Hawaii Filipino Chronicle - October 16, 2021

Page 1


OCTOBER 16, 2021


The Philippine Political Circus Begins MAINLAND NEWS

U.S. Embassies and Consulates Suspend Routine Visa Services


Schools Return to In-Person Instruction, Are Students Safe?


Rock Solid: How the Philippines Won Its Maritime Case Against China



Nobel Peace Prize Winner Maria Ressa Is An Inspiration to Filipinos and the World


e are proud to join Filipino communities around the world in congratulating Philippines-based journalist Maria Ressa on being selected as the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize laureate along with fellow journalist Dmitry Muratov of Russia. Ressa, CEO, president and cofounder of Rappler (digital news site) is the first Filipino to receive a Nobel Prize. She is a 35-years veteran journalist who is internationally known as a leader in the fight for press freedom. The Nobel committee says it awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to Ressa and Dmitry in recognition of “their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace.” Former Philippine vice president Jejomar Binay said, “Maria Ressa’s Nobel Peace Prize is a recognition of the courage of every Filipino journalist.” While Binay is spot on in this remark, Ressa’s selection could be viewed as a larger win for all journalists around the world, particularly at this moment in time. Her selection comes at a critical time when truth and facts are under assault. It comes at a time when journalists face unprecedented harassment by right-wing populists on social media. And perhaps most importantly, the Committee’s selection of these two journalists in specific is sending a message that while “you both (Ressa and Muratov) are under extreme duress in your countries, the international community stands in solidarity with you for the work you do.”

Why Ressa for Nobel Peace Prize? Ressa’s prominence as a face of modern media internationally made her a fitting choice for the Nobel. She already had been named Time’s Person of the Year 2018, among journalists combating the “War on Truth.” In 2019, she was included in Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World.

Also, if the Committee had decided that bolstering media as the “pressing issue” to highlight at this specific time due to increasing global cynicism of news facts and pressure from leaders who perpetuate this misperception for political gain – Ressa’s current narrative again, makes her a fitting choice. Make no mistake, the Nobel committee is about entrenching certain values. When Vice President Al Gore was selected, the Nobel Foundation was clearly saying it’s urgent that the world start addressing climate change. The Committee was sending a message that apartheid (racial segregation) is unacceptable when President Nelson Mandela was chosen to become a laureate. No one knows exactly how the Nobel committee goes about selecting a Nobel laureate each year. We’re talking about the behind the door deliberation process. Specifically on the Nobel Peace Prize selection process -- does the Committee first look at pressing issues globally and zero in on local cases? Then second they find a champion of an issue of interest who has global recognition and does Nobel-worthy work? Or is that order reversed? Why does that order matter even? Because it could explain why perhaps certain obvious historical figures have not received the Nobel Peace Prize like Mahatma Gandhi. The excuse is that Gandhi had already died before he was nominated. But his work arguably was already Nobel-worthy while he lived. It could be that at the time, the fight for independence from Britain that Gandhi was leading wasn’t global enough an issue. Issue and personality. For Nobel Peace Prize laureates, the two sort of meld together as one in time. The living, breathing, embodiment of the struggle to report on truth at this moment is Ressa. And arguably the most known hotbed of media suppression is Russia, which is perhaps why Muratov is the co-laureate. (continue on page 3)



am speechless. Oh my God. Oh my gosh. I’m speechless,” this was the reaction Philippine-based journalist Maria Ressa had when receiving a call from the Nobel Committee that she was chosen as the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize Winner. In a way, Filipinos across the globe felt similarly surprised and ecstatic when they got word of Ressa’s selection from their social media feed. Ressa is the first Filipino to win a Nobel award (6 categories are given each year). But the Nobel Peace Prize award is perhaps the category that draws most attention. While Filipino communities celebrate Ressa’s much deserved win, there is a dark flipside to the coin in the reason for her winning – which is the struggle for freedom of expression by media in the Philippines. For our cover story this issue, HFC contributing editor Belinda Aquino and HFC editorial assistant Jim Bea Sampaga report on the hostile environment launched by the Duterte administration to suppress Ressa and Rappler, an online news website she co-founded. Since 2018, the Duterte administration has been filing cases against her and the news website in accounts of fraud, tax evasion, cyber libel and more. The administration also had the Securities and Exchange Commission revoke Rappler’s license to operate. There are seven active court cases against Ressa and Rappler, as of August 2021. The harassment is believed to be rooted in Ressa and Rappler’s critical reporting on Duterte and is a means to intimidate and muzzle her and the Filipino press. Suddenly, Ressa the reporter, becomes the subject of news herself as a defender of freedom of speech, which unfortunately, isn’t unique to the Philippines. This is the dramatic setting that caught the attention of the Nobel Committee which led to her being chosen Nobel Peace Prize Winner. On the same subject, HFC’s Emil Guillermo in his column comments, “The [Nobel] award tells the world the prize – which normally comes with a $1 million cash award – is being used to jumpstart and “angel fund” what is essentially a de facto global pro-democracy movement. That’s what happens when you herald the work of common journalists who choose to do extraordinary things – like face-down power by uncovering the facts of corruption, deceit, and malfeasance.” With hyperattention on the Philippines bound to follow after Ressa’s Nobel, HFC columnist Perry Diaz gives us insight into who Duterte’s possible successor could be in his article “The Philippine Political Circus Begins.” As of the final filing date last October 8, more than 90 Filipinos have filed their certificates of candidacy (COC). Among the leading contenders are Ping Lacson, Isko Moreno, Bongbong Marcos, Manny Pacquiao, Leni Robredo, and Bato Dela Rosa. Also in this issue, we have a Healthline article on eye safety for Halloween. Eye makeup and decorative contact lenses could pose as a problem. An important tip: when planning your costume, stay away from clothing or props with sharp edges that could easily pierce an eye. Lastly, October is National Filipino American History Month. Find out how this national observance came to be in our second editorial. There are interesting facts most people are unaware of like Filipinos were the first Asians to land on North America in 1587. For perspective, the Pilgrims left England aboard the Mayflower and landed in New England on Nov. 11, 1620. Thank you for supporting the Hawaii Filipino Chronicle. Be sure to read our other news and columns, as well as visit our website for back stories. 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



Mabuhay to Our Community! October is Filipino American History Month


id you know that Filipinos were the first Asians to visit North America? It will come as a surprise as to how far back it happened. As part of the Manila Galleons that was a trade route Spanish ships would take to and from the Philippines and Mexico (both countries then considered part of New Spain), Filipinos worked as sailors for Spanish trade explorers. The trade route linked Asia to the new world from 1565 to 1815. Manila and Acapulco were major ports. Under the command of Spanish explorer Pedro de Unamuno, a crew that included Filipino sailors were on the ship Nuestra Señora de Buena Esperanza (Our Lady of Hope) which landed in Morro Bay, California, on Oct. 18, 1587, according to the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS). Upon landing, the crew claimed that site for Spain which was customary during that time. About two weeks later, the crew were attacked by Native Americans that resulted in the death of one Filipino sailor. Arguably this attack on the crew and death of a Filipino perhaps made chronicling the landing more conspicuous and a reason why historians know about it. Today

there is a historical marker in Morro Bay in observance of this historic event. To give you an idea of how early this event was. Remember the Pilgrims left England aboard the Mayflower and landed in New England on Nov. 11, 1620. The FANHS also recognizes the year 1763 as the date of the first permanent Filipino settlement at St. Malo Parish in Louisiana, US. It is considered the first settlement of Asians in the US.

will be holding virtual or small activities (due to the pandemic) this entire month to celebrate our presence and history in the US. Besides camaraderie, it has also become a perfect time to educate both members in our community (especially our youth) and the community-at-large of some of our progress, significant contributions and influential roles our leaders have played in making our country a better place for all.

Some notables

order). The top five US cities where Filipinos live are in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Honolulu, New York, and San Diego. Filipino Americans have the fourth highest (at $100,273) Median Household Income in the US by ancestry based on the American Community Survey 2021, United States Census Bureau. We are behind Asian Indian Americans, Taiwanese Americans and Australian Americans, respectively. We have a “Little Manila” in New York City, in Woodside, Queens where there is a large concentration of Filipino businesses. In Los Angeles there is the Historic Filipino town. Historically, Filipinos played a major role in the early twentieth century when American industry grew rapidly and agriculture became a large enterprise and its mass production was much needed. Filipinos worked on large farms and plantations in Hawaii, California, Oregon and Washington. In Alaska, we were recruited to work at canning factories. Filipino migrant workers were critical in helping to keep Americans and other parts of the world fed. Today, Filipinos are in business, STEM fields, media, government, tourism, entertainment, education, labor, transportation, the arts, service and retail.

In observance of Filipinos’ first landing on North America on October, the National Historical Society (FANHA) established in 1992 that month as National Filipino American History Month. Then it became official in 2009 when both the US Senate and House passed resolutions making the same recognition. Some states and counties have since followed FANHA and Congress. It’s an exciting time for our Filipino American community all across the nation. Filipino student clubs at universities and colleges, Filipino civic and professional organizations, leaders and staff at Filipino community centers and supporters of cultural institutions like museums and libraries are just a few groups that

According to Pew Research Center, there are more than 4 million Filipinos that live in the US, most of whom contribute to our national economy as workers and consumers in practically all sectors of society. Among Asians, Filipinos are ranked third in population behind Chinese and Asian Indian Americans, according to the 2020 Census. Asian Indian Americans overtook Filipino Americans that formerly held the number two spot. Filipinos are the largest ethnic group in the state of Hawaii. In California, it is the third largest minority group behind Latinos and African Americans. Besides California and Hawaii (both rank first and second, respectively), there are large Filipino communities in Texas, Washington state, Florida, Illinois and New York (in that

Outstanding Filipino Americans (to name only a few)

intensified his determination to fight harder for civil rights and for a society of racial equality (it’s under reported but Dr. King also emphasized economic equality). Likewise, having been arrested several times and charged with “cyber libel” and tax evasion only fueled Ressa’s resolve. She explained it this way, “when we came under attack, there wasn’t really any other choice, the phrase we used is ‘hold the line’…on this side you’re good, on this side you’re evil,” said Ressa. For all this (great personalities and their struggle) to have personal meaning to you and I, who might be thinking our bourgeoise existence is far removed – why should the Nobel matter? It could have something to do with what Alfred Nobel (founder) said in his last will, that recipients of his Nobel would be given to

“those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind.” His standard for his award has been set at the highest bar. The Nobel Prize is about recognizing great work that mankind benefits – “this” is our connection to laureates, our “birthright as a part of humanity.” Under the same tent as a President like Woodrow Wilson who founded the League of Nations that eventually would become the United Nations is Maria Ressa, a journalist reporting truth under tense and uncertain conditions. As Filipinos, as members of the media, as admirers of those who pursue justice, as those of us who value democratic principles -- there is a part of us that feel we are also under this same tent as Ressa fighting the good fight, even if it appears to be that we are thousands of miles away.

Ressa’s work ultimately is about extolling principles of democracy and safeguarding it for her fellow countrymen, even if some Filipinos do not see it this way, even if some Filipinos believe Ressa is not deserving of anything. Going forward, the Nobel Peace Prize will only magnify Ressa’s work tenfold and more, for other journalists around the world to see and emulate. Truth telling and reporting will continue beyond her lifetime into future generations. The Nobel Peace Prize will serve as a marker in history that Ressa was among the lead guardians in media during one of its most turbulent periods. Our community can take pride in what our fellow Filipino has accomplished. Thank you Maria Ressa. You are an inspiration to the world!

Month of Observance

(Nobel....from page 2)

The Nobel committee is concerned with global impact – work that moves humanity forward. Laureates inspire us to live out our best moral, unselfish selves as Mother Teresa brought attention to extreme poverty. Laureates’ work often shows us how to have unwavering courage as when then 17-years old Malala Yousafzai defied the Pakistan Taliban and demanded that girls be allowed to receive an education. Like a great novel or movie with a moral message – but even better because this is real life – the Nobel laureate is that central figure, heroic giant whose back is against a wall and has the weight of the world on his-her shoulders. It is at this moment when there is no other choice but to fight for what is right. The death threats and intimidation Nobel laureate Martin Luther King, Jr. is said to have

There have been innumerable Filipinos who have made an impact in the US, some are/were very famous while others are known mostly within the industries they have excelled. Just a few notable Filipino Americans: Ben Cayetano (governor of Hawaii), Bobby Scott (congress member, Virginia), Byron Acohido (journalist, 1997 Pulitzer Prize winner), Cheryl Diaz Meyer (photo journalist 2004, Pulitzer Prize winner) Jose Antonio Vargas (journalist, Pulitzer Prize winner, 2008), Dado Banatao (tech giant, venture capitalist and philanthropist), Loida Nicholas-Lewis (CEO, TLC Beatrice international Holdings, Inc.), Robert Lopez (songwriter for musicals who achieved the very rare status of “EGOT” that stands for a winner of an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and Tony Award), Josie Natori (fashion designer and CEO and founder of the Natori Company), Bruno Mars (award winning pop and R&B singer), Nicole Scherzinger (singer, actress), Lou Diamond Phillips (actor), Tom Cunanan (chef, winner of the James Beard Award, highest honor for the culinary arts), and many more. Enjoy this month of pride, celebration, education and unity in our Filipino community. We hope our youth will participate in any one of the ongoing events or independently learn about our history as Americans. We also encourage non-Filipinos to join in our month-long celebration. Mabuhay to all our fellow Filipino Americans!



Filipinos in Hawaii Ecstatic Over Maria Ressa Winning the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize by Belinda A. Aquino, PhD. and Jim Bea Sampaga Photos courtesy of Rappler


ilipinos in Hawaii are thrilled and ecstatic over the prestigious honor awarded to their fellow countrywoman, journalist Maria Ressa who received the prestigious 2021 Nobel Peace Prize. This is the first time a Filipino is awarded a Nobel Prize. Ressa, alongside her co-winner and fellow journalist Dmitry Muratov of Russia, received the award for “their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression,” according to the Norwegian Nobel Committee who oversees the award. Born in Manila, Philippines and moved to New Jersey at 10-years-old, the 58-year-old is a Princeton University cum laude graduate and University of the Philippines at Diliman Fulbright fellow. She was CNN’s lead investigative reporter in Asia and served as the organization’s bureau chief in Manila (1987 – 1995) and Jakarta, Indonesia (1995 – 2005). In The 2021 Nobel Peace Prize “[Ressa and Muratov] are representatives of all journalists who stood up for freedom of expression in a world in which democracy faces increasingly adverse conditions,” said the Norwegian Nobel Committee in their press release. “Ressa uses freedom of expression to expose abuse of power, use of violence and growing authoritarianism in her native country, the Philippines.” Just about everyone who knows what’s happening in the Philippines in recent years usually does not hesitate to speak about their observations on the Duterte administration’s draconian policy and treatment of suspected drug users and pushers. According to United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council report, fatalities related to the “drug war” are

2004, Ressa became the news division head of ABS-CBN, one of the Philippines’ biggest broadcasting networks. In 2011, she co-founded Rappler, the top digital news site in the Philippines. As a journalist for 35 years, she investigated terrorist networks and authored “Seeds of Terror: An Eyewitness Account of Al-Qaeda’s Newest Center” in 2003 and “From Bin Laden to Facebook: 10 Days of Abduction, 10 Years of Terrorism” in 2013. A multi-awarded journalist in the Philippines and abroad, she was included in Time’s Person of the Year in 2018 and 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2019. East-West Center (EWC) in the University of Hawaii at Manoa (UHM) honored Ressa as an EWC Journalist of Courage and Impact during the Center’s 2018 International Conference in Singapore. She gave a speech on the topic of “Undermining the Free Press in Asia.”

more than 8,000 as of 2020. It is also unknown how many Filipinos are unjustly charged with crimes for which the authorities have no sufficient evidence. Suspects are also not given due process. “The campaign against illegal drugs is being carried out without due regard for the rule of law, due process, and the human rights of people who may be using or selling drugs,” said Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Human Rights Watch and other organizations have also expressed criticism of the unjust treatment and prosecution of suspected drug addicts and violators. Rappler, an online news website co-founded by Ressa and three fellow veteran journalists, has been consistently reporting on the Duterte administration’s policies especially on the controversial

“war on drugs.” Since 2018, the Duterte administration has been filing cases against her and the news website in accounts of fraud, tax evasion, cyber libel and more. The administration even had the Securities and Exchange Commission revoke Rappler’s license to operate. “To cut down press freedom in this way and to weaponize the law is a whole new level. It is something I haven’t seen since the days of Marcos, and to see it again is heartbreaking,” said Ressa in a 2020 interview with The New York Times. There are seven active court cases against her and the news organization, as of August 2021. Rappler, one of the Philippines’  first  news multimedia  websites The main instrument for

In 2020, she was also awarded the EWC Chaplin Fellow, a distinguished lectureship that recognizes journalists of extraordinary accomplishments in their professional careers. She delivered an address on “Press Freedom Under Fire.” But a few years before that, the Philippine government had been hounding her for her relentless campaign against President Rodrigo Duterte administration’s “war on drugs” campaign.

Ressa’s writing on freedom of press and expression is Rappler, an online news website. Initially called MovePH, the news organization started as a Facebook page in 2011. The team saw the untapped potential of the blue-logo social media site in reaching the Filipino audience. It wasn’t until 2012 that it became the fully developed Rappler website that we know of today. However, in recent years, Ressa has been critical of Facebook’s algorithms spreading of fake news. In a recent interview with Reuters, she said the social media giant is “…biased against facts, it is biased against journalism.” Facebook has always been scrutinized for its lack of action and prevention of fake news. But in the Philippines, where most of its online population has a Face-

book account, the website has been used as a weapon by its government. In Ressa’s 2016 Rappler article, she said that weaponizing the internet is a “strategy of ‘death by a thousand cuts’ – a chipping away at facts, using half-truths that fabricate an alternative reality by merging the power of bots and fake accounts on social media to manipulate real people.” Duterte supporters have used Facebook to strengthen their political agendas and spread misleading posts and fake news. Moreover, the group has also used Facebook to attack anyone who disagrees with the current administration. When Ressa published her 2016 article, she received multiple hate messages including rape and death threats. Rappler was also flooded (continue on page 5)


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

with violent threats that, according to a Bloomberg feature, the organization had to hire an armed guard in their main office in Ortigas, Pasig City and send their social media team to counseling. To combat the rising spread of fake news on the platform, Rappler became a member of the International Fact-Checking Network by the Poynter Institute in 2017. The following year, Facebook partnered with Rappler to be in the platform’s worldwide fact-checking program. “[Facebook algorithm] prioritize the spread of lies laced with anger and hate over facts,” Ressa told Reuters. “If you have no facts, you can’t have truths, you can’t have trust.” The Philippines, Ressa and Rappler’s situation under Duterte administration was similar to the Marcos regime’s martial law when suspects had no recourse to defend their legal rights and press freedom was actively silenced while propaganda and fake news took over. The Norwegian Nobel Committee emphasizes the importance of protecting and defending the fundamental press and media rights to freedom of speech. “Free, independent and fact-based journalism serves to protect against abuse of power, lies and war propaganda,” the committee stated. “The Committee is convinced that freedom of expression and freedom of information help to ensure an informed public. These rights are crucial prerequisites for democracy and protect against war and conflict.” For Ressa, the Nobel Peace Prize is an award, not only to her and Muratov but to all journalists around the world. “[I’m] thankful that journalists have the attention. The Committee made a point to show that journalists under attack are critical and perhaps, our future is going to be dependent on how well we do our jobs,” Ressa told Al Jazeera.

have also expressed their disagreement on the Nobel Peace Prize awardee. National Artist for Literature F. Sionil Jose shared his thoughts on his Facebook account. Jose’s post reads: “Maria Ressa does not deserve the Nobel. I will be damned for stating this.” The 96-year-old is a literary writer known for his books, short stories and essays. He also writes columns for local newspapers including the Philippine Star where he published a 2013 column sharing his experience waiting to be awarded the Nobel Literature Prize. In a following paragraph on his Facebook post, he explained the Philippine press is alive and well not because of Maria Ressa. There is no censorship happening in the Philippines with no writer or journalists being thrown in jail. “I have criticized Duterte but not on press freedom,” Jose wrote. “Sure, journalists have been killed in the Duterte regime just as it was in past administrations. But those killings cannot be laid at Duterte’s door.” Between 2016 and 2020, 19 journalists have been killed under the Duterte administration, according to Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility. In May 2016, just a month away from assuming office, Duterte says that “corrupt” journalists deserve to die. “Just because you’re a journalist you are not exempted from assassination, if you’re a son of a bitch,” he said. “Most of those killed, to be frank, have done something. You won’t be killed if you don’t do Criticisms However, some critics anything wrong.”

“At a time when the press is under siege in the Philippines, where the President himself persecutes, insults, and threatens journalists, Maria and many of the Rappler journalists and writers continue to deliver hard-hitting and truthful news stories.” — Dr. Vina Lanzona, The Philippines rank 138th out of 180 countries in the 2021 World Press Freedom Index by Reports Without Borders, an international organization that promotes freedom of expression and information. Hawaii’s reaction to Ressa’s award “Maria is a courageous, committed and an inspiration to journalists all over the world,” said Susan Kreifels, Media Program Manager at EWC. “We are beyond proud to have her as part of our EWC media family.” Professor Patricio “Jojo” Abinales of UHM Department of Asian Studies said Ressa and Rappler have stood their ground “in a time when populist tyrants impose their will and drive the narrative.” “They have been a pain on the side of the ‘Butcher’ President, the Marcos family that helped fund his presidency and the warlord and drug lords who enjoy his patronage and benevolence. Maria and Rappler have stood for the poor, the powerless and the voiceless, even if some of them remain enamored with the ‘Butcher’ President,” he said. Abinales also mentioned the underwhelming number of Southeast Asians and women awardees of the Nobel Peace Prize award. “In its 120 years as an organization the Nobel Prize committee has only conferred the laureate to three Southeast Asians, and to 58 women out of 876 awardees. In conferring Maria the award, maybe the Committee is now beginning to realize this injustice and move to further

Associate History Professor at University of Hawaii at Manoa correct it.” Former journalist and now Hawaii District 16 senator Bennette Misalucha says the Nobel Peace Prize is also a milestone for girls, women, and Filipinos everywhere. “I commend Maria for achieving this milestone of greatness and look forward to her inspiring future generations of journalists, women, and Filipinos to break down even higher barriers,” Misalucha told Hawaii Filipino Chronicle. “Maria has consistently fought with courage and a valiant spirit for the values that are near and dear to the hearts of freedom lovers everywhere.” For Dr. Vina Lanzona, Associate History Professor at UHM, Ressa is a crucial part of fearless journalism and freedom of the press. “At a time when the press

is under siege in the Philippines, where the President himself persecutes, insults, and threatens journalists, Maria and many of the Rappler journalists and writers continue to deliver hard-hitting and truthful news stories,” she said. “Whether it’s about the abuses of the police and extra-judicial killings caused by Duterte’s murderous war on drugs, or about corruption in all levels of society, Maria and Rappler deliver the news that people need to know.” Lanzona further explained that the Nobel Peace Prize significance shows because it recognizes “not just one woman’s struggle and courage, but indeed, the determination and bravery of the journalists of Rappler and other journalists in the Phil(continue on page 13)



The Philippine Political Circus Begins By Perry Diaz


s expected, the 2022 Philippine presidential election will be one of the most – if not the most – interesting elections in the Philippines. It is a political alchemy of various personalities that includes a former boxing great, the heir of the late dictator, a colorful Manila mayor, two former national police chiefs, and the widow of an assassinated popular political heavyweight. The people are energized to elect the next president who – as usual – promises to bring “peace and prosperity” to a third-world country that dreams of greatness since the corrupt late dictator promised to make the Philippines great again. Thus, was born the “Great Again Society,” which was as promising as it was half a century ago when it became the rallying cry of the “New Balintawak,” which was “For God and country: Guns, goons, and gold” – the three G’s that brought the Mar-

cos family to the forefront of greed, ambition, and power. But in the end, the people revolted and sent the Marcoses to exile in Hawaii. Thirty-two years later, the heirs of Marcos brought home the remains of the dictator and retreated to Ilocos Norte where they slowly rebuilt their political base, which remained loyal to their “Apo Lakay” to this day. That was the Solid North that brought to the presidency of Elpidio Quirino, Carlos P. Garcia (parents were Ilocanos), Ramon Magsaysay, Ferdinand Marcos, and Fidel Ramos. The loyal Ilocanos hope Bongbong Marcos would be next, which would mark 2022 as the rebirth of the Marcos dynasty or if he fails, its final political burial year. So, with that introduction, let the circus begin! As of the final filing date last October 8, more than 90 Filipinos have filed their certificates of candidacy (COC). I’m not going to name all of them since most of them filed just to have the bragging right of “being a presidential candidate.” There are, however, a handful of serious candidates. They are the following (in no particular order): Former Senator Ferdi-

The 2021 Philippine presidential candidates: (Top, L-R) Ping Lacson, Isko Moreno, Bongbong Marcos (Bottom, L-R) Manny Pacquiao, Leni Robredo, Bato Dela Rosa HFC Graphics

nand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. – This is his second attempt to run for higher office. He was beaten by Vice President Leni Robredo in 2016 when he ran for Vice President. His popularity stands at 20%. Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo – Although she’s the incumbent Vice President, Robredo’s popularity is less than 10%. However, she’s always been behind in ratings since she first entered politics. She first ran as Congresswoman in Camarines Sur’s 3rd congressional district in 2013 beating the wife of former Congressman Luis Villafuerte of the politically powerful Villafuerte political dynasty. In 2016, she ran for Vice President and won. She became the voice and face of the opposition. In 2018, she criticized China for establishing missiles in the West Philippine Sea. On October 7, 2021, she announced her candidacy for President as an independent although she remains a member and chairman of the Liberal Party. Clearly, she’s distancing herself from the “dilawan” (yellow) brand of the Liberal Party. To accentuate her independence, she adopted “pink” as the color of her candidacy. But make no mistake, the Liberal Party supports her candidacy and is expected to campaign for her. In explaining why she picked “pink,” Robredo said, “This is a different fight. We have a bigger fight ahead. This is a battle against the comeback of the dictator’s

son and incompetent governance which is the root of our problems.” Senator Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao – After announcing his retirement from boxing on September 29, 2021, after a record of 62-82, 39 KOs at age 42, Pacquiao declared two days later that he was running for President. One of the greatest boxing champions of all time, “Pacman,” as he was known in the ring, won 12 world titles in eight weight divisions. The presidency would be the apex of his rise to greatness. Pacquiao was so poor that he stopped his studies in high school to help earn money for his family. In 2007, he took and passed, a high school equivalency exam making him eligible for college education. In the same year, he ran for Congress and lost. Never a quitter, he ran again in 2010 and won. He was reelected in 2013. In 2016, he ran for Senator and won. Surely, he has the mentality of a winner. Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko” Moreno Domagoso – Isko Moreno is running for president in his first attempt at national politics. He was first elected Vice Mayor of Manila in 2019 when he unseated Manila mayor and former president Joseph “Erap” Estrada. A former actor who grew up in the slums of Tondo, Isko Moreno – his name as an actor – acknowledged that he doesn’t have an extensive educational background and he doesn’t come from a powerful political clan. He’s using his successful

programs and projects to propel him to the presidency. “I do not run on promises. I run on prototypes,” the 46-yearold mayor said during his campaign launch in Tondo. Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson – He first ran for president as an independent in 2004 when he suffered a landslide defeat at the hands of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. He finished third in a five-way contest. A graduate of the Philippine Military Academy, he ran on a campaign against illegal drugs, criminality, and corruption, which was his forte as a former Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief. After Estrada was ousted in 2001, Lacson won a seat in the Senate that same year and proceeded to win two more terms. He remained an independent since then. In 2021, Lacson was named the chairman of the revived Partido Reporma. He and his running mate former Senate President Tito Sotto launched their candidacies last August 4. Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa – Bato rose to prominence when President Duterte appointed him as PNP Chief in 2016. He led the Oplan Tokhang, the controversial “war on drugs” campaign. As a result, several groups including human rights groups and religious leaders strongly objected to Dela Rosa and President Duterte’s initiatives. In 2018, Dela Rosa was appointed as Director-General of the Bureau of Corrections. The following year, he ran for Senator and won. On October 8, he announced his candidacy for President, which surprised a lot of people. Why was he running for President, they asked? Speculations started to spread that Dela Rosa was running for President and then Sara Duterte-Carpio will substitute for him on November 15, when substitutions are allowed. It’s interesting to note that President Duterte used the same playbook in 2015 when he ran as a substitute for an unknown (continue on page 7)



By Emmanuel S. Tipon, Esq.


here are a number of alien fiancés/fiancées who come to the United States pursuant to an approved fiancé/fiancee visa petition filed by a U.S. citizen (Green card holders are not eligible to file a fiance/fiancee visa petition). Most, but not all, come in good faith. What can the alien fiancé/fiancee do when the U.S. citizen cannot or does not want to marry such alien fiancé/fiancee? In one case, an Ilocana from Ilocos Norte was engaged to a U.S. citizen from Hawaii. He filed a fiancee visa for her to enter the United States to marry him. She entered the United States but unknown to her, the U.S. citizen had been murdered a week earlier. Instead of a wedding, she attended his funeral. Desirous of remaining in the U.S. she entered into a marriage with another U.S.C. the following month. She conceded that the marriage was fraudulent. The fraudulent character of her marriage came to the attention of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), which brought proceedings to deport her. Her father and her four-year-old daughter are citizens of the United States. Her mother is a permanent resident. I met the daughter who at that time was already an adult. The immigration judge ruled that she was deportable and denied her application un-

What Can Alien Fiancé/Fiancee Do When Fiancé/Fiancee Cannot or Does Not Want to Marry? der 8 U.S.C. § 1251(f)(1) for waiver of deportability as the mother of a United States citizen and the child of a United States citizen. She appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals (the Board) which ruled that according to 8 C.F.R. § 214.2(k) (5), the approval of a nonimmigrant fiancé petition is automatically terminated when the petitioner dies before the beneficiary arrives in the United States. Since her fiancé died prior to her arrival, her visa petition was automatically revoked upon his death and she was no longer entitled to the status accorded by her visa. See Matter of Alarcon, 17 I & N Dec. 574 (BIA 1980). Her nonimmigrant visa was therefore invalid at the time she sought admission to the United States. The Board said that she was deportable due to the lack of a valid visa at the time of her entry, not because of the fraud she later committed in adjusting her status on the basis of a sham marriage. Thus, a section 241(f)(1) [now 237(a)(1)(H)] waiver would not eliminate the grounds of deportability with which she is charged. [Only aliens who entered the United States by misrepresentation may apply for a waiver of removability under this provision]. The Court of Appeals dismissed her appeal, saying that her fiancé died before she reached the United States, and therefore it was impossible

for her to meet the criteria of being engaged. The fact that she was unaware of the event does not change the objective fact that her fiancé was no longer alive. The court said that under 8 U.S.C. § 1251(a), inadmissibility at the time of entry continues to affect the status of an immigrant even though she, in fact, was admitted. The Immigration Service can deport the alien upon proof that she did not have the requisite status at the time she entered. See Caddali v. I.N.S., 975 F.2d 1428 (9th Cir. 1992). I met the Caucasian lawyer of the Ilocana some 15 years after the case was decided. He was well-known in Hawaii. We became good friends and exchanged ideas on immigration case strategies. He asked me what I would have done in this case. Very simple, I said. Have her or her parents look for another fiancé for her. Then she goes back to the Philippines and have the second fiancé petition for her. Or, have her marry a U.S. citizen, then she goes back to the Philippines and have the husband petition for her. If she cannot find a U.S. citizen fiancé or husband within the 90-day period, she should go back to the Philippines and have her U.S. citizen father and her lawful permanent resident mother petition for her. I mentioned to the lawyer that I met the Ilocana’s daughter who had asked if her moth-

(PERRYSCOPE: The Philippine....from page 6)

candidate who gladly allowed Duterte to take his place. On the Vice Presidential contest, so far Leni Robredo has announced Senator Francisco “Kiko” Pangilinan to be her running mate; Ping Lacson has picked Tito Sotto; Pacquiao picked former Mayor Lito Atienza as his running mate; and Moreno picked Dr. Willie Ong, a cardiologist and

a political newcomer, as his running mate. Meanwhile, Bongbong Marcos wanted President Duterte to be his running mate but Duterte took himself out of the race for Vice President after his ratings plummeted. Bongbong’s second choice is Bong Go who already announced his vice presidential candidacy. There

is no final word on a Bongbong-Bong Go tandem yet but people have started using “Bong in the third power” as a campaign slogan. So, there you go! May the best candidate win! 
 PERRY DIAZ is a writer, columnist and journalist who has been published in more than a dozen Filipino newspapers in five countries.

er could come back. I told the lawyer that I had answered the daughter: “Where there is a will there is a way.” In another case, the U.S. citizen fiancé refused to marry the alien fiancee whom he had petitioned and who had arrived in the United States. He reasoned that he was not pleased with her performance. He said he would give her a one way ticket to go back to the Philippines. The question was raised as to whether the alien fiancee could compel the petitioner to marry her. Absolutely not. What she could do is to look for another fiancé or another man to marry her who could then file a fiancée visa petition or alien relative petition for her as appropriate. The alien has a 90-day window of op-

portunity. But the alien fiancee must go back to her home country to await the approval of the visa 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.




A Filipina American Nobel Peace Prize Winner – A Journalist By Emil Guillermo


herever you are reading this, on the web or in your hands as a physical newspaper, value it. Journalism is an instrument of peace. That’s the message of the remarkable announcement that Maria Ressa has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Ressa is the Asian American Filipina journalist, the CNN reporter turned media entrepreneur as CEO of the website Rappler, based in the Philippines. Now she’s a, and I repeat… a Nobel Peace Prize winner. Did I say Pulitzer? No. Plaridel Award from the Philippine American Press Club? No. AAJA award? No. No. No. Those are awards regular journalists win. A Nobel Peace Prize is for extraordinary people like presidents and scientists looking to make the world a better place for all. Journalists cover those people who win those awards. Journalists aren’t normally the actors in the highstakes drama of curing the world’s ills. That is, unless the world

is a place where truth and freedom, the essential components of democracy, are threatened and diminished. A world where journalists are assassinated, where facts are debated with “alternative facts,” where authoritarians seek to silence truth-tellers by branding them as “fake news.” Unfortunately, we live in such a world. And that makes a journalist more than just a mere scribe or witness. Journalists are now elevated, actors in the public arena on behalf of the people, providing the truthful information an audience must have to exist in a free and open democracy. That’s why Ressa is worthy of the Nobel Peace Prize. For years, Ressa and her Rappler staff have been dogged in exposing the government of President Rodrigo Duterte and its policy of extrajudicial killings of Filipinos. Duterte’s get-tough “war on drugs” has made the country a cesspool of human rights violations. The media attention triggered the Philippine government’s harassment of Rappler. Then in 2020, the government finally convicted Ressa and a colleague of cyber libel, which could mean six years in prison. Undaunted, Ressa has appealed. She got the call from the Nobel Committee regarding the announcement. Her reaction?

Rappler’s Maria Ressa

“I am speechless,” Ressa said. “Oh my God. Oh my gosh. I’m speechless.” Ressa beat out 329 other nominees and shares the award with journalist Dimitri Muratov, who has done in Russia what Ressa is doing in the Philippines – engaging in the “courageous fight” for truth and freedom in the face of Putin’s strongman government that would prefer the public stays in the dark. In honoring two journalists, the Nobel also serves itself and suddenly becomes 21st century relevant. Giving journalists the prize is a far cry from, say, awarding a president who comes with power, expectations and, sadly, contradictions. Obama’s Peace Prize? For example, Barack Obama

won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 after less than eight months on the job. Was the Norway-based Nobel Committee just starstruck? Would they regret giving the prize to someone who would become known as the “Deporter in Chief”? Who kept Guantanamo open? Did “Obamacare” extend to Norwegians? International diplomacy was the given reason for the award initially. Maybe all the excited crowds Obama drew during trips to Europe had an impact. But can anyone recall a diplomatic win during the Obama years worthy of a Nobel? Capturing bin Laden? Did that bring peace? Obama is known for expanding the war effort in Afghanistan. Is the use of drones Nobel-worthy? Giving it to politicians is tricky too because politicians, not journalists, really control the truth. Just look at President 45. Politicians tend to hide and obscure the facts.

That last guy lied or misled the public 30,573 times in four years in office, according to The Washington Post. That’s why you need journalism. Awarding the Nobel to journalists like Ressa and Muratov makes sure the act of revealing real facts is still considered a virtue. It reestablishes a sense of value and worth in the job that assures free societies. The award tells the world the prize – which normally comes with a $1 million cash award – is being used to jumpstart and “angel fund” what is essentially a de facto global pro-democracy movement. That’s what happens when you herald the work of common journalists who choose to do extraordinary things – like face-down power by uncovering the facts of corruption, deceit, and malfeasance. This is a prize for Ressa and Muratov. But it’s also a (continue on page 10)



Schools Return To In-Person Instruction, Are Students Safe? By Elpidio R. Estioko


espite all the debates and apprehensions, schools reopened anyway!

School administrators, teachers, students, and other stakeholders, believe that going back to the classroom outweighs online instruction despite the surge of the COVID-19 cases in most areas in the country. As a teacher and parent, I agree. But can we ensure the safety of the students? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) came out with guidelines for COVID-19 preventions in K-12 schools. The agency believe that students benefit more from in-person learning, and safely returning to in-person instruction in Fall 2021 is a priority. Since this is a priority program, CDC believes that vaccination is the leading public health prevention strategy to end the COVID-19 pandemic and keep the students safe. Promoting vaccination can help schools safely return to in-person learning as well as extra-

curricular activities and sports. Due to the highly contagious and fast circulating Delta variant, CDC recommends universal indoor masking by all students (age 2 and older), staff, teachers, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status. In addition, CDC recommends schools maintain at least three feet of physical distancing between students within classrooms to reduce transmission risk. When schools cannot fully reopen while maintaining social distancing, CDC reminded the schools to also impose layers of prevention to keep schools safe such as screening testing, ventilation, handwashing, and respiratory etiquette, staying home when sick and getting tested, contact tracing in combination with quarantine and isolation, and cleaning and disinfection. School administrators need to make sure students, teachers, and staff should stay home when they have signs of any infectious illness. They should be referred to their healthcare provider for testing and care and this must be monitored strictly to avoid the spread of the virus. To guide decisions on the level of layered prevention

strategies, localities should monitor community transmission, vaccination coverage, screening testing, and the occurrence of outbreaks. The problem, however, is that some local elected officials are not following the school mask tracker and are loosening the rules. In fact, elected officials in several states have made mask mandates illegal, saying the decision should be left to parents. Despite this, most states’ school districts require students to wear masks. In Hawaii, schools are opening, and the state’s Department of Education says on its website: “Masks must always be worn correctly and consistently by all students and staff when indoors.” California also required all students to wear masks. Both California Governor Gavin Newsom and the school districts are one in the mask mandate. Even in Florida where the governor banned wearing masks, school districts have mandated masks this school year. During our recent vacation in Jacksonville, Florida, I asked my nieces Reanna Kayla and Jianna Camille, both high school students, if they are required to wear masks in school. They answered, “Yes.” Their high school requires the students to wear masks and maintain social distancing.

In Florida, two different lawsuits seek to overturn the governor’s ban on school mask requirements. They claim that the Florida Constitution guarantees a safe school environment and grants local governments the authority to govern schools. In Texas where the governor is against the mask mandate just like Florida, most school districts have mandated masks, according to a list – maintained by Attorney General Ken Paxton – of school systems that are “not in compliance” with an executive order by Gov. Greg Abbott. Even after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order banning school mask mandates, local officials in several school districts adopted policies that required students to wear masks. In response to the Florida and Texas governors that prohibit mask mandates in schools, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona reminded both state governors that federal CDC guidance recommends students to wear masks. Cardona also said that the Biden administration would closely monitor whether states

were meeting the requirements for federal funding under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The law requires “states to adhere to CDC guidance, including implementing mitigation strategies such as contact tracing or mask requirements, including implementing mitigation strategies, such as contact tracing or mask requirements, to receive the federal money, the act provides. To ensue Cardona’s letters to the governors, President Joe Biden followed up with a phone call of support to one of the superintendents who adopted mask mandates in violation of his governor’s executive order. Measures to keep the student safe are in place and both federal and local education officials are working towards implementing such measures. So, are our students safe? 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).

(CANDID PERSPECTIVES: A Filipina American....from page 9)

prize for journalists all over who labor to expose and analyze truth and inform the world. “We are fighting for facts,” Ressa said in an interview on YouTube with her staff right after the award was announced. “When we live in a world where facts are debatable when the world’s largest distributor of news prioritizes the spread of lies laced with anger and hate and spreads it faster and further than facts, then

journalism becomes activism and that’s the transformation that we’ve gone through in Rappler.” Activist journalism? It means a point of view – but from an absolute truth perspective. To get that means journalists must dig deeper than accepting a White House or corporate press release to provide the context that helps people live in a free society. Ressa also takes a swipe at Facebook, which she points out in her Rappler talk has

come under attack from a whistleblower this week. She has no love for algorithms that have changed media and society globally. “These algorithms divide us and radicalize us,” she said. “Thinking fast is the emotional part of you that’s being manipulated by the algorithms, so think slow, not fast. Let your thinking mind come through.” It’s solid advice for news consumers inundated by a barrage of siloed media. When (continue on page 11)



Understanding Marital Agreements financial drawbacks and adjustments each person has to marital agree- make. ment (a pre-nupDivorce is also an emotial or post-nup- tional time. The legal protial agreement) cess for contested divorces is a record of can last to two to four years the understand- on average. Going through a ing between spouses who de- drawn-out period of stress and cide in advance what will be strife leaves its imprint on the done in the event of divorce spouses and children, strainand death. It is the safest way ing their relationships, and to avoid the cost, uncertainty making it hard to focus and do and chaos that commonly oc- their best in other aspects of curs in these situations. life, such as school and work. Divorce is often costly. A Knowing the outcome reductypical contested divorce in es the emotional strain. Hawaii averages $20,000 in A common situation attorney’s fees on both sides, where a marital agreement where the couple is only fight- is used is when one person ing about property division. comes into the marriage alThrow in disagreements ready owning a home. A about the value of the prop- woman who has worked hard erty being divided, or the to save a down payment for a custody and visitation of the house she bought as a single children, and a couple can person, may want that home expect to spend up to double to remain hers to keep if the that amount. A large debt at marriage later ends in divorce, a strongly disruptive period rather than losing it to her husin one’s life only adds to the band (or worse, his girlfriend)

by Sheryll Bonilla, Esq.


and finding herself without a stable residence or with a lessened ability to purchase a new home after having children. Without an agreement, the Family Courts in dividing up the property often order the sale of the marital residence with a split of the sale proceeds, usually without reimbursing the one who sacrificed and saved up for the down payment. A marital agreement can help the woman protect her ownership of her home. It can also cover child custody and visitation and other issues.

Death is inevitable, and a marital agreement gives protection to the intent of the spouses with respect to how their hard-earned money is given after their deaths. Hawaii’s probate laws generally protect a surviving spouse, even to the extend and exclusion of children the deceased may have from prior relationship. Too often the children from a first marriage find that their stepsiblings from a parent’s remarriage inherit the home and other property that they believed they are rightfully entitled to receive from their parents. The reverse also happens: a second wife may find that her husband conducted a “property grab” without her knowledge, giving all of their property to the children of his first marriage when he dies, thus leaving her homeless and poor in her old age. A marital agreement can protect

(CANDID PERSPECTIVES: A Filipina American....from page 10)

we’re caught unaware, it’s up to journalism to step up to prevail in what Ressa calls the battle of facts. Ressa said the Nobel Peace Prize Committee must have realized “that a world without facts means a world without truth and trust. And if you don’t have any of those things. you certainly can’t conquer Coronavirus, climate change.” Nor can you get to world peace. Ressa likes the phrase “hold the line.” It’s more like drawing a line in the sand. “Here’s the line, on this side you’re good, on this side you’re evil, and we at Rappler decided we were going to hold that line on the good,” she said. It led to the Philippine government filing 10 arrest warrants against her. “It was pretty bleak at different times,” she said. “But I really continued to believe that we need to continue shining the light and doing accountability journalism.” See the rest of the YouTube/Rappler Interview here: https://youtu.be/zm3UvvyD2Xc.

A landmark for Filipino American History Month The prize comes in the first week of October recognized as Filipino American History Month. Ressa, 58, becomes the first Asian American Filipino, and only the 18th woman to be Nobel Peace Prize laureate in 126 years. She’s typical of a majority of Filipinos, who were born in the Philippines, then immigrated to the US. Ressa’s family moved to Toms River, New Jersey, where she grew up. She attended Princeton, was a Fulbright scholar, then was hired at CNN, which sent her to report on the Philippines. She’s a dual U.S. and Philippine citizen who has covered every Filipino administration since 1986. That was the time of Ferdinand Marcos, the dictator. The prize comes when Ressa and other journalists in the Philippines can use a boost. The Philippine elections are coming up. The authoritarian Duterte has announced his retirement and cannot run again. But the

son of Marcos, Bong-Bong, has announced his desire to run. With the legacy of a dictatorship? And then there’s the boxer Manny Pacquiao putting in a bid as well. Do you think democracy has had a tough time in the U.S. with its elections since the Trump era? As Ressa notes, the data mischief-makers exposed in the Mueller investigation, Cambridge Analytica, practiced its trade in countries like the Philippines. Making sure democracy survives her country’s upcoming elections will require the hard

work of accountability journalists like those at Ressa’s Rappler. A Nobel Peace Prize should motivate them all to keep doing the important work of seeking the truth. It should also remind you, dear reader, of the value of news organizations big and small – that muster the courage to analyze and expose the big lies of our times. 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.

spouses’ long-term plans for financial security and provision for loved ones from prior relationships, in the event of death. Marital agreements – whether these are made before or after the wedding takes – place can be helpful in minimizing the high financial costs and emotional stresses of a later divorce and giving certainty to the property distribution plans of spouses after they die. The feeling of keeping some control over one’s life in these tumultuous events can give a peace of mind and a measure of comfort and uncertainty that helps individuals deal with the grief of loss and move on with life. This article is for informational purposes only and is not to be constructed as offering legal advice. Please consult an attorney for your individual situation. The author is not responsible for a reader’s reliance on the information contained herein.




How the Philippines Won Its Maritime Case Against China By Rose Cruz Churma


he Philippines won its maritime case against China on July 12, 2016, a historic moment that will be remembered forever in the chapters of public international law. It was a stunning event that placed the Philippines in the international spotlight. This book answers the questions – why did the Philippines sue China? How did the Philippines prepare for this and who were the main players behind this victory? And what could be its future impact? Taking this legal step, a small country like the Philippines against China, with its mega-powers and resources is like a David versus Goliath tale. For the Philippines to win, it meant pulling together the best minds of the country and testing the quality and integrity of its public servants. China’s slow and subtle aggression to take possession of islands and maritime features that violated the Philippines’ sovereign rights can be glimpsed in 1994 at Pangani-

ban Reef (near Palawan) when China began setting up octagon-shaped structures with parabolic communications discs, a full-fledged presence complete with 11 anchored vessels and a thousand uniformed soldiers. The Philippines only found out about it in January 1995 when the skipper of a Filipino fishing vessel reported to the authorities that he and his crew were arrested and detained for a week by China’s naval personnel. It was this incident that made a mark on Antonio Carpio’s mind, who was then serving as President Fidel Ramos’ Presidential Legal Counsel. It was the third year after the Philippines had asked the US to remove its bases. The Philippines’ sovereign rights were under the protection of its Navy and Air Force which had been largely dependent on US resources. Six years later, Antonio Carpio would be appointed to the Supreme Court and one of the cases that came before that

judicial body involved laws that delineated the archipelagic waters of the Philippines. He recalls that this was when he studied UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea) with “laser-like focus.” The Philippines’ Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Albert del Rosario notes in a 2017 speech that: “As early as 2011, Justice Carpio correctly foresaw the unilateral path on which Beijing would embark on its attempts to control the South China Sea. He pointed to and proactively advised [us] on the use of international law as the best and most peaceful means

of securing our position on the basis of universally recognized global norms and principles.” During the first five months when Albert del Rosario was DFA secretary, the Philippines suffered at least seven aggressive interferences from China, from intimidating Filipino fishermen to harassing seismic survey vessels of a Philippine company that was exploring for oil and gas. Although the Philippines’ diplomats protested, it was like “talking to a brick wall.” Del Rosario would recall how he “felt like a scrawny Filipino kid being confronted by a schoolyard bully.” And he adds, “so we made a decision to stand up in any opportunity for what is right, and we worked to internationalize our northern neighbor’s use of muscle to achieve this unlawfully.” Thus, it was during his watch that the Philippines used a new tool in its diplomatic arsenal: litigation. This would be the first time that the Philippines would sue another country in international court. The author has written a comprehensive account of the epic legal battle of the Philip-

pines’ territorial claim against China. It is an accessible documentation that led to the historic judgment of the Permanent Court of Arbitration. Yusuke Takagi of the National Graduate Institute of Policy Studies notes in the back cover, “Everyone interested in maritime natural resources, energy and environmental issues, maritime security, and geopolitics in the region should read this book.” The author, Marites Daguilan Vitug is an award-winning journalist and has received worldwide recognition for her work on justice, politics and security. She received the Courage in Journalism Award from the US-based International Women’s Media Foundation for her exposes on the plunder of Palawan’s forests. She is also chair emeritus of the Journalism for Nation Building Foundation, a spin-off of Newsbreak and writes for Rappler, an online news website. 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.


Spooky and Safe Halloween By Dr. Steven Rhee


sores and scars, and blindness. Always purchase colored contacts from medical professionals that require a prescription or ask your local ophthalmologist.

Decorative contact lenses Over-the-counter colored contacts may help you achieve the look for your costume, but what is more frightening are the consequences. Non-prescription contact lenses are not FDA-approved and illegal to sell, but they can also result in temporary or permanent eye damage. Some ramifications may include corneal abrasions or scratches, eye infections,

Costume selection When planning your costume, stay away from clothing or props with sharp edges that could easily pierce an eye. If you wear prescription lenses, find a way to incorporate it into your costume! You would be surprised how many of your favorite movie or TV series characters are fellow glasses wearers. Ditch eye coverings as it could impede your vision and limit your range of sight.

s we creep toward Halloween, eye safety should not be a fright. Here are some tips to stay safe this spooky season.

If you are trick-or-treating at night, incorporate brighter colors or LED strips on your costume or footwear allowing you to be more conspicuous to drivers.

Eye makeup Although you can share Halloween candy amongst

friends, your makeup should not be! Avoid glittery or flaky makeup around your eyelids. Be sure to test your lash glue for allergies and double check the label for any harmful chemicals. Always remove makeup before heading to bed after a long night of trick-ortreating.

COVID-safe halloween activities and events Like last year, we are still incorporating safe practices into our social gatherings. Luckily, businesses have been creative with producing events to celebrate Halloween. We have included some COVID-19 friendly upcoming events that you can attend in October. • Trick & Treats Fall Event at Ka Makana Ali’i – October 30, 2021 • 2021 Fall Harvest Festival at Waimanalo Country Farms – Every Tuesday to Sunday, October 2 until November 21, 2021 • Pearlridge Center Halloween Candy Crawl: Trunk-or-Treat – October 29, 2021 



The Race Begins By Seneca Moraleda-Puguan Philippines rise up and will its people have the better life that they deserve? y husband We are aware that the anand I have swer to these questions do not w i t n e s s e d lie solely on who will win in the transi- the elections but the results tion from will surely have a big impact one Philip- on the future of the country. pine President to another in For the past few nights, our more than three decades of my husband and I have been existence. discussing about something Most, if not all of them, that keeps us awake until the had great plans for the country wee hours of the morning – the but most fell short in fulfilling candidates who will run for the their promises to the Filipino Philippine Presidential elecpeople. Some even left the na- tions in May 2022. tion in a sorry state. Now that we know who No one has really satis- are the aspirants for the highest fied everyone’s expectations. position in the land, we can’t This has caused many to lose help but be intrigued, excited hope for the welfare and bet- and frustrated all at the same terment of the country. This time. has left questions in our hearts Though we have been and minds – will our beloved living outside the country for


almost a decade now and we have no plans of going back there yet, we know that the result of the upcoming elections will surely affect our family in many ways. When the Presidentiables, one by one, have filed for their candidacy and their names have been revealed, my friends on Facebook began to air their thoughts, write hashtags, change their profile pictures to whatever color the candidate they are rooting for represents. Facebook is alive again with discussions, essays, stories and debates. And it is the same inside our household. My husband and I started to share our thoughts with each other leading to long but fun discussions. I am not here to persuade whoever gets the chance to


U.S. Embassies and Consulates Suspend Routine Visa Services

By Emmanuel S. TIpon, Esq he National Visa Center (NVC) announced that U.S. Embassies and Consulates abroad have suspended routine visa services due to COVID-19 concerns. The announcement has caused delays in the processing of immigrant and nonimmigrant visa petitions. NVC said that it cannot predict when routine visa services will resume, and it cannot guarantee or predict when your case will be sent to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate General abroad.


The Center further explained when it does forward your case, you will receive another notification. Citizens who have filed fiance/fiancee visa petitions (Form I-129F) are concerned because these petitions have a 120-day expiration from the date of approval by USCIS. According to NVC, when the beneficiary’s designated

consulate resumes normal operations, a consular officer will revalidate the petition for another 120 days. NVC said that fiance/fiancee visa petitioners do not need to take any action for this revalidation to happen, although such petitioners may need to provide evidence that they still qualify for the K-1 nonimmigrant visa. For the most up-to-date information about the U.S. Embassy or Consulate General’s operating status, visit their website at https://usembassy.gov.

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

ippines to continue to – in the words of Maria Ressa herself – Hold the line.” Ressa is indeed a truly outstanding Filipina, and her fellow Filipinos are extremely proud of her achievement. This is a “First-Only” award from a top-of-the-line international institution given only to the best and the brightest. The Philippines as a whole and all Filipinos living in various parts of the world feel enriched and our status

as a member of the international community has been sufficiently advanced. It is really a time for great celebration because this kind of prestigious award may not be given to any of Ressa’s compatriots for a long time. She has lifted our reputation and standing on the world stage which will forever remain in the annals of our continuity history. DR. BELINDA A. AQUINO is Professor Emeritus at the School

of Pacific and Asian Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa where she served as Professor of Political Science and Asian Studies and also the Founding Director of the University Center for Philippine Studies. An accomplished journalist, she is currently Contributing Editor to the Hawaii Filipino Chronicle and a frequent contributor to various international, national, and local publications. JIM BEA SAMPAGA is HFC’s editorial assistant and features writer. She is a cum laude graduate of the Journalism and Philippine Language & Culture Programs at UH-Manoa.

read this to vote for the one I am in favor of. In fact, until now, I am still weighing who I think is best to lead the country. There’s this leader I look up to but I don’t like the political party they belong to. There’s one who I think is capable of leading, but I am not sure if they are ready to take on the whole archipelago. There’s another one who has the desire to lead the country but is haunted by the family name he carries. Each one of them has abilities and strengths, each one has flaws and weaknesses. No one is perfect to be the head of the nation but who among them has the best intention, the right conviction, integrity, and the heart to serve to be called the President of the Philippines? My husband and I still have a lot of discussions and research and definitely, a lot of praying to do. The upcoming Presidential elections will once again, possibly, divide the nation. Everyone will fight for the

candidate he or she is rooting for. There will be a lot of words that will be exchanged that can either inspire or hurt one another. This is my plea – that we will choose unity. Let me borrow the words of a Pastor I look up to. He said: “I hope that we will learn to choose our words carefully so that we do not come out as inviting others to a heated dispute. Let us be extra careful with our words so that respect and gentleness can still be seen in how we express ourselves. If we can’t persuade each other, let’s agree to disagree amicably. We want the best for our country, after all.” As for me and my husband, we will go to the Philippine Embassy in South Korea to register and be able to cast our vote seven months from now. Our votes will count. We will pray for every candidate. We will pray for wisdom upon the electorate. We will pray for unity. We will pray for God’s will to prevail in our country. We will vote. We will pray. Let the race begin!



Pussuak Ken Rimat Ti Pampanunot ILOKO By Amado I. Yoro


arming ti biag, maysa a pagadalan ken paganninawan, kaaduanna nga adda dagiti makaited inspirasion ken adal kadagiti babassit a bambanag ken pampanuot, uray dagiti pagsasao, naggapu man iti bukod a padas wenno nadakdakamaten ti sabali. Kabayatan ti pannakigubal iti aginaldaw a biag, dagiti pannubok, pannakapaay ken panagballigi no dadduma, adda maibunga a binatog, mainaig man iti panagsurat, pannakitrabaho, ken pannakigamulo iti komunidad, dagitoy a pampanunot, kasda la nagasagas a bagas.Ibingayko itoy a bilang. • Nasidap ti mata a makakita iti pintas, daeg ken

buya ti nakaparsuaan, ngem nasarsarut, nasidsidap ken natartarnaw pay ti panangiladawan ti isip ken imahinasion wenno panunot Nasayaat a saritaen dagiti nasayaat ken makairanud a panggep nga aramiden, ngem mas amang pay a nasaysayaat no aramiden kadagiti pagpaayanna tapno adda pakakitaan ti kinapudnom iti bagim • Agsardengen a dumakkel ti tao no agsardengen nga agsursuro, ti panagadal ken panagsursuro iti ania man a baro a banag ket paset ti biag iti inaldaw • Ti agkuna nga isu perpekto ti aramidna, dayta tay mabuteng nga mangaklon ti biddutna banag a basbassit ti magapuananna, mabuteng nga agbiddut, ti panagbiddut ket human nature – only the divine Lord God is perfect.

• Mangtedka, tiempo man, sanikua ken kapanunotan; saanka la nga agdawdawat, wenno agpannuray iti sabali • Agsuratka latta; adda biag ti aniaman a masuratmo ita, ti pitik, pulso, ladawan, rikna ken kararua dayta a sinurat - bin-i ken dawa ti kinaregget nga agsurat

• Gaget ken panaganus ti kasapulan – Pelagio Alcantara • Lasag ken piskel ti masapul iti panagdaniw – JSP Hidalgo, Jr. • Pagrebbengan met ti panagsurat, a kas met la iti pagrebbengan iti pamilia, trabaho ken iti komunidad, ken panagnegosio – Rey Duque


DADDUMA PAY A PAMPANUNOT • Saanka nga agparammag gapu ta addakan iti saad nga inted ti tao kenka. • Makasabidong ti bassit nga ammo ta mabalin a saanmon a mabigbig ti kinabassitmo wenno bassit a nangrugiam. • aanka nga aginlalaing no nagbatayka iti abaga ti sabali • Ti pudno a lider ket mangidaulo, nadayaw, napakumbaba ken mapagtalkan

‘ARAMID TI PAKAKITAAN” Kastoy ti kinuna ni Francisco Ponce, “Literary and cultural responsibility”. · Ikkam ti pilosopia ken simplicity iti suratem – mangray-awka – Francisco Ponce • Saan a ginaganat ti agbalin a mannurat – Jose Tenoso

• No maysaka a lider ket dumgegka, naisaadka ita puestom gapu kadagiti tao – saanmo a kukua a bukbukod ti gunglo – kukuayo amin a kameng • Saanka nga agpasindayag; ammuen no asinoka – ken ammuem ti naggapuam • Ti pudno a ‘gayyem’, isu ti talaga a gayyem uray maminribu nga agrueda ti pasamak ti biag • Uray no kawesan ti ‘nuang’ iti nangina ken narangrang a pagan-anay, nuangto latta uray iparadam iti tengnga ti ili wenno siudad • Ti kaganusan a rangaw wenno uggot ti mula birokenna latta ti alad ken pakalatkat – makilugan ken/ wenno makisakay – ket pagangayanna, kasla umet-et a parasitiko wenno kanunong, pagangayanna puera de los buenos, ibaddeknaka


Retirees on Social Security to Get Boost in Benefits in 2022


illions of retirees on Social Security will get a 5.9% boost in benefits for 2022. It is the biggest cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in 39 years due to the sharp rise in inflation as the economy reopens from the pandemic closures. The boost in benefits will go a long way towards helping retirees pay for food, gasoline and other goods and services that already went up.

The 2022 COLA adjustment adds $92 a month for the average retired worker, according to estimates from the Social Security Administration. With the increase, the estimated average Social Security payment for a retired worker will be $1,657 a month next year. A typical couple’s benefits would rise by $154 to $2,753 per month. The COLA affects house-

hold budgets for about 1 in 5 Americans. AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins called the government payout increase “crucial for Social Security beneficiaries and their families as they try to keep up with rising costs.” Policymakers say the adjustment is a safeguard to protect Social Security benefits against the loss of purchasing power, and not a pay bump for retirees. About

half of seniors live in households where Social Security provides at least 50% of their income, and one-quarter rely on their monthly payment for all or nearly all their income. Social Security is financed by payroll taxes collected from workers and their employers. Each pays 6.2% on wages up to a cap, which is adjusted each year for inflation. Social Security and SSI

beneficiaries are normally notified by mail starting in early December about their new benefit amount. Most people who receive Social Security payments will be able to view their COLA notice online through their personal my Social Security account. People may create or access their my Social Security account online at www.socialsecurity.gov/ myaccount.


UH JABSOM Issues Statement on Vandalized RV That Provides Free Medical Care


he Houseless Outreach & Medical Education (H.O.M.E.) Project van, a mobile free clinic for Oahu’s houseless population, has been vandalized twice this year. A project by the University of Hawaii’s John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM), the van had its catalytic

converter stolen in February. In September, the van’s brake lights were smashed and its side and back were heavily tagged. “We know that publicizing the destructive tagging and damage to the medical service van glorifies criminals, but it is also an opportunity to emphasize the value of its outreach

by volunteer medical students and faculty, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said JABSOM in a statement. The Hawaii H.O.M.E. Project provides its free services through weekly student-run free clinics across nine sites on Oahu. “Our mobile van is critical for the functioning of our clinic and we can’t provide our usual services without it,” said Dr.

Jill Omori, Executive Director of Hawaii Hawaii H.O.M.E. Project. “All of our operations are usually paid for via grants and grassroots fundraising, so unexpected expenses like these are extremely hard on us.”

Moreover, Omori said the vandalization of the van is “devastating” for JABSOM medical students as volunteering on the van missions is one of the requirements in the medical doctor program.


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/.

and such. Register online at caihawaii.org.

FUNDAMENTALS OF SUCCESSFULLY OPERATING AN ASSOCIATION FREE WEBINAR | Community Associations Institute Hawaii Chapter | October 23, 2021; 9am to 12pm | A free webinar for condominium owners, the even will cover association finances, contracting, reducing board liability

WHOLE FITNESS FOR OLDER ADULTS — EXERCISE FOR OUR CHANGING WORLD | American Association of Retired Persons Hawaii | October 26, 2021; 8:30am | Free Zoom Zumba class for both AARP member and non-member. To register, visit states.aarp.org/hawaii/events-hi.


The Hawaii Filipino Chronicle $2,500 Journalism Scholarship is Now Accepting Applications


aunched in 2019, the Hawaii Filipino Chronicle Journalism Scholarship aims to support Hawaii-based Filipino students who are pursuing an education and career in journalism. Applications are now being accepted until the deadline on Novem-

ber 30, 2021. The scholarship is open to Filipino or part-Filipino who are a U.S. citizen. Students must be a Hawaii high school graduate pursuing journalism, mass communications or a media-related major as a full-time college student with

minimum 3.0 GPA. The scholarship awardee will receive a total of $2,500 which will be divided in two parts. Paid directly to the university, $2,000 will go toward the winner’s Spring Semester tuition. The remaining $500 will be

paid to the winner after contributing four articles (at least one story per season) to be published on Hawaii Filipino Chronicle. The article contribution will give the student an experience to practice and showcase their writing skills and get established as a professional journalist. For more information about the HFC Journalism Scholarship, visit thefilipinochronicle. com/scholarship.


British Educational Publisher Offers Free Access to Online Resources to Students In the Philippines


winkl, a UK-based educational publishing company, is offering its online database of

80,000 distance learning materials to teachers and parents in the Philippines for free.

Since the beginning of the lockdown orders due the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, the Philippines is still doing distant learning while most countries are slowly reopening their schools for in-person classes. Twinkl offers teaching materials and activities for students in

pre-school, elementary, high school and special education needs. To gain free access to Twinkl’s 80,000 learning materials, sign up on their website (twinkl.com.ph) and enter the offer code ‘TwinklPhilippines21.’ The offer code expires on October 31, 2021. (Sagot sa Krosword Blg. 10 | October 2, 2021)

CROSSWORD by Carlito Lalicon

No. 10


1. Possesses, old-style 5. Calamity 8. Respectful deference 14. 100 cents 15. Backgammon impossibility 16. Got around 17. Proa 18. Bar order 19. Advising 20. Having to do with a consul or his office or duties 22. Comely 23. Ratsbane 24. Honey drink 25. Plan for attaining a particular goal 26. Tattooist


1. Person associated with the jazz subculture of the 1940s and 1950s (dated) 2. Dawn goddess 3. Copy 4. Roof of a house 5. Emphatic, in a way 6. State flower of New York 7. Bad look 8. Pertaining to, or resembling, the herpes 9. Pigged out

30. Balderdash 31. Cliffside dwelling 32. Ace 33. Radar image 35. Of or relating to or containing or derived from gold 36. Magician 37. Fabric with prominent rounded crosswise ribs 38. About 39. Amigo 40. Surpass or conquer in argument 42. Miserableness 45. Commercial leavening agent containing yeast cells 46. Surreptitious interaction or cooperation 47. Adjust 10. Got by 11. Mine entrance 12. Chap 13. Irascible 21. Building block 24. Dark region of considerable extent on the surface of the moon 26. Third canonical hour 27. Indecent 28. .0000001 joule 29. Caviar 31. Gold

CLASSIFIED ADS 50. Humorously sarcastic or mocking 51. “To your health!” 52. One of the 12 tribes of Israel 53. Be a snitch

54. Mum 55. Deception 56. Enthusiastic about 57. Arise 58. Antiquity, once 59. Load

33. Buddy 34. Basic unit of money in Moldova 35. Long plume (especially one of egret feathers) worn on a hat or a piece of jewelry in the shape of a plume 36. Inflammation of a breast (or udder) 38. Stretching out

39. Subatomic particle 41. Maltreater 42. Daydreamed 43. Marketplace 44. Chicken 46. Delicate 47. Abbey area 48. Barber’s job 49. Lacquered metal-ware 50. Doing nothing

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


I am offering 25$ per Hour for 4-5 hours daily for a Dementia Father. Applicants should email their Resume and Reference (talk2amanda75@gmail.com)

PART TIME CASHIER, FULL TIME CASHIER, FULL TIME COOK WAIMANALO L&L – Now Hiring ASAP Medical Provided for Full Time Employees Please Contact Fanny at 808-386-6898

OCTOBER 16, 2021