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APRIL 3, 2021


Biden Shines a Light on Filipino Asian Americans Fears


Stimulus Bill to Offer Free or Low-Cost Healthcare Coverage


FilCom CARES Vaccination Drive Takes Place April 8 in Waipahu



The Violence Against AAPI Communities Must Stop


he first fact that everyone should be aware of that has fueled much of the recent hate and violence against the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community is that there is absolutely no connection between COVID-19 and a person’s race or ethnic group. The AAPI community is no less or greater responsible for the spreading of the virus in the US than the rest of the US population. The incendiary rhetoric by former President Donald Trump using the term “Chinese virus” and “Wuhan virus” is hate speech, designed to win political points from xenophobic radicals in our society. That’s it. Today’s health crisis is not racial; and no person of sense and fairness should jump to wild conclusions by placing blame on any one group. The recent scapegoating of Asians is yet another reminder how we as a country have a long way to defeat racism and end white supremacy. Every American, not just AAPI communities across the nation, should be condemning the crimes and hate leveled at AAPI as a matter of moral obligation and out of patriotism for our country. This ugly manifestation is “un-American” as President Joe Biden called it. Americans should also know that the AAPI community has not been immune to racial discrimination, contrary to the “model minority” stereotype that gives a false impression that Asians are all professionals, doctors, lawyers and high-income earners who do not suffer inequities as Black and Latino Americans. The “model minority” label itself is racist and pits other minorities against Asians. As we’ve seen in the recent spate of anti-Asian violence, the victimizers are not solely White, but a few are other minorities as well. Discrimination against Asians is a long, old story – since the arrival of Chinese immigrants in the late 1800s who faced labor exploitation; to the placement of over 100,000 Japanese Americans in prison camps during WWII; up to the current dangerous scapegoating. And all along in between these historic events, Asians have experienced systemic discrimination in immigration, policing abuse, and demeaning portrayals by Hollywood similar to other minorities in this country. But what’s unique to Asian discrimination is a long grievance within the AAPI community that we are not being heard and are ignored, relative to other minorities who comprise a larger population. The media is part to blame. Politicians who do not see AAPIs as a large voting block (cynical but true) are part to blame. And to an extent the Asian community is part to blame for not being assertive enough to demand rights as other groups; and some even buying into the “model minority” myth. Asians are pushing back But something has changed in this latest anti-Asian crisis -- a high degree of activism and anger over the violence unseen before within our community. AAPI have launched street protests, vigils and virtual townhalls. We’re lobbying our state and federal lawmakers, running public relations campaigns, establishing safety patrol groups and speaking out on social media. (continue on page 3)



e are disheartened and shocked that our community is under attack by fellow Americans. COVID-19 has inflicted tremendous hardship and unfortunately some racists influenced by former President Donald Trump’s rhetoric are taking out their frustrations on the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. Stop AAPI tracking of Asian racial violence shows there have been a staggering 3,800 reports of anti-AAPI incidents in the US between March 19, 2020 and Feb. 28, 2021. Women and the elderly have been the biggest targets. Consistent with Stop AAPI’s findings, Pew Research survey found since the pandemic began, about four in 10 adults in the US say it has become more common for people to express racist views toward Asian-Americans. For our cover story this issue, associate editor Edwin Quinabo gives a comprehensive reporting of this crisis. He opens with real life examples of victims: from the mass murder shooting of six Asian women in Atlanta Georgia to the latest attack of a 65-year old Filipino woman in NYC on March 29. The hate incidences range from murder to verbal abuse; and have occurred in all 50 states, with higher rates of anti-Asian violence in bigger cities. Asian activists and scholars give their reasons why they believe Asians are being scapegoated. And it’s not just because of Trump. Read what some of those reasons are. To address the Asian racial violence, AAPI Sens. Mazie Hirono and Tammy Duckworth (who lived in Hawaii) introduced a resolution; Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY) introduced an accompanying resolution in the US House. At the Hawaii State Legislature, State Sen. Bennette E. Misalucha introduced two resolutions. She shared with the Chronicle why she felt the need to introduce them. AAPI grassroots organizations are also pushing back in a number of ways. First and foremost, they stress the importance of our community to be outspoken and to engage in dialogue. Given the magnitude of this topic and how personal it is to our community, two HFC columnists provide different angles to complement our cover story. Elpidio Estioko submits “Mauling for Money Against Elderly Asians Transforms to Hate Crimes” and Emil Guillermo contributes “Biden Shines a Light on Filipino Asian American Fears; What Took Everyone So Long to Notice?” In observance of Holy Week and Easter, HFC columnist Seneca Moraleda-Puguan contributes “He is Risen.” She shares a personal story of how Jesus Christ changed her life. Also in this issue we have some important news. Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) application deadline has been extended to May 31, 2021. Live event businesses impacted by the pandemic can now apply for SBA grant funding. Included in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 that recently passed, two provisions will offer free or low-cost healthcare coverage to qualified Americans. Get the details if you qualify for this assistance. We have a Social Security update that shares the Administration’s new website pages. Lastly, HFC contributor Rose Cruz Churma does a book review on FIERCE FILIPINA, Inspired by the Life of Gliceria Marella de Villavicencio. Philippine national hero Emilio Aguinaldo had deep respect for Villavicencio that he called her the “Godmother of the Revolutionary Forces” on the same day when the first Philippine Republic was proclaimed on June 12, 1898. The book is highly recommended for history buffs or people interested in inspiring women. We hope you enjoy this issue. Thank you for being a supporter of your community newspaper. Happy Easter to All! Until the next issue, warmest Aloha and Mabuhay!

Publisher & Executive Editor Charlie Y. Sonido, M.D.

Publisher & Managing Editor

Chona A. Montesines-Sonido

Associate Editors

Edwin QuinaboDennis Galolo

Contributing Editor

Belinda Aquino, Ph.D.


Junggoi Peralta

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.

Contributing Writers

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 LarsonDitas Udani Kauai Millicent Wellington Maui Christine Sabado Big Island Distributors Grace LarsonDitas Udani Kauai Distributors Amylou Aguinaldo Nestor Aguinaldo Maui Distributors

Cecille PirosRey 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



Enough Is Enough! Pass a Federal Gun Control Bill


ithin a month and just days apart two mass killings -- one in Atlanta Georgia, eight dead, including six Asians and another in Boulder, Colorado, 10 dead – have renewed debates over stricter gun control in the country. Within a week from the Colorado mass murder, two people opened fire at a Chicago gathering, killing one person and wounding seven others. If the seven wounded ended up as fatalities, it would have been the third mass murder within a month. It’s an understatement to say that most Americans are painfully tired hearing about mass murders. Americans are tired of hearing platitudes, “thoughts and prayers,” followed up with inaction. Many are even exhausted over the arguments: gun ownership rights versus rights to public safety. Based on mass murder cases, it’s true that some incidences could have been prevented with stricter laws – such scenarios support gun control advocates and Democrats calling for tougher gun restrictions and closing loopholes. But it’s also true that some

mass murderers have had no history of violence and pass background checks to obtain weapons before going on a killing spree. These examples give credence to what some Republicans say, gun laws do not stop mass murders. But certainly, it’s fair enough to say action could be legislated to curb gun violence, at the least.

Where loopholes failed It’s possible that the man (not worth mentioning his name) charged in the Atlanta mass murder could have reconsidered this horrific crime if Georgia had a mandatory waiting period to purchase his gun. Police say he went on a shooting spree the same day he purchased his firearm. There are only 10 states and DC that have mandatory waiting periods for all purchases of firearms, despite studies showing impulsive killing is a real phenomenon. Studies suggest waiting periods on gun purchases could have an 11% reduction in firearm suicide rates and 17% drop in gun homicides. In the Boulder mass shooting, a state where guns laws are tougher than Georgia, the

accused passed a universal background check. He was previously convicted of a misdemeanor assault but was still able to pass because only convicted felons are prohibited from purchasing weapons in that state. He could have been disqualified from ownership if Colorado state law included all convictions in the ban. In both recent mass murder cases we see areas where some gun laws (background checks) did not stop the suspects; and closing loopholes (mandatory waiting period, ban all convicted criminals from gun ownership) quite possibly could have prevented the murders.

Go strong on laws The inconsistencies of gun laws state-by-state add to the problem of gun violence. It’s easy to purchase a gun in a state with few restrictions even if your home state have tough laws. It could be as simple as driving a few miles. Until there is a comprehensive federal law that will require mandatory background checks, ban all individuals convicted of any crime from owning a gun, require a long-waiting period to purchase a weapon, and close all

the loopholes – the sad reality is mass murders will keep occurring at the rate they have been. It would be intellectually dishonest to say even if such a federal law existed, there would be no mass murders. But a strong, sweeping federal law could have a dramatic impact on reducing gun violence. A new ban on assault weapons and pistols that can hold large magazines should be permanently banned. There is no reason for combat-style, military-type arms to be made available to the public. Assault weapons were banned under federal law from 1994 to 2004, but the law expired under a sunset provision. It’s time to ban them again. Immediately following these two latest mass murders, President Joe Biden called for an immediate ban on assault weapons, closing loopholes, and enacting a federal background checking system. And as anticipated, Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley and Republicans pushed back against the proposals. Cruz-Hawley’s opinions are so extreme saying that gun laws do not even lessen crimes. In other words, there’s

nizers who are working in communities like Oakland, the Bay Area, and New York City, where so many of these attacks are happening, and donating to these causes. And it’s about speaking up — it’s about not being silent,” said Kim. His suggestion of working with community organizations is key. Numerous AAPI grassroots organizations have stepped up during this crisis, including Stop AAPI Hate which was founded last year as a reporting database at the beginning of the pandemic to raise awareness of the increase Asian racial violence. Old established organizations like Asian Americans Advancing Justice have done critical work.

Anti-Asian resolutions must pass A big mahalo to AAPI US Sens. Mazie Hirono and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill), and US Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY) for introducing anti-Asian resolutions in Congress. There are important, substantive features on these resolutions that could go a long way toward ending racial violence and discrimination. A big mahalo also to Hawaii Sen. Bennette E. Misalucha for introducing SCR66 and SR48 that condemn and denounce all forms of anti-Asian sentiment and all acts of racism. These congressional and state resolutions must pass. Keep pushing back and stay safe AAPI. We’ll get through this together.

(EDITORIALS: The Violence....from page 2)

AAPI of late has also established solidarity with other groups during the latest BLM movement that have worked to bring along nonAsians to help with our latest struggle. But perhaps the most marked change we see in this crisis is the number of Asians in politics and media have grown exponentially. This has helped as Asian lawmakers are now part of the discussion to forge legislation on this crisis; and are in the halls of power at both the federal and state levels to convince their colleagues to actually do something. As for the media, we’ve seen Asian Americans reporting on this issue at CNN and other large media enterprises. AAPI’s presence

at these mainstream media outlets helps to influence TV and newspaper editorial content such as giving this crisis widespread national and continued exposure. We also have established and professional ethnic media in most large US cities covering this news and reaching out to more recent Asian immigrant population. We even have more Asian American celebrities raising awareness. Daniel Dae Kim, former Hawaii 5-0 cast member, has been a leading advocate against Asian hate crimes. He is using his high visibility to suggest possible solutions. “Awareness is really just the first step. Now it’s about volunteering, it’s about contacting community orga-

no room for bargaining on federal gun restrictions for these two; and if recent history holds true, for most Republicans. At the very least, Democrats are trying to find solutions to curb gun violence and offer alternatives but Republicans have none to offer except that gun restrictions don’t work. All the while, the US has one of the highest rate of deaths from gun violence in the world (3.96 per 100,000), eight times the rate in Canada, nearly 100 times higher than in the United Kingdom (0.04 deaths per 100,000). Asian countries such as Singapore (0.01), Japan (0.02) and South Korea (0.02) have the lowest rates — along with China, at 0.02. Are we just expected to accept the high rates of gun violence and do nothing? Are we supposed to just look at mass murders as what former Fox host Bill O’Reilly once said, “it (mass murder) is the price of freedom.” Of course not! If other countries with similar economies to ours can have considerably lower rates of gun violence, there is no reason the US rates at the top tier of countries with highest gun violence among the likes of poorer and crime-hot countries in Central America and parts of Africa. We should be doing better. Passing a comprehensive, tough federal gun control bill could be a start.



Hate And Violence Against Asian Americans Surge Nationwide By Edwin Quinabo


rom coast-to-coast, New York City and Boston to San Francisco and Seattle, Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities are speaking out loudly, organizing, conducting virtual meetings and holding street protests against the rise of anti-Asian hate and crimes throughout the US. Asian American activists say anti-Asian hate is an old story in this country, but this new chapter is unique, widespread, and dangerous. According to Stop AAPI Hate (a reporting database created at the beginning of the pandemic as a response to the increase in Asian racial violence), there have been nearly 3,800 reports of anti-AAPI incidents in the U.S. between March 19, 2020, and Feb. 28, 2021. Highest incidences of cases were reported among Asian women and the elderly. Mass murder and AAPI hate incidences Anti-AAPI violence took a turn for the worst in the horrific mass shooting in a series of three spas in Atlanta, Georgia on March 16 this year. A gunman killed eight people, including six who were Asian woman. The Cherokee County Police is still investigating whether the crime is racially motivated, but community activists have already made up their minds, calling the crime an attack on Asians. Following the mass murder, Gov. David Ige has ordered the flags of the US and Hawaii to be flown half-staff at all state offices in honor of the victims of the Atlanta shootings. He said, “That six of the victims were women of Asian descent is particularly appalling and I condemn all violence based on race or ethnicity. It is our kuleana to stop the rising tide of hate crimes against people of Asian descent.” Prior to and after the mass murder there have been attacks on AAPI nationwide.

Community activists attribute the alarming surge in racism, xenophobia, discrimination and attacks against AAPI to the ugly rhetoric by former President Donald Trump who sought to gain political points by calling the COVID-19 virus, the “China” and “Wuhan” virus. Others say AAPI hate is an extension of the rise of white nationalism that is also plague to other Black and Brown communities in the US. Some scholars like Asian American Viet Thanh Nguyen, Pulitzer Prize writer and USC professor, say the surge could also be attributed to both political parties rhetoric against China, saying “with explicit racism or just with a latent and implicit xenophobia, it can’t help but to

As recent as March 29, a 65-year-old Filipino woman in midtown Manhattan, NYC suffered injuries from an unprovoked attack. Police are seeking the public’s help in identifying the suspect who they say “punched and kicked her about the body.” The Filipina was walking to church when her attacker assaulted her, and told her, “You don’t belong here.” On Feb. 3, 2021 a Filipino-American man, Noel Quintana, was brutally slashed on the face by a box cutter while on a NYC subway. The attack was unprovoked. In Washington, DC an Asian couple was attacked on public transportation. On Jan. 28, 2021, an 84-year-old Thai American Vicha Ratanapakdee in San Francisco was fatally assaulted while walking in his neighborhood. Also in San Francisco, a woman while shopping was told, “When do you ship out? We are going to take away your citizenship!” In Oakland, California, a 91-year old man was pushed to

the ground. Also in Oakland’s Chinatown two other elderly were attacked and left unconscious. AAPI hate has manifested in other ways besides physical attacks. Asians have been shunned, spit upon, denied services from businesses, and verbally abused with racial slurs. Stop AAPI Hate found verbal harassment is the most common kind of incident, making up 68% of the reports. Nearly 21% of the incidents involved the assailant being shunned for being Asian American, and 11% involved physical assault. Asian business owners say they’ve lost revenues and patronage that they believe are racially motivated. A Texas ramen restaurant who spoke against the Texas governor’s lifting of the mask mandate had his business marked with racist graffiti like “ramen noodle flu” after speaking out. In Silicon Valley, an Asian American man was spit on and yelled at. In Santa Clara County, a woman was told to “go

aggravate the suspicions and the feelings of many Americans about people of Asian descent.” Whatever reasons which have led to the current racial crisis, Congresswoman Judy Chu (D-CA), chair of the Asian Pacific American Caucus, said “certainly for AAPIs who may not have been involved before, this is a wake-up call to say, ‘You need to be involved.’”

back to where you came from” as she had lunch with friends. Rep. Tackey Chan, one of the first Asian-Americans elected to Massachusetts House, said he’s talked with high school AAPI students in his district who have experienced racism. He himself, has had strangers shout at him racial slurs. He said people have asked him if he ate cats or dogs. “In government, it continues to be a challenge for Asian-Americans to be recognized as an important part of our community,” he said. Consistent with Stop AAPI Hate’s findings, the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, released a report finding crimes against Asian Americans rose 150% in America’s largest cities since the pandemic. According to Pew Research, since the pandemic began, about four in 10 adults in the U.S. say it has become more common for people to express racist views toward Asian-Americans.

President Biden President Joe Biden on numerous occasions called for an end to AAPI violence, calling hate crimes “un-American” and that they “must stop.” Shortly after taking office, he signed an Executive Order denouncing anti-Asian discrimination. Following the Atlanta shootings, President Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris met with the AAPI community there to discuss the mass murder. AAPI Hate and Asian American advocacy wants Biden to take more concrete steps that establishes federal, state and local efforts to investigate anti-Asian racism and to expand civil rights protections. “We cannot let anti-Asian American hate be a legacy of COVID-19 or the last presidential administration, but that’s exactly what will happen unless we demand concrete action,” said Stop AAPI Hate co-founder Russell Jeung, a professor of Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University. (continue on page 5)


COVER STORY (Hate and Violence....from page 4)

US Senate and Congress introduce resolutions Sens. Mazie Hirono and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), AAPI members of the US Senate, introduced a resolution to condemn all forms of anti-Asian sentiment, racism and discrimination. “Our country’s AAPI community has experienced escalating verbal attacks and physical violence since the coronavirus pandemic began, including the devastating killings in Atlanta. We must reject all forms of xenophobia and address the harm to our AAPI communities. Passing this resolution would send a clear message, that hate, bigotry, and anti-Asian sentiment have no place in our country,” said Sen. Hirono. Sen. Duckworth linked hate crimes and violent assaults targeted at the AAPI community to “offensive rhetoric being used in an attempt to racialize the COVID-19 pandemic.” Thirty five US senators co-sponsored the resolution, all Democrats. Sen. Brian Schatz, a co-sponsor of the bill called for solidarity against racism and violence. “Racist attacks against Asian Americans are disgusting and unacceptable,” said Schatz. The Senate resolution: • Calls on federal law enforcement officials, working with state and local agencies to 1) expeditiously investigate and document all credible reports of hate crimes, harassment, bullying, and threats against AAPI communities; 2) expand data collection and reporting to document the rise in incidences of hate crimes relating to COVID–19; and 3) hold the perpetrators of those crimes, incidents, or threats accountable and bring such perpetrators to justice; • Calls on the Attorney General to work with state and local agencies and AAPI community-based organizations to prevent discrim-

ination, and expand culturally appropriate education campaigns on public reporting of hate crimes; • Calls on the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in coordination with the COVID–19 Health Equity Task Force and AAPI community-based organizations, to issue guidance to mitigate racially discriminatory language in describing the COVID–19 pandemic; and • Recommits the United States to serve as a model in building a more inclusive, diverse, and tolerant society. On the US House side, AAPI congresswoman Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY) introduced an accompany resolution to Hirono-Duckworth’s. This isn’t the first time Meng introduced an anti-Asian hate resolution. She has been a national leader early on and has held numerous rallies in her home state where reports of anti-Asian crimes began to escalate. Last year Meng introduced a resolution but said 164 Republicans voted against it. The last Congress did not pass the resolution. “Let’s correct these errors. Passing both resolutions should not be a partisan issue. Stopping the attacks against Asian Americans is not a partisan issue. Standing against hate, fear, and injustice is not a partisan issue. I urge both the House and Senate to bring these measures up for a vote.” Meng said the bill would make it “easier for us to have a more complete and accurate picture” of hate crimes and incidents. Meng’s resolution is expected to pass the House, but the Senate version could hit a roadblock if at least 10 Republicans do not join Democrats to support it.

Hawaii State Legislature Hawaii State Sen. Bennette E. Misalucha introduced resolutions SCR66 and SR48 that condemn and denounce all forms of anti-Asian sentiment and all acts of racism. The resolutions unanimously passed the Senate Judiciary Committee (JUD). The measures also

requests the Hawaiʻi Civil Rights Commission to collect and analyze incidents of anti-Asian sentiment that have occurred since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020; and to report back to the Hawaiʻi State Legislature on their findings. Sen. Misalucha told the Filipino Chronicle, “In February, I started to see the increase in news coverage on the U.S. mainland on hate crimes directed at Asian Americans.  At that time, it was when I started to draft SCR66 and SR48 since I believe it was important to make a statement regarding this alarming trend. “It is important to note that I wrote and signed the resolution last month to push the intent that our communities here in Hawaii serve as an example to the rest of the nation of what diversity and inclusion look like, regardless of your gender, age, race, ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation.  It is crucial to stand in solidarity with our Asian American Pacific Islander community during these difficult times.  These heinous crimes cannot and must not be tolerated.” Chair of the JUD committee, Sen. Karl Rhoads, said, “The recent acts of violence and racism against Asian-Americans are unacceptable and they truly undermine our values as a country. We are a nation of diversity and equality and these hate crimes have no place in our society.” In some states where protections on racial minorities are more dire than in Hawaii, lawmakers have proposed tougher measures. The Massachusetts State Legislature introduced a bill to expand their hate crime statute to include harassment. Many of the AAPI hate incidences could fall under this category. State Rep. Nika Elugardo, D-Boston, and state Rep. Erika Uyterhoeven, D-Somerville seek to address

“In February, I started to see the increase in news coverage on the U.S. mainland on hate crimes directed at Asian Americans. At that time, it was when I started to draft SCR66 and SR48 since I believe it was important to make a statement regarding this alarming trend. It is important to note that I wrote and signed the resolution last month to push the intent that our communities here in Hawaii serve as an example to the rest of the nation of what diversity and inclusion look like, regardless of your gender, age, race, ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation.  It is crucial to stand in solidarity with our Asian American Pacific Islander community during these difficult times.  These heinous crimes cannot and must not be tolerated.”

— Bennette E. Misalucha

Hawaii State Senator

systemic racism. They filed a bill to address anti-racism, equity and justice in education. Jessica Wong, interim executive director of the Massachusetts Asian American Commission, wants state legislators to invest more in human translators who can understand different cultures and mental health resources. In Andover, Mass, State Rep. Tram Nguyen is working with Atty. General Maura Healy to reform the hate crime law.

AAPI Community fighting back Besides federal and state legislations and organized protests and candlelight vigils nationwide, grassroots Asian groups are pushing back in

other ways. Asian Pacific Planning and Policy Council (A3PCON), Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA), and the Asian American Studies Department of San Francisco State University are working with Stop AAPI Hate to get more translators to help Asians report incidences of hate. Tagalog, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Japanese translators are active in this project. Asian advocacy groups believe the current statistics, as alarming as they are, could be underreported due to language barriers and fear of repercussion. Hollaback! and Asian Americans Advancing Justice have teamed up to provide by(continue on page 13)



Delineating Women Power In The Philippines By Freddie R. Obligacion, Ph.D.


fter Philippine President Benigno Aquino III delivered his final state-of-thenation address, Philippine Senator Grace Poe, had this to say in an interview: “All of the important and key [officials in his administration] who come out with tough decisions are women. So I am grateful to the President for seeing the potential and courage of a woman.” Sen. Poe’s remark reflects consistent evidence presented by an NBC Universal-sponsored study on the modern Asian woman titled “The high-heeled warriors.” This research notes that Southeast Asian women account for 32% of senior management roles, easily surpassing the 21% global share. Asian women’s prominent status extends to the home where 31% of them are chief income earners and heads of household. The news gets better with Filipino women, 39% of whom are in senior management compared with 17% in their U.S. counterparts. Reinforcing this achievement are the educational accomplishments of Filipino women,

85% of whom hold undergraduate or graduate school diplomas. The Southeast Asian average of 73% pales in comparison. Current research and political leaders’ keen appreciation of Filipino women’s distinguished contributions to society are resoundingly echoed by my groundbreaking primary research of 620 Filipino women which yielded a 95% confidence level in the results with a margin of error of 5 points. In this pioneering dissertation research, I hypothesized that Filipino women, mired in a 51% self-reported poverty rate, are burdened by feelings of personal powerlessness or the belief that human beings are helpless victims of fate and uncontrollable external forces such as luck and random events. Employing a quantitative causal model, I extended this basic hypothesis with the proposition that powerlessness generates sequelae of crippling perceptions such as low self-esteem, low expectations of success in personal ventures, and a weak propensity for self-improvement. Much to my pleasant surprise, I found that despite the

overwhelming specter of impoverishment, Filipino women convincingly displayed, instead of predicted sense of powerlessness, strong perceptions of power or self-efficacy, defined as the perception that inherent ability and individual effort determine the consequences of one’s actions. Such high levels of personal control generated among Filipino women a causal chain of elevated self-esteem or self-worth, a pronounced propensity for self-improvement, albeit relatively low success expectations. Moreover, my research showed that personal powerlessness, a cognitive consequence of poverty, was effectively countered by Filipino women’s strong achievement ethic as measured by an original scale tapping respondents’ valuation of and regard for merit- and effort-based accomplishments. The debilitating effects of powerlessness were also overshadowed by Filipino women’s high educational attainment, evidenced by a higher percentage of undergraduate and graduate school degrees compared to that of

their male counterparts. Similarly, compensating for the paralysis of powerlessness was the presence of a nurturing and supportive kinship system composed of the nuclear family, an ever-present extended family, and an extensive “adopted kin” network of peers, colleagues, and intimate lifelong friends. Even Filipino women’s low success expectations were mitigated by an unwavering achievement ethic transformed into inspired action, commendable educational credentials, and an all-pervasive, protective mantle provided by overarching and highly influential support groups. Filipinos generally enshrine women on a pedestal with the concomitant awe, deep admiration, respect, and caring. With Filipino women working as partners with the menfolk, there is absolutely no reason why the Philippines cannot soon achieve a developed-country status, a belief

widely held by 80% of the Filipino people. All that is needed is for the Philippines to get its act together and start posthaste to subsume personal interest to the common good, eschew mediocrity and pettiness in the grassroots and high places, but most importantly, circumspectly elect leaders with inspired, vibrant, and inclusive national and global visions. These visions must be crowned with an empathetic, compassionate heart beating to the same drum of the powerless and the voiceless, open to novel paradigmatic-shift perspectives, courageous and relentless in stewarding a distinguished and model nation where the good of all, including those of the least of the brethren and the disadvantaged, trump uncontrollably escalating personal ambition and conscience-deprived egocentric materialism.

DR. FREDDIE RABELAS OBLIGACION, a sociology professor, is an alumnus of The Ohio State University-Columbus (Ph.D., MA Sociology; Phi Kappa Phi and Phi Beta Delta) and the University of the Philippines-Diliman (MBA Honors, BS Psychology, magna cum laude).


PPP Application Extended to May 31


he U.S. Senate on March 25 passed the PPP Extension Act of

2021, moving the deadline of the Paycheck Protection Program to May 31 from March 31. The extensions give Hawaii small businesses owners more time to prepare their applications while banks will

have more time to process more of the much-needed loan grants. “Hawaii small businesses will now have two more months to apply for PPP loans,” said Senator Brian

Schatz (D-Hawaii). “This will give our local businesses more time to get help and access billions of dollars in new federal relief funding.” So far in 2021, small businesses and non-profits in Hawaii have received more

than $1.1 billion in PPP loans. While in 2020, Hawaii small businesses and non-profits received $2.5 billion. For more information on the PPP loan application process, visit schatz.senate.gov/ Coronavirus/Small-Businesses.

SBA $16 Billion Program to Provide Aid for Live Event Businesses

By Jim Bea Sampaga


tarting April 8, live event businesses can apply for Small Business Administration grant funding under the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Fund (SVOG). Live event

businesses include museums, independent movie theaters, music clubs, performing arts centers and other live venue operators. “This pandemic has been particularly brutal for businesses that depend on people being able to gather

in person so this new funding will be a big help,” said U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii). The SVOG fund is a $16 billion program to help live event businesses stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic. Two billion is set

aside for eligible businesses that employ fewer than 50 full-time employees. To learn more about the SVOG program, visit www.schatz. senate.gov/coronavirus/ small-businesses/live-venues.



Hawaii Per-Capita State Tax Revenues Highest in Nation, Research Shows By Mark Coleman


awaii has the highest per-capita state tax quotient in the nation, according to new research from the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii. Using data from the National Association of State Budget Officers and the U.S. Census Bureau, the institute calculated the per capita quotient for Hawaii to be $5,428 in fiscal 2020, down slightly from $5,593 in fiscal 2019, probably due to lagging tax payments. For both years, Hawaii’s totals were more than double the national state averages: $2,664 in fiscal 2020 and

$2,717 in fiscal 2019. Connecticut ranked second highest in fiscal 2020, at $5,396; followed by Massachusetts, $4,944; Delaware, $4,587; and New Jersey, $4,246. The five states with the lowest per-capita state tax quotients in fiscal 2020 were Michigan, $984; New Hampshire, $1,116; Nevada, $1,299; Florida, $1,443; and Missouri, $1,452. The data shows that Hawaii’s general excise tax was responsible for the largest share of the state tax quotient, at $2,502 per capita for fiscal 2019. Since the tax is regressive, falling most heavily on those who earn the least, even those in the lowest economic

brackets pay a hefty portion of their income to the state. “I hope these new findings will cause our state legislators to stop adding new taxes,” said Keli’i Akina, institute president and CEO. “Everyone talks about the high cost of living in Hawaii and how it forces so many of our friends and family to leave for the mainland. But here we see one of the biggest reasons for that high cost of living: Hawaii’s sky-high taxes. “Especially now, in the midst of Hawaii’s worst economic crisis in decades, we

recent year for which data is available. Hawaii’s county property tax rates are relatively low by national standards, but the state’s high property values ensure that Hawaii residents pay close to the national average. In fiscal 2018 the Hawaii total was $1,355, slightly below the national average of $1,674. When state and county tax quotients are combined, Hawaii ranked fifth highest, as of fiscal 2018,  at  $7,319 per capita. No. 1 in 2018 was New York,  at $9,822, followed by Connecticut, $8,487; North Dakota, $7,591; and New Jersey, $7,419. 

need our legislators to understand that that these high taxes are hurting our state. They are contributing to the state’s net population loss and doctor shortage, discouraging investment, and making it impossible for people to thrive, raise families and enjoy living in our state.” In terms of county taxes, Hawaii’s per-capita county tax MARK COLEMAN is the quotient ranked 25th in the na- communications director of the tion as of fiscal 2018, the most Grassroot Institute of Hawaii.


Social Security Beneficiaries Still Waiting for Third Stimulus Checks By Jim Bea Sampaga


hile most Americans have already received their third stimulus checks as early as St. Patrick’s Day, nearly 30 million Social Security beneficiaries are still waiting for their checks. The House Ways and Means Committee wrote a letter on March 24 to the Social Security Administration (SSA) commissioner urging the agency to provide the Internal Revenue Service the necessary beneficiary information to deliver the economic impact payments (EIP). “SSA still has not provided IRS with the payment files that are needed to issue EIPs to these struggling Americans,” the letter says. “We demand that you immediately provide the IRS with this information by March 25, 2021.” On March 25, SSA Commissioner Andrew Saul released a statement announcing that the agency already sent the files that same day: “On March 22, SSA sent

initial test files to IRS. IRS confirmed testing success on Wednesday, March 24. Production files were delivered to IRS before 9 AM on Thursday, March 25 – more than a week sooner than we were able to provide a similar file to IRS during the first round of EIPs.” The commissioner further explained that SSA’s delay in sending the necessary files. “SSA discussed with Treasury and IRS, both before passage and after enactment of the ARP Act, that the Social Security Act does not allow the agency to use our administrative appropriation to conduct work on any non-mission provision or program. Accordingly, we were not authorized to substantively engage Treasury or IRS prior to the ARP’s passage,” wrote Saul noting that SSA did not receive funding from the American Rescue Plan Act to support their work on EIPs. With the hurdles of getting the required interagency agreements to collaborate on the EIPs, Saul said they “kept congressional staff apprised of the hurdles this approach would create for SSA.” Once they were cleared to

move forward, SSA “aggressively worked” with the IRS and Department of Treasury to issue stimulus checks to its beneficiaries. Although the official SSA commissioner statement confirmed the delivery of files, there is no mention of a timeframe when beneficiaries will finally receive their stimulus checks. In a statement to CBS M o n e y Wa t c h , the IRS said the payments will be sent “soon.” “We will provide a more detailed update regarding these payments very shortly as pans are finalized,” the agency added. As the IRS are preparing the rest of the stimulus checks, eligi-

ble recipients can check their stimulus payment status at irs.

gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment. 



Social Security Administration Connects with People Through Advocates and Community Organizations By Jane Burigsay


he Social Security Administration has a long history of outreach and coordination with advocates and community-based organizations across the nation. During the COVID-19 pandemic, continuing to work with advocates and community-based organizations is essential to reaching the country’s most vulnerable populations, including individuals with low income, limited English proficiency, mental illness, or those facing homelessness. The agency is fully committed to assisting people in gaining access to the information and services they need with a specific emphasis on

applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. “I made this issue a strategic agency priority and focused resources to reach vulnerable communities and help them access our services and receive their benefits. I ask leaders in every community to share information about our programs with people and help them connect with us to apply for benefits,” said Andrew Saul, Commissioner of Social Security. “Social Security is working on many initiatives to reach vulnerable populations and I am pleased to share information about our national outreach campaign, developed in collaboration with leaders in the community, to raise awareness of the SSI and SSDI programs.”

To ensure effective outreach to these vulnerable populations who need access to agency programs, and to the advocates and organizations who can help to connect people with Social Security, the agency launched a national campaign to raise awareness of the SSI and SSDI programs and encourage people to apply. Campaign efforts include:

• A new webpage, People Helping Others, at www. socialsecurity.gov/thirdparty, for anyone who could assist another person with accessing Social Security’s programs and services; • A new outreach website, at www.socialsecurity. gov/thirdparty/groups/vulnerable-populations.html where all partner groups can access informational materials to share through their networks, including

resources tailored to specific vulnerable populations; • An updated Faith-Based and Community Groups website at www.socialsecurity.gov/thirdparty/ groups/faithandcommunity.html with a new outreach toolkit and SSI and SSDI fact sheets. The agency coordinated this effort with the White House, and the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships is helping to promote these resources; and • An upcoming national advertising campaign to support all outreach efforts on TV, radio, and social media, with special emphasis on children with disabilities (see the recently redesigned website focused on SSI for children at www. socialsecurity.gov/benefits/disability/apply-child.

html). TV and radio PSAs highlighting SSI for children currently are being tested in the Dallas, TX area to determine their impact.

The agency is now completing training videos for community-based caseworkers to help their clients with the SSI application process. People can apply for SSI benefits, and for other benefit programs, through a telephone appointment with the agency, even while local offices are not able to accept walk-in visitors. More people need to be made aware of the SSI program and reminded that they can call toll-free 1-800-7721213, or their local Social Security office, to make a phone appointment to apply for SSI. People who are deaf or hard of hearing may call Social Security’s TTY number, 1-800325-0778. 




Mauling for Money Against Elderly Asians Transforms to Hate Crimes By Elpidio R. Estioko


t all started with mauling and robbing senior A s i a n - A m e ricans in San Francisco and Tracy… because they are easy prey: helpless and cannot defend themselves. Although the motive for the attack is still under investigation, similar recent attacks have reportedly been fueled in part by racism pertaining to the coronavirus pandemic in all parts of the country. Crimes against Asian Americans (Chinese Americans in particular) increased in number last year, reported to be fired, in part, by the coronavirus pandemic’s suspected origins in Wuhan, China. According to police, there is a pattern where victims, whether walking down the street or in parking lots, were approached, pushed to the ground, and robbed in broad daylight or early morning. Since most Asians are similar in looks and appearances, non-Chinese Asians were likewise victims of the assaults.

Similar incidents happened in recent weeks across the Bay Area. Just recently for example, an 83-yearold Vietnamese man’s son named Kiet sent ABC7 News anchor Dion Lim photos of his father after he was brutally knocked to the ground Wednesday morning. A 77-year-old woman also was attacked in a similar fashion around the same time. Unlike Pang, Kiet’s father fell forward, and his neck is now broken in several places. The San Francisco Police Department arrested Steven Jenkins for assault and elder abuse in both cases. It was noted that victimization of older adults is an important subset of crime. People age 65 and older experience the same crimes as the rest of the population, including financial victimization, neglect, and physical, sexual, or emotional abuse. Older adults are often sought out because of their age and decreased likelihood of reporting to the police, a practice we need to improve. While studies demonstrate that older adults are most maltreated by family

members or acquaintances or persons they know, roughly half of violent victimizations are perpetrated by strangers. Researchers say the intimate nature of many of these victimizations means that older victims are less likely to report offenses committed by someone they know. These mauling-robbery incidents escalated to a fullscale racism with President Joe Biden acknowledging it as a hate crime against the Asian American community that is “skyrocketing” and needs to be addressed immediately. According to data from the Stop AAPI Hate Coalition, a website that helps track the cases, there were nearly 3,000 hate incidents against Asian Americans in 2020 alone, some of which were not reported to police. In the wake of the mass shooting in the Atlanta area that left eight people dead, including six women of Asian descent, President Joe Biden on Friday condemned rising hate crimes against Asian Americans. Hate crimes against Asian Americans Biden said, have been “skyrocketing” since the coronavirus pandemic began more than a year ago and that “the country cannot be silent in the face of the hate and violence.” Biden said, speaking from Emory University in Atlanta: “Our silence is complicity. We cannot be complicit. We must speak out. We have to act.”

I buy Biden’s pronouncements that Asian Americans have been “attacked, blamed, scapegoated and harassed. They’ve been verbally assaulted, physically assaulted, killed.” These are realities happening in our neighborhood we cannot overlook! Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris traveled to Atlanta on Friday to meet with Asian American leaders in the wake of the deadly shooting. Biden shared: “The conversation we had today with the Asian American and Pacific Islander leaders, and that we’re hearing across the country, is that hate, and violence often hide in plain sight. It is often met with silence. That has been true throughout our history, but that has to change because our silence is complicity.” As a result, Biden urged Congress to pass the Covid-19 Hate Crimes Act, which he has said “would expedite the federal government’s response to hate crimes that have risen during the pandemic, support state and local governments to improve hate crimes reporting and make information on hate crimes more accessible to Asian American communities.” This to me, is an approach that will reduce, if not eradicate, hate crimes in the country. Harris, who is America’s first Black and South Asian vice president said: “Racism is real in America and it has always been. Xenophobia is

real in America and always has been -- sexism too. For the last year, we have had people in positions of incredible power scapegoating Asian Americans -- people with the biggest pulpits spreading this kind of hate. Ultimately, this is about who we are as a nation. This is about how we treat people with dignity and respect.” During a meeting with leaders of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, Biden echoed Harris in condemning the rhetoric from powerful political leaders, according to one attendee. Stephanie Cho, the executive director for Asian Americans Advancing Justice, said former President Donald Trump’s name came up repeatedly during Biden’s hourlong meeting with the group. Cho hopes to see from the Biden administration strong support. She said: “I’d like to see it be beyond this moment. And that as much as the former President called it the ‘China virus’ and scapegoated Asian Americans and really fueled this racism around Asian Americans, I would like to see the Biden administration come out just as strongly but in support of Asian Americans.” Mauling and robbing the elderly has been transformed to a hate crime against Asian Americans. It escalated so we need to unite and be one in condemning it and finding a solution to end it! We need to be vigilant and be one in educating the people and making them aware of resources and support structures we can avail of. Let us end hate crimes against Asian Americans! 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 estiokoelpidio@gmail.com).



By Emil Guillermo


uddenly, they see us. We’re in the news. Six Asian American women are dead after a mindless, despicable killing spree in Atlanta. Even President Biden and Vice President Harris visited the scene. “It’s been a year of living in fear for their lives. Hate violence often hide in plain sight. It’s often met with silence,” Biden said. “That’s been throughout history. And that has to change. Because our silence is our complicity. We cannot be complicit. We have to speak out.” And don’t think Filipinos, no matter how far from the mainland, aren’t feeling something. A large percentage of the 4,000 who’ve self-reported hate instances to the Stop AAPI Hate website have been Filipinos. For this moment, we’re all in this together. Here’s how significant this all is. In Atlanta, the place where MLK is entombed, we’ve just established our own Asian American civil rights landmark. For as long as there’s an Asian American, we’ll be talking about Atlanta. In previous weeks, I’ve mentioned Vincent Chin, who was beaten to death in 1982 with a baseball bat in a suburb of Detroit. It set off an outcry that put “unity” in community and defined Asian American activism for generations. It’s been almost 40 years since Vincent Chin’s murder. And now we have a crime that defines hate for a new generation. That’s what Atlanta gives us historically. But hate crime, you say? We will get into that in a second. First, let’s talk about what took so long for everyone to notice the vulnerability of every Asian American in the nation.

Biden Shines a Light on Filipino Asian American Fears; What Took Everyone So Long to Notice? The signs were all there, but people refused to see us. They were blind to the obvious. Were we gaslit? No, we were just ignored, as usual. Obscured by indifference. But Asian Americans have been paying attention and we’ve been sounding the alarm for a year. It was on March 19, 2020, when reporters first questioned the previous president and took him to task for his excessive and cavalier use of the phrases “Kung Flu” and “China virus.” The mainstream media noticed it at first, then quickly dropped it. But those of us focused on Asian America didn’t let up. It was Trump doing what he did best: divide the country with a hate rhetoric and give the green light to white supremacists And then they were showing up everywhere. As the racists came out of the shadows, we got pushed into the dark. My columns and podcasts covered the steady rise of anti-Asian hate instances, including the start of Stop AAPI Hate – the website run by San Francisco State University’s Asian American Studies Department in the College of Ethnic Studies – when the number was at a modest 700 cases. People spat on us, called us names, and told us to “go home.” But we were home. There was the stabbing attack on Bawi Cung and his family in Midland, Texas. It was ugly, but nothing we hadn’t seen before, right? Then the number of self-reported cases more than doubled to near 1,500. By the end of the 2020, cases grew to near 3,000. As Trump blamed China for the virus, he showed little concern for Asian Americans, who were being scapegoated

Eight people dead—six of them Asian women, after a 21-year-old gun zealot shoots up three Asian spas. No one saw it coming? Asian Americans saw it coming.

and delivered to the Trump base as the convenient enemy. Finally, a report by Stop AAPI Hate at the end of February 2021 put the cases at just short of 3,800. But why quibble? Considering that most people don’t report racial incidents, let’s not downplay the fact that the number is too close to 4,000 for comfort. That should be enough to make all Americans concerned about freedom, democracy, and racial justice more than a little worried. By the end of January, Asian American activists highlighted a video that captured the brutal attack on Vichar Ratanapakdee, 84, a Thai immigrant in San Francisco. He was the first death. And then, just recently, Pak Ho, 75, in Oakland, died from a head injury during a robbery attempt. Two elderly Asian Americans in hate attacks is a local story, right? Here’s what it took for people everywhere to notice what was happening.

possibility. Since the state law was recently expanded to include sex and gender, it would appear that six Asian women dead at three Asian-owned spas would give law enforcement more than enough probable cause. That Georgia News ConferBut you have to see us ence first. The cluelessness continued at the very first press A Friend’s Reaction When I talked about the conference, when Captain Jay Baker of the Cherokee County shootings to a friend of mine Sheriff’s Office sounded as if – who is white and considers he were looking for a defense himself a progressive – all he for the white suspect, Robert could think about was guns, God, and sex. Aaron Long, 21. “And the kid,” my friend Baker said Long had essentially admitted to the kill- said, referring to the suspect, ings but said that sex may Robert Aaron Long. “Was have been the motive. Not there any evidence of a hate race? According to Baker, crime?” Do six Asian women and Long, now charged with eight three Asian spas sound like a murders, “had a bad day.” Baker is off the case now. coincidence? A good prosecutor could But besides the “bad day” gaffe, reporters found a post establish the elements of a on Baker’s Facebook account hate crime. Here’s a coincidence: that showed a t-shirt with the words “Chyna-Virus” spelled Rep. Grace Meng and Sen. phonetically in that special Mazie Hirono had previousway Trump sounds when he ly called for a Judiciary Subsquints his eyes and tries to committee hearing on Asian show just how racist he can Americans last week, as they introduce a new Covid Hate be. If the Cherokee Sheriff’s Crimes Bill. The bill would get the Department sounds like the security detail of the Trump Justice Department more base, it’s no coincidence. involved in tracking hate The Sheriff himself, Frank crimes. But the most importReynolds, has been linked to ant testimony at the hearing Blackwater, the infamous pri- was from the historians who once again reminded Convate security company. If the Cherokee County gress of the racist history toSheriff is reluctant to charge ward Asians, from Chinese hate crimes, the Atlanta Po- exclusion, to Filipino and In(continue on page 12) lice are still considering the



FIERCE FILIPINA, Inspired by the Life of Gliceria Marella de Villavicencio

By Rose Cruz Churma


n the town of Taal, Batangas, a woman’s statue marks the corner of Calle H. Castillo and Calle G. Villavicencio streets. Very little is known of her despite her generous contributions to the Filipino revolutionaries at the turn of the century during the Philippines’ struggle for independence – first from Spanish colonizers and then from the Americans. The woman depicted in the statue is Gliceria Marella de Villavicencio who was named the “Godmother of the Revolutionary Forces” by

Emilio Aguinaldo on the same day when the first Philippine Republic was proclaimed on June 12, 1898. Born to a wealthy family from Taal, Batangas, Gliceria married into another wealthy family who was into shipbuilding. She and her husband were supporters of the revolution and oftentimes offered their home as a secret meeting place for the revolutionaries. Her husband Eulalio was a member of the Katipunan while she led the efforts transporting firearms and secret documents. To distract Spanish authorities from suspecting their activities, they hosted Spanish generals as overnight guests at the house next door

– called the Wedding Gift House – Eulalio’s present to her when they got married. The Spanish authorities eventually confirmed Eulalio’s revolutionary activities and was jailed and released a year later but passed away three months after being released. Gliceria was not deterred; she donated the family’s merchant ship SS Bulusan to the revolutionaries and it became the Philippines’ first warship. Gliceria and Eulalio had six children. At the time of her

(CANDID PERSPECTIVES: Biden....from page 11)

dian exclusion, to Japanese American incarceration in WWII, to immigration bans. Men were emasculated and infantilized. Women were fetishized and sexualized. Racism has always been a part of our Asian American lives. It’s hard to imagine Robert Aaron Long relying on a sex addiction defense if it plays right into the historically sexist, racist, misogynistic view of Asian women. That puts him squarely in hate crime territory. But my friend doesn’t see it that way. He’s like so many other well-meaning Americans. There are more than 23 million Asian Americans in this country, and they just don’t see us. Hate crime? “It did not occur to me,” my friend said. I give him a break because blind spot or not, he’s still an old friend. But it’s also the astonishing thing about Atlanta. Given the racist rhetoric of Trump, and the slow build of spit and epithets, it was bound to happen – yet no one saw it coming. Just us. We’ll be talking about this story for a long, long time. For previous generations, Vincent Chin was always

the call to justice. For a new Asian American generation, it will be Atlanta. The hate’s the same. The names have changed. There’s still a chance that Georgia’s new hate crime statute – which is slightly different from the current federal law and includes discrimination based on sex and race – may still be used. If hate crime enhancements aren’t forthcoming, it would definitely send Asian Americans a harsh message of our true value in this country. It will also test the strength of our broad multi-ethnic community. What will our response be then? Will others feel our pain, join us, and speak up with us? Or will we be left wondering how we get justice for the six Asian American women killed?

Soon Chung Park, 74, who worked at Gold spa. Hyun Jung Grant, 51, the single mother who worked at Gold Spa to support herself and her two sons. Suncha Kim, 69, a Gold Spa worker. Yong Ae Yue, 63, a worker at the Aromatherapy Spa. Xiaojie Tan, 49, the owner of Young’s Asian Massage. Daoyou Feng, 44, an employee at Young’s Asian Massage. They are our dead, the latest in the sad narrative of Asian Americans in this country since the 19th Century, an agonizing history of recycled hate. 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.

death in September 1929, she was 77 years old and had lived a full life devoted to “the relentless pursuit of equality” as described in the book’s back cover. One of her descendants, her great-greatgrand daughter, Maxie, wrote her biography as a children’s book with the hope that it will “spark a desire within readers of all ages to serve their communities and uplift others.” She further writes: “May Gliceria’s story move you from silence to solidarity, from inaction to action, and from merely posting your support on social media to actively pursuing social justice.” The author, Maxie Villavicencio Pulliam, is a native of the Bay Area and currently resides in Los Angeles, California and holds a license in Clinical Social Work and is affiliated with the US Department of Veteran Affairs.

The illustrator, Jill Arteche, is based in Manila. As a visual artist, her body of work focuses on depicting culture and everyday experiences with her own touch of humor. This publication is written entirely in English, but plans are underway to publish an edition in Tagalog/Filipino for distribution in the Philippines. The book is able to relay the history of the Philippines during the Spanish era and the early years of American occupation. The illustrations convey the essence of that era in the bold use of color and use of familiar icons – such as the black embroidered panuelo that Gliceria wears. This book can serve as an introduction to Philippine history to young readers who were born in the US but curious about their country’s former colony. The book can be purchased online at FierceFilipina.com. 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 kalamansibook@gmail.com.



Stimulus Bill to Offer Free or Low-Cost Healthcare Coverage


he American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 signed into law by President Joe Biden last month has two provisions that will lower health insurance costs for millions of Americans. In Hawaii, this will mean significantly expanding access to free or lowcost healthcare to individuals and families, ensuring that no one gets left behind,” said Colin Hayashida, the Insurance Commissioner of the Department of Commerce and Consumer Af-

fairs - Insurance Division. One provision provides 100% COBRA subsidy for up to six months from April 1 through September 30, 2021, for anyone who lost health coverage due to involuntary termination or reduction in hours on or after November 1, 2019. Employers and plan administrators will determine and contact the eligible individuals and their dependents by May 31. Moreover, another provision will extend the Affordable Care Act subsidies to higher-income in-

(COVER STORY : Hate and Violence....from page 5)

stander intervention training to help the public with ways they can help if they see incidences of hate or racial crime. Asian and Pacific Islander nonprofit collective Gold House is encouraging the public to check on their AAPI friends and neighbors. Advocacy groups encourage the public to help support AAPI-owned businesses and brands that have experienced racial anti-consumerism. They also encourage more volunteering and activism in local communities.

Need to speak up A respondent (chose to remain anonymous) told the Filipino Chronicle, “the best thing to do is to bring into the open what has been ignored in the past, anti-Asian attitudes. It’s been going on for a long time, but Asians are quiet about it.” He believes Asians are patient. “We wait and wait so the groups that commit violence against us think it’s ok. So they keep doing it.” He encourages Asians to “make noise, call the police, politicians. Grievances must be documented.” Jackie Chang of Aiea also believes racism against Asians have been happening all the time, everywhere. “I don’t think racism and hate will be stopping any time soon. We need to spread awareness.” Edna Ogana, a Filipino-American from San Jose, California, told the Filipino Chronicle that hate speech

should not be tolerated. She believes there should be stiffer punishment on people who commit hate crimes and says people need to be more educated on racism against Asians. “I think the schools have not been very successful in educating people on discrimination especially systemic racism. Americans are only focused on Black Lives Matter. History of racism against Black people are taught in schools, but not history of Asian racism,” said Ogana. Vea Marie Oliver, Aiea, 19, UH Manoa Political Science major, mentions systemic racism -- “a system which contains corruption within the police department, as we see over and over again, continues to fail to give justice to minority groups. They also often fail to give deserved sentencing to these white male criminals. What can be done to stop it is stop the murders, the criminals, the white supremacy alongside [promote] a system that is fair and assures justice to the Asian American community, and of course to every oppressed groups in the United States.” Oliver said, “being Filipino and part of the Asian American community, the continuous attack against Asian Americans hit me on a really personal level. Such violence are beyond unacceptable yet we always see it in our society -- it’s frustrating, disgusting, and frankly, extremely shameful.” Ha Phan, from Milpitas, California told the Filipino

dividuals and increase the subsidies to lower-income individuals. This provision increases the Premium Tax Credit for most consumers by reducing the share of in-

come consumers contribute to premiums and by removing the upper income limit. Consumers can purchase their discounted health insurance through

the ACA Marketplace: www. healthcare.gov. “Some COBRA enrollees may see premiums drop to zero. Some Marketplace enrollees are likely eligible for new or larger subsidies and our uninsured population may be eligible for new Marketplace subsidies and possibly free premiums,” Hayashida explained. “I urge them to visit HealthCare.gov starting April 1 to see if they now qualify when they didn’t before or if they now qualify for lower cost plans.”

Chronicle since the pandemic some Caucasians have looked at him in an unfriendly manner or avoid him altogether. He believes the increasing cold war between the US and China adds to the hateful environment against Asians in the US. He said the hate is really directed at China. Ray Maglalang, also from Milpitas, California, attributes increased AAPI racism to COVID-19’s place of origin that happens to be Wuhan, China.

to obscure discrimination against Asians. Racial-justice educator Bianca Mabute-Louie, said “this [model minority myth] contributes to erasing the very real interpersonal violence that we see happening, and that Asian Americans experience from the day-to-day things that don’t get reported, and the things that don’t get filmed.” Historians point out that Asian Americans have a long history of discrimination and racism. Chinese immigrants who arrived as laborers in the 1850s were subjugated to cheap labor to build railroads. Asian immigrants have been looked upon as threats to white jobs. They were called

dirty and disease-ridden. In 1882, the US passed the Chinese Exclusion Act that discriminated against Chinese laborers from entering the country. During WWII, over 100,000 Japanese Americans were rounded up and placed in incarceration camps. Cynthia Choi, co-founder of Stop AAPI Hate, agrees that Asian xenophobia is not new; but says that astronomical levels of hate today is “something that we haven’t seen before – certainly not my lifetime.” Asians groups believe how we close this new chapter of AAPI racism will all depend on how the Asian and general community respond to what’s going on at this very moment in history.

History of discrimination and the Model-Minority Myth Asian groups say there is a longtime grievance that violence against them has often been downplayed or ignored. Contrary to what some say that Asians are just too silent when racism happens, Rep. Chan thinks Asians are just being ignored. “One of the greatest myths out there is that Asians are quiet and don’t say anything,” said Chan. “It’s easy for one to say that, but if you speak and no one hears you, the easy excuse is that you never said anything at all.” He said Asians are not always viewed as people of color to the extent that the perception is Asians do not suffer hardship as other minorities in the US. He said many people stereotype Asian-Americans as model minorities who are hard-working and immune from harassment. But some say the model minority myth has helped



He Is Risen

By Seneca Moraleda-Puguan enough, or so I thought. One Friday, for some hese three words reason, I gave in to their perchanged my life. sistent invitation. I just stayed When I was at the back and just observed. young, I would I listened intently to the youth remember cel- pastor. As he talked about ebrating Holy Jesus, the person whom I Week in Sorsogon, Philip- thought I knew, I felt my heart pines. Our family would go being touched and I rememdown to Bicol from Baguio ber tears rolling down my City to spend time with our eyes. That night became the grandparents. turning point of my life. Holy Week was a fun I accepted Him to be the time for us because we would Lord and Savior of my life. swim in the beach, visit fami- It turned out to be the greatly members, watch basketball est decision I ever made in games of our favorite provin- my life. I came home crying cial league and join a parade bringing with me message of the statues of the differ- that Jesus Christ died for my ent so-called saints. My very sins so I can be saved and He young mind thought this was rose again because death had the meaning of Holy Week. no hold on Him. I came to Until I became sixteen. know who Jesus really is and When I was in high school, not just about Him. some classmates of mine The Jesus I knew in my kept inviting me to a gather- mind became the Jesus who ing which they called “Youth took my heart. From then on, Service.” I experienced the kind of freeI turned them down many dom and joy I never thought times because I knew it’s a existed. I had a revelation of meeting where they would what grace and mercy mean. raise their hands and sing My life was never the same. ‘Halleluiah, Praise the Lord.’ But it wasn’t an overnight I didn’t like it. transformation of heart. From I was content with my that day on until I went to the own religious beliefs, ful- University of the Philippines filling our ritual of attending in Diliman, I surrounded mychurch on a Sunday even if I self with people who walked didn’t understand the homily. with me in my new found I thought I was a good girl faith. and that was enough. I knew They helped me underabout Jesus and that was stand the decision I made. I


opened my life to people who can speak encouragement, hope, even correction and rebuke. It was an everyday decision to die to my selfish desires and choose to follow and live my life for Christ. It wasn’t an easy journey, but it definitely is worth it. I never turned back to my old life. Looking at my life now and remembering that fateful day, I couldn’t help but be grateful and be in tears for such a display of love. The God who created the universe

would call a nobody like me His child. I now know the significance of the Holy Week. It’s not just a time for families to gather and have fun, it’s not about performing rituals or uttering memorized prayers, it’s remembering and worshiping God for sending His Son, Jesus Christ to die on the cross so we can all be saved. It’s celebrating the victory that Christ has won because He didn’t remain on the cross, the tomb was empty. He rose again. HE IS RISEN. In light of what the world is facing right now, with COVID-19 hitting way too close to everyone’s home and numbers turning into names, these three words bring hope. His stripes bring healing, His blood brings protection, His rising bring victory, His Name brings comfort and peace. Jesus is alive and He reigns over all the earth. As we celebrate the Holy

Week, let us remember who Jesus Christ is and what He has done for us just like what this song by Maverick City encourages us to do. “The bread Your body, the wine Your blood, sweet communion. You set a table for us, the crucified Jesus. No greater love than the bread Your body, than the wine Your blood. Oh, we will remember, Oh Jesus, Jesus our Savior. Oh, just to know You in Your suffering, just to get me closer than we’ve ever been. Oh, we will remember. The holes in Your hand, the wound in Your side, thirty-nine lashes brought me back to life. Before resurrection, there was a grave in hell, there was a battle, and my life was saved. Oh, we will remember, Oh Jesus. This is our Savior, look at Him. Look at Him, Our Christ Redeemer.” HE IS RISEN. These three words changed my life forever. This is my testimony. It is my prayer they will change yours too.


Final Approval Granted for Construction of Community-Based Outpatient Clinic for Leeward Oahu Veterans


he House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has approved a resolution that is the final step for the Department of Veteran Affairs to grant the lease of construction of the Advanced Leeward Outpatient Health Care Access (ALOHA) Project. The ALOHA project is a Veteran Affairs facility clinic that will provide the much-needed access to more than 87,000 veterans on Oahu, more particularly

those who reside on the leeward side of the island. Moreover, the new clinic will also reduce wait times, alleviate traffic challenges and increase provider availability that the Spark. M. Matsunaga Veterans Affairs Medical Center on the Tripler Army Medical Center campus is experiencing. “Veterans living on Oahu—particularly in Leeward Oahu—have been patiently waiting for a VA facility that will provide ac-

cessible, quality health care in their community,” said Senator Mazie Hirono, who has long campaigned for the ALOHA project. “The ALOHA Project was worked on by Senator Daniel K. Akaka and it has been a key priority of mine as well. This resolution was the final congressionally mandated step before the VA can award the lease and construction can begin. This facility is long overdue. Our veterans need to get the care they earned, and I urge swift action from the Biden Administration to get this project underway.” When completed, the ALOHA project will be a 66,00 foot multispecialty Veterans Administration clinic on the Ewa Plain area of Oahu and will provide primary care, mental health care, x-ray laboratory, diagnostic, pharmacy and specialty care for veterans in the area.


COMMUNITY CALENDAR FILCOM CARES VACCINATION DRIVE | April 8, 2021 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM | To schedule an appointment, please call Kaiser Permanente at (808) 432-2273 or (808) 4322260

YOUTH MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID VIRTUAL TRAINING | Mental Health America of Hawaii | April 8, 2021 9:00 AM | Open to the public but with limited slots of 20 participants. To register, visit surveymonkey.com/r/NFN6737.

SUICIDE PREVENTION 101 VIRTUAL TRAINING | Mental Health America of Hawaii | April 9, 2021 12:00 PM 1:00 PM | Open to the public with limited 30 participant slots. Register at surveymonkey.com/r/DRK5F2F.


FilCom CARES Vaccination Drive Takes Place April 8 in Waipahu By Jim Bea Sampaga


n support of Filipino and Pacific Islander communities in Hawaii getting vaccinated against COVID-19, the Filipino Community Center in Waipahu announced the next FilCom CARES Vaccination program will be held on April 8, from 9am to 1pm.

Research by the Hawaii State Department of Health shows that Filipino and Pacific Islander residents have contracted COVID-19 at a higher rate compared to other ethnic groups in Hawaii. However, Filipinos and Pacific Islanders are also among the lowest to be vaccinated in the state. The Filipino Community Center aims to reverse that trend and have more Filipino and Pacific

Islanders vaccinated. Edmund Aczon, chair of the Filipino Community Center, says it is essential for these communities to get vaccinated to improve the overall well-being of Hawaii’s population and economic strength. “Filipinos are the largest immigrant group in the state, and they join the growing Hawaii-born Filipino community,” said Aczon. “We make major contributions


Kokua Kauai Card Program to Help Local Businesses Attract Customers “We have worked hard to make


he Kauai Chamber of Commerce is encouraging businesses to participate in the Kokua Kauai Card program: a discount card program to help drive visitors to businesses greatly impacted by COVID-19. In partnership with the Kauai Visitors Bureau and the Kauai Chapter of the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association, the card program will be presented to each visitor upon completion of the voluntary second COVID-19 vaccine test three days post-arrival. The card will offer the

visitor access to discounts at participation businesses. The Kokua Kauai Card program will commence on April 5, the day Kauai re-enters the Safe Travels Program. In order to participate, a legitimate Kauai operating business must have a discount or promotional offer to provide to the customer. The card will feature a QR code that opens a webpage featuring the various discounts and promos offered.

this program as user friendly as possible to allow the visitor easy access to the offer you are providing,” the Chamber wrote in a press release. “We hope to have a wide range of offers available through the program, in order to entice visitors to take the voluntary second test.” To join the Kokua Kaui Card program, sign up at kauaichamber.org/kokuacard/. The Chamber wants to remind applicants to prepare their offer and make sure to quantify its dollar value.

to the state but a significant number struggle economically and many face language barriers in obtaining information and services.” To show support of the vaccination drive, Nareit Hawaii donated $50,000 to expand the FilCom CARES Vaccination program statewide. Gladys Quinto Marrone, executive director of Nareit Hawaii highly encourages everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible. “We are honored to support the FilCom CARES vaccination program, and this concerted community-wide effort to keep all families healthy and protect them from the spread of COVID-19,” she said. The April 8 FilCom CARES Vaccination program is the third vaccination drive by the Filipino Community Center. The program is in partnership with Hawaii State Department of Health, Kaiser Permanente, the Kalihi Palama Center, and Project Vision. The FilCom Care Vaccination program is provided by appointment only. To schedule an appointment, call Kaiser Permanente at (808) 432-2273 or (808) 432-2260.  (Solution to Crossword No. 3 | March 20, 2021)

KROSWORD by Carlito Lalicon PAHALANG

No. 4

1. Amo 5. Patrimonyo 11. Kalusugan 13. Pribado 15. Talamalian 16. Mano 18. Katipan 20. Pakitang-tapang 21. Apog 22. Di-mapagpanggap 23. Kuwarenta 27. Cagayan de ____ 28. Kompra 29. Pamitin 31. Tuparin ang pangako 35. Barkilyos


1. Markang pagguhit 2. Sabat 3. Estero 4. Isang uri ng kulisap 5. Din 6. Alipusta 7. Nasambot 8. Karetilya 9. Gatos 10. Balalay

36. Gradas 38. “Isa pa ___ !” 39. Barungbarong 41. Gukgok ng baboy 42. Iyak ng ilang manok o hayop 43. Pantukoy na ginagamit sa pangngalang pambalana 45. Kangay 47. Sa bibig 51. Katawagan sa nakatatandang kapatid na babae 52. Mag-imbak sa lata 59. Ipinid 53. Angal 60. Semento sa akto 57. Aliwalas ng paggamit

12. Bigat na ipinapatong sa isang bagay 13. Isang lipon na sampu ang bilang 14. Pagkalat 17. Isang uri ng malaki at mailap na hayop-gubat 19. Liwasan 22. Bahaan 23. Pinuno ng monasteryo 24. Kuwako


I am offering 25$ per Hour for 4-5 hours daily for a Dementia Father. Applicants should email their Resume and Reference (talk2amanda75@gmail.com) 61. Pamantayan 62. Kamoteng-kahoy 63. Kanta ni Boy Mondragon

46. Ululin 25. Talino 26. Kapital ng Camarines Sur 47. Yero 48. Asong nakahihilam 30. Kapital ng Samoa 32. Iyak ng baka o kalabaw 49. Balahak 33. Ikli 50. Mabisa 34. “Ina ko” 53. Esperansa 36. Panungkit 54. Bikas 37. Libro 55. Ehersito 40. Magpabataan 56. Bulos 42. Elebador 58. Diwata 44. Lahod (Ang sagot ay matutunghayan sa susunod na isyu ng Chronicle)

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APRIL 3, 2021

Profile for Hawaii Filipino Chronicle

Hawaii Filipino Chronicle - April 3, 2021  

Hawaii Filipino Chronicle - April 3, 2021