homeless and those who don’t typically use shelters, which means more people are living longer on the streets with serious physical and behavioral health issues, they say. “It is a combination of people who are living for a long time in unhealthy situations and who have multiple health problems,” said Michael Cousineau, a professor at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California. “there are more complications, and one of those complications is a high mortality rate. It’s just a tragedy.” Nearly 53,000 people were homeless in L.A. County last year, according to a point-in-time count of homeless residents, an increase of about 39% since 2014. the majority were not living in shelters. the homeless population has also grown nationwide, but there is no national count of homeless deaths. the Los Angeles County Department of Medical examiner-Coroner considers someone homeless if that person doesn’t have an established residence, or if the body was found in an encampment, shelter or other location that suggests homelessness. Based on that criteria, the coroner reported 3,612 deaths of homeless people in L.A. County from 2014 to 2018. A detailed look at the numbers reveals a complex picture of where — and how — homeless people are dying. One-third died in hospitals and even more died outside, in places such as sidewalks, alleyways, parking lots, riverbeds and on freeway on-ramps. Male deaths outnumbered fe-

male deaths, but the percentage of homeless women who died increased faster than that of men. And although black people make up fewer than one-tenth of the county’s population, they accounted for nearly a quarter of the homeless deaths. “We need to take action now,” said rev. Andy Bales, CeO of the Union rescue Mission, a homeless shelter on L.A.’s skid row. “Otherwise next year it’s going to be more than 1,000.” Substance abuse Drugs and alcohol played a direct role in at least a quarter of the deaths of homeless people over the past five years, according to the analysis of the coroner’s data. It likely contributed to many more, including some whose deaths were related to liver and heart problems. the coroner’s cause of death determination “doesn’t necessarily tell the whole story,” said Brian elias, the county’s chief of coroner investigations, who called the increase “alarming.” A person who is homeless may get an infection on top of a chronic disease on top of a substance abuse disorder — and all of those together lead to bad outcomes. “It’s a house of cards,” said Dr. Coley King, a physician at the Venice Family Clinic. raymond thill was just 46 when he died last year of what his wife, Sherry thill, called complications related to alcoholism. the couple had been homeless for many years before moving into a small apartment in South Los Angeles shortly before his death. thill said her husband often drank vodka throughout the day and had been in and out of the hospital because of liver and other health problems. He tried rehab and she tried taking the alcohol away. Nothing worked, she said. “His mind was set,” she said. “So I took care of him.” In the end, thill said, cirrhosis left her husband jaundiced, swollen and unable to keep food down. King treated raymond thill and said he is convinced that thill would have lived longer if he’d been off the streets earlier. “this shouldn’t be happening,” especially when many deaths could have been prevented with better access to health care and housing, said David Snow, a sociology professor at the University of California-Irvine. “If you are on

the streets, you are not getting the attention you need.” ‘Ready for bad luck to happen’ Homeless residents in Los Angeles also died from the same ailments as the general population — heart disease, cancer, lung disease, diabetes and infections. But they did so at a much younger age, said Dr. Paul Gregerson, who treats homeless residents as chief medical officer for JWCH Institute clinics in the Los Angeles area. A stressful lifestyle, lack of healthy food and exposure to the weather contribute to an early death, he said. “If you are homeless, your body ages faster from living outside,” Gregerson said. In Los Angeles County, the average age of death for homeless people was 48 for women and 51 for men. the life expectancy for women in California in 2016 was 83 and 79 for men — among the best longevity statistics in the nation. Over the five-year period in L.A. County, there also was a sharp increase in deaths of younger adults who were homeless. For instance, the deaths of adults under 45 more than doubled. the data does not include information about mental illnesses, which elias of the coroner’s office said could be a contributing factor in some of the deaths. Stephen rosenstein, 59, was walking across the street in Panorama City, an L.A. neighborhood, when a car struck and killed him one night early last year, said his sister, Cindy Garcia. He had spent years bouncing from the streets to shelters to board-andcare homes, she said. rosenstein had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and manic depression, Garcia said, and often resisted help — behavior she attributed to his mental illness. “Most people would want to have a roof over your head,” she said. “He just fought it all the way.” rosenstein’s cause of death was listed as “traumatic injuries.” Deaths by trauma or violence were common among the homeless in the period analyzed: At least 800 people died from trauma, and of those, about 200 were shot or stabbed. “they are ready for bad luck to happen,” King said. n This story was produced by Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Chuzon Supermarket in Porac, Pampanga. Seven more came from other parts of Porac while three more deaths were recorded in two other Pampanga towns and one death in San Marcelino, Zambales. the disaster agency said the deadly quake left 81 injured and 14 still missing in region III. A total of 29 structures and buildings sustained damages due to the earthquake. Pampanga Governor Lilia Pineda said that the putting the province under a state of calamity will aid the region in its restoration as such would help them pick up the pieces that were damaged by the earthquake. “Kailangan namin tulungan yung pamilya ng casualties. Pagkatapos yung mga may gumuhong bahay, kailangan nating tulungan para makabalik sila. At kailangan i-repair ang maliliit na

bridges (We need to help the families of the casualties. After their houses collapsed, we need to help them to get them back on their feet. We also need to repair small bridges),” Pineda said. “At marami tayong dapat iconsider sa mga integrity ng mga building, mga school, mga government offices natin, tignan natin kung nagkaroon ba ng malaking crack para malaman kung pwede pang i-repair (We need to consider the integrity of the buildings, schools and government offices and see if there are any large cracks so we can know if it can still be repaired),” she added. Once a state of calamity is declared, the law provides that price controls would be automatic on basic necessities and prime commodities while local government units could appropriate calamity funds. n

After Luzon, 6.5 magnitude earthquake... PAGE A1

department confirmed in an advisory that there is no threat of a tsunami. Phivolcs said the quake was tectonic in origin — or there was a movement in the earth’s crust — with a depth of 63 kilometers. Shaking is more felt when quakes have lower depth. Solidum said they don’t expect a possible tsunami. No casualties in Visayas, death toll in Luzon reaches 16 As of this writing, there were still no reported casualties in the Visayas region as of writing. However, the death toll in Luzon reached 16 according to the data released by the National Disaster risk reduction and Management Council (NDrrMC). Most of the fatalities were from Pampanga. the said province was declared under a state of calamity after five died from the collapsed

Garcetti nominates Pinay to LA’s Dept. of Water and...

PAGE A1 ing to build a more sustainable city that serves every Angeleno — no matter their zip code,” said Garcetti in a statement. “Her expertise in environmental policy, fiscal management, and community engagement will be an invaluable asset to our utility.” reyes also served as a senior

analyst on Garcetti’s Sustainability team, where she oversaw the implementation of Los Angeles’ first Sustainable City pLAn and helped the City secure a $1.7 million grant from the California Air and resources Board to help launch BlueLA — an eV car sharing pilot program in low-income communities. She is cur-

rently the vice president of the National Sierra Club Board of Directors (2018-19) and served as a member of their first-ever all-female executive committee. reyes, whose nomination is subject to City Council confirmation, will succeed Vasquez, who participated in her final board meeting on tuesday. n

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Malacañang warns ‘Oust Duterte’ plotters GMA respects Duterte’s veto of ‘pork’ realignments by CATHERINE

VALENTE ManilaTimes.net

MALACAÑANG on Monday, April 22, confirmed a “matrix” of media organizations said to be behind a plot to oust President Rodrigo Duterte, and vowed to prosecute those who would commit “overt acts to bring down the government.” Palace spokesman Salvador Panelo said the public had the “right to know” about the “OustDuterte plot,” first reported in The Manila Times by its Chairman Emeritus, Dr. Dante Ang, on Mon day. “The source of that is from the Office of the President, from the President, himself. I don’t know how he got one, but it’s coming from the president. I talked to him the other day,” Panelo told reporters in a press briefing. “If there is an ouster plan, the people need to know it. It is our constitutional duty,” he added. Panelo said that while he did not know where Duterte got his copy of the matrix, or how it worked, people could be assured that it was properly vetted. “Siguro naman (We assume that it is reliable), considering he is the president, he has so many sources, e validated `yan (We assume it is validated),” Panelo said. “Galing kay presidente, e. Paniwalaan niyo (It is from the president, you better believe it),” the Palace official added. The media groups tagged as plotters were journalist Ellen Tordesillas and the Vera Files group that she heads, the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism and Rappler, as seen in the matrix. The National Union of People’s Lawyers was also included in the diagram. Tordesillas was particularly accused of distributing the online video of self-proclaimed whistleblower “Bikoy” on the Duterte family’s alleged links to the drug trade. All four groups denied the allegations and dismissed Ang’s April 22 story as false. No overt acts, yet The matrix, provided to The Times over the weekend by a Palace source, linked media organizations and journalists to “coordinated” efforts to discredit Duterte and his administration.


PORCALLA Philstar.com

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo

The banner story written by Ang, a presidential special envoy for international public relations, claimed that the conspirators’ “play book” was to plant “fake news,” as well as “manipulate public emotion, touch base with the Leftist organization, enlist the support of the police and the military, then go for the ‘kill.’” Panelo, who is also Duterte’s chief legal counsel, said the government would press charges against the plotters if they committed “overt acts.” “Basta lumabag na sila, `pag meron na silang (If they violate the laws, committed) overt acts to bring down this government, that’s a different story,” Panelo told reporters. For now, the Palace official said it was enough to “just let them (media organizations) know that we know,” and emphasized that the Duterte government never gagged the media or anyone. “If the journalist mentioned here would say that the Palace is trying to stifle the rights, I will repeat, we have never stifled dissent in this country. It’s the President who encourages dissent — that is what democracy is all about. For the last three years, no journalist has been charged with any case in relation to his or her exercise of the freedom of speech or the press,” Panelo said. “Hayaan lang namin sila (We’ll just let them be), but if the plot thickens and they perform acts that are already violations of penal laws, e ibang usapan na `yun (then that’s a different story),” he added.

ManilaTimes.net photo

No surveillance Panelo said reporters were not under surveillance after it emerged that the information was fed to Duterte from overseas. “`Yan ang tinatawag na (That is what we call) sharing of intelligence information. That’s standard for all countries if it affects the security,” Panelo said. Panelo shrugged off the possibility that those tagged in the ouster plot might file libel charges against the government. “O, ‘di sige (Fine). That’s their right,” the Palace official said. This was not the first time the Palace released information on a supposed ouster plot against Duterte. In September, the President urged the public to watch out against moves to oust him, which he said would “go into a high gear” in October. The supposed plan came to be known as the “Red October” plot. Asked how Duterte would counter such destabilization efforts against the government, Panelo said, “The counter-propaganda is the achievements done by this administration.” “The result, as you have seen, is the very high satisfactory and trust rating of the president, survey after survey,” he added. Plot vs Duterte won’t succeed – military The Armed Forces of the Philippines said the supposed plot against the president would not succeed. “There is no specific threat that we are seeing here right now. There are plenty of those who came up with information, PAGE A7

MANILA — Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is not picking a fight with President Duterte, who declared that he had vetoed P95.3 billion realigned by congressmen in the 2019 national budget because he considered the insertions “unconstitutional” and he abhorred corruption. Having been president for nine years, Arroyo said she respects Duterte despite his veto of the realignments by the House of Representatives. “It’s done and we trust the President’s judgment. Even me, I used to line veto. Every year, I partially vetoed the budget,” Arroyo said, referring to portions that Duterte vetoed in the P3.757trillion national budget for 2019. Republic Act 11260, or the General Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2019 that Duterte signed last April 15, saw some vetoed appropriations under several agencies of the national gov-

ernment. These included the Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Labor and Employment-National Labor Relations Commission, Department of Agriculture, Department of Health and Department of Trade and Industry. Arroyo was president for nine years from January 2001 to June 2010 and was elected congresswoman in the same year. This is her third and last term as representative of Pampanga’s second district, a post that will be taken over by her eldest son Mikey. Another official of the House of Representatives, Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr. who heads the House appropriations committee, also welcomed the presidential veto. “We respect the decision of President Duterte on the 2019 national budget. The president knows what is best for the country and our people,” Andaya said. He reiterated the Arroyo lead-

ership still led the swift passage of the priority measures of Duterte in the House, including the national budget that will pass the constitutionality test. “In support of President Duterte’s legislative agenda, the House of Representatives has approved all of the president’s priority bills in record time,” said Andaya, a former budget secretary. “We eventually passed a national budget that will pass the test of constitutionality and legality, but also of transparency and accountability. All appropriations for government programs and projects are itemized, in full compliance with the laws of the land and recent Supreme Court decisions,” he said. A lawmaker who felt vindicated by the presidential veto, Camarines Sur Rep. LRay Villafuerte, said the House leadership should get its act together to show that the chamber is truly supportive of Duterte’s anti-corPAGE A7

A6 APRIL 24-26, 2019 • SoCal ASIAN JOURNAL

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Protect our species

UNDER normal circumstances, experts say that between one and five species will become extinct every year. Today, however, scientists warn that the planet is losing species at an alarming 1,000 to 10,000 times the normal rate, with multiple extinctions recorded daily. Scientists say that many species will become extinct before humans even find out about their existence or their possible benefits to life and the environment. This is the greatest rate of extinction, scientists warn, since dinosaurs disappeared from the planet 60 million years ago. Unlike the extinction of the dinosaurs, however, the unprecedented rapid species extinction is attributed largely to factors caused by human activity. These include global warming, pollution, unsustainable agriculture and pesticide use, deforestation, habitat loss, wildlife trafficking and poaching. Because humans are causing the extinction, humans can also stop the destructive activities. The Earth Day celebration has chosen the theme “protect our species” to highlight what can be done to significantly slow down the rate of extinction and save millions of species from disappearing. Endangered species include the smallest insects to the largest beasts on land and marine creatures as well as coral reefs. The disappearance of even a seemingly insignificant insect can threaten the natural propagation of wild plants and the food of certain bird species. The United Nations is supporting a united

global movement that can promote policies and actions as well as educate people on what can be done. The Earth Day Network aims to raise global awareness about the problem and its implications on life, push for government policies that will protect large groups of species, and inspire individual actions such as minimizing the use of chemical pesticides and herbicides and adopting sustainable fishing methods. Governments can crack down on wildlife traffickers. The Earth Day Network noted that China remains the largest market for body parts and skins of big cats as well as the black rhinoceros. The Chinese are major harvesters and buyers of the endangered geckos, giant clams, marine turtles and pangolins of the Philippines, where wildlife trafficking is also rampant. The Philippines is blessed with bountiful biodiversity, but it must do more to be an effective custodian of these natural riches. Every country has a critical role to play in protecting our species. (Philstar.com)


Philstar.com photo

Mueller report reveals Trump’s corrupt intent and abuse of power: Shouldn’t Congress start impeachment now?

The Fil-Am Perspective GEL SANTOS-RELOS SPECIAL COUNSEL Robert Mueller’s redacted 448-page report has been made public. In excruciating details, it paints how the 45th president abused his power with corrupt intent through his campaign’s unethical and immoral communication with Russia to win the 2016 presidential election, and how he himself obstructed justice to defend himself, his campaign and his family and business. Collusion The almost two-year investigation involved interviewing people within the Trump orbit, including his own staff. However, Trump himself shunned a face-to-face interview with the Special Counsel to give his testimony under oath, choosing to instead submit written answers to questions that were incomplete and laced with the usual legal cover of “as far as he can recall.” Mueller determined that Rus-

sia indeed interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election using cyber attacks to help Trump win by hurting Hillary Clinton. Despite the numerous contacts between officials of the Trump campaign and Russia that the president and his people lied about and covered up, Mueller wrote that “Among other things, the evidence was not sufficient to charge any campaign officials as an unregistered agent of the Russian government or other Russian principal.” While Trump directed aides on multiple occasions not to publicly disclose emails setting up the meeting, the Mueller report affirms that Trump himself dictated a misleading statement to the press, saying the meeting primarily discussed adoption. Mueller likewise wrote in his report that the president’s efforts to mislead press on the Trump Tower meeting between Russians and senior campaign officials, including Don Jr., Jared Kushner and

Paul Manafort were not criminal. On the issue that Trump adviser George Papadopoulos was told in April 2016 by a Kremlin-linked professor that the Russians had thousands of hacked emails that were damaging to Clinton, Mueller wrote, “No documentary evidence, and nothing in the email accounts or other communications facilities reviewed by the office, shows that Papadopoulos shared this information with the campaign.” Obstruction of justice Mueller wrote, “While This report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.” Trump’s newly appointed Attorney General Bill Barr, who wrote a summary of the Mueller report prior to making public the redacted version, and again made a public statement upon its release, claimed that Trump had been completely exonerated, Barr conveniently left out the context of this statement to pro-

vide political cover for Trump. Mueller wrote that the issue was complicated by two key factors: 1) Under the Department of Justice practice, a sitting president cannot be charged with a crime, and 2) A president has a great deal of constitutional authority to give orders to other government employees. The Mueller report stated at least 10 instances when Trump tried to obstruct justice. The president’s multiple efforts to obstruct justice only failed largely because the people around him prevented him from doing so. “The conclusion that Congress may apply the obstruction laws to the president’s corrupt exercise of the powers of office accords with our constitutional system of checks and balances and the principle that no person is above the law,” the Mueller report stated. FLASHBACK to the time when Trump found out about the appointment of Special Counsel

Robert Mueller to investigate on the alleged collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign, and Trump’s alleged obstruction of justice, the Mueller report stated that Trump said, “Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my presidency. I’m f*cked.” If we talk about accountability, we go beyond what is determined to be a criminal act and discern the thought process, intent, rhetoric and behavior we should expect from the president of the United States. House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff said: “Whether these acts are criminal or not, whether the obstruction of justice was criminal or not, or whether these contacts were sufficiently elicit or not to rise to the level of a criminal conspiracy, they are unquestionably dishonest, unethical, immoral and unpatriotic and should be condemned by every American…” The debate now: Should the Democrat-led Congress now start

the impeachment process to remove Trump from office? Isn’t obstruction of justice an impeachable offense? It seems we cannot rely on the Republicans in Congress to make the President accountable because they are thinking of their own political survival and they need Trump’s popularity among the Republican base to get them re-elected. What about the Democrats? Will they choose political expediency for fear that impeaching Trump will hurt the Democrats chances in 2020? When will we make Trump accountable? How can we make the case that actions have consequences If we give Trump a pass for the Democrats’ own political agenda? *** 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 www.TheFilAmPerspective.com, https://www.facebook. com/Gel.Santos.Relos

For Mamasapano and DAP, The psychology of the Filipino: navigating no one has said ‘I am sorry’ the difficult conversation of mental health


YEN MAKABENTA THIS is why the nation cannot walk away from Mamasapano and DAP. Not yet. This is why the Mamasapano massacre and the shameless DAP (Disbursement Acceleration Program) will continue to haunt the nation and rock our elections? These appalling events in our national life long for expiation and will not settle until there is a measure of justice or atonement. Like Banquo’s ghost in William Shakespeare’s play, “Macbeth,” Mamasapano and DAP are a spectral presence in our elections that hounds candidate and voters alike with questions about accountability and closure. Demand for closure In Shakespeare’s play, Lord Banquo, the Thane of Lochaber, is at first an ally of Macbeth (both are generals in the King’s army) and they meet the Three Witches together. After prophesying that Macbeth would become king, the witches tell Banquo that he will not be king himself, but that his descendants will be. Later, Macbeth in his lust for power sees Banquo as a threat and has him murdered by two hired assassins. Banquo’s ghost returns in Act 3, Scene 4 during a public feast. He is visible only to Macbeth, and

invisible to his guests. Macbeth is unhinged; thereafter, his life spirals into tragedy. The play closes with Macbeth’s piercing words, as he mourns the death of Lady Macbeth. No poetry in PH elections There is no poetry in Philippine elections. There is only the prose of grubby, corrupt and false politics. Those who run for office are mostly running with the use of public money. Their main objective is to get back into the public payroll, where they hope to extract pork barrel and maximum advantages. At their worst, they seek to protect and expand their political dynasties. The Liberal Party as the leading voice of the opposition is trying to get back to power on the Panglossian belief that the people are ready to turn Duterte and his allies out of power. Prohibitive odds for Liberals In this, the Liberals are bucking prohibitive odds. 1. Their biggest obstacle is the settling of accounts on Mamasapano and the DAP. The two events are perhaps the most emblematic of the failures and shortcomings of the Noynoy Aquino administration. The Mamasapano massacre stands out as a failure from first to last of President Aquino, be-

cause he personally authorized the mission, declined to order rescue and reinforcements for the beleaguered commandos, even though he was in Mindanao at the time. And then he stunted the Senate inquiry into Mamasapano by declining to appear or answer questions. A beholden Grace Poe (she had just been pronounced a “natural-born citizen” by a Sereno-led Supreme Court) let him off scot-free with a surreal finding called “ultimately responsible.” The DAP bribery scandal nearly equals Mamasapano in ignominy. The disbursement program was invented by former budget secretary Florencio Abad so Aquino and the administration could freely transfer and use public funds for projects as they chose. In going all-out to secure a guilty verdict against then Chief Justice Renato Corona, Aquino used the DAP to bribe the senator jurors. Nineteen senators voted to convict, with the assurance of P50 million to P100 million to each of them. 2. The scandalous programs were not the responsibility of Aquino alone. They were just as clearly the failure of the Liberal Party as the administration party. LP officials and the party as a whole abetted Aquino all the way in his acts of irresponsibility PAGE A7

Commentary KLARIZE MEDENILLA ON Saturday, April 13, the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, Special Service for Groups and Filipino American Service Group, Inc. hosted the 2019 Filipino Mental Health and Wellness Summit, an all-day, all-encompassing conference focussed on the past, present and future of mental health within the Filipino community. The summit, subtitled “Healing the Present through Remembering the Past and Empowering Our Future,” featured workshops and panels led by Filipino mental health professionals, academics and advocates, including New York City-based professor of psychology and author Dr. Kevin Nadal who delivered the keynote speech of the conference. In attendance in the sold-out event were hundreds of Filipino Americans of all ages, sexual orientations and backgrounds. Workshops tackled a host of issues specific to the Filipino community including gambling addiction, how to discuss mental health within the family, the colonial mentality and understanding the struggles and needs of intersec-

Notes from the 2019 Filipino Mental Health and Wellness Summit

tional identities such as Filipinx members of the LGBT community. A second-generation FilipinoAmerican I met in between workshops who told me about the difficulty of coming to terms with the fact that “mental health and coming out as gay to my family” has severed his relationship “entirely” with his parents. “When I made that decision to come out [at 21 years old], my parents did everything but officially disown me, and…” he takes a pause here, fidgeting with his hands as if reaching for the confidence to admit it himself. (This individual asked not to be named.) He continues, “It put me in a bad place, mentally and emotionally. I became depressed in a way that I never felt before. The isolation was debilitating. I haven’t spoken to my parents in a long time.” When it came to seeking therapy, he admitted the difficulty in it. The stigma attached to mental health treatment — therapy, psychiatry, and medication to name a few — colors nearly every Filipinx’s decision to seek out professional health. Forging a conversation with

your family about mental health is difficult for anyone, but within the Filipino community, there are different obstacles. “Sometimes, it feels like I’m less a part of a family and more so a part of a public relations firm,” another young Filipinx told me right after a workshop called “Spilling the Tea: Is This Just a Phase?” led by academics and state mental health officials. “It’s an unspoken thing in our family that can only be cured through distraction and church. There’s no tackling it head-on, which makes it -- and has made it -- worse. The fear of being perceived as weak is a real thing. Saving face, and making sure that our family looks good from the perspectives of others trumps everything else, and I think that’s common among our community,” they said. Mitigating shame, avoiding vulnerability and the need to assimilate to the majority are three of the main tenets of the relationship between mental health and the Filipino community, which are tethered to the idea of the internalized inferiority shared among many other immigrant and ethnic


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


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Dateline PhiliPPines

SoCal ASIAN JOURNAL • ApRIL 24-26, 2019


10-M trees planted to mark Earth Day The psychology of the Filipino: navigating... by Delon

Porcalla Philstar.com

An environmentalist partylist group initiated yesterday efforts to fight climate change by planting 10 million trees in celebration of this year’s Earth Day as it reaffirmed its commitment “to invest in the ecological sustainability of future generations.” “We planted narra seedlings in Masbate that would take 100 years to fully mature or keep on growing, outliving most, if not all of us,” said former journalist Michael Ubac, first nominee of Luntiang Pilipinas. “The seedlings symbolize Luntiang Pilipinas’ commitment to pursue legislation that will have a positive impact on the country’s environment and will benefit generations of Filipinos,” the former reporter, who hails from the province, added. The party-list group was established in 1998 by Sen. Loren Legarda, who is now on her third and last term as senator and who is running to represent the legislative district of Antique. Ubac revealed they recently held two major tree-planting activities, one in Masbate City and another in the main campus of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines in Sta. Mesa, Manila. He said Luntiang Pilipinas has shown that such a program is “doable,” as the group is responsible for planting and growing two million trees in 33 provinces, 28 cities and 84 municipalities across the country. “One of our four pillars that serve as a roadmap for achieving resiliency is a re-greening program that involves treegrowing, school-based veg-

etable gardening/gulayan sa paaralan and backyard gardening,” Ubac explained. “We should go beyond commemorating Earth Day; caring for the environment is a year-round commitment that requires us to be proactive in our efforts to restore ecological balance in our country – and Luntiang Pilipinas’ program to plant ten million trees in our country is our contribution to this effort.” Luntiang Pilipinas is vying to be the first green party in the House of Representatives. It has been endorsed by Senate President Vicente Sotto III and Aksyon Demokratiko, the party founded by the late senator Raul Roco. Meanwhile, Secretary Roy Cimatu of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has urged the public to live a more ecofriendly lifestyle. “Being more environmentally conscious is the right thing to do. Living a more eco-friendly lifestyle could help create a sustainable planet and mitigate the effects of climate change and global warming,” he said. He asked Filipinos to pause and reflect on the most pressing ecological problems facing the world today and think of what they can do to save the planet. “We have an obligation to take care of this planet we all share, and Earth Day is a great time to start thinking more about the environment and all the little things we can do to make the world a better place,” the DENR chief added. Over one billion people in more than 190 countries were expected to take part in the celebration of the 49th anniversary of Earth Day, making it the largest civic observance in

the world. This year’s theme is “Protect Our Species.” Cimatu said the Earth Day 2019 theme is a reminder that keeping the planet from destruction also means actively working on slowing down the decline of the country’s threatened and endangered species such as the Philippine monkey, flying lemur, giant flying fox and tarsier. This is timely, he added, as the country just witnessed a series of law enforcement operations that resulted in seizures of live wild animals and arrest of wildlife criminals, proof that the Philippines remains steadfast in its commitment to fighting illegal wildlife trade that is driving endangered species to the brink of extinction. According to Cimatu, protecting the environment is not the sole responsibility of the government because the general public must also do its part, as he cited the simple things people can do to help protect the environment, which include conserving water and energy, patronizing cleaner fuel or taking public transport and practicing proper waste management. The local celebration of Earth Day 2019 will be held on April 24 and 28. The first one will take place at the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center in Quezon City with DENR and Earth Day Network Philippines Inc. (EDNPI), which have lined up the events that include the signing of an agreement for tree planting activities between the DENR and Couples for Christ; launching of the search for model barangays and “green” corporations; on-the-spot painting and poster-making contests and Earth Day festival bazaar and exhibit. (With Rhodina Villanueva, Emmanuel Tupas)

Malacañang warns ‘Oust Duterte’...

PAGE A5 but no specific threat,” said Col. Noel Detoyato, military public affairs chief. He cited the strong support of the Armed Forces, the Philippine National Police and the public for the Duterte administration. “So, there may be some individuals who are thinking of ousting the President, but it will never, ever materialize,” Detoyato stressed.

Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo, the Armed Forces spokesman, said there were groups orchestrating a plot against Duterte, but did not go into details. “There remains individuals and groups that are determined and are engaged in orchestrated efforts to oust the present administration,” Arevalo said. He said the communists were among those behind plans to “discredit” the Duterte admin-

istration. Exiled Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Maria Sison said there was a “growing mass movement” against Duterte. “The desire of the people to oust Duterte has become a mass movement and not the mere conspiracy of a few because of the intolerable crimes of Duterte and his evil regime against the people,” Sison said. n

PAGE A6 diaspora groups. Throughout my stint at Asian Journal, I’ve interviewed many a Filipino American who has either explicitly or suggested this distance between them and their Filipino heritage. Many of us with immigrant parents are raised with little to no knowledge about Philippine culture and customs, and the goal in parenting is some degree of erasure of the ethnic identity in place of the national identity of being an American. This phenomenon is so ubiquitous that it has its own name: the colonial mentality, which is that learned feeling of inferiority from being a Filipino. Over the last 15 years, scholars have tried to quantify and research the colonial mentality among Filipinos, namely the socalled “Americanization” of the culture. Nadal posited that the colonial mentality shared among Filipinos — usually unconsciously — involves an ethnic inferiority complex which triggers the need to assimilate with the majority, which, in this case, is Americana. It’s why so many second-generation Filipino Americans don’t know the mother language, Nadal explained. It’s the reason there’s often a distance between this generation of Filipino Americans and so many aspects of the mother culture (save for the cuisine, of

course) from the slow curtailment of teaching younger generations Tagalog to the overwhelming popularity of skin-lightening. “Yeah, she didn’t take to it quite well, to put it lightly,” 29-year-old Filipina-American writer Genesis Padilla told me during a group exercise with a melancholic laugh. Padilla was talking about telling her immigrant mother about going to therapy for the first time two years ago, to which her mother recoiled and replied, “You don’t need that. You’re fine. We raised you well, and you haven’t been through what I have and I didn’t need therapy. You’re not crazy.” She said that she felt invalidated, like what she was going through was so minuscule it didn’t warrant such “drastic measures.” But what happens when a much-needed conversation of an often-life threatening thing is pushed under the rug so much? What happens when very real feelings are ignored and thoughts and emotions build up to a certain point? Asian Americans are among the least likely to seek out mental health services, according to information from the Centers for Disease Control. But Asian American students (19 percent) are more likely to consider suicide compared to white students (15 percent).

Within the Filipino community, about 15 percent of Filipinos are diagnosed with depression with Filipinas more likely to have suicidal ideations and attempts, according to a 2014 report from the Asian American Journal of Psychology. “The goal here is to spark the conversation early and often enough, and that begins with quelling the fears and stigmas that surround even just mentioning things like depression, anxiety, substance abuse, addiction bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, etc.,” one of the panelists said during a workshop on improving family communication around “life’s toughest challenges.” “It is not to talk about this when it’s already too late, and those parameters exist for every single person,” he said. For those in need of mental health services, you can consult your primary care physician for further resources. The LA County Department of Mental Health offers access to resources, as well --- visit their website at https:// dmh.lacounty.gov or call them at their 24/7 Help hotline at (800) 854-7771. If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, please call the National Suicide Hotline at (800) 273-8255. For emergencies, always dial 9-1-1.

For Mamasapano and DAP, no one has...

PAGE A6 and indifference. Their names are in the record as accomplices and recipients of bribes and other inducements. 3. After their defeat in the 2016 elections, the Liberals tried a strategic withdrawal. They dropped Liberal Party as their name of choice, and tried some novel names like Tindig. They buried “Tuwid na Daan” (straight path) as their party battle cry, and hope “Otso Diretso” will catch fire. And then most fateful of all, they dropped the color yellow as their emblem and signature. They tried

substituting “white” in the hope of signifying a measure of purification. But it was no dice. The public would not buy the antics. No one said ‘I am sorry’ Through these appalling events, my research team and I found most remarkable that not a single Aquino official or LP leader came out publicly to say that he or she was sorry about Mamasapano, or about the DAP bribes. For what happened in Mamasapano, most were only concerned about distancing themselves from the tragedy. In the DAP scandal, the Liber-

als tried the same tactic of denying responsibility. The bribery is recorded, however, in the Supreme Court ruling that declared the DAP unconstitutional. The senators, along with their bribes, are listed in the high court decision. Now, the same characters are trying to return to the Senate by running in the May election. If the electorate is not watchful, they could be in position to prostitute public office again. And they can boast that they never said, “I am sorry.” (ManilaTimes.net)

GMA respects Duterte’s veto of ‘pork’... PAGE A5 ruption campaign and inclusive development agenda. “In his veto message the president made it clear that the national budget must be well spent and used to improve the people’s

welfare,” Villafuerte said. “He also made it clear that he will not tolerate corruption in his administration and that our positions in government should not be used for personal gain. What part of this message did Andaya

did not understand? “The president’s line veto of P95 billion worth of illegal insertions in the General Appropriations Bill was already a slap in the face for the House leadership,” he said. n

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Philippines woos US investors to Build Build Build Half of PH online shoppers use mobile phones Joint IMF–WB meetings

Economic managers led by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Benjamin Diokno and Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez presented the country’s profile before a high-level audience at the sidelines of the International Monetary Fund-World Bank meetings. Philstar.com file photo by Michael Varcas by Lawrence

agcaOiLi Philstar.com

THE Philippines is wooing American investors to participate in the country’s massive infrastructure buildup through the Build Build Build program during the Philippine Day Forum held in Washington, following successful roadshows in Japan and China. Economic managers led by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin Diokno and Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez presented the country’s profile before a high-level audience at the sidelines of the International Monetary FundWorld Bank (IMF-WB) meetings. Around 150 key executives from top U.S. banking, investment and financial companies were present at the event themed, “Powering Progress through Transformative Reforms.” “We are prepared to face the three great challenges – growth divergence, policy fragmentation and technological disruption. For the central bank, it is a matter of careful commitment and timely action. The economy itself is fundamentally solid. Overall macroeconomic conditions pro-

vide sound basis for cautious optimism,” Diokno said. At the event, the Philippine economy’s resilience to external headwinds and capacity to sustain robust economic growth were also underscored. Dominguez reiterated the Philippines is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. “Reaching this milestone... is attributable to many years of hard work – especially in building a strong fiscal position and a bureaucracy honed to the task of catalyzing growth,” he added. The Philippines has booked healthy gross domestic product (GDP) growth for the past 80 quarters. “While we rank as among the best performing economies in this dynamic part of the world, growth is not the final goal of all our efforts. We seek a more dynamic and competitive economy to bring down poverty rates and create more opportunities for our people,” Dominguez said. The Philippines is bringing down poverty incidence to 14 percent by the end of the term of President Rodrigo Duterte in 2022 from 21.6 percent in 2015. Victoria Kwakwa, vice president for East Asia and Pacific at

the World Bank, said the Philippines has the potential to become the next East Asian success story. “Its vision to become a prosperous, resilient, middle-class society free of poverty by 2040, is an achievable goal – but one that will require continued reform and investment to open the economy, overcome infrastructure backlog, invest in human capital, and build the resilience of the nation, especially as the threat of climate change increases,” she said. The Duterte administration expects more game-changing tax reforms to be implemented, with proposed bills on other packages already in Congress for deliberation. Among these is a bill seeking to slash the corporate income tax rate to boost the country’s competitiveness in attracting foreign direct investments, while rationalizing fiscal incentives to ensure that tax perks are properly targeted, performance-based, time-bound and transparent. In addition, there are also bills seeking to fix the real property tax system and to put in place a more equitable system of taxing financial instruments. n

by Ben

O. de Vera Inquirer.net

MOBILE commerce is booming globally, and it turns out Filipinos have joined the trend. According to online firm Picodi. com, half of transactions were made with the use of a mobile device last year. When Filipinos did shopping with the use of a phone, the average order value was 3,997. It’s about 382 more than when using desktops (3,615) and 138 less when using tablets (4,135). iOS users spend more than Android users — 4,605 vs 3,958 on average. The important question is who shops online more — men or women? Data showed that there were more purchases made by Filipino women than those made by men, 62 percent and 38 percent respectively. Unsurprisingly, it’s the young generation that prefers online shopping. More than half of all online shoppers (52 percent) are people between the ages of 25 and 34. They’re followed by people aged 18-24 (26 percent) and 35-44 percent (13 percent). The remaining 9 percent are consumers who are over 45 years old. According to the research, the average order value of a Filipino shopper is the highest in June (5,409), followed by May and March (4,494 and 4,143 accordingly). Compared to that, the average order value of a moderate 3,604 in November might come as a

Inquirer.net file photo

surprise. After all, that’s when Black Friday and 11.11 take place. Filipinos shop in a number of different online stores and place more orders. November has the highest number of transactions — 15.4 percent of all the transactions made during the year. The same number of transactions was noted in December (15.4 percent), followed by January (13.2 percent). Last-minute Christmas shoppers might have greatly contributed to such a high number in the former

month. The lowest number of transactions was noted in July (2.3 percent) with the average order value amounting to 3,618. Consumers in the Philippines shop the most on Friday. Filipinos definitely prefer to shop in the afternoon: the peak of sales occurs between 12 noon and 6 p.m. The most popular categories for online shopping among Filipinos were food on delivery, clothing, grocery, cosmetics and perfumes, and electronics. (Manilatimes.net) n

Villar firm seeks telco license by MigueL

r. caMus


THE family of Manuel Villar Jr., property tycoon and the country’s richest man, is seeking a government license to roll out high-speed fixed internet across the country. Villar’s son, Manuel Paolo Villar, told reporters in a recent interview that they have applied for a certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) at the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC). The license will allow the company to launch a nationwide broadband service, said the younger Villar, who owns and chairs privately held Prime Asset Ventures Inc. The Villars currently provide fixed-line internet services in a limited number of areas under the brand Planet Cable. “We will try to do it very fast, within three years,” Villar said when asked about their rollout plans. He said the priority was to provide fast internet to the roughly half a million homes built by Vista Land & Lifescapes Inc., the flagship property company founded

by Manuel Villar Jr., who is also a former senator. Villar, who holds a telco franchise via Streamtech Systems Technologies Inc., said they hoped to obtain their NTC license within the year. Through Streamtech, the Villars considered joining the third telco initiative of the government in 2018. The family eventually decided to withdraw from the race, which was later won by businessman Dennis Uy with the backing of China Telecom. Businesses are seeing big opportunities in the fixed-line space given the low penetration rate. Industry players estimated that fiber internet connections last year accounted for just 5 percent of all Filipino households. Apart from rolling out fixedline internet, the Villars are also keen on participating in the mobile telco business as cell tower operators or builders. This is in step with a Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT)-led initiative to start the construction of at least 50,000 new telco towers to augment the country’s existing 17,000 towers controlled by incumbents PLDT Inc. and

Globe Telecom. Degraded mobile services such as dropped calls or slow internet are due to congestion in their networks, the telcos have argued. The answer is to build more sites but these are hampered by the burdensome permitting process, especially at the level of local government units. The government’s common tower initiative is a crucial component of the third telco program, which was launched by the Duterte administration last year to inject competition in the country’s two-player telco industry dominated by PLDT and Globe. Over the past five months, the DICT has identified at least 20 tower builders keen on working with the telcos to build shared telco sites. A DICT source said the Villars are planning to partner with a telco tower operator. Meanwhile, the rollout plans of the third mobile player have been pushed back given delays in Congress on the transfer of its telco franchise. The DICT hopes that transfer can be finalized immediately after the May 13 polls this year. n

Philippines targets huge leap in doing business ranking by LOueLLa

desideriO Philstar.com

THE Philippines could see its ranking move up to as high as 89th place in the World Bank’s Doing Business report to be released later this year given reforms undertaken to improve processes. “We are looking at the 89 to 94 range, if everything we want to be credited would be credited [by the World Bank],” Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez told reporters on the sidelines of the signing ceremony for three agreements by the local government of Quezon City (QC) with the Land Registration Authority (LRA), as well as with Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) and water concessionaires Maynilad Water Services Inc. and Manila Water Co. Inc. for improved processes in the release of certain permits. He said the expected improvement in the ranking is based on the implementation of 33 out of 43 reforms the country wanted to have in place. “Let’s say 25 to 28 reforms are credited out of 33 reforms we accomplished, based on the scoring, there is an upside of better than the 95[th ranking], which is our best score a couple of years ago,” he said. He said the government is confident over 20 reforms would be taken into consideration in the World Bank survey as such have been in place for a long period of time. Among the reforms expected to impact on the country’s ranking in the Doing Business report is the passage of the Revised Cor-

poration Code of the Philippines, which removes the minimum paid-in capital requirement, promotes electronic filing of articles of incorporation and directs the Securities and Exchange Commission to issue rules and regulations to protect minority investors and improve corporate governance in accordance with international best practices. While the latest Doing Business report released last year placed the Philippines on the 124th spot out of 190 economies, Lopez said the government recognizes the 113th spot the country got in the report released in 2017 as its latest ranking. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Finance have contested the country’s ranking last year, and called on the World Bank to review such amid concerns on the data and methodology used in arriving at the results of the survey. The World Bank’s Doing Business report ranks economies based on the ease of doing business by looking at the following: starting a business; dealing with construction permits; getting electricity; registering property; getting credit; protecting minority investors; paying taxes; trading across borders; enforcing contracts; and resolving insolvency. Lopez said the agreements signed by the local government of QC are also expected to help promote ease of doing business in the country. In particular, the memorandum of understanding signed by the local government of QC with the LRA is seen to improve the pro-

cess of issuance of certificates of title. The MOU signed with Meralco meanwhile, is intended to improve the process for the application of excavation permits, and the MOU entered into with Maynilad and Manila Water is aimed at implementing a modernized process for application of excavation permits for new water service connections. In a related development, AntiRed Tape Authority (ARTA) officer-in-charge Ernesto Perez said the agency is set to submit to the Office of the Executive Secretary the revised implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for the Ease of Doing Business Act this week or early next week after completing consultations with stakeholders. While President Rodrigo Duterte signed the EODB Act in May last year, the IRR have yet to be released. This, as the IRR could only be officially released until a director general (DG) for the ARTA is appointed. Perez said he has requested the Office of the Executive Secretary for an authorization or designation to be allowed to sign and promulgate the IRR together with the DTI Secretary and the Civil Service Commission chairman so the rules could be issued immediately. “It is the DG that has authority to sign implementing rules. While I was designated officer-incharge, I do not have that authority to sign unless I am specifically given that authority or designation to promulgate and sign implementing rules,” he said. n

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Asian Journal

mdwk The Asian Jour nal MDWK MAGAZINE - April 24, 2019

Wednesday, APRIL 24, 209







cover story The Asian Jour nal MDWK MAGAZINE - April 24, 2019

Teaching kids a deeper appreciation of their heritage Author and publisher Christine L. Villa brings ‘Zoobooloo’ with Filipino translation as a tool to teach Fil-Am children the language By Malou liwanag-Bledsoe / AJPress WHEN author and publisher Christine L. Villa started her small business, Purple Cotton Candy Arts, she was just aiming to explore her love for arts and crafts. Since then, she has done more than selling crafts as she has published children’s books, two of which just won first place in the 2018 and 2019 Northern California Publishers and Authors (NCPA) Book Awards. Her book, “Zoobooloo: With Filipino Translation,” bagged first place for Children’s Books and second place for Cover & Design at the recent 26th Annual NCPA Book Awards Competition. Villa, in all humility, did not expect that her book would win anything. “Every year, the Northern California Publishers and Authors group invites members and non-members to join the competition. I didn’t expect to win but was humbled and honored to receive the recognition for my efforts. There were many other deserving titles in both categories,” she said. She added, “It means a lot to me because it makes me appreciate my life’s journey—

where I came from and who I am today. My achievements and successes are partly due to my upbringing, values, cultural and educational background. As an American citizen, I have had access to the boundless inspirations and opportunities to explore my creativity in more ways than one.”

other. Just like her picture book, entitled “Mud Spots and Candy Sprinkles,” “Zoobooloo” aims to teach kids self-love and acceptance in a non-preaching manner, sprinkled with humor and wit. “The story also points out the valuable lesson that we should be contented with our gifts and talents. All of us were created to be unique indi-

“But a dream will never come true if one does not sit down and write. Start writing today and be brave to tell your story. Hone your craft. Revise. Revise. Revise.” Villa is also proud to add that behind “Zoobooloo’s” success are two Filipinos: illustrator Kathrina Iris and translator Angelo B. Ancheta. “Zoobooloo” is about zoo animals that are not contented with their own body parts and decided to switch with each

viduals with a special purpose,” Villa said, adding, “All of us were created to be unique individuals with a special purpose. In a materialistic world, where outside appearance and superficial attributes matter more, it is so easy to be envious of other people, to whine about

After a hearty lunch, each Filipino kid happily received a copy of Zoobooloo and some school supplies.

During the book reading, Christine read the English version and while Kathrina read the Filipino translation to the kids.

what we don’t have, and wish we were as beautiful, talented, or smart as the others. Instead, we should accept and appreciate who we are, look beyond our flaws, and utilize our gifts and talents to bring joy to others.” Originally, the English version of “Zoobooloo” was published in 2016. The idea, however, to re-publish it with Filipino translation came in July 2018, when Villa brought the book to read to a group of Filipino American kids at a summer class organized by the non-profit Eskwela Natin. “Since part of the curriculum was teaching these young kids to learn how to speak Filipino, I read the story in English and introduced some Filipino words to the children as well,” Villa said and then continued, “To my amusement, both kids and adults chuckled from the beginning of the story till the end. After the book reading, a few parents eagerly suggested that I write a book with Filipino translation so that their children will learn the language. An idea popped inside my head! Why don’t I self-publish ‘Zoobooloo’ with Filipino translation?” Now with “Zoobooloo’s” success as a book with Filipino translation, Villa intends to do the same with a few more of her published work. “I think it is important to have books with Filipino/Tagalog translation so that parents will have the tools to teach their Filipino-American kids the language and inculcate a deeper appreciation of their heritage. Adults who wish to learn the language can also benefit from these books,” she shared. Educating Filipino kids Just last February 8, Villa successfully organized a book reading event at the Nicanor P. Garcia Elementary School in Makati City, Philippines, with the help of funds she raised via her GoFundMe campaign, “Help Chrissi Educate Filipino Kids.” She also was fortunate enough to work with U! Happy Events (www.uhappyevents. com), a non-profit that provides a platform for sponsor and volunteers to reach out to beneficiaries through creative and meaningful activities. “They (U! Happy Events) took care of everything that I wanted for the children such as games, prizes, school supplies, lunch packs, and face painting. It was a dream come true!,” Villa said. “By reading my book, ‘Zoobooloo: With Filipino Translation,’ to the kids and making sure that each one of them had a copy, I was able to educate them and bring smiles to their faces. Would I do it again? Absolutely! I hope to raise more funds next year so that I can go back and empower more children.” Being an accomplished author and self-publisher, Villa shares this advice to those looking to walk the same road as her: “Dream. Write. Publish.” She added that every aspiring writer has a story to

Christine L. Villa

Fil-Am author and publisher Christine L. Villa eagerly waits for the start of the event at the function room at the Nicanor P. Garcia Elementary School. The banner and balloons, courtesy of his brother Perry Villa, have just been installed.

Christine with U! Happy Events and the volunteers after a job well done.

Christine with Kathrina Iris, the illustrator of “Zooboolo: With Filipino Translation.”

tell, and that it all starts with a dream. “But a dream will never come true if one does not sit down and write. Start writing today and be brave to tell your story. Hone your craft. Revise. Revise. Revise. Join a critique group, become a member of a writing group, attend workshops and conferences, or enroll in a writing class. Do whatever it takes to give your dream wings. And then publish! Whether through traditional or indie publishing, your story deserves to be told

and shared with the world,” she shared. Villa is currently working on a picture book about Philippine tarsiers and Carlito Pizarras, a hunter who turned into one of the foremost protectors of the endangered species. “Zoobooloo: With Filipino Translation” and her other books are available on Amazon, but signed copies can be purchased directly by e-mailing her at chissivilla@gmail.com. You can also check out Purple Cotton Candy Arts at www. purplecandyarts.com.

How Fil-Am DJ Tom Taus, ex-child star, has found his calling in music by oliver

M. PuluMBarit Inquirer.net

IN the ’90s, Tom Taus was a child actor, known for appearing in the kiddie gag show “Ang TV,” as well as starring in films such as “Cedie,” “Anak ng Bulkan” and “Batang Z.” But, these days, he’s more known as a DJ—grown-up and dashing, winning over partygoers with his electronic music sets—his time as a tyke in the spotlight preserved mostly in memory, and on YouTube videos. Fresh from a show at the Bonfire Music Festival in Davao Oriental—his time there made memorable by “two beautiful beaches”—Tom acknowledged the chance to travel and meet people from various cultures through his work. Recognition “It’s pretty amazing, honestly,” he told the Inquirer. “I’m starting to break into the international [music] scene, especially in Asia, so I’m starting to get a little recognition.

But what’s really amazing is how, no matter where you go, people just understand music.” Tom moved to the United States with his family when he was 13, and eventually pursued his interest in party music. “I play EDM, trap and hard style—they’re different genres that I mix into my set,” said the musician, who is now 32. “Other DJs can play them, too, but what makes me different is when I add the drums on top of [the music] when I’m performing.” His use of live electronic drums with dance tracks is the ultimate product of his teenage dabbling, when music was still “a hobby.” “Before I became a DJ, I was a drummer. I had a band when I was in seventh grade,” he related. The teen group did covers of songs by Metallica and Nirvana. Signature His talent for playing percussion inevitably became part of his DJ gigs, years later:

Tom Taus

“There would be breaks where I feel like I could add a little drum roll or whatever. I felt like, maybe the song would be more alive when I added something. After that, it became my signature. Now, I don’t play without the drums.” Tom regularly does shows around Asia, and was the

(“probably” his favorite band), Frank Sinatra and Louis Armstrong. Musical growth Family members helped with his musical growth, as well. “Elvis (Presley)… My mom was crazy about Elvis,” said Tom of his mother, Corazon, who passed away in 2004. “The doo-wop songs… My dad (Tom Sr.) is 80 years old. He got married when he was 40. He [listens to] ’50s, ’60s and ’70s music. My sister (Antoinette) is a big influence; she loves music so much—Earth, Wind & Fire, Britney Spears, Alicia Keys. She always has good music for me.” Photo from Instagram/@tomtaus Now based in Xiamen, the artist-performer usually opening act for artists David drops by the Philippines once Guetta and Ariana Grande in a month. their Philippine concerts. “I come back for shows “I listen to everything. I and go to Pampanga to see love all kinds of music,” he my dad,” said Tom, who has said, when asked about his played at US venues such as influences. Avalon Hollywood and the Tom enumerated, apart Playboy Mansion. from Nirvana and Metallica: On the acting work he’s Blur, Guns N’ Roses, Coldplay

proudest of, Tom enthused, “I could say maybe a German TVmovie or a movie for HBO, but I would say ‘Cedie,’ because I see how much it impacted people. I didn’t realize that until now that I’m older. When I was making the movie, I was having fun—[people tell me] how much it made them feel good, how they connected with it, and it’s such a beautiful story.” Biggest break His favorite gig, so far? He disclosed, “Ultra is one of the biggest music festivals in the world. Few festivals are really considered ‘the big boys,’ and Ultra’s one of them. [The 2015 fest in Japan] was my biggest break.” And, he aims to keep going. “I’ve been a full-time DJ since I was 19 years old —just ‘gig-ing’ and learning the ropes in Hollywood and all the clubs there,” Tom recounted. “This is where life is taking me; it’s still a good ride!”


The Asian Jour nal MDWK MAGAZINE - April 24, 2019

New beginnings mean a new show for Jennylyn and Gabby


by ManilaTiMes.neT

THIS week marks the much awaited premiere of a fresh television tandem between top, versatile actors Jennylyn Mercado and Gabby Concepcion. A romantic-comedy titled “Love You Too,� the series airs tonight on GMA Network’s primetime line-up. Mercado, who has won a number of awards for her engaging portrayal in box-office rom-com movies like “English Only Please� and “Just the Three of Us,� confessed at the show’s media launch before the Easter break that she was starstruck when she first worked with ‘80s matinee idol and perennial leading manmaterial Concepcion. “I was very nervous on set and nabubulol-bulol pa ako sa dialogue ko,� she laughed. “But eventually we became more and more comfortable on the set kahit na hindi ko pa rin mapaniwalaan na leading man ko na yung dating pinapanood at hinahangaan ko lang sa TV at sa pelikula!� Concepcion on the other hand likens working with one of this generation’s most sought after leading ladies to winning the lottery. “I’m very blessed to be working with her, and like I always say, may mga bagay na hindi ko na inaasahan at


this point in my career pero nangyayari at binibigay sa iyo. So I really can’t complain dahil napaka-swerte ko,� he enthused. In “Love You Too,� Mercado breathes life to Raffy, a woman who has a thriving career, while Concepcion is Jake, a charming businessman and hotel owner who remains a dashing debonair even in his 40s. Raffy has a pretty younger sister named Sam (Shaira Diaz), who in the course of the story falls in love like her with Jake. Very close, the

GMA photo

sisters find themselves in a unique love triangle with Jake, thus the rom-com’s title “Love You Two.� Joining this riotous love story is a strong support cast in Solenn Heussaff, Sheena Halili, Jerald Napoles, Kiray Celis, Nar Cabico, Yasser Marta, Michelle Dee and Clint Bondad in an introductory role. Directed by Irene Villamor, the network is positioning “Love You Too� as GMA’s first “tele-pelikula� with the use of the latest technology in videography.


How Jake Cuenca handled the nastiest rumor about him by Dolly

anne Carvajal Inquirer.net

JAKE Cuenca is one actor who does not turn in half-hearted portrayals. The Kapamilya hunk could very well be called Mr. Intensity. He begged off from answering questions about his “significant other,� Miss International 2016 Kylie Verzosa. He said he would rather keep their romance

low-key so it won’t go off-key. Here’s my chat with Jake: What’s more important to you, box-office success or awards? The most important thing for me is to do what I love, and to improve. I want every role and performance to be the performance of a lifetime. Love for the craft that comes first, then everything else comes after. What has fame taught you?

It’s temporary. To last in this industry, it’s going to take a lot of love for the craft and for what you do. What was the nastiest rumor about you, and how did you handle it? Through the years, so many things have been thrown at me. But as long as I know the truth, no one can tell me otherwise. At this point in your caContinued on Page 4


entertainment Coco Martin slams bashers amid Julia Montes’ rumored childbirth

The Asian Jour nal MDWK MAGAZINE - April 24, 2019

by Jan

Milo Severo Philstar.com

FOLLOWING news about the rumored delivery of his alleged girlfriend Julia Montes to their child, actor Coco Martin broke his silence, saying that bashing will not help the country to progress. In a lengthy Instagram post, Coco posted a photo of him with his grandmother while sharing her pieces of advice for him. “Sabi ng Lola ko nung bata pa ako mag sumikap ka sa buhay para matupad mo lahat ng mga pangarap mo at makatulong ka sa pamilya mo at pagkatapos tumulong ka sa iyong kapwa. mahirap lang ang buhay namin simple pero mapayapa. hindi kami ng aapi at ng aagrabyado ng tao at lalo hindi po kami nakikielam ng buhay ng ibang tao,” Coco began his post. “Sabi sakin ng Lola ko ang mga tao mahilig pag usapan ang buhay ng ibang tao ay ang mga taong walang magawa sa buhay nila kaya kaysa ayusin nila ang buhay nila at alagaan ang kanilang mga anak ang kanilang mga magulang mag sumikap sa kanilang trabaho at mag aral ng mabuti mas inilalaan nila ang oras at panahon nila para pag

kailangan ang mga masasakit na opinion mo,” he said. He asked his critics to back off from his private life because it is not interesting. He added that his work is to give life to the characters he is portraying. “Nag tatrabaho lang ako at may meron din akong pribadong buhay wag nman sana ang buhay ko ang pagkwentuhan nyo dahil hindi interesado ang buhay ko. masmaganda siguro humanap tayo ng ibang kapakipaki nabang na paguusapan para sa ating lipunan para may maiambag nman tayo sa ating Coco Martin ABS-CBN photo bayan!” he said. “Salamat sa pagbigay mo usapan ang buhay ng ibang tao ng panahon para pagusapan para manira,” he added. ang buhay ko. Ang trabaho ko Though he did not mention the issue surrounding Julia, ay umarte at bigyan ng buhay ang mga character na ginagCoco said that his silence on ampanan ko. tahimik po ako na the issue will not make him a nagtatrabaho at namumuhay coward because people lead kaya mas makakabuti siguro ang different lives and he wants to buhay mo nalang ang ikwento run his life the way that he is mo sigurado ako mas intersante running it. ang buhay mo!” he added. “Ang hindi ko pagkibo at He closed his statement hindi pagpatol sa mga bagay na with: “Sana lang bago ka mawahindi kauunlad ng ating bayan la sa mundo alam mo sasarili mo ay hindi kabaklaan at kaduwana may naibahagi kang kabutigan may kanya kanya tayong han sa iyong kapwa hindi puro buhay at tayo ang may dedepaninira! Pasensya kana ang sisyon kung pano natin patatakbuhin ito at sa aking palagay desisyon ko ay panatiliin tahimik ang buhay ko at sana naiintindiwala akong nagawang masama han mo!!! God bless...” sayo kung sino kaman hindi ko

Christian Bables

Photo from Instagram/@christiaaan06

Catching up with Christian Bables by ricky

calderon ManilaTimes.net

AWARD-winning actor Christian Bables feels blessed he was offered to be part of the top-rating teleserye “Halik” where he plays the role Jericho Rosales’ best friend. He reveals that when the offer to do “Halik” came along with three other teleseryes, he chose what is now the toprated late night drama precisely because he wanted to work with his idol, Echo. And with the show down to its final week after Easter, Christian can definitely tick an item off his bucket list. “If there’s a word that’s heavier than idol, then I’d like to use that word to describe

him,” the Gawad Urian Best Supporting winner for “Die Beautiful” expressed. ”He is an icon for me. I have huge respect for him and acting alongside him is indeed a blessing.” All the same, Christian admits he was intimidated by Echo’s presence that he found it difficult to deliver his scenes in the first three days of taping for “Halik”. Laughing at the recollection, he said, “I also admire Sir Joel (Torre) a lot. He’s also an idol. But when I had scenes with him in ‘Die Beautiful,’ I was able to deliver my lines. But with Echo, I was in awe. I was so intimated that I ended up watching him in our scenes together. It was as if I wasn’t

Jake Cuenca

myself. I told him, ‘Whenever I have a scene with you, I go into fan mode.’ And I also apologized for not getting my lines right.” But it was Echo himself who told him he should snap out of his fan mode in the humblest of ways. “He said ‘I am no different. I am just as human as you. Thank you for appreciating my craft but more than anything else, I’d like us to be friends.’ When he said that, I became more relaxed in his company and I was finally able to channel my energies to level-up my acting.” Thanks to Echo’s advice, Christian learned mature as an actor and to focus on his craft above all.

Photo from Instagram/@juancarloscuenca

How Jake Cuenca...

From Page 3 reer, what else do you want to achieve? Maybe more of being successful at every medium—on TV, in theater and films. What’s the craziest thing you did for love? I’ve done a lot of crazy things for love, but when I fall in love with someone, I give 110 percent. What’s the naughtiest thing that you’ve done? My appearances at Bench fashion shows. What’s a misconception about you that you’d like to correct? Right now, I’m doing “Los Bastardos.” With my role in it, they think I’m the nicest guy in the world. But when I do the role of a villain, they think I’m the most evil person in the world.

No matter what role I play, it does not matter what reaction I get, as long as I get a reaction. What do you find hard to understand about women? I think men would never understand what women really feel when they go through their period. What’s the biggest love lesson that you’ve learned, so far? After all the relationships I’ve been through, I’ve learned to understand aspects of love that are hard to understand. What’s the toughest part of being Jake Cuenca? Being a perfectionist in my craft, that’s why I constantly challenge myself. I constantly strive for excellence.


The Asian Jour nal MDWK MAGAZINE - April 24, 2019

Members of the the Los Angeles Philippine Women’s Club, the oldest Filipino American women’s organization in Southern California.

LA Philippine Women’s Club welcomes Board of Public Works Commissioner Jessica Caloza by AJPress

THE Los Angeles Philippine Women’s Club on Friday, April 12 hosted a meet and greet with Jessica Caloza, the new LA Board of Public Works Commissioner, who is the first Pinay to hold this position. Caloza, who was previously the director of scheduling for Mayor Eric Garcetti, is now a part of the five-member, full-time executive team that oversees projects and programs, such as construction and sanitation, to the benefit of the city’s 4 million residents. She will specifically handle the Bureau of Engineering, which deals with infrastructure plans. Guests enjoyed a dinner prepared by American Ranch & Seafood Market, followed by Caloza delivering a speech and answering questions from the audience. The Los Angeles Philippine Women’s Club, the oldest Filipino American women’s organization in Southern California, also recognized outgoing President Rosalie Caratao. The organization will now be headed by Trinity Foliente.

LA Board of Public Works Commissioner Jessica Caloza answers questions from Fil-Am community members on Friday, April 12.

Cora Soriano, Los Angeles Philippine Women’s Club outgoing president Rosalie Caratao, Philippine Consulate Vice Consul Dyan Pastrana, incoming president Trinity Foliente, and Commissioner Jessica Caloza at a meet and greet event on Friday, April 12. AJPress photos by Ding Carreon

Weny Khan, National Asian American Coalition President & CEO Faith Bautista, University of the Philippines Alumni Association of Greater LA President Ethel Rubio, and LA Philippine Women’s Club President Trinity Foliente.

entertainment The Asian Jour nal MDWK MAGAZINE - April 24, 2019

Why Gabbi Garcia is scared of working with boyfriend Khalil Ramos by MAriNel

r. Cruz


DIRECTOR Jade Castro, who is working with real-life couple Gabbi Garcia and Khalil Ramos in the film “LSS (Last Song Syndrome),” swore that he didn’t know the two were in a relationship when he first asked them to be part of the cast. “The idea came from the creative team, and when they suggested it to me, I liked it because I know that both of them can act and sing at the same time. Since music is very much a part of the story, I thought they’d be perfect together,” Jade told reporters during the media gathering to announce the first three finalists of this year’s Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino (PPP). “This was before we confirmed that they are together in real life, which made working with them even more exciting,” Jade added. “LSS” is among the eight finalists of the 2019 PPP, which will run from Sept. 13 to 19. “We never planned on working together,” said Khalil, “because we’re from different networks, and work was never the foundation of our relationship. We met through common friends. Before this project came, we said that we shouldn’t [work together].” Gabbi agreed: “We were hesitant to work with each other. While we don’t hide the fact that we’re a couple, we’re not out-and-out about it. That’s not Khalil’s personality.” Khalil said it was the script that convinced them to say “yes.” “We liked the story and the characters so much. Eventually, when the shooting started, I noticed that Gabbi kept asking me questions about how I work … ” Gabbi interjected: “This was because I was scared of

Jessy Mendiola pens bday message for Luis: ‘I prayed to God for you’ by Krissy

AguilAr Inquirer.net

ACTRESS Jessy Mendiola penned a sweet birthday message for her boyfriend actorhost Luis Manzano as he turned 38 on Sunday, April 21. Accompanied with a series of throwback pictures, Mendiola got candid with her feelings for Manzano in an Instagram post. “Happy birthday my love! I prayed to God for you. I asked Him to guide me and help me meet a man who would take care and value me, then He gave me you,” Mendiola wrote. Mendiola also mentioned all the things her longtime boy-

friend has taught her and made her feel. “You healed me in so many ways and gave me love when I thought I could never fall in love again. You taught me to be happy even when I’m constantly judged and misunderstood. You loved me even in my darkest days,” she said. “You are a blessing to me and I will forever cherish what God has given us. Thank you for making me feel secure and loved every single day. I love you with all my heart,” she added. Mendiola and Manzano have been together for almost three years already.

Luis Manzano and Jessy Mendiola Photo from Instagram/@senorita_jessy

Fil-Canadian YouTube star Mikey Bustos comes out by NiñA

V. guNo


Gabbi Garcia with Khalil Ramos

him. No bias, but I’ve seen how good he is as an actor because I’ve watched him in ‘2 Cool 2 Be 4gotten’ and ‘Honor Thy Father.’ Napakahusay! Meanwhile, this is my first film. I thought, ‘’Di ako pwedeng magpakain kay Khalil sa eksena!’ I kept asking tips from him because I felt so pressured. I’m grateful for his help.” The actor said it was good that Gabbi expressed to him her fears. “It was now my job to make her feel comfortable. Of course, I wouldn’t want to be on the set with her feeling anxious.” Gabbi described her leading man as “very professional. When we’re on the set, we’re not lovers, but coworkers. He would tell me, ‘Huwag kang

YOUTUBE star Mikey Bustos publicly came out on social media on Easter Sunday, April 21. The Filipino-Canadian comedian, 37, hinted at a “new life” and “freedom” in two Instagram posts on Sunday and Monday, April 22. In the pictures, he posed alongside longtime friend and manager RJ Garcia while in a Puerto Galera beach. Both posts had the gay pride flag in the caption. Photo from Instagram/@gabbi This morning, April 23, bibitaw dito.’” Bustos shared a heartwarming Khalil said the most chalmessage of gratitude on his lenging part was doing their social media accounts. first few scenes. “We weren’t Sharing a shirtless picture a couple in the beginning of of himself with a sticker of the movie—we were strangrainbow sunglasses over his ers,” explained Khalil. “We eyes, he said, “Thank you for can’t appear like we already the outpouring of love, guys. feel comfortable with each @Appleboyrj (RJ Garcia) and other,” added Gabbi. “He I see all your messages and helped me all the way, and so never in our wildest dreams did Direk Jade. It’s a learning would have imagined the experience for me to work amount of support coming in with Khal.” from all corners of cyberspace, “LSS” also features the media, and the world!” band Ben&Ben, as well as “It’s 2019 (as my dad put it Tuesday Vargas and Elijah when I came out to him a few Canlas. It tells the story of weeks ago), and a great time Sarah (Gabbi) and Zak (Khalil), to be alive [as part of the] LGBT who find themselves in a (Lesbian, Gay, Transgender, series of almost-but-not-quite Bisexual) [community].” romantic encounters while fol“Happy for you guys!” lowing a fast-rising band. wrote Erwan Heussaff. You-

Mikey Bustos with his partner and manager RJ Garcia

Tube singer AJ Rafael responded with heart emoji, while Fil-Am dancer Dominic Sandoval, a.k.a. D-Trix, said, “I love this and I love you, bro! Congrats to you both!” Bustos is a singer and

Photo from Instagram/@mikey_bustos

comedian born in Canada and lives in the Philippines. He competed in “Canadian Idol” in 2003 and earned viral fame in YouTube for his comic take on being Filipino and song parodies.

Immigrant Living: 101 and Beyond MONETTE ADEVA MAGLAYA TRAVEL is a pure metaphor for our life’s journey. There are two choices in the way we can travel. We can travel light or we can load up on stuff and literally become a beast of burden. The reality for most of us is that we heft and carry far too much physical and emotional baggage over time. I am focusing on the physical baggage aspect only. The emotional baggage aspect is yet for another day. Our journey becomes tedious and cumbersome. All we want when we are too heavily laden with stuff while on the road, at sea or in flight, is to get to our destination fast so we can rest our weary bones and aching muscles and put our feet up. The fun is gone because tedium and fatigue have taken over. It shouldn’t be so because there is truth in what they say about any journey. Half the fun should be getting there. Very few of us are born wise old souls who already know what is important and what is frivolous at the get-go from a very young age. For most of us ordinary beings who have to learn from scratch, our learning curves can be steep. It takes a long while for us to know the difference between a NEED and a WANT. We all know the drill. Needs are the things required for basic human existence: food, shelter and clothing. Wants are those that our ego or an infomercial tells us we should acquire to feel better, look better and improve our status in society such as the latest car model, the new smartphone, large screen TV sets or luxury items or anything else that advertisers tell us we ought to have to make our lives better or feel important. The distinction should be easy

Barrister’s Corner ATTY. KENNETH URSUA REYES THE Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which was recently enacted into law, impact various issues in a divorce case. These changes are effective beginning 2018 through 2025. Spousal support. Spousal support will no longer be deductible by the paying spouse and will not be taxable income to the supported spouse for post 2017 divorce judgments and support orders. This will benefit the supported spouse in that the spousal support will be tax free income to the supported spouse. This does not affect existing orders and judgments for support entered prior to 2018. Prior to 2018, spousal support was tax deductible to the payor and taxable income to supported spouse. Dependency exemptions. The new law suspends personal and dependency tax exemptions effective 2018. This is not favorable to the parent who has sole or primary physical custody of the child because under the law prior to 2018, that parent can claim the dependency exemption for the child in a divorce case. However, this loss may be offset by the higher standard deduction available for 2018 which is $24,000 for joint filers and $18,000 for heads of households. Child and family tax credit. Child tax credit is increased to

Debt Relief

ATTY. LAWRENCE YANG THIS week is Holy Week again. The whole Christian world observes the passion of Jesus Christ. In many countries, the faithful reenact the passion and suffering of Jesus. They wear a crown made from thorns, flagellate themselves, and some even carry a heavy wooden cross on which they may be tied or nailed to it, thus crucifying themselves, just like Jesus was crucified 2019 years ago. After Jesus is nailed to the cross on Mt. Calvary, he eventually dies. Before he breathes his last breath, Jesus says the following statements: 1. Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. 2. Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise. 3. Woman, behold your son. Son, behold your mother. 4. My God, My God, why have you forsaken me? 5. I thirst. 6. It is finished.

community 7

The bucket list Travel light

The Asian Jour nal MDWK MAGAZINE - April 24, 2019

16th of a series

“He who must travel happily must travel light.” — Antoine de Saint-Exupery enough if our mental faculties are grounded in common sense and just basic understanding of what is important and what isn’t. Those of us who have wise parents may try to tell us so until they are blue in the face but for the most part, unless and until we go through life experiences that shape our understanding and appreciation of what truly matters in life, it is guaranteed that we will bungle our way through just learning to distinguish between a basic need and a frivolous want. A need is probably owning one quality watch to help us manage our time. A want is having 12 different watches to match what we wear. We will acquire mountains of stuff through our lifetimes. It’s not our fault we live in a consumer society where acquiring stuff is the default behavior. Consider the success of companies that rent out public storage spaces. If you are one of those who rent such spaces in addition to your home’s bulging garage and storage spaces for long periods of time, it may be time to assess the quality of your life’s journey and begin divesting promptly, either gradually or drastically and choosing to travel light. The stuff we acquire is just that. Stuff and nothing more …… When we own something, that something owns us. We are responsible for its care and maintenance to keep it functioning and useful. When that something has outgrown its usefulness or has become passé, we are respon-

sible for its disposition. When we acquire something new, we probably need to dispose of 3 other items, just to keep us in balance. One day, if we let ourselves listen and learn from that small, quiet and wise voice within us, we will discover that important things are not stuff. They are largely intangible things — like health of mind, body and spirit, faith, hope and love, joy, sacrifice, a sense of wonder and humor to cushion us from the rough shocks of life. So next time we find ourselves meandering about armed to the teeth with credit cards in those huge shopping malls, outlets or flea markets, try to go on browsing mode only. Hold off on splurging next month’s paycheck. This is likewise true for those who go online shopping, indulging themselves in retail therapy in the comfort of their own homes in their pajamas. Look at the merchandise and appreciate the craftsmanship and give yourself time to decide if owning it will answer a need or just satisfy an impulsive want. Window shop, if you must. It would be like going to a museum where you can look, appreciate beauty and quality while having a great time and leaving as light and unencumbered as you came in, without a shopping cart full of stuff. *** Nota Bene: Monette Adeva Maglaya is SVP of Asian Journal Publications, Inc. To send comments, e-mail monette. maglaya@asianjournalinc.com

2018 tax changes that affect divorcing couples $2,000 from $1,000 per qualifying child beginning 2018. This would benefit parents with sole or primary physical custody of the child. Further, up to $1,400 of the child tax credit can be refundable if it exceeds the parents’ tax liability. Prior to 2018, this credit was not refundable. However, the child tax credit begins to be phased out once the parents’ adjusted gross income reaches $200,000 or $400,000 for joint filers. Mortgage interest deduction. It is common among divorcing couple to buy the other party’s interest out of a community property home through refinancing. Beginning 2018, mortgage interest on loans used to acquire principal residence and a second home is only deductible up to $750,000 (down from $1 million prior to 2018) beginning with loans taken out in 2018. Further, interest on home equity loans are no longer tax deductible regardless of when the debt was taken out. This would be a disadvantage to the party keeping the community property home who typically would buy out the other spouse through a refinancing or home equity loan. Estate and gift tax exemption. The estate tax exemption was raised to $11.2 million per individual beginning 2018. Prior to 2018, the estate tax exemption was $5.49 million per individual. This is a major win for divorcing couples with significant assets. Couples with assets over $5.49 million would typi-

cally need to use both spouses’ estate tax credit totaling $10.98 in order to avoid paying estate taxes upon their death. The problem arises after a divorce when each spouse will be limited to $5.49 million. With the estate tax exemption raised at $11.2 million per individual, this would exempt 99% of divorcing couple from having to pay estate taxes in case of death. *** Please note that this article is not legal advice and is not intended as legal advice. The article is intended to provide only general, non-specific legal information. This article is not intended to cover all the issues related to the topic discussed. The specific facts that apply to your matter may make the outcome different 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 “mailto: kenneth@kenreyeslaw.com” kenneth@ kenreyeslaw.com or visit our website at Kenreyeslaw.com (Advertising Supplement)

Young client with $700K debt needs Chapter 7 relief

7. Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit. Traditionally, these seven sayings are called words of: 1) Forgiveness 2) Salvation 3) Relationship 4) Abandonment 5) Distress 6) Triumph and 7) Reunion. A Roman soldier then pierces his side with a lance to make sure that he has died. His spirit then goes down to Hades, which is deep into the bowels of the Earth, very near Hell. Why does he go there? Because every person who died before Jesus died, are waiting in that temporary place very near hell, waiting for Jesus to lead them to heaven after Jesus dies, because the death of Jesus redeemed mankind from the consequences of sin. Without Jesus dying for us, we cannot enter heaven, we would be in Hades forever and eternity, and that really sucks for us. But rejoice, because Jesus loved us so that he gave us the key to heaven and eternal life with Him and God the Father and God the Holy Spirit! That is the biggest and best deal of all for all of us!

Thank you, Jesus! So now I have this young client who had a business that caused him to owe $700K. That figure is $700,000, not $70K. I understand that that also includes some gambling debt. You know what happens with some business owners when their business starts to lose money. They try to recover by gambling. The problem is, they end up losing more money and owing more debt. The client is not even 40. I mean that is young. So he has learned the hard way how to lose a lot of money. His business was making money for several years, but I guess from too much competition, it started losing money and never recovered. He and the business owes a total of $700K including bank loans, credit cards, etc. You name it, he’s got that kind of debt. He has two kids and a wife. But his wife has left him and brought the kids with her. The client is making money again, but half of the money he makes goes to pay PAGE B8

Calendar of Events across



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 http://www.mypnaa.org/.

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Avengers Endgame fundraiser screening for Ateneo scholars The Blue Eagle Circle (TBEC) will be hosting a fundraiser screening of Avengers Endgame for the benefit of Ateneo scholars. The screening will be held on Friday, April 26 at Regal LA Live Stadium 14. Doors open at 7:15 p.m. PST. Tickets are $40.00 each, inclusive of popcorn and soda. Event proceeds will go to the Stipend Fund Program – an annual fundraising program that provides financial assistance to bright and deserving scholars of the Ateneo de Manila University. For more information, go to bit.ly/AvengersTBEC; or find us on Facebook as “The Ateneo Blue Eagle Circle.” For ticket sales and other inquries, please contact Joey Dungca (213-503-6407), Mico Letargo (818-620-4031), or Penelope Uy (213-810-2281).

M AY 4

Kulintang festival in Oakland, CA As part of the as part of the celebrations of Asian American Heritage Month, Gongster’s Paradise — a kulintang party — will be held on Saturday, May 4 at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center where the father of Filipino-American Kulintang music, Danongan ‘Danny’ Kalanduyan was once an artists in residence. This year’s line up will feature a new generation of Maguindanaon Master Artists from Cotabato City, Traditional groups from all over the United States and Contemporary groups from all over the world including Toronto, Philippines, Seattle, Virginia, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Alongside non-stop kulintangan, Gongster’s Paradise will feature visual artists, vendors, and dancers to showcase movements related to kulintang music rooted from all over Mindanao. A feast will be served throughout the evening to be prepared and served by Chef Eric Pascual, rising star and owner of Eats By E and will be joined by collaborator and sponsor, Ramar Foods. It will be held from 4 to 9 p.m. at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center (388 9th St., Oakland, CA 94607).

Filipino American Chamber of Commerce Tri-County Gatsby Gala Induction in Claremont, CA Roaring ‘20s is an optional attire for the ‘Gatsby Gala Induction’ of FACC Tri-County (Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino Counties) on May 4, at the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel, 555 West Foothill Blvd., Claremont, CA 91711, 6 to 11 p.m. Guest Speaker and Inducting Officer: Consul General Adelio Angelito S. Cruz; and Sierra Madre Councilmember Rachelle Arizmendi, inspirational speaker. FACC Tri-County, under the stewardship of President Merwynn Montenegro, leads to support and enhance businesses that serve diversified communities. Its mission is to advocate for all businesses, provide opportunities for growth, and increase their competitiveness in the market place. For more information, contact Merwynn 909) 319-3145; 1st VP Carmela Giliberto carmela.giliberto@getbeyond.com, or 2nd VP Gregg Vargas (909) 802-0901.

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Sagalas at Santacruzan in Los Angeles The Filipino Ministry of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles will hold its Archdiocesan SANTACRUZAN on Saturday, May 11 at 2:45 p.m. at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels (555 W. Temple Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012). Parishes and civic organizations are invited to join the celebration. Hermana mayores and Hermana menores, sagalas, angels and estrellas will all be in their best attire as they processed towards the altar, honoring our Blessed Virgin Mary. This year’s theme is: “Holy Mary, Handmaid of the Lord, Our Perfect Model In Doing the Will of God.” You are invited to witness one of the most joyful cultural traditions in the Philippines. Come and be with us to celebrate the Crowning of the Blessed Virgin Mary. A Reception/ Dinner-Dance will follow after the Eucharistic celebration at Embassy Suites by Hilton/ 800 N. Central Avenue, Glendale, CA 91203. For more information, please call Patty Santiago (818) 362-4864 / E-mail: piesan@hotmail.com or Arnel Bailon (818) 362-4864.

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Santa Maria Ilocos Sur 12th Global Reunion in Honolulu, Hawaii The Santa Maria Ilocos Sur Global Association (SMISGA) and the Santa Marians of Hawaii are sponsoring the Santa Maria Ilocos Sur 12th Global Reunion in Honolulu, Hawaii from May 17-19, 2019. The festivities will start with a meet and greet on May 17 at 5 p.m. at the Ala Moana Hotel Hibiscus Ballroom to be followed by a gala night on May 18 at 5 p.m. at the Dole Cannery Pomaikai Ballroom. A picnic is also scheduled at Ala Moana Beach Park’s Magic Island on Sunday, May 19 starting at 10 a.m. The ticket to attend all the events is $130.00 per person. Due to limited space, reservations must be made not later than March 31, 2019. Hats and tshirts will also be on sale for $20. For further information, call Nena Empleo at (808) 384-0394, Carlito Soria at (808) 487-3370, Alex Pena at (702) 373-9522 or Orlino Baldonado at (865) 7898324. Leave a message if there’s no answer. Additional information is also on SMISGA.com and Facebook @ SMISGA19FB. Proceeds from the events will be for various projects in Santa Maria Ilocos Sur and in Hawaii. Donations are tax deductible since SMISGA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization approved by the Internal Revenue Service.

M AY 25

Marist School Marikina to celebrate 55th anniversary in Buena Park, CA Marist Alumni Abroad, coordinated by Arthur ‘Jojo’ P. Armada ‘77, invites alumni, family and friends, and the public who are interested, to the 55th anniversary grand reunion of the Marist School Marikina, to be held on Saturday, May 25, at the Knott’s Berry Farm Hotel (7675 Crescent Ave., Buena Park, CA 90620). The event’s theme is “Celebrating Our Marist Life...The Legacy Continues,” hosted by Marist Alumni Abroad. Dinner and dance: 6 pm to 11 pm; donation: $55/pax (per person). Contact person is overall chair Jojo P. Armada at (626) 216-3529 or email: armadaarthur@yahoo.com.

M AY 25 -26

Bulacan high schools reunite in Rosemead, CA The 2019 Global Gathering of Marcelo H. Del Pilar High School (MHPHS) of Malolos, Bulacan will be held on May 25-26, 2019 at the Double Tree Hotel in Rosemead, CA. For further information, please contact any of the following: Lourdes Ople-Smith at lourdesosmith@gmail. com / (310) 662-1948; Charito Aldaba-Gabriel at chato_gabriel1019@yahoo.com / (818) 6536047; Leni Flor Cruz-Florentino at lenflorcruz529@yahoo.com / (818) 282-0928; Tristan Zafra at tristan@trisoftco.com / (714) 686-3345; Gerry Torres, Jr. at gerrytorres50@gmail.com / (213) 249-1633; and Perfecto T. Martin at perfecto.martin@gmail.com.


7th Historic Filipinotown Kalayaan Parade and Festival in LA The 2019 Global Gathering of Marcelo H. Del Pilar High School (MHPHS) of Malolos, BulacThe 7th Historic Filipinotown Kalayaan Parade and Festival Committee (7KPFC) announced that it will holding the 7th Kalayaan Parade in Los Angeles on Saturday, June 1, 2019 in commemoration of the 121st PH Independence Day on June 12, 1898. This will be the 7th Kalayaan Parade and Festival in Historic Filipinotown, as the first was held in 2013 in cooperation with the PH Consulate General in Los Angeles. This is the only Independence Day parade and Festival in Los Angeles and is held every year in Historic Filipinotown. For more information, please call Freddie at (818) 220-2075 or email at jfavusa8@gmail.com.

If you have an upcoming event and would like us to post it, please email us the details at info@asianjournalinc.com or calendar@asianjournalinc.com


people & events The Asian Jour nal MDWK MAGAZINE - April 24, 2019

Downtown Burbank Arts Festival to feature trendsetting designers, Disney animators, and more A WORLD of creativity and imagination will be revealed at the Downtown Burbank Arts Festival featuring 200 world-famous animators, trendsetting indie creators, cosplayers recreating favorite animated characters, live entertainment, and much more on San Fernando Boulevard between Burbank Town Center and the Holiday Inn on Saturday and Sunday, May 18-19 with extended hours from 11am to 7pm. The event is free and open to the public. The Downtown Burbank Arts Festival brings together groundbreaking digital and special effects animators selling their personal work, along with inventive artisans selling handmade housewares such as candles and ceramics, fashion and accessory designers, body products, and visual art for a one-of-a-kind festival experience unique to South-

ern California. Annually attracting more than 20,000 attendees, all are invited to experience the creative process, mingle with artists, and browse more than 400 shops and restaurants in Downtown Burbank. New this year is the Jackalope Indie Artisan Fair, which will be curating the festival’s 100 indie craft exhibitors. Los Angelesbased Jackalope Indie Artisan Fair specializes in uniting local culture with high-quality artisans that are carefully selected for the ultimate in handmade shopping experience. The Creative Talent Network will once again anchor the popular animation portion of the festival with the CTN Road Trip. The Road Trip will unite more than 100 visual effects, videogaming, character designers, illustrators, and storyboard artists for the fourth straight year.

In addition to discovering hundreds of exclusive artworks on display, the festival offers the rare opportunity to interact with top artists from the world of animation, enjoy cosplayers from books and films, join in a Doodle Run, attend Storytime and artist showcases, explore virtual worlds, engage with roaming musicians, participate in a Career Camp for promising young artists, and share experiences online via @jackalopeartfair, @creativetalentnetwork and @downtownburbank for the chance to win special prizes. For further information on the festival, please visit www.dtnbur. com For further information on the CTN Road Trip, please visit http:// ctnroadtripburbank.com/. For further information on the Jackalope Indie Artisan Fair, please visit https://www.jackalopeartfair. com/burbank

Young client with $700K debt needs... PAGE B7 t

alimony and child support. That’s only right. His family still has to be taken cared of. They have needs that must be provided for, and as their father, it’s his responsibility to do that. He doesn’t shirk away from the responsibility. He is thinking of going back into business after he is done with bk. The answer is yes, he can. Can he travel out of the country even with bk? Sure, why not. Does he need a fresh start in life without $700K of accumulated debt from a failed business? Of course, he does. How can he be productive again if everything he makes goes to pay back the $700K? I mean, that’s like a death sentence if he is saddled with $700K of debt

without the ability to get out of it. He definitely needs a Chapter 7 discharge of the $700K so he can become productive again. There is no question about that. He’s smarter now and won’t be making the same mistakes in the past. Everybody deserves a fresh start in life without accumulated debt. Even Walt Disney filed for Chapter 7 twice before Disneyland became successful. So why should it be any different for my young client? He should be given a second chance to start again without debt. Even the companies of Pres. Trump filed for bankruptcy in 1990 and wiped out over $1B of debt. Why should my young client no take advantage of bankruptcy law to obtain a fresh start in

Pasadena Police Department challenges drivers to ‘silence’ the distraction APRIL is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and Pasadena Police Department is joining law enforcement agencies statewide to stop drivers who violate California’s hands-free cell phone law. Throughout the month of April, Pasadena Police Department will have additional officers on patrol looking specifically for drivers on their cell phones. Last year, Pasadena Police Department issued 2,612 citations to drivers texting, calling or performing other functions on their cell phone. Distracted driving is dangerous, especially when it involves a cell phone. According to preliminary data from the California Highway Patrol (CHP), 66 people were killed and more than 6,500 injured in 2017 from distracted driving-related crashes. “Cell phones remain one of the top distractions for drivers,” said Pasadena Police Department Lieutenant Mark Goodman. “On April 1, we conducted a distracted driver detail, and 89 people were


cited for texting while driving. Distracted driving can be deadly, so please put those cell phones down every time you drive,” said Lt. Goodman. Pasadena Police Department’s next distracted driver detail will take place on Friday, April 12. A 2018 observational survey by the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) on driver cell phone use found about 4.5 percent of drivers are still using their cell phone illegally, a nearly 27 percent increase from 2016. “That text or phone call will never be worth losing a life,” said Lt. Goodman. “In 2016, we investigated a collision in which two people were killed as result of distracted driving. Two families suffered great tragedies that evening, the effects of which will be felt forever.” Under the most recent cell phone law that went into effect in 2017, drivers are prohibited from having a phone in their hand for any reason and can only use their

phone in a hands-free manner. Cell phones must be mounted on the dashboard, windshield or center console, and can only be touched once with the swipe or tap of a finger to activate or deactivate a function. First-time offenders face a $162 fine. If you need to make a call or text someone, pull over and park at a safe location. Struggling to stay off the phone while driving? Put your phone in a place you can’t reach, like the backseat or trunk. Funding for this and other traffic enforcement programs is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Stay connected to the City of Pasadena! Visit us online at www. cityofpasadena.net; follow us on Twitter at @PasadenaGov, and Instagram and Facebook at @ CityOfPasadena; or call the Citizen Service Center, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday at (626) 744-7311.




his life? He’s even lost his wife and family, his debts broke his family. I mean, he owes his creditors debt. He doesn’t owe them his life, or he doesn’t owe them the rest of his life, right? If you need debt relief, call our office and set an appointment to see me. I will analyze your case personally. *** 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)

The Asian Jour nal MDWK MAGAZINE - April 24, 2019



The Asian Jour nal MDWK MAGAZINE - April 24, 2019


Profile for Asian Journal Community Newspapers

042419 - Southern California Midweek Edition  

042419 - Southern California Midweek Edition