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APRIL 25-MAY 1, 2019


Volume 30 - No. 17 • 2 Sections – 16 Pages

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Duterte’s China trip to yield $10 billion in business deals by RITCHEL


THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on Tuesday, April 23, said the Philippines is expecting to seal at least $10 billion worth of investment and trade deals when President Rodrigo Duterte concludes his visit to China this week. Duterte arrived in Beijing on Wednesday, April 24, to attend the second Belt and Road Forum on Thursday, April 25. Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said more than 15 agreements covering trade and investments on food, energy, power, infra-

structure, technology and services are expected to be signed during the president’s trip. He also said that more agreements could be added. “As part of President Duterte’s Tapang at Malasakit battlecry for nation building, the DTI is continuously seeking investment opportunities from our country partners to bring home jobs and business opportunities for more Filipinos,” Lopez said. Duterte attended the first Belt and Road Forum in 2017 and affirmed his intent to improve ties with China. ‘Best time to engage in more cross-border activities’


DTI, in partnership with Bank of China, is set to hold the Opportunities in China’s New Economy and Belt and Road Initiative Development event on Friday, April 26 in Beijing. The event will serve as platform for Philippine firms to learn about China’s policies for foreign ventures and investment opportunities. “The Philippines has seen rapid growth in just a few years thanks to the administration’s commitment to develop local infrastructure and industries,” said Deng Jun, Philippine head of OFF TO CHINA. President Rodrigo Duterte is accompanied by Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff General Benjamin Madrigal Jr. Bank of China. as he prepares to board a plane bound for the People’s Republic of China at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City on Wednesday, April 24. The “With spending on the rise president is scheduled to participate in the 2nd Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing.


Malacañang photo by Karl Norman Alonzo

After Luzon and Visayas, magnitude 4.7 earthquake hits Mindanao region NDRRMC warns public of circulating text hoax about ‘the big one’ by NATHALIE


Chinese clam poachers making ‘thousands of dollars’ while destroying entire reef — US expert CHINESE poachers are making “thousands of dollars” by extracting clams in the Scarborough Shoal in the West Philippine Sea and selling them, a U.S. think tank expert said. But such a lucrative business has also destroyed the resource-rich waters’ marine environment and could cost coastal communities their livelihoods. According to an ABS-CBN News report, the Chinese continue to harvest giant clams at Scarborough, locally known as “Panatag” and is considered as a traditional fishing ground off the coast of Zambales on the western shores of the Philippine island of Luzon. Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. tweeted this week that the Philippine government will be taking legal action against Chinese nationals harvesting giant clams in


DOJ backs OSG vs settlement on $20-M Marcos assets 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.”




ANOTHER tectonic earthquake with a 4.7 magnitude hit the Philippines at 11:43 a.m. Wednesday, April 24, in the Mindanao region specifically in Banganga, Davao Oriental as reported by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology FRANTIC SEARCH. Rescuers carry one of the survivors from a collapsed (Phivolcs). supermarket in Porac, Pampanga on Tuesday, April 23, after a 6.1- magnitude The seismology agency said earthquake struck parts of Zambales, Pampanga and Metro Manila on that the epicenter was located Monday, April 22. ManilaTimes.net photo by Ruy Martinez

63 kilometers northeast of Banganga. The 11-kilometer earthquake also affected Bislig City, Surigao del Sur at an instrumental intensity I. NDRRMC, Palace: Beware of hoax and fake news The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) on Tuesday night, April 23, warned that the circulating text messages about a forthcoming magnitude 8.0 earthquake are a hoax.

“Napag-alaman ng OCDNDRRMC na may lumaganap na text messages patungkol sa 8.0 magnitude na lindol (It has come to our attention at the OCD-NDRRMC that there are circulating text messages about a supposedly upcoming 8.0 magnitude earthquake),” it said. “Nais naming ipahayag na ang mga nasabing text messages ay hoax lamang at walang katotohanan (We’d like to inform the


Philippines to become upper middle income country this 2019 by RITCHEL


FINANCE Secretary Carlos Dominguez III on Thursday, April 11, said the Philippines is set to become an ‘upper-middle-income’ economy this year with the assistance of the World Bank (WB). According to him, the generous support of the World Bank for the Philippines’ sustainable development programs is a “key factor” in achieving its goal of becoming an upper middle-income economy in 2019, three years ahead of schedule. “For many decades, the World Bank helped many Philippine Finance Secretary Carlos emerging economies achieve sustainable developDominguez III

Inquirer.net photo


Trash packed in container vans that were shipped from Canada in 2013 are unloaded at the sanitary landfill of the Metro Clark Waste Management Corp. in Capas, Tarlac. Inquirer.net photo

VP Leni Robredo: Allowing foreign Canada working with PH for governments to spy on PH is illegal ‘timely resolution’ of waste issue by GABRIEL






MANILA — Canada on Wednesday, April 24, expressed its commitment in collaborating with the Philippines to address the dumping of waste in the country. The Canadian Embassy in Manila released a statement a day after President Rodrigo Duterte warned the North American country that he would be sailing to Canada to dump their trash back. “I want a boat prepared. I’ll give a warning to Canada maybe u PAGE A3 Vice President Leni Robredo Inquirer.net photo next week that they better pull

MANILA — Vice President Leni Robredo has reminded the administration that allowing foreign governments to spy on the Philippines is illegal. Robredo issued the statement after Malacañang officials confirmed the existence of a destabilization plot involving media entities and human rights groups, which Duterte said was sourced from information provided by a foreign country. “Nakakatakot iyong pahayag ng Pangulo na iyong pinagmulan ng kaniyang source ay produkto ng pageespiya ng isang foreign government sa mga Pilipino. Unang una, bawal iyon. Sa ilalim ng batas, hindi iyon pinapayagan (It is scary to hear from the President that the source of information was a foreign govern-

that thing out or I will set sail, there in Canada, I will dump their trash there,” Duterte said in Pampanga on Tuesday, April 23. The Canadian Embassy said a joint technical working group composed of officials from both Canada and the Philippines has been looking into the issues surrounding the removal of the waste in the country “with a view to a timely resolution.” “In 2016, Canada amended its regulations around hazardous waste shipments to prevent such events from happening again,” the Canadian Embassy said in a



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From The FronT Page

After Luzon and Visayas, magnitude 4.7... PAGE A1 public that those text messages are a hoax),� the disaster agency added as reported by The Philippine Daily Inquirer. The government agency also announced that the public must trust only the number with the account “NDRRMC� for mobile alerts and warnings. They added that any other phone numbers

are not affiliated with the disaster agency. Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo also urged the people not to disseminate unverified and false information in social media platforms as such could inflict terror and panic among the general public. “We ask the public to remain calm but vigilant and we urge

them to refrain from spreading disinformation [on] social media that may cause undue alarm, panic and stress to many people,� Panelo said in a statement. 90 unaccounted for in Pampanga Rescuers continue to search for the 90 people who remained unaccounted for as the four-story building of Chuzon Supermarket in Porac, Pampanga collapsed due to the 6.1 magnitude earthquake in Luzon last Monday, April 22. “We have no information on how many of them managed to escape or were trapped inside the collapsed structure. We advised the management to tell the survivors to report and be counted,� Pampanga Vice Gov. Dennis Pineda said. Philippine Red Cross volunteers, Army troops, police and villagers used four cranes, crowbars and sniffer dogs to look for people trapped beneath the rubble of Chuzon Supermarket, some of whom were still yelling for help on Monday night. Authorities inserted a large orange tube into the rubble to blow oxygen in the hope of helping people pinned there to breathe. DSWD to assist affected LGUs The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will provide assistance to the local government units (LGUs) so they could address the needs of the families and individuals affected by the earthquake. In an article from The Manila Bulletin, the social welfare agency has provided a total of P213,689.50 worth of assistance. However, the DSWD Central Office, field offices, and the National Resource Operations Center still have a total of P2,233,678,895.43 yet to be released. The data from the Disaster Response Management Bureau (DRMB) revealed that 358 families or 1,938 persons from five barangays in Pampanga, Zambales and Bataan were affected by the tectonic disaster. DRMB assessed that 67 houses were damaged — 54 were totally damaged and 13 were partially damaged. There were 245 families or 1,271 persons still staying in four evacuation centers, while 108 families or 648 individuals are staying with their relatives and friends. n

THE RISEN LORD. Devotees welcome Easter, after the clock strikes midnight, with the traditional “Salubong� (meeting) of Mama Mary and Jesus Christ at the Quiapo Church on Sunday, April 21. “Salubong� depicts the meeting of the risen Christ and His mother. PNA photo by Avito C. Dalan

Duterte’s China trip to yield...

PAGE A1 among Chinese consumers, businesses and investors, as well as the establishment of the Philippine Renminbi Trading Community, I believe now is the best time for our countries to engage in more cross-border activities to further grow our two economies,� he added. The Philippines and China may sign about five agreements covering education, anti-corruption, drug rehabilitation, official

development assistance and infrastructure on the sidelines of the BRF, according to Foreign Affairs assistant secretary Meynardo Montealegre earlier this week. Aside from attending the BRF, Duterte is expected to hold bilateral meetings with China President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang, as well. According to PhilStar, it is not clear if the issue over the West Philippine Sea would be dis-

cussed during the meetings. Former foreign affairs secretary Albert del Rosario and former ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales filed a lawsuit against Xi earlier this year for the destruction of marine resources and livelihood of Filipino fishermen in the West Philippine Sea. Hundreds of Chinese vessels have been circling Pag-asa, the largest of nine Philippine-controlled islets in the disputed Spratlys, reports have said. n

Philippines to become upper middle...

PAGE A1 ment. This year, as the bank celebrates its 75th year, we are proud to announce that the Philippines will achieve the status of an ‘upper middle-income’ nation ahead of schedule. The bank shares much credit for this achievement,� Dominguez said during the recent Philippine Day Forum held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington D.C. Under the Duterte administration, the government had aimed to transform the country into an upper middle-income status by 2022 and a high-income economy by 2040. Upper middle-income countries, based on the World Bank’s criteria for the fiscal year 2019, have a gross national income (GNI) per capita of $3,896 to $12,055. High-income countries, meanwhile, have a GNI per capita of $12,056 or more. Currently, the Philippines is classified as a lower middle-income country with GNI per capita of $996 to $3,895. Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia, however, has expressed confidence that

the Duterte administration would be able to achieve its goal ahead of target this year. “Today, the Philippines is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. Reaching this milestone in our development story 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,� Dominguez said. He noted that the country posted a gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate of 6.2 percent last year despite uncertainties caused by a looming trade war, a spike in world oil prices, and domestic inflation. He added that President Rodrigo Duterte had “delivered resoundingly� on his socioeconomic reform agenda which include tax reforms, improvements in the ease of doing business, a more transparent and responsive government, increased investments in human capital, and enhancement of peace and order. The decrease in crime volumes, the establishment of the

Bangsamoro Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao, the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program (CTRP), and the Build Build Build program demonstrated how the Duterte administration had delivered on its program of government, according to Dominguez. Additionally, he highlighted the other reforms that the Duterte administration has initiated like the passage of the New Central Bank Act and the Rice Tariffication Act, the establishment of a national ID system, and the creation of new platforms to minimize the cost of doing business. “These reforms should translate into even stronger resilience as we face the challenges of this year. Those challenges include the projected slowdown in global economic growth and rising fears of recession in the major industrial economies. By striving to make our economy more inclusive and our governance more responsive to the waves of technological change, we strive to continue building on our growth momentum,� Dominguez said. n

Canada working with PH for ‘timely...

PAGE A1 statement. This amendment sought to meet Canada’s obligations under the Basel Convention, an international treaty designed to reduce transfer of hazardous waste between nations. In the Nov. 2, 2016 issue of Canada Gazette Part II, the Canadian government cited the shipment of household recyclable materials to the Philippines in 2013. Ottawa noted that since the implementaion of the Export and Import of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Materials Regulations in 2005, some im-

porting or transit countries have been rufusing waste that were prohibited in their countries. However, the exported materials were not covered under Canadian regulations, usually because they were collected from housseholds. These wastes or recyclable materials were subject to the United Nations Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal (Basel Convention); consent was tehrefore required from the importing and transit countries before their transboundary movement. Canada vowed to work with

the Philippines in ensuring that the waste shipment will be “processed in an environmentally responsible way.� In 2017, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his country was committed to addressing the issue of waste from Canada that was shipped to the Philippines. More than 100 container vans of garbage arrived in the Philippines between 2013 to 2014. “I committed to him (Duterte) as much as I am committing to you that Canada is working hard to resolve the issue,� Trudeau said on the sidelines of the 2017 ASEAN Summit in Manila. n

DOJ backs OSG vs settlement on...


PAGE A1 “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 to the government that would get only $4 million from the proceeds from the sale of paintings 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 District Attorney of New York, and not in the Philippines, and so execution 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

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

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. (Edu Punay/Philstar.com)

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

President Rodrigo Duterte Malacañang photo

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 be destructive. “[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 ordered our ship to retreat, but China refused to follow. That is why they filed a case,” he added. By not honoring the deal, Beijing got the Scarborough Shoal under its control — which prompted the 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. ■

PAGE A1 ment. First, it’s illegal [to spy on Filipinos]. Under our laws, it cannot be allowed),” Robredo said during an interview on Wednesday, April 24. “Pero para sa pangulo, na siya mismo ang magsasabi na galing ito sa pag-eespiya ng ibang bansa, nakakatakot ito, hindi lang sa privacy kundi sa security natin bilang isang bansa (For the president to admit this has serious repercussion on our privacy and security),” she added. Robredo, a lawyer, did not mention any specific law. However, R.A. 4200 or the AntiWiretapping Act says that wiretapping, which is one possible method in espionage, is illegal. On Monday, April 22, a story ran by the chairman emeritus of a national broadsheet claimed that journalist Ellen Tordesillas, media organizations Rappler, the Phil-

ippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ), and lawyers’ group National Union of People’s Lawyers (NULP) are working to overthrow the government. Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo confirmed this report, which he said was done through the help of a foreign country. This was not the first time foreign governments allegedly helped the Duterte administration. After the release of the narcolist which involved local politicians, Panelo said the list was based on wiretapped conversations. He later recanted the statements, citing wrong choice of words. Robredo lamented that the government is allowing other countries to violate the privacy of its citizens.

“Gustong sabihin mas pinapaboran ba more than the Filipino citizens? ‘Di ba dapat kapag opisyal ka ng pamahalaan, iyong pinaka-pangunahing kailangan mong proteksyunan iyong mga tao, iyong mga Pilipino, dahil ito iyong mga umaasa at humihiling ng proteksyon laban sa iyo? (Does this mean that the government is favoring foreign governments more than its citizens? If you are a government official, isn’t it that your first duty is to protect your people, the Filipinos, because they depend on you?)” Robredo asked “Pero kapag hinahayaan mo na isang foreign government ang, parang, magva-violate ng ating karapatan sa privacy, masamang signal ito (But if they allow a foreign government to violate our privacy, this is a bad sign),” she claimed. ■




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

VP Leni Robredo: Allowing foreign...


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 Out-

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

reach 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 PAGE A4


Dateline USa

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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 safe-

ty 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

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. Philstar.com photo by Michael Varcas

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

WHO urges states to boost drive vs measles by Jovic

Yee Inquirer.net

The World health Organization (WhO) urged governments to intensify their campaigns on raising awareness on the importance of vaccination, especially since preliminary global data showed measles cases in the first quarter of the year had already risen by 300 percent. Based on WhO’s provisional data as of April, 112,163 measles cases have already been reported worldwide, an increase of around 300 percent from last year’s 28,124 cases. The top 10 countries that recorded a high number of measles cases are Madagascar, Ukraine, India, Brazil, the Philippines, Venezuela, Thailand, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, and Pakistan. According to the WhO, measles is “almost entirely preventable through two doses of a safe and effective vaccine.” But it can

still spread fast, especially if a lot of unvaccinated people are clustered in an area. In 2017, nearly 110,000 died from the disease. That is why the WhO recommended that governments tailor fit their approaches to ensure that everyone could be immunized. “Responding to measles requires a range of approaches to ensure all children get their vaccines on time, with particular attention to access, quality, and affordability of primary care services,” the WhO said. “It will also take effective public-facing communication and engagement on the critical importance of vaccination and the dangers of the diseases they prevent.” earlier, the Department of health (DOh) blamed the measles outbreak to the drop in the immunization rate due to the controversy surrounding the implementation of the anti-dengue

vaccine Dengvaxia. As of April 5 this year, the DOh recorded 28,362 measles cases nationwide, up from the over 6,000 cases recorded in the same period last year. To address the outbreak, the DOh mounted another round of supplemental immunization program targeting 3.8 million children aged 6 months to 59 months. The agency completed the vaccination of all these children last month, according to health Undersecretary Rolando enrique Domingo. A school-based immunization program for children in kinder to sixth grade was also mounted by the DOh. But due to the summer break, these kids will be inoculated instead in health centers. Domingo said that they would resume the program in schools in June to ensure that all children would be covered and protected from the disease. n

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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

LA mayor nominates Filipina to city’s Dept. of Water and Power board of commissioners

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 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 lowincome ratepayers could access financial assistance, discounts, and rebates offered by the utility. “susana has spent her life and career helping 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 currently 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

Susana Reyes

subject to City Council confirmation, will succeed Vasquez, who participated in her final board meeting on Tuesday. n

China to build moon station in ‘about 10 years’ BeIJINg plans to send a manned mission to the moon and to build a research station there within the next decade, state media reported on Wednesday, April 24, citing a top space official. China aims to achieve space superpower status and took a major step towards that goal when it became the first nation to land a rover on the far side of the moon in January. It now plans to build a scientific research station on the moon’s south pole within the next 10 years, China National space Administration head Zhang Kejian said during a speech marking “space Day,” the official Xinhua news agency reported. he also added that Beijing plans to launch a Mars probe

by 2020 and confirmed that a fourth lunar probe, the Chang’e5, will be launched by the end of the year. Originally scheduled to collect moon samples in the second half of 2017, the Chang’e-5 was delayed after its planned carrier, the powerful Long March 5 Y2 rocket, failed during a separate launch in July 2017. China on Wednesday also announced its Long March-5B rocket will make its maiden flight in the first half of 2020, carrying the core parts of a planned space station. The Tiangong—or “heavenly Palace”—will go into orbit in 2022, the China Manned space engineering Office said. It is set to replace the International space station—a col-

laboration between the United states, Russia, Canada, europe and Japan—which is due to be retired in 2024. Beijing last week also said it would launch an asteroid exploration mission and invited collaborators to place their experiments on the probe. The current Chang’e-4 moon lander carried equipment from germany, the Netherlands and sweden. China now spends more on its civil and military space programs than do Russia and Japan, and is second only to the United states. Although opaque, its 2017 budget was estimated at $8.4 billion by the Organization for economic Cooperation and Development. (ManilaTimes.net with reports from AFP)

Chinese clam poachers making ‘thousands... PAGE A1 scarborough, but struck a conciliatory tone saying Manila and Beijing should not go to war over clams. Replying to one of Locsin’s now-deleted tweets, gregory Poling, director of Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative, said that while Chinese clam poachers earn thousands of dollars, their activity has wiped out vast swaths of reefs — threatening food security in coastal areas. “The Chinese poachers aren’t eating them either. They can get thousands of dollars for each shell for jewelry & figurines. They toss the meat into the sea,” Poling said. “They’ve destroyed over 40,000 acres of reef via clam harvesting. That’s more than 10x as much as their island building killed,” he added. Ties between the Philippines and China have significantly improved under President Rodrigo Duterte, who has set aside a landmark ruling from a United Nations-backed tribunal that struck down Beijing’s “Nine Dash line” claim that encompasses most of the resource-rich sea. Duterte’s management of the maritime dispute has frustrated

Satellite image of Scarborough Shoal, a traditional fishing ground of Filipino, Chinese and Vietnamese fishermen. Philstar.com photo

nationalists, who criticized his seeming inaction towards China’s military buildup in the strategic waterway. In a report dated september 13, AMTI said the south China sea — which accounted for about 12% of global fish catch in 2015 — is “seriously threatened” by overfishing encouraged by government subsidies as well as harmful fishing practices. Meanwhile, large-scale clam harvesting and dredging for island construction in recent years destroyed over 160 square kilometers of coral reefs, which were already declining by 16 percent

per decade, AMTI also said. Citing the United Nations Convention on the Law of the sea, the U.s.-based think tank said the Philippines could work with other claimant nations on management of fish stocks without comprising its claims over the sea. It added that the only way to arrest the degradation of south China sea is through multilateral cooperation among claimants, which involved the creation and management of the fisheries zones “regardless of the location of their territorial and maritime claims.” (Ian Nicolas Cigaral/ Philstar.com)

The Philippine Consulate General in... PAGE A3 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. 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 Filipina American reporter for KPRC Ch2 News for NBC in Houston.)

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Dateline Pâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;False, hiliPPines wrongâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;: Ressa, Tordesillas, PCIJ on plot to oust Duterte by ritcheL

MendioLa AJPress

Hundreds of Chinese fishing vessels, which seem to be part of Chinaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s maritime militia, have been swarming the vicinity of Pag-asa Island and nearby islands in the West Philippine Sea. The military earlier said the foreign vessels might be monitoring rehabilitation efforts on Pag-asa Island. Photo from Google Maps

Philippines mulls declaring Pag-asa Island, Eastern Kalayaan marine protected areas by Patricia Lourdes Philstar.com


MANILA â&#x20AC;&#x201D; The Philippine government might declare Pag-asa (Thitu) Island and Eastern Kalayaan in the West Philippine Sea as marine protected areas. This statement comes after the reported harvesting of giant clams by Chinese vessels in the Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal, a traditional fishing ground off the coast of Zambales. National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. said declaring the concerned areas as marine protected would promote efforts towards environmental and marine biodiversity protection in the West Philippine Sea or South China Sea. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are now looking into the possibility of declaring Pag-asa Island and Eastern Kalayaan as Marine Protected Areas. These areas are within the Philippine Exclusive Economic Zone,â&#x20AC;? Esperon said in a statement released on Wednesday, April 24. Esperon also stressed that extraction of giant clams or Taklobos in the Scarborough Shoal is illegal and affects the biodiversity, as well as communities surrounding it. He pointed out that the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources had declared Taklobos as

endangered species. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Taklobos are part of the ecosystem that sustains the food security not only for the Filipinos, but for the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s people, as well,â&#x20AC;? the National Security Adviser said. The Cabinet official noted that the Philippine government had taken diplomatic and legal actions to address illegal fishing, poaching and environmental abuse in the West Philippine Sea. On the presence of Chinese fishing boats in the vicinity of Pag-asa Island and nearby islands, Esperon said the government continues to monitor the presence of foreign vessels in the area. Hundreds of Chinese vessels, believed to be part of Chinaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s maritime militia, were seen loitering in the area of Pag-asa Island while the Philippines conducts rehabilitation efforts on the island, which is one of the largest features in the Spratly chain. Echoing the Department of Foreign Affairsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; previous statement, Esperon pointed out that the presence of Chinese vessels in Philippine waters, whether for military, fishing or other purposes, is â&#x20AC;&#x153;illegal and a clear violation of our sovereign rights and economic jurisdiction as defined in the UNCLOS.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;We maintain that the Kalayaan Island Group, and all the

features in the West Philippine Sea, are subject to the effective and exclusive control and management of the Philippines,â&#x20AC;? Esperon said. The Philippines will undertake diplomatic actions on illegal activities in the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s exclusive economic zone. Esperon also mentioned that this might be brought up in the scheduled bilateral meeting between President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the second Belt and Road Forum in Beijing this week. The Duterte administration will also â&#x20AC;&#x153;remain steadfastâ&#x20AC;? on the 2016 ruling of a United Nationsbacked tribunal on the South China Sea dispute. Almost three years ago, the arbitral tribunal ruled that China violated its commitment under the UNCLOS upon constructing artificial islands in the Philippinesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; exclusive economic zone. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Even as we pursue friendly and diplomatic relations with other nations, the Philippinesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; sovereign rights remains nonnegotiable. We will continue to assert our rights over the territorial seas, guided by the Arbitral award, the irreversible and permanent statutes of international law, including the UNCLOS,â&#x20AC;? Esperon said. n


NEWS chiefs Maria Ressa of Rappler and Ellen Tordesillas of Vera Files on Monday, April 22, slammed MalacaĂąang after the release of a matrix linking them and other journalists to an alleged plot to oust President Rodrigo Duterte. MalacaĂąang revealed that theâ&#x20AC;&#x153;Oust-Duterteâ&#x20AC;? 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 information on Monday but The Manila Times already published the report. According to Ressa, the report was â&#x20AC;&#x153;garbage.â&#x20AC;? In a tweet, she said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s embarrassing for supposed â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;intelligenceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; using i2 analyst notebook software to make fantasies look plausible. Go back to the drawing board. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve worked with many good folks in PH intelligence. Sad to see them reduced to garbage. Yet another Palace ploy to harass journalists.â&#x20AC;? She also denied receiving an email from Vera Filesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Tordesillas like the report claimed, saying they havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t talked in years. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bad when the government lies through its paid PR to manip-

ulate its people. They should also get it through their heads that I do not run day-to-day editorial. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been years since Ellen and I have even emailed each other. Good God,â&#x20AC;? Ressa said. Tordesillas also denied the allegations, saying they were â&#x20AC;&#x153;downright false.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;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,â&#x20AC;? 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 â&#x20AC;&#x153;wrong on many points.â&#x20AC;? The news agency also said it never received any email from Tordesillas regarding the so-called narco list video of Bikoy â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the anonymous witness in a viral video that linked Duterteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s family to illegal drugs. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The video was posted on YouTube from where the news media and citizens got to watch it. That is where the so-called â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;cybercrime expertsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; of the unnamed â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;highly placed source in the Office of the presidentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; should look instead,â&#x20AC;? PCIJ said. It also called out The Manila Times and said its story â&#x20AC;&#x153;offers tacit admission that these â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;experts,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; apparently working with the Office of the President, had

by nestor

corraLes Inquirer.net

SAN FERNANDO CITY, Pampanga â&#x20AC;&#x201D; President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday, April 23, said he would let rich businessmen to spend for the full restoration of war-torn Marawi City. The president issued this remark as he admitted that he would not be able to restore the Islamic City to its state before the Marawi siege that devastated the area. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think that I should be spending for their buildings,â&#x20AC;? he said in a situation briefing at the provincial capitol here following the strong quake that hit parts of Luzon late Monday, April 22.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;The people there have a lot of money,â&#x20AC;? the President said in Filipino, referring to businessmen. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Every Maranao, there is a businessman. Those who are into shabu are included. They have money. The debate there is whether I would be also building the same kind that they lost. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think I am ready for that.â&#x20AC;? Despite these remarks, the president commended the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) for the housing units in Marawi City. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The thing I admired most was the speed that you built the houses in Marawi,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But the informal settlers, the squatters so to speak, what Del Rosario did for them was really good.

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Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sturdy, it can stand another whatever.â&#x20AC;? He was referring to Eduardo del Rosario, HUDCC chair. The President said the Marawi siege was a â&#x20AC;&#x153;man-madeâ&#x20AC;? calamity. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was bound to happen because of what they were doing there,â&#x20AC;? he said. The government has allocated P67.99 billion for the rehabilitation of Marawi., which started in October 2018 after months of delay. Homegrown Maute terrorists laid siege to Marawi on May 23, 2017, prompting a battle between Islamic State-inspired combatants and government troops for five months. n

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invaded the privacy of the emails and correspondence of journalists now being singled out.â&#x20AC;? Meanwhile, Rappler said the report was an example of â&#x20AC;&#x153;how not to write an investigative report or even straight news.â&#x20AC;? In a statement, the news site said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;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.â&#x20AC;? n




Philstar.com photo

Duterte to let rich businessmen spend for full Marawi rehab



Rappler CEO Maria Ressa


Thursday, July 18, 2019


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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)


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-


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.

Philstar.com photo

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

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 Kush-

ner 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 provide 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 ap-

pointment 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.

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


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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Duterte to issue dismissal letters vs corrupt officials â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;PH faces disinformation crisisâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;

MANILA â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Many officials tagged in irregularities are about to lose their posts, President Rodrigo Duterte said, as he complained about the corruption in the Philippines that â&#x20AC;&#x153;seeps down to the core.â&#x20AC;? Speaking during a conference of doctors in Pasay last Tuesday, April 23, Duterte said he would fire the officials before he leaves for China to attend the second Belt and Road Forum. The president departed for Beijing on Wednesday, April 24, but MalacaĂąang has not made an announcement about the dismissed officials as of this writing. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m going to work for the next three years. But if you ask me if Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m happy with the job, I am not because of so many corruption and I have to fire. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m leaving for China, and before that I will leave so many letters of dismissal,â&#x20AC;? Duterte said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Corruption is really â&#x20AC;&#x201D; seeps down on the core. You have to have something more than just a warning. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m the only president who...

beats up people. You can ask the security guards,â&#x20AC;? he added. Duterte said corruption is one of the problems that made him regret running during the 2016 presidential election. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Maybe it was a very stupid decision. But if you ask me now in the hindsight, in a hindsight, when I think of the moment I decided to run, that I regret,â&#x20AC;? Duterte said. Last October, Duterte admitted he had offered to quit during a military command conference because he could not punish all corrupt officials. Duterte: Avoid Zamboanga Aside from corruption, another problem hounding the country is the presence of armed groups that pose a threat to public safety, the president said. He warned tourists not to go to Zamboanga because of the threats posed by Abu Sayyaf, a local terrorist group that has pledged loyalty to the extremist Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There is a certain place which I

would not recommend to anybody to go there, not just as yet - is Zamboanga,â&#x20AC;? the president said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Some Europeans go there for a bird-watching. And they are captured; and eventually they are decapitated even after the payment of ransom. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the ISIS actually. It used to be the Abu Sayyaf - itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a band of brigands but now itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an Abu Sayyaf territory,â&#x20AC;? he added. Duterte claimed the Abu Sayyaf do nothing but â&#x20AC;&#x153;to kill and destroyâ&#x20AC;? because of a â&#x20AC;&#x153;corruptâ&#x20AC;? interpretation of Islam. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a mass insanity,â&#x20AC;? he added. Duterte warned criminals that they do not have a â&#x20AC;&#x153;monopoly of the evil in the worldâ&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t even think of it. In front of the people of the Republic of the Philippines, again, I will say, I will kill you. Period. No apologies, no nothing. I love my country. You know, not everybody can be president of this republic,â&#x20AC;? he added. (Philstar.com)

The psychology of the Filipino: navigating...

PAGE A6 among many other immigrant and ethnic diaspora groups. Throughout my stint at Asian Journal, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;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 â&#x20AC;&#x153;Americanizationâ&#x20AC;? of the culture. Nadal posited that the colonial mentality shared among Filipinos â&#x20AC;&#x201D; usually unconsciously â&#x20AC;&#x201D; involves an ethnic inferiority complex which triggers the need to assimilate with the majority, which, in this case, is Americana. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s why so many second-generation Filipino Americans donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know the mother language, Nadal explained. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the reason thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s often a distance between this generation of Filipino Americans and so many aspects of the moth-

er culture (save for the cuisine, of course) from the slow curtailment of teaching younger generations Tagalog to the overwhelming popularity of skin-lightening. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Yeah, she didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t take to it quite well, to put it lightly,â&#x20AC;? 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, â&#x20AC;&#x153;You donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t need that. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re fine. We raised you well, and you havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t been through what I have and I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t need therapy. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not crazy.â&#x20AC;? She said that she felt invalidated, like what she was going through was so minuscule it didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t warrant such â&#x20AC;&#x153;drastic measures.â&#x20AC;? 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

LEGAL NA PAUNAWA LUNGSOD NG NORTH LAS VEGAS 2019 PANGKALAHATANG MUNISIPAL NA HALALAN ANG PAUNAWA NA ITO AY NAGBIBIGAY NANG KAALAMAN na ang Lungsod ng North Las Vegas Pangkalahatang Halalan ay gaganapin sa Martes, Ika-11 ng Hunyo, 2019 para sa mga sumusunod na tanggapan: MIYEMBRO KONSEHO NG LUNGSOD PUROK 4 4-NA TAONG TERMINO Richard Cherchio Pete Shields Ang Maagang Botohan ay magsisimula sa 9:00 N.U. sa Sabado, Ika-25 ng Mayo, 2019 at magsasara sa Biyernes, Ika-7 ng Hunyo, 2019 sa 6:00 N.G. (maliban kung mayroong ibaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ng naka sulat) sa mga sumusunod na lugar: LUNGSOD NG NORTH LAS VEGAS MGA LUGAR NANG MAAGANG BOTOHAN BUKAS SA BUONG 2 LINGGO PETSA Sabado, Ika-25 ng Mayo hanggang Biyernes, Ika-7 ng Hunyo



9:00 N.U. â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 6:00 N.G.

Deer Springs Town Center N. 5th St/W. Dorrell Ln (Treyler sa Paradahan)



Sabado, Ika-25 ng Mayo hanggang Lunes, Ika-27 ng Mayo


9:00 N.U. â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 6:00 N.G.

Albertsons 3010 W. Ann Rd Ann/Simmons

Martes, Ika-28 ng Mayo

9:00 N.U. â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 4:00 N.G.

Skyview YMCA 3050 E. Centennial Pkwy

Miyerkules, Ika-29 ng Mayo hanngang Huwebes, Ika-30 ng Mayo

9:00 N.U. 6:00 N.G.

Biyernes, Ika-31 ng hanggang Lunes, Ika-3 ng Hunyo

9:00 N.U. â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 6:00 N.G.

Skyview YMCA 3050 E. Centennial Pkwy North Mesa Plaza 1601 W. Craig Rd (Treyler sa Paradahan)

by Catherine

Modesto ManilaTimes.net

THE Philippines is facing a â&#x20AC;&#x153;disinformation crisisâ&#x20AC;? and a decline in democratic rule, according to former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales. Morales, in her keynote address at the 2nd Conference on Democratic Decay and Disinformation in the Digital Age in Taguig City, said lawyers who allowed themselves to be used by clients to propagate lies were â&#x20AC;&#x153;partly responsible for the decay in democracy.â&#x20AC;? She also took a swipe at the members of the judiciary who no longer look at the merits of the case. The countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s democratic quotient had turned â&#x20AC;&#x153;from bad to worse because Filipinos have not asserted their rights, are scared to death and have subscribed to Machiavellianism,â&#x20AC;? Morales said. She urged the judiciary and the citizenry to â&#x20AC;&#x153;treat the sick democracy.â&#x20AC;? Ellen Tordesillas, president of independent media organization and third-party Facebook factchecker VERA Files said President Rodrigo Duterte was a product of disinformation and â&#x20AC;&#x153;proof that it has reached a crisis level.â&#x20AC;? Tordesillas said in the 2016 presidential elections, Duterte â&#x20AC;&#x201D; through the help of his presidential campaign social media strategist, Nic Gabunada â&#x20AC;&#x201D; turned from an underdog to frontrunner by using Facebook and Twitter. VERA Files, which is certified by U.S.-based International FactChecking Network in Poynter Institute, noted in December 2018 that online disinformation, â&#x20AC;&#x153;particularly its use in partisan political activity, grew sharply

Former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales

ManilaTimes.net photo

after 2016.â&#x20AC;? Tordesillas said an analysis of 193 online posts from April to October 2018 found that disinformation was â&#x20AC;&#x153;overwhelmingly politicalâ&#x20AC;? and the target was mostly Vice President Maria Leonor â&#x20AC;&#x153;Leniâ&#x20AC;? Robredo and Sen. Ana Theresia â&#x20AC;&#x153;Risaâ&#x20AC;? Hontiveros Baraquel. The Facebook pages that posted political issues â&#x20AC;&#x153;almost always rely on deception strategies that are crude in execution but are effective in stirring up strong emotions that reinforce deep-rooted biases,â&#x20AC;? a post from the VERA Files said. Steven Butler, Asia program coordinator of U.S.-based Committee to Protect Journalists, warned against the wide ramifications of disinformation and intimidation by means of social media. He admitted that things â&#x20AC;&#x153;could be worse before they could be better particularly because the elections are approaching and that creates tremendous danger for any journalist anywhere in the world.â&#x20AC;? He noted that across Asia and

in some European countries, governments were trying to legislate criminal penalties for fake news, â&#x20AC;&#x153;even if the governments are often the source of what is considered to be fake news.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is likely to be turning into a new form of censorship,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are just at the early stage of finding the means and tools for combating fake information,â&#x20AC;? he added. Sherwin de Vera, a reporter from the Northern Dispatch, said disinformation in the country had affected the right to free speech and the right to organize protests. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have covered stories wherein peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s organizations were victims of the disinformation campaign. Eventually they were forced to stop,â&#x20AC;? de Vera said. In Ilocos Sur, leaders of an organization that successfully stopped a dam project by the National Irrigation Administration two years ago were branded as rebels or New Peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Army supporters. The military later put up a camp in the area, he added. n

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. â&#x20AC;&#x153;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.,â&#x20AC;? one of the panelists said during a workshop on improving family communication around â&#x20AC;&#x153;lifeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s toughest challenges.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;It is not to talk about this when PAGE A6 as their emblem and signature. itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s already too late, and those parameters exist for every single whole abetted Aquino all the way They tried substituting â&#x20AC;&#x153;whiteâ&#x20AC;? in in his acts of irresponsibility and the hope of signifying a measure person,â&#x20AC;? he said. For those in need of mental indifference. Their names are in of purification. But it was no dice. health services, you can consult the record as accomplices and The public would not buy the anyour primary care physician for recipients of bribes and other in- tics. No one said â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;I am sorryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; further resources. The LA County ducements. Through these appalling 3. After their defeat in the 2016 Department of Mental Health offers access to resources, as well -- elections, the Liberals tried a stra- events, my research team and I - visit their website at https://dmh. tegic withdrawal. They dropped found most remarkable that not a lacounty.gov or call them at their Liberal Party as their name of single Aquino official or LP lead24/7 Help hotline at (800) 854- choice, and tried some novel er came out publicly to say that names like Tindig. They buried he or she was sorry about Mama7771. If you or someone you know â&#x20AC;&#x153;Tuwid na Daanâ&#x20AC;? (straight path) sapano, or about the DAP bribes. For what happened in Mais contemplating suicide, please as their party battle cry, and hope masapano, most were only concall the National Suicide Hotline â&#x20AC;&#x153;Otso Diretsoâ&#x20AC;? will catch fire. And then most fateful of all, cerned about distancing themat (800) 273-8255. For emergenthey dropped the color yellow selves from the tragedy. cies, always dial 9-1-1. n

For Mamasapano and DAP, no one has...

Martes, Ika-4 ng Hunyo 4 hanggang Huwebes, Ika -6 ng Hunyo

11:00 N.U. â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 7:00 N.G.

Aliante Library 2400 W. Deer Springs Way @ North Aliante Pkwy

Biyernes, Ika-7 ng Hunyo

9:00 N.U. â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 5:00 N.H.

Aliante Library 2400 W. Deer Springs Way @ North Aliante Pkwy

MANLILIBAN NA BALOTA MGA KAHILINGAN NA TARHETA ay maaaring makuha sa North Las Vegas Tanggapan ng Lungsod ng Kawani para sa nasabing, Pangkalahatang Halalan sa 2250 Las Vegas Blvd North, Suite 800, North Las Vegas, Nevada, 89030, o tumawag sa (702) 633-1030. Ang lahat nang mga nakasulat na kahilingan para sa manliliban na balota ay dapat maisagawa sa 5:00 n.h. sa Martes, Ika-4 ng Hunyo, 2019. ANG PANGKALAHATANG HALALAN ay naka takda sa Martes, Ika-11 ng Hunyo, 2019 ay gaganapin sa pamamaraan alinsunod sa batas ng Estado ng Nevada at North Las Vegas. Ang mga botante ay hindi na kinakailangang bumoto sa isang nakatakadang lugar ng botohan sa loob ng kanilang distrito. Sa halip, ang mga botante ay maaaring bumoto sa kahit na saang lugar ng botohan sa North Las Vegas o Lalalawigan ng Clark sentro nang botohan na lokasyon kasama na rin ang mga nasa Boulder City at Las Vegas; tignan ang halimbawang balota para sa mga petsa, oras at iba pang lokasyon. Ang mga Lugar nang Botohan ay magbubukas sa 7:00 n.u hanggang 7:00 n.g. sa mga sumusunod na lugar:

In the DAP scandal, the Liberals 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, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I am sorry.â&#x20AC;? (ManilaTimes.net)






Aliante Library

2400 W. Deer Springs Way, North Las Vegas, NV 89084

Clifford O. Findlay Middle School

333 W. Tropical Parkway, North Las Vegas, NV 89031

Don E. Hayden Elementary School

150 W. Rome Boulevard, North Las Vegas, NV 89084

Skyview YMCA

3050 E. Centennial Pkwy, North Las Vegas, NV 89081

Sun City Aliante Community Center

7390 Aliante Pkwy, North Las Vegas, NV 89084 (Treyler sa Paradahan)





Para sa karagdagang kaalaman, pinapakiusap na makipag-ugnayan sa North Las Vegas Tanggapan ng Kawani ng Lungsod sa (702) 633-1030, o sa tanggapan ng Lalawigan ng Clark Kagawaran ng Halalan sa (702) 455-7871. Pinetsahan: Ika-16 ng Abril, 2019 Catherine A. Raynor, MMC Kawani ng Lungsod Lungsod ng North Las Vegas Inilathala Asian Journal: Ika-18 ng Abril at Ika-25 ng Abril, 2019



April 25-mAy 1, 2019 • lAS VEGAS ASiAN JOUrNAl

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Journal 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 nonmembers 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.” 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 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 individuals 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

Jej Vinson

Photo from Instagram/@jejvinson

Fil-Am singer advances to next round of ‘The Voice’ by Jan

Milo Severo Philstar.com

America. I’m so excited to move on with #teamkelly!!! To everyone FILIPINO American Jej Vinson who voted for me and believed in has advanced to the next round of me since my blind audition, thank “The Voice US” after beating LB you thank you thank you!!! Words Crew in the show’s Cross Battle can’t even express how grateful I am rn,” Jej tweeted after making round. “TOP 24!! Thank you so much PAGE B3

Christine L. Villa

superficial attributes matter more, it is so easy to be envious of other people, to whine about 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 PAGE B2 Reneé Dominique Photo from Instagram/@heyimrenee

Jason Mraz Photo from Instagram/@jason_mraz

Jason Mraz collaborates with Pinoy artist Reneé Dominique

website Push, Jason said Renee will join him in his Manila concert Philstar.com next month and his Manila audiINTERNATIONAL artist Jason ence will have the first opportunity Mraz is set to release a single in to hear the song live. collaboration with Filipina singer “She’ll be joining me at the Reneé Dominique. concert in Manila so we can In a report by entertainment PAGE B3 by Jan

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

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.

Milo Severo


B april 25-May 1, 2019 • laS VEGaS aSiaN JOUrNal

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3 Filipino dishes land in Top 500 Coco Martin slams bashers amid ‘memorable eating experiences’ of Julia Montes’ rumored childbirth travellers, foodies worldwide by Jan

milo Severo Philstar.com

by Bernadette

tamayo ManilaTimes.net

THREE Filipino dishes — sisig, halo-halo, and adobo — made it to the latest edition of the Lonely Planet Ultimate Eatlist, a compilation of the world’s top 500 “memorable eating experiences.” “Filipino food doesn’t get a lot of international play compared with other Asian cuisines. And that’s unfortunate as anyone who has tasted sisig knows,” stated an entry on the iconic Kapampangan pork dish. Sisig is ranked highest among the other Filipino dishes in the list. The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said the list was drawn up by the Lonely Planet community of travellers and foodies. The entries were evaluated by a panel of 20 chefs and food writers and was ranked based on taste, cultural significance, and uniqueness of location. Philippine Ambassador to the United Kingdom Antonio Lagdameo said, “The world has yet to fully discover Filipino cuisine.” “At the Embassy, we share the Filipino community’s insatiable appetite to show the world what

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 Sisig they are missing an exciting culi- as strengthening ties with the anak ang kanilang mga magulang nary experience when they miss growing number of Filipino food mag sumikap sa kanilang trabaho out on Filipino food,” Lagdameo advocates to engaging the UK’s at mag aral ng mabuti mas inilalaan nila ang oras at panahon culinary tastemakers. said. The spike in the number of nila para pag usapan ang buhay He said that since 2018, the embassy through its Cultural Filipino restaurants, pop-ups, and ng ibang tao para manira,” he Diplomacy Unit, has initiated supper clubs in the UK, for exam- added. Though he did not mention the various efforts to promote Filipino ple, shows the growing interest in issue surrounding Julia, Coco said food in the UK and Ireland such Filipino food in the region. that his silence on the issue will not make him a coward because people lead different lives and he

Coco Martin

wants to run his life the way that he is running it. “Ang hindi ko pagkibo at hindi pagpatol sa mga bagay na hindi kauunlad ng ating bayan ay hindi kabaklaan at kaduwagan may kanya kanya tayong buhay at tayo ang may dedesisyon kung pano natin patatakbuhin ito at sa aking palagay wala akong nagawang masama sayo kung sino kaman hindi ko 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

ABS-CBN photo

tayo ng ibang kapakipaki nabang na paguusapan para sa ating lipunan para may maiambag nman tayo sa ating bayan!” he said. “Salamat sa pagbigay mo ng panahon para pagusapan ang buhay ko. Ang trabaho ko ay umarte at bigyan ng buhay ang mga character na ginagampanan ko. tahimik po ako na nagtatrabaho at namumuhay kaya mas makakabuti siguro ang buhay mo nalang ang ikwento mo sigurado ako mas intersante ang buhay mo!” he added. He closed his statement with: “Sana lang bago ka mawala sa mundo alam mo sasarili mo na may naibahagi kang kabutihan sa iyong kapwa hindi puro paninira! Pasensya kana ang desisyon ko ay panatiliin tahimik ang buhay ko at sana naiintindihan mo!!! God bless...”

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 actor-host 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 ManilaTimes.net photos 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 Luis Manzano and Jessy Mendiola years already. Photo from Instagram/@senorita_jessy

Teaching kids a deeper appreciation...

PAGE B1 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.”

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

She also was fortunate enough to work with U! Happy Events (www.uhappyevents.com), a nonprofit 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 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.

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


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Ai-Ai says managing Ex Battalion Fil-Canadian YouTube star Mikey Bustos comes out gives her a headache . . . at times by niñA

Guno Inquirer.net

by AllAn

PolicArPio Inquirer.net

By combining catchy, accessible rap music with videos that highlight its members’ cheeky, unfiltered humor, the hip-hop collective Ex Battalion rose to internet fame, with its official youTube page so far amassing almost 1.5 million subscribers and more than 470 million views. Ex B’s success online recently led to a big acting opportunity for its six core rappers: Daryl Ruiz (Skusta Clee), Jon Gutierrez (King Badger), Mark Maglasang (Bosx1ne), James Samonte (James Brando), Archie dela Cruz (Flow G) and John Mangabang (Emcee Rhenn). And as the boys cross over into mainstream show biz through Viva Entertainment’s coming comedy film “Sons of Nanay Sabel,” they quickly realized that it’s an entirely different world from the one they’re used to. “In creating videos for the internet, anything goes, pretty much; we can be more spontaneous. We can say things that are more explicit. But for this film, we had to undergo workshops. There’s a script we have to follow, and we have to deliver certain facial expressions,” Skusta Clee told the Inquirer at a recent press conference for the “Sons,” which opens on May 1. “Our music and what we do online are our passion, so they just come out naturally,” added Flow G, who, together with his Ex B mates, came up with the viral rap hit, “Hayaan Mo Sila.” Directed by Dado Lumibao, the film follows Sabel (Ai-Ai delas Alas) and her funny exploits, as she tries to locate her estranged sons (Ex B) and make up for lost time. “We were admittedly scared at first because this isn’t our world,” said James, who admitted that many of them required over 10 takes to nail some of their scenes. “To be honest, I wanted to quit on the first day,” jested Emcee Rhenn. “But as filming went on,

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. 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. This morning, April 23, Bustos shared a heartwarming message of gratitude on his social media accounts. Sharing a shirtless picture of himself with a sticker of rainbow sunglasses over his eyes, he said, “Thank you for the outpouring of love, guys. @Appleboyrj (RJ Garcia) and I see all your messages and never in our wildest Ai-Ai delas Alas (center) and Kylie Versoza (top center) with Ex Battalion Inquirer.net photo dreams would have imagined the amount of support coming in from we learned how to enjoy the ex- pen, what are the consequences all corners of cyberspace, media, of our actions.” perience.” and the world!” Ai-Ai quipped that managing Flow G credits Ai-Ai and Direk Dado for guiding him and the oth- Ex Battalion can indeed be a headache at times. ers through the process. “your children aren’t always in “We had no experience going in; we’re no good at acting. But the best of moods, but you accept they continued to encourage and that because you’re their mom. Minsan, mabu-buwisit ka, then challenge us,” he said. The six are currently managed you will love them again,” said by Ai-Ai, whom they fondly call Ai-Ai, who admitted that there Mama Ai. More than the acting had been times when she wanted tips, the rappers appreciate how to let them go. “But, I have to be understandthe seasoned comedienne guides them in navigating the entertain- ing because I brought them to a different world,” she pointed out. ment industry. “Never did we think that “And besides, you can’t deny that we will be starring in our own they’re good at what they do—rapDingdong Dantes movie,” Skusta Clee related. ping and writing music.” Photo from Instagram/@dongdantes “We tend to be impulsive, but she tries to temper that. She explained to us the dos and don’ts in show biz.” But because Ai-Ai and Ex B had completely different backgrounds, misunderstandings, James admitted, were inevitable. “Sometimes, she would ask us to do something a certain way. But matigas ang ulo namin and would insist on doing it our way. There have been clashes, but later on, we realize that what she was doing was for our own good,” he said. “But the good thing about her is that she doesn’t impose. She just warns us what could hap-

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 top-rated 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 myself. I told him, ‘Whenever I have a scene with you, I go into fan

Christian Bables

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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.

Fil-Am singer advances to... PAGE B1 it to Top 24. The Davao native sang Bruno Mars’ “Versace On The Floor” on the Cross Battle Round, prompting the American audience to vote for him to advance to the Top 24 of the reality singing competition. Jej moved to South Dakota with his family at the age of 15. At 18 years old, he went to Los Angeles in search for a career and to study to become a nurse. Jej then switched from nursing to music at University of South-

ern California, where he joined the award-winning acapella group SoCal VoCals as musical director. For him, performing for former President Barack Obama and then First Lady Michelle Obama in the White House was one of the highlights of his young career. Apart from Luther Vandross, Stevie Wonder, Beyonce and Brian McKnight, Jej’s vocal inspirations include local talents such as Daryl Ong, Morissette Amon and Regine Velasquez.

Jason Mraz collaborates with...


perform our song together which is very exciting,” Jason told Push. Renee rose to fame due to her own rendition of Keane’s “Somewhere Only We Know,” which has now almost six million views on youTube. She also has her own covers such as “Leaving On A Jetplane,” Can’t Take My Eyes of you,” and a mash-up, “What A Wonderful

World and Can’t Help Falling In Love,” to name a few. Jason described Renee’s voice as “angelic” and “heavenly.” “She’s an artist on the rise,” Jason said, adding: “It didn’t sound connected to any particular region on the planet.” Their collaboration will be released this summer in U.S. Jason will be performing at the Mall of Asia Arena on May 8 as part of his ongoing world tour.

Mikey Bustos with his partner and manager RJ Garcia

“It’s 2019 (as my dad put it when I came out to him a few weeks ago), and a great time to be alive [as part of the] LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Transgender, Bisexual) [community].” “Happy for you guys!” wrote Erwan Heussaff. youTube singer AJ Rafael responded with heart emoji, while Fil-Am dancer Domi-

Photo from Instagram/@mikey_bustos

nic Sandoval, a.k.a. D-Trix, said, “I love this and I love you, bro! Congrats to you both!” Bustos is a singer and 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.

Dingdong Dantes is ‘Big Boss’ in ‘Descendants of the Sun’ remake by Krissy

AGuilAr Inquirer.net

DINGDONG Dantes will play “Big Boss” or Captain yoo Si-jin in the remake of South Korean drama “Descendants of the Sun.” GMA Network announced the news as Dantes renewed his contract on Monday, April 22. The role was originally played by Song Joong-ki and he was paired with actress Song Hye-kyo. Other casts of the upcoming remake have yet to be revealed. “Descendants of the Sun” first aired in 2016.

B april 25-May 1, 2019 • laS VEGaS aSiaN JOUrNal


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How Jake Cuenca handled the nastiest rumor about him by DOlly

anne Carvajal Inquirer.net

Tom Taus

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. Photo from Instagram/@tomtaus 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 he was 40. He [listens to] ’50s, things have been thrown at me. But ’60s and ’70s music. My sister as long as I know the truth, no one (Antoinette) is a big influence; can tell me otherwise. she loves music so much—Earth, Wind & Fire, Britney Spears, Alicia Keys. She always has good music for me.” Now based in Xiamen, the artTHIS week marks the much ist-performer usually drops by the awaited premiere of a fresh Philippines once a month. television tandem between top, “I come back for shows and versatile actors Jennylyn Mergo to Pampanga to see my dad,” cado and Gabby Concepcion. A said Tom, who has played at U.S. romantic-comedy titled “Love venues such as Avalon Hollywood You Too,” the series airs tonight and the Playboy Mansion. on GMA Network’s primetime On the acting work he’s proud- line-up. est of, Tom enthused, “I could say Mercado, who has won a nummaybe a German TV-movie or a ber of awards for her engaging movie for HBO, but I would say portrayal in box-office rom-com ‘Cedie,’ because I see how much movies like “English Only Please” it impacted people. I didn’t real- and “Just the Three of Us,” ize that until now that I’m older. confessed at the show’s media When I was making the movie, I launch before the Easter break was having fun—[people tell me] that she was starstruck when she how much it made them feel good, first worked with ‘80s matinee how they connected with it, and idol and perennial leading manit’s such a beautiful story.” material Concepcion. Biggest break “I was very nervous on set His favorite gig, so far? He dis- and nabubulol-bulol pa ako sa closed, “Ultra is one of the biggest dialogue ko,” she laughed. “But music festivals in the world. Few eventually we became more and festivals are really considered ‘the more comfortable on the set kahit big boys,’ and Ultra’s one of them. na hindi ko pa rin mapaniwalaan [The 2015 fest in Japan] was my na leading man ko na yung dating biggest break.” pinapanood at hinahangaan ko And, he aims to keep going. lang sa TV at sa pelikula!” “I’ve been a full-time DJ since I Concepcion on the other hand was 19 years old likens working with one of this —just ‘gig-ing’ and learning generation’s most sought after the ropes in Hollywood and all leading ladies to winning the the clubs there,” Tom recounted. lottery. “This is where life is taking me; it’s “I’m very blessed to be workstill a good ride!” ing 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.



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



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: “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 opening act for artists David Guetta and Ariana Grande in their Philippine concerts. “I listen to everything. I love all kinds of music,” he said, when asked about his influences. Tom enumerated, apart from Nirvana and Metallica: Blur, Guns N’ Roses, Coldplay (“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

At this point in your career, 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

Jake Cuenca Photo from Instagram/@juancarloscuenca

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.

New beginnings mean a new show for Jennylyn and Gabby

Gabby Concepcion and Jennylyn Mercado team up for ‘Love You Too.’


GMA photo

Very close, the 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 “telepelikula” with the use of the latest technology in videography. (ManilaTimes.net)


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Your Immigration Solution ATTY. MARIDEX E. ABRAHAM IF you are a professional, skilled or unskilled worker, you may be admitted to the United States under the employment-based, third preference visa category (EB-3). Under the EB-3 preference category, a person with a full-time job offer from a U.S. employer is eligible for permanent resident status (green card) if certain criteria are met. The EB-3 visa is available to three categories of workers: professionals, skilled workers, and unskilled workers. A professional is a person whose job requires at least a bachelor’s degree from a U.S. college institution or a foreign equivalent. Professionals include doctors, lawyers, engineers, nurses, physical therapists and teachers. A skilled worker is someone who might not have a college degree but has at least two (2) years of job experience or training. A skilled worker typically has knowledge in a specific skill or trade, such as auto mechanics, graphic designers, electricians, law enforcement officers, and computer technicians. Finally, an unskilled worker performs labor that requires less than two years of training or job experience. The “other workers” EB-3 job category is available for individuals performing unskilled labor that is not of a temporary or seasonal nature. Unskilled workers include housekeepers, farm workers, custodians, line operators and construction workers. To be eligible for a green card in the EB-3 preference category, you must have a job offer for full-time employment from a

Immigrant Living: 101 and Beyond MONETTE ADEVA MAGLAYA (Sixteenth of a series) 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

Health@Heart PHILIP S. CHUA, MD, FACS, FPCS THE current resurgence of measles in the United States is alarming. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that as of April 11, 2019, there were 555 new cases in 20 states, 359 of which were in New York. This is the second highest (667 cases in 2014) since it was “eradicated” in 2000. Globally, there has been a 300 percent increase in 2019 (112,163 cases) compared to 2018 (28,124 cases) in 170 countries. When was measles first discovered? Zakariya Razi, a Persian physician-philosopher was the one who described measles in the 9th century. In 1954 researchers Dr. Thomas C. Peebles and Dr. John F. Enders isolated the virus during the outbreak among Massachusetts students, which subsequently enabled the development of the measles vaccine in 1963. Past data


Permanent resident status Calendar of Events across based on employment U.S. company. You do not need to show that you are currently working at the company, only that the company plans to hire you after you receive your green card. You must also show that you intend to work for the petitioning employer after you receive your green card. One of the first steps in being petitioned by an employer is for the sponsoring employer to file a labor certification application with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to test the local labor market for qualified and available U.S. workers. If there are no qualified and available U.S. workers for the job, the position is certified, which means your employer is permitted to file a petition on your behalf. Labor certification is a highly detailed process that may take several months. There are limited circumstances when a labor certification is not required. One exception to the labor certification requirement is if your occupation is listed under DOL’s “Schedule A.” The U.S. DOL classified certain jobs under Schedule A after having determined there to be a shortage of sufficient U.S. workers who are able, willing, qualified, and available for the positions. Currently, Schedule A occupations include physical therapists, nurses, and individuals of exceptional ability in the sciences and arts. Eventually, the employer will be required to file a “Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker” with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Your employer needs to demonstrate the ability to pay you the average wage of a similar worker in your position in the areas of intended

employment (prevailing wage). After USCIS approves the petition, you may be ready to apply for an immigrant visa at a U.S. consulate abroad, or maybe even apply for your green card though adjustment of status if you are already living in the United States. However, you cannot apply to become a permanent resident until a visa number is available to you. This is commonly referred to as your priority date being current. The U.S. government limits the number of green cards that are issued each year. These limits are based on the type of family relationship, the employment-based preference category, etc. You can check whether your priority date is current by checking the visa bulletin, which is updated and published each month. Whether you are hired for a professional, skilled or unskilled job, your employment offer may lead you to a pathway to permanent residency. Contact an experienced immigration lawyer to learn more about the EB-3 preference category. *** REEVES IMMIGRATION LAW GROUP is one of the oldest, largest and most experienced immigration fi rms in the United States with offi ces in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Manila and China. For more Information please call (800) 7958009 or visit www.rreeves.com. Telephone: (800) 795-8009 E-mail: immigration@rreeves.com Website: www.rreeves.com. *** The analysis and suggestions offered in this column do not create a lawyer-client relationship and are not a substitute for the personalized representation that is essential to every case. (Advertising Supplement)

The bucket list Travel light

“He who must travel happily must travel light.” — Antoine de Saint-Exupery anything else that advertisers tell us we ought to have to make our lives better or feel important. The distinction should be easy 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 responsible 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

Measles can kill show that “in 1920, the United States had 469,924 recorded cases of measles and 7,575 deaths associated with measles. From 1958 to 1962, the U.S. averaged 503,282 cases and 432 death associated with measles each year. What is the clinical picture of measles? The highly contagious airborne virus, morbillivirus, causes measles, which easily spreads by through sneezing, coughing, and contact with oro-nasal secretions. The patient comes in with very high fever, runny nose, cough, watery eyes, malaise, which develop between 7-21 days after exposure. Two to three days later, Koplik spots are seen in the mouth. A few days after the first sign shows up, the skin rash spreads to the face and throughout the entire body. Ninety percent of those exposed to it, even momentarily, could get infected unless previously vaccinated. How long does the virus survive? The virus remains alive and contagious in the air and on surfaces for 2 hours, and in an ex-

amining room, it could still cause infection 2 hours after an infected patient has left the room. The patient is contagious 4 days before and 4 days after rash appears, so it is possible to get mealses from an infected person even before he/ she develops the typical symptoms or rash. The transmission does not need close contact to happen. How serious is measles? Measles carries severe potential complications like pneumonia, encephalitis (brains welling), and death. Children under five, adults older than 20, very old seniors, and those with compromised immune system, are more prone to develop complications. One of my professors in Pediatrics, only in his 50s, died in the USA from complications of measles. The CDC reports that “one in 1,000 to 2,000 patients with measles will have swelling of the brain (encephalitis) and approximately 6 percent of all measles cases will get pneumonia.” What was the impact of MMR? Between 2000 to 2016, there PAGE B6




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/.

A P R I L 26

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).

M AY 1 7-1 9

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 t-shirts 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) 789-8324. 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.


7th Historic Filipinotown Kalayaan Parade and Festival in LA The 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.

Kalayaan Incorporated’s annual Philippine Independence Day gala in LA Kalayaan Incorporated invites the community to its celebration of the 121st Anniversary of the Proclamation of Philippine Independence on Saturday, June 1, 2019, at the Los Angeles Airport Marriott Hotel (5855 W. Century Blvd. Los Angeles, CA). Kalayaan is extremely proud to have Honorable Risa Hontiveros, an incumbent senator who assumed office on June 30, 2016, as the grand gala’s guest of honor and speaker. For tickets to the Gala Night, please contact Annie Cuevas-Lim, Kalayaan President at (213) 447-7078. For more information, contact KI PROs Violet Mislang at vmislang@gmail.com or Lady Hope Robillos at lhopepr@yahoo.com.

J U LY 2 0

The Ibaan Association USA-Canada gala dinner in LA The Ibaan Association USA-Canada will hold its 32nd Annual Gala Dinner & Dance July 20, 2019 from 5 p.m. to 12 a.m. at the Hilton Los Angeles / Universal City - Ballroom A at 555 Universal Hollywood Drive, Universal City, California 91608. For reservations call Monica Benitez at (323) 697-3731 / email: monica_benitez03@yahoo.com or Irene May Villafranca at (323) 423-2299 / email: imay02@ yahoo.com. Tickets are $85 for Adults and $40 for Children (3 to 10 years old). Please make checks payable to: Ibaan Association USA-Canada and mail to: Merly Pagunsan at 5025 Heintz St. Baldwin Park, CA 91706. For sponsorship information on our 2019 Souvenir Program please contact President Noli Reyes at homesbynoli@gmail.com or call (818) 458-7888. Please RSVP by April 12, 2019.

J U LY 24 -28

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

AU G U ST 1 - 9

University of the Philippines Nursing Alumni Association International Convention & Alaskan Cruise The University of the Philippines Nursing Alumni Association International, Inc. (UPNAAI) will have its 40th convention on a cruise aboard Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas. The theme will be “In the New Millennium - UPNAAI at 40: Evolving and Emerging Nursing Roles.” On Aug. 1. it will be UPNAAI Volunteers Service Day in Seattle, then 2-9 will be a cruise from Seattle, Juneau, Skagway, Endicott Arm & Dawes, Victoria, and back to Seattle. Convention Fee $100 for Alumni in addition to cruise pricing. No convention charge for friends and family members. Contact Hours will be provided for the educational conference. For more information/to register and view cruise rates, please visit https://www.upnaai.com/.

AU G U ST 3 - 4

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

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Renewable Envoy launches solar art installation in Nevada Public art display ignites awareness at Desert Diamonds Baseball Complex

LAS VEGAS – Renewable Envoy partnered with Clark County Parks and Recreation and created a unique solar art sculpture at the Desert Diamonds Baseball Complex adjacent to Mountain’s Edge Regional Park. The sculpture dedication and reception will be held on May 1 from 6:30- 8:30 p.m. and is open to the public. A light reception will take place at 6:30 p.m. Clark County District F Commissioner Justin Jones, Renewable Envoy CEO Pam Stuckey, artist Luis Varela- Rico, and Consul of Mexico Alejandro Madrigal will speak at 7:15 p.m., followed by a lighting ceremony at sunset. Diamonds Baseball Complex is located at 7929 Mountains Edge Parkway, Las Vegas. Funding for this project is provided by the County Arts Plan Ordinance. For more information on Public Art please visit www.clarkcountynv.gov/parks. “Public art can make us pay attention to our civic environment; it can encourage us to question what’s around us. Public art can create civic icons, and it also can transform our streets, local businesses, playgrounds, bus/train stations, traffic circles, hospitals, water treatment facilities, and airports into more vibrant expressions of human imagination. What better place than to start at Desert Diamonds? We believe that by building and reinforcing community culture, public art can be a powerful catalyst for growth,” says Pam Stuckey, CEO and founder of Renewable Envoy.

Renewable Envoy is an ignitable force and social movement to utilize and integrate renewable energy into public art and infrastructure in Nevada. Last year, Renewable Envoy bid on the art project opportunity at Desert Diamonds Baseball Complex and was selected by Clark County to complete the art installation. Stuckey teamed up with local artist based on their proposal and talent Luis Varela-Rico and solar consultant Michael Andrieu to create the sculpture. The sculpture is a unique 15foot tall hand that is gripping a baseball and consists of mild steel. Solar cells are located at the top, and the solar energy produced is stored in a battery based on the pedestal, lighting up the sculpture. “We’re thrilled to launch our first solar art installation! Nevada is poised to become a leader in a green energy economy. It is essential to make the arts more accessible to the public while serving a dual purpose of educating our community on sustainability. Creativity stimulates growth and evolution. By incorporating renewable energy into our work, we are igniting a force of awareness. We’re very grateful for the financial support and partnership with Clark County to make this happen,” says Stuckey. “The powerful image will be a monument to all the players while providing fans an iconic symbol of the Desert Diamonds baseball complex,” says Commissioner

Jones. “It’s been truly amazing to be involved in this project. Our hope is that this first installation will lead to many. This will become a powerful symbol for Nevada’s growing green energy economy,” says Luis Varela-Rico, artist, Renewable Envoy. Headquartered in Las Vegas, Renewable Envoy’s mission is to educate the community on renewable energy and the economic value it brings to communities by incorporating sustainable art into the public landscape. Renewable Envoy facilitates public art installations powered by renewable energy. Learn more at www.RenewableEnvoy.com. Clark County is a dynamic and innovative organization dedicated to providing top-quality service with integrity, respect and accountability. With jurisdiction over the world-famous Las Vegas Strip and covering an area the size of New Jersey, Clark is the nation’s 14th-largest county and provides extensive regional services to more than 2.25 million citizens and 45.5 million visitors a year. Included are the nation’s 8th-busiest airport, air quality compliance, social services and the state’s largest public hospital, University Medical Center. The County also provides municipal services that are traditionally provided by cities to 1 million residents in the unincorporated area. Those include fire protection, roads and other public works, parks and recreation, and planning and development.

50TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION ON AN EASTER WEEKEND. Joe and Luisa Fallurin renewed their wedding vows on Saturday, April 20 in Sun City Anthem in Henderson, Las Vegas. Over 200 family and friends attended the happy occasion. Fifty years ago, they got married in Manila, Philippines. Joe has a masters degree from Rutgers University and was a certified public accountant in New York. Luisa was a licensed hairdresser-cosmetologist in New York and Las Vegas. At present they are surrounded by their loving daughter and son with 10 wonderful grandkids. Photos by Raoul Gatchalian

RHMC’s ‘Lunch is on Us!’ program expands to Summerlin Hospital Medical Center Keeping families close, one lunch at a time

VEGAS expands their Lunch Is On Us! program to include Summerlin Hospital Medical Center. Lunch Is On Us! began in 2004, and RMHC has since served over 335,740 lunches to families at their child’s bedside at the University Medical Center and Sunrise Children’s Hospital. “When we learned that Summerlin Hospital has 100 pediatric beds, we realized there was likely a real need for those young patients’ parents and siblings to receive our happy healthy lunches and activities,” said Alyson McCarthy, CEO of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Las Vegas. “We are thrilled to serve these families in our expanding Lunch Is On Us! Program!” The lunches delivered arrive to parents of these young patients, in brightly decorated brown paper bags delivered by a friendly RMHC volunteer. Lunches come complete with a meat and cheese sandwich, water or lemonade, piece of fruit or fruit cup, granola bar, cookie, chips, and mayo and mustard. These lunch bags also contain an uplifting caring card created by volunteers! “One time my oldest daughter called me: Mom, I know you are at UMC and you’ve got no money. I can bring you something,” said Irene, a mother who has been re-

ceiving Lunch Is On Us! lunches at UMC for 8 years. “My answer was: Don’t worry amor (love), Lunch is on Ronald.” RMHC is proud to expand Lunch Is On Us! to Summerlin Hospital Medical Center with the continued support of amazing volunteers and these wonderful community sponsors: Cox Charities, MGM Resorts Foundation, Nordstrom Cares, NV Energy, and George & Ruby Biehl. Believing that every child deserves a safe and supportive place to grow, Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) of Greater Las Vegas creates and supports programs that directly improve the

health, education and well-being of children in our community. We fulfill our mission by providing a home- away-from-home at the Ronald McDonald House® for families who travel to Las Vegas to receive critical medical treatment for their children, and manage programs that service the immediate needs of children and families in our community. For more information on RMHC of Greater Las Vegas, visit www.rmhlv.org.

Measles can kill

PAGE B5 was an 84 percent reduction in deaths from measles— about 20.4 million deaths have been prevented — thanks to the measles vaccine. According to CDC, “in the decade prior to the introduction of the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) combination vaccine in the United States, it’s estimated that more than three million people were infected with the measles each year. Since MMR reached widespread use, measles cases in the country have been reduced by more than 99 percent.” Still, around 400 people die of measles each single day around the world today. As of March 14, 2019, 315 patients died out of 21,396 measles cases in the Philippines. Why the resurgence? Measles was declared eliminated in the United States in 2000. But today’s ease of travel makes it easy for the measles virus to spread around the globe. According to the CDC, “about 50 percent of imported measles cases in the United States are from residents coming back from other countries.” More than 30 million children in the U.S. are not vaccinated, some because of parental refusal (fear of autism as a complication, which is baseless), others for lack of access, etc. In the U.S., 91.1 percent of children have received MMR vaccine. This is a major part of the problem globally, including for the Philippines, where only about 3.9 million children (out of more than 30 million) have been vaccinated. Why are some parents suing? Five anti-vaccine parents filed

a suit against New York for its mandatory vaccination ordinance, which a Brooklyn Judge recently dismissed to protect the general public. Washington State a week ago passed a bill that removes the personal belief exemption from MMR vaccinations. These misguided parents are partly responsible for the resurgence of measles. Those parents against Gardasil (the 98-percent effective anti-cervical cancer vaccine), who unwittingly put young girls at risk for this dreaded cancer. A grave mistake. Rejection might be justified ONLY WHEN the illness was not contagious and would not harm others. When was the vaccine introduced? The measles vaccine was developed in 1963. In 1967, vaccines were available for mumps, and in 1969, for rubella (German measles). The 3 were then combined in 1971, popularly known today as MMR vaccine. The first national measles campaign of 1966 brought down the incidence of measles. Four years later, the rate came down to 47,351 cases and 89 deaths, a fraction of previous statistics before the vaccine was introduced. The worst in recent memory is in 2014, where there were 667 cases of measles in the USA. How effective is the vaccine? The MMR vaccine is 99 percent effective in preventing measles, mumps, and rubella. Unfortunately, as I have said earlier, there are many who refuse to avail of the protection vaccines could provide. The CDC recommends that all children get two doses of MMR

vaccine….the first dose at 12 to 15 months and the second dose at 4 to 6 years. The CDC urges adults … to get vaccinated.” When vaccination rate is high, fewer unvaccinated individuals could also be exposed, therefore, less infection rate, the phenomenon called herd immunity. Vaccinations save not only the immunized person but also the unvaccinated ones. Measles vaccine protects for at least 20 years and life-long immunity for about 96 percent of people. What is SSPE? Those who develop chronic progressive brain inflammation called Subacute Sclerosing PanEncephalitis (SSPE) as a complication of measles could have the following, even 6 to 8 years after the infection: behavioral changes, uncontrollable movements, memory loss, blindness, inability to walk, seizures, coma, leading to a persistent vegetative state. Measles is a most contagious disease, a potential killer. It is nothing to sneeze about. The vaccine is 99 percent effective, safe, and a life-saver. The choice is a no-brainer. *** Philip S. Chua, MD, FACS, FPCS, Cardiac Surgeon Emeritus in Northwest Indiana and chairman of cardiac surgery from 1997 to 2010 at Cebu Doctors University Hospital, where he holds the title of Physician Emeritus in Surgery, is based in Las Vegas, Nevada. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, the Philippine College of Surgeons, and the Denton A. Cooley Cardiovascular Surgical Society. He is the chairman of the Filipino United Network – USA, a 501(c)(3) humanitarian foundation in the United States. Email: scalpelpen@gmail. com

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