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AUGUST 7, 2021




Solid North Vs. Solid South

Hawaii-Philippines Business & Economic Council to Host Virtual Event

Remembering Lilia Q. Santiago: Professor, Scholar, Writer, Author, and Feminist


American Filipina’s Historic Gold But Are You Feeling the Olympic Yet? Plus: A Covid Conversation



Our Community is Making Progress, But We Have More Work to Do Toward Achieving True Empowerment


simple definition of empowerment – individual and community – means having the ability to control our own lives and destiny. It means being situated in a position of strength to be able to have not just one or two options, but many options in most facets of our lives. When members in our community speak of Filipino empowerment, usually we are referring to political empowerment. Why politics? Because politics is broad, far-reaching and have a direct impact on the lives of all of us as individuals and the subgroups (or communities) we identify ourselves with. Politics is the realm where laws are made and can make a difference in how we access education, access healthcare. Politics is involved in banking regulations; that in turn gives us access to loans for our homes, cars and material possessions we find as essential. Politics is where opportunities are created. It co-supports businesses of all sizes and our ability to grow money. It is also where we turn to for consumer protection and establishing fair business practices in all industries from product-based industries, service-based industries, intellectual property-based industries like technology, entertainment and the arts. Politics helps to fund and support science. It aids in the good work charities do; and plays the double role of assisting people in need of charity. Politics helps to feed people, our sick, our elderly. For some, it could determine whether we are able to enter and stay in this country or get deported. It gives us human rights, environmental rights, renters rights, voting rights, religious rights, animal rights, rights to dignity and equal treatment under the law and policing -- rights of all kinds. It is a dream maker for some; and at the same time a dream breaker for others. There is no greater area of societal influence than in politics.

Adequate representation in politics is a must For all these reasons, this is why it’s critical for our community to have at the very least adequate and equal (to our population) representation of Filipinos in politics. The logic is a fellow Filipino or Filipina knows us, knows our needs and would fight on our behalf. But it’s not just about ethnicity – or that our values and interests would even be best left in the hands of our fellow Filipinos. Non-Filipinos who share our values and interests could also be our strongest advocate. As we’re already aware of, there are “window dressers” in politics, meaning a women not necessarily would mean she would be the best person to fight for women’s rights or that an immigrant would best handle immigrants needs. It could also be that a Filipino politician be a window dresser, which is why knowing a candidate’s stand on the issues, his or her platform, and sometimes political party-philosophy are more important than ethnicity on its own. This is one major reason why our editorial board has never endorsed a Filipino candidate just because of ethnicity. Progress made, but same strata exists It’s curious but true that an ethnic group’s longevity (years present in a locale) in the community they live in doesn’t necessarily guarantee that empowerment (improved status) will be achieved. But the likelihood for progress to occur becomes higher. It’s fair to say, Filipinos have made progress and is closer to “empowerment” than 10, 20, 40, years ago. More Filipinos are (continue on page 3)



s the 2022 election year approaches, we’ve selected as a cover story this issue Filipino Empowerment. It’s not a typical story on policy or an event as we normally report on, but a concept very important to our community, that in turn, do affect matters of policy and our way of living. We felt an article like this is appropriate at this time to allow Filipino leaders in our community to seriously consider making a run for political office next year. This cover story (more analysis than typical reporting) was written by HFC associate editor and political analyst Edwin Quinabo. The article explores what Filipino Empowerment means, how many Filipino politicians from the 1970s to the current group have or are contributing to our rise as a community. It highlights some of our political trailblazers and identifies some of our current leaders. It goes over stats of not just the current composition of Filipinos in state and county governmental bodies, but illuminates patterns, where areas need to be worked on more, and identifies where we’ve consistently made progress. What will Filipinos be looking to in 2022 in their potential candidates? Members in our community share the issues important to them. They also address ways in which Filipino empowerment can be enhanced like raising voter turnout in our community, becoming more educated and lobbying politicians at the State Legislature or County Councils. We have an interesting diversity of respondents to address Filipino empowerment – politicians past and current (including former Gov. Ben Cayetano), a prominent academic-political scientist, upper level government workers and a millennial. In Philippine politics, HFC columnist Perry Diaz contributes “Solid North vs Solid South,” referring to the potential presidential race next year between Bongbong Marcos and Sara Duterte. Interestingly, both are children of Philippine presidents. The Solid North refers to the region where Ilocanos live. Ilocanos have won multiple presidential elections since Philippine Independence. Sara, if she officially enters the race and wins, would be the second president from Mindanao (south) after her father. As many of you already have been hearing, the coronavirus is having another surge in communities in the US and world. It’s mostly caused by the latest COVID-19 variant called Delta. In this issue, two HFC columnists – Emil Guillermo and Seneca Moraleda-Puguan – address this topic from different perspectives, internationally and in the US. Emil also writes about Asian American Filipina Lee Kiefer from Lexington, Kentucky who won a gold medal in fencing at the Tokyo Olympic games. In our second editorial, there are two other gold medalists. Carissa Moore representing our Hawaii-USA community won in surfing (a new event at the Olympic games); and Hidilyn Diaz representing our Philippines community who won in weight lifting. Diaz’s gold medal is a first for the Philippines. In the past, the Philippines had garnered several silver and bronze medals. Lastly, we have a news feature written by HFC contributing editor Belinda Aquino, PhD, on the passing of Dr. Lilia Quindoza-Santiago, a professor, scholar, writer, author and feminist. Dr. Santiago was a well-known academic based in the Philippines. But she also taught Philippine literature, Philippine languages. Ilokano and popular culture at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. We hope you enjoy these articles and our other news and columns. Thank you for your support and please visit our website. 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



Moore and Diaz Bring Pride to Hawaii and the Philippines at Tokyo Olympics


fter being cancelled due to the worldwide pandemic last year, the Games of the XXXII Olympiad got back on track, with Tokyo hosting it from July 23-Aug. 8, 2021. Japanese groups and health experts protested against having the Olympic games even in 2021 over concerns of COVID-19 flaring up, but Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe insisted that the games, “must be held in a way that shows the world it has won its battle against the coronavirus pandemic.” The compromise for allowing it to happen, Japan insisted the Olympic games be a no-spectator event to minimize large crowds and risks for COVID-19 to spread. Since the first modern Olympic Games in 1896, the international sports competition has only been canceled three times. All of them due to war: once during World War I (1916) and twice during  World War II (1940, 1944). The 2020 Tokyo Olympic games is the first time that the Olympics has been postponed and rescheduled, rather than cancelled.

Highlights for Hawaii and the Philippines CARISSA MOORE. Surfing as an Olympic sport finally (long overdue) made its debut this summer games. Fittingly, the only Native Hawaiian competing in this year’s surfing competition Carissa Moore of the United States took home the gold medal. Surfing is said to originate in Hawaii in the 4th century AD. Moore was born and raised in Hawaii and is a multiworld champion surfer. She’s known in the surfing community not only for her amazing skill, but as being a positive role model for the sport. “This isn’t just about this

gold medal moment, it’s about surfing, using the platform to share some positivity and love,” Moore said. “I hope it has a positive impact. The ocean has changed my life and I can’t imagine my life without it. I’ll be surfing until I’m in the ground. Riding the wave makes you feel free, it makes you feel present, it makes you feel more in love with yourself and the ocean and the environment.” From the NYT, NPR to local Hawaii media, Carissa’s victory received copious coverage. Hawaii residents and former Hawaii residents blew up social media with messages of pride and jubilation for her and the sport of surfing. Surfing is a favorite pastime for many people with Hawaii ties who grew up surfing from the Banzai Pipeline in the North to Ala Moana Bowls in the South. Having surfing finally be recognized as an Olympic sport and having a Native Hawaiian win in its inaugural year made this first gold medal that much more special. HIDILYN DIAZ. For Filipinos around the world, weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz winning the Olympic gold medal was also met with pride and elation. It was the first ever gold medal for the Phil-

ippines, which participated in every Olympic since the modern games started, spanning nearly 100 years. The Olympic medal count for the Philippines is 12 total: 1 gold, 4 silvers, 7 bronze. Most of their medals came in the sport of boxing. Diaz also won a silver medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics. This Olympics, Diaz placed first in the women’s 55-kilogram weightlifting class, lifting an Olympic record 127 kilograms in the clean and jerk event. With her win, Diaz will take home 33 million pesos ($660,000) in cash prizes, and a house and lot. The Philippine Sports Commission guarantees a 10 million-peso incentive for every Olympic gold. Already that original cash prize at the time of it being announced has grown to over $800,000 from additional corporate support. “It’s unbelievable, it’s a dream come true. I want to say to the young generation in the Philippines, ‘You can have this dream of gold too. This is how I started and finally I was able to do it,’” said Diaz. Like Moore, Diaz received major press coverage and her historic win took social media by a storm. Many Filipinos around the world

ber of immigrants to Hawaii each year that continuously expands our population. But we have yet to maximize our strength politically. Arguably we have the highest potential (thus we’re labeled the sleeping giant) for achieving major political clout in our state because of our size. But without dramatically increasing our voter turnout and fielding the best political candidates, we will just continue to make incremental progress but never actually transition to being equals in Hawaii’s top strata. We are always welcoming of progress. But true empowerment is a relative concept to an extent, relative in a sense as to how we are doing in the overall strata in our state, compared with other groups. A concrete example could look like this: improving our con-

dition at number four in higher education attainment (which is where we are) among Hawaii’s groups, but not making enough improvement to jump ahead or be equal to number one or two – still makes us number four. If we are moving closer to equality to other ethnic groups at the top (moving up the strata), this is when we are moving closer to achieving true empowerment. But before the necessary leaps forward can even begin, as most leaders in our Filipino community have been saying for generations, we must work on cementing our unity as a people, as one community. And Filipino leaders must set this example of unity, work together, and raise each other up. It’s also important to stress that unity doesn’t mean that we have to be alike, have no diver-

sity, which have been reasons why factionalism existed so long within our community. In fact, the closer a community is to achieving true empowerment, it’s characteristic to find that that community becomes increasingly diverse. But can still be united. Next year is an election year. We’ve chosen Filipino empowerment as a cover story precisely at this time to give our community a heads up to prepare for the 2022 election. If you are thinking about running for political office, it’s time to start organizing and planning now. We are thankful for our many esteemed political pioneers who have brought us to this point. We are hoping our new generation of Filipino leaders will move us further along to where we should be.

Only time will tell the wisdom of whether Olympic organizers and Japanese officials made the right decision to hold the games while COVID-19 still poses a real threat. But what we do know is that the Olympic spirit of goodwill, sportsmanship, friendship, and competition lives on; and the world is enjoying athletes’ dreams of winning (or just competing) come true, as well as appreciating the cultural sharing segments in between broadcasting sporting events.

(Our Community....from page 2)

entrepreneurs, professionals, and leaders in government than decades past. But while Filipinos have made measured progress, the same societal strata exists as it were 10, 20, 40 years ago -- meaning Caucasian, Chinese and Japanese still have an edge in many areas socioeconomically over Filipinos and Pacific Islanders. The gap may have closed in some areas, but it hasn’t changed much in other areas, which is perhaps why as a community we are still talking about political empowerment each election cycle.

Voting matters, Unity matters It’s also curious but true that empowerment doesn’t necessarily happen as an ethnic group’s population rises. Filipinos are the largest ethnic group and has the largest num-

shared YouTube videos of Diaz’s Olympic record lift and medal ceremony. While on the medal podium, Diaz cried and lift her hand to her head in a military salute. She is an Airwoman Sergeant in the Philippines military. Diaz’s success should be an inspiration for future Filipino Olympians. The added monetary reward could also inspire Filipino world-class athletes to push themselves to the top.

Congrats to all athletes and the IOC Congratulations to Moore, Diaz, and all the athletes from the USA and around the world for competing at the highest level of sports and doing it with class and sportsmanship. Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympic Movement, captured the essence of sports when he said that it contributes to the harmonious and well-balanced development of the body, personality and mind. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) says its aim is to promote Olympism and Olympic ideals throughout the world and reinforce cooperation with educational institutions and with projects especially targeting young people. Best to the IOC and the movement of the Olympics. May goodwill, peace and cooperation continue under the banner of fair and competitive sports.



Assessing Filipino Empowerment in Hawaii: Its History, Challenges and Future By Edwin Quinabo


ake it to the bank: talks of Filipino empowerment – whether Hawaii’s Filipino community is in better position politically – will be revisited for analysis by politicos and community leaders as the election year draws nearer. It never fails. Filipinos fall into two groups when it comes to politics, either passionate or apathetic. And those who are passionate are still adamant about Filipino empowerment politically. Going into 2022’s election year: the skinny on whether Filipinos have arrived as a political force, or if the metaphorical “giant has finally awoken” – could best be answered with a tone of ambiguity that “there’s certainly room for improvement.” In some metrics, Filipinos have made enough advances as a community that to some it would be a misnomer to label the group as still the slumbering giant. At the same time, some traditional benchmarks that measure a community’s standing signal Filipinos still lag relative to other groups further up the socio-economic and political ladder. You would think statistics could perhaps give a clearer, unbiased picture of how well Filipinos are faring. Use the latest US Census where Hawaii’s Filipino population is at 25%. Any percentage close to it, above or below, could be telling how Filipinos are doing on a given area. But even statistics can suggest mixed conclusions. Take ethnic representation in public office as one measure of political strength. (Of course, you don’t have to be a certain ethnicity to represent the interests of any specific ethnic group. That’s not how FilAms in Hawaii Politics: From the current crop to past icons “When I think of a Filipino politician in Hawaii, I think of Radiant Cordero,” said Paul Martin, a government worker, millennial living in Ewa Beach. Cordero was elected last year to Honolulu City Council District 7. Prior to her election, she was chief of staff to Honolulu City Councilman Joey Manahan,

it works. Filipinos have always been represented by non-Filipino politicians as well.) But for the purpose of finding possible measures of empowerment politically, the count is that Filipinos are over represented, adequately represented, and underrepresented at different levels of government. OVERREPRESENTATION. At the Honolulu City Council, 3 of 9 current members are of Filipino ancestry, or 33%. That over representation is not a one-time anomaly, either. The immediate Council before this one had 4 of 9 FilAms, or 44%. In the 19th Honolulu City Council (2017-2019) there were 5 of 9 members of Filipino ancestry, or 55%. On top of that, several Filipinos in recent decades have led the Council as Chair. This consistency (looking at patterns are more telling) suggests Oahu Filipinos are pulling their weight and more in terms of political involvement; while neighbor island counties show less involvement among Filipinos with fewer FilAms holding county office. ADEQUATE REPRESENTATION. At Hawaii’s State Senate, there is a similar pattern. Currently there are 6 of 25 members of Filipino descent, or 24%, showing representation there basically equals to this ethnic group’s population (25%). Previous State Senate years also have had similar numbers. UNDERREPRESENTATION. Then Filipino representation dives way south when it comes to members at the House of Representatives. This has always been the case at the lower chamber of the State Legislature. Even with the addition of newly elect Sonny Ganaden (who replaced veteran Filipino politician Romy Cachola) and Gregor Ilagan (who took over FilAm Joy San Buenaventura’s seat) in 2020, the percentage of Filipinos in the

whose term expired in 2020. Martin, former President of the University of Hawaii at Manoa Ethnic Studies Student Association said Radiant was his teacher’s assistant for his Ethnic Studies Filipinos in Hawaii class. “We were also in the Filipino language program at UH Manoa,” said Martin. Cordero is a part of the latest (third) generation of Filipi-

no-American Hawaii politicians along with fellow Honolulu City Council members Brandon Elefante and Augie Tulba. At the State House, there are others: Della Au Belatti (Majority Leader), Henry Aquino, TY Cullen, Val Okimoto, and Patrick Pihana Branco. (Ganaden and Ilagan, mentioned above). At the Hawaii State Senate, there are other more seasoned

House is still at a low 13% (7 of 51). But where the absence of Filipino leadership is most glaring is at the government executive level (governor, lt. governor, mayors) and Congressional and US Senate seats where there are currently zero FilAms in these seats. The exceptions in these areas, or break from this general patten, is Filipinos have had a governor and two neighbor island mayors. In spite of statistics – not just current ones but again looking at patterns over decades – Filipinos themselves will hold onto old stereotypes and disregard where advances have been made. But statistical patterns suggest still, “there’s certainly room for improvement.” Outside of Hawaii, there already have been three Filipino US Congressmen: Steve Austria of Ohio (2009 to 2013), Terrance John Cox of California (2019 to 2021), and Robert Scott of Virginia (1993 to the present). Scott holds leadership in the current US House as Chair of the Committee on Education and Labor. Former US Senator John Ensign of Nevada (2001 to 2011) who was adopted, says his paternal grandfather (blood-relation) was part-Filipino.

politicians that could be lumped into this current crop of FilAm politicians with potentially decades ahead of them in politics: Donavan Dela Cruz, chair of the powerful Ways and Means Committee for the last four years (some say he’s most poised to become Hawaii’s next FilAm governor); Gil Keith-Agaran, vice-chair of WAM; and newly elect to the Senate Joy San Bue-

naventura (former House member) and Bennette Misalucha. The current veterans at the Senate Lorraine Rodero Inouye and Donna Mercado Kim could be looked at as a part of Hawaii’s second generation of pioneering Filipino political leaders. Inouye is former Big Island Mayor, the first Filipina mayor in the US. Kim (continue on page 5)


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

became the first Filipina President of the Hawaii Senate in 2013. Robert “Bobby” Bunda was the first President of Hawaii’s State Senate of Filipino ancestry and the first FilAm to become president of any State Legislature in the U.S. Along with Inouye, Kim, Bunda, a few other second generation Filipino trailblazers in Hawaii politics include former Sens. Rey Graulty, Ron Menor, Will Espero, Reps. Connie Chun (first Filipina elected to the Hawaii State House in 1980), Daniel Kihano (first FilAm to serve as House Speaker in 1987), Romy Cachola, and former Gov. Ben Cayetano, the only FilAm to be governor in the US. When asked who comes to mind when he thinks of Filipino politicians, Gov. Cayetano goes way back to what could be referred to as the first generation of pioneering Filipinos in politics and law. “When I think of outstanding Filipino leaders of the past, Benjamin Menor, Alfred Laureta, Eduardo Malapit and Simeon Acoba, Jr. come to mind. Hopefully, a young Filipino will one day emerge and rise to that level. There are some young Filipinos with potential but only time will tell,” Cayetano told the Filipino Chronicle. Benjamin Menor (father of former Sen. Ron Menor) was the first FilAm to serve on a State (Hawaii’s) Supreme Court in the nation in 1974; Laureta was the first federal judge of Filipino ancestry in the US in 1978; Malapit was the first FilAm mayor in the US as Mayor of Kauai in 1974 (elected for four consecutive twoyear terms); and Acoba, Jr. was the third FilAm to serve on the Hawaii State Supreme Court (Mario Ramil was second). And no one following Hawaii politics can forget Peter Aduja, the first FilAm elected to public office in the US. His daughter Melodie Aduja, a former State Senator, told the Filipino Chronicle “It was in 1954 [that my father was elected] for the Territory of Hawaiʻi, making him the first person of color other than a Native Hawaiian to be elected in Hawaiʻi even before any Japanese-American or Chinese-American. He later served 10 years in the State House. In addition, he was quite

progressive. He served in the 1968 Constitutional Convention and was a member of the Legislature when Hawaiʻi became the first State in the Union to legalize abortion. He was a great man and I try my best to live up to his legacy.” Another pioneer of the first generation was Rudy Pacarro, the first FilAm elected to Honolulu City Council in 1971 who became the first Chair of the Council of Filipino ancestry in 1979. It would take over 20-years later that another FilAm would ascend to chair that Council when the young and talented Dela Cruz (now in Senate) held that leadership role in 2003-2007. Dela Cruz was the youngest member ever to be Chair of that Council. There were many other FilAm politicians who’ve made their mark and have contributed to advancing the State and its counties. To name a few (not already mentioned above): Brickwood Galuteria, Ernie Martin, Alex Sonson, Jun Abinsay, Nestor Garcia, Julie Duldulao, Gene Albano, Emilio Alcon, Rida Cabanilla, Kymberly Pine, Lynn Berbano Finnegan, Jimmy Tehada, Lyla Berg and Don Guzman. There were also FilAm candidates who ran very successful election campaigns in the past but fell short from being elected. They are memorable to many in the community for raising issues important to Filipinos at the time they ran. To name two, Mito Ablan who ran for Honolulu mayor and Tante Urban, who ran for Hawaii County Mayor. United We Stand, Divided We Fall The late Rep. Chun once said the single biggest obstacle to political progress for Hawaii’s Filipinos is their factionalism. Her observation of community division (in the early 1980s when she held office) came even before the Marcoses were exiled in Hawaii (1986) which caused further splintering and hit a peak then as pro-Marcos and anti-Marcos factions engaged in heated bickering. But at present, some say provincialism within the Filipino community has been abated relative to the 1980s and early 1990s to where community leaders today do more advocating for unity and are less engaged in polarization.

Filipino community leaders often refer to two events that helped to bring Filipinos together: the election of Gov. Ben Cayetano and the building of the FilCom Center. Filipino ethnic media, print and radio, also have helped to bring about cohesion. While Filipino block voting had been diminished over the years in part through division but also apathy, there has been evidence of successful block voting among Filipinos. The election of Ben Cayetano in 1994 and his reelection in 1998 are the most obvious examples. There have been other moments. The Filipino community rallied and block voted for Frank Fasi (when he was a Democrat and appointed many Filipinos to his multiple cabinets), for Jeremy Harris (who actively recruited many qualified Filipinos into his cabinet) and Neil Abercrombie (during his years in Congress when he held strong ties with blue collar labor and hotel unions at the height of unions influence). Still, some leaders today are not convinced that Filipinos are unified enough. Aduja, who currently holds leadership in the Democratic Party of Hawaii as chair of the Health Committee, said “Filipino-Americans remain divided; and therefore, we are lacking in effective impact.” Belinda Aquino, Professor Emeritus at UH-Manoa, founder of UH’s Center for Philippine Studies and political scientist, said “the divisiveness in the Filipino community has long been noted and the quality of unity for a particular purpose is never there.” Cayetano said of ethnicity in today’s politics, “Hawaii has changed dramatically and political groups based on ethnicity are a thing of the past. The Chinese, Japanese and Koreans recognize this and their respective ethnic groups celebrate culture but shun making political endorsements.” Caroline  Julian-Freitas, a senior communications manager for a

“Filipinos need to unite as a community and form a solid voting bloc. We should avoid competing with one another or running against each other in elections. We should field strong, qualified and viable candidates and rally behind them. We should register to vote and actually follow through and vote.” —Jun Colmenares, Aiea, Registered Voter Hawaii state department, said if the Filipino community is united, they would have a stronger voice in getting the representation they want and creating the change that’s needed. What do Filipinos need and will look to candidates platform in 2022 Sen.  Misalucha,  who  is a  co-convener along with Rep. Aquino in the first ever joint Senate and House (started this year) Filipino caucus, said the issues important to the Filipino community are universal. “As we grapple with the short and long term effects of the pandemic, we need to ensure that our population has the wherewithal to cope with the anticipated changes. For instance, broadband access as well as digital literacy should be a priority issue. How can our people compete in the global market place if we don’t provide them the necessary tools? How can our lola and lolos get access to social services if they do not know how to use a computer or navigate the internet?” Serafin Colmenares, Jr., Administrator of the State Health Planning and Development Agency (SHPDA), says the two issues that will be im-

portant for Filipinos leading into election year are health and the economy. Filipinos will look to who can best address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic from a public health perspective and who can lead in improving and diversifying the state’s economy, he said. Aduja was very specific and mentioned three areas that could benefit the Filipino community: “1) increasing the availability of affordable housing; 2) increasing the minimum wage (and the entrepreneurial spirit); and (3) improving the delivery of healthcare while saving millions in taxpayer dollars in the EUTF and Medicaid systems. “The State and Counties could save more than $100M per year in healthcare costs, eliminate excessive administrative waste, and deliver improved healthcare through Primary Care Case Management (PCCM) rather than the current Insurance-Managed Care. Your primary doctor would know better when it comes to patient care rather than non-medically-trained insurance companies.” Julian-Freitas  echoed health care and the economy as areas of importance. She added (continue on page 6)



The Arbitral Award on South China Sea: Value of Faith and Reason By Celia Lamkin and Viet Hoang


he South China Sea is an important gateway connecting the Indian Ocean with the Pacific Ocean and has close relations with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries. Maintaining a peaceful environment in these waters is very important for countries in the South China Sea region. However, countries in the South China Sea region are facing the challenges of conflict from China’s dangerous actions. In 2013, the Philippines surprised the world by officially suing China before an Arbitral Tribunal under Annex VII of the United Nations Con-

vention on the Law of the Sea or UNCLOS. After three years, the Arbitral Tribunal issued the Award on July 12, 2016. So far, five years have passed since the Award was issued. However, the situation in the South China Sea is still volatile with China’s aggressive actions. China has reclaimed and militarized the maritime features it has occupied. It is also continuously threatening and preventing countries from exploiting in their Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) even though UNCLOS stipulates that China does not have these rights. From the beginning of this year, China passed its Coast Guard Law which allows the Chinese Coast Guard to open

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

employment as key to economic recovery. With Hawaii still recovering from the pandemic, it revealed the many struggles of the community. She said “many still work in the tourism industry and were laid off due to the shutdown of the State. As far as health care, low paying jobs and part-time work hours impact the quality of the health care some are receiving.  The pandemic also shed to light the socioeconomic challenges families faced when children

were distance learning - the lack of digital devices, wifi and technical help greatly impacted those who could not afford the tools for distance learning.” For a millennial perspective, Martin emphasized he would like to see more affordable housing so that local residents can stay, work and live in Hawaii. Not surprising, he also shared his generation’s concern for the environment and sustainability. “I also would like

fire on fishing boats of other countries if it violates “the waters under the jurisdiction of China.” The problem is that China does not clearly explain what “the water under China’s jurisdiction” is. Perhaps, the whole world is not surprised anymore that China claims more than 80% of the entire South China Sea with the socalled “nine-dash line.” Will China use its coast guard to attack and intimidate other countries’ ships all over the waters within this “ninedash line”? The Arbitral Tribunal affirmed that the so-called “historic rights” within the nine-dash line have no legal basis and violates the provisions of UNCLOS. In early March 2021, China deployed 220 fishing boats to see more locally grown food to shore up our food security. During the coronavirus pandemic, I was very scared that we wouldn’t have much food to eat if the ports ever shut down. There should be more AG land to grow more food. “I would also like to see public schools teach our youth how to compost and to use public school cafeteria food for that compost. Children need to learn how to grow their own food and to learn how our waste can be used to grow more food. “The next generation needs to have a better grasp that what humans do, have a consequence on our Earth. If we instill a deeper understanding of this relationship [human behavior and their impact onto the environment], then perhaps humanity and the Earth can still be saved,” said Martin. Improving Filipino empowerment Some solutions Filipino community leaders have been mentioning to enhance empowerment are forming a political action group (the Filipino Coalition for Solidarity was an active political advocacy group founded in 1990 and led by Filipino community leaders), joining organizations that help our community, excelling

around Whitsun Reef (Julian Felipe Reef) in the West Philippine Sea prompting the Philippines to denounce China to the public world. Although China does not accept and abide by the Award, it does not mean that other countries should do the same. The decisions of the International Courts and Arbitration in general always require the “good faith” attitude of the countries involved in respecting these decisions. For the Philippines, because of the Award, President Rodrigo Duterte was able to “negotiate” with China, while in 2012, all efforts to “negotiate” by the administration of former late President Benigno S. Aquino, III with China on the Scarborough Shoal issue has failed. Hence, the filing of the Arbitration case of the Philippines against China’s in our respective fields and mentoring our youth. Amplify Filipino votes. Dr. Aquino emphasized increasing voting turnout among Filipinos as soon as the next election as key to enhancing empowerment. “This will show that Filipinos at last have gotten their act together. This will gain the respect of the local and state community altogether.  Strong turn-out, in turn, needs to be accompanied by qualifications of those running for office, not only in terms of popularity [to actually win an election] but for them to have previous achievements in their respective professions.” She said there must also be public outreach stressing the importance of voting. “Educating the whole community is critically essential. Community leaders must take on this initial job.” She mentions the use of radio and other media to get their message across. Julian-Freitas says Filipinos in leadership positions should get more involved in assisting the community. Colmenares emphasized more unity in voting. “Filipinos need to unite as a community and form a solid voting bloc.  We should avoid competing with one another or running against each other in elections. 

nine-dash claims in the West Philippine Sea at the Arbitral Tribunal in 2013. For the international community, 2020 is a special year for the Award. Starting with Malaysia’s Extended Continental Shelf Submission in December 2019, a series of countries have submitted diplomatic notes to the United Nations on the South China Sea issue in which many countries have directly or indirectly invoked the Award. Countries that have directly invoked the Award include Great Britain, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines and the USA. Countries indirectly invoked the Award include India, Malaysia and Vietnam. Recently, the US State Secretary Anthony Blinken stated: “Five years ago, an Arbitral Tribunal constituted under the 1982 Law of the Sea (continue on page 7)

We should field strong, qualified and viable candidates and rally behind them. We should register to vote and actually follow through and vote.” Sen. Misalucha sees new Filipino immigrants as important to the future of empowerment. She said, “we have thousands of new immigrants who come to Hawaii (pre-pandemic) every year in search of a better life. The number ranges from 5,000 to 8,000 per year. It is to them that I want to say. ‘Although, in our hearts, the Philippines will always have a special place, we need to understand that Hawaii is now our home. As such, we need to be more engaged in all the things that are going on in our neighborhood, in our state. At the very least, vote when we are able (when we become a citizen). We have to feel invested in our communities, we have to care. When this happens, political empowerment will be the natural outcome.’” She adds, “The bottom line is that we have to learn how to be better advocates for our community and ourselves.” Education. Besides voting and becoming active in the political arena and community, Martin stresses the importance of raising our education level (continue on page 12)



Administrative Closure in Removal Proceedings is Restored By Emmanuel S. Tipon, Esq.


lleluia! Hallelujah! Aliens in removal proceedings can breathe a sigh of relief – for the nonce. Attorney General Merrick Garland has ordered that administrative closure in removal proceedings be restored, pending reconsideration of a December 16, 2020, Department of Justice rule which had effectively codified a contrary prior opinion. Matter of Cruz-Valdez, 28 I&N Dec. 326 (A.G. 2021), decided July 15, 2021. Garland overruled the opinion of former Attorney General Jeff Sessions in Matter of Castro-Tum, 27 I&N Dec. 271 (A.G. 2018) which concluded that the immigration courts’ use of administrative closure was not authorized by statute, regulation, or delegation from the Attorney General. Garland criticized the former Attorney General’s opinion as having departed from long-standing practice. The Attorney General es(OPINION: The Arbitral....from page 6)

Convention delivered a unanimous and enduring decision firmly rejecting the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) expansive South China Sea maritime claims as having no basis in international law… We call on the PRC to abide by its obligations under international law, cease its provocative behavior, and take steps to reassure the international community that it is committed to the rules-based maritime order that respects the rights of all countries, big and small.” Global Affairs Canada also issued the following statement: “On the fifth anniversary of the decision by the tribunal constituted under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in the matter of the South China Sea Arbitration,

tablishes regulations, issues instructions, and reviews administrative determinations in immigration proceedings. 8 USC 1103(g)(2). Administrative closure is “a docket management tool that is used to temporarily pause removal proceedings.” It does not terminate or dismiss the case, but rather removes a case from an Immigration Judge’s active calendar or from the Board of Immigration Appeal’s docket. It has been used to pause cases while the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) adjudicates a noncitizen’s pending visa petition, or while a noncitizen facing removal on criminal grounds pursues direct appeal or post-conviction relief in criminal court. It also has served to facilitate the exercise of prosecutorial discretion, allowing government counsel to request that certain low-priority cases be removed from immigration judges’ active calendars or the Board’s docket, thereby allowing adjudicators to focus on higher-priority cases. In this case, Cruz-Valdez, a Mexican national, moved before the immigration judge to

administratively close his case while he submitted a Form I-601A, Application for Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver, with USCIS. The immigration judge and the Board denied his motion citing Matter of Castro-Tum.

Canada reiterates the need for all involved parties to comply with it. This decision is a significant milestone and a useful basis for peacefully resolving disputes in the South China Sea.” As for the countries concerned, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan, Brunei, and Indonesia are not parties with binding obligations in the Award, but the rejection of “historic rights” inside the “nine-dash line” means that these countries are beneficial, because this so-called “nine-dash line” encroaches on their EEZs. The Award has provided explanations for a number of problems for the law of the sea. In addition to clarifying the relationship between “historic rights” and UNCLOS, the Award also helps clarify previous open issues related to

article 121 of UNCLOS. These explanations will play an important role for interpretation in similar cases. Vietnam is one of the countries that strongly supports the Arbitral Tribunal and the Award. On December 5, 2014, Vietnam sent a Note Verbale to the Arbitral Tribunal, whereby, Vietnam declared “no doubt that the Tribunal has jurisdiction in these proceedings” and “supporting the Tribunal’s competence to interpret and apply Articles 60, 80, 194(5), 206, 293(1), and 300 of the Convention and other relevant instruments.” Thus, Vietnam has endorsed and recognized the Arbitral Tribunal’s jurisdiction in this dispute, and can be considered as Vietnam’s support for the Award. Before China’s threatening

ther party, if any, in contributing to any current or anticipated delay; and (6) the ultimate outcome of removal proceedings… when the case is recalendared before the Immigration Judge or the appeal is reinstated before the Board. The Board subsequently clarified that “the primary consideration for an Immigration Judge in determining whether to administratively close” a case over a party’s objection “is whether the party opposing administrative closure has provided a persuasive reason for the case to proceed and be resolved on the merits.” W-Y-U-, 27 I&N Dec. 17 at 20 & n.5. Practice pointer: In order to obtain administrative closure, counsel for the alien (or the DHS), should file a motion with the immigration court or with the Board, as the case may be, discussing the factors cited in Avetisyan. Counsel should also state that counsel will inform the court when the petition or application that the alien is pursuing outside the removal proceedings has been adjudi-

cated and the result thereof. COMMENT: I have a case in immigration court where the respondent alien married a U.S. citizen during the pendency of the removal proceedings. The citizen spouse filed an I-130 Petition for Alien Relative on behalf of the alien with USCIS. The immigration judge asked during the Master Calendar hearing what relief I intended to ask. I said that I would ask for administrative closure to allow USCIS time to adjudicate the petition. The judge said that he would deny it. That was before Matter of Cruz-Valdez was decided on July 15, 2021. Now I will formally ask the court to administratively close the case and cite Matter of Cruz Valdez.

Factors in granting administrative closure The Attorney General said that immigration judges and the Board should apply the standard for administrative closure set out in Matter of Avetisyan, 25 I&N Dec. 688 (BIA 2012) and Matter of W-Y-U-, 27 I&N Dec. 17 (BIA 2017). In Avetisyan, the Board ATTY. TIPON has a Master of Laws authorized immigration judges degree from Yale Law School and a and the Board to administraBachelor of Laws degree from the Unitively close a case over the obversity of the Philippines. His current practice focuses on immigration law jection of one party after conand appellate criminal defense. He has sidering the following factors: written books and legal articles for the (1) the reason administraworld’s largest law book publishing company and writes legal articles for tive closure is sought; newspapers. Listen to The Tipon Report (2) the basis for any oppowhich he co-hosts with son Noel (sesition to administrative closure; nior partner of the Bilecki & Tipon Law Firm) on KNDI 1270 AM band every (3) the likelihood the reThurs. at 8:00 a.m. Atty. Tipon was born spondent will succeed on any in Laoag City, Philippines. Tel. (808) petition, application, or other 800-7856. Cell Phone, (808) 225-2645. E-Mail: Webaction he or she is pursuing outsites: side of removal proceedings; (4) the anticipated duraThe information provided in this article is not legal advice. Publication tion of the closure; of this information is not intended to create, and receipt by you does (5) the responsibility of ei- not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. actions, Vietnam is also considering the possibility of following the Philippines to bring China to an arbitration tribunal under Annex VII of UNCLOS or perhaps Vietnam will seek an advisory opinion from the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) or International Court of Justice (ICJ) to answer some of the issues that China often makes false arguments. For the ASEAN, the South China Sea issue has divided some members. Facing the complicated situation caused by China’s unruly actions in the South China Sea, ASEAN countries need to strengthen solidarity, unity and play a central role. This association is working to build a truly people-oriented community through promoting deeper ASEAN

integration, effectively implementing cooperation plans to benefit and impact the lives of people in the area. Therefore, if the South China Sea issue is not resolved, it will affect the development of this organization in the future. ASEAN and China must immediately reach a Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea that is binding, substantive, comprehensive and meaningful, becoming an effective tool to prevent conflict, maintaining peace, stability, security and safety at sea. CELIA LAMKIN is the Founder and Global Chairperson of the National Youth Movement for the West Philippine Sea. E-mail address: VIET HOANG is a professor at the Ho Chi Minh City University of Law, Expert on International Law and Law of the Sea. E-mail address:



Solid North vs. Solid South By Perry Diaz


he next president could either be the son or daughter of a former president. I am talking about Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., former senator and son of the late president Ferdinand Marcos Sr., and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, daughter of the incumbent president Rodrigo Duterte. I postulated in my column “Battle of Titans looms” (June 11, 2021) that the fight would be between a Marcos-Sara Duterte tandem vs. Pacquiao and his handpicked running mate. At that time, Sara Duterte said she wouldn’t commit to running for president. Then on July 9th, a reporter in Cebu asked Sara if she was open to run for president in 2022. She answered, “Yes.” That changed the calculus of the 2022 presidential election.

Solid North While I am not discounting the election of another candidate, this article puts in juxtaposition the two candidates who command strong

followings. Bongbong’s bailiwick is the region referred to as the “Solid North,” the predominantly Ilocano-speaking people – particularly those of Ilocandia – who were and still are clannishly supportive of the late president Marcos and his family. Until now, Ilocanos reverentially refer to him as Apo Lakay. Since Philippine independence, Ilocanos have dominated the presidential elections by electing Elpidio Quirino, Ramon Magsaysay, Ferdinand Marcos, and Fidel Ramos. And now Bongbong wants to join the Ilocano Presidents’ Club in the forthcoming 2022 election. In 2016, Bongbong came second place with 14,155,344 votes at 34.47% to Leni Robredo’s 14,418,817 votes at 35.11%. Marcos led in the northern parts of Luzon – the “Solid North” – his home region Ilocos, plus the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) and Cagayan Valley, a huge block of votes.

Solid South Sara’s stronghold is being referred to as the “Solid South.” However, the south region, which is Mindanao, has not been tested as being solid, except in 2016 when Duterte ran for president. “Solid South” is being touted

as solidly for Duterte. But the difference between Solid North and Solid South is that the Solid North is predominantly Ilocano-speaking region while the Solid South is a mixture of Visayans, and a motley group of Muslim and indigenous Filipinos speaking different languages and dialects. As the Ilocanos have proven, language is a unifying element in their clannishness. If Marcos can hold on to 34% share of the 2016 voters, he’d be competitive in the 2022 election. Sara Duterte and Robredo are his nearest rivals. With three others – Manny Pacquiao, Isko Moreno, Grace Poe – and a few wannabes, the presidential race could be won by whoever gets 35% of the vote. The Commission on Elections (Comelec) placed the number of registered voters in the 2016 election at 55,735,757. The biggest chunk of voters came from Luzon provinces with 30 million, followed by Mindanao provinces with almost 13 million and Visayan provinces with 11 million. There are 38 provinces in Luzon, 27 provinces in Mindanao and 16 provinces in the Visayas. The turnout in the 2016 election was 81.5%, which would place the number of those who voted at 45,424,642. Marcos’s 23-province haul in Luzon in 2016 was the biggest among the vice presidential candidates. Marcos got not only the “Solid North” vote of the four Ilocos Region provinces but was also the winner in all six provinces in the Cordillera Administrative

Region. He also took the top spot in six out of seven provinces in vote-rich Region 3 or Central Luzon. In Region 2 or the Cagayan Valley, four out of five provinces gave him the greatest number of votes for vice president. All in all, Marcos took a total of 33 provinces – 23 in Luzon, eight in Mindanao and two in the Visayas. In Mindanao, Marcos was the top choice in all four Soccsksargen (South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, and General Santos) provinces, and also Dinagat Islands, Zamboanga del Sur, Lanao del Norte and Sulu.

Is Leni Robredo running? How about vice president Leni Robredo? Nobody is even sure if she’s going to run for president. She declared that she’s open to run for president on the condition that there’s only one opposition candidate. But her main problem is money where more would be needed to spend in a crowded field. She doesn’t have the financial wherewithal she needs to launch an effective campaign to win. She admitted that herself. With Sara Duterte, Bongbong Marcos, and Manny Pacquiao having all the money to buy themselves an election, Robredo would probably just run for governor of her home province of Camarines Sur, where she’d be a sure winner. Or she could be the vice presidential running mate of Pacquiao who is capable of funding Robredo’s candidacy. When Rodrigo Duterte

ran 2016, he only got eight provinces in Luzon, five in the Visayas, and 23 in Mindanao. But he only won in Ilocos Norte and lost in the rest of Northern Luzon. His win was mainly due to the support he got from the Marcoses who endorsed him. Duterte did not get all of the Mindanao provinces. However, he was deemed as supported by the “Solid South,” which is debatable right now. Incidentally, Duterte won only in Ilocos Norte and lost in the rest of Northern Luzon. A survey conducted from June 7 to 16 showed Sara Duterte-Carpio taking up the number one slot in the list, with 32 percentage points (which is attributed to her father’s popularity); Manila Mayor Isko Moreno placed second with 29 percent; Bongbong got the third spot with 18 percentage points; and Senator Manny Pacquiao in fourth place with 13 percentage points. Moreno’s strong showing speaks for the good things that he’s done for Manila. The 2022 presidential election could be a repeat of the 1992 presidential election when heavyweight candidates ran that included Fidel Ramos, Miriam Defensor Santiago, Danding Cojuangco, Imelda Marcos, Ramon Mitra, Salvador Laurel, and Jovito Salonga. Ramos won with 23.58%, followed by Santiago with 19.72%, and Cojuangco with 18.17%. Voters for the 2022 presidential election will be a battle between the Solid South and Solid North, which would put the Ilocanos against the Mindanaoenos. The question is: Can Sara Duterte repeat her father’s electoral record of 16,601,997 votes in 2016? Or can she surpass Bongbong’s 15,444,378 votes in 2016? It would seem that the 2022 presidential election would be a contest between the Solid North and the Solid South. 
 PERRY DIAZ is a writer, columnist and journalist who has been published in more than a dozen Filipino newspapers in five countries.



Hawaii-Philippines Business & Economic Council to Host Virtual Event By Jim Bea Sampaga


n honor of the 75th anniversary of the Hawaii-Philippines diplomatic relationship, a non-profit organization is hosting the virtual Aloha & Mabuhay Conference on October 13 and 14. The virtual conference will feature thought leaders from Hawaii and the Philippines that will discuss relevant and timely topics along the five pillars of the Hawaii-Philippines diplomatic relations: political, governance, economic cooperation, cultural exchanges, people-to-people ties and social responsibility. The host, the Hawaii-Philippines Business & Economic Council (HPBEC), is a non-profit organization founded in 2011 whose mission is to create a forum for

Hawaii and the Philippines to promote business and economic development. The ties between Hawaii and the Philippines can be traced back to the Austronesian expansion that originated from prehistoric migration by sea from Taiwan that reached Northern Philippines and Hawaii. The two nations have also shared the results of U.S. colonial expansion which recruited OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) from the Philippines to Hawaii in 1906 with the arrival of the first 15 sakadas. In anticipation of the Aloha & Mabuhay Virtual Conference in October, HPBEC has launched the Talk Story project in February this year featuring panelists from Hawaii and the Philippines. The recorded version of the live panel discussions is available on

HPBEC’s mission and history Aside from creating a platform for economic and business development, HPBEC also aims to strengthen the ties between Hawaii and the Philippines. The organization also advocates on behalf of Hawaii residents who consider both the Philippines and Hawaii as their home. The Aloha and Mabuhay Conference isn’t the first project of HPBEC. The organization has hosted three conferences in the Philippines in 2012: “Global Citizenship, The Filipino American Experience,” “Sister-City Initiatives & Business Partnerships,” and “Investment Opportunities in Hawaii – Leading the Trend in Renewable Energy Creation.” In 2013, HPBEC hosted “Invest Philippines! – Asia’s Next Economic Tiger” at the FilCom Center, Waipahu, Hawaii.

And since February 2021, HPBEC launched the Talk Story project, a monthly virtual conference discussing topics of interest in both Hawaii and the Philippines. HPBEC has partnered with multiple Chambers in the State of Hawaii namely Maui Filipino Chamber of Commerce, Kauai Filipino Chamber of Commerce, Big Island Filipino Chamber of Commerce, Filipino Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii and Coalition of Fil-Am Chambers of Commerce. Lead by Chairperson Jeoffrey Cudiamat and Vice-Chairperson Mylene

Magno Reyes, HPBEC’s Board of Directors consists of Executive Director Rosemarie Mendoza, Deputy Executive Director Dr. Belinda Aquino, Secretary Rose Cruz Churma, Treasurer Melga Gendrano, Legal Counsel Rhoda Yabes Alvarez, Tech & PR Adviser Kit Zulueta Furukawa, and directors Harry Alonso, Melody Calisay, Rosemarie Aquino, Manny Lanuevo and Jun Suela. For parties interested to join the Aloha & Mabuhay Conference, please contact Rose Churma at or visit their website at



By Elpidio R. Estioko


here’s one nationwide program that we are overlooking for its value and effectiveness in the community, the Job Corps under the Department of Labor (DOL). But when 81-year-old Grandpa Avelino Ocampo passed away, it brought light to the senior volunteers who contribute to communities they serve nationwide, Hawaii included. Grandpa Avelino, as he is fondly called by teachers, students, and staff, served as a Foster Grandparent at San Jose Job Corps Center (SJJC) under the Seniors Council Foster Grandparents and Senior Companion Program in Santa Clara County, California. He was a teacher aide assigned to assist regular instructors as part of the partnership program in two institutions. Grandpa Avelino, passed away on July 4, 2021, due to cancer. Before he succumbed to death, instead of retiring, spending his time at home, going to vacation places, and enjoying his moments with his family, he was still working with us even before the pandemic struck us a year and a half ago. Job Corps is a federal program under the Department of

The Foster Grandparent Program Makes a Difference in the Community They Serve!

Labor (DOL) giving opportunities to marginalized youths to earn their high school diploma, trade school certificates and GED test. Our center partnered with the Seniors Council Foster Grandparent and Senior Companion Program. I attended the memorial service at Oak Hill Cemetery in San Jose, upon the request of his wife Grandma Julieta to say a few words during the eulogy of the memorial service. Grandpa Avelino helped me in engaging the students in completing their assignments and assisting them in earning their high school and/or GED. I often told him he belongs to a group of special people who don’t know the word “retirement.” And he answered: “Mr. Elpi, even with my old age, I still want to render public service because it is in my heart. I love doing it and I find satisfaction whenever I see a student benefit from what I do, even in a very little way.” He served as a mentor and a role model to the students, helping them with their assignments, assisting them in their cognitive activities and providing positive encouragement. He was a big help to the students, especially in Algebra and other math subjects, where most of the students are struggling.

My colleagues in the San Jose Job Corps Center also shared their fondest memories with Grandpa Avelino. Math Teacher Annie Zacharia said: “I had the pleasure of being in the company of Grandpa Avelino for the past four years. He supported my Math classes all those years. My students and I loved grandpa’s presence in our class. If on any day the county transportation brought him very late to the center, he would apologize and would not take the school break as he needed to make up for coming late. He loved math and like to challenge himself. In January 2020, grandpa told me that he cannot come in again as he needed to take care of his wife. He was always very concerned about her. Even after the center closed in March 2020 due to COVID-19, I used to keep in touch with him. He told me that he still works on math problems every day. So, I’m sure he is continuing to work on those Math problems up in heaven.” Amritha Matthews, our finance manager, said: “We all, as well as students, loved Grandpa so much. I have many memorable moments with Grandpa. I love him so much and miss him.” Another Math Teacher Glen McFarren: “From April 2007 until I retired in January 2016, Grandpa Avelino was by my side every day helping me with the students in math class. The students frequently asked why I called him grandpa when he was just a few years older than me. He was named grandpa, as were some others in our San Jose Job Corps training program, because he volunteered to take the role of

a grandparent to our students, offering them academic and phycological support while in school. His presence had a very positive effect on the students and the staff he met at Job Corps, and I will always remember Grandpa Avelino as an outstanding person that I was fortunate to know in my life. God bless Grandpa Avelino for setting such a high standard of love and devotion to me and my classes.” Career Development Director Philip George shared: “Grandpa Avelino was a scholar, a gentleman, and was a very accommodating person to our staff and our students. He was the best thing that ever happened to Job Corps. We will surely miss him.” Our Center Director Leslie Gilroy said: “He was such a nice and loving soul.” GED Instructor Denis Marks said: “I worked with Grandpa Avelino for several years in the Math Room at San Jose Job Corps. If there was a problem, I couldn’t help a student with (quadratic equations come to mind), I would ask my most excellent helper, Grandpa, to work with him/her one-onone at his desk and he would patiently, graciously and lovingly guide them through the steps toward the solution. His presence had a calming effect on the students and on me. He deserved the respect and appreciation given to him. It was a sad day when he came here no more and an even sadder day to learn of his death. He’s up in heaven now helping God with his multitudinous math problems and looking down and smiling at us.” Likewise, the foster grandparent program did a good job

in Hawaii and has touched many lives of students and residents in the community. According to the Hawaii Department of Human Services website, the Foster Grandparents Program honored 25 volunteers who served Hawaii schools and students in a special luncheon ceremony at the Pagoda Hotel in 2016. In 2015, a total of 120 foster grandparents served 420 elementary and Head Start students, volunteering more than 100,000 hours. Furthermore, more than 85% of the children foster grandparents served achieved their educational goals because of the Foster Grandparents Program volunteers. Alice Ziegler, an assistant teacher at Waimānalo Pre-Plus Head Start, said this of one foster grandparent: “She’s a dedicated and hardworking grandma, and we feel grateful for having her.” Another teacher from Kamaile Academy said the volunteer in her classroom “does many things in the classroom, the most important is being a trusted Aunty who will listen to students who need that extra loving adult in their lives.” The Hawaii Foster Grandparent Program is temporarily suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic. The foster grandparents don’t know how to retire, they keep on working to make a big difference in the community!

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


CDC Issues New Eviction Moratorium

By Jim Bea Sampaga


ith the national eviction moratorium that expired on July 31, the Biden administration issues a new moratorium that will potentially save millions from being kicked out of their homes. Issued on August 3, the two-month eviction moratorium by the Center for Disease Con-

trol and Prevention (CDC) will cover parts of the country that are experiencing substantial and high spread of the COVID-19. CDC’s moratorium order says evictions would “likely exacerbate the increase in cases.” Hawaii Senator Brian Schatz said this will also help residents make ends meet. “No one should be kicked

out of their home during a pandemic because they can’t afford their rent. These extensions will stop evictions for thousands of Hawai‘i residents struggling to make ends meet – a necessary step taken by the Biden Administration, and the right thing to do.” The new eviction moratorium will expire on October 3.



By Emil Guillermo


n Asian American Filipina, Lee Kiefer, from Lexington, Kentucky made history at the Olympics. You couldn’t tell at first because she wore a mask – a fencer’s mask – with the American flag on the grill. But when she took it off, you could see her big smile when she won the Gold – one of the first Gold medals in Tokyo – in a sport with a lot more tradition than beach volleyball. Kiefer won in fencing. The Three Musketeers type. Not the Home Depot type. Kiefer is the first U.S. man or woman to ever win an Olympic gold medal in the individual foil. The first. No one has ever done that. That’s like fencing on Mars. Let’s see Jeff Bezos do that. And now I’m sorta glad the games took place in Tokyo. Yes, it’s our one big American team in all these sports from women’s soccer to the hammer throw but we don’t really know who to root for until it comes up in the headlines. And with all the new sports like skateboarding being foisted on us, well I just didn’t know where I had a rooting interest exactly. I even know a little about fencing. When my high school football coach wouldn’t play me for not cutting my hair, I joined the fencing team as a swashbuckling youth. I know the difference between a riposte and a parry. En garde! Kiefer, 27, had been on three Olympic teams prior, never medaled, and has been at or near the top of the women’s fencing ranks since 2017. This was her last best shot at Olympic glory. And now she becomes not just one of the first Americans to win Gold in the Tokyo games, but the first American ever to win Gold in her whole dang sport. History. She now joins her husband, San Francisco’s Gerek

American Filipina’s Historic Gold But Are You Feeling the Olympics Yet? Plus: A Covid Conversation Lin Meinhardt, another Asian American, who won a team Bronze medal in the 2016 Olympics with the U.S. men’s fencing team. He’s on this year’s team and has a shot to win another. All Asian Americans now have a rooting interest. For the sake of the Meinhardt-Kiefer marriage. All good? But the world is still sick. It’s bad enough that I don’t care for how the competition is sliced and diced for human consumption by NBC and all its channels. The games are best live, but with time zone issues, they are more than likely recorded and delayed, all packaged for the Olympic commercials, not the athletes. And certainly, not the audience. Which is strange because the Olympics is still all about the money. TV ad money. And that’s about delivering ads (not games) to a primetime audience. And maybe that’s why beach volleyball is in primetime. And fencers who look like Daft Punk meets the Power Rangers are hard to find anywhere. Unless it’s taped and packaged into bite-sized chunks. The Processed Olympics. So as much as I like Keifer and Meinhardt, the Asian American fencing power couple may not be enough to change my mind about how I really feel. Here’s my Olympic spirit: The world is historically sick. More than 4 million people worldwide are dead from the virus. Fans can’t even attend. The venues are essentially TV studios. Do we really need the games this way to improve the world’s spirits? At the last report I saw nearly 150 people connected to the games have tested positive. Just cancel the games again when the time is right, right? The Olympic spirit should be about world leadership in crisis. It supposed to be a way to showcase nationalism as a unifier. Instead, it presses on

like an athlete against the clock going for a personal best. Why doesn’t any country or any world leader value a Gold medal in Public Health? Zooming with Kristina Wong; Asian Americans in new emerging crisis Your Covid thoughts? Over the weekend, I joined Kristina Wong to take part in a small group zoom “salon” on the topic with Asian Americans from coast to coast. Kristina, who will premier a new show off-Broadway in November at the New York Theater Workshop, talked about her work getting masks to people. She’s both leading a group of “aunties” sewing masks, as well as buying masks and distributing them to all in need. Most recently that was farmworkers and homeless people. “I learned that I had this weird martyr side that comes out,” she said, as she discovered her way of dealing with the pandemic was to help others who couldn’t help themselves. Like getting unhoused people a washing station. Or getting quarters for laundry. All good deeds. Some are offset by donations, but it’s still frustrating. “The thing is you’re literally doing the government’s job,” she said. Wong is actually an elected local district grass-roots representative in Los Angeles, which turns out is unrelated to what she does as a real humanitarian. It’s the life of a comedian/actress/writer who wants to make a difference. I told the group what I’m doing. (You can hear it on my Facebook Live show at 2 pm Pacific Time, Monday to Fri-

day, or on Look for show No. 100.) But it was more interesting hearing from the dozen or so folks who assembled. Serena Lee said she’s spending more time at home with her grandkids, but she’s still upset about all the violence toward Asians due to the pandemic scapegoating of Donald Trump. “I don’t feel safe to go out,” she said. “And it’s not about Covid now. It’s about being attacked.” James Cerenio said the current attacks on women and seniors remind him of how his father from the Philippines, who came to the U.S. in 1927, was attacked in the late 1990s. “This is not new,” he said emotionally wondering why more hasn’t been done to reverse the fear. “When is our community going to get that respect from the politicians and the media, because (the hate) has always been here.” The fear and anxiety take a toll on a subject few AAPI like to talk about: mental health. Lynette Pang spent 17 years in community mental health and is currently a psychotherapist in Seattle. She

warned of a real mental health crisis in the broad AAPI community. “I can’t serve everyone that wants to reach out to work with me and it’s heartbreaking because by the time they reach out, they needed the help yesterday,” Pang said. “There is just not enough of us…it’s overwhelming for a lot of us… we’re all burning out.” June Jee of New York talked about the need for more affordable mental health care, among providers who can do it in-language. “Mental health is another pandemic in itself,” Jee said. Tamiko Wong and Tonia Chen are trying to build a conversation network that could empower AAPI around the country. “If people have these conversations, they may feel more empowered to actually do something,” said Wong said. Especially when they find others who feel the same way about a variety of issues. These are real conversations. Let’s start having more of them. Maybe join in yourself. I’ll talk more about it on my Facebook Watch show and on Let’s connect. 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.



Delta Rising By Seneca Moraleda-Puguan


accinations are being rolled out throughout the world. Millions have already been inoculated. Some countries are starting to open their borders. While some have already eased restrictions. A few countries have allowed their people to discontinue wearing masks. Things are slowly getting better… or so we thought. A mutation of the coronavirus called the Delta variant, also known as B.1.617.2, surfaced, wreaking havoc on nations still struggling to recover. It started in India and spreading rapidly throughout the world, once again. It’s more contagious – growing quickly and exponentially.

Indonesia is now experiencing 50,000 cases per day, making it the new epicenter of the pandemic. Here in South Korea, from a few hundred cases per day, the statistics spiked to almost 2000 people affected per day. And it shows no sign of stopping. A few months ago, the cases have dropped so our family started to go to parks and attend church services in Seoul. We started to dine in restaurants and go on family trips. Then Delta entered Korea. Now, my husband has been forced to work from home. We refrained from going to Seoul where most of the cases in this nation are. We decided to limit eating in restaurants and stayed home

COVID-19 Delta variant

most of the time. The Koreans are again on high alert, especially that many of the people in the country are not yet vaccinated. Many foreigners like us are still waiting for our turn. Aside from dealing with the pandemic, we still have to cope with the recurring problems of our nations. In the Philippines, for example, we have natural calamities like storms, floods, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions that we face each year. I can


Travelers from the Philippines Now Eligible to Bypass Mandatory 10-Day Quarantine


isitors from the Philippines bound to Hawaii can now enjoy the islands without having to worry about the state’s mandatory 10-day quarantine upon arrival. Under the Hawaii Safe Travels program, Philippine Airlines (PAL) is approved and accredited by the Hawaii government to be a trusted testing and travel partner. Hawaii-bound travelers must take their pre-departure Covid RT-PCR test from a PAL testing partner accredited by the Safe Travel laboratory. Those who tested negative shall be exempted from the mandatory 10-day quarantine upon arrival in Hawaii.

Those who received their RT-PCR test results from a non-accredited Hawaii government and PAL testing center shall be required to undergo the mandatory quarantine upon arrival. To learn more about Hawaii’s travel requirements, visit ph/home/covid-19/DepartingFromThePH/ UnitedStates/Hawaii.

only imagine the anxiety that the Filipino people are experiencing. The fear for their lives and their loved ones is such a heavy burden to carry. As we brace ourselves once again for another wave of cases rising, let’s protect and rescue each other by continuing to observe the safety regulations set by our governments. I know that to receive vaccination is our own decision, but I hope that we consider its benefits. Let’s continue wearing masks, observe social distancing, and stay home as much as possible. This pandemic has been an emotional rollercoaster for all of us. There are moments of small victories, there are moments of frustrations and disappointments. Truly, the future is still bleak, but we can still look forward with hope. In these difficult times, when things seem to be getting worse instead of better, there is only one thing I am holding on to – God’s faithfulness. He is still the God who reigns over all. He is still more powerful than any virus

or any mutation that will surface. He is greater than any disaster, tragedy and defeat that we will face in life. Our pastor in our Philippine local church encouraged us with these words: “In the midst of life’s challenges, God’s faithfulness still prevails. We just need to hold on and not let go. We just need to declare and not doubt. We need to stay in faith and not be overwhelmed with fear. We need to trust God and not turn away.” And as I heard these words, my heart was encouraged, my hope renewed, and my faith strengthened. More than a year into the pandemic, and with no idea of when it will end, let’s face each day with faith and hope. Let’s prove to the Delta variant that we are stronger, and we are better. I have written so many articles about this pandemic and I will not get tired of saying that we will get through this because we have a God who is greater. He will carry us through. And things will get better, again.

(COVER STORY: Assessing....from page 6)

as key to empowerment. With a better educated community, empowerment politically and economically will follow. A March 2018 Research and Economic Analysis put together by the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) shows Filipinos are still underrepresented in higher education: 15.4% of FilAms have a bachelor’s degree and 3.7% a graduate or professional degree (33.6% have an associate’s degree). Martin suggests, “more educational resources need to be available to Hawaii’s Filipino communities. We need more summer programs. If we have supplemental programs like this, then children will feel more confident going into the next school year knowing that they have retained the information they’ve learned the year prior. We also need to emphasize volunteering for community organizations. I didn’t really put much value in volunteering for community organizations in my youth, and in retrospect, I wish I valued it more. Not only does one provide a great service to

the community through volunteering, but it also builds experience and knowledge of the area through which you volunteer.” Dr. Aquino also makes the link between educational attainment and better paying jobs that in turn leads to enhanced empowerment. She says, “Employment to productive and sustainable jobs should be made available over time to enable Filipino families to send their children not only up to secondary schooling, but more importantly to finish a college or graduate education based on what is needed in the job market.  Unemployment or underemployment in the Filipino work force is so prevalent as seen in the fact that employment in low-paying  jobs like hotel workers and other service industries have to find a second or third job to make ends meet for themselves and their families.” Dr. Aquino says empowerment also includes lobbying leaders at the legislature. Lobbying politicians. Sen. Misalucha says, “the legislators are aware of who submits tes(continue on page 13)



PHILIPPINE HERITAGE HOMES, A Guidebook By Rose Cruz Churma


f the outstanding heritage homes identified in a 2000-2004 survey conducted by the United Architects of the Philippines, about 50% have already disappeared. Typhoons, earthquakes, fire, and termites take their toll. Philippine inheritance laws also divide property among all children sometimes literally splitting a property. Grime, traffic and commercial appreciation in most cases convert once genteel and quiet neighborhoods where these heritage houses once stood – into urban jungles. There is a need to take care of what remains, or at least document these before they are lost forever – and for those still able to travel – to ensure that a tour of these houses becomes part of their itinerary! This is the first of several guidebooks that cover a sampling of heritage houses that are easily accessible from Metro-Manila. Represented in this book are provincial and urban houses and examples of architectural styles from the traditional bahay na bato to art deco. Some are now government-owned or converted into museums or hotels. A few are still lived-in and retain their original furnishings. A notable example is the Quema House in Vigan, Ilocos Sur. Chinese traders established a brisk trading relationship with the local population. Vigan prospered as a major trading port, and some of the

entrepreneurial Chinese married the locals and established homes there. One such edifice is the Quema House, now under the care of fourth-generation heirs of Don Enrique Quema and Dona Teresa Crisologo. It was built in 1820 by Dona Fernandina Singson (hispanized from “Sing Son”) and inherited by her grandson, Enrique Quema (from the hispanized “Que Mah”). A few years ago, we were fortunate to be invited to stay overnight at the Quema House. It was a struggle to climb up its main staircase, purposely designed to be steep “to allow the ladies to show off the fine embellishment of their serpentinas.” The well-decorated antesala, with its wide planks (two feet wide and 12 feet long) leads into the sala which is filled with period furniture with rattan upholstery and framed photos of the ancestors on the walls. The bedrooms contain aparadors and four-poster beds with detachable mosquito nets. The bedrooms opened to a narrow gallery that traversed the width of the bedrooms and looked out into the street below. Of interest were the wooden rocking chairs in the galleries, where the arms were unusually long and wide – suitable for propping ones’ legs when taking a siesta during the hot afternoons. Another interesting item in the house is the vintage Underwood typewriter probably used by one of the descendants who used to be a writer of a national daily newspaper and President Magsaysay’s executive secre-

tary. A story shared with us by one of the heirs is that when Tom Cruise (yes, that movie star) visited the house, he was so taken by the typewriter and fiddled with it too much. The dining room also contains a treasure trove of period items – from the furniture to the china and silverware. A descendant who was a Doctor of Medicine in the 1930s treated a patient who paid with a huge trunk of a narra tree that became its dining tables. When we stayed there, the caretaker of the house served us an authentic Vigan breakfast: the town’s famous longganisa and rice with thick tsokolate in tiny cups. Some structures now reconstructed at Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, an ocean-side resort in Bagac, Bataan are also included in this guidebook. Most were in various stages of ruin when they were carefully dismantled and transported to Bagac, where specially trained workers, reconstructed them in their original forms. Of the houses from Acuzar that are featured here, the most memorable for me was Casa Bizantina, which is locat-

(COVER STORY: Assessing....from page 12)

timony on issues. Our Filipino community is sadly, quiet. I have personally observed that there are only a handful of Filipino-American community leaders who submit testimony even on bills that are relevant to the Filipino community. Manang Amy Agbayani has been a strong advocate throughout the years, and she has been trying to shepherd others to pick up the cudgels but even she herself would admit that it is a struggle.”

Dr. Agbayani has spent a lifetime working on civil rights, immigrant rights, and social justice in Hawaii. For more than 40 years, she served as the founder and director of the Office of Student Equity, Excellence and Diversity at UH-Manoa. She has served as chair or co-chair to many local politicians campaigns and is a powerful lobbying voice at the Hawaii State Legislature. Sen. Misalucha makes the point, “The day when we do not

have to talk about Filipino political empowerment any more is the day when we know we have achieved it.” The offices up for next year’s local elections are for Governor, Lt. Governor, US Senate District 1, US House of Representatives District 1 and District 2, some State Senate races, all State House of Representatives seats, and some county races. Candidate filing starts on March 1 and ends June.

ed near the front entry of the resort. The resort was part of our itinerary when our group from Hawaii did a tour of Luzon, visiting historic houses and eating our way from Quezon province to Ilocos Norte. The house was originally located in Binondo, Manila. In 2009, it was transferred to its present location in the Bagac resort and restored to its original splendor. Casa Bizantina was designed by Catalan architect, Joan Josep Jose Hervas y Arizmendi, who came to Manila to assist in the reconstruction of the city in 18921898. He was also credited for designing the Hotel de Oriente (a replica was being built at the resort and may be done by now) and La Insular Fabrica de Tabacos y Cigarillos. His buildings are known for the Spanish modernist style, a movement led by the architect Antoni Gaudi, but Casa Bizantina is his only surviving building in the Philippines. Casa Bizantina housed the most expensive suites at the resort. The furnishings, wall decor, artwork and accessories were all carefully chosen to create a luxurious but elegant ambiance. Notable were the replicas of famous paintings by Juan Luna, Felix Ressureccion Hidalgo, Fernando Am-

orsolo and others which were “re-painted” on a larger scale on the walls and ceiling. Instead of liquid color pigments, carefully cut vinyl sheets in various colors were applied to the surfaces. In factories adjacent to the resort, young housewives from the surrounding towns were trained to cut the vinyl sheets in shapes and tints that approximate the brushstrokes of the original and assembled to re-create the original painting. Other factories outside the resort produced carved wooden fixtures and balusters. Another factory manufactured bricks from the clay and straw of the surrounding fields and used these for the streets and hard surfaces of the resort to recreate the old days. Since most of the building materials for the reconstructed houses were not available commercially, the resort had to manufacture the required items. This guidebook includes maps and clear directions on how to visit the sites and suggests ways of getting around using public transport. Let’s hope the COVID-19 pandemic ends soon so we can visit the Philippines again! 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@



Remembering Lilia Q. Santiago

– Professor, Scholar, Writer, Author, and in numerous educaspecial assistance. He noted Feminist professor tion institutions notably at the that she was always a “caring By Belinda A. Aquino, Ph.D.


he untimely passing of Dr. Lilia Quindoza-Santiago earlier this year is a profound loss not only in the Philippine academia but also in international circles, especially in Hawaii where she taught Philippine literature, Philippine languages, particularly Ilokano and popular culture, but also in Virginia where she also taught these courses in a community college there. Santiago was a prolific writer. In her lifetime, she produced more than 20 books and monographs containing numerous essays, commentaries, conference papers, book reviews and other academic and literary pieces. She wrote in three languages: Ilokano, Filipino/Tagalog and English. She was a frequent contributor of articles to several international publications. Above all, Santiago was a

Department of Filipino and Philippines language at the University of the Philippines (UP) in Diliman, Quezon City where she spent most of her teaching career. She had won several awards for her sustained writing. She was also an Associate for Fiction in the Institute of Creative Writing at UP-Diliman. After several years at UP-Diliman, Santiago was hired as a faculty member in the Department of Indo-Pacific Languages at the University of Hawaii at Manoa where she was a professor of the Ilokano Language Program. She attracted a lot of Filipino American students who took the Ilokano language as one of their two foreign language requirements for graduation. Unfortunately towards the end of her distinguished career, she was diagnosed with leukemia and died shortly after. Her body was returned to the Philippines where her entire family lives. Santiago had an incredi-

The late Dr. Lilia-Quindoza-Santiago

ble array of academic and human skills in various fields of learning, especially literature and languages. After moving to Virginia after retiring from Hawaii, she was hired to teach Philippine literature and culture at Tidewater Community College.

Santiago as a writer Of her numerous writings, I am most impressed by a chapter she contributed to a 2010 book entitled “More Pinay Than We Admit.” Santiago wrote the chapter titled “Roots of Feminist Thought in the Philippines” on page 105 of the book.


Protecting Your Vision from the Sun and UV Damage


ugust has been heating up! And while one of the best ways to cool off is by heading to the beach, don’t forget to protect your eyes too! The more time we spend in the sun, the more we are exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light. UV light is damaging to both the skin and to our eyes. And sunlight can be even more damaging if it’s also reflecting off of water, so protect your eyes and vision with hats and glasses when you can! “Exposure to the sun is hazardous anytime during daylight hours- even when it’s cloudy,” says Steven Rhee, D.O., Medical Director and Cornea Specialist at

Hawaiian Eye Center. “UV radiation is especially severe from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and can burn the surface of the eyes directly or indirectly from reflections off sand, water and pavement. It is imperative to wear proper eye protection when in the sunlight.” The effects of damage from UV light often show up slowly and therefore go unnoticed. Exposure to UV light may lead to cataracts, macular degeneration, skin cancer around the eyes, and pterygium – an unpleasant, noncancerous growth on the eye’s surface. Because of this slow onset of conditions, it is important to get your eyes checked regularly,

especially as you get older. The best way to prevent eye damage from the sun is by wearing sunglasses. No matter the style or cost, choose sunglasses labeled “100% protection” or “UV 400.” Wrap-around sunglasses that extend around the temples offer the best protection but always at least choose the UV protection. “Everybody, of every age, should wear sunglasses whenever spending any time outside,” says Dr. Rhee. Protect your vision by adding these preventative measures to your daily routine and get a comprehensive eye exam once a year. Learn more or schedule an appointment at:

It is a cogent and well-research piece that essentially argues that feminism is “not considered a foreign ideology imported from the West and espoused by strudent, middle-class women whose behavior and ways of thinking are those of aggressive Western feminists.” This perspective, according to Santiago, is erroneous because it assumes that feminism “has no place in national life and culture.” The author argues, such an argument does not consider the fact that this idea does not have any knowledge of Philippines history in terms of its role in the construction of feminist thought.

Helping the department to grow According to Dr. Aurelio Agcaoili, longtime Chairman of the Ilokano Language Program at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Santiago was instrumental in recruiting and retaining students and creating the student development program. She was active in translation and interpretation services for Ilokano students. She was also helpful in hosting the annual NAKEM (Ilokano word for “thought” or “consciousness”) Conference in the Philippines and Hawaii. These conferences exposed students to the larger Ilokano society in the Philippines and Hawaii, as well as internationally. Dr. Agcaoili further shared that Santiago was always “student-friendly” especially to those who needed

colleague.” She was completely devoted to her students considering that Ilokano is a difficult Philippine language to learn. Santiago made sure to give her students incentives and more time to learn the language. Her office hours were devoted to helping students who needed special assistance in learning Ilokano. Outside of the classroom, Santiago cooked for her students during their numerous picnics and get-togethers during the weekends. Her students were appreciative and thankful for Lilia’s patience and accommodation when they needed advice.

As an activist Santiago was likewise active outside of her academic responsibilities. The pro-democracy movement was active in resisting the martial law regime of Ferdinand Marcos who had put the whole country under martial law in the early 1970s. She didn’t go underground unlike many of her former colleagues at the University of the Philippines. She devoted much of her time writing critical pieces expressing her criticisms against the regime. As a result, she was put under house arrest in a detention center along with some of her colleagues. After she was released, I asked her how she was treated by the guards while she was detained. Santiago shared that she argued with one of the guards who didn’t like her answering back with what she thought were not severe accusations against the regime. The guard didn’t like her responses, so he slapped her across the face. However, she was not tortured unlike some of her colleagues who had gone underground and were later caught. There were numerous activities and accomplishments that Santiago had achieved during her lifetime. What I (continue on page 15)


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Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz Wins Philippines’ First Gold Medal in Tokyo Olympics By Jim Bea Sampaga


or the first time since the Philippines joined the Olympics in 1924, weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz won the Philippines’ first gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics on July 26. Hailing from Zamboanga, the 30-year-old not only won the gold medal but also set two new Olympic records in

Hidilyn Diaz (NEWS FEATURE: Remembering Lilia....from page 14)

have written in this essay are just a few of her achievements in and outside of academia. I believe I have unraveled the breadth and depth of her intellectual capabilities and character. She had expressed some of her deeper thoughts in one of her last essays, written shortly before she died. She narrated a portion of the life of the Philippine national hero Dr. Jose Rizal. Rizal had written a touching and sympathetic letter to the young wom-

en of Malolos who petitioned the Spanish authorities in the 1890s to build a school where they could learn Spanish and be able to teach it to their fellow Filipinos. The Spanish Governor-General had denied their request. Santiago kept on writing until the very end of her life. She was a true believer in equality, peace, and social justice. Unfortunately, she passed a relatively short period in her lifetime but her legacy in

the intellectual, social, and cultural field will always be cherished by generations now and in the future. DR. BELINDA AQUINO is Professor Emeritus at the University of Hawaii at Manoa where she served as Professor of Political Science and Asian Studies as well as Founding Director of the Center for Philippine Studies for more than three decades before retiring.  An accomplished journalist, she is a Contributing Editor of the Hawaii Filipino Chronicle and other international publications.

weightlifting: 127kg in the clean and jerk and a total lift of 224kg. The Tokyo Olympics isn’t Diaz’s first Olympic games. She went to the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympics but it wasn’t until the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics that she won a silver medal in women’s weightlifting. Diaz is the first Filipina athlete to bring home double Olympic medals. She is also one of the three Filipino athletes who has brought home Olympic medals for the Philippines. In 1928 Amsterdam and 1932 Los Angeles Olympics, swimmer Teofilo Yldefonso won bronze medals. While in 1996 Atlanta, boxer Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco won the silver medal in the light flyweight division. (Solution to Crossword No. 7 | July 17, 2021)

KROSWORD ni Carlito Lalicon

Blg. 8


1. Sungkitin sa pamamagitan ng kalingkingan 8. Salaulain 15. Masintahin 16. Mag-imbak sa lata 17. Angkop 18. Bukid 19. Pagsang-ayon na may paggalang 20. Kahol o tahol ng aso sa malayo 22. ___ Baba 23. Biya 25. Ipugal 26. Silag 27. Isang mahaba na makitid na basket


1. Pasimuno 2. Sumawata 3. Isang uri ng pagkaing Kantones 4. Ari 5. Damit na isinusuot sa gradwasyon 6. Isama 7. Bagot 8. Isang uri ng punongkahoy na tulad ng puno ng sasa o

29. Malakas na hanging nanggagaling sa lalamunan at baga at Ibinubuga sa bibig 30. Pakuluan sa tubig 31. Pagsasabog 33. Malaki’t pulang langgam 34. Siwang 35. Lungkot 36. Hamak 39. Walang pangalan 43. Esteban _____ (dating senador) 44. Alila 45. Emplasto 46. Karbungko 47. Alimuom 49. Ausente palma 9. Isang uri ng matigas na punongkahoy 10. Hiwid 11. Naman 12. Higtan sa yaman 13. Konsegrahin 14. Patumalmal 21. Malalim na lubak sa lupa 24. Mapang-abuso 26. Aryahan 28. Aseytuna

CLASSIFIED ADS 50. Alirang 51. Kahit 53. Koponan 54. Espanyol 56. Arabe

58. Karagdagan 59. Pagpalain 60. Biklang 61. Tuyot

30. Ikulong 32. Idea 33. Kanal 35. Tawag 36. Dilihente 37. Abugadong babae 38. Kabangisan 39. Kapital ng Qatar 40. Kawalang-damdamin 41. Torno 42. Mga mumunting hipon,

44. Isang ngiping may malapad na ibabaw para gamitin sa pagnguya 47. Bulwagan 48. Sangga 51. Daang-bakal 52. Piksi 55. Saa 57. Taberna

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


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AUGUST 7, 2021

Profile for Hawaii Filipino Chronicle

Hawaii Filipino Chronicle - August 7, 2021  

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