Hawaii Filipino Chronicle - November 21, 2020

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NOVEMBER 21, 2020  HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE  1

NOVEMBER 21, 2020

NEWS FEATURE

Remembering Dean T. Alegado — A Man for All Seasons FEATURE

HFC Celebrates 27th Year Serving the Filipino Community

AS I SEE IT

Democracy Works: Biden Wins, Trump Not Conceding

MAINLAND NEWS

Fil-Am Star Boxer Arnold Dinong Making His Mark in Pro Boxing


2 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE  NOVEMBER 21, 2020

EDITORIAL

Happy Thanksgiving to All! Be Well and Safe

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or the families of 200,000-plus, and counting, as well as the over 11 million who’ve contracted the coronavirus – this Thanksgiving will take on added meaning. To those millions of others who’ve lost their jobs or their fortunes as their small businesses went under this year, they too will look at this Thanksgiving like no other. At various degrees, all of us have been changed due to the coronavirus and find the traditional day of giving thanks in a different light. Throughout the year, we’ve relied on optimism, humor, psychological detachment from reality, and many other coping mechanisms to get by. Giving thanks can reasonably be rejected this year for those who’ve lost close family. Thanksgiving, perhaps will be spent grieving and suffering as it would be the first holiday without their loved ones present. For those who’ve contracted COVID-19 and survived, perhaps their Thanksgiving will go deeper than appreciation as they could be challenging at this very moment their old models they’ve had of what the meaning in life is and begin to search for understanding to the seemingly randomness of life events. “I don’t even know how I got the coronavirus. I’ve been taking precautions. Then there are others who’ve been reckless and haven’t gotten it. It’s just all unfair,” – a typical response of COVID-19 survivors. Then there is yet another matter of surviving COVID-19 -the medical bills that have racked up. A new analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that the average cost of COVID-19 treatment for someone with employer insurance—and without complications—would be about $9,763. Someone whose treatment has complications may see bills about double that: $20,292. Individual plans vary, depending on cost-sharing and caps. Uninsured Americans with COVID-19 would pay an estimated average of $73,300 for a 6-day hospital stay, according to a recent report by FAIR Health. The financial toll of the virus is not limited to those who’ve contracted the virus. Also effected are millions of others who haven’t contracted COVID-19. Hawaii residents have experienced among the worst unemployment rates this year. Hawaii had the second highest rate among states for permanent business closures from March 1 to July 10, at 6.9 permanent closures per 1,000 businesses. Hawaii’s rate, which trailed only Nevada at 7.3, suggests that more than 1,000 Hawaii businesses may have already folded. Honolulu’s permanent business closure rate of 7.9 was third-highest among U.S. cities, behind only Las Vegas and Stockton, Calif., and just ahead of San Francisco.

Thanksgiving Day celebration On top of the human and financial loss, the pandemic is not over but at its peak. So Thanksgiving itself will no doubt be different. The CDC is recommending that celebration be kept to those only in one’s household. That means no visiting family, in-town or out-of-town. No potlucks and group fun. Some people will integrate internet virtual connections or talking on the phone with loved ones. Some have planned charitable ways to celebrate like shopping and delivering food to an elderly person who could be spending Thanksgiving alone. Some say they will forego Thanksgiving celebration altogether. Some say they want to donate to the Food Bank grocery or write a check to help needy and homeless families. Helping the homeless and needy has been a long-standing tradition on Thanksgiving, for obvious reasons. In addition to our homeless population, helping those who’ve been hurt by the coronavirus could be much welcomed. Donating food or even a mon(continue on page 3)

FROM THE PUBLISHER

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reaking news this week is that two pharmaceutical companies are very close to releasing a vaccine to COVID-19. Experts are still not certain when it will be released. Early polls show that even if it’s available this year, a small percentage of 40 percent is willing to take the vaccine (public health officials say 70 percent compliance is necessary for a vaccine to make a difference in containing the spread). In any case, the soonest that mass distribution of a vaccine will be available is April 2021 and public trust should increase by then. As we head into Thanksgiving, this is much welcomed news. But the toll on lives and jobs loss due to the pandemic this year has already been stark and tragic even as a vaccine awaits in the wings. In our cover story this issue, associate editor Edwin Quinabo finds that many Hawaii residents’ confrontation with the reality of finality as this virus threatens has changed their outlook in life going into Thanksgiving. Some have reported loving deeper, appreciating their families and life more than ever. This, perhaps, is one silver lining in this topsy-turvy year that no one expected. The CDC says this is no time to let our guard down and recommends that Thanksgiving be celebrated with only members of your household. This doesn’t mean Thanksgiving day has to be any less fun, just different. For example, virtual dinners can be integrated to add a new twist to the festivity. If plans are already made to have outside guests to be a part of your celebration, read in the cover story what the CDC recommends to make it safer. For example, instead of just wearing one mask, they say having two or three layers of mask-wear is safer. Also, having hand sanitizer at the entrance and/or near where guests are expected to gather could minimize any spread should one of your guests be an asymptomatic carrier of the virus. Most importantly, the CDC says there should be no more than 10 people gathered for Thanksgiving. Several people in our community let us know how they’ll be celebrating Thanksgiving and how the holiday brings special meaning for them this year. Also in this issue, Dr. Belinda Aquino contributes a feature on the life of Dr. Dean T. Alegado. We are sad to report that Alegado has passed away. Many of you know him well and all the work he has done for our community. Dean was an activist, a scholar (former Chair of the Ethnic Studies Department at the University of Hawaii), and father. He received two MA degrees, one from UC-Berkley and another from Harvard University. Later he received his PhD from the University of Hawaii. Dr. Aquino collaborated with Dr. Alegado professionally and shares her personal experiences of the community leader we’ve all respected and loved. We extend our deepest sympathy to the family of Dr. Alegado. In mainland news, read about Ewa Beach native Filipino-American professional boxer Arnold Dinong, who recently made his pay-per-view debut and came out with a unanimous decision victory. Dinong started boxing at the age of 8 and is a rising star in a sport many in our community love to watch. In our news feature, we present excerpts of an essay Brenna Marie Flores submitted to our HFC Scholarship committee that helped her garner the 2020 HFC Journalism Scholarship. Flores is a senior communications student at Chaminade University and is the second recipient of the HFC Scholarship that was created last year in celebration of our newspaper’s 25th Anniversary. As always we have interesting articles from our columnists and informative news. Lastly, on behalf of the staff of the HFC, I wish all of our advertisers, supporters and our entire community a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving. We are truly thankful for the years of support extended to our newspaper. God Bless you all, and 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


NOVEMBER 21, 2020  HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE  3

EDITORIAL

Republicans Need a Reboot; There’s No Future in Trumpism for the GOP

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utgoing President Donald Trump is a smarter man than most give him credit for. Certainly he already knew the election was over days ago and his removal from office guaranteed. With advanced data modeling via software programs, the extra four days it took to declare a winner was really a practice in caution and going through a process for Americans to have faith in a system. Statistics prognosticators can take data early on and make remarkably reliable projections (of course when dealing with real data like actual votes not polling numbers). As the final results of the 2020 presidential election showed, the race was not as close as it was earlier believed to be, at least from a historical perspective on American presidential elections. The winner needed 270 votes to win, Joe Biden garnered 306 to Trump’s 232 electoral votes, which is a landslide victory for Biden. On any other election prior to this year’s pandemic with mostly mail-in voting, these results would have been declared an early night landslide victory. Adding to the electoral

wipe out, Biden received more than 5.5 million popular votes than Trump.

Republicans should be looking for a better future than Trumpism Trump was the first president not to be reelected since George W. Bush in 1992. That fact alone should be telling that Trump is really damaged goods for the Republican party. One (term) and done is not the kind of record the Republican party should have faith in, for that presidential party nominee or what he ran on. Trump takes credit for being the kingpin of the GOP who can draw tons of crowds wherever he goes. The mainstream media adds to his larger-than-life image with 24-7 coverage. But the truth is this presidential election really did not live up to the showman Trump is. His post-election ranting – it turns out – was more of a menacing power move than the actual votes he received. If it wasn’t for an archaic electoral system, the wipe out (if you count popular votes) would have been as Trump likes to use the words, a “complete disaster” for him and the Republican party. The Republican party should realize this failure. The

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etary gift to go to someone unemployed due to COVID, someone behind on rent because of COVID. If there’s a lesson we can take from the pandemic is how our lives are interconnected in so many ways. From global to community, our actions have reverberating impact. Last Thanksgiving 2019, the millions of Americans impacted by the pandemic this year, never could have imagined how dramatically their lives would change in 2020. Many of them were also the ones doing good, doing charitable work each Thanksgiving. Now it could be their turn to receive good tidings.

Insensitivity The pandemic is changing the way people see the world. An example just days ago, Island 98.5 DJ “Slick Vic” Harris was suspended for his mocking comments of a local entertainer Paula Fuga during a show and fundraiser for the Hawaii Food Bank. Fundraisers are common for the Food Bank just before Thanksgiving day. Fuga was at the fundraiser to talk about her experience as a homeless child on the beach growing up. She talked about how she was so hungry and resorted to going through trash cans for food.

70 million votes Trump received, it’s arguable that much of it was actually party-line votes and not necessarily a pro-Trump stamp of approval. Republicans ought to realize their bully’s influence is exaggerated and fearing retribution on Twitter from Trump should be the last of any Republican politician’s fears. It’s safe to say the time has come to bury Trumpism.

Trump – and all this nonsense of running in 2024 – would be like Hilary taking another round at a presidential run. Trump, like Hilary (albeit a very unfair comparison for Hillary), is too polarizing, and is a stigma of right-wing ideology no real independent voter would crossover for.

The Experiment is Over Republicans should know that a majority of Americans The Hillary Syndrome, will not accept fascism. It goes Trump’s future against the heart of our demoThink about the results cratic principles. Trump’s unmore clearly. Hillary Clinton gracious, egocentric disregard to lost to Trump by the same accept the will of the people by electoral votes that he received not accepting the 2020 election this election. Democrats of all results made any droplet left of stripes and sectors of the par- hope of him as a future candity’s coalition knew that very date evaporate completely. night, that Hilary was done His trumped up litigations as far as being a future party contesting the results were emnominee. barrassing, shameless and unBut the results of the 2016 democratic. The Republicans, election was not the only rea- not all, who were on board to son for this realization, it was contest the election, may not confirmed to Democrats how see their folly now, but later Hillary (unfairly character- will realize how un-American ized or not) is really too large their actions were. a polarizing figure. She is too The institution of voting easy a target for Republicans is far bigger and meaningful to hate on and reason to keep to the United States’ survival them loyal to the party. She is and continuity than any one too difficult a candidate to get president. How shortsighted of independents to crossover to those who put this institution Democrats. in jeopardy. Republicans should see In fact all of what TrumpTrump in the same light. ism stands for (racism, hatred, chaos, lies, indecency), Below is a transcription of the interaction: Paula: I could cry thinking about it. In the dark, could be categorically diswith my hand from the trash can. You want a visual? missed after Host: That’s what this radiothon is for. Paula: Would you like to dig deeper into my soul? Host: I love your soul, I love your soul. Paula: Do you have a box of tissue? Host: No but we got a trash can right over there by the bar. Another host: Just in case she’s hungry. The insensitive joke most likely would have been overlooked prior to the pandemic. But that incident lit up social media and received major blowback. The reaction to the host’s insensitivity is clearly related to the many isle residents who are experiencing intense hardship of their own this year, including the possibility of not making rent and going homeless themselves. It’s commonly said suffering makes a person better because that person’s perspective is broadened. If there is a silver lining going into Thanksgiving Day we could be thankful about at least for some of us, perhaps it’s that the pandemic has made us more caring and compassionate. Happy Thanksgiving to All! May our good Lord bless you and your family. Be safe.

this election. Trumpism is and has since 2016 had peak-levels of 40s-some percentile approval rating. But that is the cap and Trump or any other Republican candidate running on Trumpism will not be able to win another presidential election with those numbers, with the same strategy. Trump’s 2016 victory was an untested experiment. But after four years of actual power and how Trump used that power, independents and on-the-fence Republicans will not go back to that kind of Republicanism.

What could fill the void What’s next for the Republican party is anyone’s guess. There will be Trumpism as a carryover, no doubt. But if it leads to big losses for the GOP in the midterm, that would be the exclamation mark to leave it all behind. Some political analysts say a less crude, smarter, sophisticated Trump-like candidate could be far more dangerous than Trump – someone who will have all the far-right agenda and policy pursuits, but without the rhetoric, bombast or authoritarian swagger. Filling the void of leadership of the GOP will be difficult. The party’s conservative platform doesn’t resound with the Millennial Generation (which will be the most influential group by 2024) and GENZ. Both have come of age, are now real players in American politics, and voted overwhelmingly against Trump.


4 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE  NOVEMBER 21, 2020

COVER STORY

THANKSGIVING CARRIES DEEPER MEANING, EVEN AS GATHERINGS ARE EXPECTED TO SUBSIDE By Edwin Quinabo

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ell over 250,000 already dead in the U.S. from the pandemic – the numbers are staggering, breathtaking. The second-part of this pulse-quickening tragedy, millions have lost their jobs and tens of thousands of small businesses have closed down. It’s no surprise that this year’s Thanksgiving is already emerging to be one like no other. For some Hawaii residents, they talk of it having added special meaning. Highest up on the list for most is being thankful for life and health for themselves and their families. Viktor Emil Frankl, a neurologist and psychiatrist, wrote about his experience in the Holocaust in one of the best-selling books of all time “Man’s Search for Meaning.” Since his book was published, it has inspired people to overcome personal hardBeing thankful and finding meaning Erlinda Sagayadoro of Ewa Beach, has a daughter Rowena who is a nurse at one of Honolulu’s largest hospitals. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, Erlinda has been praying for her daughter’s safety each night because Rowena is a cancer survivor of less than four years, which puts her in that category of the population more susceptible to getting infected by the virus. The fact that Rowena works in a hospital puts her risk even higher. Last month, Erlinda was terrified when her daughter’s doctor said he found a growth in the area near Rowena’s original stage 2 ovarian cancer. “I just cried in my room. So afraid. My daughter already suffered a lot to beat cancer. I never forgot how painful it was for her. Or the thought of

ship and it has become a useful guide for some during these tough times. “To suffer unnecessarily is masochistic rather than heroic,” Frankl wrote, which some have interpreted as to attach purpose or meaning to what is causing us to suffer sometimes can deliver us from suffering itself. The answers as to why bad things happen in life might not be easy to find or attach meaning to, as Frankl recommends. But no matter what has happened in our lives earlier in the year, Thanksgiving day has always been about finding something to be thankful about. And often people say, that the person or thing they’re thankful for somehow gives them a sense of meaning to their life or makes acceptance of tragedy lighter. When individuals, when society are faced with possible finality in the wings like

losing her,” said Erlinda after hearing of the news. “Rowena told me this time she wanted to keep private whatever the outcome would be. She said she didn’t want people worrying about her again. Or being concerned about her working at a hospital where she is at greater risk for COVID-19,” said Erlinda. “I am thankful to God because the tests came back and the growth was not malignant. It was removed and my daughter is safe.” Erlinda said she still worries for Rowena’s safety at work. “Until a vaccination is out and the virus is all but gone, I can only have some peace of mind. “But for now this is great news that Rowena’s cancer did not come back. I’m most thankful about this news this Thanksgiving. Thanks to God,” said Erlinda.

Romeo Domingo of Waipahu said “I already knew my wife and children have been most important in my life. But I am thankful because in the past months, I realize this even more. In a strange way, this (heightened awareness of love) happened because of the pandemic.” Domingo has been out of work since April this year. He worked in the hotel industry for over 27 years. Tourism has recently reopened in the last month but business has not picked up enough for him to be called back to his job. “My wife being understanding of my job situation makes me love her more. What I’ve been doing for now is to try to make her job easier before I do others things that need to get done,” said Domingo. One of the things he’s also been working on is

a deadly pandemic threatens, a natural reaction is to love deeper, hold on tighter, and be more thankful than ever before. This is the grand mise en scene for Thanksgiving 2020.

the requirements for unemployment. He is concerned about his unemployment running out before he gets a call back. But he says he’s thankful he’s able to help with his wife’s care home business in the meantime. “I prepare meals for my wife’s clients. I help out around the house so my wife has an easier time and can just look after her clients. “I am also thankful because we have good, steady income from her work while I am out of my job. I know many of my coworkers and workers at the hotels are suffering financially and afraid of what’s going to happen when their unemployment runs out and can’t find a job,” said Domingo. Since Oct. 15, when tourism reopened, some hotel workers have resumed their jobs. Filipinos comprise a significant proportion of hotel workers and

the community has been hard hit by the pandemic. Not just in terms of jobs loss, Filipinos places second in terms of numbers of people infected by the virus in the state of Hawaii. It’s a double whammy for the Filipino community. And as tourism reopens, Filipino workers will be frontline workers and be greater at risk for exposure. One of the main goals of UNITE HERE Local 5, President of the union Gemma Garampil Weinstein told the Filipino Chronicle months back, is to make sure that safeguards to prevent the spread of the coronavirus are in place to protect both tourists and workers when they come back. Domingo has confidence that when he does return to work, the safeguards will already be well in place to protect employees in the (continue on page 5)


NOVEMBER 21, 2020  HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE  5

COVER STORY (from page 4)

kitchen where he works. Keinn Arcelie Pagulayan of Honolulu said she is most thankful this year for her family’s health. The pandemic, to her, also deepened the meaning of giving thanks and of life itself. “The pandemic made me realize that life can be taken away at any time, at any moment. The pandemic has given us time to reflect on how much we take almost everything for granted. For me, I’ve been spending more time with my family, loved ones. At the same time, the pandemic has kept me away from my other family, loved ones. This breaks my heart every day. Pagulayan said times have been stressful. “Now more than ever, I am questioning what comes next in term of health, finances and the future in general.” Like Pagulayan, for many feelings of uncertainty are more pronounced leading into this year’s Thanksgiving. Cesar Fronda of Waipahu said he and his wife have been out of a job for several months now. While he is concerned, he remains optimistic that his family will overcome all the problems they are facing brought about by the pandemic. Going into Thanksgiving, he said the pandemic has changed his family’s outlook and appreciation for life. “It has been a wakeup call to be much closer to Almighty God. We are reminded to have stronger, binding and closer relationships with each other, and to maintain and sustain happier and more meaningful family times together,” he said. Fronda said he’s thankful “to our Almighty God, for all the blessings and graces he has showered onto my family. I am grateful to God for taking care of our safety from the COVID-19 virus. I am thankful for my brothers, sisters and friends for their unwavering support always keeping me in

high spirit during this pandemic. Lastly, I am grateful for having my second grandchild this last week of September.” Rommel Raymundo of Ewa Beach, Marketing VP of the Filipino Junior Chamber of Commerce, said despite the pandemic, “I am most thankful we’ve allowed ourselves to continue to grow and assist our community.” “This pandemic has made me realize and appreciate the importance of health, family and friends, and that we remain safe so we may gather next Thanksgiving.” Carolyn Alhambra of Ewa Beach said she is most thankful for life and her family and friends. “I didn’t realize how precious my life was until there was a possibility of a virus that could easily damage my health. “This pandemic has changed my perspective on relationships, especially with my own family. Before this pandemic, I was a pretty busy person. So even though I live in the same house as my parents and brother, I barely saw them. But staying home had made me appreciate the small moments with my family. Also, I realized that when you don’t see friends and family on a normal basis, it’s hard to stay connected. So I decided to start reaching out to those people, and even others that I’ve actually lost touch with. It is heartwarming when other people started reaching out to me as well” Like Alhambra, Tiffany Salvador of Waipahu talked about carving time in her schedule to connect with loved ones. Salvador, the 2020 President of the Filipino Junior Chamber of Commerce, is thankful for the gift of life and health, and says the pandemic has changed her perspective. “I had a busy schedule and was always “on-the-go”. Now that I’m working from home and have more time, it has allowed me to invest

more time in myself and my health, and to also reconnect with those that I’ve lost touch with over the past few years.” Nicole Ashley of Honolulu talked about putting things in the context of a bigger picture. She is most thankful this year that her family is healthy. She said, “the pandemic put a lot of things into light, whether good or bad. I’ve always appreciated life but I do find that my heart and soul are very much at home, at a slow paced life. Life is too short to stress over things that in the grand scheme of everything, it really doesn’t matter.” Natalie Millon of Waipahu, said “I am most thankful for beautiful sunrises because they are reminders of a new day to continue the things I love to do and spend time with the people that I love. “Not everyone made it through 2020. The pandemic changed my way of greeting someone whether it’s in person, via text, or email. I find myself saying ‘take care and be safe’ more often because I care about e v e r y o n e ’s well-being.” On top of most people’s list of thankfulness is having good health and surviving the pandemic. Jesand Amodo of Kalihi echoed what others have said, “I’m most thankful to be alive and for my loved ones and to be surviving through this pandemic every day. “Not being able to spend more physical time with

“The pandemic changed us all. Even though we don’t see each other as often or may not see each other on Thanksgiving day, I think we have deeper love and appreciation for each other. That’s really the essence of what Thanksgiving is. Not being in the same room for the holiday is small compared to how big our hearts have grown. And putting ourselves at risk for one day is not worth risking a lifetime we can spend together.”

—Erlinda Sagayadoro Ewa Beach my parents and grandparents has been hard. But we are getting used to the new safety measures and precautions. It’s important to try to stay positive every day.” Celebrating Thanksgiving Day The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says small household gatherings are “an important contributor to the rise of COVID-19 cases. It is recommending that Thanksgiving this year be

celebrated with people only in your household. But if you plan to spend Thanksgiving with people outside of your household, the CDC strongly recommends that face masks be worn with two or more layers and staying at least 6 feet away (about two arm lengths) apart from people who do not live with you, and washing your hands often. Keeping hand sanitizer (continue on page 6)


6 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE  NOVEMBER 21, 2020

COVER STORY (Thanksgiving Carries Deeper ....from page 5)

readily available at entrances or near the place guests are expected to gather is important. For people attending a Thanksgiving gathering, the CDC recommends bringing your own food, drinks, dinnerware and utensils. For hosts, it’s recommended that disposable items be used like paper plates, utensils, and single-use options for things like salad dressings in a packet. Even with these precautions, the CDC recommends Thanksgiving gatherings should be kept under 10 people. Another option the CDC is pushing is for virtual online Thanksgiving meals with family and friends who don’t live with you.

For Elisa Bautista of Ewa Beach, she said what she and her husband are most thankful for is their good health and strength. Because she and her husband are kupunas (age group vulnerable to catching the virus), they must take extra precaution this year for Thanksgiving. Normally on Thanksgiving day the Bautistas serve as Eucharistic ministers at their church. Then they have a Thanksgiving potluck meal with their close friends. This year they plan to stay at home. “We’ve been empty nesters for many years now. My husband, who is a retired Navy chef, still likes to prepare a small meal just for the two of us. So that is what we’ll be doing on Thanksgiving. “Fortunately, we have technology like Zoom and FaceTime so our children on the mainland can wish us a Happy Thanksgiving and feel like we are all together as a family although we are far apart,” said Bautista. She said some friends still want to check up on us to make sure we are doing okay and bring us food. We will also share with them the bounties of blessings from our garden and give them fruits and vegetables. “Pandemic or not, be-

ing appreciative of life and loved ones has always been a daily prayer of thanks to God for me. So every day is like Thanksgiving!” said Bautista. For Fronda, he also said celebrating Thanksgiving will be different from previous years. Usually his family would have a large social gathering at one of his siblings’ place. “This year we will be following state recommended safety guidelines. My immediate family will just celebrate in our condo with food like pinakbet, karekare, and turkey ordered from MAX’s restaurant.” Pagulayan said they will be giving home cooked meals to the homeless on Thanksgiving, then celebrate “strictly with only family.”

Millon said he usually has a “Friendsgiving” gathering but it will be put on hold until next year. “We will celebrate in our own homes this time.” Amodo said they will be using FaceTime and Facebook messenger to communicate with loved ones not present. Sagayadoro believes most families will do what they plan to do, have an intimate gathering, very small, with only immediate family. “Hawaii-style of Thanksgiving is usually a big gathering. We love to get together with all our loved ones and enjoy a wide spread of potluck from traditional local food, Filipino food, to the standard turkey dinner. But so much has been happening this year. People losing their jobs and money is tighter. Everyone is

afraid of getting sick or is uncertain of the future. I think a small gathering with people in our household works out for everyone. It’s less stress during a very stressful year. We can sacrifice this so that next year, God willing, we can celebrate the way we want to. “The pandemic changed us all. Even though we don’t see each other as often or may not see each other on Thanksgiving day, I think we have deeper love and appreciation for each other. That’s really the essence of what Thanksgiving is. Not being in the same room for the holiday is small compared to how big our hearts have grown. And putting ourselves at risk for one day is not worth risking a lifetime we can spend together,” said Sagayadoro.

HAWAII-FILIPINO NEWS

Hawaii Gets Pandemic Assistance from Out-of-State Medical Employees

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s part of the $17 million CARES Act allocation, 170 outof-state medical employees were hired until Dec. 26, 2020 to help with pandemic efforts in Hawaii. They were contracted by the Hawaiʻi State Department of Health (DOH) with Ohio-based ProLink Services to bolster staffing at Hawaiʻi’s hospitals and longterm care facilities because of the pandemic. The effort to staff post-acute care facilities is being coordinated by the DOH and the Healthcare Association of Hawaii (HAH). The job roles were strategically selected to provide maximum value to the state. Individual staff may not remain at the same facility for the duration of their employment. Employees can be quickly mobilized into a “strike team” to assist specific nursing homes or hospitals, should a COVID-19 cluster emerge.

Gov. David Ige recently visited an onboarding session for about 50 out-of-state healthcare workers. The visit, conducted in a strictly controlled, socially distanced environment, was held at St. Francis Healthcare System in Liliha where the visiting nurses are learning the operations of Hawaiʻi’s long term care facilities. “I thank the Dept. of Health and our many partners for making today a reality,” said Gov. David Ige, who visited both the traveling personnel and local healthcare employees who have been working on the frontlines since the early stages of the pandemic. “Our local healthcare employees have been working diligently, around the clock, making

many personal sacrifices to ensure that the facilities they work in and our communities are safe and the spread COVID-19 is prevented. These traveling medical professionals will support and bolster Hawaiʻi’s healthcare workforce, should we experience a surge in cases.” Dept. of Health Director Dr. Elizabeth Char said, “All arriving personnel have met rigorous health and safety standards in the fight against COVID-19. They are licensed, fully trained and ready to work in Hawaiʻi’s long-term care facilities.” ProLink’s supplemental personnel working in Hawaiʻi’s acute care hospitals have already undergone orientation and are on the job across the state.


NOVEMBER 21, 2020  HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE  7

NEWS FEATURE

Remembering Dean T. Alegado — A Man For All Seasons By Belinda A. Aquino. Ph.D.

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t is extremely difficult to write about Dean T. Alegado – someone you can only describe in superlatives. This space about him and his achievements will not do justice to his remarkable life and stellar achievements during his lifetime. This article can only capture a glimpse of his essence and the legacy he left behind following his unfortunate and untimely passing. His accomplishments cover a broad range of fields that he tackled extremely well – academia, journalism, community outreach, activism, progressive causes designed to uplift the status of the underprivileged and underrepresented. He had the vision, leadership and practical wisdom to pursue a plan of action that would successfully achieve the goals that he set out to accomplish. It was my great fortune to have known him for a long time, learning so much in the process not only as a great friend but as a colleague in academia, coworker in various programs, projects, workshops, seminars and other activities that required intellectual leadership, meaningful insight, and a deep understanding of vast range of disciplines and areas of human knowledge. It was pretty amazing to see him play out all these demanding tasks toward a successful conclusion. He also possessed a pleasant temperament which considered any problem as reasonably doable. I never saw him lose his cool no matter how demanding the job was. No job or assignment was too small or too big for him. He did it all without fretting or showing any kind of displeasure about the behavior of others. Whether it was a matter of organizing a public demonstration or meeting with the opposite side of a particular issue, he never lost his cool. A sense o Equality and Social Justice One of Dean’s most admirable characteristics was his strong sense of equality, peace and social justice. According to Rene Ciria-Cruz, Dean was politically awakened by the Civil Rights and Anti-War movements in the 60s, the

Filipino-American Identity Movement, and the immediate opposition to the Marcos dictatorship in the Philippines. He became a leading member of the Union of Democratic Filipinos or Katipunan ng Demokratikong Pilipino (KDP), a national leftwing organization of US- born Filipinos and new Filipino immigrants. Dean volunteered to come to Hawaii to start a KDP group and initiate political activities against the Marcos dictatorship. He was a steadfast and progressive activist to the very end of his like and is wellloved by his fellow activists and friends. During the dark days of Ferdinand Marcos’s martial law regime from the 1960s until his overthrow by the People Power Revolution that toppled the dictatorship in 1986, ending in his exile in Hawaii, Dean’s leadership was critical in organizing dissent. From abroad, Dean was in the forefront leading the movement to restore democratic rights in the Philippines Dean was also allied with the Friends of the Filipino People (FFP), a national organization that had an active chapter in Hawaii. Ideologically, he was not as dangerously “radical” as the dictatorship had described him. Dean was not one to incite violence or radical actions about his positions in politics. He was very composed and reasonable in all his dealings with everyone including those who considered him a mortal enemy. Even if he won his battles, he was never boastful about his success. He was always graceful even in success. Dean as an academic and scholar When the Ethnic Studies Program (later a Department was established as part of the academic curriculum of the University of Hawaii at Manoa), Dean was named the Chair of this new university program. He patiently and successfully worked with other university programs and departments to make Ethnic Studies a relevant and complementary program to these other units on the Manoa campus. He expanded the academic content of Ethnic Studies to complement the course offerings in other departments as a minor or major field. He increased the number of grants and the amount received in ex-

tramural funding for the department to support service learning projects in the community. He increased the number of Ethnic Studies majors. He successfully relocated department office from temporary portable building to newer building to meet the needs of a growing medium-sized department that has become nationally prominent in the field of Asian Pacific American studies. It was at this time that I got to working closely with him on academic matters including research and publications. I was the director of the Center for Philippine Studies which was established later than Ethnic Studies, largely to recognize the role of Filipinos since the plantation era in the 1900s to the growth, history, and economy of Hawaii even long before it became a state of the United States of 1959. Dean arrived in Hawaii from the Mainland already with two MA degrees – one from University of California, Berkeley with a major in Philippine History, and the other from Harvard’s Special Program on Philippine History headed by Professor Boone Schirmer. W h e n he moved to Hawaii, he began to get his Ph.D. degree from the

Department of Political Science with a strong interest in Philippine Studies and Filipinos internationally. We had various collaborative programs, one of which was called “The Age of Discovery,” which was given grant to organize seminars and workshops on the neighbor islands with participants from the various islands. This joint venture produced the first academic publication entitled, “The Age of Discovery: Impact on Philippine Culture and Society, 1992,” which was reprinted twice because it had the greatest number of hits on the internet as a reference material on the Philippines for courses on the mainland. To this day, the publication still garners the most number of hits online as an authoritative reference on Philippine Culture and Society. Dean prepared a bibliography on the Philippines: Pre-His-

panic to 19th Century, which is readily a reliable reference on early Philippine history. The Center eventually produced a publication series covering topics on Philippine culture, society and the diaspora. The Center also began a lecture series in which an expert on the Philippines/Filipinos is invited to give a lecture every month on campus, sometimes even twice a month. Dean has left us but his legacy will live on in our collective memory. His intellectual legacy lives on as well at the University which he spent the best years of life with his talents and productive leadership. DR. BELINDA A. AQUINO, Ph.D. is currently Professor Emeritus at the University of Hawaii at Manoa where where she was Professor of Political Science and Asian Studies before retiring and Founding Director of the Center for Philippine Studies at the School of Pacific Studies. An accomplished journalist, she is currently the Chronicle’s Contributor and writer of various Philippine and international publications.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Dr. Alegado’s funeral services was recently held in Hawaii. There will be a virtual celebration of life on Sat., Nov. 28 at 2 pm (Hawaiʻi time) at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/a-celebration-oflife-dean-tiburcio-alegado-tickets-128923647099. In person celebration of life and internment of ashes are planned for November 2021 in San Narciso, Zambales.


8 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE  NOVEMBER 21, 2020

PHILIPPINE NEWS

Duterte OKs Early Payment for Vaccines By Edith Regalado Friday, November 20, 2020 ANILA, Philippines — Coronavirus vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna could be ready for US emergency authorization and distribution within weeks, setting the stage for inoculation to begin as soon as this year, US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Wednesday. States and territories are prepared to begin distributing the vaccines within 24 hours of receiving regulatory authorization, according to news service Al Jazeera. Officials told reporters complex cold storage requirements will not impede ensuring all Americans have access to the vaccines. “We now have two safe and highly effective vaccines that could be authorized by the Food and Drug Administration and ready to distribute within weeks,” Azar said during his briefing on the government’s Operation Warp Speed program for COVID-19 vaccines and treatments. Pfizer said Wednesday that new test results show its coronavirus vaccine is 95 percent effective, is safe and also protects older people most at risk of dying — the last data needed to seek emergency use of limited shot supplies as the catastrophic outbreak worsens across the globe. The announcement from Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech, just a week after they revealed the first promising preliminary results, comes

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as the team is preparing within days to formally ask US regulators to allow emergency use of the vaccine. Anticipating that, an FDA advisory panel is on standby to publicly debate the data in early December. The companies also have begun “rolling submissions” for the vaccine with regulators in Europe, the UK and Canada and soon will add this new data. Pfizer and BioNTech had initially estimated the vaccine was more than 90 percent effective after counting a group of the earliest infections that occurred in its final-stage testing. With the new announcement, they have accumulated more infections — 170 — and said only eight of them occurred in volunteers who got the actual vaccine rather than a comparison dummy shot. One of those eight developed severe disease, the companies said. “This is an extraordinarily strong protection,” Dr. Ugur Sahin, BioNTech’s CEO and co-founder, said. Even if regulators agree, he dispelled any notion that an end to the pandemic is around the corner, warning “we are now awaiting a hard winter.” “The available vaccine doses are just too small to ensure that we could make a significant difference to the society” right away, Sahin said. But next year if several companies’ vaccine candidates also work, “we might be able to get control of this pandemic situation late summer 2021.” Earlier this week, com-

petitor Moderna Inc. also announced similar effectiveness of its own COVID-19 vaccine candidate, which is made with the same, brand-new technology — using a snippet of the genetic code of the coronavirus to train the body to recognize if the real virus comes along. For both, “there’s every reason to be enormously optimistic,” said Dr. Paul Offit of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, one of FDA’s advisers. “When these vaccines roll out, you’re only going to know it’s effective for a limited period of time,” he cautioned, adding that more follow-up information will come. “You don’t want to oversell it, but you don’t want to undersell it.” All eyes are on the progress of potential vaccines as the grim infection toll jumps in the US and abroad as winter weather forces people indoors, in the close quarters that fuels viral spread. While initial supplies will be scarce and rationed, as the supply grows Sahin said the companies have a responsibility to help ensure access for lower income countries as well. In the US, officials expect enough doses of both Pfizer’s and Moderna’s vaccines to vaccinate only about 20 million people at first. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will determine who is first in line, expected to include health workers and older adults. Advance payments approved President Duterte has fi-

nally agreed to advance supply agreements and make early payments to COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers in an effort to make the vaccine accessible to Filipinos. Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the President has accepted the proposal of Carlito Galvez Jr., chief implementer of government policy against coronavirus disease 2019 to enter advance market commitments with private foreign developers and provide advance payments to ensure the Philippines will secure vaccine doses once these are cleared for widespread use. “If we don’t agree to advance payments, we will be left out as other countries secure vaccines,” Roque said in a press briefing yesterday. The President actually initially expressed reservations and at first rejected the idea of advance supply agreements. The Chief Executive reportedly changed his mind upon seeing how other countries are racing to get their vaccines through early procurement. The President also approved the suggestion to allow the Food and Drug Administration to authorize the emergency use of vaccines. However, Roque said Duterte is yet to issue the formal executive order allowing such emergency use. At least 30 million to 50 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine could be available for Filipinos next year once it is rolled out abroad and in the Philippines.

Galvez earlier said currently, the task force, in coordination with vaccine experts, is continuing its evaluation on the right vaccine to procure. Galvez said experts have ranked 17 possible sources of vaccines from other countries. Of these candidate vaccines, nine are already in the Phase 3 clinical trial. And three of the vaccine candidates in Phase 3 will conduct trial here in December and January, Galvez said during the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases meeting Tuesday evening at the Malago Clubhouse on Malacañang grounds. Galvez said the Philippines may enter into an advance market commitment through multilateral arrangement with the World Bank and Asian Development Bank as the country’s finance managers for the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines.?Galvez said the government could secure advance procurement by the end of the year and proceed with the signing of loan agreements with the financial institutions. The Chief Executive reminded Galvez that in the distribution of the vaccine the poorest of the poor should be prioritized. The frontliners and poor and vulnerable communities, and then the soldiers and also the servicemen and essential workers shall all be prioritized. “The soldiers include their families... For as long as one is not vaccinated, there’s a contamination in the family. So if you give it to a soldier, give it to the entire family.” the President said. (www.philstar.com)

HAWAII-FILIPINO NEWS

Medicare Enrollment Deadline is Dec. 7

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f you have Medicare and plan to select a new Medicare Advantage and Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, the deadline to make a change is Dec. 7, 2020. Changes will take effect next year, Jan. 1. Rick Beavin, Desert Pacific Medicare President, Humana, says there are three key topics to consider below: *Navigating plan options during COVID-19 – Traditionally, the annual

Medicare Advantage and Medicare Prescription Drug Plan open enrollment period offers opportunities for in-person educational events and one-on-one meetings with licensed sales agents. This year, you can safely access the resources you need to choose the best plan for you, online or by phone. The Medicare Plan Finder is a great place to start. *Doctors in network, prescription drugs

covered? As you connect with a licensed sales agent or research information online, remember to confirm which doctors and hospitals are in a plan’s network. If you have a preferred physician or health care facility, a licensed health insurance agent can help you see if a specific doctor or hospital is in a plan’s network and taking new patients. Although Original Medicare does not cover most pre-

scription drugs, many Medicare Advantage plans include prescription drug coverage, or you can sign up for a Part D Prescription Drug Plan separately. A licensed sales agent can look up the medications you would like covered and help you estimate what the cost of each drug would be on a plan. *New, innovative benefits – Beyond vision, hearing and dental coverage, if you

aim to become healthier, look for fitness program benefits as many Medicare Advantage plans include them. If you are comfortable using technology, access to virtual doctor visits is broadly available and enables you to seek care through your phone or computer, without having to leave home. Some Medicare Advantage plans offer benefits to help address the COVID-19 pandemic including offering home-delivered meals for members with a COVID diagnosis.


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10 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE  NOVEMBER 21, 2020

HAWAII-FILIPINO NEWS

Conference on Homelessness Held in Observance of Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week

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onolulu’s iconic Aloha Tower was lit purple this week to bring attention to homelessness and in observance of Hunger & Homelessness  Awareness Week. In Hawai‘i, there are an estimated 6,458 homeless individuals statewide on any given night, including more than half who are unsheltered and sleeping on the sidewalks, beaches, in their vehicles, or in other areas unsuitable for

human habitation. The State of Hawai‘i; City & County of Honolulu; County of Hawai‘i; County of Kaua‘i; County of Maui; and Hawai‘i’s two Continua of Care: Partners in Care and Bridging the Gap held a statewide conference 2020 Homeless Awareness Virtual Conference, Moving Forward Together: Our Resilient Community. The conference featured keynote speeches from Gov.

David Ige, Mayor Kirk Caldwell, and CEO Nan Roman from the National Alliance to End Homelessness. “This week is a time to recognize the hard work of all who work so hard to end homelessness throughout the year,” said Scott Morishige, Governor’s Coordinator on Homelessness. “Despite the adversity of the pandemic, our homelessness system has transitioned nearly 3,400 individuals into permanent housing

between March and September. Our community is resilient and has pulled together to keep a focus on permanent housing and helping the most vulnerable among us.” “2020 has been a difficult year for everyone in Hawai‘i, the United States, and around the world,” said Laura Thielen, executive director of Partners in Care. “As the year comes to a close and we reflect on the issue of homelessness and hunger, let us remember how we have come together in so many ways during this pandemic, and acknowledge

that we do have the ability to overcome some of the issues that have plagued our community for years. “Despite the pandemic, we have gotten food to our neighbors on our beaches and on our streets, we have housed those who have been homeless for years, and we have shown compassion to our community. We are stronger than we realize and together we can make a better community for all. Let’s continue the amazing things that we have started during 2020 and carry them into the new year.” 

Resolution Aims to Improve Honolulu’s Refuse Drop-Off System

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ue to complaints from many Oahu residents, Resolution 20-292 urges the City administration to make the refuse drop-off facilities more efficient and provide residents with another refuse drop-off location in the urban center. There are currently six refuse drop-off facilities on Oahu: Ewa, Laie, Wahiawa, Waianae, Waimanalo and Waipahu. These centers are open from 7 am to 6 pm daily which allows residents to drop off up to two loads of household waste per day. Residents who use the City’s refuse system mentioned several problems such as the extended wait times, lengthy vehicle queues, unavailability of collection bins and traffic congestion. City Councilmember Brandon Elefante introduced Resolution 20-292 in which listed several ways to address these problems with the current re-

fuse system. It also hopes to establish another refuse drop-off facility to better serve residents in the urban area. “We need to improve the entire refuse drop-off system and ensure these facilities run more efficiently because they play a critical role in our efforts to reduce illegal dumping,” said Councilmember Elefante. Resolution 20-292 urges the City administration to consider the following improvements: develop a ticket or appointment-based system for refuse drop-off; provide real-time information regarding wait time and bin capacity; improve drop-off facility signage; develop more efficient procedures to change out collection bins and more. “As a society, we can become more environmentally smart and sustainable by listening to those who are already doing the right thing - reducing, recycling and reusing waste,” he added.


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12 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE  NOVEMBER 21, 2020

AS I SEE IT

Democracy Works: Biden Wins, Trump Is Not Conceding By Elpidio R. Estioko

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fter former Vice President and Democratic candidate Joe Biden won Pennsylvania, four days after the Nov. 3 presidential election, he clenched the bar by registering 273 electoral votes (exceeding the 270 votes set by the Electoral College) with President Donald Trump’s 213. Seven days later, Biden garnered 306 as against Trump’s 233. After a week of denial, Trump “acknowledged Biden won.” But…he is not conceding the election and is not even saying President-Elect Biden or any of that sort in any of his discourse. NBC News authors Henry Austin, Carol E. Lee, Jane C. Timm, and Allan Smith wrote President Donald Trump suggested Sunday that Joe Biden had “won” the presidential election while saying that the election was rigged — a claim that has been widely debunked.” Trump wrote falsely claiming that no watchers or observers had been allowed: “He won because the Election was Rigged.” Well, according to the authors, “It was not clear whether the tweet represented a grudging or an accidental concession by Trump that he had lost the election, which he has repeatedly claimed to have won,

even after every major news organization projected Biden as the victor.” When asked whether Trump was admitting that Biden won, a White House official said: “It looks like it.” Biden’s incoming White House chief of staff, Ron Klain, said on NBC News’ “Meet the Press” that Trump’s early morning tweet was “a further confirmation of the reality that Joe Biden won the election.” Trump’s former national security adviser-turned-critic John Bolton, speaking on ABC News’ “This Week,” said he believes “it’s very important for leaders of the Republican Party to explain to our voters, who are not as stupid as the Democrats think, that in fact Trump has lost the election and his claims of election fraud are baseless.” “The fact is that we’ve seen litigation in all the key battleground states, and it has failed consistently,” Bolton said. “Right now, the Trump campaign is doing the legal equivalent of pitching pennies. Where are their silver dollars? Where is the evidence?... as each day passes, it has become clearer and clearer there isn’t any evidence.” In an interview with CBS News, former President Barack Obama said there are “no factual scenarios” in which Trump wins the election. “We’re not above the rules…We’re not above the law. That is the essence of our democracy,” Obama added. Biden won both the elec-

toral votes (306 vs 233) and the popular votes (he won by more than 5 million plus and counting). In 2016, former State Secretary Hilary Clinton won the popular votes against Trump by 3 million plus but lost the electoral votes (306 vs 223) but she never contested the election. She gracefully conceded defeat and recognized Trump as the president-elect. That is the opposite of Trump. That is Trump in 2016 and Trump in 2020 for you. While Trump is entitled to contest the election, this should not interfere in the smooth transition of power to president-elect Joe Biden. The problem is: it’s interfering. Biden’s transition team cannot even get security briefing; they cannot get COVID-19 latest details; and they cannot even get money allocations for the transition and inauguration ceremony. The transition team is spending their private money. Why is Trump holding on his power as president and even talks of a second term

stating that he will have a separate inaugural ceremony in Jan. 21, a day after Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration? Well, your guess is as good as mine! When he is no longer in power, he will lose all immunity a seating president is entitled to. That means, he can now be sued and will be facing numerous civil and criminal cases, in addition to IRS-related cases filed and will be filed against him. I’m sure he does not want that to happen. That is the reason why he is clinging on to his position, I guess! His actions, however, are bad to the country and to a democratic society such as the U.S., which is the bastion of democratic principles in the whole world. A dictator in a democratic society? No way, right? Trump has up to noon of Jan. 20, 2021 to officially function as the president of the United States. So, what he is doing now is issuing executive orders which will be hard for Biden to undo. He fired the Defense secretary and who knows what else he will still be doing between now and Jan. 20. The latest: Trump fired official who disputed his false election fraud claims. There is a lot of things at stake here which could be threshed out if there is a smooth transition, just like what President Barack Obama did to Trump in 2016. In the case of Biden, he is groping in the dark and his transition team is having a hard time getting the desired data they need. Biden became the oldest elected US president at the age of 78. He was one of the youngest elected in the Senate in 1972. Sen. Kamala Harris, Biden’s running mate became the first woman and person of color to be elected as U.S. Vice President. In Biden’s speech, he emphasized that he will be president for all Americans, not for the Democrat, not for the GOPs, but for all Americans. Referring to those who didn’t vote for him, he said: “We are not enemies, we are Americans… I am honored and humbled… the work ahead of us

would be hard but if we are united, we can do it. It is time for America to unite and heal.” He pledged to be a president that will unify the nation. For her part, Vice President-Elect Sen. Kamala Harris said: “This election is not about me and Joe Biden but for the people of the United States of America.” At this juncture, I would like to commend, first, all the voters who exercised their right to vote. They really made democracy work! People of all walks of life trooped to the polls not minding 3- to 4-hours in line in order to cast their votes. I would like to commend all the election officers and volunteers who sacrificed and still are sacrificing in discharging their responsibilities to be able to carry on the democratic process which is vital to democracy. I would also like to commend my friend, former Philippine journalist and now a resident of Anchorage, Alaska Romy Morales who volunteered to serve in this election. “This year as I’m trying to feel how it is to have been retired from employment, my urge to serve has been aroused again when I accepted a call that I would be an election officer here in Anchorage, Alaska in a nationwide election that took place in the middle of a pandemic and where the country has grown so polarized, to the point that each one on the political divide becomes enemies. The last time this nation was in a similar situation was one hundred years ago, in 919, after World War 1,” Morales said. He further said: “As election officials, we were supposed to be apolitical, leaving behind us our political orientation or affiliation, if ever any of us has any, so we can render our job effectively, without political bias and avoiding the appearance of impropriety as we assisted voters.” “The whole time we had been in the polling place, the voting went on smoothly as a sea, without any untoward in(continue on page 14)


NOVEMBER 21, 2020  HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE  13

FEATURE

HFC Celebrates 27th Year Serving the Filipino Community By Jim Bea Sampaga

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he rise of ethnic media throughout the US was born out of a need for a voice and fair representation for the ethnic communities they serve. Hawaii’s Filipino community got that missing advocacy in the Hawaii Filipino Chronicle (HFC) close to 30 years ago. Now in its 27th Anniversary year, HFC continues to be in step (often pointing ahead) with the community – both growing, working collaboratively. HFC and ethnic media have been ahead of the industry curve in advocacy, media watchers could say. Today’s media is now almost entirely niche entities, from Cable TV and legacy newspaper giants to magazines and online news sources. The typical formula for most news outfits is to push for advocacy backed up by strong but fair editorial content.

And it’s no accident that politics, the hammer for advocacy, has become central to all serious media. Advocacy (for the Filipino community), politics, strong editorials – have been central to HFC from the very beginning, along with the other standard content of news and lifestyle, entertainment features. Founded by Chona Montesines-Sonido and Dr. Charlie Sonido, HFC published its first issue in 1993, covering the former Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos’ exile in Hawaii. “It was an issue to unify Filipinos. The editorial board at the time felt it was the most appropriate topic for our inaugural issue,” said Montesines-Sonido, the co-founder, publisher and managing editor of HFC, in an article about the newspaper’s 25th anniversary. HFC is created to advocate for the Filipino community in Hawaii, to raise awareness, con-

nect with a loyal audience and help shape whatever materializes in policy and public opinion. As the newspaper celebrates its 27th anniversary this year, Montesines-Sonido admits the Chronicle should have been closed several years ago. “As a business model, the print media, especially the ethnic media, has seen its better days,” she explained, noting that over 2,000 newspapers have either closed or merged in the recent years that left 1,300 communities without access to local news coverage. The rise of the internet and social media platforms changed the way people communicate and receive information. The traditional model of newspaper publishing would not stand a chance in today’s generation. In Hawaii, most publications have gone online and there is now only one daily newspaper left operating while others have cut-down their publications to

Hawaii FIlipino Chronicle’s very first issue, October 1, 1993.

twice a month. HFC is one of the two Filipino ethnic newspapers still

actively publishing in Hawaii. “The Filipino community is (continue on page 14)


14 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE  NOVEMBER 21, 2020

FEATURE (HFC Celebrates....from page 13)

lucky to have two enduring and competing newspapers to serve them,” said Montesines-Sonido.

This year’s challenges

2020 is truly the year of challenges for journalism and media. Aside from the rapid increase of information-dependency on social media platforms, the world is struck by the COVID-19 pandemic which endangers publication survival while increasing the need for accurate and unbiased reporting. HFC associate editor Edwin Quinabo acknowledges this year as “the most crucial for journalism in decades.” He said 2020 is without a doubt “the cover headline year” of his over two-decade career in news reporting. “I’m thankful to have been a part of it,” he said. From COVID-19, local and Presidential elections, the civil unrest due to racism and police violence, to the actions of the government responding to these critical issues, the Chronicle have tirelessly published various articles ensuring that the Filipino community in Hawaii are informed, educated and safe. Since the announcement of the COVID-19 pandemic in March, Quinabo has closely followed updates and coverage to ensure information about the virus, prevention, stimulus bills and such are relayed accurately relayed to the Filipino community. “Our nation and communities in Hawaii were shaken to the core, especially in the beginning of the pandemic,” he shared. “Besides relaying critical news, I’m thankful that we were able to tell the stories of our Fili-

pino community, how we’ve been coping, how our frontline workers at hospitals heroically have been responding to the crisis. I’m thankful that we’ve helped to bring about calm amidst the chaos surrounding the pandemic, but also in our reporting on the presidential election and civil unrest over violent policing.” HFC also covered this year’s much-anticipated local and presidential elections that will highly affect the Filipino community as the newly-elected public officials will handle the COVID-19 response, immigration, unemployment, police brutality, racial discrimination and more.

Positivity despite the chaos

Although this year has been filled with heavy issues affecting our community, the Chronicle also made sure their readers are still receiving good news about the Filipino community. Earlier this year, the newspaper featured Ohana Medical Mission’s trip to the Philippines wherein the non-profit organization provided free medical services to underserved communities. In September, the newspaper highlighted the Philippine Medical Association of Hawaii’s COVID-19 relief efforts. Another published piece also featured one of the Filipino and first COVID-19 survivors in Hawaii. When Filipino-operated Primary Care Clinic of Hawaii opened its 6th branch in August, the Chronicle published an article on the legacy, success and determination to serve the Filipino community of the four-decade-old company. As Biden is announced as the president-elect of the United States, HFC covered the newly-elected Filipino public offi-

cials in the State of Hawaii. Last month, Brenna Marie Flores has been awarded the 2020 HFC Journalism Scholarship to help her finish her undergraduate degrees in environmental studies and communications at Chaminade University. With the rollercoaster ride that is 2020, Montesines-Sonido is thankful for the support the newspaper has received from the Filipino community over the years. As the “true voice of the community,” the Chronicle aims to accurately record the Filipino narrative. “I thank God we still exist today because we have the Filipino community behind us,” she expressed. “I am grateful to all our advertisers, friends and supporters who have helped us in this journey in advocating for the Filipino community. But most of all, I am most grateful to my staff, our contributing writers, columnists and

volunteers who have committed about — to have Fil-Am writers their time and service to empower who will continue to serve the Filipinos through the Chronicle.” community in the coming years,” Montesines-Sonido explained. Preparing for the future “As we are nearing our HFC is published twice a month. 30th anniversary, we continue Printed copies are available for to pray that the paper will be free at newsstands around Oahu, stronger than ever,” said Monte- Kaui, Maui and Big Island. sines-Sonido. In March, HFC launched its A few years ago, the Chron- revamped website to better serve icle established the Filipino readers around the globe espeMedia Foundation in support cially those in the mainland and of the Filipino-American Media the Philippines. Along with the in Hawaii. Through the foun- website, the newspaper can also dation, the HFC Journalism be viewed on digital publication Scholarship was born to invest platform Issuu.com. As a way to in young Filipinos pursuing a connect with younger audiences, degree in the field of journalism, the Chronicle is on Facebook, Inmedia or communications. stagram and Twitter. As an ethnic newspaper, As long as there is the FiliHFC believes advocating and pino community to serve, Monempowering Filipino youth in tesines-Sonido expressed that the media will strengthen the Filipi- Chronicle will “continue giving no community. you inspiring stories that will lift “We plan to have our schol- our spirits and give you balance, arship recipients write for the fair and tough editorials which paper to prepare them for what have become the “soul” of our the goal of the scholarship is all newspaper.” 

HAWAII-FILIPINO NEWS

Apple Will Pay Hawaii More Than $1.3 Million

he Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) joined a coalition of over 30 other state attorneys general in announcing a $113 million settlement with Apple, Inc. regarding Apple’s 2016 decision to throttle consumers’ iPhone speeds in order to address unexpected shutdowns in some iPhones. Apple will pay Hawaii more than $1.3 million. In addition to the monetary pay-

ment, Apple also must provide truthful information to consumers about iPhone battery health, performance, and power management. Based on the multistate investigation, the states allege that Apple discovered that battery issues were leading to unexpected shutdowns in iPhones. Rather than disclosing these issues or replacing batteries, however, Apple concealed the issues from consumers. Apple’s concealment ultimately led to a software update in December 2016 that reduced iPhone performance in an effort to keep

the phones from unexpectedly shutting down. “This settlement holds Apple accountable for concealing its efforts to deliberately slow down iPhones. Its lack of transparency led people to mistakenly believe that there were problems with their phones that didn’t exist,” said OCP Executive Director Stephen Levins. “Apple’s conduct prevented people from opting for an easy fix, replacing the battery. Instead, Apple was able to profit from its conduct by causing users to purchase new phones even though their existing phones were working fine.”

the volunteer election officer the luxury of learning at their own pace and the convenience of learning at a time that fits their schedule. Blending videos and interactive exercises, the online course creates a dynamic learning experience that goes far beyond traditional classroom learning. In addition, they undergo in-person hands-on training course with the opportunity to trouble-shoot election equipment and get practical experience with the various situations they might encounter on

Election Day. The election officers are the eyes-and-ears of polling places all over the country making sure all the precincts are efficiently serving the voters before, during, and after election. Again, I would like to salute all election officers and volunteers who served and still are serving and beyond. They deserve the best accolade for their service to the country! Kudos to you my friend Romy Morales from Anchorage, Alaska for volunteering as

an election officer! President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice-President-Elect Kamala Harris, congratulations… the future of America is in your hands! Will Trump concede before Biden’s January 20 inauguration date? Maybe… maybe not! Trump is Trump… we never know!

T

(AS I SEE IT: DEMOCRACY....from page 12)

cident (fraud or cheating, so to say), while a poll watcher was all ears to name of individual voters as we hollered aloud for the poll watcher’s listening pleasure,” he commented. For me, I used to serve as an election precinct inspector for Santa Clara County and as a precinct inspector since 2008, but this year, I begged to be excused. I remember the message of Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters (ROV) Registrar Shannon Bushey, two years ago in her introduction to volunteer election

officers: “The role you (referring to election officers) play in the democratic process is an essential and vital one for our county. I truly hope you enjoy working as an Election Officer, and I hope to see you working again in future elections. We could not conduct our elections without you!” Each election, ROV provides mandatory training to all the Election Officers combining two styles of training: online training and an in-person hands-on training. Online training provides

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).


NOVEMBER 21, 2020  HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE  15


16 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE  NOVEMBER 21, 2020

PERSONAL REFLECTIONS

Demand Accountability: A Lesson From Typhoon Ulysses By Seneca Moraleda-Puguan

“P

oor Philippines.” T h i s was the remark of my five-year-old daughter while we were watching the news online about the aftermath of Typhoon Ulysses in the Philippines. My voice was cracking when I told her, “You know that is where Mommy, Daddy, Callie and Yohan are from. The Philippines is our country.” Later that day, while praying for our dinner and thanking God for the food on our table and roof on our heads, tears fell as thoughts of the many wet and hungry people who lost their homes and loved ones caused by the typhoon filled my mind. The Philippines anticipated the landfall of Super Typhoon

Rolly (International name Goni), said to be the strongest typhoon in 2020. It had a destructive effect on the province of Bicol. But no one expected that the effect of Typhoon Ulysses (International name Vamco) would be more heartbreaking and devastating as it caused overwhelming flooding in Manila and its surrounding provinces. While the people in Central Luzon are still struggling to pick up the pieces of what Ulysses left, we were all stunned by the tragic flooding in the North, covering Cagayan Valley that triggered the call #CagayanNeedsHelp. What breaks my heart even more is that many of my friends, and even relatives have been badly affected. Typhoon Ondoy and Yolanda were etched in my mind as two of the most destructive ty-

event like a typhoon, Filipinos naturally emanate resilience- the ability to put their rubble of their lives back together after any deranged circumstance. Undeniably, we are the kind of people who transcend beyond our misfortune with humility and patience. However, until when are we still going to glorify self-transcendence while some continue to live in favor of their privileges, failing to see reality through the eyes of the disempowered because others’ misfortunes do not exactly concern them as they are not exactly involved in it? Now that we are at the helm of global health and environmental crises, those whom we call “resilient” are those who are barely getting by, the ones who have it the hardest, and worse -- the ones who were not able to recover at all. Through the years, we have seen how Filipino’s resiliency has become over-exploited and

romanticized by many and has been taken advantage of the people in power. Resiliency should not be a reminder that ”there is more to life than suffering”, but a wake up call for the government to strive hard and shape up in providing a community of inclusivity, full of opportunities for everyone so that nobody is left behind, and become accountable for their misplaced priorities and policies in the past because Filipinos are not sacrificial lambs. We, Filipinos, are more than our stories of struggles and resiliency. We should be the reminder and the face of accountability. We deserve better. I couldn’t agree more with what she said. Her post has been shared more than a hundred thousand times. Typhoons and storms will forever be a part of those who live in the Philippines. It is something we have to always

his past July, Filipino American boxer Arnold Dinong made his pay-per-view fight debut in California, which he won with a unanimous decision, improving his record to an impressive 7-0 with 1 KO. Born and raised in Ewa Beach, Dinong moved to Daly City, California in 2014 to pursue professional boxing. He made his professional debut in 2018. Although he only started two years ago, the 26-year-old started boxing as young as age 8 at the Waipahu Boxing Club. He admits he didn’t like boxing at first. “I was 8 years old when I started and I didn’t really like boxing, I just did it because my dad wanted me to. But once I hit the age of 13-14 years old I started to like it a lot.” Since his move to the mainland, Dinong says he misses Hawaii, especially his family, friends and the Aloha spirit. “I just miss everything about Hawaii,” he said. “Ain’t no place like home, Hawaii boy forever!” Currently fighting at the featherweight division, Dinong and his team are looking to go down to super bantamweight in the near future. He is coached by Bruno Escalante, a retired

Filipino American boxer who is originally from Sibonga, Cebu. They train together at the Aloha Time Boxing Studio in California. Although his pay-per-view debut match was premiered in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dinong said the match had no live audience at the venue. They also took several COVID-19 tests and were quarantined in a hotel for two days prior the fight day. “Didn’t really bother me,” the boxer said. Moving forward, Dinong plans to advance in his division. “As of right now, my future plan is to keep climbing the rankings in my division and one day, compete for a World Championship fight!” When asked about his message to aspiring boxing professionals, Dinong emphasized the importance of having a great team. “Have a great team who looks out for you, and just keep chasing your dreams! No matter how hard it is, keep going,” he advised. “All the hard work, and sacrifices you put day in and day out will eventually pay off.”

phoons that ever hit the country but Typhoon Ulysses will always be remembered as the tragedy that hit the Philippines in the midst of a pandemic, at a time where the Filipino people are already struggling with fear and uncertainty. This year has really been one of the toughest years. But we, as Filipinos, are used to this, aren’t we? Year in and year out, the Philippines get hit by storms and typhoons that are named from A to Z. In fact, we are known as a people who are resilient because we experience all kinds of natural disasters and yet we rise again and move forward, we still put a smile on our face and laugh at our hardships. But one Facebook post struck me and made me question our glorification of resilience. A lady named Ella Hyacinth Golez, on her post entitled “Refuse to Glorify Resiliency, Demand Accountability” said: Following any ill-fated

(continue on page 19)

MAINLAND NEWS

Fil-Am Rising Boxing Star Arnold Dinong Making His Mark in Professional Boxing

T


NOVEMBER 21, 2020  HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE  17

CANDID PERSPECTIVES

Getting Out of the Trump Hole; Plus, A Filipina Buried Alive pleaded guilty and made to crawl on her knees over a floor By Emil Guillermo of uncooked beans. But the punishment didn’t mericans are buried in a Trump stop there. CDA member hole. It’s time to Bustamente said for the adultery and for breaking the secreget out of it. The idea of cy of the group, Navarro was America bur- “sentenced” to be buried alive ied under the dysfunction of at midnight. It was Bustamente who a Trump administration is an came forward to sheriff’s depinteresting metaphor that the Filipino American community uties and led them to Navarro’s body on a delta island near should know much better. Especially if you know the Stockton, April 1, 1933. An story of Cecilia “Celine” Na- autopsy would reveal Navarro died not from her beatings, but varro, buried alive in 1932. Here are the facts of her from suffocation. At the time, the Stockton Filipino American story. Record called the whole story Navarro, a native of Carcar, Cebu, first arrived as a “Jungle Justice.” Three men young girl in Kauai, then Ho- and four women, all members nolulu. But she was destined of the CDA were indicted for for California, first San Fran- murder and plead not guilty. cisco, and ultimately Stockton The sensationalistic trial that in 1918. There she married followed in 1933 made headYgnacio Navarro, a farmwork- lines around the world. But er in 1924. They had four kids. in America, the reaction only According to historian fueled a raging anti-Filipino Dawn Mabalon’s “Little Ma- sentiment. The trial ended on July 29, nila is in the Heart,” and reports on the subject, Navarro’s 1933 with a jury voting to aclife changed in May of 1932, quit all the accused. Navarro’s story is the subafter she witnessed a domestic violence case involving mem- ject of a new documentary by bers of the Caballeros de Di- filmmaker Celine Parrenas mas-Alang (CDA), a Filipino Shimizu who found a personal fraternal Mason-like organiza- reason for taking history and bringing it forward. Shimizu’s tion in Stockton, California. Four members were son, Lakas, died suddenly of charged with the assault and a common virus that attacked kidnapping of two men who his heart and died in 2013. Shiwere aiding a white wom- mizu’s grief had her in a tailan trying to escape another spin, until she discovered in CDA member. Navarro wit- Navarro’s story a way to deal nessed it and testified against with her own pain. Through history, Navarro the CDA members in court. It was enough to send four CDA found her answer. Her documentary, “The Celine Armembers to San Quentin. Some published accounts chive,” is playing now at film say Navarro was retaliated for festivals around the country. But the dusting off of the her testimony and taken by CDA and punished. But she story is reminding Filipinos everywhere what it was to be was released. Months later Navarro was Filipino in America in 1933. The close-knit Filipino accused of adultery by the CDA community in the Central Valand disappeared on Nov. 19. One CDA member, Pablo ley remains aghast and offendBustamente, told authorities ed by the story. One person Navarro was taken and put on asked me, “Can we sue?” Not for the truth. trial by the group Nov. 20. She The film is not perfect. It’s was bound and blindfolded, an auteur’s view of Navarro’s accused of being unfaithful to her husband, for which she story. In other words, it’s Shi-

A

mizu’s personal journey as she talks to Navarro’s relatives, ending with some closure for their side, and perhaps a little for Shimizu. But it’s not complete. The story is about Filipino American women of the 1930s. It’s also about the power of our secret societies and how important they were in determining how Filipino American life worked at that time, and maybe even to this day. There’s a lot to talk about. As the FANHS museum director, I figured it’s a good time to co-sponsor with FANHS a real send off to Filipino American History Month 2020. On Oct. 31, we held a free online discussion of “The Celine Archive.” The filmmaker was there. So was Navarro’s family members and Dr. Dorothy Cordova, the founder and executive director of FANHS. I was there on hand to moderate. The film, “The Celine Archive,” is more than a ghost story. It’s her story, and our story. And there’s so much more to uncover to understand how our community came to be.

THAT LAST DEBATE And now for that Trump hole. There doesn’t appear to be a closing argument for this election campaign, not with the pandemic raging out of control throughout the nation. But America likes pills and likes the idea that a single pill that could solve all our prob-

lems. Like our presidency. That’s why that last debate was important. It gives us the whole schmear of a campaign in 90 minutes of muted real time. And besides being the best moderated debate (the President wasn’t allowed to bully and interrupt the former Vice President Joe Biden at will), it was also the most Asian of all the presidential debates. The word “Asian” was used twice! (That is where we find ourselves in the American political rubric. Asian Americans of Filipino descent. It’s the only time we ever get mentioned). The first time, it was a direct question about people of color living near oil refineries and chemical plants in Texas, a classic environmental racism concern. People are worried about pollution killing them and making them sick. Moderator Kristen Welker asked Trump: “Your administration has rolled back regulations on these kinds of facilities. Why should these families give you another four years in office?” Great question. But instead of concern for the families’ health, Trump led with his gut. It’s all about the money. Just like the virus. Look at his actions. Don’t wear a mask. Screw your health. Let’s keep our economy going. Good enough for Trump here. “The families we’re talking about are employed

heavily, and they’re making a lot of money, more money than they’ve ever made,” Trump said without evidence. Of course, the families pay with their lives. But Trump didn’t seem to care. He’s the profit first guy, not the humanistic guy. And it’s the pattern behind all his solutions. He’ll throw money at it. Until the U.S. budget deficit triples to a record $3.1 trillion. That’s the problem with a billionaire businessman who games the bankruptcy laws and pays only $750 a year in taxes. He can’t relate to Americans as human beings in distress. Think of the Trump virus response. The same pattern exists. Any mention of the health of the families living next to those polluting factories? No. But Trump did go on about money. “If you look at the kind of numbers we’ve produced for Hispanic, for black, or Asian, it’s nine times greater the percentage gain than it was under in three years, than it was under eight years of the two of them, to put it nicely,” Trump continued, implying he was better than Biden and Obama. I don’t know if the numbers are correct, or if he conflated the families next to those refineries in Texas with families in general, nationally. But here was Trump with a real chance to appeal to these voters in Texas, including some Asian Americans, and Trump answered in the most venal, dispassionate way. The other “Asian” mention came in the last question posed by Welker, the imagine yourself on your Inauguration Day: “What will you say in your address to Americans who did not vote for you?” (continue on page 19)


18 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE  NOVEMBER 21, 2020

NEWS FEATURE

2020 HFC Journalism Scholar Hopes to Express the Beauty of Hawaii’s Land and People Through Writing By Brenna Marie Flores 2020 HFC Journalism Scholarship Winner Editor’s Note: Journalism scholarship applicants were asked to write an essay to address how they became interested in the journalism/mass communications/media field, how their future career would benefit the Filipino and general community and how they would contribute to Hawaii’s growth and development in the future. Brenna Marie Flores has been selected as the 2020 winner for her commitment to a communications career and community service in Hawaii, expression of Filipino values and overall achievements. Below are excerpts from her essay.

M

y name is Brenna Flores, a senior communications student at Chaminade University of Honolulu. I chose to major in communications because of my passion for writing. Journalism was a natural choice and I am now using my newswriting skills to write for our online student newspaper, “The Silversword.” Through writing, I hope to express the beauty of Hawaii -- the land and the cultural diversity of our local people -- and tell positive stories and continue to uplift the “aloha” and “bayanihan” spirit.

ENVIRONMENTAL ENDEAVORS Hawaii’s beautiful environment makes this a special place to live and my mission is to create awareness through a combination of communications (print, broadcast and online) campaigns so everyone

can become more active in keeping our home state healthy, safe and sustainable. I was grateful to be a part of an environmental climate action group led by Environmental Studies and Communications undergraduates at Chaminade. The goal of this climate action campaign was to communicate and create awareness and raise the conversation about climate change. Throughout the campaign, we brainstormed different ways to better our carbon footprint and decrease factors that are impacting our beautiful environment. I took the lead of establishing “Tupperware Tuesdays,” where Chaminade students could bring in reusable Tupperware, utensils

Brenna Marie Flores

and cups to eliminate unnecessary plastic waste at our cafeteria and market. In return, students would receive a discounted price on certain items. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we had to abandon the plans as we weren’t allowed on campus because of a lockdown. Instead, we progressed toward a High School Climate Action Contest, which was the most convenient option to conduct in the new virtual learning world. Along the same lines of our original campaign, the contest was established for high school students to create videos to educate others about climate change solutions for create a cleaner, greener world. On this campaign, my specific roles were creating the contest’s rules and regulations and I also designed the complimentary “Chaminade Climate Change” T-shirt that applicants received for submitting their videos. It was rewarding to work with Environmental Studies students and be educated on our impact on the world. It was also very exciting for me to be able to use my communications knowledge to develop

a campaign for and reach out to local high school students to take part in an important social issue. I wish COVID-19 didn’t affect all the original plans for the campaign. Regardless, I am grateful to have gained leadership and teamwork experience by organizing the video contest.

FILIPINO WORK ETHIC Filipinos are the most hardworking people I know! This makes me proud of my heritage and instills the same hardworking mentality in myself. I want to work hard because my Filipino ancestors did. My great-grandma came from Cebu City and brought my grandma and her 10 siblings to the Hawaii, specifically Honoka’a on the Big Island, to work on the sugar plantations. My grandma was a baby at the time so she wasn’t a plantation worker, but her mother was. They arrived in the year 1924 to be a part of the Hawaii Sugar Planters Association (HSPA). As for my grandpa, he was born in the Philippines and was from Pasay. His father (my great-grandfather) was a merchant marine and brought his five kids and wife to America to explore greater opportunities with the expectation to accept the challenge and work hard. I believe my own work ethic would benefit the Filipino community and the general population because I will strive to be an example and share my communications work in a profession where not many other Filipino writers are represented. I hope to inspire young Filipinos to consider the exciting and dynamic field of journalism and mass communications because of the many different job opportunities it has to offer (print, broadcast and online). I want to encourage all students, especially Filipinos, who have no idea what major

they want to go into after high school and demonstrate to them how a communications career can make a positive impact on society.

SERVICE TO SOCIETY With a degree in communications and a minor in marketing, I would like to explore a job writing for a nonprofit organization, but I am open and adaptable to whatever journalism or media jobs may come my way after I graduate in May 2021. I am currently doing an internship at Hawaii Theater Center, a nonprofit organization in Honolulu/Chinatown, and getting more experience to prepare me for a communications career. It is incredible to see how much harder nonprofit organizations have to work to come up with the necessary funding they need to survive. It would be so fulfilling to work for a nonprofit like Make-A-Wish® Hawaii and be able to work at such a wholesome organization whose mission is to help others and make a difference in their lives. “ALOHA” AND “BAYANIHAN” SPIRIT I am honored to be the recipient of the Hawaii Filipino Chronicle scholarship. It would help me finish my education and then graduate to find a communications job that allows me to give back to those in need. Giving back to our community is so important because it reflects both the “aloha” and “bayanihan” spirit of cooperation and understanding of people from all walks of life. Our diversity is what makes Hawaii, Hawaii. It is beautiful to see everyone from all cultures unite and embrace diversity and differences, while helping the world become a better place. These are the uplifting stories I would like to write about now and in the future.


NOVEMBER 21, 2020  HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE  19

COMMUNITY CALENDAR COMMISSION ON FILIPINOS OVERSEAS’ ONLINE UGNAYAN | November 21, 2020 | Saturday, 4:00-5:30 pm (Hawaii time) / 22 November 2020, Sunday, 10:00-11:30

am (Manila time). l Interested overseas Filipinos in Hawaii may register for free at https://tinyurl.com/CFOOnlineUgnayansaHawaii. Updates on the event will be

(PERSONAL REFLECTIONS: Demand....from page 16)

prepare for, bravely face and cope with. But shall we just idly watch thousands of our countrymen lose their lives, families, friends and properties due to floods and landslides? Shall we be content in giving sacks of relief goods to victims every time a typhoon landfalls and ravages our nation? I hope things get better. I hope we find long-term solutions to the problems

we face as a country every single year. It is my prayer that our leaders and our future leaders would be more pro-active, responsible, wise and truly be accountable to the people they have sworn to serve. Just like what Ms. Golez said, let’s refuse to glorify resiliency and demand accountability. My heart bleeds and breaks for the Philippines. I pray for grace

posted at CFO official website, www.cfo.gov.ph and Facebook page www.facebook.com/commissiononfnosoverseas.

and comfort for all those who lost loved ones and their precious homes caused by Typhoon Ulysses. I pray for supernatural strength upon the rescue workers and those who are on the frontlines to help those who are affected. I declare wisdom upon our government leaders as they navigate and find solutions to the problems caused by the typhoon.

I am hopeful that one day, my daughter will see the Philippines for its true beauty and strength, its people. I long for the day that our country will be well prepared for the calamities that come its way. I look forward to the time that our leaders will truly have the welfare of its people in mind, preventing the loss of precious lives and resources. It may be a long way to go but it’s possible. By God’s grace, we will rise again. No more will we be called “Poor Philippines.”

choose science over fiction, we’re going to choose hope over fear.” He then touched on dealing with the economy and systemic racism, making sure everyone has an even chance. “I’m going to make sure you get it. You haven’t been getting that the last four years.” That’s why Biden won the all-important last debate. He was clear, direct, empathetic. And for the most part, he was in command. In those two questions where he mentioned “Asian,” the message was clear. After nearly four years of federal dysfunction we need to right the ship. American governance needs a grown up that all its people from every persuasion can trust. Joe Biden isn’t the radical left-

wing Trojan Horse that the fear monger Trump endlessly warns us about. Biden is just the person we need to get us out of our Trump hole.

(CANDID PERSPECTIVES: Getting Out....from page 13)

Maybe Trump didn’t hear the question correctly. But he launched into a rap about how “the road to success will bring us together,” then boasted how under his administration, “We had the best black unemployment numbers in the history of our country, Hispanic, women, Asian, people with diplomas, no diplomas, MIT graduates, number one in the class, everyone had the best numbers.” It was an incoherent diversity ramble. I guess he assumed everyone’s voting for him (just like an authoritarian to think that). And why? Because obviously look what he’s done for us– made us all rich? Definitely, not one percent rich. Barely middle class rich. So, he didn’t exactly answer the question. But he used the word “Asian” again. Trump says Asian twice not related to coronavirus, and he thinks it’s

a way to get the Asian American vote (5 percent of the electorate). But the president’s record, especially on Twitter, is abysmal. According to research by Stop AAPI Hate, the president’s use of “China virus” and other anti-Asian rhetoric on Twitter was retweeted 1.2 million times and “liked” 4.2 million times. Trump is the super-spreader of anti-Asian American hate. Biden saw Welker’s final question about talking to people who didn’t vote for him as an invitation to unite the country. “I will say, I’m an American president. I represent all of you, whether you voted for me or against me. And I’m going to make sure you’re represented. I’m going to give you hope. We’re going to move. We’re going to

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