Hawaii Filipino Chronicle - February 19, 2022

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FEBRUARY 19, 2022


50 Years of Mutual Love & Respect Shared with Families and the Community CANDID PERSPECTIVES

Super Bowl Made Me Wonder: Will There Ever Be Another Roman Gabriel?


Can Democracy Survive in Trump’s America


Waipahu HS Wins State Lifesmarts Competition



Pandemic Numbers Show Dramatic Improvements, But Let’s Not Kid Ourselves That the Pandemic Is Over


he dramatic drop in national and local stats of COVID-19 infections and COVID-related fatalities look very promising that we could be heading out of this historic crisis. Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said it is time for the United States to start inching back towards normality, despite remaining risks from COVID-19. Public health officials announced Feb. 16 that they are working on new COVID-19 guidelines as Omicron’s peak is now behind us. Several states, including those like California and Oregon that have adopted strict and tough safety restrictions since the beginning of the pandemic three years ago, have announced they are lifting mask mandates in schools and other public settings in the coming weeks.



ollowing a major surge in COVID-19 due to the Omicron variant late December 2021 and January 2022, the good news is there has been a seven-day average of daily cases drop by 40% from just last week, a daily hospital admission average drop by 28% and an average daily deaths drop by 9%, according to CDC data. Health officials are saying we are in transition from COVID being a crisis to something we can better protect against. For our cover story this issue, associate editor Edwin Quinabo reports on the latest COVID-19 infections trends in Hawaii and nationally, as well as the latest in CDC guidance for vaccinations and local mask-wearing guidance. As of press time, maskwear in our State is still mandatory for indoor gatherings at businesses and large outdoor events. The DOH has a new COVID-19 hotline. The State Legislature is proposing the establishment of a temporary Office of Wellness and Resilience to deal with issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. As US public health officials work on future COVID-19 public guidance after Omicron, the emphasis on getting vaccinated remains. The CDC says vaccination is the most effective tool to protect us from the virus developing into serious health conditions requiring hospitalization. Get the latest in vaccination community outreach, including a unique service provided by FilCom CARES, a project of the Filipino Community Center, that provides on-site home vaccines. Our Filipino community share their own experiences contracting COVID (a surge of cases were reported this January) and why vaccines matter. February is American Heart Health month. Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the U.S. In Healthline News, the American Heart Association (AHA) provides tips to help keep our hearts in check. We also have another Healthline News on risk levels of developing Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD). February being the month of love, we have an article on Jimmy Adaoag and Kathy Aguda “50 Years of Mutual Love and Respect.” HFC columnist Seneca Moraleda-Puguan contributes an inspirational article “In Sickness and in Health” on how love has prevailed in marriages during the pandemic. With Super Bowl mania just concluding, HFC columnist Emil Gujllermo writes about Roman Gabriel. Outside of the world of football fanhood, Gabriel is not very known. Gabriel is the first Filipino American quarterback to gain fame in the NFL, playing for 16 seasons, mostly with the Los Angeles Rams from 1962-1972, where he was the NFL’s Most Valuable Player in 1969. “Roman Gabriel is an example of NFL’s hidden diversity,” says Emil. HFC contributor Rose Cruz Churma reviews a novel on a middle class family and their struggles during the dark decade of Philippine history, the 1970s when Marcos declared martial law. Lastly, we have other interesting columns and informative news, including Maui County Council’s proposal to establish visitor fees that would fund environmental-protection projects; U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono and other senators concern over a Department of Defense report highlighting failures within the department to screen and prevent suicide among veterans, and more. Thank you for supporting the Hawaii Filipino Chronicle through the years. Until next issue, warmest Aloha and Mabuhay!

Keeping it all into perspective While the numbers look encouraging, at the same time we cannot forget that as recently as the last week of November 2021, politicians and public health officials were also riding high in confidence that the worst of the pandemic has gone by. Then suddenly, Omicron came as a deadly storm sweeping across the nation infecting far more Americans than any previous COVID-19 variant. No one expected this to happen including public health officials and politicians at the highest level. In December 2021 after the breakout of Omicron, Vice President Kamala Harris spoke honestly about the pandemic. Perhaps, too honestly as she was criticized for making the following comment. “We didn’t see Delta coming. I think most scientists did not — upon whose advice and direction we have relied — didn’t see Delta coming,” she said. “We didn’t see Omicron coming. And that’s the nature of what this, this awful virus has been, which as it turns out, has mutations and variants.” VP Harris spoke unlike a politician here. Gave us the truth, even as Biden himself has been of late talking up the administration’s progress in battling COVID. The reality is no one knows the future of COVID-19. It could be that our nation, the world, is lucky that Omicron did not have the deadly force of Delta and original COVID-19, given how much more contagious Omicron is and the extremely high number of breakthrough cases. No one knows if there will be a next COVID-19 mutation. No one knows if existing vaccinations will hold up against a future COVID variant should there be one. As for the current COVID-19 statistic, certainly it’s positive and an upward trend. But in three years we’ve seen multiple upswings followed by surges. This has been the pattern all along. And putting into perspective, the current seven-day daily average of COVID-19 cases at 147,000 – that’s hardly cause for some new sense of security. If there were 147,000 average daily infections in the U.S. when Trump was in office, it’s highly unlikely that the media and top public health officials would be signaling continue to talk about restrictions and safety is politically risky the end of the pandemic is near, as what we are seeing now. especially in an election year. We are so tired of the pandemic that we are already willing What’s really happening to accept a tradeoff of high infections rate and COVID-related The truth is practically everyone is tired of the pandemic fatalities for getting back to normal life. (continue on page 3) and wants to return to normalcy. Politicians know this. And to

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



President Biden Is Right to Put Diplomacy First and Avoid Threats of Military Conflict in Ukraine Crisis


he U.S. going into a major regional conflict with Russia over Ukraine would be devastating. Our country is barely out of the pandemic that put us deeper in national debt. The U.S. is still rebounding economically. We are in the midst of high inflation that no one really knows how long it will take to settle down. The country is already overburdened with uncertainty and anxiety. Imagine how much more a conflict with Russia, arguably the second or third strongest world superpower (at least militarily) would add to the stressors of life Americans are already having to cope with. The U.S. war in Afghanistan had just ended last year. It started in 2001 and most Americans from political analysts and across demographic spectrum would agree that the U.S. war in Afghanistan was a huge mistake. So was our military action against Iraq and Syria. The justification for these wars -- that lasted 20 years – of stopping terrorism from reaching U.S. shores was far more compelling and urgent than the Ukraine-Russia re(Pandemic....from page 2)

Think about it -- 147,000 average daily infections in the U.S. and states are already revising COVID-19 policies to be laxed. To Hawaii’s credit, there is a reason why our state has fared much better than most in the nation. Unlike other liberal-leaning states, as of press time, Hawaii hasn’t changed its mask-wearing policy. It might be soon. But as Gov. David Ige and county mayors have been doing all along, they’ve sided with precise caution. Clearly, there should come a time to return to normalcy. For example, we’ve already assessed that risk when we’ve decided schools must return to in-class learning last year. But it’s questionable if that time has already come to lift

gional situation unfolding. And 20 years later, we have regret. Haven’t we learned that we cannot be entering all regional conflicts that arise? Economists say that today we’re still paying for the 20-year Middle East wars on terror. A report from the Costs of War project at Brown University revealed that 20 years of post-9/11 wars have cost the U.S. an estimated $8 trillion and have killed more than 900,000 people. The war on terror has been complex, devastating and a failure. And a potential conflict with a major super power as Russia would likely be even more complex, devastating, and in the end a failure of epic proportion that future Americans would see as a mistake and misadventure into regional conflict that we should have avoided. War-hawks are already justifying a war with Russia, saying it’s the year 2022 and we cannot be having a country invade another country without military consequence. Yes, it is 2022, and we also shouldn’t be risking so much over a conflict that isn’t of major strategic importance to the U.S. At most, Ukraine is a geographic buffer that separates

Russia from NATO countries. If going to war over a buffer state (which is what’s really at risk, not to save Ukraine’s democracy, as war hawks are saying) then let these NATO countries that are really far more at risk, take on most of the burdens of war, financially and with a greater proportion of their own troops. It’s absurd that war hawks are even mentioning Ukraine’s democracy, of saving it, as justification for entering a conflict. First, that “domino effect” theory that propelled us to enter and go to war with Vietnam is already discredited. We’ve since learned that countries must find their own way and determine their own self-governance at their own pace. Another example besides Vietnam is our latest intervention in Afghanistan. As soon as the U.S. left, the Taliban (not a pro-democracy force by any stretch) took over. Second, how insincere for these same Americans who would want to risk a war with Russia over “democracy” be blind to our own country’s threat to democracy. Shouldn’t we be dealing with these threats to democracy in our own backyard first? The typical war hawk

broad critical safeguards like mask-wearing. It’s not like we’re seeking to balance public health with the economy as we did in 2020 and the very early part of 2021. Most businesses already have been operating at near 100% with only mask mandates in place. There hasn’t been a lockdown in months, even this past January 2022 when COVID cases skyrocketed. The reality is the country has been open for business a long time ago. This sudden urgency to claim to be returning to normal is relative. In many practical aspects, we’ve already achieved that. We don’t hear of a CARES ACT part 4 in deliberation. Why? Because there’s hardly restrictive impediments left imposed onto

businesses, except on some businesses in some states with regard to proof of vaccinations. And given that there is still 147,000 average daily infections in the U.S., vaccination mandates is hardly an excessive trade-off of individual liberties over public health, or an unreasonable sacrifice at this current juncture of the pandemic. Vaccination is not federally mandated and failed to be enacted earlier this year. Let’s resist giving into political expediency, show patience, and see through this pandemic successfully. Let’s get vaccinated. And when the numbers truly reflect that we’re ready to move on (not 147,000 average daily infections), we can revise safeguards, what little that’s left.

traditionally in the U.S. has been the staunch Republican. If Republicans happen to be pounding the war drums in this latest potential conflict over “saving democracy” (as they always have been doing to justify all conflicts) they should be reminded that they themselves as a party are the biggest threats to democracy here in the U.S. The examples are too abundant and fresh to point out here.

Correct course at this time While military intervention would be a disastrous mistake, the U.S. and NATO allies should be very firm and resolute about exacting trade and economic sanctions that will hurt Russia if Putin decides to invade Ukraine. If Russia decides to take further extreme action like going beyond Ukraine in hopes of recapturing former Soviet states, or Russia directly attacks NATO-member nations for exacting trade and economic sanctions over Ukraine – now then, should that happen, a military option should be considered. President Joe Biden is smart for not talking about potential military options at this stage. His emphasis on finding diplomatic solutions

and at a worst case scenario exacting economic sanction are reasonable. The last scenario the U.S. would want at this stage is for Biden to make a threat of military action then not actually be prepared to follow through on such threats should Russia actually invade Ukraine. That would discredit the U.S. stature and standing as a world super power. President Biden has said the right things and have made appropriate, calculating, reasonable threats that the U.S. can commit to at this stage. He, and Congress, must move forward with extreme caution. After all, we’re dealing with another super power with nuclear weapons. Biden and NATO allies are also right to engage in person-to-person, high-level discussions with Vladimir Putin. French President Emmanuel Marcon already met with Putin. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is scheduled to do the same. As a group, NATO must exhaust all and every diplomatic solution to avoid conflict. We hope that Putin, as he has said to French President Marcon, that Russia will not escalate the Ukraine crisis.



COVID-19 Infections Trends, Latest CDC Recommendation, Local Guidelines and New Resources by Edwin Quinabo


harlene Madamba, Kapolei, 62, was infected with COVID-19 late December 2021 during the Omicron variant surge. On Christmas day, her son, an RN at one of Honolulu’s largest hospitals, woke up feeling fatigued, had body aches and a runny nose. He tested positive for COVID-19 and had to call in sick that day. At Omicron’s peak, hospital staff have been severely shorthanded nationwide with so many employees out with COVID-19. By late December and January 2022, most hospitals nationwide lowered their isolation period for staff infected from previously 10 days to six. Due to Omicron’s milder effects on the body and ongoing staff shortage, by February 2022, some hospitals have adopted a policy that allowed hospital workers infected with COVID-19 but are symptom-free to continue working uninterrupted. Charlene said her son infected the entire household with COVID-19. “But thank goodness none of us developed severe cases that would require hospitalization. I’m just glad that I decided to get vaccinated because I was one of Hawaii Department of Health officials reported 203 new cases of covid, bringing the total since the pandemic to 232,505 infections, as of February 16, 2022. New covid-related fatalities in the last 7 days are 41, bringing total fatalities to 1,240, according to the DOH’s data dashboard. The latest Hawaii COVID-19 vaccine summary says 2,769,017 vaccine doses have been administered through state and federal distribution programs as of Feb. 16, 2022. Health officials say that 75.6% of the state’s population is now fully vaccinated. 33.1% of the state’s population received a booster

those who were late to be vaccinated. The outcome could have been different if I hadn’t got vaccinated.” While Omicron can still be dangerous, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows patients are being hospitalized, landing in the ICU and dying at lower rates than with earlier variants. The CDC said even if only a small percentage of people with Omicron infection need hospitalization, the large volume of cases could overwhelm the healthcare system which is why it’s important to take steps to protect yourself. Omicron has sent new cases of COVID-19 exploding to over 700,000 a day in the U.S. on average, at its peak last month. That total obliterated the record set a year ago at Delta’s peak. The number of Americans in the hospital with the virus is running at about 108,000, just short of the peak of 124,000 last January 2021. Some health care workers have expressed frustration over the “milder effects” of Omicron being emphasized by the media and public health officials, even though it is scientifically accurate. They complain they’re still working just as hard since the start of the pandemic

shot; most in this group are deaths. UH JABSOM is also ages 65 to 74. working on a study that could Vaccination and community help people with severe complications such as difficulty outreach The University of Ha- in breathing (typically what waii John A. Burns School leads COVID-19 patients to of Medicine (UH JABSOM) check into a hospital). It’s and EMME INC. teamed up specifically looking at telmisto make two new public ser- artan, a common blood presvice announcements encour- sure medicine that counteraging the Filipino communi- acts the RAS system. For this project JABSOM is seeking ty to get fully vaccinated. According to the Depart- people who’ve recently been ment of Health, Hawaii’s Fili- infected with COVID-19 to pino community has been the participate in its 21-day clinisecond hardest hit communi- cal trials. Participants will be ty, only behind non-Hawaiian reimbursed $60 for each visit, Pacific Islanders. Filipino and four appointments. Kaiser Permanente in HaPacific Islanders account for 41% of all COVID cases in waii awarded grants to HaHawaii and make up rough- waii Public Health Institute ly 44% of all COVID-related and the Filipino Community

and that COVID-19 still poses a threat especially among the unvaccinated and those with underlying health conditions. “Our household may have dodged hospitalization, but besides being sick for a week to 10 days, we missed out on New Year’s eve celebrations and a baby shower due to the timing of our infection. It was valued time with family taken away. The attitude towards COVID-19 many have now is ‘If I get Covid, it ain’t so bad.’ But people should realize that there are others still dying from the virus. You never know how your body will take to the virus. It’s still best to be safe,” said Madamba.

Center. Close to $250K will support COVID-19 vaccination efforts in Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, and non-English speaking communities. “Oftentimes, members from underserved communities don’t have access to mass vaccination events or other public vaccination locations,” said Greg Christian, Hawaii Market president, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals. “Meeting the community members where they are makes it easier for everyone to stay protected against COVID-19.” FilCom CARES, a project of the Filipino Community Center, holds vaccination clinics at the FilCom Center

in Waipahu and testing opportunities to Filipino communities in Hawaii. It also provides at-home vaccinations. Lawrence Pagulayan, Waipahu, supports vaccinations. He’s grateful that his mom was fully vaccinated with a booster at the time she contracted COVID-19 while being exposed to it at her workplace. He also supports vaccination mandates and encourages people who are “anti-vax to be fully educated with regard to its health benefits.” Lawrence says he does his part in keeping the virus under control by wearing a mask and following CDC (continue on page 5)


COVER STORY (COVID-19....from page 4)

protocols. The CDC said COVID-19 vaccines remain the best public health measure to protect people from COVID-19 and reduce the likelihood of new variants emerging. This includes primary series shots, booster shots and additional doses for those who need them. Scientists are still learning how effective vaccines are at preventing infections from Omicron. Data shows there are significant cases of breakthrough infections. While getting vaccinated does not prevent getting infected with Omicron or even spreading the virus, the CDC says vaccines help to keep the vaccinated from developing serious illness. Mrs. Vannie A (complete name withheld) of Waipahu is fully vaccinated and says she takes extra care not to get the virus because she has a 2-years old son who cannot get vaccinated yet. “I must protect him from the virus because I don’t really know how the virus will affect his health.” Pfizer and BioNTech filed a request with the US Food and Drug Administration in the first week of February for an emergency use authorization of their vaccine in children 6 months to 5 years old. As of press time, children ages 6 months through 4 years may soon become eligible for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, according to the CDC. Children ages 5 through 11 years are already eligible to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. Vannie said, “My biggest concern about the COVID-19 is what will be the effect to the body of those who have underlying conditions. If this virus will be like the common flu, we have to just live with it and just be careful and cautious not to catch it. We just need to accept that this virus is part of our future now.” Like a vast majority of healthcare workers, Josephine Lamarca, RN, believes in the efficacy of vaccinations. “The people who don’t want to get vaccinated should think twice. They can get themselves or their love ones very sick and

lose them to COVID.” She sees the future of COVID-19 to be similar to the flu with most people getting a shot for it annually. Just four days ago (Feb. 13, 2022), Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told The Financial Times that the fullblown pandemic phase of COVID-19 might be nearing an end and that normality may be around the corner. COVID-19 anti-vaxxers Despite community outreach and public awareness campaigns on the efficacy of the covid vaccinations, close to a quarter of the US population are against getting vaccinated, have doubts about vaccine safety, efficacy. Whether knowledge on the vaccines are true or false, the internet is such a powerful communications tool that experts say anyone can find others with the same beliefs and find reinforcement. It’s like an echo chamber effect where alternative views to their own are disregarded. Judy V. Ilar RN,BSN,RA, said on vaccination mandates, “People have the right to choose. Whether a person chooses to be vaccinated or unvaccinated is a personal decision that ought to be respected by the government.” She said, “All the people I know that tested positive [for covid] are all vaccinated. People that I know that are unvaccinated have not been infected to this date.” On testing, Ilar said, “Covid home kits some used were giving false readings. For example, Person A, took a home Covid test in which she tested negative, then 24 hours later she tested positive.” Ilar wears a mask she says is a specialized mask from Israel SonoviaTech. “It’s a high-tech textile that has been proven to destroy virus, bacteria on contact.” “Covid 19 virus doesn’t scare me. I am concerned about the politics behind Covid-19…the only way to beat this virus is to stop the vaccination,” said Ilar.

Latest CDC recommendation, local safety guidelines, new resources *NEW BOOSTER SHOT TIMELINE: The CDC has been recommending that immunocompromised people who got an mRNA vaccine get an additional booster, a fourth shot, at least five months after their third shot. It’s going to revise these guidelines to encourage a booster at three months instead. This applies to people 18 and older who got the Moderna vaccine and people 12 and older who got the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. *As of press time, the guidelines for Oahu include: 1) there’s no restriction on social gatherings at home, but there are some restrictions for non-commercial events held at a business or event space. 2) 100% capacity is allowed at businesses, but masks must be worn indoors at businesses. 3) confirmation of vaccination or testing is required for all indoor fitness facilities and classes for all indoor and outdoor businesses where food or beverage is served. 4) 100% capacity is allowed for all outdoor events and for indoor events under 1000 attendees; masks must be worn at all events indoors and outdoors (events category includes weddings, funerals, concerts, sporting events, private parties held at businesses or events venues). On mask wear, Dr. Melinda Ashton, Hawaii Pacific Health chief quality officer told KITV4, “When you’re in a public indoor setting with other people where transmission could be occurring among strangers, that’s when masks still makes sense.” *NEW RESOURCE: DOH has a new COVID-19 Hotline. Callers can get answers on what to do after being tested positive and who can get a booster shot. “The hotline provides information about isolation, quarantine, booster shots and

“When you’re in a public indoor setting with other people where transmission could be occurring among strangers, that’s when masks still makes sense.” — Dr. Melinda Ashton, Hawaii Pacific Health chief quality officer more. It is especially useful for people who have tested positive or have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19. It is also useful for businesses where there is more than one COVID case,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Kemble. *WEBSITE: questions can be sent and answered at website hawaiicovid19.com *AT THE LEGISLATURE: There is a bill (HB1970/SB2482) that would establish a temporary Office of Wellness and Resilience within the Office of the Governor. It authorizes the Office to address issues and implement solutions to improve wellness and resilience, including issues and solutions identified by the Trauma-Informed Care Task Force. Supporters of the bill say an Office of Wellness and Resilience is more needed than ever, as the COVID-19 pandemic has been directly or indirectly devastating to many of our community members.

Being thankful Madamba said “It took a while for me to get vaccinated, believe in and follow safety guidelines. I used to think early in the pandemic that everything about COVID-19 was exaggerated. But in my case I think the timing for me to jump on board and take things seriously was a blessing. Because I did eventually get COVID-19; but after being fully vaccinated. “I’m thankful for the constant public health awareness and actions taken by our government and private health sector. If it weren’t for their repeated calls for safety and guidance, I believe even more people could be dying from COVID-19.” The latest U.S. numbers (Feb. 17, 2022) from the New York Times and Our World in Data shows 78.1 million infections, 927,000 COVID-related deaths. From Feb. 3-16, 2022, there has been 2,480,171 infections.



Super Bowl Made Me Wonder: Will There Ever Be Another Roman Gabriel? half start, Burrow’s team lost its nerve in the fourth quarter. By Emil Guillermo The Rams defense kept Burast week, during row at Bay, and then its own Super Bowl LVI offense got untracked when it (56), I was think- focused on wide receiver Cooing about Roman per Kupp. Kupp caught a late fourth Gabriel, 81. Gabriel is the quarter touchdown pass that first Filipino American quarter- gave the Rams the win, 23-20. back to gain fame in the NFL, And Kupp the MVP. I kept thinking how Gaplaying for 16 seasons, mostbriel throwing to Kupp would ly with the Los Angeles Rams from 1962-1972, where he was have easily put the Bengals the NFL’s Most Valuable Play- away. In his day, Gabriel was er in 1969. That year Gabriel that good. The game also featured threw 24 touchdowns and led the latest class of inductees to his team to an 11-3 record. But it was still not good the Pro Football Hall of Fame enough to get to Super Bowl in Canton, Ohio. The Raiders III, the year Joe Namath and wide receiver Cliff Branch, his Jets beat Johnny Unitas and one of my favorites, was a senior inductee this year. the Baltimore Colts. But it made me wonder It was a quarterback league then as it is now. That’s why I why isn’t Roman Gabriel in the was thinking of Gabriel for the PFHOF, senior or otherwise. Former San Diego Charger big game. At six-feet-five inches, Gabriel in his prime could linebacker Junior Seau is an have competed in today’s NFL AAPI member in the Hall. But easily, and he would have dom- a Filipino American playing quarterback, football’s leading inated Sunday’s Super Bowl. The Cincinnati Bengal’s man? There has never been anyJoe Burrow looked like he was one quite like Gabriel. His faready to lead his team to victher, a Filipino immigrant from tory. Despite being sacked 7 the “Manong Generation,” times, he out-dueled the Rams found his way to North Caroquarterback Matt Stafford, lina and intermarried. Roman was born in 1940, who threw two interceptions, became a star at North Caroliand had a measly quarterback rating under 90. With neither na State, and a first round pick team running the ball well, the in the NFL/AFL football drafts passing game defined every- in 1962. Think of Gabriel as the Joe thing. And Burrow was just Burrow of his day. better. This was also the era when But after a strong second


Roman Gabriel

Filipino immigration was non-existent until years after the immigration law changed in 1965. With all the current trouble the NFL has with racism, from the lack of black and minority coaches, to the lack of black and minority owners, the NFL needs to honor Gabriel now. Roman Gabriel’s is an example of the NFL’s hidden diversity. Since his heyday both with the Rams and his comeback with the Philadelphia Eagles, there has never been a Filipino American quite like Roman Gabriel in the NFL ever.

The Superbowl for Asian Americans has been the Olympics You won’t find many of us playing in the Super Bowl or the pro football ranks. There are a handful among the kicker and lineman. But at the Winter Olympics, we are among the champions. Nathan Chen. Chloe Kim. Both Asian Americans, Americans in Asia. Both pure Olympic gold. But the question remains. Will someone find a way to have it feed a new stereotype, a model minority myth of Olympic proportions? Tiger Moms are hungry. More on that in a bit. First, let’s celebrate America’s diversity with a massive dose of the legendary greatness we witnessed. Nathan Chen on ice this Olympics has been

dazzling and graceful. The socalled “Quad King,” for his signature four revolutions in the air, Chen seemed less technical and more joyful in his performances at these games. From his fist-pump after his short program, to his final move on the last note of the “free skate”–his arm extending a pointed fist, his face in a kind of friendly scowl. It was a relentless show of passion and grace. And confidence. Chen was rewarded with a score that made him so dominant in the standings, there was no question of his excellence over the field. Considering he’s already three-time-world champion, the Olympic Gold medal makes Chen one of the greatest, if not the greatest of all time, in a legacy event of winter games, men’s figure skating. Let that sink in: An Asian American man, the son of immigrants, following AAPI skating trailblazers Michelle Kwan, Kristi Yamaguchi, and Tiffany Chin, is now at the top of the entire sport. That’s not just Asian American history. That’s history. And who knows? If he’s the Tom Brady of ice skating, will we see fans clamor for his jersey, which happens to be a print of the cosmos in red designed by Vera Wang? Why not? This Winter Olympics is turning out to be the Super Bowl for Asian Americans. It all makes you appreciate Chen’s achievement. Especially me. I’m the guy at the ice rink holding on to the wall for dear life. Snowboarding, I’m not much better. I fell once and never got up. That also explains why I marvel at Chloe Kim. Last week, the snowboarding phenom Kim was fierce and determined on the halfpipe. I know, where is the other half? Maybe they recycled it? All I know is they left the half that counts for Kim to own. Back for more gold after winning in the PyeongChang

Olympics, Kim did not disappoint. I love watching the performers visualize their moves before they hit it. And Kim went for it hard from the beginning. She did a 1080 to start– three full revolutions in the air– then a 900, and finished with another 1080, making her virtually untouchable after just her first run, which she called a “safety run.” It was a surprise after one of the worst practices she’s ever put her in a bad place mentally, she told NBC. But here’s how Kim said she pulled through: “So I was dealing with all sorts of emotions, self-doubt, but when I was getting ready to drop into my first run, I just reminded myself that it’s a brand new run, and I just have to live in the now. And I was so happy I was able to do that.” The meditative heart and mind of a champion. That first run left her sitting atop her competitors with a little cushion. She had two more runs. Would she coast to gold? Not Kim. On the remaining two she was trying the “Cat 12,” a 1260 move that she said she had done just once before. She went for it and fell in both runs. She still left with gold, in an historic back-toback snowboarding win. It wasn’t all that certain it would happen. After PyeongChang, Kim struggled to get back the feeling. She took time off, went to Princeton. The support from her family never wavered. She also fell in love. When she came back to her snowboard, she had to find that spark again. The gold this time shows a Chloe renewed. “I’m in a much better headspace and I think I have a better idea of what to expect,” she told NBC of the fame she’ll experience now. “I’m just so eager to see my loved ones, my family, my dog, my boyfriend, so I think that’ll keep me happy and I’m just (continue on page 8)



By Atty. Emmanuel S. Tipon


n Feb. 10, 2022, the COMELEC former First Division, composed of Marlon S. Casquejo and Aimee P. Ferolino dismissed for lack of merit three petitions to disqualify Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. Those cases are Ilagan v. Marcos, Akbayan Citizens’ Action Party v. Marcos, and Mangelen v Marcos. The consolidated petitions raised the following common grounds: (1) Respondent is perpetually disqualified from holding public office for his conviction for not filing income returns even if the RTC and CA decisions did not impose this penalty; (2) Respondent was sentenced to a penalty of imprisonment of more than 18 months by the RTC, but the CA decision that eliminated it is null and void because it was issued with grave abuse of discretion; (3) Respondent was convicted of crimes involving moral turpitude. Petitioner Ilagan also alleged that Respondent committed false material representations when he stated in Item 22 of his Certificate of Candidacy that he has not 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. Petitioner Mangelen also questioned the validity of Respondent’s Certificate of Nomination and Acceptance (CONA) purportedly issued by the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas saying it was issued without his knowledge, concurrence and signature as Chairman of said political party.

Three Disqualification Cases Against Marcos Did Not Fly, COMELEC Shot Them Down Together I. Penalty of perpetual disqualification is a principal penalty. The COMELEC held that the penalty of perpetual disqualification is a principal penalty which must be imposed by the court which rendered the decision before it can be executed against the person sentenced. The CA did not impose this penalty on respondent. Section 286 of Presidential Decree 1994 (Tax Code) states “in addition, he shall be dismissed from service and perpetually disqualified from holding any public office, to vote and to participate in any election. COMELEC said that a proper dispositive portion of a decision should include the penalty imposed. A penalty that would deprive a citizen of his political right to be voted for in an election should be clearly, unequivocally, and expressly stated in the decision. The withholding of such right cannot be made dependent on a mere proposition that the penalty of perpetual disqualification for a violation of Section 45 of the 1977 NIRC is deemed written in the decision. II. COMELEC cannot set aside court of appeals decision Petitioners claimed that the CA Decision was void by ignoring a mandatory directive of section 254 of NIRC of 1977 which mandated the imposition of both a fine and imprisonment for any conviction due to failure to file a return or pay taxes. The COMELEC deplored the citation by petitioners of provisions of law that were not yet applicable in this case. The applicable provision for the years 1982 to 1985 was not section 254 but section 73 of the 1977 NIRC which gives the court

discretion to impose either fine, imprisonment, or both. The penalty of fine and imprisonment was introduced only upon the affectivity of RA 8424 on Dec. 11, 1998. The COMELEC warned the Petitioners for deliberately citing an inapplicable provision of law to mislead and confuse the COMELEC. The COMELEC said that whether or not the CA decision is void, it does not have the power to modify another adjudicative body’s final and executory judgment. III. Non-filing of income tax returns is not a crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT) Moral turpitude has been defined as everything which is contrary to justice, modesty, or good morals; an act of baseness, vileness, or depravity in the private and social duties which a man owes to his fellowmen or to society in general. Ty-Delgado vs. House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal and Pichay, G.R. No. 219603, 26 January 2016. The COMELEC enumerated the following requirements for a CIMT. First, moral turpitude implies something immoral in itself, regardless of the fact that it is punishable by law or not. The doing of the act itself, and not its prohibition by statute fixes the moral turpitude. The failure to file tax returns is not inherently immoral. It is not inherently wrong in the absence of a law punishing it. Second, as a general rule, all crimes of which fraud is an element are looked on as involving moral turpitude. There was no fraud involved in the failure to file income tax returns of respondent. Third, in several decided cases, not once did the Supreme Court categorically

rule that failure to file income tax is a crime involving moral turpitude. Although evasion of income tax is a crime involving moral turpitude, the failure to file income tax returns is not considered a form of tax evasion. The COMELEC said that the duty to withhold taxes from government employees (like Marcos) has been reposed by law in the Government. Consequently, any deficiency in the taxes so withheld is likewise attributable to and/or determinable by the government and not by the employee concerned. The term “willful” in tax crime statutes means a voluntary, intentional violation of a known legal duty, and bad faith or bad purpose need not be shown. The COMELEC noted that the records are bereft of any evidence that respondent voluntarily and intentionally violated the law. While he was found by a competent authority to have failed to file his income tax returns, failing to file a return, standing alone, is not an attempt to evade or defeat tax. To prove the absence of any ill-intention and bad

faith on his part, respondent submitted a BIR certification and a Landbank Official Receipt dated 27 December 2001 which showed his compliance with the CA Decision by paying the deficiency taxes and fines in the total amount of P67,137.27. Finally, the Supreme Court categorically ruled that a failure to file a tax return is not a crime involving moral turpitude as the more omission is already a violation regardless of the fraudulent intent or willfulness of the individual. Republic of the Philippines vs. Ferdinand R. Marcos II and Imelda R. Marcos. G.R. Nos. 130371 & 130855, dated Aug. 4, 2009. Therefore Marcos Jr.’s conviction for four violations of Section 45 of the NIRC should not serve as a basis to disqualify him to be appointed as an executor of the will of his father. The COMELEC pointed out that even if the Supreme Court’s discussion on moral turpitude is an obiter dictum, as it was merely an opinion upon some question of law that is not necessary for the (continue on page 8)



FilAm Basco Brothers to Visit Honolulu for The Fabulous Filipino Brothers Film Tour


he Basco brothers— Dante, Derek, Dionysio and Darion— are four Filipino American brothers who have been in the Hollywood industry for over 35 years. Their film The Fabulous Filipino Brothers premiered last year at SXSW, one of the largest reputable film festivals in the country. As part of the film’s press tour dates, the Basco brothers

are heading to Honolulu for a special premiere at the historic Hawaii Theatre Center on Feb. 26 at 6pm. Directed by Dante Basco (Rufio from Hook and Prince Zuko from Avatar: The Last Airbender), The Fabulous Filipino Brothers follows the bond between four Filipino American brothers, explore their family, love and culture as they come together for a family wedding.

Although the title highlights the brotherhood in story, the film was a collaborative work from the whole Basco family including their sister Arianna and parents Darius and Aida. Actors from the Philippine entertainment industry also graced The Fabulous Filipino Brothers such as Solenn Heusaff and Tirso Cruz III. The Basco family has been active in the Filipino American community to represent

our stories in stage, film and television. The City of Los Angeles even named them as ‘The First Filipino Entertainment Family’ of Hollywood. The Fabulous Filipino Brothers is available to rent or buy on Apple TV, Ama-

zon and Google Play. It’s also available to stream on Netflix. To attend the The Fabulous Filipino Brothers screening at the Hawaii Theatre Center, visit fabfilipinobros. com to buy tickets for $25 each.

dendum to the negative positive stereotype, the Model Minority Myth, Olympic-style? Crouching tiger, hidden Salchows? Let’s hope not. Already there was NBC’s Olympic anchor Mike Tirico after Chen’s victory wondering on prime time: “We’ve just seen in the last 24 hours, Eileen Gu who’s going to Stanford, right, and we saw Chloe Kim and we talked about her time in Princeton, and Nathan Chen going to Yale, in addition to being best in the world, gold medal athletes, also very intelligent, but also in some ways, I think

it has helped round them out as individuals. And it wasn’t about being obsessive all the time about getting back to a chance to compete for a gold medal…” Oh yes, no obsession. But he could’ve mentioned Nathan and Eileen are classical pianists. And Eileen’s 1580 SAT, not as good as her 1620 in the Big Air freeski. And Nathan being pre-med. But that would have been like reinforcing that model minority stereotype. We need to guard against that. Let’s all just appreciate the hard work and unique world class talents

of the winners. And let’s hope that the good will spills over and helps everyone else see them as a real part of all the rest of us non-Olympic Asian Americans. We don’t need to medal to be seen and heard as human, present and real. We’re beyond any stereotypes. Not model minorities. Not medal minorities.

fines does not fall under any of the instances for disqualification. Thus, whether or not he paid the fines and penalties is immaterial, as his sentence did not fall within the purview of Sec. 12. NOTE: The case filed by Pudno Nga Ilokano (Margarita Salandanan) vs. Marcos seeking to disqualify Marcos claiming that he was perpetually disqualified from holding any public office and to vote, and therefore is barred from running for president, remains undecided by the Second Division. The case of Lihaylihay vs. Marcos claiming that Marcos was a nuisance candidate was dismissed by the COMELEC on December 16, 2021. The case of Buenafe v. Marcos seeking to cancel the certificate of candidacy of Marcos was dismissed on January 17,

2022 by the Second Division and is before the COMELEC en banc. According to a report attributed to CNN the case filed by Tiburcio Marcos vs. Marcos seeking to cancel the latter’s certificate of candidacy claiming that Bongbong is not the real son of Ferdinand Marcos, Sr. and that the real Bongbong died decades ago and was replaced by an impostor who filed his COC for this year’s election was dismissed by the COMELEC Second Division on January 31, 2022, but the decision has not been released. The information provided in this article is not legal advice. Publication of this information is not intended to create, and receipt by you does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

and Smith-Mundt scholar to Yale Law School where he obtained a Master of Laws degree specializing in Constitutional Law. He has a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of the Philippines. He is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, New York, and the Philippines. He practices federal law, with emphasis on immigration law and appellate federal criminal defense. He was the Dean and a Professor of Law of the College of Law, Northwestern University, Philippines. He has written law books and legal articles for the world’s most prestigious legal publisher and writes columns for newspapers. He wrote the best-seller “Winning by Knowing Your Election Laws.” Listen to The Tipon Report which he cohosts with his son Attorney Emmanuel “Noel” Tipon. They talk about immigration law, criminal law, court-martial defense, and current events. 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 was born in Laoag City, Philippines. Cell Phone (808) 225-2645. E-Mail: filamlaw@yahoo.com. Website: https://www.tiponlaw.com.

(CANDID PERSPECTIVES : Super Bowl....from page 6)

going to feel all the feelings and be proud of myself.” A little loving self-compassion always works. It helped Chloe Kim make her own American history, the daughter of Korean immigrants. After her first run, Kim got a hug from a spectator Eileen Gu, whom I’ve dubbed an ABC, but with a T, for “American-Born, Chinese Team.” Gu, a.k.a. Ailing Eileen Gu could have won the first gold medal for the U.S. earlier in the week, and then three of the first four gold medals won would’ve been Americans. But the freestyle skier

is playing for her mother’s homeland, China. I’ll have more on Gu as the games continue. But let’s keep the focus on Chen and Kim for now. Chen especially is atop an Asian American ice-skating boom. And the cream is rising. Once again in the winter Olympics, four of the six figure skaters on the U.S. team alone are Asian American: Karen Chen, Alysa Liu, Vincent Zhou, and Nathan Chen. Add ice dancer Madison Chock, and the U.S. team alone is chock full of AAPIs. Could we be seeing an ad-

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.

(WHAT’S UP, ATTORNEY? : Threee Disqualifications....from page 6)

resolution of the issues in the said case, nevertheless it may be followed if sufficiently persuasive, and there is no legal infirmity in adopting the said dictum in the hopes of finally putting the issue on moral turpitude to rest. IV. Respondent is qual-

ified to be elected as president of the Philippines. The COMELEC said that there are only three instances where a person may be disqualified to hold public office under Sec. 12 of the Omnibus Election Code. Respondent’s sentence to pay

Erratum: In the Feb. 5, 2022 issue of the Hawaii Filipino Chronicle, our HFC columnist who interviewed Consul General Emilio T. Fernandez wrote that Consul General Fernandez studied in Tokyo and he received a Masters in Public Policy from the University of the Philippines. Consul Fernandez did not mention either in his interview with our staff. He did not study in Tokyo. HFC staff was also erroneous in saying the Consul said there are five pillars of security. There are three pillars of Philippine Foreign Policy.

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50 Years of Mutual Love and Respect Shared With Families and the Community


e seldom hear of couples celebrating their golden wedding anniversaries. However, one lucky couple have reached this milestone filled with mutual love and respect that they shared with families and the community. The past 50 years have been filled with love and care for Jimmy Adaoag and Kathy Aguda. Married in 1972, the couple were both born and raised in Ilocos Norte but they didn’t meet each other until a mutual friend introduced them to each other. Jimmy was born in Bacarra, Ilocos Norte on Jan. 3, 1947. That same year, Kathy was born in Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte on Jan. 7th. After graduating with a degree in Education in 1968 and teaching for a few months, Jimmy enlisted with the Philippine Army as second Lieutenant.

On the other hand in 1971, Kathy was one semester short from graduating with a degree in Home Economics when she moved to Hawaii. While attending an orientation event at the Cultural Foundation of Hawaii in February of that year, Kathy met Mrs. Rosario Laciste who told her about a relative in Bacarra who is “handsome, mabait and bagay sa iyo.” Thrilled with the sound of a prospective partner who is handsome, kind and perfect for her, Kathy received her first letter from Jimmy, Mrs. Laciste’s daughter’s brother-in-law. After the first love letter in July 1971, the two love birds became pen-friends as they sent more letters to each other across the Pacific. While currently enrolled in Fashion Design at the University of Hawaii, Kathy flew back to the Philippines to attend an after-Christmas town fiesta in Pasuquin where she finally met

Jimmy who later proposed to her. The following year, the newly engaged couple got married in Batac, Ilocos Norte with a reception at Jimmy’s hometown of Bacarra. Sadly, Kathy had to fly back to Hawaii where she was later joined by Jimmy several months later. The couple first lived with Kathy’s family in Kukui Gardens in Liliha before moving out to rent their own room in

Malio Street. In 1974, the Adaoags purchased their first house in Kaneohe. The following year, Jimmy was promoted as a bellman at the old Kahala Hilton Hotel. The couple’s journey in Hawaii was just beginning. In the following years, Jimmy and Kathy became business owners, property owners and even ballroom dancing champions. In 1980, they bought a house in Waipahu which inspired them to venture into real estate. That same year, Kathy opened Jaen Fashions, a business that allowed her to travel back and forth to the Philippines twice a year. Three years later, she established her own named fashion line called Kathy Adaoag’s Fashion. They eventually acquired a commercial property in Kalihi which housed their business and other renters including Leo’s Dance Studio. While building their sev-

en-room residential property in Salt Lake, Jimmy and Kathy enrolled their first lessons in ballroom dancing in 1987. The two love birds became ballroom dancing aficionados. They even competed and won the 1991 California Star Ball in Los Angeles, California. From pen-pals, real estate and business owners to ballroom dancing champions, Jimmy and Kathy have been prospering in their relationship for the past 50 years. To celebrate their golden wedding anniversary, they held a party last January 23 at the Koolau Grand Ballroom in Kaneohe. With family, friends and loved ones, the party celebration was filled with love and friendship with a touch of charity and affluenza. Their life together was inspired by love for their friends, relatives and community. “It’s not been an easy road for us but with love and mutual respect for each other, our marriage has survived,” said Jimmy and Kathy. “We are going to be together forever. And knowing that we have each other, it makes life worth living.”





Is The January 6 Investigation A Legitimate Political Discourse? By Elpidio R. Estioko


irst, I would like to thank the House of Representatives under Speaker Nancy Pelosi for boldly creating the January 6 committee to investigate the failed insurrection after the Senate refused to form a joint committee to investigate the fiasco. Two GOP representatives – Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney and Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger – joined the Democrats in creating the committee. So far, the committee has been succeeding in uncovering truths and actual events that happened during the failed coup which have been impacting the GOP, with the active participation of Cheney as its vice-chairman. Because of this, the Republican National Committee (RNC) thought of putting pressure on the two GOPs and in fact, would like to ease

them out of the party. The New York Times (NYT) reported that RNC voted to censure Cheney and Kinzinger for participating in the inquiry exposing the role of former President Donald Trump in spreading the election lies that fueled the riot and for directing it in his White House Oval Office. The Republican Party officially declared the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol and events that led to it as a “legitimate political discourse.” This means that the riot, as far as the RNC is concerned, was a legal exercise and was acceptable, correct? But their key man in the Senate, minority leader Senator Mitch McConnell, thinks otherwise. He said it was an insurrection and a riot and he was there witnessing the event unfold. “We saw what happened,” McConnell told one reporter. More than 150 people were injured in the attack, which led to several deaths, and nearly 750 individuals have been criminally charged in connection with it.

He criticized his own party but has a long history of playing hardball – even changing the rules of American politics, according to one writer – to benefit the Republican Party. With his latest statement, how is this possible? RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in a statement: “Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger crossed a line. They chose to join Nancy Pelosi in Democrat-led persecution of ordinary citizens who engaged in legitimate political discourse that had nothing to do with violence at the Capitol.” In approving it and opting to punish two of their own, RNC seemed to have embraced a position that the assault and the actions during the January 6 event, were acceptable as if it were legal! The RNC accused Cheney and Kinzinger of conspiring with Democrats to “destroy” Trump. The censure resolution stated that the RNC shall “immediately cease any and all support” to Cheney and Kinzinger as members of the Republican Party. Pursuant to this, Cheney released a loaded statement: “The leaders of the Republican Party have made themselves willing hostages to a man who admits he tried to overturn a presidential election and suggests he would pardon Jan. 6 defendants, some of whom have been charged with seditious conspiracy. I’m a constitutional conservative

and I do not recognize those in my party who have abandoned the Constitution to embrace Donald Trump. History will be their judge. I will never stop fighting for our constitutional republic. No matter what.” Already, she has been ousted from a leadership chair within the GOP. Republican leaders have also reportedly made plans to potentially fund a Trump-backed primary challenge against Cheney in the upcoming midterm election. As for Kinzinger, the censure is largely symbolic, who announced last year that he will not seek another term in office. Kinzinger cited his “disappointment in the leaders that don’t lead” and rising extremism within the Republican Party. Senator Mitt Romney of Utah was among a small but vocal group of Republicans who were outraged by the RNC censure. The resolution, which was drafted by David Bossie, a longtime conservative operative aligned with Trump, and Frank Eathorne, the Wyoming Republican Party chairman, started as an effort to expel Cheney and Kinzinger from the House Republican Conference. But committee members decided against calling for such a move, and instead settled on a censure. What is surprising is that while the inconsistencies are happening, Trump still has strengthened his grip on the

party. This time, more Republicans have become convinced that he was not culpable for the violence. The nonpartisan Pew Research Center found that fewer Americans, 43%, now say Trump bears a lot of responsibility for the attack than a year ago when 52% said he did. About 32% of adults now say Trump bears no responsibility at all for the mayhem, up from 24%. Only 10% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents say the former president bears a lot of responsibility, down from 18% a year ago. The nine members of the January 6 committee are: Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson (D), committee chairman; Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney (R), vice chairman; California Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D); California Rep. Adam Schiff (D); Maryland’s Jamie Raskin (D); California Rep. Pete Aguilar (D); Florida Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D); Virginia Rep. Elaine Luria (D); and Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R). While Republicans say the January 6 event was a “legitimate political discourse” and others say it’s a riot and an insurrection, what do you fellow readers think? 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.


Binhi at Ani Scholarships Now Open for Graduating Maui High School Students


Maui-based Filipino non-profit corporation is offering scholarships to graduating high school students in Maui. The deadline to apply is March 1, 2022. Binhi at Ani is looking to award 10 to 15 students, with a GPA of 3.5 and above for each student. Application re-

quirements include a short essay and letters of recommendation. “Our annual scholarship gold tournament is scheduled for March 6 and the amount raised will determine the number of scholarships to be awarded,” said Binhi at Ani president Melen Agcolicol. “Last year, together with

out scholarship partners, we awarded $22,000 in scholarships to 20 outstanding students.” For graduating high school students interested to apply and individuals looking forward to attend the scholarship gold tournament, please visit Binhi at Ani’s website at binhiatani.org.



Can Democracy Survive in Trump’s America? By Perry Diaz


ormer president Donald Trump on September 23, 2020, was asked if he would commit to a peaceful transfer of power should he lose the election to Joe Biden? His response was “Well, we’re going to have to see what happens. You know that I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots, and the ballots are a disaster.” What he said next was like a bombshell that created an uproar, “We’ll get rid of the ballots and you’ll have a very – we’ll have a very peaceful… there won’t be a transfer, frankly. There’ll be a continuation.” With those words, Trump declared that he’d block the mail-in ballots and disregard the outcome of the election and will not relinquish power regardless of the outcome! Trump failed to stop Biden, who won the election by more than eight million votes. But the threat to democracy continued beyond Trump’s dismal attempt to overturn the election when he ordered former vice president Mike Pence to declare him the winner during the electoral vote count in the Senate on Jan. 6, 2021. In a speech in Florida last Feb. 4, Pence said, “Trump is wrong. I had no right to overturn the election.” However, Trump persisted saying that the committee investigating the deadly January 6th insurrection should look into “why Mike Pence did not send back the votes for recertification or approval.” The next day, he blasted Pence and falsely declared, “He could have overturned the Election!” But Pence described January 6th as “a dark day in the history of the United States Capitol.”

This just shows that Trump is determined to pursue his claim that he won the election, which had energized his diehard MAGA cultists who are hell-bent on following him to wherever he would lead them – come hell or high water. Trump had been going around the country in his bid to keep his “dream of returning to the White House” alive. In a recent “Save America” rally last Jan. 29 in Conroe, Texas, he said: “If I run and I win, we will treat those people from January 6 fairly. And if it requires pardons, we will give them pardons because they are being treated so unfairly.” Immediately, Republicans and Democrats, including two Republican senators, Susan Collins of Maine and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, criticized Trump. Trump blasted Graham – one of Trump’s loyal allies – for breaking with him on the issue. He called Graham a RINO, that is, a Republican in Name Only. But between Trump and Lindsey, who is a true RINO? Hmm… Lindsey is a lifelong Republican while Trump switched parties at least five times since the late 1980s.

Changing political affiliations Voting records show that Trump registered as a Republican in July 1987, only to leave the GOP more than a decade later for the Independence Party in October 1999. In August 2001, Trump registered as a Democrat. He remained a Democrat for eight years. In 2009, he returned to the Republican Party but stayed for only two years. In 2011, he left the Republican Party and this time he marked a box that indicated, “I do not wish to enroll in a party,” which means he chose to be a registered Independent. Then after just a year, Trump returned to the GOP

that Trump changed his tune on this moral issue depending on whom he was talking to.

in April 2012. That was the time when Trump was teasing the idea of running for president. Four years later, he was elected president of the United States. He remained a Republican since then. One of the reasons why he wanted to run for president as a Republican was that he wanted to run as a pro-life or anti-abortion candidate, which he believed would give him a better chance of winning the presidency. There is always an ulterior motive when someone changes political affiliation, isn’t it?

Pro-life or pro-choice? When he ran for re-election in 2020, Trump bandied himself as the “most pro-life President ever.” According to some rather sensational leaked information, Trump has said he regarded abortion as “such a tough issue.” He once told the then British prime minister Theresa May, who was childless, in January 2017: “Imagine some animal with tattoos raping your daughter, and then she gets pregnant.” His remarks showed that Trump was not as pro-life as many in his party would have voters believe. Many were of the opinion that Trump had shifted his position on abortion, from a pro-choice when he was a Democrat in the 1990s to a conservative pro-life advocate after he became a Republican. But there were repeated rumors that Trump had paid for several of his former mistresses to have abortions. However, these claims remained unsubstantiated. But what seemed more likely was

Character issue This just shows what Trump’s character is: a pathological liar with no sense of righteousness, a political butterfly that changes color on the whim, a misogynous womanizer, a xenophobic racist, a homophobic gay-bashing masochist, and a man who many believe has narcissistic personality disorder. In a June 2016 essay for The Atlantic, Northwestern University psychology professor Dan P. McAdams diagnosed the then-candidate Trump, writing in part: “People with strong narcissistic needs want to love themselves, and they desperately want others to love them too – or at least admire them, see them as brilliant and powerful and beautiful, even just see them, period. The fundamental life goal is to promote the greatness of the self, for all to see.” Obviously, this is the root of the controversial instances that he got himself mired into – like a quicksand that would suck you in very slowly once you fall into. His attempt to incite his followers to insurrection and promising to pardon them if

they’re convicted, raised the prospect of Trump going to the hilt to take back power in the 2024 elections. He is priming his followers to get ready for action. It’s going to be tough but he believes he would prevail and get the presidency back regardless of the price. And like the Pied Piper of lore, Trump’s “magical flute” is leading them into a disastrous precipice that would put the future of democracy at risk. After more than two centuries of success, the American experiment of democratic government is facing a crucial test – its very survival as a republic that epitomizes liberty and freedom for all of its citizens. Now is the time when good men are called upon to stop evil from consuming the minds of the American people. The people need to reject the notion that an autocratic demagogue could lead them into falsely believing that he is their savior. But did it cross their minds that Trump is leading them on the road to perdition? Ultimately, the question is: Can democracy survive in Trump’s America?

PERRY DIAZ is a writer, columnist and journalist who has been published in more than a dozen Filipino newspapers in five countries.



February is American Heart Month: Let’s Take Care of Our Hearts By HFC Staff


ove is in the air! February 14th is when we celebrate Valentine’s Day. And for the whole month of February, we celebrate love all around. But did you know? The love month is also American Heart Month, when the nation spotlights heart disease, the top killer of Americans. The celebration recognizes cardiovascular disease as a threat to everyone, at every age. Nearly 18.6 million people globally died of cardiovascular disease in 2019, according to the American Heart Association (AHA). There were more than 523.2 million cases of cardiovascular disease in 2019, an increase of 26.6% compared with 2010. When it comes to Native Hawaii and Pacific Islanders (NHPI) statistics show that they are significantly disproportionally affected by cardiovascular disease. In 2019, every 1 nonNHPI death due to cardiovascular disease, there were almost 4 NHPI deaths according to the Hawaii State Depart of Health. While the ongoing pandemic has changed the life we live, it’s also encouraged us

to focus on mental wellness and reducing stress. We also found creative ways to stay active and safe while cooking healthier meals to keep our community in check. The American Heart Month is the time to celebrate strides made in saving lives by increasing health equity and tackling barriers to hearth health in our community. To stay safe and healthy this love month, let’s look at these tips from AHA to help our hearts in check. Let’s get moving Regular physical activity such as cardio exercises will help regulate our stamina and blood flow. According to AHA, at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity (such as aerobics, brisk walking, jogging, cycling, etc.) will also improve strength, flexibility and balance. According to AHA, 40 minutes of aerobic exercise four times a week can help lower your blood pressure or cholesterol and lessen the risk of heart attack and stroke. For an easier workout routine, 30 minutes of exercise from Monday to Friday is an easy goal to remember.

Eat healthy food High blood cholesterol happens when you eat food with too much saturated fat and trans-fat. Eat food in moderation and make sure to lower your bad cholesterol intake by changing your eating habits and meal plans. Managing cholesterol is important in keeping a healthy pumping heart. Think of nutrient-rich foods that have vitamins, minerals, fiber and such. The AHA recommends you eat a variety of nutrient-rich meals daily.

tients to avoid smoking and even, secondhand smoke. According to AHA, people who have type 2 diabetes and smoke are three times more likely to dies of cardiovascular disease than nonsmokers.

dizziness, loss of balance or coordination. Sudden, severe headache with no known cause.

know when the first symptoms appeared. It’s important to take immediate action during a stroke. If given within three hours of the start of symptoms, a clot-busting drug can reduce long-term disability for the most common type of stroke. Source: Ameri-

Consistency is key when working out. With consistent exercise, you will feel stron- Manage stress ger every single day. Just like how our hearts response to love, it also reQuit smoking sponds to stress. Stress can It’s pretty straight for- lead to a rise in blood presward but quite hard to do for sure and a faster heart rate some people. But smoking that can become dangerous is the leading preventable to your heart and body. Mancause of death and disabil- aging stress is key to stop the ity in the US, according to cycle of stress. AHA. Moreover, smoking decreases the heart’s access Prevent and manage to oxygen-rich blood which diabetes can lead to abnormal blood Diabetes is a major risk pressure, bad blood choles- factor for stroke and heart terol levels and physical in- disease. Diabetes patience activity. also suffer from high blood If you need support to pressure and high blood chofurther quit smoking, do lesterol which increases their not hesitate to ask for help. risk even more. There are medications that With following the above can help people quit smok- tips, patients have the power ing. Ask your healthcare to control their weight and provider for options that can blood cholesterol and preswork best for you. Support sure with an active lifestyle teams and programs are also and nutrient-rich diet. Morea great option to get help. over, it’s important for pa-

Know the warning signs Aside from actively preventing cardiovascular diseases, it’s also important to know the warning signs so you can act accordingly in case of emergencies. Some heart attacks are sudden and intense but most times, it can start slowly with mild pain and discomfort. Here are signs to look out for: - Chest discomfort, particularly in the center of the chest. - Discomfort in other areas of the body. It can be in both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach. - Shortness of breath. - And other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness. If you recognize any of these warning signs in yourself or your loved ones, do not hesitate to call 911 immediately. It’s important to get to the hospital right away. To learn more about American Hearth Month, visit the American Heart Association website: heart. org.

Warning Signs of Stroke


troke is a medical emergency that affects the arteries in the brain. This occurs when blood vessels that carries oxygen and nutrients to the

brain are blocked by a clot or ruptures. In 2018, stroke was the reason behind 1 of every 19 deaths in the United States. And when considered sepa-

rately from other cardiovascular disease, stroke ranks 5th among all causes of death in the nation, causing a total of 147,810 deaths in 2018. Every second counts during a stroke because time lost is brain lost! Know these stroke warning signs and share them with others: • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body. • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding. • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes. • Sudden trouble walking,

If you or someone with you has one or more of these signs, don’t delay! Call 911 so an ambulance can quicky come to you. Don’t forget to check the time so you’ll

can Heart Association 



Risk Levels of Developing Age-Related Macular Degeneration


s we keep our hearts in check this love month, February is also Age-Related AMD Awareness Month. AMD stands for Age-Related Macular Degeneration. It is the leading cause of severe vision loss for those 50 years and older. It is a progressive and usually painless eye disease that initially doesn’t present many symptoms at its onset. AMD occurs when the eye’s macula starts to deteriorate, diminishing central vision. The macula is the small central portion of the retina, or the light-sensitive tissue lining the back of the eye. AMD develops slowly over time with symptoms often going unnoticed until significant damage has already occurred. Macular Degeneration may only happen in one eye, and initial vision loss can go undetected due to overall vi-

sion not being affected until the disease has progressed over time. It causes central vision to blur while peripheral vision is unaffected. Central vision is necessary to see straight ahead and distinguish fine details. Due to the subtlety of symptoms, it is important to have annual, comprehensive eye exams to detect any vision issues while still in its early stages. There are two forms of AMD—dry and wet. Dry AMD is the most common and is a result of metabolic end products that collect under the retina, also referred to as drusen, which are white or yellow fatty protein deposits. Eyesight becomes dimmed or distorted as drusen grow. In advanced stages, the macula which is a part of the retina becomes thinner and can lead to blind spots or complete loss of central vision. Wet AMD is far less com-

the retina may not cause vision changes or only slight vision changes to one eye, it is common to not realize that AMD is developing. Therefore, it’s important to get routine, comprehensive eye exams, especially if you are over 50 and have a family history of AMD.”

mon but advances much more rapidly and can cause sudden or gradual vision loss. Abnormal blood vessels grow underneath the macula and leak blood and fluid into the retina. The abnormal blood vessels eventually scar and cause permanent loss of central vision. In some cases, dry AMD can turn into wet AMD. Symptoms of AMD include dark, blurry spots in the center of vision and a decrease in the brightness of colors. Straight lines can even appear to be wavy. Dr. Steven Rhee of Hawaiian Eye Center says: “Since the early changes in

JABSOM Looking For Participants in COVID-19 Study


he University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) invites those newly infected with COVID-19 to participate in its 21-day, placebo-controlled telmisartan treatment trial. The study is funded by the National Institutes of Health and registered with the national clearing house for clinical trials. The COVID-19 virus uses an enzyme that is also part of a hormone system linked to high blood pressure problems. The study will determine if

telmisartan, a common blood pressure medicine, will be helpful in preventing severe complications that may lead to hospitalization, such as difficult breathing. The study consists of four visits which can be at JABSOM or at your home if there is a safe outside place for the visit. Participants will be reimbursed $60 for each visit. JABSOM is currently looking for 16 or more participants to join the study. For more information, call JABSOM at (808) 692-1335.

Free COVID Tests Available in Chinatown


onolulu Police Department’s Downtown Substation is conducting 100 free COVID-19 tests a day from Monday through Friday, 8:30am to 3pm. Tests are conducted on a first come-first serve basis. No appointments necessary. Test results are usually available within 30 minutes. The testing site is closed on weekend and holidays. The depart-

ment’s free COVID testing will be available until Mar. 11. A photo ID is required to avail the free COVID test. Mask-wearing is required at all times. The testing program is in partnership between the Hawaii Department of Health, Honolulu Police Department and Hawaii National Guard. The Downtown Substation is located at 79 North Hotel Street in Honolulu. 

Risk factors for AMD include: - Being 50 and older - Smoking - Obesity, hypertension, or high cholesterol - Family history of the disease - Caucasians and women at higher risk to develop AMD Currently, there’s no treatment for early AMD and no cure for the dry form, but symptoms can be lessened by eating a nutrition-dense diet and not smoking, as well as taking supplements. Nutritional supplements based on extensive studies conducted by the National Eye

Institute are available from several manufacturers and may be referred to as AREDS or AREDS2 (Age-Related Eye Disease Studies). These supplements consist of high doses of certain vitamins and minerals (vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, copper, lutein and zeaxanthin) and were used for trials in older age groups diagnosed with AMD and found that they significantly helped to slow the progression for those with intermediate or late AMD. Wet AMD can be treated with a medication that is injected into the eye. This medication treats the retina directly and helps to control the growth of abnormal blood vessels. Injectable treatment stabilizes and sometimes improves vision by up to 34%. Even with treatment, AMD may still progress or reoccur. It’s important to speak with an eye care professional about treatment options and risks and continue to schedule routine eye exams for early detection.



Dekada ‘70 By Rose Cruz Churma


t would be 50 years this year since the declaration of Martial Law in the Philippines. In September 1972, then-President Ferdinand Marcos suspended the writ of habeas corpus and imposed martial rule. This was a time of student unrest, and how the iron-hand rule of the Marcos regime radicalized its citizens to join dissent groups, go underground and undertake subversive activities. This novel is the story of a middle-class family and its struggles during this dark decade of Philippine history. The 1970s is described through the eyes of the main female protagonist, Amanda Bartolome, a mother with five boys who come of age during that decade. It is also her story as a woman and her stand as a mother and citizen. The author disclosed in early February 2022 that Penguin Classics is interested to re-publish this landmark novel under its imprint but in English. Although an English version is available now (translated by Clarice B. de Jesus and can be ordered via the author’s website) it is not as widely circu-

lated compared to the original Tagalog/Filipino version. Penguin Classics editor Elda Rotor (based in NYC) who read the book in English notes: “I read your English translation of Dekada ’70 and found the Bartolome’s family’s story in the era of Martial Law, especially from the mother Amanda’s perspective, very moving, timely, and propulsive and see the potential classic for a wider English-language audience, specially students, outside the Philippines.” We hope that Penguin Classics plans for publishing the novel in English comes through. I must confess that for one like me who has embraced the English language so completely (to the detriment of my capability of reading in my native Tagalog/Filipino), absorbing this novel in its original form became a challenge. I remember the days when I can read the contents of Liwayway and Bulaklak – magazines in written in Tagalog – with ease during my younger days. But I guess 45 years of living in Hawaii, and totally immersing myself to write and speak English well, has eroded my ability to appreciate my own native language. Sad but true (but can be undone as I now listen to broad-

Nilda Bautista Boland

casts in Tagalog/Filipino regularly and struggle to read more text in my language of birth). A colleague who has retained that ability to speak, write (including create literary pieces in Tagalog/Filipino) assisted me in reviewing this book. Thank you, Nilda Bautista Boland for coming to my rescue. (The full version of the oral book review can be found on this link <https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=58kk5AXnhTk>. Nilda, like Amanda Bartolome’s sons, came of age during this decade. And like one of the protagonists in this novel, she was drawn into and was part of the student protests that rocked the nation. Her distraught mother took her back to the province and ended her college days in Manila. But she ended up joining the rebels in the province – once more leaving home and putting her mother in constant anguish, wondering about her whereabouts.

In looking back during those years, now that she is a mother herself, and after reading Amanda Bartolome’s journey as depicted in the book, Nilda commiserates with the pain her mother must have gone thru during those years – trying to balance the desire to keep one’s children “safe” but also realizing the need for political change for the sake of the country. In the foreword, the author notes that readers have wondered if the novel was autobiographical, and whether she actually experienced the incidents described in the book. According to Nilda, the descriptions of how it was to evade capture, the safe houses, the terror inherent in flight from the military authorities were written so well – the details vividly illustrated in words that hit you “like a slap in the face” as one critic says (review from Cinema, May-June 1984). Dekada ‘70 was one of the two grand prize winners of the novel for the Palanca Awards (1983). It was adapted into a movie in 2003 with Vilma Santos in the title role of Amanda Bartolome and can be streamed via YouTube.

Lualhati Bautista is a Filipina writer, novelist, liberal activist and political critic. She was born in Tondo, Manila and graduated from the Lyceum of the Philippines University. She won the Palanca awards not only for the novel Dekada ’70 but also for her short stories in Filipino published in local magazines. Her other most popular novels include Bata, Bata, Pa’no Ka Ginawa? and ‘GAPÔ and are in Tagalog/Filipino. We look forward to the Penguin Classics’ release of the English version. “A literary piece every Filipino, concerned or otherwise, should read at least once.” (From WHO, February 22, 1984). An English version would widen readership to Filipinos in the Diaspora like me, who have lost their skill at reading their own language, or at least until we re-acquire those skills. 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.


Community Invited to Town Hall on Affordable Apartments in Lahaina


ahaina, Maui residents are invited to an in-person community town hall on Feb. 25 at 5pm at the Lahaina Civic Center Amphitheatre to discuss the upcoming affordable housing in Lahaina. Hosted by Councilmember Tamara Paltin, the discussion will include comprehensive information regarding the application, lottery and lease process. Construction updates

will also be shared during the town hall. “I anticipate this meeting to serve as a great resources for Lahaina residents who would like to know how to prepare to apply for these crucial low-income housing units,” said Paltin. “Ikaika Ohana recognizes that many in our community are anxiously awaiting these projects and are committed to preparing our eligible res-

idents to apply.” Paltin encourages West Maui residents earning 60% and below the median income to learn more and apply for the affordable housing projects. The town hall encourages everyone to bring their own lawn chairs or blankets as seating will not be provided. Participants will be expected to adhere to social distancing measures.



In Sickness And In Health By Seneca Moraleda-Puguan


o have and to hold, from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part.” These words are commonly heard when partners say their ‘I do’s’ and give their vow to each other before God on their wedding day. But life has thrown the world a curve ball this season and many couples and families find themselves grappling with a health crisis. Husbands and wives, dads and moms, children… millions have contracted the virus. The vow, “In sickness and in health,” is getting tested at this time. Easier said than done, don’t you think? I have witnessed my husband suffer excruciating pain because of gout. I have accompanied my husband to the hospital because of back and muscle pains. And during those times, I could still hold on to the vow I uttered on the day we got married. But I couldn’t imagine what it will be like or how will I feel when my spouse is

fighting for his life and at the verge of death. To see him in pain because of gout already breaks my heart, how much more to be confronted with the possibility of him not getting to live another day. This pandemic has produced many stories of couples proving what it means to have and to hold in times of sickness, not just of perfect health. They are testimonies of grace and strength. They are testaments of healing over sickness, and of love conquering all. Noel and Joei Revilleza. Ricky and Aimee Vistan. Two different couples, one story – a story of miraculous healing, second chance at life, and of vow fulfilled. Joei’s husband of almost a decade, Noel, caught the virus in July 2020. He was diagnosed to have severe COVID-19 and critical pneumonia. He had to undergo hemoperfusion to cleanse his blood. He was in the hospital for eleven days. Ricky, Aimee’s husband for almost 29 years now, spent one month in the hospital. 23 of those days were in the ICU. Aimee also caught the virus and stayed in the same hospital for two weeks. Aimee’s case was

moderate but her husband’s was critical. When asked what kept them going when their spouses were fighting for their lives, Joei said, “It’s definitely my faith. If not for my faith, I would just cry and panic but my faith kept me grounded. My faith reminded me that God will take care of him, me and our kids.” On the other hand, Aimee held on to God’s promises. “We are also thankful for everyone who prayed, gave sacrificially, and was there for us in their own ways,” she shared. Joei and Aimee are two strong women who showed such amazing strength at a very difficult time. Was there a point when they wanted to give up? “Yes,” Joei answered honestly. “When I saw a woman die and get zipped in a bag while waiting for my husband to get a room in the

hospital, that’s when it hit me that everything is beyond my control.” But she persevered. “I overcame it through praying and worship. There really is nothing else I could do but trust in Him who can do everything.” Aimee’s hope stood strong. She said, “No, there was not a time that I felt hopeless. God kept me in faith at all times. He knew I needed to think of nothing negative and just believe.” Their ordeal with COVID-19 taught them many lessons that they will forever cherish in their hearts. For Joei, mortality felt more real more than ever. “Every day is really grace from God,” she shared. “My husband says “Every gising is a blessing.” I learned to cherish every moment with the people I love. God truly loves your loved ones more than you can ever love them.” And for Aimee, she realized the value of relationships and prayer. “I felt what it was like to have absolutely no solution and ways to fix the problem but instead to trust God completely. I learned to love life more and make every moment count. I also

gained the ability to block out everything and everyone, making God’s voice loud and clear,” she said. They are just two of the many untold stories of healing, victory and love overcoming. Both their recovery stories amazed doctors and nurses. Their testimonies of miracles touched and blessed their families and friends, including my husband and I. We witnessed how these couples endured the very difficult time they faced. We have seen how their love for their spouses conquered their fears and worries. We have been encouraged by their relentless faith and hope in the One who created their marriages and built their families. The Revillezas and the Vistans have proven that love conquers all and endures all hardships. They have remained faithful to their vow of holding on for better and for worse, in sickness and in health. And probably you are experiencing this too, or you know of someone whose spouse is fighting for his or her life, I declare healing and restoration. I pray for the grace to stay strong, to be in faith and to have hope. The Author of your life will carry you through. He is the God who is for you and with you, in sickness and in health. 


Maui County Council Urges Legislature to Set Visitor Fees for the Environment By HFC Staff


arlier this month, Maui County Council Chair Alice L. Lee announced eight proposals have been introduced as the 2022 Maui County Council Legislative Package. Included in the package is a legislation to establish a “green fee surcharge,” a visitor fee that would fund environment-protection projects. “Green fees offer an innovative financing mechanism

to better support the well-being of our residents and visitors alike by ensuring we have a clean and healthful environment,” Lee said. “Protecting Maui County’s reefs, oceans, beaches and forests is vital to both the visitor industry and our resident’s quality of life.” The legislative package was introduced at the start of legislative session in January. The bills included in the package are the following: - HB 1437 and SB 2096 to lower the threshold blood al-

cohol content for the offense of driving under influence - HB 1438 and SB 2097 to establish the criminal offenses of unlawful chop shop activity in the first and second degrees - HB 1440 and SB 2099 to require the minimum wage to be recalculated using the most recent self-sufficiency income standard - HB 1441 and SB 2100 to authorize issuance of general obligation bonds and appropriate fund for capital improvement projects

- HB 1443 and SB 2102 to asses climate change mitigation impact fee on every customer who rents, leases or utilizes a rental car - HB 1444 and SB 2103 to abolish Kalawao County and incorporate the Kalaupapa area of Molokai into Maui County Lee encourages Maui County residents to join the council in tracking state legislation and submitting testimony to state legislative committees. For updates on information, bill numbers and testimonies, visit mauicounty. us/2022stateleg/.



‘Carbon Tax’ Hike Would Send Isle Prices Through The Roof By Mark Coleman


B2278 promises tax refunds to taxpayers but that will hardly make up for the economic damage the bill would surely cause. Hawaii’s first “barrel” tax went into effect in 1993 and amounted to 5 cents a barrel, with all of the proceeds to go into a special fund aimed at cleaning up after oil spills and a mechanism turn-

ing the tax “off” once the fund reached $20 million. Twenty-nine years later, the Legislature is considering a bill generically titled “HB2278 — Relating to energy,” also known as the “carbon tax,” that would increase the tax on a barrel of gasoline to $5.27 by 2023, and a whopping $33.16 by 2035. It also would direct money to five more special funds and change the special-fund allocations from percentages to specific amounts, with the rest to go to the general fund. As a selling point to the public, it also would cre-

ate an income tax credit that would be stepped up from $65 for single taxpayers and $30 for those filing jointly in 2023 to $480 plus an additional child credit of $240 for joint taxpayers by 2035 and beyond. Meanwhile, fuel prices would be going through the roof, causing a wave effect throughout Hawaii’s economy, further increasing our cost of living and harming Hawaii residents who can least afford it. Said Joe Kent, institute executive vice president: “The proposal outlined in

this bill appears to be based on the faulty idea that it is possible to reimburse Hawaii residents for the economic impact of a massive tax hike — as though taxes were simply a question of money-in, money-out, with the state government operating as a type of bank. However, such an approach deeply underestimates the impact of tax hikes, most especially increases in energy taxes, on the economy as a whole…

“This bill would raise the cost of living in Hawaii [and] is, in fact, a continuation of the policy of social-planning-via-taxation that has helped make Hawaii one of the most expensive states in the nation.” 

MARK COLEMAN is managing editor and communications director for the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, an independent nonprofit research organization that seeks to lower the cost of living, expand opportunities and foster prosperity for all in Hawaii.

Any opinions, advice, or statements contained in our Open Forum section are those of the author and/or the organization represented, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Hawaii Filipino Chronicle board’s editorial staff.


Waipahu HS Wins State LifeSmarts Competition, to Compete in National Contest, April 21-24


aipahu 3,” a team from Wa i p a h u High School won the Hawaii LifeSmarts Virtual State Competition held on February 12. As the 2022 state champions, Waipahu 3 will represent the state at the National LifeSmarts Competition in

Washington, D.C. from April 21 – 24, 2022. Members of Waipahu 3 are: Ross Cadelina (team captain), Estefany Bayudan, Isabella Delos Santos, and Keziah Ancheta. The team was coached by Cindy Takara. The game-show style competition tests students on

their knowledge of personal finance, health and safety, the environment, technology, and consumer rights and responsibilities through an individual test, “speed smarts” activity, and game-show style buzzer rounds. “Hawaii LifeSmarts strives to provide an educa-

tional experience for our students in a way that is engaging and relevant,” said Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA) Director Catherine Awakuni Colón. “We hope that this foundation of consumer knowledge will help them thrive and be ‘life smart’ as they are faced with challenges in the real world. Congratulations to “Waipahu 3” and good luck at the National Competition!” “We are excited for “Waipahu 3” to represent Ha-

waii at the National Competition,” said Securities Commissioner Ty Nohara. LifeSmarts is a free educational program that prepares students to enter the real world as smart consumers by teaching them the skills needed to succeed in today’s global marketplace. It is a program of the National Consumers League that is locally run and sponsored by the DCCA Office of the Securities Commissioner and Insurance Division, in partnership with the Hawaii Credit Union League. 

Free Brain Health Webinar for Hawaii Residents


earn more about the latest research on Alzheimer’s disease and dementia in an upcoming Facebook Live on Mar. 2 at 10am. Hosted by Dr. Kamal Masaki, Department chair of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine, the free brain health webinar will share information about the latest brain health research and ways to keep your brain healthy. The free online workshop will also cover what happens

to your brain during normal aging and what you should know about dementia. Dr. Masaki will cover the different types of dementia, risk factors, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment. Participants are encouraged to register for a Zoom link for an opportunity to ask Dr. Masaki questions. To register for the Zoom meeting, visit aarp. cventevents.com/GWEP3-2. The free webinar will be livestreamed on AARP Hawaii’s Facebook page at facebook.com/AARPHawaii/. 


COMMUNITY CALENDAR AFFORDABLE HOUSING LAHAINA | Councilmember Tamara Paltin | February 22, 2022 at 2:00 PM | Lahaina Civic Center Amphitheater | Learn more about the affordable housing projects in Lahaina regarding applications, lottery, lease process and construction updates./.

PROFESSOR OF ROCK: THE 80’S GREATEST LOVE SONGS | AARP | February 24, 2022 at 2:00 PM | Free webinar | Listen to exclusive commentary about songs from iconic artists such as Air Supply, Chicago Starship and Modern English. Register at local. aarp.org/vcc-event/.

UNDERSTANDING DEMENTIA AND STEPS FOR A HEALTHY BRAIN | AARP Hawaii | March 2, 2022 at 10:00 AM | Free webinar | The livestreamed discussion will be hosted by Dr. Kamal Masaki of University of Hawaii at Manoa John A. Burns School of Medicine. The event will be on Facebook Live at facebook.com/AARPHawaii.


Senators Raise Concerns About Lack of Oversight to Prevent Veteran Suicide


even senators including Senators Mazie Hirono and Bernie Sanders voiced out their concerns about a Department of Defense (DoD) Inspector General report highlighting failures within the department to screen and prevent suicide among veterans. The report titled Evaluation

of the Department of Defense’s Implementation of Suicide Prevention Resources for Transitioning Uniformed Service Members found that the DoD did not establish and implement oversight of the Mental Health Assessment. They also lacked proper suicide risk screening procedures for transitioning ser-

vicemembers. In a letter to the US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Denis McDonough, the senators highlighted the importance of first-year post separation for service members, veterans, and their families. “These suicide prevention screening deficiencies could affect patient care at an important

point in a veteran’s life,” they wrote in the letter. “DoD and VA must do more to continue assisting servicemembers as they transition from uniform to civilian life.” Senators joined on the letter to the DoD and VA are namely Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Patty Murray (D-

WA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Cory Booker (D-NJ). “Veterans and servicemembers have devoted their lives to defending our country and keeping us safe,” Hirono said. “When they make the transition to civilian life, we must ensure that the DoD and VA will provide comprehensive care, including services that support holistic health and wellbeing.” 


What Will ‘New Normal’ Look Like? Full Capacity at Venues But Face pandemic restrictions by all individuals,” the health of- that endemic state that we’re live with the virus.” Masks Stay On easing hoping for, maybe masks will too soon. Metro Manila and oth- ficial said. By Gaea Katreena Cabico Friday, February 18, 2022


ANILA, Philippines - The Philippines will not rush into the “new normal” - where there will be no restrictions on venue capacity but policies like wearing face masks will remain the Department of Health said Thursday after doctors cautioned the government against

The country will enter the new normal once Alert Level 1 — the lowest in the government’s five-tier alert system — is declared. In an interview with ABSCBN News Channel, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that while it is understandable that doctors are worried about more COVID-19 infections, the public will “have to move on and

er areas in the country will be under Alert Level 2 until end-February. “There will be no restrictions anymore” once the country transitions to the new normal, Vergeire said, adding the capacity limits for indoor and outdoor establishments will be removed. “What will be retained will be the minimum public health standards that will be practiced

go. But it will be the last to go,” she said. Mask mandate Latest data showed that Vergeire also said that the face mask mandate will be the over 61 million people have “last to go” among the interven- completed vaccination against tions put in place to curb a pan- COVID-19 in the country. The Philippines has reported demic that has dragged into its 3.6 million COVID-19 cases since third year. “I think by the end of the the pandemic started, with 55,000 year, hopefully, if cases will be deaths. (www.philstar.com)  manageable (Sagot sa Krosword Blg. 15 | February 5, 2021) already and we reach

KROSWORD ni Carlito Lalicon PAHALANG

1. Sita 8. Kandirit 15. Konsegrahin 16. Matataas na ulap 17. Ilagan 18. Malaman 19. Paglipad ng isip 21. Linab 22. Saka 23. Kumidnap 25. Kalag 29. Isang uri ng malaking sasakyan 31. Din 33. Tortilya


1. Bait 2. Altura 3. Gamit sa kusina 4. Dakot 5. Matatap 6. Alapaap 7. Isang lungsod sa Bikol 8. Asukal 9. Barandilya 10. Katugon 11. Isagot

Blg. 16 34. Asido 36. Butil 38. Unlad 39. Halagap ng sebo o taba sa sabaw o tubig 41. Isang uri ng kapok na punongkahoy 43. “Totoo ba?” 44. Agahas, 46. Esteban _____ (Dating Senador) 50. Pagkakaroon ng taglay na katangian 53. Largo 57. Nilagyan ng asin 59. Anomalo 58. Guhitan 60. Etsetera 12. Noon 13. Antigo 14. Tipon 20. Ilawan 24. Maamo 26. Aldabahan 27. Lagi 28. Bihay 29. Punlo 30. Siphaw 32. Isang uri ng halaman na

kinukunan ng pawid 35. Malabiga 37. Pulseras 40. Isang uri ng isda 42. Ensayuhin 45. Tela o pinung-pinong alambreng nilala na panlinis ng tubig langis atbp 47. Linear 49. Bai

CLASSIFIED ADS 61. Magulang 62. Anggulo 51. “Ang isa naman!” 52. Ibang anyo ng ‘pumanaw’ 53. Lapisak 54. Isang bilang 55. Ale 56. Talaguhitan

(Ang sagot ay matutunghayan sa susunod na isyu ng Chronicle)

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