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MAY 16-22, 2019


Volume 30 - No. 20 • 16 Pages

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Political dynasties lose Manila, Pasig, San Juan POLITICAL clans suffered heavy defeats in Metro Manila, with new leaders set to take office in the cities of Manila, San Juan and Pasig, even as other dynasties continued to hold on to their bailiwicks. Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso was proclaimed the new mayor of Manila, soundly defeating the incumbent, Joseph Estrada, by garnering 357,925 votes to the latter’s 210,605. “It is a humbling experience,” said Moreno, who served as Estrada’s vice mayor from 2013 to 2016, as he called for reconciliation. Domagoso’s running mate, reelectionist Vice Mayor Maria Sheilah “Honey” Lacuna-Pangan, also secured a second term. Estrada, who served as San Juan Newly elected Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto (center), Manila Mayor Francisco Domagoso aka ‘Isko Moreno’ and Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna (left) and Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte and her vice mayor, Gian Sotto. photos mayor for nearly two decades be-


DATELINE Trump signs executive order to reestablish AAPI commission

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Asian Americans spent $1 trillion last year and brands are taking notice, says report



FOREIGN Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. on Tuesday, May 14, said President Rodrigo Duterte and his drug war won as administrationbacked senatorial candidates led the race in the 2019 election polls. “The Senatorial elections were not a referendum in favor of Charter Change either, the death penalty, and jailing minors. The elections were Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary a referendum on Duterte Teodoro Locsin Jr. photo and his war on drugs. He & the war just won,” he posted on Twitter. He also told the public to “shut up” about the subject already as the drug war “goes on.” At least eight candidates endorsed by the president are leading the race for 12 Senate seats in the latest update of partial and unofficial tally of votes from

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Partial and unofficial 2019 midterm election results from PPCRV-Inquirer Transparency Server as of 12:59 a.m. on Thursday, May 16, 2019. AJPress infographic by Kendrick Tan

Duterte to children: Get out of politics by ALEXIS

A NEW report released by Nielsen on Thursday, May 9 said that Asian Americans spent $1 trillion last year — a testament to the demographic’s growing spending power and influence in mainstream U.S. culture. Linking the correlation between the growing population number and high spending, the report — titled “Informed Influencers and Powerful Purchasers: The Asian American Consumer Journey” — added that at a current population of 22.6 million, spending power among Asian Americans is expected President Rodrigo Duterte’s children: Sebastian “Baste” Duterte, Sara “Inday”

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‘Duterte and the war just won’ - Locsin


PRESIDENT Donald Trump on Monday, May 13 signed an executive order to advance the “economic empowerment” of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI). The order, which comes during Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, is intended “to empower Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to improve the quality of their lives, raise the standard of living of their families and communities, and more fully participate in our economy,” the White House announced.

fore parlaying his popularity to the presidency in 1998, also saw his granddaughter lose in his family’s bailiwick. Ejercitos lose San Juan Francis Zamora ended the 50-year supremacy of the Ejercitos — Estrada’s real surname — by winning the mayorship with 35,060 votes compared to Janella Ejercito’s 24,913. Janella is the daughter of former senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, who is also currently out of the “Magic 12” list of potential Senate winners. For the vice mayoral race in San Juan City, Zamora’s running mate Warren Villa got 28,882 votes while Janella’s running mate Boy Celles got 24,465. Zamora, a former San Juan vice mayor, ran for the top spot in 2016

Duterte-Carpio and Paolo “Pulong” Duterte.


DAVAO CITY — Despite the decisive victory of his children in the elections, President Duterte said it is better for them to get out of politics. “The earlier... the better,” Duterte told reporters after voting at the Daniel Aguinaldo National High School on Monday, May 13. On the possibility that his daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio would take his place when he steps down, the President photos warned her against running for president.

“The presidency will not educate you. It will just destroy you,” Duterte said. The president’s children won by a landslide in the elections here. Carpio succeeded in her reelection bid as she got 565,284 votes. Her opponent Jun Marcellones garnered only 4,165 votes. The tally is from 97.01 percent or 1,105 of the 1,139 clustered precincts. Carpio’s runningmate and brother Sebastian,

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Presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg Aquino falls to 13th spot in latest joins AAPI dinner in Las Vegas

Comelec partial, official count by


MANILA — Otso Diretso senatorial candidate Bam Aquino was knocked out of the “winning circle” after more than 24 hours of barging into the Magic 12, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) official count showed late Wednesday night, May 15. According to the latest partial

and official count of Comelec, Aquino slid from 12th place to 13th place on the second day of canvassing of votes that adjourned at 11:59 p.m. Following Aquino’s fall, administration-backed senatorial bets dominated the Senate race with

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by AJPRESS SOUTH Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg was the latest Democratic presidential contender to meet with Las Vegas’ Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. Buttigieg on Saturday, May 11 joined the AAPI Democratic Caucus’ (AAPIDC) community dinner, which was attended by over 150 community members.

Eleven-year-old student Cevan Louie introduced the mayor before his remarks, while Cristina Drost, who lived in South Bend before Las Vegas, presented Buttigieg with a lei. “Whenever I join my AAPI friends...I know there will be a sense of welcome that is such a deep American value and that is a little bit fragile in our country right now so it is a great opportunity to model what America might


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South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg made a campaign stop in Las Vegas on Saturday, May 11. AJPress photo by Robert Macabagdal • (702) 792-6678

may 16-22, 2019 • LaS VEGaS aSIaN JOURNaL

From The FronT Page

Aquino falls to 13th spot in latest...

PAGE 1 a total of nine out of 12, coming from the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDPLaban) and Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP). PDP-Laban is chaired by President Rodrigo Duterte himself, while HNP is the regional party formed by presidential daughter Sara Duterte-Carpio. PDP-Laban

is the political party of the administration. HNP-endorsed candidate Sen. Cynthia Villar and independent candidate Sen. Grace Poe remained the top contenders in the senatorial race. The Comelec, sitting as the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC), has so far canvassed 89 certificates of canvass (COCs) out

of the 167 COCs from the midterm polls. Below are the latest partial and official results of the canvassing: 1) Cynthia Villar: 10,416,332 2) Grace Poe: 9,151,162 3) Christopher “Bong” Go: 8,549,086 4) Pia Cayetano: 8,417,229 5) Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa: 8,025,527 6) Sonny Angara: 7,699,782 7) Imee Marcos: 7,157,978 8) Lito Lapid: 6,607,637 9) Francis Tolentino: 6,552,739 PAGE 3

Political dynasties lose Manila...

PAGE 1 Belmontes regain QC mayorIncumbent Mayor Mar-Len but was defeated by Guia Gomez, ship Abigail “Abby” Binay, prevailed with whom Estrada has a son, reIn Quezon City, meanwhile, over her brother, former mayor electionist senator Joseph Victor Vice Mayor Josefina “Joy” Bel- Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay “JV” Ejercito, who is also in dan- monte now holds the top local Jr., by winning 179,522 votes ger of losing in the Senate race. government post previously held compared to the latter’s 98,653. Eusebio ousted in Pasig by her father, Rep. Fernando FeThe race was particulary bitter, In Pasig City, Victor “Vico” liciano “Sonny” Belmonte. with most of the Binay siblings Sotto, the son of television perShe won 469,480 votes, com- supporting Junjun. sonalities Vic Sotto and Coney fortably ahead of rival Jose “BingTheir father, former vice presiReyes, ousted incumbent Bobby bong” Crisologo’s 366,215. dent Jejomar Binay, lost his bid Eusebio with 206,226 votes to She will succeed Herbert Bau- for First District representative, the latter’s 119,726. tista, who before serving as may- losing to former acting Makati For the vice mayoral race, lone or was her father’s vice mayor. mayor Romulo “Kid” Pena, while candidate Iyo Caruncho BernarBelmonte’s running mate, Abby’s husband, Luis Jose Ando got 266,620 votes. councilor Gian Sotto, was also gel Campos Jr., was reelected as Sotto’s running-mate Roman proclaimed new vice mayor after Second District representative. Romulo managed to retake his garnering 382,393 votes ahead Abby’s running mate, reelecseat as the representative of of the 343,470 votes received by tionist Vice Mayor Monique Pasig City’s lone district with lawyer Joseph Peter Sison. Lagdameo, also won by best221,779 votes. Abby defeats Junjun ing Junjun’s partner, outgoing Eusebio’s supporters are conIn Makati, the Binays retained First District Rep. Monsour del testing the proclamation and as their hold on the city, but at the Rosario. (Catherine Modesto, PAGE 1 of press time, were gathered in cost of a division within the fam- Dempsey Reyes, Glee Jalea and ily. Neil Servallos/ the Parish Pastoral Council for front of the Pasig City Hall. Responsible Voting (PPCRV) — among them are reelectionist senator Cynthia Villar, former presidential aide Bong Go, PAGE 1 Taguig Rep. Pia Cayetano, former Philippine National Police who ran unopposed, (PNP) chief Bato dela Rosa, re- got 543,317 votes. Paolo, a former electionist senator Sonny Angavice mayor, got a tora, former Ilocos Norte governor Imee Marcos, former presiden- tal of 195,074 votes tial adviser for political affairs as representative of Francis Tolentino, and reelec- the first district of tionist senator Aquilino “Koko” this city. Carpio’s partyPimentel III. mates in Hugpong The opposition senatorial candidates, however, believed that sa Tawong Lungsod, the midterm elections result is a Vince Garcia and “referendum on the Duterte ad- Isidro Ungab, ran unopposed as secministration.” Duterte endeavored to achieve ond and third district stronger leverage in the tradition- representatives, re- President Rodrigo Duterte casts his vote for the midterm elections at his voting precinct at the Daniel R. Aguinaldo National High School in Davao City on Monday, May 13. Malacañang photo by Robinson Niñal ally more independent Senate so spectively. n

‘Duterte and the war just...

Duterte to children: Get out...

as to bolster his legislative agenda — this includes propositions such as the return of the death penalty, lowering the age for criminal liability below the current 15, and revising Philippines’ 1987 Constitution to allow a shift towards federalism. Opposition senators managed to block various proposed bills last year that they thought would undermine civil liberties. To veto Duterte’s emerging majority in the upper chamber, the remaining opposition senators whose seats are not up for election need get backing from leading independent aspirants since at least seven senators are needed to block any proposal by Duterte’s camp to revise the Constitution. n

Asian Americans spent $1 trillion last year... PAGE 1 to reach $1.3 trillion by 2023. It added that in the last decade alone, the Asian American population has grown by seven million people — the most of any ethnic group in the nation. Whereas the total U.S. population saw an 8% percent growth, Asian Americans saw an uptick of 45% for the same time period. The report said that in addition to growing as a demographic, Asian American households are also 17% bigger than the average U.S. household. “In fact, Asian American households boast the highest incomes of any racial or ethnic group in the U.S. — incomes that have boosted the buying power of Asian Americans by 68%

since 2010,” said the report. But at the core of what makes the growing ethnic group so influential is its ability to connect, said the report, which looked at the group’s internet usage and digital consumption trends. Asian Americans as a group have a higher percentage connected to the internet with 99% having internet connectivity compared to the U.S. average of 93%. Percentages are also higher when it comes to ownership of devices: 97% of Asian Americans own a smartphone compared to 91% of the total population, and 89% own a computer compared to 76% of the total population. “Given this demographic’s connected lifestyles, it should

come as no surprise that Asian Americans’ usage of internetconnected devices outpaces the average U.S. consumer,” the report said. Looking at media consumption practices, the report found that not only are Asian Americans spending the most time watching television at almost 23 hours a week, they’re also at the forefront of the shift from traditional cable and over-the-air viewing to “broadband only” viewing and consumption through subscription video on demand services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. “These platforms are extremely popular with Asian American households, with 81% subscribPAGE 3

Presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg joins AAPI... PAGE 1 look like,” Buttigieg said. The South Bend mayor shared his campaign message of “freedom, security and democracy,” which he said has been resonating with the different groups he’s been meeting across the country. “For too long, we’ve allowed our politics to be played out in a way that takes away our humanity, especially this president who just paints entire classes or groups of Americans with a broad brush so we don’t see each other as human beings,” he said. After his speech, he took questions from the audience on topics from immigration backlogs to social security to his understanding of the AAPI community. “Because many of the patterns of immigration in the AAPI community are more recent than the patterns of immigration for other parts of the American fabric, we need to make sure that we’re dealing the backlogs that make it difficult for families who are either traveling to the U.S. or to be able to have a pathway to citizenship that helps our country grow. It’s part of a bigger story on comprehension immigration reform,” he responded. He later added calling for protects for DREAMers and border security that is “part of a plan” and “part of this bipartisan package.” “As president, I am determined to build that consensus back up. Most Americans will be on board with it. We just need to get most

Pete Buttigieg, a Democratic contender for the 2020 presidential election, answered questions from the audience. AJPress photos by Robert Macabagdal

members of Congress to have the same level of common sense that is present in most Americans,” he said. He was also asked about whether U.S. veterans should be buried free of charge. “When someone raises their right hand and takes an oath to serve in the military, I believe that while it is certainly a gift, it is also a mutual promise, of promises being made between the United States and the person who serves the United States,” he said, adding, “The fellowship among people who have served extends even to the dead and the way we honor them reflects very much on us.” Later that evening, Buttigieg went to the Human Rights Campaign gala at Caesar’s Palace. The 37-year-old mayor was in

Los Angeles earlier in the week for a series of fundraisers and a union event with Mayor Eric Garcetti to support the city’s Measure EE, a parcel tax to benefit public education. Buttigieg, who would be the youngest and the first openly gay president in history, is one of 21 Democrats running for the country’s top seat, who include former Vice President Joe Biden and Senators Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders. With Nevada as a key swing state, presidential candidates have made it a point to campaign in the state and meet with AAPIs, who are considered one of the fastest-growing minority groups and make up 10 percent of the state’s electorate. n

Mayor Pete Buttigieg met with over 150 AAPI community members in Las Vegas on Saturday, May 11.

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Dateline USa


Two Chinese vessels spotted during BRP and USCGC training by AJPress

President Donald Trump on Monday, May 13 was joined by the co-chairs of the Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders: Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao; and its commissioners: Amata Coleman Radewagen, Delegate for the U.S. House of Representatives, American Samoa; Sean Reyes, State of Utah Attorney General; Dr. Paul Hsu of Florida; David B. Cohen of California; Y. Lee of Michigan; George Leing of Colorado; Jan-Ie Low of Nevada; Herman Martir of Texas; Prem Parameswaran of New York; and Chiling Tong of Maryland. Official White House photo by Joyce N. Boghosian

Trump signs executive order to reestablish... PAGE 1 It re-establishes the president’s Advisory Commission on AAPIs and the White House Initiative on AAPIs, which work to “broaden access by AAPI employers and communities to economic resources and opportunities” and collect data for AAPI populations through all agencies of the federal government. The president’s signing in the Oval Office was witnessed by members of the Advisory Commission, including its co-chairs Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao and its commissioners, who include two Filipino Americans: Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes and Herman Martir, a pastor from Fort Worth, Texas. Reyes, whose father is of Filipino and Spanish descent, has been attorney general of his state since 2013 — during which he became the first ethnic minority to hold that position or any statewide office in Utah. Martir, a pastor at Nations Worship Center, is the president of the Asian Action Network

President Donald Trump on Monday, May 13 signed executive order “Economic Empowerment of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders” in celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosianv

and the Asian Prayer Network and founder of Emerging Leaders International. Both Martir and Reyes were part of Trump’s AAPI advisory committee during his 2016 presidential campaign. Other commissioners present on Monday were Amata Coleman Radewagen, Delegate for the U.S. House of Representatives, American Samoa; Dr. Paul Hsu of Florida; David B. Cohen of California; Y. Lee of Michigan; George Leing of Colorado; Jan-Ie Low of Nevada; Prem Parameswaran of New York;

and Chiling Tong of Maryland. The commissioners were appointed by Trump in January. The first White House Initiative on AAPIs was established through an executive order by former President Bill Clinton in 1999 and subsequently renewed by former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. AAPIs, which are considered the fastest-growing racial group in the U.S., account for more than 6 percent of the country’s population. (AJPress)

Aquino falls to 13th spot in latest... PAGE 2 10) Aquilino Pimentel III: 6,220,434 11) JV Ejercito: 6,079,028 12) Nancy Binay: 5,949,885 13) Bam Aquino: 5,722,776 14) Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr.: 5,677,321 15) Jinggoy Estrada: 4,696,167 The CoCs from provinces, cities, local and overseas absentee voting received and processed on Wednesday were that of Abra, Aklan, Antique, Batanes, Catanduanes, Cebu city, Caloocan City, Marikina City, Pasig City, Parañaque City, Malabon city, Taguig-Pateros, Davao City, Davao del Norte, Ilocos Sur, kalinga, Masbate, Nueva Ecija, Laguna,

Romblon, South Cotabato, Sultan kudarat, Surigao del Sur, Quirino, Zamboanga Sibugay, Camarines Sur, Sarangani, La Union, Australia, Italy, Spain, New Zealand, Islamabad, Phnom Penh, Oman, China, Taiwan, Malaysia. Dili, Vatican city, India, Yangon, the Hague, Prague, Berlin, Indonesia, Hanoi, Cairo, Brazil, Dhaka, Port Moresby, Lebanon, and Tel Aviv. Meanwhile, partial unofficial tally from the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) transparency server showed that 97 percent of vote counting machines have already been transmitted. As of 11:34 p.m., results of the PPCRV showed that Aquino was

at 14th place with 13,951,245 votes. At 13th is Ejercito with 14,071,111 votes — or only 119,966 votes behind. PPCRV is one of Comelec’s citizens’ arms in this year’s elections. The other one is the Legal Network for Truthful Elections (Lente), a nationwide group of lawyers, law students, paralegals and other trained volunteers. The NBOC first convened its canvassing session last Monday but immediately adjourned after no votes have been transmitted at Comelec. Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said the poll body was aiming to finish the canvassing of votes within the week. n

BARkO ng Republika ng Pilipinas (BRP) Batangas and kalanggaman along with United States Coast Guard Cutter (USCGC) Bertholf on Tuesday, May 14, spotted two Chinese coast guard vessels seemingly monitoring the exercises. The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said that the two Chinese Coast Guard vessels were seen near Bajo de Masinloc or Scarborough Shoal during the capacity-building exercises 50 nautical miles from Subic Bay. They claimed that at one point, one of the Chinese ships got as close as 2.9 nautical miles from the BRP Batangas. However, the Chinese vessels did not interact with the Philippine ship. BRP Batangas Commanding Officer Commander Gary Dale Gimotea said that the capacity exercises were the first PH-U.S. engagement of its kind in the West Philippine Sea. The trainings included a rescue simulation

and communication exercise. “The U.S. has their capacity to conduct maritime law enforcement and maritime security, and the Philippines has its own set of protocols to do the same. By working together, we learn from each other and develop working harmony involving mutual interest of both countries,” he said. He added that they were not bothered by the Chinese presence in the area. According to him, “they’re just trying to observe what we’re trying to do with the capability exercise involving the U.S. Coast Guard.” “We still continue to do what we need to do. We have a job to protect and we are not really concerned with what they are doing there as long as we are doing our mandate within the law,” Gimotea explained as reported by The Philippine Daily Inquirer. The commanding officer emphasized that the concern of the coast guard lies solely on the safety of the people and the immediate maritime environment. “The coast guard is a humani-

tarian agency and is focused on saving lives. Almost all coast guards are one at sea and helping and keeping maritime security, maritime safety and environmental protection,” Gimotea said. “It’s mutual interest between countries aimed at helping the people who use our maritime environment,” he added. Scarborough, dubbed by Filipinos as Panatag Shoal and by the Chinese as Huangyan Island, has been a disputed area since 2012 when Manila sent its biggest warship to chase off Chinese poachers. Filipino fishermen reported that some Chinese Coast Guard ships drove them away from the shoal as wooden ships that bore China’s flag harvested giant clams. With Chinese government ships watching from a distance, one of the U.S. Coast Guard’s biggest and most advanced vessels conducted drills with Philippine counterparts near the Scarborough Shoal in the West Philippine Sea (WPS). n

tion for Asian Americans in that many reported using the internet to buy hard-to-find products from Asia, the report further found that such purchase trends were making a hit in U.S. mainstream culture. For example, trending among non-Asians in the U.S. are Japanese snack box subscriptions and korean baby seats. Market sales of Asian sauces and condiments also each grew 6% last year. “Products such as ready-todrink green tea and curry spices have seen impressive dollar and unit volume far outpacing that of overall beverages and spices,” said the report which included ghee, kombucha, naan, Asian dumplings, sushi, sesame cook-

ing oil, jasmine rice, and curry paste among Asian foods finding mainstream appeal. “Asian Americans are reshaping the American path to purchase, traversing the consumer journey fortified with their status as trailblazers in innovative internet connectivity, e-commerce with a global perspective, and holistic views of diet and consumption,” concluded the report. “Despite a greater percentage of Asian Americans under 35 being U.S. born, culture sustainability driven by multigenerational influences and the ability to blend cultures to create an evolved U.S. culture in their own image is having a profound effect on American society.” (Rae Ann Varona/AJPress)

Asian Americans spent $1 trillion last year... PAGE 2

ing to at least one of them (19% higher than the total population),” said the report. On social media where younger Asian Americans have been found to be especially savvy, the report highlighted that Asian Americans as a group particularly outpace the general U.S. when it comes to online shopping. According to the report, 26% agreed that social media had an important role in their discovery about products, 19% agreed that rating or reviewing was an important reason for social media use, and 22% agreed that receiving offers and other discounts were important on social media. Furthermore, Asian Americans said they enjoyed sharing advice on purchases and their opinions on products with others. With electronics and technology, 43% agreed that they gave advice to others looking to buy new devices. For food, 71% said that they typically recommended food products they liked to people they knew. And while online shopping was found to more importantly offer a sense of cultural connec-

may 16-22, 2019 • LaS VEGaS aSIaN JOURNaL • (702) 792-6678


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Dateline PHontiveros hiliPPines vows to strive for independent Senate

People urged to clean up ‘election trash’ after 2019 polls by Ritchel

Mendiola AJPress

EnvironmEntal watchdog EcoWaste Coalition implored candidates as well as the public to help clean up the remnants of the campaign season days after the 2019 Philippine midterm elections. aileen lucero, the national coordinator of EcoWaste Coalition, said: “regardless of the outcome of your election bid, we appeal to all candidates and parties to take down your campaign materials without delay. Kabit, sabit o dikit mo, tanggal mo (If you posted it, you should remove it).” Echoing her sentiments, Department of the interior local and Government Secretary Eduardo año encouraged local government units and candidates to start with their own circles and conduct cleanup drives across the country. “tapos na po ang halalan at nakapili na ang mga mamamayan kung sino sa palagay nila ang karapat-dapat na magsagwan sa kanila tungo sa tunay na pagbabago (Elections are over and the people have chosen who they think should lead them toward change).... Win or lose, show that you are a good sport and that you have the best intentions for your communities by being part of the clean-up drive in your areas,” año said. He also stated that candidates, elected or not, should show their commitment to conserve and improve their communities by helping clean up the waste produced during the elections. “ipakita natin na masinop at may disiplina tayong mga Pilipino. alisin na natin ang anumang bahid ng katatapos na eleksiyon at magsimula tayo n ang malinis ang ating kapaligiran at malinis ang ating hangarin sa pagliling-

by KRistine Joy


manila — as results of the 2019 midterm polls continue to trickle in, Sen. risa Hontiveros on Wednesday, may 15, said that senators in the minority will continue to work for Senate independence. “We will continue to strive for an independent Senate and introduce electoral reforms, particularly in the partylist system and for campaign finance reform,” Hontiveros said. Hontiveros stressed that the Senate serves as the public’s “last line of defense within the government against continuing attempts to undermine our democracy and

Trash and campaign materials of candidates seen outside Rosauro Almario Elementary School in Tondo, Manila. photo by Edd Gumban

kod (Let’s show that we Filipinos are neat and disciplined. Let’s remove all traces of the recently concluded elections and start with a clean desire and environment to serve),” año added. Ecowaste Coalition also suggested to exercise upcycling of elections campaign materials aside from conducting cleanup drives. Some of its benefits include decreased garbage volume, lowered disposal cost, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, conservation of resources, cleaner surroundings, and an enhanced environmental awareness. “Upcycling, or the creative reuse of discards, is a practical way of saving resources from being burned or sent to the dumps and landfills for disposal,” lucero said. the environmental watchdog listed down possible ways to upcycle campaign materials like repurposing paper-based campaign materials into bookmarks, envelopes, folders, drawing pads,

memo pads, name plates, and scrap books; meanwhile, tarpaulins used can be turned into bags or cases for pencils and mobile phones. With the amount of trash produced during the elections, EcoWaste Coalition called on the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to think of long-term solutions like upgrading existing rules to lessen the use of materials that are toxic and are difficult to reuse or recycle. año emphasized that post-election trash should immediately be cleaned as it might clog canals and waterways and may later cause flooding. “mas magiging malala ang sitwasyon kapag umulan dahil siguradong magdudulot ng baha ang basurang ikinalat natin kaya kumilos na agad tayo (The situation might become worse during rainy seasons, as scattered waste will definitely cause floods. Immediate action should be done),” he said. n

Sen. Risa Hontiveros is part of the Senate’s minority bloc. photo

attack our human rights.” She added: “We will persevere... if anything, we will work harder, strive further and serve better.” While the partial, official Comelec results released late tuesday, may 14, showed reelectionist Sen. Bam aquino as the lone opposition candidate landing a spot in the winners’ circle, the partial, unofficial tally—with more than 96% votes reported—has administration-backed candidates dominating the top 12. in the partial, unofficial tally as of 11:27 a.m., Wednesday, aquino is at the 14th spot. of the handful in the Senate minority bloc, the terms of aquino and Sen. antonio trillanes iv will end on June 30. in the likely event that the Duterte allies fill up the Senate’s chamber, the president’s clout in Congress would strengthen and bolster the country’s policy-making process. Political analyst Dennis Coronacion however cautioned that the scenario would likely weigh on the system of checks and balances in the country. “in the event that President Duterte’s allies dominate the Senate, it’s very likely that the institution will lose its touted independence,” Coronacion, a political science professor at the University of Santo tomas, told Philstar. com in an interview.

“the worst case scenario is when the Senate becomes a rubber stamp for the executive,” Coronacion added. Probe into alleged irregularities in 2019 polls Hontiveros also said that while they would accept the results of the polls “for now,” they would “question the irregularities and we will never give in to despair.” “as we vigilantly wait for the remaining votes to be counted and for the Comelec to address the serious cases of massive vote-buying in the partylist system, the seven-hour delay in the poll body’s transparency server and the breakdown of many vote counting machines (vCms) that disenfranchised a large number of voters, we will continue to meet every challenge and work for the protection of our democracy, no matter the circumstances,” the senator added. as of early afternoon of election day, the Comelec said there were already around 400 to 600 cases of malfunctioning vote counting machines. Despite the staggering rate, however, Commission on Elections James Jimenez downplayed the figure. He said that with around 85,000 vCms in use nationwide, the number is not outside of the expected number. Several progressive groups on tuesday also gathered before the Commission on Elections to protest the alleged rigged elections. n

Palace: Antidynasty bill up to Congress

decide. there are good dynasties Not all dynasties are bad the Palace official made the and there are bad dynasties,” remarks amid the defeat of some he said. among those who lost badly manila — malacañang is established political families in leaving it to the “good con- monday’s midterm elections, in the midterm polls were the science” of the country’s law- and the victory of President ro- Estradas, with the defeat of inmakers to pass a measure ban- drigo Duterte’s children in the cumbent manila mayor Joseph Ejercito Estrada in the mayoral ning political dynasties in the local elections in Davao City. the Constitution presently race in manila and the failure of Philippines. “We will leave it to the mem- prohibits political dynasties, but his children Jinggoy and Jv Ejerbers of Congress, to their good a lack of an enabling law has cito to break into the senatorial conscience, to whatever they prevented it from being fully race’s magic 12. the Estradas also lost in San think is good for this country,” implemented. Panelo noted that President Juan City, their bailiwick, with presidential spokesperson Salalam ko nangangampaniya siya vador Panelo said when asked Duterte himself believed that the victory of their rival Francis for others (Maybe she was over- if the Palace would push for an not all political dynasties are Zamora. bad, and that he would rather “local elections have different confident considering that she has antipolitical dynasty bill. the public can either choose let the people decide who would dynamics. the people are the five million followers and most of ones who know the dynasties them are overseas voters. I know or reject old political families lead them. Estradas themselves. if their leadership is she had campaigned for others),” depending on whether they are “[mr. Duterte has] said before oK, then they will vote for them still “fruitful or beneficial” to he added. that Filipinos will be the ones to again,” Panelo said. n Panelo said he found it “incred- them, Panelo added. ible” that Uson’s party-list did May 28 Tues. Minker Sports 275 N. Mojave Rd. / Stew9am-5pm not win. Karagdagang kaalaman sa Filipino (Tagalog) Complex art, LV the Palace official said Uson’s ay makikita rin sa website ng Lalawigan ng May 28 Tues. Sahara West 9600 W. Sahara Ave. / Grand 10am-6pm party-list might have won if it was Clark Kagawaran ng Halalan sa: Library Canyon, LV named after her. May 28 Tues. SkyView YMCA 3050 E. Centennial Pkwy., NLV 9am-4pm “Eh hindi naman mocha ang May 29 Wed. Lieburn Senior 6230 Garwood Ave., LV 9am-5pm NOTICE OF EARLY VOTING FOR partylist eh. Siguro kung mocha Ctr. THE ENTIRE CITY OF BOULDER CITY; LAS VEGAS’ Partylist, aba’y baka overwhelming 9am-5pm May 29 Wed. Minker Sports 275 N. Mojave Rd. / StewWARDS 1, 2 AND 3; AND art, LV Complex (The name of the party-list is not NORTH LAS VEGAS’ WARD 4 May 29 Wed. Sahara West 9600 W. Sahara Ave. / Grand 10am-6pm Mocha. Maybe if it’s called Mocha 2019 MUNICIPAL GENERAL ELECTIONS AND Library Canyon, LV party-list, it could have been overCITY OF LAS VEGAS’ WARD 2 SPECIAL ELECTION May 29 Wed. SkyView YMCA 3050 E. Centennial Pkwy., NLV 9am-6pm whelming),” he said. May 30 Thu. East Las Vegas 2851 E. Bonanza Rd., East of 10am-6pm Uson, who campaigned for NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that early voting for the June 11, Library Eastern, LV Duterte in the 2016 presidential 2019 Municipal General Elections and the City of Las Vegas’ May 30 Thu. Lieburn Senior 6230 Garwood Ave., LV 9am-5pm Ward 2 Special Election will take place in the cities of Boulder election, had worked as comCtr. City, Las Vegas and North Las Vegas. munications assistant secretary, May 30 Thu. Sahara West 9600 W. Sahara Ave. / Grand 10am-6pm Library Canyon, LV but lawmakers demanded his RESIDENCY REQUIREMENT May 30 Thu. SkyView YMCA 3050 E. Centennial Pkwy., NLV 9am-6pm resignation for failing to appear Village Ctr. Cir. / Trails Ctr., LV 9am-5pm in a Congressional hearing on his Voters who are registered to vote in any area of the City of May 31 Fri. Albertsons May 31 Fri. East Las Vegas 2851 E. Bonanza Rd., East of 10am-5pm agency’s budget for 2019. n Boulder City, in the City of Las Vegas’ Wards 1, 2, or 3, or Library Eastern, LV in the City of North Las Vegas’ Ward 4 are eligible to vote in May 31 Fri. North Mesa Plaza 1601 W. Craig Rd. / Martin L. 9am-6pm this election. You cannot vote in these municipal and special (trailer) King Blvd., NLV elections if you are registered to vote in unincorporated ar- May 31 Fri. Rainbow Library 3150 N. Buffalo Dr. / Chey10am-6pm eas of Clark County or any other area that is not specifically enne, LV City); Corazon malanyaon (Davao indicated. June 1 Sat. Albertsons Charleston / Rainbow, LV 9am-5pm oriental); Joel mayo almario June 1 Sat. Albertsons Village Ctr. Cir. / Trails Ctr., LV 9am-5pm VOTING BY MAIL (Davao oriental); lorna Bautista June 1 Sat. East Las Vegas 2851 E. Bonanza Rd., East of 10am-5pm Library Eastern, LV Bandigan (Davao occidental); ruAny registered voter who is eligible to vote in these elections wel Gonzaga (Compostella valley); may choose to vote by mail. A written request for a mail ballot June 1 Sat. North Mesa Plaza 1601 W. Craig Rd. / Martin L. 9am-6pm (trailer) King Blvd., NLV Jose tejada (Cotabato); manuel must be received by 5:00 p.m. on June 4, 2019. Mail ballot Charleston / Rainbow, LV 9am-5pm Zubiri (Bukidnon); and Bai rihan requests may be obtained from the Clark County Election De- June 2 Sun. Albertsons June 2 Sun. Albertsons Village Ctr. Cir. / Trails Ctr., LV 9am-5pm Sakaluran (Sultan Kudarat). partment at 702-455-8683 or online at www.ClarkCountyNV. June 2 Sun. East Las Vegas 2851 E. Bonanza Rd., East of 10am-5pm Dozens of candidates for gover- gov/vote. If you received a ballot by mail, you may surrender Library Eastern, LV nor, mayor and other local posts that ballot at any early voting site and vote in person. June 2 Sun. North Mesa Plaza 1601 W. Craig Rd. / Martin L. 9am-6pm also had no rivals. (trailer) King Blvd., NLV EARLY VOTING June 3 Mon. Albertsons Charleston / Rainbow, LV 9am-5pm “Just like in business, comJune 3 Mon. East Las Vegas 250 N. Eastern Ave. / Stewart 9am-5pm petition is absolutely necessary VOTING IS EASY! Eligible voters may vote at any of the conCommunity Ctr. Ave., LV to provide consumers — in this venient early voting sites listed below OR on Election Day at case voters — greater freedom any of the City of Boulder City, Las Vegas, or North Las Vegas June 3 Mon. North Mesa Plaza 1601 W. Craig Rd. / Martin L. 9am-6pm (trailer) King Blvd., NLV to choose and to encourage fair Vote Centers, which replace the traditional municipal election June 3 Mon. Veterans Memori- 101 N. Pavilion Ctr. Dr., North 10am-6pm play,” atienza said. polling places. al Leisure Ctr. of Alta, LV atienza called for a return to the June 4 Tue. Aliante Library 2400 W. Deer Springs Way, 11am-7pm LONG-TERM MALL AND SHOPPING CENTER two-party system. East of Aliante Pkwy., NLV EARLY VOTING SITES June 4 Tue. East Las Vegas 250 N. Eastern Ave. / Stewart 9am-5pm “as long as we have at least two Community Ctr. Ave., LV dominant parties all the time, it June 4 Tue. Lakes Lutheran 8200 W. Sahara Ave. / 9am-5pm is okay to have multiple political MEADOWS MALL - JCPENNEY COURT, 1ST FLOOR 4300 Meadows Ln. / S. Valley View Blvd., Las Vegas Church Cimarron, LV parties,” atienza said. (ManilaT- Saturday-Friday, May 25-June 7 (every day) . . . . .10am-6pm June 4 Tue. Veterans Memori- 101 N. Pavilion Ctr. Dr., North 10am-6pm al Leisure Ctr. of Alta, LV DEER SPRINGS TOWN CENTER - TRAILER IN June 5 Wed. Aliante Library 2400 W. Deer Springs Way, 11am-7pm East of Aliante Pkwy., NLV PARKING LOT NEAR MICHAELS N. 5th St., South of CC-215 / W. Dorrell Ln., North Las Vegas June 5 Wed. East Las Vegas 250 N. Eastern Ave. / Stewart 9am-5pm Community Ctr. Ave., LV Saturday-Friday, May 25-June 7 (every day) . . . . . .9am-6pm by Julie


Panelo in disbelief: ‘Mocha lost? I can’t believe that’ by nestoR


manila — Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo expressed disbelief that former communications assistant secretary margaux “mocha” Uson’s party-list did not get even a single seat in Congress. “Bakit, talo si mocha (Mocha lost)? Parang i can’t believe that,” Panelo told reporters in malacañang after he was asked to comment on aa Kasosyo party-list’s failure to secure a Congressional seat. Based on partial and unofficial tally as of 5:01 p.m. on Wednesday, Uson’s party-list has so far received 116,815 votes, but it failed to reach the requirement of one percent of total votes to get at least one seat in Congress. Panelo said mocha, who has at least five million Facebook followers may have been overconfident and did not concentrate on the

Mocha Uson photo

campaign. “Hindi siya nakakuha—eh isa lang ang ibig sabihin niyan: Hindi siya nag-concentrate sa pagkampaniya (She didn’t even get a single seat. It only means one thing. She didn’t concentrate on the campaign),” he said. “Baka she was overconfident considering na she has five million followers and most of them are overseas na bumuboto. Kasi

Atienza decries ‘dysfunctional’ democracy tHE large number of congressional and local candidates who ran unopposed in the midterm elections brought to light the country’s “dysfunctional” democracy, the Buhay party-list group said. “Having a lone candidate for an elective post is bad for voters who are left with no choice,” said Buhay rep. Jose “lito” atienza, the House senior deputy minority leader, said. “it is also bad for [the] government and for our system of checks and balance, and bad for our political parties, as well,” he added. records from the Commission on Elections showed that 34 congressional candidates were unchallenged. they are neptali “Boyet” Gonzales 2nd (mandaluyong City); Dale “along” malapitan (Caloocan City); Weslie Gatchalian (valenzuela City); abra-

ham tolentino (Cavite); Strike revilla (Cavite); luis “Jon Jon” Ferrer 4th (Cavite); alex advincula (Cavite); Danilo Fernandez (laguna); Joaquin “Jun” Chipeco Jr. (Calamba City); resureccion acop (antipolo City); Henry villarica (Bulacan); Cristina Garcia (Bataan); Carlos “Charlie” Cojuangco (tarlac); mario vittorio “marvey” mariño (Batangas); Franz “Chicoy” alvarez (Palawan); mark Enverga (Quezon); angelina tan (Quezon); Junie Cua (Quirino); Pablo ortega (la Union); Elias Bulut (apayao); ramon nolasco Jr. (Cagayan); arnulfo “arnie” teves Jr. (negros oriental); ma. lourdes “marilou” arroyo (negros occidental); leo rafael Cueva (negros occidental); Jose Benitez (negros occidental); vincent Garcia (Davao City); isidro Ungab (Davao

LONG-TERM PUBLIC BUILDING EARLY VOTING SITES BOULDER CITY, CITY HALL COUNCIL CHAMBERS 401 California Ave. / Arizona St., Boulder City Wednesday-Thursday, May 29-30. . . . . . . . . . . . .. . 7am-6pm Friday-Saturday, May 31-June 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8am-6pm LAS VEGAS CITY HALL, 2ND FLOOR, CITY CLERK’S OFFICE 495 S. Main St. / E. Clark Ave., Las Vegas Tuesday-Thursday, May 28-30. . . . . . . . . . . 7:30am-5:30pm Monday-Thursday, June 3-6 . . . . . . . . . . . 7:30am-5:30pm SHORT-TERM NEIGHBORHOOD EARLY VOTING SITES

COMMON POSTER AREA. Kids play at the Serbisyong Bayan Park, a designated common poster area of candidates running in the mid-term elections, in Barangay Batasan, Quezon City on Monday, May 13. Over 61 million Filipinos are expected to cast their votes in today’s polls. PNA photo by Oliver Marquez






May 25 May 25 May 25 May 25

Sat Sat. Sat. Sat.

Albertsons Albertsons Albertsons Cardenas Market

9am-6pm 9am-5pm 9am-5pm 10am-6pm

May 26 May 26 May 26 May 26

Sun. Sun. Sun. Sun.

Albertsons Albertsons Albertsons Cardenas Market

Ann / Simmons, NLV Buffalo / Vegas, LV Charleston / Town Ctr., LV 4421 E. Bonanza Rd. / Lamb, LV Ann / Simmons, NLV Buffalo / Vegas, LV Charleston / Town Ctr., LV 4421 E. Bonanza Rd. / Lamb, LV 6230 Garwood Ave., LV

May 28 Tue.

Lieburn Senior Ctr.

9am-6pm 9am-5pm 9am-5pm 10am-6pm 9am-5pm

June 5 Wed. June 5 Wed. June 6 Thu. June 6 Thu. June 6 Thu. June 6 Thu. June 7 Fri. June 7 Fri. June 7 Fri. June 7 Fri.

Lakes Lutheran Church Veterans Memorial Leisure Ctr. Aliante Library

8200 W. Sahara Ave. / Cimarron, LV 101 N. Pavilion Ctr. Dr., North of Alta, LV 2400 W. Deer Springs Way, East of Aliante Pkwy., NLV East Las Vegas 250 N. Eastern Ave. / Stewart Community Ctr. Ave., LV Veterans Memori- 101 N. Pavilion Ctr. Dr., North al Leisure Ctr. of Alta, LV West Charleston 6301 W. Charleston Blvd., East Library of Torrey Pines, LV Aliante Library 2400 W. Deer Springs Way, East of Aliante Pkwy., NLV East Las Vegas 250 N. Eastern Ave. / Stewart Community Ctr. Ave., LV Lieburn Senior 6230 Garwood Ave., LV Ctr. Veterans Memori- 101 N. Pavilion Ctr. Dr., North al Leisure Ctr. of Alta, LV


10am-6pm 11am-7pm 9am-5pm 10am-6pm 10am-6pm 9am-5pm 9am-5pm 9am-5pm 10am-6pm

To find nearby sites during early voting, go to for a link to an interactive, mobile device enabled early voting site map. DATED: May 16, 2019 Joseph P. Gloria Registrar of Voters PUB: May 16, 23, 30 and June 6, 2019 Las Vegas Asian Journal

6 • (702) 792-6678



Ugly traditions must end


VOTE buying, according to President Rodrigo Duterte, is an “integral part” of Philippine elections. Having spent much of his adult life as a politician, the President must know whereof he speaks. He issued the statement in a chance interview, near the end of voting, when the Philippine National Police had arrested hundreds of people, including candidates and supporters, on charges of buying and selling votes. The president did say that vote buying is an election offense and violators would be prosecuted. But he said all candidates engage in some form of vote buying. Last week he said he saw nothing wrong with giving voters P50 each for their transport fare to and from the polling centers. He may be correct about vote buying being a tradition in this country, but this does not mean that people should stop trying to put an end to it. This is why laws were passed against buying and selling votes. What is lacking is enforcement. Candidates themselves should welcome the strict enforcement of the law, since it would mean lower expenses for them. Problems, however, crop up when the law is selectively enforced.

The country imposes tough penalties for election-related offenses, particularly for the relatively new crime of electoral sabotage. But if even one candidate with the right connections is allowed to break the law and regulations of the Commission on Elections, giving the candidate an edge over political opponents, then the floodgates are open for electoral offenses. The president has said that those arrested for buying and selling votes would face prosecution. People have taken the trouble of reporting cases of vote buying, believing that their complaints would be acted upon, as indicated by the Comelec. The PNP has done its part; now the prosecution service, which is under the executive, should pursue the cases. Candidates who engaged in buying votes must be disqualified and permanently barred from holding public office. Unless offenders are convicted and punished, vote buying will never stop. (


The Fil-Am Perspective GEL SANTOS-RELOS PRESIDENT Donald Trump is yet again engaged in a Twitter war with Filipino American attorney and conservative leader George Conway, after the president declared the 22-month long Mueller probe, “sick and unlawful.” Conway has called out Trump more than the president’s enablers in Congress and in the administration — including his own wife, Senior Advisor Kellyanne Conway — for being a “malignant narcissist” who could only view special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation “purely in terms of your own ego.” The Fil-Am lawyer argued that the actions Trump took in his own self-interest to win the 2016 presidential election against Hillary Clinton should be enough to remove him from office. Conway, known for his work in defending conservative principles, had been one of the most outspoken critics of Trump. He organized a group called “Checks and Balances” in November


YEN MAKABENTA ROLAND Simbulan’s lecture, “The CIA in Manila: the CIA’s Covert Operations and Hidden History in the Philippines” was delivered at the University of the Philippines Manila on Aug. 18, 2000. Simbulan opens the talk with these words: “For a long time, Manila was the main station, if not the regional headquarters, of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) for Southeast Asia. This is perhaps so because the Philippines has always been regarded as a stronghold of U.S. imperial power in Asia. Since the Americanized Filipinos were under the spell of American culture, they were easy to recruit without their realizing they were committing treason to their own people and country.” “Easy to recruit,” “committing treason to their own people and country.” The lecture hurts at the get-go. It gets worse and worse as you read the entire story. Simbulan’s revelations are extensive and explosive. I will summarize here the key observations and highlights. Marcos rule and Marcos’ health 1. CIA human intelligence assets in Manila are said to have provided vital information to Washington at crucial times. According to declassified documents photo

Filipino American lawyer George Conway calls Trump a ‘malignant narcissist’ for approach on Mueller probe

2018, made up of more than a dozen members of the conservative-libertarian Federalist Society, which had been instrumental in selecting candidates for the Trump administration to appoint to federal courts. According to the report of The New York Times, “Checks and Balances” is “urging their fellow conservatives to speak up about what they say are the Trump administration’s betrayals of bedrock legal norms.” One of the members of the group, John Bellinger, contended that “Conservative lawyers are not doing enough to protect constitutional principles that are being undermined by the statements and actions of this president.” Conway had previously posted on Twitter that Trump has “narcissistic and anti-social personality disorders,” which allegedly incapacitate him in discharging the duties and obligations of the Office of the President. Trump replied on Twitter: “George Conway, often referred to as Mr. Kellyanne Conway by those who know him, is VERY

jealous of his wife’s success & angry that I, with her help, didn’t give him the job he so desperately wanted. I barely know him but just take a look, a stone cold LOSER & husband from hell!” Here is the thread of the Twitter war between Trump and Conway on May 12, 2019: TRUMP: “Think of it. I became President of the United States in one of the most hard fought and consequential elections in the history of our great nation. From long before I ever took office, I was under a sick & unlawful investigation concerning what has become known as the Russian…” “…Hoax. My campaign was being seriously spied upon by intel agencies and the Democrats. This never happened before in American history, and it all turned out to be a total scam, a Witch Hunt, that yielded No Collusion, No Obstruction. This must never be allowed to happen again!” CONWAY: “Think of it. The Russia investigation was a legitimate investigation, with a legit-

imate basis, into how a hostile foreign power tried to interfere with and undermine our democracy. It was in the best interests of the nation—in the interests of all Americans, no matter who …” “they voted for—that this investigation be allowed to proceed to its rightful conclusion, without improper attempts to obstruct it, if only so that we could all know what really happened and take steps to see that it never happens again. But because ….” “… you are a malignant narcissist—a person with both narcissistic and antisocial personality disorders—you couldn’t view it that way. Instead of complying with your oath of office, and instead of taking stock of what was in the best interests of…” “the nation whose Constitution and laws you swore to uphold, you viewed the matter purely in terms of your own ego: You viewed the investigation as casting doubt on what you perceive as your great election victory (in which your opponent garnered…”

“... nearly three million more votes than you did), and so you took multiple steps to obstruct, and repeatedly lied about, the investigation from the outset. Even today, despite the wellfounded assessments of the intelligence community, and despite the …” “... damning evidence laid out in the Mueller report, you refuse to take what the Russians did seriously. Instead, you continue to lie, calling the investigation a “hoax” and an “attempted coup,” and you didn’t even mention Russia’s …” “... conduct in your recent 90minute conversation with Putin, the man who seeks to undermine our institutions. Put simply, you put your own perceptions of your self-interest above the national interest, which you seem unable to comprehend or respect…” “... That is your greatest offense against the country, an offense that incorporates but vastly exceeds the statutory crimes you’ve committed. It is the ultimate high crime or misdemeanor under the Constitu-

tion, and under the Framers’ wise design,…” “... it is an offense for which you should pay with your office, regardless of whether you are ultimately brought to justice in the courts of law.” Last April, Conway said Trump’s misconduct was “worse” than the misconduct that led to former President Nixon’s resignation. KUDOS to George Conway for having the testicular fortitude to call out Trump for his transgressions against the country, something that his spineless enablers like his staff in the White House, his cabinet secretaries in the Executive Department, and the Republican leadership in Congress would not do because of their hawkish grip to power and personal political expediency and interests and power play. *** Gel Santos Relos is the anchor of TFC’s “Balitang America.” Views and opinions expressed by the author in this column are solely those of the author and not of Asian Journal and ABS-CBN-TFC. For comments, go to, https://

The CIA and Namfrel: Should this dog survive its scandalous past?

under the Freedom of Information Act, on Sept. 17, 1972, a CIA asset in the Philippines who was in the inner circle of Marcos informed the CIA station in Manila that Ferdinand Marcos was planning to proclaim martial law on Sept. 21,1972. The CIA station in Manila was also provided in advance a copy of Proclamation 1081—the proclamation that declared martial law in the country. The CIA’s assessment of the Sept. 21, 1972 declaration of martial rule boosted the prestige of the CIA station in Manila. In 1982, the CIA was able to verify from a high-ranking Philippine immigration officer the names of the two doctors who visited the Philippines to treat Marcos for kidney failure, giving the CIA a clear picture of Marcos’ health problems. CIA goes beyond original mission 2. The CIA is the covert overseas intelligence agency of the United States government and is likewise an “action-oriented” vehicle of American foreign and military policy. The 1975 Church Committee Report of the U.S. congressional investigations into the CIA’s covert activities abroad revealed how countless foreign governments were overthrown by the CIA; how the CIA instigated a military coup d’état and assassinated foreign political leaders like Chilean President Salvador Allende, who merely tried to safeguard the interests of their own

country; and how “special ops” and paramilitary campaigns contributed to the death, directly or indirectly, of millions of people, as a result of those actions. The CIA has gone beyond its original mission of gathering intelligence and was conducting Mafia-type operations not only in its own territory but against foreign governments and their leaders. CIA covert action in the Philippines The CIA in the Philippines has engaged in countless covert operations for intervention and dirty tricks, particularly in Philippine domestic politics. On top of all this is the U.S. diplomatic mission, especially the political section that is a favorite cover for many CIA operatives. CIA front companies also provide an additional but convenient layer of cover for operatives assigned overseas. The agency’s assets and technical infrastructure in Manila were drastically affected by the withdrawal of the bases in 1992 because, before this, the CIA operated jointly with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) major listening posts into most of Indochina and southern China. The loss of the bases in the Philippines was a tremendous blow to the CIA’s Asian infrastructure, if not a major setback. Legitimation of colonial domination The U.S. places a high premium on the ideological legitima-

tion of its continuing neocolonial domination over the Philippines and, as such, depends heavily on U.S.-financed and U.S.-sponsored institutions, especially on the ideological front. Thus, grants are generously poured in by such agencies like USAid, National Endowment for Democracy, Asia Foundation and the big businesssponsored Ford Foundation. The objective is to constantly lure and lull the masses into the elitedominated electoral process, thus legitimizing the neoliberal economic system and its political apparatus, producing a fragile social peace and a “peaceful mechanism for competition among the Filipino elite and oligarchy.” CIA fronts in Manila Among the most prominent CIA fronts in Manila is the Asia Foundation with offices at Magallanes Village, Makati. According to a former U.S. State Department bureaucrat William Blum in a recent book, the “Asia Foundation is the principal CIA front” and funding conduit in Asia. The Asia Foundation funds and supports known anti-communist groups or influential personalities, i.e. academics, journalists, local officials and institutions. Simbulan said his interviews with former CIA operatives in the Philippines in 1996 confirm the active use of this foundation for the “Agency.” A complete cut-off after 1967, however, would have forced the foundation to shut down, so the agency made it the beneficiary of

a large “severance payment” in order to give it a couple of years to develop alternative sources of funding. Tancangco report In her 1992 book, The Tancangco Report: The Anatomy of Electoral Fraud (Matrix Manila, 1992), Luzviminda G. Tancangco, a former commissioner of the Commission on Elections, provides firsthand documentation on Namfrel’s work as a watchdog of Philippine elections. Because of its well-documented association with the CIA in the Philippines, Namfrel tried to scrub its history by alleging that it started election watching only in the snap elections in 1986. This way, it sought to wipe away its shadowy activities in previous national elections. But even the historical revisionism was insufficient for cleansing. In the 1986 snap elections, it promptly returned to its old ways. It became a partisan for the presidential campaign of Corazon Aquino. It took part in a plot to deprive Marcos of victory and propagandize a fictitious Cory Aquino victory. No matter what it did Namfrel could not credibly document the alleged Aquino victory in a way that would invalidate the official Comelec count of the votes, which saw Marcos as the victor. The most that the Aquino partisans could do was claim that Marcos had stolen the snap election. To this day, foreign correspon-

dents like Tony Lopez of the defunct Asiaweek, will swear that Marcos won the snap 1986 elections. Tancangco in her book documents Namfrel’s numeracy. She noted: “Comelec charged that Namfrel tabulated spurious election returns and that it withheld results from the Kilusan ng Bagong Lipunan bailiwicks. “Namfrel was finally charged with engaging in trending or extrapolation of results, and hiding of election returns favoring the KBL, and resorting to selective posting.” In the subsequent 1987 election, Tancangco noted a twist in the image of Namfrel. Its image as a countercheck on possible fraud by the ruling KBL as changed to that of a possible collaborator with the ruling coalition under the Aquino administration. The shortcomings of Namfrel as an election watchdog in the 1986 and 1987 elections are documented in the Tancangco Report. It could never attest to the credibility or accuracy of its election count. It had no authentication process in the various stages of vote tallying and vote aggregation. To this day, the questionable and incomplete Namfrel count is the only documentation available for Cory Aquino’s alleged victory in the February 1986 snap elections. Was Namfrel in 1986 still doing work for the CIA? Was it receiving U.S. funding? ■

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


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Duterte ‘insult’ to journo meant ‘Erap’ brand not enough power to secure seats for kin to ‘intimidate targets’ — NUJP by Kristine Joy

MANILA — The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines on Tuesday, May 14, said President Rodrigo Duterte’s insult to veteran journalist Ellen Tordesillas and other members of the press was meant to “intimidate his targets.� “There is no question Duterte’s tiresome habit of spewing personal insults is intended to intimidate his targets into silence or submission,� the NUJP said in a statement. “His are the tactics of the thug who resorts to the bludgeon because he cannot reason, even then he fails miserably,� they added. Duterte vouched for the credibility of the latest diagram of people, including Tordesillas and other journalists, allegedly plotting against him on Monday. “The matrix is true, also that on ‘Bikoy,’� Duterte told reporters in a mix of English and Filipino, in a chance interview after he cast his vote in Davao City. He, however, declined to go

into details of the supposed ouster plot and said that he would rather have presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo answer more of the reporters’ question so that his words would not be twisted. The president did not cite evidence to substantiate the claim of a conspiracy. Duterte resorts to insulting than explaining ‘matrix’ The NUJP hit Duterte for resorting to insult Tordesillas when he could not explain the supposed ouster “matrix� against him. “Once again, the foulmouthed misogynist who is the leader of our nation turns to personal insults when he will not or, most likely, cannot offer a credible explanation to his badly concoct and fictitious accusations against critics,� the statement further read. While Duterte referred the media to his spokesperson for “equivocal� issues such as the matrix, he however vented his ire at Tordesillas, VERA Files

president and called her a prostitute. The veteran journalist dismissed Duterte’s latest tirade against her and said the firebrand leader resorts to vulgar words due to lack of evidence to prove the supposed ouster plot. “Since Duterte does not have evidence to support his silly matrix, he is now resorting to vulgarity—the only language he knows,� she said in a statement. The president also insinuated that other journalists are paid hacks, receiving payment from “Western.� But the NUJP stood by Tordesillas and other journalists who received Duterte’s ire. “Mr. Duterte may choose to ignore the lessons of history but does so at his own peril. But of one thing we are sure, as history has amply proven. Despots come and eventually go. The truth and freedom will always outlast them,� the journalists’ group also said. (Kristine Joy Patag/

News exec, 2 others indicted for libel by edu


MANILA — Government prosecutors have indicted a news executive and two journalists of ABS-CBN for libel over statements against their colleague, showbiz reporter Gretchen Fullido, on the sexual harassment complaint she filed against the network executives. A complaint for violation of Article 353 of the Revised Penal Code was filed before the Quezon City Regional Trial Court against Venancio Borromeo, executive producer of news program Bandila, former Bandila anchor Ces Drilon and former showbiz reporter Marie Lozano. In three separate resolutions issued on April 29, prosecutors found probable cause to indict the three for libel. After preliminary investigation, prosecutors held that the defendants acted in bad faith when they made statements against Fullido during the network’s internal investigation on her sexual harassment complaint against former news executive Cheryl Favila and segment producer

Former Bandila anchor Ces Drilon and former showbiz reporter Marie Lozano. photos

Maricar Asprec. In her affidavit, Drilon said she witnessed Fullido laugh off and disregard side comments from male “TV Patrol� anchors on the complainant’s “body, manner of dress or behavior,� which she felt constituted sexual harassment. Drilon also stated that she heard Fullido saying she “was willing to wear a bikini with an inflatable pool and bubbles on ‘TV Patrol’ to increase its ratings.� The prosecutors explained that Drilon “jumped into conclusion that the complainant could easily ignore such unpleasant acts, as if she welcomed the same.�

Lozano and Borromeo described Fullido’s filing of a harassment complaint as a “form of blackmail, knowing that others could take her place, especially since she had never produced quality work.� The resolutions were approved by Quezon City prosecutor Vimar Barcellano. With the filing of the cases in court, the prosecutors said warrants are expected to be issued for the arrest of the defendants. Last year, Fullido filed a complaint for sexual harrassment against Favila and Asprec for allegedly sending her text messages requesting for sexual favors. n
















MANILA — When Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap� Ejercito Estrada held the highest position in the land, he was dubbed as a populist president. The popularity of the action star turned politician did not dim amid an ouster in 2001 and a plunder conviction as he ran and won the Manila mayor seat in 2013. Fast forward 2019, the patriarch’s bid for re-election for the city’s leadership was foiled by his fellow actor turned politician, former Department of Social Welfare and Development Undersecretary Isko Moreno Domagoso. The political careers of his two sons seeking re-election in the Senate look bleak as well. At 5:53 p.m. on Tuesday, May 14, the partial and unofficial tally of the 2019 midterm polls showed no sign of re-election for incumbent Sen. JV Ejercito Estrada nor a comeback for former Sen. Jinggoy Estrada. The patriarch’s fate As of 5:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Domagoso enjoyed a wide margin, receiving 348,425 votes cast against Estrada’s 204,084. Alfredo Lim, who similarly served as a Manila mayor in the past, earned 134,631 votes despite running under the Duterte-led PDP-Laban ruling party. But the clan patriarch did not want to accept defeat easily. He was quoted in an ABS-CBN report as saying: “Bakit ako magko-concede? Talagang pri-noject ako. Lahat ng survey from the start panalo ako. Tapos ngayon biglang si Isko nanalo. (Why would I concede? They were tar-

Former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada

geting me. In all surveys, from the start, I was the winner but now Isko is suddenly the winner).� Sons fall back in Senate race The “Estrada� brand, a source of a riff between half-brothers JV Ejercito and Jinggoy Estrada, was also not strong enough to get the two inside the winners’ circle. JV, whose legal name is Jose Victor Gomez Ejercito, previously acknowledged Jinggoy enjoys the edge of using the “Estrada� surname, the popular name of a political dynasty in San Juan City previously held by their father, Erap. For this year’s elections, JV opted to use the name “Ejercito Estrada JV� on the ballot and “JV Estrada� as a campaign nickname, in the hopes of capitalizing on the “brand.� The latest partial, unofficial tally from the Commission on Elections, however, showed both “Estradas� outside the Magic 12. photo

JV is currently ranked at 13th while Jinggoy placed at 15th. Erap’s daughter, Jerika Estrada Ejercito, also failed to win the councilor’s seat for the fourth district of Manila. Grandchildren, nephews lose too In San Juan City, where the clan patriarch first built his political career in the 1960s, Erap’s brand also did not sway enough voters to bring Janella Estrada Ejercito to the mayor’s seat. Janella lost to Zamora by 10,000 votes. Meanwhile, Estrada’s nephew Emilio Ramon “ER� Ejercito suffered a loss at the gubernatorial race in the province of Laguna. Ejercito obtained only 390,543 votes, which were only half of those obtained by leading gubernatorial candidate Ramil Hernandez who got 815,246 votes. Another of Erap’s nephew, actor Gary Estrada also lost to Ace Servillon in the vice mayoral race in Cainta, Rizal by more than 40,000 votes. n

Jejomar Binay fails to make political comeback FORMER Vice President Jejomar Binay lost his bid to represent the first district of Makati City at the House of Representatives. Former Makati Mayor Romulo “Kidâ€? PeĂąa was proclaimed as Makati City’s first district representatives after gaining 71,035 votes in the 2019 midterm elections. Binay, who was seeking a political comeback after stepping down in 2016, only got 65,229 votes. Citing glitches in the voting process and alleged disenfranchisment of voters, the camp of Binay contested PeĂąa’s victory as the latter won by more than 5,000

votes. Makati City Board of Canvassers, however, denied the appeal of the Binay camp and advised them to file an appeal before the Commission on Election en banc. In 2015, PeĂąa took over as acting mayor of Makati City after the suspension of then Mayor Junjun Binay. The younger Binay was suspended over alleged irregularities in connection to the construction of the Makati City Hall Building 2 project. PeĂąa used to be an ally of the Binays under the United Nationalist Alliance but had transferred to the Liberal Party. Meanwhile in the Makati City

Former Vice President Jejomar Binay photo by Mong Pintolo

mayoral race, Abby Binay retained her post with 179,522 votes, beating her brother Junjun who obtained 98,653 votes. (Patricia Lourdes Viray/

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may 16-22, 2019 • LaS VEGaS aSIaN JOURNaL • (702) 792-6678

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May 16-22, 2019 • LaS VEGaS aSIaN JOURNaL • (702) 792-6678


Journal Alex, Heart, Aiko congratulate partners for winning elections by Jan

Milo Severo

Darren Espanto and Morissette Amon

ABS-CBN photo

Morisette and Darren Espanto set a new tone to ‘A Whole New World’ by MJ


DISNEY had the media on their toes last week and kept them guessing who would be the power duo behind the Philippine rendition of the classic, “A Whole New World,” from one of its most beloved animated movies, “Alladin.” In Disney’s ever thoughtful tradition, the rerecording is part of the drum up to the much anticipated live action version “Alladin” starring Mena Massoud, Naomi Scott and Will Smith. From the spread to the lights and stage at Shangri-La at The Fort, we knew we were in for one magical afternoon. The 1992 Academy Award winning song was originally interpreted by Brad Kane and Philippine pride Lea Salonga, so it was but natural to find another world class Filipino act to follow in her footsteps. Finally, when the lights went out, Darren started the song with a new pitch that perfectly showcased his ever evolving vocal range. It was no longer “singing contest Darren” at the mic but an artist fit to be a Disney lead! Morisette also gave the song

her unique approach while clearly making an effort to apply similar techniques Lea had used before, which was well received by the audience. During In the Know’s chat with the two, they said it took them less than six months to prepare for such a big project for Disney Philippines. “I was so excited to learn we’d been chosen to do the recording for the Philippines,” Darren enthused, “I used to sing Disney songs but the way I used to sing them was with a high pitch. So thankfully, through practice, I made sure to give the rendition a version it deserved in a lower pitch.” As for Mori, she said that she was shocked to know she was chosen for the part but was more than happy to know that Darren would be his partner for such a landmark project. “Darren may be younger than me but I was relieved to know that I would be recording with him since we’ve been doing quite a number of shows together here and abroad.” Morisette is clearly a singing diva in the making, but she humbly said this experience taught her a lot as a recording artist.

“I always stuck with mainstream singing and I never knew I had this voice in me that’s so theatrical. It was liberating to sing it in a new way for me which I hope other artists would realize for themselves as well,” she expressed. The Philippines by the way is such an important market for Disney that besides giving it its own version of “A Whole New World” sung by local artists, they even commissioned a music video for fans to enjoy. Darren and Morisette are certainly thrilled over the turn of events and are certain this Disney experience will open many more doors for them, including the possibility of musical theater. Asked if she ever imagines performing at the West End and Broadway someday, she replied, “I grew up having a background in theatre so why not right? I’m enjoying where my career is right now but if that kind of opportunity comes along it would be hard to look away.” Darren is also open to the idea but is more focused on his concert tour for the moment. “I’d love to experience theater maybe one day in my career, of course, but for now, I am very happy to be busy going around to do my shows.”

ACTRESS Heart Evangelista congratulated her husband Chiz Escudero for winning the gubernatorial race in Sorsogon province. In her Instagram account, Heart wrote: “Congratulations to my Governor Chiz Escudero! You’ve worked in the senate for such a long time, but now, it’s time for you to concentrate in your beloved Sorsogon, the place which you and your family have loved for years.” She added that she cannot wait to see her husband’s plan come to life in Sorsogon. “For the past few months, you’ve told me endlessly about Heart Evangeslita with husband elected Sorsogon Governor Francis “Chiz” Escudero Photo from Instagram/@iamhearte your plans for Sorsogon - developing their tourism, sports programs, health programs, and agricultural industry. I cannot wait to see your visions come to life. Sorsogon, it’s your time to shine!” Heart wrote. ? “My love, I’ll always be here for you, cheering you on forever,” she added. Heart also documented the proclamation of Chiz in her Instagram story, saying she has been a fan of her husband since 2007. Chiz was proclaimed winner in the elections early Tuesday after getting 303,960 votes against rival Bladi Frivaldo, who only got 31,867 votes. Aiko Melendez with elected Zambales Vice Governor Jay Khonghun Photo from Instagram/@aikomelendez

Alex Gonzaga with elected Lipa City, Batangas Councilor Mikee Morada Photo from Instagram/@cathygonzaga

Likewise, actress and TV host Alex Gonzaga celebrated the victory of her boyfriend Mikee Morada as new Lipa City, Batangas councilor. “Congrats my love. You are really meant to serve your kababayans. You have a good and pure heart,” Alex told Mikee in her Instagram story. Meanwhile, Jay Khonghun, boyfriend of actress Aiko Melendez, was also proclaimed the newly elected vice governor of Zambales. “Sweetest victory for all of us!” Aiko said on Instagram. “Hardwork really paid off!! Khonghun’s Might Ruled the Polls! To God be the Glory!”

Julia: Solo act

by Chonx


JuLIA Barretto is ready to stand on her own as an actress. Thirteen years an actor, Julia Barretto — now 22 — was born into celebrity and started following in the footsteps of her parents at age 10. That gives her some kinship with Hazel, the character she plays in her latest film, “Between Maybes.” In the Black Sheep production, she plays a famous actress who escapes to Japan to regain control over her life, which is not an unlikely scenario in this day and age, especially for someone constantly in the spotlight. “I feel like everybody goes through the same thing at some point,” shares Julia. “I definitely relate to my character in so many ways. Maybe just going through that phase in your life when you want to escape and try new things, find peace and clarity. No matter how far we go, though, we always end up going back home.” For quite some time now, “home” for the young actress, apart from her family, has been JoshLia, her award-winning partnership — or, as we call it in here on our shores, love team — with actor Joshua Garcia. While some might presume being paired up at such a young age would be counterproductive, the opposite is true for JoshLia, which has collectively gained projects, not to mention a legion of followers, as a tandem. As Julia ventures into a new phase of her career as a solo actress, she reflects on the relationship and the whole JoshLia phenomenon with gratitude. “It’s nice to get to share the journey and watch both of our dreams come true, be there for each other and help each other out. I’m grateful for that opportunity to just have somebody to run to because you’re going through the exact same thing and same season in life… To have somebody’s hand to hold.” Then she’s quick to clarify: “But it’s not like it’s gone!” For “Between Maybes,” Julia worked alongside Gerald Anderson, whose character she meets and eventually falls in love with

in Japan. Julia shares, “It was something that had been decided on even before they went on with the love team. It was met about, it was talked about, and it was a mutual decision to be open to do solo films with other people. But the love team remains. You go out and do something, but you go home to the same person and do films again.” The actress shares that filming in Japan was one of the best experiences of her career. Working on a movie, in the winter, on a Japanese island? Why wouldn’t it be? The film was shot in idyllic Saga, a city in Kyushu. If you’re following Julia’s Instagram, you’d know by her photos that it’s a charming little city, seemingly unaffected by the trappings of modern life. It’s the best place to escape to and relearn a few things — for Julia, it was a location free of distractions, which allowed her to focus on work and herself. “It was quiet. It was easier to get things done. It was also winter; maybe that also made things lighter. It got really cold, though — but I’d rather be cold!” she says with a laugh. “There was just so much teamwork because we all had to help each other, given that we were only 20 people, compared to being in the Philippines and working with a hundred-plus people. I gained new friends and a new family. It’s the best thing that happened to me this year, so far.” She adds, “Honestly I would even consider going back to Saga, to see it again.” A new phase Working on a movie outside of JoshLia was a learning experience for the actress. “There’s a world out there that you should go and explore. Get out of your comfort zone. Take some risks. Have faith in yourself,” she shares. “I think I’m in a stage of reinvention. I am constantly looking for change; at the same time, I’m glad I am being given these opportunities where I could improve and better myself, learn more about my craft. In trials, triumphs, success, you learn so much.” Part of this new outlook is a renewed focus on herself, on selflove. “Just recently, I learned to reprioritize my soul. I didn’t feel

In her latest film “Between Maybes,” Julia Barretto plays a famous actress who escapes to Japan to regain control over her life. photo by Regina David

like that was important up until a few months back. I think it’s really important to surround yourself with good people because you feed off of their energy. People around you mold you also, so you have to be careful.” As she enters a new phase in her career, possibly opening new doors to more solo projects, the invigorated actress carries with her a maturity that even she is surprised by. “I started out so young,” she says. “I had no choice but to mature so that I could understand situations and find solutions to them. At 22, you’re not supposed to be worrying about so many things, but I feel like I have goals that I have achieved and then goals just get added and added. It just doesn’t stop. Your life can change in a week, in a month, and it’s crazy because I can’t believe how much change can happen in such a short time. So my perspective on love, life and work constantly changes. That’s what’s scary — it keeps changing and then you keep having to adjust and you keep surprising yourself.” With her entire career ahead of her and as a self-confessed workaholic, the actress has no plans of escaping from work anytime soon. But if she did, where would she go? “Maybe the ocean with one friend,” she shares. That should be enough for JoshLia fans to rest assured that, no matter how far her career takes her, there will always be home.

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Immigrant Living: 101 and Beyond MONETTE ADEVA MAGLAYA (Part1 of 3) STORIES make up the fabric of human life. Each life story is one thread in this vast cosmic tapestry of billions of stories all of humanity is weaving from one generation to the next. We are born in this world with our own unique set of circumstances. We like to believe that each of us is created for a purpose wired into our DNA, like a GPS directing us to a destination — a state of being — whatever that may be. In the age old fairy tale of “Sleeping Beauty,” Princess Aurora’s life was protected by Three Good Fairies: Flora, Fauna and Merryweather. They have gifted her and her Prince Charming with the weapons to fight off the evil of the villainess, Maleficent. In real life, from princes to paupers, most people like to think that they too have been given gifts that serve as shining weapons when they do go through those dark periods in every season of life. The darkness can range from just being lonely and isolated for periods of time to the more extreme and detrimental negative emotions that drive people to insanity or worse, to suicide. We want to have those weapons to deal with those inner struggles

Health@Heart PHILIP S. CHUA, MD, FACS, FPCS WEDNESDAY last week, while waiting at O’Hare Airport in Chicago for our flight to Lake Charles, Louisiana, to attend the graduation of our granddaughter, Sydney, my wife, Farida, and I saw a cute, cheerful, very active toddler, who reminded us fondly of our five children and ten grandchildren at that age. As a pediatrician, Farida guessed the baby girl’s age correctly, as we overheard the father telling a lady “16 months old.” Personally, I find them most enjoyable and adorable between ages one to three, and especially challenging at age two: Terrible Two, when they start to develop their personality and love to say “no!,” asserting their independence. The stage I truly marvel at, even today, is the initiation of life when the sperm meets the ovum which starts fertilization from one cell, geometrically and progressively dividing, eventually growing into an embryo, then fetus. How a new human being comes to life and how DNA maps and guides the entire process are amazing and mind-boggling, to say the least. To me, it is nothing short of a miracle. The progress of the fetal development compounds the excitement and interest. And the curiosity and the queries abound. What is the timeline of fetal development? The cells in the embryo begin to organize themselves into the fetus’s brain, face, eyes, ears, and nose between the 4th and 5th week of pregnancy. The heart starts to beat at about 22 days after conception, but on the ultrasound, the beating heart of the fetus is seen in about 5 weeks from the last menstrual period of the mother. At 18 weeks, the baby begins to hear, more sensitive at week 24 when the ears are developing better. Between weeks 25th and 26th, it responds to voices and


Whatever happened to Calendar of Events across ‘happily ever after’? “...All the lonely people Where do they all come from? All the lonely people Where do they all belong?...” —Eleanor Rigby, Lennon-McCartney in order to do battle with deep, dark depression and fend off those eerie voices that urge the afflicted to inflict self-harm or even worse, to kill others as well. We would like to become courageous, even bold, as we come out swinging with our blessed swords slaying our dragons every time they rear their ugly heads. Until finally at the end of all earthly struggles, we become happy and content as we stride off into the sunset, victorious and fulfilled. Well, there you have it. There’s that happily-ever-after ending to the life stories we seek. Alas! How we wish most of life’s stories end happily. These days, instead of happily ever after endings, we have sad stories, cautionary tales, even horror stories to drive us out of our wits’ end. It’s like being trapped in our seats, strapped tight, in the Theatre of the Macabre and watching grim Tim Burton stories unfolding onscreen on repeat mode. What is causing all this dark-

ness, all this loneliness that seems to affect so many people in the world today? You scratch your head and wonder who let those rabid monstrous creatures out from the gates of hell? It seems the gates are wide open, unleashing all the evils that can be conjured from a witch’s brew simmering in a big black cauldron. All the evils are unleashed from Pandora’s box with just one thing left at the bottom of the box — HOPE. There is an onslaught of overwhelming assaults that come in all forms from just everywhere, facilitated by the startling phenomenon of social media and the ease of anything going viral through the internet. This warped, perverse world we live in today seems to delight in mischief and mayhem. (Continued next week …) *** Nota Bene: Monette Adeva Maglaya is SVP of Asian Journal Publications, Inc. To send comments, e-mail monette.

Miracle of life

noise in the womb. The baby at this stage is able to hear music, the mother’s breathing, motion, stomach growls, and heart beat. The outside sounds are muted by half in the uterus, muffled by the amniotic fluid (like shock absorber) where the baby floats. Constant exposure to loud noises could cause hearing defect in the fetus. The mother’s voice is the most significant, familiar and soothing sound the baby hears, which the baby in the womb can recognize by the third trimester (by 28th weeks). Its heart beat increases when the mother is speaking, showing their awareness and alertness. How large is the fetus at 25 week? At 25 weeks (5 months and one week) of gestation, the fetus is about 13.1 inches (33.6 cm) tall and 1.7 pounds (785 grams) in weight. They already look like a human being, a very tiny version of a full term baby. Normal full term delivery is 40 weeks (10 months). Those born at 25 weeks are tiny and fragile, but with modern neonatology care, most make it, but some do not survive. What are the items not to eat/ drink when pregnant? Some of the foods/drinks to minimize or, better yet, to avoid during pregnancy, a vital and truly delicate stage in the life of a woman and her baby, include: high-mercury contaminated fish (swordfish, tune, especially albacore tuna, king mackerel, shark. The US-FDA recommends 8-12 ounces of fish low in mercury, like salmon, shrimp, cod, catfish, tilapia, canned-light non-albacore tuna. These fatty-fish is high in omega-3 fatty acids, healthy, and important to the growing fetus. Soft drinks are toxic. To avoid bacterial and parasitic infections for herself and the baby, expectant mothers should totally avoid undercooked or raw fish, raw meat, raw eggs, raw sprouts, unwashed produce, unpasteurized milk and dairy products, processed meats (hot dogs, ham, bacon, sausages), and organ meats. Some of the in-

fections from any foods could lead to premature or still birth. Caffeine intakes should be less than 200 mg, about 2 cups a day. Of course, smoking (cigarettes or e-Cigs) and alcohol intake are absolutely prohibited, since they increase the risk for premature/still birth, lowbirth weight, mental deficiency, increased risks for respiratory and many other diseases. Why the title of my book? I have been asked countless times why I chose to title my book Let’s Stop “Killing” Our Children, when in fact it is a home health reference manual for healthy lifestyle and disease prevention at the cellular (DNA) level of children and adults as well. It is a pre-emptive-proactive strategy for parents to save their children, no matter the age, from unhealthy habits and behaviors and illnesses. It has nothing to do with abortion or murdering children. My rationale: If we do not teach our children by example (like parents who smoke, drink alcoholic beverage beyond one or two drinks a day, who do not watch their diet and weight, who do not exercise, and who allow their children to consume soft drinks of any kind, which are literally toxic), are obviously exposing their children to bad habits and unhealthy behavior…thus contributing to, and increasing, their to risk to develop diseases, shortened life span and premature death. The word “killing” (as in killing or pampering or spoiling children in the name of love) is in quotation marks as a metaphor. Children are best nurtured with wisdom-guided love and care. Parents and guardians not positively contributing to their children’s health by default are certainly shortening their potential longevity. (Reference available at,, and at How should society manage population growth? The total world population is more than 7.7 billion and the global population clock is continuously ticking (about 200,000 growth PAGE 14

Caesars Entertainment named One of ‘100 Best Corporate Citizens’ of 2019 Corporate Responsibility Magazine Recognizes Caesars’ Leadership in Social and Environmental Responsibility LAS VEGAS — Caesars Entertainment Corporation, one of the world’s most diversified casino-entertainment providers, announced its been named to Corporate Responsibility (CR) Magazine’s coveted “100 Best Corporate Citizens” list for 2019. Evaluated against the companies of the Russell 1000 Index, Caesars ranked No. 72 and was selected based on its standout environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance among public companies in the United States. Caesars’ industry leadership was particularly commended in the environmental categories of the “100 Best Corporate Citizens” evaluation. It ranked No. 15 on Environment and No. 4 on Climate Change—two pillars that make up more than one-third of the evaluation criteria. These distinctions exemplify Caesars’ continued commitment to environmental sustainability progress, including its bold science-based targets to drastically reduce greenhouse


gas emissions from the company and throughout its supply chain. Caesars’ goal is to reduce absolute Scope 1 and 2 emissions 30% by 2025 and 95% by 2050 from a 2011 baseline, and it set a Scope 3 target to have 60% of suppliers commit to their own sciencebased targets by 2023. “Caesars Entertainment is committed to leading the way as we build a responsible business culture staked in supporting the wellbeing of people and our communities and acting as steadfast stewards of the environment,” said Jan Jones Blackhurst, Executive Vice President, Public Policy & Corporate Responsibility at Caesars Entertainment. “Through our PEOPLE PLANET PLAY corporate responsibility framework, we dedicate attention and resources to each of our mission areas to create the industry-leading impact that has earned us the prestigious distinction as one of CR Magazine’s top corporate citizens.” Caesars created the PEOPLE

PLANET PLAY framework to guide its corporate responsibility initiatives. The framework contains 11 corporate responsibility priorities representing the company’s most important business impacts on people, the community, society and the environment. Caesars sets goals within each of these 11 priorities to help strengthen its overall corporate responsibility impact and contribution. CR Magazine’s “100 Best Corporate Citizens” list ranks companies in the Russell 1000 Index and documents 260 ESG data points of disclosure and performance measures. Data is gathered from publicly available information in seven categories: environment, climate change, employee relations, human rights, governance, finance and stakeholders and society. To learn more about Caesars’ corporate social responsibility visit corporate/corporate-social-responsibility.




Santa Maria Ilocos Sur 12th Global Reunion in Honolulu, Hawaii The Santa Maria Ilocos Sur Global Association (SMISGA) and the Santa Marians of Hawaii are sponsoring the Santa Maria Ilocos Sur 12th Global Reunion in Honolulu, Hawaii from May 17-19, 2019. The festivities will start with a meet and greet on May 17 at 5 p.m. at the Ala Moana Hotel Hibiscus Ballroom to be followed by a gala night on May 18 at 5 p.m. at the Dole Cannery Pomaikai Ballroom. A picnic is also scheduled at Ala Moana Beach Park’s Magic Island on Sunday, May 19 starting at 10 a.m. The ticket to attend all the events is $130.00 per person. Due to limited space, reservations must be made not later than March 31, 2019. Hats and t-shirts will also be on sale for $20. For further information, call Nena Empleo at (808) 384-0394, Carlito Soria at (808) 487-3370, Alex Pena at (702) 373-9522 or Orlino Baldonado at (865) 789-8324. Leave a message if there’s no answer. Additional information is also on and Facebook @ SMISGA19FB. Proceeds from the events will be for various projects in Santa Maria Ilocos Sur and in Hawaii. Donations are tax deductible since SMISGA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization approved by the Internal Revenue Service.

M AY 1 8

Free oil filter & motor oil recycling event in East Los Angeles ATTENTION ALL EAST LA RESIDENTS – Everyone is invited to bring in their used motor oil and used oil filters in exchange for a free new oil filter on Saturday, May 18 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It will be held at O’Reilly Auto Parts (722 S. Atlantic Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90022). Recycling motor oil and filters helps save our environment and keeps our water clean. So, don’t miss out – we’re making it easier for you to keep your car running smoothly and efficiently.

Pan Asian Citizenship Event in Monrovia, CA Advancing Justice - Los Angeles (Advancing Justice-LA) will be hosting a free Pan Asian Citizenship Clinic on Saturday, May 18 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Santa Anita YMCA (501 South Mountain Avenue, Monrovia, CA 91016). The clinic will provide attendees free citizenship services, including: eligibility screenings, application assistance, and legal review by qualified immigration attorneys. Services will be offered in seven Asian languages and Spanish. Appointments are required - for more information, or to schedule an appointment, please call: (888) 349-9695 for English or (855) 300-2552 for Tagalog.

M AY 25

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

M AY 25 -26

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


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

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

Diva2Diva concert in Arcadia, CA The JIR Foundation enthusiastically presents Diva2Diva on Saturday, June 1 at 6:30 p.m. at Arcadia Performing Arts Center (188 Campus Drive, Arcadia, California 91007). The concert will feature Kuh Ledesma, Zsa Zsa Padilla, Mitch Valdes and Nanette Inventor. Ticket prices are $145, $100, $75, $60 and $50. Call or text (818) 726-6333 or (818) 612-4500 or visit ladiva2.

J U LY 2 0

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

J U LY 24 -28

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

AU G U ST 1 - 9

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

AU G U ST 3 - 4

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

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


May 16-22, 2019 • LaS VEGaS aSIaN JOURNaL

PeoPle and events • (702) 792-6678

Philippine National Bank opens its new Los Angeles office The right place at the right time bodes good things for the right endeavor. PNB puts itself right smack dab in the heart of the Filipino American community. This is wonderful news. It is, by and large, a terrific calculated business move to be closer and be accessible to the people that PNB serves. PNB’s office is now located at 3435 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 104, at the foot traffic level of the equitable Plaza Building in Los Angeles, California 90010. Why is this a great move? It is the same building where the Philippine Consulate holds office. If things pan out in due time, an office for the Philippine Social Security Administration will likely be in the same location. And about time too. Those who regularly remit to family and friends in the Philippines and who live and work in the neighborhood will find it easier to go to this location once it is set up to do so. Its accessibility to the consulate makes required documentation for business, travel and other matters more convenient. The move is also brilliant and propitious. The economy is on the uptick in both the U.S. and the Philippines. It is a trend worth noting particularly for those mulling the possibilities ofstraddling both countries — of enjoying their lives living part of their retirement years in America and part of the time in the Philippines. Philippine real estate developers know that Filipino Americans


Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Las Vegas supports higher education

In attendance were The BIG GUNS for PNB from the head office in the Philippines and the U.S.-based PNB RCI. From L to R: Nelson V. Javier, newly appointed CEO and President of PNB Remittance Centers, Inc.; Atty. Erwin Go; EVP Bernie Tocmo, Head of PNB’s Retail Banking Sector; Atty. Manny Bahena, PNB’s Chief Legal Counsel, and Ms. Edith Manalad, First Vice President and General Manager of PNB-Los Angeles Branch. AJPress photos by Noel Ty

comes into play. With its unique OPhL program (Own a Philippine home Loan) which they have been offering efficiently and effectively to many U.S. expatriates for decades now can and do provide this financing. The timing is close to perfect. A cursory look at the mushrooming vertical and horizontal developments found in the Philippine metropolis and other parts of the country indicate increasing confidence among consumers looking to buy Philippine property. There is positive indication of a significant segment right here in the Greater Los Angeles County that is in a position to buy property through their savings, pensions, income from social security or sizable nest eggs. These are serious buyers who are looking to secure loans to flesh out their dreams of owning a home or perhaps, even add to their investment portfolio. PNB Los Angeles Branch, headed by its First VP and General Manager edith Manalad, officially opened its doors at this new office on April 29, 2019. Its blessing, The Management and Staff of PNB at their new office on Wilshire Boulevard. They are now grand opening and inauguration ready to serve the Filipino American community with their remittances and more specially, was held the following day with a walk a Philippine property buyer through the process of the OPHL (Own a Philippine Home good number of friends and assoLoan) program. PAGE 14


who have worked practically all their lives are having more of the resources and the wherewithal in the current bullish economy, to buy property in the Philippines and would need readily available financing. This is where PNB



LAS VeGAS — Since 1999, with the help of McDonald’s and community partners, Ronald McDonald house Charities (RMhC) of Greater Las Vegas has awarded more than $4.3 million in scholarships to students from Clark and Nye Counties in Nevada. For the 2019 season, the Scholarship Program will award $182,500 to 135 high school graduates and $79,000 to 79 returning college students. erica Bonilla, a former RMhC Scholarship recipient and current RMhC Scholarship Ambassador shared, “Being a part of RMhC’s Scholarship Program has really given me a drive to continue pushing my boundaries when it comes to my education and my career path!” Bonilla is a student at the University of Nevada Las Vegas and is a 1st generation American as her parents came to the United States from el Salvador. her favorite part of being a Scholarship Ambassador is meeting students and being able to educate them

about the scholarship opportunities RMhC provides and how easy the process is. “One of the most remarkable things about the Ronald McDonald Scholarship Program is that RMhC focuses on students with amazing potential who might not otherwise have the opportunity to go to college if it weren’t for this scholarship opportunity,” said Alyson McCarthy, CeO of RMhC of Greater Las Vegas. Believing that every child deserves a comfortable and supportive place to grow, Ronald McDonald house Charities

(RMhC) of Greater Las Vegas creates and supports programs that directly improve the health, education and well-being of children in our community. We fulfill our mission by providing a home-away-from-home at the Ronald McDonald house for families who travel to Las Vegas to receive critical medical treatment for their children, and manage programs that service the immediate needs of children and families in our community. For more information on RMhC of Greater Las Vegas, visit www.

BON APPETIT GRAND TASTING. Legendary chefs gathered at the 13th annual Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appetit Grand Tasting at the Caesars Palace on Friday, May 10 in Las Vegas. Guy Fierri, Steve Martorano, Giada De Laurentiis along with Guy Savoy and Nobu Matsuhisa were all smiles during the successful evening. Photos by Raoul Gatchalian



(702) 792-6678 â&#x20AC;˘

LAS VEGAS ASIAN JOURNAL â&#x20AC;˘ MAY 16-22, 2019


â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Yellow Roseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;: An honest, visceral exploration on the complicated definition of â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Americanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; by KLARIZE

Filipina American Diane Paragasâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; coming-of-age immigration drama awarded Grand Jury Prize at three film festivals in a row


THE much-anticipated feature film â&#x20AC;&#x153;Yellow Roseâ&#x20AC;? by Filipina American filmmaker Diane Paragas premiered at the opening night of the 35th annual Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (LAAPFF) on Thursday, May 2. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Yellow Roseâ&#x20AC;? takes place in East Texas and tells the story of a 17-year-old Filipina named Rose (masterfully played by twotime Tony Award-nominated Eva Noblezada in her feature film debut) who struggles with her identity as her mother Priscilla (Princess Punzalan) is detained by immigration officials. Throughout the film, Rose is tasked with finding a safe place to stay (at one point she stays with her estranged Tita Gail, played

Noblezada as Rose and Liam Booth as love interest Elliot.

ness her inherent musical talent to see her dreams of becoming a country music star realized. She meets people along the way who see her potential, including country star Dale Watson who helps propel Rose as a songwriter and performer. There are fewer things more American than country music which makes the genre a fitting backdrop for the story of Rose, who, for all intents and purposes is as American as they come. She speaks with an East Texas twang. She wears bootcut blue jeans and cowboy boots. She idolizes Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton and writes songs that are reminiscent of the country genre of yore a la Lynn and Parton. (The film features original songs written by Noblezada, Paragas and Watson.) Spiritually Rose is American, but not on paper, an experience shared by so many undocumented youth who know no other country and culture than the one they were brought to. Paragas â&#x20AC;&#x201D; who grew up in Lubbock, Texas â&#x20AC;&#x201D; said that country music was always meant to be the emblem of the film, a subversion of what popular music is within the Filipino community. The politicization of films today in the age of Trump has become ubiquitous, and oftentimes it fails to effectively capture the human element on a granular level. But Paragasâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; film successfully takes the topical issue of Photo courtesy of Diane Paragas immigration and turns it into a

by Lea Salonga) while avoiding ICE so that she can stay in the only country she has ever called home. All the while, Rose is figuring out who she is and she can har-

Princess Punzalan plays Roseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mother, Priscilla.

Director Diane Paragas on the set of â&#x20AC;&#x153;Yellow Rose.â&#x20AC;?

Tony Award-nominated actress Eva Noblezada stars as Rose in â&#x20AC;&#x153;Yellow Rose.â&#x20AC;?

coming-of-age story that feels relevant but not preachy. Taking the undocumented experience on a granular level affords the story to feel multipurpose that resonates with anyone who has ever felt they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t belong in certain spaces. In the age where thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a louder call for narrative and casting representation in the stories we see on screen, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Yellow Roseâ&#x20AC;? serves an important role in that shift. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Yellow Roseâ&#x20AC;? is a reminder for Filipino Americans who may or may not have been born in the Philippines but grew up in the United States that they are seen, that they are heard and that their dreams matter just as much as anyone elseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s. Everything about Rose is subversive to multiple facets of not only American culture, but popular Filipino and Filipino American culture. In a song she writes in the movie, the opening lines â&#x20AC;&#x153;square peg, round holeâ&#x20AC;? emulate feelings of isolation that extend even beyond the undocumented community, viscerally portrayed by Noblezada who delivered a stunning performance throughout the film. â&#x20AC;&#x153;[Noblezada] has a very cinematic way of acting thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s so subtle that it works so well for film. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an incredible thing to see in someone who has never acted in a feature film before,â&#x20AC;? Salonga told the Asian Journal in

Photos courtesy of August Thurmer

Noblezada as Rose and Lea Salonga, who plays Tita Gail.

a recent interview. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s often not easy to see actors be able to shift their styles from stage to screen so seamlessly, but Evaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s acting works well for both. She was a treat to work with.â&#x20AC;? Salonga pointed out that Rose as a disciple of country music contrasts the popular music trends within the Filipino and Filipino American communities who lean more towards hip-hop, pop and R&B genres, noting that country music â&#x20AC;&#x153;comes from left field, but in the most wonderful way.â&#x20AC;? Currently, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Yellow Roseâ&#x20AC;? is on a very successful festival circuit, which puts it in prime position for wider release and distribution. At the LAAPFF, it won the Grand Jury Prize on May 10, and on May 11 and 12, it won the Grand Jury Prize at the Bentonville Film Festival in Arkansas (actress Geena Davisâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; film festival that focuses

on inclusion in Hollywood) and the Center for Asian American Media Festival (CAAM) in San Francisco, respectively. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Being a filmmaker is like being a parent. You gestate it. You raise money for it. You love it and you think â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;God, I just wish the world would love my baby.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; And sometimes they do and sometimes they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t,â&#x20AC;? Paragas said after her three wins. â&#x20AC;&#x153;So those filmmakers out there who think â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;everyoneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going to think my babyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ugly. Nobodyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going to like itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; â&#x20AC;&#x201C; it doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t matter. You made a baby and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s beautiful, and it has a place in this world.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;It didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t feel like just my moment. It felt like a Filipino moment. Getting not one, not two, but three standing ovations was crazy! Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m so happy and I do hope it helps get this movie out in a big way in America and across the world,â&#x20AC;? Paragas added.

Pia, Catriona lead â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;The Universe Gives Backâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; fashion gala Benefit show advances Filipina empowerment philosophy by IZA IGLESIAS

SHOWING once more that their beauty is more than skin deep, the two Filipina Miss Universe winners of the decade will take part in a benefit gala that brings the philosophy of women empowerment and the indomitable Filipino spirit to the fore. Dubbed â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Universe Gives Back,â&#x20AC;? the much-awaited event brings together two confidently beautiful women â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach and current Miss Universe Catriona Gray â&#x20AC;&#x201D; on a mission to celebrate and uplift the Filipino spirit through fashion and philanthropy. The Miss Universe Philippines and Binibining Pilipinas Charity Fashion Gala is spearheaded by co-chairpersons Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach, architect Richelle Singson-Michael and fashion designer Albert Andrada to bring the brand to a higher level than a one-day television special. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is the start of having the Miss Universe brand become more active in the Philippines. Since the time that we hosted the pageant in 2016, and that we also have produced two beautiful Miss Universes recently, Miss Universe love the Philippines so much that they would like to create more events like this charity gala,â&#x20AC;? Singson-Michael said in a press conference. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We plan to do this every year, and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be showcasing something new every edition. For this year we focus on fashion, next year maybe on the arts or entertainment,â&#x20AC;? she enthused. The gala, to be held on June 4 at the Marriott Grand Ballroom, showcases the talents of eight top Filipino designers â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Andrada, Rhett Eala, Michael Leyva, Ito Curata, Jot Losa, Avel Bacudio, Cherry Veric and Martin Bautista â&#x20AC;&#x201D; who will be creating five pieces each modeled by 2019 Bb. Pilipinas candidates. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The eight Filipino fashion designers featured are going to showcase evening gowns in their assigned colors. Also, each designer is tasked to dress five candidates during the runway walk. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a very significant thing for us because Binibining Pilipinas has really opened the doors for Filipino designers and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re very happy about that,â&#x20AC;? shared Andrada. â&#x20AC;&#x153;For the past 25 years, Binibi-

Young Focus PHâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Wabel Animoza; Miss Universe Philippines and Bb. Pilipinas Charity Fashion Gala co-chairs fashion designer Albert Andrada, Wurtzbach, Architect Richelle Singson-Michael; and Executive Director and Founder of Love Yourself Dr. Vinn Garcia-Pagtakhan. photo

ning Pilipinas candidates have been dressed up by international designers or non-Filipino designers. At least through this, we have exposed our craft to the international stage and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m so happy and so proud that we did it in this kind,â&#x20AC;? he added. The two Miss Universe queens will participate as their way of showing their support to their chosen foundations. Pia for Love Yourself Wurtzbach supports Love Yourself, an organization of almost 1,100 volunteers who reach out through channels such as social media to propagate ideas, attitudes, and practices to encourage self-love and equality and the spread of vital health information particularly among the LGBTQI+ community on issues such as HIV. â&#x20AC;&#x153;For this charity gala, I chose to partner again with Love Yourself. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been partnering with them for a few years now and it just felt like a natural thing to do. We promote awareness not just for HIV but also for equality, self worth and mental health even during my days as Binibini,â&#x20AC;? Wurtzbach recalled. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s really close to home as I have friends who are in the LGBT community and friends who are living with HIV. We started with a simple outreach program and now

we have six community centers â&#x20AC;&#x201D; five in the National Capital Region and one in Cebu. We provide free HIV testing to almost 50,000 people every year. Currently, we cater to 3,800 clients accessing free treatments for HIV and I am very happy to share that our treatment center is the first in the country offering free viral load tests. The test tells the client if the virus is going into an undetectable state, meaning he or she cannot transmit the infection to others because undetectable means untransmittable,â&#x20AC;? she noted. Wurtzbach also happily shared that her home city of Cagayan de Oro will have its own community center as well to be launched in July. It will be called Oro Pia Community Center which she will inaugurate soon. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Since 2011, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been providing a safe space for everyone who is living with HIV. We have over a thousand volunteers now. Our plan is whatever support we provide, it would be sustainable because we do not believe in dole out and one-time things lang. Gusto natin the project lives on even after the event. We plan to support treatment hubs and empowering campaigns continuously,â&#x20AC;? she continued. According to her, aside from PAGE 14




May 16-22, 2019 • LaS VEGaS aSIaN JOURNaL • (702) 792-6678

‘The Sun is Also a Star’ author Nicola Yoon, actors Charles Melton and Jake Choi shine light on immigrant stories, Asian American visibility by Christina

M. Oriel


CAN two individuals fall in love in a day? Does destiny exist? These  are  some  of  the  questions  put  forth  by  “The  Sun  is  Also a Star,” an upcoming movie  based on the young adult novel of  the same name by #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Nicola  Yoon. The  story  revolves  around  Natasha  Kingsley  (Yara  Shahidi,  “Grown-ish”),  a  Jamaican-born,  aspiring physicist who considers  New York her home. On the day  before  she  and  her  family  are  to  be  deported,  she  catches  the  attention  of  Korean  American  Daniel  Bae  (Charles  Melton,  “Riverdale”), a hopeless romantic  and poet who poses the question:  “What if I told you that I could get you to fall in love with me? Just give me a day.”  In their hours together, Natasha and Daniel weave through different  New  York  neighborhoods  and  instantly  fall  in  love  as  told  through a dreamy narrative under  the direction of Ry Russo-Young  and cinematography by Autumn  Durald Arkapaw. Though centered on a teenage  couple,  the  film  tackles  themes  — from immigration to living up  to  family’s  expectations  to  the  second-generation  American  experience  —  that  will  resonate  beyond any age or racial group.  With deportation such a hot topic  today,  “The  Sun  is  Also  a  Star”  takes a look at how communities  that we don’t normally see in the  media are affected by this issue.  Ahead  of  the  release  of  “The  Sun is Also a Star” on May 17, we  spoke to Yoon and Melton, as well  as Jake Choi (who plays Daniel’s  older  brother  Charlie),  during  their stop in San Francisco about  telling  multi-layered  immigrant  stories  and  Asian  American  visibility.  Asian Journal (AJ): Nicola, congratulations on your book being turned into a movie. What was it like seeing your writing come to life on screen and Charles and Jake embodying the characters [of Daniel and Charlie]? Nicola  Yoon  (NY):  The  word  I  always  use  is  surreal  because 

“The Sun is Also a Star” author Nicola Yoon and Jake Choi, who plays Charlie Bae in the film version. AJPress photos by Christina M. Oriel

Charles Melton, Nicola Yoon and Jake Choi during press interviews for “The Sun is Also a Star” in San Francisco on Wednesday, May 8.

it just  is.  When  you’re  writing,  you’re in your room by yourself  and writing by hand…it’s miserable sometimes... and you eventually  revise  it  and  it  goes  into  the  world.  You  get  super  lucky  by  getting  something  like  this  to happen to you. I feel like I’m  walking on clouds. AJ: Charles, this is your first major film and you’re the star. What was the process of getting into Daniel’s character and to play someone also of Korean descent? The first moment we see Daniel on screen, he’s speaking Korean.  Charles Melton (CM): I’m very  honored  to  be  part  of  the  story  and to tell a story where a lot of  people are not aware of the Asian  and Korean culture. Correct me if  I’m wrong, Nicola, but that poem  that I’m saying at the beginning,  David  [Yoon,  Nicola’s  husband]  wrote it….There’s a unique thing  that people aren’t aware of with 

the Korean language — it’s a very  poetic  language.  Writing  something in English, when translated  into  Korean,  is  completely  different. Like any other language,  this is all universal. The translator  said it was the hardest thing for  her ever to translate via text from  English  into  Korean,  and  that’s  what you hear at the beginning of  the film: may each day be today, may each day never end, but if it does, may it dawn into today. For the character...I really lived  in his shoes and it was something  that inspired me as a human being, as a version of myself that I  portrayed. To really let go as an  actor is a dream. AJ: Daniel’s older brother Charlie is an interesting character during the moments he’s on screen. It’s relatable for many Asian Americans to try to be more “Americanized” and we see that with Charlie going by his American name and hiding

Pia, Catriona lead ‘The Universe Gives...

PAGE 13 helping Love  Yourself  centers,  they also plan to give part of the  proceeds to support the treatment  hubs of San Lazaro Hospital and  Research  Institute  for  Tropical  Medicine (RITM). “Somebody called my attention  that there’s really a lot of help that  needs  to  be  done  in  San  Lazaro  and RITM. Because those two are  the highest in terms of enrollees.  RITM  has  around  8,000  clients  on treatment and San Lazaro has  6,000 on treatment. People really  line up there but sometimes they  don’t have money for medication,”  Wurtzbach said. Catriona for Young Focus Meanwhile, Gray is to grace the  catwalk on behalf of Young Focus,  which  focuses  on  educating  underprivileged children all the way  from preschool to college, with the  firm  belief  that  education  is  the  most effective way to end poverty  in a child’s life. Young Focus has different programs that meets the many needs  children  experience  in  poverty,  with  approaches  that  depend  on 

their age,  their  history,  their  capabilities  and  the  scope  of  the  family’s needs. “Young  Focus  is  a  non-profit  organization  located  in  Smokey  Mountain  in  Tondo,  Manila  and  we’re  currently  helping  more  than  a  thousand  children.  We’re  supporting  their  education  by  means of personal coaching and  holistic approach,” shared Young  Focus’ Wabel Animosa during the  media event. “We’re  very  thankful  for  Catriona because since nanalo siya,  we’ve been put into map and we’ve  been receiving a lot of donations  and  we’re  very  thankful  to  Miss  Universe as well because they are  still supporting us and they’ve chosen us as one of the beneficiaries,”  she continued. “What we will do is to continue  to  support  the  education  of  the  children  especially  for  the  outof-school youth. This past school  year,  we  were  able  to  have  17  college  graduates  and  65  Grade  12 students moving up to college.  That’s  a  big  number  of  college  students kaya we will be also us-

ing the money we’ll get from this  endeavor for that. Of course, this  coming  school  year,  we’re  very  excited for new students coming to  our centers,” Animosa said. For the country and community As  someone  who  was  able  to  bring  her  best  on  the  Miss  Universe stage and make Filipinos all  over the world proud, Wurtzbach  said that being a beauty queen is  about giving back to her country  and her community. “It is about getting involved in  organizations  to  raise  awareness  for  issues  such  as  HIV,  anti-discrimination,  and  anti-bullying  which  are  relevant  to  the  Philippines,” the beauty queen said. “I  am  most  proud  of  the  fact  that  Filipinos  are  compassionate  people. We care about the people  around us and we’re always willing to help. To our loved ones, we  are selfless in the amount of love  we give. I’d like to believe that’s  what we’ll see at the charity ball  — people coming together showing support to the ones who need  our love most,” she ended. 

his Korean heritage. Jake Choi (JC): Charlie has a lot  of self-hate and it comes from a lot  of things — from being ridiculed  about being Asian…to his immigrant parents being very passive  and putting their head down and  not  standing  up  for  themselves  when there are people who antagonize them for being Asian. What  it does instead of you embracing  your Asian identity with pride, you  push it away.  CM: To feed off of what you’re  saying, in the book, which we’ve  read and done our work in, there’s  a  scene  when  Charlie  and  Daniel  are  around  7  and  8  years  old  and  Daniel  is  hanging  out  with  his  white  friends.  There’s  a moment when I was reading it  when  it  really  painted  a  picture  of  the  relationship  character goes up to Charlie and  starts speaking Korean and calls  him ‘hyeong.’ There’s this disconnect  because  the  white  kids  are  wondering  ‘what  is  he  saying?’  because  they  were  unfamiliar  with the culture. Charlie is embarrassed because he has this facade  with his friends. JC:  ‘Hyeong’  means  older  brother in Korean so I think just  his younger brother coming up to  him and saying something that’s  very organic for him is very embarrassing. But the thing is, in the  book and the script, he pushes his  Korean culture away but interesting for me and my character work  was,  he’s  actually  pretty  fluent  in  Korean  for  the  movie  but  he  chooses  not  to  speak  it.  You’ll  see that he is fluent during a very  explosive scene between Charlie  and Daniel. AJ: What was it like punching each other during that one heated scene? JC: [laughs] It was so much fun.  I wish we could have done that for  a couple more days. We’re both  former athletes so anything active  and physical is always fun, but of  course in a very safe environment.  That was a really, really fulfilling,  draining,  emotionally  satisfying  scene to film.  CM:  It  doesn’t  matter  how  much you rehearse. When you get  to the set and when it comes game  time, things are going to be different…One thing that’s very vital as  an actor is trust. You can be unfa-

Yara Shahidi as Natasha Kingsley and Charles Melton as Daniel Bae in Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures’ romantic drama “The Sun is Also a Star,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Photo by Atsushi Nishijima

miliar, but if you trust, there’s this  openness and being present. We  had that in this scene. After each  take, we were just hugging each  other and saying, ‘I love you’ and  ‘I trust you.’ It was just beautiful  and organic and it was a lot of fun  filming that scene.  JC: And you know how I know  it was great after every take? Ry,  the director, would come up and  she  had  tears  in  her  eyes.  Not  just a tear, but actual tears in her  eyes that you could see coming  down.  AJ: “The Sun is Also a Star” book is catered toward young adults and Charles and Yara are icons in teenage pop culture at the moment. A lot of themes and topics in the book and movie are so heavy and relevant to what’s happening politically today. What kinds of conversations do you want families to have when they’re watching the movie? NY: A couple of things — just  an  openness  to  the  world.  I  believe that we’re not so different.  The  person  across  the  way  that  doesn’t look like you and doesn’t  share your language or religion,  they’re the same. The differences  are  fine  but  they  don’t  make  a  difference. If we could take that,  that  would  be  awesome.  If  we  could look at immigrants as being  people just like any other citizen,  that  would  also  be  lovely.  Also,  love is all there is.  JC: There are very demeaning,  dehumanizing  stereotypes  attached to black women and Asian  men. Casting a black woman and  an Asian man to be the leads and  love interests, who are very well  fleshed  out,  will  help  to  sort  of  eradicate  those.  It’s  not  going  to happen overnight, but I think  that  would  be  my  takeaway  for 

someone who has these subconscious biases to say, ‘okay, they  are human too.’  CM:  It’s  amazing  to  do  what  we  do  as  artists.  For  example,  reading Nicola’s book, I’m Daniel  and  I’m  Charlie  or  I’m  Natasha  in  ways.  As  an  actor,  it’s  great  to escape in a movie theater and  watch and say, ‘that could be me.’  Our first sense is sight so to see  someone who may look like us is  humbling, and it’s an honor to be  a part of this.  AJ: This past year alone, we’ve seen more Asian representation, whether it was “Crazy Rich Asians” or “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.” How can the Asian American community and viewers come out and support and make this another box office hit? JC:  Spend  your  money,  buy  the tickets and spread it by word  of mouth. We know the movie is  great  and  trust  that.  When  you  have  a  good  product,  you  gotta  share it.  NY: It’s a great love story and  we  get  to  see  people  we  don’t  always see on screen. I’m all for  super cute Asian boys in everything [laughs].  CM:  It’s  an  aspirational  love  story  with  so  many  timely  and  universal  themes  that  I  feel  like  no  matter  where  you  are  in  the  world or where you may be with  your  own  ideas  of  love  or  what  race you are, you can walk away  finding a part of your story in this  film, which is done so well.  Warner Bros.’ “The Sun Is Also a Star,” lands in theaters nationwide May 17, 2019. This film has been rated PG-13 for some suggestive content and language. This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.

Mariel Rodriguez announces baby no. 2 with Robin Padilla by Jan

MilO severO

HOST Mariel  Rodriguez  announced  that  she  is  pregnant  with  her  second  baby  with  husband  Robin Padilla.  During the Mother’s Day special of her noontime  show, “It’s Showtime,” Mariel recounted her journey  to motherhood, saying she thought Mother’s Day  back then was just an ordinary day. “A few years ago, kapag Mother’s Day, akala ko isa siyang ordinaryong araw. And kasama ko kayo madlang pipol sa journey ko. From heartbreaking  losses until finally I had my baby girl, my Isabella.  Doon ko po nalaman na iba po talaga ang hirap at ang saya ng pagiging isang ina,” Mariel said.  She also took the opportunity to announce that  she  and  Robin  are  happy  that  she  is  pregnant  again.  “Today, I am so happy to share with all of you  isang espesyal na balita na nalaman namin ng asawa ko a few months ago. Si Isabella ay magiging ate na. I am three months pregnant with baby number  two,” Mariel said. “Ngayon pa lang, gusto ko talagang magpasalamat sa inyong lahat na alam ko kasama ko po kayong magdadasal, magmamahalan sa suporta,”  she added.  Mariel also posted on her Instagram a photo of  her showing her baby bump while wearing a yel-

Mariel Rodriguez

Photo from Instagram/@marieltpadilla

low dress. “The perfect Mother’s Day gift. Hello baby #2,”  she captioned the photo.  After Mariel previously suffered miscarriage, she  and Robin welcomed their first baby in 2016. 

Philippine National Bank opens its new...

Catriona Gray


Photo from Instagram/@catriona_gray

Miracle of life

a day)  as  new  births  and  deaths  are  officially  counted.  If  society  wants to manage global (or even  domestic)  population  growth  for  the survival of the human species,  it is certainly wiser and more compassionate to achieve the goal by  avoiding pregnancy and providing  excellent environment and healthcare for all people, especially for  children and our senior population.  Not by ethnic cleansing, murder,  or  any  form  of  termination  of 

life. The  most  important  tenet  in  the  Hippocratic  Oath  we  took  as  physicians is Primum non nocere,  a Latin phrase meaning, “First, to  do  no  harm,”  a  sacred,  solemn,  and  poignant  promise  healers  thousands of years ago and today  have made. If we are unable to do  anything  to  help  a  fellowman  or  any  living  creature,  the  least  we  can do, as healthcare providers, or  even as ordinary people anywhere  in  the  world  with  integrity  and  compassion, is to respect life and 

do no harm. *** Philip S. Chua, MD, FACS, FPCS, Cardiac Surgeon Emeritus in Northwest Indiana and chairman of cardiac surgery from 1997 to 2010 at Cebu Doctors University Hospital, where he holds the title of Physician Emeritus in Surgery, is based in Las Vegas, Nevada. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, the Philippine College of Surgeons, and the Denton A. Cooley Cardiovascular Surgical Society. He is the chairman of the Filipino United Network – USA, a 501(c)(3) humanitarian foundation in the United States. Email:

PAGE 12 ciates in the business community  gracing the occasion and enjoying  the  sumptuous  food  spread,  the  treats,  the  great  ambience  and  even  grabbing  the  lucky  coins  that were tossed for good luck at  the  well-planned  and  seamlessly  executed inaugural event. PNB  LA  also  put  out  the  welcome  mat  for  visiting  high-ranking  officials  from  the  Philippines  among whom was Executive Vice  President  Bernie  Tocmo  and  his  party  who  flew  in  to  grace  the  event and inspect the new office. Cutting  the  ribbon  is  Consul  General Adel Cruz of the Philippine  Consulate in Los Angeles with the  assistance of Edith Manalad, First  Vice  President/General  Manager  of PNB LA. Fr. Percy of the Missionaries of Jesus and the Parish  Priest of St. Kevin Church blessed  the office premises. Also in attendance is Nelson V.  Javier, President & CEO of PNB Remittance Centers, Inc., a PNB bank  affiliate,  which  is  charged  with  overseeing the multiple branches  of  the  biggest,  if  not  one  of  the  biggest  remittance  companies  serving  the  Filipino  community  in the US.

Ribbon Cutting: From L to R: Consul General Adel Cruz of the Philippine Consulate - Los Angeles, Father Percy of the Missionaries of Jesus and the parish priest of St. Kevin Church, Los Angeles, Mr. Gerry Palon, President of the Coalition of Filipino American Chambers of Commerce and Edith Manalad, First Vice President/General Manager of PNB LA. AJPress photo by Noel Ty

PNB LA aims to serve not only  its  existing  customer  base  built  over the years but also the banking  needs of the Filipinos and FilipinoAmericans who transact business  with the Philippine Consulate.  The  new  office  will  allow  PNB  LA  to  cater  to  more  clients  for  bank  services  as  it  will  soon  accept  over-the-counter remittance transactions.  The transfer to the new location  is also in line with the Bank’s strategic  plan  to  laser  focus  on  its  home  loan  known  as  the  Own  a 

Philippine Home Loan (OPHL), a  home financing program available  for all U.S.-based persons who are  interested to invest in real estate  in  the  Philippines.   Turn  around  time will be shorter because of its  proximity  to  the  consulate,  one  floor  up,  where  loan  documents  are submitted for consularization,  which is simply the process of authenticating any legal document. For  further  information,  call  (213) 026 8227.  Or  email  pnblagroup@pnb. 

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