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LOS ANGELES

Fil-Am friendly Sen. Leland Yee seeks Secretary of State seat See SEN. YEE page 4

VOL. XXII, NO. 2

FEBRUARY 15-21, 2014

Martinez, PHL’s newest sporting hero Filipino figure skater hailed after reaching Sochi final MANILA, February 14, 2014 (AFP) – Philippine Olympic figure skater Michael Christian Martinez was hailed as a hero on Friday even as a senior sports official denied accusations that the government had failed to support him. The 17-year-old, the lone representative of the tropical country at the Sochi Games, made history after he qualified Thursday from the men’s short program for the free skate on Friday, despite numerous disadvantages, including being forced to learn his craft on a skating rink in a shopping mall. Local news reports suggested his family had struggled to pay for his training and that the government did not provide any support. But Ricardo Garcia, chairman of the Philippine Sports Commission, said Martinez had received adequate financial support from the government and private donors. “We are very happy with his performance. For a guy who learned how to skate in the Philippines, to make it to the finals... it is really amazing,” Garcia told AFP. “This is a very big issue for us. We have an athlete who is an Olympian who made it to the final

rounds,” he added. Some of the country’s wealthiest tycoons were sponsoring Martinez and the national skating association never asked for additional funds for him, Garcia said. The Philippine Olympic Committee asked the government for $7,200 to cover some of Martinez’s additional expenses but this money was released in December, he added. Speaking after his performance at the Iceberg Skating Palace on Friday, Martinez was elated with his performance: “The first half was pretty good, but halfway though the program I got out of breath, but I did my best all the way through. This is the first time I landed the triple axel in the second half of the program.” He is already looking towards the next Winter Games in South Korea. “If I can get more support financially, I’m thinking about the next Olympics and getting a medal there,” he added. Users of social media were agog over Martinez’s success in a sport so alien to his country. Popular director Jose Javier Reyes wrote in a message to Martinez on Twitter: “The medal See MARTINEZ, page 12

A very proud Michael Christian Martinez, seen here on a TV clip, during his short program on Thursday. The Filipino skater made Olympic history as the only South East Asian figure skater to have competed in the Winter Olympics and who made it to the medal round. (Photo is posted on Michael Christian Martinez’s Facebook page).

Beckham’s football antics lift spirits of typhoon survivors By Karl Malakunas

TANAUAN, February 14, 2014 (AFP) – David Beckham lifted the spirits of young Philippine typhoon survivors on Friday with a joke-filled game of football on a pitch surrounded by somber reminders of the country’s deadliest storm. The former England captain carried boys on his shoulders, tugged at their shirts and exchanged high-fives throughout the roughly 20 minutes of sports therapy at one of the coastal towns that was worst hit by Super Typhoon Haiyan three months ago. The game came at the end of a two-day trip

for Beckham to the typhoon-hit zones in the central Philippines, where 6,200 people have been confirmed killed and nearly 1,800 others remain missing. “It’s very uplifting, to the hearts, to the souls of the children. After all they have been through the past three months, with the storm, when he came, it was so good. We were so very happy,” local football coach Basil Nudalo told AFP. The game was played on the sports field of a ruined school in Tanauan, one of the towns facing the Pacific Ocean that were engulfed by tsunamilike storm surges. See BECKHAM, page 12

‘Bull’s eye’ says Miriam on Ruby Tuason’s testimony MANILA, Feb 13 (Mabuhay) – Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago described as “bull’s eye” the testimony of Ruby Tuason, the former social secretary of ex-President Joseph Estrada, which pins down Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Juan Ponce Enrile to the pork barrel scam. During her interpellation of Tuason at the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing on Thursday, Santiago said Tuason, a socialite who personally delivered pork barrel kickbacks to Estrada and Enrile’s former chief of staff, See BULL’S EYE, page 12

Senator Teofisto Guingona III, chairperson of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, presides at the hearing on the alleged pork barrel scam on Thursday (Feb. 13, 2014). Also in photo are Senate President Franklin Drilon and state witness Ruby Tuason. (MNS photo)

Obama to tour PHL, Malaysia, Japan, S. Korea in April By Stephen Collinson WASHINGTON, February 13, 2014 (AFP) – President Barack Obama will seek to ease questions over the staying power of his strategic shift to increasingly tense East Asia in April with stops in Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines and South Korea. Obama’s visits to Manila and Kuala Lumpur are intended to make up for his See OBAMA, page 12 President Obama and President Benigno Aquino of the Philippines at the White House on June 8, 2012. (Manila U.S. Embassy photo relase)

US would ‘help’ PHL in South China Sea MANILA, February 13, 2014 (AFP) – The United States will “help” the Philippines in the event that China occupies disputed islands in the South China Sea, the US Chief of Naval Operations said Thursday. Admiral Jonathan Greenert also stressed that the US would honor its mutual defense treaty with the Philippines amid a seething territorial conflict with China over the resource-rich waters. “Of course we would help you. I don’t know what that help would be, See U.S. HELP, page 12


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When you can’t pay your business debts! If your business is in distress – you owe a lot of money but you cannot pay, your creditors may threaten legal action against your business and very likely, you personally as well. How much they can collect, and how they can go about collecting it, will depend on how your business is organized, and whether you personally guaranteed repayment of the obligation. Sole Proprietors and Partnerships If you are a sole proprietor, you and your business are one and the same in the eyes of the law, which means you are per  sonally responsible for all of the business’s ruptcy estate to be sold, and the proceeds are debts. If there isn’t enough money in the distributed to your creditors. At the end of the business to pay these debts, creditors can process, all of your debts that are eligible for take your personal assets to pay them. discharge in bankruptcy will be wiped out. Partners in a general partnership have In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you propose a similar personal liability for business debts: repayment plan where you repay part or all Each partner is personally liable for the en- of the debt over three to five years. tirety of the business’s debts (and any partner How Bankruptcy Helps can usually bind the entire partnership to a When you file for bankruptcy, something business deal – a scary combination). This called an automatic stay immediately stops means that if there isn’t enough money in the your creditors from foreclosing on your business to pay the debts, and your partners house or any other personal property that is are broke, creditors can take your personal at risk. In some situations, this can be reason assets to pay all of the business’s debts, not enough to file for bankruptcy, because it will just your share. buy you time, if nothing else. Corporations and Unpaid Rent. If your business owes your Limited Liability Companies landlord back rent, you are probably personIf your business is organized as a corpo- ally liable for the debt. (Sole proprietors and ration or a limited liability company (LLC), partners are automatically personally liable your personal assets are usually protected for rent payments, and most small business from business creditors as a matter of law. corporations and LLCs also get stuck personShareholders and LLC members have a form ally guaranteeing the lease payments – check of asset protection called limited personal your lease. If you didn’t, give yourself a pat liability. Creditors cannot take owners’ per- on the back for being a savvy negotiator.) sonal assets to pay business debts, unless a Filing for bankruptcy might keep the business owner specifically gives up that landlord from taking your personal property limited liability protection. to pay the debt, especially if you file under Unfortunately, most small business Chapter 13 and come up with a payment plan. owners are forced to give up their right to Ordinary, Unsecured Debt limited personal liability, at least for some of If your business owes suppliers, you will their business debt. Many creditors require be personally on the hook if you operated personal guarantees and/or personal security your business as a sole proprietorship or from small business owners before they will partnership. Under the Uniform Commercial loan money or extend credit to a business. Code, suppliers of goods usually have the And many landlords require a personal right to take the goods back. Barring that, guarantee before they will lease commercial however, they can come after you personally property to a small business. for the unpaid amounts. If you have a lot of A personal guarantee is a promise by a this kind of debt, filing Chapter 13 could help business owner to hand over the owner’s you organize a payment plan (and Chapter 7 personal assets to a creditor if the business might wipe the debt out). can’t pay its debt and its assets are not worth If your business is a corporation or an enough to cover the debt. A creditor can also LLC, you may be off the hook for these ask a business owner to secure a business debts. This kind of debt is typically unsedebt by pledging specific personal property, cured and is rarely personally guaranteed. such as an owner’s house, boat, or car. When If your business has no money and no assets you sign a personal guarantee or pledge left, the suppliers may be out of luck – your personal property, you give up your protec- personal liability protection should protect tion against personal liability, and creditors your personal assets. So if your corporation can come after your personal assets if your or LLC has only unsecured, un-guaranteed business can’t pay. business debt, there’s no need to file a perThe Bankruptcy Option sonal bankruptcy. If your business bank account is empty, Does Bankruptcy Make Sense for You? a bankruptcy might be a viable option. It In the real world, just the threat of bankwould certainly give you some breathing ruptcy may be enough to help you work room while working things out, and in the things out. Many creditors will think twice case of personal liability, a bankruptcy will before leaning on you too hard if they think protect your house, your car, and other assets. you’ll file for bankruptcy. Business vs. Personal Bankruptcy Some creditors would rather work out a If you are a sole proprietor, you can file payment plan, or settle for partial repayment, for either Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bank- than become a creditor in your bankruptcy ruptcy. Either type of bankruptcy can be used case. From a creditor’s perspective, bankfor personal debts or business debts. ruptcy is an expensive and long process that If you are a corporate shareholder, LLC eats into profits. You can use that to your owner, or partner in a partnership and you advantage in negotiations and perhaps spread have signed personal guarantees or pledged payments out far enough to be manageable. collateral for business loans, putting your Your bankruptcy lawyer is an excellent business through bankruptcy will not protect resource when it comes to negotiating with your personal property. If you have placed creditors. Let him negotiate on your behalf. your personal property at risk, you must When creditors understand that bankruptcy is file for bankruptcy for yourself and your a viable option, they may be more willing to business separately to protect your personal settle for pennies on the dollar, and help you assets. In this article, we assume you are stay out of bankruptcy. Getting something is considering personal bankruptcy – because better than getting nothing. only personal bankruptcy will protect your If you think you are in imminent danger personal assets. of losing your family’s home or livelihood, Chapter 7 vs. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and you need help quickly, call me. Take If you file for personal bankruptcy, most advantage of my free consultation. Get to likely it will be a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 know your options. It could save you a lot bankruptcy. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your of money and a lot of heartache. assets (except for property that is exempt The Law Offices of Paul M. 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PHL tourist numbers rise nearly 10% despite disasters MANILA, February 13, 2014 (AFP) – The Philippines saw a 9.56% jump in foreign arrivals last year despite a series of natural disasters, the government said Thursday. More than 4.68 million tourists visited the country in 2013. But the figure was below the nation’s target of five million arrivals for the year. This was likely to due to the powerful earthquake, which killed more than 220 people and damaged facilities and roads in the popular tourist islands of Cebu and Bohol in October, and the destruction caused by Super Typhoon Haiyan in November, Tourism Department spokesman Benito Bengzon said. The typhoon left 8,000 dead or missing and devastated many popular tourist spots in the central islands. “There were a lot of calamities that hit us last year and there were some cancellations,” Bengzon told AFP. Despite the setbacks, the agency is still targeting six million foreign tourist arrivals for 2014, he said. This figure has been revised from an earlier target of 6.8 million for this year. The earthquake and typhoon destroyed tourism infrastructure and popular attractions like historic churches, hotels, resorts and diving and surfing sites. But Bengzon said the industry was rebounding, remarking that even in November and December, despite the global attention on the disasters, tourist arrivals still went up compared to 2012. He said more visitors are expected this year due to an increase in flights.

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Fil-Am friendly Sen. Leland Yee seeks Secretary of State seat Looks to ‘Make California’s democracy more inclusive’ SACRAMENTO – Today, Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) officially pulled papers for his candidacy for Secretary of State. “I am honored by the support and encouragement I have received from all over California,” said Yee. “It is time for a Secretary of State who will expand access to the ballot box, make our government more transparent, and strengthen California’s democracy.” Yee has served in the California State Legislature since 2002, and in that time has passed 181 pieces of legislation, including

landmark bills on election reform, open government, and civil rights. Among his most notable bills was SB 397 in 2011, which significantly expanded voter participation. The legislation enabled Californians to register to vote online, resulting in over 911,145 Californians using the new registration system. Yee’s campaign is already off to strong start, earning the early endorsements from the California Federation of Teachers, California Faculty Association, University Professional and Technical Employees, and UNITE HERE. “Senator Yee has continuously been a bold and tireless advocate for our schools, and has always put the best interests of

California’s children first,” said Josh Pechthalt, President of the California Federation of Teachers. “We believe he can best continue his good work as Secretary of State, where he will no doubt put into practice the values of inclusivity and accessibility he has fought for throughout his career.” “I am committed to empowering Californians so that they can guarantee fair elections, expose special interests and prevent corruption, because it’s your California,” said Yee. “This campaign is about every Californian being able to participate in our democracy, and I encourage them to get involved and involve others through LelandYee.com.”

PCGG recovers P1.3B Marcos loot MANILA, Feb 12 (Mabuhay) – The Presidential Commission on Good Government has recovered around US$29 million or over 1.3 billion pesos in hidden wealth of former president Ferdinand Marcos that was held up in litigation in Singapore. In a press briefing, PCGG Chairman Andres Bautista said the commission has remitted US$20.2 million and 5.3 million pounds sterling to the Bureau of Treasury last February 5 and 10. “These amounts collectively are around approximately 29 million US dollars or over 1.3 billion pesos. These recovered amounts form part of the Swiss bank

accounts of former President Ferdinand Marcos and his family that were ordered forfeited by the Philippine Supreme Court in 2003 but which were held up in litigation in Singapore since then,” he said. In 1997, the Federal Court of Switzerland ordered that the secret Marcos accounts in Swiss banks be transferred to the Republic of the Philippines but subject to certain conditions. The Swiss court said the funds should be invested first in “AA” banks and that there had to be a final Philippine Supreme Court decision in respect to the matter and that an escrow arrangement be entered into the Republic of the Philippines.

The Philippine government then engaged the Philippine National Bank as its escrow agent. “Since there were no AA banks in the Philippines, we had to invest these funds in several banks in Singapore including West Landes (WestLB) Bank,” Bautista said. In July 2003, the Philippine Supreme Court came out with the decision granting the forfeiture of these bank deposits, which allowed the PNB to remit most of the monies back to the Philippines and the Bureau of Treasury except for 2 accounts in WestLB. At that time, the accounts held $6.8 million and 4.2 million British pound sterling.


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Ruby Tuason: I delivered ‘heavy’ bagfuls of money to Jinggoy MANILA, Feb 13 (Mabuhay) – Potential state witness Ruby Tuason on Thursday detailed before the Senate blue ribbon committee her alleged transactions with Senator Jinggoy Estrada, involving millions in pork barrel funds. In delivering the Estrada’s share, she said she would pass through the Senate basement to avoid inspection, and would usually be met by a member of Estrada’s staff before proceeding to his office. Tuason said that her dealings with Estrada began in 2004 when she personally delivered P5.7 million to his residence in Greenhills in San Juan City. However, she added that this transaction was canceled, with Senator Estrada saying, “Huwag na lang.” Tuason said the first full transaction with Estrada happened on December 3, 2007, with the senator receiving P25 million in commission from his pork barrel funds allocated to the Technology and Livelihood Resource Center (TLRC). Also, she said she delivered bagfuls of money to Estrada’s Senate office, but could not recall the exact amounts. “Mabigat ‘yung pera. I used a hand carry bag, ‘yung may gulong. If the amount is small, like P1 million or P2 million, kasya in my bag. That will fit in my bag. If

it’s bigger than that, we need a big bag,” Tuason said. In her affidavit submitted to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Tuason admitted to personally delivering kickbacks to Estrada and Gigi Reyes, former chief-of-staff of Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile. Estrada had earlier denied receiving money from Tuason, even saying that the latter’s affidavit was fabricated to pin him down on the plunder charges. “Walang specifics. There were no dates...Sabi niya binigyan niya ako ng P35 million. Ilang kilos iyon? Madadala niya ba iyon?” Estrada said on Tuesday. He further said that the figures of the alleged kickbacks given to him were “jacked up.” “The reason why Mrs. Tuason and Benhur Luy met [on Monday] was to, of course, tally the figures. Dahil hindi alam kung magkano raw ang binigay sa akin. So ijajack up na nila iyon to reach the threshold for plunder,” Estrada said. Tuason, Enrile, Estrada and Reyes are all facing plunder raps before the Office of the Ombudsman for their alleged involvement in the pork barrel scam, supposedly engineered by detained businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles. (MNS)

Napoles, not the most guilty? – Aquino MANILA, Feb 14 (Mabuhay) – President Aquino believes it is still “premature” to say if Janet Napoles can qualify as a state witness in the cases against alleged perpetrators of the pork barrel scam. He said that Napoles has not offered any information that would help prosecute the case. He brought up an old joke about Napoles not remembering anything when the program “Maalaala Mo Kaya” was supposed to interview her for her life story. “Wala pa akong naririnig na gusto niyang ibahagi na impormasyon. So paano natin masasabing dapat maging state witness siya kung wala siyang binabahaging impormasyon,” Aquino told reporters. “Kung mayroon mang ibabahagi siyempre nasa [Department of Justice] para i-analisa kung nakakatulong ba sa kaso ‘to dahil kinakailangang ma-meet ang criteria na not most guilty. E sa ngayon parang siya ang nasa sentro so paano mo masasabing not the most guilty.”

When asked if Napoles can be considered as the “mastermind” of the scam, Aquino said that Napoles appears to be the “center” who is the “common link” of all the personalities allegedly involved. “Masasabi natin na tila ang common link ng lahat ng supposed to be involved as far as one segment of this scam is concerned is Ms. Napoles. Siya ba ang pasimuno? Di ganoon ka-klaro pa pero nasa sentro siya ng involvement diumano ng maraming mga tao,” he said. Napoles is accused of masterminding the alleged P10 billion pork barrel scam involving government officials and lawmakers. The scam saw Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) allocations of lawmakers being used for ghost projects of fake non-government organizations set up by Napoles. The Commission on Audit report said over P2 billion in pork barrel funds were funneled to Napoles NGOs from 20072009.(MNS)

Senate to tackle Cha-cha after House approval: Drilon MANILA, Feb 14 (Mabuhay) – Senate will only start discussing Charter change once it will be approved by the House of Representatives, according to Senate President Franklin Drilon on Friday. “The position of the Senate leadership, because I have already talked with House Speaker Sonny Belmonte about it, they will finish it first in the House. If they pass it, we will put it in our calendar and discuss it,” Drilon said. Drilon said Belmonte, however, clarified that the House will tackle first the process on how to change the policies in the Constitution. “For example, in our Constitution, business should be owned by Filipino, let’s say 60 percent. That’s the trend for the past 30 years ago. Let’s put ‘this is our policy: 60% of business should be handle by Filipino, unless otherwise provided by law,” Drilon said. “We wanted to debate first on the policies of our Constitution. We’re not saying to change it through proposed bill to be passed in Congress. We will not tackle first the substance but the process,” Drilon added. Drilon said Congress will not touch the term limits or extension of office. “That’s what we are protecting because we know the sentiments of our countrymen when it comes to lifting of terms limits or extension of office,” Drilon stressed. Due to strong public opposition, several attempts to amend the Constitution failed during time of former President and now Pampanga congresswoman Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. In the Senate, several senators have said they are open to tackle the Charter but only the economic provision that would allow more foreign investors to come in. The last time the Philippines changed its Constitution was in 1987 under the late former President Corazon Aquino, mother of incumbent President Benigno Aquino III.

Miriam wants probe on Senate security agency that allowed Tuason’s visits MANILA, Feb 13 (Mabuhay) – Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago on Thursday called for an investigation on the agency handling Senate security that allowed potential state witness Ruby Tuason to proceed to the office of Senator Jinggoy Estrada without inspection. “I ask the Senate to investigate this security agency. These people are not doing their jobs,” Santiago said during the Senate blue ribbon committee hearing on the alleged P10-billion pork barrel scam. Santiago made this remark after Tuason said “nobody ever bothered” to inspect her when she carried bagfuls of money into the Senate premises for delivery to Estrada’s office. Tuason said she visited the Senate at least twice in 2008, usually in the afternoon. She added that she used the side entrance of the Senate, which is reserved only for senators, to evade inspection. She also belied Estrada’s earlier statement that she delivered snacks, and not money, to his office. “When I will bring food, I pass through the main entrance. I don’t pass through the side. Hindi naman problema iyon,” she said. Estrada, who is among the three senators implicated in the pork barrel scam, had earlier asked the Senate sergeant-at-arms to make public all closed circuit television (CCTV) footage showing Tuason’s visits. The other senators facing plunder complaint in connection with the supposed anomaly are Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile and Senator Ramon Bong Revilla Jr. (MNS)

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Obamacare: What’s going on? OBAMACARE may be unpopular, but it is still the way to go for the middle to low income Filipino-Americans who need health insurance and want to avoid penalty for not having one. Enroll Now. Open enrollment is up to Monday, 31 March 2014. If you miss that deadline, your next opportunity to enroll will come in October, 2014, unless you recently moved-in, got married, gave   birth or adopted a child. At Covered California, you may qualify lose your boyfriend or girlfriend, you lose for NO Premium health insurance (free) nothing; If you lose your job or wealth, you thru MediCal or low-priced plans after lose something; If you lose your health, applying your tax credits. you lose everything.� Here, I cannot over-emphasize the Enrollment on a health plan is the smart value of your health insurance: “If you way to go, kabayan!

   

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Tuason testimony suspicious: Trillanes MANILA, Feb 14 (Mabuhay) – Sen. Antonio Trillanes on Friday said he is suspicious about the testimony of socialite Ruby Tuason because she is not telling the whole truth about the pork barrel scandal. Trillanes said Tuason was holding back during the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing and had based her recollection of the kickbacks she allegedly gave Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Juan Ponce Enrile on the accounting records of whistle-blower Benhuy Luy. He said this will not hold up in court if Tuason is under direct examination by defense lawyers. “So far, I am not convinced about the testimony of Mrs. Ruby Tuason. She knows a lot and she can be a very credible witness if only she will not hold back,� he said. “She kept a lot of details off....She was saying it’s more than P9 million stated in the affidavit, broken down into 5 transactions and yet she wasn’t able to fill that in. In the affidavit it is only P9 million and remember P9 million is below the plunder threshold,� he added. Trillanes said Tuason admitted that she received P40 million in commissions from Janet Napoles while also allegedly delivering P77 million in kickbacks to

Atty. Gigi Reyes, the alleged chief aide of Senator Enrile. He said the alleged kickbacks of the senators, totaling over P80 million, were “too low� if they indeed received 40% in commissions of their PDAF. He also said Tuason practically cleared Enrile in the pork barrel scam when she said that she did not know if Enrile was aware that his priority development assistance funds were going to fake NGOs of Janet Lim Napoles. “She was practically defending Senator Enrile, that she didn’t meet Senator Enrile or talk to him about the PDAF. When I tried to press further, she just believes the senator had an inkling of anomalous transactions and that statement will not hold in court,� he said. The senator said he became very suspicious when he examined Tuason’s affidavit, which was “too thin, lacked details and dealt in generalities.� “What is happening here is she believes that her testimony no matter how scant it was will be enough to get her out of the case but not enough to pin down some favored...friends,� he said. He also said he received information that Tuason’s lawyer, Dennis Manalo, used to be part of the law firm of Senator Enrile.

BI to issue new departure, arrival cards starting Mar. 1 MANILA, Feb 13 (Mabuhay) – Starting March 1, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) will be issuing newly designed and printed arrival and departure (AD) cards to passengers. BI spokesperson Maria Angelica Pedro said they are currently coordinating with airline companies as to the distribution of the cards. The new AD cards are used to document passengers, for border management and compilation of tourism statistics. For this year, the BI will be printing 10 million each for arrival and departure cards. The AD cards are printed at the National Printing Office (NPO). She explained that the cards are colorcoded, for arrival cards the heading is color

blue while the departure cards is color red. For his part, BI Commissioner Siegfred Mison said the design and data fields of the cards are aligned with the existing computer systems – the upgraded BI Information System (BIIS). “Even the size of the color-coded forms is aligned with that of the standard passport page,� he added. The BI and the Department of Tourism are equally shouldering the printing cost. Pedro said some of the information such as the date of birth and nationality will no longer be printed at the AD card. The back of the card is blank, where immigration officers will sign and write a remark if there are questions in the documents of a particular passenger. (MNS)

Sandiganbayan orders LRay Villafuerte’s arrest over graft cases MANILA, Feb 13 (Mabuhay) -- The Sandiganbayan 5th Division on Thursday confirmed that it has ordered the arrest of Camarines Sur Governor Luis Raymond “LRay� Villafuerte over three counts of graft in relation to the alleged questionable fuel purchases worth P20 million. The court said the warrant for Villafuerte’s arrest was issued Thursday, February 6. But the also confirmed Villafuerte has posted P90,000 in bail last Friday. The charge, which originated from the Ombudsman alleged that Villafuerte

purchased the fuel without a proper public bidding. Villafuerte was charged together with Jeffrey Lo, proprietor of Naga Fuel Express Zone, who was paid for the petrol products. Villafuerte bought petroleum products in three tranches in 2010: P5 million on January 22, another P5 million between January 7 and 23, and another P10 million on April 7. The bail for an each count of graft case is P30,000. Villafuerte cannot be immediately contacted for comment. (MNS)


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Orange County community movers and trailblazers honored Orange County is a microcosm of the diverse demographics of California with its more than 3 million people representing a tapestry of cultural mix and influence from around the world. The combined brains and business acumen of the gifted men and women have made the county one of the most popular places in America where many listed in Fortune 500 companies have established their command headquarters because of the conducive fertile ground for business growth.   The faces of these businesses that turn the wheels of economy of Orange Institution: Soka University Performing County and make life more pleasant and Arts Center, Environmental Project: The enjoyable to many came to the public Ecology Center “The Watershed�, Gala: view when “nearly 50 community minded OCEANA SeaChange Summer Party, individuals, businesses and nonprofit in- Health Organization: CHOC Hospital, stitutions� had their moments of fame for Individual: Susan Samueli, Philanthropist: the night when they were recognized for Geoffrey and Nancy Stack, Volunteers: their contributions to the Orange County Izzy’s Corner at the Second Harvest Food community at an event held at a bistro in Bank of Orange County and Nonprofit: South Coast Plaza. Free Wheelchair Mission . The awards were given by a local pubThe Free Wheelchair Mission (FWM) lication to honor these leaders who inspire that has touched the lives already of more and strengthen Orange County especially than 748,000 people in 91 countries in the at particular time when healthy signs of world who existence would have been coneconomic recovery are showing up in fined to immobility and hopelessness had many fronts. already received their rewards from their Twelve individuals and organizations beneficiaries. Receiving free wheelchairs received awards among 48 finalists, and from the Mission has given them back each them representing some of Orange their freedom. County’s most community-minded orgaFWM is a humanitarian, faith-based, nizations and inspiring philanthropists. non-profit international organization that The honorees hail from a rich-field of provides free wheelchairs for individuals achievers from grass-roots environmental with physical challenges living in economiand arts education to some of the larg- cally disadvantaged areas of developing est philanthropic donations made by any nations. individual in the U.S These awardees repIt is estimated that more than 100 milresented the face of Orange County that’s lion people cannot walk because of the home to people from all walks of life who effects of war, landmines, untreated birth make the place a better place to live in. defects and injuries, polio, and malaria. The honorees included: Lifetime With the free wheel-chairs., many who Achievement Award: Henry Segerstrom, literally drag themselves across the ground Arts Organization: Clair Trevor School for or rely on loved ones to carry them to are the Arts at UC Irvine;, Business: Pacific not able to meet their most basic needs by Life, City Project: City of Newport Beach regain their gift of mobility and enjoy inCity Civic Center and Park Project, Cou- dependence. ple: Wylie and Bette Aitken, Educational Based in the City of Irvine, FWM has the world as its area of influence by having a vast network of humanitarian, faithbased and government organizations which delivering wheelchairs to thousands with disabilities. FWM founder, Don Schoendorfer, was touched by a scene years ago when he

  

County to host used motor oil and oil filter recycling event in Bell

The Los Angeles County Public Works Department will host a free used motor oil and used oil filter recycling event at O’Reilly Auto Parts, 7019 Atlantic Avenue, Bell, on Saturday, February 22, 2014, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. In exchange for turning in used oil, participants will be rewarded with free oil containers, oil filter containers, shop towels, and funnels while supplies last. Those recycling oil filters will receive a new oil filter also while supplies last. Residents are asked to prepare items for drop-off by placing used oil filters in sealed plastic bags and storing used motor oil in leak-proof containers without mixing the oil with other liquids, including water. In addition, residents can drop-off used motor oil and used oil filters for free at weekend County-sponsored Household Hazardous Waste/Electronic Waste Collection Events or at local Certified Collection Centers. A full calendar of collection events and center locations can be found at www. CleanLA.com. For information on the County’s oil and oil filter recycling program, call Edna Gandarilla, Program Manager, at (626) 458-6536.

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and his wife, Laurie, were vacationing in Morocco. The couple witnessed a disabled woman struggling to drag herself across the dirt road and ignored by the crowd. The couple could not forget scene of the woman’s hardship who barely evaded traffic and Don, the mechanical engineer and an

MIT Ph.D holder “began researching the global dilemma of disability in developing countries and developed a durable, safe and inexpensive wheelchair and eventually walked away from a successful career� to establish the nonprofit Free Wheelchair Mission.

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GMA Kapuso Villages soon to rise in Leyte Rebuilding the lives of the many displaced residents in Leyte due to typhoon Yolanda begins as GMA Kapuso Foundation (GMAKF) starts construction on two Kapuso Villages in Tacloban and Palo. The groundbreaking ceremonies of the Kapuso Villages, one in the city of Tacloban and the other in the municipality of Palo, were held last January 21. In partnership with the local government units and the National Housing Authority (NHA), GMAKF’s Kapuso Villages will serve as resettlement areas for the residents of Tacloban and Palo who were displaced by Yolanda last year.䚷 GMAKF EVP and COO Mel C. Tiangco led the groundbreaking ceremonies together with NHA represented by its Regional Project Manager Engr. Rizalde. Joining them were staff and officers of the local government units – in Tacloban, Mayor Alfred S. Romualdez, barangay chairpersons Hon. Alden Villarmino of Barangay Sto. Nino, and Hon. Emilita Montalban of Barangay 88; and in Palo, Mayor Remedios L. Petilla and Leyte Vice Governor Hon. Carlo Loreto – as well as the beneficiaries of the project.䚷䚷䚷 Driven by its mission to uplift the lives of underprivileged Filipinos all over the Philippines, GMAKF’s housing project aims to provide indigent victims of Yolanda with sustainable permanent shelter that could withstand future calamities. “The donations entrusted to us by the many compassionate and concerned citizens from all over the world will materialize into a wonderful new beginning for the families here in Leyte,” shares Tiangco. Former residents of Barangay䚷San Jose䚷in Tacloban䚷will be given priority䚷for䚷the 400 houses that will be built in the Kapuso Village in the䚷area. Furthermore, GMAKF hopes to foster learning among the youth with the construction of 20 new classrooms within the village.䚷The construction site stands on a䚷3.5hectare plot of land donated by the city government of Tacloban. Meanwhile, the relocation site in Sitio Caloogan, Palo will have 200 houses and 10 classrooms which will be allocated䚷to䚷former residents of Barangay San Joaquin, Barangay Baras and Barangay Guindaponan. The site is situated on approximately 2.5 hectares of forest land. For details on how to contribute to the GMA Kapuso Foundation’s projects, you may visit their website, www.gmanetwork.


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Over 40 families had participated in the 4 segments of omusubi (rice ball) cooking classes held in Mitsuwa Torrance store on 2/8 (Sat) and 2/9 (Sun). This marked the start of its serial cooking classes to be held on the first Sunday of each month.

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Torrance, CA – Mitsuwa Marketplace, the largest Japanese supermarket chain in the U.S., held the opening ceremony for its Shokuiku cooking class followed by the first Shokuiku event on 2/8 (Sat). Over 40 families had participated in the 4 segments of omusubi (rice ball) cooking classes held in Mitsuwa Torrance store on 2/8 (Sat) and 2/9 (Sun). This marked the start of its serial cooking classes to be held on the first Sunday of each month. “Shoku-iku� is a concept of promoting healthy lifestyle through food. Store manager Mr. Kishimoto said, “In an effort to support healthy living habits, Mitsuwa will hold monthly cooking classes to promote a healthier lifestyle�. Parents and kids will enjoy family-bonding moments together through free cooking classes. Japan Rice and Rice Products Export Promotion Association (JRE) sponsored this first Shokuiku event. Representatives from JRE welcomed the crowd by introducing the importance of rice and rice culture in Japan.

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The next Shokuiku cooking class will be held on March 2nd, featuring easy-to-make sushi. This goes perfectly with the March 3rd Japanese Girl’s Day. It is a traditional Japanese holiday for families to get together to pray for the well being of young girls, and sushi is one of the traditional foods to be served on that day. If interested in future Shokuiku classes, be sure to sign up at the Mitsuwa Torrance store. About Mitsuwa Marketplace Mitsuwa Marketplace, the largest Japanese supermarket chain in the U.S. carries a wide variety of Japanese groceries, general items, electric appliances, cosmetics and other products at its stores. They were established in March 1st, 1998 and currently have nine stores across the nation. About JRE Japan Rice and Rice Products Export Promotion Association is an association that works to expand and promote the exportation of Japanese agricultural products. Their main focus is on domestic rice from Japan.

Bill filed vs selling, buying of theses, school papers MANILA, Feb 12 (Mabuhay) – Students, persons who sell or buy dissertations, thesis and other school papers will be punished if a bill on academic honesty becomes a law. Rep. Delphine Gan Lee said House Bill 3793 or the “Academic Honesty Act of 2013� makes “unlawful for any person to sell, offer to sell, purchase or offer to purchase any material either written or provided through electronic media which will be submitted by a student as his or her own work to any university, college, academy, school or other educational institution, or to a course, seminar or degree program held by such institution.� Section 5 of HB 3793 provides that any person found guilty of violating the

proposed law shall be meted a penalty of imprisonment of arresto menor (one day to thirty days), or a fine of not more than ten thousand pesos (P10,000), or both, at the discretion of the court, taking into consideration all attending circumstances. She said the bill was already referred by the plenary to the Committee on Higher and Technical Education and the Committee on Basic Education for appropriate action and possible endorsement. “The nation’s human development program, especially our educational system, should, among other important foundations, be based and developed on the principle of honesty and hard work,� she said. (MNS)

UST moves college opening to July MANILA, Feb 11 (Mabuhay) -– The University of Santo Tomas (UST) has approved the shift in the opening of its college classes from June-March to July-May. The Varsitarian, the university’s official student publication, said the UST’s Office of the Secretary General said the shift in the opening of classes will take effect in the next academic year.

Recently, the University of the Philippines (UP) System (except Diliman) and Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU) announced the shift in its academic calendar from June-March to August-May. The change in the academic calendar is supposed to be in preparation for the integration of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2015.(MNS)


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Employees misclassified as independent contractors awarded over $10-M Keeping labor costs down by taking unlawful shortcuts does not pay. One of these illegal shortcuts is to classify workers as “independent contractors.” Unlike employees, they are not paid minimum wage, overtime, missed breaks, and other benefits such as health insurance, pension, and workers’ compensation protection. Courts look at several factors to determine if a worker is an independent contractor. The most important factor is the employer’s they did not arrive on time. It conducted right to control the worker’s manner audits and field checks of the carriers’ and means of performing the job. If the performance, changed a carrier’s route employer dictates how the worker should or required the carrier to deliver alternate do the work, the manner and methods publications. Even though the carriers were of accomplishing tasks, then the worker required to buy a bond and auto insurance, is an employee and not an independent the carriers did not have their own business contractor. but rather were performing an integral part Some companies pass on the expenses of the newspaper’s business. of doing business to the “independent After trial, the Court awarded a total contractors.” These expenses may include of $11,114,211 to the class. $3,188,445 of fuel, insurance, living, and other travel this award was for the reimbursement of expenses; purchasing supplies, tools, ma- expenses alone! terials, or equipment such as cell phones Evaluating whether a worker is an emrelated to work. For employees, these ployee or independent contractor involves expenses are reimbursable. an analysis and application of technical If the misclassification occurred for sev- requirements. “Independent contractors” eral years, the back wages and reimburse- or “1099 workers” should not hesitate ments owed may be significant. Consider to consult with experienced employment the case filed by a class of newspaper car- attorneys to determine if they are really riers against The San Diego Union Tribune. employees entitled to greater protections The newspaper allegedly misclassified under the law. its carriers as independent contractors, in [C. Joe Sayas, Jr., Esq. is trial attorney order to avoid taxes and potential liability who has obtained several million dollar for carriers’ accidents while on the job. recoveries for his clients against insurance Reports showed that the newspaper companies and employers. He has been controlled the manner and means by which selected as a Super Lawyer by the Los the carriers performed their tasks. The Angeles Magazine, featured in the cover newspaper instructed the carriers on how of Los Angeles Daily Journal’s Verdicts they should pick up their papers, assemble and Settlements, and is a member of the the papers and whether or not to bag the Million Dollar-Advocates Forum. He is newspapers. If subscribers complained, the a graduate of Georgetown University Law carriers’ pay were reduced. Carriers had to Center Washington, D.C. and the Univerundergo intensive training and coaching, sity of the Philippines. Visit his website at and could not assign their routes to others. www.joesayaslaw.com or contact his office The newspaper called the carriers if at (818) 291-0088 for a no-cost inquiry.]

BI reiterates rules on foreign students MANILA, Feb 14 (Mabuhay) – The Bureau of Immigration has reminded educational institutions in the country to only accept foreign students who are holders of student visa and special study permit. BI Commissioner Siegfred Mison issued the statement following the change in school calendar by some universities. He noted that only schools accredited by the bureau, the Federation of Accrediting Agencies of the Philippines (FAAP), the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) are authorized to accept foreign students. The BI chief warned that schools that allow foreigners to study without the appropriate visas or permits would result to a fine of P50,000 and lose their authority to accept students from other countries. Mison said foreigners aged 18 years and above who arrive as tourists and are intending to study in the country must apply for conversion of their status and secure appropriate student visa. On the other hand, those who are below 18 years old who will study in primary, sec-

ondary and tertiary levels or those about to take up special courses for less than a year must secure a special study permit (SSP). Mison added that schools are required to establish a foreign student unit and submit to the BI a periodic report on foreigners enrolled in their colleges or universities. Last week, the Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU) and the University of the Philippines (UP) system announced that they are shifting their academic calendars from August to May, aligning their schedule with their overseas counterparts. Under the new academic calendar, UP’s first semester will begin in August and end in December, while the second semester will be from January to May. The new schedule will take effect in the school year 2015-2016. Other universities have also expressed intentions to change their academic year as part of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) integration in 2015. These include the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City, De La Salle University, and University of Santo Tomas. (MNS)

Immigration agents nab 36 foreign nationals in Divisoria mall MANILA, Feb 12 (Mabuhay) – At least 36 Chinese and Taiwanese nationals were apprehended by Bureau of Immigration (BI) operatives for reportedly engaging in illegal retail trade in a big shopping mall in Divisoria, Manila. Acting BI Intelligence chief Carlito Licas said most of those rounded up last Tuesday do not have any passport or valid work permit and visa in violation of Section 9 and 37 of the Philippine Immigration Law. He said the bureau received several

complaints about illegal aliens openly engaged in buy and sell activities at the 999 Shopping Mall. However, upon verification of their status, 20 of them including a 15-year old female from mainland China were released shortly after they presented valid documents on their stay in the country. He noted that a mission order has been issued against one Ting Ting Gong, a 23-year old female after she slipped out of the BI offices when allowed to use the bathroom.

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BULL’S EYE From page 1

Jessica ‘Gigi’ Reyes, meets all the requirements for a state witness. “In fact, you are a perfect and intelligent state witness,” Santiago said. “Ano pa ba ang kailangan dito? Kailangang patayin itong si Mrs. Tuason but her testimony remains on record…so this is considered her dying declaration,” she said. During the hearing, Tuason reaffirmed her affidavit submitted to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) that, on one occasion, she personally delivered the money to the younger Estrada by passing through the parking area exclusively used by senators so that the money would not be seen by security staff who man other entrances of the Senate. “[By passing through the parking area] Nobody ever bothered to check my bag,” she said. Some of the kickbacks were turned over in meetings in restaurants. Tuason said she would meet Reyes on Pasay Road in Makati City or at the Fort, Taguig City. The high-end restaurants where they met include Tsukiji, Mamou, Gourmand, and L’Opera. The kickbacks were placed in either a duffel bag or hand-carried bag, depending on the amounts, she said. In Enrile’s case, Tuason said she served as bagman for businesswoman Janet Lim

Napoles and Reyes but was later excluded. “I personally received the share of Enrile and personally gave it to Gigi, who picked it up personally in my house or in a place where we could have coffee,” she said. Tuason said there were instances when Enrile would come to pick up Reyes but would not mention anything about any transaction. Despite not being the one who accepted the kickbacks, Santiago said Enrile’s behavior, whenever he would pick up Reyes during the deliveries by Tuason, is “still incriminatory.” “Silence means consent. Kung ikaw ang boyfriend, ano ang gagawin mo dun? You will ask [your girlfriend what she’s doing] before you pick her up. The people facing Valentine’s Day know it’s the SOP [Standard Operating Procedure],” she said. DENIALS VS PERSONAL KNOWLEDGE Santiago noted that Tuason’s affidavit contains specific names and details. On the other hand, Enrile and Estrada have only issued denials, she said. “Like all trial lawyers, I have learned that a positive assertion like your affidavit is given more weight in law than a negative assertion like the denials of your adversaries,” she said. In several Supreme Court decisions,

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Santiago said denial has always been a weak defense. Santiago said Tuason has direct evidence against the two, having delivered the money right in front of them. She also commented on Tuason’s noncommittal answers. “I can understand you can’t commit to specific statements about the implication of the fact that Enrile used to go to where you have an appointment with the chief of staff and bring coffee without saying anything about your prior conversation.” Tuason said she introduced Reyes to Napoles due to the latter’s insistence. At that time, Napoles wanted to air her side after being linked to the fertilizer fund scam. Reyes initially did not want to meet Napoles, she said. Tuason said she was later left out of the transactions with Enrile, and only Reyes and Napoles were the ones already directly transacting. “When I asked if they have already been transacting directly, hindi naman na umaamin,” she said. When she was still the bagman, Tuason said received 5% commission or less. Tuason said she was also later left out of the deals with Estrada. “Matagal nang

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walang transaction, but I was still close to them. It did not really upset me because they have always denied it anyway. Even if I knew, they never admitted transacting directly.” Santiago asked: “Were you motivated by anger or frustration against him? Before you left the Philippines, was there any significant disagreement between you and him on the one hand; or between you and Senator Enrile on the other hand, such as today you would be motivated by revenge?” Tuason said she never got upset that she was cut out of the deals. She said she got to talk to Estrada when the pork barrel scam came out. “I asked, ‘ano maitutulong mo sa akin?’ Wala. Wala raw syang maitutulong, so medyo shocked ako.” Santiago asked why Napoles chose Enrile and Estrada even if there were 22 other senators. “Anak sya [Estrada] ng dati kong boss [President Joseph Estrada]. With Enrile, maybe because I was close to Gigi.” Santiago added: “Ano kaya ang gayuma nilang dalawa na sila lang ang napili? Or sa negosyong ito, kilala na kaya sila?” (MNS)

OBAMA From page 1

no-show when he cancelled a previous Asia tour in October amid domestic political strife in Washington. A subtext to his visit will be rising territorial tensions between several US allies and China, which deepened over Beijing’s recent declaration of an “air defense identification zone” in the East China Sea. Beijing was also angered last week when Washington stiffened its line on territorial disputes in the South China Sea, calling for adjusting or clarifying its claims. Obama’s stops in Japan and South Korea will also bolster close US alliances, at a time of aggravated political tensions between its two Northeast Asian friends. It was an open secret that Obama would visit Japan in April, to take up an invitation from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who took office in December 2012. But the decision to add South Korea

to the trip came after rising pressure from Seoul and from the Asia policy community in Washington. The move also reflects a desire to signal to North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un that there are no gaps in US and South Korean resolve to counter Pyongyang’s nuclear program and provocations. It indicates that Obama is keen to avoid dealing a political slight to South Korean President Park Geun-Hye that could have occurred if he visited Tokyo and not Seoul. Relations between the two nations were rattled by Abe’s December visit to the Yasukuni Shrine, which honors war criminals among Japan’s war dead. Obama’s Asia itinerary also includes one noticeable exception – a stop in China. But he is expected to return to the region later in the year for regional summits in Australia, Beijing and Myanmar.

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“You may have seen some statements coming from our policy makers exactly in that direction. You will see more of that from us,” he added. He also said that the US Navy would increase its presence in the Western Pacific region from the present level of about 50 ships to 60 ships by 2020. In December, during a visit to the Philippines, US Secretary of State John Kerry warned China against any move to declare an air defence zone in the South China Sea, a declaration that was seen as an affirmation of the defence ties between Manila and Washington. Greenert also praised the Philippines’ move to ask a UN tribunal to strike down China’s claims to most of the South China Sea, saying it was “a terrific idea.” He urged the Philippines “to stay the course and bring this to fruition,” even though China has refused to participate in the process.

From page 1

specifically. I mean we have an obligation because we have a treaty,” he told students at a state defense college during a visit to Manila. His remarks – one of the strongest US declarations of support for the Philippines – come as concerns rise that China will attempt to forcefully assert its claim to almost all of the South China Sea. China’s claim conflicts with that of the Philippines, which has a 1951 treaty with the United States that officials say bind the two partners to defend each other in case of external attack. The United States has not taken a stand on the conflicting territorial claims over the South China Sea, which also involve Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam. But Admiral Greenert said that he wanted to send a “clear signal... that aggressive behaviour outside of international norms is contrary to good order.”

MARTINEZ From page 1

is immaterial. In the hearts of your countrymen, your feat is more than an Olympic Gold. You INSPIRE!” “Was teary eyed when I saw #MichaelChristianMartinez wave his jacket with PHILIPPINES printed on it. He put his heart&soul in his performance,” another tweet said. Garcia said the youngster had “the attitude of a winner” and would use his time in Sochi “as a stepping stone to gain more experience for the next Olympics”.

BECKHAM From page 1

More than 1,200 people died just in Tanauan, and the game was played within walking distance of a mass grave where the bodies of hundreds of people were buried. The shells of school buildings, ripped coconut trees and piles of rocky debris surrounded the pitch, but inside there was constant laughter from Beckham and the boys. Beckham was visiting the typhoon-hit areas in his role as a “goodwill ambassador” for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), which has been playing an important role in the recovery and rehabilitation program.


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2 common mistakes that always lead to financial trouble Many factors lead to financial problems and bankruptcy. While there are things that are simply beyond your control (example: sickness, disability, unemployment, etc.), a lot of bankruptcies are also a result of poor financial management. A lot of people are embarrassed to admit this but it’s true. When it comes to handling money, there are a number of pitfalls to avoid and the more you are aware of them, the better prepared you will be when you see them. Here are month’s paycheck? Will you be able to sup2 mistakes you should avoid if you want port yourself and your family temporarily and pay your bills? to stay out of financial trouble: The other problem with not having Not having an emergency fund: It is not a matter of “if”; it’s a matter of “when” some kind of emergency fund is that if any a financial emergency will arise. A lot of unexpected expense comes up (car repairs, people are spending way beyond their emergency dental procedure, etc.), it could means that they are unable to save even a easily turn into a “financial emergency” few dollars every month for the rainy days. because it is not in your budget. So what Financial planners tell us that it’s a do people usually do? Well, since they good idea to have at least 3-6 months’ have no money allotted for the unexpected worth of living expenses in case you lose expense, they will borrow the money or your income for whatever reason. If you charge it on a credit card. You pay enough are living paycheck to paycheck with no of these “emergencies” and pretty soon you savings, you are putting yourself in a very will realize that you’ve bitten off more than vulnerable position. What will happen to you can chew. you and your family if you miss even one Not having a spending plan: This is

usually called “budgeting” but I like the term “spending plan” better. A spending plan is exactly that- a plan on how to spend the money that you make every single month. Without a plan, you will most likely overspend and I bet it will also be on things that you probably don’t even need. Do you know exactly where your money is going every month? Every day, I meet with people who make a lot of money and yet they are financially broke. Why? Because they are completely disconnected from their money! All they know is that they work hard, long hours and they couldn’t figure out why they are broke every payday. What’s worse is that they have nothing to show for the money that they make. This is the worst feeling one could have. There is no sense of fulfillment and it makes you feel like you are working for nothing. Does this describe someone you

While the Philippines has produced many winners in international beauty pageants, Natividad said physical beauty was not that important in the mixed Filipino culture. “As a culture we’re not that obsessed with beauty, but we are bombarded with advertising trying to convince us that good looks matter,” she told AFP. The Manila-based pollster said 94 percent of women chose sense of humor over looks, even if that person was physically unattractive. This compared to 86 percent of men who prefer humor over looks. Social Weather Stations polled 1,550 adults across the largely Roman Catholic nation between December 11 and 16.

know- perhaps you? If you want to stay out of financial trouble, it is time for you to take responsibility for your actions and your life. You can’t leave your financial future to chance and hope that somehow, things will be alright. Hope is not a good financial plan. You can hope but you also need to take action if you want your life to change. If your finances are out of control and you need help in getting everything back in order, I would like to help you. For a free CONFIDENTIAL consultation, please call Toll-Free 1-866-477-7772. We have offices in Glendale, Cerritos , West Covina, Valencia and Riverside. (None of the information herein is intended to give legal advice for any specific situation. Atty. Ray Bulaon has successfully helped over 5,000 clients in getting out of debt. For a free attorney evaluation of your situation, please call Ray Bulaon Law Offices at TOLL FREE 1-866-477-7772).

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Humor trumps good looks in PHL MANILA, February 13, 2014 (AFP) – Ugly people with a sense of humor appear to trump their good-looking but dull peers in the Philippines’ dating game, according to a pre-Valentine’s Day poll published Thursday. Given a choice, nine in 10 adult Filipinos told survey group Social Weather Stations they would pick “a man/woman who has a sense of humor.” Ten percent preferred “a man/woman who is goodlooking but has no sense of humor.” “It’s more interesting to be with someone who has a good personality because good looks will fade over time,” said Josefina Natividad, director for the University of the Philippines Population Institute.

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OPINION

Yolanda, love for grandchildren prompted Ruby Tuason to surface

MANILA, Feb 13 (Mabuhay) – Before surfacing to be a witness in the alleged P10-billion pork barrel scam, Ruby Tuason spent days inside a church, crying and asking for forgiveness. During the Senate blue ribbon committee on Thursday, Tuason said she felt she “was Judas Iscariot� after fleeing to the United States last year at the height of the pork barrel scam. “Araw-araw ako nasa simbahan. Humihingi ako ng tawad sa ginawa ko... Hindi pwedeng lip service lang. I had to do something,� Tuason said with a quivering voice. “I don’t want to die with 80 million Filipinos hating me. I don’t want to die with my grandchildren hating me,� she added. Tuason also said her resolve to surface strengthened when she saw images brought by Typhoon Yolanda, which hit parts of the Visayas and Luzon in November, killing over 6,000 and rendering thousands more homeless. Yolanda’s devastation “When I was in the States, I saw all these devastation. Lalo ako na-guilty. When I saw that, lalo ako nanghina. I said I have to do something about this,� said Tuason, who returned to the Philippines last week to become a witness in the scam. Tuason detailed during the Senate inquiry how she supposedly delivered pork barrel kickbacks to Senator Jinggoy Estrada and to Gigi Reyes, former chief-of-staff of Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile. In testifying, Tuason said she has already found peace, adding she is willing to return money she earned form the anomaly, describing it as a “small price to pay.� “The Lord will take me� “If I were to die, at least I can meet my Maker and say that I asked for forgiveness,� she said. Tuason said she also prays that “the Lord will take me� if she is not granted immunity. “It’s the truth. I would not last in jail. I would die, maybe from a heart attack,� she said. Tuason, Enrile, Estrada and Reyes are all facing plunder raps before the Office of the Ombudsman for their alleged involvement in the pork barrel scam, supposedly engineered by detained businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles. Tuason is being considered by the Ombudsman as a state witness, a status that will make her immune from prosecution. She has also earlier been placed under the government’s Witness Protection Program. (MNS)

Can Trustee force debtor to turn over money that no longer exist? When debtor filed his Chapter 7 petition, he had $10,000 in his checking account which was used to cover checks issued before bankruptcy was filed. On schedule C, debtor claimed that $1,000 in his checking account was exempt. The trustee demands that debtor deliver the difference between $10,000 and $1,000, or $9,000 to the     trustee because only $1,000 of the $10,000 control at the time the motion was is exempt. Debtor replies that filed or at any other point during he will not transfer the $9,000 the pendency of the bankruptcy because the funds no longer ex- case.â€? ist. Debtor insists that the checks The 9th Circuit said two key issued against the funds cleared phrases showed that Section after the bankruptcy was filed. 542(a) allows a turnover motion Who is correct? to be brought at any time during In Re Henson (9th Circuit the pendency of the bankruptcy 1/9/14), debtor had $6,995 in her case even if the respondent no checking account when she filed longer possesses or has custody for Chapter 7 relief. The money or control over the property at the was there for a short period of time the motion is filed. time because it was used to honor “First, ‘during the case’ means checks that the debtor wrote that the trustee may bring a moprepetition. Relying on Section tion for turnover against an entity 542(a), the trustee demanded that who has possession of the propthe debtor deliver this money to erty of the estate, or had posseshim. She responded that she did sion of that property at some point not have the money and would during the bankruptcy caseâ€?, the not comply. court said. The trustee then filed a motion “Section 542(a) does not into turnover under Section 542(a) clude any words that hint at a seeking to recover the $6,955 mi- narrower time of possession, and nus the debtor’s $800 exemption. there is certainly no reference to The bankruptcy court denied the the time of the motion’s filing‌ trustee’s action against the debtor Nor do we infer from this silence, on the ground that the debtor did with respect to whether an entity’s not have possession or control of obligation to turn over property the funds at the time the trustee continues after possession ceases, moved for turnover. The district a requirement of present possescourt affirmed. sion at the time of the motion.â€? Reversing, the 9th Circuit Second, the phrase “or the Court of Appeals, stated that with value of such propertyâ€? indicates the power granted to the trustee that the respondent need not be in by Section 542(a), “The trustee possession of the property when may seek recovery from entities the trustee files the turnover mohaving ‘possession, custody, or tion. “Because Section 542(a) control’ of the property sought, permits a trustee to recover ‘the whether the property was in the value of the property,â€? instead of entity’s possession, custody, or just the property itself, posses-



sion cannot be required in order to bring the motion for turnover. This phrase shows that the trustee has a remedy in a case where an entity was ‘in possession of’ estate property at some point ‘during the case,’ but lost possession of that property by the time the trustee brought the motion for turnover. In such a case, the trustee may recover the ‘value of such property’ from the entity previously in possession.� Prior to the new law, the trustee had two methods for recovering estate property from an entity that had possession of it at one time: 1) a summary proceeding conducted by the bankruptcy referee or, 2) a plenary proceeding, which resembled a civil trial. The result of a successful summary proceeding was a turnover order that would be enforced by a contempt motion, i.e. deliver the money or go to jail. The plenary proceeding result is enforced the same way as a judgment. To avoid a turnover problem, debtor should exempt the entire amount with the wild card. If this is not possible, wait for all checks to be cleared first, before filing. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still – Exodus 14:14. Lawrence Bautista Yang is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center and has been in law practice for thirty years. He specializes in bankruptcy, business and civil litigation and has handled more than five thousand successful bankruptcy cases in California. He speaks Tagalog and looks forward to discussing your case with you personally. Please call Angie, Barbara or Jess at (626) 284-1142 for an appointment at 1000 S Fremont Ave, Mailstop 58, Bldg A-1 Suite 1125, Alhambra, CA 91803.

Pimentel seeks review of police abuses, arbitrary arrests MANILA, Feb 12 (Mabuhay) – Senator Aquilino ‘Koko’ Pimentel Jr. on Wednesday said his Senate committee on justice and human rights will investigate alleged police abuses after three security guards who stopped a convoy of Makati City mayor Junjun Binay were forcibly brought to police station. Pimentel said an inquiry into the DasmariĂąas Village incident last November is necessary because the police might have committed a felony under the Revised Penal Code for making unlawful arrest, arbitrary detention, and grave coercion, among others. “This unfortunate incident highlights the need for Congress as well as the leadership of our law enforcement agencies to review the standard operating procedure on effecting arrests, particularly warrantless arrests, by law enforcement agents,â€? he

said. A closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage captured a scene where three security guards of DasmariĂąas Village in Makati City were forcibly taken by the police after what looked like an altercation between the guards and the police officers. â€?It is also the duty of Congress to uphold the basic human rights of every Filipino and to ensure that no person shall be deprived of his life, liberty, or property without due process of law,â€? Pimentel said. Pimentel said the Senate will look into the practice of police authorities to forcibly take persons to police stations for questioning in the guise of an “invitation.â€? Pimentel said the 1987 Constitution ordains the protection and full guarantee of human rights while the Universal Declaration

of Human Rights states that “everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person�. He also said that the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights provides that no “one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention. No one shall be deprived of his liberty except on such grounds and in accordance with such procedure as are established by law�. Binay’s sister, Senator Nancy Binay, was on board in one of the convoy vehicles which were not allowed to enter the restricted posh village in Makati City. The Binay siblings are children of Vice President Jejomar Binay who assumed the presidency of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDPLaban) after Pimentel joined the administration coalition Team PNoy in the 2013 mid-term elections. (MNS)


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Diverse Coke ad is beautiful Two Sundays ago, much of the country was focused on “the big game.” The Super Bowl match between the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks set a record with 111.5 million viewers tuned in. While many fans, like me, are still disappointed that our San Francisco 49ers didn’t make it back to the Super Bowl this year, there’s always the halftime show and ads to look forward to. The halftime show featured Grammy winning artist Bruno Mars, who is half Filipino. Bru     no Mars’ performance pulled in a record 115.3 million viewers, making Beautiful” ad sponsored by Coca Cola. The it the most watched Super Bowl halftime one-minute commercial featured scenes show ever. His talents and performance of Americans’ lives representing diverse on stage are still reaping benefits off the ethnicities, races, and families, engaged stage as his album and concert ticket sales in different activities, while the voices of young women sang America the Beautiful continue to increase. But perhaps the most anticipated parts in different languages. I thought the ad was beautiful, spot on of the Super Bowl are the million dollar ads that air during the game. While the ads are with Coca Cola’s main message: America always interesting and drum up chatter, one is beautiful. It touched on the many things ad in particular immediately received the that make our country beautiful – the attention of many and became a point of people, our rich cultural and ethnic diverdiscussion on social media. That is the “It’s sity, and the way we share them with others

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from all around the world. While many were moved and inspired by the ad, there skeptics who didn’t believe that it carried an appropriate message. Some people took to Twitter to say, “You are in America, you should speak English,” or that the diversity of “cultures and languages will divide us, weaken us.” Unfortunately, this is not the first time I’ve heard these comments before. As a legislator, I’ve authored legislation to protect employees from being discriminated against because they don’t speak English. People who argue that we are Americans and therefore must only communicate in English are a little out of touch, since many of us are immigrants in this country. It’s hard to believe that to this day, there is still discrimination against race and eth-

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The Old Guard to honor the first American president only. Attendees are encouraged to be at George Washington’s Tomb by 9:30 a.m. The U.S. Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps will perform a 30-minute musical salute to the first president on the Bowling Green scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. The Old Guard is the nation’s oldest active infantry regiment and is the Army’s official ceremonial unit and escort to the president. Service members from the teams will be available for public and media inquiries after the performances. Interested media may contact the U.S. Army Military District of Washington Media Relations Office at 202-685-4645 orusarmy.mcnair.mdw. mbx.mediadesk-omb@mail.mil to set-up interviews.

Aquino cites peace and dev’t reforms in ARMM at LGU Summit MANILA, Feb 12 (Mabuhay) – President Benigno S. Aquino III cited peace and development reforms in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) during the 2nd Local Government Summit in Davao City on Wednesday. In his speech, the President mentioned that the ARMM is among the places in the country which have apparently been left behind by progress but eventually caught its pace because of government initiatives to spearhead progress. “Hindi rin po lingid sa kaalaman nang marami na kabilang ang ARMM sa mga lugar sa bansa na tila napag-iwanan ng kaunlaran,” he said. “Ito po mismo ang dahilan kung bakit nakatutok tayo hindi lamang sa kapayapaan at seguridad kundi maging sa mga inisyatibang magpapa-arangkada rin sa inyong pag-unlad,” he added. ARMM is composed of the provinces of Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi. President Aquino cited 2013 data from the Department of Health-ARMM which showed that a total of 45,659 women from ARMM were given services for prenatal visit and 36,876 for post-pregnancy, in addition to 14,179 babies who underwent newborn screening. Under the Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program (4Ps), the President noted that at least 389,656 individuals from ARMM became members since the beginning of 2014. He explained that the national gov-

ernment’s goal is that whatever level or amount of attention Filipinos from the National Capital Region (NCR) are getting, citizens from the ARMM would also equally receive. “Ang hangad po natin, kung ano ang antas ng kalinga sa ospital na kailangan ng isang pasyente sa Quezon City ay ganon ding pag-aaruga ang matatanggap sa ospital sa Lamitan City sa Basilan,” the President stressed. “Kapag nag-aaral ka sa public school sa Cebu, magkatulad na kalidad din ng edukasyon rito ang maaari mong makamit sa munisipalidad ng Tubaran sa Lanao del Sur,” he added. “Kung naglalakad ka naman sa isang kalsada sa Mandaluyong, parehong seguridad din ang mararamdaman mo sa pamamasyal sa munisipalidad ng Pandag sa Mt. Maguindanao,” he further said. The President also lauded ARMM Regional Gov. Mujiv Hataman for believing that progress is the work of the whole community and not one person alone and for having contributed to progress by making sure that mistakes in the past are not repeated. “Isa po sa mga pinakamainam na halimbawa ng kaisipang ito ang napipintong paghahari ng kapayapaan sa inyong rehiyon,” President Aquino said. He said that after the signing of the different parts of the proposed Bangsamoro Framework Agreement, it brings the country a step closer to achieving Mindanao’s lasting peace.

nicity, gender, and sexuality. In the land of the free, we should embrace all people and be welcoming of everyone, regardless of who they are or where they are from. All people should be free to express who they really are and all that makes them beautiful. After looking further into the making of the ad, I found that the part of the song sung in Tagalog, sa ibabaw ng mga prutas, was sung by a young Filipina American girl from the Bay Area named Leilani Zaragoza. In a separate video clip where Leilani sings America the Beautiful in Tagalog, she eloquently adds about the song, “People will feel really good in themselves to know that America is there and to hear it in many other languages spoken, especially if one of the languages is a language that you speak, then it will really get deep inside of you.”

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Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr reunite at the ‘Grammy’s Salute to the Beatles’

“The Beatles” live at the Britannia British Pub in Santa Monica. Photo: Benny Uy

Fifty years ago, on February 9, 1964, the Beatles were introduced to America on the Ed Sullivan Show and in order to celebrate, the “Grammy’s Salute to the Beatles” was televised marking the reunion of the remaining Beatles – Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr after their prolonged break-up. As a Beatles fan, this writer was glued on TV and was mesmerized watching the show. The nostalgic musical show started with snippets of childhood memories of the late John Lennon and George Harrison, followed by Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. It also looked back at how Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart, rethey were influenced by the rock music of united as the Eurhythmics, both sang both Buddy Holly and Elvis Presley when their rendition of “Here Comes The Sun.” they formed the “Fab Four.” Their initial On a videotaped message, actor Jeff performances on stage placed their songs Bridges remembered how his whole family “Ticket to Ride, “All My Loving,” “’Til watched the Ed Sullivan show, including There was You” and “I Wanna Hold Your his brother Beau who was an avid Beatles’ Hand,” on top of the billboard charts and fan. Beatlemania albums as well as merchanSean Penn also had a videotaped mesdise flourished worldwide. sage thanking the Beatles for their “songs Keith Urban and John Mayer paid that we all grew up with,” and that these tribute by showing their guitar prow- songs will forever be remembered for ess playing a rendition of the Beatles’ another 100 years.” A wide psychedelic song “Don’t Let Me Down.” Thereafter, screen in the background popped up when the guest appearance of Stevie Wonder Ringo Starr came on stage and started a playing the jazzy rendition of “We Can sing-along with his “Yellow Submarine” Work It Out,” was a standing ovation and song. The crowd had a standing ovation on his video testimonial, Stevie recalled and the camera panned out and showed that it was “the first Beatle song I heard Yoko Ono’s (John Lennon’s widow) dewhen I was just 15 years old.” light with Ringo’s song. Garbed in a kimono-inspired gown in Paul McCartney along with his acoussalmon and black,with her hair in an updo, tic guitar sang “Get Back,” “I Saw Her Katy Perry sang her rendition of “Yester- Standing There” and “Sgt. Peppers Lonely day,” one of the Beatles’ most popular Hearts Club,” while Ringo was on the songs, which was once this writer’s favor- drums. ite Beatles song. In the background were Finally, with another standing ovation, Circue Du Soleil’s dance interpretation both Paul and Ringo sang the evening’s of the song which included aerial trapeze most nostalgic songs of “Hey Jude,” and dancers swinging from the ceiling which “Let It Be” as a tribute to John Lennon and was such an awesome scene. George Harrison, which in turn defined Host Kate Beckinsale also introduced their reunion through its lyrics that went: snippets of Paul McCartney and Ringo “when I find myself in times of trouble, Starr’s recent surprise visit on the David Mother Mary comes to me, speaking words Letterman show where they recalled their of wisdom...let it be; and in my hour of first rousing performance on the same stage darkness...she is standing right in front at the Ed Sullivan Theatre, which now of me, speaking words of wisdom, let it houses the David Letterman show.. Both be.” “Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be. Paul and Ringo admitted to Dave Letter- Whisper words of wisdom, let it be.” “And man that “at the time, they all wanted to when the broken hearted people living in come to America and they made it” and that the world agree, there will be no answer, let they were all surprised by the tremendous it be; for though they maybe parted, there is reception of fans who went crazy from the still a chance that they will see, there will airport to their performance at the show. be no answer, let it be, let it be!” A piano duet of “Let It Be,” were For this writer, the reunion of Paul and sang and played by both Alicia Keys Ringo resonates their love for one another and John Legend, with the Cirque Du which echoes the last stanza of their song Soleil aerial dancers again in the back- that went: “and when the night is cloudy, ground, followed by Brad Paisley’s there is still a light that shines on me, shine rendition of “Here Comes The Sun.” until tomorrow, let it be.”

Consulate co-hosts ‘Triumph Of Philippine Art’ exhibition opening at USC Fisher Museum of Art Philippine Consul General in Los Angeles Ma. Hellen Barber De La Vega cohosted the opening of the “Triumph of Philippine Art” held at the University of Southern California (USC) Fisher Museum of Art on February 05. The USC Museum of Art will run this exhibition from February 06 to April 13. The exhibition “Triumph of Philippine Art” uses artwork to tell the nation’s unique political story from the advent of the dictatorship to present times. Inspired by the archipelago’s modern history of socioeconomic and political struggles, the exhibition also explores the search for a unique national identity in a country colonized by both Spain and the United States over the centuries. Paintings, prints, sculpture, conceptual art, and installations by some of the country’s finest visual artists highlight the development of the vibrant and robust art of the Philippines. Consul General De La Vega in her remarks extended her personal gratitude to USC Professor of Art History Ms. Selma Holo, whose passion and determination ensured that this exhibit take place. She also said that the exhibit is a preliminary offering in commemoration this month of the 28th Anniversary of the People Power Revolution in the Philippines – the peaceful protest of the Filipino people against martial law and a regime of dictatorship. Close to 300 mainstream Americans, Asian and Filipinos art enthusiasts attended the private reception. Consul General De La Vega congratulated the artists and curator Ma. Teresa Lapid Rodriguez for raising this consciousness on Philippine modern political history through art. The Triumph of Philippine Art after its exhibition at the USC Museum of Art will travel to the renowned Ayala Museum in Manila.


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Manny has two missions in Las Vegas There are two things that 8-division world champion Manny Pacquaio would like to bring with him when he takes to the ring on April 12, 2014 for his rematch against 2-division champion Timothy Bradley. “Nasa kanya kasi ‘yung korona ko e. Gusto ko maibalik ulit,� he said in an interview with “Kababayan Today.� (He has my crown. I want to get it back.) When the two first faced off in Las Vegas on June 9th 2012,   the welterweight bout went the distance, And after 12 rounds, Bradley’s puntahan ko na,� he said. (While I’m in hands were raised as the winner by split boxing, I can always go back to places I’ve decision. Not only did that controversial been before.) Bradley victory stop Pacquiao’s dominance But despite the brutal nature of the sport in the division; he also put an end to the that has given him so much, the “Fighter of Filipino boxing champ’s 15-bout winning the Decade� promotes the message of love streak, raising speculations that Pacquiao and forgiveness to his followers. has lost his fire and drive in the ring. “Bear with each other and forgive one In the upcoming rematch, Pacquiao another. If anyone of you has a grievance added that he also plans to bring this against someone, forgive as the Lord famous “killer instinct� back on the ring. forgave you. Over all these virtues put on “Siguro this time around kailangan ko love which bind them all together in perfect nang ibalik yung killer instinct ko and ag- unity,� he said, quoting a verse from Colosgressiveness ko sa itaas ng ring and throw- sians 3. “Ang pagkakaisa, pagpapatawad ing a lot of punches. Kailangan dumaan sa sa pagkakamali ng bawat isa at pagmamapuspusang training, � he said. (Maybe this halan sa bawat isa,� he interpreted. (It’s the time around I would really need to bring unity, forgiveness and love for all.) my killer instinct back and aggressiveness For complete interviews and more in the ring; and throwing a lot of punches. check out previous “Kababayan Today� I need to go through rigorous training.) segments – www.youtube.com/kababayIt’s been five years since Pacquiao has anla18. stopped a fight. In 2009 was his last knock Jannelle So is Host/Producer of out win, against Miguel Cotto. In fact, he “Kababayan Today� that airs daily at 4 has been the one knocked out in 2011 when p.m on KSCITV-LA18; and syndicated he faced nemesis Juan Manuel Marquez. in Hawaii on weekdays at 3:30 p.m. on That was in Las Vegas where Pacquiao is Kiku. Catch previous programs at www. set to step into the ring for the first time youtube.com/kababayanla18. Like her after the brutal loss. on Facebook: www.facebook.com/Jan“Habang nagbo-boxing ako, pwede nelleSoOFFICIAL. Follow her on Twitter: naman akong bumalik sa lugar na na- www.twitter.com/JannelleSo.



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Male, female or custom? Facebook’s new gender options SAN FRANCISCO, February 14, 2014 (AFP) – Facebook on Thursday freed members from the bonds of being either male or female, letting people opt for custom genders such as transsexual or “intersex� at the social network. Along with adding scores of “custom gender� options on profile pages, Facebook is letting members select which pronouns they wish to be used when being referred to in posts or messages. Facebook users could opt to be referred to as “he/him� or “she/her,� or by a neutral “they/their� choice. “While to many this change may not mean much, for those it affects it means a great deal,� Facebook said in a post at its Diversity page that included a picture of a giant rainbow flag on display on the company’s campus in the Silicon Valley city of Menlo Park. Facebook said it worked with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender activist groups to create a thorough list of gender options, which can be found in an “other� category on profile About pages. Custom genders are only available to those who use Facebook in US English but the company plans to expand the range in the future. Feedback in a forum at Facebook’s Diversity page was mostly positive, with some suggesting a need for even more description options and others insisting that biology limits the choices to male or female. Facebook’s move will make “great strides� in supporting young people whose sexual identities don’t conform to traditional societal norms, according to US-based gay advocacy group Human Rights Campaign Foundation. “Over the past few years, a person’s Facebook profile truly has become their online identity, and now Facebook has taken a milestone step to allow countless people to more honestly and accurately represent themselves,� said HRC president Chad Griffin. A survey of 10,000 lesbian, gay, bi-sexual or transgender youth published on Thursday by HRC revealed that nearly 10 percent of them put themselves in a “gender-expansive� group that could benefit from Facebook’s move. We carry : PHILIPPINE AIRLINES, Personal Travel Managers

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First light rail tracks are being installed, west of Irwindale.

Pasadena to Azusa light rail extension 50% complete The Construction Authority has announced that the Foothill Extension light rail project from Pasadena to Azusa is now more than halfway to project completion. The project is on-schedule for a September 2015 turn over to Metro for testing and pre-revenue service. Metro will decide when the line opens for passenger service. Since work began in 2010, more than 600,000 work hours have been expended on the project. We are proud to say that none have been lost due to injury. To date, crews have completed the $18.6 million Gold Line Bridge; as well as eight of the 14 at-grade street crossings, 15 of the 24 bridge structures, and 70% of the utility work along the 11.5-mile Alignment. Additionally, more than half of the foundations are now in place for the future Overhead Catenary System that will power

the light rail system through this area. The freight track between San Gabriel Ave in Azusa and the Glendora city border has been fully realigned to its new position south of the future light rail tracks, and light rail track is starting to be installed east of the city of Duarte. Work on soundwalls and retaining walls is underway throughout the corridor, station platforms are starting to be ready for their canopies, and station artwork is being created in studios around the region and the country. The 24-acre, $265 million Operations Campus is now 40% complete. Structural steel is being erected for the main shop building, six miles of storage track is well on its way to completion, and the Maintenance of Way canopy and cleaning platforms are taking shape.

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18

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GRAND VISION PRESENTS

434 W. 6th Street, San Pedro . . . music

lives here

Charmaine Clamor “A gifted vocalist.” – New York Times Performing new arrangements from her new album, The Better Angels, the Queen of Jazzipino will be backed by Abe Lagrimas, Jr., ukulele & percussion; Dominic Thiroux, bass; and Robert Perez, piano.

Tickets & Info:

310.833.4813 grandannex.org

ENTERTAINMENT Chiz, Heart planning 2014 wedding? Actress Heart Evangelista is hinting that she might get married this year to boyfriend, Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero. Evangelista was asked if 2014 would be her last year as a single woman. “Yes. I am very confident, babe, very confident,” Evangelista told Escudero, who was a surprise guest for her upcoming birthday. Evangelista, who will celebrate her birthday on February 14, said she will spend her special day abroad with Escudero. “Mag-a-out of the country kami with some friends, actually sa Asia lang. Itatry naming pumunta sa Hong Kong and enjoy lang with friends saya-saya lang,” she said.. Escudero and Evangelista had their first date in May 2012 and officially became a couple on July 31 that year.

Their relationship has been haunted by several intrigues – her parents have been very vocal about their disapproval of Escudero, whom they accused as disrespectful and a heavy drinker, Heart Evangelista but the couple stood by their relationship. For Escudero, the key to their strong relationship is being open to each other. “Wala kaming itinago sa isa’t isa. Open, bukas and what you see is what you get, walang false pretenses, maganda ang simula,” the senator said. (MNS)

Heart Evangelista happy for Jericho Rosales, Kim Jones

Door Saturday Mar. 1, 2014 7:30pm 8:00pm Concert Media sponsors:

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Heart Evangelista wishes ex-boyfriend Jericho Rosales and television host Kim Jones all the best as the two are set to tie the knot this May. “I wish them all the best. Everybody wants that fairy tale ending and I’m glad they will have it. I’m very happy for them,” she said. Jericho recently said in an interview that he’s marrying Kim in the islands of Boracay this summer. The couple is keen to invite only their closest family and friends from in and out of show business.

“We wouldn’t have imagined it any other way. Honestly, it just fit. I didn’t even think it was a question for us to pick a beach,” the actor said in a prior interview. He added: “We really tried to make it small lang pero with all of my friends and her friends in the industry, we’re trying to keep it tight.” As for Heart, the “StarTalk” host reiterated she’s contented with where and what she has right now and also living her own fairy tale with boyfriend, Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero.


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HEALTH & BEAUTY

In US, ‘natural’ food may be anything but (WASHINGTON-AFP) – In the United States, pre-packaged foods loaded with artificial ingredients and chemicals can make it onto grocery store shelves boasting the label “natural.” Why? Because in America, there is no definition of “natural.” This gray area has led consumer advocates to threaten lawsuit after lawsuit against big food giants, alleging that their claims are misleading and illegal. “There are just too damn many ‘natural’ lawsuits,” said lawyer Stephen Gardner of the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), estimating there have been around 50 in the past decade. “It only scratches the surfaces of the number of companies that are making these claims. We keep coming across them,” he said. Some lawsuits have been merely threatened by CSPI, and eventually settled out of court after the company agreed to change labeling. Others have been filed by private parties seeking class action payouts. The latest involves Kraft Foods, maker of Crystal Light powdered drink mixes which contain artificial sweeteners and colors, a texturizer called maltodextrin and a synthetic preservative called butylated hydroxyanisole. In January, CSPI notified Kraft of its intent to sue if the word “natural” continues to appear on products like Natural Lemon-

Foods that claim to be “natural” but clearly are not can slip past authorities because the main US regulatory agency, the Food and Drug Administration, has not formally defined “natural.” However, the regulator has sent several warning letters to companies in the past, FDA spokeswoman Theresa In America, there is no definition of “natural.” ©Ditty_about_ Eisenman told AFP in summer/shutterstock.com an email. ade and Natural Lemon Iced Tea. “Although the FDA Gardner said talks with the company are has not established a formal definition for ongoing, but given his experience – he first the term ‘natural,’ we do have a longstandsued Kraft over similar claims on its Capri ing policy concerning the use of ‘natural’ Sun drinks in 2007 -- he expects Kraft to in food labeling,” she said. counter that the word “natural” relates to “The FDA considers the term ‘natural’ the flavor.n “I am not aware of a lemonade to mean that nothing artificial or synthetic flavor. I am aware of lemon,” Gardner said. (including all color additives regardless of Many consumers believe ‘natural’ source) has been included in, or has been claims added to, a food that would not normally Asked for comment, a Kraft spokes- be expected to be in the food.” woman told AFP that a federal judge in The FDA has left Crystal Light alone, California recently dismissed a similar and consumer groups complain that reguclaim against Crystal Light. lators are not aggressive enough, leaving “Our products are clearly and ac- plenty of room for corporations to exploit curately labeled with information that is well-meaning shoppers who appear to be both truthful and helpful for consumers,” susceptible to packaging claims. spokeswoman Caroline Krajewski said in According to the market research firm an email. Nielsen, “natural” products produce over

$22 billion in annual sales. A full 77 percent of US consumers polled said they believe “natural” claims at least some of the time, and nine percent said they always do. Lawsuits keep them ‘honest’ Despite the high volume of lawsuits, the matters often settle out of court and corporations avoid big payouts, said Gardner. “We stop them, but they get to keep the money they stole from consumers by fraud,” he said. In some cases, a company relents to pressure from consumer groups but is sued again by private interests seeking a cash payout to people who bought the product. Such was the case with Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, which took the claim off 48 products in 2010 but has since faced a drawn out class-action lawsuit. Some companies have quietly dropped “natural” from their packages, including Naked Juice and Frito Lay chips, as the food industry faces thorny legal questions over genetically modified ingredients and common additives like corn syrup. In Gardner’s view, the lawsuits would stop if the FDA came up with a definition for “natural.” But Baylen Linnekin, executive director of the non-profit group Keep Food Legal, said more regulation is not the answer. “The idea that the FDA needs to define every word that has ever been used to refer to food is ludicrous,” said Linnekin.


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FOOD & DINING FAMILY FEATURES

S

ports nutrition isn’t just the domain of professional athletes — for a good workout and quick recovery, everyday athletes need the right diet, too. “A good workout is draining and can lead to fatigue and sore muscles,” said Michele Macedonio, R.D., C.S.S.D., L.D. a veteran sports nutritionist and team dietitian for the Cincinnati Reds. “The right combination of foods helps restore energy and nutrients used during exercise, and prepares your body for the next workout.” Dishes such as these from CanolaInfo provide complex carbohydrates, fiber and protein with nutrition-packed ingredients including whole grains, beans, nuts, fruits and plenty of vegetables. Each delicious recipe contains less than 300 calories per serving and is prepared with heart-smart canola oil to supply healthy unsaturated fats, including monounsaturated and omega-3 fats. For more great recipes, visit www.canolainfo.org.

Skillet Quinoa with Black Beans, Cilantro and Feta Yield: 6 servings Serving size: 1 cup 1 tablespoon canola oil 1 cup onions, diced 2 cups red bell pepper, diced 1 1/2 cups water 3/4 cup quinoa, uncooked 1 can (15 ounces) reduced sodium

black beans, rinsed and drained 1/4 cup chopped walnuts 2 teaspoons chili powder 1/3 cup crumbled, reduced-fat feta cheese* 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped 1 medium garlic clove, minced 1/2 teaspoon salt In large, non-stick skillet, heat canola oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and pepper. Sauté 5 minutes or until onions begin to brown on edges, stirring occasionally. Add water and quinoa. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, reduce heat, cover and cook on medium-low for 12 minutes or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat, stir in beans, walnuts, chili powder, feta, cilantro, garlic and salt. Cover and let stand 2 minutes to heat through and absorb flavors. *Vegetarian option: Replace feta with vegan cheese or tofu. Nutritional analysis per serving: 230 calories; 8 g total fat (1.5 g saturated fat); 10 mg cholesterol; 31 g carbohydrates; 7 g fiber; 3 g sugars; 10 g protein; 360 mg sodium; 445 mg potassium

Chunky Chicken, Vegetable and Rosemary Stew Yield: 6 servings Serving size: 1 cup 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided

12 ounces boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces 1 medium onion, cut in 8 wedges 3 medium carrots, quartered lengthwise and cut into thirds 1 medium celery stalk, cut into 1-inch pieces 2 cups water 2 dried bay leaves 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 1 can (15 ounces) reduced-sodium navy beans, rinsed and drained 1 cup grape tomatoes, quartered 1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary 3/4 teaspoon salt

Powerhouse Green Smoothie Yield: 1 serving Serving size: 1 2/3 cups 3/4 cup seedless green grapes 1/2 cup ripe banana slices 1/4 cup chopped kale 2/3 cup non-fat plain

Greek yogurt 1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil 1/2 cup ice cubes In blender, combine all ingredients. Blend for about 30 seconds to 1 minute or until desired smoothness is achieved. Nutritional analysis per serving: 290 calories; 7 g total fat (0.5 g saturated fat); 0 mg cholesterol; 42 g carbohydrates; 3 g fiber; 31 g sugars; 17 g protein; 75 mg sodium; 502 mg potassium

Know the Score 

Make friends with fat: Fat is an important energy source for athletes, but it’s important to choose healthy fats. Canola oil, for example, provides a valuable source of unsaturated fats, including monounsaturated and omega-3 fats. Pump up protein: Maximize muscle growth with a snack that contains carbohydrates plus 10 to 20 grams of protein consumed within 15 to 30 minutes after a workout, when muscle is most receptive to growing. Don’t ignore complex carbs: Athletes need healthy carbohydrates, the preferred source of energy for active muscles. Whole grains, beans, vegetables and fruit are good sources. Feed the furnace: Running on empty? Your body needs consistent fuel to function. A small pre-workout snack may improve your workout performance. Liquid foods such as smoothies digest more quickly than solids, which makes them ideal pre- or post-workout for energy, hydration and restoring nutrients.


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TASTE TERMINOLOGY There are five basic taste categories the taste buds perceive: Sweetness is recognized by the presence of sugar. It is very predominant in desserts, but also creates great contrast with salty and sour. Sourness can be added through a variety of acidic foods, such as vinegars and citrus fruits. Salt enhances flavor, intensifies sweetness and suppresses bitterness. Bitterness may be found in a variety of foods, including chocolate and coffee. When not in balance, bitter can be offensive, but in very small quantities it adds richness and depth. Umami is described as a savory, often mouthwatering taste perceived when eating

     

     

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each cupcake; pipe in ganache. Dip tops of cupcakes in remaining ganache; lightly shake off excess. Immediately dip cupcake in toffee bits.

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Pear and Brie Honey Tartlets

Cupcakes 1 cup water 2 tablespoons instant coffee 1 package (16.2 ounces) Devilâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Food cake mix 3 eggs 1/3 cup vegetable oil Ganache 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream 2 tablespoons instant coffee 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips 1 package (8 ounces) English toffee bits Preheat oven to 350°F. Line muffin pan with baking cups. In a small bowl, combine water and instant coffee; stir to dissolve. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, coffee, eggs and oil. Beat with electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping bowl frequently. Then, beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Fill baking cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake 16 to 18 minutes or until toothpick, inserted into the center, comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in pan 5 minutes. Remove from pan and place on cooling grid to cool completely. For ganache, combine cream and instant coffee in small saucepan; stir to dissolve. Warm over medium heat until cream begins to steam; do not boil. Remove from heat and add chocolate chips; stir until smooth. Cool slightly. Place 1/2 cup ganache in disposable decorating bag. Using the handle of a wooden spoon, create a small hole in the center of

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Makes about 2 dozen tartlets â&#x20AC;˘ Brie has creamy texture and is a softripened cheese with mild flavor â&#x20AC;˘ Honey adds sweetness and balances the cheese flavor â&#x20AC;˘ Pear also adds sweetness â&#x20AC;˘ Cardamom adds a slight bitter note

1 sheet (1/2 of a 17.3-ounce box), puff pastry, thawed 1 teaspoon ground cardamom 1/4 teaspoon salt 3 tablespoons honey, divided 1-1/2 cups diced, peeled firm ripe pear 1/2 4-ounce wheel, brie, cut into 1/4inch pieces Preheat oven to 400°F. Prepare a 24-cavity mini muffin pan with vegetable pan spray. On a lightly floured surface, unfold puff pastry; roll out to about 12 inches x 8 inches. Cut into 24 squares, about 2 inches x 2 inches. Press each square into a prepared pan cavity. In a small bowl, stir together cardamom, salt and 2 tablespoons of the honey. Add pears; toss to coat. Add 1 heaping teaspoon pear mixture to each pastry tartlet. Bake 13 to 16 minutes or until puff pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Immediately top with pieces of brie. Cool in pan 5 minutes. Remove to cooling grid. Drizzle remaining honey over tartlets and serve immediately. FAMILY FEATURES

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essert is an indulgence, and when you delight in the taste, texture and aroma of a decadent sweet treat, you savor every bite. It is easy to get lost in the flavor and fragrance of rich chocolate or creamy caramel. But what happens when chocolate or caramel are paired with different flavors, like salty, sour or savory? Spurred by curiosity, the food scientists in the Wilton Test Kitchen dug deeper into unusual flavor pairings to enhance the taste experience. While the terms â&#x20AC;&#x153;tasteâ&#x20AC;? and â&#x20AC;&#x153;flavorâ&#x20AC;? are often used interchangeably, there is a difference between the two. The taste of a food is what the taste buds perceive, while the flavor of a food is the combination of these tastes, plus the aroma and the other sensations. Treatologyâ&#x201E;˘ is the science of blending different flavors and tastes to create dishes that are an experience all on their own. Look for more taste, flavor and inspiration at http://treatology.wilton.com.

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Pear and Brie Honey Tartlets


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Pechanga Resort & Casino Asian Hosts garbed in their respective national costumes, including our kababayans Verghie Dejesus (7th from right), Marylou Bean (5th from right) and Dolores Salvador (4th from right).

Pechanga Resort & Casino presents Asian Media Showcase for multimillion dollar renovation of lobby and new restaurants TEMECULA, Calif. – (February 6, 2014) – Pechanga Resort & Casino, the state’s largest resort/casino, recently unveiled its brand new, multimillion dollar renovation of its hotel lobby, two restaurants and the addition of two more dining outlets. To showcase the timeless and elegant spaces, resort officials invited members of the press for a one-day event in which they met key resort leaders, toured the newly transformed areas, experienced the new and traditional food offerings, and met with resort ambassadors versed in various languages and cultures. Also on the agenda for the day was getting to see the cultural and festive decorations put up around the resort/casino in celebration of Lunar New Year. In all, nearly 100 media attended the event in early February. Guests coming to Pechanga Resort & Casino following the unveiling of its major renovation will find a completely transformed Asian restaurant, Blazing Noodles. The brand new menu for Blazing Noodles features Lobby walkway by restaurants more traditional Chinese fare, but walks the line between authentic and Western appeal. Items such as Roasted Duck Noodle Soup, Oxtail with Red Wine Sauce, Poached Duck Wings, Duck Tongue, Tofu and Pork Belly grace the menu. But for diners who enjoy a more western form of Asian cuisine, the menu is balanced with selections such as the very recognizable Orange Chicken, Chinese Beef Broccoli, Pad Thai, Fried Rice and more. Located inside California’s largest resort/casino, the Blazing Noodles is open for lunch and dinner every day. Monday through Thursday the restaurant is open from 11:30 Umi-Albacore Tuna Sashimi a.m. to 11 p.m, Fridays from 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m., Saturdays from 10

Umi-Caterpillar Roll with chopsticks

Mr. Dennis Khanh VP of F&B interview with Vietnamese Media.

Lunar New Year Decoration

a..m. to 1 a.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. For more information, visit www.Pechanga.com/dining. About Pechanga Resort & Casino Pechanga Resort & Casino offers the largest and most expansive resort/casino experience anywhere in the western United States. Rated a Four Diamond property by AAA since 2002, Pechanga Resort & Casino provides an unparalleled getaway, whether for the day or for an extended luxury stay. Offering more than 3,000 of the hottest slots, table games, world-class entertainment, 517 hotel rooms, dining, spa and golf at Journey at Pechanga, Pechanga Resort & Casino features a destination that meets and exceeds the needs of its guests and the community. Pechanga Resort & Casino is owned and operated by the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians. For more information, call toll free (877) 711-2946 or visit www.Pechanga.com. Follow Pechanga Resort & Casino on Facebook and on Twitter @PechangaCasino. Guests must be 21 years old and older in order to enter the casino.

Mr. Bill Anderson VP of Player Development with Asian Host and iGraphix Team wish everyone have the best Year of Horse.


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COMMUNITY

Pioneer L.A. Fil-Am Press Club (est. 1978) to sponsor creative writing workshop The Filipino American Press Club of Los Angeles, Inc., (FAPCLA) (established 1978), Inc. will sponsor a two-day Creative Writing Workshop on March 21-22nd, at the Pilipino Workers Center (PWC), Histor4ic Filipino Town, 153 Glendale Boulevard, Los Angeles, California 90026. This will provide an opportunity to present the seminar for writers, both from professional circles and student aspirants who wish to expand their writing skills. FAPCLA (est. 1978) was formed by former news reporters and writers from the Philippines who had immigrated to this country in the early 70s. Professor Peter Bacho, Filipino American author, winner of multi awards, will conduct the workshop: first segment is scheduled on March 21, (“Meet and Greet” and Intro to the Workshop) at the PWC Assembly hall, from 5 p.m. The Pilipino Workers Center has been dedicated to the renowned labor leader, Larry Itliong Village, Historic Filipino Town. The second segment starts at 8:30 A.M. on March 22nd, same venue. The two-day workshop is supported by the PWC, Search to Involve Pilipino Americans (SIPA) under the leadership of Joel F. Jacinto, executive officer; and the Echo Park Public Library, Joselyn G. Rosenthal, president. Fellows/ participants are asked to send in their $25 pre-payment/reservation by the deadline date of February 28, 2014, FAPCLA, Inc (est 1978). Bacho’s books will be on sale at the PWC during the

event. Interested parties are asked to write Cecile C. Ochoa, Chair, Creative Writing Project, 6739 Goodland Avenue, North Hollywood, CA 91606; phone number: (818) 203-3137; e-mail address: cdochoa@aol.com; Evelyn A. Portugal, chairman of the board, (310)729-8880; Lou Sabas, Club treasurer, lssprod@aol.com. Please submit participation information: name, address, telephone contact information, age, reservation fee. All participants will be named fellows of FAPCLA. Seats are limited and FAPCLA reserves the right to close application by deadline or upon meeting the desired number of participants. Peter Bacho, is an alumnus of Seattle University (where he was awarded his bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude) and the University of Washington; he earned law degrees from the latter institution, and later, he taught in the same university’s Ethnic Studies Department. He also served as a staff attorney for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in the late eighties during which time he was a regular editorial contributor for the Christian Science Monitor. An author of five books: ‘Cebu;’ ‘Dark Blue Suit;’ ‘Boxing in Black and White;’ ‘Nelson’s Run,’ Entrys and Leaving Yesler, Bacho’s works paved the way for his running as ‘semi-finalist,’ in the Cesterfield Writer’s Film Project, now under possible consideration at Paramount Pictures. Other distinguished honors that are attributed to Bacho’s literary prowess: American

Book Award, the Murray Morgan Award, the Distinguished Northwest Writer-inResidence (2005); and the Washington State Governor’s Writers Award. Club president Dr. Ludy A. Ongkeko said focus of the workshop is the enhancement of the fellows’ writing skills under the guidance of renowned author Bacho. FAPCLA sponsored the Larry Itliong Forum in December 2012 at SIPA where the son of Labor leader Itliong, Johnny presented a documentary trailer, “The Forgotten Heroes: Manongs.” In March 2013, FAPCLA likewise sponsored the first on-the-spot essay writing competi-

tion with senior high school (11th graders) writers recommended by their respective schools who vied for six cash prizes. Other activities which included the active participation of the same press club was “Destination Delano,” an up-to-date vehicle of information which provided the FilAm youth with the opportunity to visit the famous farmlands where the Filipino worker made history in their world-famous grape strike in 1965. The pioneering press club joined the campaign for the passage of California’s AB 123 to highlight the role of the Filipino farmer in U.S. textbook history-making events.

“Thelma Maxine Pippen McNair, mother of Denise McNair, as she whispers to the President after he signed H.R. 360, which provided for the presentation of a congressional gold medal to commemorate the lives of the four young African American victims of the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, in September 1963. McNair’s daughter was one of the victims.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

More than 3.3-M signed up to Obamacare health plans WASHINGTON, February 12, 2014 (AFP) – More than 3.3 million Americans had signed up for new insurance plans by the end of last month under President Barack Obama’s troubled signature health care law, officials said Wednesday. The administration also reported a slight increase in the proportion of younger people signing up for health care coverage—an important factor as young healthy

people are needed to bankroll coverage for older, sicker patients. “It is very, very encouraging news, we are seeing a healthy growth in enrollment,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. The launch of the new law, a centerpiece of Obama’s presidential legacy, was hampered by failures of the federal website set up to offer new plans to Americans.

California leaders want smartphone ‘kill switch’ SAN FRANCISCO, February 7, 2014 (AFP) – Californian leaders want to make it compulsory for smartphones or tablets sold in the state to have built-in “kill switches” to counter the rocketing number of thefts of the devices. State senator Mark Leno and other elected officials on Friday unveiled legislation requiring that new smartphones or tablets have technology that could be used to remotely render them useless. Backers called the bill the first of its kind in the United States; opponents fear it may allow hackers to shut down people’s devices. “With robberies of smartphones reaching an all-time high, California cannot continue to stand by when a solution to the problem is readily available,” said Leno, a Democrat representing San Francisco. “Today we are officially stepping in and requiring the cell-phone industry to take the necessary steps to curb violent smartphone thefts and protect the safety of the very consumers they rely upon to support their businesses.” The legislation would leave service pro-

viders or manufacturers, including iPhone maker Apple, facing fines if smartphones or tablets sold in California beginning next year don’t include mechanisms to instantly disable them. The bill will be introduced within a few months, according to Leno. More than half of robberies in San Francisco involve mobile devices, and that share is three-quarters across the bay in the city of Oakland, according to Leno’s office. “The wireless industry must take action to end the victimization of its customers,” San Francisco district attorney George Gascon said. “This legislation will require the industry to stop debating the possibility of implementing existing technological theft solutions and begin embracing the inevitability.”

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Sweeping changes to citizenship rules announced It almost seems that the Canadian government has nothing better to do than to constantly barrage the media and taxpayers with repeated attempts to change the landscape of immigration in this country. The current Conservative government has changed immigration rules more often than any other party in the past. A month has not gone by in the last few years where do not hear of a new rule of regulation that affects those that    seek to immigrate or remain in Canada. In the last few months alone, seeking to reduce processing times and the Canadian government has set a quota crack down on fraud. The major changes on new immigrants, increased processing include: fees and this week eliminated the investor 1. Requiring that an applicant be physiprogram. In support of their decision to cally in Canada for 4 years (out of the last 6 cancel the investor category, the Minister years from date of application). Currently, of Immigration is appeasing those who an applicant must be in Canada 3 years have complained that in the past the rich out of four. has simply purchased their visas and have 2. Applicants between the ages of 14 not remained in Canada to provide any â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 64 must prove English language proeconomic benefit. ficiency. Currently, only those between Perhaps the most sweeping change has 18- 54 must do so. been the Canadian Governmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s recent 3. Processing times are to be much announcement to change the way a person faster because it will be a one step applicacan become a Canadian citizen. Before tion. Currently, it is a three step process. that is discussed, there are two important 4. Persons who are convicted of terrorcaveats to keep in mind. Firstly, the pro- ism will have their Citizenship revoked posed changes are not final law. Second, 5. Processing fees will be increased the changes are only for those seeking to $400 Canadian Citizenship â&#x20AC;&#x201C; not permanent resi6. Unauthorized persons (non lawyers) dence. Unless a person is born in Canada, who provide advice on Citizenship will an individual first must be granted per- be fined $100,000 or two years in prison manent residence in Canada (ie. a landed 7. Anyone who commits Citizenship immigrant). After a certain time period of fraud or lies on their application faces a being a permanent resident, then the person $100,000 fine or five years in prison can apply to become a Canadian Citizen 8. The Minister of Immigration will and obtain a Canadian passport. have the sole authority to revoke someAs such, the following article only oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Citizenship if it was obtained by pertains to changes for acquiring Canadian fraud Citizenship which has many gasping for 9. The ability to deny Citizenship to air. Under new rules, the government is those who are convicted of serious crimes

   

whether they occurred in or outside Canada 10. Applicants must satisfy the minister that they intend to reside in Canada after becoming a Citizen. If a person shows an intention of leaving the country they will be denied. We will need to wait and see what actually becomes law but on the surface it seems that the Canadian government is trying to strengthen Canadian citizenship but abusing its power at the same time. Applicants who take up a job or study abroad will feel insecure knowing that there is a threat to their Citizenship if the minister is of the opinion that they do not intend to reside in Canada. As well, refusals will no longer give one an automatic right of appeal. Under new

measures, one must apply to the Federal Court just for a chance to be heard. It seems that the current government is attempting to have all the power to grant and then take away oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s citizenship. That is simply not just. As Canadians, we cherish our right to carry the Canadian passport and we are proud to be a citizen of this great country. The future will be a sad day if we allow the minister unfettered power to revoke our rights. Attorney Henry Moyal is a certified and licensed immigration lawyer in Toronto, Ontario. The above article is general advice only and is not intended to act as a legal document. Send questions to Attorney Moyal by email canada@moyal.com or call toll free 1-888-847-2078.

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Bifurcation and status only divorce The decision to terminate oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s marriage typically brings to the forefront many issues all at once. Issues pertaining to property, support, and child custody need to be addressed in a divorce proceeding. In a long term marriage especially, these issues are often heavily litigated between the spouses, and can take a significant amount of time to resolve. Frequently, a spouse would like to â&#x20AC;&#x153;move on,â&#x20AC;? and re-attain       single status as soon as possible, but has a perception that to become health insurance, 3) indemnifying the other divorced, issues concerning property, spouse from loss of rights to a probate support, and child custody first need to be homestead or probate family allowance, resolved. Many erroneously believe that 4) indemnify the other spouse for loss of getting a divorce prior to resolution of benefits under employee benefit plans, 5) property, support, and custody issues is like joinder of an employee benefit plan, and putting the â&#x20AC;&#x153;carriage before the horseâ&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201C; an 6) any other condition that the court deterimpossibility. mines is just and equitable. Under the Family Code, a spouse can With a â&#x20AC;&#x153;status onlyâ&#x20AC;? judgment, the â&#x20AC;&#x153;bifurcateâ&#x20AC;? the issue of marital status and Court reserves jurisdiction to adjudicate terminate the marriage without having to any other issues concerning the marriage, wait until the issues pertaining to property, including division of property, award of support, and child custody are resolved. support, and custody issues. Accordingly, A judgment dissolving the marriage if you would like to obtain a â&#x20AC;&#x153;status onlyâ&#x20AC;? need not resolve all issues raised in the judgment, and resolve any other issues divorce petition. If there are issues set pertaining to the marriage later, it is adforth in the petition with regard to property, vised that you consult with an experienced support, and custody, the Court may none- attorney. theless separate the issue of dissolution Please note that this article is not legal of marriage status and grant an early trial advice and is not intended as legal advice. on that issue (a â&#x20AC;&#x153;status onlyâ&#x20AC;? judgment). The article is intended to provide only Obtaining a â&#x20AC;&#x153;status onlyâ&#x20AC;? judgment is most general, non-specific legal information. beneficial to those persons who want his This article is not intended to cover all the or her marriage terminated as soon as pos- issues related to the topic discussed. The sible. Through a â&#x20AC;&#x153;status onlyâ&#x20AC;? judgment, specific facts that apply to your matter may a person is restored to single status more make the outcome different than would be quickly, enabling a person to remarry even anticipated by you. This article does create if other issues concerning the marriage any attorney client relationship between have yet to be resolved. you and the Law Offices of Kenneth U. It is important to note, however, that a Reyes, P.C. This article is not a solicitation. judgment terminating the marriage itself Attorney Kenneth Ursua Reyes is a also brings with it the consequence of Certified Family Law Specialist. He was terminating rights associated with mar- President of the Philippine American Bar riage. To address the foregoing, the Court Association. may impose conditions on a â&#x20AC;&#x153;status onlyâ&#x20AC;? He is a member of both the Family law judgment, to preserve rights which nor- section and Immigration law section of the mally would exist if an early dissolution of Los Angeles County Bar Association. He marriage status were not granted. These is a graduate of Southwestern University conditions are contained in Family Code Law School in Los Angeles and California Section 2337. The Court may require a State University, San Bernardino School of spouse seeking early dissolution of mar- Business Administration. riage status to do any of the following, He has extensive CPA experience prior all designed to protect the interests of the to law practice. LAW OFFICES OF KENspouse who is not seeking early dissolu- NETH REYES, P.C. is located at 3699 tion: 1) indemnify the other spouse for Wilshire Blvd., Suite 700, Los Angeles, adverse tax consequences resulting from CA, 90010. Tel. (213) 388-1611 or e-mail the early termination of marital status, kureyeslaw@gmail.com. Visit our website 2) maintain the other spouse on existing at kenreyeslaw.com.

 

 

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Archbishop advises lonely hearts to turn to prayers, not love potions MANILA, Feb 11 (Mabuhay) â&#x20AC;&#x201C; With just three days to go before Valentineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day, a retired Catholic archbishop warned lovers against resorting to so-called â&#x20AC;&#x153;gayumaâ&#x20AC;? or love potion to find their soulmates â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and turn to prayer instead. Archbishop emeritus Oscar Cruz said the love potion is a â&#x20AC;&#x153;recourse in desperationâ&#x20AC;? for those who cannot find someone to love them back. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The truth of the matter is, love is not easy to understand much less explained because for one thing it takes two to fall in love and it take a lot of effort and sacrifice to keep that love. That is why the greatest manifestation of love is marriage where there is not only unity, one to one but also perpetuity one to one forever,â&#x20AC;? he said in an article by state-run Philippines News

Agency. Instead of love potions, he said nothing beats prayer. He added the lonely can pray to the saints, including Saint Jude, the patron of the impossible. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The important thing is prayer. All prayer ultimately end up on the lap of God. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s good to pray for somebody who is right for you,â&#x20AC;? he said. Cruz also advised people still searching for love to improve themselves and be more responsible and lovable. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I have not heard of anybody who is sincere and dedicated enough not finding anybody to love and to be loved. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a saying for every woman thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a man and vise versa and I believe in that,â&#x20AC;? he added. (MNS)

DSWD boosts social protection to women and children needing free legal aid MANILA, Feb 14 (Mabuhay) â&#x20AC;&#x201C; The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) announced Friday that it is boosting its social protection to the poor and vulnerable women and children by providing them free legal service beginning this year. According to DSWD Secretary Corazon J. Soliman, through the partnership of DSWD and Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), a free and legal assistance may be enjoyed by women and children who are victims of violence and abuse. Soliman also added that DSWD is also providing free legal counseling and advice to children in conflict with the law (CICL) and prospective adoptive or foster parents. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The free legal aid will help in the speedy resolution of cases being handled by DSWD,â&#x20AC;? Soliman said. She said the partnership was sealed in a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) which she signed and IBP president Vicente Joyas

last December 2013 and will be implemented until December of this year. She also disclosed that under the agreement, the DSWDâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s role is to evaluate cases of women and children who are qualified to receive the free legal aid from IBP. She added that the agreement targets the vulnerable sectors who cannot afford to hire the service of lawyers in pursuing the cases that they need to file, appeal or follow-up due to financial constraints. As part of the free legal service, the lawyers will assist the client in gathering of facts and evidence in preparation for filing of court pleadings and other documents required by the courts. In addition, the IBP lawyers will also conduct court appearance in the prosecution of the case. The said lawyers are also tasked to conduct legal aid clinics to inform the beneficiaries of their legal rights as part of the efforts in addressing their various legal concerns.(MNS)

Belmonte: Voiding RH law will be â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;a veto against peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s willâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; MANILA, Feb 11 (Mabuhay) â&#x20AC;&#x201C; House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. asked Su-

preme Court (SC) magistrates on Tuesday to think carefully before deciding on the constitutionality of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law, saying that declaring it null and void will be â&#x20AC;&#x153;a veto against the will of majority of our people.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;While I fully respect the integrity, impartiality and independence of the Supreme Court, we must also consider that passage of this law took 13 years and about four months. It was realized despite pressure from religious groups and other sectors who worked just as hard to raise their issues against the measure,â&#x20AC;? Belmonte said in a statement. The Speaker noted that whichever way the SC decides on the case, its ruling will have â&#x20AC;&#x153;deep and far-reaching implications for the country and its people.â&#x20AC;? Belmonte said that while anti-RH law advocates have their own reasons for wanting to declare the law unconstitutional, majority of Filipinos want it to be implemented. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Each of these views [has] already been openly taken up numerous times before enactment and yet it has now become a law. Therefore, the anti-RH argument is now a minority view. We must therefore respect the desire of the majority which is to exercise their freedom of choice,â&#x20AC;? he said. Last July, SC justices extended indefinitely the status quo ante order (SQAO) stopping the implementation of the RH Law.


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Should you still Short Sale when home prices might be going up. That is an excellent question, ever since the mortgage meltdown occurred and I started getting calls from distressed homeowners. I have always insisted for homeowners to see beyond 2-3 years but go deeper into about 5-8 years from the time of hardship. Why? Because when your property values drops 40-60% it won’t be a quick fix to get back on your feet and start gaining equity again. Also, because if you bought the house on a minimal to zero down payment loan and you have $200K or more in deficiency balance (negative equity) it will take a while for anyone to see a house appreciate their children. Now, they have an average $3000.00 PITI pmt and the property for $200K. Here are the Q&A from homeowners is underwater for about $100K, in today’s not certain about a short sale or a loan standard for where the property is at it could easily appreciate another 25% in about 4-5 modification: Caller: I got a loan modification from years. My question to her is: Why would she Naca for a BOA loan, my new mortgage payment rate is at 2% for the first 3 years want to continue to struggle to pay the mortincreasing to 5 for the remaining 20 years. gage and have to deal with boarders, she has I have a balloon payment and I feel very to cook maybe clean up after them and pay comfortable with the mortgage payments for their utilities. At the end of the day, all that I have been offered. Please see if its the rent she is getting is not enough for their mortgage, the property will always need worth for me to take this offer. Ken: I requested for a copy of the actual fixing and maintenance due to the amount Modification package and reviewed this bor- of people living there and she is stuck with rowers entire scenario. Here is the deal, the it every day of the year. At 70 years old, if she would only be paying lender cut and sliced this loan up so many ways that the homeowners really got con- rent of about 800-1000, both will have enough fused. BOA offered for the borrower to be money once or twice a year to vacation in difpaying interest only on 75% of the amount ferent places. The lenders might not modify owed, the remaining 25% of the balance will because the rental income is not documented. be due and payable at the end of the term or They can’t leave the tenants in the house, so when the homeowner is able to refinance. they are stuck to the tenants and obligated to the That is not it, the term of this loan is amor- lender? is that a way to retire in America. I don’t tized for 40 years but the entire loan term think so. This is the last year homeowners can is due at the end of 25 years. Because the Short Sale where are lenders will be willing to borrowers only is surviving on one income offer 3-5 K for relocation and lenders will waive and that income will leave the family with any rights to a deficiency judgment due to losses only less than $1000.00 to survive each encured at closing. Please call Ken Go of 1st Innovative Finance month. I am strongly suggesting for them not to take this offer. After doing the math, at 562-508-7048 to get clarity on your current that loan doubles after she pays the 25 years situation or to get good advice. Call Ken or write and pays back the balloon payment. It’s to Kennethgo@verizon.net sickening for me to see that banks are back to their old ways of deceiving homeowners. Forget about how much they will be paying per month, let me show you the numbers and you tell me if it’s worth this this homeowner to continue? P The Scenario: Current balance owed $ 600,000.00, the lender is only allowing $500K to be amortized for 40 years, which seems ok but the remaining $100K is due when the term ends of when there is a sale. The terms of the 500K is only for 25 “Sapagkat, Mahalaga ang Sigurado years with a balloon balance. Therefore, in 25 years they would still owe the lender $300K + $100K (the remaining non interest bearing balloon balance ). Therefore after paying 25 yrs, they would have paid close to $600K + $400K (remaining balance). They would have paid a total of $ 1,000,000.00 for this house! I am really fuming now, because this is crazy. Don’t let them tell you that you will be making payments similar to a rent on a house. This is by far not the same. Owing money on a house that will never get you in the black ( positive equity ) is not my way of owning a house. 2 boxes minimum Caller: I have three renters that are helpLimited time only ing me pay my mortgage, can you help me modify my loan. Ken: After reviewing the case, I have gathered that again its not worth for this retired homeowner to be having such a large mortgage balance at this stage in their lives, they are in their 70’s. I tell her she is slaving for her tenants and the bank. The Scenario: A retired lady and her retired husband making about $2200.00 in SSI and is currently renting three rooms out to boarders totaling about 1550.00. The boarders get to eat for free and all utilities are paid. The mortgage balance on the house is about $2500.00 not including taxes and insurance. Current loan balance about $450,000.00 value about $350,000.00. SUBUKAN SA PRESYO...MANATILI SA SERBISYO The location of the house is ideal and “SERVING THE FILIPINO COMMUNITY SINCE 1992” has great potential for growth and appre*Price applicable within LA County only ciation. Here are my thoughts, you have a retired couple making somewhat descent SSI income and sometimes get help from

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Don’t tax Olympic winnings: GOP Rep. WASHINGTON, February 14, 2014 (AFP) – The trappings of Olympic glory – medals and money – should stop being classed as taxable income for US athletes, American lawmakers say. Congressman Blake Farenthold, a Texas Republican, has sponsored a bill to make those prizes tax-exempt. Gold-medal winners at the Sochi games get a check for $25,000 from the US Olympic Committee. A silver medalist gets $15,000 and bronze is worth $10,000. For US tax collectors, that money and the value of the medals themselves are taxable income that must be declared. Olympians who are in the highest US tax bracket – of 39.6 percent – thus lose $9,900 from their cash bonus for winning a gold medal. That’s chump change for athletes with multi-million dollar endorsement deals. Still, the fiscal sting they suffer has stirred patriotic compassion in Congress. “Our Olympic athletes are the true embodiment of the American spirit,” Farenthold said last week. “As they represent our nation on the world stage in the upcoming Winter Olympics, they should be faced with our undying support - not with excessive taxes,” he added. But for now his bill is not exactly triggering waves of interest in Congress. A similar tax-exempting bill for medalwinners was introduced during the London summer games in 2012. The White House said then that if Congress approved it, President Barack Obama would sign it. But when those Games ended the proposal faded into oblivion. Elsewhere, such as in France, medalwinners are rewarded even more handsomely by their home countries – to the tune of 50,000 euros for a gold medal. But in France they, too, have to pay tax on that. FOR MORE NEWS AND INFORMATION VISIT OUR WEBSITE

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Emotional Hanyu gives Japan first men’s gold By Emmeline Moore

SOCHI, February 14, 2014 (AFP) – An emotional Yuzuru Hanyu became the first Japanese man to win an Olympic figure skating gold on Friday with the teenager also claiming Japan’s first title of the 2014 Winter Games. The 19-year-old, the youngest Olympic men’s champion in 66 years, fell twice during an error-strewn performance but took his first major title ahead of three-time world champion Patrick Chan after the free skating final. Denis Ten moved up from ninth after the short program to take a first Olympic figure skating bronze for Kazakhstan. “Oh my God. The Olympics is so wild and unpredictable,” gasped Hanyu on hearing of his success. His challenge had looked over after he fell on a quadruple Salchow and a triple flip, but he landed a quadruple toeloop in his free skate to Nino Rota’s “Romeo and Juliet” in front of a capacity crowd at the Iceberg Palace. “This is history. It’s a gift for my country,” said Hanyu, who comes from Sendai which was hit by a devastating earthquake

and tsunami in 2011. “A lot of people in Sendai city helped me to be here. There are just so many people who supported me and I’m really grateful to all of them. “I’m the only gold medalist but I don’t think I’m just spiritually by myself, I’m here because of all the people in Japan who supported me.” He added: “It was such a difficult program for me and I felt rough, physically. I’m just shocked. I’m so proud of this feat as a Japanese.” Hanyu became the youngest winner of the Olympic men’s title since American Dick Button in 1948 in an event tinged by controversy when double gold medalist Yevgeny Plushenko pulled out injured on Thursday and then retired. Two-point deduction Carrying a 3.93-point lead in from the short program, in which he set a new world record score, Hanyu scored 178.64 for the free skate, despite a two-point deduction, for an overall total of 280.09. Chan, 23, achieved 178.10 to take silver after touching the ice on his second quadruple jump and a triple Axel, he also stepped

BY STUART WILLIAMS

SOCHI, February 12, 2014 (AFP) – In a bitter pill to swallow for the hosts, three athletes who once represented Russia at international level have won gold at the Sochi Winter Olympics under the flag of another nation. Sochi gold medallists Anastasiya Kuzmina of Slovakia, Iouri Podladtchikov of Switzerland and Daria Domracheva of Belarus are, for Russia, the ones who got away. Their slipping through the net is particularly galling for Russia at a home Olympics where pressure is great but medals hard to come by, with just a single gold as of Tuesday night. The failure of Russia to identify and keep the top sporting talent underlines the

vacuum created when the all-conquering Soviet system disappeared with the rest of the USSR. The “brawn drain” of great athletes has uncomfortable parallels with the great minds Russia has also lost over the last decades like US-based Google founder Sergey Brin (born in Moscow) and Nobel prize-winning physicist Andre Geim (born in Sochi) but now based in Britain. The most blatant and painful sporting case for Russia is that of Kuzmina, who won a sensational first weekend gold for Slovakia in the biathlon sprint to follow her gold at Vancouver 2010. ‘The legend we lost’ Born Anastasiya Shipulina the western Siberian city of Tyumen – a production line

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out of a double Axel in his performance to Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” and “Concerto Grosso” for an overall total of 275.62. It was his second Olympic silver in Sochi after the team event. “Of course it’s a chance missed,” said Chan, who became the latest Canadian to falter at the Olympics after Brian Orser, Kurt Browning and Elvis Stojko, who had all entered Games as favorites but failed to land gold. “How many chances missed have we seen at the Olympic Games? We’ve seen many. Just because I missed that opportunity here today at these Olympics it doesn’t define my career, it doesn’t change the fact that I’m still one of the best figure skaters in the world.” “We’re all human ... makes mistakes. Unfortunately, I made one too many,” said Chan. World silver medallist Ten was the only one of the top seven skaters to give a clean performance. Ten scored 171.04 for his performance to “The Young Lady and the Hooligan” which included quadruple toeloop and seven triple jumps.

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for many of Russia’s greatest biathletes and skiers – she made her international debut in Russian colours but then switched to Slovakia in 2008 after making no progress under the Russian system. “The legend who we lost,” said the Sport Express daily. “In the sad – for Russia – fairy tale about Kuzmina there are a lot of might-havebeens and all verbs are in the past tense,” it lamented. “She was a winner as a junior. Then she was ignored. She got upset. And she went where she was needed,” it added. Adding insult to injury for the Russian sports authorities desperate for gold is that Kuzmina is still deeply attached to the country of her birth.

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Owner of bullying-hit Dolphins would welcome gay player MIAMI, February 12, 2014 (AFP) â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, whose National Football League team was haunted last season by a hazing scandal, says the club would welcome the leagueâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first openly gay player. In a statement released Wednesday on the teamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s website, Ross praised the announcement this week by star University of Missouri defensive end Michael Sam that he is gay. Sam, rated among the top 100 prospects for this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s NFL draft before his revelation, would become the first openly homosexual player on an NFL roster should he be selected as expected and sign a deal with one of the leagueâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 32 clubs. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Michael Samâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s announcement is a significant step in sports and I respect the choice that he made publicly,â&#x20AC;? Ross said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;His announcement will have no bearing either way on our evaluation of him as a player. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We will draft the best players that can help us win football games, have high char-

acter and contribute to the community. If he is a member of our organization, Michael will be welcomed here with open arms as part of our family.â&#x20AC;? Rossâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s statement comes after a season that saw the Dolphins, who went 8-8 and missed the NFL playoffs, become front page news for locker room dysfunction. Offensive tackle Jonathan Martin departed the Dolphins in late October after alleged bullying during the season from teammates, notably his fellow blocker Richie Incognito. Incognito, who allegedly left threatening voicemails and used racial slurs to taunt Martin, was suspended on November 3 and neither man played for the remainder of the NFL season. An NFL probe into the Dolphinsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; workplace conditions led by special investigator remains ongoing. Martin expressed his support for Sam on Twitter earlier this week, saying â&#x20AC;&#x153;Hats off to you Michael Sam, that takes some guts #respect.â&#x20AC;?

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and its potential impact upon players. Incognito fired up the controversy once more with an open letter to Martin on Twitter. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Dear Jon Martin..... The truth is going to bury you and your entire â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;campâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. You could have told the truth the entire time,â&#x20AC;? Incognito wrote. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m guilty of being a loyal friend and good teammate. I apologize for my poor language and rude remarks. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve never denied it. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I apologize to all of the women out there that I offended with my text messages to my close personal friend. â&#x20AC;&#x153;FACT: Jonathan Martin told me he thought about taking his own life in MAY 2013 b/c he wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t playing well. Told me he felt worthless.â&#x20AC;? Incognito also tweeted that he and Martin joked about one of the voicemails that became public.

Father kills son at cricket training in Australia MELBOURNE, February 13, 2014 (AFP) â&#x20AC;&#x201C; A community was in shock Thursday after a man killed his 11-year-old son at a cricket training session before being shot dead by police in front of bystanders, including children. The boy was fatally beaten just after he finished training with his junior cricket team on Wednesday evening, suffering significant head injuries at the Tyabb oval on the Mornington Peninsula, some 100 kilometers (60 miles) southeast of Melbourne. He died at the scene with police arriving to find the father, 54, armed with a knife. When capsicum, or pepper spray failed to subdue him, he was shot once in the chest. The man was airlifted to hospital but died early Thursday, leaving a traumatized wife and mother who was at the cricket oval when the attack took place. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I confirm that the male shot by police is the father of the child who is deceased and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not looking for anyone else,â&#x20AC;? police commander Doug Fryer told reporters. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I can say the injuries are significant, clearly they caused his death, quite brutal, but I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t go into exactly what they were.â&#x20AC;? He added: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re just putting the pieces together still.â&#x20AC;?

Reports said the father was estranged from his wife and a custody battle was underway. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The death of a young child is always going to be horrific. The reality is I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know how the mother is going to cope with this,â&#x20AC;? said Fryer. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t go into the specifics and what culminated to cause the death of the young man or even the events leading up to the shooting of the father. I can say the homicide squad are here, taking primacy of the investigation.â&#x20AC;? Police said there were multiple witnesses to the boyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s death, including children and parents, and they were being interviewed. Tyabb is a small community of just 3,300 people and the events had left it devastated, Fryer added. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a shocking time for everyone down there. The family, the community,â&#x20AC;? he told reporters.

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MIAMI, February 12, 2014 (AFP) â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Richie Incognito, the former Miami Dolphins blocker who was suspended for alleged bullying of National Football League teammate Jonathan Martin, revived the mess with a Twitter tirade on Wednesday. An independent NFL probe into workplace conditions at every level of the club is expected to produce findings later this month after the harassment scandal haunted the Dolphins throughout an 8-8 season in which they missed the playoffs. Martin left the team in late October before a game against Cincinnati and Incognito was suspended by the Dolphins in early November. Neither returned to the team last season but players faced questions about the atmosphere in the locker room. Threatening voicemails and text messages with racist overtones prompted extra scrutiny of conduct in NFL locker rooms

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MOTORING Toyota’s Camry and Tacoma earn U.S. News and World Report’s 2014 Best Car For The Money Award

The Filipino staff behind the success of Hamer Toyota located at 11041 Sepulveda Blvd., Mission Hills, CA 91345.

TO R R A N C E , C a l i f . , ( F e b . 1 2 , 2014) – The Toyota Camry and Tacoma received segment honors as part of U.S. News and World Report’s 2014 Best Cars for the Money awards. The 2014 Camry took top honors in the Best Midsize Car for the Money category

while the 2014 Tacoma won the Best Compact Truck for the Money award. The Best Cars for the Money methodology combines quality and value data into a composite score. Within each of 21 categories, the vehicle with the highest score is named the Best Car for the Money in that category.

Quality is measured by the overall score a vehicle achieved in the U.S. News car rankings at the time the awards are published. Value is measured by a combination of a vehicle’s five-year total cost of ownership and the average price paid for the vehicle at the time the awards are published.

Earlier, the editors of Kelley Blue Book, www.kbb. com, the leading provider of new and used car information, have selected three Toyota vehicles for their 5-year Cost to Own award. The Toyota Corolla tops the compact car category, while the Toyota Prius c won the Hybrid/Alternative Energy category. The Tacoma regular cab took top honors among mid-size pick-up trucks. These awards are based on Kelley Blue Book’s 5-Year Cost to Own data for new cars for the initial five-year ownership period. While depreciation (loss of value) and fuel costs may be the greatest expenses incurred in owning a vehicle, other factors can have a significant impact on a consumer’s pocketbook including finance and insurance fees, maintenance and repair costs, and state fees for new models. If you need to “adorn” your garage with a brand-new Toyota, all you have to do is come down ton Hamer Toyota located at 11041 Sepulveda Blvd., Mission Hills, CA 91345 and get in touch with any of our kababayans Matt Morente (Floor Manager), Marylou Santiago (VIP/Internet Coordinator), Wency Magno, Reno Reyes, Tony Pijuan and Rico Ayala (Leasing & Sales). Call our kababayans now toll free at 1-855-592-7077 and make your dream of owning a new Toyota vehicle a reality today.

Sinkhole swallows 8 cars at US Corvette museum CHICAGO, February 12, 2014 (AFP) – A massive sinkhole opened up inside the National Corvette Museum and swallowed eight cars Wednesday in the US state of Kentucky. Museum officials said they got a call at 5:44 am from their security company because the motion detectors had gone off. “Upon arrival it was discovered that a sinkhole had collapsed within the museum,” the museum said in a statement. The Bowling Green fire department came to secure the area and estimated the size of the hole at 40 feet (12 meters) across and 25 to 30 feet (8 to 9 meters) deep. Two of the lost Corvettes—a 1993 ZR-1 Spyder and a 2009 ZR-1 Blue Devil—were on loan from General Motors. The other six—a 1962 Corvette, a 1984 PPG pace car, the one millionth Corvette built in 1992, a 1993 40th anniversary Corvette, a 2001 ZO6 Corvette and the 1.5 millionth Corvette produced in 2009 -- belonged to the museum. FOR MORE NEWS AND INFORMATION VISIT

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2014 Mazda3 and Mazda5 named ‘Best Cars for the Money’ by U.S. News & World Report Mazda vehicles ranked first in compact, minivan categories IRVINE, Calif., Feb. 12, 2014 / PRNewswire – The 2014 Mazda3 and 2014 Mazda5were today named to U.S. News & World Report’s annual list of “Best Cars for the Money.” The redesigned Mazda3 topped the Compact Car category while the award-winning Mazda5 outshined its competitors in the Minivan segment – for the third year in a row. “We are honored to receive this latest distinction from U.S. News & World Report,” said Jim O’Sullivan, president and CEO, Mazda North American Operations (MNAO). “To see not only our all-new vehicles but also our carryover models be recognized as the best in their segments is a testament to the quality, reliability and value of our vehicle lineup but also an absolute win-win for ever-discerning car buyers.” U.S. News considered 225 vehicles for the 21 categories of this year’s Best Cars for the Money awards. The award methodology factors quality and value data into a composite score, of which the highest composite score is named the best in that category. Quality is measured by the overall score a vehicle achieved in theU.S. News car rankings at the time the awards are published. Value is measured by a combination of a vehicle’s five-year total cost of ownership provided by Vincentric, LLC and the average price paid for the vehicle at the time the awards are published, as calculated by TrueCar.com. “Finding a great car that’s also a great deal is a challenge,” said Jamie Page Deaton, managing editor, U.S. News Best

Cars. “Our awards are designed to help consumers identify great value cars that have also received critical acclaim and high safety and reliable scores. A good value car doesn’t have to be boring – cars with the latest features, great performance and comfortable interiors can also be smart financial choices.” All-new for 2014, this third-generation Mazda3 features the game-changing elements of the Skyactiv1technology engineering philosophy and the brawny swagger of the Kodo “Soul of Motion” design language. Mazda3 also features all-new technology with the debut of Mazda Connect, a next-generation driving-focused in-vehicle connectivity system, an innovative Active Driving Display and the complete i-Activsense system, which includes active-safety pre-crash detection features. Available in four- and five-door body styles, Mazda3 starts at $16,9452 MSRP for four-doors and at $18,945 MSRP for the five-door. 2014 Mazda3 vehicles are powered by either a SKYACTIV-G 2.0-liter or 2.5-liter gasoline engine. The Skyactiv-G 2.0L is standard on i-designated models (SV, Sport, Touring, Grand Touring) and produces 155 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 150 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm, and can be paired with either the skyactiv-MTsixspeed manual or Skyactiv-Drive six-speed automatic transmission. Mazda3 i models offer one of the best fuel economy numbers in its class, with four-door models achieving an EPA-estimated 41 highway mpg. Five-door models are EPA

For a closer look at why Mazda is one of America’s top vehicle brands, visit the Star Mazda Glendale, located at 1401 S Brand Blvd, Glendale, CA 91204. You can reach our kababayans Nick Barber (left) and Mike McCain toll free 1-888-646-1664.

estimated at 40 highway mpg, regardless of transmission choice. The 2014 Mazda5 is the epitome of minivan versatility and compact car agility. The six-passenger multi-activity vehicle offers accessibility and storage with three rows of easy-to-configure, fold-flat seating as well as a variety of hidden storage trays and bins. Powered by an MZR 2.5-liter engine producing 157 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 163 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm, Mazda5 can be had with a do-it-yourself six-speed manual or fluid-shifting fivespeed Sport automatic transmission. Fuel economy is EPA estimated at 22 city/28 highway mpg for the automatic and 21 city/28 highway mpg with the manual. While pricing starts at $20,140 MSRP for the entry-level Sport trim, a top-of-

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A closer look at the 2014 Nissan Versa The 2014 Nissan Versa headliner to the previSedan once again sets the ously available Bluestandard for entry-level car tooth® Hands-free value, combining sophistiPhone System, steercated exterior design, a ing wheel-mounted well-appointed interior, 40 audio controls, audio mpg fuel economy (CVT upgrade (MP3, aux models) and exceptional jack, RDS), map lights room for five adults – and front passenger including more rear legvanity mirror. room than some mid-size The SL Tech Packsedans. It was a formula age now includes Rearthat made the 2013 Versa View Monitor plus Sedan “America’s bestNissanConnectSM selling entry sedan.” Now, Manuel Lava of Nissan of with Navigation with a number of key enhance- Mission Hills 5.8-inch color touchments for the 2014 model screen display, Nissan year should help Versa retain that position Voice Recognition for audio and navigafor the foreseeable future. tion, NavTraffic and NavWeather, POIs Changes for 2014 start with the addi- powered by Google®, Google® Send-totion of standard 16-inch aluminum-alloy Car, Streaming audio via Bluetooth® and wheels, tricot headliner, 4.3-inch LCD Hands-free Text Messaging Assistant. audio display and SiriusXM Satellite Small When You Need It, Radio (SiriusXM subscription required, Big Where You Want It sold separately) for the Versa SL model. Highly efficient packaging remains a The Versa SV now includes standard key to Versa’s popularity. The 2014 Versa 60/40-split fold-down rear seat and a key Sedan offers five-passenger practicality fob trunk release, while a tachometer and with a high degree of comfort and refinelow rolling resistance tires are added for ment – the perfect combination for comVersa S models. In addition, all models muting on weekdays, running errands on receive a suspension and steering tuning weekends and transporting family and change, along with revised interior finish- friends all week long. ers. Versa SV and SL models also receive Versa Sedan’s interior volume of 90.2 a new high-gloss black B-pillar treatment cubic feet and trunk volume of 14.9 cubic and improved seat comfort (bottom cush- feet (105.1 cubic feet total) have been ion and foam density). configured for real-world use. It has, for Versa’s option packages are also up- example, more rear legroom than some graded for 2014. The SV Convenience mid-size sedans – trumping even some Package has been revised to add 15-inch luxury cars. And the trunk design focuses aluminum-alloy wheels and tricot fabric on useable space, taking into consideration

everything from the size of the hinges to the shape of the sidewalls. A 60/40-split fold-down rear seat is standard on SV and SL models for even greater versatility. Two interior colors are available, Sandstone (SV and SL only) and Charcoal (all trim levels). Other available interior features include trip computer, power windows with driver’s one-touch down, speed-sensing auto door locks, remote trunk release lever and steering wheel-mounted audio controls. Also offered is an unexpected level of available entertainment and connectivity features, such as SiriusXM Satellite Radio (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately), RearView Monitor and Bluetooth Hands-free Phone System. The NissanConnect with Navigation system includes a 5.8-inch color touchscreen display, Nissan Voice Recognition for audio and navigation, NavTraffic and NavWeather (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately), POIs powered by Google, Google Send-to-Car, Streaming audio via Bluetooth, Hands-free Text Messaging Assistant. Versa Sedan’s exterior offers a refreshing design character that is both sophisticated and highly aerodynamic. In front, Versa Sedan features Nissan’s signature sedan grille design and headlights. Design elements such as the shape of the trunklid help give Versa Sedan excellent aerodynamics, including a low coefficient of drag of just 0.288 (CVTequipped models). In addition, to help ensure functionality, the indented line in the middle of the Versa Sedan’s roofline is not just a design feature, but a functional innovation that helps reduce the

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amplitude of the roof panel vibrations in order to create a quieter cabin without the use of reinforcement devices called “mass bumpers.” Other exterior features include a fixed roof antenna, body-color front and rear fascias and available chrome-accented grille, blacked-out B-pillar (new high-gloss black finish for SV and SL), chrome door handles and front fog lights. The 2014 Versa Sedan is offered in eight exterior colors: Metallic Blue, Blue Onyx, Super Black, Brilliant Silver, Magnetic Gray, Red Brick, Fresh Powder and Titanium. If you have been desiring to own a new Nissan vehicle, come down to Nissan Mission Hills and check out our kababayan Manuel Lava of Nissan Mission Hills. So what are you waiting for? Schedule a Test drive on the vehicle of your choice at Nissan of Mission Hills. Call Manuel at 1-888-588-7635 and test drive a Nissan vehicle today! Nissan of Mission Hills is located at 11000 Sepulveda Blvd., Mission Hills, CA 91345.

Nissan caps buoyant earnings for Japanese auto giants TOKYO, February 10, 2014 (AFP) – Nissan said Monday its nine-month net profit jumped 18.4 percent, capping a buoyant earnings season for Japan’s top three automakers thanks to a cheap yen and rising sales in North America and China. Rival Toyota, the world’s biggest automaker, last week forecast a record annual profit with nine-month earnings more than doubling to $15 billion, after Japan’s number three Honda said its earnings surged almost 40 percent. The trio have been big winners over the past year as a sharp drop in the yen inflated exporters’ repatriated profits, further boosted by improved demand in key overseas markets. Sales in China slumped in late 2012 and into last year as a Tokyo-Beijing diplomatic row sparked a consumer boycott of Japanese brands in the world’s biggest vehicle market. Relations remain tense, but Japanese manufacturers have reported sales are returning to pre-dispute levels. Nissan was particularly vulnerable as it counts on China for about a quarter of its sales and has been fighting off rivals, including General Motors and Volkswagen, to return to its pre-boycott 7.7 percent market share. In November the new executive in charge of Nissan’s China business said the firm was struggling to catch up with rebounding demand, after a slow start in the first half of 2013. The maker of the Altima sedan and luxury Infiniti brand has three plants in China with a local partner, and plans to open another factory this year. On Monday Nissan said its net profit was 274.1 billion ($2.68 billion) in the April-December period, up 18.4 percent, as profit in just the third quarter soared 57 percent. Global revenue of 7.27 trillion yen was up 19.7 percent from a year earlier as Nissan pointed to a recovery in China as well as robust demand in Japan and North America. However, sales of 3.67 million vehicles were up just 1.0 percent, as Nissan trailed its key Japanese rivals. Its Europe market struggled while Latin America and other parts of Asia turned down.


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Kia Motors America posts record January Optima and Soul lead sales; All-New K900 flagship sedan arrives in showrooms this spring IRVINE, Calif., February 3, 2014 – Kia Motors America (KMA) today reported record January sales of 37,011 vehicles, led by the U.S.-built Optima midsize sedan and the totally transformed Soul, with 9,979 and 8,092 units sold, respectively. After delivering seven all-new or significantly redesigned vehicles in 2013, the brand’s aggressive new product cadence continues this year as part of a long-term strategy to concentrate on quality, strengthen the brand and elevate the ownership experience. The scheduled arrival of the all-new K9001 rear-wheel-drive flagship sedan this Spring symbolizes how far Kia has come over the last two decades and will usher in a new era for the brand. Kia’s first-ever electric vehicle – the Soul EV – and all-new Sedona minivan will also go on-sale this year. The multi-platform marketing campaign for the K900 continued during Sunday’s Big Game with a 60-second spot

titled “The Truth,” showcasing the luxury sedan as something modern and different for the growing number of people who don’t want to be confined by the traditional definitions of luxury. A phased rollout of additional elements, including broadcast, cinema, digital, print, experiential, social media and CRM components, will follow. Over the last two decades, Kia Motors America (KMA) has experienced unprecedented growth, due in part to an aggressive new vehicle launch cadence – 16 new or significantly redesigned cars and CUVs in the last five years alone – and 2013 served as an important transitional year that saw the brand continue to develop and mature. In addition to delivering seven all-new or significantly refreshed vehicles in 2013, Kia also continued several high-profile strategic partnerships and received more industry awards and accolades than ever before. Kia begins 2014 as the seventh

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largest brand in the U.S. by volume and looking back on its second consecutive year of more than half a million total sales. The U.S.-built Optima was Kia’s best-selling vehicle for the second straight year and set an all-time single nameplate annual sales record for Kia with more than 155,000 units sold. Kia has been one Car Pros Kia is located at 21243 S. Avalon Blvd., Carson, CA 90745, of the industry’s most home to one of California’s biggest Filipino-American communities improved brands when in the U.S. it comes to vehicle quality, and that trend KMMG – continued to be a major contribucontinued in 2013 as the company achieved tor to Kia’s success in 2013. The plant, its first-ever top ten ranking in the J.D. which is responsible for the creation of Power 2013 U.S. Initial Quality Studysm more than 14,000 direct and supplier jobs, produced its one millionth vehicle in July (IQS). Additional honors included a move up 2013, less than four years after production Interbrand’s Top 100 Best Global Brands began, and the KMMG-assembled Optima list as well as being named one of Inter- and Sorento were two of Kia’s top three brand’s Best Global Green Brands; Sorento sellers last year. Kia of course offers a 10-year or and Optima being named to Kelley Blue Book’s “10 Best Under $25,000” lists in 100,000 mile warranty, assuring you of a their respective segments; Soul ranking reliable vehicle for many, many years. For best-in-segment in the J.D. Power 2013 a long lasting vehicle, call the Car Pros (IQS) for the second consecutive year; and Kia at 310-816-9800 or the Number 1 Kia the Cadenza and Forte sedans becoming Dealership in the whole of California. Car the first Kia vehicles to win major auto Pros Kia is located at 21243 S. Avalon Blvd., Carson, CA 90745, home to one enthusiast magazine comparison tests. “For 20 years, Kia has had the cour- of California’s biggest Filipino-American age to defy one industry convention after communities, if not the whole nation. Car another while implementing our long-term Pros Kia’s strategic location in the Southstrategy,” said Byung Mo Ahn, group presi- bay has greatly impacted the Fil-Ams in dent and CEO of KMA and Kia Motors the City of Carson and neighboring villages because of Kia’s top caliber service, reliManufacturing Georgia (KMMG). Kia’s U.S. manufacturing plant – ability and most of all affordability.

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