Hawaii Filipino Chronicle - October 2, 2021

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OCTOBER 2, 2021




When Will the Anti-Vaxxers Ever Stop?

Pursuing A Career in Non-Profit

A Filipino Shines in Sydney


Neither Pacquiao nor Trump Fit for the Presidency of Anything



DOH’s COVID-19 Outreach Efforts to Underserved Communities Are Commendable; We Need More Pop Up Vaccine Clinics


hile the spread of the Delta variant has wrought havoc and paused Hawaii’s plans to reopen and rebuild, light at the end of the tunnel looks to be getting brighter as health experts and pharmaceutical companies CEOs predict the pandemic could end one-year from now. But between now and then, the outcome could be a world of difference from those who get vaccinated and an increasingly smaller group who choose not to get inoculated with a COVID-19 vaccine. Stéphane Bancel, CEO of Moderna, put it this way, “You can either get vaccinated and have a good winter. Or you don’t do it and risk getting sick and possibly even ending up in [a] hospital.” Bancel did leave out the consequence of potentially dying from infection. But all these scenarios are nothing new, except his prediction of the end of the pandemic; and that eventually anyone who is not vaccinated will be infected by the Delta variant eventually because it’s so contagious. The situation is that stark and urgent. The choice -- to get vaccinated or risk everything by not getting vaccinated – is a no-brainer that the former should be done as soon as possible, especially since vaccinations are free.

No Shortage of COVID-19 vaccine inventory In March this year, COVID-19 vaccinations started in Hawaii, beginning with those 65 and older. Vaccination eventually became available to all groups (only children 12 and under are not eligible) but unfortunately many in our Filipino community still have not taken advantage of this potentially life-saving service. What’s even more frustrating to public health workers is that there is no shortage of vaccine availability that would prevent people from getting vaccinated; and still a large sector of society remains unvaccinated. Albert Bourla, Pfizer’s CEO, said “We will see a billion doses by the end of this year, not in the near future, by the end of this year. And we will do at least 1 billion doses next year.” In Hawaii’s inventory, our state has received 2,300,060 doses so far, administering 81% or 1,863,317 of the doses. There is more than ample vaccine inventory available. The Food and Drug Administration last week approved a third jab for those inoculated with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for Americans 65 and older, as well as those with high-risk conditions or in workplaces with greater exposure risk. We’re already looking at a sector of Americans about to receive a third, booster shot, while some in our community haven’t received a first shot for no other reason than they refuse to. State survey shows Filipinos behind on vaccination A recent Hawaii Department of Health-commissioned survey found: among the major ethnic groups in the state, Japanese (71%) and Caucasian (68%) respondents were more likely to be fully vaccinated than were Native Hawaiians (49%) and Filipinos (40%). As far as a comprehensive, actual data (not a survey) of vaccination by ethnicity in Hawaii, that hasn’t been released or it’s unclear if such data is being collected. (continue on page 3)



e’ve always had as part of our mission at the Hawaii Filipino Chronicle to report the facts on Filipinos, even if such news could be difficult to hear. This speaks to the heart of journalistic advocacy – report truth to bring about positive change. An example of this is the need to bring attention to Hawaii Filipinos’ overrepresentation in COVID-19 cases and deaths in the state, statistics show. According to the State of Hawaii Department of Health (DOH), as a group Filipinos are second in COVID-19 cases in the state and first in COVID-19 related deaths, associate editor Edwin Quinabo reports in this issue’s cover story. There are multiple reasons why our community faces high incidences of Covid. Health experts suggest our work environment (mostly service-oriented jobs) from healthcare to retail could carry additional risks. Another reason might be our multigenerational living that makes vulnerable all members in a dwelling as soon as one person becomes infected. Certainly multigenerational living is not unique to only Filipinos in Hawaii, but actually common across all ethnic groups. The remedy to improve our COVID-19 dilemma is an obvious one – get as many in our community fully vaccinated, as public healthcare professionals recommend. Now here is where our situation is not so clear. There is a DOH-commissioned survey conducted late April-early May that shows our vaccination rate is last among all Hawaii’s ethnic groups. But surveys are not hard data; and all we have to go on is that survey taken very early when vaccinations in Hawaii just started to roll out. Either way (whether we’re last or first in vaccinations), our Filipino community is working with DOH and other health organizations to ramp up vaccinations. Among those interviewed for the cover story is Lt. Gov. Josh Green (also an Emergency Room physician). Our community is determined to change our current trajectory. Please encourage anyone you know to get vaccinated. Related to the cover story, HFC columnist Perry Diaz contributes “When Will the Anti-Vaxxers Ever Stop?” in which he renders an archetype of an anti-vaxxer -- conservative, Evangelical and Trump follower. Speaking of changing trajectory, we have an inspiring feature on Bianca Vinoyo, who went from growing up in a small town in the Philippines where she and her family faced hardships one after another to working her way to New York, where she earned her advanced degree and currently works for a non-profit. Also in this issue, anything on Manny Pacquiao – critical or adulating – will stir up interest in our community. HFC columnist Emil Guillermo contributes, “Neither Pacquiao Nor Trump Fit for the Presidency of Anything.” Find out why this commentator is dead against Pacquiao leading the Philippines. Lastly, we have two cultural articles in this issue. The first one written by HFC columnist Elpidio Estioko covers the traditional Filipino Debut (18th birthday celebration); the second is HFC contributor Rose Cruz Churma’s Book Review on the sacred teachings of Filipino traditional healing. Be sure to read our other columns and news. We’re very pleased that our website is getting more traffic in new visitors. It might be far from Christmas, but the Fall season is a good time for advertisers to plant a seed in our readers’ mind for gift-giving ideas. Contact us for our advertising rates. Until the next issue, warmest Aloha and Mabuhay!

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

Publisher & Managing Editor

Chona A. Montesines-Sonido

Associate Editors

Edwin QuinaboDennis Galolo

Contributing Editor

Belinda Aquino, Ph.D.


Junggoi Peralta

Photography Tim Llena

Administrative Assistant Lilia Capalad Shalimar Pagulayan

Editorial Assistant Jim Bea Sampaga


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

Contributing Writers

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

Philippine Correspondent: Greg Garcia

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

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

Advertising / Marketing Director Chona A. Montesines-Sonido

Account Executives Carlota Hufana Ader JP Orias



We Welcome Global Distribution Centers to Hawaii, But Let’s Also Have Fair Labor Practices


hen does speed become unethical to workers and working conditions? In today’s high tech, blitz-fast working environment, this is what California lawmakers had to balance in passing a new landmark law that many say is a victory for workers, and to others, simply an update to labor laws that were already in need of adjustments. California became the first state to bar mega-retailers from firing warehouse workers for missing quotas that interfere with bathroom and rest breaks under a new law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom. The law originally intended to address Amazon, the online retail giant, and similar companies from prohibiting workers from being fired for failing to meet a quota that interfered with their ability to use the bathroom or take rest breaks, and it bars employers from disciplining warehouse employees for being “off-task” when they are complying with health and safety laws. The bill applies to all warehouse distribution centers and does not specifically mention Amazon. It’s significant because the bill is the first of its kind and

Partners shows Amazon warehouse workers are allowed just six minutes of “time off task” a day, aside from their 30-minute lunch break. Employees say this is not enough time and the closest restroom in the company’s massive warehouses often could be more than six minutes away from their workstation. “Workers reported that Amazon’s excessive quotas make it impossible to complete work and make rate safely,” the report said. “The majority of workers surveyed reported that they experienced a constant state of stress trying to keep up. Amazon’s work rates dictate a dangerous pace of work that leads to injury.” Detractors of the bill such as the California Retailers Association said there are already laws in place like Cal/OSHA that enforces workplace safety, and called the new bill as a whole new set of laws that could impact other industries besides distribution centers.

jobs. It’s a wait-and-see situation if unethical operational practices reported in California and other states will be implemented in Hawaii. Of course, Amazon should be given the benefit of the doubt that it will conduct ethical operational practices at its new distribution center in our state. This is fair. And we join the community in welcoming Amazon and wish them much success.

could pave the wave for other states to follow, including Hawaii if needed as Amazon prepares to open for business here. AB 701, was authored by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, a lawyer and former labor leader who accused Amazon of disciplining warehouse workers at the direction of “an algorithm” that tracks employees’ activities and can determine that anything not directly related to moving packages is “off-task.” She said, “Amazon is pushing workers to risk their bodies for next-day delivery, while they can’t so much as use the restroom without fearing retaliation.” In considering Assemblymember Gonzalez’ description, AB701 is a humane bill. No worker should fear having to use the restroom or account for every second of non-working activity or “off-task.” Not only is this physically straining having to refrain from taking bathroom breaks, but it’s also a source of mental anxiety that each time you do take a bathroom break, an “off task” clock is running from which a worker cannot exceed. What kind of time are we looking at for “off-task?” A recent study conducted by the Ontario-based Warehouse Worker Resource Center and Human Impact

Welcome Amazon Amazon is already readying to open its first distribution center in Kalihi-Sand Island, Hawaii. Many residents and businesses in Hawaii are welcoming the global giant to the island which is expected to bring added business activity and

Historical context of Hawaii labor laws When discussing the issue of how Hawaii became pro-worker rights, labor leaders will always go back to the plantation days of early Hawaii. Most immigrant plantation workers in the early 1900s were bound by labor contracts as outlined in the Masters & Servants Act. Under this law, for example, absenteeism or refusal to work could cause a contract laborer to be apprehended and sentenced by the district magistrate or police office to work for the employer an extra amount of time after the contract expired, usually double the time of the absence. Clearly we are far from this kind of indentured slavelike conditions. But looking back at what was considered “acceptable” is always important to give a comparable context to modern times. The goal is for employers to maximize efficiency, but there are

Efforts to get Filipinos vaccinated It’s clear that race and ethnicity often serve as markers for structural inequities. For example, there are economic and language barriers among ethnic groups that drive health disparities. To be commended, the DOH recognizes these disparities and the importance of reaching out to our state’s diverse communities. DOH has worked with grassroots organizations, including our Filipino community, to get more people vaccinated. It has worked on translating materials on COVID-19 prevention and provided them at community outreach events. The

DOH has worked with the Filipino Community Center and other groups. The FilCom Center also has been doing an excellent job with outreach in our community, offering pop up vaccine clinics frequently, sometimes as frequent as once a week. The Queen’s Health System and AARP Hawaii have worked with Emme Tomimbang to produce a vaccination Public Service Announcement (PSA) in three different dialects: Ilocano, Tagalog, and Visayan, which aired on State mainstream TV and radio stations. These are all great ef-

forts. But we need more community outreach to continue. Our Filipino organizations and leaders should also be encouraging members to get vaccinated. Other places the DOH could target our Filipino community is at Catholic Churches where Filipinos make-up close to or a majority of congregants. Setting up pop up vaccine clinics there would help. Pope Francis has encouraged vaccinations so coordinating with local churches for pop up vaccination clinics more than likely would be supported. Let’s all work together to stay safe, follow state guidelines and get vaccinated.

(DOH’s....from page 2)

But just based on the DOH’s numbers of COVID-19 infections in Hawaii, comparing: 1) the “Overall” period from 3/8/2020 to current to 2) post vaccinated period from 12/27/20 to current, infection rates among Filipinos have not gone up dramatically. In fact, it went from 20% in the overall period to 19 post vaccinated period. It could be premature to draw conclusions on vaccinations and their impact on ethnic groups since outside of that survey, nothing else has been released. If more data is available, that should be made public.

humane boundaries that cannot be crossed. Or we find ourselves going backwards to conditions that endanger workers’ safety and workers dignity. As for government interference in businesses operations, the US government has been stepping in to provide workers’ rights since the early 20th century. Federal labor laws have given workers the right to organize labor unions and have bargaining power. They have set the 40 hours work week with recommendation that states enact laws that companies give extra pay beyond the 40 hours. Labor laws established a federal minimum wage, a right to safety in the workplace, a right to not be discriminated against based on “race, color, religion, sex, or national origin” (sexual orientation and gender identity were recently added to this list), a right to sue against wrongful termination, and others. The new California law is unique because it addresses abusive quota systems in the framework of advancing technology (tech that can account for employees movement by the seconds). Kudos to California legislators for adopting AB 701. Other states, including Hawaii in the near future, will be keeping an eye on Amazon and other distribution centers to see if such a legislation is necessary in our Aloha state.



Hawaii Filipinos COVID-19 Stats Dismal, Campaign to Vaccinate Ramped Up By Edwin Quinabo


rior to the outbreak of COVID-19, statistics that measure well-being haven’t been flattering to Hawaii’s Filipino community. In some areas like higher education, Filipinos trail behind Caucasians and Japanese in advanced degrees. In health, Filipinos have some of the highest rates of chronic illnesses. Following this pattern, it doesn’t stretch the imagination that their stats relating to COVID-19 are bleak relative to other ethnic groups. What are the hard stats? Hawaii’s Filipinos are second in COVID-19 cases in the state and first in COVID-19 related deaths, according to the State of Hawaii Department of Health (DOH).

Breaking down the numbers

Overall Stats. Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 757 deaths in the state. Filipinos account for 174 or 23% of deaths, placing them at the top, the DOH’s online tracking site shows. Bereaved wish they had vaccines available earlier – vaccines that others take for granted “If only the COVID-19 vaccines were available sooner” – this is the sentiment millions of family members and friends who had someone they love die before vaccines were rolled out and administered. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine) on Dec. 11, 2020. The idea that vaccines are available, but people are still not getting it knowing the risk and that millions of Americans have already died from COVID-19, leaves some bereaved families of COVID-19 perplexed, even agitated. “I always ask myself what if my aunt Andrea and

To date, there have been 78,404 cumulative cases of COVID-19 in Hawaii. Of the total, Filipinos make up 20% of cases, behind Native Hawaiians at 24%. Pre-Vaccine Period. During the Pre-Vaccine Period between March 8, 2020 through Dec. 26, 2020, DOH reported 15,422 cases of COVID-19. Of that total during this period, 3,084 or 20% of Hawaii Filipino residents contracted COVID-19, placing this group only after Pacific Islander at 25%. Behind Filipinos are Native Hawaiians at 19%, Whites at 16%, Japanese at 7%, Chinese at 2%, and the rest fall into the others category. Post-Vaccine Period. Since the vaccines were rolled out on Dec. 27, 2020 up to Sept. 20, 2021 (the Post-Vaccine Period) Filipinos remain the second highest ethnic group infected by COVID-19 at 19%. Researchers from DOH and the University of Hawaii authored a report “Addressing Health Equity in Diverse Populations” that was published in March 2021 in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mor-

her husband Pio did not contract COVID-19 that early and had the luxury of getting fully vaccinated. I would still be able to talk story with them and enjoy their company,” said Dr. Jon Avery Go, an internist practicing in Waipahu, Hawaii. Dr. Go elaborates, “My dear aunt worked as a nurse. She and her husband both were living in New York and caught COVID 19 around March 2020. This was the time when New York became the world’s epicenter of COVID 19. Unfortunately there were no known effective treatment regimen around that time and they both had to suffer and endure being hooked up to a breathing machine. Eventually, their bodies could not fight anymore and they both passed away.” In this latest surge, the un-

vaccinated population make up a large majority of Covid infected and hospitalized not just in Hawaii, but globally.

Get vaccinated and save lives “I just don’t get it,” said Rey Clemente, 57, a hotel worker who said he got vaccinated in late April, 2021. Vaccination to every adult in Hawaii became available on April 19 this year. “I was out of work for months last year like most hotel workers. I was eager to get vaccinated so that our industry could reopen and I could start to work again,” said Clemente. “I got vaccinated not only for my family and myself, but for our community. We all want to get back to our normal lives. We should also be thinking about saving lives.”

tality Weekly Report. In it, Hawaii researchers crunched the numbers in Hawaii’s Asian population into subgroups and found infection rates were highest among the Filipino and Vietnamese populations. At this stage of the pandemic, the hope is for Hawaii’s Filipino community to change course and get vaccinated en masse. A vaccination campaign has been ramped up by community leaders and grassroots organizations to achieve this goal.

Possible Reasons for high COVID-19 cases among Filipinos There are several reasons floated as to why Filipinos are hard hit by Covid -- the type of work they do (service oriented) and multigenerational living are the most common. Work Environment. Lt. Gov. Josh Green, who is also an Emergency Room Physician, told the Filipino Chronicle, “The Filipino community is one of the very hardest working communities in our state, however during a pandemic this work can come with risk. Jobs like being a caregiver, a doctor, running a care home or working in a hotel (some examples of prominent jobs in the community) means a lot of close contact with people and therefore more chances to catch COVID. I’m proud of the

hard-working Filipino community.” Like Lt. Gov. Green, Dr. Lyla Prather of the Philippine Medical Association of Hawaii told KITV 4 in Aug. 2020 that Filipinos’ work environment – including healthcare, the service industry and other frontline working jobs – is fueling higher infection rates in Filipinos. Clemente makes the point that most hotel workers were furloughed or laid off last year, “but there are many Filipinos who were essential workers back then, like our grocery store employees, dock workers, truck drivers, delivery drivers, healthcare workers.” He said, we should be thankful for what Filipinos did during the pre-vaccination period. “They sacrificed and (continue on page 5)


COVER STORY (New Bill....from page 4)

risked their health so that our state could keep running.” Multigenerational living. Due to the high cost of living, rent, and real estate, multigenerational living is common among all ethnic groups in Hawaii. It is a contributing factor to Filipinos high infection rate, health experts say. Lt. Gov. Green said, “Filipino families often live with three generations under the same roof, so with unvaccinated children returning homes from school there is added risk of spread. Kupuna who catch COVID are at the greatest risk so they must get vaccinated to avoid the delta variant.” Public health specialists say multigenerational infections are far more common with the Delta variant than the original virus. They say they’re seeing two or more members within a household, or the entire household getting infected in this latest surge. Dr. Go, who also believes multigenerational living spikes COVID-19 in Filipinos said, “If one family member contracts Covid19 then the whole household are vulnerable due to their living situation.” Less Access. Lt. Gov. Green points out that there are less healthcare services in several rural parts of Hawaii like Ewa on Oahu or Ka’u on Big Island. ”These areas are often home to our Filipino families and therefore it’s harder to get care sometimes. Our community health centers have stepped up to help though.” Not due to risky behavior. Dr. Prather doesn’t believe Filipinos are at higher risk due to a lack of practicing prevention like social distancing or wearing a mask. “We’re always really diligent about wearing our masks.”

Survey: Filipinos are last among vaccinated in Hawaii The DOH tracking website as of Sept. 27, 2021 shows 67.2% of Hawaii residents are vaccinated. A breakdown of vaccination in the state based on ethnicity is not available. But a DOH commissioned

survey (not a comprehensive data-tracking) conducted by Anthology Research (among 482 adult Hawaii full-time residents statewide) from April 20, 2021 to May 3, 2021 found that among the major ethnic groups in the state, Japanese (71%) and Caucasian (68%) respondents were more likely to be fully vaccinated than were Native Hawaiians (49%) and Filipinos (40%). Filipinos are more vulnerable because of preexisting conditions. Lt. Gov. Green, said “the high rate of hypertension, diabetes or kidney disease means that our Filipino brothers and sisters can get more sick if they contract COVID. This makes it even more important to get vaccinated if you or a family member has these health challenges.” The DOH released two reports that illustrate how transmissible the Delta variant is and the importance of getting vaccinated. “These reports reinforce what we know about the alarming increase in cases across Hawaii. Delta is different— it is twice as transmissible as other variants,” said Health Director Dr. Elizabeth Char, FACEP. “COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective at preventing severe disease, hospitalization and death, including from the delta variant.” Disinformation/misinformation. Dr. Go believes one reason Filipinos have low vaccination rates (based on the DOH-commissioned survey, not actual data), is untrue facts about COVID-19. “There are too many misinformation and fake news floating around both social media and the Filipino communities against getting vaccinated.” Religious reason. Clemente said he doesn’t pay attention to the lies on social media. He says what he has noticed is “church people [mostly Evangelicals] on the mainland are resistant to getting vaccinated. I hope this is not the case here. I’m Catholic and I haven’t heard anyone telling me at church to not get vaccinated.” One of the exemptions for not getting vaccinated recog-

nized by the State and counties for their employees is religious exemption. But there is a strict procedure to qualify for that exemption.

Community efforts to increase vaccinations in Filipino community Pop-up vaccination clinics. As part of the DOH’s goal to address health equity, it has been working with grassroots organizations to get more diverse populations vaccinated. DOH has worked with organizations like the Filipino Community Center. It has partnered with Kalihi-Palama Health Center, Kaiser Permanente and Project Vision Hawaii to organize pop-up vaccine clinics at the FilCom Center and other places like churches. Filipino language as outreach strategy. Filipino community leaders say getting volunteers who speak Tagalog, Ilocano or Visayan helps not only to communicate the need for vaccination, but it also builds trust in Filipinos, especially among immigrants. That trust often can motivate someone skeptical of vaccines to get their shots, community volunteers say. To bridge the language gap is why Emme Tomimbang with the support from The Queen’s Health System and AARP Hawaii, produced a Public Service Announcement (PSA) in three different dialects: Ilocano, Tagalog, and Visayan, which aired on State mainstream television and radio stations. Clemente said any effort to get Filipinos or any Hawaii resident vaccinated is something he supports. He also believes Filipinos are getting vaccinated more than people think. “All of my Filipino coworkers, family and friends are vaccinated.” Get the facts about vaccination out to community. Clemente said earlier in the year only one of his sisters and her husband were reluctant to get vaccinated because they have been hearing vaccinated people are getting infected and dying anyway. My sister said, “why risk getting some side-effect through vac-

“The high rate of hypertension, diabetes or kidney disease means that our Filipino brothers and sisters can get more sick if they contract COVID. This makes it even more important to get vaccinated if you or a family member has these health challenges.” — Hawaii Lt. Gov. Josh Green, (Emergency Room Physician) cines when the outcome is the same. “But by June, they [his sister and brother-in-law] changed their minds and got vaccinated. My sister said they decided to do it because of information they heard that ‘people who are vaccinated are less likely to develop severe symptoms that would require hospitalization, even if they become infected,’” said Clemente. He believes the attitudes on vaccination among Filipinos has changed. “That survey was taken a long time ago earlier this year [May]. I think our vaccination percent is higher today. And it should continue to rise as more people in our state get vaccinated.” He said getting Filipinos the facts -- like how his sister eventually came to understand -- will help to encourage people to get their vaccine shots.

“You hear people going to hospitals because they’ve caught COVID and were not vaccinated. I haven’t heard people rushing to hospitals because they had some severe reaction to a COVID vaccine,” said Clemente. Filipino community leaders as pro-vaccination advocates. Dr. Green says Filipino physicians “are looked up to and may be the very best spokespeople for this mission [to get more Filipinos vaccinated].” He encourages Filipino community leaders to reach out to the vaccine resistant population. To illustrate the urgency for vaccination and how the virus is taking a toll on hospitals, Dr. Green wanted to share a story with Filipino Chronicle readers. “One of my dearest friends is a Filipina nurse and when her husband had a

(continue on page 7)



When Will the Anti-Vaxxers Ever Stop? By Perry Diaz


new term has emerged in the dictionary: anti-vaxxer. It refers to people who disagree with the use of vaccines for various reasons. While its purpose is to prevent people from contracting the deadly COVID-19 virus, there is a group of people who wouldn’t take it because it infringes on their god-given freedom. They love their freedom so much that any move to get them vaccinated is rejected. But little do they know that vaccines are one of the safest and most effective health interventions for infectious diseases. Just shows their narrow-minded outlook on what freedom is. Today, anti-vaxxers represent a minority of people – those who believe vaccines are unsafe and infringe on their human rights. But with the advent of the Internet and social media platforms, the movement has spread quickly and massively. According to a recent report,

around 31 million people follow anti-vaccine groups on Facebook. People hold these views for a variety of reasons, which may originate from misinformation on social media sites. Loyalty Test Anti-vaxx sentiments are high among conservatives, evangelicals, and rural Americans, which are the traditional pro-Trump Americans. They believe that vaccine refusal is a statement of identity and a test of loyalty to Trump. But wait a minute! Didn’t they know that Donald and Melania Trump were vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine at the White House in January? Resistance is high in red states where pro-Trump legislatures enacted ambitious protections for people who refuse vaccines. They have forbidden business owners from asking for proof of vaccination from customers. They required cruise lines, sports stadiums, and bars to serve the unvaccinated. In Montana, they have even forbidden hospitals to require health-care workers to get vaccinated. It’s no wonder that the Delta variant continues to pose danger to the unvaccinated, which according to Dr. Rochelle Walensky accounts for 99.5% of the people who

died from COVID-19 over the past six months. This anti-vaxx resistance exacts a harsh cost from Trump loyalists. Deluded and deceived people are getting sick when they didn’t have to get sick, infecting their loved ones, being intubated and dying. As these Trump loyalists harm themselves and expose everybody else to the virus, right-wing publications have run articles explaining the recalcitrance of the unvaccinated, which makes one wonder, what’s more important than preventing the spread of COVID-19 and killing Americans? A case in point was what happened to Dick Farrel, a longtime conservative radio host and an ardent Trump supporter. Based in West Palm Beach, Florida, Farrel was a vocal opponent of the COVID vaccine and vehement critic of Dr. Anthony Fauci. He went full blast espousing unsubstantiated conspiracy theories about election fraud earlier this year and questioned the efficacy of coronavirus vaccines developed during the Trump administration. After calling Fauci a “power-tripping lying freak” and urging people not to get vaccinated as recently as June, Farrel changed his tune after contracting the virus himself. He was hospitalized about a month ago. “COVID took one of my best friends!” his friend Amy Leigh Hair wrote on Facebook. “He is the reason I took the shot! He texted me and told me to ‘Get it’; He told me

that this virus is no joke and he said: ‘I wish I had gotten it!’” Too late. He died Aug. 4 of complications from COVID-19. He was 65. Uneducated Wealthy People As one expert said, “It is ironic that in the anti-vaxx community, the very people who are denying protection to their children by foregoing vaccination are healthy and alive today because they, and possibly their parents, were vaccinated.” Other than being proTrump, the families of these unvaccinated children are more likely to be wealthier on average, with annual incomes more than four times the poverty level. On average, they are non-Hispanic white, conservative, educated, and married couples covered by private health insurance. These are successful Americans, but their college degrees weren’t enough to stop them from indulging in cult worship. Far-right anti-vaxxers have falsely accused President Biden of trying to force all U.S. residents to get vaccinated for COVID-19 whether they like it or not. Wrong! Biden has only encouraged voluntary vaccination for the general population, although he stressed that the more Americans get vaccinated, the sooner the U.S. will be able to start getting back to normal. But anti-vaxxers persist with their conspiracy theories. Attorney Chris Truax, in an article published in the conservative website, The Bulwark, bluntly slammed anti-vaxxers for prolonging the pandemic

and humorously attacked their views as “herp derp,” a term that Truax got from the animated comedy “South Park.” Truax noted that “herp derp”’ had become “an internal meme for something that is just complete nonsense.” Truax also responded to Larry Cosme, president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, who said, “Forcing people to undertake a medical procedure is not the American way and is a clear civil rights violation no matter how proponents may seek to justify it.” Truax said, “Anyone over the age of six who thinks about it for five seconds can tell you that what Cosme said is obviously false. Every school district in every state in America requires children to be vaccinated to attend public schools. But there is no question that states and school districts have the legal authority to demand that school children be vaccinated. So no, mandatory vaccinations are not a ‘civil rights violation.’” Touché. Contrary to what anti-vaxxers claim, Truax wrote, “Vaccines work.” He was clearly fed up with anti-vaxxers who were keeping other Americans from getting back to normal. “Normal life is about six weeks away, and it will be perpetually six weeks away until we find a way to deal with the anti-vaxxers,” Truax wrote. “By all means, continue the outreach. Persuade them to get their shots. But I’m not interested in the ‘reasons’ anti-vaxxers don’t ‘believe’ in vaccinations. It’s all herp derp. All I’m interested in is results.” Truax concluded his article by lamenting that “normal life” would remain elusive in the U.S. as long as Americans are buying into the “herp derp” promoted by anti-vaxxers. When will the anti-vaxxers ever stop? 
 PERRY DIAZ is a writer, columnist and journalist who has been published in more than a dozen Filipino newspapers in five countries.



Fake First Marriage Not Cured by Second Bona Fide Marriage By Emmanuel S. Tipon, Esq.


growing number of aliens enter into fake marriages with U.S. citizens (USC) or lawful permanent residents (green card holders) to enable them to become green card holders. When USCIS determines that marriage is fake and denies a petition for alien relative or an application for adjustment of status, the alien divorces the petitioner and enters into a genuine marriage with a USC or LPR. The alien thinks that the filing of a new petition by the second USC or LPR spouse on his behalf will enable such alien to achieve the “American Dream” not of owning a home but becoming a USC or LPR. SECTION 204(c) Such dream could turn into a nightmare because of Section 204(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act which provides: “(c) Limitation on orphan petitions approved for a single petitioner; prohibition against approval in cases of marriages entered into in order to evade immigration laws; restriction on future entry of aliens involved with marriage fraud

“Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (b) no petition shall be approved if (1) the alien has previously been accorded, or has sought to be accorded, an immediate relative or preference status as the spouse of a citizen of the United States or the spouse of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence, by reason of a marriage determined by the Attorney General to have been entered into for the purpose of evading the immigration laws, or (2) the Attorney General has determined that the alien has attempted or conspired to enter into a marriage for the purpose of evading the immigration laws.” What Section 204(c) means is that a petition for an alien will be denied if the Attorney General (USCIS) has previously denied a prior petition on behalf of the alien on the ground that the alien entered into a marriage to evade the immigration laws, meaning a fraudulent marriage.

– that it was not entered into for the purpose of evading the immigration laws. In Bark v. INS, 511 F.2d 1200 (9th Cir. 1975) the Court of Appeals held that the focus of the inquiry in an application for adjustment of status from a nonimmigrant to a permanent resident is the bona fides of the marriage – that is, whether the couple intended to establish a life together at the time of their marriage. The bona fides of the prior marriage must supported by evidence consisting of documents in their joint names, including bank accounts, insurance policies, bills, pictures, and affidavits of the couple and third persons.

HOW TO OVERCOME SECTION 204(c) The alien and the alien’s new petitioner must allege and prove when filing the new petition that their marriage is bona fide. In addition, they must allege and prove that the alien’s first marriage was bona fide

WHAT IF FIRST SPOUSE COMPLAINS TO USCIS? In one case, the exspouse of an alien complained to USCIS that their marriage was fraudulent and that they did not have sexual relations. USCIS refused to allow the alien to question or

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

large heart attack, we worked together to get him to Oahu to get cardiology care. “Because the hospitals were so full he almost died before he could get life flighted to Oahu. Together we got him care, and he lived and also avoided catching COVID. This shows how much COVID can affect us all. I have, also am proud to report that all of my Filipina aunties (from my wife Jaime’s side), the Borromeo’s,

are fully vaccinated healthy,” said Green.


Latest update on vaccination The Food and Drug Administration last week approved a third jab for those inoculated with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for Americans 65 and older, as well as those with high-risk conditions or in workplaces with greater exposure risk. DOH said those who

match the federal guidelines requiring a third shot must schedule their booster at least six months after their second Pfizer shot. Hawaii currently has about 90,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Char advises people who have questions about vaccinations and booster shots should contact their personal physician. The state’s health department website also has information on booster shots.

cross-examine the ex-wife. In Ching v. Mayorkas, 725 F.3d 1149 (9th Cir. 2013), involving a Philippine citizen, the court held that a U.S. citizen I-130 petitioner has a protected property interest in the adjudication of the petition for a spouse and that their Fifth Amendment procedural due process rights were violated because they were not given the opportunity to cross-examine the beneficiary’s prior spouse regarding the prior spouse’s statement that their marriage with the beneficiary was fraudulent. The Court said: “Plaintiffs also argue that the denial of Joseph’s I-130 visa petition violated their Fifth Amendment Due Process rights because they were not afforded the opportunity to cross examine Ching’s first husband, Elden Fong, or the USCIS officer who took Fong’s statement. We agree.” Ching v. Mayorkas, 725 F.3d 1149 (9th Cir. 2013). USCIS obtained a statement from Fong, Ching’s first husband, stating that

Fong and Ching “never had sex” and “never lived together” and “did not marry for love”. WHAT IF USCIS DENIES PETITION? If USCIS denies the Form I-130 petition, the petitioner can file a motion to reopen and/or reconsideration. If it is denied, the petitioner can appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals. The petitioner can also file a new Form I-130 petition.

ATTY. TIPON has a Master of Laws degree from Yale Law School and a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of the Philippines. His current practice focuses on immigration law and appellate criminal defense. He has written books and legal articles for the world’s largest law book publishing company and writes legal articles for newspapers. Listen to The Tipon Report which he co-hosts with son Noel, the senior partner of the Bilecki & Tipon Law Firm. It is considered the most witty, interesting, and useful radio show in Hawaii. KNDI 1270 AM band every Thursday at 8:00 a.m. Atty. Tipon served as a U.S. Immigration Officer. He co-authored the best-seller “Immigration Law Service, 1st ed.,” an 8-volume practice guide for immigration officers and lawyers. Atty. Tipon was born in Laoag City, Philippines. Tel. (808) 800-7856. Cell Phone (808) 225-2645. E-Mail: filamlaw@yahoo.com. Websites: https:// www.tiponlaw.com.



Local & Philippine-based Designers to Participate at the Virtual Aloha & Mabuhay Conference on October 13 & 14


n support of artists in Hawaii and the Philippines, the virtual Aloha and Mabuhay Conference will be showcasing works of local artists Iris Gil Viacrusis and Lydia Querian of Daily Malong, and Philippine-based couturiers Jearson Demavivas and Frederick Berches on October 13 and 14. Viavursis is an artist that creates wearable works of art for women such as gowns that can be worn in three ways: contemporary sleeveless gown, butterfly sleeves of the terno or with bell sleeves and panuelo. Born in Olongapo City, Philippines and raised in Palompon, Leyte, Viacrusis graduated in Fashion Design at Los Angeles Trade Tech College. In 2001, he moved to Paris, France to attend fashion school and work at designer companies such as Dior, Chanel and Valentino among others. He moved to Hawaii

in 2005 where his love for Filipino fashion and culture led to Habi at Baro exhibit which has been showcased in various venues. Moreover, he’s the costume designer of historical costumes for the Royal Court of the Merrie Monarch Festival and has been reconstructing Hawaiian monarchy gowns for the Iolani Palace. He is also an active promoter of the Sakada Day celebrations every December 20th. Querian, founder of Daily Malong, works with indigenous weavers with pride, joy and respect. She emphasizes the importance of understanding the weaving process, witnessing how textiles are sourced, processed and woven. Through Daily Malong, she builds relationships, acknowledges the talent and collaborates with different designers, seamstresses and other artisans. Part of the brand’s goal is to bring indigenous

Masks designed by Frederick Berches

A Daily Malong piece using textiles and beaded accessories unique to the Philippines

into the present and future. Querian helps the Filipinx in the diaspora to have a better understanding assist in navigating through their identity using fashion as a tool in this journey. Demavivas, who hails from South Cotabato, is known for the iconic costume of Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray. Known in the beauty pageant industry as a designer who

proudly uses Filipino textiles, he made sure to source fabrics from the T’boli tribe when creating Gray’s costume in the 2018 Miss Universe pageant. He notes that the Philippines has a rich culture that deserves to be showcased. His future goal is to mass-produce pieces using indigenous fabric to support the local community and represent the Philippines outside of the country.

Berches is a designer from Lumban, Laguna who specializes in traditional Filipino fabrics and has dressed multiples celebrities and athletes. Born in Pampanga and raised in Baguio City, Berches graduated with a degree in BS Management, but he later enrolled at the Fashion Institute of the Philippines to widen his knowledge in fashion. He then started a Barong Tagalog business wherein he innovated the traditional design of Barong Tagalong into a modern creation. His business was heavily affected by the pandemic but that did not stop him from doing what he loves. He created barong style face masks to accentuate one’s outfit. Don’t miss out on the upcoming virtual Aloha & Mabuhay Conferenceon October 13 and 14! To learn more about our fashionable participants, register at hpbec.com.



Pursuing a Career in Nonprofit By HFC Staff


ike many Filipinos,  Bianca Vinoya is no stranger to adversity. Growing up in the small town of Noveleta, Cavite in the Philippines, she and her family frequently experienced severe flooding, as a result of living near the Ylang-Ylang River. Her family also went through health shocks that exhausted their finances. Because of what she and her family went through, she decided to dedicate her life to improving lives of the less fortunate, trying to solve complex problems of poverty and development, and ultimately contribute to making the world a better place for everyone. Vinoya’s experience of flooding and disasters made her pursue a career in development and nonprofit organizations. She took up BS Management at the Ateneo de Manila University with a minor in Sociology, graduating in 2015. Through her hard work, skills, and talent, she was awarded the John J. Caroll Award for the Social Sciences, which is given for those who excel in the social sciences and demonstrated the ability to bridge social science perspectives with global issues. After college, Vinoya was recruited by her sociology professor to work at the Institute of Philippine Culture (IPC), a social science and development research organization. There, she worked on various research projects as writer, editor, and field researcher. She

also vetted candidates for their programs such as the IPC Summer School and Visiting Research Associates. Through the IPC, she heard stories of Filipino women, children, and youth who were living in extreme poverty – these further fueled her passion to do the best she can to dedicate her career to improving people’s lives. Vinoya’s experience with IPC is what started her career in nonprofit. She has been working in the non-profit industry for six years now. Creating better opportunities for the future generation is what made her pursue a career in nonprofit. “It’s always the goal that future generations live and lead better lives than we did,” Vinoya told Hawaii Filipino Chronicle. “It’s also part of my commitment to social justice. There is so much inequality in the world, and I just want to be part of the solution, rather than contributing to societal problems.” In 2019, she decided to take graduate studies abroad in the field of development. Although most master’s programs do not offer full scholarships, Fordham University in Bronx, New York saw Vinoya’s skills and passion and granted her the Presidential Fellowship, a scholarship program that covers all tuition costs for exceptional students. In graduate school, she learned more theories on social development and its practical applications in nonprofit work, and how these can be utilized in solving complex problems of poverty in different contexts. Vinoya says that nonprofit work requires pure commitment. “No one goes nonprofit or

Bianca Vinoya

development work for the money. You have to believe in whatever you’re doing, and whatever you’re doing should actually be bringing good to people,” she said. At Fordham, she was also offered the position of Editor-in-Chief of the IPED Journals, where she selected and edited articles written by students in the graduate program. She also worked as Research Associate of the 2021 Fordham Francis Index and the 2020 Fordham Francis Index, which analyzed multi-dimensional poverty in different countries. She was also awarded the Campion Fellowship for Project Management and Cassamarca Fellowship for her work in international development and relations. With the opportunities she received in graduate school, Vinoya says meeting new people and making new

friends is the most memorable part of her studies. “It’s extremely inspiring to meet other people who are passionate about doing good in the world,” she explained. In August, Vinoya graduated with her master’s degree in International Political Economy and Development, conferred with a Distinction in Political and Economic Analysis and Distinction in Project Management. When asked about what advice she would give to those aspiring to work in the non-profit industry, she said: “Be willing to do anything -- also to find out what you’re most effective in, and what you like best. There are so many opportunities in nonprofits for different types of skills such as creatives, fundraising, etc. It’s really just finding what you like, what you’re good at, and applying them to your job.” As of writing, Vinoya has a social science and development studies article under review for the Philippine Sociological Review, and has a job offer with

Breakthrough New York, a nonprofit organization that supports students from low-income communities so that they can pursue higher education. She hopes to continue taking more leadership roles in the future and “seeing positive changes in the communities we’re helping.” True to her roots and to her passion, Vinoya continues to help her family in the Philippines, all the while helping others in every way she can through her career. “I started my nonprofit work in the Philippines, and I’d love to help out in the future if I can.” As a message to HFC readers, Vinoya says helping each other is the best support we can give during these hard times. “People should continue to support causes they believe in, especially in a time when we’re confronted with so many problems. We should help out beyond our families, if we can, because there are people suffering more than us.” 



Is There A Magic Number for Women Coming of Age? By Elpidio R. Estioko


radition and customary practices say there is a magic number! While 15 is the magic comingof-age number for Latinas, for Filipinos, it’s when they celebrate their 18th birthday! This momentous event ushers one of the bonding moments for Filipinos. A young Filipino woman’s 18th birthday is called a debut, a traditional Filipino coming-of-age or age-of-maturity celebration. On her 18th birthday, a Filipino girl’s parents customarily throw a large party for her, complete with the debutante’s hand-picked court entourage of 18 individuals or multiple sets of 18, to give meaning and importance to the occasion. On Sept. 19, 2021, my wife Delia and I, along with five of our six children, attended my granddaughter Reanna Kayla Tesoro Estioko’s 18th birthday celebration. Reanna Kayla is the daughter of my second eldest son, John Edward “JoJo” Estioko and Alvi Tesoro Estioko, RN. The celebration was in Jacksonville, Florida, where

they now reside. The occasion was complete with hand-picked “members of her court” of 18 roses with male guests and 18 candles with female guests. The celebration started with a short prayer invoking a blessing upon the debutante bringing families, relatives, friends together and sharing a glorious event that makes her what she is today. A special Hawaiian dance was performed by the Estioko siblings who are long members of a halau (Hawaiian dance group) in Santa Clara, California: May, Tweety, and Paul Estioko, with instant, unrehearsed special participation of Tweety’s Hawaiian-born Baby Ellie. The 18 males presented individual single roses to the debutante and performed the 18-Rose Dance alternately with the debutante. While the 18 selected females lighted candles that were placed in the debutante’s hand. Then, each delivered a short speech about their relationships with the debutante and special greetings (which somehow ended in a roasting session). That’s how intimate the celebration was! Reanna Kayla was escorted

by her uncle Paul Joseph Estioko from Hawaii. The members of her court were her classmates and close friends: Julian Pedro, Jessica Tran, June Smith, Amanda Nguyen, Joanna Le, Joseph Macandog, Alyssa Raymonvil, and Zhane Bell. My granddaughter’s debut gave us a chance to remember those days when she was just a baby up to today, as a fullblown lady. The event reminded me of my eldest daughter Ma. Edelgrace “Gigi” Estioko’s 18th birthday celebration. We didn’t hold the party in a hotel nor a community center but along the main street of our Greenpark Village subdivision in Pasig City. We closed the main road and rerouted all vehicles in cooperation with barangay officials. It was a community affair with all the ingredients of a debut celebration highlighting the cotillion dance, of course. Gigi is now living in Sydney, Australia with her husband Eric Malapitan, RN. Just like Filipino debuts, Latino women reaching

Elpidio Estioko with his granddaughter Reanna Kayla

their 15th birthday celebrate their quinceanera with parents also preparing lavish parties, fantastic food, sophisticated decorations, special performances and gifts to the debutante. The Quinceanera tradition also celebrates the young girl’s journey from childhood to maturity. Those who attended Reanna Kayla’s debut came from as far as Hawaii, California, South Carolina, and Florida. Relatives from Virginia were not able to attend due to compelling reasons, but they sent their voice clips of advice and congratulations which were played during the video presentation while all attendees were having their dinner. To Reanna Kayla, happy

18th Birthday and I hope you will succeed in college, as you envision to be, and become a celebrated doctor. Your dad was telling me your personality is very outgoing and full of optimism, so you will surely make a successful physician someday. We are praying that you are guided by our Almighty in finding your way to a righteous path and protect you against imperfections that may hinder your success and happiness. Good luck! ELPIDIO R. ESTIOKO was a veteran journalist in the Philippines and an award-winning journalist here in the U.S. For feedbacks, comments… please email the author at estiokoelpidio@ gmail.com).


Hawaii State Airports in Need of Airport Screeners


n preparation for incoming travelers, the State of Hawaii is hiring 100 airport screeners to serve at airports across the state namely: Daniel K. Inouye International Airport on Oahu, the Hilo and Kona International Airports on Hawaii Island, Kahului Airport on Maui and Lihue Airport on Kauai. According to the press release, screeners will be interacting with transpacific and international travelers and crewmembers to assist in verifying the Safe Travel requirement for all incoming travelers. All airport screening employees, including existing and newly hired employees, will be receiving an incentive bonus of $300 to $400 monthly from now through December 25, 2021. The state is using federal COVID-19 relief funds to contract Roberts Hawaii to oversee the Safe Travels program at all Hawaii airports until the end of the year. The press release states the contract is renewable as needed.

Airport screeners are expected to have the following minimum qualifications: - High school diploma or equivalent - Customer service experience or a combination of education and experience - Fluency in English, both verbal and written - Must be at least 18 years old - Ability to work flexible shifts including weekends, evenings and holidays - Ability to interact professionally with passengers, vendors, agents, clients, etc - Basic iPhone, iPad and computer skills For more information on the application process, visit robertshawaii.com or call (808) 5399414. 



Neither Pacquiao Nor Trump Fit for the Presidency of Anything By Emil Guillermo


anny Pacquiao wants to be president of the Philippines. That’s no joke. But it

should be. Not even I want Manny Pacquiao to be president of the Philippines. Not when you know how anti-gay and homophobic he’s been based on his religious beliefs. In other words, the man is a bigot. That’s not a man who should be president. He should be pope. Then he could kick out all the pedophiles that have destroyed the Catholic Church. The fact is, Pacquiao’s just looking for something to do since he can no longer box for real. I have suggested that he fight me. I’m serious. I’ve taken an online boxing course! At this point in his career, I’m the ideal Pacquiao opponent: someone older, who has no experience in the ring. Why fight some old washed-up boxer when an older non-boxer is available? I’m the perfect fight opponent for Manny. Don’t run for president, Manny. Fight me! In 2008, I admit to being taken in by the Pacquaio charisma. It was the same time as Obama’s rise. Smart people at UH-Manoa warned me to beware of what I wished for. They said Pacquiao would be ripe for manipulation, and that he would not be the right person. They were right. I was wrong. Pacquiao has a lot in common with Donald Trump. Pacman’s an anti-intellectual, anti-politician with a populist’s touch. He’s definitely not what the Filipinos need right now. Trump isn’t what America needs now either. But even though Trump lost that bogus recount in Arizona, he continues to fight for

every last vote, everywhere. To what end? To cast doubt on the integrity of American democracy, as if we should believe a man who has zero integrity. The man needs a job. Maybe he should fight Pacquiao? The Arizona recount found that Biden won even more votes to defeat Trump. That plus the dismal turnout at the “Justice of J6” rally, shows there are clear signs that the facts are getting in the way of the Trump fantasy.

That Washington Rally If you saw the embarrassing turnout for the “Justice for J6” Washington, DC rally that an ex-Trump aide promoted this past weekend to support the Jan. 6 insurrectionists, you have to conclude that the Trump influence is wearing off. Not even Kene Brian Lazo, the man dressed as a Filipino Captain America holding a shield and a walis tambo was there. The Norfolk, Virginia, the man was one of the more than 600 arrested on Jan. 6, who then pleaded not guilty for participating in the insurrection, and was released. Only the most violent insurrectionists are still being held. But maybe with Lazo, they made a mistake. He was back in Norfolk on Aug. 22 and charged with sexually assaulting a child. That’s the sort of folk who answered the call on Jan. 6 to come out and decertify the official U.S. presidential election. But most of them didn’t show up on Saturday. If they’re not in jail like Lazo, I think they’re crawling back under their rock. And that’s a good thing for America. Smart Republicans seem to be waking from the spell of Trump and possibly coming to their senses. Fewer than 400 people showed up at the Capitol for the protest, and half of them were media. There were hundreds of more police backups to make sure the protest was peaceful.

Sen. Manny Pacquiao and Donald Trump

It was. Everyone had their say. And Trump still didn’t win last November. Coming on the heels of the California Recall, it is a trend worth noting.

Anti-Recall Margin Expands “Recall Repulsed Convincingly in California.” That would have been my election night headline this past month. Gov. Gavin Newsom, elected three years ago by the largest margin in nearly 70 years, can now stay in office to lead the state with the most Asian Americans in the nation. Out of 17 percent of eligible Asian American voters, 7 percent of the electorate was AAPI, according to exit polls. Congratulations to all who voted. Your franchise in our democracy is worth more than any number of Jollibees. But don’t take your vote for granted. Anywhere. There are still political forces out there that want to take away the power of your vote. I’ve waited to comment further about the election be-

HFC Graphic

cause the leading replacement candidate, Republican Larry Elder, hinted before the election–without evidence–those lawyers were at the ready in the event the vote was rigged. Sure, he was trying to show a touch of grace after the election when he said, “We may have lost the battle, but we are going to win the war.” But that doesn’t say he’s dumped the idea of challenging the results. I wanted to call his bluff. The Calif. Secretary of State reported these results as of Sept. 25, 2021. YES to Recall had 4.7 million votes. The NO to Recall side had 7.8 million votes. That’s a 3.1 million vote difference. That would require a lot of rigging or dead people voting. The state has 26 days to count and certify all the ballots. The only mention of anything suspicious has come from the electoral conspiracist-in-chief, the rigmeister himself, Donald Trump, who released a statement election night alleging “rigged voting”

in California with zero evidence. It was just enough innuendo to keep hope alive for his base of Republicans who are still convinced of Trump’s “Big Lie.” The lie that Trump defeated Joe Biden in last November’s election is still believed by many Americans to this day. A CNN poll this month asked if Biden legitimately won enough votes for the presidency, and 78 percent of Republicans and 35 percent of independents said No. Who do they believe won? Trump, of course. There aren’t that many Republicans to begin with in California, but had the recall effort succeeded, Elder, who led the 46 replacement candidates, would have been elected governor with a mere 2.4 million votes. That’s all it would have taken to replace Newsom, who won the governorship by a vast majority of 7.7 million votes in 2018. That’s how ridiculous and dangerous this whole recall effort was to democracy. On top of it was the cost. By the state’s own estimate, the cost is around $277 million from California’s General Fund. But add to that the individual campaigns’ expenses and the costs of this recall could easily be double the state’s estimate. So much for the fiscal conservatism of Republicans who saw the recall as just another reasonable effort to use the “Big Lie” mindset to cast (continue on page 13)




Sacred Teachings from the Philippine Ancestral Traditions By Rose Cruz Churma


n the book’s cover, Deepak Chopra writes that the author “brilliantly blends the art and science of the sacred teachings of Filipino traditional healing to help people find their path toward health and happiness.” The author, who is a descendant of a long line of Filipino healers, blends historical research with detailed descriptions of the spiritual belief system that forms the foundation of the Filipino healing tradition. The author writes about traditional healing as it is practiced based on the author’s ancestral lineage and the shared experiences and

knowledge of other respected practitioners known to him, but also interspersed with legends and myths. Since the practices are based on the author’s experience and lineage, the terms and methods described are common in the amianan or northernmost part of the Philippines—specifically the Ilocanos and their neighboring communities. The book has a lengthy introduction that describes his early years and the influences from his ancestors who were healers themselves. It also describes the Philippines before its western colonization and the impact of neighboring cultures. The first chapter describes the origins of Filipino ancestral healing while the second chapter expands on the shamanic and spiritual practices and beliefs such as the signifi-

cance of the anito to the messages received through dreams, and others. The third chapter is on amulets and other symbols of power including spiritual paraphernalia such as stone amulets, metal ornaments such as the linglingo, and textiles. In the segment on textiles as used in rituals, he describes the various regional traditional textile weaving called inabel in the amianan region. These wo-

ven textiles had a variety of usage from clothing, boat sails—including those used for the Manila-Acapulco galleon trade. The textiles are also used as blankets or ules, used as a covering while awake or asleep —and also used to cover the body in death, or for the deceased to sit on it, or hung overhead “causing malevolent spirits to become powerless.” Some of the blanket designs have the optical illusions of the alipugpog or kusikos (whirlwind and whirlpool optical illusions) that give the effect of swirling circles that “causes dizziness to malevolent spirits who are then incapable of attack.” This was also the design used for the boat sails since this design was believed to summon or appease the winds and water spirits for sailing. The author’s approach is very anecdotal, sharing sto-

ries from his observations and experience as well as others who share his beliefs. A healing arts therapist and certified holistic health practitioner, he is descended from both maternal and paternal bloodlines of Filipino healers. He runs a private clinical practice specializing in Filipino Ablon (a hands-on healing modality) and Indian Ayurvedic therapies. In essence, the author wrote this book “to help heal the aftermath of a colonial mentality and to bring Filipinos, wherever they are, back to their roots so that the nation can pick up where it left off and develop from its original path.” ROSE CRUZ CHURMA is a former President of the FilCom Center. She is also the co-owner of Kalamansi Books and Things, an online bookstore promoting works by Filipino Americans. For inquiries, email her at kalamansibook@ gmail.com.


A Filipino Shines in Sydney By Renelaine Bontol Pfister


arites Idea Novis was nominated by the Philippine Community Council of New South Wales to be this year’s recipient for the Filipino-Australian Achiever Award. This award is conferred by The Filipino Communities Council of Australia, and the ceremony will be held on October 20 at Parliament House in Canberra. This is not Novis’ first award. In 2020, she was named Business Person of the Year by the Local Business Awards sponsored by Blacktown City Council. Qfirst Property Investment Group, which Novis founded, was also named Outstanding Real Estate Agency that same year. Top 100 Women, an online platform for women in construction, named her one of the 2020 Most Successful Women in Construction. This year, Novis and her company have once again been

nominated for the same awards by the Local Business Awards. Moreover, Qfirst Property Investment Group was nominated for the Australian Business Champion Awards among 3,000 entries. Local Business Awards follow a rigorous process in selecting their awardees, including anonymous visits to the place of business by a judge and evaluating their customer service based on specific guidelines. They review the information provided by the candidate, such as their business history, marketing and staff training. How did she get to this stage? Born in Tayabas, Quezon, Philippines with three siblings and raised by hardworking parents, Novis credits her supportive family and a nurturing environment as the foundation of good values. She attended Far Eastern University and started as an

entrepreneur in Lucena City, where she founded Quezon First Engineering in 2000 at age 29 where they offer services to the general construction industry. She built up and expanded the company to neighboring cities in Quezon. In 2008, Novis and her husband Gerard, an engineer, moved to Sydney, Australia with their three children. In 2017, Novis established Qfirst Property Investment Group. Her goal has always been client-centered: she wants to help her clients find their dream house and build their financial portfolios. Helping others is what motivates her daily. One would think that the demands of one successful business such as QFirst Property Investment Group is enough for one woman to handle, but Novis’ passion and interests are varied and wide. She founded MFN Productions in 2018, which sponsors fashion shows such as one fea-

Marites Idea Novis

turing Filipino designer Rocky Gathercole, whose creations have been celebrated by Sharon Cuneta and other celebrities. “The need to capture good times, lock it in as an eternal memory and share it with the people through an artistic lens is the motivation in founding MFN Productions,” Novis shared. “Aside from this, being a true-blooded Filipino, I wanted to give an international platform to hardworking and talented Filipino artists who deserve to be acknowledged and celebrated internationally.” Being a proud Filipino, Novis acquired the distribution rights to Filipino fashion

labels Plains and Prints and Kamiseta to open a boutique in Westpoint Shopping Centre in Blacktown, Australia. Her endeavors even go beyond business, as in her support for Destiny Rescue, an organization that aims to protect children from human trafficking. Novis says that we are given a chance to create new paths every single day. “The day you stop dreaming is the day you stop living life. Surely it will be tough, but the most important thing is we keep going. Trust that no matter how tough the going gets, we will rise above life and come out victorious because we are armed with dreams and prayers.” 



Binge-watching K-drama: Finding Respite from the Pandemic By Seneca Moraleda-Puguan tions. Since then, I fell in love with Korean dramas. When I was in college, my friends t is no question and I would watch K-drathat Korean pop mas after exam week to relax. culture has infil- When there was nothing to do trated the global on weekends, my sister and I scene. There are would binge-watch shows unmillions of fans til morning and sleep during all over the world who love the day. And staying in South BTS, and Korean dramas are Korea for almost seven years some of the most-watched on now, I fell in love with their Netflix. dramas even more. I am not so much of a Watching Korean draK-pop fan (though my 5-year- mas also became our favorite old daughter dances when she bonding activity as husband hears Dynamite and Butter by and wife, and for some of BTS), but I am definitely a our couple friends. When our K-drama lover. Ever since Ko- children are already asleep, rean dramas were introduced we would tune it to our choin the Philippines, I found my- sen Korean drama. We will self hooked to the beautiful laugh together, sometimes cry plots, good-looking Korean together, and discuss the plot actors and actresses and mem- with each other. orable soundtracks. Binge-watching Korean I was in high school when dramas bring us closer to each Autumn In My Heart was aired other. In fact, we made it a goal on one of the major TV sta- to visit shooting locations of


the dramas we love, this gave us unforgettable experiences and wonderful memories as a family. What I love about Korean dramas, compared to the ones I watched growing up in the Philippines, is that they have a way to transform a simple concept into an elaborate plot that will stimulate your mind and capture your heart. The lines are spectacular, the music is superb, the characters are excellent, everything

is well-executed. When you look at their stories closely, they have underlying messages with social relevance. Every story reveals something about their culture - both good and bad. No wonder they have won many people’s hearts, not just the ones who can understand the language but even those who are forced to read the English subtitles. This pandemic has forced many to stay indoors. Many

the redistricting process. It’s time to speak out at the grassroots level, or we can get aced out of the process in the map drawing, even before we get pushed back at the polls. I said a month ago after interviewing Newsom that considering the real consequences of this recall election, it would not be hyperbolic to say this could be the single most important election for Asian American voters in California, maybe ever. Four weeks ago, Newsom’s odds to beat the recall was a coin flip. When I got a chance to interview Newsom, he looked weary, and maybe a bit concerned. Newsom turned it around when he made the Republican attempt to nationalize the election backfire. The national GOP made the recall a referendum on Trump with Black conservative Elder the uberTrump proxy. But it motivated Democrats who didn’t care about Newsom to come to the polls to save the state from the Trumped-up GOP. The decisive rebuke of

the recall effort is the piece of positive news in this era when Republicans cast doubt on our system at every turn. Sure, maps will have to be redrawn in California too. But with just four weeks to election, Newsom was able to repulse Trumpism and show there’s still some fairness and integrity in the process.

are looking for ways to cope especially in places where there are lockdowns. Some are looking for things to do to let time pass. Fortunately, these exciting, heartwarming and beautiful dramas offer respite from a very difficult time. Though temporary, watching beautiful stories take away our minds from the cares of this world and bring joy to troubled hearts. We live at a time where troubles are all around. We live in a world where we are faced every single day with the threat of a pandemic that seems to have no end in sight. At such a difficult time, we surely need a good laugh, and definitely a good cry. The beautiful dramas the South Koreans are making will give you both. If you haven’t watched one, please do try. And just like the Pringles slogan says: “Once you pop, you can’t stop!”

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

doubt on our entire electoral system. It just didn’t work in California.

Your Vote Is Still Threatened But that brings us to the bad news. Recall fever, or any form of an election challenge, is not going away. Trump’s made it a “thing.” It’s the only way a shrinking Republican party–whose actions reveal it to be anti-people of color, anti-black, anti-gay, anti-women–can hope to win elections in a diverse country like ours. Instead of competing on the issues, Republicans are hellbent on challenging every election loss and making it harder and harder for everyone, especially Asian Americans and all people of color to vote. There are 31 new voting laws in 18 states that have added new restrictions on things like mailed ballots and sameday registration/voting. California has both of those. The stated fear is electoral integrity, but that’s fraudulent rhetoric from Republicans who are fond of the saying, “We’re

making it easy to vote and harder to cheat.” No, the laws they’re changing are making it easier for Republicans to manipulate the vote and harder for people of color to exercise their franchise. Even before the ballot box, the threat is coming in the redrawing of political districts at the state and local levels. That’s always been an issue, but especially this year with the Census showing unprecedented growth among all people of color, including those of one or more races. The so-called “browning of America” demands that all the electoral maps be redrawn with significant public input to reflect a more diverse America. But so far that’s not happening. The Voting Rights Working group, a consortium of social justice advocacy non-profits, just released a statement that some state and local governments are “omitting, often willfully” opportunities for people of color to make their voices heard in

Our democracy works. But threats exist all over the country. We can prevail, but only if we realize and cherish the true value of our vote. EMIL​ GUILLERMO​ is a veteran journalist and commentator. He was a member of the Honolulu Advertiser editorial board. Listen to him on Apple Podcasts. Twitter @emilamok.



Kaslaak Ken Ni Umang, Ni Sasos, Ni Kannaway, Ni Pagaw, Ni Upa Ken, Ni Lawwalawwa ILOKO By Amado I. Yoro


aan a kinapiman daytoy, kitaem Saannak nga ay-ayen wenno ikuspil Wenno laisen; saannak nga umsien a siak Wen, kaslaak ken ni umang wenno sasos nga agkarkarayam, agsimadsimad nga agkarayam nga umallatiw iti sabali a pagkamangan, ken kaslaak ni kannaway, ken ni pagaw, ken ni upa, ken ni lawwalawa ta isu ti pudno: awagannak pay ketdi baliodong, tawataw saan met a Isaac pukaw ta addaanak met Determinasion ken nasudi nga arapaap. Kastoy ni umang: agbirok ti umokanna ti nagawangan, ti butiki wenno kappo dagiti nagpanawan ti sabali, ngamin saan a kas ken ni pag-ong tugot-tugotna bukodna nga abong. kastoy ni kannaway: agpayakpak iti ngato, agpababa-agpangato iti ngatuen ti daga saan a masnop dissuanna a pagbatayan tumayab pay, wen, iti sabali a sanga ti sanga a sabali, no saan tambak no saan bukot ni saraan, no saan iti sidiran dagiti baresbes asideg a paginuman. Kastoy ni pagaw: kumaratukot, lalaki dayta kurno a kurno iti padana a pagaw babai dayta; agpapangina met kampay idi a tarektekan ni malalaki, ne, makitam ita, makait-itlog kalpasan a tinarektekan ken kinaranio padana a pagaw agbirok ti bulbulong retretaso ken ginango: iti suli ti kalapaw wenno iti garahe: umok daytan daytan ti umok mabalinen a pagitlogan.

iti maysa a lagip: dinakto koma liplipatan.

Itlog, itlog, dagiti itlog, ukop ukop ti itlog, agpessa, dagiti piekna ti piekna, agmulagat, duol duol ni ina ti piek agsursuro a magna agsursuro nga agpayakpak adda matnag, adda maibaltog adda maidungpar, ne, ti pagaw nagpanaw dagiti piekna simmangkapukaw Ti baki ti upa, ti itlogna nagpessan ti itlogna nabatin ti lugit a nabasa pay ne, kimmangkang, ti nagawangan ti itlog tulidtuliden ti angin adda matnag iti rengngat ti rengngat a konsensia ti rengngat a kararua dagiti piek, wen, dagiti piek saandan a sublianan ti baki a linugitan ti upa a mantaw pukaw. Kastoy ni lawwalawwa: agpallangatok iti katayna a maiburandis----idiay idiay libertad iti naruay a nagkataman tabtabla, retretaso a karkarton idiay tambunting iti tugpatugpa a lati a galba ken rutayrutay a karton sidiran ti sementerio dagiti insik, iti igid ti ngirngir a waig; nagpa-Ilocos ngarud idiay kalye Bagumbayan naipagket ti katayna, kimpet a kasla tekka nagpallayog, idiay, wen idiay pay nakaad-adayo a sallapadan iti sumagmamano nga aldaw-rabii sulinek iti kabambantayan; iti maysa a panagpakada idiay rugsuanan

Namak pay ta immay ti Hulio 30, 1971 iti nanu place ti nangsarabo kadakuada saan a nagpatingga dita, ti panagalla-alla inallawat iti hinaea iti sagpat ti kasla tumukno iti langit a simburio ti sugar mill iti historical a Waipahu pagammuan ta nagbalkotda nga immakar daytoy ti daan nga umok iti nagsulian ti hoopio ken auwaha iti Ewa Historic Villages a makuna iti uppat pulo a nobiembre, naimas, naimnas sinangpetanda; inimasda ti taraon iti rabaw ti dulang ni ayat ngem daksanggasat ta narsuoden ti dulang naibellengen ti aklo; naibellengen ti pungan ti natallikudan a balitang, singin a kararua. Ditoyak, wen ditoyak, ituloyko ti agbirok ti pudno a kaipapanak. Asinoka, asinoak? Siak pay la ni umang, siak pay la ni sasos Siak latta ni Ilokano a Kartapilus dagiti agpagpagna; dagiti agbirbirok ngem awandan, awandan, napukawen ti anag ti asin a sinepsepsepanda iti imnas, iti panagkunnot iti mungay ti ayat; iti alimpatok ti ayat awandan, iti nabati a rangtay, nasiken latta saan a marba, ti adigi, saan a marupsa uray iti dalluyon, uray iti napigsa a hurricane adda, wen adda iti kinanumona; dayaw, wen, kayaw... Siak ni kannaway, namak pay a naspak ti payakna wen, naspak ti payak, ngem ti panagpayakpakna sige man latta; ; uray pay awagannak Iti lawwalawwa, aglaglag-oy a kimpet Iti nagsasapalan ti sangsanga ti kayanga: Asinoak? Asinoka?


FilAm Professor Offers First-of-its-Kind Asian American Course to the Public


r. Robyn Magalit Rodriguez, activist and professor at the University of California, Davis, is providing an online course that explores the history of Asian Americans in the United States. The university-level course will be based on Dr. Rodriguez’s recently released second edition of her book, “Asian America” which is co-authored with Dr. Pawan Dhingra. The official press release states the course is “designed for those working in K-12 education who are interested

in gaining better insight into their Asian American student’s lives in all of their complexity.” Many factors contribute to the Asian American experiences but the courses will explore five main areas: American history of immigration and settlement, Asian American identities, Asian American families and intimate relationships, Asian Americans’ educational and economic achievement and Interethnic/interracial relations including the long history of anti-Asian hate. Moreover, these main areas will also highlight how

the structures of inequality (racism, sexism, classism, and heterosexism) impact different Asian ethnic communities. “I have always thought it was a shame that Asian Amer-

ican Studies is only offered at a select number of colleges and universities around the United States,” says Dr. Rodriguez, whose parents immigrated from the Philippines. “I know communities of color around the country have been clamoring for knowledge for and about us, but we also face great obstacles to support Ethnic Studies or Critical Race Theory. With the launch of this course, I’m excited to make Asian American Studies (which draws from and builds upon Ethnic Studies and Critical Race Theory) accessible to anyone passionate about learning the topic.”

Dr. Rodriguez’s university-level course is available to anyone in the public who wishes to learn more about Asian American history. The course will be delivered online with two options to choose from: the selfpaced/asynchronous learning and the hybrid option wherein students can virtually meet fellow students and Dr. Rodriguez. The course ranges from $159 to $259 depending on the asynchronous or hybrid option. To avail Dr. Rodriguez’s Asian America course, visit liberatingeducation. thinkific.com. 


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

Register through lainghawaii.org/vlaing/. VIRTUAL EVENT | Hawaii-Philippines Business & Economic Council | October 13-14, 2021 | Learn more about the current business and economic developments between Hawaii and the Philippines. More details to come. To inquire, email Rose Churma at rosechurma@mac.com.

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


FYLPRO to Launch Filipino Arts Festival Featuring Filipino Filmmakers Panel, Movie Screening and Comedy Show


n celebration of Filipino  American  History Month, the Filipino  Young Leaders Program (FYLPRO) is launching Filipino Arts Festival featuring a filmmakers panel, U.S. screening of “Akin Ang Korona” and a comedy show with Rex Navarette and JR de Guzman on October 9, 2021. In partnership with Asian Popup Cinema and Chicago Asian Network, FYLPRO’s Filipino Arts Festival will take place at Alliance Française De Chicago, 54 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, Illinois. The event begins at 4:30 p.m. CST with the screening of “Akin Ang Korona,” directed by Zig Madamba Dulay. “Akin Ang Korona” follows Nanong (Nar Cabico) as his life becomes the focus of a tabloid-format TV show in hopes of finding his lost father. At 6:30 p.m. CST, a Filipino filmmakers panel including 3-time

Tony and Grammy Award-winning entertainment producer and FYLPRO alum Jhett Tolentino who is set to debut his directorial film starring Dante Basco and Toni Gonzaga, Emmy award-winning Filipinx

filmmaker Michele Josue of Netflix’s Happy Jail, Billy Dec who is a 2-time Emmy Award Winning TV Personality, Actor, Attorney and the Founder/CEO of celebrated businesses like Sunda New Asian Restaurants and The Underground Nightclub and “Akin ang Korona’s” lead actor Nar Cabico will discuss their experience as Filipino American in the film industry moderated by journalist Cat Sandoval. Lastly, a comedy stand-up show with comedians Rex Navarrete and JR de Guzman will kick off at 8:30 p.m. CST. Navarrete has performed alongside headliners such as George Lopez, Russell Peters, Ali Wong, among others over the past three decades. De Guzman has entertained all over the world, having performed for Stand-Up

Tokyo and ROR Comedy in Japan, the Jokers Ball in Indonesia, the Badaboom Comedy Series in Amsterdam, and countless other international shows. FLYPRO  President Louella Rose Cabalona is excited to be back to the cinemas this year after they successfully pivoted to drivein screenings last year. “It’s an impressive line-up of notable Filipino Americans in Film from all over the USA coming together for Filipino American History Month here in Chicago!” she said. “It also is a wonderful comeback to the theater on our third collaboration with Asian Pop-up Cinema.” For more information on the filmmakers, performers and ticket prices, visit bitly.com/ fylproartsfest2021. (Solution to Crossword No. 9 | September 18, 2021)

KROSSWORD ni Carlito Lalicon

Blg. 10


1. Turnilyo isang namatay sa mga 6. Kahit kaanak 13. Mga kawing o likaw ng 26. Galingan kadena 27. Bag na hawak ng kamay 14. Mabatubalani 28. Bukana 15. Abakada 29. Takip ng ilawan 16. Buway 30. Kunin sa pamamagitan ng 17. Sandipa kamay 18. Pagkahuli 31. Tungag 19. Balaod 32. Asahan 20. Balisungsong 33. Bulos 22. Pagtira sa ibang bahay 34. Alubo nang pansamantala 38. Tawag sa anak na babae 43. Hele 23. Iniwan 39. Agaas 44. Hagikgik 24. Manubig 40. Banggit 45. Donador 25. Anumang iniwan ng 41. Hinhin


1. Pang-ilalim 2. Abot 3. Klerigo 4. Kanta ni Pilita Corrales 5. Tela o balat na may sangkap na langis 6. Kurido 7. Pananakit 8. Ang-ang 9. Bagwis

10. Mayungyungan 11. Lagyan ng mga tala 12. Pigain 14. Piniritong saging o kamote 16. Di-makatwiran 18. Yambaan 21. Iabuloy 22. Paghuhulo 24. Plantsahin


46. Lahatin 47. Ambon

25. Pakikiapid 36. Pag-uugoy sa bagay 26. Bar na nakabitin, gaya ng 27. Binabati duyan 28. Kahabaan ng yantok na 37. Nito may ubod 39. Isang uri ng halaman 29. Kalambre o buto na panlahok sa 30. Asamin ulam o matamis 32. Tag-ani 42. Bahagyang tikod 34. Panunulsol 43. Tula 35. Balanga (Ang sagot ay matutunghayan sa

susunod na isyu ng Chronicle)


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