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GUANTANAMO BAY, CUBA

MARCH 2011

April 2011

THE FILIPINO JOURNAL Issue No.3

Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

www.filipinojournal.site88.net

A JOURNEY TO A PLACE CALLED HOME

Fund Raising Event Calendar

april 2011 Event: FOOD SALE Date: 03 & 17 Time: 0900 - 1200 Venue: NEX Atrium Event: KABAYAN NIGHT Date: 09 & 23 Time: 2000 - 2400 Venue: Mabuhay Garden Event: SUNDAY BOWLING HANDICAP TOURNAMENT Date: 03, 10, 17 & 24 Time: 1400 Venue: MWR Marblehead Lanes For more information please call: Joyce - 77506 Ritchie - 74506 Wilson - 77406 Ronald - 75228

A Journey from the Pearl of the Orient to the Pearl of the Antilles to a Pearl in your Heart. Who would have thought that I would be working outside the Philippines? A few years back, I tried to get myself into the OFW bandwagon. After a couple of tries, I decided that maybe, it is not for me. So, I kind of given up on the idea that I would be able to get on the caravan. My first job was as an Accounts Payable staff for a power producer in the Philippines. Then, I got myself into General Accounting staff for a pre-need company. It was followed by a stint as an Operations Assistant (which gave me a lot of skills for manpower management). Those three jobs prepared me for my Call Center stint, which is my 4th and 5th job. A few years ago and up until now, the Call Center industry in the Philippines is still one of the fastest growing industries. They started in Metro Manila and then all the Metro Cities. So basically, that caused me to turn away from my aim as an OFW and work in the Philippines but deal with foreign nationals through these call centers. I said to myself, why would I need to be an OFW if I can earn it here (I mean the Philippines) and still feel as if you are working abroad. I was kind of complacent already in the idea that I earn more than what a regular Filipino who is working in an office somewhere in the Metro and I was up for promotion. Now here is the twist that caused me to re-think my stand with regard to working abroad. I received an email from a friend that they are in need of an accountant and the need is immediate. At first I was kind of hesitant about the offer because I know that I would be see page 5

GTMO COMMUNITY REMINDER NAVSTAGTMOINST 11200.1A (101B)

Abandoned Motor Vehicle A private motor vehicle suspected of being abandoned shall be cited with a DD Form 2504 (Abandoned Vehicle Notice) or similar local form.

PIDC 2011 T-Shirts are now available FMI: Wilson 77406 or Joyce 77506


GUANTANAMO BAY, CUBA

APRIL 2011

OPEN LETTER !Maligayang araw sa inyong lahat. For the second year running, I am blessed to be an advisor to the BRLL. It is this group of gifted and involved men and women who take questions and concerns from their coworkers forward for answers and possible resolution. Their hard work frequently results in a direct improvement of the contract worker’s quality of life while on Gitmo. They also play a leading role in celebrating your independence day, which is the primary topic I would like to focus on. ! June 12 is just around the corner and soon you and your fellow countrymen and women will be celebrating 113 years of independence. It is a time of year that each of you can be proud of, as many sacrifices were made to gain this freedom. I’ve been involved in numerous PIDC celebrations on Diego Garcia and now here, and each year I look forward to seeing activities that are only enjoyed once a year: cultural activities, dances, dresses and great food. !While the 2011 PIDC activities will be similar, they will also be a little bit different: it seems that many are interested in setting up a “Barrio Fiesta”. I love this concept and think the small town or barangay fiesta-type event would be great. But nothing of this large a scope can be done without volunteers. And volunteers are what the PIDC needs. !Last year the volunteers ran themselves ragged and by the time everything was said and done, few wanted to volunteer again in 2011. This year our PIDC has a different goal. Yes, the PIDC still needs you, but it will be to see page 7

BRLL 2011 OFFICERS Joyce Faminialan President Ritchie Dolores Vice President Anna Marie Santiago Secretary Evonie Pastoral Assistant Secretary Raul Reyes, Jr. Treasurer Marita Elesterio Assistant Treasurer Analyn Miranda Auditor Menchie Alumpe Assistant Auditor Edgardo Sichico

Issue No. 3

The Filipino Journal www.filipinojournal.site88.net

Raul Reyes, Jr. Editor / Layout

Rachel McGuirl Brad Renollet William Tinker Fred Apog Gabriel Christopher Aluag Joyce Faminialan Wilson Solon Ferdy de los Santos

Modesto Gamas The Filipino Journal is an authorized newsletter of BRLL for the Filipino community. Contents of The Filipino Journal is produced for information purposes only. The Filipino Journal is published on a monthly basis every first saturday of the month. A copy of the journal is distributed electronically via email. If you’re not receiving this email and would like to, submit your name and email address to filipino.journal@gmx.com. Submissions to The Filipino Journal are due to the editor no later than a week prior first saturday of the month. All submissions are subject to editing for length, content and conform to local guidelines.

Property Custodians Ronald Sanchez Diosdado Villegas, Jr. Ways & Means Coordinators Joselito Empleyo Ron Gilbert Santos Sedfrey Dela Serna Sports Coordinators Wilson Solon PIDC Chairperson Ms. Rachel McGuirl

Contributors

Want to contribute to The Filipino Journal?

Sedfrey dela Serna Mark Snyder

Feel free to contact us at Filipino.Journal@gmx.com

Illustration Artist

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Mr. Richard Earl Mr. Brad Renollet Advisers


GUANTANAMO BAY, CUBA

APRIL 2011 What makes you proud to be a Filipino? Filipinos are often criticized but I stand firm to be proud of my heritage, culture, ways, norms and everything whice compose us to be Filipino. Some would say we are Brown Americans, Pacific Islanders and we are not Asians. I will always say we are Filipinos and we belong to the continent of Asia. No one can erase the Filipinos on planet earth. I am proud to be PINOY.

GLOBAL FILIPINOS: EVERYDAY HEROES W i l s o n S o l o n i s t he current PIDC Chairman. Born on November 25, 1980. Completed his Bachelor course in Mechanical Engineering in 2002 at University of Perpetual Help Laguna, Philippines. A native of Niugan Cabuyao, Laguna. The only son of Segunda Solon and Wilfredo Solon.

What is your goal/objective of this year’s PIDC? 1. To Celebrate Philippine Independence in Gtmo Community. 2. To create awareness of Philippine Culture among our Americans brothers and sisters. Why is it important to celebrate PIDC here in GTMO?

Work Experience: Purchasing Dept-Buyer - BRSC 2009 to Present

We celebrate the Philippines Independence Day in recognition of June 12, 1898, when the Philippines declared its independence from Spain, although our independence was not recognized until July 4, 1946 by the United States. From 1946 to 1961, the Philippines observed Independence Day on July 4 of each year. In 1964, Republic Act No. 4166 changed the date of Independence Day from July 4 to June 12 and renamed the July 4 holidays as Philippine Republic Day.

CBQ Supervisor - Eastern Maintenance 2006 to 2009 Front Desk Clerk - Kvaerner and Deljen 2004 to 2006 Cadet Engineer - Hitachi Philippines 2002 to 2004

What makes GTMO the best place? Gtmo is my second home. I made a lot of friends. I am really proud and honored to be a part of this community. What keeps you working here? Away from my family is really hard but I know this is the best way to support them financially.

Message for all the Filipinos:

What is your plan to this year’s celebration? It is with my deep and utmost enthusiasm to announce the upcoming 113th Philippine Independence Day Celebration for our freedom. Each year, this event brings our community together and makes us all remember that we have a common heritage and love for our culture. As part of the celebration, we will showcase once again our Philippine culture through traditional/ cultural dances. This year we planned to have a Barrio Fiesta as well during the celebration. Barrio Fiesta will capture the true essence and concept of how Filipino celebrate a feast. This event will make possible with the help of all of you for supporting our fundraising such as Food Sale, Kabayan Nights, Bowling league and more.

To All Filipinos here in US Naval Base Guantanamo Bay Cuba, I would like to thank for all the support that you always given to us. For the past 90 days since I was elected as a Chairperson for PIDC 2011 of the Burns and Roe Leaders league 2011, it has been truly an astonishing experience. At first, I had fears to accept this position but somewhere along the way, I am glad and honored because I know that all of you are always there to support us. I admit that we still have a long way to go but I will make sure that i will do my best as much as I can to make you proud as a Filipino. To all of you, who participated and supported in a way as possible as you can give. I give my whole-hearted thanks. You will be forever my inspiration, my motivation and my strength.

On behalf of BRLL 2011, my sincere and appreciation for all your support on this upcoming event and we look forward for your moral and generous support.

FILIPINO FREEDOM: OUR PRIDE, OUR GLORY Joyce Faminialan

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GUANTANAMO BAY, CUBA

SAFETY SMART

APRIL 2011

Home Food Safety Tips

one minute before inserting a meat thermometer to ensure food has reached the proper internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Defrosting Food A lot of people use their microwaves to defrost frozen meat. Since juices from raw meat may carry harmful bacteria, people who defrost food this way should take special precautions to avoid crosscontamination. Use separate plates – one to defrost Symptoms - Food poisoning symptoms vary with the meat and another to serve cooked meat – or wash source of contamination. Most types of food plates in warm, soapy water between uses to poisoning cause one or more of the following signs eliminate bacteria. and symptoms: Nausea, Vomiting , Watery diarrhea, Avoid Cross Contamination Abdominal pain, Stomach cramps, Loss of appetite, Wash hands before handling food. Do not use the Fatigue, Fever signs and symptoms may start within same knife on meat and vegetables. Wash cutting hours after eating the contaminated food, or they boards with hot, soapy water after each use may begin days later. Sickness caused by food Two Hour Rule poisoning generally lasts from one to 10 days. Believe it or not, 36 percent of people admit to When to see a doctor eating leftover pizza from the night before; even if it If you experience any of the following signs or hasn’t been refrigerated! Pizza, like all perishable symptoms, seek medical attention. foods, follows the two-hour rule: If pizza has been sitting at room temperature for more than two hours, Frequent episodes of vomiting for more than two toss it! At outdoor parties reduce the time to one days. Vomiting blood, Inability to keep liquids down hour. Foods made with milk, eggs or mayonnaise for 24 hours, Severe diarrhea for more than three will spoil faster in the heat. days. Blood in your bowel movements, Extreme pain or severe abdominal cramping, An oral Refrigerator Temperature temperature higher than 101.5 F (38.6 C), Signs or Don’t let bacteria shorten you’re the freshness of symptoms of dehydration — excessive thirst, dry your food. If your refrigerator is not 40 degrees or mouth, little or no urination, severe weakness, below, it may be clogged with ice which blocks the fan and cool air circulation. Defrost a refrigerator dizziness or lightheadedness every four months to prevent ice buildup. To avoid food poisoning, follow the following Reheating Food precautions: Nearly nine out of 10 people consistently reheat Proper Food Temperature The most popular use for microwaves is reheating leftovers before eating them – versus nibbling them leftovers but if your microwave isn’t equipped with a cold right out of the fridge. But 97 percent of leftover turntable, you may need to take extra precautions to lovers do not use a meat thermometer to ensure doneness of foods. Next time you reheat, use a meat make sure leftover food is cooked throughout. Rotate food one-half turn midway through the thermometer to make sure food reaches the proper heating time and give it a stir to eliminate cold spots internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit where bacteria can survive. Then let food stand for before you eat. Food poisoning, also referred to as food borne illness, is a result of eating contaminated food. Infectious organisms — including various bacteria, viruses and parasites — or their toxins are the most common cause of food poisoning. Contamination can also occur at home if food is incorrectly handled, improperly cooked or inadequately stored.

Rachel McGuirl

SALAWIKAIN is a proverbs or sayings. Part of one’s cultural heritage which should not be taken for granted nor forgotten. A good sources of information about old traditions, beliefs, customs, and ways.

“Ubos-ubos biyaya, pagkatapos nakatunganga.”

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GUANTANAMO BAY, CUBA

APRIL 2011 A Journey - Page 1

leaving the place that I called home for my entire life and I would be stepping out of my comfort zone. I know for sure no one would like to step out of their comfort zone. Not unless you are very good in taking risks. But I think being in a place where you are very complacent and very familiar, plus having a stronger buying power, that leads you bigger expenses (i.e. Rent, Utilities, Fare, not to mention your non-essential expenditures). That caused me to look at the offer more closely and so that I can make an informed decision. Come to think of it, if you are working in the Philippines, you are bound to pay your taxes proportionate to what you are earning. That is the first thing that a Filipino would think about if you want to receive a decent Net Pay. I am not saying that I do not want to pay what is due to the government but I guess it really hurts your pocket specially when they increase it but your benefits does not change. The second that I need to consider are the monthly expenses. If you are living in the Metro like Makati, Manila, Pasig, San Juan or the Greater Manila Area, Rent and Utilities comes next in your list of priorities after receiving your paycheck. The closer you are to the Metro, the higher these expenses are. Let a lone you r da i ly budge t for fo o d a nd transportation fare (because I do not own a car and the fuel price sky rocketed recently, with that alone, I don’t think I want to own one). Then of course your non-essential expenses, that you think, is very essential to your daily living (your café latte, your pack of cigarette, clubbing every Friday or Saturday night, if people don’t see you in clubs, they will definitely see you out of town, as far as Batanes in the north and far as Dakak Beach Resort in the south for your Team Building). These are the things that I considered as I make the decision. To cut the story short (a bit I think) I accepted the job, I would not need to worry about transportation expense, rent and utilities and the taxes (OFW’s do not pay taxes). Just the clothes that you need to put on your back and the food that you need eat. I guess the ability to have a US Visa and be able to travel half way across the globe are plus factors. I decided to take the opportunity and see what the future has for me. see page 9

INSPIRATIONAL WORDS The Gift of Choice Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43, NIV)

We all make choices – sometimes wisely, sometimes not. You’ve made some bad choices in life, haven’t you? You’ve chosen wrong friends, maybe the wrong career, even the wrong spouse. You look back over your life and say, “If only… if only I could make up for those bad choices.” You can, One good choice for eternity offset a thousand bad ones on earth. The choice is yours. That’s what happen at the cross. Choices were made. There were two other crosses on the hill that day, the day that Jesus died. Two criminals, suffering the same death. And those two crosses remind us of one of God’s greatest gifts: the gift of choice. One chose Jesus, the other merely mock Him. Scripture reveals a compelling part of the story: One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:39-43, NIV).When one dying criminal prayed, Jesus loved him enough to save him. And when the other mocked, Jesus loved him enough to let him. He allowed each of them their choices. He does the same for you. Prayer: Jesus be gracious to me and guide me as I made choices today. Amen! Fred Apog

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GUANTANAMO BAY, CUBA

APRIL 2011

APRIL BIRTHDAY CELEBRANTS Last Name ABENOJA ADOLFO AGUILAR ANGEL ATRERO BALBIN BAUTISTA BRIONES CABALUNA CABOR CAÑA CAUSAPIN CELARIO CENCIA CINCO COLANGGO DIEZ DUPLA DUQUE ERIN ESGRINA ESTARAS GARDOSE GARDOSE GOZUM GUILLERMO HENRY HIDALGO IGLOPAS IGNACIO IGNACIO IWARAT KNOWLES LACSON LANSANG

First Name BENJAMIN CARLOS VIRGILIO REYNALDO REX RODOLFO JESUS EDGARDO JR. SANNY MANUEL JR. DOMINGO RICARDO ANASTACIO GUILLERMO JR EDGARD ELMO DOMILITO JOSE EPHRAIM ROLINDO ELVIE RAUL CYRIL GREGORIO JEREMY EFREN GORDON ROMMEL PETER RICARDO GLENNIEREY ERIC JOMAR NICKESHA ROBERTO CRISANTO

Day

Last Name LIBRADA LIMBACO LUCERO MACAPUGAY MALLARI MANALAC MANIO MAPANAO MARQUEZ MENDOZA MENESES MONTERO MONZON NITURADA OSORIO PASCASIO PATRICIO RAMOS REYES RODRIGUEZ SANCHEZ SANTIAGO SANTIAGO SANTOS SIMBAJON SIMPELO SINGSON SUAREZ SUMPAY TALAVERA TORRES TUGAB UMLAS YAMBAO ZACARIAS

21 16 12 6 22 17 10 20 8 20 1 2 19 13 2 8 14 16 22 16 2 26 2 10 5 25 1 14 3 18 17 27 12 3 21

First Name Day MARCELINO 26 ARTURO 27 ADAM LEOMAR 9 RONNIE 5 RUBEN 15 RONALDO 20 ROMMEL 24 MARK ANTHONY 16 TEOFILO 18 FREDDIE 3 BLESSIE 11 ROMEO 27 ALBERTO 3 EFREN 3 EDGAR 24 DENNIS MARCOS 18 JAY 6 ENRICO 21 ROWENA 7 REX 27 ROMULO 7 ANNA MARIE 22 KHRISTINE 10 ALLAN 20 NESTOR 19 LOWIE 21 HARVEY 26 MER 25 RENATO 29 FLORENCIO 29 ALBERTO JR 16 JOSEPH 5 ROBERTO 13 ANSELMO 21 FERNANDO 12

EARTH DAY (APRIL 22) Everyday is Earth Day. Don’t restrict yourself to just one day a year. Learn about how you can make a difference to environmental protection all the time. And put it into practice everyday!

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GUANTANAMO BAY, CUBA

APRIL 2011

OFW CORNER O ve r s e a s F i l i pi no Worke r s t a ke a considerable amount of risk when they travel abroad. Overseas Filipino Worker sacrifice a lot in order to give a better life for their families. They are heroes in their own right because they live to help their families and sometimes even other people they do not even know but are in need of their help and support.

Ponciano “Ponce” Pineda Admin Clerk, BRSC - HR Years in service: 18

Enrique “Ric” Cadahing Transient Alert Supervisor, BRSC - Air Operations Years in service: 12

INSPIRATIONAL MESSAGE The Filipino community has been a part of my life for over 40 years.   At first it was just the special warmth and friendship they always greeted me with whenever I was visiting the Philippines on a Navy ship or just visiting the islands for vacations. Since the beginning of 2000, they have been like family to me. I worked in Diego Garcia and had almost 800 Filipinos working for me, plus many others I went to church with or got to know during the time I lived on Diego Garcia. Since I started working here in GTMO have have enjoyed the friendship of the whole Filipino community. Everywhere I go I am always greeted with a smile and a pleasant word.   I consider the Filipino's I have dealt with in every capacity during my life as equals, as brothers and sisters, and as part of my worldly family. I have always been proud of you all and they hardships you endure for your loved ones.  God Bless you. Bill Tinker

Open Letter - Page 2

take part in that “one small area” you are responsible for, then go back to enjoying the fiesta. Maybe you are dancing the Tinikling dance. Then go to the fiesta and, when the time comes, get dressed and do the dance…then go back to having fun. I know that will be just a dream for some, because there will be always be a smaller group of individuals who are working pretty much the whole time. That’s OK and understood. The bottom line is this: everybody come out and enjoy the celebration of a great nation’s independence day. If asked to volunteer, please offer your talents so that the load can be lessened for the other person as well. At the end of the celebration, leave saying, “This was fun. I want to do it again.” !One last thing before I go. There are a few people that had some special events in their lives recently take place, and I want to “shout out” to them. First, Bill Tinker turned 65. For us Americans it is nice to be able to collect another pension and maybe really stop working. God bless you, Bill and may He give you many more years of happiness. You make a difference to many and they deeply respect you. Second and third, Rommel Hidalgo’s daughter Shenna Mae was the valedictorian of her elementary school class; Florando Sevadera’s daughter just received her BSC in Financial and Managerial Accounting. Behind every child’s achievement is a great parent. Congratulations to both of you on your daughters’ achievements. You must be so proud. Two parents among so many here who had children advance in grade or graduate, get honors, etc…make that a congratulations to all of you. !In the end, maraming-maraming salamat po for all each one of you do to support our mission on Gitmo. God bless you, stay safe and see you about the island. ! ! ! ! Brad Renollet

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GUANTANAMO BAY, CUBA

APRIL 2011

PINOY SA GTMO

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GUANTANAMO BAY, CUBA

APRIL 2011

A Journey - Page 5

consider that change as a calling for me to really look into what I believe in and I consider this island my second chance island. I was given the opportunity to get into what matters to me most. Here I have found a small community of Christians that I call my family. Jesus Christ shared them to me and He shared me to them as I take my cross and walk my faith. Honestly speaking, if you are going to ask me about my distant past and all the things I did, it is somewhat hazy now. As if I can’t remember the details or I got some amnesia or alzheimer's disease. Yes, I am working here as an OFW but my priority changed when He came and completely changed me. This change resulted to a better relationship that I have with my family, specifically my father and my sister. In the past we were ok but we do not agree on some things. It is kind of odd and not natural but that is the truth that happened to me (I know there are families that goes the other way and I am not happy with that). Here I am an OFW and I am having a great relationship with my family, anyone would think that as odd, but I guess that is how it worked for me. In GTMO I found another home and hope for what God has in-store for me. This island is not as bad as you think it is. There are good things and bad things, depending on where you stand. Others came here to do purely business, some to run-away from things and some find this as their haven. Other Filipinos may not have the same experience that I had, but I know (specially for old timers and retirees), this place is a pearl in their heart one way or another.

Here I am now, turning 10 months on the 7th of April, and surprisingly, I don’t get to feel home sick. I can still remember the first week that I got here. The first week was crucial for me because that is the week where in you really need to work your roots in the community. The need to know, the people and the places that you can go to (remember how my lifestyle used to be like) is a big factor too. I went to a party and got myself so much liquor that I puked (some people knows about this and I can see how they look as they laugh about it, I know you guys). After that week, I decided not to take that road anymore and SOMEONE made me make a complete 180° turn on how I live my life. I quit smoking and drinking and all that stuff. I got here because of friends that are dear to me, because that SOMEONE willed it to be. I will not name names but if you know me, you would know the friends that I am talking about. I guess, the reason why I am having fun here and I know most of the people here do not feel that they are away from home is because they made a family here too. I guess that is what most of the OFW would do to cope with the longing for a family. People here at GTMO have their own small families or circle of friends. I found out as well that they do get busy here most of the time, for we work 6 days a week (most of the contractors are). During Holidays and/or days of rest, they would go fishing or have a get together (and cook), go to the beach, go to the open air movies (with free nick-nicks, I hope I spelled it right), go to the nice places where they can use their photography skills, play basketball or whatever sport they are into. Remember that I mentioned that SOMEONE turned my life 180°, now I 5 USEFUL IT TIPS

Gabriel Christopher Aluag

TECH TALK

1. When searching hot news topics, go to a reputable news source website by typing in the web address directly in to the browser. 2. When visiting less trusted websites for the first time, enable the secure browsing feature of the browser. 3. Never click ‘Ok’, ’Yes’, or similar if a message box should appear seeking or giving permission to install some component, object or feature, when visiting unknown websites. 4. Make sure that antivirus software is installed and that its’ virus database files are up-to-date. 5. Maintain regular operating system updates. Ferdy de los Santos 9


GUANTANAMO BAY, CUBA

APRIL 2011

Sedfrey dela Serna

ANNOUNCEMENT / GREETINGS

Mark Snyder

William "Bill" Tinker - 65th Birthday last March 25 Rommel Hidalgo - His daughter, Shenna Mae Hidalgo, graduated valedictorian from elementary.

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Florando Sevadera - His daughter, Jendelle Sevadera, graduated from college. She got the diploma for BSC Financial and Managerial Accounting.


April 2011