Joel Jacinto, Making Dreams Come True for Others, is Living His Dream
VOL. 1 NO. 18 • 16 PAGES •
28K CIRCULATED IN LOS ANGELES/ORANGE COUNTIES AND INLAND EMPIRE
A necessary defeat: why Manny Pacquiao had to lose ► By Kai
enowned Filipino boxing analyst, Ed Tolentino, summed up the collective sentiment of Manny Pacquiao fans when he said: “As in Pacquiao’s other fights, zero percent crime was registered in the Philippines today. Unfortunately though, the biggest robbery heist in modern boxing history happened in Las Vegas.” Robbery is how most people see the controversial split decision on June 10 stripping PacPACQUIAO
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@PinoyWatchDog • LIKE US
OS ANGELES – PinoyWatchDog. com has began a series of investigative reports detailing what it calls the ‘pay to play’ culture of Filipino American community awards events, and how it impacts on the ethics and perception of Fili-
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PinoyWatchDog.com digs deeper into a pervasive, scandal-prone practice as a means to open a discussion, and to professionalize and make transparent the financial aspects of Fil-Am awards events and other Fil-Am fundraising activities.
► By Dionesio C. Grava, Joel Bander, and the PWD Investigative Team Photos by Dionesio C. Grava
First of a series
pinos. Darna B. Umayam, a reputed multi-awarded community leader in Southern California, has been running an active business for years, producing and promoting these events. She told PinoyWatch-
Obama Tells America ‘It’s Time to Graduate’
► By Alfonso Gaerlan Aquino
a mixture of desirable and undesirable constituents. This remarkable feat is really mind-boggling, but on the other hand, it strengthened my admiration for Congen Aragon and her staff all themore. Which brings us to the point of asking the Congen on what could be the preferable position as far as to which body should be spearheading the task of putting in place all the works required to have a successful observance of Philippine Independence Day. In the light of the rivalry put up by two kalayaan Committees, to the
• SATURDAY, JUNE 23, 2012
► By Winston A. Marbella Correspondent ANILA – In also make the Philippine flag car- stratosphere. If it succeeds, it will also the mind of San rier fly up, up, and away. Miguel CorporaWith one bold move, he plans make the government’s multition President Ra- to declog the single-runway inter- billion-peso tourism campaign, mon S. Ang, there national airport and rocket Philip- the Aquino administration’s Turn to Page 7 already hovers a vision of a new pine Air Lines back into the profit city that will transport us squarely into the future. Then Filipinos who travel will stop turning SPECIAL red in embarrassREPORT ment when mention is made of Manila’s decrepit airport. Ang has a bold flight plan for modernizing the Manila InternaNew NAIA Terminal 1 Design tional Airport that he hopes will
Uncomfortable Positions he reception tendered by the Consulate of Los Angeles on the occasion of the celebration of Philippine Independence Day on June 12, 2012 was attended by the usual coterie of patriots, pseudo patriots, spurious fundraisers, barflies, hangers-on, and scam artists, all consistent habitues of the Consulate’s social and official functions. It is a wonder how a most gracious consulate staff, headed by a comely and vibrant Consul General, the Honorable Mary Jo Aragon, could really find their way to perform their duties and responsibilities before such
Manila envisions a world-class airport city to make us proud
FIL-AM AWARDS EXPOSE’ L
► By Joel
Bander, Senior Columnist
electing the traditional June graduation weekend President Obama finally took a first grand step toward real immigration reform by issuing an executive order stopping removal proceedings against, and providing work authorization for, innocent, essentially criminally free, alien minors illegally in the United States for over five years, arriving in the U.S. before their 16th birthday, and having completed high school or serving in the military. America’s immigration reform has been held hostage by a small
xenophobic group of Congressional House Republicans bent on blocking from the beginnings of former President George W. Bush term. Bush was generally an immigration reform moderate favoring reasonable measures unable or unwilling to use political capital to make the necessary changes, particularly after 9/11. Now, this anti-immigrant right wing group of Republicans is more than happy to place all possible road blocks to OBAMA any proposal of a progressive Democratic president or pass restrictive racial profiling laws, such as in Arizona.
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Dog.com that she feels harassed by persistent e-mail inquiries sent to her by our reporters regarding her phantom criteria for selection of the recipients of her 100 Outstanding Filipino AmeriTurn to Page 2
From Our Pen OPINION Investigative reporters live dangerously p5 ► By Larry
ENTERTAINMENT & ARTS Some of 2012 LA Film Fest Highlights p8 ► By Oliver Carnay
EDITORIAL Transparency is p4 called for in awards and fundraising projects
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cans of USA (OFA-USA) awards project. The presentation of awards is scheduled for July 28, 2012 at the Universal Hilton. OFA-USA is a joint project of Philippine Press Photographers USA, Inc. (PPP-USA, Inc.) -headed by Jimmy Hernandez, Sid Guerrero and Bobby Saddul, chairman, president and vice-president, respectively -- and Ms. Umayam’s Philippine Children’s Charities, Inc. (PCCI). Ms. Umayam is project director of OFA-USA, and uses a postal address of 5221 Eagle Rock Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90041, her residence. The organization had a presentation of about 85 honorees on March 25, 2012 at the Universal Hilton Hotel. Final presentation of awards will be during a Black Tie Awards Night on July 28, 2012, reportedly at the same Sierra Ballroom of the Universal Hilton Hotel. Since that time numerous concerns have been raised regarding this awards event to and within the editorial board of PinoyWatchDog. com. It was then followed by a cascading series of events triggered by Ms. Umayam’s cordial protest to Joel Bander at the Philippine Consulate on June 12, 2012, about
Saturday, June 23, 2012
Fil-Am Awards Expose’ a comment tangentially related to this event, discussed in the companion article on page 14. Please also read a related story at this link: http://www.pinoywatchdog. com/2012/06/07/adrian-lecaros46th-assembly-district-race/. And if this report seems peppered with e-mail quotes of Ms. Umayam, it is because of PinoyWatchDog.com’s policy of providing its readers complete facts and investigation, with all parties having an opportunity to air their side. Ms. Umayam started the exchange of e-mails by telling PinoyWatchDog.com on June 13, 2012, that, “I have very good relationships with [PWD Executive Editor] Tito Al Aquino, [PWD Ombudsman] Tito Larry Pelayo, [PWD Chief of Reporters] Diony Grava and even [PWD contributing writer] Jo Arciaga, (sic) and that there is no bad blood in all of us against each other.” However, by June 21, 2012, Ms. Umayam, when contacted by Mr. Grava of PWD, said that, “it seems like a harassment already” as he followed up Mr. Bander’s email questions that Umayam was refusing to answer, along with conflicting claims and facts.
Rules and Regulations re $1000 payment to receive award.
Some of the nominated honorees pose for a publicity photo with 100 Outstanding Filipino American in the United States project director Darna Umayam (fifth from right, front row). Picture was taken in March, during the press introduction held at Universal Hilton Hotel.
Photo shows some of those presented as honorees of the 100 Outstanding Filipino Americans in the USA 2012 during a Press Conference & Acquaintance Party held at the Mandarin Room of the Universal Hilton Hotel March 25, 2012. Darna Umayam, project director, says that nominees are not paying, “we just ask them to help raise funds and ask help from the community, their friends and relatives, for abused sick, underprivileged Filipino Children of Bantay Bata.”
PinoyWatchDog.com’s inves- from a proposed honoree who felt tigation had obtained the ‘Rules offended by its terms. It states: and Regulations’ of this event “As an Ambassador of Goodwill
of this project each awardee will help solicit Line Ad Sponsors at Turn to Page 3
Saturday, June 23, 2012
Fil-Am Awards Expose’ From Page 2
$ 25.00 and above for a total equivalent of $ 1,000.00. Each awardee who will donate a onetime amount of $ 500.00/ above will be given a full page ad in the book.” PWD asks Umayam to identify honorees Mr. Grava went to Ms. Umayam’s residence and asked her to identify the honorees, and requested for an explanation of the awards process. He was told that because of a ‘hold harmless’ agreement she was not permitted to disclose who the awardees are until the night of the show, when a full press release would be transmitted (to media outlets). Umayam again stated this in an e-mail that “I can’t give out names for now because that is what is agreed by the committee and for confidentiality because some of the awardees does (sic) not want any publicity at all. We signed with them a Hold Harmless Agreement.” However, PinoyWatchDog.com has obtained this Hold Harmless Agreement, and it only concerns the use of honorees’images, nothing about the release of their names. Ms. Umayam had promised both writers of this article a list of honorees. PinoyWatchDog.com finds this evolving secrecy about the intended honorees to be quite odd, as 85 of them were displayed in three picture taking sessions on March 25, 2012 at the Universal Hilton. Some Umayam friends are also honorees PinoyWatchDog.com discovered that 85 of the 100 awardees were from the Los Angeles area. Moreover, an examination of the list of honorees presented seems heavily weighted towards Umayam’s closest friends and business associates. PWD noted that the list did not include a statistically balanced number of honorees from her own Kalayaan Organizing Committee and the other Kalayaan Organizing Committee, some of whose officers her partner and friend Trini Follente had sued for defamation last year. Umayam wrote PWD on June 13, 2012, that “there were 285 recommendations to this project however, we chose 100 best of the best.” Another e-mail from Umayam stated: “NOT 85 of the honorees came from Los Angeles. Out of the 100 honorees ONLY 22 came from Los Angeles. “Honorees were picked from all over Southern and Northern California and out of state per recommendations from other
good people. It’s not true that I only get honorees who are my friends. …. Out of the 100 honorees only (8) of my real close friends were selected because they really deserved to be one. They have served the community for more than 10 years,” Umayam said However, in a February 2012 communication to a prospective honoree, Ms. Umayam bared that OFA-USA “had 82 already who signed up as awardees. I had declined 12 recommendations already. The 82 are already official honorees (underlining by PWD). I plan to have ONLY 100 from all over USA. I have awardees coming from Chicago, New Jersey, New York, Texas, etc.” At press time, PWD has not received names of out-of-state honorees from Chicago, New York and other states, like Arizona, New Mexico, New Jersey and other cities and states where there are large concentrations of Fil-Ams. 7 Photographers are included? A review of the photographs and emails about the event reveals, in PinoyWatchDog. com’s view, seven photographers are among the honorees. An eyeball examination of the photographs of the March event with 85 awardees also reveals that almost everyone is from the Los Angeles area. A June 20, 2012 e-mail from Umayam to Bander states: “I have no 7 photographers awardees. All the awardees are qualified.” Diony Grava: Who are the 38 members of PICCSC you said were selected as awardees? Darna Umayam: Not 38 members of PICCSC were awarded. It was about 10 only. Darna Umayam: “Out of 38 members of PICCSC, only very few were selected awardees because they deserved to be one.” One honoree in the entertainment industry told PWD he/she thought it odd that of an entire country of Filipinos that even more than one photographer would be so awarded as 100 Outstanding Filipino Americans in the US. Indeed, such noteworthy Filipinos as California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Gorre Cantil-Sakauye, L.A. Superior Court Judge Mel Recana, American Idol Runnerup and singing sensation Jessica Sanchez, stalwart entrepreneur Loida Nicolas-Lewis, or either of the Oriels, publishers of the Asian Journal, were not included. “Shouldn’t this list be called ‘the Most Outstanding Friends of Darna willing to raise $1000 to receive an award?’ one observer said. “Why can’t they just acknowledge that someone raised $1000 for charity, which seems good, without making people believe someone is among the most outstanding 100
Honorees of the 100 Outstanding Filipino Americans in the USA 2012 presented during a Press Conference & Acquaintance Party at the Universal Hilton are grouped into different categories and their photos taken.
of a community of millions of people?” Following is an e-mail exchange between Mr. Grava and Ms.Umayam DG: “Is/Was there a committee constituted to vet nominees to the said 100 Outstanding Filipino Americans in the USA? If affirmative, may I know their names and pertinent information about them?” DU: “awardees were recommended. They have to submit their write up and resume. We call them and set an interview. We don’t do it over the phone. We have to meet them in person because we don’t know some of the awardees. Some of the Press people and of course myself as Project Director did the selection process.” However, Ms. Maria Amor, businesswoman and beauty queen, told PinoyWatchDog.com she was simply called by Umayam, and asked to be among the awardees. Amor agreed, and had no problem when told about the $1000. “I have no problem about it,” she said. “I know this goes on, and it’s for a good cause.” An attorney honoree, who asked not to be named, stated he/she was called and asked to be an honoree, but no mention of $1000 was made. However, he/she was asked for contribution, and said would probably buy an ad for the program. “They need a few awardees that are not in the inner circle to make it appear legitimate,” one observer told PWD. That attorney honoree said he/she was never sent any contracts or hold harmless agreements. Neither of these honorees was required to submit any write-ups, resumes, etc. They were just called and asked. Where do the funds go? PinoyWatchDog.com has asked Umayam for information about her charity, Philippine Children’s Charities, Inc. , as there is an ongoing concern in Fil-Am fundraising events, and this where funds go and how
much are actually earmarked and delivered to the named beneficiaries. Umayam stated: “it is a legal fundraising project highly endorsed by ABS-CBN Foundation and Bantay Bata 163 Executive Director Tina Monzon-Palma. Fiscal agent is official 501 (C 3) stature (sic) with IRS.” Umayam did provide the charities such as Employer Identification Number (EIN) so her contentions could be confirmed with Exempt Organizations Select Check on the IRS homepage, too close to deadline but most certainly demonstrating good faith. A search of the California Secretary of State’s business search homepage revealed that Philippine Children’s Charities is an active corporation with Umayam as agent for service of process. PWD asked Tina Monson-Palma PinoyWatchDog.com has also sent numerous e-mails and made calls to ABS-CBN Foundation and Bantay Bata163 Executive Director Tina Monzon-Palma, inquiring whether it is true that she highly endorsed the OFA-USA award project. She has refused comment. That same communication to Ms. Monson-Palma stated that “Ms. Umayam is refusing to provide an accounting of the funds collected, is representing that a ‘voluntary’ donation is coming from honorees, and that she is refusing to provide the list of the awardees, or the criteria for the selection of the awardees.” June 14, 2012 Bander e-mail to Umayam: “I would also be interested in the accounting that is public as it deals with this project, and how much actually ends up with the beneficiaries. Please let me know how to obtain it. June 15, 2012 e-mail reply from Umayam:“I am so sorry I am really pressed for time in preparations for the big event of the Outstanding Filipino Americans in the USA.” As the event takes place on July 28, 2012, the reader can determine how to weigh this response and judge if this first in a series of PWD investigative reports has merits. (Managing Editor)
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Editorial Transparency is called for in awards and fundraising projects
inoyWatchDog.com is the first to openly disagree with the prestige and inclusiveness being peddled by the organizers of the ‘100 Outstanding Filipino Americans in the United States.’ The black tie event will be held at the Universal Hilton Hotel on July 22, and promises to be a stellar gathering of the crème de la crème of the Fil-Am community’s highest achievers in many endeavors. However, PinoyWatchDog.com would want to point out that there is a lot to be desired in the process by which the organizers had been conducting their so-called national search. We point out, for one, the very limited scope of the search, if one factors in the organizing body’s claims that this is a nationwide search, as shown in the events’ name. After we looked at the list of about 85 named honorees so far, we noted that a majority of them are from our own backyard. The organizer has informed us that there are honorees from Chicago and New York. But, as it stands, 85 is already a stark number that denotes that only 15 other would be chosen from other cities and states – besides Los Angeles and California -- that have very large concentrations of Filipino Americans and with statistically high numbers of outstanding men and women. How about honorees from New Jersey, Ohio, Michigan, the Virginias, Florida, Texas, and closer to California, from Nevada, New Mexico and Arizona, to name some? This very low percentage tells us that the search, still going, has been, so far, limited and not geographically inclusive as we would hope for an awards event that purports being nationwide. If that were not bothersome enough, PinoyWatchDog.com is also concerned about the “imposing” requirements being asked of the nominees as a pre- condition for acceptance of awards. This particular organizer, as documented by a letter of solicitation that PWD has acquired, requires prospective honorees to sell advertising and dinner tickets to the tune of $1000, not including a non-refundable $100 entrance fee. We do not have a quarrel as to the entrance fee, which could cover the honorees’ dinner at the event. But to impose those requirements as ticket to an award is not only immoral but demeaning to a self-respecting, high-achieving Filipino American. The rules and regulations also have been unclear and too generalized. Who are the judges who would weigh the level of achievements of the nominated honorees? The organizer claims, some of the honorees have been nominated by friends. What is the scope of the search? If the organizers, as they stated in the search name, meant nationwide, have they tried to expand the search beyond the Los Angeles Basin? If their approach to the search has been limited to their circle of friends here and in other states, how could they claim that the search had been systematic, thorough and inclusive? Outstanding means having obtained the highest level of excellence in any chosen endeavor. We are surprised why genuine outstanding Filipino Americans are not in the list of honorees, as of this late. How about the Filipina Chief Justice of California; the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and DREAM advocate Jose Antonio Vargas, or ‘American Idol’ first runner-up Jessica Sanchez? These three Fil-Ams are some of the foremost examples of outstanding achievers in the community. Are they included? Would they agree to accept the honor if they were asked to pay the entrance fee of $100 and to sell advertising and dinner tickets as a pre-condition for nomination? The answer would surely be a big “No.” But there are individuals, less honorable and with lesser genuine achievements in the fields, who would gladly pay for their award as there are as many losers in the stock market. But would they feel honored and proud knowing that they paid for the award that they did not deserve? PinoyWatchDog.com is aware that in the list of the 85 honorees so far available to us, there are five or six who are worthy of being endowed the honor. But it would be an even greater honor if these worthy honorees declined to receive their awards, and as a consequence, included with a larger group that did not deserve the honor. As Executive Editor Al Aquino stated in this issue’s column, “and what would really double the sheen in the armor of excellence is to decline the honor so as to avoid humiliation and degradation of being associated with the undeserving and the unqualified.” “If they display this one act of courage, the promoters will have to reform their scheme and sulk in uncomfortable positions.”
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Alfonso Gaerlan Aquino Executive Editor
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Saturday, June 23, 2012
Uncomfortable Positions From Page 1
extend of threatening to go to court to settle their differences, it is time for the Consulate to think loud. Should the Consulate now exercise its official duty to lead the celebrations, or just leave it to the usual battling Kalayaan groups to do their jobs which are clearly negatively affecting the community? Both options would require a lot of determination and hard work, and deep soul searching, as far as patriotism is involved. I remember the reason the then Congen Josue Villa gave in 1996 was that the Consulate did not have the budget to finance and therefore lead a grand celebration of our independence day, as the Department of Foreign Affairs did not provide for such, except for a simple reception. And so it was that the Consulate had to seek the participation of the Filipino community and, therefore then, a Centennial Celebration Committee, the forerunner of the Kalayaan Committee, was established to handle the prosecution of the events from 1996 to 1998, but with the supervision and guidance of the Consulate. The celebrations provided for daytime events, such as parades and floats from different organizations, and culminated in park fairs. The night time events were the usual ballroom dancing and fiery speeches from political firebrands from the Philippine government, out to make a lasting impression to their kababayans who missed this kind of speech making in the homeland. After the celebrations, the committee would bare to the public their financial statements, and proceed to the next step. To date, there is now only the night time event which is nothing more than elitism, and managed by rival cliques, as there are now two Kalayaan groups vying for recognition and promoting fundraising occasions without submitting before the community, or to the Consulate for that matter, a financial statement after the event. Financial transparency is required here. Don’t you think it’s time for the Consulate to take matters into their own hands and leads. As far as fundraising is concerned, there seems to be no bottom and end to the efforts of certain organizations to dig into the pockets of the unsuspecting public, ‘cause certainly these funds being solicited do not go to the purpose being claimed. For example, there was a dinner-dance affair held in FACLA sometime during the last week of February, purposely held to raise funds for legal expenses of a member of the Kalayaan group of Ed Maranan, Chito Mandap, and Lydia Soriano clique, but the legal suit was later withdrawn. Where then did the
money go, I would like to ask? And to top it all, the undisputed Queen of Fundraisers, the indefatigable Darna Umayam, has embarked on the most prodigious fundraising event of the year: Search for the 100 Outstanding Filipinos in the U.S.A. This is a high stake undertaking, considering that the award calls for the recipient to contribute or donate(?) the amount of $1,000.00 or sells tickets or buy ads for the event to be held on July 28, 2012 at the Universal Hilton Hotel, besides a non-refundable entrance fee of $100.00. The credentials of Darna Umayam as an individual and activist in the Filipino community is without doubt very impressive and may even be outstanding. However, the rules and regulations of this Search is very imposing and leaves much questions to be asked. What are the criteria and who are the judges, for example? The information that I received from reliable sources do not provide for these two factors which are necessary in the search for outstanding individuals. It must be remembered that “outstanding” means the attainment of the highest level of excellence in any chosen field of endeavor, whether it is for good or for naught. You may be recognized as the most outstanding crook in the Filipino community, as a result of your excellence to commit fraud and deceit.The level we must really inscribe in the criteria for our younger generations to emulate and observe would be the recognition of certain Filipinos who are really deserving of the appendage of “Outstanding”. For example, the Filipina Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of California, the Filipino journalist, Jose Antonio Vargas, a Pulitzer price winner and who is on the cover of this week’s Time magazine, the Filipino member of the House of Representatives, Congress of the United States of America, and of course, the darling of the younger sets, Jessica Sanchez, the runner-up winner of the just concluded American Idol TV Show. But we know people only from our backyards, so we corrupt the word “outstanding” to suit their level of excellence. From the list of prospective awardees my informant has supplied me, I could only recognized five or six individuals who could pass a time honored criteria of the highest level of excellence. And what would really double the sheen in their armor of excellence is to decline the honor so as to avoid humiliation and degradation of being associated with the undeserving and the unqualified. If they display this one act of courage, the promoters will have to reform their scheme and sulk in uncomfortable positions.
Saturday, June 23, 2012
From Page 1
Obama Tells America ‘It’s Time to Graduate’
The unabashed strategy of the entire Republican Party has been a strategy of agree on almost nothing so Obama appears unable to perform his job. However, this Republican strategy has caused distress to an innocent class of children of illegal aliens. President Obama has refined the class to those with at least a high school education or military service without any significant criminal history. On a personal level, after over fifteen years of practicing immigration law and meeting with thousands of potential clients, hearing their stories, and having to turn away so many people who had no legal hopes for relief and to normalize a life in America, this is a most welcome step. They are almost were always good kids, and in reality, American kids. Are the xenophobic Republicans going to say that these aliens, brought here when they were minors, acculturated to American ways, graduated high school or with military service, and without serious blemishes on their criminal record should be torn from America while a Republican
House of Representatives blocks any meaningful immigration reform? Are these kids to just be left in the abyss, either having to work in the shadows without work authorization, or be forced to return to a native land they do not really know? We continue to live under the somewhat arcane immigration system brought on by Newt Gringrich’s mid 90s Contract on America passing the draconian Illegal Immigration and Immigration Responsibility Act (IRAIRA) of 1996. Republicans have long touted that we must first protect our borders. All statistics demonstrate that illegal immigration into America has been drastically stemmed. Now that has been accomplished it is time to start caring for our American children. Gov. Romney, the presumed Republican presidential candidate, has criticized the order as ‘political’ but has declined to state whether he would reverse it if he became president. Romney is in his usual fix, having to satisfy the right wing and still appeal to the rest of the American people. The president’s move is also good public policy. Our immigra-
tion courts are woefully overburdened, with cases currently taking years to litigate. America is able to retain a moderately educated base and above, and we will not have a generation that will continue to live secretly in legal limbo as castaways. They are still in some legal limbo until the Congress passes immigration reforms, but at least protected from deportation and have the ability to work legally until the Congress finally acts. And since all these illegal alien children have had the benefit of taxpayer dollars education, why shouldn’t the American economy now benefit, above the table, from that educational investment? Latino immigrant groups have high visibility to be involved in this fight. However, Filipino Americans leaders should be standing beside them in the forefront. I meet so many fine educated leaders and no lack of university educated, undocumented, children. Hopefully, these eloquent leaders must now be an active part of this discussion so that the new emerging rules benefit all immigrant groups, and not only the obviously more powerful, important voting block of Spanish speakers. I would particularly point
to my friends at the Asian Journal, with over 100,000 copies of their newspaper hitting the streets in Southern and Northern California, Las Vegas and New York, every week could have a real impact on this debate, but instead sit on their hands and only dryly reporting the news. In contrast, consider the actions of Spanish language radio stations turning out thousands of Latinos into the streets to protect their country man. Hence, immigration decisions are skewed to that community.
America is by definition a country of immigrants. If we ever stopped losing new immigrants the identity of country would be adversely impacted, as a musical form that is not allowed to grow. Similarly, Filipinos can only grow in America if they are willing to use their clout for issues that really matter. Now is a good time, particularly because we presently have a president who is listening and cares about immigrants and their families. It is time for the Fil-Am community to graduate as well.
Investigative reporters live dangerously
HENEVER reporters or writing and broadcasting members of the media delve into the serious job of investigative reporting, chances are that they cannot escape the perils of being physically mauled, harassed, intimidated or threatened with multiple lawsuits. Even American mainstream journalists are not immune to these harassing tactics. Those who do these against members of the Fourth Estate should remember that journalists buy ink by the barrels. We will never run short of ink, and we will use the power of the pen in defending ourselves. For after all, whatever we write is documented and factual in order to defend ourselves from lawsuits. In 2011 it was reported that one of the most dangerous places for reporters, journalists and press photographers to practice their trades is the Philippines. Remember the Mindanao Massacre initiated by the Ampatuans? It was widely reported that the press people who were murdered were in the wrong place and in the wrong time. Sad to say, until now there is no clear progress in the investigation which started like a jerk and then stopped. Only the Devil knows when the perpetrator would be formally tried, considering the principal accused are hiding behind the cloak of physical illness and other emotional problems. Add to it the barangay of lawyers willing to defend them or delay the hearing every time their pockets are filled with thousands of Philippine pesos. On the other side of the coin, it was reported that those who claimed themselves in the countryside to be photographers and reporters were actually members
of the leftist groups initiating dissent against the government. To wit, it turned out that Philippines beneficiaries of recent fund-raising here in Los Angeles for photographers and journalists back home were identified supporters of the NPAs. Similarly, PWD (or Pinoy Watchdog for those who do not know it yet), through its columnist accidentally stepped on a Pandora’s Box when he mentioned a losing candidate in the last election in his column. While the intention is not against the producer of an award –giving body, the chain of events led to a series of e-mail or verbal exchanges that may or may not end sooner or later. PWD now smells something fishy out of that Pandoara’s Box. Gradually, the can opener (abrelata) is now sharpened and ready to open it. Later, in succeeding stories, we will trace the footmarks of those who used public funds or moneys in their differ-
ent projects. Our Investigative Team will check if the funds go to the projects (real or fiction) or pockets of the producers. In Pilipino, abangan ang susunod na kabanata.
can candidates. It’s not surprising why he lost with a pittance of votes not even reaching the 1000 mark. He always said he will represent the Filipinos in Sacramento, forgetting he will be representing the multi-ethnic residents of his district should he win. He should also learn to answer phone calls addressed to him. Neglecting to answer these calls already showed that Adrian will be hard to reach in the near future if elected. The people had spoken and chosen the best and expected to deliver. Our colleague Joe Arciaga was right. We will be behind him should he write something again regarding the proper selection of a candidate, whether he is a Pinoy or not. Great job Joe.
Filipino losers here and there The Second Quarter of 2012 is not a lucky period for some Filipinos here and there. In the Philippines, CJ Corona was officially impeached and stripped of his crown when the House of Senate voted to impeach him from the most coveted chair in the PHL Supreme Court. Jessica Sanchez landed only as a runner-up in the Search for American Idol. So far, the highest position a kababayan (although she’s a Pinay-Mexicana) was able to win in the American Idol singing competition. However, we noticed though that in terms of popularity, Jessica outshines the first place winner. Adrian Lecaros lost in an election dominated by Ameri-
FACLA and The Order of the Knights of Rizal For the first time, the Order of the Knights of Rizal will be celebrating its customary Rizal’s birthday celebration outside the premises of FACLA.. Prior administrations of FACLA had agreed to jointly celebrate any Rizal Day (birthday in June and death anniversary in December) activity with members of the Order of the Knights of Rizal. The K of R agreed to pay only a minimal amount of money to cover security and cleaning fee. For June this year the K of R offered to pay the same amount they normally paid; $150 as the K of R does not have enough funds for such gatherings.
This writer was told that in the past, the K of R paid $450 (copy of a receipt affirmed this to have been paid to FACLA in November, 2010). An inquiry from an officer of the K of R said the $450 was not for a sole or single K of R activity, but instead it was a payment for their share of the expenses with FACLA in jointly celebrating the National Heroes Day. As previously stated, official activities of the K of R fall in June and December only, never in a November of any given year. FACLA President Austin Baul and VP Fender Santos both agreed and gave permission to the K of R’s usage of the Hall. They are very accommodating and represent what is expected of public servants. The problems were the two lady directors. One said they have a copy of the receipt for $450 previously paid by the K of R not knowing this was for a joint activity with FACLA; the other asked me to make an offer or bid to use the Hall. That being said, I told them we can only afford $150 and will look for another place if our offer will not be accepted honoring age-old tradition and agreement between FACLA and the K of R. The rest is history. The amount of $450 rings a bell during a meeting with a former FACLA director and needs further investigation. Was it the same check channeled as a payment to an attorney regarding a case involving past directors? Will inform you later with further details.
Saturday, June 23, 2012
Saturday, May 26, 2012
Are we losing the Karburo War?
fter more than two months of standoff between the Philippines and China in the disputed Scarborough Shoal, President Benigno “P-Noy” Aquino III ordered the pullout of two Philippine ships from the area because of Typhoon “Butchoy.” This was after the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said the Philippines and China had agreed last June 5 to pull out their ships from the area. But according to the latest DFA update, China claimed that it never committed to pull out its vessels from Scarborough Shoal, which China refers to as Huangyan Island. In response, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said, “Chinese side will continue to maintain administration and vigilance over Huangyan Island waters.” The Chinese spokesman warned the Philippines to refrain from “giving further statements and behaviors that may further strain relations.” Then he added, “We wonder where the so-called commitment the Philippine side mentioned on ‘China’s withdrawal of vessels’ came from. We hope the Philippine side can restrain their words and behaviors, and do more things conducive to the development of the bilateral relations.” Karburo War It seems that China is winning the “Karburo War,” a war of words for control and possession of the Scarborough Shoal or “Karburo,” as the fishermen of Zambales call it. With Philippine fishing boats prevented from entering the lagoon, China has now exclusive control and de facto possession of the Scarborough Shoal. And the Philippines was helplessly immobile to deter the intrusion with just a single naval vessel at her disposal, a disarmed U.S. Coast Guard cutter purchased by the Philippine
government several months ago. Indeed, China – without firing a single shot – had successfully bullied the Philippines into abandoning her territory. But what else could the Philippines do under these circumstances? Without warships and warplanes, the Philippines is at the mercy of China who is claiming the entire South China Sea (West Philippine Sea), East China Sea, and Yellow Sea as an extension of her continental shelf. If nobody challenges her wholesale claim to these three contiguous bodies of water that extend from the southern tip of Japan all the way to Indonesia, China could choke the shipping lanes in the region; thus, preventing vessels from other countries from passing through her “territorial waters.” If and when China would make that bold step depends largely on how the United States would react to any attempt the block the shipping lanes in the South China Sea-East China SeaYellow Sea corridor. However, the U.S. had warned China to keep the shipping lanes open to international navigation. Ghost from the past How did the Philippines get herself into this situation? What happened in the past two months was the culmination of a series of events that began two decades ago. On September 16, 1991, the Philippine Senate voted to pass a motion reject-
ing a new treaty with the United States that would allow her to continue the operation of military bases in the country. But the actual closure did not occur until a year later. The administration of President Cory Aquino – P-Noy’s mother – tried to salvage the bases but the two sides were unable to work out their differences. On November 24, 1992, the last American forces left. In spite of the departure of U.S. military forces, the 1952 U.S.-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) remained in force. But many wondered, “How could the U.S. come to the defense of the Philippines without any permanent military bases to operate from?” In1998, then President Fidel V. Ramos successfully negotiated the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the U.S. The VFA provides for future military cooperation between the two allies including joint military exercises. But critics said that the VFA would be used to get around the 1987 Constitution’s prohibition of foreign military bases on Philippine soil. Indeed, the ghost from the past continues to haunt U.S.Philippine relations. The left-
ists are quick to react whenever they see a shadow of American military presence. Last May 14, 2012, when a U.S. nuclear submarine – the USS North Carolina – docked at the Subic Bay Freeport to replenish her supplies, members of the Kilusang para sa Pambansang Demokrasya (LPD) staged a lighting protest at the gate of the former American naval base, which was converted to civilian use after its closure. The protesters accused the U.S. of sending the submarine to provoke China whose gunboats and fishing vessels are in Scarborough Shoal, just 125 miles away. They said that they don’t need the U.S. to defend our territory. Were they joking? How could they defend our territory without warplanes and warships? War is not a joking matter. MDT with U.S. And this brings to the fore the nagging question: Would the United States come to the defense of the Philippines if China attacked the country? During P-Noy’s recent visit to the United States at the invitation of President Barack Obama, there was no explicit commitment from Obama that the U.S. would honor the Mutual Defense Treaty if China attacked us. And the reason is that Obama’s “evolving” foreign policy is to avoid committing American military forces in foreign wars. However, it would be different if American military forces were already stationed – permanently – in a country where the U.S. has a defense treaty like Japan, South Korea, and Australia. If China attacked any of these countries, the American forces stationed in that country would be drawn into the conflict. In essence, the presence of American military forces is an effective deterrent against invasion. Such was the case with the Philippines for almost 100 years.
After World War II, no foreign country dared to attack the Philippines even during the Chinese communist adventurism in the 1950s through 1970s. With the presence of American military bases in t the Philippines, our borders were safe from foreign invasion. Not anymore. MDT with China Recently, it was reported in the news that Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson had cautioned the Department of National Defense against allowing American troops to use their former naval and air facilities in Subic, Zambales and Clark Field in Pampanga. He pointed out that under the VFA, there is a clear provision that U.S. forces cannot have permanent or semi-permanent basing privileges in the country. However, Lacson said that he has an “open mind” on the possibility of having a Mutual Defense Treaty with China. “Why not?” he said. “Why don’t we take the initiative to forge a mutual defense treaty with China? After all, they are our neighbors in Asia.” He then explained, “It would be better if the Philippines enjoys the support of the world’s top superpowers – the U.S. and China. It would be beneficial to us to have two big brothers on our side instead of one. This is to avoid any animosity and controversies. If allowed, I think China will welcome the idea to have MDT with them.” However, the problem would be if these two “big brothers” attacked each other. Who would the Philippines defend – the U.S. or China? But Lacson brought up his outlandish idea before the “Karburo War” erupted. Now, that China reneged on her commitment to withdraw from the Scarborough Shoal, can Lacson trust China that she would honor a Mutual Defense Treaty if it was not to her advantage? Please don’t be naïve, Mr. Senator. (PerryDiaz@gmail. com)
A historic first Fil-Am performers to shine at Hollywood Bowl
he cream of Filipino American entertainment will descend on world-renowned Hollywood Bowl with an all night celebration of Filipino music, art and culture on July 8. It would be unprecedented in the sense that it has never been done before, Arvind Manocha, chief operating officer of the venue, told PinoyWatchdog soon after presiding a press conference at the Rooftop Grill in Highland Blvd. to announce the upcoming concert, Apl.de.ap Takes You to the Philippines: A Celebration of Global Filipino Music at the Hollywood Bowl. The June 14 gathering was attended by Black Eyed Peas rapper Apl.de.ap, Gelo Francisco of Philippine Chamber Singers, recording artist/songwriter Becca Godinez and Joel Jacinto of Kayamanan ng Lahi.
► By Dionesio C. Grava
Manocha recalled his excitement in collaborating with Apl. de. Ap, Ted Benito and others in putting things together. The idea had always been in his mind because some of his best friends were Filipinos while attending college at Cornell in New York. “And I thought of this because, you know, we have such a large community of Filipinos here in Los Angeles. Such a historic community. And the culture and music of the Filipinos are so robust, such diversity in the music and I thought this should be a wonderful way to get everyone to gather and celebrate.” The July 8 concert will feature pop and traditional Pinoy artists, hip hop, jazz, soul, R&B, OPM (Original Pilipino Music) and more, it was said. Apl. de. Ap was likewise palpable in his excitement. It would Turn to Page 15
From left: Ted Benito, Gelo Francisco, Becca Godinez, Apl. de. Ap, Joel Jacinto and Arvind Manocha.
Saturday, June 23, 2012
Manila envisions a world-class airport city to make us proud From Page 1
showcase project, more fun than the usual “More fun in the Philippines” hoopla. Targeting 10 million foreign tourists and 35.5 million domestic travelers as the core of a P266-billion tourism master plan is going to strain not only the country’s tourism infrastructure. Bursting at seams The Manila International Airport, already stressed beyond capacity today, will burst at the seams. So will the country’s major carriers, especially the flag carrier, PAL, recently acquired by SMC. Yes, the food and beverage conglomerate. What is a food and beverage giant doing in airlines and airports? For one, it has a master plan that will make the showcase tourism project of the Aquino presidency a soaring success by 2016. No other government activity reaches the grass roots with more impact than the tourism industry. Its economic “ripple effects” directly provide employment to close to seven million tourism workers, almost a fifth of the work force. And working for tourist dollars is actually a lot of fun. The government’s tourism master plan was presented at a parallel forum during the 45th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the Asian Development Bank in Manila by Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. He also unveiled the department’s “It’s more fun in the Philippines” worldwide marketing campaign.
Saving the flag carrier In another blockbuster move that seemed almost a twin of the tourism master plan, SMC acquired management control of the troubled flag carrier. Ang, SMC president, engineered the acquisition of a 49-percent stake, worth half a billion American dollars, in PAL. That also gave him management control. What would a food and beverage tycoon know about running a troubled airline? Apparently much, because he is a certified pilot, besides being an engineer who restores and collects antique cars and can tune their engines by himself. A dream airport But the acquisition of PAL is just the tip of the iceberg of a US $5-billion (around Php 210 billion) master plan that will make the P266-billion tourism plan take off by 2016. Ang’s core strategy envisions SMC investing in a new international airport that will have up to four runways on a 4,000-hectare site: “This is one of the proposals we will put forward to the government.” The proposed airport will be closer to Metro Manila than the former US Clark Air Force Base north of Manila, and the undisclosed site will only be “five to 10 minutes’ drive from EDSA,” the main thoroughfare connecting the 18 municipalities comprising Metro Manila and its 12 million inhabitants. For the immediate term, Ang
A necessary defeat: why Manny Pacquiao had to lose From Page 1
quiao of his WBO Welterweight Division title in favor of Timothy Bradley. Many opined the unexpected result to be an atrocious act of indignation to the sport of boxing and to the fighter that has kept it relevant and profitable in the past decade. The statistics recorded thru the CompuBox used during the fight had Manny winning on all areas. Pacquiao landed 34% or 253 of the 751 punches he hurled compared to Bradley’s 19% or 159 of the 839 punches thrown. Pacquiao connected 63 of his 258 jabs while Bradley let out 449 but managed to land only 51. Bradley’s 108/390 power punches likewise paled compared to Pacquiao’s 190/493. Sports channels, boxing experts and fans were all in agreement with the above ratio published few hours after the fight. Pacquiao and Bradley’s numbers were just so significantly disproportionate that, if only the Compubox results were official, Pacquiao would have emerged the victor. But the judges’ vote was the decisive factor and Pacquiao seemed to have been short of impressive. For a boxer who clinched 38 of his 54 wins via
knockout, impressions and expectations, when unfulfilled, become liabilities. But as outraged as boxing fans were in his debatable defeat, Pacquiao took a different stride by showing humility, composure, fortitude, refinement and grace. He praised Bradley for his endurance and strength respected the decision of the judges and pacified his infuriated mother and supporters. Had he won, Pacquiao would have registered 7 straight years of no-loss in his boxing career. But then Bradley had to end it. An ending, which, as displeased as we all might be now, we all know, was not without a purpose. Interestingly, the number 7 holds a symbolic meaning in the Bible, Manny Pacquiao has been brandishing recently. Seven signifies fullness, completion and perfection. In Genesis 2:2, God rested on the 7th day after creation. Verse 41:2 of the same book stated that the pharaoh saw in his dreams 7 cows coming from Nile which was later on interpreted by Joseph the Dreamer to mean 7 years of good harvest. In Judges 16:13,
plans to help the government regain Category 1 status for the country from the US Federal Aviation Administration. This is crucial for PAL’s profitability and eventual expansion. Bouncing back Where to get the resources for all this? “Not a problem,” Ang says. “As of today, PAL is already healthy, financially, since we put $500 million in. Another $500 million will come in the near future.” He sees PAL back in the black by year’s end. Ang is in a hurry to break ground before the year ends on the airport project. He already has a core tenant: a modern air terminal capable of handling as many as 100 million passengers a year. So a lot is riding on the success of the tourism signature campaign, “It’s more fun in the Philippines.” The two mega-projects dovetail perfectly. State of the art The development will also have its own business district, a commercial and residential area, and will target ecozone status to accommodate locators in the manufacturing site. It will also supply its own electricity, which Ang says will be cheaper than power from existing technology from commercial producers. The country’s power rates are the highest in the region, discouraging investors. Samson’s locks were braided in seven plaits. In Exodus 21:2, a Hebrew slave was to be freed on the seventh year following captivity and service. According to Exodus 24:1, there are 70 elders in Israel and as revealed in Jeremiah 25:12, Israel was exiled to Babylon for 70 years. Pentecost is seven times seven days after Passover. Jesus told Peter that a man should forgive his enemy, seventy times seven times. The revelation of the end of times, or the completion of the mystery of God, is likewise riddled with the number 7. Seven angels, seven plagues and “when the voice of the seventh angel is heard the mystery God should be finished.” Biblically speaking, Manny have come full circle. He pursued boxing to get out of poverty. Now, he is a billionaire. Boxing liberated him from the slums, led him to many places and then hopefully, to himself through a defeat. A defeat that brought him back to the young boy, who was a victim of injustice caused by a flawed system. Twenty-one years ago, the system was the government of his country. Today, it is the regime of judges in a sport that gambles life. Maybe Pacquiao must be a victim of injustice or unreasonableness so he can fully understand the plight of most Filipino people
Passengers can reach the airport complex “in 10 minutes from EDSA” using SMC’s proposed elevated roadway that cuts across Metro Manila north to south. Ang says the project is meant to provide the country with an alternative to the aging Ninoy Aquino International Airport, which has reached the limit of its expansion, and the Clark International Airport, which is considered too far from Metro Manila. “It will be a mini-city,” Ang says, with PAL moving its base of operations there. Looking for $5 billion The total project cost, including the elevated tollway, a modern air terminal, four runways and the land will be around $5 billion. “Can we afford it? Of course we can afford it,” Ang asserts. To understand the logic of what can only be best described as an unconventional leapfrog strategy, one has to peel away the layers of Ang’s business plans to get to the core of his leaps of vision.
expensive operating cost item. Airlines make or lose money on sheer turnaround efficiency, by cutting the hours planes stay on the ground and increasing flying time. Simple does it Ang’s plans for PAL are simple and straightforward, which means they could work: Rationalize its operations together with sister firm Air Philippines, which SMC also bought. In Ang’s mind, Air Philippines is to take over all domestic and short-haul international routes using the budget carrier model, to allow the airline to compete directly with Cebu Pacific and Zest Air. With Air Philippines taking over the short-haul routes, PAL will concentrate on long-haul routes like regional flights that take longer than three hours, where passengers are willing to pay more for service and comfort.
The PAL strategy He has several hands-on ideas about how to turn around the airline that has lost market share in recent years to aggressive budget carriers. “PAL is a good company with an excellent brand. Despite so many problems over the last 20 years, the company has always been above water,” Ang says, mixing his metaphors. Fuel is an airline’s single most
Nuts and bolts Ang also plans to acquire up to 100 new planes for both PAL and Air Philippines over the next five years. New planes are more fuelefficient. That’s the nuts-and-bolts logic to turn around PAL and Air Philippines. The airport complex is the hub of the strategy. It is also key to making the tourism master plan fly. (The author is president of a think tank specializing in transforming social and economic trends into public policy and business strategy. E-mail mibc2006@ gmail.com.)
and be a better lawmaker. Maybe, as a famous Filipino athlete, he needed to bring frustration, anger, disappointment and anxiety to his kababayans so he can avoid doing the same thing to them as a public servant. While he can simply shrug his shoulders to a dubious boxing outcome, he cannot do the same in the halls of the legislative hall of the Philippines where he serves as the Representative of the lone district of Saranggani. Presently, Glan, a town in the southern part of the province is under state of calamity due to flash foods brought by heavy rains. Bradley, the “desert storm” is not enough to displace Pacquiao in the history books but a simple rain have displaced at least 568 families in Glan. This is the best time for their congressman to bring hope not by punching a big, burly man but by overcoming the desperation and disorientation of his constituents. If his career in politics would flourish in the same way as his boxing career did, then Pacquiao must learn that the people he serves are not just impoverished to bread and water, but to justice, equality, attention and relief as well. If he is sincere as he claims to be in joining public service then he ought to realize that only action can solve the questions elicited by theoretical laws on why the Filipino is poor and why his government is unable to institute
pre-emptive and protective measures to avoid gamble of life under raindrops. He must serve his public with the point of view of a man judged unfairly, neglected deliberately, conned by those in authority. He must retrace his steps back to when he had to box to eat and not just to keep a world title because the Filipino masses are fighting daily battles in order to survive until the next day or until their quality of life improves and not because they need to polish their names in front of the world. If it must take a big defeat for him to empathize with Filipinos deeply, then so be it. Being a victim of poverty and inequality himself, Pacquiao, the lawmaker, must not confine himself to just reading Bible passages to influence, inspire or shift paradigms; he must move into action by passing practical laws, criticizing governmental actions and instituting real, sensitive and beneficial social reforms. Often, it takes a defeat for one to realize his true purpose in aiming for victory. Pacquiao’s defeat was necessary for him to gain more – more insights on his personal reasons in defending a title, obtaining the votes of his constituents or spreading the teachings of the Bible. He must see and prove his purpose to achieve completion, perfection and fullness. His road the 7th streak begins anew.
Some of 2012 T
here are so many things to explore at the the ongoing Los Angeles Film Festival presented by Film Independent, where screenings are being held at L.A. Live’s Regal Cinemas. Seating at the Filmmakers Lounge as I write this column halfway through the festival, I’ve been missing a lot as some screenings I want to watch are overlapping each other. I started my movie marathon with the “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” 2012 Sundance’s Grand Jury Prize Winner and Best Cinematography Award (also won the FIPRESCI Award at this year’s Cannes Filmfest). First time actors Dwight Henry and 6-year old Quvenzhane Wallis give powerful performances as father and daughter who refuses to leave their land after a Katrina-level storm. This past weekend, I’ve enjoyed attending the panel discussions via programs “Conversations & Talks.” Short films are experiencing a new life online with the plethora of new web-based platforms and channel contents. The creative and financial opportunities for professionally produced, short-form original content in the digital marketplace were among the topics. Moderated by Holly Willis (Research Professor of School of Cinematic Arts at USC), panelists included Amber Lawson, Chairman of The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Interactive Media Peer Group Membership, Eddie Schmidt, director, Good Bread; executive producer, Beauty is Embarrassing; Peter Glatzer, feature film producer and co-founder of SHFT.com; and Thomas Zadra, Head of Business Development for Original Video, Yahoo! Same day Saturday,
Respectable screenwriters talked about the challenges of being a tv and feature working screenwriter in Hollywood.
Highlights Actors Jason Isaacs, Melanie Lynskey, and Illeana Douglas discussed about life and the challenges of being an actor in Hollywood.
►By Oliver Carnay
Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight) talked about how from being a production designer led her to become one of the most notable directors in Hollywood.
Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn, Betsy Brandt, RJ Mitte, Dean Norris, Jonathan Banks and Bob Odenkirk with series creator Vince Gilligan as they discuss how the show about a high school chem teacher with a mobile meth lab in the New Mexico desert has evolved into what many consider the best hour on television. Now on its final 16 episodes, the hit tv series tested the boundaries of television, developing an antihero never before seen. On Sunday, June 17, Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight, Lords of Dogtown, thirteen); Rian Johnson (Looper, The Brothers Bloom, Brick); and Lawrence Kasdan (Darling Companion, The Big Chill, Body Heat) discussed about their craft and the challenges they have to go through before they became successful di-
A scene from the doc-feature “Call Me Kuchu” (David Kato, first openly gay man who was murdered after fighting a bill that threatens to make homosexuality punishable by death)
AMC’s “Breaking Bad” had a Q&A moderated by film critic Robert Abele with cast members Emmy Award-winning actor Bryan
ntert inment & rts
Saturday, June 23, 2012
rectors in their field. Discussing their craft with their peers with fun and unpredictable conversations, seasoned actors Jason Isaacs
(The Harry Potter films, Green Zone, The Patriot); Melanie Lynskey (Seeking A Friend for the End of the World, Up In The Air, Heavenly Creatures, Win Win), and Illeana Douglas (Ghost World, Goodfellas, Cape Fear) shared educational and informative thoughts on what actors should do to become successful in show business. Screenwriters John August (Dark Shadows, Big Fish, Go); Jonathan Nolan (The Dark Knight Rises, The Dark Knight, The Prestige); Zak Penn (The Avengers, The Incredible Hulk, X-
ducer of LAIKA and Focus Features’ ParaNorman; and Kristina Reed, producer of Walt Disney Animation Studio’s Paperman. The delightful romantic comedy “Ruby Spark” was this festival’s Secret Screening surprise film, with the attendance of stars from the film Paul Dano (Little Miss Sunshine) and female lead (also the screenwriter) Zoe Kazan, together with producers Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (Little Miss Sunshine), who said they were very lucky to have Oscar winning cinematographer, Fil-Am Matthew Li-
Directors Lawrence Kasdan, Catherine Hardwicke, and Rian Johnson gave anecdotes about making their first film.
The women behind the success of some of the biggest animated films.
The cast of the hit television series “Breaking Bad” in one of LA Filmfest’s “Conversations & Talks” program.
Paul Dano with this writerafter the Secret Screening of “Ruby Sparks” held during the LAFilmfest.
Men: The Last Stand); and Lorene Scafaria (Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist) shared that one of the hardest and most challenging part being a screenwriter is getting an agent (among other things). A sneak peek of some of the upcoming animated films were shown exclusively on Sunday featuring some of the high-profiled women in the animation world of filmmaking. Moderated by Rebecca Keegan, Los Angeles Times film writer and author of The Futurist: The Life and Films of James Cameron, the panelists include Allison Abbate, producer of Walt Disney Studios’ Frankenweenie; Michelle Murdocca, producer of Sony Pictures Animation’s Hotel Transylvania; Arianne Sutner, pro-
Chris Colfer (GLEE) takes his career one level ahead by writing and starring in his first film debut “Struck By Lightning” to be distributed by Tribeca Film late this year. The film received a standing ovation at the recent Tribeca Film Festival.
batique for this movie. “It wasn’t hard for us to convince him as he believed in the story so much,” Dayton said. One of the most powerful and heartbreaking documentary I’ve seen -- “Call Me Kuchu” exposes the horrors of a homophobic government — its hatred fueled by right wing American evangelicals — that terrorizes the LGBT community. In Uganda, a new bill threatens to make homosexuality punishable by death. David Kato - Uganda’s first openly gay man, and his fellow activists work against the clock to defeat the legislation while combatting vicious persecution in their daily lives. But
no one is prepared for the brutal murder of Kato that shakes their movement to its core and sends shock waves around the world. Check out the rest of the L.A. Filmfest screenings and special events at www.lafilmfest.com Glee” star Chris Colfer’s film acquired by Tribeca Film The high school comedy “Struck By Lightning,” starred and written by “Glee” star Chris Colfer had a standing ovation at its World Premiere at Tribeca Film Festival on June 19, 2012. The film is being released by Tribeca Film. Directed by Brian Dannelly (Saved!), the highly anticipated film
also stars Allison Janney, Polly Bergen, Rebel Wilson, Christina Hendricks, Dermot Mulroney, Sarah Hyland and Angela Kinsey. Chris Colfer plays high school senior Carson Phillips who was suddenly killed by a bolt of lightning in his school parking lot. Through flashbacks, he recounts the last few weeks of his life . Tribeca Film plans a late 2012 theatrical release and date with on-demand platforms where it will be available in 40+million homes through a variety of videoon-demand offereings, in addition to iTunes, Amazon Watch Instantly, VUDU, Xbox and Samsung Media Hub.
Tidbit: IM Global’s Pan-Asian rights buying arm Apsara Distribution has closed an output deal with Buena Vista International. The multi-year and multiple picture pact covers Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam and Cambodia ...... Katy Perry’s doc-feature film KATY PERRY: PART OF ME will have its Los Angeles Premiere on Tuesday, June 26 at the Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood. Expected to attend are Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Kathy Griffin, and Seth Green, among others...... Email comments at firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, June 23, 2012
Community News Updates Balita/Beirne/Allen Closes West Covina Law Office After over ten years the Balita Media law operation called James Beirne Law Offices in West Covina has closed. Weekend Balita made no announcement about its organization downsizing in the wake of extended revelations of client complaints, violations of lawyer advertising rules and looming contempt of court charges. PinoyWatchDog.com has also received a highly verified report that young attorney Paul Allen purchased the Beirne Law Offices for an undisclosed sum. It is presumed that the funds came from his parents, Balita owners Anthony Allen and Luchie Mendoza. It is also unknown if young attorney allen knew the true condition of the organization’s finances prior to the purchase. Previously, young attorney Allen had advertised that he had ten years of bankruptcy experience and was a certified bankruptcy specialist, both of which are false. Allen has just completed his first year as being a member of the State Bar of California. He is currently under investigation for numerous false advertising violations.
Balita Decreases Circulation in Many Areas Amid the fiscal crises at Balita Media the newspaper has drastically cut circu-
lation in many areas in the Los Angeles Basin, most notably almost completely abandoning the Inland Empire and outlying parts of Orange County. However, their circulation still remains strong in San Fernando Valley and Central LA to Glendale, with a continued strategy of driving business to Balita’s legal operation of Beirne/Allen. Distribution was reported as uneven in South Bay, with a few locations overflowing with newspapers, and other major locations, such as Seafood City in Carson, without any copies at all.
Judge Rules Duldulaos May Proceed with Fraud Charges Against Attorney Beirne On June 8, 2012, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Soussan Brugera ruled that Beirne Law Office victims Diosdado and Janet Duldulao, who lost their Eagle Rock home while being represented by James Beirne, may proceed with their fraud complaint against the embattled attorney. Beirne is scheduled to stand trial that he is not really in charge of the law office bearing his name, a fraudulent advertising campaign to lure the Duldulao’s to their law office, fraudulently inducing the Duldualos to proceed with Beirne’s Chapter 13 bankruptcy discovery plan, and misrepresentations that he would file a bankruptcy petition to protect the Duldulao’s family home. Trial is set for October 15, 2012 in downtown Los Angeles.
Saturday, June 23, 2012 PinoyWatchDog.Com
Community Joel Jacinto, Making Dreams Come True for Others, is Living His Dream ► By Joel
Bander, Senior Columnist
n the eve of the 40th Anniversary Dinner Fundraiser to be held June 30, 2012 at the Glendale Civic Auditorium, long time Search to Involve Pilipino Americans (SIPA) Executive Director Joel Jacinto is a man very content about his past, present and future. His mantra is to serve the community with substantial results without fanfare of accomplishment or shameful self promotion. When I asked him for his marquee achievement of his twenty (20) years at SIPA’s helm I found myself at a 76 unit lowincome housing project he first envisioned in 2000, the El Centro Loretto Apartments at Hoover and Santa Monica Boulevard in East Hollywood. But first some full disclosure and transparency. I admit Mr. Jacinto and I exchange ‘Tocayo’ greetings over the years in the Filipino tradition, and while I always wonder about the fierce loyalty any Filipino could have with another province mate they have never met, I do not question this when it comes to ‘Tocayo’, someone with the same name as your own. More substantive bias disclosures later. In 2000, Jacinto first started planning the El Centro Loretto project on a different parcel, only to be muscled out of that site by former L.A. Councilwoman Jackie Goldberg who was seeking the site for a public school. He battled on, finding the present location, and obtaining the first tranche of funding in 2002 from the City of Los Angeles Housing Trust Fund. He then pieced together numerous federal, state and local programs, along with private grants, com-
Tocayos discussing salient points of SIPA
munity development funds including the LA County Community Development Commission, California Community Reinvestment Corporation Housing and the National Equity Fund. Jacinto proceeded to reel off names and government programs with the joy of someone stating the titles of the songs of his favorite artist’s new CD. When I ask him how much longer he will continue in this work the question shocks him, as if there is no place else in the world he would rather be. The El Centro Loretto ribbon cutting was in August 2004, and now thousands of low income individuals over the years have been able to move their lives forward due to this hard work. Jacinto’s and SIPA’s work does not end with ribbon cutting ceremonies. While a low income family can now
2003 Ribbon Cutting Ceremony with Big Scissors!
Attend the 40th Anniversary Dinner Fundraiser on June 30, 2012 at the Glendale Civic Auditorium. Call 213-382-1819 for tickets. afford a 2 bedroom apartment for less than $1000 a month, (the rent is based on 30% of income) SIPA also has a development team that also provides social services to help these low income families attain a goal, to move out of these low income projects on to greater prosperity. Each tenant family is audited and needs a yearly audit by the Housing and Urban Development Department. More disclosures. I first met Joel Jacinto when I organized the World War II Equity Village Veterans in 1997. I remember him just storming in with volunteers and food, and then rushing off, without seeking to get his picture taken or trying to obtain any credit. This was in stark contrast to other Filipino organizers who wanted to take the project over claiming they were the true leaders of the veterans’ movement. He just wanted to help. And leave to move onto his next project. Back to El Centro Lorreto. The project is so effectively managed SIPA has always been able to stay ahead of all loan payments on the property entirely from rents. Under the terms of the various government loans and grants the land is covenanted as ‘affordable housing’ for 55 years. That’s a long time. And he now envisions installing solar
panels to take the project off the electrical grid altogether, piecing together government programs and grants so there is no extra cost to the residents, just a better life for all. He also tried to replicate the El Centro Loretto project with 245-unit project, starting in 2006 when SIPA had control of the land. He envisioned a combination of condominiums, affordable housing and retail. However, because of the housing market crash of 2008 SIPA was unable to proceed, as the options periods on loans and such gave way to the greater forces of the Bush economic meltdown. Some forces are even too mighty for Jacinto. Next disclosure: In 2008 my law firm had a booth at a Filipino Street Fair on Temple Street. I hear ‘Tocayo, Tocayo!’ being yelled at me. He was sitting on a seat on a drum of water contraption that a contributor paid some money to throw a softball at a target. If you were successful Jacinto’s seat gave way and he would fall into the tub of water, all the while performing this fundraising stunt in a tiny bathing suit that revealed his quite fit body. I hit the center of the target on my first try (where are the cameras when I need them) and sent him plummeting down into the water. He emerged joyful as can be, just announcing “Attorney Bander dunked me on the first shot. Who wants to see it again?” with the obvious goal of raising more money for SIPA but filled only with joy. Jacinto said that SIPA’s other main programs are ongoing services for youth and family after school programs, serving between 75 -100 individuals on a daily basis, which is funded by block grants, and a small business benefit program, helping an assortment of small businesses grow in the neighborhood. His next major dream is to build a Historic Filipino Town Community Center on the current site of SIPA on Temple Street. When I said it should be called the ‘Jacinto SIPA Filipino Town Community Center’ he just responded with a sheepish smile, indicating that he really seeks no personal recognition, helping the community is all that he seeks. The dinner event on June 30 reflects the pragmatic, honest side of fund-raising. The awardees are all truly dynamic individuals picked solely for achievement with no strings attached. The event is at the Glendale Civic Auditorium with the ticket and entertainment costing $175.00. The event is not at a fancy hotel. So the funds raised are not diminished by higher cost environs. This fundraiser is really helping those in need from an organization that has a proven track record of helping people. So call SIPA now at 213 382 1819 x 120 or email email@example.com and feel the good vibes of a truly humble and effective community organization.
Apl.de.ap of the Black Eyed Peas Gintong Tulong (Corporate Philanthropy) Allan Pineda Lindo, Jr. better known as Apl.de.ap was born in Angeles City, Pampanga, to a Filipino mother and an AfricanAmerican father. Apl is a rapper, record producer and philanthropist who is best known as a member of the Grammy Award-winning group The Black Eyed Peas. Apl.de.ap started the Apl Foundation which is committed in giving back to communities and children within the Philippines and throughout Asia.
The Greenlining Institute Bayanihan (Community Service) A diverse group of grassroots leaders forms The Greenlining Institute. They were established in 1993 to fight redlining and institutionalized discrimination. The Greenlining Institute is a national policy, organizing, and leadership institute working for racial and economic justice. Rather than just fight redlining, the illegal practice
Saturday, June 23, 2012
of denying services to communities of color, greenlining would be the proactive effort of bringing investments to communities.
Carlito Jocson, Corporate Executive Chef/Partner, Yardhouse Restaurants Kalampusan (Corporate Achievement) Carlito Jocson was inspired to cook at a young age by his Filipina mother. At 15 years old, he worked at Chez Panache in Fullerton and became the head line cook by his senior year of high school. Since 1998, Jocson’s been working for Irvine-based Yard House. He revamped the Yard House portfolio and he was recently named one of the Great Chefs of Orange County for the ninth consecutive year.
Ricky Nierva, Production Designer, Pixar Animation Studios Gawad Manlilikha (Creative Arts)
Intended to become a doctor, Ricky Nierva studied at the University of California in San Diego. A year later, he decided to follow his heart and transferred to California Institute of the Arts where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1994. Three years later, Ricky started at Pixar on ‘Toy Story 2’. Since then, he has worked on ‘Monsters, Inc.’, ‘Finding Nemo’ and led the production design team in Academy Award winning film ‘Up’.
The Next Dream
SIPA Awardees ►By Angel Yu Staff Writer
Mona Pasquil, Appointments Secretary, Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. Uliran (Role Model) A proud Filipino in America, Simeona Fortunata “Mona” Pasquil served as the 47th (acting) Lieutenant Governor of California from November 2009 to April 2010. She is a veteran political advisor and strategist. Recipient of numerous awards, including the
2010 JFK “Profiles in Courage” Award from the Los Angeles County Democratic Party and the Torchbearer Award by the Asian Pacific Islander Capitol Association. Currently, she serves as Appointments Secretary in the Office of Governor Jerry Brown.
Demoted by the City of Glendale last year, Edith Fuentes bares a run for City Council ► By Rene Villaroman Managing Editor Photo by Arturo V. Ramos/F7
LENDALE -- A former high ranking employee of this city has announced a run for Council Member three months after agreeing to settle a lawsuit against the city that allegedly discriminated against her. Edith Fuentes, who used to hold one of the city’s most powerful decisionmaking positions in Glendale, was demoted from planning administrator to planner in 2011. She sued the city and won a $200,000 settlement in March. Surrounded by about a hundred friends and supporters, and past and serving Glendale City officials, Fuentes announced her run for the city council at a dinner organized by the Filipino American Business Association of Glendale (FABAG) at Noypitz Restaurant last Thursday. Fuentes’ announcement had a deeply personal and spiritual touch. She told the gathering that she prayed for “a sign” to guide her decision to proceed with her plan. “I prayed to the Lord to give me a sign to proceed,” Fuentes said, she saw the signs last Thursday morning. She related that her two pet poodles were never ever friendly to each other. But on that morning, the two dogs jumped in her bed and began nuzzling each other for the first time. “The second sign I got was when I was puttering around my garden, a butterfly, or an unidentified insect, fluttered on my shoulder,” Fuentes revealed. “How powerful, this force that is pushing me; you will be my witnesses as I say, sincerely and humbly, I accept this nomination. I believe in destiny; this is where it wants to take me.”
PWD editors Rene Villaroman (left) and Diony C. Grava interviewing candidate Edith Fuentes at Noypitz in Glendale.
“This is the best time to take on a challenge and the endorsement of many citizens and city officials. Now is the time to be a participant,” she told the gathering. “This is the best time to empower us and to move forward,” Fuentes added. “That door that closed behind me last year is now the door in front of me,” referring to the city government that allegedly demoted and pushed her out. She said, “Being here, we are sending a strong signal by being together; let’s unite. You’ll be my guiding light and my strength.” Fuentes, who has worked for the Glendale city government for 19 years, declared that her campaign will be based on three letters: DIR, which stand for Dignity, Integrity and Respect. “I am your voice, and all of you are going to be with me. Please start the spreading the word. Tell your family and friends to tell their family and friends that we will make history beginning tonight at Noypitz,” Fuentes said to a warm applause. Former Glendale Mayor Bob Yousefian,
who had worked with Fuentes when she was Glendale’s planning administrator, said: “You don’t need a genius; you need problem solvers, like Edith Fuentes. She has the intelligence, the kind heart and knowledge of the city. If it is illegal right off the books, she would find ways to do it legally,” Yousefian said. “Edith will find solutions to very difficult problems because she is a problem solver,” the former Mayor added. Minutes before she made the announcement, PWD asked Fuentes why she was re-joining a city government that sought her ouster in 2011. “I’m interested and focused in continuing my service and being of help to the community,” Fuentes said right off the bat.
Saturday, June 23, 2012 The University of Santo Tomas (UST) graduate said that there are three slots open for reelection in the city government. “There are three positions for reelection, and one is going to be an open seat, so hopefully, that will help me in my campaign,” she told PinoyWatchDog.com reporters. She also enumerated her four-pronged platform, number one of which is the enhancement of the city’s safe environment. “I think we are still considered one of the safest in the USA or in California.” “Number two is financial responsibility,” Fuentes said. “We need a balanced budget and we want to make sure we have enough staff, just enough to do enough jobs; no more fat, no excess employees,” she adds. As for businesses, Fuentes said that she would like to make sure that old businesses are retained even though the city government would like to invite new ones. “What’s happening now is that everyone is getting new ones but forgetting existing businesses. So I want to make sure we give them enough respect so that they will try also and not just leave town,” Fuentes said. On infrastructure, Fuentes wants to ensure that water, power, parks and recreation, and housing are available to residents of Glendale. According to a Glendale News-Press story published immediately after she won a settlement with Glendale in March this year, Fuentes had agreed to take an administrative leave until September 10, 2012 then retire the following day. But she would receive a $200,000 payment immediately. Her pension would be based on her annual salary as planning administrator at $129,240. Fuentes and her lawyers agreed to a settlement after 3 months of hearings. She had claimed that her demotion was based on discrimination and insider politics.
Client Care News
We are Taxed for our Good ► By Angel Dayan, CPA, EA, ABA, ATA www.taxwork.com
he middle of the year could normally tell us more or less what the rest of the year would bring in terms of expected income. When I ask my clients what income they expect to make for the entire year, the middle of the year helps them answer the question with far greater reliability. The first six (6) months of 2012 has been good to this taxhand than was expected, but then this time period includes and crosses the busy tax season that brought the income rather high, so it was an understandable measure. My clients in different business could not give a definite assurance of increased revenue this year 2012 when benchmarked with the 2011 level. Most expect a decline in actual revenue. There are just too many factors in the failed economy that restrict personal income growth and business success. Being creative is not good enough, and it seems more than that is now required, like starting early on the job in the morning or staying late in the office at night planning for the next day. Asking God for help every day is another most important element. God sends the clients over to the “righteous”by His grace if you can believe that,which is even more profound (since it is Ecclesiastes 2:26). But who fits that description of “the righteous” we should all be? Are we not all sinners? Mostly every one of us struggles with the economy, even as the government is contemplating its precise moves what would help best in the economy to keep the flow of revenues at a steady pace to pay for our government bills. We are all in this together big and small but just in different levels, except for some people who are looting on their job. But they will lose them all as you will read here further on. There are expiring tax provisions that most people believe should be extended for they are engines of the economy that have created jobs, and housing units throughout the country. These are the New Markets Tax Credit, Build America Bonds, Empowerment Zones, and Low Income Housing Tax Credits, the Manufacturing Investment Tax Credit, etc. We are still climbing out of the
Great Recession toward recovery, and our economic planners are busy at work feeding Congress with information as to what needs the most priority. We need to understand that as our tax policies if carefully evaluated must conform to the important principles of (1) Equity, (2) Economic Efficiency, (3) Simplicity, (4) Transparency, and (5) Administrability. These are big objective words to chew that are not all attainable at times but they must be considered in policy formulations and decisions. The U.S. tax systems that we have are already viewed as “complex, economically harmful, and widely perceived as unfair” that to strike a balance in tax legislation with these factors present is not an easy job. It is so easy to “curse the darkness” when we are writing a check to pay for taxes, or when a tax bill comes, but then you could light a candle when you could speak to someone like this taxhand whose job is to solve tax problems.I insure that you pay less taxes to government each time, albeit there will be times it will be just inevitable. Our life in business and personal affairs are just taxed the way God ordained them all to be. Looking at taxes in a higher dimension as a duty gives us the comfort amidst the backdraft or backbreaking chore of “we are truly taxed,” but indeed it is FOR OUR OWN GOOD. It could not be completely bad after all, although it may not be easy these days because of the economy. But God who is Sovereign in all can transfer the money to whomever He chooses. God takes care of the righteous (Psalm 1). Did God not just transfer the wealth of the following money clawing people in our collected history? Examples: Ex-Presidents Ferdinand Marcos, Saddam Hussein, Moammar Ghadaffi, and Hosni Moubarak, or now the Philippine Chief Justice Renato Corona (in progress). And what about the wealth of Apple Computer’s Steve Jobs, whom God transferred too quite recently? Watchout whose wealth God will do next! But we like the ring of that, “transfer to me.” Am I greedy, or would just like to be blessed? Call me in the office at (213)-365-1040 you need any help at all.
Saturday, June 23, 2012
Con Gen Mary Jo Aragon Hosts Vin d’ Honneur to celebrate 114th Philippine Independence Day ► Words and photography by Rene Villaroman
OS ANGELES – The Oxford Dictionary defines Vin d’ Honneur as a reception with wine and snacks. Other less formal definition states “wine formally offered in honor of a special guest.” In France, the literal definition of Vin d’ Honneur is “wine of honor.” The reception held at the Philippine Consulate General on June 12 is a vin d’ honneur, only it was not stated in the invitations as they had done in past Philippine Independence Day celebrations. The last two Philippine Consulate-hosted Independence Day celebrations this writer had attended were held in a Little Tokyo hotel and an elegant event center in Alhambra, and this last one, apart from having been less known to the media – we had to call the Consulate media officer to request coverage – was held at the Rizal Hall of the Consulate General in mid-Wilshire. We surmised it must have been due to the belt-tightening measures going on in the PNoy administration. This reception was not as magnificent and colorful as past vin d’ honneurs, given that the celebration was radically scaled down, compared to celebrations in the past, most of them held at hotels and event centers. We missed the colorful native folk dances, the zarzuelas, and the native costumes. But, viewed under the prevailing economic condition in the old country, it did not take a lot of imagination to understand why this vin d’ honneur, tendered also as a symbolic despedida party for the outgoing Mary Jo Bernardo Aragon whose posting ends this month, was austere. There’s no reason to complain about the array of snacks and finger food served by an excellent Filipino caterer, whose attentive assistants are always at the ready to offer guests with delicious skewed grilled shrimps or slices of sinfully tasty pastries and other desserts. The native songs and
music, performed by a coterie of local Pinoy musicians and singers, from actor-singer Gelo Francisco to amateur balladeer and newsman Romy Borje, were nothing new and failed to overpower the cacophony of a hundred odd guests conversing at the same time, only occasionally semi-conscious of the performances going on. Andy Tecson’s and Rhony Laigo’s kundiman duet was a nonevent, made even less engaging due to the long time it took them to synchronize their instruments and to mix the sound system to its optimum level of sonority. When it was time for the Con Gen to deliver the speech, everyone was already sufficiently satiated by the food and mildly inebriated by the ample supply of champagne and other wines and spirits from the open bar. It was not every day that a struggling member of the community press could saunter to the bar, and without concern for how much money he had in his wallet ask the bartender, “Could I have a glass of champagne, please?” The Con Gen, resplendent in a yellow terno, is the celebrant and host at the same time. Earlier, she had stood near the entrance to Rizal Hall with her affable and ever-smiling Deputy Consul, Daniel “Dan” Espiritu, welcoming members of the diplomatic corps of other countries and Fil-Am guests and city officials. It is hard to fathom whether she is feeling exuberant because
her posting in L.A. is going to end this month, or she is happy because she will be home in Manila to await her next posting. Being a seasoned diplomat, Con Gen Aragon encapsulates the qualities which define her position. Always gracious and welcoming. There was really nothing new to report, the vin d’
With Walnut Mayor Tony Cartagena.
Con Gen Aragon (middle) and Deputy Consul Daniel Espiritu greeting a foreign diplomat.
Con Gen Mary Jo Aragon welcoming the guests.
Senior Columnist Joel Bander greeting Con Gen Aragon and Dan Espiritu. Fil-Ams pose with Walnut Mayor Tony Cartegena.
Con Gen with Fil-Am community members.
Guests singing the Philippine National Anthem with Gelo Francisco.
honneur having come on the heels of President Benigno Aquino III’s visit the week prior. The diplomat retold the glowing, PR-oriented economic report and on-going programs under the aegis of P-Noy’s administration. The members of the media that covered the President’s brief stopover in Los Angeles know the deal. But it was essential for Mrs. Aragon to make that report for the diplomats in attendance, as well as other members of the Fil-Am community who did not attend the reception for P-Noy at the LAX Hilton. It was also the ConGen’s practice to update everyone about the outreach services of the Consulate and the latest legislations in the Philippines and in the US Con-
Tourism’s Manny Ilagan (middle) and Annie Cuevas with an unidentified guest.
Darna Umayan, Al Aquino and Dr. Manlapaz. Operatic singer Pete Avendano.
Al Aquino, WW II Veteran Frank Arcebal, Joel Bander and Dr. Manlapaz.
gress that affect Fil-Ams in her jurisdiction. As is the usual custom, there were numerous photo opportunities with the Mrs Aragon and other local FilAm officials who greeted and gave the ConGen glowing citations – from Walnut, represented by Mayor Tony Cartegena to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, represented by City Hall’s chief of protocol, and Mayor Jim Dear of Carson, as well as some members of the diplomatic corps of other countries. This reception could be the last social event with the Con Gen’s signature. For now, we can only speculate who will take over the post of the largest Philippine consular jurisdiction in the United States.
Rhony Laigo follows Andy Tescon’s lead. All of Laigo’s notes were true.
The PCGLA support staff working the reception desk.
Saturday, June 23, 2012
Correction Requested Regarding Last Issue’s Adrian Lecaros Story
► By Joel
Bander, Senior Columnist
t the June 12, 2012, Philippine Consulate celebration of the 114th anniversary of Philippine Independence Day reception Darna Umayam approached me regarding my June 9, 2012, story about Adrian Lecaros’ loss with only 2.4% of the entire vote. She was particularly concerned about one sentence that she considered to be inaccurate that required correction. The seemingly offending or incorrect passage was: “[Lecaros] also received an ‘award’ for being among the top 100 Filipinos in America, which
I have been told required the payment of $1,000 to the dinner organizers within the Pinoy Insider group.”
First, I found it admirable that Ms. Umayam was standing up for Mr. Lecaros to me personally. While many people have told me they were happy with the column, others at PinoyWatchDog.com have received some less than praiseworthy commentary, along the lines that criticism hurts the community. However, these people have not had the fortitude to approach me directly. Ms. Umayam’s first contention was whether I had a check to prove he paid $1000. I told her at the reception that my recollection (which was correct) that I merely
said someone told me the payment was required. Not that he had made it. We agreed to discuss further, as she approached me while I was leaving. So while the facts and issues of the $1000 is being discussed in other parts of this issue, here is Ms. Umayam’s words from emails, as it is only fair for her statements to be given equal space in the paper as well. On Lecaros giving $1000:” Lecaros never gave $ 1,000 nor donated $ 1,000 to our event as alleged in your article. We selected him and I highly recommended him to be an awardee because he is helping us in terms of resources and is a partner in all the legwork of this event. We selected him because he has given back to the community so many times. Notwithstanding his busy schedule campaigning, every time we call him for help he is always there to lend a helping hand.” On the relationship between the event and Pinoy Insider: “I have no relation to Pinoy Insider. I am not a columnist nor contributor, except the fact that the newspaper is very supportive of all our endeavors in the community in terms of Press Releases. The same good relation with other newspapers. We don’t pay them anything to publish good press releases for all our projects in the community. It’s only PAKIKISAMA (cooperation) and PAKIKIPAG-KAPWA TAO (goodwill). Mildred Deang, the owner is like a daughter to me. She is always there to support all our projects for a good cause. It’s as simple as that. When you say Pinoy Insider Group, that is vague. Pinoy Insider group has good relations with Adrian Lecaros, being part of the newspaper for so many months before his bid for Assembly. I can’t imagine who among that group has the nerve.” PinoyWatchDog.com has obtained the ‘Rules and Regulations’ of this event which state: “As an Ambassador of Goodwill of this project each awardee will help solicit Line Ad Sponsors at $ 25.00 and above for a total equivalent of $ 1,000.00. Each awardee who will donate a one time amount of $ 500.00/above will be given a full page ad in the book.” As it regards Pinoy Insider, the only point to be raised is that I am informed by reliable sources that Attorney Norberto Reyes is in a relationship with Ms. Deang, and that Reyes and Lecaros are in some form of a close business relationship. Hence, while I do not feel that the reporting in the last issue was incorrect in any way.
However, the essence of PinoyWatchDog. com is that everyone’s views are stated, even counter to our own. Thank you to Darna Umayam for providing additional information.
Ice on Fire
o mark the 50th Anniversary of the Philippine-American Friendship Day, which ushered thebeginning of the Philippine political independence from American colonial rule, then PhilippinePresident Fidel V. Ramos proclaimed July 4th to be Philippine-American Friendship Day in July1995. As part of Administrative Order NO. 204, this milestone event in Philippine history mustbe appropriately observed to promote and preserve the spirit of freedom, independence,nationalism and love of country and appreciate the contribution and sacrifice of war veterans in We, the Philippine-American Friendship Day Committee, spearheaded by the Filipino-American Chamber of Commerce – SouthBay Los Angeles Area (FACC-SLAA), will beholding a joint celebration of the Philippine-American Friendship Day in conjunction with theCity of Carson’s Independence Day Celebration at the Home Depot Center (18400 AvalonBoulevard, Carson, CA 90746) Practice Field #7 (beside theVelodrome) on the 4th of July. This event will include talented performers such as DJ Icy Ice and the Philippine Chamber Singers – LA throughout the evening leading up to the grand finaleof the fireworks show, which will be provided at no charge by the Los Angeles Galaxy SoccerTeam. In addition, there will also be several Food Trucks in attendance. We would therefore like to invite you, your family, and your friends to be involved in thefestivities and enjoy the food and the fireworks on the Fourth of July! Free parking and shuttle service will be available from the Carson Community Center (801 East Carson Street Carson, CA 90745). For more info: www.bakitwhy.com/ events/IceOnFire
Knights Of Rizal Celebrates Heroes Birthday
he Order of the Knights of Rizal will hold its annual celebration of the Birthday (June 19,1861) of the National Hero of the Republic of the Philippines, Dr. JOSE PROTACIO RIZAL, and the Investitures and Knighthood of members recently admitted into the Order, on June 23, 2012, this Saturday at 6:30PM to 10:30PM, at the Kapistahan Restaurant on 1925 W. Temple Street, Luzon Plaza #103. In this connection, the Order will tender a dinner-dance program. The affair will showcase the admission into the organization of Honorable Elito Macapagal Santarina, Mayor Protempore of Carson City and Al Alicante, retired IRS officer and former columnist of the now defunct California Examiner. They will be joined by three Knights who will be elevated to the rank of Knight Commander of Rizal, 3rd degree, namely: Sir Joselito H. Gaerlan, Sir Romy Jaravata and Sir Larry Pelayo, presently the pursuivant of the Order. Officiating the ceremonies will be the Chapter Commander, Sir Henry Von Seyfred, KCR, Sir Rudy Ferran, Deputy Commander, KCR, Sir Al G. Aquino, Exchequer, KCR, and Sir Anatol Glad, Chairman of the Board, KCR.
This event will be honored by a prominent journalist from the Philippines who will participate in the ceremonies as Guest of Honor and Speaker. Mr. Roy Carag Mabasa, former President of the National Press Club of the Philippines and currently the senior reporter of the Manila Bulletin covering the diplomatic beat. He was with the entourage of the Philippine press corps that covered the state visit of the President of the Republic of the Philippines, His Excellency, Benigno Simeon Aquino III, and is on an extended visit assigned to write a series of articles covering the Filipino community in the United States. alfonsogaquino @ gmail.com.
Saturday, June 23, 2012
Fil-Am performers to shine at Hollywood Bowl From Page 6
Apl. de. Ap: Proud of his roots.
be another dream of his coming true, he said as he appeals for support for the event, for everyone to buy tickets and come early. He will be both curator and star performer of the show. In the latter, he will be joined by will.i.am and Taboo. Joel Jacinto, executive director of the service group Search to Involve Pilipino Americans (SIPA) and the spark behind the famous Kayamanan ng Lahi cultural dance ensemble, talked of his groupâ€™s participation which would include the evolution of our folk dance starting from its Spanish roots to the modern iterations. Gelo Francisco will be at his finest with the Philippine Chamber Singers especially with their rendition of the venerated Filipino love songs, the haranas. The Philippine-based Harana Kings (with Florante Aguilar) will also be performing, their first in the US. And of course thereâ€™s the multi-talented Becca Godinez who will be spotlighting once again the song that made Freddie Aguilar famous, Anak. Other notable artists lined up for Apl.de.ap Takes You to the Philippines: A Celebration of Global Filipino Music are Legaci, Martin Nievera, Jeremy Passion, Sandwich, Nicole Scherzinger, Culture Shock, Bucky Jonson, and Tateng Katindig and friends. Co-hosts will be Lou Diamond Philips, Vanessa Hudgens and Jo Koy.
Saturday, June 23, 2012
Parody Look Whoâ€™s Reading PinoyWatchDog.com!