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Volume10 – Issue 19 • 16 Pages


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Philippine drug war suspended Duterte orders arrest of ‘rogue’ cops by Klarize

Medenilla AJPress

the Philippine national Police (PnP) has suspended the war on drugs to prioritize the “cleansing” of “rogue” PnP officers, Director General ronald dela rosa announced on monday, January 30. “to all the rogue cops, beware! We no longer have a war on drugs,” Dela rosa told reporters. “We will cleanse our ranks...then maybe after that, we can resume our war on drugs. the president told us to clean the organization first.” Dela rosa told the media that the tem-


PNP Chief Ronald dela Rosa



from the AJPress NEWS TEAM AcroSS AMEricA

Fil-Am appointed White House assistant press secretary As the administration of President Donald trump begins to take action, the White house has begun filling out its staff to serve the president for the next four years. one of the newest members of the White house office of the Press secretary includes ninio fetalvo, a 23-year-old filipino American, who will serve as an assistant press secretary. fetalvo, who previously worked as the Asian Pacific American press secretary for the republican national Committee (rnC), will work alongside three other assistant press secretaries. these assistants then work under three deputy press secretaries who report to Press secretary sean spicer, fetalvo’s former boss at the rnC. After trump’s inauguration on friday, January 20, spicer asked fetalvo to come on board as an assistant, and he got to work the following monday. “It’s truly a very humbling experience. It’s a


NaFFAA’s millennial leaders seek to increase civic, political involvement among Fil-Ams GeArInG up for its 20th anniversary this year, the millennial leaders of the national federation of filipino American Associations (naffAA) have shared their vision for the organization and how to encourage political empowerment among the fil-Am community. the organization’s new national chairman, Brendan flores, and executive director, Jason tengco, have been traveling to different areas across the country to meet with and listen to the concerns of fil-Ams. one of the issues that consistently arises is how to increase civic engagement, especially among the second and third generations. “A lot of our fil-Ams, young people, are not aware. You have to understand that their parents were too busy working two jobs to put food on the table and they were never really educated


BAD COPS. An irate Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa on Wednesday faced seven Pampanga cops accused in robbery-extortion of three Korean nationals. Dela Rosa could not contain his disappointment while cursing low ranking officials of Angeles City Police Office at Camp Tomas Pepito in Barangay Sto. Domingo. photo

Duterte won’t help Amnesty International: Police undocumented Filipinos gets paid to kill in PH drug war in US facing deportation War vs. the poor

by dana

SioSon AJPress

Wilnor Papa and Sr. Maria Vida Cordero of Amnesty International condemn the killings of poor people during a press conference in Quezon City on Wednesday, Feb. 1. photo by Boy Santos

How Trump’s immigration EO might affect the Philippines by audrey


mAnILA, Philippines — us President Donald trump’s executive order on friday., Jan. 27, halting the us refugee program for 120 days and preventing immigration from seven muslim-majority countries has sent shockwaves across the globe, with both leaders and ordinary citizens from several countries expressing consternation and outrage over the order. the seven muslim-majority countries affected by the order are Iran, Iraq, Libya, somalia, sudan, syria and Yemen. Although the Philippines is not included in the list, this ban has taken particular resonance among filipinos not only because of the scale of immigration to the us from the Philippines but also the pronouncement on monday of President rodrigo Duterte


humAn rights watchdog Amnesty International (AI) has accused the Philippine government of paying police officers “to kill thousands of alleged drug offenders in a wave of extrajudicial executions.” In its report released on Wednesday, february 1, Amnesty claimed that the police “systematically targeted mostly poor and defenseless people across the country while planting ‘evidence’, recruiting paid killers, stealing from the people they kill and fabricating official incident reports.”


by Klarize

Medenilla AJPress

PhILIPPIne President rodrigo Duterte announced that his administration will not help undocumented filipinos “out of respect” for u.s. President Donald trump’s policies. At a news briefing at malacañang on monday, January 30, Duterte demonstrated support for trump’s widely criticized executive order which calls for a temporary u.s. travel ban for refugees from seven muslim-majority nations. “to filipinos there (in 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,” Duterte affirmed. “You know it is a violation of the law.” there are more than 310,000 undocumented filipinos in the united states on the Department of homeland security’s list of individuals who are up for deportation. It is

Palawan, Boracay islands get boost at New York Times Travel Show

the top island destinations in the world according to Conde nast’s traveler’s 2016 reader’s Choice Awards while Palawan was PALAWAn and Boracay – two of the best named by travel + Leisure as “World’s Best islands of the Philippines were on top of Island”, followed closely by Boracay as the the list of travellers in 2016, according to a second-best and winning over equally facouple of major travel and lifestyle maga- mous destinations such as Bali in Indonesia, zines – travel + Leisure and Conde nast’s tahiti in french Polynesia and santorini in Greece. traveler. the international recognition of these isthree Philippine Islands – Boracay (#1), Palawan (#2), and Cebu (#5) – ranked among u PAGE A3 by MoMar

G. ViSaya


Department of Tourism-NY officer-in-charge Zeny Pallugna (left) discusses the under the radar destinations that the Philippines has to offer along with top rated island such as Boracay, Palawan and Cebu at the New York Times Travel Show held last week. AJPress Photo by Momar G. Visaya


Don’t build arms depots, Duterte warns US military by dana

SioSon AJPress

PhILIPPIne President rodrigo Duterte has accused the united states of building ‘permanent’ arms depot in the country. In a televised conference on sunday, January 29, Duterte claimed that the u.s. military is presently unloading arms in the following provinces: Palawan, Cagayan de oro, and Pampanga. “they’re unloading arms in the Philippines now... I’m serving notice to the armed forces of the united states. Do not do it, I will not allow it,” Duterte stressed. the president then threatened that he would respond by repealing the Visiting forces Agreement (VfA). “A depot by any other name is a depot. It’s a permanent structure to house arms. And I do not even know if there is a nuclear tip now that they are unloading because we don’t allow that,” Duterte argued. the VfA, a treaty ratified by



From the Front Page

Philippine drug war…


SPECIAL GUESTS. China’s Ambassador to Manila Zhao Jianhua meets Russian Ambassador Igor Khovaev during celebrations to mark the Chinese new year in Binondo, Manila on Saturday, Jan. 28. Also in photo is Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada. photo by Roger Rañada

Amnesty International: Police…


“This is not a war on drugs, but a war on the poor. Often on the flimsiest of evidence, people accused of using or selling drugs are being killed for cash in an economy of murder,” Tirana Hassan, AI crisis response director, said. Since President Rodrigo Duterte took office last July, the number of people killed in drugrelated cases has reached 7,000, according to the Philippine National Police (PNP), with least 2,250 reportedly killed during legitimate operations. The majority of these killings,

according to AI, “may amount to crimes against humanity.” “Under President Duterte’s rule, the national police are breaking laws they are supposed to uphold while profiting from the murder of impoverished people the government was supposed to uplift. The same streets Duterte vowed to rid of crime are now filled with bodies of people illegally killed by his own police,” Hassan added. Amnesty’s report, titled “If you are poor you are killed: Extrajudicial Executions in the Philippine’s ‘War on Drugs,’” came a couple of days following Du-

terte’s order to pull out the PNP from anti-illegal drug operations nationwide to focus on “internal cleansing.” Duterte made the order amid the controversial death of South Korean businessman Jee IckJoo, who was abducted from his home in Pampanga, along with his house help, reportedly under the guise of an anti-illegal drug operation last October 18, 2016. Earlier this year, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) pronounced Jee dead. The Department of Justice (DOJ) later revealed that he was alleg-


Don’t build arms depots, Duterte warns US…


both countries in 1999, states that the U.S. forces are not allowed to build permanent structures anywhere in the Philippines. Duterte took note that the U.S. is violating the VFA by allegedly constructing permanent depots. “It’s not allowed by the treaty. You do that and I will consider a review and maybe ultimately, abrogation, since it is an executive order. (I will) abrogate the treaty altogether,” he warned. Duterte made the remarks following the reports that the U.S.

is set to start constructing and upgrading facilities on its military bases in the Philippines this year. The construction, according to the Philippine Department of National Defense (DND), is part of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) both signed by the Philippines and U.S. in 2014. EDCA allows U.S. forces to be deployed in Philippine territory temporarily for maritime security, and humanitarian and disaster response operations. At the same time, Duterte claimed that the arms depots will

serve as the U.S. troops’ supply line against China’s missiles in a possible shooting war related to the South China Sea dispute. “Those missiles are very near the Philippines. They will hit Cagayan, Palawan and Basa. So? I am not stupid to allow that to happen. You may be our friend but don’t include us in your fight. You place us all in danger,” Duterte said. Last week, the U.S., under the new administration of President Donald Trump, has vowed to prevent China from claiming ‘in-


porary suspension of all anti-drug operations – including Oplan Tokhang, a PNP project launched to warn illegal drug traffickers to stop their operations – was a result of the mishandling of the “kidnap-for-ransom” operation of Jee Ick-joo, a businessman from South Korea. Ick-joo was reportedly kidnapped by police in Angeles, Pampanga on October 18, 2016, and was strangled to death at the PNP headquarters at Camp Crame. President Rodrigo Duterte, who denounced the actions of the police officers involved in the Ick-joo operation, supported the decision for the PNP overhaul. “But itong killing ng Koreano (But this killing of the Korean), the place was just incidental,” the president said in a statement released from the Presidential Office of the Press Secretary. “Na-kidnap na nila, nakuha na

nila (They kidnapped him, they took him), they could have killed, strangled him anywhere but [the fact that it happened] inside Camp Crame is really bad.” The current investigation into the matter pinned PNP Superintendent Rafael Dumlao as the mastermind, but Duterte gathered that it is actually a conspiracy in which all those involved deserve “equal criminal liability,” according to the statement. The president – who has built a political career on an anti-corruption agenda – also asserted that more than 6,000 police officers are involved in the illegal drug trade. At the swearing of newly promoted military generals at Malacanang on Monday, January 30, Duterte asked the military to assist in the overhaul of the PNP. “Kung hindi ko kayo ipasok sa laro, patay ako. Walang magtingin diyan sa abusadong pulis (If I don’t put you in the picture, I am

doomed. Nobody will look after the abusive policemen),” he said addressing the military. “The culture of corruption in the police is matindi (serious).” Previously, Duterte has apologized to South Koreans and even spoke with Jee’s widow, Choi Kyung-jin, and assured her that justice will be “swiftly served.” Amid all the allegations of corruption infiltrating throughout police ranks, Duterte took a step forward in arresting cops who don’t follow orders. “No police in this country anywhere is allowed to enforce laws related to the drug campaign. Kasi magamit nila ‘yan, palitan nila ‘yang warrant, palitan lang ang pangalan tapos pupunta (Because they can use and change the names in the warrant and then they proceed),” the president said, admitting that the overly violent cops may have taken advantage of the drug war to engage in misconduct. n

Duterte won’t help undocumented Filipinos… PAGE A1 t

unclear whether they are criminal offenders. Various Fil-Am groups criticized Duterte for his decision to stay away from the issue, which they say is liable to displace families across the nation. “It’s a shame that Duterte would not ‘lift a finger’ to help Filipino migrants who are in need,” Joanna Concepcion, executive director of the Filipino Migrant Center, told Inquirer. “What will Duterte do for the families who are depending on (the undocumented Filipinos’) remittances?” Some organizations have suspicions about Duterte’s high regard for the Trump administration, like Chair of Bayan USA Bernadette Ellorin, who echoed Concepcion’s argument concerning Filipinos in the U.S. providing for their families in the motherland. “What is there to respect about abuse of executive power of the rich over undocumented workers in the US?” Ellorin told Inquirer, adding that so many undocumented Filipinos are “living in the shadows and in fear of a repressive Trump administration that has called Filipinos ‘animals’ and from a ‘terrorist’ nation.”

President Rodrigo Duterte

Pattern of respect Previously, Duterte and Trump expressed respect for one another as world leaders when Trump was elected on November 8. According to Duterte, the new U.S. president expressed support and respect for Duterte’s violent crackdown on illegal drugs during a phone call on December 3, 2016. Trump even intimated that he thinks that the Duterte administration is handling the situation “the right way.” “You know, Trump said, ‘I will not interfere in the affairs of other countries.’ Now, if he has

policies to protect his country, I’ll understand because when he said we will not interfere in [your] anti-drug war, you’re doing it right. As a matter of fact, my country is also facing the same serious problem,” Duterte said at a press conference on the evening of Sunday, January 29. “So out of respect, I can only answer him in the manner that he as told me. I will not interfere.” As the Asian Journal previously reported, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar affirmed the administration’s deci-


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From the Front Page


How Trump’s immigration EO might affect…


(Upper left photo) Officers of the Philippine Department of Tourism in New York (PDOT-NY) led by Ms. Zeny Pallugna (2nd from left) and the Philippine Consulate General (NYPCG) led by Consul Felipe Carino (far right) at the Philippine booth of the 2017 New York Times Travel Show at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in Manhattan. Also joining them is travel/tour operator Ms. Zoila Mendoza (2nd from right) and Mr. Wendell Gaa (far left), economic assistant at the Consulate. (Upper right to lower right photo) PDOT-NY, NYPCG and Philippine Airlines officials assist various guests at the Philippine booth. Photos courtesy of PDOT-NY/PCGNY

Palawan, Boracay islands get boost at…


land destinations from travelers themselves is a major boost to the country’s tourism efforts aimed at encouraging more tourists to visit the Philippines to experience its unique beauty and culture. The Philippines’ top three island destinations and other natural attractions were among the highlights featured at the Philippine booth during the New York Times Travel Show held at Jacob Javits Convention Center on 27-29 January 2017. Department of Tourism Officer-in-Charge Zeny Pallugna joined other panelists from Macau, Korea, Japan, China and Malaysia in a panel discussion called “Focus on Asia”. The panel discussed, among other things, up and coming travel destinations in the Asia-Pacific region, which are not yet on the radar of most clients. Savvy travelers are always on the lookout for the next big thing in travel, destinations that can truly be labeled as hidden gems. In her presentation, Pallugna talked about going beyond one’s bucket list and talked about how there are plenty of destinations in the Philippines aside from Palawan and Boracay. “We have Siargao, considered as one of the world’s top ten surf spots and a haven for scuba divers since the Philippines is on the apex of the coral triangle. You can also go swimming with whale sharks in Cebu and Sorsogon,” Pallugna said. “You can also travel up north to see the Banaue Rice Terraces and the hanging coffins of Sagada in Mountain Province.” Being at the so-called apex of the coral triangle, the Philippines is has the world’s greatest biodiversity of marine life. Pallugna also shared that the Philippines is one of three countries where there are bodies of water with non-sting jellyfish. The two others are Palau and Indonesia. On hand to welcome and assist visitors at the booth Pallugna and her team, the Philippine Consulate General in New York led by Consul Felipe F. Carino III. Also addressing guest queries at the booth were officials of Philippine Airlines

and travel/tour operator Ms. Zoila Mendoza. The New York Times Travel Show is a three-day event featuring nearly 500 exhibitors representing over 150 countries. One of the most popular attractions in New York during the winter season, the Travel Show is currently the largest travel trade and consumer show in North America counting visitors from all over the world. The Travel Show has notably grown in attendance within the past few years, as thousands of guests flock to the Javits Center to learn more about selective global destinations, as well as new opportunities in the travel industry. The event promotes travel to domestic and international hot spots, popular travel sites and off-the-beaten path destinations. Travel developments According to documents obtained by the Asian Journal, almost 5.4 million tourists visited the Philippines from January to November 2016 and spent 210.76 billion pesos. This represents 12.12% increase in tourist arrivals for the same period in the previous year. Almost a quarter of this figure or 1.33 million came from Korea, followed by USA (771,849); China (630,327); Japan (491,261) and Australia (218,438). Rounding up the top ten markets are Taiwan, Singapore, United Kingdom, Canada and Malaysia. Among these markets, China and Taiwan posted the highest upsurge of arrivals with 39 and 30 percent growth, respectively. Tourists from other countries such as India, Saudi Arabia and European countries led by Germany, France, Spain, Netherlands and Sweden also showed an uptick in arrivals in 2016. A number of hotels and casinos are also expected to open in the next couple of years to accommodate more tourist arrivals. The Westin Manila Bayshore, with 600 guestrooms, is slated for opening on December 1, 2018. It will be part of Resorts World Bayshore in the Entertainment City in Parañaque. The Sheraton Manila Hotel, with 350 guestrooms, is scheduled to open on March 15, 2018 at the Resorts World Manila complex in

Amnesty International: Police…


edly killed by policemen inside the PNP’s main headquarters in Quezon City. “The police are behaving like the criminal underworld that they are supposed to be enforcing the law against, by carrying out extrajudicial executions disguised as unknown killers and ‘contracting out’ killings,” AI claimed. Citing a testimony from a cop with the rank of Senior Police Officer 1, AI said in its report that policemen were paid at least P8,000 for every drug suspect they manage to kill. “We always get paid by the encounter...The amount ranges from 8,000 pesos (US $161) to 15,000 pesos (US $302)... That amount is per head… We’re paid in cash, secretly, by headquarters...” the police officer was quoted as saying in the report. “There’s no incentive for arresting. We’re not paid anything.” Reacting to AI’s claims, Malacañang reiterated that the extrajudicial killings in the country are not sanctioned by the state -- the same conclusion made by the Senate committees on justice, and public order and dan-

gerous drugs. “Their joint investigation of deaths during police anti-drug operations shows there is no state-sponsored policy of extrajudicial deaths and that there is relentless effort on the part of the PNP to carry out the campaign properly and within legal processes,” Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella pointed out. He also said that an estimated 1.1 million drug personalities have already surrendered in relation to the PNP’s anti-drug operation, Oplan Double Barrel. “The same operations have yielded 53,025 arrests and neutralized 2,555 drug personalities,” Abella added. PNP chief Director General Roland “Bato” Dela Rosa, for his part, also denied that the PNP is paying cops to kill drug suspects. He said the government does not have the funds to pay killers. “Ang PNP wala pong funding para sa mga ganoon (The PNP has no funding for that),” Dela Rosa said. “[For] all you know paninira na naman ‘yan sa administrasyong Duterte (it just a propaganda destroy the reputation of the Duterte administration).” n

Duterte won’t help undocumented…


sion to respect U.S. policies and promised not to intervene, even if it does mean turning away Filipinos facing deportation. “I can tell you right now that that our president cares for any Filipino, not only in the Philippines, but around the world -- he cares for them,” Andanar said at a press conference in Los Angeles on Monday, January 23.

Andanar added: “If you’re asking me what our policy is right now, we have to respect the new administration [because] they are still in transition. We have to wait and see which policies they will push forward, which policies they announced during the campaign...we respect the political and democratic process here in the U.S. and as I mentioned, noninterference.” n

Pasay. Conrad Manila, the first Hilton Worldwide and Conrad Hotels and Resorts property in Manila with 347 guestrooms, was officially launched last June 2016. The hotel was home to the candidates of the recently concluded Miss Universe pageant held at the Mall of Asia Arena. Among the other new hotels in the Philippines are Citadines Millennium in Manila; Park Inn by Radisson Clark in Clark, Pampanga; Movenpick Resort Boracay in Boracay, Aklan; TRYP by Wyndham in Manila and Aqua Boracay by YOO in Boracay. n


that he would not “lift a finger” to help Filipinos in America who would be affected. This may have caused inadvertent confusion and concern among many in the Philippines. Here’s what the order does and doesn’t do, and how it might affect Filipinos. According to The Atlantic, an American magazine, the executive order applies only to nonUS citizens. However, according to the magazine, the White House said that their Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) would have “discretionary authority” to question US citizens, including Filipinos who have acquired American citizenship, who will be arriving from the seven Muslim-majority countries covered by the ban. The scope of the prohibition covers refugees waiting for resettlement in the US. In the case of refugees from Syria, they are prevented from entering the US “indefinitely.” Filipinos on any visa category can still enter the US because only citizens from the said Muslim-dominated countries are banned, so far. Filipino green card holders are also not yet affected since only card holders from these countries traveling overseas are covered although these instances would be considered on a case-to-case basis, The Atlantic reported. Filipinos holding dual citizenship could still breathe a sigh of relief because the order targets only those from the mentioned countries holding dual citizenship with another country. However, CBP personnel can question people not from the banned

countries who hold dual citizenship based on their discretion. This does not mean that the Philippines will not be affected in the future especially in light of reports indicating that the ban is likely to be extended to other countries and Trump’s statements when he was still campaigning for the US presidency. During the campaign, thencandidate Trump promised that he would suspend immigration from states with a proven history of terrorism against the US and its allies. In August last year, Trump was criticized by Filipinos and Filipino-Americans after he proposed a ban on immigration from the Philippines which he included in his list of terrorist havens. The Philippine inclusion in Trump’s list of terrorist havens seems to have a basis especially if the US State Department’s annual report on global terrorist activity is to be believed. In the report, the Philippines, specifically the southern areas of the country, was named as a terrorist activity haven together with Somalia, Mali, Libya, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Indonesia, Malaysia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen. If this happens, the Philippines will be significantly affected especially in terms of immigration and overseas Filipinos workers (OFWs) remittances. According to an analysis by CNN, a total of more than 2.73 million nonimmigrant and immigrant visas were issued by the US State Department to citizens of countries that were either labeled “terrorist safe havens” (the category of the Philippines), “state sponsors of terror,” “na-

tions where terror networks are based and operate” or “countries with active terror cells.” Of the 2.73 million visas issued, more than 235,000 were issued to the Philippines, the second highest number among those on the list. These people are on top of the 3.5 million Filipino immigrants already living in the US in 2013, according to the Migration Policy Institute. If Filipinos are barred from entering the US, this will have serious repercussions on the Philippine economy especially on the remittances of our countrymen working abroad. Latest data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas showed that from January to November 2016, $8.06 billion was remitted by Filipinos in the US, a figure that is 5.3 percent higher than the amount during the same period the previous year. This number might not include money coming from Filipinos who came to the US illegally. They are estimated to be numbering up to 300,000, based on Malacañang speculations. The number of Filipinos who might not be allowed to enter the US should a policy be enacted and the ban’s impact on the amount of money sent home by Filipinos seriously warrant the government’s attention on this matter. Considering the impact of this on the economy, which is heavily reliant on remittances, as well as on the lives of Filipinos both in the US and in the Philippines, the government should have measures and programs in place to address the possible ramifications of Trump’s executive order. Simply stating that it “won’t lift a finger” is not enough. n


Dateline USa • (212) 655-5426

Fil-Ams join LAX protest against travel ban by Eric

Anthony LicAs AJPress

THOUSANDS of demonstrators occupied Los Angeles International Airport and other flight hubs nationwide on Sunday, January 29, demanding the release of travelers detained as a consequence of President Donald Trump’s sweeping executive orders on immigration. Gillian Christensen, an acting spokesperson for the Department of Homeland Security, told the Los Angeles Times on Sunday that Customs and Border Protection had finished processing cases regarding those who had entered the U.S. following the implementation of a 120-day travel ban affecting seven predominantly Muslim countries on Friday, January 27. SCARF FASHION. Amina Ameroding of Marawi CIty sells hijab at the Islamic Center in Quiapo, Manila as Muslim communities celebrate Volunteer attorneys in Los AnWorld Hijab Day on Wednesday, February 1. photo by Marianne Bermudez geles announced just after midnight on Monday, January 30 that all persons held in airport detention centers that they were aware of had been released. The news came after 12 hours of protest that delayed flights and slowed traffic southern Philippines.” and the eradication of global terror throughout the city’s freeway sysby DAnA M. sioson It said AFP procured the weap- networks,” the U.S. Embassy in Ma- tem. AJPress ons through the U.S. government’s nila said on its official website. “Yes, there was some disruption CONTINUING the commitment Foreign Military Sales program. Earlier this week, President Ro- in people’s travel’s but it is someApart from the small-arms weap- drigo Duterte warned the United thing that needs to be heard,” LA to fight terrorism, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has re- ons, the U.S. government also de- States to stop building ‘permanent’ City Councilmember Jose Huizar ceived new military equipment livered a RQ-11B Raven unmanned arms depot in the Philippines, told the Asian Journal outside of from the Joint United States Military aerial vehicle system. The Raven, threatening that he would respond which consists of three drones, will by repealing the Visiting Forces Assistance Group (JUSMAG). The weapons, delivered in Clark “increase the AFP’s capabilities to Agreement (VFA). Airbase, Pampanga by representa- conduct intelligence collection, The VFA, a treaty ratified by tives from the U.S. Embassy in Ma- mission planning, and reconnais- both countries in 1999, states that PAGE A1 t nila on Friday, January 27, included sance operations.” U.S. forces are not allowed to build The Philippine service members permanent structures anywhere in real honor to work on behalf of our over 400 M203 grenade launchers, country and the American people. also received training on its opera- the Philippines. and 85 M40A5 sniper rifles. According to the U.S. Embassy, tions and maintenance. “They’re unloading arms in I’m really excited to see what Pres“The equipment transfer and the Philippines now... I’m serving ident Trump and Vice President these weapons will “help enhance the AFP’s counterterrorism capa- continued bilateral training efforts notice to the armed forces of the [Mike] Pence accomplish to truly bilities,” and “protect Philippine demonstrate the commitment be- United States. Do not do it, I will make the country great again,” Fetalvo told the Asian Journal on security forces actively engaged in tween the Philippines and U.S. to not allow it,” Duterte said. counterterrorism operations in the work towards safer communities u PAGE A5 Thursday, January 26. His press portfolio includes a wide range of domestic issues including labor, health care, education, transportation, veterans afPAGE A2 t Koscina also took note that said that Duterte was told the fairs, among other issues. ternational territories’ along the EDCA “does not provide for wrong information about the “It’s great to work with issues contested waters in the South permanent U.S. bases in the arms depot. that directly affect the American Philippines.” China Sea. “I think perhaps some misin- people,” Fetalvo said. “Even if you “The United States has no in- formation was given to the presi- look at health care, veterans af“Don’t drag the Philippines because I will not allow it. You tention to re-open military bases dent and that’s why he made the fairs, these are issues that affect will kill the Filipinos. How can in the Philippines. The United statement expressing concerns the American people, including the we fight back? You place us all in States and the Philippines have about possible weapons depot. Filipino-American community.” been allies for many decades, The fact is we are not building a danger,” Duterte added. As a young Filipino American, But the U.S., for its part, de- and the United States respects weapons depot anywhere in the Fetalvo expressed excitement in nied the Philippine president’s the sovereignty of the Philip- Philippines,” Kim said. being an important link between pines. Our defense cooperation accusations. The ambassador added that the White House and the Ameri“No such arms depots exist has always been provided at the the U.S. projects being pursued can public. and there are no plans to build request of various Philippine ad- this year “have to do with things “Being at this position in the any,” U.S. Embassy spokesper- ministrations,” she added. like disaster relief and humani- White House really excites me to U.S. Ambassador to the Phil- tarian assistance” and “not at all just be able to help communicate son Molly Koscina said in a stateippines Sung Kim, meanwhile, related to any weapons.” n ment on Tuesday, January 31. and emphasize the policies that

US delivers new counterterrorism weapons to Philippine forces

Protesters flocked to Los Angeles International Airport on Sunday, Jan. 29. AJPress photo by Eric Anthony Licas

LAX’s Tom Bradley International Terminal on Monday morning. He went on to say that “it’s really our president who is causing these disruptions because of his insanity.” He said Angelenos had, by and large, voiced discontent with Trump’s actions. In the coming weeks, the LA City Council will vote on measures designed to resist several of the president’s executive orders which call for state and local agencies to enforce immigration law and the construction of a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico in addition to the travel ban.

The public debate surrounding those policies has largely centered on the Latino and Muslim communities, and Trump’s efforts to tighten the nation’s borders have not directly impacted the Philippines so far. However, a number of Filipino Americans took part in Sunday’s demonstration in a show of solidarity and support for immigrant’s rights. “This doesn’t just affect ... Muslim Americans,” said Katie, a Filipino American who, like many other attorneys who came to the airport to volunteer legal assistance to de-


Fil-Am appointed White House assistant…

Don’t build arms depots, Duterte warns US…

[are] really going to make our community better and more prosperous,” Fetalvo remarked. Fetalvo was born on May 1, 1993, in Fort Myers, Florida to Filipino parents who emigrated from Bicol, Philippines. Though never strongly political, they taught their son the importance of having a voice in the political process. “My parents were never active [in politics], but something that they always stressed was the importance of voting,” Fetalvo recalled. “My parents took that right very seriously.” Fetalvo is a steadfast Republican, and he attributes his FilipinoAmerican upbringing as an important factor in his political leaning. “When I started looking at issues, my values as an American and my values as a Filipino American really aligned with the Republican Party,” Fetalvo said. He cited his parents’ coming to the U.S. — where they didn’t know anybody — and building a life for themselves as his inspiration for becoming a Republican.

Ninio Fetalvo, White House Assistant Press Secretary

“So when I look at the Republican Party, I really look at the party’s values of self-reliance, individual responsibility and [they] really ensure that more people can achieve the American dream,” he said. “So for me, it’s really personal and I think that being Filipino American has everything to do with why I’m Republican.” After high school, he went on to the George Washington University


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Dateline USa


Pacquiao gets a warning: Jeff Horn eats southpaws for breakfast by Dana

SioSon AJPress

NEW FILIPINO. Maher Mohammed Al Raee takes his oath as a Filipino citizen before Las Piñas Judge Ismael Duldulao, becoming only the seventh Palestinian to be granted the nationality status under the Philippines’ stringent naturalization laws. photo by Joan Bondoc

NaFFAA’s millennial leaders seek to increase civic, political... PAGE A1 t on civic engagement, how to vote, [and] the importance of that,” Flores told the Asian Journal. Leading up to the November election last year, one of the ways NaFFAA promoted that was through its FilAmVote program, which aimed to register new voters in states like California and Nevada where large concentrations of FilAms reside. Though nonpartisan, the organization has decided that it will “engage with the Trump administration” on certain issues, Flores said. “We have been really…thoughtful in ensuring that we have a voice and a seat at the table by making sure we have representations,” Flores said. “We have been very vocal, whether it’s denouncing some of the things happening out there, so we’re partnering with national organizations to really support some of our Filipino Americans who are very much concerned with what’s happening today.” Flores, 31, is the regional banking district manager and vice president of Wells Fargo in Jacksonville, Florida. He was elected last August, becoming the youngest Fil-Am to lead the organization. Under his leadership, the or-

ganization is working to ensure that it is a “mirror [of] our community.” To achieve this, Flores said, councils focusing on various areas and issues — including women, LGBTQ, veterans, and young professions — will be rolled out across the country. “We understand the importance of bringing a diversified unit,” he said. Another issue the organization is tracking is immigration, given the recent executive orders announced by President Donald Trump last week. “We’ve been hearing a lot of concerns from leaders on both [political] sides. Individuals are worried about the immigration executive orders, in particular. Although the travel ban didn’t directly impact Filipinos, what if…the Philippines is targeted next? DACA recipients, in particular, are worried about that being next up on the chopping block,” Tengco said. He added that NaFFAA is working with legal advocates and experts to connect the Fil-Am community with resources should they need immigration assistance. In December, Tengco was named the executive director of NaFFAA, in charge of the national programs, partnerships and government affairs, among

other areas. Tengco, who was previously the Asian American and Pacific Islander outreach director for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, said working with NaFFAA is a “dream job.” “Doing Filipino-American advocacy is something I’ve actually wanted to do for a long time,” he said. “There’s really so much potential with NaFFAA. We’ve been in existence for 20 years and there’s so much work ahead and organizing the community and raising our voice in building power for us.” Tengco and Flores also made a pitch about how important it is for the community to support an organization like NaFFAA, which has been advocating and empowering on behalf of Fil-Ams for the last two decades. “We can’t lead an organization without proper funding…More than ever, this is the perfect opportunity for Filipino Americans to come together because we’ve never had an organization uniting and being the voice at the national level,” Flores said. NaFFAA is also looking to celebrate its big anniversary this October in Washington, D.C. during Filipino-American History Month, Tengco shared. (Christina M. Oriel/AJPress)

Fil-Ams join LAX protest against travel ban


tainees, asked that her full name be withheld for professional reasons. “When one group’s rights are affected we are all affected, especially as minorities. Nothing is guaranteed to us.” She said the hastily implemented travel ban that resulted in the detainment of green-card-holders, as well as refugees who had been vetted to receive U.S. visas, was unconstitutional. She declined to predict the outcome of the looming legal battle over the president’s orders, but said she hoped the courts would “do the right thing.” On the evening of Saturday, January 28, a federal court in New York granted an injunction temporarily halting the enforcement of the travel ban. However, by about 3 p.m. on Sunday, at least 125 people were still in CBP custody according to Lawyers working those cases. Despite Sunday’s announcement that all of the initial detainees had been released, Christensen said she was unsure whether or not additional cases were being processed. A small gathering of Trump supporters was dwarfed by the crowd of opponents to the President’s travel ban assembled at LAX, which grew to 6,000 and 8,000 people at its peak according to individuals helping to coordinate protestors. Demonstrators began to block the street outside the Tom Bradley arrivals terminal sometime before sundown. By about 7

Muslims gather in prayer at LAX in protest to President Donald Trump’s travel ban for 7 Muslim-majority countries. AJPress photo by Eric Anthony Licas

p.m. they split into two groups in order to halt traffic to the departures terminal as well. “We’re ready to fight for what’s right … as members of the human race,” June Caparal, a psychotherapist, told the Asian Journal as he arrived on Sunday to join the mass demonstration at the airport. “Who knows, we might be next.” Later, sometime after 9 p.m., protesters worked out an arrangement with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) in order to avoid a complete dispersal order. Demonstrators agreed to occupy intersections every 30 minutes for 15-minute intervals, partially restoring the flow of traffic. LAPD First Assistant Chief of Operations Michel Moore said that only two arrests were made that evening and described the large-

scale protest as mostly peaceful during a brief interview with the Asian Journal. People coming and going to the airport on their own business expressed surprise and frustration toward the disorder caused by the vocal and dramatic response to the president’s orders. However, many of those travelers also said that they stood behind the reasons that motivated people around the country to engage in civil disobedience. John Jimena, a Fil-Am nurse, drove through two hours of traffic from Panorama to pick up his relatives from the airport. “I’m shocked, and actually kind of happy,” Jimena told the Asian Journal. “This is not right. America was built on immigrants and that’s what makes this country great.” n

Fil-Am appointed White House assistant…


in Washington, DC where he majored in political communication with plans to eventually become an attorney. It wasn’t until his senior year when he got an internship with the RNC that he realized he wanted to pursue a career in politics. After graduating, he landed a job at the RNC as the APA press secretary, handling media and communications for the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. His job took him all around the country, and in early 2016, he temporarily moved to Cleveland as a part of the media affairs team for the 2016 Republican National Convention. Following the election, he was also a part of the Presidential Inau-

gural Committee, handling media operations for the historic inauguration of President Trump. Although most Filipino Americans identify more with the Democratic Party — roughly 54 percent are registered Democrats compared to 16 percent Republican, according to a 2016 study — Fetalvo firmly believes that the values and principles of the Republican Party coincide with the political priorities of Fil-Ams. As a young, bright-eyed Republican, Fetalvo has faith that the Trump administration will serve the American people — including the Fil-Am community — well and with distinction. “I think it’s important to note that President Trump wants to help all Americans, and that defi-

nitely includes the Filipino-American community,” Fetalvo said. “I think when you look at the issues that matter to Americans all across the country, including Filipino Americans, the issues of national security and the economy have always been a top concern.” “Under the Obama administration, the last eight years, you see people tired of the way the economy was handled and you see people fed up with how our national security and foreign policy transpired so President Trump really wants to emphasize that we can make the country more prosperous, safer and I think that he’s definitely going to be able to that to benefit all of our community,” Fetalvo affirmed. (Klarize Medenilla / AJPress)

US delivers new counterterrorism... PAGE A4 t

But the U.S., for its part, denied the Philippine president’s accusations. “No such arms depots exist and there are no plans to build any,” U.S. Embassy spokesperson Molly

Koscina said in a statement on Tuesday, January 31. Koscina then assured that the U.S. “has no intention to reopen military bases in the Philippines.” “The United States and the Phil-

ippines have been allies for many decades, and the United States respects the sovereignty of the Philippines. Our defense cooperation has always been provided at the request of various Philippine administrations,” she said.


FILIPINO boxing champion Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao just got himself a caution from Jeff Horn’s trainer: the unheralded Australian boxer simply eats ‘southpaws’ for breakfast. Glenn Rushton, Horn’s trainer, said that his fighter is a true nemesis for southpaws, warning lefthanded Pacquiao in case he’s not aware about it. “When the bell sounds, you have to be up for it, aware and ready. And he is ready. He has always delivered. Nothing stops him. You hit him and he gets up. He’s like The Terminator but that’s part of the training. It’s that warrior spirit where you try to become devoid of emotion in the ring. He eats southpaws for breakfast,” Rushton said in recent interview with Fairfax Media. Earlier last week, Pacquiao admitted that he’s never heard of Jeff Horn. “This is my first time to hear his name,” Pacquiao previously said when asked to comment about the potential challenger for his WBO

welterweight title. But despite not having a big name outside his home country yet, Rushton expressed his confidence that Horn will undoubtedly defeat the eight-division world title holder. Pacquiao, with a record of 596-2 win-loss-tie and 38 KO’s, has been a professional boxer for more than two decades. “Naturally I respect Manny Pacquiao for everything he’s achieved in the sport. But when you start to weigh it up, you will see what we have in Jeff Horn. You can’t see the future, but I believe we’re looking at a future legend. Now, they’re saying, ‘Who the hell is Jeff Horn?’ After, they’ll know all about Jeff Horn,” Rushton said. Dubbed as “The Hornet,” the 28-year-old Horn has a record of 16-0-1 and 11 KO’s. “His [Horn’s] doubters will have egg on their face,” Rushton claimed confidently. Rushton said he’s been studying Pacquiao, and that he’s confident in Horn’s ability to execute game plans. “I’ve had 10 years of this with

Sen. Manny Pacquiao AJPress file photo by Robert Macabagdal

Jeff and now, when he gets out in the ring, he’s almost in a trancelike state. Outside the ring, he’s a happy guy. Inside the ring, he’s The Hornet,” Rushton remarked. Rushton added, “It goes straight to his subconscious. He gets out there and does it, follows plans perfectly. I’ve been studying Manny Pacquiao for a long time ... to beat him, he has to follow the plan.” The fighting venue has not yet been finalized, but the PacquiaoHorn fight will reportedly take place in Australia. April 23 has also been eyed as the date of their match. n




The purge

IN recent months, when the Philippine government ushered in a new leadership under President Rodrigo Duterte, members of the police seemed to be invincible. Because they’re the government’s first line of defense—and offense—against the war it waged on illegal drugs and criminality, the police managed to remain unscathed, despite mounting poor public perception and criticisms over some officers’ alleged abuse of power and violation of human rights. The country saw a wave of drugsrelated killings since July last year. More than 7,669 deaths have been linked to the administration’s war on drugs, but only 2,555 alleged drug personalities were killed during police operations, which the officers involved say were all in self-defense. The other deaths are classified as investigated, or under investigation. The president defended the spate of drug-related killings and even admitted to personally killing suspects when he was still the mayor of Davao City. “In Davao, I used to do it personally, just to show to the (police) that if I can do it, why can’t you?” Duterte said in December last year. however, Duterte maintained that he is not condoning extrajudicial killings, saying that his directive to police authorities was to hunt for drug suspects and “arrest them if it’s possible, but if they offer a violent resistance…then kill them.” In October last year, a police van rammed into a crowd of anti-U.S. protesters who were calling for an end to American military presence in the Philippines. The van barreled back and forth into the crowd of demonstrators, scattering them like bowling pins and running over on a few of them. Duterte did not justify the police officer’s actions over the violent dispersal and maintained that he did not want any of the police officers nor the militants hurt. “I’m not justifying it. Just maybe he was un-


der stress. They might gang up on him, hurt him. So he acted by instinct, self-preservation,” he said. A total of 50 protesters and 34 police officer were injured during the

encounter. In November, Albuera, Leyte Mayor and alleged drug lord Rolando espinosa Sr. was killed in an alleged “firefight” with the operatives of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Northern Leyte (CIDG8) while being detained at the Baybay, Leyte Sub-Provincial Jail after being charged with possession of illegal drugs and unlicensed firearms. CIDG operatives went to the prison to serve him a search warrant when the encounter occurred but espinosa allegedly resisted the arrest after which the firefight ensured. espinosa and Raul Yap, another detainee, were killed during the encounter. The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) inquiry called the incident a police rubout and recommended the filing of murder and perjury charges against the CIDG officers. Duterte vowed to protect the CIDG officers, saying he was more inclined to believe the police than the testimony of criminals. “I will not allow these guys to go to prison, even if the NBI says it was murder. After all, the NBI is under me, the Department of Justice,” he said. On Sunday, Jan. 29, Duterte had a sudden change of heart when he ordered the halt on photo

the Philippine National Police (PNP)’s drug war and demanded a cleansing of the police force instead. “The culture of corruption in the police is deep. even generals are into it,” he said in a meeting with military generals at Malacañang on Tuesday, Jan. 31. he ordered for some members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to go after police scalawags. the order came in the wake of the kidnapping for ransom and murder of South Korean businessman Jee Ick-joo inside the police headquarters in Campe Crame, Quezon City. PNP Chief Director General Ronald Dela Rosa confirmed this directive saying that the cleansing

of the organization comes after a series of scandals involving police officers. After what seemed like a string of criminal incidents wherein policemen are involved as perpetrators, the very organization bound by law to uphold the law and protect the citizenry from criminality is hounded by bad cops. It is a betrayal of trust and a degradation of peace and security. The PNP is now tasked to not just ensure the public’s safety and purge misfits from the streets, it must do so within its ranks. This calls for strong and effective civilian oversight of the police. (AJPress)

Gallup Poll: Trump plummets to historic low eight days into his presidency SUPPORTeRS of President Donald Trump chastise his critics and non-supporters for not being on board the “Trump train” even after he won the majority vote of the electoral College, which catapulted him to the United States’ highest office. even as they hail him for churning executive orders one after another to build the border wall, temporarily ban refugee immigration from seven majority-Muslim countries, plans to repeal Obamacare, deregulate financial institutions and give more tax breaks to the wealthy, appoint billionaires in his administration, etc., there has been no honeymoon stage for those who disapprove of him and his vision and plans for America. Millions protested on the streets across the United States and around the world on the second day of his presidency, in airports after his

vealed Trump garnered only a “Muslim” travel ban, and many dismal 45 percent approval and more are expected as people The Fil-Am 45 percent disapproval. Data exercise their First Amendment show he is the first elected U.S. right to voice out their opposi- Perspective president to start out with a job tion of the direction Trump is approval rating below 50 percent steering America into. in the history of Gallup surveys, his supporters contend that which date back to Dwight D. Trump was just fulfilling his Gel SantoS-ReloS eisenhower in 1953. campaign promise to the AmerBy comparison, Gallup Poll ican people and that the rule of the voters who elected Trump into the highest has the following approval ratings for his immepost of the land should be respected as a man- diate predecessors: Barack Obama 68% date for Trump to move forward — an argument Bill Clinton 58% that can be debunked by the fact that Trump did George W. Bush 57% NOT win the vote of more Americans, having lost George h.W. Bush 51% the popular vote to Democratic candidate nomiRonald Reagan 51% nee hillary Clinton by nearly three million votes. And in just eight days into his term, a majority In the onset of his presidency, Gallup Poll re-

of those surveyed by Gallup Poll said they do not approve of Trump’s performance as president. Polling data showed it took the following days for his immediate predecessors to reach the below-majority approval rating: Reagan: 727 Bush I: 1,336 Clinton: 573 Bush II: 1,205 Obama: 936 WhAT should Trump do to win the support of most Americans moving forward? *** Gel Santos Relos is the anchor of TFC’s “Balitang America.” Views and opinions expressed by the author in this column are solely those of the author and not of Asian Journal and ABS-CBN-TFC. For comments, go to, https://www.

Beware of the Trump card The US will be undergoing some inStreet teresting times with the assumption of the Talk presidency by Donald J. Trump. A legend in his own mind, Trump could well have written the GReG B. MacaBenta dictionary definition of his surname: “Trump – To outrank or defeat someone or something, often in a highly public way… In the card game bridge, the trump card is the most powerful card in a particular round and defeats all the others — sort of like when your needs or wishes trump someone else’s.” In Tagalog idiom, the term nakakalamang comes close to the meaning of trump. In street lingo, napatungan ang bato means the same thing from the loser’s perspective – to suffer a disadvantage inflicted by an opponent or rival. That appears to be what Trump wants to communicate about his becoming president of the US. he not only enjoyed an advantage over all the other Republican presidential aspirants and over hillary Clinton, he now wants to deliver the message that he should have an advantage over the whole world. Over Mexico and China, to start with, and over seven countries that he has designated as sources of radical Muslims and whose citizens he has barred from the US. The word trump has an even less flattering meaning. It originally meant “a deceptive form of victory involving cheating” or, as applied in the term, “trumped up charges,” it means falsely accusing or framing someone, such as elements of the Philippine National Po-

lice planting evidence in the premises of an intended extortion victim. That negative meaning of the word applies even more aptly to the new US president which is why America is in for some interesting times, and the Philippines, as well, being a long-time ally of the United States and being dependent on the latter militarily and economically. Some alarming red flags have been raised about Donald Trump, including the analysis of several psychologists concerning his mental state. Their conclusion: Trump has a case of malignant narcissism. In an article in The Independent, Rachel hosie wrote: “Just after the election, a group called Citizen Therapists Against Trumpism was created, which was joined by thousands of psychologists. They published a manifesto warning of Trump’s psychosis, citing the following as the signs to fear: “Scapegoating and banishing groups of people who are seen as threats, including immigrants and religious minorities; degrading, ridiculing, and demeaning rivals and critics; fostering a cult of the Strong Man who appeals to fear and anger; promises to solve our problems if we just trust in him; reinvents history and has little concern for truth (and) sees no need for rational persuasion. ”The American Psychiatry Association has a nine-point checklist for narcissism - if someone displays just

five of the traits, they have Narcissistic Personality Disorder: 1. has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements). 2. Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love. 3. Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions). 4. Requires excessive admiration. 5. has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations. 6. Is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends. 7. Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others. 8. Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her. 9. Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes.” According to US media, Trump displays not just five but all nine of these traits. Said one pundit, in dealing with Trump, when you shake his hand on a deal, make sure to count not just the rings on your fingers but your fingers as well. how will the Trump presidency affect the Philippines? The more immediate possibility that the Philippines should watch out for is his obsession with

putting one over on others, from not paying contractors who have worked on his hotels and casinos, to finding ways to get Mexico to pay for the wall and giving China a hard time in the US market. In other words, beware of the Trump Card. America’s long record of beneficence and generosity may have come to an end with the incumbency of this new president. Which is fine for those countries that would like to demonstrate their self-sufficiency and independence. For all of his bluster, President Rodrigo Duterte is right when he redirects the country’s foreign policy to benefit the Philippines first – the way Trump wants to benefit America first. But there are harsh economic realities that must be faced. If Trump makes it more expensive for American companies to outsource services to other countries, one of our most lucrative generators of dollars and employment, the BPO industry will collapse. But that pales alongside the very real perils that the world faces in confronting a megalomaniac. history has told us about Adolph hitler. Is Trump capable of becoming like him? Within the first few days of his incumbency, Trump has already inflicted considerable damage on America’s relations with other countries, particularly one of its closest neighbors, Mexico. Think of the danger the world faces in the hands of a man who has access to the nuclear code. Mercifully, the laws and the structure of America provide enough safeguards against a psychotic commander-in-chief igniting World War III. But I wouldn’t be surprised if certain quarters on Capitol

hill and the Pentagon are already thinking of contingencies. For this reason, the prospect of Armageddon befalling the world during the incumbency of Donald Trump is remote. Of course, if Trump and the hawks in the Pentagon make good their vow to “block China from taking over territory in international waters in the South China Sea,” as reported by international media, and China regards that as an act of war, the way Chinese state media have warned, that should be cause of alarm for the Philippines. Being an optimist and a firm believer in the beneficence of Divine Providence,, I believe that the worst that will happen will be a game of chicken between China and the US. Both sides will find a way to rationalize the act of “blocking” China without jeopardizing its current interests, go to great lengths to agree that “international waters” are not being taken over by Beijing and that the US is simply ensuring free passage through the sea lanes, according to international law. In other words, both sides will try to save face to avoid a shooting war. But if someone inadvertently pulls the trigger – or unleashes a nuclear bomb - we can be sure that the Philippines will be caught in the crossfire – well, okay, use a euphemism, “friendly fire,” considering that Duterte believes China is a friend and America considers us a close ally. Crossfire or friendly fire, the Philippines will – or could – get pulverized. There’s an old African proverb that applies to our circumstance: When elephants fight, the grass gets hurt. (

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


Robredo faces Duterte at LEDAC meeting, pushes for bills President, VP meet for first time since Robredo quit Cabinet over politics, policy differences by DJ


MANILA — Vice President Leni Robredo expressed her thoughts to President Duterte on policy issues and sought clarifications about the administration’s legislative priorities on Monday night, January 30, in their first encounter in Malacañang since she quit his Cabinet in 2016. At the invitation of the Palace, Robredo participated in the first Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) with Mr. Duterte and leaders of Congress, including Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III and Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez. Her spokesperson Georgina Hernandez, in a statement, said the Vice President’s attendance had been mandatory. “As a mandated member of LEDAC, Vice President Leni Robredo attended the meeting to perform her legal duty to provide policy advice to the President,” she said on Tuesday. Photographs of the meeting provided by the Office of the Vice President showed Robredo seated between Pimentel and Alvarez and right across Mr. Duterte. Without giving details, Hernandez said the Vice President

Vice President Leonor “Leni” Robredo. file photo / Nino Jesus Orbeta

raised a number of “clarifications” about certain proposed bills prioritized by the Duterte administration, and pushed some legislative measures, including those on food security, freedom of information, anti-discrimination, and land use. In the past, Robredo has expressed misgivings about some of Mr. Duterte’s legislative priorities, including proposals to restore the death penalty for heinous crimes and to lower the age of criminal responsibility. Robredo, the interim chair of the Liberal Party, resigned her post as chair of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council in December after President Duterte

sent word to her staff that he did not want her attending Cabinet meetings due to their policy and political differences. Hernandez said the LEDAC meeting focused on “determining and recommending socioeconomic development goals as well as integrating priority legislative agenda with the national development plan.” “VP Leni assures our people that she remains fully committed to protect their interests and will continue to engage the administration on important policy issues,” the spokesperson said. “Aside from the clarifications she raised in the meeting regarding some of the proposed bills, our Office will submit in writing more detailed comments, including pushing for some measures which she considers to be most important for national development,” Hernandez said on Tuesday. These include the National Food Security Bill, the Freedom of Information Bill, the People Empowerment Bill, the Land Use Bill, the On-site In-city or Nearcity Bill, the Department of Housing Bill, the Urban Development and Housing Act amendments on eviction, and the Anti-Discrimination Bill. n

EDSA anniversary and Marcos burial are separate issues, says Palace by alexis


MANILA — The burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos and the anniversary of the 1986 EDSA Revolution are separate issues as far as Malacañang is concerned. Asked on Thursday, Feb. 2 how the government intends to celebrate the 31st anniversary of the People Power revolt given that President Rodrigo Duterte allowed a hero’s burial for Marcos, presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said: “You are connecting two separate situations?”

Pressed anew about the topic, Abella replied: “With dignity.” Abella said the EDSA revolution has “its own particular dignity” and the government would “give it it’s due honor.” “If you are asking me how it will be done? So, I will find out,” he added. Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea has been named the head of the organizing committee of the 31st anniversary of the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution on February 25. The event will come three months after Marcos was buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani

despite protests from Martial Law victims and human rights groups. Duterte has said Marcos deserves to be buried at the hero’s cemetery because he is a former president, commander-in-chief and war veteran. He defended anew his decision to allow a hero’s burial for Marcos in a speech Thursday. “He (Marcos) was president. He might have been a total failure, OK let’s accept that but he was a president,” Duterte said. The theme of this year’s commemoration is “A Day of Reflection: Celebrating People Power.” n

SHABU LAB. The Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) conducts an inventory of the materials and equipment used in the manufacture of shabu in the clandestine drug lab discovered in Barangay Palta, Virac, Catanduanes. Photo inset shows Catanduanes Gov. Joseph Cua. Graft complaints were filed on Thursday, Feb. 2 against the governor of Catanduanes, mayor of Virac town and a barangay captain in connection with the shabu laboratory discovered. photos

Tagle reinforces Church stand vs death penalty

THE usually quiet Archbishop of Manila, Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, on Thursday broke his silence on moves by Congress to reimpose the death penalty for heinous crimes. Tagle issued Circular No.1201705, entitled “An Invitation to Reflect, Pray and Act” addressed to the Catholic faithful in the Archdiocese of Manila, explaining the reasons why the Church opposes the death penalty. According to him, studies worldwide show that the threat of punishment by death has not reduced criminality. The best approach, he added, is to address the roots of crime. Offenders, he said, were victims of circumstances brought about by the loss of moral values, injustice, inequality, poverty, lack of access to food, education, jobs and housing, proliferation of weapons, drugs, pornography, and loss of respect for sexuality, among others. “To help solve these roots of criminality, the Church and the state need to protect and strengthen the basic unit of society, which is the family,” Tagle said. He added that death penalty may legitimize the use of violence to deal with every wrongdoing or may be applied to an

innocent person. The prelate noted that what is needed is an honest and upright judicial and penal system. “We need to reform institutions so they would safeguard justice while preventing the spread of a culture of violence. Penalties are not imposed for vengeance but for the correction of offenders and the good of society,” Tagle said “A culture of violence dehumanizes. A culture of justice, integrity, and hope heals,” he added. Tagle stressed that life is sacred because it’s God’s gift to humanity, and thus nobody has the right to take it away. “This is the reason why an ethic of life, a culture of life, is inconsistent with abortion, euthanasia, human trafficking, mutilation, and violence against innocent and vulnerable persons,” he said. “Before God the source of life, we are humble. We cannot pretend to be gods.” Also on Thursday, the Churchrun Radio Veritas also launched an online petition against death penalty. “Life must be respected. Only God has the full authority to take one’s life,” said Radio Veritas president Fr. Anton C.T. Pascual. The station aims to get one million signatures to express the

public’s opposition against the restoration of death penalty. Supporters can access the petition at Last year, the House justice committee passed the bill seeking to reimpose the death penalty via a 12-6 vote, sending the measure to the plenary for second and third reading. The proposed “Death Penalty Law” covers 21 “heinous” offenses such as treason, qualified piracy, qualified bribery, parricide, murder, infanticide, rape, kidnapping and serious illegal detention, robbery with violence, destructive arson, plunder, and dangerous drug importation. Executions may be carried out by hanging, firing squad or lethal injection. The death penalty was abolished in 1986 but was restored in 1994 by former President Fidel Ramos with the enactment of Republic Act 7659 or the Death Penalty Law. It was again abolished in 2006 by former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. According to the International Commission of Catholic Prison Pastoral Care, 124 out of 194 countries had abolished the death penalty. (William Depasupil/


february 3-9, 2017

people events arts culture entertainment







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Eva NoblEzada aNd HEr JourNEy from CHarlottE to WEst ENd to broadWay by MoMar

Filipino American theater fans in the tri-state area are counting down the days, as Miss Saigon – the musical that has cast most Filipinos than any other musical in history – makes its return to the Broadway stage this spring. previews begin on March 1 and official opening is slated for April. The musical will run until January next year and a national tour will immediately follow after that. Eva noblezada was barely 18 years old when she was thrust into the limelight and cast as Kim in the West End revival of the musical back in May 2014. She was then a high school student at the northwest School of the Arts in Charlotte, north Carolina. We chatted with Eva a couple of weeks ago at the Times Square office of legendary theater producer Cameron Mackintosh, the man behind Broadway hits such as Cats, les Miserables, phantom of the opera, Mary poppins and Miss Saigon. First, i asked her about her upcoming Broadway debut. “i’m ready. i’ve been preparing myself – not just for Broadway – but just in general. i just want to always be prepared and i feel like i’m ready to start again,” Eva shared. “i’m excited to see what changes i can make to make my performance better.” The Broadway production reunites Eva with some of her castmates from West End: Jonjon Briones as The Engineer, Alistair Brammer as Chris and Rachelle Ann Go as Gigi. This makes Eva giddy in anticipation as she has built a strong relationship with them when they were still in london. “i love them, i am a very lucky girl. i don’t think people realize how lucky i am. My relationship with Jonjon, he’s like the older brother i never had. i consider his family my family. Alistair, i get along with him really well, along

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with his lovely wife. We have a good chemistry and we laugh together. Shin is my sis, i could tell her everything. i’m grateful for her and i’m glad that all four of us are making our Broadway debuts together,” she mused. Her journey so far Eva Maria noblezada was born in San Diego, California and their family moved to Charlotte when she was six years old. They have lived there since. “Charlotte wasn’t really me but i made the most out of the time i had there and it was great. But i was really eager to leave and start doing what i love because i did not have the opportunities that i needed there,” she related. “So when it was time to leave, it was bittersweet to leave my family but i was so excited to go to london and start my life.” Despite the major adjustments, Eva fell in love with london and what the city had to offer. it was her home for nearly three years. She admits missing it so much but she is looking forward to living in new York. “london had its arms wide open for me. it was a special time of my life when i moved and lived there, alone as an independent woman. it was amazing,” she said. “i didn’t know how to imagine my life there because i didn’t move, i never left the country before so it was such a new experience and it was worth everything. Every new experience i just grabbed on to and clinged on to. i’ll never forget those first few months.” Eva spoke with a certain level of maturity in her voice, particularly when she talked about her family. She will turn 21 on March 18. Her leaving them in north Carolina was sad, but it was expected she said. She had to act like an adult and accept the “i got family-sick all the time. responsibilities that came with i wanted to see them but i had accepting the role that would to work. You can’t always have change her life forever. everything you want,” she said

Since its London premiere in 1989, Cameron Mackintosh’s production of Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg’s epic musical MIss Saigon has become one of the most successful musicals in history. The original Broadway production of Miss Saigon opened on April 11, 1991 with what was the largest advance sale in Broadway history ($37 million). The show went on to play for nearly ten years and 4,063 performances seen by more than 5.9 million people. Miss Saigon has been performed in 28 countries, over 300 cities in 15 different languages, has won over 40 awards including 2 Olivier Awards, 3 Tony Awards, and 4 Drama Desk Awards and been seen by over 35 million people worldwide.

Scenes from the London production of ‘Miss Saigon.’

Eva Noblezada

AJPress photo by Momar G. Visaya

Photo by Adam Bayjou

matter-of-factly. She found a cure to being family-sick and home-sick when she made new friends. “i made a living for myself, that’s a huge thing, not having to depend on anybody. learning to do things that i never had to learn when i was at home. it was growing up really quickly and i really loved it,” she added. born to do it Eva vividly remembers the moment she knew she wanted to be a performer. She was around four or five and she sang in front of a church where she wore “this hideous orange and pink skirt with white buttons”. She felt that everyone in the family knew that it was something she was going to do. “i was always singing, always the loudest one. i loved putting on costumes,” she reminisced laughing. “i (even) tried to make a stage in my lola’s and papa’s backyard with wood and i failed epically. “ At the age of nine, she watched her first Broadway musical, lion King at the Minskoff Theater. “i remember everything. i got emotional in the beginning. i was like ‘This is so beautiful!’ and i want to do it so bad,” she shared. “i wanted to do what they were doing. it makes perfect sense now, it is what i want to do.” nearly ten years later, she was back in the same theater, not as an audience member but as a performer on that theater’s stage singing her heart out. it was for the national High School Musical Theatre Awards or more famously known in the industry as The Jimmys, named after Broadway producer James

Jon Jon Briones as The Engineer.

nederlander. She earned the right to go to new York when she won at The Blumeys, Charlotte’s regional competition. Eva sang ‘With You’, a ballad from Ghost, The Musical. “i was initially like, ‘Meh, Ghost’ i’ve seen it and it’s sad. Then, i listened to it again and wow, it is a beautiful song. it spoke to me in ways i didn’t think a song could,” she said. Broadway casting agent Tara Rubin was inside that theater that day. She fell in love with Eva’s rendition and recommended Eva to Miss Saigon’s director laurence Connor and eventually, Cameron Mackintosh. “it was luck and it was a God thing, it was crazy. She was in the audience and it was crazy coincidental. i was just very lucky,” she said. The family went back home to north Carolina and a month later, she got a call to audition for Miss Saigon. They drove back to new York to do it, then drove back down. A few weeks later, they drove back again for two more auditions. Her final audition was at the Majestic

Theater in front of Cameron Mackintosh himself. She sang ‘i’d Give My life for You’ and after her performance, Mackintosh offered the role to her. “Three auditions in all and he told me i got the part,” she said wistfully. “i just couldn’t stop repeating what he said – ‘Would you like to move to london? Would you like to move to london?’ i couldn’t think of anything else, it was so overwhelming. it didn’t really hit me until we got home and i was screaming with my family. it was amazing,” Eva added. As we closed the interview, i asked her how Miss Saigon changed her life. She paused a bit and reflected. Then she replied, “it forced me to grow up and [it] made me realize how to understand who i am as a person and as an actor and it really ignited my passion to act and perform and tell a story. it taught me as a young woman how to live my life. it taught me a lot of things and i am grateful that i get to do this with this elite group of people and that i get to work with them.”

Photos by Michael Le Poer Trench and Matthew Murphy

Immigration Corner Atty. MichAel Gurfinkel, eSQ ON January 27, 2017, President Trump issued an Executive Order (EO) on “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.” Among the EO’s more controversial provisions are: • a 120-day hold on allowing refugees into the country; • an indefinite ban on refugees from Syria; and • a 90-day bar on citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen (later modified to allow immigrants/green cardholders from these seven countries to continue to return to the US.) While the EO primarily focuses on terrorism and controlling entry of people from Muslim countries, there are other provisions of that EO which could affect Filipinos in applying for visas or seeking entry into the US. In particular, there is to be a comprehensive review of “information needed from any country to adjudicate any visa, admission, or other benefit under the INA . . . in order to determine that the individual seeking the benefit is who the individual claims to be and is not a security or public safety threat.” There will be more focus/emphasis on identifying people, and making sure they will not enter the US under an assumed named passport (or the passport of some other person with their photo). Another provision of the EO is the government will “implement a program, as part of the adjudication process for immigration benefits, to identify individuals seeking to enter the US on a fraudulent basis . . .” As

Immigrant Living: 101 and Beyond Monette AdevA MAGlAyA

Trump’s Executive Order (on protecting the US from foreign terrorists) could also affect Filipinos part of this program of screening people, there will be in–person interviews and “a database of identity documents proffered by applicants to ensure that duplicate documents are not used by multiple applicants. . .” Many Filipinos entered the US on photo–substituted passports, and then mailed the passport back to the agency, who re–used that same passport for another client. Or, sometimes people submit manufactured land titles or tax returns purchased from Recto Street in applying for visitor visas. The person who sold them that document may have used the same tax return or land title many times in the past. This new program may detect that the same document has been used in the past. The EO also calls for DHS to “expedite the completion and implementation of a biometric entry–exit tracking system for all travelers to the United States. . .” Currently, people are fingerprinted and photographed when they enter the US, but there really is no similar tracking system for when they leave the US. Now, upon exiting the US, people may again be fingerprinted and photographed. If they came to visit and were given six months, there may be an alert that pops up in Homeland Security’s computers, that there is no evidence the person left, in which case Homeland Security may take steps to track them down and possibly place them in removal proceedings. The EO will also “immediately suspend the visa interview waiver

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program,” and instead require that “all individuals seeking a nonimmigrant visa undergo an in–person interview, subject to specific statutory exceptions.” In other words, no more drop-box renewal of visas. As you can see, when Trump campaigned, he stated he would get tough on immigration, but many people thought it was only campaign talk, and he would change once elected. But these EO’s demonstrate he means business, and is really cracking down on people who overstay, or committed fraud in obtaining visas or entry to the US. That is why it is important that anyone who has immigration issues or problems, should seek the assistance of an attorney to help or represent them, versus trying to do it on their own. *** 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)

Crewman went home to Manila on Provisional Waiver and came back to the US with a Green card – on a Special Encore Episode of CITIZEN PINOY! Leading US immigration attorney Michael J. Gurfinkel obtained a Provisional Waiver for Jerome, a crewman who jumped ship. Jerome had filed for Adjustment of Status on his own, but it was denied, because he was not eligible. With the approved Provisional Waiver of the 3\10 year bar, Jerome returned to the Philippines for visa processing at the US Embassy in Manila. His wife and children wondered and prayed if Jerome could make it back to the US. Every crewman and their US spouse should watch the outcome of this Provisional Waiver case on an encore episode of CITIZEN PINOY – on Sunday, February 5 at 6:15 pm (PST) on TFC.

Laughter and the art of seduction “A man, who makes a woman laugh, is one who instinctively knows the first thing about the lifelong art of seduction through the funny bone.”

DO you remember the last time you laughed uncontrollably, the peals and spasms of your laughter inhaled some laughing gas? so unrestrained, they led others Or perhaps, you have laughed to raise their brows and wonder uproariously with others. There if you’ve gone off your rocker or you are — your shoulders shaking,


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your eyes in tears, holding your sides, grasping your stomach trying hard not to wet your pants, while you convulse with laughter

while others around you are doing likewise, rolling around in fits of laughter over some hilarious situation or a well delivered joke. I’m not talking about the manic laughter of depraved, sick minds. Or laughter and derision that makes fun of others. I’m referring to natural laughter set off by the innate humor in situations and jokes that make light of the human condition without costing anyone

else shame and humiliation. Laughter has often been called the best medicine. And for good reason. The scientific explanation is that laughter releases a natural substance called endorphin in the brain that reduces pain and affects emotions positively. The more you laugh, the better you feel. There’s something sexy and seductive about laughter that attracts women to men who can tell a joke with great panache or show a sense of humor. Men don’t know this but women find

irresistible the one who can make them laugh so uproariously and so often. Why is it so? My best guess is that women feel connected when they laugh. That feeling of being connected is important to women. Among girlfriends and buddies, shared laughter is the bond that seals friendships and makes them last. If she’s smart, the young, unattached woman of today would do well to choose a mate who has a good sense of humor Continued on Page 6


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On the PEP Front

People, Events, Places BoBBy T. yalong Just like keys and padlocks which are manufactured with precise duplicates, some singers, no matter how distinct their voices are, could limitlessly have exacting vocal replicas…even with almost similar physical features. take Karen Carpenter (as an example) of the Carpenters tandem. Karen’s vocal resonance was divergently rich and full bodied innately equipped with such distinct silkiness and smooth glottal transition…and that her unique tonal quality easily detached her from the rest of her contemporaries. After the duo’s short-lived 14-year career (1969 – 1983) and to this date nobody ever thought that someday, somebody could stand in equivalence with her exceptional soft rock, easy listening, and adult contemporary genres idiosyncratically associated

Shane Ericks clinches her singing passion with paramount perseverance to her. suddenly several vocal deadringers emerged aptly armed with their unprecedented assertion to take the enviable spot vacated by the American singer-drummer. Initially, we thought Filipino singing sensation of the 70s Claire Dela Fuente, who rose to fame via her signature song, “sayang,” was the closest to Karen’s voice but sounded dissimilarly when rendering a variety of ditties. then came a completely unknown Japanese Karen Carpenter avid fan, Keiko, who could effortlessly deliver and uncomplicatedly perform any recorded song of the deceased anorexic singer…and one would easily grow goose bumps upon hearing her closest-to-theoriginal rendition. Keiko, in a fair assessment, has achieved her goal to be noticed…thanks to the internet prop up. until one shane Ericks

Your Love Is Enough by Shane Ericks

Perfection at its best...the face, the talent, and the voice.

Shane Ericks sings accompanied by a pianist.

instantaneously became a Youtube sensation after her initial postings accumulated immeasurable volume of followers and notably growing integers of fans… indubitably, Karen Carpenter fanatics. When vocal coach authorities declared that the greatest voices are not just heard but deeply felt while reaching into one’s soul with soothing effect, they must be directly referring to Karen Carpenter voice-alike-soundalike… fast-rising astounding discovery shane Ericks. the hasty ascent and awareness of the moniker shane Ericks among music enthusiasts could have been understandably due to her very close vocal association with the original soulful icon. shane first saw the light of day on April 9 in Malolos, Bulacan (Philippines) and the sole child of Chinese-American Chi Li and Filipino sonia Galang. Innately endowed with adequate audacity and indisputable self-reliance, shane’s ultimate dream to conquer the world in the palms of her hands via her vocal prowess isn’t far from being realized. she was destined to sing and capture the hearts of whoever perceives the sound of her potent vocal capability. the Aries-influenced chanteuse innately possesses that distinct clarity of tone in a wide range of almost perfected control and effortless ability to generate such exquisitely comforting sound so flawlessly… so very Karen Carpenter! Daintily petite at 5’2” (but not



The profile of a rising singer-songwriter who is Shane Ericks.


really diminutive) and tips the scale at 124 lbs., the dark brown haired fast-rising singer-songwriter still attends school at Greenville technical school (south Carolina) taking up Commercial Music (Music therapy) but currently on a break from her classes due to the heavy turn-out of singing engagements and recording offers. “I want to grab these rare opportunities that piled up my door for if I bid them waiting they might not be available anymore when I need them. school will always be there and I can go back to where I left anytime,” the Wade Hampton High school alumna justifiably explained her point. “With the advent of the growing number of talents and aspiring singers, my probability to be on top might be jeopardized if I’ll take everything easy. I might as well snatch and get hold of any available prospect.” After having recorded, performed, and uploaded quite a number of songs and having attracted a huge following, the potentially loaded Karen Carpenter’s spitting doppelganger has nowhere to go but up and above. through her ever indefatigable business-road manager, scott tressler, a series of electronic communication questionnaires were sent to shane Ericks which were accordingly dealt with and effectually given due reciprocation. the following interacted correspondence eventually transpired between this writer and shane.

Shane Ericks

Shane Ericks poses with her business-road manager Scott Tressler.

Asian Journal (AJ): Who influenced you into singing? Or was this a personal choice? shane Ericks (sE): Yes, ultimately, it was a personal choice but definitely there were some people in my life growing up that helped me motivate my passion for it. My singing has been a humbling God-given ability…and I’m sure my family acknowledged that I had an inclination for singing even before I was aware of it. I was heavily influenced by some great singers that I grew up listening to: Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, Karen Carpenter, sarah Geronimo, and shania twain. Also I was asked by the musical director of a huge church choir (who happened to be my Ninang) to be a part of it when I was barely 6…and that influenced me developed my singing even more. AJ: Did you undergo formal vocal training? If self-taught, how were you able to manage to be a pro? sE: Not really, although when I won the south Carolina’s “Best singer in the District and state” competitions in 2014-2015, a vocal coach worked with me only for a few sessions but I would say that I’ve been self-taught pretty much! I had constantly been involved in

singing from my childhood to my senior year in high school. I also did solo gigs here and there so that helped me a lot in perfecting my public performances. I rehearse untiringly during my personal time…in the car or even under the shower. An hour won’t pass without me singing. AJ: Who initially noticed that you sounded like Karen Carpenter? sE: It started with the people that saw the very first video of my Carpenters’ cover…and I wasn’t aware of it at all. Even famous celebrities who had personally worked with Karen Carpenter like Liberty De Vitto (Billy Joel’s drummer) straightforwardly attested to it. I’ve done many other covers by other artists and I’ve always just sung them the way I would personally sing them in my own style. Just last year in August when I found the hit song “You” by the Carpenters on Youtube I decide to make a cover of it purposely dedicated it to my lovely mom who already passed away. It was a song I was very much familiar with the melody but not the lyrics. I covered it like how I would with other songs…without the intention of imitating Karen. But Continued on Page 6



Tanning and skin cancer

amount of exposure and dose that a person gets. What are the sun-related PhiliP S. Chua, diseases of the eye? MD, FaCS, FPCS Cataracts (cloudiness of the lens), which, in severe forms, THE USFDA has issued warning could cause blindness, especially on the use of tanning beds at home with exposure to UV-B radiation; macular degeneration, the and at tanning salons: tanning major cause of impaired vision increases the risk for melanoma, in the USA for people older than a deadly skin cancer, up to 59 55; photokeratitis, a reversible percent! More than 2.5 million sunburn of the cornea, also from teens, mostly girls, use tanning excessive exposure to UV-B; booths each year in the United pterygium, growth of pinkish States. Just like with poison, the more exposure, the more sessions, tissues on the white of the eye, which may spread on the clear the higher the risk. The data are from the National cornea and block vision. This results when one has prolonged Health Interview Survey’s Cancer sun exposure on the beach or Control Supplement, published in snow without eye protection, and the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality can be very painful for 1-2 days, Weekly Report. The World Health with temporary blindness. Even Organization has also determined with eye cover, the high dose of that UV rays from tanning beds UV rays from a tanning bed is still cause cancer. most harmful to vision. A nice The second most common tan is too high a price to pay for cancer, melanoma has the blindness, much less cancer. following 5-year survival rates: How about adverse affects About 95 percent for Stage on the skin? IA, when diagnosed early, and Excessive exposure to UV rays between 5 to 20 percent for stage predisposes to skin cancer, which IV, when it has already spread to includes the face and the eyelids, other organs. besides skin in other parts of the Amazingly UV rays emitted body. There are three major types from tanning beds are up to 15 of cancers of the skin: Basal Cell times greater (deadlier) than the Carcinoma, the most common rays from the sun. Melanoma kills one; Squamous Cell Carcinoma, one person every 50 minutes, or second most common; and about 28 every day. And these are Malignant Melanoma, the most useless and preventable deaths! Let us review some facts about deadly, but fortunately, the rarest. Malignant Melanoma spreads sunlight and its harmful UV rays. What in sunlight is beneficial easily and often deadly if not caught early. and harmful to us? How prevalent are skin The sun and its light are not cancers? only beautiful but vital to our life This is an epidemic and is and survival on this planet. Without the sun, we will be frozen to death, a global phenomenon. In 1978, in the United States alone, there and life forms on earth will cease to exist as we know it today. About were 480,000 cases of nonmelanoma skin cancers, which 75 percent of our body’s supply of Vitamin D is generated by our skin’s rose to over one million in 1994, with a growth rate of 7 percent exposure to sunlight (UV-B rays in per year. In Canada, from 1970particular). Abnormally low blood 1986, melanoma frequency rose levels of Vitamin D increases the 6 percent per year for men and risk of colon and breast cancers and may also speed up the growth 4.6 percent per year for women. Australia has the highest incidence of an existing or early melanoma. of melanoma in the world. It is said Of course, Vitamin D can be taken that by age 75, two out of three by mouth. The harmful effects of Australians will have been treated sunlight comes from its ultraviolet for some type of skin cancer. In (UV) radiation, which could be the United States, the estimated dangerous to our health in more 30,000 cancer deaths each year ways than one, depending on the

could be prevented if Americans, who love sunbathing, do not overexpose themselves to the sun. How do we protect ourselves from UV radiation? First and foremost, let us not intentionally expose ourselves to UV rays, thru tanning salons (a costly way) or via the sun (for free). Just like anything in life, moderation is the key when it comes to the sun. Tanning beds must be avoided at all cost. While Americans laugh at Asian women when the latter stay under the shade or umbrella on the beach, they also recognize that Asian women’s complexions look more youthful, with less wrinkles, and that Asian women look younger in general, compared to Caucasian females. Asian women also have lower incidence of sun-related diseases. Since UV radiation comes not only from the sun but is reflected from the ground, snow, sand, water, and other reflective surfaces, the use of a widebrimmed hat or cap will reduce the UV radiation to the eyes by 50 percent. Wraparound UV absorbing eyewear provides the greatest protection because it also limits radiation from the peripheral rays. Polarized sunglasses or transition lenses reduce glare but do not, by themselves, provide protection from UV radiation. Sunglasses, and or prescription lenses, that absorb 99-100 percent of the full UV spectrum to 400 nm are the best for babies, children and adults. Labels on sunglasses should be closely scrutinized to make sure that they say the lenses absorb 99100 percent of both the UV-B and UV-A. If they do not have labels, do not buy them. Consumers must be cautious when the label claims the lenses “block harmful UV” but does not specify how much. For skin cancer protection, do not rely on sunscreen skin lotion. The best is not to sunbathe for more than 15 to 20 minutes, and apply “physical” sunscreen lotion. Wear protective clothing and wide-brimmed hat when you go outside during sunny days. Avoid sun exposure between 10 AM and 3 PM if possible. Also, it has Continued on Page 7


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Valentine date ideas on a weekday By Monet


FEBRUARy is approaching once again and you know what they say about it being the love month. I am aware that not everyone is in a relationship – or that they don’t have a date on Valentine’s. So, this piece is not just for the hashtag #alreadyhitched but also for the happily single. And since this Valentine’s Day falls on a weekday, I’ve gathered some date ideas that would suit even the most workaholic couples or for those who simply don’t have the time to set up an elaborate date (i.e. romantic dinner, ‘staycation’ weekend getaway, etc.). Read on and you might just find the perfect solution to your weekdaydate dilemma. An intimate video game session ‘Love the game, hate the player.” But there’s no hating anyone on this bad boy. you can both love the game and the player. After a long day, don’t you just love to unwind by sitting on your couch (with or without a date – whatever suits you)? you can up the ante by making this Valentine night your ‘Game Night.’ And by game, I mean pop up those action RPGs, survival horrors, shooter games, fighting or combat games, and get it on! While others would prefer the more laidback movie night (which is also a nice date idea), you can always switch to that once your ‘kill ratio’ is over the roof.

A Spa Day or an After-Work De-Stressing Night After a long day at work, you and your beau need this. Or if you are happily-single-and-extremelystressed out, you might as well spend this night to de-stress. Indulge yourself with a 90-minute Swedish or Aromatherapy spa and fall into a deep slumber dreaming of the day you conquered the love month and wake up when February ends. They say you can’t love someone if you don’t start with yourself – baby steps: start with this and you’ll get the hang of it. A Night Fit for A Queen or King It’s Tuesday. And it is the longest day at work you have ever experienced; the grueling presentation you just want to forget ever happened, the twohour-long meeting you had to survive, the files piled up in your desk like a stack of stale pancakes waiting to be devoured – or thrown away. It was the worst day of your life and it’s only the second day of the week. Suddenly, you remember, it’s Valentine’s and all you ever wanted is for this day to end. Well, now you can still spend Valentine’s – just not the traditional way. your slaving (at work) days are over. It’s time to be a Queen (or King, if you are a man) for a night. If you are in a relationship, you can offer your significant other your services and vise versa (if you’re both working – she’s had a rough day too you know). Order-out dinner like a boss, give each other massages, a nice long bath, rinse and repeat. I bet you, your Tuesday stress would flush down the tube in no time and both of you will live through the weekdayValentine’s together. Videoke Night Now this is exactly the kind

Calendar of Events across

of date your Bff needs after being dumped right before (or on…Ouch!) Valentine’s Day. Take her to a Karaoke bar or KTV restaurant. There are promos on weekdays too, so that’s another reason to be happy about going on a Videoke date-night. Who says, heartbroken lovers can’t spend Valentine’s Day? Let her hog the microphone all to herself (at least she has something that’s hers - boom!). After crooning and belting out those Adelle’s hits, she might forget that she is crying over spilled beer…I mean, milk. ‘Online Dating’ Before you ditch the idea thinking that I am talking about your tinder account or some blind date app you’ve just subscribed to (and regret doing so), Let me make myself clear. I am not talking about finding a date online for Valentine’s day. I am saying you can have an ‘online date-night.’ Think: shopping (I’m starting to make sense, am I?) Online retail shopping – ah, the best therapy known to man. Forget everything at work – including that ugly cardigan top your co-worker spilled coffee on. Take yourself on an ‘online date’ by shopping for a new wardrobe. you can also subscribe to sites that let you rent an entire outfit for less, or lease expensive accessories. With a few clicks, technology might your best date ever. *** Monet Lu is a Marikina-born, awardwinning celebrity beauty stylist with his own chain of Monet Salon salons across Southern California and Las Vegas, Nevada. Ultimately, Monet is known as an all-around artiste who produces sold-out fashion and awards shows as well as unforgettable marketing campaigns. Monet is also the founder of the revolutionary all-natural beauty products such as Enlighten, your solution to discoloration . To contact Monet, please visit or email him at



Consulate Saturday 2017 The Philippine Consulate General is pleased to announce that it will be open to render regular consular services (except visa issuance) on its Consulate Saturday 2017 on Saturday, February 4, from 10am to 3pm at 556 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10036. Services offered include: passport, retention/reacquisition of Philippine citizenship, reports (of birth, marriage or death), notarization/authentication and overseas voter registration. For more information, call (212) 764-1330 or email Consulate Saturdays are a part of the Philippine Consul General’s Outreach Program to make its consular services more accessible to its clients.

TFC presents Fil-Am game changers panel in Long Beach, CA The Filipino Channel (TFC) presents “Breaking the Mold,” featuring Fil-Am game changers on Saturday, February 4 at Beach Auditorium at California State University, Long Beach. Speakers include Chef Charleen Caabay (winner of the Food Network’s “Chopped), Roslynn Alba Cobrrubias (co-founder of MyDiveo), Singer-Songwriter AJ Rafael and TV host/journalist Ginger Conejero. TFCU seeks to help Fil-Am students and groups energize Filipino pride on their campuses. The event is from 12-5 p.m. For more information and to register, please visit

“Quiapo” book launch in Los Angeles Come to Echo Park Library on Saturday, February 4 for a book launch and reading of “Blood, Sweat, Hope, and Quiapo: Rodallie S. Mosende’s Story” by award-winning documentary photographer Rick Rocamora. Echo Park Library is located at 1410 W. Temple St., Los Angeles, CA 90026.

F E B R UA RY 1 1

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

F E B R UA RY 1 8

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


Fax résumé to:

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


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

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


An Asian Journal Magazine

Rachelle Ann Go is London’s Eliza Hamilton

The Asian Journal N E W YO R K / N E W J E R S EY F E b R uA RY 3, 20 1 7

By BaBy

a. Gil

Love coffee but don’t want to break the bank? McDonald’s McCafé is here to help THE start of a New Year typically signals a time of change. Personal change, change in habits and hopefully some extra change in your pockets. In an effort to help customers save some extra change in the New Year, Mcdonald’s McCafé is offering a $1 any size coffee and $2 small specialty-hot beverage (lattes, mochas hot chocolate) deal from January through April. So how does this translate into savings for people that need their coffee fix to get through the work week? Compared to other coffee chains: • Mcdonald’s $1 any size drip coffee saves customers anywhere from $84 – $93* over four months • Mcdonald’s $2 small specialty-beverage deal saves

customers anywhere from $109 – $140* over four months *savings calculated for someone purchasing coffee five days a week from January through April In addition to providing customers a better value, Mcdonald’s has also committed to buying all of its coffee from sustainable sources by 2020 (more on that below). Mcdonald’s McCafé will rollout new offerings all year long. Great prices is just the start – so stay tuned for more. All day Breakfast, New Chicken McNuggets, great choices and value from McCafé … Mcdonald’s can’t wait to show you what’s next. Get to Know McCafé: • McCafe is responsibly

“God humbles my spirit,” was Rachelle Ann Go’s reaction to all the congratulatory messages she has been getting since it was revealed that she will be playing the female lead in the London production of the musical, sourced and environmentally Hamilton. Written and composed sustainable by Lin Manuel Miranda, this is a • Mcdonald’s coffee is made piece out of American history but with sustainably sourced 100% done on a very modern slant. Arabica beans, expertly roasted Simply put, that means that and freshly brewed every 30 from the bars of Saigon which minutes she is set to revisit soon, Rachelle • 100% of Mcdonald’s Ann will now be dancing and espresso in the u.S. and Canada is singing hip-hop in a corset and Rainforest Alliance Certified™ several petticoats with George Washington, Marquis de Lafayette, • Beginning 25 years ago, Thomas Jefferson, King George Conservation International has and that no-no in Hamilton’s life, worked with Mcdonald’s to Aaron Burr. develop innovative solutions And we all thought that in support of Mcdonald’s playing Fantine in Les Miserables commitment to the environment was already the pinnacle of her and to communities. success as a theater actress. We • By 2020, 100% of our coffee thought that then maybe she around the world will come from can do Gigi in Miss Saigon for its sustainable sources and 100% of Broadway run. Then she can come home, revive her career and just do our fiber-based packaging will theater when a good offer comes come from certified or recycled along, once in a while. Why, she sources. might even find a boyfriend, get married and raise a family. But it now turns out that the theater has bigger things in store for Rachelle Ann. The announcement made last Friday was greeted with cheers and congratulatory greetings from Pinoys all over the world who were so happy, I must say, even ecstatic about the news. our very own Rachelle Ann has been tapped to play the role of Eliza Hamilton in Hamilton. She bagged one of the most coveted roles ever all by sheer tallent and hard work, and this is for the original West

Bruno Mars shares pain on missing his mom By Clarizel


BRuNo Mars, one of the most famous and celebrated international superstars today, credits much of his success to his Filipino mom, who died of brain aneurysm in 2013 at age 55. In an interview with Latina magazine, the 31-year-old superstar said he would do anything if only he could have his mom back. The easygoing singer turned serious and sad when asked about his mother. “The woman who taught you to love, showed you what a woman is supposed to be… When that goes away, a little more than half your heart goes away with it,” Mars explained. “My life has changed. She’s more than my music. If I could trade music to have her back, I would. I always hear her say, ‘Keep going and keep doing it,” he added. “You just gotta know that she’s with me everywhere I go,”

Rachelle Ann Go posts a photo of herself with ‘Hamilton’ creator Lin-Manuel Miranda. Rachelle is set to play the role of Eliza Hamilton in the West End production this November. Screengrab from Twitter/@ gorachelleann

End production of a phenomenal Broadway musical. This is one big WoW! Hamilton is a hip-hop take on the life of the American Founding Father who was George Washington’s chief of staff. Though only a few years old, the musical is already legend. It is a rare instance wherein massive critical approval, the show has already won a Pulitzer and a Tony, and phenomenal ticket sales, the biggest in Broadway history, perfectly, came together for a show also strewn with astute social commentary. News have it that tickets to the London show are already selling like mad up to 2018. Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton was the daughter of a rich, influential dutch family who proved to be a fitting partner for

her politically ascendant husband, Alexander Hamilton. She was a popular hostess in New York and Washington d.C. society and was also very active in charity work. She co-founded New York’s very first orphanage. After Hamilton was killed in a duel with Aaron, Eliza worked to preserve his legacy, organizing his papers and getting his biography written. Eliza was originated on Broadway by Phillipa Soo who got a Tony nomination for her work. An olivier win or even a nomination would be sweet icing on the cake for Rachelle Ann. But as it is, the fact that she was cast in such a demanding role is already a huge blessing. Besides, theater grapevine says that although he is busy shooting Mary Poppins with Emily Blunt and might not be available to open in London, Hamilton creator and star Lin Manuel Miranda will surely do some performances. That means Rachelle Ann will get the chance to act with this contemporary genius. Rachelle Ann is at present in New York for rehearsals in Miss Saigon where she will reprise her role of the bar girl Gigi. Miss Saigon opens on March 1 at the Broadway Theater. Rachelle Ann will probably leave New York to return to London for the Hamilton rehearsals a few months before the musical’s November 21 opening at the Victoria Palace Theater. It will be sad leaving the Miss Saigon cast with whom she has forged some friendships. Just as it was sad leaving Les Miserables. And so it will be as she pursues the Actor’s Life of living from one role to another. It will also be sad not seeing her family again for long periods. It will not be easy but I am sure for Rachelle Ann, the actress, it will be very satisfying.

Angeline Quinto shares her life and love experiences through music Mars continued. “It’s something that you can’t imagine—the pain and the things that you keep going back to: ‘I wish I would’ve done this or said this.’ You just have to see life differently. It shows you the real importance of life. Nothing else matters in this world but family and your loved ones.” Mars’ mother, Bernadette San Pedro Bayot, was 55 when she died.

Bayot emigrated from the Philippines to Hawaii where she met Mars’ father, Pedrito Hernandez, a half-Puerto Rican and half-Ashkenazi Jewish, who would become her husband and the father of her six kids. “Growing up in Hawaii, there weren’t too many Puerto Ricans there. So because of my hair, they thought I was black and white,” Mars told Latina magazine.

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.

By Honey


IN Regal Films’ rom-com “Foolish Love,” Angeline Quinto surprised moviegoers with her intense love scene with Jake Cuenca, making it her first-ever daring role. “Initially, I was hesitant because it was my first time to do it. You know, you just have to put yourself into your character’s shoes. direk Joel (Lamangan) was very supportive and told me not to worry and just give my best. Jake, on the other hand, made me feel at ease. Since I didn’t know what to do, I really asked him to guide me so okey naman. And I’m 27 already. Magpapa-bebe pa ba ako?” Angeline told The STAR in a separate interview after the presscon for her album launch held recently at ABS-CBN. Portraying a funny character in a rom-com is her territory, said Angeline. “Kasi yung pagiging komedyante naman parang natural sa akin because it’s not hard to do as compared to doing drama which is very challenging for me. And I also want to do horror films kasi mas hilig ko yun,” she said while adding that singing is still her first priority. “I couldn’t say na tuloy-tuloy na itong pag-arte ko sa ngayon but I admit that there are times I find it difficult kasi syempre ang unang kalaban ng mga singers ay puyat talaga.” Angeline’s hopeless romantic character in Foolish Love is seemingly an extension of her personality when it comes to matters of the heart. You will find out in her latest album titled @ LoveAngelineQuinto why she could easily channel the multiple emotions she has gone through and is going through in life and love. “All the songs in the album tackle about love. I think I’ve experienced all the situations

Angeline Quinto easily channels the multiple emotions she has gone through and is going through in life and love in @LoveAngelineQuinto

in love and relationships. For instance, I was in love with someone even if I knew he didn’t love me back or nagpakita naman sa ‘kin na gusto ako but after several months, hindi na. Pero ‘pag nagkikita kami sa ABS bumabalik (yung feelings ko), hahaha! Ganun. Pero naka-get-over naman ako. That’s why I’m also dedicating the album to myself,” quipped the Kapamilya star with fond recollection. She initially didn’t reveal the guy she was referring to but would later on admit that it was Coco Martin in an interview with Boy Abunda. “Ang sarap kayang ma-in-love,” she said further, admitting that some of her past relationships were with non-showbiz guys. “Mahilig talaga akong magmahal ng sobra pero hindi ko alam sa kanila (laughs). It’s the best feeling in the world when you’re in love. That’s why it’s so easy for me to compose a song about love.” Asked then what’s the real score between her and Erik Santos? “I’ve been wanting to clear this because Erik and I are just friends. He’s very special to me but we’ve

Laughter and the art... From Page 3 on top of everything else she thinks makes a good match for her. Life is tough enough. Humor makes it bearable. Humor hints at a man’s intelligence and ability to handle situations. Humor cracks open women’s defense mechanisms. What accounts for the flourishing phenomenon of humorous chick lit and chick flicks, written by women for women? Could it be that women have had it with men’s interpretations of what women really want? Could it be that women want to clear the air about certain matters like humor, sex, talk and the art of seduction? With few exceptions, I skip and ignore the reviews of most male critics of the romantic comedy film genre because these are so far off the mark. In most regular, heterosexual men’s view, sex is the one connection they need with women and naturally, logically, they assume that the same is true for women. Thus, you see too many tawdry and cheap sex scenes depicted from the male point of

view in films of the, “…slam, bam, thank you ma’am” variety that leave women in the audience seething and thinking that men, in general, could be insensitive, Neanderthal brutes who still have a long way to go when it comes to sex. of course, that is not to say that women are not entirely blameless. desperate, needy women emulate slut behavior in the hope of making a connection with a man they fancy themselves in love with — any man— anyone in fact, with a functioning equipment. But for discriminating, monogamous women with healthy self-esteem however, sex is merely one of the ways they connect with their mates. Women discover that without making that connection, no matter how tenuous, sex is, sadly, no more than a function of rutting animals. Conversation, no matter how lame or inane is important for women. Shared laughter and fun, with or without the sex, are the means by which true, lasting connection can happen between men and women.

never become an item as what others have been thinking,” she said. The 10-track album features mostly originals including one of her compositions Para Bang Para Lang, which she dedicates to her adoptive mom. “It’s my way of thanking Mama Bob for all the 27 years of loving me and treating me like her own daughter. I’m so lucky for having her in my life.” Completing the track list are At Ang Hirap (composed by Yeng Constantino, which chronicles the struggles of coping with a fresh break-up); Paano Ba Ang Huwag Kang Mahalin narrates the pain of letting go; di Na Tayo, another Yeng composition; Parang Tayo Pero Hindi (Angeline’s duet with Michael Pangilinan); Para Bang Para Lang acoustic remix; Awit ng Pag-ibig and Ang Pag-ibig Ko’y Ikaw are both declarations of love; and the covers of Jeremiah’s Nanghihinayang and the sweeping ballad Kailangan Kita. Producer Jonathan Manalo said: “This kind of songs is very relatable because we all know that most Filipinos are hopeless romantic.” Making a connection is many a woman’s reason for being. Without that connection, a woman’s relationship can flatline disastrously and quick, emergency resuscitation is needed for that relationship to survive. When relationships die, both men and women try to seek, re-create and find that connection elsewhere — with someone else — a sticky, sorry state of affairs that could have been prevented if laughter ruled the roost in the first place. In highly evolved stages of man-woman relations that grow over time, words are completely unnecessary. Just a knowing look across a crowded room between two connected individuals is enough to make both smile or burst in shared laughter — the highest rung a man and a woman in love can aspire to. A man, who makes a woman laugh, is one who instinctively knows the first thing about the lifelong art of seduction through the funny bone. *** Nota Bene: Monette Adeva Maglaya is SVP of Asian Journal Publications, Inc. To send comments, e-mail monette.maglaya@

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 3, 20 1 7

How Erwan Heussaff helps Raymond Gutierrez change his lifestyle By MA.



EVEN after Miss France Iris Mittenaere has been crowned as the new Miss Universe, her answer – more like the translation of it – in the question and answer portion in the recently concluded beauty pageant held in the Philippines, kept netizens buzzing. Some doubted the interpreter Miss Bulgaria 2016 Violina Ancheva.offered her blue glittery gown made by famed designer Sherri Hill to Filipinos. gave the right intepretation; while others believed that her interpreter has missed out on some important points in his translation. Netizens noted that when the buzzer rang signaling that her 30-second time allocation has ended, the interpreter had to rush the translation. Filipino-French blogger/ restaurateur Erwan Heussaff took By Rosette Adel it upon himself to clear things out her 15-year-old daughter, Zyra Nicole Cifra, who will attend prom and gave his own translation in his Twitter post. It somehow helps A LUCKY Filipina single this month. mother got to claim the “I was checking my SSS (Social clarify things and make netizens understand why her answer led to evening gown of Miss Bulgaria Security System) already so I can 2016 Violina Ancheva. buy her a dress because she really the most coveted title. He posted: “Close translation; I Ancheva earlier offered her wanted a memorable prom this have failed several times in my life. I blue glittery gown made by year. And then this necklace, I’m thought I had failed my first year in famed designer Sherri Hill to ready to pawn this just to add medical school because my name Filipinos. For her, it is important to to the budget,” Gallano said in a wasn’t on the passing list. So, the pass on her gown. televised interview with CNN. She made the announcement Gallano then posted photos of very same day, I went to buy a new set of medical books to keep on on her Facebook account before her and her daughter extending studying. I think when you fail, you she leaves the Philippines. their gratitude to Ancheva. The need to stand up and keep going, In her announcement, Bulgarian beauty queen also we are all able to do so. If I don’t win Ancheva said she wants to give asked her to send a video of her her gown to a girl in need of a daughter’s reaction who was still dress for her prom and asked in school when she claimed the interested parties to send her a gown. personal message. In December 2015, Filipino Ancheva’s giveaway post netizens also noticed and praised earned 172,000 reactions, over Miss Bulgaria 2015 Radost 28,000 shares and more than Todorova and her gesture. 13,000 comments. Filipinos got Todorova pushed Pia Wurtzbach delighted of her offer. to claim the Miss Universe crown Among those who sent after Steve Harvey mistakenly Ancheva a message was a Filipina mixed up the proclaimed winners. single mother of two, Issa Gallano. She was tagged by netizens as She said she wanted to surprise a “pambansang bestie.”

Viral: Filipina single mom claims Miss Bulgaria’s gown for daughter’s prom

Shane Ericks clinches...

From Page 4 I got startling comments after I uploaded it. Since then, I started to listen more and grew my love and appreciation to the Carpenters’ music. Then I started to realize what people have been talking about regarding our similarities with regard to intonation, vibrato, rendition of the lower range and delivery of phrases. I know that no one could ever fill her shoes but if I can just somewhat bring a part of Karen’s sound back, that would be awesome. I feel honored! AJ: Could you recall your first ever mastered song? SE: I was 18. I wrote a Christian contemporary song and recorded it in a studio here in South Carolina. Though determined I didn’t think that would be the first single I’d release on iTunes and Amazon. The song meant a lot to me having been inspired by overcoming the struggles and trials in life and greatly stimulated by being heartbroken from a previous relationship…aside from losing some of the closest people in my life. My intention to write a breakup song was inescapably guided by God to be “Your Love Is Enough.” AJ: When and where was your maiden performance as a professional singer? SE: Well, I had sung in weddings in the Philippines when I was 7 and got paid so I would consider that as gigs…but as a professional artist I would say probably back in 2014 when I performed in big shows all over South Carolina with a band. AJ: Who among the popular singers do you admire most? Do you attempt to sing and sound like them? SE: I’m a huge fan of Adele. I try

to sound like her just for fun but can’t do it…ha ha ha ha! I also dig Michael Jackson. I impersonated him including his peculiar moves and hiccup sound…again just for fun. And of course, The Carpenters! Karen is probably my favorite singer of all time now. It’s a challenge to be sounding like her but still I want to establish my own identity. I subscribe to the saying: “I was born original…I won’t die a copy!” AJ: What do you consider your most successful and gratifying performance? SE: In 2014 when I performed with my band in a state convention before a huge crowd of 800 people. Watching people enjoyed the music was already a success but as a Christian musician and singersongwriter, the greatest thing to consider was when people seem healed and uplifted through music. Another event was when I opened for the compilation bands of Eagles, Billy Joel, Peter Frampton and the likes. AJ: How do you categorize / classify your vocal style? Are you open to adapting other singing style? ES: I’d say, easy listening, soul / ballad, and R & B. Yes, I used to do a lot of Pop / Rock and belt-out songs. But my voice fits well with mellow jazzy soulful style…nothing forceful and uproar-sounding! Another Philippine pride in the person of Shane Ericks is on the forefront of music. Watch out for her as she captures every heart with her unparalleled vocal supremacy via an international label. For comments and suggestions, please email to: gemini0646@

Tanning and skin cancer From Page 5

been shown that taking vitamin C, D, and E and selenium protects against the damages of UV rays by lessening the adverse effects of the UV rays on the immune system. If one must absolutely be out in the sun, he/she must wear a “physical” sunscreen with a SPF of 15, which contains titanium dioxide, zinc oxide or talc. “Physical” sunscreen works by reflecting the UV radiation rather than absorbing the sunscreen into the skin. Doubling the amount of the lotion, or re-applying it later in the day, does not confer added protection. The best is to minimize sun exposure to a safe degree. Tanning beds are dangerous and must be avoided. Lastly, if you develop any skin spots or notice any mole in your body to be growing larger or darker, or feel any lumps in your body, consult your physician without delay. If treated early and

caught in time, most skin cancers are curable. To our legislators and civic leaders: Tanning beds and tanning salons must be banned to protect the public from the unconscionable, greedy, and reckless entrepreneurs out to rob the ignorant people of their hardearned money while exposing them to cancer and death. *** 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:

tonight, I will still keep on smiling tomorrow because I am proud to be part of the three finalists. I’ve learned a lot from my failures and happily, I did end up passing my first year of medical school.” He even wrote a disclaimer that the “clip wasn’t clean when I listened to it, so there may be some tense and grammar mistakes.” Journey to wellness But translating Miss France’s answer is not the only thing that keeps Erwan busy. The newlyengaged guy, who just proposed to his girlfriend actress-host Anne Curtis during their recent US trip last December, is currently helping TV host/celebrity Raymond Gutierrez make a major lifestyle change. Raymond, whose weight has been influx through the years, admitted that he had a hard time finding a sustainable routine and lifestyle because of the nature of his work – from co-owning one of the biggest nightclubs in the country, to working long hours in the showbiz industry and producing creative events. “I realized I really needed a lifestyle change. I was going too hard and too fast in whatever I do. I thought I needed to take a break. And if I don’t do it now, when will I do this?” shared Raymond. To keep him motivated and

Erwan Heussaff with Raymond Gutierrez

committed, he decided to keep the public involved. And that was where Erwan came in. Raymond and Erwan brainstormed together, and they came up with “No Excuses”, a campaign which will follow Raymond’s journey as he changes his lifestyle through the help of three mentors. Erwan will help Raymond to integrate wellness into his life, while nutritionist Nadine Tengco will teach him the right diet to take, and Arnold Aninion will be Raymond’s fitness coach. “The reason that it took me so long to do this is because of the many excuses in my head. I don’t know how to cook. My kitchen is practically a dressing room. I go to the gym but I’m always on my

phone. These are the excuses I usually say to the people around me,” said Raymond, who would bust all these excuses on his way to fitness and health. Raymond’s progress will be posted in the Century Tuna website, along with the workouts, recipes, and other articles to boost wellness, to encourage viewers to take inspiration from his journey to health. Apart from helping in the digital contents showing how Raymond is shaping up in the next three months, Erwan will help Raymond integrate fitness into his daily life. Erwan believes that a healthy lifestyle is a choice. “All it takes to get fit and healthy are a pair of shoes, proper knowledge and willingness to make things work.”

An Asian Journal Magazine


The Asian Journal N E W YO R K / N E W J E R S EY JANuARY 27, 2017

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