Hawaii Filipino Chronicle - September 2, 2023

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Clear ChoiCe? trump’S mugShot, biDen by the banyan

THEATRE REVIEW Symphony in manila


Salute to Filipino WorkerS on labor Day

SEPTEMBER 2, 2023

Rebuilding a New Future is Never Easy, But It’s the Better Option When in a Domestic Abuse Situation

omestic abuse is a crime. Let that sink in.

DPeople need to understand this. Some would say it is arguably the most craven, sinister, and mean spirited of crimes because an abuser is harming the person – a spouse or children or someone very close to him (or her) -- who he professes to love.

When you hear stories of victims of spousal abuse and what experts say is happening, what happens over time is a calculating effort by the abuser to break down his spouse to gain total control and dominance of his spouse.

The pattern is almost always the same. There is a thrilling courting period, love-bombing that the abuser will employ to attract and draw in his spouse. In this phase, domestic abuse survivors say the abuser is charming and show no blatant signs of abuse. But they also say, in retrospect, if you pay attention enough, there are, in fact, warning signs. But they are subtle.

Then in the next phase, when the abuser is certain he can show his true self because a relationship is firmly established, these subtle red flags become much more pronounced. So begins the psychological and emotional abuse stage that is mostly characterized as verbal abuse intended to diminish the abused self-esteem.

The love bombing stops and suddenly the abused can’t do anything right in the relationship as the abuser complains about everything and hurls constant insults. No matter what and how much the abused spouse will give to her abuser husband (or wife) – money, attention, love, even what he most desires, control – none of that will ever be enough.

Then the abused starts to believe she is the problem, something that is commonly heard among domestic violence survivors. “It’s my fault that I didn’t prepare the food on time. It’s my fault that I questioned why my husband didn’t come home last night. I’m the selfish one.” – the self-loathing script and confusion now deeply set for the next stage, physical abuse.

By the time physical abuse kicks in, the relationship is toxic. The abused spouse is just a shadow of her former self before she met her abuser. Her self-confidence is gone, and she feels trapped. She thinks she cannot survive on her own and that she has no option but to stay in this toxic relationship.

Trauma after trauma, physical and emotional abuse keeps coming, a barrage of merciless abuse is piled on top of each other and soon the abused reaches a crossroads: she can either stay in the relationship and sink to lower depths of misery, and potentially be killed in the process; or she can leave and rebuild a new life.

The choice for most people is a simple and obvious one. But after years of dependency, gaslighting (a manipulation strategy that has the abused doubting one’s own reality), and having been minimized, blamed, and ridiculed -- for the domestic abuse survivor most of them will always say leaving was frightening and difficult. This is how much control an abuser has over his victim at this point.

For those who make it out from an abusive, toxic relationship, they often say the trauma endured will take years to recover from. They are engulfed with doubts of oneself, have a hard time trusting people or even being open to any future relationship.

And in cases where the abused has isolated herself from family and friends – a control tactic abusers typically use – the domestic abuse victim must rebuild relationships, if possible.

Clearly, the scenarios detailed here, the sequence, frequency and intensity of abuse, will vary in relationships. For some domestic abuse survivors, their situation could have been worse; for others, less severe.


To find solutions to problems, whether they are societal or personal, it usually begins with discussion and education. But what happens if the problem is taboo to talk about and suppressed into secrecy, avoidance and shame? For Filipinos who’ve experienced domestic abuse, they say keeping it a secret was agonizing on its own, on top of the violence perpetrated against them.

In our cover story this issue, HFC associate editor Edwin Quinabo reports on how prevalent domestic violence is in our community. Filipinos make up 30% of the state’s total domestic violence victims. We also have the highest rate of domestic abuse fatalities. Since the pandemic, domestic violence has been on the rise. Last year, the Filipino Caucus introduced SCR 133 that would create a Formal Task Force to End the Invisibility and Abuse of Filipino Women. The resolution passed and we’re hoping with greater awareness and outreach, lives will be saved and domestic violence as the monster it has been in our community, will no longer hurt so many families. There are also valuable support resources for victims and a heartfelt story of survival of a Filipina domestic abuse victim.

The aftermath of the Maui wildfires remains the biggest news in our state. This issue we have two articles on it. HFC columnist Will Espero writes in his column, “Accountability and responsibility are key words we often hear in government, and this is the time to properly investigate and find out what went wrong.” HFC columnist Seneca Moraleda-Puguan contributes “Prayers for Maui.”

In sports news Dylan Bothamley and Max Levin contribute an article on the 2023 FIBA Men’s Basketball World Cup that is currently being held in Manila, Okinawa and Jakarta. Just as the Philippines FIFA Women’s Soccer this summer captivated the attention of Filipinos around the globe, it has been the same for Gilas Pilipinas competing in the FIBA World Cup. Unfortunately, the Philippines has just been eliminated from the tournament after losing three closely contested games. A highlight is that Filipino fans set a new FIBA World Cup attendance record.

Lastly, HFC contributor Raymund Llanes Liongson, Ph.D., contributes a special Labor Day article. In it, he interviewed Filipino leaders who highlight areas of progress and challenges for our Filipino workers. While significant headways have been made in labor and trade unions, there is still underrepresentation of Filipinos in top managerial and professional positions. Our community is also among Hawaii’s top workers impacted by job loss due to health or economic crises. We pay tribute and thank our hardworking Filipino workers for their contributions to our state. Happy Labor Day to all.

We hope you enjoy these stories and our other columns and news. Visit our webpage thefilipinochronicle.com for the latest and archived issues. Thank you for supporting the Hawaii Filipino Chronicle. Until the next issue,warmest Aloha and Mabuhay!

Filipinos and domestic abuse

Filipinos in Hawaii are overrepresented in the state’s overall reporting of domestic abuse in the state and have the highest domestic abuse fatality among all ethnicities.

We know that this overrepresentation is not isolated to Hawaii but is common in other Filipino communities on the mainland, studies show, which suggests there could be socio-cultural factors we were raised with and are accustomed to that make us more prone and susceptible to domestic abuse.

Within our community, some of us will say it’s our patriarchal

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


Tim Llena

Administrative Assistant

Lilia Capalad

Editorial & Production Assistant

Jim Bea Sampaga


Carlota Hufana Ader

Rose Cruz Churma

Elpidio R. Estioko

Willie Espero

Perry Diaz

Emil Guillermo

Arcelita Imasa, M.D.

Seneca Moraleda-Puguan

J.P. Orias

Charlie Sonido, M.D.

Emmanuel S. Tipon, Esq.

Contributing Writers

Clement Bautista

Edna Bautista, Ed.D.

Teresita Bernales, Ed.D.

Sheryll Bonilla, Esq.

Serafin Colmenares Jr., Ph.D.

Linda Dela Cruz

Carolyn Weygan-Hildebrand

Amelia Jacang, M.D.

Caroline Julian

Max Levin

Raymond Ll. Liongson, Ph.D.

Federico Magdalena, Ph.D.

Matthew Mettias

Maita Millalos

Paul Melvin Palalay, M.D.

Renelaine Bontol-Pfister

Seneca Moraleda-Puguan

Jay Valdez, Psy.D.

Glenn Wakai

Amado Yoro

Philippine Correspondent:

Greg Garcia

Neighbor Island Correspondents:

Big Island (Hilo and Kona)

Grace LarsonDitas Udani


Millicent Wellington


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

Shalimar / Jonathan Pagulayan

Advertising / Marketing Director

Chona A. Montesines-Sonido

Account Executives

Carlota Hufana Ader

JP Orias

(continue on page 3)

A New Global Super Bloc is Born in BRICS, the U.S. Should Look at This as Opportunity for Cooperation, Not Antagonistically

The recent expansion of BRICS will result in a global powershift in geopolitics and trade from U.S.-Europe hegemony to BRICS as now being a coequal global super bloc. BRICS is now the alternative global bloc to G-7 and the West.

The BRICS bloc of developing nations – comprised of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – just admitted Saudi Arabia, Iran, Ethiopia, Egypt, Argentina and the United Arab Emirates as members. It will be official in January 2024, and BRICS is said to be open to accepting new members.

BRICS new advantage in the global oil market

Look at the heft in global oil production that has been amplified with the addition of new members to BRICS. With the expansion of Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the UAE joining founding member Russia (other large global

oil-producing country), these countries collectively corner about 48% of the entire global oil production.

BRICS is essentially the new OPEC with OPEC’s largest members now BRICS members. As we’ve seen historically, OPEC countries have had a major influence in setting global oil prices. But BRICS has just become more influential than OPEC.

Just think back recently how during the outbreak of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the U.S. sanctioned Russian oil from being traded in the U.S. which set in motion a major spike in oil and natural gas prices in the U.S., which in turn pushed inflation to go higher. Due to consumer angst over the increased costs of all goods (not just gasoline and natural gas), President Joe Biden traveled to Saudi Arabia to basically plea to crown prince Mohammed bin Salmin for Saudi Arabia to output more oil to help ease the price of oil in the global oil market.

Saudi Arabia cooperated as it has other trade and finan-

society, especially among the older generation, that makes some forms of domestic abuse acceptable. It’s just the way it has been and some within the Filipino community will accept it, of course, in mild and rare abusive situations.

A mild example would be in the Philippines making fun of a spouse’s physical features is more in jest and that can be common. But in the U.S., that same joke about a spouse’s weight, for example, and repetitive use of it, could be seen as verbal abuse.

Another explanation that Filipinos will say that could open us to domestic abuse – something that social scientists haven’t even mentioned but Filipinos know this to be true – is that Filipinos look to marriage as a sacred lifetime commitment. Many in our community believe that once we’re in it, we must make it work, even if it means forgiving the unforgivable and enduring the impossible such as physical abuse.

There’s no study done to correlate this unwavering Filipino commitment to marriage to the high rates of Filipino fatalities due to domestic abuse. But it could explain why in situations where the most harmful and severe physical abuses are present in a marriage, that in these instances some Filipinos would still be in a relationship that poses potentially fatal outcomes.

This – sticking around in a severely abusive marriage –shouldn’t be acceptable, whether it’s our Catholic faith or tradition that keeps us in place.

If you are being abused, and you know deep down what’s acceptable and not, what’s healthy and not, get out of that relationship. Bring that abusive relationship to light and tell your family and friends about the situation who can then help you leave it before it’s too late.

You might think there is no way out, but there is always a choice.

cial interests with the U.S.

With Saudi Arabia now in BRICS, and that Saudi Arabia has new large and powerful trade partners in China and other BRICS members, the new global reality is that Saudi Arabia would no longer necessarily be pressured to output more oil on the U.S.’ request. Where, then, would the U.S. go to ask for increased oil production?

All the major oil producers of the world are now BRICS members and can now rely economically on a massive alternative trading bloc beyond the U.S. and Europe in BRICS, if needed.

BRICS is so large that both population wise and in total trade output, BRICS comprise half of both in the world.

Some would say the U.S. is oil independent and could output as many barrels of oil as needed. Again, we’ve seen in the recent oil/inflation bust that this didn’t work. Why? Because the quality of crude oil in the U.S. must be refined. That added step to produce consumer ready gasoline, adds to cost, which is why the U.S. still is importing oil already refined from other large oil producing countries because it ends up costing cheaper.

Dollar could no longer be the new international default currency

Besides U.S. new vulnerability in oil, the U.S. dollar’s strength is also more vulnerable.

Part of the strength of the dollar is rooted in the fact that in all international and commodities trade, all transactions

are done in the U.S. dollar.

So, while China, for example, is the largest trade partners in the world, it still must use the U.S. dollar in all of their transactions.

BRICS has formed a new bank and global networking system to facilitate international trade transactions to be done by local currency, which gives advantage to local economies and BRICS members. In time, this eventually could weaken the U.S. dollar and pricing of commodities could be more expensive for Americans.

Looking into the future of global GDP

Goldman Sachs, investment banks and the largest accounting firms are already forecasting some of BRICS’ largest members will have the biggest economies in the world. By 2050, China will have the largest GDP and overtake the U.S.

BRICS member India, currently with the fifth largest global economy, will be third and Russia be in the top 10, even as this war with Ukraine unfolds.

By 2070, Goldman Sachs predicts China and India will be number one and two, followed by the U.S. Brazil and Russia will be in the top 10. (The Philippines by 2050 will be a top 20 economy, by 2070 it’s expected to be around 14th, and a global powerhouse economically. Indonesia will catapult to number 4. Both the Philippines and Indonesia haven’t applied to become BRICS members, but both countries already trade heavily with China. And it’s conceivable

that both these countries, especially Indonesia, could eventually be interested in joining BRICS.)

What does this powershift mean for the U.S.?

The answer to this question will largely depend on which political party is in control of the U.S. The Republican party views the rise of BRICS antagonistically. A Republican leadership could set off trade wars as they’ll try to strongarm their way for advantage. However, it would be more bark than bite as BRICS is already large and powerful enough independently to go along as they please.

Under a Democratic party leadership, we don’t know clearly how this will play out because there hasn’t been much in public opinion from top democrats on BRICS. Ideally, and hopefully, the Democratic leadership approach will be one of greater cooperation and less hostility toward BRICS.

But in order for this second scenario, the more desirable outcome, Americans cannot buy into the hostility model that Republican demagogues and right-wing media are currently pushing.

Some right-wing media are stooping as low as warmongering. But again, that is more bark than bite because the top member countries of BRICS – China, Russia, India – are all stacked with nuclear arsenal.

Cooperation is the only alternative and the best outcome for humanity and the world.

(Rebuilding....from page 2)

Filipinos Make Up 30% of Hawaii’s Domestic Violence Victims, Hawaii Task Force Formed to Help Filipinos

Sadness, secrecy, and shame – this is how Conchita (anonymity requested), Kalihi, described her abusive relationship with her ex-husband that went from verbal and emotional humiliation then escalated to being punched, having her hair yanked, going to the hospital after a beating, and once threatened to be pushed out of a moving car.

Conchita told the Filipino Chronicle, “I am a domestic abuse survivor and want to help others by telling my story. It’s very hard to get out of an abusive situation because once you’re in love and want to keep a family intact, and you don’t have financial independence, you feel trapped and stay put. This is what happened to me. It’s sad because I tried to be optimistic hoping that my abuser would change. I did everything I could to make our marriage work, but the situation didn’t’ improve. In fact, it only worsened in the eight years we were together.” Chit said they even tried separating for one year. But when they got back together, the same problems resurfaced.

Conchita, a Filipina, is among many in the Filipino community who’ve experienced domestic abuse or Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Asian and Pacific Islander communities experience domestic violence at much higher rates than the general population.

Filipinos Overrepresented in Domestic Abuse in Hawaii

Filipinos and part-Filipinos, who represent approximately 25% of Hawaii’s population, constitute 30% of reported victims of domestic abuse in the state, an overrepresentation as domestic violence victims in Hawaii, according to the Domestic Violence Action Center (DVAC).

The number of victims could be even higher because Filipinos tend not to report domestic abuse, said Cristina Arias, DVAC.

Thirteen percent of the general adult population in Hawaii report experiencing IPV or domestic abuse at some point in their lives with estimates higher in females

(15.8%) than males (10.2%). Those who are White, Native Hawaiian, and Other in the general adult population were more likely to report experiencing IPV than those who identify as Japanese, Filipino, or Chinese, experts say.

Filipinos have highest fatalities in domestic violence

Filipino women are also more likely to be fatal victims of domestic abuse compared to Native Hawaiian and Japanese women relative to proportions in the population, according to the DVAC.

Hawaii State Department of Health’s Office of Health Status Monitoring 2000-2009 data shows Filipinos with the highest fatalities in domestic violence at 24.2%. The majority of perpetrators were Filipino (22%), followed by Europeans/Whites, other ethnic groups, those with multiple ethnicities (17% each) and Japanese (16%).

During the height of the pandemic in 2020, reports of domestic violence spiked and continued into 2021. Experts say while the State recovers from the economic effects of the pandemic, the number of reported domestic violence cases in Hawaii is expected to continue growing.

Formal Task Force to End the Invisibility and Abuse of Filipino Women

In 2022 in response to this growing public health concern, the Hawaii State Legislature’s Filipino Caucus – Sens San Buenaventura, Dela Cruz, Fevella, Gabbard, Keith-Agaran, Kim, Misalucha, Rhoads, Rivere, Wakai – introduced SCR 133 that would create a Formal Task Force to End the Invisibility and Abuse of Filipino Women. It urges the State Commission on the Status of Women to work with the DVAC, Filipino Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii to develop and implement an outreach program aimed at informing domestic violence victims of available resources for assistance. The program is meant to develop Filipino-specific outreach to end domestic violence. SCR 133 passed both the House and Senate and was adopted on May 5, 2022.

Amy Agbayani, co-chair of the Hawaii Friends of Civil Rights testified in sup-

port of SCR 133. “Immigrant women often feel trapped in abusive relationships because of immigration laws, language barriers, social isolation, and lack of financial resources. Abusers often use their partners’ immigration status as a tool of control. In such situations, it is common for a batterer to exert control over his partner’s immigration status to force her to remain in the relationship. Additionally, many immigrant victims may believe that the protections of the U.S. legal system do not apply to them and that domestic violence services are not available to them,” she said in her testimony.

Agbayani emphasized the importance of multilanguage information on getting help to be made available to victims and the need to restore state-wide training for community health care providers, community-based organizations, state and local government workers.

Filipino society often tolerates moments of violence

Khara Jabola-Carolus, Executive Director, the Hawaiʻi State Commission on the Status of Women, cited results from Hawaii Domestic Violence Fatality Review 20002009 in her testimony supporting SCR 133. “It is possible that tolerance for domestic violence is influenced by socio-cultural factors and length of immigration and acculturation. Personalism, smooth interpersonal relationships, and hierarchical structures are safety lids for the Philippine society.

“Filipinos are both friendly and tolerant, but the society also tolerates moments of violence. To run amok is an understandable behavior if an individual has been wronged or provoked sufficiently. Crimes of passion abound, and revenge is, in Philippine terms, often an acceptable explanation of criminal behavior. Temporary, explosive anger at a personal affront is a way Filipinos expresses existential rage.”

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(Filipinos....from page 4) Mainland studies also show overrepresentation of Filipinos in domestic abuse

The Hawaii Domestic Violence Fatality Review’s finding that socio-cultural factors could have an influence in domestic abuse could explain why studies in select mainland studies also show overrepresentation of Filipinos as victims of domestic abuse.

In a face-to-face interview of 1,577 Asians from Asian organizations and gathering places in Houston, TX, researchers found 22% of Filipino respondents (101 male and female) reported at least one form of intimate partner violence based on the 8-item Conflict Tactics Scale, ranging from “thrown objects at the respondent” to “used a knife or gun on the respondent” during the previous year.

That rate was higher than abuse rates among all other Asians – Chinese (10%), Indian (20%), Japanese (10%), Korean (20%), and Vietnamese (22%) respondents.

In a San Francisco Bay Area study on Lifecourse Experiences of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) which assessed types of IPV among 87 Filipina victims aged 18-60 who were recruited via various community outreach methods, researchers found:

* 95% of Filipina victims reported having experienced physical violence by an intimate partner

* 56% of Filipina victims reported having experienced sexual violence by an intimate partner

* 68% of Filipina victims reported having experienced stalking by an intimate partner.

* By age 16, 12% of Filipina victims had experienced physical violence, 10% had experienced sexual violence, and 8% had experienced stalking.

In the same study 52% of Filipina abused women had called the police at least once, 25% had used domestic violence shelters at least once, 31% had used non-residential domestic violence programs at least once, 25%

has used residential domestic violence programs at least once, 44% had sought legal assistance at least once, and 28% had sought healthcare related to IPV at least once.

* The police have been found to be an important gateway to services. If respondents contacted both a domestic violence program and the police, they were more likely to have contacted the police first. Similarly, if respondents reached out to both the police and legal service programs, a majority of them reached out to the police first.

Conchita’s abusive relationship

Now 52, Conchita is grateful that she escaped from her abuser. She explained how it all started. When she was seven months pregnant with her daughter, her daughter’s father left her. She gave birth and started life as a single mother at 24 years old. She was still young and wanted to have a family, a father to help raise her daughter.

“People would tell me; you can get someone from the Philippines. He will appreciate you for bringing him to the U.S. I was open to the idea. I met my ex-husband Simeon (real name withheld) through his uncle in 1996. Simeon lived in the Philippines, and we became pen pals. My family didn’t approve of this relationship, so I stopped communicating with him.

“In 2005, I reconnected with the family of Simeon who they said was still single. I thought almost 10 years had passed and he’s still single. Maybe it’s my destiny to be with him. My family still didn’t approve of him. There were rumors that Simeon was a gambler and alcoholic. But my uncle in Ilocos, Philippines, knew Simeon’s family there and my uncle said he was a good person. This time, I pursued him, and we fell in love.”

Early red flags

Conchita said when he first arrived, he was good. “But after I married him, I discovered the rumors of him were true – he was an alcoholic and gambler.


The verbal abuse started. He would say: ‘You’re wasting my time here’ because I told him that he had to wait to get his working visa. He then found work ‘under the table’ and couldn’t wait.”

When he started to make money, Conchita said he would always refer to the money he made as “his money” and not “our” money. He started to gamble in Kalihi and Waipahu. She said money was always a root cause of their arguments.

To complete the process to become a permanent resident there is a two-year probation period. “I wanted to get a divorce at that time, but my family was concerned about immigration problems. So, I didn’t pursue it. At the time, he would verbally abuse me, but not physically,” Conchita said.

“Now the gambling got worse, and he started to hide money from me. We were living with my parents, but there was an incident when Simeon and my father got into an argument. The police were involved, and we had to move out. That is when physical abuse started, when we were living alone together. That is also when he didn’t want to be bothered about where he would go, how he would spend his money. Besides gambling, he also would send money to the Philippines without talking to me about it. He started to go to the Philippines on vacation by himself without inviting me. I had no say in the matter,” Conchita said.

“When we’d argue he started to throw things at me, anything he could grab near him. His swearing got worse. Sometimes he wouldn’t help me to pay bills and ask me for money. At times, I would tell my friends to loan him money, but I would be the one to pay my friends back. When he saw his friends in public while we were together, he wouldn’t introduce me to them as his wife.”

Breaking point

A day before one of his solo trips to the Philippines, Simeon was asking me for money. I told him I didn’t have any then he started to beat me up for money. We were in the car at the time on the way to buy things

“I am a domestic abuse survivor and want to help others by telling my story. It’s very hard to get out of an abusive situation because once you’re in love and want to keep a family intact, and you don’t have financial independence, you feel trapped and stay put. This is what happened to me. It’s sad because I tried to be optimistic hoping that my abuser would change. I did everything I could to make our marriage work, but the situation didn’t’ improve. In fact, it only worsened in the eight years we were together. “You must find a way to get out of an abusive relationship before it’s too late. You know the situation and what you need to do.”

for his trip. His friend was in the backseat. He was punching me in my head. He wanted to kick me out of the car in the middle of the road, not even concerned about my safety. I was scared that he was going to push me out of the car while he was driving,” Conchita said.

We arrived at a gas station and while Simeon was pumping gas, I asked his friend, ‘Manong, how can you watch him beat me and not do anything?’ Simeon overheard my question. Then he reached in the car and yanked on my hair, yelling at me to stop.”

When Simeon and his friend got out of the car, I had a chance to call my friend for help. She told me to get out of the car now and that she would pick me up. Already far away from the car, I happened to run into Simeon’s niece while walking. I told her to bring me to Simeon’s family so they could see what he did to me. They were ashamed of his behavior. My friend picked me up there. We went straight to the hospital. There the police and a social worker helped me.” Conchita said.

The police escorted Conchita back home and Simeon was arrested.

Two cases were brought against him. He pleaded guilty at the court and the judge sentenced him to three days in jail (maximum for first time of-

fense) and ordered him to get help with anger management.

“I filed a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) and social workers helped me to initiate a divorce.”

Hawaii State Law on Domestic Abuse

Physical abuse of a family or household member is a misdemeanor. A first offense is punished by a minimum of 48 hours in jail. A defendant who commits a second domestic abuse offense within a year of being convicted for the first offense must serve a minimum of 30 days in jail.

If the offense involves strangulation or impeding the victim’s blood flow, the offense is a Class C felony. Class C felonies may be punished by up to five years in prison.

Violation of a Domestic Abuse Protective Order

A person who intentionally violates a protective order is guilty of a misdemeanor and must participate in a domestic violence intervention program. If the defendant violates the protective order in a violent manner, the defendant must serve a minimum of 48 hours in jail and may be fined up to $500. For a second conviction for violating the same protective order in a violent

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It’s been a historic week in America. After a debate featuring eight Republicans who couldn’t get arrested, we now have one Republican above them all who can. Get arrested, that is. Four times in fact.

He’s the Notorious DJT.

And in our strange, twisted democracy a tremendous number of Republicans still can’t quit him.

They’d rather have an autocratic leader than a kind, fair and inspiring one.

They should ask Filipinos who lived through martial law.

But this is where we are in America now.

Consider that we all have historic images of Washington and Lincoln built in our minds. Washington on the Delaware. Lincoln at Gettysburg. And now we have Trump at the Fulton County Jail. A historical presidential mugshot.

Public enemy No. 1? No, the former 45th president of the United States is just inmate P01135809.

Just like anybody else?

The same guy who we all heard on that tape asked the Georgia secretary of state to find 11,780 votes.

It’s just sad that some people still favor the alleged crook. At least, the one good note about our democracy is that the rule of law is working, and Trump is finally being held to account for trying to steal an election.

It’s not a left-wing conspiracy as Trump likes to say. And it’s not a violation of Trump’s free speech. Georgia is prosecuting Trump for his actions over an alleged criminal enterprise conducted with 18 others in an attempt to subvert democracy.

It’s serious business. But

Clear Choice? Trump’s Mugshot, Biden By The Banyan

Filipinos know how things can change unexpectedly.

Remembering Aquino

If you’re Filipino, you know the importance of these historic moments.

Forty years ago, on Aug. 21, 1983, Benigno (Ninoy) Aquino, the Philippine political activist in exile in the U.S., went home to win back freedom for Filipinos living under the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos.

Aquino never made it out of the airport, assassinated on the tarmac, apparently by a single gunman. After an investigation, his murder was pinned to 16 members of the Philippine Army loyal to Marcos.

Within ten days after the assassination, I was in Manila at Santo Domingo Church, reporting for the San Francisco NBC station from the funeral mass, and then observing the procession to the Manila Memorial Park.

More than two million people were in the streets mourning for Ninoy, their exiled leader, but also angered by a lost chance at real democracy.

The demonstration was the precursor to People Power, which would lift Ninoy’s wife Cory and ultimately topple Marcos.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could see that kind of demonstration of people going to the streets for democracy and against the possibility of an autocratic leader?

Not in the Philippines, but here in the U.S.

That’s the spark missing in American politics. Leaders here aren’t beloved and respected for the same values and ideals in democracy.

In the U.S., a personality cult has a stranglehold on politics. A loyal minority has an irrational love for the twice-impeached former president, indicted four times on 91 criminal counts in two states and federal court.

And now, with the fourth

wildfires. And then there was another pledge by FEMA of $5.6 million in assistance to nearly 2,000 families in Maui.

But money isn’t everything. This was the time for Uncle Joe to act like ohana (family). Not like Trump, who threw rolls of paper towels into the crowd after Hurricane Maria hit San Juan, Puerto Rico in 2017.

falls victim to the fury of climate change.

We’ve got to help Hawaii and make sure we don’t have another wildfire disaster that kills more than 100 people.

It can’t happen again.

arrest, Trump has already begun to sell his mug shot on merch to his adoring fans. It exposes how timid so-called Republican leaders were to speak out against Trump.

Republican candidates are in fear of Donald Trump, pulling their punches if they’re punching at all. And Vivek Ramaswamy, as smart as he is, just wants to be the Brown Trump. You can’t afford to be moral and ethical in politics when you’re running against Trump.

And this is where we are as a democracy in America.

The U.S., which colonized the Philippines in 1898 and then showed it how to model and do democracy, has flipped.

How is it that in 2023, our country seems less like the America we know and love and more like the Philippines, where they rejected Marcos nearly forty years ago, only to come back to the family?

That’s the power of the memory of Benigno Aquino. In his time, he was the man who would topple a dictatorship, the hope for all democracies. But could we even see two million people on the streets for a pro-democracy political leader in the U.S. today?

Is it even possible when we have people in this country still in love with a former president with a mug shot?

Maui disaster a test in leadership

President Biden finally went to Maui after announcing $700 per household in cash aid to victims of the Maui

We need to see some compassion. A lot of it.

We didn’t get the kind of candor we needed. We got a bit of it last week when Hawaii Governor Josh Green vowed to not let greedy land speculators exploit the people in the aftermath of the wildfires.

That was the sign that everyone needed a little history lesson about Hawaii.

We need leaders to admit that Hawaii is ground zero for a form of economic imperialism. A reminder of how Hawaii did not come begging for statehood and how it was made a U.S. protectorate via a coup staged against her.

Those are the words of Marianne Williamson in her Substack article, “Hawaii’s Broken Heart.”

“Hawaii is deeply sacred land,” she wrote “And her heart has been wounded by the soulless economic overreach of everyone from Dole to Monsanto.”

Specifically, James Drummond Dole, who was known as “The Pineapple King.” Aided by exploited Filipino labor, he colonized the spiky fruit and sent it around the world.

He was inspired by his cousin Sanford Dole, a Republican appointed by the U.S. imperial president William McKinley as territorial governor. That wasn’t enough for Dole, who then led a coup against Queen Lili’uokalani in 1893 and became the first president of Hawaii.

Corruption, connections, and greed. This is how paradise has been co-opted in the past. In the modern day, it

“If this country cannot ramp down the fossil fuel extraction that is exacerbating these weather catastrophes, then the message is loud and clear that we are on the wrong road,” Williamson said last week.

Williamson is one of those candidates for president you don’t hear much about. She’s not a Kennedy. She’s not an anti-vaxxer. She’s the other Democrat who is running, who speaks from the heart about people and government in a way that seems more honest and caring.

If more politicians talked like that, could we end our divides and work together? Or does the loving language of Williamson only deepen the divide?

It’s surely a moral rhetoric from left of center that exposes the right-wing theocracy and all its hypocrisies.

But few people talk about Marianne Williamson.

Maybe because she makes too much sense?

Biden and the banyan tree Biden wasn’t too bad. He stood by the banyan tree in Lahaina and said the government was going to be there for Hawaii, “for as long as it takes, we’re going to be with you.”

And he didn’t say he’d ward off the capitalists, but he said he’d be respectful of the traditions and “rebuild the way that the people of Maui want to build not the way others want to build.”

In these days, that’s plenty enough hope. And now we’re left with a stark contrast in the race to be president in 2024. Biden in a lei. Or Trump in a mugshot.

EMIL GUILLERMO is a journalist and commentator. His talk show is on www.amok.com. Donald Trump

“But love is blind and lovers cannot see The pretty follies that themselves commit;”

– Shakespeare in The Merchant of Venice, 1596

“I don’t make love by the garden gate, For love is blind, but the neighbors ain’t.”

– J. Mason Brewer in Worser Days and Better Times, 1965

“We may not be perfect, but we are perfect for each other.”

– Passionate Ilocano lawyer’s plea to his beloved to come live with him and be


Love is Not Blind, Lovers Simply Accept the Beloved’s Imperfections

his love, 2023

The high water mark in this “love is blind” or accepting the beloved’s imperfections rationale was demonstrated last week in Honolulu where a husband and wife were pictured holding hands as they left a courtroom after the husband’s trial for allegedly murdering the acupuncturist of his wife with whom she was reportedly having an affair.

It ended with a hung jury. The husband will be retried. The husband apparently loved his wife, but he was not blind. He simply accepted his wife’s imperfection. Adultery is the most serious imperfection in a husband-and-wife relationship.

Should this incident make us wary of acupuncturists? The contact between an acupuncturist and a patient is

very intimate. There is a lot of touching. Touching in one part could lead to other parts. They could be acupuncturing something else beyond what they ought to be acupuncturing. Cuidado. There might be decent acupuncturists. Fuera de los buenos.

An Ilocano lawyer was once asked by a friend to help reconcile him with his attractive wife who had strayed from the path of righteousness. The friend told the lawyer that he was willing to take back his wife.

Apparently, he had accepted his wife’s imperfection. The lawyer arranged the meeting in a romantic San Francisco restaurant. The lawyer succeeded in reconciling the couple.

Later the friend called the lawyer saying that he could

not make love with his wife anymore. Whenever he tried to make love with her, he imagined his wife and his paramour making love. He suffered from erectile dysfunction. They eventually divorced.

When people see a good-looking man and a woman who is not pretty or even ugly – I am not necessarily talking about royalty or presidents – they are likely to say “Ah, love is blind”.

The same reaction might be evoked when they see a good-looking woman and a nondescript man. Love is not blind, the better-looking person simply accepts the other person’s imperfection.

Similarly, when an attractive young woman is seen with a wrinkled old man or when a good-looking young man is seen with an unat-

tractive female companion who looks twice his age, people might react by asking “What does she see in him?” or “What does he see in her?”

The young woman and the young man are not blind. They simply accept their beloved’s imperfection.

Are lovers crazy or fools?

There is a litany of imperfections of a beloved from the most blatant – like adultery –to the most obvious – like age and appearance – that one can think of. There are scores of imperfections that are present in every love relationship. Love is not blind. The lover simply accepts these imperfections of the beloved.

Is the lover crazy? Perhaps, like “I am crazy about you.”

Is the lover a fool? Maybe. As Frank Sinatra crooned while pursuing Ava Gardner:

(continue on page 8)

“I’m a fool to want you I’m a fool to want you

My deepest sympathies and heartfelt condolences go out to the residents of Lahaina, Maui who lost their homes, businesses, jobs, pets, and loved ones.

The tragic wildfire has scarred Lahaina, and the photos and memory of this horrific event will be forever etched in our minds.

As of this writing, the search and recovery phase continues, and the clean-up phase is yet to begin as the burnt and destroyed materials must be disposed of carefully and cautiously due to their environmental impacts.

Sadly, many people are still missing, and we can only hope and pray for the best outcome.


The Lahaina Wildfire

Lahaina was a town with many Filipino residents, and it looks like many of the victims were of Filipino ancestry.

The death of all residents is horrific, and the loss of lives from the wildfire is something our government officials must evaluate with transparency, honesty, and a sense of urgency.

Accountability and responsibility are key words we often hear in government, and this is the time to properly investigate and find out what went wrong.

Some natural disasters like a hurricane cannot be avoided, but the enormous loss of life begs the question did the government do enough to inform, warn, assist and help her constituents.

From what I read and viewed on the news, it appears some mistakes occurred, and in my opinion, questionable decision-making and the emergency siren system not being utilized will come back

to haunt the Bissen administration.

Maui County’s emergency management director, Herman Andaya, recently resigned, and I’m expecting others will feel the backlash and intense scrutiny as decisions were made as the fire spread.

I saw one news report on KITV which appeared to imply poor communication and the lack of current information to county leaders such as Mayor Bissen. His administration will likely be questioned for many perceived failings as issues about police response, fire response, water availability, and public notification are vetted and evaluated.

Maui Electric also must answer for its decisions regarding power lines. Accolades and applause go to the many Maui residents

and residents of Hawaii who have responded to help those in need. Local residents have stepped up to provide food, shelter, and the basic necessities of life in the true spirit of Aloha.

The community knows how to take care of itself, and surrounding neighbors, volunteers, and survivors at the frontline are the heroes and saviors. Emergency personnel from all levels of government must also be acknowledged and thanked for their ongoing work and efforts.

I know it’s not an easy job, and the horrors and difficulty of working in devastated areas and disturbing situations cannot be overlooked. Hopefully, everyone involved will have access to mental health professionals, counseling, and treatment considering the trauma all are experiencing in one form or another.

I believe the rebuilding of Lahaina will take at least ten years, and it is imperative that local community input is sought and listened to.

The governor’s plan to build 50,000 housing units

To want a love that can’t be true

A love that’s there for others too

I’m a fool to hold you

Such a fool to hold you

To seek a kiss not mine alone

To share a kiss the Devil has known.”

Love suppresses critical thought

There is a supposedly intelligent lawyer pursuing a teenager whose only obvious qualification is her beauty. The lawyer says the girl is also intelligent. The lawyer is also seeing other women one of whom, in the opinion of others, is more mature and more beautiful than the teenager.

statewide will likely be affected as some resources and time will now be diverted to rebuild West Maui. Emergency policies and actions must be thoroughly examined, and the Hawaii attorney general’s remarks about a third-party independent review are welcoming.

It’s not easy being in charge of or involved with emergency response, natural disasters, and first-responder situations. Maui County needs our kokua where possible.

I think I can write that government workers, non-profit organizations, and selfless volunteers are truly appreciated, and residents are grateful for their actions and responses during these trying times. We must always support our first responders and the difficult tasks they do.

The loss of life from the Lahaina wildfires is gut-wrenching, upsetting, and distressing. We mourn the children and elderly lost. We grieve for the fathers, mothers, cousins, and siblings who died.

We mourn the loss of friends, dreams, and our history as a state. May this wildfire be a once-in-a-lifetime event that never occurs again and one which we learn from as we strive and demand to be better.

WILL ESPERO retired from the Hawaii legislature after serving 19 years in the state House of Representatives and state Senate. He is currently a novelist, poet, and supporter of the arts. Lingering Thoughts provides a glimpse of his perspective on current events and issues.

What is the rationale? Modern-day research supports the view that blindness of love is not just a figurative matter. A research study in 2004 by the University College London found that feelings of love suppressed the activity of the areas of the brain that control critical thought.

There you have it. Love suppresses critical thought.

How do you know you love her?

Here are some evidences of true love.

1. You think of her when you wake up, when you go to sleep, when you are (continue on page 10)

Helweena “Wennah” Sadorra (WHAT’S UP, ATTORNEY?: Love ....from page 7)

The Excitement for the 2023 FIBA Men’s Basketball World Cup

The 2023 FIBA Men’s Basketball World Cup tipped off on Friday, August 25 in Manila, Okinawa and Jakarta. The Philippines has long been known as one of the most basketball-enthusiastic countries in the world, and they have declared the tournament’s opening day a semi-holiday, with schools and many businesses closed.

FIBA’s (the International Basketball Federation) decision to award the country hosting rights for the 2023 World Cup was in large part a recognition of this passion for basketball.

The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) is one of the world’s premier basketball leagues, frequently attracting former NBA players, as well as some of the largest crowds in the world.

The event is a landmark in the Philippines’ sporting history, marking perhaps the biggest global tournament ever to take place in the Philippines (the Philippines also hosted the World Cup in 1978, but basketball had a much smaller global footprint in those days).

While early-round games will also take place in Okinawa, Japan and Jakarta, Indonesia, the Philippines is the primary host of the Basketball World Cup; Manila will host half of the early-round games and then all matches during the final stages of the tournament, with games to be held at the Mall of Asia Arena and the Araneta Coliseum.

While fans will be excited to see how Gilas Pilipinas fare in the tournament, the other major subplot is the excitement at seeing some of

the NBA’s biggest players, including Austine Reaves, Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards playing live in Manila during the tournament. The U.S. team has many of the biggest names at the tournament, and they will play their group games in Manila as well as any knockout matches if they advance, and fans are excited to attend the games and watch

their heroes in person. The U.S. team arrived in Manila on the morning of August 22 and was greeted by throngs of fans at both the airport and their hotel.

As the host country, the Philippines national team was placed in Group A, along with Italy, Angola and the Dominican Republic. While they are considered long shots to advance deep into the tournament, Gilas Pilipinas do have several talented players and will have the advantage of playing in front of raucous home crowds.

For NBA fans, the most recognizable player for Gilas Pilipinas will be Utah Jazz guard and 2021 NBA 6th Man of the Year Jordan Clarkson. Born in Tampa, Florida, Clarkson is of mixed African-American and Filipino-American descent.

Another important player will be 7’3” center Kai

Sotto, a rising star who is considered one of the better homegrown players to emerge out of the Philippines in recent years.

The team is coached by Chot Reyes, who led the team to a historic silver medal finish at the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship and then to qualification at the 2014 FIBA World Cup.

During the FIBA World Cup’s opening day, a record-breaking 38,115 fans attended the Philippines vs. Dominican Republic game at the Philippine Arena. This attendance record broke the FIBA World Cup attendance set in 1992 in Toronto, Canada.

As FIBA finishes its second round of group games this weekend, Manila’s Mall of Asia Arena is preparing to host the last week of FIBA with the most anticipated final game on Sunday, September 10.


The Philippines Historic Campaign at The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup

The FIFA Women’s World Cup ended on August 20th with Spain defeating England 1-0 in a tense final match. The end marked only the beginning for the Philippines team who completed a historic first campaign in the global tournament with a memorable showing.


The Philippines defeated the host country New Zealand in the opening round, a dream start that ignited a fury of interest both at home and abroad. The win gave them the chance to play for a shot in the knockout stage against Norway, a team with an incredible pedigree including winning the World Cup in 1995.

An enormous crowd turned out at New Zealand’s national stadium to watch the David vs.

Love ....from page 8)

eating, when you are driving, when you are talking with others, when arguing in court if you are a lawyer, or when operating on a patient if you are a doctor.

2. She breathes the breath of life into you.

3. She inspires you to do things that would make her proud of you.

4. You want to know all about her.

5. You are willing to do anything to please her.

6. You are prepared to give all your time to her.

7. You want her to be happy and see her smile.

8. You want to be with her all the time.

9. When she hurts you, you like to think that she did not intend to do so or has a valid explanation.

Immigration officers’ reaction to dissimilarities

How do immigration officers react to couples who seek immigration benefits with blatant dissimilarities –in appearance, age, and other matters? They do not believe in this “love is blind” thing. Nor such thing as “lovers simply accepting the beloved’s imperfections”.

Immigration officers see “marriage fraud”.

Immigration officers have in their minds a stereotype of what constitutes a bona fide marriage - same race or ethnicity, same background, same pleasant looks, and the man is a few years older than the woman.

If there is a significant age gap, and especially if the man is over 60 it is believed

Goliath matchup, the majority of whom were Filipino supporters. In the end, the might of the Norway team proved too much, but the Philippines’ showing cemented the team’s place on the world stage.

The games were followed closely in the Philippines, bolstered by massive viewing parties across several SM Supermall locations. There were watch parties across the United States as well, especially in Southern California where the Philippines national team trains.

that the man cannot consummate a marriage because of erectile dysfunction

Furthermore, they do not believe that a very young woman (the alien) really wants to marry a much older man for love. On the other hand, if the woman is much older than her husband, and even more so if the younger man (the alien) is better looking than the woman, it is even worse.

It will be difficult to convince immigration officials that the man married the older woman for love.


TION: If you and your spouse do not fit the immigration stereotype of what constitutes a bona fide marriage and you wish to seek immigration ben-

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

manner, the defendant must serve a mandatory minimum of 30 days in jail and pay up to a $1,000 fine.

Signs of Domestic Violence

Experts say the key to breaking the cycle of domestic abuse is education, to know the warning signs of abuse. The Institute of Human Services (HIS) provided habits to look for:

• Belittling you and your interests

“You can never do anything right!” or “Why do you like ___? That’s dumb.”)

• Blaming you and never apologizing for their bad behavior

“It’s not my fault, you made me…”

• Limiting your time with friends, family, or peers

After the tournament concluded, coach Alen Stajcic released a statement capturing the magic of the debut:

“Beating New Zealand on home soil and scoring our first World Cup goal and getting our first win were the things that dreams are made of. And despite the scoreline, the last match against Norway, where 34,000 patrons attended, with 30,000 singing for the Filipinas, brought shivers down our spine. It showed that football does belong in the Philippines,

efits, it is best to consult with a lawyer who has the experience and skill to convince immigration officials that your marriage is bona fide. 


TE TIPON was a Fulbright and Smith-Mundt scholar to Yale Law School where he obtained a Master of Laws degree specializing in Constitutional Law. He graduated with a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of the Philippines. He placed third in the 1955 bar examinations. He is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, New York, and the Philippines. He practices federal law, with emphasis on immigration law and appellate federal criminal defense. He was the Dean and a Professor of Law of the College of Law, Northwestern University, Philippines. He has written law books and legal articles for the world’s most pres-

“You’re not allowed to see/ hang out with ____.”

• Controlling your finances, resources, or time

“Give me your credit card. You can’t use it unless you ask me first.”

• Extreme jealousy of your time, friends, or attention

“You laugh a lot with your friends. Why don’t you laugh at my jokes like that?”

• Destroying property or surroundings; harming you or themself

“I’m doing this because I love you.”

• Intimidating you with threats, weapons, destruction, harm to others

“Do [this] now! Or else I will _____!”

• Pressuring to consume alcohol or drugs or conduct sexual acts

and that legacy is something we are all proud of.”

The Philippines left the bright lights of the World Cup ranked as the 46th best team in the world. Their debut on the global stage exceeded expectations. They not only recorded their first goal, but their first win in the tournament and will look to build on it when the World Cup returns in 2027.

The team has provided a new class of heroines for aspiring children with big soccer dreams.

tigious legal publisher and writes columns for newspapers. He wrote the annotations and case notes to the Immigration and Nationality Act published by The Lawyers Co-operative Publishing Co. and Bancroft Whitney Co. He wrote the best-seller “Winning by Knowing Your Election Laws.” Listen to The Tipon Report which he cohosts with his son Attorney Emmanuel “Noel” Tipon. They talk about immigration law, criminal law, court-martial defense, politics, and current events. It is considered the most witty, interesting, and useful radio show in Hawaii. KNDI 1270 AM band every Thursday at 8:00 a.m. Atty. Tipon was born in Laoag City, Philippines. Cell Phone (808) 225-2645. E-Mail: filamlaw@ yahoo.com. Website: https://www. tiponimmigrationguide.com The information provided in this article is not legal advice. Publication of this information is not intended to create, and receipt by you does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.)

“You need to do ____ if you love me.”

Where to get help

If you are a victim of abuse, here are some local and national resources:

• State-Wide: Aloha United Way (AUW) Helpline: 2-1-1

• Oahu:

– Parents and Children

Together (PACT): 24Hour Crisis Hotline: (808) 526-2200

• Kauai: YWCA of Kauai

– 24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (808) 245-6362

– SA 24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (808) 245-2144

• Maui & Lanai: Women

Helping Women 24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (808) 5799581

(continue on page 15)



Symphony In Manila

Unlike a fullblown play, in a staged reading the cast read their lines on stage. The setting is minimal—in this case, the stage was bare except for a few studs and planks. A set of microphones is aligned at the edge of the stage, and the cast takes turns to read their lines.

Despite the minimal backdrop and a cast that took on multiple roles, this staged reading delivers. The scenes depicted in the play ranged from the rubble that was Manila as the retreating Japanese army razed the city to the ground—to the Nazi concentration camps of Dachau and Buchenwald.

As noted on the playbill, the storyline is “based on a true story about love, war, life, death and Beethoven.” The central character is Dr. Her

bert Zipper, one of many Jews persecuted in Nazi Germany who were given visas by then President Manuel Quezon. During the 1930s, most countries including the United States, closed their doors to these refugees, but the Philippines admitted 1,200 Jews.

Dr. Zipper received a visa to be the conductor of the Manila Symphony Orchestra in 1939 and to join his fiancée, the ballerina, Trudl Muller (played by Mandy Chang, a local actor regularly appearing in local film productions and commercials).

However, Japan bombed Pearl Harbor in December 1941 and invaded the Philippines soon after. Dr. Zipper found himself in prison camps once more, this time under Japanese control. What sustained him was the dream of reviving the Manila Symphony Orchestra to conduct Beethoven’s 3rd Symphony, Eroica, “to celebrate the victory of

good over evil.”

In May 1945, amidst the ruins of the Philippines’ capital, Dr. Zipper and the members of the symphony who survived the war performed the Eroica Symphony at Manila’s Santa Cruz church. In the final scene, one could hear the soaring notes of the music—a triumphant conclusion to the play.

Although the main storyline is the odyssey of Dr. Zipper (performed admirably by Eugen Schlosser, an HPU graduate from Germany who is passionate about classical music), the other cast members provided the historical and cultural context of the Philippines during its Commonwealth period and during World War II.

The characters of Pat Delrosario (played by Miki Yamamoto, the music/band teacher at Waimanalo Intermediate) and Mrs. Carmen Delrosario (played by Deanna Espinas,

a retired correctional librarian and community volunteer) depicted the social mores and values of the times.

In one scene the young and attractive Pat Delrosario threatens to spend the weekend in Baguio with an American military officer—if her mother—the influential society matron Mrs. Carmen Delrosario does not work her magic in getting a visa for Dr. Zipper.

Mrs. Delrosario’s re-

sponse is classic—“What will people say!” Both characters also had Tagalog sentences to deliver—which they did well considering that neither speaks the language.

Two of the cast members had to take on multiple characters. The theatrical experience would have been enhanced if each actor was assigned one role instead of multiple ones.

The narration on stage by assistant director Kath-

(continue on page 15)


Videos tell stories!

This is the theme of this year’s Asian American Stories Video Competition; the first major project launched this week by the recently organized Silicon Valley Community Media (SVMC) founded by Diana Ding, founder and CEO of Ding Ding TV based in Santa Clara.

This is a chance for Asian Americans to tell their stories about their contributions to bringing communities together, promoting diversity, racial justice, equity, and stopping the hate.

With their stories, we can learn from them, emulate what they went through, review their contributions to society, and serve as our model in our assimilation into the American lifestyle and culture.

Most immigrants struggle in life because they don’t have models or mentors to follow as they immerse themselves in American society.

“All of Us Belong Right Here”: Asian American Stories Video Competition

The video essay contest is open to all independent journalists, social media influencers, ethnic media, event organizers, and civic organization contestants.

There are two categories of contestants – youth contestant for ages 12 to 18 years of age and adult contestants for 18 years old and above.

Contestants are required to submit in English a video of less than one-minute length to be accompanied by a written essay of less than 150 words. Submission of entries is accepted from June 1, 2023, to January 1, 2024. The theme should focus on “All of Us Belong Right Here.”

The diverse panel of judges will select a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winner. There will also be a Viewer’s Choice Winner.

Prizes will be awarded to the most popular entrance as selected by Viewer’s Choice and the first 30 entries will potentially receive funding for their project. This funding will be provided by Silicon Valley Community Media.

The chosen winners will choose between the following options: it’s either funding to produce media content regarding Asian American videos, articles, podcasts,

and TV Shows or receiving a check.

Here are the prizes for the winners. First Place: $10,000 Funding, or a $1,000 check. Second Place: $5,000 Funding or a $500 check. Third Place: $2,000 Funding or a $200 check. Viewer’s Choice Winner: $2,000 Funding or a $200 check.

The committee is cochaired by Diana Ding and Francis Espiritu, President and publisher of Philippine News Today (PNT), an English weekly newspaper.

Joel Wong, chairman of the board of judges, convened this week via Zoom distinguished members of the board of judges of the Telling American Story Video Competition to kick off the very important project of the Silicon Valley Community Media (SVMC).

The judges met via a Zoom meeting recently for the project’s overview, a review of the new website; judging criteria; and a video trailer of the project.

The judges are: Joel Wong, Treasurer & Secretary of Silicon Valley Community Media, President of National Asian American United (NAA United), President of

National Asian American PAC – chairman; Chris Norwood, President, Board of Milpitas Unified School District; Sandy Close, Media Editor; Beverly Molina, Santa Clara Firefighter and Author; Tony Shyu, a TV and film director, producer, editor and writer; Other judges include Chris Norwood - President, Board of Milpitas Unified School District; Sandy Close - Media Editor; Beverly Molina - Santa Clara Firefighter and Author; Tony Shyu - a TV and film director, producer, editor and writer; Mayor Carmen Montano of the city of Milpitas; Kansen Chuformer Assembly Member of District 25 State of California; Filipino American Media Leader Don Orozco; Piyush Malik - startup executive, entrepreneur, and board advisor; Mattie Scariot - Director of the Poppy Jasper International Film Festival; David Mosby - CEO of e2i Academy, Speaker and Author; Mayor Lisa Gilmor - Mayor of the city of Santa Clara; and Elpidio R. Estioko - Educator, public relations (PR) professional, author, and award-winning journalist.

At Silicon Valley Com-

munity Media, the group is dedicated to presenting stories that convey the richness & diversity of Asian American experiences to Silicon Valley and beyond.

For over a decade, they have produced, funded, and distributed thousands of creative projects through film & digital media. They have also proudly celebrated diverse cultures through hundreds of events.

Their mission also includes empowering and unifying Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) and ethnic leaders by using media and communication to bridge the gap between Asian Americans and other communities across the United States.

Silicon Valley Community Media is the non-profit extension of Ding Ding TV – The Voice of Silicon Valley Asian Americans. It funds, produces, distributes, and exhibits creative content pieces that convey the richness and beauty of diversity.

ELPIDIO R. ESTIOKO was a veteran journalist in the Philippines and a multi-awarded journalist here in the US. For feedbacks, comments… please email the author at estiokoelpidio@gmail.com



Prayers for Maui

Early this month, Typhoon Khanun made landfall on the Korean Peninsula, which brought heavy rains and strong winds across the country. As part of our homeschooling, we learned about typhoons and their devastating effects by watching videos on YouTube.

As we scrolled, clips of the devastating fires in Maui caught our attention. When we saw what happened in Lahaina just a few days before a typhoon hit South Korea, our hearts were broken.

We set aside the science lesson for a while and watched the news.

While watching, Callie looked at me and asked if I was okay. Apparently, she saw tears rolling down my cheeks as I listened to interviews with the locals who lost their homes and saw images of the whole community turned from color to grey

and black.

Our hearts were so moved that I invited my daughter to pray for the people of Lahaina, Maui, and the whole nation of Hawaii. Our science lesson became a moment of intercession and compassion, a more important lesson to learn.

The fires didn’t just consume buildings and properties, it broke homes and stole away beautiful memories. The blaze didn’t just kill people, it took away fathers and mothers from their children, children from their parents, and tore covenant friendships forever.

Just the thought of myself and my family getting caught in the middle of a fire scares me tremendously. To the people of Lahaina, it isn’t just a nightmare, it is reality. I can only imagine the pain and the trauma this tragedy has caused especially to the children.

I wish I could go there and extend help to the peo-

ple of Lahaina by providing clothes, blankets, and food to those who have lost their homes. I wish I could extend my arms to give comfort and encouragement to the brokenhearted.

I wish I was there to grieve with the grieving and mourning of those who are mourning. I wish but I can’t. But it doesn’t mean I can’t help.

There are so many ways to help–by giving and praying. And these, I will do.

I pray for those who have lost precious family members to the fires, may God’s overwhelming comfort and peace envelop them at this time. May the grace of the Lord carry them through as they move forward without their loved ones and as they pick up the broken pieces of their lives.

For those who have lost their homes and their properties they worked hard for, I declare provision and restoration. What the fires stole

from them be returned to them a hundredfold.

As they wait and slowly rebuild, I pray for God to put a roof on their heads, blankets to keep them warm and strength upon their bodies.

I declare wisdom and unity upon the government and the leaders of Maui and Hawaii as they make decisions and navigate solutions to rebuilding the community and the whole nation.

And for the rescue workers and everyone working in the field, I speak strength in body, mind and heart as they retrieve the missing.

May the whole Maui community and the nation of


Does Hawaii require employers to offer some paid sick days or paid family and medical leave? I have family in other states such as California that offer this to all workers. It seems like a very sensible policy.

– From Reader Dear Reader,

Thank you for this very important question. Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) is indeed an essential and smart public health

Hawaii be filled with overflowing compassion, generosity and love as they all gather together in support of the people of Lahaina. As they extend their hands and feet to those who are affected, as they share their resources with those who have lost theirs, may love be so evident and a spirit of community be exemplified.

To the beautiful of Lahaina and the whole Maui community, there are so many people around the world who see your plights and are holding the ropes for you in prayers as you slowly rebuild your lives.

Do We Have Paid Sick Day in Hawaii?


If we learned anything from the COVID-19 pandemic, it was that workers and family members should stay home if they have contagious diseases. And when children, elders or other family members need care, it is smart and compassionate to allow some paid time for a family member to care for them.

Thirteen states including California and D.C. now have some form of PFML.

Unfortunately, Hawai’i has yet to adopt this policy. The Hawai’i Workers Center and Hawai’i Children’s Action Network and others have advocated for this for several years. Governor Josh Green has said he supports some form of paid sick days/ medical leave.

The state has conducted

no less than three studies regarding the cost and ways to implement a PFML policy. It was found that a state-operated family leave insurance plan could cover all workers at an estimated cost of $58 per year per worker.

Small businesses and our state and counties should be able to afford to make that benefit available to their employees. This insurance would provide income and peace of mind for workers and their families during the 16-week period of family leave.

Paid family leave is doable and affordable. We are hopeful that the 2024 Hawai’i legislative session will adopt this critical policy and we will work hard to make it happen.

If you have a compelling

story of why you need and support PFML we would love to hear from you!

Speaking of family, we would like to share our support for those affected by the Lahaina tragedy. Our hearts break for Maui. But Mau is strong and will recover with all of our help.

The Hawaii Workers Corner is raising funds for Emergency Kokua for those in need. We are also working to help workers who lost their jobs gain access to Unemployment Insurance and other services. We are also working to protect affordable housing.

In the first Hawaii Workers Corner column, we shared that many people covered by Med-Quest insurance need to be redetermined for eligibility. To those who received

the pink insurance envelope, you must respond immediately.

We also want to let Maui residents know that all eligibility determination efforts and terminations of coverage have been paused at least through 2023.

Med-QUEST stands in support of our Maui Nui community and has paused all terminations and eligibility renewals for Maui County through 2023.

Sincerely, Hawaii Workers Center

Dr. ARCELITA IMASA is a practicing family physician and the secretary of the Hawaii Workers Center’s Executive Committee of the Board. She grew up in the Philippines before migrating to Hawaii with her family more than a decade ago.


Salute to Filipino Workers on Labor Day

History has taught us that Filipino presence in Hawaii is rooted in labor. Filipino migration to Hawaii began in 1906 when the first 15 Filipinos were recruited to work in the sugarcane plantation fields. By the 1930s, Filipino plantation laborers began to outnumber other ethnic groups working in the fields and mills.

Fast forward to a century later and Filipinos has become the fastest growing and largest ethnic group in Hawaii. Of the 1.46 million population of the islands, about one in four Hawaii residents (25%) have some Filipino ancestry. An estimated 79.6 percent of the Filipino population between ages 20-64 are in labor force, according to a Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism data.

Today’s Filipino Workers

“Filipino workers play an integral role to Hawaii’s economy, culture, and society,” says Director Jade Butay of the Hawaii State Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR).

“Without Filipino workers, the hotels, restaurants, health care, construction, and other industries wouldn’t be able to survive.”

Atty. Sergio Alcubilla III, Executive Director of Hawaii Workers Center, agrees. “With Filipinos comprising nearly 25% of the state’s population, it’s hard to miss a Filipino worker. From our hotel lobbies to our hospital floors, you’ll find Filipino workers everywhere with many working more than one job. In essence, our immigrant work ethic is without question and plays a critical role in fueling Hawaii’s economy.”

Filipino workers are known for their industry and

commitment to their work, creating an almost stereotypical image of being hard workers. This did not escape the observant eyes of Eugene “Gino” Soqueña, Executive Director of Hawaii Building and Construction Trades Council (HBCTC).

“In my 35 years working in the construction industry, I have witnessed firsthand how Filipino workers have excelled in whatever construction trade you find them in -- from the hard-working Laborers and Masons Union members, to the Operating Engineers and Electrical Workers Union members, many of them becoming foremen or project superintendents. Even in jobs other than the construction industry, Filipino workers are always willing to work. They hardly complain, and they always find better and easier ways to do the job,” says the HBCTC Executive Director.

Bumps and Hurdles

These heartening impressions are not without challenges and disappointments, however.

“Filipinos are underrepresented in some occupations, especially in top managerial and professional positions, and in higher education settings,” Labor Director Butay notes. “The University of Hawaii’s Pamantasan Council has reported that only 14% of undergraduates at UH Manoa, our flagship university, are of Filipino descent. Also, the percentage of Filipino faculty in the UH System is relatively low; the Pamantasan Council reported that only 4.2% of instructional faculty in the UH System was of Filipino ancestry in 2021.” Filipinos fall behind their Japanese, White, and Chinese counterparts when it comes to education.

The hierarchy of the

richest and poorest ethnic groups in Hawaii hasn’t changed much, according to Jonathan Okamura, professor emeritus of Ethnic Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. That ranking puts Japanese, Chinese, and Whites at the top, with the Filipino and Native Hawaii nearer the bottom. Professor Okamura uses family income, educational attainment, and occupational status to gauge a group’s socio-economic status.

While a roughly quarter (25.5%) of the Filipino workforce between 16 years old and older are in management, business, science and the arts industries, the majority are into service occupations (30.5%) and sales and office employment (23.0%).

U.S. Census Data (2019) shows that Filipino and part-Filipino households have the second highest median family income, behind their Japanese and part-Japanese counterpart. That Filipinos have the largest average family size is a major factor in the high-family income ranking, explains Carlie Liddell, head statistician of the Hawaii State Data Center.

Per capita income, however, Filipinos in Hawaii fall behind the Japanese, Whites, Chinese, and the State average figures.

The apparent passivity of some Filipino workers toward unfair or oppressive work conditions alarms the HWC Executive Director.

“Whether it’s our colonial history or cultural upbringing, it seems that we too easily relinquish that power to our employers, to other ethnicities, and to the powers that be. I see it when our workers are afraid to speak up against the abuses of their bosses, when qualified Filipinos are passed over promotions, and when the boards of large corporations lack any diversity reflective

of the population. Yes, we are a significant portion of the population in Hawaii but we have not fully exercised our strength. When we do, like we did on the sugar and pineapple fields not that long ago, all workers are benefited,” observes Alcubilla.

DLIR Director Butay sees Hawaii’s high cost of living and skyrocketing housing costs as significant challenge for Filipino workers in the State, much like anyone else. This is compounded by the increasing cost of higher education, home ownership, saving for retirement, and other aspects of what used to be more easily attainable for workers.

Butay explains that “Filipinos are disproportionately overrepresented in Hawai’i’s lowest paid and most vulnerable employment sectors and are among the top workers impacted by job loss” due to health or economic crises.

Another major challenge is “being torn between pursuing higher education and earning wages to support families here and in the Philippines,” Butay added. “The need to prepare workers for the economy of the future is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s all about long-term sacrifice instead of immediate gratification.

Both Alcubilla and Butay cite linguistic and cultural variances as common sources of discrimination against Filipino workers. “As an immigrant, I understand the barriers of culture and language that others may use to exploit us,” admitted the HWC executive.

“Due to poor language ability, some Filipino workers may not express themselves well during interviews and once employed, language barriers can slow their promotion and advancement,” explains the Labor Director. A 2016 Hawaii State report showed that speakers of a non-English language typically earn 10% to 34% less than English-on-

ly speakers for all proficiency levels.

Disturbing circumstances include reports of opportunism against and oppression of Filipino workers – even by their own kind. Alcubilla reveals cases of “Filipinos taking advantage of and exploiting other Filipinos -- from wage theft to possible labor trafficking.”

Promising Resolutions

There is a general agreement that compassion, education and training are critical in uplifting the life condition of workers.

“As a community, I know we can be better,” says Allcubilla. “If we are business owners, we must pay our workers fairly. If we are supervisors, we must treat workers with the dignity and respect they deserve. And as workers, we must understand that we have a powerful voice and that we must use it to uplift each other and our community.”

“Education and training are critical components to address the challenges Filipino workers face,” says Butay. A higher education opens the door to jobs in professions and opportunities for advancement to managerial and executive positions. But there are other promising routes. The majority of future jobs may not require a college degree

Since coming on board as the DLIR Director, Butay says he had been signing a lot of apprenticeship certificates for electricians, carpenters, plumbers, ironworkers, HVAC technicians, and other nontraditional apprenticeship in health care, hospitality, and agriculture. “From my vantage point, these are good outcomes and a win/win –both for the workers and our community. We continue to strengthen and expand the program to build a pipeline to good, quality jobs, support underserved communities, and advance racial and gender equity.”

(continue on page 15)


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(FEATURE: Salute.....from page 14)

“At the Hawaii Workers Center, our mission is to help organize workers from marginalized communities so they are empowered to exercise their right to organize for their own social, economic, and political well-being,” explains Alcubilla. HWC trainings impress on workers’ rights and the articulation of the workers’ “collective voices to enable them to stand up to the money interests of big business.” The Center supports the work of labor unions such as UNITE HERE Local 5 and ILWU and work to “hold government leaders accountable when it comes to being on the side of the working-class


Zumba through the evening. Only $5 per class. Proceeds go to support these program-types for FilCom Center.

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community to ensure workers are protected through our policies and laws.”

Labor Day Observance

The first Labor Day holiday in the U.S. was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City when 10,000 workers took unpaid time off to march from City Hall to Union Square, holding the first Labor Day parade in U.S. history.

By 1894, 23 more states had adopted the holiday, and on June 28, 1894, President Grover Cleveland signed a law making the first Monday in September of each year a national holiday. Since then,

(COVER STORY: Filipinos.....from page 10)

• Molokai: Molokai Community Service Council 24-Hour Hotline: (808) 567-6888

• Hawaii Island: Hale Ohana Shelter: (808) 9598864

- National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800799-SAFE (1-800-7997233), 24/7, Languages: English, Spanish and

200+ through interpretation service

RAINN (Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network): 800-656-HOPE (800-656-4673)

- The Hawaii Immigrant Justice Center provides free legal services to immigrant victims of domestic violence, including undocumented

(THEATRE REVIEW: Symphony ....from page 11)

leen Racuya-Markrich, on the changes of character and scene, minimized the confusion. The actors’ delivery of their lines also alerted the audience to the change.

In the case of Jose Ver, a local actor and comedian affiliated with Improv Hawaii, he subtly changed his accent depending on the role he took on. He played the role of an American expat, an SS guard and Manuel—the sakada who returned home from Hawai’i.

In creating the role of Manuel, the author was able to create a connection with the local Hawai’i audience and describe the struggles and hardships endured by the

Labor Day became an annual celebration of the social and economic achievements of American workers.

Five years earlier in 1889, however, May 1 was designated May Day (or International Labour Day), a day in support of workers, by an international federation of socialist groups and trade unions in commemoration of the Haymarket Riot, a violent confrontation that took place on May 4, 1886, in Chicago. The incident sprang from a labor strike demanding for an 8-hour workday.

As the socialist trade unions and workers were already marking May 1 as Labor Day, President Cleve-

immigrants: (808)5368826.

Advice from a domestic abuse survivor

Conchita recalls agonizing not only over the abuse, but that she had to keep it a secret until the very end. “I kept everything to myself because you don’t want your family and friends to judge you or for them to worry about you.

first OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) —the Filipino sakadas recruited to work in the islands’ sugar plantations.

The other cast member who took on the roles of Tom Walsh, Rheinhardt and Mr. Herbert Thompson was Thomas McNamara, a local actor who has performed in local theater on Maui and Oahu.

Cassidy Patmon of Kailua took on the role of Dr. Emiko Fukuzawa, a music professor before the onset of the Japanese invasion, while Chris Inouye, currently a student at UH Manoa, played the role of Captain Sakamoto.

In a brief chat with the author, Michael Markrich,

after the play, he shared his goal to inform and educate the mainstream community on the American colonial experience in the Philippines and Manila’s utter destruction at the end of WWII.

In that he succeeded, if only to a small select group of theater regulars at the Manoa Valley Theater. Perhaps, at some future date, the play will have a wider audience to include all age groups, particularly the students.

At the staged reading of the play, I brought my teenage grandson to get his Gen Z reaction. Not too many in his age group were there that night, which is unfortunate because the play depicts

6pm to 9:30pm | Kalakaua Avenue, Waikiki | Aloha Festivals will host its premier block party at Waikiki’s beachfront Kalakaua Avenue with booths highlighting Hawaii cuisine, crafts, culture and entertainment.

land was uncomfortable with choosing the month of the Haymarket Riot as Labor Day so he chose the alternative day in September.

Except for the United States, Canada, Autralia, Japan, and New Zealand, over 60 other countries observe International Labor Day on May 1.

“Labor Day belongs to every man and woman who contributes to improve our lives, the economy and made this country what it is,” says Butay.

“Higher wages, holidays, vacation, medical coverage, retirement, overtime, sick leave, 8-hour work days, safe working conditions, etc. are all pos-

I also felt ashamed because my parents didn’t approve of my ex before we got married. But I went on with it, anyway. They were right.”

She said, “I felt alone. I could only talk to God about this problem. I remember one day while praying, I realized my marriage could not work anymore.” Conchita said, her voice cracking as she broke into tears. “This

a chapter in history that local-born kids are not too familiar with—“an enjoyable way to learn about history” as my grandson notes, after summarizing his review into one brief sentence: “It’s okay.”

And adds that using some props (such as a wheelbarrow, camera, etc.) may improve the theater experience. He adds that lengthening portions of Eroica Symphony played at the finale may heighten the emotional pull of the play.

I agreed that having a live orchestra and playing the entire 55-minute symphony would be wonderful, but impossible.

The author was meticu-

sible today because of the labor movement and those from organized labor,” concluded Soqueña.

Countless workers who fought for these rights and entitlements were Filipino. So, to all of you, Filipino workers, we thankfully salute you.

RAYMUND LLANES LIONGSON, PH.D., is a retired professor from the Arts and Humanites at the University of Hawaii-Leeward CC. He is current member of the Board of Directors of the Filipino Community Center and the State Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. He served as a member of the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission, President of the University of the Philippines Alumni Association, and Master of Hawaiian Lodge-Free and Accepted Masons, among many other community involvements.

is not good anymore. I said to God. I kept repeating, this is not good anymore.”

Conchita said prayers helped her and could help victims, especially if you are feeling alone and can’t talk to anyone about the situation.

“You must find a way to get out of an abusive relationship before it’s too late. You know the situation and what you need to do,” she said.

lous in ensuring the historical accuracy of the play and created characters that heightened tension but also depicted stereotypes (i.e. the SS guards, the American colonizers, the Japanese spies, etc.).

However, the overall package worked—as an art form and a tool for remembrance that good will always triumph.

ROSE CRUZ CHURMA established Kalamansi Books & Things three decades ago. It has evolved from a mail-order bookstore into an online advocacy with the intent of helping global Pinoys discover their heritage by promoting books of value from the Philippines and those written by Filipinos in the Diaspora. We can be reached at kalamansibooks@gmail.com.

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