August 16-31, 2008 Vol. I Issue 16
Fil-Ams speak on ‘sanctuary’ issue
Haven can wait By Katrina Julian and Jun Ilagan
DALY CITY – Speculations were rife that Daly City, home to the largest Filipino population (50,000 at least) among all U.S. cities, would become a sanctuary like its neighbors, San Francisco and Oakland, following the story published by FilAm Star in its July 1-15, 2008 issue, “Daly City is no haven.” The grapevine now packs
varied opinion on whether or not illegal immigrants should find a haven in the ‘gateway to the Peninsula,’ considering that Daly City’s population mix includes hundreds, thousands if you will, of Filipinos who are in the country illegally. In a sanctuary city operating under a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy, illegal immigrants are free to roam about, land jobs, enjoy government benefits, open bank accounts, and be treated just like
any other citizen -- with no regard to their immigration status.. Despite a federal law in 1966 (the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act), some 125 cities all over the United States have been declared sanctuaries. In California alone, there are 25 such cities. On the surface, it seems Filipinos who grew up in the Philippines and immigrated to the United States as adults to become U.S. citizens later, feel it is unfair
and counterproductive for their kababayan to be in the country illegally. On the other hand, FilipinoAmericans, those who have been raised or even born here, tend to be more welcoming and forgiving. One local student who was born and raised in the Philippines told FilAm Star: “It is bad for the economy because they are not getting taxed. It is bad for them, too, because
they can’t get proper jobs. So it’s a lose-lose situation.” Another young Filipino male blatantly said being here illegally is wrong. “It sucks for those who respect the laws of the host country,” he argued. “Basically, TNTs (jocular term to mean ‘tago nang tago,’ referring to those perpetually hiding from immigration authorities) are trying to work around the To PAGE 18
Piolo keeps with the times Story on page 10
Myrna Lim targets a ‘first’ in S.F. By Katrina Julian Senior Correspondent It’s about time for Filipinos to have a voice in local government, and Myrna Lim is poised to give the Filipino-American community of San Francisco that chance. Lim, a Fil-Am of Chinese descent, is running for a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors-District 11.
Lim Her battlecry: ‘Take San Francisco back for families!’ As her main platform, she told FilAm Star, this To PAGE 18
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Ninoy Aquino Movement (NAM) sponsors a memorial commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the assassination of Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino on Thursday, August 21, at the Green Room of the Veterans War Memorial Building in San Francisco. The 7:30 p.m. program features the world premiere of the documentary produced by the Foundation for Worldwide People Power, “Beyond Conspiracy: 25 Years After the Aquino Assassination.” Before the documentary, San Francisco Chronicle editor-at-large Phil Bronstein will speak about his Filipino-Americans and their friends enjoy the show at Yerba Buena Gardens, San Fran- personal recollections of Ninoy Aquino. Prior to the Green Room program, a candlecisco during the 15th Pistahan Festival and Parade, August 9 and 10. (Photo by Jun Ilagan) light vigil and march will be held on the steps of City Hall across from the Civic Center Plaza at 6:00 p.m. A memorial mass will be held Wednesday, August 20, at 6:00 p.m.at St. Andrew’s Church in Daly City (corner of been preparing for this Filipino-American Agenda Sullivan and Southgate ). By Jun Ilagan event since early this year, for the 21st Century.” Editor Aquino was arrested by then Philippine President Fer“This what makes the dinand Marcos when he declared martial law in the Philand we are ready,” Seattle SEATTLE -- Filipino- resident Alma Kern, NaF- Seattle conference unique,” ippines on September 22, 1972, along with 10,000 other American community lead- FAA national chair, told Kern explained. “We will Filipinos. ers from all over the United FilAm Star. “We have a be tackling issues that imAquino was charged with subversion by Marcos and a States, including Hawaii good team in our planning pact Filipinos living in the kangaroo military court found him guilty and sentenced and Guam, converge in Se- committee and we are now United States, such as vot- him to death. While in solitary confinement, he suffered attle on September 26-28, meeting weekly to go over ing in November, the World two heart attacks. when the National Federa- details and putting together War II veterans, the FiliFearing world outrage if he died in military custody, tion of Filipino-American loose ends.” pino youth’s access to col- the Marcos allowed Aquino to leave for heart surgery in Associations holds its 8th While the host chapter lege education and their 1980. He survived the surgery and spent three years in the national convention at the expects around 400 people academic performance, Fil- U.S. speaking out against the Marcos dictatorship before city’s Westin Hotel. from all over the country, Ams in labor unions, and so deciding to return to the Philippines . Seattle’s Fil-Am com- Kern told Star, there will many more.” On August 21, 1983, Aquino returned to Manila . Upon munity leaders have vowed just be a few Filipino atSessions that would arrival, military soldiers seized him from his seat on the to ensure the success of fed- tendees from outside the enhance appreciation of plane and hustled him out. eration’s bi-annual confer- U.S. because the conference the history of the ‘manong’ As he was descending the plane, he was shot by the ence, which Seattle is host- will focus on Filipino-Amer- and ‘manang’ and the soldiers, as a Philippine court later determined. ing for the first time. icans. Hence, the conferAquino’s funeral march was attended by three million To PAGE 18 “We in Seattle have ence theme, “Forging a New Filipinos and his assassination sparked the People’s Power revolution which ousted the Marcos dictatorship and propelled Ninoy’s widow, Cory Aquino, to the presidency.
Seattle hosts 8th NaFFAA confab
Arroyo:Defend every inch of Philippine territory MANILA – President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and leaders of the Philippine Senate and House of Representatives roundly condemned the attacks by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Lanao del Norte and Sarangani provinces Monday, August 18, and called for punitive action. “Because of these sneaky and treacherous attacks, as your commander in chief, I have ordered the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police to defend every inch of Philippine territory against MILF forces and immediately restore peace in the affected areas in Lanao del Norte,” Arroyo said. “We will not tolerate and will crush any attempt to disturb peace and development in Mindanao,” she added. The president later held an emergency meeting with the National Security Council to “come up with concrete, firm and decisive action to defend the peace-loving people of Mindanao.” In a statement, Arroyo said the attacks were not only a violation of the ceasefire agreement between the govern-
Coughlin splashes big in Beijing
ment and the MILF but a challenge to the overall desire of the nation for peace and development in Mindanao. “Again, I assure the Filipino people that the government will defend them at all costs against any move by any group that will disrupt our aspirations for a genuine and lasting peace, not only in Mindanao, but in the whole country,” she said. “I am with you in peace. We are all in this together.” Press Secretary Jesus Dureza said the MILF would have to “reckon with the force of the law in this directive by the president and no one will be allowed to hide behind the peace process, to escape the might of the government here.” Dureza said that Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Hermogenes Esperon Jr. was in Malaysia and was arriving Tuesday, August 19, but declined to say what his mission was in Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia has been brokering peace negotiations
Bay Area-native and Filipino-American, Natalie Coughlin, wrapped up her record-setting performance in this year’s Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, with a silver medal in the women’s 4 x 100 medley relay. The second-place finish for the team gave Coughlin her sixth medal of the games, and pushed her career total to 11, which is one short of the 12 medals won by American
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By Nicholas von Wettberg
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August 16-31, 2008
Community Thousands celebrate 15th Pistahan in San Francisco SAN FRANCISCO – The largest parade and festival of Filipino-Americans in Northern California celebrated its 15th anniversary, featuring Fil-Am cultural exhibits and pavilions showcasing heritage, health, dance, music, arts, and cuisine, and a parade that drew 40,000 people. Hundreds lined Market St. on Saturday to see beautiful themed floats, dance troupes, and this year’s Grand Marshals – Broadway actors Adam Jacobs and Kelly Kohnert Jacobs, and Disney’s High School Musical actress Arielle Jacobs. “This yearly festival has become the venue for Filipino Americans to connect with each other, for the youth to discover something new about Philippine history and
heritage, and for everyone to celebrate our diversity, our accomplishments and shared experience,” said Al Perez, president of the Filipino American Arts Exposition, which organizes the event. Dan and Sunny Dykwel, both realtors and active members of the community, served as the Hermano and Hermana Mayor, the ceremonial hosts of the festival The Pistahan Parade and Festival was founded in 1994 and has been consistently held in the oval gardens of the Yerba Buena Center. The Filipino American Arts Exposition, an all-volunteer nonprofit organization that contributes to the artistic and cultural pride of the Filipino community, organizes the annual event.
Pangasinense alumni homecoming all set
Some 250 alumni and their guests from all over the United States, Canada, Australia, and the Philippines are expected to attend the 2008 grand reunion of the Pangasinan National High School (PNHS) Alumni, USA on August 29-31. The alumni homecoming will be held at the Town and Country Hotel and at the Old Town Village, according to founding chair Mario Panoringan (Class ’65). This year’s grand reunion will be hosted by members of Class ‘63 with Thelma Panoringan Hilario Hilario as chair. Serving as co-chairs are Alfredo Concepcion, Myrna Sison-Guiang, Ernie Panoringan, Romeo Rayos, Amy LamorenaTucay, Bert Velasco, Paz Viray, and Fred Vocal, with Norma Hilario-Caramat (Class ‘58) and Panoringan as advisers. The USA grand reunion was started by Panoringan in San Francisco in 2006. The San Diego gathering is a prelude to the 100th Year Anniversary and Centennial celebration of their alma mater to be held at Lingayen on November 28-30, 2008. PNHS principal Dr. Aurora Cruz-Micu (Class ’65) will be in attendance to personally extend the invitation to the attendees. One of the highlights of the three-day event will be the honoring of the golden anniversary celebrants (Class ’58 and earlier batches) who are in attendance during the dinner and dance on Saturday, August 30, at the Grand Ballroom of the Town and Country Hotel. Schedule of activities include the founding chairman’s reception (by invitation), and the Friday night welcome reception and Saturday brunch, both of which are to be held at Old Town Village.
Star Editor Weds. FilAm Star associate editor Nicholas von Wettberg and Sarah Medina of San Carlos, California exchanged ‘I do’s’ in a simple wedding ceremony at Hotel Sofitel in Redwood City, witnessed by family and the couple’s closest friends. Nicholas is a native of Delaware and has lived in San Francisco for 14 years. Sarah, on the other hand, hails from Pampanga in the Philippines.
August 16-31, 2008
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August 16-31, 2008
Opinion Telltale Signs Ninoy’s Faith
Editorial RODEL E. RODIS
Need to vote
In the last decades, the real potential of Filipino-American voters that would have made a difference in advancing the concerns of Filipinos in the United States has been non-existent.. Issues concerning the community, not the least of which is the Filipino war veterans equity, have thus, time and again, been cast aside in the U.S. legislature. Now that the national elections are just around the corner, the question of whether or not the so-called “Filipino vote” would make a difference once again begs to be addressed. The Filipino community belongs to the silent, low-key sector of American society and has no voice, let alone a clout, in political issues. This is why we have never been considered a voting bloc worth wooing by major political candidates, like Senators Obama and McCain. The real culprit is laziness or the lack of will power to find time to vote. What is needed is an intensified voter education on the importance of participating in the electoral process and exercising one’s right to vote. We can never be too busy to vote. This would be the most important step if the Filipinos would ever hope to be a potent force in American society.
A closer look at the economy JORGE GUTIERREZ
The country is currently facing one of its greatest challenges in its economic arena. The constant threat of foreclosure continues to linger in the minds of homeowners, as the real estate market continues to plunge. Government sectors have convened and conceptualized ways to alleviate the ailing economy. Recent statistics show that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) caused the treasury more than $15 billion dollars as a result of payments made to depositors at failed banks. The FDIC is a United States government corporation that was created under the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, which was created primarily to guarantee the safety of both checking and savings by depositors in any banking institutions. The FDIC insures up to $100,000 per depositor. In a recent press release from Washington, it says that the federal budget has soared to $102.8 billion, which is three times more than the deficit in July 2007. The Congressional budget office is projecting the deficit for 2008 to be over $400 billion as compared to what the Bush administration estimated at $389 billion. The failing economy is clear, as well, with the increase of bankruptcy filings this year. Averages of 3,960 bankruptcy petitions are filed per day, nationwide.
The economic crisis is seen in the number of short sales that lenders have to deal with, in an effort to prevent foreclosures. Analysts from various sectors of the economy propose that the state infuse a sizeable amount of funds to the lenders, to prevent them from imposing unnecessary hardship to current homeowners. The solution to this dilemma might be monetary liquidity, which will allow lenders enough capital to be used for loans, thus making it easier for the prospective buyer or homeowners to secure loans with minimal down payment requirements. With the increased moving capital by lenders, lending institutions will be more lenient to current borrowers insofar as restructuring their current loans. Most buyers and borrowers have adjustable mortgages and are now faced with a situation where their mortgage payments will “reset” making it difficult for them to afford the new rate. From whatever angle we take a look at the economy, we are left with one concrete conclusion – there is an economic crisis that must be addressed immediately. Solutions, proposals and economic feasibilities have certainly been made, but a more viable and realistic approach must be attempted to salvage what is left of the U.S. economy. (Jorge Gutierrez is vice president/ branch manager/senior escrow officer of Old Republic Title Company in the Bay Area city of San Mateo, California. He may be reached at 650-574-1166, firstname.lastname@example.org)
“Then, as if I heard a voice tell me,” Ninoy wrote: “Why do you cry? I have gifted you with consolations, honors and glory which have been denied to the millions of your countrymen. I made you the youngest war correspondent, presidential assistant, mayor, vice governor, governor, and Senator of the Republic, and I recall you never thanked me for all these gifts. I have given you a full life, a great wife and beautiful lovable children. Now that I visit you with a slight desolation, you cry and whimper like a spoiled brat!” “With this realization,” Ninoy wrote, “I went down on my knees and begged His forgiveness. I know I was merely undergoing a test, maybe in preparation for another mission. I know everything that happens in this world is with His knowledge and consent. I knew He would not burden me with a load I could not carry. I therefore resigned myself to His will.” Ninoy’s persecution by Marcos had transformed him from just another ambitious politician to a man who looked beyond material wealth and personal glory. Ken Kashiwahara recalled that on that fateful Sunday morning of August 21, 1983, Ninoy was up at 5 AM in Taipei praying the rosary, calling up Cory in Boston, speaking to his children one by one and writing each of them a letter. And soon Ninoy and Ken were on the morning plane bound for Manila. “Your faith in God gave you strength,” Ken wrote in his Letter to Ninoy: ” I understood that when I turned to talk to you on the plane and you were deep in prayer, head bowed, praying the rosary again. You hoped for the best but settled for what God gave you: a “victory” if we just landed, you said. After all you’d been through, I thought, it would be indeed.” Upon arrival in Manila, Ninoy had prepared a speech but a soldier’s bullet to the back of his skull prevented him from delivering it. He would have said: “According to Gandhi, the willing sacrifice of the innocent is the most powerful answer to insolent tyranny that has yet been conceived by God and man.” Ninoy’s sacrifice was a “victory” as Ken wrote posthumously to Ninoy of the funeral procession attended by more three million Filipinos. “It was a victory the likes of which the world had never seen. Millions of people visited you at your house, in Santo Domingo Church, and said goodbye as you rode the final leg of your journey to Manila Memorial Park. It took eleven hours to get there, not your speed, I know, but so many people wanted to see you. When we passed Rizal Park, the heavens opened up with a torrent of rain, thunder and lightning. I assumed that was you making your presence known. People became energized, looking to the skies, arms raised, shouting “Laban” and “Ninoy”. The Filipino people were inspired by Ninoy’s faith that “the Filipino is worth dying for”, resolving that his sacrifice would not be in vain. Less than three years later, the mighty all-powerful Marcos Dictatorship was deposed. Let us honor Ninoy’s sacrifice by attending the 25th anniversary of his assassination on August 21, 2008 at the steps of San Francisco’s City Hall at 6PM for a Candlelight Vigil and March to the Green Room of the Veterans War Memorial Bldg at 7:30 PM to watch the world premier of the documentary “Beyond Conspiracy: 25 Years After the Aquino Assassination”.
Was it his fate or faith that led Ninoy Aquino to return back to the Philippines on August 23, 1983 knowing what awaited him upon arrival? Even as he wore a bullet-proof vest, Ninoy Aquino told the journalists accompanying him on China Airlines Flight 811 from Taipei that “you have to be ready with your camera because this action can become very fast...in a matter of 3 or 4 minutes it could be all over...and I may not be able to talk to you again after this.” He was precisely right. Just a a week before Ninoy left his family in Boston, he received word of a plot to assassinate him upon his arrival in Manila from Ferdinand Marcos’ Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile. First Lady Imelda Marcos warned him months earlier that if he returned to Manila, he will most certainly be killed. But Ninoy ignored the threats. In a “Letter to Ninoy” which he read to members of the Ninoy Aquino Movement (NAM) on August 21, 2006 at St. Andrew’s Chruch in Daly City, California, Ken Kashiwahara (husband of Ninoy’s kid sister, Lupita Aquino Kashiwahara), wrote: “A lot of people don’t realize that the preparation for your trip was nerve-wracking: four months on an emotional roller coaster, a battle of nerves, with the other side firing all the salvos. Any ordinary mortal would have succumbed to the enormous20pressures. I for one wouldn’t have blamed you one bit had you cancelled your trip. But then, that’s what made you so special: your commitment to a cause, your daring to dream; which is why, on this day especially, I feel such a sense of loss.” Ken recalled the last night of Ninoy’s life. ”You were subdued that last night in Taiwan. After what you’d been through, I could understand why. Up to the last minute, rumors were still flying: that you’d be hit at the airport when we landed, that the plane would be turned around. But they were just more rumors, we thought. There was no turning back now,” Kashiwara said. When martial law was declared, Ninoy Aquino was among the first of more than 10,000 Filipinos to be detained by the Marcos Dictatorship. He was confined to a small cell in Ft. Magsaysay, Laur, Nueva Ecija. In a smuggled letter to Sen. Soc Rodrigo on June 19, 1973, Ninoy described his incarceration: “I was stripped naked. My wedding ring, watch, eyeglasses, shoes, clothes were all taken away. Later, a guard who was in civilian clothes brought in a bedpan and told me that I would be allowed to go to the bathroom once a day in the morning, to shower, brush my teeth and wash my clothes… I was issued only two jockey briefs and two T-shirts which I alternated every other day. The guards held on to our toothbrush and toothpaste and we had to ask for them every morning. Apparently the intention was to make us really feel helpless and dependent for everything on the guards.” At this point of his desperation and deep desolation, Ninoy questioned the justice of God. Why was God allowing the thieves in Malacanang to enjoy themselves while he was being made to suffer so much in prison? What had he done to offend God? (Please send comments to Rodel50@aol.com or call (415)334-7800 or send them to Law Offices of Rodel Rodis, 2429 Ocean Avenue , San Francisco , CA 94127 . For past columns, log on to: rodel50.blogspot.com.)
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August 16-31, 2008
As I See It
Are Americans workaholics? ELPIDIO R. ESTIOKO
If you work in the U.S., do you have time for vacation? Not according to Gabby Hyman in his article entitled, “Great Careers with long vacations.” Compared to workers in other countries, Hyman says that Americans don’t have much time for vacation, and that they take little time off for rest and pleasure. In fact, most Americans don’t even use any vacation time at all, making them full-fledged workaholics! Hyman based his idea on cold statistics, pointing out that most Americans, Filipino Americans included, only earn an average
of 14 vacation days a year. This is compared to our Italian counterparts earning 42 days a year; French, 37; Germans, 35; and Canadians, 25 days. Japanese – long considered the most overworked people on earth – average 25 vacation days a year. Statistically speaking, he might be correct! In fact, many people believe that Americans are overworked. Recent research, however, shows that Americans are spending less time at work and more time at leisure. The research, which is according to James Sherk in his article, “Upwards Leisure Mobility: Americans Work Less and Have More Leisure Than Ever Before,” concludes that since the mid-1960s, the amount of time that the typical American spends working fell by almost eight hours a week. Congruently, the time spent on
Thinking Out Aloud
Immortalized greatness ALLEN GABORRO
What is the definition of a “great person?” For me, it is someone who willingly puts aside personal safety and interests for a cause that is far greater than
himself or herself. In some cases, great people are willing to die for their cause. Several prominent names come immediately to mind: Jesus, Gandhi, Socrates, Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, José Rizal. Based on this criteria, Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino belongs in the “great man” category. True, his killing did not have a major impact on world history as a whole. Plus, Ninoy wasn’t always the moral agent that he evolved into towards the end of his life. This shouldn’t take anything away however, from the ultimate sacrifice he made for Filipinos. Ninoy’s assassination on August 21, 1983 dramatically altered the reality of the Philippine socio-political scene. His murder galvanized a people that had, up until then, given no exceptional grounds for its dictatorial leadership to fear being overthrown by them in the foreseeable future.
In the full light of Ninoy’s death, Filipinos found the inner strength to begin standing up to the Marcos regime. It would take three more years before the regime was finally deposed in the EDSA I revolt, the genesis of which was sparked by the murderous deed of a ruling clique that had grossly violated the bounds of propriety, legality, and morality. It is said that historical crises can nourish a person’s capacity to mobilize against injustice and tyranny. This is what happened to Ninoy in the period from the start of his banishment to America in 1980 to the moment of his immortalized death. Even in exile and as a recovering heart-surgery patient, Ninoy consistently gave a compelling account of a Philippine administration that was rotting from both within and without. Keeping with the general thrust of his public statements before his martial law arrest in 1972, Ninoy painted a picture of a country being run into the ground by an unholy collection of warlords, sycophants, thieves, and executioners, at the center of which was Ferdinand Marcos. Ninoy said the time had come for a peaceful transition to democracy in the Philippines. He called on Marcos to leave office before such a transition became un-
This is probably
most intriguY the ing question you ever heard. O have Most of the time, your initial reacis to say “Yes.” B tion Of course, who
ROWENA PENALBA wouldn’t want to
know a secret? But this is usually how a gossip starts. Let us first look at what the word gossip means. Gossip has been commonly defined as “idle talk or rumor especially about the personal or private affairs of others.” It is usually sensational or scandalous in nature with the intent to malign its subject. More often than not, gossip is a means of spreading misinformation or false report about a person. The story usually contains harmful or hurtful details which attack the character or personality of its subject. The gossip becomes even more interesting when its audience doesn’t like the person being talked about. Gossip has a strong potential to influence or manipulate other people’s decision or opinion about somebody. It is also a form of bullying especially among girls or women. Because girls are usually more emotional than boys, their means of “inflicting pain” is by alienating one of their own through spreading rumors and lies. Unfortunately, this kind of behavior is often dismissed as a normal part of growing up. Gossip polarizes people. It builds resentment and strong negative feelings about its subject especially as it gets more and more sensationalized through incremental repetitions. As a form of revenge or retaliation, the other party may also launch a counterattack by spreading another rumor that tends to be more destructive than the first. Gossiping is sometimes disguised as expressing “concern” for others. At times, the gossiper would pretend to share a
need to accumulate enough leave days to be able to go home to the Philippines this December. I should go on paid vacations because I can’t afford leaves without pay.” Another friend, however, said, “I will go on a 3-week vacation to the Philippines with or without pay! I need it, and my family needs me!” In fact, not even the consequence of losing a job will prevent some Filipino Americans to go home for vacation, in their native land. I have a lot of friends, who went home for vacation after they were laid off. Others went home and after coming back to the U.S., lost their jobs. Some even have to borrow from their 401(k), or apply for a loan. Leisure time is inherent to FilAms! Yes, many are workaholics, but they also need vacation time… at all costs!
tenable, only to have his pleas and warnings fall on deaf ears. The explosive nature of the situation and circumstances ensured that a confrontation between the two men would take place. Ninoy had undergone a stunning transformation: formerly a cocky, shrewdly-expedient politician and purported womanizer before his incarceration at the hands of Marcos, he emerged from his ordeal a penitent, morally-idealistic, born-again Christian. Ironically it was Ninoy, who as a young provincial governor once said that “a governor is measured, not by the high standards of political morality” but rather by “the actual, physical, material benefits he has brought home to his people.” The ascendancy of the kinder, gentler Ninoy during his exile involved a re-energizing of his love for country and a leap of faith in the workings of a modern democracy. Ninoy felt that the Philippines was caught in an internal struggle “between those who have been mesmerized by the ‘efficiency’ of authoritarianism and those who still hold that democracy with all its flaws and inefficiency is man’s best hope for betterment and progress.” For him, there was no doubt as to which system should be adopted and why: “Man’s sense of justice makes democracy possible; man’s injustice makes
it necessary.” If ever there was an episode during Ninoy’s renaissance as a human being that has been forever ingrained in my memory, it was not so much the visceral and shocking immediacy of his demise. It was the reported attempt by Imelda Marcos to bribe Ninoy into changing his mind about returning home to help restore Philippine democracy. Imelda was said to have offered Ninoy a cool $10 million to stay in the U.S. How easy it would have been for Ninoy to take the money and live comfortably for the rest of his life. It took Ninoy about two seconds to refuse the “gift” of a lifetime. Accepting the money would have meant selling out his conscience, his destiny, his spiritual values, and his people. Ninoy’s simple act of altruism in the place of material gain, along with his momentous act of martyrdom, gives us a revealing glimpse of his greatness both as a man and as a Filipino.
(Allen Gaborro is a freelance writer based in San Francisco. He has composed numerous articles on Philippine history, culture, politics, and literature. He is currently working on a manuscript for a novel about the Philippines.)
The Truth About Gossip
“Do you want Mto know a secret?”
leisure activities rose to just under seven hours per week. The research by Sherk challenges the popular perception that the average American is overworked and does not have enough time to enjoy life. The recent research corroborates the fact that Filipino Americans plan yearly long vacations to the Philippines, and Europe, even if they have to file leave without pay. Filipino Americans look to attend family reunions, alumni homecoming, visit sick family members, go for nostalgia trips; even “therapy” trips or “ego boasting” trips. In fact, when you meet a long time friend, their first spiel is, “I just came from the Philippines… you know…” A family friend, who has been in the U.S., working, for 10 years, said that, “I
heavy burden about something that has been bothering him or her. In reality, the purpose of this “sharing” is not to solve the problem but to stir up controversy or win sympathy from the listener. But if gossip has such a bad reputation, why do people get excited when they hear one? How can gossip spread like wildfire if people don’t add fuel into it? In other words, why does gossip sell? People feel important when they learn about another person’s secret or hidden flaws. Being trusted with a secret makes the listener experience a sense of belonging and intimacy with the one spreading the rumor. It is a form of bonding between those who share the same interests or attitude towards the person being talked about. Hearing about another person’s misfortune - e.g., cheating spouse, bankruptcy, divorce, family member with physiological or psychological defect, etc. – makes some people feel better about their own situation. Sometimes people are even thankful when they hear these things about people who have done them wrong because they consider it as revenge or bad karma. For some people, it is entertainment. These people don’t believe that having fun at the expense of other people is bad at all. This is why gossip publications sell like hotcakes and stalking celebrities like the paparazzi has become a very attractive way to “earn some money.” How about the perpetrators? What motivates them to start or propagate something as unproductive and destructive as gossip? What do they expect to gain from spreading rumors? Gossipers feel superior if they are able to make you believe their lies. The more believers or followers they have, the more powerful they become. This is also one way to get attention or gain popularity among the gullible ones. There are those with a perverted sense of justice who use gossiping or character assassination as a form of revenge. Even if To PAGE 15
Political winds a-blowing
Is it the economy, or political ideology? That just might be the most important question today as voters register in droves to ensure that real change takes place
in Washington, D.C. With two contenders – Sen. Barack Obama D-Il) and Sen. John McCain (R-Az) -- vying for the American presidency, the stakes are too high to overlook the need to see real change in our lives. America is seeing the consequences of poor economic foresight and governance by our current leadership in Washington DC and our state capitols. We are in need of real leadership in the top positions to ensure the election of the leader of the next century – either a man of color, or a 72year-old Vietnam war veteran. Many in our country want real change. Obama appears to be that icon of change. An African-American of 47 years appears to appeal to all people of color and ages. McCain, from conservative Arizona, on the other hand, appears more of the right wing persuasion, unbending and pro-business. Will the nation’s recession and economic doldrums force voters to choose youth and energy over the status quo? Perhaps, as we see recessionary pressures force companies to close and to force companies to lay off thousands of people. In addition, home foreclosure rates are. There are big health insurance issues, too. These and many more ills afflicting the country are enough reason for Americans to choose a competent and bright leader. To PAGE 18
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Mario C. Panoringan Chairman & President/Publisher Jun Ilagan Editor-in-chief Elpidio Estioko Associate Editor Nicholas von Wettberg Associate/Sports Editor Hariette Lozano-Puyo Staff Reporter - Manila Ernest Gonzaga Contributing Editor Movie & Society Page Voltaire Domingo Katrina Julian Jun Nucum Gerry Pangilinan Rudy Viernes Ed Yra Editorial/Photo Correspondents (U.S., Manila) Marico Enriquez Manager, Sales & Marketing Hanthur Angeles Circulation Manager FilAm Star is published bi-weekly by FilAm Star, Inc., with editorial, advertising, and production offices located at 102 x No. (415) 946-6443. Email editorial inquiries and feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit our website www.filamstar.net.
August 16-31, 2008
Across the Bay Moon Festival set Dellums continues fight vs. criminality
California State Senator Leland Yee has announced that the Sunset District of San Francisco is all set for the 4th Annual Autumn Moon Festival scheduled September 13, to be held on Irving Street, between 22nd and 25th Avenues, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. “The community tradition,” Yee said, “is an annual festival that has become an integral part of San Francisco culture, and I am proud that we have extended this important celebration to our local neighborhood.” Attractions at the festival include the “Kids Corner” which highlights a bouncy house and animal petting zone, a variety of food booths, unique dragon beard candy, barbecue; and veggie foods. It will also feature demonstration booths for various talents and art work. Yee explained: “This Chinese tradition is one of the most important holidays for the Chinese community. The festival falls on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month of the Chinese calendar. At this time, the moon is at its fullest and brightest, making it an ideal time to celebrate.”
Historically, the moon cake played a pivotal role in China during the Yuan Dynasty. At that time, China was ruled ruthlessly by the Mongols. People were suppressed and they cannot openly communicate with each other. So, they came out with a secret plan to carry out a revolt against the Mongols. Their written plan to revolt was secretly embedded in the moon cakes served during the Mid-Autumn Festival. On the 15th day of the eighth month, the people revolted and successfully drove the Mongols out of China. Since then, moon cakes have become a popular staple of the moon festival. “The sunset festival is an opportunity for all San Francisco residents to share in the tradition and celebration of the Autumn Moon Festival,” Yee enthused. “This exciting street festival will bring together individuals, families, businesses, community leaders and organizations from not only the sunset neighborhood, but all of San Francisco to share in the pleasure of celebrating an ancient tradition.”
San Leandro Candidate. After an unsuccessful bid for a seat in the San Leandro City Council in the last election, FilipinoAmerican Hermy Almonte has filed his candidacy for a seat in the city’s unified school district. Almonte, a non-profit developer of affordable housing who has resided in San Leandro for many years, promises to give student safety the highest priority. He also plans to review the residency verification requirements in the bid to decongest San Leandro High School.
OAKLAND -- Mayor Ron Dellums of Oakland issued a statement in regards to the recent takeover robberies, which have struck at the very heart of the community, affecting the desire of its residents to be able to go out at night, whether it’s shopping or dining. He Dellums said he is working closely with the Oakland Police Department, and his staff to develop a plan to address the issue. “The desperation of these crimes speaks to the broader issue of where we are in terms of the economy,” Dellums said. “When people become this desperate, they take desperate acts and we have to do everything we can to get to the root causes of crime and violence. As I’ve said before, failure is not an option and we will continue to work
every single day to address these issues.” Also of note is Dellums’ proposed Green Jobs Corps Training Program (GJTP), which would provide job training for youth in the green-collar industry. The initiative was approved by the Public Works Committee (PWC), allowing the city of Oakland to implement this program in the fall. The Oakland Green Jobs Corps (OGJC) will have a special focus on providing “pathways to poverty” by recruiting and training people with barriers to employment to become gainfully employed. “One of the root causes of crime and violence is the poverty and an associated lack of quality employment opportunities,” said Dellums. “This Green Jobs Corps training program will
allow us to train young people, provide new opportunities, and expand the entry points into the 21st Century workforce that will create new sources of work, wealth and health to our residents. I am very proud that this program, which was also championed by members of the City Council, gives us strategy to deal with the old business of poverty and unemployment, while addressing the global issues related to climate change.” The GJTP will engage young adults who otherwise may not have an opportunity to acquire the skills needed to earn a real living wage through the emerging Green Energy sector. Through the GJTP, there will be job opportunities such as solar panel installation, energy-efficiency constructions and retrofits
Dellums and work related to biofuels, such as car and truck maintenance, production, and fuel-station jobs. The program will simultaneously help create long-term capacity for green economic development by partnering with dozens of small medium-sized green businesses, in Oakland, and help train a qualified workforce to support these businesses.
Assembly Appropriation approves Yee bills SACRAMENTO – Several bills authored by Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco/San Mateo), which address critical local issues facing the Senator’s district, were approved by the Assembly Appropriations Committee. Among the more important of the bills is Senate Bill 1527 which allows the state to sell a thirteen acre overflow parking lot (Parcel A) within the Cow Palace property to Daly City and help revitalize Daly City’s Yee Bayshore community. With the sale, Daly City hopes to purchase the property in order to bring much-needed amenities to the neighborhood, including a grocery store, bank, post office, and elementary school. The committee also endorsed SB 1447, which allows the San Bruno Park School District to use $1.4 million from the sale of an elementary school for the operational expenses of the school district. Yee’s legislation is expected to save vital programs and services within the school district. Also getting the nod of the committee is SB 1731 which seeks to reduce traffic congestion and auto pollution in the Bay Area. This would institute an additional $1 vehicle license fee for residents of the nine Bay Area counties to offer a Freeway Performance Initiative proceeds of which would fund the expansion of the popular and cost effective roving tow trucks that operate on Bay Area freeways and complete the detection system needed to monitor freeway conditions, among others. The adopted SB 1217, on the other hand, provides greater public oversight of the board that regulates the San Francisco Bar Pilots – the maritime pilots who assist vessels traveling in Bay Area waters by requiring the Board of Pilot Commissioners for the Bays of San Francisco, San
Pablo, and Suisun to submit an annual report to the State Legislature, which is customary for many other state agencies. Working with Assemblyman Anthony Portantino (D- La Canada Flintridge), Yee introduced and success fully passed Assembly Constitutional Amendment 5 which would grant University of California workers with joint governance of their pension plan, like other state employees. Also passed was Yee’s SB 1199, which would provide UC employees with protection against whistleblower retaliation. Last month, the California Supreme Court ruled unanimously that UC employees, who are retaliated against because they report wrongdoing, cannot sue for damages under the state’s Whistleblower Protection Act. “This is the classic case of the fox guarding the hen house,” said Yee. “UC executives should not be judge and jury on whether or not they are liable for monetary claims. In light of the court’s ruling, it is imperative that we pass SB 1199 and immediately correct this statute to protect UC workers from unfair retaliation for rightfully reporting waste, fraud or abuse.” In a related development, the California Senate also approved Assembly Bill 3034 that would pave the way to build the state’s high speed rail system. This has been Yee’s initiative to find ways to get millions of people out of cars and airplanes and into a cost-saving and environmentallysound transportation portal. The California State Senate today sent Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-Los Angeles) legislation designed to protect high school and college teachers and other employees from retaliation by administrators as a result of student speech, which most often happens when a journalism advisor or professor is disciplined for content in a student newspaper. The bill, authored by Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco/San Mateo), passed the Senate on a 31-2 vote (passed the Assembly last month on a 72-1 vote). “I expect the Governor to sign this bill into law, as has consistently supported our efforts to make sure true freedom of the press is alive and well on our campuses,” said Yee. “Allowing a school administration to censor in any way is contrary to the democratic process and the ability of a student newspaper to serve as the watchdog and bring sunshine to the actions of school administrators.”
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August 16-31, 2008
Across the Bay Fil-Am converts Porsche to electric car
By Ed Yra Correspondent VALLEJO (Calif.) --The Vallejo Times Herald featured Jimmy Sarmiento in its July 27, 2008 article as the local Vallejo man, who converted his Porsche 914 to an all-electric car. Channel 13, CBS TV affiliate in Sacramento and CNN then picked up this timely story. With the high price of gas, the media networks said it is now possible to own a Porsche without using the gas pump. Sarmiento and his electric car. Yes, indeed. The feat belongs to a simple and unassuming Filipino American, named Jimmy Sarmiento, who happens to be a certified financial planner. Sarmiento converted a classic 914 Porsche into a non-polluting electric car. Instead of a fuel tank, Sarmiento’s Porsche runs on batteries and an electric motor replaces the gasoline engine. Rather than a fuel injection/carburetion and a mechanical throttle linkage, his Porsche has a solid – state electronic controller. In an exclusive interview with the Fil Am Star, at his residence in Glen Cove District in Vallejo, Sarmiento revealed that he has no background in automotive or engineering. “I am a tinkerer who loves DIY(do-it-yourself) projects,” Sarmiento said. “I first got interested in electric cars way back in the late 80’s, back then when I worked for Pacific Bell in San Ramon, California and one of the employees converted a 1968 Karmann Ghia to electric. It took me a long time to finally to get started, but when I did start , it took me almost two years from conceptualization to completion.” When asked about the cost and time frame of his project, Sarmiento reported that he To PAGE 17
Immigration News Service Passport card may be used to verify employment eligibility WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is informing the public that the new U.S. Passport Card may be used in the Employment Eligibility Verification form (I-9) process. Last month, the Departments of State and Homeland Security announced that the new passport card was in full production. The new card provides a less expensive and more portable alternative to the traditional passport book, and will expedite document processing at United States land and sea ports-of-entry for U.S. citizens traveling to Canada , Mexico , the Caribbean, and Bermuda . While the new card is more limited in its uses for international travel (e.g., it may not be used for international air travel), it is a valid passport that attests to the U.S. citizenship and identity of the bearer. Accordingly, the card may be used for the Form I-9 process and can also be accepted by employers participating in the EVerify program. The passport card is considered a “List A” document that may be presented by newly hired employees during the employment eligibility verification process to show work-authorized status. “List A” documents are those used by employees to prove both identity and work authorization when completing the Form I-9. For more information on the Form I-9 process, call the USCIS National Customer Service Center at (800) 375-5283 or visit our Website at www.uscis.gov. Information about E-Verify, a free and voluntary program that allows participating employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their newly hired employees, can be obtained by visiting our Website at www.uscis.gov/e-verify or by calling (888) 464-4218.
U.S. gains 9,000 new citizens By Elpidio R. Estioko Associate Editor
SAN JOSE -- While illegal immigrants and concerned citizens bat for safe havens, 9,000 new U.S. citizens pledged allegiance to the American flag at the Santa Clara Fairgrounds in San Jose recently, with much rejoicing over the fact that they are now proud Americans who do not need so-called sanctuaries. The August 7 (3,000 immigrants) oath-taking, originally set at 10:00 a.m., was delayed for an hour-and-a-half due to traffic in the Tully area and parking congestion in the ground’s premises. These problems were contained in the other two separate ceremonies (morning and afternoon of August 14, where 6,000 became new citizens. The oath taking was officiated by acting USCIS regional field officer Anita Erfan, who declared to the resounding applause of the immigrants: “Today is your turn to become U.S. citizens, just like those ahead of you.”
USCIS adjudication officer John Gonzalez was the
Immigration officer Danilo Ayran is flanked by new U.S. citizens FilAm Star associate editor Elpidio Estioko and wife Delia Estioko. guest speaker who provided a well-crafted inspirational message to the new citizens. He ended his speech quoting from the late former president John F., Kennedy’s speech delivered in 1961, “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.” Immigration officer Danilo Ayran, program emcee, on the other hand said, “I know you have waited for a long time for this day, and now your waiting is over.” To PAGE 18
A-Day celebration Jackie Cuevas, 16-yearold musical sensation, leads the Filipino-American community on the East Bay in commemorating the “Battle of Leyte Gulf,” on October 18, 6:00 p.m. at Oakland Temple Hill, 4780 Lincoln Avenue, Oakland, California. The “Battle of Leyte Gulf” – on A-Day, October 20, 1944 -- is considered the largest naval battle of World War II, fought by Allied forces, headed by U.S. Army General Douglas McArthur, and the Japanese Imperial Navy. Admission to the show is free.
August 16-31, 2008
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August 16-31, 2008
Images Asia second issue out The second issue of the Philippines’ most current, inventive and modish magazine, Images Asia, is out in the market. Basically a photography magazine, Images Asia focuses on notable personalities from the diverse sector of society, as photographed by the country’s foremost lensmen. After the soft launch of the maiden issue, Images Asia once more assures the public of a more enhanced class of photographs, layout, wide-ranging personality subjects, and contents. The second issue’s twin covers feature the Philippines’ man of the hour, Senate President Manny Villar and TV host/fitness guru Cory Qurino. It will likewise play as a prelude to Baguio City’s centenary. Featured are highflying figures of Baguio, headed by Mayor Reinaldo Bautista, Jr., topnotch lawyer and city councilor Pinky Chan-Rondez,
and first-rate homegrown photojournalist Art Tibaldo. Other personalities in the issue include cager/actor Jerome Ejercito, balladeer/ crooner Richard Poon, teen sports buff Kieran Dixon, yoga guru Pio Baquiran, U.S.based neurologist Dr. Henry Echiverri, sculptor Seb Chua, painter Renato Habulan, hotel PR’s Mina Gervacio of the Heritage Hotel, Manila and Yasmine Hidalgo of the Crowne Plaza Hotel, U.S.-based soul artist Divo Bayer, and ceramist Lanelle Abueva-Fernando. Furthermore, the issue spotlights the photo works of various photographers from the Philippines, U.S.-based photo correspondents and Asian photographers in the newly-added section, “The Gallery,” as well as delectable Asian, Filipino and Italian gourmet cooking in the food section. Images Asia Magazine is published bimonthly by Images Asia Publishing.
Jean Saburit still sizzles By Ernest Gonzaga (Photo by Ibarra Siapno/Images Asia)
Gerald Anderson and Kim Chiu (Photo courtesy of My Girl and Star Studio Magazine)
At 18, Kim counts her blessings Her best debut gift: the KIMERALD love team By Hariette Lozano-Puyo Staff Reporter-Manila Here in the Philippines, every 17-year-old girl looks forward to turning 18. Many a debutante usually celebrate this most important birthday with a grand party to mark their entry to womanhood. To many, this coming of age, also means greater leeway to party and date without a chaperone, receive suitors, and even have a boyfriend. Yet not all ‘eighteeners’ think alike. While most ladies her age gloat over the things they can already legally and officially do, “Pinoy Big Brother Teen Edition 1”Big Winner Kim Chiu, on the other hand, counts her 18th birthday blessings instead. A lead role in the Philippine adaptation of “My Girl” on ABS-CBN, numerous product endorsements, frequent appearances on various Kapamilya shows, her hit-making single “Crazy Love” that even received Song of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance awards from this year’s iFM Pinoy Music Awards and a new Star Cinema movie in the works -- these are but a few of the many gifts this halfChinese, half-Filipino celeb has had in just a little more than two years after her celebrated victory on the phenomenal reality show on TV. One of the blessings she is most thankful for is being Jasmine in “My Girl.” Her character in the Filipinized version of the famous Korean program is responsible for the famous chant, ‘Tira-Tira!’ (an expression of encouragement). Kim recalled during the interview with FilAm Star,
how she shed those tears of joy after she was awarded the project. “I really couldn’t help but cry when I found out about this teleserye because this is really a big project. I cried because I was so thankful that ABS-CBN management trusted me to portray this kind of role,” she said. “My Girl” being the first-ever Pinoy version of a Koreanovela added to Kim’s enthusiasm, aside from the fact she’s sharing an equally big role with Gerald Anderson, her other half in the ‘Kimerald’ (named after Kim and Gerald) love team. The two, in just two years, have had their share of box-office films and toprating TV programs in Philippine showbiz when they starred in the movies, “I’ve Fallen For You” and “First Day High;” primetime soap, “Sana Maulit Muli;” and feel-good afternoon show, “Your Song,” to name a few. Paired in most shows, TV, and print ads, they’re seen together a lot offcamera, too. The grapevine even claims that Kim has been sleeping over at Gerald’s place, something that “My Girl” flatly denied. “We have our own house where I live with my father. So, why would I do that?” she exclaimed. Being the butt of this kind of controversy, does this mean this ‘chinita’ (exhibiting Chinese facial features) from Leyte is singing a romantic tune with her ex-housemate in “Bahay ni Kuya?” “He has always been a special person…really special,” she replied when asked about the real score. Kim admitted that of all the people she knows inside
and outside showbiz, Gerald is the closest to her. She candidly confessed, too, her screen partner has shared with her personal life’s ups and downs—all the things that have happened in her life, she said, are an open book to Gerald. “But like what I always say, we don’t want to rush things. We both like it this way, no pressures,” she said. Colorful and beautiful relationship is what this twosome is sharing both in reel and real life. They are so identified with each other that Kim can’t seem to imagine herself doing a project without Gerald, or appearing onscreen with a different partner. All her achievements, she declared, wouldn’t have all been possible without the Kimerald team-up. “Gerald has a big part in my successes,” she explained. “We both gained popularity from ‘PBB Teen Edition’ and everything started there. So for now, I still want to do projects with him, because I know we still need to grow and learn a lot from our team-up.” Despite their success as a pair, Kim nevertheless is open to the idea that someday, both she and Gerald would have to try doing other things in showbiz separately. With a very promising career ahead of her, Kim definitely has no room for a typical debutante’s anticipation. While girls have fun at parties, Kim enjoys being 18 in showbiz -- with the bright spotlights, audience applause, and the caring of someone so special and dear to her. Now, who needs to throw a big party with all these blessings?
Former beauty queen and actress Jean Saburit frequently shuttles between Manila and San Francisco, where she owns an exquisite house, and another in an exclusive village in the Philippines. Jean was one of the four beauties crowned Binibining Pilipinas in the early ‘70s, along with Chiqui Brosas, Annette Liwanag, and Jaye Murphy. Of the four beauties, Jean is the only one visible in showbiz and high-profile gatherings. She still exudes the exquisiteness, allure, and faultless body contour of an idyllic beauty queen which she has sustained through the years. She remains one of the former First Lady Imelda Marcos’ ‘girl Friday,’ so to speak. Throughout the time Mrs. Marcos was still in power, she constantly tagged along Jean wherever she went as an emissary of goodwill. Jean flies to the U.S. at least twice a
Jean Saburit year, to visit her ailing mother and see through her only daughter Nicole’s needs. Nicole attends the University of San Francisco and just got back from Paris and Sweden to visit her father. Jean beams with pride whenever she talks of her daughter’s scholastic accomplishments, being a straight-A student. Jean goes beyond her duties as a beauty queen and an actress, and reaches out To PAGE 16
August 16-31, 2008
notexactlyGOSSIP By Ernest “ShowbizEye” Gonzaga
The Philippine entertainment and movie circuits are full of life and color. The scenes persistently change. Celebrities come and go. Fresh faces are discovered everyday. Scandals, gossip, intrigues, tittle-tattles – they’re all part of the game. But as they always say …. the show must go on.
His teleserye “Iisa Pa Lamang” is rating very well in the rate chart, by the way. Gabby likewise just rounded up a successful concert held at the Music Museum recently, with guest performer Aiai de las Alas.
Lani’s back in Manila
Gabby Concepcion Gabby Concepcion has invaded a new territory: singing. His recorded album will surely have a market out there. The self-titled album features 12 songs which include “Ako Pa Ba?,” “Give Me A Chance,” “Iisa Pa Lamang,” “Nakapagtataka,” “When I Met You,” and “Manila – Awitin Mo, Isasayaw Ko, among others. Warner Music is the producer of the album. The company surprised Gabby with an offer for him to do an album. He said recording was never a part of his homecoming plans; he just wanted to do movies. Neither did he expect to be on TV.
Lani Misalucha, the platinum-selling world class singing diva, is back in the Philippines for a few weeks. The Las Vegas sensation is slated to release a new album from Universal Records, “Reminisce,” which contains 14 international hits like “Someone That I Used To Love,” “Bridges,” “Love Of My Love,” “Healing,” “Get Here,” “I Love
You All The Way.” “Whispering Waves,” “Skyline Pigeon,” and the theme song of the ABS CBN top rating telenobela “Iisa Pa Lamang.” Her Philippine schedule has already been filledup with the recording of a new album, rehearsals with Regine Velasquez for their U.S. concert tour, and mall shows.
ers the whole experience worth every penny. Aside from the indie film, the actor has renewed his endorsement deal with a premier food chain. Piolo takes so much pride to be an ambassador of this brand name that is very popular and always growing as it offers people something new and exciting everytime.
New force in Philippine TV
Piolo keeps with the times The mere mention of Piolo Pascual’s name is enough to elicit screaming from his throng of female and gay fans. In the world of showbiz, matinee idols come and go, but Piolo has remained the enduring heartthrob. Everyone will notice how much he has changed just to keep up with the times. With his career, he tries to reinvent himself. He offers his audiences something new so they won’t get bored. He has to give them something that will excite and interest them. More than his looks, his acting ability cannot be disputed. The way he has developed his personality, the way he hits his characters and his craft have made him mature. And this audiences will see in “Manila, Day and
Piolo Pascual Night,” the first independent movie he is producing with directors Adolfo Alix, Jr. and Raya Martinez. This is a twin-bill movie because it is a retelling of the classic films of Ishmael Bernal and Lino Brocka’s “Manila by Night” and “Jaguar,” respectively. With him in the cast are Rosanna Roces, Baron Geisler, Alessandra de Rossi and Jay Manalo. Piolo’s initial venture as producer is another avenue for him to explore the business since he’s not just acting but is also part of the production. Though Piolo realizes how expensive it is to make a movie, he consid-
Just recently, Philippine television took a lot of shaking, rattling and rolling. TV5, formerly ABC 5, unveiled its exciting new brand and programming. TV5 proved itself to be a new force to reckon with, upping the ante in entertainment. To mark its revitalization as a network, TV5
staged a glittering celebration filled with magical musical numbers and sizzling snippets of shows to come. The station’s theme “Shake Mo TV Mo” was also the title of the extravaganza, with dapper Ryan Agoncillo as host. The opening number, headed by teen heartthrob Sam Concepcion, star of the teen flavored series, “Lip-gloss,” was highspirited and infectious, a mood that was sustained all throughout the two-hour program. Agoncillo -- who is top-lining “Talentadong” Pinoy,” a reality search for the most talented Filipinos -- and the lovely Alex Gonzaga, host of TV5”s daily entertainment program “Juicy,” ushered in TV5’s long-awaited shows and their stars, both new and established.
August 16-31, 2008
Sandara is back, too Former teen star Sandara Park breezed into the Philippines from South Korea unexpectedly a few days back for a brief vacation. Sandara, who left the Philippines last year to pursue a career in Korea, had been itching to return to Manila but her busy schedule as trainee for managing company, YG Entertainment, prevented her from doing so. She finally got the chance though when all the trainees were given a break for a few days, hence her surprise visit. Sandara has been training intensively in dancing, singing, and acting for her Korean showbiz debut. She has already been seen as a star for a music video opposite one of Korea’s popular teen idols. She was rumored to be a part of a girl group, said to be the counterpart of YG’s biggest boy band. However, all Sandara could say is that she’s waiting patiently for that big break to happen. Her instant request upon arrival was to eat sinigang and sisig, her favorite Filipino dishes.
Baron weary of bad issuues After winning the Best Actor award for his portrayal of a gay TV producer in the indie film “Jay,” Baron Geisler is optimistic about the two movie offers he recently received. The actor admitted his acting recognition from Cinemalaya has attracted more substantial projects. He’s happy that after “Jay,”
Baron Geisler the movie producers got interested in him. According to the controversial actor, one of the movie offers is a horror flick under Star Cinema, and the other is a Metro manila Film Festival entry from Viva Films. Since these projects are still in the planning stages, Baron is keeping his fingers crossed they would push through. Nonetheless, even without the offers, Baron still has his hands full. He’s starring in the movie “Torotot” with Maui Taylor, Precious Adona, and Yul Servo. He is also in the cast of ABS CBN’s upcoming soap, “Eva Fonda,” starring Cristine Reyes. With these developments, Baron is very focused on erasing his bad image from the public. He wants his bad image totally eradicated, and would do everything to move on and become a good actor.
Erik to sing in Beijing
Singer Erik Santos will sing before the world’s greatest athletes at the Beijing Olympics. The event, which only happens every four years, had its opening ceremonies awash in extravagance.
Erik is all set to perform two songs during the event’s closing rites September 16, together with other popular singers from different parts of the world. The singer said the Beijing Olympic Games committee invited him to be one of the performers. The organizers requested him to sing two songs: “I Believe I Can Fly” and his winning piece, “This Is the Moment.” The balladeer has always been a crowd favorite due to his soulful rendition of songs.
Anne Curtis as “Dyosa” After several months of preparation, the muchawaited television series, “Dyosa,” starring Anne Curtism finally started airing last week, which will be seen weekdays over ABS CBN primetime slot. The “fantaserye” is based on an original storyline and will feature some of Philippine folklore’s most cherished characters like ‘Mariang Sinukuan’ and ‘Bernardo Carpio.’ With a powerhouse cast headlined by no less than the hottest leading men in
11 has found a new boyfriend in Renz Fernandez, son of Lorna Tolentino and the late Rudy Fernandez. Carlen denied the rumor, but Renz is mum on the issue. Carlene is, of course, much older than Renz. But as they say, age doesn’t matter between two people in love. This has been proven many times, especially among show biz personalities.
Anne Curtis Philppine showbiz, watch more comfortable life in the Anne Curtis as she captures future because Diether has the hearts of heartthrob provided for his education. Sam Milby, Luis Manzano, He has also some properand Zanjoe Marudo. ties which he has intended Jaclyn Jose, Epy for Dream to inherit when Quizon, Lloyd Samartino, he reaches legal age. Dream Matt Mendoza and Mick- and his mother are going to ey Feriols also round out the Philippines to visit, but “Dyosa’s” impressive sup- Diether doesn’t want any porting cast. pictures of them, especially of the boy. The girl’s famBits and Pieces: Fiily is very private, so they nally, Jericho Rosales has don’t want any publicity. moved forward from his Aside from his teleserye on unpleasant experience with ABS CBN “Iisa Pa Lamang,” former girlfriend Heart Diether is very much inEvangelista and said that volved with charity work there was no more bitterthrough his own KIDS ness in his heart. This he Foundation. told the press during the story conference for the next project under Viva Entertainment, “Baler.” He also said he does not wish for Heart to return things he has given her when they were still together. He just wanted things to be okay between him and Heart. Like Piolo Pascual and Marvin Agustin, Diether Ocampo is also a single parent; Diether has a fourJericho Rosales year-old son with a former It’s really over between non-showbiz girlfriend who now resides in San Fran- actor Dennis Trillo and cisco, California. The boy’s beauty queen/actress Carname is Dream. This boy lene Aguilar. The rumor in doesn’t have to dream of a circulation is that Carlene
Carlene Aguilar Young actor Jason Abalos single-handedly won the Best Performer award in the prestigious Young Critics Circle Annual Citation for the movie, “Endo.” The awarding was held recently at the Faculty Center Conference Hall of the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City. The 22-year old model and actor was ecstatic when he accepted the trophy from the critics’ group. He won the award for his memorable performance as a casual employee of a fast food chain, whose contract has to end with the company. Jason is a favorite among the indie filmmakers because he has such a refreshing natural talent for acting. For your feedback, suggestions, and comments, please email me at ernest@ filamstar.net.
August 16-31, 2008
Seen at Different
Off to the Games. Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and First Gentleman Atty. Mike Arroyo wend their way to the National Stadium Olympic in Beijing, China to witness the opening ceremonies of the XXIX Olympiad. (Photo by Jerry Carual/PCPO/ PNS)
New NEDA Chief. Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo administers the oath of office to Ralph Recto, newly-appointed chair of the National Economic Development Authority, the country’s highest economic policy-making body. Witnessing the oath-taking August 12 at Malacanang Palace are executive secretary Eduardo Ermita and Recto’s wife, Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos. (Photo by Charlie Olila/PCPO/NPPA Images)
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Flag Bearer. World Boxing Council lightweight champion Manny Pacquiao waves the Philippine flag during the opening ceremonies of the XXIX Olympiad in Beijing, China. (Photo by Pinoy Gonzales/PNS)
SFPD Meets ‘Dirty Harry.’ Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim receives Lt. Eric Quema of the San Francisco Police Department during the courtesy call made by the SFPD Philippine Exchange Training (PET) consortium. SFPD-PET members, most of them of Filipino lineage, had gone to the Philippines this year as part of the annual training exercises they conduct with their counterparts in the homeland. Mayor Lim, who, as a tough law enforcer in the ‘80s, was called ‘Dirty Harry’ because of his no-compromise stance against criminality, thanked the SFPD-PET members for their commitment to the skills-transfer program benefitting the Philippine National Police. See story on page 15. (Photo courtesy of SFPD and Gerry Pangilinan) Taking 10. Two revelers take a break from the fun and festivities at the 15th Pistahan Festival held at Yerba Buena Gardens in downtown San Francisco. The annual two-day Filipino event on August 9 and 10 was attended by thousands from all over the Bay Area. (Photo by Jun Ilagan)
Temp Bridge. People walk the makeshift bamboo bridge constructed below the Tigum Bridge in Barangay Tabucan, Cabatuan in Iloilo province, Philippines, which was destroyed by Typhoon Frank’s fury in June. Public works officials said it will still take several months to repair the damaged span. (Photo by Rosendo Mejica II/ TNT/ PNS)
Look ‘ma, No Gas. Filipino-American Jimmy Sarmiento of Vallejo, California shows off his 914 Porshe, which he has converted into an electric car that uses batteries, an electric motor, and a solid-state electronic controller. The system still whacks the car’s speedometer up to 90 miles per hour and costs around $0.75 cents a day in household power consumption to recharge the 18 batteries, according to Sarmiento. See story on page 7.
August 16-31, 2008
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August 16-31, 2008
In the News Career Fair yields on-the-spot hiring By Elpidio R. Estioko Associate Editor The recently concluded career fair sponsored by San Jose Job Corps’ Career Transition/Placement Department yielded on-the-spot hiring from three employers and a lot of scheduled interviews from 10 other institutions at the end of the fair, according to FilAm organizer Febe Hipol-Tan. The companies that hired Job Corps students on the spot were Washington Mutual, Safeway, and Aramark Staffing for the San Jose HP Pavilion. “The result of the daylong job fair only goes to show that our students are employable and that our programs are working, providing them the opportunity to be contributing members of society,” San Jose Job Corps Center Director Alan Roberts said.
Earlier, Mr. Roberts encouraged all the staff and students “to visit every one of the employers represented. You never know, it may lead to a new and exciting opportunity.” The center director’s encouragement paid off. Armed with their resumes and putting on their best suits and dress, the some 426 students applied for various jobs before 139 trade personnel representing 60 government and non-government institutions (employers) from Silicon Valley, compared to 58 last year, who provided information about general career opportunities as well as specific details on current job openings. Among the companies that participated in the job fair were the US Commission on Immigration Services (USCIS) in San Jose, Santa Clara Register of Voters, Mission College, California Conservation
Fil-Am takes S.F. post
Perez The San Francisco Board of Supervisors appointed recently FilipinoAmerican Alfredo C. Perez to the San Francisco Assessment Appeals Board, a body that provides property owners a means to appeal their property tax assessments. Perez will be the only
Filipino American to sit on the 16-member board He serves until September 2010. “It is an honor and a privilege to serve San Franciscans in my capacity as a member of the Assessment Appeals Board,” Perez said. “I will endeavor to continue the tradition of the board in providing residents with a fair and reasonable appraisal of the value of their homes or businesses,’ he said. Perez’s appointment comes at a time that the Assessor’s Office is being swamped with many appeals from property owners for a reduction in the value of their homes. The Board is an independent body separate from the Assessor’s Office, which acts as referee to disputes between the City and
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The Heart of Exercise L-R: Mary Jane Medrano, Minh Le, Sally Garnett, Jean Martinez, Febe Hipol-Tan, Roy Abraham, Leighton Rodriguez, Grace Madamba, and Barbie Weaver. Corps (CCC), Transportation Communication Union (TCU), Washington Mutual, , the US Marines, California Army National Guard, Neighborhood Housing Program of Santa Clara Country, the San Jose Public Library, Parks and Recreation Department of the City, Aramark, Safeway, Securitas, and Landmark Protection. Hipol-Tan said that they hold the annual job fair to give Job Corps students a chance to meet employers and resource providers for
possible employment. “This is one of Job Corps’ many commitments to our students who are young adults ready to transition to the main spectrum of American society,” she said. Job Corps students range from 16 to 24 years old and the Center train them in their chosen careers and provide them the opportunity to earn their GED and high school diploma. The center’s programs are supervised by the Department of Labor (DOL).
property owners regarding the value of their property for purposes of taxation. Commercial and residential home owners can appeal through this body if they don’t agree with the assessment made by the city appraisers. Perez brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the Board. He is a long-time Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a veteran city employee. He had worked for several years as an accountant for private companies and the city’s Department of Public Works. Perez took a continuing education on various property audit procedures and new tax laws to enhance his professional growth. He is an active member of the Filipino-American community, and is affiliated with a number of professional, political and civic organizations.
He is past president of the Society of Auditor-Appraisers of California and the Filipino Accountants Association of California, Inc. He is married to Lourdes Dacio Perez, also a retired city accountant, by whom he has four children, all professionals.
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It may be the most well-kept open secret in the world: Nothing is more healthy for you than regular exercise. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), performing any moderate exercise—such as brisk walking, riding a bicycle, or even just doing yard work—for an average of at least 30 minutes per day, at least five days per week, provides the following health benefits: •Reduced blood pressure •Reduced LDL (bad cholesterol) •Increased HDL (good cholesterol) •Improved heart and lung functioning •Improved blood circulation •Improved muscle tone and strength •Improved oxygen consumption and usage •Increased physical energy and mental clarity •Improved sleep •Reduced stress and anxiety •Alleviation of depression •Appetite regulation and weight control •Improved resistance to diseases •Dramatically reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, and cancer •Significantly reduced incidence of arthritis and osteoporosis •A longer life Remarkably, to reap the benefits of regular exercise, you don’t even need to exercise for an entire half hour at one time! So long as you engage in moderate-intensity physical activity for a cumulative total of 30 minutes or more per day, you will boost your health, elevate your moods, and, most likely, extend your life. A ten-minute burst of activity, done three times a day, works just as well as half an hour of sustained exercise. Yet, despite countless research studies and unanimous agreement in the scientific community about the value of exercise, less than one-third of American adults meet these minimal recommendations for physical activity set forth by the AHA, CDC, ACSM, and NIH. As a result, approximately a quarter of a million deaths each year in the United States can be attributed to lack of regular exercise. If you read this newsletter, you are probably interested in health. Still, you may find it difficult or inconvenient to make regular exercise a part of your life. If so, this issue is especially for you. At the San Francisco Heart and Vascular Institute, we want to make it easy for you to stay healthy! The good news is that exercising does not have to be a huge effort, you can (and should!) exercise no matter how old you are, and you don’t need to carve out large chunks of time to get your exercise. Read on . . .
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August 16-31, 2008
In the News Police training program marks success Melissa makes home away from home Text and photos courtesy of SFPD and Gerry Pangilinan
Earlier this year, the innovative and highly-successful exchange training program between the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) once again was brought to consummation for the fifth time. The Philippine Exchange Training (PET) program, which was started in 1999 by six members of the SFPD, is committed to fostering goodwill, with SFPD-PET members call on PNP chief Avelino Razon. the intention of establishing a continuous training program as a response to the changing, and naturally evolving philosophy of community policing. A consortium of 15 SFPD officers, including three female officers – most, if not all, of whom are of Filipino lineage -- made their way to the Philippines this year to share skills with their counterparts in the homeland. The week-long event included a tour of the prestigious Philippine National Police Academy and a chance to meet and lunch with Director General Avelino Razon and his command staff at Camp Crane in Manila. As early as February this year, the SFPD-PET program was adopted in the charterby-laws as the flagship training resource for the newly-formed Filipino American Law Enforcement Officers Association (FALEO). The high priority of protecting human life is included in the PET ‘Statement of Values,’ which sets policy, delivers services, and implements training. The PET is committed to training that incorporates the use of all reasonable means to prevent injury to the public. Also included is the desire to treat members of the public with respect and dignity, maintaining the highest levels of integrity and professionalism in all actions. Compassionate, sensitive, and courteous -- regardless of race and gender -- is a top priority for the PET. Finally, the maintenance of open communication with all communities which the PET serves assists in determining training topics, priorities, and strategies. Much of the credit goes to the officers themselves who paid their own expenses for the trip, and donated much-needed equipment to police departments in Manila, Makati, and To PAGE 18
Fragments of Pinoy nostalgia By Romy E. Reasonda Remembering my past is a therapy. I can retrace my steps and reorient my values when I do that. In, fact, it is a refreshing exercise. Yes, I am a first generation Flip. I dwell on the past that none of my children understands. I cannot forget Luneta where my young wife and I then enjoyed watching the glorious sunset over Manila Bay. It was the most beautiful sunset in the world When we arrived in the United States, the price of gasoline was only 23 cents a gallon. Chicken feet like those sold in Ranch 99 Market were given free for the asking at the Pike Public Market in downtown Seattle. My grandson uttered, “23 cents a gallon? That must have been a hundred years ago, Grandpa!” No, it was only 40 years back in Washington. Then we moved to California, and we bought a nice house that cost just about what you pay for a new Honda Civic today, “Congratulations,
Grandpa! You have realized the American dream! How did you do that?” my grandson continued. Piece of cake! What else could it be? It was work, work, and more work. You can do it, too, when you grow up. As they say in the Philippines, “Use your coconut!’ But for all those years, I never went back. The inquisitive grandson muttered,” So, what is the big deal? How come you are feeling nostalgic all of a sudden, grandpa?” Well, I cannot be called ungrateful when I joined the brain-drain exodus in the ‘60s. I am proud of the part I played improving the telephone system in MetroManila. My roots are still intact although none of my children knows a Filipino word now. Wait, there is one word my oldest son Marius knows – adobo. He cooks adobo with his own secret ingredients. It tastes even better than my Ilocano version. “By all indications, Grandpa, you are retired … do you plan to make a balikbayan trip?” my grandson
asked. Maybe, maybe not. If I go, I want answers to these questions bothering me. How come the Manila clams, Manila mango, tilapia, and Jasmine rice we eat at Red Lobster Restaurant come from Thailand, Vietnam or elsewhere, but not from the Philippines? Why does the Philippines have a rice shortage every now and then? About 50 years ago, didn’t the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Los Banos develop the miracle rice? Any update on the traffic nightmare in Manila? Is “me-first” still the rule? I heard super malls have sprouted all over Metro Manila. And, no offense meant, is it true that the cell phone has become indispensable, never mind if there’s not enough food on the table and the economy is going from bad to worse? (Romy E. Reasonda was an engineer with PLDT, Boeing, Sprint, Qwest, and other firms.. He has since retired and now writes a book out of his home in San Jose, California.)
MYOB from 5 disguised as freedom of speech or expression, this retaliatory move borders on slander. Driven by extreme jealousy or envy, some perpetrators intentionally create stories to destroy their opponent’s reputation. They think that by making the other person look bad, they can make themselves look better. Wrong! (I’m not talking about politicians here, really.) According to Eleanor Roosevelt, “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” Now that is why people love to gossip. One doesn’t need to understand math or science to be able to talk about people. Even Jesus Christ was a victim of gossip. The Pharisees and Sadducees (lawyers and priests of His time) were following Him around hoping to find fault in His teachings and actions. He was even executed based on rumors propagated by His enemies. So is there a way we can stop gossip from spreading? Modern technology – the internet, websites, emails, YouTube, blogs, and text messaging - has made gossiping even more rampant. The best way is to stay out of it. Mind your own business. Don’t entertain harmful or hurtful information about other people. The Bible says, “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” What you say reflects something about your character. Your motive or intention for your speech or action determines your values. Strive to become the peacemaker. The world has more than enough troublemakers.
SAN FRANCISCO community, Mel is a -- As liaison for the Filquick study and has broadened the Sen. ipino-American community for California Yee’s outreach efforts. For her, the work she state Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco/ does is much like a Daly City), Melissa homecoming. “Mel” Apuya is work“By getting to ing to make a home know the Filipino community locally, away from home for herself and local kabagetting to know the bayan. local leaders and activists and coming to Mel started in her position for Sen. Yee in understand the issues May, but her interest faced by the community, I have come to in public service and involvement with the see many parallels between the community Fil-Am community in Melissa “Mel” Apuya the San Francisco Bay here and in my home in Guam,” she points out. Area has been ongoing and evolving. In her position, Mel looks forward to “I was very active with the Filipino Student Organization at the University of San helping the Filipino-American community Francisco as I was a Philippine Studies Mi- connect with the senator’s office and pronor, and that provided me an introduction vide a range of help and support. In addition to working with individuto the Filipino-American community in the Bay Area,” says Mel, a native of Dededo, als, organizations and attending community events, Mel is proactively reaching out Guam, and a native Tagalog speaker. It was through her studies at USF as an to the community by coordinating media International Studies major and a Philip- outreach for the senator. She even appears pine Studies minor that Mel really devel- regularly on the Filipino-American Radio oped her interest in both public service and program on KVTO, 1400 AM, every Thurspublic policy. She was selected to intern in day evening and every fourth Saturday of Sen. Yee’s San Francisco office, an experi- the month to talk about issues affecting the ence that piqued her interest in working in Filipino community. “It’s so important to make sure that the public service and directly with the Filipicommunity is aware of what their governno-American community in the Bay Area. As the senator’s liaison to the Fil-Am ment is doing on their behalf,” says Mel.
Sound of Music By Rudy M. Viernes
It is said that music is the language of the soul. In fact, it is a form of expression in which sounds are deliberately organized in some manner for an artistic purpose. In its sacred form, Thomas Carlyle, a 19th century Scottish writer, describes music as the “speech of angels.” Whether they are the wistful chants of monks in the monasteries, the wailings in the synagogues, or the incantations of tribesmen in the boondocks, the aim of religious music is universal: to praise and worship a Supreme Being. Sacred music is a medium to extol God, a higher form of praying. “He who sings well prays twice,” says St. Augustine. The Psalms are collections of songs of piety and lamentations accompanied by music from lute and lyre used in the temples where Christians find the fulfillment of their aspirations.
Music is also a toll of cultural expression that can relieve mental stress. To former Israel’s Prime Minister Ehud Barak, music was his escape. To soothe his mind after a hard day, he would sit down before a piano and dish out capriccios. King Bhumibol of Thailand is an ambidextrous monarch whose musical genius and includes alluring compositions of marches, jazzes, and love songs. “If the king plays music there is nothing wrong in the land,” says the Chinese writer Mengtzu. Even Bill Clinton who has kept his sax zipped up is willing to blow it again if prodded by friends. Also, music is useful in nursing homes or healthcare institutions to alleviate patient’s pain and keep them mentally attuned. Health care buffs in fitness centers need to be revved up too with the cadence of hip hops as they huff and puff to deplete the bulges and lose the fats. Sister Act and the Sound of Music are two movies with musical themes. In the latter, Julie Andrews had a virtuoso performance. Even the Mother Superior in that movie must have been cast
the spell of mountaineering. She sang, “Climb Every Mountain”. But nothing could be more alleviating to the wearied psyche than the enduring classics of the masters, like Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, or the organists Bach and Dupre. Song writers are in unceasing pursuit in composing love songs. Old melodies sang by icon singers like Nat King Cole’s rendition of “When I Fall in Love”, Pat Boone’s “Love Letters in the Sand”, Perry Como’s benign “This Love of Mine”, Elvis Presley’s “Love Me tender, Love Me Sweet,” and countless others endure the test of time. Carnivals and festivals sans music are insipid, even funeral affairs. Mardi Gras, be it in New Orleans or Rio, aren’t festive without gaudy masqueraded revelers dancing in gay abandon and bands tromping the streets. A song is like a commodity. When one buys something cheap, he brags he got it for a song. But a song isn’t really that cheap because to attend a Rolling Stone or Britney Spear’s show, one would pay a premium for a front seat. To PAGE 18
August 16-31, 2008
Produced and edited by Nicholas von Wettberg
Three Fil-Ams shine in NFL Yao Ming furious Three Football players with ties to the Filipino com- other 23, Tebow now has the chance to be only the second munity are gearing up for another season of success, on college football playe, in its history to win more than one the gridiron, one in college and the other two, profession- Heisman trophy. ally. Ohio State University Running Back, Archie Griffin, University of Florida Junior quarterback, Tim Tebow, accomplished the feat in consecutive seasons (1974 and who was born in the Philippines and still returns there to 1975). assist with his father’s missionaries and orphanage, won Perhaps the only thing that could hold Tebow back the 2007 Heisman Trophy, which is annually awarded to from winning another Heisman is the stockpile of talentthe best college football player in the country. ed playmakers the Gators have on offense, which should Tebow also played an important role, as the back-up make it difficult for the 21-year-old to repeat last season’s quarterback, on the Gators’ 2006 National Championship performance, where he was a one-man wrecking crew. team. Gator head coach, Urban Meyer, says he will also reThe National Football sist relying solely upon League’s (NFL) Tennessee Tebow, and once again, use Titans offensive lineman, a two-quarterback system. Eugene Amano, was integral Tebow has made it clear, to the Titan’s success (10-6 however, he is not thinking and in the playoffs) last about anything but helping season, where he played, at the Gators win the competidifferent times, three out of tively elite Southeastern the five positions on the ofConference (SEC). fensive line. Recent history says the Amano was also born in team that wins the SEC is the Philippines, but came in solid position for a bid over to the U.S. with his at a national championship parents and located to San bowl game. Diego when he was less Tim’s father, Bob, has than one year old. run the Philippine-based Tedy Bruschi, lineBob Tebow Evangelistic backer with the NFL’s New Association (BTEA) since England Patriots, is prob1985, and employs nearly ably the most successful of 50 national Filipino evanthe three having already gelists full-time on his staff. won the Super Bowl three His Manila orphanage, times with the Patriots. As called Uncle Dick’s Home, a Bay Area native, Bruschi has over 50 orphans. is of both Filipino and ItalAmano, who at 6’ 3” 310 ian descent, and in the early lbs, is entering his fifth sea‘90s, was a standout Allson for the Titans and looks American College Defensive to have a successful season Lineman at the University as a run blocker for the Tim Tebow of Arizona. team’s new weapon, rookie Before the emergence of these accomplished athletes, running back, Chris Johnson. Amano is known as a franthe most notable Filipino-American to have been associ- chise leader who is always willing to give back to the local ated with American football was the NFL’s Los Angeles communities and charitable organizations. Rams’ quarterback, Roman Gabriel, who at 6’4” and 235 Although the Patriots fell one game short in their quest pounds, was the sport’s first big signal-caller, and enjoyed for a perfect season, earlier this year, Bruschi continues to a successful pro career. be an inspiration for many. In February of 2005, at the age The rare combination of size, strength and speed is of 31, Bruschi fell victim to a stroke, which kept him out of what separates Tebow (6’ 2” 238-lbs.) from other colle- the first six games of the 2005 season. giate quarterbacks, and dependent upon his decision after Two years later, Bruschi wrote the book, “Never Give the upcoming season, will likely make him the first pick in Up: My Stroke, My Recovery and My Return to the NFL.” next year’s NFL draft. These three football players, all associated with the After a 2007 NCAA Division 1-A record-setting season, Filipino community, are making a difference, both on and in which he passed for 32 touchdowns and rushed for an- off the field.
BEIJING, August 19, 2008 (AFP) - China superstar Yao Ming was furious at being benched in the defeat against Greece where a win could have ensured his nation’s highest-ever finish in Olympic basketball, the team’s coach admitted. Yao had 16 points and five rebounds in Monday’s 91-77 loss to the Greeks, but only played 16 minutes as coach Jonas Kazlauskas chose to rest him for Wednesday’s quarterfinal against Lithuania. Kazlauskas acknowledged that Yao was unhappy with the decision, saying the Houston Rocket star would have played more if China had a chance of winning, but after falling behind by 24 points in the first half that opportunity was lost. “If we should be able ... to play close from the beginning, for sure Yao Ming should play a longer time, but there was no reason to keep him on the court,” Kazlauskas said. “Yao fought, he wants to play and wants to help us as much as possible, but he is a player and I am the coach. I make those decisions.” China’s sporting media is howling at the decision, saying that the Yao-led team cut Greece’s huge lead to 10 points twice in the second half and that the towering centre could have made a difference had he played more. A win over Greece would have given China a three win, two loss record in Olympic play and ensured at least a sixth placed finish regardless of the outcome of Wednesday’s quarter-final. If China loses to Lithuania, the host team will end up only tied with its previous best Olympic finish of eighth place. The iconic Yao, one of China’s most high profile athletes, has long downplayed a medal finish at the Beijing Games, but has repeatedly promised to lead the team to a new historic high. Following Monday’s loss, Yao stormed off the court refusing to speak to the press. (AFP)
NATALIE COUGHLIN from 1 swimmers, Dara Torres and Jenny Thompson. Coughlin, who made a reputation, for herself, as a standout swimmer at the University of California-Berkeley, and won five medals in the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens, became the first Olympic swimmer to repeat as a gold medalist in the 100-meter backstroke. Along with the gold, Coughlin also won two silver and three bronze medals: three in relay, and three in individual races. The six medals won by the 25-year-old Coughlin in six different events places the Vallejo-born swimmer in the upper echelon of all-time U.S. Olympic athletes, male or female. The success of the U.S. women team’s co-captain raises the question if Coughlin will be eyeing the 2012 Summer Games in London, which seems highly likely. If so, there’s little question that the 5-foot-8 Coughlin, who is of Filipino and Irish ancestry, would have a legitimate shot at becoming the country’s most decorated women’s Olympic swimmer. Last month, during the U.S. Olympic trials, Coughlin decided to opt out of competing for a spot in the women’s 100-meter butterfly, which could have eventually given her a seventh gold medal. Having already captured 11 medals in only two Olympic Games is quite a feat, considering it took the 41-yearold Torres five Olympics to do so, and Thompson, four. Some of her peers and former teammates have compared Coughlin and her ‘winningest’ style to that of another U.S. Olympic women’s swim champ, Tracy Caulkins. It takes a competitively-driven and genetically-gifted athlete to have the fire inside to excel in multiple events, especially in the supremely athletic sport of swimming. FilAm Star salutes Natalie! JEAN SABURIT from 9 to the less fortunate. When she is here, it is always reunion time with her Daly City-based former classmates as they go and visit some home care facilities to give cheer to residents. Likewise, she attends to her social functions, like acting as judge for the Miss Earth-USA pageant, together with California senator Leland Yee. Back home, she attends to some medical missions for the Philippine National Police in economically-depressed areas, together with former actresses Liberty Ilagan and Amalia Fuentes. She travels by land and sea, to as far as Marinduque where Governor Bong Carrion invites her to assist whenever a calamity hits his province. In fact she offers her services to her friends in the Philippine Senate for any of their medical missions or charitable projects. At the moment, Jean is busy with her current ABS CBN telenovela “Eva Fonda,” which will be aired on primetime slot very soon, starring Cristine Reyes, where she plays the filthy rich mother of Baron Geisler. In addition, she shares with Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan the twin covers of Images Asia Magazine’s November/December issue. Jean’s ultimate dream is to have her own show comparable to Rosa Rosal’s “Kapwa Ko, Mahal Ko,” in order to further reach out to the less fortunate and extend her help in any way she can.
August 16-31, 2008
R.P. News NAIA 3 now open
DEFEND EVERY INCH from 1
between the government and the MILF. House Speaker Prospero Nograles questioned the wisdom of continuing the peace talks with the MILF. “How can we proceed with the peace talks if the top officials of the MILF cannot control their field commanders and are apparently acting on their own? We really have to know first from the MILF leaders if they are still in control,” Nograles said. “These attacks should be condemned by everyone, including the leaders of the MILF. These acts of criminality and terrorism by rebel Muslim groups should be dealt with quickly and met frontally with the full force of the law,” he said. “The government and our armed forces cannot afford now to deal with kid’s gloves in this kind of situation. We want peace but when terrorism is the result of peace negotiations, the terrorists must be stopped and subdued at all costs,” Nograles added. Senate President Manuel Villar said the military should take “punitive action” against the MILF forces responsible for the attacks, pointing out that these constituted a clear violation of the ceasefire agreement. Villar called on the government to focus also on the plight of civilians caught in the crossfire and forced to flee their homes. “I urge President Arroyo to immediately release funds from the Emergency Fund for the purpose of providing relief assistance,” said Villar.
Terminal 3 of Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport has finally opened. According to Alfonso Cusi, General Manager of the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), the opening of Terminal 3 is a milestone in Philippine history. ” We are now putting to use this terminal which has been idle for more than five years. Perseverance and determination did it. We just had to find ways and explore strategies to be able to open it for the benefit of airline passengers, in particular, and national interest in general,” the airport chief explained. Tirso Serrano, MIAA Assistant General Manager for Airport Development and Corporate Affairs, said the new terminal, which is twice as large as NAIA 2 and thrice as large as NAIA 1, is expected raise the country’s overall airport capacity to 25 million passengers a year. “NAIA Terminal 3 could accommodate as many as 13 million passengers a year (or 35,000 passengers a day) and 28 flights at any given time,” he said. Serrano further added, “With the perseverance and determination of our government institutions involved ELECTRIC CAR from 7 bought the classic 1975 Porsche for just $3,500. “The cost of this project is classified information,” Sarmiento said jokingly. “Seriously, I really did not keep track of it…I have a close approximation. It would spoil the fun if I put everything on QuickBooks.” But when pressed by the Fil Am Star for his total cost estimate of converting his classic Porsche toelectric he came clean. “As a hobbyist, probably around $15,000 including the original cost of $3,500 of the car,” said Sarmiento. In volunteering to educate others about electric cars, Sarmiento explained that electric cars are not really inventions. “Electric cars have been around for a very long time, but since it never took a foothold within the major American car makers, innovators like me have been “recycling” old cars by removing their internal combustion engines, gas tank, exhaust system and other auto parts and replacing them with electric propulsion system,” Sarmiento said. Sarmiento added that because of the energy crisis and the high cost of gas, “you will see more electric cars on the road soon.” Sarmiento demonstrated the smoothness of his electric car, and silent noise, when he started the engine as he drove his electric car around the court where his car is garaged. As described by Steve Large, of CBS Channel 13 in Sacramento, “the car is not just a hybrid, it is purebred.” Under the hood of his Porsche 914, there are 18 bat-
in this milestone undertaking, under the inspiration and guidance of the national leadership, we are confident that we will be able to deliver a safe and operable airport facility in line with our tourism and trade thrusts for the benefits of the entire nation.” Built to handle the needs of international and domestic travellers, the new terminal has 140 check-in counters on five islands, nine baggage carousels, and 120 immigration counters. Budget carrier Cebu Pacific was the first to use the new facility for its inaugural flight to Caticlan last July 22, 2008, using a turboprop jet with 48 passengers on board taking off at 5:15 a.m. On August 1, 2008, Terminal 3 started servicing all international and domestic flights of the airline. Philippine Airlines has also moved its low-fare unit, PAL Express, and its affiliate Air Philippines into Terminal 3. The PAL Express service from Manila includes flights to and from Busuanga, Calbayog City, Catarman, Caticlan, San Jose City, Surigao and Virac. Air Philippines operations include services to the cities of Bacolod, Dumaguete, Iloilo, Naga, Ozamiz, Puerto Princesa, and Tuguegarao. teries that Sarmiento installed himself. It can go up to 90 miles per hour, and can only cost about 75 cents a day on his electric bill. Interestingly enough while Sarmiento uses his electric car from his Glen Cove residence to his office at Georgia Street, in downtown Vallejo, he further revealed that as a “green family” he is also saving on the electricity he uses to power his electric car. He installed a solar panel on his rooftop that became operational in January of 2003. He uses the power that the sun generates from his solar panel to pay for his commute. “ Somebody mentioned to me that I am a good market time, because my Porsche car came out when the price of gasoline was around $4.00 a gallon,” Sarmiento said. “That was just a coincidence! When I started my electric carproject, the price of gasoline was only $2.00.” Born and raised in Bacolod, Sarmiento went to La Salle for grade and high school. A graduate of Silliman University, in Dumaguete, Sarmiento also went to the University of the Philippines (UP-Diliman) for his M.B.A. When asked about his family’s support for his electric car project, Sarmiento responded with pride. “My two daughters are grown: Rebecca with a Bio Tech degree, from UC Davis, and Stella with a Molecular Cell Biology degree, from UC Berkeley, as well as my wife Rebecca,” Sarmiento said. “They never complained about my countless hours spent in the garage working on this project. My daughters have always been involved with our “science experiments” as they were growing up, so they were fully supportive.”
18 HAVEN CAN WAIT from 1 system and it is unfair. Laws are keep things in order.” A newly-naturalized Pinay from the East Bay but with many relatives in Daly City shares the same ‘it-ain’t-fair’ sentiment. She explained: “It took me and my family 10 long years to get here, and another five years to acquire citizenship. We waited, went through the ropes, turned in every single document. Don’t you think granting the illegals the same rights and privileges that we now enjoy as citizens, including access to the budget-strapped social and public services, would be unfair to those who followed the law?” In regard to Daly City being made a sanctuary city that provides protection against Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids, FilAm Star spoke to two Pinoys with a piece of advice for the illegal immigrants, saying: “Hard work pays, so work hard for citizenship or a valid visa. To be targeted by ICE and getting no protection whatsoever is a given risk for illegals.” A Daly City Filipina, who just recently took her oath of citizenship, dreads the ‘sanctuary’ idea. “I’ve heard that the cities declared as sanctuaries are having a lot of problems on peace and order. Crime rates went up in those cities, and I don’t want that to happen to Daly City,” she rued. But a Daly City resident, who works in the legal field, disputes that notion. “Fact is, there are more criminal elements among the legits,” he countered. “There are people who tend to correlate the increase in crime to the increase in illegal immigrant population – and that’s very wrong.” Like this Fil-Am, there are several other second-generation Filipinos who have adopted the ‘live and let live’ mindset. “I think it’s okay for them (illegal immigrants) to be here,” said a 23 year-old Filipina. “As a child of immigrant parents, I completely understand that they are here to work for a better life for themselves and their families, and they should be afforded that opportunity.”
Another Filipina who has put up some family members in her home until they legitimized their immigration status, harbors the same sentiment. She said: “Personally, I think America represents hope, and everyone who is already here in the country should have a right to it.” Her thoughts on ICE raids are, therefore, in sync: “The raids are uncalled for because most, if not all, of those targeted pose no threat to society and are, in fact, productive members of the work force.” A Filipino-American who grew up in Daly City shares a similar view, saying that “cities should only provide a sanctuary to peace-loving people.” He continued: “Illegal immigrants convicted of a felony, perhaps even a big misdemeanor, should be deported immediately. Let’s learn from the San Francisco experience (referring to an illegal immigrant who recently shot and killed a police officer months after the person had been arrested for DUI.)” While some Daly City residents are polarized in their opinion, there are those who are in the middle about the sanctuary issue. One such person is an American-born Filipino living in Daly City. “I fully understand the plight of people staying and working in the country illegally, including Filipinos…all for economic reasons,” he stressed. “We are all entitled to a decent survival. But the problem is, illegals are competing for resources that are getting fewer by the day, and we, legitimate citizens of this country, need to deal with that.” As the debate and counter-argumentation continue, the consensus among those interviewed by FilAm Star points to the need for the federal government to work in earnest toward reviewing and overhauling the country’s immigration policy. “This is not simply an issue of a city being declared a haven,” a long-time San Francisco resident who just recently turned U.S. citizen told Star. “Immigration is a federal issue that the three branches of government in Washington should address.”
POLICE TRAINING from 15 Paranaque. This camaraderie backs up the PET pledge of being committed to excellence in law enforcement, and a dedication to the people, traditions, and diversity of the world community. Many of the core members of the PET program are of Filipino ethnicity and bi-lingual, and comprised of both commissioned and non-commissioned officers. Because San Francisco enjoys a sister-city relationship with Manila, the PET officers believe the exchange program presents an excellent opportunity to foster goodwill and establish a continuing training program with the Philippine National Police (PNP). The PET committee utilizes the specialized skills and experience of state-certified expert instructors from within the SFPD and various outside law enforcement and civilian agencies. Future plans are in motion for a multi-agency PET team to train in the Philippines, with the locales and organizations involved to be announced. The members of PET are truly making a difference in the lives of many, both here and in the Philippines. Their role is greatly appreciated.
PNP officers learn new techniques.
SFPD-PET members share skills.
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NEW CITIZENS from 7 Most of the new citizens came from India, Vietnam, China, Mexico, and the Philippines. Delia Ventura Estioko, wife of FilAm Star associate editor Elpidio Estioko, who also took his oath two months ago, was ecstatic. “I waited for 11 years, but that’s okay,” the native of Cabugao, Altavas, Aklan, who came to the U.S. in 1997, said. “Now I’m a proud American.”
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NAFFAA from 1 unionization work of Carlos Bulosan, among others, have been lined up, according to Kern. “Seattle is, therefore, confident we will be offering a conference that is educational, inspiring, fun, and memorable,” Kern pointed out. That is the least the host chapter, Region VII, can do in support of the biggest and strongest association of Fil-Am leaders in the United States. “NaFFAA today is stronger than ever and will continue to blossom, because in the fourteen years of NaFFAA’s existence, Filipino Americans have tasted what it is like to be politically empowered,” Kern told Star. She admits, however, that like all organizations, NaFFAA will continue to have challenges, like the stalled Filipino war veterans’ equity bill. While she is not giving up hopes of the bill being passed by Congress before her term ends, she said its passage is certainly one accomplishment she will be very proud of. “It is a legacy that I would like to leave behind when I step down as NaFFAA president,” Kern said, as she confirmed to Star her desire to pass the baton to a new leader. The NaFFAA presidency, Kern said, exacts a heavy toll on one’s time and resources, but “I have no regrets.” She continued: “I have met a lot of people during my term, and have dealt with some of the biggest challenges head-on …. everything has been very rewarding, and I would like others to have the chance of being blessed with such enriching experience. The convention secretariat may be reached through Ms. Fletcher at (206) 892-0075/ email@example.com or visit www.naffaar7.org for additional information.
August 16-31, 2008 MYRNA LIM from 1 proposes to make the city easier and more affordable to live and work in, for families and small-business owners who are being pushed out by the high costs of living and doing business here. “Small businesses are failing, creating a lack of jobs and opportunities for San Francisco residents,” Lim said to Star. The “San Francisco First” policy, which she is looking to create, would have the city, among other things, purchase and hire local goods and services before anything else. Lim says that many of San Francisco’s goods and services come from outside resources, ignoring its own residents and vendors. “With more opportunities for jobs, it would open doors for Filipinos and minorities,” Lim declared. After growing up and raising her own family in San Francisco’s Excelsior area for more than 20 years, Lim is hoping to represent the district, which includes the neighborhoods of Cayuga, Mission Terrace, Outer Mission, Crocker Amazon, Excelsior, Ingleside, Merced Heights, and Ocean View. Lim has run for the position twice before, and hopes the third time will be the charm. In the last race, against incumbent Gerardo Sandoval, Lim was close with 42 percent of the votes. The Asian vote comprises 45 percent of the district, out of which Filipinos account for almost 20 percent. “It’s now or never …. Filipinos have never been at the negotiating table and so nobody is pushing for us,” said Lim, who aspires to be the very first Filipino on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Her campaign is very grassroots, Lim said. She and her campaign aides are walking door to door, in neighborhoods of the district, to spread the word about what she hopes to do for the community. Of the eight total candidates, Lim is one of two females, but is the only Asian. She believes she has an advantage over the other seven candidates. “I am the most qualified,” Lim said to Star. “I have been on two city committees and am a business-owner myself. I am familiar with the district, but would also bring a fresh perspective to city government.” When asked about how people can be sure she truly wants to be a public servant, and not just another city official with power, Lim responded: “I have lived a life of public service. I have been an activist since I was young. You really have to want to work for the common good and not just for yourself.” The District 11 Supervisor candidate says she will be an effective legislator because she knows how to negotiate, a skill she he honed through all the years managing her own real estate company. “I know how to get things done,” said Lim. “It’s finding the balance of competing interests. I will know when to say ‘yes’ and ‘no.’” (To find out more about Myna Lim and her platform, visit www.myrnalim.com. Her campaign headquarters are located at 4791 Mission Street, in San Francisco, and can be reached at 415-585-4888.)
THE NETWORKER from 5 As McCain-Obama opponents approach the dynamics of their convention day, many in America cannot wait for a new leader when they wake up on November 5. So let the campaign carry and let the election be the most important personal event in the life of the American on November 4. Let us all be part of history. Please register and vote. (Fel Amistad is a San Mateo County Commissioner and civic leader. Contact Amistad at 650-544-5221.)
SOUND OF MUSIC from 15 In some countries, like the Philippines, during election campaigns, the single factor that attracts a crowd is the sound of music! Some candidates would flaunt their singing (nay, dancing) “prowess” on stage, a deceptive way to snare a vote. After Vatican 11, the liturgical songs and music have become contemporary to times. Amazing Grace and I Love You Lord sang during or after communion, can wring emotions and get one feel celestial. The famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir, perfectly chorused and orchestrated, is acclaimed for its repertoire of glorious songs rendered in solemn fashion. Indeed, music isn’t only balm for spirit. It is also a tonic to “soothe the savage beast”, and a medium to exalt the Lord.
Filipino American Radio Show
Please Pray the Rosary.
at KVTO 1400 AM Mon - Fri 8:30-9:00 PM Sat 7:00-10:00 AM
August 16-31, 2008
- Rountrip Fiesta Class airfare from San Francisco or Los Angeles to your choice of destination. - Two (2) nights hotel stay based on twin-sharing rate with extra nights provision. - Daily breakfast and roundtrip airport/hotel transfers included (except Manila). - Optional tours available at minimal rates. - Certain restrictions apply. - Prices vary depending on departure dates. - Fares are subject to change without prior notice. - Subject to fuel/taxes surcharge between USD 396.00 USD 480.00. - Valid until March 31, 2009.
- Rountrip Fiesta Class airfare from Manila to your choice of destination. - Two (2) nights hotel stay based on twin-sharing rate with extra nights provision. - Daily breakfast and roundtrip airport/hotel transfers. - Optional tours available at minimal rates. - Certain restrictions apply. - Prices vary depending on departure dates. - Fares are subject to change without prior notice. - Subject to fuel/taxes surcharge between USD 121.00 USD 211.00. - Valid until March 31, 2009.
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August 16-31, 2008