Hawaii Filipino Chronicle - January 22, 2022

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JANUARY 22, 2022



What the Voting Rights Fight Says About Presidential Power

Back to Full-In-Person Learning: To Be or Not To Be


One Disqualification Case Against Marcos Did Not Fly, COMELEC Shot It Down Quickly


F. Sionil Jose’s The Rosales Novels



Bravo to Doctors On Stage, Let’s Support Their Latest Musical Production; It’s for a Good Cause


ow we think, how we perceive the world is in many ways influenced by the massive information and messaging flow coming to us from every direction, from our social media feeds to the news sources we frequent, to our personal interactions. We are, in many ways, a compilation of the many voices that we hear and even those we choose to ignore, but are exposed to. Art – visual and performing – is arguably one of the most powerful means of messaging. Historically before mass communication technologies (TV, radio, internet) the arts arguably was the loudest voice in communities. Artists entertained, parodied royals (only means by which it was allowed), poked fun at Church hypocrisy. Actors then were also social critics. And as captains to imaginary ships that took audiences to faraway places where they felt comfortable to reflect, think, process – actors, in this light also served, uniquely as healers. Doctors On Stage (DOS) -- comprised of a group of physicians (mostly members of the Philippine Medical Association of Hawaii), their staff, medical professionals, friends and family who have talent and a passion for the performing arts -- have now been presenting over a span of decades highly entertaining, thought-provoking musicals. Since its first musical “In Tune with War and Peace” which was performed at the Blaisdell Center to a sold-out audience, Doctors On Stage brought relevant, timely social and family themes to present to our community through performing art. DOS not only offers top-notched entertainment presented by non-career performing artists (volunteers), but also serves as a powerful voice raising awareness on a myriad of issues. In their 10th and latest production “Fundemic” (to be held Sat, Jan 29, 2022, 6 pm, FilCom Center) it’s no surprise DOS took on the most engrossing issue since 2020, the global COVID-19 pandemic as this year’s theme. Fundemic is arguably the group’s most personally-themed musical as medical professionals, who are themselves, or have colleagues on the frontline working at hospitals, in ERs or ICUs helping to keep COVID-19 patients alive. Cast members have had patients who’ve’ passed away to the unrelenting virus. Their personal experiences of loss makes that bridge connecting their artistry to the public, their audience, that much more profound, piercing, and yes, inspirational. DOS producer, brainchild of “Fundemic” and past DOS themes, Dr. Charlie Sonido said “The coronavirus has been a major challenge for all of us but at some point, life has to move on,” says Sonido. “We have to pick ourselves up and not let this virus run our lives. We cannot hide or remain on lockdown forever. We have to learn to live with the effects of the virus or else the rest of our years will be wasted.” A few other productions and themes DOS brought to life include “Rainbow Connection” (about the immigrant experience from the Philippines to Hawaii), “Butterflies and Kisses” (on the challenges and rewards of raising children), “Believe: In Praise of Faith and Freedom” (on spirituality and how faith-based solutions can help with everyday life).

Mahalo DOS, DOS producer Sonido, creative director JP Orias and (continue on page 3)



usic, dance, the performing arts have always offered a magical escape from reality. After watching a moving, entertaining performance, the goal of performers often is to leave their audience with something special, perhaps inspiration of some kind to take back into the real world. In the latest Doctors On Stage Broadway musical “Fundemic” – about the COVID-19 virus – one inspirational message is of hope, keeping it steadfast amid the chaos and fear in these trying times. “Fundemic” is the 10th musical production by Doctors On Stage. It will be held on Saturday, January 29, 2022, 6 pm at the Filipino Community Center in Waipahu. For a first time, the event will be streamed live online, associate editor Dennis Galolo writes in this issue’s cover story. Once again, Dr. Charlie Sonido is the producer, JP Orias, the artistic director; and the Doctors On Stage cast is comprised of talented performers who love the arts and believe in the production’s goal of raising money for the Bayanihan Clinic Without Walls (BCWW). The BCWW is a non-profit organization sponsored by the Philippine Medical Association of Hawaii and Hawaii Filipino HealthCare that provides free medical services for immigrants, the homeless, very poor and other marginalized residents on Oahu. Most recently, it has expanded services to include those who lost their jobs and health insurance due to the pandemic. Please join the Doctors On Stage cast in their latest production. Based on past performances, it’s expected to be wonderfully entertaining and thought provoking. Also in this issue, HFC columnist Emil Guillermo contributes a timely article “What the Voting Rights Fight Says About Presidential Power.” The fight to preserve voting rights in our country is the number one political issue at the moment as the two bills -- Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act – remain in limbo at the US Senate. We’re sad to share the news that Philippine National Artist F. Sionil Jose, the legendary novelist, passed away on Jan. 6, 2022. For her column this issue, HFC contributor Rose Cruz Churma reviews the Rosales Novels authored by Jose and shares highlights of the life of this giant in literature. He’s a multi-award writer and may be the only Filipino writer in English who has produced a series of novels that depicted a century of Philippine life, said Churma. In news, Hawaii receives $48 million in federal funding to support local hospitals fight the COVID-19; and at the State Legislature there is a proposed bill that aims to eliminate the down payment barrier to home ownership in Hawaii. We have a Healthline article on understanding Glaucoma and Legal Notes on “After a Divorce” written by Sheryll Bonilla, Esq., and more. Our deepest sympathy goes out to our long-time HFC columnist Carlota Ader on the passing of her husband Juan “Johnny” Ader, who was employed by Sheraton Hotels for over 30 years and an active member in the community. A warm condolence to their daughter Teresa Marie, a former HFC columnist. May God’s blessings give your family strength. Aloha from the Chronicle family. Lastly, remember to visit our HFC webpage. Each past issue is archived. Companies that are planning your advertising budget, please consider HFC and target Hawaii’s largest ethnic community. As an added exposure, your company’s advertisement stays online in the archived issue it appears. 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.


Junggoi Peralta

Photography Tim Llena

Administrative Assistant Lilia Capalad Shalimar Pagulayan

Editorial Assistant Jim Bea Sampaga


Carlota Hufana Ader Elpidio R. Estioko Perry Diaz Emil Guillermo Melissa Martin, Ph.D. Seneca Moraleda-Puguan 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



More Competition, Less Concentration of Industries, Beef up Antitrust Powers – That’s How to Lower High Inflation


urprised! This is perhaps what Americans have been feeling during their trips to the grocery store lately. For the same amount of food and beverages, the cost of grocery has risen substantially, particularly for goods like meats, chicken, dairy, eggs, cereal, vegetables and coffee. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, inflation rose in 2021 by 7%, the biggest increase since 1982. In last December alone, food prices rose by half a percent. And it’s not just grocery that has spiked – gasoline, utilities and most consumer goods.

Widespread impact Unlike unemployment or other social maladies the pandemic has inflicting upon select populations, everyone feels the sticker shock of rising inflation. Essentially what higher inflation does is it makes income smaller. Suddenly what could have been purchased for $10 could now be $14. And this lowering of income is universal across the board chipping away at both high to low income wages.. To middle income Americans, the current inflation is taking up huge chunks of their disposable income that could otherwise go toward vacation or college tuition savings. To millions of others living on a fixed budget, it’s

a devastating added burden. Others less well-off have it even harder, resorting at times to credit cards to pay for basic necessities.

Politicization While certainly a real problem and something that should be discussed, the inflation surge has become too politicized. Republicans blame the Biden administration and have been talking up a storm that COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns are responsible for the record high inflation. Economists agree to an extent, but say that’s only part of the picture. Drivers of inflation, the short, immediate causes From the viewpoint of immediate causes, economists say the rise in consumer goods is partially attributed to the supply chains that broke down during the start of the pandemic and ensuing lockdowns. Supply chains have not yet caught up to pre-pandemic levels to meet the surge in demand that spiked as soon as lockdowns were lifted and the nation’s economy reopened. Besides the lag between supply and demand, economists say the current labor shortage also adds another layer to the inflation problem. Less labor, for example in the truck driving industry, delays products from getting to their destinations, keeping supplies

low and giving vendors a green light to raise prices. Economists believe inflation should correct itself as soon as supply chains and employment get back to normal levels. But rising inflation (even before COVID-19) arguably was already too high and remain susceptible to future spikes and with more frequency unless we look at the real systemic causes.

Real systemic cause of high inflation Economists point to a larger systemic reason behind rising inflation. What? The increasing concentration of industries. When there are two, three, often no more than a handful of behemoth corporations dominating an industry, it’s easier for them to set prices as they desire with little competition among themselves to drive down prices. At this moment of record-high inflation, guess what? Big corporations are experiencing record-high profits. With a few companies monopolizing an industry, higher profits for the few companies are certain. They will make sure of that each year and inflation keeps ris-

(Bravo....from page 2)

their talented cast (many multi-DOS production physician-performers) deserve a warm and sincere thank you for their creative and successful productions through the years, which are also fundraisers for Bayanihan Clinic Without Walls (BCWW). BCWW is a non-profit organization that provides free medical care to immigrants, the homeless and poor who are uninsured. Many of the physicians of DOS are also BCWW members. As members they receive patient referrals from BCWW and treat patients at their own offices and clinics. DOS producer Sonido is a cofounder of BCWW. BCWW is sponsored by

the Philippine Medical Association of Hawaii and Hawaii Filipino HealthCare.

Please consider donating to BCWW directly. DOS is truly a unique project in time for our community and an effective way to raise funds for BCWW. The next generation of Filipino doctors might decide to carry on this tradition (we hope) or find other means to fundraise for BCWW. That future is unclear. In the meantime while the handful-toa-dozen key cast members of DOS are still passionate about this project, let’s go out and support them.

ing. But economists say, fewer companies in an industry doesn’t grow the economy as much as it would if there were more competitors entering an industry. But as MIT Economist David Autor says, these few companies are not leaving room for new competition to enter. He said, “Concentration could arise from anticompetitive forces whereby dominant firms are increasingly able to prevent actual and potential rivals from entering and expanding.” “Incumbent firms” as these companies are called, are present in a wide range of industries — airlines, beer, pharmaceuticals, hospitals. And they’re wielding market power in ways that prevent rivals from emerging and thriving, Autor said. He adds that the underlying problem is not “bigness” per se. Rather, it’s the combined effect of size, concentration, and anti-friendly competition that thwarts economic growth.

How government can help, strengthen antitrust power What needs to be done? Government must beef up its antitrust power and set an environment for more competition in industries that give middle-size and small companies realistic opportunities to compete with the behemoths. America’s antitrust legal framework goes way back to more than a century. The first

law, the Sherman Antitrust Act, was passed in 1890, But in time, big corporations’ influence and lobbying have weakened the government’s antitrust power.

Benefits of more competition Reversing high concentration of industries will help to expand our economy, give more companies a fighting chance to enter industries currently unavailable to them, increase wages, improve work flow (employees have more options), expand product output. Republicans believe the inflation problem is a winning issue to keep repeating leading into this year’s midterm. But if they are serious about addressing current and future inflation boosts, they should also be serious about strengthening the government’s antitrust power, something they’ve traditionally rejected for generations. Enacting laws that help to equal the playing field for more market competition to thrive, that sounds reasonable and fair. Both Republican and Democrat lawmakers should work together on this issue. If the pandemic is solely responsible for the current inflation, let’s be reminded that both parties held leadership since the outbreak of COVID-19; and both parties have degrees of accountability to bear.

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Doctors On Stage Musical ‘Fundemic’ Offers Hope Beyond COVID-19 Pandemic by Dennis Galolo


omeone once said, “There’s a silver lining to every cloud that sails about the heavens if we could only see it.” That in a nutshell, is perhaps the message behind Doctors On Stage’s latest Broadway musical “Fundemic” which offers hope beyond the chaos and fear caused by the current global pandemic. The musical centers around the notorious COVID-19 virus and its effects which are expressed through a number of inter-related songs that are woven into a story that ultimately honors the efforts of frontline healthcare workers and survivors. In the first part of the musical, with Michael Jackson’s 1980s hit song “Beat It” setting a somber mood, the virus is seen wreaking havoc on people’s lives, spreading fear and mental anguish. The audience can’t help but empathize with emergency room physicians, ICU nurses and medical personnel who toil long hours caring for Originally slated for performance in mid-2020, “Fundemic” has been plagued by numerous delays, cancellations and other upheavals caused by COVID-19. Organizers decided to forge ahead with a performance on Saturday, January 29, 2022 at 6 pm at the Filipino Community Center in Waipahu. And for the first time ever, the event will be streamed live online. A link will be provided to supporters, donors and others who may be interested. “We normally practice for two months for a musical but for “Fundemic,” we’ve been practicing for the last six months due to all of the delays,” says producer Dr. Charlie Sonido, “To postpone it would further risk losing its essence.”

COVID-19 patients – a handful of whom end up succumbing to the virus. Fortunately, the tide begins to slowly turn when a vaccine is developed and infected patients begin to recover. Hope, which was once nowhere to be found, appears on the distant horizon. “Fundemic” is the 10th and latest in a long line of musical production undertaken by Doctors On Stage – a group of medical professionals, laypersons, friends and family who simply enjoy theatre and the bright lights of the big stage. All cast members and crew volunteer their time and talents for the musicals. Voice coaches are available during rehearsals to offer their expertise, but a number of the performers have hired personal singing instructors at their own expense to further enhance their performances. And rehearsals have increased to three or more per week as the big day approaches.

Dancing with the stars The mythical star of “Fundemic” is none other than the COVID-19 virus which is played by Dr. Nikka Aquino. A graduate of the University of Santo Tomas in the Philippines, she currently works at the Primary Care Clinic of Hawaii where she started as Sonido’s medical preceptee. Aquino adeptly personifies the virus in dance form throughout the performance. She is an ideal fit for the role, given her extensive background in dance. Her repertoire includes ballet, jazz, flamenco, hula, tap, hip-hop and street dance. For Aquino, depicting COVID-19 via dance calls for a great deal of flexibility and an extensive combination of movements.

“It’s quite challenging because of the nature of the virus and how it has evolved,” she says. “The pandemic started off as a mystery that caught a lot of people by surprise. So depicting the virus in dance requires a variety of movements, ranging from sharp and crisp to graceful, elegant and contemporary, and then to messy and exaggerating as it evolved.” To knock off a bit of the rust that accumulated for having not formally danced in nearly 15 years, Aquino enlisted the help of the Rosalie Woodson Dance Academy. The extra training and choreography helped get her back into dancing shape but once she got back in the groove, it all came back to her.

‘Fundemic’ rehearsal

Artistic director J.P. Orias recalls Doctors On Stage’s very first musical in July 12, 2003 entitled “War and Peace” which was performed at the Blaisdell Center to a nearly sold-out audience. It was so well-received that it kicked off a string of future musicals with different themes. “From our first production to now, I think what has enabled us to keep going through the years is that the community has embraced our musicals as entertainment for the entire family,” Orias says. “They have all been well-produced and directed. We have a good cast that corroborates for each musical. A lot of the credit goes to the doctors as well as others who sing, dance and perform.”

“Being around other dancers and in the studio brought back that spark,” she says. “I feel like I can let loose and be as creative as I need to be.” Not only is Aquino looking forward to performing but it has also become personal with the passing of a family member who contracted the virus. Being a part of the musical has helped to bring a sense of closure. “I didn’t think that I would ever play such a major role,” she says. “To be given this opportunity makes it very exciting. It’s also a way for me to let go of the grief and to help clear my mind.”

Bayanihan Clinic Without Walls (BCWW), a non-profit organization sponsored by the Philippine Medical Association of Hawaii and Hawaii Filipino HealthCare that provides free medical services for immigrants, homeless, the very poor and other marginalized residents on Oahu. Most recently, BCCW has expanded its services to include those who lost their job, and consequently their health insurance coverage, as a result of the pandemic. “Fundemic” cast member Dr. Sorbella Guillermo, who has participated in all 10 musicals, is a staunch advocate of BCWW and its Fundraiser for BCWW mission to serve those who As with all of Doctors On are at-risk and vulnerable. Stage’s previous musicals, She is among a few doz“Fundemic” raises funds for (continue on page 5)


COVER STORY (Doctors’....from page 4)

en Filipino physicians and dentists who treat patients referred to them by BCWW. “It’s hard to believe that I’ve been a part of every musical,” she says. “It’s a blessing to be a part of this effort that benefits BCCW. Whenever I provide treatment to those who are in need of help, it’s like I’m doing medical mission work right in my home office.” Guillermo and colleague Dr. Noelani Hobbs are among a handful of Filipino physicians who volunteer their services for both BCWW and Doctors On Stage. “Fundemic” is Hobbs’ third production and she plans to keep re-enlisting for more. She feels a deep connection to the cast and crew, describing them as “one big family not just on stage but in real life.” “I absolutely love the fellowship we have,” she says. “I’ve gotten to know people whom I normally would never have met through these musicals. I’d read or heard their names but never had a chance to get to know them personally.” The musicals also allow Hobbs’ inner artistic and creative side to run free – something which she is rarely allowed to do in the structured and orderly world of medicine. “It’s funny how the most joy I’ve felt was being able to work on this show,” she says. “For me, it was time away from having to treat a disorder or solve a problem. I’m not only a physi-

‘Fundemic’ rehearsal

cian, wife and mom but also a singer which I dreamed of being since I was a little girl. If I could do it all over again, I would probably be a professional performer.” A new normal? “Fundemic” ends with an upbeat message, despite the doom-and-gloom and fear mongering that have gripped the nation and to an extent, the entire world – it’s time to stop living in panic mode and to start living life while dealing with COVID-19. “The coronavirus has been a major challenge for all of us but at some point, life has to move on,” says Sonido. “We have to pick ourselves up and not let this virus run our lives. We cannot hide or remain on lockdown forever. We have to learn to live with the effects of the virus or else the rest of our years will be wasted.” Sonido stressed that this “new normal” for many people should continue to include wearing masks, taking social and physical distancing measures and necessary

vaccinations. Dr. Ross Simafranca, DOS artist-volunteer and supporter of BCWW, said. “Time has come to reflect on the past few years. The trials and tribulations that we’ve met as a human race, stories of sadness and despair by the loss of life, stories of courage and strength by those who have fought through horrendous physical and mental health issues, stories of hope and perseverance that we all must embrace and move forward in unity. “I’ve been with DOS for a few years now and absolutely enjoy being in the presence of such esteemed artists, physicians, and friends! I continue to support BCWW because it too strives to make a difference in the lives of each and every single patient that needs assistance.” Hobbs admits that dealing with the pandemic and all of its mandates and social distancing requirements drained her to her very core. After leaving the office, she’d return home with very


Hawaii Receives $48 Million Federal Fund to Fight Pandemic, Support Hospitals


he Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced on Jan. 19 that they will provide Hawaii with a $47.9 million federal grant to support local hospitals fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As we continue fighting the pandemic, it’s critical that our hospitals have the resources and staffing they need to provide high-quality care to families across Hawaii,” said Senator Brian Schatz. The FEMA funds will be

used to hire nearly 1,000 new temporary nurses, case managers, pharmacists, therapists and other medical staff for three months. Additional federal grant funding to support this temporary medical staff is expected in the coming months. (continue on page 12)

“Time has come to reflect on the past few years. The trials and tribulations that we’ve met as a human race, stories of sadness and despair by the loss of life, stories of courage and strength by those who have fought through horrendous physical and mental health issues, stories of hope and perseverance that we all must embrace and move forward in unity. I’ve been with DOS for a few years now and absolutely enjoy being in the presence of such esteemed artists, physicians, and friends! I continue to support BCWW because it too strives to make a difference in the lives of each and every single patient that needs assistance.” — Dr. Ross Simafranca, DOS performer, BCWW supporter little left in the tank for her family. “There were times I wanted to close my door and say ‘that’s it. I’m done.’ But no matter how bad things get, it is comforting to know that we can always rely on our Heavenly Father. The skies will clear after the storm. We just need to be resilient. A lot of us have been bent but not broken. “And from all the chaos and craziness caused by the pandemic, we can still

enjoy something beautiful like this musical. That’s why we’ve worked so hard on this musical because we want the audience to feel that better things are just over the horizon.” Donations are accepted for the benefit of Bayanihan Clinic Without Walls, a non-profit organization with a 501(c)(3) status. For questions or details, call J.P. Orias at 387-8297 or email him at jporias808@aol. com.



What the Voting Rights Fight Says About Presidential Power By Emil Guillermo


f you are a post2000 immigrant to the US, take some time this week to think about democracy, your right to vote, and Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr. Because of Hawaii’s Brian Schatz’ COVID-19 quarantine, the symbolic vote in the Senate for voting rights won’t happen as expected out of necessity, not merely because of partisan pigheadedness. It all puts a crimp on what is essentially our national holiday for civil rights. The family of Martin Luther King, Jr was adamant about MLK’s birthday. There would be no celebration without legislation.

At this point, we are not likely to get either. But we will have time to reflect. The fight isn’t quite over yet, which is why later in this column, I want to remember an Asian American activist who was influenced by King and knew how to take action. But first, it wasn’t hyperbole after all to call President Biden’s speech from Atlanta his “I Have a Dream” speech. Because he was dreaming. He thought he could get Democratic Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema to unite with 48 other Democrats to pass both the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. The Freedom to Vote Act would make voting a federal holiday, and make voting easier, not harder. It would also make sure the redistricting process would be fair and uniform and reflect population gains. Asian Americans and other people of color wouldn’t be left out by gerrymandering. The activism of AALDEF and other communities of color to draw up the Unity Map in New York is a direct response to the inequality of gerrymandering. There should be a law, right? This Freedom to Vote Act gets us closer to justice. The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act simply restores the teeth of federal oversight to make sure

are in the way now: Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, states don’t pass harmful elec- who herself took the lead to tion laws that cut minorities stymie voting rights. That’s West Virginia, 40th out of the process. We’re trying to get back to the ideals of in population in the US, and Arizona, 6th. Both states the original law. But they prove that the holding up voting rights for threat to democracy is real. the entire nation. Sinema was almost cruel Your freedom to vote is not an abstraction. Without it, you speaking on the Senate floor simply are voiceless and do last Thursday, just as Biden was arriving to rally Demonot count. In a democracy, the pro- crats in Congress. She effecposed voting rights legislation tively announced she was killshould be a no-brainer. But it ing all hope for meaningful voting rights legislation. isn’t. “While I continue to supRepublican feelings were port these bills,” Sinema said, hurt by Biden’s speech. Contrary to what right “I will not support separate wing media is saying, Pres- actions that worsen the unident Joe Biden didn’t call derlying disease of division anyone a racist in his voting infecting our country.” But, of course, in signalrights speech recently. He simply asked a ques- ing she would allow the Retion: “Do you want to be on publicans to filibuster, Sinema the side of Dr. King or George was making things worse by enabling the “underlying disWallace?” Do you want to be with a ease of division infecting our person of love, or one of hate? country.” Biden is still trying to get That’s a hard choice if you’re political animals like the legislation passed, but it’s Sen. Mitch McConnell and unclear what Sinema wants in Sen. Mitt Romney. They negotiation–beyond the orgifeigned offense at the ques- astic power of a presidential tion and even accused Biden takedown. But it makes clear what of being the opposite of a unifier and more divisive than is true in a democracy. The Trump. Is that even possible? president isn’t Superman. Not But this is where we are at even a Marvel hero. At best, the rock bottom in our mod- Biden is arm-twister-in-chief. ern Orwellian political reality, No doubt he beat Trump in when yes is no and no is yes, November but with hardly a and when things that should majority in the Senate, there be passed by acclamation are are clearly limits to power. It all leaves Biden, about up for debate. Biden needs to celebrate his first year in to get around office, with a party he can’t the Republicans’ unite when he needs, and a certain filibuster country that grades him with intended to block an approval rating in the low the legislation. 40s. Is it his fault? Look That would require all 50 Sen- at what he inherited from ate Democrats to Trump, arguably the worst vote to change president ever. Between that the filibuster rule. and Covid, Biden is doing as And, of well as imagined. He did pass course, the same the physical infrastructure two people who plan to fix a crumbling Amerblocked Biden ica. Given the circumstances on his big infra- that’s significant. Still, the voting rights structure bills

block is disappointing. Vice President Harris offered Biden his strongest support, telling NBC News how in 2006, 98 of 100 members of the Senate voted for an extension of the Voting Rights Act. “It was not a partisan issue,” she said. “It was an American issue.” But in that time, this is how things have worsened. And then she tried to use what bully pulpit she has to point out she wouldn’t absolve the 50 Republicans in the US Senate from responsibility for upholding one of the most basic and important tenets of our democracy. Nor would she give a pass to Sinema and Manchin. “I don’t think anyone should be absolved from the responsibility of preserving and protecting our democracy,” Harris said. “Especially when they took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution.” It’s Harris’s promise to expose the politicians who voted “no” as being quite simply anti-democracy. Let’s hold her to that. Of course, all that presumes shame and common sense still work in American politics. Not these days.

An Asian American In King’s Camp As we approach the King holiday, let us try to be Kinglike and remember an Asian American who was close to Dr. King. In the assassination year of 1968, Steven Kiyoshi Kuromiya cared for Dr. King’s kids at the family house the week of MLK’s funeral. Beyond a caretaker, Kuromiya was no slouch as an activist. Kuromiya first met King in 1965, when Kuromiya was a member of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and later a member of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). (continue on page 10)



By Atty. Emmanuel S. Tipon


ill disqualification cases against Marcos fly?” That was the title of our previous article. On Jan. 17, 2022, COMELEC shot down one of the disqualification cases, denying it “for lack of merit.” Ferdinand R. “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. thus won a major decision seeking to deny due course or cancel his certificate of candidacy (COC) for President in connection with the 2022 National Elections in the Philippines which he filed on Oct. 6, 2021 with the Commission on Elections (COMELEC). The Second Division composed of Commissioners Socorro B. Inting, Presiding, and Antonio T. Kho, Jr. and Rey E. Bulay, issued the Resolution. Case No. SPA No. 21-156 (DC). The petition was filed by Fr. Christian B. Buenafe et al. against Marcos, Jr. on Nov. 2, 2021 under Section 78 of the Omnibus Election Code (OEC) which provides that a COC may be denied due course or cancelled on the ground that any material representation contained therein as required under OEC Section 74 is false. The petitioners alleged that Marcos, Jr. committed false material representation under Section 74 when he stated in his COC that he is eligible to run for President notwithstanding his prior conviction in a Philippine Court of Appeals (CA) decision on Oct. 31, 1997 in CA-G.R. CR No. 18569 for violation of Presidential Decree No. 1158 dated Jun. 3, 1977, aka National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC), which allegedly carries with it the accessory penalty of perpetual disqualification from holding any public office, to vote and to participate in any election.

One Disqualification Case Against Marcos Did Not Fly, COMELEC Shot It Down Quickly The CA modified a Decision of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court and found Marcos guilty of violation of the NIRC for failure to file income tax returns for 1982 to 1985 but acquitted him of the charge of nonpayment of deficiency taxes for 1982 to 1985. The CA ordered Marcos to pay to the BIR the deficiency income taxes due with interest and to pay a fine of P2,000 for each charge of failing to file income tax returns for 1982, 1983, and 1984 and a fine of P30,000 for failure to file income tax return for 1985. Marcos denied the allegation, saying that he has all the qualifications of a President under Section 2, Article VII of the Constitution, thus, there can be no material misrepresentation under OEC Section 78. Petitioners also claimed that Marcos, Jr. was convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude thereby disqualifying him under OEC Section 12 to be a candidate and to hold any public office. But the COMELEC ruled that under its rules a petition to deny due course or to cancel a certificate of candidacy that invokes grounds for disqualification shall be summarily dismissed. Nevertheless, the COMELEC said that despite summary dismissal being warranted, it would relax compliance with the technical rules of procedure and discuss the merits in order to fully and finally settle the matter because of its paramount importance.

Marcos’s misrepresentations are material The COMELEC held that two misrepresentations by Marcos in his COC pertained to a material matter because they refer to respondent’s qualifications for public office, citing the Supreme Court decision in Villafuerte v. COMELEC that “material misrepresentation contemplated by Section 78 of the

Code refer to qualifications for elective office.” The first material misrepresentation refers to Item 11 of his COC which states: “11. I am eligible for the office I seek to be elected to.” The COMELEC cited the Supreme Court decision in Aratea v COMELEC holding that the word “eligible” means having the right to run for elective office, that is, having all the qualifications and none of the ineligibilities to run for public office. The second material misrepresentation pertains to Item 22 of his COC which asks: “22. Have you ever been found liable for an offense which carries with it the accessory penalty of perpetual disqualification to hold public office, which has become final and executory?” In reply to this question, Marcos checked the box beside “NO.” The COMELEC said that Marcos avowal that he has never been found liable for an offense which carries with it the accessory penalty of perpetual disqualification definitely pertains to his qualifications for public office, because if he had replied “Yes”, it would be an admission that he is not qualified to hold public office.

Marcos’s material misrepresentations are not false The COMELEC indicated that nowhere in the CA decision can be expressly found that Marcos was meted the penalty of perpetual disqualification from holding public office.

The 1977 NIRC was amended by Presidential Decree No. 1994 dated Nov. 5, 1985, Section 286 of which added the penalty of perpetual disqualification to hold public office, to vote, and to participate in any election for an offender who is a public officer or employee. It only became effective on Jan. 1, 1986. The COMELEC said that the accessory penalty of perpetual disqualification cannot be made to apply to the taxable years of 1982-1984, because crimes are punishable only by the penalty provided by law at the time of its commission. The COMELEC pointed out that as to the 1985 taxable year, P.D. 1994 was already in effect as of Jan. 1, 1986, and the mandatory filing of income tax return for that year was Mar. 18, 1986, but it cannot be made to apply to Marcos because he was no longer a public officer when he failed to file his 1985 income tax return on Mar. 18, 1986, because he and his family were forced to leave the country on Feb. 25, 1986, thus effectively removing him from the purview of Section 286 of P.D. No. 1994, which cannot be made to apply to a private individual. Hence the CA Decision is correct for not

imposing on Marcos the penalty of perpetual disqualification from holding any public office, voting, and participating in any election. The COMELEC noted that since Marcos was not meted such penalty, it cannot be rightfully said that he committed a false material misrepresentation when he answered “NO” to the question in Item 22 of his COC. When Marcos declared in Item No. 11 of his COC that he is eligible for the office for which he seeks to be elected to, he was essentially speaking the truth. Marcos material representations are actually not false.

Marcos did not deliberately attempt to mislead, misinform, or deceive the electorate The COMELEC said that in addition to materiality and falsity of the representation, the Supreme Court has decreed a third element to warrant cancellation of COC – that there must also be a “deliberate attempt to mislead, misinform, or hide a fact which would otherwise render a candidate ineligible.” “In other words, it must be made with an intention to deceive the electorate

(continue on page 15)





Back to Full In-Person Learning: To Be Or Not To Be? By Elpidio R. Estioko


espite the omicron surge, public schools all over the country will be back in the classrooms for in-person instruction this week in preparation for the full in-person learning by next school year this fall. How did teachers react to this announcement? As I See It, they are in a dilemma as to whether to go back to school or not. In fact, it generated mixed emotions – some favor it, others do not. In my case, aside from the safety factor, I prefer working at home rather than teaching in my classroom with 15 to 20 students, some in person and others online, at the same time. I say this because if I must report in school, I need to teach using the hybrid approach, addressing both types of students (in-person and online) simultaneously, unlike when I teach purely online, I just have to deal with one type of students – virtual students. To manage it effectively, we need to find a way to keep the students in the classroom busy while attending to online

students and vice versa. When you are attending to online students, you need to give students in class assignments and keep them busy and when it is time for those students in class to be addressed, online students are likewise given their assignments to keep them, engaged. The situation is easier said than done, but it can be done. It is just that we need to plan it properly, be alert in the execution and be flexible in the process. It would be easier if you have the same set of students the entire day (same students per period just like the public schools). But if your students are different in every block (students in charter schools are designed that way), then it would be extremely hard to make the adjustments. Besides, you need to contend with your own safety while attending to the safety of your students. A colleague of mine told me that when they started accepting students in the dorms, and conducted campus activities, 10 staff and nine students were found positive after the event. They immediately conducted mitigation measures and implemented contact tracing then they placed staff and

students who were in contact with those found positive on a seven-day quarantine. In Hawaii, as more residents get vaccinated and restrictions ease on public gatherings and other precautions, the Hawaii State Department of Education says all Hawaii public schools will fully reopen for in-person learning next school year. Superintendent Christina Kishimoto announced the decision in a memo to principals last week and a similar message was sent to all staff last week. The superintendent wrote: “Our schools play a critical role in providing students a safe learning space for social connections and cognitive and personal development. Therefore, for the school year 20212022 scheduled to begin on August 3, 2021, the expectation is that all HIDOE schools will be fully open for daily, in-person learning. This also includes resuming co-curricular and extracurricular activities such as clubs, band, and athletics at all schools.” This approach means that schools will not offer a full-distance learning model as an alternative to in-person learning, the DOE’s memo stated. Distance learning may be an option if schools must close due to unexpected emergencies or other student-focused circumstances. Kishimoto also emphasized that mitigation protocols

will remain in place, such as directing students and staff to stay home when sick, consistent mask-wearing, and proper hand hygiene. Hawaii State Teachers Association President Corey Rosenlee said they support the idea of bringing students back fully, however, they still have some concerns. “We just want to make sure it is safe, and we still just have the concern about how many parents or students are going to feel safe to come back as well, and we hope to encourage them that our classrooms will be safe when we do want our students back in the classroom,” said Rosenlee. She further emphasized the need for the community to get everyone vaccinated: for both teachers and students to be vaccinated to “create some sort of herd immunity.” “One of the important things during this entire pandemic, HSTA has often said we need to follow the science, and Dr. Fauci has just said recently that he wants to encourage, but not mandate, that K–12 students get the vaccination. So, if that is what Dr. Fauci saying, that is our position, and we need to encourage it,” Rosenlee said. At least there is one consolation the teachers need to rejoice and ponder upon. The US Department of Education released “Return to School Roadmap” for 20212022 school year to support students, schools, educators,

and communities as they prepare to return to safe, healthy in-person learning this fall. The Roadmap provides key resources and supports for students, parents, educators, and school communities to build excitement around returning to classrooms this school year and outlines how federal funding can support the safe and sustained return to in-person learning. The Department of Education said the Roadmap includes three “landmark” priorities that schools, districts, and communities are encouraged to focus on to ensure all students are set up for success in the 2021-2022 school year. These include: (1) prioritizing the health and safety of students, staff, and educators, (2) building school communities and supporting students’ social, emotional, and mental health, and (3) accelerating academic achievement. Part of the Roadmap, the Department will release resources for practitioners and parents on each of these priorities and will highlight schools and districts that are using innovative practices to address these priorities. So, are we going back to school this fall? ELPIDIO R. ESTIOKO was a veteran journalist in the Philippines and an award-winning journalist in the US. For feedbacks, comments… please email the author @ estiokoelpidio@gmail. com.

(CANDID PERSPECTIVES: What the Voting....from page 6)

In a Life magazine piece, Kuromiya talked about his role marching at Selma: I was in the South during the spring and summer of 1965. After Reverend James Reeb was killed, we marched and I was clubbed down and hospitalized. When you get treated this way, you suddenly know what it is like to be a black in Mississippi or a peasant in Vietnam. You learn something about going through channels then too. I gave my story to an FBI agent in the hospital. He took seven pages of notes, but I remem-

ber thinking at the time it was probably just about as effective as relaying information to the ACLU via the House Un-American Activities Committee. Nothing ever came of it, at any rate. But something did come out of his relationship to King. Kuromiya saw the value of taking non-violent direct action, and he used it the rest of his life for the public good. If you want to be a rebel in the name of voting rights, Kuromiya would be a good role model.

Born while incarcerated by the US in a Wyoming internment camp during World War II, Kuromiya experienced world-class discrimination. His family later moved to Monrovia, California, and Kuromiya went on to college at Penn. As a student, he made sure his voice was heard in the biggest issues of the day, the antiwar and civil rights movements. Like Dr. King, Kuromiya knew that protest and the media go hand in hand. To

(continue on page 11)



The Pied Piper of Mar-a-Lago By Perry Diaz


n 1284, as the legend goes, the people of Hamelin, Germany, hired the town’s rat-catcher, a piper, to lure the rats away with his magic pipe. The piper was dressed in multi-colored (“pied”) clothing; hence he was called the “Pied Piper.” He led the rats out of the town and into the sea where they drowned. When the town’s people refused to pay him for his services, he retaliated by using his magic pipe and led their children away as he had with the rats. Today, the term “Pied Piper” describes a person who talks often convincingly but who leads people into disaster. It is also used to identify a leader whom people willingly follow as he leads them into danger or trouble by means of lies and false promises. During the 2016 US presidential elections, Democratic Party officials labeled the Republican Party’s candidate Donald Trump a “Pied Piper candidate.” Using his strong appeal to white nationalists and rightwing conservatives, Trump got the nomination of the Republican Party by eliminating his 16 rivals, one by one, in the primaries. During the general elec-

tion, Trump used demagoguery to deliver a populist message such as “America First” and “Make America great again!” He also manifested anti-women, anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim behavior. But to his die-hard supporters, his coded messages stirred their own prejudices. Well, the “Pied Piper candidate” won the 2016 presidential elections. But it was downhill from that time onward. He was twice impeached by the House of Representatives but was acquitted by the Senate, which requires a two-thirds majority of the senators present at the trial to convict the president. In the 2020 presidential elections, Trump lost to Joe Biden by more than eight million votes. But Trump never conceded defeat. He propagated the “Big Lie” that the election was stolen from him. But it was never proven. Lawsuits filed by Trump’s supporters lost in more than 60 cases including two cases thrown out by the Supreme Court. And then on Jan. 6, 2021, Trump incited his supporters to attack the US Capitol. All hell broke loose! The insurrection caused damage to the Capitol Building and the deaths of at least five persons including one Capitol police officer. A year later, on Jan. 6, 2022, the January 6th Subcommittee that is investigating the insurrection, revealed that testimonies from witnesses

Fmr. U.S. Pres.Donald Trump

indicate the extent of the conspiracy to topple the US government by forcing the Senate to overturn the Electoral Count, which gave Biden 306 electoral votes to Trump’s 232 electoral votes. Had Vice President Mike Pence ruled to overturn the results in favor of Trump, he would still be sitting in the Oval Office today. Pence should be congratulated for resisting pressures from Trump and other Republicans to overturn the results of the election. Clearly, it was an attempt to execute a coup to install Trump as the election winner. Ultimately, Trump left the White House, defeated but not out of the game. He vowed to make a comeback in 2024. He opened an office in Palm Spring, Florida and put a big sign that says “Office of Former President Donald J. Trump.” He went to work right away, calling his allies and die-hard supporters, encouraging them to continue the fight to save America. He opened a fund-raising account called

(CANDID PERSPECTIVES: What the Voting....from page 10)

draw attention to the use of napalm in Vietnam, he staged an event where a dog was threatened to be burned alive on the library steps at Penn. When thousands turned up, they saw Kuromiya’s message: “Congratulations on your anti-napalm protest. You saved the life of a dog. Now, how about saving the lives of tens of thousands of people in Vietnam?” Later, Kuromiya became a legendary fighter for AIDS research, known as

the founder of Critical Path and a member of ACT-UP. Their creative non-violent actions kept issues important to them in full public view. Kuromiya died of AIDS in May 2000, just 56 years old. When you think about Dr. King, remember that the fight for civil rights was never just a black and white thing. Asian Americans have stood with Dr. King and learned from him in our

common struggle for equality. The best among us don’t give up, like Steven Kiyoshi Kuromiya, who fought until he could no longer. And is there a doubt how he’d answer Biden’s question: The world of Dr. King or the world of George Wallace? EMIL​ GUILLERMO​ is a veteran journalist and commentator. He was a member of the Honolulu Advertiser editorial board. Listen to him on Apple Podcasts. Twitter @emilamok.

“Save America PAC” and started sending out letters to millions of his supporters asking them for donations to his campaign to retake the White House. And his base responded enthusiastically. He raised $75 million in the first six months of the campaign. But Trump’s re-election requires maximizing – and expanding – the support of his “base,” which is the white voters without college degrees, in the key battleground states where he won in 2016. However, Trump is losing support among other voters – suburban white women, college-educated whites, blacks, Latinos, Asians, and other minority groups. As a result, Trump’s narrow path to victory would require high voter turnout by the so-called “working-class whites” in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, Wisconsin, and Michigan. And based on recent polls, his base is shrinking. The question is: What would his base look like in 2024? If the trend of his shrinking base continues, he’d be left with an unsubstantial number of die-hard supporters by the next presidential election, not enough to win the election. But Trump’s magical power to attract millions of MAGA die-hards has kept political

pundits wondering: What does it take to break his spell over his supporters? A few weeks ago, when Trump was interviewed on Bill O’Reilly’s “History Tour” on television, Trump announced he was vaccinated and received a booster shot. Instantly, his supporters booed him. The outcry was unbelievable. However, it was his undoing. Ever since the beginning of the pandemic, Trump was known to be against vaccination, which has conditioned the minds of his supporters to refuse to get vaccinated, believing that it is harmful to the body. Hence, many of his supporters began campaigning against vaccinations. Known as the “anti-vaxxers,” they resisted vaccination. When Trump announced that he’s been vaccinated and boosted as well, they rose in protest. And if Trump began losing the support of his anti-vaxxer base, it would create a backlash against him come 2024. So now, Trump would have to change his magic tune to keep his followers stay with him. Has the Pied Piper of Mar-a-Lago lost his touch with his MAGA followers? PERRY DIAZ is a writer, columnist and journalist who has been published in more than a dozen Filipino newspapers in five countries.



The Rosales Novels By Rose Cruz Churma


he Rosales Novels consist of five novels that use Philippine history as its backdrop – from the last days of the Spanish colonial period in the 1880s to the imposition of Martial Law in the 1970s. The novels were authored by F. Sionil Jose who passed away last Jan. 5. Born in Rosales town in Pangasinan in 1924, he was educated at the University of Santo Tomas and held various positions involving writing or editing. He is the recipient of various awards and grants such as the Ramon Magsaysay Foundation Award (1980) and the Carlos Palanca Award (1981). He also was awarded an EastWest Center Fellowship in 1980 and has been a featured speaker in local venues such as the Honolulu Museum of Arts in the 1980s. A prolific writer, he may be the only Filipino writer in English who has produced a series of novels that depicted a century of Philippine life as shown in the five-volume The Rosales Novels. He is considered the most widely known contemporary writer in foreign countries, where his writings have been translated into several languages: Japanese, Chinese, Russian,

German, Dutch, Ukranian, Slovak, Czeck, Thai, Indonesian, Malaysian, Hindi, Latvian – including Tagalog and Ilocano. The first in the chronology of the Rosales novels is Po-on, set in the latter decades of the nineteenth century. The novel documents the flight of a tenant family from the Ilocos to the plains of Eastern Pangasinan. The novel serves as context to two historical events: Apolinario Mabini’s visit to Rosales, Pangasinan and the battle of Tirad Pass where General Gregorio del Pilar met his end after skirmishes with the American forces. The second in the collection is Tree, where relationships between the native landowners/ employers and tenants/hirelings are explored, showing how the American policies instituted through legislation (such as free trade) impoverished the tenants of the land and the laborers of small-scale industries. But despite the injustices suffered during the American colonial regime, the Filipinos opted to fight the Japanese invaders hoping for better conditions after the war. My Brother, My Executioner, the third in the series is considered “the most dramatic.” Against the backdrop of the Hukbalahap uprising in the 1950s, the conflict between two

half-brothers and their different worlds are explored. It is noted in the book’s back cover that this publication was banned in 1973 by the Martial Law regime because it depicted events that were reminiscent of the times. Antonio Samson is the main protagonist in The Pretenders, the fourth novel in the series. This novel is the author’s most translated work – the story of Antonio Samson who overcame the disadvantages of rural birth, who manages to go on advanced schooling in the US and has to move in social circles different from what he had prepared himself to do. His is the story of many Filipinos who find themselves lost

– a fate that is often their own doing. He symbolizes the modern Filipino “who fails to act in a society bereft of decency and justice” as described in the book’s back cover. The major character in Mass, the fifth in the series, is Pepe Samson, the illegitimate son of Antonio Samson. Set during the years before and a little after the proclamation of martial rule in the Philippines, Pepe Samson escapes from his village in Pangasinan to live in Manila’s sprawling slum called Tondo. His journey may be likened to thousands of young Filipinos of that era who found meaning in their lives. Pepe’s story could also be an “affirmation of faith in the future” as envisioned by today’s Filipino youth. The author wrote this last book in the series in Paris in 1976 and first translated in Holland in 1982 where it became a best seller. “Sionil Jose writes evocatively,” Arthur Lundkvist of Stockholm notes in Svenska Akademien in his review of the author’s works. “Linguistically and artistically, he is no longer an author depending on a language and psychology whose origins are in colonialism but is truly an emancipated stylist, an interpreter of character and analyst of society.” Leopoldo Y. Yabes who was professor emeritus at Universi-

ty of the Philippines– Diliman observes that the Philippines has been under colonial rule for some four centuries with the fourth century depicted in The Rosales Novels, but despite this fact, the Philippines has survived as a national form and “…in the face of all the tragic events that happened in their lives, the people in Sionil Jose’s epic are felt to say, ‘we shall overcome’.” In reading through his novels, especially the first one – Poon, I can’t help wonder how it would resonate if initially written in Ilocano, the protagonists’ native language, rather than in English, the Filipinos’ borrowed language. The prose is complex and the dialogue sometimes stilted. However, the sentence structure of the characters’ conversations and monologues become more “contemporary” – short, casual sounding and more relatable in the last novel in the series, Mass. The five novels are available in a boxed format or can be acquired singly as stand-alone novels. For inquiries, please send an email to kalamansibooks@gmail.com. ROSE CRUZ CHURMA established a career in architecture 40 years ago, specializing in judicial facilities planning. As a retired architect, she now has the time to do the things she always wanted to do: read books and write about them, as well as encourage others to write.


State Regulators Settle With Hundreds of Mortgage Loan Originators


he Division of Financial Institutions, Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs and financial regulatory agencies from 42 other states reached with 441 mortgage loan originator nationwide, including 15 with Hawaii licenses. These mortgage loan originator deceptively claimed

they have completed the annual continuing education and pre-education requirements as required under state and federal law. Through these settlement, the mortgage loan originators agreed to surrender their license for three months and pay a fine of $1,000 for each state they hold a license in. They will

also take continuing education beyond Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act (SAFE Act) requirements. The irregularity in the originators’ education activity was discovered through the SAFE Act mandate’s online courses authentication tool BioSig-ID.

(HAWAII-FILIPINO NEWS: Hawaii Receives....from page 5)

Congressman Ed Case said the FEMA award will also assist the Hawaii Emergency Agency to fund emergency protective measures as a result of the pandemic. “This is great news for our severely overextend-

ed hospitals struggling with staffing shortages and healthcare workers closing in on two straight years of very difficult conditions as they continue to deal not just with record COVID-19 cases but other often-deferred medical needs,”

Case said. This funding announcement follows last month’s federal grant of more than $37 million under the American Rescue Plan for 391 healthcare providers to provide care across the state.



Our Hopes, Dreams and Prayers for 2022 By Seneca Moraleda-Puguan ue to dream big dreams and believe that 2022 will be a very start of the greater and better year. Let me share with you the year, my husband and I would hopes, the dreams and prayers write down our of some of my friends. faith goals and dreams for the Lilette Luna, a mother and new year and entrust them to doctor in a resource limited God as we fast and pray to- province in the Philippines I would say that my biggether with our global spirigest hope for 2022 is for the tual family. The past year had been pandemic to be over soon, a very challenging season and we could all go back to for many of us. Numer- the things were before this. ous dreams have been bro- But since that’s not realisken. Countless plans didn’t tically possible, I would go push through. Some prayers for the next best things that I seemed unanswered. Mil- know. As a mother during a lions of hopes have been shattered. But despite all pandemic, I hope and pray these, we acknowledge that that mothers like me would learn to recognize the opporGod is good and faithful. So, we continue to dream, tunities, or even create them, to hope, to pray and to be- to optimize my child’s development, especially in things lieve. For 2022, aside from that cannot be taught in praying for the pandemic to school: his social, emotional, end, we are believing as a relational, spiritual, and perfamily for wisdom and clear sonal growth. As a healthcare worker, I direction as to where God hope that this year, there will will bring us next. We are also claiming for be greater appreciation for us healing and protection upon frontliners. I hope for tangiour loved ones, and declar- ble change such as legislative ing overflowing provision innovations to improve our and blessings so we can be work environment, compena blessing to many. We pray sation, working hours and that God will bless the works to protect our physical and of our hands and honor the mental health as well as our desires of our hearts as we rights as human beings and abide and acknowledge Him workers. As a mother and a frontin all our ways. And many are hopeful liner, my only prayer is that like us. Many still contin- my own child will be safe,


healthy so we can serve one another and advance God’s kingdom together. I know God will continue to provide for us and my confidence belongs to Him. We are praying that God will give us our own house and lot this year. We’ve been praying for it since my wife and I got married and we are in faith we will receive healthy and thriving as I help that promise very soon. other parents keep their chil- Thank you, God, for everydren safe, healthy and secure. thing! Thank you, Jesus, for always being there for us. Chique Esgueera, homeschooling mother and entre- Glen Kitong, father and preneur factory worker in South My prayer for 2022 is for Korea God to help me instill order As a father and an in our schedule and routines. Overseas Filipino Worker, I hope for unlimited creativity my hope for 2022 is for the to engage my kids and make pandemic to be controlled learning for fun for them. As and stabilized. This have an entrepreneur, I’m believ- affected every aspect of our ing in God for more creative lives including the econoideas and open doors for my, jobs, businesses and the good suppliers of raw mate- education of our children. rials and services. I hope to My dream for 2022 is to be hone my skills from sewing to able to go to Canada. Dedriving, to sourcing/handling spite South Korea being the manpower and of course, best for OFWs to earn and God’s guidance and abun- save money, the chances of dant provision to reestablish permanent residency is very at least who businesses this slim. Canada promises a year. bigger dream not only for Noel Revilleza, pastor and a father of two and a two-time COVID survivor My main prayer and hope for 2022 is for my family to be in excellent health. As much as we want excellence in our spiritual and emotional health, we want our family to be always

me but for my whole family. My prayer is for the continuous protection of my family and loved ones against COVID-19, and from any form of harm or danger. I also hoep to be able to have a smooth transition from South Korea to Canada. Ferdie Javier, campus mis-


Proposed Bill Aims to Eliminate Down Payment Barrier to Home Ownership “We want to reward the


awaii District 17 Representative Gene Ward aims to eliminate the down payment requirement on home buying in newly proposed bill. “A down payment is the biggest barrier to home ownership in Hawaii and forces almost 50% of our population to be renters all of their lives,” Ward stated in a statement.

The statement also explains that since interest rates are still low, Ward’s proposed bill fits the current economy and housing market. Existing down payments vary from 5 to 20% of the total house price can still be prohibitive even for the most and Ward says it’s the reason why Hawaii has one of the lowest home-owner-

ship-to-renters ratios in the nation. Ward’s proposed bill requires homebuyers to meet four criteria to be eligible for a no down payment purchase: a high credit score, a resident of Hawaii for 5 years, employed with sufficient income to meet monthly payments and a first time homebuyer.

hardworking people of Hawaii with the ability to buy a home rather than moving to the mainland to live the American dream,” said Ward. “We also hope this will also start a “Kama’aina Come Home” movement to stop the ‘brain drain’ to the mainland and bring back our many families to Hawaii.”

sionary and his family survived but lost their home due to the recent Typhoon Odette It’s my hope for my family to be together and for my parents to have their own business. I pray for provision upon my sibling looking for a job and excellence for my other sibling currently in grade school. I hope very soon our house will be built again and this new year brings more opportunities and sources of income for my family. I’m hoping too that the local government in our province will have a better response to the needs of those badly affected by the typhoon. I also pray that eventually, the world will be COVID-free. Despite everything that’s happening, I have high hopes for this year. Stephanie Sodeke, an expat, campus missionary and model in South Korea I hope to pay off my credit card debt. Once it’s paid off, I can use the extra finances for savings or being a blessing to others. I hope to meet my future husband. I also dream of using my platform of modeling and acting to influence young people towards the hope of Jesus Christ. Excellent health for the whole family, freedom from debt, overflowing provision, acquisition of a house and building of a broken one, smooth transition to a new season, open doors and opportunities, legislative reform in the healthcare system – these are just some of the million things all of us are hoping and praying for this 2022. Despite the many questions we have, the trials we experience and the uncertainties we face, we have a God who is good, faithful and true. He is sovereign and powerful. With Him, nothing is impossible. He will carry us through, and He will give us our breakthroughs. How about you? What are your hopes, dreams and prayers for 2022? Be in faith! The answers and breakthroughs might take time, but they will all come to pass.



Understand the Causes and Risks Of Glaucoma & Schedule Routine Eye Exams By HFC Staff


he American Academy of Ophthalmology has named January Glaucoma Awareness Month. Glaucoma is a leading cause of irreversible blindness in the United States, while the most common presentation of glaucoma often has no noticeable symptoms in its early stages. When glaucoma develops, vision loss progresses so gradually that people affected by the condition are often unaware of it until their sight has already been compromised.

Due to the lack of symptoms in most cases of glaucoma, the American Academy of Ophthalmology advises the public that the best defense against developing glaucoma-related blindness is to maintain routine, comprehensive eye exams. Dr. Steven Rhee of Hawaiian Eye of Hawaiian Eye Center shares, “Like many illnesses that progress slowly over time, the best preventative measure against developing vision loss from glaucoma is by early detection of symptoms, only possible by having regular eye exams. When glaucoma is in its early stages, most vision loss is preventable with early

After a Divorce

detection and medical intervention.” The most common form of glaucoma is open-angle glaucoma, in which the drainage angle for eye fluid remains open. Open-angle glaucoma is the most common presentation with the gradual onset of symptoms, without pain. Less common types of glaucoma include closed-angle glaucoma and normal-tension glaucoma, which can come on gradually

or suddenly. The sudden presentation may involve severe eye pain, blurred vision, and other bodily symptoms. Those most at risk of developing glaucoma include those: • Aged 40 and older • Who are siblings of people diagnosed with glaucoma or have a family history of glaucoma • Of African and Hispanic descent in older age groups • Diagnosed with diabetes or high blood pressure • Who have had an eye injury or eye surgery

Most known risk factors of glaucoma are not preventable and the optic nerve is unable to regenerate after


By Sheryll Bonilla, Esq.


etirement Pay Getting your share of your exspouse’s retirement pay isn’t automatic with the divorce decree. The plan administrator isn’t bound by what the judge orders in the decree because the divorce doesn’t involve third parties. You’ll need a separate order, called a Qualified Domestic Relations Order. Most family law attorneys stop representing a client at the decree and usually inform their clients to find a new attorney to prepare the QDRO. This after-divorce order directs the plan administrator

to divide up your ex-spouse’s retirement benefits and send your share to you. When the benefits are a defined amount (for example, a defined contribution plan), the company can tell you the dollar value of what you will get and send it in a lump sum. For other types of benefits, such as annuities or pensions, where the benefit will be paid to your ex over many years, the company will simply split the payments and send each of you the share the judge orders. Your share of your exspouse’s retirement benefits is calculated using what is called the Linson formula.

any damage has occurred. However, glaucoma can be controlled with an early diagnosis and treatment to slow down or stop further damage. Treatment for glaucoma ranges from topical medications to laser surgery, which helps to lower the internal pressure of the eye and resulting symptoms. For people of older age groups or with a family history of glaucoma should have a comprehensive dilated eye exam every two to three years from an eye care professional to check for glaucoma and other eye diseases. People at higher risk of developing glaucoma should get eye exams annually, including those 40 and over or with other known risk factors.

This takes into consideration how long the two of you were married, how long your former spouse worked at the company and earned the retirement benefits, and what the overlap was between the marriage and the employment. This calculation is included in the divorce decree and will be also set in the QDRO so the retirement plan administrator knows how much each of you will get. You may not get it right after the divorce because generally, your ex must reach the age where they’re eligible to receive the benefits before a distribution can be made. It is still best to prepare the order and submit it to the retirement plan to preserve your rights to the share. If your ex-spouse marries again, their new spouse acquires rights to the retirement pay. The company could go into bankruptcy. Your exspouse could die before you start collecting. Sending the QDRO to the

company gives it notice to set aside the amount owed to you and that you are to be the recipient. If you wait too long and your ex starts collecting in the meantime, plans won’t go through the trouble of recouping those amounts that were supposed to be yours to give to you. So, the lesson is – spend the little extra to have the QDRO prepared, signed by the judge, and submitted to the retirement plan to preserve your claim to ex-spouse’s retirement pay.

Wills and Trusts It’s a good idea to update wills and trusts made during a marriage. Couples typically give all their assets to their spouse on their death and name their spouse as personal representative or successor trustee.

While a divorce decree generally revokes gifts to a former spouse, it doesn’t cancel gifts made to your in-laws. A decree also does not undo your ex-Spouse or in-laws as your personal representative or successor trustee. That may make it difficult for your alternates to handle your estate after your passing. If you named your inlaws as guardian for your children in case you die, that’s another thing you might want to consider.

Power of Attorney and Advance Healthcare Directive Spouses typically name each other as their agent to handle financial and medical matters in case one isn’t able to do so. Think about who you now want to be your agent and have those old documents revoked and updated to name the new individuals you want to take care of things for you when you can’t. 

This article is for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as offering legal advice. Please consult an attorney for your individual situation. The author is not responsible for a reader’s reliance on the information contained here.



Celebrating the Life of Juan “Johnny” Ader G

od saw he was getting tired And a cure was not to be, So He put His arms around him And whispered, “Come with me.” With tearful eyes we watched him suffer, And saw him fade away. Although we loved him dearly, We could not make him stay. A golden heart stopped beating. Hard working hands put to rest, God broke our hearts to prove to us He only takes the best.


uan “Johnny” Ader of Waipahu passed away on Friday, Jan. 14, 2022 at the age of 79. He is survived by his wife Carlota, his children Teresa Marie (Dave) Ader-Doumont of Pennsylvania and Glory Jane (Dwight) Yorke of Las Vegas, his three grandchildren, Chantelle’ Marie, Arianna and Mason, brothers, Leopoldo “Poldo” (Josephine) Ader of Waianae, Aurelio “Elio” (Tessie) Ader Sr. of Waianae, and sister, Lorena (John) Ader-Benigno of Las Vegas and also many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father and

mother, the late Jaime and Bernarda Ader. Johnny graduated from Radford High School and earned a degree in Hotel Business Management from Cannon’s Business College. He was drafted by the army and served in Vietnam. He was employed by Sheraton Hotels for over 30 years, where he retired. He was an active member of the community serving as a Board of Governors of the United Filipino Council of Hawaii and Board of Director of the La Union Circle of Hawaii. He was

President of the Young Builder’s Club of the Philippines. He and Carlota were the first couple to Adopt a Priest sponsored by the Agustinian Sisters under the late Sister Dorothy Grace Juan ‘Johnny’ Ader Lim and sponsored Reverend Father Junio “JoJo,” late parish priest of St. Joseph of Waipahu, where he served as a Eucharistic Minister. When not in his “suit and tie,” his favorite pastimes included fishing, diving for “tako,” reading the newspaper, taking his daily walks, and watching karate/action movies. More information on services to follow.

the penalty of “perpetual disqualification from holding any public office” is a principal penalty and there is need for the court to “impose” it. But the CA did not impose it on Marcos. Consequently, the representation of Marcos in his COC that he is eligible to be elected to the office of president and that he has not been found liable for an offense which carries with it the accessory penalty of perpetual disqualification from holding public office are not false. OBSERVATION: This is not the end of the disqualification story for Marcos. The petitioners are expected to appeal all the way to the Supreme Court. There are other

cases seeking to disqualify him which are still pending in the COMELEC. Will the Supreme Court and the COMELEC resolve all the cases in his favor? Abangan.

(WHAT’S UP, ATTORNEY: One Disqualification....from page 7)

as to one’s qualifications for public office.” Salcedo v. COMELEC. The COMELEC indicated that Marcos “cannot be said to have deliberately attempted to mislead, misinform, or hide a fact which would otherwise render him ineligible.” The CA Decision did not categorically hold that Marcos is convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude nor did it mete the penalty of imprisonment of more than 18 months or declare him perpetually disqualified from holding public office. When he answered “NO” to Item 22, he had no basis to answer in the affirmative. When Marcos declared in Item 11 that he was eligible for President, he did so because there was nothing in the CA decision that

categorically apprised him that he was suffering from any ineligibility for the position of President. He sincerely believed that he is eligible for said office and he had no reason at all to think otherwise. The COMELEC noted that the Supreme Court already ruled in 2009 in Republic v. Marcos that Marcos’s conviction for “failure to file an income tax return is not a crime involving moral turpitude”. Therefore when he declared that he is eligible for the position of President, he was telling the truth.

Concurring opinion In a separate concurring opinion, Commissioner Kho said that

ATTY. TIPON has a Master of Laws degree from Yale Law School and a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of the Philippines. His current practice focuses on immigration law and appellate criminal defense. He has written books and legal articles for the world’s largest law book publishing company and writes legal articles for newspapers. Listen to The Tipon Report which he co-hosts with son Noel, the senior partner of the Bilecki & Tipon Law Firm. It is considered the most witty, interesting, and useful radio show in Hawaii. KNDI 1270 AM band every Thursday at 8:00 a.m. Atty. Tipon served as a U.S. Immigration Officer. He co-authored the best-seller “Immigration Law Service, 1st ed.,” an 8-volume practice guide for immigration officers and lawyers. Atty. Tipon was born in Laoag City, Philippines. Tel. (808) 800-7856. Cell Phone (808) 225-2645. E-Mail: filamlaw@yahoo.com. Websites: https://www.tiponlaw.com. (Sagot sa Krosword Blg. 13 | January 8, 2021)

KROSWORD ni Carlito Lalicon

Blg. 14


1. Kapital ng Azerbaijan 5. Asarulin 13. Pugon 14. Masaya 15. Tulong 16. Iwaksi 17. Patulugin 18. Mano 19. Isang uri ng saging 21. Lehislahan 22. Nebera 24. Tukso 25. Engranahe ng makina 26. Balangay 28. Paglilipat-tanim ng binhi;


1. Repaso 2. Apostol 3. Paskel 4. Numero uno 5. Atin 6. Alimuom 7. Tamad 8. Ada 9. Ang matigas na ubod ng mga ugat 10. Galos sa balat na likha

32. Pakuluan sa tubig 34. Atin 35. Iunlad 36. Panghalip na paari 37. Alipusta 39. Maleta 40. Isang uri ng malaking sasakyan 42. Bulador 44. Alisto 48. Patumalmal 49. Ipinanganak 51. Panunulsol 52. Bayad sa karga 53. Mapasa-ilalim ang isipan sa impluwensiya ng

demonyo o kasamaan 56. Alkoholiko 54. Utay-utay 57. Luto na sinaing 55. Ningning

ng matatalim na dulo ng matataas na damo tulad ng kugon 11. Igawa 12. Baryo 13. Alterno 15. Manginig 18. Bukana 20. Bawang 23. Ibang anyo ng ‘pumitas’ 27. Pagkat

29. Kaibahan 30. Yakap-yakap 31. Pigain 33. Kabinet 35. Ibinuhos o inilipat sa ibang bote 37. Magluwal 38. Balat ng palay na humihiw 41. Ensayuhin 43. Pagtutulad

44. Isang kagamitan ng mga karpintero 45. Isang uri ng matigas na punongkahoy 46. Lasong galing sa impeksiyon 47. Lahok 50. Linis na kita 53. Manang (Ang sagot ay matutunghayan sa susunod na isyu ng Chronicle)

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