Hawaii Filipino Chronicle - December 17, 2022

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DECEMBER 17, 2022 BOOK REVIEW An Anthology from hAwAii’s youth OPEN FORUM Dr. Josh green is officiAl hAwAii’s governor HAWAII-FILIPINO NEWS filcom honoreD sAkADA DAy with A PlAy

We Wish Ohana Medical Mission Continued Success and Encourage Our Community to Support Them

In recent years, medical missions (or short-term medical missions called STMMs) are increasingly becoming a well-established vehicle for extending reach of health care professionals to the developing world. According to research done by Harvard Medical School, there are about 543 medical mission organizations.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that given the large number of Filipino physicians who are immigrants or first and second-generation Americans, and that there is a need for greater health care in many parts of the Philippines – that such an organization like the Ohana Medical Mission, Inc. (OMM) exists. But it’s not just Filipino Americans that volunteer with OMM, but a diverse, multiracial group who all have in common a passion to help others in need.

OMM was incorporated in 2009 as the medical arm of the Philippine Medical Association of Hawaii (PMAH). To date, OMM has done 15 medical missions in the Philippines from as far north in the Ilocos provinces to furthest south in Davao. They’ve provided free medical, dental and surgical services to thousands and donated millions worth of medicines and medical equipment. OMM even donates food.

Innovative through viral mission

Remarkably, the organization’s commitment to providing healthcare to impoverished communities in the Philippines continued during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic with restrictions in place. Under the direction of then OMM President Dr. Carolina Davide, OMM was innovative and resourceful to conduct its first virtual medical mission with medicines, eyeglasses, toys and vitamins shipped over to the Philippines.

January 2023 mission

And the organization is on track to send another full-scale mission this upcoming January 9-14, 2023, to Manila, Quezon city and Caloocan city under the leadership of the current President Dr. Ian Guerrero.

OMM is truly inspiring and represents the best in humanity and charity. Their work in helping indigent communities and during crisis (for example after super typhoon Yolanda) uplifts and sometimes saves lives.

Some volunteers who are originally from the Philippines are thankful that through OMM they have the opportunity to visit their hometown and cities and give back to their old communities, which many say, are sentimental experiences they will never forget.

Some volunteers who’ve accompanied their physician parent(s) while in high school are now enrolled in medical school, planning to keep the tradition of health care, and volunteering their skills to help in future missions.

OMM physician volunteers know the medical conditions of the places they visit, the lack of proper infrastructure, often outdated medical equipment, understaffed hospitals and clinics. They also know how many will travel for miles upon miles just to attend an OMM mission and hoping for medicines, hoping for medical services that they otherwise couldn’t afford. Some have never had a physical examination until OMM


Christmas is upon us. As Catholics we were taught God sent his son Jesus to be born knowing that he would be crucified. But his death and resurrection would have been all worth the sacrifice because Jesus had a mission to fulfill while on Earth – and it was to show mankind the way to salvation. Jesus epitomized love and selflessness when he accepted his fate. This is the abridged Christ story we reflect on during each Christmas season.

For this issue’s cover story, associate editor Edwin Quinabo profiles a charitable organization with a mission anchored in love and selflessness. Since 2009, the Hawaii-based Ohana Medical Mission (OMM), has been providing free medical, dental, surgical, optical, health education and humanitarian services to underprivileged communities in the Philippines. In addition to these free services, it also donates medicines, vitamins, medical supplies and food during each mission trip to the Philippines, once or twice a year. Volunteers of OMM – medical professionals and layman support – are gifts to the communities they visit. And during this Christmas season, we can be inspired by them to care for each other and to give more of ourselves for a greater good. OMM’s next mission to the Philippines will be in January 2023. In the following month, the organization will hold its first Charity Ball.

Speaking of making sacrifices, HFC columnist Seneca Moraleda-Puguan writes about Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) who take on jobs abroad to earn money for their family back in the Philippines. It’s a complicated situation. OFWs typically will earn a higher salary, often double or triple of what they could make back home. OFW’s are viewed as heroes by the Philippine government for their sacrifices for country and families. But as Seneca writes – her husband and herself grew up as children of OFWs – the separation apart at times can be devastating to families.

Perhaps the original OFWs at a time when it was rare to work abroad were the Sakadas – first group of Filipinos who came to Hawaii in 1906 to work on the sugar plantations. Read our Hawaii-Filipino News on a play “Sakada Through the Years,” written and directed by HFC’s Raymund Llanes Liongson.

Also in this issue, HFC contributor Rose Churma reviews the book “Students Speak,” an anthology of literary works written by public school students of Filipino ancestry. The book was published by the Filipino Association of University Women (FAUW). Other articles written by HFC columnists this issue: Emil Guillermo’s “The Georgia Runoff, Herschel Walker as Werewolf, and Hawaii’s Jacob Batalon,” Atty. Emmaneuel Tipon’s “Stupidity, The Biggest Cause of Immigration Fiascos, But Its Effects Are Curable by Excellent Lawyer – More Stupid Examples,” and Elpidio Estioko’s “Use The Griner Formula to End Russia-Ukraine War.”

We hope you enjoy this issue. From our HFC family to your family, we wish you all a very Merry Christmas. Until next issue, Aloha and Mabuhay!

visited their community.

OMM volunteers also see the gratitude in their patients faces and take to heart the comments patients make and their stories they tell. It’s a blessing both ways for volunteers and the people they help on these missions.

Loads of preparation

The public should also be aware that missions just don’t happen, and doctors show up to their destinations. The logistics and planning of one mission will take over a year of preparation. There is coordination to be made with many

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.

Design Junggoi Peralta

Photography Tim Llena

Administrative Assistant Lilia Capalad

Editorial & Production 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

Pamela Gonsalves

Shalimar / Jonathan Pagulayan

Advertising / Marketing Director

Chona A. Montesines-Sonido

Account Executives

Carlota Hufana Ader

JP Orias

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Have A Merry Christmas, Maligayang Pasko

It’s the happiest time of the year, Christmas season. And with it comes the sight of Santa at our favorite malls, the sound of yuletide on radio and live choral performances, the smell of fresh Douglas Fir, Spruce, Pine trees, the taste of eggnog and turkey (lechon for Filipinos), and all the emotions along the spectrum from joy to gratitude.

Christmas to-dos in Hawaii is back in full swing: from the old favorites like Honolulu Hale City Lights and downtown lights extravaganza to new favorites at the 3rd Annual Show Aloha Land at the Aloha Stadium where there is 3,600 sq feet of fresh snow for kids to go on tobogganing, 3 new trains for keiki, and a human snow globe.

Filipino Christmas Traditions Resumed

Christmas 2022 is arguably the first Christmas to be celebrated fully (not scaled back) as it used to be before the pandemic with vaccinations now widespread and COVID-19 far more manageable (but it’s still around and select populations are advised to wear masks).

We’re all glad to be celebrating again. For our Filipino community, we are enriched to be continuing both our

groups: the medical and lay volunteers, representatives in the communities they visit, donors on both sides (Hawaii and the Philippines), public relations to inform the communities before OMM arrives, and many more details to be pulled together until the day of departure. Kudos to Executive Director JP Orias and staff for their invaluable work for OMM.

Orias also has been working with OMM President Dr. Guerrero to launch the organization’s first ever Charity Ball to take place in February 2023. This fundraising event will replace

western and Catholic traditions during Christmas. The western half, shopping in-person which many say enlivens the holiday spirit versus shopping online. Our Catholic traditions: Simbang gabi (a devotional nine-day series of masses just before Christmas) Misa de Gallo (Christmas Eve mass) and Noche Buena (Christmas Eve dinner).

Old traditions, new outlook

While we’re excited to return to normalcy and practice our old traditions, the pandemic forever changed many families and communities hard hit with loss. To start, holiday gatherings come with deeper appreciation. This virus put the larger picture into focus, that really, all along there never has been any guarantees –guarantee that next Christmas can be celebrated the way we’d like it, or that those who we love will be around with us due to passing on or illness or moving to another state.

During times of austerity brought on by the pandemic and with today’s high inflation, people’s outlook toward money has also changed –there’s heightened concern to meet paying our bills, and at the same time, if we are financially secure, there’s more stock placed on family time than putting in more time at work to make money for luxury spending.

their previous golf tournament fundraisers.

Public and private support

The Hawaii Filipino Chronicle would like to encourage our readers to help support OMM.

For more information on OMM or to donate, visit pmah-hawaii.org and select the Ohana Medical Missions, Inc page. You will have the option to make a one-time, monthly or annual donation. Any donation helps. OMM is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, EIN 27-0865868. All the contributions are tax deductible.

Creative gift-giving during hard times that could go a long way

Because once again this year money is tight for many people but this time due to high prices of basic consumer goods and energy services, we encourage creative gift-giving that can help with daily expenses. Perhaps gift cards to a grocery store or establishment that sells essentials like Foodland or Longs Drugs are great ideas. Everyone spends on gas. A 7-Eleven Gift Card can be used for gasoline or anything in the store. Everyone also needs periodic car oil change. Jiffy Lube sells gift cards.

Consider group buys (family members contribute) for higher priced but essential items like a new computer that dad has been holding off on purchasing.

Entertainment is increasingly becoming unaffordable and falls into the luxury category for many who are struggling. But entertainment is that special moment to lift us from life’s doldrums and provides a temporary escape from our worries. Consider buying gift cards for movie theaters or a restaurant.

Reason for the season

Besides our unique cultural practices of Christmas, this holiday is about celebrating life, our own, our fami-

The Hawaii Filipino Chronicle (HJFC) is pleased to have shared news and stories of OMM and their volunteers in the course of over a decade. HFC publishers Dr. Charlie Sonido and Chona Montesines-Sonido, along with their family, have also coordinated and made missions with OMM in the past. We will continue to support OMM and look forward to updating our readers of OMM’s future projects.

A big mahalo and mabuhay to OMM staff, officers, physicians, nurses and lay volunteers. We wish OMM continued success.

lies, humanity, and to God for giving us life, and if you’re a Christian, for sending his son Jesus Christ.

It’s also about finding goodness in the world, in each other and within. It’s about charity and goodwill, helping the less fortunate, extending our love to the homeless, to people we know who lost family, perhaps their job, or others with ongoing struggles like chronic physical or mental health.

It’s a time of healing, to mend bridges in relationships that have collapsed. It’s a time to return to innocence and believe once again in ideals such as world peace, however unrealistic it might seem.

There are many in our communities and close network who need help this holiday season. This we are already aware of and have known what some of these needs have been all year. But there’s something special about Christmas that transforms us into action to be a better friend, better neighbor, better family member, better citizens in our communities and society.

In part, this – Christmas bringing out the best in us -happens because joy is infectious. Positive energy spreads. Christmas is like stepping into

a room with happiness and goodwill abound. We may not feel our best before entering that room. But we come out of it feeling much better and consequently do better for ourselves and others.

During Christmas we’re inspired by Jesus himself. We not only celebrate Jesus’ birth in Christmas, but the season also brings out the best in us to be more Christlike.

Jesus said, “A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.”

He also said, “Ye are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has lost his savor, wherewith shall if be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

We wish all of you –our loyal readers, advertisers, community supporters and collaborators – a Merry Christmas, Maligayang Pasko. For seniors and those immunocompromised take precautions and be safe.

(We Wish....from page 2)


Ohana Medical Mission Heads to Philippines in January, And Holds First Charity Ball in February 2023

Charitable work never stops for the Ohana Medical Mission, Inc. (OMM) even as the world wades through COVID-19 restrictions.

In February 2020 during the global outbreak of COVID-19, OMM was wrapping up its 15th mission to Ilocos, Philippines. Medical and lay volunteers had already visited Ilocos Norte (Pasuquin, Dadaeman, Sarrat, Banna) and Ilocos Sur (Cabugao, Cuantacla, Sinait, San Esteban). But as the group prepared to do its last mission work in Bagong Silang (a resettlement district for Filipinos from slum areas in Tondo, Manila), the Department of Health imposed restrictions on group gatherings.

“OMM management had no choice but to cancel its last part of the mission to Bagong Silang,” JP Orias, OMM Executive Director, told the Filipino Chronicle. “Medicines and vitamins for that area were left with partnering local doctors to properly administer them,” he said.

As restrictions were entrenched in the U.S. and the Philippines, OMM continued to do feasibility studies to implement for future face-to-face missions. Planning and logistics prior to missions are essential and usually takes about two years for each mission. OMM works with Hawaii’s local community and coordinates also with organizations, officials and medical professionals in the Philippines.

In 2021, the group still was not allowed to travel so it conducted its first-ever virtual mission under the guidance and leadership of Dr. Carolina Davide, who was OMM’s president

“Since its inception, the OMM has had 15 medical missions in the Philippines from Ilocos Norte down to Davao for an estimated total of 45 mission days covering almost 100 urban and remote places. These missions served an average of 1000-1500 patients of the lower economic pyramid per day,” Orias said.

“To cover the local physician community, OMM usually hosts dinners with Continuing Medical Education (CME) updates on hypertension (HTN), Diabetes (DM), Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD), Par-

at the time, and sister Patricia Nurimarna in the Philippines.

The virtual medical mission took place on December 21, 2021. OMM provided medicines, eyeglasses, toys, vitamins in cooperation with the AMPNPP and St. Damian Center in Bagong Silang, Orias said.

Dr. Ian E. Guerrero, current president of OMM, who was also involved in coordinating the virtual mission, said “we were able to put smiles on the beneficiaries of that mission.”

He said, “our face-to-face mission was temporarily put on hold at the height of the pandemic but despite the odds and uncertainties, we were able to innovate and execute our first successful virtual mission.

Dr. Guerrero told the Filipino Chronicle OMM has two missions this December. “We have minor missions in place [one] at Sinait, in Ilocos Sur, care of Hermie Gaspar, our current secretary; and [another one] at Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte, headed by Arnold Villafuerte MD, our current vice president with his wife Teodora Villafuerte. Both of these missions are happening this December. These missions are supported by OMM.”

OMM’s 2023 medical mission

Since the pandemic’s disruption, OMM will launch its first full-scale, face-to-face mission from January 9-14, 2023. Dr. Guerrero said from January 9-12 OMM will be at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila. UST

asite Disease and other relevant topics. OMM also provides each mission ‘Humanitarian Gifts Bags’ of staple goods and favorite food for the poorest families of the mission area,” Orias said.

OMM usually makes one or two missions a year.

Dr. Guerrero said OMM has provided free medical, surgical, optical, dental, health education and humanitarian services to underprivileged communities from Luzon to Mindanao, Philippines.

“The membership at OMM is diverse and inclusive with dif-

ferent backgrounds but we’re unified in our passion and commitment to volunteer and serve to the ‘least of our brethren.’ We exist because of the love and support of the volunteers, the community, and generous donors,” Dr. Guerrero said.

Donors range from corporate to individual from both the U.S. and Philippines.

Each mission usually is comprised of a mix of experienced veterans who’ve done many mission tours and new, often first or second-time volunteers.

Orias said often the plac-

Medical Alumni Association of America is co-sponsoring this leg of the mission. “OMM will cater to the deserving families and barangays within the vicinity of UST. This mission is medical and surgical in nature in form,” he said.

“Then on January 13, OMM will be at Payatas, Quezon city and January 14 at Bagong Silang, Caloocan city. We will be providing free medical consultation and medications, as well as performing minor surgical procedures and free eyeglasses to recipients in these areas,” Dr. Guerrero said.

An OMM mission usually is comprised of 60 volunteers from physicians, nurses, a pharmacist and lay staff support. A mission usually lasts no longer than two weeks, the average length of time that volunteers can leave their medical practices.

Besides on-site free medical procedures and consultations, OMM typically donates tens of thousands worth of prescription medicine, medical supplies, eyeglasses, and basic necessities like food. They will also give out vitamins from one to six months supply. Mission volunteers pay for their own transportation and lodging.

es OMM decides to visit in the Philippines are areas where people in Hawaii invite them to go. In such circumstances, “the local community in Hawaii also help to raise funds to buy medicines and supplies to be used in missions,” Orias said.

The Ohana spirit

Ohana in Hawaiian means family or extended family. OMM’s charitable work reflects the loving care that you’d give to an extended family member.

During OMM’s missions it’s also typical for medical professionals to bring along a fam-

ily member to assist them with lay work and to teach that member the value of giving back to the community.

Dr. Davide, past OMM president and current board member, has done seven missions. She recalls two separate missions that family members were involved in.

“I started doing missions in 2013 when Typhoon Haiyan/ Yolanda hit Cebu and Tacloban, Philippines. It was memorable since it was my first mission. I did it with my daughter, Anna, who was at 10th grade at that

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(Ohana Medical...from page 4) time. The conditions there were not ideal, but it was a sure thing to experience together as a great bonding opportunity between mother and daughter. Now she is in first year medical school,” David said.

In 2015, she did another mission with family (her sister who is based in Hong Kong and her two daughters), this time in Bicol, Philippines.

Her sister-in-law joined Dr. Davide during a medical mission in her hometown of Los Banos, Laguna, Philippines in 2016, where she also got help from her elementary classmates. “I used to volunteer in the town’s health center there when I just finished my internship in the Philippines. It was quite a sentimental experience,” Davide said.

Connection to Philippines

Many of OMM physicians and volunteers have deep connections to the Philippines. Current OMM President Dr. Guerrero is from the Philippines and received his medical education and residency there.

He first learned of OMM in 2013 while doing a preceptorship under Dr. Charlie Sonido, former president of the Philippine Medical Association of Hawaii (PMAH) and frequent OMM volunteer-physician and coordinator. OMM, incorporated in 2009, is the medical mission arm and affiliate of PMAH.

“I was a newly migrated immigrant at that time. In one of our encounters with Dr. Sonido, he interjected that Typhoon Yolanda struck the Visayas region, and that OMM must include in its itinerary going to the Visayas for medical and humanitarian outreach on top of OMM’s already pre-planned mission in the Ilocos.”

Typhoon Yolanda was one of the most powerful tropical cyclones ever recorded and is one of the deadliest Philippine typhoons on record, killing at least 6,300 people.

Dr Guerrero said he didn’t go on that mission, but he played a part in sorting out and packaging medicines and supplies. When volunteers returned, he heard stories they told him how happy and fulfilling their hearts were. “Never did I know that I would soon be part of this organization in the years to come.”

Dr. Guerrero’s first mission was in 2015 which covered Bagong Silang and Agudo, Mandaluyong, both in Metro Manila, Gerona in Tarlac, Naga city, Legaspi city and Bacacay, Philippines, all in the Bicol region. “We were able to put happy smiles to the underprivileged communities we served. This has re-ignited my desire to participate on these missions as I’m no stranger to community outreach and rendering free medical services since medical school,” he said.

“My most memorable encounter was in Bacacay, Albay when I was able to see a family of seven who traveled several miles away through wooden boats just to have their medical conditions checked. They don’t have a physician in their localities, and they took this opportunity of a lifetime. They were able to get medicines appropriate for them.

“But what struck me most is when I had to refer the breadwinner of the family, the father, to a Tertiary center for further work-up of a lingering incapacitating illness. The family felt devastated about hearing the news and they wouldn’t want to leave their pillar behind. I provided not only compassionate care for them, but emotional support to the family as a whole,” Dr. Guerrero recalls.

Donating, volunteering, and first Charity Ball

Dr. Guerrero said anyone can be a volunteer at OMM. “There is diversity in the composition of our volunteers and members of the organization. It is an all-inclusive group. Everyone in OMM shares the passion and commitment to help underserved communities. There is no absence of work at OMM. From simply giving your humble monetary donation to packing up medical supplies, we recognize the significant role it plays in ensuring the success of OMM.”

He said the composition of OMM’s executive board and its members are a group of philanthropists and dedicated individuals who tirelessly share their time, effort and experience despite their busy and hectic schedules. He said OMM has positions from president down to different committee levels each working to promote our or-


ganization, solicit donations and crafting policies and guidance for future missions.

“We have a group of advisers as well, most of whom have had leadership role at OMM in the past who provide sound advice and input into everything that we do.”

Orias said OMM is launching its first Charity Ball in February 2023. It will replace their successful golf tournaments which ran for three years. These donations are used to pay for medicines and supplies. OMM also accepts donations from drug and medical supplies companies.

Dr. Guerrero said OMM would not be possible without the generous support of its donors who believe in the organization’s mission and vision, and the dedication and hard work of volunteers.

Dr. Davide said she’s been volunteering with OMM to give back to those less fortunate than us. “It’s payback for all the blessings I‘ve gotten in my life. It’s giving back ‘till it hurts.’”

Philippines and healthcare

The World Health Organization (WHO) said the Philippines’ health system needs financial stability, well-trained human resources (along with proper salary), proper information/data, and proper maintenance of up-to-date facilities to be able to deliver quality services, medicine, and research.

It described the country’s spending as comparatively low at 4.7% of their GDP on health while USA and Canada spends 17.1% and 10.4%. But it also recognized the Philippines’ efforts to improve and cited in 2019, the Universal Health Care (UHC) Bill which was signed into all, aiming to provide proper healthcare services for all.

Like the country’s inequality in wealth, its healthcare is massively inequal between the rich and poor, experts say. The rich can afford private hospitals and private insurance. For many average Filipinos these are unaffordable.

The quality of healthcare is said to generally decline as you go further out to rural areas where there is a lack of infrastructure and investment in hospitals and clinics. Rural medical facilities are basic, rudimentary, and understaffed. Most of them

“Since its inception, the OMM has had 15 medical missions in the Philippines from Ilocos Norte down to Davao for an estimated total of 45 mission days covering almost 100 urban and remote places. These missions served an average of 1000-1500 patients of the lower economic pyramid per day. To cover the local physician community, OMM usually hosts dinners with Continuing Medical Education (CME) updates on hypertension (HTN), Diabetes (DM), Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD), Parasite Disease and other relevant topics. OMM also provides each mission ‘Humanitarian Gifts Bags’ of staple goods and favorite food for the poorest families of the mission area.”

are inadequately equipped to treat serious health conditions and the next hospital could be hundreds of miles away. If rural Filipinos cannot afford to travel to the big city hubs for medical care, often they just do without treatment entirely, even when a serious health ailment is present.

According to the United Nations Development Program, Manila, eight out of 10 Filipinos never had a physical or medical checkup in their lives.

OMM targets both impoverished rural areas and cities.

Former Philippines Health Director Dr. Eric Tayag said all health centers in the country still need to improve leadership and governance, health financing, health information, availability of medicines, vaccines, technology, human resource, and delivery of services.”

There is also a shortage of medical staff, doctors and nurses, throughout the country. The Philippines’ health care worker-to-population is 19 per 10,000, below WHO’s standard at 45 health workers for every 10,000 persons.

The shortage is attributed to low pay of health workers and health workers going abroad for work.

To some OMM medical volunteers originally from the Philippines, they say doing medical missions is one of their ways of giving back to the country they left behind.

For information on how to donate to or become a volunteer of OMM, visit the Philippine Medical Association of Hawaii’s website at pmah-hawaii. org under the Ohana Medical Mission section.


Now that Georgia has given the Democrats its 51st Senate seat, the news is good for the 50th state.

The Democrats will now have a real functioning majority and that means power. Dems will be able to move all appointees, judicial and non-judicial appointees, as well as tough policy matters, with a new sense of speed.

Also getting a boost in the leadership ranks is Hawaii’s Sen. Brian Schatz. Re-elected by more than 71 percentage points in November, Schatz is now deputy conference secretary as well as Chief Deputy Whip.

That’s the difference winning Georgia makes.


The Georgia Runoff, Herschel Walker as Werewolf, and Hawaii’s Jacob Batalon

And Georgia happened because people took notice of Asian American Pacific Islanders (AAPI).

There are an estimated 133,000 AAPI voters in Georgia, but as this runoff shows, we can help coalitions win big politically.

Just watching the results come in on TV, you could feel the excitement of the race between Sen. Raphael Warnock and Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker.

I know, sounds strange, a senator and a football player. The TV graphics couldn’t keep up with the drama.

It was Warnock at the jump, but then at 5:42 pm Pacific, Walker goes up by about 9,000 votes and takes a 50.2% to 49.8% lead.

Republicans could be heard around the U.S. saying, “FREEZE THAT!”

By 6:12 pm, Warnock had come within less than 1,000 votes and it was tied with

Walker at 50%.

Oh no–we don’t want another runoff!

By 6:20 pm, with 79% of the vote, Warnock was back on top by 32,000 votes, to take a 50.6% lead to Walker’s 49.4%.

That’s how it would go all night. People often disdain the horserace coverage, but this was the horserace in real time. It showed the importance of every vote.

Walker would take back the lead when more same-day votes from rural areas, with white, less educated, more Trumpy voters, gave the football player support.

And then Warnock came roaring back when all the Atlanta area votes, the Black votes, and the suburban Atlanta votes were counted.

By the end of the night, with 100% of the vote in, 3,518,244 votes were counted, according to the Georgia Secretary of State website on election night at 9:54 pm Pacific. Warnock had 90,134 more votes, 1,804,189. Or 51.28%. Walker had 1,714,055, or 48.7%. Democracy won. We didn’t need another runoff!

By Dec. 7, the final count grew to Warnock with 51.37% of the vote (1,816,096). Walker had 48.63% and 1,719,483 votes. A 102, 041 vote margin. Shows you just what a precarious situation our country is in.

Walker, a handpicked Trump celebratory clone whom even Dave Chappelle has called “observably stupid,” should have lost by several hundred thou-

sand votes given all his negative qualities.

Instead Walker, who should have been rejected as a candidate in the first place, came within 102,041 votes of the U.S. Senate.

That’s not much of a margin between Rev. Warnock, a pastor at MLK’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, and Walker, the known philanderer, abortion hypocrite, and alleged domestic abuser.

But that’s how necessary it was to get as many of those 133,000 AAPI voters as possible.

Data from the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund exit poll showed that AAPI support for Warnock grew from 60.1% in November to 78.1% in the runoff.

That’s almost equal to the margin of the Warnock victory.

The AALDEF poll also indicates AAPI voters were motivated in the runoff by health care issues and abortion access. Warnock needed us and we showed up as part of the coalition of voters who made democracy work few weeks ago.

Walker managed to acquit himself by doing a very nonTrumpy thing. He conceded. That should be a thing among Republicans, but since Trump, it hasn’t been. Walker was a good loser. He showed humility. He even thanked his wife, Julie, who he said has “been through a tough time.”

Understatement of the year.

And then Walker said, “I don’t want any of you to stop dreaming. I don’t want you to stop believing in America. I want you to believe in America and continue to believe in the Constitution and in our elected officials.”

It was a humbling moment you wouldn’t have seen from Walker’s mentor, Donald Trump, who has been silent since the last of his big bets in the midterm elections crashed and burned. What a day for the twice-impeached former president. On the day his company, the Trump Organization,

was convicted of tax fraud, the last of his top eight handpicked midterm candidates goes down.

By comparison, Warnock showed why he was the night’s ultimate choice. He said the people have spoken and said “a vote is a kind of prayer, for the world we desire for ourselves and for our children. Voting is faith put into action.”

He spoke about his MLK roots, John Lewis, and his own mother: “She grew up in the 1950s in Waycross, Georgia, picking somebody else’s cotton, and somebody else’s tobacco. But tonight, she helped pick her youngest son to be a United States Senator.”

It spoke of the journey all BIPOC communities have made to be part of this country and to enter spaces where heretofore we would not have been welcome.

Warnock had our back. If you’re going to win in a diverse America, you’d better not forget us. The Warnock blueprint? He made sure his message got to AAPI voters in translated ads in Vietnamese, Mandarin, and Korean. In his election night speech, Warnock said, “I just want you to know I see you.”

And Warnock really did. Maybe now so will others in the political realm. Because AAPIs were a big part of the coalition that gave Democrats their 51st vote in the Senate.

AAPI voters were that margin of victory.

Anti-Walker Omen--Reginald The Vampire?

And then again, maybe there was a Hawaii reason that Warnock won.

Last week, President Obama added to the list of why Herschel Walker was unfit for public office.

Obama mocked Walker saying the footballer was talking about issues of great importance to Georgia and the nation “like whether it’s better to be a vampire or a werewolf.” To which Obama confessed he (continue on page 10)


In a previous article we pointed out that being “crazy” is not bad as when a young man tells his inamorata “I am crazy about you.”

Being a “fool” is not bad either. An Ilocano lawyer from Honolulu who met an 18-yearold virgin in Baguio City went singing in the rain together at the Baguio Botanical Garden during the October 2022 typhoon. What were they singing? The lawyer’s signature song, “Fools rush in, where angels fear to tread.”

Insanity is a mental illness and is curable. Mental hospitals abound in America.

But stupidity - being slow of mind, acting in an unintelligent or careless manner,


Stupidity, The Biggest Cause of Immigration Fiascos, But Its Effects Are Curable by Excellent Lawyer – More Stupid Examples

lacking intelligence or reason, or acting senselessly - has no cure. But its adverse effects in immigration cases can be alleviated by an excellent lawyer.

Here are more examples of stupidities in the immigration context

Caregiver pretends to be single even though married

A common example of stupidity is claiming to be single even though married because the truth can easily be discovered. This occurs when a son or daughter (over 21 years old) is petitioned by a green card holder parent. Immigration law requires that the son or daughter be unmarried. Green card holders cannot petition married children.

A married daughter of

a green card holder told the U.S. consul that she was unmarried. She was given an immigrant visa as the unmarried daughter of a green card holder.

Upon arrival in Honolulu, she immediately returned to the Philippines, “married” her husband again, and then petitioned him as the spouse of a green card holder.

She used the date of the second marriage as the “date of marriage” in the Form I-130 petition and attached it as an exhibit. She also included in her petition her two minor children and attached as an exhibit their birth certificates.

In the birth certificates the “Date of marriage of parents” was the date of the first mar-

riage of the green card holder and her husband.

Consular authorities are not stupid. Upon seeing the children’s birth certificates, they went to the National Statistics Authority (now Philippine Statistics Authority) and got the first marriage certificate of the spouses.

The Department of Homeland Security placed the woman in deportation proceedings for fraud. She retained us to represent her. We won. We obtained a fraud waiver. It is not easy, but it can be done.

We wrote an annotation about fraud waiver. It contains examples of fraud and how to obtain a waiver. It is published by Westlaw.

We told the woman to join the “Navy League,” a civilian-navy service organization. In our closing argument, we told the Immigration Judge

that the Navy League would lose one of its most helpful members if she were deported.

“Navy League? She is a member of the Navy League?” thundered the Immigration Judge. “Yes, Your Honor,” I replied. The Judge said: “I have heard enough; your request for a fraud waiver is granted.”

The courtroom audience burst into tears, as if there was a death in the family. “Why are they crying? I did not deport her?” asked the Immigration Judge. Those are tears of joy, your Honor, I replied.

Ilocano commits double adultery and hires a lawyer who tells USCIS

A married green card holder went back to Ilocos Norte, saw his former girlfriend who was already married and they

(continue on page 14)


Use The Griner Formula to End Russia-Ukraine War

the war?

Few weeks ago, I thought the only way we can end the Russia-Ukraine war was for either party to surrender or do a graceful withdrawal.

Unless there is a surrender of either party or a graceful withdrawal from the Russia-Ukraine war, the war is going to be endless, perhaps even longer than the Vietnam War.

Russia can carry on the war in all levels because of its super military arsenal and Ukraine likewise, with the continued support of its allies principally from the US, can also sustain the war for as long as it takes. So, how do we end

had that debate himself when he was seven.

“As far as I’m concerned,” Obama said, “He can be anything he wants to be except a United States Senator.”

Obama got laughs, but immediately, I wondered whether Obama was making it all up. Walker talking vampires or werewolves?

With the release of WNBA superstar Britney Griner, who was convicted and detained in Russia for possession of drugs, after months of negotiations, I thought we can use her case as a model in ending the war.

As I See It, using the concept of prisoner exchanges, will make it possible. How do we do it? If Russia and Ukraine release all Prisoners of War (POWs) in their respective countries, this will be a graceful exit to end the war.

Of course, this will take time for negotiations by Ukraine and Russia as displayed by President Joe Biden and his administration, in the case of Griner, which took them for almost five months.

The negotiating strategy was broached in July when Griner sent a handwritten letter to Biden saying she was afraid


It’s true.

“Yeah, I was watching a stupid movie late night,” Walker said about a movie on vampires in a TV news clip. “Let me tell you something I found out. A werewolf can kill a vampire. Did you know that? So, I don’t want to be a vampire anymore, I want to be a werewolf.”

she’d be detained indefinitely and pleading with him not to forget her.

Just days later, after contemplating to use the exchange of prisoners, Secretary of State Antony Blinken publicly expressed frustration that Russian counterparts were refusing to engage with what he called a “substantial offer.”

It became clear the Russians wanted a prisoner swap for Viktor Bout - a notorious arms dealer who was serving a 25-year sentence in US prison. In Russia he is referred to simply as a businessman, known to have carried out risky aviation trips to dangerous places.

It’s not clear whether he had connections to Russian intelligence but both Russian and US experts agree that he must have known quite a lot, which is why the Kremlin wanted him back.

Yes, we don’t mind a little joking around. But this is for real.

The sad thing is Walker is more credible on this issue than he is when he parrots the anti-Biden talking points handed to him by Georgia Republican Governor Brian Kemp.

Walker is only sincere when he says he wants to be a werewolf. And that choice is clearly wrong.

You’ve got to be a vampire. Have you seen “Reginald the Vampire”?

Filipino Vampire Star

The star of “Reginald the Vampire” is a bald, fat and unlovable Filipino American character who works at a slushie store, and who in an unusual set of circumstances, becomes both loveable and a vampire.

A Filipino American Vampire? I am drawn to this show more than your new season of HBO’s “The White Lotus.”

And it’s all because of Jacob Batalon, the guy who plays Reginald.

I am admittedly late in the game singing the praises of Batalon. Forgive me, I love

Griner was detained in February at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport after Russian authorities said they found vape canisters with cannabis oil in her luggage.

After the Biden administration negotiated her release from a Russian penal colony in exchange for an arm dealer Viktor Bout, Griner was freed on Dec. 8.

“She is safe, she is on a plane, she is on her way home. She will soon be back in the arms of her loved ones, and she should have been there all along,” Biden said in remarks from the White House few weeks ago.

Biden added: “I’m proud that today we have made one more family whole,” adding that he will continue to work to free Whelan. “We’ll keep negotiating for Paul’s relief. I guarantee it.”

As far as a I recall, Griner’s release is the second publicly known U.S. prison-

“Spider-Man,” but I got lost in the franchise somewhere around Kirsten Dunst.

So I missed the emergence of Batalon as the bestfriend of Peter Parker a.k.a. Spider-Man, and didn’t realize the young actor was a “thing.”

Batalon is what you’d call a plus-sized Filipino from Hawaii, who in real life loves his loco moco and ukulele.

This year, by accident, while watching the World Cup, there were numerous ads heralding a show with a bald, fat Asian guy. And of course, that always perks up my interest. Then I find out he’s Filipino, and the star.

I only know general stuff about vampires. They hate garlic. Filipinos love garlic. But the metaphor of a Filipino vampire works for me. We look forever young and never age. But Batalon is also different by being a fat vampire. The organization of vampires must want him out.

And that’s what makes Reginald so endearing. He’s a nice guy trapped by his fangs. He just needs your blood.

And he looks like you or

er swap with Russia since the war in Ukraine started. American Trevor Reed was released in April after spending nearly three years in a Russian jail.

The former Marine was freed in a prisoner exchange that saw Biden commute the sentence of Konstantin Yaroshenko, a convicted Russian drug trafficker serving time in Connecticut who was sentenced to 20 years in prison in the U.S. in 2010.

Recently, Russia and Ukraine had swapped 50 service personnel according to Russia’s Defense Ministry and Ukraine’s head of presidential administration.

Ukraine’s presidential administration head Andriy Yermak said that the exchanges of prisoners of war would continue “until the liberation of the last Ukrainian.”

Meanwhile, Russia said they will fly its released prisoners to Moscow for medical checks and rehabilitation.

How many Prisoners of War (POWs) are we talking

your cousin. (Maybe because he is. Batalon went to Damien Memorial High and Kapi’olani Community College before heading to New York to study acting).

And now he’s Reginald and I’m hooked.

The show’s on the SyFy channel on Wednesdays. And, coincidence of coincidence, Batalon and I share the same birthday. On top of that, it’s created by a guy I knew from college.

To Harley Peyton and Jacob Batalon, a toast of my reddest, thickest, homemade cranbeet juice, for their show and the runoff.

We know who won election night in Georgia. And it wasn’t the werewolves.

NOTE: I will talk about this column and wish you a Merry Christmas on “Emil Amok’s Takeout,” my AAPI micro-talk show. Live @2p Pacific. Livestream on Facebook; my YouTube channel; and Twitter. Catch the recordings on www.amok.com.

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

on page 14)
(CANDID PERSPECTIVES: The Georgia ....from page 6


Dr. Josh Green Is Official Hawaii’s Governor

wish him well.

IIt’s no secret that my enthusiastic support in the gubernatorial race was behind Congressman Kai Kahele. I was highly critical of L.G. Greens’ candidacy and shared my concerns surrounding Green Health International, and his close relationship with Pacific Resource Partnership (PRP) and related SuperPacs.

I am hoping he will prove me wrong and that he is the man he says he is.

We, as a collective community, need me to be wrong on this. We desperately need the leadership he has promised.

A recent news report quoted our new Governor as saying one of his top five priorities is to “get rid of the tax on food and medication.” I support this 100% and it’s long overdue. Thank you, Governor Dr. Green.

My hope is the focus will be on locally grown food sold in stores and markets only.

This would incentivize the purchase of locally grown agricultural products over imports. Perhaps the tax benefit would be only for “fresh food” or “non-processed food” or whatever definition is needed to avoid interstate commerce issues.

Food self-sufficiency in general must be a priority for all of us. We must all make that extra effort to purchase from local farmers and eat at local restaurants that serve local food.

While the incoming administration has announced many of the new cabinet appointments, the Director of the Department of Agriculture (DOA) has yet to be filled. My hope is it will be someone outside the box who understands both the challenges and the value of local agriculture - small farms producing local food for local consumption.

Too often, past Directors have “talked the talk” as to supporting small farmers, understanding, and believing in the value of organic principles, etc.

But at the end of the day,

they showed their true colors by embracing agrochemical companies and “big ag” as the preferred vision of Hawaii’s agricultural future.

Former Director of Agriculture Scott Enright, a very nice man with a very strong resume, symbolizes the past so well. He could talk the talk with local farmers, and he knew the right words to talk organic as well.

However, his bias became ultimately clear when one of his first customers as a paid lobbyist is the euphemistically named Western Plant Health Association whose membership includes 90% of the “crop protection” (chemical companies) in the western United States. He continues as their lobbyist today and will no doubt be lobbying their interests before the 2023 legislature.

Unfortunately, this organization has scheduled its upcoming October annual meeting on Kauaʻi - ground zero for these companies and a proving ground for the toxicity they bring to the planet.

We need a Director of Ag-

riculture who truly understands and gets it. Small ag and locally grown nutritious food is where the focus should be. We don’t need further wolves in sheep’s clothing who know how to placate the small farmer, but who truly hang with the corporates of big ag.

Ditto with the Director of the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR). We don’t need no corporate green-washers. We do need and want someone who understands, supports, and believes in their core the public trust responsibilities that come with this job.

The same goes for the Department of Hawaiian Homelands - I agree getting the land back into the hands of native Hawaiians must be a top priority and it seems an obvious and positive step in the right direction. Thank you again Governor-elect Green.

But let’s look beyond those lands held currently by the DHHL. Let’s take back those lands now occupied by the military, but largely unused (or misused) - on every island.

Fourteen new directors have been named, of which only four of them are women. Hopefully, our new Governor will provide a bit more balance as he moves forward to identify his remaining key cabinet positions.

Please take a moment and either call his office and leave a message, or use this contact form for Governor Green and share with him the type of individual you want to see appointed to these positions - before he chooses. Polite and professional as always!

At the end of the day I am hopeful that myself and others will be able to testify in enthusiastic support for these appointments at the upcoming Senate confirmation hearings.

GARY HOOSER is presently the executive director for the Pono Hawaii Initiative (PHI), and volunteer board president of the Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action (H.A.P.A.). He is the former Vice Chair of the Democratic Party for the State of Hawaii (DPH) and a past member of the Democratic National Committee (DNC)



An Anthology from Hawaii’s Youth

Last month during the final reading of the top ten letters submitted to the Letters to my Parents Contest in Hawaii, Zhodell Magaoay read part of a poem he wrote more than 30 years ago when he was a student at Kalakaua Intermediate. He recited:

“I’m just an ordinary Filipino boy.

Why do people say that I talk weird?

I just have the accent. It’s hard to adapt to standard English, when half of your life was spent in the Philippines.

People also say I talk too loud. It is better to talk loud than soft. This way I can express my feelings easier…”

The students in the au-

dience were able relate to his poem, particularly those who were recent immigrants. The teachers that came from Hawaii’s schools who were there that day readily realized that the anthology provid ed a glimpse of the feelings and aspirations of Hawaii’s youth.

As stated at the back cover—In 1990, the Filipino Association of University Women (FAUW) published an anthology of literary works written by public school students of Fil ipino ancestry entitled Voices of Youth—a rare publication that gave voice to the young Filipino-Americans’ experience in Hawaii.

Their voices in their poems were crystal clear, sometimes filled with pain, at other times with humor and laughter but always with honesty and integrity. The original anthology served as a small window to the lives of the

Filipino and Filipino-American youth.

Thirty years later, the FAUW decided to reprint the anthology and added literary works written more recently by the youth of Hawaii. Also included are the winning entries of the Letter to my Parents contest—one of the programs the FAUW initiated in 2013 in collaboration with Reiyukai America.

This literary anthology is permanent and tangible: it documents the timeless and relevant experiences of the youth. Through the art of writing, the students found emotional release and self-discovery and the opportunity to communicate candidly and fearlessly with peers, parents and teachers.

The book consists of four parts. Part One: “The Power of Language” contains the more recent poems of students. Two seniors from Farrington High School reached out to their teacher Norman Sales (now the

school’s director of strategic planning) in 2019. Both students were working on their Global Action Project for the Pacific and Asian Affairs Council (PAAC).

They wanted to collect and publish an anthology of student writing. So, during the dark days of the pandemic, literary works were solicited from students who wanted to participate.

Part Two: “Letter to my Parents” is a compilation of the most “share-worthy” entries culled from the letter-writing contest that was first implemented in Hawai’i in 2013.

An essay writing competition of teenagers and young adults addressed to their parents or guardians, it served as an opportunity for the youth and their families to maintain healthy relationships and improve communications within the family.

The organizers have received entries from all islands and from various ethnic groups, but the number of entries significantly increased when educators were invited to participate as a “great way to learn more about your students.”

It became an informative tool for teachers to know and better understand their students.

Part Three and Four were from Voices of the Youth, first published in 1990 by the FAUW. Part Three contained poetry while Part Four was comprised of short stories and other works of fiction.

Part Five called “Pandemic Poetry” was a project of the Genius Hour Class of Waialua Intermediate School. The school’s 7th grade “Genius Hour” is a passion-driven semester course covering a variety of topics.

Students were encouraged to jot-down their deep thoughts and real feelings about their lives during the COVID-19 quarantine and lockdown through the written word. Their completed works were virtually present-

ed in class in 2020 when the pandemic was in full swing. It had a profound impact on each individual as each one grappled with the realities of the pandemic.

As the final presentation of the 2022 Letter to my Parents contest came to a close last November, the finalists were all presented copies of this anthology. Each and everyone of the audience can attest that a subtle “change” has occurred.

For the students, the act of writing a heartfelt letter becomes a magnet that bonds a family that may be in distress--because each letter is a portrait of the images inside the young author’s mind.

The same holds true for the power of the literary pieces. During the initial publication of the anthology in 1990, copies were requested by outreach workers serving the immigrant youth because it provided a small window on how the young people thought, dreamed and hurt.

The book was also requested by several universities with Asian American Studies programs because of its value to both teachers and students. Their voices in the writings were crystal clear, with honesty and integrity. The students were able to grasp the importance of literature—the importance of writing without fear.

It is interesting to discover the changes, if any, the 30year difference has brought, not only to our Filipino youth but to all the young people of Hawaii.

The book is available via Amazon.com or locally. Send inquiries via email at <kalamansibooks@gmail. com>.

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



Finally Home

uwi na ako sa aking pamilya. Kahit sayang ang perang kikitain ko dito sa Korea, mas mahalaga ang aking relasyon sa aking asawa at makita kong lumalaki ang aking anak.”


(I am finally going home to my family. A big amount of money I can earn in Korea may be put to waste but my relationship with my wife and seeing my child grow are more important to me.)

Tears were rolling down his face as these words were uttered by our very good friend who we sent off to the Philippines just recently. He has been working in South Korea as a factory worker for nine years.

His marriage is on the rocks and his three-year-old boy doesn’t get to see him regularly. Finally, he decided

to go home. And we’re glad that he’ll be able to celebrate Christmas and welcome the new year with his family.

It is with sadness that we sent him off. My husband JM and I will miss him because his constant presence in our lives has been an encouragement. When he told us about his decision, our hearts rejoiced.

JM and I are children of parents who are Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW). JM’s father worked in Saudi when he was young. My mother went to the US when I was 17 and has been staying there since.

While my husband’s family is still intact, mine, on the other hand, is broken. I have seen and experienced the ill effects of having a mother who is physically away from her growing children. We can relate with other children who are growing up not seeing their mom or dad.

So, when we send off friends who are going home

to their families in the Philippines, our hearts rejoice and our mouths praise God.

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, there are more than 1.8 million OFW in 2021. Millions of Filipino families have fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles who are overseas, sacrificing and working to serve other nations to be able to give better lives to their loved ones at home.

Not only do they provide for their families, but they also help the country’s economy grow. They are heroes, with no capes and no recognition.

I used to question my mother’s motivation when she left us for the States. Why can’t she just stay and be with us? My brothers were just in high school then. They needed her. But when my elder sister and I entered the university and were confronted with tuition fees and school expenses, I got to realize, understand

and eventually become grateful for my mother’s hard work abroad.

We wouldn’t have made it through college without her. She has been our lifeline. She took care of other parents’ children just so her own can flourish and not just survive. Now that we get to experience what it means to be an Overseas Filipino Worker, we are humbled and grateful for our parents who sacrificed their lives for us.

My family is blessed because we get to be together. My husband and I get to celebrate our anniversaries together, we get to witness our children’s milestones and enjoy their birthdays together. But our situation is more of an exemption rather than the norm.

Among the Filipino workers here in South Korea, most have left their families at home. And we hear their stories, we see their tears, and we feel their loneliness.

It has always been our prayer for God to flourish and prosper our nation so families


won’t need to be separated. We pray for strength and grace to be upon our heroes as they endure being alone and away from the people they love the most.

I pray that their children will grow with grateful hearts for the sacrifice their parents are making to give them the best of life.

I pray that every OFW will realize and experience the provision of God upon their families, and feel the love that He has shown by sending His beloved Son. This Christmas, millions of Filipino children will be celebrating the holidays away from their precious parents (and vice versa).

I am just so happy that after so many years, my friend will be giving his family the best gift that no amount of money can buy--his presence. He will finally be home. May your homes be filled with love, joy and peace this holiday season! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!

Pamaskua Ti Gumil Hawaii Ken Ti Pondador

mayka nga umay, Manong,” impagedged ni Jocelyn Agustin, sekretaria ti GUMIL Hawaii. Nagranakami iti dakkel nga inaugurasion ni Hawaii Governor Josh Green idi Disiembre 5, 2022 iti Neal Blaisdell Center Arena.

Ket nakipagpaskuaak met iti pondador ti GUMIL Hawaii Mrs. Pacita Saludes ken kakaduana ita nga aldaw ti Domingo, Disiembre 11, 2022 ditoy Max Manila, Waipahu.

Agyamanak iti panangted ni Mr. Abraham Flores, umuna a bise presidente iti panagsaritak.


“Agyamanak,kakabsatko iti pluma. Together again. Wen, kastoy a naam-ammok ni Mrs. Pacita Saludes. Awagko kenkuana ket Manang Pacing . Taldiap/Subli: 1964 idi isu ti nagpaay a

maysa kadagiti resource speakers iti GUMIL Sinait, a maysaak idi a gumugumil kas opisial iti Gumil Sinait, dati a Sinait Writers’ Association. Maibilang nga anak ti Sinait ni Manang Pacing ta naikamang iti taga Ubbog, Sinait isu ni Manong Alfredo Saludes. Ni Manang Pacing ti pondador ken presidente ti GUMIL Abra kadagidi a tawen dekada 60’s.

Idi mabangon ti GUMIL Filipinas idi 1967-wenno 1968, Isu ti maysa kadagiti umuna a Business Managers ket nagsapatada iti seremonia a naangay idiay Baguio City ket ni Presidente Ferdinand E. Marcos ti nagpaay a naisangayan a sangaili. Ni Mayor Arturo [Malutluto, Maib-ibus] Padua iti Sison Pangasinan ti umuna a nagpresidente iti GUMIL Filipinas.

Ket idi naangay ti GUMIL Filipinas National Conference idiay Donia Gregoria Rivera Quirino Memorial, Vigan City, Delagado idi ti GUMIL Abra, idinto a delegadoak iti GUMIL Ilocos Sur.

Iti Hawaii

IDI AGOSTO 3, 1971, iti maysa a malem ditoy Hawaii, naisagatak a nakasarita ni Manang Pacing iti telepono. Sangsangpetko a naggapu iti Filipinas, Hulio 30, iti umuna a gundaway. “Welcome to Hawaii, Amado. Mannuratka met, awisenka a tumipon iti GUMIL Hawaii.”

IBILANGKO ti GUMIL Hawaii nga umuna a gunglo dagiti mannurat iti Hawaii a nangpasangbay kaniak iti Hawaii.

Ket daytan ti nangrugian ti nasingsinged a panagkakaduami kada Manang Pacing iti komunidad maipangpangruna iti GUMIL Hawaii.

Agosto 1971, kas managduyos iti daniw, nagdaniwak maipaay iti Her Majesty Queen Lina Saludes iti Our Lady of the Mount.

Labor Day iti Setiembre 1971, maysaak kadagiti nagsarita iti GUMIL Hawaii Literary Seminar and Workshop. Nabotosanak a sarhento

de armas, sa bise presidente. Nagpaayak a chairman iti nadumaduma a komite.

Aktibokami iti panagsuratan iti sarita, drama, bukanegan.

Agdama a siak ti presidente ti Oahu Filipino Community Council ngem kas Co-Chairman ti Miss GUMIL Hawaii Search Committee, idi Mayo-Hunio 1982, kimmuyogkami iti Miss GUMIL Hawaii Maria Lina Pascua a nagbakasion idiay Filipinas. Sinangaili ti Bannawag ken ti Department of Tourism, Manila, ti grupo nga impanguluan ni Mrs. Saludes.

Sinangailinakami ti Ilocos Sur Agricultural College ken ni Mayor Brillantes iti Santa Maria Ilocos Sur.

Sinangailinakami ti GUMIL Abra ket maysakami a nagsarita iti panagsuratan iti daniw.

Sinangailikami ti GUMIL Sinait ken ti Sinait Municipal officials nga ipanguluan ni Mayor George Cabacungan

Sinangailinakami ti GU-

MIL Ilocos Norte nga ipanguluan ni Mr. Jaime Lucas, nagdirektor iti Department of Trade.

Kaduak a nangbangon iti Ilokandia Magasin 19761982. Isu ti immuna nga Editor-in-Chief, simmublatak idi nagbalin nga Advertising Manager.

Kaduami a nangbangon ti Ilocos Surian Association of Hawaii, 1977. Isu ti maysa kadagiti bise presidente, siak ti umuna nga auditor.

Idi 1977 1982, kaduami iti Oahu Filipino Community Council [OFCC] kaaduan nga opisial ti GUMIL Hawai ti nagopisial iti OFCC, Mario Albalos, Amado Yoro, Pacita Saludes,Felipe Abinsay, Jr. Mel Gonzales, Mario Orbito, Loduvico Tugadi. Immuna a nagpresidente ni Mario Albalos, sa simmarunoak, nagsekretaria ni Mrs. Saludes, tesorero ni Jun Abinsay, sa nagpresidente, auditor ni Ludi Tugadi, Mel Gonzales, direktor, Mario Orbito, bise presidente

“U (continue on page 15)


FilCom Honored Sakada Day With A Play

Last Dec. 11, the FilCom Center held a play titled “Sakada Through the Years” written and directed by Hawaii Filipino Chronicle columnist Raymund Llanes Liongson. The play was a reennactment of the life of the Sakada— Filipino migrant workers doing manual agricultural labor in Hawaii.

Sakada Day is honored in Dec. 20 as a day of rec-

ognition to commemorate the day that first Filipinos arrived in Hawaii over a century ago. The first 15 sakadas arrived in Hawaii on Dec. 20, 1906 and were assigned to Ola’a Sugar Plantation on the Big Island. About 125,000 Filipinos are in Hawaii by 1946 working in sugar and pineapple plantations in Hawaii.

“It’s important for Filipinos to know about their

(WHAT’S UP, ATTORNEY?: Stupidity....from page 7)

shacked up together.

He came back to Hawaii, sought to divorce his current spouse, and wanted to apply for naturalization so he could petition his old girlfriend. He hired a female lawyer known for charging exorbitant fees and frequently unsuccessful results, and whose website

picture looks so young as if it was taken before she started wearing panties, according to an observer.

The man told the lawyer that he had an affair with his old girlfriend as a result of which she separated from her husband. When you commit adultery, there are only three

history and where they came from so that they know where they’re going,” said Allan Alvarez, one of the organizers, in an interview with Star-Advertiser.

who know – you, the girl, and God. So why are you so stupid as to tell anybody about it let alone your lawyer?

The lawyer made the man sign an affidavit that he, a married man, had an affair with his old girlfriend, who was married, and the girlfriend’s husband left her. Wow! Double adultery.

Then the lawyer filed an application for naturalization, attaching the affidavit. Why tell USCIS something that it did not know and could never find out unless the adulterers squealed. Susmariosep. What was the lawyer thinking? Or what was the lawyer not thinking. I will not call that “stupider” because there is no such word. Or is there now.

USCIS denied the application on the ground that the man did not possess the required good moral character. USCIS said that although adultery is not in the list of what constitutes lack of good moral character, the man’s conduct broke up an existing marriage.

USCIS cited the Code of Federal Regulations which says: “Unless

Sakadas were also involved in the labor movement which resulted in more positive working conditions for plantation workers.

The play featured local

the applicant establishes extenuating circumstances, the applicant shall be found to lack good moral character if during the statutory period, the applicant. Had an extramarital affair which tended to destroy an existing marriage.” 8 CFR 316.10(b)(3)(ii).

Did not the lawyer know this? It is very basic.

The man came to us and showed all the papers related to his case. I asked him: Why didn’t you come to us instead of that female lawyer? We helped you when you were petitioned by your wife, and we were successful.

He replied that he could not find us. I asked: How did you find us now? He did not reply. I told him that he was lying when he said he could not find us.

I told him we are on KNDI radio every week, we have a column in the biggest circulated Filipino newspaper in Hawaii – the Hawaii Filipino Chronicle, and we are Max’s Restaurant several times during the week. People, even on the mainland, come to us.

Furthermore, I told him,

(AS I SEE IT: Use The Griner ....from page 10) about here? Over the past several months, the United Nations Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine has interviewed 159 prisoners of war (139 men and 20 women) who were held by the Russian Federation (including by affiliated armed groups), and 175 prisoners of war (all men) held by Ukraine. The mission reported many human rights violations by both camps in treating their own POWs which are against international laws. These were documented by the mission which may serve as a basis for further actions.

So, swapping of prisoners by Russia

actors and singers who depicted the immigration of the Sakada up to present day.

“It’s very important for Filipino people, those who are married to Filipino or have some kind of Filipino influence in their life to know the story,” Alvarez said. “They can also tell their children and hopefully, when we do these celebrations, it continues and it really gives character and identity to modern Filipinos in Hawaii.

he was not loyal to us because he went to another lawyer even though he knew us first. I refused to take his case.

ATTY. TIPON was a Fulbright and Smith-Mundt scholar to Yale Law School where he obtained a Master of Laws degree specializing in Constitutional Law. He has a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of the Philippines. He is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, New York, and the Philippines. He practices federal law, with emphasis on immigration law and appellate federal criminal defense. He was the Dean and a Professor of Law of the College of Law, Northwestern University, Philippines. He has written law books and legal articles for the world’s most prestigious legal publisher and w rites columns for newspapers. He wrote the best-seller “Winning by Knowing Your Election Laws.” Listen to The Tipon Report which he cohosts with his son Attorney Emmanuel “Noel” Tipon. They talk about immigration law, criminal law, court-martial defense, and current events. It is considered the most witty, interesting, and useful radio show in Hawaii. KNDI 1270 AM band every Thursday at 8:00 a.m. Atty. Tipon was born in Laoag City, Philippines. Cell Phone (808) 225-2645. E-Mail: filamlaw@yahoo.com. Website: https://www.tiponlaw.com.

and the US are possible and have been done by the two countries.

If we must elevate the practice in the current Russia-Ukraine war, perhaps we will be able to come up with a deal after a series of negotiations to satisfy both camps. i.e., swapping of all POWs between Russia and Ukraine.

Should this happen, the Russia-Ukraine war will end in due time, in a win-win situation– the Griner way!

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





| December 20 at 6pm | FilCom Center, Flores Ballroom | Learn more about destigmatizing mental health in the Filipino community. Register now to this free workshop. Visit filcom.org/communityevents.

Kaduami iti Editorial Board iti GUMIL Hawaii anthologies Amado Yoro, Pacita Saludes, Mario Albalos, Francisco Ponce, Felipe Abinsayy, Jr., Rev. Juan Dahilig, . Mairaman ti Bin-I, Dawa, Agtangkayagen ti GUMIL, Umuna a Dekada ti GH, kdpy.

Kaduak pay iti Hawaii Filipino News, Santak.

Pacific Journal.

Hawaii Filipino Chronicle.

ITI PANANGDAWAT ni GUMIL Hawaii vice president Abraham Flores, Jr. kaniak iti nanumo a kapanunotak no ania ti/dagiti mabalin a maitipon iti programa ti GH iti maisagsagana a pannakaselebrar ti maika-52 a tawen ken foundation day a maangay intono Enero 2023, ken tapno maisubli ken mapagbalin “MANEN” nga aktibo ti GH: “mabiag koma ti panagsuratan, ti drama, ti seminar workshop tapno aggiinnadal dagiti addaan iti essem, panagduyos nga agsurat, masapul nga AGSURATTAYO, biagen, tagibenen, ituloy a pabaknangen ti Literatura Ilokana, masapul nga adda dagiti agbalin a mannurat iti agdama ken baro a henerasion,


LET’S ZUMBA | Filipino

Center | Every Monday until December 2022 at 6:15pm | FilCom Center, Consuelo Courtyard, 94-428 Mokuola Street, Waipahu | Need to unwind in movement and dance after a long workday? Join the community as we Zumba through the evening. Only $5 per class. Proceeds go to support these program-types for FilCom Center.

daytoy ti maysa a wagas a panangtaliaw ti naggapuantayo a kataltalonan, iti away, ili a nakayanakan a daga ken nagtaudan ti ramut a nasken nga ipateg ken salimetmetan. Ken panagilibro, ken ti community volunteer work kas iti feed the homeless, adopt a park, adopt a hwy, kdpy”

Naragsak ti paskua ta adda pay binungon. Adda dagiti sigud nga am-ammok pakaibilangan da Emmie Anderson, KPRP, Lilia Del Rosario, Albina Gamponia, Lydia Ramiro, Lina Feliciano, Lerina Saludes, umuna a Miss GUMIL Hawaii, kdpy.

Naikkanak ti gundaway a nangisagut ti dua a libro iti Da Six en Honolulu: Bayengyeng ken Ayamuom. Iti dedikasionko kada Manang Pacing ken Jocelyn, pondador ken sekretaria: Dagitoy ti bunga dagiti arapaap, dagiti seminar/workshop ken panaggiinnadal, bunga ti pluma ken panagkakadua iti nagan ti Literatura: Naimbag a panangbasayo—Amado


NGA ILOKANO, agsurattayo iti nagan ti Literatura Ilokana..

an 18+ event. Ticket starts at $20. To purchase, visit http://jointherepublik.com/events/ manila-killa-2/.


Starting salary from $2,000 per month with annual salary increases

• Need domestic help who knows how to do household chores such as cleaning, cooking, laundering clothes and other household services.

• Prior experience preferred. Attractive salary package awaits you!


Babysitter is needed to care for a 1-year old baby and do other activities related to babysitting. Experience preferred. Please include in your resume your references. Competitive salary and other benefits await you.

Send resume to: filipinochronicle@gmail.com

(PHILIPPINE LANGUAGE: Pamaskua....from page 13) SA FILCOM Filipino Community Filipino Mental Health Initiative-Hawaii Community MANILA KILLA CONCERT | Electric Palms, The Republik | January 6, 2023 at 9pm | The Republik, Kapiolani Blvd | Chris Gavino, best known as Manila Killa, is a producer and DJ who has been praised by multiple media publications such as Billboard, Forbes, Complex, Paper and NYLON. This is
DECEMBER 17, 2022