Hawaii Filipino Chronicle - December 18, 2021

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DECEMBER 18, 2021  HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE  1

DECEMBER 18, 2021

LEGAL NOTES

Jasmine Sadang Named 2021 Chronicle’s 3rd annual journalism scholar

BOOK REVIEW

CANDID PERSPECTIVES

Jo Koy Mixed Plate – Chronicles of an All-American Combo

Just in Time for Christmas – The Right to Vote?


2 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE  DECEMBER 18, 2021

EDITORIAL

Families Might Be Apart This Christmas, But Enjoy the Holiday and Keep in Mind There Is Always Next Year

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ost Generation X Filipinos are children of immigrant parents who came into the U.S. in the later half of 1960s to 1970s. Filipino Gen-Xers were either born in this country or brought over in their early ones (mostly before turning 5-years old) by their parents. Compared to earlier generations of Filipino immigrants, those who arrived during the 1960s-70s were more educated and moved to the US with the intention of staying permanently. Previous Filipino immigrant generations – many of them – saw their stay in the U.S. as temporary (at least at first) to earn money then had planned to return to the Philippines. Arguably, Filipino immigrants of the 1960s-1970s were the first wave of immigrants “seeking permanent residency.” Of course during the 1960s there already was a permanent community of Filipino American residents comprised of plantation workers who decided to stay in the US. (arrived in the early 1900s) and their “locally-born” children that branched out to more diverse occupations like joining the military or becoming a longshoreman. Leaving the Philippines with the intention of living abroad permanently had a finality to it that meant mentally and emotionally, the immigrant would give up his roots and plant new roots in the U.S. – have children (that would become Fil Gen-Xers) and start new careers.

New destination, same pattern of migration Fast forward some 40 years later, many Filipino Gen-Xers today are experiencing another period of migration – this time with their children leaving Hawaii to seek permanent residency in the US mainland. Like their parents who left the Philippines, Gen-Xers’ children (Filipino millennials) are moving to the mainland for similar reasons: to seek new personal and career opportunities, to chase after their dreams. Many of them cite for leaving the high cost of living in Hawaii—especially housing costs—and the lack of job opportunities suited to their skills and interests. Gen-Xers are generally supportive of their children’s decision to move to the mainland for enhanced opportunities. Statistics show Hawaii transplants usually go to larger states with large economies like California, Texas and Washington, or to Nevada (where the lure there is to be among Hawaii’s large transplant community). At the same time, we also hear Gen-Xers complain about the conditions here (super high priced housing market, lower wages, lack of quality jobs) that essentially are pushing their children to seek what Hawaii lacks in other states. Some blame the government for not doing enough to make housing more affordable. Others recognize Hawaii’s desirability, lack of land, and investment opportunities as the main drivers of Hawaii’s real estate boom, that never seems to slow down even during recessions. The average price of a single family home in Hawaii recently reached the $1 million mark, which price would put a strain on even two working professionals who have little to no down payment or assets. Family Separations and the Holidays Like most immigrant communities in the U.S., Hawaii’s Filipinos see migration for personal and career growth as a part of life. It is difficult for family particularly during the holidays. But (continue on page 3)

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

n Christmas songs (e.g. I’ll Be Home For Christmas), Christmas movies running 24-7 on the Hallmark channel, and just about in anything and everything related to the Christmas season, there is this common thread of family being together to celebrate this most festive of days in all the year. But the reality is, sometimes, we’re not able to meet this expectation to be where we want to be, “home” with our closest loved ones on Christmas. Consequently, this becomes a huge let down and a source of the holiday blues to the person unable to make it back home or to his-her family. For our cover story this issue, associate editor Edwin Quinabo reports that Hawaii’s large out-migration – of mostly students, adults of all ages, including seniors – is having an impact in the way we are celebrating our Christmases. We can cover the all-is-rosy, joy-joy angle of Pasko traditions (as we did in our last cover story), but we’d be missing a real cultural phenomenon in our own community if we didn’t present this pattern unfolding that our families are being separated due to locals moving to the mainland. And really Christmas, as we’ve known it to be, is changing. For some families that change is slight because the family unit is largely intact. But for other families, we’re looking at practically half the family (two generations) separated due to relocation. In the article we see that Hawaii locals who have moved to the mainland or Philippine-born citizens emigrating to Hawaii, that their decision is the best personal choice they’ve made for themselves. Filipinos interviewed for this story are optimistic and are viewing family separation in one of or all three ways: 1) wherever we end up, we can carry on our Filipino Christmas traditions; 2) feel the love and connection to our families while together or apart; and 3) celebrate with joy Christ’s birth. Also in this issue, Edna R. Bautista, Ed.D. our Journalism Scholarship Chair, presents our 2021 winner of the Hawaii Filipino Chronicle’s 3rd Annual Journalism Scholarship, Jasmine Sadang, a Communication Studies and Practices student at Hawaii Pacific University. Sadang will receive $2,500 to go towards helping her complete her degree. We also have in this issue an essay written by her, “My Journey to Journalism.” Congratulations Jasmine! We wish you continued academic success. Practically every Filipino (even non-Filipino) in Hawaii knows of Fil-Am comedian Jo Koy who broke a record in 2017 for the most tickets sold by a single artist at 23,000 tickets, 11 sold-out shows at the Neal S. Blaisdell Concert Hall. But did you know he has a new book? HFC contributor Rose Cruz Churma does an excellent review on his book that is getting a lot of attention in our community. In Hawaii news, get the details on the 12 cases of the COVID-19 Omicron variant discovered on Oahu. In our second editorial, we take a strong position on the Red Hill water contamination. We have an Open Forum contribution “Tourist Tax Surcharges Threaten Hawaii Recovery” from Joe Kent, executive vice president of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, and other informative news and columns. Lastly, this is our last issue of 2021 and we’d like to extend our deepest gratitude to all of you who’ve supported us this year. Mahalo. May you all have a very Merry Christmas and Prosperous New Year! Please be safe while enjoying the festivities. Until 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.

Design

Junggoi Peralta

Photography Tim Llena

Administrative Assistant Lilia Capalad Shalimar Pagulayan

Editorial Assistant Jim Bea Sampaga

Columnists

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


DECEMBER 18, 2021  HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE  3

EDITORIAL

The Red Hill Water Contamination Crisis Could Have Been Averted, The Navy and Our Leaders Put the Public at Unnecessary Risk

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awaii residents was jolted by one of the biggest news to close out this year – the water contamination crisis at Red Hill. The U.S. Navy has confirmed that a water system below the Navy’s fuel tanks have been contaminated with petroleum. That water system serves 93,000 people on Oahu at mostly military bases. About 1,000 households have complained that their tap water smelled like fuel. Residents started to suffer serious health issues from headaches, vomiting, stomach problems, rashes and sores. And a larger and potentially more devastating scenario is that “the Navy’s contamination could migrate toward the public water source,” warns Chief Engineer Ernie Lau of the Honolulu Board of Water Supply (BWS).

BWS, smart to shut down Halawa Water Shaft immediately First thing to mention, BWS made the right move to preemptively shut down its Halawa water shaft as a precautionary measure. That shaft -- which services 20% of the water for the area from Moanalua to Hawaii Kai, including urban Honolulu – sits less than a mile away from the contaminated Navy’s Red Hill Shaft.

According to BWS, the Navy hasn’t been providing detailed results from their tests of wells in the area. So this has left BWS in the dark as to where that gas leak is headed and the potential for contaminating the Halawa water shaft. BWS couldn’t and shouldn’t have waited, and was right to act swiftly. This is unacceptable that the Navy isn’t being completely transparent. Top Navy officials have expressed in press conferences that the public’s health is priority number one in dealing with this crisis. So it should be expected that the Navy be transparent and cooperative with the BWS, state and federal (non-military) officials and agencies.

Imminent problem was there for a decade, but ignored The Navy announced that it plans to clean the contaminated Red Hill Shaft and resume service. But it doesn’t solve the big, underlying problem, which is the Red Hill (water) Shaft is still located under (by just 100 ft) the Red Hill fuel storage facility where the leaks came from that contaminated the water shaft. Gov. David Ige and the Hawaii congressional delegation was also right to make a very strong statement demanding that the Red Hill fuel storage facility be shut down immediately.

(Families Might....from page 2)

Gen-Xers have already seen how their parents successfully coped with separation from their grandparents in the Philippines. Their parents called family in the Philippines frequently, sent remittances, exchanged cards and photos, made trips back home at least two or three times within a 5-year period. Often these trips would be around Christmas time. Technology has made it easier for family separation today. Filipino millennials use face-to-face apps to ease home sickness. They’re able to see their loved ones back in Hawaii and communicate with them without time constraints, compared to the days with just phoneto-phone communication at pricey minute-to-minute long distance charges. Traveling in general is also cheaper going to and from the U.S. mainland and Hawaii compared to going back and forth from Hawaii and the Philippines, which enables family to visit each other more frequently, especially during the Christmas season.

Keeping our Christmas traditions alive Whether we manage to fly back

home to be with family or are separated, we can still keep our Christmas traditions. And we are seeing this across the globe where Filipinos have migrated to. We see them preserving the Filipino Christmas traditions such as Noche Buena, Misa de Gallo, among others. Hawaii Gen-Xers might see their children leaving for the mainland as a new normal relative to when they were graduating from high school in the 1980s-1990s when fewer students left for college on the mainland. But migration has been an almost universal cultural phenomenon for ages. We can look back at the Holy Family and Jesus (reason for the season). They were migrants. The holiday blues is real and being separated from family could be the source of the holiday blues. A good tip to ease the sting of the holiday blues: if you’re anticipating not being with family this Christmas, plan ahead to do something you’d enjoy. And keep in mind there is always next Christmas to reunite with family. Have a very Merry Christmas! Maligayang Pasko!

But at the same time, clearly top state government officials must have known for a long time the problems that the Navy’s fuel facility posed, and the potential for contamination to occur as what we’re seeing now. State and federal elected officials should have been pressuring the Navy to relocate that antiquated Red Hill fuel storage facility years ago. And the governor and Hawaii’s congressional delegation should not be satisfied calling for a suspension of operation, but must finally push for a relocation of that fuel facility to a location far away from a water shaft, and definitely not near to one that happens to be the largest source of water on Oahu (Halawa water shaft) as it is currently positioned. The distance of the Red Hill fuel storage facility to the Red Hill Shaft and Halawa Shaft must be addressed and included as a solution to this crisis. Otherwise, the risk will always be there for contamination of both water shafts.

Public deserves to have safe drinking water and not have to worry about it The public has every right to be angry and be demanding this problem be solved swiftly. The truth about politics is often the powers that be will “stay in their lane” so to speak. They will work together, but “stay in their lane.” This crisis is a perfect example of how red flags were ignored and because it’s the “mighty” military involved, action was not forced to correct a problem. The public was unaware that such dangers to our water system even existed and relies on our leaders to do the right thing, to look after our safety and ensure that our water is safe to drink. This is a “no-brain-

er” that the distance between fuel tanks and water shafts is too close. As technologically advanced as we are, couldn’t we have identified this problem and began working on correcting it a long time ago? This is not how government is supposed to work. As of press time, the Navy also has not given a timeline of their clean up efforts or addressed the fuel facility. Quite frankly, the presence of top military U.S. officials flying in to hold press conferences talking about the public safety, but not being transparent, not offering a timeline nor addressing the main problem – how are we, the public, suppose to interpret this other than it being just “public relations.” In fairness to the military, they are working ardently on damage control (providing alternative housing for those affected, even temporary stays at hotels). But this is damage control. The public deserves openness to our big questions. Certainly, the Navy is holding public safety as a top concern or even that it’s their highest priority. But again, the Navy must be far more transparent than it has been. At least in doing that, it can begin to regain and earn the public’s trust on this specific issue. The latest development as of press time is Sen. Brian Schatz proposal that the EPA take the lead on the collection, testing, analysis, and public communication for water quality of the Navy’s water system. As a trusted independent agency (and actually it is required by law to implement the Safe Drinking Water Act), the EPA should be, in fact, taking the lead. The EPA is the agency that can restore confidence that the proper safety measures are being taken


4 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE  DECEMBER 18, 2021

COVER STORY

Put Aside the Holiday Blues: We’re Thousands of Miles Apart on Christmas But Still A Family by Edwin Quinabo

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igration, even for the best of reasons, can have bitter-sweet consequences at times. From Hawaii to the US Mainland or the Philippines to Hawaii, Filipinos tell their stories how planting new roots in their new adopted cities can have an impact on their Christmases while apart from the life and family they’ve left behind. Sisters Lana (Moanalua H.S.) and Megan (Kamehameha Schools Kapalama) Quinabo left Hawaii after high school to attend college on the mainland. After completing their master’s degree (Lana in education, Megan in business marketing) they both have decided to stay in California and New York, respectively. In the late 1980s, early 1990s, the term “brain drain” -- when young, talented residents leave the state in search of greater opportunity – was first started to be used as Hawaii’s top high school graduates increasingly chose to attend colleges on the mainland. Fast forward some 25 years later, First Christmas away from family and home “My first Christmas when I couldn’t come back home

Hawaii students deciding to leave for college on the mainland is approaching almost one-third of all Hawaii high school graduates. In 2014, 29% of Hawaii high schoolers picked a mainland college to attend. In 2010, almost 8,850 students, or 72% of all first time undergraduate Hawaii residents, chose to stay in Hawaii for college. By 2016, this number had decreased to just under 6,500 residents or merely 62% of new college students, according to the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Educational Statistics. But education experts believe the number of Hawaii students’ going to the mainland is actually higher because the US DOE’s count does not track Hawaii college students transferring to the mainland or Hawaii students who took a break from a local school then resumed college on the mainland. Going full circle. For Hawaii’s Generation-X Filipinos (40 through 57-years old), their millennial children (24-39) leaving to broaden their opportunities away from home is acutely familiar. Why? Most Filipino Gen-Xers’ parents came from the Philippines to the US in

to Hawaii was in my sophomore year at Whittier College in California. It was rough,” Lana recalls. “That year I was working through the holiday season to save money for my study abroad in Europe program which was in January. My parents wanted to teach me how to work for something I wanted. During the winter break I had to leave the dorms. It was cold. I thought about our family Christmas traditions in Hawaii, putting up the Christmas tree and our family gathering with cousins, aunties and uncles, grandparents. I cried and felt alone,” said Lana, who now lives in La Habra, Orange County, CA. “But I felt comforted because that year I spent Christmas with my aunty Olivia [originally from Moanalua

Valley, Oahu] in Ladera Ranch, Orange County, CA. It was my first Christmas on the mainland. It was very different. We had to dress up in formal attire and there was a formal table setting with a set menu. Our Hawaii Christmas is more casual and potluck style,” Lana recounts. Her aunty Olivia left Hawaii for California after graduating from the University of Hawaii at Manoa in the early 1990s. She wanted her children Victoria and Caroline to know their grandma, her family and the beauty of Hawaii so they’ve spent many holidays in Moanalua and Waikiki. Even after grandma had passed away and as busy as the girls are now in medical and engineering school, Olivia still manages to pull-off a family trip to Hawaii regularly.

the late 1960s through 1970s for precisely the same reason why they’re children are leaving -- it was also to seek a better life. Gen-Xers can recall vividly their parents talking about how much they were missing their grandparents. Their parents made long distance calls, sent remittances, and visited the Philippines frequently to ease their homesickness. And during Christmas time, homesickness or the holiday blues takes on a sharp discomfort for just about all who have left home, no matter if their decisions to move away was the best choice for their career, personal growth or romantic life.

Megan described her first Christmas away from family while at Manhattanville College in New York. “My first Christmas from home was one of the hardest things that I had to experience since moving away. I remember I Facetimed my family at home during their annual Christmas dinner. It was an interesting feeling that I had, I can only describe it as ‘Happy-Sad.’ It was so beautiful to see everyone smiling, enjoying food, and being together; however, it just made me feel sad because I was not there to join in the fellowship. At that time, I was on vacation in Las Vegas, but not even that could cure the holiday blues I was feeling then.” Megan lives in Westchester County, NY and has been away from Hawaii about

eight years. Lana and Megan have been able to come back home every year for Christmas except once. “The good part now is because I’m a teacher, I’m able to utilize our school breaks to go back to Hawaii. I don’t have to take a vacation,” said Lana. Both Lana and Megan will spend Christmas on the mainland with their boyfriends this year but they’ll be in Hawaii to ring in the New Year.

Hawaii’s out-migration of locals Besides Hawaii students leaving for the mainland (due to a desire to experience life off island and a perceived limitations of academic resources within the state) there is high (continue on page 5)


DECEMBER 18, 2021  HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE  5

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

migration among Hawaii’s general population to the mainland as well. According to the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization (UHERO), in 2018, 67,293 Hawaii residents moved to the Mainland, or more than 4.5% of the state’s total population. Since 2006 up to 2017 (with the exception of 2010), more Hawaii residents moved to the mainland compared to mainlanders settling in Hawaii. The mainland has become a more attractive place to live for many Hawaii residents because of Hawaii’s high cost of living, pricey real estate, and a lack of job opportunities matched with workers’ skills, according to a UHERO study. The top states Hawaii locals choose to move to suggests they are moving for economic opportunities because of the large economies of these states. The top four destinations for Hawaii locals are California, Texas, Nevada and North Carolina. The effect COVID-19 has had on Hawaii migration has yet to be known until Census Bureau releases state-to-state migration data during the pandemic period. Experts believe the pandemic will drastically stem the flow of migration between the U.S. mainland and Hawaii at least temporarily. There is the public’s fear of getting infected on the Mainland where the pandemic is worse in many parts of the country than in Hawaii, especially in states like California and Texas, destinations that are popular among Hawaii residents, according to UHERO. As normalcy returns and the pandemic becomes more manageable, experts say the out-migration trend of kamaʻāina should return to pre-pandemic patterns. How this will play out in the long-term in the way of perpetuating Filipino Christmas traditions, cultural experts point out to the long history of Filipino diaspora. For the most part, Filipinos will carry on their culture wherever they are in the world. This has been shown to be true in the long arc of Filipino mi-

gration which is constantly evolving. The parol’s popularity (Filipino Christmas lantern) outside of the Philippines is an example of “cultural” migration. The parol shines bright each Christmas across all continents where Filipinos reside, from the U.S. and Canada, throughout Europe and the Middle East.

From the Philippines to the US Grace Larson, Hilo, business owner, left the Philippines in 2008 to be with her husband in Hawaii. She considers Hawaii her adopted home, where she started her family, raised her two children along with her husband. Before the pandemic Larson said she would visit the Philippines once or twice each year. But she’s only been home for Christmas once in 2014 when her dad had a terminal illness. A Christmas tradition for balikbayans (someone originally from the Philippines going home to visit) is to bring large boxes full of gifts. “Before going home to the Philippines that Christmas, I had already sent my LBC balikbayan boxes two months ahead of my departure date so that they would be there before I arrived. That Christmas I was happy to hand out in person gifts to my family and friends.” Larson recalls crying her first Christmas away from home when she saw her neighbor’s decoration of the word “Joy” which happens to be the name of her sister whose birthday is on Christmas Eve. As far as passing on to her children Filipino traditions, she said she’s tried. “I wake them up at 12 midnight for our Noche Buena,” she said. Noche Buena Noche Buena is the Filipino tradition of celebrating a Christmas Eve dinner. Traditionally, Noche Buena takes place after the Misa de Gallo or midnight mass. For the Quinabos, Noche Buena would last the entire Christmas Eve. They’d reserve opening presents and attending mass the morning of

Christmas day. Their Noche Buena menu typically would be a mixture of local Hawaiian and traditional Filipino food. The Filipino foods – lumpia, pancit, bibingka -- are normally prepared by Lana and Megan’s aunty Marline who learned these recipes from their grandmother Remy. Part-Japanese and part-Hawaiian, the Quinabo sisters would incorporate other local Hawaii traditions for their holidays.

Working abroad for many years, Christmases on foreign lands Ludmina Svetlana, originally from Pasig City, Philippines, is a healthcare worker living in Washington State, U.S. The last time she’s been back to the Philippines was in 2018. She’s been wanting to go back to visit but the pandemic has posed challenges. “I want to go home for Christmas but I can’t due to travel restrictions and my work/company protocols that could compromise my ability to go back to work when I return to the U.S. With the pandemic and patients, and hospitals at high capacity, this also makes it difficult to go home. I really miss Christmas celebration in the Philippines. It’s definitely more festive. It’s also a good time to meet up with my family and friends in such a festive season,” said Svetlana. Her first Christmas away from home was spent with her brother living in the U.S. But she has since moved to a different city and now spends her Christmas with friends. “I still carry over the tradition of having dinner on Christmas Eve (Noche Buena), but we go home before midnight so the kids can open their presents at their own homes. “This is a tradition that is very new to me, opening Christmas gifts on Christmas morning. This is to keep with the tradition of my Caucasian boyfriend. They practice this because Santa ‘delivers’ gifts at midnight. In the Philippines, however, we open our gifts right after Noche Buena,” said Svetlana.

“Even though we are apart during the holidays, we’re all connected and love each other. My parents – who left the Philippines in the 1960s to come to Hawaii for better opportunities – they never felt disconnected to my lolo and lola. Just as my parents felt, we all feel just as close to our family in this younger generation living on the mainland. We’ve been raised to love our family wherever they are. Whether they come home for Christmas or they spend it away from Hawaii, it is the same. We are in each other’s thoughts and hearts. Love transcends distance.”

—– Marline martin Ewa Beach How does she deal with homesickness? She said playing Filipino Christmas songs helps whenever she’s away from home during the holidays. “I am blessed to be a part of a Filipino group here in Washington. We get to play the silliest games, party until 3 am and everyone speaks Tagalog so I feel like I’m back home.” Vladimir Marquez, originally from the Philippines, has been living abroad for work for more than 10 years. He is currently in Singapore. In the beginning years while away, each Christmas Marquez would go back home but admits it became financially challenging. When he was able to return he would bring pasalubong gifts-souvenirs or every-day things that’s needed for family and friends. “Aside from the fact that I’m used to being away for Christmas at this point, I call my family through Facebook Messenger or Facetime to greet them and tell them that I miss them. Just seeing them smile on Christmas makes all the hardships and distance apart worthwhile,” said Marquez.

Studying abroad in Australia Jemary Coleen Tantido, Pasig Philippines, is pursuing

her Master’s in Social Work in Caberra, Australia, where she says there are huge opportunities in this field. She’s been away for about two years now and last saw her family back in 2020. “Originally, I had planned to go home every holiday but unfortunately, the pandemic happened. Australia has been strict with its state borders since 2020. Even though border policies were eased this year, I still can’t go back for the holidays because of my visa status. Being in the Philippines for the holidays is a huge deal for me since I love spending Christmas and New Year’s Day with my family, my partner and friends,” said Jemary. On her first Christmas away, Jemary said she felt homesick most of the time. “I felt mixed emotions since it was a new experience for me.” Like last year, this Christmas she will spend it with her aunt and friends in Australia. To help ease the anxiety of being away for Christmas, she is in constant communication with her core support in the Philippines. “I’d say reassurance is my coping mechanism [for the holiday blues]. When I hear certain people assuring me that everything (continue on page 12)


6 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE  DECEMBER 18, 2021

NEWS FEATURE

Jasmine Sadang Named 2021 Winner of the Chronicle’s 3rd Annual Journalism Scholarship By Edna R. Bautista, Ed.D. Journalism Scholarship Chair

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s the fall semester ends and 2021 comes to a close, the Hawaii Filipino Chronicle (HFC) is pleased to announce the winner of its $2,500 journalism scholarship, now in its third year. Jasmine Mata Sadang, a junior majoring in Communication Studies and Practices with a concentration in Strategic Communication, will be able to apply the scholarship funds to continue her education at Hawaii Pacific University (HPU) through 2022. Sadang was happy and relieved with the news that she won, especially during the ongoing global pandemic and unprecedented and challenging economic times. “This scholarship will help me in my educational and career journey in multiple ways,” Sadang said. “I work part-time to pay off my tuition, so I’m usually scrambling to pay off monthly deposits. This scholarship will help me pay off a chunk of my tuition which will allow me to focus on my studies. Winning this scholarship also gives me motivation as a

sign that I’m doing something right in these times of uncertainty.”

Journey from JCHS to JMC studies Sadang graduated in 2019 as summa cum laude (3.86 grade point average) from James Campbell High School (JCHS) where she served on her class council and was a member of Distributive Education Club of America, a nonprofit organization that prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the globe. At first, she was unsure of her career path after graduating from JCHS. She had taken some general education courses at the University of Hawaii-West Oahu and Leeward Community College before transferring to HPU and starting her journey towards the journalism and mass communications (JMC) field. “After taking a couple of communication and multimedia courses at HPU, I realized that JMC is something I can be passionate about,” she said. “I

Jasmine Sadang

enjoy creating content that has stories behind it, whether it be a mock media plan for a nonprofit organization or a commercial storyboard for a local business.” She said her career goals in JMC are “to be a speaker and storyteller for underrepresented people and for the Filipino and Hawaii communities [by working] for a local nonprofit organization or local business, helping with social media management, creating promotional content and stories or writing pieces to share with the public.” Determined to gain more writing experience, Sadang joined Her Campus, an online magazine and student-run organization. Her faculty adviser and professor, AnnMarie Manzulli, noted that Sadang demonstrates a strong work ethic and has consistent and superior writing skills and teamwork contribution. “She is an active member of [HerCampus] and has really come out of her shell because of it! It has been a pleasure to watch her confidence grow and her oral skills emerge during class presentations,” Manzulli said. “I believe that Jasmine is blooming at just the right time in her academic career and that the HFC scholarship will support her next steps.” Part of her JMC journey includes writing stories for the Chronicle. This will give her even more experience and exposure in real-world journalism. Excerpts of her essay appear in this edition. Committed to the craft of writing, Sadang is minoring

in English and working as a writing mentor at the HPU lab, which “requires me to share my knowledge of writing to help [students] create pieces that they are proud to share with others. I am someone who has never been fully confident in myself during my whole life. But when students let me know that my efforts really helped them, I, little by little, begin to believe that I can be the person I want to be. This part-time job helped me realize that I truly do love to connect with people and help them share their voice— because in a way, me helping them helps me, too.”

Classes during the COVID era Like her scholarship predecessors, 2019 winner Alyssa Acob from HPU and 2020 winner Brenna Flores from Chaminade University of Honolulu, Sadang’s education was interrupted by the coronavirus crisis. In-person classes were moved online, forcing both students and faculty to adapt to changes quickly. “Going to college during a pandemic has been a learning curve for me because it has pushed me to manage my time wisely,” Sadang admitted. “Taking online courses last semester was challenging because I have poor time management, meaning that I usually do not do work until it is the day before it’s due. I also usually relied on my weekly in-person classes to remind me to do my work. Going completely online really forced me to figure out when I should be productive and when I can relax.” But Sadang demonstrated discipline in her studies, as her professor, Dr. Lisa Chuang, observed in an upper-division social media course. “[I]n the middle of this course, we moved online because of the pandemic. While many students had difficulty making this transition, Jasmine was still able to produce high quality work that demonstrat-

ed her thorough understanding of the course concepts,” Dr. Chuang said. She added that Sadang excelled in another class when it was conducted virtually. Through all the educational uncertainties during the pandemic, Sadang adapted well and managed to maintain a GPA above 3.8 at HPU.

Filipino family values Sadang is the daughter of Jun Rey and Feloida Sadang of Ewa Beach. She has one older brother. She credits her parents and grandmother, Julita Rosal Sadang, for helping her fund her college education. They have labor jobs (hotel housekeeping, janitor, restaurant cook and manager, etc.) and instilled a strong work ethic in her. “When I think of how I had been given the opportunity to go to Hawaii Pacific University, my family comes to mind. My family lived most of their lives in the Philippine provinces of Ilocos Norte, Solsona and Paoay. So, hoping for better opportunities, they decided to immigrate to America. As a result, their children were able to reap the benefits of their choices. My ancestors are the reason why I value my education and why I am determined to thrive in journalism,” she said. “The kinds of values they taught me were about how education, work and money are interconnected. If we want something in life, like a good job or money, we have to work and study hard by not taking our education and opportunities for granted. They have displayed this value through their dedication to return to their jobs despite being tired or not feeling well.” Besides working part-time as a writing mentor at the HPU lab, Sadang also works parttime at Edible Arrangements. When she is able to take a break from her work and JMC classes, she enjoys reading, writing and journaling. Her interests also include social (continue on page 10)


DECEMBER 18, 2021  HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE  7

WHAT’S UP, ATTORNEY?

By Emmanuel S. Tipon, Esq.

M

ay an imm i g r a n t ’s sponsor be relieved from complying with the sponsor’s obligation to support the immigrant under an affidavit of support where the beneficiary sexually abused the sponsor’s granddaughter? Kuznitsnyna and her daughter Thomas sponsored Kuznitsnyna’s husband Belevich for admission to the U.S. by executing Form I-864 affidavits. The sponsors promised the U.S. that they would support Belevich at 125% of the poverty income level if the U.S. granted him a visa. Belevich was granted a visa. Belevich and Kuznitsnyna lived together in the U.S. for several years. Belevich went to visit his mother in Russia. When Belevich returned to the United States, Kuznitsnyna would not allow him back into their home. She then obtained a protection from abuse order against him and filed for divorce. Neither Thomas nor Kuznitsnyna provided Belevich with any financial support after this point. Later, Belevich was criminally charged for abusing Thomas’s minor daughter and possessing child pornography. Belevich sued to enforce their obligations. The sponsors raised the affirmative defenses of unclean hands, anticipatory breach, and equitable estoppel. The district court rejected those defenses as a matter of law and awarded damages to Belevich. The sponsors appealed to the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that these defenses are foreclosed by the statute and regulation governing Form I-864 and the text of the affidavit itself. Federal law provides that any alien who “is likely at any time to become a public charge is inadmissible.” 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(4)(A). A family-based immigrant is presumptively likely to become a public charge. 8 C.F.R. § 213a.2(a)

Affidavit of Support Beneficiary Sexually Abuses Sponsor’s Granddaughter – What Now? (1)(i)(A), (a)(2)(i). That presumption can be overcome if a sponsoring relative executes an “affidavit of support.” 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(4)(C)(ii), (a)(4)(D). In the Form I-864 affidavit, the sponsor promises the U.S. that such sponsor will support the immigrant “at an annual income that is not less than 125 percent of the Federal poverty line.” 8 U.S.C. § 1183a(a) (1)(A). See Form I-864P for the HHS Poverty Guidelines. https://www.uscis.gov/i-864p

Belevich sued the sponsors for breaching their support affidavits. An affidavit of support is “legally enforceable against the sponsor by the sponsored alien,” U.S.C. § 1183a(a)(1)(B). The statute creates a federal cause of action so that “the sponsored alien, the Federal Government, [or] any State” may enforce a support affidavit against a sponsor. 8 U.S.C. § 1183a(a)(1) (B)–(C), (e); see also 8 C.F.R. § 213a.2(d). This federal cause of action gives the sponsored im-

migrant enforcement rights that he would not necessarily have under contract law. The statute provides that the obligation under an affidavit of support ends when the alien is naturalized as a U.S. citizen, or has worked forty quarters. 8 U.S.C. § 1183a(a)(2) and § 1183a(a)(3)(A). The regulation provides that the sponsor’s obligations terminate “when” the sponsored immigrant becomes a U.S. citizen, works forty qualifying quarters, ceases to hold permanent resident status and departs the United States, obtains a grant

of adjustment of status as relief from removal, or dies. 8 C.F.R. § 213a.2(e)(2)(i), or if the sponsor dies. Id. § 213a.2(e)(2)(ii). The Form I-864 affidavit repeats these same terminating events and expressly notes that divorce is not a terminating event. The regulation also provides that “[o]nce the intending immigrant has obtained an immigrant visa, a sponsor . . . cannot disavow his or her agreement to act as a sponsor” unless the immigrant withdraws the visa petition. Id. § 213a.2(f). The sponsors allege that (continue on page 9)

(continue on page 7)


8 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE  DECEMBER 18, 2021

BOOK REVIEW

Jo Koy Mixed Plate – Chronicles of An All-American Combo By Rose Cruz Churma

O

n the flap of the book’s cover, Jo Koy notes: “Here is the path to my American Dream…And I want to make you laugh while I do it. I’m like Hawaii’s favorite lunch – the mixed plate. Little bit of this, a little bit of that. Mixed Plate is too.” Jo Koy, born Joseph Glen Herbert to a Filipina immigrant mom and white American dad, is one of Hawaii’s favorite stand-up comics, and perhaps, the rest of the world where Filipinos live – or where folks believe in reaching out for their dreams. His stand-up comic monologues gained traction with Filipinos when he poked fun at his immigrant experience – es-

pecially when he describes incidents with his Filipina mom. It resonated with folks who were brought up with a mother I’d call an immigrant “Everymom” trying to acculturate in their new adopted home, and in pursuit of the American dream for themselves and their children. He has a keen sense of observation and in the retelling of his family’s journey, this book is also a social commentary on what it is to be a Filipino-American during the past 50 years or so, particularly for one who is of mixed parentage. But this book also chronicles his personal story, of a biracial kid growing up around military bases in white America, a college drop-out who could not fulfill his mother’s dreams of acquiring a salaried,

stable and dependable job – as a nurse, for example. Although the context of his acts revolves around his Filipino-American upbringing, the story he shares is universal. This is why, in his concerts, the audience is diverse: his stories are relatable, no matter your ethnicity. His concerts here in Ha-

waii were mostly sold-out, so that this year’s events were moved from the Blaisdell’s concert hall to the arena – a larger venue. And even then, they had to add another show. It was this added show, on a Sunday evening, that I was finally able to watch Jo Koy in the flesh! I was the third wheel to my daughter’s night out with her beau. Parts of the concert were very uncomfortable for me – those jokes that I thought verged on the vulgar, or the constant use of the “F’ word (after all I am a baby-boomer brought up devoutly Catholic). Although the book is liberally laced with the same words and sounds like him on stage – but in the printed form, it is a better format for me. It’s like having Jo Koy in your living room, seated at your sofa, sharing his life

story and better than watching his Netflix special! Interestingly, the book also contains several recipes of – I assume – Jo Koy’s favorite Filipino dishes: lumpia, shirmp sinigang, pancit, chicken wings adobo and halo-halo. I will try his chicken wings adobo and its boiled egg garnish; the wings are fried first and then baked with the adobo sauce and eaten with freshly steamed rice. Prepare this dish one rainy day, get a copy of this book and enjoy! The book is available via Amazon.com and other online outlets, new or used (at eBay). Also available at Target or in audio format via Audible. com.

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.


DECEMBER 18, 2021  HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE  9

CANDID PERSPECTIVES

Just In Time For Christmas – The Right to Vote? By Emil Guillermo

I

t’s Christmas time. Is there anyone out their pining for the right to vote? It is a democracy, after all. Even though Santa wears red. If you are pining away the chance to vote for another Filipino American governor, then here’s a stocking stuffer. Despite all the Republicans best efforts to dismantle the Voting Rights Act, the one thing they haven’t been able to erase is Section 203, the part that gives you the right to election information in language at the polling places. And this year, because of the new Census, Maui County qualifies for election materials and help in Filipino. This is in addition to the requirement that Honolulu

County include Chinese (plus Taiwanese) and Filipino. It’s just a stocking stuffer though. What if you are a permanent resident in America? A “green card” holder. It’s in quotes because if you have one, you know it’s more like bureaucratic blue. It is the “document” that means you’re here for real. You’re not illegal. You can work. You can pay taxes into the system. But can you vote? Are you kidding me, pare? You’d expect more from the country that was fueled by the phrase “no taxation without representation.” That’s the irony. If you are a green card holder, you’re legal. But you can’t vote. You’re not a citizen. That’s why what happened recently in New York is so significant.

Lady Liberty is smiling broadly on New York City. Her torch, which had seemed a bit dim if not totally burned out in recent years, was forever shining as always. The New York City Council has given the gift of the vote for Christmas to all noncitizens there. You heard that right. The pro-democracy movement has finally come to

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

Belevich committed various bad acts that have undermined his relationship with his family. But the Court pointed out that the sponsors’ proposed equitable defenses are not comparable to any of the listed reasons for terminating the support obligation. The grounds for terminating support under the statute, regulation, and affidavit concern the beneficiary’s financial position and status in the country, not his relationship with his family. The affidavit expressly tells the sponsor that he or she must continue to support the beneficiary even if their familial relationship is dissolved by a divorce. The court said that the text of the statute identifies an exclusive list of terminating events. The statute or regulation could have said that the obligation terminates for reasons “including” the enumerated events, thereby indicating an “illustrative, not exhaustive” list. Christopher v. SmithKline Beecham Corp., 567 U.S. 142, 162 (2012). Nothing in this structure contemplates an equitable remedy or defense for the benefit of a sponsor. The court said that it is not enough that the sponsored immigrant’s conduct—such as committing a crime— could justify a change to the immigrant’s status. The obligation of support remains until the change in status has occurred and the immigrant is no longer

likely to become a public charge. The sponsors’ obligations will terminate if Belevich’s prosecution results in a conviction and he is removed from the United States. See, e.g., 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(E) (domestic violence is a deportable offense). Belevich v Thomas, Case 19-14668 (CA11) 11 01 21. RECOMMENDATION: A sponsor in an affidavit of support who is not the immigration petitioner should consider asking the immigration petitioner to execute an indemnification agreement whereby the petitioner agrees to indemnify the sponsor for whatever amounts the sponsor has spent to support the immigrant, plus attorney’s fees and costs incurred if the sponsor sues the petitioner. 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.

The information provided in this article is not legal advice. Publication of this information is not intended to create, and receipt by you does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

America, and it’s about time. We have seen America changing before our eyes in the other direction. Regressing. Getting smaller. Limiting opportunity. It was an America hell-bent on taking away rights from its people, from abortion rights to the fundamental right to vote. But now things are going the people’s way. While some states like Texas and Georgia are trying to restrict voting rights, New York City is expanding rights and, allowing more of the people it governs to cast a ballot in local elections. The measure extends the right to vote to all legal permanent residents (green card holders) and persons with a right to work in the U.S. It’s not undocumented folks. It’s not what racist people call “illegals.” It’s legal immigrants with just green cards. You can vote in NY city elections.

Vote. Not boat. You can be heard. You can be counted when it matters. You don’t have to be a citizen. Jealous in Hawaii? You should be if you’re a green card holder who has been sitting on the sidelines. Or hesitant about becoming a full U.S. citizen. The New York law needs to be duplicated where you are. Look what it does in New York. It means every Filipino American with a green card in New York City, plus the nearly 120,000 immigrants of Chinese descent there, once formerly left out, voiceless and ignored in our democracy, now have a vote. It means all those Asian American folks in Flushing have a new weapon after public works officials there did little to prevent the storm waters in September from flooding basement apartments and killing residents. (continue on page 14)


10 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE  DECEMBER 18, 2021

AS I SEE IT

Tackling Climate Change Through Global and Investment Cooperation By Elpidio R. Estioko

W

e all know that climate change is a global issue and President Joe Biden has taken the lead to address it by supporting major features in the Build Back Better (BBB) Act currently in the Senate pending approval. BBB is one-part of Biden’s three-part agenda to move the country forward. He already signed into law the other two -- American Rescue Plan (third COVID-19 relief) and Infrastructure bill. Climate change is an issue the ASEAN saw as a major concern, affecting not only Asian countries but the whole world. So, it needs global implementation of policies and projects that will address it. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) also saw climate as a major concern affecting the whole world. To address climate disaster diplomacy challenges during the pandemic, the third Climate Smart and Disaster Resilient ASEAN International Conference was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia via

Zoom from Nov. 23 until 25. I attended the three-day conference and what struck me the most was Atty. Karen Jimeno’s speech during the plenary session on Partnership and Collaboration. Jimeno is a World Bank Consultant and the Director & Chief Counsel for SofCap Partners, a private equity investment firm in the Philippines. As she evaluates the challenges ahead of the pandemic and climate, Jimeno said “We must move towards creating a clear and universal valuation framework and policies that enable its implementation at the global, regional, and local levels.” With the complexity and importance of addressing climate change, Jimeno said that it even impacts our financial and investment decisions. “We have also come to realize that climate change and valuations are inextricably linked. SofCap Partners is a growth equity investment firm that partners with Philippine enterprises to create value and positive impact. The investments we evaluate include direct investments in infrastructure, services, real estate, food and agriculture, technologies, health, and education,” she explained. “Valuations are an essen-

tial aspect of guiding our decisions in order to achieve positive impact. SofCap, like other private equity funds, uses ESG metrics to measure the impact of our investments.” ESG stands for Environmental, Social, and Governance. ESG metrics are often used by investors to determine how sustainable and responsible a company is when it comes to the environment, social issues and governance. Although ESG includes “environment” as one of its considerations, it’s not enough to fully evaluate businesses’ impact on climate change mitigation according to Jimeno. “Currently there is no universal standard for ESG metrics, and stakeholders in the industry are left to themselves to create their own guidelines and standards. Even more difficult is finding ways to value investments in relation to resilience and climate change. We are compelled to consider all risks and opportunities in evaluating investments,” she said in her speech. Climate change doesn’t only affect the Earth, but also humans. It can trigger social instability, migrations, health impacts, food insecurity among many other things. But despite this, Jimeno

said climate risks are rarely considered into the costs of investments or lack thereof. “In my work with the World Bank, I witnessed how risks and benefits related to resilience or climate change adaptation projects are not fully evaluated,” she said. “For instance, in one of our resilience projects for a country affected by sea-level rise, the cost of alternatives such as raising land seemed financially indefensible. Some people suggested that mass migration may be a more practical solution. A participant in our stakeholder consultation, a citizen of a country which was losing their land to sea level rise, asked: “how can you put a price on the loss of our heritage, our culture, and our identity?”” Jimeno admits that it’s difficult to assess climate change risks and opportunities with the lack of guidelines and consistency in the information disclosed. “The lack of a valuation framework is one of the biggest challenges in resilience investments, and consequently a challenge in enhancing regional and multilateral collaboration in funding such types of investments,” she said. Moreover, Jimeno pointed out that climate change risks and opportunities impact multiple sectors and require involvement from investors, policymakers, civil society, and all people down to the community level. Everyone must be involved.

Prior to joining SofCap Partners, Jimeno served as Undersecretary for the Presidential Management Staff, Undersecretary for the Department of Public Works and Highways, Legal Counsel for the Senate Ethics Committee of the 17th Congress of the Philippines, and Program Host and News Anchor for CNN Philippines. She holds a degree in Master of Development Practice Certified in Engineering and Business for Sustainability from University of California, Berkeley, a Master of Laws from Harvard Law School, a Bachelor of Laws from the University of the Philippines, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Management from the University of Asia and the Pacific. Jimeno is licensed to practice law in the Philippines and New York. Plenary session speaker Atty. Karen Jimeno is the daughter of my fraternity brother Atty. Nicanor Jimeno from the University of the Philippines-Diliman’s Beta Rho Omega Fraternity. Since climate change is a real global issue, we need to address it as a partnership for all nations in all aspects: technically, financially, and academically! Can we do it? Yes, we can! ELPIDIO R. ESTIOKO was a veteran journalist in the Philippines and an award-winning journalist in the US. For feedbacks, comments… please email the author @ estiokoelpidio@gmail. com.

To watch the full plenary session on Strengthening Cooperation for a Green and Sustainable Recovery, head to youtu.be/njqPldrOLME.

(NEWS FEATURE: Jasmine....from page 6)

media, trending news, beauty, video games, nature and books.

Support the students Please help the Filipino Media Foundation (FMF), a nonprofit charity, continue the journalism scholarship program by donating “dollars for scholars”; any amount is appreciated and is tax-deductible. The program, which was

established in 2019, is the only one of its kind for an ethnic community publication in the state of Hawaii. Hawaii Filipino Chronicle uses 100% of the FMF funds to invest in Filipino students who dream of working locally in the JMC field. “Our ultimate goal for starting the HFC scholarship program is to have more of us in our community practicing professional journalism,”

said Chona Montesines Sonido, Chronicle editor. “We believe in investing in the future of Hawaii’s media by helping college students financially as they will be the ones continuing our work someday.” For more information about the journalism scholarship program or to make a donation, contact Sonido at (808) 284-4185 or filipinochronicle@gmail.com. 


DECEMBER 18, 2021  HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE  11

PERRYSCOPE

128 Days of Christmas By Perry Diaz

I

f there is one thing that I really miss in the Philippines, it is Christmas. It’s a day – nay, four months – of celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. Yes, Filipinos celebrate Christmas from September 1 to January 6, the Day of the Epiphany. It’s called the “Ber Months” because they all end with “Ber” --September, October, November, and December. It’s the longest Christmas season in the world. The season starts in earnest and picks up in December when most Filipinos will be in a festive spirit. The Philippines has the largest population of Catholics (about 80%) and arguably the most religious. Going to mass on Sundays is a special day for Filipinos. Churches are jam-packed with people – young and old. Filipinos observe the Sabbath as God has commanded in his fourth commandment: Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. For Catholics, Sunday is the Sabbath day. It’s a day of rest and worship. The four preceding Sundays mark the Advent, a period of spiritual preparation in which many Christians make themselves ready for the coming, or birth of Jesus Christ. Celebrating Advent involves a season of prayer, fasting, and abstinence (no meat on Fridays), and repentance. It is followed by anticipation, hope, and joy. But make no mistake, Filipinos start observing these Christian traditions way back in September. Indeed, Christmas in the Philippines is truly one of a kind. The overwhelming amount of food and presents, it’s time to celebrate family, friends, and community. It’s also time to renew old friend-

ships. Most family reunions, school reunions, and office reunions happen during the Christmas season. The Philippines also has adopted western traditions such as Santa Claus, Christmas trees, Christmas cards, and Christmas carols. And come September the first to go up are the nativity scenes – called the “Belen.” Most Filipino households will have their Belen set up early to signify the start of the Christmas festivity. Some towns hold competitions for the best Belen. A complete set of Belen is composed of baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and the Three Kings. Some Belens have shepherds and barn animals. Then the Christmas lanterns – parols – start showing up in the windows of homes. The parol is a Christmas ornament unique in the Philippines and it is one of the most significant and oldest Christmas traditions in the country. It’s commonly starshaped but they could come in every shape, color, and material imaginable. The parol was originally made to hang on lamp posts to guide mass-goers to Simbang Gabi – which starts on December 16 – but now the parol can be found everywhere like outside houses, in malls, and offices. Simbang Gabi means “Night Mass.” Filipinos attend mass nine days before Christmas either at night or in the early hours of the morning. It’s a religious practice and Filipinos believe that attending all nine masses will grant them their wishes. Getting up for Simbang Gabi makes you hungry. The two most popular treats are rice cakes (bibingka and puto bumbong), two delicacies that Filipinos love. They usually are sold outside churches after mass. Simbang Gabi is also one of the longest running traditions in the country. This is a “must” for any devoted Christian to do, which is one of the most cultural experiences you can get. It is done to honor the Virgin Mary and the farmers

who worked in the country during the Spanish colonization of the country. The farmers worked very early in the morning to avoid the heat of the sun at noon. Caroling is very popular in the Philippines. Filipino kids form groups called “cumbanchero” and they go from house to house with their makeshift instruments. The adults are more formalized with some groups wearing a uniform of the same color and style. Of course, the favorite color is red. Although caroling is a western tradition, it has become very popular among adults. The caroling group usually starts practicing in November. They get together every week on a Friday or Saturday evening at one of the members’ houses. They practice for two to three hours and then eat their food with gusto. It’s another feast day! That’s the fun part of it. Meanwhile, they start contacting their friends and ask for permission to carol on a certain day, beginning on December 1. On Christmas Eve, most Filipinos will wake up at midnight to welcome Christmas Day with Noche Buena, a feast of traditional Filipino Christmas dishes like lechon, hamon, queso de bola, spaghetti, and fruit salad. Then on Christmas Day, a special mass called Misa de Gallo is held. It’s a celebration that includes lighting candles, singing,

and sometimes a re-enactment of how baby Jesus was born. Exchanging gifts is something that Filipinos; particularly the kids look forward to. Sometimes, gifts are exchanged on numbers picked from a bowl. So nobody knows from whom the gifts are from. So it’s important to select a gift that is gender-neutral because you don’t know who would end up with it. But to your godchildren – manitos and manitas – the aguinaldo that godfathers and godmothers give to their godchildren involve cash in an envelope, in addition to special gifts that they asked from them. It is customary for ninongs and ninangs to ask their godchildren what they want for Christmas. And you’d better not disappoint them. New Year’s Eve is a celebration to welcome the New Year. Again, a feast called Media Noche is served. And as midnight approaches, everybody joins in making loud noises – torotot, sparklers, firecrackers, and other noisy instruments – when the clock strikes midnight. Young kids are encouraged to jump up and down so they’ll grow taller. Neighbors

will bring out fireworks in the streets and begin their noisy celebration. For about 15 minutes, the whole neighborhood is aglow with fireworks the streets. Filipinos believe that loud noises deter evil spirits from entering the New Year, thus the noisier the better. Also, husbands and wives and their children kiss each other as a sign of affection. And finally, the Feast of the Three Kings or the Epiphany. It’s commemorated on January 6th or the “Twelfth Day” after Christmas. The 12 days between Christmas and Epiphany are known as the “Twelve Days of Christmas.” But in the Philippines, it’s “128 Days of Christmas.” Merry Christmas to all my PerryScope readers and have a wonderful and prosperous New Year! PERRY DIAZ is a writer, columnist and journalist who has been published in more than a dozen Filipino newspapers in five countries.


12 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE  DECEMBER 18, 2021

ESSAY

My Journey to Journalism By Jasmine Sadang

2021 HFC Journalism Scholarship Winner

B

eing able to choose a career and life that one truly desires is a privilege. For some, the career they are in now is because they really did not have much of a choice. Their careers were chosen specifically to be able to survive and they had to settle for a life that may not be what they originally desired. My parents, who immigrated from the Philippines to America to provide a better life for our family, encouraged me to choose a career that I truly desire—journalism. I chose this career path because to me journalism goes beyond the surface level of developing and distrib-

uting news and information. It is very important for me to be a part of something with purpose. Being in the journalism and mass communications field is to be a part of something that is relevant and meaningful in today’s society, because it involves connecting through storytelling and connecting with other human beings. Storytelling is all around us. Everyone has stories to create and share, which can help other people who may be able to relate with those stories. What matters to me most is adding value to people’s lives. I would be proud to be a part of helping others share stories on a much larger scale through mass communications (traditional print or

online media). I always enjoy hearing stories from my peers and life models and even sharing stories that are close to my heart. Being able to do this for others in a strategic and creative manner excites me in ways that I can’t begin to describe. After I graduate from Hawaii Pacific University with a bachelor’s degree in Commu-

nication Studies and Practices in December 2022, I hope to use my journalistic writing and storytelling skills and get more involved with the Filipino and general community as much as I can. I feel that Filipinos are generally misunderstood and misrepresented in the Hawaii community, and I would like to amplify their voices and share their stories whenever I am able to. I would like to contribute to building a society where everyone feels represented and heard, and that includes Filipinos, underrepresented ethnic and social groups. It is crucial that I do this to give back to the communities that have helped me become who I am and who have a huge impact on me. If it weren’t for my parents who made so many sacrifices and for the various Fil-

ipino groups in Hawaii, I would not have been able to stay in touch with my cultural heritage. If it weren’t for my grade, middle and high school teachers and college professors believing in me, I would not have been able to believe in myself and stay motivated to achieve the dreams I have of living a better life. There is so much that I am grateful for growing up in Hawaii. So developing and sharing stories for the people in the communities that helped me get to where I am would definitely mean a lot to them. I am not sure where my journey to journalism will lead, where I will end up or who I will work for in the future yet. But as long as I’m working to create and share stories, I’ll be content that I have chosen a fulfilling career.

who left the Philippines in the 1960s to come to Hawaii for better opportunities – they never felt disconnected to my lolo and lola. Just as my parents felt, we all feel just as close to our family in this younger generation living on the mainland. We’ve been raised to love our family wherever they are. Whether they come home for Christmas or they spend it away from Hawaii, it is the same. We are in each other’s thoughts and hearts. Love transcends distance. “Sometimes our children will branch out and be on their own. This may be the hardest

part as parents. We must let go and let our children lead their own lives, even if it means a life away from us,” said Martin. “In a way, Christmases are that much more special now because if we are lucky, we can be reunited with our loved ones for a few more days in the year,” she said. Larson said, “today, with my growing adorable kids, Christmas now in Hawaii is beautiful and happier. My wish this Christmas is the best of health for everyone and may we continue to enjoy life itself, which is God’s precious gift to mankind.” 

(COVER STORY : Put Aside The Holiday Blues....from page 5)

will be fine, and that we’ll be having a better Christmas when I’m back home, this helps. The time will come when I’ll be home and finally be with my family during the holidays, but for now, we cannot stress about things that we can’t control,” said Jemary.

Beyond the holidays Both Lana and Megan said homesickness never really goes away and lasts beyond the holidays. Technology like Zoom, Facetime are “huge tools” to stay connected with

loved ones miles away. Using frequent flyer miles also makes it easier for family to visit, they say. Gen-Xer Marlin Martin, Ewa Beach (aunty of Lana and Megan) explains that millennial Filipinos who are moving away have it easier compared to their grandparents who emigrated from the Philippines. Before the unlimited and face-to-face communications of the internet, Filipinos of the Boomers II generation (58-67) had to communicate with their par-

ents seldomly by phone that had to be time restricted due to expensive long-distance charges, she said. Travel to the Philippines (with or without frequent flyer miles that never existed then) was close to and often above $1,000 per person. Compare that to today’s roundtrip tickets from mainland U.S. to Hawaii that averages about $650 per person.

Still loved and connected Martin said, “Even though we are apart during the holidays, we’re all connected and love each other. My parents –

HAWAII-FILIPINO NEWS

Hawaii Detects 12 Cases of Omicron Variant on Oahu

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n Dec. 10, the Department of Health’s State Laboratories Division announced that they detected 12 cases of the COVID-19 Omicron variant on Oahu. State Epidemologist Dr. Sarah Kemble explained that the infected individuals aren’t connected with one another which indicated that “the Omicron variant is spreading deeper into our communities.” “People who have tested positive should isolate themselves. Close contact and people with symptoms should get tested regardless of vaccination status,” Kemble said. Four COVID-19 cases are detected among patrons of the Scarlet Honolulu Nightclub on

Pauahi Street. According to the Department of Health’s (DOH) press release, two of those individuals “exhibit a molecular clue indicating the possible presence of the Omicron variant.” The DOH advices all Scarlet Honolulu customers who visited since Dec. 3 to get tested. The DOH also thanks the Scarlet Honolulu management for cooperating with COVID-19 case investigations. The Omicron variant is showing signs that it is even more transmissible than the Delta variant, according to DOH. Moreover, COVID-19 vaccines and boosters appear to slow the spread of the Omicron variant and are effective in preventing severe cases of infections. The community is strongly advised to wear face masks and avoid crowdy places.


DECEMBER 18, 2021  HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE  13

PERSONAL REFLECTIONS

A Reason To Celebrate By Seneca Moraleda-Puguan

“T

he best of all is, God is with us.” T h e s e were the last words of John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement, when he died in 1791. This truth has transformed his life that he uttered this statement twice before he breathed his last. We have lost many reasons to celebrate because of this pandemic that has been dragging on for almost two years now. Many, if not all of us, lost family and friends. Some lost their livelihood. We all lost our sense of freedom to be able to do whatever we want like freely meet friends and travel to places. But when you come to think of it, the pandemic took away many things but it has given us something in return: the opportunity to slow down and the realization of the things

that are really valuable. This Christmas season, the pandemic may hinder us from having glorious parties and gatherings but it points us to the real reason for the season. Matthew 1:23 says, “Behold the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel, which means, God with us.” Immanuel. Emmanuel. God with us. The world’s disappointments, frustrations, heartaches and pains may take away our reasons to rejoice this season, but these three words are enough to celebrate Christmas – God with us. Yes, He is with us. This is the very reason why we can sing Christmas carols, smile and laugh even if our hearts ache, give even if we have lost so much, and still carry on even if our burdens are too heavy to carry. Through the birth of Jesus

Christ, God showed us that He is with us. We are not forsaken, and we will never be. Look around you… the food on your table, roof on your head, clothes that cover you and family that loves you. Meditate on His goodness – the air that you breathe, your heart that is still beating, your lungs that are still breathing and the sun that is still shining. Think about the many times He has rescued you, healed you and came through for you. Remind yourself of the times He sent a friend to encourage you and provided for you at the very moment you needed it.

All of these are reminders that God is with us. And this is why we can rejoice. This is why we can be grateful. This is why we can celebrate Christmas. I know that this is easier said than done. There are some who are experiencing situations that are more complicated and difficult. There are many who are in darker, more depressing and impossible circumstances. It is my hope that they experience the Emmanuel, the reality of God being with them. It is my prayer that as we celebrate Christmas, the Jesus that we sing and talk about will not just be one we know with our minds and utter with our lips but will be allowed to penetrate and live in our hearts. Jesus is not just a miracle worker, a prophet, a moral teacher or a noble person – He is God. And He is with us. He saves. He rescues. He heals. He provides. He gives peace. He

gives comfort. He gives strength. He gives grace. He gives joy. He gives hope. He is the great I am. Again, He is with us. “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” – Isaiah 9:6 Looking back at 2021, there are so many things I am grateful for. It may not be the best year but one to praise God for. The fact that I am still alive is one big reason to celebrate. My husband still has a way to provide for us and my children are healthy and strong are testament of God’s goodness and faithfulness to me. And the opportunity to be able to talk about Him through writing and share what’s in my heart with you who has the chance to read this, it’s a proof that truly He is worth praising and celebrating. I pray, just like John Wesley, we will be able to say fervently this year, amidst our pain and suffering, “The best of all is, God is with us.” A blessed Christmas to everyone!

OPEN FORUM

‘Tourist Tax’ Surcharges Threaten Hawaii Recovery By Joe Kent

A

re more taxes on tourists really what Hawaii’s economy needs right now? Honolulu, Maui and Kauai counties recently added 3% surcharges to the state’s 10.25% transient accommodations tax (TAT), and Hawaii County is expected to follow soon. That will have tourists looking at 13.25% of their visitor accommodations expenses going toward taxes. Combined with the state’s general excise tax of 4%, plus the 0.5% county GET surcharges on Kauai, Oahu and Hawaii island, which tourists also pay, the Aloha State now has the highest tourist taxes in the nation, topping out at 17.75%. All this comes at a time when Hawaii’s economy, especially its tourism sector, is struggling to survive — even after the state was granted billions of dollars in federal aid, which should have relieved the

state and counties of the need for more taxes. So how did this all come about? Well, for one, there was the Great Lockdown Crash of 2020, which wrecked Hawaii’s economy and left state lawmakers wondering in early 2021 how they were going to make up for the resulting loss of tax revenues. One thing they decided was to stop giving the counties their usual $103 million share of the state’s TAT revenues. This left Honolulu County short $45 million; Maui County, $23 million; Kauai County, $14 million; and Hawaii County, $19 million. As a concession, the lawmakers allowed the counties to impose their own TATs, up to 3%, which by now they almost all have. But lo and behold, it turns out the state’s TAT grab wasn’t necessary after all, since the federal government had already infused at least $1.6 billion from the American Rescue Plan Act into Hawaii’s econo-

my, and since then has allocated an additional $2.8 billion as part of the recently approved infrastructure bill. Meanwhile, it turns out the counties are not doing so badly financially, either. From fiscal 2019 to fiscal 2022, operating revenues grew in Honolulu County by 12%, Kauai County by 11%, Maui County by 14% and Hawaii County by 18%. That revenue growth occurred despite the counties already operating without any TAT revenues since April 25, 2020, when Gov. David Ige snatched the money for the state via one of his many COVID-19 emergency proclamations. Of course, county lawmakers still say they “need” the 3% TAT surcharge. Honolulu County stands to gain $86 million; Kauai County, $18 million; Maui County, $15 million; and Hawaii County, $19 million. But their new TATs will come at a high price. And it won’t be for just tourists. Locals traveling to neighboring islands, whether on vacation or

for business, will now have to pay more for lodging, which will raise the cost of living and the cost of doing business in the islands. Similarly, more money spent by locals and tourists on lodging taxes will leave them with less money to spend on other Hawaii products. The higher taxes might even discourage them from staying at Hawaii hotels altogether. Sadly, some of the money that is being siphoned away from Hawaii’s private economy will help support government bloat. Honolulu County, in particular, intends to initially divert one-third, and after two years, one-half, of its new TAT revenues to its wildly over-budget and behind-schedule rail project. This seemingly endless boondoggle — the most expensive megaproject per capita in the world — will receive between $28 million to $49 million annually from the new tax, despite widespread agreement that it will hardly make a

dent in its $2 billion to $3.5 billion budget shortfall. This is money that could have remained in the hands of tourists to spend in the private sector, helping businesses and their employees recover and prosper, and boosting Hawaii’s overall economy. Instead, Honolulu is going to squander its new revenue source on a project that has devolved into an enormous blunder. In their zeal to “save” the state budget, Hawaii’s lawmakers created new monsters — the county TAT surcharges — which threatens to drag down Hawaii’s economy in perpetuity. Considering that the state TAT started out in 1987 at 5% and was supposed to be only temporary, our state lawmakers have a lot to answer for, especially now that the tax has grown to 10.25% and has spawned mini-TATs as well. If only they could undo it all, Hawaii’s economy would be the better for it.

JOE KENT is executive vice president of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii.


14 HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE  DECEMBER 18, 2021

PHILIPPINE LANGUAGE

Ti Selebrasion Ti Paskua ILOKO By Amado I. Yoro

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dda tallo a kangrunaan a mensahe ti paskua: Ayat. Kappia. Talna. Ti Naimbag a Damag ken Pagteng kadagiti amin a tao ditoy daga. Kadagitoy, adda met laeng tallo a banag a mainaig iti paskua: Ti Sagut. Ti Ubing a Mesias Ti Panawen. Sabali ti kaadda met dagiti tallo a banag iti Paskua kas iti Kayo iti Paskua. Ti Santa Klaus. Ti Bethlehem[Belen]. Adda dagiti kapampanunotan no apay a selebraran ti paskua. Kaano a nayanak ni Jesus. Sadino ken ania ti namunganayan ti pannakapaliiw ti Paskua. Ngem segun wenno maibatay iti maysa a panagsukisok, nga insuratko iti maysa nga isyu ti Ilokandia Magasin idi 1978, ken impablaak ti Hawaii Filipino News idi Disiembre 16-31, 1983, idi un-unana mapaliiw laeng ti paskua a kas maysa a ritual. Ket kadagiti misionero a Protestante ti nangpaliiw ti paskua a kas relihion apaman a nairugi ti panagpaskua dagiti

Kanaka. Ngem saan la nga iti Hawaii ti nagwarasan ti kasta a wagas. Kas naagapad iti nasao a sukisok, nga idi nga agwarasen ti kristianismo kadagiti nadumaduma a luglugar, nain-inut a nanaynayonan kadagiti adu a parambak ken adu a ragragsak. Aginggana kadagitoyen nga aldaw, maselebraran ti paskua a kas simbolo ti kappia, naimbag a damag, ken naimbag a pagteng kadagiti tattao iti daga. Impablaak ti maysa a pagiwarnak iti US Mainland a ti paskua ket narugian a naselebraran iti Disiembre 25 kadagidi a panawen a 354 A.D. babaen ken ni Liberius iti Roma. Pinili ni Liberius dayta a petsa tapno maaddaan dagiti adu a pagano ti gundaway nga agbalin a kristiano iti piesta maitutop unay iti Paskua. Kadagita a pannakarambak ti paskua a kas piesta a panagbaliw [conversion] dagiti rinibu a pagano iti Roma, adda dagiti sursuro ken galad a kas iti pannangted kadagiti nadumaduma a kita ti sagsagut. Ket manipud ngarud idin, nagbalinen, kas kustombre ket naipakadawyanen a paset ti panagbiag dagiti

pagano kalpasan iti panagbalinda a kristiano. Kabayatanna, kadagidi met la a panawen, nayam-ammo ti makunkuna a Santa Klaus [Santa Claus] iti las-ud iti kanikatlo a siglo babaen ti maysa nga Obispo iti Myra iti Asia Minor. Nagbalin a legendary ti Santa Klaus a kas addaan iti dakkel a panagpuspuso: managayat, manangisagut. Isu ti mangted kadagiti adu a sinupsupot a balbalitok. Ket nagangayanna la ket ngarud a nagbalin a Santo a patron iti Holland. Inladawan ni Dale Evan Rogers iti librona a “Christmas is Always” a ti Santa Klaus ket mapapati a nagkagay iti nabengbeng ken nalabaga a pagan-anay. Addaan iti nalabaga a bonete, nalabaga a botas ket maipagarup a dagita ti aruatenna a mangsalaknib kenkuana tapno saan a kapten ti lamek ken lamiis aglalo kadagiti panawen a panagdaldaliasatna kadagiti nalamiis a dagdaga ken luglugar ti Amianan wenno iti nalatlatak nga awag iti North Pole. Ta uray pay nga aglugan kadagiti ulnas a guyoden dagiti napartak a reindeer, adda latta met dagiti panagpagpagnana.

Nagbalin ti Santa Klaus a St. Nikolas iti America idi suraten ni Clement Moore ti daniwna: “A Visit From St. Nikolas” idi 1882 babaen iti librona a para kadagiti ubbing. Ni Moore ti maipagarup a nangiladawan ken ni Santa Klaus a kas maysa a nalukmeg, imingan iti puraw, naragsak, naganaygay ken dakkel ti katawana a lakay. Nagsakay ti reindeer ken nagkawes iti narangrang a nalabaga. Ket ti Santa Klaus met laeng ti makunkuna a “mangmangted kadagiti adu a sagsagut.” Ket ngarud daydi a kapampanunotan, nagwaras iti amin a paset iti Europa kas pakalaglagipan ken ni Santo Nikolas, maysa a modelo iti kinaimbag. Iti sabali a bangir, maysa a Hapones nga agnagan iti Yukio Nomura ti nagkuna a ti Santa Klaus [Santa Osijan] ket naaramid laeng a sinuman [ cake] ket naisurat laeng iti rabaw dayta a cake ti dadakkel a balikas: MERRY CHRISTMAS iti English [Naragsak a Paskua]. Daytoy a cake, segun ti research ket naiwaras kadagiti adu a pampamilia nga addaanda kadagiti ubbing. Kuna ni Rogers iti librona a ti baiikas a Santa Claus ket nagan ti maysa a Dutch para iti San Nicolas, ngem naadaptar a

kas Santa Claus kabayatan iti panagdappat dagiti Dutch settlers iti New Amsterdam wenno New York [Nueva York]. Inawagan met dagiti English a St. Nicholas, wenno sagpaminsan a maawagan iti “Old Kris Kringle.”

grateful and trustful in her new country that things would be done right on her behalf. She was the naive immigrant. She filled out forms, became a permanent resident, a “green card” holder, and lived on the trust of others. And then the trust was betrayed, and my Mom woke up. Congress was taking away benefits for seniors. She was seeing her monthly check shrink. One morning in the 1980s, she told me she had done something secretly. She had studied to become a citizen and was finally taking her oath. After more than 30 years in America, I asked her, why now? Essentially, it was “Reaganomics,” the policies under President Ronald Reagan that cut social services to the poor and elderly. But my mother didn’t say “Reaganomics.” That would have been too cute. My mother, never a huge news consumer, was no dummy. She would have the TV news on at times, mostly to

watch me as a reporter. But when I got back to see her, the TV was always on the show “MacGyver,” the guy who comes up with resourceful ways to fix problems. My mom would sit in the corner of the room with her rosary beads and watch that show. And it must have dawned on her that her problem of a shrinking benefits check and cutbacks in government support needed some kind of a MacGyver-like fix. But the answer was actually simpler than a TV drama. Becoming a citizen was the answer, and for just one reason. “I have to vote now,” she said. In video at New York City Hall, I looked at all the proud immigrants from Africa, the Dominican Republic, the Philippines, all over. And I saw the spirit of my mom. New Yorkers, including noncitizens, finally have a voice in our democracy. And this is where it grows. They should vote everywhere. In everything.

Cutoff the detractors at the pass. It’s not “noncitizen voters.” They’re “Green Card” voters. They’re contributors to America. They are card carrying “permanent residents.” They should no longer be ignored. There’s still work to do. But with New York’s bold action, the largest municipality in the country has declared, the Pro-Democracy Movement has finally come to America. And just in time for Christmas.

Kayo Ti Paskua Napateg met ti kayo ti paskua kadatayo kas paset ti panangpaliiw ti panawen ti paskua. Maysa a kita ti dekorasion tapno iti sirok daytoy a kayo, urnosen ken pempenen dagiti adu a sagsagut. Kas inlatak met ti sabali a warnakan a nayam-ammo ti kayo ti paskua iti kanikawalo a siglo kadagidi panawen ni St. Boniface a missionero iti Germany. Segun ti nasao a warnakan, inusar ni St. Boniface ti naganus a kayo ti FIR kas simbolo iti kinasin-aw ni a Jesus. Ket nanipud iti Alemania [Germany], nagbalin ken naipakadawyan iti panagpukan iti kayo ti paskua ket dimmanon kadagiti pagilian iti Finlandia, Norway, Denmark ken Inglateria. Ket ditoy Hawaii, impablaak ti Advertiser, a ti kayo ti paskua ket immuna a naisangpet ditoy Honolulu babaen iti maysa nga agnagan iti Mrs. John Dominis a katugangan ni (continue on page 15)

(CANDID PERSPECTIVES: Just in Time....from page 9)

That weapon to hold government accountable is called the vote. You have more power today than yesterday. You can now throw the elected bums out of office if they failed to do their jobs. That’s democracy. Other places like San Francisco have allowed noncitizens to vote in school board elections. But New York City is letting you vote in all the local matters. You still can’t vote in federal or state elections. Not yet. But you can vote on the most important issues in your daily life. If, as the saying goes, “all politics is local,” then focus on the grassroots, the sidewalks where you stand now. You now have a voice in all that affects you right where you live. But why stop there? This pro-democracy movement can spread all over the nation—including Hawaii-- if people understand the Constitution. Note: It doesn’t say, “We the Citizens.” The phrase is

“We the People.” The bill is DeBlasio proof. It can’t be vetoed. No doubt, Republicans who feel threatened will try to place obstacles. But the movement has begun. The pro-democracy movement in America. And of course, this all makes me think about my mom.

My mother, the non-citizen lamb My mother was a non-citizen immigrant. She didn’t vote at first and didn’t see the reason for it. My father voted and that was like a “family vote.” So, my mom was shut out willingly. She wasn’t a Tiger Mom. She was a lamb. She was a nicer Imelda, with fewer shoes. Never the aggressor. Always deferred. She went to church and always prayed. She led with love, and let the consequences occur. It was a stance of trust. When she came to America and found a better situation than the one she left, she was

NOTE: With this being the last column of the year, I want to wish all my dear friends in Hawaii a Merry Christmas! Please be safe, be happy, and stay healthy, as we continue to navigate difficult times. Until the next column, please access my web shows and podcasts and stay connected. Peace and Love to you all! 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.


DECEMBER 18, 2021  HAWAII FILIPINO CHRONICLE  15

PHILIPPINE LANGUAGE (Ti Selebrasion....from page 14)

Queen Liliuokalani. Numan pay awan ti maitudo a petsa, maipagarup ketdi nga iti nagbaetan iti tawen 1837 ken 1862. Tapno Adda met laeng buya ti kayo ti paskua, nasken a maikkan kadagiti bisti, dekorasion ken dadduma a mangpapintas ti buyana a makaay-ayo kadagiti mata ti mangkita. Kasapulan dagiti narangrang, narimat, nasileng, naraniag ken kaaduanna dagiti gumilapgilap a silaw. Daytoy a panagarkos ket maipagarup wenno maibilang a kaugulian wenno galad dagiti pagano no kasdiay a panawen ti lam-ek ken no selebraranda ti “panagsubli ti init.” Iti daan a Roma, agsisinnukatda kadagiti nalangto a sangsanga wenno ruruot as kas simbolo iti “Naimbag a Gasat” [Good luck] Kadagiti Hapones, kuna ti sukisok, a kalupkopanda met ti kayo ti paskuada kadagiti “foam snow” ket dagiti Filipino, dita Filipinas, kalupkopanda wenno bistianda, ikabilda dagiti dekorasion iti kayo ti paskuada kadagiti labutab iti sabon. Ket agusar pay dagiti dadduma iti sanga ti salamagi, sabong ti magi sa ikkanda kadagiti narangrang a dekorasion kas ti papel de hapon, crepe paper. Kaaduan a sursurotentayo ti ugali dagiti Kastila gapuna a dakkel latta ti impluensiada iti kulturatayo agasem iti aganay uppat a siglo a sinakupda ti pagilian. Maysa a pagarigan iti makunkuna a Misa de Gallo [Misa Ti Kawitan] ken Noche Buena. Kasla saan a kompleto ti paskua no awan ti sinan-Belen a mangiparangarang ti kinapateg ti “Fiesta Navidad” a kaadda ti Maladaga a Jesus iti

Kulluong. Adda met dagiti agassawa a Maria ken Jose, dagiti agpaspastor, dagiti ayup ken karnero ken dagiti Tallo nga Ari: Baltazar, Gaspar ken Melchor a mainaig la unay iti Naindaklan a Pannakayanak ti Ubing. Iti ngatuen ti Kulluong, isu ti Bituen iti Bethlehem a sinursurot dagiti Tallo nga Ari wenno dagiti tallo a mamasirib- dagiti Tallo a Mago. Ibaga ti leyenda a naaramid ti umuna a Belen babaen ken ni St. Francis de Assissi. Maawagan ti Belen a kas “putz” idiay Bethlehem ket idinto nga awagan met dagiti Italiano iti “presepio”. Maysa daytoy a kinapudno, saan ketdi a masarakan ti balikas a “Belen” iti Santa Biblia. Kasta met nga awan a masarakanmi iti kabaruanan a diksionario. Ketdi, masarakan ti balikas a “Bethlehem” a kas daan, duog nga ili iti Judea a mapapati a nakayanakan ni Jesus. Naipasngay kadi ni Jesus? Pudno kadi a naipasngay ni Jesus? Ibaga ti Biblia a kastoy: “Ta nayanak ti maysa nga ubing kadatayo, maysa nga anak a lalaki, ket iti panangiutary maiparabawto iti abagana: ket ti naganna, magaladanto iti Nakaskasdaaw. Mamagbaga. Mannakabaln a Dios. Agnanayin nga Ama. Prinsipe ti Kappia [Isaias 9:6] Maysa pay a bersion, kuna ti Lucas 2:11:”Ta ita nga aldaw nayanak kadakayo idiay ili ni David ti maysa a mangisalakan, isu ni Kristo nga Apo”. Masaludsod no ania ti makunkuna a paskua. Kuna ti diksionario nga

isu ti aldaw a ngilinen iti Disiembre 25, ti kasangay ni Jesus. “Christus” wenno “Christos” kadagiti Griego. “Mesias” wenno “Mesiah” ken Mannubbot. Dinakamat ti Santa Biblia ti balikas nga Ubing [ Berphos wenno paidion kadagiti Griego, kayatna a sawen, naipasngay. “Gapuna ti Apo met laeng ikkannatayo ti maysa a pagilasinan: adtoy, maysa a birhen agsikogto, ken mangipasngayto ti maysa nga anak a lalaki ket maigaldto iti naganna nga Emmanuel” {Isaias 7:14, Mateo 2:23]. Asino daytoy makunkuna a birhen? “Jose, anak ni David, dika agduadua nga umawat ken ni Maria nga asawam, ta ti mabukel kenkuana, aramid ti Espiritu Santo. Aganakto ti maysa a lalaki a managan iti Jesus” [Mateo 2: 20-21] Sadino ti nakayanakan ni Jesus” Iti Jerusalem a sakup ti Judea. “Idi ta nayanak ngaruden ni Jesus idiay Bethlehem sadi Judea kadagidi aldaw ni Ari Herodes….[Mateo 2:1] “Ket impasngayna ti anakna nga inauna, ket binungonna iti lampin, ket impaiddana iti kulluong “ [Lucas 2:7] “Ket simrekda iti balay, nasarakanda ti ubing ken ni Maria nga inana, ket nagrukbabda Kenkuana, nagdaydayawda ket indatonda dagiti sagsagutdaa Balitok, Insenso ken Mirra” [Mateo 2:11] Iti Hawaii, kuna ti libro ni Roger Bye a “How Christmas Came to Hawaii”, naselebraran ti umuna a paskua idi Disiembre 25, 1786 iti

kamarote iti bapor a managan iti Charlotte babaen iti panangibilin ken panangidaulo ti maysa nga agnagan iti Kapitan George Dixon, maysa a sailor a taga-Inglateria kabayatan iti panagpondo ti barkoda iti Waimea Bay, Kauai [Sandwich Island]. Segun iti libro, naisagana iti nalabon ken nabaknang unay a pangrabii a nagsasanguanda ket dita met laeng a gundaway ti pannakaiwaras dagiti adu a sagsagut kas nanunummuanda ken ni Kapitan Nathaniel Portlock. Idi Disiembre 30, 1837 met a naammuan ti pannakaiprinta iti umuna a gundaway ti balikas a “Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.” Kabayatan iti panagturay ni King Kamehameha IV, improklamana ti paskua a kas National Holiday idi 1862, pitopulo ket innem a tawen kalpasan ti damo a pannakapaliiwna iti Waimea Bay, Kauai idi 1786. Iti sabali a bangir, impablaak ti maysa a religious publication a t Disiembre 25 ket aldaw a panagpiesta dagiti Romano agpaay a pagdaydayawda iti Diosen ti Init. Saan a patien daytoy a publikasion a kasangay wenno ti Disiembre 25 ket isu ti pannakayanak ni Jesus. Kunaen pay daytoy a publikasion ti aldaw ti Disiembre 25 ket agpaay ti panagpiesta a pagdaydayawda ken ni Saturno a Diosen ti agrikultura, nga impalgak met ti sabali a religious material. Ngem uray ania man kadagitoy ti makuna nga aldaw ti paskua, nasken laeng kadatayo ti mangpaliiw kas paset tinariingan, nabangonan ken naipaugali, tradision, kultura ken nakairuamanen a panagramrambak kas paseten ti panagdaydayaw, panangilin itoy nakristianuan a lubong. Naragsak a paskua ken Naparabur a Baro a Tawen. (Sagot sa Krosword Blg. 12 | December 4, 2021)

CROSSWORD by Carlito Lalicon ACROSS

1. Tope 6. Age 11. Ale holder 14. Artist’s stand 15. Break down 16. Bonanza find 17. Dance in a sexually suggestive way 18. Clutch 19. Boy 20. Addition symbol 22. Free 24. Covered, in a way 27. Biological science 28. Blindness 29. Catch, in a way 30. Cast

DOWN

1. Arrange 2. Choice marble 3. Finish, with “up” 4. With regard to perception 5. Sodium, e.g. 6. Barely beat 7. Chipper 8. Wood sorrel 9. Sophist 10. State that resembles sleep but that is induced by suggestion

No. 12 31. Bag made of thin plastic material 36. Blockage of the intestine 38. The “I” in T.G.I.F. 39. Expertise 40. Hasten 43. Pepsi, e.g. 44. Cherished 45. One who suspends an action, at law 47. Prowler 50. Feel 51. Attorney 52. Hawaiian veranda 53. Loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth worn by Arabs 54. Common black

European thrush 56. Brown ermine 60. Breed 61. Commonplace

62. Argentine dance 63. Born, in bios 64. Itsy-bitsy 65. Cold shower?

11. Acute viral disease marked by inflammation of nerve cells of the brain stem and spinal cord 12. Big ape 13. Lingerie item 21. Acquire 23. Plain hand-drawn letter 24. Capital of Rizal 25. Administer an oil or ointment to

26. Fair-sized musical group 27. Adult male singer with the lowest voice 29. Belated 32. Giblets part 33. Flora and fauna 34. Apportion 35. Dirty look 37. Drive out with smoke 41. Overutilize 42. Indian bread

46. Attacks 47. Assassinated 48. Put off, as a motion 49. Conscious 50. Chummy 52. Incline 55. Go after, in a way 57. A wee hour 58. Gray, in a way 59. Crib sheet user

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