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Volume10 – Issue 20 • 16 Pages


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DATELINE Unanimous ruling from appeals court keeps Trump travel ban blocked from the AJPress NEWS TEAM AcroSS AMEricA

A feDerAL appeals court ruled on thursday, february 9, that President Donald trump’s travel ban will remain blocked. this means that citizens of seven majority-muslim countries (Iran, Iraq, Libya, somalia, sudan, syria and Yemen) will continue to be able to travel to the United states. the unanimous ruling from the three-judge panel from the san francisco-based 9th U.s. Circuit Court of Appeals has created a significant political setback to trump’s new administration. the judges wrote that although “the public has a powerful interest in national security and in the ability of an elected president to enact policies,” it also has an interest in the freedom to travel, the separation of families and freedom from discrimination. “We need not characterize the public interest more definitely than this... the emergency motion for a stay pending appeal is denied.” the court also rejected the administration’s claim that it did not have the authority to review the president’s executive order.


Moody’s affirms view PH most vulnerable to US protectionism

gLoBAL credit rating agency moody’s Investors service affirms the view that the Philippines will be one of the most vulnerable emerging economies if the United states raises its trade barriers on exports of services, first expressed by a London-based think tank. moody’s, in a report released Wednesday—“Asia Credit 2017 outlook: Challenging global environment to test Asia’s robust Credit fundamentals”—said it expects global credit conditions to remain uneven in 2017. the report warned that in the next 12 to 18 months, existing and emerging risks could place downward pressure on Asian growth prospects and creditworthiness. the risks cited included China’s growth, reform and stability objectives; disorderly response to fed tightening, involving a sharp fall in capital inflows into Asia; politics, developments in the european Union, including Brexit and a busy 2017 election


Cayetano: PH gov’t will not abandon undocumented Filipinos in the US by MoMar

G. ViSaya anD Dana SioSon AJPress

NeW YorK — “the Philippine embassy has issued instruction to the consulates across the United states that they will extend assistance to filipino nationals who need help. We’re not going to abandon those without proper documentation here in the U.s.,” said sen. Alan Peter Cayetano at a press briefing with local media on Wednesday, feb. 8. Cayetano issued the clarification in response to criticisms of some overseas filipino workers (ofWs) against President rodrigo Duterte’s recent statement that he would “not lift a finger” to help undocumented filipinos if they got caught or deported. “there has been a lot of misunderstanding regarding the president’s statement. he is the president of all filipinos. the framing of the question when he was asked about the illegals, all countries around the world have to respect the laws of the host country. It was but normal for the president to say we have to respect whatever policy the trump administration gives,” he explained. the senator also assured ofWs that the Philippine


Defense chief: Duterte allowed US construction on Duterte slams Colombia’s former PH military bases

Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano addressing the Fil-Am community in New York during a town hall meeting at the Philippine Center.

AJPress photo by Momar G. Visaya

president for criticizing drug war by Catherine

S. Valente

PresIDeNt rodrigo Duterte has allowed the United states to construct and upgrade facilities on its military bases in the Philippines as part of the enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (eDCA) signed by both countries. Philippine Defense secretary Delfin Lorenzana made the remarks on tuesday, february 7, a week after Duterte accused the U.s. of building a ‘permanent’ arms depot in the country and threatened to repeal the Visiting forces Agreement (VfA). ratified by both countries in 1999, the VfA states that the U.s. forces are not allowed to build permanent structures anywhere in the Philippines. “ewan ko kung saan nakuha ni presidente yung information niya (i do not know where the president got his information) but I corrected it. I talked to him sabi ko (and said), ‘mr. President, first there was no construction yet sa mga eDCA camps. Wala pa (Not yet). It will be constructed some time later this year or next year,’”

PresIDeNt rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday, feb. 8, shot back at the former president of Colombia for criticizing his administration’s war on illegal drugs, calling him an “idiot.” Cesar gaviria, who led Colombia’s bloody narcotics crackdown and battled drug kingpin Pablo escobar, said in a New York Times opinion piece on tuesday, february 7 that violence is not the way to win the war on drugs. “[the former president of] Colombia has been lecturing about my [war on drugs]…that idiot,” Duterte said, without mentioning gaviria by his name. In his opinion piece, gaviria told


by AJPress


Former Colombia Pres. Cesar Gaviria

PH deploys erring cops to Mindanao ‘The Needs of the Asian American Community in the Time of Trump’

supt. Dionardo Carlos, it is a ‘regular thing’ for officers to be transferred or reassigned in AJPress another area. DePLoYINg alleged erring cops to con“hindi po ito parusa (it is not a punishflicted areas in mindanao is not a form of pun- ment). It’s an ongoing activity or program in ishment, the Philippine National Police (PNP) the Philippine National Police,” Carlos said. said in a statement on tuesday, february 7. the PNP made the statement following u PAGE A2 According to PNP spokesperson senior by Dana


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

Community leaders issue call to action: Be more engaged by MoMar

G. ViSaya


NeW YorK — more than 250 Asian American community leaders, students, advocates and activists gathered at the san Damiano hall of the Church of st. francis of Assisi in manhattan to talk about the community’s needs and how the trump administration policies will impact social services in the Asian community. According to the Asian American federation, a New Yorkbased nonprofit organization, the Asian American community, like


Noilyn Abesamis-Mendoza (Third from right), director of policy at Coalition for Asian American Children & Families (CACF) explains a point during the panel discussion on the needs of the Asian American community in the time of Trump, held at The Migrant Center in Manhattan. Also part of the panel were (from left), Glenn Magpantay of National Queer API Alliance; Murad Awawdeh of New York Immigration Coalition; Isabel Ching of Hamilton-Madison House; Harjot Kaur of Sikh Coalition and Jo-Ann Yoo of the Asian American Federation. AJPress photo by Momar G. Visaya

A february 10-16, 2017 • NeW yOrK aND NeW JerSey aSIaN JOurNaL • (212) 655-5426

From the Front Page

Cayetano: PH gov’t will not abandon… PAGE A1 t

government is currently holding discussions with its U.S. counterparts to ensure due process for them. Last month, U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order that temporarily bans people from seven countries, which include Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, as part of his administration’s stricter immigration policy. Following Trump’s order, Duterte called on illegal Filipino immigrants in the U.S. anew to come back to the Philippines. “To Filipinos there (the U.S.), you better be on the right track. If you are not allowed to stay there where you are staying, get out because if you are caught and deported, I will not lift a finger. NO GO. Commuters at Monumento in Caloocan City wait in vain for a ride on Monday, Feb. 6, with only a few jeepneys and UV Express You know that it is a violation of vehicles on the road because of a transport strike. A decision to hike the minimum jeepney fare by P1.00 to P8.00 effective Wednesday, the law,” Duterte said in a press Feb, 8 announced by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), did not appease the protesters from the Stop briefing on January 30. and Go transport coalition. photo by Rene Dilan “The president cannot dictate to the United States. At kaya nga tinawag na illegals, because there are some legal requirements that PAGE A1 t “I actually asked his (Duterte’s) were not complied with,” Cayson Molly Koscina said in a stateLorenzana related. decision kung ituloy natin yung etano said. ment on January 31. The defense secretary conThe Philippine Department of Koscina then assured that EDCA or not (if we are going tinued, “It will be constructed the U.S. “has no intention to re- to continue EDCA or not). Sabi sometime later this year or next open military bases in the Philip- niya, ‘Ituloy natin pero be sure na year. Second, it’s not allowed in pines.” walang stockpiling ng mga amour agreement. There will be no On Tuesday, Lorenzana clari- munition d’yan (He said, ‘We are stockpiling of weapons or any- fied that U.S. troops would only going to continue it but be sure thing that could be used for war bring equipment for humani- there is not stockpiling of ammu- PAGE A1 t President Rodrigo Duterte’s orgames.” tarian assistance and disaster nition there),’” Lorenzana said. der to send over 200 supposed Last Sunday, January 29, response. He took note that any Duterte, known for his constant rogue cops to Basilan, Sulu, and Duterte claimed that the U.S. other weapons they would bring tirades against the U.S., previTawi-Tawi. military is presently unloading for war games will be brought ously threatened that he would “We are members of the PNP arms in the Philippines. He also back in the U.S. when they leave scrap the EDCA. Lorenz, howand not just a local police force, accused the U.S. of violating the the Philippines. ever, later announced that the unlike in the U.S. na may sheriff, VFA by allegedly constructing Lorenzana also cleared that EDCA exercises would continue. federal police. Tayo po ay maarpermanent depots in the country. building arms depot is not part EDCA, a treaty both signed by ing ma-reassign saan mang lugar In response, the U.S. denied of EDCA. He pointed out that Manila and Washington in 2014, sa ibang Pilipinas (We can be asthe Philippine president’s accu- the U.S. is only allowed to con- allows U.S. forces to be deployed signed anywhere in the Philipsations. struct barracks and fuel tanks in in Philippine territory temporar- pines),” Carlos explained. “No such arms depots exist its local bases in the Philippines, ily for maritime security and huEarlier on Tuesday, PNP and there are no plans to build which the Filipino military were manitarian and disaster response Chief Director Ronald Dela Rosa any,” U.S. Embassy spokesper- also allowed to use. operations. n brought over 200 police officers

Defense chief: Duterte allowed US…

Foreign Affairs (DFA), seeking to clarify Duterte’s pronouncements, said the president only wants Filipinos in the United States to obey the foreign country’s laws. In a statement issued on February 2, the DFA also said that the Philippine Embassy and six Philippine Consulates are always ready to provide assistance to Filipinos who might encounter problems with the U.S. government. “Most of our kababayan (countrymen) in the U.S. have no encounters with the law. But for those who regrettably do, the Philippine Embassy and the six Philippine Consulates in the U.S. are always able and ready to provide guidance and assistance to ensure that the rights of our kababayan under U.S. law are protected and the appropriate services are extended to them,” the foreign department added. Cayetano, Duterte’s running mate and vice presidential bet in the previous national election, is reportedly set to succeed current Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. as the head of the DFA. Cayetano, however, cannot assume the

role until the middle of 2017 as the law forbids appointing losing candidates for any Cabinet posts one year after election. “I don’t want to be presumptuous. The president has stated about the possibility of me being the foreign (affairs) secretary but I’ll wait till April when I go to see him to check what assignment (I’d get),” he said. The senator then called on FilAms to help and cited ways that the community can assist. “Whether you are pro- or antiDuterte, in the end, we are all Filipinos. Imagine there are 3.4 million Filipino Americans in the US. If everyone gave a dollar, that’s $3.4 million that you can use for immigration lawyers and things like that,” he said, referring to the need for a possible combination of assistance from the embassy or consulate, non-government organizations (NGOs) and Fil-Am organizations. “Fil-Ams can continue to lobby with their congressmen, senators for a path towards citizenship or path towards permanent residency for our people in the same way as the Latinos or Mexicans


PH deploys erring cops to…

Duterte slams Colombia’s former president…


Duterte that the drug menace cannot be solved by the “heavyhanded approach of killing drug addicts.” He said he was hoping Duterte would not commit the same mistakes that he did in dealing with Colombia’s drug problem. “Throwing more soldiers and police at the drug users is not just

a waste of money but also can actually make the problem worse. Locking up non-violent offenders and drug users almost always backfires, instead strengthening organized crime,” Gaviria wrote. “We could not win the war on drugs through killing petty criminals and addicts. We started making positive impacts only when we changed tack, designat-

ing drugs as a social problem and not a military one,” he added. The former South American leader said Duterte should instead strengthen public health programs, safeguard human rights and focus on economic development. “Real reductions in drug supply and demand will come


allegedly involved in various offenses — including minor offenses and other cases of extortion, robbery, and drug-related offenses — at the Malacañang Palace grounds to supposedly clean the Pasig River. Duterte, however, did not order the cops to clean the river. Standing in a podium while facing the police officers lined up before him, the president ordered them instead to prepare for deployment in two weeks.

“Kailangan ko ng pulis sa south. Kulang ang pulis sa Basilan kasi maya’t maya, pinapaputok mga estasyon doon; nauubos. Kayong lahat nandito, kasali kayo sa Task Force South. Padala ko kayo sa Basilan. Tumira kayo doon ng mga dalawang taon (I need police in the south. Basilan lacks policemen because their stations are always being bombed. All of you here, you are part of Task Force South. I will send you to Basilan. Live there for two years),” Duterte said in a speech full of expletives. “Kung lumusot kayo buhay, balik kayo dito. Kung doon kayo mamatay, sabihin ko sa pulis, huwag na magastos na para dalhin pa kayo dito, doon na kayo ilibing (If you survive, you come back here. If you die there, I will not spend to bring you back here. You will be buried there),” he added. The Chief Executive, however, gave unwilling cops an option of resigning. He also warned that he would “create a battalion to keep track”

of dismissed officers. “Karamihan ng mga pulis, ‘yung nadismiss, ‘yun ang mga sindikato kasi may alam kayo. Kayo ang pinakadelikadong kriminal pag-alis sa pulis. Alam ninyo ang pasikot-sikot eh. P***, papatayin ko talaga kayo sa harap ng Pilipinas (Most policemen, particularly those who were dismissed, were part of syndicates because they know many things. You are the most dangerous among criminals after leaving the police. You know your way around. I will really kill you in front of the Philippines),” Duterte remarked. The president also shot down Dela Rosa’s previous recommendation to retrain the supposed erring cops. “Hindi ako mag-retraining. Ano ang i-retraining ko sa inyo? Tapos na ang training n’yo arawaraw. Ang i-retraining ko ang utak ninyo (I would not order a retraining. What would be your retraining? Your training is done everyday. What I need to retain are your brains),” Duterte said. n

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From the Front Page


‘The Needs of the Asian American…


SOLEMN MOMENT. President Rodrigo Duterte prays before the urn containing the ashes of his late mother, Soledad, at the Davao City Catholic Cemetery. The President on Saturday cancelled peace talks with communist rebels after a series of attacks on government troops, and told negotiators to ‘fold their tents.’ Malacañang photo

Unanimous ruling from appeals court keeps Trump... PAGE A1 t

“There is no precedent to support this claimed unreviewability, which runs contrary to the fundamental structure of our constitutional democracy,” the court said. Trump issued the travel ban last January 7, causing a complete disorder at airports as immigration officials and airlines try to adjust to the new immigration policies. Seattle-based U.S. District Court Judge James Robart on Friday, February 3 issued a temporary restraining order that blocked President Donald Trump’s travel ban nationwide. A federal appeals court on Sunday, February 5 maintained the temporary stop to the controversial travel ban. Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson also filed a motion for the restraining order for a nationwide block on Trump’s executive order, contending that parts of the executive order violate the Constitution. “We are a country based on the rule of law and in a courtroom, it is not the loudest voice that prevails, it’s the Constitution,” Ferguson said at a press conference. “At the end of the day, either you’re abiding by the Constitution or you are not. And in our view, the president is not adhering to the Constitution

end had their visas restored and were able to return to the United States, reuniting with friends and family. Prior to Robart’s restraining order, officials from the State and Justice departments revealed that about 60,000 — and possibly as many as 100,000 — have been revoked as a result of Trump’s executive order. Trump has previously indicated that he would take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary, and the decision would be put in the hands of a divided court that has a vacancy. The president’s nominee, Neil Grouch, could not be confirmed in time to take part in any consideration of the ban. (Klarize Medenilla/AJPress) President Donald Trump

when it comes to this executive action. Previously, the states of Washington and Minnesota sued President Donald Trump, some high-ranking officials in the administration and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Since then, hundreds of affected travelers — many of whom are refugees fleeing from wartorn countries — over the week-

Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano with Consul Felipe Carino and Consul Khrys Corpuz Popov at the press briefing for Fil-Am media. AJPress Photo by Momar G. Visaya

Cayetano: PH gov’t will not…


have been doing in states where they have a great majority, and that will benefit us,” Cayetano added. Open for Business The senator also reported that he had a “quick meet and greet” with Secretary Rex Tillerson of the State Department before the National Prayer Breakfast and communicated the message from the Philippines: that the country is open for business, the economy is doing well and the Philippine government “likes to build, build and build”. Describing the meeting as “very friendly”, Cayetano said he just relayed the message of the Philippine government and reiterated the invitation for President Donald Trump to come to the Philippines for ASEAN and his personal gratitude that the phone call between President

Duterte and President Trump was “very productive and maganda ang napag-usapan”. “Our long relationship with the United States is very important to the Philippines,” Cayetano said. “The friendship is there. There are some problems government to government but this new administration also brings some new opportunities and I’m here to help push that relationship forward.” It was also an opportunity for him to know some members of the Congress through various lunches, breakfasts and dinners from January 31 to February 2 where he also met through the Philippine Embassy some American businessmen doing business in the Philippines. “We would like them to see the Philippines with their own two eyes rather than reports from certain groups who see things from their eyes,” he said. n

Duterte slams Colombia’s …


through improving public health and safety, strengthening anticorruption measures — especially those that combat money laundering — and investing in sustainable development. We also believe that the smartest pathway to tackling drugs is decriminalizing consumption and ensuring that governments regulate certain drugs, including for medical and recreational purposes,” he said. “Winning the fight against drugs requires addressing not just crime, but also public health, human rights and economic development,” Gaviria added. In a statement, presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said Malacañang respects Gaviria’s opinion. The Palace official noted that the second phase of the President’s anti-drug campaign focuses on the treatment and rehabilitation of drug dependents.

“More than a national security problem, the proliferation of drugs in the country has been regarded as a health pandemic,” Abella said, citing the 2,500-patient capacity Mega Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Center in Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija, which was inaugurated in November last year. He also noted that another drug rehabilitation center, the Residential Treatment and Rehabilitation Center in Agusan del Sur – the first to open in a military camp in Mindanao – was likewise opened last year. “In addition, Philhealth, the government’s national health insurance program, now covers a two-week drug rehabilitation program reserved at P10,000 per member. It is unfortunate that international attention to the drug war in the Philippines centers on drug-related killings rather than the breakthroughs of the campaign,” Abella said. n


many immigrant communities, is faced with an uncertain and potentially threatened future under the Trump administration, which has pledged to repeal the Affordable Care Act, deport undocumented immigrants, and create a Muslim registry, to name a few. The Associated Press reported last week that President Trump is “mulling fate of young immigrants protected by Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)”. Trump and Republican leaders are said to be working on a plan that will address the status of the 750,000 immigrants currently protected by the DACA program. AAF gathered a panel made up of community leaders from various fields addressed topics that will impact the community and discussed ways in which social work students, activists, and community members can

protect the needs of the most vulnerable members of our community. The panel was united in asking the community to elevate their level of civic engagement and go beyond participating in protests. “We know that there will be White House policies that will directly impact our community and we need to be prepared. It is going to be a prolonged battle so we need all of you to engage, act thoughtfully and I am sure we will prevail,” said Marjorie Hsu, AAF’s board chair. On January 25th, President Trump signed an executive order that stripped federal funding from sanctuary cities. Two days later, on January 27th, he signed another executive order that effectively blocked immigration from a number of Muslim-majority countries as well as refugee resettlement in the U.S. Under his latest order, the

U.S. will no longer issue visas to people traveling from Muslimmajority countries or allow the admission of any refugees until further notice. These measures have unleashed harsh criticism from a number of leaders, including Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio. The Mayor has vowed to protect all New Yorkers, regardless of their immigration status, promising that New York City will pursue legal action if the executive orders are enforced in a way that violates the civil liberties of New Yorkers. Similarly, the Governor has pledged to commit state resources to help and protect anyone detained at New York airports. “President Trump’s latest measures are extreme and perpetuate a false, disproven narrative that tie undocumented

ships with the country’s largest trade partners, including China, and to increase trade barriers to protect US industries and labor markets from foreign competition,” it said. “India and the Philippines (Baa2 stable) would be the most vulnerable if the US were to tighten rules on service outsourcing,” it said, without elaborating. Late last week, London-based research consultancy firm Capital Economics said in a similar report the Philippines stood out as one of the most vulnerable emerging economies to the impact of President Donald Trump’s “America First” policy because of its direct trade links to the US.

Capital Economics said although the Philippine economy does not rely much on its goods exports to the US, other business sectors that bring in significant revenues to the country such as business process outsourcing (BPO) and Filipino workers’ remittances could get hit. A number of outsourcing companies located in the Philippines have put expansion plans on hold, while some are reportedly already drawing up precautionary plans to relocate some operations back to the US, the think tank said, adding that there were also fears over the outlook for remittances. (Mayvellin U. Caraballo/


Moody’s affirms view PH most vulnerable…


schedule; and elevated leverage in many Asian economies. Moody’s pointed out that in particular, the Philippines faces one emerging risk—the potential changes to US trade policy and rising protectionism globally. Significantly reduced US engagement in global trade under the Trump administration would be a dramatic divergence from the Obama policy, and could pose downside risks to the US’ major trade and investment partners, it said. “During his presidential campaign, Donald Trump promised to renegotiate trade relation-

A february 10-16, 2017 • NeW yOrK aND NeW JerSey aSIaN JOurNaL

Dateline USa • (212) 655-5426

Acting US Attorney General fired Pres. Trump fires Sally Yates just hours after she denounced widely panned “Muslim ban”

by Klarize

MeDenilla AJPress

IN MOURNING. Norman and Nelia Alejo grieve at the wake of their son 2nd Lt. Miguel Victor Alejo, who was killed in an encounter with communist rebels in Davao Oriental on Wednesday, Feb.1. President rodrigo Duterte visited the wake at the St. Peter’s Chapel in Panacan, Davao City. ad lifted the ceasefire effective after the New People’s Army killed three soldiers and kidnapped three more in separate incidents in recent days while the NPA’s own truce was supposed to be in place.

‘The Needs of the Asian American… PAGE A3 t

immigrants, Muslims, and refugees to higher crime rates and terrorism,” AAF said in an earlier statement issued to the media. “Like all immigrant communities, pan-Asian New Yorkers will be impacted by these measures, which give wide latitude to immigration officials to target all undocumented immigrants and individuals from the seven Muslim-majority countries included in the order for detainment and deportation.” Father Julian Jagudilla, director of The Migrant Center at the Church of Saint Francis of Assisi, a resource and referral center for newly arrived immigrants, welcomed the audience to the center and explained why they are involved, even as clergymen. “We get involved in the conversation around immigration when human rights are compromised and because we believe that immigration is a human right,” Fr. Jagudilla said. “When a Filipino-American second grader was bullied by a classmate who yelled ‘Go back to your country!’ as a FilipinoAmerican, I find that disturbing. We have a lot of work to do in

the community and we can do it together in solidarity.” “Asian Americans comprise almost 17% of the city’s entire population, yet despite our numbers, we are still invisible to many and I think that is one of our biggest challenges as a community. I see all those New York Times or CNN polls that say white, Latino, black and I always wait for them to say Asian, but there’s never any Asian,” lamented Jo-Ann Yoo, AAF’s executive director. Beyond invisibility, Yoo also shared other challenges that the Asian American community faces, including language diversity, the model minority myth, some of the poorest New Yorkers come from the Asian community, fastest-growing yet poorest senior population and the community receiving only 1.4% of the city contract dollars despite the rising population. Among the panelists were Noilyn Abesamis-Mendoza, director of policy at Coalition for Asian American Children & Families (CACF) and Glenn Magpantay, executive director of National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA). During the campaign period,

Trump said that among his first acts as president would be to repeal the Affordable Care Act. “If this were to move forward, it is going to impact a lot of people in our community. If the Affordable Care Act is repealed, 2.7 million New Yorkers stand to lose their health care coverage and there will be a tremendous financial impact where there’s $3.7 billion that could be lost,” Abesamis-Mendoza said. Before the ACA was implemented, 1 out of 8 Asian Americans did not have health insurance. These were individuals who owned small businesses, folks who were working in industries such as domestic workers, cab drivers, restaurant workers, where insurance was not offered. ACA helped these individuals to get health insurance. As the panel concluded, noted community leader Suki TeradaPorts stood up and challenged everyone in the room. “This is just the start. I am so happy to see so many young ones here tonight. You are the new generation of activists and we should all turn it up way more,” she said. n

ACTING United States Attorney General Sally Yates announced on Monday, January 30, she ordered the Justice Department not to defend President Donald Trump’s widely criticized immigration order. Reacting just hours later, the newly sworn-in president fired and replaced her. Before she was fired, Yates — who boasts a 27-year career at the Justice Department — released a statement detailing her reasons for not supporting Trump’s controversial executive order, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States”, which temporarily banned entrance into the U.S. for citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries. “At the present, I am not convinced that the defense of the Executive Order is consistent with these responsibilities nor am I

convinced that the Executive Order is lawful,” wrote Yates. She added that, “for as long as I am Acting Attorney General, the Department of Justice will not present arguments in defense of the Executive Order, unless and until I become convinced that it is appropriate to do so.” Yates’s comments prompted the administration to terminate her service, citing her “betrayal” from the Justice Department. “The acting Attorney General, Sally Yates, has betrayed the Department of Justice by refusing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of the United States,” the White House Office of the Press Secretary wrote in a statement. “This order was approved as to form and legality by the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel.” The statement then announced Yates’s replacement Dana Boente, an attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. Boente will serve as the acting attorney general until the Senate makes a

decision on the Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions, whose confirmation vote was blocked by Senate Democrats. Yates, who has appointed by former President Barack Obama as a U.S. attorney and later U.S. Deputy Attorney General, was only a few days away from stepping down before Trump fired her. National legal and civil rights group Asian Americans Advancing Justice (Advancing Justice) defended Yates’s comments and commended her for standing up for the Justice Department and “the rule of law.” “We applaud former Acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates for standing by her sworn oath and duty within the U.S. Department of Justice,” Advancing Justice said in a statement released Tuesday, January 31. “Ms. Yates did not ‘betray’ her country or the President. She acted in accordance with the rule of law and the U.S. Constitution she was sworn to uphold.” n

Duterte cautioned: Not sending PH envoy to US a ‘very disturbing message’ by Dana

SioSon AJPress

FOLLOWING President President Rodrigo Duterte’s statement that he is not yet keen on sending an envoy to the United States, two former Philippine foreign affairs executives are urging the president to appoint one. In a statement on Friday, February 3, former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said that not designating a Philippine ambassador to the U.S. would most likely send a “very disturbing message” on the status of relations between the two countries. “This, I believe, is a matter which should be urgently revisited,” del Rosario said. He then added, “Our Department of Foreign Affairs may wish to respectfully advise our President that such a declared preference not to send an ambassador may be viewed as a very disturbing message in relations between states.” Earlier this week, Duterte ex-

Former Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Lauro Baja

pressed that he doesn’t ‘feel like’ sending an envoy to the U.S. yet. “Iyung USA, wala tayong ambassador. Walang ambassador na papunta doon. Hanggang wala tayong ambassador sa States, I don’t feel like sending one (We don’t have an ambas-

sador to the U.S. No ambassador is going there. As long as we don’t have an ambassador to the States, I don’t feel like sending one),” Duterte said on Thursday, February 2, during a speech in Davao City.


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Dateline USa


Philippines to ask US for help to counter piracy in southern seas by Dana

SioSon AJPress

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

New speaker series aims to inspire, mobilize young Fil-Ams Singer AJ Rafael, Chef Charleen Caabay and music mogul Roslynn Cobarrubias speak at #TFCUtalks’ first college tour

AS a way to inspire young Filipino Americans to achieve their dreams, TFCUniversity held its first ever #TFCUtalks, a touring conference in which successful Filipino-American game changers from all industries speak about the importance of staying true to one’s mission. #TFCUtalks’ kicked off its college tour on Saturday, February 4 at Cal State Long Beach with singer/songwriter AJ Rafael, Food Network’s “Chopped” winner Chef Charleen Caabay and music entrepreneur and television host Roslynn Cobarrubias speaking to about a hundred FilAms. The theme of the talk was “breaking the mold” with a message to the young audience: as a Filipino American, how are you going to make an impact in the world? First up was Oakland-based Caabay, who detailed her life from a struggling IT employee to a successful chef and restaurateur. Caabay owns Kainbigan, a Filipino comfort food joint located in Oakland and is considered a pioneer in the emergence of Filipino cuisine into the mainstream food world. Most recently, she took home the prize of Food Network’s “Chopped”, where she defeated seasoned, professionally-trained chefs with her unique Filipinoinspired creations. “It was an amazing, amazing feeling. I’ve never felt so confident and so amazing,” Caabay said of her “Chopped” win. “To be able to break many stereotypes, to be able to break the mold that our social norm is so used to and being proud of the fact that I am a woman — that I am a Pinay — and to be able to instill our culture to the judges and to be able put it on national television for thousands of people was quite an experience.” Through her self-reliance and commitment to stay true to herself, Caabay encouraged the young Fil-Ams in the crowd to never sacrifice their identity on the road to success. “Despite racial discrimination and political tension that’s going on, what are you gonna do? What are you gonna do to stay true to who you are?” Charleen asked the crowd of mostly college students. Cobarrubias next took the audience through her ample career from a local radio DJ, to senior director of artist relations and senior director of integrated marketing of MySpace to host and producer of MyxTV and to the co-founder of mydiveo. The energetic entrepreneur was previously named one of Billboard Magazine’s “Top 30 Music Industry Professionals” and The Source Magazine’s “Power 30.” At just 36 years old, the music mogul has produced hundreds of live events and interviews with artists like Bruno

AJPress photo by Klarize Medenilla

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

Mars, Justin Timberlake, Justin Bieber, Drake, Rihanna among other big names. But, as she told the audience, it wasn’t an easy journey and was often turned away because of she is a “triple minority”: she’s Filipino, a woman and “vertically impaired.” Despite these factors, she was able to overcome rejection by seeking out positives in her experience and going on to the next project. Through that, she volunteered, interned and networked with individuals which, she said, was the key to her moving up the chain. “A lot of you guys are going to graduate soon. Thousands of people graduate college every year, but what sticks out and the number one thing, especially in the music industry, is your relationships,” Cobarrubias said. “Secondly is your experience. Third is your experience or your knowledge. So, definitely invest in yourself and take the time to develop relations, and not only with your teachers and your classmates you can potentially network with because those are the people you’re going to work with in the future.” The final speaker was Rafael, who launched his wide-ranging career all from his YouTube channel. A lifelong musician, the young Riverside native was inspired by his father, who passed away when Rafael was 10 years old. He began writing and promoting his music on MySpace, but it wasn’t until the invention of You-

Tube in 2006 when his popularity skyrocketed. One of the earliest YouTube stars, Rafael affirms that he never really wanted to become a mega star, but merely want to create a connection to his audience. “It was really about connecting and having a fan base, and everywhere I would perform they would sing my songs back to me. That meant more than anything,” Rafael said of his early performances. “To me, it was never about ‘making it,’ really. I just wanted to write a song and have someone relate to it and share it with their friends because they relate to it, too,” Rafael added. More than 10 years after starting off on YouTube, Rafael still writes and performs his original songs but has delved into other artistic and activist endeavors, such as musical theatre. He, along with actor Dante Basco, host the monthly Asian American artistic collective “We Own The 8th” in downtown Los Angeles, where artists can come together to collaborate and learn from each other. “I want to encourage you all to do something with whatever platform you guys have for the next generation and for yourselves, the current generation. Just empower each other. Don’t forget to be you,” Rafael said. #TFCUtalks was organized by TFCUniversity, The Filipino Channel’s offshoot to produce programming and events for Filipino-American millennials. (Klarize Medenilla/AJPress)

Duterte previously asked Jose Manuel “Babe” Romualdez to replace Jose Cuisia Jr. as the new Philippine ambassador to the U.S. Romualdez, however, reportedly declined due to health reasons. Meanwhile, former Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Lauro Baja warned that the Philippines might lose big opportunities if Duterte continues to leave the ambassador position open. “A regular ambassador can open doors much more easily and much more reliably than not having one. And somehow, it doesn’t project a good diplomatic practice of not sending a regular ambassador to an important post like Washington,” Baja

told ANC. Baja explained that Manila’s representation in Washington will only be on a “second-tier level” if the Philippines continues to leave its diplomatic concerns in the hands of a chargé d’affaires or a diplomat. “A chargé d’affaires can only have lower access to the echelon of government and lower level of contact with interest groups there,” Baja explained. For seven months, the ambassador to the U.S. position has been vacant. The Philippine embassy in Washington is presently headed by charge d’affaires Patrick Chuasoto, a career diplomat. Baja then took note that there is no reason for the Philippines to not send an envoy unless the “the President wants to send another

message to the United States.” Duterte had been not on good terms with the United States under former President Barack Obama for the latter’s alleged ‘hypocrisy’ and criticisms on his intensified campaign against illegal drugs. Some analysts, on the other hand, expect a warmer ManilaWashington relations under the administration of new U.S. President Donald Trump. “The president did not say why he is not keen on sending a Philippine representative to Washington. I don’t think it’s a policy yet,” Baja said. “I would urge the President to appoint as soon as possible for an ambassador there. We have a good supply of prospects who the president could tap.” n

come ‘increasingly dangerous’ as the number of maritime kidnappings in the region hit a 10year high in 2016. IMB said 62 people were kidnapped for ransom in waters between Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, a lot higher compared to only 19 in 2015 and nine in 2014. Indonesia also previously warned that the area could become the “next Somalia,” referring to a country in Africa where ship hijackings have been a crisis for the past decades. “If shipowners will skirt that area just to avoid kidnap at sea activities by these terrorists, for sure, it will have an additional cost,” Philippine Coast Guard Chief Commodore Joel Garcia told AFP. Last year, the governments of Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines agreed to conduct trilateral maritime and aerial patrol cooperation to address the increasing criminal activities in ‘maritime areas of common concern.’ “It’s not just the concern of the Philippines or Indonesia and Ma-

laysia, but of the international shipping community,” Garcia added. Recently, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said he asked China to help patrol across the international waters to combat the rising incidents of maritime kidnappings and piracy. “We would be glad if they have their presence there. Hindi naman kailangan (It doesn’t necessarily have to be) gray ships eh. Sabi ko, basta iyong Coast Guard cutter, just to patrol (I said, even with just letting the Coast Guard cutter patrol), like what they did in Somalia, tumulong sila (they helped). Somalia has toned down. Pero dito sa (But here in) Malacca Strait, pati dito sa (And also here in) Sulu Sea, it remains to be a big problem,” Duterte said during a speech on January 31. According to Garcia, the Philippine and Chinese coast guards would likely discuss the details of the eyed sea patrol cooperation next week. Lorenzana said the Philippines plans to “talk to the ministry of defense of China on how to operationalise this joint patrol.” n

Land security to boost PH economy, says envoy T. Delizo

Duterte cautioned: Not sending PH…


MANILA is planning to ask for Washington’s help in countering militants off the waters in the southern Philippines, the Department of Defense (DND) said on Tuesday, February 7. In an interview with Agence France-Presse (AFP), Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the country will ask the United States to conduct joint naval exercises across the Sibutu Passage to guard it against pirate attacks. Located between northern Malaysia and the southern Philippines, about 13,000 shipping vessels reportedly use the Sibutu passage annually. According to the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), the said maritime channel offers the fastest shipping routes between Australia and other manufacturing countries like China, Japan, and South Korea. Last month, the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) said in its report that the waters off the southern Philippines have be-

by Michael Joe

Singer-songwriter AJ Rafael


UNITED States Ambassador to Manila Sung Kim highlighted the importance of land tenure security and promised to continuously support the Philippines in unlocking the potential of land to stimulate investment. “Land tenure is a key issue in managing urban growth and reducing poverty in both rural and urban areas,” he said in his keynote speech during the Conference on Sustainable Land Governance in Manila on Wednesday. The event was organized by the US Agency for International Development (USAID). “Stronger property rights regimes are closely associated with higher incomes, more investment and a rise in overall economic growth,” the ambassador added. Attended by leaders from the national and local government, business, civil society and other sectors, the conference focused on multi-disciplinary discussions on practical solutions to challenges in land governance and promoted efficient and sustainable approaches to urban land

administration and reform. The coalition called for the adoption of a sustainable land governance to address the country’s land sector development concerns, saying that woes in land registration is setting back the Philippine economy. “We need to enhance land market to attract investment and benefits for development,” Susan Brems, mission director of USAID Philippines, said. “Secured land rights is important to investment,” Heath Cosgrove, director of USAID’s Land Tenure and Resource Management Office, added. “Insecure land rights are costly to investors.” Nearly half of the Philippines’ land parcels remain untitled, according to Calixto Chikiamco, president of Foundation for Economic Freedom. Experts proposed several reforms, including mass land-titling program, placing women at the center of urban development, use of geo-spatial technologies to help urban poor communities and the adoption of innovative land-based financing tools for sustainability, among others. “The impact of the land reform on the economy is huge,” Chiki-

amco said. “Land security is a matter of both economic and political liberty.” Kim noted that several studies have found that countries like the US with more secure property rights have higher average incomes. “Security of tenure is a powerful investment incentive that leads to more rapid economic growth and, ultimately, higher incomes,” he said. As such, the envoy noted that the USAID and several partners in development have made notable strides toward promoting land rights, such as giving assistance to the Philippine judiciary to improve efficiency in the adjudication of cases, including land disputes; supporting lending institutions to build their capacity to assist small and medium enterprises in securing titles to their lands; and working with secondary and tertiary cities to improve their land tenure security and land management systems. Kim said the Duterte government has given priority to land tenure security and efficient land management and administration in its zero plus ten-point socioeconomic agenda. n

A february 10-16, 2017 • NeW yOrK aND NeW JerSey aSIaN JOurNaL • (212) 655-5426



Oil and water

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

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

Editorial photo

dead bodies, but with prayer, with courage, to walk, to stand up for life,” Villegas said. The Church’s ethical stance on the sanctity of life is absolute. This rule has no exception, making sensitive issues such as abortion, euthanasia, contraception, and capital punishment as non-debat-

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

Legal showdown: Is Trump’s travel ban constitutional? WHeTHeR or not you agree with President Donald Trump and his executive order, which bars citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries (Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen) from entering the U.S. for 90 days, all refugees for 120 days and indefinitely bans refugees from Syria, it is fair to say that what we are witnessing right now is democracy at work in the United States. On Tuesday, February 7, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has begun hearing arguments from the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the State of Washington as to whether Trump’s travel ban should be reinstated or rejected, after the ban was determined by a federal judge in Washington on Friday to be unconstitutional and harmful to the state’s interests. The decision covers not only the state of Washington, but the entire United States. Prior to the judge’s ruling, chaos erupted in major airports in the United States with immigration and state officers, as well as airport personnel lost on clear guidelines of how to implement these executive measures. More than 60,000 people had been affected by

the country. the ban — citizens and permanent The Trump administration residents awaiting family reunifiThe Fil-Am appealed the case to the Ninth cation, U.S. businesses relying on Circuit Court, which may posprofessionals from these countries, Perspective sibly be elevated to the Sustudents attending U.S. universipreme Court. ties, patients needing urgent mediThe DOJ has argued that cal care in U.S. hospitals, refugees Trump was just exercising approved to take shelter in the U.S. Gel SantoS-ReloS his authority and the obligapursuant to the refugee program tion as president to keep the in agreement with other countries participating in the humanitarian program, among United States safe. The Trump administration contends that is not other scenarios. Protests all over the world were also organized discriminating against Muslims nor the seven to denounce what they call an illegal and discrimi- countries. These countries, it argues, are in fact natory ban singling out people because of their determined by the Obama administration to be high-risk countries and that the Obama adminisnations of origin and religion. Following the federal judge’s ruling, the ban tration had in fact subjected nationals from these has effectively been lifted and those with valid countries through stricter vetting before they are visas from the seven countries, as well as Syrian issued visas to enter the U.S. The lawyers for the states of Washington and refugees who had already gone through stringent vetting for two years and had been found to not Minnesota have presented the argument allegbe threats to the security of the United States ing that Trump’s executive order was designed amid terrorism concerns, were allowed to enter to discriminate against Muslims, citing Trump’s

rhetoric during the campaign season promising voters to ban Muslims, giving preferential treatment to Christians from Muslim countries to enter the U.S. Those opposing the ban likewise question why the countries where actual terror threats came from were not included in the ban like Saudi Arabia and egypt — countries Trump has business interests in. Trump’s critics also question why he would not include in his fight to keep America safe those terrorists and attackers coming from nonMuslim countries like the right wing Christian extremists. The three judges of the Ninth Circuit Court will deliberate on the arguments of both sides and will make a decision soon. *** Gel Santos Relos is the anchor of TFC’s “Balitang America.” Views and opinions expressed by the author in this column are solely those of the author and not of Asian Journal and ABS-CBN-TFC. For comments, go to, Santos.Relos

Former Pres. Aquino haunted now by his past long “to the other side DOING away with his of the political fence.” prepared draft speech Commonsense While the public asas he always does, Pressurance is well-meanident Rodrigo Duterte ing, it is the court, not casually mentioned in the President, that can the course of extemposend somebody to jail. raneous remarks last Only dictators can do Monday about a private that. message he received MaRichu a. VillanueVa There is what we call from controversial TV/movie actress Kris Aquino. Straying due process as enshrined in our country’s from the subject matter of his address 1987 Constitution. Incidentally, the country quietly obbefore the country’s biggest taxpayers, President Duterte disclosed the actress served the 30th anniversary of the ratifipurportedly sent him recently a text mes- cation of the Philippine Constitution last sage asking him not to send to prison her Feb. 2. It was the late icon of democracy, only brother, former President Benigno President Corazon Aquino, whose Constitution is now the subject of the renewed “Noy” Aquino III. According to President Duterte, Charter change attempts, including Kris apparently alluded to his previous the current administration of President pronouncements about his plans on Duterte. While Kris may have saved PNoy from how to put a just closure to the January 2015 Mamasapano massacre. As then jail—for now—ex-President Aquino commander-in-chief, PNoy deployed the is facing yet another case. The former Special Action Force (SAF) troopers to President is being made to account for capture internationally wanted bomber- the Philippine government loss to an interrorists, but 44 of them were killed in ternational court that ruled as illegal the latter’s unilateral decision to scrap the the course of their operation. Before the same audience, President contract of a Belgian company to underDuterte announced he would no longer take the Laguna Lake dredging project. The International Center for the Settlepursue his earlier plans to set up a special commission to re-open investigation ment of Investment Disputes (ICSID) into the Mamasapano massacre. The reportedly ruled in favor of the Belgian President added he would just wait for dredging firm Baggerwerken Decloedt the Ombudsman to complete its probe en Zoon (BDZ) which elevated their case into this case where PNoy, along with to this United Nations commercial arbihis co-accused, were facing charges filed tration body. The BDZ brought their case against the Philippine government after against them. As of this writing though, Kris who is the former President scuttled their P18equally articulate and at times tactless billion contract to dredge the Laguna like President Duterte, has not issued any Lake in November 2010, or a few months response to the public disclosure of her after the Aquino administration took ofprivate message to the Chief executive. fice at Malacanang. The ICSID ordered Surely, this is yet another action by Kris the Philippine government to pay P800 million plus interest to BDZ for all the without the imprimatur of her brother. The chivalrous President Duterte gave losses incurred by the firm for the projthough his public assurances to Kris he is ect’s cancellation. Sought by The STAR for his side, Mr. not one to send her brother to prison just because his predecessor happens to be- Aquino who has yet to get a copy of the

ICSID ruling noted the Belgian firm was the same one that dredged the Pasig River before his tenure as president. Further, he cited, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) determined that at most, only 40 percent of the project was done and the allocation had all been used. The Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) which entered into contract with the BDZ has yet to issue its rejoinder to Former Pres. Benigno Aquino III the ICSID ruling. PNoy’s “irrational, apoplectic bias” The LLDA is a government-owned and controlled corpora- that everything his predecessor did or tion under the Department of environ- planned was graft-riddled. By the way, Tiglao also once served as ment and Natural Resources (DeNR). It was former presidential spokesman press secretary of former President Gloand ex-ambassador of the Philippines ria Macapagal-Arroyo. Going through our own files of stories to Greece Rigoberto Tiglao who first reported the issuance of the ICSID ruling. on this case, there was a speech made by Tiglao, who now writes a regular column the ex-Finance chief on Jan. 30, 2012 beat The Manila Times, rhetorically asked fore the Management Association of the in his Feb. 1 column: “Why should we Philippines where he justified the canceltaxpayers pay the cost of Aquino’s hubris lation of the dredging project. The following excerpts from his speech explains and idiocy?” Tiglao though noted Mr. Aquino did why PNoy scrapped the contract: “The Laguna Lake project, I heard not issue any written order to officially inform the Philippine government’s can- President Aquino say: ‘There were a lot cellation of the BDZ contract with the of good projects in the previous adminisLLDA. Tiglao recalled it was scuttled tration.’ But you know, there were some in actual practice only through Finance such as the Daang Hari that were already Secretary Cesar Purisima’s refusal to started and we did continue with it. But sign the documents accepting the Bel- the Laguna Lake, a dredging project for gian government’s P7 billion grant to P18 billion and based on studies, what they will dredge will be back in three fund the project. Tiglao blamed the scrapping of the years because we have not addressed the BDZ contract to what he described as source of the siltation, which is the defor-

estation of the Marikina river watershed and the human settlements are delayed. For the sake of accelerating expenditure, President Aquino could’ve signed that. But you would have wasted P18 billion of your money.” Purisima’s successor, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III was quoted saying the Duterte administration may appeal the ICSID ruling. Dominguez confirmed they just got a copy of the ICSID ruling a few days ago. “So we’ll go over it carefully and we’ll see what legal remedies there are. If we have to pay, we will pay,” Dominguez pointed out. Sadly, we taxpayers may have to pay for it. But the non-dredging of the Laguna Lake will continue to bear upon us, for residents in Metro Manila and the rest of the areas that suffer severe flooding at the slightest rains. This is yet another legacy of Mr. Aquino that will continue to haunt him like the Mamasapano incident. (

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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Dateline PhiliPPines


Senate suspends death penalty hearings over int’l treaty Pacquiao: Drug traffickers ‘deserve’ to be put to death by Dana

SioSon AJPress

THE Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights has suspended its public hearings on the bills seeking the reimposition of death penalty in the Philippines amid the rising concerns of violating an international treaty. “We are suspending because there is a supervening event — the treaty of international convention on civil and political rights — which states that all executions should not be continued, was ratified,” Senator Richard Gordon, the committee chair, told reporters in an interview. During the resumption of deliberations on the proposed revival of capital punishment in the country on Tuesday, February 7, Senate President Pro Tempore Franklin Drilon reminded the Department of Justice (DOJ) that the Philippines has signed and ratified the Treaty of International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) of the United Nations Human Rights Committee — which prevents states from carrying out execution as a form of punishment — in 1986. Drilon further took note that the Philippines also ratified the Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR in 2007. Pointing out that Article 1 of the Second Optional Protocol, Drilon — who is also a former justice secretary — stressed that the treaty states “no one within the jurisdiction of a state party to the present protocol shall be executed.” Drilon then warned that if the Senate continues to push for the passage of the death penalty bill while being under the ICCR, the Philippines would possibly be isolated from the international community due to the repercussions of being unable to honor its international commitment. “If we violate our international treaty, it could be reviewed and that can be the basis for withdrawing the benefits,” the senator explained. The senator then added, “We will be isolated from the interna-

Senator Richard Gordon

tional community, because we cannot even be trusted to honor our treaty obligation. Malaking bagay iyan sa international arena na mabansagan tayo na hindi tumutupad sa ating international treaty (It’s going to be a big deal in the international arena if we are labeled a country who failed in honoring an international treaty).” Drilon then suggested that the Philippines should withdraw from the treaty first before continuing its hearings on the death penalty. “In my view, let us go through the process of getting the concurrence of the Senate to withdraw, but again that is questionable. That is part of the law of the land; that is part of our Constitution now,” Drilon said. Following the suspension of the hearings, Gordon said the inquiry would remain on a halt until Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II presented his position on the matter. Presently, there are six bills seeking the reimposition of capital punishment pending before the committee—three of which were authored by Senator Manny Pacquiao, while the remaining were filed independently by Senate Majority Leader Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, Senator Panfilo Lacson, and Senator Sherwin Gatchalian.

Pacquiao reiterates need for death penalty During the hearing on Tuesday, Pacquiao pushed anew for the death penalty for drug-related cases, citing the “immensity of the drug problem” in the country. “On a personal level, I can forgive. However, the heinous crime of drug trafficking is committed not just against a person but against the nation. Drug traffickers deserve [the] death penalty,” Pacquiao said. Pacquiao authored Senate Bill No. 185, known as “an act to impose the death penalty and increase penalty on certain dangerous drugs crimes.” “We cannot ignore the immensity of the drug problem in our country. We cannot maintain the status quo. We need to take a firm stand against drug traffickers,” the senator added. According to him, it is more “beneficial and practicable” if the death penalty bills filed were filed on a per case basis. He said it should not be combined with other crimes as it would complicate the definition of a heinous crime. “To bundle it with other crimes will dilute arguments and complicate definitions in determining whether a particular crime is heinous or not because offensive acts may be of different characters,” Pacquiao explained. Pacquiao also authored two other separate measures seeking capital punishment on kidnapping, and another one on aggravated rape. Apart from Pacquiao, Sotto, Lacson, and Gatchalian, other senators who were supportive or said they were at least “open” to the idea of the death penalty include Senators Sonny Angara Joseph Victor Ejercito, and Joel Villanueva. Among the senators who expressed opposition, meanwhile, were Senators Drilon, Gordon, Bam Aquino, Leila De Lima, Francis “Chiz” Escudero, Risa Hontiveros, Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, Antonio Trillanes IV, and Senate Minority Leader Ralph Recto. n

ASSURING THEIR SAFETY. Zambales Provincial Police Office Director and Police Senior Supt. Christopher Jacob Mateo (left) and another police official exchange contact numbers with two South Koreans residing in Zambales so police can respond to their emergency needs the soonest if needed. photo by Patrick Roxas

Kris Aquino appeals to Duterte: Don’t arrest Noynoy by Dana

SioSon AJPress

PHILIPPINE President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday, February 6, disclosed that TV host and actress Kris Aquino has asked him to not arrest her brother, former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, over the Mamasapano anti-terrorist raid that resulted in the deaths of 44 Special Action Forces (SAF) two years ago. In his speech during the launch of the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s (BIR) new tax campaign in Pasay City, Duterte relayed that Kris Aquino had sent him a text message saying “‘Huwag mo namang ipakulong si Noy’ (’Don’t arrest Noy’).” Without further elaborating the details of Kris’s supposed message, Duterte then said he replied: “Sabi ko (I told her), ‘No Kris, I’m not out to find fault. I just want to know the truth.’” On January 24, a day before the SAF commandos’ second death anniversary, Duterte berated former President Aquino for allegedly “feeding the soldiers to the lion’s den,” asking why the government did not send any reinforcements to the cornered soldiers. “Wala akong habol na ipaku-

Kris Aquino

long ko ang mga dating opisyal (I’m not after arresting former officials). I’m not into the habit of sending to prison the guys on the other side of the political fence or whatever. I just want to give the Filipino the truth,” he added. Duterte also demanded that the former president explain his role in the botched operation. He claimed that it was secretly led by the United States’ Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). In response, Aquino insisted that his only fault was trusting then-SAF Commander Getulio Napeñas Jr. with the responsibility of planning and coordinating the operation. At the same time, he denied

the American involvement in the Mamasapano anti-terrorist raid, explaining that the U.S. only helped with equipment and intelligence gathering. He stressed that he did not discuss the details of the operation with American officials. Last month, Duterte also said that he would form a fact-finding commission that would investigate the Mamasapano tragedy. In his speech on Monday, however, Duterte announced that he would no longer pursue the commission’s creation because the Ombudsman reportedly has the case still pending before them. “I do not want to have a multiple incongruity especially if one finding fights with the other,” Duterte said, adding that he would just wait for the results of the Ombudsman’s investigation. On January 25, 2015, the SAF troopers successfully killed Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli Abdhir, also known as Marwan, during a raid in the southern Philippines where various separatist rebel groups are based. The elite soldiers, however, were ambushed by insurgent groups, including the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF). n

A february 10-16, 2017 • NeW yOrK aND NeW JerSey aSIaN JOurNaL • (212) 655-5426

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Love and more love: Some fun facts about The Origin of Valentine’s Day Valentine’s Day

An Asian Journal Magazine

The Asian Journal N E W YO R K / N E W J E R S EY F E b R uA RY 1 0, 20 1 7

By Dana

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

LOVE is in the air as Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. Now who wouldn’t be familiar with this great day meant for sharing love gestures? I know many couples excitedly wait for February 14 so they can express their feelings to their partners. However, though we may be familiar with the day’s history, some may not know some interesting information involving the celebration. Here is a list of fun facts to think about:


tradition from the people, adopted this festival with revisions. St. Valentine another version of the origin of Valentine’s Day tells the story of Saint Valentine in the Roman Catholic belief. around 496 aD, then-Pope Gelasius I declared February 14 as the feast day of Saint Valentine, their patron of love and couples. In the Catholic church, there were at least three different men named Valentine, or also referred to as Valentinus in other versions, who were all martyred on February 14. The question who among them Pope Gelasius intended to honor, however, was not known. One story suggests that Valentine was a priest during the third century in Rome, under the reign of Emperor Claudius II. Emperor Claudius was said to have banned young men from marrying in theory that single men were better soldiers than married men who worry about their wives and families. Despite the emperor’s decree, Valentine continued to perform marriage rites. Upon the discovery of his actions, the priest was put to death. There was also another version that says Valentine used to help early Christians escape Roman tortures. another legend tells the story of Valentine’s own love tale. Valentine, a Christian who was imprisoned, fell in love with his jailer’s daughter. Valentine was said to have written a letter to her before his death, which contains the phrase from your Valentine, an expression that is still widely used today. There was also a theory that says the daughter used to be blind but Valentine was able to heal her sight. This event, according to the story, converted the jailer to Christianity. In 1969, however, due to Saint Valentine’s un-

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


on other days though, especially when the 14th falls on a weekday. While the kind of date itself varies, couples usually tend to make it more meaningful than their usual dates. apart from couples, some Filipino families also celebrate Valentine’s Day together, just like Christmas and new year but in a less-grand way. During Valentine’s, families usually go out and eat dinner or watch movies. Children usually give letters of gratitude or small gifts to their parents. 3. Confessions and proposal For some people, Valentine’s is one of the perfect days to confess their love or propose to their loved ones. after all, the month of February itself has a very sweet atmosphere. With all the sales, special items and promos during the month of hearts, confessions and proposals fit the mood. These are just some of the ways how Filipinos usually celebrate Valentine’s. as diverse as countries and cultures are, so are the people’s practices when celebrating Valentine’s Day. However, one thing is no doubt a common factor when people mark this holiday: people always try to show their appreciation to the people they love—whether it’s romantic love, family love, friendship love, or even gratitude, people try to express their feelings of affection.

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

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

Malou liwanag-Bledsoe / AJPress

LOVE brings a lot of emotions, one of them being (sometimes) unwise on how a person expresses his/her love. This is true for what we spend for the person we love, making Valentine’s Day the third largest consumer holiday in the United States. More than $18 billion per year is spent in Cupid’s name, with lovesick shoppers buying gifts in the name of love. Gifts from the heart — and wallet It is indeed, a love affair with spending. This year, it is projected that the total Val-

entine’s Day spending will be $18.2 billion, with an average of $136.57 per person. about 32 percent will buy their gifts at discount stores. ninety-four percent of the people celebrating the day want to receive candy and chocolate. (The first Valentine’s Day box of chocolates was introduced by Richard Cadbury — founder of Cadbury’s cocoa and chocolate company— in 1868.) This is no surprise as $1.7 billion will be spent by the 49.7 percent of celebrators who plan to buy candy this year.

Flowers are ahead of candy with 20 percent of annual flower sales happen around Valentine’s Day. It is estimated that $2 billion will be spent by the 34.7 percent who plan to buy flowers. However, jewelry tops the list, as an estimated $4.3 billion will be spent by the 18.7 percent who plan to buy it as a gift. One thing to note though — 24 percent of single adults buy themselves a present for Valentine’s Day. For those who don’t believe in spending too much, sending greeting cards still seem to be their best bet.

There are about 1,500 types of Valentine’s Day cards offered by Hallmark alone this year, and it is estimated that $1 billion will be spent on greeting cards alone. To celebrate or not to celebrate? americans between 35 and 44 years old are most likely to celebrate Valentine’s Day, while less than half of people at least 65 years old will commemorate the occasion. a night out on Valentine’s Day will average $73.68 per couple, with a total amount of $3.8 billion for the whole of the U.S. Men also spent almost double than women last year,

suggesting that chivalry is not, in fact, dead. However, 46.1 percent of adults do not plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year. also, 53 percent of women say they would break up with their significant other if they got nothing planned. Still, the day holds a lot of significance for many people. In fact, it is believed that 9 million marriage proposals will be made on Valentine’s Day this year. another thing is that 1.9

million Facebook uses changed their relationship status within a week of Valentine’s Day. While it’s great to see that people are willing to splurge for their loved ones on Valentine’s Day, some still believe that looking for simple and affordable ways to show their appreciation and love is best. Though there are means to spend on expensive gifts, the saying that “it’s the thought that counts” holds true when it comes to giving.

Immigration Corner Atty. MichAel Gurfinkel, eSQ SINCE becoming president, Donald Trump has issued over 20 executive orders (EO) on a wide variety of topics and issues, including immigration. So far, there has not yet been an Executive Order concerning the future of Deferred Action for Child Arrivals (DACA). However, there have been several draft or leaked memos, which eventually became executive orders. There is one such leaked\draft memo that deals with ending DACA. I emphasize this is only a draft, and may still be revised or changed, and it is not yet in force or official. However, I wanted to give you advanced warning, just in case. This draft Executive Order states that the two programs established by President Obama, the June 15, 2012 DACA and the November 20, 2014 DAPA programs, “unlawfully provide illegal aliens with affirmative benefits such as lawful presence, work authorization,” etc. Therefore, both the DACA and DAPA programs are rescinded or canceled. As for work authorizations (EAD) issued under the June 15,

Immigrant Living: 101 and Beyond Monette AdevA MAGlAyA IF you’re a woman who believes in secret in such things as love-at-first sight and happilyever-afters, TAKE HEART. Even during this cynical, jaded age of information when nothing seems sacred or mysterious any more, there are still countless women (and maybe some men) the world over just like you, who believe in the magic and mystery spun by that ancient, invisible force called LOVE. It is written in our DNA. So don’t fight it. It’s just that modern

Is Trump about to end DACA? 2012 DACA program, they “shall remain valid until the date of expiration and not be extended except where required by law.” In other words, while President Trump will be ending the DACA program, applicants who already have work authorization can use them until they expire, but will not be able to renew them. It remains unclear if USCIS will continue to process DACA extensions and issue work authorizations for those cases\ extensions already filed, but are still pending adjudication. This leaked EO states that the various departments and agencies “shall promptly rescind any orders, rules, regulations, guidelines, or policies implementing or enforcing the DACA or DAPA programs”. As for what will happen to the approximate 750,000 DACA applicants, or whether they will now be subject to deportation, the memo concludes that nothing in the EO should impair or otherwise affect DHS’s authority “to set enforcement priorities or to exercise prosecutorial discretion on a case-by-case basis, in connection with aliens who received an EAD pursuant to the June 15 memorandum.” I hope this means DHS will conclude that DACA recipients are NOT


Michael J. Gurfinkel is licensed, and an active member of the State Bar of California and New York. All immigration services are provided by, or under the supervision of, an active member of the State Bar of California. Each case is different. The information contained herein including testimonials, “Success Stories,” endorsements and reenactments) is of a general nature, and is not intended to apply to any particular case, and does not constitute a prediction, warranty, guarantee or legal advice regarding the outcome of your legal matter. No attorneyclient relationship is, or shall be, established with any reader. WEBSITE: Call Toll free to schedule a consultation for anywhere in the US: (866)—GURFINKEL Four offices to serve you: LOS ANGELES · SAN FRANCISCO · NEW YORK · PHILIPPINES (Advertising Supplement)

A HUSBAND’S 30-YEAR OLD ‘SECRET’ ALMOST DERAILED THE FAMILY’S GREEN CARDS ON AN ENCORE EPISODE OF “CITIZEN PINOY!” Leading U.S. immigration attorney Michael J. Gurfinkel was able to revive Alice’s petition by her U.S. citizen father, after it was terminated due to the petitioner’s death. The family was then eligible to get their visas years ahead of schedule by using the priority date of Alice’s Lebanese husband, Andre. But Andre refused to come to the US because of a “secret” he had kept for 30 years, preventing him from going back to the U.S. Atty. Gurfinkel worked “miracles” to resolve the mystery behind this fascinating success story, on an encore episode of “Citizen Pinoy” – on Sunday, February 12 at 6:15 p.m. (PST) on TFC.

past toxic liaisons, if they don’t let bitterness and acrimony permeate their hearts, that thing called LOVE, still rules and does so mightily. Romantic comedies churned out fairly regularly from the Hollywood story factory seem to come from a well-worn template, copy-fitted in about 90 minutes of predictability. After a while, they taste like prepackaged burgers, food enough for the starving romantic because they would rather watch soul, but hardly satisfying. After you violent movies oozing with blood have seen a few, you can very well and gore. Yeah, yeah. Talk about interchange the characters and the women coming from Venus and men, from Mars. That’s what makes plots and subplots like pieces of Lego. It’s a formula that keeps on the chemical attraction between straight genders so compelling and giving: girl meets boy; a delicious fascinating — repelling and binding attraction sizzles; a situation sets up at the same time. Deep within most a series of conflicting, seemingly women, despite all that they’ve seen complicated twists and turns made more tenuous by a third opposing and been through, some, despite character, just like Bluto, in the being scarred beyond belief by

“The past is prologue.”

— Shakespeare


The Asian Journal N E W YO R K / N E W J E R S EY F E b R uA RY 1 0, 20 1 7

an enforcement priority (which they should not be, because they have already been fingerprinted and obtained cleared police clearance), and will leave them alone, or will exercise “prosecutorial discretion” to not go after them, and instead DHS should focus on terrorists and felons. Once again, this is only a draft of an Executive Order. It is not yet official, but this may be what will happen to DACA recipients. When any memo becomes “official,” I will keep my readers informed. ***

That thing called love and what to make of romcoms women probably won’t admit being romantic in public, for fear of ridicule. They will say, “Bah, humbug!” with a straight face and then watch every romantic comedy on the sly. That is probably why this movie genre makes a killing at the box office. Women are a captive audience and these women, in turn, drag their partners, more than likely, kicking and screaming

An Asian Journal

Popeye, Olive Oyl triangle, that horrible antagonist that prevents the girl and the guy from coming together; couple almost gives up trying but then an unexpected twist happens, some deus ex machina, a manipulation by the love god, that resolves the conflict and zaps away all obstacles e.g. a can of spinach that rolls from nowhere, that energizes Popeye to pummel Bluto; guy gets girl or whoever is doing the hot pursuit; and finally, the way is then made clear for the de riguer wedding scene. Sigh. THE END. BIG CHA-CHING. Romcom makes mega millions at the box office. A sequel may or may not follow. Ho-hum … There was a time when young girls relied on the tattered pages of a fairy tale book or a radio drama series or a television series which fired up their imagination, leaving

them sighing and dreaming of their knight in shining armor. Disney has pretty much scoured the bottom of the barrel in spinning out modern versions of animated stories from ages past. In medieval times, when marriage, the nunnery or spinsterhood were the choices that were available, most young girls dreamt about that rich, dashing knight riding on a horse, that would slay the dragon, overcome overwhelming forces, sweep them off their feet, ride out into the sunset and live happily ever after. For a few centuries, that was how it was. But we all know, real life tells far different stories. The fairy tales turn out to be more like Gothic novels. Girl and guy don’t always end up happy. The depressing d’s descend on every life: divorce, Continued on Page 6

An Asian Journal



The Asian Journal N E W YO R K / N E W J E R S EY F E b R uA RY 1 0, 20 1 7

On the PEP Front

People, Events, Places

Men’s resolute invasion in the femaledominated world of fashion and glamour

BoBBy T. yalong THE stylish-oriented populace has greatly empowered women to prominently dominate the glamorous and glitzy world of the fashion industry specifically when it comes to promotion and product endorsements…and even pampered them with fringe benefits, fame, and huge paychecks. Contrastingly enough, while the fashion designing scene has consistently been subjugated and effectually controlled by men, women designers continuously struggle to be at par with their male counterparts in this regard. Men’s dominance in the senior executive position of leading top brands all the more leaves women behind in the minority level. But women being pioneers in promoting and endorsing fashion products made them the principal players in the game either in print, ramp, billboards, or as subjects for photographers, sculptors, and artists for either advertising purposes or artistic expression. Females became efficient models due to their capability to be transformed into diverse personalities required to faultlessly merge and blend with the product being sanctioned. But the inevitable evolution of fashion and the indispensable demand for change and identical visual exposure gave men that mostawaited opportunity to shine and be similarly exposed in equal footing. Male modeling has so much more to offer than just being eye-candy. The 2001 comedy film, Zoolander, (which starred Ben Stiller as the narcissistic Derek Zoolander) was a clear testimony to the surging popularity of male modeling and its intriguing impact in the industry. Zoolander, a satire on the fashion industry with male models as the major protagonists and antagonists, was inspired by the names of two male Calvin Klein models: Dutchman Mark Vanderloo and American Johnny Zander. Male modeling also became a stepping stone for others to penetrate mainstream movies. Big name movie actors who were formerly models were:


June Macasaet

Alexander Dominguez

Chase Crawford, Channing Tatum (a stripper-turned-modelturned-actor), Eddie Redmayne (formerly the Face of Burberry), Ian Somerhalder, James Marsden (formerly a Versace mannequin), Jason Lewis (also known as Smith Jerrod of Sex and The City fame and a Valentino endorser), Josh Duhamel (a modeling competition veteran from Iowa), Ashton Kutcher (another Iowa native whose passport to showbusiness was his modeling background), Robert Pattinson (a former teen underwear model in China), Antonio Sabato, Jr. (famous Calvin Klein alumnus), and Mark Wahlberg (the controversial Calvin Klein image model). Aside from Calvin Klein, American retailer Abercrombie & Fitch has not only produced upscale casual wear for young consumers but had eventually created big time male stars from among its image models like Christian Grey (aka Jamie Dornan), Kellan Lutz, Penn Badgley, Channing Tatum, Scott Eastwood, and Ashton Kutcher. Noticeably, male models’ instant fame had been closely associated with the product they endorsed that ultimately made them “The Face” of the campaign., an internationally acknowledged fashion authority, conscientiously scrutinized and evaluated active male mannequins during the last decades and came out with its 10 Top Male Models of All Time: 1.Tyson Beckford – (6’1”) Bronx-born of Jamaican, Chinese, Panamanian and African descent with smoldering appeal that made

Brent Chua

Devon Spence

Brent Javier

Kirst Viray

Tyler Mata

him an effective skin product and undergear endorser. 2. David Gandy – (6’3”) Currently, the most familiar face as the “Dolce & Gabbana Boy” and huge paycheck taker. 3. Brad Kroenig –(6’1”) The male mannequin that Karl Lagerfeld built. 4. Jon Kortajarena – (6’2”) Product endorser of Just Cavalli, Versace, Armani, and Diesel 5. Sean O’Pry –(6’1”) Southern guy from Georgia who became a millionaire at 23 after being one of the highest paid product endorsers since his entry into the scene in 2006 at 17. 6. Marcus Schenkenberg –(6’4”) Swedish discovered while roller skating in Venice Beach and became associated with Calvin Klein brands. 7. Mathias Lauridsen – (6’2”) The Danish model first broke into


Tanner Mata

the scene in 2004 as the face of Dior Homme. 8. Mark Vanderloo – (6’2”) The Dutch (Netherlands) guy who became the Face of Hugo Boss 9. Noah Mills – (6’2’) Canadian model and actor who stood out during the 2012 Dolce & Gabbana Summer show in Milan 10. Evandro Soldati – (6’2”) This Brazilian ranks as the 7th most successful and influential male model in the world. Dubiously not included in the list is 6’2” Brazilian Marlon Luiz Teixeira who is one of the most photographed male models and had been the face of Emporio Armani, Diesel, Dior Homme, and currently H&M. Another neglected face was Calvin Klein’s undergarment and cologne (Dark Obsession) endorser, 6’1” Mathew Terry. The Ocean City, New Jersey native is also a singer-songwriter

Paolo Roldan

Ram Sagad

aside from being a gym buff. Incidentally, there is already a long list of fresh, emerging and aspiring male models slowly carving their own names while gradually inching their way to the top…ready to take any available spot vacated by aging, retired, or gone-to-oblivion fashion icons: British model and ex-professional football player in Scotland Stephen James, Italian Mariano Divalo, Italian model Andrea Denver who was featured in Taylor Swift’s music video Blank Space and in Jennifer Lopez’s “I Luh Ya Papi,” Spanish model and Paris Hilton’s ex-boyfriend River Viiperi,

typical California guy and Vlogger Nate Garner, 16-year old twin pack from LA who could be the male version of the famous Mary Kate - Ashley Olsen twins Grayson and Ethan Dolan, and Leonardo DiCaprio deadringer Jordan Kale Barrett. While Caucasians, Asians, and other European countries have their own bet for male modeling stardom, the black fashion authorities readied their own bets with a roster of Most Promising Black Models that included: Timothy Lewis, Miguel Harichi, Connor Moore, Alpha Dia, Efosa Uwubamwen, Michael Continued on Page 5


AARP Foundation Tax-Aide will provide fee tax assistance and preparation through April 18 To find a Tax-Aide location near you offering assistance in other languages, visit or call 1-888-AARPNOW

largest free tax assistance and preparation service, offering free tax preparation help to anyone, especially those who are 50 and older, who cannot afford a tax preparation service. Some locations offer assistance in additional languages, including Chinese, Tagalog, Korean, Japanese and Vietnamese. for more information or to locate an AARP foundation Tax-Aide site, visit or call 1888-AARPNOW (1-888-227-7669). An appointment may be required. “Our bilingual volunteers Tax-Aide volunteer Elaine Tran speaks three generously give their time to Asian languages—Vietnamese, Mandarin and help taxpayers who don’t speak English or speak English as a Cantonese—in addition to English. second language prepare their WASHINGTON – Beginning returns,” said Daphne Kwok, AARP on Thursday, feb. 9 through April Vice President of Multicultural 18, AARP foundation is providing Leadership, Asian American free tax assistance and preparation and Pacific Islander Audience through its Tax-Aide program. Strategy. “We need more bilingual AARP foundation Tax-Aide, volunteers so if you can help in its 49th year, is the nation’s translate, please join our Tax-Aide

volunteer team so that we can expand our services to Asian American and Pacific Islander communities.” Tax-Aide, which is offered free of charge, is available to AARP members and non-members and includes more than 5,000 locations in neighborhood libraries, malls, banks, community centers and senior centers nationwide. Since 1968, Tax-Aide has helped nearly 50 million low- to moderateincome taxpayers. In 2016, AARP foundation TaxAide volunteers helped 2.7 million people navigate complicated tax codes, ensure proper credits and deductions and file their federal and state tax returns. Taxpayers who used AARP foundation Tax-Aide received $1.41 billion in income tax refunds and more than $240 million in Earned Income Tax Credits (EITCs). AARP foundation Tax-Aide is offered in conjunction with the IRS.

Leonardo L. Salud, 95 Leonardo L. Salud, 95, passed away peacefully on Sunday evening, february 5, 2017 at Staten Island University Hospital North in Staten Island, NY. Born on November 6, 1921 in town of Cuenca, Batangas, Philippines, Leonardo graduated from Batangas High School and accounting and bookkeeping course in Manila. As an avid baker with business acumen, he helped set-up and manage several bakeries. He himself owned two businesses in Manila, gifting streets with the sweet smell of pan de sal, mamon, and ensaymada. After 13 years of engagement, he married his teenage sweetheart, Consolacion V. Cuevas in 1957. He emigrated with his wife to New York in 1992 where he enjoyed various pursuits during his retirement years. He divided his time between LA and NYC


caring for their grandchildren. He enjoyed watching and studying horse racing, voraciously debating politics, and spending time with his many friends at the Stapleton Senior Center and Sea View Adult Day Care where new activities later revealed a passion and skill for painting at age 90. He was a founding member of the filAm Senior Citizens Club of Staten Island. Leonardo demonstrated a true uniqueness in character that will be missed. Leonardo was preceded in death by over a month by his 28 year old granddaughter, Katrina DeSimone. He is survived by his wife, Consolacion, daughters, Cecille DeSimone (John) and Cora Mariano (Alex), grandson Christian Mariano (Jaime) and great grandson, Matthew Mariano. funeral will be at the Matthew funeral Home and

Cremation Services, Inc., 2508 Victory Boulevard on Saturday, 9 am. funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Patrick’s RCC, 10 am. Entombment will follow in Resurrection Cemetery, Our Lady Queen of Heaven Chapel Mausoleum. family and friends may visit on friday from 4 to 9 pm.

Self-CPR and other tips

mouth could also be performed, it should be done. Our entire school system, PhiliP S. Chua, starting from the elementary MD, FaCS, FPCS school to colleges and universities, would do humanity a great service COUNTLESS lives around the if a course in CPR and SCPR is made world have been saved by CPR mandatory in every level of its (Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation). curricula every couple of years. Accounts by locals on this remote *** Alubihod beach resort in Guimaras If the ambient air is too dry, Island (across Iloilo), where we are whether you are in desert, in a at this writing, revealed they have room with a heater during winter, witnessed CPR performed on a or on board an airplane (where drowning victim a couple of times the past several years. Actually, you the air is very dry), you can device your personal “humidifier” by can even save your own with Self soaking a face towel and putting it CPR. against your nose. This will provide Yes, you can actually perform moisture to the air you breathe in. CPR on yourself, when your The same improvisation and/or heart falters (giving you a most wet towels in strategic areas will uncomfortable panicky feeling, help humidify any dry room. irregular rhythm, with or without Running the shower will also do it chest pains, and a sensation of but terribly wasteful and not ecoimpending doom), anywhere you friendly, and expensive. are, especially when you are alone *** or driving, and save a life (your own) Large paper clips will serve well and prevent a crash that might kill as collar stays when one forgets to other people too. bring them on a trip. Or, making The physiologic mechanics: The heart is in between the left and collar stays with a piece of hard right lungs, framed by the vertebrae plastic or cardboard. A small safety pin or large needle could be used (spine) behind and the sternum (instead of the special gadget) in (breastbone) in front. When the extracting your cellphone sim card. lungs expand, like when you take *** a real deep breath, the distended Sticking a bright colored lungs will not only provide oxygen emblem of any kind (mine is a to your blood but also squeeze on red heart) on your credit card is your heart. This helps in the faster a way of identifying your card flow of blood out of the heart, at a distance, when you hand it easing the workload of your ticker. over to a sales clerk of any store, In standard CPR performed and makes it a lot easier for you by any trained person, mouth to “detect” when you are given to mouth resuscitation is done, back another card, by mistake or precisely to fill the lungs with air intentionally, which has happened. (oxygen), which also squeezes the *** heart. At the same time, cardiac One of the best ways to massage (pumping down on the sternum (chest) aimed at squeezing prevent viruses from attacking your the heart) is performed. Self-Cardio- computer (on top of your anti-virus software) is by not opening any Pulmonary Resuscitation (SCPR) is email you receive from someone a vital option when one is alone, as you do not know, and thrashing an instant first-aid measure, when faced with a situation that calls for it. them immediately. If needed, you could retrieve them from the The technique: The first Trash Bin, which holds them for 30 thing to do immediately, when days prior to final deletion. Even the symptoms start, is to take if the email comes from a person repeated deep breaths, and you know, its attachment, if any, coughing real hard between each must be tagged or designated breath. If the heart irregularity and “virus free.” Spam mail eliminator uncomfortable feeling continues is not enough. Common sense after ten series of deep breaths and vigilance do a lot more in and hard coughing, hitting the protecting your computer and chest moderately hard with a all valuable data in it. Disciplining clenched fist might help. The yourself to adhere to this practice coughing and deep breaths must religiously will severely minimize, continue as the person drives to if not avoid, virus infestation and the nearest hospital emergency computer crashes, loss of priceless room or physician’s office. The data, inconvenience, and avoidable disappearance of the symptoms as a response to the SCPR still requires expenses. *** the need for immediate medical Handling money, touching consultation. stair or escalator hand rails, door Clinical observation shows that when one is alone doing chest knobs, in public places, or even handshakes (especially with one compression during a standard with a cold) expose one to a lot CPR on a person who had cardiac arrest, the chest compression alone of viruses and or bacteria, and potential illnesses. Imagine the appears to be effective enough even without the mouth-to-mouth thousands of people of various personal habits have touching component. This is a relatively those paper bills, coins, handrails, recent finding. But if mouth to

and door knobs, conceivably many of them with poor hygiene. Washing hands at least 8 times a day is more of a rule than an exception, if one has to prevent bug contamination and upper respiratory or gastrointestinal infections. The use of alcohol “wipes” or gel also helps. Antibacterial (antibiotic) hand wash preparations are discouraged for fear of inducing bacterial resistance to the antibiotic. *** Interested in anti-oxidants for better health? Vegetables and fresh fruits, in general are the best natural sources, compared to the very expensive pills, potion and lotion in the market, advertised as antioxidants. The pill version is processed and sometimes contain chemicals with adverse side-effects. Antioxidant score: ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) measures the antioxidant units available to reduce harmful oxygen free radicals. As far as fruits are concerned, according to the United States Department of Agriculture and Brunswick Laboratories, the following are the ORAC score (per 100 Grams) of the following fruits: Bananas - 879; Plums – 7291; Oranges – 1814; Blueberries – 9019; Apples – 3253; Cranberries – 9456; and, Cherries – 3361. Sunsweet, a company popular for its preserved fruits in the United States, came out with what it calls Antioxidant Blend, a dried fruit variety combo, which includes blueberries, cherries, cranberries and plums. One fourth cup serving (40 Grams) contain 90 calories. In Asia, the popular “licorice” flavor fruit preserve “Dikyam” is made from plum. *** To those who love water sports, carrying an intact plastic garbage bag, might be life-saving, even for a good swimmer. Experts have reported cases of leg cramps among some who did not bother to wear a life vest, who were saved by a plastic bag they inflated, aiding in their buoyancy and ability to stay afloat longer, giving them the critical time for recovery from the debilitating cramps. Obviously, wearing an appropriate life vest is a must for the “seafarers” amongst us, especially for the occasional beachcombers. *** Philip S. Chua, MD, FACS, FPCS, Cardiac Surgeon Emeritus in Northwest Indiana and chairman of cardiac surgery from 1997 to 2010 at Cebu Doctors University Hospital, where he holds the title of Physician Emeritus in Surgery, is based in Las Vegas, Nevada. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, the Philippine College of Surgeons, and the Denton A. Cooley Cardiovascular Surgical Society. He is the chairman of the Filipino United Network – USA, a 501(c)(3) humanitarian foundation in the United States. For more data, visit; Email:

An Asian Journal



The Asian Journal N E W YO R K / N E W J E R S EY f E b R uA RY 1 0, 20 1 7

Maxine Medina and the ‘most beautiful day’ in the Philippines

By Monet


AfTER everything has been said—or was not said—and done, we choose to look at the bright side. We choose to see beneath the surface, avoid the negativity and focus on what really matters: the kingdom, not the ‘crown.’ Some of you may be surprised to know that I am one of the few who predicted the victory of Miss Universe Philippines Maxine Medina. We met last year and I could honestly see the potential in her. She is very pretty. In fact, her mentors (and some judges of Miss Universe 2016) agree that Maxine was “one of the prettiest” contestants the Philippines “has sent to Miss Universe and to any beauty pageant.” She has the face, the figure, the personality, and the crowd who cheered her on, to bag the crown. But she fell short in one category. And the million-dollar question is, “Why didn’t she use the interpreter?” or “why didn’t she just answer in Tagalog?” The question for Maxine was: What is the most significant change you’ve seen in the world in the last 10 years? The interpreter asked the question in Tagalog and Maxine answered: “In the last 10 years of being here in the world, I saw all the people bringing in one event like this in Miss Universe. It’s something big to us that we are one. As one nation, we are all together. Thank you. Maraming salamat po.” I was not surprised that she didn’t use an interpreter. Though for me, she didn’t need one. Did I think she should’ve answered in Tagalog and let the interpreter

translate it? I admit, I did. But was her answer wrong? Technically no. It is a valid answer, but not the best. In her defense, she was called first during the question-andanswer round and was asked a question that could go both ways. If she took her time and thought (a decade’s worth) of a more elaborate answer, say some historical event or phenomena, she have ended up with an awkward dead air and lose the momentum. On the other hand, if she responded with whatever came first to her mind, she might not be able to justify her answer. So (just like what most people thought happened), she took the safe route and answered with the ‘most significant’ event in front of her: Miss Universe 2016 happening in the Philippines after 22 years. for me, it was a safe answer. Not a crown-worthy one, but not a wrong answer either. And let’s not forget the fact that out of 86 gorgeous and talented candidates, she was one of the six most beautiful women. Despite the criticisms on

her allegedly poor English and communication skills, she got in the top six! That should count for something, with or without the crown. Speaking of the coveted crown, it may not have landed on Maxine’s head but the entire Universe will never see the Philippines the same way again after “the most beautiful day” was held in our country. Just think about those candidates appreciating our tourist spots, being welcomed by the warmest people they’ve ever met -- all of this was shown on TV! I could’ve sworn that it didn’t look like it was shot anywhere in the Philippines. The beaches were so beautiful. I almost forgot how beautiful the Philippines truly is. The Miss Universe Organization (MUO) even thought that the Philippines was the perfect host. MUO president Paula Shugart described the Philippine hosting of the prestigious beauty pageant as the ‘best show’ she has ever done. Shugart gave former Ilocos Sur Gov. Luis “Chavit” Singson of Continued on Page 7

New York Consulate General observes National Autism Consciousness Week NEW York, New York - The officers and staff of the Consulate General led the public recitation of 1Pangako in observance of National Autism Consciousness Week, which was participated in by staff members of the Philippine Mission to the United Nations and the Philippine Center as well filipino-American consular applicants, following

flag-raising ceremonies held at the Lobby Gallery of the Philippine Center. An inspiring message about autism as a condition affecting about a million filipinos today and a touching call to action for public servants to understand the struggles of the families who live with autism, was conveyed by Mr. Thor Indanan, the Consulate’s

Men’s resolute invasion... From Page 4

Lima, Kris Brummell, Jalen Mickey, Alton Mason, Chris Bruce, Lloyd Dickenson, Hamid Onifade, and Gael Carmans. It will be recalled that a handful of black male models once dominated the fashion scene armed with their distinctly brawny physical features and exquisitely peculiar personalities. And would the filipinos shy away from being recognized in the related field? The filipino diversity in ethnicity and intermarriages gave rise to a divergent look produced by a race that has “noneone-yet but-one-in-the-making” kind of ethnic evolution. A great number of Pinoy models aspire to duplicate what Pinay international model Anna Bayle had incredibly achieved in Paris, Milan, and New York and the way things are going the realization of such dream isn’t far from being accomplished. Although height has been seen as a primary impediment, the current breed of filipinos has amazingly developed staggering growth that meets international standards. The following Pinoy models have already gone a long way and just awaiting for the proverbial big break to get hold of that elusive “fame and fortune”: 1. Paolo Roldan – Canadabased 6’ 2,” former Navotas native, and the “Male Model of the Year” winner during the 2004 Singapore fashion Awards, Paolo is possibly the first male supermodel of filipino descent. Paolo has walked for Giorgio Armani, Emporio Armani, Givenchy, Michael Bastian, Bench, and currently an ad campaigner for Gap, GQ, and the clothing brands Todd Snyder, Bench, and Tatras. 2. Devon Spence – The sixfooter filipino-Swedish entered the fashion scene in 2010 and had walked the runway for Ralph Lauren, Nike, Old navy,

finance Officer. The ceremony is a prelude to the 2017 fashion Arts Autism Benefit (fAAB) which will take place at the Philippine Center in New York on April 7 organized by the Consulate General in cooperation with the Autism Hearts foundation with Philippine Department of Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial as guest of honor.

the Philippines (from Canada) was for a vacation and to play basketball but fate had it that he turned out to Original Penguin, L’Uomo Vogue, be a fashion mannequin. Ermenegildo Zegna, Aeropostale, 7. Brent Chua – A filipinoAmerican Eagle, Adidas, Saks fifth Chinese model and fashion Avenue, Nordstrom, Alternative photographer ably tagged as Apparel, Illustrado, Cole Haan, Asian Supermodel who had and Bench aside from gracing walked for numerous international the glossy pages of popular brands in Asia, Europe, and the periodicals such as Viet Beauty USA. Now New York-based, Brent, Magazine, Gentlemen’s Quarter, fantastic Magazine, MMSCENE, and who stands 6’ 1,” focuses more on fashion photography and has done Philippine Tatler. If there’s but one photoshoots for Bench, Kenneth dream he’s most obsessed about that would be a campaign ad for a Cole, and Prada. 8. Ram Sagad – A winner of branded fragrance. Century Tuna Superbods Model 3. Tyler Mata – A 6’ 2” filipinoSearch in 2007, a former Pinoy American model who was born fear factor contestant, and former in the Philippines and raised in varsity player of San Sebastian Denver, Colorado became an College, six-foot-three Ram became Instagram sensation with more the face of ford Models after than 150,000 followers. A gym signing with the talent agency. enthusiast, traveler, and family9. Alexander Dominguez – A oriented, Tyler has modeled for New York-based but Marylandinternational brands and has born filipino-American model just recently appeared in one of who is currently associated with his brother’s Pinoy Big Brother PhotoGenics LA and Red Model episodes. Management NYC. The towering 4. Tanner Mata – The 21-year6’ 2” Pinoy model has walked for old Tyler’s identical twin brother whose adventurous nature enticed various fashion shows in Italy, London, Milan, New York, and Paris. him to enter Pinoy Big Brother 10. Kirst Viray – from the (Lucky Season 7) reality show on Philippine fashion Week in Manila ABS-CBN. A former car test driver to Canada –Philippine fashion before modeling the 6’1” TaurusWeek, Kirst was named “Model of born wears a size 13 pair of shoes and easily a potential international the Year” during the latter’s event. model who closely resembles Clark The Pangasinan-born 6-footer ramp, ad male mannequin, and occasional Kent (Superman). actor, has appeared in various 5. June Macasaet – A 6’ 1” television commercials and has runway model from Lipa City, campaigned for big name brands. Batangas who clinched the Women are unambiguously most coveted title of Manhunt downright gorgeous on the runway International in 2012 in Bangkok, and billboards but the fashion Thailand, has since invaded every world won’t be as electrifying local fashion event after having sans the inclusion of men either in had added another feather to his already feathery cap…the fashion their most dapper look or barest essentials. Male models are here Asia 2014 Top Model award. to stay, so to speak. Yes, luck could 6. Brent Javier – A part time get them even further but their actor, this barely 5’ 11’ brownexceptional projection skills and skinned model was the 2003 right management could bring MTV fashionista’s Best Model of them where they wanted to be. the World, 2003 Mossimo Bikini for comments and suggestions, Summit Winner, and the Philippine representative to the International please email to: gemini0646@ Manhunt Search. Brent’s coming to

An Asian Journal

Matteo Guidicelli and Sarah Geronimo: As strong as ever



The Asian Journal N E W YO R K / N E W J E R S EY F E b R uA RY 1 0, 20 1 7

Subversive Lives: A Family Memoir of the Marcos Years By SuSan

F. Quimpo and nathan Gilbert Quimpo (Ohio University Press/Swallow Press, 2016)

FRom the 1960s to the 1990s, seven members of the Quimpo family dedicated themselves to the anti-marcos resistance in the Philippines, sometimes at profound personal cost. In this unprecedented memoir, eight siblings (plus one by marriage) tell their remarkable stories in individually authored chapters that comprise a family saga of revolution, persistence, and, ultimately, vindication, even as easy resolution eluded their struggles. Subversive Lives tells of attempts to smuggle weapons for the revolution; of heady times organizing uprisings and strikes; of the cruel discovery of one brother’s death and the inexplicable disappearance of another; and of imprisonment and torture by the military. These stories show the sacrifices and daily heroism of those in the revolutionary movement. But they also reveal its messy legacies: sons alienated from their father; daughters abused by the military; friends betrayed; and revolutionary affection soured by intractable ideological differences. The rich and distinctive contributions span the martial law years of Ferdinand marcos’

rule. Subversive Lives is a riveting and accessible primer for those unfamiliar with the era, and a resonant history for those with a personal connection to what it meant to be Filipino at that time, or for anyone who has fought political repression. In the Philippines, Subversive Lives won the Filipino Readers’ ChoAwards for Essay Anthology in 2013, and was short-listed for the National Book Award (2013). Susan F. Quimpo is a co-author and co-editor of Subversive Lives: A Family memoir of the marcos Years. She is a writer, an art therapist and counselor. For years she’s kept to her private life and practice. But last year, when marcos’ son Bongbong filed and nearly won the vice presidential post, Susan felt it was her duty to tell others the truth about the martial law era. She has been active in the fight against the revisionism of Philippine history that seeks to paint the marcos years as a “golden age.” She was also at the forefront of recent protests against the burial of the dictator’s remains at the National Heroes’ Cemetery. Susan holds graduate degrees

in Journalism and Southeast Asian Studies from ohio University; completed the Writing Program at Columbia University, and holds a post graduate diploma in Arts for Health Training (Art Therapy) from by Hibernia College, UK. Come see Susan Quimpo, one of the authors of “Subversive Lives” on march 6, 2017 at the Free Public Library of Hasbrouck Heights (located at 320 Boulevard Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey 07604). Book signing to follow after the talk.

Maxine Medina and the ‘most beautiful day’... From Page 5 the pageant host committee, LCS group of Companies, a sash that read “mister Universe” as a token of gratitude for the country’s successful hosting. Those stories about candidates falling in love with the Filipino people and even donating their pageant gowns are testaments to how the Filipinos have captured the hearts of their visitors. Some of them even opted to extend their stay. I wouldn’t be surprised if one of them decides to live in the Philippines. All I am saying is, we shouldn’t think of miss Universe 2016 as a failure just because we did not get

the back-to-back win were hoping for. We should see it as one of the most beautiful events the whole universe has ever seen. It was indeed the ‘most beautiful day’ in the Philippines and maxine was right in the middle of it all. She represented the country that gave these women the most unforgettable experience they could ever have in their lifetimes. The homecourt advantage may not have played well for maxine in terms of winning the title but it did create a huge impact on the ‘universe’ for all we know. Now, we welcome the new miss Universe, Iris mittenaere of

France. She deserves our support as much as she deserved the crown. on behalf of the beautiful people of the Philippines, I congratulate miss Universe 2016 Iris mittenaere and I hope for all the best in your reign. *** Monet Lu is a Marikina-born, award-winning 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 allnatural beauty products such as Enlighten, your solution to discoloration . To contact Monet, please visit or email him at

By deni

roSe m. aFinidad-bernardo

matteo stressed during his recent launch as endorser for footwear brand Saucony. In showbiz, where This year, matteo vows to relationships are volatile, how can Team Ashmatt, as matteo and do more things he wants to do and not those people want him Sarah are fondly called, manage to. Among those in his plans are to survive for over two years doing more independent films now? and a second album with more “Trust — I think that’s the personal songs and “a new sound.” most important thing. That’s the Following his sold-out concert open secret to any relationship,” in Cebu last year, he also yearns to tour the country with his music. Will he bring Sarah with him this time? “Sarah and I don’t work together and we’re not going to work together. We just want to do things differently and separately,” he explained. “We’re not a love team or anything. We’re not work partners. We are boyfriend, girlfriend. I think it’s different. We try to keep things separate.” This Valentine’s, his wishes for Sarah, for himself and for everyone who love them are “harmony, peace of mind, good vibes and more smiles on their faces.”

ALTHoUgH matteo guidicelli paired with his ex-girlfriend Alex godinez in a recent movie and is about to star with Kim Chiu in the next, and Sarah geronimo will be on a comeback flick with John Lloyd Cruz, matteo and Sarah’s relationship remains as strong as ever.

Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Guidicelli

That thing called love... From Page 3

deceit, despair, discouragement, disillusionment, darkness and death. And we’re left disappointed. But for all that, hope springs eternal in the human heart and keeps the romcom writers busy. We have this need to believe even if we begin to view with a jaded eye that the concept of happily-ever-after is just a myth, long after the harsh facts of reality beat us into submission in a stare-down. Slowly, warily, we learn to separate fact from fiction. our world has changed from the simple to the utterly complicated present times. We now live with ubiquitous social networks available to our fingers where we can engage electronically in our pajamas and unmade beds, engage with one another instead of what used to be face-to-face interpersonal relationships when we need to be right where we need to be to make our case. We facebook and twitter all day long electronically creating, maintaining or killing off disposable

internet relationships, that can defy space and time constraints, that can either bloom and thrive or take shallow roots and die in an instant. It doesn’t really matter. The next thing is just a click away. It remains to be seen what will come out of this relatively new phenomenon that is rewriting how this generation and the succeeding ones will find their mates that are right for them. There is no precedent, no formulas, no template, no books to copy from. The young ones may have to muddle through, make mistakes and come up with a new set of rules to write brand new stories to fire up and light their imaginations while holding steadfast in the belief written in “Desiderata” that despite “…all aridity, love, is as perennial as the grass …” Something happened in the middle of the last century to cause some kind of imbalance. Women became liberated from their traditional role after WWII. They joined the work force and learned

to be independent. The roles of genders, and those in-between, are no longer as clear-cut as they once were. With post-war prosperity and abundance, came opportunity for women who decided from a wide range of choices that included college, career, family and the chance to be financially independent. This is not to say that the past was better, only that it was different and maybe, just a tad easier to figure out. The present times pose dilemmas that leave us scratching our heads. The rules of engagement between men and women perhaps need to be rewritten. Romantic comedies often glorify the attraction of opposites. But it must be made clear in the interest of equal time, that the attraction of opposites is only one half of a truism. There’s a serious caveat emptor for all young men and women out there looking for a lifetime mate and seeking guidance from a higher power on how to best proceed. Here it is. Although opposites do indeed attract, it is the likes that Continued on Page 7

ğįōíľ ÀðıÃæµįPçįŒʼnŒæIJįıÀ ØÃĉÃæîÂߌğÃqPç qíß߼æÃıŎįĤÀíĽØƒ ÕæíŊįPdíĽIJĕ If you have an upcoming event and would like us to post it, email us the details (title, description, time & date, location, etc.) at And for consideration in our print calendar, please send submissions at least three weeks before the date of the event. To be included in our online calendar/ e-newsletter, please allow at least two to three weeks' notice. The Asian Journal would be delighted to list your event in our Calendar of Events.

Erich confirms breakup with Daniel: ‘It’s over’

An Asian Journal



The Asian Journal N E W YO R K / N E W J E R S EY F E b R uA RY 1 0, 20 1 7

by Clarizel

After weeks of speculation on the status of their relationship status, erich Gonzales finally spoke out and gave her confirmation: “It’s over”. the young actress, who recently deleted all of her couple photos, showing her with former boyfriend Daniel Matsunaga on her Instagram account, broke her silence and confirmed their breakup to the media. “It’s true po that we’re not together anymore. It’s over. to be honest po ayoko po talagang magdetalye. I just want to move on,” Gonzales said. (“It’s true that we’re not together anymore. It’s over. To be honest, I don’t really want to go into details. I just want to move on.”) However, rumors of a third party was quickly dismissed by both Gonzales and Matsunaga. Nonetheless, the actress stressed that she and her now “ex” are not in speaking terms. “Hindi po kami nag-uusap. It’s not true that we are talking. Hindi po kami magkaibigan. Walang third party po.” (“We are not speaking to each other. It’s not true that we are talking. We are not friends. There is no third party.”) the Kapamilya actress, through a press conference by her home network ABS-CBN, revealed that while she is going through a rough

Maja Salvador: The next guy should be ‘the one’

By Maridol


Erich Gonzales and Daniel Matsunaga

time right now, she has God, her family, friends, and loyal people who care for her to thank. right now, the actress stresses that she just wants to help herself move on from the failed relationship. “I think I just have to accept na may mga bagay po talagang we cannot control. Life goes on,” she said. “I deleted the photos. I unfollowed them. I just want to help myself,” she elaborated. (“I think I just have to accept that there are things we really cannot control. Life goes on. I deleted the photos. I unfollowed them. I just want to help myself.”) Despite the pain she feels, she said that she definitely learned something from her relationship

That thing called love... From Page 6

stay together. the possibility of longer, happier lives exists in such a union. In an increasingly unstable, disintegrating world such as ours, such unions of like minds, bodies and spirits make a whole lot of difference. However, NeVer discount the power of chemistry. It is a real force wired into each one that draws one to the other. Deal with it. But in the end, it is the little things that you may have to look for to muddle through the choices and get past appearances. If you are a young woman, see how he treats his mother, his sisters and all the women in his family. If he shows kindness and is respectful of them, chances are, he will be kind to you and respect you as well. the same is true of young men. Look at how your intended

treats her dad and all the men in the family. Look for kindness and generosity of spirit above all, oldfashioned traits that wear well. there are clear indicators and there are red flags. Watch for them. Do not let love or the stirrings of lust blind you totally. If faith and religion, commitment and fidelity are both important to you, the likelihood is there that these core beliefs will be a bond that will hold you in tough times. It may seem funny to you but the parents of your intended are more than likely a preview of how your fiancé or fiancée will turn out to be 2 or 3 decades from now. the past, as Shakespeare once said, is prologue. take heed. there will be exceptions of course, but the mango does not fall far from the tree. You can prevent heartache by a balanced mix of heart and mind when choosing

with Matsunaga, “Siguro kapag nagmahal ka, kailangan magtira ka para sa sarili mo.” (“Perhaps when you love, you have to leave something for yourself.”) Seeming very hurt, as told by her body language as she spoke to the media, erich said the weight of the pain she feels will definitely not permit her ever from being friends with Matsunaga. “Sa nararamdaman ko po ngayon, hindi po. I don’t want to say anything more. I just want to move on,” Gonzales declared. (“With what I am feeling right now, no [on being asked if she can remain friends with Matsunaga]. I don’t want to say anything more. I just want to move on.”) the love of your life. Sometimes, the heart is recalcitrant and makes a choice for you but know that a humble, grateful heart who asks for guidance particularly in the all too important decision of choosing a lifetime mate, in sincere, constant prayer that assaults heaven will not be spurned. If this is important to you and it should be, get down on your knees and beg for this grace. Since God gave us free will, we are able to write parts of our own stories. If we were all writers, we have in front of us, a tabula rasa, a blank page, a cursor at the ready, steadily flashing, patiently waiting for your stories to spill, the remanufactured, recycled or better yet, the brand new, original stories of romantic comedies that beg to be written. the world, I am sure, would like to hear about yours. *** Nota Bene: Monette Adeva Maglaya is SVP of Asian Journal Publications, Inc. To send comments, email

MAjA Salvador admits she is battle-worn in the love arena. Her last relationship — with fellow actor Gerald Anderson — ended almost two years ago. Yet, she is biding her time when it comes to love. Paulo Avelino’s leading lady in the upcoming film, “I’m Drunk, I Love You,” admits feeling burned out in matters of the heart. “I’ve gone through so many experiences in my love life,” she says. “I’m not the type who gets easily excited (about love). I’m more realistic about things this time.” The cast of “Wildflower”: Vin Abrenica, Maja Salvador, Joseph Marco, and RK Bagatsing this makes her extra careful in such things as dating. especially Lily, who easily found time to step on the brakes. Unlike Maja is in that stage where she a friend in Diego (jesse james Carson, her character in the movie, is getting to know her suitors, so Ongteco). who pines for her dream boy for she would rather say she is “seeing However, misfortunes seven long years, Maja knows when someone,” but not dating the guy continued to haunt their family it is time to brace herself for the big exclusively. when Diego’s father, raul torillo breakup. And she prepares herself It is a choice she is happy with, (Wendell ramos), lusted over Camia emotionally, making sure there is no even if it means spending Valentine’s turning back. and sexually harassed her. Without Day guesting in her friend Vice hesitation, Dante immediately filed “Once I’m done, I’m done. I’m Ganda’s concert, and promoting a case against raul, who happened not into reconciliations. everything “I’m Drunk, I Love You” in the days to be the husband of town mayor has a limit. Move on, if you can’t see leading up to february 14 (the emilia Ardiente torillo (Aiko forever.” movie opens february 15 in cinemas Melendez). to protect their family’s But she is not closing her doors nationwide). reputation, emilia took matters into on second chances. Maja saw how “I’m already 28. I won’t rush into happy her mom was when she her own hands. a relationship. the next one should In just a snap, Lily’s life suddenly tied the knot with roy Linklater, a be with a guy who can be ‘the one’.” crashed when his father suspiciously Canadian, last December. “the one” should be mature died of a heart attack. Lily was forced “My mother tied the knot at 50, enough to know that Maja lives to leave her mother. Luckily, Lily and got another chance at forever. and breathes in a complicated escaped the wrath of the Ardientes It’s nice to know that love offers lots world. Problem is, she notes that and found herself in the home of of surprises.“ some non-showbiz guys do not Prianka Aguas (Priscilla Meirelles), Maja is waiting for that big understand the demands of her job. surprise that will sweep her off her who adopted her and raised her like But she is not closing her doors on feet and take her to the altar, straight her own. them. A few years after, Lily finally to a life of sweetness and bliss. “Showbiz or non-showbiz, it returns to Poblacion Ardiente as Despite her failed relationships, doesn’t matter, as long as God sent the seductive and powerful Ivy, it is nice to know Maja still believes him to me,” she points out. who vows to seek revenge against in forever. What matters is that the the Ardientes. everything will work Wild flower guy accepts what Maja does for out as planned, until she crosses revenge has never been this a living, and understands her paths with her long lost friend, wild as Maja stages her muchcompletely. Diego Ardiente torillo (joseph awaited comeback on television as In return, Maja is pours her heart Ivy in “Wildflower” beginning this Marco). and soul into a relationship. She How will Diego affect Ivy’s plans Monday (feb 13) on ABS-CBN. takes the guy for who he is, warts to avenge her family? Will justice Before anger turns her into Ivy, and all. for the death of her parents finally get to know her first as Lily (Xyriel “the biggest lesson I learned be served? Is there a chance for Manabat), a young girl who grew up from my past relationships is that forgiveness and love in Ivy’s heart? in a loving family. Her father Dante you love someone, not because he’s (Christian Vasquez), who worked Also joining the cast are tirso your boyfriend. You love him when Cruz III, rK Bagatsing, Vin Abrenica, as a lawyer, unfortunately received he’s strong, when he’s weak; when Malou De Guzman, Ana Abad death threats for a case he handled. he’s right and when he’s wrong, Santos, Arnold reyes, and Izzy this prompted him to leave town when he hurts you and when he Canillo. with his wife, Camia (Sunshine Cruz), makes amends. You don’t give up “Wildflower” is directed by Onat and their daughter and relocate to on him.” Diaz, raymond Ocampo, and Cathy Poblacion Ardiente. While this seems great, Maja is Camarillo under the production unit the first week in Poblacion realistic enough to know when it is Ardiente went well for her family, headed by ruel Bayani.

An Asian Journal



The Asian Journal N E W YO R K / N E W J E R S EY FEbRuARY 10, 2017

New york:new jersey february 10 16, 2017  
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