Hawaii Filipino Chronicle - September 5, 2020

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SEPTEMBER 5, 2020


Trump Welcomes Naturalized Citizens but USCIS on a Rampage Denying Applications CANDID PERSPECTIVES

A Filipina for Life—Remembering Dolores Velasco, the Nun Who Became the Activist & the Wife of UFW Leader Pete Velasco


Give People Light– Presidential Candidate Joe Biden


Oahu On Shutdown Until September 9



Happy Labor Day; A Big Mahalo to Our Frontline Workers


mong the new norms COVID-19 has brought is a new perspective on workers -- that certain occupations are more “essential” than originally thought before the nationwide lockdowns started. The term “frontline” is an old term (used in the military to refer to those in the front of a battle field) but now recently have been reworked to describe “essential” workers who report to their jobs even through periods of lockdown. Obvious frontline workers are those at the front of the battlefield combating the virus: doctors, nurses, allied health specialists, hospital workers of all kinds. But frontline workers also are commonly generalized to include those who are keeping essentials all together in our communities, those helping to feed us, transport us, and making daily living as close as possible as it were before the pandemic. They include our farmers, plantation workers, meatpackers and processors, grocery employees, butchers, cashiers, fast food workers, cooks, truck drivers, bus drivers, emergency responders, EMTs, police, essential government employees, postal workers, bankers, utilities workers, and more. What they all have in common is valiance and a commitment to report to work and risk putting their own personal health at risk in order that society can function, and at the very least, our basic needs are met. Why definition should be clear At the moment there is no clear definition by the government of what is considered an “essential” or front line worker during this crisis. Some experts have taken data from different government agencies to come up with an estimate of how many frontline workers there are. A common mix is using data from the Department of Homeland Security and Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Brookings Institution, a public policy group based in D.C., estimates 50 million people (out of 90 million) could qualify as frontline or essential workers. PRIORITIZE NEEDS. Why does it matter for a clear definition? Labor experts and politicians believe having a specific definition could help prioritize where needs could be extended to these workers, assist with their safety and possible pandemic benefits such as additional equipment, insurance, sick leave, hazard pay and other protections. Additional help could be beneficial to lower-wage front line workers as studies show many of them (excluding higher paid healthcare workers) are receiving pay below the national average. For example, millions of people work as cashiers (making $11.17 per hour), food preparation workers ($11.94 per hour), and home health aides ($12.18 per hour). Collectively, 37.3 million workers, or three-quarters of all frontline workers, earn below-average wages. A formal list is needed to adopt policies not just for this pandemic, but any other national crisis to come. AVOID CONFUSION. With a federal law designating essential industries or frontline workers, employees at least could know what their responsibilities are in times of emergencies, that they must report to work and can make necessary plans for matters like childcare. The Brookings Institution identified in their model (53 million essential workers) to include public sector workers representing almost 26 percent of all essential workers; 21 percent in the health care industries; over 10 million in transportation and logistics. STABILIZE EMPLOYMENT LEVELS IN ESSENTIAL INDUSTRIES. Identifying frontline workers would (continue on page 3)



riter and motivational speaker William Arthur Ward summed up perfectly why giving thanks is important. He said, “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” This Labor Day we’ll have the opportunity to express our gratitude to our frontline and essential workers. They’ve been the backbone and stabilizing force during this time of struggle and uncertainty with the pandemic. And they deserve to know how much we appreciate them. For our cover story this issue associate editor Edwin Quinabo features several members in our community who are front and center fighting the ravages of COVID-19 at hospitals. Three physicians, an ER nurse and a hospital clerk share their personal experiences with COVID patients and the overall mood and setting of working at hospitals. They talk about the many added safety procedures and protocols hospitals have implemented; and how stressful it can be to deliver quality healthcare while also making sure they and their non-COVID patients do not contract the virus. To date, over 900 healthcare workers and hospital staff have died from COVID-19. Studies also show that hospital healthcare workers suffer from added stress and anxiety, in part, over the possibility of contracting the virus and bringing it home to their loved ones. Their work and commitment are nothing short of heroic. The cover story also features a non-hospital frontline worker in the hotel industry; and what it’s like now that some hotels have reopened (with limited operations). The Kahala Hotel employee shares what safety precautions have been implemented to keep workers, kama’aina and visitors safe. She and hotel employees currently working during this soft opening of the industry are doing valuable work preparing a successful model for other hotels and workers to replicate when tourism fully resumes. On the same subject of COVID-19, read the latest news on Oahu’s second Stay-at-Home order. Find out what’s open, closed, and available for limited services. The new order went into effect on Aug. 27 and will last until Sept. 9. The public should know that violators of the new order could be fined up to $5,000 and sentenced to a year in jail, or both. Also in this issue, HFC columnist Emil Guillermo contributes “A Filipina for Life—Remembering Dolores Velasco, The Nun Who Became the Activist and the Wife of UFW Leader Pete Velasco.” Called “Manang” Dolores in the community, she has been advocating for union and farm workers rights for years. As the wife of labor leader Pete Velasco and an advocate in her own right, they were leaders in the 1970s fighting for farmers at a time when it was often dangerous to do. She describes an incident when Pete and another unionist were attacked by six Teamsters at Koyama Farms, Aug. 21, 1975. Another incident she described is how Pete and five UFW representatives were arrested for talking to workers about the union before the work day. Sadly, Dolores tested positive for COVID-19 in July and recently passed on. Thank you Emil for sharing Dolores and Pete’s work. They are inspirations and reasons why we have a holiday like Labor Day to honor not just current workers, but the pioneers who have fought to make workers’ lives better. Be sure to read our other informative news and columns as well as Dr. Danilo David’s literary composition on page 12 entitled “Paano” which he dedicated to all frontliners for their heroic deeds and sacrifices. Lastly, we all know how critical this presidential election is. It’s important for our community to get traditional non-voters and first-time voters to register to vote in the General Election. The deadline to register for the General Election is Oct. 5. Thank you for your continued support. Have a happy Labor Day! Until next issue 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



Trump’s Attacks on the Post Office: Is It a Set-Up for Something Bigger to Come?


resident Donald Trump’s repeated attacks on the United States Postal Service (USPS) and constant claims of mail-in voter fraud have even non-politically minded people thinking: “What is the end game here?” While his bashing of the postal service is fairly new, Trump’s claims of voter fraud goes way back when he first ran for office. In just this year alone, trackers claim Trump has made 91 attacks on the elections process. Added to that, he’s filed lawsuits in three states, claiming irregularities in mail-in ballots. He’s already said, “There is NO WAY (ZERO!) that mailIn ballots will be anything less than substantially fraudulent. Mailboxes will be robbed, ballots will be forged and even illegally printed out and fraudulently signed….” He added that “with Gov. Gavin Newsom of California sending ballots to all active registered voters, which he terms universal mail-in voting, this will be a rigged election. No way!” There is no basis for such a claim, and it’s the first time for any modern president to be doubting the integrity of our election system. The whole political drama is a playbook typically seen in authoritarian regimes whose leaders often use alleged fraud to hold onto power.

USPS attacks

Months ago when Postmaster General Louis Dejoy was appointed -- who is a big-time Trump donor and an appointee for the first time in history not chosen from the ranks of the Postal Service – some political experts were saying a seed to disrupt mail-in voting could be in play. Now as the General Election nears, the trigger has been pulled. Dejoy has made major management shifts and replacements and imposed new operational procedures – all in the name of saving money and running the USPS more efficiently. *671 automated mail sorters (more than 10 percent of total) have been removed from operation throughout the country. Some of these machines can sort more than 300,000 mail per day. *The number of workers operating each automated mail sorters have also been reduced for those that are still in use. Many of the targeted machines shut down are from swing states like Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Texas – and obviously not by a coincidence. *Many mail collection boxes have been removed throughout cities. *The entire USPS Board of Governors are now all Trump appointees. The result: slower mail delivery; and at a time that pri-

mary elections are being held and the general elections is just around the corner. Adding to the chaos, Trump is resisting critical funding to the USPS that Congress wants to pass in order to keep the organization solvent from the losses it has incurred from the pandemic. The President said of the needed funding, “Now they need that money in order to have the post office work, so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots …. But if they don’t get those two items, that means you can’t have universal mail-in voting, because they’re not equipped to have it.” Of late and due to widespread pressure, Postmaster General DeJoy has said cuts to service in mail delivery will be suspended until after the election season. But at the same time, he’s also testified before Congress that the more than 600 mail sorting machines that were removed will not be reinstalled. Talk about contradictory statements. USPS union leaders also have said the deep changes already made cannot be undone so quickly to resume operations as it was before restructuring. Why the sudden need for massive Postal Service reform so close to the General Election? Could there be a tactical reason? Experts already know that Democrats are more likely to vote by mail as they have had

higher rates of absentee voting; while Republicans traditionally vote in person at higher percentages. Connect the dots.

Is there a looming crisis ahead? No compelling evidence of Experts say there could historical voting fraud be various ways to interpret Trump’s incessant claims of fraud. First and the most dangerous of them is that Trump is attempting to delegitimize mailin voting so that if he should lose the election; he could contest the results. Another explanation, more benign, is that Trump is using elections fraud as a possible excuse to soften a blow to his ego; and that he would accept the outcome. Another theory floated around is Trump is sowing chaos to strike fear into traditionally non-voters to stay away from voting for a first time. The reason: first-time voters are more likely to vote against the incumbent – that’s usually the rule of thumb. Of consideration also is that administrations mired in legal controversy and especially a president who has been impeached as Trump has, perhaps, have extra incentive to hold on to power to avoid possible prosecution. Besides the multiple past scandals that could be investigated should Trump lose, add to that possible charges of interference of mail operations and elections. Both are illegal activities.

(Happy Labor Day...from page 2)

also help to stabilize employment in needed areas and to ensure that sufficient workers are available to perform necessary tasks. For example, experts attribute the outbreak of COVID-19 at nursing homes across the country in part to lower wage nurse aides having to work overtime and double shifts (many understaffed) that led to those infected by the virus still showing up for work and infecting senior occupants and coworkers. The combination of low wage and higher health risks especially among frontline workers is a perfect recipe for disaster in a pandemic. If nursing homes were categorized as an essential industry and their workers as essential “frontline workers,” it’s possible that

government resources could have been made available to prevent many of the outbreaks that have occurred. In the same study by Brookings, U.S. unemployment during the beginning of the pandemic in May hit 13.3 percent. While unemployment rates in essential industries in healthcare were much lower, other essential industries such as telecommunications and warehousing experienced high rates of unemployment, 5.7 percent and 15.6 percent respectively. Tribute This Labor Day is a special one. Our essential and frontline workers literally are putting their lives at risk to save infected patients at hospitals;

Historically this has been the pattern of strongman leaders, break the law, then do anything and everything to hold on to power or face the reality of going to jail when losing.

put their health at risk ensuring we have food on our table, and that critical services continue. We give thanks to our frontline workers and extend gratitude also to their families as well for all their sacrifices. No one anticipated a pandemic; no one knows really what will happen next. But these brave employees continue to show up to their jobs and perform often heroic, life-saving work. Mabuhay to all frontline workers We would also like to extend gratitude to our colleagues in the media, especially those required to show up to work at newsrooms, TV and radio studios. News never stops and the media, an essential industry, keeps us informed on critical information.

Remember after the 2016 election, Trump had lost the popular vote so he set up a commission to investigate voter fraud. After two years, the commission found no anomalies and it was disbanded. In a study investigating a 12year period of voting in which voters cast over a billion ballots, fewer than 500 cases nationwide were prosecuted. That’s a statistically insignificant number to be claiming that widespread voter fraud is a common occurrence. And none of those prosecuted cases would have changed the election outcome.

Everyone wants a fair election

Calling for fair elections is something every politician wants. Other politicians besides Trump do the same. But making up that a widespread crisis exists is pure fantasy. Americans have legitimate reasons to be suspicious of the President with the direction he is going. 2020 has already been a disastrous year. The last thing Americans need is even more instability. Elections officials be prepared. Americans be prepared to not only vote, but ensure that the Constitution is upheld postelection.





ust a few weeks after lifting some restrictions and launching a “soft” opening of Hawaii’s economy (tourism still largely closed), the state registered more than half (23) of its total deaths (49) due to COVID-19 for the month of August alone. The recent spike in both deaths and infections (consecutive triple-digit days) prompted Gov. David Ige and Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell to reinstate a second Stay-atHome order with some of the initial restrictions imposed in early Spring. Stress and anxiety over this merciless disease couldn’t be more pronounced than in hospitals across the nation. Psychology Today published an article showing that hospital frontline workers are experiencing high stress levels and anxiety, largely in part, due to the risk to workers’ and patients’ health. According to a database by The Guardian (newspaper) and KHN (Kaiser Health News) 900 frontline U.S. healthcare workers have died of COVID-19. The tally includes docFirst patient put on breathing tube at Pali Momi ICU; one of Hawaii’s first COVID-19 Survivor Dr. Emilio Ganitano Jr. is a Critical Care Medicine Specialist physician (an intensivist) and Medical Director at Pali Momi ICU. He is the physician team leader of a large group of physicians, nurses, respiratory therapist and other healthcare providers who care for patients in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), where patients are at high risk of death. He describes the first patient with COVID-19 on a mechanical ventilator at Pali Momi’s ICU. “In the early spring of 2020, I remember transferring an elderly patient to the ICU for COVID 19 Pneumonia. The patient had first been admitted to a non ICU floor, but in a matter of days the patient’s condition had quickly deteriorated. The

tors, nurses, paramedics, hospital custodians, administrators and support staff. The database also shows many of them are immigrants, including healthcare workers from the Philippines. While “front-liners” face intense potentially life-and-death situations treating COVID-19, hospital workers also report immeasurable satisfaction to be front and center helping patients in a most critical, historic time. This Labor Day, September 7, Americans will have the opportunity to give thanks to the nation’s essential workers -- hospital staff, farmers, meatpackers, grocery employees, cashiers, truck drivers, emergency responders, government-postal-banking-utility-hotel workers, and many others. The Brookings Institution estimates there are over 50 million essential workers. Labor Day this year will have extra significance, extra gratitude for frontline workers who’ve laid it all on the line, risking their personal health to heal our sick, keep food on our table, and make life as close as possible to where it was before the pandemic.

patient was very afraid as our discussions included the fact that patients who get placed on ‘breathing machines’ often did not do well. The patient wanted the best chance possible. After being moved to the ICU, I placed a ‘breathing tube’ into the patient’s lungs to allow our mechanical ventilators to support the patient through the pneumonia.” As the first COVID-19 patient on a ventilator for his team, Dr. Ganitano Jr. called it a defining moment. “We were afraid for the patient, knowing that COVID 19 patients could deteriorate quickly. We were afraid for ourselves, fearful of catching COVID 19.” What’s most memorable to Dr. Ganitano Jr. was seeing that patient get better, leave the hospital and go home. “That patient was one of the first ICU survivors of COVID-19 in Hawaii.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the mortality rate for COVID-19 is 0.65 percent. CDC’s best estimates currently are that 650 out of 100,000 who contract COVID-19 would die from it. But the CDC also says contracting the virus could also leave the infected with long-term health problems. CDC also says their estimate could be lower than what’s really occurring. “This parameter is not necessarily equivalent to the number of reported deaths per reported case because many cases and deaths are never confirmed to be COVID-19, and there is a lag in time between when people are infected and when they die,” the report states. Dr. Ganitano Jr, who also is a member of the Philippine Medical Association of Hawaii (PMAH), said besides

Dr. Emilio Ganitano Jr. and Dr. Mark Valdez

that patient in the early days of COVID-19, his most memorable moments relating to the pandemic is the hospital’s team pulling together each day providing the best care for their patients.

Dying with few to no family present for COVID and nonCOVID patients Dr. Mark Valdez also is an intensivist physician and PMAH member. He’s confirmed stories many have heard of COVID-19 patients dying without family around is true. Due to visitor restrictions at hospitals to keep the virus from spreading, he said this holds true for non-COVID-19 patients as well. This is a fact many are not aware of. Dr. Valdez said prior to COVID-19, it was common for a large group of family to be at a dying patient’s bedside. “Patients usually pass away during or after being surrounded by loved ones, with multiple family members able to console each other.” Dr. Valdez recalls having to tell a non-COVID-19 patient’s family that their loved one would not make it. “Because of the risk of COVID spread, instead of the usual large gathering around her, we restricted her family (there

were at least 12 of them) to two visitors at a time (10-15 minute time limit each) while the others had to wait outside the hospital. “I still wonder if the family was able to cope adequately with how rushed their final goodbye was, but thankfully they were all able to see her before she passed away. I think this experience illustrates the reach of this pandemic, having indirect effects on those not even infected with it.” The outcome Dr. Valdez describes is actually a fortunate one because some hospitals will not allow visitors to see dying patients at this time. Dr. Lochan Shah wrote an article on how the pandemic is changing end-of-life care. He says at his hospital, the only way a family member can see their loved one in person is if the patient is actively dying, meaning after loved ones have requested the medical team to withdraw life-sustaining care. Dr. Shah also writes not being able to see a patient struggling to survive, not only means that the patient is in distress alone, “but because family cannot see their loved ones in person, it’s so much more difficult for the patient to understand what is happening medically. For example, what (continue on page 5)


COVER STORY (from page 4)

it means to be on a ventilator? What can modern medicine provide?” He says “I realize just how unprepared we are as a society for this wave of current patients who are at the end of life in the COVID-19 era,” – again, which is affecting both COVID and non-COVID dying patients. Video chats, phone calls are painfully insufficient.

Nerve-Wrecking, uncontrolled heaviness Tazialynn Lynam is an Emergency Room Registered Nurse (RN) at Hilo Medical Center. She said while contact with COVID-19 patients have been low until recently, most of her interactions are with people who are afraid they’ve contracted the virus. Lynam describes working at any hospital’s ER as “nerve-wrecking.” “We are required to wear N95 masks, googles and face shields. Each patient is required to wear a mask to enter, temperatures are being checked at the front entrance, and we sanitize each room per protocol. There is a limited number of staff in the break room at all times. Protocols are updated weekly and we are kept informed every step of the way. “The overall mood of the staff and patients are feelings of uncontrolled heaviness. We are in the midst of this pandemic and we are all unsure of when and how this will be stopped. Most of us have families that we go home to or want to visit, but staying home and keeping our circles close and closed are what is necessary right now,” said Lynam. In a study that examined 1,300 healthcare workers in China caring for COVID patients, researchers found 52 percent of frontline healthcare workers are more likely to have depression, 44.6 percent had symptoms of anxiety, 34 percent reported symptoms of insomnia, and 71.5 percent reported feelings of distress. The study was published in Medical News Today. Recalling first patient at Kaiser Hospital, Moanalua Sherry Lopez has been a Ward Clerk at Kaiser Moanalua for 22 years, and

a member of UNITE HERE Local 5. She recalls Kaiser Moanalua having their first COVID-19 patient on March 26. “I remember it being a hectic and emotional day. We were all worried because it was our first. Nurses needed to be there for four hours, CNA’s had to go in and out of COVID rooms. “We have to be consistent on safety. I remember seeing the first patient fighting for life—it was overwhelming. It was emotional and mentally stressful for all the staff. It felt quite different because these are innocent people catching the virus.”

Safety changes at hospitals and the possibility of contracting COVID-19 Dr. Ganitano is a part of the leadership team at Pali Momi working to implement guidelines to protect staff. “We practice physical distancing as much as possible. Gone are the days of having coffee at the water cooler or sharing a meal during a break. During the outbreak, the hospitals have limited visitors and during high infectious ‘surges’ eliminated visiting hours altogether, with few exceptions for certain situations.” He said hospitals provide personal protective equipment (PPE), gowns, gloves, face shields and medical grade facemasks. “In the pre COVID 19 era, we would wear PPE when seeing patients with certain suspected infections. Now wearing PPE is the new normal. We wear facemasks and eye protection such as goggles, face shields at all times. We are often covered in head to toe in surgical caps, gowns, shoe protectors for those we think may have risk of COVID. It is not unusual for our patients to have never seen our true faces during the course of their ICU stay.” Dr. Ganitano Jr. is confident in the protective measures at the hospital that he’s more concerned about catching COVID outside the workplace. “Some may think that I should be worried about catching COVID 19 in the hospital because I have to work with so many COVID 19 patients. In reality, I am more concerned about catching it when I am

not at work and in my normal life. At work, our whole team mentality is protecting ourselves so that we can help others.” He elaborates, “outside of the hospital we don’t have those protections. This is why it is important for all of us as a community to participate in the measures which will help decrease the spread of this disease.” But he is also well aware of the risks. “On the other hand, many of us, myself included, are stressed by the constant hypervigilance required when working in an environment where the caregivers could become as easily infected as those we care for. The state of attention required to make sure we are wearing the right PPE, doing good handwashing, and maintaining proper physical distance can be exhausting. The fear of frontline staff bringing home COVID-19 from work to their loved ones is a harsh reality.” Dr. Valdez reiterated much of the safety precautions mentioned by Dr. Gantiano Jr., but adds that when patients are transported, as an extra precautionary measure, security is asked to clear the pathway so no one crosses the patient’s path. Dr. Valdez mentioned that he’s worried about contracting the disease. “I worry about bringing the virus home. My young-at-heart, elderly parents see my son a lot so I worry that he’ll silently pass it on to them. I change before leaving and when I get home, I strip down right inside the door, put my clothes in a special COVID-only hamper and head to the shower before touching anything and anyone. I guess I think about it daily, but I try not to let it consume me cause I’d just be worried all day, every day.” ER nurse Lynam echoed the doctors’ concerns of not just hospital spread but community spread. “Truthfully, I am worried that I may contract COVID. However, COVID is now community spread. I need to be mindful when I’m out buying groceries and shopping. I have a beautiful family of four that I want to cuddle and snuggle when I get home, but I can’t. I have to take the extra step of changing out my hos-

“In the pre COVID 19 era, we would wear personal protection equipment (PPE) when seeing patients with certain suspected infections. Now wearing PPE is the new normal. We wear facemasks and eye protection such as goggles, face shields at all times. We are often covered in head to toe in surgical caps, gowns, shoe protectors for those we think may have risk of COVID. It is not unusual for our patients to have never seen our true faces during the course of their ICU stay.”

—Dr. Emilio Ganitano Jr.

Medical Director at Pali Momi ICU pital clothes in my garage and head to the shower right away. My hospital clothes are separated from the family laundry. I sanitize the inside of my vehicle. I sanitize my phone, my ID badge reel and keys…” Lopez talked about similar safety precautions that are also implemented at Kaiser Moanalua. On her possibly getting COVID, “I think about it all the time when I go to work. But you have to be alert and know the proper protocol— PPE, social distancing, safety, etc. But again, there is an uncertainty aspect of it. Who knows? There is a possibility of catching COVID when you touch the counter, or even outside when you’re in public.”

Hospital capacity What hospitals are doing to safeguard workers and patients are challenges in the COVID era. But Dr. Maria Ver, General Surgery/Bariatric Surgery/Trauma Medical Director at Pali Momi, said another challenge is -- “There is only a limited amount of physical ICU beds and finite number of ventilator machines for the state of Hawaii. We have to take into account, that there are only a handful of doctors and nurses qualified and comfortable to care for ICU patients.” On Aug. 25, the Healthcare Association of Hawaii (HAH) said staffed medical beds on Oahu have reached full-capacity. HAH is preparing to send a formal request to the federal government to bring in 60 additional staffed beds on Oahu and 10 on Maui. Also on Aug. 25, Jill Hoggard Green, CEO of the Queen’s

Health Systems told Hawaii News Now the COVID-19 has left Hawaii’s largest hospital at 90 percent capacity. Besides bed shortage, she said 100 positive or possibly exposed staff members are in quarantine. Queen’s is asking state emergency management official for more than 40 traveling nurses.

Some harsh realities of COVID Lopez painted a grim picture of COVID. “We see COVID-19 patients come in, they are talking, and they feel OK, then 5 minutes later they can’t breathe. The virus takes over your body.” She says the public doesn’t realize some harsh realities about COVID, like that it is a long recovery process. “You may be discharged from the hospital, but you will still be recovering.” Dr. Ganitano Jr. said unlike many ailments, patients who are hospitalized with COVID-19 stay in the hospital for weeks; many of them are placed on life support, are heavily sedated, and sometimes are near death or die. Dr. Valdez elaborates on the confusion some COVID patients have. “When we hold their sedation to wake them up and make sure their neurological status hasn’t changed, there’s a sense of confusion and fear on their faces which is understandable given their circumstances. Afterall, they’re in an unfamiliar room with unfamiliar sounds and an unknown person who’s covered from head to toe except their (continue on page 6)



Return America’s Foundational Freedoms By Melissa Martin, Ph.D.


emocracy should not and need not be sacrificed in the name of public health.”— Michael J. Abramowitz. It’s essential that citizens start listening less to the alarmist Anthony Fauci and more to other experts about COVID-19. We’ve heard the old saying: “There’s two sides to every story and the truth is somewhere in the middle.” Does this adage apply to COVID-19? Yes. “As Heritage Foundation researchers have demonstrated throughout the pandemic, the spread of COVID-19 in the U.S. has been heavily concentrated in a small number of states—and among a small number of counties within states. Even though the U.S. has seen a rapid rise in cases during the last few weeks, the overall levels of concentration have remained fairly consistent.” Visit www.heritage.org. As of July 14, 2020, 10 states accounted for 61 percent of all U.S. cases and 66 percent of all deaths (and 62 percent of the population.). Visit www. worldometers.info. Should the entire country remain on lockdown? I agree with Dr. Kevin Pham, medical physician. In a recent commentary for The

Daily Signal, he surmised, “When the statewide lockdowns first began in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, most Americans accepted these measures in good faith as difficult, but necessary, sacrifices for the benefit of everyone. At the time, the only thing anyone truly understood about the novel coronavirus that causes the disease was its breathtaking speed and seemingly unstoppable lethality in certain cities. But lockdown measures were meant only to bridge us to a solution for dealing with COVID-19, and it should be the goal of lawmakers to return as much of American life back to normal as possible.” Visit www.dailysignal.com. The National Coronavirus Recovery Commission, a project of The Heritage Foundation, has made 265 recommendations to return to business. “This is a plan to save both our lives and our livelihoods. It is not about choosing between protecting lives or the economy, but about achieving the prudent balance needed to protect both.” Visit www.coronaviruscommission.com. Reopen our economy. Get Americans back to work. Lift restriction bans. Individuals with medical conditions and compromised immune systems must continue to take precautions. Encourage face coverings, but do not mandate masks. Give information and facts, but do not promote pandemic panic.

It is time to return our foundational freedom in churches, temples, synagogues, and places of worship. A return to civil liberties is imperative. And citizens must speak up and voice concern for religious freedoms. Lift restrictions on houses of worship. Pham asks, “After all, who cares more for the parishioners, the state’s governor or the pastor?” Reopen our schools. According to the House of Freedom Caucus, “Doctors and scientists have shown the minimal risk that COVID-19 poses to children and young adults, and state and local of-

ficials are compromising our young people’s development by keeping schools closed over fear of COVID-19… Our children should not have to pay for irrational and unprecedented actions to close our schools to in-person instruction.” Visit the Official Facebook Page of the House Freedom Caucus. Humanity has survived throughout the history of diseases. The Black Death hit Europe in 1347, and claimed 200 million lives in four years. The Great Plague of 1665 killed 100,000 Londoners in seven months. The Bubonic Plague claimed 15 million victims.

In 1980, the World Health Organization announced the eradication of smallpox. Malaria, tuberculosis, leprosy, influenza—and humanity is still around. H1N1, Ebola and Zika—and humanity is still around. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization announced that the COVID-19 virus was officially a pandemic—and humanity is still around. To whom do we listen? Scientists, epidemiologists, physicians, nurses, researchers, historians, politicians, prophets. We check facts and discern false news. We listen to all, but stay somewhere in the middle. We use our common sense. Republicans vs. Democrats. Will the real motivates pertaining to the COVID-19 response, please stand up— 2020 is a presidential election year. “Give me liberty, or give me death!”—Patrick Henry  MELISSA MARTIN, Ph.D., is an author, columnist, educator, and therapist. She lives in Ohio. www. melissamartinchildrensauthor.com.

(COVER STORY: Giving Gratitude ....from page 5)

eyes (which is behind a face shield/goggles) and they’re yelling at them trying to see if they can squeeze their hands or move their feet.”

Beyond the hospital setting Workers helping to keep the economy going are also vital as they, too, put their health at risk. Sherri Au, Kahala Hotel, UNITE HERE Local 5 member, works in the Pantry Department. She gets food ready for the Plumeria Beach House and preps for lunch and breakfast service, as well as banquet

and room service. She was furloughed at the end of March. The hotel reopened in June so she returned to work July 2. “Things really changed when we went back. I am proud that the workers were able to successfully push the hotel, with the help of the Union, to adopt safety protocols—testing employees, training for and providing PPE, setting safety measures around the hotel, etc. We are operating on limited staff right now, but we are very busy. We have a lot kama’aina staying and other local residents coming to eat in our restaurants.” On the general mood of the hotel, she said everyone is a little concerned. But she believes Kahala is safe and setting a standard for hotel safety and reopening. She said all employees are tested and work with management to establish stringent safety measures. “Personally, I am still scared of the tourists coming back, but I know we need them. I’m both worried about the economy and the public

health, so it’s really hard as a frontline worker having to choose between safety or having the income, healthcare, and other benefits. I am lucky to be working in a safe place and to have medical benefits. I know that right now, thousands of my union and nonunion brothers and sisters do not or are in danger of losing it [medical benefits] in the next couple of months. If we want tourism to open safely, we need to make sure we all have adequate healthcare so that our community, our families, and our guests stay safe,” said Au. She said, “I live with my mother and my sister who are both immuno-compromised. As workers, we are really holding our employer accountable to keep the hotel safe.”  EDITOR’S NOTE: The Hawaii Filipino Chronicle has been paying tribute to workers each year on Labor Day. We are especially thankful this year to our many frontline and essential workers who’ve had to report to their jobs and keep our communities healthy, safe, and fed. Mabuhay to all of you.



By Atty. Emmanuel S. Tipon


resident Trump was busy officiating a naturalization ceremony for new Americans and welcoming them to our great country during the Republican Convention on August 25, 2020. Unfortunately the President’s subalterns at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services are also busy doing the opposite by denying naturalization applications for questionable reasons or asking applicants to withdraw naturalization applications or else the applications would be denied. These subalterns were seemingly on a rampage – destroying the hopes and dreams of scores of immigrants who want to be citizens of our nation. I had not seen the word “rampage” since I bought a book “Rampage” by James M. Scott a few days ago. The book describes the “rampage” by Japanese forces in the Battle of Manila in February 1945. Such naturalization applicant might have failed to disclose in the application a previous “arrest” for an alleged crime that happened many years ago for which he was not charged or did not state in his application for an immigrant visa that the applicant had a child. Take the case of an applicant who did not state that he had a child in his immigrant visa application at the U.S. Consulate. There are quite a number of such applicants with varying reasons for not disclosing, such as that the child was illegitimate, the illegitimate child’s mother did not want the father to include the child in his visa application lest he take the child with him to the U.S.A. and would no longer go back to marry her, or that the applicant simply forgot that he had a child. In the good old days according to anecdotal evidence the previous

Trump Welcomes Naturalized Citizens But USCIS on a Rampage Denying Applications INS would not deny naturalization applications of aliens who failed to disclose in their immigrant visa application that they had a child. Nowadays, USCIS would deny the application on the ground that the applicant has not demonstrated that he was lawfully admitted for permanent residence because he committed misrepresentation and that the applicant has not established that he was a person of good moral character. Section 212(a)(6)(c)(i) of Immigration and Nationality Act provides that “Any alien who, by fraud or willfully misrepresenting a material fact, seeks to procure (or has sought to procure or has procured) a visa, other documentation, or admission into the United States or other benefit provided under this Act is inadmissible.” Bingo. The USCIS will tell the alien that by not disclosing that you had a child when you sought to procure a visa you were inadmissible to the United States. In fact, you are deportable. Section 237(a)(1)(A) of the Act provides: “Any alien who at the time of entry or adjustment of status was within one or more of the classes of aliens inadmissible by existing law at such time is deportable”. However, the officer might tell you that if you will withdraw your naturalization application, we might not deport you. Some aliens, trembling in fear, will plead “please do not deport me, I will withdraw my application.” Others will fight arguing that the nondisclosure of the child was not willfully made and there was no intent to deceive. Furthermore, having a child or no child is not material because the petitioner is a parent. If the visa applicant disclosed that he had a child would the outcome be different? In other words would the visa have been denied? Of

course not, since having a child or no child is not a requirement for an immigrant visa petition by a parent. USCIS will not listen to such arguments, even though the alien cites cases to support his arguments. Another naturalization applicant was denied naturalization on the ground that he did not disclose that he had been arrested for a sexual offense. The alien had submitted his arrest record issued by the court which listed all his arrests for minor offenses but did not list that particular sex offense. The immigration officer confronted the applicant as to why he did not disclose the arrest for the sexual offense, the officer waving a document showing the arrest. The applicant’s attorney asked to see the document but the officer refused. The lawyer argued that in court when a lawyer wishes to confront a witness with documentary records, the lawyer must show the witness the document. The officer refused saying you can file a Freedom of Information Act request. The lawyer said that the government must not have regarded this so-called “arrest” as an arrest otherwise it would have listed it in the arrest record. The officer just ignored the argument. The applicant said that he forgot about the incident since it was a long time ago. He said that he was not even sure whether he was “arrested” since the police just asked him to go with them and that he did not remember whether he was handcuffed. The applicant said that the police did not charge him with the alleged sex crime. The officer said that he knew that but kept asking why the applicant did not disclose the “arrest”. The officer remarked that people of good moral character do not get arrested. The officer asked if the applicant wanted to withdraw his naturalization application. The applicant refused and US-

CIS denied it. The alien did not want to pursue the application any further. There are scores of other naturalization denials by USCIS which could be challenged in court. Aliens can fight naturalization denials by filing a case with the United States District Court which will make its own findings of fact and conclusions of law de novo. INA Section 310(c). Would the alien spend around $10,000 to go to court? Is being naturalized worth that much? Some think it is and will spend even more than that and go to the Supreme Court. COMMENT: “Lies told out of ‘embarrassment, fear, or a desire for privacy’ (rather than ‘for the purpose of obtaining [immigration] benefits”) are not generally disqualifying under the statutory requirement of “good moral character.” Kungys v. United States, 485 U.S. 759, 780; 8 U.S.C. 1101(f)(6).” Cited in Maslenjak v. United States, No. 16309, June 22, 2017, 582 U.S. ___ (2017). Tell this to the USCIS. Good luck. RECOMMENDATION: Consult with a very competent and reputable immigration lawyer before applying for naturalization. Many people tend

to forget unpleasant incidents in their lives or do not want to disclose it. Try to remember all negative matters about yourself that may affect your good moral character and tell the lawyer about those matters. Let the lawyer evaluate whether it will have a negative effect on your naturalization application.

ATTY. TIPON has a Master of Laws degree from Yale Law School and a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of the Philippines. He is co-author of the best-seller “Winning by Knowing Your Election Laws” published by Rex Publishing. He writes columns for Filipino-American newspapers and co-hosts “The Tipon Report,” Honolulu’s most witty and useful radio show. He practices law in Honolulu, Hawaii, focusing on immigration and other federal laws. Tel. 808-225-2645. E-mail: filamlaw@yahoo.com



UK Lauds OFW Frontliners’ Service, Professionalism By Pia Lee-Brago Thursday, August 27, 2020


ANILA, Philippines — The United Kingdom is grateful for the professionalism and service of Filipino healthcare workers, its top diplomat in Manila said on Tuesday night. In an interview on “The Chiefs” on OneNews/TV5, British Ambassador Daniel Pruce said the UK, one of the major destinations for Filipino healthcare workers, is grateful to the Philippine government’s decision allowing Filipino health professionals who already have signed contracts to leave for the UK. The Philippine government had restricted health workers and nurses from going abroad as it asked them to help care for local COVID patients. “There was, however, a recognition that in the UK’s

case, nurses and doctors who are already established in their jobs or had already signed contracts have significant personal, financial commitments and should be permitted to take up their roles. We’re grateful for that,” Pruce said. He stressed that the UK “has no interest, no ambition in depriving the Philippines of their great homegrown medical and healthcare talents and particularly such at the time we face at the moment.” Pruce added that people in

the UK are “doubly blessed” for having over 16,000 Filipino healthcare professionals. “We have nurses, doctors, consultants, specialists, all of them engaged on the frontline in my country’s response to the coronavirus disease and we are enormously grateful for the professionalism they bring to everything they are doing as well as these wonderful qualities of empathy to provide emotional support to their patients,” he said. (www. philstar.com) 


Improve Your Business by Outsourcing With this Webinar Series By Jim Bea Sampaga


n the “Global Business Processes” Webinar powered by the Philippines Webinar Series, Philippine-based Business Processing Outsourcing companies will share their expertise and knowledge in outsourcing non-core business functions so you “can focus more on your business’ core competencies.” The Philippine Consulate General in Honolulu (PCGH) encourages people to register early because spots are only limited to 100 people per webinar. But don’t worry, these webinars can be viewed live on PCGH’s Facebook page. Although the first three webinars of the series already aired in August and the first week of September, you can still tune in for the other four webinars down below: • SEPTEMBER 10 Setting-up your call center overseas: Ensuring 24/7 support to serve your clients’ needs. Register via https://bit.ly/39Wg27Q. • SEPTEMBER 17 Delivering Client-Focused Healthcare: Outsourcing non-care processes in order for healthcare professionals to focus on providing care. Register via https://bit.ly/2EO26RN. • SEPTEMBER 24 Creating Technologies That Deliver Value: Leveraging on Philippines’ talents to build games, apps and software solutions. Register via https:// bit.ly/3hW7bWq. • OCTOBER 1 Managing Backroom Operations: Outsourcing accounting and financial functions to enable your company to focus on your core competencies. Register via https://bit.ly/2XFeqdN. 



P2.5 Billion Allotted for COVID-19 Vaccine, P2.7 Billion for PPEs By Delon Porcalla Friday, August 28, 2020


ANILA, Philippines — The Duterte administration has earmarked P2.5 billion for the proWorkers at Sasha Collections shop in Taytay, Rizal curement of vaccines for try on reusable personal protective equipment that COVID-19 and has set are set to be delivered to the provinces yesterday. aside another P2.7 billion The government has said it will prioritize purchasing PPEs from local manufacturers. as “provision” for personal protective equipment (PPE) for all and participatory governance,” Avisahospitals and laboratory centers. do told House leaders. The amounts are contained in the At the same time, the national P4.5-trillion proposed national budget government also gave the Department for 2021 that Budget Secretary Wen- of Health funds for diagnostic or testdel Avisado submitted to the House ing kits, in the amount of P1 billion of Representatives for its approval, for the purchase of 861,720 GeneXwhich also includes P283.5 million pert cartridges to be used in machines for the establishment of a virology for COVID-19 testing. center. A separate fund of P6.1 billion “The fiscal year 2021 National is also allotted for the “upgrading of Expenditure Program (NEP) is based equipment, laboratories and isolation on the sound fiscal policy of spending facilities in the different regions” as within means, on the right priorities, part of the government’s efforts in reand with measurable results under a sponding to the pandemic, according regime of transparent, accountable to Avisado. (www.philstar.com) 



Give People Light – Democratic Party Presidential Candidate Joe Biden By Elpidio R. Estioko


ulminating the four-day virtual Democratic Party National Convention over broadcast news networks ABC, CBS and NBC, Party presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden painted in his acceptance speech the dark moment of America. Solution? “Give people light.” Biden suggested President Donald Trump took the path of anger and fear that he has “cloaked America in darkness.” “Those are words for our time,” he said echoing those words from Ella Baker, a civil rights movement giant: “Give people light and they will find a way.” He thought that this is what we need based on his vision to unite America in times of darkness. Due to too much anger, too much fear and too much division at present… he thinks America is in darkness. “If you entrust me with the presidency, I will draw on the best of us not the worst. I will be an ally of the light not of the darkness. It’s time for us, for We the People, to come together.” Biden said.

I must admit I was stunned by his words in the light of the pandemic that we are facing as I watched throughout the duration of the convention. “This is our moment; this is our mission… the end of this chapter of American darkness began here tonight, as love and hope and light joined in the battle for the soul of the nation…We can, and will, overcome this season of darkness in America. We will choose hope over fear, facts over fiction, and fairness over privilege,” he added. I listened to his speech with hope when he said: “This campaign isn’t just about winning votes. It’s about winning the heart, and yes, the soul of America. This is a life-changing election that will determine America’s future for a very long time. Character is on the ballot. Compassion is on the ballot. Decency, science, democracy.” Then he went to explaining what he will do if elected president: “The first step I will take will be to get control of the virus that ruined so many lives… The President keeps telling us the virus is going to disappear. He keeps waiting for a miracle. Well, I have news for him, no miracle is coming… And after all this time, the president still does not have a plan. Our current president has failed in

Joe Biden

his most basic duty to this nation. He failed to protect us. He failed to protect America. And, my fellow Americans, that is unforgivable.” Well Biden said that on the first day of his presidency, he will implement a national strategy to combat the pandemic. “We’ll develop and deploy rapid tests with results available immediately. We’ll make the medical supplies and protective equipment our country needs. We’ll make sure our schools have the resources they need to be open, safe, and effective. We’ll put the politics aside and take the muzzle off our experts, so the public gets the information they need and deserve. We’ll have a national mandate to wear a mask--not as a burden, but to protect each other. It’s a patriotic duty. In short, I will do what we should have done from the very beginning,” Biden said. “I won’t have to do it alone because I will have a great Vice President at my side. Senator Kamala Harris has a powerful voice for this nation. Her story is the American story. She knows about all the obstacles thrown in the way of so many… Kamala and I both draw strength from our families,” Biden explained. Another reality check is: Can Biden outsmart the canny/ unorthodox political moves of Trump? In the 2016 presidential election, then candidate for President Republican Donald Trump was a “joke” to many! In fact, “nobody” believed he would win the election. The prediction was even amplified when almost all national polls placed him behind Democratic female candidate former Sen.

Hilary Clinton. She was way ahead in almost all the polls. True enough, she won the popular votes by almost three million, but Trump won the Electoral College which catapulted him to be the 45th president of the United States of America. As I See It, the situation is similar to the upcoming November 3, 2020 Presidential election. Trump is trailing the polls in almost all national surveys behind Democratic candidate former vice president Joe Biden. Biden’s popularity is even bolstered by him selecting Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate. Will this be a repeat of 2016? Maybe not! While the 2016 and the 2020 elections are similar, there are two distinct differences. First, in 2016, the economy was robust while at present the economy is going down which may have to last till the November elections. The second difference is that there was no pandemic in 2016 while the 2020 election is being wreck by COVID-19. These two situations may dictate the outcome of the election and may derail the repeat performance of Trump! There are factors attributed to Trump that are either positive or negative, depending upon the situation. He is known to be a schrew and unorthodox politician making a lot of unpopular decisions (mostly for his own personal benefit). He defies conventions and thrives on controversies. In fact, he likes controversies and is creating a lot of them. He is making bold decisions defying his cabinet members and presidential advisers. He is considered a strong leader who is willing to take risks likened to the world dictators and was able to convert the GOP into a Trump Party. These were the attributes he had in 2016 and still possess in 2020. Question: Will it work this time around? So, whether we like it or not, the election of the next US president is dictated by the events surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic! It’s tied up with all

aspects of our lives. Political life in America was fundamentally transformed by the virus! Incumbents at every level, starting with Mr. Trump, will be judged on how they prepared for and managed the country through a crisis that has turned the life of nearly every voter upside down. Representative Tom Cole, Republican of Oklahoma said: “This is the question that is going to dominate the election: How did you perform in the great crisis?” Democrats need to learn from the past! This time they need to make sure that during their campaign for popular votes, they have enough delegates/electoral votes to win the presidency. It’s the Electoral College that will catapult them to the presidency. Trump capitalized on this in 2016 and he had the experience to duplicate it in 2020! Well, technically… the Electoral College is a thing in the past, meaning it may not apply any more to the present times as envisioned by the Founding Fathers because of the emergence of the internet, institution of the vote by mail which is being questioned by the Trump team, and the voting precincts are now available in remote places. But, for as long as it is still not amended and ratified by the states, it is still a matter the politicians can’t ignore. It needs two thirds of supermajority in Congress and three fourths to be ratified by the states, so we are stocked with the Electoral College this coming November. This is the naked truth for the politicians and the American people to understand and contend with: The Electoral College is still in force! Will Biden be able to transform his rhetoric to reality? The people will have to decide! 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).



By Emil Guillermo


hen I found out the widow of United Farm Wo r k e r s (UFW) labor leader Pete Velasco was in a hospital battling COVID-19 back in early August, I was praying for a rallying cry. Dolores Velasco was hanging on to her life in a Tehachapi, California hospital near where the Filipino farm workers fought the agricultural industry and made history. But she spent her final days fighting hard not to be part of an historic surge in the pandemic. Velasco was in and out of alertness, according to her friends, who knew she needed to hear something hopeful. Something more than the president’s, “It is what it is.” How empty those words must have sounded to Velasco, or anyone else struggling against the virus. We all could say in unison, “Mr. President, you are not doing enough.” Despite what Trump says, the COVID-19 crisis is not “just going away.” The nation’s case count is nearing 5 million. The U.S. is just five percent of the world’s population but has up to 25 percent of the infections. More startling is the death count nearing 160,000 with more than 1,000 people dying each day. During the first of August, we saw the highest one-day death toll in two months. “The numbers don’t lie,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said during a Harvard Public Health meeting on Aug. 5. And yet all Trump can say is “It is what it is”? It’s the president’s socially distant response in these socially distant times. But it’s a far cry from what we need as a nation. Perhaps, we shouldn’t expect much from a man

A Filipina for Life—Remembering Dolores Velasco, The Nun Who Became the Activist and the Wife of UFW Leader Pete Velasco who believes he has done more civil rights than LBJ (you know, the guy who got the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act passed). Trump even says he’s not sure what impact Rep. John Lewis (Selma marcher/Voting Rights advocate) had on America. Still, it’s not too much to demand a sense of caring from the president of the United States (put that on your checklist as you evaluate whom you might vote for in November). These are the days when Americans are dying or are near death like Dolores Velasco, trying hard not to be a forgotten statistic. Friends of Velasco put out a message to the Filipino community on social media on Tuesday night that Manang Dolores was urgently in need of a good word. It was time for a card, a sentiment that could help lift her spirits as she hung on to life in a closed off room in the Tehachapi Hospital. It’s something to provide comfort and a way to connect. A lot more than a president’s “It is what it is.” But by early morning of Aug. 5, the moment was lost. From nun to activist Called “Manang” Dolores in the community by virtue of her age and respect of her status, Dolores Neubauer was first known as Sister Dolores Ann when she first met Pete Velasco, the co-founder and longtime Secretary/Treasurer of the United Farm Workers of America in 1974. Velasco was continuing the work started by Larry Itliong who was the leader of the Filipino workers union that really started the 1965 Delano grape strike, a key moment in civil rights and la-

Dolores Velasco

bor movement history. Cesar Chavez joined in later to provide the migrant labor force that created the UFW, but the Filipinos were there first. After the UFW was birthed, Pete Velasco took an active role in the national boycott against Gallo wine and iceberg lettuce and was headquartered in Baltimore, according to a note housed in the UCSD library that appears to be written by Dolores Velasco. She recalls how in 1975 Pete was re-assigned from Baltimore to California to organize workers in the central coast of Santa Maria. She describes an incident when Pete and another unionist was attacked by six Teamster at Koyama Farms, Aug. 21, 1975. She said the Teamsters were carrying knives and kicked Pete Velasco, then 65, in the neck and back. Another incident describes how

Pete Velasco and five UFW representatives were arrested for talking to workers about the union before the work day. “The grower got so angry, he insisted they be arrested,” Dolores Velasco wrote. “He dragged Brother Pete Velasco 75 feet while the deputy sheriffs looked on, doing nothing to protect Peter.” The violence brought forth a “serious decision” that Dolores Velasco had to make. That year, after 21 years as a nun, Sister Dolores Ann became Miss Dolores Ann Neubauer. In November of that year, she left to join Pete in California where they organized workers together in the fields every morning. By Dec. 12, 1975, they were married in the Agbayani Village home, built by the UFW for the senior workers and their families. They spent 20 years together making what John Lewis would call the “good trouble” until Pete Velasco’s death in 1995. FInal hours Manang Dolores lived on at the Agbayani Village near Delano, where I met her briefly in 2016 for the 50th anniversary of the Delano Grape Strike. It was a brief hello. She had a button with Velasco’s picture on her shirt. She spent most of her days keeping alive the stories of

the activism she shared with her husband. It was a month ago, on July 10, Manang Dolores tested positive for COVID-19. After three more positive tests, she remained in a hospital near La Paz, where due to the COVID-19 protocols, she was not allowed visitors. Teresa Romero, the current president of the UFW, told friends on Tuesday that Velasco was not in pain nor in need of a respirator, though she did experience shortness of breath. Romero said Velasco is sleeping most of the time, not eating, and is suffering from some signs of dementia. Still, Romero felt compelled to reach out in social media. Union activists, regular folks, people who understand the human condition know you have to say a bit more than “It is what it is.” They know that sometimes a strong rallying cry is all that’s needed to turn around the impossible. But by Thursday morning, it was too late, for the former nun turned activist who had become a Filipina for life.

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.




Paano susundin ang tawag ng tungkulin Upang gampanan ang sinumpaang gawain Di inalintana panganib susuungin Mag alay serbisyo sa Inang Bayan natin

Kung mayroon mang nangliliit na iilan Sa napakarami malaking kahulugan Ang inyong gawain sa anumang dahilan Nakikita at di lingid sa kalangitan

Paano sisimulan ang isang digmaan Gayung di mo nakikita ang ‘yong kalaban Anong sandata o pananggang kailangan Laban sa masamang salot o panganib man

Kayong taga media buhos din sa labanan Oras na ginugugol sa palatuntunan Paghahatid balita na may kabuluhan Para ipaalam ang inyong nalalaman

Sa simula wari ko’y tawag ng propesyon Dahil sa inaral sila’y nasa posisyon Sinusunod lahat dahil sa obligasyon Di naglaon ramdam mo na ang dedikasyon

May pagkakataong nanunuod balita Bigla na lang mga mata ko’y namamasa Dama ko ang dusa ninyong tinatamasa Anumang peste ito tuluyang mapuksa

Di biro ang mawalay sa iyong pamilya Ang piniling propesyon yaong inuuna Maghapong magdamag hapo di iniinda Larawan ng malasakit sa mukha nila

Pa’nong ibabahagi tulong kong pisikal Ang hangad kong magserbisyo ay umiiral Kalagayan kong baka pa maging sagabal Bahay na lang taimtim kayong ipagdasal

Di pansin ang pagod pagganap ng tungkulin Sa mga may sakit na dapat kalingapin Anuman ang peligro ay handang harapin Maging ang buhay malagay sa alanganin

Maglalagay ba ng pulang laso sa dibdib Katumbas suporta pagsuong sa panganib Maglalatag ng trapal duon ipabatid At isulat pagtanaw ng loob na tigib

Kayo at mga kasama sa inyong hanay Paglilingkod na wagas ang iniaalay Tanging sumasaloob Diyos gumagabay Magwakas man ito sa pagbuwis ng buhay

Paano namin kayo pasasalamatan Sa gawaing walang kapantay kabayaran Pagmamahal sa trabahong ginagampanan Mananatili sa isip at kamalayan

Paano ang ginagawa di natitinag Ang tibay ng loob di maipaliwanag Di mabawasan binibigay na paglingap Upang maihandog ang pagkandiling ganap

Kulang mga salitang aming ilalahad Ginawa’t ginagawa n’yo di masusukat Bawat isa sa inyo kasama ang lahat Tiklop ang tuhod kaming nagpapasalamat

Paano kung wala kayong naninindigan Kaloob aruga sa nangangailangan Ang likas ninyong talino at kaalaman Buong puso’t pagkatao inilalaan Paano kung kayo’y panghinaan ng loob Ang inyong sarili sa takot ay makubkob Walang mukhang kaaway kayo’y magpasakop ‘wag naman sana Panginoong mananakop Doctors, nurses, health workers, kalusugang sanghay Sundalo, pulis, guards, ang Red Cross nakabantay Mga tanod, kagawad, pinunong barangay Volunteers, pamahalaan umaagapay Gaano ito kaliit o malaki man Ang inaambag n’yong tulong sa mamamayan Maging payak man o mayamang kababayan Ang buong mundo kayo ay hinahangaan

Pag napawi na ang usok ng kaguluhan Ang tatag at giting n’yo na napatunayan Kayo ang mga bida na nasa unahan Taas noong nakatayo, saludo bayan Katulad ng teleserye may katapusan Tagumpay kayo sa papel na ginampanan Harapin ang bayan, kayo’y papalakpakan Ang tanging hiling ko’y wag na sanang duktungan Higit sa lahat sa buhay na sinusugal Idulog kaligtasan nila sa Maykapal Sa paraang ito atin silang itanghal Mga bayaning kahanay ng mga banal Si Dr. DANILO DAVID ay isang manggamot sa Maynila na nagtapos sa UST School of Medicine.



COVID’s Effect on Education By Seneca Moraleda-Puguan limited resources, parents are being forced to buy lapfew weeks ago, tops and mobile phones so my mother sent their children can continue me a message learning. There has been a asking me to move from learning in classlook for a laptop rooms to learning virtually for her 11-year- or remotely in order to help old grandson who will be reduce the increasing numgoing to school soon, not ber of COVID-19 cases and face-to-face but online. She also to protect students from asked me to find one that catching the virus. is equipped not only for reI have also seen groups search but also for Zoom raising funds to help famimeetings. My brother lost lies who can’t afford obtainhis job in the middle of the ing laptops, mobile phones pandemic and couldn’t af- or even have a decent Wi-Fi ford to buy his son a laptop connection for their chilso the grandmother went dren. to the rescue. My nephew The field of education is blessed to have a grand- is one of the major sectors mother who is able to pro- of society impacted by the vide him with a needed global pandemic. According laptop, but how about those to the United Nations, the families already struggling COVID-19 pandemic has to have food on their tables, created the largest disruplet alone buy a laptop that is tion of education systems in very expensive? history, affecting nearly 1.6 Everywhere, despite billion learners in more than many having lost jobs and 190 countries and all conti-


nents. Closures of schools and other learning spaces have impacted 94% of the world’s student population, up to 99% in low and lower-middle income countries. In all parts of the world, there are debates going on whether to let children continue going to school or let them learn from home. In the middle of a pandemic, both have its pros and cons. It’s a dilemma every parent is facing. But what matters now is for every student and their families to be protected from the virus. As for our family, we have decided to homeschool our children. My husband and I will be our children’s teachers. Our eldest daughter Callie is only 4 years old so we just let her play most of the time. I have a 17-monthold boy who is very clingy and needy so we asked my sister-in-law who is in the Philippines to help us teach

our daughter basic Math, Science and Filipino online for 30 minutes everyday. As much as Callie enjoys talking to her aunt and learning from her, we have noticed that her attention span is very short and she couldn’t focus for a long time. She likes talking and playing with her aunt but she prefers learning from her mommy and daddy whom she sees face-to-face. Every child is different. There are those who can focus for a long time while looking at a screen but there are those who thrive when they have physical interaction with someone. But one thing I know for sure, nothing beats learning face-to-

face with someone, whether a teacher, a parent or a classmate. But what do we do? With the school closures, we just have to make a way for children to continue learning. The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the many problems that the education sector is facing--unequal access to technology and unequal access to educational resources. The most affected are the children from rural areas and those coming from disadvantaged families. It has also brought strain to parents especially those who have to continue working. It also has affected the dy(continue on page 15)



Oahu on Shutdown until September 9


ahu is on another stayat-home and workfrom-home order similar to the order implemented back in March with only essential works and businesses allowed to remain open. Restaurants are open but only available for take-outs. Public schools, including the University of Hawaii, will remain open. However, private schools will have to switch to online classes. Non-essential businesses such as retailers, gyms and salons are closed as well as City and State parks and beaches. Strictly no social gatherings is permitted indoors and outdoors. Violations in the order are punishable with fines up to $5,000, up to a year in jail, or both. On Aug. 25, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said Governor David Ige approved the order to help bring down the COVID-19 cases on Oahu. As of writing, Hawaii’s total COVID-19 cases are 6,984 with most of the cases in Oahu. The current stay-at-home and work-from-home order was implemented on Aug. 27 and will last until Sept. 9. 

 “We’re going to see how it goes. We’re hopeful the number will decline,” said Mayor Caldwell at a news conference on Aug. 25. However, he said that the order will be extended if the Oahu cases are still triple-digits daily. During the shutdown order, the City and State will ramp up COVID-19 testing and contact tracing to ensure safety in reopening. The City plans to conduct 60,000 tests in 12 days, and these are free of charge to those who will take the swab test. The contact tracing programs will help improve quarantine and isolation measures. 

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


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. 


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.


Be Counted in the 2020 Census!


ith the 2020 Census deadline at the end of the month, the Filipino community is at risk of losing their share of resources over the next decade. The Asian and Asian-American community could lose access to government-funded community resources if the community isn’t counted in the 2020 Census. According to the Census Bureau, three out of 10 U.S. households have not filled out the census. The response rate is less than 72%. There

is still a remaining gap on census response rates of Asian Americans, and the Census Bureau is encouraging the community to respond. There is still time to be counted. Encourage your friends, family and community, especially the Asian community, to fill out the 2020 Census. Everyone in the community must be counted in the census by Sept. 30. If people are undercounted, states and communities

could lose thousands of dollars in public funding per person every year for emergency services, education, health facilities, road improvement and other benefits. The community is also at risk of losing political representation, including Congressional seats. Due to COVID-19, it’s challenging to conduct local outreach but the census takers are trained to follow public health guidelines and wear personal protective equipment while making

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. in-person visits to help households complete their questionnaires. “We are taking steps and adapting our operations to make sure everyone is counted, while keeping everyone safe,” said Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham. To respond to the census online, visit 2020census.gov. To respond in Tagalog over the phone, call 844-478-2020.  (Sagot sa Krosword Blg. 18 | July 4, 2020)

(PERSONAL REFLECTIONS: COVID’s Effect....from page 13)

namics of family life. It has caused depression and anxiety among students who need social interaction with peers. As a homeschooling parent, I may not be fully affected by school closures and virtual learning, but my heart goes out to those parents who had to send their kids to school, to those who have opted for traditional schooling but are not able to do so at this time because of the pandemic. My heart aches for the many parents right now thinking anxiously where


to get the resources needed for their children to continue learning. I am praying really hard for government leaders around the world as they make decisions to mitigate this crisis and be able to present the best options to their weary subordinates and heartbroken families under their care. When will this pandemic end? This is the question every one of us is asking right now. No one knows the answer but as we continue to face all the challeng-

es this pandemic has caused our lives, I trust that the resilience of our spirit and the hope burning in our hearts will carry us through. Just as every hardship we have faced as a race, this is just a season and seasons change. I am looking forward to the day that our children will be able to play freely outside again, breathe fresh air with no masks covering their mouths, laugh and learn with their friends and classmates and enjoy the gift of life.

No. 19

by Carlito Lalicon

International d’Unités 31. Brother 1. Muslim pilgrim 32. Small liqueur glass 5. Deer of southern Asia 34. Deplete 11. At attention 38. Dairy farm sound 13. Held up in the air 39. Good person (slang) 15. Distance runner 16. The character or qualities 41. Hail, to Caesar 42. Animal with striped legs of a saint 44. South American monkey 18. Palm-shaped 45. Fishing, perhaps 20. Convened 46. “I” problem 21. According to 48. General with highest rating 22. “Rocks” 50. Door fastener 23. Animal house 53. Can 24. Final notice 25. Scale of the sun’s declination 55. Seth’s mom 56. Away for each day of the year 29. Basic unit of electric current 57. Gymnast’s goal adopted under the Système 58. Not exact 1. Cord fiber 2. Diva’s solo 3. Become gelatinous 4. Frozen delight 5. Bathroom installation 6. Come to mind 7. “Later!” 8. Strong post 9. Beast of burden 10. Doctor’s order 12. Hint


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13. Employ 14. Capital of East Timor 17. Congratulations, of a sort 19. Beat 23. Dress like a dandy 24. Harvest goddess 25. Bullets, e.g. 26. Breakfast area 27. Small buffalo 28. Debatable 30. Kind of shot

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62. Advocate of 67. Put off, as a motion globalism 68. Court figure 65. Buzz 69. Baker’s unit 66. Umlaut 51. ___ Lang Syne 33. Abominable 52. Unemotional Snowman person 35. Bridge position 54. Biscotti flavoring 36. Eye layer 57. Mountain pool 37. Brandy flavor 58. The “I” in T.G.I.F. 39. Band booking 59. Early pulpit 40. Contributed 60. Pepsi, e.g. 43. Dash 61. Not kosher 45. Nonsexual 63. Buzzer 47. Breakfast choice 64. Knight’s title 49. Flip 50. Pig (Solution will be on the next issue of the Chronicle)