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Tax time offers benefits for business Page 4


Surprises abound after baby arrives Page 8

‘West Side Story’ comes to San Diego Page 17


Award-Winning Newspaper • Your No. 1 Source of News and Information on Filipinos December 18 - 24, 2010

Filipino Press 2010 People of the Year • Charice

Pop tart From the release of her ‘Pyramid Remixes’ to her performance at the inauguration of President Aquino and her debut on the hit series ‘Glee,’ 2010 has been a very good year for the young star

Photo: Victor Muniz/Filipino Press

Pro skateboarder Santos celebrates birth of daughter, marks 20 years on board in 2011 Editor’s note: As 2010 comes to a close, we asked local notable Filipino-Americans to tell us about how their year worked out and what they look forward to in 2011. First up: Professional skateboarder and owner of Willy's Workshop in Mira Mesa. Interview by Brandi Perez.


ilipino-American professional skateboarder Willy Santos had quite a busy year. The 35-yearold Poway resident has traveled worldwide on several skate tours, teamed up with Tony Hawk to bring a skate park to Mira Mesa and welcomed his second child into the world. It’s been a year of ups and downs for the skater, and not just on the board. We asked Santos to highlight key events of 2010 and give us a preview of what 2011 looks like for him. As you look back on 2010, what were your biggest personal and professional achievements? Some of my biggest personal achievements are witnessing my daughter, Phelisha Cabiling Santos, being born on Nov. 30 and being able to go skate-

By Bill Ramsey Filipino Press Staff Writer


er star is not rising, it has risen. Only 18, she has already entered the vaunted and heady company of stars known simply by one name — Madonna, Cher … Charice — and 2010 has been the biggest year yet for the young Filipina singing sensation. Editor’s note: This is the second of three People of the Year features as 2010 draws to a close. Beginning (and ending) the year on a high note, Charice was everywhere: performing — in Italian no less — on “lo Canto,” a popular singing competition in Italy; releasing an album and club remixes of her international debut album, “The Pyramid Remixes,” which rocketed to the top of the Billboard Dance/ Club charts; releasing her international debut album, “Charice,” which reached No. 8 on the Billboard 200 Album chart — making her the first Asian to enter the Top 10; appearing on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” for the second time with fellow YouTube sensation Justin Bieber; joining the cast of the hit series, “Glee;” performing during the inauguration of new Philippine President Benigno Aquino; and ending

the year performing on NBC’s “Christmas in Rockefeller Center.” Clearly, the little girl with the big voice is no one-hit wonder. And if her mentor, famed music producer David Foster is to be believed, Charice is on track to follow in the footsteps of Foster’s earlier protégé, Celine Dion. “Charice reminds me of when I saw Celine 20 years ago,” Foster told Newsweek magazine recently. “In my opinion, she will put the whole of Asia on the map as a huge global superstar.” In fact, Charice has already shared the stage with Dion. Charice’s ascent to fame began early. From age 7, the young girl helped support her struggling family singing at fiestas and competitions in the Philippines. At 13, Charice — born Charmaine Clarice Relucio See CHARICE on 19

Publicity photo

See SANTOS on 19

Choa named new PNB president, CEO

Courtesy photo

David G. Choa, right, new president and CEO of PNB Remittance Centers, Inc., visits PNB Los Angeles branch manager Arlene Lee.

PNB Remittances Centers, Inc., an affiliate of Philippine National Bank, has recently named David G. Choa as its new president and chief executive officer, according to a company news release. Choa, or DG, as family and friends call him, assumed the top post a few weeks ago. He came to PNB from Bank of America, where he held a variety of positions in different departments giving him a wide range of experience in the banking sector. Prior to Bank of America, Choa was associated with Citibank in a similar capacity. Choa said he is excited about his assignment with PNB, given PNB’s long history of service

to the Filipino-American community across the nation. He said he plans to focus his time on expanding PNB’s reach to other parts of the U.S. (on a direct or agency basis) without compromising the quality of its services. Choa said his ultimate objective is for PNB centers to be consistently viewed by “Kababayans” as a trusted conduit for delivering the hard-earned fruits of their labor to their Philippine-based beneficiaries. Choa said he is committed to aggressively build on PNB’s dominant lead in the remittance industry. He has taken time from his schedule to meet with staff at branches to learn and to share his vision. Choa further assured PNB officers

Pay your bills in the Philippines in real time

Do you have monthly bills to settle in the Philippines? There is an easy and safe way to send your payment to the Philippines through Philippine National Bank Remittance Centers. See Page 13 and field personnel of his full support by immediately attending to new initiatives and programs for the remittance company to stay highly competitive in the various aspects of the remittance business. Under the helm of its new CEO, PNB is committed to

stepping up its endeavors in helping overseas Filipinos avail of services that bring the Philippines closer to them. All areas bear looking into, Choa said, such as offering fiercely competitive exchange rates, a more efficient method for faster delivery and turn-around time of money transfers to beneficiaries and a system of establishing a culturally sensitive, cumulative loyalty program to reward PNB customers and patrons over the long term. The company’s goal under its new CEO, te release said, is to make PNB's presence in Filipino-American communities in North America more firmly entrenched, highly visible and readily accessible.

INSIDE: ‘Your Health,’ a new column debuts in Healthy Living, P. 9


December 18 - 24, 2010

Government issues P200 B in long-term bonds MANILA, Philippines — The Aquino administration has issued a total of P200 billion worth of 2020 and 2035 bonds in a domestic debt swap and sale completed, preliminary data from the Bureau of the Treasury showed. In a telephone interview, National Treasurer Roberto Tan said the government has capped at P200 billion the awards for the new bonds even on the back of strong demand from investors. Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said that of the P200 billion, the government issued P34 billion worth of 2020 bonds and P166 billion worth of 2035 bonds. “This has created a very deep benchmark for 25 year bonds, the longest tenor on our yield curve,” Purisima said. The finance chief said that the savings from the transaction, based on net present value, is around P6 billion, evenly split between the 10-year and 25-year bonds. As part of the offer, the government also sold P15 billion worth of new 2035 bonds, mainly to buy back some local debt. No new money, however, would go to the national government after the domestic debt swap and sale of new bonds. The government recently received offers of around P150 billion for its new 2035 bonds and around P50 billion for the 2020 bonds under the debt swap program. Photo: MNS

President Benigno S. Aquino III with the 10 outstanding policemen awardees (left to right) PO3 Edilberto Euraoba III, PO3 Zoraida Aripin, PO3 Shella Mae Sangrines, P/S Noel Ponsaran, P/S Sidney Villaflor, P/S Leo Francisco, P/S Florencio Ortilla, PO3 Roel Paclibar, SPO2 Hermie Raymundo and PO3 Joey Castillon. he award to the 2010 Metrobank Foundation’s search for the country’s Outstanding Policemen in Service was conferred on Dec. 9 at Rizal Hall in Malacanang Palace.

Military need not be demoralized tration. In-explain kung bakit mali magkaroon ng shortcuts, kung shortcuts ang nangyari dito. Kailangan klaro, i-demonstrate sa sambayanan, iba ang nagpapatupad ng batas, iba ang lumalabag sa batas. Kailangan klarong-klaro ang distinction. Kung hindi, paano natin maasahan na papanigan tayo ng taumbayan kung tayo mismo hindi kayang magpatupad ng mga batas na umiiral sa ating bansa?” he told reporters. “Lahat kami ay nanumpa to defend and uphold the Constitution, among others. So I donít think there will be a lessening of the morale of our AFP. Ito yung pagtatanim: pwede ka

Extra-judicial killings under review by DOJ

Webb, others freed by court

MANILA, Philippines—– The Department of Justice is set to form a task force that will review all reported and unresolved cases of extra-judicial killings and enforced disappearances. In a speech during the celebration of Human Rights Day, President Benigno Aquino III said the task force can recommend measures for the effective and expeditious investigation and prosecution of the cases. “Moreover, this task force has been mandated to speed up the resolution of cases with sufficient evidence and the necessary reinvestigation to re-open cold files,” he said. Aquino said the government is working overtime to prevent new cases of human rights violations and to continue to resolve previous cases. He noted that of the 39 work-related murders of media men reported by the Philippine National Police, 85 percent have had charges filed in their respective cases. In the shooting of Camarines Sur radio reporter Miguel Belen in July, Aquino said two suspects are facing murder charges before the Regional Trial Court of Iriga City. He added that the case of murdered ex-journalist Jose Daguio, the first media man to be killed under his administration, has already been set for initial hearing. A U.S.-funded study showed that only 1 percent of the 305 incidents of extra-judicial killings reported from 2001 to 2010 resulted in the conviction of the accused. (MNS)

By Edu Punay MANILA, Philippines — After 15 years behind bars, Hubert Webb and five others convicted for the sensational Vizconde massacre in 1991 recently walked out of prison after being cleared by the Supreme Court. Voting 7-4 with four abstentions, the high court ruled that Parañaque Regional Trial Court Branch 274 judge and now Court of Appeals Justice Amelita Tolentino erred in handing down in January 2000 a guilty verdict on Webb, Hospicio “Pyke” Fernandez, Antonio “Tony Boy” Lejano, Michael Gatchalian, Peter Estrada and Miguel “Ging” Rodriguez for the crime of rape with homicide.

mag shortcut, yung shortcut, pagdating sa dulo, anong silbi. Lalong humina ang mga batas na pinangangalagaan din ang karapatan ng lahat, hindi ng iilan lang,” Aquino said. Aquino recently ordered the Department of Justice to drop all criminal charges against 43 health workers who were arrested in Rizal last February on suspicion of being New People's Army rebels engaged in bombmaking activities. The president said the proposal to free all political prisoners has to be studied carefully. “Well political prisoners dun tayo magtatalo siguro muna sa definition. Sino ba ang po-

litical prisoners? Yung political ho dati pag political beliefs lang, paano kung may violation of our Revised Penal Code amongst others, iaabswelto ba natin yun? Do I have the right to speak on behalf of all the victims of all these crimes, madali hong sabihin yan pero pag-aralan natin mabuti,” he said. Aquino is leaving it to the Armed Forces of the Philippines to address reports that there are some in the Morong 43 who want to join the military. “That was told to me by the AFP hierarchy. I will leave that up to the AFP hierarchy. They would be in the best position to know,” he said. (MNS)

MANILA, Philippines — President Benigno Aquino III believes there is no reason for the military to be demoralized over his decision to withdraw the charges against the Morong 43. He said, from the very start, he has asked the military hierarchy to explain to their subordinates the rationale of his decision. Aquino said the government is expected to abide by the law, knowing that the search warrant and the evidence gathered against the Morong 43 are defective. “From the start, kinausap natin ang hierarchy. I did give instructions to start explaining to everybody my sense of frus-

The court’s ruling covered former policeman Gerardo Biong who was released last month after serving his 12-year sentence for destroying evidence including bloodstained clothing. The CA upheld Tolentino’s ruling on Dec. 15, 2005. “They should be released soon unless they are held for any other unlawful cause,” court administrator and court spokesman Jose Midas Marquez told a press conference. “There is no more motion for reconsideration that can be filed. That would be tantamount to double jeopardy,” he added. Marquez stressed that even if guilt was not proven beyond reasonable doubt, the freed convict cannot be automatically considered innocent.

He added that Webb and the other convicts may claim damages from the government for being wrongly imprisoned. “They would have to file a separate case for that, and their claims would have to be proven,” Marquez said. Marquez also vehemently denied allegations of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption that money changed hands in the acquittal of Webb and the six others. “It would be better if they read the majority decision,” he said. He declined to comment when asked if VACC founding chair Dante Jimenez could be penalized for hurling profanities at the justices in a press conference. (

Philippines ‘surprised’ by updated warning from Hong Kong against travel to R.P. MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines recently expressed surprise after Hong Kong mentioned the threat of terrorist attacks in an update to a travel advisory urging its residents against visiting the country. Hong Kong has a “black” advisory in force, despite other countries lowering the severity of similar warnings issued last month over the fear of terror attacks in the Philippines, foreign ministry spokesman Eduardo Malaya said. “We find it surprising that this updating of Hong Kong’s black travel advisory comes at a time when a number of Manilabased foreign embassies have lowered their travel alerts,” Malaya said in a statement. Hong Kong issued a black travel advisory for the Phil-

ippines in August after eight of its tourists were killed by a disgraced Filipino policeman who took them hostage on a bus in Manila. The Hong Kong security bureau's advisory discourages all travel to the Philippines, which is entering its traditional peak December to February tourism season, when many Hong Kong tourists usually visit. And the updated advisory said: “Some overseas administrations had noted the risk on possible terrorist attacks, including places frequented by foreigners, such as large shopping malls and convention centres.” It is similar to adviso ries issued by several Western countries in November that warned of possible terror threats in Manila.

Philippine President Benigno Aquino strongly criticized the November advisories, saying they were not based on firm intelligence. The Hong Kong security bureau said in a statement that the new details were intended to give more information to travelers. The Philippine foreign ministry said its Hong Kong consulate had been told that the new details were merely a “technical upgrade and not an upgrade of content.” The Philippines has sought to placate Hong Kong after the hostage drama, carrying out an investigation of the bus hijacking and creating special tourist police to guard areas visited by foreign travelers. (MNS)

For the new money component, the government received bids of more than P20 billion but sold only P15 billion. The government had set the minimum coupon rate for the 2020 bonds at 5.875 and 8.125 percent for the 2035 bonds. “There is a minimum price already which was fully subscribed,” Tan said. For this transaction, the government tapped BPI Capital Corp., First Metro Investment Corp., Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corp. Ltd. and the Land Bank of the Philippines as joint managers and joint arrangers for the transaction. Since stepping into office, the Aquino administration has been putting in place measures that would lengthen the government’s debt maturity profile. This is the second debt exchange by the current administration. Last September, it issued $2.04 billion of new 2021 U.S. dollar bonds and $950 million of reopened 2034 U.S. dollar bonds or a total of $2.99 billion in a dollar debt swap. It also sold $200 million of new bonds due 2021. Finance officials said these initiatives are meant to lengthen the government’s debt maturity profile. Treasury officials said that there would be similar activities in the future as part of the government’s debt management program. The government is looking to finance a swelling budget deficit that is projected to hit P325 billion this year or 3.9 percent of total economic output. The government has so far incurred a budget deficit P270.3 billion as of end-October. (

Fund for Truth Commission will remain in 2011 budget MANILA, Philippines — Even though the Supreme Court recently issued a decision nullifying the Truth Commission, a house panel said the P83million proposed budget for the commission will not be removed in the P1.645-trillion national budget for 2011. Cavite Rep. Joseph Emilio Abaya, House appropriations committee chairman, said the bicameral conference committee has not discussed the matter yet. “Based on the bicameral discussion with the Senate, actually it was not discussed thus it stays there," said Abaya. The court on Dec. 7 declared as unconstitutional President Benigno Simeon Aquino’s Executive Order 1, issued on July 30,creating the Philippine Truth Commission. Abaya believed that the court ruling is a temporary setback as Malacañang can still file a motion for reconsideration asking the High Tribunal to reverse its decision. The bicameral committee discussing the national budget is set to meet on soon to reconcile the differences between the respective versions of the House of Representatives and the Senate. The P83 million budget of the Truth Commission covers personal services (P36 million); maintenance and other operating expenses (P44 million), and capital outlay (P3 million). (MNS)

FDI inflows in AsPac seen rising 17% this year MANILA, Philippines — The inflow of foreign direct investments in the Asia Pacific region is forecast to expand 17 percent this year, a reversal of the 40-percent decline in 2009, the World Bank said in a report. The multilateral funding agency added that the region is expected to absorb more investments in the next few years, especially in the mining sector. The WB said FDIs directed to productive assets could spur economic growth and reduce poverty in the region and, in turn, continue to support the recovery of the global economy. In the Philippines alone, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas reported that FDIs in September registered a net inflow of $66 million, a turnaround from the net outflow of $54 million in the same month in 2009. Equity capital posted a net outflow of $22 million in September, or an improvement from the $45 million equity capital withdrawn from the country in the same month last year. The WB report, entitled World Investment and Political Risk, noted, however, that multinational executives are worried about political risks more than anything else in investing in developing countries. In the past three years, political risk tops other business concerns such as market size, lack of finance, and quality of infrastructure. “About a fifth of the investors surveyed use political risk insurance to mitigate this risk,” the report added. This year’s report also focuses on FDIs into conflict-affected and fragile economies, where investors are primarily concerned about adverse government intervention (for example changes in regulations, breach of contract, non-honoring of sovereign guarantees, currency restrictions, and expropriation) rather than overt political violence. Adverse changes in regulations not only rank first among investors’ concerns in conflict-affected and fragile economies, but also are most often responsible for losses in these destinations. By providing much-needed financial resources, technology transfer, managerial expertise, and connections to the global economy, FDIs can help generate and sustain economic growth and promote development, both essential to stability. The report also notes that multilateral political risk insurance providers have a key role to play in covering FDIs in fragile countries because their development mandate allows them to look beyond the bottom line. (


December 18 - 24, 2010 THE FILIPINO PRESS S C R I P P S




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December 18 - 24, 2010

Tax breaks help businesses survive and thrive I

t’s been another rough-and-tumble year for businesses large and small. But with it have come some tax breaks designed to help businesses survive and grow in a tough economy. Make sure your business takes advantage of what’s available. The National Society of Accountants offers this checklist of tax tips for businesses. Take advantage of bonus depreciation. Congress passed special temporary bonus depreciation rules as part of the 2010 Small Business Act. But the window is small — taxpayers generally must place qualified property in service before Jan. 1, 2011. New rules for business expensing Under Internal Revenue Service Code Section 179, taxpayers can elect to recover part or all of the cost of qualified property, up to a limit, by deducting it in the year it is placed in service. Code Section 179 expensing is often called small business expensing, but recent increases have significantly expanded its scope. The dollar and phase-out investment limits are $500,000 and $2 million, respectively, for tax years beginning in 2010 and 2011. The Code Section 179 expensing deduction enables many businesses to deduct the entire cost of their depreciable property during the year it is purchased and placed in service. Payroll tax exemption Employers that hire certain unemployed individuals after Feb. 3, 2010, and before Jan. 1, 2011 may qualify for a 6.2-percent payroll tax incentive. The incentive exempts businesses from paying the employer's share of Social Security taxes on wages paid to qualified new hires after March 18,

business finance 2010 and before Jan. 1, 2011. Not every new hire may qualify for the incentive. Generally, a qualified employee is an individual who was unemployed or who was employed but worked 40 hours or less during the 60-day period ending on the date of new employment. The individual also must not have been hired to replace another employee of that employer, unless the other employee separated from employment voluntarily or was terminated for cause. Worker retention credit Related to the payroll tax exemption is a new but temporary worker retention credit. An eligible employer may claim the credit for each new hire who meets certain retention requirements. A retained worker is a qualified employee (as defined for purposes of the payroll tax exemption) who remains an employee for at least 52 consecutive weeks, and whose wages (as defined for income tax withholding purposes) for the last 26 weeks equal at least 80 percent of the wages for the first 26 weeks. The amount of the credit is the lesser of $1,000 or 6.2 percent of wages paid by the employer to the retained worker during the 52 consecutive week period. The credit may be claimed for a retained worker for the first taxable year ending after March 18, 2010 for which the retained worker satisfies the 52 consecutive week requirement. Domestic production activities deduction This often-overlooked provision under IRS Code Section 199 is targeted

to U.S. taxpayers engaged in manufacturing activities. The definition of manufacturing is broad for purposes of the deduction but its under-utilization may be due to the complexity surrounding the deduction. Generally, the maximum deduction is equal to a percentage of the lesser of either the taxpayer's qualified production activities income or taxable income. The maximum deduction for 2010 is, for most taxpayers, nine percent. The deduction is, however, limited to 50 percent of the W-2 wages actually paid to employees and reported by the employer. Health insurance coverage tax credit The IRS Code Section 45R tax credit applies to small employers offering qualified health insurance coverage to their employees. It is generally available to small employers that pay at

least half the cost of qualified coverage. For the 2010 tax year, the maximum credit is 35 percent of premiums paid by eligible employers (non-profit employers may be eligible for a reduced credit of 25 percent). The maximum credit goes to employers with 10 or fewer full-time equivalent employees paying average annual wages of $25,000 or less. The credit is completely phased out for employers with more than 25 FTEs or with average annual wages of more than $50,000. The Code Sec. 45R credit has many restrictions, so check the rules carefully. Business credit changes The 2010 Small Business Act made some taxpayer-friendly changes to the IRS Code Section 38 general business credit. The eligible small business credits of an eligible small busi-

ness determined in the first tax year of the business that begins in 2010 may be carried back five years and forward for 20 years. An ESB is a corporation without publicly traded stock, a partnership, or a sole proprietorship (Code Sec. 38(c)(5)(C), as added by the 2010 Jobs Act). Additionally, the ESB must have average annual gross receipts for the three-tax-year period before the tax year of $50 million or less. The provision is intended to encourage ESBs to accelerate their business expenditures to 2010. Energy tax incentives A variety of tax incentives are available to encourage businesses to invest in energy conservation, energy efficiency and the production of alternative energy. Taxpayers generally have through Dec. 31, 2013 to place in service biomass, marine and other types of renewable energy property to claim the renewable energy production tax credit (although the placed-in-service date for wind facilities is through Dec. 31, 2012). Accelerating taxable income Although most profitable businesses use year-end planning strategies to accelerate deductions and defer income, not all business profit from these techniques. Some businesses should do just the opposite to come out ahead. For example, a business that had net operating losses in the past can generally can be carried forward into the next tax year to offset income for a finite period. If the NOLs are about to expire, a business may want to accelerate income and defer deductions as much as possible to use those expiring NOLs now and benefit from deferred deductions in the future.

December 18 - 24, 2010 THE FILIPINO PRESS


Another Fil-Am steps us to Supreme Court role M

any have recently heard about Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, a daughter of a Filipina Mother and Filipino-Portuguese father from Sacramento. She has been in the news because she is the first Filipino-American to become chief justice of the California Supreme Court. Most people have never heard of attorney Garrick Sevilla. Maybe one day you will. Garrick is a Filipino-American from San Diego County. His parents, Ernest Sevilla, a letter carrier, and Nicole Zeigen-Sevilla, a nurse, were both born in the Philippines. Both of Garrick’s paternal and maternal grandparents emigrated from the Philippines. Garrick graduated from Valhalla High School in El Cajon and went on to graduate from Duke University, where he earned both his bachelor’s and juris doctor degrees.


Legal Notes After graduating from Duke Law School summa cum laude, Garrick was a law clerk to Judge Janice Brown of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Brown was also a former justice with the California Supreme Court. In describing his clerkship with Brown, Garrick reported in a Duke Law News article, “It was continuation of the ability to think critically about issues that began in law school ... Where that ability was enhanced was in the process of advising her on how to decide cases on appeal and in the process of advising her on how to help her draft an opinion. Those processes demand critical thinking.”


Ph: (619) 528-2340 email: ▪ Call to schedule your free consultation today.

After his clerkship, Garrick went to work for the private law firm Ellis & Winters in North Carolina. He then applied for and was recently accepted as a law clerk for Justice Samuel Alito of the U.S. Supreme Court, where he now works. As a law clerk, Garrick will provide assistance to Alito in researching issues before the Supreme Court and in writing opinions. Garrick said in a Duke Law News article dated feb. 15, that he looked forward to helping Alito “think through” all parts of an issue. This year, it was estimated that there are approximately 308,512,000 people in the United States. According to Wikipedia, there are approximately four million FilipinoAmericans, or about 1.5 percent of the population. Most Filipino-Americans have settled in California, with one out of four Filipino-Amer-

icans living in Southern California. The history of the Filipino in the United States can be traced as far back as October 1587, to Morro Bay. Elsewhere, Filipinos arrived and made a permanent settlement in Louisiana as early as 1763. As of this writing, there has never been a Filipino-American president or vice president of the United States. A couple of years ago, it was unthinkable to many Americans that Barrack Obama, who is of both caucasian and African descent, would become the nation’s 44th president. Likewise, has never been a Filipino-American Supreme Court Justice. As of Aug. 6, 2009, there have been a total of 111 justices serving on the high court and 17 Supreme Court chief justices. The court is comprised of the chief justice and eight associate justices. Each justice is usually allowed up

to four law clerks. Every year, there are 36 law clerk positions available at the Supreme Court. Each year, the competition among those applying for the clerk positions is at the highest level imaginable. An applicant must have a thorough knowledge of the U.S. Constitution, brilliant legal research and writing skills, as well as a clear understanding of federal civil and federal criminal procedure. It is clear that these positions are highly coveted. The Supreme Court is, of course, one of the three branches of the U.S. government, the others begin the executive and legislative branches. Devised by the framers of the Constitution, the separation of power is a unique aspect of the U.S. Government which allows for the shared power among the three branches and ensures that there are checks and balances between the three branches.

The Supreme Court arguably makes many decisions that affect our everyday lives as citizens. Any one Supreme Court Decision can be a significant historic event. One decision affects millions of Americans and, arguably, millions more around the world. As one of the nine current Supreme Court Justices, Associate Justice Alito will play an important role in such decisions. As a result, Garrick Sevilla will have a chance to play an important role in our history as a law clerk to Alito. Perhaps someday, Garrick might become as well-known as Cantil-Sakauye. San Diego attorney Edgar H. Sevilla II. Sevilla has practiced law in California for more than 18 years, specializing in catastrophic work injury, personal injury and criminal cases. To contact Sevilla, e-mail


Up close and personal


ilipinos in United States — especially those of us lucky enough to live in Southern California — have some great opportunities to get “up close and personal” with some of the visiting artists, performers and celebrities from the Philippines. Of course, these are the artists and performers who Filipinos back home see on the popular Philippine-based TV networks, such as ABS-CBN and GMA. But much of the viewing public in the states also have to struggle for access to these artists. Not so for those of us in the media. We have the opportunity to have a brush with fame — but

it’s called work, or “coverage,” interview and photo opportunities we publish in the paper. That is the “tender” we exchange for this opportunity, but we also pay a price in terms of time, money and energy. Yet, we don’t mind most of the time because it is often one of those rare opportunities — a limited or special engagement — an experience that can give us a thrill, one we share with friends, assoiciates and loved ones. It’s a unique payoff and sometimes a panacea for a stressful life or a time to give ourselves a treat. In recent months, members of our staff have had these experiences, covering such acts as

Co m m e n ta r y

On happiness By Soly Paraiso


verybody wants to be happy. Who doesn’t? But what is happiness? What makes for happiness? Let’s begin with the definition of happiness. There are many definitions of happiness, but here are two that I like: Happiness is a state of mind or feeling characterized by contentment, love, satisfaction, pleasure or joy; A condition of supreme well-being and good spirits. According to Dr. John Sklare, happiness is one of life’s precious treasures that will lift your spirit, enhance your wellbeing and sweeten your life. Happiness is just a feeling.


It’s intangible. It is something that cannot be touched. You feel it in the deepest part of your heart. But what really is happiness? It differs from person to person. Each one of us has different reasons for being happy. There are those who think having a lot of money will make them happy. However, countless people who achieve great financial success find themselves very unhappy. When all is said and done, money and material things don’t bring you true happiness. Some say they will feel happy when they have paid all their bills. Others say they will feel happy if they fulfill their dreams: having a beautiful house, a nice car, a fat bank account. They postpone

Doublespeak on human rights

t seems the only thing consistent with the administration of President Benigno S. Aqui-

no III is its inconsistency. While vowing to go after jueteng during the campaign,

the Greatest Hitmakers concert and, more recently, the Filipino Favorites concert at Pala Casino featuring Stephen Bishop, David Pomerantz and Joey Albert. These opportunities don’t happen every week, of course, but we take advantage of them and love to share the thrills with our readers in these pages. Realizing we can help you, the reader, experience the same thrill, we have created more and more ticket giveaways to events featuring the stars when they come to the San Diego area. For weekly treats, you can check our Facebook page and the paper for news of giveaways. After all, it also gives us a thrill to share what is one the our fruits of our labor — top most of which is your weekly copy of this community paper for your reading pleasure. To our loyal readsers, thanks for your compliments via your referrals. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Send comments and suggestions to me via e-mail to Visit us at www.filipinopress. com or on our Facebook page at

their happiness by waiting for these things to happen. But do you think having all these things will really make you happy? How long will that feeling last? Once you have these things — the money, beautiful house, etc. — you will still want something more. You are never satisfied. Why not try to make someone happy? By making someone happy, you will be happy too. And how do you do that? Maybe by visiting a sick person in the hospital or lending a helping hand to a friend who is in need. Donate to your favorite charity. Write a letter to loved ones you haven’t seen for a long time. Tell those you love how much you love them. Then you will feel happy. As Dr. Wayne W. Dyer says: “When you seek happiness for yourself,

it will always elude you. When you seek happiness for others, you will find it yourself.” He also said, “There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way.” Here are five rules to be happy according to Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, author of the book, “The Power of Positive Thinking”: (1) Free your heart from hatred; (2) Free your mind from worries; (3) Live simply; (4) Give more; (5) Expect less. From Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Happiness is a perfume which you cannot pour on someone without getting some on yourself.” From Abraham Lincoln: “Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” From Oscar Wilde: “Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.” From Desiderata: “With all its sham, drudgery, broken dreams, it’s still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.”

But according to Marci Shimoff, author of the book, “Happy for No Reason,” one can indeed be happy for no reason. She interviewed 100 persons who are seemingly happy for no reason. These people are happy no matter what circumstances they find themselves in; whether they have less material things, whether they are not so healthy, or whether they are not as popular as other people. It is in their attitude! As the Dalai Lama says, “The basic thing is that everyone wants happiness. No one wants suffering. And happiness mainly comes from our own attitude, rather than from external factors. If your own mental attitude is correct, even if you remain in a hostile atmosphere, you feel happy.” Still more from the Dalai Lama: “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”

Buddhism teaches that ultimate happiness is only achieved by overcoming craving in all its forms. It also encourages the generation of loving kindness and compassion, the desire for the happiness and welfare of all beings. And here is an interesting idea from Groucho Marx: “Each morning when I open my eyes, I say to myself, ‘I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose what it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.” I wonder, what would our lives be if we could all be happy no matter what? As Marci Shimoff says, “When you experience your inner, innate happiness and are Happy for No Reason, you will still enjoy the things in your life, but you don’t look to them to make you happy.” Happiness, anyone?

Aquino said in his first few days in Malacanang that eliminating jueteng was not a priority in his administration, as he clipped the powers of Interior and Local Governments Secretary Jesse Robredo, the man most qualified to eradicate the evil game. While vowing to punish those responsible for the hostage-taking blunder in July, Aquino completely ignored the findings of the investigating panel headed by Justice Secretary Lilia de Lima, which identified those that should be charged criminally and administratively for the botched rescue attempt. A day after assuring foreign investors that their investments would be safe in the Philippines, Aquino ordered the cancellation of an P18-billion contract for the

dredging of Laguna de Bay entered into by a Belgian firm with the government in April this year, earning the ire of the Belgian government. While promising to eliminate corruption and transactional politics in the country, Aquino instead upped the ante for political wheeling and dealing by not only retaining the congressmen’s annual pork barrel allocations, but increasing them by at least P70 million each. And then after reassuring the Filipino people of his commitment to human rights on International Human Rights Day by ordering the dropping of charges against the detained Morong 43 health workers, Aquino ordered Philippine Ambassador to Norway Elizabeth Buenconsejo to boycott the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony for detained Chinese human rights activist Liu Xiaobo. What made matters worse was that the government tried to lie through its teeth by saying there was no boycott and that it just happened that the Philippine ambassador had other commitment on that day. The next day, Aquino admitted that the Philippine government did not

send a representative to the ceremony on the request of the Chinese government. Aquino said he had to make the decision to snub the ceremony because national interest dictated it, citing as reason the ongoing negotiation to seek clemency for five Filipino drug couriers awaiting execution in China, and the closure that the government needed for the botched hostage rescue attempt that resulted in the death of eight Chinese tourists at the Luneta. Aquino can’t even find the courage to admit that his administration kowtowed to China’s “request” because it has numerous negotiations on the table for grants and investments with the Chinese, and that he was sacrificing conviction for convenience, as the Philippine Daily Inquirer succinctly pointed out. The Aquino government’s decision to snub the Nobel ceremonies for a human-rights activist was a major stepback from the country’s consistent support of human rights, including its avowed support of known international human-rights activists such as South Africa’s Nelson Mandela and Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi.

The boycott decision was a big blow to the cause for freedom and democracy championed by his father, Senator Benigno S. Aquino Jr., who died in the pursuit of freedom, and his mother, President Corazon C. Aquino, an international democratic icon. With the Oslo snub, the Philippines is now in the same league as known repressive states Russia, Kazakhstan, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Venezuela, Egypt, Sudan, Ukraine, Cuba and Morocco, which comprise 15 of the 18 countries that did not send a representative to the ceremony for the Chinese dissident. In defending his action, Aquino said: “It is in our national interest that we do not at this time send a representative to the Nobel Award rites. But we remain committed to human rights.” How can the administration be committed to human rights and not show support for an internationally acclaimed human-rights activist? How can one pray before the altar of human rights and bend his knees before a repressive state? (


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December 18 - 24, 2010


Photographers victor muniz • REN ROXAS • BO NAVARRO

The Filipino Press is published every Saturday. We welcome news, features, editorials, opinions and photos. Photos must be accompanied by self-addressed, postage-paid envelope to be returned. We reserve the right to edit materials. Views and opinions by our writers, contributors does not necessarily reflect those of the publisher, management and staff of The Filipino Press.

December 18 - 24, 2010 THE FILIPINO PRESS of our past Christmases are with us as we gather every year and enrich its new exultation. I have seen a lot of Christmas, both in this adopted country of mine and back in the old homeland. For some reason, I always go back to the Christmas in my beloved hometown. Christmas sparkles each year in historic Sta. Ana, Manila, during our one-of-a-kind and a-class-of-its-own Christmas Traditions festival. There is no better place than Plaza Hugo during a Christmas fete for a holiday stroll on the way to the old church with your childhood friends and schoolmates. Somehow, those cherished Christmases are the ones I remember best. Come the Christmas season, I picture them always back here in San Diego, recapturing the magic of merrymaking in the streets of Sta. Ana — and I lie there, watching the moon shine on the Christmas star until I fall asleep. Home is here. But it is there, too! I realized that God’s country can be anywhere because it stays in the hearts of people who love you. I have always adored the hometown I left when I was 18 to join the Navy, see the world and seek my fortune. As that popular song goes, “There’s no place like home for the holidays.” Maybe it is also because my mother was still alive then, and though I didn’t realize it at the time, our days

together were numbered. Christmas was my mother’s favorite holiday. Ma signaled the start of the festive season in our home by gathering her secret ingredients for her aromatic cooking. In a matter of minutes, my mother could create the most heavenly array of Christmas goodies and the entire house would be filled with the true fragrance of Christmas. She brought an enthusiasm and happiness to that special day that I have missed since she passed away 33 years ago. It’s hard to concede how much time has expired since we last shared such a merry occasion, but the calendar dutifully reminds me. Now it gets me misty-eyed to remember her, sitting in her favorite rattan chair, singing a lullaby, cheering us on. When I look back on those days, it feels as if I am removing a film of dust from my memory like Windex removing grime on glass. The more I rub my eyes, the clearer it all becomes. I remember best the Christmases spent in my hometown of Sta. Ana — the rich and colorful traditions of the past, many of which have been forgotten in the modern age. As everybody knows, no holiday is celebrated with as much joy as Christmas in the Philippines. There, the excitement of Christmas starts as early as October, when the local radio stations begin to air Christmas

songs. I can also say part of the unexplainable magic came in Manila’s downtown store windows. Shopping in those days was simple and unassuming. Not much money exchanged hands — the stores seemed to decorate their window for more show than enticement to buy. I recall one such shop was famous for mechanized displays — maybe a Santa in his workshop with his little helpers, or a beautiful nativity scene. My young eyes were glued to the delicately moving figures until I was part of the setting itself. It literally starts to look a lot like Christmas by then! My family’s house on Garrido Street glimmers at Christmas time. Decorating the Christmas tree was usually my task. What an important responsibility that was! To get the lights to stand up straight, carefully placed, to spread the silvery garland in the perfect patterns, the sparklers and the colorfully wrapped candy canes in appropriate places, but most importantly — and this always done under my father’s supervision — to crown the tree with the Star of Bethlehem! Christmas festivities back in Sta. Ana traditionally begin a week before the holy day and we celebrate “simbang gabi,” a very early morning liturgy, each day leading up to Christmas itself. The highlight of the week is the “Misa de Gallo,” the Christmas

Eve Mass. In the days before the “Misa de Gallo,” the town holds competitions to see who could build the largest “parol” or lantern for the occasion. There is no doubt the parol is a genuine symbol of the traditional Filipino Christmas. The week before Christmas was also the season for many a “Little Christmas” parties where the Christmas spirit and all the Christmas “creatures” came out. My old “barkada” (band of brothers) — my high school classmates and bosom buddies — never missed any of these Christmas get-togethers, especially the church’s processions around the neighborhoods of Sta. Ana. On those days, almost all the families in the house around and about are out in the streets watching the events unfold and there we get the chance to see a number of our favorite girl classmates and acquaintances. Sometimes, we could even entice them to join the in the cavalcade all the way up to the fabled church in the vicinity of Plaza Hugo. Then, of course, there were the recognized delicacies: “bibingka,” rice cakes baked from the bottom and top in ovens, and “puto-bumbong” (made from purple mountain rice and steamed in bamboo tubes) sold by vendors outside the church. After Mass, my buddies and I

closely follows Philippine politics (his wife is a Fi-lAm judge) told me what he thought was a great joke. He said that there’s a new singing group that’s making bigger waves than Diana Ross and the Supremes — Gloria and the Supremes. I didn’t think it was funny. But he said Gloria and her back-up crooners in the Supreme Court have already  recorded a number of hits, the latest being “It’s a Sin To Tell The Truth.” Others joined in and pointed out that other top hits by Gloria and the  Supremes are “The Other Side of  Midnight Appointees,” and one with the Tagalog title, “Kasalanan Ba Ang Mangopya?” There was no effort to hide their sarcasm. I can’t blame them. Many of them were active supporters of U.S. Pinoys for Noynoy-Mar during the campaign and some made a trip to Manila to attend the presidential inauguration  and the conference of U.S. Pinoys for Good Governance, into which U.S. Pinoys for Noynoy-Mar had metamorphosed. “What’s the matter with this new government?” one of them asked me, in apparent frustration. “It’s being outwitted at every turn by Arroyo.” According to him, it was like trying to pin down Mafia dons and dealing with top lawyers   armed with every technicality in the book. “You know how they finally

got Al Capone?” “For tax evasion,” I replied. “In other words,” he concluded, “if you can’t get Arroyo one way, get her some other way. And that goes for the Supreme Cohorts, too.” He intended the pun. What he said reminded me of a rule that I pounded into the heads of the people who worked in my team in the old ad agency days in Manila: “If you face a blank wall, go over it, go around it, go under it. If that doesn’t work, break down the damn wall!” Some folks are already suggesting People Power. They’re beginning to feel that the only option left is to march on the Supreme Court and the office of the Ombudsman, flush out the occupants and tar-and-feather them. But that can only happen with active military involvement. I wouldn’t doubt that there are military adventurists salivating and aching to step in. To quote a friend who loves to speak colorful English, “That’s like falling from the frying pan into the firing squad.” Do we really want to banish one set of monsters by creating another? Still others have suggested treating the Arroyo justices like the plague. Snub them. Don’t give them the time of day. But that’s assuming that they don’t have loyal friends and sycophants, themselves. In our country, nobody is ever such a pariah that there’s no

bootlicker willing to stand by his side, or a mercenary willing to sell his loyalty. Someone also reminded me of how officials of the Comelec and known Marcos loyalists were harassed just shortly before the outbreak of People Power. Their homes were pelted with excrement. But that’s too gross. Besides, these wild ideas apparently proceed on the premise that P-Noy is so powerless that he has to resort to these drastic solutions. He could learn a few tricks from Arroyo, who knew how to wield presidential power. In fact, as president, P-Noy has powers that would be the envy of the godfather, Vito Corleone. If his legal experts dig deep enough, they might find ways to make Merceditas Gutierrez, Chief Justice Corona and the other Arroyo justices an offer they can’t refuse. Maybe they can learn something from the movie, “Walking Tall,” the story of the legendary Tennessee Sheriff Buford Pusser. In one scene, Pusser realized that the local judge was siding with the crooks and putting up all kinds of obstacles to thwart him. Undaunted, Pusser checked the statutes and discovered that he had the authority to designate the official quarters of the judge. He promptly transferred the judge’s sala to the men’s room. He had a very cooperative judge after that. Perhaps P-Noy should bring in more streetwise advisers.

This is not to say that the ones he has around him are “lightweights.” Maybe it’s simply that they’re playing too much by the rules. In contrast, Gloria and the Supremes are bending, twisting and stretching the rules to fit their needs. And they’re no longer even subtle. Have you heard of a rationale more outrageous than blaming a computer program for the lack of proper attribution in the case of alleged plagiarism by one of the justices? Frankly, if Aquino is really, truly, genuinely determined to bring Arroyo and her cohorts to justice, a Truth Commission isn’t even necessary. There are enough laws and agencies and enough powers in the office of the president of the republic to get the job done. Somebody very mischievous has suggested that maybe PNoy finds the obstructionism of the Arroyo Court a convenient excuse for not making good on his promise because some current supporters and allies who also had their fingers in the cookie jar might find the inquisition too hot for comfort. According to this scuttlebutt, P-Noy can make very loud noises, protest the obstacles set up by Gloria and the Supremes and then declare, “Gusto ko sanang walang kurap. Kaya lang, mahirap!” As the undertakers put it, “Remains to be seen.” (gregmacabenta@hotmail. com)

Church. All of us in the congregation, though “diverse in opinion and distant from each other” from the Church — a universal assembly of believers proated the body in a way that the fessed in one God, joining hands parts “may not be divided,” rath- in singing the Lord’s Prayer and er each part complements the greeting each other during peace use of the others. If any part offerings, being good stewards of does not function properly the our time, talents,and treasures whole body suffers. It’s like a car.  for the good of others. This is lovIf one part malfunctions the car ing a neighbor as oneself, which doesn't start. is one of God’s commandments. 1 Corinthian 17 says:  “If all “I am the Vine, you are the the body were eye how would we branches. If you remain in me hear?  If all the body were ear and I in you you bear much fruit; how would we smell?  The eyes but apart from me you can do cannot tell the hand ‘I do not nothing.” (John 15:5) If we feel the pain and anneed you,’ nor the head tell the guish of others in their grief, we feet, the same.” On the religious side, the empathize. If we share our treabody is like that of Christ and sure with others we extend love. his church.  As the body is one For it is when we share our life with many parts so with the with others that our  life begins

to have meaning and purpose, the time we touch the life of others is the time we truly live. It’s neighborliness when we reach out and touch someone — someone to care, someone to share. There is no better example of the need of the company of others than the movie “Cast Away” starring Tom Hanks. Hanks’ character didn't have any one on that lonely, uninhabited islet where he was washed ashore when his FedEx plane plunged into the ocean.  He retrieved a soccer ball bobbing on the waves on which he etched the face of a man. It was this image of a man with whom he engaged in soliloquy to quell his boredom and enliven his Robinson Crusoe life. Man is a social being and must interact with or react to the stimuli in his environment. He cannot live alone. Even a recluse cannot stay in isolation by himself. As a social being he needs food, clothing and shelter provided by others.  He needs a

A Visit from Sta. Ana Christmas Past


ll of our red-letter day festivities are webbed with a network of memories, often extending back to our childhood, and Christmas, which I reckon is continually re-invented, is surely the most memory-filled. It seems each generation brings some new element to the celebration, itself. The memories of Christmas Past are also what make us all look forward to Christmas each year. What’s the best Christmas you’ve ever had and remember the most? All of a sudden your thoughts go back to previous times — a unique mix of Christmas history and stories of personal remembrances blend to-

gether in recollections of the rich heritage of the season. I remember those days easily. I recall those Christmases as if yesterday. They came with deep meaning, earnest preparation and overflowing anticipation. I guess the holidays can make anyone feel like this. The well-polished traditions of Christmas take us back to commemorations of our families and friends, sometimes to one very cheery and unforgettable, or perhaps to a dim of Christmases that are not easy to unwind from one another but seem tied together with the common thread of joyful informality. The sounds, the smell and the tastes

Gloria and the Supremes


t’s turning out to be a battle of wits between P-Noy and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, reminiscent of the perpetual, cartoonish contest between Tweety and Sylvester, with the latter always being foiled in his many efforts to catch the canary. This time, unfortunately, Arroyo is Tweety and the Aquino administration is the one being constantly foiled by the Supreme Court, aka the Arroyo Court. From the series of decisions handed down by Arroyo-appointed justices, including one that virtually justifies plagiarism designed to protect the tenure of one of their own, it is doubtful that P-Noy will be able to make good his vow to get to the bottom of allegations of corruption and official thievery under Arroyo. Take the court’s rejection of

the Truth Commission on the grounds that it is discriminatory because it singles out Arroyo. That, in effect, requires the commission to also dig up official abuses going back several administrations, including that of Cory Aquino. Who are they kidding? If the virtually open-and-shut cases involving the Marcoses have not resulted in any “truths” being uncovered, much less any convictions, can this Aquino government be expected to do better under the conditions set by the Supreme Court? Those wily justices know only too well that nothing will ever get done — not during the sixyear term of P-Noy or even during his lifetime — because every official who feels alluded to will block any attempt to get at the truth.   Last weekend, an Anglo who

Co m m e n ta r y

No man is an island unto himself By Rudy M. Viernes he title of this piece is from the meditations of the English poet John Donne.  He speaks of the inherent oneness of man, as in the unity of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, as we mainstream Christians profess. “No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main,” Donne, a deeply religious man and founder of the Metaphysical Poets, famously said. The comparison is the body with different parts; each part has a specific function. God cre-



See reyes on 23

For it is when we share our life with others that our life begins to have meaning and purpose, the time we touch the life of others is the time we truly live. break from the mundane routine to form a new perspective, otherwise he gets dull and wearied out. Hence the saying “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” is true. I recall an argument I had with a fellow worker in an airline contracted by the U.S. Military Air Transport Service decades ago. This guy was antisocial, didn’ t associate with anybody and was rude in ways and ornery in behavior. We were assigned as a team during a night shift. His boorishness got me vicious. I harangued him with Donne’s quote, that he has to live with reality; live with people, deal with them as neighbors; that it takes two to tango. He

was a Cuban. He cowered under my verbal onslaught that must have flattened his ego. We were “credited” for the sudden change of attitude in the guy, for having instilled in him the concept of “pakikisama,” a Filipino trait that can be defined as “getting along” or submitting to a group will. We became friends after that andhe was always seeking my company. For after all, he lives in a social milieu. He cannot remain forlorn in his cocoon. But my insight told me he was trying to psyche himself to camouflage an inferiority complex, his ethnicity. So, man is not an island unto of himself because he is a social being.


December 18 - 24, 2010

Arrival of baby changes life forever Y

ou may have set the agenda once, but not anymore. Your baby's schedule is now your schedule. Sure, newborns sleep up to 18 hours a day. But that's broken up into small chunks. And between naps, there's feeding, changing, and a whole lot of holding going on. Tip: After the first hectic weeks, babies take longer naps at predictable times. And you'll become a much better time manager. You've joined a worldwide club Suddenly you've got a lot of friends. Strangers smile at you. Mothers at church ask you if you want to join them on a play date. Your boss asks you how your baby's doctor visit went. The club is called parenthood, and you have a lot of company. Enjoy it. Tip: You'll develop a unique parenting style that is right for your family -- and may be quite different from your neighbors. Your relationship changes The dynamics have changed. There's one more person to interact with, and that means less time for just you and your partner. If one parent is providing most of the baby care, the other can feel slighted. And couples can get so busy they forget to talk. Tip: Set aside time for just the two of you. Make a date and share what's happening in each other's life. Night's no longer for sleeping You remember when night was for sleeping, don't you? Well, your new baby isn't going to let you do that for a while. Until the

baby sleeps through the night, you can limit your sleep deprivation by taking turns with your partner in getting up with the baby. Tip: During the day, don't try to catch up on chores while the baby sleeps. Lie down and rest. You'll have too many visitors You know that family and friends will want to see the new baby. When they do, they'll bring endless stories about raising their kids and endless advice about raising yours. If you feel up for it, it could be fun. Tip: If you're feeling overwhelmed with all you have to do, it's OK to say "Let's make it

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another time." Good friends will understand. You make more faces than a baby Babies learn by watching and interacting with their environment. It won't be long before you find yourself doing a lot of "silly" things to encourage your baby's learning. Smiling, sticking out your tongue, or making a funny face or sound will attract his attention. Tip: After the first few weeks, you'll see your baby studying, learning, and eventually imitating your silly faces. You need help The constant attention that

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babies demand is exhausting. Ask for help from your partner. Each of you should have time each day while the other is taking care of the baby to do something that's just for you. Watch a favorite TV show, read a book, go for a walk, take a bath. Tip: If you're a single parent, don't be afraid to ask for help from a friend or relative. Time away will let you recharge. Babies are expensive The average middle class family spends $225,000 in the first 17 years of a child's life. That's just to provide food, shelter, and other necessities. It doesn't include things like increases in

health insurance. Nor does it include saving for college, which is best started early. Babies necessitate a lot of financial planning. Guilt is part of parenthood You told yourself you were going to be a top-notch parent – a calming, happy presence. But there are times when you simply don't want to do it anymore. Now you feel guilty that you aren't enjoying every second of parenthood. Don't. It's natural to want a break from baby. Tip: Ask for help. When the baby's safe in the crib, call a friend. And notice all the things that are going right. Children's books are literature If you didn't know children's books before, you'll fall in love with them now. Many are written with both parent and child in mind to entertain while they educate. Babies love to be read to, and it's never too early to start reading to yours. Tip: Reading aloud will help your baby be a better reader when they’re older. You'll make mistakes All those how-to books you read about parenting, and all those things you swore you would never do... Maybe in a perfect world there are perfect parents. In the real world, the rule of thumb is you do what works. If your child's too old for a pacifier but it helps them sleep, you'll probably make the "mistake" of letting them keep it. Relax. That's not the kind of mistake that's going to hurt him. When See surprises on 9

Insurance premiums go up, benefits go down By Todd Zwillich The price of Americans’ premiums for health insurance benefits through an employer shot up more than 40% between 2003 and 2009, according to a new analysis released by The Commonwealth Fund. The report finds that yearly premiums for an average family of four went from about $9,250 in 2003 to more than $13,000 just six years later. At the same time, benefits continued to erode as employers struggled to cut costs. Premiums hovered around $11,000 to $12,000 per year for families in Arkansas, Montana, Oklahoma, North and South Dakota, and Hawaii. Those states had the lowest average annual medical insurance premiums. Rates were highest in Alaska, Vermont, Wyoming, Wisconsin, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, where they often cost $14,000 per year or more, according to the report. “No matter where you live in the United States... health insurance is expensive,” said Cathy Schoen, senior vice president of the Commonwealth Fund, and the report’s main author. Rising premiums only partially affect workers because much of the cost is borne by employers. But Schoen said those rising costs also serve to depress wages, pressing down on family incomes as increasingly expensive benefits dwindle. In no states were annual premiums less than 14% of the median income. And in more than half of states, premium costs were more than 18% of annual income. Meanwhile, benefits like low deductibles eroded. Average deductibles -- usually paid solely by patients -- went up 77% over the sixyear analysis. The Commonwealth Fund supports the new health care law known as the Affordable Care Act, saying its insurance market reforms, new private exchanges, and public subsidies for lower-income families could help slow the growth of premiums. (

December 18 - 24, 2010 THE FILIPINO PRESS


Got the holiday blues? Here’s some ways to cope


olidays are a special time of the year, a time of celebration with family and friends. It is a “season to be jolly” or “the most wonderful time of the year.” But, for many, the holiday season is anything but joyous. Instead of happiness and joy, some people feel “down in the dumps” or lonely. This is often called the “holiday blues.” For many years, I found myself slipping into holiday blues before Thanksgiving, only to feel better sometime after New Year’s Eve. Being single at the time and living on the east coast far from friends and family, this was a difficult time for me. I had very little to look forward to. I worked late at the hospital on Christmas and New Year’s, covering for my colleagues who had children or families. It was a time for selfreflection and self-doubt. I often felt I was a disappointment to my family because I changed jobs often and wasn’t financially independent and secure. To make matters worse, I bought presents I couldn’t afford. Add-


Continued from p­­­­­age 8

in doubt, ask your pediatrician. You become a judge As your child grows, so does your role as adjudicator. It may not be what you want to do. Nevertheless, there'll be disputes between siblings to settle, boundaries to establish, timeouts to monitor. Discipline isn't the easiest thing to administer. But it's part of the job. Tip: Set aside time to spend with each child individually, so they don't feel like they're always competing for your attention. You gain a bathroom buddy It'll be a couple of years before you start potty training


shellane F. crisostomo

Your Health ed to this was the media hype of the holiday season — in particular the images of happy families having the picture perfect holiday. These constant reminders only made me feel homesick, alone and depressed. Why the holidays can bring difficulty The holidays are stressful. The demands are many: shopping, cooking, travel, house guests, family gatherings, office parties, more shopping and extra financial burden. For older adults, they may face another challenge — coping with loss or poor health. The most common causes for sadness during the holidays include: • Experiencing a very difficult year, such as death, separation,

or loss of a job. • Dealing with health problems. • Feeling unaccomplished during the past year. • Being alone or separated from loved ones either physically or emotionally. • Feeling overwhelmed by the general expectations, stress, and rush of the holidays. • Not looking forward to family get-togethers as they may bring anxiety. • Having financial limitations and feeling the pressures of shopping and buying gifts. Symptoms of holiday blues While they may feelings may be intense and unsettling, the holiday blues are mostly temporary, lasting for a few days to a few weeks prior to or just after the holidays. Feelings of sadness may come suddenly, perhaps during a family gathering or when listening to holiday music. Symptoms can include headaches, difficulty sleeping, uneasiness, anxiety, sadness, stomach problems and unnecessary con-

your new baby. But when you do, either you or your spouse will likely have an audience when you go to the bathroom. It's called parent modeling. And it’s one way to teach what going to the bathroom is all about. A kid, especially a smart kid like yours, can learn a lot by watching. Baby love is real It might not happen right away. But someday you'll look at your child and feel a depth of emotion you haven't known before. Just how boundless that feeling of love is catches a lot of parents, especially mothers, by surprise. You knew you were going to love this baby, but not so unconditionally. Enjoy it and make it last a lifetime.

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The key to coping with holiday blues is recognizing what triggers stress and sadness. flict with friends and family. Severe holiday blues can mimic clinical depression and can include tearfulness, decreased interest in pleasurable activities, changes in sleep patterns and feelings of hopelessness. The good news is, holiday blues usually get better after the holiday season is over, when daily routines are resumed. Coping with the blues The key to coping with holiday blues is recognizing what triggers stress and sadness, knowing how to respond to these feelings and setting realistic expectations for the holiday season. Here are some tools to get through the holiday season healthily:

Don’t overdo it! Be realistic about what you can and cannot do. Take care of yourself by taking things slowly and one step at a time. Eat healthy, exercise, and get some rest. Overdrinking, overeating and fatigue may cause and worsen holiday blues. Reflect on the positive things that happened this year. No matter what is happening in your life, think of the blessings you do have. Spend time with supportive and caring people. Reach out and make new friends, or contact someone you’ve lost touch with. Set some personal goals for the upcoming year. Leave “yesteryear” in the past and look toward the future. Seeking help Unrealistic expectations of the holidays or dealing with loss and sadness are normal responses to holiday stress. You don’t have to suffer or feel alone. If you don’t feel as happy as you think you should, don’t fight it. Find someone to talk with who

can help you through this difficult time — a family member, a friend, a priest, a doctor or counselor. With support and help, you can beat the blues and ring in the New Year with cheer. Internet resources • Mental Health America: • Mental Health and Aging: • American Geriatrics Society: This is the debut of "Your Health," a new column by Shellane F. Crisostomo, new regular feature of the Filipino Press. Crisostomo is a Filipino-American physican's assistant living in San Francisco. She received her bachelor's degree as a physician's assistant and her master's degree in public health from Touro College School of Health Sciences in New York. She has since practiced in California, New York and the United Kingdom. Have a healthcare question? Write Crisostomo at



My Personal Testimony

Celebrating life in the midst of pain


was informed some months ago that a friend — a young mother of two active boys and the wife of a missionary pastor — was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was shocked. I wanted to visit her, but I kept on procrastinating. It was only last week that I had a clear understanding of her status when her husband came to visit me. Yes, Pastor Gin and June Lao are my friends and I am as concerned as a mother on how they are faring along in their ministry and in their lives. I asked Pastor Gin to write about his ministry so I could publish it in my column. Here is what he wrote: Life in the midst of pain A few days ago, there was a sweeping request on a social network website to post in one’s status this message: “Most people have 1000 wishes for Christmas; a cancer patient has ONLY ONE – to get better. Post this in honor of someone who has

died, survived or is still battling cancer.” This kind of message has become very meaningful for my family ever since we learned of my wife’s breast cancer last August. It was a difficult time for us to understand the questions of why and what will be. While the holiday season for most people is a fun time filled with celebrations, gifts and gatherings with family and friends, it is also a time filled with sadness, loneliness and anxiety about an uncertain future for many people. The Daily Telegraph, a British newspaper, reported some four years ago that Christmas pressures mean divorce in January. Even pop artist Prince came up with a song called “Another Lonely Christmas.” An online poll showed a staggering statistics in U.K.’s Medical News Today in 2008: 19 percent of people felt less able to manage their mental health because

of worries about paying off the cost of Christmas; 25 percent were feeling depressed; 20 percent would have problems meeting their rent or mortgage payments this month. Indeed, there are many reasons why celebrating Christmas can be a challenge. We at Heart of Faith would like to provide an avenue to celebrate Christmas in a simple but meaningful way. Heart of Faith is a new church in the heart of National City.  Our desire is to connect people back to God through the teaching of God’s Word, service and relationships. This Christmas Eve, we would like to invite everyone to join us for a special service entitled “Celebrating Life in the Midst of Pain.” The service will be held at the National City Middle School Auditorium located at 1701 D Avenue at 4 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 24.  While my wife hastily forwarded the message to her network of friends, she further added the following message: “As I ponder on the statement above, I realized that more than getting better, my prayer (wish) is to understand God's perspective of my cancer in this season of my life, to know Him and … to celebrate life, because He is life!” We hope you can join us on Dec. 24 for this special event. For further details, please contact Gin Lao at (619) 208-0919. Thank you, Gin for this message and for your invitation. I’ll take time to attend.

Chapel of Roses

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December 18 - 24, 2010


From Whom All Blessings Flow

‘Happy Holidays’


aybe I'm just overly sensitive. But I think window designers, greeting card companies, and media have fallen victim to what I hope is the unintentional diminishing of December 25 for people with backgrounds similar to my own. Have you noticed that "Happy Holidays" seems to have replaced "Merry Christmas" as the standard greeting for this time of year? There are some persons and groups who crusade against anything that carries even the slightest hint of God, religion, or faith. Thus you've read about the occasional music teacher who bans "Silent Night" or "Joy to the World" in favor of "Here Comes Suzy Snowflake" or "Walking in a Winter Wonderland." Sometimes it is the decision of a school board to ban all religious music in favor of performances that are exclusively secular. And sometimes it is the real or threatened court action of the American Civil Liberties Union that undergirds the move to ban religious songs and symbols at this season of the year.

For the most part, however, I suspect the majority of people who celebrate Christmas have simply embraced the shift in terminology without thinking. And no wonder! Washington now has a "Capitol Holiday Tree" instead of what used to be the "Capitol

Tolerance does not imply abandoning one's own faith and custom. Christmas as "WinterFest"? And it isn't only Christmas that gets voided in our culture. A state government, for example, defended its Thanksgiving curriculum as explaining that holiday "from a purely historical perspective" by omitting all references to God and religion. The truth is, of course, that one cannot teach the historical facts about Thanksgiving and omit the Pilgrims' faith in and gratitude to God.

In our rush to political correctness, we can turn ourselves inside out. In trying to be so openminded, we can let our brains fall onto the floor. The vast majority of us cultivate a spiritual life. Christmas Tree." In our rush to political correctness, we can turn ourselves inside out. In trying to be so open-minded, we can let our brains fall onto the floor. The vast majority of us cultivate a spiritual life. Should Jews be barred from sharing the story, music, and joy of Hanukkah with their non-Jewish neighbors? Should Muslims be silenced about the meaning of Ramadan? So why should Christians be expected to re-brand

I don't use Christmas to bully or to offend my nonChristian neighbor. And my sense of Christian tolerance tells me to respect his alternate belief or unbelief as his right. But tolerance does not imply abandoning one's own faith and custom. "Happy Holidays" is too bland. It falls flat for me. It misses the point of who I am and what I'm about. All that for the sake of telling you this: Merry Christmas!

December 18 - 24, 2010 THE FILIPINO PRESS

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9/3/10 12:58 AM


December 18 - 24, 2010

Four students top Rotary Club’s Four-Way Test Speech Contest NATIONAL CITY, Calif. — Four National City Middle School students topped the Four-Way Test Speech Contest held Wednesday, Dec. 8, at the International House of Pancakes and sponsored by the Rotary Club of San Diego Paradise Valley. The contest, based on the Rotary Club’s core conviction that the test — which consists of the fundamental issues of practical decision-making: truth, fairness, goodwill and better friendships and beneficial outcomes — allows students to expound on various aspects of the themes in a contest that offers scholarship grants. The four winners were: Angela Subido, who scored 99 percent with the theme “motivation,” said the community was at the center of the dreams of a better world, safety, tolerance, understanding and love. Subido received a scholarship grant of $200 and entry into the district-level contest. Julieta Garcia, who scored 88 percent with the theme of “word,” explained that no divine right can be vested in anyone to pronounce the final word or ultimate truth. As a runner-up, Garcia received a $150 scholarship grant. Amanda Fairchild, who scored 87 percent with the theme “live to thrive,” said ethics are based on an interfaith of mind and ecumenical way of living. For her efforts, Fairchild

December 9-23 and 26-30

Garden of Lights

After the sun goes down, the San Diego Botanic Garden is transformed into a dazzling winter wonderland with over 100,000 sparkling lights illuminating the Garden for a magical holiday experience. Many of these lights are LED, which are much brighter than regular lights. Adding to the sparkle is the “Poinsettia Garden,” festively decorated with many varieties of poinsettias. Activities include horse-drawn-wagon rides, holiday crafts, marshmallow roasting, visits with Santa, live music, hot mulled wine in the Poinsettia Garden, and refreshments. The event will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. Dec. 9 - 23 and Dec. 26 - 30, 2010. Admission is $6 for members, non-member adults are $12, seniors are $12, military and students are $8 and children 3-12 are $4. There will be additional fees for some activities. The garden is located at 230 Quail Gardens Drive in Encinitas. For more information, call (760) 436-3036 x206 or visit

December 19

Home for the holidays

The California Center for the Arts, Escondido presents Orchestra Nova — “Home for the Holidays” on Sunday, Dec. 19, at 4:00 p.m. at Concert Hall.

Courtesy photo

The holiday season begins with Orchestra Nova and Jung-Ho Pak at this heartwarming celebration of holiday favorites, featuring fantastic vocalists, a specially chosen chorus, an exceptional children’s choir, a sing-a-long and many other surprises.

Left to right, National City Middle School Principal Arturo Montano with contest winners Isaac Felix, Angela Subido, Juliet Garcia, Amanda Fairchild and coach Lou Prosser.

Tickets range from $25-$34. and can be purchased by calling (800) 9884253 or visiting.

received a scholarship grant of $125. Issac Felix, who scored 86 percent with the theme “challenges,” defined them as both a vision and knowledge of what is happening around us. As a runner-up, Felix received a scholarship grant of $100. Coach Lou Prosser praised the students for their efforts and thanked National City Middle School Principal Arturo Montano for his support in

JANUARY 16, 2011

making the contest a success. The club presented each student, Montano and Prosser with a certificate of recognition in addition to a special certificate of congressional recognition from U.S. Rep. Bob Filner, awarded by his special assistant, Manny Doria. Judges for the event included Rtn. Dr. Frank Dulin, community chair; Rtn. Joseph Hortillosa, foundation chair; and Lita David, retired Sweetwater

teacher and school boardmember. Sponsors included Marimel Ovales of Sharp Community Medical Group, Liberty Tax Service, FC Residential Management, Jewels by Parklane and Nestle Toll House at Otay Ranch. Paradise Valley Rotary Club President Femie Cupit thanked all club members, committees and sponsors for helping make the contest a success.

County to provide 1,500 more child car seats Another 1,500 children will be safer when riding in vehicles thanks to a new $200,000 grant the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) has received from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS). The “Keep ‘Em Safe” program aims to improve child safety by offering vehicle protection education and providing child car seats to low-income families. Funding for the program comes from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

GET LISTED: To have your event listed in Save the Date, e-mail your information (include date, time, location, cost, and phone/e-mail) to filpress@ Keep in mind we publish on Saturdays, so ensure your event happens on the day of publication or during the following week.

“The County is committed to improving the safety and wellbeing of children,” said Chairwoman Pam Slater-Price, San Diego County Board of Supervisors. “The child car seats will help save lives and reduce injuries during a crash.” This is the second OTS grant HHSA has received for the “Keep “Em Safe” program, which is administered by HHSA’s local partner, the Pacific Safety Council. Last year, HHSA received a $207,000 grant which allowed the Council to distribute 2,000 child car seats and conduct 132 safety presentations throughout the county.

With the new grant, the Pacific Safety Council will extend the program through September 2011. In addition to providing the car seats to low-income families, staff will conduct 90 safety education classes and 40 child passenger safety check-up events, as well as five, one-day classes on passenger safety for public safety workers. “The proper use of child safety seats, booster seats and buckling up will save children’s lives,” said Christopher J. Murphy, Director of the California Office of Traffic Safety. “Doing it right every trip, every day,

will make it a habit they will carry into adulthood.” The goal of this grant is to increase the proper installation and appropriate use of child passenger safety seats and seat belt usage by families.            “By using age-appropriate, vehicle safety seats, parents and caregivers can make a lifesaving difference,” said HHSA Director Nick Macchione. “Children should always be appropriately secured.” For more information about the “Keep ‘Em Safe” program, contact Noemi Dueñas at Pacific Safety Council at (858) 6212313 ext. 114.

Alpha Phi Omega celebrates 85th year Inter-Global Travel Solutions 3130 Bonita Road Suite 204 Chula Vista, CA 91910 We offer the best rates and we are cheaper than online booking! We are open Monday to Friday 8AM – 6PM


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The Alpha Phi Omega Alumni Association of San Diego County recently celebrated its 17th anniversary and installation of 2011-2012 executive officers, including new president Julian Santos, Jr, Pi Chapter (U.S.T.), on Dec. 4 at the Holiday Inn Miramar. APO members residing in San Diego County are welcome to the association. Please e-mail Julian Santos, Jr., at APOPi1351L@yahoo. com or call (619) 475-5678. Alpha Phi Omega was founded on Dec. 16, 1925, by a group of 14 undergraduates led by Frank Reed Horton.They were all former Boy Scouts, joined together to form a fraternity based on principles of scout law. Its pledge program is based on three cardinal principles: leadership, friendship and service.

Following are excerpts from a message from Philippine Vice President Jejomar C. Binay on the occassion of the Alpha Phi Omega’s 85th anniversary: “A happy 85th Anniversary to everyone on this joyous occasion, as our brothers and sisters gather in every part of the country and the globe to commemorate our founding. “This year has been especially meaningful for me in many ways as my batch, Blackjacks, Eta 60, recently celebrated our 50th year as members of our beloved fraternity. “On this year, also, you made me vice president of our republic and I take this occasion to again thank each and every one of you for your invaluable support in enabling a brother to be of service to more of our countrymen in need.”

Keyboard conversations

The California Center for the Arts, Escondido presents Keyboard Conversations® “The Romantic Music of Robert Schumann: Fantasies Forbidden and Fulfilled” featuring Jeffrey Siegel. The event will be held on Sunday, Jan. 16, 2011, at 4 p.m. at the Center Theater. Siegel takes the audience on an exciting musical journey featuring the “Fantasy Pieces Opus 12,” the famous “Dreaming and Soaring,” and the stunning, virtuoso “Symphonic Etudes Opus 13,” or “Variations on a melody of a false Father-in-Law.” Tickets are $32 and can be purchased by calling (800) 988-4253 or visiting

JANUARY 23, 2011

new shanghai circus

The California Center for the Arts, Escondido and Mike Pettite Presentations present New Shanghai Circus on Sunday, Jan. 23, 2011, at 3 p.m. at Concert Hall. Shanghai’s astonishing athletes defy gravity and execute breathtaking feats, stretching the limits of human ability to bring more than 2,000 years of Chinese circus traditions to the stage. This incredible group of acrobats, jugglers and contortionists present a spellbinding show with spectacular flair. Tickets range from $20–$33 and $53.00 for VIP tickets. To purchase tickets please call (800) 988-4253 or visit

JANUARY 29, 2011

forever plaid

The California Center for the Arts, Escondido and Mike Pettite Presentations present “Forever Plaid” on Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011, at 7 p.m. at Concert Hall. As four-part guy groups harmonized their way across the airwaves, Forever Plaid made their rise to the top. Not even a fatal car crash could stop the old-fashioned gents in plaid as they try to ‘make it,’ making the best of the toughest of rejections and the most challenging roadblocks — including death. See the Plaids return to Earth for one final concert, performing some of the greatest hits from the ’50s before returning to heaven. Don’t miss this heartwarming musical comedy, at the Center for one night only. Tickets range from $28–$45 and can be purchased by calling (800) 9884253 or visiting

JANUARY 29, 2011


The National City Chamber of Commerce will hold its Annual Dinner on Jan. 29, 2011. This is an annual celebration inaugurates the incoming board of directors. It is also a great opportunity to network with city leaders, business owners and other chamber members. With raffle prizes, live auctions and entertainment, this night is sure to be filled with fun and excitement. We invite you to get involved as a chamber member and participate in our Annual Dinner Planning Committee. We would like to know if there has been any positive news within your organization that you would like for us to share and be the highlight of the 2011 Annual Dinner. We would like to know if your business has had a rise in employment, new building retrofitting that has generated more business, or an event that was positive for your business. Please send us your stories as we would like to highlight them in our 2011 Annual Dinner in January. Also, we would like to know who you would recommend to be the Business of the Year and Community Business Leader of the Year. Please send all of your stories and recommendations to Ms. Jacqueline Reynoso at before Friday, Jan. 7, 2011.


December 18 - 24, 2010 THE FILIPINO PRESS

Walden Family Services hires executive director SAN DIEGO, Calif. — Walden Family Services has hired Teresa Stivers as its new executive director. As the senior management officer, Stivers reports directly to the Governance Board of Directors, oversees all development campaigns, and is responsible for providing direction and leadership toward the achievement of the agency’s mission, vision, values, and strategy, and its annual goals and objectives. Stivers comes to Walden from the Child Abuse Prevention Foundation (CAPF), where she served as Program Director and Executive Director for eight years. At CAPF, she oversaw all staff and all programs. Her tireless dedication working on behalf of children in San Diego County helped launch and establish many signature programs,

Teresa Stivers such as the Guardian Scholars Program and Mary’s House, a transitional living program for former foster youth. Stivers also served as Deputy Chief of Staff to Mayor Susan Golding. “Following an extensive search, we found Teresa’s tal-

ents to be the perfect match for Walden,” said Hal Dunning, chairman of the Walden board of directors. “We feel she will lead us in the right direction.” Walden Family Services is a non-profit organization dedicated to support the lives of children and families through lasting relationships and provides quality care for abused and neglected children in residential group homes. In 1983, Walden transitioned into foster care and pioneered one of California’s first “Treatment Foster Care” programs to offer children and teenagers an alternative to group home placements. Walden expanded its foster care program in 1994 to include services for children with developmental disabilities. “What a privilege to be working with such a great group of staff, board, volunteers, foster and adoptive parents,” said Stivers. “Despite the difficult economy, everyone at Walden is working hard to support the lives of children and families through lasting relationships. I’m honored to be part of such a dedicated team.”


PNB helps you pay your bills in the Philippines in real time Remittance centers offer safe, easy way to pay Do you have monthly bills to settle in the Philippines? There is an easy and safe way to send your payment to the Philippines through Philippine National Bank Remittance Centers, Inc. PNB-RCI, one of the trusted names in remittance in the U.S., accepts over the counter payments for loan amortizations, tuition fees, insurance premiums and contributions to SSS and Pag-ibig in the Philippines. There are a total of 40 merchants and billers enrolled in this overseas bills payment system which also includes major real estate developers, insurance com-

panies and colleges. The service is likewise available at all PNB branches in the U.S. and other foreign countries. One of the key features of this system is the real time crediting of payments to the billers’ account in the Philippines. Thus, clients do not have to worry about not meeting payment due dates and incurring penalties in the Philippines. On top of that, it provides automatic capture of payment information in the first payment and remittance transaction, making the succeeding remittances faster and easier to transact. With PNB-RCI’s extensive branch network in the U.S. numbering to 45 straddling both the east and west coast,

the Filipino community can enjoy easy access to this service. PNB-RCI is a subsidiary of Philippine National Bank which has been serving the remittance needs of the Filipino community in the US. PNB is one of the biggest commercial banks in the Philippines. It has the most extensive international footprint among Philippine banks with its 107 overseas branches and offices located in North America, Europe, Middle East, Asia and Oceania. Visit any of the nearest PNB overseas branch or PNBRCI Office and experience the benefits of this payment facility today. For a complete list of these offices and participating merchants and billers, please log on


December 18 - 24, 2010

December 18 - 24, 2010 THE FILIPINO PRESS


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December 18 - 24, 2010 THE FILIPINO PRESS

What’s Happening


Fil-Ams have starring roles in revival of classic musical

GET LISTED: To have your concert, club or event listed in What’s Happening, e-mail your information (include date, time, location, cost and phone/e-mail) to Keep in mind we publish on Saturdays, so ensure your event happens on the day of publication or during the following week.

Allstar Weekend at SOMA on Saturday, Dec. 18.


Allstar Weekend When: 6 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 18 Where: SOMA, 3350 Sports Arena Blvd., San Diego Tickets: $39. Call (619) 226-766 or visit


West Side Story Where: Civic Theatre, 1100 Third Ave., San Diego When: Jan. 4-9, 2011 Tickets: $20 and up. (619) 570-1100 or (800) 982-ARTS or visit www.


CAFE LA MAZE STEAKHOUSE Julius Obregon and Friends Show When: 7 p.m. Sundays Where: 1441 Highland Ave., National City, (619) 474-3222 LUCKY STAR Wednesdays: Filipino Night with

Eric de Leon Thursdays: Moonlight Serenade Orchestra Big Band Fridays: Ballroom dancing/Karoke Where: 3893 54th St., San Diego, Phone: (619) 229-8228 McDINI'S DINER & SPORTS BAR Filipino food every Saturday When: Open until 2 a.m. Where: 105 E. 8th St.., National City Phone: (619) 434-5140


LOURDES BAR AT JADE HOUSE RESTAURANT When: Fridays and Saturdays Where: 569 H St., Chula Vista Phone: (619) 426-5951 GAPORESTO & KARAOKE When: 7 p.m.-midnight, Tuesdays to Sundays Where: 933 S. Harbison Ave., National City Phone: (619) 267-3746

Twain’s autobiography sheds light on U.S. invasion of Philippines By Benjamin Pimentel


he hot news in the publishing world is that the first volume of Mark Twain’s autobiography has finally come out. The bad news — which is also good news — is that the book is so popular, it’s mostly out of stock. So those of us who want to know more about Twain, who is known to Filipinos for his incisive commentary on the Philippines, will have to wait a bit longer. Twain had stipulated that his complete autobiography should not be published until after 100 years after his death, which is this year. He was supposedly worried that some of his insights may be too provocative, too hard to swallow for American readers of his time. He was probably right. As Richard Lacayo noted in a Time magazine review, Twain “was probably smart to think twice about going public too soon with a description of American soldiers in the Philippines as ‘uniformed assassins.’” Fortunately, even though I have yet to get a copy of the book, Twain’s insights into the U.S. invasion and occupation of the Philippines at the turn of the 20th century have long been made public thanks to an American academic named Jim Zwick. Zwick was the editor of “Mark Twain’s Weapons of Satire,” a compilation of Twain’s anti-imperialist writings on the Philippine-American War published in 1992 by Syracuse University. For those who read it, the book was an eye-opener. “This book transformed my opinion of Mark Twain — from the classic, if somewhat shop-

Mark Twain

worn, American humorist we’re all forced to read in junior high, into a passionate defender of American ideals,” an Amazon. com reviewer wrote in 2001, shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, when outrage over the acts morphed into bellicose chauvinism. “Today, as words like ‘war,’ ‘treason’ and ‘patriotism’ are once again in the headlines, flags are flying and nationalist feeling runs high, these essays by Twain, with commentary by Zwick, are as important and timely as they were nearly a hundred years ago.” Twain was initially supportive of the American invasion of the Philippines, which he first saw as a benevolent campaign to end Spanish oppression in the archipelago, Zwick wrote in the introduction. In a letter to a friend, Twain said, “It is a worthy thing to fight for one’s freedom; it is another sight finer to fight for another man’s.” It didn’t take long for Twain to change his mind about the U.S. military adventure. See TWAIN on 18

‘West Side Story’

Photo: © Joan Marcus, 2010

The national touring cast of "West Side Story" includes Filipino-American actors Ali Ewolt as Maria (below left, with Kyle Harris as Tony) and Kevin Santos as Tio.


ore than 50 years ago one musical changed theater forever. From the first note to the final breath, “West Side Story” soars as the greatest love story of all time. Based on Shakespeare’s “Romeo & Juliet,” the classic Arthur Laurents-Leonard BernsteinStephen Sondheim musical made its Broadway debut in 1957 and was filmed for the equally classic 1961 movie version of the same name starring Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Rita Moreno, George Chakiris and Russ Tamblyn. It won 10 Academy Awards out of eleven nominations. The national tour of Broadway’s current smash-hit revival kicked off to rave reviews at the Fisher Theatre in Detroit on Sept. 30. Now the groundbreaking new production will play San Diego Civic Theatre in a Broadway/San Diego presentation from Jan. 4-9, 2011. Set in New York City in the mid-1950s, the musical explores the rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks, two teenage street gangs of different ethnic backgrounds. The members of the Sharks from Puerto Rico are taunted by the Jets, a white working-class group. The young protagonist, Tony, one of the Jets, falls in love with Maria, the sister of Bernardo, the leader of the Sharks. The dark theme, sophisticated music, extended dance scenes and focus on social problems marked a turning point in American musical theatre. Bernstein’s score for the musical has become extremely popular. It includes “Something's Coming,” “Maria,” “America,” “Somewhere,” “Tonight,” “Jet Song,” “I Feel Pretty,” “A Boy Like That,”

"West Side Story"

When: Jan. 4 – 9, 2011 Where: San Diego Civic Theatre, 3rd and B Street, San Diego Performance times: • Tuesday and Wednesday at 7 p.m. • Thursday at 7:30 p.m. • Friday at 8 p.m. • Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. • ASL-interpreted performance Saturday at 2 p.m. • Sunday at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. • Open-captioned performance Sunday at 1 p.m. Tickets: Start at $20; on sale now on line at; Civic Theatre box office Phone: Box office (619) 570-1100; Ticketmaster (800) 982-2787; Group savings for 10+: (619) 564-3001

“One Hand, One Heart,” “Gee, Officer Krupke” and “Cool.” Two of the prodcition’s leading actors are of Filipino heritage. Ali Ewolt, who stars as Maria, is of Filipino, German and Italian descent. Ewolt has played Cosette in the “Les Misérable” revival on Broadway and in the national tour; starred in the international tour of “West Side Story”; in Disney’s “Aladdin”; “Encore!”; “Honor”; “The Fantasticks”; and “The Unsinkable Molly Brown.” She also has a bachelor’s in psychology from Yale University and is a proud member of Actors’ Equity. Kevin Santos, who plays Tio, is Polish-

Filipino. Santos plays a Puerto Rican for the third time, following the Broadway production and tour of “In The Heights”; you may have also seen him at the Civic Theatre in the recent tour of “ Chorus Line” as Paul. Look for interviews with Ewolt and Santos in a coming edition of the Filipino Press. The touring cast stars Kyle Harris as Tony, Michelle Aravena as Anita, Joseph J. Simeone as Riff and German Santiago as Bernardo. The new Broadway production began previews at the Palace Theatre on Broadway Monday, Feb. 23, 2009, and won the 2010 Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album.

New shows usher in Poway Arts 20th season

Diverse array of musicals, classics and performance shows take to stage

The Poway Center for the Performing Arts is marking its 20th anniversary with slate of exciting new productions for 2011. Formed in 1990, the Poway Center for the Performing Arts Foundation, or “POW! Foundation,” is the nonprofit organization responsible for booking professional artists into the city-owned Poway Center for the Performing Arts. Each year the foundation, in partnership with the City of Poway and the Poway Unified School District, assembles a line up of top-notch talent from the worlds of drama, dance, music, comedy and more. Additionally, the Foundation sponsors the Arts in Education Initiative, a series of programs designed to give students upclose-and-personal experiences with living, working artists via

workshops and master classes. The 20th anniversary season features the following productions: • “Barrio Grrrl!” is a multicultural musical about 9-yearold Ana who is faced with a very big decision — being a superhero or a girl who works miracles in real life. Saturday, Feb. 19, 2011, at 7 p.m. • “Rave On! A Tribute to the Music of Buddy Holly,” Starring Billy McGuigan as Buddy Holly. Saturday, Feb. 26, 2011, at 8 p.m. • “The Wizard of Oz,” the classic L. Frank Baum tale of Dorothy's trip to the Land of Oz. Saturday, March 12, 2011, at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. • The Romeros: The Royal Family of the Guitar. “Collectively, they are the only classical guitar quartet of real stature in the world today; in fact, they virtually invented the format.” — The New York Times. Saturday, April 2, 2011, at 8 p.m. • Alfred Hitchcock’s “The 39 Steps.” Hitchcock meets hi-

larious in this madcap comic thriller, a juicy spy story mixed with a dash of Monty Python mayhem. Saturday, April 16, 2011, at 8 p.m. For more information or tickets, call (858) 748-0505, visit or visit the center at 15498 Espola Road in Poway. Hours are noon to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. Billy McGuigan, right, stars as Buddy Holly in “Rave On! A Tribute to the Music of Buddy Holly” at Poway Arts on Saturday, Feb. 26, 2011.


GMA Pinoy, Life TV growing on Comcast GMA Pinoy TV is the flagship international channel of GMA Network, an industry leader in the Philippines, and is fast becoming the preferred channel of Filipinos in the United States. Initially made available in select areas since 2005, Comcast also carries GMA Pinoy TV in Northern and Central California, Boston, Brookline, Houston, Portland, and Spokane, and just recently added Washington D.C., Frederick, Prince George’s County, Montgomery, and Loudoun County to its areas of coverage. GMA Life TV, in turn, is the network’s second international channel that features a mix of television genres, plus various lifestyle programs suited for Pinoys all over the world. Carried by Comcast in Central California, GMA Life TV will also soon be available in Texas through Comcast Houston. GMA Network, the parent company of GMA Pinoy TV and GMA Life TV, has been broadcasting news and entertainment programs throughout the Philippines for 60 years. It has played a major role in revolutionizing Philippine television by pioneering many of the most innovative and trendsetting shows and is recognized as the leading broadcasting company in the country. With balanced programming and quality entertainment, it has been a staple among Filipino viewers. Its news and public affairs programs have garnered global recognitions which include the prestigious George Peabody Award, World Medals from the New York Festivals (five of which were awarded in 2008 — unprecedented in Philippine TV history), plus several

awards from the U.S. International Film and Video Festival. The fastest-growing Philippine channel, GMA Pinoy TV brings GMA Network’s programs that capture the hearts of Filipino viewers worldwide. Its award-winning and top-rating programs include: 24 Oras GMA’s flagship news program delivers the biggest news of the last 24 hours. Bannered by top news anchors Mel Tiangco and Mike Enriquez. Eat Bulaga The longest-running number one noontime variety show in the Philippines. Hosted by the well-loved triumvirate of Tito Sotto, Vic Sotto, and Joey de Leon. Bubble Gang The longest-running comedy/ gag show in the Philippines, topbilled by top-notch comedians Michael V. and Ogie Alcasid. Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho A news-magazine program that features insightful stories with human interest and sociocultural relevance. Hosted by award-winning broadcast journalist Jessica Soho. Show Me the Manny World boxing icon Manny Pacquiao in a hilarious yet heartwarming sitcom with the beautiful Kapuso star, Marian Rivera. Beauty Queen An Iza Calzado starrer and currently the hottest primetime series in the Philippines, Beauty Queen is about a poor but purehearted palengke queen-turnedbeauty queen named Maita, played by the multi-awarded drama actress. In addition to GMA Pinoy TV, Comcast Chicago offers a sec-

ond serving of Pinoy programs through GMA Life TV which capture the exciting and colorful lifestyle of Filipinos: The Sweet Life Hosted by the iconic Lucy Torres-Gomez and the multi-awarded actress Iza Calzado, The Sweet Life brings the latest in Philippine fashion, beauty, wellness, food, and anything and everything a woman takes interest in! Secrets of the Masters The country’s top chefs and most promising restaurateurs reveal cooking secrets and techniques as they celebrate Filipino food in Secrets of the Masters. Ang Yaman ni Lola Philippine’s most generous teleserye, comedy, and game show in one which features “Lola Barbie,” (Nanette Inventor) a rich 60-something year old woman who hires a group of “workers” every week. These workers – real people from various professions who have been chosen through auditions – take on the challenges within the context of the teleserye’s storyline in hope to bring home the weekly prize of P100,000! Balik-Bayan With resident biyahero Drew Arellano, Balik-Bayan takes the viewers to the most interesting spots around the country in the only Pinoy celebrity-oriented travel show. Comcast Chicago offers GMA Pinoy TV and GMA Life TV at subscription package rates ranging from as low as $6.99 to $22.99. Interested parties may visit Comcast’s website at Program information and updates are available at www.

December 18 - 24, 2010


Continued from p­­­­­age 17

Upon reading the Treaty of Paris, in which the U.S. gained control of the Philippines from Spain for $20 million, Twain argued that, with that transaction, the United States had paid an “entrance fee into society — the Society of Sceptred Thieves.” “We do not intend to free but to subjugate the people of the Philippines,” Twain was quoted as saying. “And so I am an anti-imperialist. I am opposed to having the eagle put its talons on any other land.” Twain became one the prominent members of the Anti-Imperialist League, a staunch opponent of the U.S. occupation of the Philippines. He and the other anti-imperialists “took the declaration of independence seriously,” Zwick told me in 1999, as I was writing about the 100th anniversary of the start of the Philippine-American War for the San Francisco Chronicle. “They saw a lot of that being reversed by the annexation of more territory,” he added. “They saw that as the end of the country they believed in.” Twain himself was shaken by the brutality of the American forces whom he referred to as “uniformed assassins” and “Christian butchers.” “Weapons of Satire” included a chapter on a U.S. military operation on Jolo Island. In 1906, American forces trapped hundreds of Moros, including children, in a crater on Mount Dajo. Over a few days, they were mercilessly slaughtered. “The enemy numbered six hundred,” Twain wrote, “including women and children — and we abolished them utterly, leaving not even a baby alive to cry for its dead mother.”

“We do not intend to free but to subjugate the people of the Philippines. And so I am an anti-imperialist. I am opposed to having the eagle put its talons on any other land.” Referring to the order to “kill or capture those savages,” Twain said U.S. soldiers apparently interpreted the command to mean kill or capture “according to taste, and that their taste had remained what it has been for eight years, in our army out there — the taste of Christian butchers.” Twain argued, “Our uniformed assassins had not upheld the honor of the American flag … They had dishonored it.” What made Twain’s pronouncements stunning was that his views at that time were very unpopular. In fact, many Americans and Europeans then thought that it was the right, even the duty, of the U.S. to conquer the Philippines. The way this view was expressed was at times absurd. President William McKinley famously said that it was necessary to Christianize the Philip-

pines, conveniently ignoring the fact that the country was a predominantly Catholic nation. American leaders then routinely made what today would be condemned as outrageously offensive comments, like the U.S. general who declared: “It may be necessary to kill half of the Filipinos in order that the remaining half of the population may be advanced to a higher plane of life than their present semi-barbarous state affords.” As Steve Haller, a military historian at the Presidio in San Francisco, told me many years ago, “It was an era of undoubted racism. We looked at things strictly from a white point of view.” British writer Rudyard Kipling expressed this sentiment in the poem that became the famous exhortation to Western domination, “The White Man’s Burden.” “Take up the White Man’s burden Send forth the best ye breed Go, bind your sons to exile To serve your captives’ need; To wait, in heavy harness, On fluttered folk and wild Your new-caught sullen peoples, Half devil and half child.” Mark Twain fired back: “The White Man’s Burden has been sung. Who will sing the Brown Man’s?” I’m also writing this to pay tribute to Zwick, one of the most respected scholars on the life of Mark Twain. In the 1980s, Zwick was an active member of Friends of the Filipino People, an organization of Americans opposed to U.S. support for the Marcos dictatorship. Sadly, Zwick died nearly three years ago at the age of 51. He would have been thrilled with the renewed interest in Mark Twain. For he clearly believed that Twain’s powerful, humanitarian insights into what he saw as an unjust war are as relevant today as they were a century ago. (

December 18 - 24, 2010 THE FILIPINO PRESS




Continued from p­­­­­age 1

Continued from p­­­­­age 1

Pempengco on May 10, 1992 — entered “Little Big Star,” a Philippine TV show modeled after “American Idol.” Though eliminated after her first performance, Charice found herself a wild-card selection on the show and later became a finalist. When she lost, a swelling fan base had already begun a YouTube campaign on her behalf which kept her in the public eye and eventually propelled her to new stardom. By 1997, Charice had made the leap to the U.S., performing on “The Ellen Degeneres Show.” Quickly gaining momentum, Charice returned to the U.S. again in 2008, this time on “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” who called has her “the most talented girl in the world.” So sure of Charice’s talent was Winfrey that the legendary talk-show host brought the young pop princess to the attention of Grammy-winning producer Foster. Foster quickly realized Charice’s potential and added her to the cast of his Las Vegas shows and touring ensembles. In 2009, Charice cemented her presence in the U.S., performing at pre-inaugural events for President Obama, post-Academy Award shows and singing the national anthem at a Los Angles Dodgers game before 52,000 fans. In between, her second Philippines album went gold, then platinum. In the summer of that year, she launch her first major concert in the Philippines, “Charice: The Journey Begins,” to a sold-out crowd at Mall of Asia. Joining the cast of “Glee” was sweet icing on an already sweet cake. As Ryan Murphy, creator of “Glee,” says: “When that girl opens her mouth, angels fly out,” he said. What’s next for Charice? “I want to sing and dance with Justin Timberlake,” she says on her website. Her 13 million fans certainly look forward to seeing that.

boarding with my 2-year-old son, Willy, Jr. Professionally, I was able to travel all over Europe, skate Woodward West and go on a U.S. Midwest Tour all with Birdhouse Skateboards, Tony Hawk’s skateboard company. I even did a skateboard tour in Japan, which was really awesome. Lately I’ve been going with a Philippines theme with my skateboard decks by Birdhouse and I'm really proud of them. I’d like to thank Raibyn Cabiling. Check out www. or At the beginning of 2010, what were among your top goals that you did not achieve? One of my top goals was to keep our shop in Mira Mesa going but we had to close it. It was a bummer, but we had to close it in order to move forward. Looking ahead to 2011, what are your top goals and how do you plan to achieve them? Going forward with 2011, I’m going to make sure, with the help of others, that Mira Mesa gets a free public skatepark built in the next two or three years. I’ve already submitted paperwork to get a foundation started and we've been slowly raising money in the community of Mira Mesa to get the skatepark built. Check out I also plan to keep pushing my skateboarding abilities and travel the world skateboarding.  The year 2011 marks the year that I’ve been a professional skateboarder for 20 years. It’s definitely been a blessing and I’m truly grateful for those who have supported me, especially my wife, Shalihe. Also going forward for 2011 will be 11 years for my skateshop Willy’s Workshop and I plan to make it even better for 2011. Last, but not least, I will continue to help out with Gawad Kalinga. If you make New Year’s resolutions, which have you accom-

Photo: Victor Muniz/Filipino Press

Willy Santos at his store, Willy’s Workshop, in San Diego.

“Going forward with 2011, I’m going to make sure, with the help of others, that Mira Mesa gets a free public skatepark built in the next two or three years. I’ve already submitted paperwork to get a foundation started and we've been slowly raising money in the community of Mira Mesa to get the skatepark built.” plished, which are you still working on and what are your resolutions for the new year?

end of 2010. So for my 5000th follower I will hook them up with a Birdhouse Willy Santos deck.”

Next year I will strive to constantly improve myself on and off the skateboard and be there for my family. I’m also hoping to get over 5,000 followers on Twitter by the

After a turbulent past few years for everyone, what is your outlook for the coming year — are you optimistic, pessimistic or do you see more of the same?

I am optimistic for the coming year. Let’s make 2011 a great one of rebuilding our economy and community. God Bless America! How will you celebrate New Year’s Eve? For New Year’s Eve, my family and I will keep it comfortable and just

stay at home. We might light off some fireworks. To keep up with Willy and see what the new year brings him, follow him at


December 18 - 24, 2010

Francine Maigue

The Pampered Pinay

Innovative holiday cards H

ave you sent out your Christmas cards yet, my pampered friends? If you haven’t, don’t worry! Here are some fun ways to check this holiday task off your list. Even if you have already sent your cards, you and your loved ones may find these activities to be great ways to commemorate special memories from the past year as well as capture the spirit of the season. Your family press Did someone graduate this year? Has there been a new addition to the family? Got great pictures of recitals and school events? ‘Tis the season to share all the fun details! Newsletters, whether printed or emailed, are a great way to send your holiday greetings as well as catch up friends and family

who are miles away on all the amazing things that have happened in your life. Go ahead — brag a little. You’ve worked hard this year, and those who love and care about you will want to know all the fabulous details of your most recent success stories. 2010’s greatest hits Today’s technology makes it easy for anyone and everyone to feel like an instant Spielberg. Collect video snippets of your family’s “greatest hits” of 2010 (everything from a baby’s first steps to game-winning touchdowns) and put them together in a video that also includes a special holiday message from the family. While your video can be burned onto a disc then sent, you may find it more convenient and cost-effective to simply upload your

homemade movie to YouTube and e-mail the link to everyone on your contact list. Enjoy reminiscing on all the blessings that have come your way this year. Christmas karaoke Most, if not all, Filipino families are very musically inclined. Record your family (or at least one representative) singing or playing an instrument to the tune of your favorite Christmas carol. Burn the recorded music on to a CD or post a video online using YouTube, Facebook, or both. Don’t forget to include a holiday message before or after the music, to give it an extra personal touch. You go, Pinoy Idols! Amidst the rush of this very busy season, enjoy some quality family time. While doing so, work together to assemble whichever type of holiday greeting you choose. Don’t forget to send one my way, too, my pampered friends! Happy Holidays! Wanna keep in touch and join in on fun weekly chats with other Pampered Pinay fans? Simply check out, and search “Francine Maigue.” See you online! Check back every week for ways to pamper yourself and those you love. Why? The answer is simple: You deserve it! Got a business or event I should know about? Wish to agree or disagree with me? Want to send me a love note? (I love those.) E-mail me at

Wishes all our readers and advertisers a Happy Holiday season!



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FM1011010_FilipinoNews.indd 1

11/15/10 2:08 PM

December 18 - 24, 2010 THE FILIPINO PRESS

Cancer prevention program targeted at Fil-Am community in San Diego Project Concern International (PCI) is one of nine programs in the country recently funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to improve the health outcomes for individuals with cancer, diabetes, obesity and hypertension, with specific emphasis on health disparity populations. The project is titled Family Health Navigator Resource Center (FHNRC). The Filipino community in National City and Spring Valley will specifically be outreached for cancer prevention. PCI is currently accepting applications for a Filipino Family Health Navigator. To apply for this position, please email your cover letter and current resume with the words “US Border - Family Health Navigator – Filipino” in the subject header to Careers@projectconcern. org by December 31, 2010. Or go to careers to review all worldwide current job opportunities.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to provide much needed services to the Filipino community”, said Dr. Maria Lourdes Reyes, FHNRC Project Director. Dr. Reyes is past President for the American Cancer Society for California and past President of the Pilipino Medical Association and has been involved in many Filipino organizations. The other communities targeted will be the Somali refugees in Central San Diego for all chronic diseases and the Latino community in Southeast San Diego, Mid City, Central San Diego, Lemon Grove, Spring Valley, and National City for Obesity and diabetes prevention. The three-year project builds on a decade of community planning and vision, in close collaboration with the key hospitals, clinics and social service providers in the region. The project will accelerate change locally and beyond by: (1) increasing utilization of quality chronic disease servic-

es by the target population; (2) improving knowledge, attitudes, behaviors (KAB) among target population in chronic disease prevention/access; (3) improving communication and collaboration on chronic disease issues among local health care providers; and (4) improving cultural competency of health care providers serving the target population. Project Concern International ( is a San Diego-based health and humanitarian organization dedicated to building healthy communities by preventing disease, improving community health, and promoting sustainable development. With 50 years of experience, Project Concern International reached more than 4.5 million people in 2010 through life-saving programs in Asia, Africa, and the Americas. For more information about Project Concern International, please visit our website at

National City seeks volunteers for boards, commissions The City of National City welcomes and needs citizens who are interesting in volunteering their time and talent to serve on its boards and commissions. Current and anticipated vacancies or expired terms exist on the following boards and conditions: * Community and Police Relations Commission

* Library Board of Trustees * Parks, Recreation and Senior Citizens Advisory Board * Planning Commission * Public Art Committee * Sweetwater Authority Board * Traffic Safety Committee All volunteer applicants must be residents of National City and be registered to vote. Appointments are made

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Dolphy wants more time with family MANILA, Philippines — Comedy King Dolphy said that he wishes nothing but good things for all his loved ones as he admitted he has been feeling weak recently and has been ill several times. Dolphy revealed that he caught pneumonia thrice already. “'Yong sakit ko kasi medyo mahirap gumaling. Mahina ang lungs ko eh... Ako ilang beses na akong na-pneumonia. Muntik na ako noon, wala lang akong kaimik-imik, noong ginagawa namin ang John and Shirley, may dala na akong oxygen noon. Pero okay naman ako, napapagod pero okay lang, masaya naman,” he said. Dolphy also shared that he feels he has already accom-

plished a lot, and that he does not regret anything. “Na-accomplish ko na ng husto ang buhay ko, so no regrets na ako. Ang inaalala ko lang, siyempre yong mga iiwanan natin. Ang mga iiwanan ko sa kanila, ayos na ayos na lahat. Sabi ko 'wag kayo mag-aaway-away,” he said. Meanwhile, Dolphy said he was glad that despite his sickness, he was still able to do a movie, which is an entry in the Metro Manila Film Festival. He said this might be his last film. He said that what matters most is not whether the movie is a box office hit, but whether it will make people happy. “Maski hindi na tumabo basta kumita lang, okay lang. Ma-

siyahan lang ang tao, okay na. It could be my last movie...hindi natin alam ang buhay,” said the comedy king. Asked how he wants to be remembered, Dolphy cited lyrics of a song in his album Handog. “Kamukha nga ng album ko, Handog. Napakagandang kanta. Akmang akma sa mga artista. Tatanda, at lilipas din ako, nguni't mayroong tawanang iniwanan sa inyong alaala, dahil minsan tayoíy nagkasama,” he said as well as sing portions of the song. At the age of 86, the comedy king confessed that he is already prepared to be with his Maker, but he still wishes that he be granted longer life so he could spend more time with his family. (MNS)



December 18 - 24, 2010

December 18 - 24, 2010 THE FILIPINO PRESS


Continued from p­­­­­age 7

would consume the goodies to happily end at least a threehour abstinence required by communicants. In those days, my family was not really better off than most of the other folks in the community. We were not exactly blessed with an abundance of worldly goods, but my three sisters, my only brother Angel and I didn’t notice it at all. In fact, we considered ourselves quite wealthy in some other ways. I recall mostly a childhood surrounded and protected by loving parents and relatives, where the bed was warm and we were allowed to explore freely the narrow world then encompassed by the old district of Sta. Ana and its immediate surrounding, areas like Paco and Makati, Rizal. I recall my family had everything except extra cash. A week before Christmas itself, my good, late, lamented uncle Tiyo Ely, who was then a desk sergeant in “Precinto Cinco,” the local police station adjacent to the Sta. Ana church, would usually present us a leg of Chinese “jamon” (smoked ham) for the Christmas dinner. There was plenty of “Noche Buena” food, indeed! It had taken my father’s meager last two paychecks, but we had just about enough to actually have a pretty decent Christmas each time. In my family, Christmas morning was always a joyous event as we exchanged

greetings, gifts and prayer of thanks. Christmas was a time to show appreciation, too — to maids, garbage collectors, drivers, gardeners, washerwomen and security guards. We didn’t have a lot of fancy presents, but my mother was always handling over a token of gift of thanks to our “kartero,” or mailman, in the area come Christmas time. “Utang na loob,” or debt of gratitude, is then and was always in full play at our house. This was Christmas, after all — a period of love, light, warmth and magic — and there was no room for any questions or certain doubts about anything. Family doctors were specially showered with gifts at Christmas. My mother had all the time a basket of fresh fruits ready for our darling family physician, Dr. Campanilla. Christmas had definitely arrived in my hometown of Sta. Ana by then and they were all made with pure, simple love. This is my quintessential remembrance of Christmas as a youngster in the old homeland. And it comes back in time and pays me a visit each year to help me enjoy the old recipes of yesterday. So, at this time and in the glow of the Christmas tree at our house here in the finest city of America, when I share gifts with my very own family, I will say it in a whisper and in a prayer: “Silent Night, O Holy Night … Mama, I love you … Always!” M-e-r-r-y C-h-r-i-s-t-m-a-s!




December 18 - 24, 2010

Filipino Press | Dec. 18-24, 2010  

The weekly newspaper for the Filipino-American community of San Diego.

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