Hawaii Filipino Chronicle - June 5, 2021

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JUNE 5, 2021




Immigration Nitpicking Puts FilAm In Deportation Court

FilCom Welcomes New Executive Director

The Presidential Musical Chair Game


Biden Signs Covid-19 Hate Crimes Act Into Law



Do Yourself a Favor, Experience the Culinary Delight Filipino Food Week Offers, June 6-12


et ready Hawaii, Filipino Food Week (FFW) is back for its second year. Once again, a diverse group of Hawaii restaurants representing a wide spectrum from fine dining to moderately priced eateries will be participating. Kudos to these restaurants, bars, and eateries for integrating at least one Filipino-inspired food item or a complete menu that both Filipinos and non-Filipinos can enjoy. Their participation – 21 restaurants in four islands—will also help to promote Filipino cuisine.

The Next Big Thing Food aficionados and chefs have been forecasting Filipino Food as the next big ethnic culinary splash to win-over Americans nationwide. TV Food host Andrew Zimmerman is among the latest to make such a prediction. Chefs in the industry are the best and most reliable sources to anticipate food trends. Their business success and survival often depend on how well they adapt to the latest trends. So coming from experts that Filipino cuisine is the next big thing should be encouraging news. But such bold statements have been ongoing for some time now with only incremental advances in popularity. The delay of Filipino cuisine-stardom cannot be related to Filipino food lacking diverse options, quality, or potential appeal to the mainstream palate. Otherwise, chefs would not be continuing talks of the-next-big-thing for our cuisine. Reasons why Filipino cuisine hasn’t taken off yet: Low Entrepreneurship and lack of Filipino community support Some have stated different reasons for the puttering start of Filipino cuisine in the US when compared to other more popular Asian cuisine. After Chinese and Japanese cuisine, the likely order of the next big thing should have been Filipino cuisine, just based on the large presence of Filipinos in the US. But Thai, Korean and Vietnamese cuisine have made deeper inroads than Filipino cuisine in mainstream appeal. Some say less Filipinos are willing to make that entrepreneurship jump to open a restaurant than other Asians. Why is this the case? Besides the fact that it is a very risky venture that requires major investment, ethnic restaurant entrepreneurship is often looked at as one of the few options for ambitious, recent immigrants who speak very little English. This theory is perhaps strongest among Vietnamese immigrant restaurant owners. Filipino immigrants as already proficient English speakers day one upon their arrival, it’s arguable to say, they are more adaptable and bank on other means to make a living, more conservative and safer means besides the high risk venture of becoming restauranteurs. But this is just one explanation. But one that weighs heavily because without entrepreneurs to make Filipino cuisine available, the only other means for non-Filipinos to get exposed to our cuisine is through social parties and potlucks. And this certainly is not enough exposure. The late Anthony Bourdain, American chef and documentarian, said himself that he believes Japanese food became as popular as it is today because of pioneering Japanese chefs that made Japanese food a successful brand. Now all across the US even non-Japanese are opening up Japanese restaurants. But it took a solid group of pioneering Japanese chefs that gave the (continue on page 3)



ne major sign of us moving forward from the pandemic is restaurants are almost, if not completely, back to preCOVID operation (unfortunately some have not survived). Within our Filipino community, we are also seeing a gradual shift back to more in-person events. For our cover this issue, associate editor Edwin Quinabo reports on a one-week event that brings both restaurants and our community together. After a one-year hiatus, Hawaii’s Filipino Food Week (FFW) is back for its second annual run. The 2019 FFW was a resounding success so this year’s FFW that runs from June 6-12 should be a big draw. Despite the economic challenges of the time, the Philippine Consulate General in Honolulu (main organizer of FFW) has managed to get more restaurants to participate in the 2021 FFW than the event’s inaugural year. “The Food Week in Hawaii aims to engage both Filipino and non-Filipino restaurants in showcasing Philippine cuisine. By tapping mostly mainstream restaurants, FFW aims to reach a more diverse audience and introduce the cuisine to them,” said Vice Consul Andrea Caymo. See the complete list of participating restaurants for FFW and what Filipino-inspired menu items they will be serving. There is something for everyone, a mix of restaurants, a mix of cooking styles, price range and authentic to creative Filipino dishes. Chef-owners talk about the importance of the event. Philippine food and cultural experts explain how our cuisine evolved over 5 generations from foreign elements into something distinctly Filipino. Filipinos in Hawaii comment on the mainstreaming of Filipino food. Please support FFW participants, have a delicious meal and help to get our local restaurants back on solid financial footing. Also in this issue, we have our new columnist Perry Diaz submit his first Perryscope, a well-known opinion-style column. This issue Diaz contributes “The Presidential Musical Chair Game” that looks into possible scenarios of next year’s Philippine presidential and vice-presidential election. President Rodrigo Duterte’s six-year term is concluding and he is not allowed by the Philippine Constitution to run again. Get a preview of who could be serious contenders. Diaz is a veteran reporter and political analyst. He earned his BS in Industrial Engineering from Adamson University in Manila, Philippines. Currently he writes for several reputable Filipino newspapers. Welcome aboard Perry. HFC columnist Emil Guillermo submits “An Immigrant’s Tale Ends with San Jose Rampage,” an article on Paul Megia, 42, who was one of the nine killed at the recent San Jose mass shooting. Our deepest condolence goes out to the Megia family for their loss. Lastly, in our news section we have an important update on higher education. The University of Hawaii System -including all three of its universities and seven community colleges -- will require all students to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to be able to attend classes and activities on campus. See also HFC columnist Carlota Ader’s wrap up with pictorials of the recent observance of Philippine National Heritage Month at the Honolulu Museum of Art’s Philippine Gallery. Be sure to read our other interesting articles and news. To our Filipino community, feel free to send us your events schedule for our calendar. Thank you for continuing to support your community newspaper. Until the next issue, warmest Aloha and Mabuhay!

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

Publisher & Managing Editor

Chona A. Montesines-Sonido

Associate Editors

Edwin QuinaboDennis Galolo

Contributing Editor

Belinda Aquino, Ph.D.


Junggoi Peralta

Photography Tim Llena

Administrative Assistant Lilia Capalad Shalimar Pagulayan

Editorial Assistant Jim Bea Sampaga


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

Contributing Writers

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

Philippine Correspondent: Greg Garcia

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

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

Advertising / Marketing Director Chona A. Montesines-Sonido

Account Executives Carlota Hufana Ader JP Orias



Via a Bipartisan Commission or Not, January 6 Must Be Investigated


enate Republicans refusal to agree to a bipartisan commission to investigate the riot at the US Capitol on January 6 underscores: 1) how ex president Donald Trump is still king pin of the Republican party; 2) how Senate boss of the GOP Mitch McConnell will drive partisan politics to his grave; and 3) why the Senate supermajority (60-plus) rule to pass most legislation must finally be dumped. If anything deserved bipartisan support you would think a commission to investigate Jan. 6 would be it. The event was monumental, an insurrection. It endangered the lives of our nation’s leaders on both sides of the political spectrum (including the top three in succession to the president at the time), and as preliminary investigations show, there was a concerted effort by a network of right-wing groups. It was not simply spontaneous, which makes it more imperative to get a full investigation. We also should be reminded that five people died, 140 police officers were injured. And that the crime scene was our nation Capitol, the people’s house, seat of democracy. Why would any American not want to get to the bottom of what happened, unless politics stood in the way?

US Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick – who McConnell and Republicans offered their sympathy to and praised her son for his service – had been pleading with Republicans for a commission. Remember the bill at the Senate would have been bipartisan and “equal” members from both parties. Sicknick told reporters she couldn’t understand why most Republicans aren’t voting for the commission, and at one point she said, “How can they not be doing the right thing?” In a statement she wrote, “My son, Capitol Police Officer, Brian Sicknick, died on January 7, 2021. He died because of the insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol Building on January 6. “He and his fellow officers fought for hours and hours against those animals who were trying to take over the Capitol Building and our Democracy, as we know it. While they were fighting, congressmen and senators were locking themselves inside their offices. According to some who were barricaded in their offices said it looked like tourists walking through the Capitol. Really?” It should be noted that her son Brian himself was a Trump supporter and Republican. It’s all about politics, unfortunately, Ms. Sicknick.

To the first point, much of the resistance to forming a commission is Republican senators bending to the will of Trump, again. Trump doesn’t want a commission for obvious reasons; any investigation that could lead to possible evidence being unearthed to implicate him should be stopped, in his eyes. But at this point, Republican senators should already know that placating Trump never ends. At this moment it is resisting the formation of a commission, next month it could be something else he will demand that almost most often is for his own benefit politically. McConnell knows from personal experience Trump’s one-sided loyalty test. He even felt Trump’s ire on several occasions, which brings us to the second point. The Kentucky senator who was demoted to Senate Minority leader wants his old job back. He has never put down his old playbook of partisan obstruction since the Obama administration. He is running old plays to ensure Biden is a one-termer. But most importantly, he wants to regain power and a majority in the Senate. What a commission would do is likely lesson chances for a GOP Senate takeover. That is the true political reason behind his and his GOP colleagues opposition. Being that the midterm is next year and that most of the “bad actors”

of the Jan. 6 insurrection are clearly self-identified Republicans, a commission would not be a smart political move for their party. There are 10 crucial senate seats that could swing either way in the midterm. Several Republican senators have decided to call it quits which leaves open these seats for a Democrat win. The absence of an incumbency-advantage in these seats of retiring Republicans will level the playing field. We all know how incumbents are almost guaranteed a financial advantage by special interests who want their ongoing government-related businesses and favorable status intact. Reporters mention how McConnell has been calling in favors from Republican senators to block a commission – that is how desperate and transparent he is on this issue. Never mind that Capitol police – those who McConnell and Republicans praised for protect- Forget and move on without ing them – have been asking for a a commission or formal incommission to be formed. Nev- quiry is absurd er mind that the mother of fallen Remember the countless

skill, it’s really just a matter of knowing the ingredients as a working start until mastery is achieved to make a transition to opening a Filipino restaurant, if this is a personal goal. But making a risky transition to promote Filipino cuisine must be a smart business goal, which brings us to perhaps another reason for the delay of Filipino restaurants from thriving – more of us in the Filipino community must support Filipino restaurants. Or in the case with FFW, we should be supporting all these restaurants sharing our cuisine and culture.

A big mahalo goes out to the Philippine Consulate of Honolulu for spearheading and organizing FFW. A project like this actually should have come many years ago and launched from our own local Filipino community. A special thanks also must be extended to the owners of restaurants involved in FFW. Already there are a few more restaurants participating this year than FFW’s inaugural year in 2019. And this is significant given that the increase comes at a reeling post-pandemic year. We encourage our com-

(EDITORIAL: Do Yourself....from page 2)

cuisine a kick-start. There are promising signs for Filipino cuisine to fulfill its destiny of mainstream appeal in that there is an increasing number of professionally trained Filipino chefs on the rise, even at the highest level as James Beard Foundation’s Restaurant and Chef Awards nominees and a winner in 2019 (this award is the Oscar’s version of the food industry). Filipino chefs may not necessarily be trained in Filipino cuisine to start, but once a solid foundation is formed on preparing food with creativity, accuracy and

munity to go out and support all of these restaurants. We also recommend that our Filipino community continue to support in particular after FFW, Filipino-owned restaurants. For those unfamiliar with Filipino food, treat yourself to one of the most diverse global cuisines. You will be impressed and think why haven’t you discovered Filipino food much earlier. Be sure to mark your calendars for FFW, June 6-12. See our list of participating restaurants in this issue’s cover story.

investigations and hearings involving the Benghazi scandal. There were 10 investigations conducted into the 2012 Benghazi attack, six of these by Republican-controlled House committees. Democrats did not impede those investigations on their then presidential hopeful Hilary Clinton. It was the right thing to do – allow for a thorough investigation, even if it meant potentially sacrificing politically the Democrat party’s then future star politician. Now it’s the GOP’s turn to do the right thing in the Jan. 6 insurrection, arguably a far more serious incident than Benghazi. It was a history-making uprising that will be studied in classrooms for generations – and to think that it will not be given much investigating at all. What’s wrong with this picture? Republicans want to move on. There’s a time for that, agreed, but after a commission to look into what really went on. Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin should stop his block of a simple majority and side with those seeking truth on this matter. Establish a commission. If Senate Republicans ultimately cannot be convinced to change their mind, the US House and Speaker Nancy Pelosi must push forward and act alone. Investigate Jan. 6. A majority of Americans want this to happen.



Filipino Food Week is Back, June 6-12, 2021 By Edwin Quinabo


he late food connoisseur, American chef and TV travel documentarian Anthony Bourdain called the Filipino lechon as “the best pig ever” – which is a high compliment considering how many countries consider the slow roasted suckling pig as their national dish like Spain, Cuba and Puerto Rico. Another American chef and TV food expert Andrew Zimmerman made a bold prediction just a few years back, saying Filipino food will be “the next big thing.” And it’s not just the food creating a buzz. An article in Highbrow Magazine called “Filipino Chefs Are the Rising Stars of the Culinary World.” In 2019 alone, four Filipino American chefs were in the running for James Beard Foundation’s Restaurant and Chef Awards (the highest recognition in the food industry): Margarita Manzke, Sheldon Simeon (Hawaii chef), Nicole Ponseca, and the Filipino Food Week (FFW) Back from a one-year hiatus due to the pandemic, Filipino Food Week (FFW) is back for a second run. This time from June 6-12, 2021. Participating Hawaii restaurants – from Hawaii Regional, Asian fusion, American, local-style to ethnic Filipino – will be serving up at least one Filipino-inspired dish, ranging from classic authentic to chef-stylized modern creations. Top Filipino and non-Filipino Hawaii chefs will have liberal flexibility because of the unique global blend that characterizes Filipino food. Gamboa-Fernandez comments on authenticity versus intuition specific to Filipino food: “to speak about ‘authenticity’ in the context of Filipino food is to forget how the cuisine is essentially and inherently a joyful mix of influences from all around the world, now made more evident by the many ways our chefs have fun blending what they know taste good

Chef Chai Chaowasaree

winner of the prestigious award that year, Tom Cunanan. Globally, there are other renowned Filipino chefs: Tatiana and Katia Levha of Paris France, Alvin Cailan of Los Angeles and New York City, and Cristeta Comerford of Washington, DC, former Executive Chef of the White House under George W. Bush’s administration. In the Philippines, hovering near or atop many who’s who list of top chefs is celebrity chef JP Anglo, owner and head chef of the famous Sarsa restaurant. “Our cooking philosophy, or cooking culture, is that we always push Filipino food, but at the same time remembering we don’t lose the very essence of it,” said Anglo. “If you want to innovate, it still has to taste Filipino.” What is the essence-taste of Filipino food? Over five generations Filipino food has evolved from a blend of Spanish, Chinese, American and the native Malay flavors.

Chef Joel Navasca of Tiano’s Restaurant

and what they feel eaters will appreciate. The test is ‘intuition,’ not authenticity.” World-renowned chef Roy Yamaguchi is back for this year’s FFW. He will be offering Surf & Turf and other Filipino-inspired specials at several of his restaurants. Yamaguchi, a James Beard “Best Pacific Northwest Chef” Awardee in 1993, has been an inspiration to many Filipino chefs. It’s encore time also for one of Hawaii’s top Hawaii Regional Cuisine chefs Chai Chaowasaree who will fea-

Chef Lee Andrada of Cafe Julia

ture a complete dinner with Filipino flair: appetizer, entrée main course, dessert. A Maui favorite, Tante’s Island Cuisine in Kahului is celebrating FFW again. Tante Urban, owner, said he is participating in FFW because he wants to promote and uplift Filipino cuisine in Hawaii and to be part of this movement. “Filipino cuisine plays a big part in the creation of the Hawaii Regional Cuisine which has been the dominant culinary style in Hawaii. Filipino cuisine has fallen behind among other ethnic group’s

Vice Consul Andrea Caymo

Filipino food critic, scholar and cultural historian Doreen Gamboa-Fernandez, explains Filipino food, more than anything, has been all about “indigenization,” meaning foreign elements have been introduced to the Philippines, but local tastes, using local ingredients have created new dishes. And in time, these new dishes have become entrenched and became “native [Filipino] cuisine.” “The origins are practically forgotten,” said Gamboa-Fernandez.

Wade Ueoka Michelle Karr of MW Restaurant

food. “It is our responsibility as Filipinos in the Food Service industry, the media, business people and all influential Filipinos in the community to promote, uplift and enhance our Filipino cuisine culture,” said Urban, whose restaurant that started in 1996 has Filipino and local menu items. Originally Tante’s Island Cuisine served strictly Filipino dishes. After a while and with his extensive background in cooking other styles of food besides Filipino, Urban expanded his menu

Tante Urban of Tante’s Island Cuisine

to add local dishes alongside popular Filipino food. Urban graduated from Hawaii Community College’s culinary school and worked at various hotels in Kona, Honolulu and the US Mainland, climbing his way to the top as executive chef. For his FFW dish, he said, “it is a take-off from one of the most popular foods in Hawaii which is Loco Moco. We incorporated local and Filipino flavors using siling labuyo to bring about the true Pinoy flavor.” (continue on page 5)


COVER STORY (Filipino Food....from page 4)

While it is Dickey’s Barbecue Pit’s first time to participate in FFW, his FFW menu items are already stirring interest. Barbecue meats, especially pork belly, are popular street vendor and restaurant favorites in the Philippines. Danny Mabalot Jr., owner of Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, said “My items for FFW will be smoked low and slow in our in house smoker. Normally for barbecue, Filipinos use direct heat on a grill. Ours is indirect heat,” On FFW, “Monday we will have BBQ stick. Wednesday is smoked Filipino flavored wings. Friday is Adobo Pork Belly,” said Mabalot Jr., who brought over Dickey’s, the famous Texas style smoked BBQ franchise, to Hawaii. He recently has been doing Cebu style lechon as a side business. Mary Lou Martin, Ewa, said, “I’m most curious about Dickey’s offering for FFW. I grew up eating pork belly BBQ, Filipino-style with vinegar, crushed garlic and pepper dipping sauce. It was always something my dad used to include whenever we’d have BBQs. Of course, the traditional Filipino style is light flame to meat, open air (without covering) cooking. I think the smoker-style might have a unique taste. I want to try this. ” Like Urban, as a Filipino, Mabalot Jr. says ethnic pride besides it being goodfor-business as a reason for joining in FFW. “I am participating in FFW because I am proud of my Filipino heritage. I love Filipino cuisine. I grew up eating it on a regular basis.” Also a first time FFW participant is MW Restaurant, a Pacific Rim restaurant, that has just reopened in a new location in Velocity on Kapiolani Blvd. Asked why MW Restaurant is taking up FFW 2021, chef-owner Wade Ueoka said, “Hawaii Regional Cuisine is inspired by all the ethnic groups that make up our community. In many ways sharing food from everyone’s ethnic background brings us all together.”

On Filipino cuisine, he says, “I love the utilization of some of the unique ingredients such as wing beans, long beans, mungo beans, and calamansi that make its flavors unique.”

Origin of FFW and Promoting Filipino Cuisine Filipino Food Week is the project of the Cultural and Economic Section of the Philippine Consulate General. Vice Consul Andrea Caymo, one of the organizers of FFW, said it is an adaptation of Filipino Restaurant Week (FRW) that started in New York in 2015, organized by the Philippine Consulate General in New York. “Unlike the version in New York, the Food Week in Hawaii aims to engage both Filipino and non-Filipino restaurants in showcasing Philippine cuisine. By tapping mostly mainstream restaurants, FFW aims to reach a more diverse audience and introduce the cuisine to them. “As the official representative of the Philippine government in Hawaii, it is the mandate of the Consulate to promote Filipino culture and cuisine. By organizing Filipino Food Week, it is able to help showcase the rich culinary diversity of the Philippines, and at the same time, promote ingredients and products made from the country,” said Caymo. In commemoration of the 75th year of the establishment of the bilateral relations between the Philippines and the United States, this year’s Filipino Food Week shall focus on the ways Filipino cuisine has enriched Hawaii’s culinary landscape. Restaurants across the State will be offering special Filipino dishes that combine both Filipino and Hawaiian influences. 2021 FFW PARTICIPANTS AND FILIPINO-INSPIRED MENU Oahu Restaurants Cafe Julia at YWCA • Osso Bucco Kare Kare $18.00 • Butter Mochi (bibinka) Ala Mode $8.00 • Halo Halo $8.00 Chef Chai, Complete Family Style Dinner (minimum 2 person) $50 per person

• Pork Dumplings with Roasted Bell Pepper Guisantes Sauce Crispy Green Peas and Garbanzo Beans • Sisig Chicken Wraps with Fresh Pineapple Mango Salsa - Filipino Style Chicken Lettuce Wraps • Black Tiger Prawns with Calamansi Sinigang Broth With Daikon, Mixed Cherry Tomatoes and Baby Bok Choy • Pork Belly Lechon Roulade with Mung Bean Risotto and Lechon Sauce • Deep-fried Crispy Golden Tilapia with Spicy Garlic Patis Lime Dipping Sauce • Steamed Rice • Halo-Halo, all natural, sugar free dessert • Fried Caramelized Banana Lumpia, A la mode Dickey’s Barbecue Pit • Smoked BBQ Stick (available Monday) • Smoked Wings (Adobo or Street- Style BBQ (available Wednesday) • Adobo Pork Belly Burnt Ends (available Friday) Eating House 1849 by Roy Yamaguchi • Adobo Glazed Short Rib & Pork Belly Kabocha Puree, Luau Sauce $35 Elena’s Home of Finest Filipino Food • Lechon Special, Pork Adobo Fried Omelette, Sari Sari, Pansit, Shrimp Sarciado, Squid Guisado - $65 GOEN Dining + Bar • Adobo Glazed Short Rib & Pork Belly Kabocha Puree, Luau Sauce $35 MW Restaurant • J Ludovico Farms Adobo Chicken with OK Farm Egg for $15 Pai Honolulu • Kare-Kare Beef Stew with peanuts, bok choy, and fermented shrimp / $46 Roy’s Hawaii Kai • Karekare Surf & Turf Tender Beef Short Rib,

“Filipino cuisine plays a big part in the creation of the Hawaii Regional Cuisine which has been the dominant culinary style in Hawaii. Filipino cuisine has fallen behind among other ethnic group’s food. It is our responsibility as Filipinos in the Food Service industry, the media, business people and all influential Filipinos in the community to promote, uplift and enhance our Filipino cuisine culture.”

— Tante Urban, Owner, Tante’s Island Cuisine and FFW 2021 participant Butter Shrimp, Arroz Caldo Risotto $38 Roy’s Koolina • Karekare Surf & Turf Tender Beef Short Rib, Butter Shrimp, Arroz Caldo Risotto $38 Roy’s Waikiki • Karekare Surf & Turf Tender Beef Short Rib, Butter Shrimp, Arroz Caldo Risotto $38 Skull & Crown • Tropical Filipino/Hawaiian tiki-style cocktails featuring Tanduay Rum Trading Co Stage Restaurant, Filipino Food Week Special Menu (TBA) Tiano’s Restaurants • “SU TU KIL = Sugba, Tula, Kilaw = Bbq/ Flame-broiled, Soup or Poke-style” Diners can choose style of cooking (Sugba, Tula, Kilaw) and their Fish items: Ahi Tuna $24, Akule $24 or Opelo $24; or Meat items: Pork $24 or beef $26 Tiki’s Grill & Bar • Lechon Kawali, adobo braised and crisped pork belly, garlic rice, calamansi island tomatoes & island grown long beans. $28 Maui Restaurants Humble Market Kitchen • Ora King Salmon Belly Sisig - Calamansi Hawaiian Chili Water Ponzu, Smoked Ikura, Crispy Garlic $25 Joey’s Kitchen • Caramelized Scallops, Maui Cattle Co. Oxtail

Kare Kare Risotto rice, Fried Okra, Bagoong chili oil & Chopped Peanuts $36 Roy’s Kaanapali • Karekare Surf & Turf Tender Beef Short Rib, Butter Shrimp, Arroz Caldo Risotto $38 Tante’s Island Cuisine • Lechon Kawali Garlic Fried Rice Loco Moco with Mushrooms & Mama Sita’s Siling Labuyo $14.50 Hawaii Restaurant Roy’s Waikoloa Bar & Grill • Karekare Surf & Turf Tender Beef Short Rib, Butter Shrimp, Arroz Caldo Risotto $38 Kauai Eating House • Adobo Glazed Short Rib & Pork Belly Kabocha Puree, Luau Sauce $35

Sponsors of the Event FFW is presented by the Philippine Consulate General in Honolulu in partnership with East West Marketing Inc., GK SKAGGS, Jun’s Awesome Sauce, Kasama Rum, Marigold Corporation (Mama Sita’s), Oishi, Philippine FoodTrade Co., and Tanduay USA. Impressions of Filipino Food Vice Consul Andrea Caymo believes Filipino food in Hawaii is in an exciting phase as more chefs, restaurants and food establishments are creating Filipino-inspired dishes, desserts and drinks. (continue on page 6)



Knights of Rizal - Aloha Chapter to Celebrate Dr. Jose Rizal’s Birth Month By Serafin Colmenares, Jr.


r. Jose P. Rizal, the Philippines’ foremost national hero, will be celebrating his 160th birth anniversary on June 19, 2021. To commemorate this milestone, the Knights of Rizal - Aloha Chapter will be holding a series of events during four Saturdays of the entire month of June. The month-long event kicked off on June 5 with the Chapter holding a clean-up of the Rizal statue at the Filipino Community Center in Waipahu. The clean-up involved power-hosing of the statue as well as re-sanding and polishing of the bronze

plaques on the base of the monument. Members of the Rizalian Youth Council joined the Knights of Rizal in this undertaking. On June 12, which coincides with the 125th anniversary of the declaration of Philippine independence, a virtual lecture on the topic “Rizal and Red-Tagging: Blasts from the Past” will be given by Patricio “Jojo” Abinales, PhD, Professor of Asian Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. The lecture is from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. (Hawaii time). Those attending the lecture are required to register first. To register, go to: tinyurl. com/virtualrizalianlecture3. Raymund Liongson, PhD,

Parba, PhD, Coordinator of the Filipino Language and Culture Program at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, will be giving the reaction. A question and answer period will follow after each of the lectures. The lectures are part of the ongoing Rizalian Lecture Series project of the Knights of Rizal - Aloha Chapter which aims at educating the public on the life, works and ideas of Dr. Jose Rizal. All lectures will be published later as an anthology. For more information about the events and projects of the KOR-Aloha Chapter, please contact Jun Colmenares at 808-838-9775 or email at juncolme@yahoo.com, or Raymund Liongson at 808381-4315 or email at rliongson@gmail.com or okor.aloha@gmail.com.

KGCR, will give a reaction to the lecture. On June 19, Rizal’s birthday, Clement “Clem” Bautista, MPP, KGOR, Educational Specialist and former Director of the University of Hawaii Office of Multicultural Student Services, will be presenting a virtual lecture titled “Reading Rizal and Beyond: An Exploration in Making Sense of Rizal and His Legacy.” The lecture also starts at 5:00 p.m. Those attending are required to register at: tinyurl. com/virtualrizalianlecture5. Reactions to the lecture will be given by Raymund Liongson, PhD, KGCR and Serafin Col-

menares Jr., PhD, KGCR. For June 26, another virtual lecture will be given by Federico “Fred” Magdalena, PhD, KOR, Faculty Specialist and Associate Director, Center for Philippine Studies, University of Hawaii at Manoa. His topic is on “Rizal’s Legacy in Mindanao.” Those attending the lecture, which starts at 5:00 p.m., are required to register at tinyurl.com/virtualrizalianlecture4. Jayson

non-Filipino restaurants introducing special Filipino items from halo halo to lumpia and pork guisantes, including grocery stores with hot, prepared meals like. “But I would say for longtime local residents, Filipinos and non-Filipinos, even before Filipino food started to be introduced at restaurants, most of us already were familiar with Filipino dishes because of our potluck culture here on the islands,” said Martin. “It can only grow from here. We see Filipino trucks now. But our community should support these food establishments.” Mark Perez, 52, Kapolei, has lived in Colorado and Los Angeles. “I’m not Filipino, but Mexican-American. Some Filipino meat dishes stewed for a long time remind me of Mexican-Latin food. I’m talking about traditional Mexican food, not the fast food type. There are differences in ingredients like we add chili peppers. Filipinos will add vinegar. We wrap our meats in tortillas. Filipinos put stewed meat on rice. I definitely appreciate the flavors of Filipino food.” Perez is married to a Filipina. “Then there are some dishes that are completely

different from anything Latin food experts say they have like the soup-based ones, like more local, Malay origins. Bourdain, who made sevSinigang (Filipino sour soup eral trips documenting Filipicooked with tamarind).” no food and the Philippines, said “There are restaurants Some popular Filipino now [in the US] that are servdishes and their origins of ing either classic Filipino influence Spanish colonizers from food or influenced by Filipino the 16th through 19th cen- food… and it’s getting a lot of turies have had a heavy in- traction, a lot of appeal, and fluence in Filipino cuisine that’s great.” Bourdain believed that from Adobo (pork or chicken restaurants and chefs play a stewed with soy sauce, garlic, bay leaf, and peppercorns and critical role in the popularization of ethnic food, “create vinegar) to lechon. Chinese settlers also heav- something good, serve it long ily influenced Filipino cuisine. enough and people will find it. Pansit (the many variations: bi- People would build their own hon, sotanghon, canton, miki) conceptions and misconcepand lumpia (gulay, Shanghai, tions about what an entire nasummer and spring rolls) are tion’s cuisine is based on their exposure to it.” the most obvious dishes. FFW is all about enjoying Kare-Kare (oxtail stew simmered slowly with peanut high quality Filipino food and butter), Sisig (pig parts sauteed popularizing Filipino cuisine. with garlic, onion, green chil- Celebrate FFW, head to your ies, and vinegar and is served favorite participating restauon a sizzling plate), and Sin- rant, ask for a table for two igang are three very popular “Mesa po para sa dalawa” and dishes in the Philippines. Some let’s eat “Kain na.”

(COVER STORY: Filipino Food....from page 5)

“Filipino Food, in particular, is something that other people from other cultures can relate to. We share the same ingredients and cooking methods with many countries in Asia, Spain, and Latin America. We hope that through food, we would be able to encourage others to learn more about the Philippines, our history, and people.” Martin says the popularity of Filipino food started

way back with restaurants like Elena’s, Joni’s Jesse’s and others. “It then started to take off in Filipino neighborhoods like Waipahu and Kalihi. The mainstream appeal came when a few Filipino restaurants opened up at malls. At first, some of them at Food Courts were not as popular. Some closed. Others now have very long lines to make an order. Then we saw



Immigration Nitpicking Puts FilAm in Deportation Court By Emmanuel S. Tipon, Esq.


he good looking 25-year-old young man from Cordilleras, Ilocos Norte married a 50-year-old woman from Hawaii after a whirlwind courtship through Skype and Facebook. The woman went to Manila to meet the young man, telling him to bring his family so that she could also meet them. Following intimate relations, the woman told the young man that she would come back to marry him. She returned to Manila, and they got married at a city hall in the presence of her friends and the young man’s parents. They had a reception and a brief honeymoon at a hotel after the wedding. The woman returned to Hawaii and filed a visa petition for the young man as the spouse of a U.S. citizen. The USCIS approved the petition and notified the young man to bring his wife at the visa interview which was a very unusual request. The wife went to Manila for the third time, appeared at the interview, was questioned and convinced the consul that the marriage was bona fide. He was issued an immigrant visa. The young man arrived in Hawaii in mid-2016. He was granted conditional residence status for 2 years and given a green card. His wife had rented a place where they would stay together. During the time that they lived together as husband and wife, they had sexual relations and performed the duties of a true married couple. About six months following the young man’s arrival, his wife did not return home from work. He called her and texted her. Finally, she told him she’s not coming home anymore as she fell out of love. The young man’s conditional residence status was

expiring. He was required to file a joint petition on Form I-751 with his wife to remove the condition. But because the wife wouldn’t sign the joint petition, he divorced her so he could ask for a waiver of the joint filing requirement on the ground that he had entered into a bona fide marriage but the marriage was terminated through divorce and that the alien was not at fault in failing to meet the requirements for filing a joint petition. The young man submitted documents to establish that the marriage was bona fide including a joint federal income tax return, rent receipts, receipts for remittances from the wife while he was in the Philippines, receipts from the hotels in Manila where they stayed, photographs of the couple taken before their wedding, during their wedding, after their wedding, and during the time they lived together in Hawaii. Affidavits of the young man, his relatives, and friends of the couple attesting to the fact that the couple’s marriage was bona fide were also submitted.

Did the Wife Leave her Husband In 2018 Or 2016? During a USCIS interview, the immigration officer asked the young man when his wife left him. He said 2018. USCIS denied the petition to remove the conditions of his residency. The Director said that “after about six months” from the young man’s arrival in the US in 2016, his wife didn’t come home. The Director also added that the divorce petition stated they were separated in January 2017. USCIS further explained the young man didn’t meet his burden to establish the bona fides of his marriage and likely provided false testimony for the sole purpose of obtaining an immigration benefit.

Form I-290B requesting that USCIS reopen and reconsider the decision denying the petition to remove the conditions on residence. He argued that: (1) he had established by a preponderance of evidence that his marriage was bona fide and that there was no factual and legal basis for the Director in concluding that he provided false testimony, and therefore he was deprived of due process of law, 2) his statement at the interview that his wife left in December 2018 was a slip of the tongue and that he had intended to say December 2016, (3) he was deprived of due process of law because his counsel was not allowed to ask the clarificatory question whether he meant 2016 rather than 2018 as the date his wife left him, (4) the Director erred in capitalizing on an immaterial and minor inconsistency as to the date when his wife left him, since that does not go to the heart of the issue whether the marriage is bona fide or not, and that minor inconsistencies do not provide an adequate basis for an adverse credibility finding. The Director denied the request to reopen and reconsider, holding that the motion did not support the argument that USCIS misapplied the law.

Immigration Court Ruled That Marriage Was Bona Fide USCIS filed with the Immigration Court a Notice to Appear against the young man alleging that his petition to remove conditions on residence was denied because he did not enter into the marriage with his spouse in good faith, and therefore he was removable. At the Immigration Court, the young man testified that Request to Reopen and his marriage was bona fide. He and his wife married beReconsider Decision The young man filed cause they love each other

with the intention to fulfill the responsibilities of a husband and wife. They had sexual relations many times. They planned to work hard in the United States and save as much money as they could so they could retire in the Philippines where life would be less stressful. He explained that his declaration that his wife left in 2018 was a slip of the tongue and that he meant 2016. His testimony was corroborated by a relative in whose house the young man and his wife had rented a room and who observed that they conducted themselves as husband and wife, they cooked together, ate together, and hugged each other when the wife arrived at night. We argued on behalf of the young man that the test of the bona fides of a marriage is whether the couple intended to establish a life together as husband and wife at the time of their marriage. The test was met by the young man and his wife. We pointed to the plethora of evidence in the record to establish the bona fides of the marriage. We emphasized that the young man was not at fault when his wife left and when their marriage ended in divorce. We told the court that the inconsistencies in the young man’s statements as to when his wife left him – whether 2018 or 2016 – were explained by the young man as a mistake and that he did not provide false testimony for the sole purpose of obtaining an immigration benefit. The date that a spouse leaves the conjugal dwelling is not the key issue in determining

whether the marriage is bona fide. The key issue is whether the couple intended to establish a life together as husband and wife – which they did in this case. We charged USCIS with focusing on the wrong issue: when did the couple separate? “Let me be the first to congratulate you,” said the Immigration Judge, “I will remove the conditional basis of your permanent resident status. You may remain in the United States.” COMMENT: This is not the first time – nor will it be the last – that USCIS engages in nitpicking to put down aliens. It is strongly recommended that you get competent legal counsel to protect yourself and your loved ones when dealing with USCIS. 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. ATTY. TIPON has a Master of Laws degree from Yale Law School and a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of the Philippines. His current practice focuses on immigration law and appellate criminal defense. He has written books and legal articles for the world’s largest law book publishing company and writes legal articles for newspapers. Listen to The Tipon Report which he co-hosts with son Noel, the senior partner of the Bilecki & Tipon Law Firm. It is considered the most witty, interesting, and useful radio show in Hawaii. KNDI 1270 AM band every Thursday at 8:00 a.m. Atty. Tipon served as a U.S. Immigration Officer. He co-authored the best-seller “Immigration Law Service, 1st ed.,” an 8-volume practice guide for immigration officers and lawyers. Atty. Tipon was born in Laoag City, Philippines. Tel. (808) 800-7856. Cell Phone (808) 225-2645. E-Mail: filamlaw@yahoo.com. Websites: https:// www.tiponlaw.com.



Celebrating Philippine National Heritage Month at the Honolulu Museum of Art’s Philippine Gallery By Carlota Ader


n May 26, the Philippine Consulate in Honolulu staff and select members of the press were treated to a guided tour of the Philippine Gallery at the Honolulu Museum of Art (HoMA) in celebration of the Philippine National Heritage Month in May. For this year’s PNHM theme of “VICTORY AND HUMANITY: Upholding Filipino Heritage and Identity,” Philippine Consulate Cultural Officer Elaine Justine Aldaya shared that the celebration also coincides with the 500th anniversary of the Victory of Mactan and the 500th anniversary of the Philippine part in the circumnavigation of the world. “But more importantly, this year’s celebration aims to highlight the need to continually create avenues in which Filipinos, and former Filipinos alike, could connect with their roots – to create among the people a consciousness, respect, and love for the legacies of Filipino cultural history,” she added. HoMA is filled with both new and old iconic collections of art totaling over 55,000 pieces from around the world. The “Art of the Phil-

ippines” gallery at the museum, which opened in 2003, showcases the diverse and rich heritage of Filipino art, life and culture. Aldaya was joined with fellow Consulate staff Vice Consul Andrea Christina Caymo, Deputy Consul Angelica Escalona and Consul Grace Anne Bulos. Alongside Hawaii Filipino Chronicle, TV show Balitang America was also present for the tour. Tour guides Shawn Eichman, Catherine Whitney and Aaron Padilla discussed in detail the art pieces on display in the gallery such as the several private collections from the Philippines that varied from pots, jewelry, outfits, linen, sculptures, from gold copper and pina cloth. The biggest highlight of the tour was the gallery dedicated solely to the art of the Philippines. HoMA is one of the few museums in the United States that honors

the Filipino culture and art with its own gallery. “The hosting of a guided tour of the Philippine Gallery at the HoMA is aimed at eliciting the support of the media as partners in creating and propagating a consciousness, respect, and love for the legacies of Filipino cultural history,” Aldaya explained. “The Consulate also hopes that the tour will re-introduce places, such as the Philippine gallery of the HoMA, as opportunities for learning and connecting with our Filipino roots.” The guided tour also included works from nearby Asian countries such as an 11th century Chinese sculpture of the Guanyin Bodhisattva, the Great Wave of Kamagawa and the most comprehensive collection of works by Horoshige. HoMA also houses artworks from Europe, America and contemporary Hawaiian sculptures and paintings.

The Linea Alba 1968 by Alfonso Ossorio, Abstract, Miscellaneous Objects

Camisa and Panuelo, A Pina cloth embroidery, 1990

▲ Left to right: HoMA Director and CEO Halona Norton Westbrook, tour guide Catherine, Cultural Officer Elaine, HFC writer Carlota H. Ader, Deputy Consul Angelica, Consul Grace, KPHI radio host Allan Alvares and Vice Consul Andrea.

Atimonan Beach, Quezon Province by Fernando Amorsolo 1927

Mother of Pearl, necklaces and accessories from Kalinga, Ifugao and Bontoc, Baguio City

Ceremonial Blanket, Abra province in Northern Luzon



Mga Tambay Sa Tabi-Tabi (Creatures of Philippine Folklore) By Rose Cruz Churma


rranged alphabetically, the members of the INK visually depicted their interpretation of how the creatures of Philippine folklore would look like. A text in Filipino/Tagalog accompanies each illustration with an English translation attached at the bottom of each page. My favorite creature is the Kapre. I grew up in a household where our Kapre was an heirloom passed on by my maternal grandfather and is named Pedro. Although I never saw Pedro, he was part of my childhood. It was interesting to see an illustration of one and a description – that it has enormous height,

looks human, with big eyes, a flat nose, thick lips and large ears. But the one thing that intrigued me was the observation that the Kapre carries an unmistakable goat smell. But since I always perceived the Kapre as smoking a cigar, it’s the tobacco smell that comes to mind. The other creature featured is the Tikbalang, and like the Kapre, its presence is usually announced by the strong goat smell it emits. A Tikbalang has a horse’s head and neck, but a man’s body, but it has hooves instead of feet. The Tikbalang can cast a dangerous spell but could also be somebody’s loyal servant or friend once it is tamed. The one creature that I was curious about is the Tiyanak. I’ve always heard that

term used to describe nasty people who were short. Apparently, the Tiyanak conceals itself among the tall cogon grass and preys on unsuspecting travelers by crying and assuming the appearance of a baby abandoned in the darkness. Once picked up by unsuspecting victim, it transforms itself into a small, evil beast. They say that the Tiyanaks are spirits of abort-

ed and unborn children who seeking vengeance for the life they were denied. Because the illustrations and text were done by different artists, each depiction is unique and adheres to the illustrators’ perception of how these creatures look like. A bibliography is included and lists all the secondary sources the artists used to conceptualize this book. But if one


FilCom Welcomes New Executive Director


he Filipino Community Center welcomes Kylie Arrell as its new executive director. She will replace veteran Donnie Juan who is leaving to focus on his new endeavor. Arrell, who is part-Filipino ancestry, has years of experience in the business development and non-profit industry. She has been involved in several organizations such as the Hawaii International Polo Association, St. Francis Healthcare Foundation and the Ronald McDonald House Hawaii. As the new FilCom executive director, Arrell will bring her enthusiasm and heart for the community to share the Filipino culture and FilCom center with Hawaii’s community at large. She will be working closely with the organization’s Board of Directors to ensure FilCom continues to adapt and serve the Filipino community in Hawaii. “I am honored by the

FilCom chairman of the board Edmund Aczon anticipates great things from the new executive director. “Kylie will bring new ideas, fresh perspectives, and a burst of energy to the job as we prepare to welcome the community back and restart the programs, activities and Kylie Arrell

board’s confidence in selecting me for this leadership position,” said Arrell in a press relase. “FilCom is an amazing organization dedicated to promoting and perpetuating the Filipino culture and customs throughout the State of Hawaii. I am delighted to have the opportunity to lead such an organization alongside the founders and dedicated individuals who have built FilCom to be the center for the community. I hope to contribute to that legacy as we push through the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and step into the future together.”

businesses that bring life to the center every day,” said Aczon. Arrell received her business degree at the University of Hawaii at West Oahu and her Master’s in Business Administration degree from the Shidler College of Business at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. 

grew up in the Philippines, it is likely that one’s childhood was shaped by stories of these creatures. Growing up, these creatures were used by the grownups to keep us terrorized—so we would be more docile and make life less complicated for them. I am sure these artists had the same experience – which is the best primary source of inspiration in illustrating these creatures which will always be part of Philippine folklore. ROSE CRUZ CHURMA is a former President of the FilCom Center. She is also the co-owner of Kalamansi Books and Things, an online bookstore promoting works by Filipino Americans. For inquiries, email her at kalamansibook@gmail.com.



Fathers Need to Be Recognized, As Mothers Do! By Elpidio R. Estioko


ne of the Ten Commandments in the Hebrew Bible says: “Honor thy father and thy mother.” The commandment is generally regarded in Protestant and Jewish sources as the fifth in both the list in Exodus 20:1-21, and in Deuteronomy (Dvarim) in 5:1-23 as Catholics count this as the fourth. Last month, we honored our mothers for doing such a wonderful job in raising their children. As May is for Mother’s Day, the month of June is for Father’s Day. Fathers deserve to be recognized, just like all the mothers! It is difficult to raise our children… but it is even more difficult if a father single-handedly raised them. I tell you, it’s really a tough job! I have six children with my wife Delia and we really struggled to raise them. I can’t just imagine my parents raising us 13 children (10 boys, 3 girls; I’m the 11th in the family) at that time! How much more if a father single-handedly raises them all? Just like Mother’s Day,

Father’s Day has a history that goes well beyond greeting cards and in-person salutations. Records show that the first-known Father’s Day service happened on July 5, 1908. A mother, Grace Golden Clayton, asked pastor Dr. R. Thomas Webb at the William Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church in Fairmont, West Virginia, if a Sunday service could be held to honor fathers. It took a woman to initiate the event, a gesture she did to remember her father who single-handedly raised them to maturity, but she extended the service-request to fathers in general. Her father died, together with over 200 fathers, in the Monongah mining explosion, a few miles south of Fairmont, on December 6, 1907. The explosion occurred in Fairmont Coal Company’s No. 6 and No. 8 mines. It killed more than 360 men and boys and left about 1,000 children fatherless. Mrs. Clayton thought of having a service to remember not only his father, but to all fathers who raised their children and were victims of the incident. The Fairmont service did not turn into an annual event

but a few years later, it gained momentum. In fact, it paved the way to becoming a US holiday. Mrs. Sonora Smart Dodd was credited for being the one who popularized Father’s Day. Again, it took another woman to popularize it until such time that it became a national holiday. Mrs. Dodd thought, after listening to a sermon on Mother’s Day in 1909, it might be nice to honor Father’s Day as well. When her mom died, her father William Smart raised his six children alone in his farm in Washington. She proposed to the Spokane Ministerial Association and the YMCA that they celebrate a Father’s Day. She chose June 5 because it was her father’s birthday. The ministers of Spokane approved it, after many of the members of her congregation supported the idea strongly but asked that the day be changed to a later date to give them more time to prepare. So, the first Father’s Day in Spokane, Washington was observed on Sunday, June 19, 1910. Since then, it became an annual celebration in Spokane and nearby towns had their own celebrations as well on that day. Despite widespread support, however, Father’s Day did not become a permanent national holiday. In 1913,

Congress introduced a bill, but despite encouragement and support by President Woodrow Wilson, it did not pass legislation. Luckily, in 1966, President Lyndon Johnson issued a proclamation designating the third Sunday in June to honor fathers. In 1972, President Richard Nixon signed a law declaring that Father’s Day be celebrated annually on the third Sunday in June. It has been an official, permanent national holiday ever since. I won’t forget one Father’s Day celebration in my own family with all my children present. In June 2018, my children tendered a Father’s Day sumptuous dinner for me at Fortune Restaurant in Milpitas. It was a day of fun and full of bonding reminiscing our memories as a family through the years. That was the first time in 10 years, that we were complete as a family. Due to physical distance, my children being in faraway places with their own families, we didn’t have a chance to celebrate it together annually. My eldest Edel “Gigi” Estioko Malapitan came home from Sydney, Australia where she resides with her husband Eric, who was not able to join us due to prior work commitment in the hospital. My second to the eldest John Edward “Jojo” from Jacksonville, Florida was

joined by his wife Alvi and children Reanna Kayla and Jeanna Camille. Mary Rose and her boyfriend Steve Law were with us too! At that time, newlywed Rose Anne Joy “Tweety” was with her husband Jonathan Carino Rasay, who is in the US Army assigned in Oahu, Hawaii. The rest of the children include Charles Jayson and Paul Joseph. All of them chipped in to pay the bills (a siblings’ way of sharing) as a sign of their love for me. Of course, my wife Delia was with us to complete the family celebrating Father’s Day. To all the fathers in the world, I honor you and recognize your efforts in raising your children and the sacrifices you went through. Happy Fathers’ Day to all of you. You deserve the best accolade! To all would-be fathers, you will be going through the process of raising your future children too, a practice all of us fathers went through. Love your children and raise them to be worthy members of the family and to the community! Just like our mothers, let’s recognize our fathers too! ELPIDIO R. ESTIOKO was a veteran journalist in the Philippines and an award-winning journalist here in the U.S. For feedbacks, comments… please email the author at estiokoelpidio@gmail.com).


UH to Require On-Campus Students to Be Fully Vaccinated Against COVID-19


eginning fall 2021 semester, the University of Hawaii System is requiring all students to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to be able to attend classes and activities on campus. The UH system has 10 campuses across the islands which includes three universities and seven community colleges. The COVID-19

cinated campus is a safer campus for everyone, and a fully vaccinated student community enables the best opportunity for a healthy return to high-quality face-toface teaching, learning and research,” said UH President David Lassner at a press conference. “This decision does not vaccination health clearance come lightly, and is based will affect around 50,000 stu- on guidance from our own dents. Health and Well-Being Work(continue on page 11) “It is clear that a vac-



An Immigrant’s Tale Ends with San Jose Rampage By Emil Guillermo


ass shootings have become so common place we’ve all become numb. Do you remember Atlanta, March 16? How about subsequent to that – Boulder? Indianapolis? Those are just the biggest ones the last three months. Did you forget? If you’re like Leonard Megia, you never forget. Not if you lose a loved one, a son, or a best friend, like Megia, a Filipino immigrant who came to America with his family nearly 40 years ago. His son, Paul was just a toddler back then. That’s a better common story. The American dream, after years of waiting in line for your turn. You have a life and home in America, a family to be proud of including that toddler, now an adult. But now Leonard Megia is in pain. The latest mass shooting is personal. Megia is mourning the loss of his son Paul, one of the nine who died at the San Jose rampage at the Valley Transit Authority last week. At age, 42, Paul Megia was living with his parents until recently, but was planning this weekend to go to Disneyland to celebrate the middle school graduation of one of his three kids.

Life was coming back to normal. They were going to celebrate the Memorial Day weekend. Space Mountain, Pirates of the Long Lines, the whole thing. And then the story broke. Headlines everywhere. Something was going on at the Valley Transit Authority Yard. The same place where Paul Megia was working. “The worse news you could get in your life,” Leonard Megia told KCRA news. Megia held back tears, as he described trying to call his son on the phone when he heard the news. Then getting nothing. Then suspecting the worse. And then realizing Samuel Cassidy’s shooting spree at the VTA had shattered his own life. “All because of that one guy,” said Leonard Megia. Paul Megia was with the VTA for nearly 20 years, starting as a bus operator trainee, then moving up the chain. He was a light rail operator, transportation supervisor, transit division supervisor, and was most recently assistant superintendent in service management. He had found meaningful, well-paying work. The immigrant’s dream, the young toddler, evolving in the footsteps of his father in his new country. And, at 42, he was still young. Life was still unfolding. “Paul was a wonderful husband and father who was

full of love, jokes, energy for life and always up for new adventures,” his wife Nicole released in a statement. “I treasure all of our memories. God took you too soon, and I would do anything to have one last hug and goodbye. I will miss having my best friend by my side. I love you always.” You see a story like this, and you count your blessings. Are you together with family this Memorial Day inching toward normalcy? When you honor the war dead and our Covid war dead, don’t forget to honor those who died living their ordinary American lives. These days it requires courage and luck just to get through a day without becoming a statistic, consumed by what has become a victim to negative iconic perp: the outraged, unstable American with a gun, a person who makes everyday life a war that with luck we survive. Until we don’t. And life is forever changed. As Paul Megia would say, “all because of that one guy.” Samuel Cassidy Was Unhappy The 57-year-old shooter was a coward who took down

(HAWAII-FILIPINO NEWS: UH to Require....from page 10)

ing Group as well as the American College Health Association recommendation that all on-campus college students be required to be vaccinated.” The vaccine mandate will only take effect when at least one of the three COVID-19 vaccine currently under emergency use authorization has been fully licensed and approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. It is anticipated to be announced this summer. Unvaccinated UH students are still welcome to enroll in online courses. Hawaii Department of Health Di-

rector Libby Char said that UH’s decision is a positive step for the university and the state. “We are hopeful that with the new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and this vaccination requirement in place for students, that by fall we will be able to return to mask-free classrooms without physical distancing requirements,” said Char. For more details about UH’s vaccination requirements for students, visit hawaii.edu/covid19/vaccinate/ requirement-students-faqs/.

the lives of nine people and then his own. According to reports, Cassidy wasn’t happy with his life or his work. He was angry a lot. This is despite living in San Jose where the home values are sky high and working in a secure job at a pay reported to be in excess of $100,000. His ex-wife, who appears to be Filipino, told reporters Cassidy had anger issues. His ex-girlfriend said Cassidy was “bi-polar” who drank excessively. According to a Department of Homeland Security Memo, Cassidy was stopped and detained by Customs and Border Protection agents in 2016 after a trip to the Philippines. Cassidy, according to the memo had “books about terrorism…as well as a black memo book filled with lots of notes about how he hates the VTA.” Later, reports revealed the day just prior to the shootout last Wednesday, Cassidy was subject to a disciplinary hearing because of racist remarks made in the workplace. It’s said the hearing could have led to his firing or suspension. Sounds like a motive.

After the meeting, Cassidy was seen in security camera video leaving his home and returning to work armed with two semiautomatic handguns. On site security cameras showed Cassidy moving between two buildings shooting more than 39 rounds at what appeared to some at VTA to be specifically targeted. One of the nine victims was Paul Megia. There are ways to be happy, to deal with anger. I dealt with mine through meditation. It works. If you’re interested in finding out more, get in touch. But Cassidy sounded like he may have needed more. Much more. Maybe different meds. Better mental health care. Maybe he just needed a friend. We won’t know because he was a coward, too afraid to find a better way. Instead, he caused a great deal of pain upon exit, leaving San Jose and the VTA victims and their families grieving. Let’s remember Paul Megia and the other eight who died this Memorial Day. They are the war dead of modern American life. And let’s not give the killer any satisfaction, even in death. Let’s help and care for each other in this mournful time. Love is still the answer, right?

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.




A Letter to My Children About Grace and Gratitude

By Seneca Moraleda-Puguan


ear Callie and Yohan,

Let me tell you the story of my childhood. Two Barbie dolls and a clay pot set, these were the only toys I had. When I didn’t play with them, I would be outside playing with my classmates and friends. The streets were our playground, things from nature were our toys. After playing hours under the sun, we sure were sweaty and smelly but each day was so much fun. Celebrations were simple, too. Eating in Jollibee and McDonalds were for Sundays. Shakey’s pizza was reserved for special occasions. A burger meal would suffice to put a big smile on our faces. Long-distance travels were reserved for summer and Christmas vacations. Our only mode of transportation was the bus. In fact, I was already 23 when I rode an airplane and got out of the country for the first time. My Mama and Papa didn’t have much money to spend on things beyond our daily needs, but we were well fed and provided for. Life was fun but it sure was difficult. Living on the Baguio mountains of the Philippines where storms would come ravaging year after year, we

had a roof on our heads, but it wasn’t made well enough to protect us from leaks. Rain would get inside our house that we had to scatter buckets to catch droplets and put tarpaulin on top of our blankets. On dry days, we would fetch water from a nearby spring to fill our drums so we could have water for bathing, washing dishes and clothes, and flushing the toilet. Water didn’t flow freely from our faucet. We had to boil water in a pot so we could have hot water to fight cold morning baths. My childhood was an adventure: challenging yet beautiful. This was my life then. It was good. Look around you, you have so many colorful toys, books and clothes to choose from. You can ride your scooter or bicycle whenever you feel like it. You have gadgets to entertain you. We could go to restaurants and satisfy our cravings at any day we want. Remember the very first time you travelled? You got the chance to ride an airplane and see other countries and continents even before you both turned one. I am grateful that your daddy has a job here in South Korea that enables us to see and visit far places. You even have a comfortable place to protect you from the intense winter cold and summer heat.

When it rains, you are kept dry. You live in a home where water flows freely, and you have access to hot and cold water at your command. Living in South Korea has given us privileges and opportunities beyond my imagination. The beauty of experiencing four seasons, the confidence of being in a relatively safe environment, the freedom from worry of having catastrophies. You get to experience the beauty of falling autumn leaves and magnificent snow flurries when temperature drops below zero. This is your life now. And it is better. You have everything you need, and more. Your daddy and I are not wealthy according to the world’s standards, but we have the capability to provide for both of you. And this, I believe, is all by grace. If only I can bring you to our time so you would see how blessed you are. My parents may not have given us everything we wanted but we definitely had ev-

erything we needed. Our home was filled with love. It taught me to be content in every situation and be grateful for the times of plenty and provision. I hope that you don’t get to experience the discomfort and the hardships of my childhood. It is my prayer that you will learn to be resourceful and creative when life gives you a hard time. I wish you both get to receive the best things that life has to offer, but it is my desire that you understand life is not about material things nor comfort nor convenience, the things that really matter are those that money can’t buy– joy, peace and love. As you experience these

things, may you always find contentment and give gratitude in every situation – whether in lack or plenty, whether in having nothing or having everything. As I reflect at my life back then and look at the life you have now, I couldn’t help but be humbled and amazed. My heart bursts in praise to the God who has been so good, gracious and faithful for turning my life around. My soul sings in gratitude for allowing you, my children, to enjoy the fruit of the land where God has called us to be in at this time. Truly, He is the God who provides and He holds every season. When you both grow up, you will have your own childhood stories to tell your future children. I pray that as you learned from mine, they will learn from you. Enjoy your childhood, my dear ones, as I enjoyed mine. May your life be filled with wonderful stories of miracles and grace; and your heart overflow with hope and gratitude! Your mommy with a heart like a child, Seneca



The Presidential Musical Chair Game By Perry Diaz


arely a year to election time and presidential candidates are coming out of their cocoons like caterpillars hungry for food. They would transform into butterflies called metamorphosis. The butterflies would then fly from one plant to the next to feed on the sweet nectar located in the interior of flowers. The same thing with presidential candidates – they go from one political party to another in search of the right party to run under. Hence the term “political butterfly.” In Philippine politics, presidential candidates fly from one group to another until they find the right mixes of people and ideas to build their campaign. Meanwhile, they start looking for their running mates, which could be a problem. They have to search for someone who would play second fiddle as vice-presidential candidate. Remember, the Philippines doesn’t have primaries like they do in the U.S. where each political party would have a primary election in each state to elect their presidential and vice-presidential tandems. The Philippines doesn’t elect the president and vice president in tandem. They’re elected independent of each other and oftentimes the winning president and vice president come from competing teams. A case in point is the current president and vice president – Rodrigo Duterte and Leni Robredo – who belong to two opposing parties. With the next election barely a year away, the question is: Who will run for president and what would the current vice-president,

Robredo, run for? Since the president’s term is limited to one six-year term – which means Duterte is not allowed to run for re-election – would vice-president Robredo run for president, which is usually the case in presidential successions? Since Robredo is in the opposition Liberal Party, Duterte is trying to pre-empt Robredo from running for president, which brings to fore the question: Whom would Duterte support for president? The logical answer would be his daughter, Sara Duterte-Carpio, who seems to like the idea but has so far stayed away from it. However, support for her candidacy is growing and President Duterte may already have chosen her to succeed him. But according to President Duterte, Sen. Bong Go wanted to be president; however, Go denied it, saying that Duterte was only joking. However, presidential spokesman Harry Roque was quoted as saying: “If Sara [Duterte] doesn’t run, [and] if Bong Go doesn’t run, because he [Go] will only run for president if the President runs for vice president, the President will have to choose who has the numbers.” And who would that be? Bongbong Marcos comes to mind. But if Go would run for president with Rodrigo Duterte as his vice-president, that would end up with Duterte calling the

shots because Go – Duterte’s most loyal political “lapdog” – would still be controlled by Duterte. It’s a power-switching scheme. After Go’s term, they switched again to their old positions. They had conveniently managed to keep power to themselves by just switching positions. And this is where it gets to be interesting. At this point, the presidential candidates – including those who would run for vice-president if they failed to gain traction in their run for the presidency – would be fighting each other in a free-for-all contest with the candidates forming their own coalitions or political parties. It’s a game of survival of the fittest or should I say, survival of the cheater? There would probably be five or six pairings left that would slug it out until Election Day on May 9, 2022. Since the president and vice-president are elected separately, the two winning candidates could come from different political parties, which happened often.

It’s interesting to note that in the past three presidential elections, the front-running presidential candidates eventually lost in the election. In 2016, the early favorite for president was Vice-President Jejomar Binay who came out fourth after Rodrigo Duterte, Mar Roxas, and Grace Poe. In 2010, Senator Benigno Aquino III and Senator Manny Villar were statistically tied in the Pulse Asia poll at 38% for Aquino and 37% for Villar. But the final tally showed Aquino winning over former president Joseph Estrada and Villar, who came in second place and third place, respectively. In 2004, the late action hero Fernando Poe Jr. was the front-runner ahead of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo who came from behind to beat Poe in the election with a margin of just over one million votes, the closest margin in Philippine election history. Ping Lacson came in third place. Does that mean that Sara Duterte would also slip and fall short of winning the presidency a year from now? A great deal of

what Papa Digong’s performance in the last year of his presidency would affect Inday Sara’s future presidential candidacy. With all the controversies that he got himself into and the dire economic situation the country is in right now, it could drag her down the political sewer. And this brings to mind Vice-President Leni Robredo’s own political future. She revealed recently that her lack of resources was affecting her decision to run for a possible presidential run in 2022. While she is still considering running in 2022, speculation is rife that she has been preparing to run for governor of Camarines Sur, her home province. However, her spokesperson said there is no “truth” to rumors that she is running for governor. The presidential musical chair game of elimination has started. There would be a lot of speculation, rumors, claims, and denials as the presidential hopefuls parade themselves in a circle hoping to remain in the game until there is just a person left who would then become the presidential candidate of their party. PERRY DIAZ is a writer, columnist and journalist who has been published in more than a dozen Filipino newspapers in five countries.



Western Pop Culture Influences Filipinos’ Interest in Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency, Data Shows “In February 2021, Jack By Catalina Ricci S. Madarang Dorsey, Jay Z, and Snoop Friday, June 3, 2021 Dogg started to put on a good ilipinos’ growing inter- word. Tesla announced its $1.5 est in cryptocurrency or billion purchase of bitcoin in digital currency is high- the same month. At the end of ly influenced by Western pop March 2021, Snoop Dogg anculture, according to recent nounced the release of his first data. NFT collection. Shortly after Data reviewed by iPrice in April 2021, Paris Hilton Group, Southeast Asia’s lead- talked about bitcoin and NFT ing e-commerce aggregator, as well,” it added. found four recent trends onFollowing these announceline that made a huge impact ments, searches about cryptoamong Filipinos with their on- currency increased by 542% in line consumer behavior, which the past two years as compared includes cryptocurrency. to the same month Kanye first In one of the trends, the mentioned it in a podcast. researchers mentioned big “One may argue that crypnames in the Western pop culture who declared their investment with cryptocurrency. This celebrities include Kanye West, Paris Hilton and business magnate Elon Musk. “Kanye West talked about By Gaea Katreena Cabico cryptocurrency in Joe Rogan’s Friday, June 3, 2021 podcast in October 2020. In ANILA, PhilipDecember 2020, Elon Musk pines — More Filtweeted about Dogecoin. ipinos believe that Thus, the searches for cryptocurrency started to increase the worst is yet to come on the by 53% since Kanye’s podcast country’s COVID-19 crisis compared to last year, a Soepisode,” the study said.


tocurrency is just a hot market at the moment. After all, surges in search volume were also experienced in other Southeast Asian countries,” the marketing firm said. “But all these statements from western influencers may

have helped in spreading this information as well, especially to the general public,” it added. The cryptocurrency exchange platform in the Philippines is the Philippine Digital Asset Exchange, which is also regulated by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. Through this platform, traders and investors can buy fractional coins or partial pieces of any cryptocurrency such as bitcoin. Filipino cryptocurrency investors previously experienced a major outage, which resulted to their accounts being

inaccessible for a time. Aside from cryptocurrency, the iPrice data also mentioned Grammy award-winner Billie Eilish’s green hair, footwear brand Crocs collaborations with Hollywood celebrities and Kanye’s activities as the main trends that greatly influenced Filipino consumers’ Google searches since 2020. The data were collected from May 2019 to April 2021. Search volumes for the keywords “Crocs,” “Yeezy,” “cryptocurrency,” and “green hair dye” were gathered from the Google Keyword Planner. (www.philstar.com)

49% of Filipinos Say ‘Worst is Yet to Come’ on COVID-19 Crisis — SWS


cial Weather Stations survey has suggested. Findings by the local pollster made public on Thursday showed 49% of its 1,200 adult respondents having a worsening outlook on the pandemic at home. This was up from the 31% in November 2020.

The survey ran from April 28 to May 2 and had a margin of error at ±3%. At that time, the “NCR Plus” bubble was still under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine as the country wrestled with a surge in COVID-19 infections that, despite waning, has continued to date. “This is the highest since the 57% in July 2020,” SWS noted. “Conversely, those saying ‘the worst is behind us’ fell from 69% i November 2020 to 50% in May 2021.” More residents in Metro Manila held the said belief since November 2020, or 22% last year to now at 50%, up by 28 points. It rose too in Balance Luzon, or from 31% up by 23

points to 54%, Visayas from 32% increasing by 17 points to 49%, and Mindanao from 35% up by three points to 38%. “On the other hand, those saying ‘the worst is behind us’ are now highest in Mindanao (62%), followed by the Visayas (51%), Metro Manila (49%), and Balance Luzon (45%),” SWS said. The pollster added that those with a worsening view of the pandemic grew as well in terms of educational background. Still, the percentage of adult Filipinos worried about contracting the COVID-19 was down by two points from 91% in November to 89% by May. (www.philstar.com)


FYLPRO Announces Tayo Fellowship Program


ilipino Young Leaders Program (FYLPRO) is launching its Summer 2021 Tayo Fellowship Program to provide support for Filipino communities negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, both in the U.S. and the Philippines. The FYLPRO COVID-19 Task Force was formed last year to respond to the grow-

ing needs of Filipino and Filipino Americans during the pandemic. Its online help desk, called “Tayo”, is designed for seniors, unemployed individuals and frontline workers with information to make decisions to safeguard their health and wellbeing during the pandemic. With experts, content creators and service providers,

(continue on page 15)


COMMUNITY CALENDAR EMBRACING CREATIVTY AND EMPOWERING CULTURE | Pusong Filipinx | June 13, 2021 | Bishop Museum, 1525 Bernice St, Honolulu | Livestream via fb.com/ FilGradManoa l Pusong Filipinx celebrates its 2nd anniversary with its first in-person event after its long hiatus. | Follow @pusongfilipinx on Instagram for updates.

TIME FOR THE SHOTS | Binhi at Ani Filipino Community Center | Saturday, June 26 | B780 Ohehee Avenue, Kahului, Maui | 8am to 12pm l Free vaccination clinics with no appointment necessary but pre-registration is recommended. Visit https:// www.signupgenius.com

Have your organization’s events listed in our community calendar. It’s recommended to submit press releases a month in advance of your organization’s event. Send information to filipinochronicle@gmail.com.


Biden Signs COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act Into Law


n May 20th, President Joe Biden signed the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Bill into law. The legislation addresses hate crimes during the COVID-19 pandemic, with an emphasis on the increasing violence against Asian and Asian Americans. Introduced by Senator Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Representative Grace Meng (D-N.Y.), the legislation makes reporting hate crimes more accessible at the local and state levels with more public outreach. Moreover, reporting resources are available online in multiple languages. The Department of Justice also

designates a person to expedite the review of hate crimes related to COVID-19. The department will also authorize grants to state and local governments to establish programs to prevent and respond to hate crimes. information such as policy think tanks, government agencies, professional and industry associations, business associations, and social service providers. • Attend and participate in information sessions, webinars, and briefings to gather relevant information and updates and summarize the findings in the subject area for which you are responsible • Write short and long form

To apply, visit bit.ly/TayoSummerFellows. Applications are due on Wednesday, June 9. For questions or concerns, contact Krystle Canare at krystle.canare@ fylpro.org.

(FLYPRO....from page 14)

the help desk provides advices in the areas of medicine, mental health, government assistance and many more. The FYLPRO COVID-19 Task Force is seeking fellows to support the ongoing operations of the Tayo help desk platform. The fellowship is an unpaid remote program and will run from June 20 to August 29, 2021. On a weekly basis, Tayo fellows will: • Identify credible sources of

Islamophobia, homophobia, transphobia — it all exists,” Harris said. “And so the work to address injustice wherever it exists remains the work ahead.” Community organization Stop AAPI Hate praise the legislation for its “community-centered solutions and provisions to mitigate anti-Asian rhetoric.” AAPI Victory Alliance applauds Biden for signing the legislation into law. “After overwhelming support from both the House and Senate, we applaud President Biden for prioritizing this piece of legislation and swiftly signing it into law. We also extend gratitude to Sen. Hirono and Rep. Ming for introducing this bill at such a crucial time in AAPI history,” said Executive Director Varun Nikore in a statement. “However, the attle is far from over. The content weekly COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act is only one piece • Attend a weekly coordination in the long fight for AAPI’s and communities of meeting (Sundays at 5:00pm color to have the equity and opportunities we ET), bi-weekly 1:1 meetings, deserve.” and monthly leadership development sessions. (Solution to Crossword No. 5 | May 22, 2021)

During the signing at the East Room of the White House, Biden said expressed his thanks to the lawmakers and support against hatred and racism. “My message to all of those who are hurting is: We see you and the Congress has said, we see you,” he said. “And we are committed to stop the hatred and the bias.” Vice president Kamala Harris said there is still work to be done. “Here’s the truth: Racism exists in America. Xenophobia exists in America, antisemitism,

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Blg. 6

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(Solution will be on the next issue of the Chronicle)

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