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E DITION February 8-10, 2017

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FRoM ThE AJPRESS NEWS TEAM AcroSS AMErIcA

Trump’s travel ban temporarily lifted Hundreds of citizens from the seven Muslim-majority nations return to the US

AFTER several days of complete disorder at airports as immigration officials and airlines try to adjust to the new immigration policies, a federal appeals court on Sunday, February 5 maintained the temporary stop to the controversial travel ban. Days before, Seattle-based U.S. District Court Judge James Robart on Friday, February 3 issued a temporary restraining order that blocked President Donald Trump’s travel ban nationwide. Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson also filed a motion for the restraining order for a nationwide block on Trump’s executive order, contending that parts of the executive order violate the Constitution. “We are a country based on the rule of law and in a courtroom, it is not the loudest voice that prevails, it’s the Constitution,” Ferguson said at a press conference. “At the end of the day, either you’re abiding by the Constitution or you are not. And in our view, the president

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Defense chief: Duterte allowed US construction on PH military bases by AJPress

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has allowed the United States to construct and upgrade facilities on its military bases in the Philippines as part of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) signed by both

the VFA states that the U.S. forces are not allowed to build permanent structures anywhere in the Philippines. “Ewan ko kung saan nakuha ni presidente yung information niya (I do not know where the president got his information) but I corrected it. I talked to him sabi ko (and said), ‘Mr. President, first there was no construc-

countries. Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana made the remarks on Tuesday, February 7, a week after Duterte accused the U.S. of building a ‘permanent’ arms depot in the country and threatened to repeal the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA). Ratified by both countries in 1999,

tion yet sa mga EDCA camps. Wala pa (Not yet). It will be constructed some time later this year or next year,’” Lorenzana related. The defense secretary continued, “It will be constructed sometime later this year or next year. Second, it’s not allowed in our agreement. There will

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New speaker series aims to inspire, mobilize young Fil-Ams Singer AJ Rafael, Chef Charleen Caabay and music mogul Roslynn Cobarrubias speak at #TFCUtalks’ first college tour AS a way to inspire young Filipino Americans to achieve their dreams, TFCUniversity held its first ever #TFCUtalks, a touring conference in which successful Filipino-American game changers from all industries speak about the importance of staying true to one’s mission. #TFCUtalks’ kicked off its college tour on Saturday, February 4 at Cal State Long Beach with singer/songwriter AJ Rafael, Food Network’s “Chopped” winner Chef Charleen Caabay and music entrepreneur and television host Roslynn Cobarrubias speaking to about a hundred Fil-Ams. The theme of the talk was “breaking the mold” with a message to the young audience: as a Filipino American, how are you going to

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DISCUSSING THE DEATH PENALTY. Senator Richard Gordon (2nd from right), chair of the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights, on Tuesday, February 7, listens to Senator Manny Pacquiao, author of a proposal seeking to re-institute the death penalty in the Philippines and increasing the penalties of heinous crimes such as drug trafficking, kidnapping, child trafficking, exploitation, prostitution, pornography and rape. Also in photo are (from right) Senate President Pro-Tempore Franklin M. Drilon and Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson. Senate photo by Cesar Tomambo

Senate suspends death penalty De Lima, Pangilinan support CBCP’s call against killings hearings over int’l treaty by Dana

SioSon AJPress

Pacquiao: Drug traffickers ‘deserve’ to be put to death by Dana

SioSon AJPress

ThE Senate Committee on Justice and human Rights has suspended its public hearings on the bills seeking the reimposition of death penalty in the Philippines amid the rising concerns of violating an international treaty. “We are suspending because there is a supervening event — the treaty of international convention on civil and political rights — which states that all executions should not be contin-

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Senator Richard Gordon

IN separate statements, Senators Leila De Lima and Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan on Monday, February 6, backed up the the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) in denouncing the Philippine government’s brutal campaign against illegal drugs. De Lima, a vocal critic of President Rodrigo Duterte, described the CBCP’s pastoral letter as a “wake-up call to a nation in a nightmare.” “Binabangungot na ang ating bansa sa patayan at kawalan ng puso ng pamahalaan sa mga ma-

hihirap ng biktima ng Tokhang (our nation is having nightmares with the killings and heartlessness of our government to the impoverished victims of Tokhang),” De Lima said. She then labeled Duterte a “fake idol and false messiah in Malacañang.” In a pastoral letter dated January 30, CBCP President Archbishop Socrates Villegas expressed the church’s “deep concern” about the “many deaths and killings in the campaign against prohibited drugs.” “This traffic in illegal drugs needs to be stopped and overcome. But the solution does not

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Kris Aquino appeals to Duterte: Don’t arrest Noynoy Gov’t declares all-out war on Reds by Dana

SioSon AJPress

PhILIPPINE President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday, February 6, disclosed that TV host and actress Kris Aquino has asked him to not arrest her brother, former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, over the Mamasapano anti-terrorist raid that resulted in the deaths of 44 Special Action Forces (SAF) two years ago. In his speech during the launch of the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s (BIR) new tax campaign in Pasay City, Duterte relayed that Kris Aquino had sent him a text message saying “‘huwag mo namang ipakulong si Noy’ (’Don’t arrest Noy’).” Without further elaborating the details of Kris’s supposed message, Duterte then said he replied: “Sabi ko (I told her), ‘No Kris, I’m

Kris Aquino

not out to find fault. I just want to know the truth.’” on January 24, a day before the SAF commandos’ second death anniversary, Duterte berated for-

mer President Aquino for allegedly “feeding the soldiers to the lion’s den,” asking why the government did not send any reinforcements to the cornered soldiers. “Wala akong habol na ipakulong ko ang mga dating opisyal (I’m not after arresting former officials). I’m not into the habit of sending to prison the guys on the other side of the political fence or whatever. I just want to give the Filipino the truth,” he added. Duterte also demanded that the former president explain his role in the botched operation. he claimed that it was secretly led by the United States’ Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). In response, Aquino insisted that his only fault was trusting then-SAF Commander Getulio Napeñas Jr.

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by LeiLa

B. SaLaverria Inquirer.net

ThE government on Tuesday, February 7, stepped up its offensive against communist guerrillas after it terminated the peace talks, announcing an “all-out war” against the New People’s Army (NPA) and canceling safe-conduct passes to all rebels involved in the negotiations. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana told reporters in Malacañang that the military operations against the guerrillas would be conducted through “surgical operations” to avoid casualties among noncombatants. “It is an all-out war because they are considered by the President already as terrorists. We also consider them terrorists,” Lorenzana said. Release of political prisoners President Duterte on Saturday canceled the talks a day after he terminated the gov-

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana Inquirer.net photo / Joan Bondoc

ernment’s unilateral ceasefire in response to the rebels’ earlier announcement that

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From the Front Page

Defense chief: Duterte allowed US…

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be no stockpiling of weapons or anything that could be used for war games.” Last Sunday, January 29, Duterte claimed that the U.S. military is presently unloading arms in the Philippines. He also accused the U.S. of violating the VFA by allegedly constructing permanent depots in the country. In response, the U.S. denied the Philippine president’s accusations. “No such arms depots exist and there are no plans to build any,” U.S. Embassy spokesperson Molly Koscina said in a statement on January 31. Koscina then assured that the U.S. “has no intention to re-

open military bases in the Philippines.” On Tuesday, Lorenzana clarified that U.S. troops would only bring equipment for humanitarian assistance and disaster response. He took note that any other weapons they would bring for war games will be brought back in the U.S. when they leave the Philippines. Lorenzana also cleared that building arms depot is not part of EDCA. He pointed out that the U.S. is only allowed to construct barracks and fuel tanks in its local bases in the Philippines, which the Filipino military were also allowed to use. “I actually asked his (Duterte’s) decision kung ituloy natin yung

EDCA or not (if we are going to continue EDCA or not). Sabi niya, ‘Ituloy natin pero be sure na walang stockpiling ng mga ammunition d’yan (He said, ‘We are going to continue it but be sure there is not stockpiling of ammunition there),’” Lorenzana said. Duterte, known for his constant tirades against the U.S., previously threatened that he would scrap the EDCA. Lorenz, however, later announced that the EDCA exercises would continue. EDCA, a treaty both signed by Manila and Washington in 2014, allows U.S. forces to be deployed in Philippine territory temporarily for maritime security and humanitarian and disaster response operations. n

De Lima, Pangilinan support CBCP’s call… PAGE A1 t

ERRING COPS. President Rodrigo Duterte (lower right corner) addresses 264 policemen who have allegedly committed offenses while in uniform. Director General Ronald Dela Rosa escorted the policemen to Malacañang Tuesday afternoon, Feb. 7 purportedly to clean up the Pasig River. Inquirer.net photo by Noy Morcoso

Senate suspends death penalty hearings… PAGE A1 t

ued, was ratified,” Senator Richard Gordon, the committee chair, told reporters in an interview. During the resumption of deliberations on the proposed revival of capital punishment in the country on Tuesday, February 7, Senate President Pro Tempore Franklin Drilon reminded the Department of Justice (DOJ) that the Philippines has signed and ratified the Treaty of International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) of the United Nations Human Rights Committee — which prevents states from carrying out execution as a form of punishment — in 1986. Drilon further took note that the Philippines also ratified the Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR in 2007. Pointing out that Article 1 of the Second Optional Protocol, Drilon — who is also a former justice secretary — stressed that the treaty states “no one within the jurisdiction of a state party to the present protocol shall be executed.” Drilon then warned that if the Senate continues to push for the passage of the death penalty bill

while being under the ICCR, the Philippines would possibly be isolated from the international community due to the repercussions of being unable to honor its international commitment. “If we violate our international treaty, it could be reviewed and that can be the basis for withdrawing the benefits,” the senator explained. The senator then added, “We will be isolated from the international community, because we cannot even be trusted to honor our treaty obligation. Malaking bagay iyan sa international arena na mabansagan tayo na hindi tumutupad sa ating international treaty (It’s going to be a big deal in the international arena if we are labeled a country who failed in honoring an international treaty).” Drilon then suggested that the Philippines should withdraw from the treaty first before continuing its hearings on the death penalty. “In my view, let us go through the process of getting the concurrence of the Senate to withdraw, but again that is questionable. That is part of the law of the land;

that is part of our Constitution now,” Drilon said. Following the suspension of the hearings, Gordon said the inquiry would remain on a halt until Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II presented his position on the matter. Presently, there are six bills seeking the reimposition of capital punishment pending before the committee—three of which were authored by Senator Manny Pacquiao, while the remaining were filed independently by Senate Majority Leader Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, Senator Panfilo Lacson, and Senator Sherwin Gatchalian. Pacquiao reiterates need for death penalty During the hearing on Tuesday, Pacquiao pushed anew for the death penalty for drug-related cases, citing the “immensity of the drug problem” in the country. “On a personal level, I can forgive. However, the heinous crime of drug trafficking is committed not just against a person but against the nation. Drug traffickers deserve [the] death

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lie in the killing of suspected drug users and pushers. We are concerned not only for those who have been killed. The situation of the families of those killed is also cause for concern. Their lives have only become worse,” Villegas said. The archbishop, dubbing the war on drugs as the ‘reign of terror in many places of the poor,’ pointed out that many killers under the campaign were allegedly not brought to account. “An even greater cause of concern is the indifference of many to this kind of wrong. It is considered as normal, and, even worse, something that (according to them) needs to be done,” Villegas said. He then reiterated that the church will continue to denounce the killings associated with the war on drugs. “We will help drug addicts so that they may be healed and start a new life. We will stand in solidarity and care for those left behind by those who have been killed and for the victims of drug addicts,” Villegas added. Responding to the CBCP’s letter that was read aloud at mass services beginning Saturday night, February 4, Malacañang responded by correcting that the government’s war on drugs is not a ‘reign of terror’ but a ‘reign of peace.’ “The efforts of these Church leaders might be put to better use in practical catechetics that build strong moral character among the faithful, and so contribute more to the reign of peace felt by ordinary citizens everywhere, especially those who are innocent of illegal activities,” Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a statement on Sunday, February 5. Abella also took note that the church leaders seemed to be “out of touch” with the “sentiments of the faithful who overwhelmingly support the changes in the Philippines.” De Lima, meanwhile, said that Malacañang to say that “reminding our people of these basic Filipino values is being out of touch with reality is like saying that our countrymen no longer value life,

Francis ‘Kiko’ Pangilinan

liberty, and social justice.” “It is the president who is out of touch with reality, when he thinks he can dispense of these basic values in his drug war and still manage to keep the country’s spiritual and moral fabric intact,” De Lima added. Likewise, Pimentel expressed his support for the CBCP’s stand against the killing of drug suspects and the strong governmental push to reimpose the death penalty. “The campaign against illegal drugs and heinous crimes must not cost us the lives of our people, especially the innocent. Our poor, already living under the weight of historical and structural injustices, have carried the burden of this anti-crime drive,” Pimentel said. He then urged the government to “uphold its responsibility to protect our people, to promote their welfare, and make them safe” and “pursue justice to the families who have lost their loved ones to criminals.” Since Duterte launched his crackdown against illegal drugs in July last year, the Philippine National Police (PNP) has recorded a total of 7,000 people slain in both during legitimate operations and by unknown suspects in relation to the campaign. n


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Gov’t declares all-out war on…

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BARANGAY HEALTH AND REHABILITATION STRATEGY ACT OF 2017. Senator Risa Hontiveros personally files a copy of her proposed Barangay Health and Rehabilitation Strategy Act of 2017 at the Senate Legislative Bills and Index Service on Monday, February 6. Hontiveros’ bill seeks to mainstream the public health approach to Philippine drug policy, establish and implement community-based programs and strategies for drug-related issues and concerns, and to prohibit “harmful and discriminatory interventions and practices.” Senate photo by Joseph Vidal

Kris Aquino appeals to Duterte: Don’t arrest…

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with the responsibility of planning and coordinating the operation. At the same time, he denied the American involvement in the Mamasapano anti-terrorist raid, explaining that the U.S. only helped with equipment and intelligence gathering. He stressed that he did not discuss the details of the operation with American officials. Last month, Duterte also said

that he would form a fact-finding commission that would investigate the Mamasapano tragedy. In his speech on Monday, however, Duterte announced that he would no longer pursue the commission’s creation because the Ombudsman reportedly has the case still pending before them. “I do not want to have a multiple incongruity especially if one finding fights with the other,” Duterte said, adding that he would just wait for the results of

they would end their own truce this Friday. The rebels said the government had reneged on a promise to release hundreds of political prisoners and violated its own truce. Mr. Duterte said the rebels made “impossible” demands and attacked and killed several soldiers during the truce. Jesus Dureza, presidential adviser on the peace process, said he had informed Fidel Agacaoili, chief negotiator of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), and Jose Maria Sison, NDFP chief political consultant and Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder, that the government had also terminated the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (Jasig). “Following the President’s announcement of the cancellation of the peace talks with the CPP/NPA/NDF and per his instructions, the government is hereby serving this notice of the termination of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (Jasig),” Dureza said in his e-mail to the NDFP on Tuesday. The Jasig provides safe conduct to all rebel negotiators and their staff, allowing them to freely move around the country or to travel abroad. Junking it will clear the way for their arrest.

the Ombudsman’s investigation. On January 25, 2015, the SAF troopers successfully killed Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli Abdhir, also known as Marwan, during a raid in the southern Philippines where various separatist rebel groups are based. The elite soldiers, however, were ambushed by insurgent groups, including the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF). n PAGE A1 t make an impact in the world? First up was Oakland-based Caabay, who detailed her life the travel ban will continue. from a struggling IT employee Previously, the states of Washing- to a successful chef and restauton and Minnesota sued President rateur. Donald Trump, some high-ranking Caabay owns Kainbigan, a Filiofficials in the administration and pino comfort food joint located in the U.S. Department of Homeland Oakland and is considered a pioSecurity (DHS). neer in the emergence of Filipino Since then, hundreds of affected cuisine into the mainstream food travelers — many of whom are world. refugees fleeing from war-torn Most recently, she took home countries — over the weekend had the prize of Food Network’s their visas restored and were able “Chopped”, where she defeated to return to the United States, re- seasoned, professionally-trained uniting with friends and family. chefs with her unique FilipinoBefore Robart ordered the re- inspired creations. straining order, officials from the “It was an amazing, amazing State and Justice departments feeling. I’ve never felt so confirevealed that about 60,000 — dent and so amazing,” Caabay and possibly as many as 100,000 said of her “Chopped” win. “To — have been revoked as a result be able to break many stereoof Trump. (Klarize Medenilla/AJ- types, to be able to break the Press) mold that our social norm is so

Court warrants Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella, quoting the Office of the Executive Secretary, clarified that the rearrest of the consultants, who had posted bail to be released from detention to participate in the talks, would have to be based on arrest warrants from the courts that had granted them temporary liberty. “So basically, this is under the jurisdiction of the courts,” Abella said. The Department of Justice would have to ask the courts to cancel their bail, he added. Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said the only reason communist leaders like Benito and Wilma Tiamzon were freed was because the government did not oppose their bail. Immigration lookout Aguirre also said he was planning to place all NDFP consultants on an immigration lookout bulletin order. One NDFP consultant, Ariel Arbitrario, was arrested on Monday in Davao City, before the Jasig was terminated, because he was traveling with a person who was wanted for murder, Lorenzana said. The defense secretary said the NPA was no different from Abu Sayyaf bandits, who had kidnapped and beheaded hostages. “The Abu Sayyaf kidnap people and then they get money. The NPA will threaten those busi-

nessmen and also get money. There’s no difference at all. They are there to terrorize people, to giving them money. That’s extortion,” Lorenzana said. “So we will hunt them down and maybe stop them from doing what they are doing,” he added. Clashes The casualties on both sides had steadily risen since an NPA fighter died in a clash with Army soldiers in North Cotabato two weeks ago. At least six soldiers were killed last week in separate guerrilla attacks in Mindanao and Luzon, including three whose bodies were found riddled with bullets after they were abducted by the rebels. On Monday, an alleged NPA regional supply officer, Glenn Ramos, was killed in Davao City when he reportedly fought soldiers and policemen out to arrest him on attempted homicide charges. On Tuesday, just hours before the government announced its “all-out war,” a soldier was killed in a clash with suspected rebels in Capiz province. Lorenzana said the military would focus on the “armed component” of the rebel movement, not the “peace-loving” supporters such as farmers. (With reports from Jhesset O. Enano, Cynthia D. Balana, Gil C. Cabacungan, Nestor P. Burgos Jr., Nico Alconaba, Jigger Jerusalem, Allan Nawal and the wires)

New speaker series aims to inspire, mobilize…

Trump’s travel ban temporarily…

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is not adhering to the Constitution when it comes to this executive action. With the temporary restraining order, families that are waiting in terminals overseas may now fly to the U.S., according to Ferguson. “If someone who may be waiting to board a plan overseas, wanting to come to the United States, has a ticket, does this apply to them now? The short answer is yes.” he said. Trump took to Twitter to weigh in on the restraining order, fully confident that it will be reversed. “The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!” the president tweet-

ed on Saturday, February 4. On Sunday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit brought the chaos to a head when it denied a request from the White House to reinstate the travel ban, which barred travel to the U.S. from the Muslim-majority countries of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The Justice Department then filed a motion to the appeals court on Monday, February 6 requesting that the travel ban is resumed temporarily while waiting for an appeal from the White House. The argument was set for Tuesday, February 7 at 3 p.m. As of press time, the court said it would issue a ruling sometime this week. If the judges rule in favor of the Trump administration,

Singer-songwriter AJ Rafael

used to and being proud of the fact that I am a woman — that I am a Pinay — and to be able to instill our culture to the judges and to be able put it on national television for thousands of people was quite an experience.”

AJPress photo by Klarize Medenilla

Through her self-reliance and commitment to stay true to herself, Caabay encouraged the young Fil-Ams in the crowd to never sacrifice their identity on the road to success.

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China sees S. China Sea code useless by Nikko

DizoN Inquirer.net

NO GO. Commuters at Monumento in Caloocan City wait in vain for a ride on Monday, Feb. 6, with only a few jeepneys and UV Express vehicles on the road because of a transport strike. A decision to hike the minimum jeepney fare by P1.00 to P8.00 effective Wednesday, Feb, 8 announced by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), did not appease the protesters from the Stop and Go transport coalition. ManilaTimes.net photo by Rene Dilan

Coast Guard searches for missing American in Southern Leyte dive by JaNi

arNaiz aND robert DeJoN Inquirer.net

MAASIN, Southern Leyte — The Coast Guard District Eastern Visayas (CGDEV) has been searching for an American tourist who went missing after he went diving in San Francisco town, Southern Leyte. Max Quinn, 28, was last seen diving at Napantao dive site on Feb. 4 and had not been seen since. Commander Lawrence Roque, Coast Guard Eastern Visayas spokesperson, said Jundino Razon, manager of the Peter’s Dive Resort where Quinn was billeted, reported that the American was last seen at the seawaters off south wall of Barangay Napantao, in San Francisco about 1:50 p.m. Quinn was diving with another guest, Jeofrey Mayer, 27, a French national. Roque said the two foreign nationals left the resort and started their dive about 10:30 a.m. The two were supposed to go for a 7-meter recreational dive but Quinn wanted to go deeper and signaled Mayer’s to do the same. Mayer refused, leaving Quinn to go deeper into the waters. Roque said Mayer resurfaced at 11:05 a.m. without Quinn. After learning that the victim failed to ascend , resort divers and the Coast Guard immediately searched for Quinn. The resort divers went down to as far as 25 meters but failed to find Quinn.

San Francisco town, Southern Leyte

Wikipedia map

Since the dive site has a depth of 90 meters, the resort owner requested for technical divers from the Coast Guard to conduct the search and rescue. Roque said that a team of technical divers from the Coast Guard national office in Manila were heading to Southern Leyte to join in the search and rescue. Roque said Quinn might still be alive since the American was a known professional diver and might have drifted to nearby islands. n

Chef Charleen Caabay, winner of the Food Network’s “Chopped” and owner of Kainbigan restaurant in Oakland, California

New speaker series aims to inspire, mobilize…

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“Despite racial discrimination and political tension that’s going on, what are you gonna do? What are you gonna do to stay true to who you are?” Charleen asked the crowd of mostly college students. Cobarrubias next took the audience through her ample career from a local radio DJ, to senior director of artist relations and senior director of integrated marketing of MySpace to host and producer of MyxTV and to the co-founder of mydiveo. The energetic entrepreneur was previously named one of Billboard Magazine’s “Top 30 Music Industry Professionals” and The Source Magazine’s “Power 30.” At just 36 years old, the music mogul has produced hundreds of live events and interviews with artists like Bruno Mars, Justin Timberlake, Justin Bieber, Drake, Rihanna among other big names. But, as she told the audience, it wasn’t an easy journey and was often turned away because of she is a “triple minority”: she’s Filipino, a woman and “vertically impaired.” Despite these factors, she was able to overcome rejection by seeking out positives in her experience and going on to the next project. Through that, she volunteered, interned and networked with individuals which, she said, was the key to her moving up the chain. “A lot of you guys are going to graduate soon. Thousands of people graduate college every year, but what sticks out and the number one thing, especially in the music industry, is your relationships,” Cobarrubias said. “Secondly is your experience. Third is your experience or your knowledge. So, definitely invest

in yourself and take the time to develop relations, and not only with your teachers and your classmates you can potentially network with because those are the people you’re going to work with in the future.” The final speaker was Rafael, who launched his wide-ranging career all from his YouTube channel. A lifelong musician, the young Riverside native was inspired by his father, who passed away when Rafael was 10 years old. He began writing and promoting his music on MySpace, but it wasn’t until the invention of YouTube in 2006 when his popularity skyrocketed. One of the earliest YouTube stars, Rafael affirms that he never really wanted to become a mega star, but merely want to create a connection to his audience. “It was really about connecting and having a fan base, and everywhere I would perform they would sing my songs back to me. That meant more than anything,” Rafael said of his early performances.

“To me, it was never about ‘making it,’ really. I just wanted to write a song and have someone relate to it and share it with their friends because they relate to it, too,” Rafael added. More than 10 years after starting off on YouTube, Rafael still writes and performs his original songs but has delved into other artistic and activist endeavors, such as musical theatre. He, along with actor Dante Basco, host the monthly Asian American artistic collective “We Own The 8th” in downtown Los Angeles, where artists can come together to collaborate and learn from each other. “I want to encourage you all to do something with whatever platform you guys have for the next generation and for yourselves, the current generation. Just empower each other. Don’t forget to be you,” Rafael said. #TFCUtalks was organized by TFCUniversity, The Filipino Channel’s offshoot to produce programming and events for Filipino-American millennials. (Klarize Medenilla/AJPress)

Roslynn Cobarrubias, co-founder of mydiveo, a global talent discovery platform AJPress photos by Klarize Medenilla

WASHINGTON — Security experts here think it is unlikely that China would ever agree to a Code of Conduct among claimants in the South China Sea, such that having even just a framework this year, as the Philippine government is hoping for, is improbable. In separate interviews, Marvin Ott, a scholar in Southeast Asia Studies at the Johns Hopkins University and Murray Hiebert of the Washington-based think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) said that China would make the negotiations drag on as it had for more than a decade. “China will never agree to a real code of conduct,” said Ott, also a professor of national security policy at the National War College. Ott said that the COC would not be useful to the Chinese. An actual COC that governments would agree to would “circumscribe, delimit, and constrain China’s freedom of action in the South China Sea,” according to Ott. Ott and Hiebert emphasized that the COC has been negotiated for the past several years. And to talk and talk, and simply just talk, is what the Chinese simply intend to do, according to Ott and Hiebert. “China will go another 15 years of talking if that is necessary,” Ott said. The two experts separately met last week with 10 Filipino journalists, including the Philippine Daily Inquirer, who are part of the US State Department Foreign Press Centers reporting tour. Hiebert, a CSIS senior adviser, said that not even President

Professor Marvin Ott, PhD, a lecturer on East Asian studies at the Johns Hopkins University, says a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea would “delimit” China’s actions in the South China Sea. Photo By Nikko Dizon/ Inquirer.net

Duterte’s charm offensive to China could get a COC done this year. “It is not the year to get it done. Can they get some basic framework done? It depends how you define framework. I think there is some possibility of getting progress, (but) I think this is still a long work in progress. I think China’s goal is to make this thing drag on for as long as possible,” Hiebert said. China claims almost 90 percent of the resource-rich South China Sea through what it calls a nine-dash line, but which the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague had invalidated in a July 12 ruling last year that gave the Philippines a major legal — and moral– victory against its dominant northern neighbor. China’s claim raises questions on freedom of navigation in the area that is a major trade route among nations. Earlier last month, Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay expressed optimism that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and China would conclude by mid-year a frame-

work for the COC, a legally binding document aimed at easing tensions at the South China Sea. Hiebert said that it was a good move by President Duterte to engage China soon after he took office in June but it should not have been at the cost of the Philippines’ victory at the PCA. The strained relationship between China and the Philippines during the term of the President Benigno Aquino III was not for the Philippines’ long term interests, Hiebert said. “To engage with them (Chinese) immediately was a good idea but not totally forgetting the ruling. I think Philippines would have had a few stronger cards in their hands if they mentioned it (ruling) a little bit more. China assumed that the Philippines has moved on,” Hiebert said. Hiebert said the PCA ruling, a “hallmark, a trendsetter, that defined so much of what the situation is in the sea” would eventually be “forgotten.” “It was a precedent and when there are other disputes, it could be brought out. But it’s going to be tough for the Philippines to walk this back,” Hiebert said. n

filed on a per case basis. He said it should not be combined with other crimes as it would complicate the definition of a heinous crime. “To bundle it with other crimes will dilute arguments and complicate definitions in determining whether a particular crime is heinous or not because offensive acts may be of different characters,” Pacquiao explained. Pacquiao also authored two other separate measures seeking capital punishment on kidnapping, and another one on aggravated rape.

Apart from Pacquiao, Sotto, Lacson, and Gatchalian, other senators who were supportive or said they were at least “open” to the idea of the death penalty include Senators Sonny Angara Joseph Victor Ejercito, and Joel Villanueva. Among the senators who expressed opposition, meanwhile, were Senators Drilon, Gordon, Bam Aquino, Leila De Lima, Francis “Chiz” Escudero, Risa Hontiveros, Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, Antonio Trillanes IV, and Senate Minority Leader Ralph Recto. n

Senate suspends death penalty hearings…

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penalty,” Pacquiao said. Pacquiao authored Senate Bill No. 185, known as “an act to impose the death penalty and increase penalty on certain dangerous drugs crimes.” “We cannot ignore the immensity of the drug problem in our country. We cannot maintain the status quo. We need to take a firm stand against drug traffickers,” the senator added. According to him, it is more “beneficial and practicable” if the death penalty bills filed were


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Oil and water

THE relationship between government and religion has always been a complicated matter in the Philippines, one that is both a desensitized and hardly discussed issue. As a predominantly Catholic nation, where 86 percent of its population is Roman Catholic, it has become a Filipino’s moral obligation to live by the Church’s teachings—or at least respect them—no matter how dated some of them may be. Because the Philippine government rules in an established democracy, a line that separates the state from the Church exists. Article II Section 6 of the 1987 Constitution states that the “separation of Church and State shall be inviolable.” In this way, the government may not force a certain religion on its people, the same way the Church cannot mandate doctrines as laws. On Sunday, Feb. 5, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), rallied the faithful to join the Church in objecting the killings of drug suspects without due process in courts. More than 7,000 drug suspects have been killed by police and unknown assailants since President Rodrigo Duterte launched his bloody campaign after taking office in June last year. In a strongly worded pastoral letter, the CBCP denounced the killings of drug suspects during police operations and by supposed vigilante groups, which they branded as “evil.” “The life of every person comes from God. It is

He who gives it, and it is He alone who can take it back. Not even the government has a right to kill life because it is only God’s steward and not the owner of life,” read the statement signed by CBCP president and Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas. “We in the Church will continue to speak against evil even as we acknowledge and repent of our own shortcomings. We will do this even if it will bring persecution upon us because we are all brothers and sisters responsible for each other,” the bishops stressed. The CBCP statement also lamented that killings of drug suspects take away their rights and opportunities to defend themselves in trial and for reformation in penitentiary once convicted. Following his statement, Villegas is encouraging the faithful to voice out similar objections to the government by joining a grand procession on February 18. Dubbed the “Walk for Life,” the procession aims to oppose drug-related killings, the death penalty, and other measures labeled by the

Editorial

Philstar.com photo

Catholic Church as “anti-life.” “Let us fill our streets not with blood, not with dead bodies, but with prayer, with courage, to walk, to stand up for life,” Villegas said. The Church’s ethical stance on the sanctity of life is absolute. This rule has no exception, making sensitive issues such as abortion, euthanasia, con-

traception, and capital punishment as non-debatable. The Constitution also guarantees the same, as warranted by Article III Section 6, which states that “no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws.” (AJPress)

Legal showdown: Is Trump’s travel ban constitutional? WHETHER or not you agree with President Donald Trump and his executive order bars citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries (Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen) from entering the U.S. for 90 days, all refugees for 120 days and indefinitely bans refugees from Syria, it is fair to say that what we are witnessing right now is democracy at work in the United States. On Tuesday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has begun hearing arguments from the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the State of Washington and Minnesota as to whether Trump’s travel ban should be reinstated or rejected, after the ban was determined by a federal judge in Washington on Friday to be unconstitutional and harmful to the state’s interests. The decision covers not only the state of Washington, but the entire United States. Prior to the judge’s ruling, chaos erupted in major airports in the United States with immigration and state officers, as well as airport personnel lost on clear guidelines of how to implement these executive measures.

More than 60,000 people had been affected by the ban -- citi- The Fil-Am zens and permanent residents awaiting family reunification, Perspective U.S. businesses relying on professionals from these countries, students attending U.S. universities, patients needing urgent medical care in U.S. hospitals, gel SantoS-ReloS refugees approved to take shelter in the U.S. pursuant to the refugee program in agreement with other countries participating in the humanitarian cause, among other scenarios. Protests all over the world were also organized to denounce what they call an illegal and discriminatory ban singling out people because of their nations of origin and religion. Other states and more than a hundred businesses have also filed charges against the Trump administration because of the executive order. Following the federal judge’s ruling, the ban has effectively been lifted and those with valid vi-

sas from the seven countries, as well as Syrian refugees who had already gone through stringent vetting for two years and had been found to not be threats to the security of the United States amid terrorism concerns, were allowed to enter the country. The Trump administration appealed the case to the Ninth Circuit Court, which may possibly be elevated to the Supreme Court. The DOJ has argued that Trump was just exercising his authority and the obligation as president to keep the United States safe. The Trump administration contends that is not discriminating against Muslims nor the seven countries. These countries, it argues, are in fact determined by the Obama administration to be high-risk countries and that the Obama administration had in fact subjected nationals from these countries through stricter vetting before they are

issued visas to enter the US. The lawyers for the states of Washington and Minnesota have presented the argument alleging that Trump’s executive order was designed to discriminate against Muslims, citing Trump’s rhetoric during the campaign season promising voters to ban Muslims, giving preferential treatment to Christians from Muslim countries to enter the U.S. Those opposing the ban likewise question why the countries where actual terror threats came from were not included in the ban like Saudi Arabia and Egypt -- countries Trump has business interests in. The three judges of the Ninth Circuit Court will deliberate on the arguments of both sides and will make a decision soon. *** Gel Santos Relos is the anchor of TFC’s “Balitang America.” Views and opinions expressed by the author in this column are solely those of the author and not of Asian Journal and ABS-CBN-TFC. For comments, go to www.TheFil-AmPerspective.com, https://www.facebook.com/Gel. Santos.Relos

The communist insurgency: The Marcos-Aquino curse on the nation The Philippine elite and all Presidents after Marcos have left it alone to grow ernment troopers but THERE are several by racist Javanese unique features of our Commentary militias. unlucky country that Malaysia and Sindistinguish us from gapore started to the rest of booming prosper only after Southeast Asian natheir British colonial tions, among them: administrators, and A weak sense of then their indepennationalism reflected RigobeRto tiglao dent governments, in the fact we are the biggest migrant nation in the region; an crushed the Malayan Communist Parexploitative Spanish- and Chinese-de- ty, defeated by 1960. Thailand’s comscended elite that does not really see it- munist insurgency lasted from 1965 self as Filipino; a feeble state that is eas- to 1983, with the ruthless crushing of ily manipulated by the oligarchy; and a its militant student movement in the nation in inane awe of foreign capital infamous Thammasat University masthat it allows foreigners to dominate sacre in 1976, largely unprotested by telecoms and other public utilities even the world. One insurgency defeated if the Constitution prohibits such. The Philippines actually defeated one The Philippines has another unique feature that a single administration communist insurgency, that one led in could have corrected if only it had the early 1950s by the pro-Soviet Partithe political will: We have the longest do Komunista ng Pilipinas, which tried standing communist insurgency, not to mimic the Chinese model of developonly in Southeast Asia but in the whole ing an anti-Japanese army during World world. Last December, the Communist War II into a communist “People’s LibParty of the Philippines celebrated its eration Army”. Its Hukbo ng Bayan Laban sa Hapon became the Hukbo 48th anniversary. Other Southeast Asian nations were na Magpapalaya sa Bayan (“Huks”). of course not immune to communist The Huks were crushed by 1954 by a insurgencies, especially since China popular President, Ramon Magsaysay, under Mao Zedong tried to foment assisted—or led by the nose as some Marxist revolution in the region in or- accounts would have it—by the US der to construct a wall of communist Central Intelligence Agency. It was the newer, pro-Chinese comclient states around it to keep out US munist party of the last Maoists on this hegemony. However, all such countries which planet, which has led the longest-runfaced communist insurgencies have ning communist insurgency, with its crushed them more than two decades so-called New People’s Army. That such a Maoist insurgency has raged ago—except the Philippines. The most brutal was by Indonesia: for nearly five decades is astonishing, Suharto’s government from 1965 to if you look at it. Indeed, its strategy for capturing 1966 wiped out—physically—Asia’s biggest communist party after China’s, power—a people’s army emerging out in such a ferocious manner that about of a Red base in the hinterlands and one million Indonesians of Chinese then encircling the cities (as Mao did ethnicity were killed, not just by gov- in the 1940s)—in this day and age is so

out of touch with reality that it is as patently insane as believing that a Divine Messiah will take over the reins of the Philippine government, because it is a devout Catholic nation. Its major enemies—US imperialism in the Philippines and big landlords— may not have been completely vanquished, but have been inarguably defeated, as evidenced by the kicking out of all US military bases in the country and the passing of land reform laws. There is no longer “US monopoly capital” dominating the economy, as Sison asserted in the 1970s, but an Indonesian monopoly capital, as it were, controlling telecoms and public utilities—about which, however, the communists are strangely quiet. China— which is the local communists’ beacon of Mao Zedong Thought and which even tried giving the NPA 10,00 M-14 rifles in 1971 to speed up the revolution—now has become the booming market of both ethnic Chinese and foreign capitalist billionaires. To say that the communist insurgency persists because of Philippine poverty begs the question. Why aren’t there surging communist insurgencies in the poorest nations on the planet, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa like the Congo and Ethiopia? Rather, the reasons for the emergence and persistence of the communist insurgency is an indictment of the Philippine elite. The refusal of the strongman Marcos, supported by a faction of the Philippine elite, to step down when his regime was in decay, explains much of why the NPA expanded in the late 1970s until his fall in 1986. The Communist Party managed to portray itself as the only armed force capable of overthrowing a fascist dictatorship. The efforts of Marcos’ forces to defeat

the NPA were spun as human rights abuses, thereby further demonizing it. Marcos’ archenemies But it was Marcos’ political enemies that nurtured the communist insurgency from its very inception in the late 1960s. It was Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. who linked up the college English teacher Sison and his young Maoists to Huk commander Dante and his surviving gang of Huks. The Cojuangcos allegedly financed heavily the new party and its NPA, and their vast Hacienda Luisita became the NPA’s refuge, its de facto Red base. Their motive? To make governing difficult for President Marcos who was gunning for a second term, and seemed to be succeeding. Throughout martial law, it was the faction of the elite that was against Marcos that helped finance the NPA. Logging and mining companies of course did so not out of political motives, but out of sheer business opportunism. Provincial governors, such as those in the North, helped the NPA as long as it helped them defeat their political rivals. President Corazon Aquino saw the communists as her allies against military mutineers, that one of her first orders when she assumed power in 1986 was to free all communist leaders, including Sison and Dante. Sison of course fled abroad to raise funds from Marxist organizations around the world, and to undertake global propaganda to propagate the party as a legitimate revolutionary quasi-state. Even after a military-police faction fired upon leftist demonstrators that resulted in the infamous Mendiola massacre, the Cory government’s implicit policy was to let the communists alone, and seek a peaceful settlement with them. Cory even ordered a new 1987 Constitution to be formulated

that would allow the communists to get their representatives into Congress through the so-called party-list system, which gave them a larger platform for propagating their demands, and even for getting government financing. The communist insurgency has therefore been the curse put on the nation by both Marcos, during whose regime it grew, and Aquino who let it expand under her administration. All succeeding Presidents—including President Duterte until last week— followed Cory’s policy of appeasement. This was especially so in the case of her son, Benigno S. Aquino III, who even let communist fronts hound and prosecute military commanders such as Gen. Jovito Palaparan who tried to suppress the NPA in his field of jurisdiction. There was of course an element of opportunism on the part of our Presidents, even in the case of the general in charge of fighting the NPA during martial law — President Fidel Ramos — as they wanted their terms to be without overt conflict, even as the insurgency covertly grew. If our elite and their representatives, the Presidents of the Republic, have really left the communist insurgency alone, is it any wonder that it has existed for nearly five decades? The communist insurgency has been a cancer all Presidents since Marcos have allowed to grow. Southeast Asian nations that faced communist insurgencies didn’t, and consequently extinguished them, removing a major block to their economies’ growth, and thereby allowing millions of their citizens and their descendants to live prosperous, happy lives. *** E-mail: tiglao.manilatimes@gmail.com FB: Bobi Tiglao and Rigoberto Tiglao Archives: rigobertotiglao.com

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Dateline PhiliPPines

Senate to look into pay-per-kill report vs police by Paolo

RomeRo Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines — The Senate committee on justice is set to conduct an inquiry into the report of Amnesty International (AI), which claimed that police officers are being paid to kill drug suspects under the Duterte administration’s war on drugs. The probe was prompted by a resolution filed by Sen. Francis Escudero, former panel chairman. Escudero said the report “must not be set aside as it raised serious allegations that could undermine the Philippines’ reputation as a democratic country that fundamentally recognizes and upholds human rights.” “I found AI to be radical at times if you look into our history. The filing of the resolution is not meant to give AI a platform. It is to allow AI to prove their allegations because by that report, they besmirched the reputation of the country,” Escudero said in Senate Resolution 282. He said the legislative inquiry would be an avenue to verify the accuracy of the report and give the people and institutions involved an opportunity to respond to the findings. “It is not only a matter of necessity but public accountability. The AI should substantiate and present its evidence before the Senate for public scrutiny to confirm the report’s veracity and to hold, or otherwise clear, the Philippine government of any responsibility,” Escudero said. According to the report released by the international human rights watchdog, “police paid killers on their payroll, and unknown armed individuals have slain more than a thousand people a month under the guise of a national campaign to eradicate drugs.” The AI added that the administration’s war on drugs is actually a “war against the poor.” It also alleged the use of a mere “drug watchlist,” whose contents are based on hearsay, community rumor or rivalry, with little verification. In the report, AI detailed the story of a policeman with the rank of Senior Police Officer 1, who served in the Philippine National Police for a decade and is currently part of the anti-illegal drugs unit in Metro Manila.

The probe was prompted by a resolution filed by Sen. Francis Escudero, former panel chairman. Escudero said the report “must not be set aside as it raised serious allegations that could undermine the Philippines’ reputation as a democratic country that fundamentally recognizes and upholds human rights.” Boy Santos

According to the source, police paid per “encounter” – the term used to mask the extrajudicial killings as legitimate anti-drug operations. The police officer claimed that the amount paid by police ranged from P8,000 to P15,000 per person, per encounter. AI urged: Don’t meddle in drug war Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez asked the human rights watchdog not to meddle with the Duterte administration’s campaign against illegal drugs. “They have no business criticizing us and telling us what to do and not do. We are a sovereign nation. No country or group should meddle with us,” Alvarez told reporters. He said groups like AI and other critics of the drug war are not the ones affected by the problem of illegal drugs. “It is us and our people who are suffering, not these critics,” he said. Isabela Rep. Rodolfo Albano III shared the call of his boss at the House of Representatives. “Amnesty International should take a cue from the inaugural speech of new US President Donald Trump, who declared that America won’t interfere in any way with any country’s affairs,” Albano said. “If the most powerful country on earth won’t meddle with any nation, no country or group can claim the right to criticize us in what we do. Let us support President Duterte in his determined effort to rid the country of crime and corruption,” he said. He said the public is largely satisfied with the anti-drug campaign as shown by recent surveys.

“Let us not listen to a few critics and hecklers. What is important is the support of the people to the campaign against illegal drugs and other crimes,” he said. The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) denounced extrajudicial killings in a pastoral letter read in churches last week. The bishops called for an end to executions. Supporting the CBCP call, party-list group Akbayan said in a statement the plea “is a necessary development that should help remind the public that killing is not a solution to the country’s problems.” “Complemented by an initiative of several priests to concelebrate a mass in support of families of victims of extrajudicial killings, this stance reinvigorates our efforts to temper the madness and violence driving the government’s campaign against drugs,” it said. Akbayan said the killings perpetrated by government agents and vigilantes in the drug war are “a massacre.” “This is not war on drugs – a war connotes that the opponent has the organized ability to engage the government in combat. But no, there are only 7,000 poor people lying dead in the streets. That is not a war – that is a massacre,” it added. The group noted that while lowly drug users are killed, “big time suspects like Peter Lim score a meeting with the President and fly out of the country undetected.” “Clearly, this so-called war on drugs divides Filipinos into two caps – those who can curry favor with justice and those who cannot,” Akbayan stressed. (With Jess Diaz)

FIRST TO FALL. FIRST TO FALL Ariel Arbitrario (left), shown in photo chatting with a fellow peace consultant to the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, Eduardo Genelsa, at the NDFP office in Utrecht, The Netherlands, was arrested at a checkpoint in Toril District, Davao City. Inquirer.net photo by Karlo Manlupig

Sandigan allows Revilla to visit ailing father by Vince

F. nonato Inquirer.net

THE Sandiganbayan First Division has allowed former Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. to visit his father who is scheduled to undergo heart surgery on Wednesday. The furloughs, however, last four hours each, shorter than Revilla’s requested six-hour leaves. The senator, who is detained pending trial for the nonbailable plunder case, was allowed to go to St. Luke’s Medical Center in Taguig City on Wednesday, 7 to 11 a.m. and Thursday, 4 to 8 p.m. The second furlough on Thursday notably takes place after the first hearing of Revilla’s trial for his P224.5-million plunder case in the morning. Furlough conditions As usual, Revilla will be made to shoulder the expenses to be incurred by the Philippine National Police for his security detail. The use of electronic gadgets will be under the control of the security escorts, and media interviews will not be allowed. In his urgent motion, Revilla originally sought six-hour furloughs on Wednesday, 6 a.m. to 12 p.m. and Thursday 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. He told the court that former Sen. Ramon Revilla Sr. was diagnosed with severe aortic stenosis, a condition that restricts blood flow to the body’s main artery. The elder Revilla is scheduled to undergo transarterial aortic valve replacement on Wednesday, 9 a.m., at St. Luke’s Medical Center. Revilla said his father on Sunday “specifically requested [him] to be at his side before the surgery.” “Deeply worried and concerned about this recent unfortunate development, Senator Revilla again respectfully implores this Honorable Court’s kind consideration and compassion that he be allowed to visit, and be with his ailing and weak father while he is undergoing this major surgery,” the motion read.

3rd time He also invoked the court’s previous declaration that “under similar exceptional circumstances in the future, the Court will not hesitate to grant any motion that may be filed by accused Revilla and/or coaccused to leave their detention cell.” If granted, this would be the third time for Revilla to be allowed to leave his detention to attend to his father. The court previously granted two successive motions in December, allowing him to go to the hospital on Dec. 16 when Revilla Sr. had severe sepsis secondary to pneumonia, and Dec. 29, 31 and Jan. 1, when the father had a kidney ailment. The 50-year-old actor-politician is facing plunder and graft charges for allegedly receiving P224.5 million in kickbacks by diverting his Priority Development Assistance Fund allocations to fake foundations believed to be controlled by businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles. He and another former actor-politician, Jinggoy Estrada, have been detained at the PNP Custodial Center pending trial for the nonbailable plunder charges since June 2014. n

Former sen. Ramon ‘Bong’ Revilla Jr. Noy Morcoso/inquirer.net file photo


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Filipino lands top P&G global post by Annelle

TAyAo-Juego Inquirer.net

“IF a door is open to you, you go through it – confidently.” Such encouraging words, uttered by Fama Francisco, perfectly describe her approach toward her career – which is most likely why she was able to land the prestigious position she now holds: global president of Procter & Gamble’s feminine care business. “My belief is if a job is worth doing, you have to do that job better than anyone who’s done it before. And I think if you can do that, then opportunities will always open up,” she says. In fact, Francisco is the first woman and the first Asian to

by richmonD

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PH eyes air talks with India, 4 other countries by louellA

D. DesiDerio Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines — Constitutional amendments that will lift foreign equity restrictions topped the list of priority economic legislative reform measures Philippine business groups want approved during the 17th Congress. In a letter to Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, several business organizations including the Joint Foreign Chambers (JFC) expressed support for 12 proposed reform

Earlier, Philippines AirAsia filed an application with the CAB to operate seven weekly flights on the Manila-BangkokNew Delhi route. Cebu Air Inc., the operator of Cebu Pacific, has likewise filed an application with the CAB for the allocation and re-allocation of flight entitlements to India

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Lopez: ‘Green economy can create more jobs than mining’

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines wants to engage five countries in air talks this year. Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) executive director Carmelo Arcilla told reporters in a chance interview the agency is looking to hold air talks with India, Japan, South Korea, Canada and Papua New Guinea. He said India is among the target countries due to strong interest of local carriers to fly there.

“Many were considered in the last Congress and some even earlier but did not complete the legislative process. All constitute reforms that will improve the business and economic climate of the Philippines and result in more investments, jobs, and inclusive growth,” the business groups said. Given the multiple bills for most of the proposed laws, the business organizations said they support them in principle but “not always in every detail.”

measures which they see as essential in bolstering the Philippine investment climate. Among the priority measures are the Comprehensive Tax Reform Package, Apprenticeship Reform Program, BOT Law amendments, and Freedom of Information, amendments to the Corporation Code and the Public Service Act, Telecom reforms, and Water Sector Reform Act, in their respective order. Completing the list are the Bank Secrecy Law amendment, emergency powers to address traffic and transportation crises, and Retail Trade Act amendments.

s. mercurio

Philstar.com

by eD

“On the jobs, give me a year and a half. Hahamunin ko sila. A green economy can create more jobs than mining, than they could ever imagine,” Lopez said in an interview with DZMM. “We will definitely take care [of those who will lose their jobs], that’s why we’re gonna start on February 16-18, may massive planning sa lahat ng (in

mArgAreTh BArAhAn Inquirer.net

DEPARTMENT of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Gina Lopez on Saturday said that the agency will take care of those who will lose their jobs due to the closure of 23 large-scale mining firms in the country.

DENR Secretary Gina Lopez

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Filipino lands top P&G global‌

PAGE B1 t

THE latest Global Salary Survey from specialist professional recruitment firm, Robert Walters, revealed that there will be wide range of career opportunities in the country in 2017. Philstar.com/File

Survey: Jobseekers to get higher salary in 2017 by Rosette

Adel

Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines — The job market in the Philippines is seen to continue flourishing in 2017 as companies ramp up their recruitment activities, according to findings of a new survey. The latest Global Salary Survey from specialist professional recruitment firm Robert Walters revealed that there will be a wide range of career opportunities in the country in 2017, particularly to qualified professionals. The survey also suggested that professionals transferring jobs in 2017 can expect an average salary increase of 20 to 30 percent. The recruitment firm advised the employers to increase sala-

ries of professionals to align with their expectations and to effectively communicate career development plans with their employees in order to retain them. “Clearly, we are seeing strong potential in the market for mid to senior level professionals. With an increasing number of local and multinational corporations setting up their business in the country, we anticipate more career opportunities being available for qualified professionals especially for those with specialised skills,� Robert Walters Philippines country manager Eric Mary said. “To recruit and retain the best talent, hiring managers should offer competitive salary packages and structured career pro-

gression paths,� he added. Among the industries which are likely to be seen to grow hiring levels are strategic business development, financial planning and treasury; banking and financial services, human resource and information technology. The recruitment firm said that employers of these industries may be candidate-driven and will focus on attracting both domestic and overseas Filipino professionals with the relevant work experience, strong communication skills and commercial acumen. Robert Walters Philippines also saw 2016 as a positive year for recruitment in the country, given strong economic growth and rise in local and multination-

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Lopez: ‘Green economy can create‌

PAGE B1 t

all) mining areas to come up with an alternative economy, where we’ll put the money so everyone has a job. Walang problema ‘yan, aayusin lahat,� she added. She also questioned the number of people who will lose their jobs in the closure of mines, noting that mining is a capital- and not a labor-intensive industry. The Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (COMP) earlier said 1.2 million will lose their jobs, with their families affected as well. “In the numbers I saw from the government, in 2014, mining

produced 235,000 jobs, while tourism produced 4.7 million jobs, so I thought, why all of a sudden it became a million? And that is the mining for the whole country, now all of a sudden Dinagat and Surigao lang has become 1.5 million, saan nanggagaling ‘yang number na ‘yan (where is that number coming from)?� she asked. She admitted that though mining has created jobs, it has more adverse effects to communities and people. “So we make our choice, and kung isuspend lang pagmimina, hindi ko naman sila iiwanan,

‘yang mga nagtatrabaho diyan, aalagaan naman sila (and if we suspend the mines, we will make sure that we will take care of the workers),� she said. The DENR secretary said that the development of the sites will create more jobs. “[Para] ang economy nila, hindi maging dependent sa mina o outside influence. Pera nila ‘yan, resources nila ‘yan (So that their economy will not depend on mining and outside influences. That is their money, their resources), let them live in the beauty of their place,� Lopez added. n

hold that title, after working for the company for 27 years, or since she graduated from the University of the Philippines where she took up Business Administration with a specialization in Marketing. It’s a post she never even dreamt of holding, she says, especially since she initially failed her first interview with P&G. “I applied in the marketing function, and I actually failed my first interview,� she says. “But I persisted. That’s the most important part – I persisted, so I ended up becoming the first female sales manager hired in P&G Philippines after almost 50 years of operations, which was a great way to join the company.� Francisco says she was the lone female in a group of 100 in the sales team, wherein she had to learn a variety of skills, as the job then was “physically demanding.� “Between you and me, I didn’t know how to parallel park!� she says, chuckling. “And very quickly I had to be an expert with the customers I was covering. I asked a lot of my male colleagues to show me the ropes, but I think I also brought in a lot of my expertise as a female, which is un-

derstanding the consumer and the shopper even better. All in all, my early years in sales were, I think, the most fruitful.� From working in sales, Francisco moved to the company’s marketing function after four years. It was there that her career continued to grow, one that would take her to Japan where she managed the Pampers and Whisper brands, and then eventually to the United States, where she initially oversaw global operations of P&G’s baby care category, and then the company’s North America operations, before finally landing the position she has now. Just as Francisco’s professional life blossomed in P&G, so did her family. The mother of four – three boys and one girl – actually met her husband, Noel, when they were both starting out as part of the sales team in the Philippines. “He was one of the men. It was very awkward,� she says with a laugh. “When we were working together in the same function, it was awkward, but eventually we moved to different functions.� Francisco describes their marriage as a “tag team� relationship, a dynamic she believes is

instrumental to her success professionally, as they see each other as partners and equals when it comes to taking care of their family. “My husband and I both have great careers in P&G. I have to admit, it’s not easy when you’re in a country without extended family, without any household help,� she says. “We had to really rely on the two of us. You just have to give and take every day.� A supportive family, combined with her persistence and a little bit of luck – it seems such is the Fama Francisco formula for professional success. It’s the persistence bit which she takes most pride in, as it was, essentially, what really got her into P&G in the first place. “Sometimes – and I think a lot of women can identify [themselves in this situation] – there’s a already a door open to you, and you hesitate. Or sometimes, you think you’re not good enough; that, oh, these are all the experiences I don’t have,� she says. “If a door is not opened to you, like when I failed my first exam in P&G, then find a way to open the door. There is a way to open it if you are persistent and you deliver the results that stand out.� n

Biz groups urge lifting of foreign‌ PAGE B1 t

Their specific comments and suggestions would be made during the legislative process and in consultation with concerned departments. “The Philippine business groups and Joint Foreign Chambers are optimistic the executive branch will prioritize the proposals. We believe they are in line with the 10-point socioeconomic

agenda of the Duterte administration,� they said. JFC is the largest coalition of foreign investors in the Philippines. It is composed of the American, Australian New Zealand, Canadian, European, Japanese and Korean Chambers in the Philippines and the Philippine Association of Multinational Companies Headquarters Inc. Among the Philippine business

groups that joined the call to support the 12 reform measures, include the Makati Business Club, Management Association of the Philippines, Bankers Association of the Philippines, Foundation for Economic Freedom, IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines, Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines Inc., and Financial Executives of the Philippines. n

PH eyes air talks with India, 4 other‌

PAGE B1 t

earlier. For Japan, Arcilla said the Philippines is interested in having more flexibility in terms of traffic rights like fifth freedom or the right to pick up passengers from a foreign country after flying from country of origin, and to bring them to another country or final destination. While entitlements under an existing air services agreement with South Korea have yet to be fully utilized, he said there is a need for air talks with the country as carriers such as Philippine

Airlines (PAL) and Philippines AirAsia are looking to expand there. Arcilla said PAL’s sister firm PAL Express intends to launch flights on the Tagbilaran to Incheon route by May, while Philippines AirAsia is also planning to offer new flights from the country to South Korea. He said PAL is also planning to expand its network by mounting flights to Canada. In the case of Papua New Guinea, he said there is also interest to strengthen the presence of Philippine carriers there.

While the target countries for air talks have been identified, no schedule has been set for the air talks yet as none of the countries the CAB wants to engage with have confirmed their availability for negotiations. “We are using the good offices of the Department of Foreign Affairs so that our foreign offices, the ambassadors can help us make representations with our counterparts in our target countries,� Arcilla said. “Hopefully, by the second quarter, we could have something,� he said. n

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Immigrant Living: 101 and Beyond Monette AdevA MAglAyA IF you’re a woman who believes in secret in such things as love-at-first sight and happilyever-afters, TAKE HEART. Even during this cynical, jaded age of information when nothing seems sacred or mysterious any more, there are still countless women (and maybe some men) the world over just like you, who believe in the magic and mystery spun by that ancient, invisible force called LOVE. It is written in our DNA. So don’t fight it. It’s just that modern women probably won’t admit being romantic in public, for fear of ridicule. They will say, “Bah, humbug!” with a straight face and then watch every romantic comedy on the sly. That is probably why this movie genre makes a killing at the box office. Women are a captive audience and these women, in turn, drag their partners, more than likely, kicking and screaming because they would rather watch violent movies oozing with blood and gore. Yeah, yeah. Talk about women coming from Venus and men, from Mars. That’s what makes the chemical attraction between straight genders so compelling and fascinating — repelling and binding at the same time. Deep within most women, despite all that they’ve seen and been through, some, despite being scarred beyond belief by past toxic liaisons, if they don’t let bitterness and acrimony permeate their hearts, that thing called LOVE, still rules and does so mightily. Romantic comedies churned out fairly regularly from the Hollywood story factory seem to come from a well-worn template, copy-fitted in about 90 minutes of predictability. After a while, they taste like prepackaged burgers, food enough for the starving romantic soul, but hardly satisfying. After you have seen a few, you can very well interchange the characters and the plots and subplots like pieces of Lego. It’s a formula that keeps on giving: girl meets boy; a delicious attraction sizzles; a situation sets up a series of conflicting, seemingly complicated twists and turns made more tenuous by a third opposing character, just like Bluto, in the Popeye, Olive Oyl triangle, that horrible antagonist that prevents the girl and the guy from coming together; couple almost gives up trying but then an unexpected twist happens, some deus ex machina, a manipulation by the love god, that resolves the conflict and zaps away all obstacles e.g. a can of spinach that rolls from nowhere, that energizes Popeye to pummel Bluto; guy gets girl or whoever is doing the hot pursuit; and finally, the way is then made clear for the de riguer wedding scene. Sigh. THE END. BIG CHA-CHING. Romcom makes mega millions at the box office. A sequel may or may not follow. Ho-hum … There was a time when young girls relied on the tattered pages of a fairy tale book or a radio drama series or a television series which fired up their imagination, leaving them sighing and dreaming of their knight in shining armor. Disney has pretty much scoured the bottom of the barrel in spinning out modern versions of animated stories from ages past. In medieval times, when marriage, the nunnery or spin-

Barrister’s Corner Atty. Kenneth UrsUA reyes PRESIDENT Trump appears to be executing on his “America First” agenda by executing executive orders in record pace with the intent of securing American interest. However, these executive orders has affected certain rights of legal permanent residents and aliens residing in the United States. As a green card holder, you are still considered an Alien despite having many rights and privileges similar to US Citizens. You are not safe and may still be removed if you violate certain provisions of the immigration and nationality law. You should seriously consider applying for Naturalization or US Citizenship if you qualify. Generally, you have to have the following in order to qualify to apply for Naturalization:. Be at least 18 years old at the

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That thing called love and what to make of romcoms “The past is prologue.”

— Shakespeare

sterhood were the choices that were available, most young girls dreamt about that rich, dashing knight riding on a horse, that would slay the dragon, overcome overwhelming forces, sweep them off their feet, ride out into the sunset and live happily ever after. For a few centuries, that was how it was. But we all know, real life tells far different stories. The fairy tales turn out to be more like Gothic novels. Girl and guy don’t always end up happy. The depressing d’s descend on every life: divorce, deceit, despair, discouragement, disillusionment, darkness and death. And we’re left disappointed. But for all that, hope springs eternal in the human heart and keeps the romcom writers busy. We have this need to believe even if we begin to view with a jaded eye that the concept of happilyever-after is just a myth, long after the harsh facts of reality beat us into submission in a staredown. Slowly, warily, we learn to separate fact from fiction. Our world has changed from the simple to the utterly complicated present times. We now live with ubiquitous social networks available to our fingers where we can engage electronically in our pajamas and unmade beds, engage with one another instead of what used to be face-to-face interpersonal relationships when we need to be right where we need to be to make our case. We facebook and twitter all day long electronically creating, maintaining or killing off disposable internet relationships, that can defy space and time constraints, that can either bloom and thrive or take shallow roots and die in an instant. It doesn’t really matter. The next thing is just a click away. It remains to be seen what will come out of this relatively new phenomenon that is rewriting how this generation and the succeeding ones will find their mates that are right for them. There is no precedent, no formulas, no template, no books to copy from. The young ones may have to muddle through, make mistakes and come up with a new set of rules to write brand new stories to fire up and light their imaginations while holding steadfast in the belief written in “Desiderata” that despite “…all aridity, love, is as perennial as the grass …” Something happened in the middle of the last century to cause some kind of imbalance. Women became liberated from their traditional role after WWII. They joined the work force and learned to be independent. The roles of genders, and those inbetween, are no longer as clearcut as they once were. With postwar prosperity and abundance, came opportunity for women who decided from a wide range of choices that included college, career, family and the chance to be financially independent. This is not to say that the past was better, only that it was different and maybe, just a tad easier to figure out. The present times pose dilemmas that leave us scratching our heads. The rules of engagement between men and women perhaps need to be

rewritten. Romantic comedies often glorify the attraction of opposites. But it must be made clear in the interest of equal time, that the attraction of opposites is only one half of a truism. There’s a serious caveat emptor for all young men and women out there looking for a lifetime mate and seeking guidance from a higher power on how to best proceed. Here it is. Although opposites do indeed attract, it is the likes that stay together. The possibility of longer, happier lives exists in such a union. In an increasingly unstable, disintegrating world such as ours, such unions of like minds, bodies and spirits make a whole lot of difference. However, NEVER discount the power of chemistry. It is a real force wired into each one that draws one to the other. Deal with it. But in the end, it is the little things that you may have to look for to muddle through the choices and get past appearances. If you are a young woman, see how he treats his mother, his sisters and all the women in his family. If he shows kindness and is respectful of them, chances are, he will be kind to you and respect you as well. The same is true of young men. Look at how your intended treats her dad and all the men in the family. Look for kindness and generosity of spirit above all, oldfashioned traits that wear well. There are clear indicators and there are red flags. Watch for them. Do not let love or the stirrings of lust blind you totally. If faith and religion, commitment and fidelity are both important to you, the likelihood is there that these core beliefs will be a bond that will hold you in tough times. It may seem funny to you but the parents of your intended are more than likely a preview of how your fiancé or fiancée will turn out to be 2 or 3 decades from now. The past, as Shakespeare once said, is prologue. Take heed. There will be exceptions of course, but the mango does not fall far from the tree. You can prevent heartache by a balanced mix of heart and mind when choosing the love of your life. Sometimes, the heart is recalcitrant and makes a choice for you but know that a humble, grateful heart who asks for guidance particularly in the all too important decision of choosing a lifetime mate, in sincere, constant prayer that assaults heaven will not be spurned. If this is important to you and it should be, get down on your knees and beg for this grace. Since God gave us free will, we are able to write parts of our own stories. If we were all writers, we have in front of us, a tabula rasa, a blank page, a cursor at the ready, steadily flashing, patiently waiting for your stories to spill, the remanufactured, recycled or better yet, the brand new, original stories of romantic comedies that beg to be written. The world, I am sure, would like to hear about yours. *** Nota Bene: Monette Adeva Maglaya is SVP of Asian Journal Publications, Inc. To send comments, e-mail monette.maglaya@ asianjournalinc.com

Applying for US citizenship in these turbulent times

time of filing for Naturalization. Be a permanent resident/ greencard holder for at least 5 years. Show that you have lived for at least 3 months in the state or USCIS district where you apply. Demonstrate continuous residence in the United States for at least 5 years immediately preceding the date of filing. Show that you have been physically present in the United States for at least 30 months out of the 5 years immediately preceding the date of filing. – Be able to read, write, and speak basic English. – Have a basic understanding of U.S. history and government (civics). – Be a person of good moral character. – Demonstrate an attachment to the principles and ideals of the U.S. Constitution. If there are no major issues in your case, your naturalization process should take approxi-

mately 5 months. If you pass the naturalization interview and your case is approved, the USCIS will schedule you for your Oath taking ceremony shortly thereafter. ***

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 (Advertising Supplement) is not a solicitation.

Survey: Jobseekers to get higher…

PAGE B2 t

al corporations. The firm cited that unemployment levels remained low within among skilled workers, but there was a continued shortage of specialist professionals across all sectors.

Filipino nationals working and studying abroad were also in high demand by both local and multinational players. Professionals last year, meanwhile, received a salary increment of about 20 to 40 percent. These findings are expected

to become a trend in 2017 and beyond. The Robert Walters Global Salary Survey was based on an analysis of its placements made across its various network of offices and specialist disciplines during the course of 2016. n

LA MIDWEEK ASIAN JOURNAL • FEBRUARY 8-10, 2017

Debt Relief Atty. lAwrence yAng CLIENT is 65. She still works middle management and earns $37K yearly. Although she is married, I would say that she has some kind of money agreement with her beloved husband that arrangement works well for one side only, and that’s not her side. She herself owes $24K of credit cards. She needs to pay at least $800 a month of minimum interest payments to keep the $24K current every month. With her monthly gross of $3K, her net take home pay is $2500, more or less. From her net pay of $2500, she has to pay 100 percent of the mortgage of $1600, leaving her $900 for utilities, food and monthly necessities for both herself and her husband. Client feels overwhelmed by the burden of paying $900 a month for credit cards at her age of 65. Next year, she can retire and get full social security benefits. SS benefits of course will be

B

Senior needs Chapter 13 relief for $24K credit cards Formerly rich seniors need Chapter 7 relief

about $1600 in her case, which is less than her current take home pay of $2500. If she still has to worry about $24K of credit cards next year, half her social security would have to go to card payments. This is not something she looks forward to, to say the least. Despair and depression would be a more accurate description of how she feels right now. I tell her not to feel so bad because truthfully, she owes her creditors money only, not her enjoyment of life! “We have strength for all things in Christ who empowers us – He infuses us with inner strength and we are self sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency!” — Philippians 4:13 I wanted to say this because client was so depressed and I could see her depression clearly on her face. Please, it’s not the end of life and of the world, as we know it. We all can rely on Jesus who will help us. So, cheer up! Together, we can solve this prob-

Calendar of Events across

lem and get rid of this burden. For the husband’s part, he gives her $1K a month as his share of all the household expenses plus the mortgage. And he doesn’t want to file bankruptcy even if he himself owes $40K of credit cards. Supposedly the $1K a month he gives her is half his take home pay. The other 50 percent he uses to pay his $40K of credit cards, which require at least $1200 a month of minimum payments. He’s still short $200. Perhaps he drives for UBER for the extra $200? Well, let’s just say the wall is about to break even if Mexico did pay for it. Even if POTUS used American-made cement and American citizen workers, the wall will still break under the load of too much credit card debt for this family. Can client file for bankruptcy herself to handle her $22K of credit cards? Yes. Nonfiling husband will be left to his own resources to handle his

u PAGE B4

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 1 0 -1 6

ART AND SOUL (The Healing Power of Art) exhibit in Washington, D.C. In celebration of National Arts Month, the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C. is pleased to invite you to an exhibit entitled, ART AND SOUL (The Healing Power of Art), featuring the works of Artist and Curator Julian Oteyza and Sony Florendo at the Romulo Hall of the Philippine Embassy from February 10-16, 2017. The exhibit will be open for viewing from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. except Saturday and Sunday. For more information, please contact info@philippineusa.org. The embassy is located on Bataan street corner 1600 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington DC, 20036.

F E B R UA RY 1 1

FALW to celebrate Valentine’s Day in Seal Beach, CA The Filipino Association of Leisure World will celebrate Valentine’s Day with a dinnerdance at the Clubhouse #2 at 1232 Golden Rain Road, Seal Beach, CA on February 11. Music will be provided by The Midnight Motion Band. For other related questions, please call the president of the association, Ren Villanueva at (323) 854-6209.

F E B R UA RY 1 4

Valentine’s dinner & show in Waipahu, HI Need Valentine’s Day plans? Come to the Filipino Community Center in Waipahu, Hawaii on Tuesday, February 14 for “Hugs and Kisses,” a dinner and show. Tickets for the dinner and full show are $47 per person. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Dinner will be served at 6 p.m. and the show starts at 7:30 p.m. The show will be hosted by Lil Guy with an opening act by Shawn Garnett (aka Cousin Flippa on “Hawaii Five-O”). For reservations, please call (808) 680-0451. The FilCom Center is located at 94-428 Mokuola St. #302, Waipahu, HI 96797.

F E B R UA RY 1 8

Free parenting class in Eagle Rock, CA Come to a free parenting class in Eagle Rock on Saturday, Feb. 18 at 10 a.m. It will be held at the Eagle Rock Lutheran Church at 5032 Maywood Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90041. To RSVP, please call (323) 304-9898.

MARCH 6

Talk and book signing with Susan Quimpo, author of “Subversive Lives” in Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey Come see Susan Quimpo, one of the authors of “Subversive Lives” on Monday, March 6 at the Free Public Library of Hasbrouck Heights from 6 to 8 p.m. “Subversive Lives” is a memoir by eight siblings (plus one by marriage) who dedicated themselves to the anti-Marcos resistance in the Philippines. Quimpo will talk about her personal experience during the Marcos years. Books will be available for sale. A book signing will follow after the talk. The Free Public Library of Hasbrouck Heights is located at 320 Boulevard, Hasbrouck Heights, NJ 07604.

MARCH 9

Talk and book signing with Susan Quimpo, author of “Subversive Lives” in New York Come see Susan Quimpo, one of the authors of “Subversive Lives” on Thursday, March 9 at the 67th Street New York Public Library from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m. “Subversive Lives” is a memoir by eight siblings (plus one by marriage) who dedicated themselves to the anti-Marcos resistance in the Philippines. Quimpo will talk about her personal experience during the Marcos years. A book signing will follow after the talk. The New York Public Library is located at 328 E 67th St. (between 1st and 2nd Ave.), New York, NY 10065.

MARCH 11

CSFLU to hold dinner-dance in Brea, CA The City of San Fernando La Union Association (CSFLU) will hold its annual dinnerdance at the Embassy Suites in Brea, CA on March 11. Music will be provided by Willie Manacsa & The Midnight Motion Band. For more information, please call Vangie So, president of the association at (626) 485-3110.

M A R C H 25

Golf tournament for a cause in Escondido, CA St. Joseph College (Olongapo City)’s High School Class of 1987 will be holding a golf tournament for a cause at the Vineyard at Escondido Golf Club on Saturday, March 25. It is $109/person to register, which includes rounds of golf and a BBQ buffet. Registration is at 11:30 a.m., with shotgun at 1 p.m. and dinner and prizes at 6:30 p.m. For more information, please contact Gemma Gutierrez Hornilla at (949) 861-1732 or Miguel Uson at (760) 715-8216. The Vineyard at Escondido Golf Club is located at 925 San Pasqual

APRIL 20

CAUSE’s annual gala in Los Angeles Join Center for Asian Americans United for Self Empowerment (CAUSE) for its annual gala on Thursday, April 20. It will be held at LA Hotel’s California Ballroom at 333 S. Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA 90071. The event begins at 5 p.m. with a VIP reception. For more information and sponsorship opportunities, please contact kim@causeusa.org or visit www.causeusa.org.

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


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Community Journal

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Senior needs Chapter 13 relief for $24K credit… PAGE B3 t $40K of credit cards. They have $230K of equity in their house. Her homestead exemption is $175K, so that still leaves $55K of non-exempt equity. This means that she cannot do a Chapter 7 to discharge the $24K. If she did Chapter 7, trustee would sell her house, give her $175K in cash then use the rest of the sale proceeds to pay off the $24K. Who wants to lose their house because of credit cards? Certainly not this client and none of my clients want to lose their house in a Chapter 7. She can, however, file for Chapter 13. In Chapter 13, she will pay $400 a month for 60 months. At the end of the plan, she will be fully paid, because there is no interest in Chapter 13, and the court will give her a discharge order, meaning no more credit card debt! This is $500 less than $900, which is a minimum interest payment only. After paying $900 a month for 60 months, or $54K, she would still owe the very same $24K at the age of 70. Whereas, if she made all the Chapter 13 plan payments of $400 for 60 months, she would have paid $24K only which is all principal, and at the

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age of 70, she would owe ZERO credit cards. So, I hope client will feel a lot better now that there is light at the end of the tunnel. She can look forward to a good retirement with no credit cards to bother her. The next clients are spouses who are both 64. They have a

ments. They have two successful children who will help them purchase the new house anyway. God blesses them with two children who care for them. What more can they ask for? Good health and children who care for them. Our God has blessed them with abundance. Yes, I did not forget that clients were formerly rich. They had $750K of retirement funds. But alas, they lost all of it in the stock market. I feel bad for them losing this fortune. Losing this fortune is another story. But they do have two children who are good enough to buy them a new house, so that right price, the right price being, makes up for the lost fortune. at least $1.15M, then eventu- God takes care of them through ally the first mortgage holder will their children. “We wait in hope for the Lord; foreclose. When that happens, they will not owe anything on the He is our help and our shield.” $1.0M first mortgage, but they Psalm 33:20 will still owe the $150K, which *** becomes an unsecured debt, Lawrence Bautista Yang specializes in like a credit card debt. So, if the bankruptcy, business, real estate and civil house is not sold, clients will owe litigation and has successfully represented about $200K of unsecured debt. more than five thousand clients in California. I suggest a Chapter 7 to wipe Please call Angie, Barbara or Jess at (626) out all debt. Let the house go if 284-1142 for an appointment at 1000 S. it is not sold, and go look for an- Fremont Ave, Mailstop 58, Building A-1 Suite other residence now that is more 1125, Alhambra, CA 91803. reasonable in mortgage pay(Advertising Supplement) have listed the house for sale for over a million with no offers. Just some dogs sniffing around, and stray cats looking for food. No serious buyers. As POTUS would tweet out “NOT NICE!” There is a second mortgage of $150K. And credit cards of $60K. If the house is not timely sold for the

We have strength for all things in Christ who empowers us – He infuses us with inner strength and we are self sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency! million dollar house, which unfortunately also has a million dollar mortgage. This mortgage was taken 10 years ago with nothing down and interest only for 10 years. The problem is two months from now, 10 years would have been reached and the interest only portion expires. When interest only portion expires, guess what, you have to start paying principal too. With principal payments, mortgage payment will double, from $3k to $6K. Time to let the house go. There is minimal equity. Clients

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People and Events

Annual mass celebration for Infant Jesus of Prague (Sto. Nino) was a great success at St. Catherine Laboure Church THE Holy Infant Jesus of Prague (Sto, Nino) was honored with a special Mass celebration last January 27, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. with Most Reverend Bishop Oscar A. Solis as main celebrant at St, Catherine Laboure Chirch located at 3846 Redondo Beach Blvd, Torrance, CA. 90504. It was attended by a jampacked crowd of Filipino-American and other ethnic parishioners and guests from Los Angeles and the San Pedro Pastoral Regions. The Mass event was marked by the blessing of the images of Santo Nino brought by the devotees with Bishop Solis officiating the rite. The exact replica of the Infant Jesus of Prague (Sto. Nino) clothed in a relic of the Holy Robe that adorns the original statue in the shrine at Prague was brought over by Sis. Pat Garlington of Canoga Park.

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The devotees were given the chance to touch the Holy Robe by themselves including their own images of Sto. Nino after the Mass. Before the final blessing and dismissal, the Fil-Am parishioners took the opportunity to express its gratitude to Bishop Solis for his guidance and shepherding of the Filipino faith community during his tenure as Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles and as Head of the San Pedro Pastoral Region. He was presented and gifted with a beautiful image of Santo Nino. In return, Bishop Solis parted with his thanks for the support and love he received from the Fil-Am and Ethnic Faith Community during his stay in Los Angeles. He will start with his new assignment by Pope Francis to the Diocese of Salt Lake City as its new bishop beginning March 2016. n


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PeoPle & events

LA MIDWEEK ASIAN JOURNAL • FEBRUARY 8-10, 2017

B

Historic Filipinotown ‘Hidden  HiFi’ cultural scavenger hunt Participants took eating challenges, HiFi trivia, and more for a good cause

 HIDDEN Hi-Fi was an exhilarating day of adventure last January  28,  2017,  organized  by  Pilipino Workers Center (PWC) and  Filipino American Service Group,  Inc. (FASGI).   More than 30 teams travelled  to  locations  all  over  Historic Fil-

ipinotown while  performing  fun  tasks,  solving  puzzles  and  answering  trivia  at  each  destination —   all  while  racing  against  other  teams  toward  the  finish  line.  All  the  tasks,  activities  and  puzzles  were  honed  to  test  knowledge  and  skills  of  Filipino 

American history, culture, issues  and the arts.  Sponsors  included  Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, Kababayan Today, LA18 KSCI-TV, Tanduay Asian  Rum,  PLDT  Inc.,  PNB  RCI,  Manila  Sky  Ice  Cream, Pinoy Town Hall and more. n

"Foreign Relations: Coming Together"Â

Community members come to take photos and admire the Pilipino Workers Center’s Jeepney in Historic Filipinotown.

Team “Mangosteen� participates in a game of “sipa�, a Filipino version of “hackey-sack� at the Filipino American Service Group, Inc. (FASGI)’s office within Historic Filipinotown.

Ma. Ezarina “Boots� de Chavez, a staff member of the Pilipino Workers Center, looks on joyfully as she awaits teams to take part in the “Eating Challenge,� which tasked people with eating polvoron without swallowing and attempting to whistle afterwards.

Mark S. Villamac Ho aka “ Bagyo�, Filipino-American veteran and musical artist, raps his original song “Jeepney� for the audience at the end of the program. Photos by Paola Mardo

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cover story The Asian Jour nal MDWK MAGAZINE - February 8, 2017

The Origin of Valentine’s Day By Dana

SioSon/aJpreSS

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any people around the globe celebrate February as the month of love. Specifically, the 14th day of the month is usually referred to as Heart’s Day or Valentine’s Day. During this day, romantic couples, couples-to-be, families, and friends express their feelings of affection or gratitude to the people close to their hearts—usually by giving special gifts or by going out. “Valentine� comes from the Latin word valentia, which means “strength� or “capacity.� While the real history behind Valentine’s Day itself remains a mystery, there are different stories that tell how the modern celebration of heart’s day originated. The Lupercalia festival One version says that Valentine’s day actually originated from one of the most ancient Roman sex tradition, the Lupercalia festival. The Lupercalia festival, which dates back to before the Christian era, was celebrated annually on February 15 to honor of the Roman god of fertility, Lupercus. In Roman mythology, Lupercus is said to be the she-wolf who raised Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, in a cave called Lupercal. During the Lupercalia festival, Romans offer goats and dogs to the fertility god, which is said to be remarkable for its sexual instinct. young men would also strip themselves naked and hit the women with a goat’s or a dog’s skin. This particular action, in their belief, would make women fertile. Women’s names were also placed in jars as a lottery for men. It is said that the early Roman Catholic church, unable to completely remove the pagan tradition from the people, adopted this festival with revisions. St. Valentine another version of the origin of Valentine’s Day tells the story of Saint Valentine in the Roman Catholic belief. around 496 aD, then-Pope Gelasius I declared February 14 as the feast day of Saint Valentine, their patron of love

and couples. In the Catholic church, there were at least three different men named Valentine, or also referred to as Valentinus in other versions, who were all martyred on February 14. The question who among them Pope Gelasius intended to honor, however, was not known. One story suggests that Valentine was a priest during the third century in Rome, under the reign of emperor Claudius II. emperor Claudius was said to have banned young men from marrying in theory that single men were better soldiers than married men who worry about their wives and families. Despite the emperor’s decree, Valentine continued to perform marriage rites. Upon the discovery of his actions, the priest was put to death. There was also another version that says Valentine used to help early Christians escape Roman tortures. another legend tells the story of Valentine’s own love tale. Valentine, a Christian who was imprisoned, fell in love with his jailer’s daughter. Valentine was said to have written a letter to her before his death, which contains the phrase from your Valentine, an expression that is still widely used today. There was also a theory that says the daughter was used to be blind but Valentine was able to heal her sight. This event, according to the story, converted the jailer to Christianity. In 1969, however, due to Saint Valentine’s unclear history, the Roman Catholic Church removed his feast day from their general liturgical calendar. The present February 14 Presently, Valentine’s Day is widely cel-

ebrated by different countries across the globe, regardless of the dominant religion—including the Philippines and the United States. Despite being an unofficial holiday, most public places— such as restaurants and gift shops—decorate their stores with Valentine’s Day-themed ornaments. These usually include hearts and Cupid, the mythical Roman god of love who resembles an infant with wings holding a bow and arrow. So how do Filipinos celebrate Valentine’s Day? Here are just some of the many ways Filipinos express love during the day of the hearts: 1. Gift-giving Just like any other occasion, giving gifts has always been part of the Filipino Valentine’s Day. among the common presents people give to their love ones include chocolates, flowers, and stuffed animals. In the Philippines, you’ll immediately know it’s already February when you start to see people selling roses and teddy bears along the streets. 2. Dates Going on dates is, of course, one of the highlights in celebrating the holiday. Romantic couples usually go on ‘special’ dates on February 14—some couples celebrate it on other days, though, especially when the 14th falls

on a weekday. While the kind of date itself varies, couples usually tend to make it more meaningful than their usual dates. apart from couples, some Filipino families also celebrate Valentine’s Day together, just like Christmas and new year but in a less-grand way. During Valentine’s, families usually go out and eat dinner or watch movies. Children usually give letters of gratitude or small gifts to their parents. 3. Confessions and proposal For some people, Valentine’s is one of the perfect days to confess their love or propose to their loved ones. after all, the month of February itself has a very sweet atmosphere. With all the sales, special items and promos during the month of hearts, confessions and proposals fit the mood. These are just some of the ways how Filipinos usually celebrate Valentine’s. as diverse as countries and cultures are, so are the people’s practices when celebrating Valentine’s Day. However, one thing is no doubt a common factor when people mark this holiday: people always try to show their appreciation to the people they love—whether it’s romantic love, family love, friendship love, or even gratitude, people try to express their feelings of affection.

Love and more love: Some fun facts about Valentine’s Day LOVe is in the air as Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. now who wouldn’t be familiar with this great day meant for sharing love gestures? I know many couples excitedly wait for February 14 so they can express their feelings to their partners. However, though we may be familiar with the day’s history, some may not know some interesting information involving the celebration. Here is a list of fun facts to think about: • Animal love. about 3 percent of pet owners will give gifts to their pets. The reason is that most pet owners consider animals to be more grateful and loyal than humans. • A rose by any other name. California produces 60 percent of american roses, but the vast number sold on Valentine’s Day in the U.S. are imported, mostly from South america. approximately 110 million roses — the majority red — will be sold and delivered within a three-day time period. • Flowery messages: each color of rose sent on Valentine’s Day have some meaning. a red rose means love and respect, pink says, “I am having sweet thoughts about youâ€? and white stands for purity and states, “I am worthy of you.â€? also the number of roses also counts. For instance, one stands for love at first sight, 12 is to say “I love you,â€? 108 is recommended for marriage proposals and 999 means “we’ll always be together.â€? • “Signed, XOXO.â€? Many believe the X symbol became synonymous with the kiss in medieval times. People who couldn’t write their names signed in front of a witness with an X. The X was then kissed to show their sincerity. • Sweets and romance. The most romantic place to share candy is in front of the fireplace, according to an american poll done in 2012. • Cure a broken heart. In the 1800s, doctors commonly advised their heartbroken patients to eat chocolate, claiming it would soothe their pain. To this day, many women find comfort in a box of chocolates when dealing with hearbreak. • The symbol of love. The heart is the most common symbol of romantic love. ancient cultures believed the human soul lived in the heart. Others thought it to be the source of emotion and intelligence. Some believed the heart embodied a man’s truth, strength and nobility. However, the heart may be associated with love because the ancient Greeks believed it was the target of eros, known as Cupid to the Romans. anyone shot in the heart by one of Cupid’s arrows would fall hopelessly in love. Because the heart is so closely linked to love, it’s red color is thought to be the most romantic. • Lonely hearts club. If you’re single, don’t despair — February 14 is also Single awareness Day (SaD). Meant as an alternative to love and romance, the holiday is for single people to celebrate or to commiserate in their single status. (AJPress)

Valentine’s Day by the numbers: How much spending is done for love by

Malou liwanag-Bledsoe / AJPress

LOVe brings a lot of emotions, one of them being (sometimes) unwise on how a person expresses his/her love. This is true for what we spend for the person we love, making Valentine’s Day the third largest consumer holiday in the United States. More than $18 billion per year is spent in Cupid’s name, with lovesick shoppers buying gifts in the name of love. Gifts from the heart — and wallet It is indeed, a love affair with spending. This year, it is projected that the total Valentine’s Day spending will be $18.2 billion, with an average of $136.57 per person. about 32 percent will buy their gifts at discount stores. ninety-four percent of the people celebrating the day want to receive candy and chocolate. (The first Valentine’s Day box of chocolates was introduced by Richard Cadbury — founder of Cadbury’s cocoa and chocolate company— in 1868.) This is no Continued on Page 5

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555 Universal Hollywood Drive Universal City, CA


Marlon Stockinger: The man behind the universe by Gabbie

TaTad Philstar.com

When you’re dating someone whose official designation is “the most beautiful in the Universe,” that person’s radiance tends to cast quite a large shadow. But when you’re dating Pia Wurtzbach, one of the greatest and most celebrated queens in the history of the pageant, keeping one’s ego in check is the minimum requirement. (Anyone who’s watched the netflix series “The Crown” can attest to Prince Philip’s own struggle in adjusting his societal expectations as a man to make way for a queen.) But boyfriend Marlon Stöckinger remarks, “It’s actually very easy for me, because once you’ve been called the most beautiful in the Universe, you don’t need much more validation, and you’re free to be yourself. And honestly, it’s 2017. no one needs to be all that traditional anymore; there aren’t any more rules about who belongs at home or who’s allowed to be successful.” Funny enough that he should say so, as Stöckinger has comically been referred to as “Mr. Wurtzbach.” But his relaxed demeanor in stepping back to let Wurtzbach command her spotlight gives massive insight into what makes him so compelling, especially to someone of Wurtzbach’s stature. “I understand what it’s like for people when she walks into a room and they immediately take notice, because the first time she walked into a room that I was in, she stood out to me,” says Stöckinger. “I think it helps that I had created my own career before I ended up with someone whose career was so established. So in a sense, I know what she’s going through. We are both competitive people, but with each other, we want to help one another.” Motorsports wunderkind And while it may be a fact glossed over by many of the beauty pageant-obsessed, Stöckinger more than knows what he’s talking about with his

entertainment Julia Montes: ‘I’m not switching networks after ‘Doble Kara’’

The Asian Jour nal MDWK MAGAZINE - February 8, 2017

by iza iGlesias ManilaTimes.net

A motorsports wunderkind, Marlon Stöckinger found himself behind the wheel and winning trophies as early as nine years old.

aforementioned career being one of a Filipino motorsports wunderkind. Being the son of a karting racer and enthusiast, Stöckinger found himself behind the wheel and winning trophies as early as nine years old. he competitively raced go karts for six years before progressing forward, and in 2008 won a rare and highly prized slot in the Formula BMW Pacific Scholarship program. At the age of 17, Stöckinger was plucked from his usual comforts, moved across the world, and plunged into a world filled with fast cars, fascinating engineers of the most complex vehicles imaginable, and a sudden responsibility to market himself as a viable racing driver. “I had to give up school to pursue this, but I think what I found in this career is that it was a good school for life,” Stöckinger says. “It was hard at first, being away from my family — I guess I have very Filipino values in that sense that I love being around my family — but once you get over missing them, you get to really see what’s in front of you. And honestly the more I saw, the more I wanted to see.” he muses on

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A yeAr and a half since it premiered in August 2015, “Doble Kara” has become a huge part of the Filipino viewer’s afternoon habit what with its thrilling and heart wrenching scenes that buoyed the show high up the ratings. Lead actress Julia Montes said she is overwhelmed how long the series had lasted, and considers it one of the biggest blessings of her career. “We didn’t not expect to be on air as long as this because before we started—when they told me that I would play the role of twins—I was really nervous how viewers will find my two characters to be, and if I would play them effectively. So I’m thankful to all our directors for the workshops, and all the help they gave so I could show the differences and similarities of Kara and Sara.” She added, “I’m also thankful to the writers who were very clear on the direction of the story. I played the roles with their guidance and it made everything easy.” Due to its success—beating out the slew of afternoon series from competing network— Montes was given the title “Daytime Drama Queen.”

the benefits of his departure, such as an immediate boost in maturity and becoming more cultured, and says that he’d recommend the experience to anybody. “It’s a good opportunity, leaving home and seeing what else is out there. If you’re given a chance to commit yourself to a dream, to a job, to a means of bettering yourself, even if it takes you away from where you’re comfortable, you should do it.” And so he did, bringing pride to our country as one of the first Filipino drivers to place first in Monaco, a beloved circuit among top brass Formula 1 drivers. “Any driver would say they’d love to win in Monaco, and I suppose I’m a little biased because that is part of my legacy as a Filipino racing driver, to be the only one to have driven there and won.” his best finish so far places him at 26th place in the GP2 series, the proverbial rung below Formula 1, and while it might not seem much, consider the fact that thousands of drivers around the world have competed over and over just to break through into this category. Continued on Page 4 The cast and crew of ‘Doble Kara’

“I was kind of pressured that people gave me a title like that but I’m just blessed they gave me this kind of work. They trusted me from the very start. I did not expect it. Like what I usually say, whatever I pray and ask for from the Lord, he gives it to me ten times more than what I hoped for,” Montes shared. “I don’t mind to be put in whatever time slot. Whether in the morning, afternoon or even midnight it is okay as long as I get to work on something people support. It also feels good whenever the audience are enjoying it and then they became the part of the story,” the 21-year-old actress added. Although “Doble Kara” is nearing its goodbye, Montes assured that she will not transfer to another network and will do another show despite the rumors that she was offered to join her home studio’s rival. “hopefully I can announce as soon as possible the things that are in store for me after this show. Personally I am excited for this because this is all new me, not just the dual role but physically and emotionally. It’s another dream come true when it comes to the team and the cast, so I hope it will push through,” she said.

Meanwhile, when asked if she is open to guest in Coco Martin’s primetime show “Ang Probinsyano,” “That will not come from me. I don’t know. But yes, if I can join and guest why not, let’s see,” Montes shared. Also included in the cast of “Doble Kara” are Sam Milby, edgar Allan Guzman, Mylene Dizon, Allen Dizon, rayver Cruz, Mickey Ferriols, Alicia Alonzo, Anjo Damiles, John Lapuz, nash Aguas, Alexa Ilacad, Polo ravales, and Patri-


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entertainment

The Asian Jour nal MDWK MAGAZINE - February 8, 2017

Actors Lea Salonga, Aga Muhlach, and Dayanara Torres

Aga, Dayanara, Lea: Whose reunion movie will go first? by

Deni Rose BeRnaRDo Philstar.com

“I HAVE not lost that kilig,” award-winning singer and actress Lea salonga disclosed in a recent press conference for her solo post-Valentine concert, “songs from the stage.” When dance diva and beauty queen Dayanara torres came back to the Philippines, people asked if there will be a reunion of sorts with his ex, actor Aga Muhlach. In an interview with ANC, torres said she is open to do a new movie with Aga since their last one, “Basta’t Kasama Kita,” was a “classic.” While there is still uncertainty on Dayanara’s part, in spite of her opening up to ANC about her past with Aga, one thing is on the works though — Aga’s comeback movie with Lea. Aga and Lea did two films together – “Bakit Labis Kitang Mahal,” and “sana Maulit Muli,” which has been digitally remastered last year, with both Aga and Lea attending the film showing at the University of the

Philippines-Diliman. since the two met last year, there have been talks about a comeback movie. In an interview with ABs-CBN, Aga said he can sense that the project is at hand since star Cinema already gave him the script. Lea, for her part, said in the press conference: “I want to see the script. He says he’s seen it, I haven’t seen it yet.” For the movie to push through, she said that both of them should be in “fighting shape.” “He says he has been working out and eating right. I am yet to see evidence of this,” she noted. she said she would love to do the movie, but looking at how full her calendar is for the year, she is “not optimistic” that it would be finished this year. she, however, keeps her options open. Lea just celebrated her wedding anniversary last January 10 and will be marking her birthday this February 22. there is no one Valentine’s

Day that stood out for her since she usually has a concert on that day, so she is looking forward for the upcoming one, which she will celebrate with her husband, Robert Chien. Robert and Lea have been married for 13 years, and every Valentine’s, they go on a dinner and try to make a connection. “We still like each other and make each other laugh,” she shared. Whenever she is out of town, her husband serves as their daughter’s mom and dad, and vice versa. “We love each other beyond romantic. He’s the first person to get the good and the bad news. He is a man who has fulfilled every promise he made when we got married,” she said. “My idea of romance has changed since getting married. My idea of romance is knowing everything about your partner and still love each other.” One thing she loves the most about her husband? “He’ll never let me go out of the house pangit!”

Maxine Medina gets warm welcome in Brunei by Rosette

aDel

Philstar.com

MIss Universe Philippines Maxine Medina on saturday, Feb. 4 received a warm welcome from Filipinos in Brunei. Medina took to Instagram to thank fellow Filipinos who welcomed her and her family in Brunei. “thank you po sa lahat ng kababayan natin for welcoming me and my family here in Brunei! Na-surprise talaga ako,” Medina wrote in one of her Instagram posts. “Maraming salamat po! Muntik na akong maiyak sa lahat ng surprises ninyo! Everything is worth it. I am proud to be Miss Philippines - Universe because

of you,” she said, adding the hashtag #parasabayan. the Filipina beauty, who finished at the top 6 of the 65th Miss Universe competition last Monday, is currently in Brunei with her family to celebrate her victory and enjoy her well-deserved vacation. she flew with her family on saturday. After her win, Medina also took to Instagram to share her thoughts on representing the Philippines at the Miss Universe pageant. she said she feels blessed for the opportunity and said her confidence and the Filipinos’ support led her to become one of the top 6 finalists. “I feel so blessed to have the honor of representing my

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Filipino nominees for 2017 Nickelodeon awards It’s the time of the year again when kids’ votes count and the biggest stars of the day line up to get slimed for Nickelodeon’s 2017 Kids’ Choice Awards including nine all-new categories across the world of film, television, music and pop culture. the winners will be announced in a show with WWE superstar John Cena as host at UsC’s Galen Center in Los Angeles, California. this year, four Filipino celebrities—Janella salvador, Janine Gutierrez, Liza soberano and Nadine Lustre—vie for the coveted orange blimp under the “Favorite Pinoy star” category. Kids can cast their votes across 29 categories on the official website at kca.nick-asia. com/vote. Users will also be able to vote through twitter and Facebook using special KCA hashtags and hashtag of their favorite nominee. stars will vie for the blimp across ten music categories, with Bruno Mars, Justin timberlake and twenty One Pilots topping the list with four nominations each. After ruling the Billboard and itunes charts, the Chainsmokers make their Kids’ Choice Awards nominee debut with two nods for “Favorite Music Group” and “Favorite New Artist.” Adele, Beyoncé, Meghan trainor and Fifth Harmony also garnered two nominations each, while internet sensations Carson Lueders, Jacob sartorius, Johnny Orlando, JoJo siwa, Matty B and tiffany Alvord battle it out in the new category of “Favorite Viral Music Artist.” For the first time ever, the KCAs will also feature a new music category for “Favorite Global Music star,” which features six artists from around the world battling it out for the honour of a blimp. superheroes, trolls and turtles dominated the movie categories with “Captain America: Civil War,” conjuring up top affirmations with eight nominations. “Batman v. superman: Dawn of Justice” followed closely behind with seven, while “Ghostbusters” and “Rogue One: A star Wars” story garnered five each. stars receiving first time

Janella Salvador, Janine Gutierrez, Liza Soberano, and Nadine Lustre vie for the coveted ‘Favorite Pinoy Star’ award at the 2017 Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards.

nods in the film category include Justin timberlake for “Favorite Voice from an Animated Movie” in “trolls” (bringing his total nominations to seven), Kristen Wiig for “Favorite Movie Actress” in “Ghostbusters,” and Felicity Jones for “Favorite ButtKicker” in “Rogue One: A star Wars story.” Kevin Hart makes a double appearance in the new category “BFF’s (Best Friends Forever),” nominated for Central Intelligence and Ride Along 2 -bringing his total 2017 KCA nominations to six. In television, kids will have the opportunity to vote for first-time nominees “Black-ish,” “Fuller House,” “supergirl,” “Paradise Run” and “the Loud House,” along with their choice between “America’s Got talent,” “shark tank,” “the Voice,” “America’s Funniest

Home Videos” and “American Ninja Warrior” for “Favorite Reality show.” Nickelodeon’s Jace Norman was nominated for “Favorite Male tV star” in Henry Danger and Breanna Yde is up for “Favorite Female tV star” in “school of Rock.” Additionally, in the “Favorite Cartoon” category, kids will choose between “Alvin and the Chipmunks,” “spongeBob squarePants,” “teen titans Go!,” “teenage Mutant Ninja turtles,” “the Amazing World of Gumball” and “the LoudHouse.” While this will be Cena’s first time hosting the global show, he is beloved worldwide by the Nickelodeon family, having previously hosted Australia’s Kids’ Choice Awards in 2008, as well as undergoing a sliming at the first UK Kids’ Choice Awards in 2007. (ManilaTimes.net)

Marlon Stockinger: The man behind... From Page 3

Maxine Medina

country the Philippines. I gave and offered my best, my heart and my soul as I stepped out on the stage to represent the entire nation at this year’s Miss Universe Pageant!,” an excerpt of Medina’s Instagram caption read. “I am so proud to have been given the opportunity of wearing the Philippine sash for a month of hosting this historical event. After seven months of preparations, through ups and downs, when I go to sleep, I am at peace and comforted knowing that the entire country believes in me,” she wrote, as she thanked all the Filipinos and her fellow candidates.

stöckinger himself has gone head to head with some of the highest rated drivers in the world, some of whom having prior experience at the Formula 1 level. And outside of the love of the sport, there’s a true calling to break proverbial ceilings for fellow Filipino racers. “For a country to get behind motorsports, we have to get a Filipino in the driver’s seat. We have to put a driver in F1, to grow the sport, to support those drivers, and it will easily cross-promote itself in terms of tourism and ads. It’s the dream to get there, but aside from talent, you need the support and the funding.” stöckinger adds, “so far, I’ve been the only Filipino that’s gotten this far, but it shows you the blueprint of how far you can get when you’re given the means and the grounds to pro-

vide good racing drivers with the support they need, in the same way basketball or football players are supported. the only reason I’ve gotten to where I am is because I first competed in the Philippines, and it shows that there is talent here.” Global competition Not unlike Wurtzbach, who competed against candidates from the entire planet (or the universe, rather) for a single crown, stöckinger is up against global competition, which makes for a striking middle ground between the two. “[Pia] has had a very successful reign as Miss Universe. And although her work is beauty pageants, the determination and the work ethic are the same. You don’t just wake up one day and become Miss Universe; you work for it. It’s the same with racing. Pia beat the whole world to get that

one spot, and for me it’s not just racing against other people, it’s competing in the best tracks against the best racers in the best cars with the best-trained racing teams. Whatever the field is, we have what it takes to be world-beaters.” Despite his charming confidence, however, stöckinger says he’s like any other professional in his 20s. “I wake up in the middle of the night sometimes, panicking, thinking, ‘When am I going to be in a racing car again?’ But that’s part of the hustle, you don’t just wake up and have everything handed to you. Hard work and a good work ethic are important, and you have to keep doing it if you ever want to get anywhere.” He says that while it’s still early in the year and the next season has yet to start, he’s in talks to tie up with a manufacturer and is hoping to gain more assistance from the country with respect to motorsports. Once the more personal aspect of things is finally sorted, he also hopes to be able to bring the sport to the youth as he believes it teaches discipline, setting and achieving goals, responsible work ethic, and extremely useful training in good driving that they can use their whole lives, competitive or otherwise. this, of course, makes the calendar seem a little tighter for stöckinger, whose beau is currently on a break after a very busy year of reigning over the universe. But ever so coolly, stöckinger gives a small laugh and says most assuredly, “When we’re both busy, then we have time for the work that we love. But it also makes the time we have together that much more precious. You need the time together and you need a little time apart, to do what you need to do. We have a little bit of everything, and I think that’s what makes a good relationship for anyone, not just for me and Miss Universe.”


Moonlighting by Mylah de

leon

I THINK of the bad news as a huge bird — an albatross with wings of a crow, the face of Hydra with rancid teeth and a wrinkling frown. It sails around the world under a cover of darkness, pleased to be the bearer of ill tidings. With it always is a basket of rotten eggs, and it knows, as the sun comes up, exactly where to drop them. On me, for one. The bad news arrives in the form of a bad newspaper. Folks liked to pass the bad news as soon as possible, get it off their hands like a hot potato. Bad news burns them. Now it’s right there on the table. But there is a basic courtesy required for other’s need to

features 5

Bad news

wallow mindlessly, free of bad news at least, before their first cup of coffee. Just as others need to spew catastrophe, some bilious green bad news gland or bladder inside them will burst and they’ll get peritonitis of the soul if they don’t exhale halitosis of the intellect. Others call this affliction malignant narcissism. Is bad news worse with pictures? I think so, as pictures make you look, whether you want to or not. There’s the burnt out car with a skeletal frame of twisted metal, a charred shadow crouches inside, children massacred, world leaders felled by an assassin’s bullet...to end a regime. But what about character assassination, the perpetual blood sport? The one which feeds nothing noble among humans? Not even echo can answer that.

I’m not impervious to bad news. In my years of crime reporting, I ate tragedy and shocking news for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I had access to people’s emotional pains and tragedies. With a tourniquet in my heart, I watched careers derailed, homes fractured but I wrote it with a complete understanding of wounded souls…void of literary sarcasm. I am not hardened by bad news, on the contrary, I am angular. With less body fat now than I did before the Big C, I, therefore, have less capacity to absorb, cushion, to turn the calories of bad news…and it does have calories. It raises your blood pressure into the substance of your own body. We don’t like bad news, but we need it, We need to know about it, in case it’s coming our way. It conjures up a

The Asian Jour nal MDWK MAGAZINE - February 8, 2017

herd of deer in the meadow, heads down grazing, peacefully by a rippling brook. Then “woof, woof” of wild dogs in the woods. Heads up, ears forward…prepare to flee! Or the musk ox defense, wolves approaching are the bad news. Snort and paw the ground, prepare to pierce the enemy… except that we’re humans not carnivores or brutes without souls. A beautiful day that smells of fruits and flowers mean nothing to barbarians. In fact, they prefer to invade beautiful days. It provides more visibility for looting and massacre. But they were long ago, far away and not in our lifetime, perhaps. The barbarians of our genre are those young brainwashed in character, dreaming of 77 virgins

welcoming them in paradise. These are the news that assails the nostrils like an offensive perfume and a slap on the face, while scourging the soul. There was bad news long before we were born, and now we’ll get through it, especially if we get it early. If you get it, understand it, then you’ll know what to do. I’ve personally dealt with bad news. Gossips and rumors, I think. Portents, forebodings: birds in flight, like the sparrows, flitting in and out of the barn. Bad news is a sheep’s entrails. You never know if the news is true until it pounces, until it’s on top of you, until you reach out in the night and there’s no more breathing. You’re howling in darkness. This is why some creatures can’t discriminate between

healthy freedom and sick license. But we’ve faced it head on. I am still alright. We have no wounds, no blood pouring out...we are not scorched. We got through the worst bad news. Now while everything seems to take longer than it did before, we all want to get on with our lives in spite of the bad news. Today, on a fall morning, the sun is shining, the birds are singing, there’s no reason not to feel pretty good. There will be other news later. There always is, but we’ll worry about it when it comes and I don’t have to write it anymore. ***

E-mail Mylah at moonlightingmdl@ aol.com

Valentine’s Day by the numbers: How much... From Page 2

Maja Salvador and Paulo Avelino

Enrique Gil and Liza Soberano

Maja-Paulo movie pitted against LizQuen’s

ROmANTIC-COmedY movie “I’m drunk, I Love You” starring maja Salvador and Paulo Avelino is the first full-length film directed by JP Habac, who has to his credit three short films, including maria that won the Best Short Film Award at the Cinema One Film Festival in November 2016. The 29-year-old director finished filmmaking in UP in 2009 and has worked as assistant director to Jerrold Tarog in “Heneral Luna” and “Sana dati,”

as well as TV shows like “Wagas” and “Karelasyon” on GNTV. He said he conceived “I’m drunk, I Love You” after hearing his friend utter the phrase during a drinking session. He pitched the project to TBA (Tuko Films, Butchi Boy and Artikulo Uno) who agreed to finance it. He wrote the script with Gian Abraham (who directed “dagitab”) and sent the script to Paulo Avelino whom he worked with in “Heneral Luna” and “Sana dati.” Paulo liked the script and agreed

to do it. He even recommended maja Salvador to be his leading lady. The movie opens on February 15 and will go head to head with Star Cinema’s “my ex and Why’s” which stars the popular tandem of Liza Soberano and enrique Gil. According to the director their strength against other romcoms is that “I’m drunk, I Love You” is very relatable to people “na umaasa at nagpapaasa sa pag-ibig.” (ManilaTimes.net)

surprise as $1.7 billion will be spent by the 49.7 percent of celebrators who plan to buy candy this year. Flowers are ahead of candy with 20 percent of annual flower sales happen around Valentine’s day. It is estimated that $2 billion will be spent by the 34.7 percent who plan to buy flowers. However, jewelry tops the list, as an estimated $4.3 billion will be spent by the 18.7 percent who plan to buy it as a gift. One thing to note though — 24 percent of single adults buy themselves a present for Valentine’s day. For those who don’t believe in spending too much, sending greeting cards still seem to be their best bet. There are about 1,500 types of Valentine’s day cards offered by Hallmark alone this year, and it is estimated that $1 billion will be spent on greeting cards alone. To celebrate or not to celebrate? Americans between 35 and 44 years old are most likely to celebrate Valentine’s day, while less than half of people at least

65 years old will commemorate the occasion. A night out on Valentine’s day will average $73.68 per couple, with a total amount of $3.8 billion for the whole of the U.S. men also spent almost double than women last year, suggesting that chivalry is not, in fact, dead. However, 46.1 percent of adults do not plan to celebrate Valentine’s day this year. Also, 53 percent of women say they would break up with their significant other if they got nothing planned. Still, the day holds a lot of significance for many people.

In fact, it is believed that 9 million marriage proposals will be made on Valentine’s day this year. Another thing is that 1.9 million Facebook uses changed their relationship status within a week of Valentine’s day. While it’s great to see that people are willing to splurge for their loved ones on Valentine’s day, some still believe that looking for simple and affordable ways to show their appreciation and love is best. Though there are means to spend on expensive gifts, the saying that “it’s the thought that counts” holds true when it comes to giving.


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The Asian Jour nal MDWK MAGAZINE - February 8, 2017

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