A bomb triggered by a cell phone kills 5, injures 13 in Makati piNEWS | Page 2
Filipina Danica Magpantay is Ford Supermodel of the World for 2011 A&E | Page 15
Chin’s pleases senses like good Asian food should pampered pinay Page 16
An Award-Winning Newspaper • San Diego’s No. 1 Source of News & Information for the Filipino Community Since 1986
January 29-February 4, 2011
Fil-Am doctor heads Giffords’ Houston medical team
FPLQ W INTER
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A Filipino-American doctor is in charge of the team at the Houston hospital where U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is undergoing treatment and rehabilitation following her shooting in Tucson, Ariz., on Jan. 8.
Eye of the Tiger
Dr. Gerard E. Francisco is the interim co-director of the Brain, Injury and Stroke Program at TIRR Memorial Hermann Dr. Gerald E. Hospital, Francisco where Giffords was recently transferred to begin her rehabilitation following the shooting.
Amy Chua grew up the child of Chinese ethnic minority parents from the Philippines who immigrated to the United States. Now, the Yale law professor and writer has sparked controversy with her new book, ‘Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother’
Francisco received his medical degree from the University of the Philippines and completed his internship at Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago. He completed a post-doctoral fellowship in brain injury rehabilitation at Baylor College of Medicine.
Ricasa named to state school boards association committee CHULA VISTA — Sweetwater Union High School District trustee Arlie Ricasa has been appointed to the 16-member legislative committee of the California School Arlie Ricasa Boards Association, according to a San Diego Union-Tribune report last week. Ricasa has been a member of the Board of Education at the state’s largest high school district for 12 years and also serves on the California School Boards Association’s delegate assembly.
Public pressure forces California Fil-Am mayor to resign
By Bill Ramsey
UCSD professor highlights new standard screening measures, guidelines By Fe Seligman
SAN DIEGO — A groundbreaking study conducted by Dr. Maria Rosario G. Araneta, an associate professor at the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at the University of California at San Diego and a member of the San Diego API Community Health Network Research Advisory Council, may open doors toward developing improved standard screening measures and guidelines for diabetes among Filipinos. Dr. Maria Rosario “Early diagnosis and manG. Araneta agement of diabetes is essential to prevent diabetes complications,” Araneta said. Complications include retinopathy, the leading cause of adult blindness, heart disease, kidney failure and nerve damage. Her study, “A1c and Diabetes Diagnosis among Filipino Americans, Japanese Americans and Hawaiians,” was published in December in Diabetes Care. “We are concerned that if these 'diabetics' are undiagnosed, they might have untreated diabetes and develop these complications before the disease is clinically diagnosed,” Araneta said.
hen Amy Chua’s essay, “Chinese mothers are superior,” dropped with all the subtlety of an atom bomb on the pages of the Wall Street Journal on Jan. 8, the article unleashed a firestorm of criticism from almost every corner of the globe — including the Philippines, where Chua’s own Chinese minority parents immigrated to the U.S. from — taking the Yale law professor to task for inflicting extreme parenting tactics on her two daughters while accusing Western (read: American) parenting of being as, at best, lackadaisical, if not downright lazy in comparison. From marathon music lessons and practice sessions (Chua once See tiger on Page 14
Photo illustration by Bill Ramsey • Filipino Press • Photo © 2007 Larry D. Moore
Transplanted Love Girl meets boy, gets kidney: A true romance By Alicia DeLeon-Torres Filipino Press
oonface,” the debut novel by Filipino-American writer Angela Balcita, engages the reader from the cover page of the first chapter, labeled “Act 1,” with a simple graphic of a kidney. The kidney is what binds Balcita’s hilarious yet touching memoir of illness, kidney transplants, family and the epic love of her boyfriend (now husband) as she traverses the country from New York to Pennsylvania, Iowa to California and Hawaii and back to the East Coast and a few
Officially, Balico said he is stepping down to spend more time with his family. However, moments after his announced resignation, a group called the Hercules City Council Recall served Balico and others with a notice of intention to recall.
— Philippine Daily Inquirer
New study may improve diagnosis of diabetes in Filipinos
HERCULES — Filipino-American Ed Balico has resigned from his position as mayor of this Northern California city amid efforts to replace him and two other members of the city council.
According to the recall group, under Balico’s leadership, the city’s bond rating has been lowered to junk bond status.
www.filipinopress.com • (619) 477-0940
See moonface on Page 14
“We are concerned that if these ‘diabetics’ are undiagnosed, they might have untreated diabetes and develop these complications before the disease is clinically diagnosed.” Dr. Maria Rosario G. Araneta UCSD Department of Family and Preventive Medicine Recently, the American Diabetes Association recommended the use of glycosylated hemoglobin, or A1c test, to diagnose Type 1 or type 2 diabetes. It is a common blood test that measures how much of a person’s hemoglobin is coated with sugar. The higher the A1c level, the poorer a person’s ability to control sugar production. ADA recommended an A1c of 6.5 to 7 percent or higher to identify someone with diabetes. The recommended level has been the result of studies showing a strong relationship among levels of A1c, average blood glucose concentration as well as complications arising from diabetes, over a period of three months. However, in her study, Araneta discovered that the A1c test may not be applicable to the Filipino community. By using another diabetes test called Oral Glucose Tolerance Test, she came up with a different result. “When we compared the A1c benchmark of greater than or equal to 6.5 percent to the OGTT, only 40 percent of Filipinos with diabetes as screened by OGTT were classified as having diabetes by the A1c test,” Araneta said. The remaining 60 percent were misclassified as ‘nondiabetics.’ The OGTT measures how fast sugar is cleared in the blood, but it is costly and inconvenient. The patient is required to fast for eight hours and then blood is drawn to measure plasma glucose. Afterwards, the patient is asked to take a very sweet drink and then blood is drawn again. See STUDY on Page 12
2 • January 29-February 4, 2011
philippines news & week in review
Bus explosion kills 5, injures 13 Mortar bomb was triggered by cell phone, PNP chief says MANILA — The explosion that ripped apart a bus in Makati last week killing five passengers and wounding 13 others was caused by a mortar bomb triggered by a mobile phone, police said. The rigged explosive is typically used by Islamic extremists, raising the likelihood that the bombing was a terrorist attack. Philippine National Police Chief Director General Raul Bacalzo made the revelation during a hearing of the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs on what it described as the worsening peace and order situation in Metro Manila. In Malacañang, President Aquino appealed for calm and asked the public not to resort to speculations. Bacalzo said the improvised explosive device used in the bombing was an 81-mm mortar shell with a cell phone as remote trigger. Bacalzo said investigators were checking if the same type of IED was used in past terror attacks, particularly in Central Mindanao. “That’s the thing we are following up because according to the EOD (explosives and ordnance division), it’s an 81-mm mortar. If it’s a mortar, then the component was TNT,” Bacalzo told reporters after the hearing. “We don’t want to speculate, but these are operational data we would like to pursue. We will see if there is similarity in style with other bombings in the past,” he said. National Capital Region Police Office chief Director Nicanor Bartolome said investigators are reconstructing the cell phone that was reportedly used as a triggering device. Police also said they have sketches of two suspects but would not release them yet so as not to jeopardize the investigation. Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo, for his part, said the attack should not be totally blamed on failure of intelligence. He said it was like looking for needle in a haystack. Robredo said even the most sophisticated, more equipped and richer nations have difficulty monitoring terror attacks in their own countries. He said it’s still “too premature to pinpoint at this time” if terrorists or extortionists were responsible for Tuesday’s attack. At the hearing, Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. expressed concern that the bombing could be a terror act since the Philippines, based on some reports, is “often seen as a staging area” of international terror groups. He noted that even Iraqi extremists use mortar shells for IEDs in terror attacks. Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin also rebuffed claims that there was failure of intelligence. “We take all of these seriously. At this point it cannot be said that we were not serious. What I mean is steps were taken. But this slipped past us. Why did this happen? If a person is determined, he would manage to carry out his evil intentions one way or another,” Gazmin said. The explosion inside the Newman Goldliner bus killed two passengers instantly and wounded more than a dozen. Three of the injured later died in hospital. — Inquirer
news in brief U.S. plans to help Philippine Navy boost patrol capacity in Asian sea lanes MANILA — The United States said Thursday it would help boost the Philippines' capacity to patrol its waters as part of a larger goal of keeping vital Asian sea lanes open amid the rise of China, according to an Agence France-Presse report. The pledge came from U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell on the first day of an inaugural security dialogue between the two allies. “One of the subjects for discussions tomorrow will be the bilateral steps that (we) can take to increase the Philippines’ maritime capacity,” Campbell said. This would enhance the Philippine Navy’s capacity to police its waters, he told a joint news conference. "We think this is a critical component of our partnership. Much of this work is already underway and we seek to intensify it in the months and years ahead," he said without giving details. The U.S. had key air and naval bases in the Philippines until 1992, when the Philippine senate rejected a new treaty. The U.S. ruled the Philippines as colonial power from 1901 to 1946 and the two countries remain linked by a 1951 mutual defence pact.
Ryan Lim • Malacanang Photo Bureau
President Aquino, accompanied by Philippine National Police Chief Director General Raul Bacalzo, inspects the Newman Gold Liner passenger bus damaged in a bomb blast in Makati City at the Southern Police District headquarters in Taguig City on Jan. 25. The president appeals to the public to remain calm amidst this tragic incident and orders a full scale investigation and to run after the perpetrators of the Buendia bus blast. The big explosion occurred inside the Newman Gold Liner bus while approaching the loading bay and MRT Buendia railway station on EDSA’s northbound lane, killing five people and injuring 13 others.
Radio commentator shot dead; anchor was anti-mining critic Journalist was 142nd killed in PI since 1986 PUERTO PRINCESA CITY — A lone gunman shot and killed outspoken radio commentator Gerardo Ortega while he was shopping in a used-clothes store Monday after his daily morning broadcast, police reported. Ortega, anchor of the Radyo Mo Nationwide (RMN) local affiliate dwAR prime time talk show “Ramatak,” was gunned down inside the store along the national highway in this city. The 47-year-old broadcaster and veterinarian, called “Doc Gerry” by friends and colleagues, suffered bullet wounds in the head and body, Insp. Rafael Roxas said. The alleged gunman, Marlon Dicamata, 31, attempted to flee from the scene but was cornered at a nearby parking area by Ortega’s bodyguard and crewmen of a fire truck. Police said Dicamata, who reportedly comes from Pagbilao town in Quezon province, had an accomplice, who remained at large. In a statement, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) said Ortega was the 142nd journalist killed since the 1986 Edsa People Power Revolution in the country, regarded as one of the most dangerous places for media people. He was the third journalist to be murdered under the Aquino administration. National Bureau of Investigation agent Cedric Caabay declined to issue a statement during a break in the interrogation of the suspect but said investigators had good leads. “There is good information, that’s all I can say,” Caabay said. Campaign against mining Ortega, a former provincial board member who once made an unsuccessful bid for governor, was a staunch critic of the current provincial administration and activities of mining companies in Pal-
awan, speaking out often against corruption in his 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. program. He had been movGerardo Ortega ing around with a bodyguard since late last year when he kept receiving death threats through text messages, said Aries Abuque, a dwAR colleague.
“Doc Gerry was more than a radio commentator. He was also a wildlife conservationist, a public servant, an antigraft crusader—roles which he played with guts, grit and gravitas.” Rep. Antonio Alvarez of Northern Palawan Puerto Princesa City Mayor Edward Hagedorn said Ortega, who was also the project director of ABS-CBN’s Bayan Ni Juan project in Puerto Princesa, was set to travel to Manila on Tuesday to meet with him. They were to discuss with other anti-mining advocates various activities under the Global Legal Action for Climate Change (GLACC), which Hagedorn heads. “We were just discussing this campaign plan together with his boss, Gina Lopez,” Hagedorn said in a phone interview with the Inquirer from Manila. The mayor vowed to provide all-out support to the police and other investigating agencies to pin down the mastermind of Ortega’s killing. “We will not allow this to remain unsolved for any length of time. We will bring justice to the family,” Hagedorn said. P100,000 contract A police source said investigators were trying to verify reports that the suspect had been contracted for the hit job for P100,000 with a down payment of P10,000. Investigators have also been
able to track down the registry of the .45-cal. automatic that was used in the killing. The Inquirer also learned from an investigator that the suspect had checked in at a local hotel as early as Dec. 24. Palawan Gov. Abraham Kahlil Mitra, in a statement, denounced Ortega’s killing and ordered the provincial police office to “immediately resolve the killing.” Mitra challenged Supt. Reynaldo Jagmis, the new provincial police director, “to solve this crime right away together with other reported incidents like the firing of guns at the house of Rizal Mayor Nicolas Montaño and the holdup incident in Balabac a few days ago.” Killing denounced The NUJP chapter in Palawan and the Palawan Press Club have condemned the slaying, demanding that the investigation be “transparent and speedy.” “Ortega’s killing may have a direct connection with his work as a media practitioner and his enemies lurk in the many corners of the government bureaucracy which he had criticized in his radio programs. We ask the national government to ensure that the investigation of his murder will not be hindered by outside influences,” the NUJP chapter said. “Doc Gerry was more than a radio commentator. He was also a wildlife conservationist, a public servant, an antigraft crusader—roles which he played with guts, grit and gravitas,” Rep. Antonio Alvarez of Northern Palawan said in a statement. “He loved Palawan so much that he was the last frontier’s first defender, ready to rise up when it is threatened by those who want to rob it of its natural riches or its share from national wealth,” Alvarez added. Jofelle Tesorio, editor at the Asian News Network, said in the NUJP website that “Doc Gerry was a good friend, a good person, a good family man, and a good Palaweño. He wanted nothing but the best for Palawan. He could have moved and worked abroad but he chose to serve Palawan.” — Inquirer
Philippine university celebrates 400th anniversary MANILA — A Philippine university that bills itself as the oldest in Asia launched its 400th anniversary celebrations with fanfare last week, Agence France-Presse reported. Priests and nuns in their cassocks and habits mingled with masked students in colourful costumes as the church-run University of Santo Tomas in central Manila began marking the historic event. The year-long celebrations will include masses, academic gatherings, opera concerts, charity works, filmfests, dance contests and visits by movie star alumni as the university seeks to lighten its conservative image. “Other schools say they have produced presidents but we have produced national heroes and saints,” university rector Father Rolando de la Rosa told a crowd of beaming faculty as the celebrations got underway. The national hero, Jose Rizal, studied at the university and several Santo Tomas alumni were canonised after they were killed while doing missionary work in Japan, China and Korea from the 17th to 19th century. The school, which is attended by some 44,000 students, has also produced its share of Philippine presidents and legislators. Santo Tomas alumni and students like to point out that their university is “older than Harvard” — a leading U.S. educational institution which has a mere 375 years under its belt.
Trillanes, 94 others take oath of allegiance to constitution MANILA — Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV is now officially a free man. The former rebel military officer and 94 others took their oath of allegiance to the constitution at Camp Aguinaldo to complete the amnesty process last week. Trillanes took his oath at the office of Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin before attending the senate inquiry on the plea bargaining agreement between former military comptroller Carlos Garcia and the office of the special prosecutor. Last December, the court hearing the coup d’etat case against Trillanes gave him a furlough, pending the grant of amnesty. The other former rebel soldiers took their oath before Gazmin at the Armed Forces Commissioned Officers’ Club. The Department of National Defense has so far approved amnesty applications filed from Jan. 4 to 10. Former Lt. Ashley Acedillo, Magdalo spokesman and one of those who took oath, said the amnesty brought back normalcy to their lives. “We will always bring with us our advocacy against corruption and the quest for truth,” he said. — Philippine Star
P50-M ‘send-off’ gift for Reyes MANILA —A retired lieutenant colonel on Jan. 27 made a surprise appearance at the senate and disclosed how he and his ex-bosses allegedly amassed wealth, with a large portion of the loot taken from soldiers’ salaries. Seated on a wheelchair following a stroke, George Rabusa dropped a bombshell: that Angelo Reyes, a former Armed Forces chief of staff, received a send-off gift (“pabaon”) of “not less than” P50 million when he retired in 2001. Rabusa said he personally delivered the cash to the “White House,” Reyes’ then quarters at Camp Aguinaldo, that year. He said he was accompanied by the then military comptroller, Lt. Gen. Jacinto Ligot. “We had to convert [the money] to dollars because it was very bulky,” Rabusa said during the Senate blue ribbon committee’s initial hearing on the plea bargain between government prosecutors and ex-military comptroller Carlos Garcia. On top of the purported “pabaon,” Reyes, who later became defense secretary, allegedly received a monthly take of at least P5 million—or around P100 million in his 20 months as AFP chief of staff. Rabusa said he and Ligot made the monthly deliveries. Rabusa said Reyes’ office also received another P5 million monthly, but added that the amount was spent for office needs and was not necessarily pocketed by Reyes. He said the distribution of hefty amounts to top military officials was a “tradition” in the AFP. “It was there when we got there. We inherited it from those who came before us,” he said. “As soon as they assumed office, they already asked to be given,” he claimed. — Philippine Daily Inquirer
January 29-February 4, 2011 â&#x20AC;˘ 3
4 • January 29-February 4, 2011
YourWorld Earth Talk
All-electric cars eligible for new federal tax credit
During 2011, purchases of any of the new all-electric cars, such as the Chevy Volt or Nissan Leaf (pictured here), qualify for up to a $7,500 federal tax credit. The federal government now also offers a tax credit for 10 percent (up to $4,000) of the cost of a kit to convert an existing hybrid vehicle into a plug-in hybrid.
Dear EarthTalk: A number of federal energy efficiency related tax incentives expired at the end of 2010. Will any such programs remain in force and if not, are there other ways to save money on green upgrades? Jen Franklin, Chicago
t is true that some federal tax credits for energy efficiency upgrades expired at the end of 2010, but there is legislative effort afoot to extend some of those credits — and there are plenty of other ways to defray the costs of turning over a new green leaf or two this year and beyond. One of the best known green federal tax incentives, the Residential Energy Efficiency Tax Credit — which kicked in 30 percent of the cost of household efficiency upgrades up to $1,500 on items including water heaters, furnaces, heat pumps, central air conditioning systems, insulation, windows, doors and roofs — is no longer available as of Jan. 1, 2011. However, some lawmakers are looking to extend the credit. U.S. Senators Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Jeff Bingaman (D-New Mexico) have drafted legislation calling for keeping the program going, in a slightly revised form, for another two years. “Residential energy efficiency has been identified as the most effective strategy to enhance our energy security and save money on energy bills,” said Snowe. “The residential energy efficiency tax credits … have been key catalysts in improving the energy efficiency of homes throughout the country [and] have driven companies to produce the most advanced products current technology allows.” And if you were thinking you would save thousands of dollars on the price of a Toyota Prius thanks to federal incentives, think again. Federal tax credits also expired at the end of 2010 on the purchase of hybrid gaselectric cars and trucks. However, if you want to roll away in one of the sporty new all-electric cars, such as the Nissan Leaf or
Chevy Volt, you can now qualify for up to a $7,500 (depending on battery capacity) federal tax credit. The federal government now also offers a tax credit for 10 percent (up to $4,000) of the cost of a kit to convert an existing hybrid vehicle into a plug-in hybrid. All of these programs expire themselves at the end of 2011. Whether or not new federal alternative fuel vehicle incentives crop up for 2012 — when many new ultra-efficient plug-in hybrids from the likes of Toyota, Honda, Volvo and others are slated for release — remains to be seen. Regardless, many states have their own programs to encourage energy efficiency. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) regularly updates its free online State Energy Efficiency Policy Database, which makes accessing information on your state’s energy efficiency programs, standards and “reward structures” as easy as clicking on a map. Likewise, the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) is another free online resource that lists state and federal incentives for buying an alternative fuel car, greening up your home or otherwise embracing energy efficiency. And the Energy Star website details special offers and rebates from cities, towns, counties and utilities on the purchase of appliances and equipment that meet federal standards for energy efficiency. Contacts: Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE), www.dsireusa.org; ACEEE’s State Energy Efficiency Policy Database, www.aceee. org/sector/state-policy; Energy Star Special Offers and Rebates, www.energystar.gov/ index.cfm?fuseaction=rebate.rebate_locator. Send questions to: EarthTalk®, c/o E – The Environmental Magazine, P.O. Box 5098, Westport, CT 06881; firstname.lastname@example.org. E is a nonprofit publication. Subscribe: www.emagazine.com/subscribe; Request a free trial issue: www.emagazine. com/trial.
From the editors of E — The Environmental Magazine
January 29-February 4, 2011 • 5
The truth (will not) set you free A
s a lawyer I interpret the law. Some people think they can interpret the law without any legal experience or training. So, if a policeman asks questions, these same people think they should and are required to answer police questioning. Some will get themselves into trouble by talking excessively to the police. Most people will willingly talk to the police. Why would anyone talk to the police without knowing why police are asking you questions? Without knowing the law, a person will risk incriminating himself in a criminal investigation. There is no doubt that the police put pressure on ordinary citizens and suspects to talk to them and most people will want to tell their side of the story. Answering questions is very dangerous whether you are innocent or guilty of a crime. We have been taught that the truth will set you free. We learn that from our parents early on, that if we tell them the truth they will be lenient. We learn that when we are in grade school. Teachers will tell their students that if they violate a school rule that they may be punished. The teacher will tell their students that as long as they tell the truth everything will be fine, but if they lie about what they did, they will be punished more severely for not only for what they did, but for lying and not confessing. If the student does not admit to being guilty, the student will be more severely punished for not confessing. This may be true in school, but I can’t think of many situations where it is a good idea to make statements to the police without the advice of counsel.
Edgar H. Sevilla III
The right to remain silent is a difficult concept to understand. Some are too scared to remain silent. Some are naïve and think the police will always give them the benefit of the doubt. Unfortunately, some will not exercise their right to remain silent. Too many people start talking to the cops as if they were guests on Larry King or Oprah Winfrey. Others think they can talk their way out of any type of trouble. If you committed a crime, you will be punished. Most citizens aren’t given a “get out of jail free card.” Suspects are read Miranda Rights when they are arrested. Americans have constitutional rights. We have a right against self-incrimination. The Fifth Amendment of the constitution protects us. Citizens can’t be forced to be a witness against themselves in a criminal case. This right to remain silent is dis-
cussed in the Miranda Case. Pre-Miranda, the police use to beat confessions out of criminal suspects. Some people will argue that this is still done in our country. Most people agree that a coerced confession from a tortured criminal suspect is inherently unreliable. Torture leads to unreliable information. The right to remain silent is a difficult concept to understand. Some are too scared to remain silent. Some are naïve and think the police will always give them the benefit of the doubt. Unfortunately, some will not exercise their right to remain silent. Too many people start talking to the cops as if they were guests on the Larry King or Oprah Winfrey. Others think they can talk their way out of any type of trouble. It is a policeman’s job to gather evidence whether a crime has or has not been committed. Some policemen want to get all the evidence in the case so they can write a police report with all the “correct” facts of what happened. The police want to make sure that if a crime has been committed they have will be able to convict the correct suspect. Police want to make sure that the case against the suspect is easy for the prosecuting attorney to prove. In order to assist the prose-
cuting attorney the police will record statements from witnesses, victims and possible suspects. The police will gather physical evidence, such as blood samples, torn clothing and weapons. The police will also photograph the crime scene. You’ve seen that yellow police tape cordoning off an area to preserve a crime scene. The charging district attorney or city attorney reads the police report and determines whether charges should be filed against a defendant. A confession will usually lead to an easy conviction for the prosecution. The most damaging evidence from a criminal suspect can come from a suspect’s own statements to the police. During questioning, remaining just silent is not,enough. Invoke your right to remain silent. There is new case law that states that you must orally state your intent to remain silent. Your time to invoke your right to remain silent will come up if you are stopped for the suspicion of driving under the influence, suspicion of domestic violence or even in a ordinary suspicion of speeding on the highway scenario. If you think you didn’t commit a crime, you may be wrong, thus, I recommend orally invoking your right to remain silent. Request an attorney before agreeing to any police interrogation.
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San Diego attorney Edgar H. Sevilla III has practiced law in California for more than 18 years, specializing in catastrophic work injury, personal injury and criminal cases. This column is for informational purposes only and not meant to construe legal advice. To contact Sevilla, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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6 • January 29-February 4, 2011
Commentary Challenger disaster remains vivid memory 25 years later
am not often called upon to share my expertise or experiences, much less by the local media. But when I read local public radio station KPBS-FM’s Facebook post asking listeners to share their memories of the Challenger disaster, I couldn’t resist. I was there, after all — nearby, at least, and witness to the explosion. I assumed the post was bait and I bit. The station was looking for people with compelling memories from that timestopping moment 25 years ago on Jan. 28, 1986. At the time, I was a sergeant in the Air Force stationed at the now-defunct Homestead AFB in Miami. Only a few hours’ drive from Kennedy Space Center, the sunny Florida weather provided a great view of shuttle launches and I took advantage of the beautiful January morning to take a break and watch Challenger liftoff. Truth is, I almost forgot. By then, shuttle launches and space travel had become so commonplace, so reliably safe that even the major networks didn’t cover every launch. (It’s telling that only CNN — still less than a decade only — was the only news network covering the Challenger launch.) The only thing really special about Challenger was crewmember Christa McAuliffe, who was selected from
more than 11,000 applicants to become the first teacher in space. Six other crewmembers were also aboard STS51-L, the 25th Space Shuttle flight since the program launched in 1981. Seventy-three seconds after Challenger lifted off into the perfect Florida sky, its plume split and then stopped. At first, I thought the solid-rocket boosters had separated, but it seemed as though the shuttle simply evaporated in thin air. I was curious, but not overly concerned. Inside, news traveled fast, and I found co-workers huddled around a TV set. “The Challenger exploded,” was all I heard. At first, we hoped the crew had survived — and indeed, it seems several did survive the initial blast — but my heart sank as the day went on. The Challenger and her crew were lost, the first American space program fatalities since 1967. Years went by and the new, improved shuttle program roared back into space. Again, the missions became routine,
safe and launch coverage dwindled. Until 17 years later, almost to the day, when Columbia disintegrated over Texas (where I was then living), killing another seven astronauts. Both accidents were horrifying, but the Challenger disaster in particular was a turning point, the end of our innocence in space and, perhaps as a modern nation. So far, 17 astronauts have died since NASA’s manned space-flight program began. The agency will retire the shuttle program later this year. I’m still thrilled by the space program, but less so these days. Next week, I’m going to meet Apollo astronaut Buzz Aldrin when he appears at the San Diego Air & Space Museum. I’m excited to meet an American icon and a personal hero. I hope Buzz can revive that thrill. Bill Ramsey is the editor of the Filipino Press. E-mail him at email@example.com.
Guest Commentary Benjamin Pimentel
Why Pinoy fathers are superior
’m kidding, of course. I don’t really believe that. And I can’t believe anyone would claim that an ethnic group, a race or a nation has the superior parenting system. It now appears that even Amy Chua, who wrote the provocative essay arguing that Chinese moms are superior, doesn’t really believe it either. In a Wall Street Journal essay, she talks about demanding that her children always get As, be perfect at playing the piano or the violin and that they never go on a sleepover or a playdate or be in a school play. But in a follow-up piece, after the essay triggered an uproar, she says, “There is no easy formula for parenting, no right approach (I don’t be-
lieve, by the way, that Chinese parenting is superior — a splashy headline, but I didn’t choose it).” And she suggests that there are limits to her hard-core parenting tactics, telling the New York Times, “I think I pulled back at the right time. I do not think there was anything abusive in my house.” So after all the brouhaha, we go back to what parents like me know to be true: There is no such thing as the one, the true, the correct path to superior or effective parenting. Some say her essay, at least, sparked debate, discussion and reflection on an important topic. But I cringe at the thought that some parents, perhaps a young couple struggling for a framework for raising their children, may think Chua’s
way is the only way. Chua says her approach worked for her. Good for her and her family. But the reasons are obvious why it probably won’t work for others. And why many parents like me find her tactics stunningly over-the-top. For a mother who pushed her children to excel in music, Chua sounds like a mom with a one-note parenting style. Or maybe a couple: those two scary ones in the theme from “Jaws.” “What do you mean you only got an A minus?” Cue music. Bum pum bum pum bum pum … For from my own experience, you need a broad repertoire, with varied beats and tempos. You affirm and inSee fathers on Page 12
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Coddlers of corruption I
f the Aquino administration is serious in its drive to stamp out corruption in government, it should focus on two hot items that have recently hogged the headlines — the plunder case on former AFP comptroller retired Gen. Carlos Garcia and the gruesome murder of two car dealers allegedly by a well-entrenched carjacking syndicate. From all indications, these cases would lead to corrupt officials in the bureaucracy, police and military. Once positively identified, these coddlers of the criminal and the corrupt should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law so as to serve warning to those who continue to betray the trust of the people. Everybody is convinced that Garcia and the carjacking syndicates couldn’t have carried out their crimes without the connivance of well-placed officials in the military, the police and the bureaucracy. It is now up to the still untainted officers of the police and the judiciary to follow the paper trail and follow up leads to pinpoint and arrest these criminal coddlers. Garcia was alleged to have accumulated P302 million in illegal wealth, mostly from the AFP retirement fund and questionable deals, and was believed certain to remain in the slammer for the rest of his pitiful life when, shock of all shocks, the Ombudsman struck a deal with him to plead to a lesser offense and the Sandiganbayan hurriedly allowed him to post a bail of — would you believe it? — P60,000. In minutes, the guilty-looking Garcia is out of jail and is now believed to be missing. And the Ombudsman probably believes we should all be thankful because Garcia agreed to return P135 million of the P302-million loot! For years, the Filipino people were made to believe that finally the government has bagged a big fish in its drive against corruption and that Garcia was guilty as hell. And then just before Christmas, the prosecutors turned around and said they did not have enough evidence to convict Garcia of plunder, which was non-bailable, and that they had to settle for a guilty plea of bribery and money laundering violations. Obviously, there were unseen hands that worked behind the scene to bolt Garcia out of jail, hands that are probably as guilty as the filthy hands of the general. Everybody agrees that the general could not have
On Distant Shore
amassed such wealth without the collusion of other military and defense officials. But will anybody move heaven and earth to prove such allegation? The credibility of the country’s military establishment and the judiciary will forever be tainted if Garcia’s plunder case remains unresolved. Will it go the same way as the other high-profile corruption cases — to the trash bin of memory? Let us pray not. Now comes the gruesome murder of two car dealers that are reminiscent of Mafia-style executions in the days of Al Capone. It was obviously not a simple case of carjacking gone haywire since the three victims were obviously gagged and tortured before being burned, along with their vehicles. If these were simple carjacking cases, the suspects would have just dumped the victims somewhere and taken the vehicles, their supposed primary targets. But the victims were tortured and burned, obviously to send a gory message to other car dealers that they face the same fate if they crossed the syndicate’s path. These criminal syndicates would not have been so bold to carry out these mob-style executions if they did not feel untouchable, like the Mafia dons of old. They have stolen thousands of cars, many of them luxury models, and have either harmed or killed some of the vehicle owners, and not one of them has been jailed for their crimes. The alleged leader of a big carjacking gang, Raymod Domingues, has, for example, 28 carjacking cases against him in two provinces in Central Luzon and yet remains free until he sought police custody in the Bulacan police because he said he feared for his life. To the credit of the Philippine National Police, who said they are treating it as surrender because Dominguez, along with his brother Roger and several others, has been implicated by two confessed participants in the carjacking and murder of car dealers Venson Evangelista and Emerson Lozano and Lozano’s driver, Ernano Sensil.
Investigators looking for Dominguez’ coddlers should take a look first at the Bulacan police station. Why would Dominguez choose Bulacan police for protective custody, instead of, say, the National Bureau of Investigation? Obviously, he feels at ease with Bulacan police officers for some reason. And why would Dominguez, who appears cocky and arrogant, fear for his life? Who does he fear? Perhaps, his coddlers in the police establishment who could silence him to avoid detection? Dominguez’ group and other carjacking syndicates would not have been able to ply their nefarious trade without the obvious connivance of policemen, and officials of the Highway Patrol Group and the Land Transportation Office, which is in charge of registering vehicles. It shouldn’t be difficult to follow the paper trail, or to scour through evidence, which shouldn’t be difficult to find. All they have to do is visit the offices of those used-car dealers and used-car parts dealers. I’m sure many of those used cars were either smuggled or stolen, and most of those used car parts came from stolen cars. But they have to do it fast, because the evidence can be easily hidden. In fact, columnist Mon Tulfo revealed in a recent article that it is a known fact in Central Luzon that a river there is used to hide stolen cars. The stolen cars are submerged in the river for days and retrieved by a big crane later. The government should show its resolve to go after these criminal syndicates and their coddlers. They victimize and terrorize the people, and like pests, destroy the foundations of government by corrupting the bureaucracy, the police and the military establishment. These criminals, coddlers and murderers should be jailed in a special prison beneath the ground, where they can be closer to hell where they will eventually belong. E-mail Val Abelgas at email@example.com.
Fast Food for Thought Rudy M. Viernes
Marriage Encounter Weekend, Part II
he couples graduates of the Marriage Encounter Weekend have morphed into enthusiastic workers in the apostolate of the church and built communities that have enriched parish life. These communities have done a remarkable job of making homes more harmonious and p e a c e ful where spouses relate to each other and their children in a deferential way and vice-versa. Relationships with mutual respect have flourished among couples where before a little misunderstanding would ruffle feelings and either spouse (usually the wife) would rush back to Mama, on whose shoulder she would cry on and cool off. The encounter was also introduced in many countries of the world where the Catholic religion dominates. It is active in many parishes across the United States where it is a continuing parish program. The encounter has become a catalyst for change that is doing wonders in keeping family ties strong, alive and enduring. The catchphrase of the encounter, which the couples pledge during the first day, is “Today is the first day of the rest of our life.” The encounter draws a curtain over the past and stresses the positive about married life. There are no public revelations of particular problems, such meddling in-laws, money matters, children, attitudes, vices or obsessions. No recrimination. No hurting of feelings. No imposition of ones will or viewpoint. No opening of hidden closets or washing of dirty line. Neither one should insist he or she is right. Their attention is focused on each other and on deepening their love-relationship. At the end they rediscover that love is sweeter the second time around, as sweet as during their honeymoon. Some questions are likely asked. Did a marital problem encourage you to take the encounter? Not necessarily. Happily married couples have improved their relationship in a more profound way after taking it. Those who are edgy can smooth the rough edges. Another question: Is the encounter the solution for couples whose marriage is “on the rocks” or who have actually hit the rocks? The encounter is not a panacea for marital woes, but with the right frame of mind and mutual respect many couples whose relationship has floundered have reconciled or have changed attitudes for the better. Many have rediscovered the meaning of their marriage in a new way and become lovers again in robust romance. Can a spouse take the encounter alone or together? Not alone, but together. The expected benefits will not be reaped unless both partners are present. Substitution is not allowed, either. Only husband and wife know their own problems, if any. Apparently all the participants of any graduating class See encounter on Page 14
January 29-February 4, 2011 • 7
‘In P-Noy we trust’ may not be best slogan E very day, I check out the press releases issued by the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCCO). Frankly, I get the impression of a president who has to be involved with every conceivable aspect of government operations, otherwise nothing will get done. I also get the impression that everyone else in government is a gofer. Go-fer this. Gofer that. Take the grisly killing of car dealers Venson Evangelista and Emerson Lozano and his driver Ernane Sensil. On Jan. 16, the PCCO issued a press release stating, “Malacañang assures to put behind bars Lozano’s abductor (sic).” Apparently, Presidential Deputy Spokesperson Abigal Valte was reporting on the case on behalf of the Philippine National Police (PNP). The PCCO story read: “Malacañang assured that the Philippine National Police is exhausting necessary efforts to put behind bars whoever is responsible in (sic) the abduction of the son of lawyer Oliver Lozano last week.” It added: “As of the moment the PNP is on top of this, yung QCPD po ang gumagalaw para mahanap po at matugis yung suspect po dito. They are now establishing the timeline to find out what happened to the son of Atty. Lozano, Valte said.” I can’t understand why it wasn’t the head of the PNP himself giving the assurance of solving the crime. Wasn’t this a police matter? At any rate, following the story, the PCOO issued several updates on presidential involvement in the case: • “Ochoa: President Aqui-
Greg B. Macabenta
no tackles crime situation with DILG, PNP.” “Aquino to study re-imposition of death penalty.” “Aquino orders PNP to focus in (sic) identifying car theft gangs.” “Aquino orders PNP to resolve carjacking cases.” • “Aquino orders PNP to arrest all behind carnappings/ killings in Metro Manila.” “Ochoa: Capture and convict lawbreakers to deter crimes.” I guess the PNP finally got the message. Following the surrender of suspected mastermind, Raymond Dominguez, the PNP public information office issued its own press release on Monday, Jan. 24, with the headline: “PNP takes total approach vs. crime.” The story stated: “PNP Chief Director General Raul M. Bacalzo said he has directed the police organization to take a holistic approach against crime in the wake of the recent gruesome killing of two car dealers, one of them the son of lawyer Oliver Lozano, apparently by carnapping syndicates. “Citing command responsibility, Bacalzo has sacked two police officials for their failure to stop carnapping and carjacking in their respective areas of jurisdiction. One is Supt. Constantino Agpaoa of the Quezon City Police Station 10, the other is Chief Inspector Alex Fulgar, a police community precinct (PCP) chief in Makati
City, following the theft of a vehicle owned by a cousin of former senator Mar Roxas. “‘The PNP will be relentless in its campaign against criminal syndicates engaged in carnapping and carjacking, particularly in Metro Manila and other urban centers,’ Bacalzo said.” Meanwhile the Malacañang press office, reporting on behalf of DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo, quoted him stating, ““We need a thorough investigation to know the connections of Dominguez and his cohorts with those from government agencies. Carnapping will not become a big trade if there are no people who register (stolen vehicles), if there are no others in cahoots to make this business flourish,” he said. Robredo was referring to the obvious: that stolen cars cannot be registered and “legitimized” without the connivance of persons in authority, specifically in the LTO and the PNP. Perhaps President Noynoy felt compelled to make his hands-on presence felt because of the relative prominence of the father of one of the victims and the brutality of the crime. After the hostage crisis last year, he probably feels that he cannot afford to be accused again of “not doing anything” or “not doing enough.”
But consider all of the other things where he also gives the impression of being hands-on, going by the PCCO dispatches: “Ensure sufficient rice import, Palace asks NFA.” “Palace, church officials hold second dialogue on family planning.” “Aquino wants to soften the impact of oil price hikes on people.” “Palace allays fears on open skies policy.” “LRT, toll rate hikes to benefit majority of Pinoys – Aquino.” “Aquino prays for Bicol, Visayas and Mindanao flooding victims.” “Aquino to distribute relief goods to Agusan flood victims.” “Palace appeals for understanding of MRT, LRT fare increase.” That suggests a president being involved with operational details of Congress and every government department. Have we heard a peep from the respective cabinet secretaries (aside from the PCCO press release on DILG’s Robredo and that of the PNP)? Note that I’m just citing the PCCO releases for January. The other months have been no different. And, perhaps, the forthcoming months will be the same. These dispatches suggest a president who has to do all the thinking, all the instructing, all the following-up, all the scolding, all the nudging and prodding and, at the end of the day (to quote one of his favorite expressions), he has to take all the blame when things go wrong. It makes you wonder. Does he really want it this way? Does he really want to give the impression of carrying the entire burden of government and
to take responsibility for all its failings? Is it also possible that the cabinet secretaries and heads of other government offices are simply being careful not to be perceived as publicity-seekers? Or is it also possible that they actually like the idea of having the president take the rap for them? Or is it simply the nature of Pinoys to entrust everything to The Boss (and blame everything on Him or Her), thus relieving themselves of responsibility for getting things done, for righting wrongs, for sharing the burden of nationhood and for being accountable for failures? It certainly shows in the way we expect God to take care of all our problems. “Bahala na ang Diyos.” It seems to be the case with the president of the country: “Bahala na si P-Noy.” Is it any wonder that, when something goes wrong, those involved hardly ever admit that it’s their fault but that it’s somebody else’s? This instinctive shirking of responsibility was obvious in the wake of last year’s hostage crisis. Nobody wanted to own up. Many of the cabinet secretaries are former executives of private companies. How would they regard managers or line personnel who simply wait for them, as the boss, to give orders and demand results? I know that when I was CEO of an ad agency, people like that got fired. Early into his term, folks were declaring loudly that they would all help P-Noy succeed. This is hardly the way to do it. E-mail Greg Macabenta at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A front-row seat to the Iran hostage crisis I t was as if the day were scripted in Hollywood, with all the pomp and pageantry, dreams and high drama, culminating at high noon, no less, as all the world watched. Washington on Jan. 20, 1981, was cold and cloudy, but as Ronald Reagan took office, the overcast sky parted and a ray of sunshine fell upon the western front of our nation’s capitol. Across the globe in Iran, 52 American hostages were loaded onto a plane and finally released following 444 days of captivity. For those of you who don’t remember that far back, the Reagan era had officially begun with a cheer and a sigh of relief. Last Friday morning, the entire corps of cadets, about 4,400 in all, of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point lined Thayer Walk on the snow-covered campus to greet almost two dozen veterans of the Iranian hostage crisis. Their visit to West Point was an attempt to commemorate the 30th anniversary of their release and reflect on the growing rift between Iran and America. “This is wonderful,” said former hostage Barry Rosen as he shook hands with cadets, the main pedestrian thoroughfare on the campus. There was every reason to proclaim the release of those 52 Americans on Jan. 20, 1981, as it is to celebrate them today. Three decades ago, the 444day national humiliation that was the Iran hostage crisis ended, minutes after the inauguration of President Reagan. But the harrowing ordeal still poisons Iranian-American relations even now. Lamentably, for the U.S., the hostage crisis remains the central, inescapable, defining fact of U.S.-Iran affairs. Indeed, what Iran learned then and has applied in the decades since has been very costly for the United States. Here we are,
Jesse T. Reyes
30 years after what we thought was the happy conclusion of a crucial period, yet it seems we’re still at “war” with Iran and still wondering if the end will ever be in sight. Witnessing history with a front-row seat (just like in the Pueblo Incident in my last column), I remember this particular critical point in American history quite well, too. For me, one of the more disturbing photos to quickly emerge from this instance was the picture of the bound and blindfolded U.S. embassy workers and military personnel who were paraded in front of photographers. The ordeal reached a climax when the United States military attempted a rescue operation, “Operation Eagle Claw,” which resulted in an aborted mission and the deaths of eight heroic American servicemen. It ended with the signing of the Algiers Accords in Algeria on Jan. 19, 1981. The hostages were formally released into United States custody the following day, just minutes after Reagan was sworn in.
When Iranian militants seized the U.S. Embassy and took our diplomats hostage, I was then stationed aboard the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk, one of the carriers that surged to the region as a part of the U.S. military response to the hostage taking in Iran. I recall the Kitty Hawk and the air wing CVW-15 departed San Diego on its last seven-month cruise to the western Pacific in October of 1979. I recollect that on the 28th of the same month, we (the ship’s company) and our escort ships were directed to operate south of the Korean peninsula in response to the assassination of South Korean President Park Chung Hee on Oct. 26. On Nov. 18 1979, the carrier USS Midway arrived in the northern part of the Arabian Sea in connection with the continuing hostage crisis in Iran. Militant followers of the Ayatollah Khomeini, who had come to power following the overthrow of the Shah, evidently seized the American Embassy in Tehran on Nov. 4
and held 63 U.S. citizens hostage. Spokesmen for the mob demanded that the United States return to Iran the deposed Shah, who was in a New York hospital at the time. By then, the Kitty Hawk’s cruise was extended two-and-a-half months to support contingency operations in the North Arabian Sea during the emergency. On Nov. 21, our battle group was directed to sail to the Indian Ocean to join the Midway and her escort ships, which were already operating in the northern Arabian Sea. We arrived on station Dec. 3 and the two carrier forces provided the U.S. with A-6 Intruder and A-7 Corsair II attack aircraft along with F-4 Phantom and the modern F-14 Tomcat fighter aircraft, which could respond to a variety of situations if called upon during the crisis. Interestingly, this was the first time since World War II that the U.S. Navy had two carrier task forces in the Indian Ocean in response to a crisis situation. Two weeks later, on Dec. 21, 1979, the Defense Department announced a three-ship, nuclear-powered carrier battle group from the Sixth Fleet would also deploy to the Indian Ocean to relieve the Seventh Fleet carrier battle group led by the Kitty Hawk. The Sixth Fleet carrier group consisted of the nuclear-powered USS Nimitz and her escort ships. However, on Christmas Eve 1979, a massive Soviet airlift of 5,000 Russian airborne troops and equipment into the Afghanistan capital of Kabul was conducted. The U.S. government protested the large influx of Soviet troops, which the Soviet Union claimed were there at the request of the Afghanistan government. On Dec. 27, a Soviet-backed coup installed a new president in Afghanistan. Two carrier forces centering on the Kitty Hawk and Midway then continued contingency operations in the northern Arabian Sea as
As devastating as the hostage crisis was, few could have really imagined that its effect would be so long-lasting. U.S.-Iran relations are as hostile today as they were when the hostages were freed. ordered from the higher-ups. The Nimitz and her escort ships joined the Kitty Hawk and Midway and their battle groups on station in the Arabian Sea on Jan. 22, 1980. It was quite a sight, indeed, to see the three aircraft carriers and their escort ships all together in a single place at one time — a truly awesome display of U.S. naval might by any standards! The following day, we (the Kitty Hawk battle group) departed for the liberty port of Subic Bay back in the old homeland, having spent 64 straight days at sea (a Navy record at that time) in a hightempo operational mode connected with the Iranian crisis. For our actions in the troubled region, Kitty Hawk and CVW-13 sailors and officers were awarded the Navy Expeditionary Medal. We returned to San Diego in February 1980 and five months later were awarded the Meritorious Unit Citation and the Naval Air Force Pacific Battle Efficiency “E” as the best carrier in the entire Pacific Fleet. As devastating as the hostage crisis was, few could have really imagined that its effect would be so long-lasting. U.S.-Iran relations are as hostile today as they were when the hostages were freed. It is a safe bet to say that no other two countries have been at each other’s throats so inSee crisis on Page 14
8 • January 29-February 4, 2011
HealthyLiving Walmart launches major initiative to make food healthier — and healthier food more affordable Chain plans to reformulate packaged foods, lower costs by eliminating weak links in its supply WASHINGTON — At an event last week in Washington, D.C., Walmart, the nation’s largest grocer, unveiled a comprehensive effort to provide its customers with healthier and more affordable food choices. The company was joined by First Lady Michelle Obama as it outlined the five key elements of the program including: Reformulating thousands of everyday packaged food items by 2015 by reducing sodium 25 percent and added sugars 10 percent, and by removing all remaining industrially produced trans fats. The company will work with suppliers to improve the nutritional quality of national food brands and its Great Value private brand in key product categories to complete the reformulations; Making healthier choices more affordable, saving customers approximately $1 billion per year on fresh fruits and vegetables through a variety of sourcing, pricing, transportation and logistics initiatives that will drive unnecessary costs out of the supply chain. Walmart will also dramatically reduce or eliminate the price premium on key “better-for-you” items, such as
reduced sodium, sugar or fat products; Developing strong criteria for a simple front-of-package seal that will help consumers instantly identify truly healthier food options such as whole grain cereal, whole wheat pasta or unsweetened canned fruit; Providing solutions to address food deserts by building stores in underserved communities that are in need of fresh and affordable groceries; and Increasing charitable support for nutrition programs that help educate consumers about healthier food solutions and choices. “No family should have to choose between food that is healthier for them and food they can afford,” said Bill Simon, president and CEO of Walmart U.S. “With more than 140 million customer visits each week, Walmart is uniquely positioned to make a difference by making food healthier and more affordable to everyone. We are committed to working with suppliers, government and non-governmental organizations to provide solutions that help Americans eat healthier and live a better life.” This program builds on
the success of the First Lady’s “Let’s Move” campaign to make healthy choices more convenient and affordable for families and is consistent with Walmart’s commitment to lead on social issues that matter to its customers. Walmart will reformulate key product categories of its Great Value private brand and collaborate with suppliers to reformulate national brands within the same categories by 2015. The effort is designed
to help reduce the consumption of sodium, sugar and trans fats, which are major contributors to the epidemic of obesity and chronic diseases in America today, including high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease. The reformulation initiative includes three components: Reduce sodium by 25 percent in a broad category of grocery items, including grain products, luncheon meats, salad dressings and frozen en-
trees; Reduce added sugars by 10 percent in dairy items, sauces and fruit drinks; and Remove all remaining industrially produced trans fats (partially hydrogenated fats and oils) in all packaged food products. As its suppliers make choices on reformulating their products beyond the Walmart supply chain, the company expects millions of Americans to benefit whether they shop at
Walmart or not. “Our customers tell us they want a variety of food choices and need help feeding their families healthier foods. At Walmart, we are committed to doing both,” said Andrea Thomas, senior vice president of sustainability at Walmart. “We support consumer choice so this is not about telling people what they should eat. This effort is aimed at eliminating sodium, sugar and trans fat in products where they are not really needed.” Walmart’s everyday low price business model will help make healthier food more affordable. The company will take a number of steps to provide customers even more savings on fresh produce through a variety of sourcing, pricing, and transportation and logistics initiatives that will drive efficiencies throughout the supply chain and further reduce unnecessary costs. “If we are successful in our efforts to lower prices, we believe we can save Americans who shop at Walmart approximately $1 billion per year on fresh fruit and vegetables,” Thomas said. Walmart will also dramatically reduce or eliminate the price premium on “better-foryou” options such as reduced sodium, sugar or fat on products from the same manufacturer. For more information visit www.walmartstores.com/ healthierfoods.
January 29-February 4, 2011 • 9
Sensitive teeth have many causes Do you have sensitive teeth? Many do. Sometimes its a natural phenomenon, but often sensitivity is the result of a variety of causes. Here are a few of those causes and some tips on how to be good to your teeth. Using too much mouthwash Love keeping your breath minty fresh? If you grab frequent swigs of mouthwash throughout the day, you may be setting yourself up for sensitive teeth. That’s because some mouthwashes contain acids that may make alreadysensitive teeth worse. The solution: Ask your dentist about neutral fluoride rinses. Eating acidic foods Can’t get enough tomatoes, citrus, fruit juices and other acidic goodies? Your teeth can. Enjoy too many acid-rich foods and drinks and you could erode the protective enamel on your teeth, exposing the vulnerable dentin beneath. Can’t give up these tart favorites? Help neutralize the acids with a piece of cheese or glass of milk after eating. Tooth whiteners and some toothpastes Just about everyone wants a brighter smile, but for some people, tooth whiteners and toothpastes with peroxidebased bleaching solutions can cause sensitive teeth. The sensitivity is often temporary, going away once you stop using the product. Looking for the best options for you? Talk to your dentist. Receding gums The roots of your teeth contain thousands of tiny tubes that lead to the nerve center of your teeth. Usually teeth roots are hidden under a protective cover of gum tissue. But if you have periodontal disease, the gums may start pulling away from teeth, exposing the ultrasensitive root. Receding gums need a dentist’s help, so talk to yours.
Brushing your teeth too hard Think brushing your teeth harder cleans them better? Think again. Brushing too strenuously (or using a hardbristled brush) can expose tooth roots by causing gum recession. It can also wear away your tooth's enamel, exposing dentin (yellow). Holes in the dentin are really microscopic tubes (blue) that allow hot, cold and sweet foods to stimulate tooth nerves. Recent dental work It hardly seems fair, but sometimes keeping your pearly whites in good condi-
COV 28897 Filipino Press_SD_MECH:Layout 2
tion with regular dental care can actually make them sensitive. Teeth cleanings, replacement crowns, tooth restorations and root planing can all lead to some short-term tooth sensitivity. If you’re worried about this before a procedure, talk to your dentist. Cracked teeth Munching ice, biting into hard candies, having large fillings — they can all lead to chipped, broken teeth. Once a tooth is cracked, the nerve-rich pulp hidden deep inside may become irritated when chewing rubs the cracked tooth pieces together. A crack may also fill with bacteria, leading to inflammation, which can result in even more pain. Grinding or clenching your teeth Tooth enamel is the strongest material in your body, but it’s no match for the power of clenching or grinding. Over time, both of these oftenunconscious habits can wear away tooth enamel, leaving your teeth’s nerves more vulnerable. Mouth guards, life-
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style changes and even diet adjustments can all help combat clenching and grinding. Tooth decay Decay, like this cavity, exposes the root of your tooth to a whole host of irritants: hot, cold, sweets, even air. Good oral hygiene, eating right and seeing your dentist regularly are the best ways to battle decay and keep your teeth in top form. Be good to your mouth You don’t have to go it alone; talk to your dentist to discover exactly what's behind your sensitive teeth. To strengthen your pearly whites, you may need to make a few more changes to your oral care routine, like switching to a softbristled tooth brush, using a desensitizing toothpaste or trying a fluoridated mouth rinse. (webmd.com)
10 • January 29-February 4, 2011
Community&BusinessNews NATIONAL CITY
City council to host planning and budget workshop The mayor and city council invite residents and businesses to attend a planning and budget workshop on Feb. 5. The meeting will be held at National City City Hall in the city council chambers, 1243 National City Blvd. and will begin at 9 a.m. This workshop will be dedicated to a strategic planning and mid-year budget review. The agenda will include the following topics: • City Manager Overview • Finance Presentation • Strategic City Planning and Capital Improvement Program • Proposition D Sales Tax /Independent Committee • Citizen Input and Comment • City Council Direction Translation services will be provided.
Three General Plan Update Community Workshops planned
National City teachers bargain for contract with school board District, union to meet again on Feb. 9 NATIONAL CITY — More than 300 National City teachers and sympathizers crowded the National School District School Board on Jan. 26, as members of the National City Elementary Teachers Association bargained with the board for a new contract, but no deal was struck according to a report in the San Diego Union-Tribune. The association is seeking a three-year contact, including three-day furloughs for each year. The district offered a three-year contract that included three furlough days this school year, and five for
the following two years, according to the U-T. The district and union are scheduled to meet again Feb. 9. “We teach our students to compromise and respect each other, but I am not feeling that same respect,” Lynn Hellenbrand, an Olivewood Elementary teacher, said at the meeting. According to the story, several parents spoke out during the session to say they would not bring their children to school if a strike were to occur as a sign of solidarity with the teachers. The National School District imposed certain work requirements in July after
rejecting a nonbinding compromise from a mediator appointed by the California Public Employment Relations Board, the U-T report said. Union members voted to authorize a strike on Dec. 16, but no strike has yet been scheduled. The school board passed an emergency resolution Dec. 20 authorizing the recruitment of substitute teachers to fill in should a strike occur. The board also authorized the district to close a school or suspend programs if necessary, the story reported. A union march was scheduled for 4 p.m. on Jan. 28 at Interstate 805 and Plaza Boulevard.
Filner meets Adm. Mike Mullen
2005 E 4th St. Feb. 3, 6 p.m. Camacho Gym 1810 East 22nd St. Feb. 5, 10 a.m. MLK Community Center 140 E. 12th St. Information is available at the City of National City, 1243 National City Blvd. or online at www. nationalcityca.gov or by contacting Ray Pe, principal planner at (619) 336-4421.
29 • NATIONAL CITY CHAMBER ANNUAL DINNER
This 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. Contact Jacqueline Reynoso at Reynoso@nationalcitychamber.org for more information.
5/23 • Free Tax-Assistance Event
A free tax-assistance event will be held at the Logan Heights Branch Library in partnership with Intuit Tax Freedom Project. Volunteers will be on site at 567 S. 28th Street in San Diego on Saturday, Feb. 5 from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and on Wednesday, Feb. 23 from 1 to 7 p.m. to help file your taxes for free if you qualify. For qualification information and to avoid waiting in line, call (866) 577-1231 to make a reservation, and mention that you are calling to reserve your spot for the Intuit Tax Freedom Project.
10 • THE GREEN CHAMBER’S SOLAR PANEL BREAKFAST
Takes place 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla. Contact Laura Powers at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
17 • 17th annual lunar new year celebration 2011 | Year of the rabbit
The Asian Business Association of San Diego presents this annual event with the support of title sponsor Viejas, along with supporting sponsors SDG&E and Cox Communications, held this year from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the NTC Promenade at the McMillin Event Center, 287 Dewey Road in San Diego. ABA and partner members: $25; non-members: $30; at the door: $35.. Free parking. For more information, contact the ABA San Diego at email@example.com. The ABA San Diego is headquartered at 5675 Ruffin Road, Ste. 305, San Diego, CA 92123.
19 • san diego chinese historical museum 15th annual banquet & anniversary
U.S. Rep. Bob Filner (D-San Diego) meets with Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, in Filner’s Washington office last week to discuss transition from active-duty to veteran status. Mullen serves as the principal military adviser to the president, the secretary of defense, the National Security Council and the Homeland Security Council.
Feb. 2, 6 p.m. El Toyon Rec. Center
FAPAC Southwest hosts the Shindig Jam Session hosted by SJS Batch ’81 following the induction of officers for 2011-12 at 6 p.m. at the National City Middle School Auditorium, 1701 D Ave. Attire is smart casual. For tickets, contact Lorna at (619) 477-0940 or visit www.2011sjsgrandreunion.com. Music by DJ Kristina.
The draft General Plan, Land Use Code, Climate Action Plan and associated Environmental Impact Report have been released for public review.
Workshops are scheduled for:
GET LISTED: To have your event listed in Save the Date, e-mail your information (include date, time, location, cost, and phone/email) to firstname.lastname@example.org. Keep in mind we publish on Saturdays, so ensure your event happens on the day of publication or during the following week.
12 • fapac southwest induction of officers and shindig jam session
The mayor and city council invite residents and businesses to the General Plan Update Community Workshops.
The General Plan is the community’s vision for the future of National City and the Land Use Code and Climate Action Plan are important implementing documents. Public input has been and continues to be an integral part of the process, so we encourage you to attend one of the upcoming community workshops to review and comment on the draft General Plan, Land Use Code, Climate Action Plan, and Environmental Impact Report. We look forward to seeing you there.
Save the Date
Lawrence Adlao passes away at age 36 Lawrence “Louie” Adlao, 36, passed away Monday, Jan. 24, succumbing to colon cancer. He is survived by his wife, Marian, four children — Joshua, Vince, Ygian and Zychrra — and brother Jun Jun. Adlao was born Nov. 5, 1973, the eldest son of Victor and Luz Adlao of Olongapo City, Philippines. He graduated from St. Joseph High School in Olongapo City, SJS Olongapo Batch 1990, and from Macua Institute of Tech-
OBITUARIES nology with a bachelor’s in architecture in 1995. He worked as an architect/planner for SBMA in Subic Bay for 10 years before immigrating to the United States. The family requests prayers for Louie Adlao and strength for the loved ones he left behind. Viewing was held at El Camino Memorial in Mira Mesa on Jan. 27 and 28. Crea-
mation services were Saturday, Jan. 29. The family asks that donations to Adlao’s family be sent in care of Victor and Luz Adlao, P.O. Box 2226, National City, CA 91950. Do you want to note the passing of a loved one or remember them with a memorial tribute. The Filipino Press will publish obituaries and tributes as space permits. E-mail obituaries to: email@example.com.
The San Diego Chinese Historical Museum celebrates its fifteenth anniversary at its annual banquet at 5:30 p.m. at the Pearl Restaurant in Rancho Bernardo, 11666 Avena Place. The celebration features musical performances, a silent auction of exquisite antiques from Genghis Khan Furniture and a delectable, ten-course Chinese feast. Tickets are available for $60 or $120 for a front-row sponsor. You can also reserve your own table of 10 for $600 or a sponsor table for $1200. For more information or tickets, contact the museum at (619) 338-9888, via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum located at 404 Third Ave. in downtown San Diego.
28 • asian american voters: the tipping point in california politics
The Center for Asian Americans United for Self Empowerment will host "Asian American Voters: The Tipping Point in California Politics," a luncheon discussion from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce Board Room, 350 Bixel St., in Los Angeles. The event will feature Prof. Jane Junn, research director for the USC/Los Angeles Times poll on the 2010 November election, who will talk about key findings in the study. Frank Stoltze, political reporter for KPCC, and Ron Wong, political strategist and president of Imprenta Communications Group, will also be present to comment on the results. Tickets are $15. Visit http://causeasianpollresults.eventbrite.com for more information.
January 29-February 4, 2011 • 11
Consulate to conduct outreach in National City Team will offer variety of services at COPAO on Feb. 5 and 6 LOS ANGELES — A team from the Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles will conduct a Consular Outreach Program in National City on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 5 and 6, at the Council of the Philippine American Organizations of San Diego County Center located at 832 E Ave. Service Hours will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Feb. 5) and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Feb. 6). The consular outreach program is being undertaken in cooperation with the Council of the Philippine American Organizations of San Diego County, Inc. and the sponsorship of Western Union. The following consular services will be rendered: Applications for Electronic Passport (ePassport) (Cost: $60), to be returned to the applicant by mail at an additional cost of $6. Applications for the retention and re-acquisition of Philippine citizenship pursuant to Republic Act 9225 or Dual Citizenship Law (Cost: $50). Oath-taking will be scheduled on the same day for
qualified applicants. Applications for Report of Marriage & Birth (Cost: $25) will be accepted but this will be processed in Los Angeles and returned to the applicant by mail at an additional cost of $6. Notarization of documents (Cost: $25) will be accepted but this will be processed in Los Angeles and returned to the applicant by mail at an additional cost of $6. By appointment only Strictly by appointment only, by following the applicable steps outlines and with completed documents. No walk-in applicants. Appointment Scheduling Steps for ePassport Applicants • Visit the Philippine Consulate website (www.philippineconsulatela.org) to download and accomplish the ePassport application form; and, • No later than Feb. 1, or until we receive 200 applications, whichever comes first, send an advance copy of the completed ePassport application form and data page (bearing the name and photo) of the expired or expiring passport to the consulate by fax (213) 639-0990. Thumbprints (if needed) and signature must be affixed and all pertinent data on the applica-
tion form must be completed. Incomplete forms will not be processed. Note: • Personal appearance is required in all cases (including applicants who are 65 years old and above and minors who are below 18 years old). • Do not bring passport pictures. Passport pictures are to be taken by the consulate. • The applicant must wear decent attire (no sleeveless and/or collarless attire) and without eyeglasses/colored contact lenses. • No facial piercings allowed. Appointment Scheduling Steps for Dual Citizenship Applicants • Visit the Philippine Consulate website (www.philippineconsulatela.org) and print the Dual Citizenship Application form; • Complete the Dual Citizenship Application form; and; • No later than Feb. 1, send an advance copy of the completed Dual Citizenship application form and supporting documents to the consulate by fax (213) 639-0990. Other than the thumbprint and photo which will be done on site, all pertinent data on the application form must be completed. Otherwise, incomplete forms
will not be processed. Note: • Oath-Taking will be scheduled on the same day for qualified applicants. • Applicants should take their oath as Dual Citizens in decent attire. The Consulate shall refuse oath-taking to applicants wearing inappropriate outfits such as sleeveless shirts, skimpy clothes, shorts, sandos or slippers. Appointment Scheduling Steps for Report of Marriage (ROM) & Birth (ROB) • Visit the Philippine Consulate website (www.philippineconsulatela.org) and print the ROM or ROB form; • Complete the ROM or ROB form and; • No later than Feb. 1, send an advance copy (one set only) of the completed form and supporting documents to the consulate by fax (213) 6390990. Incomplete forms will not be processed. Appointment Scheduling Steps for Notarization of Documents • No later than Feb. 1, send an advance copy of the document to be notarized to the consulate by fax (213) 6390990. Information for all applicants The consulate regularly updates the appointment sched-
Reader recalls serving USS Pueblo families Dear Editor: Jesse Reyes' well researched historical account of the captured USS Pueblo (Filipino Potpourri, Jan. 22) and her crew by the North Koreans in January 1968 got my attention. Although my role in that incident was insignificant and, one might even say, inconsequential, the interesting piece revived a few remaining memories of the days I was assigned as casualty assistance call officer (CACO) for the families of the two Pinoys: Rogelio P. Abelon and Rizalino L. Aluague, natives of Bani, Pangasinan and Palauig, Zambales, respectively. Since the Naval Communication Station, San Miguel in San Antonio, Zambales was the closest and therefore the most convenient and logical entity to provide liaison and support for the families of the two captured crew members, I was assigned by my command as CACO for the their families. My defined role was to assure the two families of the Navy’s continuing and consistent efforts in providing any and all available support for the captured crew-
letters men; to remind them of the ongoing intercession of the International Red Cross on behalf of the U. S. government in pursuing their immediate and safe release. Periodically, I would make trips to Bani and/or Palauig (by official car or by helicopter) to collect news, letters and care goodies for transshipment to the prisoners via Washington D. C. and IRC. In return, I delivered updated official reports on the prisoners’ status and overall physical, morale, and health conditions and, occasionally, letters from the prisoners themselves. Finally, after 11 months of captivity, the crew was officially released and on that precise date and hour (real time) while the prisoners were being freed across the friendly zone, I was again with the Aluague family in Palauig — and later, with the Abelon family in Bani — delivering the good news, including an offer of free transportation to San Diego courtesy of the U. S. Navy so they could be reunited with their sons. (Those prisoners were flown to Bal-
boa Naval Hospital for medical treatment and debriefing) Both families declined the offer, however. The time and expense of traveling to Manila for the required passports and visas were burdens. They decided to wait for their sons’ eventual return home. Shortly thereafter, I left the command for my new assignment. I hope this brief accounting will add a small sidelight to your informative and obviously exhaustive research on this sad chapter in the history of our Navy. Your heroic portrayal of those crew members who suffered greatly in the hands of the North Koreans indeed deserve of our undying respect and gratitude. I often wondered regarding the whereabouts of Avelon and Aluague. It would be interesting to meet them and/or talk to them about the past. It’s been more than 43 years and at my age, memory is fading. There were poignant anecdotal moments while chatting with the family in their living room during those visits — some were quite touching and heartwarming subjects.
County joins Crime Stoppers to bring an end to animal cruelty Department offers $1,000 rewards SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Department of Animal Services is now working with San Diego County Crime Stoppers to help stop animal cruelty. DAS has established a reward fund to help pay tipsters who report acts of animal cruelty. A portion of the reward money is being provided by San Diego Animal Advocates. Currently, DAS spends hundreds of hours each month investigating animal cruelty and neglect cases in San Diego County. “We hope that this unique partnership will help reduce animal cruelty cases in our County,” said Lt. Daniel DeSousa of the Department of Animal Services. “We encourage everyone in our community to be our eyes and ears in
“Citizens will have the phone number readily available if they witness any acts of animal cruelty. It also puts offenders on notice that people are watching.” Lt. Daniel DeSousa Department of Animal Services the fight against animal cruelty.” As part of the Crime Stoppers partnership, DAS will post decals on animal control vehicles to promote the program. “Citizens will have the phone number readily available if they witness any acts of animal cruelty,” DeSousa said. “It also puts offenders on no-
tice that people are watching.” The program is simple. A tipster can call in anonymously to report an animal related crime. If an arrest is made and a reward has been authorized, the tipster is given directions on how to collect his or her reward. Over the past 26 years, San Diego County Crime Stoppers has paid out more than a half million dollars to people whose tips closed more than 4,000 cases and led to the arrests of more than 2,800 people. Anyone with information about animal cruelty can contact Crime Stoppers’ anonymous tip line at (888) 5808477. Anonymous web and text messages can be sent via www.sdcrimestoppers.com. Crime Stoppers is offering rewards of up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest in felony animal cruelty cases.
(As I understood it then, Storekeeper Policarpio P. Garcia’s family was from Cavite and therefore CACO responsibility would have been assigned to Naval Base, Sangley Point). Felimon “Phil” V. Alvarez PNC, USN (Ret.)
ule posted on the website upon receipt of completed applications. The final list of all applicants with confirmed appointment schedule will be posted at the consulate’s website (www.philippineconsulatela.org) by Feb. 3. All applicants are required to personally appear during their appointment time for data verification, finger printing and photo/signature capture and must bring all original documents. All applicants are advised to transact their business directly with Consulate officials and not through travel agencies. Fees Fees must be paid in person at the scheduled appointment. The consulate will only accept payments in cash, postal money order or cashier’s check.
Personal checks will not be accepted. • ePassport: $60 processing fee plus $6 for passports to be returned to the applicant by mail. • Dual Citizenship: $50 processing fee. • Civil Registry: $25 processing fee plus $6 for documents to be returned to the applicant by mail. • Notarization of Documents: $25 processing fee plus $6 for documents to be returned to the applicant by mail. Contact information For information on consular matters, interested parties may call Eric Sierra at 1-213637-3028 or e-mail consular. email@example.com. For information on the venue and similar details, contact Merly Ferrer at (619) 606-6475.
12 • January 29-February 4, 2011
SpiritualLife Taming our tongues S
omeone sent me an email, perhaps to give me a hint on what I should write in my column. Or perhaps she is aware that there are people in the community who gossip a lot and they need to be reminded that gossip destroys relationships. Hence, the sender wrote about the tongue and its dual role for good or for evil. The tongue is a small part of the body located inside your mouth, but do not underestimate its power for good or for evil. It can win friends and build relationships, but it can also destroy lives and tear down people. It can praise, but it can also slander. When I was growing up, my elders practically bridled my tongue. I cannot say bad words. I cannot speak ill of others. I cannot curse nor express unreasonable anger. I was warned that they would cut out my tongue if they heard me say a curse word or if I ever engaged in gossip. Recently, a friend chided me for being “too clean” in my language and that I do not speak what she termed as “street language.” I responded with a smile as I shook my head, “I don’t know how. The way I speak is the result of my upbringing.” The Holy Bible has much to say about the tongue. As written in the Book of James, “The tongue is a small part of the body but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue is also a fire, a world of evil among the parts
My Personal Testimony “The tongue is a small part of the body but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.” of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire and is itself set on fire by hell. “All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same tongue come praise and cursing. My brothers this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapefruit bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.” (James 3: 5-12, NIV) A friend shared this insight. Many friendships have been ruined over a misunderstanding that started with gossip.
Those who engage in this behavior do nothing but stir up trouble and cause anger, bitterness and pain among friends. Sadly, some people thrive on this and look for opportunities to destroy others. And when such people are confronted, they deny the allegations and answer with excuses. So we must guard our tongues and refrain from the sinful act of gossip. If we surrender our natural desires to the Lord, He will help us to remain righteous. May we all follow the Bible’s teaching on gossip by keeping our mouths shut unless it is necessary and appropriate to speak. “If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.” (James 1:26) My prayer: Almighty God, there are times when I tend to gossip or speak ill of others. Guard my tongue from speaking evil or from saying words that will not edify. Let me remain polite and sincere in my speech. Let me build and not destroy. Let me be more diligent with my use of words and how I speak, and make me worthy of your love. Amen.
Focus on Your power “Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass. So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties.” (Mark 6:39-40)
orn out. Hungry. Without resources. Needs on every side. That’s what Jesus’ disciples faced at the end of a long day of ministry. Even Jesus was ready for a rest. So He suggested they go by boat to a solitary place. Great idea, right? Well, it didn’t work out that way. By that point in Jesus’ ministry, people followed Him everywhere. In fact, they were so desperate for His touch, they ran around the lake, and actually got to the other side before Jesus did. Imagine the disciples’ response seeing all those needy people. I imagine they felt empty. Have you ever felt that way? Exhausted by the demands on you … emotionally bankrupt … at the end of your resources with nothing left to give? Just when the disciples wanted to curl up and rest, Jesus started to teach to the people. Didn’t He notice they were exhausted? They wanted to do nothing, because that’s all they thought they could do. The disciples even tried to stop Jesus from teaching, and send the people away so they could do nothing in peace. They said, “This is a remote place and it’s already very late. Send the people away so they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.” (Mark 6:35b-36) So not only were the disciples exhausted, they were in a barren place with no resources. I know what that feels like. There have been times in my life when needs faced me at every turn, circumstances and people thwarted my best ef-
From Whom All Blessings Flow
forts, and hope flickered like a weak flame. At those times, “nothing” seemed like all I could do. On that day when the disciples felt they could not take on one more task, Jesus gave them a biggie. Instead of allowing them to send the people away, Jesus said, “You give them something to eat.” (Mark 6:37) Jesus then asked the disciples to present what food they had. It wasn’t much, but they handed over five loaves of bread and two fish. Then Jesus told the disciples to have the people sit down in groups (v. 39). While the disciples did that, Jesus thanked God for the food and gave it back to the disciples to pass around. Jesus worked a miracle that day, all the people were fed, and there were 12 baskets of food left. I’ve read that story many times in my life, but recently something stood out to me. Why did Jesus ask the disciples to have the people sit? And why did they sit in groups? The most obvious answer is that in the face of an overwhelming situation, Jesus knew everybody needed order. What if there was more than a need for simple order? What if Jesus wanted the disciples to shift their focus away from what they couldn’t do, to what they could do? Then, Jesus did what only He could — He performed a miracle. The disciples were so focused on their own lack, and how they couldn’t possibly meet the overwhelm-
ing needs, they decided to do nothing. Worse than that, they forgot they were standing next to the One who could help. But Jesus put them to work on the practical task right before them, to prepare for the miracle He was about to perform. As I faced hard times in my own life, there is wisdom in this for me. Sometimes, all I think about is what I can’t control. I focus on the problem and the unfairness of the situation. Even though I’ve prayed, confessed my needs and presented my resources to Jesus, I stay focused on what I can’t do. It’s a pretty limited view of the situation. I somehow forget that I’m standing next to the One who can feed 5,000 people with five loaves and two fish and have leftovers! Sometimes, instead of doing what God has placed in front of me, I do nothing. Perhaps, instead of wringing my hands with worry, I need to get busy with what I can control. There is always something I can do to bring order to my situation. It is not a distraction technique — it’s an act of faith. Jesus is still in the business of miracles, and I definitely can’t do those. Dear Lord, forgive me when I focus more on my own limitations rather than Your power. There is nothing too great for You. Help me to turn my thoughts away from what I can’t do, to what You have placed in front of me. I trust You to do the rest. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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spire, then pressure and even harass. You use incentives one time, then threats the other. And you probably need to use a different tune for each child. For my 5-year-old, with his generally sunny, if sometimes mischievous disposition, I use Mozart’s “A Little Night Music.” But for my eldest son, with his more intense, feistier demeanor, “Bohemian Rhapsody.” I never had a Chinese mom, but I did have a Chinese grandfather. I never knew him. He died a couple of years before I was born. I have a photo of him as a young man, after he fled poverty in Xiamen, Fujian province in southern China and started a new life in Naga City at the turn of the 20th century. There’s a grim look on his face, and he’s sporting a traditional Chinese pony tail. Part of me wishes I had known him, but then again perhaps I’m lucky I didn’t. Because from my father’s stories, Sy Sing Douy, who later became Luis Pimentel, was the typical no-nonsense, kickass, do-what-I-tell-you-or-I’llwhip-your-butt Chinese parent. My father probably inherited some of that attitude. Fortunately for me, instead of the yantok, my Lolo Luis’s weapon of choice, my father chose the softer, less intimidating tsinelas, the rubber slipper. I suspect my Chinese lolo would probably have sneered at my career choice. “Journalist! What a stupid job! You should be in business or law or be a doctor.” And he would have snorted at my own parenting philosophy — because it does not include corporal punishment. I sum up my own parenting philosophy this way: It’s about being there, staying close and
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Using the A1c test in lieu of OGTT test may result in misleading diagnosis that puts Filipinos at risk. Araneta’s research was conceived in 1995. UCSD academics and researchers recognized that there were very few clinical studies conducted involving Asian and Pacific Islanders (APIs), despite their growing number. One particular observation that continued to puzzle them was the high prevalence of Type 2 diabetes among Filipino dialysis patients at the Veterans Administration Hospital in La Jolla, particularly among very slender Filipino men who had complete access to health care. Both features negated what textbooks spelled out as pre-determinants for diabetes. “We were interested in learning why Filipinos had high rates of Type 2 diabetes despite the absence of obesity,” Araneta said. In October of the same year, Araneta, along with other researchers, started the UCSD Filipino Health Study to measure the prevalence and risk factors for diabetes, as well as other conditions, including cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis. It was the Filipino counterpart of a similar study conducted among Caucasian women from a Rancho Bernardo study directed by Dr. Elizabeth Barrett-Connor and another conducted on African-American women directed by Dr. Wilma Wooten, currently the health officer of the San Diego Department of Health and Human Services. Although interest was focused on Type 2 diabetes, the research design started with osteoporosis among women aged 40 to 86. These women were recruited in churches, grocery stores, festivals, regional fiestas and any Filipino gathering.
Even as I try to figure out their strengths and weaknesses, their dreams and fears, I’ve pretty much accepted the fact that each year, each day, my children will slowly, steadily try to break away, to strike out on their own. And my job is to figure out the best way and time to let go. letting go. And you typically have to be doing all three at the same time. You have to be physically present. No way around this, even in the world of rapid, real-time communication. That’s why I’m home by 4 p.m. every day for up to five hours of fun and not-so-fun face time with my kids. This allows me to know as much as I can about what’s going on with them at home, in school, out in the streets. But even as I try to figure out their strengths and weaknesses, their dreams and fears, I’ve pretty much accepted the fact that each year, each day, my children will slowly, steadily try to break away, to strike out on their own. And my job is to figure out the best way and time to let go. For they will try to create their own space. And they will likely try to find ways to shut me and their mother out of that space. The tricky and scary part is this: There’s no set formula, no smart phone app that could tell me when I should continue to assert my authority so I get access to that space — and when it’s time for me to pull back. For my kids eventually must, and will learn to define their own paths and space, and there will come a point when their mother and I will have to get out of the way. But it will never be crystal clear when we should do that. I suspect that’s what Chua was referring to when she told the Times about how
A paper published in 2005 on obesity research entitled “Ethnic Differences in Visceral Adipose Tissue and Type 2 Diabetes” showed that FilipinoAmerican women have an elevated diabetes prevalence despite the absence of general obesity, frequent exercise and higher education. Filipinas had a significantly higher prevalence of Type 2 diabetes compared to Caucasian women of similar body size and African-American women with higher rates of obesity. “We met with community leaders including Operation Samahan, COPAO, the Philippine Nurses’ Association, the Philippine Medical Association, senior citizen organizations and social workers,” Araneta said. “We placed ads and flyers in local Filipino papers, but we soon realized that establishing trust within the community and referrals from community ‘gatekeepers’ was essential. Offering a bone-density scan (to measure osteoporosis) was also an effective recruitment tool, since this test was not offered during a routine physical exam. Word of mouth, especially from satisfied participants was the most effective tool." Through the years, the research resulted in a series of findings that showed ethnic disparities in various outcomes, including screening for diabetes. A paper pub-
she “pulled back at the right time.” It shows too that even she wasn’t sure her way is the totally correct way, despite the frightening certainty with which she seemed to affirm in her essay that she had all the answers. My biggest problem with the style she outlined in her essay is that it makes parenting sound like going to war. “You only got a B?!" Cue music again. “Prepare for an all-out attack then! You shall be annihilated! No retreat! No surrender!” But I see parenting as more like gardening. It’s a tough job. It requires backbreaking effort, even force. You may have to break tough ground. You may come across rocks that need to be pulled out with a hoe or maybe even smashed into smaller pieces with a pick ax. You pull weeds and use bug sprays and fertilizers. You cultivate and nurture. You do all this work in hopes of eventually seeing flowers blooming and plants bearing fruit. The process is protracted. There are no guarantees. Many things can happen. Leaves dry up in the summer, the ground gets oversaturated in winter, the fruits rot and are attacked by bugs. But you keep on working. You keep tending the garden. For chances are that, with diligence, patience and hard work, all that effort will pay off. Benjamin Pimentel writes for the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
lished in 2005 on obesity research entitled “Ethnic Differences in Visceral Adipose Tissue and Type 2 Diabetes” showed that Filipino-American women have an elevated diabetes prevalence despite the absence of general obesity, frequent exercise and higher education. Filipinas had a significantly higher prevalence of Type 2 diabetes compared to Caucasian women of similar body size and African-American women with higher rates of obesity. Further, more than half of Filipinas with diabetes were not aware they had diabetes before joining this clinical study. What do these findings imply? There is a need to recognize the importance of re-evaluating protocols and guidelines for diabetes screening based on the need of each ethnic population. Among Filipinos, frequent screening should be encouraged using highly rigorous and culturally competent tests. “Filipinos need to be tested for Type 2 diabetes, particularly if they are 45 years of age or older, have a first degree relative with Type 2 diabetes, are overweight, had diabetes during pregnancy or have high blood pressure, preferably by the OGTT test,” Araneta said. Among Filipinos with an A1c greater than 5.8 percent, the recommendation is an OGTT test, Araneta added. “We found that an A1c greater than 5.7 percent had higher sensitivity in identifying diabetes and retinopathy compared to the current recommendations of A1c cutpoint of 6.5 percent,” Araneta said. Interestingly, Araneta, in a collaborative work with the University of Hawaii, discovered similar findings among Filipino-American participants who lived in Hawaii and San Diego.
January 29-February 4, 2011 • 13
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14 • January 29-February 4, 2011
Continued from Page 1
threatened to take daughter Louisa’s dollhouse to the Salvation Army if the girl didn’t perfect a difficult piano piece within a day) to the time she had her daughter complete 2,000 math problems a night until she regained her supremacy after losing a competition to a Korean classmate, Chua writes in her now infamous book, “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother,’ that her daughters had to be No. 1, straight A (A- is not good enough) students in almost every subject. The backlash was swift and harsh — and it surprised Chua, who claimed the book was not intended as a “how-to” parenting book, but rather a parody of her own upbringing and how, when she attempted such tactics with her own children, she was ultimately humbled. “There are all these new books out there portraying Asian mothers as scheming, callous, overdriven people indifferent to their kids’ true interests,” Chua wrote. “For their part, many Chinese secretly believe that they care more about their children and are willing to sacrifice much more for them than Westerners, who seem perfectly content to let their children turn out badly. I think it’s a misunderstanding on both sides. All decent parents want to do what’s best for their children. The Chinese just have a totally different idea of how to do that.” Indictment Nevertheless, Chua’s indictment of “Western parenting” — a term she uses as loosely as “Chinese mothers” — and harsh standards outraged readers, prompting a barrage of criticism, even death threats. Perhaps American parents protest too much. As New York Times columnist David Brooks wrote in his response: “Chua plays into America’s fear of
moonface Continued from Page 1
points in between. The book opens with a comedic performance about the kidney transplant by Balcita and her friend-turned-boyfriend-turned-husband, Charlie (aka Kidney Donor No. 2), with her brother (aka Kidney Donor No. 1) in a featured role. The humorous in-
“There are all these new books out there portraying Asian mothers as scheming, callous, overdriven people indifferent to their kids’ true interests. For their part, many Chinese secretly believe that they care more about their children and are willing to sacrifice much more for them than Westerners, who seem perfectly content to let their children turn out badly. I think it’s a misunderstanding on both sides. All decent parents want to do what’s best for their children. The Chinese just have a totally different idea of how to do that.” Amy Chua Author, "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother" Larry D. Moore • © 2007
national decline. Here’s a Chinese parent working really hard (and, by the way, there are a billion more of her) and her kids are going to crush ours. Furthermore (and this Chua doesn’t appreciate), she is not really rebelling against American-style parenting; she is the logical extension of the prevailing elite practices. She does everything over-pressuring upper-middle-class parents are doing. She’s just hard core.” Indeed, it seems, Brooks himself hit a nerve. Americans have long been ridiculed in their own culture for their “extreme parenting.” Caricatures are everywhere — in books, TV, movies, the media — and are so funny because, well, they’re true. Chua hits American parents where it hurts — in their exalted sense of superiority and their nagging fears of lagging behind. So-called experts run hot and cold on Chua’s “Tiger Mother” techniques, but most seem to hedge their bets by calling for middle ground. “It's kind of extreme,” Jeffrey Seinfeld, a professor of social work at New York University, told the Los Angeles Times recently. “Kids need some veg time.”
troduction of such a serious illness is a reflection of the couple’s unique, loving and positive manner. Humor is a focal point of coping and healing during the very difficult times — and Charlie is often the instigator. He is the constant, the bright spot and Balcita’s biggest cheerleader in the book and in life. He nicknames her "Moonface" when he discovers the anti-rejection
Filipino reaction Filipinos on both sides of the Pacific also had much to say about Chua. After Balitang America TV featured Chua on its Jan. 21 broadcast to its 250,000 cable TV subscribers in the U.S., Filipinos in street interviews were asked for their reactions. Those interviewed uniformly thrashed Chua’s parenting methods and affirmed that they “respect their children” and asserted that “their children’s happiness is more important than their grades.” The San Francisco Unified School District recently conducted a study of how many parents attend parent-teacher conferences in school to discuss how their children are doing. The study found that at Bessie Carmichael Elementary School, with a 58 percent Filipino student population, only 17 percent of the Filipino parents cared enough about their children to talk to their teachers. Filipino-American Seattle educator Dr. Anthony Ogilvie studied the statistics of the California Standardized Test Scores for 10 urban areas and found that Filipinos in the sixth, seventh and eighth grades have the highest per-
medication in her kitchen and reads the bottle, which listed several possible side effects, including “a moon face complexion.” He thought it sounded pretty. Balcita shared the evolution of the book, which began during graduate school at the University of Iowa, where she pursued her master’s in fine art in non-fiction writing. “The book came out of a separate piece I did for The New York Times,” Balcita said in a recent phone interview from her home in Baltimore. “That piece came out of my thesis. Before that, I had written about cultural clashes, immigration and family, but friends at grad school told me that ‘this’ was the story people would want to read about.” The Filipino-American community, in general, tends to shy away from difficult health topics unless they are presented in a culturally appropriate, engaging and respectful manner. “Moonface” does just that, with Balcita’s ability to lovingly share some semblance of cultural clash and family as she expertly weaves FilipinoAmerican cultural nuances through life challenges — the choice of a college major, the not-so-subtle hints about life decisions, the trauma of the illness and family protectiveness and support before, during and after the illness. Balcita gives much credit to Filipino family values for getting her through the very scary process of the disease. She even captured her mother’s accent for a touch of authentic Filipino-American immigrant parent character. (Balcita’s mother, however, had “a problem with her character” and didn’t feel she spoke the way she was written.) Charlie’s love for Balcita, like that of her family, is unselfish, undoubting and unconditional. She is constant-
centage of students below “basic” among other Asian groups and Whites in both Englishlanguage arts and math, ranging from 19 percent to 37 percent. In the ninth through eleventh grades, 42 percent of Filipino students fall in the “basic” and “below basic” levels on the Star Math Test. “Perhaps the low scores can be excused by the belief of many Filipino parents that it is the teachers’ responsibility to teach, not theirs,” commented Rodel Rodis in a FilAm Network missive. “The parents’ job is to put food on the table and provide a comfortable shelter for their children and, by golly, they will do that even if it means taking on two jobs just to make ends meet. So, they have little or no time to help their children with their school work.” In his own humorous response in the Philippine Daily Inquirer on Jan. 20, “Why Pinoy dads are superior,” U.S. correspondent Benjamin Pimentel gently mocks Chua: “I’m kidding, of course,” he wrote, referring to the essay’s headline. “I don’t really believe that. And I can’t believe anyone would claim that an ethnic group, a race, or a nation has the superior parenting
“I want readers to close the book and think, ‘Angela did it; now I can deal with everything.’” Rakesh Satyal Balcita's editor ly reminded of it — especially when he offers her his kidney without hesitation, even after knowing her for only a short time. Amusingly, when both families broach the subject of marriage — especially after Charlie offers his kidney — both revert back to comedy in order to side-step the issue. “I hope that people are left with two thoughts after reading the book,” Balcita said. "First, that laughter is a great way to get through difficult times and, second, that although it is difficult to accept the gifts of unconditional love and sacrifice — accept it.” Rakesh Satyal, Balcita’s editor at Harper Perennial, the book’s publisher, enthusiastically agreed. “I hope that readers will understand that laughter really is the best medicine,” she said. “That has become a cliché, but Angela shows subtly and undeniably how much humor and comedy help us through the worst times. I want readers to close the book and think, ‘Angela did it; now I can deal with everything.’” Balcita’s “Moonface” book tour includes Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasedena on March 3 and The Booksmith in San Francisco on March 8. The events also aim to heighten awareness of the National Kidney Donor Foundation Living Council and the tour is open to additional book dates and venues in partnership with kidney donor/disease organizations. “Moonface” arrives in bookstores on Feb. 1.
system … “Some say her essay at least sparked debate, discussion and reflection on an important topic,” he continued, “But I cringe at the thought that some parents, perhaps a young couple struggling for a framework for raising their children, may think Chua’s way is the only way.” (Pimentel’s entire essay is reprinted in this issue on Page 6.) A Tiger Mother's daughter speaks For Alicia DeLeon-Torres, a Filipino-American writer and frequent Filipino Press contributor — and a “1.5,” as she calls herself, or a first-generation, American-born child of Filipino immigrants — at least some of Chua’s strict parenting rang true. “Filipino-Americans of my generation had an experience not so different than that described by Amy Chua in ‘Tiger Mother’ — especially in the classical music arena. I’m one of them,” said DeLeon-Torres, only half joking. “Yes, I took nine tortuous years of classical piano lessons, complete with three to four hours of practice every day — including holidays.” That “torture,” she said, had no time off. “This would be ‘kicked up’ a notch during parties when my parents felt the need to have me perform three or four — or 20 — of the most difficult pieces for the extended family and close friends who were crammed into our living room,” she said. “My mom took a high sense of pride in this, until one of my aunts would ‘volunteer’ her daughter or son to play an even harder piece, usually with five sharps and with their eyes closed. My ‘Tiger Mom’ took this as an act of defiance and would ‘one up’ them by announcing that I would be performing ballet to the five sharp piece. I was double tortured.” DeLeon-Torres is herself
encounter Continued from Page 7
look palpably very happy during the closing rites on a Sunday afternoon. What unfolds is a spirit-filled atmosphere, heady euphoria amidst joyful singing, embracing, kissing, many choked with tears as they extol God and thank their sponsors for a new found sparkle in their lives. The air of sweetness and hope is unmistakable as they cuddle up to read the love letters. They have again found their love for each other as a many splendored thing, keenly affectionate and glowing. Each one may be feeling an agape kind of love. Agape is not just something that happens; it is something that you make happen. Agape love is a personal act or commitment. It is overpowering, sacrificial, unselfish, forgiving, sympathetic, thoughtful, solicitous, sensitive, deep and abiding, a love that goes on loving even when the other becomes unlovable, a love that addresses the feelings and needs of a loved one. It’s like Christ’s love for us — uncondi-
Continued from Page 7
tensely for so long. And ever since then, the image of Iran among most Americans has remained mostly negative. Traumatic as the emotional fallout of the hostage crisis was for Americans, some folks, including several former hostages (including the highest-ranking one) Bruce Laingen are now saying that it is high time to get over the Iran hostage crisis. They insist America’s interests are illserved by what prevails today. Of course, the 52 hostages, at least those still with us, will never forget the ordeal of their captivity in Iran. Thirty years on, the lesson should still be imminently clear. There is no such thing
“My friends and I have this conversation every blue moon. It’s therapy. Most of us are mellow parents with a tinge of the tiger because we all lived through torture of trying to get straight As, multitasking academics, family, friends, work and culture. We found that a few gaps in the tiger way of parenting.” ALICIA DeLEON-TORRES Fil-Am writer and mother the parent of a 21-year-old daughter and offered this assessment of the hangover of “Tiger Mothers.” “My friends and I have this conversation every blue moon. It’s therapy,” she said. “Most of us are mellow parents with a tinge of the tiger because we all lived through torture of trying to get straight As, multitasking academics, family, friends, work and culture. We found that a few gaps in the tiger way of parenting.” And her own daughter? “She lived,” said DeLeonTorres with a hearty laugh. Publicity is an author's best friend Whatever your opinion, Chua has — at the very least — achieved one goal of every writer: she’s selling lots of books — lots and lots of them. Currently on a book tour, Chua is an in-demand guest on talk shows (sometimes appearing with her daughters, who are quick to rise to their mother’s defense). Next week, Time will feature Chua in its cover story. At press time, her book is at No. 3 on Amazon (and rising) and No. 5 on the New York Times Best Sellers List of hardcover nonfiction as of Jan. 30.
tional, eternal love. The closing rites are capped by a renewal of nuptial vows solemnized by the priest. The last phase is the selection of class coordinators by the sponsors. The coordinators will prepare for the reunion and the next stages of the growth process. Reunions and prayer meetings are stimulants to keep the embers of love burning. Reunions are also musts. After several moon cycles some graduates stand out, show leadership qualities as they go through the growth process, socalled “postgraduate” courses, become covenanted and then presenters to a new batch of Marriage Encounter takers. Thus the encounter goes on and on, class after class after class, producing Christian disciples who enrich parish life. And each new batch of takers would again echo the same catchphrase: “Today is the first day of the rest of our life.” And it ends like a fairy tale. Those who are interested in taking the encounter should check your parish bulletin for the next schedule, or visit www.sf.lovemoredeeply.org. as “hard power” or “soft power” or “smart power.” There is simply power — judiciously and skillfully employed, with a will behind it that lends it credence to allies and gives pause to enemies and potential opponents. A fascinating aside to note is that during the crisis, Penelope Laingin, wife of the hostage charge d-affaires tied a yellow ribbon around a tree at her home in Maryland and a nationwide movement began. So, my dear readers, please do take the time to remember those Americans that are currently on foreign soil. The Iran hostage crisis was a 444-day object lesson — one I believe we, as Americans, would always do well to heed. Forget or ignore its lessons at your peril.
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Fil-Am breaks into ‘AI’ Top 40 MANILA — Pinoys now have more reason to tune in to the 10th season of “American Idol” as another FilipinoAmerican makes it to the competition’s Top 40. Besting thousands of other “AI” hopefuls is Thialorei “Thia” Lising Megia, a 15-year old musician from Tracy. As seen on her YouTube videos, Megia not only sings but plays the guitar and the piano. “AI,” however, isn’t the first major reality competition Thia joined. In 2009, she became a contestant in the 4th season of “America’s Got Talent” but was eliminated during the quarterfinals. Prior to her exit from the show, her rendition of Miley Cyrus’ “The Climb” gained praises from judges David Hasselhoff and Sharon Osbourne. Also in 2009, she performed at the “David Foster and Friends” concert in San Jose. According to fansite Thia Megia Network, the teenager is a good friend of Foster’s protégé and fellow Filipina singer Charice. Past “AI” seasons have seen a number of Filipino-American hopefuls audition for and reach the Top 40, but those who actually made their mark by reaching the Top 10 include the third season’s Jasmine Trias and Camille Velasco, and the seventh season’s Ramielle Malubay.
January 29-February 4, 2011 • 15
arts • entertainment • sports
Magpantay new Ford Supermodel for 2011 By Patricia Esteves The Philippine Star
MANILA — Another Filipina captivated the world with her unique beauty, élan and grace on the catwalk. Danica Flores Magpantay, 17, is the first ever Filipina to win the prestigious Ford Supermodel of the World since it was established in 1980. As the 2011 Ford Supermodel of the World, Magpantay received a $250,000 modeling contract. The 5-foot, 9-inch beauty bested more than 70 supermodels from different countries during competition ceremonies in New York last Saturday (Sunday in Manila). Runners up were from Lithuania and Poland, first and second respectively, who received modeling contracts of $150,000 and $100,000. Magpantay, nicknamed Ica, a Fine Arts student from the University of the Philippines, is no stranger to the modeling world and got her winning genes from her mother, Supermodel of the World Philippines 1990 winner Milagros “Lala” Flores. Flores, now one of the country’s top makeup artists, represented the Philippines at the international tilt and won the Crest Best Smile. In a phone interview with GMA’s 24 Oras, Flores said her daughter called her up yesterday morning to tell her that she won. “She said, ‘Mommy I won an award and I said, ‘What award?’ and she said, ‘Mommy, I’m the winner.’ “She also told me it has not sunk in her yet and for now, she’s just excited with what she’s doing every day,” Flores added. Three Filipino supermodels came close
Want to be a Bear? The National City Bears are looking for football players who are dedicated and want to compete in an organized LCFL Western Conference League. Tryouts for the Bears will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 5 and 19 at Gail Devers Stadium at Sweetwater High School, 2900 Highland Ave. Register at D Avenue gate. All positions are open those 18 and above and have played at any level. There is a one-time $40, which includes a Bears shirt, water and light snacks. Players may be asked to try out several times. For more information, call (619) 474-5300, e-mail ncbears@ nationalcitybears.com or visit www.nationalcitybears.com.
Danica Magpantay received a $250,000 modeling contract after being named the Ford Supermodel of the World 2011.
to winning the Ford Supermodel of the World, namely former Miss International Melanie Marquez who was the first Filipina to join the Supermodel of the World contest in 1986 in New York and finished second runner-up, Charo Ronquillo, second runner-up in 2006; and Chat Almarvez, first runner-up last year in Brazil. According to its website, Ford Supermodel of the World is the largest and most prestigious international modeling competition established by Eileen Ford in 1980. Magpantay’s Twitter and Facebook pages were swamped with cheers and congratulatory messages. “Beautiful, dusky, exotic. Definitely Pinoy Pride,” said one admiring Filipino fan.
Celebrated play ‘Flipzoids’ returns to New York stage By Walter Ang Philippine Daily Inquirer
“Flipzoids,” a play written by Ralph Peña, is returning to the stage in New York City 15 years after its world premiere — with a few changes. “I’m rewriting chunks of the play to incorporate some of the lessons I’ve learned as a writer,” Peña said. “A revisit is not granted many writers, so why not take the opportunity to make it better?” “Flipzoids” features three Filipinos from three generations, living in the U.S. and struggling with varying degrees and kinds of isolation as they fight to establish and/or search for identity—personal, cultural and otherwise. “The Filipino community embraced the play immediately, laughing riotously at seeing their own experience on stage,” Peña said of the maiden staging of “Flipzoids” in 1996, which ran for 21 performances at the Theater for a New City. In 1998, the play was staged in Manila with five performances for the Centennial Arts Festival. Eventually, it had more than 60 performances in various locations in the U.S. Peña had been part of activist theater company Godabil, a group in Manila that performed in rallies during the 1970s. After he was called in for questioning by the army, he left for the U.S. There, he helped found MaYi Theater Company in 1989 and has served as its artistic director since 1994. MaYi produced “Flipzoids” and “it caught the New York theater community by surprise,”
National City Bears tryouts set for Feb. 5, 19 at Sweetwater High
he said. “Before ‘Flipzoids,’ we struggled to get mainstream press coverage of our works. It was our first production to receive major attention.” It helped that the production was directed by Loy Arcenas, who was already wellknown in Broadway for his work as a set designer (“Night Of The Iguana,” “Love! Valour! Compassion!,” “Prelude To A Kiss”). Peña’s work obviously resonated with audiences. “I wanted to say something about the Filipino-American experience — how we transact the personal and political acts of lo-
cating ourselves in the American landscape,” he says. “I wrote what I knew then, based on observations and my own experiences, and the play triangulated itself between three distinct character tracks: Aying, the new immigrant longing for home; Vangie, the partially assimilated new American reinventing herself; and Redford, a second-generation FilipinoAmerican raised with little knowledge of his heritage,” he said. “Flipzoids” runs through Feb 6. at Peter Jay Sharp Theater, Playwright’s Horizons Center in New York City.
Fil-Am actress Steinfield nominated for Academy Award Fourteen-year-old actress Hailee Steinfield, who played the role of Mattie Ross in the Coen brothers’ 2010 adaptation of "True Grit" has been nominated for Best Supporting Actress at the 83rd Academy Awards which will be televised live on Feb. 28. Steinfield is the daughter of a Filipina interior designer who grew up in California and a Jewish personal fitness trainer. Before the Academy Awardnomination, Steinfield received the Best New Actress award
IN BRIEF from the 16th Annual Critics Choice Award.
California Fil-Am is top teen tennis player in U.S. CLAREMONT — When Gabrielle Andrew first picked up a tennis racket at age 5, she didn’t like the sport. But after falling in love with it, she is now ranked No. 1 in the United States Tennis Association’s 18-and-under division. “I just kept practicing and got better and better and started playing in tournaments,” she said. For her Filipina mother, Evelyn, who works for the California Department of Motor Vehicles, and her father Mike, a Los Angeles policeman, the family never thought she would be this good. Tennis started out as a family fitness activity. “It was 'Hey, lets go out have fun, we’ll socialize, it’d be a good activity, family fun, all in the spirit of togetherness and family,' but I had no idea she’d turn out to be as good as she is,” said her father Michael. In less than nine years, Andrew has earned a record of 80 wins and only 12 losses. She finished 2010 by winning the Juniors National Tournament in Arizona and will travel to Spain in February to train for a month. “To have that high ranking and seeing all of my records — from being 110 to 13 is a really, really good record. And I was proud of myself, and I wouldn’t stop there. I really want to keep going,” Andrew said. — ABS-CBN
16 • January 29-February 4, 2011
Chin’s pleases senses like good Asian food should I enjoy sharing my favorite tips, businesses and products with you each week, my pampered friends. This week, I implore you to grab everyone you know and bring your ravenous appetite to my new favorite Chinese restaurant, Chin’s Szechwan. It will put every Chinese restaurant you have tried before to shame. The history of Chin’s reads like a true American Dream. Upon immigrating to the United States, Ting Tsai did what he knew — he cooked. Ting and his brother turned their gifts for Chinese cuisine and hospitality into a successful chain of restaurants with a roster of employees as tightly woven as family and an equally loyal base of customers. In 2008, the brothers divided the restaurants into two ownerships. Almost three years later, Ting and his restaurants have thrived in every way. Like all businesses, Chin’s has ridden the rollercoaster economy. Unlike many of its now defunct contemporaries, however, Chin’s has proven
“We’re in the business of ‘Wow!’ When the team is happy, service is fast — and that makes our customers happy.” Ting Tsai Proprietor, Chin’s
its staying power. The humble Ting says he couldn’t do it without his team including fellow chef, Tiger, and partners David Chen, Ivan Tsui and Mary Stanford, who all attribute their success to a strong customer-centric mentality and a fierce commitment to
Chin’s elegant and comfortable dining room at its Miramar location.
serving food of unparalleled freshness, artistry and value. “We’re in the business of ‘Wow!’ ” said Ting. “When the team is happy, service is fast — and that makes our customers happy.” “We have fun!” added David. The atmosphere at Chin’s is one of tranquility and casual elegance. Calming music plays over the melodic sound of fountains. Brightly colored orchids accentuate a glass-enclosed gallery at the center of the restaurant. Displayed is Ting’s personal collection of imported stones, each telling a different story and featuring intricate landscapes, patterns and animals. Extraordinarily, the designs are not man-made. They are purely of nature’s creation and are treasured by Ting. Tea is immediately served to us with warm smiles as we are seated. When our food arrives, it is clear that Ting’s love for art extends into his masterful cooking, which represents all 36 different states of China. Each platter that arrives on the table is photo-worthy; full of color and the famous “Wow” factor Ting speaks of. Our meal begins with Imperial Soup, made with chicken and seafood, pork and vegetable dumplings and chicken wings, full of flavor. Though I know many more dishes are to arrive at our table, I cannot help but finish our starters for they please my senses like real Asian comfort food should. Next to arrive is the filet
Chin’s proprietor Ting Tsai offers classic Chinese cooking and authentic Shanghainese flavors at its five San Diego area restaurants.
mignon (yes, really, filet mignon!) cooked three times to tender perfection and served in a black bean sauce. Those who are planning a romantic Valentine’s Day meal, take note of this deliciously inventive option that you won’t find anywhere else. Accompanying the filet are crispy noodles topped with an abundance of seafood and vegetables. This unique spin on the usual lo and chow mein dishes we are accustomed to is a standout with its fun texture. The crown jewel of our meal is a very large, incredibly succulent rockfish, which has been marinated for more than two hours before being flash fried and topped with an exquisite sweet and sour pepper sauce. The rockfish is so fantastic, it literally warrants applause when presented at the dining table. Any party host would be proud to have this stunner served to guests. I cannot help but close my eyes when relishing bite after addicting bite. Ting and his team also impress me with their all-inclusive lunch plates, which they offer starting at $9. Each very large plate showcases soup, salad, an appetizer of cheese wontons, rice, fruit, dessert, and, of course, one of Chin’s signature entrees. You will be left craving for more once you have tasted Chin’s delectable Honey Walnut Shrimp or Ku Ting, a one-of-a-kind
sweet-and-sour house specialty named for the area in which Ting was raised. Chin’s signature dessert of shaved ice is similar to that of our Filipino halo-halo. The shaved ice is topped with condensed milk, velvety mango ice cream and mixed fruit. Also available is a decadent raspberry cheesecake with a chocolate crust. Chin’s even features a surprisingly large selection of wines and hosts its own bar and lounge. Attentive to its customers’ needs, Chin’s created a special system which gives working parents who are tight on both time and money reason to celebrate. Chin’s prepares a set takeout menu and shares it with its customers a week in advance. The packages include three entrees (two meats, one vegetable) that feeds a family of three to four people for just $20! Customers simply place their order in advance and their family dinner will be ready for pick up after work. Pure genius! Of the five locations owned by Ting, the flagship Chin’s restaurant on Kearny Mesa Road in Miramar is the largest. The size of its kitchen affords it the opportunity to showcase the most extensive selection of dishes. It offers three menus, including one which stays true to authentic Shanghainese flavors.
• Chin’s is located in Encinitas, Oceanside, Vista and Rancho Bernardo. Chin’s Seafood & Grill is located in Miramar. Chin’s is open seven days a week for both lunch and dinner. Lunch specials are offered from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dinner is served from 3 to 9:30 p.m. (10 p.m. on weekends). In addition, early bird dinner specials are available from 3 to 5 p.m. For more details, call (858) 536-2300 or visit Chin’s enticing website at www. govisitchins. com.
Ting and his team share with me that Shanghainese cooking is more savory and spicy than its Cantonese counterpart and features flour-based noodles. For its extensive menus that include pea pod leaves, lily flowers — even Lion’s Head soup, which does not actually include the king of the jungle but instead symbolizes good luck — Chin’s sends its team to Los Angeles two to three times every week to guarantee the utmost freshness of all of its specialty produce and ingredients. Also not to miss are Chin’s Dim Sum Weekends and its Whole Crab and Whole Lobster specials. Chin’s elegant private rooms can host large banquets for up to 250 guests. For your convenience, Chin’s offers one banquet menu that ranges from $238-538 per table of 10 people and another that ranges from $18-30 per person. Both menus include everything from appetizers to desserts, all which will surely impress all of your party guests. Event planners rejoice — there is no additional fee for space reservation at Chin’s! Chin’s also offers an extensive catering menu of Szechwan Mandarin favorites, from party staples like salt and pepper chicken wings to specialoccasion choices such as barbecue crispy duck with plum sauce. Both small and large trays are available and all dishes are very reasonably priced. I give Chin’s my highest recommendation and have already recruited a large group of family of friends to accompany me when I return soon to enjoy the excellent cooking and warm spirit of Ting and his remarkable team. Ting says that after 35 years in the industry he still enjoys inventing new ways to wow his customers, each made to feel like a guest in his own home. When asked if he has children to carry on his legacy, Ting answers with words befitting of a true believer in the American Dream, “They have their own dreams to follow.” • Wanna keep in touch and join in on fun weekly chats with other Pampered Pinay fans? Simply check out www.Facebook.com, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
GMA’s Enriquez, Dantes receive People Asia’s People of the Year Award GMA Network continues its winning streak at the start of the New Year after two of its prime talents were recently honored as People Asia Magazine’s “People of the Year 2010” on Jan. 10 at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza in Pasay City. Multi-awarded broadcast journalist and GMA News pillar Mike Enriquez and primetime dramatic leading man Dingdong Dantes were included in the prestigious list of awardees who made a significant difference in the lives of Filipinos last year. The magazine cited Enriquez, GMA senior vice president for radio and one of Reader’s Digest Top 15 most trusted Filipinos, for his outstanding contribution in public service through the public affairs program “Imbestigador” as well as his unwavering commitment to Serbisyong Totoo as one of the anchors of GMA’s flagship newscast 24 Oras and as host of his radio program “Saksi sa Dobol B.” After more than a decade of hosting “Imbestigador,” Enriquez has remained steadfast in his vocation of providing assistance to the plight of ordinary Filipinos who are in need. His passion for excellence and dedication to his craft earned him numerous awards and citations including Best Newscaster in the Asian Television Awards; Best Newscaster For Television and Best Public Affairs Host for Radio in the Golden Dove Awards; Anak TV Seal Award For Child Friendly Television Host; and Gandingan Award For Best Investigative Program Host, just to name a few. He recently received an award for Best Television Host from the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) and was given the Vocational Excellence Award from Rotary Club. Meanwhile, Dantes was recognized for his selfless advocacy to promote the welfare of the youth through his YES Pinoy Foundation. Founded in August 2009, Dingdong has been a staunch supporter of educating and providing scholarships for young people in order to realize their dreams and ambitions. When Typhoon Ondoy hit the country two years ago, Dingdong together with the officers of Philippine Marines, led Yes Pinoy Foundation’s relief operation in Rizal. He also partnered with National Book Store’s Project Aklat which donated school supplies and study kits for the typhoon victims. At present, Dingdong continues with his “Oplan Re-
GMA’s Mike Enriquez, left, and Dingdong Dantes at People Asia's People of the Year Awards on Jan. 10 in Pasay City.
store Paaralan” campaign aimed at rebuilding typhoondamaged schools. Aside from his humanitarian works, Dingdong is known as one of GMA’s ace and awardwinning actors who has various feats and accolades tucked under his belt. These include Favorite Television Actor Award in the First Annual FilAm Visionary Awards; Best Supporting Actor nomination in the 56th FAMAS Awards; Best Drama Actor Winner for "Stairway To Heaven” in the 24th PMPC Star Awards for TV; and Best Actor nomination for “Stairway to Heaven” in the 15th Asian Television Awards. Currently, Dingdong is set to star opposite Asia’s Songbird Regine Velasquez in
the romantic-comedy series “I (Heart) You Pare” this February. Also in the list of notable awardees are Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile; Miss Universe fourth runner-up Venus Raj; fashion designer Josie Cruz Natori; furniture designer Kenneth Cobonpue; floral architect Rachy Cuna; fashion designer Rhett Eala; musician Ryan Cayabyab; architect Felino Palafox Jr.; founder of the Tuloy Foundation Fr. Rocky Evangelista; and Philippine Airlines (PAL) president and CEO Jaime Bautista. Pinoy viewers abroad can catch Mike Enriquez and Dingdong Dantes on GMA Network’s flagship international channel, GMA Pinoy TV.
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GAPORESTO & KARAOKE Serving Filipino and International Cuisine KARAOKE TUESDAYS-SUNDAYS 7PM-12 MIDNIGHT
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January 29-February 4, 2011 • 17
18 • January 29-February 4, 2011
Aljur Abrenica captivates on GMA Pinoy TV’s ‘Machete’ GMA Pinoy TV infuses new life into the renowned Pablo S. Gomez comics series about a wooden sculpture that comes alive at nightfall with its upcoming fantasy-drama, “Machete.” The highly anticipated series debuted on Jan. 26. Aljur Abrenica evolves from being Starstruck’s Ultimate Hunk to becoming a fullfledged television hunk as he portrays the coveted role of Machete, his biggest role to date. It is with great pride that the homegrown Kapuso actor dons the celebrated bahag, which was first worn by — and which escalated the star status of now multi-awarded and fellow Kapuso — Cesar Montano and Gardo Versosa back in the early 1990s. In this modern version, Machete is brought to life by the fortuitous artworks of two beautiful women — Rosella, a sketcher, played by Bela Padilla, and Marla, a sculptress, portrayed by Ryza Cenon. Born with a rare skin disease, Rosella is often ostracized by others and spends most of her time drawing in the woods. She earns a living by selling her sketches to publishers and artists like Marla, a talented and successful sculptress who uses Rosella’s artworks as basis for her statues. As Rosella continues to find sanctuary in the forest, she finds herself inexplicably drawn to one particular tree with alibata carved on its trunk. From then on, the image of a handsome and strong man would appear to her in her dreams. But with each dream comes a sad ending with the man being stabbed with a dagger right through his chest.
Rosella draws this image and keeps it, as she has no plans of selling it to her clients. Meanwhile, Marla is planning to open an exhibit influenced by the age-old mysteries surrounding the “haunted” forest. Incidentally, she finds Rosella’s drawing and is inspired to carve it in wood. After much persistence, she convinces Rosella to sell her the drawing and sculpts it using Rosella’s favorite tree. Marla successfully completes the statue in full detail — dagger and all — and names it “Machete.” By an unexpected turn of
events, Machete astoundingly transforms into a living, breathing human being. Memories of a past love come rushing through Machete’s mind, signaling the start of his unfinished and unrelenting quest for his greatest love. What could be the real reason behind the dagger buried in Machete’s chest? And why is Rosella so passionately drawn to the tree the same way that she was drawn to the man in her dreams? Could there be a deeper and unexpected connection among Rosella, Marla, and Machete? Will Machete succeed in fulfilling his mis-
sion with his second chance at life and love? Completing the cast of “Machete” are Ryan Eigenmann as Karum, a ruthless warrior from Machete’s past life; Gina Alajar as Elena and Noni Buencamino as Carlos, Rosella’s parents; Rio Locsin as Divina and John Arcilla as Alfonso, Marla’s parents; and in a special cameo appearance Zoren Legaspi as Malyari, Machete’s father; playing equally important characters in the life of Machete are Polo Ravales as Zander, Marla’s ex-boyfriend and henchman; Chariz Solomon as Candy, Marla’s househelp and Rosella’s best friend; Rocky Gutierrez as Lucco, Marla’s bodyguard who is secretly in love with her; Gwen Zamora as Serena, a young curator and anthropologist; Karen delos Reyes as Bugan, a princess and Machete’s admirer in the past; and Stephanie Henares as Valerie, Marla’s socialite friend. Meanwhile, the statue of Machete to be used in the program was skillfully chiseled by no less than National Artist Napoleon Abueva’s team of expert sculptors led by his son, Lawin. While the movie versions leaned toward the more daring side, this television remake directed by Don Michael Perez and Gina Alajar and written by Renato Custodio Jr. delves into the action-packed adventures, the historical backdrop, and the heartrending romance, which fill the life of the audacious and handsome warrior. Pinoy viewers can catch all the action only on GMA Pinoy TV. Call your preferred pay TV operator now to subscribe.