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Volume 27 - No. 47 • 2 Sections – 16 Pages

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House passes bill to award Fil-Am WWII vets with Congressional Gold Medal by Klarize

MeDenilla AJPress

FILIPINo and Filipino-American soldiers who fought in World War II are now closer to being honored with one of the highest civilian awards in the United States. The United States house of Representatives on Thursday, November 30 passed S. 1555, also known


as the Filipino Veterans of World War II Congressional Medal Act of 2015, securing complete approval from Congress. The bil—which now awaits a signature from the president—would honor the more than 200,000 Filipino soldiers who fought alongside American soldiers and Allied forces during the Second World War.

The Filipino soldiers—of whom more than 18,000 are still alive— join the ranks of the Tuskegee Airmen and hawaii’s 442nd Infantry Battalion with being bestowed with the honor. “These loyal and courageous soldiers suffered, sacrificed, fought and gave their lives alongside their American counterparts throughout

the war,” Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (Dhawaii) said on the Congress floor before the house voted. “We’ve waited far too long to recognize these heroes who deserve this honor.” Gabbard, along with Rep. Judy Chu (D-California) and Mike honda epresentatives of the Filipino Veteran Recognition and Education Project and veterans await (D-California), pushed for the bill in the passage of the Filipino Veterans of World War II Congressional Medal Act of 2015 on PAGE A2 Wednesday, November 30. Photo courtesy of the The Filipino Veterans Recognition and Education Project

Anti-Marcos groups launch protests on Andres Bonifacio Day



Federal judge blocks overtime pay expansion law

A FEDERAL judge on Tuesday, November 22 blocked a new law that would have expanded eligibility for time-and-and-a-half overtime pay, affecting millions of whitecollar workers in nearly every sector of the American workforce. U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant III of the Eastern District of Texas granted a PAGE A3

US assistance shifts away from PH anti-drug operations to maritime security, rights concerns ThE United States has shifted the focus of its police assistance programs in the Philippines from the government’s illegal drugs control to maritime security and human rights concerns, a State De“We remain deeply concerned partment official by reports of extrajudicial said on Tuesday, killings by or at the behest of November 29. “Since the start government authorities in the Philippines,” US Department of of the drug camState spokesperson John Kirby paign, our law said in a press briefing. enforcement asPAGE A4

by Dana

SioSon AJPress

DIFFERENT groups and various individuals crowded at the People Power Monument in Quezon City and launched a protest to show opposition on the burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB/heroes’ Cemetery). Protesters denounced Marcos as a ‘hero’ of the country during the demonstration event, which was also referred to as “Siklab Bayan” by the protesters, on Wednesday, November 30, which also marked the national holiday honoring Filipino revolutionary and hero Andres Bonifacio. The protesters were mostly youth from groups called Coalition Against the Marcos burial in LNMB, Millennials Against Dictators, as well as victims of torture during martial law and their families. Former head National historical Commission University students and activists from different generations converge at the People Power monument along Edsa, on Wednesday, Nov. 30, to sing the same hits even as they protest the burial of dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. photo by Jilson Seckler Tiu PAGE A2

Duterte unveils ‘mega’ rehabilitation center in PH by Dana

SioSon AJPress

ThE first phase of the “mega” Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Center (DATRC) in Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija opened on Tuesday, November 29, with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte himself leading the facility’s inauguration. The rehab facility, built on an 11-hectare compound, is expected to have the ability to accommodate about 10,000 patients once all four phases are completed. With 172 building units, it will be the largest drug rehabilitation center in the country. To prevent the Philippines from becoming a “narco-state,” Duterte campaigned on the promise of

cracking down on illegal drugs nationwide, earning him a landslide victory in the recent May 2016 elections. Since the president took office on June 30, police records show that around 700,000 drug users and 53,000 drug pushers have surrendered to the authorities. “Iyong mga tao na tumago at naghintay ng opportunity for a rehab or something good along the way, baka may makukuha sila, iyon ‘yung dadating dito. (Those who hid and waited for an opportunity for a rehab or something good along the way, they might get something, those who come here),” Duterte said during the inauguration. he added that the center will

accommodate drug addicts who surrender to the government. however, he reiterated his hardline stance to those who choose to fight back and refuse to surrender. “Those who choose to fight it out, made a stand, they are there in the memorials and cemeteries. I am sorry for them,” he added. According to the Philippine National Police (PNP), around 4,000 people have been reportedly killed in the country in relation to the government’s war on narcotics — 1,800 of which were fatally shot during legitimate police operations and about 2,600 by unknown suspects. In his speech, Duterte also PAGE A2

INAUGURATION. President Rogrigo Duterte and Huang Rulun, board chairman of Beijing’s Century Golden Resources Group, talk during the inauguration of the mega drug rehabilitation center donated by the businessman in Nueva Ecija. The rehabilitation center occupies a land area of 11 hectares and has a total construction space of 60,000 square meters with 172 building units, making it the first large scale drug rehabilitation center in the country. Malacañang photo

Palace: Bomb found near US De Lima admits ‘advising’ Embassy not cause for alarm Dayan to skip hearings by Dana

SioSon AJPress

BOMB COURIER. Metro Manila police director Chief Supt. Oscar Albayalde shows a computergenerated facial composite of the man who supposedly planted a bomb at the US Embassy on Monday, Nov. 28. photo by Ruy Martinez


on Monday morning, an IED was found by a street sweeper AN improvised explosive device named Winniefreda Francisco in (IED) discovered near the U.S. em- a trash bin reportedly around 25 bassy in Manila was safely deto- meters from the embassy’s gate, nated, Malacañang said on Mon- according to the Associated Press. The explosive device was later day, November 28. “We assure the public that this safely detonated. Although it incident should not be a cause for caused heavy traffic around the alarm. Business and work contin- area, no one was reportedly hurt ue as normal,” Communications in the incident. Since bomb’s exploding range Secretary Martin Andanar said in a statement. PAGE A2

by Dana

SioSon AJPress

She suggested that her guidance was not an ‘order’ when she SENAToR Leila de Lima has replied to the text message sent by admitted that she told her former Dayan’s daughter, hannah. driver and bodyguard, Ronnie Dayan — whom De Lima conDayan, to hide and skip the house fessed to having an intimate relaof Representatives’ inquiry on the tionship with — has been accused alleged National Bilibid Prison by President Rodrigo Duterte of (NBP) drug trade. collecting National Bilibid Prison “I stand by my advice. It was an (NBP) drug trade money for De advice and I stand by it,” De Lima Lima’s 2016 senatorial bid. said on Monday, November 28. PAGE A2

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From The FronT Page

House passes bill to award... PAGE A1 the House, where it received 312 co-sponsors. Rep. Joe Heck (R-Nevada) was the Republican lead in the House for the bill, noting Filipinos’ efforts to secure a win for the U.S. and the Allies. “Filipino soldiers helped ensure Allied victory in the Pacific,� Heck said in a press conference in 2015 when the bill was introduced. “Bestowing this honor upon them is past due, but I am pleased to join in this bipartisan, bicameral effort to award these friends of the United States the Congressional Gold Medal.�

On July 13, the Senate unanimously voted to approve the bill, as previously reported by the Asian Journal. “The day has finally arrived for this group of heroes to receive the recognition they deserve for their sacrifice and service to our nation during World War II. With Nevada being home to ‘The Mighty Five’ Filipino veterans – I am proud to see these brave individuals finally rewarded for their military service. With both House and Senate passage, I look forward to seeing this legislation swiftly signed into law by the President,� said Senator Dean Heller (R-Nev.) in a statement.

Heller teamed with Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) for bipartisan Senate passage of this legislation. The California State Board of Education recently approved curriculum changes of the state’s high schools to incorporate more information about Filipinos’ roles in the war in Grade 11 U.S. History lesson plans. Earlier this year, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) rolled out a new family-based immigration program for Filipino WWII veterans and their families called the Filipino World War II Veterans Parole Program.

De Lima admits ‘advising’ Dayan... PAGE A1

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Despite repeatedly being summoned to testify before the House and failing to appear, Dayan was served with an arrest warrant. Last week, following his arrest in La Union, Dayan disclosed in his affidavit that he was willing to appear at the hearings. Upon receiving the subpoena, Dayan said he sought for De Lima’s advice by asking his daughter to text the senator. “Ang reply niya sa anak ko, ‘Huwag mo siyang pa-attend... Huwag siyang umattend diyan, pagkakaguluhan lang siyan diyan. Sabi niyang ganun, ‘Pagtatawanan lang kaming dalawa, magiging kahiyahiya lang kami diyan na dalawa (Her reply to my daughter, ‘Don’t let him attend. They’ll just make fun of us, we’ll just get ourselves embarrassed’),� Dayan said. The text message was reportedly sent on October 1, 2016. De Lima also admitted that she provided Dayan financial assistance in the construction of his house in Urbiztondo, Pangasinan. The senator, however, denied the allegations that her contributions reached P2 million. “Noong nagpagawa sya nyan, nag contribute lang ako ng by tranches pero imposible pong total of P2M yan. By tranches po yan at tulong ko lang po yan. Ganoon po ako (When he was building his house, I contributed by tranches but it’s impossible to reach P2M. It was by tranches and it was my way of helping him. I’m like that),� De Lima said. The senator also clarified that PAGE A4

MESSAGE TO DUTERTE. Demonstrators assail President Duterte’s decision to allow the burial of strongman Ferdinand Marcos at the heroes’ cemetery in Taguig City, which was upheld by the Supreme Court last month, at the People Power Monument on Edsa. It was in the same area where hundreds of thousands of people mounted the Edsa uprising that led to the downfall of the Marcos dictatorship. photo by Grig Montegrande

Anti-Marcos groups launch protests... PAGE A1 of the Philippines (NHCP) Maria Serena Diokno, Sen. Leila de Lima, former DILG Sec. Mar Roxas, Rep. Edcel Lagman and lawyer Barry Gutierrez, also reportedly joined the demonstration. “The burial of Ferdinand Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani is wrong; it denies our history, erases the memory of lives lost and destroyed, mocks the collective action we took to oust the dictator, and denigrates the value of our struggle for freedom,� Diokno, who recently resigned her post as NHCP head following Marcos’ burial, said in a previous statement. Despite the public objection

of martial law victims and their families, Marcos was buried “in secrecy� and with military honors at the LNMB on November 18. It was President Rodrigo Duterte who earlier gave the green light to bury the late dictator at the Heroes’ Cemetery, living up to his campaign promise that he would let the event happen to “unite� and “heal� the nation. The burial was postponed until the Supreme Court ruled that Marcos can be buried at the cemetery in November, dismissing all the petitions against the burial. Several artists also joined the protest, including rock band Moonstar88, singer Gary Granada

Duterte unveils ‘mega’... PAGE A1 thanked the Chinese tycoon, Huang Rulun, who helped in building the rehab facility. Huang, chairman of the board of directors of Century Golden Resources Group, has reportedly donated an estimated P1.4 billion for the construction of the drug rehabilitation center. “Mr. Huang, please accept my gratitude and that of the Filipino people,� Duterte said in his speech, calling the businessman a ‘good samaritan.’ The president then added, “He (Huang) just came out of nowhere and went to my office and said that he would help me solve the

drug problem.� The Chinese businessman lauded the president for his strong campaign against illegal drugs, describing it as “the common enemy of mankind.� “Drug trafficking and drug abusing are the chief culprits in wrecking the society and destroying the people’s minds. Drugs have long plagued governments and people all over the world, and the spread of drugs has brought great harm to the economic development and social stabilities of all countries in the world,� Huang said. According to Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial, the first batch of patients in the new facility would

and Jim Paredes of Apo Hiking Society. Earlier on the same day, a public demonstration was also conducted along the Mendiola street in San Miguel, Manila. Another anti-Marcos protest is reportedly set for International Human Rights Day on December 10. “The victims of Marcos and all victims of state fascism will continue to fight for justice, freedom and democracy as we gear for mass actions on Dec. 10, International Human Rights Day,â€? Renato Reyes of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) said in a statement released on Bonifacio Day. be male patients from the “overcrowdedâ€? drug rehabilitation centers in Central Luzon, as well as other nearby areas. “We hope that it will really help the victims of the illegal drug trade. The patients are actually victims of the illegal drug trade so we want to ensure that they are provided adequate and compassionate services for rehabilitation,â€? Ubial said. In a statement, MalacaĂąang said the DATRC comprises the “health componentâ€? of the antidrug campaign. “The government has responded to concerns about the availability and preparedness of facilities to accommodate those willing to submit to treatment by putting up the (DATRC),â€? it added. n

Palace: Bomb found near US Embassy...


was only about a 100-meter radius, authorities downplayed the speculations that the IED was meant for the U.S. Embassy. “It has nothing to do with the U.S. Embassy. As far as we know, had the bomb exploded, it could

not reach the Embassy building because it has only a 100-meter radius,� National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) director Chief Supt. Oscar Albayalde said. According to Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald Dela Rosa, the IED

was similar to the bomb used by Maute Group in the Davao Night Market blast last September. The PNP chief said the incident could also be a possible diversionary tactic by the Maute, which is now facing military offensives from the Philippine army after the group attacked and occupied some areas of the town of Butig in the Lanao del Sur province last week. “Unless we get hard evidence, by analysis we can theorize this can be linked to Maute because of what happened in Davao,â€? Dela Rosa said, describing the incident as an ‘attempted act of terrorism.’ He also denied the allegations that the bombing attempt would be used as a reason to declare martial law. “We will not use -- the government will not use an incident that will cause panic, fear, and undue harm, or even death to its own people to declare martial law,â€? the PNP chief told reporters. The authorities are currently investigating the identity behind the bombing attempt. According to Manila Police District Director (MPD) Senior Supt. Joel Napoleon Coronel, “an eyewitness said a taxi stopped several meters from the gate of the US Embassy around 2 a.m., a man got out and dumped something in the pile of garbage before speeding down the southbound lane of Roxas Boulevard.â€? Meanwhile, the U.S. Embassy expressed its gratitude upon the discovery of the bomb. “We are thankful that the municipal employee and the Philippine National Police took quick and appropriate action to ensure the safety of all,â€? said Molly Koscina, press attachĂŠ and First Secretary of the U.S. Embassy. Andanar said the PNP has tightened its security measures in different crowded public places across the country. “To ensure public safety in airports, seaports, bus and mass transport terminals, concerned transport agencies are instructed to increase the visibility and presence of uniformed personnel and heighten the screening of persons and luggage as part of our security vigilance,â€? the communications secretary said. n

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Dateline USa


PH COA pushes for performance audit via its CPA program


Chairperson Michael Aguinaldo urges citizen participation to enhance transparency, accountability

THE Commission on Audit’s (COA) mandate is quite expansive as the Philippine Constitution has given the agency the authority and duty to examine, audit and settle accounts owned or held in trust by the government. Overall, the COA is involved in financial, compliance and performance audit. However, with its expansive mandate, the COA has focused more on financial and compliance audit, with little time and resources given to performance audit. Now with the new administration’s goal to eradicate corruption by promoting accountability, the COA is on a course to change this by working towards a more performance audit focused approach. Performance audits examine the effectiveness, economy or efficiency of a government program. Auditors assess whether value has been delivered for the money spent and whether available resources deliver the best services.

theme is “Addressing the Critical Challenges of Our Time: The Role of Government, Civil Society and Faith-Based Organizations.” Aguinaldo shared that in connection with performance audit, the COA has been working on an initiative called the Citizen Participatory Audit (CPA). “The Citizen Participatory Audit began as a response to the pursuit by the previous Philippine administration of the key result area of institutionalizing Philippine Commission on Audit Chairperson open, transparent, accountable Michael Aguinaldo and participatory governance,” COA Chairperson Michael said Aguinaldo. “The reform Aguinaldo talked about the sought to overturn the political commission’s strategic plan culture of secrecy, impunity and and capacity building during collusion by introducing transhis speech at the recent Inter- parency, accountability and citinational Leadership Conference zen engagement.” (ILC) in Washington, D.C. The CPA is a mechanism for The ILC is one of many con- partnership and an audit techference series presented and or- nique that brings together citiganized by the Universal Peace zens and government auditors to Federation (UPF) to focus on the conduct a performance assessurgent need for new vision and ment of government projects and moral leadership. This year’s PAGE A4

Federal judge blocks overtime pay...

PAGE A1 preliminary injunction on the grounds that the expanded eligibility rules violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938, which included exemptions to overtime requirements. The law – which was released by the Department of Labor (DOL) in May and would have taken effect on Thursday, December 1 – would raise the maximum salary cap required for overtime qualification from $23,660 to $47,476 for full-time executive, administrative and professional workers. The increased salary requirement would have extended overtime protections to nearly 4.2 million workers, 7 percent of whom are protected by the FLSA compared to 62 percent in 1975, according to the DOL. While the FLSA does allow employers to exempt white-collar employees from overtime, Mazzant said in his 20-page ruling that the rule “creates essentially a de facto salary-only test.” The DOL — as well as worker advocacy organizations — argued that the law would fairly pay employees for the extra hours they work past the 40-hour weekday,

adding that it would contribute to closing the wage gap between wealthy and low-to-middle income households. The DOL expressed strong disagreement with the judge’s decision and was looking into further action including a possible appeal as the Obama administration comes to a close. “The department’s overtime rule is the result of a comprehensive, inclusive rule-making process, and we remain confident in the legality of all aspects of the rule. We are currently considering all of our legal options,” the DOL said in a statement. The DOL can appeal to the New Orleans, Louisiana-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal, which has blocked many Obama initiatives in the past. But even if it passes the court, President-elect Donald Trump’s administration could enact legislation that could upend the rule. Twenty-one states and dozens of businesses and business groups -- including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce -- had challenged the expansion on the grounds that the new regulation would hike up government costs in their

states by $115 million next year. Moreover, they argued that costs would also increase for small, private businesses by millions. “This is a victory for small business owners and should give them some breathing room until the case can be properly adjudicated,” said Juanita Duggan, CEO of the National Federation of Independent Business, told USA Today. In the months leading up to December 1, many businesses across the nation have already begun making changes to accommodate the new law including raising employee salaries to avoid overtime costs. Many have begun preparation to demote salaried employees to hourly employees. This is the fourth time in 21 months that a federal judge from Texas has stymied one of President Barack Obama’s executive orders. Previous blocked Obama initiatives included protecting undocumented immigrants from deportation, establishing inclusive bathroom mandates for transgendered students, and requiring federal contractors to disclose labor violations. (Klarize Medenilla/ AJ Press)

The defaced portion of “Gintong Kasaysayan, Gintong Pamana (A Glorious History, A Golden Legacy),” the largest Filipino mural in the US Photo courtesy of Eliseo Silva

Largest Fil-Am mural in US vandalized LOS ANGELES — Vandals defaced a 21-year-old mural in Historic Filipinotown celebrating historical and multicultural elements of Filipino heritage sometime before Tuesday, November 22. Photos circulating on social media show black graffiti spray painted over a central portion of the massive outdoor acrylic painting titled “Gintong Kasaysayan, Gintong Pamana (A Glorious History, A Golden Legacy)” located in the neighborhood’s Unidad Park. The artwork stretches roughly 150 feet by 50 feet and depicts traditional motifs and significant moments of Filipino and Filipino-American history. It was first completed in 1995 by muralist Eliseo Silva, 30 years after a multiethnic coalition of farm workers staged walkouts and demonstrations that ended the abuse of farm laborers in central

California. “It is even more thoughtless and hurtful that the tagger targeted the part that honors Latino-Filipino unity through the Delano Grape Strike,” Silva told the Asian Journal via email on Wednesday, November 23. The vandalized section of the artwork specifically commemorates September 16, 1965, the day laborers from the National Farm Workers Association (NFWA) and the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee (AWOC) joined forces to form what would eventually be known as the United Farm Workers (UFW) union. Black lettering now mars the likenesses of Cesar Chavez and Filipino and Latino farmworkers depicted just beneath larger-than-life portraits of Fil-Am labor leaders Larry Itliong and Philip Vera Cruz. “Gintong Kasaysayan, Gin-

tong Pamana” is the largest mural dedicated to Filipino heritage in the United States. Its presence partly inspired city officials to designate the community surrounding the mural as Historic Filipinotown in 2002. “Any tagging is undesirable,” Los Angeles Board of Public Works Commissioner Joel Jacinto told the Asian Journal on Monday, November 28. However, he went on to concede that “graffiti is a natural occurrence of its public life.” Last week wasn’t the first time parts of “Gintong Kasaysayan, Gintong Pamana” have been vandalized. In addition, the mural had never been treated with a protective coating that would help preserve it and make it easier to remove spray painted graffiti. Shortly after Unidad Park opened in 2009, Silva had perPAGE A4


Dateline USa

december 1-7, 2016 • LAS VeGAS ASIAN JOUrNAL • (702) 792-6678

Long Beach police reopen investigation into 16 year old case of missing Filipina-Hispanic woman by Eric

Anthony LicAs AJPress

AN anonymous tip drove detectives to formally reopen the case of a Long Beach, California resident who disappeared 16 years ago, but an excavation in Kern county conducted on Thursday, November 17 did not produce the victim’s body.

Diana Raquel Rojas, whom police describe as 5’2” woman of Filipina and Hispanic descent, was last seen at her home on Friday, November 20, 2000. Her family failed to locate her after she missed an appointment the following Saturday. They then contacted police the next day. Evidence found at the

scene led detectives to suspect foul play in her disappearance. The case grew cold over the years until police decided to formally reopen the case and classify it as a potential homicide after receiving an anonymous tip earlier this November. Based on that lead, forensics experts identified four locations in Ridgecrest, a town in Kern County, California, that might have contained the victim’s remains. Cadaver dogs dispatched to sniff out traces of human remains showed interest in one of those locations, but the police led excavation on Thursday failed to locate her body. However, investigators have received several tips since then and are actively looking into them. The victim was last seen wearing sweatpants featuring a Winnie the Pooh logo, a jacket with a medical insignia, and a pink spaghetti strapped shirt. Police also hope to locate her vehicle, a black 1992 Nissan extended cab truck missing a driver’s side door lock and car stereo with texas plates, which

hasn’t been seen since Rojas’s disappearance. As of Thursday, November 17, officers had not identified a person of interest in the case. Rojas’s estranged husband had been interviewed and ruled out as a suspect earlier on in the investigation. Rojas had been caring for a 2-year-old daughter at the time of her disappearance. She worked at a church providing aid to other single mothers. “If there is anyone out there with any information, anything, please help my family find closure,” Rojas’s brother, Solomon Cortez, told the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday, November 16. Anyone with information that might help detectives make a break in Rojas’s 16 year old case are urged to call Long Beach Police Homicide Detectives Mark Bigel and Todd Johnson at (562) 570-7244. Potential informants can also submit an anonymous tip via the LA Crime Stoppers hotline at (800)-222-TIPS(8477) or their website at n

Floyd Mayweather’s $100 million check, a partial payment from the Manny Pacquiao fight, a photo of which he recently posted on his Instagram account.

Mayweather flaunts $100-M check from Pacquiao fight by Dino


FLOyD Mayweather Jr. again reminded the public why he fondly calls himself “Money.” The retired Mayweather took to Instagram to post a photo of a Bank of America check dated May 2, 2015, which he received as partial payment after his megabuck showdown with Manny Pacquiao last year. The amount? A whopping $100 million (around Php4.9 billion). Mayweather first brandished the check before reporters at a press conference after he defeated Pacquiao via unanimous decision in Las Vegas in May 2015. Mayweather earned at least $220 million in the fight, which

went down in history as the richest boxing match ever. It generated over $400 million in revenue and sold a record 4.6 million pay-perview units. Pacquiao, for his part, took home at least $150 million. And with the huge purses the two superstars earned fighting each other, a rematch seems to be a logical choice financially. Mayweather recently showed up ringside at Pacquiao’s fight against Jessie Vargas at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas last November 6, stirring talks that the two are headed for another clash. The Filipino, for his part, added fuel to the fire when he recently sported a coat featuring pictures of him and Mayweather inside.

US assistance shifts away from PH anti-drug... PAGE A1 sistance has been refocused away from narcotics control to supporting maritime security efforts and to providing human rights training to the Philippine National Police (PNP),” State Department Spokesman John Kirby said. Killing thousands of drug personalities to prevent the country from becoming a narco-state has been among the core of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s electoral promises. Since Duterte took office last June, the Philippine National Police (PNP) has recorded an estimate of 1,800 deaths in the country during legitimate police operations, while about 2,600 people were slain by unknown suspects, in relation to the government’s war on narcotics. “And as I said, since the beginning of this counternarcotics campaign, we decided the prudent thing to do was to refocus the way that assistance was being spent,” Kirby added, reiterating the United States’ “deep concern”

over the alleged spate of extrajudicial killings in the Philippines. For the past few months, the Philippine government’s brutal crackdown on illegal drugs has been receiving criticism from the United States and other international bodies, including the United Nations. Duterte, on his part, has repeatedly revoked these criticisms, lambasting the United States for its supposed “hypocrisy” and “meddling” in the local affairs of the Philippine government. According to reports, the U.S. has committed to provide $5 million worth of law enforcement assistance to the Philippines from Oct. 1, 2016 to Sept. 30, 2017 — $4.5 million of which has shifted to maritime law enforcement, specifically to the Philippines Coast Guard and Bureau of Fisheries.

Infographics by Jonathan Asuncion/

The remaining half a million dollars, on the other hand, is being allocated to human rights and internal reform efforts. “And just to remind, the United States vigorously vets all units

and individuals before providing assistance to the security forces of the Philippines, as we do elsewhere around the world,” Kirby added. (Dana M. Sioson/ AJPress)

“Asan ang hustisya sa ginagawa nila sa akin (Where is justice)? Why call it obstruction of justice? Mas maganda ang itawag natin diyan (It’s better to call it) obstruction of persecution. I am trying to obstruct the acts of persecution being done to be by this administration,” De Lima said. De Lima also reiterated that she will not honor the show-cause order issued by the House. “I am just being consistent with my defiance vis-à-vis that so called House inquiry na alam ko na naman from the start na panghihiya lang sa akin (which I knew from the very start has aimed to humiliate me). That is plain and simple kangaroo court,” De Lima said. The show cause order asks De Lima to explain within the 72 hours upon receipt why she “should not

be cited in contempt for unduly interfering with an on-going investigation, in aid of legislation, conducted by the committee.” The senator said she will neither face the House inquiry nor honor the show cause. On December 5, Dayan is scheduled to testify before the Senate inquiry into the killing of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa in an alleged shootout incident, according to Senator Panfilo Lacson. Kerwin Espinosa, the son of the late mayor, previously testified that when De Lima was still justice secretary, Dayan collected P8 million on her behalf. The senator’s former driver confessed in a separate hearing that he indeed received the drug money from the younger Espinosa and delivered it to De Lima. n

De Lima admits ‘advising’ Dayan...


the money she gave Dayan was from her earnings as a private lawyer — before she was a public official. Dayan previously testified that the senator gave him over P2 million to build his house in Pangasinan. Meanwhile, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said that De Lima can be held liable for contempt and obstruction of justice since she reportedly advised Dayan to not attend the hearings. “I believe the law violated by Secretary De Lima is the Rules of Court on contempt. It is an obstruction of justice on the part of the Senator,” Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said. In response, De Lima argued instead of “obstructing justice,” she is “obstructing persecution.”

PH COA pushes for performance... PAGE A3 programs, Aguinaldo explained in his speech. The initiative entails the participation of citizens in an audit team for a particular project or project. The citizens undergo training and then are sent to the field under the direct supervision and control of government auditors. At present, over 80 citizens have been trained and over 20 civil society organizations have been engaged. According to Aguinaldo, the CPA also has completed the audit of farm-to-market roads in 12 provinces, disaster rehabilitation and reconstruction, solid waste management, the Department of Education Water Sanitation and Hygiene Program, tourism roads, and disaster relief fund utilization in a number of regions, cities and/or provinces. The CPA was also utilized to check on compliance with the conditions of a conditional cash

transfer program. Currently, the CPA is involved in the audit of revenue assessment systems of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) together with the organization of certified public accountants. “Don’t get me wrong; the citizens do not substitute the auditors,” said Aguinaldo. “They assist the auditors in the conduct of a performance audit.” Now with the help of technology, the COA is able to go further and engage with individual citizens directly through geotagging, or Global Positioning System (GPS). Through this technology, it enables users of mobile phones or gadgets to capture real-time photos with metadata. The Philippines has a database of more than 10,000 roads mapped out and verified to date with the help of the World Bank. Geotagging also allows the COA to monitor infrastructure projects as they are being built by posting photos and information on social media sites such as Facebook.

“Transparency breeds accountability. With transparency, there is a better chance for corruption to be curbed, delivery of public services to be improved, and business and economic environment to be enhanced,” shared Aguinaldo and then added, “It is our hope that the CPA will create greater transparency and community involvement.” Aguinaldo was appointed to head the COA in 2015. As head of the COA, he is currently the external auditor of the World Health Organization, the Food and Agricultural Organization, and the International Labor Organization. Prior to his appointment to the COA, he was the Deputy Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs of the Office of the President from 2011 to 2015. He also headed the Investigation and Adjudication Office and oversaw the implementation of integrity consistent with the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC). (AJPress)

Largest Fil-Am mural in US... PAGE A3 formed a partial restoration of the mural, but by then, other portions were showing signs of wear. On Monday, Silva told the Asian Journal he would be willing to give his time to perform a comprehensive restoration and enhancement of the mural if enough funds could be pooled to pay for materials. He said he had been in touch with the nonprofit which stewards Unidad Park, the Los Ange-

les Neighborhood Land Trust, as well as city representatives, and groups like the Social Public Art Resource Center regarding fundraising options. He estimated that it would cost roughly $10,000 to repair the damage done earlier this month and $50,000 to refresh the entire mural and apply a protective coating. Procuring that money may require partnerships between public and private parties and efforts to bolster interest in supporting and preserving public art, according to Jacinto.

“Gintong Kasaysayan, Gintong Pamana” is the last of seven murals painted in Los Angeles celebrating Filipino heritage, according to Silva. Jacinto said that this mural and the many others that beautify the city’s public spaces serve an important role in celebrating and commemorating Angelenos’ rich and diverse identity. “Murals in Los Angeles are lessons in the world that’s been and the world we want to see,” said the commissioner on Monday. (Eric Anthony Licas / AJPress)


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D ateline PhiliPPines Duterte shrugs off ICC’s threats


by Klarize

Medenilla AJPress

PHILIPPINE President Rodrigo Duterte once again expressed fearlessness in the face of possible consequence for his controversial violent crackdown on illegal drugs in the country. On Monday, November 28, the controversial president commented on the possible indictment by the International Criminal Court (ICC) -- the tribunal court in The Hague which prosecutes against crimes against humanity -- for the drug raids which has so far claimed the lives of more than 2,500 people, according to police data. Last month, ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda indicated that the tribunal may have jurisdiction to prosecute those responsible for “ordering, requesting, encouraging or contributing” to the killings, which have been critiqued as human rights abuses. “You scare me that you will jail me? International Criminal Court? Bullsh*t,” Duterte said in a speech at Malacanang, adding that the prosecuting lawyers were “rotten”, “stupid” and have a “brain like a pea.” Duterte also accused the Unit-

President Rodrigo Duterte

ed States of being hypocritical for also allegedly threatening him with indictment through the ICC; Washington is not a signatory to the ICC, and Duterte did not specify when the U.S. proposed to indict him. “America itself is threatening to jail me in the International Criminal Court. It is not a signatory of that body. Why? Because at that time, they were afraid Bush would face it,” he remarked, referencing former U.S. President George W. Bush’s role in starting

the Iraq War, which killed more than 500,000 people according to U.K.-based group Iraq Body Count. U.S. State Department spokesperson John Kirby responded to Duterte’s claims, saying in a news brief that he was unaware of any threat the U.S. made on the Duterte administration. Duterte added that because of the West’s focus on the rising death toll in extrajudicial killings, they have not fully underPAGE A7

House panel approves death penalty bill THE House Justice Sub-Committee on Judicial Reforms has approved a bill that seeks to reimpose the death penalty on heinous crimes, including possession of at least 10 grams of illegal drugs. The panel approved the substitute death penalty measure, a consolidated version of six bills, even if it was not listed in the agenda. The six lawmakers who voted for the restoration of the death penalty are Deputy Speakers Gwen Garcia, Sharon Garin and Fredenil Castro and Reps. Aurelio Gonzales, Art Defensor and Ace Barbers. Five lawmakers — Eric Singson of Ilocos Sur, Roger Mercado of Southern Leyte, Luis Campos of Makati, Victoria Noel of An Waray and Eugene de Vera — wanted the capital punishment meted only on drug-related offenses. Barbers said possession of 10 grams of illegal drugs should be punishable by death to deter any-

body from getting near drugs. “This [10 grams] amount of drugs can be concealed and kept in a pocket. If we include this in the law [imposing death penalty, it will cause a fear factor and nobody would even dare carry drugs in his or her pocket. I believe that [step]is a deterrent,” Barbers pointed out. But for Reps. Edcel Lagman of Albay and Ramon Rocamora of Siquijor, passing the death penalty bill without a committee report violates House rules. “Who presided over the drafting of these substitute bills which are not even on the agenda? Who participated in such a meeting? This is a clear violation of our rules which requires a Committee report [on a substitute bill],” Lagman said. “The Constitution requires a compelling reason to restore death penalty, and there is no compelling reason now. The railroading has begun. The message of the House

leaders is clear: Have a deadly Christmas,” Lagman added. Rocamora, a public prosecutor for 24 years, argued that bringing back capital punishment will lead to the execution of innocent people. “I oppose the death penalty because our criminal justice system is not capable of implementing it. For one, 60 percent of drug-related cases stem from trumped-up charges because authorities find it difficult to find other evidence. Now, is it fair to put people to death based on trumped-up charges?” Rocamora stressed. “We need to maintain our decency. We need to maintain our humanity,” he added. Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez of Davao del Norte earlier said the House will approve the death penalty measure before Congress adjourns for its Christmas break on December 14. (Llanesca T. Panti/

END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN. Vice President Leni Robredo with other women during the start of a campaign to end violence against women at the Philippine International Convetion Center in Pasay City. photo by Marianne Bermudez

Bato: ‘Higher power’ ordered reinstatement of Kerwin’s alleged drug protector by aJ


MANILA – Philippine National Police Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa revealed on Tuesday, Nov. 29 that a higher official ordered the chief of Crime Investigation and Detection Group Region 8 prior to the death of Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa reinstated. Dela Rosa said in a television interview that he already relieved Superintendent Marvin Marcos after self-confessed drug lord Rolan “Kerwin” Espinosa named him as one of his alleged drug protectors. Espinosa made the claim while in jail in Abu Dhabi. “May tumawag sa akin hindi ko na sabihin (kung sino), basta may tumawag sa akin,” the PNP chief admitted to Karen Davila on her show on ANC. “Hindi ako nag-sinungaling pero ayokong sabihin sa’yo kung sino ‘yung tumawag dahil akin na lang ‘yun,” he added. Dela Rosa said that the call came from an official with a higher rank but refused to answer when asked if it was from President Rodrigo Duterte or

Superintendent Marvin Marcos, the sacked CIDG-Region 8 director who led the operation that led to the killing of Albuera mayor Rolando Espinosa, was also teary-eyed at the Senate hearing.

from the Cabinet. “Sabi ko mas mataas sa akin, sino pa bang mas mataas sa akin? E di doon sa taas,” he said. The PNP is under the administrative control of the Department of the Interior and Local Government. The DILG ultimately answers to the president, who is head of the executive branch of government. Marcos was the leader of the

CIDG raiding team that served a search warrant on Mayor Espinosa inside his detention cell in the Baybay, Leyte sub-provincial jail on November 5. The elder Espinosa was killed in what the authorities claim was a shootout but that some senators said seems like a rubout. Despite the incident, Dela Rosa said that he does not regret his decision to follow the order to reinstate Marcos.

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OpiniOn Heretic


AS soon as she took a stand against the alleged rising cases of extrajudicial killings in the country, Sen. Leila De Lima put a target on her back. When she criticized the government’s bloody war on drugs, she was chastised. Some lawmakers are now hellbent on linking the senator to the illegal drug trade at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP). The former justice secretary is accused of receiving money from drug lords who have been conducting drug trafficking at the national penitentiary. To implicate her further, some congressmen are willing to destroy her character and reputation. When De Lima’s former driver and lover Ronnie Dayan faced the House Committee on Justice last week, lawmakers pried on their seven-year relationship. The objective of the House inquiry was to determine De Lima’s alleged involvement in the NBP drug trade, where Dayan is accused of serving as her bagman. Intimate details of their love affair were divulged as lawmakers asked about the “intensity” and “climax” of the relationship and even asking whether an alleged sex video exists. De Lima earlier admitted that she had an affair with Dayan. Dayan also confirmed having a relationship with the former Justice secretary despite being married. Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez defended that this line of questioning is relevant to the inquiry. “If you look at the whole picture, there is a connection because here is a woman pretending to be clean, righteous, graft-buster, crime

buster. But here also are the allegations against her. How can you demolish her credibility?” Alvarez asked. For her part, De Lima cried foul over the probe she described as “spectacle that diverts from more important issues” of the country. “As a woman, it breaks my heart that my private life and personal relationship have become subject of the public and Congress’ ridicule. No woman, whoever or whatever she may be, whether a sitting senator or a humble secretary, deserves to be betrayed, to be treated with so much disrespect and without dignity before the public eye, by any man she is with or had a relationship with,” De Lima said. The senator said she is ready to prove her innocence when her accusers bring their cases to the courts. “May justice and truth prevail today and the days to come, as we sort out the truth from the lies that are easily weaved into this tall-tale narrative of a human rights and justice advocate turned drug queen. Regardless of the Goebbel’s playbook they are following, a lie repeatedly told can never become the truth. Instead, the truth revealed will set us all free from this madness that we should stop from becoming our new normal,” De Lima said. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has been asked

Editorial photo

to disbar De Lima over her illicit affair with Dayan who is a married man. The Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) said that De Lima’s public admission and Dayan’s testimony were enough to prove that the senator committed gross immorality that should warrant the cancellation of her license as a lawyer. Furthermore, De Lima also faces a show-cause order to explain why she should not be cited for

What Filipinos should learn from Fidel Castro Commentary

ricardo Saludo WITH Cuba’s half a century of stagnation under his rule, the late communist strongman Fidel Castro, who died last Friday, Nov. 25 at age 90, does not seem to offer much for any nation to learn, except perhaps lessons on what not to do. Yet, in fact, there are at least three areas in which Castro’s Cuba outperformed many countries, including the Philippines, despite its far less resources, plus the antagonism from the West: health, education, and sports. Despite its small population of just 11.4 million, Cuba perennially wins international athletic competitions. In this year’s Rio de Janeiro Olympics, its athletes took home five golds, two silvers, and four bronzes — No. 18 in the world medals tally. In the Pan-American Games predictably dominated by the United States, Cuba has won 2,026 medals, including 875 golds since the competition began in 1951 until 2015. That beats countries with far greater resources and populations, like Canada (456 golds), Brazil (329), Argentina (294), and Mexico (221). Only the US has more Pan-American medals (4,431 total, including 1,948 golds). How does Cuba keep winning? As other communist states do, the government spots talented youngsters and gives them support and training from youth. But it also disseminates sound physical development dos and

don’ts, like telling mothers to massage their babies’ muscles 45 days after birth. The National Institute of Sports, Physical Education, and Recreation (INDER by its Spanish initials) promotes fitness nationwide, but also scouts for and develops young potential. That probably makes the body too busy to squabble over who heads the national Olympic committee. Beyond state programs, Cubans also take great pride in competing and winning for the nation. And with name brands banned by the US trade embargo selling to Cuba, its homegrown BATOS company makes most sports gear used in the country. Now, it’s doing deals with foreign marques interested in manufacturing and marketing its items. How to make a nation healthy and bright Health is another area of world-class excellence for Cuba, focusing more on preventing ailments rather than curing them. Visiting in 2014, World Health Organization Director-General Margaret Chan praised Cuba’s achievements not only for its prevention thrust, but also for its innovation. “Cuba is the only country that has a health care system closely linked to research and development,” said the WHO head, who hails from Hong Kong. “This is the way to go, because human health can only improve through innovation.” How good is Cuba’s health? Well, take infant mortality: 4.7 deaths per 1,000 births is better than even the US (6.2), and leads developing nations. Sadly, in the Philippines, there are 17.6 deaths for every thousand births, as of 2014. It dropped by about one death


Federico d. Pascual Jr. WE ARE happy for the country, now that the youth have been roused by the sneak hero’s burial last Nov. 18 of the remains (or the wax facsimile) of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos who died 27 years ago in ignominious exile.

Fidel Castro

per year between 2000 (29.5 deaths) and 2010 (19.9), but the improvement has slowed since. If the country adopts federalism, it must ensure that regional governments don’t falter in health care, as many provinces and cities did after the Local Government Code devolved the primary services of the Department of Health. One way to prevent that is to learn from Cuba, which provided world-class health services to a population similar to a typical Philippine region. And the same can be recommended in education. Here’s what an education expert of the Food and Agriculture Organization reported about Cuba in a 2000 paper, “The Cuban Educational System: Lessons and Dilemmas” by Lavinia Gasperini. “The record of Cuban education is outstanding: universal school enrollment and attendance; nearly universal adult literacy; proportional female representation at all levels, including higher education; a strong scientific training base, particularly in chemistry and medicine; consistent pedagogical quality across widely dis-

contempt for preventing Dayan from attending the House hearing. De Lima may be free from bars now, but not from the stigma. They say the truth will set us free. Will De Lima’s “truth” afford her the constitutional freedom she deserves or will it slap her with legal consequences? Despite all the scathing accusations, the senator remains innocent until proven guilty. (AJPress)

Looking back

AFTER more than 30 years serving Nevada in Washington, Commentary my time in office is coming to an end. Representing the Silver State in the United States Congress has been the honor of a lifetime. I am forever humbled and full of gratitude for the chance I was given to Senator Harry reid serve Nevadans all these years. There really is no place like Nevada. Tenacious and beautiful, our home state is defined our beautiful landscapes and the diverse communities and cultures who call the Silver State home. Visitors are awed by our state, from the crystal clear waters of Lake Tahoe and the raw preserved beauty of Great Basin National Park, to the glamour of Las Vegas. Newcomers to our state are struck by our people, all from different walks of life, but united in spirit. I can still remember my first day in Congress. It was January 1987 persed classrooms; equality of and I walked in ready to serve and excited about the possibilities. basic education opportunities, Every day since then, we’ve fought to create good-paying jobs, to even in impoverished areas, improve our education system and to foster a competitive workforce to strengthen Nevada’s competitiveness in the global economy. We both rural and urban.” Gasperini, who holds a PhD have led the way in making Nevada a national clean energy leader in Education from the Sor- – bringing more than $6 billion in clean energy investments to the bonne, also noted that Cuba state. We have fought tooth and nail against tax breaks for the super ranked first in math and sci- wealthy and any effort to outsource Nevada jobs. We worked tirelessly to expand health care to 20 million people ence achievement for both males and females, in a recent under the Affordable Care Act. We protected Social Security, Medicare regional study of Latin Ameri- and Medicaid. We fought to provide brave veterans with the support can and Caribbean countries. and services they deserve – including the implementation of a program She sums up: “In many ways, to reunite Filipino veterans in Nevada and throughout the country with Cuba’s schools are the equals their loved ones after facing decades of injustice and separation. During my time in Congress, we worked hard together to grow of schools in OECD [industrial ized]countries, despite the fact Nevada and build on the tremendous progress we made. Through all the tough times we have had, we have always come back that Cuba’s economy is that of a stronger than ever before. I’m comforted by the fact that Nevada is developing country.” What if Castro didn’t fight a state full of fighters. I know that as I step out of the ring, Catherine Cortez Masto will be a leader for Nevada in the Senate, that Ruben America Actually, Cuba is not far be- Kihuen and Jacky Rosen will be fighting for us in Congress and the hind the rich world, going by new majority in the Nevada Legislature will make a real difference in the World Bank’s purchasing- the lives of middle class Nevadans. This new generation of Nevada power parity (PPP) ranking of leaders will stand up for all Americans, no matter what, and I could per-capita gross domestic prod- not be more proud to see them take our state into the future. I know what is possible in America. That a poor kid from Searchlight uct (GDP), which removes price disparities between countries in would grow up to be where I am today is a miracle. But that is what assessing the output of goods America is all about. Growing up, we didn’t have a high school, we didn’t have a grocery store. I went to primary school in a one room and services. Based on 2015 World Bank school house. But Searchlight is where I learned Nevada values like GDP PPP data, Cuba ranks No. hard work, opportunity and independence – and I used those values to 58 with $20,649 per-capita GDP deliver meaningful results for everyone. I got to do this work because in PPP dollars, just behind sev- of the faith Nevadans put in me all these years. I will miss being the eral East European and Latin senior senator for the Silver State. But I will always be in Nevada’s PAGE A7 corner.

Sneak hero’s burial arouses the youth

The Black Friday protest rallies at the Rizal Park in Manila and other sites across the country carried out by the youth and their elders incensed by the stealth of the burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani bear watching, together with the administration’s counter-moves. The scattered protests, held in bad weather, have not gathered a critical mass, but – if mishandled by the administration – could spread as mass ac-

tion against historical revisionism and the same arrogance of power that spelled the downfall of Marcos in 1986. The EDSA Revolt that sent the ailing dictator and his family scampering to Hawaii was the culmination of similar street protests against human rights violations, oppression and corruption – the same issues being raised these days. President Rodrigo Duterte, who approved Marcos’ hurried

burial, must heed the lessons of history. Note that he has entangled himself into the protest rhetoric, he is now being denounced in the same breath as the late unlamented dictator. It is not far-fetched that soon, depending on how well he swims with or against the tide, Duterte will not only have his hands full grappling with the country’s serious problems, but also in defending his rule. We note with concern that

Duterte has organized his own youth group – like Marcos (and even Hitler) did during his time – which could collide with militant students and millennials critical of his administration. Morales comments on ‘trying times’ Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, meanwhile, talked of how Filipinos now live in trying times as he warned of how “great people fall as prey and transform as predators them-

selves.” In a critical speech last Friday before fellow alumni of the UP College of Law, she said in what we took as an allusion to Duterte’s argument that burying Marcos at the Libingan was not prohibited by law: “Just because you can, does not mean you should.” She also said: “The people should be bothered when the leaders themselves equally PAGE A7

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

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OFWs exempted from airport terminal fee starting March by Rudy


MANILA - Starting March 2017, overseas Filipino workers no longer have to pay the P550 airport terminal fee. Manila International Airport Authority general manager Ed Monreal announced this yesterday in a news forum at the Manila Hotel. Monreal said his office is working on technical details and coordinating with international airlines to eliminate the airport terminal fee imposed by the previous management of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) on OFWs in February 2015. OFWs are required to pay the P550 airport terminal fee when they buy tickets online or in airline ticket offices. They can claim their refund upon departure at the airport terminals. But since OFWs are busy individuals, many failed to claim their refund. Total collections of the airport terminal fee has reached

more than a billion pesos and half of this amount remains unclaimed by OFWs. The unclaimed amount remains in the general fund of the NAIA. Monreal said his office is ready to refund the fees to OFWs as long as they possess the E-ticket, boarding pass and passport they used even several years ago. Air traffic to improve Air congestion at NAIA is also expected to be greatly reduced in the first quarter of 2017 as aviation agencies prepare projects for more efficient management of air traffic. Antonio Manuel Tamayo, deputy director general of Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines said the much-delayed Communication and Navigation System (CNS) and Air Traffic Management (ATM) would be operational soon as these have been installed near the NAIA runway. T h e C N S / AT M s y s t e m i s comprised of a computer-based flight data processing system

that will enable aircraft operators to meet their scheduled departure and arrival and stick to their preferred flight plans with minimum constraints and without compromising agreed levels of safety. It will also extend surveillance of aircraft and improve navigational accuracy. “The government had cons t r u c t e d 1 2 ra d a r s t a t i o n s across the Philippines as adjunct to the CNS/ATM to monitor each arriving and departing flight, and these would greatly speed up the landing and takeoff, contributing to the efficiency of the NAIA,” Tamayo said. Air traffic controllers and other technical experts are being trained as part of the CNS/ATM system. “Right now, they are doing shadow training, comparing the airplanes they see on the current radar system with this next generation system that is also linked to satellite in space,” Tamayo said.

NO. 1 CRITIC, SUPPORTER. President Rodrigo Duterte and former president Fidel Ramos bump their fists during the reunion of the San Beda College of Law in Taguig City on Saturday. Duterte described Ramos, who has criticized his anti-American stance, as ‘my No. 1 critic and No. 1 supporter.’ Malacañang photo

What Filipinos should learn... Duterte shrugs off... PAGE A6 American countries (Croatia, Romania, Chile, Panama, Uruguay), and ahead of Thailand ($16,306), China ($14,239), Indonesia ($11,035), and the Philippines ($6,969). One wonders how much better Cuba might have done if it had not crossed America by allying with Russia, nearly hosting its nuclear missiles, and fomenting communist revolution in Latin America. For that, Washington not only embargoed trade and travel to Cuba, but also restricted aid and loans from multilateral bodies where the US had clout. Which may be the other lesson the Philippines should learn from Castro’s Cuba: better not pick a fight with any big power, or become a pawn in superpower rivalry. Especially if the nation one would take on happens to be the global engine of economic growth, as America was in the last half-century, and China looks set to become in the current one. To be sure, the US gave Cuba

much reason to fight it. The Central Intelligence Agency funded the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion by Cuban exiles in 1961, just two years after the Cuban Revolution installed Castro. And while he might have wanted to improve relations long ago, Washington seemed in no mood, even after the Cold War with Moscow ended after the Soviet Union broke up a quarter-century ago. Now, President Rodrigo Duterte is leading what may be his own revolution, breaking away from America, refocusing on long-deprived regions and services for the poor, and making friends with all, instead of taking sides in big-power tussles. As he leads 100 million Filipinos toward change, the man from Davao would do well to learn from not just one, but two Fidels fond of cigars: former president Ramos, whom Duterte calls “my No. 1 critic and supporter,” and his fellow revolutionary from Cuba. (

PAGE A5 stood the severity of the Philippine drug problem, adding that he would “rot in jail” in order to eradicate the problem. “I will never allow my country to be thrown to the dogs,” he stated. “I said when I was mayor [of Davao City], ‘If you destroy my city with drugs, I will kill you. Simple as that.” He added: “When was it a crime to say, ‘I will kill you,’ in protecting my country?” Threats against activists

In addition to brushing off threats from the international court, Duterte also threatened human rights activists that have criticized and accused him for perpetuating the crackdown. In the same speech, he indicated that his accusers should be blamed if the country’s illegal drug problem persisted and he may “include” them in the growing death toll. “The human rights [activists] said I ordered the killings. I told them, ‘OK. Let’s stop. We’ll let

Sneak hero’s burial... PAGE A6 could not figure out what is right and wrong. “When leaders seem to send the message of promoting, rather than condemning, reprehensible acts that transgress basic human rights, the people ought to be concerned about it – rather than cheering for it either out of sheer ignorance, callous conscience, blind loyalty, or gorgonized fanaticism.”


“Indeed, these are interesting times we live in – again,” she said, recalling how Marcos’ regime divided the nation decades ago. Duterte has said that burying Marcos as his family wished would finally lay the issue to rest and unite the country. It appears, however, that the opposite – the dividing of the nation – is happening. Back to the Black Friday

[the drug users] multiply so that when it’s harvest time, more people will die,’” Duterte said. Addressing the activists, he added: “I will include you because you are the reason why their numbers swell.” Departure from ICC Earlier this month, Duterte hinted that he may withdraw the Philippines from the ICC, deeming it “useless.” If he follows through with the withdrawal, the Philippines would be following in the footsteps of Russia, one of the countries with which Duterte wishes to establish an alliance. In the same speech, he went on

to say that the ICC disproportionately benefits larger countries, but does nothing to aid smaller countries undergoing constant violence and injustice. “Why? Tayo lang ang maliit na binugbog ng walanghiya. Nagpatayan, it’s by the thousands, bombing children, women (We small countries get beaten up by the fools. All the killings, it’s by the thousands, bombing children, women),” he said. He also added that if Russia and China -- another nation he seeks to cozy up to -- created “a new order” he would “be the first to join.” n

rally, we share with President Duterte these telling remarks of human rights lawyer Rene Saguisag, among the elders who flocked to the Rizal Park event, in case he has not come across them: “I believe your title is President, not King. You demand respect but seem to being incapable of giving any. We elected a leader, not a ruler, and you can’t seem to tell the difference. “You took an oath to defend the Constitution, but from your

actuations since taking office you seem to be testing your new-found powers, from your pronouncements about imposing martial law, suspending the writ of habeas corpus, to having to ‘innovate the law,’ whatever that means. “Be very careful about crossing the Filipino people, sir. The Philippines is bigger than Davao. You cannot bully your way through any decision you make and expect no consequences.” (

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Coco Martin and Vice Ganda: Is going sexy the new direction for JaDine? Let’s be positive this Christmas by Deni

rose m. afiniDaD-bernarDo

by Pablo

a. Tariman

On this early evening encounter at a Resorts World Manila restaurant, the cast and director of the new Star Cinema release, “The Super Parental Guardians,” are surprisingly positive about a lot of developments in local cinema. Their filmfest entry, “The Super Parental Guardians” didn’t make it in the Magic 8 of the 2016 Metro Manila Film Festival and so does other equally popular entries perceived as sure-fire audience favorites. The kids in the cast — Simon “Onyok” Pineda and Mcneal “Awra” Briguela — said they are sad because they will miss the traditional parade of stars where they were supposed to enjoy their first rides on a float. But let’s hear it from Vice Ganda who remains very positive about the recent development. Said he: “In the spirit of the season, I want to be very positive this Christmas. Of course, we expected to be in the Magic 8 but then this is not a reason to sour-grape. We enjoyed doing the movie, we made it with the intention to provide wholesome entertainment for the kids and having said that, we should not lose heart because the movie will actually be shown before the festival and that’s good news for those looking forward to watching our film. We respect the decision. We were given equally good chances in the past and now we think we should give other films a chance to find their audiences this Christmas.” Coco agreed. “This is the season to share the good blessings. Hence, I also respect the choices of the newly appointed MMFF jury. We have good reasons for doing this film and that is basically to bring joy to kids and their families on Christmas Day. I can see that there is no film entry catering to

Vice Ganda and Coco Martin

children. Again, I respect their decision. But as the local saying goes, ‘Pag may nagsara na pinto, may bubukas na bintana.’ Because we got an early booking and based on the response to our trailer, we expect the same patronage even as a non-entry in the MMFF.” Both direk Joyce Bernal and Coco admitted the presence of Onyok and Awra in the project changed the content and tone of their latest project. “This is not a sequel of our last year’s blockbuster,” added Coco. “With these two kids in the cast, everything about this movie is different. We have to come up with something for the young audience as we have to offer something different for our adult fans. And as the result of the movie shows, they really added a lot to make the film more engrossing.” “These two kids kept us on our toes,” pointed out Vice. “In the middle of the shooting, we realize the kids have something lasting to contribute. Awra, for one, has his own goldmine of punchlines, thus complementing what I have.” The kids enjoyed every moment of the shoot. Like Vice and Coco’s past blockbuster that raked in P520M in the box-office, this movie has no leading lady to speak of, no grip-

ping love story to look forward to and no special “kilig” formula to make the hearts grow fonder. Indeed, the lead stars of “The Super Parental Guardians” are studies in contrast. He is a drama actor while the co-actor is a comedian honed by many years as a stand-up funny (wo)man. Coco is a man of few words. Vice can, in fact, outtalk anyone and can very well supply the lines of a comedy movie without the help of scriptwriters. With direk Wenn Deramas now gone, direk Joyce has to take over. What the late director liked about Coco on his first comedy film will probably serve “The Super Parental Guardians” well. Direk Wenn earlier intimated to me about Coco: “In the beginning, he is always open to a good collaboration mainly because comedy is strange territory for him. So I guided him how he can be himself and still elicit humor. Even for a comedy film, he takes everything seriously. When I realized how he gave everything in a scene, I just told myself, ‘this is one hell of an actor who can last more than 200 years. His dedication is amazing and his humility is even more astounding.’”

James Reid and Nadine Lustre look back at how they progressed from friend zone to “bae” zone this year.

UnFAzED by a recent love scene controversy, actors James Reid and nadine Lustre faced fans last weekend with a sizzling song number and a lot of display of affection, seemingly hinting that there will be more daring scenes from them soon. As can be seen from their ongoing ABS-CBn soap opera, “Till I Met You,” their characters evolved from teenybopper to mature. Are they getting bolder as a career strategy to beat other love teams? Would this be a good move for them as role models of the youth? As James and nadine, better known to their six million Instagram followers as JaDine or Team Real, get closer to their first anniversary next year as a real-life couple, they looked back at how they progressed from friend zone to “bae” zone this year. Though they evaded being personally quizzed about their car love scene that caught the attention of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB), they entertained questions from the press and from Twitter followers regarding their

#RelationshipGoals for Christmas and the coming new Year. What makes James different from the boys Nadine loved before? After being confronted by this query from a member of the press, nadine confessed: “This is a tough question!” She later settled with the answer, “James is one of a kind!” What is a perfect day for JaDine? “Today’s been pretty perfect. It’s relaxing and just about being together,” said James. “nothing’s gone wrong, we’re happy and together.” For nadine, a break or a day off would fit the bill. “Just relaxing at home and being with our friends and hanging out,” she elaborated. The pair love to bond at James’ place “because there’s a pool and it’s big enough” even when they are with friends, nadine said. What are at the top of their play list? “Porter Robinson, Daft Punk, The Weeknd,” said nadine, speaking for both her and James. W h a t i s J a D i n e’s u l t i -

mate kilig moment? “I guess, every day, when we see each other,” said James. “Every day is kilig day for us,” added his sweetheart. The sweetest thing JaDine did for each other “It’s hard to pick the sweetest thing. I can’t say one is better than the other,” James enthused. “When we’re in Korea, we’re the only ones dressed up. He said, ‘If you’re going to dress up, then I want to dress up with you’,” nadine recalled. 2016 highlights for JaDine then asked JaDine the top three most memorable things that happened to them this year, and according to them, the first thing they are most thankful for is their concert in Araneta early this year. Second is being able to travel together. “We traveled a lot this year - America, Korea, Greece,” nadine shared. Third is their many new endorsements, and the latest of which is Lenovo’s Phab2 Plus series, which was also launched in the same event in SM Mall of Asia last weekend. Their Christmas wish In response to other questions by, James shared that his wish this Christmas is to have a vacation and more private time with nadine. They have not yet talked about how they will spend the holidays together. Lenovo’s Phab2 Plus is also at the top of their Christmas wish list. “We use the same devices because we’re always together,” James shared. “These devices help us stay connected with our fans and followers.” The theme of James’ new house “Asian minimalist,” disclosed the singer-actor. James’ advice to guys who fell in love with their best friend “If you fell in love with your best friend, you don’t need advice. You’re lucky because it’s your best friend you fell in love with!”


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ONE lightwEight champiON Eduard ’thE laNdSlidE’ FOlayaNg:

Success comes from persevering and hard work by Eric Anthony LicAs AJPress

Some doubters thought eduard Folayang’s career as a mixed martial arts (mmA) fighter had ended years before he won two consecutive victories in 2016 to earn a shot at the oNe Lightweight World Championship. many believed the 32-year-old Wushu practitioner’s comeback would come to a screeching halt against highly-decorated grappler and former lightweight champ, Shinya Aoki. Aware of the adversity before him, Folayang — who bears the nickname, “The Landslide” — remained undaunted, trained hard, and came ready to their match on Friday, November 11. “I didn’t panic when I was taken down,” said Folayang during an interview with the Asian Journal at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Hollywood, California on Sunday, November 20, just a few days after dethroning the Japanese fighter for the oNe lightweight title. “I prepared in a way that I was always in a disadvantaged position.” Winning the fight Folayang knew he would face one of the toughest matches of his career against Aoki. Since claiming the lightweight belt in April 2013, Aoki — a world-class Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner — had won all six of his prior fights going into the championship fight in early November. meanwhile, Folayang, who traces his roots to the Igorot tribe, had spent an entire year training in the high-altitude environment of Baguio following a loss to Timofey Nastyukhin in December of 2014. The fighter from Baguio made an impressive return to the ring in 2016 by winning a series of unanimous decisions over Tetsuya Yamada in January and Adrian Pang in August. Those victories earned Folayang a fight against Aoki and a chance to claim the oNe lightweight championship. As expected, Aoki brought the fight to the ground at the outset of the match, where it remained for the majority of the first two rounds. However, Folayang and his trainers had anticipated their opponent’s strategy. The challenger managed to maintain his

composure while working in the ground-fighting expert’s element. The Wushu striker thwarted several submission attempts while dealing damage with elbows and a variety of kicks. early in the following round, Folayang managed to secure double underhooks (positioning both of his arms to control each of his opponent’s shoulderblades) after stuffing a takedown attempt by Aoki. From there, a decisive knee to the head, followed by smothering ground and pound, led judges to stop the fight in Folayang’s favor roughly 40 seconds into the third round. A little more than a year after many skeptics were ready to dismiss him, Folayang prevailed in one of the toughest matchups of his career and stunned the world by beating Aoki, who has been considered one of the best mixed martial artists to come out of Asia. Although Folayang’s victory might have shocked many fight fans, he has spent most of his life beating the odds. Chasing the dream Folayang acknowledges, but speaks sparingly, of the poverty that haunted his childhood. “I need to keep on moving,” said the recently hailed champion in his interview with the Asian Journal. “my future is bigger than my past.” He worked hard to overcome his circumstances, eventually becoming a teacher while simultaneously continuing to develop his skills as a mixed martial artist. At the age of 16, Folayang began training under the instruction of Wushu coach Tony Candelaria. He showed promise early on and eventually began competing with the Philippine National Wushu Team while attending Cordillera College. It was there that Foayalng met mark Sanguiao, the trainer who would eventually found Team Lakay. over time, Sanguiao’s gym helped the Baguio region earn a reputation for incubating strong fighters and built a name for itself as one of the Philippines’ premiere training camps. In 2002, Folayang began winning recognitions at international Wushu competitions, culminating in a gold medal at the 2011 Southeast Asian Games, which was won via knockout

with a spinning back kick. Folayang also served as an instructor and cornerman at Team Lakay mmA events, an experience that led him to develop an interest in branching out from Wushu. The current oNe lightweight champ had made a stunning mmA debut in 2007 by knocking out Allan Co — the undefeated welterweight champion of the Universal Reality Combat Championship (URCC) — in one round. Folayang would go on to win nine out of 10 matches before he began fighting in the oNe Championship in 2011. Braving life’s challenges Folayang and many of the other fighters who train with Team Lakay employ spinning backfists, flying knees, widelyarcked kicks and a host of other eye-catching strikes. TThe unconventional attacks have devastated some fighters and drawn gasps of excitement from oNe Championship spectators. Folayang delivers an especially tremendous amount of power with his strikes, according to those who have worked with him. “on some days, I would walk into the gym and hear this loud banging noise over the sounds of the weight room on the second floor,” said Tristan Rebuyaco, a Filipino-American member of Team Lakay and former student who used to train with Folayang in Baguio. “We all knew that was eduard, training on the third.” Despite the praises and wins, Folayang’s career has seen its share of frustration. Following his loss in 2014, he faced a lot of

criticism, including claims that his career as a mixed martial artist was over. He could have returned to the classroom to resume teaching then, rather than endure the extreme highs and lows of a fighter’s career. Instead, he entered a year-long period of introspection and self-improvement intent on becoming a role model. “I want the [Philippines’] youth to be inspired,” said Folayang. “There is something in them...if they push, there are no obstacles they cannot conquer.” In 2014, the flagship fighter of Team Lakay mmA redoubled his resolve in the face of doubt. Throughout the following year, Folayang matured his strengths as a striker and fortified his takedown and submission defense. He emerged from his training as a more confident fighter primed to make a statement to both fans and skeptics. In this process, Folayang said he never doubted his decision to commit himself to mmA. The way the reigning oNe lightweight champion sees it: it’s either now or never. “I believe there is a time and a season for everything under heaven,” Folayang said. “While I still have the energy to compete in this sport, I need to utilize it.” A growing family outside the spotlight It’s been a big year for Folayang. Still, despite the commotion involved with celebrating and promoting his upset victory, his thoughts rarely stray from the well-being of his family back

ONE lightweight champion Eduard ‘The Landslide’ Folayang AJPress photos by Eric Anthony Licas

in Baguio. After posing for selfies and getting to know fans who had invited him to a private baby shower in Chino Hills, California on Sunday, November 20, the mixed martial artist snapped pictures of decorations and dessert displays his wife, Genevieve, might consider using in her own upcoming baby shower. She rarely complains about the dangers Folayang faces as he builds a name for himself in the world of mmA, but her husband knows she worries, especially now that the couple is expecting their first child. Their potential future drives Folayang to keep his health and safety at the forefront of his mind, even if his seemingly high-risk/highreward fighting style might suggest otherwise. Although many of those who know the champ are quick to commend his work ethic, Folayang credits his faith as the inspiration and source of his strength. Following tears of joy and a surge of emotions, the very first words he shared with oNe Championship fans following his recent victory were praises for the “master of masters and Lord of lords, Jesus Christ.” “A victory without God is no victory at all,” the devout Catholic added.

Now in his prime, Folayang says he won’t squander opportunities presented before him for fear of the challenges invited by his success. on a never-ending mission of self-improvement, Folayang is hoping to develop his time management skills so that he can maintain his rigorous training schedule while taking on new roles as the lightweight champion and a firsttime father. “I need to keep on improving,” he reflected. “In the coming days, I will check those areas where I am weak, where I am strong, and keep on improving … so I can be able to defend my belt well.” The fighter said he could see himself settling into a quieter, though perhaps no less hectic, life educating children in Baguio sometime in the future. However, right now, he believes he can make a more meaningful impact on the lives of young people in the Philippines as a fighter rather than a teacher. “Someday I can be able to teach, perhaps when I am not able to compete,” said Folayang. “[But] you can teach even if you’re not in can teach in the way they can see what you are doing and what you are accomplishing.”

catriona gray in uS to compete for miss world by LAurA


WITH an advocacy closer to hear heart, a passion for the Philippines’ great outdoors, and the incomparable grace, warmth and hospitality of a Filipina, beauty queen Catriona Gray left for the United States on Thursday, Nov. 24 to represent the country at the upcoming miss World 2016 pageant. Before the biggest journey of her life, CQ Global Quest’s Cory Quirino—miss World’s franchisee in the Philippines—hosted a send off party for the beautiful and talented young woman, who hopes to win the famed blue crown of miss World, won only by megan Young for the country in 2013. “I am really excited to get into it,” gushed Gray as members of media crowded around her during her despedida at a San Juan City restaurant. A self-confessed low-maintenance girl who loves nature, the comely Bicolana said she is excited to learn about the cultures of her fellow candidates, and is also eager to share with them the wonders Philippine tourism has to offer. “We have so much to offer here in the Philippines. We are a 7,107-island nation, and as a traveler I really enjoy going around the Philippines,” she said. “I think our tourism industry is something that should not be left out,” she added as she vowed to advocate the country’s beauty while in Washington, DC. In fact, miss World-Philippines had already begun her tourism pitch as her opening video for the pageant featured Albay’s mayon Volcano. Uploaded online by the UK-based miss World organization, the clip has garnered almost a million views in a fortnight. “I am so overwhelmed! I didn’t

Miss World-Philippineswent to the US with nine suitcases of all-Filipino fashion.

expect that. I just wanted to show people who I am and how beautiful the Philippines is,” Gray enthused. She further said the pageant is also a great opportunity to showcase Filipino talent and craftsmanship as she brings with her an all-Filipino collection of gowns to wear for the pre-pageant activities and the coronation night. The statuesque beauty has chosen a Francis Libiran gown for the finals night on December 18 at the Gaylord Convention Center. She also revealed she is gifting her fellow candidates native abaca purses from Bicol to further push Filipino craftsmanship as well as highlight Filipino hospitality. With the country’s consistent success in beauty pageants in the last five years, there are very high hopes for Gray to bring home the second miss World, and she

is up for the challenge. The 22year-old model-turned-beauty queen added that her greatest advantage in the competition is her dedication to her cause in pushing Philippine tourism, as well as advocating children’s right to education. more importantly, Gray has taken with her the right attitude in this once in a lifetime adventure: “I keep reminding myself to enjoy the ride and not to get too wrapped up in worrying about my performance.” Admitting to be a perfectionist, she said, “The majority of the pressure comes from myself. But if everyone has high hopes it really pushes me to do better and give my best. I want them to be proud [of me]—I want to make my country proud,” Gray said. With the pageant taking place just a week before Christmas, Gray hopes she can give Filipinos the best gift to end the year on a high note.

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With La Aunor in the race, MMFF 2016 is not starless by Ronnie


Baron Geisler

‘Bubog’ director to filmmakers: You don’t need Baron Geisler by

Rosette Adel

AFTeR actor Baron Geisler peed on co-star Ping Medina in the set of the film she directs, “Bubog” director Arlyn Dela Cruz advises filmmakers to rethink about getting Baron in their movies. “To my fellow filmmakers, you may think you need Baron in your movies...but you don’ really don’t,” Arlyn said on her Facebook page. Arlyn, who was saddened and enraged over Baron’s behavior in the film set, said she gave the former a chance to be casted on her film as he was one of the characters she has in mind. she said Baron also admitted he needed money as his mother was hospitalized and he promised to be sober during the shoot but broke it. The director then lamented Baron’s uncalled for move, saying Ping does not deserve that. “What you did on the set, for the film BUBoG is unacceptable and cannot be justified by any claim of being in character because I repeatedly explained to you and was clearly written on the script where your character is coming from and how I wanted it to be tackled, stressing that the idea is, power is felt, not expressed. To show true might, in subdued silence and suppressed emotions,” she wrote on her Facebook status.


Ping Medina

“Ping Medina does not deserve what you did. No actor deserves that. No person deserves that,” said Arlyn. “You claim, you respect him and me? ....Define to me respect after what you did,” she added. In a separate post, Arlyn said the film “Bubog” was supposed to be Baron’s break but he blew it. she asked for Baron’s healing. Arlyn also responded to critics who said that she has the power to cut the scene. The director said she was only monitoring the shooting scene at a distance because of the limited space and added that she demonstrated to Baron what his character was.

“We cannot see what was happening inside, nag-rehearse kami. Makikita cable and shadows so play back ng scene ang desisyon because of limited space. We positioned ourselves sa gillid, left side,” the director explained. Baron has apologized for the incident, saying it was a misunderstanding. However, he still defended himself, explaining Arlyn could have done something to prevent the incident. Arlyn then reacted to Baron’s post, saying when you apologize, you do not make other excuses. she said Baron needs to be treated for alcoholism. “ownership is a virtue and you knew, I believe, it was even in your calculation that we all end up in this controversy. You wanted this....again-the attention, t“There are people who respect you and gave you all the openness to be what you said you really are... there are shades of that person... especially when you are not drunk. You need to be treated for alcoholism and aren’t you taking too much of those anti-depressant pills?” she added. Meanwhile, Film Development Council of the Philippines chief Liza Diño also vouched for Ping, saying no actor deserves that. she said her council will look into the incident to make sure it won’t happen to any actor in the future.


Is there sour-graping among those who had ardently wished (or lobbied?) for their festival bets to make it to the 2016 Metro Manila Film Festival, but whose prayers were in vain? Is this the same disgruntled group that labelled the forthcoming festival as “starless”? With Nora Aunor in the race, Vignettes thinks otherwise. There may not be too many big stars in the festival but to her credit, Ate Guy (no offense meant to Ate Vi) has been hailed as the Queen of Metro Manila Film Festival since 1976. This year, Nora is fielding “Kabisera,” which happens to be co-helmed by a young yet promising director Real Florido who also wrote the story. Personally, I had worked with Real in a QTV 11-produced showbiz-oriented talk show some six years ago. I was one of several (minor) hosts, while he was one of the episode writers. “Kabisera” is Real’s second directorial project, the first being “1st Ko si 3rd” (starring Nova Villa and Dante Rivero) that gave him a Best Director Award from the London Film Awards, and a special citation award from Canada International Film Festival. “Kabisera” was also chosen as an official entry to several other

Nora Aunor

festivals abroad. Intrigued by his latest work, “Vignettes” asked Real about this follow-through project. “The film is a family drama on the life of a simple Filipino family and how its matriarch takes over the central seat or ‘kabisera’ after a tragic event,” Real said. To begin with, is Real a Noranian? “I am a fan of many seasoned actors. It just so happened that my producers at Firestarters Productions and I had her as top of mind in this project,” the young director intoned. Getting the chance to work with Nora for the first time, did he have any reservations that filming might not run smoothly for one

Ellen Adarna faints during ‘naked’ shoot for sexy magazine cover by Rosette

Adel /

MoDeL and actress ellen Adarna admitted she passed out while doing the shoot for a sexy magazine cover. The motel-heiress turned actress in her Instagram post said she suffered from heat stroke. she then thanked photographer Mark Nicdao for taking care of her behind the scene. ellen said she could not recall exactly what has transpired. This is her third cover for the magazine. “At first, I was okay. Mainit

lang. And then, all of a sudden, every time I’d blink, paitim na ng paitim yung nakikita ko. ‘Parang mahihimatay ‘ata ako, kailangan ko ng tubig,’ I remember thinking. And then I fell. I was no longer in front of the camera. I was no longer in the frame,” ellen said in an interview with magazine FHM. ellen graces the December 2016 cover of FHM. she channeled her inner goddess in the “naked” shoot shot in Zambawood beach aThe motel-heiress turned actress Ellen Adarna house. suffered from heat stroke during a shoot.






reason or another? “We started in June 2015. Because the major stars were busy with their respective schedules, it took us 15 months to finish the film. With her, I thought Nora Aunor being the superstar, she would be intimidating. But it turned out that she is way too simple and polite. Pero pag take na, nagtatransform. I was floored.” What was Real’s most remarkable encounter with Nora on the set? “Ate Guy always discussed scenes with me and Direk Boy san Agustin. she tracked the emotional journey of the character and made sure that her performance in this film was different from those in the past. ‘Direk, gusto ko iba ang atake ko dito. Iniisip ko kung paano ko iibahin.’ Kaya tuwang-tuwa kami sa kinalabasan ng finished product.” Magical is how Real described Nora after wrapping up an important scene with her co-actors, particularly taking note of what he believes is the highlight of Kabisera: a scene shot from the hallway to the kitchen to the exterior part of the house amid the rain. Also cast in the film are Ricky Davao, JC de Vera, Jason Abalos, Victor Neri, Ces Quesada, Menggie Cobarrubias, Karl Medina, Ronwaldo Martin [brother of Coco]and Perla Bautista.


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Your Immigration Solution


Asylum granted: Now what? child will need to be explained and documented as the child was most likely not included on the initial asylum application. Like the principal asylee, derivatives are eligible to apply to adjust status to lawful permanent residence after one year of asylum status. As green card holders, they can petition family members who did not qualify as derivative asylees. In certain circumstances, family members not eligible as derivatives may be paroled into the United States for humanitarian reasons, even before the asylee becomes a permanent resident. Most commonly are minor grandchildren or parents with disabilities who are unable to care for themselves. There are times when a derivative may be made a principal asylee nunc pro tunc, such as divorce from or death of the original principal asylee. In other words, the derivative spouse may retroactively become a principal asylee

before the document expires. Traveling on the passport of the home country is considered availing oneself of the protection of the country of persecution and can result in the revocation of asylum (or the green card). Likewise, returning to her country of origin after obtaining asylum status may be considered “voluntarily re-availing oneself of the protection of the country of nationality.” What that means is that an asylee could lose her asylum status because it appears that she no longer has a well-founded fear of persecution in her home country as a result of her race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion. Of course, there are instances where an individual must go to her home country despite her well-founded fear. Should the government seek to revoke the asylum grant, the asylee (or green card holder) may contest that attempt in Im-

The wonders of the super gene

ONCE asylum has been granted, the non-citizen has lawful status to live and work in the United States—even without an employment authorization document (EAD). Some asylees apply for EADs to obtain an additional government issued identity document and they are eligible to do so. While asylee status does not expire, it may be revoked. A change in country conditions or a return to the country of persecution may result in the loss of asylum. So can obtaining lawful status in a third country. And conviction of various crimes may render the asylee ineligible to maintain that status. The asylee may apply for her spouse and children to join as derivatives within two years of the

Immigrant Living: 101 and Beyond

Coming back from the brink NDE: The Near Death Experience


“ Unless a grain of wheat shall fall upon the ground and die, It remains but a single grain with no life.”

PhiliP S. Chua, MD, FaCS, FPCS

Monette aDeva Maglaya EMMA looked down at the busy huddle in the operating room. She was floating, hovering above the doctors and nurses in their blood spattered scrub suits while working on someone. They were desperately trying to bring a patient back to life. Emma took a closer look. “Why that’s me,” she thought. The doctors were trying to bring her back from the brink. Her vital signs were weakening. If the monitor flat lined, Emma knew she would be gone for good. There seems to be a thin silver thread that still anchors her to her body but the physical life force is ebbing away fast. She remembered being in a car accident. Emma was only 42. “Go back,” she seemed to hear someone tell her but there was no sound. Emma felt so light, so free. She hadn’t felt this wonderful in a long time. A feeling of wellbeing was engulfing her. She was in a tunnel and a white speck of light glowed at the end. There was a being of light in the distance. She began moving towards it. Suddenly, she felt the grief of

— From a hymn composed by Bernadette Farrell

her husband and her two young children weighing down on her. She caught a glimpse of them in the hospital waiting room. Matt, the younger one, has his face pressed against the windowpane staring out through the glass at the pouring rain. Her heart was filled with love for them. They still need her. “Go back. It’s not yet time,” she seemed to hear the gentle voice once more although there was no one and there was no sound. And Emma did. She heard one of the doctors say to her, “Welcome back.” Emma knew her life, what remained of it, was never going to be the same again. Emma is only one of several millions the world over who have come back from the edge of death, having gone through what is called NDE or Near Death Experience. Are you afraid of death? I am. I suppose so do most of humankind through most of history. In Greek mythology, the Fates

represented by 3 women named, Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos determined a person’s destiny upon birth. Clotho is the spinner who spins the thread of life and Lachesis is the measurer who chooses a man’s lot in life and how long it is to be. Atropos is the most dreaded one. It is she who decided how and when a man is to die, using her large, sharp, unrelenting scissors to cut off the thread of life. No one, not even the Gods at Olympus trifled with her. Should we fear death? Stories abound that tell of those who have gone through NDE that strongly indicate that there is grace in dying. There is strong evidence of life beyond death and that the act of dying is transitioning into that life. In almost all cases of NDE, people relate of feeling weightless, floating and hovering above looking down at their own bodPAGE B7

migration Court. Asylee status is precious. It accords one safety from persecution. It allows the family of the principal asylee to live and work with them here in the U.S. And asylee status can also lead to green cards and U.S. citizenship. But it can also be lost. Asylees should consult a knowledgeable and experienced immigration lawyer when contemplating travel or when experiencing other lifechanges. ***

backdated to the date that her spouse was granted status. There are other benefits of changing a derivative into a principal, such as being able to bring the principal asylee’s grandchild who did not otherwise qualify as a derivative. While an asylee has the right to be lawfully present and work in the U.S., she needs to apply for a refugee travel document if she plans to travel internationally. Without this travel document, the asylee will be considered inadmissible when attempting to reenter the U.S. The refugee travel document is valid for up to one year. Once expired, an aslyee who has traveled outside of the country is inadmissible and may not resume her status unless she is granted a new refugee travel document. While the asylee may apply for a new refugee travel document at a U.S. consulate or port of entry, there is no guarantee that it will be granted. Thus, it is wiser to return to the U.S.

grant of asylum. Proof of the familial relationship is required for spouse and children. However, applications for children have additional requirements. The children must have been under twenty-one years old and unmarried as of the date of filing the asylum application. Additional requirements apply depending on whether the child is biological, step, adopted or even unborn at the time of the initial filing. USCIS may require a DNA test of a purported biological parents and child when the officer suspects that the relationship does not exist. Step-children qualify as derivative children as long as the relationship among child, biological parent, and principal asylee can be demonstrated. An adoptee is considered to be a child where the legal adoption took place prior to the child’s 16th birthday, and the custody and joint residency requirements have been met. Finally, an unborn

Atty. NANcy Miller & ANdA c. KwoNg


ALL of us want to live a long and healthy life. The search for the ‘Fountain of Youth’ has been an obsession of man from time immemorial. More than ever before, our quest for that “secret formula” today has intensified in the research labs and medical centers around the world. While the scientific exploration and pursuit go on, cosmetic surgery today is able to make “miracles” with the external physical look, from sophisticated dental procedures to nose and eye jobs, breast enhancements, facelifts, liposuction and tummy tucks. While these wonderful procedures can make a 60-year-old look 40, or even 30, and improve the psyche of the individual, they do not confer physiological youth, health, and longevity. On the other hand, physicians, nutritionists and exercise physiologists have continually advocated their time proven prescription for health and longevity: moderation in calorie intake; a low-fat, lowcholesterol, low-carbohydrate, high-fiber diet consisting mainly of fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts and

grains, and minimal red meat, eggs and other dairy products; daily physical exercises; abstinence from tobacco; moderation in alcohol intake; stress management with mini-vacation and time offs, with family and/or friends; and a regular annual medical check-up. Clouding the issue to a blur, pseudo-scientists employed by food supplement manufacturers, who are obviously motivated purely by financial gains, are victimizing the unsuspecting public with their grand claims that their juices, potions, lotions, tablets and capsules can cure a multitude of diseases on the planet from acne to Alzheimer’s, from diabetes to cancer. Some even have the audacity to imply their product improves longevity. Unfortunately, people who do not know any better, and are simply groping for a relief, a cure, or a remedy to make them feel younger, swallow all these medically unsubstantiated infomercials and ridiculous assertions, hook, line and sinker. Disappointingly, even our government and its agencies are impotent in protecting the public from this sham and scam. Geneticists have now identified a gene that allows people to live to 90 or older and also helps prevent the onset of dementia we call Alzheimer’s. Those with this “supergene” have a lot greater

Reeves, Miller, Zhang & Diza Law Corporation’s offices are located in Pasadena, Irvine, San Francisco, Las Vegas and Makati City. Telephone: (800) 795-8009 E-mail: Website: *** The analysis and suggestions offered in this column do not create a lawyer-client relationship and are not a substitute for the personalized representation that is essential to every case. (Advertising Supplement)

chance of hitting the century mark without the usual accompanying confused thinking and memory loss from brain cell damage, which some hypothesize could be due to beta-amyloid protein deposition. More studies are underway to settle this issue. This gene variant, the “supergene,” is technically known as CETP VV. Individuals with this special gene “age slower and have the ability to resist life-threatening ailments such as heart disease,” according to Nir Barzilai, director of the Institute for Aging Research at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. “A brain function test found that seniors who had inherited the gene variant were twice as likely to have good brain function - able to think clearly and remember new information – compared to seniors without the gene,” says the report. How the “supergene” promotes longevity and protects the brain is still unknown. Past studies have shown that the gene “could affect the size of the lipoproteins in the blood that deposit or clear away cholesterol…people with the gene tend to be at less risk of clogged arteries,” according to Dr. Barzilai. The bad cholesterol or LDL (low-density lipoprotein) and triglycerides from the food we PAGE B7

why ORGANIC? Organic products meet stringent standards Healthier for you & kids Organic food tastes better Organic farming respects natural resources Avoids pesticides & are artificial-fertilizer-free Non-GMO, no synthetic pesticides, no growth-promoting antibiotics There are many, many more reasons to go Organic. But in short: You’ll leave the world a better place than when you found it


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Club Balai Isabel: A Paradise at the heart of Batangas



Historic Filipinotown Parol Parade in Los Angeles Now in its 9th year, the biggest Filipino-American cultural Christmas celebration of its kind in Southern California is slated for Friday, December 2. Over 35 participants will assemble at 4:00 p.m. at the Courtyard of the Our Lady of Loretto Church at 258 North Union Avenue, Los Angeles, CA. to line up up for the parade. The cultural event is produced by Historic Filipinotown Neighborhood Council, a 301(3) non-profit volunteer-based organization headed by its longtime President Cecilia Ramos; vice-president & Treasurer, Dr. Leo Pandac and Secretary Dr. Ben Marte. The Council is in partnership with The Filipino Channel for the two Historic Filipinotown heritage events it coordinates every year, the Parol Parade and the August Historic Filipinotown Anniversary Cultural Festival held at the Silver Lake Medical Center (sponsor) held early August. Both events are free to the public. Other major sponsors include MoneyGram, Island Pacific Supermarket, Miss Philippines, USA, and Asian Journal Publications. The general public is invited to view the display of parols at the Loretto School playground, where over three hundred meal tickets will be given at the gate to claim meal boxes which will be distributed on a First Come, First Served basis, courtesy of Historic Filipinotown Neighborhood Council. Those winning in the cheer competition will be given meal tickets just before the end of the parade. Christmas carols will be sung at the general public celebration in the schoolyard. Participants in the parol parade, sponsors and special guests, including those with media credentials are invited to the event program with entertainment to be held at the Loretto School basement auditorium where they will be served dinner, at which time. Parol Contest winners will be announced. For more information, please call the Parol Parade office of Cecilia Ramos at (213) 300-4055.

Christmas Concert Benefit for the Wounded Warrior Project and Shade Tree in Las Vegas, NV Join the Filharmonic (from NBC’s “The Sing-Off” and “Pitch Perfect 2”) for a special one-night engagement benefitting the Wounded Warrior Project and Shade Tree on Friday, December 2 at 7 p.m. Special guests include “Dom the Bom’s Triple Threat” from America’s Got Talent, Dellys Future Stars, Trippy Muzik, Voices of Hope, and more! The concert will be held at Hope Church Concert Stage at 850 East Cactus Ave., Las Vegas, NV 89183. For more information, please call (702) 263-9594. Get tickets at; enter “FIL” in the search box.

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FASO’s Christmas Concert in Glendale, CA The Filipino American Symphony Orchestra (FASO), the only Filipino symphony orchestra outside of the Philippines, as it presents “A Christmas Concert” on Saturday, December 3, 6:00 p.m. at the John Wayne Performing Arts Center in Glendale, California. FASO will play Christmas carols, accompanied by the voices of various choir groups. John Wayne Performing Arts Center is located at 1440 E. Broadway, Glendale, California 91205. For tickets, call Andy Tecson (323) 467-5096; Bob Shroder (818) 395-8936; and Arlene Ferrolino (213) 248-9850. Tickets are also available at Tickets are at $25, $45 and $75. More information at

Pasko Na Naman in Glendale, CA The Channel of Charity, a 501(c)(3) non-profit tax exempt organization is sponsoring Pasko Na Naman on Saturday, December 3. It is a music and dance presentation that revolves around two siblings, Luz (Lyra Dominguez) and Gene (Peter Jeensalute), who are reminiscing their early childhood at Christmas time while growing up in the Philippines. The music part will be provided by Koro Filipino of Los Angeles under the direction of Ning and Joe Manahan while the dance part will be provided by the Malaya Filipino American Dance Arts. The presentation will prove to be one that is joyful — full of familiar sights and scents that will bring nostalgia especially among Filipinos living in America. The presentation will be held at 3:30 p.m. at Incarnation Community Center at 214 W. Fairview Ave, Glendale, CA. The funds from the show will benefit children in the Philippines who are unable to attend school due to poverty and lack of resources. For ticket information, please call Arnel Bailon at (818) 310-3663. For other inquiries, please call May Mallari at (323) 401-0886.

Lights on Miracle Hill “A Christmas Promise” in Walnut, CA Come to the third annual Lights on Miracle Hill “A Christmas Promise”, on December 3 at 7:00 p.m. at City Blessing Church of Walnut. Lights on Miracle Hill “A Christmas Promise” is an exquisite holiday event for the community to enjoy the beautiful light displays that have been designed for this Christmas Season. This event will span for 12 days of the weekends in December starting on Saturday, December 3 from 7:00 pm to 10:00 p.m. with the official opening ceremony. Our Lights on Miracle Hill “A Christmas Promise” will encompass not only a decorative lighting display, but also a fun narrative Christmas lighting show. Each night will bring a cheery atmosphere with many holiday refreshments to enjoy. City Blessing Church of Walnut is located at 18901 Amar Rd., Walnut CA 91789.

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Aurora Inter-organizational Alliance-USA celebrates 8th anniversary in Granada Hills, CA Aurora Inter-organizational Alliance-USA announces its 8th anniversary celebration on Saturday, December 10 in Granada Hills, CA. It is an annual gathering of immigrants from the Aurora province’s 8 towns, aiming to further strengthen the camaraderie and spirit of the members. This year’s celebration hopes to gather 100 members and guests, who will be treated with traditional Filipino dishes as well as entertainment amid the sounds of Christmas carols. The night will be capped by the election of new officers for the new year. The event will be held at the Granada Hills Pavilion at 11128 Balboa Blvd., Granada Hills, CA 91344 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, please contact Atty Al Nabor at (951) 818-8172 or Luchie Cuento at (818) 300-3212.

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AAPA Graduation Gala

Asian American Professional Association (AAPA) cordially invites you to the Graduation Gala on Monday, December 5 from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Celebrate with AAPA mentor and mentees and learn about the organization’s impact in the community. Mr. Anthony Hong, vice president of clinical research and development of Johnson & Johnson Cardiovascular & Specialty Solutions will be the keynote speaker of the night. It will be held at DoubleTree by Hilton - Rosemead at 888 Montebello Blvd., Rosemead, CA 91770. The event is business casual/cocktail attire and is open to everyone. Complimentary for mentors and mentees. Guests at $25. Please RSVP and purchase tickets by November 28 at www.aapa.

By Monet


There is no better place than to be than in your own country. I realized that there are a lot to discover in the Philippines. This is my most memorable vacation and I want to share this incredible experience to all my readers. Aside from meeting a lot of good people and spending quality time with my family and friends, I was able to discover a place where I can enjoy the serenity of nature and experience God’s wonderful blessings through his creation. Club Balai Isabel is a residential resort situated in Talisay, Batangas, an hour and a half drive from Quezon City. It’s the best place for those who want a short retreat from the noise of the city. The resort offers a splendid view of the world famous Taal Lake. I was in high spirits when we arrived. I immediately fell in love with the place. Its lush greenery and the warm reception of the staff made me me feel good. The proximity of the resort from Taal Volcano is what makes this place incomparable. Balai Isabel is the best jump off point to get into the island. We really enjoyed trekking along the world’s smallest volcano. It was a rewarding activity since I was able to get up close to a volcanic crater. There are a lot of activities that can be done in this resort. For those who love meditation, you may sit under the trees and find pleasure in reconnecting with your inner self. My family and I also relished the resorts’ one-of-a-kind infinity pools. I even saw tourists who enjoyed kayaking and wakeboarding around the lake. The amenities are also satisfying. They have villas and lodges to stay in and this nine-hectare residential resort can actually accommodate up to 800 people. This is also a famous location for celebrity weddings, movie and TV series shootings and pictorials. I am very fortunate to have met the resorts owners; Mr. and Mrs. Nelson and Cecille Terrible. They were so nice and accommodating to everyone. According to them, the place was never meant to be a resort. But everything happens for a good reason; they eventually developed the place into an incredible residential resort and preserved the

trees within the area. A long time ago, this land was a property of the Terrible family. Through the years it was sold to different owners and until 2005 they finally got another chance to re-own it. They named the place after their “unica hija “ (only child) Isabel. Now, because of Club Balai Isabel’s significant contribution in the tourism industry of the town, they were able to support the livelihood of the residents around the area. Through their hard work, Mr. Terrible and his wife are now living up to their vision that Balai Isabel will become a special landmark in the province of Batangas. Nelson said that,”I truly care and very proud of this place and for the Filipinos to show that we are one of the best tourist destination in the world.” It is amazing how an ordinary village was turned into a special sanctuary for everyone. Mr. Nelson said that they did this for the love of nature. All of the magnificent view and ambience are really meant to touch a lot of people.

I am so thankful to have seen the beauty of our country through Club Balai Isabel. I would always cherish the peaceful surrounding and the astonishing view of Taal Volcano. This is one of the most wonderful gifts of nature that I have ever seen. The memory of this paradise and the people who built it will always have a special place in my heart. To Nelson and Cecille, thank you for sharing your passion and your vision to all of us. To those who haven’t been here, come and experience the beauty of a paradise called Club Balai Isabel. ***

Monet Lu is a Marikina-born, awardwinning celebrity beauty stylist with his own chain of Monet Salon salons across Southern California and Las Vegas, Nevada. Ultimately, Monet is known as an all-around artiste who produces sold-out fashion and awards shows as well as unforgettable marketing campaigns. Monet is also the founder of the revolutionary all-natural beauty products such as Enlighten, your solution to discoloration . To contact Monet, please visit or email him at monetsalon@aol.


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Filipino American Chamber of Commerce - SouthBay Los Angeles Area (FACC-SLAA)’s Business & Professionals Networking Mixer Come celebrate the holidays with FACC-SLAA, and meet other driven Filipino/FilAm businesspersons and professionals in a relaxed and casual atmosphere. It will be at Wednesday, December 7 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the SOL Venue, 313 E Carson St., Carson, CA 90745. Tickets for FACC-SLAA members are free with pre-registration, $5 at the door. For non-members, $10 for pre-registration and $20 at the door. *Please bring presents ($20 minimum) for the gift exchange, and plenty of holiday cheer! For more information, please email

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Fax résumé to:

Filipino American Chamber of Commerce of Greater LA (FACC-GLA)’s 15th year anniversary The Filipino American Chamber of Commerce of Greater LA (FACC-GLA) is celebrating its 15th year anniversary by recognizing businesses and community partners and installing officers and board members on Sunday, December 11 from 6 p.m. to 12 a.m. The event will be held at the Courtyard by Marriott Los Angeles Westside at 6333 Bristol Parkway, Culver City, CA 90230. The cost to attend is $50 and formal attire is required. Please make your check payable to FPACC Foundation, a 501(c)(3) corporation. A portion of the proceeds will go toward the educational scholarship funds and to help the underprivileged children in the Philippines. For any inquiries, please email

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

(702) 792-6678 •


The wonders of the super... PAGE B5 eat thicken our blood. The thick blood is circulated through the arteries and “painted” on the inner wall of all arteries in the body, including the coronary (heart) and cerebral (brain) arteries. As the arterial walls thicken with layers upon layers of thick blood, the arterial lumen (caliber or diameter) becomes narrower, and the arteries eventually get clogged. This obstruction reduces or cuts the blood (oxygen and nutrients) supply to the organs they are supposed to deliver to, which damages the cells and tissues of those vital parts of the body. The usual findings among Alzheimer’s patients are elevated

tage of what today’s sophisticated medical science and technolblood cholesterol level, and on ogy can offer us to maximize our postmortem, their brain tissues health, happiness and longevity. have a lot of beta amyloid de- Getting older is terrific because posits, akin to the cholesterol de- the only alternative is to die posits on the walls of the arteries young. Let us grow in years but elsewhere in their body. In view remain young at heart. of this, it is postulated that the *** inherent ability of the supergene Philip S. Chua, MD, FACS, FPCS, Cardiac to slow down the cholesterol and Surgeon Emeritus in Northwest Indiana and beta-amyloid deposit, or even chairman of cardiac surgery from 1997 to 2010 clear existing deposits, promot- at Cebu Doctors University Hospital, where he ing better blood circulation to the holds the title of Physician Emeritus in Surgery, brain and other vital organs, might is based in Las Vegas, Nevada. He is a Fellow be the mechanism of its protective of the American College of Surgeons, the action. The final word has not Philippine College of Surgeons, and the Denton been said on this issue. A. Cooley Cardiovascular Surgical Society. He Since we do not know who is the chairman of the Filipino United Network among us have the “supergene,” – USA, a 501(c)(3) humanitarian foundation all of us have to behave, live a in the United States. Email: scalpelpen@ healthy lifestyle, and take advan-

Coming back from... PAGE B5 ies and even seeing how doctors, nurses and technicians struggle to bring them back from the brink. They are literally hanging on by a thread. It is an out of body experience and that there exists a thin silver iridescent cord that still connects them to their own bodies. If that cord is cut, it means that they are now truly physically dead and that they will continue on to the afterlife with no more chance of coming back to their previous physical life. Many of those who have gone though NDE report that there is that feeling of being drawn into a tunnel. There is the presence of a strong, white, comforting light at the end of it. The light appears small and as they progress through the tunnel, it becomes a strong being of light filled with love and compassion. Many report of meeting deceased relatives. Many go through a flashback of powerful memories like a review of their life, both good and bad. Above all, there seems to be an overwhelming feeling of release from all the constraints of their physical lives. For some, the decision to return is theirs to make. For others, the decision has already been made that their time to die hasn’t come yet and that they must go back. An unfinished business or a strong emotional attachment can make some go back and resume living. The impact of NDE is life changing. Documentation for those who have been declared clinically dead and have come

back to resume living shows that those who have seen a glimpse of life beyond death undergo profound changes. Many have changed their view of life for the better. Some have a better appreciation of life becoming more kind, compassionate and considerate of others. For others, there is a renewed sense of purpose and a reordering of life’s priorities. Some have even gone on to develop a sense of spirituality convinced that their new lease on life tells them that they were made for something more. But not all stories of NDE are the same. It seems that for some on the dark side, the experience is totally different. Some report of the presence of a dark void and all the chillingly cold, negative, consuming energies of such emotions as seething anger, loathing and arrogance swirling about in a thick, dark, putrid cloud, the complete antithesis of the typical NDE experience of light. This story is more like horror. Just as there are good people and bad people, the nature of the near death experience seems to be a direct and proportionate result of the collective, aggregate choices each one makes through life. Remember the movie Ghost? The merciless murderer Willie, was on his way to commit another contract murder, when he is confronted by the invisible energy of the spooky, rampaging spirit of Sam whom he murdered earlier for money. He suddenly flees and in his haste, is run over by a car and dies on the spot. The murderer’s spirit rises from his body

as he realizes he is dead. His soul, however, is instantly shackled and suctioned off screaming into the void by howling, hooded, dark, macabre, misshapen creatures rising like toxic fumes and disappearing just as suddenly from the sewers of New York City. That is, perhaps, a glimpse of what it must be like to truly die and go to hell. When the other kind of NDE happens, some report that there is no concept of space or time at all. There is neither beginning nor end. Communication with beings of light or deceased relatives who may accompany the dying is telepathic. There is no sound and no need for words. Many of those who have nearly died and allowed to come back to live out the rest of their lives express a reluctance to return to their previous physical lives. But there was a strong pull, a tug from their earthly life that made them do a U-turn, at least for the time being. What is stunning is this. Nearly all those who have had an encounter with death and did come back to resume their lives claim they no longer fear death. The fear of death is no more. Death for them has become a door one must pass to enter a more beautiful, enticing reality full of love and mercy. What most have learned from their brush with death is startlingly simple. LOVE, they profess, is the most important thing in this earthly life — giving it, accepting it and learning from it. *** Nota Bene: Monette Adeva Maglaya is SVP of Asian Journal Publications, Inc. To send comments, e-mail monette.maglaya@



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