I N V E S T O R
Combining entrepreneurship and invention to save lives â€“ Page 31
Message from the Publishers BOOST-IE can uplift the American economy resident Obama recently announced a call to action to bring jobs back to America. We, as The Asian Heritage Society and the magazine ASIA, have an initiative to answer that call. Along with community and academic leaders leaders and experts in business, science and technology, we are inviting entrepreneurial talent in Asia to bring their innovative ideas to us and we will nurture and help turn them into finished products and American businesses. It is our answer to outsourcing, which in the last ten years has shifted thousands of low-paying jobs from America to countries like China and India. We can’t fault companies shifting production to areas where it can be done considerably cheaper. Those jobs, in all likelihood, will not return to America. However, we are recruiting a different commodity – talent – and encouraging that talent to build their dreams here.
The initiative to do this is BOOST-IE™ (Business, Organization, Opportunity, Science and Technology in support of Innovation and Entrepreneurship) to help talented entrepreneurs develop and launch new industries and products in fields of the future while they learn all facets of doing business in America. We call this “insourcing,” a word we coined in August of 2011. BOOST-IE is also the title for a new magazine we are launching and previewing in this issue. While the emphasis in ASIA, The Journal of Culture & Commerce, will continue to focus on the cross-fertilization of Asian and Asian American culture, issues and events, along with features on business, beauty and buzz from an array of columnists, BOOST-IE, the magazine, will provide assistance in those important areas that entrepreneurs need to get their projects off the ground. Each issue, as outlined in this magazine’s supplement, will feature profiles of entrepreneurs, explore the burgeoning areas and disciplines of science and technology, help entrepreneurs organize and promote their businesses and outline a variety of opportunities to prosper. “Outsourcing” as a trend has been a major force in devaluing the American economy. The concept encourages business to hire out tasks they believe can be done better, cheaper and more efficiently. We can’t fault businesses for taking the initiative if it helps turn out a better, more efficient product at a cheaper cost .
See Pages 20-31
However, many of these businesses have gone further to relocate their entire operation outside the U.S. in China, India and now even Russia to escape taxes and circulating their incomes in the U.S. As the President pointed out in his State of the Union address, the tide is changing. The cost of doing business overseas in China, India and elsewhere is increasing and will continue to increase as the middle class grows in these countries, while companies are finding out that outsourcing business to countries in Asia or elsewhere does not save as much as they thought it would. If the President lives up to his promise to end tax breaks for companies who outsource to foreign countries, it will make outsourcing even costlier. The world is flat, and we will always be competing more and more in the global marketplace, not with thousands but with millions. We can’t change that, but we can create a new kind of excitement in being the starting point for new ideas. BOOST-IE ™ is one of them. With BOOST-IE™ , we are encouraging talent from Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand, the Philippines, India and, yes, China, to bring their best ideas to America and we will help them create a prototype and launch their product – with one proviso: What’s created here stays here so that the slogan “Made In America” can mean something again. If you want to learn more, email us at email@example.com
– Leonard Novarro and Rosalynn Carmen
Vol. 11, Issue No. 2, Feb. 26-March 18, 2012/ Published by Asia Media America/ 619-683-7822/ firstname.lastname@example.org 2 ASIA
When Vienne Cheung turned her back on the corporate world to launch a hosiery line, her personal stock went thigh high.
See Pages 26-27
Hong Kong, Asia’s entrepreneurial powerhouse, stalled by a drifting economy, reinvents itself. See Pages 4-5.
BEAUTY: Seeing eye to eye with feng shui expert Alice Inoue is one way to get baby sleeping softly. See Page 34. BIZ: Take stock of your pocketbook – and life. Dump those
When the President calls, you come. UCSD’s Dr. Shu Chien discusses sharing the stage with Barack Obama. See Pages 28-29.
cigarettes and save both, says Jason Alderman. See Page 32.
BUZZ: Republicans, move over for a true second party and let’s call it Republican, according to Tom Friedman. See Page 38.
The art of seduction can be awfully sweet, says Betty Guy-Wills. See Page 33.
BUZZ: ENOUGH SAID! Can overselling kill a good idea? Ask Wayne Chan. See Page 40. BUZZ: Jeremy Lin has created a buzz. Now can he live up to it? See Page 39. THE LIGHTER SIDE: Our nation’s cartoonists help us cope with the good, bad and ugly. See Page 44.
Feb.26-March 18, 2012 ASIA 3
Hong Kong Wants You
Outsourcing leader makes some bold moves BY LEONARD NOVARRO
othing catches Hong Kong better than its own brand – a dragon with flowing ribbons of blue, green and red. Since its emergence as a financial center after the Communist takeover of China in 1950, through its transition as a major gateway to the mainland after the British relinquished control in 1997, the island of 7 million people known as “Asia’s World City,” has been in constant flux. Through it all, it has never lost its entrepreneurial spirit, symbolized by flowing ribbons evoking the blueness of an endless horizon, the green of a sustainable environment and the strength and the “red” character of its “can do” spirit. Once synonymous with the word “outsourcing,” Hong Kong’s preeminent position has been supplanted by the mainland, causing it to shift its emphasis from manufacturing to securing investment capital. “We have plenty of money for
investment,” said Hong Kong Commissioner Donald C.K. Tong, in San Diego recently to meet with business leaders. With $250 billion handled by the island state’s banks, “I encourage San Diego to take advantage,” he said in an interview, during a break in a luncheon hosted by the Hong Kong Association of San Diego. Hong Kong is guided by the principle of “one country, two systems," so it has a different political system from mainland China. The “Basic Law of Hong Kong,” the state’s constitutional document, says Hong Kong shall have a "high degree of autonomy,” and that was the key ingredient Tong came to town to sell. This independence made it possible for Hong Kong to emerge last year as the world’s largest IPO market and a venture capital center for budding industries. Hong Kong last year jumped from fourth place, passing London and New York, to earn the top spot in the World Economic Forum Financial Development Index, which rates 60 countries and
regions on several financial indicators, including access to capital, business environment, financial services, transparency and non-banking services among them. Singapore currently ranks fourth. Hong Kong remains the major access to mainland China – “We can cut down the cost of doing business in China considerably,” Tong explained – but these days, the government wants to be viewed as more. Vibrant entrepreneurial activity throughout Asia is positioning Hong Kong as the “go to” partner for American businesses wanting to get a foothold in in emerging Asian industries as well as launching new industries of its own. While Hong Kong has experienced fallout from the flagging economies of the United states and Europe – with its GDP dipping from 5 percent to 1-3 percent last year, Tong says the economy there is rebounding with a 3.3. unemployment rate being the best in the world. He pegs growth this year in the range of 4-6 percent. Thus, he
added, Hong Kong is ripe for capital investment in new industries, including one not typically associated with Asian markets – wine. “Wine trading is becoming a $1.1 billion industry. Hong Kong is the third largest market for U.S. wine,” said Tong. “Why not start a wine industry in Hong Kong?” Hong Kong is also making an extra effort this year to push tourism. “Never put all your eggs in one basket. So that’s why we are expanding and not just doing manufacturing, said Tong,” explaining the region’s emphasis on what it calls “the four pillars” – launching IPOs, serving as a financial hub, boosting tourism and becoming the world’s No. 1 wine market. The region is still dedicated to forging collaborations and partnerships in providing access to mainland China, which remains the No. 1 manufacturer and consumer in the region. “China is like a big Boeing jet,” said Tong. “Hong Kong is one important engine. You can’t fly a jet with one engine.” Feb. 26-March 18, 2012 ASIA 5
Outsourcing: Pros and cons More companies face more difficult decisions • Less Liability – Contractual obligations place the onus on the provided to get the job done accorsing to requirements • Staffing – The pool of a third party provided is much larger than in-house resources. • Management – Meeting a strict deadline may require additional help, which may not be readily available in-house. • Flexibility – While the outsources manager is expected to operate the resources, company officials are freer to devote time to expansion and outside issues affecting competition.
othing is as it is cut out to be, goes the saying. And nowhere is that truer than in outsourcing. For 15 years, farming out lowskilled jobs and relocating countries outside the United states have been heralded by organizations such as the Outsourcing Institute as the only way to meet the challenges of the new global marketplace. While some factors support that notion, more are not. Outsourcing is a process in which a company contracts with a provided outside the company to perform a particular service that might be performed in-house.
President Obama, in his state of the Union address, and in meetings with American leaders, has issued a call to reverse the trend many see as bleeding the American economy. While the rush to outsourcing has been popular with many American companies looking to save money by having low-skilled functions in billing and sales performed by workers in English speaking countries such as India and the Philippines. Meanwhile, China, Mexico and now Vietnam have emerged as manufacturing centers because of their abundant supply of cheap labor. However, with the rise of a middle class in those countries, labor is becoming more expensive. At the same time, the Obama administration is pushing for changes in the U.S. tax code that will benefit industries that remain in America and remove measures that protect businesses 6 ASIA Feb. 26-March 18, 2012
that outsource. How significant are the benefits and do they outweigh the drawbacks? With input from the PRLog, here’s a partial look.
Advantages: • Savings in overhead – Wage differ-
ential between the U.S. and other countries make for cheaper labor. Plus, large companies are not obligated to pay medical and other benefits, payrolls taxes, unemployment insurance and compensation for working overtime since contracts are to fulfill a specific function at a set cost. • Quality – Third party provides, because they are a specialized, usually produce higher quality work. • Access to specialized skills – A third party is usually an expert in the service it provides
• Language – Even though the company and third party may share a language, misunderstanding cultural nuances can sometimes hamper communication • Social responsibility – Offshoring or relocating a company outside the U.S. reduces employment here, escapes tax requirements and recirculates profits in the economy of another nation • Business culture – In house employee are more likely to understand of how business operates in the U.S. • Lack of creativity – While third parties are expected to hold to specific tasks, they are not called upon to provide creative input or solve in-house problems. • Loss of confidentiality – Company secrets or proprietary information • Loss of direct management – The further away geographically, the more difficult it is to control deliverables. • Divided attention – The outsource provider does not work exclusively for one customer but for many.
Feb. 26-March 18, 2012 ASIA 7
Becoming a citizen: Forum provides impetus By New America Media SAN FRANCISCO – This city last week hosted the first national Chinese-language public engagement forum, in which federal immigration officials answered questions in Mandarin and Cantonese about the U.S. naturalization process, aimed at encouraging more Chinese immigrants to become U.S. citizens. The forum included officials from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in partnership with the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. New America Media news anchor Odette Keeley spoke to Daphne Kwok, who chairs the President’s Advisory Commission on AAPIs about the forum and its importance. Keeley: Why did the commission and USCIS officials feel the impetus at this point in time to do this program in Chinese? Kwok: Citizenship has long been a pressing issue for the AAPI community. According to recent Department of Homeland Security estimates, over 1 million AAPI legal permanent residents are eligible to naturalize...According to the USCIS, this is part of an ongoing effort to reach the diverse communities it serves. In 2010 and 2011, USCIS began a national engagement series in Spanish called “Enlaces” to meet the needs of the Spanish-speaking community, which comprises the largest population of non-native English speakers that come before the agency. Chinese is the second most common language, and as such, Jiao Liú sessions are a natural next step. Keeley: Is this election year a factor in driving the commission and immigration officials to encourage Chinese immigrants to become citizens? Kwok: According to the USCIS, it is not a primary factor. The agency explains, while citizenship is the primary topic for 8 ASIA Feb. 26-March 18, 2012
the first, USCIS plans to focus on other areas of immigration benefits in the coming months. Naturalization is one of the areas where USCIS does the most work, receives the most inquiries and processes the most cases. We at the commission and USCIS, expect [to] meet the information needs of a large percentage of the population we are aiming to reach with this engagement. Keeley: What kind of community and Chinese-media outreach did the commission and the USCIS undertake to let community members know across the country of this series of public engagements? What kind of response did you receive? Kwok: The USCIS reached out to the Chinese-American community through the media, stakeholders and the general public at large via the uscis.gov website… The USCIS’s role is to serve as the official source for citizenship information and resources so that individuals can make an informed decision, and to ensure that those permanent residents who choose to apply for citizenship are supported during the process. Keeley: What has the commission and the USCIS found out in terms of the most difficult obstacles to understanding and accomplishing the U.S. naturalization process for Chinese Americans, especially those who are not fluent in the English language? Kwok: The USCIS is committed to supporting those on the path to citizenship with free and easy-to-use information resources that help immigrants navigate the steps in the naturalization process. For non-native English speakers, regardless of specific nationality, one of the most relevant issues is preparing for the naturalization eligibility interviews and civics and English reading and writing tests. USCIS provides information in Chinese to assist applicants through the process.
Republican candidates speak out on China (Editor’s Note: The following opening is part of a report in the Los Angeles Times on the visit of China Vice President Xi Jinping to the United States. The report was shared by the White House) The Vice Presidents – Joe Biden and Xi Jinping – sat down with a group of governors from the U.S. and China in a conference room at Disney Hall to talk about trade and other economic issues. Before the forum began, Biden, Xi and California Gov. Jerry Brown were given a tour of the main amphitheater at Disney Hall by its architect, Frank Gehry. Brown began by saying that good will generated on Xi’s trip must be translated into more concrete gains. “The good will that is generated has to be made real and operational,” he said. Biden said increased trade with China can help lift America out of its economic doldrums. “It’s all about exports,” he said, noting that trade with China has increased by 200 percent in California and more than 400% in Illinois. But with the opportunities, there are also “impediments,” Biden said. “There are problems. We’re going to overcome them.” Xi said his five-day trip to the U.S. had laid the groundwork for more cooperation. “A whole year’s work depends on a good spring,” he said, quoting a Chinese proverb. He said that at the afternoon meeting, he hoped to “sow the seeds” for more growth in trade between the nations. The relationship between the U.S. and China is an important one for the future. We know how President Obama and his Administration feels about that. What about the leading Republican candidates opposing him? What are their views? The following are taken from public statements made by the candidates. NEWT GINGRICH He favors promoting economic ties while taking a strong stand against human rights abuses in China and elsewhere (ABC). "We should be pressuring everywhere," he said, "including Russia, including China, including Cuba. We should be pushing steadily and saying,
'America stands for freedom.'" He also advocates student exchanges and tourism. He told PBS, "If the Chinese people and the American people end up as friends we will have a safer, freer and more prosperous planet." On the Fox program Hannity, Gingrich argued that the United States should worry more about itself than about China's policies. "If we do the right things in America, we can compete with China and India for the next 100 years," he said. RON PAUL Paul, from Texas, supports free trade with China and noninterference with China's internal affairs. "We're much better off talking to the Chinese and trading with the Chinese," Paul says. He is skeptical that trade imbalances between the United States and China can be addressed by strengthening the yuan relative to the dollar. Opposing the Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act, which aimed to crack down on countries like China with undervalued currencies, he said lawmakers needed to consider the benefits of U.S.China trade, "one of which is that American consumers benefit from lowerpriced goods. Adopting the policy urged by supporters of this bill would cause consumer prices to increase, thus reducing consumers' wealth." In December 2010, Paul opposed a resolution condemning China's crackdown on Nobel Prize - winning Chinese democracy advocate Liu Xiaobo. "I do not believe it is our place, as members of the U.S. Congress, to dictate internal policy to the Chinese government," he said on the House floor.
MITT ROMNEY He promotes a U.S. policy toward China that encourages "Beijing to embark on a course that makes conflict less likely and continues to allow cooperation with the United States, economic opportunity, and democratic freedom to flourish across East Asia." He advocates strong military capability in the Pacific, deepening cooperation with India and other regional allies, a strong defense of human rights, and incentivizing China to pursue fair free trade policies. In an op-ed in the Washington Post in October 2011, Romney wrote that China systematically exploits other economies by enabling theft of intellectual property, and favoring and subsidizing domestic producers. In an October 2011 Republican debate Romney said as president he would issue an executive order declaring China a currency manipulator. In the Republican foreign policy debate in November 2011, Romney said the United States has leverage over China that it could use to demand better trading terms. RICK SANTORUM Santorum sees China as part of a "gathering storm" of security threats facing the United States, including Iran and Venezuela, he told Secure Freedom Radio in June 2011. He would like to see the United States take a stronger stand with China and wants to rebuild the United States so that it can be a stronger player on the world stage. In an October 2011 Republican debate, Santorum said in reference to trade issues with China, "I don't want to go to a trade war, I want to beat China."
Feb. 26-March 18, 2012 ASIA 9
10 ASIA Feb. 26-March 18,2012
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BOOST-IE It can change your future. It will build your dream Feb. 26-March 18, 2012 ASIA 11
Thai American Association of San Diego
Sunday, March 18, 2012 (2.00 pm Č‚ 5.00 pm) Wat BuddhajakraMongkolratanaram 139 W. 11th Avenue, Escondido, CA 92025 Hosted by: Thai American Association of San Diego (TAASD) Sponsored by: Dr. Charles Â‹Â—ČˆÂ‘ÂŽÂ—Â?Â–Â‡Â‡Â”Â•
PROGRAM ĎÍ˜ĎŻĎŹĆ‰ĹľÍťĹ˝ĹľĆ‰ĹŻĹ?ĹľÄžĹśĆšÄ‚ĆŒÇ‡ĹŻĹ?Ĺ?ĹšĆšĹŻĆľĹśÄ?ĹšÄ‚ĹśÄšĆŒÄžÄ¨ĆŒÄžĆ?ĹšĹľÄžĹśĆš 1.30 pm Í´ 2.30 pm ÍťZÄžĹ?Ĺ?Ć?ĆšĆŒÄ‚ĆšĹ?Ĺ˝ĹśÄ‚ĹśÄšĹ˝ĹľĹľĆľĹśĹ?ĆšÇ‡^ÄžĆŒÇ€Ĺ?Ä?ÄžEÄžĆšÇ Ĺ˝ĆŒĹŹĹ?ĹśĹ? 2.30 pm Í´ 3.00 pm ÍťtĹšÄ‚ĆšĹ?Ć?Íž,ÄžĆ‰Ä‚ĆšĹ?ĆšĹ?Ć?Í&#x;Í? - presented by Dr. Charles Liu 3.00 pm Í´ 5.00 pm Íť,ÄžĆ‰Ä‚ĆšĹ?ĆšĹ?Ć?Blood Test Chronic Hepatitis B is a serious disease and a silent killer in Asian population. Up to 2 million people in the US live with chronic hepatitis B, over half of them are Asian Americans. It is estimated that 1 out of 10 Asian Americans has chronic hepatitis B. About 1 in 4 people chronically infected during childhood may die prematurely from liver cancer or cirrhosis if not treated. Chronic hepatitis B is the cause of 80% of all primary liver cancers. Recent news reported that immunity from the 3 prevention Hepatitis Ć?ĹšĹ˝ĆšĆ?ĆŒÄžÄ?ÄžĹ?Ç€ÄžÄšÄ?ÄžÄ¨Ĺ˝ĆŒÄžĆ?Ä?ĹšĹ˝Ĺ˝ĹŻÄ‚Ĺ?ÄžÄ¨Ĺ˝ĆŒĹŹĹ?ÄšĆ?Ĺ˝ĆŒÄ‚ÄšĆľĹŻĆšÄ‚Ä¨ĆšÄžĆŒĹľÄ‚ĆšĆľĆŒÄžÄšÄ‚Ĺ?ÄžĹľÄ‚Ç‡ĹśĹ˝ĆšÄ?ÄžÍžÄžĹśĹ˝ĆľĹ?ĹšÍ&#x;Ĺ˝ĆŒ ÍžÄšĹ?Ć?Ä‚Ć‰Ć‰ÄžÄ‚ĆŒÍ&#x;Ç ĹšÄžĹśĆ?Ä?ĆŒÄžÄžĹśĹ?ĹśĹ?Ç Ĺ?ĆšĹšÄ?ĹŻĹ˝Ĺ˝ÄšĆšÄžĆ?ĆšĆ?ĆšĹ˝Ä?ĹšÄžÄ?ĹŹĹ?ĹľĹľĆľĹśĹ?ĆšÇ‡ĹľÄ‚ĹśÇ‡Ç‡ÄžÄ‚ĆŒĆ?Ä‚Ä¨ĆšÄžĆŒĹ?ÄžĆšĆšĹ?ĹśĹ?ĆšĹšÄžĆ?ĹšĹ˝ĆšĆ?Í˜ Dr. Charles Liu was born in Taiwan, but grew up in Thailand and moved to San Diego at age 13.
Dr. Liu is fluent in Thai, English, Chinese, and Taiwanese. For more information, please contact Í´ 760-681-6616, 619-623-1875 email: email@example.com
12 ASIA Feb. 26-March 18, 2012
Feb. 26-March 18, 2012 ASIA 13
THE GOOD The 2011 Kyoto Prize in “Arts and Philosophy” was presented to Tamasaburo Bando V of Japan, an actor who has created his own unique world of traditional Kabuki theater and contributed to many other genres of performing arts. He has delivered acclaimed performances in onnagata (Kabuki female roles), establishing himself as a tate oyama, or leading actor of female roles, in the contemporary Kabuki scene. Tamasaburo has devoted his life to the craft from childhood, making his stage debut at the age of seven. At 19 he was selected to play the role of Princess Shiranui in the Kabuki drama, Chinsetsu Yumiharizuki (“The Moon Like a Drawn Bow”). Beyond the world of Kabuki theater, he has been featured by the Metropolitan Opera and performed with renowned artists from around the globe. His films include Gekashitsu (“The Operating Room”), which he co-wrote and directed, and Andrzej Wajda’s “Nastasja”. Tamasaburo’s artistry makes a multifaceted world come alive in numerous different performing arts.
THE BAD In the amoral milieu of the corporate bottom line, you can't blame Tokyo Electric Power Co. for trying. Tepco owns the sixreactor Fukushima complex that was wrecked by Japan's March 11 earthquake and smashed by the resulting tsunami. It faces more than $350 billion in compensation and clean-up costs, as well as likely prosecution for withholding crucial information that may have prevented some radiation exposures and for operating the giant station after being warned about the inadequacy of its protections against disasters. So, when the company was hauled into Tokyo District Court by the Sunfield Golf Club, which was demanding decontamination of the golf course, Tepco lawyers tried something novel. They claimed the company isn't liable because it no longer "owned" the radioactive poisons that were spewed from its destroyed reactors. "Radioactive materials that scattered and fell from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant belong to individual landowners there, not Tepco," the company said. This stunned the court, the plaintiffs and the press. An attorney for the golf club said, "We are flabbergasted...." – Truthout
THE UGLY According to the New York Times, workers at a factory in Shenzhen, China, owned by Foxconn (a company that manufactures iPhones, iPads and other devices for Apple) regularly work sixteen-hour, seven-day work weeks. They stand until their legs swell and they can’t walk, and they perform repetitive motions on the production line for so long that some permanently lose the use of their hands. To cut costs, managers make workers use cheap chemicals that cause neurological damage. There has been a rash of suicides at the Foxconn plant, and 300 workers recently threatened to jump off the roof over a safety and pay dispute. In short, as one former Apple executive told the New York Times, "Most people would be really disturbed if they saw where their iPhone comes from." Apple has tried to play an important role in ensuring safe and fair working conditions for the workers at its suppliers, like Foxconn. In 2005, the company released a supplier code of conduct, and it performs hundreds of audits each year in China. 14 ASIA Feb. 26-March 18, 2012
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SDG&E Energy Efficiency Programs| OVERVIEW
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About Energy Efficiency Programs
SDG&E is committed to offering San Diego households and businesses a wide range of programs and services to save energy and money, while also helping the environment. Ranging from incentive programs, recommending energy-qualified products for rebates, or practical tips on how to save energy throughout the year, the community can take advantage of the many rewards and short- or long-term energy savings. WEBSITE www.sdge.com www.sdge.com/saveenergy
SDG&E understands that the holiday season can be expensive, and wants to offer practical steps which homeowners and businesses can take now that will save energy and money on their bills.
Saving energy and money is a practice that can be implemented throughout the year, but the holiday season is the perfect time to be more aware of saving so that the new year will start off on a good note, and hopefully with a lower energy bill.
Energy Efficiency Programs include but are not limited to: • Rebates on products such as: attic and home insulation, efficient electric storage water heater, Energy Star-Qualified clothes washer, air conditioner, and dishwasher • Incentives for switching to more energy-efficient appliances and recycling • Energy- and money-saving practical tips
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SDG&E is a regulated public utility that provides safe and reliable energy service to 3.5 million consumers through 1.4 million electric meters and more than 850,000 natural gas meters in San Diego and southern Orange counties. The utility’s area spans 4,100 square miles. SDG&E is committed to creating ways to help our customers save energy and money every day. SDG&E is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego.
Feb. 26-March 18, 2012 ASIA 17
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18 ASIA Feb. 26-March 18, 2012
Feb. 26-March 18, 2012 ASIA 19
Split Thinking xperience shows that companies with a longterm vision always prevail overthose that emphasize short-term profitability, according to Eric Viardot, author of “The Timeless Principles of Successful Business Strategy.” The economic reality of the last four to five years has thrust many companies into unfamiliar territory – bankruptcy. Those that did survive had to turn to government agencies for help. Viardot says the fault is not with the economy but with the managers of these corporations who “forgot the basic strategic rules and steered their companies towards disaster or a total collapse.” Greed and free credit of course underlined most make-a-buck-quick decisions. Coupled with a lack of respect for customer intelligence, not noticing changes in the global marketplace and underestimating risks -failure was inevitable. This should be a lesson for the future. And lesson No. 1 – establish a strategy and be flexible about it.
“By invoking lessons learned from academic research, from works undertaken by large consulting firms on strategy, as well as the practical experiences of companies that have stood the test of time,” business leaders can learn a lot. To the benefit of those who wuill listen, Viardot has chunked together much of the teaching and built on them to create a set of premises that he believes will work to reestablish the footing or create new footing for business in the decade ahead. The smart company, says Viardot, sharp business leaders don’t wait for a sunny economic climate to plan new strategies or to revise old ones. In fact, the best time to take action is when things look flat. That’s precisely when to look for opportunity – in times of 22 ASIA Feb. 26-March 18, 2012
crisis – when those businesses destined to fail do just the opposite. “Sustainable businesses have an ulterior purpose beyond money. For them, profitability is a means but not an end,” writes Viardot. “In fact they know that, apart from financiers and some shareholders, few are in love with profits…To sustain, they envision the world differently and they share that dream with their customers, their employees, future employees and all those who at one time or another are in contact with them.” The key question a business leader must ask: Do I want to make a profit now, or can we wait? If the answer is later, innovation and quality become the priorities. “Experience shows that companies with a long-term vision always prevail over those that emphasize shortterm profitability,” says Viardot. “We have seen recent examples in such industries as automobile, electronics, air transport and banking, to name a few. A grand design is also useful in the short-term to channel energies in the right direction, especially in turbulent periods of growth or crisis.” Such as now. But the situation would be much more complex for large firms that annually recruit several thousand new employees in ten different countries throughout the world. In addition, when they are no longer able to find the right profiles internally, they recruit externally for managers to supervise these new hires. However, these external managers seldom master immediately the culture of the company they have just joined, not any more than the principles and values they need to communicate to their subordinates. This is when the corporate design plays a key role in structuring the behavior and roles of all new employees. Viardot argues that all firms know that when an internal crises arises pitting stakeholders, shareholders and employees against each other, having a “great common purpose” can be a catalyst for bringing people together in a common cause. “Sustainable businesses are those that know how to make good use of economic crises and do not let themselves be destroyed by them,” writes Viardot, adding that the lack of common purpose “can aggravate into fratricidal conflicts in which division directors spend more time quarreling among themselves than fighting against external competitors.” The result is disintegration. Whether a company or business can do more than just continue, but grow and prosper in the long term, “is the result of a dream come true.” Adds Viardot: “ This dream thrills the employees, the investors and the partners of the firm. But this may happen only if it touches customers, since nothing is possible without them.”
Feb. 26-March 18, 2012 ASIA 23
Organize those business cards with a purpose in mind FROM WIKIHOW
5 24 ASIA Feb. 26-March 18, 2012
Contact information is fundamental to networking and business communications. When you receive a business card, take the time to make sure it ends up somewhere that you can find the information again when you need it. Whether you own your own business or just network a lot, by organizing your business cards, you’ll be able to find people quicker, which can lead to more sales and more money in your pocket. Here are some ideas on how to organize your business cards. 1. Look at the business card as soon as you receive it. Reading the business card is a good way to remember someone's name and connect it with their face. The person's title is usually printed on a business card, too, meaning that you have one more clue about who they are and what they do. 2. Have a place to put business cards that you receive. If you carry a notebook or bag with you to meetings, set aside a place in it for business cards. Or, use the second pocket on your own business card carrier to collect cards you receive. Whatever you do, don't stick them in your notes willy-nilly or stuff them in a pocket where they'll go missing or go through the wash. 3. Organize contact information on your computer. When you return from a business lunch, trade show or meeting, immediately put the business cards you received in a safe place, such a desk drawer or something out of the reach of other people is ideal. When you have time, grab all the business cards that have piled up in your desk drawer, and type all of the information into Outlook, Excel, Access or even Word. 4. Use a “Notes” field or column that goes with each business card’s electronic file. Note down any information that wasn't on the card: what they do, what
information or prospects they offered, when you met them, and so on. 5. Create a rating system for great business contacts, so-so or potential business contacts and those that you’ll probably never talk to again. You could use a numbering system: all 1s are great, 2s are so-so and 3s you’ll never talk to, or you could use a creen, yellow and red stoplight system respectively. Use a system you won’t forget so that you can categorize your contacts. 6. Arrange the contacts the way you need them. You could alphabetize by last name, or you can also categorize by alphabetical order of name or company; city where you met the person if you travel often; or by category of industry. This way you can just type in the info you know into a Search box and come up with a list of contacts qualified for your search. Many computer contact organization systems can sort contacts any way you need them and make them searchable, in case you can only remember some part of what's there. If you can use one of these systems, you can save yourself a lot of manual filing. 7. Organize business cards the old-fashioned way. Keep the cards in a Rolodex or business card holder. You can find business card holders in office supply stores. The oldfashioned way, even if it consists of a rubber band in your desk drawer, can be a good backup for the computerized information. 8. Whenever you get a new business card, write down the name of the place where you met the person on the back of the business card within a few days of meeting. This way, you won’t forget. Also jot a brief note on the back about what you talked about. Then when you contact the person later, you can remind him where you met and ask how his kids are doing, or whatever you talked about.
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1-866-993-5028 Call 7 days a week 8am - 11pm EST Promo Code: MB0112 Blockbuster @Home (1 disc at a time): Only available with new qualifying DISH Network service activated between 2/01/12 and 5/20/12. For the first 3 months of your subscription, you receive a bundle of Blockbuster @Home for $5/mo (regularly $10/mo) and your programming package at a promotional bundle price. Promotional prices continue for 3 months provided you subscribe to both components of the bundle and do not downgrade. After 3 months, then-current prices apply to each component (unless a separate promotional price still applies to your programming package). Requires online DISH Network account for discs by mail; broadbandInternet to stream content; HD DVR to stream to TV. Exchange online rentals for free in-store movie rentals at participating Blockbuster stores. Offer not available in Puerto Rico or U.S. Virgin Islands. Streaming to TV and some channels not available with select packages. Digital Home Advantage plan requires 24-month agreement and credit qualification. Cancellation fee of $17.50/month remaining applies if service is terminated before end of agreement. With qualifying packages, Online Bonus credit requires online redemption no later than 45 days from service activation. After applicable promotional period, then-current price will apply. $10/mo HD add-on fee waived for life of current account; requires 24-month agreement, continuous enrollment in AutoPay with Paperless Billing. 3- month premium movie offer value is up to $132; after 3 months then-current price applies unless you downgrade. Free Standard Professional Installation only. Upfront and monthly fees may apply. Prices, packages, programming and offers subject to change without notice. Additional restrictions may apply. Offer available for new and qualified former customers and ends 5/20/12. HBO速, Cinemax速 and related channels and service marks are the property of Home Box Office, Inc. SHOWTIME and related marks are registered trademarks of Showtime Networks Inc., a CBS Company. STARZ and related channels and service marks are property of Starz Entertainment, LLC. All customers are subject to a one-time, non-reundable processing fee. Feb. 26-March 18, 2012 ASIA 25
Fashion Her Way Designer brings a bold look to a dainty garment
BY LEONARD NOVARRO pportunity sometimes comes when you least expect it. For Vienne Cheung, it came with the impending agreement that the governance of Hong Kong would pass from Great Britain to Communist China. With less than 10 years remaining, “everyone was trying to get out of Hong Kong,” recalled Vienne Cheung, who was six years old when her parents emigrated in 1988 to the United States, settling in Massachusetts. The main resource they brought with them was an entrepreneurial spirit. “It was still in my mind – my father having his own business,” recalled Cheung, who nurtured a dream she hoped to achieve as well. Now, that day is here. Take that Hong Kong spirit, mix it with American ingenuity, sprinkle it with a touch of scandal, top it with an Italian flavor and – voila! – you have Vienne Milano. Less than a year old, the company specializing in thigh high stockings in bold colors and designs, to paraphrase “Star Trek,” had boldly gone where no one had gone before. Prior to founding the company, working for others in the corporate world, “I had always been doing fashion,” said Cheung, now 30. “As a girl, I designed dresses and in college interned for a fashion designer in Boston. The idea of starting a fashion business came with a practical approach. “Whenever I’d travel to Europe, I would always bring a lot of fashion accessories back,” she told one interviewer. And that included plenty of stockings “Stockings are a true fashion complement, as they can define the outfit in every occasion. By wearing thigh highs, a woman gains a little glamorous secret that provides her with an extra boost of confidence.” Cheung loved the look of nylon stockings but could not find them to suit her fancy. At the same time, she came across many women who felt the same. For one, exposed legs in the middle of a Massachusetts winter is not that appealing. She solved the problem by incorporating a strong material she calls 3D, making her product suitable for winters in the northeast. The next test – where to manufacture. She chose Milan, after Paris the most fashionably conscious city in Europe, where she had traveled often, to find the material and supplier she needed. Hence the name for her firm. The stockings, which range from $39 to $79 a pair, can be ordered online at viennemilano.com “Pantyhose are very uncomfortable. I wanted to create a product for women to feel elegant and playful and, at the same time, sexy – a product that women can wear in winter and still be stylish and fashionable,” said Cheung., who founded Vienne Milano after spending two years as executive director of ASPIRE (Asian Sisters Participating in Reaching Excellence.) Prior to that, she worked as a web designer for a dot com company. “My career there went from doing design to on-line marketing, then technology,” she recalled. “I loved launching products, but after five years of it in software products, it was not the right fit,” added Cheung, who preferred being more creative. This is not her first attempt at starting her own business. Eight years ago, with a friend, she opened a photo studio. “The biggest lesson I learned was not to go into business with a friend,” she said. Cheung’s fashion ambition was helped along by a venture capitalist firm with a multi-product portfolio. “They allow companies with ideas to bring products to the States and market it to Americans,” Cheung explained. “Most of the products in their portfolio are from Europe – cigars, pharmaceuticals.”
Vienne Cheung in her role as mentor Doing business in Italy is culturally comfortable, said Cheung. “There are a lot of similarities to Asian culture,” she explained. “Loyalty, family and the friends aspect if it are very close to home.” Cheung sees her business doubling in the next year. The only thing that could hold it back is the stigma sometimes attached to stockings as being sexually provocative, unlike Europe, where the undergarment is acceptable in everyday wear. Even though ASPIRE is part of her past, its message motivating Asian women has remained with Cheung, who, on her own, travels through the Northeast mentoring g college and high school students on entrepreneurial careers. “It’s my mission to inspire young Asian girls,” she said.
Feb. 26-March 18, 2012 ASIA 27
Dr. Shu Chien:
His research on the mechanical structure of the cardiovascular system is at the heart of advances tackling this nation’s No. 1 killer Story by Leonard Novarro Photo by Rosalynn Carmen
“Science is the foundation of our economy. The strength of a nation today is no longer judged by how much military strength you have, but by your economic strength” and “the basis of that is science and technology. If you want a strong nation, you have to build science and technology.”
Dr. Shu Chien in his office at UCSD 28 ASIA Feb. 26-March 18, 2012
hen you’ve fled China to escape Communism…when you’ve pioneered the science of bioengineering as well as groundbreaking research on the cardiovascular system… when you’ve served as president of four leading organizations in your field…when your work has been regarded as seminal in your field for almost 50 years …and when your office wall is literally wallpapered in plaques and awards – what does a medal matter? Everything, if you are Dr. Shu Chien, founding director of UCSD’s Institute of Engineering in Medicine, especially if it comes from the president of the United States.
Dr. Chien, a humble man, almost to the point of being shy, with a gentle and genial demeanor, recently recalled the experience of being summoned to the White House in October of last year to be among seven scientists receiving the National Medal of Science in a special ceremony. Third in line to receive the award, Dr. Chien watched his first two colleagues as they fixed stares on the military officer reading each citation. When his turn came, he turned to President Obama and as their eyes met, the citation took on a very special meaning. “It was a great honor and privilege to meet the President and to be so close in a very personal way,” Dr. Chien recalled. “I thanked him for the support he has for science. It is great for our nation to have a leader who emphasizes science.” Calling science “the foundation of our economy,” Dr. Chien added: “The strength of a nation today is no longer
judged by how much military strength you have, but by your economic strength” and “the basis of that is science and technology. If you want a strong nation, you have to build science and technology.” Looking back at 1948, the year his father, a well-known chemist in Beijing, decided to take his family to Taiwan, being there in the White House would have been the furthest thing from his mind. In fact, it was unthinkable. But Taiwan is where the path began. That’s where he met Columbia University cardiovascular physiologist Magnus Gregersen, who invited him to join the faculty of Columbia University in New York. By 1967, with an already established reputation in research, he published three papers in the journal Science, which offered insights into how the blood flows. Richard Skalak, a researcher in the fledgling field of bioengineering, read the articles, contacted Dr. Chien, and it was the beginning of a long collaboration that only ended with Skalak’s death in 1997. Both spent much of their lives studying red blood cells, how they worked, how they delivered oxygen. Eventually, by employing various technologies in relatively new fields such as nanotechnology, biophysics and biomechanics, their work led to an understanding of the physiological paths and mechanisms of the cardiovascular system, as well as how blood cells grow and die. In 1988, Dr. Chien left Columbia for UCSD, where six years later he founded the Department of Bioengineering. Since then he has served as president of the American Physiological Society, Biomedical Engineering Society, Microcirculatory Society and
International Society of Biorheology. Last August, he also received the Asian Heritage Award in the category of health and Medicine. Melding biology, medicine and engineering into a practice of its own, Dr. Chien’s research for the last two decades has focused on the mechanisms by which mechanical forces such as pressure and flow affect blood cell behavior in blood vessels and how they interact with vessel lining, all of which has led to advanced treatment of the nation’s No. 1 killer, heart disease, and other cardiovascularrelated illnesses such as strokes and high blood pressure. “Shu’s work has been so important in showing us the fundamental things that can go wrong in the cardiovascular system, particularly as it applies to disease,” Frank Martin, executive director of the American Physiological Society, told the San Diego Union-Tribune in a story about the medal. Dr. Chien’s work is credited with the establishment of bioengineering as a discipline, in itself, by looking at the human body as a series of engineering mechanisms. Studies in the field eventually led to the invention of advances such as the pacemaker, stents, magnetic resonating machines and artificial joints, to name a few. “Today, bioengineering is becoming very popular,” said Dr. Chien, 80. A corollary of his science award has been recognition from the Chinese and Chinese American communities. “Chinese people here say ‘This is an honor for us.’ I go to China and they say the same thing,” said Dr. Chien. “I am honored to get this award not only for myself but for our community.” Feb. 26-March 18, 2012 ASIA 29
Thinking laterally The power of strategy innovation
n the 1960s Edward DeBono, a British neurologist, introduced the world to the concept of ‘‘lateral thinking.’’ In confronting problems, most of us think “vertically,” or in linear fashion, probing until a solution seems evident. Lateral thinking, at the heart of innovation, however, involves shifting the emphasis somewhere else. While lateral thinking is difficult, it is more rewarding. This method has been termed “serious creativity,” and I is at the heart of innovation. In their book, “The Power of Strategy Innovation,” authors Robert E. Johnston Jr. and J. Douglas Bate contend that innovators have to think about thinking. “Strategic planning in most companies is a process that mere30 ASIA Feb. 26-March 18, 2012
ly extends the previous strategy into the future. Even when senior executives invite ‘out of the box’ thinking, most managers do not know how to go about exploring beyond the existing strategic framework.” So write Johnston and Bate. So how does a leader encourage the kind of true “out-of-thebox” thinking that ends in new and innovative ideas that can not only propel a company or business into the future, but elevate it among its competition? In their book, the authors use as an example the success of the Eli Lilly pharmaceutical company. The company “speculated there could be a dramatic shift in drug discovery and development within infectious disease.” Instead of adjusting to that development, the company decided to look else-
where to its future. While most of Lilly’s product portfolio was targeted to bacterial disease, senior management saw the shift toward viral or fungal diseases and committed to tackling them. John Paton, CEO of Digital First Media, last year began a conference of newspaper executives with this: “As career journalists and managers we have entered a new era where what we know and what we traditionally do has finally found its value in the marketplace, and that value is about zero.” Rather than deconstruct and rethink to create a newspaper strategy that adds new media such as Twitter, Facebook and You tube, to its print base, “there is no general model for newspapers to replace the one the Internet just broke,” he said.
“In the United states our key customers have abandoned us. Now, more Americans get their news via the web…The fact that our industry, with few notable exceptions, does not understand that and continues to plow on by slashing editorial, research, marketing and even sales resources to meet profit expectations is simply stupid.” This, in essence, is the shortterm strategy that ultimately leads to failure, as Johnston and Bate have pointed out. Instead of decrying all the competition filling the Web, says Paton, embrace it: “Understand the crowd’s value and add your value to theirs and turn the crowd from a competitor into a colleague.” That is lateral thinking. That is innovation.
VEST PROTECTOR Entrepreneur’s goal is to save lives
wave came, and only one family member remained. It was not a film or television show everyone was watching, but real life as typhoon Ondoy ripped through the Philippines in
2009. “No one is safe,” thought Danvic Briones, husband and father of two children. With more super typhoons, earthquakes and disasters like the combined earthquake.tsunami that struck Japan a year later, something had to be done. “I was so affected by what I saw, that I made it my personal project to prepare anyone for disaster, no matter how severe,” said Briones. Last year, after many prototypes and sleepless nights, Briones launched his Rescue 72 vest, a floating-receptaclegrab-and-go-vest-bag designed to meet the challenges of climate change and natural disasters. The device combines protection (a flotation feature for typhoons and flash floods) and basic necessities (food, clothing and shelter) in the event of disasters, natural or manmade. Features include a rainhood, durable shoulder strap that can link to the vests of other members of a family or a tree, a pocket radio and cell phone, whistle, strobe light, first aid kit, tool compartment, reflectors, identification holder, adjustable waist strap, groin strap, food compartment, clothes and personal effects bag, water holders and even a five-by-four-byfour tube tent that doubles as ground cover or a dressing room. Rescue72, as the name implies, helps a person survive for 72 hours until help comes. It can also equip rescue workers with the capacity to find, help and assist disaster victims, an invaluable asset to any local government, rescuers and civilians alike. Briones’ most daunting task was finding a pattern maker and manufacturer. He finally found someone specializing in outdoor bags, but he took three months to finish the first prototype. After several refinements (and several prototypes), in a little over a year and a half, the vest was ready for production. His most daunting task these days is making production cost effective. Currently, he relies on a partner in the Philippines, although he’d prefer to find someone closer to his new home, Vancouver, B.C., Canada. Briones, his wife Melissa, an attorney, and their two children, had to move back to the Philippines from San Diego. “Under Section 245i of the Immigration and Nationality Act, we could stay in the U.S., but we couldn’t work. And this very impediment was killing us inside,” said Melsisa Briones. “We could have waited for my immigrant or work petition to be approved, but we weighed this with rosy prospects in the Philippines,” she said. Returning to the Philippines enabled her to obtain a law degree and inspired her husband to go into business for himself. The couple left of their own volition and face a long wait if they are to reapply for entry to the U.S. To his credit, President
Obama, recognizing the loss of immigrant talent like Briones, is trying to relax the law to allow entrepreneurs to enter, create, develop and remain in America, where they may start new industries. For now, Danvic and Melissa Briones, with their children, enjoy permanent residency in Vancouver. “Despite returning to the Philippines, we, of course, wanted The Briones family outside their home opportunities for our children. We know that if they are citizens of a first world country, more doors will open for them. We know this was possible in the U.S. if we could only have waited, but waiting was not an option,” said Danvic. “We were scared most of the time, although we knew we could stay. Not being able to work, not being able to study, not being able to grab opportunities – it could get really tiring living like that. We chose instead to be proactive – to go home and upgrade ourselves,” added his wife. “Besides, if we did not go home, Danvic could not have invented the vest bag. “The product is so important because of climate change,” added Melissa. “Disasters will always be there, and it seems there are more and more happening at the present time. The message is preparedness and the vest gives that. It gives a person better chances of survival, whether from natural or man-made disasters, because it contains the basics – food, clothing, shelter. The plus factor is that it floats.” While global warming advocates contend that water is seeping inland as coastlines disappear, some land masses are disappearing altogether because of the polar ice caps melting. “With the vest, a person increases his chances to save himself, and the chance that he can save another person,” Danvic said. “And because he is prepared, he has presence of mind. When he has presence of mind, he commits less mistakes so, hopefully, he will be alive when rescuers come.” Feb. 26-March 18, 2012 ASIA 31
BIZ/ Save $2,000 a year or more – Quit smoking After four years of coping with a stagnant economy, probably the last thing you want to hear is how important it is to sock away money for a rainy day – you already know that. But hear me out, just in case. Those who struggle with long-term unemployment or under-employment often simply don't have spare cash available to save. Others, worn out by years of being frugal, just want to buy things again. Even as we wait for economic recovery it's still good to remember – or perhaps learn for the first time – why saving is so vital: • You could lose your job or see your wages cut. Most financial experts recommend having at least six to nine months' income saved for emergencies, but even $500 could help bail you out of a sticky situation. • If you're approaching or in retirement, your net worth has probably been hammered by plummeting home and retirement account values in recent years.
32 ASIA Feb. 26-March 18, 2012
Your Money Matters by Jason Alderman
•I f nothing else, you can teach your children good financial habits that will serve them well during hard times. So where can you learn sound savings habits? One great resource is America Saves (www.americasaves.org), a national campaign sponsored by more than 1,000 non-profit, government and corporate organizations. Their goal is to encourage people from all income levels to save money and build personal wealth using their free financial tools, savings services, advice and other resources, including: • A Personal Wealth Estimator that helps you calculate your current net worth and estima This year's America Saves Week, "Set a Goal, Make a Plan, Save Automatically," was slated for February 19-26, 2012.
Here are some great ways to start saving that first $500: • Direct deposit part or all of your federal tax refund into a savings account or savings bond. • Avoid overdraft and late fees by regularly monitoring your bank and credit card accounts. • Brown-bag it to work more often. If you saved $5 a week, you'd be half-way there. • Kick bad habits. Smoking a pack of cigarettes a day might cost $2,000-plus a year. • If you have low-deductible homeowners, renters or auto insurance, consider raising the deductible to $500 or $1,000. Many save 15 to 30 percent or more on their premiums. Saving can be a tough habit to start, but once you're hooked, you'll never go back. (Jason Alderman directs Visa's financial education programs. To Follow Jason Alderman on Twitter: www.twitter.com/PracticalMoney )
BEAUTY/ Looking Good by Betty Guy Wills
Love and seduction
he first Valentines Day was celebrated in England and France during the 14th Century. The date of February 14th was a traditionally the beginning of the mating season for all birds. By the time the 17th Century rolled around it became a practice on this date for lovers to refer to each other as their Valentines. From this reference grew the Valentines Day that we celebrate today. What a better time than NOW to learn about love and seduction. Seduction creates sexual anticipation for both the man and the woman and is many times neglected when people have been dating or sharing the same bedroom for a long period of time. Seduction can be flirting, creating a mood with romantic music with an environment of soft floral fragrances, and low lighting. Caressing and massaging the body,finger and palm kissing and lovingly stroking the back of the neck and arms are truly seductive. Try lightly touching the face,
playing tootsie up and down your partners' leg while dining or giving a coffee kiss by slowly sucking coffee from your partners' mouth into yours. Discreetly squeezing your partners' thigh or crossing your leg over his or hers while sitting side by side in a restaurant will ignite those sparks. Whispering words of love with your lips brushing softly on the ear with tiny licks lures your partner closer to you. Teeny love bites on the ear lobes is really electrifying. These a just a few things to try and more will come to mind as you proceed. The perfect gift if giving sensuous pleasure to your sweetheart. Feed your lover his or her favorite foods like: chocolate dipped strawberries, pineapple chunks, grapes, chocolate truffles, etc., before, during and after making love. Before kissing trace your partner's lips and tongue with your tongue including the corners of the mouth, and just below the lower lip working down the chin and neckâ€Śyou'll feel more sensual
vibes than the famous French kiss. The love act is nature's mechanism to release tension. When there is sexual fulfillment all the energies from tension are freed. Your nerves can send electrifying messages to all your organs, cells and muscles, signaling the blood to notify every single minute cell in the body that you are being loved. A glow illuminates the face and eyes creating your good looks and beauty from within. Cultivate love! If you don't have the time for your Valentine, when will you have the time? Your life can be really busy at times, and you may be the busiest person in the world, but having a loving relationship isn't about having the time, but for you to find the time! When you get a free minute and your" important other" is really busy, you can still devote the time to send a poem, or e-mail a love note or send a text message like "you're da' man!", or" you're my
one and only!" The idea is to prioritize like: a spontaneous meeting, negotiate a compatible time slot, or stay up a bit later that usual for a little "good lovin'". Valentines' day can start right at this moment and with practice can last the whole year through! " Don't fight the feelin"! I guarantee you will keep that smile on your face and be very happy and much healthier! (Betty Guy-Wills is a columnist/writer, consultant and motivational speaker. You may write her at P.O. Box 10713 Beverly Hills CA 90213 ) Feb. 26-March 18, 2012 ASIA 33
Use energy to stimulate your baby’s sleeping oes feng shui apply to children’s computer towers and monitors, televisions, and FENG SHUI rooms or is it just an adult thing?” I power strips. BY ALICE INOUE get this question quite often and Bedrooms should be "yin" or quiet. Light, despite what many people may think, children mirrors, which reflect light, and aquariums, founare even more sensitive to the energy in a home than tains, and electronic buzzing, can create "yang" or lively adults are. energy in a bedroom, making it harder to sleep peacefully. Most of us know that giving children a lot of What do your children see every day when they wake sugar or caffeine makes them hyper and that when up? Look at your children’s room through their eyes and children are hot and uncomfortable, they become irridecorate it with comforting items that represent support, table, but we often ignore the effects of environmenunity and security—happy family photos and uplifting tal energy on children’s behavior and emotional wellimages. being. Clutter creates an energetic disruption, and for children In feng shui, energetic stimulation, although inviswho study in their bedroom, it is distracting and hinders ible, has a tangible effect on children’s thoughts, attifocus. Make it easy for your children to clean up after tude, health, and work habits. The same way a remote control emits an themselves by creating storage space for toys and books. invisible signal that causes a television to react, the things in our enviUse bright colors for play areas, but pastel colors are best for the ronment emit invisible signals to which we react. bedroom. Energizing and bold bright colors, especially red, can create Your child’s sleeping habits may be an indication that his or her excess energy, making it difficult to fall asleep. Creating a comfortbedroom is energetically uncomfortable. So if you find your son or able, supportive bedroom makes for a good night’s rest, which makes daughter in bed with you more often than not, follow these guidelines for a refreshed, healthy child, who just may grow up to be a happier to help your child develop in the most positive way. adult! Sleeping position is important. In feng shui, how your children are positioned in the bedroom is related to how they learn to position (Alice Inoue is a life guide that uses the modalities of feng shui, themselves in life. The better the position, the more empowered they astrology and spirituality in her work. Her offerings include awardfeel. winning, mind-body-spirit themed books, as well as a series DVD's. For more information visit www.aliceinspired.com.) • Position the bed as far from bedroom door as possible, but place it so that the child can easily see the door. • The headboard is best placed against a solid wall. If it is against a window, make sure the window has drapes, and draw the drapes at night. • Leave room to walk around each side of the bed (don't push one side against the wall). Bunk beds are great space savers, but feng shui doesn’t promote using them. The child on the bottom is confined by the energy of the top bed “pressing down” on him or her, which is thought to limit natural expression and expansion in life. Energetically, the child on the top bunk is so far from the ground that stability and security may become issues. EMFs are harsh energies emitted by electronic devices. They can disrupt sleep, so keep your child’s body at least two feet away from
34 ASIA Feb. 26-March 18, 2012
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Feb. 26-March 18, 2012 ASIA 37
Buzz/ What we need is a second party BY THOMAS FRIEDMAN
atching the Republican Party struggling to agree on a presidential candidate, one wonders whether the G.O.P. shouldn’t just sit this election out — just give 2012 a pass. You know how in Scrabble sometimes you look at your seven letters and you’ve got only vowels that spell nothing? What do you do? You go back to the pile. You throw your letters back and hope to pick up better ones to work with. That’s what Republican primary voters seem to be doing. They just keep going back to the pile but still coming up with only vowels that spell nothing. There’s a reason for that: Their pile is out of date. The party has let itself become the captive of conflicting ideological bases: anti-abortion advocates, anti-immigration activists, social conservatives worried about the sanctity of marriage, libertarians who want to shrink government, and anti-tax advocates who want to drown government in a bathtub. Sorry, but you can’t address the great challenges America faces today with that incoherent mix of hardened positions. I’ve argued that maybe we need a third party to break open our political system. But that’s a long shot. What we definitely and urgently need is a second party — a coherent Republican opposition that is offering constructive conservative proposals on the key issues and is ready for strategic compromises to advance its interests and those of the country. Without that, the best of the Democrats — who have been willing to compromise — have no partners and the worst have a free pass for their own magical thinking. Since such a transformed Republican Party is highly unlikely, maybe the best thing would be for it to get crushed in this election and forced into a fundamental rethink — something the Democrats had to go through when they lost three in a row between 1980 and 1988. We need a “Different Kind of Republican” the way Bill Clinton gave us a “Different Kind of Democrat.” Because when I look at America’s three greatest challenges today, I don’t see the Republican candidates offering realistic answers to any of them. The first is responding to the challenges and opportunities of an era in which globalization and the information technology revolution have dramatically intensified, creating a hyperconnected world. This is a world in which education, innovation and talent will be rewarded more than ever. This is a world in which there will be no more “developed” and “developing countries,” but only HIEs (high-imagination-enabling countries) and LIEs (low-imagination-enabling countries). And this is a world that America is hard-wired to thrive in —
38 ASIA Feb. 26-March 18, 2012
provided we invest in better infrastructure, postsecondary education for all, more talented immigrants, regulations that incentivize risk-taking and prevent recklessness, and government-financed research to push out the boundaries of science and let our venture capitalists pluck the best flowers. There is no way we can thrive in this era without this kind of public-private partnership. We need strong government, but limited government, which enables our companies and individuals to compete globally. It’s the kind of public-private partnership that Republicans like Dwight Eisenhower and George H.W. Bush embraced. The second of our great long-term challenges are our huge debt and entitlement obligations. They can’t be fixed without raising and reforming taxes and trimming entitlements and defense. We absolutely cannot just cut entitlements and defense. That would imperil the personal security and national security of every American. We must also reform taxes to raise more revenues. But when all the Republican candidates last year said they would not accept a deal with Democrats that involved even $1 in tax increases in return for $10 in spending cuts, the G.O.P. cut itself off from reality. It became a radical party, not a conservative one. And for the candidates to wrap themselves in a cartoon version of Ronald Reagan — a real conservative who raised taxes, including the gasoline tax, when he discovered his own cuts had gone too far — is fraudulent. Our third great challenge is how we power our future — without dangerously polluting and warming the earth — as the global population grows from 7 billion to 9 billion people by 2050, and more and more of them want to drive, eat and live like Americans. Two billion more people who want to live like us? We can’t drill our way out of that challenge, which is why energy efficiency and clean power will be the next great global industry. Real conservatives — like Richard Nixon, the father of the Environmental Protection Agency, and George H.W. Bush, the author of the first cap-and-trade deal to curb acid rain — believe in conserving. The current Republican candidates are so captured by the oil and coal lobbies that they can’t think seriously about this huge opportunity for energy innovation. Until the G.O.P. stops being radical and returns to being conservative, it won’t provide what the country needs most now — competition — competition with Democrats on the issues that will determine whether we thrive in the 21st century. We need to hear conservative fiscal policies, energy policies, immigration policies and public-private partnership concepts — not radical ones. Would somebody please restore our second party? The country is starved for a grown-up debate.
Can Jeremy Lin finally bury Long Duk Dong? BY KY PHONG PAUL TRAN New America Media
op culture traditionally has painted Asians as awkward, unathletic and never the leading man, like Long Duk Dong from a 1980s film. In just a week, Jeremy Lin has shattered the stereotype. Since he burst into the national consciousness just a week ago, basketball sensation and New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin has proved that he’s just not any old underdog story. His is a very specific one. It leads me to a scene in the film “White Men Can’t Jump” where Wesley Snipes tells Woody Harrelson, “You can listen to Jimi (Hendrix), but you can't hear him.” Because to “hear” the story of Jeremy Lin, you have to go back to 1984 ― four years before Jeremy was even born ― and a beloved film by John Hughes called “Sixteen Candles.” It’s a cutesy high school drama with quintessential 1980s actors Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall. Except, for no reason other than as racist comic relief, Hughes inserts the nightmare image of an Asian male foreign exchange student from an un-named Asian country (and thus all of them). The character’s name is Long Duk Dong, and he alternates between being goofy, accented and clueless, but always, always, always lusting after “American” girls.
To truly appreciate and understand the joy of what Jeremy Lin is doing right now, to know why so many of us Asian American males are wearing his jersey and chanting his name, you had to have cringed as that gong sounded whenever Long Duk Dong came into a scene. You had to be called his name at school and pretend it didn’t hurt and then laugh along with your “friends.” You had to let that shame burn inside you until it bordered on self-loathing. You had to bear the cross of the “Donger.” And what is that cross? Historically throughout American pop culture, it alternates between never being depicted and thus never existing OR being depicted in the most humiliating and emasculating light possible. It means you can never be the lead but always the sidekick (Kato, Sulu, Mike Chang). To create an import culture car and film franchise only to be relegated into a prop or a villain (The Fast and the Furious). To never front a band but maybe strum along at stage left (Smashing Pumpkins and Airborne Toxic Event). It means to never be depicted as handsome or suave or a lady’s man. (Or a gentleman’s man for that matter). It means to never get to kiss the girl. (In “Romeo Must Die” Jet Li does not kiss Aaliyah and in “The Replacement Killers,” Chow Yun Fat does not kiss Mira Sorvino. I despised Hollywood for a very long time
after those transgressions). Of late, there has been some breakthrough. In sports, we have Ichiro and Yao, but since they were still deeply entrenched in their Japanese and Chinese cultures, that distanced them from our American identity. Recently, the rap group Far East Movement has been the first Asian American pop music group to get consistent air play. And pretty much everyone now knows that many Asian American guys are talented dancers due to reality TV shows like “So You Think You Can Dance” and “America’s Best Dance Crew.” Of course, we do have one icon in popular culture ― probably the last Asian American guy who made us proud to be who we are and look how we do: Bruce Lee. I suspect that some of us deep down inside thought to ourselves, “Yeah, he’s great and all, but does it have to be at martial arts? That’s not exactly breaking stereotypes.” Before Jeremy, Asian American males were akin to vampires. We’d look into the mirror of popular culture and see nothing ― or negativity. Now 26 years after “Sixteen Candles,” Jeremy Lin arrives to play basketball on its biggest stage and in doing so, to declare that we not only do we exist but that we can succeed as a professional athlete in one of the big three glory ESPN sports. That’s the power of popular media, right? Feb. 26-March 18, 2012 ASIA 39
You have to know when enough is enough
Wayne’s World / by Wayne Chan
We all know how China has become an economic powerhouse, and I'm sure everyone has read various stories and reports that show Chinese students excelling in all areas of education, but particularly in math and science.
ou can probably chalk this story up to "Well, at least he had good intentions." This fall, my son Tyler will be heading to high school. First off, I'm happy to say that our high school is academically rated as one of the best high schools in the country. In fact, one of the reasons we moved to this school district was because of the high school. I’m also proud that my son will be heading into high school with the kind of grades he’ll need to prosper. The only problem is, Chinese is not listed as one of the languages available for kids as part of their language skills requirements. Of course, my wife and I are biased. We are both Chinese-Americans. Also, we both have businesses that require us to travel to China frequently. We both speak Chinese. My wife speaks it because she was born and raised in Taiwan. I speak it well so long as the conversation doesn't go beyond the weather and ordering food at any Chinese restaurant. But lthis isn’t about me. It’s about my son. In my last trip to Shanghai, I decided to take a walk around the hotel I was staying and I happened to venture past a middle school, filled with kids leaving school to head back home. All the kids were about the same age as Tyler, and as they walked past me I couldn't help but notice that each and every one of them had a textbook with the word "English" written on the side of it. We all know how China has become an economic powerhouse, and I'm sure everyone has read various stories and reports that show Chinese students excelling in all areas of education, but particularly in math and science. Now that they're also all required to learn English, it makes you wonder how our kids back here at home are supposed to compete. So, being the good parent that I am, I took it upon myself to write a letter to the principal at our high school, and share my observations of the situation and convey in no uncertain terms that our kids needed to learn Chinese as seriously as those Chinese kids were learning English. I wrote the principal and told him about my observation in front of that school, and why we needed to add Chinese to the curriculum. Because I knew the school currently taught both Spanish and French, I first mentioned that Spanish certainly made sense given our proximity to Mexico. And while I said I would never push to eliminate French from the curriculum as it was a beautiful language, I did say that I wasn't sure how imperative it was to prepare our kids for the inevitable onslaught upon the U.S. that is the French economic juggernaut. Despite my little dig at the French, I was pleasantly surprised to get a phone call from the principal just a few days later. The principal, who was certainly pleasant enough, thanked me for sending the letter and said that he agreed with everything I said and in the next curriculum meeting would mention my letter and suggest that the students would indeed be better served if Chinese language classes were added as an option in the curriculum. Bingo, right? I mean, what more could you ask for than that? I asked him to do something and he said that he would work on it. Case closed, right? The problem is, I have a tendency to oversell things past the point where I already got someone's agreement. I'm fortunate that there are very few dead horses in our neighborhood because I would be the one standing over it, dutifully beating it. If I recall, the rest of the conversation went on with me saying something like: Me: Well, thank you so much. I'm glad to hear that. In fact, I think we'd really better hurry up because at this pace, not only do they get better math and science scores, but their kids will probably speak English better than our kids too! Um...I...uh...I wouldn't be surprised if their science classes haven't already figured out that nuclear fusion thing. The other day I saw a Chinese student levitating and he figured out how to do it with just a ball of string, pantyhose and a pair of chopsticks.
40 ASIA Feb. 26-March 18, 2012
Family Matters/ by Ray Wong
Watch out: Those inactive service fees can come back to bite you in pocketbook
normally bank at California Coast Credit Union but opened a savings account at the East County Point Loma Credit Union (PLCU) in 2003 because it was closer to my house. Credit unions allow a customer to make transactions within the shared network so it was convenient for me to deposit and withdraw money from my California Coast account through the Point Loma location. I never paid much attention to the savings account at PLCU and didn’t look at the quarterly statements sent to me because they all pretty much said the same thing. Recently, I opened a statement from PLCU and it showed a series of service fees charged against my savings account: Inactive Fees for $10 a month and Saving Maintenance Fees for $3 a month. I only had maybe $80.00 in the savings, but my balance showed $9.55 after the fees. I went into the branch and spoke to the manager, who informed me that these fees had been assessed monthly since 2010. They had sent letters notifying customers that savings account balances that fell below $300 would be charged $3 a month in Savings Maintenance Fees. Savings accounts in which there had been no deposits or withdrawals for 18 months would be charged $10 a month in Inactive Fees. The first set of fees had been charged to my account going back to November 2010. The second set of fees began in October 2011. I had incurred losses of $72.00 to my savings account. The manager told me that he could waive the $30 of Inactive Fees if I deposited enough money to increase my balance to $300.00 but that the credit union would be suffering a loss if he waived the series of $3.00 Savings Maintenance Fees. He said the credit union had sent out notices and they were “legitimate fees.” I failed to see how the credit union would be suffering a loss because the fees were obtained from my savings account. We agreed to disagree, and I closed out what
remained of my savings account before further fees could be levied. I sent an e-mail to the upper management at PLCU regarding the service fees and received a reply from the vice president of retail operations defending the fees. She stated that the credit union strives to be the primary financial institution for its members and that they incur expenses if a customer only has a savings account. I asked for a face-to-face meeting to discuss this and have not heard from her in two weeks. At this point, I have sent another e-mail to the PLCU Supervisory Committee to meet with me regarding the fees and I’m waiting to hear back. I accept responsibility for failing to read the notices regarding the initiation of service fees, but I’m more than a bit disillusioned by a credit union that doesn’t seem willing to meet with a former member about their policy. Family tip: Check your bank’s policy regarding service fees and minimum balances. If you are affected by service fees, ING Direct is an internet banking site that offers higher yield, FDIC insured savings and checking accounts with no minimum balances and no service fees. They can also provide a direct link to your checking account at other institutions. I’ve been banking with them for years and have always received excellent customer service. Family quote: “Everybody has to throw up sometimes.” 8-year-old Kristie. (Ray M. Wong is a freelance writer whose stories have appeared in “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books, the “USA Today,” and his memoir, “Chinese-American: A Journey of Discovery,” will be published by Kitsune Books in 2013. E-mail comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or through his website: www.raywong.info.)
Feb. 26-March 18, 2012 ASIA 41
Barnard Mandarin Chinese Magnet School students, with principal Edward Park leading, kick off the annual Lunar New Year celebration at the school in early February.
Students and teachers, above right, enjoyed the musical message supplied by visiting students from Chongging Primary School in China, who spent three days visiting Barnard, their sister
school, where they welcomed the New Year and observed a Chinese tradition American style rendered by the Three Treasures Lion Dancers. – Photos by Barnard Magnet School
Honored locally – Union Bank and KPBS in early February hosted the 2011 Local Heroes Awards at the Balboa Theatre, honoring 17 community leaders for making a difference in the lives of others. Hosted by, back row, Union Bank’s George Ramirez, left, and KPBS’ Tom Karlo, they included, seated, Bill Brody and left to right, Tom Hom, Kathi Anderson and Robin Tarr. Hom and wife Loretta, right, were also welcomed to a scholarship application meeting of the Jonathan Tarr Foundation by the charity’s founder Robin Tarr and former San Diego Councilwoman Donna Frye.
Children, above, were the center of attention during the annual San Diego Chinese Historical Museum’s recent fundraiser at Pearl in Escondido. Organizers included, upper right, museum executive director Alex Chuang, flanked by board president Dr. Lilly Cheng, left, and Agnes Chuang and, right, Dr. Polly Liew, who produced and directed the children’s performance of Lunar New Year traditions. 42 ASIA Feb. 26-March 18, 2012
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A Walk on the Lighter Side – Nothing has stirred America’s rancor more in the last two years than the inequity in our society and the effect it has had on our economic system. And nothing signifies that inequity more than the fat cats behind the bank bailout and Wall Street stimulus packages. As we steam ahead toward election 2012, these issues, along with where we are going as a society, will inevitably play an important role in the discussions to come. Here, our nation’s top cartoonists share their views of these current events.
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Feb. 26-March 18, 2012 ASIA 45
Local Water Districts Invite Customers to Showcase Water-Wise Landscapes
California–Friendly® Landscape Contest Entries Due April 6 SAN DIEGO –Is your home landscape both water-efficient and the most stylish on the block? Then put it to the test. Twelve water districts invite customers to showcase their water-wise landscaping in the Water Agency California–Friendly Landscape Contest. One winner in each district will receive a $250 gift certificate and recognition on the agency websites and in newsletters. Last year’s City of San Diego winner, Robert Smith, said he made landscaping changes to save money on his water bill. But the North Park resident got an unexpected bonus. “It looks great,” he said of the new landscape, which features many desert plants. Even during the hot summer months, he only has to water his landscape about a half-dozen times, he said. In the winter, he never has to water. “We are pleased to join with other water agencies in sponsoring the annual California-Friendly Landscape Contest and we highly encourage homeowners to enter,” said JoEllen Jacoby, Supervising Landscape Conservation Designer for the City’s Water Conservation Program. “Studies have shown that more than half of the water people use goes towards irrigating landscapes, which is why our program continues to encourage San Diegans to use California-Friendly® plants as a way to “waste no water.” Jacoby offers a few suggestions to enhance the chances of having a winning landscape. “The judges need to see the big picture and the details. So, be sure to provide pictures that show both the landscape and some or all of the house to give a sense of proportion and scale. Look before you shoot! Are there trash cans in the sight line? Is a garden hose showing? Are tools, weeds or nursery pots visible? Be careful to angle your shots to avoid the neighbor’s parked car, overhead utility lines or other less than inspiring elements that you have no control over.” “Focus on special design ‘vignettes’ such as a little sitting area, stream bed or sculpture,” continued Jacoby. “Does your landscape frame your door from the street? Be sure to show that in a picture. Finally, include close-ups of plant combinations that show the color, texture and variety of your plant palette. Of course, yank the weeds and make sure your landscape has a mulch cover over any open soil. These pointers will make your front yard picture perfect and make you proud.” The deadline to enter is April 6, 2012. Each water-wise landscape entry will be judged for overall attractiveness, appropriate plant selection, design, appropriate maintenance, and efficient methods of irrigation.
This contest is open to customers of the cities of San Diego and Escondido, Helix Water District, Olivenhain Municipal Water District, Otay Water District, Padre Dam Municipal Water District, San -more-Sweetwater Authority, Vallecitos Water Dieguito Water District, Santa Fe Irrigation District, District, Vista Irrigation District, and California American Water. For official contest rules and anapplication form, visit: www.landscapecontest.com. For questions, contact Mike Ismail with the City of San Diego at (619) 533-5312 or your local water agency. For ideas, expert advice, exhibits and classes, visit the Water Conservation Garden, located at 1212 Cuyamaca College Drive West in El Cajon, or go to www.thegarden.org. information on those programs, contact (619) 533-7572 or visit www.sandiego.gov/water/recycled or www.purewatersd.org.
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Feb. 26-March 18, 2012 ASIA 47
Photos by David Henley
A little bit of China in Thailand
The southern Thai province of Trang, tucked away on the Andaman Coast between Krabi and Satun on the Malaysian frontier, is rich in history, providing a fascinating showcase for the south’s flourishing Sino-Thai cultural traditions, architecture and food – and the proud locals love to prepare and share it with visitors. Its lovely and unspoiled coastline consists of more than forty offshore islands. Trang is a place to experience the delights of the deep south in an authentic and relaxing atmosphere. Trang – formerly called Thap Thiang – is a quietly prosperous
town with a long history as a trading port dating back more than a thousand years to the time of the Srivijayan empire. While rural Trang is decidedly southern Thai in character, Trang city retains a distinct Sino-Thai feel. This is manifested in the population, in the architecture of the shop houses, Chinese shrines, and Trang’s distinctive cuisine. In its present incarnation, the town only developed as an important commercial centre in the 19th century due primarily to the settlement of Han Chinese migrants from southern China.
For more than a century its people have prospered from extensive rubber plantations, rich fisheries and fertile agricultural land, attaining one of the highest provincial per capita incomes in Thailand. Chuan Leekpai, who became leader of the Democrat Party and prime minister of Thailand between 1992-95 and 1997-2001, is a native of Trang. Chuan put Trang on the tourism map. A third generation Sino-Thai, Chuan was born in Trang in 1938, the son of a local teacher of modest means. Now retired and a popular father figure for
the Democrat Party, he remains one of Trang’s favourite sons. Trang is a model of cosmopolitan coexistence. Thai Buddhist temples, Chinese shrines and a distinguished old Christian church exist side by side, reflecting the city’s culturally diverse past. There are several Chinese shrines scattered across the city including Kuiyong La and Paokong. Both are a riot of red and gold lanterns, characters and san jiao images from the Chinese triple religion of Buddhism, Daoism and Confucianism.