Hawaii Filipino Chronicle - August 15, 2020

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AUGUST 15, 2020  HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE  1

AUGUST 15, 2020

HAWAII-FILIPINO NEWS

Fil-Am Victors in the Primary; Others Advancing to the General

SPECIAL BUSINESS EDITION INSIDE

COVER STORY

CANDID PERSPECTIVES

Desperate and Troubled, Trump Sounds His Own Alarm

FCCH Selects Dr. Charlie Sonido As Entrepreneur of the Year

NEWS FEATURE

Hawaii Reopening Schools is Safe, Teachers’ Union Doubts It


2 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLEAUGUST 15, 2020

EDITORIAL

Our Students Will Need Extra Help During this Time

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he Hawaii Filipino Chronicle, through the Filipino Media Foundation (HFC’s scholarship non-profit), will be offering much needed help to a deserving college student in the second annual HFC Scholarship Program. The scholarship recipient will be awarded $2,500+, and must be a full-time college student in Journalism, mass communications or a media-related major from an accredited four-year university or college in Hawaii. The scholarship is for the 2020-2021 academic year. (see cover story for deadline and requirements.) Last year’s HFC Scholarship Program awardee was Alyssa Jacelyn Salangsang Acob, who later graduated with honors from Hawaii Pacific University with a double major in Integrated Media and Mass Communications. Alyssa was one of the graduating class of seniors affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, had to take classes online, and unfortunately suspend traditional graduation ceremonies. But the good news is that she was able to land her first job in a media department during a tough pandemic-job market. We wish her much success. Kudos to the owners of the Hawaii Filipino Chronicle Dr. Charlie Sonido and Chona Montesines-Sondio for their commitment to our community by helping a deserving Filipino college student, and their commitment to our profession by awarding the scholarship to a deserving student in the journalism-mass communication field. On establishing the HFC Scholarship Program last year during the HFC’s 25th Anniversary, publisher and managing editor Montesines-Sonido, said “We need future Fil-Am writers and leaders in the fields of journalism and mass communications. We are short of Filipino journalists who will continue our work and serve the Filipinos and our community-at-large in the future. “We need good journalists who are the ‘eyes and ears of the community’, and the Chronicle believes that we must build a pool of journalists in the future to safeguard our democracy and create a group that reports ‘checks and balances’ actions happening in the government and around us. With good reporting in place by well-trained journalists, we can secure a fair, informative and steady flow of news in our community and around the world. It is important that we support these students who are preparing for their future in the JMC field.”

Uncertain and difficult time for students Researchers from Penn State and the University of Connecticut conducted a study on the complex challenges faced by students, particularly from underrepresented groups during this pandemic. “The impacts of this unexpected transition to distance learning are not equal among students,” said Nathanial Brown, professor of mathematics and leader of the research team. “As universities closed, many students entered resource-limited or stressful domestic situations that are not conducive to learning.” The study found students with low socioeconomic status will have less options, limited access to high-speed internet, and be pressured to work because of household financial demands. It’s uncertain how Filipino students will be impacted. But historically even before COVID-19, Filipino students have had extra pressure to work straight out of college or while in college compared to their peers. It’s also common for some Filipino students to take off a semester or carry minimum credits to work. With high unemployment for many Filipinos in Hawaii’s hotel industry, which could affect household income, it’s a possibility that there could be added pressure to suspend education temporarily and work to help boost family income for urgent needs. (continue on page 3)

FROM THE PUBLISHER

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ne of the Hawaii Filipino Chronicle’s mission goals has been to elevate our youth through multiple ways – inspiring them by highlighting accomplishments of our community’s leaders who can serve as role models; and reporting on our community’s progress and challenges (without sugar coating) in areas like education where progress has been steady, but not yet where it should be. Last year, as part of the newspaper’s 25th Anniversary, we’ve added yet another way to help our youth through our HFC Scholarship Program. For our cover story this issue, HFC’s Edna Bautista, Ed.D. updates us on Alyssa Jacelyn Salangsang Acob, the HFC Scholarship Program’s first awardee. My husband Dr. Charlie Sonido and I had established the Filipino Media Foundation to help through scholarships Filipino college students majoring in Journalism or Mass Communications. This year, I am pleased to announce the HFC Scholarship Program will once again be awarding a scholarship of $2,500+. Interested students should see the sidebar next to the cover story for details, requirements, and deadline. This second-year scholarship, we are hoping will be of particular significance for the recipient who might be experiencing financial hardship as many Filipino families and students face during this pandemic. We hope this scholarship will make a difference for a deserving Filipino student who in the long-term, can be an illuminating force in our industry. Bautista is pleased to report that Acob graduated with honors from Hawaii Pacific University with a double major in Integrated Media and Mass Communications this past Spring. Fortunately, she has landed her first full-time job in media during an anemic pandemic-jobs market. We wish her the best and hope to read more of her good work in the future. Keeping on the topic of education, HFC columnist Elpidio Estioko writes “Hawaii Reopening Schools Is Safe, Teachers’ Union Doubts It.” There are more preparation needed for children to return to in-person instruction, according to the State’s teacher’s union. In the meantime, Estioko writes schools might integrate a hybrid model with limited in-person teaching and distance at-home learning. Also in this issue, we are pleased to present a business supplement. For the supplement cover story, HFC associate editor Edwin Quinabo writes about HFC’s own publisher/executive editor Dr. Charlie Sonido who was chosen as the Filipino Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii’s Entrepreneur of the Year awardee for his medical practice Primary Care Clinic of Hawaii (PCCH). It’s not too common for doctors to be given business accolades. But the private medical practice profession is quickly changing and the “business” side of it is practically required to survive today. Dr. Sonido, who has one of the largest and most successful private medical practices, shares some of his business strategies and philosophy that have helped him to grow PCCH from a solo practice in 1983 to a large LLC with 75 employees and 5 locations that includes clinics on the islands of Oahu, Kauai and Hilo. In the business supplement, also read HFC’s Mark Lester Ranchez’s Q&A with Jeoffrey Cudiamat, president-elect of the Filipino Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii. Cudiamat is CEO of Structural Hawaii, Inc. and president of Structural Builder Hawaii, Inc. He’s a well-known engineer and businessman in the state. We wish him much success during his tenure leading the Filipino Chamber. Lastly, read Associate Editor Dennis Galolo’s feature on Sherry Menor-McNamara, President and CEO, Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii, who was selected as the Filipino Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii’s 2020 Filipino Business Executive of the Year. Enjoy our other interesting articles in this special business supplement. Thank you for supporting your community newspaper. Until 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.

Design

Junggoi Peralta

Photography Tim Llena

Administrative Assistant Lilia Capalad Shalimar Pagulayan

Editorial Assistant Jim Bea Sampaga

Columnists

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


AUGUST 15, 2020  HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE  3

EDITORIAL

Congratulations Dr. Sonido on Being Chosen as the Filipino Chamber’s Entrepreneur of the Year Awardee

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f you haven’t already noticed, private medical practices are quickly disappearing or being gobbled up by hospitals, large clinics or large physicians groups. The American Medical Association says less than one-third of American physicians will remain in private practice in the near future. Where are doctors going? The American Hospital Association reports a 32 percent increase in the number of physicians employed by hospitals, and growing each year. Or, doctors stay exactly where they are in what appears as a small private practice, but are completely or partially owned by a large company that happens to own not just that

small private practice but several throughout the city or state. Why the trend toward “employed” doctors? Some report overregulation, reimbursements are too complex needing larger specialized administrative staff; some say fixed cost of procedures makes it impossible to run a profitable practice (because they are too small and see too few patients); some say the financial risks are too high. For younger doctors with huge student debt, they don’t have the capital to start a private practice and have no choice but to turn to hospitals or integrated health networks as employers. Or some older doctors, accustomed to older models of practice, less business-oriented, just want to practice medicine and live a

(Our Students...from page 2)

The Penn State and the University of Connecticut study also found that first generation students of certain racial and ethnic backgrounds live in multigenerational homes where maintaining spatial boundaries could be a challenge, and could leave them more susceptible to the virus, and make it more difficult for distance-learning. The study describes the exact conditions of Hawaii’s multi-generational living style (Filipino families included). With many public places closed and little option but to stay home, concentrating and studying could be difficult for students in multi-generational dwellings. “These types of situations could exacerbate challenges to academic performance caused by disruption of learning due to the pandemic,” said Brown.

Filipinos Rising to Meet Today’s Unique Challenges The Filipino community has been making slow but steady gains in higher education enrollment and graduating rates. We hope that the pandemic will not result in a set back from the progress the community has been making. First and foremost, multi-generational dwellings must create an environment conducive to studying. Possible tips: create safe quiet zones possibly one room dedicated for work, if not physically possible, at least designate quiet hours in a day. Coordinate necessary outings like shopping, work, or outdoor leisure to match up with studying times for student-household members. This will give students alone time to focus on their work without disruption. Filipino families must also do their due diligence and seek whatever available financial help is out there in order for their children to continue their higher education. Scholarships like the HFC Scholarship Program is one avenue for one student. We’re hoping that other established Filipino club and professional organizations will rise to the challenge by offering scholarships to our youth particularly during this difficult time. Let’s come together and help our youth achieve their dreams for a better education and career. We cannot let conditions during this pandemic to stop this from happening.

less stressful life. Experts say what’s happening is the institutionalization of medicine where business entities or business savvy doctors with huge capital flow have taken over. It’s Darwinian, certainly. The long-term affect to patients could result in what we see in giant companies – the patient-consumer could enjoy better prices and deals than what it used to be when smaller businesses offered the same products or services. Or because medicine is so regulated, that might not even happen. Patient care could be compromised, depending on how many patients a doctor must see per day. The higher the number, clearly, means less quality. So what matters is how much the company is willing to spend on hiring employee-physicians to have a reasonable physician-to-pa-

tient ratio. Arguably, seeing beyond 20 a day you start to see a diminishing of quality; 10 or less doesn’t make for a healthy business model. Cost to patients and quality of patient care in this new trend is still evolving and uncertain.

Primary Care Clinic of Hawaii (PCCH) Dr. Charlie Sonido, who was recently chosen as the Filipino Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii’s Entrepreneur of the Year, anticipated the trend of mergers and acquisitions in private medical practice (which precedence hit other industries well before the medical industry) and made the move to go big (expand) or face the alternatives as mentioned above, become an employee-physician (at a hospital or in his own office). Sonido said he saw expan-

sion as the only way to survive. “Status quo was not an option. The old business truism is true: economy of scale works.” So what started out as a solo practice in 1983 grew over the years to what his practice is today. His company PCCH now has 75 employees that includes 9 physicians, 2 advanced nurse practitioners, 2 nurses, 7 managers, 3 physical therapists and 2 massage therapists. PCCH has 5 locations in Waipahu, Kalihi, Liliha on Oahu; a clinic in Lihue, Kauai. And most recently he opened up yet another clinic in Hilo, Hawaii. Expansion, however, has not compromised quality of patient care in his practice. He maintains a healthy ratio of physician-to-patient. Each physician seeing about 20 per day. He utilizes the most modern trends, including telehealth services and electronic health record keeping. He helps his (continue on page 5)

HAWAII-FILIPINO NEWS

Fil-Am Victors in the Primary; Others Advancing to the General By Jim Bea Sampaga

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awaii voter turnout shattered previous records in the state’s first all-mail voting system, elections officials reported. Even before Primary Election day, the state Office of Elections said it received 380,000 ballots, over 100,000 more compared to the previous record set in 1994. It was a mixed-bag result in the Primary for candidates of Filipino ancestry with a few of them moving onto the General. Two of the most hotly contested races to be continued are for Honolulu City Council. In City Council District 7, Fil-Am Radiant Cordero received 47.5 % of votes compared to Jacob Aki’s 42.29%. In City Council District 9, Fil-Ams garnered the top two positions Will Espero 39.68% to Agusto Tulba’s 36.66%. In both non-partisan races, top finishers failed to meet the 50 %+1 requirement and must compete in the General. Other General Election faceoffs with Fil-Am candidates include: Lanakila Mangauil for OHA Hawaii Resident Trustee;

Sonny Ganaden and Tess Quilingking for State House District 30; and Dominic Yagong for Hawaii Council District 1. In the nonpartisan race for Mayor of Honolulu, FilAm candidate Kym Pine placed fourth with 14.4% of the votes, missing the cut for the top two spots to continue to the General. Former TV news executive Rick Blangiardi (25.7%) and businessman Keith Amemiya (20.6%) placed first and second, respectively, and will face off in the General. Former congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa finished a close third (18.6%) and former mayor of Honolulu rounded up the top five at 10.1%.

Primary Election Winners

Fil-Ams declared winners for this election cycle after the Primary are Henry Aquino, State House District 38 (Waipahu); Gil Coloma Keith-Agaran, State Senate, District 5 (Wailuku, Waihe’e, Kahului); TY J.K. Cullen, State House District 39 (Royal Kunia, Village Park, Waipahu, Makakilo, West Loch); Donovan Dela Cruz, State Sen-

ate, District 22 (Mililani Mauka,Waipi’o Acres, Wheeler, Wahiawa, Whitmore Village, Poamoho); Sonny Ganaden, State House, District 30 (Kalihi Kai, Sand Island, Hickam, Pearl Harbor, Ford Island, Halawa Valley Estate); Diamond Garcia, State House, District 43 (Ewa Villages, Kalaeloa, Honokai Hale, Nanakai Gardens, Ko Olina, Kahe Point, Nanakuli, Lualualei, Maili); Austin Maglinti, State House, District 39 (Royal Kunia, Village Park, Waipahu, Makakilo, West Loch); Tess Abalos Quilingking, State House, District 30 (Kalihi Kai, Sand Island, Hickam, Pearl Harbor, Ford Ilsand, Halawa Valley Estate); Joy San Buenaventura, State Senate, District 2 (Puna); and Joseph Kaahema Simpliciano Jr., State House, District 44 (Maili, Waianae, Makaha and Makua). There were more than 10 Fil-Am candidates losing on Primary Election day, most notable was veteran politician, former State House member, former City Councilman Romy Cachola. He was defeated by newcomer Sonny Ganaden in the State House, District 30 race.


4 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLEAUGUST 15, 2020

COVER STORY

ALYSSA ACOB, HFC’S FIRST JOURNALISM SCHOLARSHIP WINNER, FACES THE FUTURE WITH FAITH DURING A GLOBAL PANDEMIC By Edna R. Bautista, Ed.D.

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he future looked bright for Alyssa Jacelyn Salangsang Acob, Hawaii Filipino Chronicle’s first ever journalism scholarship winner. In November 2019, she was recognized for her academic achievements at the Chronicle’s 25th Anniversary Celebration, Missed moments “Everything was happening and changing so fast,” Acob recalled about the pandemic impacting her senior year at HPU. “I was honestly sad, angry, confused and discouraged because I had all these expectations of how I wanted my last semester of college to be, but I couldn’t do anything about it.” Acob was just looking forward to spending time with her classmates, especially those who were graduating with her, and learning as much as she could from her professors before going out into the real world. “I was also looking forward to the events that the school would host for the seniors, including GradFest, where seniors could go to pick up their caps and gowns, take photos and just hang out with friends. There’s also a concert

Excellence Awards and Gala Dinner. But COVID-19 roared into 2020, and by spring break in March, when she only had a few more weeks before graduating with honors from Hawaii Pacific University as a double major in Integrated Media and Mass Communications, the future looked uncertain.

that the school puts on where they would invite a featured artist to come and perform for all HPU students, alumni and faculty,” she said. Because of the coronavirus crisis, Acob missed all these special moments and was not able to experience any of these collegiate traditions at HPU as a graduating senior.

Final class act Like many other schools, HPU had to switch completely to online classes via Zoom and Blackboard. When the campus closed its classrooms, faculty and students had to act quickly by adapting their teaching and learning methods. “I’ve taken online classes before, but I would only take one online class and the rest would be in-person. Transitioning to online definitely took a toll on me because I’m

the type of student who needs to physically be in a classroom with a professor teaching me and other students alongside me to learn,” Acob said. “With school being online, I had to learn to be more self-disciplined and make sure I was keeping track of the work I needed to get done and the due dates to have them done by. Overall, I am extremely grateful for the understanding, flexibility, encouragement and help that my professors continued to provide for me throughout the semester that pushed me to finish this semester strong.”

Commencement cancelled HPU cancelled it spring 2020 commencement ceremony. Even plans for a virtual ceremony had to be altered. “On May 9, which was supposed to be the day of our ceremony, HPU had a virtual send-off called ‘A Hui Hou’,

Alyssa Acob

which each college of study hosted separately,” Acob explained. “So for the College of Liberal Arts, we joined together through Zoom and had a meeting that included our dean, program chair, faculty and graduating students who wanted to attend. They went around to give their ‘goodbyes’ for now and even put together a quick slideshow of the graduating students that everyone was able to watch via screen-share. “At the end, they allotted some time for each student on the Zoom meeting to quickly introduce themselves, what they majored in and if they had any upcoming plans for what’s next or any last thoughts to share about their college journey,” Acob said. “It was definitely a bittersweet moment that obviously can’t compare to a traditional ceremony, but nevertheless a once-in-a-lifetime and intimate moment that I got to experience in celebrating yet slowly closing this

chapter of my life.”

Social distance celebration Graduation parties during a pandemic pose plenty of health risks, so Acob’s family surprised her with a nontraditional social distance celebration on what would have been the night of her traditional commencement ceremony. “They prompted me to get ready so we could just take pictures. The moment I stepped out of my house, I saw some family members and friends drive up to my house with their cars decorated, honking their horns. They got to ‘lei’ me as they drove and stopped by. It was something I was not expecting at all, but so grateful and blessed for my family,” Acob said. She shared that instead of being stressed about her graduation not going as planned, she still cherished the intimate celebration with them, adding that “being quarantined at home, I (continue on page 5)


AUGUST 15, 2020  HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE  5

COVER STORY (from page 4)

got to spend more time with my family instead of always being on the go between school, work and personal life.”

The real world of work Though many are facing unemployment during the coronavirus crisis, Acob was fortunate to go out into the real and find work. She said it was hectic after graduating from HPU but kept the faith. She believed that if God still allowed her to finish school strong, even through a global pandemic, “there will be no situation that is too hard that He can’t get me through in the future.” Acob said, “In the midst of going back to my part-time job at Daiso and feeling anxious about finding another job, the more I just trusted God with whatever would come next, I actually got a full-time job opportunity to work at Pearlside Church in their media department. So I’m extremely blessed to be given this opportunity, especially in a time like this.” Putting her JMC education and skills to use, she now manages their digital media [social media platforms, website, app and other forms of (print and broadcast) communication] by capturing stories and documenting events that go on in the church, publicizing the information and graphics and sharing the “good news” with everyone. Facing the future Learning does not end after gradu-

ation; the pandemic offers many teachable moments, as Acob and her peers face the future. “In this experience of unexpected change of plans, I learned that although we will always have plans, goals and dreams in mind, sometimes they won’t always go the way we expect and that’s okay—that’s the beauty of life,” Acob said. “Sometimes things can turn out better than we planned. In those moments, we learn a lot about ourselves and grow in character, wisdom and knowledge that will actually prepare us for what’s to come in the future.”

A generation like no other She advised students who are still in college during the pandemic “to keep going, push through enjoy the journey and never stop dreaming…. You have a plan and purpose for your life that not even a global pandemic can take away. Honestly, there will be tough and challenging times, but if you continue to work hard, do your best and surround yourself with people who are going to encourage and support you, you can get through it and finish strong. You’ve come too far to give up now and I know this generation will be like no other! “One of my professors told our class that we have the opportunity to have an impact and make a difference in this world that few generations get to,” Acob said. “My heart and prayers are with you all. Continue to stay safe, take care and we’ll get through this together.”

(EDITORIALS: Congratulations ....from page 2)

physician-employees from experiencing physician “burnout” – lessening their administration tasks by hiring medical scribes. PCCH receives glowing reviews from its patients. A typical feedback, Arlene Peralta of Royal Kunia, said, “I am a Registered Nurse and have been going to the clinic because of the trust I have in the doctors and staff. I trust in the quality of patient care they provide not only for myself but for my family.” Staff are also pleased with the environment that can only translate to better quality in healthcare. PCCH’s Dr. Dennis Scheppers said, “I have worked for many employers and companies since coming to Hawaii in 1992. They were all nice, some more than others. It wasn’t until I came to work for PCCH Kauai did I realize the utmost organization one could work for. You can describe this organization in one word – caring. Caring for patients and their needs. But also caring for the people who work here. I see people grow in their positions because they are allowed to grow.” Dr. Sonido said, “If you have the patient’s best interest first and fore-

most, you cannot go wrong. The business part becomes secondary.” This is certainly true. But it’s also a humble answer. Many private practicing physicians have been providing excellent care for their patients, but haven’t adopted smart business plans, implemented cost-savings practices, or taken risks to invest and expand as Sonido has done successfully. This is not to say that employed physicians are or have taken a lesser path, definitely not by any means. Their medical work are invaluable, noble, and perhaps the same as if the company they work for were their own. It’s just that they are not as entrepreneurial or business-driven. The Filipino Chamber should be applauded for choosing Dr. Sonido (who has also done a lifetime’s work of community service through the PMAH, BCWW, and Ohana Medical Mission, to name only a few) as its Entrepreneur of the Year awardee. Congratulations Dr. Sonido on your remarkable achievements; and a well-deserved kudos also to your professional team at PCCH. Mabuhay and much continued success.

HFC’s $2,500+Journalism Scholarship Will Help College Students with Tuition During Pandemic; Deadline Sept. 15 By Edna R. Bautista, Ed.D. HFC Journalism Scholarship Chair

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OVID-19 has altered the college experience but students still must go back to school and continue their education, whether online or on campus (modified with socially distanced classrooms). What has not changed is tuition—it still must be paid. In uncertain economic times, money to afford a college education is even more of a concern. Hawaii Filipino Chronicle is here to help by offering a $2,500+ scholarship to students specifically majoring in journalism and mass communications (JMC) at any of the four-year accredited universities in the islands. The scholarship was established last year in celebration of the Chronicle’s 25th publication anniversary date. Chona Montesines Sonido, publisher and managing editor, explained that the Chronicle set up a Filipino Media Foundation to raise funds to support college students and invest in the future of Filipinos working in JMC-related fields. The under-representation of Filipinos in the field along with declining enrollments in JMC schools adversely affect the number of qualified graduates entering the workforce. The Chronicle hopes that its journalism scholarship program is a good motivator for local Filipino students to study and work in Hawaii’s media and reverse the situation. “We need future Fil-Am writers and leaders in the fields of journalism and mass communications. We are short of Filipino journalists who will continue our work and serve the Filipinos and our community-at-large in the future,” Sonido said. “We need good journalists who are the ‘eyes and ears of the community’, and the Chronicle believes that we must build a pool of journalists in the future to safeguard our democracy and create a group that reports ‘checks and balances’ actions happening in the government and around us. With good reporting in place by well-trained journalists, we can secure a fair, informative and steady flow of news in our community and around the world,” she said. “It is important that we support these students who are preparing for their future in the JMC field.” Eligible college students in Hawaii are encouraged to apply. The deadline is September 15, 2020. • • • • • •

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA Filipino or part-Filipino U.S. citizen Hawaii high school graduate Full-time college student (at least 12 credits undergraduate) enrolled at an accredited four-year public or private college/university in Hawaii during the 2020-2021 academic year Journalism, mass communications or media-related major (declared on transcript) 3.0 cumulative GPA (on 4.0 scale)

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS Eligible students should send the following to hfcnews@yahoo.com by the September 15, 2020, deadline. Application and reference forms may be downloaded from the Chronicle website at https://www.thefilipinochronicle.com/scholarship/. • Completed scholarship application form • Copy of recent college transcript (finalists may send official transcripts later for verification) • Two reference forms in lieu of letters of recommendation • Three samples of journalistic writing-news reporting style (may email attachments or weblinks) • 1,000-word essay (details on the application form) One winner will be selected by the scholarship committee and notified later in the fall semester. He/she will be profiled in an article with excerpts of his/her essay published in a future edition of the Chronicle. PLUS…the winner may receive an additional $1,000 per academic year as a JMC major until graduation for maintaining a 3.0 GPA! SUPPORT THE STUDENTS Alyssa Acob, a recent graduate from Hawaii Pacific University who double majored in Integrated Multimedia and Mass Communications, was the first HFC journalism scholarship recipient. In November 2019, she was recognized for her achievements at the HFC charity and awards banquet. She is grateful that the scholarship helped to lighten her financial hardship, especially when the pandemic hit hard during the last few weeks of her senior semester. “This scholarship has also encouraged me to keep pursuing media and opened my eyes to see that there are people out there who believe in the goals and dreams of this next generation to be the next-up storytellers who will keep this legacy going,” Acob said. “I’ve been so blessed by the opportunities this scholarship has given me and hope to continue seeing aspiring journalists and media content creators go after their dreams.” When it is safe from the coronavirus, the Chronicle will plan another fundraising event. But more money is needed now to support and sustain the annual journalism scholarship awards program. Please support the students and invest in the future of Filipinos working in JMC fields. Donations are welcome via the Filipino Media Foundation and are 100% tax-deductible. To donate, please contact the Chronicle office at filipinochronicle@gmail.com or call (808) 678-8930. 


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AUGUST 15, 2020  HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE  7

PERSONAL REFLECTIONS

Prayer for the Nations By Seneca Moraleda-Puguan for several weeks now causing

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h, 2020. What a memorable year you will be. At the end of 2019, we looked forward to starting the New Year with a blast and we were hoping it would be one of the best years but now, we still have five months left and we can’t wait for it to be over. I must say that it is one of, if not, the worst years of the decade. The nations are not yet done mitigating the COVID-19 pandemic and in fact, in some nations, the worse has yet to come, but it seems like one tragedy after another keeps battering the world. At the time that the world’s hope is already up, believing that things will be better, another wave of challenge comes tossing. Can we still hope for the year 2020 to end on a good note? The Philippines has now reached more than a hundred thousand active COVID-19 cases. In the midst of this battle, the country has already lost dozens of its premiere medical practitioners. Thousands of our frontliners, passionately working to fight the virus, are already exhausted, and are clamoring for timeout. What has made this issue worse is the news of the Philhealth funds being embezzled by its executives. South Korea, though victorious in its battle against the pandemic, is facing another war. It has been raining continuously

landslides and flash floods in several regions. There are more than a dozen people who died, many are missing and thousands are left homeless. One of the most heartbreaking news that the world has faced this August is the explosion at the port of Beirut in Lebanon, killing more than a hundred people, wounding thousands, leaving many homeless and destroying the city. Seeing the videos and pictures of those affected had brought tears to my eyes. These are just some of the things happening in different nations. Every single part of the world is facing difficult challenges as economies are crashing, businesses are failing, and many are dying. But what can we do? When things are getting out of control and bad things are happening, shall we mope and lose hope? Shall we be angry at the world, be in despair and curse life? It’s tempting, isn’t it? But it is my hope that we continue hoping, that we continue living and keep fighting. When things are getting overwhelming and all I can see around me is darkness, I bow my head and kneel before the One who gives light and sees the bigger picture, the One who holds the world in His hands. Here is my prayer for the nations. I urge you, whatever you believe in, to be in faith, to speak hope and healing upon this dying world.

I pray for wisdom upon government leaders to be able to make wise and righteous decisions in mitigating the effects of the pandemic and the different tragedies their nations are facing. I pray for healing upon all nations and peoples - physically, emotionally, economically and spiritually. I declare provision for those with empty stomachs and roofless heads. I pray for togetherness despite being physically distanced by the virus.

I speak comfort to those who have lost precious family members caused by the pandemic, natural disasters and unforeseen tragedies. I pray for joy be upon those who are in despair, hope for those who are giving up, and faith for are struggling with unbelief. I pray for respite and peace for those whose souls are tired and restless. I pray for grace to face each day, and for eyes to be opened to the many reasons to smile and laugh in the midst of gloomy days. I pray for compassion to move, generosity to overflow, love to conquer and unity to

reign among all nations as we all together face the challenges that ravage us. I declare victory upon every battle we are and will be faced with. The year 2020 is not yet over. All of us are already badly scarred and wounded. Our hearts are bleeding. Our hope is fleeting. But until our lungs are breathing and our hearts are beating, giving up will never be an option. We can continue to believe that 2020, though seemingly impossible, can still be one of the greatest and most memorable years of our lives. This is my prayer for the nations. 


8 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLEAUGUST 15, 2020

CANDID PERSPECTIVES

Desperate and Troubled, Trump Sounds His Own Alarm By Emil Guillermo

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.S. Congressman John Lewis, a man of non-violence and love, who made an impact on human rights and civil rights throughout the country and the world, was laid to rest on last Thursday. Three presidents—Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush—were present to honor Lewis. A fourth, Jimmy Carter, under travel restrictions due to age, sent a personal statement. Who’s missing? The man who really doesn’t belong in any group of presidents. Donald Trump didn’t even mention Lewis at his press conference late in the day. Lewis’ life was dedicated to “good trouble,” fighting for what’s right. In fact, on his death bed, he told his friend, William Campbell, the former mayor of Atlanta, his dying wish. “Everyone has to vote in November,” Lewis said to Campbell. “It is the most important election, ever.” Trump, on the other hand, started the day concocting what might be called “bad

trouble.” Trump tweeted that mail-in ballots would be “inaccurate and fraudulent.” And that it would be a “great embarrassment to the USA.” (You mean, more than Trump himself?) Then Trump declared: “Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote.” Common sense? No. Just pure nonsense. Trump doesn’t have the power to delay an election, only Congress does. No presidential election has ever been delayed. Ever. Not for a war. Nor even the Spanish Flu. And as far as mail-in ballots are concerned, studies have shown little to ZERO fraud. Throughout the day, Congressional Republicans like Senator Mitch McConnell and Rep. Kevin McCarthy, spoke out against the president’s trial balloon. But Trump held steady, and then at his afternoon press conference, looked into his crystal ball and said this about the election. “They’ll be fixed, they’ll be rigged,” Trump said. So presidential. Our leader casting doubt on the upcoming elections, perhaps doing more damage than the Russians could ever do to undermine

Congressman Ted Lieu

American democracy.

A new day, another White House embarrassment? This is still America, right? I was already shaking my head from something Trump did earlier in the week. Once again Trump was on Twitter and retweeted a message from Dr. Stella Immanuel of Houston. She’s a pastor/doctor who doesn’t believe in masks but believes in the power of hydroxychloroquine to cure COVID-19. Can you hear Brother Donald say “Amen”? Trump actually gave a full throated “I do believe” endorsement of hydroxychloroquine from the White House briefing room–despite scientific studies that have disproven the drug’s effectiveness. And even after reports surfaced showing Dr. Immanuel also believes that demons can make you pregnant and that the government is run by reptilians, when questioned by reporters, Trump stood by his doc Wednesday morning. This is not some wacky Third World authoritarian but the leader of the free world. I

would try curing Covid with Yoga and a plant-based diet before trying hydroxychloroquine. The whole thing actually emboldened me, the son of Filipino immigrants, my path obscured by our society’s institutional and systemic racism. I realize now, I’m still younger than Trump or Biden. I still have a chance. There’s still time for me to be president! I’ve said it numerous times throughout the last four years. (You have too?) I can’t be worse than this guy we have in now. Why did I ever think I couldn’t grow up to be more than the White House steward—but the main resident of the whole building! That’s how poor a job Trump is doing. He gives hope to all BIPOC. And he’s giving those with white privilege—and specifically white supremacists—a really bad name. Trump has all the advantages and he’s still screwing up this bad? Yep. Watching the recent policy whiplash is enough to make us all sick. The array of issues: Will schools open? Stay closed? Trump says rules are too tough. No problem, the Centers for Disease Control accommodates. And states like Tennessee are ready to open, despite a 30 percent increase of school-age children testing positive for Covid-19 to 9,085. On extending stimulus aid–who gets more aid? Just the corporates, screw the unincorporated regular folks—the

wage slaves? Given the worse GDP dive ever recorded, will anything meaningful be done to bail out the American public? Shall we re-open faster– despite 70,000+ new Covid cases a day? Wuhan had just 70,000 cases, period. The U.S. is breaking records every day. And what about masks? Trump seemed on board with masks a week ago. Masking is good. But the debate didn’t end. Trump and his ilk still seem to think to mask is emasculating. (Shall we pray for Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert who tested positive for the virus, even though he implies he may have gotten sick from a mask!) Trump does, however, believe in masking federal agents and their actions and unmasking and arresting “anarchists” wherever they may be—damn the Constitution. On Wednesday, the president made a comment doubling down on the sending of more federal agents to the demonstrations in Portland. Two hours later, the Governor of Oregon announced the agents will be withdrawn because the state is stepping up. Is everything being negotiated out loud? Or were the Feds exposed in the House Judiciary Committee hearing this week of Attorney General William Barr, the great Trump enabler? At the hearing, California Congressman Ted Lieu laid out how “probable cause,” the legal standard for arresting someone, should work. Citing the black letter law (Dunaway (continue on page 11)


AUGUST 15, 2020  HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE  9


10 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLEAUGUST 15, 2020

AS I SEE IT

Hawaii Reopening Schools Is Safe, Teachers’ Union Doubts It By Elpidio R. Estioko

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hen US President Donald Trump announced last month schools will be reopening this fall, many stakeholders, including parents and school administrators, didn’t approve of the president’s pronouncement. Four weeks later today, the resistance is still there and even became more intense as 46 states reported surges of COVID-19 cases. Despite these, the president still maintain schools should reopen and even went to the extent of threatening not to release the budgets of schools that will not follow the mandate. Although lately, he reversed his position by saying states with surges of Covid cases should delay reopening.

Apparently, Trump is not getting the severity of the virus despite Georgia reporting a 2nd grader who tested positive after first day of school and another five staff members who also tested positive in another school. Arizona governor pushed back opening the schools to August 17 while the school superintendent is having a hard time deciding whether to follow his governor or not. I was just reminded of civil rights icon, the late Rep. John Lewis, who said: “If you see something, say something… do something” as the situation may apply to the war against the COVID-19 pandemic. In the case of Hawaii, Gov. David Ige was set to reopen the schools August 4 because the state is not one of the 46 states with surging figures but with diminishing numbers at the time. Gov. Ige needs to be careful and must make sure all the precautions are present and must have a tight-fit plan to support

the plan to ensure safety for all. According to Hawaii News Now (HNN), the teachers union that it has “no confidence” that school campuses can reopen safely in two weeks and urged the state to delay a plan to bring students back for in-person instruction until more is done to allay concerns from teachers and parents. “Our schools need more time to be able to create a healthy environment for our students and our teachers,” said Corey Rosenlee, president of the Hawaii State Teachers Association, in a news conference Tuesday. “Opening our schools quickly is not something we should do in a pandemic.” He added that the Aug. 4 reopening is “arbitrary.” “One of the worst things we can do is just rush to open up,” he said. As I See It, there are four approaches to reopening the schools this fall. The first approach is to fully reopen the schools (in-person) as we usually do before the pandemic. The second approach is a distance learning curriculum for all levels of education: elementary, middle school, college and post-graduate courses. The third is a combination of distance learning and in-person approach (the socalled blended

learning), maybe a 75% distance learning and a 25% in-person instruction or 50-50 while the in-person should be implemented on a staggered basis or a morning session and an afternoon session. The fourth would be distance learning and those without access to the internet will receive enrichment packets. All the four approaches should consider the guidelines formulated by CDC such as social distancing, wearing mask, testing, getting temperature, etc. On July 20, Gov. Ige said reopening Hawaii’s public schools are safe and necessary, as reported in Hawaii News Now/File. HNN Staff said the governor sought to reassure parents and teachers about the state’s plan to reopen public schools August 4, saying health and safety are the top priority for the Education Department and that protective measures are in place to keep people safe. However, Hawaii has recently reached triple digits in daily number of Covid cases that the State’s Board of Education voted to delay the reopening of schools. On Aug. 5, the State reported 173 Covid cases in a single day. Additionally, once campuses reopen, not all of Hawaii’s 180,000 public school students will be returning at once, the report said. Some will still be attending classes remotely either part- or full-time. As planned, the first two

weeks will be half days, and heavily focused on getting students and teachers used to a hybrid model of learning as well as building relationships, according to Education officials. Board of Education Chairwoman Catherine Payne said: “If we have to go into distance learning again, it’s going to be really important for the students and teachers to know one another. And the longer we delay opening or if we go straight into distance learning we’re going to lose a lot more children to deficient educational services than we can afford to lose as a state.” What will happen is most campuses are opting for a “blended” learning model, which means public school students will get a combination of in-person and remote instruction. “The blended learning model simply means part of your learning happens in a school building ... and the rest of the days the student is logging into a distance learning platform,” schools Superintendent Christina Kishimoto said. So, you will notice that Hawaii adopted a combination of the four approaches with specific measures to ensure the plan will work. While the safety of students and teachers are assured, Corey Rosenlee, the head of the teachers union, as mentioned in the report said there are still so many unanswered questions and he added the reality teachers will be facing in the classroom is not the reality the state is painting. “Our teachers are scared. They’re afraid right now going back in the classroom,” he said. Hawaii public schools to reopen will follow all the guidelines CDC has formulated plus putting out additional long list of local safety guidelines to be implemented by Hawaii’s Department of Education. Students will need to wear face coverings at most times and follow social distancing guidelines. As planned, the first month of the school year will be a time for “teachers and students to build a relationship” should the state have to later turn to all-distance learning due to a sudden spike in corona virus cases. (continue on page 11)


AUGUST 15, 2020  HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE  11

COMMUNITY CALENDAR LEA SALONGA LIVE | Friday-Saturday, October 23-24, 2020; 8-10PM | Blaisdell Concert Hall, Honolulu l Filipina singer and actress Lea Salonga to serenade the Hawaii crowd in a two-night spectacular concert. Tickets $35 and up. Visit blaisdellcenter.com for more information.

MABUHI PACIFIC EXPO & SUMMIT | November 27-29, 2020 | Hawaii Convention Center l Panelists-presenters on various topics are being accepted for the Expo. For more details, visit mabuhiexpo.com.

HAWAII-FILIPINO NEWS

The 2020 Census’ New Deadline is September 30

T

he deadline to submit your 2020 Census form is on September 30, 2020. As part of the Census Bureau’s revised plan, field data collection and self-responses deadlines are no lon-

ger on October 30. “Under this plan, the Census Bureau intends to meet a similar level of household responses as collected in prior censuses, including outreach to hard-to-count communities,” said

in the press release. As the Sept 30 deadline approaches, the Census Bureau encourages everyone to complete the form now online, by phone or by mail. Filling out the census

PH Gov’t Requires Visas, Documents For Foreign Spouses, Children, Parents of Filipino Nationals

E

ffective Aug. 5, 2020, visitors related to a Filipino national are required to possess or secure the appropriate visas to be allowed entry to the Philippines. This includes: - Foreign spouses of Filipino nationals regardless of nationality

- Foreign minor children, and foreign children with special needs - Foreign parents of minor Filipino children and of Filipino children with special needs regardless of age

This also includes former Filipinos who belong in the categories mentioned above, and are not dual citizens. Visa applications shall be submitted for pre-processing through email via visa@phembassy-us. org. 

(CANDID PERSPECTIVES: Desperate....from page 9)

fayette Square but took no action on unruly pro-Trump protesters calling for the beheading of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Watching Barr was good. He wasn’t allowed to be defensive. Democrats reclaimed their time on any wordy responses. Barr had to sit and hear why he is perceived as being the president’s lawyer, and not the lawyer of the people. But the scariest questions to come out of the hearing had to do with the transition of power, voting rights, and the validity of mail-in ballots. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York asked: Would Trump accept the election results and just leave? In other words, would Barr stay on and create the constitutional breach to allow Trump to remain in the White House? Barr: “If the results were clear, I would leave office.” Things are never clear with Trump. What could Barr do to enable Trump to extend his worn out welcome? As the politics play out, the numbers mount on the Covid map. This is our sick America today. Don’t even call it the United States.

Earlier, Barr praised Trump on Fox Radio for his “superb” leadership. But there’s nothing superb about more than 150,000 Americans dead in a pandemic. That’s now more than 152,000 and growing. We have more dead, and more cases than any one country in the world. Let Trump say, “We’re No.1” like no other country has been before. And it’s all because the president is unable to lead or think about how to best serve all of us in this great country. Either America is too big. Or Trump’s vision too small. Leave it to the governors and the locals, he says. Small government conservatives are getting their dream come true. With Trump’s lack of leadership, the feds have been all but neutered, acting boldly only when the federal role can benefit Trump, who has turned America into his own self-service democracy of one.

by students will have a combination of in-person and distance learning instruction as its initial step. Eventually, depending upon the situation, students will find themselves in the first approach, the traditional method before the pandemic. However, we need to make sure that all precautions and guide-

lines are followed to the letter to make sure the plan will be effective without incidents of corona surge in campuses!

v. New York) that has guided the Supreme Court for 40 years on the Fourth Amendment, Lieu gave the example of a protester who was standing peacefully, then forced into an unmarked van and taken to a separate location to be searched, detained, and questioned. “That is what police states do; that’s what an authoritarian regime [does],” Lieu schooled Barr. Lieu characterized other arrests during the Portland demonstrations and how people were held illegally, then later released because there was no probable cause. “I urge you to instruct your federal agents to comply with the Constitution,” Lieu said. “And I ask you to investigate these arrests because many of them are in violation of the Fourth Amendment. We do not live in a police state, we’re better than that.” Also check out Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington and her grilling of Barr on how he selectively metes out the brutishness of his authority. He restricts the First Amendment rights of BLM protesters, but allows freedoms to those who benefit his boss. Example: Barr condoned the gassing and brutalization of BLM protesters in La-

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.

(AS I SEE IT: Hawaii Reopening....from page 10)

The governor’s office will be releasing additional available federal funds to the DOE to purchase things like personal protective equipment, distance learning platforms and digital devices and to also hire more registered nurses. I think Hawaii has adopted the correct approach in utilizing the “blended” learning method (third approach) where-

ELPIDIO R. ESTIOKO was a veteran journalist in the Philippines and an award-winning journalist here in the US. For feedbacks, comments… please email the author at estiokoelpidio@gmail.com).

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 filipinochronicle@gmail.com. questionnaire will only take 10 minutes and even less if done online on my2020census. gov. Citizen or not, everyone counts in the 2020 Census. It’s important to make sure that everyone in your household is counted because the census will help the community for the next 10 years. The census results guides the government in allocating funds, support and programs to different communities in the U.S. (Sagot sa Krosword Blg. 17 | July 4, 2020)

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AUGUST 15, 2020