Hawaii Filipino Chronicle - June 4, 2022

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JUNE 4, 2022


Another Mass Shooting, and GOP Remains Covered in Blood, Playing Dead

The HFWCA Terno Ball Is Back, President Ader Says It Was A Resounding Success


Cha Thompson Awarded Salesperson of The Year


101 Stories of the Philippine Revolution



We Give Honor to Our Ancestors Who Fought for Philippine Independence, But Assaults on Freedom and Globalism Remain As Threats


hen most people think of Philippine Independence, two historical markers come to mind: independence from Spain in 1898 and independence from the U.S. in 1946. But sandwiched in between the two was the Philippine-American war that lasted from February 4, 1899 to July 2, 1902 that deserves far more attention than what’s given, especially from the perspective of Americans and the U.S.’ historical accounting of military campaigns abroad. In U.S. history books, the Philippine-American war is often referred to as “the Filipino insurrection against the United States,” which is an utterly gross understatement and misunderstanding of what truly occurred. An “insurrection” suggests a very brief revolt with little deaths. In today’s “awoke” society – we now know that the Philippine-American war was bloody, immoral and one of America’s ugliest faces of imperialism (a precursor to the Vietnam War, “conflicts” in Latin America and wars in the Middle East). Filipinos in the Philippines are well aware of the Philippine-American war. But Americans (particularly Filipino-Americans) should know what happened: 1) More than 100,000 American soldiers ended up fighting in the Philippines. 2) Contrary to the U.S.’ quick naval defeat of the Spanish that ended the Spanish-American war and liberated the Philippines from Spain, the Americans underestimated the fighting resistance of the Filipino people. The Philippine-American war “officially” lasted three years, but resistance still carried on in smaller guerrilla warfare campaigns over several years. 3) U.S. Office of Historian reports the Philippine-American war resulted in deaths of over 4,200 American and over 20,000 Filipino combatants. As many as 200,000 Filipino civilians died from violence, famine, and disease. But some historians estimate Filipino civilian casualties killed or who died because of disease or hunger range from 250,000 to 1 million. These numbers are hardly “insurrection” data, but evidence that a full-fledged war had taken place. 4) Before the infamous My Lai massacre during the Vietnam war in which Americans burned down villages and killed civilians – in the Philippine-American war there was a slaughtering by American soldiers that took place in the town of Balangiga, on Samar Island. U.S. General Jake Smith told his men to turn the island into a “howling wilderness” so that “even birds could not live there.” “Kill and burn! The more you kill and burn, the better you will please me,” he ordered his soldiers. Asked to clarify who the troops’ targets were among the population, the general replied: “Everything over 10.” The exact number of casualties has never been verified, but it is believed that thousands, including women and children, were massacred. And based on the incredibly high civilian casualties, it’s likely that there were several other Balangiga-like incidences. 5) Filipino-Americans think of the Philippines-American relations as one of special historical importance and cooperation from post-WWII and up to contemporary times (but strained under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte). This is true to an extent. But Filipino-Americans should know that the very start of Philippines-American relations begun with a bloody war with true intentions of colonial subjugation and racism. Clearly there were other chapters of Philippine Independence as noted above, from the Spanish and Japanese during WWII. The details and narratives of these two are more well known.



awaii’s vibrant Filipino community is back on track to pre-pandemic days. With federal and state restrictions on public gatherings lifted, Filipino organizations and clubs are resuming in-person events in a grand fashion. For this issue we have two very popular events to report on as our cover stories. First for our cover story in the regular section is the annual Hawaii Philippine Independence Day Gala (Kalayaan Gala) which will take place on Saturday, June 18, 2022, 5:30 p.m. at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort, Tapa Ballroom. Besides details to the Kalayaan Gala, several members in our community shared fascinating stories of their family members who’ve played significant roles in the struggle for Philippine independence. They are stories of heroism and sacrifice. After close to 400 years of combined Spanish and American colonial rule over the Philippines, we’ve also looked into the concept of Filipino identity (this year’s Kalayaan Gala theme), what it is and how it has been shaped by colonial occupation. In addition to local feedback, we have two respondents from the Philippines who raise the question of how truly free is their country with the Philippines’ overreliance on foreign support and investments. Second, for our cover story in our supplement section we have a recap of the Hawaii Filipino Women’s Club and Associates (HFWCA) 45th anniversary Terno Ball and the Club’s 68th anniversary which was held on April 23, 2022 at the Hibiscus Room of the Ala Moana Hotel (see introduction on front page of supplement for more details). Both cover stories were written by HFC associate editor Edwin Quinabo. On the same theme of community events, HFC contributor Grace Larson covers two events on the Big Island: District 50 Hawaii Lions International’s 86th Annual Convention and Hilo Visayan Club’s Santacruzan. On to very tragic and sorrowful news. Recently our nation has been rocked by a spate of mass shooting incidents starting with racist attacks in New York and California. And just days after, a gunmen stormed a Elementary School in a small Texas town, Uvalde and killed 19 children. We have three articles on the mass murders: HFC columnist Emil Guillermo’s “Another Mass Shooting, and GOP Remains Covered in Blood, Playing Dead,” HFC columnist Seneca Moraleda-Puguan’s “Prayers For Uvalde: ‘I Just Want My Baby Back,’” and our second editorial that discusses specific policies that could lessen gun violence. For our news feature, HFC contributor Renelaine Pfister contributes “Cha Thompson Awarded Salesperson of The Year.” In local news UH Nursing School honors Dr. Nancy Atmospera-Walch and Gov. David Ige signs a bill to extend press freedom protections to Hawaii student journalists. HFC columnist Elpidio Estioko writes about the ongoing and highly contentious possible overturning of Roe V. Wade. HFC columnist Atty. Emmanuel S. Tipon gives his take on the recently concluded Philippine election. His article headline is “Marcos Jr.’s Victory: In Politics and Love, Is It Destiny or Timing that Makes One a Winner?” We have a jam-packed issue we hope you’ll enjoy. Lastly, Filipino organizations and clubs: be sure to send us your upcoming functions for our community calendar section. A reminder, for your convenience, each issue can be viewed on our website. We also have our own social media pages you might want to visit. Thank you all for your continued support. Until next issue, warmest Aloha and Mabuhay!

Publisher & Executive Editor Charlie Y. Sonido, M.D.

Publisher & Managing Editor

Chona A. Montesines-Sonido

Associate Editors

Edwin QuinaboDennis Galolo

Contributing Editor

Belinda Aquino, Ph.D.


Junggoi Peralta

Photography Tim Llena

Administrative Assistant Lilia Capalad Shalimar Pagulayan

Editorial Assistant Jim Bea Sampaga


Carlota Hufana Ader Elpidio R. Estioko Perry Diaz Emil Guillermo Melissa Martin, Ph.D. Seneca Moraleda-Puguan J.P. Orias Pacita Saludes Reuben S. Seguritan, Esq. Charlie Sonido, M.D. Emmanuel S. Tipon, Esq.

Contributing Writers

Clement Bautista Edna Bautista, Ed.D. Teresita Bernales, Ed.D. Sheryll Bonilla, Esq. Rose Churma Serafin Colmenares Jr., Ph.D. Linda Dela Cruz Carolyn Weygan-Hildebrand Amelia Jacang, M.D. Caroline Julian Raymond Ll. Liongson, Ph.D. Federico Magdalena, Ph.D. Matthew Mettias Maita Milallos Paul Melvin Palalay, M.D. Renelaine Bontol-Pfister Seneca Moraleda-Puguan Mark Lester Ranchez Jay Valdez, Psy.D. Glenn Wakai Amado Yoro

Philippine Correspondent: Greg Garcia

Neighbor Island Correspondents: Big Island (Hilo and Kona) Grace LarsonDitas Udani Kauai Millicent Wellington Maui Christine Sabado Big Island Distributors Grace LarsonDitas Udani Kauai Distributors Amylou Aguinaldo Nestor Aguinaldo Maui Distributors

Cecille PirosRey Piros Molokai Distributor Maria Watanabe Oahu Distributors Yoshimasa Kaneko Jonathan Pagulayan

Advertising / Marketing Director

Interestingly, the will and determination of Filipinos to resist foreigners perhaps could be best observed in the fact that the Philippines still maintains its own national language Tagalog and other major languages throughout the country. Think of the sheer dominance of Spain in Latin America where Spanish is mostly spoken; and even racially where mestizo and white practically outnumber indigenous populations. It’s also worth acknowledging that foreign colonialism of the Philippines from both Spain and the U.S. have also had major societal benefits like strengthening national unity, establishing a national (continue on page 3)

Chona A. Montesines-Sonido

Account Executives Carlota Hufana Ader JP Orias



Common Sense Gun Reform Now, We Demand it! Call the US Senate Hotline


his is the time that we as Americans can no longer wait, ignore or hope that the gun violence in this country will just go away. It’s time to demand that Congress pass: 1) H.R.8 to close loopholes and expand background checks; and finally 2) to ban assault weapons that are used in mass murders. Both expanding background checks and banning or limiting assault weapons are supported by a vast majority of Americans (about 90%); yet only one-quarter of those who support zero gun laws have been having their way to shut down gun control reform. It’s also time for passing common sense gun laws that include: 3) establishing a national universal gun law to stop interstate trafficking of guns; 4) adopting red flag laws; and 5) raising the minimum age of purchasing a gun from 18 to 21.

Three mass murders within two weeks

Because of numerous failed attempts to get any of the above proposals passed and successful efforts by the radical NRA gun lobby here we are again. In the past two weeks a spate of mass murders occurred first in Buffalo New York where a white supremacist gunman targeted black people killing 10 and in-

juring 3 in a supermarket; then another hate driven mass shooting at a Taiwanese Church in California that left 1 dead and 5 wounded in Laguna Woods, California. And third, a gunman who just turned 18 days ago, acquired two automatic rifles, went on a shooting spree in a small town, Uvalde, TX at an elementary school, killing 19 children and two teachers. This was the second largest school shooting since Sandy Hook. These communities and the nation are grieving and overcome with feelings of hopelessness. And the families of loved ones who were going about their daily lives and killed by deranged, hateful gunmen (complete strangers) must mourn their loss and will forever be changed by these senseless tragedies.

Arguing the facts

Gun defenders deflection #1: We need more gun access for people to defend themselves. We need teachers to be able to carry guns. FACT: Ample research have already been conducted concluding that more guns do not make for a safer environment. In fact studies show the opposite, more guns per capita, increases the likelihood for gun violence. The U.S. has a whopping 400 million firearms accounting for 40% in the world.

(We Give Honor ....from page 2)

educational system, and many others. But this is not to say that without colonialism the Philippines would not have on their own achieved such societal advantages eventually. Arguably, colonialism at least expedited certain areas of progression.

Honoring Filipino heroes and heroines

Kudos to the Philippine Celebrations Coordinating Committee of Hawaii (PCCCH) and the Philippine Consulate General in Honolulu for presenting Hawaii’s annual Philippine Independence Day Gala (Kalayaan Gala). This year it is on Saturday, June 18, 2022, 5:30 p.m. at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort, Tapa Ballroom. We encourage our community to support this event. We also encourage our community to get educated on the Philippines unique history. It’s eye-opening and explains a lot about who we are and what we value. Specifically with regard to Philippines’ independence, learning more about these events give honor to our ancestors who’ve fought

Gun defenders deflection #2: the Second Amendment guarantees the right to own guns. FACT: the Second Amendment was written at a time before the country didn’t even have a national army. It was written for citizens to protect themselves at a time when there was little to no military or law enforcement. Clearly the environment have changed. On top of that, the Supreme Court already ruled that while citizens are allowed that right to possess firearms, the Constitution doesn’t say that firearms could not be regulated. That means federal and state governments have every right to regulate what kinds of firearms (ban military style assault weapons) and who can be restricted from owning firearms (felons, etc.). Gun defenders deflection #3: We have a mental illness problem. This is the reason for mass shootings. FACT: Studies show mental illness does not predict a propensity for gun violence. A study on mental illness shows that in countries that have higher rates of mental illness than the US (where there is about 16% of the population that suffer from mental illness and substance abuse), these countries do not have nearly the number of

and many who’ve died fighting for liberation. The freedoms the Philippines enjoy today were earned with blood and resistance. This is what we should remember.

Threats to freedom in current society

At the same time, we should also recognize that such freedoms are also in constant threat from both outside and within. No longer do we have outright political domination of one nation over another nation as in the age of colonialism (explains the world condemnation of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, an odd exception in modern times). But what we do have is domination that comes in another form, an economic one through globalism. Philippine Independence is a celebration of ultimately nationhood. And with nationhood, that comes with specific tangibles and policymaking that must put first the interests of the nation’s people. Otherwise, what you have is just symbolic, empty ideals and gestures of hypocrisy where foreigners are still in fact economically controlling the fate of Filipinos.

gun violence (2.5 and lower per 100,000) as in the US (11.9 gun deaths per 100,000 individuals).

Gun prevalence

It’s time to stop the deflecting of the facts with regard to gun violence, which already accounts for far more deaths than car accidents. Specifically stats on children and gun deaths is startling. In 2017, guns overtook 60 years of cars as the biggest injury-based killer of children and young adults (ages one to 24) in the US. By 2020, about 8 in every 100,000 people died in car crashes. About 10 in every 100,000 people died in gun injuries. This last statistic is perhaps most stark: more children die by gunfire in a year than on-duty police officers and active military members.

Common sense

What most Americans want is common sense legislation like perhaps what we have in other industries that could have potentially deadly results. Auto manufacturers are regulated to ensure cars are safe. And we don’t see

manufacturers lobbying Congress to cut safety corners. Take 9/11. After the deadly terrorist attack, how people in the US and world travel has dramatically changed with added regulations. And most people are perfectly fine with such safety precautions. Even bar and business establishments serving liquor could be held responsible for serving too much alcohol to their patrons. Why is the gun industry afforded so much protection and allowed to wreckhavoc on communities all across the nation? We’re not calling for a complete ban on gun ownership. There needs to be common sense laws. Since 2008, there have been 500 school shootings; this year alone, already 213 school shootings. It’s far more common than Americans think. We cannot continue down this road, a grim future, a future that says we as a society devalue life. It’s time we demand action. Call the US Senate hotline 202-224-3121. Demand gun reform!



Honoring Our Filipino Heroes’ Legacy, Ancestors on Philippine Independence Day by Edwin Quinabo


awaii’s annual Philippine Independence Day Gala (Kalayaan Gala) returns this year on Saturday, June 18, 2022, 5:30 p.m. at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort, Tapa Ballroom. The event is presented by the Philippine Celebrations Coordinating Committee of Hawaii (PCCCH) in cooperation with the Philippine Consulate General in Honolulu. Organizers say this year’s Kalayaan Gala will center on the theme: “Philippine Textiles: Weaving the Filipino Identity.” There will be a Philippine Textiles exhibit at the Tapa Palace Lounge. They say Kalayaan 2022 promises to be a wonderful event which will draw the community closer together in a showcase of unity. Raymund Llanes Liongson, PhD, retired Professor in Philippine/Asian Studies at the University of Hawaii-Leeward, is a member of PCCCH and has been involved in Hawaii’s celebrations of Philippine Independence for the past 20 years. On the importance of the Philippine Independence for Hawaii’s community, Liongson said “I am looking forward to a Kalayaan celebration that is open and free to the public -- not just for those who can afford to pay the cost of a pompous gala. Philippine independence was won through the bravery of every Filipino who selflessly offered their blood, sweat, tears, and life. Kalayaan should be celebrated freely and openly by every Filipino who understands and treasures the value of such sacrifice.” The annual event typically has been not just an opportunity to honor the legacy of Philippine heroes, heroines of past, but also for first-, second- and third generation Filipino-Americans to learn about their ancestral history. Kailua resident Teresita G. Bernales, Ed.D. said “attending the Kalayaan Gala is important because it will demonstrate Tracing Family history to Philippine Independence from Spain and the U.S. Marcos Jocson. Churma discovered during the mandatory quarantine at the onset of COVID 19 in 2020 her family’s unique involvement with the plight for independence. “I discovered that my maternal great grandfather Marcos Jocson — one of the first Filipino

the embrace of our culture and traditions, show our love of our country and solidarity, and it’s a good way to help the next generation learn our history, and have heightened awareness of our struggles for independence.” Marc Dela Cuesta, Quezon City, Philippines, said a common way they celebrate that national holiday is by visiting Rizal park, Intramuros, and other historical places in Manila. Refresher: Philippines unique struggle for independence When most Filipinos talk of Philippine Independence, there are really two historical markers: independence from Spain in 1898 and independence from the U.S. in 1946. Philippine Independence day officially recognizes the first marker, the end of 333 years of Spanish rule over the Philippines that was brought about at the conclusion of the Spanish-American war of 1898. Spain was defeated by the U.S. that led to the Spanish government ceding the Philippines to the U.S. in the 1898 Treaty of Paris. It was a monumental turning point. But for the Philippines Revolutionary Government and millions of Filipinos it marked the turnover of their country from one colonial ruler to another. To most it was a false sense of liberation. When it became clear that the U.S. (late entrant to European colonial global dominance) was intent on establishing a springboard territorial U.S. government thousands of miles away in the Philippines, Filipino revolutionaries (with a taste of independence) immediately initiated another movement for national independence – the second and last part of Philippine Independence. Filipinos clashed with the U.S. as early as 1899, just months from the signing of the Treaty of Paris. Skirmishes quickly swelled into an all-out war, in what’s known as the Philippine-American War

medical doctors who graduated from UST -- was a signatory to the June 12, 1898 Declaration of Philippine Independence. He was one of 176 signatories of Filipino descent (and one American army officer). And for the first time, I saw how he signed his name, and I understood why he took pains to bring his toddler son from Navotas to his dorm in Intra-

muros so they can both witness the execution of Dr. Jose Rizal on the early morning of December 30, 1896.” Jocson was a physician in Aguinaldo’s army. While in medical school, his discontent regarding Spanish colonialism was already palpable. Churma said, “Time and again, his father and his aunt would remind him that his first responsibility

(February 4, 1899, to July 2, 1902). But it would take decades of American occupation until post-WW II (which in that war there was yet another attempt to usurp the Philippines into colonial submission by Japan) when the Philippines would finally gain its full independence. The US. granted independence to the Philippines on July 4,1946 (official national holiday would later change to June 12). In all valiant attempts toward full independence – from the Spanish, Americans and wouldbe Japanese – hundreds of thousands of Filipinos were killed while fighting in the pursuit for freedom. From Andres Bonifacio, Gabriela Silang, Jose Rizal, Melchora Aquino de Ramos (revolutionaries against Spain) to Emilio Aguinaldo (revolutionary against the U.S.) these and other heroes and heroines legacies are celebrated on Philippine Independence Day, each June 12 in the Philippines. Hawaii resident Rose Cruz Churma said the observance of Philippine independence is not geographically specific. “It is celebrated “wherever in the world you have those who identify themselves as Filipino and the Philippines as their inang bayan, motherland.” She said her grandparents lived this two-part Independence history -- as young witnesses to the Philippine revolution against Spain and the American occupation, to the horrors of WWII.

was to his family—it was important not to jeopardize their futures by getting messed up in the growing insurgency by joining this underground movement called the Katipunan.” The Katipunan (abbreviated to KKK) was a Philippine revolutionary society in Manila founded in 1892, whose aim was to liberate the Philippines from Spain through revolution.

Years later when Jocson was already a doctor and the Spanish-American war had ended, he and his family evacuated to Cavite during the “Takbuhan” at the start of the Philippine-American War. It was at this time while stationed there as physician to Emilio Aguinaldo’s army that he was witness to the signing of the declaration (continue on page 5)


COVER STORY (Honoring....from page 4)

of independence from Spain Felix Magsaysay. Churma shares another family member’s story, of Felix Magsaysay, her grandmother’s father who became the presidente de municipal from 1898-1901 of San Antonio, Zambales. “During this time, American soldiers had taken over the Philippines. We were told that the Spaniards tortured Felix into revealing the names of the katipuneros who were hiding in the mountains of Pundaquit. “When he refused to cooperate, he was subjected to the infamous ‘water cure’ wherein he was forced to ingest large amounts of water. And I remember what my grandmother, Lola Sitang had relayed to me about her early childhood. One of her stories was when her papa (Felix) hid some ‘insurgents’ in the baul (these are wooden trunks) during the Philippine-American war,” Churma said. 1st Lt. Francisco M. Gregorio. While many decades have passed since World War II, Bernales has been on a quest to search for the remains of her father who fought along-

side Americans against the Japanese invaders. This part of Philippine Independence (post-WWII) remains an open chapter for Bernales, until perhaps her father’s remains are found. Her father was 1st Lt. Francisco M. Gregorio, a UP and PMA graduate. He was also a graduate of ROSS (Reserve Officers Service School). Officers with this training were posted in various camps to train soldiers in better combat strategies and techniques. She explains, “Before the war, he was posted at the Ist Davao PC Company of the USAFFE 101st Infantry Division. We did not have news about him during the Japanese Occupation. My mother searched for him where possible, even going to the Death March area. After liberation, a colleague of my father, Col. Gregorio Ferreols came to bring a couple of documents to my mother. It was his wallet and a couple of important documents. He related that after the fall of Davao to the Japanese, they were all captured, Filipinos and American soldiers. They

were imprisoned and brought to a camp in Malaybalay, Bukidnon. They were interrogated, tortured, and experienced brutal treatment in the camp. “A group of them planned to escape, but my father was vehemently against it. His reasoning was that if they escaped all the American soldiers and officers will be killed. He stayed with them. The rest of the group still went on with their plans. He entrusted what he had with Col. Ferreols and gave him information about where to find my mother, Mercedes deGuzman-Gregorio. On finding out about the escape, the Japanese executed the rest of the prisoners and were buried in a mass grave behind an elementary school. This is all we know about my father’s last days. Finding records about his service has produced little information up to now. “Some people have helped in my search and it is still ongoing. I am grateful for their help and I hope that someday, I will still be alive and find out more about my father’s service. He made the ultimate sacrifice

124TH PHILIPPINE INDEPENDENCE DAY GALA June 18, 2022 5:00 pm TAPA Ballroom, Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort 5:30 to 6:30 – LOBBY -Filipino Music by Virgil and Jiji Sumait


 6:45 Program Host:  Invocation:  Parade of Colors:

Amelia Casamina Cabatu Vicar General Reverend Monsignor Gary L. Secor Order of the Knights of Rizal: Dr. Serafin Colmenares, Jr.; Dr. Raymund Liongson; Dr. Arnold Villafuerte  Anthems: Fil Am Ensemble  7:00 Welcome Remarks: Cecilia Villafuerte, PCCCH Chair  Greetings of the Consul General Emil Fernandez, Philippine Consulate General of Hawaii  Independence Day Vin De Honor (Toast) - Consul General Emil Fernandez and Governor David Ige  Dinner  Entertainment: Dinner Music: Jeanette Trevias MTB Dancers – 1 folkdance Song –(pending confirmation) Folk Dances – 2 numbers by Rowena Parado and friends Song – Raymond Sebastian Rigodon De Honor – PCCCH members and Knights of Rizal members  7:50 Greetings from the honorable Rick Blangiardi, Mayor of the City and County of Honolulu  8:00 Presentation of appreciation plaques to Sponsors  8:15 Guest Speaker: The Honorable, David Ige, Governor of the State of Hawaii Philippine Independence Day History Video – Dr. Raymund Liongson  Bayan Ko (My Country) song led by the Fil Am Ensemble  Closing remarks: Bernadette Fajardo, Kalayaan 2022 Event Chair  Drawing of Philippine Airlines round trip Ticket to Manila - Sol Solleza, PAL Hawaii Manager – From guest registration - Winner must be present  9:00 End of Formal Program Dancing untill 11:00 p.m. *Could be subject to changes.

“The struggle for Philippine Independence was a struggle to assert one’s freedom and dignity as a nation. It was a resistance against oppression, exploitation, poverty, ignorance, and dehumanization -- all of which are still prevalent in the Philippines today. This makes the struggle for independence an unfinished battle. The enemies are still lording and the perpetrators have become our own people.” — Raymund Llanes Liongson, PhD,

retired Professor Philippine/Asian Studies at the University of Hawaii-Leeward

for our country and the United States, I strongly feel that he deserves more than a “presumed dead” status in the Veterans Affairs Office. To all those who are helping in my search, I want to let you know that my family and I are very appreciative of all the help you are extending,” Bernales said.’ Josefa Llanes Escoda. Liongson is a relative of Josefa Llanes Escoda, the founder of the Girl Scout of the Philippines. A suffragist, Josefa

fought for women’s involvement in the Philippine government. Her forward-thinking, feminist ideals understood the power women possessed with their new civic identity. Liongson said his grandmother often reminded him of Escoda’s bravery and heroism during WWII. “She covertly provided personal and medical supplies to Filipino and American hostages in various camps. After years of dangerous work, (continue on page 18)



Another Mass Shooting, and GOP Remains Covered in Blood, Playing Dead By Emil Guillermo


nd so, of course, mistakes were made in Uvalde, Texas. Nineteen cops were in the hallway thinking it was a barricade situation and not an active shooter situation. Instead of going after the gunman, the cops waited for reinforcements. For nearly an hour. Meanwhile, there were still some people alive. One girl called 911 on a cell phone to send help. None came. It is the tragedy of America. The NRA says the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun isn’t a good guy with a gun. The truth is the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is common sense laws that ban guns and protect the rights of the living. Nineteen young kids are no longer among the living. I look at the first two pictures I saw. One of Amerie Jo Garza, a ten-year-old honor student at Uvalde’s Robb Elementary School. The other of her classmate, Xavier Lopez, holding his honor roll certificate. These students were a big

part of America’s diverse future. And now they are a big part of America’s failure—our failure to take action to prevent horrific shootings like the one at Robb in Uvalde. Garza and Lopez are just the first of 19 second, third and fourth grade students, identified so far in the Uvalde shooting that has claimed 21 lives total. But it only gets worse. Garza and Lopez maybe luckier than the survivors who must deal with the trauma of Uvalde for the rest of their lives. One survivor in particular, Miah Cerrillo, 11, told CNN she witnessed one of her teachers was killed after getting shot in the face by the gunman, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos. Cerrillo described how bullets flew over her but she was hit in the shoulders and head. As the gunman moved to an adjoining part of the classroom, Cerrillo said she managed to get the teachers phone and call 911 for help. But then fearing the gunman would return, Cerrillo stayed on the floor among her fallen classmates. She dipped her hands into the blood of a friend, already dead. Then she smeared the blood on herself as she did the only thing she

could do to protect herself. She played dead. This is no way to be a child in America. Uvalde, a town two hours west of San Antonio, is now at the top of our country’s most recent high-profile shootings that took place this month in Buffalo, Dallas, and Laguna Woods. A grocery store, a hair salon, a church, and now a school. Of course, a school. The victims at Robb Elementary appear to be mostly Mexican American kids. This is the negative side of diversity. These May shootings have shown that no community escapes the pain of gun violence, having also claimed African Americans, Korean Americans, and Taiwanese Americans. Unfortunately, we know this story all too well. We have lived it before. And I have said this before. I hate guns. But I hate wimpy attempts at gun control even more.

From Newtown To Stockton I remember watching the news on Dec. 14, 2012. I was in a restaurant looking up at a TV monitor thinking, this has to be it. Twenty children in Connecticut gunned down? This has to be the time for hard-headed politicians to finally deal with their gun lobby addictions and take action to stop the carnage. But it was not. Newtown was not enough. And so we have had more shootings. Like the high school shootings in Parkland, Florida.

The Pulse nightclub in Orlando. The outdoor music festival in Las Vegas. Unfortunately, I could go on. President Joe Biden expressed our nation’s frustration during a nationwide address Tuesday night. “Why are we willing to live with this carnage,” the president said. “Why do we keep letting this happen? Where in God’s name is our backbone?” Biden has called on Congress to pass a weapons ban that was federal law in 1994 but was allowed to expire in 2004. That’s when our polarized and divisive politics kicked in. And it remains so to this day. Some like Sen. Ted Cruz continue to argue for shooters and guns as constitutional rights. Others dare to suggest school shootings wouldn’t happen if teachers had guns. And yet before our politics became so nasty, it was another school shooting that forced politicians to create a sensible assault gun ban in California that spurred that old federal law. On Jan. 17, 1989, then 8-year-old Elizabeth Pha, a Cambodian refugee, was playing on the monkey bars at the Cleveland School playground in Stockton, California, when Patrick Purdy, took out an AK47 and opened fire on his elementary school alma mater. After firing 106 rounds, five children were dead, 30 wounded, and then Purdy took his own life. Elizabeth, one of the lucky survivors recalled seeing her friend Rathanar, 9, get hit by bullets and fall to the ground. When I talked to Elizabeth years later, she recounted the incident. She told me she prayed. “Please, God, please, God,” she recalled. “Immediately it stopped, the gunshots. It was a miracle.” The real miracle though was that California was able to pass an assault weapon ban that has withstood legal chal-

lenges to this day giving the state some of the most restrictive laws in the country.

Bonta In California Will Fight To Preserve Assault Weapons Ban California is one of the few states that has a constitution that does not explicitly guarantee an individual the right to keep and bear arms. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t challenges in federal court. The state ban includes semi-automatic firearms, and the sale of ammo magazines that can hold more than ten rounds. The man whose duty it will be to make sure there’s no backsliding on the assault weapons ban in the Golden State, is Attorney General Rob Bonta, the first Filipino American to be the state’s top cop. Bonta was appointed by Gavin Newsom last year and is running to keep his job in the June 7th California primary. Hard to imagine the weapons ban, or Uvalde not being on peoples’ minds now, as Bonta, who grew up in a rural part of California similar to Uvalde, seeks the statewide vote. Certainly, our Asian American Filipino community should be supportive of Bonta’s work so far that includes an unwavering commitment to keep the assault weapons ban intact. In 2020, 76% of AAPI called “gun control important or extremely important,” according to an AAPI Data/ Asian American Voter Survey. And now in 2022, this issue is of critical importance that demands some action. Just look at the pictures of Amerie Jo Garza, Xavier Lopez and the other victims. And think of the trauma survivors and what they must endure because NRA-addicted Republicans remain motionless, covered in blood and playing dead. 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.



Cha Thompson Awarded Salesperson of The Year By Renelaine Pfister


harlene “Cha” Thompson was awarded Salesperson of the Year 2021 by Sales and Marketing Executives HNL on April 28, 2022. She is one of those rare individuals whose infectious enthusiasm and unadulterated joy shines through. Tihati Productions Ltd. is the brainchild of Cha and her husband Papali’itele Jack “Tihati” Thompson, whom she met when they were attending Farrington High School. Cha is a proud graduate of the school, and said she met a lot of good people there. As it happens, one of her sonsin-law is currently a staff member, and she continues to support and give back to that community.

After attending Farrington, Cha became the lead dancer for Elaine Frisbie’s Puka Puka Otea show while Jack was a musician. When Ms. Frisbie retired, the pair kept the ensemble, and that is how Tihati Productions began. Cha retired last year and handed over the reins to two of her children. Tihati Productions LTD, which opened in 1969, currently employs over 1,000 dancers, choreographers, singers and musicians from the Polynesian islands. They hold Hawaiian and Polynesian-themed shows, lounge entertainment and luaus across the Hawaiian Islands in various hotels and venues. They also have several traveling units, which traverse and bring entertainment across the globe. They ran a

show in Thailand for six years in a 5,000-seat theater and trained 250 Thai performers to continue the show when they left. They have met and performed for many politicians, diplomats and royals, including His Majesty King of Tonga, the late Taufaahau Tupou IV, as well as the head of state of Samoa, His Highness, the late Malietoa Tanumafili II, who appointed Cha’s husband Jack the title Honorary Consul to the Independent State of Samoa. Tihati Productions performed for President Obama at the White House in 2009, which Cha said felt surreal. She was given a private tour of the White House with her two children who now run the business. Though Cha enjoyed incredible success for over 50

years, her story does not flow in the usual chronology. Her parents were hard workers but did not emphasize education, so she was 55 years old when she earned Charlene “Cha” Thompson her Bachelor of Science Degree in Judicial was Ortiz; her grandfather Administration from Hawaii hailed from Siquijor, PhilPacific University. She pur- ippines and Cha maintains sued a degree later in life be- strong ties to the Filipino cause when she sat down for community Cha’s parents were relibusiness meetings, others at gious—her father was an Adthe table asked her which colventist and her mother was lege she went to. It was a difficult early Catholic. When she married years for Cha. She grew up Jack, they started attending in Kalihi Valley Housing with a non-denominational Chrisfour brothers and three sisters. tian Church. They have been When their parents divorced, going to Kaimuki Christian her Hawaiian mother raised Church for 35 years. She feels them. Cha’s father’s last name (continue on page 8)



Oahu’s New Short-Term Rental Ban Uses ‘Sledgehammer,’ Not Data By Mark Coleman


ill Oahu’s new ban on short-term rentals affect you?

It will if you have been renting out a room to help pay your mortgage, or you are a contractor or retailer whose livelihood has relied on servicing such rentals or the people who rent them. That’s the view of Dawn Borjesson, chair of the Friends of Kuilima, a community group on Oahu’s North Shore. Borjesson was interviewed about “Oahu’s problematic short-term rental ban” by Keli‘i Akina, president and CEO of Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, on the May 23 episode of “Hawaii Together” on ThinkTech Hawaii. Akina said advocates of the ban claim it will protect

Oahu’s neighborhoods and increase housing for locals, but others have grave concerns. The new ordinance essentially bans short-term rentals across most of Oahu by lengthening the short-term vacation rental period to at least 90 days. Speaking via Zoom from Juno, Alaska, Borjesson said the worst part of Bill 41 is that it was adopted without any data showing that it is needed. Until that data is obtained, she said, “we’re just kind of demonizing folks that rent out properties that are perceived as just vacation [properties].” Akina asked: “So if it’s not data and research that is driving the decision that was made by the Honolulu County Council, what is driving that decision?” Borjesson responded: “I would say the hotel industry. They have been trying for a long time to eliminate competition.”

She said the travel industry has “moved more toward people wanting to be able to stay in homes versus staying in a hotel,” and though “hotels are nice, … you don’t have the benefits of a kitchen, an area to lounge in necessarily, unless you really can afford it. And most families can’t. … The hotel experience is so costly. It’s cost-prohibitive.” She said along Oahu’s North Shore in particular, others who use short-term rent-

als include professional surfers who participate in surfing competitions in the area. Many of them have entourages that include supporters, trainers and even medical personnel. “A lot of these folks need to be able to rent a property that’s closer to the shore, because they have [to train], they have to get ready for the competition.” Borjesson said Friends of Kuilima is “very much for affordable housing across the is-

land. But taking a sledgehammer to the approach doesn’t seem to be the right thing to do.” To watch the entire interview, visit grassrootinstitute. org/2022/05/oahus-problematic-short-term-rental-ban/. MARK COLEMAN is managing editor and communications director for the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii. Jonathan Helton’s article can be viewed by visiting the institute’s website at grassrootinstitute. org.


Hawaii Filipino Lions Club to Launch in ie Santiago and Sharlaine Gampon as 1st August and 2nd vice president; Michelle Tellio as


he Hawaii Lions of District 50 is launching its Hawaii Filipino organization on August 6, 2022, in Hilo, Hawaii. The Hawaii Filipino Lions Club is a specialty club that focuses on the issues important to the Filipino community. It encourages volunteers to “share aloha and always be in the bayanihan spirit,” says President Grace Manipol-Larson. “The club invites fellow Filipinos in Hawaii to join our volunteer efforts to develop mutual trust and understanding while instilling happiness in executing the humanitarian purposes of the Lions Club International,” says Larson. “We want to motivate our club members’ leadership skills and confidence to be the best version of themselves.” The club officers include Ang-

secretary; Sali Queja as assistant secretary; Maria Corazon Cariaga as treasurer; Espie Badua as assistant treasurer; Perla Valdez as auditor; Gemma Moore as assistant auditor; Alyn Asuncion Vasquez and Marissa Kerns as Lion Tamer; Melanie Pacris and Erlinda Bernardo as Lion Twisters; Juliet Douglas and Chona Montesines-Sonido as board of directors for two years; Atty. Rose Bautista and Evelyn Isabelo as board of directors for a year; and Erlinda Castle, Erlinda Hernando and John Witeck as Lions Club International Foundation Chair. The Hawaii Lions of District 50 and Hawaii Lions Club are under Lions Club International, an international and non-political service organization. Details regarding the event will be released soon. Follow the club on Facebook at facebook.com/hawaiilions. 

(NEWS FEATURE : Cha Thompson....from page 7)

lucky that her sons and daughters-inlaw are all believers. Aside from being a businesswoman, Cha served many and various roles over the years, including being on the Honolulu Police Commission for over eight years and working for Palama Settlement. She was also Vice President of the Institute of Human Services Board of Directors, the Executive Board of Aloha United Way, Hawaii Council on Economic Education, President of the Native Hawaiian Hospitality Association, Board member for the Hawaii Tourism Authority and Secretary and Treasurer of South Seas Christian Ministry for over 25 years. Both Cha and her husband have garnered several awards over the years, including Hawaii’s Small Business Persons of the Year in 1986. Cha was honored as an inductee to the Ha-

waii Business Hall of Fame in 1990. She taught her five children and her hanai children that “hard work is the only way to go, gang.” She feels blessed with her five children and sixteen grandchildren, who love to return home because “Papa is the best cook.” Meanwhile, the advice Cha wants to impart to young entrepreneurs just starting their careers is to “not be ashamed or afraid of mistakes.” She instead smiled and cried through them. When asked what the Salesperson of the Year award means to her, Cha replies, “The pride I take is that I have done something for my home, Hawaii.” Cha is proud to be a hula girl and give back to the community. She says she knows where the blessings come from and every day, she gets down on her knees to thank God. “That’s real,” she says. “That’s no joke. All blessings come from above.”



By Atty. Emmanuel S. Tipon


y destiny is to be in love with you Makes no difference what you say or do I must stay in love with you That’s my destiny It’s the thing you can’t control” - Singer Billy Eckstine in “My Destiny” An Ilocano playboy does not believe in destiny when it comes to success in love. He says destiny places too much reliance on a Divine Providence who is believed to be guiding “the destinies of men and nations.” He believes more in timing. He gives as an example a poor boy from a small town in the foothills of the Cordillera Mountain in Ilocos Norte. The boy would pass by the home of a beautiful girl everyday on the way to school. He admired the girl but did not have the courage to stop and greet her. Some fifty years later they saw each other again. This time, with some experience in love, courtship, and marriage, he summoned enough courage, greeted her, wooed her, and won her. They are now living happily in Las Vegas. How about success in politics? Is it destiny or timing? On May 9, 2022, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Romualdez, Marcos, Jr. won the presidency of the Philippines in a landslide with more than 31.5 million votes over his closest rival Maria Leonor Robredo who had about 15 million votes. “It’s his destiny to be president,” remarked a spectator as we watched the votes being announced on a television monitor at a hotel in Ilocos Norte. “Bongbong won because

Marcos Jr.’s Victory: In Politics and Love, Is It Destiny or Timing that Makes One a Winner? he ran at the right time,” I commented.

What Happened In 20152016 In 2015, we visited Bongbong’s mother, the former First Lady, Mrs. Imelda R. Marcos. We asked whether Bongbong would run for president. Mrs. Marcos said she wanted him to run to continue the legacy of his father, the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos. She revealed that she had talked with Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte for him to run as Bongbong’s vice president. Nothing definite came out of the talks. If I had been Mrs. Marcos’ adviser, I would have told her to bring a duffel bag with 100 million pesos and tell Duterte “We will finance the campaign. Here’s 100 million to start with,” handing the bag to him. Did Bongbong have the billions necessary to run for president in 2016, let alone 100 million in cash? According to Wikipedia, Duterte reportedly remarked when asked if he would run for president that it would take 10 to 15 billion pesos to run for president. I visited a religious leader whose Church has millions of members. They are known for voting solidly during elections. I asked: “Brother puwede po ba natin tulongan si Bongbong sa pagkapresidente? (Can we help Bongbong for president?”) “Hindi naman tayo tinatawagan” (“He does not call us.) he replied. I rushed to see Bongbong at his Senate office and told him what transpired during my visit to the religious leader. “Here’s the phone number if you want to call him,” I said. “I have it, I will call him,” Bongbong replied. Next door to Bongbong’s office was Senator Francis

“Chiz” Escudero’s office. Chiz’s father, Salvador Escudero, was Minister of Agriculture when Bongbong’s father was president. I stopped by Chiz’s office. He is a fraternity brother. We belong to the Alpha Phi Beta Fraternity. After greeting him, I said “Brod, I just came from Bongbong’s office.” “Kumusta siya,” Chiz, asked. “He is fine,” I replied, “I think he is considering running for president. Would you run with him as vice president?” “2016 will be the 30th anniversary of EDSA. Martial law will be a big issue against him,” Chiz remarked. As predicted by Chiz, in February 2016, the Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses to Malacanang (CARMMA) was launched by alleged human rights victims of martial law to fight Bongbong. Chiz eventually ran as vice president teaming up with Grace Poe who ran for president. If Bongbong had run for president in 2016, he would have faced formidable opponents. It is not likely that he would have won. Besides Duterte who had decided to run for president himself, there was Mar Roxas backed by the Aquinos and the Liberal Party, Jejomar Binay, Miriam Defensor Santiago, and Grace Poe, the darling of the mainstream media. Duterte won because the Filipinos wanted a strong leader after 30 years of wishy-washy leadership.

Right Timing In 2022 This year the 64-year-old Bongbong ran for president and won easily. He had very weak opponents. Maria Leonor (Leni) Robredo was running as an independent after eschewing the Liberal Party, the Aquinos and the yellow color. The other candidates were Manila Mayor Francisco Domagoso, Senator and boxing champion Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao, and Senator Panfilo Lacson. Bongbong is a charismatic leader, with a ready smile. People flock to him. They want to touch him, hug him, have a selfie with him. His father did not evoke this kind of reaction when he was campaigning for the presidency. We were in Batac, Ilocos Norte on the day of the election - May 9. Bongbong voted in the same polling place where his father had been vot-

ing which is across the street from their ancestral home in Batac. Thousands were there. We saw him vote, took his picture, and congratulated him. Most of the voters were not even born or were too young to remember martial law which was the main issue against Bongbong. These young voters voted overwhelmingly for Bongbong. They did not believe that martial law was that bad or that Marcos, Sr. was that evil as to have ordered the killings attributed to him. When I visited President Marcos in Makiki Heights in Honolulu, I asked him if he was going to fight the alleged martial law victims who had filed a class action lawsuit against him. I told him that I had read their complaint and that a class action was improper because there was no “common(continue on page 14)



Covid is Out, Time to Celebrate! By Grace Larson


he District 50 Hawaii Lions International conducted its 86th Annual Convention at Bonvoy Marriott last April 2830, 2022. As a fun-filled event, club volunteers celebrated its sacrifices, successful projects and community volunteerism. During the pandemic, each Lions Club organization in Hawaii donation to Hawaii Food Basket and Eye Bank of Hawaii. Meanwhile, the Lions Club International Foundation helped Ukraine and other distressed countries during the Russia-Ukraine war. On May 14, 2022, Hilo Visayan Club (HVC) held its Santacruzan event in Aja Veterans Hall in Hilo, Hawaii. Santacruzan is a commeration of a jubilant celebration when Queen Helena of Spain found the cross where Christ was crucified. This is the second year HVC held spearheaded the event. Event attendees rejoice with thanksgiving in their heart. There was dancing during the event. A coronation of three lovely queens was the event’s highlight. Among the attendees was Mayor Mitch Roth and his lovely wife Noriko Yamada-Roth. We’re hoping that COVID-19 will disappear forever and people will start celebrating again because the gift of life is worth a celebration.

Jasmine and Pura Douglas, Joy Escalante, Sen. Acasio and Celeste Douglas

Santacruzan Queen Arcelie with Mayor Mitch

Club members and Leos of Hilo High at the

Lions Club delegates at the 86th Annual

(R-L) After-Santacruzan event cleaning by Mary Ann Apostol, Grace Manipol-Larson, Virgelita McKay and Diwa Conner.

Roth, Mrs. Noriko Yamada-Roth, Sen. Acasio and Visayan mothers.

Convention at Marriot, Bonvoy in Kailua-Kona on April 29.

Big Island Mothers with Lt. Gov. candidate Sherry MenorMcNamara at the Santacruzan event on May 14.

induction of new Leo officers by Hawaii Lions Club president Russell Hayashi.

Mrs. Milagros Aguinaldo, Arleen Ragudo, Sen. Laura Acasio and Mr. Lynol Acasio.




Roe V. Wade on the Verge of Collapse By Elpidio R. Estioko


he 50-year-old settled law on abortion is in danger to be reversed! This happened when a leaked draft opinion from the Supreme Court surfaced to public knowledge that Roe v. Wade will be ruled out. Who leaked it? We don’t even know. Why was it leaked? Again, we don’t know. But what we know is that it created a ripple effect of varied opinions from conservatives and the progressives. It created various opinions from the Republicans and the Democrats. The draft opinion of Justice Samuel Alito’s striking down Roe v. Wade and the constitutional right to abortion appears to be imminent and concerning. There are six conservatives in the high court right now, and it is expected that Chief Justice John Roberts usually a swing vot-

er – would cast a dissenting vote that would end in a slim majority 5-4 vote. However, he could introduce an amendment that would water down the ruling and lessen the impact of the decision. Or, he might be able to convince another justice to go along with his amendment and come up with a 5-4 decision retaining the abortion law. But will Justice Roberts do it and succeed in reversing the apparent 5-4 decision in favor of the conservatives? Roe v. Wade struck down many U.S. federal and state abortion laws and was tagged as a landmark decision when it was passed in 1973. The Court ruled that “the Constitution of the United States protects a pregnant woman’s liberty to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restriction.” Columnist Perry Diaz argued that in the Alito’s 98-page leaked argument, he penned that Roe v. Wade should be overruled because the Constitution “makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional amendment, including the one on which defenders of Roe … now chiefly rely – the Due Process Clause of

the Fourteenth Amendment.” Diaz also said, which I agree with: “Regardless of which side, the word “abortion” immediately generated controversies. Majority of American women are very protective of their reproductive rights while a small minority driven by their religious beliefs are against abortion and they are as well pretty vocal about it.” In an attempt to pre-empt Alito’s anticipated opinion, Senate Democratic leaders introduced a bill – Women’s Health Protection Act – that would enshrine abortion rights in federal law. However, the bill failed in a 49-51 vote with all 50 Republican senators voting with Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin opposing. Well, even if all the Democrats had voted for the bill, it would still fail to pass because it didn’t have enough support to overcome the 60-vote filibuster threshold. Manchin, an abortion opponent who represents a conservative state, said he voted against the bill because it went further than just codifying Roe v. Wade into federal law. He said the proposal “expands abortion.” He said he had

been “pro-life all my life” but did believe in some exceptions to abortion bans. “And with that, that’s not where we are today,” he said. “We should not be dividing this country further. On the Republican side, Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who said they support abortion rights and have offered a more narrowly tailored piece of legislation to codify Roe, also voted against the bill. There are 13 states with socalled trigger laws, poised to go into effect if the Supreme Court strikes down Roe v. Wade. Some states are even considering legislation that would limit the kinds of birth control residents can acquire. In Louisiana, legislation was introduced that would classify abortion as a homicide and define “personhood” as beginning from the moment of fertilization. So, “anything that would prevent a fertilized egg from turning into a pregnancy and being born into a baby could be considered a homicide and abortion providers would be prosecuted as criminals.” That’s the situation in the

Supreme Court. If, however, Chief Justice John Roberts can come up with an anti-abortion ruling that can get the support of one more justice, it would give them a slim 5-4 majority decision retaining the settled law. And, in the Senate, there’s no way they can pass a law that would turn the Roe v. Wade because of the filibuster where they needed 60 votes. As of now, even all the Democrats will vote in favor of the bill and assuming Sens. Collins and Murkowski will side with them, still they won’t be able to muster 60 votes because they will only have 52 votes. I think the reason why the Democrats proceeded just the same in passing the bill was because they wanted to know on record who supported the bill for future reference. They knew all the way it won’t pass because of the filibuster’s issue. So, the collapse was all the way anticipated! 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.



What If Russia Were Defeated in Ukraine? By Perry Diaz


ladimir Putin warned there would be “lightning-fast” retaliation “if someone intends to intervene in the ongoing events from the outside, and create strategic threats for Russia that are unacceptable to us.” He also said, “We have all the tools [nuclear weapons] for this, things no one else can boast of having now. And we will not boast, we will use them if necessary. And I want everyone to know that.” Does that seem like a mad man talking? Does he know that once he uses nuclear weapons, it would trigger World War III? Well, for over a month now, the U.S. and her allies have been sending weapons to Ukraine to be used by the Ukrainian armed forces in fighting the Russian aggressors. For one thing, the U.S. had been sending all kinds of weapons – Javelins, Stingers, howitzers, and “kamikaze” switchblades – to Ukraine to fight Russian invaders. With more than $4 billion in security assistance already pledged with a focus on heavy artillery, President Joe Biden unveiled a massive new aid package that includes $20.4 billion in military and security aid to Ukraine. He said the U.S. has the capacity to send Ukraine aid “for a long time.” Biden also sent more than 100,00 troops to NATO member countries in Europe ready to act should Russia invade NATO territory. “Putin is banking on us losing interest,” Biden said, adding that the Russian president believes “Western unity will crack… and once again we’re going to prove him wrong.” Indeed, NATO has never been more united. And with the prospect of Finland and Sweden joining the alliance, it would expand NATO territory by at least 50%.

Massive aid package The new aid package, which includes humanitarian and economic aid at a total cost of $33 billion, would include additional artillery, armored vehicles, and advanced air defense systems. The array of weapons includes: (1) 1,400 surface-to-air stingers; (2) 5,500 anti-tank Javelin missiles; (3) 14,000 other anti-armor systems; (4) 700 Switchblade drones, known as “kamikaze drones”; (5) 90 155mm Howitzers and 183,000 155mm artillery rounds; (6) 16 Mi-17 helicopters; (7) Hundreds of Armored High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (Humvees); (8) 200 M113 Armored Personnel Carriers; (9) 7,000 small arms; (10) Over 50 million rounds of ammunition; (11) 121 Phoenix Ghost tactical drones, which was rapidly developed by the Air Force in response, specifically, to Ukrainian requirements; (12) Laser-guided rocket systems; (13) Puma Unmanned Aerial Systems, a drone that provides intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance; (14) Unmanned Coastal Defense Vessels, called “drone boats” because they operate on the water without a crew; (15) M18A1 Claymore anti-personnel munitions; and (16) C-4 explosives and demolition equipment for obstacle clearing. In announcing the huge weapons package, Biden insisted the U.S. was not “attacking Russia.” “It’s not cheap, but doing nothing was more costly,” he said. “We are helping Ukraine defend itself against Russian aggression,” he insisted. He said that the military support has so far amounted to 10-anti-tank weapons for every Russian tank deployed to Ukraine. Warnings from Russia Russia’s Foreign Ministry said Western military support for Ukraine threatens “the security of the continent.” However, Biden is undeterred by vague threats about

Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin

the possible use of nuclear weapons, and a warning from Putin that there could be retaliatory strikes against countries that intervene in Ukraine, of which Biden shrugged off, saying they “show the desperation Russia is feeling about their abject failure to do what they set out to do.” In addressing concerns over a nuclear confrontation, Biden said, “No one should be making idle comments about the use of nuclear weapons.” While at the same time, Biden signed into law the Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act, which would allow the U.S. to provide Ukraine directly with defense weapons to protect it from Russian invasion. But with the military setbacks the Russians have faced so far, Putin might resort to tactical nuclear weapons or low-yield nuclear weapons. The question is: What if Russia was pushed to a corner with no way out but to use nuclear weapons? Would Putin use it?

Mutually assured destruction According to Margarita Simonyan, one of Putin’s chief propagandists, Putin “is more likely to

push the nuclear button than lose the war in Ukraine.” He’ll never admit defeat. “Either we lose in Ukraine, or the Third World War starts. I think World War Three is more realistic, knowing us, knowing our leader,” Simonyan said. “The most incredible outcome, that all this will end with a nuclear strike, seems more probable to me than the other course of events.” And in an apparent attempt to rationalize the rhetoric, Simonyan added: “We’re all going to die one day.” While it is presumed that Putin is crazy and evil, it goes without saying that he’s smart to know that a nuclear war would end in MAD – mutually assured destruction, when the planet Earth will become radioactive for the next 1,000 years. No life will survive, not even Putin. Biden would be forced to launch the Trident ballistic missiles from the Ohio-class nuclear ballistic missile sub-

marines deployed in the Baltic Sea, which is less than 700 miles from Moscow. It will take less than two minutes to reach and blow-up Moscow to smithereens. Moscow would be unable to launch a second-strike missile attack against the U.S. It takes at least 15 minutes to launch land-based nuclear ballistic missiles from Russia and another 20 minutes to reach Washington DC. At which time, Biden would already have transmitted the launch code in his “nuclear football” briefcase, which would have given the order to launch the nuclear ballistic missiles aimed at Russia. At the end of the day, I fervently hope that there is a tiny bit of sanity in Putin’s mind so he can intelligently rationalize that the world’s existence cannot be put in jeopardy at the whim of one man. PERRY DIAZ is a writer, columnist and journalist who has been published in more than a dozen Filipino newspapers in five countries.



Questions Persist about Viability of Honolulu Rail By Keli’i Akina, Ph.D.


t this point, the one thing we can rely on concerning the Honolulu rail project is the long list of unanswered questions. How much will it really cost? How will we pay for its future operations and maintenance? Will it ever be completed, and if so, when? Those were questions we were asking a decade ago, and those are questions that we are still asking now. In fact, I asked them again this past Monday on my “Hawaii Together” program on ThinkTech Hawaii, while hosting one of the most influential people in Hawaii who might know some of the answers: Natalie Iwasa. Iwasa spoke in her private capacity as a community activist, certified public accountant and licensed fraud investigator. But she also is a member

of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation, the city agency in charge of building the rail system. Throughout her 17-month tenure with HART, she has become wellknown for asking the hard questions about the system that taxpayers want answered. Like many of us, Iwasa is concerned about costs. First, there is the final price tag on construction, which we’ve seen jump from its original price tag of $3.5 billion to its current estimate of nearly $13 billion. As big as that number is, it’s still smaller than the estimate for finishing the project in full. As Iwasa explained, the new plan involves ending the line at the Civic Center and making other cuts and changes, like eliminating the Pearl Highlands Parking Garage. “Really, the cost for that garage is outrageous,” she explained. “It was $330 million. I think it was like $200,000 per stall. To put that into per-

spective, this is actually in the plan. They had asked a contractor who recently built a garage on-island — I don’t know exactly where — but that cost was like $35,000 to $45,000 per stall. You can see HART’s estimate for the Pearl Highlands Garage is like four times as much. It is just outrageous.” The good news, Iwasa says, is that the wheel and track issues have been resolved and construction is more than half done. While some have said the rail is 75% complete, Iwasa prefers to think of it as closer to 64%, due to some stations that still need to be finished. However, with several major hurdles still ahead, including complex construction requirements in the Dillingham area, Iwasa isn’t confident about the cost projections: “I personally don’t feel comfortable with the numbers because of the history,” she said.

“The major contract we have is from Middle Street to now the Civic Center. We’ve seen time and time again how those estimates have been blown out of the water. So if that contract comes in higher than what is anticipated, or there’s something along Dillingham Boulevard with the utility relocation that comes up, it’s just going to really mess things up as far as the finances go.” Not only does she worry that the additional $1.4 billion being sought for completion of the project won’t be sufficient, she is concerned about ongoing operations costs. Ultimately, those will fall on the taxpayers, as the HART plan depends on taxes for continued funding. As a CPA, Iwasa sees a “big flag” in the generous assumptions made about the state’s general excise and transient accommodations tax collections over the next 10 years, which don’t account for policies that could depress

tourism, such as laws that resulted in an atypical bump in tax revenues and Honolulu County’s recently enacted Bill 41, which will largely wipe out Hawaii’s economically significant short-term rental market. Iwasa said she thinks things have improved under HART’s new leadership in terms of transparency, but HART’s lack of forthrightness still is hurting the project. For example, she said, HART last year produced a list of 25 alternatives to the current rail plans, yet it has never been part of a public discussion. She also pointed to the agency’s new recovery plan, which would end the rail at the Civic Center and have its riders switch from there to “bus rapid transit.” “The plan is to create a lot of feeder buses and take away some of the express buses. Why aren’t we putting that

and press conferences. He ran on a platform of “Unity.” People hearkened to the message. Supporters of Bongbong utilized Facebook, YouTube, Messenger, TikTok and other social media to the fullest. They posted scenes of large crowds at his campaign rallies. They posted the speech of his father President Marcos during his visit to the White House, his speech to a joint session of Congress, his verbal jousting with National Press Club interrogators, his singing duets with Mrs. Marcos, and other episodes favorable to the Marcos family. Bongbong backers posted scenes of picturesque Ilocos Norte and what the Marcoses have done to

make it even more so. Bongbong’s admirers posted his spirited singing of “Hey Jude” by the Beatles on YouTube. Whether you are for or against Bongbong you will enjoy listening to it. The day after the election, Bongbong addressed the world and asked: “Judge me not by my ancestors, but by my actions.” Bongbong was proclaimed President of the Philippines by Congress on May 25, 2022. He said: “I ask you all pray for me, wish me well. I want to do well because when the president does well, the country does well.” Congratulations again President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Romualdez Marcos, Jr. We pray that you do exceedingly well. Was Bongbong’s victory a matter of Destiny or Timing? If destiny, did Bongbong control his destiny?

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 w rites columns for newspapers. He wrote the best-seller “Winning by Knowing Your Election Laws.” Listen to The Tipon Report which he co-hosts 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.

(continue on page 15)

(WHAT’S UO, ATTORNEY?: Marcos Jr.’s....from page 9)

ality” among their grievances and that the U.S. courts had no jurisdiction because the alleged acts took place outside the United States. He replied with a wave of his hand “Bay bay amon” (“Never mind”). He said that he never ordered any body to be harmed during martial law. “I do not even know these people,” he exclaimed. “If I wanted to harm any body I will go after those fighting me like Salonga or Tanada. But I have not done so.”

Right minded people who supported Bongbong believed in the Bible that the sins of the father (if any) should not be visited on the son. People sympathized with Bongbong for having been a victim of cheating (derisively called Switikmatic counting machines) when he ran for vice president in 2016. Bongbong observed what we often preach: “Less talk, less mistake. No talk, no mistake.” He avoided debates

ATTY. TIPON was a Fulbright and Smith-Mundt scholar to Yale Law School where he obtained a

* 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.



Who Is Your Greatest Philippines Freedom Fighter? “ I like Dr. Jose Rizal because he is a reformist and his method to fight for freedom are more effective in the hostile occupancy of the Spaniards. He started the revolution against the Spanish government to attain freedom and to gain control of the country. He was very motivated.”

“I like Emilio Aguinaldo because after fighting with the Spaniards who colonized the Philippines for three centuries, he achieved independence from Spain and became the first president of the Philippines under the Malolos Congress.”

“I prefer Lapu-Lapu, the Datu or Chief of Mactan of the Visayas Island where I came from. Lapu-Lapu is the first to resist imperial Spanish colonization by vanquishing Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan at the Battle of Mactan.”

“I like Gabriela Silang because she is the only female military leader and best known for her role as the female leader of the Ilocano Independence Movement from Spain. She took over the leadership for the Ilocos’ freedom after her husband Diego Silang’s assassination. She was a mother, a partner, a Filipina fearless leader and they called her ‘Henerala.’ She strived to liberate all Filipino women and she was remembered as an empowered Filipina.”




“I like Andres Bonifacio because he is the leader of the revolution and the president of the Tagalog Republic. He is the founder and the leader of the nationalist Katipunan Society. He Is known as the father of the Philippine Revolution against Spanish occupation.”





Hawaii’s Most Expensive Loco Moco: A Prescription Drug Price Analogy


ost people find it quite hard to understand the rising costs of prescription drugs. But what if we use an effective analogy like our favorite local breakfast: the loco moco? According to AARP Public Policy Institute and AARP Hawaii Research, if the price for a loco moco had increased at the same rate of inflation as prescription drug prices, a loco moco at a popular fast food restaurant would cost $26.97 today compared to $6.70 cost in 2006.

AARP Hawaii also noted the cost of ingredients to make loco moco and what prices would be if they inflated as much as prescription drugs since 2006. They found that a fivepound bag of rice on sale would be $12.03 compared to $2.99 in 2006; a dozen eggs would cost $6.32 vs $1.57 in 2006; and a pound of ground beef would cost $10.95 versus $2.72 in 2006. Widely-used brand name prescription drugs since 2006 increased by more than 300%,

(OPEN FORUM: Questions....from page 14)

out there, so those people who are planning on riding the rail understand that they’re going to have to get on a bus, off the bus, on the rail, off the rail, on a bus, off the bus? I think those types of things are still not being discussed, and I’m sure there are other examples that people can come up with.” Of course, there are other questions as well. For example, if the Federal Transit Administration accepts the new plan, when and how will the rail be completed? And at what cost? The fact that there is so much uncertainty surrounding the project makes it all the more important that the public stay involved and active. For

“I prefer Gregorio del Pilar. He was the youngest general of the Philippine Revolution during the Philippine-American war. He is known as the ‘Hero of Tirad Pass.’ He fought and held back the strong invading Americans with only a handful of men; thus, giving time for General Emilio Aguinaldo to escape the invading enemies.”

according to AARP’s Public Policy Institute. “Drug companies have been hiking their out-of-control prices faster than inflation for decades, forcing some kupuna to choose between paying for groceries and paying for the medicine they need,” said Keali’i Lopez, AARP Hawaii state director. “The U.S. Senate has the power to stop this outrage and reduce the

Iwasa, public participation remains the most vital part of the process. “I just would really like to stress that people should testify,” she said. “I get it: People are tired of feeling like they’re not being heard. But it is so important, it is critical that you keep telling your decision-makers, your elected leaders, what you think. And, I tell you, it’s going to stay on the record and it’s so important. So that would be, I think, the most important comment that I can make.” To which I would add: Hear hear. I couldn’t agree more. KELI’I AKINA, PH.D. is president and CEO of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii.

burden of drug price inflation. Congress must act now to put money back in the pockets of kupuna to help them afford the rising cost of their medicine and other basic needs.” Lopez hopes that the loco moco comparison can help Hawaii residents realize “how greedy the pharmaceutical companies have been.” AARP is urging Congress to lower out-of-control drug price inflation by allowing Medicare to negotiate the prices it pays for prescription

drugs, creating an annual out-ofpocket cap on what people on Medicare pay for prescription drugs and requiring drug companies to pay a rebate if they raise the price of existing drugs faster than the rate of inflations. “Americans are sick and tired of paying the highest prices in the world for their prescription drugs. Congress needs to lower prices now. Kupuna can’t afford to wait.” said Lopez.

To learn more about prescription drug prices, visit aarp.org/rx.



101 Stories of the Philippine Revolution By Rose Cruz Churma


n June 12, the Philippines will commemorate the 124th anniversary of the country’s Declaration of Independence from Spain. Perhaps it is time for us to pause and make sense of our present, so we can confront the future? This book is a compilation of 101 short essays that the author wrote “in a rush to meet the hundred front-page deadlines in the Philippine Daily Inquirer as it commemorated the centennial of Philippine Independence on June 12, 1998.” The author is known for making history accessible. He took history down from the academic tower and brought it back to the people. For this he was criticized as “trivializing history” and serving it as “mere appetizers” instead of the full meal. Although the essays were written in 1998, the articles have a long shelf-life and are still valid today and the years to come – the advantage of historical essays. Unless some “discovery” alters historical facts, and in this case the author notes that the shot that sparked the Filipino-American

war was not on a bridge in San Juan but in Sta.Mesa in Manila. Of the enumerable books he has published, the author claims that this volume is one of his favorites. Like his other books, the essays are easy to read. And perhaps, instead of essays, it is proper to call these “stories” – since he uses storytelling as an approach to history. It becomes not only informative but also entertaining. He humanizes our historical characters, showing them with their blemishes as well as talents. He provides the context of why these events happened with his keen sense of observation and insight into Filipino cultural values. Stories #3 “RP-US row sparked change to June 12” and #4 “Why Macapagal chose June 12” are the two that I want to focus on. In the early 1960s, we celebrated Independence Day on July 4th – same day as the US. In Baguio City where I grew up and a city established by the Americans in 1901, the event was celebrated by a parade down Session Road. School children were asked to participate and I recall being dressed up in our

uniforms and asked to march behind a school band. Philippine Independence Day was changed to June 12 in 1962. In Story #3, then President Diosdado Macapagal (father of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo) wrote in his memoirs – “The opportunity came when the US House of Representatives rejected the $73 Million additional war payment bill on May 9, 1962.” Although Macapagal had contemplated the date since he entered public life, this rejection of the additional war payments further fueled his intentions. In other speeches, he denied that the change in date was connected to that denial. Whatever the motives were to the change, this historic act ensured that we commemorate the country’s birth as a nation on June 12. In Story #4, Martial Lichauco, who was secretary to two Philippine Independence Commissions to the US (1930 and 1932) was quoted that the Philippines had the choice of

selecting the date for independence as early as 1930. Manuel Roxas chose December 30 in memory of the martyrdom of Jose Rizal, but the US Senate Committee on Insular Affairs chose July 4th—and this date was maintained as Philippine Independence Day from 1946 to 1961. Macapagal chose June 12 after consultations with various groups, one of which was the Philippine Historical Association where he served as honorary president. He writes in his memoir that July 4 was not inspiring enough to the Filipino youth, unlike June 12 where the youth would recall the heroes of the revolution against Spain and their acts of sublime heroism and martyrdom. There were some concerns in choosing June 12, since the government established by Aguinaldo on that date was a dictatorship since he was still leading military operations against the new enemy – the Americans. But this provisional government became a republican government in the Malolos Congress in September of the same year. It should be noted that what we commemorate on June 12 is the proclamation of Philippine Independence, and not the attainment of actual independence. The author’s final commentary in Story #4 is food for thought in these unsettled times of the republic – “June 12 and July 4 stress the fact that it is one thing to declare or win independence

but quite a different thing to know what to do with independence.” The author, Ambeth R. Ocampo’s research covers the late 19th century Philippines – from the birth of the nation to its art, food, and culture. He is a past chairman of the National Historical Institute and is associated with the Ateneo de Manila University’s history department. He also teaches at UP Diliman and the Universidad de Manila. A prolific writer, he not only is the author of enumerable books but also is a newspaper columnist and sought-after lecturer where he attracts a standing-room-only audience. He was a guest lecturer in Honolulu some years ago where he spoke at the Philippine Consulate General in Honolulu on the history of Philippine bank notes and at the East West Center where he discussed the contents of the Marcos Diaries. He was knighted as “Officier” of the Order of Arts & Letters by the Republic of France. This book is a must-have for Philippine history enthusiasts. Each story can be read in a few minutes – in the chronology presented (starting from #1 to #101) or in any order. The essence of the stories is not diminished and can be revisited and savored just like prized appetizers. 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.


UH Nursing School Honors Nancy Atmospera-Walch


ast month, University of Hawaii (UH) unveiled its permanent signage at Webster Hall to honor its new nursing school name: Nancy Atmospera-Walch School of Nursing. “The school was renamed in honor of Dr. Nancy Atmospera-Walch for her transformational gift that will have an enduring impact on the quality of nursing education, (continue on page 17)



Prayers For Uvalde: “I Just Want My Baby Back” By Seneca Moraleda-Puguan


ust recently, I finished making the homeschooling portfolio of my 6-year-old daughter, Callie, who just finished kindergarten and is moving up to first grade this coming school year. Pride and joy filled my heart as I looked at the milestones my daughter has reached. Many other parents like me are celebrating and are proud to tell the world that their children have finished the school year and ready for summer break, and some have graduated, ready for a new season. But not everyone gets to celebrate. Several days ago, what was supposed to be the last days of their classes became the last day of their lives when nineteen children aged 7-10 and two teachers were ruth-

lessly shot by a teenager in Uvalde, Texas. They were ordinary school children who have a great future cut off by something that could have been prevented, had there been better gun laws in the nation they call home. What was supposed to be a fun day turned out to be the saddest day for many families. Grief and mourning overshadowed the celebrations, not just in Texas but the whole world. For many of us, the victims of this tragic event are just names and statistics included in the list of the many people who have died due to shootings in America over the years. But for their family and friends, these are people who bring joy and meaning into their lives and will forever leave a hole in their hearts. I can only imagine the excruciating pain that the parents

of those beautiful children are feeling right now. Parents, siblings, children have precious loved ones taken away from them just like that by a gun shot. Their lives are forever changed. Their hearts, broken and their spirits, crushed. I do not live in America. My mother does. A lot of family and friends do. With the many incidents of shooting in the country every single year, I cannot help but fear for the lives of my loved ones who have pursued the American dream. Yes, it may be a land of milk and honey, providing for their families, but is it a land

(HAWAII-FILIPINO NEWS: UH Nursing....from page 16)

student success, community service and the nursing profession,” said UH in a statement. Born and raised in Vigan, Ilocos Sur in the Philippines, Atmospera-Walch moved to Hawaii after she graduated from high school. She was initially discouraged from attending college but she pursued and earned her Associate and Bachelor’s degree in Nursing in 1971 and 1977. In 1988, she received her Master’s degree in Public Health, Health Education. Then in 2017, she received her Doctorate in Nursing Practice, Organizational Leadership at UH. “It is a tremendous honor to be the namesake of the Nursing School because my nursing education has had a great influence on my career and my life,” said Atmospera-Walch. “Without the UH School of Nursing I would not be who I am today. It is my sincere wish

that every nursing student who passes through these doors will use the education they receive here to achieve their dreams, too.” As a honorary donor of the UH nursing school, her gifts focuses on four areas of nursing: improving school health for Hawaii’s keiki, addressing the State’s nursing workforce shortage, supporting future nurses and developing early-career nursing faculty. UH President David Lassner said her gift will be invested in critical areas to elevate UH Manoa’s School of Nursing. “These new resources will be strategically invested in critical areas that enable UH to improve the health of people and communities across our islands,” said Lassner. “We are proud to display Dr. Atmospera-Walch’s name on the school she is helping to do so much for Hawaii.”

Interim dean of the nursing school, Celementina D. Ceria-Ulep, says she’s proud of Atmospera-Walch. “She is a compassionate nurse, savvy businesswoman, dedicated family woman, and role model for our nursing community. As the first immigrant woman to have a UH school named after her, we are immensely proud of her achievements and her support,” said Ceria-Ulep. A t m o s p e r a - Wa l c h served 29 years at The Queen’s Medical Center in clinical, management and administrative areas. In 2009, she founded ADVANTAGE Health Care Provider, Inc. that provides health care services and support to intellectually and developmentally disabled clients. Moreover, she is the founder and CEO of AIM Healthcare Institute, a health care education and consulting company.

that can be called a safe refuge? I just hope and pray that we will not just learn lessons from the lives of those who have passed because of these senseless killings, but the government and lawmakers will take steps to stop this from happening again and prevent families from being ruined. This truly is sickening, it has to stop. May this incident be the trigger for reform of gun laws in the US, ensuring the safety of its citizens. There is no safe country in the world. Accidents and tragedies are inevitable, but some can be avoided. Where we are now, we don’t have to be afraid and paranoid that someone might be in possession of firearms and use them indiscriminately. I pray that the same goes for the US where many people want to live. May it be a place where parents don’t have to be in constant fear when they bring their children to schools, supermarkets, places of worship, playgrounds. I wish I can do more than offer condolences to the families of those who lost their lives but all I can do is pray for God’s overwhelming peace and comfort to envelop them at this time and give them the grace to move on

with their lives, even if it takes time, and even if it’s the most difficult thing to do. Just like what President Joe Biden quoted in his speech, the encouragement that we have is that ‘the Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit’ (Psalm 34:18). Here’s a simple prayer I would like to utter, not just for the victims of the recent school shooting incident in Uvalde but for those who have experienced the same tragedy in the past. I pray for peace that transcends understanding guard their hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. I pray for healing, comfort, and wholeness upon their grieving and broken hearts. I pray for justice and righteousness to reign in their city and in their nation. I pray for grace and strength to face another day. I speak for hope in the midst of chaos and hopelessness. I end this article with tears in my eyes as I remember the words of Angel Garza, father of Amerie, 10, who died in the Uvalde shooting. With intense pain and tears flowing on his face, he said, “I just want my baby back.” I pray that no mother or father will ever experience this again. America, I hope that no son and daughter of yours be taken away by a gunshot again. God have mercy on America.



Ritmo Dagiti Agmartsa a Darikmat ILOKO By Amado I. Yoro

Gamdek koma nga igawid

Ti panagbitek ti oras Wenno tawaran darikmat ti panagpallayog ti pendulum

Ngem bay-am nga umaskaw Ti dapan dagiti agmartsa a darikmat Ti biag. Denggem ti awis ti trumpeta Ti waragawag siak met ti guyoden Ti libut a sumurot ti addang Ti umay a panagbalbaliw ken panagdur-as

Saanka nga agdalikepkep iti suli ti siled Rummuarka iti iddam iti siled ti panagmaymaysa Adu ti aramid iti ruar A mangmaris ti aldawmo Iti man balay dagiti homeless Kadagiti panagpakan iti lima ribu Kitaem dagiti nakatanggaya nga ima [adda kuttongi, kublang, kursing wenno muldotan]

Adda salikad ti liday, uray kangkang a kilabban isakmolnanto latta a pamedped kenka ti asi-ayat no regregam ti sensilio wenno sangapedaso ket mariknam ti rag-o umaddangka, umangeska Pagam-ammuan agmatuonen Iti sabali a kirem aglikig manen Dagiti agsalog a darikmat yegna ti rabii Saan a barengbareng ti biagmo Kadagiti aramid a naisingay A saanmo nga impaidam Ita nga adda pay gundawaymo Nga umaddang iti umas-asideg Nga uged ti pangngeddeng iti isusuko.

(COVER STORY: Honoring....from page 5)

the Japanese military arrested Josefa, imprisoned her at Fort Santiago, and ultimately executed her,” Liongson said.

Philippine Independence and freedom – an ongoing struggle under global economy While Jim Sampaga, Pasig City, Philippines isn’t aware if her ancestors had a role in Philippine Independence, she’s proud of the nation’s heroes who fought against Spain and the U.S. But she says “achieving independence extends

beyond these nations who wanted to control our country and citizens. Filipinos are still struggling and unlearning the things we have internalized due to Spanish and American colonization. Filipinos are still struggling to be free from the shackles of politicians who are colonizing their own homeland by selling parts of Filipino land to foreign nations and putting the interest of foreigners first instead of its citizens. The country heavily relies on foreign loans, foreign investments, foreign this and that...to the point

that our nation’s leaders forget to put their own citizens first,” Sampaga said. “I do not think that we are truly independent if our nation’s leaders cannot provide good governance and progressive action plans to its citizens. It truly feels like, once we have overcome something, we have a new challenge to face again. The Philippine government needs to stop relying on foreign nations to run the country. Our country and its citizens are full of potential.” Liongson said “The struggle for Philippine Independence

was a struggle to assert one’s freedom and dignity as a nation. It was a resistance against oppression, exploitation, poverty, ignorance, and dehumanization -- all of which are still prevalent in the Philippines today. This makes the struggle for independence an unfinished battle. The enemies are still lording and the perpetrators have become our own people.”

Colonialism and shaping Filipino identity Close to 400 years of Spanish and American colonialism

of the Philippines (for perspective the U.S. is short of making 250 years old), scholars often assess the deep cultural imprint Spain and the U.S. have had on indigenous Filipino culture and in shaping Filipino identity (this year’s Kalayaan 2002 theme). Filipino writer Nick Joaquin said, “the Filipino soul was born through the people’s encounter with Western technology, and that, once born, it could be superficially altered but not fundamentally changed.” Liongson says colonial (continue on page 19)


COMMUNITY CALENDAR PUSONG FILIPNX THE MARKET | Pusong Filipinx | June 12 at 1-5pm | Bishop Museum | Support and uplift the Filipino culture and creativity at this market event that features various Filipinx-owned small businesses. The event is free for all. RSVP at eventbrite.com/e/pusong-filipinx-the-market-tickets-346380442227. PREPARE YOUR HOME TO SURVIVE A HURRICANE | AARP Hawaii | June 18 at 10-11am | Virtual | With the upcoming hurricane season, it’s better to prepare now to prevent any problems with our homes. Join this webinar to learn more. To register, visit local.aarp.org/aarp-event/aarp-hi-prepareyour-home-to-survive-a-hurricane-hawaii6182022-cxn7lt9qgzb.html.

SMART DRIVER VIRTUAL COURSE HI | AARP Hawaii | June 23 at 9am, June 24 at 11:15am | Virtual | This special course is designed for drivers age 50 and older. Completing this course may help drivers get a discount on their auto insurance premiums. This course is for Hawaii licensed drivers only. Tickets cost $20 for AARP members and $25 for non-members. To register, visit local. aarp.org/aarp-event/aarp-smart-driver-virtualcourse-hi-rvnhqfjtcrx.html.

full schedule, visit alohastadium.hawaii.gov/main/the50th-state-fair/.

50TH STATE FAIR | E.K. Fernandez | Until July 4 | Lower Halawa Lot, Aloha Stadium | After a two-year break, the Hawaii State Fair is now back! The state fair is filled with awesome rides, live shows, and food stalls. Tickets start at $3. To view the event’s

52ND ANNUAL UKULELE FESTIVAL HAWAII | Hawaii Tourism Authority | July 17 at 7-8pm | Virtual | The world’s first and original ukulele festival returns for another virtual celebration filled with performances, giveaways and auction. The event is free. For more info, visit ukulelefestivalhawaii.org.

2022 BAYANIHAN GALA | Filipino Community Center | July 23 at 5:30pm | Coral Ballroom, Hilton Hawaiian Village | The Filipino Community Center (FCC) celebrates its 20th anniversary by honoring extraordinary individuals who served the Filipino community in Hawaii and the Philippines. Tickets starts at $500. For more information, contact FCC at (808) 680-0451 or at filcom@filcom.org.


Gov. Ige Signs Bill to Extend Press Freedom Protections to Hawaii who introduced HB1848, says years and wasn’t able to get it fect and Senator Karl Rhoads, Student Journalists Senate Judiciary Committee, he’s honored to collaborate passed,” Saiki said.


tudent journalists in Hawaii’s public schools and university are now under freedom of speech and press protections when Governor David Ige signed HB1848 on May 23. The act also supports student advisors from retaliation for refusing to censor student

journalists. “Providing student journalists with the same protections they’d have working in the industry gives them real-world learning opportunities and creates a more enhanced laboratory for learning,” says Ige. Speaker Scott K. Saiki,

with a journalism teacher Ms. Cindy Reeves at Honolulu’s McKinley High School. “I was honored that Ms. Cindy Reeves, the journalism teacher at McKinley High School, asked for my help with her student journalism bill. She has been working on this issue for a number of

“Her heartfelt commitment helped me understand how important this bill would be for student journalists at McKinley and across the state. I am pleased that the rights of student journalists are codified in Hawaiʻi’s law.” The new law is now in ef-

says new journalists should see this as an encouragement. “Our newest journalists should be encouraged to investigate, report, and opine on the issues of today without concern that the school administration will censor the content of their work,” he said.

Hurricane Season: Review Your Insurance Policies


he Hawaii Insurance Division encourages residents to prepare their 14-day emergency kits and review their insurance plans as hurricane season approaches in Hawaii. “We encourage consumers to review their insurance policies, including homeowners, hurricane, flood, auto, and any others, at least once a year,” said Commissioner Colin Hayashida.

“A lot can happen in a year that can affect your insurance costs and coverage options. Some of these things include renovations, extensions, and the increased cost of rebuilding.” As a short guide, here are the things you must check in your insurance policies: • Check the amount of your deductible and make sure you are comfortable with it. A de-

(COVER STORY: Honoring....from page 18)

articles reflecting on our country’s Spanish colonization. It explains a lot of the things why Filipinos are the way that they are because of colonization. I’ve unlearned a lot of internalized ideologies that are rooted in colonization. I’m now in the process of accepting and understanding my own heritage by continuing to acknowledge colonization’s role and impact in all of this. I am happy to say that I am Filipino and proud.” To Bernales, Filipino or national identity is complex and born out of the multiple ethnic groups of the 7,000-plus islands and of the long-standing struggle for independence. She cites examples of western influences. “We value the standards of beauty which are often measured by Western physical traits such as fair skin, curly hair, height, aquiline

rule by these two countries has had a mixed bag impact. He notes they have brought about destructive, dehumanizing, and enriching influences. “Both colonial powers have disrupted and robbed the indigenous people of their traditional socio-cultural system. In many ways, they have exploited both human and natural resources, dehumanized and violated their dignity, and committed atrocities that have killed hundreds of thousands of Filipinos. On the other way, Liongson says, Spain and America have enriched the lifestyle and culture of the Filipinos. Sampaga says she’s still figuring out what Filipino identity means to her and that it’s a continuous process. “I love reading contemporary

• • •

ductible is the policyholder’s responsibility and any claims reimbursement that you are entitled to will be reduced by the deductible amount. Standard homeowners and renters insurance does not cover hurricane and flood damage. Hurricane insurance can be purchased separately or endorsed onto the current policy. Flooding can occur anytime

nose, etc. along with the prominence of Christian ideology as a common thread in whatever we do.” Dela Cuesta says the Philippines native people experience discrimination due to Spanish and American influence.

Support Kalayaan 2022 Since 1994 as ordered by President Fidel V. Ramos through Executive Order, in the Philippines the Independence Day has been celebrated over a 16-days span (flag days, plus one national holiday), starting from May 28th up to June 12th. With Hawaii’s abbreviated version, one-day celebration and its Filipino community as the largest ethnic group in the state, organizers are hoping for a large turnout as in previous years prior to the pandemic.

and anywhere on the islands, consider adding flood insurance coverage. • Consumers who purchase a National Flood Insurance Program policy need to plan ahead as there is typically a 30-day waiting period for the policy to go into effect.

For more insurance resources, visit cca.hawaii.gov/ins/resources.

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