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December 15, 2012

Vol. XXII, No. 3

Online: www. manilamail.us

PH ‘Miss Universe’ bet needs your vote LAS VEGAS- Miss Janine Tugonon, Binibining Pilipinas Miss Universe 2012 candidate, is asking her countrymen in the

Miss Janine Tugonon US, Philippines and around the world to vote in the online polls during the annual pageant to be held at Planet Hollywood here Dec. 19.

‘I’ll be home for Christmas’ By Jennie L. Ilustre Because Christmas means family reunion time, many Filipino Americans go home to spend the long holidays there. “We booked our flights six months ago,” said Yoly Ponce Sutton, a working mom from Centreville, Virginia. She flew on Dec. 9 to be in Sta. Cruz, Laguna for the holiday family reunion. Husband Jeff, a US Navy retiree, and daughter Jessica will follow on Dec. 21, coughing up a peak season $2,200 each for the round-trip ticket. Like most Filipino Americans, Jessica, a Business Administration graduate, will take off from work close to Christmas. Mrs. Sutton said in a phone interview an assortment of cous-

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Pacquiao says ‘I’ll be back’

Tugonon said she can have a sure spot in the semifinals of Miss Universe if she garners the highest number of votes in the online polls of the annual pageant. “I’m asking po sa help ng buong Pilipinas to please vote for me. I think magsta-start na siya sa November 15, it’s online voting,” Tugonon said in an earlier interview. The online voting, which started Nov. 15, will continue until December 18, a day before the coronation night. Supporters of the international contestants can log on to the official website of Miss Universe, where they can vote for their favorite contenders. Filipinos can vote for Tugonon on her _*official profile page*_ <http://missuniv e r s e . c o m / m e m b e r s / p ro file/652683/year:2012> for the online polls.

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December 15, 2012

WASHINGTON D.C. Filipino champion Manny Pacquiao’s crushing defeat in the hands of archrival Mexican fighter Juan Manuel Marquez in Las Vegas Dec. 8 left many in disbelief and sparked a debate whether it was time for him to hang up the gloves.

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Shock is in the faces of this group when Pacquiao was KO’d. (A. Tugado Marzan)

AID ‘PABLO’ VICTIMS – CUISIA WASHINGTON D.C. – Philippine Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. has appealed to key leaders of the Filipino American community across the country to help of over 5 million Filipinos affected by killer typhoon

“All of us were shocked and stunned,” wrote realtor and Manila Mail columnist Joceyln Porteria. Columnist Angelyn Tugado Marzan interviewed local Filam leaders and got a mixed reaction. Most of them

“Pablo”. “We encourage all Filipinos and Filipino Americans in the US to do their share to help our affected kakabayans who will be spending the holiday season in dire straits,” the Ambassador

Typhoon ‘Pablo’ victims line up for relief goods. (More photos on p 8)

World won’t end Dec. 21!

said in a statement The National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) joined the appeal by urging Filam organizations nationwide to launch their own fundraising campaigns or to channel funds directly to government entities in charge of helping the victims. Pope Benedict XVI has issued a call for “brotherly solidarity” with the Philippines. “I pray for the victims, their families and the many homeless,” he said, adding that he hoped faith and Christian charity would help the country get through the ordeal. Luiza Carvalho, county officer for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said the United Nations has launched a global appeal to raise $65 million for the desperate survivors of the typhoon that

WASHINGTON D.C. - Responding to doomsday groups and individuals who believe the end of the world is coming, the White House assured the people that the “scary rumors about the world ending on Dec. 21, 2012 are just rumors.” The USA.gov says National Aeronautics and Space Administration scientists have received thousands of letters from people convinced that the world will end on Dec. 21, based on a misunderstanding of the ancient Mayan calendar that’s been promulgated in doomsday message boards online. “Some people think a giant comet will strike Earth that day, others that we are

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December 15, 2012

Call your solons on ‘fiscal cliff’ — NaFFAA WASHINGTON D.C. -Falling off the “fiscal cliff” will hit FilipinoAmerican families just as hard as the rest of America,

prompting the nation’s largest Filam group to urge compatriots to prod lawmakers to make the deal.

“This is a moment in history that simply demands cooperation and compromise from everyone to achieve a brighter future,” said Eduardo Navarra, chairman of the National Federation of Filipino-American Associations (NaFFAA) in a statement. Unless a compromise is reached between the White House and the Republican-led House of Representatives, taxes will rise on the very first day of 2013 that will be accompanied by over a trillion dollars in budget cuts which experts warn will trigger a new recession.

Congress crafted the draconian measures last year to resolve a heated debate over raising the country’s credit ceiling and cutting the US budget deficit. They were premised on the belief the “perfect storm” would be so politically unpalatable that Democrats and Republicans would be forced to compromise. “Many families in our community are struggling to make house or car payments, buy groceries, put their children to school or pay down student loans,” Navarra said. “These working families will see their income taxes go up

on January 1, unless Congress acts now. It is also important to protect the programs and services that people – especially low-income individuals – in our community depend on most, such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security,” he added. “I call on everyone in our community to join the voices of Americans across the country in urging the US Congress and the White House to act now on the nation’s problems, not only to avoid the fiscal cliff but to lay the groundwork for an economy that will support a healthy middle class.


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December 15, 2012

Pinoy vets pin hopes on Obama’s pledge WASHINGTON D.C. - Filipino veterans who were denied compensation by the United States for services rendered during the Second World War are pinning their hopes on President Barack Obama’s assurance that their concern remains a priority for the White House. The Philippine Embassy, at the same time, welcomed the recent release of a declassified US Army document that would hopefully help pave way for the release of the war benefits of some 24,385 aging Filipino veterans. “We thank President Obama

Veteran Alfredo Diaz, 96. died in Jersey city Dec. 6. for his efforts to address the concerns of these Filipino veterans who fought under the American flag during the Second World War,” Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia,

Jr. said. “We hope that these old soldiers will receive what is due them before they all fade away.” Ambassador Cuisia said President Obama assured Executive Director Eric Lachica of the American Coalition for Filipino Veterans that the issue remains a major concern for his administration during last month’s Veteran’s Day breakfast at the White House. “It is our priority,” Lachica quoted President Obama as telling him when he mentioned the problem of Filipino veterans who were disqualified from the $265-million Filipino Veterans Equity Compensation

Fund. The fund, which President Obama approved in 2009, grants a one-time lump sum of $15,000 to Filipino veterans who have become US citizens and $9,000 for those who retained their Philippine citizenship. Retired Maj. Gen. Delfin

Lorenzana, Head of the Office of Veterans Affairs at the Philippine Embassy, said the disqualification issue stemmed from guidelines requiring each veteran to be certified by the National Personnel Records Center in St Louis, Missouri using two lists prepared by the US Army.


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December 15, 2012

Injured Pinoys recovering in Louisiana BATON ROUGEEva Dominguez knew her husband Renato, one of three Filipino offshore oil workers seriously burned in the November 16 Gulf of Mexico fire, has made it out of the critical list when the 52-yearold pipefitter asked her for a kiss the other day. “When Rey gestured that he wanted a kiss, I knew the worst was over,” said Eva, a 49-yearold accountant and mother of three from Bataan. “I thank God for hearing the prayers of my family and the Filipino people.” It was not only Dominguez whose condition has improved. Another Filipino burn victim has also been removed from the critical list while a third remains in good condition, according to the Philippine Embassy in Washington D.C. Ambassador Jose Cuisia, Jr.

was among the first to welcome the development, which was confirmed by the Baton Rouge

Wife visits her injured husband in Louisiana hospital. General Hospital where the three Filipinos have been undergoing treatment since the November 16 accident that claimed the lives of

PH wants Feds to find cause of oil platform fire WASHINGTON, D.C.— Federal authorities are expected to soon request access to three injured Filipino workers as part of efforts to determine what really happened in the November 16 oil platform fire in the Gulf of Mexico that left three other Filipino workers dead. The Philippine Embassy said it has been informed that the Bureau of Safety and Environment Enforcement (BSEE) of the Department of the Interior has made initial inquiries to check on the condition of the three Filipinos being treated for serious burns at the Baton Rouge General Hospital in Louisiana. “We expect federal authorities to interview the three Filipino workers as soon as their condition would allow them to give their account of what really happened that day,” Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. said. Ambassador Cuisia made the statement as hospital authorities announced that the condition of two of the three Filipino workers, who were previously in the serious list, continues to improve. Ambassador Cuisia said Renato Dominguez, 52, and the other Filipino, whose name could not be disclosed at the request of his family, are now in fair condi-

three other Filipinos. “We welcome the good news that our two kababayans

tion while the third worker, Wilberto Ilagan, 50, remains in good condition. “We expect our kababayans to tell investigators everything they know so that we could all get to the bottom of this tragedy,” Ambassador Cuisia said. According to him, three other Filipinos who were with the six victims when fire broke out on the platform owned by Houston-based Black Elk Energy gave their statements to BSEE investigators before they returned to the Philippines a few days after the incident. Ambassador Cuisia had earlier rejected insinuations that the fire was a result of the incompetence and poor command of English of the affected Filipino workers. The envoy said the workers, who were under contract with Grand Isle Shipyard Inc., have extensive experience in the offshore oil industry and have undergone proper safety and language training. “If Filipino offshore oil workers are incompetent as some want the public to believe, then why do we have many of them helping maintain and operate oil platforms and support vessels in the Gulf of Mexico as of now?” Ambassador Cuisia asked.

are no longer in the critical list,” Ambassador Cuisia said. “We will continue to pray that their condition will keep on improv-

ing in the coming days.” Cuisia said he has informed Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert G. Del Rosario about the improved condition of the three, which was reported to him by Consul General Leo Herrera-Lim of the Philippine Consulate General in Chicago. Herrera-Lim was in Baton Rouge over the weekend to condole with the families of Avelino Tajonera and Jerome Malagapo and to visit the three patients. He was accompanied by Labor Attache Luzviminda Padilla and Welfare Officer Saul De Vries of the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C. According to Herrera-Lim, Dominguez and the other Filipino, whose family requested that the victim not be identified, are now both conscious and could move certain parts of their

bodies. Both men have been in critical condition since they were first brought into the Regional Burn Unit of the hospital for treatment of the serious burns they sustained when fire broke out in the offshore oil platform they were working on off the coast of Louisiana. The third Filipino, Wilberto Ilagan, could now walk unaided, according to Herrera-Lim, who also assured the 50-year-old welder from Batangas of the Philippine Government’s continuing assistance and readiness to act on his and the other victims’ request for assistance. He also assured Malagapo’s family of assistance in facilitating the repatriation of the remains of the 28-year-old pipefitter from Danao City in Cebu.

Filipino pleads not guilty to terror rap RIVERSIDE, California Ralph de Leon, a 23-year-old Filipino immigrant, and two other men pleaded not guilty to terrorrelated charges on Dec. 5 at their arraignment in federal court here. e Leon was escorted by US marshals to the courtroom in shackles and wearing an orange jail uniform. He was seated with the other defendants, Arifeen Gojali, 21, and Miguel Santana Vidriales, 23, on one side of the courtroom. De Leon’s father, stepmother, sister and other relatives sat on the opposite side with representatives from the Philippine consulate and members of the media. De Leon’s father declined to be interviewed, but asked about his son’s “not guilty’ plea, he told the Philippine Daily Inquirer, ‘Of

course he is innocent.” “I find him to be a very intelligent, nice young man,”said De Leon’s lawyer, Randy Driggs. “He has a nice family which is very supportive of him.” De Leon of Ontario, Gojali of Riverside and Vidriales of Upland were indicted for allegedly plotting to kill US soldiers overseas and providing material support to terrorists. If convicted, they each face up to 15 years in prison. They were alleged to have conspired with American Sohiel Omar Kabir, 34, of Pomona to kill Americans and bomb US military bases overseas. Kabir, who was arrested in Afghanistan, has been brought back to the United States and made his court appearance on Dec. 4, his lawyer, deputy federal

public defender Jeffrey Aaron, told reporters. Held without bail, Kabir has a court appearance on Dec. 11. Federal Bureau of Investigation agents arrested De Leon, Vidriales and Gojali in the US during a traffic stop two days before they were to board a plane for Istanbul on their way to Afghanistan. Driggs told reporters he was waiting to get all the evidence against his client, a process that could “take a few weeks at best.” “It’s going to take a long time (because) of the large amounts of discovery,” Driggs said. Federal Magistrate Judge Oswald Parada set the start of the jury trial on Jan. 22. The case was assigned to Judge Virginia Phillips.

Suspects in slay of 3 LA Pinoys arrested LOS ANGELES - Four suspects to the brutal slaying of four people – three of them Filipinos – in a Los Angeles boarding house were arrested in Las Vegas and will be extradited back to California. The four victims were identified as Roberto Calabia, Teofilso “Jojo” Navales, Jennifer Kim and Amanda Ghossein. An ABS-CBN News report said Calabia immigrated to the US from Laguna in 1997, while Navales was also Filipino and the uncle of Robert’s ex-girlfriend. Neither the coroner nor police revealed the victims’ ethnicities but the news report said a man who says he went to high school with Ghossein, says she is half Filipina. Authorities say they were gunned down outside a house in Northridge, a Los Angeles

suburb on Dec. 2. They identified the alleged gunman as Ka Pasasouk, who was among those arrested along with 3 of his alleged accomplices. They were identified as Glendale, Ca resident Howard Alcantara, 30; Donna Rabulan, 30, of Los Angeles; and Christian Neal, 31, of Los Angeles. They are being accused of aiding the murder and robbery. Pasaouk reportedly has a lengthy criminal record that includes convictions for robbery, assault and possession of methamphetamine. He was reportedly on probation at the time of the killings. Police said the victims were visiting friends at the allegedly unlicensed boarding house in Northridge when they were attacked by the suspects. “Still to this day I cannot believe na wala na siya. Hindi na

siya babalik,” said Robert’s sister, Rolina Calabio, Family recalls the younger brother they called “Totoy” as friendly, helpful and reliable, believing his kindness may have led to his death as they believe he was giving ride to his friends. “She was outgoing, just openhearted. I don’t understand what this was about. She’s a really nice person. She was gentle, kind, real helpful. I really don’t get why she was shot. It’s too soon, man. It’s too soon,” a former classmate of Ghossein said. “This is one of the worst and heinous crimes we’ve seen in our community,” said City Councilman Mitchell Englander, who represents the area. “This is a community that once again will come together and never forget what happened at this location.”


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December 15, 2012

Marine slain in Makati lived in Herndon, VA HOWELL, New Jersey -US Marine George Anikow, who was killed during a btawl with four Filipino men in Makati City on Nov. 24, was a resident of Herndon, Virginia before he moved to the Philippines in August, 2012. His remains were flown to his birthplace in Howell, N.J. early this month, where grieving family and friends held a twoday necrological service on Dec. 2 and 3 at Lakewood Funeral Home on Highway 9 South. He is survived by his wife of 15 years, Laura Anikow, who is an American diplomat based in Manila; son, Jacob; and daughters, Grace and Sophie of Herndon, VA; mother, Saveta and sister Lishma of Howell; sister, Mary of Jersey City; sister, Ilma

of Honolulu, HI; and a niece, Julia Kubeck, as well as close cousins. Born on May 28, 1971 to Saveta and the late Tscheda Anikow, he graduated from Howell High School in 1989 and earned a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1993. He joined the Marines in 1993 and served eight years (1994-2001) as an infantryman and was currently on assignment as an Individual Mobilization Augmentee. A platoon commander with the 1st Marines/3rd Division, Kaneohe, Hawaii, he successfully completed a nine-month combat tour in Afghanistan in 2009, where he served as acting

File photo shows George Anikow with wife and son. executive officer for the 4th Civil Affairs Group, 8th & I Marines, in charge of developing relationships with the local Afghan population. He was assigned with the

J-5, Joint Chiefs of Staff at the time of his death. In the Philippines, meanwhile, murder charges, a nonbailable offense, have been filed against the suspects who report-

edly come from well-to-do families. They are Juan Alfonso Abastillas, 24; Crispin dela Paz, 28; Osric Cabrera, 27; and Galicano Datu III, 22. Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have been coordinating with local police in monitoring the case, including the delay in bringing the victim to a hospital after being stabbedin the neck by one of the assailants outside the gate of the upscale Bel-Air Village. The agents were shown CCTV footage of the incident, from the initial confrontation of Anikow with the four men up to his stabbing, which caused his death.

Pinoy crushed by falling industrial aircon NEW YORK - Michael Tristan Mananghaya, a Filipino father of four was crushed to death when an industrial size air conditioning unit fell from a truck onto the sidewalk next to Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center on Dec. 4. Mananghaya of Jersey City, N.J., believed to be an employe of the moving company, was rushed to the hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival.

Police said the freak accident occured when a chain attached to the crane of a tractor trailer carrying the 40-foot-long A/C unit broke. Errol Schneer, a hospital spokesman, said that a private company was removing a temporary portable chiller unit for the winter when the unit struck Mananghaya. He said the unit was being used during the summer months

Michael Tristan Mananghaya

to supplement the hospital’s air conditioning. People in the hospital who witnessed the acciddent were screaming for other workers to save Mananghaya. But it was too late because he was already crushed by the aircon unit. A witness said Mananghaya was standing directly under the unit to direct the crane operator when the chain broke. “He would do everything

he could to be a good provider for his family,” said sister Jamie Gomez. According to the ‘Daily News’, it’s not clear who was responsible for the deadly accident because there are two companies involved. Aggreko Corp. leased the chiller to the hospital, and C&L Towing was hired by Aggreko to transport the device, officials said.


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December 15, 2012

Go to PH, Cuisia urges VA businessmen VIRGINIA BEACH. The Philippines is urging officials of the Commonwealth of Virginia to send business delegations to Manila and explore trade and investment opportunities in what is touted to be Asia’s new tiger economy. Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia Jr. made the pitch during his meeting with Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Jim Cheng, State Delegate Ron Villanueva and Virginia Beach Mayor William Sessoms Jr. during a visit here on 30 November 2012. “The Philippines just recorded a 7.1 per cent growth in its gross domestic product in the third quarter, which is highest in Southeast Asia,” Cuisia told the Virginia officials. “The Philippine Stock Exchange is consistently among the top best performing in the world.” Noting the importance of trade between the Philippines and the various states of the United States, Cuisia said Virginia can take its cue from Iowa which is sending a trade delegation to be led by Iowa Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds to Manila next year. “As we go into 2013, the Philippines will give more focus on economic diplomacy and we look towards states like Virginia and fast-recovering cities such as Virginia Beach as partners in our

trade and investment promotion efforts,” Cuisia said. The Philippines currently

fruit and plants. Cheng welcomed the Ambassador’s initiative given

Ambassador Cuisia poses with: Mayor Harris of Newport News, Virginia (left) and Cong. Bobby C. Scott after their meeting with various business representatives December 1. (All photos by Bing C. Branigin) enjoys a favorable balance of trade with Virginia, although it is not among the state’s top 25 trading partners. As of September 2012, the Philippines exported to Virginia $67.5 million worth of edible preparations of meat, fish and crustaceans; tobacco and manufactured tobacco substitutes; prepared vegetables, fruit and nuts; and edible fruit and nuts. On the other hand, the Philippines imported from Virginia $41.3 million worth of goods consisting of meat; food industry residues and prepared animal feed; tobacco and manufactured tobacco substitutes; and oil seeds and miscellaneous grain, seed,

the strong economic performance of the Philippines and assured him that they will seriously consider organizing business missions to the Philippines. For his part, Virginia Beach Mayor Sessoms expressed the city’s desire to have a sister-city arrangement with a Philippine city to bring closer business contacts and match opportunities. Sessoms also cited the contribution of the Fil-Am community to the city’s growth. In his first trip to Virginia Beach, Cuisia also visited the offices of Virginia Electric Systems, which has a contract with the Philippine Navy to repair patrol vessels and other water-

craft. He also visited the headquarters of Stihl Inc., one of the

saws and blowers in the world, and met with some of its Fil-Am

L to R: Sec. James Cheng, Delegate Ron Villanueva, Amb. Jose L. Cuisia, and Mayor William Sessoms. posed for a picture after their successful working lunch at the Cavalier Golf and Yacht Club, Virginia Beach, last November 30.

Amb. Jose Cuisia and Mrs. Vicky Cuisia met Filam workers at the STHIL Inc, a worldwide manufacturer of chain saws, blowers, weed wackers, and other outdoor equipments for gardens, and landscaping.. The company employs hundreds of Filipino Americans in the Virginia Beach areas. largest manufacturers of chain-

employees.

Are you interested in Fed jobs? Contact KAYA WASHINGTON D.C. -A Filipino American political action group is building a data base of compatriots who may be qualified to fill positions in the White House and Capitol Hill. The KAYA: Filipino Americans for Progress last month put out a call for Filams and other Asian American communities to submit their resumes for a “Resume Book” they’ve been compiling. KAYA is an offshoot of a group, composed mostly of young Filams that first campaigned for President Obama during the 2008 elections. They were able to build a grassroots organization on both coasts that was again mobilized for the President’s successful re-election bid last month. “KAYA is working to increase diversity by encouraging the recruitment, retention and promotion of people of color in staff positions throughout Capitol Hill and the Executive Branch,” they said in an emailed advisory. “As we move towards the 113th Congress and a new Administration, we will present new Members, leadership, committees and federal agencies

with resumes of candidates from our communities,” the group explained.

“I have worked with Joyce longer than anyone in my office,” said Ryan. The two had actually

File photo shows members of Kaya campaigning to get out the votes. The recent electoral exercise inadvertently highlighted Filam inroads in the political arena. It was revealed that GOP vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan’s chief of staff was Joyce Yamat Meyer, a 41-year-old Fil-Am from Franklin, WI. Meyer’s father is from Masantol, Pampanga. Ryan himself has nothing but praise for Meyer, whom he has been working since 1995 when both of them were congressional staffers.

worked as congressional staffers way back in 1995, even before the rising star and acknowledged “policy wonk” of the Republic Party got into politics. “I quickly recognized her great abilities. When the member she worked for retired from the House of Representatives, I persuaded my employer, Sen. (Samuel) Brownback, to bring her on board.” Meyer is married to a Pentagon consultant and they have a young daughter.

KAYA stressed its role is limited to distributing resumes

through the KAYA Resume Book. (RJJ)

Rising peso is ‘bad news’ for OFWs As one of Asia’s fastest growing economies, the Philippine peso has been rising compared to the US dollar which, ironically, is bad news for overseas Filipinos and Philippine exports. The Philippine currency reached a peak last month of P40.87 against the US dollar, its highest value since 2008. It is forecast to rise further to about P39 in the next 2 months. Metro DC residents trooping to Filipino stories to send money home for the Christmas holidays have felt the changes, drawing mixed reactions. “I’m happy for the country of course, but this is not good for me because my family back home won’t get too much,” one Springfield, Va. resident averred. “It’s great news for the business sector. Investors will have more confidence to invest in the country and that will help in terms of economic growth,”

said Bernadette Baranda, a Filipino social worker in London, England. “It affects overseas Filipinos because if the exchange rate is low, it means we have to send more money. And it can be hard because our salaries remain the same,” she added. The peso’s impressive showing is fueled by the Philippine’s growing dollar hoard. The country’s foreign exchange reserves in November has already broken past the forecast for the entire of 2012, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Reserves stood at $84.105 billion as of end November, 10 percent more than the $76.2 billion during the same period last year. The BSP earlier predicted foreign reserves to hit $83 billion by the end of 2012. They see this rising to $86 billion next year.


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December 15, 2012

Over 2,000 witness Global Pinoy Singing Idol fest in VA WOODBRIDGE, Virginia Two talented Filipina American singers bagged the coveted title of USA Global Pinoy Idol champions in the just concluded 2012 Global Pinoy Singing Idol held at the famous Hylton Christian Events Center here. The two winners are Leslie Ann Picazo of California and Divina Aleonar of Illinois. The annual contest is sponsored by ABS-CBN’s DZMM Teleradyo. This year’s contest is held in cooperation with CFC ANCOP USA. More than 2,000 people from across the U.S. travelled to this historic town to witness the musical competition and entertainment show, highlighted by music and dances by the 14 singing champions from different regions of ANCOP USA. Each of the singers passed through a rigorous selection process in their respective regions. Philippine Ambassador to the U.S. Jose L. Cuisia, Jr.conveyed his “warmest felicitations” to the sponsors of the event and sent First Secretary & Consul Emil T. Fernandez of the Philippine Embassy in Washington DC to represent him due to prior commitment. “It has not sunk yet. I’m speechless,” said Picazo in an

interview on stage after the contest. Aleonar, on the other hand,

stead (NC), Jon-Michael Eclar (Washington D.C.), Jessica Gallant (MA), Anita Helterbran (FL),

Global Pinoy Singing Idol USA champions Leslie Ann Picazo, 7th from left, and Divina Aleonar, 6th from left, on stage, with L-R: Glen Santayana, Tat Reyes, Jack Macalalad, Jake Cuenca, Rachel Alejandro, Jessica Cox, Roger Santos, Consul Emil T. Fernandez, Rollie Balanza, Rod Bustos, Cris Kagahastian and Romy Dacayanan (Photo by Manny Caballero) said of her winning, “I’m so happy! I can’t believe it. Everyone performed very well.” The two will compete in the Grand Finals of Global Pinoy Singing Idol in Manila on January 25, 2013 where eight contestants from various countries (excluding the Philippines) will be competing for the $2,500.00 grand prize and a recording contract with ABS-CBN. The other 12 regional finalists (in alpha order) are: Lavon Abis (NJ), Apollo Apilan (IL), Andy Arellano (CT), Abbie Arm-

Dr. Joel Mabalot (VA), Lowel Onting (NC), Michelle Panlaqui (VA), Dave Valeriano (MD), and Nina Mae Vidal (IL). Earlier in the five-hour afternoon program, the tandem of Ahwel Paz of DZMM and Winnie Cordero of ABS-CBN’s “Umagang Kay Ganda,” made the big crowd roared with laughter repeatedly with their funny lines and jokes. At the same time, singer Rachel Alejandro entertained the audience with her music, while actor Jake Cuenca made his

female fans in the audience gaga

number of times and posed with

as he sang and danced on stage.

his fans for pictures. (ANCOP US

He also went down the stage a

communications)

GPSI USA champions Leslie Ann Picazo of California, right, and Divina Aleonar of Illinois. (Photo by Manny Caballero)

CORRECTION Lorna I. Seidel (RN PHD), president of the Bicol Association of Metropolitan Washington D.C., sent in this email to correct an error in the caption of the Sarung Baggi photo published in the October 31, 2012 issue of Manila Mail, page 17. Ms Seidel said the names of the participants in the photo were correct. She said: “Marlon Enciso was the Chair of the Event but was described in the caption as the Choreog-

rapher. Rebecca Pagsibigan was the Choreographer of The RIGODON DE HONOR 29th Founding Anniversary of Sarung Banggi. May I please urgently request if this ERRATUM announcement appears on your December 15th issue of Manila Mail. I really would appreciate it.” (Our apologies to Ms Pagsibigan. - Ed)


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December 15, 2012

‘Pablo’ sweeps through PH, kills hundreds Hundreds of lives were lost, entire villages washed away and disaster officials were forced to review evacuation procedures after typhoon “Pablo” (international name: “Bopha”) struck the Philippine’s largest islands not once, but twice in a week. Reports from the Philippines compiled by editor Rodney J. Jaleco showed that nearly 600 people have died from the winds and flashfloods spawned by “Pablo” and over 500 more are listed as missing (as of posting), possibly buried in landslides or washed away from rampaging waters. The National Disaster Risk Reduction & Management Council (NDRRMC) said more than a million families across the archipelago have been affected by “Pablo”, the deadliest typhoon to strike the Philippines this year. The Associated Press offered one of the most graphic accounts of what they witnessed: “Bodies of victims were laid on the ground for viewing by people searching for missing relatives. Some were badly mangled after being dragged by raging floodwaters over rocks and other debris. A man sprayed insecticide on the remains to keep away swarms of flies.” President Aquino III later declared the country in a state of national calamity to facilitate the release of relief funds and stop price gouging by traders and other groups. The toll nearly equaled that of the less powerful storm “Sendong” (international name: “Washi”) which entered the country through a similar path but traveled a different trajectory as “Pablo” almost the same time last year. Nearly 1,300 people – most of them in northwestern Mindanao – died from “Sendong”. On the other hand, “Pablo” devastated the southeastern parts of Mindanao on the way to exiting to the South China Sea via Palawan. “The typhoon ‘Pablo’ is very much stronger than the typhoon ‘Sendong’ which we experienced last year. I would say that the damage is much, much bigger now compared to typhoon Sendong,” Surigao del Sur Gov. Johnny Pimentel told ABS-CBN News. NASA’s Tropical Rainfall

Measuring Mission (TRMM) measured “Pablo’s” rainfall at 85 mm/hr just before it struck the Mindanao coast on Dec. 4. In contrast, it said “Sendong” dumped rain at over 50 mm/hr in Mindanao last year.

“Pablo” curved from west to east (a pattern that is more common for summer typhoons). The President ordered an investigation into the evacuation procedures in New Bataan in the province of Compostela Valley,

A United Nations aid assessment team that flew to Mindanao was met with “100 percent destruction”, said Imogen Wall, spokeswoman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

and procrastinate here, the death toll is rising,” he said. “There is massive and widespread devastation.” “I appeal to the whole world. I appeal to leaders from all over the world, to open our

School gym becomes evacuation center in Compostela.

Aerial view of devastation wrought by Pablo in Davao Oriental.

Dead bodies line up for identification by relatives.

Victims grieving over missing kins.

Rescued baby dies in arms of rescuer due to hypothermia.

The homeless wait for government aid to arrive.

Tropical Storm Ondoy, which battered Metro Manila and neighboring provinces in September 2009, had a recorded rainfall rate of 56.83 mm/hr. But the typhoon veered north again and struck the Ilocos region in the country’s main island of Luzon. Experts blame climate change for “Pablo’s” temperamental behavior. Firstly, it traversed a portion of Mindanao that is rarely visited by typhoons, much less one of “Pablo’s” intensity. Secondly, weathermen noted the apparent rise in the frequency and fury of December typhoons. And lastly,

where hundreds of residents were put in harm’s way instead of being moved to safer ground. He ordered the Departments of Justice (DOJ), the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to investigate why residents were apparently brought to flood-prone and dangerous areas. President Aquino said he was dismayed by what happened in the municipality of New Bataan where some evacuation centers were destroyed by wind and floods, killing people who took shelter there, including a number of soldiers deployed to assist the victims.

“This is a very poor area where everyone is dependent on agriculture. If people can’t earn money from crops they won’t be able to put food on the table for their families,” she was quoted in news reports. “They’ll need a lot of help in the coming months. This is going to take a long time.” In Doha, Qatar, the United Nations convened the 2012 climate change conference. The Philippine representative, Naderev Sano, aired an emotional appeal for action in the biggest climate change event this year. “As we sit here in these negotiations, even as we vacillate

eyes to the stark reality that we face. I appeal to ministers. The outcome of our work is not about what our political masters want. It is about what is demanded of us by 7 billion people. “I appeal to all, please, no more delays, no more excuses. Please, let Doha be remembered as the place where we found the political will to turn things around. Please, let 2012 be remembered as the year the world found the courage to find the will to take responsibility for the future we want. “I ask of all of us here, if not us, then who? If not now, then when? If not here, then where? The Filipino negotiator asked.


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113th Congress will be the most diverse The 113th Congress that opens in January will be the most diverse ever, including the biggest number of Asian American legislators that reflect the changing American landscape. It will be the most racially diverse Congress ever, according to Rep. Mike Honda (17th District, Ca.), former chairman of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. Aside from Honda, the other returning Asian American & Pacific Islander legislators are Doris Matsui and Judy Chu of California, Filipino-American Robert “Bobby” Scott of Virginia, Eni Faleomavaega of American Samoa, Colleen Hanabusa of Hawaii, and Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan of CNMI. Indian-American physician Ami Bera was finally declared winner of the closely contested race for the 7th District, Ca. He defeated Republican incumbent Dan Lungren by 9,191 votes. Bera was only the 3rd Indian-American to be elected to the House of Representatives after Dalip Singh Saundh in 1950 and Bobby Jindal in 2005. “The diversity of this incoming class represents everything that we’ve worked to create,” said Honda, whose Silicon Valley district has just become home to the largest concentration of Asian Pacific Americans in the

country. But the diversity doesn’t end there. The incoming class features

Floyd Mori, the incoming president of the Asian Pacific American Institute of Congressional Studies, said the election

“The result is the largest caucus of Asian American and Pacific Islander members in any single congressional session,

Rep. Judy Chu

Senator-elect Maxie Hirono

Rep-elect Mark Takano

78 women, 42 African-Americans and 28 Latino lawmakers. Also elected were 4 Arab-Americans and one Caribbean-American. The 28 Latino members represent an increase of 4 from the 2012 count – the previous high, according to the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund. Four openly gay politicians are also joining the freshman class of 2013 – bringing the total LGBT bloc to 7 – including Mark Takano, the first openly gay Asian American elected to Congress. Takano, a teacher, will represent the 41st District, Ca.

“broadens the pipeline for the future participation by new candidates” from the community.

reflecting the increasing political power of the fastest growing demographic group,” Mori said.

“Many have broken barriers and established historic firsts for their states and for their communities, and it moves me to see our nation’s elected leaders beginning to look more like the diverse constituencies that they represent,” Chu, the first Chinese-American woman elected to the U.S. Congress, said in a statement. The most celebrated winners are women: Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Grace Meng of New York and Tammy Duckworth of Illinois. Hirono will be the first Asian-American woman to serve in the U.S. Senate. Duckworth and Meng will be the first AsianAmericans to represent their states. (RJJ)

House OKs controversial RH bill MANILA - With Roman Catholic bishops looking on, the House of Representatives on Wednesday night (Dec. 12) approved on second reading the reproductive health (RH) bill, which seeks to allocate government resources to procure artificial contraceptives. Through a voice vote, the RH bill, formally known as House Bill

4244, moved a step closer to passage at the chamber, after surviving more than a year of plenary debates and a two-week amendment period. The vote marked the first time the House approved on second reading a bill on reproductive health. For over a decade and spanning five Congresses, similar versions of the RH bill either languished at the committee level or got stalled during the

Supporters of the RH bill hail its approval. period of plenary debates at the lower chamber.


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OAVs who didn’t vote in polls face removal MANILA - Registered overseas absentee voters (OAV) who did not vote in the last two elections are advised to renew their license until December 21, 2012 or be delisted from the National Registry of OAV (NROAV). According to Resolution No. 9567 of the Commission on Elections (Comelec), a copy of which was obtained by GMA News Online, a total of 238,557 OAVs face removal from the NROAV for failing to vote in the 2010 and 2007 elections. Republic Act 9189 or the Overseas Absentee Voting Act states that the entries in the NROAV can only be amended “when the OAV’s name was ordered removed by the Commission ... for his/her failure to exercise his/her right to vote under this Act for two consecutive national elections.” But the Comelec en banc ruled that they would give the affected migrant voters a chance to file a manifestation to participate in the May 2013 elections not later than December 21. “Only after the failure of the concerned AOV to submit the required application within the given period shall their names be removed from the NROAV,” the Comelec said in the three-page resolution. The poll body said the manifestation must indicate the post where the AOVs were registered as well as their maternal middle name and birth date to “ascertain their identity.” The OAVs may file their manifestation to participate with

the different embassies, consulates or foreign service establishments, which will then forward the manifestations to the Comelec’s Committee on Overseas Absentee Voting. Around 915,000 have registered overseas for the 2013 elections, according to Comelec. This is higher than the 589,830 registrants for the 2010 elections. According to a latest report by the Committee on Overseas Absentee Voting, it has has received a total of 393,151 application forms for OAV registration as of December 10, a 62 percent increase from 242,767 forms recorded in September. Of the application forms, 18.6 percent or 73,150 came from Middle East and Africa, 13.3 percent or 52,242 came from North and Latin America, 13.2 percent or 52,042 came from Asia and the Pacific, and 10.6 percent or 41,480 came from Europe. The number is expected tol be reduced once the Election Regulatory Board meet this month to remove the list of multiple registrants. The voter’s registration for migrant workers ended last October 31.

China to board, search ships in West PH sea MANILA - China has warned that its police will board and search ships that “illegally” enter the South China Sea (West Philippine sea) starting Jan. 1, 2013. It also directly warned Vietnam to stop its oil exploration in areas that it claims to be hers. Reacting to the claim, the Department of Foreign Affairs said this poses a “direct threat” not only to countries claiming islets and shoals in the area but to all countries that use the region for maritime commerce. “If media reports are accurate, this planned action by China is illegal and will validate pronouncements by the Philippines that China’s claim of indisputable sovereignty over virtually the entire South China Sea is not only an excessive claim

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METRO DC AGENTS

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DROP OFF CENTERS - MD

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Peter and Thelma Catama 301.830.1404

Ratty & Nelia Tuliao 248.252.2122 248.252.6361

Kubo (Kensington) Kensington, MD 301.933.4783

FilGlobal Supermarket (Falls Church) 703.820.1961

Tony Pascual 703.975.6628

Filipino Market & Cafe Rockville, MD 301.217.5920

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but a threat to all counZaldy Villanueva tries,” the DFA said in 240.731.5572 a statement Beijing has not responded to the demands of claimant countries for clarification said. except to say that the order came Apart from Philippines and from the police in the southern China, other countries such as Chinese province of Hainan. Taiwan, Vietnam, Brunei and “If media reports are accuMalaysia claim various parts of rate, then China’s planned action the South China Sea as part of will be a gross violation of the their territories. Declaration on the Conduct of Earlier, ASEAN (AssociaParties in the South China Sea tion of Southeast Asian Nations) (DoC), international law, particularly UNCLOS, and a direct Secretary-General Surin Pitsuthreat to the entire international wan noted that China’s plan will community as it violates not escalate tension in the region. “My reaction is (this is) ceronly the maritime domain of tainly an escalation of the tension coastal states established under UNCLOS, but also impedes the that has already been building. fundamental freedom of naviga- And it is a very serious turn of tion and lawful commerce,” DFA events,” he said.

N&N Oriental Market 240.237.8162 PinkSha’s Filipino Mart 240.237.8288 Baby Abad

Warn on fake US visas The Bureau of Immigration (BI) warned the public against the activities of a syndicate that swindles its victims of large sums of money in return for fake visas to the US. BI Commissioner Ricardo David Jr. issued the warning after immigration officers prevented the departure of a Filipina whose passport was stamped with a fraudulent US visa. The passenger, whose name was withheld, was intercepted last Nov. 19 at the departure area of the Ninoy Aquino Inter-

national Airport (NAIA) before she could board a Philippine Airlines flight to San Francisco, California. According to David, the woman was swindled by a syndicate that demands exorbitant fees from victims who were promised US visas. “The victims are made to believe that they would get their US visas without the need to appear for interview before a US consul at the American Embassy,” the BI chief said.


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December 15, 2012

Aquino extols 29 Filipino achievers in 5 continents MANILA President Aquino III took time out from assisting the victims of typhoon Pablo on Dec. 5 to extol the Filipino achievers from fourteen different countries in five different continents, all of whom have displayed excellence in their fields, together with an unrelenting desire to uplift their motherland. “As I browsed the list of awardees, I was reminded once again just how blessed with talent our people are. Whether homegrown or raised abroad, the people in our presence today have become true ambassadors of the skill and creativity of the Filipino. More than that, our awardees today have shown that despite great distances, our people are united in the spirit of bayanihan,the idea that the true measure of our humanity is defined not by what we have built alone, but rather, by what we have achieved in solidarity with our fellowmen. Many of our awardees have chosen to pay their successes forward by taking part in the collective task of nation-building. This is something I personally admire.” Recalling their exile in the US,

President Benigno S. Aquino III, assisted by Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario and Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) chairperson Imelda Nicolas, presents the Pamana ng Pilipino Award to Allan “Apl.de.Ap” Pineda of the famous Black Eyed Peas Group, during the 2012 Presidential Awards for Filipino Individuals and Organizations Overseas (PAFIOO) awarding ceremony at the Rizal Hall of the Malacañan Palace on Wednesday (December 5). Pineda was cited for not forgetting his cultural roots and for being a supporter of youth education program in the Philippines. The award is conferred on Filipinos overseas exemplifying the talent and industry of the Filipino, have brought the country honor and recognition through excellence and distinction in the pursuit of their work or profession. Aquino said “For years, we lived as political refugees; and this allows me to sympathize with the difficulties the migrants here have gone through” the pain of separation from your loved ones, and from the places, and even the food, you’ve grown familiar with, compounded by the inescapable longing to return.”

■ On OFW month, Aquino awards 29 Filams, groups MANILA - In time for the celebration of the Month of Overseas

Filipinos,

President

Benigno S. Aquino III honored 29 outstanding overseas Filipinos and foreign-based organizations during the Awarding Cer-

emonies for the 2012 Presidential Awards for Filipino Individuals and Organizations Overseas on December 5, 2012 at the Malacanang Palace. This year’s crop is made up of 22 Filipinos, five Filipino organizations, and two foreign nationals from 14 countries. Lingkod sa Kapwa Pilipino awardees are Dr. Manuel A. Cacdac, a neuro-surgical doctor based in Boston, Massachusetts;. Dr. Christopher M. Guerrero, a medical doctor based in Chicago; and The Aguman Kapampangan UK. Kaanib ng Bayan awardees for advancing the cause of overseas Filipino communities. Dr. Gonen Haba in Israel; Dr. Christ ian Loehlein. Banaag awardees: Engr. Carlito E. Alpay in Saudi Arabia; Atty. Imelda L. Argel in Australia; Tomas P. Avendano Sr., Canada; Rafael S. Castanos, Alaska; The Filipiniana “Europa V.Z.W., a multicultural nonprofit organization in Belgium; The Filipino Community of Seattle in Washington; The Filipino Digerati Association in UAE; Luzviminda S. Micabalo of New

York and Nevada; Al Perez Jr., Commissioner of San Francisco Entertainment Commission; Eric Michael B. Quema of San Francisco Police Department; Robert Santos is a civil rights leader in US; Ma. Luzviminda Tsai in Taiwan; Stichting Bayanihan is a self-help women’s empowermenthrough empowerment in The Netherlands. The Pamana ng Pilipino: Engr. Mary Jane A. Al-Mahdi is the CEO of the Geoscience TestingLaboratory, the biggest independent testing laboratory operating in the Middle East. Dr. Delia R. Amaya is a retired professor of the University Campinas and an esteemed food technology expert in Brazil. Dr. Samuel Bernal, Dr. Antonio Fernando III in New Zealand; Almira Astudillo Gilles in the US; Allan Apl.de.Ap Pineda; Dr. Ruth Elynia S. Mabanglo, Hawaii; George Z. Ortoll in New York; Eric C. Spoelstra is the first Filipino-American head coach to win the US National Basketball Association championship for the Miami Heat team; Dr. Francisca Tolete-Velcek in US.


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December 15-23, 7:00pm Simbang Gabi, “Novena Masses.” After the Dec. 23 mass, fellowship will follow at Father Dewan Hall, St. Columba Church, 7804 Livingston Road, Oxon Hill, Maryland. Contact: Al de Jesus 301-605-3001. (Sponsored by Fil-Ministry of St. Columba Church) December 15 (Saturday) 6:00-12:00pm. Marinduqueneos of the Capital Area, Inc. “Pasko Natin 2012.” New Fortune Chinese Restaurant, 16515 Frederick Ave., Gairthersburg, MD 20877.

$50 (adults), $40 (teens). Contact: Ruby Solomon 703-501-0012. December 15 (Saturday) 7:30pm Filipino Mass at St. Bernadette Catholic Church, 7600 Old Keene Mill Road Springfield, VA 22152. Sponsored by Filipino Ministry of St. Bernadette. Contact: (703) (703) 569-1054. December 15 (Saturday) 7:00pm Simbang Gabi: Theme: “Cry out with Joy and Gladness,” (Starts with Panuluyan), Our Lady of Good Counsel, 8601 Wolftrap Rd., Vienna, VA 22182,Church: 703-938-2828, Directions: http://

www.olgcva.org. Celebrant: Rev. Stephen E. Shott, OSFS, Choir: Fil-Am Choir of All Saints, Contact: Chiqui Sanchez 571-4998277 (Sponsored by Filipino Catholic Ministry at OLGC) December 15 (Saturday) 7:30pm, Simbang Gabi: Theme: “Cry out with Joy and Gladness,” St. Bernadette Catholic Church, 7600 Old Keene Mill Road, Springfield, VA 22152, Church: 703-451-8576, Directions: http:// www.stbernpar.org, Celebrant: Rev. Andy Gonzalo, Choir: St. Bernadette’s Filipino Choir, Contact: Rolly & Tess Saldana 703569-1054, Sponsored by Filipino Community of St. Bernadette December 16-24, 5am – 7am. Simbang Gabi: St. Charles Borromeo, 3304 N. Washington Blvd, Arlington, VA 22201, Phone: 703-527-5500, Directions: http:// www.stcharleschurch.org, Note;

Breakfast served after mass at Benedict Hall, Contact: Litong Roa703-486-3541. Sponsored by Litong Roa and Simbang Gabi Group of St. Charles December 16 (Sunday) 7:30pm, Simbang Gabi: Theme: “Cry out with Joy and Gladness,” St. Philip Catholic Church, 7506 St. Philip’s Ct., Falls Church, VA 22042, Church: 703-573-3808, Directions: http://www.stphilipsparish.com. Celebrant: Rev. Andy Gonzalo, Choir: Jesus my Friend Choir, Contact: Cora Arca 703-569-2093, Sponsored by Jesus Is All Prayer Community December 17 (Monday) 7:30pm. Simbang Gabi: Theme: “Share our Faith and Culture,” St. Veronica Catholic Church, 3460 Centreville Rd., Chantilly, VA 20151, Church: 703-773-2000, Directions: http://www.stveronica.net. Contact: Ed & Chit Nufable 703-626-2996. Sponsored by Filipino Community of St. Veronica December 17 (Monday) 7pm. Simbang Gabi: Theme: “Share our Faith and Culture, ”St. Anthony of Padua, 3305 Glen Carlyn Road, Falls Church, VA 22041, Church: 703-820-7100, Directions: Website: http:// w w w. s t a n t h o n y p a r i s h . o rg . Choir: St. Bernadette’s Filipino Choir. Contact: Margot Atilano 571-226-7187. Sponsored by Filipino Community of St. Anthony December 18 (Tuesday) 7:00pm. Simbang Gabi: Theme: “St. Joseph, Protect the Call of our Fathers,” Holy Spirit Catholic Church, 5121 Woodland Way, Annandale, VA22003, Directions: http://www.holyspiritchurch. us/site/, Celebrant: Rev. John O’Donohue, Pastor of Holy Spirit, Choir: Buklod Kaibigan, Contact: Beng Magalong 703978-3802, Sponsored by Filipino Community of Holy Spirit December 19, (Wednesday) 7:30pm, Simbang Gabi: Theme: “Respect and Honor the Wisdom of the Elders,” Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church, 46833 Harry Byrd Highway, Sterling, VA 20164-2250, Church: 703-430-0811, Directions: http:// www.ctrcc.org/, Celebrant: Rev. C. Donald Howard S.A., Pastor of Christ the Redeemer,Choir: Chua-Hontiveros Family and Friends. Contact: Loulou Rosales 703-716-1951. Sponsored by Filipino Community of Christ the Redeemer December 20 (Thursday) 7pm. Simbang Gabi: Theme: “Accept the Will of God,” St. Charles Borromeo, 3304 Washington Blvd Arlington, VA 22201, Phone: 703.527.5500, Directions: http://stcharleschurch.org/. Celebrant: Rev. Daniel F. Hanley, Contact: Ed Tiong 703-403-5624, Sponsored by Filipino Ministry of Northern VA December 21 (Friday) 7:30pm. Simbang Gabi: Theme:”Believe in the Word of the Lord,” All Saints Catholic Church, 9300 Stonewall Road,

Manassas, VA 20110-2594, Church: 703-393-2144, Directions: http://www.allsaintsvachurch.org/, Celebrant: Rev. Robert C. Cilinski, Pastor of All Saints, Choir: Fil-Am Choir of All Saints. Contact: BenjoHill@ FilamMinistry@gmail.com. Sponsored by All Saints Fil Am Ministry December 21 (Friday) 7:30pm. Simbang Gabi: Theme:”Believe in the Word of the Lord” St. Theresa’s Catholic Church, 21371 St. Theresa Ln., Ashburn, VA 20147,Church: 703729-2287, Directions: http:// www.sttheresa-ashburn.com/, Celebrant: Rev. Richard M. Guest, Pastor of St. Theresa, Choir: Chua-Hontiveros Family and Friends, Contact: Ben & Sollie Manalaysay 703-858-1635, Sponsored by Filipino Community of St. Theresa December 21 (Friday) 8:00pm. Simbang Gabi: Theme:”Believe in the Word of the Lord, “ Holy Family Catholic Church, 14160 Ferndale Rd. Dale City, VA 22193, Church: 703-670-8161, Directions: http:// www.holyfamilycatholicchurchdalecity.org/, Celebrant: Rev. Alex Enriquez, Choir: CFC/FFL Choir, Contact: Noel Montoro 703-209-2224, Sponsored by Filipino Community of Holy Family December 21 (Friday) 8:00pm. Simbang Gabi: Theme:”Believe in the Word of the Lord,” St. William of York, 3130 Jefferson Davis Highway, Stafford, VA 22554-4525, Church: 540-659-1102, Directions: Website: http://swoycc. org, Celebrant: Rev. Roberto De Martino,Co-Celebrant and Homilist: Rev. Jerome Magat, Choir: El Shaddai Stafford Cell and Friends, Contact: Vic and Ellen Carag 540-628-2404, Sponsored by Filipino American Apostolate of Saint William of York December 22 (Saturday) 7:00pm. Simbang Gabi: Theme: “Imitate the ways of Mary,” St. Mary of Sorrows Catholic Church, 5222 Sideburn Rd., Fairfax, VA 22032, Church: 703-9784141, Directions: http://www. stmaryofsorrows.org. Choir: Fil Am Ministry Choir of St.Mary of Sorrows, Contact: Luisa Robinson 703 981-0220, Sponsored by Filipino Community of St. Mary December 23, Sunday 7:30pm, Simbang Gabi: Theme: Open Yourself to the Joy of seeing God working in your World.” Special Invitation to all Fil Am Youth. St. Timothy Catholic Church, 13807 Poplar Tree Rd., Chantilly, VA 20151, Church: 703-378-7461, Directions: http:// www.sttimothyparish.org/, Celebrant: H.E. Most Reverend Paul S. Loverde, D.D., S.T.L., J.C.L., Bishop of Arlington, Choir: St. Bernadette’s Filipino Choir, Contact: Ed & Dollie Medina 703266-4670, Sponsored by Filipino Community of St. Timothy.


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December 15, 2012

Around DC in Pictures

The University of he Philippines Alumni Association of Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia (UPAADCMDVA) held their annual Christmas Party at the Hilton Hotel Mark Center in Virginia last December 2. Among guests are, from left, Dr. Jun Quion, Perfecto Santiago, Dr. Rene Alvir, Ms. Ched Bautista, Atty. Warie Azarcon, Dr. Albert Coo, current president, and Bong Pangilinan. (MCBranigin)

Literary enthusiasts, artists, and friends of the Philippine Arts, Letters and Media Council (PALM) gathered December 8, 2012 for a tasteful holiday merienda cena at the residence of Linda and Bob Yangas in Bethesda, Maryland. Among those in photo are (seated, l-r) Nilo Santiago, Josie Lim Cruz, Linda Yangas, Jane Vergel, Lina Huesmann, Rudy Cruz; (standing, l-r) Yvonne Reyes, Warette Burcroff, PALM President Mitzi Pickard, Malcolm Churchill, Warren Ector, Beth Swallow, Ed Lachica, Femma and Gerald Lo, Bob Yangas, and Mark Dorin (Photo by Angelyn Tugado-Marzan)

Kidlat Tahimik, Father of Independent Film in the Philippines, was recently in town visiting friends and relatives. He gained notoriety with his first film, “Mabangong Bangungot,” (Perfumed Nightmare) which he wrote, directed and filmed in 1977. It was introduced at the Berlin Festival and supported by Francis Cuppola and Susan Sontag and quickly travelled around the world. He has since produced many more films which have created a following of film makers in Asia. He is seen above with artist/musician Julian Oteyza, with a bamboo camera that Kidlat carries on his trip around in his travels. In the background is a painting by Victor Oteyza, father of Julian and uncle of Kidlat.

Also at the UPAA party are, from left: Atty. Gloria Calogne, Lita Sangalang, Yambi Yambao, Dr. Arnold Yambao, and Ms. Jackie. They used spoons and forks as musical instruments during the party. (MCBranigin)

Family and friends of Al Esguerra (center, holding a Russian instrument called Prima Domra) of Reston , Va. pose for a photo after the Nov. 18 performance of the Washington Balalaika Society Orchestra at the Montgomery College Cultural Arts Center in Silver Spring . With Esguerra, the lone Filipino American instrumentalist in the 60-person orchestra are, from left, Minerva Rosenthal, Prunie Esguerra and grandson Matias, Elvie Melegrito, Erlinda Inejosa and grandson Benny. (Photo by Jon Melegrito)

Father Benigno Beltran (2nd from left) was recently in town to promote his book “Faith and Struggle on Smokey Mountain,” published by Orbis Books. He is seen here with Nancy Ceniza (left), PALM President Mitzi Pickard and Consul Emil Fernandez (right). PALM hosted a book launch at the Sweet City Cafe in Vienna, Virginia where Father Beltran spoke about his 30-year experience in Smokey Mountain, a garbage dump in Manila. He described the unspeakable squalor of a group of people with “the will to survive, the grit to sustain family and community, the ability to create joy while living in abject poverty.” He helped create jobs, educate the children, empower the women in the slums and most of all, given them hope. (Photo by Maurese Owens)

The 2013 officers of Victory Daylight Lodge #1778 in Norfolk, Virginia were inducted on Dec. 1 at the Norfolk Masonic Temple in Granby Street. Installed as Worshipful Master is Reyvincent Gutierrez of Batangas, Philippines. He is the youngest Worshipful Master to be installed since Victory Daylight’s charter February 1978. Of the 160 members, majority are Filipino Americans. In photo are, from left, front Wilbert Austria, Renato Felias, Oscar Gador, Reyvincent Gutierrez, Jeffrey Paras, Christopher Aldea, Mark Ancheta, Philip Cortez, Rayman Alcantara, Conrado Calpito,Jackie Harrison, and Reynaldo Rull. For more info on Freemasonry in Virginia, visit www.grandlodgeofvirginia.org.

During his visit to Virginia Beach, Amb. Cuisia held a breakfast forum with NaFFAA-FAVCOHR at the Susan Kitechenette on Dec. 2 to personally thank them for their participation and leadership in increasing the number of Filam registered voters during the presidential election. From left are Faith Manoza, Jackie Estaris, Jennifer Dizon, Mrs. Vicky Cuisia, Genesis Manoza, and Rudi Estaris; Back row: Mike Miller, Jason Tengco, newly elected School Board, Virginia Beach, Tracie Liguid, and Angelique C Miller.


December 15, 2012

The Northern Virginia Rondalla was a big hit at the Paskong Pinoy at the Catholic University, December 2. The Rondalla has been in existence for 14 years and has participated in Paskong Pinoy programs since 2005. Composed of students and some adults, the Rondalla was founded by Mandy Paredes and musical director Timothy Paredes. (MCBranigin)

Shown during a recent gathering at the resident of Leo and Juanita Susuico in Alexandria, Virginia for the annual celebration of the feast of St. Jude are front row, from left: Ema Tulop , Leon and May Sarmiento, Gloria Baquista and Jeanne Gonzales. Back, from left: Gloria Velasco, Linda Collins, Juanita Susuico, Mary Aquino, Modesto Olympia, Jonee Manuel, Dadith Olumpia, Len Gomera, Yoly Arzadon and Aurora Redondo.

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Drs. Arlene Marie “Bambi” and Victor Emmanuel “Vic” Lorica render a much-applauded duet at the end of the 2012 “Paskong Pinoy” concert held December 2, 2012 at the Edward Pryzbyla Center of the Catholic University of America.ts. (Photo by A. Tugado Marzan)

Nothing beats playing a round of golf on your birthday. Playing golf recently at the Penderbrook GC in Falls Church with birthday celebrant Ernie Apaga (3rd from left), were from left, Carpenter Arpa, Ret. Gen. Delfin Lorenzana and Sal Lagdameo.


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December 15, 2012

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22 US News Briefs

December 15, 2012

No more ‘Simbang Gabi’ in NY consulate NEW YORK - The preChristmas masses known as “Simbang Gabi” held for the past 26 years at the Philippine Center on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan is now history. Replacing the Simbang would be the holding of the “Panunuluyan,” the dramatic ritual narrating through music Joseph and Mary’s difficult search for a place to stay in Bethlehem for Jesus Christ’s birth. The “Panunuluyan sa Konsulado” replaces “Simbang Gabi sa Konsulado” after the Archdiocese of New York ordered that it be discontinued in compliance with a Roman Catholic sanction against celebrating Eucharist in non-churches like the Philippine Center, or other designated places of worship. Like “Simbang Gabi,” the “Panunuluyan” is another time-honored Filipino tradition that will be observed by the FilAm community in the New York area for nine consecutive nights, from Dec. 6 to 14, starting at 6 p.m., at the Kalayaan Hall of the Philippine Center. Each night will be a three-part event: first, a re-enactment of the Holy Family’s attempts to land any lodging during the mandated Census-taking by order of Caesar Augustus; second, an Advent meditation facilitated by a homilist; and at the evening’s end, the traditional salu-salo, featuring festive fare reminiscent of Simbang Gabi. The first-day of “Panunuluyan sa Konsulado,” was held Dec. 6 sponsored by the Coalition of Philippine Schools Alumni Associations (or Coalition of Schools), in partnership with the United Nations Philippine Cultural Society and the San Lorenzo Ruiz Choral Group.

■ LA jury hears PH tutors suit LOS ANGELES - A jury began the hearing of a class action suit filed by 300 Filipino teachers against their locallybased placement agency. The teachers claim they were victims of human trafficking and fraud when they worked in Louisiana from 2007 through 2009. “I really want to stand up for a lot of these workers because I see a lot of employees or applicants that come to me and they tell me of their abuse and all I can do is shake my head,” said Melody Ang-gayon, who represent the plaintiffs. Deng Villarba-Jose, the sister of defendants Lourdes Navarro and Emilion Villarba, is confident her siblings will be acquitted in this case. Navarro owns the LA-based recruitment agency Universal Placement Incorporated, while Villarba owns the Philippine-based conduit agency, PARS International. “Dapat, ang outcome ng case na ito ay in favor of Lourdes Navarro kasi dapat hindi siya dinemanda. Dapat nagpasalamat pa ang mga

teachers kay Lourdes dahil kung hindi kay Lourdes nasa Pilipinas pa sila ngayon,” Villarba-Jose countered. The jury hearing for what is said to be the first certified human trafficking case of professionals in the United States will go on for several days. A verdict is expected on December 19, 2012.

■ Only 2,613 Pinoys apply for DACA plan NEW YORK – US immigration attorney Michael J. Gurfinkel says he is surprised that as of Nov. 15, 2012, only 2,613 Filipinos have applied for the DACA filings. He said a total of 308,935 people have applied for the program while 53,273 applications have already been approved. He said the reason he finds so surprising is that Filipinos are very family oriented. The Philippines has one of the highest rates of family and employment based petitions in the world. Because so many Filipinos have petitioned family members, it can sometimes take 20 years or more for a family member to immigrate. So I know that Filipinos know how to pursue immigration benefits. I also know that Filipinos came to America in order to pursue a better life for their children. Many parents have sacrificed in order that their children can pursue the “American dream.” DACA allows qualified/eligible young people, who were brought to the U.S. at an early age, to obtain work authorization, SS numbers and driver’s licenses, etc. In other words, while DACA does not result in a “pathway to citizenship,” it at least provides qualified young people some hope and “breathing space” against removal/ deportation.

■ NY Filam leader accused of theft NEW YORK- Family and supporters of prominent Filipino community leader in New York,

was charged with burglary and third degree grand larceny or theft for allegedly taking more than $7,000 worth of items from the Children’s Cancer and Blood Foundation office in Manhattan. The original complaint said that a worker told the police that Ballenas was said to have been seen in a video surveillance entering locked storage rooms of the charity during non-office hours. The complaint also said that he allegedly stole iPads, shirts, bottles of wine among others. His legal counsel, Oscar Michelen said Filams should continue to show their support for Ballenas. Some members of the community who came to support him said that Ballenas is widely known as a big advocate for charity. Even with his ongoing case, Ballenas is said to continue his charity work for the victims of Superstorm Sandy as well as for the victims of the recent typhoon “Pablo” in the Philippines.

Rene Ballenas came in full force to his hearing at the New York Criminal Court in Lower Manhattan on Dec. 6. Ballenas, 50, was arrested last October and

■ Pinoy forms cappella group in New York NEW YORK - Jim Diego, 28, of Jackson Heights, has founded

■ Forbes pick Obama as top earthling WASHINGTON - Forbes magazine has picked President Barack Obama as the mightiest earthling in its 2012 rankings. He is followed by Pope Benedict XVI, German President Angela Merkel, and Facebook’s founder, and other global figures. But the magazine’s 2012 list of the world’s most powerful people also features folks who might raise an eyebrow or two: a Mexican drug baron,and the pudgyfaced young leader of North Korea, a hermit state assailed for pursuing a nuclear program at the expense of feeding its very poor people. Last year’s No. 2 on the list, Chinese President Hu Jintao, is among those who fall off the rankings altogether this time because he’s on his way out of office. The ranking features 71 names, a figure Forbes said it set as a cutoff because there are an estimated 7.1 billion people in the world and thus the ranking works out to one very heavy hitter for every 100 million people.

■ Permanent visa plan for foreigners revealed

Rene Ballenas

law would eliminate an existing program, often called the green card lottery, that provides visas to 55,000 people from countries with lower rates of immigration. Many Democrats, including President Barack Obama, oppose the Republican bill as it moves ahead a narrow measure instead of focusing attention on a comprehensive immigration reform. The bill passed 245-139 in the Republican-controlled House, largely along party lines. But the legislation has little chance passing in the Democrat-controlled Senate.

WASHINGTON - A bill to create a permanent visa program for foreigners with advanced science and technical degrees cleared the House of Representatives on Nov. 30. The Republican-backed measure proposes reserving 55,000 permanent residence visas for foreign graduates of U.S. universities with master’s and doctoral degrees in the “STEM” disciplines of science, technology, engineering and math. Some Democrats argue that the plan unfairly pits lower-skilled immigrants against those with more education in the battle for visas as the new

available federal program, and the deadline is Dec. 31, 2012. The Independent Foreclosure Review (IFR) allows eligible current and former homeowners to have their foreclosure files reviewed by independent consultants. Homeowners who were financially harmed by abuses or errors of their mortgage servicers will be eligible for compensation. As of September 2012, 18 percent of eligible homeowners in California had responded to the mailing about the IFR, which is run by the Federal Reserve Bank and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). Nationally, the response rate is only 7 percent. “The response rate has been incredibly low compared to the number of homeowners who may have been affected,” says Maeve Elise Brown, Executive Director of Housing and Economic Rights Advocates. She spoke at a briefing for ethnic media on Wednesday hosted by New America Media with support from the San Francisco Foundation, intended to raise awareness about the IFR Program. “There was almost no outreach to people of color or immigrants,” says Brown.

■ CHRP launches ‘stop mining, killings in PH’

Jim Diego a cappella group in New York within five months of moving to the city from Michigan in 2007. Its forst album, “The Red States: No Political Affiliation,” was released in September and is now garnering nominations and awards from the Contemporary A. Cappella Society, the Grammy’s of the a cappella music world. Now renamed Restated, the group of about 15 members has performed in colleges, community centers and at private parties. <http://thefilam.net/wpc o n t e n t / u p l o a d s / 2 0 1 2 / 11 / restated-21.png>This group is dedicated to bringing its repertoire of rock, dirty pop and R&B hits all over New York City and beyond,” he writes on Facebook. In June, Jim released his solo album of Whitney Houston songs called “The Whitney Project.” Jim found himself hooked on a capella music as an architecture student at the University of Michigan.

■ Review of foreclosures ends on December 31 WASHINGTON D.C. -Well over 4 million homeowners affected by the foreclosure crisis are eligible for an independent review of their cases - but only a small percentage of them have requested one through a recently

WASHINGTON D.C. - The Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (CHRP) with chapters in New York (NYCHRP), Portland (PCHRP), and San Francisco (SFCHRP) and the Washington D.C.-based Katarungan: Center for Peace, Justice and Human Rights in the Philippines launched the Stop the Mining! Stop the Killings! Campaign 10 Days of Action that started on December 1, 2012. The campaign, which culminated on December 10, International Human Rights Day, called for justice for the Capion family, withdrawal of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) from all Lumad areas, Xstrata-SMI’s abandonment of the Tampakan Project, and cutting US military aid to the Philippines. The Stop the Mining! Stop the Killings! Campaign condemns the October 18th slaying of Juvy Capion and her two sons by the 27th Infantry Battalion (IB) of the AFP. Daguil Capion, Juvy Capion’s husband, had been targeted by the military for leading the B’laan tribe against the entry of Xstrata-SMI’s Tampakan mining project. “Targeting and other tactics are part of a continuing pattern of intimidation and impunity used by the AFP to violently suppress the growing opposition to aggressive mining development in the ancestral lands of the indigenous peoples of Mindanao,” explained Hanalei Ramos, Director of Public Relations at NYCHRP.


23

December 15, 2012

Pacquiao KO! “Diyos ko po! Na KO yung Pacman ko! Hindi siya gumagalaw! Buhay pa kaya siya? Nakakakilabot naman yung face-down position ni Pacquiao sa canvas; parang si Ninoy Aquino noon sa tarmac! Bangon na, Manny, bangon! Mahal na Panginoon, ibangon niyo po yung Congressman namin!” “Kawawa naman si Manny; dudugo-dugo yung mukha niya!” “Tulad ng malakas na bagyo sa lugar niya sa Mindanao, binagyo si Pacquiao ng suntok!” “Naku po, talo na naman si Pacquiao!” “Hindi ko tuloy maririnig yung pasasalamat niya sa fans niya around the world –‘Tenk yu to all the boxing fans for watching da fight! It’s my job, you know, to gib yu happiness by doing my job!’” “Marami siyang iniintindi; hindi siya naka-focus!” “Lucky punch lang ni Marquez yun!” “Pagwalang rematch, takot talaga si Marquez! “Retire ka na lang, Manny!” “Mag-presidente ka na lang, Manny, idolo ka talaga namin!” “Laban uli, Manny, naandiyan pa si Floyd Mayweather Jr.!” “ Such mixed reactions came from Filipinos and Filipino Americans who were shocked and scared as they witnessed Philippine Congressman and “People’s Boxing Champ” Emmanuel “Manny” Dapidran Pacquiao being knocked out

cold (and unmoving for some time) by his Mexican archrival Juan Manuel Marquez during

him. I’m also elated that he has fully accepted his defeat like a true Champ and will most

Pacquiao grimaces as Marquez lands a left in the earlier rounds. the 6th round of their fourth bout December 8, 2012 at the MGM Grand Grand Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. “O, God, it was shocking!” said 3-term Maryland State Delegate David M. Valderrama as he described Pacquiao’s knock out. “It was totally unexpected as Filipinos watching him worldwide were expecting him to knock out Marquez and not the other way around!” added Valderrama’s daughter, MD delegate Kris Valderrama... “I was stunned in the way he lost but I’m relieved and happy that medical tests cleared

likely and quickly recover from his devastating knockout.,” said Nitoy Lopez, a 3-time former president of the Filipino American Association of Central Virginia (FAACV) as well as a past president of the Upsilon Sigma Phi of North America. “We thought it was the end of him as he lay motionless!” said Caloy and Zenia Magtibay of Greenwich, Connecticut. “I prayed so hard for him to get up!” said Pacquiao’s aunt Lilia Lao of Virginia with daughters Zorayda Galloway and Vivian Marquez and friend Linda Goudarzi.

“Lucky punch lang talaga yung ginawa ni Marquez! Pacquiao became over confident!,” said Mar Marquez of Severn, Maryland. DJ Ray Cornejo of Gaithersburg, Maryland and his wife Monette with their sons Gerald and Jonathan all agree that Marquez just gave a lucky punch. “Napansin ko nga hindi siya prepared,” recalled Claire Aquino as she basked in the successful concert December 9, 2012 at the Fortune Chinese Seafood Restaurant in Falls Church, Virginia, of her husband Ben’s original compositions. Her family, including son Claudio, daughters Emily and Clarise (with husband Peter) all agree that Pacquiao became confident. “His defeat must be a “sign from God that he must now retire gracefully so he can continue spreading God’s word. Tutal, with his golden heart, marami na siyang natulungan.” Lucy Cornejo Pascual, Sun-

flower International Cultural Institute’s founder and president, reflected that Pacquiao “must know the value of acceptance. Quoting the Bible’s Ecclesiastes, “There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens….A time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away,” Pascual explained that “Pacquiao needs to give others a chance to reach their dreams.” “ It’s not always about winning, you know,” added the Jose Family (Tony and Maribel with their sons Ryan and Nathan) of Elkridge, Maryland. Cause of Pacquiao’s defeat? “Nagpalit siya ng religion!” quickly retorted retired Head Nurse Alejandrena Manaois who, together with her engineer husband, Clemencio Manaois, just came from the Vatican City where they witnessed the canonization by Pope Benedict XVI of the second Filipino saint, Pedro Calungsod.


24 Hometown News

December 15, 2012

New PH envoy to China; Is ‘Pablo’ part of global warming? President Benigno Aquino III has designated foreign affairs undersecretary Erlinda Basilio as the Philippines’ next ambassador to China. Aquino said the selection of a senior foreign affairs official as the country’s top diplomat in China will indicate the seriousness of the Philippines in resolving the territorial dispute between the two countries. Basilio will replace Ambassador Sonia Brady, who had suffered a stroke earlier this year. “I chose Basilio because of her wealth of experience, and also, she is highly recommended by Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario.”

■ Climate change cause of killer typhoons? As the death toll from typhoon Pablo increased to 500 on Dec. 6 and is still rising, experts and analysts say killer typhoons that hit the Philippines are caused by the climate change. According to the Global Climate Risk Index, the Philippines had the world’s highest death toll caused by weatherrelated disasters last year. A total of 1,659 people died from typhoons, floods, landslides, and heavy rains in 2011 in the Philippines, the study released Dec. 5 by Germanwatch on the sidelines of a major UN climate change conference now ongoing in Doha, Qatar, said.

■ Cardinal Tagle warns of crisis of faith Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, 55, the country’s seventh cardinal, returned home on late last month and promptly cautioned the faithful against the crisis of faith that is engulfing other countries. Filipino Catholics should avoid reaching a point where many of them would, according

The parents of Cardinal Luis Tagle meet him at NAIA after arriving from Rome. to the cardinal, say, “It seems all right, it appears that we can live without the need for God.” Tagle, also the archbishop of Manila, was replying to the question asked during a news conference at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport held shortly after his arrival: “What is the biggest crisis confronting Filipino Catholics today?” “It would take me 30 days to answer that question, but off the cuff, we are not too far off what is happening in other places,” where there is a marked erosion of faith in God by people, he said.

He arrived together with his parents, Manuel and Milagros Tagle who accompanied him to and from Rome. Cardinal Tagle is the seventh Filipino cardinal to be installed. The first was Rufino Cardinal Santos, followed by Cardinals Julio Rosales, Jaime Sin, Ricardo Vidal, Tomas Sanchez and Gaudencio Rosales. Asked about his plans as head of the largest denomination in the country, he said: “Pope Benedict XVI told us that the role of a cardinal is to be near the masses or workers-as one of the closest collaborators of the Pope so that all of his flock could spread communion.”

■ PH says 140 Imelda art collection missing More than 140 paintings by Picasso, Van Gogh and other masters, which were bought by the former First Lady Imelda Marcos allegedly with stolen funds of former Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos, remain missing, the government said recently. Marcos distributed his priceless collection of at least 300 artworks to cronies when his regime crumbled in 1986. Only about half have been recovered by Manila, said Andres Bautista, head of the Presidential Commission on Good Government. “The Marcoses were art aficionados and they spent millions of dollars buying up these paintings,” Bautista told Agence FrancePresse. The Philippine government drew up the list of missing paintings from art gallery receipts and shipment records left behind by the Marcos family, Bautista said. Vilma Bautista, the former personal secretary to Marcos’s widow Imelda, and Vilma Bautista’s two nephews were indicted in New York last week over an alleged conspiracy to sell a Monet that had belonged to the first lady. The Monet, Le Bassin aux Nympheas, and three other paintings seized by US authorities from Bautista were on the Philippines’ missing list, said Commissioner Bautista, who is not related to the suspects. The three suspects sold the Monet to an art gallery in London for $32 million, according to the Manhattan district attorney’s office.

of youth education program in the Philippines. The award is conferred on Filipinos overseas exemplifying the talent and industry of the Filipino, have brought the country honor and recognition through excellence and distinction in the pursuit of their work or profession. There were no awards from the DC area.

■ GPS aids tourist, Pinoy travel in PH Thanks to GPS devices, foreign and local visitors alike are embarking on road adventures at their own pace and having even more fun. For a growing number of tourists from the US, Europe and Asia, a whole new way to experience the Philippines has opened up through the GPS navigational system. With the help of the satellite-based Global Positioning System, GPS devices are now enticing more and more tourists to drive through and discover for themselves the Philippine countryside, according to Ralph Lucila, president of car rental company Avis. These days, more Americans, Koreans and Germans who rent vehicles from Avis are navigating from Pinatubo to Banawe to Sagada in the north and around Mactan and Cebu islands in the South. With the help of GPS devices, they know where to make a U-turn, when to veer to the right in anticipation of a right turn and other tourist sites along the way. Innovative GPS devices offered by Avis allow a driver to likewise look up updated addresses, hotels and attractions - all at the touch of a five-inch screen. According to Artel Sebastian, Avis national sales and marketing manager, the option works for those who prefer to freely move around at their own pace in their own vehicle but without having to spend for a driver or be mindful of his presence.

■ Cabiling us oldest PH vet of WWII MANILA - Tranquilino Olarte Cabiling, who is shown

of the month to collect his pension at the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO). Cabiling is not wheelchair-bound and walks with a cane without anybody’s assistance. He can board a vehicle and alight by himself. Nobody thinks he is a World War II veteran as he casually walks inside the camp. “I’m still strong. I need no assistance when walking. My eyesight is clear, no problem,” Cabiling proudly said. He is a native of Talisayan, Misamis Oriental, and was born on July 6, 1900. The veteran said he was with the late President Ferdinand Marcos when the Japanese invaders forced thousands of Filipino and American soldiers in the Death March after the fall of Bataan.

■ Bonifacio’s revolt extolled by PNoy President Aquino III extolled national hero Andres Bonifacio for sparking the Philippine revolution for independence from Spain in 1896 despite seeming “insurmountable obstacles” when he led celebrations at Pinaglabanan Shrine in San Juan City for the 149th birth anniversary of Bonifacio. “Now, we are a free nation-no foreign invaders, no shackles of Spain. We have proven to those who had attempted to enslave our race that we would not be intimidated, and we are ready to fight for what is truly ours.” He repeatedly called on Filipinos to remember and emulate the sacrifices of Bonifacio and those who died fighting for the country’s emancipation from foreign subjugation. “We all have a role to play in shaping our country. Let us not be enslaved by our own limitations. Let us not be enslaved by fear and doubt that serve as the deep scar of our history. Let us not be enslaved by those attempting to restore the oppression of the past,” he said. “We must always remember: We have a heroes’ lineage. We will never run out of Bonifacios. We will never run out of (Jose) Rizals. We will never run out of Ninoys (his late father, Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr.). We will never run out of Filipinos who are ready to answer the call of flag and country,” he said.

■ Apl Pineda gets presidential award

■ FBI in on probe of Anikow killing

President Benigno S. Aquino III presents the Pamana ng Pilipino Award to Allan “Apl. de.Ap” Pineda of the famous Black Eyed Peas Group, during the 2012 Presidential Awards for Filipino Individuals and Organizations Overseas (PAFIOO) awarding ceremony at the Rizal Hall of the Malacañang Palace on December 5. Pineda is cited for not forgetting his cultural roots and for being a supporter

Chief Supt. Benito Estipona, head of the Southern Police District (SPD) has confirmed that the United States (US) Federal Bureau of Investigation are in the country to closely monitor the case of the killing of US Marine George Anikow by 4 Filipinos in Makati city. He said that the Federal agents are also interested to know about the alleged delay in rushing Anikow to a hospital after he was stabbed. The FBI

Veteran Tranquilino Kabiling with his family. here with his family, is believed to be the oldest living World War II veteran at 112 years old. Cabiling regularly goes to the Armed Forces General Headquarters at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City at the end

also met with officials of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to

Security camera shows the four suspects attacking Anikow in Bel Air. get updates on the case where they were shown closed-circuit television or CCTV footage of the incident. They also inquired why it took almost an hour for an ambulance to bring Anikow to a hospital after he was stabbed. Senior Supt. Manuel Lukban Jr., Makati Police chief, however, explained that the rescue unit was quick to respond but apparently mistook Anikow as already dead. For its part, Makati City Prosecutors Office has recommended the filing of murder charges against the four suspects: Juan Alfonso Abastillas, 24, Crispin de la Paz, 28, Osric Cabrera, 27, and Galicano Datu 3rd, 22, a student of de la Salle University for the l death of Anikow.

■ Filam held at NAIA for gun smuggling Bureau of Customs agents arrested Filipino American Clint Obusan Pardo late last month for allegedly trying to smuggle in firearms parts at Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Naia Customs Police District Commander Marlon Alameda said Pardo arrived on board Philippine Airlines flight PR-103 from Los Angeles. Pardo was questioned at the NAIA Terminal 2 customs counter after the x-ray machine showed the firearms parts in his check-in luggage. Found in the bag were 23 barrels for calibre 40 firearms, 6 upper slides, and 1 upper receiver for caliber-223 high powered rifle. The suspect was only able to present an import permit from the Philippine National Police-Firearms and Explosive Office for two pistols and one high-powered rifle. He said he was supposed to attend the Philippine Practical Shooting Association’s “Nationals 2012 Senator Bongbong Marcos Cup” in Paoay, Ilocos Norte. Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon, who at that time was on routine inspection at Naia, said that while US customs might have cleared the firearms parts when he departed from the Los Angeles airport in the Philippines we have different laws.

■ Pinay boxer claims WIBA championship The Philippines’ Gretchen Abaniel scored an impressive

Continued on page 25


25

December 15, 2012

Hometown News... from page 24 fourth round technical knockout (KO) win over Thailand’s Mod-

Gretchen Abaniel thanoi Sithsaithong to claim the Women’s International Boxing Association (WIBA) minimum weight world title at the Makati Cinema Square on Dec. 2. The 27-year-old lady boxer from Puerto Princesa dominated the first three rounds of the fight peppering her Thai opponent with punches from different angles. Referee Sam Bernabe stopped the fight at 1:36 of the fourth round when Sithsaithong can no longer defend herself. “I cannot afford to lose again so I trained very hard for this fight,” Abaniel told The Manila Times on Sunday night during the post-fight party at Team Insider Sports Bar in Tune Hotel. “I’m really thankful for the second chance given to me by my manager Jonathan Thorp.”

■ 26 solons in Vegas for Pacquiao fight Twenty-six lawmakers from the House Representatives flew to the United States to watch world boxing champ and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao’s fourth fight against Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez Dec. 8. An “Unang Balita” report quoted House Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II as saying the 26 lawmakers will not be able to attend Dec. 10. However, Gonzales expressed confidence there will be quorum for the scheduled debate on the controversial Reproductive Health Bill next week.

■ Palace backs DOJ on Ortega killing Patricia Gloria Ortega, widow of assassinated broadcaster and environmentalist Gerry Ortega, has slammed what she described as a disinformation campaign by Ferdinand Topacio, the lawyer of former Palawan Gov. Joel Reyes and his brother, former Coron Mayor Mario Reyes, the principal suspects in the case, .”What we want is a more serious effort to hunt down the Reyeses wherever they might be,” Mrs. Ortega said. “Almost two years have passed, but we still do not have a single reliable information on their whereabouts.” Gerry Ortega was 47 when he was shot and killed in Puerto Princesa on Jan. 24, 2011, allegedly because of his

continuing attacks on the local mining industry. Puerto Princesa Mayor Edward Hagedorn, who joined Gloria in the conference in Makati City, warned that more journalists like Gerry Ortega would die if the Reyes brothers were acquitted. Gloria Ortega dared the Reyes brothers to come out in the open and face the murder charges against them. She broke her silence after the Court of Appeals invalidated the second investigating panel created by the Justice Department to look into the killing. Malacanang said DeLima had the power to form the second panel.

■ Top doctors honored at TOFP awards The Outstanding Filipino Physicians (TOFP) organized by the Junior Chamber International Senate Philippines and San Miguel Corporation were honored at awarding ceremonies at the Manila Hotel on Dec. 5 with Vice President Jejomar Binay as keynote speaker. TOFP aims to instill patriotism among medical professionals by giving due recognition to those who chose to serve their fellow Filipinos and offer their expertise to the needy. The search is anchored on the Jaycee tenet: “Serving and caring for our countrymen are the best works of life.” Among the awardees for this year is former Health Secretary Jaime Galvez Tan who is recognized as an “eminent Filipino physician” along with nonagenarian physician, Dr. Thelma Clemente of the Capitol Medical Hospital. Another awardee is Dr. Julius A. Lecciones known for his inspiring work on childhood cancer. Other outstanding physicians are: Dr. Edmyr M. Macabulos, Dr. Roque Rosendo, Dr. Romulo Lacson, Dr. Erlinda de los Reyes, Dr. Josephine Jabonillo, Dr. Astom Fernando, Dr. Ignacio Moreno, Dr. Mary Ann Luis and Dr. Yul Raqu.

■ BIR chief if expert target shooter Tax evaders beware. The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Commissioner Kim Henares is an expert target shooter! She constantly seeks targets and can shoot with a handgun as well as an assault rifle. President Aquino picked her as BIR chief because he wanted a tough tax sheriff to go after the tax cheats. Aquino gave Henares presidential guards, but the tax lawyer and accountant said “I should know how to shoot their guns, just in case”. The president, a gun enthusiast, gave her lessons at shooting ranges. The 52-year-old Henares, who packs a pistol, now can wield an M-16 and SG552 Commando. Her nononsense approach appears to be helping pull in more tax, which is pivotal to meeting a government goal - getting rating agen-

cies to award the Philippines investment-grade status. She is also trying to make tax-paying synonymous with patriotism. The chief, who amended BIR’s vision statement to call it a partner in nation-building, makes sure her staff attend weekly flagraising ceremonies. She often wears a T-shirt sporting BIR’s 2012 slogan: “I love Philippines. I pay taxes.”

■ No more ACR cards for dual citizens -BI The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Dec. 2 said it would no longer issue alien certificate of registration identity cards (ACR I-Card) to Filipinos holding dual or multiple citizenship. Immigration Commissioner Ricardo David Jr. said this new policy was aimed at preventing Filipinos from using the document to misrepresent or conceal vital citizenship information when they enter countries that do not recognize dual and multiple citizenship. David said all ACR I-Card applicants will now be required to declare under oath that they do not hold more than one citizenship. “State policy dictates that we should not condone deceit or misrepresentation on vital citizenship information,” David said.

■ Only 9 of 594 FSO examinees pass test The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Dec. 5 announced that only nine out of 594 applicants passed the Foreign Service Officers (FSO) Examinations this year and would be appointed to the position of Foreign Service Officer, Class IV. They are: Iris V. B. Caranzo,. Andrea Christina Q. Caymo, LV de Guzman, Miguel Carlo N. Hornilla, Anna Theresa L. Licaros, Mary Grace L. Perpetua, Anna Patricia L. Saberon, Lyza Maria S Viejo, and Johaira C. Wahab. The DFA said that the 2012 FSO exams were composed of five tests held throughout the year: Qualifying test - February 19; Preliminary Interview - April 14; Written test - April 18 -20; Psychological Test -July 23-25; and Oral Test Nov 21-22.

■ 79 party list bets allowed by Comelec THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) has allowed 79 party-list groups to join the election next year. Among them run are Abante Tribung Makabansa (ATM); Act Teachers party-list (ACT Teachers); Advocacy for Teacher Empowerment Through Action Cooperation and Harmony Towards Educational Reforms (A Teacher); Agila ng Katutubong Pilipino Inc. (Agila); Alagad; Alliance for Philippine Security Guards Cooperative (AFPSegco); Alliance of Volunteer Educators party-list (AVE); Alyansa Lumad Mindanao Inc. (Allumad); Alyansa ng mga

Grupong Haligi ng Agaham at Teknolohiya para sa Mamamayan Inc. (Agham); Anak Mindanao party-list (AMIN); Anakpawis; Ang Ladlad; Ang Partido ng mga Pilipinong Marino Inc. (Angkla); Gabriela; Kababaihang Lingkod Bayan sa Pilipinas (KLBP); Kabataan; Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan All Filipino Democratic Movement (Kaakbay); Katribu; Social Amelioration & Genuine Intervention on Poverty (1-Sagip); Trade Union Congress Party (TUCP). Groups retained but under dissent were 1 Banat & Ahapo party-list (1BAP); Abakada-Guro; Abante Katutubo Inc. (Abante Ka); Abante Mindanao (Abamin); Abono; Adhikain ng mga Dakilang Anak Maharlika (ADAM); Adhikaing Tinataguyod ng Kooperatiba (AtingKoop); Agbiag Timpuyog Ilocano Inc.; Agrarian Development Association (ADA); Agricultural Sector Alliance of the Philippines (AGAP); AkapBata Inc.; Akbayan; Ako Ayoko sa Bawal na Droga (AKO); Alay Buhay Community Development Foundation Inc. (Alay Buhay); Alyansa ng Media at Showbiz (AMS); Alyansa ng OFW Party; Alyansang Bayanihan ng mga Magsasaka, Manggagawang Bukid at Mangingisda (ABA); An Waray; Ang Asosasyon Sang Mangunguma Nga Bisaya-Owa Mangunguma Inc. (Aambis-OWA); Ang Laban ng Indiginong Filipino (ALIF); Ang Mata’y Aalagaan (AMA); Ang National Coalition of Indigenous Peoples Action Na (Ang NCIP); Arts Business and Science Professionals (ABS); Association of Laborers and Employees (ALE); Bagong Henerasyon (BH); Bayan Muna; Buhay Hayaan Yumabong (Buhay); Citizens’ Battle Against Corruption (Cibac); Cooperative Natcco Network Party; Democratic Independent Workers Association Inc. (DIWA); Kalinga; Kasangga sa Kaunlaran Inc. (Ang Kasangga); Kasosyo Producer (AA Kasosyo); LPG Marketers Association Inc. (LPGMA); Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA); Una ang Pamilya party-list (1 Ang Pamilya); Veterans Freedom Party (VFP); You Against Corruption and Poverty (Yacap). New groups that were granted accreditation were Aagapay sa Matatanda (AMA); Ang Nars (Ang Nars); Ating Agapay Sentrong Samahan ng mga Obrero Inc. (Aasenso); Pilipinos With Disabilities (PWD); Piston Land Transportation Coalition Inc. (Piston). There are others listed but with dissent.Among them are Migrante Sectoral Party of Overseas Filipinos and their Familes (Migrante); OFWS Family Club Inc. (OFW Family); and Ugnayan ng Maralita Laban sa Kahirapan (Umalab ka).

■ CA freezes bank accounts of scammers The Court of Appeals has

extended for six more months the freeze order against executives of the notorious Aman Futures Group Philippines Inc, who are accused of fraudulently amassing an estimated P12 billion from 15,000 investors in the Visayas and Mindanao. The owner, Manuel Amalilio, has reported fled to Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia. The CA two weeks ago issued a 20-day freeze order on 25 bank accounts of Aman Futures to prevent its officials from withdrawing money and putting it beyond the reach of law. The freeze order was issued in response to an ex-parte petition filed by the the Anti-Money Laundering Council and the Office of the Solicitor General. The CA said there was probable cause the funds deposited in the 25 accounts came from “unlawful activities.”

■ Well-known director C. Ad Castillo dies Though director Celso Ad. Castillo had been generally inactive for years, except for occasional outings as a character actor in indie productions. Yet, when he passed away frecently, his demise was mourned by many in the Filipino movie industry as the loss of a major talent, unique in his career-long cinematic celebration of history, patriotism, religion and sexwhat an idiosyncratic combination! We were lucky to have been there at the start of Celso’s rambunctious movie career. Why, he even showed us the rushes of an early sex drama that he directed, and we were astounded to hear his voice in the raw footage, instructing his nubile young star on how to sensuously take off her clothes, seductively stretch and roll on a bed this way and that, and “sexily” moan and groan like she was having a bad dreamor a very upset stomach! Castillo and his early movies were remarkable in their unexpected fusion of those two extremes in terms of heightened human experience. Eros and agapé were symbiotic twins in his movies’ unctuous universe, where bed and altar sometimes became one!

■ Pinoy is Peace Prize Awardee Dr. James G. Dy, the Gusi Peace Prize winner for Social Services and Philanthropy, was the only Filipino among 20 Laureates out of 128 candidates from Canada, Sri Lanka, Colombia, Iraq, Kuwait, Serbia, Uganda, Mauritius, Argentina, USA, China, United Kingdom, Mexico, Slovenia, Finland, Ukraine, Malaysia, Peru, and Russia. Recognition rites were held late last month at the Philippine International Convention Center for the philanthropist, who has been involved in social, civic and charitable work for more than 30 years. Dr. Dy is

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Hometown News... from page 25 the President of the Philippine Chinese Charitable Association Inc., which operates the Chinese General Hospital and Medical Center that served as his vehicle in supporting various charitable causes, including fund-raising and livelihood projects, medical and dental missions to far flung areas, and relief operations to devastated communities in times of calamities and disasters. In 2002, he was elected Governor of the Philippine Red Cross and Governor of the Philippine Constitution Association, positions which he holds up to this

day.

LUZON ■ 2 US warships dock in Palawan PUERTO PRINCESA -Two more US warships are in the western part of the Philippines for a five-day goodwill visit amid military drills by China in disputed West Philippine Sea (South China Sea). Lieutenant Colonel Neil Estrella, spokesman of the Western Command, said the two guided missile destroy-

ers - USS John McCain and USS Mustin- have been docked in Puerto Princesa in Palawan since Dec. 2 for a regular port call. The ships are part of the USS George Washington Carrier Strike Group, the largest US aircraft carrier docked in Manila Bay since Wednesday along with two escort ships, the USS McCampbell and USS Cowpens, also for a goodwill visit. It was not earlier declared by officials that USS John McCain and USS Mustin will be part of the USS George Washington’s entourage.

■ Tagaytay is best ‘Child-Friendly City’ TA G YTAY CITY - This city represented Region 4-A or the CaviteLagunaBatangasQuezonRizal (Calabarzon) area in the “2012 Presidential Award for ChildFriendly Cities and M u n i c i palities” on December 10, 2012. President Benigno S. Aquino III cited and gave the awards in Malacañang. Ta g a y t a y City, a tourist destination, is recognized for its programs for the welfare of children from birth with b re a s t f e e d ing, health, nutrition, and education projects,

and actions such as policy and planning, resource allocation, special protection, and community and resource mobilization. The city was adjudged Most Friendly City in 2008, 2010, 2011, and 2012, and was finalist in the Presidential Award for ChildFriendly Cities for four years in 2008, 2010, 2011, and 2012.

VISAYAS ■ ‘Super Inggo’ gets standing ovation CEBU CITY - Makisig Morales, 15, better known for his starring role in the Emmy-nominated fantaserye Super Inggo played the teen Visayan martyr Pedro Calungsod. Thousands of Cebuanos caught a glimpse of the life, travels and martyrdom of the young saint in a musical staged at the Waterfront Hotel and Casino Grand Ballroom on Dec. 5. “Teen Saint Pedro” showed the young martyr from who travelled with Jesuit priest Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores and other missionaries to the Marianas islands (now Guam) in 1668 where they died while propagating the Catholic faith. The show was an adaptation of Msgr. Rudy Villanueva’s full-length musical, Scenes from a Martyrdom, which was produced and performed by 29AD Musicionaries and members of Couples for Christ and its ministries. The play opened with Blessed Diego de San Vitores and his co-missionaries including the young Pedro, played by Morales, arriving in the Marianas islands. The play ends with the whole ensemble singing “Way Sukod” (Without Measure), with a solo by Gretchen Yaoyao.

■ Cebu seniors get P4000 cash gift CEBU CITY - Senior citizens have started lining up to get the P4,000 cash allowance from the city government at the Guadalupe Sports Complex. The allowance was placed inside an envelope bearing the face of Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, a move

that was criticized by members of the Bando Osmena Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK). “Iyaha ba gud nang kwarta? Kwarta man na sa katawhan (Was that his money? It’s the money of the people),”said Councilor Sisinio Andales in a gathering of the urban poor. Councilor Rodrigo Abellanosa also questioned the implication of having the mayor’s photo on the envelopes given to over 54,000 senior citizens.

■ P2.1-billion allotted for Leyte airport TACLOBAN CITY -- The Daniel Z. Romualdez (DZR) Airport in Tacloban City, Leyte province, has been allocated the amount of P2.1 billion for its redevelopment. The amount, approved by the National Economic Development Authority, is intended for the improvement of the airport terminal building which will have a size of about 9,000 square meters to 10,000 square meters, enough to accommodate the increasing volume of air travelers.

MINDANAO ■ 7 troopers killed in Sulu encounter JOLO, Sulu - Seven government soldiers were killed in a clash between Philippine troops and the Al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf group in the southern Philippine province of Sulu on Dec. 5. According to Lt. Col. Randolph Cabangbang, spokesman for the Armed Forces’ Western Mindanao Command, the encounter between the 11th Marine Battalion Landing Team and Abu Sayyaf under Raidula Sahiron and Isnilon Hapilon, occurred at 4:30 a.m. local time in Patikul town. Sahiron and Hapilon are wanted by the U.S. and Philippine government for kidnapping and bombing attacks. Cabangbang described the fighting as “fierce”, which inflicted heavy casualties on the military forces. Apart from the seven fatalities, 21 soldiers were wounded in the encounter. There’s no report yet on Abu Sayyaf’s casualties. The encounter was described as the biggest since the military launched offensive this year against the group while in search of the remaining four hostages, including an Indian and a Malaysian national, and two Filipino fishermen.


December 15, 2012

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classrooms it hopes will “last for

PAMRA reunion

at least 50 years.” After the turn-

Naomi Estaris, chief operating officer of Travel Outlet in Virginia Beach, said in an email interview Filipino Americans look forward to the holiday visit. “This year is special because we are the agency of choice for the

Pilipino American Military Retirees of America 10th Reunion in January.” President and CEO Roy N. Estaris said, “We are handling the largest group to Manila, over 300 passengers. A few families decided to leave earlier for the holidays. People are booking and charging their cards - they just need to go!!!” He added: “We have many family reunions and groups going which helps the economy of the Philippines. One family of 10 spent over $20,000 - hotels, restaurants gifts for family in the Philippines and gifts for family and friends in the US, spa, scuba diving and ecotourism in Ifugao and Bohol.”

“Cash donations would be among the ideal form of assistance,” he said, providing details of how donors can funnel help to the Philippines. Among the government entities receiving cash donations are the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) Account Name: NDRRMC Donated

Funds Account Nos. 0435021927-030 (Peso account); 0435021927-530 (Dollar account); Swift Code: DBPHPMM Account #36002016 Address: Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), Camp Aguinaldo Branch, PVAO Compound, Quezon City, Philippines 1110 Contact person: Ms. Rufina Pascual, Collecting Officer, Office of Civil Defense.

I’ll be home for Christmas... from page 1 ins from L.A. would also join them in the Philippines. She was bringing lots of presents for her mother, four siblings and other relatives: chocolates, perfume, clothes and Christmas décor. She looked forward to partaking of her favorite dishes–pancit with puto, karekare and dinuguan cooked the way she liked it. Recently retired Registered Nurse Paul Inserto left Dec. 1 to visit his relatives in Aklan, Visayas. “This is a retirement present for me and my wife,” he said at a sales presentation on Makati condo units, held in Baltimore. The couple already has a condo in Metro Manila. Inserto said they plan to stay there for

six months. “I’m thinking of practicing my profession there half of the time,” he added.

Civic mission Other area Filipino Americans go home for the holidays on a civic and charitable mission. For 20 years now, volunteer officers and members of Feed the Hungry, Inc. play Santa Claus to indigent children and seniors. “We try to limit gift giving to those who cannot work, like the very young and the very old, so that FtH will not be accused of promoting laziness among the able-bodied citizens,” said founder Tess Calderon Alarcon. FtH projects are usually “gifts that keep on giving.” In Lubao, Pampanga, it built two

Aid Pablo Victims ... from page 1 killed more than 600 and left more than 700 missing due to the flash floods and winds of the typhoon. The US was among the first countries to offer their sympathy for the plight of calamity victims and provided $100,000 in financial aid coursed through the Catholic Relief Services. “The United States offers condolences for the destruction and loss of life in the southern Philippines and the widespread damage to populated areas in Palau caused by Typhoon Bopha,” said Deputy State Department spokesman Mark Toner. The US provided $100,000 in financial assistance coursed through Catholic Relief Services. Canada announced that it was giving P10 million (Cad$ 250,000) to the Red Cross and Red Crescent to address the emergency needs of some 50,000 people affected by the storm. Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr also announced that his government has offered P210 million (A$5 million) in assistance to the Philippines for the conduct of relief operations. A statement from the Aus-

tralian embassy in Manila noted that of the P210 million (A$5million), P38.5 million (A$900,000) would be given to the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) for emergency family kits which include sleeping mats, mosquito nets and water containers, and another P43 million (A$1 million) would be given to the World Food Program (WFP) for 1,000 tons of rice. “Australia will also make available P4 million (A$100,000) through the United Nations Population Fund for hygiene and health kits for people in evacuation centers,” it said. It added that the remaining P126 million (A$3 million) will be made available for additional recovery and relief needs. Indonesia has pledged $1 million while Japan and the European Union (EU) had also sent the Philippines their messages of support and pledges of aid. China also sent its sympathies to the Filipino victims, saying that the Red Cross Society of China has donated P1.2 million ($30,000) to its Philippine counterpart to support Philip-

Jeff and Yoly Ponce Sutton with daughter Jessica.

over of the classrooms, FtH gives additional donation of books, computers,

TV/DVD

player,

Braille machines and repair of the classrooms. pine relief efforts. Amb. Cuisia publicly thanked the US for the immediate assistance. “Our people are grateful for the assistance extended by the United States to help us respond to the aftermath of Typhoon Pablo in the Southern Philippines,” he said. Reports said the US Agency for International Development (USAID) will be sending assessment teams to typhoon-affected areas to determine where the assistance is most needed. “The United States has always been there to lend a helping hand to the Philippines whenever disaster strikes,” Cuisia said as he noted that Washington has provided $11.7 million in humanitarian assistance and over $4.1 million in disaster risk reduction activities to Manila since 2007. A copy of Cuisia’s letter obtained by the Manila Mail thanked organizations that have mounted fund-raising campaigns for calamity victims in the past, reminding them the calamity spawned by typhoon “Pablo” is another occasion for the Filam community to come together and lend a helping hand to compatriots back home.

World won’t end ... from page 1 about to collide with another planet. A NASA scientist said he’s received several letters from young people contemplating suicide because they believe the apocalypse is coming. “The world will not end on December 21, 2012, or any day in 2012,” the USA gov post says. NASA released a video earlier this year explaining that the Mayan Calendar does not actually predict the end of the world on Dec. 21, and that the myth that the planet “Nibiru” is heading toward Earth is easily disproved because astronomers have detected no such planet. Some doomsday groups are capitalizing on the fear by spreading the Dec.21 myth online. A

Belgian amateur astronomer named Patrick Geryl has set up an online community for people who follow him and believe the world will end in three weeks. He tells followers to stockpile 15 to 20 pairs of shoes and to be in good physical shape. Geryl declined an interview request, saying over email, “No time for interviews. ... Want to enjoy last weeks of our civilization.” NASA scientists took time late last month to soothe 2012 doomsday fears, warning against the dark side of Mayan apocalypse rumors -frightened children and suicidal teens who truly fear the world may come to an end Dec. 21. These fears are based

The 2th-century Mayan manuscript. on misinterpretations of the Mayan calendar <http://www. livescience.com/21254-imagesmayan-calendar-carvings.html>. On the 21st, the date of the winter solstice, a calendar cycle called the 13th b’ak’tun comes to an end. Although Maya scholars agree that the ancient Maya would not have seen this day as apocalyptic, rumors have spread that a cosmic event may end life on Earth on that day.

PH ‘Miss Universe’ ... from page 1 Supporters can vote up to 10 times per day per account or valid e-mail address. They should be 13 years of age and above. Late last year, a similar component in another beauty pageant, Miss International, catapulted Philippine bet Dianne Necio into the Top 15. The People’s Choice Award, which was also arrived at via online voting, was given to Necio for amassing over 350,000 votes. The award secured Necio’s spot in the semifinals. Leading up to the Miss Universe coronation night on December 20, Tugonon is widely believed to have a shot at being crowned the The space agency maintains a 2012 information page debunking popular Mayan apocalypse rumors such as the idea that a rogue planet will hit Earth on Dec. 21, killing everyone. (In fact, astronomers are quite good at detecting near-Earth objects, and any wandering planet scheduled to collide with Earth in three weeks would be the brightest object in the sky behind the sun and moon by now.) “There is no true issue here,” David Morrison, an astrobiologist at NASA Ames Research Center, said during a NASA Google Hangout “This is just a manufactured fantasy.” Unfortunately, Morrison said, the fantasy has real-life consequences. As one of NASA’s prominent speakers on 2012

world’s beautiful woman, following the runner-up finishes of her predecessors in the past two Miss Universe pageants - her friend Shamcey Supsup won third runner-up in last year’s competition, while Venus Raj placed fourth runnerup in 2010. A cum laude Pharmacy graduate of the University of Santo Tomas, Tugonon won in campus beauty pageants such as Miss Thomasian Personality in 2010 and Miss Pharmacy in 2009. The Philippines is still hoping to produce its third Miss Universe winner after Gloria Diaz and Margie Moran. doomsday myths, Morrison said, he receives many emails and letters from worried citizens, particularly young people. Some say they can’t eat, or are too worried to sleep,Morrison said. Others say they’re suicidal. “While this is a joke to some people and a mystery to others, there is a core of people who are truly concerned,” he said. Not every 2012 apocalypse believer thinks the world will end on Dec. 21. Some, inspired by New Age philosophies, expect a day of universal peace and spiritual transformation. But it’s impressionable kids who have NASA officials worried. “I think it’s evil for people to propagate rumors on the Internet to frighten children,” Morrison said.


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December 15, 2012

FilaAms in shock! ... from page 1 Filipinos everywhere.” She said the Filipino champion led to the invention of the “watch party” where friends and family would gather, proudly wear the country’s colors and their favorite Pacquiao T-shirts and share their favorite Filipino delicacies. But Pacquiao himself, despite entreaties from his wife, Jinkee, his mother Dionisia and friends to quit boxing, said in a statement after undergoing a CT Scan at the hospital in Las Vegas on Dec. 9 that he will be back.. “I want to congratulate Juan Manuel. I have no excuses. It was

a good fight and he deserved the victory. I think boxing fans who watched us were winners, too. “To all my fans, I would like to thank you for your prayers and assure you that I am fine. I am looking forward to a nice rest and then I will be back to fight. Thousands of Filipino Americans nationwide have expressed the same mixed reaction after watching the PacquiaoMarquez fight on on Dec. 8. Former Maryland assembly delegate David Valderrama said “Oh, God. It was shocking.” His daughter, Delegate Kris Valderrama said “it was totally unex-

pected.” Some said the reason he lost was because he did not wear the Holy Rosary in his neck prior to the fight. (For more reactions from local Filams, see Marzan’s column on page 23.) Young Filipino Americans as well as Filipino teachers working in Washington who attended a birthday party and watched the fight at the residence of Filipino teachers Amador and Tess Jomuad in Springfield, Virginia were stunned when they saw Pacquiao floored by Marquez. Among the shocked watchers were Gabe San Juan, Joy Penaso, birthday celebrant Angel Jomuad, Queenie Gonzalez, Claudette Pagulayan, Liza and

Marquez lands a left on Pacquiao’s face in earlier rounds. Gino Baustista, Lance Rodrigo, Isa Syguia, Vestre and Lina Saraum, Francis, Elizabeth and Joseph Mata. (See page 1 photo). “I’m glad I didn’t watch...otherwise, it will be sleepless nights ahead. Manny is still my hero no matter what. He has shown what it takes to be one,” wrote another realtor and Filam community leader Mya Talavera. “This boxer made “good” news for us many times. I gained more friends because of him. Pacman was the face of a true hard working, honorable, and humble Filipino. Salamat Manny for all the good fights, even this one. You gave it all. Mabuhay ang lahing Pilipino!” Branigin declared. “There are just too many reasons to be proud of this man. One defeat won’t change that,” tweeted Leigh Precia. “Pacquiao has given us so much pride. He doesn’t need to prove anything now. He’s already a champ, ever since,” added Joy Espia. “I just don’t think he had it last night and that’s okay. That’s okay,” said Joyce Vitug of Freemont, Ca. GMA TV said Pacquiao shed tears on national television on Dec. 10, saying that he had let his country down in his devastating knockout loss to Marquez. “The low morale, the sadness, I accept that. This is my job . . . But the reaction of the Filipinos, the many who cried, especially my family, it really hurts me,” he said in an interview on the GMA network. The former eightdivision world champion wiped tears from his eyes listening to his wife, Jinkee, make a tearful appeal on camera for her husband, who turns 34 next week, to hang up his gloves.

Reuters news agency, reporting from Manila, said Filipinos jumped from their seats and watched in horror as Pacquiao fell face first to the canvas after being knocked out by Marquez. Social media sites were abuzz after the fight, with fans praising both fighters while there was also outpourings of disbelief that Pacquiao lost. It said cinemas, hotels, public parks and even army bases across the Philippines fell silent on Sunday as Pacquiao, the only boxer to win world titles in eight weight divisions, tasted his second straight defeat this year. “I’m so shocked, I can’t believe it when Manny was ahead on points,” barber Pedro Varela told Reuters after watching the fight at a cinema in a Manila shopping mall. “It was a good fight, Manny gave it all. He was impressive, It was one lucky punch from Marquez.” “Nothing will change. The people of the Philippines will continue to support Manny. We join them in praying for the return of his strength and determination,” said Malacanang spokesman Edwin Lacierda. Interior Secretary Mar Roxas shared many Filipinos’ sentiments. “It’s heartbreaking, and as a sportsman, I share the sadness of every Filipino.” But he added he was “proud that we have Manny” Vice President Jejomar Binay also quickly declared his confidence that Pacquiao will make a comeback. “I am certain that Manny will rise from this adversity a better and stronger person,” Binay said in a statement. Speaker Feliciano Belmonte said that even in defeat, Pacquiao was still an inspiration to Filipinos. The 39-year-old Marquez, who had lost twice and drawn once in their three previous meetings, sent Pacquiao crashing to the canvas in the 6th round of their non-title welterweight bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The Filipino southpaw remained motionless for several minutes before finally getting up, smiling at Marquez and then shaking his opponent’s hand in

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December 15, 2012

Filipino Global Supermarket By Jocelyn Porteria No, it’s not the Manila Oriental with a new name!! It’s a new Filipino store in the previous Manila Oriental location!! It’s called Filipino Global Supermarket!! Yes, there was so much confusion when the Filipino Global Supermarket was opened in May of 2012. To clarify the confusion, it’s totally a different store with different owners but in the same location. The new owners are a husband and wife team - Wilmer Acebron and Ofel Valentos - orig-

inally from Northern Samar and Bataan. Wilmer is a commerce graduate and started working here in some banks and credit union while Ofel was a nursing assistant by profession. They own another store in Oxon Hill called Filipino Global Market since October 2003. They expanded their business here in Virginia when they accidentally saw the “For Lease” sign in October 2011 while shopping in DSW across the street. The location is perfect and Filipinos were already accustomed coming here from the pre-

vious Manila Oriental Store. The image is already there and very accessible to people coming from DC, Arlington, Falls Church and Fairfax area. They immediately offered to lease the place and by May of 2012, a new Filipino Store was born!! Like all other Filipino stores the goal is to bring Filipino products here in the DC area and make everybody feel at home with an array of Filipino foods, produce, movies, beauty products; name it they have it. “Para ka ding nasa Pilipinas”. Wilmer and Ofel added that aside from the products, they

want to introduce our culture to children born here and other nationalities that became regulars in the store as well. They also offer take out and set up small tables in the store for quick meal or merienda. They said they might put up a restaurant in the near future. What is so impressive when you walk into the store is the pleasing atmosphere by how well arranged are the products and you can feel the family bonding from the owners to their employees. Everybody is very polite and very helpful; they always have a ready smile

Owners: Will and Ofel. Their staff Marsha, Rhea, Ray, Jose and Randy. for their customers. “That is exactly what we want to project in this store, the hospitality and the all smiles Filipino characteristics and our customers are our number one priority. Business is just secondary”. Wilmer ended by asking all Filipinos to patronize our own products and our food so they will become part of mainstream USA.


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Stars tweet for help to storm victims Celebrities went on air and over social media sites to draw attention to the thousands hurt or displaced by Typhoon Pablo (international name: Bopha) who are trying to re-build lives and homes so close to the Christmas holidays. “Good morning. May we continue to pray for our kababayans that were tremendously affected by Pablo. Still reading about it’s sad to hear that there were lives taken. May we all do our part to help them recover,” TV host Anne Curtis appealed via her official Twitter account. The country’s top broadcast networks and media outlets

have launched their own drives to gather and distribute relief goods to typhoon victims. House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. filed a resolution granting lawmakers a reprieve from doing legislative work so they can visit their constituencies and help in relief efforts, especially those in storm-devastated districts. Aside from Curtis, stars like Maxene Magalona, Bianca Gonzales, Angel Locsin, Marvin Agustin and Christian Bautista also asked for prayers and warned Filipinos about “Pablo.” “Let’s keep on praying for our friends and family from

FilaAms in shock! ... from page 29 meetings, sent Pacquiao crashing to the canvas in the 6th round of their non-title welterweight bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The Filipino southpaw remained motionless for several minutes before finally getting up, smiling at Marquez and then shaking his opponent’s hand in middle of the ring. ABS-CBN’s Steve Angeles noted Pacquiao was knocked out right in front of defeated Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. “He was watching the fight before his fight while he’s training or warming up like an hour or two at least three hours. He changed up a lot,” said Lester Acluba. “You know that Manny Pacquiao is an Obama fan just like they met before and I was surprised Mitt Romney came to the fight and was like ‘Hi! I’m Mitt Romney I lost to Barack Obama. And all the Mexicans are like oh no. That’s seems like a bad sign for Pacquiao,” said Owel Miranda of Burbank, California. The report also noted the loss happened on the Catholic holiday, the Immaculate Concepcion, some think this may be the work of a higher power. Pacquiao’s mother Dionisia blamed her son’s association with “Protestant” preachers who reportedly kept him up till the early morning, disrupting his training routine. “I think it’s a sign of God because before he fights he always has that cross. And every time he goes to the fight he always have that and I was surprised he doesn’t have that cross yesterday,” added Miranda. “That’s what he gets for changing his religion,” Dionisia said in General Santos City. “I hope he listens to me when he returns, and be a Catholic again,” she said. “Manny was given a CT scan and the results were negative,” Michael Koncz announced. “We were in and out in just over

Anne Curtis Visayas and Mindanao,” Agustin said. “Let’s pray for Visayas and Some of the Pacman’s fans believe Marquez was just lucky to have landed a fatal punch on Pacquiao and believe that the Filipino is still the better boxer. In Cotabato City, Jacky Mondejar, a local boxing analyst and among the first to train Pacquiao during the early years of his boxing career in North Cotabato, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that Pacquiao’s performance had been diminishing these past two years and he needed to save himself by retiring with still eight belts from eight divisions. “Manny Pacquiao needs to retire,” Mondejar said. “He has to admit that many things preoccupied his career the

an hour and Manny was in excellent spirits.” After leaving the hospital, Pacquiao publicist Fred Sternburg said he returned to his suite at the Mandalay Bay hotel for a family dinner followed by a DVD viewing of the fight. Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38 KOs), who was ahead 47-46 on all three judges’ scorecards at the time of the knockout, also congratulated Marquez (55-6-1, 40 KOs). “First and foremost I would like to thank God for keeping Juan Manuel Marquez and me safe during our fight on Saturday night,” Pacquiao said in a statement. “I want to congratulate Juan Manuel. I have no excuses. It was a good fight and he deserved the victory. I think boxing fans who watched us were winners, too. “To all my fans, I would like to thank you for your prayers and assure you that I am fine. I am looking forward to a nice rest and then I will be back to fight. On behalf of (my wife) Jinkee and our family we would like to wish everyone a joyous Christmas and a happy and healthy Pacquiao comforts weeping Jinkee new year.” the next day in Las Vegas. Pacquiao’s wife, Jinkee, was a picture of anguish after watching her lie unconscious for what could have felt to her like eternity. Jinkee had to be restrained by Pacquiao’s promoter, Top Rank chief executive Bob With $23-million assured payoff, a smiling Manny PacArum, from quiao is welcome by Philippine officials led by Vice Presgoing into the ident Jejomar Binay on his return to Manila Dec. 12. ring. “I went last two years … I was sad his over to Jinkee and I comforted fight with Marquez ended this here. She was a little hysterical way, so devastating,” he added. and I didn’t want her to go to Renowned Filipino forenthe ring. When he got up and we sic scientist Raquel Fortun is realized he was okay, I said she not convinced with the CT scan could go to the ring but she did results clearing Pacquiao after not want to,” Arum explained in the fight. the post-fight press conference. In an interview with the

Mindanao who our affected by the storms, but more than that let’s start thinking of ways to help,” Bautista tweeted. The typhoon was the strongest storm to hit the Philippines this year, packing cyclone-force winds of 210 kilometers per hour. The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has called for donations of critical goods for hundreds of evacuation centers across the country. They need woven mats (banig), blankets and children’s clothes, tarpaulins and small generators. Social media coordination of relief efforts is being spear-

headed and promoted by the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office. On Twitter, we enjoin netizens to use the hashtag #reliefPH to amplify information on what is needed by our countrymen in the wake of Typhoon Pablo. For additional information, please tweet or message @dswdserves. Typhoon “Pablo” comes almost exactly after a year when tropical storm Sendong struck Mindanao, killing more than 1,200 and leaving hundreds of thousands homeless.

Juan Manuel Marquez clambers rope as sign of victory (background) while Pacquiao (foreground) is down flat on the canvas.

The Marquez’s right that downed the Filipino champion.

Fans in Manila also stunned by knockout of Pacquiao. ABS-CBN News Channel, Fortun of the Department of Pathology of the University of the Philippines College of Medicine could only shake her head when told that Pacquiao is unwilling to quit boxing despite the brutal loss. But Pacquiao has already said he will be back. “Ganoon talaga ‘yan,” he said. “Pwede ka bang pumunta sa isang larangan ng paligsahan na walang natatalo? Dumadating ang panahon na natatalo ka. Pag dumating ang panahon na natalo ka, buong puso mong

tanggapin dahil pinasok mo ang trabaho na iyan.” (That’s life. Do you go to a contest and are guaranteed you won’t lose? There will be times you lose. When that time comes, you have to accept it wholeheartedly because you chose this job) “Laban pa ulit, (Let’s fight again)” he said. (By Rodney J. Jaleco with reports from A. Tugado Marzan, Reuters News Agency, ABS-CBN and GMA-TV)


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December 15, 2012

JLo’s message to PH fans, ‘Mahal Kita’ By Pink Karen Biticon MANILA After her sold-out successful concert in Manila last November 26, Pop superstar Jennifer Lopez tweeted her Pinoy fans in her personal twitter account this message, “Thank you MANILA! To all the Filipino LOVERS who came out tonight...Mahal Kita #untilnexttime#DanceAga inWorldTour2012” and Pinoys definitely loved her back and can’t wait to see her in another concert! Jennifer Lopez took Manila by storm during her stop in the country for her Dance Again World Tour 2012. The gorgeous 43-year old diva from the Bronx. New York turned the Mall of Asia Arena into a big dance floor that Monday night and proved that at her age, she surely can Dance Again and Filipinos loved it! The concert began with a video of Jlo on screen getting ready in her dressing room while singing to “Never Gonna Give Up,” then Lopez emerged on the stage and screamed, “Manila, let’s get it!” and sang her opening song, “Get Right.” And the big party with the superstar began! Jlo wowed her Pinoy fans with her impressive dance moves, from her signature body grinding and booty shaking moves to her all-out singing performance. In two hours, Lopez sang 17 songs and wore 10 sexy and revealing outfits. The stage was a not only a showcase of world class performance but a spectacle of laser lights and visual elements. The Latina superstar performed her popular Pinoy favourites like, “Love Don’t Cost a Thing,” “Waiting For Tonight” and “I’m Real!” Jennifer Lopez, who is now one of the most influential celebrities in the world, and was called by Forbes Magazine as “World’s Most Powerful Celebrity” also paid tribute to her humble beginnings on one of the segments in her concert. She said, “I am just a simple girl from the Bronx,” and that elicited screams from her excited fans. She then sang a medley of her hits from her third album called “This is Me Then”, such as “Jenny from the Block,” “I’m Real,” “Ain’t It Funny,” and “All I Have.” The superstar, also paid tribute to Filipinos ‘ resilience on another segment of the show. Lopez compared our country and the Filipinos to one of the “boxers” in the “ring” while singing “Nothing can get us

down , that’s how we do it from where I’m from too!” Lopez also performed in a soothing acoustic version her very first single that brought her to stardom in 1999, “If You Had My Love!” while wearing

Rhian Ramos, a comedy that depicts the life of rich young women. ER Ejercito, who got controversial last year for his sourgraping after he did not win the Best Actor award for Asiong

JLo wows crowd in Manila. a flowy dress. A lucky Pinoy fan was also asked to join the superstar on stage while she was singing. Jennifer rocked the whole arena down with her finale song, her latest single “Dance Again” and after her world class performance, JLO told her Pinoy fans, “Manila, until next time!” Surely, every JLO fans will be waiting for a next time. Even celebrities who were spotted in the concert were impressed by Lopez. ABS CBN star Anne Curtis posted in her instagram account, “@JLO, I love you so much, you were amazing. I want to dance and sing like you!” Mariel Rodriguez, Robin Padilla’s wife, was awed by the entertainer’s beauty, she said in her instagram, “Jennifer Lopez is BEAUTIFUL!!! the hottest woman i have ever seen!!!” The Philippines is the 42nd stop of Jennifer Lopez’ 55 city Dance Again World Tour. ***

38th METRO MANILA FILM FESTIVAL On Christmas Day aside from the traditional Pinoy Christmas, the 25th of December marks the opening day of the yearly Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF). This year, the eight official entries to the MMFF festival are a mix of different genres Historical, Comedy, Drama and Horror. One of the six official mainstream entries to the 38th MMFF is GMA Films’ “Sosy Problems”, starring Solenn Heussaff,, Heart Evangelista, Bianca King and

Salonga, comes up with another entry this year, a period movie called “El Presidente, The Emilio Aguinaldo Story” A love story called “One More Try” is Star Cinema and Viva Film’s entry this year. The movie’s female stars Angel Locsin and Angelica Panganiban were already getting good reviews from their performances as shown in the movie trailer. They will be pitted against the Philippine’s Superstar Nora Aunor for a Best Actress Award. Aunor is the star of another MMFF entry called, “Thy Womb!” “Thy Womb,” is an internationally-acclaimed film by Cannes Film Festival winner, Direk Brillante Mendoza. Yearly MMFF regulars Vic Sotto, Bong Revilla and AiAi Delas Alas will dish out a comedy adventure movie this year with “Si Agimat, Si Enteng Kabisote and Me.” Movie critics are predicting that it will be a tight battle on the box office between this movie and another comedy film entry called “Sisterakas” starring box office stars Vice Ganda, Kris Aquino and Ai Ai delas Alas. The list would not be complete without Regal Entertainment yearly release of Pinoy Horror flick “Shake, Rattle & Roll” now on its 14th instalment. This year it stars Vhong Navarro, Dennis Trillo, Herbert Bautista, Carla Abellana, Lovi Poe, Janice De Belen and Iza Calzado. The 38th MMFF will officially start on Dec. 25 with the traditional and much-awaited “Parade of Stars” preceding it on Dec. 24.

Pro Bono By A. Enrico (Erick) C. Soriano, Esq. (Readers are encouraged to send in their legal questions to Atty. Soriano whose email is listed at the end of this column.- ED) QUESTION: I recently received a sum of money as part of a settlement and I would like to use this money to start a small business. What form of legal entity should I choose? ANSWER: Starting a small business is fraught with risks and rewards, and one of the ways that you can limit your potential risks is to choose the appropriate legal entity for your business. There are many types of business entities, and they vary depending on the state in which you choose to form your business. Let’s take Virginia, for example. In Virginia, there are several types of business entities over which the Virginia Corporation Commission has jurisdiction. Business owners may choose to establish, among several options, a corporation, a general partnership, or a limited liability company. A corporation is an artificial person or legal entity managed by a board of directors. Generally, officers, directors, shareholders and members are not liable for the obligations of the corporation. A general partnership is an association of two or more persons in which each partner contributes money, property and/ or services in return for an interest in the general partnership, shares in the profits and losses of the general partnership’s business, and has equal rights in the management and conduct of the partnership’s business. A limited liability company is an unincorporated association of one or more members (the owners) who share in the profits and losses of the company’s business, and is managed in accordance with an operating agreement by one or more members or one or more managers. The choice of a business entity depends on many factors, including tax implications and potential risks or exposure, and should not be taken lightly. In any event, you should consult a qualified corporate or tax attorney to help you make the right decision. QUESTION: I am thinking of creating a nonprofit organization to provide educational and other assistance to recent legal immigrants to the U.S. What do I need to do start this process? ANSWER: The first step necessarily involves creating a legal entity in order to shield you from potential personal liability. If you’re planning on operating in Virginia, you will need to establish a nonstock corporation. To do this, you will need to file with the Virginia Corporation Commission what is referred to as “Articles of Incorporation of a

Virginia Nonstock Corporation” (Form SCC819). The Form will require you to provide certain information, including, among other things, the proposed corporate name, which must be distinguishable from the corporate names of entities operating in Virginia; initial directors; registered office; and registered agent. You will need to check the availability of your corporate name to ensure that it is distinguishable or unique. If you plan on obtaining a tax-exempt status under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code for your nonprofit organization, your Articles of Incorporation must also include certain provisions that can be found in IRS Publication 557, “TaxExempt Status for Your Organization.” The decision to obtain a tax-exempt status under the Internal Revenue Code is purely discretionary, but having a federal tax-exempt status does have its advantages. For example, nonprofit organizations that are classified as 501(c)(3) tax-exempt public charities do not pay taxes on their income, and their donors are allowed to deduct their charitable contributions on their annual tax returns. The process for obtaining a federal 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status is resourceintensive, and you should seek competent legal advice before proceeding (see the following discussion). QUESTION: What information and documents do I need to prepare in order obtain a 501(c) (3) tax exemption? ANSWER: The process for obtaining a federal 501(c)(3) taxexempt status is resource-intensive and you will need to provide the IRS with a lot of information and documents. To apply for recognition by the IRS of taxexempt status under 501(c)(3), you will need to file an IRS form called “Form 1023, Application for Recognition of Exemption.” Some of the information and documents that you will need to provide include, but are not limited to, the following: corporate information (e.g., name of the organization, date of incorporation, contact information, etc.); organizational structure (e.g., is the organization a corporation, a limited liability company, a trust, etc.?); a description of the organization’s past, present, and planned activities; compensation and other financial arrangements with the organization’s officers, directors, contractors, etc.; the types of goods, services, and funds that your organization provides to individuals and organizations as part of the organization’s activities, if any; the organization’s corporate history; the specific activities that

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December 15, 2012

A triumphant comeback

Pacquiao fight OH MY GOD!!!! OH MY GOD!!! Those were most likely the words that came out of our mouths during the most recent Paquiao fight. Filipinos all over the world were glued to their TV as always and it became a tradition and one occasion that brings families together, cook their favorite food, the famous potluck and having fun while waiting for Paquiao fights. Nine out of ten, we always go home with a big smile and pride as Filipino. All of us were shocked, stunned and in disbelief that it was Paquiao on the canvass suffering from a big blow from Marquez. We became emotional as if he is a family member and we all feel the pain. Then, we all think about it and as Pacquiao humbly accepted his defeat; we all feel better and agreed that it was a good fight, very good fight that we have never seen before. Just one loss did not even lessen our love for Paquiao. We admire him more how gracefully he faced the camera and accepted it despite of what happened. I’m a big fan of Paquiao as a fighter and as a person with his humble beginning and I will always be no matter what. I disagree with his political ambition or career however you want to call it but I set that aside. I want to see him as a fighter and as a person and I love him, period. I’m not a sports analyst or boxing analyst per se. I cannot talk intelligently on what went wrong and what should have been done. I just want to talk about the fight on a different perspective where all of us can understand in our everyday lives. Come to think of it, that is one of our best traits as a Filipino. No matter how difficult are our problems, no matter how huge is the loss, no matter what challenges we are going through… we always accept them and have faith in God. Earthquakes, floods, landslide, typhoon; none of those can defeat us. Most of us have TFC, you can see that people in disaster areas in the Philippines are still smiling and accept what happened, still have faith that everything will be ok. We always believe that there is a reason for everything and this will not be given to us if we cannot handle the circumstances. I just thought about my clients mostly our “kababayans” who came to me since 2008 and lose their homes through short sales. They were so emotional losing

their home which they consider the fruit of their hard work and hard earned possession. Our home is where we spend our life and so many memories attached with it since we started a family. This is the place where we build our dreams and the kids grew up. I always feel the pain but I have to be professional about it. I coached them how to overcome the loss and walk them through the process as smooth and painless as possible. They learned how to accept and move on with their lives. Some of them were constantly in touch and were able to buy their new home again. This time, it is less priced than what they have before, even bigger homes and of course more affordable mortgages. I even see them sometimes and they look so different from the way they looked way back in 2008, 2009 and 2010 during short sales. They send me messages how thankful they are that they made the right choice and now the situation is much better. The moved on with their life, takes care of their financial situation, much wiser and the goal of owning another home is still number one. THEY DID IT!!! That’s how life is. It cannot be all bed of roses and all luxuries are served to us in a silver platter. We have to work hard for it and sometimes it may not come out the way we wanted it. That is fine, any lessons learned become a foundation which makes us stronger and ready for more blow. But next time, we are more prepared and ready for it. I always love to think, it is not where you are right now; it’s the falling; it’s the slipping that makes us as a person. We all have Paquiao in us, no matter what happens; we always accept, move on and FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT!!!! Note: Jocelyn Porteria is a Realtor® licensed in VA. She earned a designation of ABR, GRN Accredited Buyer’s Specialist and GREEN Designation, CDPE Certified Distressed Property and Short Sale Expert, (SFR) Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource. For more info, visit her website at www.jprealdeal. com or call her at 571-432-8335 or email at realdealconsulting@yahoo. com for a free confidential evaluation of your individual situation, property value, and possible options. She is also an accredited agent of Ayala Land, SM Residences and Century Properties in the Philippines

Ever since the one and only Superstar Nora Aunor came back to the Philippines a year and a half ago, she has enjoyed a resurgence in her career. Having been based in Los Angeles, California for eight years, she has been receiving many offers from producers back home to do film or tv projects but she had rejected every one of them. But when a very good offer came from the TV-5 network, she thought it was just too good to pass it up. Her first project when she returned was the miniseries “Sa Ngalan Ng Ina” which was well-received by the viewers, her fans and critics. It also awarded her the best actress award in a drama series from the PMPC recently. La Aunor’s life and career have been defined by amazing highs and heartbreaking lows. With the success of her indie film “Thy Womb,” she has been riding high on the wave of indie films. The indies has given her career a new lease in life. “Thy Womb” also awarded her the prestigious Bisato ‘D’Oro award. It also won best picture at the Venice Film Festival and its director, Brillante Mendoza, best director. Renowned publications such as Variety and The Hollywood Reporter praised Aunor’s ability to convey emotions with raw honesty. The 59-year-old multiawarded actress is still astounded by the very ecstatic reviews that her indie film has received and she had not expected to win another international award to add to the other international awards she has won. She has said to have prepared a lot for her role as a Badjao wife. In this film, she once again uses her signature acting method to maximum effect- she uses her eyes to convey depth and emotion. And that is why she is an actress of extraordinary depth. Philippine showbiz loves a comeback, more so from someone of Aunor’s iconic status. She has another film in the upcoming Metro Manila Film Festival Awards, and she will surely be receiving more praises and awards once this film is released. She is by far the only Filipino actress whose films have competed in the oldest and most prestigious international film

festivals: “Bona”(Cannes), “Himala(Berlin”) and “Thy Womb”(Venice).

DREAMGIRLS I attended the press performance of “Dreamgirls” last week at Signature Theatre which received a well-deserved standing ovation at curtain call. Though this Tony Award winning musical has had many stagings in the D.C. area recently, this particular production seems to be different from the others. The show’s director, the very talented Signature Associate Director Matthew Gardiner, brings a fresh, modern interpretation to this iconic musical which was originally staged on Broadway in 1981. It also has been hyped for months and one of the reasons is that this musical is a perfect showcase for its newest sensation, Nova Y. Payton, who plays the role of Effie. She has been making waves ever since her award winning performance in last year’s “Hairspray.” This show has more than live up to its hype. And due to its popular demand, “Dreamgirls” has been extended till Jan. 13. “Dreamgirls,” with a knockout score by Henry Kreiger and a solid book and lyrics by Tom Eyen, tells of a girl group named the Dreamettes in 1960s Chicago who rise to meteoric fame. They are hired as back-up singers for big R & B star, James Thunder Early(the brilliant Cedric Neal) but soon break out from Jimmy when they meet and managed by the amoral Curtis Taylor Jr. (Sydney James Harcourt). Although Effie has the more superior vocals, Curtis puts Deena in the lead for her exquisite beauty and equally exquisite vocals. When Effie leaves the group and the Dreams become international sensations, the girls each go through their own dramas. Eyen’s book explores the upside and donwside of fame. This show has an outstnading cast but it seems to belong to Nova Y. Payton with her clarion

belt and extraordinary depth. She carries the show as the putupon Effie and you just can’t take your eyes off her whenever she is onstage. In the signature song, (And I’m Not Telling You) I’m Not Going,” she pours out all her heartbreak and despair and towards the end of the song, she tears into it with a ferocity that she threatened to blow the roof off of the theater. She also stops the show in the emotional “Wistful” and the disco-tinged “One Night Only.” Nova was a revelation in “Hairspray” and here she has owned the iconic role of Effie, one of the great female roles ever written for the stage. Other cast members are Shayla Simmons who hits all the right notes as Deena Jones, Crystal Joy as the third Dreams member, Lorrell. Cedric Neal as Effie’s brother, C.C. and Cedric Neal who all but steals the show as the self-destructive, narcissistic Jimmy Thunder Early. He imbues relentless energy, skilled dance moves and impeccable comedic timing in an incredibly demanding role. Kudos as well to the very talented designer Frank Labovitz, who has created sumptuous gowns and costumes that helps tell the stories. The Dreams have 20 costumes each and they must change from one outfit to another in a matter of seconds with the great trickery from Chris Lee’s lighting. The visual stunning sets of neon lights and glitz ,from Scenic Designer Adam Koch, is also one of the highlights of the show. The knockcout score also includes such gems as “Cadillac Car,” “Family,” “You Are My Dream,” “I Meant You No Harm,” “Hard To Say Goodbye, (My Love), and the titular song. “Dreamgirls” is one of the greatest shows in Hollywood and Broadwau history. “DREAMGIRLS” directed by Matthew Gardiner at Signature Theatre 4200 Campbell Ave. Arlington, Va. 703-820-9771 http://www.siganture-theatre.org/


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December 15, 2012

CHICKEN MARSALA This dish is ideal to serve this coming Christmas holiday; just double the recipe. Choosing organic chicken for this recipe is worth the effort - the flavor is truly appealing. I have now been using organic or halal chicken for all my chicken dishes, as I believe this is much healthier to serve to my customers.

Ingredients: 4 boneless and skinless chicken thighs (organic preferred) 1/2 cup flour

1 tablespoon breadcrumbs 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon chopped thyme 1/4 teaspoon chopped parsley 1/4 cup breadcrumbs vegetable oil 8 large pieces button mushrooms 1/2 cup Marsala wine 1/4 cup sherry

Methods: Cut through the thickest side of each boneless chicken

thigh (butterfly cut), leaving it attached on the opposite side. This way the chicken can be cooked through evenly. Then mix together the flour, breadcrumbs, salt, thyme and parsley in a small bowl. Coat lightly both sides of the thighs in this flour mixture. Preheat a large non-stick skillet with 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil until hot but not hazing. Place the chicken in the skillet and cook both sides until they have some grill marks. Add the mushrooms, lower heat to

medium, and continue cooking for 2 minutes. Pour in the Marsala wine and sherry and cover the skillet and let the chicken simmer for

8 to 10 minutes, turning once, until the chicken is fully cooked. (Using a thermometer, the internal temperature of the cooked chicken should be at least 165° F.) Slice crosswise and garnish before serving for a nicer presentation. Editor’s Note: Master Chef Evelyn: 100 Most Influential Filipina Women in the U.S., 2009, Filipina Women’s Network; MHC Most Outstanding Migrant Award in Culinary Arts, 2011; PAFC Dakila Special Achievement Award, 2011; Owner/Chef, Philippine Oriental Market & Deli, Arlington, Virginia; Founder and President of CHEW (Cancer Help – Eat Well) Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) public charity formed to help and cook pro-bono for Filipino-Americans who are afflicted with cancer and other serious illnesses; Culinary writer; Member, Les Dames d’Escoffier International, Washington DC Chapter; Member, International Cake Exploration Society, Master Chef, French Cuisine and Patisserie, Le Cordon Bleu, London.

Interviewer: At kayo po naman, mister, ano ho ang masasabi ninyo tungkol sa shampoo namin? Mister: Isa lang ang masasabi ko sa buwisit na shampoo niyo. Diyan nagkalagas-lagas ang lahat ng buhok ko. Hayup na shampoong ‘yan ginawa akong katulad ni Bembol Roco. Buwisit talaga!

sabaw SUP, ang sabon SUP pa din. Grabe!!!

CHRISTMAS WISH The Santa Claus at the shopping mall was very surprised when Clarita, a young lady of about 20 years walked up and sat on his lap. Now, we all know that Santa doesn’t usually take requests from adults, but she smiled very sweetly at him, so he asked her, “What do you want for Christmas?” “Something for my mother, please,” replied Clarita pleadingly. “Something for your mother? Well, that’s very loving and thoughtful of you,” smiled Santa. “What would you like me to bring her?” Without skipping a beat, Clarita answered, “A son-in-law please.” Dear Abby... I have a man I cannot trust. He cheats so much, I’m not even sure the baby I’m carrying is his.

9-11 Dispatcher: 9-11... What’s the nature of your emergency? Caller: My wife is pregnant and her contractions are only two minutes apart now. Dispatcher: Is this her first child?

Caller: No, you idiot! This is her husband!

LUCKY In front of a delicatessen, an art connoisseur noticed a mangy little kitten lapping up milk from a saucer. The saucer, he realized, was a rare and precious piece of pottery. He strolled into the store and offered two dollars for the cat. “It’s not for sale,” said the proprietor. “Look,” said the collector, “that cat is dirty and undesirable, but I’m eccentric. I like cats that way. I’ll raise my offer to ten dollars.” “It’s a deal,” said the proprietor, and pocketed the ten on the spot. “For that sum I’m sure you won’t mind throwing in the saucer,” said the connoisseur. “The kitten seems so happy drinking from it.” “No way,” said the proprietor firmly. “That’s my lucky saucer. From that saucer, so far this week I’ve sold 34 cats.”

9-11 AGAIN Caller: I’m having trouble breathing... I’m out of breath.

Damn... I think I’m going to pass out. Dispatcher: Sir, where are you calling from? Caller: On my cell, and I’m at the intersection of Monroe St. and Lee Highway. Dispatcher: Sir, an ambulance is on the way. Are you an asthmatic? Caller: No. Dispatcher: What were you doing before you started having trouble breathing? Caller: I was running from the Police!

TYPES OF WOMEN IN BED: Vulgar- Oh Shit! Oh Shit! Accountant- Isa pa! Isa pa! Driver- Ikanto mo, ikanto mo! Murderer- Kapag umalis ka sa tabi ko, papatayin kita!

SHAMPOO Interviewer: Misis, ano ho ang masasabi ninyo sa shampoo namin? Misis: Dalawa lang ang masasabi ko sa shampoo ninyo. Diyan talaga lumambot at gumanda ang buhok ko.

ALAGA Bisaya: Hulaan mo alaga kong hayop... nagsisimula sa liter I. Joey: Isda? Bisaya: Dili man! Joey: Ibon? Bisaya: Malapit na. Joey: Ano nga, sirit na! Bisaya: Igol. (Eagle daw.)

BISAYA Grabe talaga ang mga Bisaya, mahirap intindihin... sa kanila ang malambot SUP, ang

KABAYO May kulasisi mister. Habang nagkakape during breakfast, binatukan siya bigla ni Misis. Mister: Aray ko... ang sakit nun, ah! Bakit ba? Misis: Ano itong nakasulat na “Bianca” sa napkin na galing sa bulsa mo? Mister: (Palusot) Ay naku, pangalan ng kabayo iyan sa karera. (Nagsori si misis.) Kinabukasan habang nagkakape uli sin mister ay may tumawag sa telefono at si misis ang sumagot. Pagbalik niya ay binatukan niya ng mas malakas kaysa kahapon si mister. Mister: Aray ko! Bakit na naman ba? Misis: Yung kabayo mo, tumawag sa telefono. Hayop ka!


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December 15, 2012

‘Tis the Season for Christmas Celebration

The Legend of the Gift That Never Quits

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everal years ago I had the misfortune of winning a gag gift at a friend’s annual cookie exchange. I had not won anything before then so I was thrilled. I thought my luck had turned. When she fished it out of its box, everyone was speechless. I was in a quandary. I was desperate, grasping for nice words to say. It was difficult to be gracious. It was one of the most hideous objects made of the cheapest plastic. No one knew what it was, not even the giver. A pair of amorous lovers on a stroll was the base for a lamp that didn’t work. The colors were the brightest orange and red and yellow. The woman wore an orange frock and the man had a pink jacket over a yellow shirt. Their white skin would be the envy of geishas from Kyoto. But instead of making the lovers attractive, it made them unnaturally pasty. Whoever designed and painted it must have been color-blind. If it was by design, then he was appallingly cruel. It sat on my coffee table for a few weeks. I fought the urge to throw it in the garbage bin. A devilish eureka moment flashed through my brain. Why not ‘gift’ it to my balae (my daughter’s mother-in-law) that Christmas. I didn’t know if her sense of humor was as quirky as mine so I asked my brand new sonin-law if it would be ok. He and my daughter both clapped their hands in agreement and with anticipated pleasure. They were even willing to hand deliver the THING. When Mary opened the box, her smile wavered. They said she blustered and stammered but finally admitted defeat. She was heard to say, “Myrna has great taste. So I guess this must be a great and tasteful present.” She placed it on a table in a room they hardly used.

The following Christmas she handed me a big box which was elegantly wrapped and tied with exquisite ribbons. When I opened it, there they were, the amorous lovers. She had added a piece of ornament to beautify them. This time Mary made sure she was present to see the look on my face. I was doubled over in laughter and gasping for air. I had found me a partner in crime. A legend was born. It has been eight years since that first gag Christmas gift. Sometimes two years would pass without an exchange. I’m gazing at it now, looking so expectant on the side table. It is almost covered with tinsels and mini ornaments and red bows. There’s even a mini coca cola can in one corner. It is Mary’s favorite drink. Far from disguising the ugly, they have added to the hideousness. But it has now taken on an aura of invincibility. It almost looks beautiful. What to do? Maybe I’ll keep it this year. Mercy me, I think the pair smiled at me. And why should they not? They have given us mirth and laughter through the years; something that made gift giving exciting and new for our combined families. The surprise may be gone, but in its stead we now look forward to what new trimmings have been added to it. It’s like a treasure hunt. It is now the poster boy for foster gifts without a home. I am reminded of one of Richard Harris’ songs, “Bless the song that no one sings. Bless the rose that never grows….trees without limbs. And lovers such as I.” Yes, bless them, and bless this gift without a home, the gift that never quits. May your Christmas be filled with wonder ever true; and may the New Year bring you joy with a friendship tree that ever grew.

The golden glow of the autumn leaves is now gone, replaced by the crisp air of winter. The sights and sounds of Christmas are here! The neighborhood homes in our subdivision are looking very festive and beautiful with colorful Christmas lights. The pine trees are equally blazing with hundreds of blinking lights. The TV Hallmark channel shows all Christmas presentations all day and night and one radio station plays Christmas songs the whole day. It’s a delight even to just window shop in the malls viewing the artful Christmas decorations. It is Just Right ‘Round the Corner My husband and I cannot be complacent now and to procrastinate for Christmas preparations would be disastrous. I must push him harder to finish hanging the string of Christmas lights on the windows and pine trees in our front yard and likewise, I must also finish my Christmas cards to be mailed to the Philippines, other states and local mails. I have to sit to write the menus for Christmas Eve and Christmas day. However, there’s a change in my kitchen work plans. My children want me to have more free time now and not do all the arduous cooking anymore like in the past years. This time I will only cook the Pancit Molo (soup), the Egg Roll and do the Fruit Salad. The rest were already ordered like the Paella, Morcon, Pancit Malabon, Fresh Lumpia and the Steamed Fish. My son, Ricky, had it catered by a Filipino co-worker in his office. My chef-daughter, Rissa, could only do Sans Rival and Leche Flan because of her busy work schedule during the holidays at the WH. My youngest daughter,

Rochela, who is driving from St. Petersburg, Florida with her Black Lab, Buddy, is proud of her “Food for the God” dessert. My children always enjoy our family conversations over food and they profess that the foods that I cook are their comfort foods. Oh, my angels! I could not ask for more. “Merry Christmas” I will greet everyone “Merry Christmas,” and not “Happy Holidays” because Christmas is what we are celebrating for on December 25, the birth of the Infant Jesus. We hope to find in our hearts the spirit and true meaning of this occasion. It is not just one of the holidays that are celebrated every year when we take a rest from work in memory of an event or a person like Thanksgiving Day, July 4th, Memorial Day, President’s Day or Martin Luther King’s Day to name a few. The season of Advent is the perfect time to respond to the message of Christmas and deepen our understanding of the ardent traditions. Gift giving to the less fortunate and disadvantaged, for one, is a wonderful opportunity to take our content to another level of generosity. There are many other programs that we can support in terms of personal time, talent, and mone-

tary contribution. Hence, giving of gifts as most of us do is not limited to family and friends only. Christmas time is also an appropriate time to be thankful for countless blessings that we received the whole year. For disappointments and challenges along the way, it is a comfort to believe that things happen for reasons beyond our human minds.

Christmas Bonding This one of our family Christmas traditions is priceless. My four children are home on Christmas for one week but three of those seven days are spent cooped in the confines of our home just eating, chatting, catching up and sharing with our experiences that happened the whole year. Our talks give us a chance to know each others’ short and long term plans. For about five years now, my married daughter and her husband with their pet Coco were hosting our Christmas celebrations. Rowena and Austin requested to carry on with the tradition. With the bonding, we cherish and tremendously enjoy our opening of gifts with an almost child-like anticipation. Have a Wonderful Christmas!

Ed Tiong (back, far left), coordinator of the Filipino Ministry of Northern Virginia, presided over the Simbang Gabi preparations recently. Also shown, seated, from left: Luisa Robinson, Loulou Rosales, Cora Arca, Lilia Frilles. Back: Margot Atilano, Ed Medina. Simbang Gabi schedule is in Calendar of Events, page 15 (Photo by Jennie L. Ilustre)


36 Editorial

December 15, 2012

Facing the ‘test’ Images of the horrific loss spawned by typhoon “Pablo” were enough to break anyone’s heart. For the 2nd straight year, the usually joyous Christmas celebration in the Philippines – among the longest and most festive in the world – has been shattered by tragedy. Filipinos are accustomed to nature’s wrath. An average of 19 typhoons strike the country every year, but the damage they have inflict only seem to become more severe. There’ve been various explanations – climate change, bootleg loggers and miners, or reckless conManila Times struction of new settlements. Washington Tsismis Filipinos are a hardy people. They have been steeled by centuries of adversity, sacrifice and relentless trials. usmariosep…ito na siya. Walang kung saan-saan, dito sa atin ang guerra A deeply spiritual people, Filipinos have dismissed all ligtas. The prediction of the Mayans natin ay laban sa hirap. Mapapasabak these to a word – “pagsubok” – seeing crisis as a test. is coming. They predicted the end of na naman ang Amerika sa ibat- ibang the world on 12-21-12, meaning Dec. 21, pagsubok. Hindi na mapipigilan; umiiba For those who’ve lost family and friend from “Pab- 2012!!. Adios patria adorada. na talaga ang mukha ng Amerika. Tayo But if the Mayan prediction turns kayang mga Pinoy ay lulutang?” lo’s” devastation or survivors looking to re-build lost out to be false, we, in America, still have *** homes and livelihood, this could be another test. to face another holocaust: the FISCAL With all these happening, many Many of us may be forced Filipino Americans remain calm and colBut this situation challenges all Filipinos, regardless CLIFF!!!!!!! to jump over the cliff in a suicidal fit. Or lected. “They are all going about the busiof where they may be. Even for us, thousands of miles wait for another superstorm that will put ness of spreading Tsismis (ay salamat), Sandy to shame. Then there is global away, ensconced in this “land of milk and honey”, we warming and the rising of the oceans that living quietly and hoping for the best,” says a Tsismoso reporter who notes that would soon engulf most of the low-lying some “part time” Catholics have been too face a test of our own. (RJJ)

Eeeeeeeeekk, they’re coming!!

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areas of the world. Scientists predict that among cities to be inundated by the rising sea would be Manila. And at press time, the Philippines was being pummeled by a superstorm that would dwarf Sendong. Its name is Pablo. If we still survive all these, we still have to look to the next four years of Obama which many – Republicans in particular – predict will also be a disaster. As one frustrated Romney supporter puts it on Facebook recently, she will just go back to the Philippines. This is how she puts it: “The Latinos and the African-Americans gave him another 4 years. But he’ll never join those guys in Mount Rushmore. You know who those guys are, their principles. Obama isn’t like them. He’s out to change America, borne out of his difficult life and the dreams of his father. Keep your eyes peeled. Your America, will never be the same again. Hindi ako apektado diyan dahil kaya kong umuwi sa atin. Ikaw, di mo kaya, gusto mo nang manatili dito. And here’s another one who seems to be spoiling for war. “I don’t know if you simply want to present the Prez’s side or you’re actually spoiling for a verbal warfare. Tingnan natin ang galing ng ating Presidente sa susunod na apat na taon, kung hindi siya ma-impeach. Guerra

going to church religiously and are praying hard for better days to come. “In Prince George’s county,” another Tsismoso reports, “things there are very normal. In fact, a retired Pinoy leader is quietly running a Bingo contest at the Philippine Multi-Cultural Center. The very vocal Jun Pedery has been very quiet lately. Eric Lachica continues to get supporters and enemies. In Virginia, another Charismatic prayer group, called ‘Koinania Foundation, Inc.’ (KFI) announced its presence. It says Filipinos are the chosen people of the Holy Eucharist.” The same reporter says things are looking good in the Filam community in the Greater Washington D.C. area. For instance, he asserts, things are moving towards the unification of rival Filam groups. This reporter predicts the revival of a stronger Kapampangan Association which was in turmoil many years ago, the unification of rival factions and that other rival groups will kiss and make up, not literally, of course. *** Oh heck. Let’s forget these negative rumblings. Tsismoso is sure we will survive these bad predictions. Tsismoso’s Oracle is more powerful than the Mayans, the politicians and the Global Warmers. We will still be alive and celebrate Christmas like before. Let’s all attend the “Misa de Gallo,” join charismatic groups, and enjoy life..etcetera etcetera.


Opinion 37

December 15, 2012

Vegas Waterloo

I ‘Stories from a Teacher’

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still remember my first-year high school teacher, a cute, dimunitive woman who looked no older than my classmates. After the principal introduced her to our class, some of the boys – emboldened by her shy, soft-spoken demeanor –

Jonathan Flores thought they would have a little fun by plotting some kind of “welcome.” So, they hatched a plan during lunch and got the word out to the rest of the class. The next morning, soon as our teacher walked in, we lustily burst into a song that we used to sing in grade school: “Pretty bird, so dainty and small.” After the roudy rendition, we expected our teacher to laugh with us, maybe even surprise us with her sense of humor. But, no, she didn’t say anything. She simply proceeded with the day’s lesson. Her reaction was the same when we serenaded her again the following day. On the fourth day, the principal came to our class to announce that our teacher had resigned. He scolded us for being mean and cruel, that we should be ashamed of ourselves for hounding her out. She was replaced by a much-older man who wasted no time reading to us the riot act. From then on, we behaved like lesser mortals. Class discipline was the order of the day. High school classrooms in the Philippines are of course a lot different from American classrooms. Far, far different in many ways. Both my parents were professional school teachers in the Philippines who enjoyed teaching but they endured a much harsher school environment when they taught high school students here in the U.S. They retired earlier than planned because they could no longer take the students’ insults and

insolence, their “lack of discipline and respect.” Our daughter, too, is a school teacher for more than 10 years now. She teaches music education to students from fifth to eighth grades at the Chapin School in Princeton, New Jersey. We know she loves teaching but she puts in long hours every day, including weekends. She’d stay up nights preparing lessons, grading papers and writing evaluations. She’s also the mother of a six-year-old girl and a 14-month old toddler. We know her salary is not commensurate to her heavy workload. We often wonder how she does it. And we worry. About her health, state of mind and time spent with her family. I must confess I had no idea what really goes on inside a high school classroom here in America until I read “Stories from a Teacher.” Written by Jonathan Flores of College Park, MD., the self-published e-book is a fictionalized account of his four years as an English teacher at the Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Greenbelt, Maryland – the same school he attended years earlier. A fresh graduate from the University of Maryland in 2008, the 21-yearold Filipino American teacher surprised his Ninth grade students when he walked into their lives that day in September. Like my first year high school teacher, Jonathan was only a few years older than his students, young enough to be like them, young enough to be made fun of. His patience was tested at every turn. By his own account, he had been told to ‘Go-f… myself’ once a year since he started. “That is a total of four ‘Go-f…yourselves,’” he writes. And then there’s the workload that leaves him tired and exhausted from long hours and weekends grading papers with absolutely no personal time for himself. Roosevelt High, of course, is not like the more affluent high schools in “normal suburbia.” About 75 percent of the students are African American, another 15 percent are Hispanics and many come from underprivileged and poor families. He had one student drop out of school to have her baby. In one year alone, four gay students attempted suicide. “I’m trying to teach kids that

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t was a straight right bazooka punch that connected to Manny Pacquiao’s left jaw and suddenly my heart beat stopped, or so it seemed. For the first time in his boxing career, the Philippine’s living boxing legend fell on his face like a log and was motionless for a minute or two. A couple of years ago, a Filipino boxer became paralyzed after suffering an injury from a fight. I feared for the worst. Luckily, his customary kneeling at the ring corner for a moment of prayer before each fight paid off. God smiled on Pacquiao and he recovered consciousness. In defeat he sounded like a classy sportsman. He accepted his misfortune and complimented the skills of his adversary. What now, Manny Pacquiao? At 34 years old, time may have finally caught up with him. It always does, even with people who think they have the genes of Superman. As with many great athletes, the early handwritings on the wall are often ignored. Muhammad Ali did not quit the ring until it was obvious even to his dog that the butterfly could no longer float and the bee had lost its sting. The exciting Sugar

Ray Leonard also overstayed his claim to boxing glory suffering the humiliation of losing to fighters he could easily terrorize in his prime. His family and people who care about his welfare will likely suggest that he hang up his gloves for good while he is still in one piece. He is more than financially secure. He can provide a comfortable life to his family without resorting to the business of graft and corruption in his part time job as a congressman. He will go down in history as the Philippines’ greatest sportsman. His record of ten world boxing titles may never be equaled. He is a rags to riches overachiever who lives rich but is generous with those who still live in rags. He has united Filipinos all over the country, Muslim and communist rebels, soldiers, street criminals and law abiding citizens give peace a chance

when Pacquiao steps in the ring to fight foreign adversaries. And in his media interviews in America, he has shown that FilipinoVisayan English is cool. While retiring appears to be the logical thing to do, my gut feeling is that he has not thrown the last punch against his erstwhile ring nemesis Juan Manuel Marquez. He was open to the idea of a fifth fight when he was interviewed before he left the ring after his knockout. He was beating Marquez to the punch in the fourth and fifth rounds before he got stung by what he thought was a weakening cobra. He thought he could have won that fight and rightly so. And this will pester his mind from day to day. He could not accept that he will just walk away with an ignominious ending to his personal story, his face And so Manny will lick

hone future “Pacmans”. If he’s truly aspiring for higher political positions, this might be the time for him to spend more time in picturesque Saragani. This might be Mindanao, where people used to shoot up theater screens when they see villains beating up their matinee hero, but politics require more than the people’s adulation. But I don’t believe that won’t happen. Pacquiao is, first and foremost, a fighter and true fighters don’t quit. He built his character, fortune and fame atop the ring. His toughness is rooted in the years growing up poor in the streets of the Philippine’s “wild, wild west” supporting a single mother and his siblings. People like that don’t quit. Pacquiao will have a lot of negotiating to do – with future opponents, sponsors and per-

haps the most difficult, with Jinkee and Mommy Dionisia who have wanted him to hang up the gloves for a long time. Before the Pacquiao-Marquez IV, coach Freddie Roach said the Filipino champ still had two or three more fights left in him. After what happened last week, that assessment obviously needs to be re-visited. But if there is anything that could convince Pacquiao to climb down, it would be the Filipino public. If there is a clamor for him to retire, there’s just a chance he might accede because if any impulse is stronger for a professional pugilist than the smell of conquest, that would have to be public approval. I think Filipinos owe their hero a happy, comfortable retirement. It’s time we got our inspiration from our own collective toils and achievements.

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Pinoys owe Pacquiao The massive loss brought by typhoon “Pablo” got little relief from a different kind of tragedy thousands of miles away – the shocking knock-out of Mindanao’s favorite son and Philippine hero Manny Pacquiao. Mexican champion Juan Manuel Marquez dealt a convincing blow against Pacquiao on the last second of the 6th round of their 4th meeting. The Filipino was out cold for a several minutes, his wife Jinkee a picture of anguished concern. Commentators described Pacquiao’s defeat as the closest equivalent to a geological tectonic shift in the boxing world. Pacquiao remains my hero. The shock has worn off and it’s been replaced by a genuine worry. I’ve always thought that he should have hanged his gloves after this summer’s loss to the relatively unknown Timothy Bradley. He can devote more time to his constituents, many of whom are suffering from the effects of “Pablo”; pursue his many business interests and endorsements; or possibly open his own gym to identify and


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December 15, 2012 Immigration Notes

By: J. G. Azarcon, Esq.

Options for tourists

M The irony of Christmas MANILA he irony of Christmas is that while it’s the happiest time of the year, it can be the loneliest for many people. The suicide rate in some countries rises during the holiday season. Filipinos love Christmas. After New Year’s, Filipinos can’t wait until it’s Christmas again. The countdown to December 25 begins immediately on January 2. This is no exaggeration, Filipinos are crazy about Christmas. Here in the Philippines, the “ber” months announce the formal start of the Yuletide. The moment people turn the calendar from August to September, the Christmas carols start wafting into the air. Actually, “wafting” is the wrong word. The songs blare out of every radio station. Shopping malls bring out the red colors of Christmas and deck out every possible space in their emporium. And the Christmas tunes attack the eardrums nonstop all day-long. Television news signs off with a countdown to December 25 about 60 days before Christmas day, which puts the start of the countdown to October 25. I don’t quite understand this practice. Cynics say it’s to promote Christmas buying, as if Filipinos need to be reminded. Filipinos are generally a social bunch and they know how to hold each other together, look out for one another, and keep themselves emotionally strong and together. Pre-Christmas (which, as I’ve noted, starts very early in the last quarter of the year) socializing occurs regularly. Friends, office colleagues and families keep the season merry by getting together for drinks and meals. It’s a long fiesta for Filipinos. Filipinos abroad are no different. Maybe not as early to celebrate as their folks back home, but quite in the Christmas mood and mode early too. It’s the social groups that keep Filipinos together. Drinking buddies, mahjong or poker group mates, bowling chums, tennis associations, and other types of kinship groups have their respective Christmas parties and gatherings. (Actually, when I was still living in Washington, my tennis group didn’t need a formal occasion

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to celebrate. It was like after every tennis outing, the next item on the agenda was drinking and food until it’s time to go to work.) Filipinos know how to keep themselves amused and happy. But what about those who are loner types and don’t have the usual support groups? This is more prevalent among westerners, many of whom are away from their families because of work or other circumstances (like moving to where one’s spouse lives). The vaunted mobility of North Americans in search of jobs around the continent has sometimes resulted in isolated, insulated and lonely people, with very few people around them to provide emotional and moral support. Christmas for people in these circumstances is often a lonely time and place. Even when they’re successful in their lives, many people often have nobody waiting for them at home. Not because they’re unsociable but because their jobs have taken them to isolated or unfamiliar places where they have few friends or acquaintances. Or where they’re based in small communities that afford them few opportunities to make social or emotional connections. And then there are the more unfortunate ones whose lives are miserable because of bad financial circumstances. Or because they’ve abandoned their families and are now in dire straits or they’re the ones who’ve been abandoned. Just like the shoeless man in New York City who apparently prefers to remain shoeless because the shoes would just be objects of envy by fellow street people who would harm or kill him for them. Even among Filipinos, there may be those who find themselves in such dire circumstances, especially in the current economic hard times. Let’s hope the number of Filipinos who are bereft of social and emotional support are few, if at all. Ah, Christmas...it’s supposed to be the happiest time of the year. But it’s not always so for many people. Hope you, the readers, are keeping warm during this holiday season and

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ost of the people who come for a visit to the U.S. intend to return to their home country. There are some however who fall in love with America it pains them to part with Lady Liberty. What are possible options for a tourist who would like to remain in the US legally? A college degree holder has the potential to change to H-1B status.. This is a non-immigrant status that allows employment. The alien must first find a job offer for a position that can only be performed by a college degree holder whose education is relevant to the job duties. For example, and engineering job for an engineering graduate, but not a bricklayer job for an engineering graduate. In some instances, experience could substitute for a college degree. H1-B is initially issued for 3 years and can be extended to six years. Due to quota limitations, finding an employer who is willing to sponsor the alien does not assure a favorable outcome. If the alien is not a college degree holder, H2-B is an option. This is a non-immigrant status that also allows employment in jobs that do not require a college degree and can be completed in not more than one year. H2-B is

VISA PRIORITY DATES FOR THE PHILIPPINES DECEMBER 2012 • FAMILY-SPONSORED PREFERENCES First: Unmarried sons/daughters of US citizens Oct. 08, 1997 Second: A: Spouses/minor children of permanent residents: Aug. 22, 2010 B: Unmarried sons/daughters 21 years of age or older of permanent residents Mar. 22, 2002 Third: Married sons/daughters of citizens Aug. 01, 1992 Fourth: Brothers/sisters of citizens Mar. 22, 1989 • EMPLOYMENT-BASED PREFERENCES First: Priority workers Current Second: Professionals holding advanced degrees or persons of exceptional ability Jan. 01, 2012 Third: Skilled workers, professionals Aug. 15, 2006 Other Workers Aug. 15, 2006 Fourth: Current Certain Religious Workers Unavailable Fifth: Employment creation/ (Million or half-million dollar investor) Current for non-professional jobs that are seasonal or short contractual duration. For example, a laborer in a construction job that is required to be completed in ten months. If the employer’s need is indefinite, it is difficult to justify temporary employment. The employer also has to go through a labor certification process that requires advertising the job to prove that there are no qualified American citizens or permanent residents who are interested. H2-B is good for one year only. It may be extended but the employer has to demonstrate that the reason for extension was unforseen during the initial

application. Some may find luck in foreign embassies and international organizations. Change to A or G status are usually done by the employers without expense to the alien. It is no longer possible to change to student visa unless the alien has previously declared himself to be an intending student when he applied for a visitor’s visa. For those who are single, marriage to a U.S. citizen makes one eligible to immediately apply for adjustment to perma-

35-37 of Sura III,.. The only exceptions are Mary and her Son. “After this premise it is not surprising that... the Immaculate Conception, is univocally recognized..”the article adds. The extraordinary person of Mary and her pure life (III, 42 to LXVI, 12). “set her, with her Son, above every other created being.” . Indeed, “Islamic tradition holds that Jesus and his mother are the only two human souls who were not tainted by sin at birth,” the Economist magazine notes. New appreciation of Mary stems from the very arena in which Protestants historically pride themselves most: careful

and full reading of Scriptures.. Time magazine notes in it’s cover story “Hail Mary” .x Mary stood by the Cross. And she figures in “a skein of appearances longer and more strategically placed than any other character in scriptures”, Princeton University professor of New Testament literature, Beverly Gaventa, points out. x “She is present in all key situations: at Jesus birth, at his death and in the Upper Room,” Gaventa writes in “Personalities of the New Testament”. Whether in Egypt , Nazareth or Cana , “there isn’t a figure comparable to her”. The new thinkers are exploring the implications of Mary’s excruci-

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A bridge for all MANILA very December 8, Filipino and Catholics elsewhere honor Mary under the title of “Immaculate Conception.” However, many raise eyebrows when gently reminded that Mary’s genealogy and childhood, in the Muslim Koran, “is more detailed than in the four Gospels”. The Koran, in fact, mentions Mary 54 times, notes the Vatican’s official newsapaper “L’Osservatore Romano” ( 13 April 1978, page 4 ) An entire chapter or “Sura 19” focuses on a woman that Christians call “our tainted nature’s solitary boast.” Miriam of Nazareth lived by the Jewish faith. “In the Koran, Christ is called repeatedly “Issa ibn Maryam-”Jesus son of Mary”, writes Giancarlo Finazzo in the Vatican paper...”( This) name... perhaps is the best known one in the Islamic world.” “Every child is touched by the devil as soon as he is born and this contact makes him cry,” says a Hadith attributed to the Prophet Mohamed and verses

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December 15, 2012

Vegas waterloo... from page 37 his wounds for a while. Nanay Dionisia will pray to Santo Nino to convince his son to quit fighting. His wife Jinkee will distract him with romancing, but then whatever Manny wants, Manny gets. And when he feels bored, he will miss the spot lights. Then he will say, let’s get it on. And we will be spending more money on pay per view. Cheers to you, Manny Pacquiao! *** So we are supposed to go to the fiscal cliff? When Congress and the White House could not agree on long term funding for the government last year, they agreed on a stop gap measure with a proviso that a committee created by Congress would come up with the revenue and spending formula to address the budget deficit and federal debt problems.

Failure by this committee to agree on a long term budget will trigger automatic tax increases as the G.W. Bush tax cuts expire and also across the board spending cuts that will hit all branches of government. Financial observers warn that big tax increases and spending cuts could trigger another recession. Average households could see their spending money shrink by at least $2,500.00 a year. Pres. Barack Obama and congressional Democrats want to extend the Bush tax cuts except for individuals above the $250,000.00 income bracket. Republicans want to extend the Bush tax cuts for all tax payers but raise revenue instead by closing “loop holes” in the tax code. Obama says that the rich must pay their fair share to solve the deficit issue. Republicans counter that increasing the tax

The irony of ... from page 38 are in the company of loved ones. And if you know less fortunate compatriots out there, please reach out to them and give them love and affection. Happy Christmas to you and all whom you love. *** Christmas greetings to my

old friends in Washington, Virginia and Maryland. To my longtime tennis friends, to former colleagues at the World Bank Group and IMF, and to community leaders and workers who tirelessly work to make our community progressively better. Particular wishes to Drs. Manny and

A bridge for all... from page 38 ating presence at the crucifixion. “(She) witnesses almost single handedly Christianity through its darkest moment.” Is this a case of over-reach? “Catholics would tell you, rather firmly, that Mary is not a goddess,” the “Economist” notes in it’s cover story titled: :”A Mary For All” ( pp 25 --.29 ) “She is not worshiped, but rather venerated: a human being with a unique role in praying for and protecting the human race.” She is Islam’s most honored woman, the magazine points out. . Muslim and eastern Christians “cherish the story of Mary’s childhood in a place of supreme holiness. Both name Mary’s guardian as the priest Zechariah or Zakariya.” The wisdom texts speak of a “woman clothed with the sun”. “Christianity inherited and built on the Jewish belief that it is possible for the human being to have a direct encounter with God, and in some sense to become part of divine reality, writes . Methodist Hebrew scholar Margaret Barker. “Christians and Muslim will never agree on the nature of Mary’s child, “the Economist adds...Yet, they “alike see in

Mary an affirmation that there is no limit to proximity of God that any human can attain...Surely, that is reason enough, for people of any faith, to feel reverence for history’s foremost Jewish mother.” “Shortly after Vatican II, a period of Marian silence descended,” recalls Catalino Arevalo, SJ, of Ateneo University . “We, in the Philippines , did not go through that phase.” “Churches in former communist Eastern Europe have not experienced the ‘eclipse of Mary’ either,” notes this Filipino theologian. “What strikes a mainland China visitor, who gets in contact with Catholics there, is that veneration of Mary has never been stronger.” Once known as “Christendom”, Europe built the Continent’s loveliest cathedrals from Chartres to Notre Dame. Now, Europe suffers from a “vacuum of faith”, Los Angeles Times notes. The Gallup Millennium Survey reveals barely 20 percent of West Europeans attend church services once a week. Are the new Marian shrines ---: Medjugorje in Yugoslavia ; Akita in Japan ; Kibeho in Rwanda and Cuenca in Ecuador

rate on the $250,000.00 earners will actually hit many small business owners and will have negative consequences on job creation. Who makes sense? A study by Ernst and Young, an independent business consulting firm found that increasing tax rates on individuals earning above $250,000.00 will cost approximately 300,000 jobs to the economy. We can look across the Atlantic Ocean for guidance too. The former government of Gordon Brown in Great Britain increased the tax rates for millionaires from 40% to 50% in 2010. The result? The number of taxpayers declaring a million Euros decreased from 16,000 to 6,000 and the amount of actual revenue collected from these millionaires went down from 13.4 billion to 6.5 billion. What gives? Purita Gonzales, and my neighbors Rey and Tessie Pasa. And of course to Bert Alfaro, Wary Azarcon, Jon Melegrito and ALL my colleagues on Manila Mail, who soldier on to publish this newspaper, without material reward. Manila Mail is a vital part of the Filipino community in Metro Washington. . --- signaling a comeback of Our Lady, which the late Jesuit theologian Karl Rahner foresaw? Then, there was Blessed John Paul II Some claim “no pontiff in the entire history of Catholicism has had so strong and articulates a devotion to Mary.” In today’s charged atmosphere of tension between Muslims and non-Muslims, isn’t it prudent, let alone essential, to attempt to find common ground between these clashing Abrahamic traditions?, asks Heather Abraham who wrote the book: “The Muslim Jesus ( 2001), Mary’s shared importance offers an opportunity for interfaith dialogue. Easing of tension is an enormous undertaking because religious differences are often used to justify anger and distrust. “Maybe, just maybe, religious similarities may lessen the divide”. Is Mary that bridge? “The question of the day is: Why are the media ( Western and Eastern) and religious clerics (Christian and Muslim) not focusing on the commonalities and unifying aspects of Abrahamic cousins? .” ( Email: juan_mercado77@ yahoo.com )

Visit us online: www.manilamail.us

Options for tourists ... from page 38 nent resident. The application can be filed even after the expiration of the alien’s authorized stay. The alien is granted conditional permanent resident status if the marriage was less than two years from the date of approval. Before the second anniversary of the grant of conditional residence, the alien and his/her spouse need to file a petition to remove the conditional residence. Asylum is a risky option unless that the alien’s case is really meritorious, that he can prove by documentary and testimonial evidence that he has a well-founded fear of persecution in his home country. An asylum application that is found frivolous could disqualify the alien from eligibility for any future immigration benefit. A family-based or employer-

based petition for permanent residence will not provide a quick solution to the tourist dilemma. The processing of these petitions will take years, long after the expiration of the alien’s tourist visa, unless one is internationally renowned with exceptional ability or holding advanced degrees. If the alien remains in the U.S. beyond the period of authorized stay, he faces the 3-year or tenyear bar unless he is also a beneficiary of a previous petition covered under Section 245(i) of the Immigration Act. An overstaying tourist who is sponsored by an employer but not covered by Sec. 245i may not ultimately benefit from the labor certification process, unless the current law is amended. (For questions, you may call 703 893 0860)

‘Stories from a Teacher’... from page 37 have been used, abused, bullied, harassed, assaulted, attacked, broken, shot, and raped,” he writes of the 205 students who go through his classroom each year, about half of whom end up failing. And of those who pass, only 15 or so go on to college. “Am I still saving the world?” he asks. “Am I really expected to give up my twenties, sacrifice all my free time, so that I can send fifteen kids to college and continue to make thirtyseven thousand dollars a year? Do I have to give myself up to save the world? Is it worth it?” After wrestling with these thoughts for a long time, he admitted them all to his mother, who agreed with him that maybe it was time to quit teaching and move on. Citing a quote, “A teacher is like a candle, giving of itself in order to light the way for others,” Jonathan reasons that “while teachers do their best to help their students, they also sacrifice themselves. A candle can light your way, but what happens when we have no more light to give? What happens when the candle dies?” Unlike my high school

teacher, Jonathan at least stuck it out for four years, survived the cussing and cursing. But instead of describing a single moment that led him to quit, he shared stories of his struggles and surprises, his triumphs and tribulations. After reading these compelling narratives, I have a deeper appreciation of teachers and how profoundly they touch the lives of the young and the vulnerable. There’s more I’d like to say about Jonathan’s book, but I’d rather you read it yourself because it’s blunt, funny, hilarious, heart-wrenching, poignant and provocative. I laughed for the most part, but I also cried. You can purchase a Kindle edition from Amazon for only a dollar. By the way, Jonathan is the eldest son of Manning and Kathleen Topacio Flores of College Park, Md. He is also the nephew of Gloria T. Caoile, a proud aunt who is organizing a book launch soon, so stay tuned. Send your comments to jonmele@aol.com

Pro Bono... from page 32 your organization may conduct; financial data (e.g., statement of revenues and expenses, balance sheet, etc.); bylaws; articles of incorporation or organization; and power of attorney (where applicable). There is an application fee (called “user fee”), which is currently set at $400 if you are a new organization that anticipates gross receipts averaging not more than $10,000 during your first four years of operation. You will also need to request an employer identification number (aka EIN), which can be easily done online. Remember, there can be no guarantee that the

IRS will approve your application even after you have submitted everything that’s required. Often, the IRS may have followup questions and document requests. A. Enrico C. Soriano, Esq., is the managing member of Axxis Law Group, PLLC (www.axxislaw. com). The answers and discussions provided in this column do not constitute legal advice, and no attorneyclient relationship is created hereby.


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December 15, 2012

Manila Mail - Dec. 15, 2012  

A fortnightly Filipino American newspaper in Washington, DC

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