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February 24-26, 2016

T h e F i l i p i n o –A m e r i c A n c o m m u n i T y n e w s pA p e r

Volume 26 - No. 16 • 3 Sections - 20 Pages

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PH presidential bets face off in first debate DATELINE USA

Also published in: • Orange County/Inland Empire • Northern California • Las Vegas • New York/ New Jersey

from the AJPress NEWS TEAM AcroSS AMEricA

Clinton triumphant in Nevada, as Trump takes South Carolina

sAtUrDAY, feb. 20 proved an important day for big-name candidates, including Donald trump, who won his second consecutive presidential primary in south Carolina, advancing in the race for the republican Party. former secretary of state hillary rodham Clinton also took home the prize in Nevada’s Democratic caucuses. Clinton, using organization as her performance tactic, declared victory over Vermont sen. Bernie sanders, putting her back in command to win over the Democratic Party. With 88 percent of the votes counted, Clinton held an unassailable lead with 52.6 percent, compared to 47.4 percent for sanders. “some may have doubted us, but we never doubted each other,� Clinton told her supporters at an appearance in Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. “this one is for you.� she continued, “it is not enough, simply to give voice to the anxiety and frustrations many voters feel. Americans have a right to be

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Fil-Am leaders to kick off registration, getout-the-vote drive WAshINGtoN, DC– With election season underway, filipino-Americans across the country are beginning the push for voter registration. “It is now generally known that Asian Americans are the fastest growing voters in the United states today,� said Jt mallonga, Chairman of the National federation of filipino American Associations (NaffAA). “they are emerging as a key voting block that could significantly influence national and local elections in the coming years,� he added. Confirming this trend is a report from the Center for American Progress, which shows Asian American voters in the last decade nearly doubling from more than 2 million voters in 2000 to 3.9 million voters by 2012, and is estimated to reach 5 percent of the voters nationally by 2025 and 10 percent by 2044. “As the second largest Asian American population in the U.s., our challenge as filipino Americans is to translate these num-

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Questions focused on candidates’ vulnerabilities

C. CabCaunGan jr., Kristine anGeli sabillo and Marlon raMos

FACE OFF. The five presidential aspirants square off in the first of three debates held at Capitol University in Cagayan de Oro City: Vice President Jejomar Binay (left), Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, Sen. Grace Poe and former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas. The event was sponsored by the Inquirer and GMA News. Inquirer.net photo by Lyn Rillon

CAGAYAN De oro CItY — they came to pitch their message and slug it out with each other – they did well there – but their answers to questions about their vulnerabilities would be remembered most after the debate. the opening presidential debate on sunday night, feb. 21 at Capitol University in Cagayan de oro City was the first national debate organized by the Commission on elections (Comelec) in 24 years, in cooperation with GmA 7 and the Philippine Daily Inquirer, to shift attention to policy talk in a country where many have been fascinated by personalities and show biz-like campaigns. to be sure, Vice President Jejomar Binay, sen. miriam Defensor-santiago, Davao City mayor rodrigo Duterte, sen. Grace Poe

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Comelec asks SC to lift TRO Miriam: US, China are both selfish on Poe disqualification by PatriCia lourdes

by edu

Punay Philstar.com

mANILA – the Commission on elections (Comelec) has asked the supreme Court (sC) to lift the temporary restraining order (tro) it issued on the disqualification case of presidential aspirant sen. Grace Poe. In an 83-page memorandum filed

before the sC on monday, feb. 21, the poll body urged the high court to affirm its ruling disqualifying Poe over her citizenship and residency. Comelec Commissioner Arthur Lim argued that Poe has failed to establish during the oral arguments that she is a natural-born filipino and has met the 10-year residency requirement for the

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Philstar.com

Viray

CAGAYAN De oro — sen. miriam Defensor santiago on sunday, feb. 22 reiterated her opposition against the enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement between the Philippines and the United states (Us). During the first round of the presidential debates in Cagayan de oro, santiago insinuated that the Us has its own motives in the

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Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago sponsored and authored the resolution stating that the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement between the Philippines and the United States needs Senate concurrence. Philstar.com / AJ Bolando

Pacquiao negotiating with other brands after being dropped by Nike by aGnes

Constante AJPress

DAYs after Nike dropped its endorsement contract with manny Pacquiao due to his controversial remarks on same-sex couples, the filipino boxer has reportedly begun negotiating new deals with other sports apparel companies.

arez, before releasing the resolution. “most probably this week, we mANILA – the Department will release the resolution after of Justice (DoJ) is set to release review,� he said on tuesday, this week its resolution of the february 23. Acting Justice secretary emcriminal charges against 90 commanders and members of moro manuel Caparas earlier said the Islamic Liberation front (mILf), resolution on the complex crime Bangsamoro Islamic freedom of direct assault with murder fighters (BIff) and private that the National Bureau of Inarmed groups tagged in the mas- vestigation (NBI) filed against sacre of 35 special Action force the members of the mILf, BIff (sAf) commandos during the and private armed groups over the killing of the sAf would be mamasapano clash last year. Prosecutor General Claro Arel- released to the public. Caparas again appealed for unlano, head of the DoJ’s prosecutorial arm, said they would just derstanding on why the DoJ has review the findings of the inves- not resolved the charges a year tigating panel, led by Assistant after the incident, saying the state Prosecutor Alexander suu PAGE A3

Punay Philstar.com

by Gil

Inquirer.net

DOJ to release Mamasapano raps resolution this week by edu

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“there are several already now in the pipeline,� Pacquiao’s business manager, eric Pineda, told Agence france-Presse without identifying the companies. “they [the Pacquiao camp] were actually negotiating with some already.� Pacquiao, 37, had endorsed Nike for a little more than eight years. however, the brand last

A photo of Manny Pacquiao rocking a pair of Under Armour shoes made the rounds on social media, spurring thoughts of him endorsing the athletic-wear brand. Under Armour is not in talks with the boxer, however, reports say that he is negotiating with other brands after his contract w i t h N i ke w a s terminated.

week terminated its relationship with the boxer after he made controversial remarks comparing same-sex couples to animals. In a statement, Nike called Pacquiao’s comments “abhorrent.� Pineda said among companies in talks with the Pacquiao

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A FEBRUARY 24-26, 2016 • LA MIDWEEK ASIAN JOURNAL

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From the Front Page

PH presidential bets face off in first… PAGE A1 t

and former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas were ready for the criticisms, though some of them grappled with the knocks on their candidacies. Binay faced the question about how he amassed wealth while in public office, squarely saying some of his wealth were passed on to him by his parents. Santiago snapped back at debate host Jessica Soho when she read the question about her health. “That’s my right,” Santiago replied, explaining that illnesses fluctuate and that it is her right to choose to run for President. Asked about her absences in the Senate, Santiago shot back that she was suffering from stage 4 cancer. “I waited to die, but my guardian angel did not let me die,” she said. Instead of arguing with Santiago, Duterte came to her support. “I will not go into a debate with Ma’am Miriam. I do not see

Senator Santiago passing away in the next 20 years so there is no problem,” he said. An amused Santiago replied: “I do not want to spend the next six years lying in bed feeling sorry for myself … I felt sorry for my country. Because graft and corruption is endemic. Nobody did much except Mayor Rody Duterte.” Duterte beamed and raised his right hand as the audience applauded him and Santiago. Asked about his foul mouth, reputation as a womanizer and human rights record, Duterte said he would continue to kill criminals. He denied allegations of extrajudicial killings, but said that if elected President, he would use the law to go after illegal drugs and criminals. “We will order the killing of all criminals,” he said. Not OJT Asked about the thinness of her resumé, Poe, a freshman senator, replied, “There is no proof that

you will do better because you have been in office longer.” Roxas said the presidency was not “OJT,” or on-the-job-training. Roxas, who had wooed Poe to become his running mate, said there was a “right time for everything, especially since a President is responsible for the lives of 100 million Filipinos. Roxas, who vowed to continue President Aquino’s reform program, defended his work at the Department of Transportation and Communication and the Department of the Interior and Local Government. He also defended himself against criticism about his absence during Supertyphoon “Yolanda” (international name: NEVER AGAIN. Victims of torture and imprisonment during the late President Ferdinand Marcos’ martial rule stage a protest aimed Haiyan), insisting he was there at derailing the run for the vice presidency of the dictator’s son, Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong”Marcos Jr. AFP photo before, during and after the world’s worst storm. Poe said that while Roxas had experience with three administrations, she herself had investhese can not override the Con- form any act to acquire or perfect tigated numerous irregularities PAGE A1 t presidency. stitution, which requires a blood- Philippine citizenship.” u PAGE A3 The poll body refuted the argu- line to a Filipino parent to confer “A foundling is not among ment of Poe’s lawyers that her the status of being a natural-born those enumerated in the Constistatus as a natural-born citizen Filipino citizen,” it stressed. tution as to who are citizens of has been accorded by internaThe Comelec reiterated that the Philippines. Poe admits that tional conventions granting citi- Article VII Section 2 of the 1987 her parentage is unknown. Neczenship to foundlings. Constitution requires that the essarily, she cannot, no matter “Assuming, for the sake of ar- president must be a natural-born how she presents it, truthfully gument, that these conventions citizen of the Philippines, which claim that her father, or for that impliedly declare a foundling is defined by the same provision matter, her mother, is a citizen as a natural-born citizen of the as a “citizen of the Philippines of the Philippines,” the poll body country where he or she is found, from birth without having to peru PAGE A3

Comelec asks SC to lift TRO on Poe…

Miriam: US, China are both…

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disputed South China Sea. “Itong dalawang higante, ang China at ang United States, parehong gustong kontrolahin ang Pilipinas. Bayaan mo na kung anong mga ambisyon nila sa sarili nila pero huwag nila tayo idamay. Kaya pareho lang ‘yan na mga ganid,” Santiago said. Santiago noted that China has been refusing one-on-one talks with claimant countries of the disputed sea such as the Philippines and Vietnam. “Ang China gusto niya lahat ng produce kanya na kaya ayaw makipag-usap sa atin... Ang atin namang gusto ay collective, lahat ng ASEAN magkasama-sama sila, sampu sila at kausapin nila ang China,” Santiago said. Sen. Grace Poe agreed with Santiago’s stand on the EDCA,

arguing that it needs Senate concurrence. The Philippines can also strengthen its military even if it is a small country to be able to defend its territory, Poe said. “Kaya rin natin aunti-unti palakasin natin ang ating military. Kausapin natin ang China constructively pero let’s take a leadership role in the ASEAN so that we can follow a particular code of conduct that will be followed by the other countries,” Poe said. Poe also agreed with Santiago’s statement that the US might have an ulterior motive in its agreement with the Philippines. “Wala pong isang bayan na mag-iisip kung anong mas maganda para sa kanilang kapitbahay o sa kanilang kaalyado. Ang una nila iisipin ay ang

kanilang sarili,” Poe said. Santiago said that the Philippines’ protest against China in connection to the disputed seas has no effect and suggested that the country should negotiate with Beijing, together with other Southeast Asian countries. “We have to stand for our sovereign rights. I am willing to join any movement to declare our independence from imposed sovereignty,” Santiago said. The Philippines, along with other ASEAN member nations and the US recently released a joint declaration calling for a peaceful resolution of the dispute in the South China Sea. Manila is expecting the result of its arbitration case against Beijing before the Permanent Court of Arbitration under the United Nations before May. n


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From the Front Page

LA MIDWEEK ASIAN JOURNAL • FEBRUARY 24-26, 2016

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PH presidential bets face off in first…

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involving her rival’s former agencies. “I don’t need extensive experience to understand our transportation problems,” she said. Sharing suffering Binay opened the debate by declaring that poverty was the main problem of the country, that he shared the suffering of the poor because he used to be one of them, and that he was successful in reducing poverty in Makati City when he took over as mayor 30 years ago. Binay said his and his family’s reputations were tarnished by his political enemies. Santiago also zeroed in on poverty as the biggest problem of the country, blaming it on “people who want the money of the government.” Duterte started by coming out in the open about his admiration for Santiago, describing her as “one of only two persons qualified to run this country.” He cited criminality and corruption as the main issues in these elections. “If I am President, I will get rid of criminality, drugs and corruption in three to six months,” he said. Poe went micro in her opening spiel as she cited the importance of Mindanao in the production of pineapple, banana, coconut and corn for both the domestic and export markets. She promised to allocate a third of the national budget to Mindanao if elected President. It was Roxas, however, who

threw the first punch right out of the starting gate. Track record “I have simple question with a simple answer. Who will you choose as your daily driver to entrust your child: Is it someone with a case of corruption, a hothead who is prone to accidents, or someone who is just learning to drive? Or will you choose someone you have known for a long time, someone who has never taken advantage of you, and someone who comes with a good recommendation from a former employer,” Roxas said in a bid to set an antagonistic tone to the face-off. The five candidates were confronted head on with the burning issues against them. Binay was asked about his assets, liabilities and net worth, specifically how much of his properties were obtained through inheritance or through their income and whether these were obtained before or after he became mayor. “[Three decades] is a long time. Some assets I inherited [from both my father and mother] before I got my position in 1986. Some I bought, It doesn’t mean that if you’re in government, you don’t have the means to buy. I practiced law and my wife practiced medicine. And it’s not true that we have a lot of land,” Binay said. Political dynasty Santiago, who was surprisingly tame for the good part of the debate, nearly went ballistic when

Binay turned the tables on her when the question about political dynasties came up. “Miriam has a son who was also elected,” Binay said in his rebuttal to the question thrown at him about members of his family holding public offices. Santiago immediately turned to Binay and looked daggers at him. Asked by debate host and GMA 7 Mike Enriquez if she wanted to respond, Santiago said: “What he said was wrong. My son ran for a party-list but did not run for another post after one term.” Binay, whose wife and three children were elected to different offices, defended his position on the issue, saying while the Constitution barred it, no law had passed defining political dynasty. He said it was wrong to prevent qualified people to run for public office just because they have relatives in the government. But Santiago, a former judge who was also elected to the International Criminal Court, said the constitutional provision on political dynasty was enough. “It’s a basic principle of constitutional law that anything written in the Constitution … should be literally applied if possible,” she said. “The Constitution is always and always supreme.” On peace in Mindanao, Poe said she would push for a transparent, inclusive and sustainable discussions in forming a new agreement. “We should follow this up with

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DOJ to release Mamasapano raps resolution…

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panel needed to carefully study the evidence collected in the course of the preliminary investigation to ensure an airtight case against the respondents. The charges covered the cases of 35 slain SAF men who belonged to the 55th SAF company attacked by MILF and BIFF fighters and private armed groups in the cornfields of Barangay Tukanalipao. Of the 90 respondents, only four submitted counter-affidavits denying the charges: alleged MILF field commander Pendatun Utek Makakua, who claimed to be a farmer; Mustapha Tatak, a barangay chairman in Sapakan; and civilians Lakiman Dawaling and Khalim Keda, who were accused of being field commanders of the MILF. n

MONUMENT OF PEACE. A worker cleans statues at the EDSA Monument, the site of the bloodless people power revolution in 1986. The country will mark the peaceful revolt on Thursday, Feb. 25. ManilaTimes.net photo by Mike De Juan

Pacquiao negotiating with other…

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camp is a multi-million dollar brand that would likely replace Nike as the supplier of the Filipino boxer’s sports gear, Inquirer reported. He further noted that no Philippine-based companies dropped Pacquiao despite the comments he made. On Sunday, photos of Pacquiao wearing red Under Armour shoes spurred speculation that he may be working with the brand. However, The Baltimore Sun, reported that the Baltimore-based fitness apparel and footwear brand is not in talks with Pacquiao. The publication further stated that Under Armour on Monday, Feb. 22, declined to comment on the issue. Despite being dropped by Nike, Pacquiao was seen playing basketball in Nike shoes on Monday in General Santos City. Hours after making his com-

ments, Pacquiao, a devout Christian, posted an apology on Twitter while still standing by his beliefs. He also said he respected Nike’s decision, that the endorsement agreement had expired and that the company was only a clothing sponsor for him, according to GMA News. TV5: Pacquiao’s video “edited in good faith” Television network TV5, where the video of Pacquiao’s controversial comments was aired, on Sunday, Feb. 21, issued a statement regarding the boxer’s remarks. A 26-second clip was broadcast by the network. However, the complete one-minute-andtwo-second video included the interviewer’s question and Pacquiao saying that he was not condemning the LGBT community in his response, but that he just believes such individuals getting married goes against the Bible.

In a statement, TV5 said it had no intention of taking what Pacquiao said out of context. “The video that was posted online was not spliced but minimally edited in good faith and with reasonable care. There was no intention to change the context or misrepresent the essence of Mr. Pacquiao’s statement,” the network said in a statement posted on its Facebook page. The complete video was sent to Pacquiao’s camp and broadcast on primetime newscast Aksyon on Feb. 16, TV5 said. Pacquiao has announced that his last fight will be on April 9 against two-time former WBO welterweight champion Timothy Bradley, Jr. The Filipino boxer is running for a seat in the Philippine Senate in May. Despite a poor attendance record as the representative for the Sarangani province, Pacquiao remains poised. n

Comelec asks SC to lift TRO on Poe…

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Acting Justice Secretary Emmanuel Caparas earlier said the resolution on the complex crime of direct assault with murder that the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) filed against the members of the MILF, BIFF and private armed groups over the killing of the SAF would be released to the public. Philstar.com/File photo

pointed out. “Since a foundling can not point a blood relation to a Filipino father or mother, there is simply no factual or legal, let alone constitutional, basis to consider her as a natural-born Filipino citizen,” the Comelec argued.

To further prove its point, the Comelec cited the opinion of Fr. Joaquin Bernas, a legal luminary and constitutionalist and one of the framers of the 1987 Constitution. “If a natural-born Filipino citizen loses his citizenship by renunciation or by any other mode

recognized by law, would he still be considered natural-born if he subsequently reacquires citizenship? It is submitted that, whether under the 1973 or 1987 provision, such person would not be a natural-born Filipino,” it quoted Bernas.

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A FEBRUARY 24-26, 2016 • LA MIDWEEK ASIAN JOURNAL

Dateline USa

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Vargas raising $1M for news site on immigration, identity in US by Anthony

AdvinculA Inquirer.net

LEYTE DANCERS. Buyogan dancers to perform a dance showing the resilience of the Filipino spirit. The Philippines will be represented for the first time next month at the World Culture Festival (WCF) in New Delhi, India, when the award-winning dance troupe from Leyte, Buyogan Festival, performs. The WCF, happening on March 11-13, is a global movement spearheaded by The Art of Living that celebrates humanity, diversity, spirituality and harmony. For more than a decade now, the festival has been bringing together world leaders and people of different cultures in a massive global meditation. Inquirer.net photo by Romy Homillada

Clinton triumphant in Nevada, as Trump…

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angry. But we’re also hungry for real solutions.” It was a stunning performance for Clinton, who gained a majority of minority voters’ strong support (particularly black voters), and is also favored in the South Carolina primary on Feb. 27. Clinton also carried the women’s vote in Nevada by a sizable margin. “We are going to be taking on a very powerful and well-funded super PAC--a super PAC that receives significant amounts of money from Wall Street and wealthy special interests,” said a disappointed Sanders to his supporters in Henderson, just outside of Vegas. Both Democratic candidates have expressed parallel views on the minimum wage, higher education, immigration reform, and other key issues. Sanders has gone even further by proposing free tuition for all. The battle amounted to a personality contest, over which candidate voters believed was more likely and qualified to deliver their platform promises. Various organizations noted that the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) vote helped Clinton secure Nevada. CAPA21, a national AAPI political action committee, launched a $50,000 outreach campaign using direct mailers, ethnic media ads, and a new website (NevadaAAPI.com) to target AAPI voters in Nevada and encourage them to support Clinton.

Hundreds of volunteers from Nevada, California and even the East Coast were also deployed to get voters to caucus. Filipino Americans for Hillary organized walks to over 50 Fil-Am businesses through the Las Vegas area. “There were so many AAPI who had no clue what a caucus was,” Rozita Lee, a Fil-Am grassroots political leader and former member of the White House Commission on Asian American and Pacific Islanders, told NBC News. But she added that most voters, even the young, seemed to just want to cast their vote and go about their Saturday business. “I frankly did not expect to see the numbers, but said, ‘Hooray, people are participating!’” According to exit polling from Saturday, AAPIs made up 4 percent of the caucus-goers. Trump succeeds in South Carolina “It is no surprise that the candidates have been delivering what their voters want. On the Republican side, that has meant a focus on income inequality and tough rhetoric about the wealthy. Among Republicans, the emphasis has been on a sharply conservative view of the world and the issues the country faces,” wrote Los Angeles Times reporter Cathleen Decker in a political analysis. With 99 percent of the votes counted in the Republican primary in South Carolina, Trump was in the lead (at 32.5 percent),

with Florida Sen. Marco Rubio narrowly taking second (22.5 percent), before Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (22.3 percent). Jeb Bush trailed in fourth at 7.8 percent, just ahead of Ohio Gov. John Kasich (7.6 percent) and retired Michigan neurosurgeon Ben Carson (7.2 percent). “Let’s put this thing away,” Trump, leading a wild establishment-smashing campaign and taking on his critics (including Pope Francis), told supporters in Spartanburg, South Carolina. “There’s nothing easy about running for president. It’s tough. It’s nasty. It’s mean. It’s vicious. It’s beautiful.” “When you win, it’s beautiful, and we are going to start winning for our country,” he added. Trump won nearly every group of voters in the GOP: military, non-military, conservatives, moderates, men and women, voters who wanted someone who “tells it like it is.” Evangelicals also dominated the primary electorate in the state (about 3 in 4 voters, according to Edison Research), and largely supported Trump. According to a Fox News poll, 40 percent of voters surveyed said that Trump was the candidate “they would most dread watching on television for the next four years.” Cruz nearly tied for second place with Sen. Rubio, who took more of the educated and minority vote, while Kasich and Carson vowed to hold on despite poorer finishes. “If it is God’s will that we should

NEW YORK, NY — Filipino American immigration activist Jose Antonio Vargas was in Florida, on a recent Friday. Then three days later, he was on his way to Georgia, and soon to Wyoming. Vargas, the Filipino journalist who rose to prominence after he came out as an undocumented immigrant in a New York Times Magazine essay in 2011, says he practically lives in airplanes, hopping from one state to another. The reason? He is trying to raise $1 million in 60 days for his new venture #EmergingUS, an innovative video-driven digital news site that explores the intersection of immigration, race and identity in the United States. “#EmergingUS is a corrective,” he said. “It is correcting the mainstream media’s failure to really cover this demographic earthquake that we, as a country, are going through — with aftershocks everywhere.” Vargas, 35, believes that the national media do not fully capture what the true picture of America is and what will it be in

Jose Antonio Vargas is trying to raise $1million for his new online news site on immigration, race and identity.

the future, culturally, racially or politically. Fill a void He hopes that his new media outlet would fill that void. “This is the time that our population has grown more Latino and more Asian, with Asian people being the fastest immigrant group in this country — documented and undocumented,” he said. “But I think the media, when they talk about us, there’s kind of almost have one dimension,

and we’re lucky if we get a few dimensions on the story. So, we don’t really get the richness of our experience,” he added. Even by just watching this year’s election coverage, according to Vargas, he feels as if Asian people didn’t even exist. “They talk about the Latino vote, the black vote, but not the Asian vote,” he added. But the country that has been predominantly black and white is now go-

mobilize a huge voter turnout by the time polling booths open,” said Juanito Amor, Fil-Am Vote National Director. “We know that by increasing the voting ranks of the Filipino American community, we will not only make our voices heard but will most assuredly make a difference in determining who will lead our country,” Amor said. People Power Fil-Am Vote’s launching, Amor pointed out, is not only “an affirmation of our civic responsibility as American citizens, but also a commemoration of the 1986 People Power Revolution in the Philippines, which occurred 30 years ago this week. That historic moment taught the world what people can do collectively to assert their democratic rights to vote, fight against election fraud and ensure that the people’s will is carried out. “Fil-Am Vote, therefore, draws from the energy, inspiration, passion and courage of the millions of Filipinos who used the ballot box to make their voices heard. Despite the threat by an authoritarian regime to suppress their

right to participate in the electoral process, the Filipino people stood up to make sure each vote counted.” Highest naturalization rate The latest U.S. Census Bureau data indicate there are 2,790,928 potential Filipino voters nationwide. Figures from the US Citizenship & Immigration Services also show that Filipinos are among the top AAPI groups with the highest naturalization rates. “But we have been lagging behind in terms of registered voters and voter turn-out,” explains FilAm Vote national adviser Gloria T. Caoile of Henderson, Nevada. “Our numbers won’t matter unless we enlist community members to register and show up at polling places on November 8 to cast their votes.” NaFFAA Regional Chair Myrna Farinas Reyes of San Diego, California, is calling on the Filipino American community to “come together and demonstrate our collective strength as an influential voting bloc. Let us proudly and unequivocally assert ‘I am a Filipino American Voter.’” (Inquirer.net) n

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Fil-Am leaders to kick off registration, get…

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bers into political power,” added Mallonga. “That means being actively engaged as informed citizens, exercising our voting rights and casting our ballots on Election Day.” To achieve this goal, NaFFAA, a non-partisan organization recognized by Washington policy-makers, private industry and other advocacy groups as the voice of Filipinos and Filipino Americans throughout the United States, will launch Fil-Am Vote on July 25-27, 2016. NaFFAA chapters in the following cities will kick-off this voter drive: San Diego and San Francisco, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; New York, NY; Chicago, Illinois. Fil-Am Vote is a national program aimed at strengthening the voter registration, voter education, voter protection and get-out-the-vote capabilities of Filipino American communities nationwide. “Our immediate objective is to register more Filipino voters beu PAGE A5 tween now and November 8, and


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Vargas raising $1M for news…

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ing to talk about issues that are not black and white; it is going to be the fundamental issue of American identity.” Crowdfunding journalism #EmergingUS was originally a joint venture between Vargas and the Los Angeles Times, at a time when the paper was trying to find new ways to experiment with digital initiatives. After meeting in 2015 with thenLos Angeles Times publisher and chief executive Austin Beutner, Vargas started #EmergingUS in the Times newsroom. But Beutner was fired last September. Then the Times and Vargas agreed to transfer the assets developed for #EmergingUS to his company so that he may pursue the project independently. Now partnering with Beacon, the journalism crowdfunding platform that helps raise funds for journalists around the world, Vargas needs to reach the $500,000 goal in two months in order to get Beacon’s matching funds. “Jose’s tireless immigration reporting has earned him the trust of readers and lawmakers alike, and has already sparked a national conversation about identity,” said Dmitri Cherniak, co-founder of Beacon. “We’re excited to see what happens when he has the resources to broaden his purview even further.” Vargas, as the publisher and editor, launched #EmergingUS on February 18. Center of narratives “We should be the center of the narratives. I am tired of being marginalized. I am tired of being just the minority,” he said. “I think that is something that you’d tangibly see in the way we are covering the stories in #EmergingUS.” Relying mainly on donations from its readers and supporters, he and his current team of six have already received almost $65,000— a big achievement

in the past 24 hours since the launch. According to Vargas, most of the donors are individuals supporting the site. Some of them gave $5, he added, while others donated as high as $1,000. “This is something that has never been done in American journalism—that is, to raise a million dollars from the crowd, so we’re very excited about being able to do that,” he said. As a for-profit company, Vargas admits that #EmergingUS needs to be “economically sustainable” to carry out its operations. He says that, in the long run, his company will rely on “the mixture of readers’ support, advertising, sponsorship, live events and all that [to] build an actual business model.” Helping the Filipino community A former reporter at the Washington Post, Vargas was part of its Pulitzer Prize-winning team that covered the Virginia Tech shooting massacre in 2007. He landed on the cover of Time Magazine in 2012, telling his story as a 12-year-old boy arriving in the US from the Philippines and now a public figure without legal status but considers himself American. With his voice and influence, he could have championed stories about other Filipino undocumented immigrants in the United States—something that Filipino critics say he had almost never done in the community, particularly in the time when Filipinos have the lowest number of applicants for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) as compared to other Asian groups. According to Vargas, he has helped the Filipino community, including a relief operation for the Filipino victims of Typhoon Haiyan. He says that he also supported Rob Bonta, the first California’s Filipino American assemblyman, to push Filipinos and other Asian

immigrants to get their driver’s license, after the historic legislation that allows undocumented residents to apply for a driver’s license in California. “I would say that I’m proud to be the first [undocumented] Filipino to get a driver’s license,” he said. Vargas does not want to be revered as a celebrity. “I kind of realize early on, in this journey, that I don’t want to be put in a celebrity thing, especially among Filipinos. Because what do people do? They put you up in some sort of a pedestal and then knock you down. I’m not interested in that.” Not just an “immigration guy” While he has become a public figure for immigration reform, Vargas adds that his work in recent years has formed him to become the voice for other American issues that relate to race, culture and identity. “I have been traveling nonstop, and I have argued that what I have been doing is journalism. #EmergingUS is kind of the evolution of my own career as a journalist,” he said. “It is important that there’s been a way for me to insist on my own career, and that I am not only an ‘immigration guy.’” Over the last five years, he says that he has done more than 450 events in 45 states, and he has visited more than 210 college campuses. But for Vargas, as a gay, undocumented immigrant, of Filipino descent with a Latino name, he won’t be able to talk about immigration without talking about race or without talking about identity. “People don’t walk around thinking, ‘Oh, that’s an immigration thing.’ Or, ‘Oh, that’s an Asian thing. Oh, that’s a gay thing. I walk around with all those three things intact all the time,’” he said. “These issues are connected—and that’s what #EmergingUS content is going to focus on, with the complexities of our identity.” n

Clinton triumphant in Nevada, as Trump…

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win this election,” Rubio said, “then history will say, on this night in South Carolina, we took the first step forward to the beginning of a new American century.” Meanwhile Jeb Bush, who entered the race last year as the Republican front-runner and reportedly spent the most funds in campaigning and attracting highprofile endorsements, dropped

his candidacy after a poor showing in the South Carolina primary (7.8 percent), reported CNN. “In this campaign, I have stood my ground,” Bush said, announcing his official exit, and signaling the possible end of his family’s long hold on the Republican Party. “Despite what you have heard, ideas matter. Policy matters.” “I firmly believe the American people must entrust this office to

someone who understands that whoever holds it is a servant, not the master, someone who will commit to that service with honor and decency,” Bush said in his remarks, clearly implicating Trump. On Tuesday, Feb. 23, it was the Republicans’ turn to caucus in Nevada. As of press time, the votes had not been counted. (Allyson Escobar / AJPress)

DRUG HAUL. A police investigator examines the five kilos of shabu (methamphetamine) seized in Manila as Interior Secretary Mel Senen Bacani looks on. ManilaTimes.net photo by Czeasar Dancel

PH presidential bets face off in first…

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projects in Mindanao to sustain its development,” she said, adding that powers should be devolved to give Moro leaders more autonomy. Closing remarks Duterte said he would push for federalism as an alternative, especially for the people in the western side of Mindanao led by Moro National Liberation Front founder Nur Misuari. Binay’s closing remarks hammered on the Aquino administration’s underspending and its adverse impact on infrastructure and social services without an-

swering directly the main question: Why should he be elected President. Santiago said the voters themselves had the responsibility to choose the next leader based on three criteria: He or she should have academic excellence, professional excellence and moral excellence or no record of corruption. Duterte said he was running for President because he was tired of complaints about rising corruption, criminality and illegal drugs, all of which he promised to wipe out in three to six months. Poe pressed her spiel about

giving Mindanao a bigger share of the budget and said her first act as President was to push for the enactment of the freedom of information bill. She sought to ease worries about her lack of experience, saying there were more experienced leaders who continued to employ worn-out solutions to the country’s persistent problems. Roxas ended the debate with a swipe at his rivals. “Why do I want to be President? Because I want your life to be like mine, free from hunger, free from poverty, and free to dream,” he said. (With a report from AP)

Comelec asks SC to lift TRO on Poe…

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As to the residency issue, the Comelec maintained its finding that Poe had re-established her residence in the Philippines on July 18, 2006. It debunked Poe’s claims that the transfer of her children to Philippine schools from the US and the purchase of a property in San Juan in 2005 could not be basis to justify her intent to stay in the country for good at that time. “After consideration by the Comelec of all of the foregoing, one important matter stood out: all of these acts were done while Poe remained a US citizen, without her waiving her non-resident status, with her sojourning in the country as a visa-free balikbayan visitor, and before she repatriated on July 18, 2006,” the Com-

elec explained. Poe insisted that she is eligible to run for president. Her lawyers, led by Alex Poblador, said the senator did not commit misrepresentation when she indicated in her certificate of candidacy (COC) that she is a natural-born Filipino and that she will be a resident of the Philippines for 10 years and 11 months by May 9. SC upholds DQ of nuisance bets The SC affirmed yesterday the disqualification of four more presidential candidates earlier declared nuisance by the Comelec. The high court dismissed the petitions of Gerald Arcega, Juanito Luna, Bethsaida Lopez and Eric Negapatan questioning the poll body’s decision to cancel

their COCs for president. The Comelec did not act with grave abuse of discretion in disqualifying the presidential aspirants, the SC ruled. Earlier, the high court upheld the disqualification of 16 presidential bets. They were former Technical Education and Skills Development Authority director and ex-Iloilo congressman Augusto Syjuco, former Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) chief Camilo Sabio and independent candidates Vetallano Acosta, Rizalito David, Elly Pamatong, Juanita Trocenio, Ephraim Defino, Buenafe Briggs, Antonio Obiña, Luisito Falcon, Ranulfo Feliciano, Ma. Aurora Marcos, Simeon de Castro Jr., Dante Valencia, Rodel Mancilla and Pedrito Diaz Tagle. n


A FEBRUARY 24-26, 2016 • LA MIDWEEK ASIAN JOURNAL

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OpiniOn

Features

Ideological

30 YEARS ago—on Feb. 25, 1986—the People Power Revolution on EDSA trampled the 20-year-old dictatorship of former Pres. Ferdinand Marcos. For the generation who witnessed this peaceful uprising, the echoes of the People Power Revolution reverberated not only in the air, but in the consciousness of the Filipinos who were awakened to their senses about a leader who kept their democracy in chains. When Marcos declared martial law on September 21, 1972, then Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. was one of the first to be arrested. He was allowed to leave for the US due to his health condition. While in the US, Aquino attended forums, symposiums and delivered speeches in freedom rallies opposing the Marcos dictatorship. Saying “the Filipino is worth dying for,” Aquino returned to the Philippines from his exile in the US to continue his plight for the restoration of the Filipinos’ rights and freedom. He met his death upon his arrival at the Manila International Airport. He was shot in the head while being escorted off the airplane by his captors via the Manila International Airport. His kababayans found solidarity in his death. His widow, the late Cory Aquino was thrust into the public eye. She ran for president against Marcos during the 1986 snap elections and pulled the Filipinos out in the streets for the People Power Revolution.

According to the Malacañang Palace, the essence of People Power Revolution remains: to commemorate the heroism and greatness of the Filipino race that helped the country achieved freedom. “The important issues here are freedom and justice. The EDSA People Power revolution became the answer of the Filipino nation to the suppression of their freedom and making a travesty of democracy by imposing martial law,” Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said. Coloma also said that remembering this event would make Filipinos learn from the past. “We were united in EDSA in 1986 based on principles of democracy, freedom and justice. That is the true spirit of our EDSA 30 celebration,” Coloma added. The People Power Revolution is embedded in Philippine history. To honor the people who have suffered and lost their lives for the sake of democracy, today’s Filipinos must never forget the

Editorial

Philstar.com photo

event that freed the country from the clutches of a tyrannical ruler. Much has been achieved since martial law. But with present controversies hounding current government leaders, Philippine politics appears to be hampered by bureaucracy, manipulation of money, interests of capital and the status quo.

Filipinos must zealously guard that has been granted to them by the People Power Revolution. Filipinos must appreciate the genuine meaning of democracy, which is empowered by the will of the people. It gives the citizenry the power to overturn the culture of corruption, unethical conduct, and self-serving antics of politics. (AJPress)

Fil-Am who started petition for Nike to drop Pacquiao gets death threats. Should Pacquiao Intervene? FIL-AM Aries Dela Cruz spearheaded an online petition for Nike to drop the Philippines’ Pambansang Kamao Manny Pacquiao as its endorser after the boxing congressman compared people in homosexual relationships to animals. Now, this kababayan from New Jersey is getting death threats online. The harassment and threats are reportedly not only aimed at Dela Cruz, but are also targeting many gays and lesbians. After all, their idol Manny Pacquiao has been humiliated all over the world, been labeled homophobic and a bigot, and has income opportunities following Nike’s decision to drop him as an endorser of their sports apparel. Pacquiao supporters also burned their Nike shoes as a sign of protest and have urged kababayans to ban the brand. An online petition, which has reportedly gained more than 18,000 signatures as for this writing, has also been created, urging the Philippine government to declare Dela Cruz ‘persona non grata’ in the country. The petition calls Dela Cruz a

personalities and human rights “selfish traitor.” activists came to Dela Cruz’s Surprisingly, even Fil-Ams who The Fil-Am defense. They say Dela Cruz has are exposed to the “political corbeen offended by Pacquiao’s rectness” and “inclusive culture Perspective remarks and has all the right to of the American people, have not start a petition in a free country lost love for Manny because of like America. He, too, has his what he did.” freedom of speech which does In an online poll, The Filipino not take away nor diminish Channel’s daily newscast “Bali- Gel SantoS-ReloS Pacquiao’s freedom of religion tang America” asked its viewers: “Were you personally offended by Pacquiao’s and freedom of speech. They explain that they respect Pacquiao’s comments comparing people in homosexual restand against same-sex marriage/relationship lationships to animals?” A big majority of those who voted, 66 percent, because of his religious views, but what they said said NO. Some said Pacquiao was just express- was offensive was the comparison to animals, ining his opinion because of his religious convic- sinuating that these people were even lower than tions, and he has the right to do so because of animals because animals do not engage in homosexual relationships. free speech. Of course those knowledgeable about science, 34 percent said YES. They opined that Pacquiao’s comments were hurtful, homophobic as pointed out by Broadway superstar and Filiand unworthy of someone who is known as “The pino singer/actress Lea Salonga on social media, know that there are many kinds of animals who People’s Champ.” However, many LGBT advocates, respected DO engage in homosexual acts. They urge Pac-

quiao to do more research before making such unfounded statements meant to discredit gays and lesbians. They also say Nike dropped Pacquiao because Dela Cruz’s petition gained traction. Many people were offended by Pacquiao’s statements and signed the petition. They, too, are exercising their freedom of expression. Nike and other brands who have distanced themselves from Pacquiao also exercised their right to do what they believe is in the best interest of their business. But what is really concerning are the death threats being thrown at Dela Cruz. To his credit, Pacquiao told his fans not to hate but to pray for Nike. But with the tension now elevated to death threats, shouldn’t Pacquiao categorically speak up in defense of Dela Cruz to avert any violence? *** Gel Santos Relos is the anchor of TFC’s “Balitang America.” Views and opinions expressed by the author in this column are are solely those of the author and not of Asian Journal and ABS-CBN-TFC. For comments, go to www.TheFil-AmPerspective.com, https://www.facebook.com/Gel. Santos.Relos

How will they get things done if elected? THE first debate turned out well, but I Demand doubt the debate convinced the core sup- and Supply porters of candidates to consider the good points of the others. If at all, they were only listening to what Boo ChanCo their candidate is saying and agreeing with all their hearts. That’s the impression I get from comments and posts on Facebook. So we heard a lot of promises and good intentions last Sunday evening. But you have to be a fool to think the winner in May will remember what he or she was forced to say in the heat of a campaign. Indeed, the most important question was not asked: How do they intend to implement all the good plans they say they will do if elected? This is a question that must be asked of them all, most specially Mar Roxas. The generalities are meaningless. No one is expected to say he or she will not work to improve the lot of our farmers, deliver needed infrastructure quickly and work to make economic growth inclusive. The only one who need not explain how he intends to make his key promise possible is Duterte. He has a track record in dealing with crime and the drug problem. The only question is how he can do what he has done in Davao for the entire country. If the debate was an academic symposium on economics and development it would be easy to be impressed with Mar Roxas. He had a good grasp of the subject, even if his tone of delivery may seem condescending at times. If this was 2010, I would be an all-out supporter of Mar. It was easy to believe Mar was competent then. But now, he must be asked the very basic question:

How does he plan to act quickly to deliver his promises? It is the most relevant question to ask Mar given his DOTC record. I have no doubt Mar has the best interest of the country at heart, but the best of intentions don’t amount to much if we don’t get needed infrastructure and other projects on time. Mar’s teka teka approach was confirmed in a sworn statement filed with the Supreme Court by former MRT GM Al Vitangcol. Mar was accused by his former subordinate of ignoring his appeals to act expeditiously on the MRT maintenance contract months before the one with Sumitomo expired. Mar’s inaction led to DOTC resorting to an emergency procurement that is now being tried by the Sandiganbayan. This is how the Inquirer reported on that SC filing by Vitangcol which is a useful indicator of how Mar is as a manager: “Vitangcol said when he learned the Metro Rail Transit Corp. (MRTC) maintenance agreement with Sumitomo Corporation would expire on Oct. 19, 2012, he wrote a letter to then DOTC Secretary Mar Roxas in May 2012 inquiring on who should undertake the procurement for new maintenance. “However, getting no response from Roxas, on June 19, 2012, Vitangcol said he wrote a memorandum to (DOTC Usec) Lotilla asking him to act on pending request for MRT3. “’These issues were never addressed promptly—which, as I warned, caused future operational problems at MRT3,” he said. “A month later, Vitangcol said he raised with Roxas again the need to bid out a new contract for the main-

tenance of MRT 3. He even suggested the bidding be carried out by MRTC for lack of time on the part of the DOTC. “Even chairman and president of MRTC Tomas de Leon Jr. sent a letter to Roxas on July 25, 2012 or three months before the Sumitomo contract expired. De Leon suggested they carry the bidding since they can focus on the procurement process under a favorable timeline and at a lower cost. However, Vitangcol said no action was made on the letter.” When DOTC Sec. Jun Abaya went to The Star office last month, he blamed tough procurement procedures as the reason why they have failed to roll out projects faster. He said DOTC lawyers wanted to make sure everything is in accordance with the rules. Yet, Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and Sec. Mar Roxas they keep on getting into trouble with COA. tant to know who will be the principal If the procurement law is the hin- economic adviser. drance to a faster roll out, how come They have to convince whoever it is the DPWH seems to have little or no they want to appoint to those positions problems and they operate under the to allow their names to be revealed same law? The question to ask Roxas now. This is only fair because with now is, given the procurement law has some of them like Duterte, we know not been repealed, how does he plan to that outside of law and order, we are move things faster as President Roxas not confident he already understands that he was unable to do as Secretary the important issues at stake. Roxas? Making their health records public Indeed, the same question ought to should also be demanded. With Miribe asked of all the candidates. Jojo Bi- am admitting having been afflicted by nay does not have any problems with cancer and Duterte close to fainting on the procurement law. The candidates the campaign trail, we need to know if must tell us how to make the law ef- their health can make them last a full fective against corruption, but at the six year term. same time not a hindrance to delivery It would be unfair for us to vote for of long needed projects. Miriam or Duterte and for them to die Since a President cannot run govern- in office or too sick to govern and turn ment by himself, I think it is important the presidency over to, heaven forbid, to ask the candidates who will be their Mr. Marcos. Fine if the VP is someone cabinet secretaries for the key portfo- with the integrity and devotion to publios of Finance, Agriculture, Foreign lic service as Leni Robredo. But any of Affairs and Defense. It is also impor- the other candidates for VP would be

bad news for the country. The first debate was a good start in educating the voters. But if we are going to do this anyway, let us do this right. Let us make sure the voters are totally educated on who the candidates really are and what they can reasonably deliver. Using the driver hiring analogy of Mar Roxas, he asked if we would hire a driver: “with a case of corruption, a hot-head who is prone to accidents, or someone who is just learning to drive?” I would say that neither would I hire a driver who hesitates to press the start button to get the car moving on the road because he is worried he may get a traffic ticket. For the next debates, I hope the panels ask the right questions. Anything short of that is a disservice to our democracy. *** Boo Chanco’s e-mail address is bchanco@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @boochanco.

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LA MIDWEEK ASIAN JOURNAL • FEBRUARY 24-26, 2016

A

Dateline PhiliPPines

Roxas claims 2010 poll cheating by LLanesca

T. PanTi ManilaTimes.net

SAN MIGUEL, Bulacan: Liberal Party (LP) presidential candidate Manuel “Mar” Roxas II on Tuesday, Feb. 23 said he won’t cheat in the 2016 elections, being a victim of poll fraud himself. In a chance interview with Roxas after his consultations with farmers here, the former Interior secretary referred to his experience when asked about a survey showing that four in 10 Filipinos believe that candidates will cheat in the 2016 elections. “That’s a sad thing [that they view it that way]. Hindi ako mandaraya, hindi ako magnanakaw at hindi ako sinungaling (I wont cheat, I won’t steal and I am not a liar),” he told reporters. Roxas cited in his 20 years in

government service as a congressman, Cabinet secretary for three different agencies and a senator, he has never been linked to corruption or fraud. “Ako nga nadaya nung nakaraang eleksyon kaya kabahagi ako sa ating mga kababayan na dapat malinis at kapani-paniwala itong [parating na] halalan [I was the one who got cheated in the last elections, that’s why I join our people in their call for clean and credible elections),” he said. Roxas was referring to his 2010 loss to then-Makati City mayor and now Vice President Jejomar Binay. After losing to Binay by 700,000 votes despite leading all pre-election surveys, he filed an electoral protest before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET). The electoral tribunal, howev-

er, left the case unresolved. In the 2010 polls, a splinter group branded as Noy-Bi emerged and was said tp have campaigned for then-Sen. Benigno Aquino 3rd of the LP for President and Binay of Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino as Vice President. The President, whose nickname is Noynoy, is the Noy in Noy-Bi and Binay the Bi. At the time, Sen. Francis Escudero showed up in a campaign advertisement endorsing the Noy-Bi tandem. The Roxas and Binay tussle will have a sequel in the 2016 elections where they are both vying for the presidency. “They can look at my track record of being a public servant. The people know that I am not a cheat,” Roxas said. n

Aquino richer by P20-M since 2010 by MichaeL

Punongbayan Philstar.com

MANILA — President Aquino’s net worth increased minimally during his stay in Malacañang since June 2010, but he is still expected to step down in 2016 richer by around P20 million. Based on his statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALNs) filed with the Office of the Ombudsman, Aquino’s total wealth amounted to P50.194 million when he assumed office on June 30, 2010. His real properties then was collectively valued at P33.755 million, including the house he inherited in Quezon City declared to be worth P13.8 million. Aquino’s first SALN said he has a residential lot in Antipolo, Rizal that he inherited worth P12.2 million; another residential lot in San Juan that he also inherited, valued at P7 million; another residential lot in Tarlac that he purchased worth P604,680 and agricultural land, also in Tarlac, purchased at P116,588. He also had other personal and other properties like motor vehicles valued at a little over P9 million, investment in stocks in seven companies worth P4.774 million and cash totaling P3.635 million. When he assumed office, President Aquino, a bachelor, listed

Based on his statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALNs) filed with the Office of the Ombudsman, President Aquino’s total wealth amounted to P50.194 million when he assumed office on June 30, 2010. Philstar.com/File photo

one liability in the form of mortgage debts amounting to P2.430 million. After six months in office, he filed his second SALN, which showed his net worth increasing to 54.999 million as of Dec. 31, 2010. The increase in his wealth, as explained by Malacañang, was supposedly due to the income he earned from the sale of a residential lot in Antipolo City. One year later, President Aquino’s wealth again increased to

P65.130 million as of Dec. 31, 2011 supposedly because of the increase in the value of his house in Quezon City which went up from P13.796 million to P23.6 million. His next SALN as of Dec. 31, 2012 showed a slight decrease in his net worth as he declared himself to be worth P65.128 million. In 2013, Aquino’s total declared wealth of P66.494 million posted a considerably minimal increase of only P1.3 million. The last SALN he has so far filed, for the year 2014, showed his net worth at P68.311 million, posting an increase of P1.8 million. So far, from June 30, 2010 to Dec. 31, 2014, President Aquino has increased his total wealth to the tune of P18.117 million. He is expected to file his 2015 SALN before April 30 this year and another SALN after he steps down from office on June 30 as required by law. Unless his next declarations reveal huge increases, the increase in his net worth during his presidency pales in comparison to his predecessor. Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s wealth more than doubled during her nine-year stay in Malacañang, starting at only P66.7 million in 2001 and ending at P145.7 million by Dec. 31, 2010. n

NEW TRAINS. New train coaches arrived last week to add to the existing fleet of the Metro Rail Transit, according to the Department of Transportation and Communications. In a statement on Tuesday, Feb. 23, DOTC said the light rail vehicles were assembled over the weekend to complete the first new MRT 3 train expected to be launched in April. Photo courtesy of DOTC

More foreign families adopting Pinoy kids by RainieR

aLLan Philstar.com

Ronda

MANILA — More foreign families have opened their homes to orphaned Filipino children, according to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). The DSWD’s Inter-Country Adoption Board (ICAB) said of the 4,860 children who were legally declared up for adoption, 3,300 have been adopted by foreign families from 2009 to 2015. Only 976 children were adopted by Filipino families, Rosalie Daguio, DSWD Protective Services Bureau assistant director, said recently. “We have more applications for adoption coming from foreigners. They are from Canada, Norway, UK and the US,” Daguio said. “We hope to get more applications from Filipino families.” Jennifer Abenido, DSWD-ICAB social welfare officer, said a majority of the foreign adoptive families were from Europe, specifically Spain. Abenido said the cultural ties

between the Philippines and Spain may be a factor why Spanish families want to adopt Filipino children. She added European families have visited the Philippines to look for children to adopt after countries in Eastern Europe stopped the adoption of abandoned or neg- lected children in 2000. Melissa Moran of the Kaisahang Buhay Foundation, a nongovernment organization promoting legal adoption, urged Filipino families to legally adopt abandoned children and help transform lives. “It is an option for couples who have no children. They should consider legal adoption,” Moran said. The DSWD and its partner agencies conducted a forum at the Philippine Information Agency auditorium in Quezon City Monday as part of the celebration of the Adoption Consciousness Week from Feb. 15 to 24. Members of the Association of Child Caring Agencies, which advocates adoption and foster

care, as well as adoptive families joined the event. This year’s theme, “Legal na Ampon Ako: Anak na Totoo,” underscores the rights of legally adopted children. Interested families may visit the DSWD’s adoption help desks at selected SM malls, Trinoma, Market! Market! and Festival Mall today. Social workers and legal experts will be on hand to respond to queries about the adoption process. An adoption forum will be held today at the Department of Education central office in Pasig City. Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman said more children in different centers and institutions run by the agency are up for adoption. “We appeal to families to open their homes to these children and give them a better future,” Soliman said. “A social worker in a child care residential facility with 10 or more children cannot hug all of them at the same time. Only parents can do that,” she added. n


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COMMUNITY Journal

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THE TIMES’ PH ECONOMIC OUTLOOK FORUM

2016 growth on track despite ‘bumpy’ start by Mayvelin

U. Caraballo, ben Kritz and Catherine talavera

by agnes

Constante AJPress

ManilaTimes.net

THE Philippine economy will continue to expand despite a very challenging external environment this year but certain issues must be addressed first to ensure continued growth, speakers at The Manila Times 3rd Business Forum on Tuesday, Feb. 23 said. Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Amando Tetangco Jr., the International Monetary Fund Philippine Rep- STRONG ECONOMY. Central Bank governor resentative Shanaka Jayanath Amando Tetangco shares his insights at Peiris, World Bank lead econo- The Manila Times’ 3rd Business Forum held

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in Manila.

Photo by DJ Diosina

IN the last two years, the US economy saw its fastest decline in unemployment since the 1980s and concluded its best years of job growth since the 1990s, according to the 70th annual Economic Report of the President. The most recent version of the report, released Monday, Feb. 22, by the Council of Eco-

nomic Advisers, also noted the nation’s economy also extended the longest streak of job growth on record, and that wage growth in the last 12 months was the strongest it has been since the Great Recession. The combination of increased jobs and wages helped boost consumer confidence about the economy to its highest level since 2004, according to the report. “In 2015, we continued to take steps forward, with strong job growth and wages rising at their fastest rate in the recovery,” President Barack Obama said in the opening message of the 430-page report. “ S o claims that America’s economy is in decline or that we haven’t made progress are simply not true.” This year, the economy is expected to grow to 2.7 percent, while the jobless rate has dropped more quickly than many analysts predicted. In January, the rate fell to 4.9 percent, and it is expected to fall to approxi-

mately 4.5 percent by the end of 2016. This figure would be near the rate of full employment, according to the report. But although there were many indicators of domestic resilience, the report also touched on both challenges at home and abroad. Slow growth in other nations - including Brazil, Canada India, the European Union and China, for instance - has resulted in limited demand for US exports. Domestically, cheaper gas prices had a smaller impact on gross domestic product at just 0.2 percent. Although paying less at the pump left consumers with more to spend, it was largely offset by the decline in drilling activity. Crumbling roads and other similar infrastructure also slowed down US growth. Furthermore, economic growth is expected to slow down slightly to 2.5 percent in 2017 and 2.4 percent in 2018. “It is critical to strengthen domestic growth by boosting our economy’s productivity and dynamism, to work with partners around the world to improve global growth, and to take steps to help ensure that the benefits of growth are shared – including by addressing the long-standing challenge

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Gulf jobs: Impacting 2.5 million Filipinos Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima receives the Finance Minister of the Year 2015 award from FinanceAsia deputy and features editor Richard Morrow in Hong Kong on Jan. 27. The award is his second in a row and his sixth during his six-year tenure under the Aquino

Purisima bags sixth award as Asia’s best finance minister

sia for the second time and his sixth in total during his six-year tenure under the Aquino adMANILA — Finance Secre- ministration. This is the second time the tary Cesar Purisima has been named the best finance minister magazine is ranking finance of the year by Hong Kong-based ministers of the region’s 12 business publication FinanceAu PAGE B2 by Prinz

P. MagtUlis Philstar.com

THE Philippines is starting to feel the first ripples of the oil price shock. News broke recently that some 300 Filipinos working for Saudi Oger – one of the biggest construction firms in Saudi Arabia – were holed up inside a camp in the city of Jeddah, unable to leave because they had not been paid for the past five months and their residence permits had expired. A report on the Philippine online news site InterAksyon said thousands of migrant workers were gathering outside the company’s gates each day to await

NORTH AMERICA

company’s factory in Damman, also in Saudi Arabia. Another big Saudi contractor, Saudi Binladin Group, meanwhile, has sent word that it will lay off some 5,000 Filipino workers next month “in light of the mass layoffs and austerity measures being employed by the Saudi government”, according to the overseas workers advocacy group Migrante. Saudi Arabia has had to cut back on infrastructure spending as it resorts to austerity measures to cope with slumping oil prices, said Fomeronag. Crude prices have fallen by

word about their salaries. Workers from India and Pakistan had already gone on strike, it said. Nicon Fomeronag, a spokesman for the Labor Department in Manila, told InterAksyon that Saudi Oger informed the Philippine Embassy in Jeddah that it could not yet pay its workers because of delays in payments from the Saudi government. InterAksyon also reported that Filipinos working for steel firm MMG-Mohammad Almojil Group have not been paid a year’s worth of salary, although they continue to work at the

TAIPEI

The Best Link to Cross the

more than 70 per cent to below US$30 a barrel over the past year and a half, dealing a blow to oil-producing states in the Middle East. The 2.5 million Filipinos working in the region – of which about a million are in Saudi Arabia – are a major source of remittances. They are still sending money home: US$5.24 billion (S$7.36 billion) in the first 11 months of last year, up 9.6 per cent from 2014. But analysts warn that it may just be a matter of time before the full impact of the slump in

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Business news

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2016 growth on track despite…

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Inquirer.net photo

Study shows most Pinoys hooked on cellphones by Ted

Torres Philstar.com

MANILA — Mobile phone has become a necessity for the common man as more than three fourths of Filipinos look at their devices within 15 minutes after waking up, according to the Deloitte Global Mobile Consumer Survey. The survey also showed that 73 percent of Filipinos still prefer to use SMS or text message over instant messaging (IM). But those who use IM or 33 percent of the respondents turn to Facebook Messenger instead of pure Over-The-Top (OTT) IM services to communicate. According to the report, 94 percent of Filipino IM users use Facebook Messenger, an app that has been downloaded three times more than Skype and 10

times more than WhatsApp in this country. In Southeast Asia, IM emerged as the most popular messaging tool, with IM usage increasing and SMS decreasing across the board, except in the Philippines. Filipinos also glance at their screens repeatedly, using their phones most frequently when commuting on public transport. The survey likewise revealed that a significant proportion of Filipino users (31 percent) listen to online radio via their smartphones. About 82 percent of Filipino respondents use Wi-Fi at home, in the workplace, or their place of study while the rest use Wi-Fi in public places. The popularity of IM will continue to hold in the region, with Filipinos finding it a convenient

White House report…

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of inequality,” the White House said. The report also acknowledged that technological developments are affecting American workers by deepening income gaps and contributing to disaffection. Obama has attempted to address this with the Affordable Care Act and through tax cuts for the middle class, his advisers said. However, Congress has balked at other measures, such as a minimum wage increase and a new infrastructure plan, The New York Times reported. “We would have liked to have passed even more support for jobs than we did,” said Jason Furman, chairman of the economic council, according to the Times. “We’re still not all the way there. We, in particular, would like to see stronger wage growth.” Although the report indicated improvement in America’s economy, authors of the document wrote that inequality remains among the most important challenges facing the country. They further noted that it is more pronounced in the US compared to other advanced economies and that it has sharpened more quickly in recent decades. n

option for chatting with friends and family overseas. Navarro Amper & Co. managing partner and chief executive officer Greg Navarro said telecommunication operators could take advantage of this situation to increase revenues from data usage. “They can, for example, tailor chat packages to specific IM applications that are widely used in their respective local markets,” Navarro said. Navarro Amper & Co. is the local member firm of Deloitte Southeast Asia Ltd., which conducted the survey, which covered 49,500 consumers across 31 countries. The survey was done to determine the trending attitudes and behaviors of today’s mobile consumer. It was conducted in the third quarter of 2015. n

Gulf jobs… PAGE B1 t

crude prices hits the migrant workers. John Monterona, Middle East coordinator for Migrante, believes that as many as 120,000 Filipinos could lose their jobs this year. Philippine Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz told reporters on Feb. 8 that the government is keeping tabs on some 1.5 million Filipinos working in the oil and construction industries in the Middle East – nearly 900,000 of them in Saudi Arabia – and is preparing contingencies in case of massive retrenchments there. Another concern among Filipinos in the Middle East is that all six Gulf states – Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman – are set to adopt a value-added tax by 2018 and are reviewing old plans to tax remittances to raise non-oil revenues. (Inquirer.net)

mist Rogier Van den Brink and Convergys Philippines Services Corp. Chairman Marife Zamora led the discussions on the 2016 economic outlook as the main speakers. Tetangco said in his keynote speech the economy will sustain its resilience in 2016 despite a bumpy start to the year. The central bank does not give forecast growth figures for the year. But the inter-agency Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) early last week announced a revised growth target of between 6.8 percent and 7.8 percent for gross domestic product (GDP) this year, down from 7 to 8 percent originally set for the period. Opportunities in volatilities “2016 was off to a bumpy start. While we foresee the same risk factors in 2016 as those in 2015, it may be more difficult to predict how these factors would play out in 2016. Policy makers are being more sensitive to spillovers and spillbacks to their economies. And market sentiment continues to be shifty,” Tetangco said. Factors spurring the uncertainty, he said, include a slowing Chinese economy, the speed and magnitude of the US Federal Reserve’s planned rate hikes and low global oil prices. Domestically, these involve the prolonged El Niño weather pattern, which has hit the agriculture sector significantly and threatens prices, and the existence of infrastructure gaps. Nevertheless, he said the Philippines could benefit from volatile external financial markets in the long run but it was important to adopt the right policies to realize gains. “The low inflation, because of the lower global oil prices, would be one of the advantages. But we need to closely monitor the

developments and the potential impact of these developments on us and adopt policies to address the potential impact,” he said. Tetangco said the Philippines is weathering the volatility because its macroeconomic conditions remained sound. “Keeping one’s house in order is always a good thing. When the time come that investors will differentiate among different emerging economies, I think we will be in a good position because the macroeconomic conditions in the Philippines continue to be strong. It will be a plus for us,” he said. Strengthen the investment sector IMF’s Peiris said while the Philippines could look forward to good economic prospects through 2016 and beyond, poor infrastructure and” “anemic” foreign investment posed challenges to higher economic growth. He provided a snapshot of the Philippine economy in the context of the current global situation and suggested the country was well-positioned to take advantage of its stability, which is underpinned by a sound banking system, manageable government debt, a young, skilled workforce, and strong consumption. Challenges posed by a “rebalancing” of the Chinese economy, some global slowing in developed and commodity-exporting economies, and tightening of oil-producing economies in the Middle East would be muted by the Philippines’comparative stability, Peiris said, but in order to maintain growth over the longer term, a number of key issues need to addressed. He identified infrastructure and attracting investment as the biggest obstacles to stable growth, pointing out that the Philippines

lags the region and in fact most of the rest of the world in these key areas. “The investment leg needs to be improved,” he said. In addition to opening more areas of the economy to investment, Peiris stressed that improving agricultural production, implementing “comprehensive” tax reform, including raising more revenue for the government, and diversifying access to financing for businesses and households should be priorities for the next administration in order to make the most of the country’s economic gains. A demographic “sweet spot” remains an edge for the Philippines amid a challenging external environment, Peiris added. “The demographic dividend has been an important aspect of Philippines competitive advantage,” he said, referring to the Philippines’ young and huge population compared to its regional peers. “As labor cost in China and even in other parts of Asia is rising, the Philippines can be competitive if it continues to invest in its people especially in health and education,” he said. ‘PH to be envied’ World Bank’s Van der Brink said a lot of the external challenges that the rest of the world was worried about would not affect the Philippines very much. “A lot of the countries are worried about the slowdown in China. The Philippines’ link with China is not that strong. Your financial market isn’t really linked to the Chinese ones. Even the consumer demand in China is not really very important for the Philippines,” he said. The World Bank economist also pointed out that the conflict in the Middle East would also not impact the Philippines that much.

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Purisima bags sixth award as Asia’s best…

PAGE B1 t

largest economies. Malaysia was at the bottom of the list. “We have come full circle in restoring robust confidence in the Philippines. A pattern of recognition makes it clear this is no longer about me, but about the underlying vision President Aquino has led this country with. This does not speak of the excellence of individuals, but rather of the excellence of our guiding

governance philosophy,” Purisima said. “This is something we hope we can follow through on for the next six years,” he added. FinanceAsia said Purisima deserves this award, having improved the country’s finances and avoided missteps that could have undermined the remarkable growth story in the Philippines,” FinanceAsia said. The awarding ceremony was

held last Jan. 27 in Hong Kong. The 55-year old Purisima was first hailed as finance minister of the year for Asia by Emerging Markets magazine in 2011, an award he also received in 2013. In 2012, Purisima was also named best finance minister by Euromoney. He was once again the choice of The Banker the following year as finance minister of the year for Asia-Pacific. n


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Community Journal

Business owner files chapter 7 as losses mount

Debt Relief Atty. LAwrence yAng Business owner files chapter 7 as losses mount CLIENTS are spouses who own and run a business together. They own an S-corporation that has been in business for 20 years. They have 10 employees. An Scorporation, as distinguished from a C-corporation, is one where the profits of the business “flows through” to the 1040 of the individuals, unlike a C-corporation that pays its own income tax based on corporate profits. For instance, if the S-corporation business makes a net profit of $100K for 2015, that net profit is added to the gross income of the stockholders of the S-corporation. If you own 20% of that Scorporation, you will have to add $20K to your gross income for 2015 in addition to your income from all other sources. Whereas if that were a C-corporation, the corporation would pay income tax by itself on the $100K profit for 2015, and either keep the net profit after tax in the coffers of the corporation as retained earnings, or distribute the net profit to the stockholders, in which case, the profit distribution becomes a dividend to the stockholder which the stockholders declares as dividend income in his individual tax return. Other than this differentiation in the treatment of corporate profit, both S and C-corporations have all the same benefits that a corporation provides. Both S and C corporations are legally separate entities from their stockholders. Liabilities of the S and C corporations and deemed liabilities of the corporations themselves and do not transfer to the individual stockholders. This is called the “corporate shield” given to stockholders. For all intents and purposes by law, the corporation is treated as a separate and distinct “legal person” from the individual stockholders. For example, Volkswagen was recently found cheating on emissions. The company programmed the computers in their diesel cars to act in a way that it appeared that emission standards were being complied with. In fact, they were not. In other words, Volkswagen, the corporation told a bold face lie. When it was found out, there was a big scandal and its stock tanked. Massive penalties for fraud soon followed levied by the Feds in the billions. There were multiple lawsuits filed against Volkswagen. Buyers wanted to return what they bought. If you were a stockholder of Volkswa-

Immigrant Living: 101 and Beyond Monette AdevA MAglAyA (Part 2 of 2)

THERE seems to be a moral turpitude that ails a society when some of its members regard violence as an option. This much is certain — when extreme hubris rules the heart and mind, there will always be a lack of personal responsibility and accountability when something goes wrong. It would always be because of someone else’s fault or because of a set of circumstances. We tend to blame everything else but ourselves. The tendency to shirk responsibility is probably wired into our DNA right at the Garden of Eden with Eve originally playing the blame game early on. The devil made me do it. So did Adam. The woman gave me the apple. It is our inability, due to pride, the deadliest of all human failings, to own up to sin. And so it was with the fallen angels. There’s only one antidote to pride for us mere mortals and that is to cultivate daily a grateful, humble heart that thanks God for every moment of life on earth. Our Blessed Mother Mary exemplifies the kind of heart that bears all. That is why she is wor-

Young client seeks chapter 7 relief for $$70K credit card debt

gen, can you be sued for this corporate fraud with millions of victims worldwide? If you were a stockholder of Volkswagen, do you have to worry about being sued by the victims because you own shares in Volkswagen, certainly not. Because the fact that Volkswagen is a corporation means that the company is legally a separate and distinct entity from you as a shareholder. Therefore, you cannot be sued as a stockholder of Volkswagen for the corporate wrongdoing of the company. This is called ‘corporate legal fiction’ which is actually quite a brilliant idea that allows free enterprise to prosper. Without this ‘corporate shield and legal fiction’ people will be afraid to invest in businesses for fear of having their individual assets exposed to liability for anything that goes wrong with the corporation that causes damage to anyone. In clients’ case, their business was doing well for 17 years. But the last 3 years was bad. Clients had to refinance their house to put in another $80K in the corporation to finance the loss of the last 3 years. Refinancing their house was actually making a bad situation worse. Why suck out the equity in your house causing you to pay a higher mortgage to keep a business that is hemorrhaging to keep it afloat? You’re letting the business loss drag your house down too. The corporation is supposed to be separate from your personal assets, but by refinancing your house, you combine the two together. In other words, if the business is sinking, why let your house sink with it too? You business can sink and die, that happens many, many times in the world of business. But to link your house to the business, that’s the same as getting a gun and shooting yourself in the leg. Clients’ S-corporation owes $120K of bank loans and suppliers credit, which it can no longer pay. Clients decided to discontinue the business because of mounting losses. I ask them if they want to continue the business with a Chapter 11 and perhaps get away without paying any of the $120K. They decide for a Chapter 7 because too much competition has made the future of the business very bleak. Will the S-corporation Chapter 7 affect the stockholders as individuals, of course it will not. The stockholders keep their good credit and everything else. They

are not affected by the bankruptcy of the S-corporation, because after all, even an S-corporation is a legally separate and distinct entity under the law, therefore, it can file a bankruptcy by itself without affecting the individual stockholders. Young client seeks chapter 7 relief for $70K credit cards Client is 33, and recently married. He also dabbled into business, using his credit cards to fund the business. The business never turned a profit. He maxed out his credit cards at $70K. One credit card sued him to collect $14K of credit card debt. At that time, he was still optimistic that his business would turn around and become profitable. But that was not to be. He entered into a stipulated judgment agreeing to pay $200 a month until the $14K was fully paid off. He just got married and wants a fresh start without debt, and opts for Chapter 7 relief. This will wipe out the $70K of credit card debt including the $14K stipulated judgment. Without debilitating debt, client can look forward to a fresh, new and productive life, and can even start another business that has a better chance of being successful from all the mistakes he learned from his failed business. This is what happened to Mr. Walt Disney who also sought Chapter 7 relief twice before his Disneyland business became successful. From two bankruptcies, Disney is now a global multi-billion dollar business with the new $6.0 billion theme park opening in Shanghai this June. Who knows, my young client may be another Disney in the making, learning from his previous mistakes. Maybe 10 years from now, client may become a business tycoon. Further, client’s decision to seek chapter 7 relief is completely confidential. Nobody needs to know unless he discloses it himself. His new wife is totally not affected even if she has her own assets. Those are her sole and separate assets. “A faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God (Adonai/Yahweh), who does not lie, promised before, the beginning of time.” — Titus 1:2 *** Lawrence Bautista Yang specializes in bankruptcy, business, real estate and civil litigation and has successfully represented more than five thousand clients in California. Please call Angie, Barbara or Jess at (626) 2841142 for an appointment at 1000 S. Fremont Ave, Mailstop 58, Building A-1 Suite 1125, Alhambra, CA 91803. (Advertising Supplement)

Pressure cooker violence “We tend to blame everything else but ourselves. The tendency to shirk responsibility is probably wired into our DNA right at the Garden of Eden with Eve originally playing the blame game early on. The devil made me do it. So did Adam. The woman gave me the apple.” thy of emulation of the ultimate role model for a God-centered life. I say emulation but not adoration. Adoration belongs to God alone. That is why the devil works hard but fails miserably to marginalize the role of the Holy Mother Mary in Christian worship. Many Christian churches have fallen into the devil’s snare eliminating God’s choice for the most powerful of intercessors among humans. “Thou shalt not kill” is a commandment that holds in good times and in bad. There’s no moral relativism on this. Each is precious to God or He wouldn’t have sacrificed His own Son if He didn’t think we were worth the time and trouble. Each murder, particularly abortion, is a grievous sin against the Holy Spirit from whom all life comes. Man has discounted his own worth. Part of the reason we have discounted the value of human life is that modern society has become

so desensitized to violence and death via the content in films, games and media that pass for entertainment these days, that we take life for granted as though it means nothing. Does hell exist? How is punishment meted out in the afterlife? In the physical universe, scientists claim that there are black holes in the known universe that cannot be seen by human eyes but with gravitation so strong that it suctions, as in a whirling cosmic cauldron stirred by mighty forces, all the stars and planetary systems that come within its orbit, so strong that not even light can escape. That must be what hell is like. Need a visual image for hell aside from Dante’s Inferno? Black holes could fit the bill as a repository for lost souls, a cold, dark, fetid, state of gnawing pain and bitter regret, filled with the

world,” BPO emerging as growth driver Convergys’ Zamora, meanwhile, focused on the economic contribution of business process outsourcing (BPO) industry, including its “knock-on” effects on other sectors. “For every BPO job, there are two and a half indirect jobs created,” she said, ranging from taxi drivers to janitors. The industry is also boosting demand in the real estate and auto sectors, as well, Zamora said. From $13.2 billion in revenues, 777,000 workers, a 5.8 percent share of the domestic

economy and a 10 percent share of the global industry, BPOs in the Philippines have grown this to $22 billion, 1.2 million jobs, 6.7 percent of the economy and 13 percent of the global share, Zamora said. Putting the economic contribution in perspective, she said the $13 billion earned in 2012 was equivalent to 3.4 billion Chicken Joy meals, 2 billion Big Mac meals, 180,000 middle-class houses or condominiums, 3.4 billion jeepney rides, 68 million prepaid cards, 68 million Bench jeans, enough taxes to build 2 million classrooms and nutrition program funds for 14 billion days. n

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2016 growth on track despite…

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“The Philippines has a very diversified portfolio of migrants. So OFW (overseas Filipino worker) remittances, unless a sort of major event happens in the Middle East, the economy will not really be affected that much by it,” he said. “Overall, the global environment dies not look too good and that will effect Philippines in a way but remember, the country is now growing at 5.8 percent,” van den Brink said. “Even if that growth goes a bit down, its still in a very high growth environment. The economy will still rack up numbers that will be envied by the rest of the

LA MIDWEEK ASIAN JOURNAL • FEBRUARY 24-26, 2016

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People and Events

Free naturalization and legal consultation clinic March 26, 2016, at Asian Youth Center

THE Law Offices of Mary Lyn T. Sanga, A Professional Corporation (MTS Law) will be holding a free naturalization and legal consultation clinic on March 26, 2016. The clinic will be from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., at Asian Youth Center, 100 Clary Avenue, San Gabriel, CA 91776. This project is MTS Law’s second annual free legal clinic, a public service program that it

started in 2015. This year, MTS Law is organizing the clinic in collaboration with Asian Youth Center. According to Atty. Angela Leong of MTS Law, “with the elections coming up this year, we decided to expand the scope of the legal clinic.” As an added service, the clinic will not be limited to free legal consultation as in the previous year, but will also help qualified lawful permanent

Calendar of Events across

residents (also known as green card holders) apply for citizenship. Citizenship confers certain rights not available to green card holders, including the right to vote for U.S. President and federal officials, apply for federal government jobs, run for an elective federal office, and apply for a U.S. passport. To be eligible to

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America

ADVERTISE YOUR EVENTS! PRE-EVENT AND POST-EVENT GO DEEPER. GO WIDER. LET THE WORLD KNOW. CALL ASIAN JOURNAL: (818) 502-0651 DISPLAY AD SIZES AT SPECIAL RATES FOR NON-PROFIT GROUPS F E B R UA RY 26

New Americans Campaign FREE citizen workshops in LA A partnership with the Catholic Charities of Los Angeles and Immigrant Refugee and Immigration Service (IRIS) will help local green card holders take the first step towards becoming citizens through FREE event as part of the New Americans Campaign. The workshop will provide lawful permanent residents with free naturalization application assistance by professional and trained volunteers. Individuals will also receive legal counsel by pro bono attorneys and legal experts. Services are available in multiple languages. WHERE/WHEN: Friday, February 26, 2016 at 10:30am Interfaith Refugee and Immigration Service (3621 Brunswick Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90039) RSVP: Registration for the Immigrant Refugee and Immigrant Service (IRIS) workshop is required. For more information, call 213-819-1890. Services are available in English, Spanish, Russian, Farsi and Arabic.

F E B R UA RY 27

FREE Citizenship Workshop/legal assistance in North Hollywood On Saturday, February 27, the Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Los Angeles and Central American Resource Center (CARECEN) will help local green card holders take the first step towards becoming citizens through two free events as part of the New Americans Campaign. These workshops will provide lawful permanent residents with free naturalization application assistance by professional and trained volunteers. Individuals will also receive legal counsel by pro bono attorneys and legal experts. Services are available in multiple languages (English, Khmer, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese and Spanish), and registration for both workshops is required. The Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Los Angeles workshop will take Saturday, February 27, at 9:00am at 1145 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90017. For more information, call 213-977-7500. The CARECEN workshop will take place Saturday, February 27, at 12:00pm at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church (5250 Central Ave, Riverside, CA 92504). For more information, call 213-385-7800 X 152.

MARCH 4-6

GK USA National Summit 2016 There is no better time for Gawad Kalinga (GK) to present the Philippines as the new land of opportunity, with a steadily rising economy--the fastest growing in the world next to China, according to Bloomberg--and alleviating poverty. GK continues to evolve as a movement, starting with philanthropy expanding to sustainability, and creating hybrid, innovative systems to end poverty. The Summit will provide an opportunity for Filipinos, GK volunteers, partners, and millennials to reconnect with their homeland, contribute to their country and social entrepreneurship, and help to build bridges for a thriving nation. Asian Americans will have a taste of the emerging market of world-class, affordable Philippinemade products, such as Bayani Brew, First Harvest Peanut Spreads, Human Nature beauty products, and Theo Philo chocolates. Support GK’s humanitarian efforts to provide home and livelihood to the poorest of the poor, and learn about GK, GK USA, and GK Enchanted Farm programs. The Summit will take place from March 4-6, 2016, at the Radisson Midtown at USC, Los Angeles (3540 S Figueroa St. Los Angeles, CA 90007). To register, please visit gk-usa.org.

MARCH 5

“An Enchanted Evening” Dinner-Dance for Gawad Kalinga As part of the GK USA National Summit, you are cordially invited to a dinner-dance, themed “An Enchanged Evening,” to benefit programs of Gawad Kalinga and GK Enchanted Farm. The Dance will take place on Saturday, March 5, 7:00pm, at the Radisson Midtown at USC, Los Angeles (3540 S Figueroa St. Los Angeles, CA 90007). The cost is $100, with formal attire. The all-night program will include dinner, induction of the GK-USA Board of Directors, remarks from the Chairman of the Board, and all-night dancing. For more details on sponsorship packages for Gawad Kalinga builders and feeding programs, as well as GKEF programs and scholarships, please visit gk-usa.org. For tickets, please visit gk-usa.org/dinnerdance.

M A R C H 1 1 -A p R I L 1

Eagle Rock High School Monthly Open House Tours Eagle Rock High School invites the community to International Baccalaureate Open House Tours, from 8-10am during the spring semester on March 11; and Friday, April 1. Eagle Rock Junior/Senior High School serves students in grades 7-12, and was the first school in the LAUSD to be authorized to offer the prestigious International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Programme (grades 7-10) and the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (grades 11-12), a project-based program for concept and content-based learning to promote global mindedness and service to others. The IB Open House is open to all interested students, and will include an introductory presentation in the ERHS library, followed by campus tours, classroom visits, and a short question-and-answer period. To register for the Open Houses, please visit www.erhs.la, and click on the “IB Open House Registration” link. Please email Mylene Keipp mylene.keipp@lausd.net for more information. We look forward to your visit!

MARCH 6

Love to Nippon 2016 “Love to Nippon 2016” is the fifth-anniversary memorial event and community-wide tribute to those lost and the survivors of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. The free event will support the recovery and rebuilding efforts in the devastated regions, and helps prepare and train Southern Californians for future natural disasters through sharing information and education, and designating “3.11” (March 11th) as the official statewide natural disaster preparedness training day. The formal program includes peaceful interfaith prayers, incense-burning, musical tributes, panel discussions, and outdoor information booths hosted by the American Red Cross, Home Depot, LA County Fire Dept., US Coast Guard, and affected prefectures of Japan. Love to Nippon 2016 takes place on Sunday, March 6, from 1 pm – 5:30 pm at LAPD Headquarters, Ronald F. Deaton Civic Auditorium (100 West First Street, Los Angeles, California 90012). The event is free. To register (limited auditorium seating available), please visit www.lovetonippon.com. For more information, please call 310.484.1800 / lovetonippon2016@gmail.com.

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


B FEBRUARY 24-26, 2016 • LA MIDWEEK ASIAN JOURNAL

Barrister’s Corner Atty. Kenneth UrsUA reyes ON June 26, 2013, the US Supreme Court struck down section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) as unconstitutional in the landmark case US. V. Windsor. The BIA shortly thereafter issued a decision in Matter of Zeleniak holding that DOMA is no longer an impediment in recognizing same-sex couples under the immigration and Nationality Act. Matter of Zeleniak, 26 I&N Dec. 158 (BIA 2013). This means a same-sex marriages are now valid for immigration purposes as long as the marriage is recognized in the “place of celebration.” This means a same- sex marriage is valid for immigration purposes even if the couple intends ultimately to reside in one of the 37 states that do not recognize same-sex marriages as long as it was valid in the place of celebration. The same-sex marriage is valid even if the applicant is applying in a country in which same-sex marriage is illegal. In the area of immigrant visas, a same sex US Citizen spouse or legal permanent resident spouse may now petition for an immi-

What immigration benefits are available to same-sex marriages post DOMA?

piercing screams of the damned, without the presence of God for all eternity, and forever blotted out from all memory except their own. Is it possible that the morally bankrupt and depraved, regard the taking of a life as an option when things do not go their way or when the course of their lives hit a snag and overweening pride tells them to end it all, instead of getting down on their knees to pray to the God of their beings for the humility, the courage and the strength to endure and receive the grace to overcome the most severe of troubles? Gone is the fear of God, much less the love of God. As we steer farther and farther away from God and place something else in the center of our lives, scenarios of helplessness and despair such as what we are witnessing more frequently these days may be expected to unfold with eerie

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What’s New

Arlene Al-os, grant visa for their spouse as Same sex spouses and their chil- CPA, MBA dren can qualify as derivatives in long as the marriage was valid in the place of celebration. Validity of the marriage is not based on the place of domicile. Stepchildren acquired through the same sex marriage can also qualify under the same requirements as stepchildren acquired through opposite sex marriages. Same sex spouses and qualified children or step children can also qualify as dependents of employment-based categories and family-preference categories as derivatives. Same-sex partners off US citizens may also apply for K-1 fiancé non-immigrant visa the same way opposite sex partners may petition for a fiancé visa. The same sex US Citizen spouse may then file an immigrant petition and adjustment of status after the fiancé enters the US and marries the US citizen spouse. Widows and widowers of samesex spouses can also qualify for immigration benefits under INA 204(l). Generally, this is done by filing a self-petition within two years of the death of the US citizen same sex spouse. In the area of non-immigrant visas, same-sex spouses and their children are now eligible for nonimmigrant visa as a derivative.

Pressure cooker…

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Community Journal

regularity. Particularly during the “Age of Selfies,” many have developed bloated images of their own selfimportance. Far too many have become egocentric, overly individualistic, self-absorbed individuals. Perhaps during this period of testing, we would be a lot happier, healthier and less prone to veer towards lives of quiet desperation if we focused less and less on ourselves and more on the welfare of the other person and commit spontaneous, frequent acts of kindness and generosity to family members, total strangers and even those we struggle to love. It would be a tough slog but with God’s help, all things are possible. There was one telling incident I never quite forgot. Long ago, I was running breathlessly huffing and puffing in my stilettos to drop some coins on a parking meter on Wilshire Boulevard I

non-immigrant visas including H , E , L , O , R visas, etc. For aliens with final removal orders issued prior to the Windsor decision, the recognition of the validity of same sex marriage makes available new relief for their case. It may be possible to file a motion to reopen the deportation/removal case even if the removal order was issues past 90 days. ***

Attorney Kenneth Ursua Reyes is a Certified Family Law Specialist. He was President of the Philippine American Bar Association. He is a member of both the Family law section and Immigration law section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. He has extensive CPA experience prior to law practice. LAW OFFICES OF KENNETH REYES, P.C. is located at 3699 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 747, Los Angeles, CA, 90010. Tel. (213) 388-1611 or e-mail kureyeslaw@gmail.com or visit our website at Kenreyeslaw.com.

***

Please note that this article is not legal advice and is not intended as legal advice. The article is intended to provide only general, non-specific legal information. This article is not intended to cover all the issues related to the topic discussed. The specific facts that apply to your matter may make the outcome different than would be anticipated by you. This article does create any attorney client relationship between you and the Law Offices of Kenneth U. Reyes, P.C. This article is not a solicitation. (Advertising Supplement)

knew had expired because of a long, drawn-out presentation I was making on the upper floor of a nearby high-rise. Fortunately, I narrowly missed getting a hefty fine from the parking enforcer because a panhandler had dropped some coins for my car’s meter, from his can of coins. It stunned me to see him feeding all the meters that were expiring on that block. Of course, he may have been merely trying to annoy the heck out of the parking enforcer. Who knows? I only saw the kindness in the act. That stayed with me. From then on, I would remember and always be inspired by the completely anonymous gesture of that person who had practically nothing but still gave of the little he had. That’s when I knew kindness is contagious like the flu. ***

1. HEALTH COVERAGE. Information Reporting. The provider of your health coverage is required to send Form 1095-A, 1095-B, or 1095-C with list of individuals included in your family health coverage in 2015. Health Coverage Tax Credit. Has been reinstated retroactive January 1, 2014 (expired end of 2013), pays 72.5% of qualified health insurance premiums for eligible taxpayers. If you are a dependent of another person’s return you are not eligible. Health care individual responsibility payment increased. If anyone in your household does not have qualifying health coverage or coverage exemption, shared responsibility could be more this year versus last year. 2. ACHIEVING A BETTER LIFE EXPERIENCE (ABLE) ACCOUNT, a savings account for individuals with disabilities and their families. You can contribute up to $14,000 and distributions used to pay the beneficiary’s qualified disability expenses are tax-free. 3. Direct Deposits of refund myRA® ACCOUNT. A starter retirement account by the Department of Treasury through direct deposit of refund to myRA® program. 4. You are REQUIRED TO FILE an income tax return if your 2015 gross income reaches: Elderly and blind taxpayers add $1,250 to $1,550. 5. PERSONAL EXEMPTIONS $4,000 (4,050 for 2016) Phase outs for personal itemized deduction and personal exemption were reinstated in 2013.

Federal tax update for what’s new for 2015 tax returns 6. STANDARD DEDUCTIONS: If your combined itemized deductions for interests, taxes, medical and contributions are less than the following amounts, use the following standard deductions: Elderly and blind taxpayers get an extra $1,200 for married and $1,550 for unmarried. 7. EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT (EITC). The maximum amount of credit for tax year 2015 is: A. $503, with no qualifying children B. $3,359, with one qualifying child B. $5,548, with two qualifying children C. $6,242, with three or more qualifying children 8. CHILD TAX CREDIT: $1,000 per child (additional refundable credit available). For taxpayers electing to exclude foreign earned income from tax, child tax credit is not refundable. No credit is allowed either on original return or amended 2015 return if you or your child do not have SSN, ATIN, or ITIN by due date including extensions even if later you or your child gets one of those numbers. 9. EDUCATION CREDITS: A. American Opportunity Credit (HOPE): $2,500 per student (made permanent by the PATH Act of 2015). You cannot claim this credit either on original return or amended 2015 return if you or a student do not have SSN, ATIN, or ITIN by due date including extensions even if later you or a student gets one of those numbers. B. Lifetime Learning Credit: $2,000 per return. 10. RETIREMENT PLANS LIMITS: 11. STANDARD MILEAGE RATES:

A. Business: 57.5¢ per mile (54¢ for 2016) B. Medical and Moving: 23 per mile (19¢ for 2016). C. Charity: 14¢ per mile (still 14¢ for 2016) 12. LONG-TERM CARE INSURANCE DEDUCTION LIMITS: $380 to $4,750 (390 to 4,870 for 2016) depending on age. 13. ALTERNATIVE MINIMUM TAX (AMT) EXEMPTION AMOUNT INCREASED. The AMT exemption amount is increased to $53,600 ($83,400 if married filing jointly and $41,700 if married filing separately). 14. FOREIGN EARNED INCOME EXCLUSION: $100,800 ($101,300 for 2016). 15. SOCIAL SECURITY TAXES FOR NEXT YEAR 2016: A. Minimum earnings to be covered by SS increases from $4,880 to $5,040 ($1,260 per quarter). B. Maximum earnings allowed for 65 remain the same at $15,720. C. Maximum amount subject to FICA stays the same at $118,500. D. Early retirement age is 62, full retirement 67 (born 1960 & later). 16. ESTATE AND GIFT TAXES: A. Estate/gift tax exclusion -$5,430,00 (for 2015), $5,450,000 (for 2016) B. Annual gift tax exclusion - $14,000 (for 2015), $14,000(for 2016) *** Sy Al-os Accountancy Corporation provides accounting and tax services to individuals, corporations, LLCs and business entities. The Firm has a niche in defending taxpayers audited by the IRS and other governmental agencies. The firm celebrates its 38th anniversary in 2015. (Advertising Supplement)

Free naturalization and legal…

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naturalize, the applicant must be at least 18 years old, have been a lawful permanent resident for at least 5 years (3 years if married to a U.S. citizen for at least 3 years), and establish good moral character, among other requirements. The clinic will start with a 30Nota Bene: Monette Adeva Maglaya is minute introduction to the basic SVP of Asian Journal Publications, Inc. To requirements and procedure to send comments, e-mail monette.maglaya@ apply for naturalization. It will then be followed by in-person asianjournalinc.com

assistance with preparation of N400 application for naturalization and related documents, including fee waiver application. There will also be licensed attorneys to provide one-on-one legal consultation on issues relating to immigration, family relations, personal injury, and employment. Seats are limited, so interested participants are encouraged to register in advance. To register, call (213) 2323154 (English, Tagalog & Spanish) or (626) 800-

6019 (Chinese), register online at [link], or email info@mtsangalaw. com (English, Tagalog & Spanish) or aleong@mtsangalaw.com (Chinese). MTS Law is a Los Angelesbased law firm with principal office located at 3600 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 920, Los Angeles, CA 90010. MTS Law handles all areas of immigration, personal injury, and family law. For more information about MTS Law, please visit www.mtsangalaw.com. n


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Community Journal

LA MIDWEEK ASIAN JOURNAL • FEBRUARY 24-26, 2016

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Palm Springs Life Festival to celebrate music and arts, fashion, food and dine with today’s leading luminaries March 20, 2016 through April 24, 2016 PALM Springs Life Festival (www.palmspringslifefestival. com) today announced the launch of the first season of the premier cultural arts and lifestyle event in the Coachella Valley to be presented by Palm Springs Life magazine and IMG Artists and produced by Barrett Wissman, the Chairman of IMG Artists. The inaugural festival will feature a stellar lineup of some of today’s top artists, fashion designers and culinary superstars. Some of the stars to appear include opera legends Plácido Domingo and Renée Fleming, violinists Midori and Sarah Chang, cellist Nina Kotova, pianist Jean Yves Thibaudet, guitarist Angel Romero, fashion designers Zandra Rhodes, Michael Costello and Marc Bouwer, and chefs Cat Cora, Gail Gand, and the Hearty Boys. Last spring, the festival was launched in a one-day event at the

EMPLOYMENT

Sunnylands Center and Gardens in Rancho Mirage. Performers and curators included producer Quincy Jones, opera star Renée Fleming, dancer David Hallberg, and conductor Philippe Jordan. Due to the event’s success, executive producers Barrett Wissman and IMG Artists decided to partner with Palm Springs Life to present the first full season of the Festival in 2016. This year will bring together the Festival’s arts programming alongside two desert standouts, the Palm Desert Food & Wine festival (www. palmdesertfoodandwine.com) and Fashion Week El Paseo (www.fashionweekelpaseo.com), giving the Coachella Valley an unprecedented array of talent across multiple disciplines. “I think it’s a real opportunity for Southern California to have an independent festival that can bring many art forms together from music, to fashion, to the

culinary world. To have a first season that includes luminaries such as Plácido Domingo, Cat Cora, Renée Fleming, and Zandra Rhodes is inspiring,” said Barrett Wissman, Executive Producer of Palm Springs Life Festival and Chairman of IMG Artists. The festival opens with a Gala concert on March 20 at The Show at Agua Caliente Casino Resort and Spa featuring Plácido Domingo conducting Renee Fleming, with the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra. Maestro Domingo will also sing a couple of vocal numbers with Ms. Fleming. The festivities will continue with an array of music, food and wine and fashion events over the following four weeks. Concerts and events will take place at multiple venues in the greater Palm Springs area including the new Rancho Mirage Amphitheater, The Helene Galen Auditorium at

EMPLOYMENT

The UST Medical Alumni Association of Southern CA (USTMAASC) will be holding its 12th Biennial Inaugural Ball and Induction of 2016 to 2017 Officers on Saturday, March 19 at the Marriott Long Beach Hotel. Come celebrate with fellow alumni 22 years of service as proud Thomasians. Jubilarians for the following years will be recognized during the event: 1940, 1941,1945, 1946, 1950, 1951, 1955, 1956, 1960, 1961, 1965, 1966, 1970, 1971, 1975, 1976, 1980, 1981, 1985, 1986, 1990, 1991, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2006. Dinner ticket is $80. For reservations, call Dr. Rex Agtarap at (661) 718-0705.

The Annenberg Center for Health Sciences at Eisenhower and the Gardens of El Paseo. The Festival will be capped off on April 23 and 24 with a signature event “In Vino Veritas” at The Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage. The event will feature the greatest Italian wines, winemakers and chefs of

today and will be presented in partnership with and curated by Gambero Rosso, the leading Italian guide to the best wines and restaurants of Italy (www.gamberorosso.it). Maestro Plácido Domingo said: “I am very much looking forward to coming to Palm

EMPLOYMENT

SERVICES

Springs with the LA Opera Orchestra. The surroundings are absolutely spectacular and I can’t wait to perform for the audience there. “ For full schedule and ticket information for the Palm Springs Life Festival, visit www.palmspringslifefestival.com. n


B FEBRUARY 24-26, 2016 • LA MIDWEEK ASIAN JOURNAL

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The Asian Journal

MDWK

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

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cover story The Asian Jour nal MDWK MAGAZINE - February 24, 2016

‘Somewhere in the Shallow Sea: A Novel of Suspense’

Fil-Am author Dennis Macaraeg writes about love and betrayal by MAlou liwAnAg-Bledsoe/AJPress

AmERiCAN poet, novelist and short story writer Sylvia Plath once said that, “Everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise.” For many writers, stories are drawn from their life experiences—where they’ve been, the people they’ve met—with a little more flair and drama mixed into it. For first time author Dennis macaraeg, it took an odyssey criss-crossing the major islands of the Philippines to open his eyes and start writing. Loosely based on his college experience, his first attempt at writing was a love story—only to be rejected by literary agents. However, this did not deter him

from making another story. “When i began writing again, i took a gamble and tried to write a thriller,” he said. The result of his new effort was Somewhere in the Shallow Sea: A Novel of Suspense, which was released last year, with an audiobook released in the market last December.

Dennis Macaraeg and Bill Johnston

a whirlwind ride throughout the major Philippine islands. On a “can’t fail” mission to rescue his colleague, Blake mason, from his kidnappers, a radical group who call themselves “Kulog ng Timog” (Thunder from the South) led by the crazed leader they call Commander Berto, Danny must effectively rescue his friend before the clock runs out. “Some say that most debut novels are autobiographical. This book is no exception,” macaraeg said in an interview with the Asian Journal. “ Love is my inspiration. Though the main plot of the book is about rescuing a kidnapped friend, it’s really the love story between Danny and Helen.” To make his novel true to its words, macaraeg actually went on a backpacking expedition in the Philippines for two weeks. With his cousin as his guide, confidant and morale support; he traveled to manila, Olongapo City (where he was born), Baguio, Visayas and mindanao. To help macaraeg bring Somewhere in the Shallow Sea to the audiobook market, he chose to team up with William “Bill” Johnston, a San Diegobased, veteran audible storyteller. Johnston became the voice talent, producer and audio engineer in the production of the audiobook. He is also an authorized producer/narrator for the Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX), an Amazon. com company. “in the beginning, i thought Photos courtesy of Dennis Macaraeg i was only getting a narrator,” he

“Somewhere in the Shallow Sea” contains all the elements readers would expect in a suspense novel: terrorists, kidnappers, intrigue, car chases, deceit and betrayal—with love and romance inserted in it. in the story, macaraeg’s alter ego and lead character Danny maglaya takes listeners and readers on

Dennis Macaraeg

said and then added, “Surprisingly, not only did i get a good (voice) actor to perform my novel, i also got a good friend, supporter and book publicist.” When asked why he decided to commission the production of an audiobook, macaraeg explained that he spends a lot of time in his car and loved listening to books on CDs. “When i was a child, i listened to the radio drama shows with my grandma while she ironed shirts. i think that’s how it all began.” He also added that listeners will be entertained with the story because aside from Johnston’s excellent portrayal of the characters, they will be educated with the history of the Philippines. With this first novel, macaraeg shared that he was scared days before it came out. “i was

more concerned about what people will say, (like) ‘Dennis did what?’ But honestly, i was blown away by my friends and family’s praises, encouragements and the support with buying my book. Of course, finishing the book is the pinnacle of my achievement.” At present, macaraeg’s plan is just to write one book per year, so the one for 2016 has not been put on paper—yet. Still, he encourages people to read. “Keep on reading,” he said. “it is the cheapest and the fastest way to learn about other worlds that we won’t have a chance to see and people we will never meet.” “Somewhere in the Shallow Sea: A Novel of Suspense” is available at online books sellers. The audiobook is now on sale at Amazon.com, Audible.com and iTunes.com.

Kim feels like ‘newcomer’ in teleserye with Xian by Boy

ABundA Philstar.com

Kim Chiu has always been a bubbly, bungisngis kind of girl. Her personality is perfect for those light romantic comedies where the character calls for her to be funny and make the audience laugh. When she’s doing that, she doesn’t even really have to act; she only has to be herself. But Kim had a hard time with her latest project “The Story of Us”—which reunites her with Xian Lim after almost three years apart (their last project together was “ina, Kapatid, Anak”)—because their director wanted her to go against her natural personality. He wanted her to, in Kim’s own words, “shrug it off.” Direk Richard Somes, a noted indie film director who helmed the award-winning “Yanggaw” in the 2008 Cinema One Originals Film Festival, told Kim that for “The Story of Us,” he wanted her to be ethereal and invest her character with a certain physicality, more than she had given her past roles. The challenge here was to be a woman, not a girl, because the show called for an intense love scene, shot on the rooftop of an old building in the Chinatown district of manila with a billboard and Chinese signages for backdrops and only an old couch to lie on. Kim admits that the director’s demands were hard, even for her, especially since she hadn’t done drama on primetime in so long. “Ang tagal ko nang hindi nag-drama-dramahan, nag-acting-acting. So nu’ng first time na nag taping kami ni direk, parang pinapa-shrug off nila si Kim,” she shares. “Ayaw niya si Kim na ‘Hi hi’ (meaning giggly and bungisngis). Tinanggal niya lahat ng mga ginagawa ko dati. Parang hinubad ang maskara ko. Sabi ko, ‘Direk, ang tagal ko na rin kasi wala sa primetime…” But direk Richard was aware of the difficulties Kim faced. As they established their routine on set, he would have talks with her in which he discussed his expectations. Once she learned what

Nadine Lustre and James Reid a kiss during the mall show for ABS-CBN’s primetime series “On The Wings of Love” at Market! Market! in Taguig City.

ABS-CBN photos

James Reid courted Nadine Lustre the Filipino way

Kim Chiu reunites with Xian Lim in “The Story of Us.”

they were, Kim was intimidated. But luckily, they gave enough time to feel her way through the character. “Nu’ng una, nahihirapan talaga ako tanggalin yung kuwela-kuwela, ‘yung bubblybubbly, dapat daw seryoso. Eh kaso nga, halos one year ako na wala sa primetime, walang drama series, parang puro rom-com ang ginagawa ko, siguro nasanay na yung sarili ko magpatawa, ganyan. medyo parang five steps forward ‘yung nilakad ko dito para sa role na ito. Pero sobrang happy ko kasi si direk, ‘yung EP (executive producer) namin, lahat sila nakabantay sa akin, uulitin nila kung di man siya maging okey, kung di pa din okey, magpapamusic sila. Hindi talaga siya minadali.” During the actual filming of the love scene, both Kim and

Philstar.com photo by Ver Paulino

Xian had their awkward moments. it was their first love scene together, and it was Xian’s first time to touch Kim’s thigh. “Hita, straps (of her dress), likod,” laughs Kim. “Pati hips at waist,” adds Xian. At first, Kim wasn’t sure how to react. Recalls Kim: “medyo nahihiya pa ako. Pero parang si direk, meron siyang…’Trust me.’ (Ako naman), ‘O sige direk, pero nahihiya ako.’ As in, tumatayo lahat ng balahibo ko. Lahat ng mga buhok sa katawan ko, nakatayo na. Eh parang ang tagal pang mag-cut!” But it was worth the effort, says their director. He’s never been so fired up to go to work and tape a show as he has with this one. Kim and Xian are also very proud of the work they’ve done. And no doubt, their fans will be looking forward to this onscreen reunion as well.

mANiLA — Before going “official” with Nadine Lustre, James Reid courted his “On The Wings Of Love” co-star Pinoy style. The 22-year-old actor said he asked for permission from Nadine’s father first before taking their friendship to the next level. “i grew up in Sydney, the way that we court girls, it’s different there. But of course, the first person to know was her father. i asked permission from him first a while back. i tried to keep that Filipino tradition,” tabloid Pilipino Star Ngayon quoted James as saying. The two admitted their relationship after their “JaDine in Love” concert on Saturday, Feb. 20. James said it was a “relief” to admit to the public the real score between him and Nadine. “For the longest time, i’ve had to suppress it or hide it,” James said. He added, “Now, it’s so liberating to just be able to hold her hand in public and say i love you out loud.” James further said: ““That’s James on Nadine: just realized one day that wow, I’m in love with her. the beautiful thing about her. best friends, buddies but one day that wow, i’m in love She’s still my best friend. When there’s that extra connection. with her.” (Chuck Smith/Philwe hang out, we are just like Nothing changes, i just realized star.com)


entertainment

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The Asian Journal MDWK MAGAZINE - February 24, 2016

A triumphant ‘lullaby’ for Lav in Berlin by PAblo

A. TArimAn Philstar.com

Gil said she was stunned by the than half of the people in the reception. “Oh my. There is so theater still around. The only member of the MANILA—Loud cheers and a much to say. Happily, the feedcast who got only three hours of rousing standing ovation greeted back is highly positive.” Cherie and other members of the cast sleep and raring to answer questhe screening of the Philiphad photo ops with Meryl Streep, tions was Bernardo Bernardo pine entry “Hele sa Hiwagang head of the board of judges, who was also carried away by Hapis (A Lullaby to the SorrowTwilight alumnus Kellan Lutz is not just in love with the Philippines’ scenic spots, but also with the Filipino people and culture. Instagram photo by Kellan Lutz ful Mystery)” by Lav Diaz in the after the awards ceremony last the positive reception. Saturday, Feb. 20. Bernardo gushed: “With 66th Berlin International Film The Filipino film was among only three hours of sleep, I am Festival Thursday, Feb. 18 at the still smiling. I can’t help it. The 1,600-seater Berlinale Palast. The the 19 entries competing for the by AlixAndrA CAole VilA year in US as Fox’s newest reality movie won the Silver Bear Alfred top Golden Bear Prize. According to Lutz, he visited reviews have come out mostly Philstar.com The longest entry in the in German and Italian but from Bauer Prize, in memory of the competition. Philippines last July for a friend’s festival head (1951 to 1976), “for festival, Lav’s film took all of eight what I heard, they were quite ”TWILIGHT” alumnus Kellan The one-hour challenge wedding. hours to watch with only a 45positive. I just heard that the Lutz is not just in love with the series was produced by Endemol opening new perspectives on Despite staying under the minute lunch break for cineastes members of the jury watched cinematic art.” Philippines’ scenic spots, but Shine North America, the proradar of local media during his coming from all over the world. the film in an isolated area at Contacted by The Philippine also with the Filipino people and ducers of “Wipeout” and “Fear visit, Lutz was spotted by some It started at 9:30am and ended the balcony of the theater. Now, Star after a long night and still culture. Factor.” Being an avid enthusiast catching up on sleep, Cherie fans who gladly asked for his shortly before 7pm with more Continued on Page 5 In an interview with Philstar. of extreme sports, Lutz did not autograph. com on February 23, Lutz said he hesitate to take the job when Lutz recalled the fans were loves how welcoming the Filipioffered to host the adrenalinenice and very respectful when nos are towards other people. pumping game show. they asked for his autograph. “I love the culture in the Phil“I mean I love it. I initially After taking part in the ippines. Filipinos are sweet, open, “Expendables 3” and playing want to be a part of it. It’s very generous, humble and they credifferent than acting and modthe lead role in “The Legend ate a warm and welcoming sense of Hercules,” the 30-year-old elling you know. In hosting the of experience. It does not matter actor/model/host is currently show, I can just be my fun loving who you are because they got so promoting his American game self and be my adventurous self much respect to everyone,” he at the same time,” said Lutz show “Bulls Eye” in Southeast Lav Diaz (leftmost) in Berlin after the screening of Hele Sa Hiwagang Hapis (A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery) with (from left) executive producer Paul Soriano, said. said. Asia. The show was launched last Alessandra de Rossi, Hazel Orencio, Bianca Balbuena, Angel Aquino, Cherie Gil, Bernardo Bernardo, Susan Africa, Joel Saracho, John Lloyd Cruz and Piolo Pascual.

Kellan Lutz admires Filipino culture, hospitality

The Global Kababayan G. TönGi ON Thursday, Feb. 18, LA18 moved regular programming of TV5 news to accom-

Nap Pempeña of Anakbayan Los Angeles

Aquino visit to LA sparks protest modate the footage of President Benigno Aquino III’s visit to Los Angeles. I personally looked at the footage of the president’s speech and aired pertinent information for the Filipino-American community here in Los Angeles.

I was also able to attain footage of the mass demonstrations taking place outside of Loyola Marymount University, where Aquino was awarded an honorary Doctor of Human Letters degree and outside of the Hilton hotel, where Aquino was to deliver his address to the Fil-Am community. In the interest to show all sides, I aired the demonstration footage as well and have since received feedback from Filipinos who said they knew nothing of the human rights violations that happened during the six years of Aquino’s reign. BAYAN USA Southern California took to the streets on Wednesday, Feb. 17 outside the Hilton hotel near LAX airport, where VIPs and dignitaries were in attendance for Aquino’s speech. BAYAN USA -- an alliance of progressive Filipino Youth, students, women and commu-

nity groups -- stood in the rain to give speeches and “mock awards” to Aquino to highlight the human rights violations in his six years as president, which include 294 extrajudicial killings of activists and civilians, 87 indigenous schools attacked by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and 63,824 indigenous people displaced due to land grabbing and militarization of their ancestral lands. “The actions of the government, under the leadership of Benigno Aquino III are incompatible with the way of justice and love demonstrated by Jesus Christ and to suggest that Aquino exemplifies the best of Jesuit values is appalling,” Deaconess Jeanne Roe Smith of the United Methodist Church said. The president of Loyola Marymount University recently awarded Aquino an honorary

BAYAN USA protests Pres. Benigno Aquino III’s meet and greet event at the Hilton hotel in Los Angeles. Photos courtesy of BAYAN USA

degree “in recognition of his dedication to his country, his integrity and his embodiment of a Jesuit education”. Nikole Cababa of BAYAN USA was adamant that Aquino in the past six years had “only cared about [what the] US dictates above protecting the rights and welfare of the Filipino people. Aquino

vetoed the SSS P2000 Pension Bill that was supposed to benefit lolos and lolas that have worked hard all their lives and continue to struggle to get by.” Cababa also mentioned the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), which allows the US to use “the country as its Continued on Page 4


4

features

The Asian Jour nal MDWK MAGAZINE - February 24, 2016

Aquino visit to LA sparks... From Page 3

own military base”. Certainly, no one can deny that more militarization in the Philippines has pros and cons. Let’s not forget so quickly about transgender woman Jennifer Laude who was murdered by US Marine Scott Pemberton

not so long ago. Terrie Cervas from Gabriela Los Angeles, a grassroots Filipino organization addressing the rights and welfare of Filipino women and children, brought up Filipina women like Mary Jane Veloso, who are forced to migrate because of

the lack of jobs and opportunities for Filipinos in the Philippines. The youth of the Philippines have been severely impacted by Aquino’s administration because of the closing of indigenous schools to give way to mining corporations that are in business with the government. These are all issues that the Filipinos abroad need to probe despite their distance away from the motherland. I had requested through the consulate of the Philippines in Los Angeles for an opportunity to speak one-on-one with the president to exclusively address these issues relevant to the Filipino-American community but was told his schedule could not accommodate an interview. I also got statistics from the consulate that less than 3,000 Filipino-Americans are also registered to vote from their offices. This is an alarmingly low rate and we need to get more involved in the politics of what happens in the Philippines! For BAYAN USA, they “will stand in the sun and the rain to make it known to others that President Aquino is the number one human violator in the Philippines as his attempts privatize education and send workers abroad with no offers for a promising future for the Filipino people”. That’s a strong statement, but it looks like the organization has been probing the issues they’ve brought forth. will you too? *** Giselle “G” Töngi is the host and producer of Kababayan Today, a daily talk show that features relevant topics for Filipino’s living in America. Her aim is to bridge not only the cultural gap between America & the Philippines but to help with the generational gap between our own people. She is married with two children and is based in Southern California and makes frequent trips in the Pacific Rim to Hawaii and Manila to feature fellow kababayans who are empowering the FilAm community.

Ultimate heartthrobs Piolo Pascual & Sam Milby LIVE at Pechanga in March With Pokwang and Darren Espanto

Two of the most sought after young Filipino actors, both on screen, cinema and singing sensation, Piolo Pascual and Sam Milby— along with comedian extraordinaire, ‘Pokwang’ and budding male actor Darren Espanto, in one of a kind performance ever will lead the pack of performers live at Pechanga Resort & Casino on March 26 at 8pm and March 27 at 5pm. Pechanga Resort & Casino is well-known for hosting the best and the brightest Filipino entertainers and performers such as international singer Gary Valenciano, Megastar Sharon Cuneta, the singer/actress and Tony Award winner Lea Salonga, popular comedian and actor Vice Ganda, winner of “Star Power Search 2011” Angeline Quintos, international actress and top endorser Anne Curtis, and Pop Star Princess Sarah Geronimo - who all gave wholesome entertainment to the delight of the crowd. Dubbed as ‘Heartthrobs Reloaded Live at Pechanga,‘ Pascual, an award winning actor and singer, was tagged as one and only ultimate heartthrob due to his peculiarity, smart looks and hot appeal. He’s being link to well-known famed celebrities and is notorious as every lady’s dream man. Born Piolo Jose Nonato Pascual on January 12, 1977 to Amelia “Amy” Nonato and Philip (Herzig) Pascual. The youngest of six (four girls and 2 boys), Peejay (his nickname) was considered a “miracle baby”. Pascual was discovered by a family friend who picked him up and on their way home and stopped at the taping of the late German Moreno’s That’s Entertainment show. It was there that a staff member saw a potential star in Piolo. He was asked to audition and later got a call back to be part of the show. He also became one of the country’s leading endorsers. Billboards lined up in highways with him endorsing brands such as Hammerhead, Max’s chicken, San Mig Coffee, Bench, Belo, Banco de oro, etc.

Joyce Bernal

Philstar.com photo

Meanwhile, the Philippines’ ‘Rockcoustic Heartthrob’, Sam Milby is an established actor and multiawarded singer who is one of the few homegrown actors to venture into Hollywood while maintaining a successful career in the Philippines. From being just another Pinoy Big Brother housemate, the Filipino-American looker has eclipsed even his own popularity with sold-out concerts and Platinum albums, top-rating TV soaps. Born and raised in Troy, ohio, Milby is the youngest son of Filipina Elsie Lacia who hails from Surigao Philippines and American entrepreneur, Lloyd Milby. Commonly known as Pokwang— A comedienne, television host, and singer. Born on August 27, 1960 as Marietta Subong. She is a well-known actress, who won the Clown in a Million contests in ABS-CBN’s comedy-gag show program. Yes, Yes Show! (2004). She is the ninth child in a family of twelve. Darren Lyndon Gonzales Espanto (born May 24, 2001) is a Filipino singer. Born in Calgary, Canada to Filipino parents, at 10 years old, he won the Masters Finals of the Pinoy Singing Sensation competition in Edmonton. He made his first television appearance at the age of ten when he joined YTV’s reality television The Next Star in 2012; he became the youngest finalist in the history of the show to be included in the Top 6. Espanto rose to prominence after joining the first season of the The Voice Kids Philippines, the youngest artist who staged a major solo concert at the age

of 13. Piolo, Sam, Pokwang, and Darren—are perfect combinations to thrill you come March by Temecula, California’s only pride—Pechanga Resort & Casino. Buy your tickets now (from $118, $98, $88 to $78) at the Pechanga Box office, wednesday-Sunday from noon to 8pm or go online at www.Pechanga. com. Pechanga Resort & Casino Pechanga Resort & Casino offers one of the largest and most expansive resort/casino experiences anywhere in the United States. Voted the Number one Casino in America by readers of USA ToDAY and rated a Four Diamond property by AAA since 2002, Pechanga Resort & Casino provides an unparalleled getaway. offering more than 3,400 of the hottest slots, table games, world-class entertainment, 517 hotel rooms, dining, spa and championship golf at Journey at Pechanga, Pechanga Resort & Casino features a destination that meets and exceeds the needs of its guests and the community. Pechanga Resort & Casino is owned and operated by the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians. For more information, call toll free 1-888-PECHANGA or visit www.Pechanga.com. 

*AdvertisingSupplement


Moonlighting

Beyond age lies a gentler joy

Shaw said that it’s a pity, “youth is wasted on the young.” de leon However, what Shaw said is untrue! Youth is wasted on the old if all they do is pine away to be young again. By embracing the loss of youth, i’ve transcended my anxieties and dread GettinG old is a natural growing ancient. thing and no one should not i speak of growing old be afraid of the natural— trees, not gently, perhaps not even animals age, and everything that gracefully, but with a wonderful is alive. i am not afraid to look outrageous sense of style: i will old. i don’t know indifference, i wrap a scarf to hide a turkey’s ignore bitterness. if something neck, flutter my bosom with bold unpleasant happens to me, i put Swarovski beads that will blind it behind. an eagle’s gaze, swathed myself Women of that certain age in glitz and glamor that i’ll be are in their oneness. their hands sweating glitters. brushed tears away, hands that My voice will be lighter and i were once held by husbands. inwill dress myself in Christian Dior, domitably they are widowed Valentino and Oscar de la Renta. by men who couldn’t cry, couldn’t touch and died of heart if one has the taste and money to acquire it, why not? i will defy attacks. i never expected to be such a the grave with bright colors and poor sport about aging, because perfume (guaranteed to wake the i never expected to be old. But i dead and kill the living), tending am not clutching it in high pitched time which is more fragile than youth. sighs and smiles that tell of pain Be unduly dignified, having forgotten. in a fragile package earned the right to dress, sing are my age spots, menopause and dance anyway you please. i and arthritic hormones. Many could even take up belly dancing, times, during this examination of and unlock all my inhibitions. the woman of a certain age and Our identities are not tied to the world she lives in, i’ve asked our age. We’re never our own myself, who cares? age, because as we come to the only reason that i’m terms with aging, we create our adding words to this subject is identities. to clear away what i consider to now, i can demand the be a thicket of misconceptions freedom to take life less if not timidities. George Bernard by Mylah

The Asian Jour nal MDWK MAGAZINE - February 24, 2016 seriously. i will flaunt my gray hair, wrinkles, double chin and falling wombs with the acceptance that beyond age, lies a gentler joy and peace that sanctifies old age. i shall stop reflecting on such things as the nature of melancholy, or how sickness could be caused by the states of mind. i shall transfer my affections to more attainable men forego with the men out of range like Julius Caesar, Hamlet, Henry V, Clint eastwood. Perhaps at which point throw away the books, along with self restraint. But in no time will i throw away a sense of fierce independence as a human being and the desire to attain distinction in terms of mind, spirit and expression, and its existing horizons. i am not going to be worried of what others think of me, or by what standard of morality i am judged. By the time a woman is sevMango Mix enty, she is either wanted or not really wanted at all. She doesn’t have to fool anyone and accept the fact that competing with preserved for as long as they tools (like bookmarks or small by Martin women for younger than she is, Jason can be. they can range from sticky notes with extra tidbits) over anything is not only degradl. ita-as simple, flat things like tickets can really help liven it up. ing, but futile. to a special concert or maybe Stylish words the affection i now receive a small letter you treasure to With the popularity of is for me, the real me. this was eVen in the digital age, small photographs. take note calligraphy growing, beautiful worth waiting for. *** having a physical journal is still a words with inspiring quotes that stacking too many photos E-mail Mylah at moonlightingmdl@aol.com preferred option for many, as a or flat items in between pages have become commonplace place to store personal thoughts and visually pleasing. You don’t can distort or even ruin a good and intimate memories. journal. Limit it to only the most necessarily have to draw in the But have you ever told treasured of items you have. calligraphic style as any stylish yourself “this seems a little too it’s easy to be a little crerendition of meaningful words dressed up.” boring?” Sure some people may and quotes related to your ative with your life records. You in the press conference that prefer reading simple and clean entry can help attract attenjust need a little innovation, followed the screening, Lav resome personality and a good tion and make anybody curious jected being labeled as a creator handwriting on unblemished paper, but giving a journal some to read your memoirs (even imagination to make the written of “slow cinema.” color and pizzazz is just one of He told the Berlin press: story of your life as visually imyourself). “We’re labeled ‘the slow cinema’ the few ways you can let your pressive as it is memorable.. Illustrated memories but it’s not slow cinema, it’s cininner personality shine through there is something charm*** ema. i don’t know why... every the page leaves. ing about self-made illustraMango Tours is a provider of quality, affordable time we discourse on cinema we Here are a few ways you can tions. they often best express and convenient travel services that include always focus on the length. Cinmake your journal a little more the type of person you are. low-priced airline tickets, customized Philippine ema is just like poetry, just like interesting visually and content- Some drawings may be mere and International Tour Packages, Cruises, Land music, just like painting where wise: doodles while others painstakTransfers, Passport and Visa Concerns. It is the #1 it’s free, whether it’s a small Splash some color ingly detailed. Whatever your producer of reliable travel services particularly canvas or it’s a big canvas, it’s A splash of color can defistyle, sometimes a bunch of when it comes to Philippine travel arrangements the same... So cinema shouldn’t nitely make your journal a lot be imposed on.” lines and maybe a dash of color to the Filipino-American community in the US Film writer Deborah Cole more, well… colorful. Using a can entertain both yourself and Mango Tours is able to provide its customers with reported hundreds of movie different ink shade or a notemaybe any of the people who a number of travel options at affordable rates lovers emerged bleary-eyed but book with differently colored will read your memoirs somebecause of its consolidator contracts with over 11 enthusiastic last thursday after pages can help brighten your day. airlines. Book your travel bookings with Mango the longest competition conperspective and inspire you to Scrapbooking Tours by calling its 24/7 U.S. toll-free number at tender in the 66-year history write (try to stick to three speScrapbooking is simply just 1-866-2-MANILA (1-866-2-626452). Visit www. of the Berlin film festival, was cific color palettes, though). it posting and pasting items from mangotours.com to know more about its latest shown in an eight-and-a-half doesn’t have to limit the insides your adventures in between promos and travel offers.* hour marathon screening with either as a colorful cover and the pages of your journal to be *Advertising Supplement just one break.

A triumphant ‘lullaby’ for Lav... From Page 3

i can finally say i breathed the same air as Meryl Streep and Clive Owens, another judge, that triumphant night.” in the Berlin delegation headed by Lav were John Lloyd Cruz, Piolo Pascual, Angel Aquino, Cherie, Bernardo, Joel and executive producer Paul Soriano, among others. Recounted Bernardo: “it was a long day for the Philippine delegation that started with a precisely-timed arrival of our limousine convoy at the Berlinale Palast for our red carpet walk under a sunny but below three-degree weather at 9 a.m. Bravely, Lav, Paul and i wore the Pilipino barong. Piolo and John Lloyd were dapper (and warm) in their tuxedos and so was Joel who wore a gray suit. the courageous fashion statements of the Pinoy gentlemen were nothing

compared to the cold-defying, bare-shouldered, glamorous true fashionistas in high heels: Cherie, Angel, Alessandra de Rossi, Hazel Orencio, Susan Africa, Queenmelo esguerra and Bianca Balbuena.” Bernardo added that the Hele team was met by journalists and fans of the film with a phalanx of cameras beyond the velvet ropes as their cheerful images were simultaneously flashed on a huge screen near the theater foyer. “For me, it was the closest thing to a Hollywood premiere! inside the theater, Lav and the Hele ensemble autographed blow-ups of our photos taken the night before that were now prominently displayed at the theater lobby. everybody was all smiles. no one knew we had a late dinner and drinks the night before and by some miracle, we were up by 6 a.m. for breakfast and already

features 5

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