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Kundirana is more than a singing group; it is a music ministry Page 3

VOL. 1 NO. 14 •



@PinoyWatchDog • LIKE US



The Jessica Phenomenon Why Should People Vote for Jessica Sanchez? By Francis

Johann Verdote, Correspondent

The ‘Jessica Sanchez’ in all of us By

Kai Rosario



O one likes to call customer service, especially me. A few years ago, however, I was forced to dial AT&T’s customer service

because I needed some assistance with installing a new router. Yes, it was a frustrating experience. They gave me multiple 1-800 numbers to dial for someone to guide me through the installation

process. In the end of the miserable waiting game, AT&T connected me to a call center in the Philippines. With patience and kindness, the call center agent painstakingly

Disruptions, Funds Woes Slowing FACLA’s Projects Turn to Page 15

Turn to Page 15

Words and photos by

Dionesio C. Grava

New officers of FACLA take their oath of office before Mel Ilomin, principal assistant of California Assemblyman Gel Cedillo. It is said that the other officers had taken their oath in the past before Councilman Elito Santarina of the city of Carson. Shown front to rear: Fender Santos, 1st vice president; Austin Baul, president; Paul Julian, director; Rita Dinsay, 2nd vice president (financial affairs);Linda Nery, treasurer; and Erlinda Guerchom, auditor. (Photo by D.Grava)

S unexpected as the failed rocket launch was to North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un so too was Jessica Sanchez’ (almost) elimination from American Idol Season 11 to the show’s audience. These two events reverberated across the globe through social media websites; with Jessica bagging the “most trending” slot as Filipinos spread their rants and disbelief after the show’s delayed telecast in the Philippines, perhaps to compensate for their


HE newly elected head of the premier Filipino organization in Los Angeles firmly denied allegations that he and the other officers in his administration are negligent in the perfor-


mance of their duties. Austin Baul, president of the Filipino American Community of Los Angeles (FACLA), also conveyed the impression that his hands are tied, thus preventing him from Turn to Page 8

From Our Pen ENTERTAINMENT & ARTS ‘Of concerts and worthy causes Page 9

Report cites both gains and ‘Dark Ages’ engulf Mindanao; 25 million Filipinos in the dark alarming incidents of child abuse By Winston A.


Words and photos by Dionesio C.

Marbella Correspondent

LIGAN CITY - Like a thief in the night, crippling power shutdowns roll across this once lush tropical island-paradise, stopping factories, shutting down stores and generally disrupting the lives of 25 million Filipinos--more than a fourth of the population-who came to this land as pioneers in search of a rainbow and a pot of gold. Many became overnight millionaires, harvesting the tropical rainforests, extracting gold from the mountains, fattening livestock on vast pasturelands, and growing tons of world-famous bananas and pineapples in plantations that stretch as far as the eyes could see.

The landscape now bears the scars of poverty, pillage and plunder. Mountains stand stripped bare of trees and mineral treasures, and hovels dot the mountain villages where the poor continue to scrounge for gold. Now nature is extracting her revenge. A slight drizzle triggers roaring floods and mudslides. The hydroelectric power dams, source of cheap electricity in this rain-drenched land, are silted from years of neglect, barely able to eke out a third of capacity. So the problem did not really creep up like a thief in the night. Many could see it coming for years. But getting a consensus go-


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multi-level, multidisciplinary and community network monitoring the well-being of children and families in the Los Angeles County issued a report indicating that there was an increase in youth suicides from 14 such deaths in 2009 to 17 in 2010. Additionally, according to the Los Angeles County Inter-Agency Council on Child Abuse and Neglect (ICAN), 77 percent of children killed by a parent, relative or caregiver were under age five. ICAN was established in 1977 by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to serve as the official County agent to coordinate development of services for the prevention, identification and treatment of child abuse and neglect. The 26th edition of ICAN’s annual report, The State of Child


Abuse in Los Angeles County (SOCA), was released during a press conference and panel discussion on Wednesday afternoon, April 18, held at the Sherman Block Sheriff’s Headquarters Building in Monterey Park. Sheriff Lee Baca, ICAN chairperson, was master of ceremonies. The SOCA is one of three annual ICAN reports. The other two are Child Death Review Team Report and Safely Surrendered and Abandoned Infants in Los Angeles County Report. Deanne Tilton Durfee, ICAN executive director, discussed key findings in the SOCA report during the press conference. A meeting of the members of the ICAN Policy Committee was scheduled after the press conference. Awards were to be presented to individuals who have made conTurn to Page 15

OFF HOURS 2012 Los Angeles Film Festival (June 14-24) announces 3 Galas; Woody Allen’s “To Rome with Love” to open the festival Page 7

SPORTS WORLD Paulino Alcantara: Pinoy international football legend Page 11

Saturday, April 28, 2012




Kundirana is more than a singing group; it is a music ministry Words and photography by Rene Villaroman


UNDIRANA. Any Filipino who is at least thirty years old would have heard about it and knows what it represents. The music; the now famous albums; its mission; and, a few years ago, the decision to scale back the scope of its US concert tours. Kundirana is a music and evangelism movement that has transcended a generation, and during its 40-year journey, has created an impressive list of successful male Pinoy performers, including Gary Valenciano and Ogie Alcacid, and Randy Santiago, among many others who are now carving a name for themselves in the music industry. Kundirana is a high school music ministry that began life at the La Salle Greenhills High School in the San Juan town of Metro Manila. But apart from being just a singing group, or, in this case, a dancing chorale ensemble, Kundirana is also a music ministry. Its members serve the needy and bring joy to the sick, the elderly and the forgotten through their music. It also helps its name recognition that Kundirana has the distinction of being the most famous high school singing group in the Philippines. In June 2010, the Kundirana sang a duet with Ogie Alcasid and Regine Velasquez during President Noynoy Aquino’s inauguration, and in 1987, the singing group was nationally honored with the Aliw Award as Best Cultural Group in the Philippines. And just recently, Kundirana celebrated its 40th Anniversary with a reunion concert entitled “Kundirana Kwarenta Na! The Men, Music and Mission.” On Sunday, April 22, the Kundirana held their annual Los Angeles benefit concert at the Celebrity Center to benefit their beneficiaries, Bahay Pag-Asa, the juvenile halfway house in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, and The World Medical Missions. Echoing Kundirana’s 40th year theme, the 15-man singing group opened their 45-minute non-stop performance with Eric Clapton’s “Change the World.” Attendance in this year’s concert is much better than last year’s, but the Kundirana’s performance is not a lot better than during the last five or six years despite the addition of a live band. It is true that the live band could have contributed to a more cohesive and dynamic performance for the ensemble, but, let’s admit it, the skills and ability of these young boys need more honing to a point so that their singing do not degenerate, at times, into mindless and pitchy screams. This performance level maybe OK for younger people who go for the gyrations and antics of the cute La Salle boys, but if you were looking for better performances you may have to look elsewhere and pay for your ticket. Monet Silvestre, musical director and a former Kundirana member, tells PinoyWatchDog that they’ve had concerts in North San Diego and Diamond Bar. Still

up are shows in South San Diego, Sacramento and San Francisco. There are no concerts scheduled in the East Coast like in past years, and the reason is that “there are no active contacts there now,” says Silvestre, 46, who plays piano for the likes of Ogie Alcasid, Sarah Geronimo and Rachel Ann Go. Silvestre was instrumental (pun intended) in bringing back a live band to accompany the Kundirana. “I grew up with a band; I look forward to a live feel,” he says. “I like the dynamism that a live band offers.” For this concert tour in California, Silvestre’s wish is for the audience to remember Kundirana as a band, and secondly, as a chorale group.” Dressed in denim jeans and Tshirts topped with black vests, the Kundirana boys gyrate, leap, twist. They adhere pretty much to a choreography that only boy bands would relish. They open their one-hour segment with an OPM, but the only words that I am able to make out are “Kumusta Mga Kaibigan,” which I imagine would be its title. That is followed with a Beatles medley, beginning with “Yesterday,” then songs from the Fab Four’s ‘Mersey Sound’ years, “All My Loving,” “Till There Was You,” There Are Places,” and “in My Life.” Then a serenade in Tagalog, during which some of the boys tag their host “family” to dance with them on the stage. I am surprised that the group has totally eliminated gospel and spiritual songs from their repertoire for the first time in many years. After about 45 minutes at the receiving end of a high decibel output, I am ready to doze off. I am jolted back into wakefulness when they begin singing Adele’s

Ella Tesoro, 16, performing a jazz dance number.

“Someone Like You.” Bad, bad choice. A hip-hop number follows, and I am glad that the Kundirana’s segment finally ends. The current members of Kundirana are: Milo Magno, Mico Cruz, Jiron Torio, Levy Cabatingan, Jep Pimentel, Tadi Calabia, Carlo Clemente, Louie Pedroso, singers; Mizo Banaria, drums; Joseph Samson, keyboard; Hans Canteras, bass guitar; Xyrus Sims, guitar & xylophone; Luigi Lago, guitar, Jean Garcia, multi-media production; and Monet Silvestre, musical director. Earlier Lou Baron’s Celestial Productions, which took over Kundirana’s California concert tour a few years ago, also bestowed its International Noble and other Awards to several Fil-Ams. One of the honorees, photographer Benjamin Uy, has been honored two years in a row. He is honored again this year for his unstinting

Kundirana members serenading their hosts with a kundiman.

The Kundirana at the Celebrity Center in Hollywood. In the foreground is an image of Our LAdy of Guidance, which accompanies the singing group in all its travels.

Chenza Puno, 14, performing one of the opening songs.

support for a fundraising project for the victims of typhoon “Sendong” last year, according to journalist Nimfa Rueda, US correspondent of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. The other honorees, as listed in the Kundirana 2012 Gala Concert souvenir program are: Loida Barrientos, Community Leader Award; Rose Chua, Outstanding Services & Generous Contribution to the Community; Arnold Garcia, Oustanding Songwriter/Producer; Dr. Kim Diana Le, International Noble Awards for Philanthropy; Boy Lisazo, Quintessential Community Leader; Andy Edralin,

Outstanding in Journalism; Lala Usis Scott, Outstanding Community Leader & Mother of the Year, Benny Uy, Creative Award & Outstanding Photographer; Precy Uy, Humanitarian Award; Malou Bonus, Outstanding in Business; Ryan Arciaga, International Noble Award; and Steven Escobar, International Noble Award. The host families that provide the Kundirana members homes away from home are Drs. Ike and Fe Aragon, Dr. Franklin and Gloria Cabebe, and Dr. Ralph and Lisa Cadano. The emcees of the show were Norma Jean Eustaquio and and Lisa Cadano.

Journalist Nimfa Rueda (foreground) speaking for one of the Noble Awards honorees, photographer Benny Uy. Behind her are the other Fil-Am honorees.

The Classic Harmony, composed of (from left) Edgar Papas, Sal Espinosa, Bob Crowther and Fenny Pangan.




Saturday, April 28, 2012

FACLA --- Can’t We All Just Get Along?


S Los Angeles commemorates the 20th anniversary of the Rodney King verdict riots a simple question was asked of people of different races, ethnic groups and religion: ‘Can’t We All Just Get Along?’ For over 20 years the Filipino American Community of Los Angeles (FACLA) has been unable to answer the same question, even though they are a small group of people, not a vast metropolis. We all come from the same race, ethnic group and are all Christians. And while Los Angelenos of all races and creeds have no commitment whatsoever to better each other, the goal of FACLA is to support the community and each other, to build a better life for Filipinos, provide a cultural and community center, as well as to provide a helping hand to those most in need. How does fighting so much achieve these goals? How can it be that this organization can even survive after twenty years of infighting that has seen at least one sad death, jail and prison terms, endless lawsuits claiming embezzlement, fraud and election irregularities? How can it be that after all these years FACLA can grab our headline, particularly with the news from back home of the Chief Justice’s impeachment and an ex-president’s arrest and imprisonment, as well as serious scandals locally of a supposedly trusted law firm in, at best, wide disarray and harming so many Filipinos? Why do we still care? More importantly, why do these warring factions still care? Generally, when church or community groups have deep divisions, as FACLA clearly has, one group walks away leaving the spoils for the other. But everyone stays at FACLA, no one leaves; they just fight on, and keep fighting, to the point of the organization becoming seemingly dysfunctional. But it seems to keep functioning. How can this be? The organization, the community, the concept of FACLA obviously is very dear to the hearts and minds of all these warring individuals. Something worth having is worth fighting for. But being part of a community means being communal, looking out for the other person, putting your personal interests aside for the sake of the greater whole. Certainly the purpose of FACLA is not to fight, debate, litigate and argue. One fact is clear. All the members of FACLA love the organization, otherwise they would leave. But they stay. Something unites them. For the good of all Filipinos, FACLA ‘just get along.’ How can this be done? First, thinks FACLA should have a meeting, or even a party, that only celebrates why they love FACLA. Why they stay. Everyone has to present an oration of what is wonderful about the organization. Everyone must say ‘we want to get along, we want to be united, and we want to stop fighting.’ This will help grow a communal attitude. Second, all members must agree to treat each other with dignity and respect. Outsiders consider Filipinos a very respectful people. Let’s respect one another. Third, there must be some form of outside mediation, and agreement-making process, when kababayans of goodwill simply cannot agree, but without resorting to the courts, that only drain the treasuries that could be used for the very programs near to our hearts. Lastly, we urge our readers to weigh in, to let FACLA know we depend on them for leadership, for services, to be a cultural oasis. Urge FACLA members, for the good of the community to ‘just get along.’

is published fortnightly by Tanod Bayan, Inc., mailing address at 1247 Arapahoe Street, # 7, Los Angeles, CA 90006, Telephone Number (213) 261-7467 and e-mail address at

Alfonso Gaerlan Aquino

Rene Villaroman

Executive Editor

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Dionesio C. Grava Chief of Reporters

Francis Johann Verdote Correspondent

Arturo Cariaga, Winston A. Marbella Manila Correspondents

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That’s Entertainment!

OR nearly 3 decades, the American entertainment icon, Bruce Springsteen, has wowed his audience with a constant concert structure which he claims to be “part circus, dance party, political rally and big tent revival.” The sum of these parts forms an incomparably larger whole, one that has no equivalent in American life and culture. Yet, what is deemed to be phenomenal is that most of his audience now come for the political message which his concerts want to impart to impart. And the public has come to accept that as a plus in the entertainment world. As for the Filipino concert goers, they go for a slightly similar structure, one that is berefit of political innuendos and spiritual revivalism. They go for pure entertainment, and the performers would certainly be under obligation to see to it that’s what their audience get: 100% entertainment. The nearest, probably, to a circus atmosphere is any performance by Gary Valenciano, the tumbler/acrobat of Philippine entertainment. Another side feature is yelling and you won’t miss it in any Pinoy show. That’s how entertainment is delivered. Last April 14, my wife Elizabeth and I went to a concert at Saban Theater on Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills, where the Filipino event was to be held. The show featured the threesome of Martin Nievera, his former wife Pops Fernandez, and comedienne Ai Ai de las Alas, and the show was called Three’s A Company. This is Philippine entertainment at it’s superlative best. Martin Nievera, of course, performed at what is patented Pinoy, projecting his voice by yelling, and a humorous situation is delivered by the comedienne with the usual thrust of vulgarity at the expense of oneself, again of course. And what is kept as usual was the much vaunted Filipino time. The show started 22 minutes late, as the theater was still half full at the time. Then when the front act was through, and the main act started, people begin to arrive. I have no idea from which planet all these people came from. I can only guess that must be part of the show.....and

that’s entertainment! As part of the act, which I assumed to be the case, Martin’s father, Bert Nievera, was announced by Pops to be in attendance but was seated at the lodge section. I knew the guy well in the 1960s and he was an accomplished jazz singer with a TV show. I like better his style of suave delivery, but this is not to say that the son is less better. There is just a big difference between a singer and an entertainer. As for the show, it ran for nearly 3 hours and was worth every minute. I never knew that the executive officers of FACLA are capable of putting on an extravaganza with a press conference on April 19, 2012 which placed me in the starring role. Please note that I have desisted from calling them squatters because I would like to show this gesture as my way of thanking them for according me the honor of a leading man. Any attempt at entertainment is worth one’s cup of tea, especially when we have an embattled headman delivering a harangue which smacks of Hitler, and a female surrogate praising me to high heavens with her cross-eyed attacks. My God, they’ve gone a long way from being illegal occupiers to damn good entertainers, or shall we say clowns, as madame Rita Dinsay would prefer to be called. Well, send in the clowns and we’ll have entertainment. By the way, does not entertain letters of concern when they are signed anonymous. But let me just say this about the letter writer’s beef against the inclusion of Dr. Carlos P. Manlapaz among the awardees. Why don’t you accept the fact that he is probably the most deserving, given that he was the first chairman of the Independence Day Centennial Committee who went out of his way to see to it that the celebrations be made available to Filipinos from all walks of life. And Darna Umayam, too, had a large role in the success of these early events. What we have now as celebration is just the night event, featuring speeches of Philippine officials and ballroom dancing. And it has now become elitist.

Saturday, April 28, 2012



Scarborough Incident

Why is FACLA behaving the way it is?


N June 28, 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, was assassinated in Sarajevo by a group of Bosnian Serbs. The assassination, which became known as the “Sarajevo Incident,” set in motion a series of events. As Austria-Hungary confronted Serbia over the assassination, other European countries aligned with one side or the other. Germany sided with Austria-Hungary while Russia backed up Serbia.

One month after the assassination, the Austro-Hungarian Empire declared war on Serbia. Four days later, Germany declared war on Russia. A few days later, Britain and France declared war on Germany. In less than 40 days, the “Sarajevo Incident” escalated into a “great war” involving Europe’s great powers. But it became a “world war” when the United States entered the war on the side of Britain and France. By the time the “Great War to End All Wars” -- as “World War I” was originally called – was over, more than 20 countries were involved. During the four-year war, total casualties were 37 million including 8.5 million killed. Scarborough Shoal Almost a century after the “Sarajevo Incident,” an incident is happening on the other side of the world that could potentially trigger another conflict among nations. It’s in an uninhabited group of islands and reefs called Scarborough Shoal in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) about 124 nautical miles west of the province of Zambales. It’s claimed by the Philippines, China, and Taiwan. Scarborough Shoal is a triangleshaped chain of islands and reefs with a circumference of 34 miles and an area of 58 square miles. It has a lagoon with an area of 50 square miles and depth of about 50 feet. Many of the reefs are just below water at high tide. The islands and reefs vary in height from 1.5 to 9.8 feet at low tide. Chinese incursion On April 8, 2012, a Philippine Navy vessel observed eight Chinese fishing vessels anchored inside the lagoon while it was patrolling the area. The cutter BRP Gregorio del Pilar was immediately deployed that day. Two days later, the Del Pilar sent a boarding team to inspect the fishing boats. They found illegally collected corrals, giant clams, and live sharks inside the boats. But before the team could arrest the fishermen, two Chinese surveillance ships moved into positions between the Del Pilar and the fishing boats. A standoff ensued. The Philippine government protested the Chinese incursion into its territory and presented a proposal to submit the Scarborough Shoal territorial dispute to international arbitration. China rejected the proposal and instead dispatched her most advanced fishing patrol vessel, the Yuzheng 310, to the West Philippine Sea to protect Chinese fishermen. The English-language China Daily quoted a Chinese analyst as

saying, “Beijing’s decision to send more patrol ships is a necessary and justified step to show strength.” The analyst added, “The move also sends the message to Manila that Beijing does not make concessions after China has shown patience and sincerity to avert the situation from deteriorating.” Evidently, China is not going to give up her claim over the entire South China Sea (West Philippine Sea), peacefully or otherwise. A few years ago, China declared the entire South China Sea as one of her “core national interests,” which means that it is a non-negotiable territory like Tibet. False nationalism Last April 14, a Manila newspaper headlined: “Left urges Aquino to hang tough vs China.” The report said, “Left-leaning legislators urged President Benigno Aquino III to take a tough stand against China, but cautioned him against bringing into the picture “a much bigger bully”—the United States. The militant lawmakers also proposed a congressional investigation into China’s latest incursion on Philippine territory.” One leftist legislator remarked, “Philippine territorial waters and the 200-mile exclusive economic zones belong to the Filipino people and no foreign country, be it China or the United States, should be allowed to use and exploit it for their economic, military or hegemonic interests.” Calling the United States a “much bigger bully” manifests the shortsightedness – and narrowmindedness -- of the self-proclaimed “nationalist” legislators. Another leftist legislator said that the Aquino administration should not seek U.S. diplomatic or military intervention but should tap the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and the United Nations for help in diplomatic talks with China. But it was Department of National Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin who put the issue in perspective. He reportedly said, “When the U.S. bases (were still operating in Subic, Zambales and Clark Field, Pampanga), all of our maritime areas were free from intrusions as U.S. forces helped us patrol those areas.” He added that the country’s intrusion problem grew when the U.S. closed down its bases in the above-mentioned areas as a result of the Philippine Senate’s refusal to extend the lease of the American bases in the country in 1991. “Our lack of equipment and capability made it easy for (some of) our neighbors to place markers on our territories, claiming it for their own,” he said.



What’s at stake? In my article, “What if China attacked the Spratlys?” (July 13, 2011), I wrote: “By just looking at the two countries’ military forces, there is no way the Philippines could survive a Chinese attack. The Philippine Navy has one World War II-vintage frigate and an Air Force that consists mainly of helicopters and no jet fighters. In a matter of days the entire Spratly archipelago could be in the possession of China — without firing a single shot! “The only thing that is deterring China – momentarily — from attacking the Spratlys is the USPhilippine Mutual Defense Treaty, on the presumption that the US would come to the aid of the Philippines if the latter invoked the Mutual Defense Treaty. But that is a big ‘IF’ because President Barack Obama would have difficulty in convincing Congress and the American people to go to war in the South China Sea while the US is still embroiled in wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya… unless her national interests and security are threatened.” (Note: Today, Afghanistan is the only war the U.S. is fighting) In my opinion, the only time that the U.S. would intervene is when her national interests are threatened. And for as long as China doesn’t block the shipping lanes in the South China Sea or prevent any country from exploring for oil or natural gas in the South China Sea, the U.S. would not intervene in any territorial dispute between China and the Philippines over Scarborough Shoal or the Spratlys. Who cares who owns these little islands as long as the waters around them are open to exploration… or exploitation? However, if China attacked the uncontested Philippine territory covered by the U.S.-Philippine Mutual Defense Treaty, then the U.S. might be obligated to intervene and defend the Philippines. But China wouldn’t do that knowing full well what the consequence would be in invading the Philippines. The question is: Is China going to risk going to war by firing the first shot over the “Scarborough Incident,” occupy the Scarborough Shoal and the Spratly archipelago, and block maritime shipping lanes in the South China Sea? If she did, would it draw the other world powers into the conflict just like what the “Sarajevo Incident” did 98 years ago? And just like Sarajevo, it might be worth fighting for what is at stake in the Scarborough Shoal. (

HERE was a time when FACLA was synonymous with unity and service to the Fil-Am community, exactly the way it was envisioned by its founders. But FACLA’s storied and colorful history has been all but supplanted by its present image of an organization that is forever in a state of flux. And casual observers including me are constantly trying to analyze what it is that ails what used to be the most respected and revered Filipino-American organization founded by early Filipino immigrants many years before the start of the Second World War. As a longtime community journalist, I have been avoiding being involved with FACLA, and it comes in the form of refusing to write about it for fear of getting swallowed by the complexity of its brand of politics. As a consequence, I know next to nothing about the organization and only know a few officers by name. The single time that I was requested to write about the organization was about three years ago when I was a contributing writer of another Fil-Am newspaper, and I agreed only to write about FACLA’s history, but not its then current leadership. Beyond that involvement, I have pretty much kept my distance from FACLA, and the reasons, apart from the politics, are many. When my family arrived in Los Angeles in the mid-80s, FACLA was embroiled in a zarzuela of sorts. That immediately caught my attention for its peculiarity. The president then was in the process of being ousted because he was allegedly an illegal alien. Imagine that happening to a Filipino-American community organization that I perceived, rather strictly, to be open only to legal immigrants and naturalized citizens. My primal impression of FACLA, to say the least, had not been very promising. I hasten to add, however, that in the mid-80s, FACLA was already in the process of losing some of its luster, whose fame and record of public service, reportedly reached its apex during the 50s until the mid-60s. Further, I must reiterate that I never lose hope that FACLA would someday regain its former glory. The other week, I was a bit surprised when I received a call from FACLA’s secretary requesting me to attend a press conference called by its President, Austin Baul. I ran out of reasons to avoid covering FACLA, and so I said yes. I did not have any preconceptions about the officers now holding office, and I intend to keep my biases in check. Politics is such a tricky, slippery path to negotiate, to begin with. I come, I meet the officers; and I ask questions. I expect to get

straight answers, and I did. I record the answers every time, so that when an issue arises, I have a digital recording to back me up. Then I write my story, or, in this case, my column. I will not bore my readers with another recitation of how Mr. Baul and the rest of the present FACLA Board got to their positions. For one, I do not relish listening to legalese. For another, the series of events that put the new set of officers to be where they are now is no longer relevant to me. Of course, to those who have a stake in the present structure of FACLA leadership, I respect their passion to debate this subject matter until it dies. So I will proceed from where Austin Baul is right now. Although I am not a lawyer, I respect Mr. Baul’s claim that he is the duly elected President of FACLA. I am not saying that my contention will stand all legal challenges in the future because at FACLA nothing seems to be carved in stone anymore. But that would be Mr. Baul’s problem already. I have got to have this precept in order to write a thesis on why Mr. Baul is having a hard time leading as President of FACLA. Mr. Baul looks to me like he might make a good President. That is if he is allowed to see the light of day by an allegedly “disruptive” group of FACLA officers who call him names even before he can begin the meetings. Although he may have many great ideas and projects for FACLA, at present, he can’t fund these projects because FACLA’s treasury has zero funds. He announced that former President Aguayon is allegedly refusing to turn over $4,000 left over from his term, and had written him twice demanding the return of the funds, but Mr. Aguayon had ignored him. FACLA is also faced with unpaid taxes for a couple of years, but those unpaid taxes happened during past administrations. In short, Mr. Baul can be compared to President Barack Obama, who is trying to rectify the shortcomings of the administration before him. It is too early to predict whether Mr. Baul can get himself out of the mess that he got himself in and still have time left in his term to work on his platform of government. I do not know Mr. Baul personally, but I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. If at the end of his term he succeeds in facing down these challenges to his leadership and still is able to introduce reforms and maintain FACLA’s viability as an entity, then it’s just right that I lavish him with praise. For now, I will watch him work his magic on his detractors in and outside of this once venerable organization.



Are PinoyWatchDog Staff Hot and Rotten 7 Potatoes?


E recently received anonymous letters challenging us to make exposes and to unearth ongoing activities in the communities that they believed are scrupulous and simply for money-making purposes. They even mentioned the names of the victims who appeared to have been given instant qualifications for the awards because of monetary considerations, and the people behind these alleged scams. The sender of the poison letters (one addressed to me and one for Rene Villaroman) mentioned also the poor victims who are so euphoric thinking they are really deserving after doling out hundreds or thousands of hard-earned dollars to be instantly qualified and included in the circles of achievers or club of fools or fooled. More so, they registered their irritation against this guy who keeps on bringing a blank yellow pad soliciting people’s signatures without giving the purposes for this and the people behind such move. He is seen most of the time when there are parties; going from table to table with his yellow pad. Our “sumbungero” said “kung minsan lang mapagbibigyan, but parang iyan na yata ang hanap-buhay niyang Cachupoy na iyan.” We could have accepted the challenge of this anonymous “devil-may-care” individual. But there are many considerations when we make exposes. Are these factual? Did we make ocular inspection or visual investigation? Did we make interviews and gather witnesses?

Did we talk to the victims? For those suggesting or challenging us to discuss delicate issues, and had sent “poison letters”, please sign your names , include your return addresses and give us your phone numbers; or rather, take time to see us personally. We want to make sure that you are for real.. We don’t want to be used by biased and prejudiced people. But most of all, don’t impose your will on us. Speaking of awards and pageants, people can only complain if they are forced to join, or if they are promised heaven and earth. Kung hindi kayo pinipilit OK lang. Kung kayo ang nagpipilit at gustong ipalagay ang litrato kahit sa mga kahon ng gatas sa Ralphs o Vons na may label na “Have You Seen Me” at least kahit papaano magkakaruon ng libangan ang mga tao. Lalo na ang mga pintasero, dahil siguradong kahit kayo mukhang takong ng sapatos. pakong bakya, tulolaway, o kaya humuhuni sa laki ang ilong mo pag lakad, salubong ang itim ng mga mata, at kulay keso ang mga ngipin, kung perahan ang contest, siguradong panalo ka na.

Pasalamat kayo sa mga organizers na hindi namimilit dahil ibibigay raw ito sa mga charitable projects, hindi sa pockets nila. Marami akong kilalang ganyan at iginagalang ko sila dahil kahit paano, nakakatulong.. Iyong iba naman mga garapal. Tingnan rin naman ninyo at kaliskisan ang mga namumuno. Makikilala naman ninyo ang mga may “K” sa tract records nila. On many occasions we have been exposed to dangers and oftentimes put ourselves in harm’s way in doing of our assignments. Barely a few days ago, our Managing Editor Rene Villaroman caught somebody stalking and secretly photographing him while he’s stacking our newspapers on the racks provided by the famous Seafood City Supermarket on Vermont. The guy froze and stiffened when confronted by Rene. He was surprised to find out that Rene already noticed him by the side of his eyes. This was just a drop in the bucket. For those who do not yet know Rene by heart, let me tell you a few

Saturday, April 28, 2012 reliable facts about him. He was a veteran of many demonstrations in the Philippines prior to his immigration here. He knows both the good and the ugly activists. Many times he interviewed them or took their pictures face-to-face for the sake of his photojournalism avocation. He loves classic film cameras and mechanical watches. On Thursdays, if it is not windy, Rene target-shoots with his match rifles and various hunting guns at his favorite target range to keep his shooting edge honed. His eyes glitter every time I ask him about his smallbore and centerfire rifle and pistol collections. He is encouraging me to join him to shoot a few rounds with him at the range, using my own pistol, which I have not fired since I bought it during the Los Angeles riots in the mid-90s. Even our newspaper,, has suffered the same fate. There are thugs who hauled our newspaper copies by the bundle or sometimes simply scatter them on the racks. Either we are already the cream of the crop; or the people we exposed paid goons to haul our newspapers and dispose of them somewhere. Beware. You can do it sometimes, but not most of the time. But do not let us catch you. And this warning also applies to the drivers that deliver copies of Asian Journal who routinely move copies of PinoyWatchDog. com and other publications, including Philippines News, when they make their second delivery of the week. Our own Rene Villaroman has observed these happen at the Seafood City Supermarket in Eagle Rock. These racks are communal property provided by Seafood City,

and no one newspaper is entitled to take advantage of their usage just because they have to unload more copies than the rest of the other publications. We had been criticized and oftentimes maligned because of our hard-hitting articles. We cannot do otherwise except to be direct to the point without going around the bush. We cannot throw roses on dead criminals nor shower them with orchid flowers. Comes now a lady who always says she doesn’t want to hear anything negative against anybody. That’s why for her, PWD is a trash kuno. Mamang, we know that’s your smoke screen to avoid criticism. If you don’t want to hear or read criticism and exposes, stay in the middle of the sea. But beware of tsunami. Dito naman sa pamilya PWD (Pinoy Watchdog), nakakatawa ang isa nating kasama na manunulat kuno. Natakot na yata at ayaw ng sumama sa ating staff. Kabayan, kung takot ka sa apoy, huwag kang magbu-bumbero. Maglaro ka na lang ng holen Some press members are afraid to be seen consorting with us. People don’t want to be identified with PWD as if we are too hot to handle or stink like rotten potatoes. We realized that and we got used to it. What matters is that we sent the messages to problem individuals and cancers of the society. For those who cannot control themselves cursing us because of our exposes, please ask yourselves if there are other papers exposing the same “undesirables” in our midst for your protection. As always, listen to the message, don’t kill the messenger. Turn to Page 13

Saturday, April 28 , 2012

Off Hours

2012 Los Angeles Film Festival (June 14-24) announces 3 Galas; Woody Allen’s “To Rome with Love” to open the festival




A scene from “To Rome With Love,” (a Woody Allen film, starring Ellen Page and Jesse Eisenberg) which will kick-off the 2012 Los Angeles Film Festival.

HE 18th celebration of the Los Angeles Film Festival will have the North American Premiere of Woody Allen’s “To Rome With Love,” which will serve as the Opening Night film, kicking of on June 14, with Virgin America as the Opening Night Sponsor. The festival will be headquartered at the L.A. Live in downtown, Los Angeles and run through June 24. The festival promises to provide the movie-loving public with access to critically acclaimed filmmakers, film industry professionals, and emerging talent from around the world.

Three world-class films will have its Gala Night: Focus Features’ “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World,” written and directed by Lorene Scafaria, will have its World Premiere. The movie stars Steve Carell and Keira Knightley with Connie Britton, Adam Brody, Derek Luke, Melanie Lynskey, and more. As an asteroid nears the Earth, a man finds himself alone after his wife leaves in a panic. Then he decides to go on a road trip to reunite with his high school sweetheart. The writer/director explores what people will do and how they will feel when humanity’s end is near. Focus will release the film nationwide on June 22, 2012. Fox Searchlight’s “Beasts of the Southern Wild” is directed by Benh Zeitlin, written by Lucy Alibar and Benh Zeitlin, and stars Quvenzhané Wallis and Dwight Henry. In a forgotten world by a sprawling levee, a sixyear-old girl exists on the brink of orphanhood. Buoyed by her childish and extraordinary imagination, she believes that the natural world is in balance with the universe until a fierce storm changes her reality. Desperate to repair the structure of her world in order to save her ailing father and sinking home, this tiny hero must learn to survive unstoppable catastrophes of epic proportions. The film won this year’s Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and was recently selected to play in Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Film Festival. Fox Searchlight will release the film on June 27, 2012. AFFRM and Partici-

by Oliver Carnay

pant’s “Middle of Nowhere” is written and directed by Ava DuVernay and stars newcomer Emayatzy Corinealdi, David Oyelowo, Omari Hardwick, Lorraine Toussaint, Edwina Findley and Sharon Lawrence. Middle of Nowhere is a portrait of a woman struggling between two worlds and two men in the search for herself. The film garnered Ava the Best Director Award at this year’s Sundance Film Festi-

on sale beginning May 29. Contact the Ticket Office for passes, tickets and event information by calling 866. FILM.FEST (866.345.6337) or visit The Official Film Guide, the comprehensive source for all movie info, screenings, locations, and related events is produced by the Los Angeles Times. It will top The Los Angeles Times on Sunday, June 10 in Los Angeles and Orange County and be

Three world class films will have its Gala Night at the 18th LA Filmfest (“Seeking a Friend for the End of the World,” “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” and “Middle of Nowhere.”

ruly” ang tawag ng Publicist na ayaw mag-pakilala, sa isang media outlet na pasaway, na naging dahilan para madamay ang ilang Filipino media outlet para di na maapprove um-attend sa alinmang Fox related shows. Kahit naman sa ilang Fil-

with “Revenge” star Josh Bowman and producer Mike Kelley.

val. AFFRM and Participant will release the film on October 12, 2012. Passes are currently on sale to Film Independent members and the general public. In addition to screenings and events, Festival passes provide access to a series of networking receptions and entry to the Filmmaker Lounge, where Festival pass holders can interact with Festival filmmakers and professionals in the film community. General admission tickets to individual films go

made available throughout downtown during the tenday event.

Fil-Am Media, bawal nang mag-cover sa “American Idol”!

Nakapanghihinayang malaman, na dahil sa kagagawan ng ilang tao ay nadadamay ang ilang Filipino press para di na payagang makapag-cover ng tv series na “American Idol.” “Un-

A scene from the play “The Girl Most Like to” currently showing at the Playwrights Arena in downtown, Los Angeles.

ipino events (Expo, concerts, press con, at iba pa ..), bantad na sa atin ang pagiging “unruly” at walang disiplina ng ilang mga Pilipino. Ilang tao ang nagpapanggap na “press media” para lang makapagpicture sa mga artista? Sa isa ngang Expo, pati ba naman bata ay may “press badge”? Ano’ng katarantaduhan ito? Since 2002, taon nang manalo si Kelly Clarkson, ay naghahatid na ako ng balita sa taunang “American Idol.” The last time I covered it was Season 7 in 2008 when David Cook won and that was a battle between the two Davids (Cook and Archuleta). Hindi ko na ito sinundan dahil naging busy ako sa pag-ma-manage ng aking mga talents. Natutuwa ako’t ilang Filipino press ang ngayon ay nagpapatuloy ng aking nasimulan. Pero nakalulungkot isipin na dahil sa ilang palalong mga kababayan ay naa-apektuhan ang impresyon ng international

media at Publicist sa mga Filipino media. Nakatanggap ako ng invitation mula sa American Idol para maikober ang finale pagkatapos kong malaman ang nangyari. Hopefully, mapatunayan natin sa kanila na hindi lahat ng Fil-Am press ay “unruly.” Importante ang propesyonalismo at ang pagsunod sa rules at protocol kapag nag-i-interbyu ang isang press media. May nakalakip na responsibilidad kapag nabigyan ng credential ang isang press -- whether it is for Print, Broadcast, Photographer, o Radio/On-Line Media. Sana naman, huwag abusuhin ang pribilehiyo na ito. Kayo rin! Tidbits: The play “The Girl Most Likely To” is about a young teen Fil-Am boy who wants to dress up as a girl, and be treated as a girl. Written by Michael Premsrirat and directed by Jon Lawrence Rivera, it is produced by Playwrights‘ Arena and The Latino Theatre Company, in association with PAE Live. Let’s support this funny, heartSeason 7 (with David Archuleta backstage), the American Idol Finale that I last covered where David Cook won... the two Davids, Cook and Archuleta with former judge Paula Abdul in 2008.

wrenching, sweet play. Runs until May 13th. Please call box office at 866-811-4111 or log on to ..... The reality show “X Factor” is still accepting audition tapes. To sign up and know more details about how to submit, please log on to www.thexfactorusa. com ..... The hit tv series “Revenge” returned last April 19 and ratings are going steady after a seven weeks hiatus. The Hamptons are back and two big questions are haunting them, “Where is Amanda and does Daniel also suspects Emily?” “Revenge” is on ABC, 10 p.m. every Wednesday. To watch the latest episodes, go to revenge/SH55126554 ... Comments are welcome, email me at




Saturday, April 28 , 2012

Disruptions, Funds Woes Slowing FACLA’s Projects From Page 1

implementing his programs because of the disruptive antics of some directors of the organization during meetings. The event was a press conference held April 19 at the FACLA social hall. The FACLA president was reacting to a question from’s managing editor, Rene Villaroman, whether it was true that FACLA was broke? At that time Mr. Baul had just finished reading a portion of a column by Alfonso Gaerlan Aquino,’s executive editor, published in the previous issue of this newspaper. In the column entitled “FACLA is broke” it was alleged that the present occupants of FACLA are unable “to settle the tax arrears of the organization as they are preoccupied and obsessed by their court battles.” Mr. Aquino also wrote that he, Dick Digal and Saling Manuel had raised concerns about the state of affairs in FACLA and “agreed that it was time for the community to intervene because if we don’t take action, we stand to lose an institution built by our forerunners who wanted only the best for the community.” Aquino quoted Digal saying “that any member of FACLA can go to court and file a Motion for Declaratory Relief/Intervention, re-Negligence of Fiduciary Duties and Gross Negligence of Paramount Duty to protect the property of the association...” In rejecting the accusation, Mr. Baul said that in fact it was the previous administration that was negligent and that the new officers are trying to correct the situation. About the IRS arrears, he said that he already inquired from the said government agency about the

From foreground, clockwise: Erlinda Guerchom, FACLA auditor; Amor Hayner, concerned citizen; Rita Dinsay, 2nd vice president; Linda Nery, FACLA treasurer; Austin Baul, FACLA president; Paul Julian, director; Bienvenido Basilio, director; Romy Borje, Philippine Tribune; and Jerry Esguerra, Bantay Pilipinas.

situation and was told that $8,000 in unpaid taxes was due for the years 2006 and 2007. He was not the president in 2006 and 2007. As it stands, Baul said, FACLA cannot do anything yet even with that deficiency because the organization has to be assessed first on the taxes due for the year 2005. Additionally, there are penalties for late payment at $20 a day or a maximum of $10,000. Then there is the fact that Mr. Baul’s administration -- just two months old -- started with zero money in the coffers. He said that Mr. Aguayon has $4,000 of FACLA funds. He (Mr. Baul) had already written two letters for Aguayon to return it, he said, adding that he also doesn’t want to accuse Mr. Aguayon of embezzlement in Federal court because that would be a different matter than suing in a civil case. Mr. Baul mentioned about Editor Aquino as among the ghosts of Posted notice indicating the past that is disruptions of meetings. still haunting FACLA today. He later explained that Aquino, a former officer of the organization, was involved in an incident which required paying a certain amount to a victim as ordered by the court. An opportunity to start anew As this is being written, a dinner-dance is in progress at the FACLA premises to cap a day of celebrations in connection with the 67th anniversary of the organization. Mr. Baul and some of the directors had just been sworn into office by Mel Ilomin, principal assistant of California Assemblyman Gel Cedillo. Behind the merrymaking, however, is the fact that FACLA is problem-plagued and, in the words of Mr. Villaroman in his column elsewhere in this issue, “an organization that is forever in a state of flux.” Austin Baul was unanimously elected president by the directors present at a Feb. 20 meeting. In his acceptance remarks he spoke of his “zeal and resolve to reclaim FACLA’s lost flame and glory.” He would achieve this goal by encouraging Filipino brothers and sisters to be involved in the affairs and issues of our community and instilling in them a sense of pride in our unique identity, cultural heritage and tradition and unity.” But FACLA has to accomplish something first before it could get the cooperation of the thousands and thousands of new members that Mr. Baul envisioned would come. “We have goals,” he said during the press conference. “We have to start construction of

Press conference attendees from foreground, clockwise: Wendy Natividad of Balita Media, Inc.; Arthur Garcia , advocate of veterans’ and other causes; Mylah De Leon, Asian Journal; Rene Villaroman, managing editor of PinoyWatchdog; Erlinda Guerchom, FACLA auditor; Amor Hayner, a concerned citizen; Rita Dinsay, 2nd vice president; Linda Nery, FACLA treasurer; Austin Baul, FACLA president; Paul Julian, director; Bienvenido Basilio (partly hidden), director; Romy Borje, Philippine Tribune; and Jerry Esguerra, Bantay Pilipinas.

From left: Wendy Natividad of Balita Media, Inc.; Arthur Garcia , advocate of veterans’ and other causes; Mylah De Leon, Asian Journal; Rene Villaroman, managing editor of PinoyWatchdog; and Erlirida Guerchom, FACLA auditor

Austin Baul, FACLA president, reading from a copy of PinoyWatchdog. To his right is Linda Nery, FACLA treasurer and forum moderator.

and other officers by changing the locks of the gate and the building. Policemen who were summoned to the scene authorized him to contract the services of a locksmith when Aguayon refused to hand over the keys, Mr. Baul said. Erlinda Guerchom, FACLA auditor, suggested that perhaps the disruption during meetings could be avoided if members of the media are present. “It has been a waste of time, energy and money the way things are,” she said.

an edifice that would be the pride and joy of our community. There are medical concerns to be attended to, scholarship programs and others.” He said that to get his goal moving committees have to be established to oversee each proposed project. But how can such committees be created when each time the FACLA’s problems and organization PinoyWatchdog convened a meeting some Saying that Editor Aquidisgruntled no’s incessant criticisms officers disare not helping to resolve rupted it. FACLA’s problems, Mr. Baul As soon floated the possibility that as the meetthe other members of the ing is called to order, he said, (Dimedia could lend a hand in Posted notice indicating rector Norma) Salvaterra will shout problems confronting this regard. that he (Baul) is not the presiding FACLA which Mr. Baul “Probably some wellofficer, that he is an illegal officer referred to are some of the meaning people of the meghosts of the past. and such other disparaging words. dia, somehow, you know...” “Shouting. Shouting. What can you His facility for the spoken do with this kind of people?” Baul asked. English faltered momentarily. “It’s sad for the Mr. Baul also recalled a time when they community because if this goes on and on, could not enter the FACLA premises to per- people would believe this is true,” he added form their duties because Adolfino Aguayon, obviously referring to the accusations. a former president of the organization and Rita Dinsay, 2nd vice president (financial currently one of the directors, prevented him Turn to Page 12

Saturday, April 28, 2012




ntert inment & rts

‘Of concerts and worthy causes


Lou Sabas in concert with backup singers and the Midnight Motion Band.

Words and photos by

Dionesio C. Grava


HAT’S in a song that seemingly taps on some inner chords evoking deep emotion about long forgotten memories? How come familiar tunes associate with dormant fixations or childhood remembrances? Has it something to do with the fact that on the way to getting ancient one’s desire to relive days of yore is heightened the more? Is it the way a song is sung that projects greater meaning? Is it about the singer, the song?

Let things be and savor the moment. Let not some vocal pedagogue spoil the listening pleasure with some semantic contortions on the hows and whys of a contralto, a tessitura or whatever. Or that a diva doesn’t have to be a diva and vice versa. On yours truly an oldie but goldie is poignantly sentimental and well worth the long hours sitting still during a performance. And so I thank writing colleague Lou Sabas for the evening of memories and enjoyment at the Noypitz Bar & Restaurant one evening in April. Ms. Lou Sabas in ‘Through the Years III’. I wonder where Years I and II

went. I heard it was a return to center stage after a lapse of four years. It was also a happy birthday concert of hers. She dished it nonstop, almost, just like the trouper that she is. They don’t dub her LA’s Diva for nothing. I thought I heard Guardian Angels’ Loi Herrera mention the word enchanting about the voice. Lady President Evelyn Adamo of FilAm chamber was more into bedtime-like, I think. Myself, I sensed the murmur of a meandering spring passing through low-lying bushes in search of its level. Whatever, beauty is its own reason for being. And friend Lou piled it on as the night plods ahead. Opening

Evelyn Granada-Enriquez and Erlinda Granada-Sabah hand over a $1,500 check-donation to Sagip Kapamilya represented by Lydia Soriano, right. At far left is multi-awarded thespian Bernardo Bernardo.

Friends pour in to greet Birthday Girl Lou (left side of cake)

with Love Me Tender followed by Ang Tangi Kong Pag-ibig, It’s Crying Time, Have a Good Time, Sad Movies Make Me Cry flip sided with I Went to Your Wedding. Could be some heartaches somewhere. And many more the likes of Last Night I Didn’t Get to Sleep at All, Unforgettable, I Will Always Love You, Kahit Kunting Pagtingin, When Will I See You Again. Undying love? Must one always read something onto anything? She went into some recent beats, too, and the crowd relished them all but give me the 50’s and the kind anytime. Senior option anyone? I sensed my other writing colleagues, Nimfa Rueda and Vic Perez, were having a fun time, too. Not merely because of each other’s company, I hope. Ditto with photographer Andy Edralin. Willie Manacsa and the Midnight Motion Band were a blast. Direction by Isidric Panganiban. My other favorite warbler, Malou Toler, had a one-time duet with La Lou. She and Cebu’s Queen of Lounge, Joe Awayan were an all-night twosome though -- the friendship sort. More of the two later as the birthday celebrant went through her gig, obliged with a single encore and enjoyed the flowers and a tower of a cake embellished with a faux mic atop. And then everyone who had someone hit the floor and danced the night away. SELECTIVE CHARITIES. It’s a good thing to note that many of the events in the community are hitched on to some philanthropic causes. In Ms. Sabas’ event, a raffle was held the proceeds of which were to go to an orphan whose mom recently died of ovarian cancer, Ms. Sabas said. But talking of fundraising events for victims of recent calamities in the homeland, why must some people/ organizations discriminate in favor of certain regions to the exclusion

of others suffering the same fate? At the height of the Iligan and Cagayan de Oro catastrophes, for example, most fund-raisings were targeted to help one area only. And similar charitable efforts continued to benefit that particular Mindanao place even when there were reports of considerable international aid already. Meanwhile, there was hardly any fuss when destructive earthquakes hit the Visayas leaving a number of deaths, significant damages and much anguish in its wake. Obviously to some of these

Normandie Casino Showroom in Gardena. Just a gesture of support to the selfless efforts of the Granada sisters -- Evelyn and Erlinda -- in putting into concrete terms through Sagip Kapamilya their advocacy for our brothers and sisters especially in the Negros provinces who were unfortunate enough to be in the path of devastating temblors. But the Gardena show was worth the hassles and time and resources. Malou Toler and Jo Awayan and Bernardo Bernardo,

Fast-rising Mon Concepcion and his guitar.

Livewire Jo Awayan, left, pitched in a jaunty number with Malou “Troubadour” Toler for a worthy cause.

organizations, people in certain places in the homeland are more fit to live than those in other regions. If for that reason alone I was prompted to motor recently from my place in Sylmar to plop what miserable amount remained of a hundred bucks after filling the tank -- hey, whatever happened to the promise of change for the better in the last presidential election? -- for a ticket to JAMM ‘N TIME at the

exceptional entertainers all, are known to be there each time the call goes out for benevolent endeavors. From a business-card size notification I also see the following names as special guests: Mon Concepcion, Lianna Gutierrez, Renzo the Kids Rock Band and Stan Alfonso & Mondance. Thank you all, guys and gals, for sharing your God-given talents to humanitarian causes.


Saturday, April 28, 2012



‘Pinoy Pride’ Rally for Jessica Sanchez is an Experiment in Social Networking Words and photography by Rene Villaroman


HEN I arrived at the 7700 block of Beverly Blvd., right where the gate to the Fairfax studio of CBS is located, there is a motley group of about fifty people already in line along the sidewalk closest to the studio’s gate. I take that to mean that the ‘Pinoy Pride’ Rally for Jessica Sanchez that its organizers posted on Facebook and twitted on Twitter already had attracted a respectable crowd. But I am wrong. I approach a man, and in my best Los Angeles accent, ask, “Hey, bro, what’s going on here? Are you here for the Jessica Sanchez rally?” He looks at me quizically, his eyebrows raised, and answers, “We are lining up to watch the American Idol show.” It occurs to me that the FB announcement said the rally would be held at Fairfax at 3rd Street, so I begin a hasty trot towards Fairfax, which is about two short blocks away. Before I can reach the first block, I run into Fil-Am Television owner-general manager Lisa Moody, with one of his producers, Giovi Zamora, in tow. They are carrying a 10 x 3-foot vinyl banner with a large picture of Jessica Sanchez, and the message, Vote for Jessica. In that instant, I realize that the venue of the rally is where I first landed. After Lisa and Giovi manage to hang the banner from the wire mesh fence surrounding the studio, Margo Howlett and her daughterin-law, Diana Howlett, a Pinay,

saunter and pose for souvenir pictures, and I talk with them. They are avid fans of Jessica and drove from Temple City. “We’re glad to see her since we almost lost her last week,” says Margo. “We’ve been following her since she made the top 12,” says Diana. Lydia Agultos is from Rancho del Rey, a neighboring development to Chula Vista, in San Diego County where Jessica is from. Lydia took a day off and drove twoand-a-half hours to Los Angeles with two adult sons in order to see Jessica perform in person tonight. She tells that their Mayor, Sheryl Cox, did not watch ‘American Idol’ before, but upon learning that Jessica is from Chula Vista, she began watching the show to follow the 16-year-oldsinger’s quest for the ‘Idol’ championship. Lydia adds: “She deserves to win; she’s very, very good.” Lisa Moody tells that they planned to gather people together. She calls it “a social media experiment.” Giovi Zamora shared that although the numbers were not there, social media support was “phenomenal.” He says this is evidenced by a flurry of “likes” and other comments supporting the ‘Pinoy Pride’ rally in Facebook. “Jessica Sanchez is a great rallying point,” explains Moody. “I’d love to see Fil-Am visibility by rallying around Jessica, who is of course symbolic because she is the only person of color now among the seven remaining finalists, and known to be the best; and

we know that the judges have been impressed.” At around 2:15 p.m. Isidric Panganiban, a producer and cinematographer arrived with actorproducer Rambrandt Sabelis, who will be starring in a big mainstream movie that will feature stars and our very own Manny Pacquiao. Rembrandt says that the movie is now in pre-production stage and will begin filming in summer. “No, this is not an indie,” he emphasized. “this is a well-funded movie!” With Isidric and company’s arrival, the number of the group swelled to about ten people. Isidric siddles up to me and whispers, “Twenty-two people confirmed that they would attend.” Granted. That would only total less than 30 people. Before I leave the venue at 4 p.m., my colleague, Joe Cobilla and his daughter have left. But before I leave for my car, Adrian Lecaros, a candidate for the California Assembly, arrives carrying a few placards. I would say that his sense of reckoning is deadon because he only brought a halfdozen placards. But, like what Lisa said at the outset, this is a social media experiment, and does not reflect on the popularity of Jessica Sanchez. Another reason is that of timing. At 2 p.m. most young people are still in school, and the older ones are still toiling away in the saltmines. I am sure that the humble, hard-working and unassuming Jessica would not have minded if only about thirty people came to a rally supporting her.

Jessica Sanchez Makes Good In ‘AMERICAN IDOL’


HE web reverberated with the news that Jessica Sanchez, considered by many as the top contender in the hit TV singing competition show ‘American Idol’, almost got booted off last April 12. The show was at the point where there are only seven contestants out of the thousands who want to be in the show, which is now in its 11th season. Sanchez has often received praises from the audience, as well as famous musicians and the show’s three judges, so it came as a big surprise when she got the lowest number of audience votes. The drama did not end there, however. “This is crazy!” the judges said and they escorted Sanchez to the Safe corner. They used their one-and-only veto for the season and negated the audience vote. Jessica Sanchez is still in the game! ‘American Idol’ has always prided itself as more than just a TV singing competition. The show often made it a point to include entertaining snippets of suspense, controversy, and other emotion-provoking situations in each episode. If

By Jean

Nacua Staff Writer

you have seen any of their audition episodes, you will know that fans of the show can be a devoted and highly-strung bunch, so it’s easy to imagine that that night of Sanchez’s near-miss evoked bated breaths and people passing out. To Filipinos, however, that night was more than just a suspenseful ‘American Idol’ episode’. Yes, there were probably gasping or fainting, but other than those, what do you think a person would feel when he or she sees a relative almost getting to the top but not quite reaching it? Yeah, okay, Jessica Sanchez is not a relative but is it really stretching the truth? She is part Filipino (her mother is Filipino; her father is Mexican-American)

and she looks very Pinoy, so that puts about 90 percent of the show’s Philippine audience plus almost everyone in Filipino communities in other countries in her corner. She also has lungs of steel, the emotional depth of a seasoned performer, and a modest attitude that would make you proud that you are at least related to her by race. Small surprise that a lot of Filipino media and personal blogs on the Internet have been harping on the fact that Sanchez has Filipino blood in her veins. Although not many people in other countries appreciate that, it’s not hard to understand why Pinoys like to bask in her reflected glory.

Saturday, April 28, 2012


Sports World

Paulino Alcantara: Pinoy international football legend By Dionesio


C. Grava

MAGINE a ball traveling at such an incredulous speed and power it zips across the 30-yard distance to the goal and through it, in the process tearing apart the back net. It actually happened on April 30, 1922, during a football game between Spain and France. A fluke?

Years earlier on April 13, 1919, that same player scored what has since become known as the “police goal” during a game at Les Corts between FC Barcelona vs. Real Sociedad. His kick propelled a flying ball towards the goal when a policeman somehow got in the way of the ball. According to Wikipedia, “such was the power of the shot that both the ball and policeman ended up in the back of the net.” The young Paulino Alcántara was the first Filipino and Asian player in top class football in Europe. On Feb. 25, 1912, at age 15 years and 4 months, he became (and still is) the youngest player ever to play in the professional league. Moreover, in that debut game, he scored the first three of FC Barcelona’s nine goals against Catalá SC thus making him the youngest player in his team’s history to score in a competitive match.

age, the young Alcantara was of medium height and slender built. He was 14 when the family moved to Spain and Paulino joined a football club formed by his classmates called Galeno. Not long after, he was discovered by Joan Gamper, founder of FC Barcelona aka Barca. He helped the team win the coveted Copa del Rey/Championat de Catalunya double in 1913 and a Championat de Catalunya in 1916. It was also in 1916 when the family went back to the Philippines where Paulino continued his medical studies. He joined the team called Bohemians of Manila and before the year ended, he was selected to play for the Philippine national football team. He led the team in defeating Japan 15-2 in the Far Eastern Championship Games (former Asian Games) in Tokyo. Up to this day, that victory

TRIBUTE TO A FOOTBALL GREAT. Website of Football Club Barcelona announcing a tribute to mark the centennial of Paulino Alcantara’s debut with the club. Alcantara earned the nickname “El Rompe Redes” because of that net-ripping episode early in his career, which also turned him into an instant football hero. When he retired at age 31 he had scored a total of 369 goals in 357 matches, including ‘friendlies,’ making him the highest goal scorer in the club’s history. He died in Barcelona in 1964. In 2007, Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) named him the best Asian player of all time. On Feb. 25, 2012 -- the centennial of Alcantara’s debut with his Spanish team -- FC Barcelona paid tribute to the legendary player who helped shape and build the history of the club by inviting his granddaughters Blanca and Clara Álcantara to the FC Barcelona vs. Sporting Gijón match at its home turf, the Camp Nou. It is the largest football stadium in Europe. Alcantara is buried in nearby Les Corts cemetery. Early Years Paulino was born on Oct. 7, 1896 to a Spanish military officer and an Ilongga mother. Iloilo then as it is now is said to be one of the few places in the Philippines where football is more popular than basketball or boxing. Despite the European parent-

is considered the Philippines’ biggest win in international football. Meanwhile, Barca was in the doldrums back in Spain. No major trophy in Alcantara’s absence such that team officials were said to have begged Paulino’s parents for his return. In 1917, after Paulino had a bout of malaria, the family went back to Spain. Paulino rejoined his former team but it was not until 1919, after he was returned to the forward line by the new manager, that the team started winning again. They dominated the Copa del Rey, the Campionat de Catalunya and other championships from then on. In 1920 Alcántara was among those selected to represent Spain in the 1920 Olympics. However, he chose to sit it out because of preparations for his final medical exams. He eventually played for Spain the following year against Belgium and scored both goals in a 2–0 win. He played five more times for Spain between 1921 and 1923. Alcantara retired in 1927 to concentrate in his profession as a doctor. Still he found time to serve as a club director between 1931 and 1934. In 1951, he was one of three selectors who coached Spain’s team in three games against Switzerland and Belgium. He died at age 67.




‘Dark Ages’ engulf Mindanao... From Page 1

ing on workable solutions was elusive Massive power failures cut a black swath of economic disruption across the once bucolic landscape, recalling what one senator called the “Dark Ages” of President Cory Aquino, whose fledgling revolutionary government was plagued by debilitating power shortages in the 1980s. Search for guilty Her son, President Benigno Aquino III, is increasingly being ridiculed for “Noynoying” the crisis, a term crafted by angry militants to signify criminal inaction in the face of rising problems. “If government is not quick in its response and reactions, we could be thrown back to the Dark Ages of the Cory administration,” Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III said. To stave off a power crisis in the 70s, President Ferdinand Marcos had ordered the construction of the controversial Bataan Nuclear Power Plant across Manila Bay. It would have added 630 megawatts to the Luzon grid. ‘Something drastic’ Mrs. Aquino ordered that plant mothballed amid an international scandal of payoffs to government officials. But she did not order the building of other power plants to replace it. “Something drastic has to be done,” said Sen. Manuel Villar, who noted that privatizing the government’s renewable energy plants in the region had failed to produce more efficient and affordable power. “We have to let other players that will seriously invest in the power sector to bring uninterrupted power and help bring down the cost of power,” Villar said. “The opposite is happening here. After we sold the plants (to private operators), the prices went up and the power outages began.” Conspiracy theory Villar said he supported a Senate investigation being sought by Sen. Francis Escudero to find out if, indeed, the power outages were artificial and aimed at forcing the government to sell its remaining power plants to private firms. “One-fourth of our population lives in Mindanao. Immediate intervention must be given to this persisting problem given the already volatile peace problem in Mindanao,” Escudero said. “There is dormant asset lying in the electric cooperatives nationwide that has an asset base of P130 billion at any given time,” Escudero said.What about hydro? Sen. Loren Legarda said: “It is not as if the problems became evident only this month. We have the Agus Pulangi hydro facility, still owned by the government, which can provide additional capacities once rehabilitated. The government cannot just put this facility to waste.” Escudero said: “The Agus-Pulangi hydro power plants, which supply half of Mindanao’s power demand, need to be rehabilitated for at least P3 billion so they can generate additional capacity.”

‘Artificial’ But the Mindanao Development Authority (MDA) has accused the government of creating “an artificial power shortage.” The MDA chairperson, former General Santos City Rep. Luwalhati Antonino, said the reason for this was because the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines wanted the government to privatize the Augus-Pulangi hydro power plants. Agham Rep. Angelo Palmones, a member of the House committee on Mindanao affairs, says the Agus-Pulangui hydroelectric plants could generate 600 megawatts at full capacity if rehabilitated. That would wipe out the 167-megawatt deficit in the region. Palmones said the P3 billion needed to rehabilitate the plant could come from savings, or Congress might get the amount from the government’s P39.8-billion annual dole to the poor to alleviate poverty. ‘Just do it!’ On the campaign trail leading to Malacanang in the long, hot summer of 2010, the President had occasion to recall that one of his qualifications for elective office was his experience in leading the sales force of Nike in the Phlippines. He might still remember that---in those glory days gone by---the stirring battle cry of Nike was, “JUST DO IT!” That’s exactly what he did. But first, the President had to bite the bullet. Let’s listen to sound bites from his keynote address at the power summit in Davao City: “This isn’t just about energy, this is about attracting investments and creating jobs, and this is about securing the future of this region. The dream is that, by the time I step down in 2016, this energy situation will be one less worry in the minds of Mindanaoans and investors in Mindanao alike—that by then, I can truthfully say that I left you in good hands.” “There was an oversupply of your power, more than adequate for your needs and cheaper than the power that anyone else had.” “But things have changed. Increasing population means increasing demand, increasing opportunities means increasing need for more power.” Goodbye hydro Mindanao’s reliance on hydroelectric power is no longer sustainable, the President said. “Hydropower needs water. And the availability and timeliness of the supply of water cannot be considered a constant. So the situation is: the demand is constant, but the supply isn’t.” “Basically, Mindanao relying on hydropower for more than half of its consistent consumption—what is called the base load—is not sustainable anymore, considering the many variables that affect water supply—from rainfall, to natural calamities, even to seasonal variations like El Niño.” “Of our P1.8-trillion budget, remember that only P400 billion is programmable. So, can government pay for new plants, plus old loans, and still provide the services and facilities you need?” “We have to get more plants here … But

how can you entice anyone to invest if their generating cost is more than their selling cost?” “The simple truth is: you will have to pay more … because this is the reality of economics, not the rhetoric of politics.” ‘Everything has price’ “Everything has its price. You have to pay a real price for a real service. There are only two choices: pay a little more for energy, or live with the rotating brownouts … You have to pay a little more for the current and future health of the energy sector in Mindanao.” “It will make the lives of everyone in Mindanao better—not just by allowing them to switch on light bulbs—but also because having a more consistent energy source will give Mindanao a more convincing business proposition to potential investors—not just in the energy sector.” ‘We all contribute’ “But, still, prices will increase; and you need to play your part. We all have to contribute.” “In other words, we are fixing the problem now by maximizing capacity. But this is not the end of the solution.” “If any one of your power plants malfunctions, then the problem returns. Mindanao needs more generating capacity, and without putting all the eggs in one basket.” Discordant voices unite Before he spoke, businessmen, local executives, power cooperatives, environmentalists, lawmakers and civil society groups had taken a unanimous stand against the privatization of the Agus-Pulangui hydroelectric power plants, the use of expensive power barges, the interconnection with Luzon and the Visayas power grid, and higher electricity rates. After four hours of presenting their position by sector in the morning, they submitted their position to the President, who locked horns with them despite an earlier promise to heed the consensus at the summit. “Nothing was resolved,” Agham Rep. Angelo Palmones said. “The President’s position was drawn and completed even before the summit started and outside of the fruitful exchanges of ideas and concerns of the stakeholders.” Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño added: “The President has obviously already made up his mind even before he came to the summit. He did not even bother to listen to the voice of Mindanao.” ‘Gravely misinformed’

Saturday, April 28, 2012 Casiño said the President seemed “gravely misinformed” about the negative impact of power privatization in Mindanao, the facts about renewable energy and the failures of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act. “It was a truly disappointing exercise. The morning session was great but things turned sour when the President spoke.” Ricardo Juliano, vice president for Mindanao of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said. “The government has failed despite our warning of power outages since two years ago. We see no need for privatization and interconnection with Luzon and the Visayas.” At the open forum, Menchie Ambalong, representing the civil society group and the Mindanao Commission on Women, informed the President of the united opposition to privatization and said the government’s inefficiency should not be an issue because Agus-Pulangui earned P7 billion a year. Ambalong and Juliano, who joined the debate, were applauded by the 350 delegates to the summit. Investments in peril Davao del Norte Gov. Rodolfo del Rosario, president of the Confederation of Provincial Governors, City Mayors and Municipal Mayors League, said investors might start shunning Mindanao. “In Mindanao cheap hydropower is the only incentive that could attract investors and drive commerce and development,” he said. “Let’s shatter the myth that the Napocor and the Agus-Pulangui complex are all losing propositions,” he said, noting that the stateowned power company earned P73.2 billion at P2 per kilowatt hour from 2003 to 2011. The President’s ally, House Deputy Speaker for Mindanao Isabelle Climaco, spoke out against privatization. “Electricity rates provide the competitive advantage of the region that is stricken with insurgency and peace and order problems.” ‘Step on you’ Earlier, the summit organizer made clear that she would not tolerate “noynoying,” a form of protest in which demonstrators sit and do nothing to mimic the President’s perceived tendency to procrastinate. “I told them, don’t lie down on the streets or I will step on you,” said Luwalhati Bautista, chairwoman of the Mindanao Development Authority. The civil society groups that oppose the government’s energy policies on the island were given only two seats at the summit, the Manila Standard reported.

Disruptions, Funds Woes Slowing FACLA’s Projects From Page 8

affairs), chipped in saying that she is amazed why some people only asked about the defects of FACLA. No one asked what are the defects of the one writing against FACLA (sic). Maybe it is about personal interest, she said. Noting that Mr. Villaroman was steadfast about Mr. Aquino’s press freedom, Ms. Dinsay said: “I know that we cannot stop him (Aquino) but can we work together? Magkaisa tayong mga Pilipino, itangkilik natin ang ating bandila dito sa L.A.” Mr. Villaroman emphasized that Mr. Aquino’s opinion is his own, not the opinion of That is the whole American principle of press freedom, he added. He also inquired why Ms. Dinsay was obsessed with Mr. Aquino considering that he’s just one of many newspapermen in the community. Mylah De Leon of Asian Journal also asked the same question. Mr. Baul responded that even if there’s only one person criticizing FACLA, it matters much because it is PinoyWatchdog and many people are reading PinoyWatchdog. He may have neglected to mention that while L.A. may have many newspapers and magazines, only PinoyWatchdog cares to cover controversial stories like FACLA’s. But at least it’s not all bad news in Mr. Baul’s administration. He has found valuable allies in the person of Fender Santos, Bien-

venido Basilio and Leticia Reyes. The three were former stalwarts of Mr. Aguayon’s Coalition for Better Community. Atty. Basilio said that he moved out of the group because he noticed that “they don’t have principles; no word of honor. They don’t know how to be persuasive; they don’t know how to talk the civilized way,” he said. Basilio revealed that he had a hand in the amendment of FACLA’s constitution and bylaws during the time of President Baldonado. It has become a mixture of parliamentary and democratic system, he said. “I feel that the bylaws is working, no question about that. It serves the community well,” he said. About the alleged unruly behavior of some directors, Atty. Basilio said that the board is empowered to discipline and even suspend them on the ground of misconduct, disorderly behavior, etc. Meanwhile, FACLA is reportedly gaining other adherents as well. Jerry Esguerra and Arturo Garcia, community advocates for good causes, said that the organization is shedding off its reputation as good only for social dancing. Now it is opening its doorway to the youth and other sectors as well, they said. The press conference adjourned an hourand-a-half after its start a few minutes past 3 pm. It was moderated by Linda Nery, FACLA treasurer.

Saturday, April 28, 2012




International Journalist Ruben V. Nepales to launch book about Filipinos in Entertainment


OS ANGELES, CA. – April 2012 – “My Filipino Connection: The Philippines in Hollywood,” the first book of U.S.-based journalist and Philippine Daily Inquirer columnist Ruben V. Nepales, is a collection of inspiring interviews with talents of Filipino heritage who are making a name in the American entertainment industry, especially in Hollywood. Having successfully launched the book in Manila this month, Nepales will be hosted by friends and colleagues at a special book launch on Saturday, May 19, 2012 at 3:00 p.m. at the CBS Studios Center in Studio City, California. In his encounters with international celebrities, Nepales constantly seeks out what he calls the “Filipino Connection” – aka “FC” – for any terms of reference on anything Filipino. The book, published by Anvil, features interviews with talents of Filipino heritage who are based in the U.S. and Canada. Among those featured are Vanessa Hudgens, Charice Pempengco, Darren Criss, Oscar nominees Hailee Steinfeld and Matthew Libatique, Tony DeZuñiga, Alec Mapa, Bernardo Bernardo, Anna Maria Perez de Tagle and Pixar’s Ronnie del Carmen and Ricky Nierva and Ramona Diaz. Based in Los Angeles, Ruben V. Nepales recently went home to receive The Outstanding Thomasian Alumni (TOTAL) Award in media, the highest alumni honors given by his alma mater, University of Santo Tomas (UST). He was a finalist in the 2011 National Entertainment Journalism Awards, a U.S.-wide competition presented by the Los Angeles Press Club. In 2010, Nepales was honored with the inaugural AB Gantimpala Award for media by UST’s Faculty of Arts and Letters. Ruben is the first Filipino member in the 60-plus year history of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) that votes on and presents the annual Golden Globe Awards. He is on the board of directors of the HFPA, a non-profit association of international journalists that has been cited for its philanthropic efforts. HFPA recently donated $25,000 to UNICEF Philippines to help in the long-term recovery programs for children and families affected by Storm Sendong that devastated southern Philippines. Nepales also serves on the board of directors of Search to Involve Pilipino Americans (SIPA), a non-profit organization that serves Filipino-Americans and other communities through youth development, health, eco-

From Page 6

nomic and social services. He is a columnist and correspondent of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the Philippines’ leading English newspaper and one of the most prestigious broadsheets in Asia. He writes the popular column, “Only IN Hollywood.” He is also a contributing editor of Balikbayan, a magazine published by Asian Journal Publications, Inc. and distributed in the U.S. and the Philippines. A proud native of Calasiao, Pangasinan, Ruben is married to Janet Susan R. Nepales, who is also a journalist and a member of the HFPA. They have two children, Bianca Nicole and Rafaella Angelica. Guests are invited to meet Nepales beginning at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 19 at the CBS Studios Center, Carla’s Café, 4024 Radford Avenue, Studio City, CA. 91604 where they can also catch a special performance from singer Luisa Mendez-Marshall. There is no admission charge and parking is free. Those interested in reserving copies of the book can email Ted Benito at PAELIVE@TDRZ.NET prior to May 18. The cost of the book is $18.95. The launch of “My Filipino Connection: The Philippines in Hollywood” is proudly sponsored by (the digital edition of the Philippine Daily Inquirer), Asian Journal Publications, PAE Live!, Ms. Rocio Nuyda and Ms. Prosy de la Cruz. Specialty drink provided by VuQo.

Are PinoyWatchDog Staff Hot and Rotten Potatoes?

CHINA KNOWS ONLY THE LANGUAGE OF THE GUNS A reader in a donut shop who always discussed political topics with me asked for our stand regarding China’s continuing provocation of our government regarding Scarborough or Panatag ownership or occupancy. Simply stated, I told our cabalen that as far as I am concerned, I had known for a long time that Communist China will not listen to us; neither will they honor any arbitration. They have the power, the military and modern weapons. We have yet to show if we can match even the kumpits of the Muslims in making arrests, or if we have naval ships other than the decrepit hand-me-downs from Uncle Sam. Historically, as proven by archival maps and the Laws of the Sea, the islands in question are within our nautical territories. They are easily reachable because of their proximities to our major islands and local territories; much more, they are currently occupied by more than 200 Filipino families. Years ago, the intrusions or provocations by Communist China were hardly heard and seen. The presence of US military in Sangley

Point in Cavite, Subic Base in Zambales and Clark Field in Pampanga is more than enough for Communist China to sit and watch. Blame it on our lawmakers and their fake super-nationalistic ideologies, who did not extend the military treaty with Uncle Sam. The same legislators have luxurious mansions in America which they use also as a venue in hiding their stolen public money. Demonstrators always shouted “Paalisin and imperyalistang Kano. Kunin ang sariling atin. Ipagtanggol ang ating mga kababaihan.” These same groups who joined those the demonstrations later on were the same people that joined the lines in the US Embassy elbowing each other, trying to get US visa. And so it came to pass that Uncle Sam left us barely even before the term of their stay in the Philippines expired. Communist China awoke from its deep slumber and became a big, fearsome dragon belching fire and causing us to tremble in fear…aiming to get the PHL piece-by-piece. If that happens, we only have ourselves to blame. And our fake nationalism, I might add. There is no denying from our toilet papers alone, paper clips, Hanes T-Shirts and general household products, that most Filipinos are Americanized.



Bringing Businesses Together at the Small Business Exchange

OS ANGELES - The Asian Business Association (ABA) of Los Angeles, in conjunction with its Inland Empire chapter and the California Public Utilities Commission, offers a platform for minority businesses to showcase their products and services at its Small Business Exchange on Thursday, May 10, 2012 at the Pacific Palms Hotel & Conference Center in the City of Industry. The event will begin at 9:00 AM. The ABA wants to advocate for small businesses and improve the business climate. The event will feature a small business pavilion and one-on-one business matchmaking. Every component is targeted to help entrepreneurs get excited about business, expand networks, gather leads and ultimately secure a contract. It is also a platform where companies can do business among its peers and pursue big contracts with major corporations. "The 3.2 million small businesses in California represent the backbone of our economy," said ABA Co-Chair, Ronald W. Wong. "99% of employer firms are small businesses and in order to make any significant reduction in unemployment we need to restart investments in this vital sector. I encourage all local

entrepreneurs to take advantage of the ABA Small Business Exchange and the broad array of financial investment opportunities which come from participation in this important event." Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank, Southern California Edison, Southern California Gas Company, AT&T, California Water Association, Verizon, The Walt Disney Company, Los Angeles World Airports, Northrop Grumman, NBCUniversal and Toyota, are just few of the participating major companies with Corporate Suppliers' Diversity programs. "We continue to strive and bring business opportunities to our members and the growing diverse community. Attending the Exchange will expand your network, expand your business and we hope to expand your distribution." said Dennis Huang, ABA Executive Director. Exhibitors' registration fees start at $300, with reduced rates for ABA members. Exhibitors have the first opportunity to sign up to meet with corporate buyers. To secure a spot, register before Friday, May 4th. Admission to the Small Business Exchange is FREE with pre-registration or $20 at the door. For more information and/or to register, log in to, or call the ABA at (213) 628-1ABA.



Saturday, April 28, 2012


Asian Pacific Health Care Venture is Co-Presenter At 28TH Annual Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival

OS ANGELES – Asian Pacific Health Care Venture, Inc. is proud to be a Community Co-Presenter of the 28th Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (LAAPFF) which will be presented May 10 – May 20, 2012 at the Directors Guild of America; CGV Cinemas; and The Art Theatre of Long Beach. A key highlight of the month-long Asian Pacific Heritage Month activities, the Film Festival is produced by Visual Communications, the nation’s premier Asian Pacific American media arts center. Since 1983, the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival has presented over 3000 films and videos by Asian international and Asian American artists, and additionally features seminars and panels, in-person guest appearances, and filmmaker awards. The Film Festival continues to be the largest festival of its kind in Southern California and is the premier showcase for the best and brightest of Asian American and Asian international cinema. This year, Asian Pacific

Health Care Venture, Inc. will partner with the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival as a Community Co-Presenter for the film “Restoring the Light,” a work about the spirit of hope and resilience of several rural families in China. A dedicated rural eye doctor sells his home to establish an independent practice and runs a mobile clinic for the underserved. A young woman, despite a debilitating bone infection, pursues her dream to attend university and become an artist. Her grandmother, who has lived in a cave dwelling for over sixty years, toils in the field even though she has lost her vision to cataracts. A young boy aspires to become a truck driver and maintains optimism in spite of his blindness. As each family negotiates their dreams with reality, a brave journey of the human spirit unfolds, one that honors the power of individual will and seeks to inspire compassion for greater social change. Join Asian Pacific Health Care Venture, Inc. for a screening of “Restoring the Light” on Sunday,

Li, blinded by a corneal defect, and his sister from a scene in “Restoring the Light.”

May 13th at 5:00 pm at CVG Cinemas 2. Tickets can be purchased online, by phone or in person. Please visit the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival website for more information at http://laapff. Asian Pacific Health Care Venture, Inc. ( is a nonprofit federally-qualified health center that provides culturally competent health education and primary care services to over 12,000 patients annually, more than 72% of whom are uninsured. APHCV provides over 46,400

medical and mental health visits each year in multiple Asian languages, in addition to English and Spanish. APHCV operates three community health center sites: the Los Feliz Health Center, Belmont Health Services and John Marshall High School Health Center (for John Marshall High School students). APHCV can be reached at (323) 644-3880. Medical appointments for the Los Feliz Health Center can be made by calling (323) 644-3888 and to the Belmont Health Services at (323) 644-3885. Visual Communication’s

( mission is to promote intercultural understanding through the creation, presentation and support of media works by and about Asian Pacific Americans. VC was created with the understanding that media and the arts are important vehicles to organize and empower communities, build connections between generations, challenge perspectives, and create an environment for critical thinking necessary to build a more just and humane society. For more information, call Fung Wu at (213) 680-4462

Saturday, April 28, 2012


Currents Report cites both gains and alarming incidents of child abuse

From Page 1

spicuous contributions in combating child abuse in the county, it was said. Sobering Report The report also says that the three leading causes of death among children ages 13-19 and responsible for a large majority of deaths in that age group all relate to injury: homicide, accident, and suicide. Theoretically these are preventable deaths, it said. The Los Angeles Police Dept. (LAPD) and the Sheriff’s Department (LASD) reported an increase in child abuse reports from 2009. LAPD had three times as many sexual abuse reports and the LASD twice as many. There was an increase in the number of reports entered into the Child Abuse Central Index of the Dept. of Justice (DOJ) from 21,592 in 2006 to 22,193 in 2010. The index recorded 9,579 child abuse reports from Los Angeles County in 2010 representing approximately 43 percent of the state’s total reports. In the juvenile court system involving WIC 300 petitions 11,261 new children were filed in 2010 compared to 10,725 the year before. WIC 300 refers to a section in the Welfare and Institutions Code whereby a child may be removed from the care and custody of offending parents or legal guardians and declared a dependent of the court under Dept. of Children and Family Services (DCFS) supervision. An average of 67 percent of dispositional hearings in the Dependency

Sheriff Lee Baca (in rostrum), ICAN chairperson, gives the opening remarks during the press conference.

cialists from each member agency, carries out the activities of ICAN through its work as a committee and through various standing and ad hoc sub-committees. Twelve community based inter-disciplinary child abuse councils interface with ICAN and provide valuable information to ICAN regarding many child abuse related issues. ICAN Associates is a private non-profit corporation of volunteer business and community members who raise funds and public awareness for programs and issues identified by ICAN. In 1996, ICAN was designated as the National Center on Child Fatality Review by the U.S. Department of Justice. The 26th SOCA report was published by ICAN with the work of the Data Sharing Committee featuring data from ICAN agencies about activities for 2010 or 2009/2010 for some agencies. The report includes some information about programs, but is intended primarily to provide visibility to data about child abuse and neglect in Los Angeles County and information drawn from that data. Recommendations included in the report: 1. Agencies contributing to the ICAN report should, to the extent possible, report data categories in a consistent manner. 2. Agencies contributing data when possible should use Geographic InformationSystem (GIS) mapping techniques to report data. 3. Agencies contributing data will update their data by uploading it to a web site making it a more efficient process. Additionally, it will make it more accessible and user friendly to the public.

Court end with the removal of children from their parents or guardian. Persons seeking financial and medical aid increased in 2010. CalWORKs increased 7.6 percent and medical assistance rose from 1,655,341 in 2009 to 1,677,283 in 2010.. There was a 4.9 percent increase in the number of adolescent Cal-Learn clients in 2010 from 2009. Referrals to the DCFS increased 7.9 percent from 2009 to 2010. Twenty-nine percent of such referrals involved General Neglect and was the leading reported allegation. It was said that the most vulnerable were children in the age group birth to two years and accounts for 19.2 percent of the total DCFS child caseload at the end of 2010. Children age 3-4 years increased 11.2 percent from 2009 to 2010. Children age 13 years and under accounted for 73.3 percent of the total DCFS caseload. Of the total DCFS child caseload 31.3 percent were children under five years of age. Hispanic children continue to be the largest of all ethnic populations among DCFS involved chil-

dren. African American children continue to be disproportionately represented and account for 28.8 percent of the children. Children in Relative/Non-Relative Extended Family Member (Relative/NREFM) Home continue to represent the largest child population in the out-of-home placement caseload. These children account for 49 percent of the total children in out-of-home placements at the end of Calendar Year 2010.

Why Should People Vote for Jessica Sanchez?

being Filipino. This is a disheartening status update. It is like disregarding the hardships that Jose Rizal and Andres Bonifacio underwent for the sake of our freedom – that’s if Filipinos have freedom (But that is a different topic altogether). 19th century history might be too ancient for the technologically advanced people that we are, so a more modern example would be adequate. My pride is not sparked by the fame of Manny Pacquiao, Jessica Sanchez, Arnel Pineda, or any Filipino youtube sensation. I am proud because I am proud. No more no less. However, if you really are squeezing out an answer from me, I will tell you that singer/songwriters such as Francis Magalona, Ely Buendia, Dong Abay, and Rico Blanco spark my Filipino pride. They recreate life through their music by representing our passion,

emotions, and desires. While the likes of Jessica Sanchez only highlights her singing prowess, which usually involves imitating and remaking someone else’s music. I understand that this is a matter of preference and I am in no way comparing Jessica Sanchez with the artists I mentioned; I am simply stating what or who gives me my Pinoy pride. Vote Not Because of Kinship At any rate, I heard she had been performing very well. That is until her near elimination in last week’s “American Idol” episode. The fear of her elimination awakened the dormant Pinoy pride gene. A series of chain e-mails and facebook status updates sprung with a call to action: vote for Jessica Sanchez because she is Asian-American or FilipinoAmerican or a great performer. So a similar question with the

AT&T agent knocks in my head: Should I save Jessica Sanchez from elimination by voting for her because she is Filipino? The answer is no. I did not give the agent a good review because he is Filipino or vote and save Jessica Sanchez because of her ethnicity. If I had given the AT&T agent a good rating it would be because he was a helpful agent. The same goes for Jessica Sanchez. I would vote for her because she is an excellent performer. But I did not vote, because picking up the phone to rate someone is such a tedious activity. At the same time, voting online or texting vote(s) (for a few hardcore fans) is an exhausting venture. I would rather sleep than vote, because voting oftentimes represents the rule of the mob. Nonetheless, I hope folks voted for all the right reasons.

her place as a formidable hopeful in the Idol competition. In the weeks that followed, she was consistent in showcasing her vocal prowess and stage presence that spouts maturity beyond her tender age of 16. A maturity that says she does not only sing well, but she sings from the heart. A maturity palpable not only in her vocal skills, but more so in her character as she displays both grace and humility whether she is the one most applauded or least voted. A maturity that chants the story of both the song and hers, a young girl, who, like every one of us, has dreamed to pursue that which makes us happy and to be given the elusive opportunity to commence that pursuit, especially in a country where the minority race is reduced to a mere demographic. Hers is the common quest of every man: to have a fuller life by

finding out what we love to do, to be given the chance to do it and to do it for the rest of our lives. While most of us still spend our days tying to figure out that one thing we would happily die doing, Jessica knew what’s for her when she was only two (2) years old and by her 7th birthday, she was already on a stage singing. She then spent the ensuing years honing her voice, overcoming shyness, dispelling doubts, working hard, and hoping that one day somewhere, someone would open the door to her dreams. Guided by her motto: work hard and stay humble, Jessica took on the challenge of a weekly, nationwide talent contest where she is exposed to either fame or public disapproval. An all-too-familiar plot, even Kim Jong-un can relate. Nonetheless, it is true as it mirrors your own life and of every other person who

has ever dreamed of letting the world know his or her name. But between the story of divisiveness and fear of Kim’s rocket sought to propagate and the tale of hope, humility and unity that Jessica’s music spun – Filipinos rallied to advocate the latter. It was not a coincidence that the two events happened on the same day. They were meant to remind us that we can weave any and all dreams but the one worth pursuing is that which moves the world into a better landscape and perspective. As Jessica Sanchez would probably say: work hard and remain humble, because that’s the only way we achieve dreams without diminishing ourselves. One of the many sayings that have propelled countless Filipinos to great heights of real success not even the most advanced rocket can reach.

From Page 1

walked me through the procedure, step-by-step. At some point in our conversation, he asked my account’s password. I said, “I don’t remember.” “The clue, sir, is a music famous icon in the Philippines,” he replied. So I gave him the answer. “I’m assuming, sir, that you are a compatriot,” he meekly asks me. And of course, I said yes. As we finished installing my new wireless router, he asked me, “Sir, after our conversation my supervisor or someone from AT&T will call and ask you to rate the level of my performance and helpfulness. Since you’re a kababayan, would you be kind enough to give me a good rating?” By now, you might be asking yourselves what the relation is be-

tween the call center agent and the Jessica Sanchez, since her name appears in the article’s title. The unifying thread between the two and its link with me is our ethnic composition. The call center agent wanted me to give him a good rating because we are both Filipinos, not because he was a patient and helpful AT&T agent. Similarly, this is Jessica Sanchez’s case, an “American Idol” contestant. Many compatriots vote for her because she is part-Filipino and they say she sings well. Yes, people! I have not seen or heard her perform, not even on youtube. Proud Filipino, Again A couple of weeks ago, I read a facebook status update that reads like this: Thank you Jessica Sanchez! I’m once again proud of

The ‘Jessica Sanchez’ in all of us From Page 1

ineligibility to participate in the voting. Everybody had something to say. Everybody came up with their own personal theories – U.S. deliberately foiled the rocket launch using some highly advanced technological jargon of digital codes; American Idol producers rigged the voting results for a muchneeded dramatic twist intended to lure more viewers and improve the show’s gradually declining ratings. Everybody also formulated predictions on the events that would follow: expect North Korean forces to regroup and re-propel their bid for superpower recognition; expect Jessica to be seen with the phrase “Judges’ bet” stamped across her forehead that could lead her to

doom as America would likely favor the Idol underdogs. While the success of the rocket launch could have been spelled greater repercussions to the human race than Jessica’s clean slate in Idol, the latter, as trifling as it may sound, drew more consternation and, I dare say, relevance. Born on August 4, 1995 in Chula Vista, California, Jessica is the eldest child of Gilbert, a Mexican-American, and Editha, a Filipina who hails from the province of Bataan in the Philippines. Jessica captured the fervent curiosity of the Idol’s audience, judges, critics and music artists alike, when she effortlessly tackled Whitney Houston’s classic – I will always love you. From then on, she has cemented

Reported Decreases On the other hand, the number of children killed by parents, relatives or caregivers was reduced by 10.8 percent based on the same ICON report. In 2010 there were 26 children victims compared with the 30 victims in the preceding year. The report also indicated that in 2009 child death in the 1-17 years bracket was 16.1 per 100,000 children representing a downward trend for several years. Infant mortality per 1,000 live births had been 5.0 in 2008 and 2009. A 1.1 percent decrease was also noted in the number of children in out-of-home care, from 15,816 in

2009 to 15,636 in 2010. The number of children exiting the dependency court system decreased from 11,846 in 2009 to 11,639 in 2010. Children with a new disposition of home of parent declined by 1 percent from 2009 to 2010. LAPD reported that the number of dependent children handled by both the Juvenile Unit and Geographic Areas decreased (2.12 percent and 4 percent, respectively) from 2009 to 2010. Adult child abuse referrals were down from 685 in 2009 to 597 in 2010. The City Attorney’s office received 1,746 child abuse investigations in 2010 which was a decrease from the 2,562 received in 2009. There were 172 cases that reached a disposition in which 159 resulted in guilty pleas or convictions.


Policy Committee Thirty-two County, City, State and Federal agency heads are members of the ICAN Policy Committee, along with UCLA and private sector members appointed by the Board of Supervisors. The ICAN Operations Committee, which includes designated child abuse spe-  

Volume 1, 14th issue, April 28, 2012

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