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Volume 24 - No. 1 • 2 Sections - 16 Pages


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Trump’s state secretary bet won’t DATELINE USA Deadline to sign up declare PH a human rights violator for health coverage FROM THE AJPRESS NEWS TEAM ACROSS AMERICA


in 2017 approaching

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 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 PAGE A2


MANILA — The choice 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.

Rex Tillerson

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. “You’re asking me to make a decision based on information I have heard today… I want to see the factual basis based on statistics and factual evidence based on who is committing,” the Secretary of State nominee said. Tillerson added that he will rely on PAGE A2

Donald Trump holds first press conference since being elected Discusses Russian hacking, conflicts of interest, Obamacare by ERIC


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 Fil-Am Jeff De La Fuente, 31, passed away on Friday, January 6, the 2016 presidential election. He went on to reitertwo days after an accident at a Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) ate his campaign promises to promote job growth, station in San Francisco. Photo courtesy of Dorothy Mak / Facebook 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 approved, almost simultaneously, shortly thereafter, a plan,” Trump said of his alternative to the ACA on Wednesday. “It’ll be repeal and replace. It will be essentially simultaneously.” The president-elect said dismantling the Obama A SAN FRANCISCO resident whose body administration’s signature health insurance law had gotten trapped between a transit platform would be the first priority of his pick to lead the Deand train car clung to life for days after he was partment of Health and Human Services, Tom Price, freed, but eventually died of his injuries on Fri- if the Senate affirms his appointment. day, January 6. Trump added that he believed public support for Investigators say that Filipino-American Jeff Obamacare would have evaporated on its own as De La Fuente accidentally fell off of a platform weakness in the legislation came to light during its at the 24th Street Mission Bay Area Rapid Tran- implementation. He called the measure a political sit (BART) station at about 6 p.m. on Wednes- liability for democrats and said he was doing them day, January 4 and became pinned at his waist a favor by avoiding public discontent resulting from by a train car. attempts to overhaul the complicated law. PAGE A3 PAGE A3

Fil-Am dies after being pinned by train in San Francisco

FAREWELL. Photo shows outgoing President Barack Obama waving to his supporters after he gave his emotional final address to the nation on Tuesday night, Jan. 10 in Chicago, 10 days before he cedes power to president-elect Donald Trump. Joining him onstage are First Lady Michelle Obama, daughter Malia, Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Dr. Jill Biden. White House Twitter photo

Duterte tells mayors: Repent, resign or die REPENT, resign or die. That was the message mayors, bused in batches to Malacañang, got during expletive-laced group meetings with President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday, Jan. ‘KANPAI’ Before meeting with the mayors, President Rodrigo 11, according to particiDuterte drinks cider in leading the toast to members of the pants. diplomatic corps in his first “vin d’honneur” in Malacañang. The president brandished photo by Joan Bondoc

a purported list of officials— including mayors, legislators and barangay captains—but the mayors had no opportunity to check if they were on it, according to one source. In a text message, Mayor Krisel Lagman Luistro of Tabaco City in Albay said: PAGE A2

Pope Francis selects Bishop Oscar Solis Nickelodeon theme park to head diocese of Salt Lake City construction to push Solis makes history as first Filipino to lead large Catholic congregation through, says developer by ERIC

Bishop Oscar Solis AJPress photo by Ding Carreon


POPE Francis chose Oscar Solis to become the next bishop of the diocese of Salt Lake City on Tuesday, January 10, making him the first Filipino-American clergyman to lead such a large congregation of American Catholics. Solis will serve a community of about 300,000 people in his latest role, according to Angelus News. The former auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Los

Angeles has worked as a priest in both the U.S. and the Philippines for the better part of four decades. “I know what it means to be a pastor, a shepherd of a particular diocese,” Solis told reporters during a press conference announcing his appointment in Salt Lake City, Utah on Tuesday. “It is a tremendous blessing and a responsibility and a privilege to be of service to the local Church in the United States of America, coming from the Philippines.” 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. 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 PAGE A3




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 underseathemed master planned development is not a theme park but a “resort and attraction.” “There has never been any form of communication from our side menPAGE A2 Environment Secretary Gina Lopez

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january 13-19, 2017 • OC/IE aSIan jOurnaL

From the Front Page

Deadline to sign up for health coverage... PAGE A1 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 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) 3001506. n

GROUND ZERO. AT least 20 people were injured in a fire that gutted a gas station in Pasig City early Wednesday, Jan. 11. According to Sr. Insp. Anthony Arroyo of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) in Pasig City, the fire started at 1:06 a.m. at the storage area of the Ragasco Refilling Station along Sandoval Street, Barangay San Miguel. Arroyo said the fire was caused by a leak from an LPG that spread out to nearby gas stations Flying V and Omni Gas Corp., a hardware, and several houses near the area. photo by Ruy Martinez

Trump’s state secretary bet... PAGE A1

multiple sources before concluding on the matter. Rubio has expressed frustration with how Tillerson handled his confirmation hearing. The Florida lawmaker said Tillerson didn’t seize the opportu-

nity to forcefully rebuke countries failing to respect human rights. The Florida Republican says he is discouraged that Tillerson didn’t declare Russian President Vladimir Putin a war criminal or call Saudi Arabia and the Philip-

pines human rights violators. Rubio’s opinion could prove pivotal when the Senate Foreign Relations Committee votes on Tillerson’s nomination. The panel is comprised of 11 Republicans and 10 Democrats.(With reports from Associated Press)

Nickelodeon theme park construction...

PAGE A1 tioning 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 Nickelodeon-owner 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 emphasized 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. AB Moñozca Foundation and 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 besides the job creation opportunities,” the company said. “We aim to work with as many advocates as possible to create a world class destination for tourism with an undersea theme,” it added. n

Duterte tells mayors: Repent, resign...


“The president warned us that those involved in drugs should stop or face the consequences. He specifically said that he will kill whoever is involved. It was fair warning.” The president’s spokesperson, Ernesto Abella, declined to give details of the meetings, which began shortly after noon and were still going on by early evening. Abella said the president intended to have a “conversation” with the mayors, and it was safe to assume that the narcotics trade was among the topics to be tackled. “He has not really met with the mayors in order to directly discuss his positions, especially regarding criminality, crime and drugs. It’s safe to assume that would be part of the conversation,” Abella told reporters. He said he would describe the meeting as a “dialogue between the president and his executives.” Mr. Duterte met the mayors clustered according to regions. They were brought to Malacañang by bus, shuttled from the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City. On Monday, Jan. 9, Mr. Duterte warned local chief executives to steer clear of the trade in “shabu,” or the hugely popular crystal meth. He said those involved in the drug trade should either resign “or make a clean breast of everything, come up with a clean nose.” “I will talk to them. With the thick document I showed you, I will tell them, ‘Look for your name there, mayor, you son of a bitch. If your name is there, you will have a 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 40minute 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. 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)

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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 overdiag-

nosis 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.

Pope Francis selects Bishop Oscar Solis...


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, Louisiana to Los Angeles, a city which boasts the country’s largest population of Filipino Catholics. There, he worked as vicar for ethnic ministry and displayed a talent for building relationships between diverse members of the community, according to Avenido. He was later promoted to auxiliary 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 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. 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.

Fil-Am dies after being pinned by... PAGE A1

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 San Francisco’s Mission district. He also worked as a taxi driver, which allowed him to build friendships in the area, according to KGO-TV. “I just want his family to know that he was loved by many,” said Mak, as reported by AsAm news. On Friday night, friends formed a candlelight vigil at the BART station to honor De La Fuente’s memory. A GoFundMe campaign originally set up to cover his hospital bills on Thursday, January 5 had already exceeded $25,000 in donations to pay 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 his girlfriend and family. (Eric Anthony Licas / AJPress)

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

Donald Trump holds first press... PAGE A1

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, Don-

ald 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 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.” “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.


january 13-19, 2017 • OC/IE aSIan jOurnaL

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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.

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.

Negotiation for Pacquiao vs. Horn WBO welterweight fight underway The negotiation for the fight between World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao and hard-hitting WBO intercontinental welterweight champion Jeff horn in April is moving fast according to the promoters of the two boxers. Duco Promotion’s Dean Lonergan said that he met with Top Rank Promotion head Bob Arum on Tuesday, Jan. 10 to bring Pacquiao’s title defense fight to Australia. “We’re all working toward getting Manny Pacquiao to fight Jeff horn in Australia,” Lonergan told The Manila Times via overseas call on Wednesday (Tuesday in Las Vegas). “Jeff horn is firm as the No. 1 contender.” “We are now sorting out the best venue and the best deal that we could secure for both fighters,” he said. “I’m very much confident of securing the fight. I think we’re very close to making it sure that this fight happens in Australia and I’ve got no doubt that in two to three weeks everything will be okay.” Lonergan, who will return to New Zealand within the week, said the Pacquiao fight would probably be one of the greatest sporting events to ever happen in Australia. “This will be the biggest fight in Australian boxing history. Pacquiao is loved not only by the boxing fans but all over the world including Australia and that’s one of the greatest sporting nations in the planet. We have a deal at the moment. We already agreed in principle and to some other things,” he added. “The fight could be held in the east coast of Australia and

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

McCain: China presents Asian nations with false choice by pia Lee-Brago

Bob Arum and Manny Pacquiao

we already talked with various sponsors in Queensland, Victoria and Wales that the fight will be secured in the Australian soil,” Lonergan said. “We’re expecting 40 to 50 thousand people to fill the venue.” The possible venue for the fight is the 52,000-capacity Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia. he said the bout would feature Australian fighters since Australia is known for a vibrant boxing scene. At the same time, Lonergan also believes the Filipinos in Australia and New Zealand would love to see Pacman fight in the Down Under. “It will be a fantastic for Manny Pacquiao’s career,” he said. “There are 250,000 Filipinos living in Australia and there are 60,000 or 70,000 Filipinos living in New Zealand, but I’m also expecting lot of Filipinos to come to Australia once Pacquiao fights there.” Lonergan said that the only thing missing now is Pacquiao’s

AJPress file photo by Robert Macabagdal

approval. But he is confident that Arum would convince the fighting senator to fight in Australia. “I’m confident that Bob Arum will get the deal done with Manny’s approval,” he said. horn, 28, holds an undefeated 16-0-1 win-loss-draw record with 11 knockouts against the 38-year old Pacquiao’s 59-6-1 with 38 knockouts. Arum will be flying to Manila anytime soon to present the details of the contract to Pacquiao. “Once I get everything put together I will get Manny’s approval and talk with him sensibly there in Manila. Well why he (Pacquiao) wouldn’t sign the contract if it’s a good deal,” Arum said in a separate interview. Arum added that a PacquiaoMayweather rematch would not happen this year. “There’s no indication that Floyd Mayweather Jr. will be coming out from retirement this year,” he said. (Josef T. Ramos/

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 rules-based 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.”


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Pulse Asia Survey: Most Filipinos are Defense chief: Agreement for against martial law reimposition PH-Russia deal almost done by Dana

SioSon AJPress

A PULSE Asia survey released on Wednesday, January 11, revealed that seven out of 10 Filipinos do not see the need to impose martial law as a form of addressing various problems currently faced by the country. According to the results, 74 percent of the respondents disagree with the statement: “Candidly speaking, it may be necessary now to have martial law to solve the many crises of the nation.� On the other hand, 12 percent agreed with the statement while the remaining 14 percent were undecided. Results also show that the disagreement was the majority sentiment across the country: 81 percent in Manila and 74 percent in Luzon overall, 75 percent in Mindanao, and 65 percent in the Visayas. The poll, with an error margin of plus or minus three, was conducted from December 6 to 11 last year among a total of 1,200 respondents.

Following the survey results, Albay Representative Lagman urged President Rodrigo Duterte to “stop stalking about tinkering with the revival of martial law.� According to Bayan Muna Representative Carlos Zarate, the poll reflects the “sentiments of the people.� “As a leader, dapat mapakinggan niya ang sentimyento ng mamamayan. Matagal nang sinasabi ng mamamayan ‘Never again’ (As a leader, he should listen to the sentiments of the people. The people has long been saying ‘Never Again’),� Zarate said. ACT Teachers Representative France Castro also expressed hope that the survey would serve as an “eye opener� for Duterte. “Sana magsilbi ito na maging eye-opener, ito sinasabi na ng taumbayan at biktima [ng martial law]. Dapat irespeto niya din itong survey na ito (I hope that the survey would become an eye-opener, that this is what the people and the [martial law] victims want. He should respect the survey),� Castro said.

Trump invited to attend 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. According to Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, Trump’s office has acknowledged the letter and said it would notify Malacaùang as soon as a decision regarding the invitation has been made. Trump is slated to take his oath as the new president of the U.S. on Friday, January 20, succeeding current President Barack Obama. Following the real estate billionaire’s win last November, he and Duterte spoke over the

phone. During the seven-minute conversation, Trump reportedly praised the Philippine president’s fight against illegal drugs as “the right way.� The ASEAN Summit 2017, chaired by the Philippines, will be held in November in Clark, Pampanga. “The year brings much excitement and challenge to the Philippines as we are hosting the ASEAN 2017 on its 50th or golden anniversary, which is an opportune time to show to the ASEAN region as well as to the world our capability to host international and important events, including the upcoming Miss Universe pageant,� Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Ismael ‘Mike’ D. Sueno said. The Philippines previously

Last month, the president said that he is seeking to amend certain provisions of the 1987 Constitution to make it easier for any president to declare martial law. Section 18, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution states that the president of the Philippines may place the country under martial law in case of invasion or rebellion for not exceeding than 60 days; and that the president may suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus within 48 hours from the proclamation of martial law. The law, however, also gives Congress and the Supreme Court the power to review and revoke a president’s declaration of martial law. Duterte said that he wanted to amend the Constitution because it would be difficult to declare martial law if Congress and the high court have different stances about it. He also argued that waiting for approvals from these government branches invalidates the purpose of the power to declare martial law.

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 nittygritty),� 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 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 different from the Philippines’ Mutual Defense Treaty with the United States. “Hindi naman ‘yung katulad Pres. Rodrigo Duterte sa US na treaty, Mutual Defense held the ASEAN chairmanship Treaty na pagka-aatakihin tayo tulungan tayo. Wala tayong gain 1987, 1999 and 2006. Sueno said that the DILG nun sa Russia (It’s not the same has been coordinating with with our Mutual Defense Treaty other government agencies in with the U.S. which is a treaty, beefing-up the overall security Mutual Defence Treaty, which preparations as the Chair of the mandates them to help us if we’re attacked),� Lorenzana exPAGE A7

STRENGTHENING TIES. (Top) Russian marines attached to the visiting anti-submarine ship Admiral Tributs show their strength and skills hollow blocks and a sledgehammer during a demonstration in Rizal Park in Manila on Thursday, Jan. 5. Some of the marines also gladly took selfies with Filipinos in the area (bottom) photos by Miguel De Guzman

plained. He also clarified that the Philippines will have a “cooperation,� not an “alliance,� with Russia and assured that the treaty will not affect the Philippines’ alliance with the U.S. “No. Wala tayong alliance dito. Military to military cooperation ito (We don’t have an alliance. This is a military to military cooperation),� Lorenzana stressed. Last week, Russian Ambassador Igor Khovaev said that Moscow is interested in forming a defense cooperation with Manila. He also said that his

country is open to supplying the Philippines with firearms. According to Lorenzana, Russian officials were expected visit the country this month to discuss possible weapon deals. “We need new partners in Asia-Pacific region, including the Philippines. It’s time for the Philippines to discover Russia and time for Russians to discover the Philippines,� Khovaev said. The Russian ambassador, however, clarified that Moscow is not seeking a military alliance with Manila.

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Now implement it

CONGRESS and the executive passed Republic Act 10354 or the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act way back in 2012, but the Supreme Court has indefinitely restrained its implementation. Now President Duterte has issued an executive order, enjoining local government units to implement RH programs. Will the LGUs also sabotage the EO? While LGU executives are elected, there are ways for Malacañang to influence local programs and inspire compliance with its order, short of employing the methods of Oplan Tokhang. Malacañang can dangle carrots to local executives who support a program that is one of the 10 priorities outlined by the President in his socioeconomic agenda. at the same time, the President can see to it that his next appointees to the Supreme Court are genuine supporters of reproductive health. By the time his term ends, the President would have appointed a majority of the SC justices. apart from ensuring support for the RH Law, he must determine their capability and commitment to institute long overdue reforms that will speed up the administration of justice. When the SC itself issues a temporary restraining order that has remained in place for nearly two years now, you can’t expect lower courts to work any better. and this is a TRO on a law whose constitutionality the SC has

already upheld. That TRO was in answer to a petition with the same argument that has been debunked and debated to death during congressional deliberations on the RH Law, that contraceptives promote abortion. RH proponents have given the same counter-argument: since conception is prevented, what is there to abort? With the President’s order, millions of underprivileged women can have what their counterparts with better income and education have long enjoyed freely: access to RH services, and the choice to space pregnancies and plan the size of their families. Reproductive health is a right that every woman deserves to enjoy, regardless of one’s income level. Universal access to RH programs is one of the United nations’ Millennium Development Goals that the country has committed to attain. The President must see to it that his order is fully implemented. (

Guest Editorial photo

“#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 The Fil-Am against Robredo. Philippine Communication Perspective Secretary Martin andanar, reveals that Malacañang is taking this matter seriously, and that no less than national Security adviser Hermogenes Esperon Gel SantoS-reloS 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 violations, 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 high-

est 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-inchief. 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 impor-

tant one considers the threatened victims 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 longplanned 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

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

in august 2016, while Obama 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. ROGER LAGMAY ORIEL Publisher & Chairman of the Board



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China: Peaceful resolution of row possible, but Spratlys ours by Jonathan de


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.

Trump’s bet for state secretary wants aggressive stance in South China Sea by Patricia LourdeS


MANILA — United States President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of state sees the need to send a clear signal against China’s islandbuilding activities in the South China Sea. Rex Tillerson said that China’s island building in the disputed waters has to stop. In his confirmation hearing, Tillerson likened China’s activities in the disputed South China Sea to Russia’s annexation of Crimea. He said that China’s actions are “extremely worrisome” and that the failure of the US to respond “has allowed them to keep pushing the envelope.” Trump’s nominee noted that the US should back up its allies in the region and use the

Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to send such message to China. “We’re going to have to send China a clear signal that, first, the island-building stops and, second, your access to those islands also is not going to be allowed,” Tillerson said, in a statement rarely heard even among proponents of a more hawkish US position in the sea row. Tillerson’s remarks are sure to anger China, which claims sovereignty over much of the South China Sea. Over objections by the US and rival claimants including the Philippines, China has reclaimed thousands of acres of land and constructed militarygrade infrastructure, and reportedly installed weaponry. On July 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled that

China violated its commitment to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea by constructing artificial islands in the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone. The arbitral tribunal also concluded that China’s ninedash line claim over the South China Sea does not have legal basis. The Philippines’ officials under President Rodrigo Duterte, however, have so far flip-flopped on the possibility to raise the arbitral tribunal’s ruling with China in resolving the maritime dispute in international forums such as the ASEAN. Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. said the Philippines will be raising the arbitral ruling’s decision with China in future bilateral talks but not during the upcoming ASEAN Summit.


the Philippines “the importance of regional integration...and its benefits to ordinary Filipinos.” The Philippine government is also set to officially launch ASEAN 2017 on January 15 in Davao City. “Filipinos are no longer just

Philippine Marines on the BRP Sierra Madre, a grounded Navy ship that serves as an outpost in the West Philippine Sea.

an arbitration case with an international tribunal over claims in the South China Sea that are within the country’s exclusive economic zone. The court ruled in July 2016 that China’s nine-dash-line claim has no legal basis and that China violated Philippine rights by barring access to Scarborough Shoal, a traditional fishing ground that Filipinos call Bajo de Masinloc and Panatag. China has refused to acknowledge the ruling and the President Rodrigo Duterte said that the Philippines will “set aside” the dispute for now. The Philippines has also been mum recently on reports that China has put up missiles in reclaimed islands in the South China Sea. “No effort to internationalize and judicialize the South China Sea issue will be of any avail for its resolution; it will only make it harder to resolve the issue,

and endanger regional peace and stability,” China said. China, without being specific, also said that it “resolutely opposes certain countries’ provocations of regional disputes for their selfish interests.” The US has been conducting naval patrols and flights in international waters near the disputed areas. “China is forced to make necessary responses to the provocative actions which infringe on China’s territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests, and undermine peace and stability in the South China Sea,” China said. Despite the tension in the area, China said “the overall maritime situation remains stable in the region” and that it is in the region’s common interest “to maintain maritime peace, security and freedom of navigation and overflight” in the Asia Pacific.

Jihadist used PH as training ground by emmanueL


MANILA – A foreigner with suspected links to the Ansar AlKhilafa Philippines (AKP) was training in the country before citizens of the Philippines but possible deployment to join exform part of the citizenry of the tremists in Syria when he was ASEAN Community since its for- killed in a government operation mal establishment in 2015. Let in Sarangani. us embrace our ASEANship and Philippine National Police explore opportunities that are (PNP) chief Director General already in front of us,” Sueno Ronald dela Rosa said this was remarked. the information they obtained on

Trump invited to attend ASEAN... Committee for Security, Peace and Order and Emergency Preparedness and Response (CSPOEPR) for the Philippines’ hosting of ASEAN. He added that the purpose of the ASEAN Summit is to show

MANILA — China has reasserted its commitment to the peaceful resolution of disputes in region but stressed its “indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha (Spratly) Islands and their adjacent waters,” part of which Manila claims and calls the West Philippine Sea. In a policy paper published by the State Council Information Office and released to media by the Chinese Embassy, China said that it “has always been committed to resolving disputes peacefully through negotiation and consultation, managing disputes by setting rules and establishing mechanisms, realizing mutually beneficial outcomes through cooperation for mutual benefit, and upholding peace and stability as well as freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea.” It also said that China has been in “close communication and dialogue” with member-states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations on maritime disputes in the South China Sea. China cited the non-binding Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea signed in 2002, where parties agree to resolve disputes through dialogue between nations directly involved. It said that dialogue within the DOC has strengthened maritime cooperation between parties and has generally “made positive progress.” In 2013, the Philippines filed

Abu Naila, a Sudanese who was killed by government troops in a raid in Barangay Daliao, Maasim. “He wanted to fight in Syria, but he first went here in the Philippines to train,” Dela Rosa said in a radio interview over dzMM. He said Naila wanted to fight alongside members of the Islamic State (IS), a terrorist group that has occupied parts of Syria and Iraq. “It only shows the AKP is an IS sympathizer and proves the

group is aligned with IS,” Dela Rosa said. Naila and a woman identified only as Kadija were killed in the encounter. Initially, authorities wanted to arrest them but the Sudanese allegedly lobbed a grenade, triggering a shootout. The raid was part of an effort to locate followers of Mohammad Jaafar Maguid, founder of the local terrorist group, who was killed by government forces at a beach resort in Kiamba, Sarangani.

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Chef Charleen Caabay on winning “Chopped” and bringing Filipino food mainstream

The charismatic Oakland-based restaurant owner and recent winner of the Food Network’s “Chopped” sizzles as one of the country’s leading Fil-Am chefs and restaurateurs. by Klarize Medenilla / aJPress The vivacious owner of Kainbigan, one of the Bay Area’s most-loved Filipino restaurants, has sprung as an up and coming leaders in Filipino-American cuisine, and her appearance on the “New Year’s Bash” episode of the cooking competition show — which aired in late December — is likely to bring in a whole new wave of fans. “My goals were to inspire anyone who was going to watch the show,” Caabay, 37, told the Asian Journal. “It’s not often that women that are in business have the opportunity to really shine. I just wanted to show them how I was.” Caabay knew she was going against formally-trained, renowned chefs, some of which worked in Michelin-star restaurants. But she didn’t let that break her spirit. Utilizing only techniques she learned growing up, Caabay has never had any formal training in culinary arts, and she doesn’t see the need. “Each round, all I could do was pray,” she said. She started off in the first round creating a crab torta with collard green laing (a Filipino dish

of traditionally consisting of taro leaves cooked in coconut milk) with champagne butter sauce, which judge Alex Guarnaschelli praised for its creativity. Once again, she drew inspiration from her heritage in her martini steamed lobster tail with BBQ strip loin and curried black-eyed peas, using the Filipino tradition of cooking barbeque on a stick. To top it all off, in the third and final round, Caabay created a funnel cake with pomegranate grape compote. “I was a little worried about the fancier folks like when a French culinary chef I competed against,” Caabay remarked. “I knew he was going to throw down a lot of, like, fancy French techniques, like with his sauces. But I really just pushed myself to really believe and have the confidence to say, ‘Hey, you can do your fancy sauce, and I can do my own Filipino sauce,’ which was probably just, like, suka (vinegar) and soy sauce.” “[On the show] I was basically like, ‘This is what I got, this is what I grew up with and this is what I have to show,’” Caabay opined.

“It was just really amazing to see how I really surprised them by going my own way and having them try something different that I’m sure they’re not used to,” Caabay said, adding she was happy that the judges reacted favorably to the Filipino influences in her dishes. Moreover, the decision to draw Filipino inspiration in her dishes each round was a nobrainer. “This is my culture, this is my heritage. I’m Filipino, so you’re going to taste some Filipino,” she added with a laugh. Growing up with the basics Caabay, was born and raised in New Jersey by first-generation Filipino Americans. When she was in her teens, the family relocated to the Bay Area. Her teenage years were when Caabay’s love for cooking really flourished. Inspired by her mother’s and grandmother’s cooking, it seemed like she was on the path to delving into a culinary career. However, cooking and owning a restaurant weren’t in Caabay’s initial career sights. As the tech world was booming, Caabay saw herself working in information technology (IT), attending DeVry University right after high school. After being laid off from job after job and realizing the 9-5 work day wasn’t for her, she sought a different direction and went back to her real passion: cooking. She shifted her career into a culinary nomad, creating makeshift kitchens, selling her food on the street and catering in clubs and for private clients. As she began holding steady clients and garnered a following, she opened up a pop-up restaurant in 2012, creating her signature Filipino comfort dishes. “From there, it became a huge thing and it got more serious,” Caabay said of her rise in the food arena. Fans of her cooking would often ask what her next food venture was or even if she would be opening up a restaurant. Kainbigan and the rise of the Filipino food movement In 2013, Caabay signed the

Photos courtesy of Chef Charleen

lease for a restaurant in residential Oakland, and Kainbigan was opened nine months later. She finally had a brick and mortar food joint to call her own, and took it back to her roots when setting up her menu. “I made it simple. I made it memorable to what was on the stove growing up, so a lot of it had to do with what my grandma and what my mom cooked,” Caabay said of the inspiration for the Kainbigan menu. Kainbigan’s menu includes unique takes on a variety of Filipino comfort favorites including rice dishes, pork adobo, bistek (beef steak), afritadas (stew) as well as breakfast like tocino (sweet cured pork), longanisa (sausage) and beef tapa. One of the restaurant’s most popular dishes is the garlic noodle special, which is created with a calamansi aioli and crispy adobo sprinkled on top. In the three years since it first opened, Kainbigan has garnered a wide following in the Bay Area — and not just from Filipinos. It has been cited by Zagat and has been nominated for local awards. Caabay and her first restaurant (and certainly not her last, she said) have been instrumental in introducing Filipino cuisine onto the mainstream food world in the last few years, which has seen a rise in more Filipino food ventures.

The chef’s garlic noodle special, which is created with a calamansi aioli and crispy adobo sprinkled on top.

“I think the more we all work together to support each other and really put it out there it will be one of those top food when it comes to ordering food,” Caabay said. “I think my win on ‘Chopped’ definitely came at a right time, and I think it’s important that the generation continues to build on. We really need to step up because food is a huge way in introduc[ing] our culture. There are so many amazing Filipino restaurants popping up, and whether you’re a restaurant or a pop-up store or food truck, it’s

amazing.” Caabay encourages all aspiring Filipino chefs and restaurateurs to never give up and to be proud of Filipino culture and cuisine. “Keep pushing, be confident in our cuisine, present it well and present from inside and where you’re from,” she said. “Don’t let anybody else tell you how this adobo should be made, just trust in what you’re making. It’s part of you. Continue to go strong because our cuisine is dope and hella good!”

Gloria & Margie on their Miss U experience What makes Nadine beautiful by ricKy lo

DEFINITElY, Gloria Diaz and Margie Moran, the country’s first two Misses Universe (in 1969 and 1973, respectively), will share maybe not all but a good part of the limelight with reigning Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach during the varied activities leading to the grand coronation night on Jan. 30 at the MOA Arena. “After all, they are part of history,” said Narvacan Councilor Chavit Singson who moved heaven and earth to have the pageant held here (for the third time), mobilizing the private sector so that the government would not spend a single cent. “The pageant will not be complete without them. The pageant is a project of all Filipinos so everybody should help make it a success. Millions of people around the world are watching the pageant on TV and it’s the best time to showcase what the country has to offer, tourism-wise.” Gloria and Margie were at an exclusive press conference at the Makati Business Club organized by Chavit and George Sison. Also present was Tourism Sec. Wanda Teo, herself a beauty queen who competed in the 1972 Bb. Pilipinas 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 Procession attended by over a 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

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 Photos from the collection of Funfare contributor Celso de Guzman Caparas because she’s a morena in an and so is Gloria. Can you imagine hers in transit from Athens to the industry dominated by rosythat the girls (in this Miss U Philippines. cheeked mestizas. Sometimes, pageant) are already our daughters she’s able to push past her “I lost my trophy at the San and granddaughters!” Francisco airport because it was insecurities, but Nadine admits They may not have kept their in my excess luggage,” said Gloria. she also has days when she Miss U figures but, Margie assured, doesn’t like what she sees in the “I didn’t have $600 to pay for it.” “We are still proportional.” (Trivia: Gloria’s daughter Isabelle mirror. Countered Gloria: “Not as Daza, now Mrs. Adrien Semblat, “When people tell me I look before but even then we were not dusted off Gloria’s crown and wore perfect, I look like a doll, I don’t perfect.” it to a costume party with friends. get it. To be honest, there are so Being still figure/healthDeemed a possible winner, Isabelle many things I want to change. I conscious, they follow a balanced has turned down requests to join a don’t like the shape of my face. diet and do regular workouts. beauty contest, saying, One in the My cheeks are huge. I get a flat Margie: “I have stopped doing family is enough.”) nose when I smile. My upper lip is strenuous exercises and lifting Have they retained their so thin. And if I don’t use eyebrow heavy weights. What I do is lowwinning figures? pencil, I won’t have eyebrows at impact exercises such as ballet and all, Nadine writes in the book’s “Secret na ‘yon!” Margie stretching.” begged off, laughing. third chapter. Gloria: “I still do strenuous “As they say,” replied Gloria, Nadine can go on for hours exercises. I play tennis for two to “beauty is from within.” on what she wants to change three hours, I lift weights, I bike…I “It’s been a long time,” followed about herself. In fact, she admits up Margie. “I am already a grandma Continued on Page 5 to having considered cosmetic

Nadine Lustre draws inspiration from people who try not to let their problems prevent them from reaching for the stars.

surgery at one point, but realized that the better course of action would be to acknowledge and embrace her flaws. Since she came to that realization, Nadine has felt better about herself. She even has unique beauty icons now — people she admires who may not be conventionally beautiful, but who make heads turn wherever they go nonetheless. One of Nadine’s beauty icons is fashion model Winnie Harlow, who rose to fame as a contestant on “America’s Next Top Continued on Page 3

Why Alden is especially happy this new year saya ko,” said Alden. The actor shared with Showbuzz that he has promised THe cameras have started Maine to help her out every step rolling for one of the biggest of the way what with “Destined series GMA Network has in store To Be Yours” her first experience for viewers this year, “Destined in a TV series. However, he To Be Yours.” This is the soap that doesn’t see her to be in need of the fandom Aldub Nation has acting tips in the first place. long been waiting for, with their “I believe Maine is doing ultimate idols Alden Richards and well as an actress. Magaling siya Maine Mendoza as lead stars. because she really is an artist. The most popular love team even during our workshop of noontime television has for this project, she was really started taping for the soap and good. When it comes to drawing Alden couldn’t be happier. different emotions, maraming Showbuzz was quick to pay a paghuhugutan si Maine. You can visit to Menggay and Tisoy—the actually see it when she writes endearing monikers of Maine poems—nailalabas niya whatever and Alden, respectively—on their emotion she feels.” current set in faraway Quezon Alden is so thankful that he Province. It was raining and the was able to get good quality wind was gusty as they shot their rest during the Christmas break scenes, but the weather failed to before plunging into work again. dampen the excitement of the “I felt I had so much time to eat Bulaga-Kalyesere original rest but I really treasured the love team. There was even one many days I was able to spend scene where the two had to with my family. I was able to do walk in the rain, and because the a lot of things with them. I also terrain was hilly and wet, they had the chance to bond with both slipped while holding each friends again. My mountain other. Their tumble by the way climbing experience with was not part script but it gave the Kristoffer (Martin), Bea (Binene), frame a more realistic touch, their Rodjun (Cruz) and other nondirector decided to keep it. actor friends from GMA was very Maine had more scenes to memorable. Ang sarap nung shoot during Showbuzz’ visit so nasa itaas ka ng bundok! It’s so it was Alden who had time for a refreshing. We had a very good lengthier chat that day, and he time because bonding to the was clearly in his best element. max talaga kami. Before we went “Pareho kasi kaming excited up the mountain, we ate in my ni Maine, and come to think of it, restaurant in Silang and when after one and a half years I’m back we went down kumain naman to doing soap. I consider this one kami sa bahay nu’ng isang kasama of my comfort zones because this namin na taga-Batangas. Ang is where I started. Sobrang nasaya namin and that was the kind miss ko talagang umarte sa soap. of fun with friends that I missed,” Add to the fact that I’m doing this he enthused. series with Maine, kaya sobrang For 2017, Alden has already

by Lhar Santiago

From Page 2

alums, having graced magazines and runways all over the world. Nadine draws inspiration from people like her, people who try not to let their problems prevent them from reaching for the stars. Nadine has bestselling albums and singles, box-office hit movies, sold-out concerts and top-ratingteleseryes under her belt including ABS-CBN’s “Till I

contributed to the success of “SPG” and “Probinsyano.” There are back stories to I’M not sure if Coco Martin how “Probinsyano” turned has watched “Sunday Beauty Onyok (who competed in “It’s Queen,” Best Picture in the Metro Showtime’s” Mini-Mecontest as Manila Film Festival (MMFF). And Bamboo) and Awra (who gained if he did, I’m sure the stories of a following on YouTube) into the OFWs in Hong Kong must overnight sensations. have brought back certain “Onyok auditioned for memories to Coco for a personal Probinsyano but he didn’t pass,” reason. related Coco. “But he really “I was also an OFW,” recalled wanted to act kaya naawa kami Coco to movie writers at a sa kanya. We took him in as an thanksgiving merienda that he extra. Tuwing take, nagugulat hosted at Victorino’s restaurant siya, lumalaki ang mata, and we on Thursday. “I worked as a found that cute! Off cam, I would janitor in Canada for nine crack jokes and ask him to act the months. My father was also an jokes out. Gayang-gaya nya ako! OFW in Korea.” So, we included him as regular That was more than 15 years member of the cast.” ago and Coco confessed that all Coco Martin Awra’s story was something he wanted was to work abroad, only to find out that his dream His second starrer with good else. “Somebody brought Awra would turn into a nightmare. friend Vice Ganda, Star Cinema’s “It was in Canada where “Super Parental Guardians” (SPG; to the set. ‘Baka gusto mong tulungan,’ sabi nung nagdala sa I felt the real meaning of the first was “Beauty and the kanya. He was very shy. I asked homesickness,” continued Coco. Bestie,” the company’s entry him, ‘What’s your name?’ He “I missed not only my family which topped the 2015 MMFF), answered in a soft voice, ‘McNeal.’ and friends, pati na rin yung mga didn’t make it to the Magic 8 of I told him, ‘From now on, your taong kinaiinisan ko. May pera last year’s MMFF and just the name will be McNeal.’ We asked ka nga pero wala kang taong same, released nationwide two him to jump onto the train makausap; may pang-inom ka weeks before the Dec. 25 start where he fought with Onyok. My nga pero wala ka naman makaof the festival, it was a huge hit inuman. I know how hard it is (directed by Bb. Joyce Bernal who character entered the scene and when Awra saw me, napasigaw to be an OFW. During our time, replaced Vice’s favorite director we would catch birds and fish Wenn Deramas who died in early siya, ‘Type!’ Cute ‘yung dating niya.” para may makain. I would collect 2016), so far grossing, according For 2017, Coco has suggested plastic bags and sell them, then to Funfare sources, over P600 to the ABS-CBN management send the money to my lola back million — and counting! to expand the show’s shoot home.” Coco’s wish (granted!) is to That’s why now that he direct a movie for this year’s MMFF coverage and include the provinces, starting with Cebu has money...lots of money!!!... but he wouldn’t reveal details where Coco hoped to discover Coco plans to stage a free show just yet except to say that it’s new talents. abroad, maybe in Saudi Arabia, going to be an indie, the genre “We have bigger ground to and choose an OFW in dire that ruled the 2016 MMFF and cover in ‘Probinsyano,’” he said, need and surprise his family where Coco started to build his by sending him home for a career, launched in “Masahista” by “like solving petty crimes in break...all expenses paid with Brillante Mendoza, his mentor, and parts of the country other than Metro Manila. I love the show pocket money to boot. Late followed it up with, among other last year, Coco led the cast of indies, “Serbis” (also by Brillante) in because it teaches good lessons Ang Probinsyano, his megahit which Coco did a torrid love scene at nagtuturo ng mga good values lalo na sa mga bata,” adding that Kapamilya action-adventure in the raw with Mercedes Cabral he’s thankful to Susan Roces (also series (on extended run until (yes, the actress who described perhaps beyond the original Regal Matriarch Lily Monteverde a in the show’s cast) for granting the rights to televise the iconic February target date), on a show “f----g idiot” during the pre-2016 FPJ legendary character. at the Big Dome which was brouhaha). “For me,” said Coco, “FPJ is packed full with fans admitted He gave credit to where it is not just a great actor; he’s a hero for free (Coco agreed to do it only due (aside from Vice Ganda who who has helped a lot of people if no tickets were sold). has guested in Probinsyano) without the public knowing it. “I have a lot to be thankful for,” — child stars McNeal “Awra” That’s one example that I want to said Coco. “2016 was a very good Briguela and Simon “Onyok” follow.” year for me, very blessed ako.” Pineda who undoubtedly

Alden Richards

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.

Met You.” Today, Nadine deals with her insecurities by wrapping herself in all the love given to her by her family, fans and friends, including her doting boyfriend. She and James became an official couple earlier last year which explains the “look of love” written all over her face. And that is what makes Nadine beautiful.


Coco Martin: I, too, was an OFW by ricky Lo

What makes Nadine beautiful

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

january 13-19, 2017

january 13-19, 2017


In defense of the Superstar by Ronnie CaRRasCo

EVA Economy Class ranks third worldwide for 2017 Elite Class premium economy ranks seventh and airline in top 10 best

TAIPEI, TAIWAN– EVA Air’s Economy Class rates as the world’s third best in AirlineRatings’ evaluations for 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 . 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 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 container-shipping 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

NEARLY TWO weeks after the 42nd Metro Manila Film Festival Gabi ng Parangal, showbiz seems way too distant from getting its cathartic effect done and over with. Looks like at least three of the eight official entries each had their lion’s share of the controversial pie: Oro’s dog butchery scene that led to the revoked FPJ Memorial Award; “Sunday Beauty Queen’s” surprise Best Picture win despite being the a documentary; and “Kabisera” headliner Superstar Nora Aunor’s loss to “Oro’s” Irma Adlawan in the Best Actress category, as well as its bottom spot in box-office returns. In our November 2016 column, Vignettes wrote about Ate Guy’s festival entry about the travails of a Filipino family whose life had dramatically changed over the death of its patriarch. It wasn’t until the MMFF formally opened on Christmas Day when those who had seen the film (though quite a few) took notice of its timely subject—the alleged rampant extrajudicial killings [EKJs] as part of the government’s no-nonsense war against illegal drugs. A keen moviegoer noted, “We read all this stuff in the papers. We hear them reported on radio and see them on TV. Isn’t watching the same stuff on the big screen a bit

Nora Aunor

has a similar EJK-themed movie “Bubog” (now in the works), posted: “We need films like this that mirrors truth.” Theodore Boborol, director of Vince, Kath & James [also an MMFF entry], commented: “Hindi pa rin kumukupas ang galing ni Ate Guy sa ‘Kabisera.’” Meanwhile, in a casual huddle, multi-slashie (professor/author/ journalist/radio anchor/LGBT rights defender/The Manila Times College Dean Danton Remoto told Vignettes, “I believe all that Nora Aunor needs is a really good material, something like a bio pic based on the life of Gabriela Silang. Actually, there’s already one but it would be costly. But if I only had the money, I would be the one to produce it.” For all we know, it might just bring back Ate Guy’s glory days on the big screen.

Sunshine Dizon withdraws criminal complaint vs. husband by iza iglesias

ACTRESS Sunshine Dizon on Thursday, Jan. 5 filed an affidavit of desistance, withdrawing all criminal complaints she filed against estranged husband Timothy Tan. In a press statement, Dizon said her decision to ask the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office to dismiss the cases of Concubinage and Violence Against Women and Children was the result of “soul-searching,” as well as an agreement she and Tan had forged, all putting their children’s best interest above everything else. “I realized that pursuing criminal cases against their father could potentially traumatize my children and diminish their father’s stature in their eyes. The children have a close, (Advertising Supplement) loving relationship with their father,


too much?” Still, another film buff perceived Ate Guy’s performance as having nothing much to offer, “Oh, I thought it was she who even had to ask her directors [there were two, Boy San Agustin and Real Florido]if she could attack a major scene differently? How come nothing much has changed with Nora’s acting?” Earnest in giving the production team of “Kabisera” a fair chance, Vignettes—albeit belated—sought Florido’s ten cents’ worth in answer to these, well, valid comments. He countered, “The story of ‘Kabisera’ is based on an event which actually took place in 2007, when EJKs weren’t then a thing of the ‘now.’ We began shooting the film in 2015, and we went on doing the movie because we all had faith in the value and integrity of the story we wanted to tell.” To drive home his point, Florido took pride in a good number of favorable, if not ego-inflating remarks on social media from film critics, among them published in school papers and even from fellow filmmakers themselves. Varsitarian, UST’s official organ, said: “‘Kabisera’ shows that national issues have a place on the big screen, not just on the primetime news block.” Director Arlyn de la Cruz, who

and I do not wish to get in the way of that,” the statement read. Dizon, however, cleared that she and her husband have not reconciled but will continue to see each other especially during school events involving their children. Everything they do together, according to her, will only be to fulfill their obligations as parents and not as spouses. In fact, Dizon stressed she is preparing to file a petition for the dissolution of their six-year marriage. “This is because I have not given up the fight for my own rights, and this fight I will continue in the proper venue at the proper time and without sacrificing my children’s emotional and mental well-being,” she ended. It will be remembered that in


Sunshine Dizon

June, Dizon posted on her Instagram account a note allegedly given to her husband by a woman named Clarissa Soriano Sison. She then shared a photo of Sison, whom she claimed to be Tan’s mistress. In August, Dizon, Tan and the alleged mistress met for the first time at the Prosecutor’s Office less than a month after the actress made public their marital woes. Sison did not accede to any interview and immediately left the scene after the hearing.

Gloria & Margie on the Miss U... From Page 2

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 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.

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.

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 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.)

january 13-19, 2017


Ivan Dorschner ignores comparisons with best bud James Reid by Iza IglesIas

Thanks to James To prove that there is nary a FILIPINo-American Ivan trace of competition between him Dorschner is now officially a GMA and Reid, Dorschner revealed, “His Network talent and a certified support for me is overwhelming. leading man after inking a two-year We even have the same stylist contract with the studio’s Artist sometimes. And every time Center in November 2016. someone talks to him about me, he Dorschner is one of the four only speaks good things about me good looking guys—alongside and I do that too, of course. James Addy Raj, Ken Chan and Jak is one of my best friends here in Roberto—cast to competing the Philippines. We’re all we have against one another to win the sometimes.” heart of soap opera princess Barbie The newest GMA artist further Forteza in “Meant To Be,” the newest shared that Reid has asked him how romantic-comedy series on GMA’s it feels to work at the rival network. prime time line-up. “I told him it feels great; it feels The 26-year-old hunk was a right. He said something like,’ Well, former housemate of the ABS-CBN that’s really good, I think you’ll get to reality show “Pinoy Big Brother: Teen experience a lot of things in GMA’.” Clash” 2010 where his best buddy It was Reid apparently who James Reid emerged the winner. convinced Dorschner to return But even as Dorschner has moved to the Philippines and pursue his on to the rival network to pursue dream to be an actor after going his own acting career, he is still back to the US when “Pinoy Big unable to avoid being compared to Brother” concluded. the rival network’s current favorite “I went back to the States to leading man. be with my family. For three years, I Asked for comment on the wasn’t able to see them so of course matter, Dorschner simply said, I had to build my relationship with “Honestly, we don’t really put them again. I also studied and took our minds into it [the constant a few creative workshops in Los comparison]. When I was cast in Angeles,” he recalled. ‘Meant To Be,’ I told James about it “When he and Nadine [Lustre] right away and he gave me advice visited the US in May [2016], I went and perspectives [on the role]. The to meet them and took them out to comparisons don’t matter because a restaurant. James told me, ‘Bro, I there is no pressure at all [between think there’s still something for you us]. James is different. I don’t think in the Philippines. I think you really an artist will succeed if he plans to should come back. I know you can copy a certain person; he needs do it’.” to find a different way, a different With renewed confidence, flavor.” Dorschner returned to Manila in

Barbie Forteza with the four guys competing for her attention

Ivan Dorschner

August, and after several auditions happily landed one of the lead roles in “Meant To Be.” Heart to heart Moving on to other matters— those of the heart to be more specific—Dorschner said he is not in a relationship at the moment. It will be remembered that he dated Filipino-American actress and singer Anna Maria Perez de Tagle, known for her stints on Disney Channel’s youth-oriented shows Camp Rock and Hannah Montana, but admitted they’ve broken up. He refused to elaborate on what happened only saying Tagle is “a very private person.” By pure coincidence, his leading lady Forteza had also broken with teen actor Kiko Estrada so that Dorschner could neither avoid the question on the possibility of falling for the actress. “We don’t think about it, we just focus on our show because we are the first program to premiere on GMA Telebabad this year. We just help each other on the set and that’s [about] it. I am not looking for another relationship anytime soon.” Doschner and Forteza worked together in Maynila sometime in 2011, which has made them at ease on this new project. Joining Doschner, Raj, Chan, Roberto and Forteza in Meant To Be are former That’s Entertainment Triplets Manilyn Reynes, Sheryl Cruz and Tina Paner, Keempee De Leon, Sef Cadayona, Gloria Romero, Stephanie Sol, Zymic Jaranila and Mika dela Cruz.

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january 13-19, 2017


Alexander Pantig, Esq.: Competent, reliable legal representation

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 media and read about how angels, 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 Alexander Pantig, Esq. twists and turns of the unraveling degree in Political science, and story of many people’s lives. a minor in Criminology from Many have written about University of California, Irvine. their encounters with angels, Atty. Pantig is fluent in both documenting how their guardian english and Tagalog languages. angels are a real part of their lives For more information about guarding, guiding and protecting Atty. Pantig and the legal services them from harm and on many provided by Pantig law, please occasions, even from death, visit Atty. because their time had not yet Pantig can be reached by phone come. I am sure many others have at (949) 433-8410‬ or by email their own personal stories to tell for a free about this unseen entity that can consultation. be ascribed to the presence of (Advertising Supplement) god himself – an ever-present help to aid us in navigating life on earth. The common image of an angel is a beautiful heavenly rise to experience the American being with piercing eyes, big dream that has eluded them for white pair of wings and long decades. His campaign rhetoric won him the White House, but turning his promises to reality will be a different ball game. Trump may have been successful in running his business but running the government will not be the same. This is one area where potential problems will come: the millions of unemployable PhiliP S. ChuA, Americans will still remain the same, and will soon be frustrated Md, FACS, FPCS

Offering services on immigration, acquisitions and tax law DO you own a business or need help in setting one up? Do you desire to be a U.s. citizen or want general legal counsel? Pantig law offers consulting services focused on immigration, acquisitions, and tax law. From international to domestic entrepreneurs, Pantig law provides reliable and affordable legal services to get your business up and running in the in the United states. Pantig law can help eligible individuals and companies acquire the proper temporary and permanent U.s. visas and assist them with all types of immigrant visa applications. The law office also provides business formation services and handles every aspect of a transaction including financing, due diligence, and operational issues. Alexander Pantig, esq. is a licensed California attorney who will guide you with competent and confidential representation from start to finish. He has experience in both real estate and commercial transactions and in acquiring assets through non-profit and for-profit sectors. He also provides year-round

governance complying with all levels of government regulations – local, state, and federal. Atty. Pantig served as inhouse counsel for non-profit and for-profit corporations, handling business disputes and correspondence with government agencies such as the Federal Communications Commission, state Attorney general’s Office, U.s. Attorney’s Office, U.s. Department of Housing and Urban Development, U.s. national Park service, and the los Angeles County sheriff’s Department. He handled contract negotiations, licensing, and commercial and real estate acquisitions. He also drafted and advised on confidentiality and document security policies for clients. likewise, Atty. Pantig is an active member of the state Bar of California, American Bar Association, los Angeles County Bar Association, Orange County Bar Association, and the Asian Pacific American Bar Association. He received his Juris Doctorate degree from Texas Tech University school of law and a bachelor’s

Prognostications, predictions and prayers for 2017 ten, randomly created from my medulla oblongata: For the United states: 1. I pray that the American people will have more upbeat news in the socio-economic, foreign, diplomatic, political, ernie d. delFin and trade areas to fulfill Pres. Donald Trump’s promise to (PART 1 of 2) “Make America great Again” A HAPPY, healthy, peaceful beginning this January 20, as and prosperous 2017 to all! I am one of millions of people he begins his term as POTUs. Despite his unorthodox who want to predict things campaign style, often laced with (especially this time of the year), subliminally praying for the same contradictory messages and flip-flopping on many issues, things to happen. Just to give his generic promises resonated a seedbed for these dreams to to the millions of marginalized germinate, I would like to share voters, especially in red states all them with my dear readers across the country. His millions in coming up with my own prognostications, predictions and of supporters were pinning their hopes that they too can prayers for 2017. Here’s the top

The Metamorphosis

Angels among us “Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings.” — From Frank Capra’s film “It’s a Wonderful Life” 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



Nota Bene: Monette Adeva Maglaya is SVP of Asian Journal Publications, Inc. To send comments, e-mail monette.maglaya@

Do you have a stomach ulcer?

vulnerable to acid damages. Also, cytokines produced in response to the inflammation may damage the mucosa and lead to ulcer formation. Do aspirin and arthritis medications cause peptic ulcers? Yes, aspirin and nsAIDs (nonand disappointed. As the White steroidal arthritis medications) WHAT is a stomach ulcer? House and Congress is controlled are known to cause peptic A stomach ulcer, also known as ulcers and severe bleeding. The by the Republicans, there will a gastric ulcer or peptic ulcer, as the irritation is both local (on the be faster “overhaul” for many second part of the name suggests, socialistic programs, including mucosa of the stomach) and is a “wound, an open sore,” in the the ObamaCare that the systemic (inhibiting prostaglandin mucosa (inner wall) that penetrates production adversely affecting Continued on Page 7 the muscle layer of the stomach mucosal defenses, and thinning or of the duodenum (the first part the blood), leading to ulcerations of the small intestine attached to and hemorrhage. the stomach). The main symptom Is alcohol bad for those with is typically burning, gnawing or peptic ulcers? hunger pains in the epigastric Yes, most definitely. The (stomach pit) area, often relieved by same thing is true with cigarette food or antacids. smoking, chocolate, tea, coffee, What causes a stomach ulcer? spicy foods, which are also irritants There was a time when for the stomach. They increase stomach acid hypersecretion hydrochloric acid production in (due to stress, spicy food, alcohol, the stomach, which bathes and tobacco, etc.) was universally damages the stomach mucosal accepted in the medical community lining, making it more susceptible as the cause of gastric ulcer disease. to the H. pylori bacteria. Milk, A brilliant Australian physician, Dr. which used to be prescribed Barry James Marshall, who was decades ago as a part of peptic ridiculed by his colleagues in the ulcer therapy, is now avoided ja n ua ry 1 5 scientific world for postulating that since it also causes “rebound” peptic ulcer disease was caused by Feast of Santo Niño in Los Angeles acid production and slows ulcer a bacterial infection (Helicobacter healing. On Sunday, January 15, 2017, at 3:30 pm, a mass sponsored by Santo Niño Cruzada pylori organism), ingested the Do children develop peptic USA, will be held at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels to celebrate its 30th year anorganism himself and developed ulcers? niversary of the solemn Feast of Santo Niño, the Divine Infant Jesus. acute peptic ulcer disease, proving Yes, but it is relatively The Southern California Sinulog Dance Co. will perform traditional Sinulog dances after to the medical community in uncommon among children the mass. 1984-85 that his postulate was compared to among adults. Although the devotion to the Divine Infant has roots in Europe, Filipinos are known correct. Multicenter studies About 15 percent to 20 percent for their fervent devotion to the Infant Jesus, celebrating with religious and civic activities. following his treatise proved that of abdominal pains in children is As a result, Filipino immigrants brought their Santo Niño to the United States to be their he was right. Marshall has radically due to peptic ulcer. Most primary spiritual recourse, assistance, and protector. revolutionized the understanding peptic ulcer disease in children are We celebrated the first Feast of Santo Niño in 1986 at then Saint Vibiana’s Cathedral in of the disease, its diagnosis, and seen in the ages between 8 and 17. downtown Los Angeles. It was in the summer of 1988 that the original group of Santo Niño most importantly, its treatment. The pains usually wake the child devotees formally organized under the name, Cruzada de Santo Niño. The organization’s How did this change the from sleep, and are sometimes name was eventually changed to its present name, Santo Niño Cruzada, USA. treatment? aggravated by eating. About 25 As in any organization, the organization’s path to success is measured by the dedication Before Marshall’s discovery, percent of these pediatric patients and commitment of the officers and members whose primary goals are to promote devogastrectomy (cutting part or have bleeding ulcers. Peptic Ulcer tion to Santo Niño, provide individual sanctifications, give aids to needy families and be whole of the stomach out) was due to H. pylori infection is not united with other Santo Niño groups. very common as a treatment very common in children. Any For more information in this year’s celebration, please contact any of the following officfor peptic ulcer disease. Today, persistent abdominal pains in ers and members: with appropriate triple antibiotic children warrants prompt medical Romy & Tess Esturas: (213) 387-6982 Rey & Tess Edpao: (818) 469-7292; Carmen therapy, peptic ulcer disease is consultation. Estrada: (213) 413-2881; Fe Montano: (323) 218-1587; Ester Paredes: (213) 864-1149; Lilia effectively managed, transforming How is the diagnosis made? Figuracion: (626) 394-2661; Fe Reyes: (213) 413-5286; Cherry Guerrero: (213) 747-6508; a former surgical disease to a After a good history-taking Tessie Cruz: (213) 361-0937; Vicky Samia: (818) 851-2262; Laurie Dolorfino: (213) 407-0097; medical disease. Occasionally, and physical examination, the Maria Oclarino: (213) 427-0353. however, surgery may still be physician can already make a needed for severe bleeding strong presumptive diagnosis of ja n ua ry 28 peptic ulcer disease but this is not peptic ulcer disease. Fiberoptic Historic Filipinotown Scavenger Hunt as common today, with proper gastroscopy (a lighted magnifying antibiotic treatment. flexible scope passed through the Explore the cultural gems of HiFi (Historic Filipinotown) by joining the 2nd HiFi ScavenHow does the H. pylori mouth down to the stomach used ger Hunt Fundraiser on Saturday, January 28 from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m! Meet Filipino-specific bacteria cause ulcers? to view its inside) is today a part of challenges (from a Balut eating contest to dancing Tinikling to a hip hop beat!). You may There are theories as to how the state-of-the-art investigative find yourself meeting a little-known community hero, tasting a Filipino food challenge or this organism causes peptic tool in the diagnosis of peptic receiving your very own Filipino nickname! You will be having a blast while building your ulcers. H. pylori produces urease, ulcer disease or malignant tumor bayanihan spirit by asking your friends and family and even your Facebook fans to donate an enzyme that catalyzes urea to (cancer) of the stomach. Bacterial money to sponsor your Team to take this challenge. You and your team choose your own ammonia. The ammonia, which cultures may likewise be taken to fundraising goal! Funds raised by this event will go to the programs and services of 2 HiFi enables the bacteria to survive the check the presence of Helicobacter community organizations, Pilipino Workers Center (PWC) and Filipino American Service acidic environment in the stomach pylori organism. Through the Group, Inc. (FASGI) to provide vital services to families, workers and seniors in our commuor duodenum, also causes erosions scope, cytology (microscopic nity. Services include free or low-cost citizenship application assistance, human trafficking into the mucosal lining and causes examination of cancer cells), survivor support, civic engagement, wage theft claims assistance, cultural programs and epithelial damage. Cytotoxins cultures for bacteria and tiny more! Have fun, Discover Historic Filipinotown win prizes and support your community from the bacteria also damage biopsies may be done to make a while doing it! Go to to sign up now. PWC is located at 153 the epithelium. The organism diagnosis. Glendale Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90026. also produces mucolytic enzymes What are the possible (protease and lipase) that lead to complications of peptic ulcer If you have an upcoming event and would like us to post it, please email us the the degradation of the mucosa, disease? details at or making the epithelium more Hemorrhage is the most

Calendar of Events across

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 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 …) ***


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 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:

Filipino movie line-up to open 2017 ‘Extra Service’ Star Cinema and Skylight Films starts the New Year with a bang as the sexy action-comedy film, Extra Service, brings together three of today’s hottest Kapamilya actresses Arci Muñoz, Jessy Mendiola and Coleen Garcia to cinemas. The movie, helmed by Chris Martinez [director of Kimmy Dora And The Kyemeng Prequel and writer of the two installments of Ang Babae sa Septic Tank]multiplies the excitement as it presents the beauteous trio in a movie showing girl power defying the odds. Extra Service, written by the writer of the highest-grossing local film in history The Super Parental Guardians Alpha Habon, is a story about three female ex-convicts Aw (Muñoz), Em (Garcia) and Gee (Mendiola), who due to their criminal records, have a hard time finding jobs. Faced with this dilemma, the girls have no other choice but to work in a spa as masseuses. However, unknown to their clients, theirs is only a day job because at night, they transform as secret agents: Aw is Kapitana, Em is Maldita, and Gie is Henya. “When you ask for ‘extra service’ you are actually asking for their service as secret agents,” explains Habon about the title of the film. “As secret service agents, they encounter a mission that will cost them their lives and freedom —they must retrieve the three most important pearls of the country that are collectively called Perlas ng Silangan.” ‘Ilawod’ Box-office director Dan Villegas (English Only, Please!; #WalangForever; The Break-Up Playlist; Always Be My Maybe and

How To Be Yours) tries his hand at the horror genre via the movie Ilawod due for theatrical release on January 18. Villegas said he and Palancawinning writer Yvette Uy Tan bring to the screen a story about “possession,” not in the expected concept of demons or curses as horror films go, but about “the force of life and survival.” In the movie, Dennis (Ian Veneracion), a reporter and Carlo (Epi Quizon), a photographer, work for an online news publication covering both supernatural and bizarre stories. Dennis accidentally brings home the “ilawod” (meaning downstream in Filipino), which then possesses his wife, Kathy (Iza Calzado), daughter Bea (Xyriel Manabat), and the youngest child, Ben (Harvey Bautista). The ilawod wrecks havoc on Dennis’ family whom he fights to save. An initial post of the film’s trailer on social media immediately earned over a million likes, views and shares, sure to make Ilawod the first scream-fest of 2017. ‘Moonlight Over Baler’ This February, T-Rex Entertainment will bring to the big screen Moonlight Over Baler a timeless love story encompassing two important events in the country—World War 2 in the ‘40s and Edsa Revolution in the ‘80s. Starring Elizabeth Oropesa, Ellen Adarna and the love team of Vin Abrenica and Sophie Albert, the film is written by Eric Ramos and directed by Gil Portes. With the haunting “‘O Maliwanag na Buwan” as theme song, Moonlight Over Baler is set in the scenic and historical Aurora Province town opening with a

Vin Abrenica and Sophie Albert

Japanese journalist (Abrenica) visiting Baler after covering the 1986 People Power. By coincidence, he turns out to be the spitting image of the great love of a retired spinster teacher (Oropesa) who was killed during the war. Their paths meet, leading to a special friendship. The Japanese falls in love with the town’s beauty (Adarna), which the retired teacher approves of, but misfortune breaks them apart when another suitor pounces on him and banishes him from Baler. The events lead the teacher to reckon with her tragic past, feeling all over again she was to blame for the death of her life’s only love. The ending is bittersweet yet proves that love conquers all. ‘across the Crescent Moon’ With a playdate this early 2017 soon to be announced, director Baby Nebrida has announced the release of Across the Crescent Moon, a “meaningful actiondrama” tackling problems facing the country, including human trafficking and differences in religious beliefs. Matteo Guidicelli portrays the dedicated and brave Muslim solider who fights criminality. He is married to an enlightened Christina girl, portrayed by theater actress Alex Godinez in an introductory role. Completing the cast are Christopher de Leon andy Andolong as Guidicelli’s Muslim parents, and Gabby Concepcion and Dina Bonnevie as Godinez’ Catholic father and mother. Across the Crescent Moon does not pass judgement on either religions but shows unity in diversity. Bong Tan is executive Ian Veneracion and Iza Calzado (second from left and right respectively) with Xyriel Manabat, producer. Therese Malvar and Harvey Bautista

january 13-19, 2017

Prognostications, predictions and prayers... From Page 6 Democrats 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 be reelected again in the next election. Although I had doubts that Trump will be good for the country, I also pray that he can be like Saul, who used to be persecutor of Christians but was converted and eventually became St. Paul, one of the most ardent followers of Christ. I am praying that Trump, despite his many “unpresidential” antics and tweets, can be made to be a great president and can do a lot of actions that will benefit the country. His anticipated appointments of more conservative members to the Supreme Court during his term will have lasting effect to the country’s direction for decades to come. During the next four years, if he can at least convert the huge government bureaucracy, modeling after an effective private-business enterprise to become more effective and efficient, then he has a good chance that he can be re-elected for another term, should he choose to run again in 2020. 2. The wisdom, practicality and fairness of the Electoral College in electing the POTUS should be revisited and debated, so that in a generation or so, if necessary the Constitution can be amended to solve the seemingly “unjust” or “unfair” value of each American voter. It has been documented that the one vote in California, for instance, is worth much less than one vote in a rural red state like Wisconsin simply because there are fewer voters represented by one electoral delegate. 3. There should be an overhaul of immigration laws and regulations, and stricter implementation of them so that the abuse of many nationalities, especially those with money to suck the privileges and rights

that are granted in the books centuries ago, which are now quite obsolete in the 21st century. 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 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 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:

JANUARY 13-19, 2017


Orange county inland empire january 13 19, 2017  
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