JANUARY 9, 2021 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE 1
JANUARY 9, 2021
AS I SEE IT
Filam West Point Cadet ReceivesPrestigious 2021 Rhodes Scholarship NEWS FEATURE
Here’s What You Need to Know About the Second Stimulus Package
Goodbye 2020 —Welcome 2020 2.0?
Fil-Am Named New President of Mortgage Bankers Association of HI
2 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE JANUARY 9, 2021
It’s Time for Healing and A Shift in Priorities
veryone is already well aware of the tragedy and desperation of this year’s turn of events. But the truth is death by pandemics, massive unemployment, people without health insurance, large segments of vulnerable populations living on the brink from paycheck-to-paycheck, people starving and relying on food banks, people having difficulty paying for rent, small businesses struggling and teetering on closing with only perhaps a few months of reserves – all of these existed before the pandemic. What’s unique this year is the virus’s reach was so widespread and indiscriminate that everyone suddenly felt vulnerable to any one of these unfortunate situations that previously we have been ignoring as they’ve happened to others in the US or in other parts of the world. But just not to us. The vast majority of us are suddenly paying attention to what already existed because plainly put, our own life, the lives of our families and friends whom we love were suddenly at risk. That’s the cynical, but sad truth. Our outlook toward the unemployed prior to 2020 was far from compassionate. Instead, the prevailing viewpoint was that the unemployed were lazy, didn’t want to work, even as systemic realities proved otherwise -- that jobs have been lacking, technology has wiped out industries, and education and retraining have not been readily available to many. Prior to 2020, our attitude toward the poor and vulnerable was – “it’s their fault, they’ve made poor choices in life.” When all along, we’re well aware that people’s starting point, the lot they’re born into, in many situations lay the groundwork for their future. Certainly, a few manage to attain vertical mobility. But an unfair system is undeniable, one that propels the advantage upwards; while the disadvantaged stay put or worse, fall through the cracks.
The Lesson of 2020 The buzzword of the early 2000s was “interconnectedness” – meaning that what happens to our neighbors, strangers, others in foreign countries do impact us in more ways than we think. This is true in crime, climate change, and we see so painfully and clearly now, when a pandemic strikes. COVID-19 heightened this truism of “interconnectedness” in acute and urgent ways. The pandemic is saying that perhaps all of society’s ills (mentioned above) must now begin to be addressed (systemic problems), not just for the sake of being a good humanitarian or doing the right thing, but because the reality is we must fix it before the next pandemic or next worldwide crisis occurs. Imagine if this pandemic had a higher morbidity rate as the former Ebola (90-plus %) and at the high contraction rate of COVID-19. That would have been extinction proportion. Imagine if another major crisis, environmental, massive grid failure or war, broke out alongside the pandemic this 2020. Fortunately, the civil unrest on the streets over BLM and over Trump coinciding with the pandemic did not mushroom to an out-of-control scale and cause unmanageable instability. We should want normalcy, but not go back to the same There is a saying that doing the same thing over and over again and getting the same undesired result is insanity. COVID-19 showed just how unprepared we are. We have been living in this fantasy of comfort when all along, it just took a few weeks to thrust us into the deepest recession, deepest public health crisis. (continue on page 2)
FROM THE PUBLISHER
he COVID-19 vaccines are being rolled out. National and local politicians are talking about their rebuilding plans for the economy. The winds of change is blowing across communities all over and a sense of optimism is high for 2021, including in our own Filipino community. HFC is excited to report on new developments to take place this year. Before we begin, it’s time to do our annual recap of the top stories of 2020. A reminder: all of the original cover stories, editorials, features, news and columns (almost always presented with a Filipino angle with Filipinos responding to the issues covered) can be found on our website under our archives section. Doing our HFC Year-in-Review is associate editor Edwin Quinabo, our veteran reporter and political analyst. Topping the list of news for 2020 is an obvious one, the COVID-19 pandemic. It was so encompassing and historic that it had to be divided into five parts in our top 11: the public health crisis, the economic dive, the unprecedented stimulus packages, the highly anticipated vaccine, and finally how the pandemic changed the way we live. Simultaneous to the COVID-19 outbreak were major news stories also of historic proportion. If it weren’t for COVID-19, most likely any one of these stories could have been number one in any other year. That is how a huge year 2020 was for news. Coming in at number 5 was the presidential election that resulted in Joe Biden’s landslide win; and making the top 10 also is a never-before response to a presidential election, Trump’s refusal to accept the election results. Honolulu also elected a new mayor, outsider TV Executive and businessman Rick Blangiardi. The 1960s turbulence was resurrected in 2020 by massive civil disobedience calling for policing reform; and the Hawaii-Philippines story of the Ohana Medical Mission’s charitable trip could not be overlooked. In 2020, the once-in-a-decade US Census was also launched that will have significant impact in how billions of federal dollars will be distributed nationally, and down to the local, county level. The headlining stories no doubt will carry on into 2021. HFC’s Emil Guillermo’s column this issue, “Goodbye 2020— Welcome 2020, 2.0?” speaks to this continuity. His article is a recap of sorts, at least politically. HFC columnist Seneca Moraleda-Puguan gives her own recap of 2020 in “Glimpses of Grace, Glimmers of Hope.” For our News Feature, HFC contributor Serafin Colmenares, Jr. writes about the Knights of Rizal-Aloha Chapter’s Rizalian Lecture Series via Zoom. The first speaker will be with Dr. Floro Quibuyen, PhD, retired associate professor. The purpose of the educational series is to educate people about the life, works and ideas of Philippine national hero Dr. Jose Rizal. Colmenares writes of efforts to promote Philippine history through Dr. Rizal, in our Book Review this issue from HFC contributor Rose Cruz Churma, she writes about Filipino culture as seen by Filipino writers in the book, “Aparador Ni Lola—Past Lives, Precious Objects,” an anthology consisting of 18 stories. We have other interesting columns and news in this issue that I hope you’ll enjoy. Lastly, as we begin 2021, I’d like to remind Filipino organizations to submit to us your upcoming calendar of events. To business owners, it’s also a great time to consider expanding your business by targeting our Filipino community through advertising in our newspaper. As you know, Filipinos are the largest ethnic group in our state. HFC is available through select outlets and published online. May you all have a healthy, prosperous and Happy New Year. Until next issue, warmest Aloha and Mabuhay!
Publisher & Executive Editor Charlie Y. Sonido, M.D.
Publisher & Managing Editor
Chona A. Montesines-Sonido
Edwin QuinaboDennis Galolo
Belinda Aquino, Ph.D.
Photography Tim Llena
Administrative Assistant Lilia Capalad Shalimar Pagulayan
Editorial Assistant Jim Bea Sampaga
Carlota Hufana Ader Elpidio R. Estioko Emil Guillermo Melissa Martin, Ph.D. J.P. Orias Pacita Saludes Reuben S. Seguritan, Esq. Charlie Sonido, M.D. Emmanuel S. Tipon, Esq.
Clement Bautista Edna Bautista, Ed.D. Teresita Bernales, Ed.D. Sheryll Bonilla, Esq. Rose Churma Serafin Colmenares Jr., Ph.D. Linda Dela Cruz Carolyn Weygan-Hildebrand Amelia Jacang, M.D. Caroline Julian Raymond Ll. Liongson, Ph.D. Federico Magdalena, Ph.D. Matthew Mettias Maita Milallos Paul Melvin Palalay, M.D. Renelaine Bontol-Pfister Seneca Moraleda-Puguan Mark Lester Ranchez Jay Valdez, Psy.D. Glenn Wakai Amado Yoro
Philippine Correspondent: Greg Garcia
Neighbor Island Correspondents: Big Island (Hilo and Kona) Grace LarsonDitas Udani Kauai Millicent Wellington Maui Christine Sabado Big Island Distributors Grace LarsonDitas Udani Kauai Distributors Amylou Aguinaldo Nestor Aguinaldo Maui Distributors
Cecille PirosRey Piros Molokai Distributor Maria Watanabe Oahu Distributors Yoshimasa Kaneko Jonathan Pagulayan
Advertising / Marketing Director Chona A. Montesines-Sonido
Account Executives Carlota Hufana Ader JP Orias
JANUARY 9, 2021 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE 3
On Biden’s Transition Period: Some Hits, Some Misses There Are No Free Passes, The Media Will Be Watching Closely
resident-elect Joe Biden will be sworn in on Jan. 20, 2021 to become the 46th president of the United States. During the transition period he’s kept his promise of having an administration more representative of the country’s demographics by nominating several highly qualified individuals who are women, immigrants, ethnic minorities, and a first LGBTQ would-be top cabinet official. These candidates are not window-dressing nominees. They are, again, highly qualified. Many are career officials as Alejandro Mayorkas who could be the first Latinx Homeland Security Secretary; or recognized experts as Janet Yellen who could be the first woman Treasury Secretary (remember she is the former Chair of the Federal Reserve). There are only a few marquee politicians. A criticism of Biden’s nominations is two-fold: there are too many recycled Obama administration picks (not very forward-thinking) and they are all mostly safe picks. With urgent matters needing immediate attention, Biden must step out of his
comfort zone on some key issues and remember that the true base of today’s Democratic Party who elected him is a progressive base and they want big changes to get done. While Biden gets a mediocre C+ on his nominations so far (still a number of key positions are outstanding), he has made a major progressive move by coming out early to support a second stimulus check (direct payment) at a time when Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer already made a deal with Senate President Mitch McConnell to pass a second stimulus package that did not include a direct payment. The original agreement they had (typical of establishment politics) was to fund more money to the states and local governments in lieu of a second stimulus check that would help many desperate Americans in need of assistance. Biden, who is technically out of the power loop and bargaining table (until he gets sworn in), quite frankly, turned the discussions upside-down. Biden’s recommendation to Pelosi and Schumer, coupled with heavy pressure from progressives, forced establishment Dems Pelosi and Schumer to change their tune and push
It’s Time...from page 2)
If we were strong and healthy as we’ve been programmed to believe, the devastation caused by COVID-19 would have been far less than what we’ve experienced in 2020. No, going back to the way it was would be foolhardy. Normalcy, we want, but a different kind of normalcy. One of awareness, compassion, and readiness.
Doing good In this issue’s HFC year-in-review, we’ve included the wonderful, charitable medical mission trip to the Philippines that the Ohana Medical Mission, Inc. made in February, 2020. Compared to the trillion dollar government assistance, massive suffering and political turmoil, it might appear less consequential. But OMM’s work is precisely what we need more of. Their work speaks volumes of compassion, caring, and responsibility to each other and the “interconnectedness” we have as human beings, humans with souls. Just a little over a week ago, the world was fascinated with the celestial phenomenon called the “Great Conjunction,” in which Jupiter overtakes Saturn in its
for direct payment to be included in the stimulus package which was eventually passed. This is what the power of the presidency, even as president-elect, can accomplish. Biden so far has shown a willingness to bend to other DEMS’ will within the Democratic base. Everyone knows that the Democratic Party is far different from the mostly united Republican party (until very recently). The Republican party factions are socio-economically diverse but traditionally come together. Unlike the GOP, the Democratic party is a coalition of many factions and the once dominant moderate faction has lost their grip to the rising progressives. Ultra conservative blue dog DEMS is now a meager 18-body member caucus as of the last Congress. The progressive caucus is now over 100-plus members. Overall, Pelosi and the moderates still have an edge. But the 2020 election has been brutal for DEM moderates. Of all the Democrats who lost this past election, all but one was a moderate. Inversely, all but one progressive Democrat got reelected; and they’ve gained many
seats. Some of them beating out moderate Republicans in primaries in key states like New York and Illinois, to name a few. The point is Biden will not get a free pass even from his own party. The honeymoon was over as soon as Biden was elected president. Of course, every Democrat is wishing Biden succeeds. Most Americans are wishing Biden succeeds. But politics is always an egoic-natured game because the stakes are just too high to ignore policy that works against you (unless you happen to be a Trumper and are spellbound by his cult of personality and couldn’t care less what he does or doesn’t do for you).
First order of business, beat the coronavirus Biden’s number one priority in his first 100 days will be to get a handle on the coronavirus. Already we see major problems in the distribution and administering of the available vaccines, largely, because there is no coordinated federal effort once vaccines are delivered locally. The ambitious number of Americans being inoculated by January is falling far short of the millions orbit. Astronomers say it happens every 20 years, a that were proregular conjunction. But the “Great Conjunction,” the planets being so close together as it did last week happened 800-plus years ago. It is said the celestial phenomenon signals a new age of understanding. Interestingly, the famous Magna Carter, often referred to as the “Great Charter” was created 800 years ago. It’s a document containing the idea that no-one is above the law, and it is still a foundation of modern ideas and modern law. It was created because of widespread abuse by then European aristocracy who practiced immunity from the law. There is no scientific evidence that the “Great Conjunction” is a harbinger of new understanding. This would be superstition. But the point is a shift is needed in the way we live and govern. If 2020 and the pandemic taught us anything, it is that we really are our brothers and sisters keepers, as the saying goes. Let’s shift our priorities, unite (as Jupiter and Saturn moved into alignment), and get major work done. Happy New Year to all. May we find the path to healing we all need, together.
jected. Biden must work on more federal support to local governments when vaccines touch down. His plans to provide free testing for everyone, hire 100,000 people to set up a national contact-tracing program, establish 10 testing centers in each state and to call upon federal agencies to deploy resources and give guidance to local government are ambitious and much welcomed. His emphasis on mask wear and recommending that all governors mandate wearing masks are also steps that will make major inroads to beating COVD-19, and of course, coupled with the roll out of vaccines. These are all areas that Trump did little to nothing. And in the case of promoting mask-wear, Trump’s infrequent compliance to wearing one, actually worked against getting all Americans to wear a mask. Biden is more or less on the right track in key areas during this transition. There are many other urgent issues he must tackle. And he should know that the media will not handle him with kid gloves. Editorial writers and TV news pundits will be watching him every step of the way and will not be his cheerleaders, but fair.
4 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE JANUARY 9, 2021
HFC’S BIGGEST STORIES OF 2020 IN REVIEW By Edwin Quinabo
EAR-IN-REVIEW: 2020 will be a marker in history, the year COVID-19 devastated communities around the globe with the US posting the highest infections and death rates in the world. 2020 was rocked with the worst public health crisis not seen since the early 1900s. Lockdowns, curfews, fear of contracting the virus led to historic job losses and business closures, the worst in the history of the US that prompted a historic response – government stimulus packages of unprecedented proportions. In just two months into the pandemic, 22 million jobs nationally were wiped out. Hawaii’s bread and butter industry, tourism, tanked in what felt to many like an overnight bust – from a scale of 10 (prosperous and reliable over many decades) down to 1 (on life support, dismantling decades of gains). The economic blackhole of Hawaii’s tourism had a gravitational pull on all sectors of Hawaii’s economy. Hawaii’s overreliance on tourism and the need to transition to a diversified economy was a top talking point in the 2020 Honolulu mayor’s race that resulted in the election of TV executive Rick Blangiardi, a newbie to politics who #1: 330,000-PLUS AMERICANS DIE TO COVID-19 As of Dec. 26, 2020, there were 18,819,581 confirmed cases and 330,884 deaths from COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering. Hawaii is second to last in the nation (behind Vermont) in COVID-19 confirmed cases and deaths at 21,147 cases and 1,494 deaths. Hospitalization due to COVID-19 averaged above 100,000 patients daily since the first week of December. Capacity at hospitals nationwide averaged between 80 percent and beyond 100 percent at peak times of COVID-19. Hospitalizations hit a record high for the seventh day in a row, Dec. 26, registering 108,487 patients in hospitals
outdrew at the polls marquee veteran politicians. His victory sent a strong message that occupying a seat at the highest level of local government is no longer reserved for career politicians. An outsider, can in fact, beat the odds and win. Also on elections, 2020 saw the most contentious presidential race ever. All records for voter turnout were shattered as millions voted for a first time by mail or risked contracting the deadly virus to vote in-person at polls for either Democrat Joe Biden or incumbent Republican Donald Trump – that is how passionate voters were over the presidential race. The result: a landslide victory for Biden; and a losing candidate in Trump who set off a series of failed challenges contesting the election. And in the process, shaking the foundation of the nation’s democratic institutions. Amid the pandemic came yet another momentous historical event. Not since the 1960s have our nation seen civil unrest that spilled onto city streets across the country. The death of George Floyd in police custody -- a killing replayed on networks and social media again and again
around the country, according to the Covid Tracking Project. The numbers of cases, deaths, and hospitalization are expected to continue to post record highs throughout the pandemic’s winter peak. The COVID-19 battle often has been referred to as our nation’s invisible war. For a perspective comparing casualties due to the pandemic versus other major US disasters, the coronavirus pandemic eclipses most of them combined: Sept. 11 attacks, 2,997 deaths; Revolutionary War 4,435 deaths; Post-9/11 War on Terror operations, 7,024 deaths; H1N1 flu pandemic, 12,469 deaths; Korean War, 36,574 deaths; Vietnam War: 58,220 deaths; World War 1, 116,516 deaths. Only WWII, the US Civil War and the 1918-1919 flu
pandemic have had more US casualties. Based on projections, by the time the coronavirus pandemic is over, it’s possible that it could have the highest casualty due to one event in all of US history. This is how major a tragedy the US has experienced in just one year and why COVD19 deaths alone is hands down the number one news story for 2020.
#2: US, HAWAII ECONOMY TANKS (GDP DROPS, UNEMPLOYMENT REACH RECORD HIGHS, BUSINESSES CLOSE AT RATES NEVER SEEN BEFORE) The damage to the US economy caused by COVID-19 hit with a speed and ferocity unseen in US history. The recession is often described as being worse than
-- sparked protests over racial justice. It is time for a racial reckoning, protestors demanded, that police brutality end and that Black Lives Mattered. The civil unrest was far from just a Black community effort. Millions of Americans of all races, including many in Hawaii, showed their solidarity for this ongoing movement. HFC chronicled all the historic events of 2020. The following is a top 11 Year-inReview that appeared in the HFC as cover stories, editorials, news or topics written about by our columnists. The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic was all-encompassing that it had to be broken down into five areas: health, economy, stimulus packages, the vaccine and social impact. In each of them, a Filipino-community angle were included in the original articles (see our archives of articles on our website).
the 9/11 and 2018 recessions combined; and nothing ever has come close in magnitude since the Great Depression. The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) declared the COVID-19 pandemic recession had started in February 2020 as US GDP declined 5% in the first quarter of 2020. By the time businesses started to shut down largely due to lockdowns and stayat-home orders, the pace of devastation to the economy accelerated and had become officially a national emergency. By the second quarter of the year, there was a 31.4% decline in GDP. Again for historical perspective, quarterly GDP has never declined greater than 10% since record keeping be-
gan in 1947. Already in a full recession by March 2020, the Department of Labor reported 3.3 million Americans filed for unemployment in the week ending March 21; and in the following week 6.9 million more. For comparison of how big a number these were, prior to 2020, the highest report of individuals filing for unemployment in a week was 695,000 people. And following the peak unemployment claims of Spring 2020 (national unemployment reached 14.7%), millions more of Americans filed for unemployment. Small business closure reached a peak of 43 percent nationally. According to an analysis by online business-rating platform Yelp, Ha(continue on page 5)
JANUARY 9, 2021 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE 5
COVER STORY (HFC’s Biggest....from page 4)
waii has the second-highest rate (behind Nevada) among states for permanent business closures from March 1 to July 10 (6.9 permanent closures per 1,000 businesses). A UHERO reports that 6-15% of businesses in Hawaii would close permanently. That percentage could be higher by the time the pandemic ends. While Hawaii arguably has been the most successful model in combating the coronavirus (data of infections and death rates consistently among the top 3 lowest), it became clearer as the months passed that the takeaway from government regulations and the required 14-day self-quarantine for travelers (residents and visitors) have had harsh consequences. Hawaii’s economy is among the worst hit in the nation due to COVID-19. Gov. David Ige recalls before the pandemic hit, “We were coming off a record year, a seventh record year of visitor arrivals. The economy was doing well, we had predicted healthy revenue streams.” As soon as the pandemic hit, he said “Everything collapsed. It was this economic challenge that was deeper than 9/11 and the Great Recession combined. And it happened in a much shorter window! In a matter of four weeks, we went from the lowest unemployment rate in the country, to the highest unemployment rate in the country.”
#3: GOVERNMENT RESPONDS TO CRISIS WITH HISTORIC STIMULUS PACKAGES Responding to the historic economic fallout, on March 27, 2020, Congress passed and President Donald Trump signed the $2.2 trillion economic stimulus bill called the CARES Act, the largest relief stimulus ever. Most Americans received a direct stimulus payment of $1,200 and children $500. Corporations got $500 billion in loans, local governments $339.8 billion of which monies in part went to unemployment benefits, and small businesses $350 billion (then later increased to $669 billion). The small business assistance was called Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that
were forgivable loans if the business receiving aid upheld certain requirements. But many critics called the PPP loans a disaster. It wasn’t specific enough and led to widespread abuse by larger companies, some with more than 500 employees grabbed up $143 million in relief loans. The money allocated for PPP went up fast leaving many small businesses unable to tap those funds. Nine months later, days before Christmas, Congress finally passed a second stimulus package of $900 billion that extends unemployment benefits, supports local government, aids renters, and gives a second round of direct payments, half ($600.00) of the first one. Sen. Brian Schatz said of the latest stimulus package, “Help is on the way. With this bill now signed into law, at least $1.7 billion will now flow to Hawai‘i to help those who’ve lost their job or can’t make rent. It will provide more money for businesses, and give our state, hospitals, and health care providers more resources to distribute the vaccine and fight this pandemic. While it’s not enough, and we still have more work to do, this will provide help immediately.”
#4: COVID-19 VACCINES APPROVED, DISTRIBUTION AND ADMINISTERING BEGINS One of, if not the biggest triumph for science in decades, the first vaccine for COVID-19 Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine or BNT162b2was approved by the FDA and CDC for emergency use in the month of Dec. 2020. A week later, a second COVID-19 vaccine was also approved for the Moderna vaccine. Both vaccines rely on new technology that uses MRNA to spark an immune response in people who are vaccinated. MRNA tricks cells into producing bits of protein that look like pieces of the virus. The immune system learns to recognize and attack those bits and, in theory, would react fast to any actual infection. The scientific breakthrough was nothing short of amazing as the vaccines went through discovery, clinical trials, and approval for use within one year that normally,
absent of the urgency brought about by this pandemic, would have taken years. Both vaccines require two doses for over 90% efficacy. Public health officials say the goal is to get at least 75% of the population inoculated in order for herd immunity. Marilyn Cadiz of Pearl City said she is thrilled about the vaccine. “Everyone has been under a lot of stress. There is too much sadness for those who already died. We all want to get back to normalcy. When the vaccine is available to me, I’ll get it. I do understand people being afraid in the beginning. But we should remember that tens of thousands have already taken the vaccine in multiple clinical trials.”While scientists did their part in this remarkably speedy achievement, phase 2, the delivery and administering of the vaccine is just weeks old. Select high-risk populations are scheduled to receive the vaccines first as recommended by the CDC, then each state will determine when other groups, and eventually the general public can begin to get the vaccine. The earliest projections for inoculation of the general public is sometime in early Spring, 2021.
#5: WE HAVE A NEW PRESIDENT, JOE BIDEN It took longer than usual to announce the winner of the 2020 presidential election due to many states for the first time implementing mail-in voting; but the results of the election was a resounding win for Democrat standard bearer Joe Biden over President Donald Trump. Biden won both the electoral votes 306-232, and
the popular votes 81,281,88874,223,251 (51.38% to 46.91%). President-elect Biden will be sworn in Jan. 20, 2021 to become the 46th president of the United States. Trump’s loss is the first time an incumbent president has not been reelected to a second term since George Bush Sr. Marilyn Corpuz, Pearl City, a retired government clerk, said of Biden: “He’s a likeable, honest man, the opposite of Trump. I think he is the right person to have challenged Trump. I’m not too sure someone could have beaten Trump. Biden appeals to many people from different backgrounds. I think he got some of Trump’s working class white male base to cross over this election. This probably helped him win.”
#6: AMERICANS’ LIVES ALTERED BY COVID-19 No one would have anticipated before 2020 that schools and work would be conducted online; or that people would be wearing masks in public and keep distance apart. The imagery resembles a scene in some apocalyptic Hollywood movie. But it was all too real (even surreal) in 2020 as local government issued lockdowns, curfews and CDC safety guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The abrupt and dramatic social changes have taken a toll on the mental health of many Americans. Depression, fear, anxiety, feelings of isolation were all common as person-to-person contact and socialization were minimized. Living in close quarters for 24-7 have been reported to lead to higher rates of domestic
abuse, divorces and suicides. Shortly after new rules were implemented, maskwear became a political issue, largely among Trump supporters who viewed it as oppressive and an infringement of their freedom. In time, many small businesses complained that stay-at-home orders were unfair – big corporations were allowed to operate while smaller business enterprises were forced to remain closed. Public health officials said even while vaccines are being rolled out, CDC safety guidelines must still be practiced. People also should still avoid hotspots like gyms, bars, restaurants (dine-in), and if possible, avoid using public transportation.
#7: HONOLULU ELECTS NEW MAYOR First-time political candidate Rick Blangiardi beat out another newbie to politics Keith Amemiya 58.2 to 38.8 percent in what was one of the most slanted races for Honolulu mayor. Blangiardi won in almost each island’s precincts and appealed to Hawaii’s broad demographics. Blangiardi and Amemiya beat out several veteran politicians in the primary election, including former Congresswoman and Senate President Colleen Hanabusa and former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann. The only Filipino-American candidate in the 2020 mayor’s race was City Councilwoman Kym Pine who finished fourth in the Primary. Voters say Blangiardi must hit the ground running as soon as he assumes office. Ahead of him are problems beyond normal typical city management issues that other incoming mayors have had to face. The pandemic crisis adds safety concerns and a budgetary shortfall. The pandemic could also exacerbate Honolulu’s already urgent homelessness crisis. The rail needs a successful, on-budget completion. Blangiardi is the son of immigrants and grew up in a working-class community in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He moved to Hawaii in the 1960s (continue on page 6)
6 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE JANUARY 9, 2021
COVER STORY (HFC’s Biggest....from page 5)
and played football for the University of Hawaii. He retired in January 2020 from a long and illustrious career in television on the mainland and in Hawaii. He was former general manager of Hawaii News Now. He’s had extensive executive experience leading huge companies which was attractive to Hawaii voters who see his background and leadership well suited to steer Honolulu toward economic recovery deflated by the pandemic.
#8: DEMOCRACY ALMOST DIES Dec. 11, 2020 is a day that legal scholars say democracy as we know it to be in the US almost died. After numerous (over 50, at state and federal courts) attempts by Trump’s legal team to contest the 2020 General Election results, all of it came to a head when Texas AG filed a suit at the US Supreme Court asking the highest court of the land to overthrow the results of the entire election by invalidating the battleground states’ election results. Texas listed in briefs, elections procedures Texas found to be unfair in other states. In essence, Texas was attempting to interfere in the elections procedure of all battleground states which goes against the Constitution which clearly gives states the sole authority to determine how their elections are conducted. Should SCOTUS have agreed with TX, the entire manner of elec-
tions would have been altered by rule of precedence. It would not have just been limited to elections, but states could be suing other states for basically anything under the sun, beyond what’s currently done like for water rights and other rare, limited reasons. SCOTUS rejected Texas’ lawsuit that finally put an end to Trump’s legal challenges. It was the last and deciding legal dead-end for Trump contesting the 2020 election. Legal experts called the suit plainly, ridiculous and that it would go nowhere. SCOTUS, which has three justices nominated by Trump, all agreed for the lawsuit to be thrown out, not even heard. In legal terms, based on the briefs filed, justices found the suit had no standing. There was no merit to this case for SCOTUS to hear arguments or render a judgement.
#9: BLM: PROTESTS AND RIOTS ROCK AMERICAN CITIES On May 25, 2020 George Floyd, alleged to have passed a counterfeit $20 bill, was killed by police in Minneapolis, MN.
The nation watched video footage of Floyd being detained by four police officers, one of whom knelt on Floyd’s neck for a period of more than 8 minutes, which ultimately led to his death. Floyd’s death sparked massive protests in cities throughout the country calling for an end to police brutality on the Black community. His death revealed that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s work remains unfinished. Specifically, that there is unequal treatment of Blacks in policing. Since Floyd’s death and BLM’s storming the streets (to be differentiated from opportunist looters), cities and municipalities have been demanding policing reform. Among some of the demands are Citizens Commissions be given more muscle to oversee police departments (police unions self-policing is not working); the creation of a national data system that tracks wrongful complaints filed against police officers; a ban on chokeholds; body cams must be turned on each time an officer engages in police work; stop military grade weapons from being handed down to police departments; and ensure the use of deadly force must be limited to only life and death situations. Many who joined the BLM movement represented diverse communities and colors, not just Black Americans. Demonstrators talk of policing reform
ing higher education, provide health insurance to seniors or people who cannot afford it, or keep the marginal poor from becoming homeless. Hawaii residents were encouraged to participate in the Census to ensure all or some of these programs could continue. At the community level, it was also paramount for mias not just a BLM versus police norities to be represented and issue. At the core of the move- participate, which is actually ment, it’s about public safety mandated by law. and stopping police brutality. #11: OHANA MEDICAL MISSION #10: US CENSUS YEAR GOES TO BAGONG SILANG AND Each 10 years, the U.S. THE ILOCOS REGION Census is launched to deterThe Hawaii-based charitamine how more than $675 bil- ble organization Ohana Medilion in federal funds are spent cal Mission, Inc. embarked on each year. Arguably next to yet another medical mission voting in elections, the Census to help indigent communities is the second most impactful in the Philippines. In Februway to get government to im- ary, OMM went to Bagong prove their communities. Silang, a place where OMM Participating in the Cen- Executive Director JP Orias, sus could be the difference says OMM visits every other in whether a community will year to provide free medical get federal monies for a local care. Also during the OMM hospital, clinic or school; how February 2020 trip, medical much will go to maintaining and lay volunteers traveled roads, freeways; or how funds to the Philippines’ northernare spent from Medicare to most region to Ilocos Norte housing, environmental, trans- (Pasuquin, Dadaeman, Sarrat, portation or community devel- Banna) and Ilocos Sur (Cabopment programs. ugao, Cuantacla, Sinait, San In a George Washington Esteban) – two provinces of University study, Hawaii re- the Philippines where tens of ceived allocation of funds for thousands of Hawaii Filipinos 55 Federal spending programs can trace their origins. that were guided by data deOver 60 OMM volunteers rived from the last 2010 Cen- -- comprised of physicians, sus. To name a few of the pro- nurses, a pharmacist, and lay grams, financial assistance went staff support – provided free to Medicaid, federal student medical and free dental care, loans, Supplemental Nutrition minor surgical procedures to Assistance Program (SNAP), residents on-site; and gave Highway Planning and Con- away tens of thousands worth struction, Section 8 Housing, of prescription medicine, National School Lunch Pro- medical supplies, eyeglassgram, State Children’s Health es, and basic necessities like Insurance Program. food. These are programs that This February mission help feed needy children, give was OMM’s 15th medical students a chance at attain- mission.
Expiring Driver Licenses, State IDs and Permits Extended Until Feb. 14
onolulu County extends expiration dates of driver licenses, state IDs and permits to Feb. 14, 2021, making more time for Oahu residents to schedule appointments amid the
COVID-19 pandemic. More than 160,000 residents have IDs set to expire between Mar. 16, 2020 and February 2021 and the deadline for renewal has been pushed back to Feb. 14. The IDs will remain
valid through the new deadline. ID renewal services are offered through an appointment-only basis at licensing centers across Oahu. To schedule an appointment, visit AlohaQ.org
JANUARY 9, 2021 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE 7
WHAT’S UP, ATTORNEY?
By Atty. Emmanuel S. Tipon
illions of Americans – regardless of party – want to know the truth. Did Trump or Biden win? Was the Supreme Court adlibbing “You can’t handle the truth” when it denied the petition of Texas v. Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan and Wisconsin to determine who won the election? Was the Supreme Court saying: You already know the truth. Trump won. The election was stolen from him. But we do not want to get involved in politics. Or was the Supreme Court acting like Pilate who asked, “What is truth?” but left without waiting for the answer because he knew the answer but could not handle it? Does not the Supreme Court have a duty to decide controversies brought before it that affect the entire nation instead of seeking refuge behind the nebulous word “standing”?
Supreme Court Order Here is the full text of the Supreme Court’s ORDER: “The State of Texas’s motion for leave to file a bill of complaint is denied for lack of standing under Article III of the Constitution. Texas has not demonstrated a judicially cognizable interest in the manner in which another State conducts its elections. All other pending motions are dismissed as moot. “Statement of Justice Alito, with whom Justice Thomas joins: In my view, we do not have discretion to deny the filing of a bill of complaint in a case that falls within our original jurisdiction. See Arizona v. California, 589 U. S. ___ (Feb. 24, 2020) (Thomas, J., dissenting). I would therefore grant the motion to
We Want to Know The Truth: American People, You Can’t Handle The Truth: Supreme Court file the bill of complaint but would not grant other relief, and I express no view on any other issue.” Case No. 22O155, 592 U.S. ___, Texas v Pennsylvania, December 11, 2020.
Supreme Court Cannot Decline Cases Under Original Jurisdiction In Arizona v. California, 589 U. S. ___ (2020), Justice Thomas, with whom Justice Alito joined, dissented, saying: “The Constitution establishes our original jurisdiction in mandatory terms. Article III states that, “[i]n all Cases . . . in which a State shall be [a] Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction.” §2, cl. 2 (emphasis added). In this circumstance, “[w]e have no more right to decline the exercise of jurisdiction which is given, than to usurp that which is not given.” Cohens v. Virginia, 6 Wheat. 264, 404 (1821) (Marshall, C. J., for the Court). “Our original jurisdiction in suits between two States is also “exclusive.” §1251(a). As I have previously explained, “[i]f this Court does not exercise jurisdiction over a contro¬versy between two States, then the complaining State has no judicial forum in which to seek relief.” Nebraska v. Col¬orado, 577 U. S. ___, ___ (2016) (opinion dissenting from de¬nial of motion for leave to file complaint) (slip op., at 2). Denying leave to file in a case between two or more States is thus not only textually suspect, but also inequitable.” “But the Court [majority] has failed to provide any analysis of the Constitution’s text to justify our discretionary approach… Arizona invites us to reconsider our discretionary approach, and I would do so.” Standing Not Required By
Constitution When Madame Roland, a friend of Marie Antoinette, was about to be guillotined, she asked the French revolutionaries. “Why are you doing this to me?” They shouted: “We are doing this in the name of liberty.” Madame Roland exclaimed: “Liberty, oh liberty, how many crimes have been committed in thy name?” When the Supreme Court was asked by the State of Texas and 17 other states to determine who won the election, the Supreme Court refused, saying Texas had no “standing.” Standing, oh standing, how many injustices have been committed in thy name? There is no provision in the Constitution requiring that a state suing another state must have standing. Article III, Section 2 of the Constitution provides: “The judicial power shall extend to all cases, in law and
equity, arising under this Constitution, the laws of the United States, and treaties made, or which shall be made, under their authority;--to all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls;--to all cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction;--to controversies to which the United States shall be a party;--to controversies between two or more states; . . . In all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and those in which a state shall be party, the Supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction.” So, why is the Supreme Court asking Texas to show “standing”? “Standing” is required if a person sues another person in federal court. Thus in Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 US 393 (1857) a majority of the U.S. Supreme Court held that a “negro” whose ancestors were imported into the U.S. and sold as slaves did not have standing to sue his owner in federal court because he was
not an American citizen but property.
Texas Has Standing to Sue The majority in Texas v. Pennsylvania did not explain why Texas did not have standing. It simply said that Texas has not “demonstrated a judicially cognizable interest in the manner in which another State conducts its elections.” Assuming, without conceding, that “standing” is a requirement for the Supreme Court to exercise its original jurisdiction in cases between the states, Texas did show “standing” and a “judicially cognizable interest”. Texas said in its Motion for Leave to File Bill of Complaint that “the 2020 election suffered from significant and unconstitutional irregularities in the Defendant States: (1) Non-legislative actors’ purported amendments to States’ duly enacted election laws, in violation of the Electors Clause’s vesting State legislatures with plenary au(continue on page 14)
8 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE JANUARY 9, 2021
Knights of Rizal-Aloha Chapter Launches Rizalian Lecture Series By Serafin Colmenares, Jr.
n Nov. 22, 2020, the Knights of Rizal-Aloha Chapter launched its Rizalian Lecture Series via Zoom, with Dr. Floro Quibuyen, Ph.D., a retired associate professor who currently resides in Sydney, Australia, as its first speaker. The Rizalian Lecture Series is a project of the Aloha Chapter aimed at promoting a major plank of the Knights of Rizal – educating people about the life, works and ideas of the Philippines’ foremost national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal. Designed as a year-long, bimonthly event, the lecture series hopes that through these discussions people will be able to discover, learn more, and understand the depth of Dr. Rizal’s genius and the importance of his legacy. It is the intent of the organizers to have all the lectures in the series published in book form. Dr. Quibuyen’s lecture was titled Rizal’s Unfinished Research: Rediscovering Philippine Prehistory and the Philippines-Marianas Connection Circa 1500 BC/3500 BP. Based primarily on an earlier work The Future Has an Ancient Heart: In Search of Our Antiguas Buenas Calidades. A Voyage of Rediscovery from Jose Rizal’s (Ignored) Trans-
lation of Theodor Waitz’s Die Malaien to the Jesuit Missionaries’ (Forgotten) Reports on the Chamorros of Marianas (UP CIDS Public Policy Monograph, 2020), the lecture talked about Rizal’s aborted plan to translate Waitz’s Die Malaien. Instead, he focused on annotating Morga’s Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas. As a consequence, Dr. Quibuyen argued that the failure created a gap in Philippine pre-history. The lecture talked about the Philippines as a source of the peopling of the Pacific Islands, particularly the Marianas (Guam). Dr. Quibuyen debunked the theory that the people of the Pacific Islands came from the south (Indonesia) through linguistic, archaeological and genetic evidence that show the Chamorro natives actually came from the Philippines. He also disproved the theory that it was impossible for Filipinos to travel by sea directly to the Marianas, by showing proof of sea voyages undertaken by Chamorros between the Philippines and Guam. These voyages indicate knowledge of sailing against the wind using the proa, a single outrigger boat used by Chamorros, which was also found in the Philippines. In fact, Rizal drew this
Dr. Floro Quibuyen, Ph.D.
kind of proa when he was in Dapitan. Dr. Quibuyen also talked about the “antiguas buenas calidades” of the Chamorros (or early Filipinos) that the Jesuit missionaries found in Guam, their matrilineal society, their hospitality, etc. and how these cultural values were destroyed with the introduction of Christianity and subsequent colonization. The lecture was followed by reactions from a couple of professors. Dr. Francis Dalisay, PhD, an associate professor from the University of Guam and an internationally known researcher and scholar, talked about more current re-
lationships between Filipinos and Chamorros in Guam. Dr. Federico Magdalena, PhD, associate director of the Center for Philippine Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, on the other hand, mentioned about the difficulty in answering what seemed to him as a “chicken or egg” dilemma, and how this would create problems in relationships between groups of people, not only in Guam but also in the Philippines. A question-and-answer period followed the reactions. There were more than 40 people who attended the virtual lecture. They came from the Philippines, Australia, Hawaii, Guam and the mainland USA, representing various walks of life. There were professors and students from various academic institutions, government officials, nonprofit workers, etc. A special participant was Gemma Cruz Araneta, former Miss Universe and a cultural aficionado, who is a descendant of Dr. Jose Rizal. Dr. Floro Quibuyen is a retired associate professor of Philippine Studies at the Asian Center, University of the Philippines in Diliman. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of the Philippines at Diliman, and his master’s degree in anthropology and Ph.D. de-
gree in political science from the University of Hawaii at Manoa under an East-West Center fellowship. He retired from the academe in 2008 after teaching at the University of the Philippines, University of Santo Tomas, and University of Hawaii for 25 years. He continued to do research and publish after his retirement. His best-known work is A Nation Aborted: Rizal, American Hegemony and Philippine Nationalism (2008). Sir Dr. Quibuyen, KCR, is a member of the Knights of Rizal-Sydney Chapter. A recording of Dr. Quibuyen’s lecture will be uploaded on YouTube. For questions about the lecture, you may contact Dr. Quibuyen at floro. email@example.com. The second virtual lecture in the series has been tentatively scheduled on January 16, 2021, with Sir Atty. Edwin Bael, KGOR, as speaker. His talk is titled “Rizal’s Unfinished Revolution.” Sir Bael was formerly Consul/Consul General in Madrid, Honolulu, Canberra and Los Angeles. He is currently the Undersecretary for the Office of the Presidential Advisor on Overseas Filipino Workers and Muslim Affairs, Republic of the Philippines. For questions about the lecture series, please contact Jun Colmenares at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Honolulu City Council Members Sworn In
n Jan. 2, 2021, Andria Tupola (Council District 1), Esther Kiaʻāina (District 3), Calvin Say (District 5), Radiant Cordero (District 7), and Augie Tulba (District 9) were sworn into office as the new class of city councilmembers to the Honolulu City Council. Joining them in the inauguration ceremony were four returning members Brandon Elefante, Carol Fukunaga, Heidi Tsuneyoshi and Tommy Waters. Fil-Ams Cordero and
Tulba is a wellknown Hawaii entertainer entering politics for the first time. He replaces the term-limited former City Councilman Ron Menor. Councilmembers Cordero and Tulba Cordero’s DisTulba won races against fel- trict 7 includes Kalihi, lwillow Filipinos Jacob Aki and ei, Kalihi Kai, Mapunapuformer state senator Will Es- na, Salt Lake, Aliamanu, pero. Hickam, Foster Village. Cordero is the former Tulba’s District 9 includes chief of staff of the term-lim- Waikele, Village Park, Royal ited City Councilman Joey Kunia, Mililani Town, West Manahan who she replaces. Loch, Iroquois Point, and por-
tions of Ewa. “This is a momentous occasion to swear in five new Councilmembers, especially after the challenging year we all endured due to the COVID-19 pandemic, said Council Chair Ann Kobayashi. “The City Council looks forward to welcoming the diverse, newly-elected Councilmembers and the four continuing Councilmembers. I am confident that each of them will serve their constituents with professionalism, wisdom and compassion.”
JANUARY 9, 2021 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE 9
Here’s What You Need to Know About the Second Stimulus Package By Jim Bea Sampaga
n Dec. 27, President Donald Trump signed the $900 billion stimulus bill into law providing another round of funding to support the U.S. economy. Similar to the first COVID-19 stimulus package, this second stimulus bill will provide direct cash payments to individuals, unemployment benefits, rent assistance and small business loans. The bill will also provide more funding for schools and measures in delivering the COVID-19 vaccines throughout the country. At least $1.7 billion of the stimulus package will go towards Hawaii for funding. “Help is on the way,” says U.S. Senator Brian Schatz in a press release. “It will provide more money for businesses, and give our state, hospitals, and health care providers more resources to distribute the vaccine and fight
this pandemic. While it’s not enough, and we still have more work to do, this will provide help immediately.” Here’s a quick rundown of key provisions in the second COVID-19 stimulus package:
Stimulus Checks A one-time $600 cash payment will be made to millions of qualified individuals who earn less than $75,000. Joint filers who earn less than $150,000 will get $1,200 and those with children will receive an additional $600 per child. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries are also eligible for the stimulus checks. Unlike the first stimulus package, direct payment to households with mixed immigration status are now eligible. An estimated $700 million is going towards Hawaii residents’ stimulus checks. Unemployment Assistance To extend the unemployment insurance, at least an estimated $200 million will go to helping unemployed Hawaii workers including those
Medical Tele-Training Bill Sight into Law
who are self-employed, parttime works, independent contractors and gig workers. The aid will cover salaries up to around $65,000 for three months with an additional $300 per week. “[The bill includes] formal guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor, funding allotments and IT programming changing, among others,” added Anne Perreira-Eustaquio, Director of Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.
Rent Relief and Eviction Ban An estimated $200 million will go towards helping Hawaii’s renters who lost their job or reduction in income due to the pandemic to pay their rent. At least 90% of the funding must go towards paying of future rent, back rent, utilities and home energy bills and related housing expenses. While the remaining 10% will be used for housing counseling and other stability services. The stimulus package will also provide a 30-day extension of the CDC’s current eviction moratorium to Jan. 31, 2021. Additionally, the Department of Hawaiian Homelands will receive $2.4 million.
Small Business Loans An allotted $325 billion he Expanding Capacity for Health Outcomes (ECHO) will go toward small busi2019 Act was signed into law as part of the annual gov- nesses, including restauernment funding bill. Authored by Senator Brian Schatz, rants, hotels, live venues, and the bill establishes a $10 million per year grant program for fiscal years 2022 through 2026 to encourage the use of technology to connect health care providers and deliver high-quality care in hard-to-reach regions. The new law will expand the use of the ECHO model, an innovative medical education program hosted through interactive videoconferencing to connect specialist teams with primary care providers in rural areas. This model helps hard-to-reach communities have access to more health care services not available in their area. Especially during the pandemic, the ECHO model has been an important public health response for treating COVID-19 patients and improve testing and contract tracing. The ECHO model grant will be used for equipment to use and expand the models and secure exchange of electronic health information; support for healthcare providers who use the models; instructional programming; training and information collection; evaluation and study on the impact of such models.
non-profits, throughout the country. The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) will receive $284 billion to loan small businesses and non-profits to maintain their existing employees and help pay for other expenses such as rent, mortgage and utilities. PPP also expands its eligibility for non-profits, local newspapers, and TV and Radio broadcasters. $20 billion will go towards Small Business Administration emergency grant advances up to $10,000 to provide immediate operating costs relief for small businesses. $15 billion are for grants to independent live venue operators, including eligible independent movie theaters and museums. Education The newly-signed stimulus package includes new provisions to support K-12 schools, colleges and universities that Senator Mazie Hirono successfully advocated for. “This legislation includes provisions I have worked on to strengthen and expand the federal Pell Grant program, which will improve
college affordability for lower-income students. It also includes funding to support K-12 schools, colleges and universities, and early childhood providers,” Sen. Hirono said. Hawaii K-12 schools will receive $183.6 million to address the learning loss for at-risk marginalized students through the Elementary and Secondary Emergency Relief Fund (ESSERF). $56.8 million will provide support for Hawaii higher education institutions and their students. An estimated $4.4 million for Hawaii in the Governor’s Emergency Relief Fund to provide schools and higher education institutions with emergency assistant funding. Additionally, at least $20 million will go towards supporting Native Hawaiian Serving institutions. COVID-19 Vaccine, Testing and Contact Tracing The new bill provides $150 million to funding Hawaii’s capacity for COVID-19 testing, surveillance and contact tracing activities. Moreover, the state will receive $35 million to help distribute and administer COVID-19 vaccines.
10 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE JANUARY 9, 2021
AS I SEE IT
Filam West Point Cadet Receives Prestigious 2021 Rhodes Scholarship By Elpidio R. Estioko
s we approach 2021, the new year has many surprises to us Filipino-Americans! Recently, a fraternity brother living in Hawaii informed me that a West Point Filipino American cadet of class 2021 was awarded the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship! He was one of two recipients of the much-coveted scholarship. Jun Gappe, president of the University of the Philippines Alumni Association of Hawaii (UPAA-Hawaii) and a member of the UP-Mother Chapter of the Beta Rho Omega Fraternity, informed me with this text: “The other Filipino connection is a West Point cadet, class of 2021 who recently was awarded the much-coveted Rhodes Scholarship! He was raised by a single mom from the Philippines. The mom herself was an ex-soldier. Tyrese Bender is the name!” When he said, “the other Filipino connection…”
he was referring to the first Filipino-connection whom we reported earlier in HFC, Cadet Eurica Shane Diego, born in Baguio City who immigrated to Hawaii with her Filipina mother Sheleah Watson at the age of seven. She graduated from West Point on December 18, 2020 and was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant aboard Airforce 2 lately, together with her fiancée (now her husband) Hunter Daniels, West Point class of 2019, who likewise was promoted to 1st Lieutenant. They were married a day after the commissioning. Eurica Shane Diego is Gappe’s niece. According to West Point’s Public Affairs Office, Cadets Tyrese Bender, Class of 2021, of San Antonio, Texas and Cadet Evan Walker, Class of 2021, of Rowlett, Texas were among the 32 U.S. Rhodes Scholarship awardees named Saturday. “Cadets Tyrese Bender and Evan Walker have both found creative and bold ways to foster diversity, equity, and inclusion through their leadership and studies at West Point. I look forward to the change and growth they will lead as Rhodes Scholars for the U.S. Army, our nation, and the world,” said Brig. Gen. Cindy Jebb, Dean of the Academic Board.
Cadet Tyrese Bender
“Their achievements and this prestigious recognition are testaments to their hard work, empathy, and intellectual curiosity, and to the strength of the West Point community that supported their endeavors each step of the way.” An engineering management major, Bender is the deputy brigade commander, a two-year track team captain and contributor to the inaugural U.S Corps of Cadets Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategy. Bender, while in Oxford, intends to earn a Master of Philosophy in Sociology and Evidence-Based Social Intervention and Policy Evaluation. On a CBS interview when asked who he learned his work ethics Tyrese said: “Definitely my mom, a single parent from the Philippines and who joined the military herself…” Walker, on the other hand, is an operations research major, the 2nd regimental commander, and is a two-year captain of the Army Boxing Team. While at Oxford, the Public Affairs Office reported that she intends to earn a Master of Comparative Social Policy with a focus on the intersection between policy and inequalities in the workplace and their influence on social inclusion and mobility for racial and gender minorities. For the benefit of the readers, Rhodes Scholars are chosen not only for
their outstanding scholarly achievements, but for their character, commitment to others and to the common good, and for their potential for leadership in whatever domains their careers may lead. The Rhodes Trust, a British charity established to honor the will and bequest of Cecil J. Rhodes, provides full financial support for Rhodes Scholars to pursue a degree or degrees at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom in partnership with the Second Century Founder, John McCall MacBain and other generous benefactors. The U. S. Military Academy at West Point is a fouryear, co-educational, federal, liberal arts college located 50 miles north of New York City. It was founded in 1802 as America’s first college of engineering and continues today as the world’s premier leader-development institutions, consistently ranked
among top colleges in the country. Its mission remains constant—to educate, train, and inspire the Corps of Cadets so that each graduate is a commissioned leader of character committed to the values of Duty, Honor, Country and prepared for a career of professional excellence and service to the nation as an officer in the U. S. Army. For more information, go to www. westpoint.edu. Yes of course, the New Year is full of surprises and FilAms West Point 2nd Lt. Eurica Shane Diego and Cadet Tyrese Bender are just one of them! The New year will bring us more hope for a better tomorrow, so let us welcome the New Year with full of hope and enthusiasm! ELPIDIO R. ESTIOKO was a veteran journalist in the Philippines and an award-winning journalist here in the U.S. For feedbacks, comments… please email the author at email@example.com).
US Travelers Banned to Enter Philippines until January 15
he Philippines has banned foreign passengers coming from United States, or have been to United States within 14 days, from entering the Philippines from Jan. 3 to 15, 2021. With the newly discovered COVID-19 strain in United Kingdom, the Philippines has issued 21 travel-restricted countries such as the US, UK, Ireland, Japan, Australia, Canada, Italy and Singapore. Filipino nationals are allowed entry but are still required to take a RT-PCR test, quarantine and follow the Department of Health’s isolation protocols.
The Philippine Consulate General in Honolulu reminds Filipino nationals arriving in the Philippines during the travel ban to ensure they have reserved their 14-day quarantine at a DOH-accredited facility. They also urge kababayans to postpone their trips to the country until after the end of the travel restrictions to avoid any inconvenience, additional expenses and to prevent the spread of the new COvID-19 variant. It is advised to always check airline updates and travel status before booking a plane ticket and departing for travel as information could change anytime.
JANUARY 9, 2021 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE 11
Goodbye 2020—Welcome 2020 2.0? By Emil Guillermo
appy physically distanced New Year? Shoot. Believe me, I want to be in Hawaii again. But I’m stuck in the Coronavirus epicenter of California where in my neck of the woods, there are zero ICU beds available and military docs have been sent in to help out. If we don’t want to make it 2020 2.0, then mask up, stay distanced, keep your guard up. But one thing we must all resolve to do, is remember this: Trump lost. Let him lie all he wants. Just avoid the gaslight. If we ignore him, he’ll go off and play golf. Somewhere else. Maybe work on the Trump library. A handful of coloring books for his box of white crayons. Let’s cut the ties to the last four years and rise from the ashes. If you can. I know there are still some Trumpy Filipinos out there, the 30 percent of us who cling to some Trump fantasy that his swamp is better than the existing swamp. It’s not. It’s worse. Politics and government aren’t the “Deep State.” But the Trump swamp is “Deep Chaos.” At every point of a major transgression in the four years of Trump, I’ve often wondered when will the blind loyalty end to Trump? Not just from the large number of Filipinos, but all Republicans. After the Muslim ban? After mothers were ripped from their babies at the border? After the first closure of the government? After his ignorant “sh—hole nation” comment? After the impeachment? After the convictions of his campaign manager and close associates? And on and on. Folks, we are dealing with arguably the least qualified, most corrupt president in
American history, one who begins to make Duterte look like a real statesman. And yet at least a third of all Filipino Americans supported Trump in the last election. But now it seems “Deep Chaos” has managed to screw himself. Just in the last few weeks, Trump vetoed the Defense authorization bill because of a provision within it benefiting his arch enemies. You mean Russia? China? Nope, the social media companies. Trump also dragged his feet on a $900 billion pandemic relief bill that his last remaining allies like Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin helped get passed before Christmas. And then he betrayed Mnuchin and other Republicans and went home without signing the bill. The art of no deal? I was celebrating my very Zoomy Christmas when news broke that Trump finally did cave and sign the bill on Monday, Dec. 28, 2020. Why? Beware. He’s setting us up for his final Trump con. You can’t be the hero of the pandemic you helped spread if you don’t pass out some money to the people you’ve hurt. And there are a lot of them. The millions of jobless in desperate need of assistance. The renters staving off eviction. The small business owners forced to shut down. The hungry Americans going without a meal. Not to mention the friends and families of the more than 333,000 people who have died in our country in the COVID-19 War. Call it what it is. And all those going out and gathering without a mask are parading around knowing full well the viral enemy is stalking you. It’s stupid. Like Trump. If you’re Trump, you’ve got to say that as commander-in-chief you did something more than play another 18 holes. You’ve got to do something that really makes you the
anti-populist populist that you are. Trump could’ve vetoed the Pandemic Aid bill and let the Congress override him. But that gets him nothing. He’d have to brag about losing. And it doesn’t even matter about the additional $2,000 the House voted on Dec. 28. Nor does the possible override of his Defense bill veto. Like I said, all it does it set up the real con.
The Denial Of 2020. The New Trumpthink For 2021. It’s coming. Just you wait. The big story of 2020 will be this–it never happened. Just like the election. Just like the decisive Trump loss in the electoral college and the popular vote. Just like climate change. And anything else you want to add to the Trump-molded season of denial. People will bend over backwards to ignore 2020. They will skip it, go straight to 2019, and 2018. 2020? It’s like the Filipinos who don’t want to talk about bad news. They “skeep it.” “Bahala na.” It’s already starting. You saw how many people didn’t wear masks and insisted on traveling and gathering for the holidays. The deniers are real. It will be the story of 2020, the year truth was challenged again and again and never fully restored. It will be the ongoing story of our times. We’ve got a few more weeks of Trump, and it’s likely to get worse, if the first batch of pardons are an indicator. Pardon Me? Pardons aren’t meant to allow bad behavior and shoot a
middle finger at the rule of law. Pardons are for showing mercy and understanding. Not for the self-dealing to reward loyalists willing to break the law to further the president’s interests. Flynn, Manafort, Stone, Kushner? Trump could have pardoned any number of people. How about those being held in immigration detention centers, or those being “iced down” for deportation and separation from families? That would show empathy, mercy, and understanding. But the Trump pardons all come as if granted by the accomplice in the crimes being pardoned. And to make it all more unseemly, they’re topped off with a wink and a nod to white privilege. Watch for more of the same to Trump family, friends, and even to himself, which would be the ultimate erasure of bad behavior in keeping with the 2020 theme. It never happened. But it did. We lived through it.
The Denial Of 2020 As I review the year, from last January to now, the stories are similar. They’re just variations of the con–the unfolding, ongoing con of the presidency of Donald J. Trump. We kicked off the year
with the impeachment of the president and his military killing Iran’s second in command, essentially an act of war done without Congressional approval. Normal? No. But everyone went along with it. And those issues are long forgotten. As long as Trump is president, by virtue of his position, we must pay attention—to him. He’s also managed to make every story about him, his reaction, or our reaction to his reaction, because he keeps acting unpredictably. Without empathy or care about his office, his people, our country, our democracy. In an ordinary year, George Floyd, and our country’s continuing reckoning on race, would have been the top story. It still is important. But beyond the image of Officer Chauvin’s knee to Floyd’s neck, I will remember Asian Americans tear-gassed on television while at a #BLM protest at the White House. That’s when Trump brought in the military to move out the people so he could hold a bible at outside a church as a photo-op. Even the biggest story, the pandemic, is all about what Trump did or did not do. He managed to make (continue on page 12)
12 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE JANUARY 9, 2021
Glimpses of Grace, Glimmers of Hope The past year had limited our movements and thwarted our plans but gave us more By Seneca Moraleda-Puguan time to reflect on the meaning of life and spend our time with inally, the year the people we love the most. It 2020 is over. made me more grateful for the The Time air that I breathe, for the blessMagazine has ing of good health, and the gift declared 2020 as of covenant relationships. the worst year On the last day of the ever. The cover of the maga- year, I couldn’t help but be zine showed an ‘X’ over the humbled looking at my chilyear 2020. There was also a dren dancing and jumping for meme on the movie ‘Back to joy. I am truly grateful that the Future’ where Scott was in the year 2020, our famitelling Marty, “Whatever hap- ly didn’t just survive, but we pens, don’t ever go to 2020.” thrived. I praise God for sparThe past year will definite- ing my family, loved ones and ly be unforgettable and will many of our friends from the be forever etched in history pandemic, and supernaturalbooks. I pray that despite the ly provided for all our needs terrible things that the past every single day. Aside from year has thrown at human- this, I have seen many oppority, we will leave behind the tunities and testimonies of memories of pain, grief, lack love at work. Compassion was and loss; and bring with us the clearly evident, and generositraces of grace and goodness ty overflowed. Stories of selfwe have experienced. lessness, courage and bravery In the midst of the trage- especially of the frontliners dies and disasters that shook surely stood out. us, what glimpses of grace are But maybe this is not your you thankful for? story. Maybe you lost a loved
one to the virus, you lost your job or your business, your dreams have been shattered or you have lost hope completely. I speak comfort and joy. I pray for the eyes of your heart to see traces of goodness and grace in the midst of your pain. As we turn the page again to a new year, may we look forward with hope. Life ahead may be uncertain but there’s a rock by which we can stand and a firm anchor that holds our life together. We may not see the whole picture, but we are offered glimmers of hope that things will get better. Yes, 2020 was challenging but certainly not worth cancelling. It had taught us valuable lessons in life. It molded our character and taught us where and who to anchor our souls. It made us realize the most important things in life, let go of those that are temporary and fix our eyes on the eternal. Every one of us, no one is exempt, has faced silent battles. Cheers to the battles we have won and grace for the ones
we continue to fight. A friend of mine who is a pastor wrote this on his Facebook wall, and it spoke volumes to me. What happened to us - limitations, sickness, pain, fear, panic, anxiety, hate, lack, sadness, uncertainty, loss and death. What happened in us - opportunities, healing, comfort, faith, rest, peace, love, abundance, joy, hope, recovery and life. The coronavirus may have been a threat to our physical bodies, but it will never be able to steal the spirit of joy and hope in us. I declare that 2021 will be a better year for you and your family. I pray that whatever has been taken away from you the past year would be restored and multiplied a hundredfold this year. I speak protection upon your body, provision upon your needs, healing upon your heart, restoration of your soul and fulfillment of your dreams. May you face the new year and the new decade with confidence knowing that the God who
is certain and constant, good and gracious, faithful forever still reigns and He holds your world in His hands. So be strong and courageous, do not fear for He goes with you. He will never leave you nor forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6) Just as the song ‘Leaves’ by the Filipino band, Ben & Ben goes… “Leaves will soon grow from the bareness of trees And all will be alright in time. From waves overgrown come the calmest of seas And all will be alright in time Wounds of the past will eventually heal And all will be alright in time ‘Cause all of this comes with a Love that is real All will be alright in time.”
Our Asian American communities were among the hardest hit and most neglected by the pandemic. That’s 2020. It happened. Filipino Americans know it. Asian Americans know it. But save this column because it’s coming. The denial. 2020? He’ll l say it never happened. Not the way we saw it. This column is your free inoculation, to reassure you that yes, it all happened. Trump will say he saved
us all by getting the vaccine to us in record time. But he didn’t save us all. In fact, it’s still unclear if there will be enough of vaccine for everyone and whether the distribution will go smoothly. Experts say getting one dose is a waste. You need the second. At this point, we are short of the vaccinations goal so far, by about 20 million, or so. Trump will continue to say he acted quickly to deal with the virus, even though as Woodward’s book “Rage” points out, he didn’t. Trump will look back at 2020 and continue to claim he is a victim of election fraud, even when the courts say he wasn’t. He will claim he won, even when the votes say he didn’t. He will continue to lie persistently because at some point, people just give up and forget. Don’t let that happen. 2020 happened. We can’t let the deniers win. Not on Jan 1, 2021. And
not in 2024. The threat to democracy remains real as long as Trump is in power. Don’t forget that, especially in January, when I imagine Trump will make some last-ditch effort to hang on to the office he hates. He should know by now that though he may no longer be the president, despite his denials, he’ll be wearing that 2020 sash forever. It was Trump’s ghastly and garish year. He made it happen, with the help of ninety-nine percent of the establishment Republicans. And the consequences are too real. We’ll all be paying for it for a long, long time. But for now, it’s time for the country to unite behind one big idea: Trump is done. We’re not having a 2020 2.0.
Indeed, all will be alright in time. May you continue to see glimpses of grace and hold on to glimmers of hope. Have a blessed 2021!
(CANDID PERSPECTIVES: Goodbye 2020....from page 11)
Asian Americans experience the ultimate in xenophobia—to be Asian in American and scapegoated for the virus, mask mandates, and lockdowns. All of it. And Filipinos were among the most caught in the middle of all the hate. For Trump to joke about the “Kung flu” or to continue to use the phrase “China Virus” or “Chinese Virus,” was inflammatory and reckless. He knew what he was doing. And
the results were detrimental to our community. More than 3,000 Asian Americans experienced transgressions from others that ranged from angry epithets to violent knife-wielding rage. And when we weren’t being maligned for being Asian, we were on the front lines fighting the virus, like the nurse Gem Scorp in Elmhurst. Queens, who tested positive for Covid while being forced to work without proper PPE.
EMIL GUILLERMO is a veteran journalist and commentator. He was a member of the Honolulu Advertiser editorial board. Listen to him on Apple Podcasts. Twitter @ emilamok.
JANUARY 9, 2021 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE 13
Filipino-American Named New President of Mortgage Bankers Association of Hawaii By Jim Bea Sampaga
ortgage Bankers Association of Hawaii (MBAH) recently named Filipino-American Pete Castillejos as its new president. A mortgage industry veteran with 17 years of experience, Castillejos is currently the Branch Manager/Area Marketing Manager for CMG Financial, a private mortgage banking firm, in the state of Hawaii. He also advocates for the mortgage industry as he has served as an MBAH board member and director for the past four years. As the new president of MBAH, he will continue to advocate for responsible lending practices to better serve home buyers and homeowners through educational, networking and community service opportunities. Born in the Philippines to an Ilokano father and a Tagalog mother, then two-yearold Castillejos and his family moved to Chicago, where he eventually studied marketing at the Loyola University Chicago. When asked about why he chose a career in the mortgage industry, Castillejos said “most of us just happen to fall into it!” “Most of my jobs during and after college involved customer service or sales, and our industry is very people focused. It was a good fit for me. I value networking and relationship building, which helps put people at ease because trust is a big factor in our industry as we dive into personal finances,” he said. Twenty years ago, Castillejos visited Hawaii for the first time. He fell in love with the Aloha spirit, culture and people, especially the Filipi-
no community in Hawaii. “I love hearing our languages and experiencing our culture and foods here on the islands,” Castillejos explained. He moved to Hawaii from Chicago that same year and is now currently residing in Kailua. “I got tired of shoveling snow!” he joked. He held several mortgage broker and marketing positions in Honolulu, from Senior Loan Officer/Mortgage Broker at 808 Home Mortgage Inc., to Area Sales Manager at Ditech Financial LLC. In 2016, he joined CMG Financial as its Branch Manager/Area Marketing Manager where he opened the company’s first offices in Hawaii. He recruited and managed the team in their branches and is responsible for growing the company brand throughout the islands resulting in quadrupled team sales numbers since its first year. He also actively represents the company at various industry organizations and events. As an active and successful professional in the mortgage industry, he received multiple awards celebrating his achievements. He was a Pacific Business News ‘Forty under 40’ and ‘Hawaii’s Best Workplaces’ Honoree, and Honolulu Magazine’s ‘Best in Real Estate Mortgage Professionals’ Recipient for multiple years. He was also awarded by his company the CMG Financial Presidents Council. With a successful career in Hawaii, Castillejos also shared his family’s success that he says, “lays a foundation and expectation of how to conduct yourself and how hard you need to work to have the lifestyle you desire.” “I am the Grandson of Epifanio Castillejos, former
Congressman in the Philippines, and Nephew of Edgar Castillejos, former Mayor of Caba, La Union.,” he shared. “We have doctors and nurses in my family.” Castillejos admits he is not political nor influential, but he believes that actions speaks louder than words. “I make sacrifices to provide for my family and do a lot of volunteer and charity work and hope that my actions in those efforts influence others to follow,” he said. As the new MBAH president, he hopes to bring the members together especially during the COVID-19 lockdown environment and improve what they can do to add more success to the association. “[I want to] find a way to connect everyone, whether it be a small socially distanced gatherings, or activities that are allowed such as golf. People interaction is so valuable and missed in our industry,” he explained. The COVID-19 pandemic negatively affected the world’s economy and the mortgage industry is no exception. With record-low interest rates, Castillejos says work has been very busy and hectic lately. In order to keep himself and his team motivated, he is helping his team “navigate and succeed in this environment as well as to help as many current
MBAH President Pete Castillejos
and potential home owners as we can.” When asked about his number one mortgage tip for home owners and buyers especially during the pandemic, he shared that keeping debts low and paying off credit are essential. “The things we look at for a mortgage approval is your credit history and how much debt vs. income you have. You can make great money, but if you have a lot of debt and low credit scores, earning a lot won’t matter,” Castillejos shared. “Keep your debts low by only spending on what is necessary, especially during this pandemic. And try to keep at least two lines
of credit open and pay them off immediately every month to help increase your credit scores.” The new year comes with new challenges and uncertainty and Castillejos hopes that there will be “less arguments, less infections and more businesses opening up” in 2021. In addition, he encourages everyone to volunteer, donate and support charities and small businesses during these troubling times. “Let people know they are appreciated and just be kinder and have more grace, especially to those who have always been there for you in the past. Words like “Thank you” and “I love you” matter,” he said.
14 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE JANUARY 9, 2021
Aparador Ni Lola—Past Lives, Precious Objects By Rose Cruz Churma
or those who grew up in the Philippines, the term “aparador” is a familiar term and refers to an armoire, wardrobe or standalone closet. Before built-in closets became the norm, an aparador became a necessary furniture in each household. In this anthology consisting of 18 stories, each of the writers talk about their grandmothers and their aparadors. In essence, the essays and poems are “a nostalgic promenade through time, to an era
sometimes beyond our ken. It reminds us to take stock of our own relationship with the unappreciated elders in our family...” as described by Erlinda E. Panlilio (a Philippines National Book awardee for 2000 and 2002) in the book’s back cover. The popular columnist Ambeth Ocampo notes that as a historian, he has gleaned the life and times of heroes by looking into their aparador. Although the grandmothers featured in this story are not heroic in the political sense such as winning a battle or forming a new government or dying
by firing squad—their stories are nevertheless an integral part of each writers’ personal
history and collectively, the history of our country of origin. In “Anything but Thunder” written by Bill Formoso, he reminisces about his lola or grandmother, Vicenta Ortega vda de Panis, the second of 16 children of the landed and political Ortega clan of La Union. It was said that whenever she commanded her brothers to come, they did so promptly, earning her the nickname “Queen Elizabeth.” Lola Vicenta’s life “revolved around her aparador, a heavy reddish narra number with a full-length mir-
law. Moreover, these flaws cumulatively preclude knowing who legitimately won the 2020 election and threaten to cloud all future elections. “Taken together, these flaws affect an outcome-determinative numbers of popular votes in a group of States that cast outcome-determinative numbers of electoral votes. This Court should grant leave to file the complaint and, ultimately, enjoin the use of unlawful election results without review and ratification by the Defendant States’ legislatures and remand to the Defendant States’ respective legislatures to appoint Presidential Electors in a manner consistent with the Electors Clause and pursuant to 3 U.S.C. § 2.” If the Supreme Court accepted the case of Bush v Gore, 531 U.S. 98, 113 (2000), where the only issue was the “hanging chad” involving a few hundred votes, there is no reason why it would not accept Trump v. Pennsylvania involving more serious issues than hanging chads and several million votes. Texas stated that the state and its voters “are entitled to a presidential election in which the votes from each of the states are counted only if the ballots are cast and counted in a manner that complies with the pre-existing laws of each state. See Anderson v. Celebrezze, 460 U.S. 780, 795 (1983) (“for the President and
the Vice President of the United States are the only elected officials who represent all the voters in the Nation.”). Voters who cast lawful ballots cannot have their votes diminished by states that administered their 2020 presidential elections in a manner where it is impossible to distinguish a lawful ballot from an unlawful ballot. “The number of absentee and mail-in ballots that have been handled unconstitutionally in Defendant States greatly exceeds the difference between the vote totals of the two candidates for President of the United States in each Defendant State. “In a presidential election, “the impact of the votes cast in each State is affected by the votes cast for the various candidates in other States.” Anderson, 460 U.S. at 795. The constitutional failures of Defendant States injure Plaintiff States because “‘the right of suffrage can be denied by a debasement or dilution of the weight of a citizen’s vote just as effectively as by wholly prohibiting the free exercise of the franchise.’” Bush v. Gore, 531 U.S. 98, 105 (2000) (quoting Reynolds v. Sims, 377 U. S. 533, 555 (1964)) (Bush II). In other words, Plaintiff State is acting to protect the interests of its respective citizens in the fair and constitutional conduct of elections used to appoint presidential electors.
ror in front and her initials “VOP” etched across the to” as Bill Formoso wrote in his essay. Her initials used are her married initials so the author surmises that it was done after she got married to Emiliano Panis who was with the Philippine Scouts and USAFFE during the WWII. A medical doctor and lawyer, he died in 1942 soon after the Death March, succumbing to the diseases that felled his comrades. Prior to the war, her husband was the director of the Old Bilibid Prisons, so it is likely that the aparador was built by prisoners. (continue on page 15)
(WHAT’S UP, ATTORNEY?: We Want to Know....from page 7)
thority regarding the appointment of presidential electors. (2) Intrastate differences in the treatment of voters, with more favorable allotted to voters – whether lawful or unlawful – in areas administered by local government under Democrat control and with populations with higher ratios of Democrat voters than other areas of Defendant States. (3) The appearance of voting irregularities in the Defendant States that would be consistent with the unconstitutional relaxation of ballot-integrity protections in those States’ election laws. The Motion pointed out that:
“All these flaws – even the violations of state election law – violate one or more of the federal requirements for elections (i.e., equal protection, due process, and the Electors Clause) and thus arise under federal law. See Bush v Gore, 531 U.S. 98, 113 (2000) (“significant departure from the legislative scheme for appointing Presidential electors presents a federal constitutional question”) (Rehnquist, C.J., concurring). Plaintiff State respectfully submits that the foregoing types of electoral irregularities exceed the hanging-chad saga of the 2000 election in their degree of departure from both state and federal
Supreme Court Became Politicized When It Refused to Accept Texas V. Pennsylvania One of the reasons that I was reluctant to go back to the Philippines after my contract to write law books had ended was that the Philippine Supreme Court had become politicized. It was no longer a joy to practice law there, even though I was a friend of President Ferdinand Marcos (whose Chrysler automobile Roque Ablan Jr. and I had used to learn how to drive) and he would have been on our side in a politicized judicial system. The politicization of the Philippine Supreme Court has been described in a book “The Political Supreme Court” written by my fraternity brother and former University of the Philippines College of Law Dean Pacifico Agabin. The high-water mark of politicization happened when President Marcos had the 1973 Constitution ratified by a show of hands of the people in barrio fiestas (aka “constituent assemblies) instead of through a plebiscite as provided by law. A majority of the Supreme Court held that the 1973 Constitution was not properly ratified, but since the existing Constitution required a two-thirds vote of the Court to declare a law unconstitutional, and since this requirement was not met, the (continue on page 15)
JANUARY 9, 2021 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE 15
COMMUNITY CALENDAR BLOOD DONATION & BONE MARROW REGISTRY DRIVE | Philippine Medical Association of Hawaii | Saturday, January 9, 2020 | 1:30 AM-5:30 PM | FilCom Center - Flores Ballroom, 94-428 Mokuola St, Waipahu, 96797 | Donations are by appointment only. To make an appointment, call 808-848-4770.
Have your organization’s events listed in our community calendar. It’s recommended to submit press releases a month in advance of your organization’s event. Send information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
(BOOK REVIEW: Aparador....from page 14)
The aparador contained among other things — her money, her husband’s photo, a real voodoo doll with the longest pins still sticking out of it, and American chocolate bars (procured by her youngest daughter at the former Clark Air Force Base in Pampanga) which she used as tenders for her mahjongg games. Lola Vicenta was an avid mahjongera. In the midst of a super typhoon in the 1960s when power
was cut-off and the surroundings flooded, she bought huge battery-powered flashlights and has low-stools made so the players could raise their feet above the water that flooded her house. But she was deathly scared of thunder and lightning that came with the monsoon rains—and the aparador came in handy as a place of refuge: whenever thunder and lightning came, she hid on the right-
(WHAT’S UP, ATTORNEY?: We Want To Know....from page 14)
Supreme Court determined that the 1973 Constitution was now in effect. See Javellana v. Executive Secretary, G.R. No. L-36142, 151-A Phil. Rep. 35 (S.C., Mar. 31, 1973). Politicization of the Supreme Court could only happen in a third world country. But many believe that the U.S. Supreme Court became politicized when it got involved in the dispute between Bush v. Gore. The Supreme Court’s refusal to hear and determine Texas v. Pennsylvania is believed by a number of people to constitute also politicization because by not conducting an evidentiary hearing into allegations that the 2020 election was tainted with irregularities in certain battleground states it thereby
allowed the election of Joe Biden. The American people are crying for the truth. For “you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free”. John 8:32. With the monumental mistake by the U.S. Supreme Court in denying the petition of Texas v. Pennsylvania on the questionable ground that it lacked “standing,” the American people will never know the truth – and will never be free. That decision - unless reconsidered by the Supreme Court or corrected in the still pending election cases - could usher in a regime that might lead to the decline and fall of America. At the very least, the American people might one day wake up to
hand side of the aparador which held her hanging clothes. The book’s foreword was written by the editor as a letter to her Lola Salia. In it, she describes how this book came about and the process in which she went about selecting the contributors. She also relates that when she finally had a list, her grandmother died. She felt herself withdrawing from the book project but her Lola Salia find that they are living in a different country because it has been remade by the socialists and revisionists. A Supreme Court decision is only as good as its acceptance by the people. When about 75 million Americans who voted for President Trump do not believe that the election was conducted honestly and that the Supreme Court should have accepted Texas v. Pennsylvania to determine the truth that is a high degree of non-acceptance of the Supreme Court decision. The Supreme Court has sometimes been referred to as a “bulwark” of democracy. A synonym for “bulwark” is “barrier”.
made sure she didn’t by “showing up everywhere,” including tailing her all the way to the other side of the Pacific to make sure she was pressured enough to finish. This is the first book I’ve reviewed where the spirit of the departed was part of the publishing process! The 18 stories (15 essays and three poems) in this anthology are from various parts of the Philippines of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, from Ilocos through Iloilo to Cagayan de Oro. It is recommended reading for those embarking on a memoir or interested in collecting stories as a way to preserve the past, or for the younger generation who simply want to know more about their culture. ROSE CRUZ CHURMA is a former President of the FilCom Center. She is also the co-owner of Kalamansi Books and Things, an online bookstore promoting works by Filipino Americans. For inquiries, email her at email@example.com. ATTY. TIPON has a Master of Laws degree from Yale Law School and a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of the Philippines. His current practice focuses on immigration law and appellate criminal defense. He has written books and legal articles for the world’s largest law book publishing company and writes legal articles for newspapers. Listen to The Tipon Report which he co-hosts with son Noel, the senior partner of the Bilecki & Tipon Law Firm. It is considered the most witty, interesting, and useful radio show in Hawaii. KNDI 1270 AM band every Thursday at 8:00 a.m. Atty. Tipon served as a U.S. Immigration Officer. He co-authored the best-seller “Immigration Law Service, 1st ed.,” an 8-volume practice guide for immigration officers and lawyers. Atty. Tipon was born in Laoag City, Philippines. Tel. (808) 800-7856. Cell Phone (808) 225-2645. E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Websites: https://www.tiponlaw.com.
(Solution to Crossword No. 23 | December 19, 2020)
KROSWORD ni Carlito Lalicon
38. Pangingibit ng mga labi bilang tanda ng pagtutol o 1. Pagnguya ng mga hayop 6. Sigasig sikap o sipag sa di-pagkagusto 40. Bilit pagtatrabaho o paggawa 41. Gigi 15. Sawata 43. Ilap 16. Ipangalandakan 45. Pasal sa bibig 17. Kakanggata 46. Puwang 18. Probinsya 48. Pagtatamasa o 19. Iyapak pagsasamantala bago ito 21. Pagkukunwari na di-pansin mawala 22. Kuripot 50. Gamit na pangtabas ng 24. Sikwatin talahib 25. Yakap-yakap 54. Langhap 28. Kaibigan 55. Ikatang o ipatong sa 60. Kilabot 29. Halap matibay na bagay upang 62. Bitik 30. Alkali di mahulog 63. Alpabetisado 32. Bawal 57. Kita 64. Itugma 36. Isang uri ng palumpong
1. Kanal o bambang na hinukay 2. Kuwatro 3. Eksplosibo 4. Takot 5. Panloob na kapal ng talukap ng punongkahoy 6. Panukalang-batas 7. Panot 8. Kasalungat ng papak 9. Humalili
10. Sa katapusan 11. Presko 12. Anak-usa 13. Ipugal 14. Bala 20. Isang kagamitan ng mga karpintero 23. Kasi 25. Serpiyente 26. Tumutukoy ng pang-maramihan 27. Kawayang makapal
at halos walang butas 31. Pagsasamantala 33. Paluin 34. Opisyo 35. Damit na isinusuot sa gradwasyon 37. Labandera 39. Magluwal 42. Laban 44. Panaog 47. Parami
CLASSIFIED ADS CAREGIVER NEEDED FOR IMMEDIATE JOB
65. Ganoon 66. Pagsisimpan
49. Ganito 50. Tono 51. Isang uri ng matigas na punongkahoy 52. Alkitran 53. Kubabaw 56. Isang uri ng gamot na nakalalason 58. Taos 59. Sawata, 61. Pula
(Ang sagot ay matutunghayan sa susunod na isyu ng Chronicle)
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