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Volume 18 - No. 17 • 2 Sections – 16 Pages


Volume 18 - No. 17 • 2 Sections – 16 Pages


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DATELINE Filipina killed in hit and run in San Jose, California FROM THE AJPRESS NEWS TEAM ACROSS AMERICA

SAN JOSE, California— A Filipina resident of Dubai was killed in a hit and run incident on Thursday, April 11 allegedly by a car driven by another Filipina. Marianne Natividad, 48, was identified as the victim by the Santa Clara County medical


PABICO Inquirer.net


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 theAnti-Wiretapping 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 Philippine Center for Investigative JourPAGE A2



PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte ordered the Customs Bureau on Wednesday, April 24, to return to Canada the trash it sent to the Philippines a few years ago as he chided the North American country for supposedly turning Manila into its dump. Duterte said Canada should prepare a grand reception for its waste, which arrived in the Philippines in 2013. “I want a boat prepared. I’ll give a warning to Canada maybe next week that they better



Duterte orders return of garbage to Canada

iyong pinagmulan ng kaniyang source ay produkto ng pag-eespiya 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 government. 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

Philippines to become upper middle income country this 2019 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 emerging economies achieve sustainable development. 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



Robredo: Allowing foreign gov’t to spy on Philippines is illegal 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

Hit and run victim Marianne Gabriel Natividad Photo from GoFundMe

A P R I L 2 6 - MAY 2 , 2 0 1 9

FRANTIC SEARCH. Rescuers carry one of the survivors from a collapsed supermarket in Porac, Pampanga on Tuesday, April 23, after a 6.1- magnitude earthquake struck parts of Zambales, Pampanga and Metro Manila on Monday, April 22. ManilaTimes.net photo by Ruy Martinez

DTI: Duterte’s China trip to yield $10B business deals After Luzon and Visayas, magnitude 4.7 earthquake hits Mindanao region 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 during President Rodrigo Duterte’s scheduled visit to Beijing for the second Belt and Road Forum on Wednesday, April 25. Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said more than 15 agreements covering trade and investments on food, energy, power, infrastructure, technology and services are expected to be signed during the President’s trip. He also said that more agree-

ments 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, held the Opportunities in China’s New Economy and Belt and Road Initiative Development event on Thursday, April 26

in Beijing. The event serves as a 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 Bank of China Manila country head Deng Jun. “With spending on the rise 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


DFA: No Filipino hurt in Sri Lanka attacks by BERNADETTE

TAMAYO ManilaTimes.net

NO Filipino was hurt in the explosions that rocked Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, April 21, killing more than 200 people, including foreigners, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said. The Philippine government has extended its condolences to the families of the fatalities from the multiple bombings that targeted churches and hotels. Ambassador to Bangladesh Vi-

cente Vivencio Bandillo said that the Philippine Embassy in Dhaka contacted Philippine Honorary Consul to Colombo Hugh Sriyal Dissanayake, who informed his office that the embassy was in touch with the Filipino community in the affected area. Established in 1981, the Association of Filipinos in Sri Lanka has 180 members as of April 2014. “The community leaders reported that so far, there has been no report of any Filipino hurt in the explosions,” Assistant Secretary

Emmanuel Fernandez said. The explosions happened at St. Sebastian’s Church in Negombo, a city about 20 miles north of Colombo, the St. Anthony’s Shrine in Colombo and Zion Church in the eastern city of Batticaloa during Easter Sunday service. There were also explosions at three hotels in Colombo: the Shangri-La, the Cinnamon Grand and the Kingsbury. Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. proposed that the u PAGE A2

NDRRMC warns public of circulating text hoax about ‘the big one’ by NATHALIE



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 (Phivolcs). The seismology agency said that the epicenter was located 63 kilometers northeast of Banganga. Photo courtsey by philnews.com The 11-kilometer earthquake also hanan (We’d like to inform the affected Bislig City, Surigao del earthquake),” it said. “Nais naming ipahayag na ang public that those text messages Sur at an instrumental intensity I. NDRRMC, Palace: Beware of mga nasabing text messages ay are a hoax),” the disaster agency hoax lamang at walang katotohoax and fake news u PAGE A2 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 OCDNDRRMC that there are circulating text messages about a supposedly upcoming 8.0 magnitude



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From the Front Page

Robredo: Allowing foreign governments... PAGE A1 nalism (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. n

Duterte orders return of garbage to...

PAGE A1 t pull that thing out or I will set sail, there in Canada, I will dump their trash there,” the president said during a meeting on the effects of Monday’s (April 22) earthquake in Pampanga. “I will really return (the garbage)... Load the containers to a ship and I will advise Canada that your garbage is on the way. Prepare a grand reception. Eat it if you want to,” he added. Duterte said he could not understand why Canada is turning the Philippines into a dumpsite. “They have been sending their trash to us. Well, not this time. We will quarrel with each other. So what if we quarrel with Canada? We’ll declare war against them, we can beat them,” he said. “Buang ito kinakaya-kaya tayo. Hindi ako papayag ng ganoon (Crazies. They are pushing us around. I won’t let that happen),” Duterte said. Valenzuela-based company Chronic Plastics Inc. imported more than 50 containers with waste from Canada in 2013. More than half or 29 of the containers with trash were dumped in a landfill in Tarlac. Environment groups have expressed concern that the shipment might contain toxic materials that could harm the health of local residents. During his visit to the Philippines in 2015, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said a process was being developed to solve the problem but did not

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

Philippines to become upper middle income... Duterte said Canada should prepare a grand reception for its waste, which arrived in the Philippines in 2013. Philstar.com photo by Edd Gumban

provide specifics. “I have obviously been made aware of the situation and I’ve also been told that there is a Canadian solution in the process of being developed,” Trudeau said on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit hosted by the Philippines four years ago. “But, at the same time, I know that this has exposed a problem that needs fixing within our own legislation that we’re going to lean into and make sure happens,” he added. Earlier this month, environment groups urged Canada to take back the garbage sent to the Philippines in 2013, noting that the sending of the waste was a violation of the Basel Convention. Duterte claimed Canada sent the trash to the Philippines after agreeing to extend educational

grants. “We will bring it back to them... Prepare... and celebrate because your garbage is coming home. Other wastes, which can be loaded in five trucks, dump them in the Canadian embassy,” Duterte said. He also vowed to fire customs officials if they allow garbage to enter the country. “The next time they do it I will sack all of them,” the president said. Canada said it is working with the Philippine government for a timely removal of the garbage. “Canada is strongly committed to collaborating with the Philippine government to resolve the waste issue and it is aware of the court decision ordering the importer to ship the garbage back to Canada,” the Canadian embassy said. ( By Alexis Romero/Philstar.com with Pia Lee-Brago) n

Filipina killed in hit and run in San Jose...

PAGE A1 t examiner’s office. Police found Natividad lying in the roadway near the intersection of Nieman Boulevard and Laddie Way when they responded to the scene around 5:40 a.m. Police believe that a 2000 Toyota 4Runner driven by Delilah Paray, 65, struck her. Paray allegedly got out of the vehicle to approach Natividad, but got back into her vehicle and

fled the scene without helping her or providing any identification, according to a report by CBS Local. She was found parked on a nearby street and taken into custody on suspicion of felony hitand-run. Anyone with additional information relevant to the investigation is asked to call Detective Matt Templeman at (408) 277Arrested hit and run suspect Delilah Paray 4654. (Inquirer.net)

DFA: No...

PAGE A1 Philippines showed its solidarity with Sri Lanka by turning off the lights of tall buildings in Manila. He made the suggestion as France’s Eiffel Tower is set “to go dark” on Monday, April 22 midnight to express its support for Sri Lanka. “The Philippines has no landmark like that (Eiffel Tower) or the Chrysler Building (in New York City, United States) but we can ask to turn off the lights of all tall buildings in our capital to show solidarity (with Sri Lanka). It’s a great idea,” Locsin said on Twitter. Sen. Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito also tweeted, “Easter day bombing on several churches attending Mass in Sri Lanka is really depressing. Praying for our brothers and sisters who perished and were injured in Sri Lanka.” n

PAGE A1 t 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

PAGE A1 t 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 The Philippine Star, it is not clear if the issue over the West Philippine Sea would be discussed during the meetings. Former foreign affairs sec-

retary 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

DTI: Duterte’s China trip to yield $10B...

After Luzon and Visayas, magnitude...

PAGE A1 t 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

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Dateline USa



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,” Gus Mercado said. “Honorary Consul Ethel Mercado here and the Philippine American Chamber of Commerce have somewhat filled the void and mitigated the Texas Filipinos’ suffering with the Consular Outreach Program that we’ve been doing here for 10 years with the Consulate General officials and staff from Los Angeles. We’ve helped 40,000 Filipinos with their consular needs through the Outreach. But this is a very welcomed development. We are delighted that the consulate has finally been reopened.” Mercado and his wife Honorary Consul Ethel helped lead the decades-long effort to bring the consulate back. According to consular officials, the plan was finally approved and funded during the term of President Benigno S. Aquino III and came to fruition during the term of President Rodrigo Duterte. “Several former ambassadors and all of the former consul generals and then the community at large have been petitioning the Philippine government for 20 years to make this a reality, and finally it’s here,” Gus Mercado, a longtime Texas Filipino community leader, said. “Our community is very grateful to the L.A. Consulate General headed by Consul-General Adelio Cruz for taking good care of us in the last 10 years,” Mercado added. The program included the singing of the Filipino national anthem and the Star Spangled Banner by “Filipino Chit Chat” talk show host Vincent Evangelista and Sheryn Regis. Speakers included Santos, the associate regional director of the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Foreign Missions Robert Hopkins as well as the consul general of Panama, Juan B. Sosa. Ambassador Romualdez was the special guest of honor. “We have 200,000 Filipinos who actually live around here under the jurisdiction of Houston, and I know it’s actually a growing community. We have a lot of Filipinos who are actu-

Ambassador to the U.S. Jose Manuel G. Romualdez (middle) is joined by the new Houston ConsulGeneral 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.

Kaiser Health News

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The Trump administration is pushing ahead with its reproductive health agenda. It has rolled out changes to the Title X program, which funds family planning services for low-income people, that are designed to have a chilling effect on organizations that provide abortions or include this option in counseling. It also has nominated federal judges widely believed to support state-level abortion restrictions. Against that backdrop, Planned Parenthood, known as a staunch defender of abortion rights, is working to recast its public image. Under its president, Dr. Leana Wen, who took office in November, the nation’s largest reproductive health provider is highlighting the breadth of care it provides — treating depression, screening for cancer and diabetes, and taking on complex health problems like soaring maternal mortality rates. This strategy, analysts say, could buttress Planned Parenthood against the efforts by the White House and other abortion opponents. But it’s complicated. Even as the organization leans into its community health work, Wen isn’t abandoning the abortion-related services that have helped form the organization’s identity — and its opposition. “We cannot separate out one of our services. That’s not how medicine works,” Wen told Kai-

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

PunAy Philstar.com

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 SoliciWith U.S. State Department Director Robert Hopkins and Panama Con-Gen and Dean of Consular tor General Jose Calida that the Corps Juan B. Sosa. settlement agreement in the inally migrating here,” Romualdez being sung here gives me goose- terpleader case pending at the bumps,” Santos said. (Rose-Ann New York District Court is dissaid. Also in attendance were the Aragon is a Filipina American re- advantageous to the Philippine government. consul general of Los Angeles, porter for KPRC in Houston.) 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 Bensurto; 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

Planned Parenthood’s ‘risky strategy’ to update its image by shefAli luthRA And AnnA MARiA BARRy-JesteR

FUN AT BASECO BEACH. Residents of Tondo, Manila frolic in the murky waters of Baseco Beach, despite warnings by authorities, on Black Saturday, April 20 to beat the April heat. ManilaTimes.net photo by

ser Health News. This effort to thread the needle could, if successful, change the public’s perception of Planned Parenthood. But if it backfires, it could make the organization even more vulnerable. Some people are skeptical of the payoff, given how polarizing abortion politics are. “The minute you start talking about abortion, it’s a risky strategy,” said Karen O’Connor, a political scientist at American University who studies the politics of reproductive health care. It’s likely to attract strong reactions from people who see abortion providers not as reproductive health professionals but as “baby killers,” she said. “If I was doing it — and this is as somebody who studies social movements and women’s organizations — I would take abortion out of the equation and talk about ‘reproductive health is health care.’” Already, the new strategy is drawing fire from abortion opponents, who dismiss Planned Parenthood’s positioning as a frontline community health provider. “This framing is simply a PR exercise,” said Mallory Quigley, vice president of communications at the Susan B. Anthony List, a Washington-based antiabortion group. “I don’t think this campaign will be successful, and I don’t think it will last long.” Reproductive health experts have a different view, saying Planned Parenthood’s effort to PAGE A4

“We are opposing the settlement agreement simply because it does not favor the interests of the government, which we are duty-bound to protect,” Guevarra explained Sunday, April 21. He clarified, however, that the government does not exactly want to block the award of monetary compensation to the martial law victims but “simply wants that the Republic, as a whole, get a better deal.” “The government’s position is not antagonistic to the interests of martial law victims who are also citizens of our country, but to protect the interests of the republic as a whole,” he ex-

plained. 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 PAGE A4



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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 Safety and Health at Work on April 28. The report said changes in working practices, demographics, technology and the environment are creating new occupational safety and health concerns. Growing challenges include psychosocial risks, work-related stress and non-communicable diseases, notably circulatory and respiratory diseases as well as cancers. “No work should threaten your wellbeing, your safety or your life,� the ILO report said. The report highlighted four

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

major transformative forces driving changes: technology, demographic shifts, development and climate change as well as changes in the organization of work. Technology such as digitization, robotics and nanotechology can affect psychosocial health and introduce new materials with unmeasured health hazards. Demographic shifts are important because young workers have high occupational injury rates while older workers need adaptive practices and equipment to work safely. Women, who are entering the workforce in increasing numbers, are more likely to have non-standard work arrangements and have a higher risk of musculoskeletal disorders.

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

DOJ backs OSG vs settlement on $20-million... PAGE A3 t 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

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. Philstar.com file photo by Edd Gumban

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




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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

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

Planned Parenthood’s ‘risky strategy’... PAGE A3 t promote its array of health care offerings — including abortion — is consistent with reality and in line with top medical standards. To bolster this message, Wen, a former Baltimore health commissioner and the first physician to take the group’s helm, has embarked on a national listening tour. “It’s who we are. We are a health care organization,� Wen said. “That’s what all of our affiliates do around the country, is meeting people where they are with the health services they need.� So far, Wen and other Planned Parenthood officials have visited 17 affiliates in locations around the country. They plan to visit several more, Wen’s staff confirmed. The idea is not to standardize what Planned Parenthood sites offer, Wen said, arguing that each clinic should take the lead in devising its own public health programs, based on its patients. Even so, the organization’s national leadership is working to identify the health programs that could be expanded and encouraging clinics around the country to consider implementing those best practices. Recently, Wen and her team visited the organization’s Rhode Island clinic to investigate how it is planning to expand its primary care offerings. The clinic, a 10-minute walk from downtown Providence, serves patients of all genders and ages, its staff noted. It has upped its focus on things like wellness visits, along with its programs to make sure patients who want to have children are healthy before they get pregnant. Wen also focused on the clin-

ic’s efforts to reduce the area’s maternal mortality rates, a problem that afflicts low-income and black women at far greater rates. In 2018, 18.3 Rhode Island women per 100,000 births died from causes related to the pregnancy; for black women, the figure was 47.2 per 100,000, and for white women, 18.1. Planned Parenthood leadership touted proposed state legislation that would extend Medicaid coverage to doulas, non-medical birth coaches often seen as a valuable resource in reducing maternal deaths. At a Planned Parenthood Mar Monte clinic in San Jose, Calif., staff members highlighted the facility’s mental health services — keeping behavioral health professionals in the building to help patients transition seamlessly into care — and its in-house testing center for sexually transmitted infections. At both clinics, staffers talked about helping patients who face a threat of domestic violence find safe housing resources, and steering them toward available resources for things like healthy food. Even while promoting that work — often overlooked by the public — Wen, a 36-year-old emergency doctor by training, emphasizes abortion services at each stop, trying to weave the message into the public health narrative. In Providence, the Planned Parenthood team stopped by a news conference to talk about a local bill that, if the Supreme Court scales back Roe v. Wade, would explicitly legalize abortion protections in Rhode Island. “Abortion is part of the spectrum of full reproductive health care, and we know reproductive health care is health care,� Wen

said to applause. “And health care is a human right.� But it’s unclear how the listening tour and messaging efforts will pan out politically. While a majority of Americans have positive opinions of Planned Parenthood, they are, polling suggests, evenly split on abortion. “Planned Parenthood to some extent is taking a risky strategy by trying to thread these two. I see these as very different messages,� said O’Connor, the political scientist. “If you take out the ‘abortion is’ and go to reproductive health, you have a winning message that is very simple.� In other ways, though, this branding effort perhaps comes at the right time, suggested Lucinda Finley, a law professor at the University at Buffalo. She ties the organization to what polling suggests is voters’ No. 1 concern, especially going into the 2020 election: health care. Framing it as “‘Abortion is health care, health care is a human right’ links it to the larger debate about health care, and how we should provide health care to people in this country,� Finley said. When asked if this messaging could politically insulate Planned Parenthood from conservative attacks — or win the organization new supporters — Wen suggested the community health emphasis is simply a response to medical needs. “I don’t want people to think we are doing this because it’s politically the right thing to do,� she said. “It’s the right thing to do because that’s what our patients are requesting.� This story was produced by Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation. n

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Malacañang confirms ‘matrix,’ warns plotters Ban on cruise ships in Boracay imposed by CATHERINE



MALACAÑANG on Monday, April 22, confirmed a “matrix” of media organizations said to be behind a plot to oust president Rodrigo Duterte, and vowed to prosecute those who would commit “overt acts to bring down the government.” Palace spokesman Salvador Panelo said the public had the “right to know” about the “Oust-Duterte plot,” first reported in The Manila Times by its Chairman Emeritus, Dr. Dante Ang, on Monday, April 22. “The source of that is from the Office of the President, from the president, himself. I don’t know how he got one, but it’s coming from the president. I talked to him the other day,” Panelo told reporters in a press briefing. “If there is an ouster plan, the people need to know it. It is our constitutional duty,” he added. Panelo said that while he did not know where Duterte got his copy of the matrix, or how it worked, people could be assured that it was properly vetted. “Siguro naman (We assume that it is reliable), considering he is the President, he has so many sources, e validated `yan (We assume it is validated),” Panelo said. “Galing kay presidente, e. Pani-

walaan niyo (It is from the President, you better believe it),” the Palace official added. The media groups tagged as plotters were journalist Ellen Tordesillas and the Vera Files group that she heads, the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism and Rappler, as seen in the matrix. The National Union of People’s Lawyers was also included in the diagram. Tordesillas was particularly accused of distributing the online video of self-proclaimed whistleblower “Bikoy” on the Duterte family’s alleged links to the drug trade. All four groups denied the allegations and dismissed Ang’s April 22 story as false (see story on A1). No overt acts, yet The matrix, provided to The Times over the weekend by a Palace source, linked media organizations and journalists to “coordinated” efforts to discredit Duterte and his administration. The banner story written by Ang, a presidential special envoy for international public relations, claimed that the conspirators’ “play book” was to plant “fake news,” as well as “manipulate public emotion, touch base with the Leftist organization, enlist the support of the police and the military, then go for the ‘kill.’” Panelo, who is also Duterte’s

chief legal counsel, said the government would press charges against the plotters if they committed “overt acts.” “Basta lumabag na sila, `pag meron na silang (If they violate the laws, committed) overt acts to bring down this government, that’s a different story,” Panelo told reporters. For now, the Palace official said it was enough to “just let them (media organizations) know that we know,” and emphasized that the Duterte government never gagged the media or anyone. “If the journalist mentioned here would say that the Palace is trying to stifle the rights, I will repeat, we have never stifled dissent in this country. It’s the president who encourages dissent — that is what democracy is all about. For the last three years, no journalist has been charged with any case in relation to his or her exercise of the freedom of speech or the press,” Panelo said. “Hayaan lang namin sila (We’ll just let them be), but if the plot thickens and they perform acts that are already violations of penal laws, e ibang usapan na `yun (then that’s a different story),” he added. No surveillance Panelo said reporters were not under surveillance after it emerged that the information was fed to PAGE A7

10M trees planted to mark Earth Day by DELON

PORCALLA Philstar.com

AN environmentalist partylist group initiated Monday, April 22 efforts to fight climate change by planting 10 million trees in celebration of this year’s Earth Day as it reaffirmed its commitment “to invest in the ecological sustainability of future generations.” “We planted narra seedlings in Masbate that would take 100 years to fully mature or keep on growing, outliving most, if not all of us,” said former journalist Michael Ubac, first nominee of Luntiang Pilipinas. “The seedlings symbolize Luntiang Pilipinas’ commitment to pursue legislation that will have a positive impact on the country’s environment and will benefit generations of Filipinos,” the former reporter, who hails from the prov-

ince, added. The party-list group was established in 1998 by Sen. Loren Legarda, who is now on her third and last term as senator and who is running to represent the legislative district of Antique. Ubac revealed they recently held two major tree-planting activities, one in Masbate City and another in the main campus of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines in Sta. Mesa, Manila. He said Luntiang Pilipinas has shown that such a program is “doable,” as the group is responsible for planting and growing two million trees in 33 provinces, 28 cities and 84 municipalities across the country. “One of our four pillars that serve as a roadmap for achieving resiliency is a re-greening program that involves tree-growing, school-based vegetable gardening/

gulayan sa paaralan and backyard gardening,” Ubac explained. “We should go beyond commemorating Earth Day; caring for the environment is a year-round commitment that requires us to be proactive in our efforts to restore ecological balance in our country – and Luntiang Pilipinas’ program to plant ten million trees in our country is our contribution to this effort.” Luntiang Pilipinas is vying to be the first green party in the House of Representatives. It has been endorsed by Senate President Vicente Sotto III and Aksyon Demokratiko, the party founded by the late senator Raul Roco. Meanwhile, Secretary Roy Cimatu of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has urged the public to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle. PAGE A7


SERVALLOS Maniltimes.net

THE Department of Tourism (DOT) has assured the public it is strictly implementing the embargo on cruise ships in Boracay Island to control the island’s daily carrying capacity amid an expected surge in tourist arrivals this Lenten season and summer break. This came after videos and photos of cruise ships docking in Boracay Island surfaced on social media. The Tourism department, however, said these materials were old and were merely “presented [as] a new incident. “We remind the public to be more mindful in posting or sharing old videos and pictures of cruise ships in Boracay Island as this may cause unnecessary alarm. We assure the public that there was no entry of cruise ships to Boracay Island since the start of the close out dates,” the DOT said in a statement. The close out dates for cruise ships for the Lenten season and summer break started last April 16, with Boracay’s daily capacity set to19,215, including 6,405 tourist arrivals per day. “Rest assured, the BIATF (Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force) will continue to strictly enforce set guidelines and ordinances, especially during the Holy Week,” it added. The other close out dates for cruise ships have been set this

Manilatimes.net file photo

year on All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day; and for the Southeast Asian Games as well as the Christmas Season. Close out dates will begin from October 26 to November 8 and November 23 to Jan. 5, 2020. BIATF said the close out dates were agreed upon last December 28 between the Philippine Port Authority, Aklan Port, Tourism Congress of the Philippines, Boracay Foundation and all cruise lines and shore excursion companies operating in the Philippines. Meanwhile, DOT Region 6 Di-

rector Helen Catalbas said they have placed several assistance and information desks in airports, entry points of cities and towns in Western Visayas. “DOT 6 is expecting the influx of tourists during the Lenten Season. That is the reason why we are also in full force to provide assistance. The safety of tourists, both local and foreign, is the priority of the DOT Region 6 because we want them to have a smooth and enjoyable travel experience here in Western Visayas,” Catalbas said. ■

GMA respects Duterte’s veto of ‘pork’ realignments by DELON

PORCALLA Philstar.com

MANILA — Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is not picking a fight with President Duterte, who declared that he had vetoed P95.3 billion realigned by congressmen in the 2019 national budget because he considered the insertions “unconstitutional” and he abhorred corruption. Having been president for nine years, Arroyo said she respects Duterte despite his veto of the realignments by the House of Representatives. “It’s done and we trust the President’s judgment. Even me, I used to line veto. Every year, I partially vetoed the budget,” Arroyo said, referring to portions that Duterte

vetoed in the P3.757-trillion national budget for 2019. Republic Act 11260, or the General Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2019 that Duterte signed last April 15, saw some vetoed appropriations under several agencies of the national government. These included the Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Labor and Employment-National Labor Relations Commission, Department of Agriculture, Department of Health and Department of Trade and Industry. Arroyo was president for nine years from January 2001 to June 2010 and was elected congresswoman in the same year. This is her third and last term as representative of Pampanga’s second

district, a post that will be taken over by her eldest son Mikey. Another official of the House of Representatives, Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr. who heads the House appropriations committee, also welcomed the presidential veto. “We respect the decision of president Duterte on the 2019 national budget. The President knows what is best for the country and our people,” Andaya said. He reiterated the Arroyo leadership still led the swift passage of the priority measures of Duterte in the House, including the national budget that will pass the constitutionality test. “In support of President Duterte’s legislative agenda, the PAGE A7



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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-

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

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

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

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

start the impeachment process to remove Trump from office? Isn’t obstruction of justice an impeachable offense? It seems we cannot rely on the Republicans in Congress to make the President accountable because they are thinking of their own political survival and they need Trump’s popularity among the Republican base to get them reelected. 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.TheFil-AmPerspective.com, https://www. facebook.com/Gel.Santos.Relos

The psychology of the Filipino: navigating the difficult conversation of mental health Notes from the 2019 Filipino Mental Health and Wellness Summit

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 intersectional identities such as Filipinx members of

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

“Sometimes, it feels like I’m less a part of a family and more so a part of a public relations firm,” another young Filipinx told me right after a workshop called “Spilling the Tea: Is This Just a Phase?” led by academics and state mental health officials. “It’s an unspoken thing in our family that can only be cured through distraction and church. There’s no tackling it head-on, which makes it -- and has made it -- worse. The fear of being perceived as weak is a real thing. Saving face, and making sure that our family looks good from the perspectives of others trumps everything else, and I think that’s common among our community,” they said. Mitigating shame, avoiding vulnerability and the need to assimilate to the majority are three of the main tenets of the relationship between mental health and the Filipino community, which are tethered to the idea of the internalized inferiority shared among many other immigrant and ethnic diaspora groups. Throughout my stint at Asian Journal, I’ve interviewed many a Filipino American who has either explicitly or suggested this distance between them and their Filipino heritage. Many of us with immigrant parents are raised

with little to no knowledge about Philippine culture and customs, and the goal in parenting is some degree of erasure of the ethnic identity in place of the national identity of being an American. This phenomenon is so ubiquitous that it has its own name: the colonial mentality, which is that learned feeling of inferiority from being a Filipino. Over the last 15 years, scholars have tried to quantify and research the colonial mentality among Filipinos, namely the so-called “Americanization” of the culture. Nadal posited that the colonial mentality shared among Filipinos — usually unconsciously — involves an ethnic inferiority complex which triggers the need to assimilate with the majority, which, in this case, is Americana. It’s why so many second-generation Filipino Americans don’t know the mother language, Nadal explained. It’s the reason there’s often a distance between this generation of Filipino Americans and so many aspects of the mother culture (save for the cuisine, of course) from the slow curtailment of teaching younger generations Tagalog to the overwhelming popularity of skin-lightening. “Yeah, she didn’t take to it quite well, to put it lightly,” 29-

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

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

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10M trees planted to mark Earth...

PAGE A5 “Being more environmentally conscious is the right thing to do. Living a more eco-friendly lifestyle could help create a sustainable planet and mitigate the effects of climate change and global warming,” he said. He asked Filipinos to pause and reflect on the most pressing ecological problems facing the world today and think of what they can do to save the planet. “We have an obligation to take care of this planet we all share, and Earth Day is a great time to start thinking more about the environment and all the little things we can do to make the world a better place,” the DENR chief added. Over one billion people in more than 190 countries were expected to take part in the celebration of the 49th anniversary of Earth Day, making it the largest civic obser-

vance in the world. This year’s theme is “Protect Our Species.” Cimatu said the Earth Day 2019 theme is a reminder that keeping the planet from destruction also means actively working on slowing down the decline of the country’s threatened and endangered species such as the Philippine monkey, flying lemur, giant flying fox and tarsier. This is timely, he added, as the country just witnessed a series of law enforcement operations that resulted in seizures of live wild animals and arrest of wildlife criminals, proof that the Philippines remains steadfast in its commitment to fighting illegal wildlife trade that is driving endangered species to the brink of extinction. According to Cimatu, protecting the environment is not the sole responsibility of the government because the general public must

also do its part, as he cited the simple things people can do to help protect the environment, which include conserving water and energy, patronizing cleaner fuel or taking public transport and practicing proper waste management. The local celebration of Earth Day 2019 will be held on April 24 and 28. The first one will take place at the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center in Quezon City with DENR and Earth Day Network Philippines Inc. (EDNPI), which have lined up the events that include the signing of an agreement for tree planting activities between the DENR and Couples for Christ; launching of the search for model barangays and “green” corporations; on-the-spot painting and poster-making contests and Earth Day festival bazaar and exhibit. (With Rhodina Villanueva, Emmanuel Tupas) ■

Malacañang confirms ‘matrix,’ warns...

PAGE A5 Duterte from overseas. “`Yan ang tinatawag na (That is what we call) sharing of intelligence information. That’s standard for all countries if it affects the security,” Panelo said. Panelo shrugged off the possibility that those tagged in the ouster plot might file libel charges against the government. “O, ‘di sige (Fine). That’s their right,” the Palace official said. This was not the first time the Palace released information on a supposed ouster plot against Duterte. In September, the president urged the public to watch out against moves to oust him, which he said would “go into a high gear” in October. The supposed plan came to be known as the “Red October” plot. Asked how Duterte would counter such destabilization efforts against the government, Panelo

said, “The counter-propaganda is the achievements done by this administration.” “The result, as you have seen, is the very high satisfactory and trust rating of the President, survey after survey,” he added. Plot vs Duterte won’t succeed – military The Armed Forces of the Philippines said the supposed plot against the president would not succeed. “There is no specific threat that we are seeing here right now. There are plenty of those who came up with information, but no specific threat,” said Col. Noel Detoyato, military public affairs chief. He cited the strong support of the Armed Forces, the Philippine National Police and the public for the Duterte administration. “So, there may be some individuals who are thinking of ousting the president, but it will

never, ever materialize,” Detoyato stressed. Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo, the Armed Forces spokesman, said there were groups orchestrating a plot against Duterte, but did not go into details. “There remains individuals and groups that are determined and are engaged in orchestrated efforts to oust the present administration,” Arevalo said. He said the communists were among those behind plans to “discredit” the Duterte administration. Exiled Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Maria Sison said there was a “growing mass movement” against Duterte. “The desire of the people to oust Duterte has become a mass movement and not the mere conspiracy of a few because of the intolerable crimes of Duterte and his evil regime against the people,” Sison said. ■

GMA respects Duterte’s veto of ‘pork’...

PAGE A5 House of Representatives has approved all of the President’s priority bills in record time,” said Andaya, a former budget secretary. “We eventually passed a national budget that will pass the test of constitutionality and legality, but also of transparency and accountability. All appropriations for government programs and projects are itemized, in full compliance with the laws of the land and recent Supreme Court decisions,”

he said. A lawmaker who felt vindicated by the presidential veto, Camarines Sur Rep. LRay Villafuerte, said the House leadership should get its act together to show that the chamber is truly supportive of Duterte’s anti-corruption campaign and inclusive development agenda. “In his veto message the president made it clear that the national budget must be well spent and used to improve the people’s wel-

fare,” Villafuerte said. “He also made it clear that he will not tolerate corruption in his administration and that our positions in government should not be used for personal gain. What part of this message did Andaya did not understand? “The president’s line veto of P95 billion worth of illegal insertions in the General Appropriations Bill was already a slap in the face for the House leadership,” he said. ■




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SF The Asian Jour nal SF MAGAZINE - April 26, 2019

Friday, April 26, 2019


cover story The Asian Jour nal SF MAGAZINE - April 26, 2019

Teaching kids a deeper appreciation of their heritage Author and publisher Christine L. Villa brings ‘Zoobooloo: With Filipino Translation’ as a tool to teach Fil-Am children the language by

Malou liwanag-bledsoe / AJPress

WHEN author and publisher Christine L. Villa started her small business, Purple Cotton Candy Arts, she was just aiming to explore her love for arts and crafts. Since then, she has done more than selling crafts as she has published children’s books, two of which just won first place in the 2018 and 2019 Northern California Publishers and Authors (NCPA) Book Awards. Her book, “Zoobooloo:

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

With Filipino Translation,” bagged first place for Children’s Books and second place for Cover & Design at the recent 26th Annual NCPA Book Awards Competition. Villa, in all humility, did not expect that her book would win anything. “Every year, the Northern California Publishers and Authors group invites members and non-members to join the competition. I didn’t expect to win but was humbled and honored to receive the recognition for my efforts. There were many other deserving titles in both categories,” she said. She added, “It means a lot to me because it makes me appreciate my life’s journey— where I came from and who I am today. My achievements and successes are partly due to my upbringing, values, cultural and educational background. As an American citizen, I have had access to the boundless inspirations and opportunities to explore my creativity in more

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

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, “In a materialistic world, where outside appearance and superficial attributes matter more, it is so easy to be envious of other people, to whine about what we don’t have, and wish we were as beautiful, talented, or smart as the others. Instead, we should accept and appreciate who we are, look beyond our flaws, and utilize our gifts and talents to bring joy to others.” Originally, the English version of “Zoobooloo” was published in 2016. The idea, however, to re-publish it with Filipino translation came in July 2018, when Villa brought the book to read to a group of Filipino American kids at a summer class organized by the non-profit Eskwela Natin. “Since part of the curriculum was teaching these young kids to learn how to speak Filipino, I read the story in English

and introduced some Filipino words to the children as well,” Villa said and then continued, “To my amusement, both kids and adults chuckled from the beginning of the story till the end. After the book reading, a few parents eagerly suggested that I write a book with Filipino translation so that their children will learn the language. An idea popped inside my head! Why don’t I self-publish ‘Zoobooloo’ with Filipino translation?” Now with “Zoobooloo’s” success as a book with Filipino translation, Villa intends to do the same with a few more of her published works. “I think it is important to have books with Filipino/Tagalog translation so that parents will have the tools to teach their Filipino-American kids the language and inculcate a deeper appreciation of their heritage. Adults who wish to learn the language can also benefit from these books,” she shared. Educating Filipino kids Just last February 8, Villa successfully organized a book reading event at the Nicanor P. Garcia Elementary School in Makati City, Philippines, with the help of funds she raised via her GoFundMe campaign, “Help Chrissi Educate Filipino Kids.” She also was fortunate enough to work with U! Happy Events (www.uhappyevents. com), a non-profit that provides a platform for sponsor and volunteers to reach out to beneficiaries through creative and meaningful activities. “They (U! Happy Events) took care of everything that I wanted for the children such as

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 her brother Perry Villa, have just been installed.

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

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.

Your Immigration Solution Maridex e. abrahaM IF you are a professional, skilled or unskilled worker, you may be admitted to the United States under the employmentbased, 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 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

Tom Taus

Permanent resident status based on employment 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

Photo from Instagram/@tomtaus

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





by Oliver M. PuluMbarit Inquirer.net

IN the ’90s, Tom Taus was a child actor, known for appearing in the kiddie gag show “Ang TV,” as well as starring in films such as “Cedie,” “Anak ng Bulkan” and “Batang Z.” But, these days, he’s more known as a DJ—grown-up and dashing, winning over partygoers with his electronic music sets—his time as a tyke in the spotlight preserved mostly in memory, and on YouTube videos. Fresh from a show at the Bonfire Music Festival in Davao Oriental—his time there made memorable by “two beautiful beaches”—Tom acknowledged the chance to travel and meet people from various cultures through his work. Recognition “It’s pretty amazing, honestly,” he told the Inquirer. “I’m starting to break into the international [music] scene, especially in Asia, so I’m starting to get a little recognition. But what’s really amazing is how, no matter where you go, people just understand music.” Tom moved to the United States with his family when he was 13, and eventually pursued his interest in party music. “I play EDM, trap and hard style—they’re different genres that I mix into my set,” said the musician, who is now 32. “Other DJs can play them, too,

but what makes me different is when I add the drums on top of [the music] when I’m performing.” His use of live electronic drums with dance tracks is the ultimate product of his teenage dabbling, when music was still “a hobby.” “Before I became a DJ, I was a drummer. I had a band when I was in seventh grade,” he related. The teen group did covers of songs by Metallica and Nirvana. Signature His talent for playing percussion inevitably became part of his DJ gigs, years later: “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. Continued on Page SF7 CY



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) 795- 8009 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 toUNI_CB-168283 every case. CB Loan Offer (Advertising Supplement)



The Asian Jour nal SF MAGAZINE - April 26, 2019

The Bucket List

Immigrant Living: 101 and Beyond

GOD has a list, too. 8h of a Series

Monette adeva Maglaya I AM suspending my idea series for a Bucket To-Do List for the time being to share a story told to me by Sister Anna. A little back story… Anna Cinco was a classmate in high school who graduated way up the rungs and copped a college degree majoring in Mathematics. She taught at the International School in Manila for a while and decided to join the religious life thereafter. She lived in Rome for more than a decade working on the canonization of Mother Candida Maria de Jesus, foundress of her religious order, Hijas de Jesus. Mother Candida is now a saint with documented miracles ascribed to her intercession. Sister Anna speaks Spanish and Italian fluently. Her story is not cut and dried as all that. There are twists and turns in every life story and hers is no different. She told me the Cliff Notes version of her conversion from someone who repudiated and did not need God at Asian_Update 2019.pdf 1 3/28/19 one point. But that riveting story when she became, as she de-

“Sister, do you speak Italian? Can I talk to you? I am very angry with God.” I turned my head and it was a beautiful lady, elegantly dressed. I thought, “She has tortured eyes.” scribes how her young, irrepressible students at the International School saw her at the time of her epiphany, “positively radiant,” is for yet another day. I reconnected with her on a trip to Europe in 2011 with my husband spending a wonderful spring day in Rome: dusting off the cobwebs of the past, cracking jokes (yes, religious people have a squeaky clean sense of humor that will have you ROTFLOLing, that is, rolling on the floor laughing out loud), scarfing down pizza margherita at one of those small joints by the Vatican and walking aimlessly about, shopping for Italian-made sandals on the sidewalks while slurping on scoops of gelato, 2:28 PM all three of us looking positively ghetto. HAH! A perfect day in

my book … I emailed her just recently hoping to see her in Rome again this summer, mentioning in passing that I am putting together a Bucket List series of sorts. Her story stuns me. It never occurred to me that while we are busy making plans, the Big Man upstairs also has plans. And whether we like it or not, we are part of His plan. It is up to each one of us to find out our part in God’s grand plan and decide to get in with the program or not. Yes, God loves us so much, He gave us free will. So enjoy this story. The actions happened in airports just before boarding. Time was on her side. She checked in way early and didn’t miss her flight. Continued on Page SF6

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celebrityworld The Asian Jour nal SF MAGAZINE - April 26, 2019

celebrity world

The one and only Philippine Superstar Nora Aunor turns 66 this May

By Ferdie Villar ACTRESS and singer Nora Aunor will celebrate her 66th birthday on Tuesday, May 21. La Aunor, known as the one and only Superstar of the Philippines, was born in Iriga, Camarines Sur. She was the grand champion of Darigold Jamboree Singing Contest and represented her province at the “Tawag ng Tanghalan” where she became the grand champion. She started her movie and singing career under Tower Movie Productions owned by producer-director Artemio Marquez. In 1973, she was crowned as the first Miss Philippines Movies together with former president and now Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada for their movie, “Erap is My Guy.” Other personalities celebrating their birthdays this month of May are: May 2 - Internationallyknown multi-awarded actor Eddie Garcia; May 3 - Lynda Elvinia, owner of Ely-Lyn Beauty Salon in South San Francisco, and dancer Cheryl Burke, former winner of “Dancing With the Stars;” May 4 - Well-loved registered nurse Vicky Garcia; May 7 - Daly City religious leader Brenda Padilla, and San Francisco fashion designer Patricia Valera; May 10 - International singing sensation Jake Zyrus; May 11 - Administrative officer at World of LIfe at Assembly of Christ Tingting Villar Apolinario, multi-awarded actress Judy Ann Santos Agoncillo, and GMA Kapuso Channel 7 actor Dennis Trillo; May 12 - San Jose singer and songwriter JD Charisma, San Mateo home care nursing supervisor Gloria Nielsen, “It’s


Showtime” co-host Billy Crawford, veteran actress Mila Del Sol who is now residing in Los Angeles, and Manteca painter Jessie Marinas; May 13 - Handsome actor Paulo Avelino, entertainment producer Maribeth Ugalde, and community leader Marc Garvida; May 14 - Former Philippine Tourism Director in San Francisco Rene de los Santos, and actress Jennylyn Mercado; May 15 - Dionesia Pacquiao, proud mother of boxing champ and Senator Manny Pacquiao; May 16 - Teayana Orence, daughter of Ozelle Orence of San Francisco; May 17 - Saint Francis Shopping Center co-owner Gerry Sy; May 19 - Teen singer Eren Padilla; May 20 - Former Miss Universe first runner up Miriam Quiambao; May 23 - Actor/singer Sam

Milby; May 24 - Well-liked dentist in Daly City Dr. Renato “Butch” Calip, and Divine Diva Zsa Zsa Padilla; May 25 - Young soprano from Milpitas Amber Paterson, San Mateo religious leader Nenita Iboleon Zarasola, and former Mrs. Ilocano Maxie Dandoy; May 26 - Former Mrs. WorldUSA from Concord; May 28 - Santo Nino de Praga devotee and religious leader from Antioch Pacita Rodriguez; May 30 - My own natal day, celebrating my lucky 82nd birthday with colorful blessing from the Almighty Lord, actor Ricky Davao, travel agency president Conrad Camilosa, and building contractor Orly Buena; May 31 - South San Francisco real estate executive Cora Manuel Garvida. To all celebrants, a very happy birthday!

Superstar Nora Aunor heads the list of personalities celebrating their birthdays this month of May. La Aunor will turn 66 on Thursday, May 21. Shown in photo with her is longtime friend, beauty impresario Ferdie Syquia de Villar, who is celebrating his 82nd birthday on Thursday, May 30.


Former Philippine Tourism Director in San Francisco Rene de los Santos will be celebrating his birthday on Tuesday, May 14.

Administrative officer of World of Life at Assembly of Christ Tingting Villar Apolinario will celebrate her 53rd birthday on Saturday, May 11.

Religious and community leader Nenita Iboleon Zarasola will celebrate her birthday on Saturday, May 25.

Daly City religious leader Brenda Padilla will celebrate her birthday on Tuesday, May 7.

Daly City Filipina singer Eren Padilla will celebrate her 11th birthday on Sunday, May 19.

Singer, actor and songwriter JD Charisma will be celebrating his 24th birthday on May 12.





The Asian Jour nal SF MAGAZINE - April 26, 2019

Immigration Corner

May 2019 priority dates The Priority dates for the Philippines are as follows: Application Filing Date

Visa Issuance Date

April 15, 2008

May 15, 2007

January 08, 2018

May 15, 2017

(2B) Unmarried sons and daughters (21 years old or older) of green card holder

May 15, 2008

October 01, 2007

Third Preference

Married sons and daughters of US Citizens.

October 01, 1997

October 08, 1996

Fourth Preference

Brothers and sisters of US Citizens.

February 15, 1998

March 01, 1997


Application Filing Date

Visa Issuance Date

Second Preference Advanced Degree (Masters)





THE UPS AND DOWNS, THE BITTERSWEET ENDING OF A SPECIAL CASE ABOUT A SPECIAL SON WHO HAD AUTISM ON THIS SUNDAYʼS “CITIZEN PINOY!” When Norma immigrated to the U.S., she had to leave behind their autistic son, Michael because he aged out. The separation broke her heart. Norma and husband Joy (left) went to three other attorneys who were unable to deliver results, until they decided to retain leading U.S. immigration attorney Michael J. Gurfinkel, who was finally able to bring Michael to the U.S., to be reunited with his parents. Watch the heartfelt journey of Michael and his family that led to a pleasant reunion, but with a painful ending, on an encore episode of “Citizen Pinoy” – on Sunday at 6:15 p.m. (PST) on TFC. (Advertising Supplement)

Measles can kill

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 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 examining room, it could still cause infection 2 hours after an infected patient has left the room. The patient is

Sa huling Biyernes ng Buwan Abril 26, Mayo 31 at Hunyo 28 DRAWING AT 10PM

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 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

First Preference

Unmarried sons and daughters of US citizens (over 21 years of age)

EACH month, the Visa Office of the State Department publishes, in the Visa Bulletin, the priority dates for that particular month, for the various family and employment based categories. A priority date is a person’s “place in line” for a visa, meaning immigrant visas (or green cards) would be available for persons whose priority date is earlier than the cut-off date listed below. If your priority date was “current,” but later retrogressed (or “moved backwards” and became unavailable) before your immigrant visa was issued (or before you adjusted status in the U.S.), you would have to wait until it becomes current again. Beginning last October 2015, the format of the Visa Bulletin changed, in that a new column was added, called the “Application Filing Date.” If a person’s priority date is earlier than the Application Filing Date, they can already file for adjustment of status and work authorization (provided they are otherwise eligible and USCIS indicates on its website it will use the Application Filing Date for that month). This could allow people to obtain work authorization much sooner than before, where they had to wait for the priority date to be current (in the Visa Issuance Date column) in order to both file for adjustment and be eligible for a green card. ***

Michael J. Gurfinkel has been an attorney for over 35 years and is licensed, and an active member of the State Bars of California and New York. All immigration services are provided by, or under the supervision of, an active member of the State Bar of California. Each case is different and results may depend on the facts of the particular case. The information and opinions contained herein (including testimonials, “Success Stories”, endorsements and re-enactments) are of a general nature, and are not intended to apply to any particular case, and do not constitute a prediction, warranty, guarantee or

legal advice regarding the outcome of your legal matter. No attorney-client relationship is, or shall be, established with any reader. WEBSITE: www.gurfinkel.com Follow us on Facebook. com/GurfinkelLaw and Twitter @ GurfinkelLaw Call Toll free to schedule a consultation for anywhere in the US: 1-866-487-3465 (866) – GURFINKEL Four offices to serve you: LOS ANGELES · SAN FRANCISCO · NEW YORK · PHILIPPINES

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 Continued on Page SF7

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people & events The Asian Jour nal SF MAGAZINE - April 26, 2019

Humanitarian Parole for urgent medical and family cases urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit any alien applying for admission into the United States,.. .� In practice, the Secretary’s parole authority is delegated to the 3 bureaus of the Homeland SecuAtty. AurorA VegA-Buzon rity — the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), CARLOS is a married child the Immigration and Customs petitioned by his U.S. citizen Enforcement (ICE) and the father. His priority date is Customs and Border Protection October 30, 1992 and it’s just a (CBP) — who all exercise parole matter of months before his visa authority concurrently. becomes available. UnfortuHumanitarian Parole is catnately, his father who is 87 years egorized based on which agency old, suffered a heart attack after will receive and adjudicate the Christmas and is now in a care application. The following cases facility. He applied for a tourist must be submitted to the USvisa so he can visit his father but CIS: 1. Urgent medical, family, his application was denied. His and related needs; and 2. Aliens family wonders if there is a way who will participate in civil profor Carlos to see his ailing father. ceedings where all parties are Foreign nationals or aliens private litigants. On the other who have urgent medical and hand, ICE will be the adjudicatfamily needs like Carlos —but ing authority for the following cannot obtain visas from embas- cases: 1. Aliens who will particisies abroad — can try to apply pate in administrative, judicial, for a Humanitarian Parole. or legislative proceedings, Humanitarian Parole is and/or investigations, whether highly discretionary and is not at the federal, state, local, or an immigration benefit. It is tribal level of government; 2. considered as an “extraordinary Aliens in removal proceedings measure, sparingly used only in or who have final orders, as urgent or emergency circumwell as aliens granted deferred stances, by which the Secretary action by ICE at any point after of the Department of Homeland the commencement of removal Security may permit an inadmis- proceedings, regardless of sible alien temporarily to enter whether the alien is within or or remain in the United States.� outside of the U.S.; 3. Aliens It is “not intended to bypass who will participate in events immigration procedures or avoid hosted by an international visa processing procedures and organization located within the timelines� and is granted only U.S. (e.g., UN, OAS); 4. Section upon clear evidence that the 7 parole (50 USC 403[h]); and 5. “parole applicant has exhausted Intelligence. Aliens who are regvisa processes, including any istered sources of a member of waivers to grounds of inadmisthe U.S. Intelligence Community sibility.� and whose parole furthers the Section 212(d)(s)(A) of the National Intelligence mission, Immigration and Nationality Act or aliens whose parole is sought (INA) authorizes the Secretary by the Department of State of the Department of Homeland Cooperative Threat Reduction Security to “in his discretion, Program or by the Intelligence parole into the United States Community. temporarily under such condiThe above list is non-extions as he may prescribe only haustive and USCIS will adjudion a case-by-case basis for cate all other parole applications

The CTV Files

that are not otherwise assigned to ICE and/or the CBP. Only a foreign national or alien who is outside the United States can apply for Humanitarian Parole. Anyone may file the application - the parole applicant himself, a sponsoring relative, an attorney, or any other interested individual or organization. The application must be accompanied by supporting documentation of the emergency or urgent nature of the applicant’s circumstances, and proof that applicant has tried to secure a visa and/or applied for waiver of inadmissibility but was denied. In cases of medical emergencies, there must be an accompanying medical certificate regarding the diagnosis; lack of appropriate treatment in the home country or neighboring country; duration and cost of treatment in the United States; ability to pay for the treatment; and evidence of strong ties to the home country to guarantee applicant’s return to his/her home country. An initial grant of parole is only for a set period of time that corresponds with the length of the emergency or humanitarian situation, but not to exceed one (1) year. However, an extension may be requested. Humanitarian Parole does not give a parolee any permanent immigration status and does not authorize a parolee to work in the United States. *** Atty. Aurora Vega-Buzon is a partner in Chua Tinsay & Vega, A Professional Legal Corporation (CTV) - a full service law firm with offices in San Francisco, San Diego and Philippines. The information presented in this article is for general information only and is not, nor intended to be, formal legal advice nor the formation of an attorney-client relationship. Call or e-mail CTV for an in-person or phone consultation to discuss your particular situation and/or how their services may be retained at (619) 955-6277; (415) 495-8088; auvega@ctvattys.com  (AdvertisingSupplement)

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

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

the lottery. “I’m very blessed to be working with her, and like I always say, may mga bagay na hindi ko na inaasahan at this point in my career pero nangyayari at binibigay sa iyo. So I really can’t complain dahil napaka-swerte ko,� he enthused. In “Love You Too,� Mercado breathes life to Raffy, a woman who has a thriving career, while Concepcion is Jake, a charming businessman and hotel owner who remains a dashing debonair even in his 40s. Raffy has a pretty younger sister named Sam (Shaira Diaz),

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

How Jake Cuenca handled the nastiest rumor about him by Dolly anne Carvajal Inquirer.net

JAKE Cuenca is one actor who does not turn in half-hearted portrayals. The Kapamilya hunk could very well be called Mr. Intensity. He begged off from answering questions about his “significant other,� Miss International 2016 Kylie Verzosa. He said he would rather keep their romance low-key so it won’t go off-key. Here’s my chat with Jake: What’s more important to you, box-office success or awards? The most important thing for me is to do what I love, and to improve. I want every role and performance to be the performance of a lifetime. Love for the craft that comes first, then everything else comes after. What has fame taught you? It’s temporary. To last in this industry, it’s going to take a lot of love for the craft and for what you do. What was the nastiest rumor about you, and how did you handle it? Through the

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 JakeCuenca think men would never underPhoto from Instagram/@juancarloscuenca stand what women really feel years, so many things have been when they go through their thrown at me. But as long as I period. know the truth, no one can tell What’s the biggest love me otherwise. lesson that you’ve learned, so At this point in your career, far? After all the relationships what else do you want to I’ve been through, I’ve learned to achieve? Maybe more of being understand aspects of love that successful at every medium—on are hard to understand. TV, in theater and films. What’s the toughest part What’s the craziest thing of being Jake Cuenca? Beyou did for love? I’ve done a lot ing a perfectionist in my craft, of crazy things for love, but when that’s why I constantly challenge I fall in love with someone, I give myself. I constantly strive for 110 percent. excellence.

The Bucket List...


GMA photo

tears. I looked around with some embarrassment. People were beginning to look at us. I prayed for wisdom. After some time, he say, “Anna Cinco!� Surprised, From Page SF3 stopped and asked me, “Sister, I looked up - it was a young We might be able to widen our is there still hope for us? for woman in jeans but wearing a perspective just a tad and realme?� silver cross like mine. She smiled ize in time that we are each a I directed that question to piece of colorful mosaic in God’s and came over and introduced the Lord, and found myself sayherself. She was a young sister Grand Mural for HIS story about ing, “Of course, there is hope for of ours from the Dominican us.] you. Look, I shouldn’t even be Republic who had been in one HE HAS PLANS, TOO. here. My boarding gate is half an of our houses in Brazil, and said By Sister Anna Cinco, Hijas hour away, on the other side of that she had met me in one of de Jesus my trips there. (We have a cause the airport. But the Lord brought In 2015 I had to make a for canonization which had been me here because He wanted to 12-day trip to Spain and then a reach you! So yes, there is hope initiated in Brazil.) So I asked 9-day trip to Rome. Usually, for for you.� I myself was surprised these short trips, I plan and make why she was in the airport, and at my answer... His face began she said she had just come from to-do lists way ahead, because I to clear, and then light up, and Rome where she had participatcannot afford to miss anything. by the time we parted, he was ed in the preparatory course for One day, as I was coming to smiling. He still emails me once final profession, and that she was the end of my stay in Salamanca, on her way to her boarding gate in a while. I was praying in the chapel So I continued with my trip for her flight to the Dominican before the Blessed Sacrament. I to Rome, still pondering what Republic. Since she was young took out my to-do list for Spain, and was not familiar with Madrid had happened. Toward the end checked it carefully, and saw of my stay in Rome, I did the airport, and I knew her boardthat I had pretty much achieved same thing – tick off items on ing gate was half an hour’s walk what I had come for. I was very my list. Then, on the day of my away, I insisted on going with satisfied with myself, when the departure, the Superior, who her. We laughed and chatted thought came to me, “I have a was bringing me to the airport, along the way, and I was sorry to list, too.� Startled, I looked at the leave her at her boarding gate. I asked if I would mind leaving tabernacle. still had plenty of time before my early for the airport, since she “I have a list, too.� had to get back to the house for scheduled flight, so without any “You have a list, Lord?�, I an appointment. I said, why, no, hurry, I began walking back to asked. I would not mind at all. I always my own boarding gate. “Yes, I have a list.� bring material to read. Then I heard a voice say in I pondered that for a few moSo we reached the airport Spanish, “Sister, Sister!� And ments. Of course, He has a list. early, and I found that my boardSo I prayed, “Make me open as I stopped and looked back, I ing gate had not even appeared saw a dark young man running to Your plans, Lord. Give me a towards me. And he said, “Sister, on the screen. I took one of the docile heart, a docile spirit.� seats nearby. You know, those do you speak Spanish? Can I The day after, I left for Matalk to you, please?� I wondered airport seats where people sit drid for a 2-day stay. I had a few back to back. I had just opened what for, but stopped. And he things more to do there. When my book, when I heard a voice began to walk with me, and tell the day of my departure for behind me say in Italian, “Sister, Rome came, since I was going to me about his problems. It was do you speak Italian? Can I talk the airport alone, I decided to go hard to talk while walking, and I to you? I am very angry with early and leave a wide margin for was afraid we were getting too God.� I turned my head and it far from his boarding gate, so I the unforeseen. When I reached was a beautiful lady, elegantly invited him to sit down with me. Barajas, I had almost the whole dressed. I thought, “She has He was a migrant worker from morning to wait. So I sat by my tortured eyes.� Mexico who had marital probboarding gate and buried my Saying, “May I sit beside you, lems and did not know what to head in a book about causes for then?�, I went over to do so. do. I listened to him in sympacanonization. thy, and pretty soon he was in Suddenly I heard someone Continued on Page SF7

people & events


The Asian Jour nal SF MAGAZINE - April 26, 2019

How Fil-Am DJ Tom...

From Page SF3 Musical growth Family members helped with his musical growth, as well. “Elvis (Presley)… My mom was crazy about Elvis,” said Tom of his mother, Corazon, who passed away in 2004. “The doo-wop songs… My dad (Tom Sr.) is 80 years old. He got married when he was 40. He [listens to] ’50s, ’60s and ’70s music. My sister (Antoinette) is a big influence; she loves music so much—Earth, Wind & Fire, Britney Spears, Alicia Keys. She always has good music for me.”

Now based in Xiamen, the artist-performer usually drops by the Philippines once a month. “I come back for shows and go to Pampanga to see my dad,” said Tom, who has played at US venues such as Avalon Hollywood and the Playboy Mansion. On the acting work he’s proudest of, Tom enthused, “I could say maybe a German TVmovie or a movie for HBO, but I would say ‘Cedie,’ because I see how much it impacted people. I didn’t realize that until now that I’m older. When I was making the movie, I was hav-

Measles can kill...

From Page SF5 (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 CHILLIN’ ON THE BEST COAST. Arnold and Pinky Adriano together with their son Aga and grandson, Adam of Winnipeg Canada recently visited San Francisco. problem globally, including for the Philippines, where only you have so few!” (http://www. about 3.9 million children (out paceminterris.org/experienceof more than 30 million) have pacem/the-hermitages/st-teresa- been vaccinated. of-avila/) right, you never talked to Him. From Page SF6 Why are some parents suTime passed quickly, and I Then I saw that she was reading Now you are angry with Him, but ing? a Spanish book, so I asked, “Do at least you are talking with Him, had to catch my flight. The lady Five anti-vaccine parents had already told me her name you speak Spanish?” And she right?” filed a suit against New York (she was from Argentina but she for its mandatory vaccination said she was from Argentina. Her eyes flew open in was married to an Italian), and “Fine,” I said, “I speak Spanish surprise, then she began to nod ordinance, which a Brooklyn better than Italian. Let’s talk in slowly, and as she saw me smile, said she was so happy to have Judge recently dismissed to Spanish.” And she began talking. she began to laugh. We laughed met me and talked with me. She protect the general public. invited me for coffee, but I had I listened to her (prayerfully) for together for a while. And I said, Washington State a week ago to go. about an hour - it was a list of “Don’t you think God prefers passed a bill that removes And as I walked to my board- the personal belief exempproblems, sick family members, this, than have you go back to iging gate, I remembered that one trial after another, anger noring Him?” Her face changed tion from MMR vaccinations. thought, “I have a list, too.” And These misguided parents are with God, etc. And I thought, completely. And we continued looking at her, “Without those talking happily, and she laughed I realized that had I fallen short of partly responsible for the problems, she would be very heartily when I told her that story my to-do lists for Salamanca and resurgence of measles. Those self-satisfied, with no thought of of St. Teresa of Avila, that in one Rome, the entire trip would still parents against Gardasil (the have been worthwhile if only for God whatever, angry or not.” of her travels, 98-percent effective antithese two of His children... So when she had come to “... her saddle slipped, and cervical cancer vaccine), who Next week: Back to yet the end of her list and was lookshe found herself head down ununwittingly put young girls at another idea to consider for The risk for this dreaded cancer. A ing at me expectantly, I said, “So der the belly of a donkey as she Bucket List… now you wanted to tell God how crossed a stream. Complaining grave mistake. Rejection might *** angry you are with Him?” And to the Lord of her treatment, she be justified ONLY WHEN the Nota Bene: Monette Adeva Maglaya is SVP illness was not contagious and she nodded her head vigorheard him reply, “Teresa, whom ously and asked, “Is that wrong, the Lord loves, he chastises. This of Asian Journal Publications, Inc. To send would not harm others. comments, e-mail monette.maglaya@ Sister?” I answered slowly, “I is how I treat all my friends.” When was the vaccine asianjournalinc.com guess, when things were going She replied tartly, “No wonder

The Bucket List...

ing fun—[people tell me] how much it made them feel good, how they connected with it, and it’s such a beautiful story.” Biggest break His favorite gig, so far? He disclosed, “Ultra is one of the biggest music festivals in the world. Few festivals are really considered ‘the big boys,’ and Ultra’s one of them. [The 2015 fest in Japan] was my biggest break.” And, he aims to keep going. “I’ve been a full-time DJ since I was 19 years old —just ‘gig-ing’ and learning the ropes in Hollywood and all the clubs there,” Tom recounted. “This is where life is taking me; it’s still a good ride!”

therefore, less infection rate, the phenomenon called herd immunity. Vaccinations save not only the immunized person introduced? but also the unvaccinated The measles vaccine ones. Measles vaccine prowas developed in 1963. In tects for at least 20 years and 1967, vaccines were available life-long immunity for about 96 for mumps, and in 1969, for percent of people. rubella (German measles). The What is SSPE? 3 were then combined in 1971, Those who develop chronic popularly known today as MMR vaccine. The first national progressive brain inflammation called Subacute Sclerosing measles campaign of 1966 Pan-Encephalitis (SSPE) as a brought down the incidence complication of measles could of measles. Four years later, have the following, even 6 the rate came down to 47,351 cases and 89 deaths, a fraction to 8 years after the infection: behavioral changes, uncontrolof previous statistics before lable movements, memory loss, the vaccine was introduced. blindness, inability to walk, The worst in recent memory is in 2014, where there were 667 seizures, coma, leading to a persistent vegetative state. cases of measles in the USA. Measles is a most contaHow effective is the vacgious disease, a potential killer. cine? It is nothing to sneeze about. The MMR vaccine is 99 percent effective in preventing The vaccine is 99 percent effective, safe, and a life-saver. measles, mumps, and rubella. The choice is a no-brainer. Unfortunately, as I have said *** earlier, there are many who Philip S. Chua, MD, FACS, FPCS, a refuse to avail of the protecCardiac Surgeon Emeritus based in tion vaccines could provide. Northwest Indiana and Las Vegas, The CDC recommends that all children get two doses of MMR Nevada, is an international medical lecturer/author, and Chairman of the vaccine….the first dose at 12 Filipino United Network-USA, a 501(c)3 to 15 months and the second humanitarian foundation in the United dose at 4 to 6 years. The CDC urges adults … to get vaccinat- States. Websites: philipSchua.com and FUN8888.com Email: scalpelpen@ ed.” When vaccination rate is gmail.com high, fewer unvaccinated individuals could also be exposed, (Advertising Supplement)


The Asian Jour nal SF MAGAZINE - April 26, 2019

Profile for Asian Journal Community Newspapers

042619 - Northern California Edition  

042619 - Northern California Edition