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WAR VS. THE POOR

Amnesty Int’l: Police gets paid to kill in PH drug war by Dana

SioSon AJPress

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

and fabricating official incident reports.” “this is not a war on drugs, but a war on the poor. often on the flimsiest of evidence, people accused of using or selling drugs are being killed for cash in an economy of murder,” tirana hassan, AI crisis response director, said. since President rodrigo Duterte took office last July, the number of people killed in drugrelated cases has reached 7,000, according to the Philippine National Police (PNP), with at least 2,250 reportedly killed during legitimate operations.

USA

DATELINE Fil-Am appointed White House assistant press secretary from the AJPress NEWS TEAM AcroSS AMEricA

As the administration of President Donald trump begins to take action, the White house has begun filling out its staff to serve the president for the next four years. one of the newest members of the White house office of the Press secretary includes Ninio fetalvo, a 23-year-old filipino American, who will serve as an assistant press secretary. fetalvo, who previously worked as the Asian Pacific American press secretary for the republican National Committee (rNC), will work alongside three other assistant press secretaries. these assistants then work under three deputy press secretaries who report to Press secretary sean spicer, fetalvo’s former

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Trump to maintain Obama’s protections for LGBT workers

the previous obama administration’s workplace protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBt) individuals will be kept under new United states President Donald trump, the White house announced on tuesday, January 31. In a statement, the White house said trump is “determined to protect the rights of all Americans, including the LGBtQ community.” “President trump continues to be respectful and supportive of LGBtQ rights, just as he was throughout the election,” it said. the executive order was signed by for-

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the majority of these killings, according to AI, “may amount to crimes against humanity.” “Under President Duterte’s rule, the national police are breaking laws they are supposed to uphold while profiting from the murder of impoverished people the government was supposed to uplift. the same streets Duterte vowed to rid of crime are now filled with bodies of people illegally killed by his own police,” hassan added. Amnesty’s report, titled “If you are poor you are killed: extrajudicial executions in the Philippine’s

A demonstrator’s son holds cardboard signs displaying a message of support for activists resisting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline during a candlelight vigil held on Thursday, January 26. AJPress photo by Eric Anthony Licas

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Aguirre says criminals not DFA to assist Pinoys human, disputes Amnesty affected by new US policies International report by helen

FloreS Philstar.com

pointments hearing in the senate, Aguirre said the Amnesty report was false. Definition of human “In other words, how can it be when your JUstICe secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on Wednesday, february 1 brushed aside war is only against these drug lords, drug the Amnesty International report that pushers? Do you consider them humanity? police killings of thousands of drug sus- No, believe me,” Aguirre said. mr. Duterte has repeatedly made compects in President rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs may be crimes against human- ments echoing similar sentiments to Aguirre’s, urging police to kill drug users as ity, saying criminals were not human. u PAGE A2 emerging from a Commission on Apby ChriStine

avenDaño Inquirer.net

mANILA, Philippines — the Department of foreign Affairs (DfA) is ready to provide consular assistance to filipinos in the United states who will be affected by the country’s new immigration policies. “our embassy and consulates in the Us will continue to extend all possible consular assistance to filipinos who may be impacted by the new Us immigration policies,” DfA spokesman Charles Jose said. the DfA confirmed that out of the 3.4 million filipinos in the Us, around 310,000 are undocuby Dana SioSon mented. AJPress STAr columnist Jose manuel IrIs mittenaere from france romualdez reported that an eswas crowned as the 65th miss timated 310,000 filipinos in the Universe, succeeding the Philip- Us are included in the Departpines’ Pia Wurtzbach. ment of homeland security’s list mittenaere, a 23-year-old den- of individuals who are up for detal surgery student, bested the portation. other 85 beauty queens from romualdez had declined his around the world during the cor- appointment as ambassador to onation night on monday, Janu- the Us due to health reasons. ary 30 at the mall of Asia Arena Us President Donald trump in Pasay City, Philippines. has vowed to strengthen the this was the second time france won the title since Christiane martel in 1953. During the question and answer portion, top three misses Colombia, haiti, and france were asked: “Name something over the course of your life that you failed at, and tell us what you learned from that experience.” PASSING ON THE CROWN. Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach crowns the mittenaere answered, “I’ve 2016 Miss Universe Iris Mittenaere from France on Monday, Jan. 30 at the failed several times in my life, Mall of Asia in Manila. Filipinos from all walks of life, who are huge beauty so I thought that I failed the first pageant fans, stayed glued to their TVs as 86 candidates competed for

France wins the Miss Universe crown First runner-up Miss Haiti talks about Filipino heritage

the crown.

DFA spokesman Charles Jose

campaign against violators of immigration laws, which he believes are taking jobs away from Americans and legal immigrants. he has also signed an executive order barring citizens of seven predominantly muslim countries from entering the Us for the next 90 days and suspending the admission of refugees for 120 days. the order covered citizens from Iraq, syria, Iran, sudan, Libya, somalia and Yemen. President Duterte said he would not help undocumented

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Inquirer.net photo

Pacquiao gets a warning: Jeff Horn eats southpaws for breakfast ‘southpaws’ for breakfast. Glenn rushton, horn’s trainer, said that his fighter is a true nemfILIPINo boxing champion esis for southpaws, warning leftmanny “Pacman” Pacquiao just handed Pacquiao in case he’s not got himself a caution from Jeff aware about it. horn’s trainer: the unheralded “When the bell sounds, you Australian boxer simply eats u PAGE A3 by Dana

SioSon AJPress

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A

february 3-9, 2017 • NOrCaL aSIaN JOurNaL

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From the Front Page

Amnesty Int’l: Police gets paid to kill… PAGE A1 t

‘War on Drugs,’” came a couple of days following Duterte’s order to pull out the PNP from anti-illegal drug operations nationwide to focus on “internal cleansing.” Duterte made the order amid the controversial death of South Korean businessman Jee IckJoo, who was abducted from his home in Pampanga, along with his house help, reportedly under the guise of an anti-illegal drug operation last October 18, 2016. Earlier this year, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) pronounced Jee dead. The Department of Justice (DOJ) later revealed that he was allegedly killed by policemen inside the PNP’s main headquarters in Quezon City. “The police are behaving like the criminal underworld that they are supposed to be enforcing the law against, by carrying out extrajudicial executions disguised as unknown killers and ‘contracting out’ killings,” AI claimed.

Citing a testimony from a cop with the rank of Senior Police Officer 1, AI said in its report that policemen were paid at least P8,000 for every drug suspect they manage to kill. “We always get paid by the encounter...The amount ranges from 8,000 pesos (US $161) to 15,000 pesos (US $302)... That amount is per head… We’re paid in cash, secretly, by headquarters...” the police officer was quoted as saying in the report. “There’s no incentive for arresting. We’re not paid anything.” Reacting to AI’s claims, Malacañang reiterated that the extrajudicial killings in the country are not sanctioned by the state -- the same conclusion made by the Senate committees on justice, and public order and dangerous drugs. “Their joint investigation of deaths during police anti-drug operations shows there is no state-sponsored policy of extrajudicial deaths and that there is

relentless effort on the part of the PNP to carry out the campaign properly and within legal processes,” Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella pointed out. He also said that an estimated 1.1 million drug personalities have already surrendered in relation to the PNP’s anti-drug operation, Oplan Double Barrel. “The same operations have yielded 53,025 arrests and neutralized 2,555 drug personalities,” Abella added. PNP chief Director General Roland “Bato” Dela Rosa, for his part, also denied that the PNP is paying cops to kill drug suspects. He said the government does not have the funds to pay killers. “Ang PNP wala pong funding para sa mga ganoon (The PNP NEW FILIPINO. Maher Mohammed Al Raee takes his oath as a Filipino citizen before Las Piñas Judge Ismael Duldulao, becoming only the seventh Palestinian to be granted the nationality status under the Philippines’ stringent naturalization laws. has no funding for that),” Dela Inquirer.net photo by Joan Bondoc Rosa said. “[For] all you know paninira na naman ‘yan sa administrasyong Duterte (it just a propaganda destroy the reputation of the Duterte administration).” n PAGE A1 t BI won’t stop Muslims a Filipino abroad is documented Filipino immigrants in the US or undocumented. What we want Meanwhile, the Bureau of Imas the Trump administration in- for them is to go to our posts to migration (BI) at the Ninoy Aquitensifies its crackdown on illegal register as voters and vote dur- no International Airport termialiens. ing elections,” he added. nals will not prevent any foreign “To the Filipinos there, you Keity Drennan, and Peru’s ValeThere are some four million passengers from seven Muslim ria Piazza also made it to the top better be on the right track. If Filipinos in the US where over countries who arrive at the airyou are not allowed to stay there 263,000 voters registered for the port with connecting flights to 13. Mittenaere said that as the where you are staying, get out. May 9 elections. the US despite Trump’s order of new Miss Universe, her primary Because if you are caught and According to Comelec director banning Muslims from entering advocacies include dental and deported, I will not lift a finger,” Jane Valeza, the poll body might the US for 90 days. Duterte said. oral hygiene. not be able to meet their quota “We will just check their docuVoters may be affected “I’m going to be a dentist. This of registering at least one million ments and let them proceed to The Commission on Elections Filipino voters in the US because board their respective flights. We is a big problem in my country, and in a lot of countries,” Mit- (Comelec) has expressed con- of Trump’s policies. will hold them if they violated our tenaere said. “So I really want to cern that the immigration poli“They might not be able to de- Philippine laws,” said Red Marihelp children and adults, ‘cause cies of Trump may stop undocu- liver in the US. But they are do- ñas, BI Port Operations Division this is a problem I know very mented Filipinos in the US from ing their best to encourage the chief. registering as voters. well.” Filipinos there to register. They “We will not also prevent from Comelec Commissioner Arthur are also doing satellite registra- boarding flights bound for the US Following Miss France’s coronation, Malacañang sent its con- Lim said although the Philip- tions to reach out to voters,” the passengers from seven Muspines is not included in the seven Valeza added. gratulations to her. lim countries that have stayed in “Iris brought tremendous joy countries banned by Trump from The DFA is also urging all over- the Philippines for several days to her people by representing entering the US, the order might seas Filipino workers to register as tourists,” he added. France well on the international have an impact on some Filipi- for the 2019 midterm elections. Trump issued an order directstage with her winning grace, nos. Registration started last Dec. 1, ing the Secretary of State, Secre“Because if you are staying in 2016 and will end on Sept. 30 tary of Homeland Security, direcregal bearing and inspiring answer. She has won not only the a particular country, the laws of next year. tor of National Intelligence and nod of the judges but the affec- that country bind you. So they Lim reminded them that it is director of the Federal Bureau tion of the entire world as well,” may think that if they come out safe for the OFWs to apply for of Investigation to come up with Presidential Spokesperson Ernie and register, they might get en- voter registration because they new immigration-screening protangled with US laws, that if they do not share Comelec records cedures. Abella said in a statement. Malacañang also congratulat- are illegally staying, they might even with host countries. “We don’t want them here,” ed Medina for representing the get deported,” Lim said. “We are implementing a data said Trump. “We want to ensure He reminded that it is the right privacy law in Comelec. All these that we are not admitting into our Philippines and making it to the of every Filipino to vote even data that will be gathered are ab- country the very threats our soltop six. “We likewise congratulate abroad, regardless of immigra- solutely confidential and they will diers are fighting overseas and to Maria Mika Maxine Medina for tion status. be protected by the Comelec,” he make America safe.” (With Rudy “It is beyond us, whether or not maintained. making it to the top six. She repSantos)

DFA to assist Pinoys affected by new…

France wins the Miss Universe…

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time that I went out on a casting because my name wasn’t on the list. The very next day, I found that I was in a new book.” “So I think that when you fail, you have to be elevated, you have to try again, and keep going. If tonight, I’m not one of the winners, I will still have the great honor of being one of the three finalists,” she added, as translated by an interpreter. “So I think that I have failed before, but for me, this is a great first opportunity.” Haiti’s Raquel Pelissier, was named first runner-up, while Colombia’s Andrea Tovar was named the second runner-up. Pelissier, who previously shared that she has Filipino blood from her mother’s side, thanked her Filipino fans for their support during the pageant. “I was not expecting so much support and so much love when I came to the Philippines and it was something I have never seen before anywhere in the world so I’m so blessed to be here and to have experienced this amazing journey. Thank you so much, mahal ko kayo (I love you),” she told CNN Philippines.

Pelissier added that she wants to come back and revisit Cebu, Baguio, and Boracay, and learn more about the Philippines and its culture. The pageant’s top six, meanwhile, comprised of the Philippines’ Maxine Medina, Kenya’s Mary Esther Were, and Thailand’s Chalita Suansane. During the question and answer portion, Medina was asked what was the “most significant change” she saw in the world in the last decade. An interpreter repeated the question in Tagalog but Medina, who was previously criticized for not being fluent in English, insisted in not using an interpreter for her reply. “In the last 10 years of being here in the world, I saw all the people bringing in one event like this, Miss Universe. And it’s something big to us that we are one, as one nation we are all together,” Medina answered. The top nine included the United States of America’s Deshauna Barber, Canada’s Siera Bearchell, and Mexico’s Kristal Silva. Brazil’s Raissa Santana, Indonesia’s Kezia Warouw, Panama’s

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Aguirre says criminals not…

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well as traffickers. “Crime against humanity? In the first place, I’d like to be frank with you: Are they humans? What is your definition of a human being?” Mr. Duterte said in August last year, referring to drug offenders. The Philippine National Police took strong exception to Amnesty’s findings that the police were paying officers to kill drug suspects, hiring killers, planting evidence and running a racket with funeral homes under President Duterte’s war on drugs. Cleansing of police ranks “We take strong exception to opinions raised in the latest report of (Amnesty). These [cases] are obviously not the norm, despite a higher number of police operations that have resulted [in] inevitable fatal encounters with criminal elements lately,” said Senior Supt. Dionardo Carlos, spokesperson for the PNP. President Duterte on Monday, January 30 ordered the PNP to suspend all antinarcotics operations until it could cleanse its ranks of rogue officers, after a series of scandals involving his war on drugs, including the kidnap-

Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II

ping for ransom and murder of a South Korean businessman. Malacañang said Mr. Duterte had directed the authorities to look into alleged extrajudicial killings in his war on drugs even before he ordered its suspension. “The state does not condone extrajudicial killings perpetrated by common criminals, which have been wrongly attributed in some unvetted reports as part of police operations,” said presi-

dential spokesperson Ernesto Abella. Internal affairs Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez accused Amnesty of interfering in Philippine internal affairs. “Why are they interfering in our affairs? We are a sovereign country. They are not the ones suffering because of all these crimes. They should not meddle because they are not the ones being affected, we are,” Alvarez

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Dateline USa

NORCAL ASIAN JOURNAL • febRUARy 3-9, 2017

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Fil-Am appointed White House assistant…

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SCARF FASHION. Amina Ameroding of Marawi CIty sells hijab at the Islamic Center in Quiapo, Manila as Muslim communities celebrate World Hijab Day on Wednesday, February 1. Inquirer.net photo by Marianne Bermudez

Trump to maintain Obama’s protections for…

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mer President Barack Obama, Trump’s predecessor, in 2014. The order bans companies that do federal work from discriminating against LGBT people. “The president is proud to have been the first ever GOP nominee to mention the LGBTQ community in his nomination acceptance speech, pledging then to protect the community from violence and oppression,” the statement further read. The White House issued the statement on the day Trump has said he would announce his candidate to fill the vacant seat on the Supreme Court. However, some LGBTQ-rights groups are still weary about

Trump’s commitment to their cause. “Trump talks a big game on his support for LGBTQ people, yet he has filled his cabinet with people who have literally spent their careers working to demonize us and limit our rights,” Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement a few hours after Trump signed the order. Griffin pointed out that Trump chose Indiana Governor Mike Pence, who opposes gay marriage, as his vice president. “Claiming ally status for not overturning the progress of your predecessor is a rather low bar,” Griffin said. He stressed that Trump “has

Sen. MannyPacquiao

Pacquiao gets a warning…

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have to be up for it, aware and ready. And he is ready. He has always delivered. Nothing stops him. You hit him and he gets up. He’s like The Terminator but that’s part of the training. It’s that warrior spirit where you try to become devoid of emotion in the ring. He eats southpaws for breakfast,” Rushton said in recent interview with Fairfax Media. Earlier last week, Pacquiao admitted that he’s never heard of Jeff Horn. “This is my first time to hear his name,” Pacquiao previously said when asked to comment about the potential challenger for his WBO welterweight title. But despite not having a big name outside his home country yet, Rushton expressed his confidence that Horn will undoubtedly defeat the eight-division world title holder. Pacquiao, with a record of 596-2 win-loss-tie and 38 KO’s, has been a professional boxer for more than two decades. “Naturally I respect Manny Pacquiao for everything he’s achieved in the sport. But when you start to weigh it up, you will see what we have in Jeff Horn.

You can’t see the future, but I believe we’re looking at a future legend. Now, they’re saying, ‘Who the hell is Jeff Horn?’ After, they’ll know all about Jeff Horn,” Rushton said. Dubbed as “The Hornet,” the 28-year-old Horn has a record of 16-0-1 and 11 KO’s. “His [Horn’s] doubters will have egg on their face,” Rushton claimed confidently. Rushton said he’s been studying Pacquiao, and that he’s confident in Horn’s ability to execute game plans. “I’ve had 10 years of this with Jeff and now, when he gets out in the ring, he’s almost in a trancelike state. Outside the ring, he’s a happy guy. Inside the ring, he’s The Hornet,” Rushton remarked. Rushton added, “It goes straight to his subconscious. He gets out there and does it, follows plans perfectly. I’ve been studying Manny Pacquiao for a long time ... to beat him, he has to follow the plan.” The fighting venue has not yet been finalized, but the Pacquiao-Horn fight will reportedly take place in Australia. April 23 has also been eyed as the date of their match. n

Aguirre says criminals…

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told reporters. Present evidence Sen. Leila de Lima said the Duterte administration should be alarmed by the Amnesty report that the extrajudicial killings could be crimes against humanity. She said the involvement of policemen in the killings clearly showed these were “crime[s] against humanity.” But Sen. Panfilo Lacson, head of the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs, challenged Amnesty to produce evidence supporting its report. “Unless (Amnesty) presents evidence, it will just remain loose talk or rumor,” Lacson told reporters. Romel Bagares, director of the Center for International Law, said the Amnesty report could be

used as basis for a complaint in the International Criminal Court (ICC). But Bagares added that the ICC would step in only if the Philippines failed to investigate or unwilling to do so. Punish rogue cops Kabayan Rep. Harry Roque said that under international law, Mr. Duterte is not liable for the extrajudicial killings unless he does nothing to stop them. “If he fulfills his promise to punish rogue cops, that is his best way to escape international liability,” Roque said. “Since his marching order is to cleanse the police force, that is his best defense against criminal liability,” he added. (With reports from Jerome Aning, Leila B. Salaverria, Marlon Ramos, DJ Yap, Jhesset O. Enano and AFP/Inquirer.net)

France wins the Miss …

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resented the Philippines well in the international scene,” Abella added. Pia hands Harvey a pair of glasses During the coronation night, Mittenaere and Pelissier held hands as they waited for host Steve Harvey to announce the pageant’s winner. But Miss Universe 2015 Wurtzbach broke the tension when she tapped Harvey on his shoulders. Just as Harvey was about

to announce the final winner, Wurtzbach handed him a pair of reading glasses. “Thank you, Pia,” Harvey said, joined by a laughing crowd. “A year late, but thank you.” During the last Miss Universe pageant in Las Vegas, Nevada, Harvey committed a gaffe when he declared Miss Colombia as Miss Universe 2015, and Wurtzbach as first runner-up. Harvey later apologized for the mistake and announced Wurtzbach as the true winner. n

done nothing but undermine equality since he set foot in the White House.” The Log Cabin Republicans, on the other hand, praised Trump’s decision. “Donald Trump campaigned promising to be a ‘real friend’ to the LGBT community, and now President Trump is delivering on that commitment,” Gregory Angelo, president of the Republican LGBT advocacy group, said. He also claimed that the Log Cabin Republicans “is proud to have directly lobbied for this important preservation of LGBT equality in the federal workforce.” (Dana Sioson / AJPress)

boss at the RNC. After Trump’s inauguration on Friday, January 20, Spicer asked Fetalvo to come on board as an assistant, and he got to work the following Monday. “It’s truly a very humbling experience. It’s a real honor to work on behalf of our country and the American people. I’m really excited to see what President Trump and Vice President [Mike] Pence accomplish to truly make the country great again,” Fetalvo told the Asian Journal on Thursday, January 26. His press portfolio includes a wide range of domestic issues including labor, health care, education, transportation, veterans affairs, among other issues. “It’s great to work with issues that directly affect the American people,” Fetalvo said. “Even if you look at health care, veterans affairs, these are issues that affect the American people, including the Filipino-American community.” As a young Filipino American, Fetalvo expressed excitement in being an important link between the White House and the American public. “Being at this position in the White House really excites me to just be able to help communicate and emphasize the policies that [are] really going to make our community better and more prosperous,” Fetalvo remarked. Fetalvo was born on May 1, 1993, in Fort Myers, Florida to Filipino parents who emigrated from Bicol, Philippines. Though

Ninio Fetalvo, White House Assistant Press Secretary

never strongly political, they taught their son the importance of having a voice in the political process. “My parents were never active [in politics], but something that they always stressed was the importance of voting,” Fetalvo recalled. “My parents took that right very seriously.”

Fetalvo is a steadfast Republican, and he attributes his Filipino-American upbringing as an important factor in his political leaning. “When I started looking at issues, my values as an American and my values as a Filipino American really aligned with the

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Dateline USa

february 3-9, 2017 • NOrCaL aSIaN JOurNaL

http://www.asianjournal.com • (650) 689-5160

US delivers new counterterrorism weapons to PH forces representatives from the U.S. Embassy in Manila on Friday, AJPress January 27, included over 400 CONTINUING the commit- M203 grenade launchers, and ment to fight terrorism, the 85 M40A5 sniper rifles. According to the U.S. EmArmed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has received new military bassy, these weapons will “help equipment from the Joint United enhance the AFP’s counterterStates Military Assistance Group rorism capabilities,” and “protect Philippine security forces (JUSMAG). The weapons, delivered in actively engaged in counterterClark Airbase, Pampanga by rorism operations in the southby Dana

SioSon

ern Philippines.” It said AFP procured the weapons through the U.S. government’s Foreign Military Sales program. Apart from the small-arms weapons, the U.S. government also delivered a RQ-11B Raven unmanned aerial vehicle system. The Raven, which consists of three drones, will “increase the AFP’s capabilities to conduct intelligence collection, mission planning, and reconnaissance operations.” The Philippine service members also received training on its operations and maintenance. “The equipment transfer and continued bilateral training efforts demonstrate the commitment between the Philippines and U.S. to work towards safer communities and the eradication of global terror networks,” the U.S. Embassy in Manila said on its official website. Earlier this week, President Rodrigo Duterte warned the United States to stop building ‘permanent’ arms depot in the Philippines, threatening that he would respond by repealing the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA). The VFA, a treaty ratified by both countries in 1999, states that U.S. forces are not allowed to build permanent structures anywhere in the Philippines. “They’re unloading arms in the Philippines now... I’m serving notice to the armed forces of the United States. Do not do it, I will not allow it,” Duterte said. But the U.S., for its part, denied the Philippine president’s accusations. “No such arms depots exist and there are no plans to build any,” U.S. Embassy spokesperson Molly Koscina said in a statement on Tuesday, January 31. Koscina then assured that the U.S. “has no intention to reopen military bases in the Philippines.” “The United States and the Philippines have been allies for many decades, and the United States respects the sovereignty of the Philippines. Our defense cooperation has always been provided at the request of various Philippine administrations,” she said. n

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NO MORE EXTENSIONS. A group of human rights violation victims during the martial law imposed by the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos has demanded that the Human Rights Victims’ Claims Board (HRVCB), created to process reparations for Martial Law victims, keep to President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to start releasing partial compensation by April. Inquirer.net photo by Karen Boncocan

US Filipinos to Duterte: It is your duty to protect Filipinos abroad

AS it continues to organize the Filipino community to combat Trump’s racist and inhumane policies on Muslims, refugees, and immigrants, the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) denounces Duterte’s statement that he would “not lift a finger” to help Filipinos deported from the US by the Trump administration. NAFCON demands that Duterte follow through on the proposal for the Philippines to welcome Muslim refugees, and that the Philippine government justly support its Filipino citizens abroad. “We would like to remind President Duterte that Filipino immigrants abroad, regardless of immigration status, must be served by the Philippine government. He himself has said before that he plans to improve the Philippines so that leaving the country would be a choice, and not a need for survival. He knows full well that Filipinos are forced to leave because of unemployment and poverty,” says AV David, NAFCON Secretary General. Over the past weekend, thousands across the United States took it to dozens of airports across the country to protest Trump’s executive order banning immigration from 7 predominantly Muslim countries and sus-

pending the entry of refugees. Filipinos participated in these actions, standing in solidarity will the Muslim, immigrant, and refugee communities. During his campaign, Trump included the Philippines in his “terrorist” nation list and even called Filipinos “animals”, so it would be no surprise if he also banned immigration from the Philippines. “While we welcome Duterte’s pronouncements that he will consider offering sanctuary to refugees affected by Trump’s Muslim ban, we challenge him to see the same humanity in Filipinos abroad. Many are already sharing heightened experiences of racial discrimination, fear of deportation, and lack of support,” continues David. Out of the over 4 million Filipinos the US, 1 million are undocumented and Philippine officials in Washington DC recently reported that more than 300,000 could be facing deportation due to Trump’s anti-immigrant policies. NAFCON has long called for Consulates in the US to provide free legal services and “Know Your Rights” trainings to the Filipino community as vital resources. The group also scores the Philippine government for failing to stop the execution of Jakatia Pawa, a Filipina domestic helper

in Kuwait, last week. Michael Tayag of Migrante Northern California also draws connection to Duterte’s strong pronouncements criticizing the unequal relations between the Philippines and the United States, as exemplified in his latest tirade stating that the Mamasapano fiasco that killed 67 Filipinos is a CIA operation and sending notice to the US military not to build a permanent weapon depot in the Philippines. “He knows that US big businesses and the US government have exacerbated the conditions that push Filipinos abroad in the first place. Rather than turning away Filipinos who have been victimized by these unequal relations that Duterte himself has called out in the past, he should fulfill his promises to assert Philippine national sovereignty and defend Filipino citizens abroad,” says Tayag. “The Philippine government must provide timely and sufficient services to Filipinos abroad. Ultimately, it must create conditions in the Philippines, such as ending contractualization and creating industries, to ensure that Filipinos can find work domestically and would not need to leave the country to feed their families,” ends David. (NAFCON)

Romualdez declines post as envoy to US by iriS

GonzaleS Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines — For health reasons, The STAR columnist Jose Manuel “Babe” Romualdez had to decline his appointment as ambassador to the United States. “I love my country but I have to take care of my health,” he said. He has cited eye problems. Last December, Romualdez accepted President Duterte’s offer to be the next ambassador to the US. In early January, however, Romualdez had to undergo emergency operation in his left eye due to a detached retina. This condition can be serious if not properly treated and would require special medical attention. Upon the advice of his doctor, Romualdez will have to avoid traveling by air for a minimum of six months as air pressure could permanently damage his eye. Romualdez has already informed the President of the situation through a letter to Presidential Management Staff head Christopher Go on Monday, January 30. He also explained the matter to Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. last Friday. Initially appointed Special Envoy to the US, Romualdez has offered to continue working in that capacity. With the new Trump administration, Duterte would have to name a new ambassador sooner than later.

Jose Manuel “Babe” Romualdez

It has been seven months since the Philippines had an ambassador in Washington. Industry sources said businessman and Special Envoy to the US Jose E.B. Antonio, a business partner of US President Donald Trump, has expressed interest in the position. The STAR tried to get his comment but was unable to reach him as of press time. Foreign affairs insiders said Malacañang is carefully weighing the matter because of potential conflict of interest if Antonio becomes the ambassador. Antonio is the founder, chairman and CEO of Century Properties Group (CPG), which is a business partner of Trump. The company is behind Trump Tower in Manila, which is licensed under the Trump Organization. The US media has put Trump’s businesses in the spotlight for possible conflict of interest. US-based Bloomberg has raised such conflict of interest questions on Trump’s global business interests, including

CPG’s Trump Tower. CPG paid as much as $5 million to use the Trump name, according to Bloomberg, citing the financial disclosure Trump filed with the Federal Election Commission in May. Trump has at least 10 similar deals around the world but the US president maintained there’s nothing wrong with such connections. CPG launched the Trump Tower in 2012. It has over 250 units for residential use and an expected sales value of P6 billion, making it one of the most expensive and luxurious real estate projects in the country. Aside from Antonio, sources said Yasay himself is also interested in the position. Yasay is expected to end his term as foreign affairs chief this year, supposedly to pursue studies in the US. Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, Duterte’s runningmate in last May’s election, is set to take over the foreign affairs top post. n

Fil-Am appointed White House assistant… PAGE A3 t

Republican Party,” Fetalvo said. He cited his parents’ coming to the U.S. — where they didn’t know anybody — and building a life for themselves as his inspiration for becoming a Republican. “So when I look at the Republican Party, I really look at the party’s values of self-reliance, individual responsibility and [they] really ensure that more people can achieve the American dream,” he said. “So for me, it’s really personal and I think that being Filipino American has everything to do with why I’m Republican.” After high school, he went on to the George Washington University in Washington, DC where he majored in political communication with plans to eventually become an attorney. It wasn’t until his senior year when he got an internship with the RNC that he realized he wanted to pursue a career in politics. After graduating, he landed a

job at the RNC as the APA press secretary, handling media and communications for the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. His job took him all around the country, and in early 2016, he temporarily moved to Cleveland as a part of the media affairs team for the 2016 Republican National Convention. Following the elections, he was also a part of the Presidential Inaugural Committee, handling media operations for the historic inauguration of President Trump. Although most Filipino Americans identify more with the Democratic Party — roughly 54 percent are registered Democrats compared to 16 percent Republican, according to a 2016 study — Fetalvo firmly believes that the values and principles of the Republican Party coincide with the political priorities of Fil-Ams. As a young, bright-eyed Republican, Fetalvo has faith that the Trump administration will

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


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A

Church, Palace try to avoid clash on drug war by Punay and

alexis Philstar.com

RomeRo

MANILA – The Catholic Church and Malacañang are trying to avoid a clash following President Rodrigo Duterte’s tirades against bishops and priests who criticize his bloody war against illegal drugs. “If only for the bickering to stop and not further inflict undue harm on each other which has caused division already, it would be prudent on both sides to really sit together and take a collective action on how to legally, ethically and morally address at least the drug problem in our country,” Fr. Jerome Secillano, executive director of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) public affairs committee, said. Secillano also said the CBCP would unlikely address the recent tirades of Duterte against them in the annual plenary assembly. For its part, Malacañang said Duterte should be given an “allowance for mistakes” because he is only human and gets annoyed when criticized despite his hard work. Secillano said he was sure the bishops would not dwell on the tirades. “The bishops are wise and prudent enough (not) to be engaged into it,” he said in a text message. The priest described the tirades as “personal attack of Duterte against the institution and on some of them” as he reiterated that the issue could best be settled through a dialogue. CBCP secretary general Fr. Marvin Mejia agreed with Secillano’s point, saying the bishops usually do not discuss personalities in their meeting. “What they discuss (are) more of issues, the socio-political situation,” he said. On the CBCP’s agenda for the three-day plenary assembly held at the Pope Pius XII Catholic Center in Paco, Manila are the ethical use of social media and the proposed change to the Constitution to give way to a federal system of government. Last week, Duterte again at-

Pres. Rodrigo Duterte is trying to reach a neutral ground with the Catholic Church. Philstar.com photo

tacked bishops after their criticisms of the killings happening in line with his drug war, accusing retired Novaliches bishop Teodoro Bacani of having two wives. Bacani denied this, including the allegation of presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella that he sired a child. Asked why Duterte is insulting the Catholic clergy, Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary Ana Maria Banaag said the President also gets irritated by criticisms just like other people. “Tao din lang naman ang ating Presidente ‘di ba? (Our President is also human right?) He is a working President. He works hard, he gets tired. Sometimes he gets annoyed,” Banaag told government radio station dzRB. “But at the end of the day, (I hope) we can give our President also allowance for mistakes. Kung may pagkukulang man siya sa pananalita at least nagta-trabaho naman siya (If he has inadequacies in terms of his language, at least he works),” she added. Banaag is hopeful that the President would be able to compensate for the criticisms thrown at him. “Because, you know, if they criticize him…like any other person, like anyone else, if they criticize you publicly, sometimes you get irritated also,” she said. “As a person, that happens sometimes.” Banaag said Malacañang is

leaving it to Congress to decide whether to enact bills on federalism and death penalty, two of its priority measures. She reiterated that the Duterte administration does not endorse extrajudicial killings (EJKs) that some bishops and priests were criticizing. “EJKs are not state-sponsored…. Perhaps they (CBCP) might suggest solutions on how to go about the problem and help the government before they make judgments about all these EJKs and attribute it to the President or the administration,” Banaag said. “Perhaps it would be better if we help each other or perhaps give suggestion on what to do with the problem then maybe it’s best to talk… rather than (to argue on) who’s right or who’s wrong,” she said. The President claimed the Catholic clergy has no moral ascendancy to criticize him because some of them are involved in corruption, sexual misdemeanor and homosexual acts. He also described the Catholic Church as “full of s*** and even accused priests of not washing their hands when giving communion and having bad breath. Duterte challenged bishops to resign if his allegations against the Church are proven right. Later on, however, he told the bishops to ignore his foul mouth because that is just part of his personality.

AFTER THE STORM. Residents of the village of Sagunto in La Paz town, Agusan del Sur, clean up after flooding swept homes and structures after unrelenting rains. Inquirer.net photo by Jeffrey Salinas

34.6-M tweets during Miss U pageant by nathalie

tomada Philstar.com

MANILA - Over 34.6 million Miss Universe-related tweets were exchanged during the coronation, marking the highest volume of tweets for a live entertainment event, according to social networking service Twitter. Filipinos also tweeted their support for Maxine Medina (@ maxinemedina) even after her bid came to a close in the Top 6. These included former Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach’s tweet, which garnered nearly 30,000 likes: “So proud of Maxine. She represented the Philippines so well. And guys, she wanted it just as much as you did. Let’s not bash our kababayan.” Meanwhile, most of the 86 candidates started to fly back to their countries on Tuesday, Jan. 31. They said they will be bringing home with them a lot of memories even if they didn’t win the title. Miss Sierra Leone, a sentimental favorite of pageant fans being her country’s first-ever bet, said, “I’m so thankful to Filipinos, I appreciate them from the bottom of my heart. The Filipino designers did a lot of things for me, not just providing me with my gowns. I was surprised by the extent of the things that they did for me. It makes me feel that I’ve really done something to be appreciated this

Filipinos also tweeted their support for Maxine Medina (@maxinemedina) even after her bid came to a close in the Top 6. These included former Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach’s tweet, which garnered nearly 30,000 likes: “So proud of Maxine. She represented the Philippines so well. And guys, she wanted it just as much as you did. Let’s not bash our kababayan.”

much. Thank you to all the Filipino people.” Miss Chile won’t forget the island getaways and food trip during their three-week stay. “When I go back to Chile, I would recommend to everyone that they have to come here. They have to see Cebu, Boracay, Palawan… I am in love with the Philippines, I’m in love with the pandesal, the mangoes from Cebu, the ensaymada, oh my god. I was supposed to be on a diet here but I couldn’t stop eating Filipino food.” Miss Cayman Islands now understands why there’s a big Filipino community in her country. “We

have a lot of Filipinos in Cayman Islands, they make up 10 percent of the population. Since you’re from the other side of the world, you always wonder why the people of the Philippines mesh so well with the people from the Cayman Islands, and it’s because they’re a lot like us. Very warm and friendly. I think that’s what I’m going to take back to Cayman Islands.” Miss Georgia, on the other hand, vowed to return to the Philippines. “Actually, I feel that I’m half-Filipino. Because your hospitality, your city, your country make me feel that I’m home, really. I would love to come back.”


A

february 3-9, 2017 • NOrCaL aSIaN JOurNaL

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OpiniOn

The purge

Features

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

tants hurt. “I’m not justifying it. Just maybe he was under stress. They might gang up on him, hurt him. So he acted by instinct, self-preservation,” he said. A total of 50 protesters and 34 police officer were injured during the encounter. In November, Albuera, Leyte Mayor and alleged drug lord Rolando Espinosa Sr. was killed in an alleged “firefight” with the operatives of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Northern Leyte (CIDG8) while being detained at the Baybay, Leyte Sub-Provincial Jail after being charged with possession of illegal drugs and unlicensed firearms. CIDG operatives went to the prison to serve him a search warrant when the encounter occurred but Espinosa allegedly resisted the arrest after which the firefight ensured. Espinosa and Raul Yap, another detainee, were killed during the encounter. The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) inquiry called the incident a police rubout and recommended the filing of murder and perjury charges against the CIDG officers. Duterte vowed to protect the CIDG officers, saying he was more inclined to believe the police than the testimony of criminals. “I will not allow these guys to go to prison, even if the NBI says it was murder. After all, the NBI is under me, the Department of Justice,” he said.

Editorial

ManilaTimes.net photo

On Sunday, Jan. 29, Duterte had a sudden change of heart when he ordered the halt on the Philippine National Police (PNP)’s drug war and demanded a cleansing of the police force instead. “The culture of corruption in the police is deep. Even generals are into it,” he said in a meeting with military generals at Malacañang on Tuesday, Jan. 31. He ordered for some members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to go after police scalawags. The order came in the wake of the kidnapping for ransom and murder of South Korean businessman Jee Ick-joo inside the police headquarters in Campe Crame, Quezon City. PNP Chief Director General Ronald Dela Rosa

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

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

Trump into the plans for America. highest post of the Millions protested The Fil-Am land should be reon the streets across spected as a manthe United States and Perspective date for Trump to around the world on move forward — an the second day of his argument that can presidency, in airports be debunked by the after his “Muslim” G el sanTos-relos fact that Trump did travel ban, and many NOT win the vote more are expected as people exercise their First Amend- of more Americans, having lost the ment right to voice out their opposition popular vote to Democratic candidate of the direction Trump is stirring the nominee Hillary Clinton by nearly three million votes. America into. In the onset of his presidency, GalHis supporters contend that Trump was just fulfilling his campaign prom- lup Poll revealed Trump garnered only ise to the American people and that a dismal 45 percent approval and 45 the rule of the voters who elected percent disapproval. Data show he is

HOW would the world look like after Donald Trump gets done with the things he has set out to do as President of the United States? And what happens to our poor dear Philippines? The basic question is what the American media and political establishment are trying to discern as Trump uses the social media, especially Twitter, to define the policies of his government. “Career government officials and members of Congress alike are left to discern policy from random Twitter posts spurred by whatever happened to be on television when the President grabbed the remote control,” says a recent front-page article in The New York Times. For someone like former Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, however, what could happen is not totally unpredictable. War could be on the horizon. I had Enrile on my weekly TV show on Destiny cable recently, and he showed an undoubtable grip on the global situation. At 93, our longest living Filipino politician remains intellectually functional. Since coming out with his memoirs and leaving the Senate after a second stint in political detention under the second President Aquino—the first one was under Cory Aquino, whom he, as Marcos’s long serving defense secretary, and his comrade generals had installed as revolutionary President after they revolted in

lowing days for his immediate predecessors to reach the below-majority approval rating: Reagan: 727 Bush I: 1336 Clinton: 573 Bush II: 1205 Obama: 936 WHAT should Trump do to win the support of most Americans moving forward? *** Gel Santos Relos is the anchor of TFC’s “Balitang America.” Views and opinions expressed by the author in this column are solely those of the author and not of Asian Journal and ABS-CBN-TFC. For comments, go to www.TheFil-AmPerspective.com, https://www. facebook.com/Gel.Santos.Relos

Is war necessary or unavoidable for Trump?

Commentary

Francisco s. TaTad

the first elected U.S. president to start out with a job approval rating below 50 percent in the history of Gallup surveys, which date back to Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1953. By comparison, Gallup Poll has the following approval ratings for his immediate predecessors: Barack Obama 68% Bill Clinton 58% George W. Bush 57% George H.W. Bush 51% Ronald Reagan 51% And in just eight days into his term, a majority of those surveyed by Gallup Poll said they do not approve of Trump’s performance as president. Polling data showed it took the fol-

February 1986—Enrile has devoted himself to a serious rereading of history. The first bold moves While still struggling with some initial administrative difficulties, including Press Secretary Sean Spicer squabbling with the media on the accuracy of their count of the inaugural crowd, Trump has embarked on a number of audacious moves, which have awed, if not alarmed, the public. He has, for starters, withdrawn the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a 12-nation economic grouping (without China or the Philippines) which the Obama administration had tried to put together as a trading club, under US leadership, and is now proposing bilateral trade agreements with various individual nations instead. This seems to create a wider window for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, which the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) proposed in 2012 and which China has since championed. It will hold its 17th round of negotiations in Kobe, Japan by the end of February, and take firm decisions on how to step into the void left by TPP. In keeping with his campaign pledge, Trump has also taken the first steps to replace Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act) with something that is yet to be defined by Congress. He has also reinstated Ronald Reagan’s Mexico City policy of 1984, which bans the use of US funds to support abortion in foreign countries. This policy was suspended by Bill Clinton, who promoted abortion as a way of life

within and outside the US. It was reinstated by George W. Bush, who was a pro-life President, but was suspended again by Obama, who with Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State became known as the most pro-abortion US President. The present ban could become permanent if more conservative and pro-life justices are appointed to the US Supreme Court and the Court reverses the Roe v. Wade ruling, which legalized the murder of the unborn in 1973. But it will be opposed by a large part of American society which has come to believe that the slaughter of the unborn is a fundamental human right of women who want to engage in sex—even married sex—without any biological consequences. The famous wall Also in keeping with a campaign pledge, Trump has started talking about his plan to build his own great wall along the US-Mexican southern border to prevent the illegal entry of people and goods from Mexico into the US. This so horrified Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto that he promptly cancelled his scheduled visit to Washington, D.C. Trump is now talking of increasing taxes on all Mexican imports to finance the building of the wall, estimated at $15 billion to $20 billion. Apparently many thought the wall idea was but a campaign hyperbole—a joke—; they were all shocked to learn it wasn’t. Now Mexico is girding for a “trade war.” Trump has also revived the proposed construction of the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipeline, over the opposition of environ-

mentalists and the native American community. The proposed pipeline will cross Lake Oahe, a water source for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, whose reservation lies less than a mile away. A spillage or rupture could devastate the area and the tribe (Wikipedia). On global security, Trump has called the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) “obsolete” and has provoked speculations that he would move to dismantle the defense alliance, which has been expanding its membership and territorial reach into Eastern Europe, to Russia’s increasing discomfort. For Enrile, this could mean rolling back the vast US naval presence around the world, which until now has provided world security for travel and trade in the high seas. This could prompt the other powers—Russia and the United Kingdom, for example–to try to fill in the resulting void in the Atlantic. It would usher in a period of great uncertainty similar to that which preceded World War II in Europe. With Britain out of the European Union, the other EU members could follow, and previous allies could find themselves in conflict with one another. Keeping NATO? However, in his meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May—Trump’s first meeting in the White House with a foreign head of government—he allowed May to announce that he had, during their talks, expressed 100 percent support of NATO, a statement he did not dispute. Maintaining NATO, while at the same time improving relations with Russia,

to include the lifting of sanctions imposed on Moscow, could be the most important development in the security architecture of Europe and the world. This could help exorcise the demons of inter-state, regional and global conflicts, and allow Europe to work together in fighting various seaborne crimes like piracy, illegal drugs and human trafficking, and international terrorism under the aegis of ISIS. In fact, in a telephone conversation last Saturday, Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin reportedly agreed to pursue a more muscular cooperation between their two governments to destroy the ISIS in Syria, resolve the “Ukraine crisis,” and rebuild US-Russia relations on a “constructive, equitable and mutually beneficial basis.” Banning Islamic refugees As part of his avowed effort to destroy ISIS, Trump, who has criticized German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s refugee policy as a “catastrophic mistake,” issued an executive order banning the entry of refugees from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. This was instantly met with sharp disapproval from human rights groups within the US and abroad. It negates and nullifies America’s long and distinguished tradition of opening its doors to refugees, a tradition enshrined in Emma Lazarus’s 1883 poem “The New Colossus” posted at the Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island, New York, part of which reads: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled mass yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming

shore. Send these, the homeless, the tempest-tossed to me. I light my lamp beside the golden door!” The order also seems to contradict Trump’s effort to bring back God and humanity into America’s conduct of political affairs. After the past administrations banned God and prayer from the public square, and Obama led the last national Thanksgiving without any mention of God in his statement, Trump shocked everyone when he brought in God in three passages in his 16-minute inaugural. This is what he said: “Have no fear. We are protected and will always be protected. We will be protected by the great men and women of our military and law enforcement, and most importantly we will be protected by God.” Later on, he said: “And whether a child is born in the urban sprawl of Detroit or in the wind-swept plain of Nebraska, they look up at the same night sky, they will their heart with the same dreams, and they are infused with the same breath of life by the same almighty creator.” And he ended his speech with “God bless you. And God bless America.” The order against refugees creates a monstrous disconnect with a God-loving America. The Asian challenge The more pressing challenge to Trump’s global security position appears to be in Asia, where the US President had given Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe full assurance of support for the maintenance of a robust US-Japan alliance, and Secretary of State PAGE A7

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NORCAL ASIAN JOURNAL • febRUARy 3-9, 2017

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Ex-PNP chief Purisima posts bail on Mamasapano case by ElizabEth

MarcElo Philstar.com

MANILA - Former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Alan Purisima on Tuesday, Jan. 31, posted P20,000 bail before the Sandiganbayan for violating the anti-graft law and usurping official functions—a new set of charges relating to the 2015 Mamasapano massacre. His co-accused, former PNP Special Action Force (SAF) director Getulio Napeñas, is yet to post bail as of press time. Purisima posted bail before the court’s Fourth Division de-

Napeñas’ arrest and hold them on trial. Accompanied by his lawyer, Purisima appeared before the anti-graft court at around 8:30 a.m. to pay and go through court procedure for gaining temporary freedom. The Office of the Ombudsman charged him last week with vioFormer PNP chief Alan Purisima posted lating Republic Act 3019 or the P20,000 bail before the Sandiganbayan for Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices violating the anti-graft law and usurping Act and usurping official funcofficial functions – a new set of charges tions under Article 177 of the relating to the 2015 Mamasapano massacre. Revised Penal Code. Both cases stemmed from his cided on whether there is sufficient ground to order his and alleged involvement in the Jan.

25, 2015 Mamasapano incident that left over 60 people, including 44 SAF troopers, dead. Purisima, who also faces in another Sandiganbayan division a graft case relating to the “anomalous” courier service deal for the delivery of firearms licenses, immediately left court premises after posting bail, refusing to speak to reporters. The ombudsman ordered Purisima’s dismissal from the PNP in June 2015 for grave misconduct, serious dishonesty and grave abuse of authority because of the courier service deal.

PH urges China to help patrol seas by cathErinE

S. ValEntE ManilaTimes.net

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has asked China to help patrol the high seas to combat maritime piracy and kidnapping, especially in the southern Philippines. In his speech during the oathtaking of promoted military officials in Malacañang on Tuesday, Jan. 31, Duterte revealed that a special emissary from Indonesia arrived in the country to discuss the recent kidnapping of three Indonesian fishermen by the Abu Sayyaf Group. “I just reminded him that we have this agreement. We have this understanding. Put it into practice. Allow more ships,” Duterte said, referring to joint pa-

trol agreements between the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia. “And by the way, I also asked China. They can’t patrol international waters without necessarily intruding into the territorial waters of countries. We would be glad if they have their presence there,” he added. Duterte noted that China’s move to expand its role in antipiracy patrols in the seas off Somalia was helpful in preventing maritime crime. On Sunday, Jan. 29, the President sought China’s help to help boost the country’s military weaponry after he ordered “full-press” government offensive against Islamic State-linked groups in Mindanao.

Duterte said he had sent an “urgent message” to China to help his administration by providing “precision-guided arms.” “The situation in Mindanao, as you know the greatest danger now that mankind is facing is really extremism… The [IS] is recruiting everybody. The [IS], come hell or high water, they will establish the caliphate,” he warned. Ranking Chinese officials pledged their full support for speedy implementation of projects presented by a high-level delegation from Manila for Beijing’s possible financing. The Philippine delegation led by Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III recently met

with Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng. Gao said the Chinese government “would like to continue to enhance the mutual trust and the mutual understanding with our Filipino colleagues in order to further expand and deepen our practical cooperation.” He added that China seeks a “healthy and stable development” of the bilateral relations between the two countries. In the meeting, the Filipino and Chinese officials agreed to reconvene the Joint Commission on Economic and Trade Cooperation (JCETC) in February to ensure close coordination and further promote bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

Robredo’s poll lawyer: Marcos’ election protest just a media stunt by roSEttE

adEl

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MANILA — Vice President Leni Robredo’s election lawyer, Romulo Macalintal, on Tuesday, Jan. 31 hit former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s camp anew for skipping the signing of a memorandum of agreement (MOA) to prove the former vice presidential candidate’s claims of fraud through vote counting machines (VCMs). Macalintal said Marcos’ poll protest was just a mere media stunt, saying that if Marcos and his spokesperson Vice Rodriguez are “sure and confident on their accusation, they should be bold enough to sign the MOA, which is self-explanatory.” “The absence today of former Senator Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos and his spokesperson Atty. Vic Rodriguez is a clear

admission and proof that their claimed ‘massive electoral fraud’ on 13 Secure Digital (SD) cards retrieved from unused Vote Counting Machines that allegedly favored Vice-President Leni Robredo and caused the defeat of Marcos was baseless, frivolous, self-serving and were merely intended as media stunt,” Macalintal said in a released statement. Macalintal reiterated that if Marcos’ could prove his claims, he would withdraw as Robredo’s lawyer and even dared to surrender his license as a lawyer to the Supreme Court. However, if proven wrong, Macalintal said Marcos and Rodriguez should withdraw the election protest against Robredo immediately. He also challenged Rodriguez to surrender his license as a lawyer to the high court. “This is the best way to prove

who is telling the truth on these 13 SD cards to prevent the proliferation of false, misleading and self-serving claim which are clearly aimed to condition the minds of the justices of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal and the electorate as to the true merits of said election protest,” Macalintal said. The poll lawyer added that Marcos’ asking of the SC, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), to set his protest for “preliminary conference to start the presentation of witnesses and evidence of the parties,” is another clear admission that the 13 SD cards are not evidence of his claimed electoral fraud. Marcos’ camp filed the motion before the SC on January 26. Macalintal challenged Marcos to first prove the electoral fraud from the 13 SD cards before the

Romeo Macalintal, lawyer of Vice President Leni Robredo tagged the poll protest of former Sen. Ferdinand Macos Jr as a mere media stunt, in speaking with reporters on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017.

PET could set his case for preliminary conference and presentation of witnesses and evidence.

FIERY SHOW. A fire-eater entertains crowds gathered Saturday, Jan. 28 at Binondo’s Chinatown in Manila to celebrate the Chinese new year. ManilaTimes.net photo by Roger Rañada

Is war necessary or unavoidable... PAGE A6 Rex Tillerson had aired his first warning against China. During his confirmation hearing at the Senate foreign relations committee, Tillerson said the US would never allow China to build or use any military structures on any of the maritime features in the Spratlys, a statement which provoked a very strong reaction from the Chinese state media. Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. said the US should be free to do what it wants. This makes the South China/ West Philippine Sea the most obvious potential flashpoint for the US—and for our own government, because of our direct involvement. In 2013, the Philippine government sought a ruling from the Permanent Court of Arbitration at the Hague, after the Chinese barred Filipino fishermen from fishing at Scarborough Shoal, which the Philippines claims as its own and lies within the Philippines’ 300-mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ), but which the Chinese also claim lies within their so-called “nine-dash line.” On July 12, 2016, the Court ruled in favor of the Philippines, saying China’s so-called “nine-dash line” had no legal basis. But China has rejected the ruling, and DU30 has decided not to invoke the ruling in his effort

to pursue a new deal with Beijing. This was at the time DU30 was calling Obama a “son of a whore” and threatening to “separate” economically and militarily from the United States, for expressing an active interest in the extra-judicial killings in his war on drugs. Now, DU30 wants to be on the best terms with Trump, whom he calls “gago (crazy fool) like me”, after he was reportedly assured, through Shinzo Abe, that Washington would not say anything about his extra-judicial killings, if he would stop badmouthing the US and Americans in general. With that reported modus vivendi with Trump, what happens in a clash between China and the US, on this maritime issue involving the Philippines? Enrile believes China is no match to the US in military warfare, and that despite the warm and friendly exchanges between DU30 and President Xi Jinping, China remains, at bottom, a security threat to the Philippines. Clearly, China, the US and the Philippines can do very well without war. But can DU30 persuade Trump to avoid war, if he has come to believe that it has become necessary and unavoidable? Whose side will DU30 then choose if and when that happens? (ManilaTimes.net)

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NORCAL ASIAN JOURNAL • febRUARy 3-9, 2017

CJ

Journal

Your Immigration Solution Eric r. WElsh PRESIDENT Trump began his long-promised attack on immigration this week, signing two aggressive and wide-ranging executive orders. In one, Trump focused on the southern border, ordering the Secretary of Homeland Security to use Federal funds to start construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border while waiting for Congress to allocate taxpayer money to cover the rest of the multi-billion dollar price tag. Trump also ordered the construction of additional detention facilities along the border, and the assignment of asylum officers and judges to those facilities. He ordered the agencies to arrest, detain, and remove anyone entering illegally at the southern border, to the maximum extent permitted by law. In the other order, Trump turned his aim to undocumented aliens in the United States. In a long series of commands, Trump drastically recalibrated the immigration agencies to focus their priorities on deportation and removal. Trump discarded the “priority enforcement” policies that guided the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) during the Obama presidency, vastly expanding the class of noncitizens that will be considered “priorities” for removal or deportation. Before Trump’s executive order, DHS policy instructed the agents enforcing the law to exercise discretion prudently, focusing resources on enforcement priorities. Generally speaking, “priority enforcement” was limited to criminal aliens with felony convictions or convictions for other serious crimes, terrorists, gang members, and very recent entries without inspection. Now, under the new Trump executive order, enforcement

Trump takes aim at borders and undocumented immigrants in two executive orders priorities will include undocumented aliens with virtually any criminal record (including arrests that don’t result in a charge or conviction), any prior removal or deportation order, any prior immigration misrepresentation, and any other person who may have committed acts that constitute a possible crime or “otherwise pose a risk” in the discretion of an immigration officer. These vague, broad standards essentially “prioritize” any alien without status in the U.S. Trump also ordered actions that would significantly increase interactions between the federal immigration agencies and state and local law enforcement, laying the groundwork for a vast deportation task force. He authorized local police to act as immigration agents, with authority to arrest and detain a person for lacking status. He reanimated heavily criticized Bush-era policies for detaining deportable aliens arrested by local law enforcement. Trump then brazenly set out plans to take on so-called “sanctuary cities” that currently refuse to use their resources and personnel to assist in deporting people for minor crimes (or arrests that don’t result in a charge). Trump threatened to withhold unspecified federal funds from sanctuary cities, and gave broad discretion to his agents to decide what constitutes a “sanctuary city.” Other provisions in the orders set forth an unambiguous hardliner policy on deportation and removal. Trump ordered the expansion of the agencies tasked with policing and prosecuting the immigration laws by hiring 10,000 additional Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers and 5,000 additional Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officers. He ordered the expanded use of “expedited re-

moval,” a process whereby DHS agents can order certain aliens to be removed without any hearing. He ordered the agencies, to the maximum extent permitted by law, to apprehend and detain removable aliens. Much of the executive orders still require additional policy guidance from the Secretary of DHS and the Attorney General to implement, and we should expect to see guidance in the form of agency memoranda and proposed regulations in the coming days and weeks. We should also expect to see a number of legal challenges to the constitutionality of these orders and the policies that implement the orders. It remains to be seen how the agents on the ground will respond to the new orders, and how the states and localities will respond to the commandeering of manpower and resources. Many sanctuary cities have already pledged to oppose the new orders, and are ready to forfeit federal funds in the interest of protecting vulnerable populations. The Trump executive orders are harsh and draconian. Still, the orders do not (and cannot) strip protections that exist under federal statutes and the U.S. Constitution. The individual rights enshrined in the Constitution apply to every person in the U.S., regardless of immigration status. Those include the right of due process under the law, to remain silent, to ask for an attorney, and to be free from warrantless searches. Immigrants who are arrested and detained are still able to seek bond if eligible, and to seek relief from removal with representation by an attorney. Immigration practice in the United States is changing rapidly under President Trump. Any person who believes they may

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Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez expects a 6.5 to seven percent growth for the economy this year, banking on the country’s healthy domestic economy, strong banking system and educated work force.

the growth rates that we have set for ourselves, that we will be in pretty good shape,” DominMANILA — Finance Secretary guez said. Carlos Dominguez expects a 6.5 Dominguez said he sees a to seven percent growth for the robust growth for the economy economy this year, banking on despite global financial shocks, the country’s healthy domestic such as the rising US interest economy, strong banking system rates, and the possible surge of and educated work force. protectionist policies of certain “I’m quite confident that this countries, as the country is not coming year, we will achieve very reliant on external trade by Mary

Grace Philstar.com

PaDin

for growth. According to Dominguez, the Philippines’ economic outlook remains “positive” as it continues to have more than enough foreign exchange reserves to service its foreign debt. “We have a very strong banking system. We have a population that is young, educated, healthy and very enthusiastic. So

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PAL launching 7 new routes by LoueLLa

D. DesiDerio Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines — Following the launch of the Clark to Cebu service on Tuesday, January 31, Philippine Airlines (PAL) is set to offer seven new routes outside of Manila within the first quarter, in support of efforts to decongest the country’s main international gateway. “We are introducing new doPhilippine Airlines’ inaugural Cebu-Clark non-stop flight on Tuesday, January 31 gets a mestic routes to allow travelers ceremonial water salute prior to take off at Mactan-Cebu International Airport, marking the to reach their desired destinaopening of new domestic routes out of Cebu and Clark.

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Community Journal

february 3-9, 2017 • NOrCaL aSIaN JOurNaL

Trump’s immigration executive orders

The CTV Files atty. DenniS Chua, eSq. IN the last few days, President Trump has issued a series of Executive Orders on immigration. His latest executive order dealing with ban on entry has caused confusion and anxiety not only among citizens and nationals of the countries affected but also with the entire immigrant community. The ban on entry applies to individuals traveling on passports from Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Libya and Yemen. Legal permanent residents from these countries are also banned from entering the United States if the government has received significant derogatory information about them indicating a serious threat to public safety and welfare. With the issuance of this executive order, the US Department of State has suspended the issuance of the visas to citizens and nationals from these seven countries. Despite limiting the ban on entry to citizens and nationals from these countries, our office has been flooded by que-

ries even from individuals who do not hold passports from these seven countries asking whether it would safe for them to travel outside the United States. Unless the list of countries has been expanded, the current executive order only covers individuals from these seven countries. The other executive orders issued by President Trump should not also be taken for granted. One of the executive orders announced new enforcement priorities that have the effect of making every undocumented immigrant in the United States a priority for removal. The order was written in such a way that it includes only those who merely committed an act that could be charged a crime. Since illegal entry is considered a crime under the statutes, this would make all individuals who entered without inspection as a priority for removal. Moreover, because the order asserts the position that many visa holders who overstay or violate their visas present a threat to national security and public safety, the government

could seek to remove them under the new priority announced in this Order for being a risk to public safety or national security. Other items included in his Executive Orders are as follows: (1) Increasing Immigration and Customs Enforcement Resources; (2) Cutting off federal funds to sanctuary cities; (3) Increasing criminal prosecutions of foreign nationals crossing the border without inspection; (4) Reinstating Secure Communities Program which requires local law enforcement to share with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) information about individuals in its custody; (5) Directing the DHS to take immediate steps to allocate available funds to start constructing a physical wall on the Southern border; (6) Expanding expedited removal. Aside from these executive orders, there are reports indicating that more executive orders affecting immigration are to be issued by the President. One such order is to deny admission to any alien who is likely to become a public

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Laughter and the art of seduction

Immigrant Living: 101 and Beyond Monette aDeva Maglaya DO you remember the last time you laughed uncontrollably, the peals and spasms of your laughter so unrestrained, they led others to raise their brows and wonder if you’ve gone off your rocker or inhaled some laughing gas? Or perhaps, you have laughed uproariously with others. There you are — your shoulders shaking, your eyes in tears, holding your sides, grasping your stomach trying hard not to wet your pants, while you convulse with laughter while others around you are doing likewise, rolling around in fits of laughter over some hilarious situation or a well delivered joke. I’m not talking about the manic laughter of depraved, sick minds. Or laughter and derision that makes fun of others. I’m referring to natural laughter set off by the innate humor in situations and jokes that make light of the human condition without costing anyone else shame and humiliation. Laughter has often been called the best medicine. And for good reason. The scientific explanation is that laughter releases a natural substance called endorphin in the brain that reduces pain and affects emotions positively. The more you laugh, the better you feel. There’s something sexy and seductive about laughter that attracts women to men who can tell a joke with great panache or show a sense of humor. Men don’t know this but women find irresistible the one who can make them laugh so uproariously and so often. Why is it so? My best guess is that women feel connected when they laugh. That feeling of being connected is important to women. Among girlfriends and buddies, shared laughter is the bond that seals friendships and makes them last. If she’s smart, the young, un-

PhiliP S. Chua, MD, FaCS, FPCS

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attached woman of today would do well to choose a mate who has a good sense of humor on top of everything else she thinks makes a good match for her. Life is tough enough. Humor makes it bearable. Humor hints at a man’s intelligence and ability to handle situations. Humor cracks open women’s defense mechanisms. What accounts for the flourishing phenomenon of humorous chick lit and chick flicks, written by women for women? Could it be that women have had it with men’s interpretations of what women really want? Could it be that women want to clear the air about certain matters like humor, sex, talk and the art of seduction? With few exceptions, I skip and ignore the reviews of most male critics of the romantic comedy film genre because these are so far off the mark. In most regular, heterosexual men’s view, sex is the one connection they need with women and naturally, logically, they assume that the same is true for women. Thus, you see too many tawdry and cheap sex scenes depicted from the male point of view in films of the, “…slam, bam, thank you ma’am” variety that leave women in the audience seething and thinking that men, in general, could be insensitive, Neanderthal brutes who still have a long way to go when it comes to sex. Of course, that is not to say that women are not entirely blameless. Desperate, needy women emulate slut behavior in the hope of making a connection with a man they fancy themselves in love with — any man— anyone in fact, with a functioning equipment.

But for discriminating, monogamous women with healthy self-esteem however, sex is merely one of the ways they connect with their mates. Women discover that without making that connection, no matter how tenuous, sex is, sadly, no more than a function of rutting animals. Conversation, no matter how lame or inane is important for women. Shared laughter and fun, with or without the sex, are the means by which true, lasting connection can happen between men and women. Making a connection is many a woman’s reason for being. Without that connection, a woman’s relationship can flatline disastrously and quick, emergency resuscitation is needed for that relationship to survive. When relationships die, both men and women try to seek, re-create and find that connection elsewhere — with someone else — a sticky, sorry state of affairs that could have been prevented if laughter ruled the roost in the first place. In highly evolved stages of man-woman relations that grow over time, words are completely unnecessary. Just a knowing look across a crowded room between two connected individuals is enough to make both smile or burst in shared laughter — the highest rung a man and a woman in love can aspire to. A man, who makes a woman laugh, is one who instinctively knows the first thing about the lifelong art of seduction through the funny bone. *** Nota Bene: Monette Adeva Maglaya is SVP of Asian Journal Publications, Inc. To send comments, e-mail monette.maglaya@ asianjournalinc.com

Tanning and skin cancer

Health@Heart

WE ARE

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

THE USFDA has issued warning on the use of tanning beds at home and at tanning salons: tanning increases the risk for melanoma, a deadly skin cancer, up to 59 percent! More than 2.5 million teens, mostly girls, use tanning booths each year in the United States. Just like with poison, the more exposure, the more sessions, the higher the risk. The data are from the National Health Interview Survey’s Cancer Control Supplement, published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The World Health Organization has also determined that UV rays from tanning beds cause cancer. The second most common cancer, melanoma has the following 5-year survival rates: About 95 percent for Stage IA, when diagnosed early, and between 5 to 20 percent for stage IV, when it has already spread to other organs. Amazingly UV rays emitted from tanning beds are up to 15

times greater (deadlier) than the rays from the sun. Melanoma kills one person every 50 minutes, or about 28 every day. And these are useless and preventable deaths! Let us review some facts about sunlight and its harmful UV rays. What in sunlight is beneficial and harmful to us? The sun and its light are not only beautiful but vital to our life and survival on this planet. Without the sun, we will be frozen to death, and life forms on earth will cease to exist as we know it today. About 75 percent of our body’s supply of Vitamin D is generated by our skin’s exposure to sunlight (UV-B rays in particular). Abnormally low blood levels of Vitamin D increases the risk of colon and breast cancers and may also speed up the growth of an existing or early melanoma. Of course, Vitamin D can be taken by mouth. The harmful effects of sunlight comes from its ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which could be dangerous to our health in more ways than one, depending on the amount of exposure and dose that a person gets. What are the sun-related diseases of the eye?

Cataracts (cloudiness of the lens), which, in severe forms, could cause blindness, especially with exposure to UV-B radiation; macular degeneration, the major cause of impaired vision in the USA for people older than 55; photokeratitis, a reversible sunburn of the cornea, also from excessive exposure to UV-B; pterygium, growth of pinkish tissues on the white of the eye, which may spread on the clear cornea and block vision. This results when one has prolonged sun exposure on the beach or snow without eye protection, and can be very painful for 1-2 days, with temporary blindness. Even with eye cover, the high dose of UV rays from a tanning bed is still most harmful to vision. A nice tan is too high a price to pay for blindness, much less cancer. How about adverse affects on the skin? Excessive exposure to UV rays predisposes to skin cancer, which includes the face and the eyelids, besides skin in other parts of the body. There are three major types of cancers of the skin: Basal Cell Carcinoma, the most common one; Squamous Cell Carcinoma, second

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INVESTORS’ bargain-hunting in emerging markets amid uncertainty in U.S. President Donald J. Trump’s economic policy attracted more “hot money” to the Philippines during the first two weeks of January. The latest Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) data showed that as of Jan. 13, foreign portfolio investment posted a net inflow of $24.15 million as $378.88million hot money exceeded the $354.73-million outflow. The net inflow recorded in the first two weeks of 2017 reversed the $40.92-million net outflow a year ago. On the week of Jan. 9-13 alone, a $83.44-million net inflow was registered as the $277.13-million inflow surpassed the $193.69million outflow. The net inflow of hot money during the second week also reversed and even exceeded the $59.29-million net outflow in the preceding week. “The net inflow in the second week of January was most

President Donald Trump

likely a result of bargain-hunting among foreign investors after local stocks fell drastically in the last quarter of 2016 amid rate hike concerns and political noise in the Philippines and the US. The upbeat prospects of the Philippine economy this year also attracted more investment flows into the country,” Land Bank of the Philippines market economist Guian Angelo S. Dumalagan said. The ascent of billionaire Trump to the world’s most pow-

erful pedestal, after leading a highly divisive elections in the US, did little to ease the uncertainties of an already jittery market, he said. “In some aspects, it even made things more hazy. Until now, the new US administration disclosed few operational details about its plans to reduce taxes and increase infrastructure spending, fueling doubts about the feasibility of these proposals and feeding speculations of a de-

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Community Journal

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

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

er program,” and instead require that “all individuals seeking a nonimmigrant visa undergo an in–person interview, subject to specific statutory exceptions.” In other words, no more drop-box renewal of visas. As you can see, when Trump campaigned, he stated he would get tough on immigration, but many people thought it was only campaign talk, and he would change once elected. But these EO’s demonstrate he means business, and is really cracking down on people who overstay, or committed fraud in obtaining visas or entry to the US. That is why it is important that anyone who has immigration issues or problems, should seek the assistance of an attorney to help or represent them, versus trying to do it on their own. *** Michael J. Gurfinkel is licensed, and an active member of the State Bar of California and New York. All immigration services are provided by, or under the supervision of, an active member of the State Bar of California. Each case is different. The information contained herein including testimonials, “Success Stories,” endorsements and reenactments) is of a general nature, and is not intended to apply to any particular case, and does not constitute a prediction, warranty, guarantee or legal advice regarding the outcome of your legal matter. No attorneyclient relationship is, or shall be, established with any reader. WEBSITE: www.gurfinkel.com Call Toll free to schedule a consultation for anywhere in the US: (866)—GURFINKEL Four offices to serve you: LOS ANGELES · SAN FRANCISCO · NEW YORK · PHILIPPINES (Advertising Supplement)

Business News

SM spending P65-B for 5 new malls by IrIs

Gonzales Philstar.com

MANILA – SM Prime Holdings Inc., the listed property developer of tycoon Henry Sy, is pouring in an estimated P65 billion this year to build at least five new malls in the Philippines, its top official said. “It will be about P60 to P65 billion,” SM Prime president Jeffrey Lim said in an interview. To fund the capital expenditures, SMPH plans to go back to the debt market, possibly in the first quarter of the year to raise P15 to P20 billion in retail treasury bonds (RTBs). “It’s part of our shelf registration of P60 billion,” Lim said, referring to the company’s threeyear debt program registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). In July last year, SMPH company launched a P10 billion retail bond offer, the first tranche of the three-year P60 billion funding program. Lim said despite the increase in interest rates by US Federal

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lay in their implementation,” he said. These plans would, in effect, influence monetary policies around the world, he added. Trump favors protectionism to grow the US’ economy, one that analysts said would completely derail pacts to bring down trade barriers. As such, “foreign players reverted their attention to the emerging markets, with most emerging market stock indices rising mainly on bargain-hunting and renewed risk on sentiment,” an economist at a leading bank added.

Reserve last December, it is still a good time for corporates to borrow. “It depends on the needs but generally, it’s a good time to borrow now,” he said. As the Sy group’s property arm, SMPH is the largest integrated property developer in the Philippines with interests in malls, residences, offices, hotels and convention centers as well as tourism-related property developments.

In the third quarter of 2016, the company posted a 15 percent net income to P4.9 billion from P4.2 billion a year ago. At present, the company has 58 malls in the Philippines and six in China with a gross floor area of 8.5 million sqm. It opened SM East Ortigas last December and SM City Tianjin. By the end of 2016, SMPH has a combined GFA of almost nine million sqm. n

The much-awaited press conference of Trump last Jan. 11 had plenty of fireworks—with the US chief mostly sparring with media over fake news instead of disclosing details of his economic agenda. The market has been waiting for his banner plans on tax cuts and a tougher stance on trade pacts but little was mentioned, disappointing investors, the economist added. With investors doubting his economic agenda and how fast he could implement the spending package he promised before he came onboard, expectations for a rapid rise in US Treasury yields

were scaled back, the economist said. Foreign portfolio investments are in the form of placements in publicly listed shares, government and private sector IOUs, and deposit certificates. Portfolio investments are considered short-term bets— hence called hot money—because these placements may be pulled out quickly. BSP projects portfolio investment to yield a net outflow of $900 million this year, however. Last year ended with a net inflow of hot money worth $353.59 million. n

launch flights from Clark to Puerto Princesa and Coron. All of PAL’s new flights out of Clark will use the 199-seater Airbus A321 jet, while the Clark to Coron service will use the 56seater Q300 airplane. PAL started operating flights from Clark last Dec.16, through the Clark-Caticlan service, in response to the government’s call to airlines to use the Clark International Airport as an alternative to the congested Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Last Jan.1, the flag carrier launched its first international flight from Clark to Incheon in

South Korea. PAL is also set to launch new flights from Cebu to Puerto Princesa, General Santos, Surigao and Coron on March 26. The Cebu-Puerto Princesa service will be available four times a week, while the Cebu-General Santos and Cebu-Surigao flights will be offered three times a week; and the Cebu-Coron service will be made daily. Flights to Puerto Princesa and General Santos will use the 156seater A320 aircraft, while flights to Surigao will use the 76-seater Q400, and those to Coron will use the Q300. n

Trump’s immigration executive…

charge” and develop standards for “determining” whether an immigrant can be deported after five years if that person receives a certain amount of public assistance, including Food Stamps, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Medicaid. President Trump has made good his campaign promise to be tough on illegal immigration.

Calendar of Events across

America

ADVERTISE YOUR EVENTS! PRE-EVENT AND POST-EVENT GO DEEPER. GO WIDER. LET THE WORLD KNOW. CALL ASIAN JOURNAL: (818) 502-0651 DISPLAY AD SIZES AT SPECIAL RATES FOR NON-PROFIT GROUPS TFC presents Fil-Am game changers panel in Long Beach, CA

PAL launching 7 new…

tions without the need to transit in Manila. Passengers get to experience the unique PAL brand of service even on short flights,” PAL president Jaime Bautista said. PAL’s Clark to Cebu service which departed at 7 a.m. Tuesday, will be made available daily starting March 26. On Feb.1, PAL will begin offering the three times weekly Clark to Davao service, with the flight scheduled to depart at 10:50 a.m. The service will be offered four times per week starting March 26. On March 26, PAL will also

CREWMAN WENT HOME TO MANILA ON PROVISIONAL WAIVER AND CAME BACK TO THE US WITH A GREEN CARD – ON A SPECIAL ENCORE EPISODE OF CITIZEN PINOY! Leading US immigration attorney Michael J. Gurfinkel obtained a Provisional Waiver for Jerome, a crewman who jumped ship. Jerome had filed for Adjustment of Status on his own, but it was denied, because he was not eligible. With the approved Provisional Waiver of the 3\10 year bar, Jerome returned to the Philippines for visa processing at the US Embassy in Manila. His wife and children wondered and prayed if Jerome could make it back to the US. Every crewman and their US spouse should watch the outcome of this Provisional Waiver case on an encore episode of ‘Citizen Pinoy ‘– on Sunday, February 5 at 6:15 pm (PST) on TFC.

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PH gets Trump card, pulls in…

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Trumps’ Executive Order (on protecting the US from Foreign terrorists) could also affect Filipinos

Immigration Corner

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NORCAL ASIAN JOURNAL • febRUARy 3-9, 2017

However the executive orders so far issued has not only affected undocumented immigrants but also lawful permanent residents of the United States. Individuals must continue to be vigilant in safeguarding their rights and in resisting the inhumane orders of this new administration. *** Atty. Dennis E. Chua is a partner in The Law Firm of Chua Tinsay and Vega (CTV), a full service law

firm with offices in San Francisco, San Diego and Manila. The information presented in this article is for general information only and is not, nor intended to be, formal legal advice nor the formation of an attorney-client relationship. Call or e-mail CTV for an in-person or phone consultation to discuss your particular situation and/or how their services may be retained at (415) 495-8088; (619) 955-6277; Dchua@ctvattys.com. The CTV Attorneys will be at Max’s Restaurant in Vallejo on October 19, 2009 from 5pm to 7pm to hold a FREE legal clinic. (Advertising Supplement)

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

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

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

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

MARCH 11

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

APRIL 20

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

If you have an upcoming event and would like us to post it, please email us the details at info@asianjournalinc.com or calendar@asianjournalinc.com

Economy to grow 6.5-7% this… PAGE CJ1 t

I think our domestic economy is well positioned to grow between 6.5 percent and seven percent as most institutions have predicted,” he said. He also cited the efforts of President Duterte to carry out “fiscally conservative” policies to drive the economy and keep the budget deficit within manageable levels.

“President Duterte was mayor for 22 years. As mayor, he was very fiscally conservative. Davao City has one of the most robust balance sheets in the country, and that’s because he is very conservative in his spending. He makes sure that the taxes due the local government are collected,” Dominguez said. “And believe me, what he practiced in Davao as mayor, he

will practice as president,” he added. The economy grew 6.8 percent in 2016. Dominguez expressed optimism the Philippines would sustain this growth momentum over the medium term on the back of the Duterte administration’s initiatives to strengthen the economy amid global market volatility. n

Trump takes aim at borders and…

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be affected by these changes or other rumored changes should consult with an experienced immigration attorney to sift through the rumors and find an answer. ***

Reeves Miller Zhang & Diza is one of the oldest, largest and most experienced immigration firms in the United States with offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas and Manila. For more Information please call (800) 7958009 or visit www.rreeves.com. Telephone: (800) 795-8009 E-mail: immigration@rreeves.com

Website: www.rreeves.com. *** The analysis and suggestions offered in this column do not create a lawyer-client relationship and are not a substitute for the personalized representation that is essential to every case. (Advertising Supplement)


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february 3-9, 2017 • NOrCaL aSIaN JOurNaL

Business news

Customs least sincere PH agency in fighting corruption in 2016 MANILA — A review of surveys conducted by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) in 2016 showed that the Bureau of Customs (BoC) was the least sincere government agency in fighting corruption. The data was shown in the 2017 SWS Survey Review, a summary of last year’s social weather based on surveys conducted by the pollster in 2016. The SWS presented the review on Tuesday, January 31 at the Asian Institute of Management in Makati City. Businessmen surveyed by the SWS last year rated the BoC as the least sincere among the different agencies of the government in fighting corruption. The BoC obtained a rating of -68 which was described as “very bad” by the SWS. The Land Transportation Office (LTO) was the second worst in this category. It got a sincerity rating of -47, which was “bad” based on the descriptors of the survey firm. Six government agencies meanwhile got “poor” ratings in the survey review. These were the House of Representatives with -28, Bureau of Internal Revenue with 27, Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) with -25, Department of Public Works and Highways with -22, Philippine National Police with -13 and the Department of Budget and Management with -10. However, the same survey review showed that more agencies and bureaus of the government got neutral to good ratings. Neutral ratings were obtained by eight government agencies. These were the Department of Agriculture with -9, the Department of the Interior and Local Government with -7, Senate and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources with -3, trial courts with 6, Presidential Commission on Good Government with 8 and governmentowned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs) and the Finance department with 9. The nine agencies of the government that got moderate ratings were: the Armed Forces of the Philippines (10), Commission on Elections (12), city/municipal government (14), barangay (18), Justice department (20), Government Service Insurance System (21), Sandiganbayan (21), Department of Social Welfare and

EMPLOYMENT

http://www.asianjournal.com • (650) 689-5160

PH, Russia ready to forge energy links

THE Philippines and Russia are set to expand their cooperation in the field of energy, including through an exchange of information, experts, and technology, the Department of Foreign Affairs announced. This was discussed when Philippine Ambassador to Russia Carlos Sorreta met with Roman Marshavin, director for international cooperation of Russia’s Ministry of Energy (Minenergo) on January 24. “Russia is a global leader when it comes to energy and has recently invested more time and focus in developing its technological edge in the area of alternative and sustainable sources of

energy,” said Sorreta. The envoy suggested developing B2B linkages between Russian energy companies and their Philippine counterparts so the Philippines could learn more about Russia’s energy production capabilities. Marshavin meanwhile agreed to communicate with Russian companies on this matter. The Russian official also expressed interest in increasing current oil sales to the Philippines, given the country’s increasing energy needs. Both sides agreed that increasing energy cooperation between the Philippines and Russia is timely since the Philippines is

exploring renewable and alternative sources of energy to fuel its growing economy. Both officials agreed that cooperation in the area of energy will be greatly enhanced through an agreed framework. They expressed hope that such framework could be finalized in time for President Rodrigo Duterte’s visit to Russia, which is slated on the first half of 2017. Anna Smurigina, lead counsel of the Department of International Cooperation joined Marshavin during the meeting. Officers of the Philippine Embassy in Moscow, Jeffrey Valdez and Catherine Alpay, and interpreter Dmitry Khodzko accompanied Sorreta. (PNA)

Tanning and skin… PAGE CJ2 t

Development (26) and the Commission on Audit (29). Nine agencies also got good sincerity ratings. These were the Ombudsman (30), Supreme Court (30), Social Security System (30), Department of Education (32), Civil Service Commission (32), Department of Health (37), Office of the President (37), Department of Labor and Employment (38) and the Department of Trade and Industry (43). Businessmen gave a “very good” rating to the Securities and Exchange Commission which got 55. SWS uses the following descriptors for its ratings: +70 or above “excellent;” +50 to +69 “very good;” +30 to +49 “good;” +10 to +29 “moderate;” +9 to -9 “neutral;” -10 to -29 “poor;” -30 to -49 “bad;” -50 to -69 “very bad;” -70 or below “execrable.” Less corruption under Aquino than Arroyo The same review also found that there was less corruption during the time of President Benigno Aquino III than his predecessor Gloria Arroyo, based on three surveys of businessmen about corruption. The SWS showed data on surveys on the extent of corruption in the public sector (2000-2016), the last time there was personal knowledge of public sector corruption in own sector of business (2005-2016) and the number of companies in own line of business that give bribes to win public sector contracts (2000-2016).

In terms of the extent of corruption in the public sector in 2016, 63 percent of the respondents said that there was “a lot” of it while 32 percent said there was “some” corruption in the public sector. This rating was worse than what the Aquino government got in 2013. That time, 56 percent of the respondents said there was “a lot” while 38 said there was “some” corruption in the public sector. The 2016 numbers were also higher than in 2012. Then, 43 percent of the respondents answered that there was “a lot” while 44 percent said that there was “some” corruption in the public sector. Meanwhile, SWS survey showed a higher number of businessmen reporting perceived corruption in government during the Arroyo administration. In 2009, 64 percent reported that they think there was a lot of corruption while 32 answered that there was some. The same percentage (64) reported that they think there was a lot of corruption in 2008 while 31 said there was some. During the Arroyo administration, the highest percentage of respondents who think there was a lot of corruption in government was in 2001, the start of her term, with 77 percent while 19 percent said there was some. Arroyo served as president from 2001 to 2010 while Aquino’s term was from 2010 to 2016. (Audrey Morallo/Philstar.com)

EMPLOYMENT

most common; and Malignant Melanoma, the most deadly, but fortunately, the rarest. Malignant Melanoma spreads easily and often deadly if not caught early. How prevalent are skin cancers? This is an epidemic and is a global phenomenon. In 1978, in the United States alone, there were 480,000 cases of non-melanoma skin cancers, which rose to over one million in 1994, with a growth rate of 7 percent per year. In Canada, from 1970-1986, melanoma frequency rose 6 percent per year for men and 4.6 percent per year for women. Australia has the highest incidence of melanoma in the world. It is said that by age 75, two out of three Australians will have been treated for some type of skin cancer. In the United States, the estimated 30,000 cancer deaths each year could be prevented if Americans, who love sunbathing, do not over-expose themselves to the sun. How do we protect ourselves from UV radiation? First and foremost, let us not intentionally expose ourselves to UV rays, thru tanning salons (a costly way) or via the sun (for free). Just like anything in life, moderation is the key when it comes to the sun. Tanning beds must be avoided at all cost. While Americans laugh at Asian women when the latter stay under the shade or umbrella on the beach, they also recognize that Asian women’s complexions look more youthful, with less wrinkles, and that Asian women look younger in general, compared to Cauca-

sian females. Asian women also have lower incidence of sun-related diseases. Since UV radiation comes not only from the sun but is reflected from the ground, snow, sand, water, and other reflective surfaces, the use of a wide-brimmed hat or cap will reduce the UV radiation to the eyes by 50 percent. Wraparound UV absorbing eyewear provides the greatest protection because it also limits radiation from the peripheral rays. Polarized sunglasses or transition lenses reduce glare but do not, by themselves, provide protection from UV radiation. Sunglasses, and or prescription lenses, that absorb 99-100 percent of the full UV spectrum to 400 nm are the best for babies, children and adults. Labels on sunglasses should be closely scrutinized to make sure that they say the lenses absorb 99100 percent of both the UV-B and UV-A. If they do not have labels, do not buy them. Consumers must be cautious when the label claims the lenses “block harmful UV” but does not specify how much. For skin cancer protection, do not rely on sunscreen skin lotion. The best is not to sunbathe for more than 15 to 20 minutes, and apply “physical” sunscreen lotion. Wear protective clothing and wide-brimmed hat when you go outside during sunny days. Avoid sun exposure between 10 AM and 3 PM if possible. Also, it has been shown that taking vitamin C, D, and E and selenium protects against the damages of UV rays by lessening the adverse effects of the UV rays on the im-

EMPLOYMENT

SERVICES

mune system. If one must absolutely be out in the sun, he/she must wear a “physical” sunscreen with a SPF of 15, which contains titanium dioxide, zinc oxide or talc. “Physical” sunscreen works by reflecting the UV radiation rather than absorbing the sunscreen into the skin. Doubling the amount of the lotion, or re-applying it later in the day, does not confer added protection. The best is to minimize sun exposure to a safe degree. Tanning beds are dangerous and must be avoided. Lastly, if you develop any skin spots or notice any mole in your body to be growing larger or darker, or feel any lumps in your body, consult your physician without delay. If treated early and caught in time, most skin cancers are curable. To our legislators and civic leaders: Tanning beds and tanning salons must be banned to protect the public from the unconscionable, greedy, and reckless entrepreneurs out to rob the ignorant people of their hardearned money while exposing them to cancer and death. *** Philip S. Chua, MD, FACS, FPCS, Cardiac Surgeon Emeritus in Northwest Indiana and chairman of cardiac surgery from 1997 to 2010 at Cebu Doctors University Hospital, where he holds the title of Physician Emeritus in Surgery, is based in Las Vegas, Nevada. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, the Philippine College of Surgeons, and the Denton A. Cooley Cardiovascular Surgical Society. He is the chairman of the Filipino United Network – USA, a 501(c)(3) humanitarian foundation in the United States. For more data, visit philipSchua.com; Email: scalpelpen@gmail.com


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NORCAL ASIAN JOURNAL • febRUARy 3-9, 2017

CJ

Influenza activity is widespread in the Bay Area SAN MATEO, Calif. – Public Health Departments around the Bay Area are announcing that influenza activity is increasing and has reached “widespread” levels. Areas with the most influenza activity in the State include the Bay Area. In the United States, influenza activity reaches its highest levels between December and February – and may continue through May, so it is not too late to get vaccinated against influenza. Public health officials recommend the annual flu vaccine for everyone six months of age and older, including pregnant women. Flu specimens that have been tested match very closely to the current vaccine strains, so the vaccine provides good protection against the flu. People at highest risk for severe complications from influenza include adults 65 years of age and older, children less than 5 years old, pregnant women, and those with certain medical conditions like asthma, heart disease, and weakened immune systems. San Mateo County Health Officer Dr. Scott Morrow recommends that all individuals six months of age and older be vaccinated against influenza. “Influenza vaccination is a safe and effective way to protect you and your family from the flu,” commented Dr. Scott Morrow, San Mateo County Health Officer. “It’s not too late to get vaccinated.” San Mateo County residents

are encouraged to contact their health care provider to get their flu shot. The vaccine is also available at pharmacies, retail stores, and is offered by some employers. In addition to getting the vaccine, health officials advise people to take the following steps to protect themselves and loved ones from influenza: • Cover your cough and sneezes with a tissue. • If you do not have a tissue, cough into your elbow. • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. • Wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and warm water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. • Stay home when you are sick, and stay home until you

have been symptom-free for 24 hours. Symptoms of the flu include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue. People at higher risk of severe disease who show flu symptoms should contact their medical provider. Medical providers may prescribe antiviral medications that reduce the severity and duration of illness. Antibiotics are not effective against the flu. Find more information on preventing the flu in San Mateo County at www.smchealth.org/ flu. For more information about influenza visit the CDPH influenza web page. To find a flu vaccine at a location near you, visit the Vaccine Finder. n

Okada Manila seen as game changer gaming industry. It is Okada’s most expensive project to date, offering over MANILA — Okada Manila, 500 table games and 3,000 the third integrated resort that electronic gaming machines. It opened in Manila’s version of also features a Y-shaped hotel the Las Vegas gaming strip, is of two wings with a total of 993 setting a new benchmark in rooms, and a dancing fountain hospitality and casino entertain- comparable only to the Dubai ment in the Asian region. Fountain and the Fountains of Steve Wolstenholme, presi- Bellagio. dent of Okada Manila, said the The integrated resort will also $2.4-billion casino of Japanese house Asia’s first nightclub and billionaire Kazuo Okada has the indoor beach club enclosed in a potential to compete with other dome, a high-end retail area, a gaming giants in Asia. world-class 3,000-square meter Okada Manila, which officially spa facility, and several food and opened last Dec. 30, is seen to beverage outlets. help boost demand for leisure in Apart from its unique features, the region as well as transform Okada Manila takes pride of the local entertainment and the effortless integration of the by Zinnia

B. Dela Philstar.com

Peña

Japanese people’s respectful demeanour, passion for creativity and hunger for innovation and hunger for innovation, and the Filipinos’ hard work, hospitality and cheerful spirit, in terms of quality service. “And with these guiding principles and values, Okada Manila expects to bring people around the world together through fun and entertainment by providing unique experiences that no one else can deliver,” Wolstenholme said. Being a massive project, Okada Manila has already contributed to local job generation by employing 22,000 workers to construct and develop the first phase. n

HERCULES CYCLING CLUB. Want to get into cycling or looking to ride with a group? Established in August 2013, The Hercules Cycling Club was organized to promote the enjoyment of cycling in our local community. We are a collection of cyclists from different backgrounds and skill levels that organize fun group rides open to everyone, and support events and activities that encourage cycling. Membership is not limited to Hercules City residents, we have members all over the Bay Area including San Francisco, Fremont in the south and Fairfield up north. Safety comes first on our rides, and no one gets dropped nor left behind! For more information on the club and ride schedules, go to www. herculescyclingclub.net or email herculescyclingclub@gmail.com.

Social Security continues to innovate with new features

SOCIAL Security is always innovating and improving our technology to better serve you. In an effort to meet our goal to deliver innovative, quality services, we are improving how you can check the status of your Social Security benefit application online. Placing the “Application Status” feature behind our my Social Security portal provides a secure service delivery channel that will allow the Agency to provide detailed status information without requiring a confirmation number. Our first service improvement will include status information for Social Security and SSI benefits initial claims and appeals, but future modifications will allow you to check the status of medical and non-medical redeterminations. With the new Application Sta- tion or appeal; • the location where your tus, you will see: • the Re-entry number for in- claim is being processed; and • scheduled hearing informaprogress online applications; • detailed information about tion for appeals. Log into my Social Security the current status of the applica-

to see what other personalized features are available to you at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount. (Eric Phillips/Social Security Public Affairs Specialist in Sacramento, CA)

Free health services offered by Mabuhay Health Center THE Mabuhay Health Center is offering free health services every 2nd Saturday of the month from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (last patient accepted at 12:30 p.m.) at the Bayanihan Community Center, 1010 Mission Street, San Francisco. They are also working in conjunction with UCSF. Offered health services and clinic dates for

2017: • Health screening - April 8 • Blood pressure check - May 13 • Diabetes monitoring - June 10 • Medication counseling - January 14 / July 8 • Health education - February 11 / August 12 • Care from UCSF providers - March 11 / September 9 n


CJ

february 3-9, 2017 • NOrCaL aSIaN JOurNaL

http://www.asianjournal.com • (650) 689-5160


Friday, February 3, 2017

#ALLUSTOPLANYOURNEXTEVENTANDWORKWITH PROFESSIONALSWHOUNDERSTANDYOURCULTURE

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cover story T he Asian Jo ur na l SF M A G A Z I NE - Februa ry 3 , 2 0 1 7

BROADWAY’S FUNNY MAN

Don Darryl Rivera Soars as Iago in Aladdin by

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

MoMar G. Visaya /AJPress

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

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

have a great life. I can’t thank them enough for providing for the family and giving us the courage to be who we wanted to be,” he said. Don Darryl’s dad was one of the founders of Kultura, a Filipino folk dance group back in Seattle. His parents wanted him to have that exposure on Filipino culture. They would make him learn Tagalog and make him sing Tagalog songs and they would teach him the dances. “We would perform at events and community gatherings. I learned how to do tinikling and itik itik. It was invaluable. I am so proud to be a Filipino-American, I really am,” he shared. “I am the son of immigrant parents and I am not an engineer, a doctor or a nurse. I’m an actor on Broadway. There were times when my mom would go ‘When are you going to get a job?’ and I tell her ‘I’m already working as an actor.’ Now that I’m on Broadway, she never asked that again,” Don Darryl added laughing.

Don Darryl showing the Asian Journal his costume for Aladdin, his big Broadway debut. “I’m so thankful I am living the dream,” he told us.  AJPress photos by Momar G. Visaya

Miss Haiti Raquel Pelissier feels happy to be in PH by Deni

rose M. afiniDaD-BernarDo Philstar.com

MISS Philippines Maxine Medina might have not made it in the top three, but the Philippines has another bet that has made it. The first runner-up, Miss Haiti raquel Pelissier, actually has Filipino blood in her mother’s side. “Before coming here in the Philippines, I was really excited because from my mom’s side, I have Filipino blood, and since I was little, they used to tell me that I never lived with that side of the family, but I’m interested in learning about the culture and that’s why I’m happy to be here,” Pelissier told GMA News Online. In an interview with Philstar. com, Pelissier said she is sad her mom could not make it with her in the pageant. “But I feel the whole stadium is happy for me, so I’m so happy to be here,” she noted. Of the places she visited in the Philippines, she said she enjoyed Cebu and Baguio the most because they have different flavors. “Philippines offers so many beautiful landscapes!” she declared. Seven years ago, raquel and her family survived the seven-magnitude earthquake that killed around 300,000 people and displaced around 900,000 more.

“About seven years ago, I survived the earthquake and feel I was failing myself because I was not living my dream. I was living day by day before that earthquake. It was a very bad event, but I chose to be a strong person. If I’m here today, it’s because I’m living my dream,” she said as answer to the final question: “What’s something over the course of your life that you failed at and tell us what you learned from that experience?” “The greatest lesson I learned from that is that I have to cherish my family because it has put me on a state that I valued the simplest things in life, not the superficial things. I value that I’m alive, I have a family, I have a shelter. I feel protected, I feel loved. So, it made me value the things the eyes can’t see. And it also made me see that life is really fragile. It can end tomorrow. It can end now. So, what matters is you live your life the way you want to live it. If you have something you care about, if there is a cause you want to defend, you have to stand for what you want in life!” she told Philstar.com in an interview for advocacy group Smile Train earlier this month. As first runner-up, raquel could replace Miss Universe

Photos by Deen van Meer

Don Darryl Rivera: IN HIS OWN WORDS HOW is it like being on Broadway? It’s so exciting here, there are so many opportunities. And to somehow represent the Filipino community on Broadway is really cool, too. Was it how you imagined it to be? And more. To make my Broadway debut in a principal role is really awesome. I keep saying it over and over again that I am so lucky to be here. I really am. What is a typical day like for you? My daughter wakes me up at 6:30 in the morning, she’s eight months old. My wife and I get to spend the day together when I have an evening performance. We live in suburbia so we go to the zoo, or the mall or Target. Then I take the train to New York, it takes me about 20 minutes. I get ready in my dressing room, put on my make-up, work with my dresser who puts my costume on and a wig person who puts on my hair. Then we start the show. Eight shows a week. It’s hard. (laughs) But it’s doable. I eat between shows and take naps. I try to stay hydrated and do everything to be healthy. I mean I’m round, I’m healthy. I work out, warm up and make sure that my instrument is finely tuned for Broadway. How is it behind the scenes? To be able to sustain two and a half hours of burst of energy, you have to be kind of athletic so you really have to manage your stamina and work to be healthy so you can do the show eight times a week. In terms of glamor, it is glamorous. I have people who put my clothes on for me. That’s awesome. But the challenge is how to keep it fresh. That is probably the biggest question. We’ve done over a thousand performances here now. I’ve done over 900 performances of the show. How is it working with Adam Jacobs? He’s lovely. He’s so genuine and down to earth. When his sons came to the theater for the first time – we had potluck and I made pancit for the first time, thanks mom, and it turned out well. I just love this cast. We’re known as one of the most loving companies on Broadway. That’s 1,000 shows and counting. I’m pretty confident that I have done around 970 shows. I had laryngitis last month and I missed four shows. I took a couple of vacations as well. I haven’t missed a lot because I was sick. I take care of myself a lot. We heard there’s a ghost named Olive in the theater. Olive is a multo that lives in our theater. I believe in ghosts, and we Filipinos are very superstitious, right. I was onstage with Jonathan Freeman (the actor who plays Jafaar) and it was just the two of us and I thought he put his hand on my shoulder and I looked over at him and realized that no, it’s not him. I felt someone put their arm on my shoulder, and this was in front of 1,700 people, otherwise I would’ve screamed. So how did you learn about Olive and her story?

We had a historian come to the theater and he talked about the theater’s history and Olive. How do you keep healthy? Lots and lots of water. I make sure that when I am outside of the show I am not yelling or screaming, I’m maintaining a healthy vocal technique so I am not whispering too much. I have a steamer that I use when I am really feeling it. I do everything right. I eat pretty healthy, not too much Chickenjoy. But yeah, I try to maintain a healthy lifestyle. What is it like originating a role? Working on a new show, you need to be really flexible because a lot of the material will change. From Seattle to Toronto to Broadway, Aladdin changed vastly. My character changed 180 degrees when we were in Toronto. We were doing previews then and the director and writer came to me and told me they wanted to do something different with Iago and they gave me new material. That night, we tried a new version of my character and right there and then, we knew what worked and where we needed to go. To originate a role is huge. I am a part of Aladdin’s history, I am part of Disney’s history. When I was still a student studying theater, I’d open a textbook and see the picture of the original cast of Cats or Miss Saigon. I’d be in the textbook someday, maybe. That’d be great. How’s Broadway Barkada? I didn’t get to meet a lot of people outside Aladdin initially. Through fellow castmember Joshua dela Cruz, I met Brian Jose of Broadway Barkada. I was so touched and moved by the amount of talent and courage and love of the Filipino community here. I had to step up my game, they’re all so good. How is it like seeing fellow Filipino Americans on Broadway? Lea Salonga has been a major part of Broadway history and it feels like we’re at the beginning of a bridge and Lea is on the other side waving us over and we have the opportunity now to represent our community in mainstream American entertainment.

Miss Haiti Raquel Pelissier

2016 Iris Mittenaere of France if the latter could not fulfill her duties.

Don Darryl with this wife Kate and daughter Eloise.

Photos courtesy of Don Darryl Rivera’s Instagram


Valentine date ideas on a weekday By Monet

Lu

February is approaching once again and you know what they say about it being the love month. I am aware that not everyone is in a relationship – or that they don’t have a date on Valentine’s. So, this piece is not just for the hashtag #alreadyhitched but also for the happily single. and since this Valentine’s Day falls on a weekday, I’ve gathered some date ideas that would suit even the most workaholic couples or for those who simply don’t have the time to set up an elaborate date (i.e. romantic dinner, ‘staycation’ weekend getaway, etc.). read on and you might just find the perfect solution to your weekday-date dilemma. An intimate video game session ‘Love the game, hate the player.” but there’s no hating anyone on this bad boy. you

can both love the game and the player. after a long day, don’t you just love to unwind by sitting on your couch (with or without a date – whatever suits you)? you can up the ante by making this Valentine night your ‘Game Night.’ and by game, I mean pop up those action rPGs, survival horrors, shooter games, fighting or combat games, and get it on! While others would prefer the more laidback movie night (which is also a nice date idea), you can always switch to that once your ‘kill ratio’ is over the roof. A spa day or an after-work de-stressing night after a long day at work, you and your beau need this. Or if you are happily-single-and-extremelystressed out, you might as well spend this night to de-stress. Indulge yourself with a 90-minute Swedish or aromatherapy spa and fall into a deep slumber dreaming of the day you conquered the love month and wake up when February ends. They say you can’t love someone if you don’t start with yourself – baby

steps: start with this and you’ll get the hang of it. A Night Fit for A Queen or King It’s Tuesday. and it is the longest day at work you have ever experienced; the grueling presentation you just want to forget ever happened, the two-hourlong meeting you had to survive, the files piled up in your desk like a stack of stale pancakes waiting to be devoured – or thrown away. It was the worst day of your life and it’s only the second day of the week. Suddenly, you remember, it’s Valentine’s and all you ever wanted is for this day to end. Well, now you can still spend Valentine’s – just not the traditional way. your slaving (at work) days are over. It’s time to be a Queen (or King, if you are a man) for a night. If you are in a relationship, you can offer your significant other your services and vise versa (if you’re both working – she’s had a rough day too you know). Order-out dinner like a boss, give each other massages, a nice long Continued on Page SF4

Rachelle Ann Go is London’s Eliza Hamilton by BaBy

a. gIl

Philstar.com

“GOD humbles my spirit,” was rachelle ann Go’s reaction to all the congratulatory messages she has been getting since it was revealed that she will be playing the female lead in the London production of the musical, hamilton. Written and composed by Lin Manuel Miranda, this is a piece out of american history but done on a very modern slant. Simply put, that means that from the bars of Saigon which she is set to revisit soon, rachelle ann will now be dancing and singing hip-hop in a corset and several petticoats with George Washington, Marquis de Lafayette, Thomas Jefferson, King George and that no-no in hamilton’s life,

aaron burr. and we all thought that playing Fantine in “Les Miserables” was already the pinnacle of her success as a theater actress. We thought that then maybe she can do Gigi in “Miss Saigon” for its broadway run. Then she can come home, revive her career and just do theater when a good offer comes along, once in a while. Why, she might even find a boyfriend, get married and raise a family. but it now turns out that the theater has bigger things in store for rachelle ann. The announcement made last Friday, Jan. 27, was greeted with cheers and congratulatory greetings from Pinoys all over the world who Continued on Page SF4

Rachelle Ann Go with ‘Hamilton’ creator LinManuel Miranda. Rachelle is set to play the role of Eliza Hamilton in the West End production this November.

entertainment SF3 T h e As ian Jou r n al S F MAGAZ IN E – F e bru ary 3 , 2 0 1 7

New film starring Derek ramsay to shed light on enzo Pastor’s tragic death by Iza IglesIas ManilaTimes.net

The tragic life of international car racer enzo Pastor, who was ambushed and killed en route to a race in Pampanga in 2014, is now the subject of a film by award winning director enzo Williams (“bonifacio, ang unang Pangulo” and “The escort”). Chosen to star in the biopic is top dramatic actor Derek ramsay, whose talent and popularity Williams believes will help shed light not necessarily on the case surrounding Pastor’s shocking death, but the admirable life he led. Pastor was regarded a hero in the local racing scene, who, following an impressive debut at the 1999 Toyoto Corolla Cup went on to become a NaSCar hall of Fame awardee. he was the first asian to be given the honor and had a promising future in the international racing circuit until his untimely and unjust demise. Pastor died in June 2014 from gunshot wounds from motorcycle-riding men who ambushed his truck on his way to the final leg of the that year’s asian V8 Championship Series. a teaser of the biopic was shown at an exclusive viewing hosted by Pastor’s family on January 24 at Privé Luxury Club in bGC on the occasion of his birthday. In attendance were members of the local racing community and select members of media. Pastor would have been 35 years old. “Derek has been very supportive of this project from the beginning. Just like us, he believes what our son stood for, not only in the local racing community but also the world stage. We hope the movie will inspire every Filipino to achieve world renown through hard work and passion as our son had been in his chosen field,” Tom Pastor, the racer’s proud father said.

The late Enzo Pastor

Passion Likewise, the subject’s namesake, Director enzo Williams is very passionate in filming enzo: The Life of enzo Pastor, a story which he believes will encourage viewers to believe they can be whoever they want to be. “I was recommended by [actress]Vivian Velez to enzo’s family [to direct the movie], and so when she texted me, I did research on enzo’s life right away. I didn’t know him at the Continued on Page SF4 Derek Ramsay


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celebrityworld T he As ian Jour na l SF M A G A Z I NE - Februa ry 3 , 2 0 1 7

celebrity world By Ferdie Villar

The 65th edition of the Miss Universe Pageant was held at the Mall of Asia Arena in the Philippines last January 30. After all the pomp, splendor, swimsuit/evening gown presentations and nerve-wracking question-and-answer portions, Miss France Iris Mittenaere was named as the winner, succeeding the Philippines’ Pia Wurtzbach. Mittenaere, who wore a gold sequined gown that is said to have taken five months to make, is the second Miss France to win the Miss Universe title, the first one being Christiane Martel in 1953. She beat out 85 other hopefuls to become the first european since 1990 to take home the crown. haiti’s Raquel Pelissier finished as first runner-up, while Colombia’s Andrea Tovar finished as second runner-up. Our very own representative, Binibining PilipinasUniverse Maxine Medina

finished in the top six. She was very well-applauded by her kababayans every time she walked on stage. The reigning Miss Universe has been busy pursuing a Dental Surgery student in the last five years and loves to cook. In the impromptu interview after the first round of eliminations where the top 13 were revealed, Iris told pageant host Steve harvey that her best dish is beef bourguignon. She even invited harvey over to France so that he can taste the best beef bourguignon to which he declined, joking that his wife would not allow that to happen. In her brief bio at the Miss Universe website, Iris describes herself as fresh, funny and caring, and reveals that she is fond of extreme sports, traveling the world and cooking new French dishes. Mittenaere says she will advocate for dental and oral hygiene as Miss Universe. She is also no stranger to volun-

Handsome actor Ian Veneration is now currently showing his acting abilities with beautiful actress Bea Alonzo in the ABS-CBN teleserye “A Love to Last.”

France’s Iris Mittenaere is New Miss Universe

Maja Salvador, one of the most beautiful actresses in the Philippine showbiz, comes back to primetime with the teleserye “Wild Flower,” where she stars with handsome actor Paulo Avelino on ABS-CBN The Filipino Channel.

Is this the end of the Daniel Matsunaga-Erich Gonzales romance? Fans are worried about recent developments for #DanRich, with Erich deleting the couple’s photos in her Instagram account and Daniel pleading with fans for respect, time, love and support as they thresh out some personal things.

Rev. Fr. Piers Lahey, pastor of St. Andrew’s Church in Daly City; Dina Reyes, artistic music director; and Jarvie Rosales, light and sound director are shown in photo above during the Welcome New Year concert held at the parish recently. Others in photo who performed at the event include JJ Pasco, Zenna Ira, Eren Padilla, Noelle Manzano and Juliane Esteron.

teering as she works with charities in France, namely, Bienvenue-Tongasoa and Les Bonnes Feés. The former supports an orphanage in Madagascar providing children with education, healthcare, housing and scholarships, while the latter helps the disadvantaged and ill in France. I observed that Miss France was very well-spoken, sincere and forthcoming when she

Miss Canada and Ashley Graham on body diversity in Miss Universe by Deni

Rose M. AfiniDAD-BeRnARDo Philstar.com

Miss Universe backstage host Ashley Graham and 2016 Miss Canada

BeSIDeS Miss Universe Iris Mittenaere, France is also proud of Miss Canada Siera Bearchell, who landed in the top nine. French is the mother tongue of more than seven million Canadians, so the French media also covered Bearchell just as they did on Mittenaere. Is Miss Universe now more welcoming of body diversity? In separate interviews with Philstar.com during the Miss Universe red carpet last weekend, Bearchell, who received social media bashing for not being as skinny as other contestants, and body activist Ashley Graham, the pageant’s backstage host, talked about how proud they were to represent body diversity in the world’s biggest beauty pageant. According to Bearchell, though she did not get the top spot, she will continue to speak to women through social media about self-confidence and self-worth. She also did not crash diet to get to the “ideal” body the bashers were looking for.

“I was not pressured by bashers; I’ve been myself the whole time,” attested the law student, who is also a runner and an entrepreneur. “Running a marathon takes perseverance, patience, and a lot of stamina, what a Miss Universe should be,” she said in one of the pageant’s videos shown during the coronation night. She lost her family home to a fire in 2009 and since then, has been a volunteer for Red Cross. “Pageants could be a platform to achieve your greatest dreams,” she added in the Miss Universe video presentation. Last year, she won first runner-up at the Miss Supranational pageant in Poland. “I think Miss Canada is doing great. She’s actually a friend of mine. It’s wonderful that she’s speaking an honest truth to be accepting of all sizes, because women of all sizes are beautiful no matter what they look like. They could be thinner, they could be bigger,” enthused Graham, the

first plus-size model to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit. “For me, it doesn’t matter what you look like because every woman is beautiful in her own way and it’s great that she’s really embracing her body and being positive about herself. She loves herself of the way she is made. I’m very happy that the Miss Universe organization is being accepting of that and they’re really promoting her and it’s a great thing that women of our sizes come together for a very positive reason,” explained the American model, who first came into prominence as a lingerie model for plus-size clothing shop, Lane Bryant. Since then, she has appeared in fashion magazines such as the cover of Elle Quebec, as well as in Vogue, Glamour, and Harper’s Bazaar. She has also appeared on Entertainment Tonight, “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” and NPR, where she talked about being a plus-size model. Last year’s Miss Universe judge, Perez hilton, called Graham the “heir apparent” of model and “America’s Next Top Model (ANTM)” creator, supermodel Tyra Banks. Graham posed nude and is currently a judge at “ANTM” together with British pop star Rita Ora. “Modeling, in general, has always been fun for me. It brings a good exposure and is a really good way for me to reach people with my voice,” she said of her experience posing naked with “ANTM” contestants. “I’m so excited to be in the Philipines. I’ve never been here before and I absolutely love it. The people here are so wonderful. They’re so kind. They’re the biggest pageant fans I’ve ever seen, so I’m so excited to be here because it’s the best place to house Miss Universe.”

answered the final question, which went like this: “Name something over the course of your life that you failed at and tell us what you learned from that experience.” Through her interpreter, Iris told the audience that she had failed many times in her life but what is important is “you have be elevated, and you have to try again and keep going.” She went on to say that if she

Miss France Iris Mittenaere is the newly-crowned Miss Universe. She is the first European since 1990 and the second Miss France to ever to win the title.

would not become the winner, she is honored to become one of the top three finalists. Today’s beauty pageant contestants have to be wellversed on issues affecting the world. But one thing that continues to stand the test of time for the Miss Universe Beauty Pageant and other events like it is that contestants have to think fast and answer that final question with no hesitation, which is what Miss France did that night. And with former Miss Universe winners like Dayanara Torres, Leila Lopes and Sushmita Sen, who were among the six judges that night, watching, it was a tall order… but one that Iris Mittenaere passed with flying colors. To Miss France, congratulations on winning the Miss Universe title! *** Fans of Daniel Matsunaga and erich Gonzales, known by the hashtag #DanRich, are be-

side themselves with worry as news about a possible breakup of their favorite couple are circulating around town. According to showbiz insiders, pictures of the couple can no longer be found in erich’s Instagram account. Daniel has issued a statement to his followers in Instagram and to their fans, asking them for respect and time, and for support and love. While not elaborating on the issue, Daniel said that “we are talking and going through some personal things.” he ended his statement with, “God bless you guys.” It was in 2015 that Daniel and erich admitted that they were seeing each other. They were featured in the ABS-CBN teleserye “Two Wives” and most recently starred in “Be My Lady” for the same network. The couple was also a guest at the 2016 Pistahan sa Yerba Buena event held in San Francisco, CA.

Valentine date ideas... From Page SF3 bath, rinse and repeat. I bet you, your Tuesday stress would flush down the tube in no time and both of you will live through the weekday-Valentine’s together. Videoke night Now this is exactly the kind of date your Bff needs after being dumped right before (or on…Ouch!) Valentine’s Day. Take her to a Karaoke bar or KTV restaurant. There are promos on weekdays too, so that’s another reason to be happy about going on a Videoke date-night. Who says, heartbroken lovers can’t spend Valentine’s Day? Let her hog the microphone all to herself (at least she has something that’s hers - boom!). After crooning

and belting out those Adelle’s hits, she might forget that she is crying over spilled beer…I mean, milk. ‘Online dating’ Before you ditch the idea thinking that I am talking about your tinder account or some blind date app you’ve just subscribed to (and regret doing so), Let me make myself clear. I am not talking about finding a date online for Valentine’s day. I am saying you can have an ‘online date-night.’ Think: shopping (I’m starting to make sense, am I?) Online retail shopping – ah, the best therapy known to man. Forget everything at work – including that ugly cardigan top your co-worker spilled coffee on.

Take yourself on an ‘online date’ by shopping for a new wardrobe. You can also subscribe to sites that let you rent an entire outfit for less, or lease expensive accessories. With a few clicks, technology might your best date ever. *** Monet Lu is a Marikina-born, award-winning celebrity beauty stylist with his own chain of Monet Salon salons across Southern California and Las Vegas, Nevada. Ultimately, Monet is known as an all-around artiste who produces sold-out fashion and awards shows as well as unforgettable marketing campaigns. Monet is also the founder of the revolutionary all-natural beauty products such as Enlighten, your solution to discoloration . To contact Monet, please visit www.monetsalon.com or email him at monetsalon@aol.com

New film starring Derek Ramsay... From Page SF3 time but I heard about the tragedy,” recalled Williams. “I saw that he reached the top level of racing internationally, and knowing he’s a Filipino really inspired me. So, I know that if his story inspires me, it’s sure to inspire others too,” the US-schooled director told The Manila Times. Williams further related when he met the family, he said he would do the movie not for the purpose of bringing Pastor’s killers to justice, but to show people they should strive to be the best they can like the passionate racer and dedicated family man. “There’s no other purpose but to show his inspiring life. I’m going to finish the film moments before he passes away, and have nothing to do with the tragedy. I’m also not doing this to discredit whoever is involved [in his murder], I am not going to pin down anybody or influence the case,” he clarified. “The automotive community has been very supportive in helping us put the movie together. They’re excited because to show their world will be to the public, because, somehow this is a secret world.

Not a lot of people know racings as a sport since it’s [admittedly]something costly to get into,” Williams continued. “But then again this is not going to impose that this is so different you’re your life—it’s going to be a fun film that even if you’re not a fan of racing, you’re bound to enjoy it.” First of its kind As far as Williams knows, the enzo Pastor movie will be the first movie on car racing in the Philippines. As such, the Pastors, who supported enzo throughout his successful albeit short racing career look forward to share the “struggles, pain and the beauty of what it takes to be a racer.” Moreover, they would like their son remembered through the film as a sportsman who proudly carried the Philippine flag. “When enzo died, it created a lot of confusion who he was, but I think it’s just fair for the Philippines to know how enzo had been racing for the Philippines internationally for some time. We felt the way to tap into the general public is to make an inspirational film about enzo’s life and passion,” younger brother Don Pastor further shared with The

Manila Times. “honestly, it took us about a year to really decide if we wanted to do this because it’s also going to bring us a lot of pain that he’s gone. even just to see the play by play when they start shooting the film, that’s going to be hard. But on the whole it’s going to help the public learn about this small community of Filipino racers and hopefully support it too,” he added. According to Don, the choice of Ramsay to portray his brother is perfect. “We felt very shocked and humbled Derek accepted the role. he kind of looks like enzo before. Derek’s shaved head was just like enzo’s when he started racing in 2002. We’ll just maybe let Derek’s hair grow as the shooting goes on.” Asked who is producing the movie, Don related they have investors already but are still in talks with other interested parties because they are adamant on coming up with a quality film. Their aim, just like their beloved enzo, is to bring the movie to the international level. Shooting is scheduled to go full throttle in March with June 12 as the intended playdate.


entertainment Lea Salonga: Back to concert scene ‘with Songs From The Stage’ by Ricky Lo Philstar.com

HAVING started at a very young age in theater, it’s fitting for Lea Salonga to pay tribute to where she came from in a concert titled “Songs From The Stage” set for Feb. 17 and 18 at the PICC Plenary Hall. Lea was about nine years old when she wowed audiences with her delightful performance as the orphan in “Annie,” topping that barely a decade later with a grand-slam portrayal of Kim in “Miss Saigon.” “This is the first exclusively musical theater concert we’ve done since 2001, which is quite a long time — 15 years!” said Lea of her concert staged four days before her 46th birthday (Feb. 22). “So many new shows have been produced since then and this will definitely be a great opportunity to pay those new musicals a visit. At the same time, we’ll do older shows that we’ve not really visited yet.” Music by Sondheim, LloydWebber, Miranda, Bareilles and King, including songs that the public never thought were in musicals will highlight the concert. “The jukebox medley is one I think we’ll all enjoy,” added Lea. “I’m just excited to be sharing a lot of musical theater with the audience. It’s not always thought of as a hip art form, until a show called ‘Hamilton.’ This unique art form is a great entry into learning one’s history and culture, and to be

a practitioner of it, in whatever way, is always enjoyable and exciting!” Directed by Bobby Garcia with Gerard Salonga as musical director, “Songs From The Stage” features the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra. How do you keep up with your busy schedule (does anybody arrange your calendar of activities or do you do it yourself)? “I have an assistant that makes sure all activities and commitments are in my calendar (I can be forgetful), and my mother has a master calendar, too. However, stuff that has to do with my daughter’s school or our home is taken care of by both Rob and me.” How much time do you devote to your family and how do you spend it? “As much as I can, given my busy schedule. I try to stay at home when I am able. As I get older, I’m less inclined to going out late at night. That is most definitely for younger constitutions. I’d rather be home with a good book or a crochet project, listening to music, or playing video games. I’m still up late, just not out late.” Your daughter Nicole is growing up fast. Is she inclined towards the performing arts? “She does love to sing. She loves musical theater (she’s currently obsessed with “Phantom of the Opera” and its sequel

“Love Never Dies”) which means it’s fun to watch shows with her. Perhaps early indoctrination was helpful!” Do you encourage her and train her? “Not sure yet if that’s what she wants to do. I’m not actively training her. Right now, I want her to try different things and see what really captures her passion.” Are you raising Nicole the same way you were raised by your Mom Ligaya? “Nope! Nicole is a different kid from when I was her age, so how my mom raised me will be different from how I’m raising Nic. She’s far more mature than I was at her age.” Who is the disciplinarian between you and Rob? “Rob, for sure!” What kind of diet do you follow and what’s usually for breakfast, lunch and dinner, any snacks between meals? “I tend to stick to high protein. Eggs in the morning with a breakfast meat like uncured bacon or sausage. For lunch and dinner, that’s when we eat meats and vegetables. Fish and chicken are included in the meats department. We also love our rice and pasta.” How much water do you take per day and what vitamins (or medications) do you take? “I try to take six to eight glasses of water a day (more if I’m not feeling well). I take a

Rachelle Ann Go is London’s... From Page SF3 were so happy, I must say, even ecstatic about the news. Our very own Rachelle Ann has been tapped to play the role of Eliza Hamilton in “Hamilton.” She bagged one of the most coveted roles ever all by sheer tallent and hard work, and this is for the original West End production of a phenom-

enal Broadway musical. “Hamilton” is a hip-hop take on the life of the American Founding Father who was George Washington’s chief of staff. Though only a few years old, the musical is already legend. It is a rare instance wherein massive critical approval, the show has already won a Pulitzer and a Tony, and

phenomenal ticket sales, the biggest in Broadway history, perfectly, came together for a show also strewn with astute social commentary. News have it that tickets to the London show are already selling like mad up to 2018. Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton was the daughter of a rich, influential Dutch family who

SF5

T h e As ian Jou r n al S F MAGAZ IN E - F e bru ary 3 , 2 0 1 7

pre-workout supplement before heading to the gym. That’s about it.” How much sleep do you get per night, how many pillows do you sleep with? “I get a full night seven to eight hours. I sleep with a pillow or two under my head and one to hug.” Last thing that you do before you go you to sleep and the first thing that you do as soon as you wake up? “It depends. If I’m working, then the last thing (besides saying good night to my husband and daughter) I do is study music. First thing I do, once I’m up, is having something to eat.” How often do you consult your doctor, dentist and dermatologist? “Dentist, once or twice a year; doctor, as needed; dermatologist, whenever I’m free.” With your tight sked, do you have time to work out or unwind? “Thankfully, yes. I go to the gym two to three times a week. As for unwinding, as long as I’m home, that’s enough for me.” Favorite city or hideaway? “New York! Does that count as a hideaway?” What is your all-time favorite song and why? “I don’t have one. I guess whatever I happen to be working on becomes my favorite.” You are a post-Valentine baby. How do you and Rob spend Valentine’s? proved to be a fitting partner for her politically ascendant husband, Alexander Hamilton. She was a popular hostess in New York and Washington D.C. society and was also very active in charity work. She co-founded New York’s very first orphanage. After Hamilton was killed in a duel with Aaron, Eliza worked to preserve his legacy, organizing his papers and getting his

With her tight sked, does she have time to unwind? ‘Thankfully, yes. I go to the gym two to three times a week. As for unwinding, as long as I’m home, that’s enough for me.’

“We’ll probably have dinner, or opt to stay in. Because I’ll be busy prepping for my concert, I really don’t know what we’ll end up doing.” What are your projects

lined up this year? “Besides the Australia concerts and the concert in Manila, plus The Voice Teens which starts airing this summer, that’s about it!”

biography written. Theater grapevine says that although he is busy shooting “Mary Poppins” with Emily Blunt and might not be available to open in London, Hamilton creator and star Lin Manuel Miranda will surely do some performances. That means Rachelle Ann will get the chance to act with this contemporary genius.

Rachelle Ann is at present in New York for rehearsals in “Miss Saigon” where she will reprise her role of the bar girl Gigi. “Miss Saigon” opens on March 1 at the Broadway Theater. Rachelle Ann will probably leave New York to return to London for the Hamilton rehearsals a few months before the musical’s November 21 opening at the Victoria Palace Theater.

San francisco edition february 3 9, 2017  
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