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Grace Panganiban of Edmonton Bags the Title Binibining Pilipinas of the World 2011

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At Least 50,000 Children Caught Up in Philippines Flooding, Save the Children Estimates, as Damage Leaves Key Areas Inaccessible

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Cover art, by multi-award artist Clarence A. Cantiveros

A Romantic Date with Coco Martin, Maja Salvador and Angeline Quinto

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‘Coronarroyo Court’ under siege

PEREZCOPE by Perry

Diaz

PerryDiaz@gmail.com

I

t happened in a blink! Yes, by congressional time speed, five hours is a blink. And that’s all it took the allies of President Benigno “P-Noy” Aquino III to call for a caucus and gather enough signatures to impeach Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona on December 12, 2011. And before the end of the day, his allies gathered 188 signatures – almost twice the 95 that were needed – and the House of Representatives voted to impeach Corona for alleged betrayal of public trust, violation of the Constitution, and graft and corruption. By day’s end, the Articles of Impeachment were transmitted to the Senate. Indeed, the “Big Blink” happened so fast that it caught Corona by surprise. In remarks following his impeachment, Corona’s alter ego Supreme Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez launched a scathing attack against the “enemies” of the Supreme Court and likened the impeachment to a blitzkrieg assault on the High Court. In just over a day, P-Noy was called “Hitler,” “Fidel Castro,” “dictator,” and other names that aren’t appropriate to print. But not too long ago, just before the “Big Blink” occurred, P-Noy was derisively called “wimp,” “weak,” “indecisive,” “incompetent,” etc. It’s amazing how people’s perception of P-Noy changed in just a few days: from weak to strong, from indecisive to decisive, from a wimp to a dictator, and nothing in between. That’s the Filipino psyche. We

love strong and decisive leaders. We identify with winners and shun losers. And the polls show it. The recent Pulse Asia survey shows P-Noy with an approval rating of 72% and trust rating of 74%. By contrast, Corona’s approval rating is 38% and trust rating is 29%, the lowest among the top five leaders of the land. “Coronarroyo Court” With the support of a large majority of the people, P-Noy’s anti-corruption crusade took a frontal attack at the core of the problem – the “rogue magistrate” who was unconstitutionally and illegitimately appointed by Gloria in the waning days of her presidency. Indeed, it’s an attack on the “Coronarroyo Court,” which I coined the day following Corona’s swearing in by Gloria on May 17, 2010 (“Corona’s Thorny Crown”). “With that,” I said, “the High Court is now composed of all justices appointed by Arroyo. The ‘Arroyo Court’ is now fait accompli. Or should I say, ‘Coronarroyo Court’?” Indeed, it is. Subsequent decisions made by the Supreme Court were inclined to favor Gloria. In my article, “Arroyo’s Court of Last Defense” (December 8, 2010), I wrote: “The Supreme Court’s 10-5 decision that ruled the Truth Commission unconstitutional did not come as a surprise. It was expected. Indeed the seeds were sowed during the last few years of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo when she appointed nine Supreme Court justices who were perceived to have been appointed based on their loyalty to Arroyo more than their judicial credentials. By the time she stepped down from the presidency, fourteen of the justices – the 15th seat was vacant — were all her appointees including Chief Justice Renato Corona whose controversial “midnight appointment” stained the high court’s integrity.”

San Sebastian Stags snatch 2011 PCCL crown The San Sebastian College (SSC) Golden Stags finally put the finishing touches to a successful championship run by dethroning former back-to-back champion Ateneo, 73-67, to cop the 2011 Philippine Collegiate Champions League (PCCL) title at The Arena in San Juan. Coach Topex Robinson got his first victory ride after SSC became the first NCAA squad to win the PCCL crown considered the national championship. For this win, the Stags took home the Manny V Pangilinan “Abutin ang Tagumpay” Perpetual Trophy - a bronze sculpture they would hold for one

year - aside from the rewards for the champions, P500,000 for the school and another P400,000 for the team. Ateneo, titlists the last two years, settled for second-best this time, earning P200,000 (school) and P200,000 (team). Named members to the Mythical Team are Finals MVP Ian Sangalang and Calvin Abueva of SSC, Nico Salva of Ateneo, Junmar Fajardo of University of Cebu, and 6-11 Ateneo center Greg Slaughter. Robinson won the league’s Best Coach award.

“Last straw” Although the eight grounds for Corona’s impeachment did not include the Supreme Court’s ruling that the Truth Commission was unconstitutional, in his speech before his allies the day after Corona was impeached, P-Noy said: “We strived to establish this system by means of a Truth Commission. But our very first step was obstructed by the Supreme Court under Chief Justice Renato Corona.” P-Noy knew then that the Supreme Court would continue to obstruct his anti-corruption campaign, particularly in prosecuting Gloria and other corrupt officials under her administration. He cited several questionable decisions made by the Supreme Court under the leadership of Corona. The last straw was when the Supreme Court issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) on the Watch List Order (WLO) in which Gloria and her husband Mike Arroyo were placed under. The Arroyos were required to secure an approval from the Department of Justice before they could travel outside the country. The TRO in effect allowed the Arroyos to leave the country and possibly not come back to face prosecution. But they were blocked when they tried to board a flight to Hong Kong on orders of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima with the full support of P-Noy.

members (one seat is vacant) took their oath as senator-judges. Under the Constitution, the Senate President and the Supreme Court Chief Justice are to preside over the impeachment trial. However, since Chief Justice Corona is the respondent, then only the Senate President would preside over the trial. Lawyer Valentina Cruz was designated as the spokesperson of the impeachment court. Their next step is to summon Corona and direct him to reply to the Articles of Impeachment. Corona would be given 10 calendar days to respond to the charges, after which the nine prosecutors from the House of Representatives would be given five days to answer. When Congress resumes session on January 16, 2012, the Senate impeachment trial would begin at 2:00 PM, Monday through Thursday. The actual trial, however, might not start until February, which would be determined by the senatorjudges and only when the prosecutors would be ready. The impeachment trial is expected to last six months. With two-thirds or 16 votes needed to convict Corona, it might be hard to get a conviction because there are some senators – five or six -- who are expected to vote in favor of Corona regardless of the evidence presented. That’s the political nature of an impeachment trial. But so was the “Coronarroyo Court,” which Impeachment trial it wasn’t supposed to be. On December 14, 2011, Under the impeachment the Senate convened as an rules, Corona would be convicted impeachment court and its 23 and removed from office if he

was found guilty on any one of the eight articles of impeachment. A senator-judge may find Corona guilty in one article and innocent in another. Bur for Corona to be acquitted, he must be declared innocent in all eight articles. Makes one wonder what are the chances of Corona being declared innocent of all charges? Quo vadis, Corona? The question is: Does he have the gumption to run a gauntlet of embarrassment and ridicule? He knows that his whole life and that of his family would be ripped open for the public to see. If he has anything to hide, it would be exposed for all to see. He has about a month to search his soul. Does he want redemption or acquittal? Unfortunately, he can’t have both. If he resigns, he will redeem himself from the court of public opinion. But if he continues to fight and would be acquitted, he will never regain the respect of the people. Former Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez went through the same impeachment process. She was impeached by the House of Representatives and had a good chance of acquittal in a Senate impeachment trial. But in the end, she chose instead to resign to spare herself the ignominy of being put on trial like a common criminal. She chose an “honorable” resignation. Corona, too, has a choice: honor or ignominy?

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At Least 50,000 Children Caught Up in Philippines Flooding, Save the Children Estimates, as Damage Leaves Key Areas Inaccessible TORONTO, ONTARIO-(Marketwire - Dec. 18, 2011) - At least 50,000 children have been caught up in flooding in the Philippines, Save the Children estimates, after hundreds of people were swept to their deaths by an enormous cyclone. A day after torrential rains triggered some of the worst flooding ever seen in the country, some areas are still cut off by damage and debris, hampering relief efforts and prompting fears for families trapped without enough food and clean water. The children’s charity is particularly concerned that children may have been separated from their families during the floods, leaving them especially vulnerable. Anna Lindenfors,

Save the Children’s country director in the Philippines said: “We fear that many children were split up from their parents as this disaster unfolded and our priority is to reach them as soon as possible. We are especially worried about children trapped in areas that we cannot yet access due to the damage caused by the storm.” Save the Children teams are on the ground to provide clean water and essential items to families caught up in the disaster. Without their families, children face a range of risks. They are often extremely frightened, unable to find food and clean water, and are vulnerable to abuse. Hundreds of people are still missing after the storm

tore through coastal villages in Mindanao and there are reports that the majority of the bodies recovered so far have been children. Anna Lindenfors continued: “Children are likely to have born the brunt of this disaster, because they are less likely to be able to cope with torrents of floodwater. They would have been absolutely terrified, some would have panicked and in a situation like this, that is likely to put them in further danger.” In areas where access is possible, the government has set up evacuation centres for those made homeless by the tropical storm. Save the Children is working with authorities to ensure that families are getting the help they need.

Save the Children is launching an emergency response to help victims of the flooding. Our experts are on the ground to distribute drinking water and essential items to families affected by the disaster. “Save the Children Canada has released funds from our Children’s Emergency Fund to immediately send to our offices in the Philippines. We encourage Canadians who wish to help the children at risk because of disasters like Tropical Storm Sedong to visit our website (www. savethechildren.ca) and donate,” said Anna Miller, Manager, Humanitarian Emergency Response, Save the Children.

Notes to Editors Official estimates suggest over 100,000 people have now been affected by the flooding. Based on available population data(i) for the affected area. Save the Children estimates more than 50 per cent will be children. (i) From Philippines National Demographic & Health Survey 2008, National Statistics Office.

The pictures were taken at Zone 7, Acacia St. Carmen, Cagayan de Oro, where close to 50 houses were swept away in the early morning of 17 December 2011, rendering about 120 children homeless - this is in one street alone.

Photos by Eduardo Umali / Save the Children

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The Death of Dr.Jose P.Rizal: Eyewitness Accounts

by Danilo V.

Donor ( M.A Ed. )

donordanilo@yahoo.com

E

very December 30 ,Filipinos throughout the world remember the heroic death of Dr.Jose P. Rizal in Bagumbayan ("New Town") , a city promenade that also served as a killing field for those who opposed Spanish colonial rule in the 19th century Philippines. Rafael Palma (1),then a young man and who later on became the president of the University of the Philippines,witnessed the last moments in the life of the great Filipino Nationalist and Martyr. This is what he wrote in the December 3o,1896 entry of his diary: "I attended the execution this morning. A great multitude invaded the field of Bagumbayan where the execution was to take place. I was anxious to know the hero .I wanted to see his face ,the face that had challenged the tyrants; his head that had borne such a grand ideathe creation of a nation.; in short I wanted to see the figure of that illustrious patriot who was willing to shed his blood for his country. I saw him two times, I imagine that he would be serene,tranquil as he marched to the scene of his glory and immortality and I can say I was not deceived. His face was pale and serene and bright like the sky above;he laugh at times as he joked with two Jesuit priests and the officer near him. His lips shaded by thin mustache smiled at the world,as if he wanted to bid goodbye to all. His eyes were small ,but mobile and vivacious and seemed to play within their sockets. He walked with noble bearing ,his body was upright ,erect yet without affectation. To me that represented his whole characterinflexible, daring -I could understand why he did not bend either to tyranny or to death... He hurried as he neared the place of the great sacrifice .One may say he ran after the glory that began to clear at the border of his sepulcher and which might be lost

by his tardiness. From that time on ,he disappeared in my sight.The people crowded around the scene and in spite of my efforts, I failed to see the moment of his death. A shot rang out and something like -an immense sigh arose from the multitude,indicating that all was over... Shouts of 'Long Live Spain! Death to the Traitors!' could be heard three or four times.People began to disperse and to leave the place, contented and happy at satisfying their curiosity .I even saw some Filipinos laughing." What Palma was not able to witness can be supplemented by the account of Alberto B.Mendoza(2), then a twenty year old member of the drum corps of the 'Leales Voluntarios de Manila'(Loyal Volunteers of Manila) who later on joined the revolutionists: "When I saw him I know he was Jose Rizal. He was of regular built,unshaven and quite pale perhaps on account of his confinement, but was visibly composed and serene. Amidst the silence,Rizal began to move his head very slowly up and down,his lips moving as if in prayer. Then the commanding officer,by means of a saber,signaled the firing squad to aim.The saber dropped and there was a simultaneous crackle of rifle-fire.Jose Rizal wheeled in one last effort and toppled forward with a thud,his face turned toward the sky and his derby hat thrown forward. He had fallen facing the bay. Then suddenly ,as if from nowhere ,a small dog appeared and ran in circles around the body of Rizal,barking and whimpering. The Capitan Militar de Sanidad,or medical officer, knelt before the fallen man ,and felt his pulse. Looking up ,the medical officer beckoned a mmember of the firing squad to come forward and give the body the 'tiro de gracia': a shot done at close range. I thought I saw a faint haze rise from Rizal's coat,but it might have been a wisp of morning mist.Seeing the body before me,I felt faint. I wanted to see the face of the man for the last time.Rizal lay dead on the dewy grass.The day had started and little did I realize that I gazing on the face of the greatest Malayan of them all,that I was witnessing history in the making." A British writer ,Howard W.Bray(3),an eye witness commented:"Never while life last,shall I forget that awful

morning nor the whrilling sensation I felt when the rifles cracked and his mangled body fell on the public promenade amid the jeers of Spaniards and monks,thus consummating one of the most cold blooded crimes registered in history since the tragedy of Golgotha". Additional notes: Rizal was found by the military court guilty of the crimes of rebellion,sedition and illegal association and was sentenced to death on December 26,1896.On December 28,Gov.Gen.Camilo de Polavieja fixed the date of execution for the date of execution,December 30 at 7:00 in the morning. It was only on December 29,that he officially informed about the court's decision.(4) 6;30 A.M start of the death march to Bagumbayan (now Rizal Park).Rizal wore a white shirt with a black tie,black coat and black pants.He was bound elbow to elbow,accompanied by Jesuit priests.Villaclara and March and his counsel Lt.Taviel de Andrade.(5) Simultaneous with the firing of the Remington rifles,Rizal shouted his last words."Consumatum Est"(6).His last word,echoed one of the seven last words of Jesus Christ in the Latin Vulgate translation of the Gospel of John 19:30:"Cum ergo accepisset Jesus acetum,dixit:Consumatum est."(7) translated by Mons.Knox,as"It is achieved"(8) The Firing squad was composed of Filipino soldiers belonging to Regiment No.70. at their back was an squad of Spanish "cazadores" ready to fire at them if they,the Filipino soldiers,disobeyed their superior's command to fire.(9) Well known Spanish philosopher Miguel de Unamuno

gave the title "El Cristo Tagalo" (10) or the "Tagalog Christ"/ "Kristong Kayumanggi" in the vernacular to our martyred hero. Rizal was secretly buried without a coffin in an unmarked grave at the Paco Catholic Cementery,in an area where the government buried those who died outside of the grace of the Church among them were the Filipino priests Mariano Gomez,Jose Burgos and Jacinto Zamora ,executed in as alleged leaders of the 1872 Cavite Mutiny. During the American Regime,his remains was transferred to Bagumbayan/Luneta and buried with honors under the present Rizal Monument a few feet where he was executed. The park now bears his name-Rizal Park. FOOTNOTES: (1)Palma,Rafael. "Diary"(Excepts) in Gene Cabrera."Rizal and Josephine".Manila.1960.p.26 (2)Mendoz,Alberto B. "Account on Rizal's Execution" in Bantug,Asuncion Lopez,"Lolo Jose: An Intimate and Illustrated

Portrait of Jose Rizal". Manila.2008,pp.164-165. (3) Howard W.Bray.quoted by Cabrera,p.21 (4)Baron-Fernandez."Jose Rizal:Filipino Patriot and Doctor" p.355 (5)ibid.p.356 (6)Poblete,Pascual."Buhay at Gunawa ni Dr.Jose Rizal...."p.111 (6)"Sacra Biblia:Juxta Vulgatam Clementinam" . Belgium.1956 (7)"The Holy Bible: A Translation from the Latin Vulgate in the Light of the Hebrew and Greek Originals".London.1963 (8)Poblete,Pascual "Buhay at Ginawa ni Dr.Jose Rizal:At Ipinalimbag ni G.Nene Rizal,Kapatid na panganay ni Dr.Jose Rizal."(ca.1909,Reprinted 2006).,p.110 (9) Poblete,p.110 (10) Unamuno,Miguel de."Epiilogo" in Wenceslao E.Retana."Vida y Escritos del Dr.Jose Rizal.Madrid.1907/ Reprinted in Manila.1960 .p.496.

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His Crowning Glory By Former Senator A. “Nene” Pimentel, Jr.

As he was growing up during his mother’s presidency in the mideighties, I saw Noynoy Aquino as a child of privilege. In that stage of his life, he did not manifest any interest in matters of State. Yes, he got shot and was wounded in one of those insane coup attempts to oust his mom from the presidency. Other than that, there was no much that was said or heard of him in those parlous times. I did not even see or hear much of him when years later he was elected to the House of Representatives, representing a district in Tarlac where his dad and mom held sway for most of their political lives. Impressive homework In 2007, he was elected to the Senate where he impressed me with the spadework that backed up his exhaustive interpolations on subjects that fascinated him. Then, in 2010, by edict of fate, Noynoy, the greenhorn Senator, was elected president of the Republic. Motherhood goals I listened to his inaugural speech. It did not inspire. I expected a more substantial definition of, at least, the basic outlines of the programs he had vowed during the presidential campaign to alleviate the plight of the poor. Instead, he talked about motherhood goals of

good governance and the good life for all. My reaction was to say a short prayer that he would succeed in his presidency for the simple reason that his failure would not only be his, but ours, as a people. Crushing corruption As the months of his presidency flew by, two things related to his way of governance resonated in my mind. The first was his repeated avowals to crush corruption in government. And the second was what appears to be an on-going presidential ban on his siblings, uncles, aunts, and, relatives from frequenting the presidential palace or being seen with him even in photo ops. By prohibiting the members of his family and his relatives from having easy access to him, the President probably intended to send a public message that no one should even think of using any member of his family or relatives (or friends), to secure shady deals from the government during his administration. Today, the people seem to believe in his anti-corruption pitch and in the wisdom of his keeping his family and relatives as it were at bay. Those are probably two reasons why his presidency has

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been receiving reasonably good poll survey ratings in the last 18 months of his incumbency. But, of course, the President should be wary of poll surveys. They are as ephemeral as icing even on a presidential cake. Lately, activist groups are pressing his administration to do something concrete to get the masses out of the mire poverty. Cutting off the Albatross Happily in the last several days, President Noynoy appears to have positively responded to those urgings. He did something that, I believe, will crown his presidency with glory, respectability and credibility. And that was his cutting off the Albatross of the Hacienda Luisita from his neck. Hacienda Luisita has always been associated with the Cojuangco side of his family. And by inheritance, he has a share of it. If he were a plain citizen, his having an interest in the hacienda would not cause anyone’s eyebrow to rise. The problem is that he is the President who under the Constitution is saddled with the duty to implement laws, including the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law. And to implement that law means that the Hacienda Luisita has to be parceled out to its tenantfarmers. That was, in fact, how the Supreme Court had recently ruled on the question of whether or not the hacienda should be distributed to its farmer-tillers.

It is the same Supreme Court that the President lambasted on (December 5) for ‘picking a fight’ with his office. In that squabble, the President knows that as the elected leader of the nation, he needs the backing of the people. But that support will be denied him unless he disposes off his and his family’s ties to the hacienda. Otherwise, doubts will cripple initially his credibility and, ultimately, even his capability to advance the welfare of the masses. Now he has taken the first step - albeit oral - to assure the farmertillers of the hacienda that they would get their due. Still, there are a thousand and one things that need to be done to enable the President to fulfill that verbal promise. There’s the question of identifying who the authentic beneficiaries are? And how the certificates of land ownership awards will be issued? Will one CLOA be given all farmertiller beneficiaries as a collectivity or will a separate CLOA be granted to every farmer-tiller beneficiary? But the most compelling issue, however, has to do with the ‘just compensation’ that the Constitution and the law require to be paid to the President and his family for the compulsory distribution of the Hacienda Luista lands to its farmer-tillers. In determining what comprises ‘just compensation’, many factors have to be considered. It may be best, then, for

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the President and his family to leave the issue of distributing the hacienda lands completely in the hands of the officials mandated by law. Or another way out of the conundrum, probably, is for them to put their interests in what the law calls a “blind trust”, where the trustee would have full powers to dispose of those interests without any interference from the President or his family. But if the matter is left to the government officials running the department of agrarian reform as suggested earlier, they should discharge their duties not only soonest but with absolute transparency and complete accountability. Singular achievement In any event, at this point of his presidency, President Noynoy has already done what no other president to my recollection ever did. He has publicly announced that he and his family will give up their personal interests in Hacienda Luisita for the sake of its landless tenants. People’s support By doing so, the President has begun to rise above his class origins and to serve the best interests of the lowliest among our people. And for that, he deserves our appreciation and support. Once completed according to the spirit and letter of the law, his giving up of his and his family’s ownership of Hacienda Luisita in favor of its farmer-tillers will be the crowning glory of his presidency

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Choosing the Right Mortgage For You For most Canadians, buying a home means taking out a mortgage. A mortgage is money you borrow to buy a home, using the home as security (or “collateral”) for the loan. There are many different kinds of mortgages in Canada. There are also many different financial institutions that lend money for mortgages, including banks, trust companies, credit unions, caisses populaires, finance companies and pension funds. With so many options to choose from, how can you be sure you’re making the best choice for your family? To help you choose the right mortgage for you, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) offers the following list of some of the more common types of mortgages: • Conventional mortgage—a mortgage that is for no more than 80 per cent of the appraised value or purchase price of the home. To get a conventional mortgage, you must pay a down payment of at least 20 per cent of the purchase price of the home out of your own savings. • High-ratio mortgage—a mortgage loan for more than 80 per cent of the price of a home. With a high-ratio mortgage, you can pay five per cent of the cost of the home as a down payment. If you get a high-ratio mortgage, however, you will also need mortgage loan insurance. Mortgage loan insurance protects the lender if you are unable to pay back the loan, and most Canadian lending institutions are required by law to have it. • Open mortgage—a mortgage that

you can repay in part or in full at any time without having to pay an additional penalty cost. Open mortgages generally have a higher interest rate than closed mortgages, but they can make sense if you know that you will be selling your home soon, or if you plan on making extra payments on your mortgage from time to time. • Closed mortgage—a mortgage that does not allow you to make extra payments, or which charges you a penalty if you want to pay off the mortgage ahead of schedule. Closed mortgages offer a lower rate of interest, but they are also less flexible than open mortgages. • Fixed rate mortgage—a mortgage where the interest rate doesn’t change during the life of the mortgage. • Variable rate mortgage—a mortgage where the interest rate changes according to changes in the overall financial market. With a variable rate mortgage, your monthly payments usually stay the same, but the amount that goes to pay either the principal or the interest changes as the interest rate changes. • Assumed mortgage—an existing mortgage that the seller of the home already has, which you take over as part of the purchase. Taking on an existing mortgage can save you money on the appraisal and legal fees. Plus, depending on whether interest rates are rising or falling, an assumed mortgage could have a lower interest rate than you would get if you negotiated a new mortgage. • Pre-approved mortgage—a

mortgage that is already pre-approved for a certain amount, before you even begin looking for a house. Getting preapproved for a mortgage can help make your search easier, by telling you in advance exactly how much your lender is willing to loan you to buy a home. There are many other options that you can choose from when you get a mortgage, from the term of the mortgage (this is the length of time that the agreed-upon mortgage contract conditions, including interest rate, will be fixed. It can vary from six months to 10 years) to the amortization period (the length of time you have to repay the entire loan). For more information, talk to your financial institution, lender or mortgage broker. You can also use CMHC’s Mortgage Affordability Calculator to calculate the different mortgage options available, and figure out how much home you can afford. Visit the CMHC website at www.cmhc.ca and search for the terms “Homebuying Tools – Calculators.” For more information or to obtain hard copies for FREE on other aspects of renting, buying and renovating a home in Canada, visit www.cmhc. ca/newcomers. For more than 65 years, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has been Canada’s national housing agency and a source of objective, reliable housing expertise. For story ideas or to access CMHC experts or expertise, contact CMHC Media Relations - National Office at: (613) 748-2799 or by e-mail: media@ cmhc-schl.gc.ca

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Aquino signs 2012 budget, vetoes provision on debt cap President Aquino has signed the P1.8-trillion budget program for 2012, boasting it was the swiftest budget approval since the restoration of democracy in 1986, and promised that every peso would be spent on uplifting the lives of the people. Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said with the early signing of the budget program, the government could immediately implement its programs and key infrastructure projects even next year. Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. described the early approval of the budget as a vote of confidence for Aquino. Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II said the early signing of the budget bill into law would give the Palace enough time to frontload funds to agencies and to pump-prime the economy. For his part, Senate finance committee chairman Franklin Drilon said the early enactment of the 2012 budget is in line with the government’s program of fast-tracking its infrastructure and social services programs next year. The President said the education sector got the lion share

in the budget program. This was followed by the health sector, and the infrastructure and agricultural sectors. Abad defended Aquino’s vetoing of the 60 percent cap on debt. Public sector debt as of last year already stood at 73.3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), which is well beyond the 60-percent debt cap provision included by Congress in the General Appropriations Bill. Introduced by opposition Sen. Joker Arroyo, the special provision would have required the executive branch to seek the approval of Congress for any government borrowing that goes beyond the equivalent of 60 percent of GDP. Arroyo said the people will never know when the government is over-borrowing because there is no cap on borrowing. During the Development Budget Coordinating Committee (DBCC) briefing, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima argued that placing a cap on borrowings may cause undue concern in the credit markets and, in effect, increase the risk premium on Philippine debt.


10 Filipino Journal

Alberta

December 2011

The Pulse of the Filipino Community

The Poinsettia or Christmas Flower Poinsettia - origins & trivia A favorite Christmas flower in the United States is the poinsettia, with its beautiful, red, star-shape. It is called the "Flame Leaf" in Central America or "Flower of the Holy Night" and was brought here over a hundred years ago by Dr. Joel Poinsett, our first ambassador to Mexico. Most of the poinsettias used now come from California. The legend of the poinsettia comes from Mexico. It tells of a girl named Maria and her little brother Pablo. They were very poor but always looked forward to the Christmas festival. Each year a large manger scene was set up in the village church, and the days before Christmas were filled with parades and parties. The two children loved Christmas but were always saddened because they had

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no money to buy presents. They especially wished that they could give something to the church for the Baby Jesus. But they had nothing. One Christmas Eve, Maria and Pablo set out for church to attend the service. On their way they picked some weeds growing along the roadside and decided to take them as their gift to the Baby Jesus in the manger scene. Of course other children teased them when they arrived with their gift, but they said nothing for they knew they had given what they could. Maria and Pablo began placing the green plants around the manger and miraculously, the green top leaves turned into bright red petals, and soon the manger was surrounded by beautiful star-like flowers and so we see them today.


December 2011

The Pulse of the Filipino Community

Filipino Journal

Alberta

11

Canadian Government announces details of the new “Super Visitor Visa” for Parents and Grandparents

Immigration News by Columbio (Jon) Salvador, BSc.

Certified Canadian Immigration Consultant

(About the writer: Jon Salvador is a licensed immigration consultant and a member in good standing with the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC). He has more than 20 years of management and business experience in Canada. Prior to establishing his immigration consulting company, he worked for a U.S. based computer company and then at TELUS, the 2nd largest telecom company in Canada in various management positions. He is originally from Manila, Philippines and graduated from DLSU (De La Salle University) in Manila with a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. He also studied Business Management at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. If you would like to request articles on other immigration topics for future “Alberta Filipino Journal” publications, you can contact Jon at (403) 241-6276 or at jon@nuerainc.ca or the publisher of this newspaper.

As of December 1, 2011, parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens and Permanent Residents (PR) would be eligible to apply for the Parent’s and Grandparent’s Super Visa. The Super Visa is a special Visitor Visa valid for 10 years and is renewable every 2 years (instead of every 6 months). It was announced by the government on Nov. 5, 2011 to temporarily replace the Parental PR Sponsorship program that was suspended for 2 years on the same day - pending government policy review. For the next 2 years, the government will not accept any new Parental PR Sponsorship applications to reduce the existing backlog of more than 165,000 applications. The Super Visitor Visa will enable parents and grandparents to visit family in Canada as a Visitor for up to two years without the need to renew their status. The Canadian government announced the following details regarding the new Super Visitor Visa program for parents and grandparents: 1. Who can apply To apply for the Parent and Grandparent Super Visitor Visa, the person must: a. be the parent or grandparent of a Canadian citizen or a Permanent Resident (PR) of Canada; b. be found admissible to Canada c. provide a written commitment of financial support from his/her child or grandchild in Canada who meets a minimum income threshold (LICO). d. prove that he/she have bought Canadian medical insurance coverage for at least one year

e. undergo an Immigration Medical Examination. Canadian Visa officers will consider several factors before deciding if the person is admissible. The person must be a genuine visitor to Canada who will leave by choice at the end of the visit. The following things would be considered by the Visa officer prior to approving a Super Visitor Visa: • the person’s ties to the home country; • the purpose of the visit; • the person’s family and financial situation; • the overall economic and political stability of the home country; and • an invitation from a Canadian or a PR host. Note: The person cannot include dependants in the Super Visitor Visa application. Only the person’s spouse or common-law partner is eligible to accompany him/her under this program. 2. Required documents when submitting applications Persons applying for the new Super Visitor Visa must provide the following: a. A valid travel document (such as a passport). b. Two recent passport photographs of each family member. Make sure the photographs meet the Visa office requirements. c. The application fee unless the person is from a visa-exempt country. The fee will not be refunded, even if your application is not accepted. d. Proof that the person has enough money for his/her visit to Canada. The amount of money may vary depending on the circumstances of the visit, how long the person will stay and whether the person will stay in a hotel, or with friends or relatives. You can get more information from the Canadian visa office in your country or region. e. Other documents such as identification cards, proof of employment (if any), a letter of invitation from relatives or friends in Canada, and a proposed travel itinerary. In order to obtain a Parent or Grandparent Super Visitor Visa, the person also need to provide: □ Evidence of the parent or grandparent relationship to the Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident (PR) you wish to visit (e.g., birth certificate, baptismal certificate or other official document naming you as parent or grandparent); □ Proof that your child or grandchild meets the Low Income Cut-Off (LICO) threshold; □ Proof that you have bought a private medical insurance valid for a minimum of one year from a Canadian insurance company that: □ Covers health care, hospitalization and repatriation; □ Provides a minimum coverage of $100,000; and □ is valid for each entry to Canada and available for review by a Port of Entry officer. 3. Medical Examinations The person will be required to undergo an immigration medical examination in order to come to Canada. Instructions on completing the examination will be provided by the visa office. The person is not required to complete the examination

before the submission of application forms. However, it would be a good idea to have a medical check-up before submission of the Super Visitor Visa application so that there are no surprises with regards to the person’s health condition. 4. Processing Fees The fee for the Super Visitor Visa is $150 per person for a multiple-entry visa or $75 per person for a single entry visa. 5. Frequently Asked Questions: Listed below are some frequently asked questions about the new Super Visitor Visa program and the new government policy to temporarily suspend Parental PR Sponsorship program for two (2) years starting Nov. 5, 2011. The Canadian government has published the answers to these questions in their CIC website. As an added bonus, there is also information at the end of this article on how to check if the “immigration consultant” with whom you may be dealing with and paying a fee - has a license or not and also how to report immigration consultants practicing without a license to the ICCRC – the new regulatory body of Canadian Immigration Consultants. Q1: What does the temporary pause of family sponsorship program mean for sponsored parents and grandparents whose PR applications have already been submitted? A: Applications received at CIC’s Case Processing Centre in Mississauga, Ontario before November 5th will continue to be processed using current procedures. Applications for which the initial sponsorship application was approved before November 5, 2011 will continue to be accepted. Q2: What happens to parent and grandparent PR sponsorship applications received on or after November 5, 2011? A: The pause came into effect on November 5, 2011. Applications received at CIC's Case Processing Centre in Mississauga, Ontario (CPC-Mississauga) prior to November 5th will continue to be processed. Applications received on or after November 5, 2011 will be returned in their entirety, including fees. Please do not call the CIC Call Centre to ask about the status of your application. Wait for an Acknowledgement of Receipt, or for your application to be returned. Q3: Is the government changing the criteria for the parents and grandparents category? A: The current parent and grandparent program is unsustainable. The current wait time is between 7 to 8 years to process parental PR applications. To address this, CIC is looking at ways to better manage application intake and wait times in this program. The temporary pause will prevent the backlog from growing while new policy options are considered. Q4: What makes the Parent and Grandparent Super Visitor Visa different from what is available now as a Visitor Visa or TRV? A: Currently, visitors to Canada usually

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may only visit for six months at a time. Most visitors who wish to stay longer must apply for an extension, and pay a new fee, every six months. With the Parent and Grandparent Super Visitor Visa, eligible parents and grandparents will pay fewer fees and have some certainty that they will be able to enjoy the company of their families in Canada for a longer period of time. This program takes effect on December 1, 2011. According to the government, CIC will be able to issue the visas, on average, within eight weeks of the application. This means that instead of waiting for up to eight years, a parent or a grandparent can come to Canada as a Visitor (but not as an immigrant or permanent resident) within eight weeks. Q5: Is the Parent and Grandparent Super Visitor Visa a multiple entry visa? What’s the difference between the Super Visa and the 10- year multiple entry Visa? A: Yes, the Super Visa is a multi-entry visa that will provide multiple entries for a period up to ten years. The key difference is that the Super Visa will have status periods for each entry that last up to two years, while the 10-year multiple entry visa status period for each entry is only six months. The Visitor is allowed to stay is longer without the need to renew visa every 6 months. Q6: If parents and grandparents are already in Canada and their Visitor Visa will expire soon, what should they do? Will they be eligible to apply for the new Super Visitor Visa from within Canada? A: No, they cannot apply from within Canada for the new multiple-entry Super Visitor Visa. This must be done outside Canada at a Visa office. However, they can apply for an extension of their visitor status, of up to two years, by submitting an application to the Case Processing Centre in Vegreville, Alberta, so long as they meet all the criteria. Q7: What happens if a parent or grandparent (PGP) with a sponsorship application already submitted decides that they would prefer to visit Canada up to 2 years instead of immigrating and not becoming a Permanent Resident? Can they cancel their PR application and apply for a Super Visitor Visa instead? Will they be refunded the fees paid already? A: PGP sponsorship applications can be withdrawn at any time. Whether a full or partial refund will be given is determined by the stage at which the application is at in the queue. If processing has started, only a portion of your payment may be refunded. If, however, processing has not started on your application, a full refund will be given. Please allow up to 16 weeks for the delivery of your refund. (NOTE: This decision should be seriously considered. There is a big difference between the rights and benefits enjoyed by Canadian permanent residents compared to Visitors. Visitors are not entitled to Canada pension, medical coverage, Canadian passport, etc.) Q8: How do I check, if the “consultant” with whom I am dealing with and paying a

fee is a licensed immigration consultant? A: Licensed immigration consultants are listed in the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC) website members’ directory: h t t p : / / w w w. i c c rc - c rc i c . c a / p u b l i c / membershipList2.cfm? ICCRC is the new regulatory body for licensed Canadian Immigration Consultants. ICCRC replaced CSIC (Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants) when Bill C-35 was enacted as law effective June 30, 2011. ICCRC is now responsible for regulating the activities of licensed Canadian Immigration Consultants who are members and who provide immigration advice for a fee or other considerations. Stiff penalties are now in effect for persons without a license who provide immigration advice for a fee (ie. up to $100,000 fine and/or 2 years in jail). Starting June 30, 2011, only licensed immigration consultants, licensed Canadian lawyers and paralegals in Ontario who are members of the Ontario Law Society can charge a fee to process and handle Labour Market Opinions (LMOs) applications, Work Permits, Permanent Resident (PR) applications, Family Sponsorship applications and any other services involving immigration. NOTE: If the person is not listed in the ICCRC website member’s directory then chances are the person is NOT a licensed immigration consultant. Q9: Where should I report “immigration consultants” providing advice or processing immigration related documents like LMOs, Work Permits, PR applications, etc. without a license? Immigration consultants charging fees and practicing without a license after June 30, 2011 can be reported to the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC) for investigation. ICCRC has hired several ex-RCMP staff to conduct the investigations. Documentary evidence (ie. proof of illegal activities) such as: samples of newspaper ads, promo materials, letters, documents, copies of contracts, receipts of payments made, video of illegal transactions, etc. should be collected and provided to support the allegations of illegal activities. You can report illegal immigration consultant activities to ICCRC at: Tel: 1-877-836-7543 (toll-free) or Fax: 1-877-315-9868 (toll-free) or Email: services@iccrc-crcic.ca Legal Disclaimer: This news article is designed for general information only. The information presented in this article should not be construed to be formal legal advice or the formation of a consultant/client relationship. Each individual situation is different and people should seek proper advice on their specific cases with a licensed immigration consultant of their choice.


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December 2011

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14 Filipino Journal

by

Carl Benito, MLA Edmonton Mill Woods

As the MLA for Edmonton MillWoods, I am always available to assist constituents. If you have any questions regarding any of the issues discussed in this release, I can be reached in my constituency office at #218; 4128A-97 Street, or in my Legislature office at 780-422-9299. Also, please subscribe to my e-newsletter at http://benito.mypcmla. ca/. Follow us on Facebook: facebook. com/carl.benito, twitter: http://twitter.com/ MLACarlBenito and You Tube: http://www. youtube.com/benitomla

Alberta strengthens consequences for impaired driving

With 96 deaths and 1,384 injuries caused by impaired driving on Alberta roads last year, Alberta has introduced new legislation

Alberta

The Pulse of the Filipino Community

aimed at improving safety on the province’s roads. Bill 26, the Alberta Traffic Safety Amendment Act 2011, introduced in the Alberta Legislature by Transportation Minister Ray Danyluk, imposes tougher sanctions on impaired drivers, especially repeat offenders. Alberta’s approach is based on research into actions that change behaviours. It introduces differing levels of response for differing situations, from hard sanctions for repeat offenders to consequencebased actions for first-time offenders. Education is a big component with the addition of enhanced monitoring and mandatory education and treatment programs for repeat offences. Alberta also proposes vehicle seizures as a meaningful consequence to influence driver behaviour. The Bill proposes the toughest sanctions for drivers with bloodalcohol content over .08, the legal limit under the Criminal Code. For example, these drivers would now have an immediate license suspension that remains in place until their criminal conviction is resolved in the courts. Upon conviction, they would also have to participate in the Mandatory Ignition Interlock program. While 24-hour license suspensions can currently be given to drivers with a BAC from .05 up

to .08, the Bill proposes progressive sanctions for drivers in this range. To support the proposed legislation, new regulatory changes would also enhance restrictions for novice drivers. The Bill was championed by Danyluk along with Attorney General and Minister of Justice Verlyn Olson and Minister of Solicitor General and Public Security Jonathan Denis. This integrated approach balances enforcement with education and prevention, while maintaining a process to address appeals. More information, including frequently asked questions, is available at http://www. transportation.alberta.ca/.

New legislation to create an independent Child and Youth Advocate who reports to the Legislature

The Alberta government introduced new legislation on Nov. 21 to establish the Child and Youth Advocate as an independent officer of the Legislature. Bill 25, the Child and Youth Advocate Act, will also expand the Advocate’s mandate to ensure those in the youth criminal justice system will have advocacy supports. The Advocate currently reports to the Minister of Human Services. The current Advocate Del

Graff will assume the independent Advocate role. Successors to the position will be chosen by the Legislative Assembly in the future. The proposed legislation will also establish the Child and Family Services Council for Quality Assurance, under the Ministry of Human Services, to help increase public understanding and confidence in the child intervention system. In addition, the legislation will clarify publication ban provisions designed to protect the privacy of children in the child intervention system. This will include clarifying how public bodies may share personal information if it’s in the best interests of the child. The proposed legislation will also include a consequential amendment to the Protection Against Family Violence Act, which will provide police with additional authority to arrest those who violate protection orders based on reasonable grounds. For more information on the proposed legislation and other Human Services programs please visit http://humanservices.alberta. ca/.

Predictable elections make it easier for Albertans to get involved

The provincial government has introduced legislation that will increase the openness and transparency of the provincial electoral process. Bill 21, the Election Amendment Act, will create a fixed, three-month period in which provincial elections will be held every four years. The proposed amendments create a fixed, three-month period in which provincial elections will be held every four years. Starting in 2012, a general election would be held between March 1, 2012, and May 31, 2012 and afterwards, general elections would be held in this same three-month window in the fourth calendar year following polling day in the most recent general election. Using a three-month window

Carl Benito, MLA Edmonton Mill Woods

Wishing you and your family the best of the Holiday Season!

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December 2011

allows flexibility in setting the election date so it does not conflict with days of cultural or religious significance, other election dates, or for any other unforeseen circumstance. To ensure the Bill is constitutional, the Lieutenant Governor retains the power to dissolve the Legislature if necessary. For more information on the proposed legislation on fixed elections please visit http://justice. alberta.ca/Pages/home.aspx.

Proposed legislation to enhance HQCA’s role and independence

The Alberta government has introduced new legislation that will require the Health Quality Council of Alberta to report directly to the Legislative Assembly and establishes new inquiry powers. Bill 24: Health Quality Council of Alberta Act addresses: 1. Independence: The HQCA will report annually on its activities directly to the Legislative Assembly. The legislation will not change HQCA’s current role to conduct independent assessments of patient safety issues upon request of the Health Minister or Alberta Health Services. 2. Health System Inquiries: Modeled on the Public Inquiries Act, Bill 24 would allow HQCA to appoint an independent panel of one or more individuals to conduct a health system inquiry, at the request of Cabinet. Under the Bill, these inquiries will: • be open to the public; • have the power to compel evidence and subpoena witnesses; • enable details of confidential, personal health information to be heard in private; and • require the panel to present its final report directly to the Legislative Assembly. Under Bill 24, the HQCA itself will not conduct these inquiries. The Council will have the ability to appoint a judge to the inquiry panel in accordance with existing Court protocol.


December 2011

The Pulse of the Filipino Community

Maria Teresa Puri

Filipino Journal

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Roy Barquilla

December 2011 Champion @Pinoy Village Restaurant (Tambayan ni Roy Barquilla, November 2011 Champion @Pinoy Village Restaurant (Tambayan ni Boying) monthly singing contest! Boying) monthly singing contest! Watch out for this young girl, another pinay beauty and talent in the making! Media partners “Alberta Filipino Journal”, “TV PILIPINO on cable 89” & “Pinoy Alberta TV on OMNI cable 4”.

Photo by Chiqui Babe Ramos of LCR Photography

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16 Filipino Journal

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December 2011

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Solid Industries Christmas Party Solid Industries Christmas Dinner & Lou Ang’s Birthday. Lauriat style Christmas Dinner for the Shop Guys and Management Staff. Hosted by the Ang/Hunter Family.

Molly Maid Group

Molly Maid Calgary Christmas 2011 Party hosted by the Calvelo Family, owners/managers.

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  May your world be filled with warmth and good cheer this Holy season, and throughout the year! Wish your Christmas be filled with PEACE, LOVE, JOY & HAPPINESS. MERRY CHRISTMAS

From, Ben, Lou, Maria, Tyler, Marylee, Leila (grandchildren - Ryan, Spencer, Sydnie and Rachel).

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18 Filipino Journal

Alberta

December 2011

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A Romantic Date with Coco Martin, Maja Salvador and Angeline Quinto by Jun Angeles

C

oco Martin, Maja Salvador and Angelie Quinto stormed Edmonton and captured the audience with Coco Martin's boyish and captivating smiles, Maja Salvador's staged outfit and entertaining acts and Angeline Quinto's powerful voice singing her winning numbers from the Star Power competition. The concert held at the Rivercree Casino last November 27, 2011 was filled to capacity with a range of audience from as young as three to eighty year old. One surprises of the evening is Coco Martin's confession of his escapade here in Alberta. Martin chic and tell story of his life was an honest revelation of who really is Coco Martin. He admitted that he went to Lethbridge, Alberta to visit some relatives. Coco

Martin was part of group promoting a film in Toronto in which he starred. Looking for a greener opportunity he travelled from Toronto to Vancouver and ended up in Lethbridge. He dreamed of raising a family at the suburbs of Lethbridge where for nine months experienced how to live in a foreign country. He not ashamed to tell that he toiled as a janitor in a bingo hall and ride a riding mower to cut grass in Lloyminister. The hardship that he encountered was not the work but the feeling of loneliness and homesickness. Without his Filipino friends life could be dull and empty. He thanked his relatives, his karaoke and drinking buddies.

He emphatized the OFW for what they are going through being away from their loved ones. The experienced living in Alberta is a lesson in life that he can not forget pushing him to become stronger and to strive harder in life. One wish he wanted to have is to own and open up a Tim Horton's coffee shop. The concert delivered what it was intended for to warm the hearts of the Filipinos separated by distance from their loved ones. To the Palabok House, especially Lydia Jimenez and Ed Gonzales, thank you for bringing these group of people in Edmonton.

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Coco Picks Granny Hermie in the Audience

Coco Martin, Ed Gonzales (Palabok House) Angeline Coco Martin. Angeline Quinto, Lydia Jimenez and Maja Coco with a young fan Quinto and Maja Salvador Salvador Photos by Marquicias Photography

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LBC, RCBC Change the Way Filipinos Remit LBC Express, Inc. and Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) forged a partnership to introduce a new and easier way for Filipinos to remit through the LBC Send & Swipe Card. LBC Express Executive Vice President for Global Remittance Janet T. Ong said that the LBC Send & Swipe Card is basically a debit/remit card backed by RCBC MyWallet and powered by VISA. "This is the latest innovation of our LBC Remit Express brand. The primary features of LBC Send & Swipe card is that the real-time crediting of the remittance, money withdrawal 24/7 in any 1.8 million VISA ATMs worldwide including Bancnet, Megalink and Expressnet and cashless payment in 30 million stores globally because it is powered by VISA," Ong said. RCBC Executive Vice President Ismael R. Sandig said that RCBC partnered with LBC Express to expand the reach of RCBC MyWallet Card through their 1,000 branches in the Philippines. "The strategic tie-up of RCBC MyWallet and LBC Remit Express brands gave birth to the LBC Send & Swipe Card," Sandig revealed.

Sandig also emphasized that the new product will make it easier for the global Filipinos to send money home thru the RCBC backed LBC Send & Swipe card. "RCBC and LBC are changing the way Filipinos remit by reinventing the debit card into a remittance all-purpose card," Sandig added. Ong also stressed out that the LBC Send & Swipe card can be reloaded in any of the 1,200 LBC branches globally. "The LBC Send & Swipe Card has no annual fee and they can apply for it at any of the LBC branches worldwide," Ong said. LBC is the leading Global Filipino Company in the business of Express Courier and Money Remittance with 1,000 branches in the Philippines and over 100 branches worldwide. LBC has been linking and bridging Global Filipino for more than 60 years now through total customer service experience. It aims to be the total solutions provider of choice professionally and technologically equipped to serve Filipino families and businesses entities across the globe.

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December 2011

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Bb Pilipinas Pageant by Grace Panganiban

L

eaving for Toronto I would have never have thought that I would be coming back home to Edmonton with the crown and sash of Miss. Bb Pilipinas of the World 2011. The experience was amazing and getting away from the snow and cold winds of Alberta wasn't bad either. Walking in to the first meeting and rehearsal I was nervous because it was my first pageant to compete in. But shortly after introducing ourselves myself and the other competitors became close friends fast in the short four days we were together. Although we were competing for the same title that didn't come between the bond we all now share. The moment my name was announced and I was crowned Miss. Bb Pilipinas of the World 2011 I couldn't believe it. All I could think of was where is my mom because without her I wouldn't have had the dresses I graced the stage in; I was stunned and speechless. I couldn't have succeed without my sponsors Regional Songfest of Alberta, Dreamscape Travel, Tito Felipe & Tita Bing Aquino, Tito Dobie & Tita Hya Dublois, Tito Jess & Tita Josie Bilo, Tito Nonong & Tita Edith Granado, Tito Carmel & Tita Minda Restauro. I would like to thank Tita Nilda Yu for sewing my national costume and also, I would like to thank my Ate Grace Malbog-Tan for helping me with

my national costume jewelry and also with her continuous support in everything I do. I also wouldn't have the grace and knowledge of the pageant world without the help of Ate Annalie Bonda. She was the one that coached me every step of the way and was there the night of my crowning. Without her love to take time out of her busy schedule to help me I probably wouldn't be wearing the crown. But of course I wouldn't have all of my gowns and outfits without the endless dedication and love from my mom. Though her countless hours and long nights of sewing every last bead and thread I wouldn't have felt and looked as beautiful as I did. Without everyone's love and support I wouldn't have gotten the courage to travel to Toronto and compete. I am forever greatfull for everyone's kind words and warm embraces and am honoured to have all of you in my life. Thank you again!

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Grace Panganiban of Edmonton Bags the Title Binibining Pilipinas of the World 2011

G

by Jun Angeles

race Panganiban the new Binibining Pilipinas of the World 2011 was crowned last Saturday December 3, 2011 in Toronto. Nineteen years old Grace who stands 5'9" not only got the crown but awarded the best in costume and evening gown competition.

Sponsors: Regional Songfest of Alberta Dreamscape Travel Mr. & Mrs. Felipe Aquino Mr. & Mrs. Dobie Dublois Mr. & Mrs. Jess Bilo Mr. & Mrs. Salvador Granado Mr. & Mrs. Carmel Restauro Awards : Best National Costume Best Evening Gown

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Grace will represent Canada in Binibining Pilipinas Universe in the Philippines and if successful will represent Philippines in the quest for Miss Universe. Jun Angeles President of the Alberta Regional Songfest Society and publisher of Alberta Filipino Journal has groomed Grace since

she had seen her danced at the Karilagan Dance Society. He did sponsor her to represent Alberta in the beauty pageant held in Toronto. A true Filipina beauty, Grace is the daughter of Felix and Fely Panganiban who hail from Pangasinan.


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December 2011

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Association of Batanguenos of Alberta (ABA) Celebrates Christmas The Association of Batanguenos in Alberta (ABA) celebrated the joyous occasion of Christmas with a party last Friday December 16, 2011 at the The Banquet Palace. The celebration lasted until the wee hours of the evening with

lots of food , door prizes, dancing and singing. Phillip Aseron, acting President acknowledged the different associations of the community and thanks all the people that supported ABA year after year. The Batanguenos are

December 2011

Christmas Dinner with Calgary Staff

A get together Christmas dinner Restaurant in Calgary hosted by for Calgay staff last Thursday Jun Angeles of Alberta Filipino united group of people that come December 15, 2011 at Tea Pot Journal from the province of Batangas and played a significant role in promoting unity among the Filipinos in Edmonton.

L-R Jun Angeles, Dennis Yambao, columnist, Pepito Magpayo, Associate Editor/ Marketing, Cecilia Magpayo, and Jon Salvador, contributing writer.

The Council of Edmonton Filipino Associations at the Batangas party

Lunch with Miya Villarena, Young Columnist of Alberta Filipino Journal The family of Miya Villarena a a lunch at Palabok House with the contributor to the Alberta Filipino co-publisher of Alberta Filipino and her parents Bernard and Lilia Journal Jun Angeles. and brother Bricks was treated to

The Group of Batanguenos

L to R Miya, Bernard, Lilia and Bricks with Jun Angeles

Phillip Aseron with emcee Bel Elefante

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December 2011

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Temporary Foreign Worker Christmas Party by Terry Andriuk, Manager Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers

Alberta

Quezonian Club Christmas Family Affair

The Christmas celebration of the Quezonian Club of Edmonton last Saturday, December 10, 2011 at Rolymie Restaurant and Bakery was a night of fun and camaraderie with a lot of door prizes, 50/50, parlour games,

singing and dancing.. Authentic Filipino foods were served including the traditional lechon. President Jimmy Villamayor thanked the members and offices for their help to make this event a success.

Novie Mae Sambat, Kathryn Friesen, Gemalil Biscocho, Terry Andriuk, Nancy Villegas, Greg Lopez, Yessy Byl, Zdravka Brnada

C

hristmas came early this year for approximately 250 Temporary Foreign Workers and their families. The Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers and Catholic Social Services hosted an exciting, heartfelt Christmas party for their TFW clients on Saturday, November 26th, 2011 in downtown Edmonton. This event would not have been possible without the support of Lise Durand and her crew from Helping Hands of Hope who provided the funding, cooks and volunteers to cater the event. Helping Hands of Hope is a foundation that raises money for those in need in Nepal and Vietnam. They currently coordinate health projects for clean water and cataract surgery abroad, but were looking to help support people locally who may also be in need. This year they chose to support Temporary Foreign Workers. Many community partners worked together to donate their resources and volunteer time towards this party. The First Baptist Church provided the venue and kitchen, the UFCM Local 401 Provincial Women’s Committee organized soap and lotion stocking stuffers, Adriana Blanco sewed gift bags for the items, and an extremely

talented local Spanish Latin Guitar musician, Freddy Ruiz, volunteered to play for the crowd and facilitated a Latin Dance lesson. The large glittering Christmas balls that decorated the church were compliments of The City of Edmonton Reuse Centre. The photographer was a volunteer TFW, the turkeys were provided the Edmonton Food Bank and the Pinatas were made by volunteers and donated to the party. The festivities included Christmas Dinner, crafts, swinging at a Piñata, and a visit from Santa with music provided by DJ Fuego. This event came about through the efforts of community partners seeing a need and wishing to fill in the gaps due to a shortage of resources. They wanted to provide a successful, well coordinated social event of this nature for Temporary Foreign Workers to build relationships and a sense of community. This party may have been the social highlight of the year for many individuals. For others, they said it was their first invitation to an event in a community setting since they have been in Canada. Temporary Foreign Workers often come to Canada alone, leaving their families back home, work long hours and weekend or night shifts.

This makes it difficult for them to be connected in their communities and many not have been to a community event in 2 or 3 years. All of the contributing community partners agreed that this event was a huge success. The Quezonian Singing Christmas Carols A huge thank you and acknowledgment goes out to everyone who contributed to this event. Lise Durand, Social Worker and all her volunteers with Helping Hands of Hope. Tana Clarke, First Baptist Church Greg Lopez, Nancy Villegas, Amy Jennotee, Ariela Cerna, The Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers, Zdravka Brnada, Gemalil Biscocho, Martha Baca, Kathryn Friesen, Novie Mae Sambat, Catholic Social Services Cheryl Watamaniuk and April Albreicht, The UFCM Local 401 Provincial Women’s Committee, The City of Edmonton Reuse Centre, Edmonton Food Bank, Omni TV, Rosa Catalina Vizzuett, large piñata, Ash, photographer, Yessy Byl, Civil Liberties Facilitator, Lawyer and advocate for The Quezonian Choir TFWs, Freddy Ruiz, musician/guitar and Latin dance lesson, Act Edmonton and community volunteers, especially Kimberly Ferland, Carol Kuzyk and Adriana Blanco, piñata and gift bags.

Filipino Radio Enthusiasts of Edmonton (FREEDX) Celebrates Christmas FREEDX celebrated Christmas at Rolymie Bakery and Restaurant with gift giving, games, singing and dancing. It's a wholesome family affair with Santa Claus visit giving gifts to innocent young children. Carmel Restauro who

is the incumbent and elected president for another term supported a free Christmas party to all the members. Giving back to the members for their support and hard work in the previous years were compensated with a free dinner for everyone.

Traditional Lechon

BRIAN STORSETH, MP Westlock – St. Paul Edith and Nonong Granado

From my family to yours, we wish you and your loved ones a very merry Christmas, a joyous holiday season and a safe and happy New Year Minda and Carmel Restauro

Freedx Members

Merry Christmas! 4401 – 50 Avenue St. Paul, AB T0A 3A3 10623 – 100 Avenue, Suite B Westlock, AB T7P 2J4

Annabella Carlos with Santa

Sofia Restauro with Santa

Melanie Angeles with Santa

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1-800-667-8450 www.brianstorseth.ca


24 Filipino Journal

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The Pulse of the Filipino Community

December 2011

The Hand of Hospitality

by Miya Villarena Miya Villarena is a native of Quezon City who currently lives in Edmonton, Alberta, with her parents and brother. She enjoys art, mathematics, chess, and a good book along with a cup of coffee on a winter day, as well as writing stories in her spare time. She is also fond of cats and surfing the internet. When asked who her muses are, Miya considers her greatest literary inspiration to be Mary Hoffman, and her favorite artist to be Brett Helquist.

A

s the year comes to a close, we look back and reminisce on our past experiences and the situations that have caused us to end up where we are now as people. Reminiscence often leads us to explore our lives in a clearer light and makes us question why we are who we are today. Our personalities as people gradually shift from side to side over the course of time, affected each day by things that we both consider to be significant and insignificant. However small or large the significance of an event is, we cannot deny that it has the power to completely change the direction that our life is going in, for either better or worse, depending on the situation of the matter. Despite the fact that we change as people, it is admirable that we are compassionate beings that show empathy to each other during times of trouble and need. This characteristic is best described as hospitality. It is our inherent and hidden desire to reach out to people and touch them with our lives – to make theirs better as a result of our intervention. In a lot of cases, our intervention is precisely what they need, yet there are instances when we are afraid to make the first move to show them what they truly wish to feel.

Forget fear. Forget anxiety. Forget all doubts. We must step out of this shell that restricts our intentions and consider the endless spectrum of possible consequences that our actions bring in a time of need, when other people need our help the most. This hospitality which has been passed down to us from generation to generation by our ancestors has been ingrained into our mentality and consequently, it has evidenced itself time and time again in our actions towards our fellow countrymen. Our actions as Filipinos are specifically ones that can be best described as solutions that work towards that well-being of families and lives, and what more is there to say, than that it is in our blood, and that we must act accordingly to what we are and who we are meant to be? My life in my entire stay in Canada would not be made possible if it weren’t for the support and help that my family received from fellow Filipinos here. As a matter of fact, I don’t know if I would be sitting here today and typing up this article, if there was no hospitality or compassion extended to my family. It would have been impossible it wasn’t for the small fraction of the Filipino community that I have gotten to meet here, which only affirms for me once more that no matter how divided we may be in Canada, or separated from our motherland, that we possess a certain invisible bond that joins us together as one people of the same nation, always helping, always sharing, and always listening to one another. In today’s society, this ancient Filipino tradition of hospitality is flourishing and growing, both in the younger generation and the old. Bayanihan, one such form of hospitality, is considered by many to have been a common binding factor during the ancestral Filipino times that pushed the people to work together for a greater good, usually involving a selfless sacrifice of physical labour to extend help in a time

of dire need. Even the root word, bayan, meaning nation or country, heralds unity and association through the sheer fact that we are bonded by our legacy as a people. Being an immigrant to Canada, I was frightened and confused, just as most new immigrants should be. In a strange land, with strange people, and strange policies, I was unsure of myself, and I knew it. However, that scenario was almost three years ago to date. Three years ago, I remember I had some difficulties with adjusting to the new environment I was surrounded with, but despite that, the presence of other Filipino souls around me gave me the strength to persevere in life, no matter how different or unnerving it seemed at the start. As an illustration of that matter, when I and my family first came here to Canada, we were taken in by my father’s childhood friend. He and my father go way back, to the days when he was teaching my father mathematics during the time that he was renting a room with my grandparents as a boarder. It was profound in the sense that my father was able to make contact with him after all the years that they had been separated from each other, and that it was him who had given my father advice and additional information for moving to Alberta. Without him, we probably would have never settled down in this wonderful province, and I wouldn’t have been able to meet all the people that I know today. To be honest, he and his family were the first Filipino friends that we had here in Canada. Many others have followed to be our good friends, but they will definitely always be the first ones in our hearts. Their help and kindness to us made the transition of living in a new world easier and more enjoyable – something that could never have been existent if the case was otherwise. Soon after we were firm on the decision to move to Edmonton from High Prairie, my aunts came all the way from the United States along with their husbands, to provide us with furniture for our townhouse that we had just been

able to rent here in Edmonton. I remember that before they arrived and while we still lived in the town of High Prairie up North, our table was a meager picnic table that we had to crowd around for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. When they came over, they had brought us more than just table: they had also brought shelves, chairs, and lamp stands, as well as books and baking utensils. Our house is fully furnished, thanks to them and all their support that they have lent to us. Honestly, if they had never come all the way up to Canada to help us out, my family could have been in a very tight situation back then. We would never have been the same. That being said, I want you to stop and think now – what could the possible outcome of our lives be, if something didn’t happen along the lines to change it drastically and subsequently transform us into different people? Would we act the same, or would we be different?

Would we be completely different people in the way we act toward others? The year comes to a close, and many people are waiting, watching, and praying for a miracle this Christmas. If you could make a difference in someone’s life, I suggest that you do it, because despite the fact that you can never comprehend or know the outcome of a situation, your intentions are pure and are for the greater good. We are Filipinos and Filipinas. Our blood courses through our veins with the morals and values of our people. We must use them wisely, and help other people with our abilities in today’s world. Not just to Filipinos, but to others as well. Not just to family, or friends, but to complete strangers. Our hospitality was meant so that the world could see who we truly are. Now, we must get out there and show them this Christmas season our inner character – our Filipino complex.

Government of Canada moves forward with changes to airfare advertising OTTAWA — The Government of Canada will proceed with regulations requiring Canadian air carriers to include all fees and taxes in their advertised prices. The Honourable Steven Fletcher, Minister of State (Transport), and Pierre Poilievre, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, today announced the coming into force of clause 27 of An Act to Amend the Canada Transportation Act and The Railway Safety Act and to Make Consequential Amendments to Other Acts (the Act). The Canadian Transportation Agency will now proceed with developing regulations regarding airfare advertising. "Our government is committed to enhancing consumer protection while

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promoting fair competition by ensuring greater transparency of advertised airfares for Canadian travellers," said Minister Fletcher. "This will allow consumers to easily determine the full cost of airfares in order to make informed choices." Clause 27 of the Act provides for the making of regulations requiring a carrier to include in the price advertised all costs to the carrier of providing the service and to indicate in the advertisement all fees, charges and taxes related to the service that are collected by the carrier on behalf of another person. The Canadian Transportation Agency will begin the process of drafting regulations, including consultations with stakeholders. The regulatory process is expected to take approximately one year.


December 2011

The Pulse of the Filipino Community

Filipino Journal

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Public Safety Minister Toews and U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano discuss Border Security and Trade Washington – December 12, 2011 - The Honourable Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety, made the following statement after meeting with U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, to discuss border security and trade. “Canada and the United States have long cooperated on trade and security measures at the border,” said Minister Toews. “The Beyond the Border

Action Plan announced last week by Prime Minister Harper and President Obama demonstrates our shared commitment to create economic opportunities and to improve the border by identifying security threats as early as possible and to facilitate the legitimate flow of goods and travel.” “In today’s world, we face increasingly global economic and security challenges,” said Secretary Napolitano. “The

United States and Canada must continue to work together to not only expand our economies and spur job growth, but also to enhance our shared security.” “The Action Plan is a winwin proposition for Canada and the U.S. that will deliver concrete results. Secretary Napolitano and I look forward to our continued work together and these bilateral meetings are critical to drive the process forward,” added Minister Toews.

2011:The Year Canadians Changed Ottawa Forever: Turmel “4.5 million Canadians put their trust in the NDP to fix Ottawa. And that’s just what we’ll do” OTTAWA – As the fall sitting of Parliament ends, New Democrat Leader Nycole Turmel highlighted the many accomplishments of New Democrats in what was a historic year for all Canadians. “Quite simply, 2011 is the year that Canadians changed Ottawa – forever,” said Turmel. “On May 2, four and a half million Canadians took a good look at Ottawa. And they didn’t like what they saw. The ongoing scandals; the divisive politics; and just how little was being done to help Canadian families. They said Ottawa was broken. And they put their trust in New Democrats to fix it.” Turmel says her New Democrat team has already delivered on that promise of change, with record numbers of women and young leaders in Parliament. By setting a new tone in Parliament and for the first time in decades, uniting progressive Canadians from every corner of the country – including Quebecers. “But perhaps the biggest change has only been seen more recently,” noted Turmel. “For the first time, as we move towards the next election, Canadians now have a clear choice in direction for our country.” She slammed the Conservatives for consistently putting well-connected insiders first, and for failing to act on the

issues that matter to Canadian families: job creation, health care, pensions, and lifting First Nations communities out of poverty. Canadians are now seeing a clear choice with a New Democrat team that will ensure families come first and nobody is left behind. “They also have a clear choice on the caliber of the team they want fighting for them,” said Turmel. “Six years into government, Stephen Harper’s team remains an embarrassment. I will put my front benches up against this crew any day. Our united team is matched only by the caliber of the candidates from across the country running for leader.” Going into 2012, Turmel says her team remains as committed as ever to carrying out Jack Layton’s dream for a better Canada. “The outpouring we saw upon his passing showed us something we all knew. The values Jack Layton held dear are Canadian values. He had a dream for a Canada built on hope, optimism, perseverance and the rock solid belief that by working together, there is no challenge we cannot overcome. That’s a truly Canadian dream.” said Turmel. “New Democrats will always carry on Jack Layton’s legacy. By working together. By defeating Stephen Harper. And by forming a New Democrat government that will always put Canadian families - not wellconnected insiders - first.”

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During his visit in Washington, Minister Toews also met with other U.S. officials and is very pleased with the bilateral cooperation being made on issues such as cyber security, aviation security and counter-terrorism. Minister Toews and Secretary Napolitano will meet again at the Cross-Border Crime Forum meeting being held in Ottawa in March 2012. The forum is a joint effort of Public Safety Canada, the

Department of Justice Canada, the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. It contributes to enhancing cooperation on key cross-border crime and security issues, with a particular focus on addressing a number of cross-border issues, including terrorism, organized crime, drugs trafficking, economic crime, prosecutions and others.


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The Pulse of the Filipino Community

Horoscope This month you can make great strides in your career with the help of others. However, under this influence you may use people or be manipulative.It may be difficult to balance work and personal commitments this month, and you’ll have to be organized.

You may make some rash moves related to your career.You’ll crave changes to your routine and have trouble keeping up with commitments. You may worry about your health, but this will be a waste of energy.

You’ll be focused and organized during the holiday season. There will be several chances to socialize with relatives, neighbors, and members of your community. This would be a good time to get involved with planning a party or event.

Month of December is indicating progress in your Career and Business. Expansion in name and fame is possible. You will have good connections with people of repute in this month.

Investments in long term deals should be more profitable. Difficulties in love affairs are indicated for you in this month. Going to be reasonably good month for educational pursuits.

You’ll be flirtatious and explore new opportunities for romance during the month. This will make you feel alive and vital, but it would be a good idea to think before you act. Life at the office will be intense and challenging, but you’ll benefit from being part of a team.

There may be a tendency to waste your money or resources during the next few weeks. Keep an eye on your finances and stick to a plan.

There are chances of enhancement in your immovable property. Those who are in business should get more benefits than who are in service.

Make an effort to communicate and cooperate with your partner, if you have one. Interpersonal relations in general will be strained, but they’ll improve if you’re able to keep an open mind, listen to others, and be honest.

Your attention will be on matters related to home and family during this holiday season.You may be easily distracted, though. Your love life will be intense and gratifying.You may begin to set new goals related to these areas, and you’ll have a positive outlook.

A relationship has an intense, make or break feel to it in December. There is the opportunity to get much closer to someone but you will both have to really want this for it to work.

This month of December indicates delay in rise and financial hurdles. You should control your expenses in this month. Those who are in service may experience deterioration in service conditions.

PAHALANG 1 Masuwerte 8 Guidelines InternationalNetwork 11 _______ Coliseum 12 Renta 13 Masebo 14 Galaw ng dagat 15 Ihakbang 16 Sanggol 17 Tunog ng orasan 18 Singer ng Zuñiga 20 Hulapi 21 Magalang na tugon

PABABA 22 Extra Terrestrial 23 Arnel Pineda 25 Sikat 27 Unlapi 28 Dungis 30 Problema 32 Malaking lalagyan 33 Ilado 34 Hintay sa pangako 35 Lasa ng asukal 36 Higaan:Ingles 37 Hindi ko na gusto (2 salita)

1 Tawag sa lola 2 Leksiyon 3 Tulo 4 Supling 5 Bansa sa Middle East 6 Pagtutumpok-tumpok 7 District Attorney 8 Pagkaing Halaman 9 Dumi ng ibon 10 Manilawnilaw na likido sa naimpeksyong sugat 14 Kuha

19 Ita 21 Pera ng mga Pinoy 23 Tanggalin 24 Pananagana 25 Angkop 26 Paglalagay ng kamay sa balikat ng iba 27 Ipakiusap 28 Hangad 29 Taong bayan 31 Likom 35 Tawag sa ina

Sudoku Puzzles are games of patience, numbers and genius! The satisfaction of solving a challenging Sudoku Puzzle is one of the greatest accomplishments any sudoku game player can experience.

Here is the puzzle. Good luck!

Solutions for Palaisipan & Sudoku will be posted online www.FilipinoJournal.com

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December 2011

The Pulse of the Filipino Community

N

by Dolly Punsalan Castillo

Alberta

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Pamaskong Pagbati sa Inyong Lahat

akasanayan na natin ang masaya at mabunying pagbabatian tuwing darating ang selebrasyon ng Pasko. Dapat lang naman at tunay na karapat-dapat ang pagsasaya at pasinaya natin sa ating Poong Maykapal. Kaagapay ng aking pagbati ay sasabayan ko ng ilang kuru-kuro na pwede ninyong pahalagahan o ipag-walang bahala. Ito’y di lamang aking obserbasyon sa palagay ko kung hindi ng ilan sa inyo. Ang aking pakay sa pagbubunsod ng mga

kuru-kuro na ito ay paalala lang naman. Nakakarindi na rin na tuwing Pasko ay naghalang ang komersyalismo at pang – materyal na panandaliang kaligayahan. ‘Di ko inaalis ang ganitong pagdiriwang, bagkus ay pakiusap lamang na ituon natin ang ating paningin sa orihinal na pakay ng Pasko. Ito ang pagluwal ng munting sanggol sa hamak na sabsaban. Ibinadya ang pagdating ng Manunubos sa makasalanang katauhan. Kung paglilimi-limiin

Kyoto: Good Riddance to a Bad Deal for Canadians Canadians have every reason to celebrate our country's recent decision to withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol. Our refusal to play the role of sucker at a United Nations poker game might even send a message to the world's real polluters. The Chretien Liberals signed on to Kyoto in 1997 without ever intending to honour what they were promising under the agreement. And what they were promising was nutty: a six per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by the end of 2012. By the time voters replaced them with the Harper Conservatives in early 2006, Canada's greenhouse gas emissions had soared, rising 25 per cent from 1990 levels by 2005, the most of any country in the G8. Since then, emissions have continued to rise. Canada is

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projecting emissions to exceed our Kyoto treaty commitment by 28.8 per cent at the end of 2012. Had we failed to exercise our rights under the agreement to withdraw, Canadians would have been on the hook for somewhere between $14 billion and $19 billion - we would have been obliged to turn the money over to foreign governments to purchase carbon credits - costly licenses from the international community to produce carbon. Peter Kent, Canada's environment minister, was not joking when he outlined our alternatives if we stayed in the deal: we could hit our Kyoto target by 2012 if we removed every car and truck of every kind from every road in the country, or, if we chose to keep our cars, we could choose

instead not to heat every house, every office, factory, warehouse and hospital in Canada. So what's not to like about Kyoto? Credit should go to Stéphane Dion, the former Liberal leader, who during the 2008 federal election proposed a massive $15 billion carbon tax as a realistic measure that would move us part way toward our ridiculous Kyoto commitment. Voters chose resoundingly not to follow his plan, turning their backs on the carbon tax in record numbers, ensuring that Dion and his dog, aptly named Kyoto, would never occupy 24 Sussex Drive. Effectively, Kyoto was dead as soon as the votes were counted in 2008 - the treaty, that is, not Dion's adorable white husky. Reaction to Kyoto's predictable demise from the environmental movement has been hysterical.

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ay tunay na makahulugan ang kanyang mapagkumbabang pagdating. Sa likod ng lahat na itong mga pangyayari ay isinasaad ang tunay na pagmamahal at pag-ibig ng Diyos sa kanyang mga kinapal. Ang paghihikahos ay ibinandilang karapat-dapat. Malakas na paniniwala at pagsamba ay iwinagayway. Sana naman ay dala pa natin sa ating mga kalooban ang mga tuntunin na ito. Kaygandang saloobin natin ang mga ‘virtues’ na ito at gawing

Pasko ‘di lamang ang isang araw kundi sa ating pang-araw-araw na buhay. Hindi kailangang magarbo ang magmahal at tumulong sa kapwa… isang matamis na ngiti at pakikinig na mataimtim ay magandang simulain. Paghahasik ng kaluwagan ng kalooban at pasasalamat sa pagsikat ng araw ay tunay na nakakaaliw. Subukan natin na ipasa – Diyos ang lahat ng nakayanan habang nagsisikhay bilang taong may dangal at hiya. Iyan ang alay natin sa Kapaskuhan ng Buhay!

Greenpeace said the Harper government "has imposed a death sentence on many of the world's most vulnerable populations by pulling out of Kyoto." It's pretty rich for Canada's environmental activists to accuse our government of plotting the demise of countless Pacific Islanders. At the same time as these people stage protests to demand the shutdown of Alberta's oil sands and the cancellation of the Keystone pipeline - two of the most heavily regulated energy projects on the planet - they ignore the flagrant environmental abuses of the planet's biggest polluters. China also took Canada to task for pulling out of Kyoto, calling our decision regrettable and saying it goes against the efforts of the international community to reach a new deal on emissions. That's easy for China to say. Under the Kyoto agreement neither

China nor India are obliged to reduce their carbon emissions at all. That's the biggest reason the United States refused to ratify Kyoto and does not abide by the treaty. China's emissions in 2009 amounted to 7.7 billion metric tons of greenhouse gases. Canada's were 541 million. Ironically, while China's spokesman was blasting Canada over our decision to leave Kyoto, the City of Beijing was closing its freeways to traffic and their international airport was cancelling 233 domestic and 17 international flights. The smog was so thick it was unsafe to take off or land an aircraft, or to drive a car. Perhaps if climate activists, politicians and foreign polluters accepted the reality that Canadians aren't willing to bankrupt their country to atone for signing an illconceived treaty, we'd actually take a big step towards cutting down on hot air.


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Legislation Providing Tougher Sentences for Murderers Comes Into Force OTTAWA, December 1, 2011 – The Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Niagara Falls, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, and Robert Goguen, M.P. for Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice, announced that as of December 2nd, two Acts which provide tougher sentences for murderers will have come into force. The Protecting Canadians by Ending Sentence Discounts for Multiple Murders Act ensures that multiple murderers serve their parole ineligibility periods one after another. An Act to amend the Criminal Code and another Act(originally called the Serious Time for the Most Serious Crime Act) effectively repeals the "faint-hope clause" that allowed murderers to obtain early parole. "These two pieces of

legislation are further examples of our Government's commitment to keeping our streets and communities safe and ensuring truth in sentencing," said Minister Nicholson. "Canadians want to know that criminals are held accountable for their crimes. Making multiple murderers serve their parole ineligibility periods one after another, and effectively repealing the faint hope clause will do just that." Protecting Canadians by Ending Sentence Discounts for Multiple Murders Act Under the previous system, criminals convicted of multiple murders served their parole ineligibility periods concurrently, meaning that they were eligible to apply for parole after just one period ranging from 10 to 25 years, depending on their

sentence. The Act to end sentence discounts allows judges to impose consecutive parole ineligibility periods of 25 years for each victim on individuals convicted of more than one first- orseconddegree murder. This would mean that convicted multiple murderers would need to serve a significantly longer overall period in custody before they were eligible to apply for parole. "Ending sentence discounts for multiple murderers acknowledges the value of each life taken," said Mr. Robert Goguen. "Our Government is standing up for victims of crime and their families by making sure that criminals receive sentences that reflect the seriousness of their crimes." First-degree murder and two categories of second-degree murder carry a mandatory life

sentence with no eligibility for parole for 25 years. The remaining categories ofsecond-degree murder carry a mandatory life sentence with no eligibility for parole for a minimum of 10 years up to a maximum of 25 years. Repealing the "faint-hope clause" The Serious Time for the Most Serious Crime Act ensures that criminals who commit first-degree murder on or after tomorrow's date are not eligible for parole until they serve the full 25 years of their sentence. Similarly, offenders serving life imprisonment forsecond-degree murder are no longer eligible for parole until their parole ineligibility period is served, which could be up to 25 years. "Families of victims should not have to relive their losses by

attending multiple early parole eligibility hearings," said Minister Nicholson. "This Act puts the needs of law-abidingcitizens ahead of criminals, and it spares the victimized from continually reliving their losses." Offenders who commit murder on or after tomorrow's date will no longer be able to apply to be eligible for early parole under the faint-hope regime. Those who are currently serving their life sentence or awaiting sentence will face tougher rules when they apply. An online version of the legislation is available at www. parl.gc.ca Backgrounders: Legislation to Repeal the "Faint Hope" Clause Backgrounders: Ending Sentence Discounts for Multiple Murderers

Canadian citizenship not for sale: Minister Kenney provides update of investigations into citizenship fraud Montreal, December 9, 2011 — The Government of Canada is now investigating 6,500 people from more than 100 countries for fraudulently attempting to gain citizenship or maintain permanent resident status, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today. “Canadian citizenship is not for sale,” said Minister Kenney. “Canadians are generous people, but have no tolerance or patience for people who don’t play by the rules and who lie or cheat to become a Canadian citizen. The Government will apply the full strength of Canadian law to those who have obtained citizenship fraudulently.” In July, Minister Kenney announced that Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) was beginning the process to revoke the citizenship of up to

1,800 citizens who obtained it fraudulently; that number has now risen to more than 2,100. The Department has also been working on cases of those who are not yet citizens. Nearly 4,400 people with permanent resident status who are known to be implicated in residence fraud have been flagged for additional scrutiny should they attempt to enter Canada or obtain citizenship. The majority of these individuals are outside the country. In typical cases, permanent residents will use the services of an unscrupulous immigration consultant to establish evidence of residence in Canada while living abroad most, if not all, of the time. This fraud is perpetrated so that individuals can maintain their permanent residence status and later apply for citizenship. A family of five may pay upwards of $25,000 over four or more years

to create the illusion of residence in Canada. “My department is working closely with the Canada Border Services Agency, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and Canadian offices abroad to prevent people who are suspected of non-compliance with the permanent residence requirement from being admitted to Canada without proving they meet the requirements and take enforcement action when necessary,” added Minister Kenney. To date, of the 4,400 permanent residents who have been flagged, nearly 1,400 people have withdrawn or abandoned their citizenship application because of new scrutiny. Permanent residents must acquire three years of residence out of four years to apply for Canadian citizenship. To

retain their status as permanent residents, they must be physically present in Canada for two years out of five. “I encourage anyone who has information regarding citizenship fraud to call our tip line to report it,” urged Minister Kenney. Cases involving false representation, fraud or knowingly concealing material circumstances in the citizenship process – for example, pretending to be present in Canada to meet the residence requirements for obtaining citizenship – should be referred to the citizenship fraud tip line at CIC’s Call Centre at 1-888-242-2100 (in Canada only, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. local time, Monday through Friday). Tips may also be reported by e-mail at Citizenship-fraud-tips@cic.gc.ca. Those overseas can contact the nearest Canadian visa office. All other fraud types related

to immigration should be reported to the CBSA’s Border Watch Tip Line at 1 888-502-9060. Tips accepted by the Border Watch Tip Line include, but are not limited to, suspicious crossborder activity, marriages of convenience, misrepresentation in any temporary or permanent immigration application, or the whereabouts of any person wanted on an immigration warrant. The Government of Canada is taking action to crack down on the actions of crooked consultants during the immigration process. Bill C-35, originally introduced as the Cracking Down on Crooked Consultants Act, came into force on June 30, 2011. The Act imposes penalties on unauthorized representatives who provide, or offer to provide, advice or representation for a fee at any stage of an immigration application or proceeding.

Conservative Inaction On Missing Aboriginal Women Shameful: Turmel Conservatives abdicate responsibility and embarrass Canada again internationally OTTAWA – The inaction of the Conservative government on missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls in this country is shameful, said Official Opposition Leader, Nycole Turmel. The UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW Committee) will conduct an investigation into the 600 documented murdered and missing Aboriginal women in Canada in the last 20 years. “We welcome the UN investigation and are anxious to find out the results, but once again, the inaction of the Conservatives

is a source of embarrassment for Canada internationally,” said Turmel. “The UN sounded the alarm three years ago and called for action on the part of the government, but nothing was done. We simply can’t rely on this government to seriously address the crisis these Aboriginal women are facing,” said Turmel. It’s only the second time the CEDAW Committee has launched this type of investigation, the first was in Mexico. These investigations are only used as a last resort, when the government has failed to resolve the situation.

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“These murders and disappearances are a real tragedy. These women have waited far too long to get real action from their government. This government doesn’t do anything for Aboriginals and, once again, they have to rely on the international community to get help,” said the NDP Leader. “This government must conduct a serious investigation into crimes against Aboriginal women. It must also put in place a clear strategy to address and eliminate violence against women in this community,” concluded Turmel.


December 2011

The Pulse of the Filipino Community

by Gem & Lita Anis

A

A Pilgrimage to Italy

spiritual journey or a religious vacation to sacred sites and destinations commonly known as pilgrimage may be life-changing, faith-healing or faith-deepening. Our pilgrimage to grand Catholic Italy is more than a religious vacation, a combination of faith and travel exploring and experiencing its rich culture and history. From Lourdes, France, we drove to the French Riviera passing through many beautiful cities on the Mediterranean and arrived at Nice where we spent the night and dined at Best Western Nautica. Afterwards we took a walk along the Boulevard Des Anglais and enjoyed the scenery along the Mediterranean Sea. Early morning after sunrise we journeyed along the panoramic coast viewing Monte Carlo and the Principality of Monaco until we reached Padua (Padova), Italy, home of St. Anthony, the miracle-working saint and patron of lost and stolen articles. We visited the richly decorated tomb and reliquaries of the saint inside the Basilica of St. Anthony. The

saint was actually a Portugeese, not Italian, having been born to a wealthy family in Lisbon, Portugal though he died in Padua, Italy that's why both countries are trying to claim him. We travelled on and entered by private tourist motorboat to Venice, the city of canals and one of the world's most romantic cities. We stayed for hours at the crowded St. Mark's Square and marvelled at the golden Basilica of San Marco and the lavish Doge's Palace. We strolled along the rims of the Venetian lagoon lined with colourful gondolas for hire, viewed the legendary "Bridge of Sighs" and walked on the Rialto Bridge, the oldest stone bridge in Venice. In the afternoon we were at Murano, internationally famous for glassmaking industry and watched a demonstration of glassblowing by the skilled artisans. The pilgrimage trip continued to Florence, the capital city of sunny Tuscany. Our guided tour of Florence included the Academy of Fine Arts where we admired in awe Michelangelo's "David". We climbed with a little difficulty the Giotto's Bell Tower and spent

Gem & Lita at St. Peter’s Square, Rome

“Holy Stairs” (Scala Santa), Rome

hours at the sculpture-studded Signoria Square. A mass was held by our tour director-guide, Msgr. Jan from Yoguslavia at the magnificent Cathedral of Sta. Maria del Fiore (popularly known as the "Duomo"). Across the Duomo is the octagonal "Baptistery" of San Giovanni famous for its heavy bronze doors of relief sculptures dubbed as "Gates of Paradise" that have miraculously withstood all kinds of weather, floods and two world wars. It didn't take so long to reach and explore the hilltop village of Assisi, birthplace of one of the most beloved saints of all times, St. Francis, a patron of Italy and the ecologists, and the founder of the Franciscan Order of Friars. We're able to see the crucifix that spoke to the saint, visited the St. Mary of Angels Basilica and the "Porziuncula" where St. Francis acquired his vocation and made it his home for the rest of his life. It is believed that St. Francis was the first person to bear the wounds of Christ's Passion when he received stigmata in 1224. We went to see the Monastery of St. Damian, a Franciscan shrine built on the spot where St. Francis heard the voice of Christ. This is also the place where he wrote the "Canticle of the Creatures". On to Cascia, a small town in the mountains of the Umbrian Valley, and home of Sta. Rita de Cascia, the "Patron Saint of the Impossible Causes". Her intercession is also sought by abused women. After hearing mass at the Basilica of St. Rita we entered the chapel that houses the saint's incorrupt body. Our Italian pilgrimage continues to Lanciano, San Giovanni Rotondo, Monte Cassino, and finally to Rome on the next issue.

Abbey of Monte Cassino

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Filipino Journal

Alberta

29

Welcome 2012 by Going Medieval at the Muttart Welcome the New Year at The Knight is Young with an evening of music, live performances and warm family fun at the Muttart Conservatory.

(Outside of Edmonton, call 780442-5311) or in person at any City of Edmonton Attraction Take part in a quest through the pyramids, test your skills in medieval games, learn a medieval dance and have your picture Date: Saturday, December 31, taken with squires and ladies 2011 Time: 7–10pm in waiting. Come in costume – Location: Muttart Conservatory, knights, princesses, wizards and 9626–96A Street dragons are all welcome to join us Admission: family $45 (2 adults in this grand adventure designed & children under 18 living in for families with children 7 to same household); general $16/ 12 years old. The evening ends person (13 years older); children with a mini-midnight countdown celebration. Space is limited so $11/child (2-12 years); under 2 free register early. Tickets: Available by calling 311


30 Filipino Journal

Alberta

The Pulse of the Filipino Community

December 2011

2011:The Year Canadians Changed Ottawa Forever: Turmel Maintains Council priorities, keeps tax increase for civic programs under 4% City Council has set a 2012 Operating Budget to deliver the services Edmontonians expect every day—including police, transit, roads maintenance, fire rescue, libraries, parks maintenance, recreation programs and urban planning—for roughly $5 per day in taxes for the typical Edmonton household. The budget of roughly $1.88 billion will require an average increase of 5.39% in municipal property taxes, which includes 3.89% for civic services and 1.5% to continue the Neighbourhood Renewal Program for reconstruction and maintenance of roads, sidewalks and streetlights in mature areas. The increase also includes 0.75% for debt servicing for major projects in the Capital Budget approved earlier. “City Council has made key decisions to maintain levels of quality civic services Edmontonians expect while ensuring we are fiscally prudent to keep property taxes affordable and appropriate for the range of services we provide,” said Lorna Rosen, Chief Financial Officer & Treasurer. A typical Edmonton house (assessed at $365,000) would see a tax increase of about $7.75 a month for people on a payment plan, or $93 for all of 2012. Utility fees for City-run operations of waste management and drainage will increase about $85 for the year or $7.08 on the monthly bill.

The final tax rate will be set Services in the spring after the Province • 8% Debt Repayment announces the Education Tax. • 6% Planning, Housing & Buildings Service Enhancements • 5% Corporate Support*** Council advanced several key • 5% Capital Project Financing initiatives to advance Edmonton • 4% Neighbourhood Renewal priorities including funding to • 4% City Governance** add new police constables; an • 4% Corporate Expenditures * enhanced snow removal strategy; • 2% Public Library roadway maintenance increases; • 1% Economic Development support to the REACH program Corporation and Community Services for the violence-reduction strategy; a Notes: traffic light pre-emption system; * Corporate Expenditures operating funding for Community includes Tax Appeals and Leagues; housing funding for the Adjustments, Funding available Cornerstones program; a venture to Council, Northlands Subsidy capital fund; a pilot bus service to for Rexall Place, Indy, Risk the Edmonton International Airport Management. and the support for the Quarters ** City Governance includes Downtown CRL Plan. Mayor and Councillor Offices, Council also returned funding Offices of the City Manager, City to several projects that were Auditor, Financial Services. contemplated in cost-reduction *** Corporate Support strategies. Programs include a includes Corporate Services like regular streetlight bulb replacement Human Resources and Information program; increasing the mosquito Technology. control program; alley cleaning; the flower planting and shrub BACKGROUND replacement program; transit hours; Budget Strategies parks servicing; and tree lighting on A number of strategies were Whyte Ave and Jasper Ave. employed to balance the proposed Tax dollars are distributed budget at a targeted tax increase, among all municipal services in this including: breakdown (excludes user fees): • Increase in revenue (about $25 • 17% Police Service million) from 2011 education tax • 12% Public Transit room for operational costs in new • 11% Roads capital projects, increased interest • 11% Fire Rescue for late payments, transit fines and • 10% Parks and Community transit fare increase (moving from $2.85 to $3.00) and Right-of-Way Management License Fees. • Decrease in internal expenditures (over $5 million) from changing

business delivery, branch reorganization and efficiencies, reduced internal maintenance schedules and reduced consulting services. Police also identified a net reduction of $2.3 million through efficiencies. Administration used Council’s strategic plan – The Way Ahead – to guide short-term budget strategies that allow the City to meet the original tax target, while keeping on track for long-term goals. The City proposed increased revenues and reduced internal costs to achieve about $40 million in net savings in the 2012 budget. The reductions include reallocating or reducing staff by the equivalent of about 78 positions. Sources of funding The Operating Budget for civic services is funded by a range of sources, including 54% from property taxes, almost 20% from permits, user fees and fines, about 12% from EPCOR dividends and other dividends and investment earnings, and about 4% from grants from other orders of government for policing, housing, libraries and FCSS community grants. Neighbourhood renewal The Neighbourhood Renewal Program involves a combination of total reconstruction in some areas and preventative maintenance in others. The program benefited more than 20 neighbourhoods last year, with work on roads, sidewalks and streetlights. The program is supported by a dedicated tax increase to build a sustainable fund for renewal. Cost increases Demand for City services continues to grow as Edmonton

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expands in area. Population is also expected to grow 5.5% in the four years of 2011-14. Costs for services increase to serve the wider area and larger population, including transit service and emergency protection for new neighbourhoods, and greater focus on community safety as our urban centre grows. City expenditures are increasing as it provides the services in many new facilities and infrastructure that have been developed in the last few years and the year ahead – including new libraries, fire halls, transit stations and an expanded LRT line. A number of key facilities coming on stream in 2012 include the Commonwealth Community Recreation Centre and the Southwest Division Police Station. Cost are escalating in areas such as materials for road repairs, fuel for buses and police cars, and salaries for the city staff who deliver services. The consumer price index (CPI) estimates Edmonton’s inflation of consumer goods (including fuel) in 2012 at 2.1% and Stats Canada reports the estimates Non-Residential Construction Price Index (NRCPI) for construction labour and material costs will increase 5.8% in 2012. Other cost increases in the City’s budget include operational increases such as enhanced snow removal services and debt servicing for capital projects. The total amount of the increased costs of growth, inflation and the impact of previous Council decisions is about $98 million. A typical Edmonton household pays the federal and provincial governments income and education taxes. When combined with municipal taxes, about six percent of a household’s total tax dollars go to the City to fund civic services.


December 2011

The Pulse of the Filipino Community

Filipino Journal

Alberta

31

Philippine Financial Services Christmas greet Merry Christmas from The Philippine Financial Services - Jasmine, Grapes and Victoria, on behalf of Joe and Jenny Bungay, owners/managers, wishing our kababayans a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

by Lolo Jose

A senior remembers when a $1.00 actually went somewhere

When I was a boy, my Momma would send me down to a corner store with $1, and I’d come back with 5 bags of potatoes, 2 loaves of bread, 3 bottles of milk, a hunk of cheese, a box of tea, and 6 eggs. You can’t do that now. Too many freakin security cameras.

Wishing you a Happy Birthday Joey Calvelo!

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Alberta

The Pulse of the Filipino Community

December 2011

RJL 2011

32 Filipino Journal

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December2011  

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