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Volume10 – Issue 16 • 16 Pages


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DATELINE Fil-Am dies after being pinned by train in San Francisco FROM THE AJPRESS NEWS TEAM ACROSS AMERICA

A SAN FRANCISCO resident whose body had gotten trapped between a transit platform and train car clung to life for days after he was freed, but eventually died of his injuries on Friday, January 6. Investigators say that Filipino-American Jeff De La Fuente accidentally fell off of a platform at the 24th Street Mission Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) station at about 6 p.m. on Wednesday, January 4 and became pinned at his waist by a train car. Firefighters had to use specialized airbags to push the car away from his body and release him. De La Fuente remained conscious during his rescue and was transported to a local hospital where staff attempted to save his life. He was 31 at the time of his death. “The doctor said that he fought,” De La Fuente’s longtime girlfriend, Dorothy Mak, told local ABC station KGO-TV on Friday. “He fought to stay alive, he really did.” She also said that he had been working to become a lawyer and was scheduled to take the LSAT in February. Fuentes made a living as a mechanic in


Deadline to sign up for health coverage in 2017 approaching

Pope Francis names first Fil-Am bishop to head diocese by ERIC


Solis will serve a community of about 300,000 people in his latest role, acPOPE Francis chose Oscar Solis cording to Angelus News. to become the next bishop of the The former auxiliary bishop diocese of Salt Lake City on Tues- for the Archdiocese of Los day, January 10, making him the Angeles has worked as a first Filipino-American clergyman priest in both the U.S. and to lead such a large congregation the Philippines for the better part of four decades. of American Catholics. AJPress


PRESIDENT-elect Donald Trump discussed reports of Russian cyber-espionage, possible conflicts of interest stemming from his private business ventures, and other concerns with reporters at Trump Tower in New York on Wednesday, January 11. Trump also announced his choice of David Shulkin to head the Department of Veteran Affairs during his first press conference since his victory in the 2016 presidential election. He went on to reiterate his campaign promises to promote job growth, build a wall along America’s southern border at the Mexican government’s expense, and eliminate the Affordable Care Act. “We’re going to be submitting -- as soon as our secretary’s ap-


Bishop Oscar Solis AJPress photo by Ding Carreon



USING the Japanese term for “cheers,” President Duterte raised a glass of cider, urged “Kanpai, bottoms up!” to continued friendships at the traditional reception for diplomats to which Vice President Leni Robredo had been invited but later told not to come. “You know, in the subdiplomatic gatherings, especially in Asia, we just say kanpai. It’s always bottoms up. So be careful with this, our Asian brothers and sisters. When they say kanpai,


Vice Pres. Leni Robredo

Donald Trump addresses Russia, conflicts of interest in first press con by ERIC

mission as a priest.” He was surprised to learn of the appointment, according to Deseret News and other sources. He reportedly called himself a “fool” for thinking he would spend the remainder of his career in Los Angeles.

VP Robredo disinvited to ‘vin d’honneur’

AFFORDABLE and invaluable health care is available for uninsured Californians in 2017. But the deadline to enroll is drawing near: Covered California’s open enrollment ends on Jan. 31. Those who enroll by Jan. 15 will have their coverage begin on Feb. 1. Those signing up between Jan. 16 and Jan. 31 will have coverage starting March 1. While rising rates are a real concern, Covered California members who are


“I come to any place with an open mind” Solis told the Asian Journal during a telephone interview on Wednesday, January 11. “It is an occasion for me to learn about the people [of Utah], what their needs are, and how I will work with them and carry out my

TO OLD ALLIANCES, NEW FRIENDSHIPS. President Duterte raises his glass for a toast with the diplomatic corps led by Papal Nuncio Giuseppe Pinto during the vin d’honneur at Malacañang Palace on Wednesday, Jan. 11. The president vowed to pursue ‘constructive alliances and new friendships’ with other countries. Malacañang photo

Duterte to mayors: Repent, resign or die Trump invited to attend

opportunity to check if they were on it, accordREPENT, resign or die. That was the message mayors, bused in ing to one source. In a text message, Mayor Krisel Lagman batches to Malacañang, got during expletivelaced group meetings with President Duterte Luistro of Tabaco City in Albay said: “The on Wednesday, Jan. 11, according to partici- President warned us that those involved in proved, almost simultaneously, pants. drugs should stop or face the consequences. shortly thereafter, a plan,” Trump The President brandished a purported list He specifically said that he will kill whoever is said of his alternative to the ACA of officials—including mayors, legislators and involved. It was fair warning.” on Wednesday. “It’ll be repeal barangay captains—but the mayors had no u PAGE A2 and replace. It will be essentially simultaneously.” The president-elect said dismantling the Obama administration’s signature health insurance by PIA LEE-BRAGO law would be the first priority of The Legal Dimension” held in his pick to lead the Department Singapore’s Regent Hotel from of Health and Human Services, Jan. 5 to 6. Tom Price, if the Senate affirms Aside from Cayetano, the event MANILA – Preparing to ashis appointment. sume the post of foreign affairs was attended by Philippine emTrump added that he believed secretary by the middle of this bassy officials in Singapore led public support for Obamacare year, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano by Consul General Victorio Mawould have evaporated on its has been joining presidential vis- rio Dimagiba Jr., Supreme Court own as weakness in the legis- its and meetings abroad as well Senior Associate Justice Antonio lation came to light during its as international conferences on Carpio and other officials. implementation. He called the the South China Sea (SCS). They were invited by the Nameasure a political liability for Cayetano, who will replace tional University of Singapore democrats and said he was do- Foreign Affairs Secretary Per- (NUS)-Center for International ing them a favor by avoiding fecto Yasay Jr., participated in Law, which organized the event. public discontent resulting from an international conference on Academicians and experts exu PAGE A4 “The South China Sea Award: u PAGE A3 Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano

ASEAN summit in PH by AJPRESS

PHILIPPINE President Rodrigo Duterte has extended an invitation to United States President-elect Donald Trump to attend the upcoming Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit later this year.


Cayetano prepares for DFA, joins South China Sea meet

A January 13-19, 2017 • nEW yOrK anD nEW JErSEy aSIan JOurnaL • (212) 655-5426

From the Front Page

Pope Francis names first Fil-Am... PAGE A1 t Clergymen who have worked with Solis described him as humble, organized, and approachable. He is also known for his sharp sense of humor and work as a supporter of minority communities in the Church. “He is well loved in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles,” Father Albert Avenido, who currently serves under Solis in the San Pedro Pastoral District, told the Asian Journal during a phone interview on Tuesday. “We will be missing a great man of God. We will be missing a great pastor, and a great friend…” In 2004, Solis became the first Filipino American to be ordained a bishop in the United States and moved from Thibodaux, LouisiFAREWELL. Photo shows outgoing President Barack Obama waving to his supporters after he gave his emotional final address to the ana to Los Angeles, a city which nation on Tuesday night, Jan. 10 in Chicago, 10 days before he cedes power to president-elect Donald Trump. Joining him onstage are boasts the country’s largest First Lady Michelle Obama, daughter Malia, Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Dr. Jill Biden. White House Twitter photo population of Filipino Catholics. There, he worked as vicar for ethnic ministry and displayed a talent for building relationships between diverse members of the PAGE A1 t held in November in Clark, Pam- the overall security preparations community, according to Aveas the Chair of the Committee for nido. According to Presidential Com- panga. “The year brings much excite- Security, Peace and Order and munications Secretary Martin He was later promoted to auxAndanar, Trump’s office has ac- ment and challenge to the Phil- Emergency Preparedness and Reknowledged the letter and said it ippines as we are hosting the sponse (CSPOEPR) for the Philipwould notify Malacañang as soon ASEAN 2017 on its 50th or golden pines’ hosting of ASEAN. He added that the purpose of as a decision regarding the invita- anniversary, which is an opportune time to show to the ASEAN the ASEAN Summit is to show the PAGE A1 t tion has been made. Trump is slated to take his oath region as well as to the world our Philippines “the importance of resay, ‘no, just half of the kanpai,’ as the new president of the U.S. capability to host international gional integration...and its benefits he said, to chuckles at his first on Friday, January 20, succeeding and important events, including to ordinary Filipinos.” The Philippine government is vin d’honneur in Malacañang on current President Barack Obama. the upcoming Miss Universe pagWednesday. Following the real estate billion- eant,” Department of the Interior also set to officially launch ASEAN “We believe that friends help aire’s win last November, he and and Local Government (DILG) 2017 on January 15 in Davao City. “Filipinos are no longer just each other and utilize construcDuterte spoke over the phone. Secretary Ismael ‘Mike’ D. Sueno citizens of the Philippines but form tive engagement to achieve During the seven-minute conver- said. The Philippines previously held part of the citizenry of the ASEAN common goals. In truth, we all sation, Trump reportedly praised share the same aspiration of the Philippine president’s fight the ASEAN chairmanship in 1987, Community since its formal establishment in 2015. Let us embrace greater peace, progress and against illegal drugs as “the right 1999 and 2006. Sueno said that the DILG has our ASEANship and explore op- prosperity,” the President said way.” in an exchange of toasts with The ASEAN Summit 2017, been coordinating with other gov- portunities that are already in front Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto, the chaired by the Philippines, will be ernment agencies in beefing-up of us,” Sueno remarked. n Vatican’s envoy and dean of the diplomatic corps. Center in Pasay City. Robredo’s absence at the reOn Monday, Mr. Duterte warned ception, attended by Cabinet his positions, especially regarding local chief executives to steer clear officials, was reported by her PAGE A1 t The President’s spokesperson, criminality, crime and drugs. It’s of the trade in “shabu,” or the spokesperson, Georgina HerErnesto Abella, declined to give safe to assume that would be part hugely popular crystal meth. nandez. He said those involved in the details of the meetings, which be- of the conversation,” Abella told An invitation to the event was drug trade should either resign “or sent on Dec. 28, she said. “On gan shortly after noon and were reporters. He said he would describe the make a clean breast of everything, Jan. 4, Malacañang called the still going on by early evening. Abella said the President intend- meeting as a “dialogue between come up with a clean nose.” office to retract the invitation, “I will talk to them. With the stating that the guest list was ed to have a “conversation” with the President and his executives.” Mr. Duterte met the mayors thick document I showed you, I limited.” the mayors, and it was safe to assume that the narcotics trade was clustered according to regions. will tell them, ‘Look for your name Was it a diplomatic faux pas? They were brought to Malacañang there, mayor, you son of a bitch. If among the topics to be tackled. “It is a prerogative of the “He has not really met with the by bus, shuttled from the Philip- your name is there, you will have a Palace to invite those who they mayors in order to directly discuss pine International Convention u PAGE A5 feel is needed to be there,” said

Trump invited to attend ASEAN...

iliary bishop of the San Pedro Pastoral District in 2009. For the past seven years, Solis has been responsible for overseeing 67 parishes and eight Catholic high schools in Los Angeles and Long Beach. He has also been the episcopal advisor for the National Association of Filipino Priests since 2011. “Our loss will be a gift to the family of God in Salt Lake City,” Archbishop of the Diocese of Los Angeles, Jose Gomez told Angelus News on Tuesday. He went on to say that “I fully expect that [Solis] will become the leading voice for the millions of Filipino Catholics in this country.” Solis began serving as a priest in his hometown of San Jose City in the province of Nueva Ecija, Philippines after he was ordained by Bishop Vicente Reyes in 1979, according to Vatican Radio. After traveling to Rome in 1984 to earn a doctorate in canon law, Solis emigrated to the United States and worked as a parochial vicar for the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey until

VP Robredo disinvited...

Duterte to mayors...

Ernesto Abella, Mr. Duterte’s spokesperson. Robredo, one of the outspoken critics of Mr. Duterte’s war against drugs, resigned as housing secretary after she was told not to attend Cabinet meetings. She has been accused by Malacañang officials of plotting with the “Yellow” forces of former President Benigno Aquino III to oust Mr. Duterte. “Usually, disinviting, if it happens, is done quietly,” offered Manolo Quezon, a former Aquino communications undersecretary. Civility a casualty Former Vice President Jejomar Binay had been invited to Malacañang receptions, even after he had a falling out with Aquino. “From the first time Presidents and Vice Presidents did not come from the same party (Carlos P. Garcia and Diosdado Macapagal) and whenever Vice Presidents have parted ways politically with Presidents (Emmanuel Pelaez from Macapagal,

1988. He then relocated to Thibodaux where he worked in four different parishes over the course of 15 years, according to various sources. In 2003, Solis was considering taking a sabbatical and eventually retiring in Louisiana before learning that he was a candidate for the position of auxiliary bishop on the West Coast. “I will miss friends and priests and LA, but I know God has something in store for us when he leads us to a new place,” Solis told Angelus News on Tuesday. He will be officially installed as Salt Lake City’s bishop during a ceremony at the Cathedral of the Madeline on Tuesday, March 7. Avenido said that Solis’s experience as a community builder made him an excellent choice to lead and represent Utah’s Catholic community. Solis told the Asian Journal that he didn’t have much firsthand experience with the people and culture of Utah. “Instead of the feeling of un-

u PAGE A3 Fernando Lopez from Ferdinand Marcos, Salvador Laurel from Corazon Aquino, Teofisto Guingona from Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo), civility between the two highest officials has been a casualty—from invitations to simply appearing in the same place,” Quezon said. “There have been instances when a first lady could disinvite people even after they showed up at Palace events. But normally, petty ostracism from events would be downplayed by both sides and restricted to gossip,” he said. Mr. Duterte used the occasion to renew his commitment to fight “three basic evils”—drugs, corruption and criminality. Among the ambassadors present were Sung Kim of the United States, Zhao Jianhua of China and Igor Khovaev of Russia. There was no blast against the United States in Mr. Duterte’s usually expletive-laden speech. He stuck mostly to his prepared speech, and only deviated from it toward the end when, after downing a glass of cider, he said, “Kanpai!” n

(212) 655-5426 •

Fil-Am dies after being pinned...

From the Front Page

the BART station to honor De La Fuente’s memory. A GoFundMe campaign “I just want his family to San Francisco’s Mission dis- know that he was loved by originally set up to cover his trict. He also worked as a taxi many,” said Mak, as reported hospital bills on Thursday, January 5 had already exceeddriver, which allowed him to by AsAm News. build friendships in the area, On Friday night, friends ed $25,000 in donations to pay according to KGO-TV. formed a candlelight vigil at for funerary expenses by Sunday, January 8. As requested by De La Fuente’s mother Alice, Mak is working with GoFundMe to refund any unused money. She has directed those who still wish to make a contribution in his honor to donate to the nonprofit Feeding America, which works to fight hunger throughout the United States. De La Fuente was raised by a single mother in the Philippines before immigrating to the U.S. His mother plans to bury him in his country of birth after hosting a local funeral. Comments left in his memory on an obituary page describe Fuente as humble, hard-working, and devoted to Fil-Am Jeff De La Fuente, 31, passed away on Friday, January 6, two days after an accident at a Bay his girlfriend and family. (Eric Area Rapid Transit (BART) station in San Francisco. Photo courtesy of Dorothy Mak / Facebook Anthony Licas / AJPress)




Deadline to sign up... PAGE A1 t renewing their coverage now are finding real savings by shopping around within their health plan’s metal tier. (Plans are available in four metal tiers, also known as coverage levels.) Covered California found that renewing members who have switched their plan, but remain within the same metal tier, have saved an average of $38 per month or $456 per year. In addition, more than half of all Covered California consumers, 59 percent, are eligible to choose a Bronze plan for less than $10 per month. Bronze plans offer three visits to a primary care physician or specialist that are not subject to a deductible. Also, nearly half of all Covered California consumers, 49 percent, can get a Silver plan for less than $100 per month. None of the outpatient services included in the Silver plan — such as primary, urgent and specialist care — is subject to a deductible. For someone like Adam Kuns, 27, of Camarillo, the financial impact is secondary to managing his diabetes. Kuns was on his parents’ insurance plan until age 23, but he was depleting their retirement fund paying the $10,000 deductible for all of his needed care. That was until Covered California began offering coverage in 2014.

“I can get the care I really need without going bankrupt,” Kuns said. “I’ve been on both ends of the stick. I’ve gone from having no health care and draining my parents’ retirement to having health insurance that actually works for me. I’m willing to pay a higher premium to get a lower deductible.” As a small-business owner, Kuns said it can be tough paying more than $340 a month for coverage, but it certainly is better than the alternative. Along with diabetes, Kuns also has ulcerative colitis. He now has an insulin pump and sees an endocrinologist regularly to help him manage his conditions. There are many more stories like his throughout the state, since more than 2.8 million Californians have purchased health insurance through Covered California. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the uninsured rate has fallen from 17 percent in 2013 to 7.4 percent in the first half of 2016. Covered California has built a competitive market where the consumer is in the driver’s seat and health plans are fighting for their business. More than 90 percent of Californians have a choice between three or more carriers, and all will have at least two to choose from in 2017. Having coverage can also protect individuals and their families from

Donald Trump addresses... PAGE A1 t attempts to overhaul the complicated law. This year, Trump’s administration also plans on moving quickly to secure the United States’ border with Mexico, which he called an “open sieve.” “I could wait about a year and a half until we finish our negotiations with Mexico, which we’ll start immediately after we get to office, but I don’t want to wait,” Trump said. Trump said that he planned to have the Mexican government reimburse the U.S. for the cost of the wall’s construction. Trump had publicly cast doubt on allegations of covert foreign meddling in American politics before receiving a private briefing from the CIA on Friday, January 6. However, on Wednesday, Trump conceded that hackers acting on behalf of the Russian government were likely responsible for the leak of terabytes of private e-mails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) during the 2016 presidential election. “I think it was Russia, but I think we also get hacked by other countries and other people.” Trump added that he believed the DNC had been lax in its cybersecurity efforts, leaving it vulnerable to data breaches. During a congressional hearing on Tuesday, January 10, FBI Director James Comey told the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that the same operatives who had penetrated DNC servers had also managed to access private information from

Republican organizations at the state-level as well as a defunct Republican National Committee email domain. “Information was harvested from there, but it was old stuff,” Comey told Congress on Tuesday, according to various sources. “None of that was released.” He went on to publicly confirm the intelligence community’s assessment that the Russian government was working to assist Trump’s presidential campaign. On Wednesday, Trump dismissed related reports stating that officials in Moscow had attempted to obtain his personal and financial information, which they could possibly use as leverage against him in the future. He went on to stress the importance of enhancing the federal government’s “hacking defense” to avoid any attacks. Addressing conflicts of interest Prior to him taking the stage on Wednesday, his attorney Sheri Dillon announced that the president-elect will hand over management of the Trump Organization to his two sons, Donald Jr. and Eric. His daughter Ivanka will resign from her roles to avoid any conflicts. Dillion also said that Trump would not divest from his business or set up a blind trust. “President-elect Trump should not be expected to destroy the company he built,” Dillon said. “This plan offers a suitable alternative to address the concerns of the American people.” She went on to say that the organization will not engage in new deals in foreign countries


Pope Francis names... PAGE A2 t

certainty, inquisitiveness and curiosity makes me feel like, wow, this must be good. I want to reserve that element of surprise. It’s part of our adventures in life,” he remarked. During Tuesday’s press event, Solis said he looked forward to working for all of the faithful in his new diocese and continuing interfaith cooperation with the Church of Jesus Christ Latter

Day Saints (LDS). Representatives of the Mormon community, as well as Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski have issued statements welcoming Solis’s appointment. “We look forward to building a friendship and partnership with Bishop Solis as we work together to serve the people of Utah. Mabuhay, Bishop Solis!” wrote LDS Church officials on Tuesday.

spending tens of thousands of dollars on an unexpected emergency room visit. Those interested in enrolling online can do so on CoveredCA. com. Free and confidential inperson assistance, available in a variety of languages, can be found by clicking on “Free Local Help to Enroll.” Consumers can find a nearby enroller or have a certified enroller contact them through the “Help on Demand” feature. They can also enroll over the phone by calling Covered California at (800) 300-1506. n

VIN D’HONNEUR. President Duterte is joined by chief military and police officials during the vin d’ honneur at Malacañang Palace on Wednesday, Jan. 11. Also in photo are Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and PNP chief Director General Ronald Dela Rosa. Vice President Leni Robredo was disinvited by Malacañang to the first vin d’honneur of President Duterte, her spokesperson said. Malacañang photo


Cayetano prepares for DFA...

changed views on the legal elements of the award in terms of jurisdiction, historic rights, status and entitlements of features in the SCS, and protection of the marine environment. The participants discussed the possible implications of the award to jurisprudence on the law of the sea. Cayetano and Carpio met with Kishore Mahbubani, dean of NUS’s Lee Kuan Yew school of public policy, and discussed with him future collaborations as well as developments in the

Philippines and the Asia-Pacific region. The meeting was attended by foreign affairs officials Leo Tito Ausan Jr., Evangeline Ong-Jimenez Ducrocq, Ma. Antonina Mendoza-Oblena, Anwar Ito and Hermes Ocampo, and Assistant Solicitor General Raymund Rigodon. In setting aside the territorial issue and the UN tribunal ruling, Yasay had said the only way to move forward is to strengthen other aspects in the country’s relations with China and pursue confidence-building measures.

The Philippines wants to improve its ties with China particularly in trade, commerce and political exchange. In December, President Duterte said he would give the DFA post to Cayetano, his runningmate in the last elections, after Yasay steps down to return to the US. Yasay is a visiting law professor at the Richardson School of Law in the University of Hawaii. The law prohibits losing candidates from accepting government posts within one year after elections. n

A January 13-19, 2017 • nEW yOrK anD nEW JErSEy aSIan JOurnaL

Trump’s state secretary bet won’t declare PH a human rights violator by Patricia Lourdes

Dateline USa • (212) 655-5426


THEchoice of United States President-elect Donald Trump for Secretary of State refuses to consider the Philippines a human rights violator despite reports of 6,200 deaths due to its anti-drug campaign. During his confirmation hearing in Washington, Rex Tillerson said that he needs more information on the reported human rights violations in the Philippines. American Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) told Tillerson that President Rodrigo Duterte himself “brags” about the killings of drug suspects in the country. “If the facts are supportive of those numbers and actions, I don’t think any of us would support that as an appropriate way to deal with offenders no matter how egregious,” Tillerson said. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut) also asked Tillerson what countries would he consider violators of human rights if he does not consider the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Syria as such. Murphy cited the Philippines as an example and stressed that human rights violations in the country have been widely reported by the embassy and the president.

Mammogram machine Secretary of State-designate Rex Tillerson testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2107, at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

“You’re asking me to make a forcefully rebuke countries faildecision based on information I ing to respect human rights. The Florida Republican says have heard today… I want to see the factual basis based on statis- he is discouraged that Tillerson tics and factual evidence based didn’t declare Russian President on who is committing,” the Sec- Vladimir Putin a war criminal or call Saudi Arabia and the Philipretary of State nominee said. Tillerson added that he will pines human rights violators. Rubio’s opinion could prove rely on multiple sources before pivotal when the Senate Forconcluding on the matter. Rubio has expressed frustra- eign Relations Committee votes tion with how Tillerson handled on Tillerson’s nomination. The his confirmation hearing. The panel is comprised of 11 RepubFlorida lawmaker said Tillerson licans and 10 Democrats. -with didn’t seize the opportunity to reports from Associated Press n

BI nabs American hired killer in Subic by tetch


THE Bureau of Immigration (BI) arrested an American national killer for hire in Subic on Tuesday, Jan. 10. Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said Yoshikoson Umeko Haddon was arrested by agents of the bureau’s fugitive search unit (FSU). He said the BI is already preparing the deportation of Had-

den who is currently detained at the BI facility in Camp Bagong Diwa. Morente said he issued the mission for Haddon’s arrest after being informed by the US embassy that the fugitive’s passport has been revoked by the State Department, thus making him an undocumented alien. Hadden is wanted in the US following the arrest warrant issued last year by a US district court in Virgina.

Donald Trump addresses... PAGE A1 t while in office and that an ethics adviser will review future transactions made domestically. Any profits to the Trump Hotel made from foreign governments will be donated to the U.S. Treasury.

Although the president-elect will be exempt from conflict of interest laws and his advisers argue that the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution are not applicable to Trump’s holdings, Dillion said “he’s voluntarily taken this on.”

He was reportedly facing a case for capital murder, killing for hire and solicitation of adult to commit felony. Haddon will be placed in the immigration blacklist after he is deported to prevent him from returning to the Philippines, Morente said. “US authorities have described him as a dangerous felon, thus his continued presence here poses a serious threat to public safety,” the BI chief added. “So I could actually run my business, I could actually run my business and run government at the same time,” Trump said. “I don’t like the way that looks, but I would be able to do that if I wanted to.” Trump will formally assume office next week on Friday, January 20. n


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One in three women with breast cancer treated unnecessarily, study concludes by Liz szabo Kaiser Health News

OnE in three women with breast cancer detected by a mammogram is treated unnecessarily, because screening tests found tumors that are so slowgrowing that they’re essentially harmless, according to a Danish study published Monday in Annals of Internal Medicine, which has renewed debate over the value of early detection. The study raises the uncomfortable possibility that some women who believe their lives were saved by mammograms were actually harmed by cancer screenings that led to surgery, radiation and even chemotherapy that they didn’t need, said Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, who wrote an accompanying editorial but was not involved in the study. Researchers increasingly recognize that not all breast cancers pose the same risk, even if they look the same under a microscope, Brawley said. While some early tumors turn into deadly monsters, others stop growing or even shrink. But assuming that all small breast lesions have the potential to turn deadly is akin to “racial profiling,” Brawley wrote in his editorial. “By treating all the cancers that we see, we are clearly saving some lives,” Brawley said in an interview. “But we’re also ‘curing’ some women who don’t need to be cured.” Although experts such as Brawley have long discussed the risks posed by “overdiagnosis,” relatively few women who undergo cancer screenings are even aware of the debate. The American College of Radiology, which strongly supports breast cancer screenings, acknowledges that mammograms lead some women to be treated unnecessarily, but said the problem is much less common than the new study suggests. Another study from Denmark – whose national health program keeps detailed records – estimated the overdiagnosis rates at only 2.3 percent. “The amount of overdiagnosis really is small,” said Dr. Debra Monticciolo, chair of the American College of Radiology’s Commission on Breast Imaging. “Articles like this aren’t very helpful,” she said, because they

leave women confused about how to be screened for breast cancer. Yet treating women for cancer unnecessarily can endanger their health, said Fran Visco, president of the national Breast Cancer Coalition, an advocacy group. Radiation can damage the heart or even cause new cancers. Visco notes that breast cancer activist Carolina Hinestrosa, a vice president at the coalition, died at age 50 from soft-tissue sarcoma, a tumor caused by radiation used to treat an early breast cancer. Women should understand these risks, Visco said. Instead, women often hear only about mammograms’ benefits. “Women have been inundated with the early detection message for decades,” Visco said. The risks of overdiagnosis and false positives, which can lead women with benign growths to undergo biopsies and other follow-up tests, have caused some experts to reevaluate breast cancer screenings. Although mammograms don’t find all tumors, they reduce the risk of dying from breast cancer by 25 percent to 31 percent for women ages 40 to 69, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, part of the Department of Health and Human Services. Medical groups now offer differing advice on mammograms: The American College of Radiology takes the most aggressive stance, recommending annual mammograms beginning at age 40. Tumors should be found when they’re “smaller and easier to treat,” Monticciolo said. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, an independent expert panel that advises the federal government on health, provoked a firestorm of criticism in 2009 when it bucked that advice, recommending that women get mammograms every other year beginning at age 50. The group noted that breast cancer risk rises with age, so mammograms are more likely to discover cancer – as opposed to benign growths – after age 50. The American Cancer Society also scaled back its screening advice in 2015, recommending women get annual mammograms from 45 to 54, followed by screenings every other year after that. In the new study, Danish researchers estimated the rate of

overdiagnosis by comparing the number of early-stage and advanced breast tumors before and after the country started offering mammograms. If screenings work as intended, the number of small, curable breast tumors should increase, while reducing the number of large cancers by about the same amount. Although mammograms in Denmark detected a lot more breast cancers, these were mostly small, early-stage tumors, said study coauthor Dr. Karsten Jorgensen, a researcher at the nordic Cochrane Center in Copenhagen, Denmark. The number of advanced cancers did not fall. The debate about overdiagnosis illustrates the limits of medical technology, Brawley said. Although researchers can estimate the statistical rate of overdiagnosis, doctors treating actual patients can’t definitively tell which breast tumors need treatment and which might be safely ignored, Brawley said. So doctors tend to err on the side of caution and treat all breast cancers with surgery and, in many cases, radiation and chemotherapy. An estimated 253,000 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in U.S. women this year, with nearly 41,000 deaths, according to the American Cancer Society. An additional 63,000 women will be diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ, also known as DCIS, which has some, but not all, of the typical traits of cancer. Although DCIS cells have changed to appear malignant under the microscope, they haven’t invaded surrounding tissue. The American Cancer Society defines DCIS as the earliest stage of breast cancer, and women with the condition typically undergo the same treatment given to women with early invasive cancers. Although DCIS isn’t life-threatening, doctors recommend treating it to prevent it from becoming invasive. Other experts note that DCIS carries such low risk that it should be considered merely a risk factor for cancer. Researchers are conducting studies to measure whether it’s safe to scale back treatment of DCIS. This story was produced by Kaiser Health News, a national health policy news service that is part of the nonpartisan Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. n

McCain: China presents Asian nations with false choice by Pia Lee-brago

CHInA is presenting Asian countries with a “false” choice between itself and the United States and is trying to make them believe the balance of power has shifted in its favor with Washington on the decline, according to US Sen. John McCain. McCain, chairman of the US Senate Committee on Armed Services, voiced his observation at a lecture before the Heritage Foundation, an American think tank based in Washington. If China is truly committed to a “peaceful rise,” he said it should be a vital partner in upholding the rules-based international order and not use its growing power and position to disrupt it. China, McCain said, has maneuvered toward a policy of intimidation and coercion in support of its objective, especially under the leadership of President Xi Jinping. When the Permanent Court of Arbitration took up the case against China’s vast claims in the South China Sea, the senator said China operated as a bully and demanded the silence of other countries. Beijing threatened with harsh consequences those that supported the international ruling, which invalidated China’s nine-dash line

claim, McCain said. When China didn’t get its way, it dismissed the ruling – issued in July – as a US-led conspiracy and vowed defiance, he added. China’s leaders view the last two centuries as aberrations of history, he said, as they seek to reclaim China’s status as the dominant power in the Asia-Pacific. “In other words, China’s leaders want to dictate the economic and security rules of the road for Asia. But they view the United States as the primary obstacle to achieving this goal,” McCain said. The senator said China has used trade as a weapon in disputes with its neighbors as well as cyber technology to steal intellectual property from foreign businesses. China harassed fisherman from the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia, stepped up armed incursions around the Senkaku Islands administered by Japan in the East China Sea and conducted dangerous intercepts of military aircraft flying in international airspace, McCain said. “So, China has presented the nations of Asia with a false choice: are you with us, or are you with the United States? And those that fail to make the right choice in China’s eyes must prepare for the consequences,” he pointed out. “There is no doubt China’s hys-

terical threats and heavy-handed diplomacy have produced backlash. But that is not to say such pressure cannot be effective,” he added. “China will likely persist in pressuring the nations of Asia to fall in line with its challenge to the rulesbased order. It appears to believe the balance of power has shifted, that America is in decline, and that now is the right time to right what it views as historic wrongs,” McCain stressed. “I believe this judgment is wrong. But the true danger is if other nations in Asia reach the same conclusion,” he added. While the US cannot choose for Asia whether to uphold and defend the rules-based order, McCain said the US can make the choice an easier one as he urged the new administration of president-elect Donald Trump to “demonstrate renewed US leadership in the Asia-Pacific, by choosing to remain actively engaged in the world as an indispensable economic and security partner.” “We chose to play a leadership role in the world, not to abandon our allies and partners, and to bear the costs of doing so,” McCain said. “That choice has, at times, been unpopular. But it was, and still is, the right choice. And that is the choice we must be prepared to make today.”

(212) 655-5426 •


Dateline PhiliPPines


VP Robredo denies involvement in leaked emails by Dana

SioSon AJPress

PhiliPPine Vice leni Robredo has dismissed the allegations that she was involved in the alleged leaked emails about a plan to unseat President Rodrigo Duterte. This comes after reports revealed that a Yahoo! group contained emails of Robredo’s supporters plotting to oust the president. “hindi ko alam kung ano ang participation ko. nami-mention daw ang pangalan ko, pero hindi ako kabahagi nu’ng grupong iyon (I don’t know what is my participation there. I was told that my name was mentioned but I’m not part of that group),” Robredo said in an interview in Marinduque on Monday, January 9. Pro-Duterte blogger “The Thinking Pinoy” posted the socalled ‘#lenileaks’ on its page, citing emails and information from a Yahoo group named “Global Filipino Diaspora Council.” One of the emails in the thread suggested that Duterte resign. “The only way to fight this evil plot to unseat VP leni is to ask Duterte to resign. After all, he promised to resign in six months if he has not solved the drug epidemic in the Philippines,” the email said. it further read, “he (Duterte) asked for an extension of another six months. extension denied! Join Duterte Resign Movement.” in response, the vice president said, “Wala, hindi rin ako kabahagi doon (No, I’m also not part of it).”

Vice President Leni Robredo

Robredo went on to remark that she has been on the receiving end of fake news. The vice president said she’d rather focus on her job instead of the ‘ridiculous’ allegations against her. “Pero sa akin, as much as possible, gusto ko sanang magconcentrate sa trabaho, kasi ang tingin ko lang, ang daming viciousness ngayon sa internet (For me, as much as possible, I want to concentrate on my job, because I think there is a lot of viciousness now on the internet),” Rodredo said. Robredo also denied being in contact with Filipino-American philanthropist loida nicolaslewis, a known supporter of the liberal Party, who was part of the controversial thread. “ni personal meeting, ni tawag sa telepono, hindi po kami nagtawagan o nag-meet sa Amerika. Kaya ‘yung kumakalat na balita hindi po iyon totoo (Not a personal meeting nor a phone call.

We didn’t even met in America. The circulating news was fake),” Robredo said. The vice president traveled to the United States with her children last month to spend the holidays. in response to the allegations, Malacañang said it is conducting an investigation regarding the matter. “it’s a serious matter sapagkat may nakasulat doon kung paano nila papag-resign-in si President Duterte (It is a serious matter because it is written there how they will make President Duterte resign)... Siyempre, that does not sit well with us in the government because any move to oust the President is not good and it is definitely illegal,” Communications Secretary Martin Andanar told radio DZMM. he also acknowledged that Robredo may not be part of the rumored ouster plot. “it’s possible she didn’t know,” Andanar said. n

Bong Revilla’s plunder trial moved to February by Vince

F. nonato

MAnilA — “Parang magtatagal pa (Seems like it will take longer),” lamented former senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla, Jr., as the Sandiganbayan postponed the start of his plunder trial until February 9. Revilla and his former chief of staff Richard Cambe, both detained at the Philippine national Police custodial center pending trial for the P224.5-million case, were present for the scheduled hearing on Thursday. The politician’s camp even brought in a new collaborator: a legal heavyweight in the person of 87-year-old former SolicitorGeneral estelito Mendoza. But, the trial did not push through since the court has yet to finalize the pre-trial order—a draft of which is currently 830 pages long—which would govern the weekly proceedings. What was supposed to be day-long hearing lasted 30 minutes. The court found that the pretrial brief of the prosecuting panel needs to be corrected first when it comes to the marking of certain pieces of evidence. in view of this, it ordered the trial dates for January be cancelled to make way for two more preliminary conferences for the parties to clarify matters. lead prosecutor Joefferson

Toribio, however, said they were only informed of this concern in the morning of the trial. he said prosecutors would submit an amended pre-trial brief if needed. Cambe, who represents himself as his lawyer, said he would submit a soft copy of his brief if he were allowed access to a computer. he cited “financial difficulty” for his inability to hire a legal counsel. Revilla’s lawyer, Ramon esguerra, said they would have been fine had the court proceeded with the presentation of witnesses, even without the pre-trial order. he reasoned out that “the good senator has been in detention for more than two years already.” But, Justice efren dela Cruz, who chairs the First Division, said “we cannot (proceed) without a pre-trial order,” citing the need to avoid ambiguities down the road. Making his first appearance before the court for the Revilla case, Mendoza noted that with the large number of prosecution witnesses, “this will probably take forever.” Toribio earlier disclosed that the prosecution would present a total of 119 witnesses, including 10 new witnesses and 77 supposed beneficiaries for the alleged ghost projects funded by Revilla’s pork barrel funds. he assured Mendoza that to expedite the trial, prosecutors

Duterte to mayors... PAGE A2 t

problem. i will really kill you.’” “As long as i’m President, these big shabu dealers will die and the next batch would really be these mayors. i will call them and lock them up,” he said. Those whose names are on his narcolist would have a problem, he said. Three mayors from Quezon province, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the President did not link anyone in the group, mostly from luzon, to the drug trade. “he was cool. But he was in his natural self … cursing and all,” one mayor said in a telephone interview. “At least in our batch, the President did not call out any name. he just kept on talking. he asked for our support in the drug war and in solving the country’s problems,” the mayor said. The inquirer sources said they were asked to leave their mobile phones with security personnel before they proceeded to a hall where the President met them. Of the 39 municipal mayors and two city mayors of Quezon, only four were not able to attend the meeting, the third source said. “Duterte was jovial. he was even joking during his 30- to 40-minute speech in our batch. But he did his usual cursing,” said another mayor, also from Quezon. But in a meeting with another group, also from luzon, the President was described as in “a very bad mood.”

“Mayors engaging in illegal drug trade and corruption were cursed and threatened,” a mayor in that group said in a text message in Filipino. The source said Mr. Duterte again mentioned Vicente loot, a former police officer and now mayor of Daanbantayan in Cebu, as among those involved. “he was really angry at loot,” the source said, adding that the President also named nine judges on his narcolist. Shoot-to-kill orders Mayor Anida Dimaukom, of Datu Saudi Ampatuan town in Maguindanao, did not attend the meeting, according to her brother-in-law, Councilor Zayton Dimaukom. Anida is formerly the town’s vice mayor. She replaced her husband, Samsudin Dimaukom, who was killed in an alleged shootout with police in north Cotabato in October. The President had linked the couple to illegal drugs. During a meeting with one group from the Visayas, the President said he had directed the chiefs of police of towns and cities to shoot mayors involved in drugs. “he said he will protect the policemen and even grant them pardon if they will be convicted,” a participant said. “We were silent when the President said this while we were at the Rizal hall. But many of us felt that we were threatened.” “he said the list was validated but we were not shown the list and we do not know how we can check if we were mistakenly included.

would present the beneficiaries in batches. Toribio later told reporters in an interview that it was not the prosecution’s fault that the case has taken years already as Revilla remained in the slammer. “i already stated in front of the court that we are committed to finishing the case as soon as possible. ‘Di naman kami nagde-delay eh (We are not the ones delaying this),” he said. Revilla, who was initially wary of reporters, later admitted in a chance interview that he was excited at first before his hopes for speedy proceedings were dashed. “i’m okay, pero mahaba-haba pa ‘tong laban na ‘to. Prayers na lang (i’m okay, but this fight is going to be a long one. i’ll just leave it to prayers),” he told reporters. “excited sana, hoping na mapabilis (i was excited, hoping it would be quicker).” his wife, Bacoor City, Cavite, Mayor lani Mercado, also expressed sadness about the number of prosecution witnesses. “Mas lalong tatagal (it will go on longer),” she lamented. For now, she said the family would heed the advice of President Rodrigo Duterte, who promised during his campaign on Jan. 21 last year that “i will see to it that they are also afforded the

u PAGE A5 We might be shot by our police chief,” the mayor said. The President also cited slain Albuera Mayor Rolando espinosa Sr. in leyte and iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog who, he said, was close to a slain alleged drug lord, Melvin Odicta. Mabilog, who was at the meeting, kept shaking his head, according to the mayor seated near him. Cooperate or else “We have to be cooperative or else we will be included in the list,” Mayor Therese Sitoy-Cho of Cordova town in Cebu said, referring to a thick folder Mr. Duterte showed. Mr. Duterte told the mayors that he would look into how each of them spent their intelligence funds and expected that it would go to the police. “he wants our areas cleared of illegal drugs within the year,” Cho said. The President reportedly told the mayors that the folder contained a “complete and verified list” of all local government officials, “from mayors down to barangay officials,” involved in illegal drugs. According to Cho, there were a few mayors absent during the meeting, though she did not know who. Referring to mayors who failed to attend the meeting, the President reportedly said: “noted mo” (you are noted). “This is not an order, this is a plea. Cooperate lang gyud mo para way sabod (Just cooperate to avoid trouble),” Cho quoted the President as saying. (With reports from Bureaus, Leila Salaverria) n

THE PLAN. Advocates of awareness programs for HIV and AIDS display condoms during the launch of the National HIV Strategic Plan for the MSM and Transgender Population in a news conference in Quezon City. photo by Mike De Juan

Defense chief: Agreement for PH-Russia deal almost done by Dana

SioSon AJPress

The Philippines’ Department of national Defense (DnD) on Monday, January 9, said that the country is already wrapping up the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for its planned military defense cooperation with Russia. Defense Secretary Delfin lorenzana said that the memorandum was first drafted in 2014 during the administration of former President Benigno Aquino iii, but was not completed. “hindi umurong (it didn’t move forward) so we are going to finish this. halos tapos na ‘yung draft (The draft is almost done) and it will be one of the documents that will be signed kung matatapos ‘yung mga nitty-gritty (after fixing the nitty-gritty),” lorenzana said. he said that the MOU is aimed to be signed during President Rodrigo Duterte’s upcoming visit in Russia in April or May this year. According to him, the proposed agreement will pave way to the exchange of military personnels between the two countries and

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.

participation in war exercises. “The Russians said that they would like to have exercises with us, especially maritime, pero ‘yung ilalagay natin acceptable kasi dadaan pa ‘yan sa DFA (we’ll include what is acceptable because it will still pass through the Department of Foreign Affairs),” lorenzana added. lorenzana also took note that the MOU with Russia will be

Inquirer File photo/Lyn Rillon

different from the Philippines’ Mutual Defense Treaty with the United States. “hindi naman ‘yung katulad sa US na treaty, Mutual Defense Treaty na pagka-aatakihin tayo tulungan tayo. Wala tayong ganun sa Russia (It’s not the same with our Mutual Defense Treaty with the U.S. which is a treaty, Mutual Defence Treaty, which


A6 JANUARY 13-19, 2017 • NEW YORK AND NEW JERSEY ASIAN JOURNAL • (212) 655-5426



Kidnap cops

IT was bound to happen, and sooner than later considering the environment of impunity that the police force has been seemingly granted. After all, when no less than the President delivers the blanket assurance that whatever police officers do in the line of duty will not be subjected to sanctions as long as he is the country’s highest official—even if their actions cross the bounds of integrity, professionalism and the very codes of conduct of the police organization—then that promise of carte blanche protection will only serve to embolden the corrupt among the ranks. And it has been happening in the administration’s brutal war on drugs and crime. Now entering its seventh month, the campaign has produced not only an ever-escalating body count but also mounting evidence of rogue policemen taking advantage of the extraordinary leeway given them by President Duterte. That some cops were doing double duty as vigilantes was on full display in the case of two Oriental Mindoro policemen caught and exposed as a riding-tandem execution team. They shot in cold blood a local crime watch leader, reaffirming the widespread suspicion that many in the police force are themselves part of the criminal enterprises they are sworn to go after. Mr. Duterte’s flagship campaign was also ostensibly about rooting out the corruption and criminality that have tainted law-enforcement operations. By smashing the drug syndicates, he was cutting off the supply of money and influence routinely

used to make cops look the other way, or worse, to protect and participate in the drug business. But, as concerned sectors have repeatedly warned, using the same compromised police force without first cleaning up their ranks, urging them to employ the most ruthless methods while assuring them of ready pardon any time they violated their own protocols of conduct or engagement, was an open invitation to abuse. “Operation Tokhang,” at this point, claims as metrics for its success nearly a million drug “surrenderers” and over 5,000 suspects killed, mostly allegedly because they resisted arrest. The total fatalities, as documented by independent observers, are closer to over 6,000 at this time; a number of those who died at the hands of unknown gunmen had earlier turned themselves in to the police, only to be targeted for extrajudicial killing just the same. Activists have also complained of “Operation Tokhang” being used to harass their ranks and flush out suspected New People’s Army rebels, with members of progressive organizations in the countryside suddenly finding their names on the local drug watch lists. And suspects already in police custody, whether poor or not, don’t have it easier: The fate of the father and son who were killed by cops inside a Pasay police station was essentially the same as that visited on the imprisoned Rolando Espinosa, the mayor of Albuera, Leyte.

Guest Editorial photo

And now, cops appear to have upped their game by venturing into kidnapping for ransom in the name of the drug war. In an exclusive story, the Inquirer’s Tarra Quismundo reports that a South Korean businessman, Jee Ick-joo, has been missing since October, after policemen barged into his home in Angeles City announcing a drug raid and then taking him away. The cops have been identified as from the Philippine National Police Anti-Illegal Drugs Group in Camp Crame. The businessman’s distraught wife, who is appealing to Mr. Duterte’s administration for help in finding

her husband, says their house was also ransacked and some P540,000 worth of jewelry and other personal items stolen. It was the PNP itself that suggested the kidnapfor-ransom angle; in the case referral letter it sent to the Department of Justice, it recommended that the suspects—one police officer plus four others and “several John Does”—be investigated for kidnapping for ransom and serious illegal detention. One shudders at what other atrocities will be committed in the name of this out-of-control war on drugs. (

“#LeniLeaks” : Are criticisms of Duterte’s drug policy and the call for his resignation an act of sedition OR free speech? MANY kababayans in the Philippines and here in the United States have been asking me about the truth behind #LeniLeaks — a trending topic on social media that talks about the alleged plot by supporters of Vice President Leni Robredo to oust President Rodrigo Duterte by discrediting both the Philippine president, as well as former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, who lost to Robredo in the VP race. Front and center of the allegations are Filipino-American community leaders Loida Nicolas Lewis, her sister and former Commission on Filipinos Overseas Chair Imelda Nicolas, and Atty. Ted Laguatan. As Balitang America reported, the #LeniLeaks topic trended on social media platforms all over the world because of the alleged involvement of people from the office of VP Robredo. In a Yahoo Groups page called “Global Filipino Diaspora Council,” Lewis, Laguatan, Nicolas, and the members of the page were reportedly exchanging messages that talk about mass protests calling for

Duterte’s resignation and how to counteract controversies against The Fil-Am Robredo. Philippine Communication Perspective Secretary Martin Andanar, reveals that Malacañang is taking this matter seriously, and that no less than National Security Ad- GEL SANTOS-RELOS viser Hermogenes Esperon along with online forensics experts are looking into the matter. They also want to ascertain if Robredo was part of the online exchanges in the aforementioned Yahoo group discussion board. Robredo denies accusations against her and categorically stated that she is not part of any attempt to oust Duterte. She also clarifies that she has not met lately with Loida Nicolas Lewis as alleged and that the last time they talked was during the campaign season. In many interviews, the vice president has said that she will continue to call out Duterte for issues like the extrajudicial killings, human rights viola-

tions, and respect for women. However, she will fully support the president for causes they agree on. Fil-Am community leader Loida Nicolas Lewis reiterated her previous statement that she is not plotting any overthrow of Duterte, but has just been calling on the president to resign based on his campaign promise that if he does not solve the drug menace after six months in office, then he would step down. Lewis contends that she follows the rule of law, and that publicly and openly calling for Duterte to resign is part of the legal process, which also mandates that if and when the president resigns or becomes incapacitated to fulfill his/her job, the elected VP takes over the highest office. Duterte’s followers allege that talking about the president’s resignation, criticizing him and not giving him the support but instead protesting

The instincts of a leader

Street Talk GREG B. MACABENTA IN the wake of the devastation wreaked by super typhoon Nina in the Bicol Region, Vice-President Leni Robredo has been pilloried in social and mainstream media for being “missing in action.” Camarines Sur has been among the most severely damaged, as well as Albay and neighboring provinces. The fact that CamSur is Robredo’s home province has made her fair game for supporters of President Rodrigo Duterte who see Robredo as a lurking threat to his presidency, what with the media playing up rumors of a plot to oust him. But even those who think well of Robredo may have begun to have second thoughts about her readiness to assume the leadership of the country, in case of an abbreviated Duterte tenure. Proceeding with her Christmas vacation in the United States with her family, in spite of the approaching calamity, and remaining in the US in the face of the devastation have raised questions about her priorities as a national leader. One pundit put it to me quite candidly: What would Jojo Binay have done under the circumstances? Knowing the former vice-president, I have no doubt that he would have personally been at ground zero as soon as typhoon Nina made a landfall,

leading volunteers and distributing relief goods. Another question posed to me was: What would the current vice-president’s late husband, Jesse Robredo, have done under the circumstances? I never had the privilege of meeting him, but here is what I dug up in the archives about Jesse Robredo as mayor of Naga City (quoted verbatim): ”December 5, 1992, Naga City was flooded. It was like Ondoy and Habagat. Naga City was full of total darkness due to absence of power supply from CASURECO II. Large trees blocked the road and contaminated drinking water. Guess what, it was cleaned up in less than a week. The power supply was restored in two days time. Trees blocking the road were cut immediately and you can see the road free from mud. How did DILG Secretary do this? He mobilized all the contractors of Naga City, he used the trucks and heavy equipment in clearing the city free of charge. And, he personally led the clearing operations. Imagine that early morning of December 6, 1992, DILG Secretary Robredo is shoveling the mud in the streets and his city hall employees were helping. Every single resident of Naga City was inspired with the action taken by DILG Secretary Robredo…” VP Binay and Jesse Robredo had the instincts of a leader. They knew their priorities. On the other hand, Leni Robredo, in

spite of being the second highest official in the land, apparently acted like the average individual who had already made plans for a holiday vacation and, therefore, could not cancel the trip. In fact, that was how Robredo’s apologists explained it. In social media, a certain Gomez, responding to critics, posted: “Why are you overreacting? If she wants to spend her holidays with her family and sister in the US, there’s nothing wrong with that. Everyone’s entitled to spend the holidays with their family, same as you and everyone else.” Gomez further “argued that the vice president cannot stop a typhoon, and that local government units are the ones responsible in looking after their constituents. Camarines Sur Gov. Miguel Villafuerte and Naga Mayor John Bongat are on top of the situation and have evacuated people to safety.” The apologist is absolutely right - that is, if Robredo were not the vice-president of the country. But she is. She is not your average Juana or Maria. She is also being primed by supporters as head of the opposition and is just a heart attack (or a coup) away from being chief executive and commander-in-chief. For sure, a long-planned overseas Christmas holiday with family members, is not easy to cancel, whatever natural calamity or disaster might be looming. It really depends on how important one considers the threatened vic-

tims of the calamity or how one values one’s image as a leader. Several years ago, my wife and I were about to board a flight from Phoenix, Arizona to Europe, in the course of a long-planned trip to promote the 3rd Global Filipino Networking Convention in Cebu. But my mobile phone suddenly rang and we received the news that my mother-in-law had just died. Because the deceased was the mother of my wife and was someone dear to me and my family, rushing to her internment was more important than the trip to Europe, no matter what the additional expenses and other inconveniences were. We cancelled our trip and immediately booked a flight to the Philippines. It was simply a matter of priorities. Were the people of Camarines Sur and the people of the Bicol Region, high on Robredo’s list of priorities? The decision she made to proceed with her trip – although seemingly logical and practical (she could probably not have been as effective as the provincial officials of CamSur and Albay in managing relief operations) – may have sent the wrong signals about her leadership instincts. To put the issue in perspective, here is what was said about US Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush in a newspaper editorial, when Louisiana was struck by massive flooding in August 2016, while Obama

against his policies may be deemed as an act of sedition as it may incite the public to rebel against his lawful authority. On the other hand, critics of Duterte contend that the Yahoo group, which has been formed in 2011 as a discussion board on how to help the Philippines in its fight against China’s bullying and other issues that beset the nation, was merely exercising the constitutional right to free speech. The group’s members argue that criticizing Duterte’s drug policy and calling for his resignation based on what he promised is exercising their free speech. WHAT DO YOU THINK? Do criticisms of Duterte’s policy and the call for his resignation serve an act of sedition OR an exercise of free speech in a democracy? *** Gel Santos Relos is the anchor of TFC’s “Balitang America.” Views and opinions expressed by the author in this column are solely those of the author and not of Asian Journal and ABS-CBN-TFC. For comments, go to, Santos.Relos

was on vacation. “Vacation or not, a hurting Louisiana needs you now, President Obama – Last week, as torrential rains brought death, destruction and misery to Louisiana, the president continued his vacation at Martha’s Vineyard, a playground for the posh and well-connected. We’ve seen this story before in Louisiana, and we don’t deserve a sequel. In 2005, a fly-over by a vacationing President George W. Bush became a symbol of official neglect for the victims of Hurricane Katrina… It’s past time for the president to pay a personal visit, showing his solidarity with suffering Americans.” The editorial added: “Like his predecessors, Obama has no doubt discovered that crises keep their own calendar, even when commanders-in-chief are trying to take some time off the clock. It’s an inconvenience of the presidency, but it’s what chief executives sign up for when they take the oath of office.” Indeed, rushing to the side of beleaguered constituents is an inconvenience of high national office, but it’s what Leni Robredo signed up for when she agreed to run for vice-president. It can be argued that Robredo is “helping coordinate the relief operations for typhoon ‘Nina’ in the Bicol Region, while on a break in the US,” to quote her spokeswoman, Georgina Hernandez, and that “a team from the office of the vice president (OVP) has been dispatched to the affected areas to facilitate relief and emergency response operations on the ground.”

But as the Louisiana editorial said about Obama, the president of the United States needed “to pay a personal visit, showing his solidarity with suffering Americans.” Likewise, Vice-President Leni Robredo needed to do the same in CamSur and the Bicol Region to show her solidarity with her suffering constituents. In an August 2015 article in US News & World Report on the 10th anniversary Hurricane Katrina, Democratic pollster Geoff Garin observed that Bush’s tepid response to the disaster “raised fundamental questions in people’s minds about how in touch he was while there was chaos in people’s lives, and how much he cared about it. And it raised questions about the basic competence of his administration.” The same questions may have been raised about how in touch Robredo is with the chaos in her constituents’ lives and how much she cares about them. Of course, Robredo can always make good the next time another disaster pummels our hapless nation (God forbid). Hopefully, she will learn a few lessons in crisis management, the burden and inconveniences of a national position, and the need for sharpening her leadership instincts. Incidentally, President Rodrigo Duterte - whatever may be said about his verbiage and his deadly management style - is familiar with all of these and there is no doubt about his leadership instincts. (gregmacabenta@hotmail. com)

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

Nickelodeon theme park construction to push through — developer by LouiSe

Maureen SiMeon

MANILA — The developer of the planned Nickelodeon theme park in Palawan has confirmed that the attraction will push through but clarified that this would not be “underwater” contrary to earlier reports. Developer Coral World Park Undersea Resorts Inc. said the undersea-themed master planned development is not a theme park but a “resort and attraction.” “There has never been any form of communication from our side mentioning a theme park. Our plans are to build a resort and attraction, of which we are designing as an undersea attraction with an ocean conservation focus,” Coral World Park Marketing and Communications director Susan Lee said in a statement. “There will be no theme park development in Palawan,” she added. The company noted that the “undersea-themed” park is landbased but is designed to meet the international standards required as a global destination, especially environment-related standards advocating conservation tourism, renewable energy and category five proof architecture. The developer also slammed international media outfit Agence France-Presse saying it did not clearly reflect the full details

of the announcement of Coral World Park and Nickelodeonowner Viacom International Media Networks. After the announcement, several online petitions against the plan have been launched by various environmental groups. “We take the petitions seriously but sad to say, information has been misunderstood. We hope these points clarify all matters concerning this development,” the developer said. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has already announced that it will not allow the construction of the theme park. “I will never allow our biodiversity to be killed for money that some people want to make,” Environment Secretary Gina Lopez said. Palawan is home to more than 300 coral species or about half of all coral species in the world, as well as breeding ground of more than 1,500 fish species in the country. Coral World Park has also clarified reports that a full 400 hectares are to be developed under water is inaccurate. “Only 100 hectares have been allocated for the Nickelodeon facility and up to 30 hectares is allocated for the attraction itself, which has not been finalized yet,” it said. The Coral World Park empha-

ito (We don’t have an alliance. This is a military to military coopmandates them to help us if we’re eration),” Lorenzana stressed. attacked),” Lorenzana explained. Last week, Russian AmbassaHe also clarified that the Philip- dor Igor Khovaev said that Mospines will have a “cooperation,” cow is interested in forming a not an “alliance,” with Russia and defense cooperation with Manila. assured that the treaty will not af- He also said that his country is fect the Philippines’ alliance with open to supplying the Philippines the U.S. with firearms. “No. Wala tayong alliance dito. According to Lorenzana, RusMilitary to military cooperation sian officials were expected visit

Bong Revilla’s plunder trial... PAGE A5 t right to bail.” Plunder is a nonbailable offense. “Naniniwala ako sa sinasabi niya na we have to go and pass through the process of law. So, yan ang ginagawa namin ngayon

(I believe in what he says that we have to go and pass through the process of law. So, that’s what we’ve been doing),” she told reporters. Mercado also said she was hopeful about Mendoza’s entry as


sized that the master planned development will not only help create jobs for local communities but will help provide the necessary funding to ensure on-going protection of the area. “When completed, it will be the largest coral reef conservation program in Asia, with Asia’s largest marine sanctuary for five key species — dolphins, sea cows, sea horses, turtles and whale sharks,” it said. The facility will be on a private property and will be undergoing all the necessary approvals from the government before construction starts. “This project is five years in the making and coordinated with the relevant officials of the Philippine government,” Lee said. The Coral World Park is funded by the Monaco-based Dr. HOMELESS. A woman and her son sit on what remains of their gutted house after a fire hit a community in Navotas City. AB Moñozca Foundation and Bob Dungo Jr. its CWP Trust, which advocates ocean protection. “We have our own strict adherence to the environment. We aim to create a large scale reef conservation program which is sustainable, together with sanctuaries for key species in the area — these are part of our blue-print China Sea. reclaimed islands in the South besides the job creation opportuby Jonathan de SantoS China cited the non-binding China Sea. nities,” the company said. Declaration on the Conduct of “No effort to internationalize “We aim to work with as many MANILA — China has reas- Parties in the South China Sea and judicialize the South China advocates as possible to create a world class destination for tour- serted its commitment to the signed in 2002, where par- Sea issue will be of any avail for ism with an undersea theme,” it peaceful resolution of disputes ties agree to resolve disputes its resolution; it will only make in region but stressed its “in- through dialogue between na- it harder to resolve the issue, added. n disputable sovereignty over the tions directly involved. It said and endanger regional peace Nansha (Spratly) Islands and that dialogue within the DOC and stability,” China said. their adjacent waters,” part of has strengthened maritime coChina, without being specific, which Manila claims and calls operation between parties and also said that it “resolutely opthe West Philippine Sea. has generally “made positive poses certain countries’ provothe country this month to discuss In a policy paper published progress.” cations of regional disputes for possible weapon deals. by the State Council InformaIn 2013, the Philippines filed their selfish interests.” “We need new partners in tion Office and released to me- an arbitration case with an inThe US has been conducting Asia-Pacific region, including the dia by the Chinese Embassy, ternational tribunal over claims naval patrols and flights in inPhilippines. It’s time for the Phil- China said that it “has always in the South China Sea that are ternational waters near the disippines to discover Russia and been committed to resolving within the country’s exclusive puted areas. time for Russians to discover the disputes peacefully through economic zone. “China is forced to make necPhilippines,” Khovaev said. negotiation and consultation, The court ruled in July 2016 essary responses to the provocThe Russian ambassador, how- managing disputes by setting that China’s nine-dash-line ative actions which infringe on ever, clarified that Moscow is not rules and establishing mecha- claim has no legal basis and that China’s territorial sovereignty seeking a military alliance with nisms, realizing mutually ben- China violated Philippine rights and maritime rights and inManila. n eficial outcomes through coop- by barring access to Scarbor- terests, and undermine peace eration for mutual benefit, and ough Shoal, a traditional fishing and stability in the South China the lawyer of her husband. upholding peace and stability ground that Filipinos call Bajo Sea,” China said. “Sa tingin ko naman, mas ma- as well as freedom of naviga- de Masinloc and Panatag. Despite the tension in the papabilis yung kasong ito at (I tion and overflight in the South China has refused to ac- area, China said “the overall think, this case will go quicker China Sea.” knowledge the ruling and the maritime situation remains staand) true justice will be impleIt also said that China has President Rodrigo Duterte said ble in the region” and that it is mented in the case of Senator been in “close communica- that the Philippines will “set in the region’s common interest Bong,” she said. “Kilala naman tion and dialogue” with mem- aside” the dispute for now. “to maintain maritime peace, po natin yung kalibre (We know ber-states of the Association The Philippines has also been security and freedom of navigahis caliber as a lawyer) so I’m sure of Southeast Asian Nations on mum recently on reports that tion and overflight” in the Asia he could help us.” n maritime disputes in the South China has put up missiles in Pacific. n

Defense chief: Agreement... PAGE A5 t


China: Peaceful resolution of row possible, but Spratlys ours

A January 13-19, 2017 • nEW yOrK anD nEW JErSEy aSIan JOurnaL • (212) 655-5426

people events arts culture entertainment

January 13-19, 2017






An Asian Journal



Don Darryl Rivera:


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


Don Darryl Rivera Soars as Iago in Aladdin by MoMar

G. Visaya/AJPress

THeRe is a bounty of FilipinoAmerican talents on Broadway these days – two of them even playing lead roles: Ali ewoldt as Christine Daae on The Phantom of the Opera and Adam Jacobs as the title role on Aladdin. When Filipinos from other parts of the globe visit New York and have a few days (and some Benjamins) to spare, we proudly recommend watching musicals where there are Fil-Ams on the cast. There’s Karla Garcia on Hamilton; Pia Hamilton on Lion King; Gabby Gutierrez and Jaygee Macapugay on School of Rock. This March, we’ll add more as Broadway welcomes back Miss Saigon, with eva Noblezada, Jonjon Briones, Rachelle Anne Go and about a dozen more Fil-Ams. On the musical Aladdin alone, there are five Fil-Ams in the cast. Aside from Adam, there’s Joshua dela Cruz, Angelo Soriano and Bobby Pestka as part of the company. Then there’s Don Darryl Rivera, a principal cast member who plays the role of Iago, which he originated in Seattle. Before opening on Broadway at the New Amsterdam Theatre in 2014, Aladdin premiered at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle in 2011. It went through several regional and international productions a year later, including one in the Philippines where Tom Rodriguez played Aladdin and Aiza Seguerra took on the role of Genie. Don Darryl considers himself blessed and lucky that the people behind Disney liked his performance and brought him along to Broadway where he is now living his dream.

“This is the dream. I majored in theater and to be on Broadway is the pinnacle. It’s where you want to be,” he told the Asian Journal. Prior to this, he and his wife Kate (who also works in the theater as a stage manager) had a long discussion about this topic. If Broadway comes, they will take the opportunity. He was a junior in high school and was watching Ben Vereen on a DVD of Pippen when he realized he wanted to be an actor. It helped a lot that he was also playing the lead role in that musical for their high school production. “This is it, this is exactly what I wanted to do,” he shared, reminiscing that momentous event. Now that he’s part of the industry, he realized the importance of support and self-confidence because the powers that be can be ruthless sometimes. “I have the right amount of support and perseverance – here, you hear the word ‘No’ a lot when you go to auditions and see agents. My parents made their way here, how can you not have courage after realizing what they have done for us,” he added. His parents Danny and Dora moved to the United States in the 70s. His dad is from Pasay City, mom is from San Carlos City in Pangasinan. “They wanted to come here because they wanted to have a family and they wanted us to have a great life. I can’t thank them enough for providing for the family and giving us the courage to be who we wanted to be,” he said.

Don Darryl as Iago, Jafar’s scene-stealing, wise-cracking sidekick in the Broadway musical Aladdin. Photos by Deen van Meer

Don Darryl’s dad was one of the founders of Kultura, a Filipino folk dance group back in Seattle. His parents wanted him to have that exposure on Filipino culture. They would make him learn Tagalog and make him sing Tagalog songs and they would teach him the dances. “We would perform at events and community gatherings. I learned how to do tinikling and itik itik. It was invaluable. I am so proud to be a Filipino-American, I really am,” he shared. “I am the son of immigrant parents and I am not an engineer, a doctor or a nurse. I’m an actor on Broadway. There were times when my mom would go ‘When are you going to get a job?’ and I tell her ‘I’m already working as an actor.’ Now that I’m on Broadway, Don Darryl showing the Asian Journal his costume for Aladdin, his big Broadway debut. “I’m so thankful I am living the dream,” he told us. she never asked that again,” Don AJPress photos by Momar G. Visaya Darryl added laughing.

HOW is it like being on Broadway? It’s so exciting here, there are so many opportunities. And to somehow represent the Filipino community on Broadway is really cool, too. Was it how you imagined it to be? And more. To make my Broadway debut in a principal role is really awesome. I keep saying it over and over again that I am so lucky to be here. I really am. What is a typical day like for you? My daughter wakes me up at 6:30 in the morning, she’s eight months old. My wife and I get to spend the day together when I have an evening performance. We live in suburbia so we go to the zoo, or the mall or Target. Then I take the train to New York, it takes me about 20 minutes. I get ready in my dressing room, put on my make-up, work with my dresser who puts my costume on and a wig person who puts on my hair. Then we start the show. Eight shows a week. It’s hard. (laughs) But it’s doable. I eat between shows and take naps. I try to stay hydrated and do everything to be healthy. I mean I’m round, I’m healthy. I work out, warm up and make sure that my instrument is finely tuned for Broadway. How is it behind the scenes? To be able to sustain two and a half hours of burst of energy, you have to be kind of athletic so you really have to manage your stamina and work to be healthy so you can do the show eight times a week. In terms of glamor, it is glamorous. I have people who put my clothes on for me. That’s awesome. But the challenge is how to keep it fresh. That is probably the biggest question. We’ve done over a thousand performances here now. I’ve done over 900 performances of the show. How is it working with Adam Jacobs? He’s lovely. He’s so genuine and down to earth. When his sons came to the theater for the first time – we had potluck and I made pancit for the first time, thanks mom, and it turned out well. I just love this cast. We’re known as one of the most loving companies on Broadway. That’s 1,000 shows and counting. I’m pretty confident that I have done around 970 shows. I had laryngitis last month and I missed four shows. I took a couple of vacations as well. I haven’t missed a lot because I was sick. I take care of myself a lot. We heard there’s a ghost named Olive in the theater. Olive is a multo that lives in our theater. I believe in ghosts, and we Filipinos are very superstitious, right. I was onstage with Jonathan Freeman (the actor who plays Jafaar) and it was just the two of us and I thought he put his hand on my shoulder and I looked over at him and realized that no, it’s not him. I felt someone put their arm on my shoulder, and this was in front of 1,700 people, otherwise I would’ve screamed. So how did you learn about Olive and her story? We had a historian come to the theater and he talked about the theater’s history and Olive. How do you keep healthy? Lots and lots of water. I make sure that when I am outside of the show I am not yelling or screaming, I’m maintaining a healthy vocal technique so I am not whispering too much. I have a steamer that I use when I am really feeling it. I do everything right. I eat pretty healthy, not too much Chickenjoy. But yeah, I try to maintain a healthy lifestyle. What is it like originating a role? Working on a new show, you need to be really flexible because a lot of the material will change. From Seattle to Toronto to Broadway, Aladdin changed vastly. My character changed 180 degrees when we were in Toronto. We were doing previews then and the director and writer came to me and told me they wanted to do something different with Iago and they gave me new material. That night, we tried a new version of my character and right there and then, we knew what worked and where we needed to go. To originate a role is huge. I am a part of Aladdin’s history, I am part of Disney’s history. When I was still a student studying theater, I’d open a textbook and see the picture of the original cast of Cats or Miss Saigon. I’d be in the textbook someday, maybe. That’d be great. How’s Broadway Barkada? I didn’t get to meet a lot of people outside Aladdin initially. Through fellow cast-member Joshua dela Cruz, I met Brian Jose of Broadway Barkada. I was so touched and moved by the amount of talent and courage and love of the Filipino community here. I had to step up my game, they’re all so good. How is it like seeing fellow Filipino Americans on Broadway? Lea Salonga has been a major part of Broadway history and it feels like we’re at the beginning of a bridge and Lea is on the other side waving us over and we have the opportunity now to represent our community in mainstream American entertainment.

What made Miss U an unforgettable experience for Gloria and Margie by ricky Lo

the private sector so that the government would not spend a single cent. “The pageant will not DeFINITeLY, Gloria Diaz and be complete without them. The Margie Moran, the country’s first pageant is a project of all Filipinos two Misses Universe (in 1969 and so everybody should help make it a 1973, respectively), will share success. Millions of people around maybe not all but a good part of the world are watching the pageant the limelight with reigning Miss on TV and it’s the best time to Universe Pia Wurtzbach during showcase what the country has to the varied activities leading to the grand coronation night on Jan. 30 at offer, tourism-wise.” Gloria and Margie were at an the MOA Arena. exclusive press conference at the “After all, they are part of Makati Business Club organized history,” said Narvacan Councilor Chavit Singson who moved heaven by Chavit and George Sison. Also and earth to have the pageant held present was Tourism Sec. Wanda Teo, herself a beauty queen who here (for the third time), mobilizing competed in the 1972 Bb. Pilipinas Photos from the collection of Funfare contributor Celso de Guzman Caparas pageant won by Armi Barbra Crespo (Universe) and Yogi Dominguez (International) with, among others, Jennifer Peña, elizabeth Oropesa and Janet Bordon (“My roommate,” recalled Wanda) as the other aspirants. The 88 contestants have started arriving, all set for the various activities designed to play up the country’s tourist attractions in Ilocos, Boracay, Cebu, Davao and more, with the first major competition (swimsuit) slated on Tuesday, Jan. 17, in Cebu coinciding with the Sinulog Festival venerating the Sto. Niño, itself a major attraction famous around the world just like the Black Nazarene Roses for the country’s two Misses Universe: Gloria Diaz (1969) and Margie Moran (1973) during an exclusive presscon (organized by George Procession attended by over a

Sison) with Narvacan Councilor Chavit Singson (who worked hard to have the pageant held here for the third time) and Tourism Sec. Wanda photos by Ver Paulino Teo.

Continued on Page 6

Don Darryl with this wife Kate and daughter Eloise. Photos courtesy of Don Darryl Rivera’s Instagram

The February 2017 priority dates Immigration Corner Atty. MichAel Gurfinkel, eSQ EACH month, the Visa Office of the State Department publishes, in the Visa Bulletin, the priority dates for that particular month, for the various family and employment based categories. A priority date is a person’s “place in line” for a visa, meaning immigrant visas (or green cards) would be available for persons whose priority date is earlier than the cut-off date listed below. If your priority date was “current,” but later retrogressed (or “moved backwards” and became unavailable) before your immigrant visa was issued (or before you adjusted status in the U.S.), you would have to wait until it becomes current again. Beginning last October 2015, the format of the Visa Bulletin changed, in that a new column was added, called the “Application Filing Date.” If a person’s priority date is earlier than the Application Filing Date, they can already file for adjustment of status and work authorization (provided they are otherwise eligible and USCIS indicates on its website it will use the Application Filing Date for that month). This could allow people to obtain work authorization much



Application Filing Date

Visa Issuance Date

May 1, 2006

December 1, 2005

First Preference

Unmarried sons and daughters of US citizens (over 21 years of age)

Second Preference

(2A) Spouse and minor children (below November 22, 21 years old) of green 2015 card holder

April 15, 2015

(2B) Unmarried sons and daughters (21 years old or older) of green card holder

February 1, 2007

April 8, 2006

Third Preference

Married sons and daughters of US Citizens.

January 1, 1995

September 8, 1994

Fourth Preference

Brothers and sisters of US Citizens.

April 1, 1994

June 22, 1993


Application Filing Date

Second Preference

Advanced Degree (Masters)

Third Preference

Professional/ Skilled Workers

Other Workers

Non-Skilled Workers

sooner than before, where they had to wait for the priority date to be current (in the Visa Issuance Date column) in order to both file for adjustment and be eligible for a green card.

Visa Issuance Date



September 1, 2013

October 15, 2011

September 1, 2013

October 15, 2011

*** 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.

Elite Class premium economy ranks seventh and airline in top 10 best as the world’s third best in AirlineRatings’ evaluations for


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

The priority dates for the Philippines are as follows:

EVA Economy Class ranks third worldwide for 2017 TAIPEI, TAIWAn– EVA Air’s Economy Class rates

An Asian Journal

2017 while its Elite premium economy ranks seventh and the airline has earned overall recognition among the top-10 best of the best. EVA earned the website’s top seven-star rating by demonstrating excellence its in-flight product, services and innovation in addition to its safety record and standards. AirlineRatings released its top-10 seats in the sky for first, business, premium economy and economy cabins through a report on 5 Dec., 2016. Travelers can learn more about EVA seats, flights, services and routes at

AN ENCORE EPISODE ABOUT A ’SPECIAL CHILD’ ON “CITIZEN PINOY!” When Mommy Conchita (center) immigrated to the US in 2007, she had to make a difficult decision of leaving her special needs daughter, Nina (left) behind in the Philippines. It was a difficult time, because mother and daughter had never been separated before. Nina was left behind with her older sister Ruth, who was later about to migrate to Australia in May 2016. With Mommy Conchita and Ruth gone, who will take care of Nina? Find out how leading US immigration attorney Michael J. Gurfinkel was able to bring Nina to the U.S. through Humanitarian Parole, on an encore episode of “Citizen Pinoy” on Sunday, Jan. 15 at 6:15 p.m. PST on TFC. 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,

Immigrant Living: 101 and Beyond Monette AdevA MAGlAyA

(Part 2 of 4) AngElS were strong proactive characters when the story of humanity unfolded during biblical times. And while today, cynics, atheists and those on the dark side might argue that angels are figments of the human imagination, there are countless people who will brave the scorn of scoffers, fight back vehemently and attest to the very real presence of angels in their lives. Trawl the internet and social Continued on Page 4 media and read about how angels,

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)

Angels among us “Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings.” — From Frank Capra’s film “It’s a Wonderful Life” though unseen in many instances, can be felt by many who believe in them. There are many instances when the presence and oftentimes the direct interventions of one’s personal guardian angel are a part of the twists and turns of the unraveling story of many people’s lives. Many have written about their encounters with angels, documenting how their guardian angels are a real part of their lives

guarding, guiding and protecting them from harm and on many occasions, even from death, because their time had not yet come. I am sure many others have their own personal stories to tell about this unseen entity that can be ascribed to the presence of god himself – an ever-present help to aid us in navigating life on earth. The common image of an Continued on Page 5

An Asian Journal



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

On the PEP Front

People, Events, Places

Mithi Aquino Thomas: her vicarious roles as mother, wife and ‘trailing spouse’ Mithi Thomas with international fashion designer John Ablaza and this writer.

BoBBy T. yalong ModErnity has significantly brought about an immense amount of change that affected not only the social and cultural aspects of life but, most of all, the basic unit of society that is the family. the prevailing free-willing lifestyle inevitably gave rise to an invigorating sense of freedom and openness that led to the breaking of even sacrosanct rules and venerated doctrines. Even conventionally sanctified marriages had been tremendously impacted by such revolutionized way of life that breaks family ties and resulted to a mounting worldwide status of single parenthood. Although single parenting could be liberating while it is challenging, being a single mother didn’t come about by chance for Mithi…it was her choice. Maintaining her regal bearing and keeping her sanity intact were her primary aspirations following her separation from her husband that left her with two lovable children…her main source of joy and enthusiasm to keep life going. Amid bruised ego and emotional devastation, self-pride and regenerated zest overwhelmingly kept Mithi constantly driven aptly armed with a paramount obligation to raise her two kids alone. “C’est la vie!” (Such is life!) She

Having fun with kids

The kind hearted Ambassador’s wife took timeout to be with young Zimbabweans.

lass with well-chiseled cheekbones, sharp jawline, deep set brown eyes and just the perfect angular nose bridge, could easily pass for a photographer’s subject or a commercial model. A Business Administration graduate (Major in Management) from the Manila Central University , Mithi found the international Cruiseline training Center a nurturing haven where her professional career congruently applied with efficient relevance while grossing a sustainable income. But single motherhood cannot always assure one of merely focusing on what she does best--parenting. it also comes with an inimitable set of emotional challenges that could, if one has a weak disposition, distort her focus or give it up to whatever hassles her. “it was really difficult at times. i got extremely stressed out from work and then anxious over coming up with a decision concerning my family all my own. But i was appropriately steered to the right track by my own intuition so deliver the best. i’ve devotedly responded with ample time to my professional calling and tried to singlehandedly heave my children’s condition for them not to miss anything or to feel something was lacking,” she declares, trying to unravel the



could only mutter sans regret, “it wasn’t the end of the world but a rebirth… a fresh start to breathe a new life, instead. Actually, it was the best decision for both of us…and we’re better off as friends.” A Piscean, (born March 7) Mithi (wish or desire) is one of three daughters of Colonel Magtanggol F. Aquino (retired) and dr. Zenaida inciong-Aquino. noticeably, her father’s nationalistic peculiarity was unambiguously evident in consistently naming them: Mutya (muse or sole female heir) and Mayumi (demure or ladylike)… basing from his own, Magtanggol (defend). the Jolo, Sulo-born slim-built

Mithi Thomas treads the ramp for her fundraising project

Hon. Amb. Thomas with Mithi and her children Zoe and Miggy

Mithi Aquino Thomas with Loida Nicolas Lewis

Mithi with Miggy and Zoe in Washington, DC

perplexing complexity of her role as a working single mom. Although her ears were deaf and the doors to her heart were closed and insensitive to fall in love again for fear of being enslaved by another false romance, Fate had it that she would have to be involved once more through a chance meeting. in March 5th of 2011, Mithi’s heart, subsequent to a long period of solitude, skipped a beat at last after being constantly pursued by a persistent suitor from the US Embassy, the Honorable Harry Keels thomas, Jr. an American diplomat who served as the US

ambassador to the Philippines from April 27, 2010 to october 16, 2013. it was on that red-letter day when Mithi finally accepted Harry’s proposal following a year-long courtship. Mithi’s typical Filipina beauty didn’t escape Harry’s eyes the first time he saw her at the training center. He never wasted time until he was formally introduced and accepted his dinner invitation with a group of chaperones. Although hesitant to come alone in the open, Mithi concurred to a first date in August 2010 followed by their first public appearance together during the Marine Ball.


it was Harry’s Pinoy style of courtship that melted her heart and met the standards of both Mithi’s children and her parents. the former US Ambassador to Bangladesh and director Gen. of the US Foreign Service prior his Philippine posting had steadily adapted to the Filipino way of life and gradually gained the respect of the Filipino people during his threeyear service. on March 15, 2014 they tied the knot at the century old Church of the Blessed Sacrament (along 76th Street, Upper West Side of Manhattan, ny). Continued on Page 5

An Asian Journal



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

Prognostications, predictions and prayers for 2017 have implemented the last eight years. However, the members of Congress will also try hard not to swing the pendulum too much to the right, as they will also look very closely what their political constituency desires in order to ErniE D. DElFin be reelected again in the next election. (PART 1 of 2) Although I had doubts A HAPPY, healthy, peaceful that Trump will be good for and prosperous 2017 to all! the country, I also pray that he I am one of millions of people can be like Saul, who used to who want to predict things be persecutor of Christians but (especially this time of the year), subliminally praying for the same was converted and eventually became St. Paul, one of the most things to happen. Just to give ardent followers of Christ. I am a seedbed for these dreams to praying that Trump, despite his germinate, I would like to share many “unpresidential” antics them with my dear readers and tweets, can be made to be a in coming up with my own prognostications, predictions and great president and can do a lot of actions that will benefit the prayers for 2017. Here’s the top country. ten, randomly created from my His anticipated appointments medulla oblongata: of more conservative members For the United States: to the Supreme Court during his 1. I pray that the American term will have lasting effect to the people will have more upbeat country’s direction for decades to news in the socio-economic, come. During the next four years, foreign, diplomatic, political, if he can at least convert the and trade areas to fulfill Pres. Donald Trump’s promise to “Make huge government bureaucracy, modeling after an effective America Great Again” beginning private-business enterprise to this January 20, as he begins become more effective and his term as POTUS. Despite his unorthodox campaign style, often efficient, then he has a good laced with contradictory messages chance that he can be re-elected and flip-flopping on many issues, for another term, should he choose to run again in 2020. his generic promises resonated 2. The wisdom, practicality to the millions of marginalized and fairness of the Electoral voters, especially in red states all College in electing the POTUS across the country. His millions should be revisited and debated, of supporters were pinning their so that in a generation or so, if hopes that they too can rise to necessary the Constitution can be experience the American dream that has eluded them for decades. amended to solve the seemingly “unjust” or “unfair” value of each His campaign rhetoric won him the White House, but turning American voter. It has been documented that the one vote in his promises to reality will be California, for instance, is worth a different ball game. Trump much less than one vote in a rural may have been successful in running his business but running red state like Wisconsin simply because there are fewer voters the government will not be the represented by one electoral same. This is one area where delegate. potential problems will come: 3. There should be an the millions of unemployable overhaul of immigration laws Americans will still remain the and regulations, and stricter same, and will soon be frustrated implementation of them so that and disappointed. As the White House and Congress is controlled the abuse of many nationalities, especially those with money to by the Republicans, there will suck the privileges and rights be faster “overhaul” for many socialistic programs, including the that are granted in the books centuries ago, which are now ObamaCare that the Democrats quite obsolete in the 21st century.

The Metamorphosis

99 Ranch Market has just opened its first east coast store, located at 561 US 1 in Edison, New Jersey.

99 Ranch Market Opens First East Coast Store

WEST Coast supermarket giant 99 Ranch Market celebrated the opening of its first East Coast store in Edison, New Jersey on Monday, January 9th. The store opening marks a milestone after years of requests from families and parents on the east coast wanting a taste of the west coast’s most prominent and popular Asian grocery chain. Located at 561 U.S. 1, 99 Ranch Market’s debut store on the east coast is located in the Wick Shopping Plaza in the city of Edison, providing 60,000 square feet of convenient grocery shopping for customers. The new Edison store marks a new turn for the Orange County, California-based 99 Ranch Market. A new store in a brand new region means a new world of sales possibilities and marketing campaigns to brand the supermarket chain to residents unfamiliar with

the store. 99 Ranch Market is confident that with its large selection of dry shelf goods, many of which are native to East Asia and not found elsewhere in stores on the east coast, it can really introduce specialty items to consumers with adventurous palates and culinary interests. “Fresh, nutritious, and health conscious” has been a long-time slogan of 99 Ranch Market when it comes to the variety of items that the stores carry. All 99 Ranch Market stores pride themselves on daily delivery of fresh ocean caught lobster, crab, fish and fresh cut beef, chicken and various poultry, in addition to farm fresh fruits and vegetables meant to meet consumer demand for a healthy and balanced diet. The new Edison store also boasts 99 Ranch Market’s famous in-store gourmet hot deli, which provides hot Chinese dishes and specialty Cantonese style dim

sum to hungry shoppers while an equally-impressive in-store bakery rolls out daily freshly-baked bread, pastries, toast, and an exquisite selection of cakes to make every shopping trip complete. With a festive grand opening marked by wonderful, free gifts, excited east coast shoppers were up early on Monday, patiently waiting to finally step foot inside a 99 Ranch Market, making the new Edison store the newest and hottest shopping destination in the city. 99 Ranch Market, which was established in 1984 with its first store in Westminster, California, is now a leading Asian supermarket chain in the United States, with 42 store locations in California, Nevada, Texas, and Washington State. The company is planning to open two more stores in New Jersey this year, one in Hackensack and another in Jersey City. (Advertising Supplement)

Hard to find frozen vegetables that Filipinos love such as sili leaves and The city’s newest and hottest shopping destination boasts more than birch (alukon in Ilocano) flower are all available at 99 Ranch Market. AJPress Photos by Momar G. Visaya 60,000 square feet of convenient grocery shopping.


Do you have a stomach ulcer?

treatment. How did this change the treatment? Before Marshall’s discovery, PhiliP S. Chua, gastrectomy (cutting part or MD, FaCS, FPCS whole of the stomach out) was very common as a treatment for WHAT is a stomach ulcer? peptic ulcer disease. Today, with A stomach ulcer, also known as appropriate triple antibiotic therapy, a gastric ulcer or peptic ulcer, as the peptic ulcer disease is effectively second part of the name suggests, managed, transforming a former is a “wound, an open sore,” in the surgical disease to a medical disease. mucosa (inner wall) that penetrates Occasionally, however, surgery may the muscle layer of the stomach or still be needed for severe bleeding of the duodenum (the first part of peptic ulcer disease but this is not the small intestine attached to the as common today, with proper stomach). The main symptom is antibiotic treatment. typically burning, gnawing or hunger How does the H. pylori pains in the epigastric (stomach bacteria cause ulcers? pit) area, often relieved by food or There are theories as to how this antacids. organism causes peptic ulcers. H. What causes a stomach ulcer? pylori produces urease, an enzyme There was a time when stomach that catalyzes urea to ammonia. acid hypersecretion (due to stress, The ammonia, which enables spicy food, alcohol, tobacco, etc.) was the bacteria to survive the acidic universally accepted in the medical environment in the stomach or community as the cause of gastric duodenum, also causes erosions ulcer disease. A brilliant Australian into the mucosal lining and causes physician, Dr. Barry James Marshall, epithelial damage. Cytotoxins who was ridiculed by his colleagues from the bacteria also damage in the scientific world for postulating the epithelium. The organism that peptic ulcer disease was caused also produces mucolytic enzymes by a bacterial infection (Helicobacter (protease and lipase) that lead to pylori organism), ingested the the degradation of the mucosa, organism himself and developed making the epithelium more acute peptic ulcer disease, proving vulnerable to acid damages. Also, to the medical community in 1984cytokines produced in response to 85 that his postulate was correct. the inflammation may damage the Multicenter studies following his mucosa and lead to ulcer formation. treatise proved that he was right. Do aspirin and arthritis Marshall has radically revolutionized medications cause peptic ulcers? the understanding of the disease, its Yes, aspirin and NSAIDs (nondiagnosis, and most importantly, its steroidal arthritis medications) are

Angels among us From Page 3 angel is a beautiful heavenly being with piercing eyes, big white pair of wings and long cascading golden hair, robed in androgynous white gown and who is neither male nor female but to which we ascribe the word “he” just for convenience. An angel, who is an eternal celestial being, is not subject to the constraints of gravity, time, space or language problems. Communication between protector and protectee is often wordless and automatic. Some are messengers and some bring punishment and death but each has a definite purpose, most of which are beneficial to humans. Some claim to have seen their angels appearing differently from the common image we believe of winged beings. Some morph into human form to lend a hand, to protect from danger or avert disaster then disappear quickly.

They appear specially when the humans they are protecting find themselves in dire straits and need help. As one might imagine, angels are extremely busy considering the weakness of humans and their predilection to stray from the straight and narrow. In Frank Capra’s classic Christmas film, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” Clarence, a portly, bumbling character aspiring to become an angel must earn his wings by doing something good for a human being in desperate need and contemplating suicide. “Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings,” is a memorable line in this classic film that is intended never to get old and aptly becomes new again for a new generation around the Christmas season. On the other hand, in the warped imagination of liberal film makers, “Michael” supposedly about Michael, the Archangel, the highest seraphim who fought

known to cause peptic ulcers and severe bleeding. The irritation is both local (on the mucosa of the stomach) and systemic (inhibiting prostaglandin production adversely affecting mucosal defenses, and thinning the blood), leading to ulcerations and hemorrhage. Is alcohol bad for those with peptic ulcers? Yes, most definitely. The same thing is true with cigarette smoking, chocolate, tea, coffee, spicy foods, which are also irritants for the stomach. They increase hydrochloric acid production in the stomach, which bathes and damages the stomach mucosal lining, making it more susceptible to the H. pylori bacteria. Milk, which used to be prescribed decades ago as a part of peptic ulcer therapy, is now avoided since it also causes “rebound” acid production and slows ulcer healing. Do children develop peptic ulcers? Yes, but it is relatively uncommon among children compared to among adults. About 15 percent to 20 percent of abdominal pains in children is due to peptic ulcer. Most primary peptic ulcer disease in children are seen in the ages between 8 and 17. The pains usually wake the child from sleep, and are sometimes aggravated by eating. About 25 percent of these pediatric patients have bleeding ulcers. Peptic Ulcer due to H. pylori infection is not very common in children. Any persistent abdominal pains in Continued on Page 5 Satan and flung him to the burning sulfurous depths of hell and believed to be the protector of the nation of Israel, is portrayed as somewhat of a sleaze who is more human than angelic. In this film, Archangel Michael can charm females because he smells of cookies and who is a bit of a Lothario to boot. It may be somewhat funny to color outside the lines in portraying angels but don’t be fooled by the liberal yarn on angels. Hollywood, in my opinion, has no gravitas on angelic matters. Trust your own instincts. Your own personal experience will color the lens with which you view and relate with your personal guardian angel. God so loved the world, He sent His only son to redeem us from sin and death so we may gain eternal life — not unlike His angels. (To be continued …) *** Nota Bene: Monette Adeva Maglaya is SVP of Asian Journal Publications, Inc. To send comments, e-mail monette.maglaya@

Calendar of Events across

The government or Congress should revisit and amend those “benevolent but unjust” provisions of the Constitution to discontinue the automatic American citizenship of children born in the United States of alien mothers. It is a known fact that thousands if not millions of pregnant mothers come to the U.S., with the primary purpose of giving birth often in county or government hospitals “free of charge.” To add insult to injury, it has been documented these pregnant mothers are brought here by “smart” business operators in collusion with some doctors and apartment owners. They house them and when the time comes, are brought to the hospital to give birth. These mothers’ families pay hefty fees to these crooked businessmen to take advantage of America’s privileges. And often, these babies and their mothers can be “legally” be given food stamps as our benevolent government will not want mother and child die of hunger or get sick! (While disabled Veterans and those suffering for Post Traumatic Syndrome are left alone crying in quiet desperation! 4. I also predict and pray that President Rody Duterte will exercise a delicate balance in his self-imposed war against drugs vs. the rights of the citizens (especially those who are innocent but being killed or imprisoned as “collateral” damages). For him to succeed and become a great president, he should also show some degree of humility to listen to the voice of the millions of people, including those who did not vote for him. He should not continue to antagonize many segments of allies or friends the Filipino people, like the United States. Decent and diplomatic leaders can still show great displeasure without going to the gutter. Using foul language often connotes inability to express oneself due to language deficiency or simply bad manners. For Duterte to become a great president, he has also to Continued on Page 6



Feast of Santo Niño in Los Angeles On Sunday, January 15, 2017, at 3:30 pm, a mass sponsored by Santo Niño Cruzada USA, will be held at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels to celebrate its 30th year anniversary of the solemn Feast of Santo Niño, the Divine Infant Jesus. The Southern California Sinulog Dance Co. will perform traditional Sinulog dances after the mass. Although the devotion to the Divine Infant has roots in Europe, Filipinos are known for their fervent devotion to the Infant Jesus, celebrating with religious and civic activities. As a result, Filipino immigrants brought their Santo Niño to the United States to be their spiritual recourse, assistance, and protector. We celebrated the first Feast of Santo Niño in 1986 at then Saint Vibiana’s Cathedral in downtown Los Angeles. It was in the summer of 1988 that the original group of Santo Niño devotees formally organized under the name, Cruzada de Santo Niño. The organization’s name was eventually changed to its present name, Santo Niño Cruzada, USA. As in any organization, the organization’s path to success is measured by the dedication and commitment of the officers and members whose primary goals are to promote devotion to Santo Niño, provide individual sanctifications, give aids to needy families and be united with other Santo Niño groups. For more information in this year’s celebration, please contact any of the following officers and members: Romy & Tess Esturas: (213) 387-6982 Rey & Tess Edpao: (818) 469-7292; Carmen Estrada: (213) 413-2881; Fe Montano: (323) 218-1587; Ester Paredes: (213) 864-1149; Lilia Figuracion: (626) 394-2661; Fe Reyes: (213) 413-5286; Cherry Guerrero: (213) 747-6508; Tessie Cruz: (213) 361-0937; Vicky Samia: (818) 851-2262; Laurie Dolorfino: (213) 407-0097; Maria Oclarino: (213) 427-0353.

ja n ua ry 28

Historic Filipinotown Scavenger Hunt Explore the cultural gems of HiFi (Historic Filipinotown) by joining the 2nd HiFi Scavenger Hunt Fundraiser on Saturday, January 28 from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m! Meet Filipino-specific challenges (from a Balut eating contest to dancing Tinikling to a hip hop beat!). You may find yourself meeting a little-known community hero, tasting a Filipino food challenge or receiving your very own Filipino nickname! You will be having a blast while building your bayanihan spirit by asking your friends and family and even your Facebook fans to donate money to sponsor your Team to take this challenge. You and your team choose your own fundraising goal! Funds raised by this event will go to the programs and services of 2 HiFi community organizations, Pilipino Workers Center (PWC) and Filipino American Service Group, Inc. (FASGI) to provide vital services to families, workers and seniors in our community. Services include free or low-cost citizenship application assistance, human trafficking survivor support, civic engagement, wage theft claims assistance, cultural programs and more! Have fun, Discover Historic Filipinotown win prizes and support your community while doing it! Go to to sign up now. PWC is located at 153 Glendale Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90026.

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

An Asian Journal



What made Miss U an unforgettable...

The Asian Journal N E W YO R K / N E W J E R S EY JA N UA RY 1 3, 20 1 7

Alden Richards excited to start the year with new TV show By Lhar


The cameras have started rolling for one of the biggest series GMA Network has in store for viewers this year, Destined To Be Yours. This is the soap that the fandom Aldub Nation has long been waiting for, with their ultimate idols Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza as lead stars. The most popular love team of noontime television has started taping for the soap and Alden couldn’t be happier. Showbuzz was quick to pay a visit to Menggay and Tisoy—the endearing monikers of Maine and Alden, respectively—on their current set in faraway Quezon Province. It was raining and the wind was gusty as they shot their scenes, but the weather failed to dampen the excitement of the eat Bulaga-Kalyesere original love team. There was even one scene where the two had to walk in the rain, and because the terrain was hilly and wet, they both slipped while holding each other. Their tumble by the way was not part script but it gave the frame a more realistic touch, their director decided to keep it. Maine had more scenes to shoot during Showbuzz’ visit so it was Alden who had time for a lengthier chat that day, and he was clearly in his best element. “Pareho kasi kaming excited ni Maine, and come to think of it, after one and a half years I’m back to doing soap. I consider this one of my comfort zones because this is where I started. Sobrang namiss ko talagang umarte sa soap. Add to the fact that I’m doing this series with Maine, kaya sobrang saya ko,” said Alden. The actor shared with Showbuzz that he has promised Maine to help her out every step of the way what with Destined To Be Yours her first experience in a TV series. however, he doesn’t see her to be in need of acting tips in

Alden Richards

the first place. “I believe Maine is doing well as an actress. Magaling siya because she really is an artist. even during our workshop for this project, she was really good. When it comes to drawing different emotions, maraming paghuhugutan si Maine. You can actually see it when she writes poems—nailalabas niya whatever emotion she feels.” Alden is so thankful that he was able to get good quality rest during the Christmas break before plunging into work again. “I felt I had so much time to rest but I really treasured the many days I was able to spend with my family. I was able to do a lot of things with them. I also had the chance to bond with friends again. My mountain climbing experience with Kristoffer (Martin), Bea (Binene), Rodjun (Cruz) and other non-actor friends from GMA was very memorable. Ang sarap nung nasa itaas ka ng bundok! It’s so refreshing. We had a very good time because bonding to the max talaga kami. Before we went up the mountain, we ate in my restaurant in Silang and when we went down kumain naman kami sa bahay nu’ng isang

kasama namin na taga-Batangas. Ang saya namin and that was the kind of fun with friends that I missed,” he enthused. For 2017, Alden has already laid out several personal plans, mostly with his family. One of them is an out-of-the country trip with them, including his grandparents and some cousins. Tisoy won’t go into details regarding the vacation but he said he is excited to take them to one of his favorite places in the world. Meanwhile, Alden will have to take a short trip to the US next week to do a show for GMA Pinoy TV. he is headlining a concert with Kapuso stars Jennylyn Mercado, Dennis Trillo, Lovi Poe, Tom Rodriguez and Betong Sumaya. he has prepared a song number and a dance act, which he promised, “Tiyak magugustuhan ng mga Kapuso natin.” The show is billed Sikat Ka Kapuso Abroad and it will be held at the Terrace Theater in Long Beach, California on January 22. From the news that reached Showbuzz, tickets are selling fast so for our kababayan reading this online, you should go and buy your tickets now.

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.

From Page 2 million. “Gloria and Margie are invited to all the activities,” assured Wanda. Asked what their roles would be, Gloria and Margie said they didn’t know yet. “But whatever it would be,” she added, “we would be there.” “Yes,” joked Gloria, “saling-pusa.” The event will surely bring back fond memories to Gloria and Margie (she opened the 1974 Miss Universe held at the Folk Arts Theater where she relinquished her crown to Spain’s Amparo Muñoz who died a few years ago). That was what the few invited journalists at the lunch presscon were curious about. Do they still have the gowns they wore when they won? Gloria (who won in Miami, Florida): “It was designed by Pitoy Moreno. It’s in the museum.” Margie (in Athens, Greece): “Mine was by Auggie Cordero. I think it’s also in the museum.” Like the other winners, Gloria and Margie were given replicas of the crown as souvenirs. Gloria has kept hers but Margie lost hers in transit from Athens to the Philippines. “I lost my trophy at the San Francisco airport because it was in my excess luggage,” said Gloria. “I didn’t have $600 to pay for it.” (Trivia: Gloria’s daughter Isabelle Daza, now Mrs. Adrien Semblat, dusted off Gloria’s crown and wore it to a costume party with friends. Deemed a possible winner, Isabelle has turned down requests to join a beauty contest, saying, One in the family is enough.”) have they retained their winning figures? “Secret na ‘yon!” Margie begged off, laughing. “As they say,” replied Gloria, “beauty is from within.” “It’s been a long time,” followed up Margie. “I am already a grandma and so is Gloria. Can you imagine that the girls (in this Miss U pageant) are already our daughters and granddaughters!” They may not have kept their Miss U figures but, Margie assured, “We are still proportional.” Countered Gloria: “Not as before but even then we were not perfect.” Being still figure/healthconscious, they follow a balanced diet and do regular workouts. Margie: “I have stopped doing strenuous exercises and lifting heavy weights. What I do is lowimpact exercises such as ballet and stretching.” Gloria: “I still do strenuous exercises. I play tennis for two to three hours, I lift weights, I bike…I try to do everything.” They recalled the moment they won as if it happened only yesterday and the 12-month reign that followed. Gloria succeeded Brazil’s Martha Vasconcellos and Margie came after Australia’s Kerry Anne Wells. Gloria: “It was surreal. I had just turned 18. You realized that everything was about you. events would not start until Miss Universe arrived. Doors were opened for you, and so did all kinds of opportunities.” Margie: “I was kind of reluctant to join a beauty contest. I was 18

Gloria and Margie during their reign: Winning or losing was not the main thing. ‘We just enjoyed the experience and looked at it as fun,’ they said.

when somebody asked me to, and my parents put their foot down, ‘No way!’ When I was 19, my dad had a surgery and he recuperated at a friend’s farm in Davao with my mom watching over him. I was asked to join the Bb. and my grandmother, herself a carnival queen and crazy about pageants, said, ‘Yes!’ I had already won when my parents learned about it.” The pageant on Jan. 30 will start at 8 a.m. (to coincide with the New York Time, 8 p.m. Jan. 29). During Margie’s time, the pageant held at the Atticus Theater which was part of the Parthenon, began at 2 a.m. (which was also around 8 p.m. NY Time). “So we had to be acclimatized,” said Margie. “We conditioned ourselves to sleep the whole day since all the activities were scheduled at night.” For 12 months, Gloria had a big room all to herself at a posh hotel and so did Margie (at St. Regis in New York; while Pia has hers at the Trump Tower right across Central Park, also in New York). Since she won in Las Vegas in December 2015, Pia has been very active on social media, up-to-date with the men she has been dating (the latest being racer Fil-Swiss Marlon Stockinger). how was it during their time? Did Margie and Gloria have a love life (or even a semblance of it)? Margie: “None! I remember meeting Salvador Dali who invited me to watch Tony Bennett’s concert. Bennett was very young then.” (Trivia: Bennett has just turned 90.) Gloria: “Are you kidding? Before I became Miss Universe, I never crossed the street alone. No, I didn’t have a lovelife but, come to think of it, I should have run for gold, hahahaha!!! I lived in a nice hotel for free but I had a chaperon who slept on another bed in the room. At that age, your hormones are raging but…That was my period of awakening. What felt somewhat painful was another moment of awakening — the night they relinquished their

EVA Economy Class ranks third... From Page 3 economy Class seat pitch and width were among the ratings website’s evaluation criteria. It also considered seat design and service. AirlineRatings praised eVA for leadership in Taiwan aviation and innovations such as the industry’s first premium economy cabin in 1992. The website is led by editors recognized worldwide for their expertise in the airline industry. ranked eVA Air among the world’s top-10 airlines, identifying it as an airline of choice for business and leisure travel for 2014, 2015, 2016 and, now, 2017. eVA has high standards for comfort and service. SKYTRAX awarded it 5Stars, recognizing it among only nine carriers worldwide to hold the elite distinction. SKYTRAX

and Travel + Leisure also rank it among the world’s Top-10 Best International Airlines. eVA excels at convenience as well. Its routing within Asia is among the industry’s best. With one stop in Taipei, travelers can connect onward aboard 132 flights throughout Southeast Asia and 155 in Northeast Asia. eVA and affiliate UNI Air operate an additional 113 weekly flights to 27 destinations in Mainland China and fly to Guam, Korea, 8 major cities in Japan and more major gateways throughout the region. eVA operates more flights from North America to Taiwan, connecting to more destinations in Asia, than any other airline. As a Star Alliance member, eVA extends its network to nearly 1,330 destinations in 192 countries. It code-shares with Air Canada, Air China, All Nippon

Prognostications, predictions... From Page 5 work hard and improve other areas of concern throughout the Philippines. These include the quality of education, fairer taxes, enhancing exports, the delicate control of imports that kill local businesses and building muchneeded infrastructures. Other concerns like climate change and the horrendous damages caused by annual typhoons and flooding, to perennial traffic problems, to health care delivery to peace and order, are equally important that must not also be neglected. On the global financial view,

the exchange rate of the peso has shown some decline and hopefully will not further erode, say to P60 pesos to the dollar. Despite that the American dollar is not as valuable as it used to be, with the Trump presidency, it is expected that the dollar value will increase that may result to further decline of the Philippine peso. If that happens, it will be worse for the Philippines’ economy. 5. The welfare of OFWs who are often lauded as the “unsung heroes” of the Philippines who have contributed much to keep the economically afloat, due to their billions of remittances

crowns. Gloria (to Puerto Rico’s Marisol Malaret): “The photographers were scrambling all over the stage to take a shot of the new Miss Universe, all most stepping on my feet and I almost fell off the stage. Suddenly, there was no more limousine to take me to my hotel. I was given 48 hours to vacate my room. You wake up the next morning and tell yourself, ‘hay, tapos na!’ At the end of the day, you just have to come down to earth. It was a good thing that my family was there. It’s important that you have your family with you.” Margie: “Yes, you go back to reality; you go back to being normal again.” With the crowns off their heads, Margie went to Boston University and then resumed her studies at Maryknoll, working at J. Romero (advertising) after graduating and is now involved with Ballet Philippines. Gloria ventured into showbiz and metamorphosed into an award-winning actress. And what’s the best post-Miss Universe lesson that they have learned? Gloria: “Try to be as normal as possible and be somebody who would mean something to other people. hopefully, you do something that your children will be proud of…don’t do anything that will embarrass your children.” Margie: “Continue to educate yourself.” Any pieces of advice to Maxine Medina, the bet to (hoping against hope!) to win the country’s fourth Miss Universe crown? Margie: “Don’t be pressured. Just enjoy the experience. have fun!” Gloria: “During our time, I never thought of winning or losing. I just enjoy every moment of it. But now,patayan na talaga. Don’t think of it as the end and the beginning of everything. Just have fun.” (Trivia: During the 1994 Miss Universe pageant in Manila, it was Gloria who predicted that India’s Sushmita Sen would win the crown.)

Airways, Asiana Airlines, Avianca, Bangkok Airways, hainan Airlines, hongkong Airlines, Air India, Shandong Air, Shenzhen Airlines, Singapore Air, Thai Airways, Turkish Airlines and United Airlines. eVA Air, a Star Alliance member, is widely recognized for exceptionally high service and safety standards. The carrier was established in 1989 as Taiwan’s first privately owned international airline. It is part of the respected evergreen Group and a sister company to global containershipping leader evergreen Line. It flies a fleet of more than 70 Boeing and Airbus aircraft to more than 60 international destinations throughout Asia, Oceania, europe and North America. Travelers can learn more about eVA’s schedule and book and buy tickets at www.evaair. com. (Advertising Supplement)

to the homeland every year. These silent heroes should not be made as the milking cows of many government agencies and employees, taxing them heavily of fees just to leave (the country) to be able to live and feed their families. One way to help them become more productive, nationalistic and patriotic is for the executive Department to appoint true servant leaders from among them who understand their plight who will work 24/7 to protect them from exploitation abroad and maximize their families’ welfare as well. *** Email: Website:

Nadine Lustre on pushing past insecurities and feeling beautiful By Boy


MOST people think Nadine Lustre lives a perfect life what with her fame, fortune and loving boyfriend. But while she says she’s never been happier, that doesn’t mean her life is perfect. For one thing, she has a lot of insecurities regarding the way she looks. In the bestselling book Team Real — which she and her perennial onscreen partner and real-life love James Reid released last year — Nadine opened up about how she sees herself. Beauty experts have called Nadine a game changer, because she doesn’t look like a typical leading lady. She stands out because she’s a morena in an industry dominated by rosy-cheeked mestizas. Sometimes, she’s able to push past her insecurities, but Nadine admits she also has days when she doesn’t like what she sees in the mirror. “When people tell me I look perfect, I look like a doll, I don’t get it. To be honest, there are so many things I want to change. I don’t like the shape of my face. My cheeks are huge. I get a flat nose when I smile. My upper lip is so thin. And if I don’t use eyebrow pencil, I won’t have eyebrows at all, Nadine writes in the book’s third chapter.

nonetheless. One of Nadine’s beauty icons is fashion model Winnie Harlow, who rose to fame as a contestant on America’s Next Top Model Cycle 21 in 2015. Winnie suffers from a skin condition called vitiligo, which results in patches of white skin marring her chocolate brown complexion. Any other girl would have given up modeling in the face of an affliction like that, but Winnie refused to let it get in the way of her dreams. Today, she’s one of the show’s more successful alums, having graced magazines and runways all over the world. Nadine draws inspiration from people like her, people who try not Nadine Lustre draws inspiration from people to let their problems prevent them who try not to let their problems prevent them from reaching for the stars. from reaching for the stars. Nadine has bestselling Nadine can go on for hours on albums and singles, box-office what she wants to change about hit movies, sold-out concerts and herself. In fact, she admits to having top-ratingteleseryes under her belt considered cosmetic surgery at including ABS-CBN’s Till I Met You. one point, but realized that the Today, Nadine deals with her better course of action would be to insecurities by wrapping herself in all acknowledge and embrace her flaws. the love given to her by her family, Since she came to that fans and friends, including her doting realization, Nadine has felt better boyfriend. She and James became an about herself. She even has unique official couple earlier last year which beauty icons now — people explains the “look of love” written all she admires who may not be over her face. conventionally beautiful, but who And that is what makes Nadine make heads turn wherever they go beautiful.

Mithi Aquino Thomas: her vicarious roles... and embracing a lofty lifestyle… it was all about genuinely falling “The wedding was actually in love. He is special because he’s being contested since I was really special and not because he is scheduled to go back to Manila with a prestigious title attached to to attend my son’s graduation but his name.” the wedding had to be set to avail Mithi’s vicarious role as an of my citizenship status,” Mithi ambassador’s wife entails a full-time explicates with fondness. “I decided job (aside from performing her to stay and chose to be a bride with domestic responsibilities) that is my children’s blessings, of course! closely aligned and supplementing They’re very supportive of me.” with that of her husband. Getting Harry, who speaks Spanish, idle and being bored is the farthest Hindi, Bengali, Tagalog and English, from her highly active nature. of course, is the incumbent US After being queried what Ambassador to Zimbabwe who just she does other than just being assumed the post last year, February an ambassador’s wife, she hastily 25, 2016. replied: “There are so much With her marriage to Harry, worthwhile things to do inside Mithi reacted (which sounded very and outside our allocated abode. much similar to what the doomed Being married to somebody that Hungarian bride-to-be of Prince represents the USA was tantamount William Henry Andrew Frederick to ‘divorcing’ from my career and of Gloucester, Zsuzsi Starkloff, allowed myself to serve, not only said): “It wasn’t about climbing the my husband but, his constituents, ladder… it wasn’t about changing as well.” From Page 4

“My role isn’t just what outside-looking-in-people would normally think about: all glitz and glam, living in luxury residence, being transported by a chauffeurdriven car, hosting extravagant and ostentatious parties, attending classy social affairs, and constantly dressed-to-the-nines,” Mithi quantifies explicitly to ward off common wrong notions. “I just don’t want to be labeled as merely a ‘trailing spouse’ and eventually lost my true identity. I am with my husband in his posting, yes, but I would prefer to create something worthwhile… achieving something that is mutually beneficial: accomplishing a fragment for my own personal growth while supplementing my husband’s mission benefiting the people of Zimbabwe. I need to bring about something that compliments my husband’s multifaceted role as an ambassador,”

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The Asian Journal N E W YO R K / N E W J E R S EY JA N UA RY 1 3, 20 1 7

Do you have a stomach... From Page 5 children warrants prompt medical consultation. How is the diagnosis made? After a good history-taking and physical examination, the physician can already make a strong presumptive diagnosis of peptic ulcer disease. Fiberoptic gastroscopy (a lighted magnifying flexible scope passed through the mouth down to the stomach used to view its inside) is today a part of the state-of-the-art investigative tool in the diagnosis of peptic ulcer disease or malignant tumor (cancer) of the stomach. Bacterial cultures may likewise be taken to check the presence of Helicobacter pylori organism. Through the scope, cytology (microscopic examination of cancer cells), cultures for bacteria and tiny biopsies may be done to make a diagnosis. What are the possible complications of peptic ulcer disease? Hemorrhage is the most common complication, leading to vomiting of blood or blood in the stools, coloring them black, anemia, weakness or even dizziness and syncope (passing out spells). Perforation of the wall when the ulcer “eats” the entire thickness of

the stomach wall, creating a hole, allowing stomach contents to spill into the abdominal cavity causing peritonitis (severe inflammation and infection). Inflammation from peptic ulcer involving the stomach outlet into the duodenum can cause spasm and scar that blocks this outlet, causing vomiting. Stomach cancer has been reported 3 to 6 times more common in peptic ulcer due to H. pylori infection. Gastric lymphomas have also been linked to this bacteria. Are TUMS and ROLAIDS safe for ulcer pains? Tums, Rolaids and other over-the-counter self-proclaimed “treatment” for peptic ulcers or hyperacidity are quite popular among lay people. These will not cure hyperacidity or peptic ulcers. If the symptoms persist, it is most prudent to seek medical consultation. Remember, peptic ulcers can have life-threatening complications if not properly treated, and cancer of the stomach must be ruled out as the cause of the symptoms. What is the treatment? For peptic ulcers caused by the H. pylori infection, the combination of bismuth, metronidazole and tetracycline cures about 80 percent

she lengthily expounded. “Zimbabwe is a beautiful country in Southern Africa known for its dramatic landscape, diverse wildlife, and hardworking people. I was able to adjust easily since they have certain similarities with the Philippines although they need more relief support,” Mithi said, with a tone of concern. “Their hapless condition caught my attention and encouraged me to work on empowering women and children.” The disheartening situation gave birth to a partnership with international fashion designer John Ablaza who volunteered his services to educate and uplift the economic and social standards of Zimbabweans. Design and sewing workshops using natural local materials were collaboratively conducted with artisans in Bulawayo and Harare that culminated in a fashion show.

“The Zimbabweans are innately creative and committed. They really wanted to utilize and produce world-class crafts out of their local materials,” the kindhearted ambassador’s wife attested. If there’s but one thing that Mithi fervently wished last Christmas, that was to be reunited with her children even just for the holidays… and it was granted! Her children, Emmanuel Miguel (Miggy), 20 and Zoe Paulyne (Zoe), 19, flew in last December 19, 2016 and one could only imagine how overly ecstatic Mithi was upon sight of her kids. Miggy, who spent his 20th birthday last Jan. 6, 2017, is a Sports Management junior in the University of Santo Tomas while Zoe takes Advertising in the same school. “Mommy left when I was 16 and Zoe was barely 15 but we managed to be independent,”

of this infection, leading to ulcer healing. Proton pump inhibitors (PPI) capsules, H2 Blocker pills, and antacids are other adjunctive modalities of the comprehensive regimen many physicians use in conjunction with the triple antibiotic therapy above. How about surgery? Surgery used to be very common for peptic ulcer disease. With the discovery of H. pylori infection as the major cause of peptic ulcer disease, surgery has declined precipitously. Today, surgery is relegated to the complications, like uncontrollable bleeding, perforation, gastric outlet obstruction, suspected cancerous peptic ulcer, and symptoms refractory to medical treatment. With this new triple antibiotic therapy, even the complications of peptic ulcer disease have been reduced significantly. *** 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:

the towering 5’11” basketball enthusiast and hip-hop exponent declares. “We terribly missed her cooking and how she pampered us like babies.” Zoe, gifted with a wide vocal range and digs Bossa-Nova numbers, couldn’t believe she experienced a snowy Christmas in the Big Apple. “Our vacation is just two weeks but we covered many places, watched shows, but most of all, we had a very memorable bonding,” she shared. Miggy and Zoe flew back to the Philippines with a heavy heart last January 8, 2017 and left behind a mother whose heart beats only for her kids. Although their togetherness was cut short, they parted with tearful smiles hoping to resume their aborted bonding soon…in Zimbabwe. For comments and suggestions, please email to:

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The Asian Journal N E W YO R K / N E W J E R S EY JANuARY 13, 2017

New york:new jersey january 13 19, 2017  
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