Hawaii Filipino Chronicle - August 21, 2021

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AUGUST 21, 2021


Hawaii2Work Campaign Launched


Diversity Like Hawaii’s? Not Yet But The New America Is Here; Plus, Diversity Deniers’ January Sixing” of CA



Why Duterte Wants to Run for Vice-President?

Please Spare Them from Delta: A Prayer for the Children



Going Back To School for In-Person Learning with Strong Safety Protocols in Place Is the Right Move


ollowing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendation that K-12 schools could and ought to reopen with proper health protocols in place, the Hawaii Board of Education, Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE), working with Gov. David Ige and the Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) made the right decision at this moment to resume in-person learning for the academic school year 2021-2022. Having said this, should there be significant outbreaks of COVID-19 in the future that would significantly endanger students and teachers health, state officials and leaders must seriously reassess in-person teaching and possibly revert to virtual learning or a combination of both to minimize further risk. Currently, health experts say severe illness among young people are not widespread and not a problem. There are increased cases of COVID-19 due to the new variants, but health experts say hospitalization among kids are extremely few and rare. CDC research also finds that children are unlikely to spread the virus in a massive scale. But this could change as the virus mutates and other variants arise. Given these health facts (at this moment), and weighing in the importance and benefits of in-person learning, the risk taken to reopen schools is worth the potential cost.

No association between the 2020 school closures and decreased rates of COVID-19 A reputable study published in the Journal of the American Association of Pediatric says that “although school closures in the spring of 2020 were reasonable, they may not have played as great of a role in slowing the spread of the new coronavirus as originally thought.” And there are other studies that make the same conclusion. In the new study from the University of California Los Angeles led by Frederick Zimmerman, PhD, authors found, “Keeping schools closed in the spring turns out to have been unnecessary in hindsight, but definitely the right thing to do given what we knew at the time.” School closures was extra burden on poor families The authors of the study also point to the extra burden placed on families with the least resources in the Spring 2020 school closure. Many of these family members held jobs where they had to be at work physically and could not do work virtually as professional and white collar workers. So when schools were cancelled, they had to dramatically reduce their work hours to watch over their young children or lose their job entirely because they could not afford to hire a sitter M-F for hours. Harmful side to virtual learning for kids While virtual learning could be appropriate for adult learning by enabling them to work and continue their education, but for kids and teenagers in-person schooling is an essential part of socialization, health experts say. Already health experts are saying students are beginning to feel the effects of social isolation by showing signs of anxiety and depression. The same UCLA study says “many teens have since dropped (continue on page 3)



n March 16, 2020, Gov. David Ige announced that schools in the state would extend spring break for one week through March 27 due to the outbreak of the coronavirus. Situations clearly had not improved by then so it was extended, and extended again. No one could have predicted that it would take well over a year until this month that finally Hawaii schools would reopen for in-person learning. For our cover story this issue, associate editor Edwin Quinabo reports on why the Governor, Hawaii Board of Education and Hawaiʻi State Department of Education (HIDOE) made a bold decision to finally reopen for in-person learning this new academic year, even as the state is experiencing a surge of Covid infections triggered largely by the new delta variant. As early as February this year, the CDC recommended that schools reopen, but with safety protocols in place. But like most Boards of Education on the mainland, Hawaii leaders took a conservative approach, waited to develop a solid reopening plan and selected this fall to reopen. Find out what the State has come up with in requirements to mitigate the spread of the virus in Hawaii schools. The general consensus at this moment is that parents are in support of resuming in-person instruction. They understand the risk involved, but also are aware of the importance of having their children receive quality education. Parents also mention socialization as necessary for their children – to be able to interact with their peers and teachers in-person. Students in our community representing three major age groups (elementary, middle, and high school) share their excitement and concerns over this academic year. HIDOE also said virtual learning will still be available on a limited basis for students who have health conditions and are advised to maintain social distancing. Related to our cover story, HFC columnist Seneca Moraleda-Puguan gives a personal perspective of what it’s like to be a parent concerned over not just her own children, but other children from catching the delta variant, which appears to be infecting kids at rates higher than the original COVID-19 strain. She offers a prayer of protection in her article, “Please Spare Them From Delta A Prayer for the Children.” Also in this issue, HFC columnist Emil Guillermo writes about the US Census 2020 results that show multiracial population grew between 2010 and 2020. Asians are up 36%; Hispanics, 23%; Blacks 6%. The Filipino-American population is now more than 4 million in the US. It has been predicted decades ago that a diverse America (with no one overwhelming majority group) would be the future of our nation. This latest Census results confirm that we are much closer to making this become reality. Did you know this month of August is National Language Month in the Philippines? This national celebration promotes the diversity of languages in the country as well as raising awareness on the unique features of the national language called – Pilipino or Filipino. For our Book Review this issue, HFC contributor Rose Cruz Churma writes about two companion dictionaries -English-Tagalog and Tagalog-English -- that were compiled by Father Leo James English. Getting the books to publication took close to 20 years. The two dictionaries are widely used today in the Philippines and US. Lastly, also as part of our observance of National Language Month, we have a contribution from Amado Yoro who writes in Iloko or Iloco that is often referred to as the national language of northern Philippines. His article is “Allangogan: Pingki ken Salugsog.” Be sure to catch our latest in news and our other columns. Thank you for supporting your community newspaper. Until the next issue, warmest Aloha and Mabuhay!

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

Publisher & Managing Editor

Chona A. Montesines-Sonido

Associate Editors

Edwin QuinaboDennis Galolo

Contributing Editor

Belinda Aquino, Ph.D.


Junggoi Peralta

Photography Tim Llena

Administrative Assistant Lilia Capalad Shalimar Pagulayan

Editorial Assistant Jim Bea Sampaga


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

Contributing Writers

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

Philippine Correspondent: Greg Garcia

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

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

Advertising / Marketing Director Chona A. Montesines-Sonido

Account Executives Carlota Hufana Ader JP Orias



Public Employees Should Be Vaccinated, Good Call Governor and Mayors


awaii residents complained about the state shutting down the economy and closing down tourism. Currently, Hawaii is experiencing all-time high rates of COVID-19 infections and hospitals are once again approaching all-time high capacity due to excess of COVID-19 patients. Do we want to go back to shutting down our state, tourism and stopping whatever economic recovery we’ve made in recent months? No. Do we want to get back to pre-COVID days as soon as possible. Yes. We also know that the best hope for accomplishing that, being able to return to normalcy, is for residents to get vaccinated. And vaccinations have been proven to be safe with very rare exceptions. Taking a look at the big picture, Gov. David Ige and county mayors were right to take a bold move to require that all public workers be vaccinated by mid-August to stop the spread of the virus. And yes, they even included exemptions from this requirement for medical or religious reasons. So there is sensitivity and reason to this

mandate. As part of the new emergency pandemic proclamation by the Governor, these are the public employees who must get vaccinated: teachers, corrections officers, first responders such as police and emergency medical technicians, government office workers, professors and staff of the University of Hawaii and guards throughout the state’s correctional system. At a new press conference, Gov. Ige said, “The number of cases and hospitalizations are all trending up — dramatically. The highly contagious delta variant creates a big risk of infection, especially for members of our community who are not vaccinated. Based on the current conditions, I must take action to protect public health and avert unmanageable strains on our health care all across the state.” The Governor also said public workers who refuse to comply with the new mandate could face termination. Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami said that given the recent surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, “some level of government intervention at this time is necessary.” Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi added a “caveat” for city employees, explaining that his administration intends

Pushback What is clearly a responsible directive by the Governor and county mayors, surprisingly, the mandate has been met with some reservations

by some of the largest public employees unions including HGEA, HSTA, UPW. The unions did not outright oppose the vaccination mandate, but quickly was critical of its rollout. Public sector union heads complained that they were left out of consulting, had concerns about the cost (if public workers do not get vaccinated they must undergo weekly testing at the employees expense), and say there is still confusion about the new rules. President of HSTA Osa Tui Jr. expressed fears that the mandate may cause teachers to leave the state that is already short of qualified teachers. There was a threat to file a lawsuit from a union representing police officers, firefighters and first responders (as of press time they did not follow through on that threat). Over 1,000 first responder union members said they would enlist in a class action lawsuit if the union eventually decides to sue. Some union members expressed that they should have a choice to be

igible students for vaccination to get vaccinated. Hawaii teachers and staff must get vaccinated or must undergo weekly testing at their expense. But if health experts are saying the most effective way to stop the spread of COVID-19 is through vaccination, the State and counties should consider a mandate for both eligible students and teachers (without weekly testing as an option) to get vaccinated if it becomes necessary in the future. Some private schools already mandate vaccination for their eligible students. Again, our children need to be in school learning in person.

The state should be applauded for their school-based vaccination clinics that will continue throughout the school year. One area not included in Hawaii’s mitigation plan is testing. The DOH is working to implement weekly voluntary testing on unvaccinated students. As long as vaccination is not mandated, testing of the unvaccinated should be included in Hawaii’s mitigation strategy at schools. We are encouraged to see in-person learning resumed in Hawaii. May our students get the most from their education, achieve academic success and stay healthy.

to require vaccinations for all employees except for those with medical conditions or religious beliefs that prevent vaccination. Blangiardi said the city will require affidavits to document those issues. The State House also mandated all members and staff be vaccinated. The State Senate is about to do the same. The State Judiciary announced it will soon follow. Honolulu City Council mandated all employees must provide proof of full vaccination (both shots administered) by Sept. 30, 2021. Already, Hawaii Pacific Health, Kaiser Permanente, The Queen’s Health Systems and Adventist Health Castle announced that they are requiring employees to get vaccinated by the start of October. Additional hospitals and health care providers are expected to follow.

(Going Back....from page 2)

out of high school or decided not to go to college, and while some of these students may go back to school, many will not.” While COVID-19 will eventually go away, the damage to these children’s future who decided to drop out of school or did not fulfill the requirements to graduate (due to a lack of guidance and structure or inability to access a computer) have long-lasting, life consequences. Providing children with the best opportunities for learning -- many academics say is through in-person learning -- must be something our leaders owe our youth for their future and our nation’s future.

We can do this as more proven ways to reduce and prevent the spread of COVID-19 are more known and following CDC guidelines.

Hawaii’s safety protocols and mitigation strategies The existing layered mitigation strategies laid out by the State are reasonable at this given moment. They are cautionary, proven to be effective. Should conditions warrant due to alarming spread of the Covid virus, there could come a time (hopefully not needed) to toughen some of those safety protocols. Currently the HIDOE has not made it mandatory for el-

vaccinated or not. It’s true that some of these complaints have validity. But if unions say as what they’re claiming -- that they’re for vaccination, why all the clamor? Ultimately, it’s a public health issue. And there are already requirements for other vaccinations for school and sometimes work. This vaccination requirement in theory is no different. Hawaii’s Attorney General’s office said the vaccination mandate is “lawful and constitutional.”

Close to the end of the tunnel Hawaii residents should be aware that if we make the hard choices now and take the right steps, namely to get vaccinated, we could begin enjoying better days sooner rather than later. But it will take everyone’s cooperation. The Governor, who at times has been criticized for moving too slow in his handling of COVID last year, should be applauded for making this bold decision, and swiftly at that. All sectors of government (Legislature and Judiciary) and hospitals are following his lead and making mandates of their own. Unions, most likely, will be in full support of it eventually because it is the right thing to do to have all employees (except those with legitimate health reasons) be vaccinated. It’s for the good of our state and our communities.



Hawaii Back to In-Person Schooling Amid Pandemic Uptick By Edwin Quinabo


awaii is experiencing all-time highs in rates of COVID-19 infections. Last Friday the Hawaii Department of Health reported 1,167 new cases, the highest daily count since the pandemic started. Outside Queen’s Medical Center Punchbowl, the medical triage tent is back up as hospitalization due to COVID is just shy of also being at an alltime high. This latest surge in Hawaii is the worst since last year when lower rates of infection forced the state to close down for business and close down tourism. As rates of COVID begun to dip and vaccinations rolled out this spring, State and county leaders felt optimistic enough to lax regulations, reopen the economy and begin the long walk toward recovery and normalcy. As a part of that effort, the Hawaii Board of Education passed a resoluTyler Delos Santos, 15 years old, 10th grader at Kapolei High school started classes on Aug. 6. “As much as I like going to school in person, I feel there is greater risk. I feel scared a little bit. But I rather go to school in-person because I am learning better. I am fine with it now, but we need to take big precautions like social distancing. I would say even before entering and leaving the classroom, hand sanitizing and washing hands [are good practices].” Troy Julian Freitas, 9 years old, Maemae Elementary School, started on Aug. 3. Asked if he felt secure and safe to return to school, he said, “Yes, because we all wear masks, practice social distancing, and wash our hands often.” His fear, “only some kids wear face shields that serve as extra protection against the virus,” said Julian Freitas. Most of the 256 public schools (180,000 public school students) started the

tion on July 15, 2021 to reopen Hawaii schools for in-person learning for the 2021-2022 school year – seen by most educators as a major step forward after a year of K-12 virtual instruction posed multiple problems for both students and teachers. Virtual learning also passed on extra hardship for many parents of young children. Parents scrambled for daycare, opted for reduced work hours, and in dire cases, quit their jobs entirely. The BOE’s decision to resume in-person learning is in line with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommendation that K-12 schools “could and ought to reopen with the proper protocols” in place. Governor David Ige, the Hawaiʻi State Department of Education (HIDOE) and Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) have been working on a layered strategy even before the first day of school.

first week of August. Since school started, there were 50 student cases of COVID infections at public schools — 35 at elementary schools and 15 at secondary schools — and 20 staff cases,” reported HIDOE. “The total case count is higher this week, but considering the size of our organization — more than 200,000 students and employees across the department — and the level of transmission occurring in the broader community, I think it’s a testament to our schools’ safety protocols that we saw 70 confirmed cases over the past week that had an impact to a HIDOE campus,” interim Superintendent Keith Hayashi said in a news release. While there are higher rates of children catching COVID-19, local health experts say they are not seeing a rise in severe illness requiring hospitalization. Such cases are “extremely rare,” said Lt. Gov. Josh

Green, who is also a ER physician. Shannon Tan Go attends middle school at Punahou School. Her first day of instruction was on Aug. 18. She said in-person learning provides a better learning environment. “We can learn directly from the teachers instead of through a screen.” Like Troy, Shannon likes having the ability to ask questions and get them answered if she has trouble with something. “I do think there is a catch with the higher chance of getting the virus with in-person learning, but I believe the schools have prepared correctly for the return of students. I do feel safe returning to school as the proper safety measures have been made.”

Hawaii’s Mitigation Strategies Gov. David Ige held a press conference to discuss the State’s safety protocols to help mitigate COVID-19’s spread in public schools.

DOH director Libby Char said in a press conference that children need to be back in school, even with the surging case count. “There is risk involved in everything, but I think we also have to be cognizant that there is a cost to not having children in school and having them fall further behind in learning and the continued social isolation,” she said.

He mentions four strategies: • Vaccinations: Promoting COVID-19 vaccinations among all faculty, staff and eligible students 12 years of age and older. • Stay Home When Sick: Faculty, staff and students are urged to stay home when sick. • Mask Up Indoors: Schools will ensure that there is correct and consistent masking indoors. Masks must always be worn correctly and consistently by all students and staff. The only exception is for eating and drinking. The evidence is clear – wearing masks indoors or in large groups when outdoors, is the second-best way (next to vaccinations) to protect yourself and loved ones from the virus, Gov. Ige said. Masking up is also required in crowded outdoor situations and

during outdoor activities that involve sustained close contact with other people. ‘ • Hand Hygiene: Good hand hygiene will be emphasized in schools. Faculty, staff and students will be strongly encouraged to wash their hands with soap and water often, or at least to use hand sanitizer. A point of contention for some teachers and parents is at the moment the State does not require a negative COVID-19 test or a clinician’s note to return to school after a student finishes isolation and quarantine. While teachers are encouraged to keep students apart or be in very small groups when needed, there is no requirement on placing physical barriers in the classroom. There are no limits on the number of students to be admitted onto a school bus. The Governor commented (continue on page 5)


COVER STORY (Hawaii Back....from page 4)

on the importance of kids returning to school, “One thing we’ve learned is that in-person learning is, for most students, critical for their academic and social success, as well as their overall wellbeing.” Although not required, these are some strategies some teachers are utilizing when possible: utilizing outdoor space, placing stickers on the ground showing kids what being 6 feet apart is, and distancing student desks 6 feet apart even if teachers must use maximum classroom space up to corners. The most recent CDC guidance says at least 3 feet of spacing is adequate as long as masks are worn. In some school districts on the mainland, mask wear is not required in schools resuming in-person instruction.

Vaccination requirements As the state’s number one strategy to stop the spread of the virus, it is taking a strong position on vaccination. As of Aug. 16, all educators were required to show proof of vaccination, but those who are not vaccinated are subject to weekly testing at his or her expense and during non-work hours. The new rules are in compliance with Gov. David Ige’s new vaccine mandate for all state and county workers. The State has been conducting school-based vaccination clinics since May this year. These clinics (which will be ongoing throughout the school year) were able to vaccinate 26,400 individuals across 109 school sites, said DOH spokesperson Brooks Baehr. The Hawaiʻi State Teachers Association estimates around 80% of teachers are vaccinated. According to the Department of Health, 46% of the 97,148 children aged 12 to 17 are fully vaccinated and 58% have received at least one dose. Students under 12 (some 216,000 kids in Hawaii, accounting for 49% of the entire K-12 student body) are not eligible to receive vaccinations at the moment. Pfizer

has said it expects to apply in September for children ages 5 through 11 to get vaccinated. Moderna said it expects to have enough data to apply for FDA authorization in younger kids by late this year or early 2022. Currently, the State has 60% of residents vaccinated. Testing is also being pushed. Recently on Saturday, Aug. 14, the DOH held a free testing event at the Aloha Stadium. DOH officials said more families brought their kids to be tested, which is most likely related to kids being back at school. The DOH is also hoping to implement weekly voluntary testing on unvaccinated students, like athletes. Caroline Julian-Freitas, mother of Troy who is ineligible for vaccination at this time, said, “As a family, we discussed with Troy about getting the vaccine when it becomes available for his age group. Without hesitation we decided that he will. As vaccinated parents, we believe it’s the best decision for our family. When our son gets vaccinated, it will bring us comfort and ease that we took every measure to prevent him from getting infected and prevent him from the possibility of suffering long term effects of COVID.” For older Hawaii students who are eligible for vaccination, the DOE is currently not requiring that they get vaccinated, unlike teachers and staff. For some private schools like Punahou, any student who is eligible for vaccination must upload their vaccination status via the school’s website or be required to test for COVID-19 on a weekly basis. Nearly all of Punahou teachers and employees have already been vaccinated, said spokesperson Robert Gelber. Private schools are allowed to set whatever conditions they see fit as long as they do not violate federal non-discrimination laws. Venus Delos Santos, mother of Tyler, said she made sure her son got vaccinated as soon it was available to him.

Supporting in-person schooling On in-person learning resuming, Valerie Tan (mother of Shannon) said, “it is always a tricky balance trying to find the right timing for when to re-open school and extra-curricular activities for in-person learning. Our situation now with current rates of vaccination and number of cases may be the ‘happy medium.’ We all need to move on and adapt to an always changing environment. “As much as I’d like to keep our child in a bubble and keep her learning from home for safety, in person learning provides needed socialization and development of interpersonal skills. It also allows children to be in a structured environment for focused learning, and to learn from their teachers and peers. As long as the school is well prepared, strictly follows and enforces guidelines and regulations, and assures that all who are part of the school community are aware of and follows said guidelines and regulations, full time in-person learning can be safe and productive,” said Tan. Delos Santos said she doesn’t have a problem with school resuming even as the State is experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases. “It’s [reopening in-person schooling] the only way to gauge how well we can adapt to the new norm in whatever degree or form it takes. To face the disease head-on is the only way we can learn from it and its effects. It’s the only way we can adapt to it because society will never go back to a non-covid world.” Delos Santos supports the mitigation strategies implemented by the State. “If you take the necessary precautions, then I say full speed ahead because I did all I could as a parent in helping my child. “Even if I or my child get the virus despite getting vaccinated as a result of the school opening, I still have the confidence that I did all I could, and will have had no regrets. Now if I did not take all the necessary precautions

“I believe the distance learning was a necessary mandate because of the covid circumstances, but it leaves a lot to be desired as far as degree, amount, and quality of instruction and education. Tapping into a student’s academic potential is by far best done through in-person instruction.” — Venus Delos Santos, Parent of Hawaii public school student for myself, my child, and the people around me, that means I am not being responsible.” She agrees with education experts that in-person schooling is better than distance learning, and not just for education, but “better for the mind and body.”

Why in-person or E-learning is better HIDOE is still offering virtual learning at some public schools but it’s limited to students who have demonstrated success in virtual learning or have an underlying health condition that makes it inadvisable. It could also be available to students whose parents insist on having their children do distance learning.. HIDOE says it’s still committed to making remote learning equitable as much as possible to accommodate students who must still continue this alternative.

Education experts say part of a teacher’s role is to motivate, encourage and supervise students which is best handled in person. Experts point out some drawbacks of E(electronic)-learning: feedback is limited; it causes social isolation; it requires strong self-motivation and time management that some students lack; communication skills are hindered; it lacks one-on-one communication between teacher and student. Troy said in-person learning makes it easier to understand the lessons. He gives the example, “the teacher is able to work with me and see me if I am having trouble [like other students].” The strict schedule of schooling also requires students to perform better, educators says. As a parent, Delos Santos agrees with experts, “Without (continue on page 6)



Protect Your Child’s Eyes: August is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month By Janet Kelley


ith the dramatic increase in digital learning, especially over the past year with COVID-19, comes some consequences on children’s eyes. There has been a marked increase in children experiencing dry eye and eye strain due to prolonged screen time. The American Academy of Ophthalmology has named August “Children’s Eye Health & Safety Month.” While some are going back to in-person schooling, it still only decreases the risks of onsetting nearsightedness so much. Even with non-digital learning tools such as books or other things that a child focuses on closely in front of them, there is still a need for resting their eyes, intentionally blink-

ing, and looking at things further away to prevent discomfort. It is particularly important to schedule time in natural light and away from screens in order to protect your children’s eyes. Some studies suggest that spending time outdoors may slow the onset and progression of nearsightedness. The general consensus within the scientific community is that spending time outdoors balances out closeup work and helps maintain strong and healthy eyes in children. The World Health Organization recommends that children under 5 spend one hour or less per day on digital devices, and children under 1 spend no time on digital devices. The Children’s Eye Foundation recommends daily outdoor play, no screen time for those under age 2, a maximum of 1-2 hours per day for kids

ages 2 to 5 and guided screen time with frequent breaks for kids over 5. Parents can protect their children’s eyes by managing their children’s screen time to support educational use while limiting cartoons and video games. They can also encourage more outdoor activities while maintaining social distancing and other CDC guidelines. Parents can accomplish this by creating a schedule, setting limits on screen time, and planning ahead for outdoor activities. Parents and educators can also check out these tips for eye health from the American

Academy of Ophthalmology. Here are a few recommendations: - Take a 20-second break from closeup work every 20 minutes - Set a timer to remind kids to take those breaks - Keep digital media 18 to 24 inches away from the face Dr. Steven Rhee of Hawaiian Eye Center shares, “An increase in screen-time and decreased time spent outdoors may harm children’s vision and can put them at higher risk of developing myopia, or nearsightedness. This condition can sometimes lead to even more serious eye conditions in their adulthood.” While doctors and scientists are still learning exactly how myopia develops and progresses, we do know that it can occur when the eye’s focusing power is too strong, causing light rays to focus in front of the retina instead of on top of

it, creating a blurry image in the field of vision. Nearsightedness can be corrected by glasses or contact lenses, but it can lead to a number of eye problems later in adulthood, such as retinal detachment, glaucoma and macular degeneration. Preventative measures and proper ongoing care for eyes creates the best conditions for children’s eyes as they continue to develop. A collection of more than 25 years of research proves that working up close (reading or using a tablet) does increase the chances of developing myopia. Dr. Rhee closes, “While there is a stereotype about children today having a short attention span, it can be easy for a child to hyper-fixate on a screen or even a book! It is important to remind them to look away, spend time outside, and properly lubricate their eyes by blinking regularly.”

develop maturity to thrive in E-learning. An important component to building maturity is peerto-peer socialization. Troy said what he looked forward to in going back to school was spending time with his friends and participating in school activities.

from them [other students] because then they’ll be like ‘does he not like me?’”

(COVER STORY: Hawaii Back....from page 5)

expectation, guidelines or a timeframe, students get lost and stray in attention span and motivation. I’ve noticed that attention to the teacher was sorely lacking with the zoom classroom. Kids were not required to keep their cameras on which was the only thing that kept them accountable.

The lack of accountability yielded grades that could have been better. Also, there were some tech problems that interfered with the learning process and the productive use of time in the classroom. “Furthermore, as a parent, the home routine was disrupted because part of it had

to include some instruction. A healthy home schedule or routine involves more quality, family time rather than instruction. When schools were temporarily closed, over a year, I became a teacher and a parent. I had to instruct my child in partnership with the teacher in order for my child to achieve certain benchmarks for his grade level. “I believe the distance learning was a necessary mandate because of the covid circumstances, but it leaves a lot to be desired as far as degree, amount, and quality of instruction and education. Tapping into a student’s academic potential is by far best done through in-person instruction,” says Delos Santos. Not only is face-to-face communication important between teacher and student, while at school students tend to help each other out with school work. Educators also say virtual learning could be more suited for working adults and college students, but kids still need guidance and need to

Some differences noted as the new norm since school resumed Besides all the new safety protocols, Tyler said “Since we haven’t been in face-toface school for a while, everyone is like very awkward with each other, like the class is quiet. People are afraid to speak. They don’t talk much. I think it’s because they are shy and because they don’t want to spread [or give the impression of spreading] COVID.” Students have reported fear and are taking extra precaution. “Everything I touch I am concerned. Even being close to people is concerning. I am kind of like low-key, back away, but I try not to show that I want to get away

Parents must shift gears back to normal scheduling Parents also have to do some adjusting now that full in-person schooling is back on track. During last year’s shutdown, Valerie said it was fortunate her daughter is older and didn’t need constant supervision. And “our work places allowed us to be bring our child to work with us during the days of remote learning so in a way remote learning worked out for our schedules.” She mentioned with school back to its normal hours, they would need to shift gears again, be flexible with schedules, and do a lot of coordinating. Get vaccinated Health experts say as a community, as a family, we can all contribute to the safety of kids in schools. “Get vaccinated if you can. That is our most powerful tool right now,” said Dr. Char.



Hawaii2Work Campaign Launched; Hawaii Chamber Survey Shows Businesses Have Trouble Filling Open Positions


elp is on the way for employers struggling to fill positions. The Chamber of Commerce Hawaii teamed up with media partners Hawaii News Now, The Star Advertiser, and Pacific Business News, to launch “Hawaii2Work – Securing Tomorrow’s Workforce today” campaign. The campaign has several goals: to connect jobseekers to Hawaii is Hiring where they can utilize online resources to find a job, to recruit new employers to participate in Work-Based Learning programs, and to connect job seekers to training resources at the University of Hawaii community colleges. Employers can register at ClimbHI Bridge, an online portal that more than 275 local companies are already using to offer work-based learning. “As we work together to get Hawaii’s economy thriving again, employment is on everyone’s minds,” said Sherry Menor McNamara, President and CEO of Chamber of Commerce Hawaii. “But amidst the challenges, we want everyone to know there are things we all can

do. Hawaii is Hiring is a great resource for both job seekers who are looking to re-enter the workforce. We’re also inviting employers to support our youth’s college and career success by participating in work-based learning in our local high schools. By becoming a Work Based Learning partner, companies can help to shape the future workforce of Hawaii and help provide our youth with access to higher education, high-wage jobs, and improved future employment prospects.”

Webinars The Chamber is also hosting two webinars: #1 “Back2School: Legislation and Collaborations that are preparing Hawaii Students for Next-Gen Jobs, ”Aug. 11, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Featured speakers: Senators Michelle Kidani and Donavan Dela Cruz and Representative Takashi Ohno. There will be a student-moderated panel, followed by Dean Brennon Morioka of the UH College of Engineering, and Ste-

phen Schatz of Hawaii P20 who will be on hand to discuss Sector Partnerships and work-based learning collaborations. #2 Hawaii2Work: Addressing Hawaii’s Workforce Shortage” Aug. 17, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Featured speakers: Carl Hinson of Hawaii Pacific Health, Gina Marcoff of Zippy’s Restaurants, Tammi Chun of UH Community Colleges and Leinaala Nakamura with American Job Centers Hawaii.


Filipino Organization’s Virtual Event to Discuss Workforce as a Global Commodity Among Filipino • Winnie Ferrer of Philippine-based Community PARMAN INC., a workforce reBy Jim Bea Sampaga


osted by the Hawaii-Philippines Business & Economic Council, September’s Talk Story Virtual Event will explore the ever-changing global workforce and how it’s affecting the Filipinos in the homeland and diaspora. The event will discuss the multifaceted Filipino workforce: the mass migration of Filipinos to the corners of the world to be a part of the global workforce, the trend of business process outsourcing companies and the Filipinos working in Hawaii’s tourism industry. Randall Francisco, president of Kauai Chamber of Commerce, will moderate the event. The four featured panelists are:

cruiting agency • Araceli Jimeno, the editor of a 2013 book that raised awareness in migration issues of Filipinos abroad • Tim Mobley, president of business process outsourcing firm Connext Global Solutions • Gemma Weinstein, president of UNITE HERE Local 5, a labor union that represents Hawaii’s hospitality, healthcare and foodservice workforce. The virtual event is part of the organization’s preparation ahead of the Aloha & Mabuhay Conference on October 13 and 14. Catch the Virtual Talk Story Event on Facebook Live at facebook.com/hpbecFB on September 2, 4 pm HST.

Visit Hawaii2Work at cochawaii.org/hawaii2work.

Chamber Survey Following up on its previous May survey, the Chamber • conducted another one in July. Here are a few of the results: • About 9% are searching to fill more than 11 or more employees with less than 10 companies look- • ing to hire more than 100 employees. • 75% are struggling to find

workers to fill job openings, down from 86% in May. Most (59%) are considering or have considered “raising compensation, benefits, signing bonus, referral bonus, or other incentives to fill positions.” The most common answer to the question “Generally, What do you think are some of the reasons for your challenges in filling job openings?” was “Not enough candidates.” The second most popular answer was “Unemployment benefits.” Just under 50% of businesses who completed the survey said business has improved since restrictions on capacity and masking have been relaxed. The majority (56%) of businesses said revenues have not returned to pre-pandemic levels. 



Why Duterte Wants to Run for Vice-President? By Perry Diaz


n March 14, 2018, President Rodrigo Duterte declared the Philippines was withdrawing its membership in the ICC (International Criminal Court), thinking that he wouldn’t be prosecuted for allegations that he was responsible for the killing of thousands of Filipinos during his presidency. Prosecutor Fatou Bensoula of the ICC began the investigation early in February 2018 on the basis that murder, torture, and other crimes against humanity were present in the government’s anti-drug program during the first three years of the Duterte administration. Last June 14, 2021, Bensouda announced that she had concluded her preliminary examination in the Philippines and is seeking authorization from the ICC’s judges for a full investigation into crimes against humanity committed in connection with the country’s “war on drugs” between November 1, 2011 March 16, 2019.

Supreme Court decision In a unanimous decision on July 21, 2021, Philippine Supreme Court ruled that the government remains obliged “to cooperate in criminal proceedings of the ICC even if it has withdrawn from the Rome Statute,” the treaty that formed

the ICC. Further, the ruling said that President Duterte could not arbitrarily terminate international agreements without the consent of the Senate. In its ruling, the high court said that as a state party, the Philippines was bound to recognize the jurisdiction of the ICC and cooperate with its processes even after its withdrawal from the Rome Statute. “Withdrawing from the Rome Statute does not discharge a state party from the obligations it has incurred as a member,” the high court said in a decision authored by Associate Justice Marvic Leonen. The high court pointed out that the country’s withdrawal became effective on March 17, 2019, which means that all acts committed by Duterte and other public officials up to that date were still within the scope of the ICC’s jurisdiction. Duterte presumed that by withdrawing from the Rome Statute, he’d be able to avoid prosecution by the ICC. Wrong. Article 127(2) of the Rome Statute said, “Even if it has deposited the instrument of withdrawal, it shall not be discharged from any criminal proceedings. Whatever process was already initiated before the [ICC] obliges the state party to cooperate.” As former ICC Judge Raul Pangalangan, the first Filipino to serve on the international tribunal said, “The withdrawal was not an

Pres. Rodrigo Roa Duterte

excuse for Duterte to disregard the ICC’s authority.” In support of the Supreme Court ruling, Amnesty International’s (AI) Philippines Researcher, Rachel Chhoa-Howard said, “Despite President Duterte’s stubborn refusal, Amnesty International welcomes the Supreme Court’s ruling that the Philippines remains obliged to cooperate with the ICC during formal probes into the deadly “war on drugs” – even if the state has withdrawn from the Rome Statute.” “Try as they might, Duterte’s administration cannot stop the wheels of justice. Whether they like it or not, international justice will eventually catch up with those who have committed crimes under international law in the Philippines,” Chhoa-Howard said.

Duterte defiant But in an act of defiance, Duterte said he’d not allow the government to cooperate with the ICC, even after the Supreme Court’s affirmation of the Philippines’ obligation to do so. Not giving up on the issue, Duterte said he might run for vice president in 2022 in order to be immune from

lawsuits. But retired associate justice and former ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales debunked Duterte’s assumption that he’ll be spared from criminal liability if he wins the vice presidency in 2022. She said that – citing American jurisprudence – the vice president is “not immune” from lawsuits, civil or criminal just like what happened to the former vice president of the U.S. Spiro Agnew who was investigated in1973 for criminal conspiracy, bribery, extortion and tax fraud. After maintaining his innocence, Agnew pleaded no contest to a single felony charge of tax evasion and resigned from office. During Duterte’s recent Sixth State of the Nation Address (SONA), he became combative when he said, “the battle against narcotics is far from over, more than five years after he began a brutal war on drugs.” He defended the campaign, saying it brought down crime and improved peace and order. “We still have a long way to go in our fight against the proliferation of drugs,” Duterte said in his nearly three-hour address. Duterte, who has dared the ICC to put him on trial, taunted the court again, saying he has never denied that he will kill people out to destroy the country. “I have never denied, and the ICC can record it: those who destroy my country, I will kill you. And those who destroy the young people of our country, I will kill you. I will really finish you, because I love my country.” With those words, he challenged the ICC to prosecute him.

Refusal to cooperate However, Duterte refused to cooperate with any ICC probe since the Hague-based tribunal supposedly has no jurisdiction over him since its founding treaty, the Rome Statute, supposedly never became a law in the country. Wrong. The Philippines signed the Rome Statute on December 28, 2000 and ratified it on August 30, 2011;

thus, making it an extension of Philippine law. But 10 years later, on July 29, 2021, Duterte claimed that the signing of the Rome Statute was never been published in the Official Gazette and was, therefore, never binding in the first place. “The executive department has no copy,” he said. “That’s because what happened was from Congress — Congress ratified it — instead of returning the treaty as ratified by Congress to the executive department, they short-circuited it. They went straight to Rome and appended the Philippine participation.” He asserted, “When there’s no publication, there’s no jurisdiction. There’s no recorded publication. According to the Supreme Court, the absence of a publication in the Official Gazette is always fatal.” But Mr. President, it’s the duty of the Philippine Senate to ratify all international agreements, which in effect obligates the executive department to implement it. It’s interesting to note that the day before, Duterte addressed the nation, saying that he would rather stand on trial at home rather than face the foreign tribunal over alleged rights abuses linked to his war on drugs. Well, perhaps he should submit himself to Philippine courts for prosecution of the murders committed during his presidency. But since he is still sitting as president until June 30, 2022, he may have to wait until then. And if the Philippine courts fail to prosecute him at that time, the ICC could then take over the prosecution of Duterte for crimes against humanity as mandated in the Rome Statute. Fair enough? Now, we can see why Duterte wants to run for vice president. Meanwhile, a sword of Damocles remains dangling above his head, ready to strike him when he steps down from the presidency. 
 PERRY DIAZ is a writer, columnist and journalist who has been published in more than a dozen Filipino newspapers in five countries.




The Long Drought For Philippine Olympic Gold Medal is Over! boxers Petecio, Paalam and Marcial, the whole Team Pilipinas is truly remarkable. You By Elpidio R. Estioko see, there is a bright future for he just-con- Philippine sports, after all! cluded Tokyo A total of 19 athletes Olympics gave across 12 sports make up the Philippines Team Pilipinas in Tokyo its first Olym- 2020. The team is composed pic gold after 97 of boxers Eumir Marcial, Caryears! lo Paalam, Nesthy Petecio, Diaz’s Olympic win and Irish Magno; weightliftagainst the world record ers Elreen Ando and Hidilyn holder and gold weightlift- Diaz; pole vaulter EJ Obiena; ing medalist Liao Qulyun of rower Cris Nievarez; gymChina gave the Philippines its nast Carlos Yulo; taekwonfirst-ever gold medal since the do jin Kurt Barbosa; skatecountry joined the Olympics boarder Margielyn Didal; in 1924. rifle shooter Jayson Valdez; To add to the Philippines’ sprinter Kristina Knott; judoroster of medals, the boxing ka Kiyomi Watanabe; golfers team has brought three more Juvic Pagunsan, Bianca Pagmedals: two silvers from fe- danganan, and Yuka Saso; male boxer Nesthy Petecio and swimmers Remedy Rule and male boxer Carlo Paalam, and Luke Gebbie. and a bronze medal from EuThe rest with their excelmir Marcial. lent credentials tried their very Please join me in applaud- best and almost triumphed. So ing Diaz for ending the gold far, this is the best Philippine medal drought and setting up delegation since it started a new horizon for Philippine competing in the Olympics. sports! All of them are winners! Ku“I was surprised that I dos to all of them! did! I’ve never lifted 127kg Diaz is the only athlete in before, ever. But somehow, the Philippine delegation with I did it tonight. God must be multiple Olympic appearancguiding me,” she told Yahoo es: 2008 Beijing, 2012 LonNews Singapore later. don, 2016 Rio, and 2021 ToFilipinos around the world kyo. But there are also three are proud of you! Along with world champions in the dele-


gation: Petecio and gymnast Carlos Yulo who both won in 2019, and golfer Yuka Saso who won the 2021 U.S. Women’s Open. So far, the Philippines have won a total of 11 Olympic medals as of 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Swimmer Teofilo Yldefonso took home the country’s first medal by placing third place at the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics’ 200-meter breaststroke event. The Philippines took home three bronze medals in 1932 and then Yldefonso won another bronze medal at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. After independence from the United States, the country did not win another medal until the Tokyo 1964 Summer Olympics, where boxer Anthony Villanueva won the silver medal. This was the first silver for the Philippines. His father, José, was one of the bronze medalists in 1932. Later, boxing brought all of the remaining medals of the country – Leopoldo

Serrantes winning bronze at the 1988 Seoul Summer Olympics; Roel Velasco’s bronze in 1992 Barcelona and his brother Mansueto’s silver at the 1996 Altanta Olympics. After independence from the United States, the country did not win another medal until the Tokyo 1964 Summer Olympics, where boxer Anthony Villanueva won the silver medal. This was the first silver for the Philippines. His father, José, was one of the bronze medalists in 1932. Likewise, the two Villanuevas hold the distinction of being the only father and son Olympic medalists in Philippine sports history. There was another medal drought but was broken after 20 years (equivalent to five Summer Olympics) in the 2016 Summer Olympics at Rio de Janeiro when Diaz won silver at women’s 53 kg weightlifting. Diaz would later win the country’s first gold medal at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. She cried after winning the women’s 55kg weightlifting gold medal. Tears of joy, so to speak! The Zamboanga native, who had won a silver at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games, also becomes only the second Filipino athlete to win multiple Games medals since Yldefonso won two swimming bronzes in 1928 and 1932. “I knew I could win, but I have never felt as emotion-

al as this. Holding this gold medal here, it’s like, ‘wow this is unbelievable. I want to thank God for guiding me and my team. I’m very thankful that I was able to bring home the gold for the Philippines,” Diaz said. The Olympic medalists received rewards from the MVP Sports Foundation through tycoon Manny Pangilinan: Diaz – P10 million; Petecio and Paalam – P5 million each; and Marcial received P2 million, i.e. over and above the benefits they received and will be receiving from the government and the private sector. MVP also announced that they have awarded the athletes’ coaches a total of P11 million. All the remaining athletes (non-medalists) will be receiving P500,000 each, according to Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) President Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino in partnership with Pangilinan’s MVP Sports Foundation. With the record just set, the Philippine government and the private sector need to take good care of our athletes, provide adequate training, extend more benefits and incentives for them to be able to duplicate, if not surpass, its superb Tokyo performance! ELPIDIO R. ESTIOKO was a veteran journalist in the Philippines and an award-winning journalist here in the U.S. For feedbacks, comments… please email the author at estiokoelpidio@gmail.com).


Sentro Rizal Honolulu Launches on The event will be live- ter the lecture, there will be August 26 streamed from 3 to 5 pm HST performances from various

By Jim Bea Sampaga


hrough a virtual inauguration on August 26, the Philippine Consulate General in Honolulu and the Philippines’ National Commission for Culture and Arts (NCAA) will officially launch the Sentro Rizal Honolulu, a cultural institution with a mission to promote Filipino art, culture and languages.

on the following Facebook pages: Philippine Consulate General in Honolulu (facebook.com/PHinHonolulu) and Sentro Rizal Honolulu (facebook.com/SentroRizalHonolulu). Former NCAA chairperson Professor Felipe De Leon will be giving a lecture on “Living Filipino Culture and their Artistic Expressions” as part of the ceremony. Af-

Filipino organizations such as Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, Bayanihan Philippine National Folk Dance Company, Madrigal Singers and Ballet Philippines. Sentro Rizal Honolulu is located beside the Philippine Consulate on Pali Highway. The newly renovated building is named after the Philippine national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal.



By Emil Guillermo


know Hawaii is different. The Aloha State has the highest diversity index score in the country at 76%. That’s the probability that two people chosen at random would be of different racial and ethnic groups. The nation as a whole just reached 61.1%. But that’s up from 54.9% in 2010. The trend is in. While White Americans are working on their tans on the beach this summer, the best news last week is that the country is “browning” on its own. I have been waiting for this moment since I first heard of the phrase “diversity,” or the idea of “minorities becoming the majority” in the 1980s. And now according to the Census, we are here about eight years sooner than demographers expected. Our population is up by 24 million people to more than 331 million. Whites are still 58% of the nation’s population. But Whites are in decline by 2.6%, due to aging and low birth rates. We are at the tipping point as Asians are up 36%; Hispanics, 23%; Blacks 6%. Meanwhile, the multi-racial category, what I like to call the “race, plus 1” number more than tripled to 33.8 million from 9 million people in 2010, making it the fastest-growing group of all. It really is the browning of America. Or the loving of America. People are suspicious of the numbers because you are what you say you are on the Census. And maybe there are just more people getting those DNA tests claiming white plus 1. But it can also indicate increases in mixed-race marriages and children. I know, I contributed three children. When I first started talking

Diversity Like Hawaii’s? Not Yet But The New America Is Here; Plus, Diversity Deniers’ January Sixing” of California to demographers about this in 2000 on my television show, New California Media (later New America Media), they noted that when young people start showing a love interest in one another, we would, as the song says, “come together” as a country. More than 20 years later, I’m astonished at how naïve I was to think that the embrace of diversity would be so loving. Young people have, yes. But the overall picture of a

new America to another segment of our country seems to only fan xenophobic fears and create division. It didn’t have to be this way, but discrimination dies hard in America. I thought in 2016, the GOP had come to its senses when it published a full blueprint of a big tent diversity strategy. Everyone was on board. And then Trump came down that escalator and started his campaign. Love turned

to fear, and the GOP couldn’t shred that diversity document fast enough as Trump became the figurehead of the party. That was the Faustian deal the GOP made, and it has forged a resistance to diversity that has led to a not-so-subtle push to roll back the last 50 years of our movement for equality. As America becomes more diverse, the Republican response has been to shape a society that limits democracy,

like the opportunity to vote. That’s the best the GOP can do – to resist and deny. Sound familiar? First climate, then Covid, and now the Census. The three C’s. Watch for right-wing repudiation of the new Census numbers to become the expression of outright “Diversity Denial.” While I celebrate the numbers, people like me are being (continue on page 12)



English-Tagalog and Tagalog-English Dictionaries By Rose Cruz Churma


he month of August is Buwan ng Wika or National Language Month in the Philippines. This national celebration promotes the diversity of languages in the country as well as raising awareness on the unique features of the national language called – Pilipino or Filipino (whatever is the trending term given by Filipino linguists at this time) which is based on Tagalog. The companion dictionaries featured in this issue’s book review is devoted to Tagalog, the language

spoken in the provinces surrounding Manila and used in the province of Batangas where the author was sent as part of his mission as a Roman Catholic priest. These two companion dictionaries was compiled by Father Leo James English during his five decades of service in the Philippines as a Redemptorist missionary. Getting the books to publication took close to 20 years, where the first edition of the English to Tagalog dictionary was released in 1977 while the Tagalog to English dictionary was published in 1986. In the introduction to

the TAGALOG-ENGLISH DICTIONARY, the director of the Institute of National language noted that the term Tagalog is used here since Father Leo James English learned the language as Tagalog, not Pilipino (the term suggested by the institute of National Lan-

guage back then, to refer the the Philippines’ national language), and “he does not engage in the polemics of terms.” At that time that the dictionaries were being compiled, the term Pilipino had not yet gained the linguists’ recognition. Father Leo James English is an Australian priest who has lived in the Philippines before the start of WWII and was interned by the Japanese occupation forces in Los Banos, where he started compiling the English-Tagalog dictionary. The first printing of the English-Tagalog dictionary was part of Australia’s technical assistance to the Philippines.

The director of the Institute of National Language, Jose V. Panganiban notes that the dictionaries compiled by Father Leo English “is so far the most adequate, the most scholarly, and the most complete.” For those seriously contemplating a study of Tagalog, this is a “must have” – a very comprehensive compilation. The Tagalog to English dictionary, for example, has 16,000 main words and 21,000 derivatives and 30,000 Tagalog sentences translated into English, with a total number of entries at 97,000. ROSE CRUZ CHURMA is a former President of the FilCom Center. She is also the co-owner of Kalamansi Books and Things, an online bookstore promoting works by Filipino Americans. For inquiries, email her at kalamansibook@gmail.com.

(CANDID PERSPECTIVES: Diversity....from page 11)

accused of celebrating the “extinction of white people,” as Fox’s Tucker Carlson put it on his show on Friday. Considering the amount of make-up he wears on his show, he should be more open to the browning of America. No one is celebrating the demise of white people. Or

hate. Diversity isn’t about white extinction. It’s merely observing the change in our country. Minorities are younger and having babies. A 36% increase in Asian Americans is a celebratory milestone in the evolution of diversity in this country. But I’m dismayed that

there are folks who don’t like this natural shift and want to see America go back to the demographics of the 1950s. All-white? How are you going to do that? Sell skin whitening creams? Start white baby farms in the South, pumped up with fertility drugs? We’ll see whether anti-diversity forces can manipulate the numbers in the gerrymandering to come. We may see new districts resemble new amoebic shapes to get the results pols want. But there are also other ways folks can wreak havoc on our democracy. The recall effort on Gavin Newsom in California is a big part of that.

The “January Sixing” of Cali-

fornia Newsom started his “No on Recall” campaign on August 13. A “no” vote would retain Newsom One LA Times poll shows that 47% want the recall vs 50% who say no. That’s way too close with a month to go before the Sept. 14th election. Despite California’s large Democratic base, an off-year election and voter apathy may be enough to sink the governor. I knew Newsom when he was mayor of San Francisco. We’re not “friends,” but we’re professional acquaintances. I know he’s shown up for the AAPI community in the past. I last saw him in person more than four years ago at the funeral mass of Alice Bulos, whom I call the “godmother of AAPI politics” in the Bay Area. This week, Newsom had a special AAPI news conference, where I asked him if he could win without the AAPI vote. His answer: “No, I can’t win this without your collective support, the community’s support.” He talks about going to Chinatown the day after his election as mayor to thank

the community. I follow up by asking him about the 30% AAPI vote that is Republican and Trumpy. What would he say to them? Listen here: https://www.aaldef.org/uploads/newsomemilquestionsaapipresser.mp3. Newsom was introduced by Filipino American Rob Bonta, whom Newsom appointed as California’s Attorney General this year. Bonta called the election a “cynical Republican recall effort,” an attempt to install a Trump supporter. At this point, it’s an ultraright-wing African American talk show host named Larry Elder, who is leading a roster of candidates to replace Newsom. Elder has spread anti-vaccine disinformation and has been viewed as worse than Trump himself. He doesn’t believe in a minimum wage or a woman’s right to an abortion. He’s a provocateur. He should not be the chief executive of California. But would it be fair that someone like Elder in a recall election could become governor of the world’s fifth-largest economy with a mere plurality – and not a majority of the state’s voters? To replace Newsom, who (continue on page 13)



Please Spare Them From Delta: A Prayer For The Children By Seneca Moraleda-Puguan


he other night while I was scrolling through Facebook, one post shared in the mommy group I am a part of caught my attention. It was a news story about a Filipino family living in Dubai who lost their adorable one-yearold boy to COVID-19. While I was watching the video, I felt my heart breaking and tears falling as the mother narrated their story. As she cried profusely, expressing the anguish of losing her only son, I could feel her pain as if I was in her shoes. When my husband watched it, he teared up too. We ended the night praying in tears for God to protect our children and their generation from the mutated variant of the virus. When the pandemic started in 2020, the scientific community was confident

that the children won’t be affected by the virus that much. But with the new strain that is causing another wave of lockdowns and rising cases, the children are not spared anymore. The Delta variant proved to be much less discriminating, and it has led to more children being hospitalized. In the Philippines, there are already thousands of children who got infected by the virus and there’s no sign of stopping. Even in the United States, different states have also confirmed that there’s a growing number of children contracting the virus. This is causing fear and anxiety among parents like us. With the children exempted from the vaccination, we can only do so much to protect them. Our family continues to wear masks when we go outside, we stay away from crowded places and only go

out when needed. But my husband and I believe that the best weapon we have against the virus, aside from the distancing measures and following government protocols, is prayer. We trust that God is our covering and our protector. We know in our hearts that He is still in control and sovereign over all. We believe that the lives of our children are in His hands. Reminding ourselves every day of His omnipresence, omnipotence and omniscience takes

(CANDID PERSPECTIVES: Diversity....from page 12)

To replace Newsom, who three years ago won the state with 62% of the vote? Legal scholars have argued that the recall effort, which in one day could fire and replace Newsom, is anti-democratic and subject to legal challenge. But that gets back to why Republicans want it all done now. During the news zoom call, Newsom pointed to all the good he’s done leading California to a budget surplus and a thriving economy despite the pandemic. But when it comes to why the recall is happening, it boils down to one thing: Republicans are bent on what I call the “January Sixing” California. What if Newsom is doing well by the state or that he was elected in a landslide three years ago? The GOP’s motivation to undo California is a response to the great diversity of this

state, the most Asian American in the nation. Instead of embracing diversity, the GOP wants to embrace division. Newsom acknowledged that in his opening statement: “The answer to why this recall is on the ballot is connected to the issue of our diversity,” Newsom said. “This is the state, where 27% of us are foreign-born. We’re a majority/minority state. We’re the most diverse state in the world’s most diverse democracy, that’s our greatness. That’s our strength. We celebrate, we don’t tolerate that diversity.” Yes, diversity. And Filipino Americans, more than 4 million of us in the U.S., are all a part of that. The ballots will be mailed to California voters beginning on Aug. 16th. If you voted in the November 2020 election, you are already registered. Otherwise, you have until August 30th to register.

It should be simple to mark your ballot and mail it in. No stamp necessary. I like to drop off my ballot masked up at the registrar’s office. However, you like to do it, just do it. This Sept. 14 vote is special. Considering the real consequences, it would not be hyperbolic to say this could be the single most important election for Filipino American voters in California, maybe ever. It’s not about Newsom so much as it is about the brazen attempt to negate an election won by a landslide in 2018. If the recall wins, the Republicans will have stolen the highest office in California with a mere plurality. That shouldn’t happen in a strong democracy. 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.

the rein off our hands and gives peace to our anxious hearts. As we brace ourselves in this season yet again, I would like to stand with you in prayer for your sons and daughters, nieces and nephews, and grandchildren. The enemy has come to steal, kill and destroy their lives and their future but Jesus has come to give them life, and life to the full. Heavenly Father, we humble ourselves before You and acknowledge that You alone are God and there is no other. We declare that You are sovereign over all and You are still in control of everything that is happening in the world right now. We commit to you our children and their generation. Father, will you protect them from the virus that tries to take away their future, their dreams, their destinies, their lives. Please protect them at all sides- go before them and go behind them. Please spare them from the ravaging effects of the virus. And for those children who have contracted the virus, those who are in the

hospitals fighting for their lives, Father we ask that You heal them completely. By Your wounds, they are healed. Please restore their health, their energy and their strength. For us parents, we ask that You guard our hearts with Your peace, comfort and hope. Assure us that You love our children more than we can ever love them. Encourage us that You hold our children in your hands and that we can entrust them to You. We put our whole trust and hope in You because You care about us. Father, we pray that You will give us the grace to endure this season and the hope to see the end of this pandemic. In Jesus Name, Amen. I hope that as you have read this, that God will breathe peace into your worried heart and hope to your hopelessness. I pray that the shackle of fear that tries to cripple you would be broken as you look above and call upon His Name. Just like the Facebook post I read that brought hope into my heart, “Why worry with Delta when we have the Alpha and the Omega?” We can continue with our days assured that all is well.



Sika nga Arkitekto Ken Allawagi Iti Literatura Ilokana By Amado I. Yoro


akidser ti patakder a bangonen ti nasalun-at ken nagaget nga allawagi. Nabaludbod ti mula ti naridam ken naanus a mannalon. Nataraki dagiti desinio ken balabala a sirigen ken isagana ti naalibtak ken nasidap nga arkitekto. Sumagmamano la dagitoy a panirigan ken pangyarigak no kasano a yasping wenno idiligko iti panagsuratan… UMUNA: Idea, ania dayta adda dita panunotmo. Ania ti pampanunotem? Dayta ti isuratmo. MAIKADUA: Ipapel. Isurat iti papel. Wenno ikabil iti computer. Debelap. Warwarem kadagiti balikas. Ti umuna a balikas, isu dayta ti puonam a mangilawlawag ken mangsuporta ti “tema” wenno bugas kas mensahe ti suratem nga artikulo. MAIKATLO: Sansanem a surnadan, dalusan, ti bukbuklem a sinurat: sarita, man, daniw man, salaysay man, wenno kolum ken dadduma

pay a kita ti piksion wenno saan a piksion. MAIKAPAT: Agipatulodkan no ania/asino a magasin, warnakan ti kayatmo a pagipatulodan. MAIKALIMA: Aramidem ti bukodmo nga eskediul. Inaldaw? Linawas? Binulan? Sika ti control dita iti bukodmo. Dayta ti makuna a “Time Management.” Ti laglagipen no kontributortayo laeng: Saantayo a tengngel no kaano a maipablaak ti sinurattayo. Ken saantayo pay nga ammo no kayat nga ipablaak ti editorial. Kontrol ti editorial dagita. Adda dita kadakuada iti makuna a “reserved the right to…” Adda artikulo/ sinurat timely. Adda met dagiti makuna a mausarda iti ania a tiempo. Sabali met ti gundaway ti “assigned articles.” Kas iti kolum, kas iti artikulo wenno topiko a kiniddaw ti editor a maisurat aglalo kadagiti makuna a “human interest” ken dagiti ‘umat-atipokpok nga isyu iti lugar nga ayan ti mannurat, ti saan a madanon ti editor. Dayta no dadduma ti makuna nga ‘scoop’, eyewitness, fresh and

first-hand information. Kakuykuyog ti panagsuratan ket isuti panagipablaak, panangiprinta ken/wenno panagilibro iti gapuanan dagiti mannurat nga Ilokano. Adda dakdakkel nga akem ti maysa a mannurat. Ti makuna a mannurat dagiti mangikur-it, mangisurat kadagiti padas, paliiw, dagiti agdama a pasamak ket agbalinto a pudno a record iti masakbayan. PADAS: Isu dayta ti personal a padas iti agdama a komunidad, iti gimong, iti grupo a nakaisangalan ti maysa a tao. Naigamer. Involvement. PALIIW: isu dayta ti nakita iti sabali a banag. Kas warnakan, patiek a ti Hawaii Filipino Chronicle ket maysa a “writing outlet” dagiti mannurat, nabayagen a mannurat wenno nabiit pay a mannurat, ken uray pay dagiti agtarigagay nga agsurat iti bukodtayo a pagsasao. Agpayso nga adu wenno sumagmamano dagiti warnakan ken magasin, ngem no dadduma, gapu iti espasio, adda lablabitna a saan a maipablaak ti sinurat, banag nga adda lablabit a maupay ni mannurat. Agsursurotayo amin. In-

aldaw iti panagadal, tunggal aldaw adda matakuatan a baro nga aramid. Ti panagsuratan ket maysa a wagas a panangasa ken panangpatadem ti isip, ti pluma, banag a dumur-as ken pumintas ti gapauanan. Adda akem ti tunggal mannurat. Mangpabaknang. Mangtagiben. Mangpreserba. Itag-ay iti nangatngato nga agpang ken kalidad. Asaen ti plumatayo. Surat, basa, surat, awan sarday. Agsukisok a masansan. Masapul nga adda makunkuna a creative power of the mind. Agtigtig-abto la ketdi ti ‘kamalig’ ti Literatura Ilokana iti panagtultuloy iti panagsuratan, ken iti panangiblaak ti HFC dagiti napateg a sinurat ken gapuanan dagiti “Mannurat Iti Ilokano” ken uray saan nga Ilokano.

Kastoy Ti Editorialtayo Iti Ilokandia 1978 Dagiti Sulbod Iti Kailokuan, Nariingdan. Rikna, tignay ken Salukag dagiti Pinoy. Ti Pateg ti Kultura ken ti Literatura Ilokana. “Ti balor dagiti gapuanan maipaneknek laeng iti bukod a panangawit ken panangilala. Pudno a na-

pateg dagiti sinurat. Balor ti biag ti bukod a literatura. Isuda ti nabaknang a kontribusion iti rumangrang-ay a kultura a nakairuaman uray addatayon iti daga a ganggannaet. Sulbodtayo iti napanayag a Kailokuan. Asino man a mangilibak iti kinasiasinona, maysa laeng a kinatiri ken kinatakrot. Iti Amianan ti pakasarakan kadagiti nagaget nga utek iti panagbukibok kadagiti napateg a gameng ti sariugma ken ti kulturatayo. Sitatalimeng dagiti kinapintas ken daeg ti dagatayo. Maysa a nabatad a legasia no ituloy a bukibuken ken pabaknangen iti bukod a pagsasao. Datayo met la a mannurat nga Ilokano ti mismo nga arkitekto ken allawagi tapno bangonen ti natalged, nasin-aw, nalagda, nabaknang a pondasion, ti ‘sarusar”, balay, agamang, kamalig ti itultuloytayo a salimetmetan, pabaknangen ken padur-asen a pagsasao ken literaturatayo. “Keep on writing. Writing is our literary, language and cultural responsibility to do as a writer.”


COVID-19 and Its Variants By Jim Bea Sampaga


hen a mysterious and contagious disease hit Wuhan, China on December 2019, the virus was referred to as coronavirus. Coronavirus is the term for a large family of viruses that cause illnesses and are transmitted between animals and people. The coronavirus from Wuhan quickly spread throughout the globe and on February 11, 2020, the World Health Organization officially named the devastating disease as COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2. COVID-19 is the shortened term for COrona VIrus Disease 2019. It’s been more than a year since March 2020, when

the world went into a global lockdown as a way to slow down the spread of the new virus. By early 2021, vaccines against COVID-19 became available for free to the public and countries around the world started to roll out vaccination programs. As the world’s population protects itself against COVID-19, the virus has been mutating creating variants of the original COVID-19. “When a virus develops a new mutation, it is called a variant of the original virus. As viruses spread, they constantly change through mutations to their genetic code,” said Richard Yanagihara, M.D., M.P.H. of University of Hawaii’s John A. Burns School of Medicine. Variants of the original

COVID-19 are expected, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

What’s The Difference? “Most mutations in the SARS-CoV-2 genome do not affect the functioning of the virus,” Dr. Yanagihara said. “However, mutations in the spike protein of SARSCoV-2, which binds to receptors on cells lining the inside of the human nose, may make the virus easier to spread or affect how well vaccines protect people. Other mutations may lead to SARS-CoV-2 being less responsive to treatments for COVID-19.” COVID-19 symptoms are still the same but the variants differ in the speed that they spread, the severity of the disease and their effective-

Infographic by the Journal of the American Medical Association

ness in the current antibody treatments. According to CDC, there are currently four variants that are of concern in the United States: Alpha (B.1.1.7) - This variant spread 50% more

quickly than the original virus and can cause more severe COVID-19 disease. Current antibody treatments are effective against the Alpha variant. Beta (B.1.351) and (continue on page 14)


COMMUNITY CALENDAR SENTRO RIZAL HONOLULU - VIRTUAL INAUGURATION | Philippine Consulate General in Honolulu and the Philippines’ National Commission for Culture and Arts | August 26, 2021, 3 to 5 pm HST | Celebrate the launch of a Filipino cultural institution in Honolulu via Facebook Live at facebook.com/PHinHonolulu or facebook.com/ SentroRizalHonolulu.

WORKFORCE AS A GLOBAL COMMODITY - VIRTUAL TALK STORY EVENT | Hawaii-Philippines Business Economic Council | September 2, 2021, 4 pm HST | The virtual event will explore how the global workforce demand is affecting Filipinos in the homeland and abroad. Watch the livestream at facebook.com/hpbecFB.

VLAING, CEBUANO-VISAYAN LANGUAGE CLASSES | Laing Hawaii, United Visayan Community of Hawaii and Hawaii People’s Fund | Every Saturday of September and October, 2pm to 4:30pm | United Visayan Community Hall, 94-833 Awanei St., Waipahu | Learn the Cebuano Visayan language in this free in-person classes. Social distancing will be observed. Register through lainghawaii.org/vlaing/.

(HEALTHLINE NEWS: COVID-19....from page 14)

Gamma (P.1) - These two variants spread less quickly than the Alpha variant but still faster than the original COVID-19. However, current antibody treatments are less effective with these variants. Delta (B.1.617.2) - This variant spreads much faster than the other variants and the original virus. It may cause more severe cases compared to the other variants while certain antibody treatments are less effective.

What Should We Do? As the world starts to slowly reopen, we should still protect ourselves against COVID-19 and its variants. The CDC highly recommends getting vaccinated as vaccines are “effective at keeping people from getting COVID-19, getting very sick, and dying.” The agency also adds that vaccinated people are less likely to spread COVID-19.

Although masks aren’t mandatory anymore in most states, wearing a mask is still highly encouraged by the CDC to protect yourself, others and the community. The COVID-19 virus spreads through droplets when coughing, sneezing and even just talking, and when inhaled, it will infect the person. It is important to wear masks to ensure that you are not inhaling other people’s droplets and to also keep your own droplets inside your mask. Moreover, governments are asked to implement ways to reduce community spread. “To control COVID-19, the Governor needs to do more than request the public’s cooperation. The Governor should implement a health pass that will require persons to show proof of full vaccination to enter establishments, such as restaurants, gyms, and

stores,” said Speaker Scott Saiki of the Hawaii House of Representatives. “I am confident that Hawaii residents will support such a move because they want to protect their children, families and friends.” The Hawaii Department of Health is also offering free COVID-19 testing at Aloha Stadium every Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays in the month of August. The initiative is in partnership with the Honolulu Fire Department and the Hawaii National Guard. The DOH encourages those who are symptomatic and been exposed to a positive should get tested, regardless of vaccination status. The agency also noted that those who are currently in active quarantine order should not go out to get tested. Health Director Dr. Elizabeth Char said Hawaii’s recent

increase in COVID-19 cases led the demand for more testing. “These testing events add to our state’s capacity and ensure that individuals have access to free testing,” she said. Free COVID-19 testing at Aloha Stadium will be from 10 am to 4 pm on Saturdays and Sundays, while Tuesdays and Thursdays are from 10 am to 2 pm. No appointments will be required. Free parking is also available. “We are happy to partner in this effort to test even more people in our community. Aloha Stadium is accessible from anywhere on the island, making it an ideal site to conduct additional testing,” said Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi. “Mahalo to our heroes at HFD, who have consistently been on the frontlines against COVID-19. Their efforts at Aloha Stadium will protect our communities and save lives.” To learn more about Hawaii’s efforts against COVID-19, visit hawaiicovid19.com. (Sagot sa Krosword Blg. 8 | August 7, 2021)

CROSSWORD by Carlito Lalicon

No. 8


1. The “p” in m.p.g. 31. Chipper 4. Simple fruit 32. Attached 9. Scale-like structure 34. Breakfast, lunch or dinner between the base of 36. Capable of being the wing and the halter acknowledged of a two-winged fly 42. Indian bread 14. Caviar 43. Type of written agreement 15. Cool 44. Capital of Latvia 16. Diminished by 48. Baptism, for one 17. Aged 50. Barrel part 18. Unpleasant nastiness 51. Gulf V.I.P. 20. Break up 52. Head 22. Conceive 54. Finish, with “up” 64. Jagged, as a leaf’s 23. Everyday article 55. Drink edge 24. Confine 57. Harper 65. Fair-sized musical 27. Addict 60. Dependent 28. Mountain range 63. Long, narrow spade for group 66. Publicity, (slang) 30. Clobber stony lands


1. Egg on 2. Of or relating to the earliest period of the Stone Age 3. Wading bird with long red legs 4. Hindu Mr. 5. First Hebrew letter 6. Surfaced 7. Cosine 8. Astern 9. During

10. Align 11. Anxiety 12. Sheen 13. Declare 19. Associative relation 21. Despot’s duration 25. Token 26. Decorated a cake 28. When doubled, a dance 29. Advertising sign 33. Overshadowed 35. Amount to make do with

37. Animal house 38. Carry on 39. Capital of Brazil 40. Song about love 41. Farm animal 44. Parent, e.g. 45. Imprison 46. Smallest and most perfectly anthropoid arboreal ape having long arms and no tail

CLASSIFIED ADS 67. Extend, in a way 68. About 1.3 cubic yards 69. Gray, in a way

47. Melodic 49. Fuel gas 53. Bigot 56. Cold one 58. Network of intersecting blood vessels 59. Kid 61. Advantages 62. Excluding

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


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