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WASHINGTON, D.C.– More than 10,000 Washingtonians and visitors to the US capital had the chance to experience the Philippines during Passport DC’s Around the World Embassy Tour - Philippine Embassy Open House held in both the Chancery and Chancery Annex buildings of the Philippine Embassy on 04 May 2019 from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. The Philippine Embassy Open House is one of the biggest cultural projects of the Philippine Embassy every year. For this year’s participation, the Embassy adopted the theme “Showcasing Filipino Brands with Global Appeal” to highlight the Philippines’ unique products and brands that are making their way into the global market and the US mainstream. These include Philippine Airlines (PAL), Mama Sita’s, GMA Pinoy TV and PLDT US, who generously supported the Embassy’s participation in the annual event. Mama Sita’s prepared free servings of caldereta, pancit palabok, and champorado at the Chancery Annex building while authentic Filipino food, food products, and businesses also set up booths at the Chancery grounds during the event. Mostra Coffee, an artisan microroasting company, served “Ghost Bear” Espresso Blend, a blend featuring a Direct Trade Philippine Coffee and free samples of their cold brews; Gwenie’s Pastries, a Filipino pastry distributor in the DMV area served their delicious Ube

George Mason University students’ perform Tinikling a traditional Philippine folk dance in front of a full house crowd at the Philippine Embassy Open House.

Cheesecakes, Ube Custard cakes, Ube Pies, Ube and Pandan cakes; Taste of the Pacific food truck served chicken and pork barbecue, spring rolls, and pancit that definitely catered to

visitors’ Filipino food craving; and Marquina Shoemaker, a shoe-making business promoted the rich shoemaking culture of Marikina City, the Shoe Capital of the Philippines.

Harley Sobreo: Mesa College Graduate Sees Promising Future Thanks to the San Diego Promise

By Jack Beresford In his two years at San Diego Mesa College, Harley Sobreo has traveled to Madrid and Costa Rica via the Study Abroad program, secured an internship with a local congressman, been an active member of the Mesa College Honors Club, and earned nothing but A’s in all his classes. Graduating with two associate degrees and a certificate of achievement on May 18, Sobreo

has already been accepted to several universities. He is waiting to hear back from UC Berkeley and UC Davis – the former being his first choice to pursue a bachelor’s degree in international relations and French. Perhaps none of it may have happened had it not been for the tuition-free San Diego Promise program. “If I didn’t have the Promise, I would have tried to make it work, but

the Promise definitely ameliorated my college experience,” Sobreo said. “It not only covered my tuition and paid for books, it also opened up a lot of opportunities.” Sobreo is among the more than 50 San Diego Promise students in the program’s second cohort who are graduating this spring and whose futures are being transformed. A native of the Philippines who moved to San Diego when he was 5, Sobreo grew up in Lincoln Park and graduated from Serra High School in Tierrasanta. It was at Serra that Sobreo heard about the San Diego Promise. “It was too expensive to go to SDSU, it was pretty much impossible,” he said. “The Promise program provided me with an exceptional alternative.” Once in the San Diego Promise, Sobreo signed up for the Mesa College Summer CRUISE (Creating Rich Unique Intellectual Student Experiences), a program which engages new students with three days of connecting with counselors, campus services, and other students. “I felt a connection with Mesa, and I thought the campus was beautiful,” Sobreo said. “I just felt I belonged here.” He also resolved to challenge himself through the Honors Program at Mesa College. “The Honors Program helped connect me with like-minded students who are pretty serious about their education, and the rigor of the courses has allowed me to dig a little deeper into my more creative side,” Sobreo said.

In addition to these products, kids and adults likewise had the opportunity to immerse themselves into traditional Filipino games such as sungka, sipa, jackstones, and

turning top, among others, at the Kiddie corner, while the Crafts corner prepared coloring books featuring Jollibee – the mascot of a Filipino fast food restaurant of the same name.

The Tourism booth set up an interactive display of the rich island destinations of the Philippines, complemented with a set of tourism brochures that visitors could take home with them.The Philippines’ most popular mode of transportation and icon, the Jeepney, was also displayed as a 3D photo booth where visitors could snap their photos and use it as an entry to the Philippine Embassy Open House social media raffle promo with a grand prize of a round-trip ticket to the Philippines courtesy of Philippine Airlines. Various Metro DC Performing Arts Groups, bands, and solo performers showcased worldclass Pinoy entertainment through traditional dances and songs that highlighted the cultural diversity and talent of the Philippines and the Filipino people. They are the George Washington Filipino Cultural Association; Tanghalang Pilipino ng Washington DC; Mabuhay Inc.; The Migrant Heritage Commission (MHC); Ilocano Society of America (ISA); Miss Teen PhilippinesAmerica; Pinakatay Ultimate Eskrima; The Group International Foundation (TGIF); George Mason University students; Bayanihan Cultural Group; the Undecided Band; Desmond Vicera and Liza Ocampo of The Desmond Vicera Band; Jay Arellano; and Embassy Finance Officer Lourdes Morallos. “Once again, the Philippine Embassy was able to show the See PH BRANDS on


Metro Atlanta’s Diversity Complicates Census Count By Khalil Abdullah/EMS

CLARKSTON, GA – Inside the Clarkston Community Center, a 20-minute drive from downtown Atlanta, Mayor Ted Terry talked about canvassing for votes in that neighborhood five years ago. A woman from Bhutan, South Asia, he told his audience, had invited him into her apartment for a cup of sweet tea and cookies, apparently to practice the little English she knew. It was small talk. Her mother, draped in a sari, joined them. She spoke no English, but nodded politely. Some pundits deemed Terry’s European ancestry a handicap in his eventual mayoral victory. His claim that Clarkston, a small city of about 13,000, is “the most ethnically diverse square mile in America,” is no idle boast. According to census data, more than 50 languages are spoken there, likely because of the city’s willingness to serve as a refugee resettlement community since the 1990s. Terry recalled his good fortune the day he canvassed, not so much for the cookies and tea that sated his sweet tooth, but for his host’s 15-year-old son, who returned during the visit. “He was dressed like Justin Bieber — tight jeans, baseball cap,” Terry said. More important, his English was excellent, he was able to convey the issues at stake to his mother and grandmother — in their language — and he linked his high school friends to Terry’s Facebook page. The import of encountering a multigenerational immigrant or refugee family with a member fluent in English — and at ease with technology — wasn’t lost on Terry’s audience, who had been co-convened by the

Leadership Conference Education Fund and Ethnic Media Services. This meeting’s objective, said EMS Executive Director Sandy Close, was “to forge a sense of excitement and common purpose among the influencers, media, elected officials and, above all, the frontline organizers crucial to getting as complete a count as possible for the 2020 census.” Fair Count, an organization taking dead aim at increasing census participation in Georgia, was recently launched by Stacey Abrams, who narrowly lost her bid in the state’s gubernatorial race. Her sister, Fair Count Program Director Dr. Jeanine Abrams McLean, said that 86 of Georgia’s 159 counties have been designated as hard-to-count census tracts. Also, McLean reported,

roughly 30% of the state’s population didn’t participate in the last census, and in some Georgia areas “20% of the population has no or limited access to the Internet.” The latter is of serious concern: Census 2020 will be the first to introduce Internet response as a critical method of enumeration in a state that has seen a significant population increase. Erik Woodworth, a senior planner with the Atlanta Regional Commission, told attendees that Atlanta, trailing only Dallas, Houston and New York, is fourth among the top 10 U.S. metro areas experiencing the largest population gain since the 2010 census. “We’ve added almost 600,000 See




2 • May 18, 2019 - May 24, 2019

Filipino Press

Engage. Educate. Empower. - Part II My friends, this month (but, really, always) we’re focusing on the importance of being civically engaged. What exactly does that mean? That means not settling for the status quo. Not shying away from difficult conversations. Not accepting a quality of life that doesn’t allow our community to rise up – respected, heard, successful. This is the part where I throw the cliché but important “Be the change” memes and gifs at you. But, truly, all the daily barriers to success we experience and see in our communities near and far (but, especially, near) shouldn’t simply be accepted. If you’ve ever been a witness to someone’s struggle – the heartache of a scholar who can’t afford higher education, the loneliness of a senior dealing with mental health challenges, the inequities that keep a qualified

woman from getting her due in the workplace – you have a responsibility to speak up. Kaya natin ‘to! Last week, I shared ways to discover which districts you live in and ways to find out which elected officials represent you. But putting (or allowing, if you didn’t actually vote *tsk tsk*) people in power is not enough. The beauty of democracy is that you can continue to hold electeds accountable – and you really, really should. This week is all about engaging, literally. Here’s how you can make sure your voice and the voices of those you love are a part of the process that leads to real, necessary, positive change in our community. #realwoke #getready 1. Attend meetings or hearings in person or (at least) watch online or on TV Your government belongs to you. You’re the boss. Meetings are open and available to you. You don’t have to wonder how your taxpayer’s dollars are being spent. You don’t have be surprised by the length of

time it takes to see projects come to fruition. You don’t have to be swayed by tsismis that this official or that official supports our community at events but not on the dais. None of this should be a mystery. See how the sausage is made. Tune into meetings and hearings or, better yet, attend. Schedules and feeds are listed on city, county, state and federal websites. See for yourself how decisions are made, budgets are crafted, and policies are enacted. And when you have something to say, fill out the speaker slip and claim your time behind the mic. 2. Request a meeting Need some time to express community concerns and ask key questions? Request a meeting. Many electeds have meeting request forms on their websites. I encourage you to find out who their respective schedulers are and ask if their offices have specific forms they prefer for you to email. Be willing to take a meeting with the staff member assigned to your geographic and/or issue area. While you may not always be able to have a meeting with the elected, a meeting with their staff can be equally as productive and impactful. Quick intro meetings are great. (This is me/my org. This is our mission. These are our primary programs and main events. I’ll keep you posted.) The meetings that follow can then jump right into (cause you really only have about 15 minutes) main concerns with patterns of injustice, lack of resources, budget asks or questionable legislation. Build those bridges, make those allies, and keep them updated on initiatives that are important to you. Exclusively here in The Filipino Press--Follow Francine Maigue’s adventures as she represents our region with grace and honor as one of the "100 Most Influential Filipinas in the World" and the "Global Face of Pinay Power," as named by the Filipina Women's See FRANCINE MAIGUE on


Jo Awayan performs at Sycuan's Phil. Independence celebration on June 12 to decide to go on her own. She started her regular gig at the Cosmo Bar performing twice a week. From there, her career took off and more blessings came her way when BMG Records signed her up and released the songs “I love To Sing” and “Colors of Love,” which gave her a nomination for “Best Female Artist”

SAN DIEGO, CA -- Jo Awayan, popular comedian and singer will top bill Sycuan's Philippine Independence celebration on June 12, 2019 together with captivating Samahan Philippine Dance Company dancers. Program starts at 4pm at the Sycuan Lobby and the event is free to attend. Who is Jo Awayan? She is best known in the Philippines as the “Queen of Lounge” and the “Livewire” is a funny and talented lady from Cebu City who is now based here in the U.S. and has made a name for herself in the local entertainment industry as a total performer, singer and comedian. Awayan started singing at a tender age of 12 and competed in singing contests. She became a folk singer that gave her the opportunity to sing professionally until she joined local bands in her community to help out her family. her strong determination to pursue her singing career forced her to move to Manila in 1989. There, she started singing back-ups for known artists, including Randy Santiago when the latter was then the “Concert King.” Santiago offered her the opportunity to form the “Big Thing Band.” The group started performing throughout Manila, doing campus tours, TV shows and concerts at the Music Museum. It didn’t take long for Awayan

in Awit Awards. Another door opened up for this Cebuana lass, when she became the initial “Sprite” artist for Coca Cola and later started touring with Ogie Alcasid and Janno Gibbs, then known as the “Small Brothers.” Acting See




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No basis to doubt credibility of 2019 poll results -- Sotto MANILA -- As far as Senate President Vicente Sotto III is concerned, there is no basis to doubt the credibility of the results of the 2019 midterm elections despite the reported glitches that hampered its smooth conduct. At a media forum on Thursday, Sotto said the reported issues during the elections were not voluminous enough to affect the poll results. Real-time reporting on the traditional and social media also helped in making the elections transparent, he added. "Tignan mo yung percentages, medyo tama yung sinasabi ni [Commission on Elections] Commissioner [Rowena] Guanzon and Chairman [Sheriff] Abas, ang liit ng percentage na nagkaproblema," Sotto said. "But then again, in general kung tutuusin, I think the elections were credible," he added. Sotto advised those who doubt the credibility of elections to present evidence that could prove a questionable result of the polls. "Ang pinakamadali diyan, kung merong mga nagdududa, ipresenta nila yung dahilan kung bakit sila nagdududa and present the events," he said. The Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on the Automated Election System (JCOC-AES) is set to conduct a probe on the glitches and other problems encountered during the May 13 polls next week, Senator Aquilino Pimentel III said. But Sotto said the conduct of the investigation does not necessarily mean that the results of the elections indeed are not credible. "It's the chairman of the Committee on Electoral Reforms and the JCOC na nagsabi na magkakaroon ng inquiry si Senator Koko Pimentel. Ako naman I support it because mas maganda na rin yung malinawan lahat yan," he said. "Maganda kung makita natin ano ang mabuti sa dati at mabuti sa ngayon," he added. Sotto reiterated that the government should stop availing the services of Smartmatic, the technology provider in the elections and the supplier of the vote counting machines. Even if he believes that the 2019 elections were credible despite the glitches, Sotto said there is still reason to resort to other technology providers other than Smartmatic. "Hindi sila nakapagdeliver ng credible elections nung 2016 e. Kaso yung 2019, nasubo na ang Comelec," he said. "Kung palagay mo maganda ang performance ng 2019, e paano kung maulit ang 2016, presidential pa. Huwag na, pili tayo ng iba," he added. Comelec commissioner scolds poll lawyer over request for audit logs A lawyer for a party-list group earned the ire of Commission on Elections commissioner Rowena Guanzon on Wednesday when he asked for the audit logs on the glitches the automated election system suffered on Monday night. Partial and unofficial results reflected on the Comelec's transparency server got bogged down for several hours before getting reactivated early Tuesday morning. "This is a canvassing and you should not cite your objection in the stage of canvassing," Guanzon told

Attorney Rommel Bagares, legal counsel for Append party-list. The Comelec official even warned that Bagares would be cited in contempt if he refuses to stop voicing his sentiment. "Chair may I move that this counsel's microphone be turned off and the marshal should require him to sit down... You're wasting our time already," Guanzon said. "You sit down before you get into trouble. You sit down so we can continue the canvass," she added. In an ambush interview, Bagares underscored that if there is really transparency in the recent midterm elections, he should be allowed access to the audit logs. "'Yung logs po kasi ano, sa batas po di po pinagbabawal, wala pong sinasabi 'yung batas na wala kaming karapatan. Sa katunayan, nakatayo nga po ito sa prinsipyo ng transparency sa atin pong eleksyon," Bagares said. "Kung may transparency po sa ating eleksyon, dapat po makita natin paano po binibilang ang ating mga boto. Sinasabi nila na java error lang pero hindi po nila maipaliwanag ng maayos kung papaano sa loob ng pitong oras eh wala po silang sinasabi," he added. Bagares, meanwhile, expressed apology to Guanzon. However, he admitted that he cannot comprehend why Guanzon got mad at him, noting that he did not violate any rule in airing his concern. "Ako po ay nagpapaumanhin kay Commissioner Guanzon kung hindi niya naiintindihan ang aking sinasabi dahil sa mikropono. Pero 'yun pong ibang Commissioner ay narinig po ang sinabi ko at humingi po ako ng permiso at ibinigay po ang permiso sa akin kaya di ko po maintindihan kung bakit bigla siyang nagsusumigaw," Bagares said. "Wala naman pong pinagbabawal sa atin pong rules ng canvassing para po gumawa ng ganoong manifestation and motion," he added. A glitch occurred on Monday evening that Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said may be due to a problem with the application that pushes the data from the transparency server to the different media outlets. The hitch in the system caused a halt to the unofficial count of media organizations and watchdog groups for the 2019 midterm elections. Congressional probe on poll glitches, other woes set on June 4, Pimentel says The Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on the Automated Election System (JCOCAES) will conduct on June 4 a probe on the glitches and other problems encountered during the May 13 polls, Senator Aquilino Pimentel III said Wednesday. Pimentel, who co-chairs the JCOC-AES, said he would have wanted the hearing to be held earlier but his counterparts in the House of Representatives requested for a later date. “JCOC-AES (will conduct the hearing). House ang nag-request na June 4 na lang. I wanted earlier,” he said. Pimentel earlier said the glitches were enough to call for a congressional investigation. “Why are we still having all these glitches? Cannot Comelec (Commission on Elections) anticipate them?” Pimentel said in an earlier

text message to reporters. Senator Panfilo Lacson, for his part, said Wednesday the inquiry should be conducted as soon as Congress resumes session. He said he wanted the Commission on Elections to address such as shift from a simultaneous transmission of data at the precinct level as practiced before to a transparency server which in turn transmits simultaneously to the authorized recipients of and which caused the stoppage of the dissemination of data for some seven hours. Lacson also wanted to know who controls the transparency server; what is the purpose of the transparency server in the first place except to act as a traffic controller; and why did the Comelec procured low quality SD cards. During Election Day, some 1,000 SD cards had issues resulting in the malfunction of vote counting machines. Also, the unofficial count was delayed after the application responsible for pushing out the results from the Comelec transparency server to third-party organizations suffered a glitch on Monday shortly after the polls closed. Another error early Tuesday caused a dip in the transparency survey results. The number of election returns processed was already at 92.89% as of 5:20 a.m. but this went down to 49.76% at 6:21 a.m. Comelec Commissioner Marlon Casquejo said this was merely a “java error,” and that it affected all media networks and organizations sourcing data from the transparency server. DILG urges LGUs to ensure smooth transition of powers after midterm polls The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Thursday called on local government units to ensure a smooth transition of responsibilities to the newly-elected officials following the midterm elections. In a statement, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said winners as well as those who lost in the polls should let go of political grudges for the sake of the citizens. "Now is the time to rise above party politics and interests and prepare for a smooth turnover of powers in LGUs to ensure continuity in local governance,” he said. “The Filipino people have spoken and now is the time to move on. A greater agenda awaits and that is the task of nation-building. Kaya magkaisa na tayong lahat at magtulong-tulong para sa kapakanan ng ating mga lokalidad,” Año added. The DILG chief said the public should unite and support local leaders and share the same vision of peace and progress for localities. Through Memorandum Circular No. 2019-39, the agency ordered the creation of local governance transition teams. DILG spokesman Jonathan Malaya said the team shall be chaired by the local chief executive, while the vice chairman will be elected among members by simple majority vote. The DILG said the team must conduct an inventory of properties such as land, buildings, infrastructure facilities, machinery made immovable as well as movable properties such as vehicles, office equipment, furniture, fixtures and office supply stocks. (MNS)

'OPLAN: HARABAS'. Truck drivers undergo surprise drug test at the Manila International Container Port (MICP) in North Harbor on Thursday (May 16, 2019). Dubbed as 'Oplan: Harabas', the drug test conducted by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency is a holistic approach in reducing the demand for drugs, as well as promoting a drug-free workplace. (MNS photo)

PHL unlikely to sever ties with Canada over trash, says DTI's Lopez MANILA -- Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez on Thursday said the Philippines is unlikely to sever ties with Canada over the tons of household trash it illegally shipped to the Philippines years ago. Speaking to reporters in Malacañang, Lopez said both countries have been working towards a resolution of the garbage issue. "Sa tingin ko hindi naman hahantong dun [sever ties], napakatagal na nung relationship natin para umabot sa ganun or maapektuhan yung long term relationship with Canada," he said when asked to comment on the possible effect on trade should the Philippines end diplomatic relations. "Pero pag if, in the remote possibility, hypothetically mangyari yun, I’m sure magkakaroon na ng impact yun, pagdating sa time na yun. Lalong lalo na kung mawalan din ng confidence yung mga Canadian companies." Lopez said Canada is among the top 20 trading partners of the Philippines, which established ties with Canada in 1949. The Cabinet official added the longsimmering conflict over garbage would not affect the current trade relations between the two countries. "They [Canadian companies] will simply continue, they see the opportunities in the Philippines, so magtutuloy tuloy lang yun. Di po makakaapekto yun dahil hindi naman, hindi naman yung mga kompanya ang kalaban din natin dun. I think that’s a separate issue talaga," he said. The Department of Foreign Affairs said earlier in the day that it recalled the Philippine ambassador and consuls to Canada following Ottawa's failure to meet President Rodrigo Duterte's May 15 deadline to remove the trash. Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the recall was a warning that Manila is ready to cut ties with Ottawa over the issue. Locsin stamps authority on foreign policy matters; Panelo says he doesn’t feel alluded to Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. stamped his authority on foreign policy issues amid the escalating row between the Philippines and Canada over the tons of trash that were illegally shipped to Manila in 2013 and 2014. Locsin said on Twitter on Thursday night that he has the “last and only word” in foreign affairs after President “Mine is the first, last and only word in foreign affairs after the President’s. After the President and then me, no one has the authority to sever anything but his own throat. Certainly not diplomatic relations. Can we all keep

silent?” Locsin said. The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) chief made the comment after presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said on Thursday that the recall of the country’s ambassador and consuls to Canada as announced by Locsin was a warning to Ottawa that the Philippines is ready to sever diplomatic ties over the garbage row. Panelo said he did not feel alluded to by Locsin’s remarks. “Nope, I was following his line. I said whatever he said is the position of the President,” he said in a text message. Filipino envoys assigned in Canada were recalled after Ottawa missed the May 15 deadline set by Duterte to retrieve the 69 container vans of household waste that was wrongly labelled as recyclable. Locsin said the decision came after Canada’s representatives failed to show up at a meeting with Philippine customs officials. Reacting to the development, Canada's foreign ministry said it was "disappointed" by the Philippines' decision to withdraw its top diplomats. Canada also said it remained committed to finalizing the arrangements for the repatriation of the garbage. PHL recalls envoys after Canada misses deadline on trash shipment Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. on Thursday said the diplomatic presence of the Philippines in Canada will be diminished until the tons of garbage it illegally dumped to the Philippines years ago are shipped back. Locsin said this after Canada missed the May 15 deadline for it to return the tons of trash shipped to the Philippines in 2013 and 2014. “Canada missed the May 15 deadline. And we shall maintain a diminished diplomatic presence in Canada until its garbage is ship bound there,” Locsin said on Twitter. Due to the delay, Locsin said, the ambassadors and consuls of the Philippines in Canada are ordered to go back in the Philippines. “They are expected here in a day or so,” he said. The DFA secretary noted that even though Malacañang seems amenable to a delay in the shipment of garbage back to Canada, it does not mean that the deadline has been extended. He said during the Japanese emperor enthronement ceremony, the Department of Finance informed him that Canada did not show up at a meeting set with the Customs “That was the trigger,” Locsin said. President Duterte earlier dissed

Canada over the tons of garbage that were illegally exported to the Philippines in batches in 2013 and 2014. Duterte figuratively expressed his anger over the shipped garbage by threatening to go to war with Canada. Canada said they are already working with the Philippine government for a "timely resolution" to remove the tons of Canadian garbage in the country. (MNS) Palace okay with ‘slight delay’ in shipping out Canadian garbage Due to documentation requirements, Canada will not be able to meet the Wednesday deadline set by President Rodrigo Duterte for it to ship its illegally exported trash out of the Philippines, Malacañang said. Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo told reporters that the Department of Foreign Affairs said there "might be slight delay" in the repatriation of the 69 container vans of garbage. "Kung slight delay lang naman, the President is a very reasonable man. What is important is they will take back their waste," Panelo said, adding they expect Canada to recall the trash in one to three weeks. Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero said last week that the Canadian government had said it might take weeks for them to arrange the necessary documents and that they might not meet the May 15 deadline. According to the Department of Finance (DOF), the Philippine and Canadian governments agreed that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources will shoulder the costs of inspection to determine the seaworthiness of the containers of waste. Canada, meanwhile, will foot the bill for fumigation, as well as the transfer and trucking services. Panelo said Canada should also pay the storage fees. The DOF said that the shipping lines involved in transporting the waste — Zim Line, CMA-CGM, and Maersk — have already inspected the containers, and have considered them seaworthy. Duterte had lashed out at Canada over the the tons of household trash that were illegally exported to the Philippines in batches in 2013 and 2014. He even threatened to go to war over the garbage now rotting in ports and a landfill, but Panelo said the President’s remark was just a figure of speech. Panelo said Duterte ordered that the Philippines will no longer accept any waste from any country. (MNS)

25 out of 36 in Duterte’s narco list won in Eleksyon 2019 MANILA -- More than half of the politicians who ran for office despite their being on President Rodrigo Duterte's narco list won in the recent elections. The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) said that 36 out of the 46 "narco-politicians" in the list bared by the President on March 14, 2019 sought posts in the mid-term polls. The PDEA said 25 of them won. They include 18 candidates for mayor; three for vice mayor; two for congressman; one for vice governor; and one for councilor. Six of the winning candidates who were included in the narco-list were said to be in Calabarzon, while four VOTING PRECINCT. Voters fill up their ballots for the Mid-Term Elections in Precinct No. 109325 at Dela Paz were in ARMM and Central Luzon. Elementary School, Antipolo City, on Monday (May 13, 2019). Some 61 million Filipinos are expected to participate in "Siguro kung hindi naman na-reveal this year's polls. (MNS photo) ito, hindi na reveal ng Presidente, baka

nanalo lahat," PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino said. He said the victory of candidates in the drug list did not come as a surprise, citing a similar incidence in previous barangay elections. "Siguro nakagamit talaga sila ng pera nila during that time kaya sila nanalo. secondly, meron naman sigurong narco-politicians that are doing good," the PDEA chief surmised. "Kunwari ang isang mayor ay Robin Hood," he added. Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo likewise said in a press briefing that voters may have received assistance from the alleged narco-politicians. "Pragmatic 'yung mga botante. Tumutulong sa kanila, pag iyong mga anak daw nila, may sakit, dinadala sa

ospital, medisina, gan'yan, so kahit naman sa drug list, binoboto pa rin nila," Panelo said. "But the President's already warned, kaya sinasabi niya, bahala kayo, ako sinasabi ko na sa inyo," he added. All 46 personalities Duterte named by the President were already facing complaints before the Ombudsman in connection with their alleged drug activities. The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), on the other hand, emphasized that the candidates' victory in the elections did not exempt them from the complaints. "Kahit naman nanalo kayo, kung talagang may kaso kayo, sorry," DILG Undersecretary Rico Judge Echiverri said. (MNS)

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Filipino Press

FINDING HOME THROUGH A FLURRY OF FILIPINO FLING SAN DIEGO, Calif. – So as a lot of people know the Philippines was, after it was colonized by Spain, it was occupied by the United States for another half century, and arguably the Americans have a visible presence there ever since. And with the American colonial period, they brought a massive public education system. They made English the national language of instruction, along with Filipino. And what that means is that Filipinos even before migrating here are socialized to standard American norm…So by the time they get here in the good old U.S. of A., the usual things that push people into ethnic enclaves like not knowing the language, not having the social networks, don’t apply because of that strong American influence. I think Filipinos don’t have a higher profile because when it comes to the way we think about race, Filipinos are really hard to place. We don’t really have a distinct look. We can look Chinese, we can look Mexican. In short, we as a people can assimilate quite easily. I believe that because generally the Filipinos that come to the United States are more of a middle class, highly educated selection, there hasn’t been as much of an urgent need for them to galvanize – build ethnic economies. I think about other Asian Americans for example. So, Chinese Americans, Vietnamese Americans, when they come to this country, you know the Vietnamese nail salon is an easy example. A lot of East Asians have developed these Saturday language schools which have been really important for their kids to maintain to the culture of their old homeland. And when you do all these things that are really highly concentrated, it makes people really apparent. And Filipinos, because they don’t have as much of a need to congregate in the same way, I think it makes them less visible. To the vantage point of view, our “kababayans” (fellow countrymen and women) are believed to have the most influential worth among all nationalities of the world, with the upbringing of every Filipino centered on basic values such as strong family ties, respect for elders, and the “bayanihan” (mutual assistance) spirit among others. Most of these qualities revolve on the “we attitude” or the “group environment,” if I must further explain it. In a span of a couple of months, my wife Zeny and I attended a flurry of activities and events that truly personify and champion these traditional Filipino values that include love of family, deference for seniors, prayerfulness, philanthropy or generosity, volunteerism, hard work or industry, prudence, love of country or nationalism, heroism, adaptability, flexibility or resilience, humility, obedience, loyalty, reliability and

honesty or integrity expressed in these myriad of Filipino heritage celebrations. First off we tapped into the Filipino cultural tradition of holding a debut “Princess for a Night”/Filipina rite of passage held at the Admiral Kidd Catering & Conference Center in Naval Base Point Loma last April 13th. Resplendent in her glittering white gown, Isabell-Angeli Obellos fretted (I would presume) over the usual details associated with her big day. Would the guests arrive on time? Would the reception go off without a hitch? Would the decorations be beautiful? “I’m OK” I would also assume she would have said breathlessly that day, as the guests poured in. “There’s some stress, but I’m alright.” Ha-ha-ha-ha! “Angel” wasn’t about to take a walk down the aisle. The Olympic high school senior was poised to celebrate her 18th birthday in a ceremony resembling, in many ways, a wedding. It was Angel’s moment to be a princess for a night…an initiatory rite growing popular here in the US even in its “Finest City” of San Diego. Much like a Mexican quinceanera, which celebrates a Latina’s 15th birthday, debuts are historically a popular rite of passage even back then in our beloved old homeland, the Philippines. But, not unlike debutante balls in the American high society, formal Filipino debuts used to be the province of the upper crust. Now, in this adopted country of ours the custom has gained favor with middle-class Filipino Americans who desire and can afford the lavish events. Debuts definitely have become a part of the Filipino American experience for many families. “It’s become very popular in the Filipino American community,” noted filmmaker Gene Cajayon, who released the film “The Debut” at the Asian American Film Festival some years ago. “The people who came over in the ‘60s and ‘70s as doctors and engineers, their kids are coming of that age.” Perhaps, more than just a debut for the celebrant, it’s also an announcement of how far the Filipino-American family has come here in America, I would imagine. And indeed, Angel’s Filipino heritage had come a long way ever since then. Her dad, Captain (Selectee) Ernan Obellos propelled and put the Filipino-American sailor’s struggles front and center when he assumed official command of the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Aviation here in our American hometown of San Diego. For historical curiosity, I could not confirm it with Navy officials but I do believe Commander Obellos might just be the very first Filipino to have taken charge of a major Navy

command. WOW! Such an awesome achievement, isn’t it? Yes, after more than a hundred years of faithful service, Filipinos have finally made it to the very top of the Navy’s higher echelon. There are no doubts here that Filipinos have undeniably come a long way since their initial introduction and enlistment to the United States Navy during the American colonial period. And just as pride, laughter and pure happiness dominated the debut of Angel (and of course, the reception, too following her Dad’s official change of command

A FILIPINA RITE OF PASSAGE: Angel’s 18th birthday debutante ball at the Admiral Kidd Navy Club in Naval Base Point Loma last 13th of April 2019

ceremony last year) – so did the “Turning 90” celebration of family matriarch Monica Sison Barrera who we all fondly call “Nanay Oning” or “Nanay Moning.” As everyone knows, the Filipino people are very resilient especially among the women. Our female “kababayans” certainly have adopted a ‘get-things-done’ attitude that comes from taking care of their families. We are definitely a very matriarchal and

TURNING 90: Nanay Moning’s birthday bash on 4 May 2019 at the Saint Charles Parish Hall in south San Diego

Jesse T. Reyes

Filipino Potpourri

familial society, I would say and I do think our women fit naturally into leadership roles because of it. “Nanay” meaning Mother in Tagalog is the name we have always had for her (our Moms!) growing up. Fitting perfectly as any awesome grandmother would, Nanay Moning’s birthday bash was held at the Saint Charles Parish Hall here in south San Diego. Such a wonderful milestone for my wife and me to be able to share with her, courtesy of an invitation to the merriment from our good friends Minda and Paul - two of esteemed Nanay Moning’s children. With the amazing planning of their family members, Nanay Moning’s commemoration turned out to be a wonderful blast! It was such a blessing to see the smiles it brought to everybody there in attendance to celebrate her. Truly, Nanay Moning has been a rock to the whole family. She loved her husband till the day God took him home; she certainly is the most gracefilled ad hardest working woman their family has ever known – a real life Proverbs 31 woman! (Proverb 31 is the 31st chapter of the Book of Proverbs in the Hebrew Bible or the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. It is presented as advice in which Lemuel’s mother gave to him, about how a righteous king should reign, and also detailing the attributes of a virtuous wife or ideal woman). To get to the 90th birthday bash, some of the family members traveled from far away (places such as Florida,

Toronto and Dubai) and others live just up or down the road. Yes, friends and family came from all over the world even from the old homeland of ours, itself, just to attend her festivity. No doubt about it, everyone in attendance there saw and heard all the heart-felt ways she touched each and every person in that hall in one way or another. From my personal point of view, I say there is NOTHING as wonderful as having this bunch of family and friends all happy together in one banquet hall! And if I may add, I think the world characterizes accomplishment by fame and fortune but Nanay Moning’s success is defined by faith and family. Moving on with the same narrative as above – a few months back last year I wrote about a bunch of retired Filipino-American Navy boot camp Company Commanders who had their very first major reunion since hometown Naval Training Center (NTC) San Diego were closed in 1994. Well, just as the late singer Frank Sinatra croons “Love is lovelier the second time around, just as wonderful with both feet on the ground” the preceding retired Filipino-American sailors once assigned to former Recruit Training Command (RTC) San Diego as Navy boot camp Company Commanders gathered again –once more- in “America’s Finest City” for a reunion dinner/ dance celebration last Saturday, May 4th at the Admiral Baker Park which See


“RED ROPERS” REUNION: A gathering of Filipino American sailors once assigned to former Recruit Training Command (RTC) San Diego as Navy boot camp Company Commanders last Saturday, May 4th at the Admiral Baker Park in Mission Gorge, San Diego

THE RED ROPERS BAND: Former Navy boot camp company commanders perform as a musical band at the second reunion/dinner dance of “Red Ropers” in San Diego

NAVY BAND OF BROTHERS: The “Red Ropers” (and their wives) posed for posterity during the dinner/dance held at the Admiral Baker Park clubhouse

HONORING THOSE WHO HAVE STAYED BEHIND I am writing this in Lourdes, France, the town of St. Bernadette to whom the Blessed Virgin Mary showed herself 18 times over a period of six months, from February to July, 1858. My wife and I are part of a pilgrimage to holy sites where Mother Mary appeared before young children to deliver messages to the world. Our trek began in Fatima in Portugal, stopped over in Madrid and Barcelona in Spain, and will culminate in Rome, with a visit to the Vatican and, hopefully, an audience with Pope Francis. Nearly all of the 43 people in the group are Filipino-Americans from the San Francisco Bay Area, mostly from St. Joseph church in Pinole and St. Anne parish in Union City. The organizer of the pilgrimage is Fr. Geoffrey Baraan, pastor of St. Joseph and formerly of St. Anne. The FilAms are all accomplished individuals, mostly retirees, who chose to build their lives and seek their fortunes in America. Fr. Baraan himself finished his priestly studies in the US, in spite of belonging to a prominent family in Pangasinan (two brothers, Francisco III and Rafael were former Justice Undersecretary and Provincial Administrator, respectively). Not surprisingly, they attribute their success in life to having sought it overseas, instead of in the Philippines.

In the course of earlier trips to Europe and around the US, I have met similarly successful Filipinos who believe that they would not have “made it” if they had remained in the land of their birth. In fact, it was to acknowledge the achievements of these fellow Pinoys that I conceived and persuaded GMA Network to sponsor the Alex Esclamado Memorial Awards for Community Service. The late Alex Esclamado was himself a high achiever in America. Among many honors, he was a recipient of the Philippine Legion of Honor, conferred by President Corazon Aquino for his courageous campaign against the Marcos dictatorship, as publishereditor of Philippine News, a nationally circulated FilAm newspaper. Several years ago, I met in San Francisco some remarkable alumni of the University of Santo Tomas. It was one of those occasions when I regretted having prematurely and unceremoniously left UST in my youth. Despite my meager academic credentials, I had been invited to the annual reception and awards presentation of the Thomasians USA, an association of UST alumni residing in Northern California, because they needed a co-emcee for ABC TV anchor, Sydnie Kohara. I had the good fortune of being

seated with two of the evening’s awardees. Their credentials and those of the third honoree were truly impressive. Dr. Jesus C. Bacala’s curriculum vitae read like that of five people combined: doctor of medicine, registered nurse, obstetrician, gynecologist, medical professor, dean of the UST College of Nursing, newspaper columnist, editor, poet, author of several nursing textbooks, soldier and lay minister. A resident of Indiana, he had helped found the American College of International Physicians, the Indiana Philippine Medical Association, the Philippine Heritage Association and the Philippine American Society of Indiana and Kentucky. The second awardee was Dr. Lupo T. Carlota whose book, “Quantum Theory of Acupuncture,” laid the scientific basis for the practice of the centuries-old art of healing. The book earned him the honor of an invitation to lecture in Beijing, Nanjing, Shanghai and in Taipei at the annual convention of the International Acupuncture Society. Dr. Carlota was the founder and president of the Medical Acupuncture Research Institute of America (MARIA), which provided physicians across the US with advanced training in acupuncture and the application of his Meridian Regulatory Acupuncture

(MRA) system of therapy, as well as the use of a digital precision instrument that he had invented. He had graduated Meritissimus from the UST College of Medicine and, at the time of the awards, was president of the Association of Philippine Physicians in America and the American Board of Acupuncture Medicine. Several years later, at the start of the incumbency of President George W. Bush, Dr. Carlota was appointed to the president’s commission on Asian American affairs. He had also been elected, at one time, to the city council of Lakeland, Tennessee where he and his family resided. The third awardee was Dr. Cecilia M. Loleng, a full colonel in the US Army and a member of its medical training staff. She was one of the highest-ranking Filipinos in the American armed forces and had received three Army Commendation Medals and a Meritorious Service Medal. Dr. Loleng was a graduate of Class ’63, UST College of Medicine, and was married to Dr. Gregorio Loleng, also a Thomasian. As I conversed with Dr. Bacala and Dr. Carlota, I felt proud of their achievements in the US mainstream, but sad that the Philippines had to lose such brilliant people to America. However, I could understand

Greg B. Macabenta

Street Talk

why they left. My own elder sister, Dr. Evangeline Garcia, herself a UST medical graduate, had found it necessary to immigrate to the US in the late 1960s. I guess, she felt that her medical practice would not flourish in the Philippines. Like Dr. Loleng, she was also an officer in the US armed forces. She would later retire as an Air Force lieutenant colonel. On the other hand, I had a younger brother who was also a doctor and a graduate of the US College of Medicine. Vicente had never felt the need to leave the Philippines. As a matter of fact, upon passing the medical board exams in Manila, he decided to go home to Leyte to work as a rural doctor. I think he, too, would have flourished overseas. He had many opportunities to pull up his roots, having worked with the World Health Organization on primary health care and having participated in several medical conferences abroad as a

resource speaker. But he preferred to stick to his low-paying job as an assistant provincial health officer in Biliran, Leyte. Every time I asked him about any plans to move to the US, where I had already taken up residence, he had one simple reply: “They have enough doctors in America. This is where I’m needed.” Vicente died in his mid-40s, while still working as a rural doctor. He would not have it any other way. Today, as an overseas Filipino, enjoying the fruits of my labors in a foreign land and seeing many of our countrymen honored for their achievements abroad, I cannot help thinking of my younger brother. I also cannot help wondering why we often forget to honor those who have chosen to stay behind. Email Greg Macabenta at


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is nestled in Mission Gorge. “This is the very first ‘Red Ropers’ (color of the Navy company commander’ trademark service aiguillettes) dinner-dancegathering for the Filipino-American San Diego Navy boot camp company commanders since RTC’s decommissioning,” explained retired Navy Mess Management Specialist Chief Petty Officer (MSC) Gerry Silva. “We’ve got a total of 120 attendees, a whole range of folks who have served before on RTC San Diego joining us here; including guys who worked in the early to late 197080’s and even into the 1990s before decommissioning.” “A lot came back to me,” said Silva. “You can see all the pride and spirit they have in both their accomplishments and their former Command. They are all very respectful of the traditions that we believed in and stood for. They certainly hold the heritage of Navy Company Commanders close to their hearts, and I believe the future (of the Recruit Training Command) is in good, solid Navy hands.” The assembly wrapped up that Saturday late afternoon, following a grand feast of delicious Filipino delicacies (of course!) and American staples, dancing to the music of “The Red Ropers Band,” door prizes drawing and where the retirees and their families also unwind and reminisce with genuine old friends. An emotional minute of silence and quiet prayers for those fellow “Red Ropers” comrades who have passed away was also offered. “My fondest memories are related to these “Band of Brothers” I dealt with,” concluded Silva. “Being a Navy Company Commander was the greatest learning experience I’ve ever had. I credit that to some of the strongest friendships and relationships with my fellow Navy boot camp company commanders. I will always treasure that time and those fond memories.” And if I may please take up the guidon, too: “Fair winds and following seas always to you all, Shipmates!” Finally, just this past weekend my very own family had milestone family celebrations, too. It was my youngest son Randy’s 40th birthday (a turning point, indeed as they like to say that life begins at

Filipino Press forty…Ha-ha-ha-ha!) – Incidentally he was born on a Mother’s Day date, too – May 10, 1979, to be exact - and of course, it was a Happy Mother’s Day, too last Sunday, May 12th From my own perspective, I say “Every Day is Mother’s Day.” No doubt about it, Mother’s Day is even bigger than Valentine’s Day. For some of you – my dear readers – there may be a grain of truth there, as not everyone will be inclined to celebrate Valentine’s Day – no matter how “sentimental” and “emotional” Filipinos are observed to be – but, in this culture, it is tantamount to a mortal sin to not pay some sort of tribute to our mothers on Mother’s Day. Besides the enduring impact of this commemoration on Filipino family life and culture, I believe there are now new realities that we must all consider in communicating and dealing with Filipino moms. With the ubiquity of technology and connectivity, the globalization of our economy and our mind-sets, and the demographic shift to a younger population come an evolution in the way the Filipino mom sees herself and the world. Truth number 1: I say Filipino moms now fuse classic with modern parenting styles. Filipino moms value how they were raised by their own mothers, citing the importance of the “pamana,” or passing on to their children a legacy with traditional Filipino values. However, they have also begun “upcycling” classic parenting approaches with modern twists. For example, the values of “sipag at tiyaga” – hard work and perseverance – now extend outside of household chores and school work, with our moms now wanting their kids to also imbibe functional sensibilities such as financial literacy and responsibility. Truth number 2: The modern Filipina mom looks for “wellness in everything.” Filipino moms today no longer define “wellness” simply in terms of their children’s health and nutrition, they see and look for wellbeing in every choice they need to make for their kids. And because they’re now more tech-savvy than ever, “segurista” (risk-averse) Filipino moms are also using technology to find the most advance solutions and the best options available to protect their children from all sorts of harm. Truth number 3: Hello, “momagers” and “mompreneurs”!

Gone are the days of the “full-time housewives” and the “stay-at-home moms.” Thanks to telecommunicating, work-from-anywhere platforms and the burgeoning of dynamic online communities, more Filipino moms now identify themselves as “work at home moms (“WAHMs”),” as well as “momagers” and “mompreneurs.” Absolutely, more Filipino moms are now bravely jumping into entrepreneurship, making mommy hood their careers and businesses, while enjoying a wide range of support services that were previously unavailable to mothers before them – such as online communities, “mompreneur” bazaars, mom-centric business workshops and the like. In fact, even dads and house help can now get trained on how to better support moms at home, adding a touch of professionalism to those household management. By the way, for my youngest son Randy’s 40th shindig we “surprised” him with a delicious dinner at the San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina restaurant/kitchen while we had a sumptuous Mother’s Day brunch at downtown’s upscale Brazilian steakhouse “Fogo de Chao.” (Shout out to Fogo de Chao: “Great service, flavorful drinks and outstanding fire roasted meats!”) To top all of these joyful family flurry of jubilations, I found out, too that my granddaughter Taylor got accepted to the prestigious flagship institution of the ten research universities affiliated with the University of California system UC Berkley - and will be a freshman student there comes this fall semester. Congratulations, Taylor! To her, my wife and I advise: “Above all else, remember you are loved. Your family is forever. Follow your dreams, Granddaughter. Never give up on something you desperately want…ever! You are our first and only granddaughter. You are love and all things good in our hearts. When you hurt, we hurt. When you have joy, we have joy. Good luck on your new venture, dear Taylor…your Grandma and I love you forever.” Seeing the stories above happened, and all the others – it absolutely is an inspiration that made each day as we can impart in our everyday lives that truly it is “Sarap Maging Pilipino” (It’s great to be a Filipino!) As Filipino Americans, there is nothing comparable to our dear “Home, sweet home” … Cheers! Mabuhay!!


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opportunities came knocking at her door for sitcoms such as “Bistek” and “Palibasa Lalake.” In 2002, she was offered to relocate in the U.S. Performing alongside Bernardo Bernardo and Leonard Obal as the main acts for Ichiban Library in San Francisco, California. Awayan’s name quickly spread in the local scene which paved the way for a regular performance at

May 18, 2019 - May 24, 2019 • 7

Cache Creek Casino, followed by a weekly show with Jinan Acrobats of Cirque Du Soleil and a regular spot at Edna’s Ichiban Library. She stayed in the U.S. for several years until in 2006, when she had to go back home to take care of personal issues and be with her ailing father. During that stay back home, she was able to do a lot of gigs and concerts with Allan K., Randy Santiago, Chad Borja, Ana of Ana and Soraya and other wellknown celebrities. Shortly after that, she came back to the U.S. and since then, had been traveling all over the

country spreading laughter one show at a time. She is now based here in Southern California performing and producing concerts and events under AngJo Productions, LLC. She continues to support and raise funds for F.E.E.D. Philippines Foundation as she donates part of every shows proceeds as a way to give back to her community. Helping feed the needy one mouth at a time. Her passion and perseverance to pursue her dream makes her one of the most sought after entertainer in the FilipinoAmerican community.

2019 Mid-Term Election Post-Mortem

A Bicolano friend asked me once why there has not been a Bicolano president. And my short answer was, “We’re too nice!” He was probably baffled by my response but it is true. VP Leni Robredo and her all-out support for Otso Diretso epitomizes such principled amiability - both in a literal and metaphorical sense. VP Robredo and the Leni Team campaigned as if they were gunning for the Miss or Mister Congeniality throne! President Duterte’s matrices (drugs & coup plotters) clearly worked sans legal justifications. Raul Roco, the greatest president we never had, was the same way in a lot of ways. When he visited San Diego that year he was running for the presidency post-Estrada, I posed “Why can’t you continue to align with Gloria Macapagal Arroyo?” As expected, he moralized on me. “Yes Alibaba left but the forty thieves stayed and they’re with the Arroyo administration now. Roco gave up his portfolio as secretary for DECS in principle to campaign independently. As the secretary, he was able to go around the country using government resources. In other words, he was able to campaign freely courtesy of the government. But, being the principled man he was, he did not want the appearance of impropriety so he gave it up much too early. DECS is one of the crucial agencies of the government that deals with Filipino children’s future. His resignation meant DECS lost an advocate at the helm. VP Robredo was given the DSWD secretary portfolio by Duterte. Piqued, she resigned after receiving a text

from one of Duterte’s factotum telling her to stop attending the president’s meetings. She was not fired but was told to stop attending meetings because of her alleged participation in anti-Duterte demos. Her resignation meant that poor families relying on her to advocate for them in that capacity, left them. The 2019 midterm elections outcome particularly for the Philippine senate was a wipe out in favor of Duterte’s bets. The only question remaining is whether Sen. Nancy Binay will hold on to the 12th post or Sen. JV Ejercito will overcome her. The Liberal Party’s (LP) worst nightmare has just happened and fighting words such “the fight is not yet over,” or “the elections did not end on election day,” or “nothing to apologize for, we did our best” are just that – devoid of reality. The drubbing that the Team Leni got has great repercussions to the future of the country. Not necessarily bad, but Duterte will have an overwhelming majority in the senate. In previous Siling Labuyo columns, I alluded to this election possibility and blamed it on LP’s penchant for selecting the so-called “A-Team” of human rights activists, de campanilia lawyers or other pedigreed individuals – elites. Nothing really wrong with that and at some other time (like the time before Marcos became a dictator), it would have work. But the moment is well past that. Filipinos are mostly Catholics but they (and Muslim Mindanao) clearly want authoritarians like the former PNP Chief Bato de la Rosa, in the senate of all places! He was the architect of

Duterte’s drug war. Filipinos where looking for Duterte supporters who will help push his ambitious agenda. A rising star, Francis Tolentino ran under President Aquino’s team in 2016 but lost. He then abandoned the LP and joined the Duterte admin. Well, lady luck smiled on him this time! How about Imee Marcos? Despite the Yale and UP brouhaha that the LP tried to smear on her, the people picked the daughter of the dead dictator. She will be joined in the senate by an all-star cast that includes accused plunderer former senator Bong Revilla and action star and former senator Lito Lapid. The biggest surprise of course, well not really, was former Duterte alalay (sidekick) and maybe still is, Christopher “Bong” Go. The “Bikoy Expose” backfired royally especially when Bong Go’s tattoo disappeared before a live audience. Distilling the elections’ outcome though, hinges more on perceptions. The winners will brag about an overwhelming people’s mandate while losers will claim to have been cheated or just outspent. More reports of vote buying will surface but Duterte got it right that vote buying is now part of the Filipino election culture. Both sides do it under the guise of something legit like paid election watcher volunteers who are given IDs in exchange for some sum of money that varies depending on the position being sought. But mind you, I see a silver lining to this. The Liberal Party’s opposition to federalism in the senate is now lessened to a small minority. Opposition to the charter change for the sake of opposing anything Duterte proposes in this area was a mistake. The LP clearly misreads the people’s thinking on this. Democracy is not imperiled just because charter change proposal is advanced. The opposition was clearly blinded by their opposition and disgust for Duterte’s drug war and human rights transgressions. Yes,

righteousness is a virtue but it does not do any good if you lose elections. You have to be in power to effect change. The LP should have seen the writing on the wall when Filipinos just shrugged off the sacking of former Chief Justice Malou Sereno through a new interpretation of quo warranto. There was just a sigh but no uprising or all out demos. Similarly, all the hullaballoo about the Chinese invasion of Philippine territories on the South China Sea that despite strong denunciation of the Chinese through polling results but citizens overlooked it and clearly saw the cemented roads, bridges, airports from Duterte’s Build, Build, Build infra projects financed by the Chinese. These were colossal misreads!

The other silver lining was ending some political dynasties. What congress refuses to do, Filipinos did it through the ballots. New breeds surfaced to effect these changes. Joseph Estrada lost to younger Isko Moreno, his former vice mayor. His daughter also lost a mayoralty contest in San Juan. Former senator and accused plunderer Jingoy Estrada seemed to have lost his comeback bid in the senate. A millennial also ended the Eusebio clan’s hold of Pasig. While former VP Binay lost to a younger LP nemesis in Makati, his daughters are thriving politically. So don’t be lulled into thinking that political dynasties are a thing of the past. New ones are actually emerging like the Sottos and Dutertes. In Bicol,

the Khos, Escuderos, and Villafuertes are still lording it over their fiefdoms as shown by this past election. With diminished presence in Congress, LP stalwarts has to pick up the pieces and chart a new course with renewed emphasis on electability. The complete drubbing of Team Leni portends bad omen for Robredo and the LP in 2022. VP Robredo’s popularity and trust ratings remains high but she needs to recalibrate her political calculus going into the next presidential election. The Filipino electorate are not idiots as some losers would say – they just have a different perception of reality. Robredo’s task as the titular head of the LP is now to change that paradigm and there lies the biggest challenge.

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Spiritual Life The significance of the month of May in my life The month of May celebrates two significant events which profoundly touches my life: National Nurses Week and Mother’s Day. National Nurses Week is significant for me because it reminds me of my mother’s devotion to her calling as a nurse and sacrifices as a pioneer in public health nursing. In extolling her virtues as a nurse, I am also appreciating her skills in caring for mothers and children. I remember a trip I made to Indonesia as a U.S. AID fellow. I reported to the US Embassy and was greeted by a charming woman, whom I mistook as an Indonesian but who turned out to be a Filipino working in the US Embassy. She was very friendly. She told me that she already know my background since she has read my bio data before my arrival. I thanked her for taking time to know me and to arrange my schedule of visit. I asked her, “From where are you in the Philippines?” She answered with a smile, “I am from Dagupan City, Pangasinan. “ Oh, so we are province mates? We started talking in Pangasinan later she invited me for lunch in her well appointed home. She shared with me her life story, that of being so poor, worked as a maid of a rich relative in Manila, then went to pursue accounting education in a local university in the evening. She met her husband in college, got married and then came to

Aurora S. Cudal-Rivera

the first time she opened up to me. She came from a very poor family and she vowed that her children will never experience what she went through when she was growing up. I came to realize that she dedicated herself to helping others in order to help herself and her family. Nursing became her passion and helping the poor and marginalized families marked her life, until she passed away at the age of 95. There was a time when I also asked her, “Mama, why do you not bring us to church? You religiously send us to church but you don’t bring us.” Her response was a biblical verse which gave me the reason why she attends to mothers and children in our community even on a Sunday. She said, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this, to look after orphans and widows in their distress and keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1:27 (NIV)

A man's wisdom A man's wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense. (Proverbs 19:11) I have a friend who tells a story of a lesson the Lord taught him through his wife. It seems that every time he and his wife would get in the car to travel somewhere, his wife had a strong need to direct his driving. She would tell him where to turn and when to turn, even in their own subdivision. It was such a horrible habit that it drove my friend crazy and became the source of many an argument. Finally, one day my friend concluded that the Lord was trying to teach him something through this experience. He decided he would let go of his need to be free from this correction. He began to affirm his wife and even thank her for her input. It was excruciatingly painful to do this from where he sat. A few months passed. He let go of the entire situation and actually got to a place where it just didn't matter to him anymore. An

Danny Hernaez

From Whom All Blessings Flow interesting thing happened a few months later. One day his wife looked at him and said, "John, I just realized that I have been directing your driving all these years and now realize why I do that. It goes back to my childhood when I had to direct my younger brothers and sisters. I am so sorry I have been doing that." My friend nearly fell out of his seat! Whenever we work close to another person, whether in an office or home, small offenses can become the source of great conflict. Resentment and irritability soon follow. God brings these "offenses" into our lives to develop character qualities in us. He uses individuals

Prayer to Saint Expedite May the intercession of the glorious martyr , St Expedite, recommend us, O my God, to Thy goodness, in order that his protection may obtain for us what our own merits are powerless to do.


We supplicate Thee, Lord , to inspire by Thy grace all our thoughts and actions, that thou being their principle, we may, by the intercession of St. Expedite, be conducted with courage, fidelity and promptitude, at the time proper and favorable, and come to a good and happy end, through our Lord, Jesus Christ


My Personal Testimony

Indonesia where her husband landed a job as accountant of a lumber company. I was deeply touched by her story, then she surprised me by saying, “I told a lie when I said that I am from Dagupan City. Actually, I am from a barrio in San Carlos and it was your mother, Bai Anding, who took care of our family. She was our family nurse, even attending to my mother when she gave birth to my siblings. Without her, my brothers and sisters could not have survived. I heard similar stories about my mother, going beyond the parameters of nursing care and helping families survived the challenges of poverty. After my graduation from the University of the Philippines, I had a heart-to-heart talk with my mother. I asked her, “Mama, why are you so obsessed in sending your children to college? You’ve worked so hard for the five of us, referring to my four brothers who took up law and medicine. It was

in our lives to accomplish his goal of making us more Christ-like. So the next time you complain or resist a habit or action from someone close to you, ask God if it has been placed there to develop some quality in you. Pride is the root source of the need to change another person. A man's wisdom gives him patience-to let go of little offenses. This is where spiritual maturity is seen in the day-to-day activity of life. Is there someone close to you who has some habit you really want to change? Give up that desire to the Lord. Who knows, He may even change it after you let go of the need to change it. <(((><

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St Expedite, honored by the gratitude of those who have invoked thee at the last hour and for pressing cases, we pray thee to obtain from the all powerful goodness of God, by the intercession of Mary Immaculate, (today or such a day) the grace we solicit with all submission to the Divine Will


Filipino Press


Continued from p­­­­­age 2

Network. Francine is the FilipinoAmerican History Achievement Award Winner in Humanitarianism, Arts, and Community Service and an Outstanding Filipino American Young Leaders Awardee as selected by His Excellency Ambassador Cuisia and the Philippine Consuls. Originally from Cavite City, Philippines and raised in Chula Vista, Francine Maigue received her master’s degree from Harvard University and bachelor’s degree from UCLA. Francine is the District Director for California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez. She is the Immediate Past President of the Filipino-American Chamber of Commerce of San Diego County, Board Member for the Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center Foundation and Los Chabacanos of Cavite City, and is a former Miss Philippines of San Diego. A trusted voice in the community, Francine serves as a Special Advisor to the Philippine Honorary Consul of San Diego. Got an organization, business, or event Francine should know about? Email:thepamperedpinay@yahoo. com.

ph brands

Continued from p­­­­­age 1

world that it really is more fun in the Philippines through the very much successful Philippine Embassy Open House held last Saturday,” Ambassador Jose Manuel G. Romualdez said. “The Philippine celebration of National Heritage Month challenges us to take the lead in promoting and preserving our cultural heritage, and we are very happy to do our part in promoting love, awareness, and appreciation of our thriving culture and unique brands here in Washington, D.C. I wish to congratulate and thank the Philippine Embassy personnel and their families, our community partners, participants, and supporters, for making this event possible,” the Ambassador further added. Passport DC commemorates International Cultural Awareness Month in the District of Columbia. It runs from May 1 through 31 and offers an outstanding array of cultural activities presented at embassy open houses, street festivals, performing arts venues, museums, and special receptions throughout the District.

May 18, 2019 - May 24, 2019 • 11

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12 • May 18, 2019 - May 24, 2019

Filipino Press

Why Maegan Aguilar converted to Islam Joyce Pring releases newest single

MANILA -- The daughter of OPM icon Freddie Aguilar has chosen to tread a different path. Maegan Aguilar said she has decided to convert from being a Roman Catholic to Islam back in September. “As you can see I’ve changed my

MANILA -- ANDREA Torres feels proud to be chosen as Derek Ramsay’s leading lady in his first drama series with GMA Network, “The Better Woman.” “I’ve seen Derek in his hit movies before, but I never thought magkakaroon ng chance na maging magkatambal kami someday kasi tagaibang network siya,” says Andrea. “But now that he’s also a Kapuso, I’m glad to be given the chance na ako ang maging unang katambal niya sa first soap na gagawin niya sa GMA, ‘The Better Woman.’ Nag-meet na kami sa look test and pictorial namin and he’s very nice to work with, very accommodating kaya comfortable ako agad sa kanya.” Andrea has starred solo in her own daytime series, including “Sana ay Ikaw na Nga,” “Lihim ni Annasandra,” “The Millionaire’s Wife” and “With a Smile.” In primetime, she was seen as one of the leading ladies of Dingdong Dantes in “Alyas Robin Hood” and also appeared with Alden Richards in “Victor Magtanggol.” “The Better Woman” with Derek is really one of her biggest assignments on GMA as she plays the title role no less. Derek himself says he’s happy to be working with Andrea. “Dito sa look test, you get to see the other side of Andrea which, to me, is very, very important. If you want to

life. Some may say it was a drastic move but in my personal choices, personal phase of life, I entered Islam wholeheartedly,” she said. “Buong-buo 'yung pasiya ko. Buong-buo 'yung desisyon ko. Striving to have quiet life, 'yon 'yung naging

path ng buhay ko — to strive for something quiet rather than sticking it out in showbiz na masyadong competitive,” she added. Saying said she didn’t want that life for her and her children, the younger Aguilar noted: “I wanted it to be more normal, parang ganun.” In the same interview, she said one of her biggest influencers on why she converted to Islam was her dad. “Actually, si tatay 'yung malaking influence ko kasi seven years na siya, eh. Nakita ko, nagbago si tatay, naging mas mabait na ama. Kung dati para siyang bato na ayaw umiyak, ayaw maka-feel ng panghihina, nabago yon,” she said. Aguilar said she saw in her dad the changes that she also wanted for herself. Following her change of religion, Aguilar revealed that she is also married to a Muslim, with whom she tied the knot last December. They met during the very first Islamic medical mission Aguilar volunteered in. “The serendipity moments happened in Ticao Island, Masbate, 6th October 2018. And soon after seeing each other in other Islamic gatherings, ayun namanhikan na siya kay tatay, asked for my hand in marriage and tied the knot… I became Mrs. Bashier Sacaguing on 21st December 2018,” she said. Asked if she’s already closed her doors on showbiz, she said: “Masaya 'yung parang malayo ka sa hahanap ng kapintasan mo. Malayo ka sa walang gagawin kung 'di bigyan ka ng negative energy.” Nonetheless, Aguilar is happy to be able to use her vocal skills in singing the Quran. “Sinusubukan kong i-apply 'yung kaalaman ko sa musika para makarecite ako ng Quran. So, sooner or later, we don’t know, I might be something that is praising Allah’s name,” she said. (MNS)

Andrea ready for Derek

build a strong bond with your leading lady, you should know who she really is, both her showbiz side and her real side. It’s easy to see that Andrea is the kind of co-star who can be easy to get along with.” Is Andrea ready to do sexy love scenes with Derek? “Oo naman. Nang ilatag sa amin

‘yung project, we became aware of what’s expected from us and as an actress, doing love scenes comes with the territory. More than the love scenes, though, I’m more worried about the heavy dramatic scenes. I know si Derek has won best actor awards kaya magaling talaga siya at ayoko namang mapahiya sa kanya.” (MNS)

KC Concepcion admits: I miss acting MANILA -- Five years since her last major acting project, KC Concepcion admitted she misses portraying characters on screen. Concepcion, 33, is currently based in California where she is taking classes related to her venture into jewelry design and entrepreneurship. While Concepcion appears to have fully immersed herself in the world of jewelry making, she made no secret of longing for showbiz. That realization was prompted by the recent Met Gala, whose theme of camp reminded Concepcion

of her femme fatale role in the 2013 action film "Boy Golden." Sharing clips of her sexy scene in the movie, Concepcion wrote: "Because I’m in the mood. Oh man I’d play fierce roles like her again and again... Nang dahil sa Met Gala 2019 napa-post ako nito, eh! Na-mimiss ko na umarte ha!" Concepcion, who made a huge splash in 2008 when she finally followed the foot steps of her parents Sharon Cuneta and Gabby Concepcion, also spoke candidly about being deep in thought about her future. "If you don’t know what a mental block looks like, here’s a picture," she captioned a photo of herself against a concrete well with protruding blocks. "I think I’m having a mental block from thinking too much about my future? Who else wants to pretend there’s nothing on their todo list?" (MNS)

MANILA -- KAPUSO host Joyce Pring returns to her first love – music- as she launches her new single entitled ‘Baka Sakali’. Known as a sought-after events host, vlogger, writer and a World Vision Ambassador, Joyce is thrilled to embark into a new chapter in her

career via her first original track which she wrote with Rico Blanco. She shares, “For many years, I have enjoyed my work as a broadcaster and TV presenter, but not a lot of people know that my first love was always music and writing. When I was five, my parents would often go

to church and I enjoyed serving in the music ministry - I would dance, and sing, and spend my days basking in whatever creative pursuit I could get my hands on. At the age of fourteen, I fronted my first ever band, and we would perform classic rock songs at school events, and in different competitions.” This song is about stumbling upon hope right on the brink of completely giving up. “I couldn’t be prouder of ‘Baka Sakali’ - I’m convinced that this is where my heart is: a kind of inbetween space that’s courageous enough to admit resolute fears, but also bold enough to say, I’m willing to try again,” Joyce said. Currently, Joyce co-anchors the digital newscast ‘Stand for Truth’ alongside award-winning broadcast journalist Atom Araullo and GMA Resident Analyst Richard Heydarian, together with a fresh group of reporters from all over the Philippines. She is in charge of the music segment of the online news program. She is also one of the hosts of the longest-running morning show Unang Hirit and’s Kapuso Artistambayan. She produces podcast #AdultingWithJoycePring and uploads vlogs on her YouTube channel every week, as well. ‘Baka Sakali’ is now available for download and streaming on iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, and other digital platforms under Balcony Records. Inc. (MNS)

Proud Vic Sotto still processing Vico’s Pasig triumph MANILA -- Comedy icon Vic Sotto still hasn't fully processed the fact that he now has a son who's a city mayor, following newcomer Vico Sotto's triumph in Pasig. "Hindi pa nag-si-sink in sa akin na may anak akong mayor," Vic said. "Siguro, 'pag dating ng July, sa inauguration, siguro doon ko pa lang ma-ri-realize — 'Aba, may anak na akong mayor.'" Vico, a first-term councilor in Pasig, ended the nearly 3-decade leadership of the Eusebios with his victory, an undertaking that's been likened to the Biblical David and Goliath. Asked what he believes were the factors that led to Vico's win, the older Sotto said: "Palagay ko sang-ayon sila doon sa campaign ni Vico na, una sa lahat, 'iba naman,' at pangalawa, 'yung pagbabago. "Ang tiningnan ng tao, 'yung integridad niya. 'Pag nagsalita siya kasi, ramdam mo na nanggagaling sa puso niya, hindi 'yung generic, motherhood statements . . . Totoo 'yung sinasabi, hindi dahil campaign period," he added. The screen veteran then brought up key issues Vico has vowed to address, including healthcare, corruption and the disparity of wealth and opportunities between the eastern and western parts of Pasig. Going against a "well-oiled machine," in Vic's words, was by no means an easy feat for Vico. He claimed Vico experienced "bullying" even during his term as councilor. Through the challenges, Vic and Reyes have made it a point to give their

son constant encouragement. "Hindi ako puwedeng panghinaan ng loob, kasi nakikita ko kung gaano ka-set ang kanyang mind, kung gaano siya katapang, kung gaano siya kadeterminado," Vic said. Vic, whose brother and former cohost Tito Sotto is the current Senate president, had a quick answer when asked if he would have a role similar to the political Sottos. He said he will stick to being a voter

in Pasig, and will leave all matters of governance to Vico, "dahil mas maraming siyang alam kaysa sa 'kin." "'Yung experience niya sa government, sa civil society, ako'y tiwala sa kanya na he will deliver. "Kumbaga sa pelikula, ako'y supporting actor lang. Ang leading man dito, ang bida rito, si Vico. Nandito lang ako to support him, para mas palakasin ang kanyang loob. Iyon lang ang role ko," he said. (MNS)

Dingdong wants the Filipino adaptation of K-drama DOTS to have Philippine context

MANILA -- Dingdong Dantes who will star as "Big Boss" on the Filipino adaptation of Korean

drama Descendants of the Sun (DOTS) said he wanted this version to have a Philippine context. "Puwede natin bigyan ng Pinoy flavor talaga. Tingin ko, kung bakit pumapatok 'yung mga shows natin sa kanila is [because it's] very regional 'yung mga kuwento, nakakarelate tayong mga Pinoy. Kumbaga parang pareho ang pinagdadaanan natin, tungkol sa pag-ibig, tungkol sa mga pinaglalaban mo — and much more, kung gawin natin in Philippine context," Dingdong said at his GMA contract signing press conference.

Although details about DOTS have yet to be settled, Dingdong said it will definitely have a Pinoy touch. "Definitely, iisipan natin na Philippine context lahat so from there, nandun na 'yung mga desisyon kung saan ishu-shoot, anong klaseng uniporme, anong klaseng badge of service," he said. For now, Dingdong said he asked for a break to help Marian take care of their second child, Baby Ziggy. "Humihingi ako ng konting break kasi nga wala pang helper, kasi talagang si Marian talaga lahat, mabuti nandiyan 'yung aming biyenan, lahat tumutulong," Dingdong said. GMA Network announced on April 22 that the Kapuso Primetime King will play the role of "Big Boss" which was originally portrayed by Korean actor Song Joong-ki with his lead star and real life wife Song Hye-kyo as Beauty. (MNS)

Filipino Press

May 18, 2019 - May 24, 2019 • 13

Choosing the Right Project for Your Home Renovation By NathaNiel SilliN Before the housing market collapse of 2007, all renovation projects – no matter how expensive – seemed like winners. Today, home renovation is a whole new ballgame and why you should carefully research any potential fix-up project you're planning for your home. For the past 14 years, Remodeling magazine's annual Remodeling 2016 Cost vs. Value Report (http:// w w w. r e m o d e l i n g . h w. n e t / c o s t vs-value/2016/) has tracked cost recoupment on renovation projects nationwide and by region, as local tastes are important. Based on trends from transactions tracked in 2015, several guidelines emerged: * Aim to cover your costs. Prehousing crash, people were investing heavily in their homes and seeing returns greater than 100 percent on their spending. In 2016, the cost and return at resale for the projects listed in the report averaged 64.4 percent for a home sold within a year of the upgrades. Making a profit on a renovation isn't guaranteed, so aim instead to tackle projects that will allow you to recover your costs at the highest possible level. * Smaller projects focusing on essentials can provide better returns. A decade ago, it was an upscale outdoor deck or a gourmet kitchen. These days, new doors, which can cost under $500 to replace and install, are one of the most popular projects. A high quality fiberglass entry door replacement can recoup an average 82.3 percent of costs; a garage door replacement can return over 90 percent. * Upgrade rooms and spaces, but keep it modest. A minor kitchen remodel including upgraded cabinet fronts, new hardware and the addition of one or two energy-efficient appliances averaged a return of more than 83 percent of original cost compared to the 65 percent for the gut

Prayer to Saint Expedite May the intercession of the glorious martyr , St Expedite, recommend us, O my God, to Thy goodness, in order that his protection may obtain for us what our own merits are powerless to do.


We supplicate Thee, Lord , to inspire by Thy grace all our thoughts and actions, that thou being their principle, we may, by the intercession of St. Expedite, be conducted with courage, fidelity and promptitude, at the time proper and favorable, and come to a good and happy end, through our Lord, Jesus Christ


St Expedite, honored by the gratitude of those who have invoked thee at the last hour and for pressing cases, we pray thee to obtain from the all powerful goodness of God, by the intercession of Mary Immaculate, (today or such a day) the grace we solicit with all submission to the Divine Will


jobs. After assessing the national and regional averages, you'll need to evaluate your personal situation, local home market and the type of homes that are selling in your neighborhood. Let's start with the questions you need to ask yourself: * What kinds of improvements make sense for my neighborhood? Generally, exterior renovations that complement nearby homes have greater value, so consider how your new exterior might fit in with other houses on the street. As far as interior renovations, keep your spending in line with your future sale price. For example, a $100,000 kitchen in a home that might not sell for more than $300,000 would probably be a wasted investment – but a kitchen update worth $10,000 or less might help your house move quicker once it's listed for sale. * How long will I stay postrenovation? Remember, the latest Remodeling magazine numbers cover only one year of cost recovery on projects. People renovate for a variety of needs, either to make the home more livable or to make it more salable. The longer you stay, the more you'll get out of the investment – but if you have to sell soon, think carefully about what you'll need to spend to attract a buyer. * Will this send my property taxes through the roof? Renovation projects that create larger homes can risk higher property taxes. You should think through potential property tax impact not only for yourself but also for your future buyer. Consider checking with your local residential taxing body to determine "before and after" property tax rates for renovated properties in your vicinity. Sometimes this information might be available on their websites. If you know a real estate broker with significant knowledge of your immediate neighborhood, you might consider speaking with them

about this issue. Consider consulting experts to help you answer the basic questions you'll have as you make this decision. Start with trusted financial professionals who can offer a second opinion on what you're planning to do, how much you want to spend, and what particular tax issues may arise when it's time to sell. If you need to borrow to renovate, that means it's time to make sure your credit reports (https://www. are accurate and you are pre-qualified or pre-approved for your loan based on what is required. In short, do your homework before you renovate your home. Bottom line: In 2016, home renovation is far from a home run. Know how long you're planning to stay in the home before you start and make sure the project you choose makes sense for your local marketplace or you won't get your money back. Nathaniel Sillin directs Visa's financial education programs. To follow Practical Money Skills on Twitter: PracticalMoney.

14 • May 18, 2019 - May 24, 2019

Filipino Press


Continued from p­­­­­age 1

people to the Atlanta metro region,” he said. Clarkston’s DeKalb County sits east of and adjacent to Atlanta’s Fulton County. Combining DeKalb’s demographics with neighboring Gwinnett shows a pronounced presence of foreign-born residents and a decrease in those whose primary language is English. As reported by the Census Bureau, “by 2016, more than two-thirds of the foreign-born resided in the South or West.” That geographic shift, reflected in the DeKalb County region, portends a possible repeat of Georgia’s census undercount in 2010. Even with the Census Bureau’s multiple language-assistance initiatives, the concept of the census is unfamiliar to some communities and its benefits seem far removed. For others, concerns about privacy issues might impede census responses, particularly in households where immigration status may be in flux among occupants. “Why should I participate in the census, as a foreigner, as an immigrant, or as a refugee?” That’s the feedback Doris Mukangu from the Amani Women Center in Clarkson said she expects to encounter among the primarily African refugee population her organization serves. Restricted Internet access and lack of computer skills, added Mukangu, are hurdles to achieving high response rates. Another is illiteracy: “You give me the form and I can’t read it.” To these and other challenges, Kevin Sinha, of CivicGeorgia, insisted that organizations work together to “fill in the gaps” for better coverage and to be persistent about going back to neighborhoods and communities that may have avoided or declined discussions about the census. “Go back again,” Sinha said, urging attendees not take an initial reluctance to discuss census issues as final. The two elected state officials at the meeting, Rep. Carolyn Hugley and Rep. Brenda Lopez, cited the high stakes for their constituents’ future. Hugley, a 27-year veteran of the legislature, also serves as board chair for Fair Count. She said she learned from her mother, a school teacher, that

it’s important to tell people what they need to remember. “There are three R’s and two U’s,” Hugley said of the census: research, resources, representation, underfunded and underrepresented. Research yields

the census data essential for planning school expansions, roads, and other infrastructure efforts. Resources that support various federal programs, like Section 8 housing or supplemental food programs, are derived from

census data. Representation that enables constituencies to elect officials who reflect their aims and aspirations relies on census data for accuracy and fairness. In order to reap benefits, Hugley stressed, “you have to be counted. If you are undercounted, you will be underfunded and underrepresented.” Lopez concurred, and emphasized how participating in the census affects federal funding for school systems and social services — things that touch people’s daily lives and particularly their children’s quality of life. Indeed, data show that, up to the age of four, Hispanic children lead the undercount at 8%. That rate is higher than even the historically undercounted African American child population, at 6%. White children have the lowest undercount at 3%. Children invisible to the census may not bring dollars to their communities, but they still have needs that cost money, or, as Hugley observed, “services still have to be provided.” The enthusiasm generated by the event was palpable, despite the session concluding with a discussion of whether a question on citizenship status will be included on the census form. On a request from the Trump administration for an expedited decision, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on this issue in April. A ruling is expected in time for census forms to be printed July 1. Whether the question is included or not, Rep. Lopez said the complete count work needs to continue. She encouraged the media to be fully engaged with what Sonum Nerurkar, Get Out the Count manager for the Leadership Conference Education Fund, calls “one of the most pressing

civil rights issues in our country.” “If we don’t get the census right,” Nerurkar said, “we will see these impacts over the next 10 years. … We want to make sure our communities are seen and heard.”

Filipino Press

Sue Ramirez shares experience of working with K-pop idol Shinwoo MANILA -- Young actress Sue Ramirez shared her experience working with a K-pop idol for a movie. Ramirez worked with Shinwoo of Korean boy group Blanc7 for the movie "Sunshine Family," which was shot entirely in South Korea. In an interview with Push, Ramirez said she learned a lot about the Korean entertainment industry while working on the movie. "Pinakabagong experience ko or knowledge na natutunan ko is working with Koreans talaga. Kung papaano sila sa set na sobrang tahimik nila magtrabaho, na [kapag] work, work talaga, on time sila palagi," she said. Ramirez also praised Shinwoo for being kind and easy to work with. "Ang bait-bait ni Shinwoo, tapos ang cute kasi nagpapaturo rin siya sa amin mag-Tagalog at anu-anong kalokohan ang tinuturo namin sa kaniya. So it was a very fun experience and we got to sing together," she said, adding the song she and Shinwoo recorded together will be part of the movie. According to Ramirez, she expected to experience difficulties while shooting the movie in South Korea, but everything went smoothly. "In-expect ko talaga na mahihirapan ako kasi una sa lahat language barrier. Malaking factor kasi 'yun with 'yung workplace, kung papaano kayo mag-communicate with each other. Siyempre iba 'yung culture , iba 'yung way of living talaga kompara sa Pilipinas at sa mga Koreano. Pero sobrang naging smooth lang," she said. The movie is about a Filipino family who remains positive despite all the difficulties they are experiencing. "Sumalamin siya sa bawat pamilyang Pilipino na kahit na anong lalim o kahit anong hirap na pinagdadaanan, hinding-hindi mo makikita sa bakas ng mukha natin kahit saang bansa mo dalhin, Filipinos are known to be happy people. Laging nakangiti, very hospitable na kahit walang makain ipapakain pa rin sa bisita 'yung pagkain. So iyon 'yung representation of a Filipino family that was represented beautifully in this

movie," Ramirez shared. Produced by Spring Films and Filmline Productions, "Sunshine Family" stars Nonie Buencamino,

Shamaine Buencamino, Marco Masa, Ramirez and Shinwoo It will be shown in Philippine cinemas on June 5. (MNS)

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16 â&#x20AC;˘ May 18, 2019 - May 24, 2019

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