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Integrity of Trial Raises US Concern ( On page 2 ) Palace: PAL Sale OK with Us ( On page 4 )

Filipino Devotees Celebrate Annual Feast of Sto. Niño ( On page 17 )

CAUGHT IN THE MIDDLE. President Aquino (right) talks to Transportation Secretary Mar Roxas (left) as man in the middle business tycoon John Gokongwei Jr. wipes his brow during the groundbreaking ceremony of the Philippine Academy for Aviation Training Inc. at the Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga on January 24. Photo by Grig Montegrande

It’s more fun hearing P-noy use new DOT slogan BY CHRISTINE O. AVENDAÑO AND TONETTE OREJAS Philippine Daily Inquirer

CLARK FREEPORT, Pampanga— President Aquino had fun with it, too. For the first time, Mr. Aquino mentioned in a speech the government’s new tourism slogan, “It’s more fun in the Philippines.” He wove it into his lines with relish—not just once, but four times.   Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony for a new aviation school here, the President played around the catchphrase as he formally welcomed the Canadian firm CAE as the partner of Cebu Pacific Air Inc. in establishing the Philippine Academy of Aviation Training (PAAT). “I hope that you’re not too busy with work to experience for yourselves just how much fun it is indeed in the Philippines,” he said, drawing applause from the audience that included JG Summit chair emeritus John Gokongwei Jr. and his son Lance, the airline

company’s president and chief executive officer.   “In the spirit of the campaign recently launched by our Department of Tourism, soon we will be able to say that even aviation training is more fun in the Philippines,” he later said.   The third mention came a few minutes later: “Rest assured that our administration will do what we can to make certain that companies— from both here and abroad—will continue to find good reason to invest here, (with) our highly qualified and talented personnel, a market that is beginning to realize its potential, and of course, the Filipino’s hospitality and light-heartedness. It is, as we say again, truly more fun in the Philippines.”   And then the fourth: “It is more fun in the Philippines, but we remain aware that

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achievements are built on hard work and excellence.”   Somewhere along the speech that lasted just a little over seven minutes, the President noted that the slogan “seems to be repeated often this day.” And after making a segue to the slogan for the third time, he said: “I hope I earn my pay by Secretary Mon Jimenez today,” referring to the tourism chief who launched the now wildly viral marketing ploy on Jan. 6.   BEST SALESMAN Jimenez, who was among the officials who accompanied the President here, was, of course, smiling ear to ear. “I think at a time like this when you have a good thing going, the President is your most important, most influential salesman,” he told reporters.

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News-Phils It’s more fun ...continued from A1 The secretary observed that the President’s timing was “very appropriate” and that the spontaneity with which he delivered the line made it a powerful sales pitch.   “(President Aquino himself) enjoyed using it, as you can see,” he said.   In the speech, Mr. Aquino agreed with Jimenez’s earlier reckoning that selling the Philippines to tourists should be as easy as promoting a popular local brand of fast-food fried chicken, owing much to the country’s natural wonders and the cheerfulness of its people. SIGN OF CONFIDENCE Mr. Aquino hailed the $50-million PAAT as an expression of confidence from companies like Cebu Pacific and CAE in the Filipinos’ talent and potential.   “[PAAT] effectively cements our position as a hub for aviation training in the Asia-pacific region,” he said.

  In praise of Cebu Pacific, the President said the budget airline had been “soaring from milestone to milestone,” referring to the 15 million passengers it served last year and now the establishment of the PAAT.   The school is the second Cebu Pacific project in Clark. The first was a maintenance, repair and overhaul facility inside the Clark Civil Aviation Complex. REGAINING FAA NOD The President also said the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines remained focused on regaining its Category 1 status under evaluation by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the United States.   “A positive outcome will result in the expansion of airline capacity, which will redound to a healthier aviation industry, more mobility for our people and ultimately a more vast and equitably progressive economy,” he said.   The next FAA audit is slated next month, according to Jimenez. “They will not audit you if you are not prepared,” he said.

The President also recounted how the country’s aviation industry had taken off since the first flight by Filipino pilots Ernesto Arnaiz and Juan Calvo from Manila to Spain in 1936 and the operation of its first terminal the following year. SOAR HIGH “In four-and-a-half years, I want our country to progress in the same way the aviation industry has done. What we want to do can be stated simply: We want to change the way this country works. We want to improve the lives of our people. And we want to put an end to corruption so that we can put an end to poverty,” he said.   “If we all focus, if we do things we can and need to do, no matter how small, if we always strive for excellence and we do not lose sight of our dreams for this country, then surely we can soar higher than we already have. This is our role and today we are a step closer to our shared aspirations of a progressive Philippines,” he said. ■

Integrity Of Trial Raises US Concern

BY AMANDO DORONILA Philippine Daily Inquirer

A DAY after the start of the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona, a bipartisan group of senior US senators visiting Manila was received by President Aquino in Malacañang where, according to a presidential spokesperson, the President gave a briefing on bilateral issues between the United States and the “hot thing going on now” that is the trial of Corona. The timing of the visit immediately aroused more than the ordinary curiosity of the public in regard to its purpose. It came after Agence France-presse reported on Jan. 16 that “a historic impeachment trial began Monday in one of President Aquino’s boldest yet most decisive moves to tackle pervasive corruption.” The AFP report said Mr. Aquino “won a landslide election victory in 2010 on a platform to end corruption that has plagued the Philippines for decades and which he said worsened dramatically during the time that [President Gloria Macapagal-arroyo] had led before him.” The report said the President marshaled his allies in Congress to impeach Corona last month, labelling him a “rogue magistrate” loyal to Arroyo, who appointed him to the top judicial post shortly before she stepped down as president, adding that public opinion polls show Mr. Aquino “enjoys overwhelming backing for his antigraft efforts.” Although Mr. Aquino “is widely regarded as not being corrupt,” his critics and some supporters say he has been employing questionable tactics in going after Corona and Arroyo,” according to AFP. Some say, the report said, Mr. Aquino “dangerously weakened the independence of the judiciary.” This report represents one of the perspectives the foreign press based in the Philippines projects as the most turbulent constitutional crisis faced by Philippine democracy since the impeachment trial of President Joseph Estrada in 2001 over the issue of corruption. The Corona impeachment trial has put to a crucial test the doctrine of separation of powers among the three branches of government—the coequal executive, the legislature and the judiciary—that underpins Philippine constitutional democracy.

‘HOT THING GOING ON’ It has also become one of the most divisive issues that have fractured Philippine society since the collaboration issue among the country’s political elite during the Japanese occupation in World War II. It is not farfetched to say that the visit of the US congressional delegation, led by former Republican Party presidential candidate John Mccain and Joe Lieberman, was prompted mainly by concerns over critical reports on the controversial methods employed by Mr. Aquino and his allies in Congress in pushing the impeachment of Corona and cases of plunder and electoral sabotage against Arroyo, who has been detained without bail while awaiting trial. It’s fair to say that the issue of the fairness of the trial of Corona, which is the overriding issue in the impeachment case, is the main concern of the US government in sending the Mccain mission. Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda admitted that Mr. Aquino had a “good discussion” with the US delegation on both bilateral concerns and domestic issues, among which was the Corona trial. He did not elaborate on the topics. While he admitted that the President brought up the trial during the meeting, Lacierda merely said “because that’s the hot thing going on now.” Not much of an exchange took place in the meeting. “They were just briefed,” he said. The US Secretary of State had stated that the delegation would “not be involved in internal events in the Philippines.” Of course, the State Department will not say its visiting delegations would be interfering in the internal affairs of host countries, and this is what diplomacy is about. But the United States has a history of interventions in Philippine crises, overt or covert. US INTERVENTIONS The Aquino administration would be completely naive if it deluded itself into believing that its actions in intervening are not being closely watched in respect to the fairness of the trial. This piece is not a call for intervention in domestic political conflicts.

It is stating merely historical facts on US interventions in Philippine turbulent conflicts. The US delegation said it had meetings with Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario on bilateral issues between the two countries, mainly US assistance to strengthen Philippine maritime security in the light of the territorial dispute in the South China Sea between the Philippines, China and other claimants of territories in that strategic and resource-rich body of water. But that has nothing to do with internal issues that went up to the level of the President. After the meeting with Del Rosario, Mccain said the Philippines had “strong affinity” with the United States and promised to help facilitate the Philippine request for a third Coast Guard cutter to patrol its territorial waters from incursions of hostile third powers in the region. But the visit of the Mccain delegation at a time of political turmoil in the Philippines may also be a signal from Washington that it is not indifferent to the way the Aquino administration is handling the impeachment trial and ensuring that it should be conducted fairly and under the rule of law. During the snap election called by Ferdinand Marcos in 1986, a high-powered US political mission led by Sen. Richard Lugar came to observe if the balloting would be free and fair. In 1987, during the coup attempt against the Cory Aquino administration, the United States sent flights of Phantom jet fighters to warn the rebels that Washington was defending her. The current Aquino administration is not under threat of being toppled. This time, Washington’s concern or interest in the current crisis appears to be the integrity of a fair trial. ■

ERRATUM: In the Association Greetings that were included maiden issue, Luisa Marshall was incorrectly associated with Catanduanes International. The correct greetings should read: “Luisa Marshall for Simply the Best” and “Rene Alcantara for Catanduanes International”.--The Editors


Publisher Philippine Canadian Inquirer Editorial Manager Laarni de Paula Editorial Consultant J.J. McCullough Contributors Alfie Vera Mella Annie Gorra Cristie Lane Sotana Gigi Astudillo Jenn Torres Marietta Pangan-Dutkoski Dr. Rizaldy Ferrer Rodel Ramos Shawn Bowden Stella Reyes Victoria Yong Photographer Ryan Ferrer

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Palace: PAL sale OK with us BY CHRISTINE O. AVENDANO AND PAOLO G. MONTECILLO Philippine Daily Inquirer MALACAÑANG yesterday welcomed plans by taipan Lucio Tan to sell national flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL).   “We welcome the additional investment of whoever would like to buy PAL because it would mean additional investments to the country,” presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said.   Lacierda said that an additional investment in PAL would mean “improved services.” “Considering that PAL is our national brand,

Accused in Pestaño slay want raps junked BY LEILA B. SALAVERRIA Philippine Daily Inquirer THE PHILIPPINE Navy officers charged with murder in the death of Ens. Philip Pestaño yesterday asked the Sandiganbayan to dismiss the charges against them and to defer their arrest while their plea was being resolved. In a motion to quash the information, the Navy officers said it was the military court and not the Sandiganbayan that had jurisdiction over them. They also said the charge sheet filed by the Office of the Ombudsman was defective for saying that four offenses were committed and that Pestaño had two gunshot wounds in the head when he only had one. The Office of the Ombudsman had ruled that Pestaño was murdered on the BRP Bacolod City in 1995 and that his colleagues had conspired to make his killing look like a suicide. Charged with Pestaño’s murder were Capt. Ricardo Ordoñez, Cmdr. Reynaldo Lopez, Lt. Cmdr. Luidegar Casis, Lt. Cmdr. Alfrederick Alba, Lt. Cmdr. Joselito Colico, Lt. Cmdr. Ruben Roque, PO1 Carlito Amoroso, PO2 Mil Leonor Igcasan, Hospital Man 2 Welmenio Aquino and Machinery Repairman 2 Sandy Miranda. ■

the additional investment would improve the branding of our national carrier,” he added.   Transportation Secretary Mar Roxas also said he supported any move that would result in the infusion of fresh capital into PAL, which has struggled against low-cost local carriers over the past decade.

is a private (government) will not micromanage,” said Roxas, a former senator and a senior member of the administration’s economic team.

  “The government will always welcome more capital in the airline industry in order to strengthen its competitiveness,” Roxas said in a text message.

  “Government interest is sufficient capital so that safety and reliability are assured,” he said. Tan, who owns 94 percent of Asia’s oldest airline, has confirmed reports that he was in the thick of discussions for the sale of PAL with two separate groups—that of San Miguel Corp. and its corporate rival, the group of Manuel V. Pangilinan.

  He said the government would keep its hands off the discussions between private sector stakeholders. “Who partners with whom

  PAL president Jaime J. Bautista has said the firm’s shareholders had long been in search of new investors willing to infuse fresh capital

into the airline. The additional funds would be used to expand the company’s fleet of aircraft and improve its other services.   Bautista himself has denied any knowledge of discussions between PAL’S controlling bloc and either Pangilinan or San Miguel. However, unconfirmed reports earlier this month said Bautista had direct participation in the negotiations.   While San Miguel has confirmed having been approached by PAL to “participate” in the latter’s refleeting program, the Pangilinan group has been mum about it. ■

Kindergarten on wheels’ parks at QC school BY TARRA QUISMUNDO Philippine Daily Inquirer Five-year-olds at a Quezon City public school have a new classroom—and it’s onwheels. The Bagong Henerasyon party-list group, the Quezon City government and the Department of Education (Deped) yesterday launched the city’s first Kindergarten on Wheels, touted to be an “innovative, creative solution” to school overcrowding in urban areas.   The P800,000 learning truck was inaugurated at the President Corazon Aquino Elementary School near the Congress complex in Batasan Hills in commemoration of the late president’s 79th birthday today.

  “This is in tribute to former President Cory Aquino on her 79th birthday, knowing her love for the youth. This is very important because at the age of five children absorb everything. It can change their future,” said Bagong Henerasyon Rep. Bernadette Herrerady. Dy filed the bill renaming Batasan Hills Elementary School after Aquino in 2010.

Aquino Elementary, said the lawmaker. Corazon Rubio, Quezon City education superintendent, said most city public schools hold two shifts of classes as the student population has annually increased. Where to build has also become a problem for Quezon City schools as the city has run out of land to build on.

The mobile classroom was spun off Dy’s mobile computer classroom program which has a fleet of 20 vehicles bringing information technology education to schools across the country.

  “We chose a Quezon City elementary school because here, 632 kindergarten pupils use only four classrooms. Kindergarten on Wheels can declog the classrooms by 100 students,” Dy said.

  Equipped with audio-visual equipment, the air-conditioned, 24-seat mobile classroom can hold almost 100 students in four shifts, Dy said. Currently, more than 600 students take turns using four kindergarten classrooms at

  Education Secretary Armin Luistro said the mobile kindergarten classroom could be moved elsewhere once the ongoing construction of additional classrooms at Aquino Elementary was finished. ■


Lagman in a speech. Lagman insisted there was no termsharing agreement with Suarez.

HOUSE Minority Leader Edcel Lagman yesterday relinquished his post to Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez, but not without a parting shot at former President Gloria Macapagal-arroyo whom he has accused of plotting his ouster.

  “What the Suarez manifesto achieved was to indelibly show the hand of the former President,” Lagman said, pointing out that Arroyo’s two legislator sons and appointees were among the notable supporters of Suarez for the minority leader post.

  “I cannot continue to associate politically with some opposition members who are closely linked and beholden to the former President so much so that they succumb to the importuning of a patron. I cannot allow the minority to lose its credibility and independence by becoming a mere mouthpiece of the former President,” said

Suarez took the high road and did not speak ill of Lagman in his acceptance speech at the plenary after Lagman yielded. “Congressman Lagman and I should agree to disagree regarding how this event has played out. The minority bloc will continue its role as a

constructive opposition as exemplified by the work of Congressman Lagman being a vigilant fiscalizer of the opposition. We are continuing our invitation for him to be part of the minority bloc [as his] legal and political experience is needed in these challenging times,” said Suarez.   Lagman has resigned from the Lakaskampi party and has announced that he would remain an independent. He said he could not go over to the majority bloc because of policy differences. ■



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Erap to defense, prosecutors: Finish the trial for closure BY CATHY C. YAMSUAN Philippine Daily Inquirer

FORMER President Joseph “Erap” Estrada wants the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona to end with a decision “based on strong evidence” to provide a closure that eluded his own trial 11 years ago.

  “I want this trial to finish if only to correct the mistakes during my trial which was aborted. We need to have this closure because ... any man accused must be given the chance to defend himself in court,” Estrada said in an ambush interview at the Senate yesterday.   “I would have been acquitted. Remember that when the second envelope that led to Edsa II was opened, they did not see anything that would involve me in anything irregular,” Estrada said.   A prosecution walkout during Estrada’s impeachment trial in 2001 after the senator-judges voted 11-10 not to open the socalled second envelope that purportedly linked him to “jueteng,” an illegal numbers racket, sparked a people power uprising that forced him to step aside.   “The only difference in the two impeachment trials is that this time, Senate President (Juan Ponce) Enrile is very impartial and has declared that he would not allow a walkout,” said Estrada, who went to the Senate for an exclusive interview

with a cable TV channel. “In my case, the presiding officer by the name of (then Chief Justice) Hilario Davide was part of the conspiracy to remove me from office,” he said. A BOMBSHELL? The actor-turned-politician said he would like the 23 senatorjudges, including his son, Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Estrada, in the Corona trial not to base their decision on political partisanship.   “That’s what happened to me. I do not want that to happen to the Chief Justice … To convict somebody without any strong evidence would be unfair,” said the 74-year-old Estrada.   “Senator-judges are mandated and have a responsibility toward the Filipino people. They must be fair and impartial,” explained Estrada who was impeached for betrayal of public trust and culpable violation of the Constitution. Asked about the plan of Corona’s prosecutors to present 100 witnesses, Estrada shrugged.   “They (prosecutors) might have a bombshell like those in my trial,” he said, referring to Clarissa Ocampo of EquitablePCI Bank who claimed she was sitting 1 foot away from him when he signed as Jose Velarde in a specimen signature card for a bank account that purportedly contained jueteng collections. Estrada scoffed at the charge during the interview with the cable channel. “Even Cardinal Sin once said that if the devil offers him money, he would give it to the poor,” he called, referring to the late Manila Archbishop Jaime Sin.

HOODLUMS IN ROBES Estrada said he admired President Aquino “because he has the courage” to prosecute Corona.   He recalled that when he was the Vice President he campaigned against “hoodlums in robes”—corrupt court judges who hindered the delivery of justice.   “Of the three branches of government, usually you can criticize Malacañang and the legislature, but the Supreme Court was never attacked, even when there was a strong sentiment against a decision it issued,” he noted. NO ONE ABOVE LAW “It’s about time they should also be censured because of their abuses,” Estrada added.   Asked whether he sympathized with Corona, Estrada said, smiling: “Nobody is above the law, not even the President as I have experienced. How much more the Chief Justice? But I have nothing against the Chief Justice.”   Estrada said participants in his impeachment trial, including “some prosecutors (and) some senator-judges,” connived with “big business whose ire I incurred” to oust him. He said some of these people had apologized to him.   “They learned their mistakes during my trial. It’s a good thing that all these happened. They are now more conscious of the mistakes they did before,” Estrada said. ■

Body on burning bed arouses fire probears’ suspicions BY JAYMEE T. GAMIL Philippine Daily Inquirer INVESTIGATORS have started looking into the fire which broke out at a lodging house in Quiapo, Manila, yesterday morning, leaving two people dead and four others injured. This was after witnesses told the police that they found one of the fatalities lying on a burning bed.   The witnesses also said that the fire started in the room of the victim— who has yet to be identified—at the Red Apple Lodging Inn located on the second floor of a five-story building at 641 Quezon Blvd. in Quiapo.   The victim, described as a man between the ages of 38 and 40 and with brown complexion, had checked into the establishment at around midnight. He was wearing a brown jacket, a pair of pants, a woolen cap and carrying a small backpack.   SPO4 Dennis Javier of the Manila Police District (MPD) homicide section said that because the victim’s body was badly burned, they could not establish if there was foul play involved. He added that there was also the possibility that his death may have been a suicide.

  “We could not determine the cause of the fire but it started from the bed. If the fire was accidental, the victim would have awakened and he could have easily gotten up and walked out of the room,” Javier said.   Witnesses said they did not see anyone going or coming out of the victim’s room before the fire broke out at 5:22 a.m. It reached the third alarm before it was put out nearly two hours later.   Earlier, Helen Omas, the lodging house’s stay-in cashier, said that she and another lodger saw smoke coming from the victim’s room. They then heard two consecutive explosions which they assumed came from faulty electrical wiring. She said that she and the lodger, Leo Yuson, forced open the door to the victim’s room and saw him lying on the bed which was on fire, PO3 Amelito Lopez of the MPD homicide section said in his report.   Also killed in the fire was sales clerk Grace Mendoza, 33, who lived on another floor.   She suffocated to death after she tried to go back to her room to get her belongings. Damage to property was estimated at around P500,000. ■

Bishop urges vigilance vs RH bill BY JOCELYN R. UY

Philippine Daily Inquirer DESPITE announcement by Congress that the reproductive health (RH) bill was no longer its priority, at least for the next couple of months, a Catholic bishop encouraged advocates against the measure to be vigilant.   “Although it is good news to us Catholics against the RH bill, we should be cautious because they might still work on it in subtle ways,” said Tagbilaran Bishop Leonardo Medroso over Church-run Radio Veritas yesterday.   Medroso said the Catholic faithful and lawmakers against the family planning bill must not stop campaigning against the legislative measure “so that it would soon be entirely junked.” The RH bill calls for sex education in schools and mandates government health workers to provide information on the use of artificial contraceptives. “I hope our prolife congressmen will be vigilant because (other representatives) might work on it behind our backs,” said Medroso.

  In a recent letter sent to fellow lawmakers, House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. did not include bills on the reproductive health and freedom of information in the 45 priority measures Congress needed to approve before it adjourns in March. But the Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development Foundation Inc. (PLCPD) said it wasn’t worried about it being marked as “not a priority.”   The advocacy group yesterday said the bill was being tackled in the plenary everyday. “Even the Speaker himself said the ‘priority’ label is unimportant because what is really critical is that the bill is moving in the plenary,” according to PLCPD executive director Ramon San Pascual.   The Catholic Church has staunchly opposed the bill, saying that it promotes abortion, which is against its teachings. Proponents, on the other hand, say the bill is in line with country commitments to human rights and family planning. ■

Fears that sunken ship will spill oil allayed BY NESTOR P. BURGOS JR. Philippine Daily Inquirer ILOILO CITY—THE Coast Guard said there were no signs of an oil spill on the coast of Antique near where a cargo vessel sank on Sunday.   Lt. Glen Daraug, Coast Guard station commander in Antique, said Coast Guard men saw an oil sheen or a thin film of oil near the site of the sinking on Monday but there was no indication of a massive leakage of oil from the sunken vessel.   “We are continuously monitoring the site but so far, there is no indication of an oil spill,” Daraug said in a phone interview on Tuesday.   The vessel MV Seaford 2, owned by Seaford Shipping Inc., sank on Sunday morning after taking in water. The vessel was on its way to the port of Lipata in Culasi town in Antique from Lugait in Misamis Oriental when it met an accident on Saturday.   All 18 crew members were rescued. The ship was carrying 35,000 bags of cement and 7,000 liters of diesel when it sank off the capital town of San Jose in Antique. San Jose Mayor Rony Molina also said there was no sign of an oil spill. He said residents near the area reported the smell of fuel for several hours on Monday. ■

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News-Phils Vizconde gets support of GMA lawyer BY JEROME ANING Philippine Daily Inquirer

NOT ONLY politics, but also the legal profession, makes strange bedfellows.   Lawyer Ferdinand Topacio yesterday supported his client Lauro Vizconde’s decision to testify at the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona.

Chinoy found dead inside QC home BY NANCY C. CARVAJAL Philippine Daily Inquirer A FILIPINO-CHINESE was found dead Tuesday morning in his three-story house in Quezon City right after celebrating the Chinese New Year with his family on Monday evening. PO1 Alvin Quisumbing of the Quezon City Police District identified the victim as Jeffrey Go, 36, of Hobart Subdivision, Barangay Kaligayahan. Quisumbing said the victim was found hanging at the staircase at around 7 a.m. by a maid. Police ruled the death a suicide.   The victim’s mother told police her son was jobless after his business had gone bankrupt. ■

  Topacio is one of the lawyers of former President Gloria Macapagal-arroyo, who was barred from traveling abroad in November last year by the Department of Justice despite an order of the Supreme Court. The lifting of the travel restriction against Arroyo, who is facing charges of electoral sabotage and is under hospital arrest, is the subject of one of the impeachment articles against Corona. NOT BY PARTISANSHIP “I respect his decision and will fully support him in any way as legal counsel and as friend. [ His] decision was arrived at by him after lengthy and deep reflection, and without any intervention on my part, or of anyone else. His resolve to testify is borne not by partisanship,

but by his abiding desire to institute reforms in the judiciary, so that his unfortunate experience regarding the trial involving the death of his entire family may not be experienced by others,” Topacio said in a statement. Vizconde claimed he and Corona met days before the release of the Supreme Court decision that acquitted the seven convicted murderers of his wife and two daughters. House prosecutors listed the Corona-vizconde meeting as among the offenses Corona allegedly committed under Article 3 of the impeachment complaint against the Chief Justice. TOWARD GENUINE REFORMS “It is our hope that his testimony will transcend the duration and purpose of the impeachment



proceedings, and will result in measures and acts from all branches of government to institute genuine reforms in our courts to obliterate all forms of influencepeddling on the part of legal practitioners, especially certain big law firms, and promote more honesty, integrity and transparency in the courts, as well as encourage appointments and promotions in the judiciary based on merit and fitness, and not political patronage,” he said.   “We hope that those whom Mr. Vizconde names as purveyors of extra- legal persuasions be likewise investigated and called to account for their misdeeds, so that the impeachment proceedings may reinforce, rather than erode, the judicial system,” Topacio added. ■

Jinggoy: Trial demonizing Corona like my father BY CHRISTIAN V. ESGUERRA Philippine Daily Inquirer A SENATOR-JUDGE is being haunted by the ghost of an impeachment past.   Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, Senate president pro tempore, yesterday noted some eerie similarities between the trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona and that of his father, former President Joseph Estrada, more than a decade ago.   Estrada, who is sitting as a judge in the Corona trial, assailed the prosecution’s alleged effort to “demonize” Corona by presenting supposed evidence against him in public.   “It’s reminiscent of the impeachment trial of my father 11 years ago,” he told the INQUIRER in a phone interview. “It happened to my father before. They demonized him in media and in public until they got public opinion on their side. It’s the same pattern.”   But the younger Estrada sought to clarify that he was not necessarily throwing his support behind the Chief Justice. He said he just wanted to stress that “the decision of senator-judges should be based on the evidence presented in court, not before the bar

of public opinion.”   Such is also the sentiment of Corona’s defense counsels, who alleged that prosecutors were arguing their case before the media because their evidence could not stand in court.   Rep. Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, a spokesperson for the prosecution, yesterday said it was “still too early in the game” to determine who was getting the upper hand.   JUST MARKED, NOT PRESENTED Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III clarified reports that documents submitted to the impeachment court last week were just “marked” and not yet “presented as evidence” against Corona. But defense counsel Tranquil Salvador III noted that the prosecutors were claiming outside the impeachment court that Corona’s properties were “undervalued.” The allegation was tackled in a press conference last Thursday, after copies of Corona’s statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALNS) were marked in court.   Estrada said the prosecution should not resort to a “fishing expedition” for evidence like what he believed happened in the case

of his father. At the time, stories about then President Estrada’s mansions and other illgotten wealth were all over the news even before the impeachment trial began. The senator said the “demonization” convinced the public that his father was guilty.   “That was not proper. We have a process and it has to be respected,” he said. ‘COMMUNICATION STRATEGY’ Defense counsel Ramon Esguerra earlier said that his team was “losing” in terms of public opinion. He said part of it had to do with the prosecution’s communication—not legal— strategy.   Salvador agreed with the observation, saying defense lawyers were still “learning” how to properly communicate their position in public.   “You have to give it to the prosecution. In a sense, they packaged the trial in a political theater,” he said in a phone interview.   “But to those who understand, they know honestly what’s happening inside the courtroom, that we were able to do this and do that. So I’m surprised that when we go outside, the story is different.” ■

Suddenly, everybody is talking in Filipino BY CHRISTIAN V. ESGUERRA Philippine Daily Inquirer “REGLAMENTO ng ebidensya.” “Matuklasan ang katotohanan.” “Kataas-taasang Hukom.”   The public was given on January 24 a preview of what it would be like if the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona were to be conducted in Filipino.   The members of the impeachment court abandoned English, the traditional language of Philippine courts, during stretches of January 24’s proceedings, with some of them alternately struggling with and showing eloquence in the national language.   Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, who also speaks Ilocano, set the tone when he talked about his being the presiding officer and why he was using the Rules of Evidence in the absence of a better alternative so far in the trial.   He was responding to a manifestation by Rep. Niel Tupas Jr., the lead prosecutor, that the court should be more “liberal” and “flexible” in its rules, unlike in a criminal court.   “Sabihin ninyo sa akin bilang mga hukom at

bumubuo ng Senado kung gaano ako magiging liberal para susundin ko po ang kagustuhan nyo (Tell me as senator-judges how far I can go so I can heed what you want),” he told his colleagues. “Pero hanggang ngayon, wala pang nakakapagsabi kung gaano kaliberal ang gusto ninyong mangyari dito sa ating paglilitis (Up to now no one has been able to say how liberal this trial can get).”   Enrile went on to discuss his long experience as an “ordinary trial lawyer,” using the Filipino translations for such terms as the Rules of Evidence (reglamento ng ebidensya) and “to search for the truth” (matuklasan ang katotohanan):   “Alam po ninyo, ako ay isang ordinaryong manananggol. Meron naman akong mga hinawakan na kaso. Matagal po ako sa husgado at itong reglamento ng ebidensya na ginagamit natin. Lahat ng mga huwes na hinarapan ko—at panay magagaling na mga huwes po—ay palaging ang sinasabi nila, ito ang mga reglamento upang suriin ang mga kaso at matuklasan ang katotohan.”   But Enrile’s mastery of Filipino could not keep him from using occasional English terms:

“Kung papalitan po natin yan (rules), nasa sa inyo po iyan. Ako po ay open at susunod sa utos ng kagalang-galang, kataas-taasang hukom ng ating impeachment system,” he said.   Even Minority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano, who can easily switch from English to Filipino, could not avoid speaking “Taglish” in the course of his manifestation:   “Pag na-suppress po natin ang ebidensya dito, bayan ang talo. Kung ma-convict or maacquit [si Corona], dapat on the merits with all the evidence presented here.”   Proud to be senator Sen. Manuel Villar broke his silence and took the floor to throw his support behind Enrile. He, too, spoke mainly in Filipino but had to switch to English at some point.   “Alam nyo, may mga pagkakataon na di ako sumangayon sa ating pangulo ng Senado, subalit I have never been as proud as now to be a member of the Senate, and yan ay uulitulitin ko,” he said.   Early in yesterday’s proceedings, Enrile made it clear on at least a couple of occasions that points regarding Article 2 and the

contentious move to introduce evidence on Corona’s alleged ill-gotten wealth should be sufficiently explained.   “So that the public will know ... so that the public ... will understand,” he said. The senators were earlier asked to conduct the trial in Filipino and cut the use of legal jargon, to make ordinary Filipinos understand the issues. DEFENSE TOO A number of senators agreed, among them Miriam DefensorSantiago, Loren Legarda and Manuel Lapid.   Corona’s defense team also expressed support for the idea.   “It’s OK with us if we hold the trial in Filipino especially if it would help the public better understand the events unfolding in the Senate,” defense lawyer Karen Jimeno told reporters.   “But the public must also understand that you cannot have a trial entirely in Filipino because there are legal terms and Latin phrases that cannot be translated in Filipino,” she said. ■



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NBI ‘footdragging’ in Ramgen slay hit

BY MIKO MORELOS Philippine Daily Inquirer

LAWYERS OF Janelle Manahan, the girlfriend of murder victim Ramgen Bautista who survived the attack that killed her boyfriend last year, have decried the alleged footdragging of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) over the custody of suspect Ryan Pastera who surrendered to authorities on Tuesday.   Argee Guevarra, Manahan’s lead counsel, castigated the bureau for allegedly “coddling” Pastera until he yielded to NBI Deputy Director Roberto Arugay early morning yesterday. “The NBI should have brought him to the custody of the court. They are only authorized to enforce the warrant of arrest. Why are they withholding Pastera?” he said over the phone. He surmised that the NBI could be preempting a legal maneuver of Pastera’s family, which the lawyer said would be seeking from a Parañaque City court hearing the murder case.

  Should the move to hand over Ryan to the NBI prosper, “it would be highly irregular considering that the NBI does not have a custodial center to begin with,” Guevarra said.   “Besides, if the Parañaque City Jail was good enough for [coaccused] Ramon Joseph Bautista, why should it not be good enough for Pastera?” he added.   This does not bode well for the NBI which has been under fire recently following the sacking of its head, Magtanggol Gatdula, the lawyer said.   The former NBI director allegedly knew about the extortion on Noriyo Ohara, a Japanese woman who had been in the custody of unathorized NBI agents.   Guevarra asked Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to investigate the “unusual” surrender of a suspect to the NBI, saying that some of its agents could be “attempting to pull off another Ohara.”

  “Why is the NBI bending backwards to accommodate Pastera?” Guevarra said.   With Pastera’s surrender, three other murder suspects in the killing of Ramgen Bautista and the attack on Manahan remain at large— Glaiza Visda, Norwin dela Cruz and Ramgen’s sister Maria Ramona, who fled to Turkey last year.   Pastera allegedly served as a middleman between Visda and Dela Cruz and another Bautista sibling, Ma. Ragelyn or “Gail,” and her husband Hiro Furuyama. Pastera was Furuyama’s best man at his wedding.   Visda and Dela Cruz allegedly hired gunmen kill Ramgen, who was shot dead inside the family residence in Parañaque on Oct. 28, 2011. Manahan, who was also inside the room during the attack, survived the shooting. ■

98 of 896 Manila barangays certified drug-free FIRE GUTS BY JAYMEE T. GAMIL CALOOCAN Philippine Daily Inquirer GROCERY STORE MANILA Mayor Alfredo Lim last January 24 recognized that 98 out of the 896 barangays in the city are “drug-free.”   Lim made the declaration during a certification ceremony held at the city hall. The certification awarding program was spearheaded by the Anti- Drug Abuse Council of Manila (Adcom). The declaration was also a first in the city.   Manila Barangay Bureau chief and Adcom executive director Analyn Buan said that although the drug-free barangays represented only 10.9 percent of the city’s barangays, the rest remained generally “clean.”   An initial list furnished to the INQUIRER showed only 88 barangays that were certified to be drug- free. Of these, 22 are in District IV, 18 each in Districts I and III, 16 in District V, 8 in District II and 6 in District VI.   Buan said the 10 other barangays were also given certification during the program.   In an interview, Adcom operations officer Lucio Margallo IV said that Adcom was convened in August last year following the

Woman Who Allegedly Duped Former Lover Of P1.7m Arrested BY JEANNETTE I. ANDRADE Philippine Daily Inquirer POLICE have arrested in an entrapment operation a 28-year old woman who allegedly duped her former American lover of some P1.7 million cash supposedly intended for repairs on a house which turned out to be nonexistent.   Manila Police District General Assignment Section (MPDGAS) operatives nabbed Abegail Galit, of Liwayway Homes Subdivision, Imus, Cavite, on Monday when she allegedly attempted to mulct more money from American tourist Sidney Stephanson, 67, owner of a tile manufacturing company based in Saipan, in exchange for her returning the more than P1 million cash she had gotten from him.     PO3 Abelardo Aguilar, case investigator, told the INQUIRER that Galit had allegedly demanded an additional P10,000 cash from Stephanson, which prompted him to seek police assistance when he suspected she was duping him.

dismal report by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) that Manila was 100- percent “drug- affected.”   The council immediately asked the barangays to submit illegal-drug situationers in their areas.   Of the 550 that submitted reports, 150 claimed they were drug-free. Only 98 of the 150 passed the screening of the Adcom, Margallo said.   To be validated as drug-free, the school in the subject barangay must not have a single student involved or implicated in drugs, its youth center must validate that no minors in the area have been involved in drug- related incidents, the police station commander covering the area must certify that no apprehensions or raids have been conducted in the barangay, the Manila Treatment and Rehabilitation center should certify that they have not treated a resident of the barangay, and the barangay should have a drug-free program, among other things, Margallo explained.   The 98 awarded their certificates on Tuesday had remained drug-free as of Jan. 1, 2012, Margallo said. ■

  Aguilar revealed that they had set up an entrapment operation at around 3 p.m. on Monday against Galit at a fast food restaurant along Padre Faura Street in Ermita. As soon as she received the marked money from the American tourist, the MPD-GAS operatives announced the bust.     The case investigator said that based on Stephanson’s complaint, Galit had allegedly asked him to send her cash through money transfer after she proposed a business deal involving the sale of a house which needed repairs.     “They broke up in 2005 but Stephanson still agreed with the proposal and started sending her money for the repairs in January last year because he trusted her,” Aguilar explained. But, he pointed out, the American tourist started to doubt Galit when she would not give him details of where the house is located.     He also became suspicious when after he had already sent a total of P1.7 million cash, the repairs on the house have not been finished.     When Stephanson informed Galit about his doubts, the woman allegedly demanded another P10,000 cash from him after which she promised she would give back the whole amount he had given her.     “After the entrapment operation, Galit admitted that there was really no such house when we asked her about it,” Aguilar told the INQUIRER. ■

BY NIÑA CALLEJA Philippine Daily Inquirer

A TWO-HOUR-LONG fire before midnight January 24 gutted the ground floor of a two-storey grocery store in Caloocan City, destroying property worth P2 million. The fire, believed to have started from the power source of the Domingo Grocery Store in Sampalukan St. in Barangay Camarin, started at 10:50 p.m. The grocery store is owned by SPO4 Decoroso Domingo and his wife Evelyn. The fire was put out by 12:45 a.m. Tuesday. No one was reported injured or killed in the fire. ■

Business, money issues eyed in trader’s killing BY NIÑA CALLEJA Philippine Daily Inquirer INVESTIGATORS are looking into business and money issues as the possible motives in the killing of a businessman and the wounding of his wife at a gasoline station in Pasig City on January 24.   The victims, Ronaldo Sison, 42, and his wife Elenita, were engaged in merchandise, buyand-sell of various products, and even in an informal money lending business, Senior Police Officer 3 Rogelio Villanueva, Pasig police investigator, said in a phone interview Tuesday.   A few moments before motorcycle-riding men attacked and shot them successively around 7 a.m. on Monday, they met a woman who took from them some dairy products. The woman, identified as Ranylene Guzman, 27, a resident of Cainta, Rizal, left a few minutes before the attack.   Asked if she was considered a suspect, Villanueva said “we don’t have sufficient evidence to link her to the killing.”   But he said the woman had a standing P3-million debt to the couple which she had been trying to pay by installment. The woman told the police she has no involvement in the shooting and the fact that the shooting took place right after her meeting with the Sison couple was merely a coincidence. ■

News-Phils ‘Serafin Cuevas Man who allegedly hired School of Law’ Ramgen’s killers surrenders now live on TV A 11


BY CHRISTIAN V. ESGUERRA Philippine Daily Inquirer

THE IMPEACHMENT trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona is slowly shaping up into a “Serafin Cuevas School of Law.” Just a week into the trial, the retired Supreme Court associate justice has impressed some senators and members of his own team with the way he has been defending Corona and attacking the prosecution’s case.   Cuevas’ knowledge of the law, particularly the Rules of Court and Rules of Evidence, was made apparent whenever he raised objections or made manifestations against prosecutors, led by Rep. Niel Tupas Jr. His performance has been commended in the social media, even if many of the comments did not necessarily subscribe to the defense position. One lawyer said she knew of law students closely watching the proceedings mainly to learn from a veteran litigator like Cuevas.   Tupas last week complained about Cuevas’ objections and asked the senatorjudges not to allow the 83year-old legal luminary to “lecture” prosecutors.   “We observed, Mr. Senate President, that the distinguished lead counsel of the defense has not only been objecting to our questions... but also lecturing us,” Tupas told the court. ‘TOO GOOD’ But Senators Vicente Sotto III and Jinggoy Estrada said there was nothing wrong with Cuevas’ actions, both of them noting that Tupas and his team were likewise expected to raise objections when their time came.   “You can’t fault the other camp for being good,” Sotto, the majority leader, told the INQUIRER yesterday.   “We cannot blame the former justice for being a seasoned litigator,” Estrada said. “As a former law student, I am learning a lot from him. It’s very amusing. This is a learning experience.” LIKE LAW STUDENTS Both Sotto and Estrada clarified they were not necessarily siding with the defense.   Defense counsel Ramon Esguerra, a litigator of more than 30 years, said he was himself impressed with the way Cuevas had been handling the case. In a defense panel meeting, he told Cuevas: “Sir, without really meaning to sound patronizing, I must tell you that I’m still learning from you.”   “He is very sharp, quick and organized with his thoughts,” Esguerra (no relation to this reporter) said. “He may be overdoing it at times, but there is no other way. He has to protect the interest of the client.”   At one point, Cuevas was heard telling fellow defense lawyers: “I am sorry if I appeared that way [condescending]. I would not have done so if they (prosecutors) did not act like law students.”   Esguerra said Cuevas was a good choice to head the defense because “he has the stature not to be bamboozled by anyone.” Prosecutors have been complaining about Cuevas’ objections, which Tranquil Salvador III, another defense counsel, believes is a “strategy” to generate public sympathy. Salvador said Tupas’ manifestation against Cuevas’ lecturing “came out of nowhere.”   Tupas complained to the impeachment court: “I would also like to appeal to the lead counsel of the defense... to avoid unnecessary remarks and lecturing...”   “I would love to listen to the distinguished gentleman, but not inside this impeachment tribunal,” Tupas added.   Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr., one of the few House prosecutors with a long trial experience, appeared to have been “schooled” by Cuevas while the lawmaker was questioning Randy Rutaquio, head of the Taguig City register of deeds. Barzaga, a former student of Cuevas on remedial law, had to “reform” his questions because of objections from his former mentor. ■

BY JEANNETTE I. ANDRADE Philippine Daily Inquirer

her nephew’s home and that he had been receiving threats online.

WANTING to clear his name in the murder of Ramgen Bautista and the attack on his girlfriend Janelle Manahan, and also to seek protection against threats to his life drove the suspected middleman in the killing to surface yesterday morning at the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).   Ryan Pastera, who allegedly contracted hired guns for Bautista’s killing, and who is the subject of an arrest warrant issued by a Parañaque City court, surrendered yesterday at around 7 a.m. to NBI Deputy Director for Special Investigation Services and lawyer Edmund Arugay.   Accompanied by his aunt and his lawyer Melinda Salcedo, Pastera refused to grant media interviews as he was escorted from Arugay’s office to the NBI Death Investigation Division. “Maybe he is more comfortable in the custody of the NBI,” Arugay said. “He previously sought the bureau’s assistance when he attended the preliminary investigation in the Parañaque City Prosecutor’s Office.”   Pastera’s aunt, who declined to reveal her name, told reporters that they only found out about the arrest warrant through the media and that they decided to go to the NBI so her nephew could defend himself against the charges. The suspect’s aunt added that there were suspicious-looking persons lurking around

  Arugay said they might present Pastera today at Parañaque City Regional Trial Court Branch 274 before Judge Fortunito Madrona who issued the arrest warrant against him, Ramgen’s sister Ma. Ramona, Glaiza Visda and Norwin dela Cruz. The arrest order was issued during the Jan. 17 arraignment of Bautista’s younger brother Ramon Joseph, the alleged mastermind of the killing, and suspected hired guns Michael Nartea and Roy Francis Tolisora, where they entered a not guilty plea.   On Oct. 18 last year, a masked gunman barged into Bautista’s room shooting Manahan in the face before turning the gun on her boyfriend Ramgen, the eldest son of former Sen. Ramon Revilla Sr. by Genelyn Magsaysay.   Manahan survived the attack but Bautista was killed instantly after sustaining multiple stab wounds and a bullet wound.   Pastera was implicated in the crime after several witnesses claimed he had been soliciting the services of suspected hired guns several weeks before the killing. The accused has denied any involvement in the killing and said he did not know any of the witnesses, including Nartea and Tolisora, who had claimed he had hired them. ■

Valenzuela, Narvacan town now sister cities BY KRISTINE FELISSE MANGUNAY Philippine Daily Inquirer TO PROMOTE what local officials call a “favorable partnership,” the city of Valenzuela and Narvacan town in Ilocos Sur have forged a sisterhood agreement that will enable them to share their “best practices” in several areas.

  The agreement aims to improve the two LGUS’ performances in four critical areas: cultural heritage preservation, technical exchange facilitation, sustainable development and the general welfare of constituents. It places a premium on tourism, education and waste management.

  The memorandum of agreement (MOA) was signed recently by Mayor Sherwin Gatchalian of Valenzuela and Mayor Zuriel Zaragosa of Narvacan.

  Local officials said that both the LGUS can learn from each other regarding waste management issues using as model Valenzuela’s “Segregation on Wheels” program in which garbage personnel separate recyclable materials from nonrecyclable items, as well as Narvacan’s “commendable” municipal dumps.

  The MOA was strengthened through Resolution No. 173 authored by 1st District Councilor Marlon Alejandrino of Valenzuela City. Gatchalian said the newly forged partnership was a “powerful venue to activate intangible assets that were made sedentary over time.”

  Valenzuela also hopes to share with Narvacan its “Library Hub Project,” a project that aims to encourage reading among students by deviating from the traditional library setup of books placed on shelves and categorized by subject and author. ■

FARIÑAS DIDN’T SIGN COMPLAINT, SO WHY IS HE A PROSECUTOR? BY CYNTHIA D. BALANA Philippine Daily Inquirer WHY IS Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas acting as a prosecutor in the trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona when he was not among the 188 members of the House of Representatives who signed last month the impeachment complaint against Corona? Fariñas said he was not bothered at all by this question, especially if senators, sitting as judges in the impeachment court, would raise this. He said his being part of the prosecution team would not weaken the case. “It would, in fact, strengthen the case because it will show that even after the fact, I still believe in the strength and veracity of the complaint. That’s why I joined [the team],” Fariñas told the INQUIRER in an interview. He said he joined the panel without compulsion unlike other congressmen who were compelled to prosecute because they

were signatories to the complaint. Fariñas said there was no reason for him to go against the wishes of the majority members of the House who elected him to be part of the 11-member prosecuting team. He said Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. also asked for his help in prosecuting Corona. “Even if I was not a complainant, many believed that I could be of help. Why should I decline it?” Fariñas said. Lawyers have an oath not to deny any man counsel, he said. Fariñas finished his law degree at Ateneo de Manila University in 1978 and placed eighth in the bar examinations. According to Fariñas, he had a long litigation experience. “I appear for myself. You know, I was accused of kidnapping, of illegal detention, of graft and corruption, in the regional trial courts, the Court of Appeals, the Commission on Elections and the Supreme Court. I’m always my own lawyer,” he said. Fariñas said he had not handled cases other than his own as he was only 28 years old when he became a mayor of his province. “So, if it’s my case I handle it. I have so many cases, even now,” he said with a laugh. ■

Business-Canada Government launches Canada Summer Jobs 2012 to help create jobs and strengthen communities Ottawa, Ontario, February 1, 2012—The Government of Canada has officially launched Canada Summer Jobs 2012, creating thousands of job opportunities for students. Pierre Poilievre, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities and for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, made the announcement today on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, and took the opportunity to invite employers from across the country to apply for funding. “Our government’s top priority is job creation and economic growth, and Canada Summer Jobs 2012 will provide up to 36, 000 important job opportunities and experiences for students across the country,” said Mr. Poilievre. “This program benefits students and employers alike and strengthens the economies of communities throughout Canada.” In 2011, the Government of Canada permanently increased the annual budget for Canada Summer Jobs by $10 million. The increased funding is helping even more students gain the skills and experience they need to be successful, both now and in the future. Funding will be available for not-for-profit organizations, public-sector employers and small businesses to create highquality summer job opportunities for young people aged 15 to 30 years old who are full-time students intending to return to their studies in the next school year. “Today’s students are tomorrow’s workforce, so by investing in them we are helping contribute to Canada’s long-term growth, competitiveness and overall prosperity,” added Mr. Poilievre. Employers can apply online at csj2012, or print an application form from the website. They can also get an application by visiting any Service Canada Centre. Applications must be submitted between February 1 and February 29, 2012. To help employers complete their application, the Canada Summer Jobs Applicant Guide is available online, by calling 1-800-935-5555, or by visiting any Service Canada Centre. ■


HARPER GOVERNMENT HELPS TO KICK START CANADIAN ENTREPRENEURIAL BUSINESSES IN PACIFIC REGION Lower Mainland, British Columbia, February 3, 2012 — The Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages (Port Moody--Westwood--Port Coquitlam), on behalf of the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women, is pleased to announce that the Government of Canada has pre-qualified 5 innovations that it may buy and test as part of the second round of the Canadian Innovation Commercialization Program (CICP). Through this pilot program, the Government of Canada is helping Canadian businesses get their innovative products and services from the lab to the marketplace.

Decima CI; Ballard Power Systems Inc., Low Cost Multi-fuel Processor / Purifier For Use With PEM Fuel Cells;Plurilock Security Solutions Inc., BioTracker-Advanced Persistent Threat Detector;Reach Technologies Inc., Reach Technologies High-Bandwidth Analog Data Recorder;SunCentral Inc., The Sunlighting System.

“Our government is focused on creating conditions to promote jobs and economic growth,” said Minister Ambrose. “That is why we’re committed to supporting Canadian entrepreneurs who help to keep the Canadian economy moving.”

CICP demonstrates the Government of Canada’s commitment to building the jobs and industries of the future by creating the conditions for continued success of industries that are the foundation of Canada’s prosperity.

“Supporting Canada’s economy is our number one priority, and today’s announcement is great news for the region,” said Minister Moore “Our Government is putting its support behind their innovation designed right here and bringing them one step closer in moving their innovations into domestic and international markets.” As part of the second round of CICP 5 regional innovations have pre-qualified: Aurora Control Technologies Inc.,

The CICP is a $40-million pilot program launched as part of the Economic Action Plan. Successful companies may see their pre-commercial products and services tested within government operations, and will be given relevant feedback from participating departments.

In total, 27 innovations from Canadian companies prequalified for funding under the CICP’s first round and 36 innovations under the second round. The CICP is managed by PWGSC’s Office of Small and Medium Enterprises, whose mandate is to improve accessibility to government procurement opportunities for small and medium enterprises. Launched as part of the Government of Canada’s Budget 2010, the CICP is a new initiative to promote Canada’s economic growth. ■

Natie Sotana & Cristie Lane Sotana BC HAPPY HOMES IMMIGRATION SERVICES Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCIC) Email:

Canada Immigration (Canada) office: 604 584-1199

Super Visa earning rave reviews Ottawa, November 28, 2011—starting December 1, people all over the world can go to a Canadian visa office and apply for a Parent and Grandparent Super Visa. The new Parent and Grandparent Super Visa will be valid for up to 10 years and will allow an applicant to remain in Canada for up to 24 months at a time without the need for renewal of their status. (CIC) visa officers expect to issue Super Visas within eight weeks of application. This means that instead of waiting for eight years, a parent or a grandparent can come to Canada within eight weeks. Parent and Grandparent Super Visa applicants will be required to obtain private Canadian health care insurance for their stay in Canada. The Super Visa is super great because processing will be quick and it will respond to a genuine need. Here are


what some people are saying about the Parent and Grandparent Super Visa: Liberal Immigration Critic Kevin Lamoureux: “It will help families being reunited immensely. A lot of people will be happy to hear about that”. Winnipeg Free Press, November 5, 2011:“ The super-visa, what a wonderful thing to call it. Super-visa, ten years, and we have the five-year multiple visas currently. It’s a great idea. It’ll actually help clear up part of the backlog, there’s no doubt about that ”. (CBC Power and Politics, November 4, 2011) NDP Immigration Critic Don Davies: ‘I’m glad that the government’s doing that [introducing a Super Visa]”.

Richard Kurland, Immigration Lawyer: “The Minister’s Ten-year Visa is, however, what most of my clients just want: to come to Canada to stay with their kids for a while and go home”. Mr. Kurland also estimated that about 20 percent of those parents and grandparents in the queue for permanent residency would withdraw their application if they could instead secure a long-term, multiple-entry visa that stipulated they cover their own health insurance in Canada. Thomas Tam, CEO, SUCCESS: “I would like to see that [extended stay multiple-entry visa] tried out, at least to solve the immediate backlogs and also to help a lot of families”. ■

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A matter of honor BY CONRADO DE QUIROS Philippine Daily Inquirer I SAW Magtanggol Gatdula, the NBI director, and his lawyer, Abraham Espejo, on TV last week. Gatdula was tearful. It was all he could do to talk as he choked on his emotions. When he did manage to say something, he said that all his life he had tried to keep a good name, and now this. It was a bitter pill to swallow. It was left to Espejo to dispute P-noy’s decision to fire his client. The President had done so earlier that day, saying, “At the end of the day, the head of the principal agencies will be a person who has our trust and confidence. The trust is no longer there.” Espejo lamented the fact that Gatdula was not accorded due process, not being given a chance to face his accusers or submit an answer to the allegations against him.   Those allegations, as most everybody knows by now, are that Gatdula participated in kidnapping, detaining and extorting money from a Japanese woman named Noriyo Ohara. Ohara was an illegal alien in the Philippines fleeing the Yakuza. She had been living with some Filipino friends until the NBI got wind of it and subjected her to that ordeal. Gatdula was ordered by the Department of Justice to turn Ohara over to the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation but he refused. That is insubordination, P-noy said, for which he was firing him.

  Leila de Lima herself revealed that the case against Gatdula was damning. The only thing that remained to be determined was the extent of his participation in the kidnapping and extortion, whether he actively participated in it or had merely gone along with it. But there was little doubt he had a hand in it.   I got interested in this development, notwithstanding that it seems minor compared to the one thing that has gripped the country’s attention and captured its imagination, which is the impeachment trial of Renato Corona, because this bears mightily on it. Is P-noy right to fire Gatdula? But of course he is, notwithstanding that Gatdula presented an object of pity last week. Corona as well presents an object of pity. But more so the people they have trampled upon.   This is not the first time P-noy has fired an official, nor will it be the last. Last year, he fired Angelito Alvarez, the customs commissioner. Alvarez also at the time protested his innocence, and his supporters loudly lamented the fact that he was not given due process, he was never given the chance to submit an answer to the corruption charges against him.   The objections miss the point, which is the nature of a public official. What is a public official? What qualifications does he need to be a public official? When does he cease to deserve to be a public official?   The answers to these questions should be

plain enough, yet it is a testament to what the previous regime has done that we have forgotten them. Or it is a testament to what Gloria Macapagal-arroyo has done, which was to turn the world on its head, that we are at pains to know them. The answers are plain and simple: A public official is someone who enjoys the public trust. A public official is someone whose exemplary behavior, along with his exceptional abilities, has entitled him to his high office. A public official is someone who deserves to hold his office only so long as he can prove himself morally, as much as intellectually, fit for it.   A public official who ceases to enjoy the public trust has no right to remain a public official. A public official whose behavior has been less than exemplary, never mind downright scandalous, has no right to remain a public official. A public official who has proven himself morally unfit, even if he remains intellectually capable—especially if he is so, since shrewd blackguards are far more dangerous than dumb ones—has no right to remain a public official.   In short, public office is something we regard highly, or ought to, and apply the highest standards to. It is not something we regard lowly, or ought not to, and apply the basest standards to. Yet the latter is one of the banes Arroyo brought upon this nation, and it’s all we can do even now to push it back. What was a public official during Arroyo’s time?

A public official was someone who merely enjoyed her trust. They could be murderers for all she cared (the Ampatuans were) and they could remain public officials for as long as they wanted. A public official was someone who did not need to comport herself admirably, all she had to do was make sure no one can prove her to have stolen the vote— and it helped to buy the courts (and Congress) for that.   The right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty is a right that has to do only with freedom, it is not a right that has to do with holding public office. Until Gatdula can be proven to have conspired with the kidnapping, he may not be jailed. That doesn’t mean he may not be fired. His conduct, particularly in refusing to turn Ohara over to the BID, has been less than exemplary, if not downright suspicious. That is ground for dismissal. Which brings us to Corona’s plight. Unfortunately, no one can fire him, the Judiciary exists independently of the Executive and Congress, as Corona’s lawyers love to remind the world. But the fact that we are grinding out his trial today must suggest that we are still mired in the culture Arroyo perpetuated in this country, the one that says the chief justice himself, whom we presume to be the fount of wisdom, can stay on until he has been proven to be an out-and-out criminal. It’s a profoundly cynical concept of public office and public official, one that allowed the gallery of rogues who were Arroyo’s officials, including the carryover Corona, to pester us for so long. Public office is a matter of honor, and high office a matter of high honor. But tell that to the crowning glory of Gloria. ■


Woodmen please spare those trees BY NEAL H. CRUZ Philippine Daily Inquirer BOTH THE defense and prosecution panels in the Corona impeachment trial are claiming early victories after one week of Senate hearings. The week had the clerk of court of the Supreme Court surrendering statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALNS) of Chief Justice Renato Corona to the impeachment court, and registers of deeds of Taguig, Quezon City and Marikina surrendering titles to properties belonging to the Corona family.   Despite the vigorous efforts of chief defense counsel Serafin Cuevas to block the presentation of these documents by citing technicalities, presiding officer Juan Ponce Enrile ordered their submission. An examination of the SALNS and the titles and deeds of absolute sale will readily reveal why Corona does not want his SALNS made public. The defense said the submission of the SALNS disproves the charge in Article 2 of the impeachment complaint that Corona violated the Constitution and betrayed the public trust “when he failed to disclose his SALNS.” It said Article 2 did not allege Corona’s accumulation of ill-gotten wealth but only nondisclosure of his SALNS.   The prosecution, on the other hand, said that the documents show Corona had undervalued and misdeclared his and his family’s assets which jumped from P14.9 million in 2002 to

P22 million in 2010. Even the defense lawyers lost their spunk when the registers of deeds read into the records the true value of the many properties of the Coronas. One of the documents that came to light Thursday showed that Corona declared a property at the posh La Vista in Quezon City at only P3 million; it was actually bought for the staggering sum of P16 million. That’s an undervaluation of P13 million.   The registers of deeds also produced land and condominium titles that, when compared to Corona’s SALNS, tend to show that other properties were also drastically undervalued. There’s the swank 300-square-meter condo unit in Bellagio at The Fort which Corona valued in his SALN at only P6.8 million but, based on the deed of sale, was actually acquired for P14.5 million. Another unit at The Ridge, also at The Fort, was declared by Corona in his SALN as worth only P2.3 million when it was bought for P9 million. A condo unit at The Burgundy in Quezon City was valued by Corona at only P921,000 but was said to have been bought for P2.5 million. A Columns condo unit in Makati was declared by Corona to be worth only P1.2 million when its actual purchase price was said to be P3.5 million.   And don’t forget that Corona has claimed only five real estate properties. The statement now appears to be a falsehood. Acting Marikina register of deeds Sedfrey Garcia testified that Corona’s wife Cristina alone owns

eight properties in Marikina.   If I were to second-guess the thrust of the prosecution when the trial resumes tomorrow, it would be to determine whether the Corona children, to whom the spouses sold properties with a combined value of P13 million, really have the means to buy them. This would be as easy as going over the tax returns of the Corona children. BIR Commissioner Kim Henares has been summoned to testify on the tax returns. Without the means to buy the properties on their own, the only conclusion to be drawn in all these is that the children acted as dummies of the parents in an effort to hide the properties from scrutiny.   With the gravity of the pieces of evidence that have been presented against Corona so far, the technicality which Corona’s lawyers are raising to stop the evidence from being accepted by the impeachment court—the alleged lack of an ultimate fact asserted in Article 2—cannot be allowed to suppress the disclosure of the truth. *** While the attention of the nation is glued to the impeachment trial, the Department of Public Works and Highways is taking advantage of the distraction to set the stage for the “massacre” of 256 fully grown trees allegedly to allow the widening of the Macarthur Highway. An official of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources said that more than 1,000 trees are along the highway. That means if we allow the cutting, more than 1,000 trees would be sacrificed.

These trees are between 25 and 30 years old. Environmentalists are protesting the planned massacre.   That’s not the end of it. In Central Luzon, the DPWH has applied for permits to cut trees on segments of the Macarthur Highway in Tarlac for the widening of the highway. And in Baguio, the SM mall developer has been given permission by the DENR to transfer more than 100 pine trees from Luneta Hill, site of the old Pines Hotel. The reason: they are going to build a parking lot on the site. Can you beat that? More than a hundred fully grown pine trees—trees that cleanse the air of pollutants that they replace with oxygen— would be killed to give way to a parking lot for vehicles that pollute the air. Instead of cutting pine trees, Baguio should plant more of them. What is Baguio without the pine trees? They are the trademark of the City of Pines. But many tourists are disappointed that pine trees are disappearing in Baguio to give way to commercial buildings and residences. Pine trees are what gives beauty to the Summer Capital. They are what gives Baguio that fragrant pine smell that vacationists love. I think logging companies are still decimating the pine trees in upper Benguet and in the surrounding mountains. The Baguio City government and the provincial governments in the Cordilleras should pass laws and ordinances that strictly prohibit the cutting of pine trees and instead encourage the planting of more of them. ■





Action, Hope And Faith BY RINA DAVID Philippine Daily Inquirer ONE MONTH after Tropical Storm “Sendong” struck through Northern Mindanao, particularly through the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan, Archbishop of Cagayan de Oro Antonio J. Ledesma, S.J., issued a report on the extent of the damage and the progress being made to address the needs of the survivors, including psycho-social support to help them get through the trauma they experienced.   “Cagayan de Oro is slowly getting back on its feet,” wrote the archbishop. This despite the horrible toll the disaster has taken on the city: nearly a third of the city’s population severely affected by the flood waters; more than 10,000 families seeking refuge in evacuation centers in public schools, barangay covered courts, and churches while others chose to stay with relatives or friends. Out of the archdiocese’s 21 city parishes, noted Ledesma, “17 riverside parishes were extensively inundated, with the hardest hit parishes being Macasandig, Balulang, Carmen, Cathedral, Consolacion, Puntod, RER, Kauswagan, Bulua and Canitoan.” The challenge now facing both government and multi-sectoral groups working with the dislocated families is to “build new communities of hope,” says the archbishop. This is because officials have determined that informal settlers should not be allowed to return to the sitios that were actually part of the river delta and were inundated with flood waters.

  While many evacuees have left the schoolhouses that served as evacuation centers and have found temporary shelter in tents or bunkhouses, “more sites for permanent housing units still need to be identified and acquired,” said the archbishop. “These would supplement the city’s nine hectares in Calaanan and Xavier University’s offer of five hectares in Lumbia, which can accommodate only about 1,500 families out of the estimated 5,000-6,000 needing relocation.” *** NOTEWORTHY in the archbishop’s letter was the role played by the local Church in meeting the immediate needs of the flood victims and helping decide long-term issues for the survivors.   From the first day of the calamity, says Ledesma, the Social Action Ministry of the archdiocese organized “Tabang Cagayan” to assist and augment the efforts of the local government and the Department of Social Welfare and Development. Indeed, their efforts were enhanced by the outpouring of donations, in both cash and kind, from around the country and the world.   And while one arm was busy with relief and recovery work, the archdiocese also “played the role of convenor together with the DSWD regional office,” bringing together government agencies, civil society organizations and international humanitarian groups. An operations center was likewise set up at the Jesuitrun Xavier University gym “to facilitate the supervision of camp management and to act as a clearing house” for donated goods and

services.   “Early in the relief work, the need for accurate data was felt in identifying and profiling the survivor families of Typhoon Sendong,” writes Ledesma. “With the help of many youth volunteers and seminarians for interviewing and encoding, the archdiocese’s data management team has designed a computer program that generates disaggregated information for the families affected by the floods. This information has been made available to DSWD and other organizations to help them in prioritizing families for permanent housing units.” *** ALSO a concern is the urgent need for posttrauma counseling for the survivors. “Coping with the loss of loved ones or an entire home needs time and sensitivity to heal. Debriefing sessions have been conducted by university teams and doctors to prepare local volunteers, including the archdiocese’s women religious from a dozen congregations.”   The archbishop was equally moved by the “example of accompaniment in the evacuation centers and affected areas” of the sisters of the Daughters of Charity, with four separate batches of 15 to 17 sisters each working quietly for a week at a time to serve in various capacities. “In one barangay, the profile of a DC sister walking with a Muslim woman guide, both with head veils, to interview affected Muslim households shows another dimension of solidarity in moments of adversity.” The archbishop also cited the


assistance provided by the Holy Spirit and Rvmsisters.   “The local Church has not forgotten to remember the names of the dead and missing in this tragedy—now exceeding a thousand,” writes Ledesma. Memorial Masses were said in the cathedral on Dec. 30 and Jan. 7, while a candlelight ceremony by the riverside will be held today, Jan. 25, the 40th day of Sendong. “Evacuation centers and temporary resettlement sites also have their religious services. We have made available the open grounds of both theological and college seminaries and some parish churches for temporary housing of more than two hundred families,” he adds. The archbishop continues: “The ongoing challenges of social preparation for building new communities continue—in the midst of remembering loved ones who have perished. It is with this hope that in the foreseeable future we can repeat the Psalmist’s plea, ‘You have turned my mourning into dancing’ (Ps. 30:11).” *** DURING the Consolidation for Peace for Mindanao in Penang, Fr. Angel Calvo, a Claretian priest based in Zamboanga who has worked tirelessly for decades for the cause of peace, received a text message—just as the final session was closing—that his 97-year-old mother had passed away. While he hurriedly prepared to leave Penang and fly to Barcelona, Archbishop Ledesma offered to say Mass in his hotel room for the repose of the old woman’s soul. Hearing Mass in an archbishop’s room with four other women is one experience I will never forget. ■

The Outsider BY RANDY DAVID Philippine Daily Inquirer THE PRICE you pay for being in the public eye, I remember telling my old friend Ronald Llamas after he took the high-profile job of Presidential adviser on political affairs, is that you must avoid doing what every other person takes for granted as normal. Like buying pirated DVDS, or rummaging through fake branded goods and donated second-hand clothes at tiangges and ukay-ukays. Don’t smoke in public places, I told him. Observe speed limits. Never Xerox entire books; they’re protected by copyright. Don’t cheat on your taxes. Declare your assets faithfully, no matter how meager they are. Be careful about your personal life. You’re no longer an ordinary mortal: you’re now a government official.   But the news must really be slow these days despite the ongoing impeachment trial at the Senate. For almost a week now, the media have found Llamas’ act of buying pirated DVDS at a neighborhood mall grievous enough to place it among their top stories. Thus projected, it is made to share the same gravity as the offenses for which Chief Justice Renato Corona is being tried, or the kidnapping charges that former National Bureau of Investigation Director Magtanggol Gatdula faces. Opposition politicians and sanctimonious columnists have called for his resignation.

  The irony is that, while selling pirated DVDS is illegal, buying them for personal consumption is not. The Optical Media Board, a small agency of government, conducts highly publicized raids on the DVD stalls that sell these products, but not often enough to deter them from re-opening. Unlike the campaign against illegal drugs, the drive against pirated DVDS and fake and smuggled goods is a fragmented one. It is not, as far as I know, an integral function of the police or even of local governments. That is why pirated DVDS continue to be sold and bought openly and publicly.   Needless to say, Ronald should have known better. As a public official, he is expected to support the government’s fight against all forms of illicit activity, including the poorly understood campaign against copyright infringement. He has rightly apologized for this lapse, even if, deep in his heart, he may not be inclined to defend the interests of the big multinational corporations that assert their intellectual property rights over the copied material. Knowing him well, I am sure that the DVDS he bought did not include a single Filipino movie made by local producers.   One nasty columnist went so far as to speculate that pornographic movies could have been among Ronald’s quasi-licit loot. This line of thought is consistent with the seeming need to infer his moral career from this minor incident. Not surprisingly, the matter of the highpowered rifle found in his service vehicle

last year is being revisited. Never mind that the gun turned out to be licensed, and that he was attending a conference abroad when the gun was found in his car. Still, the media went after him as the owner of the gun. The image that is projected by all this inordinate publicity is that of a coarse man lucky enough to land a sensitive job in government because he happens to share with the President a penchant for guns.   Ronald and I have worked for many years in various political movements, including Bisig, the socialist group founded by former UP President Francisco Nemenzo. We have marched together in countless rallies. One of these took place on Feb. 24, 2006, the 20th anniversary of the Edsa I uprising. It was the day Gloria Macapagal-arroyo declared a state of national emergency. I was arrested on Edsa while talking to the police general who was in charge of keeping order. For trying to rescue me from the plainclothes men who had led me away, Ronald was also arrested and charged with sedition. In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court later declared our arrest illegal.   This I can say about Ronald Llamas, and I don’t mind sounding as if I amgiving a character testimony. There are very few like him, who are uncorrupted by political power or dazzled by its perks. Llamas clearly has the ear and confidence of the nation’s highest official. This role is as diffused as one can imagine it—a trouble-shooter, a “back-channel” worker, an emissary on sensitive matters, a strategist,

an ideologue, a problem-solver—rolled into one.   Our national record abundantly shows what someone in this position can do to monetize the influence that comes with it. He can quietly push for the appointment of people to coveted posts in government, and secure a regular cut from their rackets. He can lobby for corporations awaiting approval of a government contract or franchise, and charge a fee. Ronald has engaged in none of these. He could easily have asked dealers of pirated goods to send him a list of their newly arrived DVDS. But no, he chose to go to the mall himself, accompanied by his two daughters, and pay for his purchases— like everyone else.   Ronald is poor—which is why he buys from tiangges rather than from Amazon—but his taste is cerebral. His reading ranges from politics to philosophy, and from history to literature. His library consists of books he patiently dug up from the dusty piles of bargain booksellers. His idea of a good time consists of spending hours searching for old junk and little-known titles at flea markets. He becomes totally oblivious of the time and his surroundings when he does this. And that’s exactly how the sneak photograph taken of him at the mall in Quezon City captured him. This outsider to an entrenched culture of concealed criminality will probably not stay long in government, but he will always remain instinctively a socialist. ■

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Juvic carries Barrios: Fiba Asia caging weight of No. could be held at Big Dome 1 ranking into TCC BY JUNE NAVARRO Philippine Daily Inquirer

BY MUSONG R. CASTILLO Philippine Daily Inquirer

A LOT is now expected from Juvic Pagunsan. Usually starting out each year as one of the Philippines’ top pros, Pagunsan will head into the country’s first big event—the Country Club Invitational—as Asia’s No. 1 and will be one of the men to watch in the P4.5 million event.   With stints in the Japanese PGA and the British Open lined up this year, Pagunsan is expected to come out with his A-game not only because of the huge champion’s purse but to also stamp his class in the elite field.   Pagunsan will also have to deal with the challenge of the wind-swept layout in Laguna, the way he did in 2006 and 2008 and become the event’s first threetime winner. Pagunsan will be coming off a great year, one which saw him win four events in the local ICTSI Tour before finishing second to Fernando GonzalesCastano of Spain in the Barclay’s Open in Singapore to win the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit title. Angelo Que, meanwhile, is shooting to win the event for the third straight year. Only Que and Pagunsan have won the event more than once.

THE SAMAHANG BASKETBOL ng Pilipinas wants the Smart Araneta Coliseum to be the venue of the 2013 Fiba Asia Championship if the country wins hosting rights for the world championship qualifier.   SBP executive director Renauld “Sonny” Barrios recently sat down with Smart Araneta officials and discussed the infrastructure requirements of the Asian championship slated next year.

Three continental slots to the 2014 Fiba World championship in Spain are at stake in the Asian continental tournament and the SBP wants to gain a sort of homecourt edge by hosting it. Araneta officials told Barrios that modern improvements to the  

  Adjacent to the Big Dome is the Gateway Mall and a five-star hotel, which is expected to be operational by next year. Barrios said the hotel beside the coliseum will house the participating teams as well as Fiba officials for two weeks, eliminating transportation concerns for the entire tournament entourage. Qatar and Lebanon are also bidding to host the tournament. ■

BY CEDELF P. TUPAS Philippine Daily Inquirer

  Melindo boasts of a perfect 25-0-0 record with nine knockouts, earning him the monicker “El Metodico” for his fine technical skills.

MEXICAN warrior Juan Esquer is no stranger to world title fights.

  But Esquer said that he has the advantage because of his experience fighting the likes of compatriot Ivan Calderon and Colombian Carlos Tamara, who defeated Filipino fighter Brian Viloria in a title fight two years ago. Esquer lost both fights and actually won just one of six title bouts.

  And he believes that that will be his edge when he battles Filipino Milan Melindo on Saturday in the main event of the Pinoy Pride XI: Philippines vs the World at the Waterfront Hotel in Cebu City.   Melindo will be staking his WBO Intercontinental flyweight title against the knockout artist Esquer, who has fought against six world champions in the 112-pound division.

  “I’ve been working on my game and physical conditioning,” Pagunsan said. “Competition is always tough in the TCC and for sure, I will be going all out to win for the third time. This event is always close to my heart.” ■

  “I came here to get the title from him (Melindo),” Esquer said through an interpreter at a press conference at Shakey’s Unavenue in Manila. “I’m an agressive fighter and Melindo will be surprised.”

Coaching revamp among MVP teams looms

replace Rajko Toroman?   After the national five’s dismal ninthplace finish in Tokushima, Japan, back in 2007, when he was head coach, Reyes seemed to have gotten obsessed with personal redemption.   At that time, Reyes getting a second chance depended on how the national team under Toroman would perform in the 2011 Fiba Asia championship.   Black to Talk ‘Ntext, Reyes to Smart Gilas. But who would fill Norman’s shoes at Ateneo? Will anybody want the job, considering that Black is a tough act to follow? Eventually, I got tired of speculating and decided to forget about the projected revamp.

SOMETIME ago, I learned from an unimpeachable source within the PLDT-SMART group that a major revamp within the coaching ranks of the Manny V. Pangilinan-owned basketball teams was forthcoming.   Three teams immediately came to mind: Talk ‘N Text, Smart Gilas and Ateneo. I began mulling over the possibilities. Would Norman Black, who then “only” had a “three-peat” tucked under his belt for the Ateneo Blue Eagles in the UAAP, take over Chot Reyes’ coaching chores at Talk ‘N Text? And would Reyes, in turn, move over to Smart Gilas to

  “[Owner] George Araneta was very gung-ho on hosting the 2013 Fiba Asia championship,” said Barrios. “I showed them the kind of new venues that Fiba Asia would be playing and the American consultant they hired assured the improvements will be world-class.”

Pinoy Pride: Mexican foe claims edge vs Melindo

  And Pagunsan will be coming into the event as prepared as he can be.

BY BETH CELIS Philippine Daily Inquirer

Big Dome, the country’s largest indoor, multipurpose sports arena with a seating capacity of 15,000, would start to become visible in the middle of this year.

*** The whole thing came back to me when Toroman’s contract with Smart Gilas expired recently and there seemed to be no indication that it would be renewed.   On top of this, the MVP group signed up Jong Uichico for Smartgilas. This move got everybody speculating. They wondered if Jong was about to play a major role in the national men’s team.This, too, was what I was inclined to believe at first. Needless to say, the coaching job at Smart Gilas seemed to be the most coveted among the three positions in the MVP group. *** Yesterday, Toroman came back, but only to pick up the stuff he had left behind. I was told that while the Serbian’s head-coaching contract

  Reigning WBO Oriental featherweight champion Lorenzo Villanueva battles another Mexican Diego “Tyson” Ledesma in the main supporting bout. Four more Filipino fighters face foreign foes in the card presented by ALA Promotions.   Mhar Jun Mcahilig fights Thai Kaichon Sor Vorapin, a former WBO Asia-pacific champ; Merlito Sabillo duels Sofyan Effendi of Indonesia at 107 lb; Joseph Von Minoza faces Kim Yoo-shin of Korea at 128 lb; and Alvin Aresgado battles Kazuya Harada of Japan at 116 lb. ■

with Smart Gilas might not be renewed, he could be offered the post of consultant.   Under Toroman, the Philippines finished fourth in the 2011 Fiba Asia championship in Wuhan, China.   “Meantime, Jong Uichico is tasked with the formation of Smart Gilas II,” said an SBP official who requested anonymity. “Jong will draft the recruitment and training program of the team.”   This means that contrary to what I previously presumed, Uichico will be the second man at Smart Gilas. Like Ryan Gregorio at Meralco, Reyes will be given an executive position in the MVP group, my source said.   “At the same time, he is being considered as head coach of Gilas,” the insider said.   “All these changes will happen but only if we find a new coach for Ateneo.” *** Right now the search is still on for Black’s replacement at Ateneo. As I said, it will be difficult to approximate, much less surpass, Black’s “four-peat” with the Blue Eagles. My source said that despite the daunting task, there is a long list of candidates knocking at Ateneo’s door. After all, the head coach’s salary that Ateneo patron MVP provides is said to approximate that of a PBA head coach. If a new Ateneo coach is hired, Black will be filling in Reyes’ head coaching chores at Talk ‘N Text, as the latter moves to Smart Gilas. ■

Immigration Summary Report: Consulting the Public on Marriages of Convenience

  A couple pretends to be in a genuine relationship so that the sponsored partner can come to or stay in Canada. In some cases, the sponsor may be given a financial or other kind of benefit in exchange for the sponsorship. One of the partners enters the relationship in good faith, while the other is using the relationship only to gain permanent status in Canada. This victimizes the sponsor. In both cases, the relationship often ends shortly after the sponsored person arrives in Canada. These relationships weaken our immigration system and make the process more difficult for genuine immigrants.

One of the goals of Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) is to help reunite families. For this reason, Canadian citizens and permanent residents can sponsor their spouse or partner to become a Canadian permanent resident.

CONSULTING THE PUBLIC In Fall 2010, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) invited Canadians to participate in an online consultation on the issue of marriage fraud, also known as “marriages of convenience.” This consultation aimed to gather input on the magnitude of the problem, as well as opinions and ideas on how to best address it. Over 2,300 general public respondents and more than 80 self-identified representatives from stakeholder organizations responded to CIC’s call for feedback through the online consultations.

  However, some people abuse spousal sponsorship by entering into marriages of convenience so that they can sidestep Canada’s immigration law. Marriages of convenience usually take one of two forms:

  In addition to the online consultation, the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, hosted in-person town hall meetings in Brampton, Vancouver and Montreal in fall 2010 to discuss


Every year, more than 90,000 students come to Canada under the student visa program. This is because Canada’s education system is considered one of the best in the world. One of the reasons Canada is open to students is that foreign students bring rich culture, knowledge and skills to Canada’s classrooms, also, Minister Jason Kenney said that being a student pre-integrate folks to Canadian society and way of life, and thus they are set for success. When you come to Canada as a student and get your degrees, work experience, and language skills, then you are most likely to succeed in Canadian society. TO BE ELIGIBLE TO STUDY IN CANADA You must have been accepted by a school, college, university or other educational institution in Canada. You must prove that you have enough money to pay for your tuition fees, living expenses for yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada, and return transportation for yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada. You must be a law-abiding citizen with no criminal record and not be a risk to the security of Canada. You may have to provide a police certificate. You must be in good health and willing to complete a medical examination, if necessary. You must satisfy an immigration officer that you will leave Canada at the end of your authorized stay.

WORK WHILE YOU STUDY Foreign students can work in Canada during their studies, and, after they graduate, on a post-graduate work permit program. In most cases, you will need to apply for one of the student-related work permits, which are required if you want to work in a co-op/internship placement, off campus, or after graduating from your studies (Post-Graduation Work Permit Program). Just remember that it is illegal for you to work in Canada without a valid work permit. FROM STUDENT TO PERMANENT RESIDENT OF CANADA. There are a number of ways to make use of your being a student to become a permanent resident of Canada if you choose to do so. But simply being a student does not qualify you or pave your way to become a permanent resident of Canada; you have to be able to get into the qualified programs and also to get into the qualified public or private schools. It is very important that you know what steps to take jeopardize your chance to have a great future in Canada. For immigration purposes, as a student you can get valuable points towards immigrating to Canada under the Skilled Worker Program. As a student, you may be also be able to get into the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). There is also the Canadian Experience Class Program (CEC), and just recently immigration Canada also started to accept up to 1,000 applications for Canada Immigration from the (PHD) students. ■



marriages of convenience with members of the public. During these meetings, participants described the impact of marriages of convenience on their lives.   CIC also consulted with the provinces and territories on the marriage of convenience issue. METHODOLOGY On September 7, 2010, CIC launched an online consultation with stakeholders and the general public to seek views on marriages of convenience. ■

Employment Opportunity Location: 1) Vancouver, British Columbia 2) Toronto, Ontario Salary: Commensurate with qualifications and experience. Hours of Work: Part - Time (Weekends as necessary). Overtime as required. Responsibilities:          Generate original stories for and content for website. Create and re-purpose news content for print, web, including copy, photos, videos and other materials to enhance and expand content. Weekend and evening shifts as assigned. Participate in editorial news meetings. Produce news content for social media channels, Other duties as assigned. Qualifications: Must have strong news, editorial, and social media judgment. Must have strong copy editing skills, clear and concise writing skills, an excellent command of the English language, and strong spelling skills. Degree in journalism preferred plus two years experience working in a newsroom or online news operation. Print journalism experience an asset. Social media experience an asset. Must have strong communication and interpersonal skills; ability to work well individually or with a team. Knowledge of HTML, Flash, FTP, and Photoshop an asset. Familiarity with content management software an asset. Well developed computer and internet skills very important. Must have a valid driver’s license. Application Details:    Interested candidates are encouraged to forward a current resumé, in confidence, to: Human Resources Philippine Canadian Inquirer or fax  604-278-2793 No phone calls please. Only those applicants qualified for an interview will be contacted ■

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Canadian Government Gives Generous Support for Sendong Victims BY STELLA REYES The Canadian government continues to offer generous financial aid to help those affected by Tropical Storm “Sendong” (International codename Typhoon Washi) which struck the Mindanao area, particularly the cities of Cagayan De Oro and Iligan, in the southern Philippines . Sendong unleashed its fury on December 16 devastating thousands of homes and property.

hundreds of thousands affected by the disaster.

Since the terrible typhoon occurred, the Government of Canada has announced that they are giving 1.25 million (more than PhP 53 million) to support relief efforts for the flood victims.

In British Columbia , Premier Christie Clark awarded Twenty Five Thousand Dollars to the International Red Cross at a fundraiser called Damayan concert in Vancouver . The fundraiser was a collaborative effort of the Office of the Philippine Consulate, the Multicultural Helping House Society and Reyfort Media Group.

Hon. Beverley Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, announced that Canada is providing humanitarian assistance to

Filipino devotees celebrate annual feast of the Sto. Niño

“Today, Canada is responding to calls for needed supplies and further assistance to help those affected restore their strength and livelihoods,” Minister Oda said. “We commend the local communities, non-governmental organizations, and the Government of the Philippines for their rapid response.”

The donation was turned over to the organizers by Pamela Martin, former CTV anchor and now Outreach Director for the Office of the B.C. Premier and Burnaby Lougheed MLA Harry Bloy. In the video clip Premier Clark stated that the funds will go towards “urgently needed food and shelter, health

care services and clean water to the families who are suffering terribly.” One province that has demonstrated tremendous generosity is Manitoba . The Manitoba government was among the first to pledge $100,000 to relief works in the Philippines . Premier Greg Selinger said the money would be coursed through the Manitoba Council for International Co-Operation. Manitoba is home to more than 40,000 Filipinos so this act of kindness has touched the hearts of many. Recent updates state that the typhoon has left more than 1,000 dead, close to 2,000 injured and has caused over P1 Billion in overall damages. Massive flooding and landslides have left nearly 9,433 homes destroyed, collapsed infrastructure such as bridges, power lines, roads and caused cancellation of flights to the area. These numbers are expected to rise with further assessment of the damages according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) in the Philippines.■

In Ontario, the Sto. Niño group headed by its founder Bayani Tan celebrated their 20th year of the Feast of the Holy Infant Jesus last Saturday, January 28, 2012 at St. Marie de Leuca Chapel. Two hundred devotees from Markham, Scarborough, Metro Toronto, New Market (from the north), and from Mississauga (from the west) attended despite the bad weather and icy road conditions. The occasion was blessed by the presence of Rev. Fr. Yoland Ouellet, OMI, and Rector of our Lady of the Cape Shrine, Quebec, who celebrated the Holy Mass and led the Benediction. In the West Coast, Vancouver devotees led by Lucy Bucad, Aris Noble, Susan Hauck and Goyie Agtarap held a procession of the Sto. Niño followed by the blessing of images by Fr. Mario Marin, Parish Priest of St Anthony’s Church. The event was culminated by a dinner and dance at St. Patrick Church Gym. Proceeds help the completion of Our Mother of Perpetual Help chapel in Del Rosario, Surigao del Norte, Philippines and Gawad-Kalinga-Ancop, Philippines. ■

Parliamentary Secretary Deepak Obhrai with Filipino Parliamentarians at the Congress of the Philippines.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Deepak Obhrai visits the Philippines

January 31, 2012 —Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Deepak Obhrai, visited the Philippines from January 21 to January 25, 2012. During this trip, P.S. Obhrai participated in many productive meetings with key individuals in the Philippine government, including President Benigno Aquino and legislators. His visit highlights the strong and growing relationship between Canada and the Philippines. This mutual friendship has been strengthened by the contributions of over 500,000 Canadians of Filipino descent and by the fact that the Philippines is now the top source country for immigrants to Canada. ■

Parliamentary Secretary Deepak Obhrai is greeted by Philippines President Benigno Aquino at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Academy for Aviation Training in the Cebu Freeport. Canadian Ambassador C. Thornley is also in the photo.


MULTICULTURAL HELPING HOUSE SOCIETY CELEBRATES ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY of' MHHS – Newcomer Resource Center amid applause and cheers from new Immigrants Hundreds joined Federal Minister Jason Kenney, Provincial Minister Harry Bloy, Senator Yonah Martin, and many more political figures at the Open House which doubled as First Anniversary of the Multicultural Helping House – Newcomer Resource Center on January 29, 2012. The celebration was made colorful by the multicultural performances from different countries in a three-hour program punctuated by inspiring speeches from the Consul General of the Philippines, Jose Ampeso, and the politicians who came to join the event. The Resource Center was opened a year ago at the modern facilities built adjacent to the older building on 4802 Fraser Street. With the expansion, comes the expansion of services for newcomers and recent immigrants. The upper section of the building was transformed into a temporary shelter for newly arrived immigrants and respite housing for live in caregivers while the enlarged space on the ground floors serves as a resource hub for walk-in clients. New Services were offered like the Youth Program for immigrants 13 years and older. Included in the program called REMYX (Renew and Revive Multicultural Youth Expression) are cultural awareness, collaboration with other neighborhood houses, life skills, team building, drug awareness, and sensitivity to other cultures and races. It also offers Settlement Services, Fast Track Employment, and various Workshops for seniors and caregivers for them to learn the skills to adjust to living in Canadian society. Multicultural Helping House was originally envisioned by Tomas Avendano, its founding President and CEO, to be a center for migrant Filipinos. MHHS has grown substantially and has now included other nationalities. At its location MHHS stands proud as a pillar for new immigrants to hold on to. ■

  Medina is a Red Cross volunteer from the Philippines who continued her passion to help others by volunteering with the


Government seeks to improve lives, rights of live-in caregivers BY BOY MASAKAYAN and LDEP Speaking at Vancouver’s Multicultural Helping House Society last week, Minister of Immigration Jason Kenney outlined a series of initiatives that will affect Filipino-Canadians currently working as live-in caregivers.   “Too many live-in caregivers have completed their work obligations but are forced to continue living in the home of their employer, waiting for their application for permanent residence to be reviewed,” said the Minister. “This is understandably frustrating. That’s why we have started issuing open work permits to live-in caregivers as soon as they have completed their obligations and submitted an application for permanent residence.”   “Issuance of work permits is almost automatic upon receipt of the application for permanent residence by the caregiver”, added Kenney. However, the queue for applying for permanent residence status remains the same, despite the fact that there has been a huge increase in migration from the Philippines over the last five years. This poses a significant administrative hurdle for processing efficiency, and Kenney asks everyone “to be patient, as we are trying to process applicants as quickly as possible.” He added that in December 2011, his department processed around 12,000 of those who were in the queue. An “open work permit” allows a live-in caregiver to move out of their employer’s home and seek jobs in other fields, if they so wish. The Minister’s planned changes will help caregivers settle into their new life in Canada while they wait for their permanent resident applications to be processed.

Vancouverites raise funds for Canadian and Philippine Red Cross The first-ever fundraising dinner and dance organized by a Filipino group for the benefit of both the Canadian and Philippine branches of the Red Cross was held at Vancouver’s Capri Hall last October, under the leadership of Wel Medina and the guidance of adviser Art Viray. Dubbed “True Blood, Pure Heart”, the event was able to raise $5,450 for the Canadian Red Cross and $3,500 for the Philippine Red Cross, Marikina Branch.


Canadian Red Cross when she landed in Canada. “[Our event] was timely as they were able to send funds to the Philippine Red Cross even before Typhoon Sendong hit the Philippines,” she said.   “ She will try to make this event a yearly one” for the benefit of both Red Crosses.   Music was provided by the “FlaZbak Band,” which features Medina as one of the vocalists. The concert was supported by some local companies. ■ 

Other changes include: allowing live-in caregivers to apply for permanent residence after 3,900 work hours, rather than two years of work, to ensure overtime is appropriately recognized; elimination of the need for a second medical examination when the caregiver applies for permanent residence; increasing the amount of time a caregiver has to complete their work obligations, from three years to four; adoption of a standardized employment contract that ensures both parties agree to the salary, hours of work, vacation time, overtime, holidays, sick leave, and terms of termination and resignation; defining the costs the employer is obliged to pay, including the caregiver’s travel expenses in coming to Canada, medical insurance, workplace safety insurance and third-party representative fees; emergency processing of work permits and employer authorizations to hire live-in caregivers who have been abused and need to leave their employment immediately; a dedicated phone service for live-in caregivers through the federal immigration department’s call centre; an assessment of the genuineness of caregiver’s job offer, including confirmation that the caregiver would be residing in a private residence and providing child care, senior home support care, or care of a disabled person in that household without supervision, as well as whether the employer has sufficient financial resources to pay the wages of the caregiver and whether the accommodations being provided are adequate; a two-year period of ineligibility from hiring foreign workers, including live-in caregivers, for employers who have failed to live up to the terms of past job contracts. ■

LBC Money A Remittance celebrates 18 years in Canada 19 TUESDAY FEBRUARY 7, 2012

LBC - “Ang Hari ng Padala”, is celebrating 18 years of providing fast, easy, safe, reliable and affordable ways of sending and receiving money from Canada to the Philippines.   Answering to a need generated by a high number of Filipino migrant workers and immigrants in Canada, LBC Mundial Corporation (in San Francisco, California) fulfilled its commitment to continuously innovate by expanding its coverage across the border. Started in January 31, 1994, LBC has grown to be a well respected company in money delivery. It has developed its money remittance business from opening one branch in Vancouver, B.C. to expanding to several agents located in key cities all over Canada.   Through the years, LBC has experienced its ups and downs but due to the continuous patronage of the Filipino-Canadian community, it has remained a strong contender in the delivery business. With the recent introduction of the Sea Cargo services, Filipino-Canadians can now benefit from LBC’s 60 years heritage of being the “Balikbayan” Box pioneer. This 2012, LBC would like to give back to the Filipino-Canadian community by re-introducing the agent expansion program. This program will make it possible for hard working Filipino-Canadian entrepreneurs to earn and at the same time serve their fellow “Kababayans” by providing the same quality delivery solutions. Interested parties may inquire by emailing Presently, LBC has over 100 branches and agents in the United States and Canada.

  LBC’s 18 years of successfully Linking and Bridging Customers in Canada to the Philippines is truly a milestone that every Filipino should be proud of.




The Batangas Provincial Association of Canada Again Donates Php 50,000 to Cancer Warrior Foundation of Batangas City As part of the continuing efforts of the Association to assist and meet its yearly goals in providing basic needs and financial support to the poor communities in the Province of Batangas, the Batangas Provincial Association of Canada (BPAC), through past initiatives, accomplished significant financial support over the years to include building infrastructures assets, such as home for the aged, school classrooms and other critical social undertakings.   For the last three years, the Association reflected a new mandate to include medical needs and successfully put together a financial allocation in helping the Cancer Warrior Foundation of Batangas City celebrate grand Christmas parties for the critically-ill children under their care.   Last December, the Batangas-based foundation was pleased to report that another well-organized Christmas party with a huge financial support from BPAC was held at the SM Batangas grand party hall. It started with a celebration of the Holy Eucharist officiated by Father Marcelino Junie Maralit, followed by parlor games given by McDonald’s. The children were served with McDonald’s spaghetti and chicken meal and each child also received a Christmas Noche Buena package, a Christmas ham and a 1-kilogram can of Nido Fortified Milk. They sent a message to thank the BPAC Governor, Jaime Marasigan, the BPAC Charity Committee Chair, and the members of the Board of the Batangas Provincial Association of Canada for making the event possible. Ms.Vanessah ValleCastillo, the organizing director of the foundation added that truly, the BPAC prestigious group “has the heart of recognizing the marginalized group such as theirs. And with deepest gratitude for choosing us once again as the recipient of BPAC Charity ”.   Since the BPAC organization was started, the Association demonstrated ingenuity and dedication in raising charity money by sponsoring golf tournaments, initiating dinner and dance gathering, and other fund-raising campaigns. Last year, a scholarship program was also launched to assist a local graduate from a financially-challenged family with good grades to pursue a two-year trade course. ■

Some of the Children afflicted with leukemia present during the Christmas Celebration last December 2011 at SM Batangas City

Updates from Winnipeg’s home-grown Filipino talent Almost a year has passed since Winnipeg-born Filipina tween Maria Aragon catapulted to worldwide popularity when a YouTube video of her piano-vocal cover of Lady Gaga’s 2011 single, “Born This Way” won the attention of the American Pop singer herself, garnering 11 million hits in only a week’s time.   The whirlwind fame that followed rewarded the young singer with a string of opportunities including a duet with Lady Gaga at a concert in Toronto, singing “O Canada” before the royal couple on Canada Day 2011, appearing on various American chat shows including The Ellen DeGeneres Show and Good Morning, America, and singing the Philippine National Anthem at the boxing match between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Maria Aragon releases her eponymous debut album in late 2011 in the Philippines; Aragon with me, my son Evawwen, and wife Charina at Fort Garry Hotel during the annual celebration of Philippine Independence in Winnipeg.

  This year, the petite and pretty Aragon will be heading back to school—but only after recording a seven-song self-titled solo album in the Philippines under Star Records.   Another internet star, Sean Quigley posted a homemade but well-conceived video of his original alternative-rock arrangement of the Christmas classic “Little Drummer Boy” on YouTube last December. Less than a week later, it had already passed the million-view mark.   Like Aragon, Quigley soon found himself in the midst of instant popularity. What made his contribution uniquely significant to the Filipino community, however, was Quigley’s recognition of our presence in Canada by including a Filipino boy holding a placard reading “Merry Christmas” in the Filipino language amongst other teens representing other nationalities.   The 17-year-old student of Oak Park High School didn’t waste time; he’s since used his talents and fame to help raise funds for various charitable institutions including Siloam Mission, a drop-in center for those experiencing poverty and homelessness in his city. He’s also signed autographs and performed an impromptu acoustic set at the Bay in downtown Winnipeg while selling CD copies of his hit Christmas single and receiving charitable donations from the store’s patrons.   Currently, Quigley has hired an agent to help him manage his fast-rising career. He is now juggling his time between school

The Filipino boy in Quigley’s successful homemade video.

and working on songs for a possible full-length album. ■

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Larry Smeets Director

Paul Cheung Director

Carmelita Tapia Director

ASIAN HEROES 2009 Rotary world help network Asian Hero – International

Margaret Mackenzie Asian Hero - Philippines

Dr. David Neima Asian Hero – Vietnam

Dr. David Neima Asian Hero – Vietnam

Dr. Colin Yong Asian Hero –Indonesia

Tzu Chi Foundation Asian Hero – Sri Lanka

Marissa Pena Asian Hero - Asia

ASIAN HEROES 2011 Nouri Al – Hassani Asian Hero – Iraq

Phoebe Carantes Asian Hero – Afghanistan

Dr. Tin Yee Asian Hero - Myanmar

Rev. Yani Lim Asian Hero - Indonesia

Felicisimo Gorospe Dr. Kimit Rai Derek Koch Asian Hero – Philippines Asian Hero – India Asian Hero - Thailand ______________________________________________________________________

ASEAN CANADA BUSINESS COUNCIL Carmelita Salonga Tapia, President Odessa manufacturing Inc Terry Bahar. Vice-President Canada Indonesia Business Association

Michael Lam, Secretary Canada Singapore Business Association

Aria Ganesan, Treasurer Malaysia Canada Business Council

Grace Santos – Ocampo, Director Philippines Canada Trade Council

Walaiporn Chaisiriat Loaha, Director Thailand Association of B.C.

Christopher Chung, Director Malaysia Singapore Brunei Cultural

Louis Quach, Director Vancouver Chinese Vietnamese Association Catherine Sas - Communications Miller Thompson LLP

Marife Furber – Business Development Canada Business Network Services

Robert Wilson, - Strategic Planning The Consulting Firm

Victor Que – International Relations USANA Health Sciences

Tracey Lundell - Finance TD Securities

Larry Smeets - Legal Affairs Smeets Law Corporation

Michael Calingo Special Projects ADVISERS:

SING LIM YEO, Vice-President – Royal Pacific Realty


News-Canada Filipino-Chinese celebrate Year of the Dragon in Calgary


It’s A Whole New World for Alberta’s Princess of Songs BY MARIETTA PANGAN-DUTKOSKI   Jasmin Remoquillo, also known as “Alberta’s Princess of Songs,” has been on a magic carpet ride since she took home the grand champion title for the 2010 Pinoy Singing Sensation competition held in Edmonton, Alberta. Cabuyao-born Jasmin’s passion for singing began when she was only six years old through the mentorship of her musician father. The experience opened her eyes, and she has been participating in singing competitions since 1996, including one for local radio station DZRH where she received a special award for a notable performance.  

  Since then, she’s horned her talents by attending numerous singing workshops. In 2000, Jasmin joined a TV reality show called “Sing Galing” where she kept the crown for two consecutive weeks.   Even after completing her Bachelor’sDegree in Hotel and Restaurant Management, Jasmin continued to pursue her singing career and performed in several hotel lounges and bars in Manila as an acoustic singer with her younger brother Jeff accompanying her on guitar.

BY MARIETTA PANGAN-DUTKOSKI What should we expect from the Year of the Dragon? “It’s all about possibilities, creativity, intensity, excitement, surprises, and unpredictability,” according to Chinese Fung Shui expert Angela Ng. “It can also be the year for couples wanting to have children, and a very promising year for those who want to tie the knot,” she added.   The 2012 New Years, Carnival at the Calgary Chinese Cultural Centre includes traditional Chinese exhibits along with food, music, dance, and—of course—fortune-telling. The event kicked off last Friday to commemorate the Chinese New Year, which officially began Monday, January 23rd and will continue until February the 9th.   The event also featured an ice carver from mainland China who created dragons and other exotic Chinese symbols in front of the cultural centre, along with performances from different

Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista joins community in a lunch reception at Josephine’s restaurant on main street, Vancouver, British Columbia After a hectic 2 day “Cities Summit Conference” Mayor Bautista found time to join the community in a lunch reception at Josephine’s Restaurant on February 3, 2012. He is scheduled to fly back to Manila the following day. The picture shows he is reading the Philippine Canadian Inquirer.

groups demonstrating everything from lion dances to tai-chi demonstrations in colourful, vibrant costumes.   But the event is not without controversy. “Chinese New Year is the biggest celebration among Chinese all over the world, but it is a little bit challenging here in Canada” said Roy Chan, a Chinese-Canadian father of two. “Ideally, it is a chance for people to be with their loved ones to enjoy the outside fair for an extended time; however, it is not an official holiday like Christmas.” He added that “the weather plays a significant role for anything prepared outside, but nonetheless, we’ve made the most of it with my wife and kids.”   Patrick Wu, one of the volunteers, explained that the “carnival is a way of sharing our customs and traditions with other Calgarians who are not familiar with the Chinese way of life.” Whether you’re Chinese, Filipino-Chinese, or just Chinese at heart, this is the season to embrace the rich Chinese culture and welcome the New Year brimming with possibilities. To all our Chinese friends in Calgary—Kung Hei Fat Choi! ■


  When Jasmin decided to fly her carpet to Canada, she landed in Calgary. Her pursuit of becoming a singer didn’t die, and she quickly joined other local singing contests in her new hometown. She has performed as a front act for several concerts, including that of Jed Madela, Pilita Corrales, Sarah Geronimo, and Parokya ni Edgar, to name a few.   Jasmin finally caught her shooting star in 2010 when she won the title of “Grand Champion” in the Pinoy Singing Sensation contest. Around this time, she also earned the title “Princess of Alberta’s Songs” from friends and supporters.   “I kept myself focused and determined, although I know this is a new world,” says Jasmin, reflecting on her adventure. “I am holding on to my dreams, I have come this far, I can’t even think of quitting.”   Last year, she performed three major singing engagements to fund her dream for a chance to meet Vernee Saturno and record one of his original compositions.   Jasmin’s carpet ride soon took her to the offices of Viva record producer Joel Mendoza. Jasmin said, “It is truly comforting to have the support of my brother Jeff and Princess Velasco’s manager Sherbet Ilacad of the Turnip Cake Band.”   After another thrilling chase, in December 2011, Jasmin received a successful audition with ABS-CBN’s Star Records and received approval to release her first album. Fittingly titled “Follow Your Dream” it will also carry a single composed by Vernee Saturno.   Since returning to the Philippines, Jasmin’s schedule has been completely booked, including several fundraisers for Typhoon Sendong. Always concerned with charity, Jasmin has stated she intends to give back by sharing a dollar from each of her albums that are sold.   On February 12, Jasmin will share her “Whole New World” to all of her supporters, friends and fans. The official launch of her album will be at the Barrio Fiesta Restaurant in Calgary. ■

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School Readiness, At what age should I send my kid to school? BY MINNIE F. FRANCIA My daughter Ella was an only child for four years. While growing up in a household of adults assured her a lot of love and attention, I knew that she also needed to be with other kids her age. So although I’m a work-from-home mom who had plenty of time for her, I decided to put her in a toddler class in a nearby school at age two. I was a bit apprehensive at first but it was evident that my daughter really enjoyed playing with her classmates. She even easily picked up skills such as potty training and eating by herself in school because she was copying what other kids were doing. But the marked improvement I really noticed was in her communication skills. Ella was not much of a talker at home perhaps because everyone in the household understood her nonverbal cues. In school though, she was encouraged to verbalize what she felt or needed so that others would understand her.


Paulette Aquino, Preschool Educator, agrees that there are valid reasons for parents to bring their children to school at a young age. For instance, their child is an only child and there is nobody at home that she can relate with other than her caregiver. The child herself may also be showing readiness and interest in going to school. Full time parents also send their kids to school to get a few hours off from taking care of them. However, Aquino, also feels that if the mom (or dad) are full time with their toddler, they need not bring the child to school as early as two years. “Full time parents can prepare different learning experiences with their kids. As a preschool teacher, I still believe that a mother’s touch is still the best!”


Aquino does not believe though that there is a “right or wrong” age of putting your child in school. “The important thing is the child’s readiness, the parents’ capability, and the environment where the parents decide to bring them,” she says. A good school environment will certainly help your toddler

in the development of language, social, emotional, fine (small muscles) and gross motor (big muscles) skills, self-help and cognitive skills. Educator Nenette Aldecoa, a strong advocate for toddler programs, likewise believes that school is a great opportunity to introduce a daily schedule to a child. “The certainty and consistency of having a routine will set the pace for children and adults alike and start a good foundation for future study and work habits,” she says.

peak in attaining the skills that are expected of them.” What’s important are parents’ and caregivers’ proper guidance, firm and consistent reminders and appropriate preparation for your child. “Of course, love and prayers are essential means in bringing up smart kids,” she adds.


If you decide to keep your child at home till a later age, be assured that parents can also be effective teachers at home.

A typical day in toddler school would include activities such as free play, art, storytelling, singing, mixing colors, learning numbers and simple science experiments.

Parents should consider that during the toddler years, language and motor skills are the areas where a child is developing. Activities that would hasten improvement in these areas are therefore what parents should be doing with the toddler.

Aquino advises that when choosing a school, it is important that parents seriously consider the curriculum, program philosophy, staff, teachers, materials, equipment and safety.

Aquino lists some appropriate activities you can do together with your child:


Aldecoa likewise believes that a child-centered curriculum that uses play as a medium of instruction will help encourage a child’s overall development. In terms of social skills for instance, Aldecoa lists some of the ways a child can benefit from a good toddler program: “These kids will develop social skills such as interaction, sharing, cooperation, acceptance of differences, observing basic rules, and learning respect for self and others.”

1. Create a schedule or routine that your toddler can follow consistently. Include time for eating, taking a bath, playing, reading, artwork and outdoor play. Aquino reminds though that the schedule can also be flexible depending on the child’s interest for the day. “Introducing a routine is important because it teaches them the concept of time,” she says.


2. Always talk to the child during self-help activities like undressing and dressing-up. (Ex: “Raise your right arm, put it into the small hole..”)

Believing that their child will be smarter than his peers if they placed him in school at a younger age is a wrong reason for parents to put their toddler in school. Pediatrician Dr. Gigi Cuisia-Cruz says that there is really no significant academic advantage enjoyed by children who go to school at a younger age over those who spend their earlier years learning at home. Aquino agrees that going to school earlier does not necessarily make a child smarter. “Each child has their own pacing of growth and development. They will have their own

3. Limit television viewing. Watching too much TV may affect a child’s attention span. To make the most of TV viewing, parents should watch some programs with the youngsters and pose questions that would in effect make it interactive. 4. Involve your toddler in simple household chores like setting up the table or sorting clean clothes. 5. Provide lots of writing and art materials like markers and scratch papers for scribbling and doodling activities. 6. Provide a basket or box filled with sturdy books that your child can browse through during regular reading time. Let reading become a ritual done at the same time and in the same place each day. Books and writing materials should also be easily accessible and within your child’s reach. 7. Let your child listen to different sounds and music. You can sing and dance together with the music. Music provides great opportunities for language development. ■

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Showbiz • Lifestyle • Travel



Dawn: I could have ended up with Richard

DAWN Zulueta revealed that she could have ended up with Richard Gomez if he had stayed faithful.

DO YOU REMINISCE ABOUT OLD TIMES? A little. We had a lot of memorable experiences, especially when we traveled together. I had to refresh Richard’s memory about how we broke up. He had forgotten (laughs).

BY MARINEL R. CRUZ Philippine Daily Inquirer

DO YOU GET TO TALK WITH LUCY? Not often, but we’re in touch. We see each other in Congress sometimes. I call her if I have something to ask. She does the same.

  “We had potential,” the actress said during a media gathering for “Walang Hanggan,” the ABS-CBN series that reunites the former lovers on the small screen. “[Unfaithfulness] takes a toll on the girl in any relationship. She doesn’t know where she stands. It’s possible that the guy loves her but can’t help himself. He probably doesn’t have emotionally attachments to the girls he dates on the side. Still, that’s hard to accept. That was how I felt.”   The couple were last seen in the 1991 hit drama, “Hihintayin Kita sa Langit,” directed by Carlitos SiguionReyna.   Dawn, now married to Davao del Norte Rep. Anton Lagdameo Jr., said she was glad Richard settled down with Leyte Rep. Lucy Torres-gomez. “It takes a certain kind of a woman, like Lucy… she has so much confidence to allow her husband to work with an ex. He’s so lucky,” Dawn said. HOW HAS RICHARD CHANGED? As an actor, he’s more well-rounded now… more mature in the way he attacks his roles. As a person, he’s still down-to-earth, fun to be with.

WHEN DID YOU DECIDE THERE WAS ZERO CHANCE OF RECONCILING WITH RICHARD? A year after splitting up… although, we were already cordial at that point. HOW IS ANTON AS A HUSBAND? He’s super devoted and trustworthy. He has never given me reason to doubt him. HOW DID HE REACT TO THIS PROJECT? His concern was how much, and how long, the show would take me away from home. When I said this was based on “Hihintayin Kita sa Langit” and that I’d be working with the likes of Susan Roces and Helen Gamboa, he appreciated it. HOW DO YOU MAKE SURE YOU HAVE ENOUGH TIME WITH YOUR KIDS? My cut- off is 2 a. m. I shoot only on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The rest of the time, I’m home. My mom lives

nearby and checks on Jacobo and Ayisha. The kids have lunch with my in- laws after school. They don’t even notice that Anton and I are away. DO THE KIDS LIKE YOUR BEING AN ACTRESS? They’re very excited when they see me on TV. They’re still stuck on “Mula sa Puso.” I tell them that this is a different show. They can’t catch this on TV because it airs past their bedtime. HOW’S YOUR USUAL DAY AT HOME? I wake up between 7 and 8 a.m. and help prepare the kids for school… In the afternoon, I go for face or body treatments, or do some grocery, or go to the department store to buy something for the house. If I have paperwork, I’m on the computer. HOW DO YOU BALANCE WORK AND FAMILY LIFE? It’s really time management. I’m not Wonder Woman. I sometimes make a to-do list for the week but when my taping finishes late, I can’t keep up with the schedule that I myself have set. That’s when it gets irritating; it’s time stolen from me. I try to be strict with the cut-off at work. DO YOU HAVE “ME” TIME? I’m happy if I could go to the parlor or have a massage at least once a week. I also schedule a manicure and pedicure every week. Can’t take that away from me. (“Walang Hanggan,” codirected by Jerry Lopez Sineneng and Trina Dayrit, airs weeknights on the Kapamilya Primetime Bida timeslot.) ■

What keeps Ateneo-La Salle ‘war’ going BY POCHOLO CONCEPCION Philippine Daily Inquirer ATENEO and La Salle—“ne’er the twain shall meet,” insists former corporate executiveturned composer Ed Gatchalian, creator of “Rivalry,” a new original musical about the intense competition that seems to affect the personal lives of many students and alumni of both schools.   “It’s been on my mind for 30 years,” Gatchalian told the INQUIRER in a recent interview.   He recalled that Noel Trinidad, a classmate at the Ateneo since Grade 4, first had an idea for a musical about sports rivalry, which was playfully titled “CrispaToyota, May Araw Din Kayo.” But, at the time, Gatchalian was busy with his corporate job—and Trinidad with his acting career.   Returning home years later after working in Vietnam, Gatchalian resolved to devote his time to music. Watching an Ateneo-la Salle basketball match in 2007, he said he couldn’t believe that his alma mater lost the game.   “I couldn’t get out of it for over a year,” he related. “It didn’t help that my youngest daughter was a diehard La Salle fan and she kept ribbing me. I thought that might be a good angle for a musical.”   “Rivalry” is set in 1968. The plot involves two families, the Valencias from Ateneo and the Basilios from La Salle—whose lives get entangled when their clan’s offspring compete in sports, business and romantic interests.   Gatchalian wrote the music and collaborated with Joel Trinidad (lyrics) and Jaime del Mundo (book, direction). After working together for the first time in another musical for a corporate client in 2007, Gatchalian and Del Mundo realized that they shared the same vision of producing original musicals that would attract a wider audience.   The question is, why would people outside the elite

AteneoLa Salle community bother to watch “Rivalry”?   Gatchalian cited an example to prove he’s on the right track: “Take ‘Miss Saigon,’ it’s not really about the Vietnam War but about love. In ‘Rivalry,’ the themes are likewise universal— love, joys, fears. Ordinary people can relate to that.”   Del Mundo, a University of the Philippines alumnus, explained: “The advantage of my being from UP (or any other school), is I can look for a more universal aspect of the ‘rivalry,’ how to understand it without being from Ateneo or La Salle.” THE CAST SPEAKS The cast, some of whom are from both schools, shared their views on joining “Rivalry.”   Jeremy Aguado, former rock singer and a theater actor for the past 12 years: “Aside from playing a La Sallite, I really am from La Salle Green Hills. It’s an honor to carry our alma mater and bring it to the stage. Meeting Ed, working with him and listening to his plans for Philippine theater inspired me ... It’s gonna be good.”   Mako Alonso, a theater actor in college currently playing in a rock band: “The odd thing is, I’m from Ateneo and I’m playing a La Sallite. It’s interesting to be on the other side of the fence... you see that [the characters] are different and yet the same. Tito Ed has composed music that is very catchy and melodic. Audiences will leave the theater with the tunes in their heads.” Felix Rivera, who has acting credits from Repertory Philippines and Atlantis Productions: “It’s refreshing to work with original material. Like Jeremy, I’m honored. I’m a proud La Sallite playing an Atenean. People may think the rivalry is just about basketball, but it’s a lot more than that.”   Athena Tibi, pop singer, a semifinalist in the 2002 “Star For A Night” talent search which pitted her against Sarah Geronimo: “It’s my first time to play a theater role. I’m nervous but excited to be in an original musical. The experience is inspiring me to do more theater.”

  Gatchalian gave a glimpse into the music: “It is the way I would like to tell the story in melodies, rhythms and chords ... I don’t have strict rules to follow. The numbers range from swing to rock to ballads, Burt Bacharachstyle ... I look at each number as a story in itself.”   Asked if there are things that really distinguish an “Atenista” from a “La Sallista,” Gatchalian flippantly recounted his college days: “La Sallites in mytime really feel that they were more debonair. A lot of them were mestizos; most Ateneans were brownskinned. When we crossed paths at a party, talo kami. So dinadaan namin sa Shakespeare ... prose and poetry ... bottom line, the girl gets attracted to the La Sallite on first sight, but the Atenean gets to talk to the girl the whole night.”   (As somebody who went to high school and college at La Salle, this writer disagrees. Of course.) (“Rivalry: Ateneo-la Salle The Musical” opens Jan. 27 at the Meralco Theater and runs until March 11. Call 891-9999.) *** Asked whether “Rom-com” is more Jon Santos than The Company or vice-versa, Santos quipped, “I thought I would have ‘Com’ to myself and have nothing to contribute to ‘Rom,’ pero I found that may nalalaman naman pala ako sa romance. And you have to experience The Company’s brand of comedy, on the other hand. It’s so effortless, pakiramdaman lang, because they’ve known each other... forever!” Call 721-6726. Dark (OMD) performs on March 12, 8 p.m. at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. Its hits include “Enola Gay,” “Souvenir,” “Locomotion,” “So In Love,” “If You Leave,” “(Forever) Live & Die,” “Secret” and “Dreaming.” The Big Dome concert is part of OMD’S “History of Modern” tour in support of its latest album of the same title. ■

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JED MADELA’S “BEYOND EXPECTATION” CONCERT IN RIVER ROCK CASINO A HUGE SUCCESS Jed Madela’s first of a series of his Canada 2012 tour was held at the River Rock Casino in Richmond, British Columbia, on February 4, 2012. BY STELLA REYES

Manila-based artist Jed Madela performed flawlessly to an enthralled Vancouver audience last Saturday at the River Rock Show Theatre in Richmond. Armed with just his powerful and versatile voice plus his excellent rapport with the crowd he truly wowed the audience way beyond their expectations. What brought the house down is his rendition of current popular hits by Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Beyonce and Bruno Mars arranged in the musical style of the past. A medley of Baby/Born This Way/Crazy In Love/Grenade that sounds like Neil Sedaka’s “Oh, Carol” and the distinct sound of 50’s, 60’s and 70’s was truly wonderful. Jed also sang “Breathe Again” and “Ikaw Na Lang Ang Kulang” which are original songs from his seventh album. All the songs in this album are by a fresh crop of young Filipino composers and songwriters. He also reminded the audience to support Original Pilipino Music (OPM) and help promote the distinct sound of Filipino music worldwide.


‘I guess she’s really in love’

Shalani’s uncle recalls initial family apprehension about the wedding, and how she couldn’t be dissuaded

BY MARINEL R. CRUZ Philippine Daily Inquirer SILANG, Cavite—Mon Soledad, uncle of Valenzuela Councilor Shalani Soledad, said he was initially against his niece marrying Pasig City Representative Roman Romulo too soon—only four months after the couple got engaged.   Shalani, 31, and Roman, 44, met in July and got engaged in September. Roman is the son of former Foreign Secretary Alberto Romulo and Rosie Lovely Tecson-romulo.   “I was hoping she’d get married after the 2013 elections [Shalani was said to be planning to run for Congress], but she just couldn’t be dissuaded. I guess that meant she’s really in love,” Mon told INQUIRER Entertainment shortly before the wedding ceremony at St. Benedict Church in Ayala Westgrove here on Sunday.   Mon and wife Edith had been Shalani’s guardians while her mother, Evelyn, worked as a flight attendant and, later, as a caterer at a hotel in Kuwait.   Shalani met her biological father, former Banco Filipino chair Adolfo Aguirre, only in 2010. ‘She pleaded’ Mon, a former Valenzuela councilor, recalled the day, Dec. 8 last year, when Shalani sought permission about the wedding. “She pleaded, ‘ Sige na Tito Mon. Mabait si Roman.’ I just couldn’t turn her down.”   Evelyn recounted that Roman asked for her daughter’s hand in marriage “only three weeks after we were formally introduced. I cried … I couldn’t believe it was happening so soon,” she said during the reception held at the dockside of the nearby Nuvali Evoliving Center. “But I know he’s sincere and he really loves Shalani.” Evelyn’s message to the groom: “It hurts to know that I’m losing my princess, so take care of her, Roman. I may be losing a daughter, but I’m gaining a son.”   In his speech, Roman’s father said he was “entranced and charmed (by Shalani’s) beauty and endearing sensibility.” The senior Romulo described Shalani and Roman as “the perfect couple … a match made in heaven.” Willie no-show Alberto also revealed that his son “popped the inevitable question” to Shalani at Our Lady of Fatima Church in Valenzuela. “I consider myself blessed and proud to now have five good-looking and talented women in my home—my wife Lovely, my daughters Lupe, Mons and Berna, and Shalani, whom we most affectionately welcome.”   Roman and Shalani left on Monday for a four-day honeymoon at Amanpulo island, a posh resort in Palawan.   Willie Revillame, Shalani’s cohost in the

game show “Wil Time Bigtime,” failed to attend the wedding. He was represented by Jay Montelibano, the show’s business unit head. Shalani had just broken up with her then boyfriend, President Aquino, when she signed up as cohost of the controversial TV5 program in 2010.   Willie was rumored to have courted Shalani early last year. Only recently, he teased Shalani on the show: “Porke’t magaasawa ka na, ginaganyan mo na ako. Binabalewala mo na kami rito! Tandaan mo, nung nagdurugo ang puso mo, sino ang sumalo sa ’yo? Sino ang tumahi ng sugat sa puso mo? Sino ang naggamot niyan? Sino? Ako … di ba?”   To this, Shalani jokingly replied: “Para sa akin, both asset and liability ka.”   She would return to the program after a month. Advice from cohost Only one of Shalani’s cohosts, Mariel Rodriguez, attended the wedding ceremony. “I don’t normally go anywhere on a Sunday—it’s Robin’s day,” Mariel said, referring to her husband, actor Robin Padilla. “But Shalani is the nicest person. I just have to be present on her special day.”   Mariel advised Shalani to “be ready to adjust to life with Roman. It’s really the wife who should adapt. I’m sure they’d be okay. Shalani is painfully nice.”   Actor Richard Gomez—whose wife, Leyte Rep. Lucy Torres-gomez, was one of the gospel readers during the Mass—said he was “happy for the couple.” His advice to the newlyweds: “Prioritize your family. Everything else should come second.”   TV5 creative and entertainment head Perci Intalan said, “All of us [in the network] wish Shalani and Representative Roman the best. Shalani is a sweet and a truly lovely kapatid. She definitely deserves to live ‘happily ever after.’”   Also present during the ceremony were TV5 chair Manny V. Pangilinan, one of the principal sponsors, and network chief operating officer Bobby Barreiro. Some 150 TV5 personnel were deployed to cover the ceremony, as well as the reception.   The couple’s 700 guests were mostly from the political and business sectors. Among the show biz personalities spotted were Valerie Concepcion, Marco Alcaraz, Precious Lara Quigaman, Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. and his wife, Bacoor Rep. Lani Mercado. Broadcaster Karen Davila and magazine editor Anton San Diego hosted the party, along with Roman’s brother Erwin and radio talk show host Gang Badoy. ■



Time for David Archuleta to get out of his ‘likable’ shell BY NESTOR U. TORRE Philippine Daily Inquirer THE BIG show biz news this month is TV5’s bid to add international singer David Archuleta to its roster of contract stars. The “American Idol” second-placer is turning actor by way of “Nandito Ako,” a mini-series in which he plays a young Fil-am teenager who comes home and gets involved with two lovely babes, played by Jasmine Curtis-smith and Eula Caballero.   This is Archuleta’s fourth working visit to the Philippines, so it’s decidedly a case of mutual liking between him and his Filipino fans. His performing career in the States has yet to really take off, so he has the time to further build up his now not insubstantial Philippine base. The money involved in the TV5 deal surely is nothing to sniff at, either.

limb—and fly!   Adding to the iffy-ness of Archuleta’s baptism of fire as an actor is the fact that his two leading ladies are also relative newbies, so they’ll be contending with their own insecurities. It’s a good thing that veteran actors have been signed up to provide the teen talents the acting support they need to make the mini-series their confident rather than timorous bid for acting stardom.   Also not so pleasant for us is the prospect of having to watch yet another show in which an imported talent has to mouth dialogue in English, since Archuleta is going to play the umpteenth Fil-am character to inhabit or visit a local Tv-film production. Really now, when are we going to finally get over our avid and rabid postcolonial fascination with imports of every shape, size and speech?

‘Iffy-ness’ plus The big question is, does David have it in him to do well as an actor, not just as a singer? The way we size up the young comer, he’s frisky and eager to please, but perhaps too nice and obedient as a talent to come across as exciting and intriguing to behold in performance. Well, it’s time for him to get out of his “likable” shell and predictable performing “box”—which could be one reason that he’s laying his actor persona on the line for the first time by way of his Pinoy mini-series.   To hedge its bets, “Nandito Ako” should be a musical romantic-drama series that banks extensively on Archuleta’s proven skill and charisma. But, there has to be a point in the show when he can prove his worth as an actor—so, it’s time to go out on an acting

Nothing new Truth to tell, Archuleta is only the latest in a long line of foreigners who have starred in local Tv-film productions. Back in the ’ 50s, American Joan Page appeared in some local movies, as did Russian Nikki Ross (who remains a great entertainer to this very day). Beauty titlists from other countries who’ve top-billed Filipino productions include Johanna Raunio (who costarred with Chiquito in a mermaid movie), Amparo Muñoz, and most successfully, Dayanara Torres, who not only acted with Aga Muhlach but also fell in love with him, and had her own local TV dance show, to boot.   So the template has long been in place —but it really is time to break it and move on to better and less “colonial” show biz initiatives! ■

Sincerity a key to AJ Rafael’s success BY POCHOLO CONCEPCION Philippine Daily Inquirer IT WAS a surreal sight—a throng of fans, mostly teenage girls, lining up to watch a concert last week at the Music Museum that featured AJ Rafael, a virtual nobody.   But he’s not really unknown, if you ask the more than 300,000 subscribers on his Youtube channel, where his music videos have registered over 70 million hits. AJ (Arthur Joseph), 22, a Filipino-american singer-songwriter from Moreno Valley, California, was incredulous himself as he tried to speak above the din of screams between numbers in his gig. What had he done to merit such a wild reception?   Backed by a band of two Caucasians and one other Asian, AJ exuded charm and

confidence as he played keyboards and sang tunes that were so honest, you had to listen and believe what he was saying.   The repertoire unmasked naive yet powerful sentiments—engaging in a fantasy conversation in “Emma Watson”; waxing poetic in “Starlit Nights”; feeling miserable in “Red Roses”; relishing the past in “Five Hundred Days.”   The music hewed close to pop-rock with catchy mid-tempo beats, at times shifting gears to allow lead guitar solos. All these songs are contained in his debut indie album, “Red Roses,” which went to No. 7 on itunes and also climbed Billboard’s Heatseeker chart.   When AJ called Kiana Valenciano for a duet in the Ogie Alcasid hit “Bakit Ngayon Ka Lang?” we felt good. AJ should take things in stride because time is on his side. ■

Entertainment Look at what my mom has done to Filipino taste! A 27


When ‘Let’s Cook with Nora’ started to air on ABS-CBN in 1957, little did Nora Daza know it would pave the way for a culinary revolution. BY SANDY DAZA Philippine Daily Inquirer IN 1957, my mom Nora started the very first cooking show, “Let’s Cook With Nora,” on ABSCBN along Roxas Boulevard. Television was only black and white back then, and there were

Sid Lucero: TV made him a ‘workaholic’ Kapuso star set to join ‘Captive’ director in Berlin fest

BY BAYANI SAN DIEGO JR. Philippine Daily Inquirer BACOLOD CITY—GMA 7 actor Sid Lucero rocked the crowd that gathered for the network’s celebration of the Bacolaodiat Festival here last Saturday.   The two-time Urian best actor’s onstage antics showed his seldom-seen light-hearted side, being known, and often cited, for dramatic performances.   From Bacolod, Sid will fly to Berlin with Filipino director Brillante Mendoza for the world premiere of “Captive,” which will compete in the main section of the German film fest in February.   In “Captive,” Sid portrays one of the bandits who kidnap foreigners, one of whom is played by French actress Isabelle Huppert. “She was fun,” Sid said of Isabelle, an icon in world cinema.   She initially kept to herself, he recalled. “Foreigners have a different work style. They focus on work. But noticing that Filipinos would joke around between takes, she loosened up a bit.”   He considers “Captive” and “Amaya” as milestone projects. TV work puts food on the table, he said, and it is the demands of a daily soap that instilled discipline in him. But it is indie films that nourish his soul as an artist, he insisted. Workaholic He became such a workaholic in television, he said, that he didn’t mind plunging back to the grueling grind for the new Kapuso soap, “Legacy.” As bonus, the drama series reunites him with aunt Cherie Gil, sister of his dad, award-winning actor Mark Gil.   Sid previously shared the screen with Cherie in Adolfo Alix Jr.’s “Donsol.” He recounted: “At first, I couldn’t act in front of relatives like Tita Cherie and (cousin) Ryan (Eigenmann who was also on ‘Amaya’). They had to tell me to relax.”   “Legacy” reminds him of “Cebu,” a family drama in the 1990s that starred some of his gifted relatives, including grandmother Rosemarie Gil, uncle Michael de Mesa, aunt Cherie, dad Mark, even Gina Alajar (Michael’s ex).   “I got to watch that old series,” he related. “After my parents separated, my mom and I lived in Cebu for four years.” He is proud of mom, Bing Pimentel, who went back to school and will graduate with a degree in Fine Arts in UP Diliman this March.   Sid doesn’t see himself going back to college anytime soon because, he said, he’s learning everything he needs to know on the set. He has worked as set man, stylist, assistant director and production designer in short films and TV ads.   He said, proudly: “I made my first P3,000 as an assistant director for a commercial—a public service announcement to vote wisely.” ■

only two or three channels. In later years, I remember many known personalities who would go and visit the cooking studio to eat whatever was cooked on that day. That went on until the 90’s.   At one point during the late ’80s, my sister Nina and I were given the frightening news by my mom’s secretary that we were to host her cooking show because she had left for Paris. We had no choice: She had already left!   To our surprise, the first taping day went smoothly, we had such a great time that we continued hosting the show until past the turn of the century while my mom stayed in Paris.   Cooking or food shows were not as common back then as they are now. We had a vague idea of who our televiewers were because of the occasional comments and praises of people on how much they enjoyed the dishes they duplicated at home. I left for Canada in 2001 and the show ran until 2004 with me traveling from Manila to Vancouver and back every other month. It was not easy traveling 13,000 miles to get to work and back each time so I prayed that the Lord would lighten my burden. He answered me and for some reason, the show had to go off the air, “Lord naman. ’di na mabiro!”   My family and I came back to settle in Manila last 2010. Between those years, I was delighted to find out that the growth

of the culinary industry in our country grew by leaps and bounds.   Before I left, there were only a handful of cooking enthusiasts and chefs. Today, there are foodies and food bloggers along with thousands of chefs. Culinary schools are sprouting like mushrooms.   There has also been an influx of foreign chefs that has raised the bar of cuisine in our country. We have become exposed to authentic tasting foreign cuisines. Dishes that many previously found delicious were no longer as appealing to the palate since taste standards have gone higher. Competition is tough, challenging for the restaurateur, but exciting for the consumer. In France, the word “chef” is actually short for chef de cuisine or head of the kitchen. It is a high-ranking managerial role including and not limited to creating recipes, writing menus, costing and portioning, basically CEO to anything that relates to operating a full-scale kitchen. No easy task. But in our country, it seems that anyone that has gone to a cooking school is called a chef. Whatever the title, bottom line is to satisfy the discerning palate of the consumer.   Looking back, I believe that my mother Nora Daza had some influence on this culinary frenzy.   Happy eating! ■


It takes time to get better at anything

“I say this with the experience of skinned knees, blisters, sprained ankles” BY LEA SALONGA Philippine Daily Inquirer A FEW DAYS days ago, I tweeted that I had become that mom: the one who shuttles her kid to and from activities throughout the week. The one that my own mother was, back in my prepubescent days, when she took me to tapings, recording sessions, dance classes and theater rehearsals. It’s my turn now to take to art classes, swimming and ballet.   While I’m on my little hiatus, I’m trying as much as possible to spend time with my little girl. Kids grow up too fast—nicole will turn 6 this May, and I find myself asking where the time has gone. Imagine the mountain of tissue paper I will have consumed by the time she turns 18, or on the day she gets married! DRAWBACK Last Saturday morning, she decided to ride her scooter, which we gave her as a Christmas present. (We were in the United States last December and she wanted to ride her cousin Christopher’s scooter. She wasn’t able to, so when we got back to Manila, we got her a purple and blue Razor with a fuchsia helmet.)   She was sailing on her scooter smoothly up and down our street. Rob and I were beaming with pride at how wonderfully she has learned. And then, just as she was about to start up again, while practically standing still, she fell and scraped her elbow. She howled in pain, shedding copious tears. Rob and I ran to her side, reassuring her that she would be okay. I hurried her to the bathroom to wash out the wound and put some antibiotic ointment. At that point we told her to lay off the scooter until we got her more protective gear.   Imagine our frustration when, on a shopping trip the very next day, we came up empty-handed. Not one elbow or knee pad in sight at either the mall or smaller bike/skate stores. Rob   One sunny day at swim class, while being instructed to put her head underwater, do a series of kicks, straighten her arms and paddle, my daughter said, very loudly and clearly: “I don’t want!”   However, my trust in the teacher superceded Nicole’s screams of defiance, and as he coaxed her back into the water,

I calmly sat and waited until her lesson was done.   As it turned out, she did exactly what she needed to, and had a great time at it. (Getting her out of the water is much more difficult now than putting her in.)   Flashback to my early days in Repertory Philippines: I was with a bunch of little kids rehearsing, while my mother sat in the background.   In a moment of frustration, the director let out a string of high-decibel expletives that would make even a sailor blush. One of the mothers, having had enough, stood up from her seat, took her daughter by the hand, and with a stinging “Come on, hija, let’s go,” marched out of the rehearsal. My mother, in a rare moment of silence and stillness, decided to tough it out and let me stay.   In another flashback, on the first day of my working with the dog that would be Sandy in “Annie,” I got nipped in the face, close to my eye. Yes, there was crying and I did my share of howling, but after getting my wound cleaned, I got back to finish work for the day. Thankfully, a trained dog replaced the one that got me injured. I guess that was my equivalent of putting on protective gear and getting right back out there. TRANSCENDING THE FALL It’s a lesson we’re trying to teach Nicole—to stick with something that you’re interested in, once a commitment to learning has been made. As a parent I cannot give in to the temptation to take her out of a class just because she says, “It’s too hard ... I can’t do it ... I don’t want to do this anymore.” Whether it be dance or sports, I want Nicole to learn that it takes time to get better at anything. She’ll fall a few more times in the course of all that, but she’ll need to transcend the fall and get right back up again.   (I say this with the experience of skinned knees, blisters, sprained ankles, vocal injuries, bad reviews, even bad fashion choices.)   Oh, Nicole has now also expressed an interest in soccer. CONGRATULATIONS I know this is belated, but congratulations to all the members of the newly formed Philippine Theater Actors Guild. It is an honor to serve as a member of your board of trustees. ■

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Entertainment Sarah on Vice Ganda: We’re okay ... I hope


BY MARINEL R. CRUZ Philippine Daily Inquirer SINGER-ACTRESS Sarah Geronimo was unaware of the rumor that comedian Vice Ganda had thumbed down her guest appearance on his ABS-CBN show “Gandang Gabi Vice,” where she was supposed to promote her latest movie.   “I’m clueless about what happened. I just know that I was scheduled to appear on the show. But I had been given very little time to promote the film ... I assumed that there was a conflict in the schedule,” Sarah said. The film she referred to was Raz dela Torre’s rom-com “Won’t Last a Day Without You,” released in November last year.   Sarah insisted that she and Vice Ganda were fine. “There’s no rift between us— sana nga wala.” The two previously worked in the Wenn Deramas dramacomedy “Hating Kapatid,” released in July 2010.   Coincidentally, her coming TV show, “Sarah G. Live!”, which premieres on Feb. 19, will replace Vice Ganda’s program. She likened the musical variety show’s concept to that of Nora Aunor’s “Superstar,” and “The Sharon Cuneta Show.”   “The producers don’t want me to just sing; they want viewers to know more about me through the show,” Sarah said.   “Won’t Last a Day Without You,” her reunion movie with Gerald Anderson, reportedly made P87 million at the box office.

Their first project together, “Catch Me, I’m In Love,” released in March 2011, made P120 million.   Her next movie for Star Cinema, with John Lloyd Cruz, starts shooting this month. ADVICE “I’m working hard for my future, and can’t see myself getting married until at least 28,” Sarah, 23, said during a recent media gathering for Jollibee’s “Always Affordelicious” Chickenjoy Meal, which she endorses. “I honestly don’t think I’m ready to entertain suitors.”   Valentine’s Day is a regular work day for her. “It’s not a day I look forward to,” she said. “My advice to single girls out there is: You don’t have to give your heart away just because it’s the day of hearts.” (mcruz@inquirer. ■

Carmina, Zoren and twins help explain ‘SPG’ rating for TV shows BY MARINEL R. CRUZ Philippine Daily Inquirer (“PG”), Strong Parental Guidance (“SPG”) and Disapproved (“X”).   “We’ve agreed not to impose a time slot for the airing of shows with ‘ SPG’ classification,” the MTRCB chief said. “As a compromise, the networks will help us air the infomercial, which aims to teach the public what the new rating means. They happily obliged—they will give us a list of airtime soon. They can’t just broadcast the [ad] when only a few people will get to see it; They have to air it on prime time, too.”   The 30-seconder was directed by Veronica Velasco, with Vic Acedillo as creative director. “These are hardcore movie people; they did this at no AN INFOMERCIAL on the new rating system for television, featuring actors Zoren Legazpi, Carmina Villaroel and their twins Cassandra and Maverick, will be aired starting Feb. 9.   Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) Chair Grace Poe-llamanzares announced on Tuesday that the infomercial is in line with the implementation of a new classification rating called Strong Parental Guidance or “SPG.”   The revised ratings, based on a recent memorandum issued by the review board, are General Patronage (“G”), Parental Guidance cost,” Llamanzares said. “Carmina and her family didn’t ask for talent fees, either.”   Explaining the need for a higher classification rating, Llamanzares said programs classified as “SPG” may contain “more serious topics and themes, which may not be advisable for children to watch except under the very vigilant guidance and presence of a parent or adult.”   Llamanzares noted: “The scope of ‘PG’ was so wide— from basketball to [the reality show] ‘Pinoy Big Brother.’ A basketball game is ‘PG’ since fights could break out, but PBB may be considered ‘SPG.’” She said a dialogue will soon be held about what constitutes the sexualization of a scene. ■

The ‘sponsored feature’ rears its plug-ugly head again BY NESTOR U. TORRE Philippine Daily Inquirer Many televiewers are ticked off by the fact that they have to put up with watching so many commercials in order to be able to enjoy viewing TV shows for “free.” However, most of them have resigned themselves to that reality, and simply grin and bear it.   But how would they feel if, as some people believe, it’s proven that some shows’ “commercial load” exceeds the prescribed and proscribed limit per hour of telecasting? They’d get really ticked off, right?     The government and media groups that are supposed to monitor activities and excesses like this should be more proactive and scrupulous. After all, the welfare of millions of viewers is at stake. Watching inferior shows is bad enough; viewers shouldn’t be shortchanged in other areas, either.   Even if it’s proven that most TV shows don’t screen more than the stipulated number of commercial minutes per hour, however, viewers are still being shortchanged because some programs have found “creative” ways to beat the system without getting caught with their hands in the cookie jar.   One of those ploys is what is labeled in the trade as the “sponsored feature.” It consists of a portion of a program that ostensibly discusses a trend or event in order to inform and educate the viewer, but is actually a thinly veiled plug for a product or service.   For instance, you have a health feature on, say, polluted drinking water. The first half of the feature documents how many people get sick due to this—then, the feature “slides in” the “solution,” a certain device to purify dirty water. EVEN WINNERS Some features come right out and state the device’s brand name but others stop short of that and fudge their ploy by merely focusing on the device— with the brand name prominently shown.     Whatever the extent of the ploy and the feature’s guile, it’s still a sponsored feature—because the show has been paid, either in cash or in kind, to run it, ostensibly as a public service.   Last month, we surveyed many shows, including some “award-winning” ones, and saw that quite a number of them resorted to this ploy, sometimes on a pretty regular basis. The added sponsored features aren’t included in the time limit for the shows’ approved “commercial load,” so the viewer is being shortchanged twice— coming and going. In addition, the erring show gets a reputation for good “public service,” which it certainly doesn’t deserve!   So, why do some shows blithely resort to this deception? Because they think that viewers aren’t Tv-savvy enough to see through it, or don’t care enough to complain. Well, viewers who do care about quality and fair play should watch out for those erring features— and, when they spot one that obviously passes off a plug as a public service, they should complain to the channel involved, or through the media.   Before you do that, though, make doubly sure that the ploy is real, not imagined or subjectively perceived. Only when we are proactive in our viewing can we get the responsible entertainment and treatment we deserve. Stop being taken for a “sponsored” ride! ■




GROWING YOUR MARRIAGE Just as a seed needs to be planted in the ground, watered regularly and exposed to the sun, so do our marriages need nurturing. Nurture means to help grow or develop. Getting married is a result of careful planning and implementation, but staying married may be a more challenging call. It involves nurturing one another aside from planning and implementation. It is key that a couple desire to grow in their relationship if they intend for it to last. We all need “growing”, whether we have been married for a year, or for three decades. In a union of two imperfect people, there is always room for improvement. How ironic! Back in college, I get trained for four years for a course of my choice to prepare me for a career that I will practice for about four decades of my life yet there are no courses offered for my lifetime role as a wife and a mother. Very strange, don’t you think? Fortunately, there are those who have gone ahead of us. There are those who have

experienced the ropes and continue to swing in harmony. From them, we have received ideas that work. Know when your spouse feels loved and make an effort to do more of that I grew up in a family that freely affirmed each other and one way we expressed love for each other was to enjoy meals together and through gift-giving. So if you ask me when do I usually feel loved, it is when I am affirmed, fed and given gifts J. My husband, on the other hand, appreciates being served because this was how his family expressed love. Unfortunately, we discovered these realities later in our marriage. So, in the first few years, I was affirming, feeding and giving gifts to my husband and he was tirelessly serving me and we both felt unloved! Sounds hilarious now but we both were hurting back then. Hope this makes you want to find out what your spouse’s love language is. Have regular dates without the kidsAnd preferably without discussing domestic

concerns! It is easier to give our attention to those dependent on us that we set aside our priority relationship. The kids will one day leave and we would not want to end up with a stranger. Regular dates and time together will help nourish the relationship. To get the ball rolling, it may be helpful for you as a couple to identify the things you like doing together (cause there are things that you prefer doing alone). Lifetime projects don’t just happen, they need to be worked on, a step at a time. No serious discussions after 9PM A writer once said that when you get married, you permanently complicate your life. With so many complications, it will help if you get enough rest and enough sleep. Avoiding serious discussions after 9pm help us get better rest at night. There are exceptions at times, but this general rule has definitely helped us postpone some discussions and protect us from late night conflicts. Go to Couple’s Seminars yearly Like the car, our relationship needs a tune

up every now and then. For better mileage, they say. We decided to get involved in the couple’s community in our church. We have had the privilege to attend and to serve in yearly couple’s seminars that allow us to review our roles as husband and wife and more importantly, God’s design for marriage. I am not a perfect wife nor is my husband, the perfect partner. But with a perfect God at work in our relationship, our marriage, like wine, does improve with age. His enormous love empowers us to love and accept each other. We also enjoy learning from other couples. If it is not possible to do this regularly, it would be good to develop friendships with other couples, and have fellow travelers to encourage each other in the right way. It is never too late to sow nourishing ideas into your marriage for you will reap a healthy vibrant love for each other, if you faint not! ■

HCG Diet: Would it work for Pinoys? There are so many diet programs that have been circling around – from Atkins diet, South Beach Diet, LA Weight Loss, Jenny Craig and many more. For several decades, there has been a social enigma for people to look good and now, the trend to look better. With such, there is always an attempt to shed off those unwanted fat and be sexy and muscular – that’s why weight-loss business is a billiondollar industry with 6% annual growth to $68.7 Billion in 2010 for US market alone as projected by Marketdata Inc. on its 393-page study. Now, here comes the hCG diet which has been around since 1950’s which claimed to have helped millions of people achieve their weight loss and health goals. Human chorionic gonadotropin or commonly known as hCG is a glycoprotein hormone produced during pregnancy that is made by the developing embryo after conception and later by the syncytiotrophoblast (part of the placenta). The use of hCG on weight loss was pioneered by British endocrinologist Albert T. W. Simeons’ while studying pregnant women in India on a calorie-deficient diet, and “fat boys” with pituitary problems (Frölich’s syndrome) treated with low-dose hCG. He claimed that both lost fat rather than lean (muscle) tissue. With hCG program, an individual is subscribed to an “ultra-low-calorie weightloss diet” (less than 500 calories) as opposed to the normal 2,000 calories per day for 3 weeks – taking it by either the drops or the

injection. The ideology is that while the body is deprived of calorie intake – the body then lose the adipose tissue without losing the lean tissue.

trying new ones. There are so many promises those manufacturers profess but there is still no best solution to healthy lifestyle than eating the right food and proper exercise.

One sample daily intake of 500 calories would be a coffee or tea without sugar, creamer or milk in the morning; a cup-full of fresh cucumber and 100 grams of chicken breast for lunch; 100 grams of low-fat fish like basa and cup-full of spinach for dinner; and cup-full of strawberries in-between. Although the program requires a no-carb, no-fat (oil) diet – occasional intake of thinly-sliced toasted bread like Melba toast is allowed. On meat preparation, it eliminates marinating but instead the use of low-salt seasoning on grill.

The hCG diet gained popularity when celebrities are rumored to have used it and Filipino actors and actresses are not in exception. It was even publicized on various TV programs in the US and widely promoted

Several Filipinos in Vancouver already claimed to have used the same method through a medically-assisted program by naturopathic practitioners and some even claimed to have lost 20 to 30 lbs in 3 weeks’ time. But some people admitted that while they lost a lot of weight – they were not able to keep up after few months because of poor eating-habits and good-tasting Filipino food. Philippine cuisine is widely perceived to be high in carbohydrate and fat consumption because of rice and meat; along with too much use of salt and sugar. This is one reason too why Filipinos are more prone to Diabetes. The never-ending search for the best diet program makes most people to spend more and sometimes they become more skeptical in

by some local celebrities. On the other hand, it gained notoriety when as of December 6, 2011, the FDA has prohibited the sale of “homeopathic” and OTC hCG diet products and declared them fraudulent and illegal. The writer does not promote the use of hCG Diet. Some information were taken from and


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A-D of weight loss and wellness

BY CORY QUIRINO Philippine Daily Inquirer

HERE ARE some practical and easy to-do ABC’S to help you get started. A—apple. The controversial fruit from the garden of Eden is more than just a health food. It also offers a great way to diet— high in fiber and rich in vitamins A, B and C, and the minerals magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, iron, calcium and zinc. The apple diet is a kind of cleansing and fasting regimen. Its pectin content lowers cholesterol and detoxifies the body of pollutants. Fruit acids in apple reduce uric acid levels and produces an antiinflammatory effect on the joints. It is good for people who are gout-stricken.   If you eat six raw apples a day for one to three days, you will likely lose weight. Combine this with healthy greens with only olive oil-lemon dressing, and you will not only become lighter, you’d also end up healthier. But this diet is not recommended for long-term applications, as the ideal diet must be a balanced one. Consult a nutritionist and your physician first. B—B vitamins. They work best in synergy than when taken separately. Thus, B1, B2, B6 and B12 should be equally balanced. Vitamin B is called the stress vitamin or the morale vitamin because of its healing effects on the nervous system and mental attitude. If you are feeling low, sick or will undergo surgery, taking a B vitamin will speed up your recovery.   Vitamin B also improves digestion of carbohydrates, keeps muscles and heart functioning normally, promotes growth. There is no known toxicity for this water-soluble vitamin because any excess is excreted through the urine. However, in rare occasions, excessive use (doses exceeding five to 10 g daily) may result to tremors, herpes, rapid heartbeat, allergies, nervousness. Daily recommended dose is 100-500 mg.

Natural sources: egg yolks, fish, vegetables, milk, lean pork, bran, rice husks, brewer’s yeast, whole wheat, oatmeal, unrefined cereal grains, organic meats (especially liver), cheese, avocados, dates, figs, prunes, walnuts, peanuts. C—citrus fruits. They contain loads of vitamin C and calcium. As the No. 1 skin vitamin, it’s also one of the most potent of antioxidants. Humans, apes and guinea pigs do not produce Vitamin C, thus this must be taken from dietary sources. Without vitamin C, the skin will suffer in quality and luster. When you smoke, drink and are stressed, your body’s absorption of vitamin C is more rapid. Therefore, the more hectic your day will be, the higher the dosage of C you will need.   While citrus fruits may be acidic for some people, supplementation should be considered. If you have bleeding gums, wounds and burns, increase your vitamin C dosage. This vitamin also accelerates healing after surgery. If you want a quicker intake of vitamin C, ask your doctor for vitamin C intravenous injections.   Natural sources: citrus fruits, berries (maqui, acai, blueberry) green and leafy veggies, tomatoes, peppers, cauliflower, potatoes. Excessive intake of C (over 10 g) causes oxalic acid and uric acid stone formation. However, taking magnesium, vitamin B6 and eight glasses of water daily can neutralize this. Other side effects include diarrhea, excess urination and skin rashes.   Note: Vitamin C is sensitive to light, heat and cooking. As an anti-cold remedy, 1,000 mg of vitamin C twice daily is needed. This decreases the histamine in the blood by 40 percent. D—defend yourself against depression. The best way is to live a balanced life. Overdoing anything, especially work, can lead to an increase in your stress levels. Once you are

continuously stressed on a daily basis, the toxic levels of the body build up. The biology is simple: Stress equals increase in stress hormones equals depressed immune system. TO DO:   Divide your work and recreation time equally. Make time for relaxation exercises to relieve your stress. Empty your mind of daily concerns by practicing meditation and devoting yourself to some prayer time.   Embark on an exercise regimen. Start nice and easy.   Have your hormone tests to determine your levels. Consult an endocrinologist.   Check your vitamin levels. Chances are, if you are suffering from mood swings and “low” periods, your niacin or folic acid and B complex levels are depleted. Or maybe you simply lack sunshine or Vitamin D.   There is scientific evidence relating mental illness to diet. This is because biochemical imbalances are connected to mental disturbances.   Watch your alcoholic content. Because alcohol is a nerve depressant, don’t resort to drinking when you feel the blues. It will make you feel bluer! Oral contraceptives deplete the body of B6, B12, folic acid and vitamin C. So if you’re on the pill and depressed, this is a reasonable consequence. Add more vitamins to your diet plus vitamin-rich foods. Today’s affirmation: “I am well beyond measure!” Love and Light! ■


Trance mode is not dreaming or a hypnotic state

BY JAIME T. LICAUCO Philippine Daily Inquirer

HERE’S A letter from Jeff who, according to him, has been a long-time listener of my Sunday radio program over DZMM and a regular reader of my column and books.     “You have often mentioned the term trance mode. Can you explain what it is? And how do I experience this?”   It is difficult to explain this in words. Trance mode is the same as “trance state” or “hypnotic state.” But writers and researchers make a distinction between the two words.   Both are altered states of consciousness and perception. But trance implies a disassociation of one’s selfhood or personality, whereas the hypnotic state has been defined as a “state of heightened suggestibility.”   In the 1992 book “The Dictionary of Mind and Spirit,” compiled by Donald Watson, five states of consciousness were mentioned, namely, “normal awareness, dreaming state, deep sleep, coma and trance.”   I, however, do not understand the principle of classification used by the author in the above differentiation. There seems to be some overlapping among them.   For me, “trance” refers to any state of altered consciousness below the normal waking state. And there are various degrees of trance. There’s light trance, where the person is still conscious of things and what he is saying but his mind is focused within and not outside. Deep trance is where the person is not conscious at all of the outside world, or what he is saying or seeing.   One way to explain the various degrees of trance or states of consciousness is to relate these to brainwaves. According to neuroscience, there are four brainwaves or frequencies. When we are fully conscious of the outside physical reality coming

through our five senses of sight, sound, smell, touch and taste, our brainwaves are in a frequency from 1421 cycles per second (CPS), called the Beta Wave. I refer   They are all altered states of consciousness and perception, but with crucial distinctions to this as the Outer Mind.   Any mental state below the Beta; namely, Alpha, Theta and Delta, I call the Inner Mind. PSYCHIC FEATS The Alpha level (7-14 CPS) may be called a state of light trance. Here, the trained person can perform such psychic feats as telepathy, remote viewing, clairvoyance, self healing, automatic writing, etc.   In the Theta level (4-7 CPS), he can control pain and bleeding. This is a deeper level of trance than the Alpha State. In the Delta level (almost 0-4 CPS), he can perform telekinesis, provided he can slow down his brainwaves to this level without falling asleep. This is a deep trance state. Very few can do this, but there are documented cases in my ESP class that about 40-60 percent of participants can bend a spoon through mind power even if they had not done it before.   The hypnotic state is similar to a mediumistic trance but with some important differences. In a mediumistic trance, an outside entity or spirit is believed to be in control, whereas in ordinary trance, it can be self-induced and no spirit is necessarily involved.   Again, trance may be compared to deep meditation. The feeling can be the same. But in meditation, the person is still in control of his senses and his body, whereas in a trance, he may be unable to move. Psychiatry does not or cannot distinguish a trance state from an epileptic seizure or fainting spells. But they are not the same. Trance state is not a pathological state.

Epilepsy, on the other, is a medical problem.   As you can see, it is difficult to describe in words the feeling of being in a trance state. One really has to experience it, but not all persons can get into this state. PAST LIFE REGRESSION Theresa, another reader, asked if I conduct individual or oneon-one past-life hypnotic regression, because she is unable to attend my seminar on Soulmates, Karma and Reincarnation, where I conduct two group hypnotic regressions.   She’s an airline cabin attendant whose schedule is unpredictable. My schedule of seminars, according to her, is usually out of sync with hers. Another reason is that she may have questions she does not want others to hear.   Yes, I conduct individual past life hypnotic regression by appointment. This normally lasts from one to two hours.   The advantage of individual past life regression is that you can talk back and explore specific personal problems which may have their root in the past. However, I cannot guarantee results, because only 60-70 percent of people can be hypnotized. And, your subconscious must fully agree to the process.   However, my success rate in conducting individual regressions both in the Philippines and in Poland is quite high. If you are interested in pursuing this, please call 8107245 or 0920-9818962 for appointment.     Attend the next Inner Mind Development seminar on Jan. 28-29, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at Rm. 308 Prince Plaza I, Legazpi St., Greenbelt, Makati. For reservations and seminar details, please call 8107245 or text 0920-9818962. E-mail jaimetlicauco@ Visit my website ■




Your money-savvy child It’s never too early to teach your kids the importance of earning and saving

BY LESLIE G. LEE Northern Living One of the most important things that every child should understand is the value of money. By imparting this piece of knowledge to them, you are not only arming them with the right tools to make money work for them, but also raising them to be responsible, independent adults.   So if you want to your child to be money-smart and develop good money habits, check out these tips we’ve culled from real moms.   Take baby steps. Start small and let him “experience” money in little ways, such as giving him an allowance or opening a savings account that he’ll be responsible for later on. Another way is introducing the concept of the piggy bank, which Joan, a bank employee living in Manila, did with her three kids. “This is their way of saving for something they want to have, such as toys.”   Be candid. Don’t underestimate your child’s ability to understand money matters. Do explain why it’s better to be frugal and to appreciate what they have—in a language he understands, of course. Shares Anna, a mother of two who lives

in Binondo: “I teach them to eat whatever is on the table, not to be choosy with foods. I tell them that other families sometime do not have enough food so they are considered lucky that they get to eat three meals a day.”   Let them experience money and frugality. “My son gets hand-me-downs from cousins all the time, so every so often I give him his turn to help sort out stuff that he’s outgrown so the new baby can use them. This way, he learns that we don’t have to buy new stuff all the time and that it’s actually cool to receive and give hand-me-downs,” proudly shares Dee, a bank employee who lives in Quezon City with her husband and son.   Involve your child. Dee and her husband bring their son along on trips to the grocery or to the ATM. “My son is really too young to be given a lecture so we involve him in doing money-related stuff to teach him how money is used and earned,” she explains.   Make him work for it. As Joan puts it, “Let them appreciate that money is hard-earned.” Assigning your kid some chores at home and paying him for his “services,” or rewarding him for getting good grades and winning awards in school will not only instill in him the value of work and frugality, but will aid him in becoming a responsible grown-up in the future as well. ■

Effortless Beauty Actress and celebrity endorser Iza Calzado shares her thoughts on her craft, staying beautiful, and how her true home is and will always be the Metro

BY RUTH KAIRUZ Northern Living A tall, striking morena beauty–this is Iza Calzado. As if her physical beauty wasn’t enough to catch your attention, she also possesses a certain confidence, grace, and an air of sophistication that’s both magnetic and endearing to watch. From her humble beginnings as a commercial model, Iza has now become a bonafide star in her own right with a string of successful TV shows and movies to boot. In fact, the next few months will be even more busy for her, as she says, “I’m currently doing Eat Bulaga, and then Andres de Saya, which is a sitcom with Cesar Montano. I just wrapped up the film Panday, which was shown last in December. I also spoke to some of the bosses of the network, and I was told that there’s a soap in the works and it will hopefully be out by this year.”   Even with so much success, and surely many projects thrown her way, most would think that when opportunity in a highlycompetitive industry comes a-knockin’, one must answer. Well, Iza does answer, and sometimes hers is a calm “No.” She explains, “I always look at the script, how big the project is, and if it’s worth it. I consider if it’s the right project for me at that particular time. Sometimes I take my co-actors into consideration. But I’ve never turned down a project because I didn’t like my co-actors. Of course, I also have to consider what I’m getting paid, unless, of course, it’s for a friend or it’s something that I really believe in. Honestly, there are things that I do pro bono, for good reason, but at the same time, I also consider how hard I’ve worked to get here. You’ve got to know what you’re worth, too.”   From one project to another, she has remained the same humble, level-headed woman we’ve come to know and love even if only through the roles she has played. Some roles have

even had such a deep impact on fans that she still gets asked about it, years after the show has wrapped up. “Encantadia would have to be the greatest TV show that I’ve been on. People really loved that show, and until now they still talk about it. It’s been six years since the show ended, but I still get tweets about that project,” she shares.   But it was her recent stint in the comedy series I Heart You, Pare, where she played a faux gay, that truly showed her versatility. She’s the first to admit that comedy isn’t her forte, but she accepted the role to challenge herself as an actress and as a person. “I came on in the middle of the soap. It was comedy pa, something I hadn’t done. And, of course, many were skeptical about whether I could pull it off or not. I enjoyed the role and had fun. I proved to myself kaya kong maging drag queen, ok na yun.” Still, she aims to become even better than she already is, hoping for more opportunities to do projects similar to the film The Echo, which she starred in alongside Hollywood actors Jesse Bradford and Amelia Warner in 2008.   On the rare moments she’s not working, Iza likes to catch up on her reading—a habit she picked up early on from her mom. “Aside from reading, I love working out. Really. I work out in the home gym of my boyfriend’s house. I used to love to go out a lot, but now when I can, I just stay at home or spend time with my boyfriend and listen to his music.” Iza is indeed as simple as they come in the midst of the glitz and glam that is showbiz. This simplicity also translates into her beauty regimen. “I take Myra E. I moisturize. I try to eat well and drink a lot of water. As much as possible, I try to get enough rest. I put eye cream because I feel I kind of need it. Then I go to Flawless for regular facials.” And when asked about the contents of the beauty kit in her bag? She says, ever-so nonchalantly, “Oh, just lip gloss and cheek tint.” ■

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PCI Launch Party Philippine Canadian Inquirer, Canada’s first and only nationally distributed FilipinoCanadian weekly newspaper, was launched at the Rockstar Academy in downtown Vancouver on January 24, 2012.

  The Philippine Canadian Inquirer is a free weekly newspaper to be circulated in Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Calgary, and Edmonton. It is published by Philippine Canadian Inquirer Inc. under a publishing agreement with a subsidiary of the PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER—the Philippines, leading newspaper with the largest circulation and readership.   The newspaper’s mission is to provide Filipino communities all over Canada with news and features for Filipinos in a format that is conducive to reading, enlightening, and entertaining while upholding the highest journalistic standards the Philippine Daily Inquirer is renowned for. Furthermore, it aims to help build and unite the Filipinos by fostering greater awareness and pride as a community   PCI management saw the need to launch a nationally distributed newspaper as Filipinos are currently the third largest visible minority group in Canada. About 500,000 Filipinos currently reside in Canada, contributing to Canada’s economic growth. The number of Filipino-Canadians is projected by Statistics Canada to exceed 650,000 by 2017. Filipino Canadians are estimated to have a purchasing power of about $8 billion annually.

  In her congratulatory message, British Columbia Premier Christy Clark said that paper, “will not only serve as a medium to help readers to stay informed about issues that matter to them, but it will also help to enhance a greater sense of community among Filipino Canadians.” Meanwhile Philippine Consul General Jose Ampeso said that its entry into the scene will heighten the competition in this field, no doubt, and expand the choices for the Filipino-Canadian reader which, for us, is an exciting prospect as this opens up opportunities to better serve the community through a border reach and improved and enhanced coverage of events.” Representatives from the Philippine Daily Inquirer were invited as well as several associations in the Greater Vancouver area.     Filipinos were gathered once again in this momentous event, and “everyone was talking about it,” said a guest. ■ PHOTOS BY ART VIRAY AND ANGELO SIGLOS




Churches in the North Visita Iglesia: A Journey to the Divine

BY SUNSHINE F. YU Northern Living Three hundred years of Spanish rule in the Philippines left a legacy of deep-seated faith in the Roman Catholic Church and its rich tradition of rituals and festivities. Modern city life may have blurred the practice of some of the more old-fashioned traditions, but these history-rich edifices continue to stand proud as beacons of divine light. Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception (Manila Metropolitan Cathedral) One of the more recognizable structures within the famed walled city of Intramuros, the Manila Cathedral (as it is commonly known) is more than an architectural treasure and a popular wedding site—it is also the seat of the Archdiocese of Manila. Daily masses are held in the early morning and at noon; morning masses and an evening mass are celebrated on Sundays. There are special blessings every first sunday of the month for pregnant women and couples wanting to have children; for birthday and anniversary celebrations, every second Sunday of the month; and for parents with their babies and children, every fourth Sunday of the month. Shrine of Mary, Queen of Peace, Our Lady of EDSA (EDSA Shrine) Nicknamed the EDSA Shrine for its location and place in Philippine history, the Shrine of Mary, Queen of Peace stands at the entrance of a busy shopping mall and city office district. The Shrine serves office people, shoppers, and nearby residents with daily noon masses. In between mass hours, the chapel is open to provide a little bit of an urban sanctuary and a quiet, solemn space for prayer.

Shrine of Mary, Queen of Peace, Our Lady of EDSA (EDSA Shrine)

National Shrine of St. Jude Thaddeus

Church of the Gesu

Church of the Gesu The Ateneo de Manila University’s landmark chapel rests within the university campus. While its white, triangular structure, with a crucifix on the spire, gives the church a modern look, its airy and uncluttered interior nonetheless inspires quiet contemplation. Its altar crucifix is unique in that it features an image of Jesus looking towards the heavens rather than the customary bowed head. Although there are no daily masses in the church, it is open all day for those seeking some time for the gift of a communion with an ever-present God. St. Pio of Pietrelcina Chapel St. Pio of Pietrelcina Chapel sits just a little off the beaten path—a stone’s throw away from its bustling neighbor, Eastwood City in Libis. The chapel is well-known for prayers for miracles—healing of the sick, in particular. Petitions and requests for the Saint’s intercessions are welcome. Daily devotions of rosary and novena to St. Pio are held on weekdays (except Wednesdays), followed by a mass and the veneration of relics of St. Pio. Letters of gratitude and inspiring testimonials, including news anchors Julius and Tintin Babao’s answered prayer for a second child, will help give courage and support to all who go through serious ailments and ordeals, physical or otherwise. National Shrine of St. Jude Thaddeus St. Jude Thaddeus is widely known as the Patron Saint of the Hopeless and Impossible. The chapel, now a National Shrine dedicated to him, crowds with devotees on his novena day,

Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception (Manila Metropolitan Cathedral)

St. Pio of Pietrelcina Chapel

Thursday. It was said that the Philippines’ Queen of All Media and presidential sister Kris Aquino once spent devotions to St. Jude to join show business. The National Shrine of St. Jude Thaddeus is a next-door neighbor to Malacañang Palace and is in the vicinity of the University Belt. No longer simply interceding for hopeless and impossible causes, St. Jude is also a favorite and powerful intercessor of visa application hopefuls, students expecting to graduate, and graduates intending to pass certifications in board examinations. Novena masses are held on the hour until noon, and again in the evening beginning at 6:00 until 8:00 on Thursdays. ■

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Doggie Diagnosis Prevent debilitating diseases by learning how to identify the symptoms of common canine illnesses BY: ARTHUR DE LUZURIAGA Southern Living As true members of the family, our canine companions leave us distraught when they feel even just slightly under the weather. They are such an integral part of our lives that their well-being truly affects our own. Unfortunately, it is inevitable that our dogs get sick at some point in their lives. All the vaccines we give and precautions we take provide no guarantee that they will be free from viruses and other forms of illnesses. The only comfort we can truly rely on is in being familiar with the symptoms our dog may exhibit so that early care may be properly and timely administered.   Just like with children, much can be avoided by regular check-ups and vitamin intake. In addition to the normal vaccinations, supplements can greatly help in building your dog’s immune system and resistance to sicknesses. There are currently plenty of brands and types of vitamins you can choose from. Knowing the basics, however, is still the best way to ensure that your dog is getting the right ones. Generally, your dog needs vitamin B12 for his appetite, vitamin C to build his immune system, vitamin E to maintain his footpads, and calcium for good bone development, to name a few. While these supplements are generally standard, specific breeds may need different dosages as they may be more inclined to certain types of ailments. It must be noted that learning the most basic and common canine illnesses, as well as their behavioral manifestations, requires the owner to know his dog well enough in order to tell if he (the dog) is acting in a manner inconsistent with his normal behavior .


What it is: The most normal types of worms found in dogs are tapeworms and round worms. They are usually obtained from being in contact in any way to an infected dog’s feces or transmitted through fleas. Symptoms: Hot, dry nose; weakness; watery eyes; pale lips and gums; foul breathe; hacking cough; pimply condition of the skin; shedding of the coat; loss of appetite; bloated stomach. Treatment: Consult the veterinarian. There are several types of worms that may infect your dog and regular de-worming medicine and treatment must be administered.

Why breastfeed?

Two moms share from experience the benefits of nursing baby BY: SAMANTHA RAMOS-ZARAGOZA Southern Living We have come to an age where we realize the benefits of going back to our roots. From utilizing eco-friendly products to eating organic food or supporting Mother Nature - related causes, we now see how “natural” is the way to go.   The same goes with breastfeeding. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), breastfeeding is the best source of nourishment for infants and young children. It is an effective way to ensure child’s health and survival. With advantage in mind, it is clear why most moms prefer to feed their babies the milk that is finest for their infants’ growing needs.   Among those moms are breastfeeding advocate Denise Gonzales of Indigo Babies and marketing manager Felicia Cho of Green Cross Vietnam. Denise breastfed her son Benny until he was 2 years and 10 months old. She says, “I found it to be the best way to give my son what he needed. It was organic, available, convenient, and free from the heavens!” Felicia, on the other hand, breastfed her daughter Danielle for 7 months “I’ve read a lot of books and heard a lot of stories pointing out the benefits of breastfeeding, and this convinced me to give it a try. It‘s not easy at first but it gets easier once you are settled in a good routine, she explains.”   Denise and Felicia agree on the benefits of breastfeeding. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health points out how breastfeeding protects babies, benefits mothers, and contributes to society. “For me, a stronger immune system and a lowered risk of certain diseases were good enough reasons to get me into breastfeeding, especially since asthma and allergy run in our family. As for moms, there’s the reduced risk of breast and ovarian cancer and the joy of bonding and knowing that you are giving the best to your child,” says Felicia. “My son never got a bad tummy or had to be hospitalized. He really is healthier than those that weren’t breastfed. Breastfeeding makes brilliant babies and Benny is surely one of them!” adds Denise.   Breastfeeding comes with its challenges too. Teething and biting, painful breasts, sore nipples, and feeding or pumping in public are just some of the dilemmas that come with breastfeeding. Denise advises consulting a lactation specialist for proper positioning, latching, and food intake. As for breastfeeding in public, Denise has this to say “We

are blessed to have awesome covers and shawls available so ‘yummymummies’ can nurse everywhere and. Felicia was also able to work around this particular ordeal, after she relates, “I had to go back to work two months after giving birth so finding a decent and comfortable place to pump milk, especially when I have meetings outside the office, was a challenge. I set my designated parking spaces in areas I frequent and I always bring along big car shades and bed sheets to cover all sides of the car.”   Indeed, every mom should consider breastfeeding as it is not only natural but also highly beneficial. “Breastfeeding is a new skill that you and your baby are learning together, so be patient with each other and go with the flow. There are a lot of helpful people and resources out there so make use of them.Start reading up on breastfeeding when you are pregnant so you have time to think and decide what is best for you and your baby. She also cautions: “ Be wary of advice from uninspired people and doctors… There are still some out there that do not encourage breastfeeding! But there are orgs like Latch and La Leche League that are very supportive. I am also here for new moms who need help. I am more than willing to share my stories and give tips and advice,” recommends Denise. “Your milk is a blessing that only you can give to your child,” ends Felicia. 1. Latch and position are key so do contact a lactation specialist or therapist to help you with this. 2. Breastfeeding works by supply and demand, so as long as there is a baby that wants your milk, your awesome body will make milk! This is why you should not give any other liquid (even water, vitamins, and formula) up to 6 months. 3. Trust your instinct and your heart—you are your child’s mom, and don’t let anyone else make you feel otherwise. Determination, perseverance, and patience are key! You can do it, yummymummy!! Relax and be comfortable. Think happy thoughts. ■


What it is: They can be caused by several things, from fleacaused dermatitis to food allergies. Symptoms: Itching, discoloration of the skin, coughing, sneezing, wheezing, mucus discharge, vomiting, diarrhea Treatment: Different types of allergies have different treatments. What’s more, an allergic reaction may be a sign of a more serious illnesses. Consulting the veterinarian is advised despite the simplest of symptoms. Numerous tests may be conducted to narrow down if it is truly an allergy, and what specific type it is.


What it is: Blood blisters that form on the dog’s ear. Symptoms: Excessive scratching due to irritation. Treatment: Consult the veterinarian. This particular illness usually involves several steps that can be quite costly. A veterinarian is needed to give the appropriate medical treatment.


What it is: Common to many mammals, this disease is transmitted through the saliva of the infected animal. Symptoms: Excessive drooling; aggression; sudden mood changes; paralysis.

Treatment: Unfortunately, there is no treatment for rabies. The only thing the owner can do is to make sure the dog has regular rabies shots to prevent the onset of the disease.


What it is: Being overweight is not the only implication of obesity. Generally, obesity is a sign that your pet’s diet is unbalanced. If left unchecked, it can lead to diabetes, heart problems, and arthritis.

Symptoms: Being overweight. Different breeds have different weight standards. It is best to research on the ideal weight and height of your pet to find the proper gauge. Treatment: Reduce calorie intake, increased exercise. ■ Resources:



Philippine Canadian Inquirer Issue #2