Hawaii Filipino Chronicle - September 17, 2022

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SEPTEMBER 17, 2022 FEATURE Filipino Cooking priest saves Families and the World through Food OPEN FORUM start With permit delays to trim homebuilding red tape BOOK REVIEW Women against marCos COMMUNITY & WOMEN’S HEALTH SUPPLEMENT INSIDE!

Loan forgiveness of any amount is a step in the right direc tion, but realistically for a vast majority of college loan debt ors, $10,000 will only be a partial wiping away of their loan(s) total. The average loan of a college graduate is $30,000 with some incurring as high as $200,000-plus.


Amelia Jacang, M.D.

Contributing Editor

Administrative Assistant

Maui Distributors

Charlie Sonido, M.D.


Belinda Aquino, Ph.D.

Caroline RaymondJulianLl.Liongson, Ph.D.

Emil MelissaGuillermoMartin, Ph.D.

Chona A. Montesines-Sonido

Charlie Y. Sonido, M.D.

Supreme Court which could decide to hear the case and the issue of debt cancellation be greeted with legal skepticism.

Perry Diaz

Carolyn Weygan-Hildebrand

Clearly Congress passing a sweeping bill would have made debt cancellation set on a more solid legal footing; and now some experts believe there could be possible legal chal lenges to Biden’s executive action.

COC is looking to fund health-related initiatives in Honolulu that are implementing meaningful public health education and re search projects.

Molokai Distributor

ReubenPacitaOriasSaludesS.Seguritan, Esq.

Christine Sabado

Elpidio R. Estioko


Neighbor Island Correspondents:

Whether the Biden administration is moving full speed ahead has something to do with potential challenges is un known. Debt cancellation was announced late August. Pro cessing of applications could be expected to begin in October. That is light speed as far as implementing new policy.

Be sure to read HFC columnist Emil Guillermo’s “The Queen’s Passing, The Obama’s Portraits, and American Democracy,” HFC col umnist Perry Diaz’s “Why Did Bongbong Abolish PACC?” and others.

College Debt Cancellation Is A Start, Real Discussion Should Be On Lowering Cost of Higher Education

Carlota Hufana Ader

Grace LarsonDitas Udani

Junggoi Peralta

Advertising / Marketing Director

Seneca Moraleda-Puguan J.P.

Rose SerafinChurmaColmenares Jr., Ph.D.

Yoshimasa Kaneko

Cecille PirosRey Piros

Millicent Wellington

Amylou Aguinaldo

Jim Bea Sampaga

Kauai Distributors

JP Orias

Edna Bautista, Ed.D.

Grace LarsonDitas Udani

Big Island (Hilo and Kona)

resident Joe Biden’s federal student loan cancel lation of up to $20,000 ($10,000 for those mak ing under $125,000 and an additional $10,000 for Pell Grants loan holders) is much needed and wel comed for many college students-graduates and their parents.

Carlota Hufana Ader

Speaking of food, Jasmine Sadang contributes “Generational Recipes Nourish and Strengthen Filipino Families and Communi ties,” an article on Filipino cuisine and bonding over food.

Also in this issue we present our annual Community and Wom en’s Health Supplement. In the supplement cover story we go over Monkeypox (what it is, its prevalence nationally and in Hawaii, available vaccination locations in Hawaii, and more) as well as the latest on COVID-19. We have a mix of interesting articles in the supplement including: What You Need to Know About COVID-19 Boosters, September is National Suicide Prevention, news on Free Preparation Guidance for Medicare Open Enrollment, Heart Attack vs Stroke, Confessions of a Surgeon New Mom, Teeth Sensitivity, Thyroid Health and Hormones, and more. We hope you enjoy this jam-packed issue. Thank you for supporting Hawaii’s most read Fili pino newspaper. Until next issue, Aloha and Mabuhay!

Tim Llena

Linda Dela Cruz

Glenn AmadoWakaiYoro

Philippine Correspondent: Greg Garcia


Publisher & Managing Editor

Oahu Distributors

Editorial & Production Assistant


(continue on page 3)

Clement Bautista

Paul Melvin Palalay, M.D. Renelaine Bontol-Pfister

Mark Lester Ranchez

Account Executives


For this reason, Biden should be commended for acting boldly using executive power to get something done, and while he’s on a winning streak soon after his Inflation Reduc tion Act passed.

Biden’s legal justification

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said in a statement, “Today, we’re delivering targeted relief that will help ensure borrowers are not placed in a worse position finan cially because of the pandemic, and restore trust in a system that should be creating opportunity, not a debt trap.”

Publisher & Executive Editor

Jay Valdez, Psy.D.

Associate Editors

Also in this issue, we have an interesting feature written by HFC contributor Edna Bautista, Ed.D. on Fr. Leo Patalinghug, who earned a global reputation as the “Filipino Cooking Priest.” In Fr. Leo’s book “Saving the Family: The Transformative Power of Sharing Meals with People You Love,” he suggests having regular family meals together strengthens family ties as well as provides positive outcomes for children. Fr. Leo is quite the culinary expert as he is famously known for beating famous celebrity chef Bobby Flay in “Iron Chef” – a rare occurrence.

Federico Magdalena, Ph.D. Matthew Mettias

Maria Watanabe


Remember, in the first two years of the Biden adminis tration, Democrats in Congress were in favor of canceling $50,000. But whether it was $10,000 or $50,000 proposed, ei ther way, Republicans in Congress were not supportive of loan debt cancellation, period.


The Secretary of Education acted on Biden’s behalf and the “national emergency” required in the Heroes Act is the pandemic. The Secretary’s choice of words was specific in the context of the Heroes Act.

For our cover story this issue, associate editor Edwin Quinabo reports on President Joe Biden’s recent executive order to cancel up to $20,000 on all loans held by the federal government. Clearly the outstanding college debt many have is a lot higher, but it’s a much welcomed policy, as some in our community have said in the cover story. Find out who can qualify for this new debt cancelation pro gram, what loans will be forgiven. Bharat Ramamurti, deputy direc tor of the White House National Economic Council, said applications for cancelation should be available as early as October 2022. And once the borrower completes the application, they can expect relief within four to six months. Individuals can sign up on the Education Department website to be notified when the application is available. The Federal Student Aid office says individuals can review their loan documents or log into their account at studentaid.gov to check if their loan is federally or privately held. Applications will be accepted until Dec. 31, 2023. But if you want the cancelation applied to your loan before monthly loan payments to the federal government resumes in January 2023, federal administrators say to turn in your application as soon as possible. Clearly many in our Filipino community stand to benefit and we encourage everyone to spread the word of this news.

Seneca Moraleda-Puguan

If Republicans will choose to challenge Biden’s popular (approved by a majority in the general public, surveys show) college loan cancellation, it certainly will come at a heavy po litical price. Remember these are college graduates who’ve worked hard to become outstanding contributors in society, did all the right moves expected of them, but happened to be paying too heavy a financial burden.

Maita Milallos


Sheryll Bonilla, Esq.

Big Island Distributors

Nestor Aguinaldo

Edwin QuinaboDennis Galolo

Pamela ShalimarGonsalves/Jonathan Pagulayan

Chona A. Montesines-Sonido

Lilia Capalad


Teresita Bernales, Ed.D.

Biden explained the legal authority to cancel debt by exec utive order was by way of the Heroes Act, enacted during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. That law gives the Secretary of Education the power to “waive or modify any statutory or reg ulatory provision applicable to the student financial assistance programs” during a national emergency if, among other rea sons, the secretary believes that doing so is necessary to ensure that borrowers are “not placed in a worse position financially” because of that emergency.

Attempts at blocking Biden’s college loan cancellation would just look too anti-middle American and against the val ues of fairness and hard work. On top of this, as siding with debtAnalystscollectors.say the potential threat could be at the right-wing

Contributing Writers

As instructed by Biden, in the past two years the Depart ment of Education (DOE) and Justice Department were look ing into the legal merits of debt cancellation by executive or der.

he cost of higher education has been rising at a faster rate than inflation and it now costs on average $40,000 to $85,000 (in-state, out-of-state) for tuition and fees for four years of schooling at a public college or uni versity. For tuition and fees over four years at a private university, it could be typically about $160,000. These rates do not include living expenses. We’re all too aware of the struggle many students and parents are having to pay for college loans. Fortunately we have good news to report.

Emmanuel S. Tipon, Esq.

Hopefully with early awareness and from what we’ve already learned from COVID-19, public health ex perts and government should have a much more efficient and prepared response to mon keypox.There already are some advantages. Unlike at COVID19’s time of outbreak, there is currently available an antiviral drug. Because monkeypox be longs to the same family of vi ruses as variola virus, the virus that causes smallpox, the same vaccine used to treat smallpox is already available to treat

 F

Perhaps the true issue be ing skirted is college has be

Doesn’t solve high cost of higher education


So the messaging should be the fact and science: any one who has been in close contact with someone with monkeypox is at increased risk of infection, regardless of a person’s gender, sexual orien tation, or travel history.

Health experts say we can learn from another infectious disease in AIDS. Like AIDS, monkeypox at this onset is mostly spread within the gay community or men who have sex with other men. Also, like AIDS, monkeypox has most ly been found to be sexually transmissible, even though health experts say, sex is only one way to get monkeypox. It can be spread by close nonsex ual contact, by infected mate rials or objects, and by large respiratory droplets during prolonged face-to-face con tact.Just sharing a bed with someone who is infected or by sharing items like towels or unwashed clothing could lead to someone getting monkey pox. So it’s technically easi er to catch monkeypox than AIDS.What can we learn from AIDS? Health experts say by

come too unaffordable and should we be considering offering free or very afford able tuition at our public col leges and universities, much as it used to be in the 1970s through 80s in the U.S. Even today there are exceptional ly successful models to refer to as in most of Western and Northern Europe where any citizen of the European Union can actually attend any public college or university for free. Western and Northern Europe also happen to have among the highest standards of living in theWhyworld.entertain this idea in the U.S.? Among the most credible reasons: 1) Equal opportunity for all in an in creasingly income inequali ty society; 2) More students would attend college which creates a better educated workforce and enlightened society; 3) A more educated,

quiring a 2-4 weeks period of recovery and most likely iso lation, catching monkeypox potentially could have a seri ous financial impact; and in extreme circumstances could lead to job loss just for being unable to work for weeks.

We’ve Learned from COVID-19, We Can Beat Monkeypox Early On

Since 1970 monkeypox has been causing illness and death in large number for de cades in Africa. But no deaths of monkeypox has been re ported outside of Africa where there has been very little spread. But for a first time ever, this 2022 outbreak of monkeypox has spread glob ally and health experts are still uncertain why this is happen ing, and what changed.

While death by monkey pox is considered rare, it hap pens regularly in Africa. It’s a serious infectious disease that can have severe symptoms, and in some cases, require hos pitalization usually due to pain management.SinceCOVID-19, there also must be in consideration economic impact of infectious diseases. With monkeypox re

monkeypox infections.

Health experts say mon keypox is quickly spreading and evolving. At this very moment, the State of Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) said risk to most Hawaii resi dents remains low.

In the mix of arguing for college debt cancelation now or in the future, there should also be included ways to get public colleges and universi ties to be more affordable and accessible. Otherwise what are we ultimately doing with debt cancelation, just enrich ing the “business” of higher education at the expense of both students and taxpay ers.

Jumpstart at combatting monkeypox

or only the seventh time in history, the World Health Or ganization (WHO) declared on July 23 a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) – this time on the current monkeypox out break that is spreading around the world rapidly.

healthEvenfunding.though resources are thin in this area, and that COVID-19 is still a major public health concern requir ing ongoing funding, politi cians and public experts clear ly must realize how critical it is to control monkeypox be fore it escalates and gets out of hand.Many have already criti cized the lax attention given to monkeypox and believe the window has closed to stop community spread.

Free college tuition at public universities and colleges

(College Debt....from page 2)

Health officials also have data tracking, case detection and contract tracing models for infectious disease down to a science in most commu nities because of COVID-19. However, in order for these models to be applied to mon keypox, there must be public

The U.S. government has two stockpiled vaccines— JYNNEOS and ACAM2000— that can prevent monkeypox in people who are exposed to the virus.But the bad news is that these drugs are very short in supply which is one reason the monkeypox vaccine is only available to select populations. The current targeted immu nization of groups most vul nerable and affected by mon keypox is a smart move until inventory improves for these drugs (and other drugs in the works).Another advantage of the monkeypox is that it is not nearly as contagious as COVID-19. And when people have monkeypox, there most likely are aware of it due to the symptoms, specifically rash that will typically develop.

more skilled society is better for the country’s competi tiveness internationally and makes for a stronger econ omy; 4) Government could save on reduced reliance of public assistance programs; 5) As crime has been found to be correlated to poverty and unemployment, a more edu cated society helps to reduce crime; 6) Higher educational attainment is also found to be related to higher levels of civic engagement and voting.

not stigmatizing this trans missible disease as just a gay disease which could prevent people from getting the mon keypox vaccination. And clearly there is a potential for monkeypox to spread to other populations as what eventually occurred with AIDS.

Hawaii has done a phe nomenal job relative to the rest of the nation in handling COVID-19. Local officials must do more of the same with regard to combatting monkeypox. Diagnostics, vaccines and treatment for monkeypox – we already have them. Local public health officials need to en sure that the limited supply of monkeypox vaccines we already have must be distrib uted equitably and efficient ly. Those who can receive the monkeypox vaccination, should do so. Let’s work to gether on beating monkey pox early.


Should monkeypox spread anywhere near the numbers of a pandemic – which is unlikely based on what we know of it now, health expert say – clear ly the economic impact could be profound.

One fair criticism that could be made is that a onetime debt cancellation does nothing in the way of curbing higher education costs or in centivizing college tuition to be affordable.Infactsome experts have warned the plan might nudge up tuition prices at colleges. The argument is that debt cancellation could encourage higher tuition in the future, encouraging more borrowing, creating expectations of future debt forgiveness. It could also lead students and parents to be less sensitive to the cost of tu ition, which could encourage colleges and universities to further hike tuition and fees.

“If all borrowers claim the relief that they’re entitled to, 43 million federal student loan borrowers will benefit,” the White House said in a press release. “And of those, 20 mil lion will have their debt completely canceled.”

Schumer said “Student loan debt is weigh ing down millions of families. We must do everything in our power to deliver real relief to the American people,” he said

- Married couples and heads of house holds need an AGI below $250,000 to qualify.

“In keeping with my campaign prom ise, my Administration is announcing a plan to give working and middle class families breathing room as they prepare to resume federal student loan payments in January 2023,” Biden said

(continue on page 5)

Who qualifies and for how much

That’s below what other independent budget experts have forecast. The Commit tee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimated the cost of the plan at about $500 billion over the next 10 years.

illions of young adults and families will get a fresh start under a student loan forgive ness plan that many are al ready calling a big boost.

No longer waiting for Congress to deliver a comprehensive loan forgiveness bill, President Joe Biden fulfilled an election promise via executive power by recently ordering the U.S. Department of Ed ucation to cancel up to $20,000 of federal student loan debt.

by Edwin Quinabo

For current students who are dependents, eligibility will be based on the income of their parents.2)Another $10,000 could be waived for some people who also received federal Pell Grants, which are awarded to students based on financial need. But they also must meet the income requirements. The White House said more than 60% of current federal student loan borrowers also received Pell Grants.

Pagdilao took out both federal and private student loans totaling $24,000. He has about $9,000 left in fed eral student loans. “So far the loans have been quite difficult to pay off, due to interest hav ing accumulated prior to the moratorium of interest and payments for these loans from COVID-19. I am still in the process of paying these loans

Republicans have rejected all attempts at student loan forgiveness. Sen. Richard Burr, the ranking Republican on the Sen ate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, released a statement saying that Biden is “asking taxpayers to subsidize debt held by some of America’s highest earners in order to court votes.”

A $10,000 forgiveness would reduce out standing federal student loan debt by $380 billion, but more than half of this relief would go toward families in the top 40 per cent of income-earners, while the bottom 40 percent would receive just a quarter of the relief because lower-income families take on larger student debt loans.

Besides income require ments, student loan borrowers must look at the type of loans they have in order to qualify for debt cancellation pro


Soriano said, “about two years ago when I heard Biden was contemplating forgiving

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Car dona said in a statement, “Today, we’re de livering targeted relief that will help ensure borrowers are not placed in a worse position financially because of the pandemic, and re store trust in a system that should be creating opportunity, not a debt trap.”

- Single borrowers are eligible for the re lief if their adjusted gross income in 2020 or 2021 was less than $125,000.


Policy experts say Biden’s loan cancel ation program is geared to assist middle-class


While there is consider able support for loan forgive ness, and some say it isn’t enough, there are others who want some kind of option for loan holders who already paid off some or all of their college loans.

James Pagdilao, Hilo, HI, said “I think that Biden’s loan forgiveness program is a good option for those who have out standing student loans, and as long as there is an option for those who have already paid towards their loans to get a reimbursement, then the pro gram is fair.” He adds, “The amount proposed is fine, I am not sure of the exact math for this but everything comes at a cost, whether it’s directly from taxpayers or another part of the government’s budget.”

aims to become a doctor. “So anything off of an estimated $200000+ loan helps,” he Raymondsaid.Soriano, Maka kilo, said “Immediately when I heard of the news I contact ed my two nieces who both recently finished their mas ter’s degree on the mainland. I know they took out loans but don’t know if they’d qualify for Biden’s loan cancelation program. They both were ex cited to hear about it and said they’d definitely look into it.”

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said “People need this. Our country needs this. And one of the best ways to create a 21st-century economy is by investing in people who have invested in their own ed ucation.”

at the average monetary cash flow on that, it’s going to be about $24 billion per year.”

1) meet income requirements will be eligi ble for up to $10,000 in debt cancellation.

Types of Loans that Qualify

White House Press Sec retary Karine Jean-Pierre told CNN, “Assuming that 75% of folks who take us on, on the president’s student loan can cellation plan, and you look

Other Democrat leaders earlier supported a $50,000 loan forgiveness instead of Biden’s $10,000. Senate Majority Leader Chuck

Biden Cancels Federal College Loans as High as $20,000

General Public Supports Loan Cancelation

While many college graduates with loans expressed excitement and gratitude, others say more could have been done. Over 44 mil lion college graduates are saddled in student debt ranging from an average of $30,000 to as high as over $200,000 for professionals like medical students. Depending on a borrower’s plan for repayment, a $200,000 loan could take about 20-25 years to pay off. The average student loan payment is $400 a month.


Mixed reaction

In June, an NPR/Ip sos Poll found a majority of the general public (55%) supported forgiving up to $10,000 of a person’s federal student loan debt. Forty-sev en percent of all respondents said they supported forgiving up to $50,000 in debt, while 41% expressed support for wiping the slate completely clean for all borrowers.

and lower-incomed families. Under his plan, individuals who

off and the forgiveness will help with the Federal Portion of myPagdilaoloans.”

college loans, at the time my other niece was about to start medical school so I advised my sister to make sure she gets federal loans as much as pos sible, and that the originator of those loans are held by the fed eral government, and not just in name only because some private lenders like to use the word federal as a misleading trick. Now this niece should also be able to get some benefit with this debt cancelation.”

Soriano said the cost to get a college degree now is off the charts. “Tuition and fees alone are expensive and consider also that the cost of living has gone up. Most students today have to take out big loans plus work, and they’re not finishing their un dergraduate degree in four

The president also has proposed capping monthly payments for current and fu ture undergraduate loans at 5% of a borrower’s discre tionary income, down from 10%.

with FFEL or Perkins loans not owned by the Education Department could consolidate their loans into a Direct Consolidation loan.Loans from private lend ers are not eligible for debt cancellation. Some Federal Family Education Loans and some federal Perkins loans — specifically those that origi nated with and are owned by a private bank, college or other entity — may not be eligible for cancellation.TheFederal Student Aid office says individuals can re view their loan documents or log into their account at stu dentaid.gov to check if their loan is federally or privately held.Loans that were made af ter June 30 this year are not eligible for cancellation.


Mason Aquino, Honolu

It’s the government’s job to support its people. Student loan forgiveness is such a huge help to millions of grad uates in the country. I under stand why some people would be against this, but at the same time, that’s just being selfish ness right there,” said Aquino.

Other actions on college loans

Other economists, such as those at Goldman Sachs have said the inflationary impact would be essentially zero, because the resumption of student loan payments at the end of this year would offset increased spending by those who had part or all of their loansMarkforgiven.Zandi, chief econ omist of Moody’s Analytics, went the complete opposite saying Biden’s college debt policies will cause a net drop in inflation of 0.03 percentage points.

On a potential to affect inflation

In the same NPR/Ipsos Poll, when asked to choose between debt forgiveness and $10,388studentforpublicforrequiredageyear,2021inpacttoant.mostcollegerisingaddressingalikenon-borrowersborrowersmajorityoverwhelmingoftheaddressinghighcostcollege,an—and—saidthecostofwasimportAccordingThinkImwebsite,the2020-schooltheavertuitionandfeesayearatacollegeanin-statewasand


“The application for cancellation should be available sometime in early October. Individ uals can sign up on the Education Department website to be notified when the application is available. Once the borrower completes the application, they can expect relief within four to six weeks. Applications will be accepted until Dec. 31, 2023, but administration officials are encouraging borrowers to apply before Nov. 15 of this year to ensure that they benefit from the debt cancellation before monthly loan payments restart in January.”

get Model puts the infla tion increase at 0.2 percent age points over the next six months to a year.

The average cost of tuition and required fees for a year at private college for the 20202021 school year was $38,185. A typical undergraduate de gree at a private college is about $160,000. This does not include living expenses.

“Nearly forgiving these loans isn’t quite the same as putting money in people’s pockets,” Selgin said in ex plaining why he thought the inflationary impact would be small relative to the amount of government spending in volved. Those affected will have less debt and less reason to save money to pay off the debt, “but it hardly follows that they’re going to go on spending sprees. It’s not the same as getting a windfall in their bank accounts,” he said.

Besides the debt cancel ation, Biden also extends the COVID-19 pandemic-related pause on repaying federal stu dent loan debt until Dec. 31. The pause, which included waiving interest as well as pen alties and action on defaulted loans, began in March 2020, at the start of the pandemic.

He said applications will be accepted until Dec. 31, 2023, but administration offi cials are encouraging borrow ers to apply before Nov. 15 of this year to ensure that they benefit from the debt cancel lation before monthly loan payments restart in January.

High cost of higher educa tion is the real issue

Like many other students, Aquino said he is currently paying his student loans with more loans, “it’s a never-end ing loan cycle. And I know a lot of people are doing this too.”

The Penn Wharton Bud

The application for can cellation should be available sometime in early October, said Bharat Ramamurti, depu ty director of the White House National Economic Council. Individuals can sign up on the Education Department web site to be notified when the application is available.

years, most of the time, which makes it more costly.

(Biden Cancels....from page 4)

— Bharat ramamurti Deputy Director White House National Economic Council

lu, a graduate from a private university in Oahu, is one of many Filipinos pleased with the federal student loan for giveness. His current student loan balance is $35,000; about 40% of it, around $14,000 is loaned by the federal govern ment. He says he pays $400 a month that will run through 10 years.“Ifully support federal college loan forgiveness be cause it is a huge step towards fixing our education system.

$22,698 for an out-of-state student. A typical undergrad uate degree at a public col lege is upwards of $40,000 to $85,000. This does not in clude living expenses.

How to apply for debt cancelation and time frame

“I think about how many smart kids who will not go on to college because they can not afford it. In some other countries, higher education is either free or affordable. We talk about valuing education in this country. I question the truth of that. If we really did value education, we would find a way for college to be more affordable so that most kids can further their stud ies,” Soriano said. “Biden’s cancelation of some money to help out these young kids (and their parents) wanting to make a better life for them selves is a good start. The big picture is that education needs reforming,” Soriano said.

Inflation, or the Consumer Price Index, is 8.5% accord ing to the latest figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

gram. The U.S. Department of Education says that all federal loans held by the department are eligible for forgiveness in cluding undergraduate loans, graduate loans, spousal loans, and Parent PLUS and Grad PLUSParentsloans.who owe Parent PLUS Loans may be retired and therefore have limited in come. The latest student loan debt statistics show that there are approximately $100 bil lion Parent PLUS Loans out standing.Borrowers

Some critics question if the debt cancelation would raise inflation. George Sel gin, senior fellow and direc tor emeritus of the Center for Monetary and Financial Alter natives at the Cato Institute, said the loan forgiveness plan would make inflation go up, but “not very much.”

“Once the borrower com pletes the application, they can expect relief within four to six weeks,” he said.

When she passed on Sep tember 8, the Queen was the nos talgic mascot of white superiori ty, where “I’m royal and you’re not” decides a lot.

You want to honor the col onizer? We started a revolution over that in America.

And Obama rose to the oc casion. He kept things light so we could remember those hap pier “Thankstimes. for letting us in vite a few friends to the White House,” Barack Obama said to Biden at the start. “We will try not to tear up the place.”

Obama45. was funny and gra cious and gave Biden his props, thanking him for his “decency” and “strength.”“Thanksto your faith in our democracy and the American people,” Obama said, “the coun try is better off than when you took office. And we should all be deeply grateful for that.”

The Obamas were back in the White House the very day an exclusive Washington Post investigation exposed that the former disgraced President had documents containing the top secret nuclear capabilities of a foreign government, secrets so closely guarded only the pres ident and a handful of officials were aware of their existence. Lives were at stake if the infor mation fell into the wrong hands. All of that was found last month at Mar-a-Lago, secured with just a singleTherepadlock.wasperhaps no better time for a White House visit.


In a democracy, a president isn’t a king. In a monarchy, that takes blood and pedigree..

It was a message that should speak to every Filipino Ameri can, young, and old. Immigrant, nativeAndborn.you can see it in the portraits. The art. Derived from the imagination, both portraits enabled us to better appreciate our memory of the past, and to envision the possibility of an even greater future for our de mocracyOne wonders about the por trait of the 45th president. Per haps one day, an orange-haired face with a large body will be on the walls, maybe after serving time for violations of the Espio nage

She launched into the im portance of presidential por traits, White House traditions, and why they are “absolutely necessary.”Theymatter for everyone participating in and watching our democracy, she said. Be cause people make their voices heard with their vote, and an inauguration is held to ensure a peaceful transition of power, she continued. “And once our time is up, we move on and all that remains in this hallowed place are our good efforts and theseThat’sportraits.”theway it’s supposed to be in a democracy.

She added how division and discrimination might have dimmed the light in our coun try, but that what we share is “so much bigger than what we don’t. Our democracy is so much stron ger than our differences.”

EMIL GUILLERMO is a jour nalist and commentator. He writes a column for the Inquirer’s North American Bureau. He talks about this column and other matters on “Emil Amok’s Takeout,” my mi cro-talk show. Live @2p Pacific. Livestream on Facebook; my You Tube channel; and Twitter. Catch the recordings on www.amok.com.

Michelle DemocracyObama’sLesson

was a standout amid a background of white space.

The unveiling of official

And then he mentioned one thing that still matters to many Asian American Filipinos.

The Queen’s Passing, The Obama’s Portraits, and American Democracy

It was a sentiment Jill Biden also shared when she spoke. Sure, those days weren’t always perfect, but those were good years for Filipino Americans. Don’t forget the victory over eq uity pay for Filipino Veterans of World War II after nearly six de cades of fighting. Filipino Amer icans should never forget Obama got it done.

The good feelings of being American, the invincible au dacity, the peppy mojo of it all,

A burst of laughter put peo ple at ease. But maybe because we all know he couldn’t tear up the place any worse than Presi dent

n the same week Queen Elizabeth II died at age 96, Hawaii’s Barack Obama was back in the news. And it was fortuitous timing. Both he and his wife Michelle are re minders to not go overboard on the Queen.Havecompassion for her as a human being, sure.

I don’t blame the Queen personally. I covered the Queen once when she visited San Fran cisco in 1983. Then as now, as the world mourns her death, I am gratefully reminded how in our American democracy there is no monarchy.Irespect the Queen, of course, but I am still thinking about how in this country we do not have royalty. No, we have a president and first lady like Barack Obama and Mi chelle

TheyIt’sObama.BOMO.were back in Wash ington for the unveiling of their official portraits this week. All President Biden had to say was “Welcome home,” and I could feel it instantly. Not just in the room, but I could feel it all the way through my skinny TV screen, with C-SPAN on in my 106-degree California.

BOMO brought it back – not just for Biden, but for everyone watching.You’ll recall the Obamas left the White House in that tense but peaceful inaugural transition in January 2017, the way it’s sup posed to Governancebe. has never been the same after America entered The Dark Years. How dark?

Of course, that’s not all. The Recovery Act brought America back from the Great Recession. Anyone with a house mortgage under water back then knows what Obama’s HAMP program did to make things right.

“You stood up for hundreds of thousands of Dreamers,” Biden said. “Dreamers who only know America as their home.”

Then came more of the per sonal touch, about how this was happening to an African Amer ican woman who “wasn’t sup posed to serve as First Lady.”

daughter of a water pump oper ator and a stay-at-home mom, what we are seeing is a remind er that there’s a place for every one in this country.”

There were 10 seconds of applause. It could have lasted longer.

“Too often in this coun try, people feel like they have to look a certain way or act a certain way to fit in,” Michelle Obama continued. “That they have to make a lot of money or come from a certain group, or class or faith in order to matter. But what we’re looking at to day, a portrait of a biracial kid with an unusual name, and the

It’s the important takeaway from this event. A democracy moment.“For every young kid who is doubting themselves, (they have) to believe that they can too,” Michelle Obama said. “That is what this country is about. It’s not about blood or pedigree or wealth. It’s a place where every one should have a fair shot.”

ButAct.let’s stay positive. Can we imagine a portrait of an Asian American Filipino president someday?Someday in America. It will happen. Or at least, it can hap pen. You don’t have to be royal ty to be a president or first lady. Not That’shere. the promise of a thriving democracy.

Michelle Obama asked, “And who determines that?”

Biden’s been fighting the dark ness 24-7 ever since he took over in 2020.But as we know, the nar cissistic drama of a twice im peached defeated president— No. 45—never ends.

More than ever, America needed No Drama Obama.

Queen Elizabeth II

And there was Michelle Obama, in a Sharon Sprung por trait, full of life and color, a first lady like never before.

“Forfamily.eight years, we grew to be a family for each other,” Biden said. “A family from dif ferent backgrounds brought to gether by a shared value set.”

presidential portraits should al ways be a good time. It’s about history and art, more than policy. But Biden had set the tone by re minding us of the kind of presi dency and country we had under Obama.“We weren’t sure we’d get anything done on ACA,” Biden said. “Think about the compro mise. You refused. You went big, and now the Affordable Care Act is there permanently, and it’s even being improved on.”

By Emil Guillermo

Both Obamas individually were portrayed, artfully, more truthfully than any literal photo, with plenty of room for imagi nation, appreciation, and inspi ration.Michelle Obama wearing braids was humbled to “see this big, beautiful painting staring back at me,” she said. “I never could have imagined that any of this would be part of my story.”

chelle Obama’s, as she connect ed all the dots at this unveiling of the portraits.Thiswas a time for art, af ter all. Barack Obama’s portrait, a masterful bit of photorealism by Robert McCurdy, captured Obama poised for history, the first biracial African American from Hawaii ever to be presi dent.He

Granted, the Queen had no real “political” power. But she still had enormous influence in Great Britain and in the 15 coun tries in the commonwealth. She was a walking contradiction. A hood ornament but with none of the real might of the British Em pire. She was just a living muse um piece, a reminder of a repul sive imperial past.

These were among the Obama era polices that changed America for the good. And it came out of an administration that governed like we were all one

But for me, the day was Mi

But remain repulsed by all that the monarchy stood for.





For years, auditors, re searchers and members of the public have pointed out that inefficiencies and delays in the permitting process make it dif ficult to complete building and renovation projects in a timely manner.Honolulu County Council member Andria Tupola recent ly noticed that questions about permit delays come up fre

The government also could privatize some permit ting functions, thereby allow ing departments to reduce their efforts to the most essential and specialized areas.

Currently, the Department of Tax

residential permits can now be as long as two years.

An even better solution would be to embrace “by right” zoning and building. This approach, which has helped cities like Tokyo meet their housing needs without skyrocketing prices, allows any proposed construction that conforms to existing building and land-use codes to proceed without the need for permits or governmentResearchpermissions.showsthat there is a strong correlation between government regulation and high home costs. The permit backlog in Hawaii has con tributed to the slow growth of housing in Hawaii, thereby driving prices even higher.

Start with Permit Delays to Trim Homebuilding Red Tape


To help make our state affordable, the government needs to start eliminating the red tape and bureaucracy that surround homebuilding — starting with the permit de lays.

KELI‘I AKINA is president and CEO of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii.

quently at her public events, so she decided to investigate. At her request, the Honolulu De partment of Planning and Per mitting reported on its current permit backlog. The results, Tupola said, were “discourag ing.”According to the depart ment, more than 8,000 permit applications were mired in the swamp of DPP’s review pro cess as of Aug. 11, 2022. Near ly half of those, 3,499, were in the pre-screening phase, while 4,780 were under review by DPP examiners. Only 1,113 permits had been approved and were waiting to be picked up.

Dean Uchida, who served as director of the department until he resigned not long af ter that information was made public, acknowledged that the wait time for commercial or

Those permit delays are more than just an annoyance. Uncertainty and lost time caused by the permit backlog translate into higher costs for homebuilders. As the Univer sity of Hawaii Economic Re search Organization noted in its recent study on regulatory burdens to housing, the aver age approval and permitting delay in Hawaii is more than three times the national mean. That excessive delay not only raises the price of building homes, it also disincentivizes homebuilding.Totheircredit, Hawaii pol icymakers recognize that the permit delays are a problem. However, the solutions that many of them have offered are merely attempts to solve bureaucracy with yet more inggestedhavereaucracy.buSomesughirmore

f you need proof that bureaucraticsomeagehousingHawaii’sshortisrelatedatleveltoin

COC is looking to fund health-re lated initiatives in Honolulu that are implementing meaningful public health education and research proj ects.

competence, look no further than the many examples of long permit delays.

By Keli‘i Akina

The 15,Decemberwillfundingperiodplicationapforendby2022.Applications are encour aged to download an application form at cochawaii.org/public-healthfund.


“It is my hope that the $300 mil lion in tax refunds being distributed so far, bring some relief to the hardwork ing people of the State of Hawaii who were hit hard by the pandemic,” Gov ernor David Ige said.

workers, but that would only add more people to the depart ments that caused the permit ting delays in the first place. Likewise, suggestions to buy better software or equipment are Band-Aid solutions that pour more money onto the problem without ever getting to the root cause.

Chamber of Commerce Hawaii is Now Accepting 2023 Public Health Fund Grant Applications

We don’t want or need a nominally more efficient bu reaucracy. Rather, we should be looking at ways to disman tle the bureaucracy complete ly.

he first round of refund distribu tions has been sent to 100,000 taxpayers through direct depos it or by mail around Sept 12. Howev er, for those who are receiving refund checks by mail and who filed their tax returns by July 31, tax refunds will be sent by the end of October.

As a trustee of the Public Health Fund, the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii (COC) is now encouraging non-profit orga nizations to apply for its 2023 Public Health Fund Grants.

ation are expecting additional check stock supplies to arrive to ramp up sending out paper refunds via mail to Hawaii residents. Once the check stock supply is received, paper refunds will increase to 90,000 per week from 2,000.Hawaii taxpayers who requested electronic direct deposit will receive their refund through the same bank account. For those who requested a paper check refund or owed addition al taxes, they will receive refund by paper check. The method of refund is unchangeable.

Residents to Receive Tax Refunds By October

Multiple stages of review contribute to the backlog, so why not dispense with the need for review or a permit in certainForsituations?example, the county could issue “pre-approved” plans or changes that don’t re quire DPP approval.

Renzelle Ponce often cooks her family’s Ilocano dish, lakdek

ike important pieces of family heirlooms such as jewelry, an tique furniture and homes, fami ly recipes are invaluable trea sures passed down from gener ation to generation.

stacles with her parents be cause of cultural and language differences, cooking and fam ily traditions kept their sense of togetherness and her own sense of “Sinceculture.it’s such a re gion-specific food and my grandpa cooked it, it really helps keep the Ilocano culture alive and the remembrance of my grandpa. All of my family eats together when it’s done,” she said. “We [usually] make a lot in one day and we just freezer batch it to eat for future food or add to pinakbet or any type of sinigang as a filler for meat.”

“I enjoy cooking with my daughter, but sometimes she gives me more work than

ByLJasmine Sadang (continue on page 12)


dish that Ponce’s mom classifies as the Ilocano version of sisig. She said, “You mince the pig ear, snout and other parts of the pig Then you want to boil them with a lot of garlic, pepper and bay leaf. It’s just like adobo where you stew it and get the fat to come out naturally.”Though

help,” Bayani’s mother said. “However, it gives us time to bond since she’s not home as muchSinceanymore.”bibingka is a recipe that her mom grew up mak ing, the younger Bayani plans to pass down the recipe to her future“It’schildren.already written down in my mom’s recipe book, so it’s something for the next generations to enjoy as well,”

Generational Recipes Nourish and Strengthen Filipino Families and Communities

All families have bonded from the common activity of cooking; and sharing menus with others is always a treat.

Renzelle J. Ponce, 20,

Ilocano Regional Cuisine

Ponce faced ob

Bonding Over Bibingka

a Hawaii Pacific University student from Ewa, is familiar with many of her family’s reci pes that her parents and family usually cook every night or on special“Actually,occasions.[we] have a lot of generational foods in our family. There’s this one food [that’s] really rare because I’ve never met another Fili pino who knows or ate it. It’s pronounced like ‘lak-dek’,” Ponce


“My mom and I bond over

a recipe for bibingka. It was a recipe that I watched my mom write in her recipe book, and then baked,” said Bayani. “I remember helping her with mixing and not too sure how old I was, but it was before I was 10 years old.”

Bayani’s school and work schedule make it difficult for them to bond, but cooking is still their go-to leisurely activ ity.

Another family has a rec ipe cooking up its own gen erational tradition. Christina Jayne Bayani, 18, a University of Hawaii-Manoa college stu dent from Waipahu, has a bak ing recipe that she shares with her mother, Angelyn.

Filipino families are no exception, and both parents and children recall how the tradition of passing down fam ily recipes from generation to generation not only provides nourishment for the body but also strengthens their relation ships.

ture as well as raise four young children. It was a challenge, but Fr. Leo credited them for being able to create and main tain a tight-knit and loving family, even though he admits that they are not perfect.




He realizes that not every family has the same experienc es, and he has met many oth ers who overcame even great er challenges to build happy, healthy families. He found that the common ingredient for success was simply sharing meals together.

• Increases academic performance

(continue on page 14)

• Cultivates healthy eating habits

• Improves emotional well-being

• Lowers high-risk behaviors

The path towards becom ing a priest and professional chef was divinely directed, but there were slight detours along the way.Raised by devout Catho

Fr. Leo Patalinghug, who earned a global reputation as the “Filipino Cooking Priest,” is on a life mission “to bring families back to the dinner ta ble – away from work, school, TV, games and many other things we get caught up in.”

A Divine And Delicious Destiny

Specific statistics and citations of research may be found in the preface of his book, “Saving the Family: The Transformative Power of Sharing Meals with Peo ple You Love” (2019).

“Filipino Cooking Priest “ Fr. Leo Patalinghug

By Edna Bautista, Ed.D.

• Improves family communication

Family Success = Shared Meals

As immigrants, his parents were far away from their sup port system in the Philippines and had to adapt to a new cul

Filipino Cooking Priest’s Mission is to Save Families and the World through Food

Famously known for beat ing “Iron Chef” Bobby Flay in a Food Network “throwdown” a decade ago, Fr. Leo seeks to save families through food. With his dynamic ministry, Plating Grace, formerly known as the Grace Before Meals movement, he aims “to bring

“Filipino Cooking Priest” Fr. Leo Patalinghug proves that having regular family meals together strengthens family ties as well as provides positive outcomes for children:

he family is a strong cultural value for Filipi nos. But in a hec tic world filled with many dis tractions, the family unit all over the world is under the threat of becoming weak.

“I was born in Cataingan, Masbate, came to America when I was 2 and, ever since, Baltimore has been home. I am the youngest of five siblings, with one in heaven,” he said.

about a future of stronger fam ilies, closer relationships and a deeper understanding of Jesus as Food for our mind, body and soul.”

Philippine-born Fr. Leo is the son of Fe and Dr. Carlos Patalinghug Sr. His father’s job as a physician moved the family to the United States (coincidentally, Maryland was appealing because it sounded like “Mary’s Land”).

In May 1882, Peter J. Mc Guire of the American Federa tion of Labor proposed Labor Day after witnessing the an nual labor festival held in To ronto, Canada. Oregon was the first state of the United States to make it an official public holiday in 1887.

For many students, it marks one of the last few days before school starts again. In some neighborhoods, people organize fireworks displays, barbecues and public arts or sports events (with the football season starting on or around Labor Day and many teams playing their first game of the year during Labor Day week end).For most people, Labor Day means two things: a day off and a chance to say good

Presently,later. Labor Day 2022 is a day of rest or the last chance for many workers to go on trips before the summer ends.

Traditionally, Labor Day was marked with a street pa rade to demonstrate to the public the strength and hard working spirit of trade and la bor organizations. This parade was followed by a festival for the workers and their families. This became the pattern for Labor Day celebrations plus speeches by prominent men and women which were intro duced


As I See It, it was a day, not only for workers but also for their families. It was a day of rest, a day of entertainment, a day of hope, a day of enjoy ment, a day of shopping, a day of reflection, a day with the family, a bonding opportuni ty with relatives… and a day for Americans who have been working so hard on a day-today basis, for their families.

R. Estioko

of the most com mon paid holidays in the US, Business News Daily also found that “97% of employers provide time off to their em ployees in observance of La bor Day.”Typically, however, police and correctional officers, cer tain utilities workers and op erators, air traffic controllers, registered nurses, firefighters, those in retail, and those in major transportation services don’t get the day off. They are frontliners that need to work even during Labor Day.

The history of Labor Day in the United States and Can

Are Americans Workaholics?

ada dates back to the late 19th century when the trade union and labor movements grew enormously and resultantly a variety of days were chosen by trade unionists as a day to cel ebrate labor.

Romania (1,838), and Croatia (1,835).Asone

In June 1894, during the Pullman Strike, which result ed in the deaths of workers at the hands of United States Army and United States Mar shals Service, United States Congress unanimously voted to approve legislation to make Labor Day a national holiday and President Grover Cleve

The holiday was first pro posed in the 1880s by Mat thew Maguire, a machinist, while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union of New York in 1882.

The rest of the top 10 are Co lumbia (1,964), Chile (1.916), Korea (1,915), Malta (1,882), Russia (1,874), Greece (1872),

land signed it into law six days after the end of the strike.

n September 5, we celebrated a national holiday that was dear to our hearts… La bor Day! It’s a national holiday that always falls on the first Monday in September which gives work ers a three-day weekend off from work often referred to as Labor Day Weekend (LDW).

Most of the time, we refer to average Americans as work aholics because they work two to three jobs to put food on the table and keep both ends meet. They also are reported to take advantage of working over time.So, does this mean Amer ica has more workaholics than any other nation? Is it true that America is home to more “workaholics” than any other country?That seems to be the case but according to the Organi zation for Economic Coop eration and Development, an international entity based in Paris with 38-member coun tries, the US is not No. 1 in terms of hours worked.


(continue on page 15)

The US ranks No. 12 in the world in terms of yearly hours worked by the average worker at 1,791 hours. No. 1 is Mex ico at 2,128 hours; followed by Costa Rica at 2.073 hours.

Indeed, without the PACC, “DESLA shall make recom mendations on matters requir ing its action, to the executive secretary for approval, adop tion or modification by the President,” Marcos’ EO No. 1 said, which doesn’t really streamline the process.

“If a presidential appoin tee with a salary grade 26 or up, the case is usually referred to the Ombudsman; otherwise, PACC handles the case,” Luna

Why Did Bongbong Abolish PACC?

But Greco Belgica, PACC head in 2021, disagreed with La Viña’s assessment. He warned that the move could weaken the fight against corruption. He said that PACC played a key role especially when the Dep uty Secretary for Legal Affairs (DESLA) has its hands full of cases to “Withoutinvestigate.PACC,” Belgi ca said, “no one would know what is happening, most espe

In an attempt to justify the abolition of PACC, Cruz-An geles said in a press briefing: “Basically the Presidential An ti-Corruption Commission… is not in line with streamlining. First of all, its nature is inves tigative, which can also be conducted by the Office of the Ombudsman.”Cruz-Angeles said that the PACC gathers evidence on presidential appointees and then files a case with the Ombuds man. However, she pointed out

n day one of his presidency, Pres ident ExecutiveMarcos“Bongbong”FerdinandJr.issuedOrder

Also, lawyer Tony La Viña, former dean of the Ate neo School of Government, said Marcos’ decision to deac tivate the PACC was needed, saying that its work “can be done by the Office of the Ex ecutive Secretary (OES).”

He reasoned that when people are not aware of cor ruption in the government be cause cases are not resolved, “corruption will proliferate be cause no one gets penalized.”


On the contrary, it adds extra steps to the process. It adds another level of admin

However, according to former PACC Commission er Manuelito Luna, the PACC is not a mere duplicate of the Office of the Ombudsman be cause they have differing ju risdictions. He said there is coordination between them and the Ombudsman regarding the handling of cases.

ByOPerryDiaz (continue on page 13)

In his EO, Marcos stated that to achieve “simplicity, economy, and efficiency” in bureaucracy without affecting disruptions in internal man agement and general gover nance, “the administration shall streamline official pro cesses and procedures.”

(EO) No. 1, which was to abol ish the Presidential Anti-Cor ruption Commission (PACC) as well as the Office of Secre tary. Marcos’ reason for the ab olition was to achieve “simplic ity, economy, and efficiency.”

Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said there was no need to retain the PACC, saying that its powers and functions are “not in line with streamlining.”“Firstofall, its nature is investigative, which can also be conducted by the Office of the Ombudsman. So, usually, what they do is they gather ev idence on presidential appoin tees and file the case with the Ombudsman,” she said.

istration by including the DE SLA to the equation. EO No.1 shall promulgate rules of pro cedure in administrative cases under its jurisdiction, provided that those promulgated by the PACC “shall remain in force.”

the Presi dent would have to intervene, whether to put more effort in

But while DESLA works against corruption, it is also handling the “external and in ternal legal issues of the Pres ident. It then becomes a ques tion of priority. The DESLA has to prioritize its workload –corruption investigation versus legalUltimately,issues.

cially on corruption issues.”

fighting corruption or handling external and internal issues.

that a complaint could directly be filed with the Ombudsman even without the PACC.


Weaken fight against corrup tion

By Rose Cruz Churma

In the prologue, the author quotes Spanish philosopher George Santayana: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

Filipino Cuisine for Communities

The two chefs had very dif ferent introductions to cooking and different paths to finding their passion. Chef Danielle Soriano grew up in a family that loved to eat and cook.

“When I was young, I re

I she said.

eventually imprisoned and survived torture and sexual abuse while detained.

book was being prepped for publication in 2016, the dictator’s son was running for the vice pres idency. He lost that election, but he won the presidency in 2022, and there is that unspo ken fear that those years of brutality and repression may repeatThus,itself.it is important to bring to light, works like this where women who were part of that struggle are given space to tell their stories.


“Filipinocommunity.tradition plays into my passion for cooking by retaining my cultural iden tity. People from different cul tural backgrounds eat different foods, and I believe that’s the beauty of our heritage as well. The areas in which our family lived and where our ancestors originated influenced the pas sion Chef Danielle and I have for our cuisine,” Adovas said.

struggle to restore democracy in theAtPhilippines.thetimethis

“Thesaid.Butayan family immi grated from Dagupan City, Pan gasinan, Philippines, in 1969 to

Mila Aguilar, a journalist, became one of a few women who advocated for equali ty in the movement and was released from detention soon after the People Power revo lution in 1986 which ended the dictatorship.Theonlyreligious in the group is Sister Mary John Ma nanzan, a tireless advocate for political prisoners, informal settlers and migrant workers, particularly women.

Stories of Filipino and Filipino American Women Who Fought a Dictator

The Filipino dishes served at Elena’s Restaurant are dish es that their family grew up loving“Alltogether.thedishes at Elena’s are my mom and dad’s recipes,” Cedillo said. “My parents [have] retired since 2004. [Now] me, my brother and my husband are the owners, with 20 employees. The restaurant is an integral part of our lives. We live and breathe Elena’s,” she said.

“During this time, history was also being made in a small kitchen with a counter and six stools in the Nabarette Café in Waipahu where Elena and Theo Butayan founded Elena’s Restaurant,” owner Melissa Cedillo

Perhaps the same is true for those who choose to forget the past, or whose version of the past is distorted due to the prevalence of disinformation on social media – the medium of choice for most young peo ple now.The author notes that it became her impetus to write this book as a reminder of the brutal repression under the Marcos dictatorship and the role of Filipinas and Fili pino-American women in the

ROSE CRUZ CHURMA estab lished a career in architecture 40 years ago, specializing in judicial facilities planning. As a retired ar chitect, she now has the time to do the things she always wanted to do: read books and write about them, as well as encourage others to write.

For most of us who came of age in the early 70s, Sep tember 21, 1972 would evoke memories, most of which we would rather forget.


The book’s editor, Mila De Guzman and her sister Viol De Guzman also shared theirViolstories.De Guzman was liv ing in New York City when Martial Law was declared. She went back home soon after, and for 20 years, from 1972 to 1992 became a mem ber of the Communist Party of the Philippines.MilaDeGuzman, who conceptualized this book, is a freelance writer who has or ganized movements around issues concerning Filipino im migrants, the LGBT communi ty, and women in the US. She received her degree in writing from the University of San Francisco and has been award ed various writing residencies.

The two Filipino-Amer


This was done using faceto-face interviews over the course of several years. The women were also actively involved in editing the drafts of their narratives, and some wrote parts of their stories.

t would be 50 years ago this month of Sep tember when then FerdinandPresidentMar

In the last segment titled “Epilogue” Sister Mary John Mananzan, who used to be the president of Saint Scholasti ca’s College in Manila writes: “Activism has deepened my religious beliefs and made me a better Christian… that social transformation is more rewarding because we are able to make a difference in people’s lives instead of sim ply aiming to save their souls so they can go to heaven… that everyone should respond to social issues and sacrifice present conveniences for the future good of everyone.”

cos would declare Martial Law in the Philippines.

Oftentimes, generation al recipes are passed down to those who want to share their passion for cooking with ev eryone in their communities. Elena’s Restaurant, known for its tagline “Home of Finest Filipino Foods,” is a staple in the Waipahu community that dates back to 1974.

ican women included are Geline Avila, who became a leader in the anti-dictator ship movement in the US. The other is Cindy Domin go of Seattle who led the ef fort to achieve justice for the murders of her brother, Silme Domingo and friend, Gene Viernes who were killed by Marcos’ hired goons in 1981.

the island of Oahu. The sugar plantation town of Waipahu, Ha waii, is where Elena’s Restau rant opened its doors for busi ness. Elena and Theo expanded Elena’s Restaurant to two lunch trucks, where it received addi tional accolades at food truck rallies and many local events.”

and owners Motley Adovas and Danielle Soriano of Me rienda Maui have a mission to carry out during their service to their

(continue on page 15) (FEATURE: Generational ....from page 9)

Aurora Javate De Dios organized demonstrations and worked in the underground for three years but was ar rested and became a political prisoner in 1976.

Aida Santos and her hus band worked in the under ground movement but were

The narratives of these women are inspiring. They had fought to improve the quality of life for the Filipino people, wherever they may be, and the empowerment of women – and will do so again, should it become nec essary.

Passion For Pinoy Food Filipino food truck chefs

investigate, receive, gather, and evaluate evidence, intel ligence reports, and informa tion.”It’s sad that Marcos had to abolish PACC, which had done a terrific job in pursu ing corruption cases against presidential appointees.

If only…

If only we can control the seasons.Ifonlywe can turn back time.If only we can prevent cruel and heartbreaking cir cumstances from happening. If only good exists and evil does not.

Oh, ‘But’ is such a beau tifulAccordingword. to the Oxford dictionary, ‘but’ is used to in troduce a phrase or a clause contrasting with what has already been mentioned. It

Matthew 24:35: “Heav en and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”

Theappointees.”EOstated,“there is a need to create a separate com mission […] solely dedicated to providing assistance to the President in the investigation and hearing of administrative cases and complaints.”

Bongbong....from page 11)

By Seneca Moraleda-Puguan


Psalm 30:5:“For his anger lasts only a moment, but His favor lasts a life time; weeping may come for the night, but joy comes in the morning.”

The PACC, which was created by Duterte’s EO No. 43 in 2017, had the mandate to “directly assist the Presi dent in investigating and/or hearing administrative cases primarily involving graft and corruption against all presi dential

“When life is overwhelm ing and fear is all I feel, Your word that lives inside me re minds me You are here. My hope You restore, Your prom ise is sure, and I am convinced that You are faithful. All things are possible in Your name.”


Natural calamities are be coming more frequent and worse. Deadly viruses are wreaking havoc. Crimes are rising by the day. Wars are just waiting to begin. Bad news, one after another, bombard our waking days.

If only death was escap able.IfTheseonly.

Matthew 24:13:“But to the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.”


We may feel unloved BUT know that we are loved and cared for. There are times we feel helpless and defeated BUT we can lift our heads be cause we are helped and res cued.Allow me to bring encour agement to your troubled soul with this song from Victory Worship.

I can go on and on talking about the many promises of God but this page won’t suffice. In fact, ‘Fear not!’ or ‘Do not be afraid’ has been command ed in the Bible 365 times, one for each day of the year. Yes, we may have a lot of ‘If Onlys’, but it’s much fitting to dwell on the ‘Buts’.

Belgica said that from October 2017 to June 2022, the PACC addressed 13,000 complaints and that 154 crim inal and administrative cases had been filed, 24 individuals were sent to prison and 800 government employees were removed from office.

In effect, what Marcos did was to go back to the days when corrupt presiden tial appointees would remain untouchable only because of

a slow system of investigating corruption cases, which makes one wonder: Why did Bong bong abolish PACC? I can only surmise that he probably want ed his friends to know that hap py days are here again.

PACC workload

Proverbs 10:12: “Ha tred stirs up conflict, but love covers all wrongs.”

Going back to old problem Belgica stressed that he respects the decision of Mar cos, he said he is hoping that the government will strength en the fight against corrup tion: “If DESLA will not get a boost, like enough staff, we will go back to the old prob lem.”“If the government will strengthen the Ombudsman, it’s better. Whatever it is that the government will boost, resources should be increased, ju risdiction should be widened, and there should be enough staff,” he said.Duterte’s EO provided that the PACC shall “have the pow er, on complaint or motu proprio (on its own), and concurrently with the Office of the Ombuds man, to hear, Did

PERRY DIAZ is a writer, col umnist and journalist who has been published in more than a dozen Filipino newspapers in five countries.

If only life was easier.

Things are becoming more unbearable each day, aren’t they? The times are crazy and the earth has be come a more challenging place to live Sometimes,in. there are only two words my heart wishes to convey but my mouth cannot utter.

In Matthew 19:26, it says, Jesus looked at them

said. “However, the president retains the power to admin istratively deal with his own appointee. When it comes to presidential appointees, the president has the power to ap point as well as to remove or discipline.” And that’s where it becomes political.


We may not have any control on circumstanc es coming our way and the events happening around the world BUT Someone is! And He left us with count less promises and encour agements we can hold on to. Let me give you a rundown of such wonderful truths we can cling on to.

fore PACC was created: cases piled up from three admin istrations before President Duterte took over. It was only when Duterte created PACC on October 4, 2017, that the backlog eased and corruption cases were investigated.

May our ‘what ifs’ and ‘if onlys’ be replaced with thoughts of faith and hope from this day forward, know ing that the things around us may seem too impossible to bear BUT all things are possible in His Name. Take heart!

things can hap pen in Hollywood and Ko rean dramas. But in real life, they simply can’t. We live in a broken, imperfect world. We live in an era where di vision, wickedness, injustice abound.But… yes, but!

That’s a lot of workload and the results were impres sive, which begs the question: Can the DESLA handle the workload without assigning additional personnel to han dle them? I doubt it.

If only I can protect my children from the pains and aches that this world brings.

is used to indicate the possi bility of anything other than what is being stated.

Psalm 3:3:“But you, Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.”

Life may be difficult, and waves may be battering our souls BUT we are not to lose hope and be discouraged. We may sometimes feel alone and unnoticed BUT we are never forsaken and abandoned.

And this could lead to further delays and backlog in investigating corruption case. It could then lead to a repeat of the old system be

It likewise had the man date to conduct lifestyle checks or fact-finding inves tigations concerning presi dential appointees and other public officers allegedly in volved in graft and corrupt practices.

and said:“With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

John 16:33:“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have over come the world.”

If Only…But!


lic parents, Fr. Leo had a firm foundation in his Filipi no culture and faith. But as a teen, he was more interested in breakdancing and breaking boards in the martial arts than in breaking bread in mass. He had won awards for chore ography and a gold medal in Arnis (Filipino full-contact stick fighting), but he felt lost in church.Heoften whined to his mother, “Church is so bor ing, I want to kill myself!” to which she replied, “Well, then you picked the right place to do it.”He also complained that the priest was boring, too, and his dad said, “Well…if you

The event brought the local community together to sup port and pray for him and gave Fr. Leo and the move ment more exposure to the wider, secular audience. Af ter the show aired on TV, his website crashed from more than two million hits.

Fr. Leo literally followed the passage on his ordination card and his passion to cook for others.

His cooking webisodes were so popular that it caught the attention of a Food Net work producer. That led to a cookoff in 2009 when he beat Bobby Flay with his recipe, “Funky Fusion Fajitas with Screamin’ Sour Cream and Holy Guacamole.”

can do a better job, then do it!”

Whenworkers).heturned 50 a couple of years ago, he got his milestone birthday bless ing: a food truck. According to the TTF website, “Plating Grace and Grub…is a dynam ic ‘faith to fork’ experience, serving up delicious inter national comfort food with a meaningful message.” The food truck’s internship pro gram provides job formation and training to returning cit izens (formerly incarcerated), veterans and people from dis advantagedMoreover,backgrounds.“thehistory and tradition of all religions have shown how the simple act of feeding people can promote peace and harmony and bring about the loving presence of God. This hu man reality, beautifully cap tured in the sacred traditions of Roman Catholic teaching, shows that food is the most universal language of all,” according to the TTF web site. “The gift of food, along with eating the right food, can help sinners become saints! The Table Foundation is the place that will connect our families to build up our human race family.”

Feeding The Sheep

He honed his craft by ex changing trade cooking se crets with Italian restaurant owners and taking culinary classes at Le Cordon Bleu in Perugia.Hecame

comes from “prayer… and coffee!”

Atfriends.seminary, his skills grew when he and his spiritual brothers had to take turns every week to prepare fami ly-style meals for each other.

 (Filipino Cooking Priest ....from page 9)

Fr. Leo believes we are all brothers and sisters in Christ and one big, global family and he continues to do posi tive things to make the world a much better place…one meal at a time.


With such an attitude, Fr. Leo never thought God would call him to become a priest. But he did do it, after years of discernment, and his follow ers and fans feel that he is do ing beyond a better job.

He first learned how to cook from his mother, a home economics teacher, to help her prepare meals for their family and


The throwdown was an unforgettable experience and turning point in his mission.

Doing his early webi sodes also prepared him to host “Savoring Our Faith,” a cooking show on EWTN (Catholic media), now in its 11th season. Fr. Leo demon strates how to make a variety of recipes while talking about the Church’s teachings, de livering the lessons in “bitesized” portions to leave peo ple hungering for more and craving Christ. His “Theolo gy of Food” is documented in his book, “Epic Food Fight: A Bite-Sized History of Salva tion”Fr.(2014).Leoalso wrote “Spic ing Up Married Life: Satisfy ing Couple’s Hunger for True Love” (2012) and “Saving the Family: The Transforma tive Power of Sharing Meals with People You Love” (2019).He is co-authoring anoth er cookbook with Dr. Michael Foley, a Baylor University professor who is a theologi an and mixologist, entitled “Dining with the Saints: The Sinner’s Guide to a Righteous Feast,” due out next year.

“Dopassage:you really love me? Then feed my sheep.” After a few years of serving as a dioc esan priest back in Baltimore, he became a priest member of a community of consecrated life, Voluntas Dei (Latin for “The Will of God”).

The content of his cook books and TV show reflects his travels, so his recipes are internationally inspired. As a proud Pinoy, Fr. Leo always includes Filipino dishes in his repertoire. Using food anal ogies from the Bible, he en courages everyone to cook, eat and spend quality time together.Besides writing books, starring in his cooking show and celebrating mass, Fr. Leo is also busy hosting podcasts (“Shoot the Shiitake”), lead ing pilgrimages through Se lect International Tours and doing live cooking demon strations to spread the gos pels.His life is ironically hec tic, yet he always makes time to share meals with others to fulfill his mission of “feeding the sheep.” The tireless pas tor revealed that his energy

He entered the seminary at the Pontifical North Amer ican College in Rome, Italy, and earned his degree in the ology with a specialization in Mariology. Fr. Leo was ordained in 1999 and on his ordination card was the scrip ture

Include The Excluded “Extended” Family

Fr. Leo knows that some people come from nontradi tional and broken families and who face food insecurities and ostracism. Like Jesus, he wants to show them they are loved unconditionally. He in vites them to eat with him as “there is always a place at the Lord’sHistable.”compassion for serv ing the underserved led to the establishment of The Table Foundation (TTF). Some of the charitable nonprofit or ganization’s projects include helping the homeless, men toring young chefs and cel ebrating an Olive Mass (to bless and honor hospitality industry

It was by the grace of God – and people praying the rosa ry at the event – that Fr. Leo won. But he joked, “I cheated. I put holy water in the mari nade.” The winning recipe is in his first cookbook, “Grace Before Meals: Recipes and Inspiration for Family Meals and Family Life” (2007).

home to Ameri ca to preach and teach as well as to cook for fellow priests, parishioners and friends. Us ing the Internet as an evange lization tool, Fr. Leo started a website to share his faith and culinary experiences.

He received a Catholic education at St. Rose of Lima School and Mt. St. Joseph college preparatory, then went on to major in journalism and political science at the Uni versity of Maryland-Balti more County. He also studied philosophy at the Catholic University of America and at tended American University in Washington, D.C.

“Her grandparents were mainly the reasons why she was exposed to the kitchen and grew her love for food and cooking. Now that she’s in the culinary field, she wants to pay homage to her grandparents and introduce the food that was shared on the same table with them and recreate them for people [who] aren’t too familiar with Filipino cuisine yet,” Adovas explained.

Assisted by: IPDG Mitch Tam

(AS I SEE IT: Are Americans....from page 10) bye to the summer.


“A specific dish that I re member that began my pas sion for cooking is one that Chef Jojo [Vasquez] cooked for me when I was his ap prentice back at the Plantation House restaurant in Kapalua,” Adovas shared.

For those interested in joining the Hawaii Filipi no Lions Club or attending the Induction Ceremony on October 1, please reach out to President Grace Ma nipol-Larson by calling (808) 640-1540 or emailing raven_ reuboni@yahoo.com.

President: Grace Manipol- Larson

Recent research seems to support the contention that Matthew Maguire proposed the holiday in 1882 What is clear, however, is that the Cen tral Labor Union adopted the Labor Day proposal and ap pointed a committee to plan a demonstration and picnic.

By Jim Bea Sampaga

But why is it called Labor Day? Well, it is a day set aside to pay tribute to working men and women. It has been cele brated as a national holiday in the United States and Canada sinceHowever,1894. like most cultural events, there is still some doubt over its origination although records show that Peter J. Mc Guire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a co-founder of the American Federation of Labor, was first in suggesting a day to honor working men and wom en. But many believe that Mat thew Maguire, a machinist, not Peter McGuire, founded the holiday.

“The creation of Merienda is always rooted down to the food that Chef Danielle and I grew up eating. Just like Ha waii, it has its own similarity to the Philippines. It’s also a melting pot for diversified cul tures and is heavily influenced by traditions. You have the pre-Spanish era and the south east Asian cultures,” he said.

member a dish that we love to eat and cook as a family, and that is kare-kare. It is a thick savory peanut-based stew. I learned how to make it from scratch through my grand mother. This dish isn’t on our menu. But from time to time, we feature this dish in our spe cials, but with our own inter pretation to it,” Soriano said.

1st VP: Angie D. Santiago 2nd VP: Juliet Douglas Secretary: Rosalind V. Queja Asst. Secretary: Michelle Tellio

Honorary Member: Marissa Kerns Associate Member: Sharlaine T. Gampon Installation Officer: District Governor Gary Nip

Treasurer: Teresita F. Hernando Asst. Treasurer: Espie Badua

Lion Tamer: Danny Villamin

HAWAII-FILIPINO NEWS JOB OPENING STORE MANAGER Direct store operations Bachelor Degree Ubae, LLC. 1284 Kalani St Ste D-107, Honolulu, HI 96744

In 1884, the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a “work ingmen’s holiday” on that date.

The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in 1885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country.

“On the other hand, I be gan when I was a mentor by a chef from Seattle while I was doing my senior project from high school. Chef Rod intro

2. To provide scholar ships to graduating high school students with academ ic excellence who are having financial difficulties to pursue their college degree

The Induction of Officers Ceremony will also feature a silent auction, dancing, and a souvenir book. A suggested donation for the dinner will be $55 per person.

Tail Twister: Erlinda Bernardo Guiding Lion: Melissa Chong


Hawaii Filipino Lions Club to Celebrate Induction of Officers

Adovas grew up with his family and eating foods that they cooked for the comfort of their family, his inspiration to become a chef himself comes mainly from the art of cooking that was demonstrated by other talent ed chefs around him.

in June, Ha waii Filipino Lions Club will be celebrat ing its newly-elected officers in an Induction Ceremony on October 1 from 5:30 to 9pm at Nani Mau Garden and Restaurant at 421 Maka lika Street in Hilo, Hawaii.

1. To build a Filipino Community Center in the Big Island of Hawaii


This brings them here to day with their popular food truck, Merienda Maui, where together they are sharing the joy and love for cooking and Filipino cuisine that they grew to love.

The Hawaii Filipino Li ons Club goals are similar to the Lions Club Internation al’s mission statement but with emphasis to celebrating and supporting the Filipino community in Hawaii. Ma nipol-Larson shares some

Records show that the first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, based on the plans of the Central Labor Union.

“Often times when you come across chefs and you ask them the same question, they would automatically tell you a whole story about their grand mother or mother. My mother was the head cook at our home, but mainly because of com fort. The food that she creates gives us comfort, but the art of cooking was adapted by the chefs that mentored me as well as the people that I’ve worked with for the past six years in the industry. I went to this field mainly to help people by pro viding soulful food,” he said.

The list of Hawaii Filipi no Lions Club officers are as follows:

“I was motivated by the words of then- District Gov ernor of Lions Club Hawaii Mitch Tam to start building the Filipino Lions Club,” said Grace Manipol-Larson, president of Hawaii Filipi no Lions Club, in Hawaii’s Lions Club newsletter, Leo Liona.“I sent messages to my friends on Facebook. I asked them if they are interested to be the founding leaders of a new Lions Club that embrac es the Filipino culture. The replies were overwhelming.”

of the Hawaii Filipino Lions Club goals below:

Board of Director (2 years): Chona Montesines-Sonido

Board of Director: Evelyn Isabelo Membership Chairperson: Perla V. Manahan

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

Asst. Auditor: Gemma Moore

Let’s not forget, the work ers are the backbone of the na tion! Happy Labor Day, fellow Americans!

duced me to garde-manger who deals with cold food in a culinaryAlthoughterm.”

Adovas said his passion for cooking began when he was an apprentice for a local chef in Maui.

“It was Kauai prawn a la plancha with corn risotto and tomato salad. It was a simple dish, but it hit the soul. It’s the process and finished product that I enjoy most when in the kitchen. The orchestrated en vironment and seeing people happy when they eat the food that I cook for them.”

“We want Merienda to be known and be the outlet here on Maui that showcases Fili pino cuisine. Merienda and its philosophy through food is a glue for togetherness regardless of lifestyle differences. As for Chef Danielle and me, what we have in com mon is our lin eage and we will continue to recreate and elevate dish es that growingexperiencedwe’veup.” Generational ....from page 12)

Auditor: Erlinda Castle

The reality is that the av erage American work so hard, regardless of the rankings compared to other countries, to be able to put food on the table and pay their bills. They deserve a much-needed break!

SEPTEMBER 17, 2022

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