Posts by Abner:

    Freddie Roach talks about “feud” with Manny Pacquiao

    January 17th, 2019

    By Abner Galino


    Manny Pacquiao shares a light moment with mediamen before he takes his training session at the Wildcard Gym in Los Angeles on Tuesday. Photo by Tony Garcia

    HALL of Fame trainer Freddie Roach said on Tuesday that Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao was more focused now and has been training better than when he was preparing to fight Australian fighter Jeff Horn.

    Roach reiterated to mediamen at the Wildcard Gym in Los Angeles that Pacquiao’s very tight schedule while they were preparing for the said fight “caused his training to suffer.”

    “His training camp was like up and down. Sometimes he can get to us at 3 o’clock in the afternoon, sometimes 10 o’clock at night, and we still have to train,” Roach recalled.

    Horn won by unanimous decision against the Filipino boxer on July 2, 2017 in Brisbane, Australia.

    The legendary coach and the eight-division world champion had a verbal tussle after the said fight which caused their relationship to fall off.

    Last July 14, Pacquiao fought and knocked out Argentinian Lucas Matthysse in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia without Roach on his side. He trained and relied on the coaching of his close friend Buboy Fernandez.

    Fernandez used to be assistant trainer when Roach was around.

    However, when Pacquiao held a press conference in a Beverly Hills hotel last November, he told the media that he would ask Roach to return to his camp for his upcoming fight with American fighter Adrien Broner on January 19 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

    Pacquiao followed through with the said promise and subsequently met with Roach.

    Roach recalled that during their first meeting after almost two years of not talking to each other, Pacquiao told him how much money that each of them would be making after the fight with Broner.

    “I’m sorry that I didn’t get you the last time (referring to his fight with Matthysse),” Roach quoted Pacquiao telling him during the said meeting.

    “No, let’s forget about that,” Roach reportedly quipped back.

    Pacquiao reportedly went on to explain why he wanted Fernandez to work the mitt while relegating the American trainer as a sort of a fight consultant.

    “He wants Buboy to have a career even after he (Pacquiao) retired from boxing,” Roach added.

    The boxing coach said he was very happy that Pacquiao reached out and got him back to be part of the training team.

    “I’ve been with him for 15 years. I had a great run with him. He is a great guy. I have no reason to be mad at him because he didn’t like what I’ve said … that was my opinion,” Roach said.

    Roach has earlier blamed Pacquiao’s loss to Horn to the toll of attending to the functions of a senator of the Republic of the Philippines and training for a boxing fight at the same time.

    Here are some of the other salient quotes during the Roach’s press conference:

    “His power is unbelievable. He is 100. His speed and power is still there. His work ethics is still there. I always tell him that once you’re work ethics drops, I want you to retire. But it has not dropped at all. He was on his toes for like four hours the other day.”

    “He is complaining about blisters in his feet that day … and I asked him; why are you still jumping rope? He said: We don’t know if my opponent is still working at this moment.”

    “We are staying in not just to stay in. We still want to stay to be the best. We will fight the best.”

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    Recruitment for All-Pinoy Dragon Boat team in SC

    January 15th, 2019

    By Abner Galino



    One of the events in the 2017 Long Beach Dragon Boat Festival where a group of Filipino paddlers who flew in from at least five countries (hence dubbed as the Philippine OFW team), participated and bagged two silver medals. Photo by Abner Galino

    ON January 19, veteran and upcoming dragon boat paddlers are coming together Mother’s Beach in Long Beach, California in an effort to put up a permanent All-Filipino dragon boat team for Southern California.

    Michelle Ebio, the organizer said she was optimistic that such a feat could be done.

    “I think we have enough players to build a permanent dragon boat team here. The Fil-Am community is a big community, I think we should be amply represented in future dragon boat competitions here and elsewhere,” Ebio said.

    Ebio said organizing a dragon boat is a gargantuan task but is achievable, especially when the effort starts to draw in support from advertisers and the Filipino American community.

    Dragon boat racing is a sport that uses long boats with decorative dragon heads and tails.

    There are about 18-20 rowers in a standard dragon boat, aside from team leader or the steersperson and the drummer.

    Ebio enjoins those who are interested to join the All-Filipino team should come at about 1 p.m. at the Mothers Beach in Long Beach.

    Ebio can be reached at (818) 438-4566 or ebs05_2003@yahoo.com

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    US-based rights group to campaign for LP slate, Alejano and labor leaders

    January 12th, 2019

    By Abner Galino

    Magdalo Rep. Gary Lejano Image © philstar.com

    THE Filipino American Human Rights Alliance recently announced that it would be supporting the eight Liberal Party senatorial candidates that included former military mutineer Rep. Gary Alejano.

    But Ago Pedalizo, FAHRA member, also pointed out that their group would also be supporting the senatorial bids of four other candidates identified with workers and farmers organization, namely: Leody De Guzman of Partido Lakas ng Masa, Neri Colmenares of MAKABAYAN, Sonny Matula of Kaisahan and labor lawyer Atty. Ernesto Arellano.

    “All political parties in the Philippines claim to represent the interest of the poor and the working people. Then, why are they not including in their respective line ups the poor people themselves? The farmers and labor leaders?,” Pedalizo asked.

    Despite this, Pedalizo explained that FAHRA would continue to support the Liberal Party ticket, explaining that their organization’s participation in the Philippine elections would be the “best time to educate the people.”

    “Our goals are to win the elections to empower trustworthy candidates to protect Philippine democratic institutions, and as well as to organize and strengthen the political power of the poor — so they can march towards the so-called point of engagement,” Pedalizo added.

    Pedalizo said around 42 percent of all the remittances to the Philippines come from Filipino Americans.

    “We help our families back home and we have moral influence over them. We have to help them realize that we are here in the US and that we are not going to personally benefit from this political exercise. Gusto lang natin na mapabuti ang bayan natin, para din sa kanilang kapakanan,” Pedalizo explained.

    The Liberal Party senatorial line up is composed of Rep. Gary Alejano, Chel Diokno, Bam Aquino, Samira Gutoc, Romy Macalintal, Erin Tañada, Mar Roxas and Florin Hilbay.

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    The year that was for Filipino Americans in California

    December 30th, 2018

    A 2018 yearender report by Abner Galino

    Image by http://manila.advancedamericantax.net

    INDIVIDUALLY and as a community, Filipino Americans, one of the largest ethnic communities in southern California and in the entire state of California, posted remarkable achievements in the Year 2018.

    But this yearender isn’t all about achievements but more so on news that we think considerably affected or stirred the Filipino American community in more ways than one.

    On this premise, the story that topped our list is no other than the nail-biting account of TJ Cox’s (Terrance John Cox) electoral victory over three-term Republican Rep. David Valadao.

    TJ Cox defeats incumbent Rep. Valadao

    The media initially reported that Cox had lost to Valadao. But three weeks after election day, when updated results from Fresno and Kings counties came in, Cox posted a lead of 529 votes.

    The 55-year-old son of a Filipina trailed by nearly 4,000 votes on election night. But his number of votes steadily rose as results from mail-in ballots were officially counted.

    TJ Cox’s win gave California Democrats a gain of seven seats in the US House of Representatives — giving the party a total of 40 new seats to regain their majority in the chamber. He will be representing California Congressional District 21.

    Cox ran and lost in his first bid to win as representative of California’s 19th congressional district in the 2006 elections.

    On his second try, Cox ran on the platform of supporting affordable health care, developing health clinics and creating jobs in the health care industry.

    Two Fil-Am judges appointed to Superior Court

    In an apparent show of trust in the competence and integrity of Filipino American in the judiciary, outgoing California Governor Jerry Brown appointed Judges Audra Ibarra and Rohanee Zapanta to fill up judgeships posts in the Bay Area and in San Diego, respectively.

    Ibarra and Zapanta were part of the 13 Superior Court judgeships that Brown filled up before handing over the governorship to fellow Democrat Gavin Newsom.

    Audra Ibarra has been appointed to the Superior Court of Santa Clara County, becoming the first Filipino-American woman to be appointed as superior court judge in the Santa Clara County and as well as in the Bay Area.

    Ibarra, 49, earned her political science degree from University of California (UC) Berkeley. She was a former assistant U.S. attorney. She was also the deputy chief of the U.S. Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force. at the U.S.

    Rohanee Zapanta, a deputy county public defender since 2005, was appointed to the San Diego County Superior Court.

    Zapanta was one of the three women that the outgoing California governor have appointed to judgeships in the San Diego County Superior Court.

    1st Fil-Am woman councilor in Artesia

    Melissa Ramoso has become the only woman and Filipino American member of the City Council of Artesia. She will be starting her term of office in the backdrop of the exit of fellow Filipino American Victor Manalo who lost his re-election bid.

    Ramoso, who received 1,700 votes, will become the city’s youngest councilmember and will serve a four-year term.

    Malacañang honors Pilipino Workers Center (PWC)

    The Los Angeles-based Pilipino Workers Center (PWC) has been conferred the “Banaag Award,” in this year’s Pamana ng Pilipino Award held in Malacañang, the Philippine’s presidential palace.

    The PWC, according to the awards committee, “serves as an integral part in the statewide and nationwide movement to uplift the dignity of caregivers, fights for labor protection, and advocates for fair wages and suitable working conditions of Filipino caregivers and domestic workers in Southern California.”

    The Banaag Award is conferred on Filipino individuals or organizations for their contributions that have significantly benefited or advanced the cause of overseas Filipino communities.

    This year’s awardees were selected from a total of 96 nominations received by the CFO from 28 countries through 37 Philippine Embassies and Consulates across Asia, North and South America, Africa, Europe and Australia.

    The Pamana ng Pilipino Award is given to individuals or groups “exemplifying the talent and industry of the Filipino,” and “have brought the country honor and recognition through excellence and distinction in the pursuit of their work or profession.”

    The awardees, who come from 12 countries and territories, had gone through a 4-stage selection process involving multi-sectoral representation.

    FASO’s 10th anniversary

    The 10th anniversary celebration of the Filipino American Symphony Orchestra (FASO) is undoubtedly a milestone not only for its leadership, musicians and other members but as well as for the entire community.

    The only Filipino symphony orchestra outside of the Philippines, the resilient movers of the organization deserve taps on their shoulders for keeping the music and sophistication of this art for present and future generations of Filipino Americans.

    Led by conductor and musical director Robert “Bob” Schroder, the orchestra held a concert last November 3 at the historic Alex Theatre in Glendale.

    The show was fittingly titled: FASO@10: A Decade of Music, Harmony and Community.

    Guest performers included Joey Albert, Pete Avendaño, Joan Cano, Kit Navarro, FASO Children’s Ensemble and Alumni, Holy Family Filipino Chorale, Pacific Vocal Artists, Philippine Chamber Singers-Los Angeles and the Waraynon Initiative Network (WIN) Chorale.

    Trillanes, Alejano visit LA

    In February, Senator Antonio “Sonny” Trillanes held a series of meetings with Filipino American community leaders in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

    Among the issues that he discussed during the said meetings were the alleged human rights violations in the Philippines and supposed helplessness of the Philippine government to stop the relentless incursions of China into our territories.

    The town hall meetings were organized by the Filipino American Human Rights Alliance (FAHRA) at the Pilipino Workers Center (PWC) building in the LA’s historic Filipinotown.

    Trillanes said there is nothing wrong with having friendly relations with China but “there should be a line,” adding that the government should have filed diplomatic protests whenever it saw its territorial jurisdiction are violated.

    As an offshoot of Trillanes’ visit, a group of Filipino Americans organized a chapter of Samahang Magdalo in Los Angeles.

    In November, Trillanes’ opposition ally and fellow military mutineer, Rep. Gary Alejano, came to Los Angeles and inducted the first ever set of officers of the Samahang Magdalo International (US-California Chapter) in the City of Lakewood, a suburb in Los Angeles County.

    Gen. Bato comes to LA, triggers protest

    Former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Ronald dela Rosa visited the historic Filipinotown in Los Angeles on Thursday (December 13) and sought the support of Filipino American leaders in southern California for his bid to win a seat in the Senate of the Philippines.

    Dela Rosa was primarily hosted by the Rotary Club of the Historic Filipinotown led by its president Macky Fortu.

    In his speech, Dela Rosa said he decided to run for a seat in the Philippine Senate so he could help out President Rodrigo Duterte realize his visions for the country.

    Two days later, Filipino Americans, separated by their opposing political alliances, faced off in front of a Filipino restaurant in the Historic Filipinotown in Los Angeles last Saturday (December 15).

    The tension-filled confrontation prompted Los Angeles City policemen to rush to the scene. Six police cars were deployed and a helicopter was seen hovering above while the commotion was on going.

    The members of Malaya Movement, Filipino American Human Rights Alliance and the Samahang Magdalo-USA, which were politically distinct human rights advocacy groups, trooped to the Bahay Kubo Restaurant on Temple Street after they were tipped off that former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Ronald dela Rosa was coming to a fund-raising Christmas party hosted by a blogger known as Maharlika.

    Remedy Medina, Samahang Magdalo-US-California chapter president, said they peacefully dispersed according to the time limit granted in the permit issued to them by the Los Angeles Police Department.

    Pinoy church vies for “historical monument status”

    A retired Philippine ambassador and career diplomat recently led a group of Filipino Americans in lobbying for the elevation of the Filipino Disciples Christian Church to the status of “historic cultural monument” at the US federal level.

    Rodolfo Dumapias joined a group of Filipino Americans at the Los Angeles City Hall last October 26 in a hearing called by the California State Historical Resources Commission.

    Dumapias, was born in Manila but came to US when he was a kid with his parents, who were also diplomats, and his siblings. He grew up in Los Angeles and attended junior high, high school and college at the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) and University of Southern California (USC) for his graduate studies.

    The retired diplomat told the members of the state historical commission that he was a youth leader and an active participant in Filipino-American community affairs in the 1960’s. He went on to testify that the

    Filipino Christian Church, now called Filipino Disciples

    Christian Church, had been instrumental in the establishment of the “social and cultural foundation

    upon which a humble ethnic community blossomed into what is now Historic Filipino-town.”

    According to Dumapias, the founders of the L.A. Philippine Women’s Club and its junior unit, the L.A. Philippine Junior Women’s Club, were active members of the Filipino Christian Church since its beginning.

    The said organization just recently celebrated its 57th founding anniversary.

    Vets annual Hollywood march returns to Filipinotown

    The annual march that seeks justice for Filipino World War II veterans, which has been known as “Hollywood march for justice,” has returned to the historic Filipinotown in Los Angeles.

    The City of West Hollywood has refused to issue rally permit to the Justice for Filipino American Veterans (JFAV), the prime mover of the yearly demonstration.

    One of the leaders of JFAV leader Art Garcia said the city denied permit to the yearly event due to the supposed “chaos and traffic snarls” that it supposedly create in the areas where the rally passes through.

    Despite the change in venue, the march still managed to draw out a large contingent of Filipino American youths, numbering around 300.

    The marchers gathered in the morning at MacArthur Park on Wilshire Boulevard. The march snaked through Filipinotown streets and ended at the headquarters of the Search to Involve Pilipino Americans (SIPA) at Temple Street.

    SIPA executive director Lyle del Mundo was among those who spoke during an hour-long program inside the SIPA compound.

    Garcia said the return of the Justice for Filipino Veterans March at SIPA constituted a full historical cycle for the movement that started in the same place (SIPA headquarters) on December 16, 1998.

    RP’s Wish Bus 107.5 duplicated in LA

    The Philippines’ iconic radio bus, known as the Wish Bus 107.5, has been duplicated in Los Angeles — a city known as the world’s entertainment capital.

    The choice of Filipino American YouTube sensation AJ Rafael as the Wish bus USA’s first performer on board provided a somewhat encapsulated message as to the purpose of the gargantuan undertaking.

    AJ Rafael performed with three other musicians inside the Wish Bus 107.5 amidst posters of the Philippine Air Lines (PAL) in the backdrop.

    Rafael’s group was the only band that played inside the Wish Bus 107.5 as the rest of the performers did their acts on the Universal Citywalk’s performance stage.

    Since then, local artists, particularly Filipino American artists, have guested on the Wish Bush which moves to other places aside from its regular spot along Hollywood Boulevard.

    (Note: In general, this writer gave preference to news stories that happen within our local areas of coverage wherein most of our news makers and readers reside.)

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    Angelo takes art at New York’s Port Authority Bus Terminal

    December 13th, 2018

    Angelo Maristela’s rendition of former president Barack Obama holding a bread on display at Times Square in New York in a show titled: The Bread Series.

    By Abner Galino

    FILIPINO artist Angelo Maristela has taken his art to the busy New York’s Port Authority Bus Terminal in the world famous Times Square, presenting a preview of a special project he labeled: The Bread Series.

    The Bread Series is Angelo’s collection of popular known and ordinary people whom he thought have shared their proverbial “daily bread” with others.

    “These people have inspired others with their lives or have somehow touched the hearts of people by giving selflessly,” Angelo said.

    Angelo believes that the world has more than enough resources to sustain humanity.

    “Sadly, due to the greed of some, a lot of people are left with nothing.”

    The collection is Angelo’s way to send across a message.

    “People may not heed the call, but the important thing is for the message to be heard,” Angelo stressed.

    Angelo said he believes there is a well-meaning purpose for his existence and God-given talent that he needs to fulfill.

    The Bread Series is a two-month solo art exhibition in Times Square where Angelo’s works are secured and enclosed in glass cases in the terminal’s 500 square feet of art display area.

    Angelo is the first Filipino fine artist given the chance to exhibit in the said venue.

    The art exhibit will run from December 1, 2018, to January 31, 2019.

    After living and working in the Middle East for seven years, Angelo came to the US in April 2016 with his wife and three children. With his exemplary art credentials and sound advice from colleagues who believed in him, he filed a petition for permanent residence under the highest employment-based category, Alien with Extraordinary Ability.

    This category is one of the fastest routes to a green card, yet with the strictest of requirements.

    Just a little over a year since the filing of his petition, Angelo and family got the highly sought-after green card.

    In barely three years of living in the US, Angelo has launched several art shows, solo and group exhibitions. He has also received recognition and awards for his arts.

    This year, Angelo received a Citation of Honor for excellence in the field of Arts, from the Office of the President of the Borough of Queens, New York.

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    Fil-Am pols join efforts for Larry Itliong-named St. in LA

    December 11th, 2018

    By Abner Galino

    Larry Itliong

    THE National Federation of Filipino American Associations, several Southern California-based organizations, and elected Filipino officials led by Cerritos Mayor Mark Pulido and Carson Councilmember Lito Santarina, have endorsed the proposal to have a portion of the Temple Street in Los Angeles be renamed Larry Itliong Avenue.

    The proposal has been submitted to the Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Councilmembers Mitch O’Farrell of the 13th District, which covers Historic Filipinotown; Gil Cedillo of the First District, which covers Echo Park and other areas to be passed by the proposed renaming; and Jose Huizar of the 14th District which covers downtown Los Angeles where the east end of the proposed renaming starts.

    “While we are grateful for the official designation of the Historic Filipinotown in August 2002 in recognition of the important role of Filipino migrants in the history of Los Angeles, it would be fitting and proper that the major street that traverses the area be named after one of the greatest Filipino immigrants in the United States, who fought for justice and equal rights for migrant workers in the country,” said businessman Fernandico Q. Gonong Jr., president of the Filipino American Community of Los Angeles (FACLA) and the Media and Business Club of Los Angeles County (MBC), the leading proponents of the renaming.

    Gonong also noted that while Cesar Chavez, another great labor leader who was Itliong’s co-leader in organizing farm workers following the Delano strike, has been honored by the City of Los Angeles with the renaming of a portion of Sunset Street to Cesar Chavez Avenue in 1993, the Filipino leader has yet to be bestowed with the same honor.

    Itliong, who was born in Pangasinan in the Philippines, led the Great Delano Grape Strike in 1965 together with fellow Filipinos Philip Vera Cruz, Benjamin Gines and Pete Velasco, demanding wages for agricultural workers to equal that of the federal minimum wage.

    Known as the “father of West Coast Labor Movement,” Itliong’s group was later joined by Mexican workers under the National Farm Workers Association, led by Chavez in the grape strike that eventually led to the unity of Filipino and Mexican farm workers and the formation of the United Farm Workers.

    Gonong said Itliong, who fought for workers’rights as early as the 1930s, actually preceded both Chavez and the great Martin Luther King Jr. in the fight for civil rights in the United States.

    The proposed Larry Itliong Avenue will start on Figueroa St. in downtown Los Angeles and go westward up to Silver Lake Boulevard and Virgil Avenue.

    “With the eastern portion of Sunset Avenue from Figueroa Street renamed Cesar Chavez Avenue and the western side of Temple Street from Figueroa Street renamed Larry Itliong Avenue, the two great labor leaders would be side by side again as they were during the formative years of the farm workers unions in the 1960s and in the early fight for justice and workers rights,” Gonong said.

    Gonong will lead a group of community leaders who will sit down on December 20 with Mayor Garcetti, who authored the bill renaming a portion of the Temple-Beverly Corridor as Historic Filipinotown on August 2, 2002.

    It is also being supported by the Fil-Am chambersof commerce, various Filipino organizations all over Southern California and most especially by Filipino groups in the Historic Filipinotown, including the Historic Filipinotown Neighborhood Association, Rotary Club of Historic Filipinotown, Search to Involve Pilipino Americans (SIPA), Filipino American Service Groups Inc.(FASGI), the Pilipino Workers Center (PWC), the Justice for Filipino American Veterans (JFAV), Philippine Women’s Club and the Knights of Rizal.

    A joint petition signed by the presidents of the various Filipino organizations is being prepared as of this writing.

    “It will be great source of pride and a feeling of recognition and belonging for tens of thousands of Filipinos who live in Los Angeles County, especially the more than 10,000 who actually reside and do business in Historic Filipinotown, to have the main artery traversing the district to be named after a distinguished fellow Filipino,” Gonong added.

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    PWC among 25 overseas Filipinos, groups to receive Presidential Awards

    November 30th, 2018

    By Abner Galino

    A FILIPINO-American litigation lawyer C. Joe Sayas Jr. and the Pilipino Workers Center of Southern California is among the 25 outstanding overseas Filipinos and foreign-based Filipino organizations to be conferred presidential awards by President Rodrigo Duterte in ceremonies to be held on Dec. 5 at the Malacañang Palace in Manila.

    Sayas, a noted attorney who has recovered more than US$125 million dollars in compensation and settlements for thousands of individuals, workers and injured clients during his 25 years of law practice in the United States, is one of 11 distinguished overseas Filipinos who will receive the Pamana ng Pilipino Awards.

    The Pamana ng Pilipino Award is conferred on Filipino overseas “who, in exemplifying the talent and industry of the Filipino, have brought the country honor and recognition through excellence and distinction in the pursuit of their work or profession.”

    The awardees, who come from 12 countries and territories, had gone through a 4-stage selection process involving multi-sectoral representation.

    This year’s awardees were selected from a total of 96 nominations received by the CFO from 28 countries through 37 Philippine Embassies and Consulates across Asia, North and South America, Africa, Europe and Australia.

    The awardees were thoroughly screened by four different committees from the Philippine Foreign Service Posts, an inter-agency Technical Committee, a multi-sectoral Executive Committee, and finally by the Office of the President.

    PAMANA NG PILIPINO AWARDS

    The 10 other Pamana ng Pilipino awardees are:

    Paul C. Balan (US) — A coinage and medal designer based in Chicago who is the first Filipino and first Asian whose designs have been selected for commemorative coins and congressional medals of the United States;

    Edward M. Brotonel (US) — A special agent in the US Army Criminal Investigation Division who received various meritorious recognitions for uncovering major theft and fraud in the US Army, Pentagon and during the post-911 Iraq reconstruction;

    Nicolas M. Caraquel (US) — An immigration lawyer based in New York who broke out of poverty through his determination and hard work;

    Elizabeth L. Engle (US) — A pioneering woman engineer in Alaska who served in various leadership roles and managed major pipeline projects;

    Maria Theresa A. Eviota (Switzerland) — A housekeeper based in Berne, Switzerland who has served excellently in various foreign embassies and diplomatic residences;

    Pedro A. Jose (US) — A scientist, physician and academician all rolled into one known for his breakthrough research and practice on hypertension;

    Teresita A. Marquez (Portugal) — A professor of music and renowned musician, composer and director who founded award-winning choir groups in Lisbon;

    Jose Dennis C. Teodosio (Myanmar) — A multi-awarded writer for TV, cinema, advertising and the stage who supported Myanmar’s media transition;

    Saturnino H. Tiamzon Jr. (Hongkong) — A versatile musician who brought pride, honor and service to the country with his exemplary achievements, leadership and civic engagements;

    Jhett D. Tolentino (US) — A Broadway producer based in New York who produces award-winning live theater and musical shows and the first Filipino to garner both Tony and Grammy awards.

    BANAAG AWARDS

    The PWC, according to the awards committee, “serves as an integral part in the statewide and nationwide movement to uplift the dignity of caregivers, fights for labor protection, and advocates for fair wages and suitable working conditions of Filipino caregivers and domestic workers in Southern California.”

    The Banaag Award is conferred on Filipino individuals or organizations for their contributions that have significantly benefited or advanced the cause of overseas Filipino communities.

    Other Banaag awardees are:

    Corazon A. Francisco (Australia) — A medical doctor and community leader in Sydney who assists Filipino doctors to practice their profession in Australia by linking them with the Australian medical systems and procedures, and by providing free tutorials and review classes in preparation for medical licensure exams;

    Agnes Katbeth O. Kreimer (Peru) — A Lima-based Filipina who serves as a Filipino community coordinator in the absence of a Philippine post in Peru, helping Filipino prisoners and human trafficking victims receive the necessary advice and assistance;

    Dindo B. Malanyaon (Italy) — Founded the iPARAMEDICi association in Rome that provides first aid and emergency transport to sick and wounded overseas Filipinos, as well as educating the Filipino community in Rome about the fundamental laws of Italy and how to avail of its health, education and social services;

    Juliet Montano (Taiwan) — A Taipei-based medical doctor who provides accessible and affordable quality medical care services to overseas Filipino workers and overseas Filipino-Chinese in Taiwan;

    Maria Cristina F. Sulaik (Sudan) — A hotel manager based in Khartoum who assisted the Philippine Embassy in Cairto in its repatriation of overseas Filipino workers, assisting those in detention centers, and providing advice on consular and labor concerns while promoting Philippine culture and cuisine to the Sudanese community;

    Wimler Foundation Hong Kong Ltd. (Hongkong) — A non-profit and charitable organization which promotes the development and empowerment of Filipino migrants in Hongkong and other ethnic communities, and supports development-oriented projects for the education of underprivileged children and economic empowerment of local communities in the Philippines.

    LINGKOD SA KAPWA PILIPINO AWARDS

    Three Filipino organizations and two individuals were named Lingkod sa Kapwa Pilipino (LINKAPIL) awardees for exceptional or significant contributions to the reconstruction, progress and development of the Philippines. They are:

    Association of Fil-Am Teachers of America Inc. (US) — A non-profit organization of Filipino teachers in New York who foster unity and collaboration among teachers towards the advancement of the teaching profession and rendering education, charitable and civic services in the Philippines and US;

    Salvacion G. Cimanez (Netherlands) — An educator based in The Hague who established a foundation for deaf and blind children in the setting up of schools and centers for children with special needs in the Philippines;

    Filipino-American Law Enforcement Officers Association (US) — A San Francisco-based organization comprised of active and retired Filipino-American law enforcement personnel whp foster fraternal relationships and cultural awareness among its members while exchanging best practices with the Philippine National Police and other institutions;

    Friends Indeed U.S.A., Inc. (United States) – A non-profit organization in New York that provided substantial support to calamity-stricken communities, assisted Filipinos suffering from serious physical ailments, and developed potable water sources and other small-scale infrastructures in the Philippines.

    Hilda L. Gigioli (United States) – A Washington-based Engineer, a Defense contractor and community leader who has mobilized support for the victims of calamities and for the construction of classrooms and water systems of several communities in the Philippines.

    KAANIB NG BAYAN AWARDS

    Two Filipino organizations were named as Kaanib ng Bayan Awardees for their exceptional or significant contribution to Philippine reconstruction, progress and development, or have significantly benefited a sector or community in the Philippines, or advanced the cause of overseas Filipino communities. The Kaanib ng Bayan awardees are:

    Foreign Domestic Worker Association for Social Support and Training (Singapore) – An organization that advocates for the rights and welfare of migrant domestic workers, especially of Filipinos working in Singapore.

    Stichting LOOP (Netherlands) – An organization run by Dutch volunteers which supports organic and fair trade with farmer cooperatives, communities and small enterprises in the Philippines while promoting Philippine products to the Netherlands and the international market.

     

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    Unionism takes center stage in LA’s Larry Itliong Day

    November 24th, 2018

    By Abner Galino

    Larry Itliong. Photo by wikipedia.org

    THE history of the first Filipino farm workers in the United States and their contributions to unionism, took the center stage last week during the celebration of the Larry Itliong Day in Los Angeles.

    The day-long celebration last Sautrday at the Unidad Park on Beverly Boulevard drew hundreds of visitors, most of them young Filipino Americans.

    A presentation of a cultural group from BIBAK-Los Angeles was among the highpoints of the festivity.

    BIBAK stands for the indigenous groups of the Philippine Cordillera region Benguet, Ifugao, Bontoc, Apayao and Kalinga.

    Alongside traditional performances, young Filipino American artists also helped keep the crowd in with their original compositions, particularly percussionist Gingee and a duo of poets Eddy Gana and Stephanie Sajor (known as Steady).

    Lorraine Agtang, who was 13-year-old when her father Platon Agtang joined the 1965 Delano Grape Strike, recalled moments of the historic event during a brief interview on stage with Pilipino Workers Center (PWC) executive director Aquilina Soriano-Versoza.

    Lorraine Agtang recalls her memories of the 1965 Delano Grape Strike before a mostly Filipino American crowd who came to celebrate the Larry Itliong Day last Saturday. Photo by Abner Galino

    Lorraine Agtang who is Mexican and Filipino descent, was born in a labor camp near Delano, California on 1952.

    “My father said come on my brothers and sisters, come on we’re leaving. As a matter of fact, that day he took out the whole crew, and that was about 60 people who were working that day,” Agtang recalled.

    “I remember being in a meeting and there were Filipino workers and there Hispanic workers there, and they were there fighting for the same cause. They were brothers and sisters, no longer not knowing anything about each other cultures. But that they knew each other and were friends and fighting for the same cause, and that was very powerful.”

    Meanwhile, as the program was ongoing, other Filipino Americans were building “parol,” the traditional Filipino Christmas lanterns.

    Visitors also enjoyed looking at visuals depicting the images of Larry Itliong and Filipino workers that were painted on the backs of “bilao,” a traditional rice winnower usually made from woven wood.

    Filipino delicacies and drinks were also served during the event.

    Empleo Pinoy, a PWC outreach program, also took the center stage through a symbolic signing of a manifesto of support from government representatives (US and Philippines), workers alliances and socio-civic organizations in southern California.

    The members of the BIBAK cultural group in one of their performances during the Larry Itliong Day celebration. Photo by Abner Galino

     

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    Pacquiao, Broner trade potshots in LA press con

    November 23rd, 2018

    By Abner Galino

    Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao mockingly shows his latest championship belt to Adrien Broner during a press conference Tuesday in Beverly Hills. Photo by Tony Garcia

    FILIPINO boxing icon Manny Pacquiao and his would-be opponent Adrien Broner sportingly traded banters and potshots during a press conference Tuesday to promote their upcoming fight in Las Vegas next moth.

    Although there was never a moment of tension between the two fighters, the exchanges were salacious and lengthy which led Hall of Fame host Jim Gray to comment: “Hopefully, we’ll see these two combatant exchange more punches than they did in words on January 19.”

    The press conference held at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Beverly Hills, California drew a sizeable crowd of sports personalities, fans and media.

    Broner (33-3-1) is considered by experts to be a good match for Pacquiao (60-7-2).

    During the said press conference, Pacquiao did not deny that he already has one eye for a possible rematch with retired American boxer Floyd Mayweather, although, he clarified that he is not belittling Broner as an opposition.

    Adrien Broner is a good boxer. We cannot underestimate him. Everyone knows Adrien Broner is a good, experienced boxer,” Pacquiao said.

    But Floyd, we met in Japan, we talked and he said he wanted to come out of retirement to fight me. I’m a person that doesn’t want to say trash talk. Just to fight. All I know is to fight in the ring.”

    Prior to this, Broner has told the crowd of a Bill Cosby date rape joke and elicited laughter from the crowd out of stereotyping Asians and African Americans.

    Pacquiao simply smiled through all these potshots, although he too made some funny remarks about Broner when he got his turn to speak.

    In one instance, Pacquiao asked Broner: Are’nt you going to greet me happy birthday?

    The Philippine boxing star will turn 40 years old on December 17. He holds the World Boxing Association (WBA) world welterweight championship after he beat Lucas Mathysse in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in the 7th round of their bout last July.

    The Filipino boxing icon has not fought in the US in the last two years since he defeated Mexican fighter Jessie Vargas via unanimous decision in Las Vegas.

     

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    March for Pinoy veterans comes back to Filipinotown

    November 20th, 2018

    By Abner Galino

    Last year’s (November 2017) photo of the Justice for Filipino American Veterans (JFAV) rally in Hollywood. The yearly march has returned to the Filipinotown in the City of Los Angeles as the City of West Hollywood doesn’t want the Filipino American rally there anymore. Photo by Abner Galino

    THE annual march that seeks justice for Filipino World War II veterans, which has been known as “Hollywood march for justice,” has returned to the historic Filipinotown in Los Angeles.

    The City of West Hollywood has refused to issue rally permit to the Justice for Filipino American Veterans (JFAV), the prime mover of the yearly demonstration.

    One of the leaders of JFAV leader Art Garcia said the city denied permit to the yearly event due to the supposed “chaos and traffic snarls” that it supposedly create in the areas where the rally passes through.

    Despite the change in venue, the march still managed to draw out a large contingent of Filipino American youths, numbering around 300.

    The marchers gathered in the morning at MacArthur Park on Wilshire Boulevard. The march snaked through Filipinotown streets and ended at the headquarters of the Search to Involve Pilipino Americans (SIPA) at Temple Street.

    SIPA executive director Lyle del Mundo was among those who spoke during an hour-long program inside the SIPA compound.

    Garcia said the return of the Justice for Filipino Veterans March at SIPA constituted a full historical cycle for the movement that started in the same place (SIPA headquarters) on December 16, 1998.

    According to Garcia, JFAV continues to fight for military pension for the estimated 11,000 surviving veterans and the 68,000 wives and children of Filipino WW II veterans.

    He added that return of Democrats to the leadership of the US House of Representatives could help the causes of Filipino veterans.

    Despite the sacrifices offered by the Filipino fighters and by the Filipino people in general, the United States Congress passed the Rescission Act of 1946 that deprived the Filipino veterans of their rights and benefits as members of the United States armed forces.

    Of the 66 countries that fought with the US during WW II, only Filipinos were stripped of benefits.

    Last Saturday’s march was reinforced by members of the Kabataan maka-Bayan (KMB), Kababayan Alliance, Barkada Pomona, Kapatirang Pilipino-UC Santa Barbara, Tinig UCLA, Samahang Pilipino UCLA, Cal-State LA and Cal-State North Ridge.

     

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    Fil-Ams mobilize opposition to “looming Philippine dictatorship”

    November 19th, 2018

    By Abner Galino

    MALAYA, a U.S.-based alliance against the killings in the Philippines, on Friday night held a forum in downtown Los Angeles to galvanize Filipinos and non-Filipinos to oppose President Rodrigo Duterte.

    The forum, “Voices From The Frontlines: Stories from the Human Rights Crisis in the Philippines and the Struggle for Justice,” was hosted by actress and activist Giselle “G” Tongi together with Hiyas Saturay and Eric Tandoc, two community journalists who were hurt and detained while covering the NutriAsia strike in the Philippines.

    Workers in the Philippines are suffering more, as wages remain low and prices of basic necessities are increasing,” said Saturay.

    The attacks on the press reflect the sad state of democracy in the country. It is an alarming sign of an increasingly fascist rule.” Tandoc said, who is also the secretary general of the Philippines-US Solidarity Organization – Southern California (PUSO-SoCal).

     

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    Alejano inducts officers of Samahang Magdalo-US chapter

    November 13th, 2018

    By Abner Galino

    Rep. Gary Alejano belts out a song shortly after inducting the officers of Samahang Magdalo US-California chapter in Lakewood City last November 3. Photo by Ren Arrieta

    As long as the purpose of God in your life is not yet done, you are immortal. Hindi ka mamamatay. Pero ‘pag ang purpose ng Diyos sa buhay mo ay tapos na, you could die anytime, even in your sleep.”

    Thus said Philippine legislator and opposition leader Rep. Gary Alejano before a crowd of Filipino Americans who came to witness the induction of the officers of the Samahang Magdalo International (US-California Chapter) in the City of Lakewood, a suburb in Los Angeles County.

    Alejano, a former military officer imprisoned for his participation in at least two uprisings some years back, said he founded Samahang Magdalo in 2008-2009.

    According to him, the need to form the volunteer group became evident when a fellow mutineer, former Philippine Navy Lieutenant SG Antonio Trillanes IV, won as senator while in detention.

    People granted as the mandate. It was a miracle. Thus we decided to open our ranks to volunteer Filipinos,” Alejano recalled.

    Looking back, Alejano traced their group’s steps in deciding to run for government positions.

    In our desire to push for change – naghanap po kami ng mga lider na pwede naming maasahan. But they all fell short of our expectations,” Alejano said.

    We need to be inside in order to use that platform to influence people about good governance so we decided to join politics in the person of Senator Trillanes.”

    It was a hard decision, aware kami na maari kaming kainin ng politics.”

    Alejano narrated that most of the officers and soldiers studied during detention through the help of professors from the University of the Philippines (UP). He said they were able to study behind the backs of their guards.

    We know that we need to equip ourselves physically, mentally and spiritually in order for us to change the country,” Alejano explained.

    Alejano earned two master’s degrees, one of them on public management, from their group’s endeavors while in detention.

    The comic relief in Alejano’s speech came when he revealed that three of his children were conceived while he was jailed.

    I have five children; tatlo sa loob, dalawa sa labas,” he joked, explaining that he and his wife gave birth to twins before getting inside the jail, and then, conceived three more children while inside jail.

    Huwag n’yo na lang tanungin kung paano nagawa sa kulungan,” Alejano quipped as the crowd burst into laughter.

    Alejano recalled that his wife almost lost their twins over the tension that she endured and gave birth to them about two weeks earlier than the projected delivery date. It was the time when the mutineers were rounded up and brought to Camp Aguinaldo for detention.

    Here is list of the Samahang Magdalo US-California chapter officers that were sworn in by Alejano: Remedy Medina, president; JC Sarmiento, vice president; Maimai Sianson, secretary; Tess Solis, treasurer; Vange Lara, adviser; Lilian Enriquez, auditor; Resti Bags, soc-med administrator; Abel Santa Isabel, public relations officer; Boots Canlas, membership relations officer; Jhun Conga, strategist; Eli Salvador, political analyst; Fe Koons, media relations officer; Rolando Velasco, Sergeant-at-arms and Gregg Asuncion; historian.

    The induction ceremony was held at the Civic Center.

     

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    Fil-Am community still in shock over last Wednesday’s mass shooting

    November 12th, 2018

    By Abner Galino

    Alaina Housley. Photo by Napa Valley Register

    THE Filipino community in Los Angles is still in shock over last Wednesday’s mass shooting in a bar in Thousand Oaks where a Fil-American college novice was among those who died.

    In a phone interview, Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles, Adel S. Cruz, expressed sadness over the death of Alaina Housley, 18, a resident of Napa Valley. He said the news has devastated Filipino Americans even more, as they try to absorb the news of the senseless death of 12 people.

    Consul General Adelio Angelito Cruz Photo © Philippine Consulate General Los Angeles California

    Cruz said he has talked to Housley’s grandfather, Ernie Punzalan, who lives in a valley around Los Angeles.

    I told him that the Philippine Consulate General is ready to assist and help in whatever way possible,” Cruz said.

    Earlier in his Facebook post, Cruz expressed shock and sadness over what he called “senseless and brutal mass shootings in Thousand Oaks, California.”

    My deepest condolences and prayers to her family and the families of the other victims of this tragedy.”

    To drive home a point, Cruz also sent to local media entities a link to the “Gun Violence Archive” at www. Gunviolencearchive.org The site seeks to provide free online access to accurate information about gun-related violence in the United States.

    Meanwhile, former executive at the Philippine Department of Tourism in Los Angeles Manny Ilagan, broke the news of Housley’s death to the Filipino American community through a post in his Facebook page.

    So Sorry to be the bearer of a heartbreaking news — One of the victims in the Thousand Oaks shooting incident is a grandchild of a family friend Fil Am couple,” wrote Ilagan in his post.

    Ilagan added that Alaina was the daughter of Hannah Punzalan and Arik Housley, and grandchild of Ernesto and Leticia Punzalan.

    Alaina was the niece of host Tamera Mowry-Housley and her husband Adam Housley.

    “I was blessed to know you ever since you were five. You stole my heart,” the TV personality wrote in her Instagram account.

    “I will miss our inside jokes, us serenading at the piano. Thank you for being patient with me learning how to braid your hair, and I will never forget our duet singing the national anthem at Napa’s soccer game.”

    Alaina started at the Pepperdine University in August. She was a resident of DeBell house, an English major involved with the Pepperdine Choir and was starting Mock Trial.

    Thousand Oaks is situated 50 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles.

    Suspected gunman Ian David Long. Photo by Sky News

    Reports said a 28-year-old US Marine veteran Ian David Long entered the Borderline Grill and Bar at about 11 pm on Wednesday night (November 7) where a “college night” was being held.

    Armed with a Glock .45 caliber pistol, Long went inside the bar at started shooting at people. He killed 12 people, including a Ventura County Sheriff’s sergeant Ron Helus.

    Helus was on the phone talking to his wife when he heard the gunshots and rushed to the scene.

    About 200 people were believed to be in the country music bar during the shooting, many of them students from nearby colleges.

     

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    Filipino church vies for federal historic monument status

    November 8th, 2018

    By Abner Galino

    The historical Filipino Disciples Christian Church at 301 N. Union St., Los Angeles. Photo by Abner Galino

    A RETIRED Philippine ambassador and career diplomat recently led a group of Filipino Americans in lobbying for the elevation of the Filipino Disciples Christian Church to the status of “historic cultural monument” at the US federal level.

    Rodolfo Dumapias joined a group of Filipino Americans at the Los Angeles City Hall last October 26 in a hearing called by the California State Historical Resources Commission.

    Dumapias, was born in Manila but came to the US when he was a kid with his parents, who were also diplomats, and his siblings. He grew up in Los Angeles and attended junior high, high school and college at the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) and University of Southern California (USC) for his graduate studies.

    The retired diplomat told the members of the state historical commission that he was a youth leader and an active participant in Filipino-American community affairs in the 1960’s. He went on to testify that the Filipino Christian Church, now called Filipino Disciples Christian Church, had been instrumental in the establishment of the “social and cultural foundation upon which a humble ethnic community blossomed into what is now Historic Filipino-town.”

    Filipino Americans led by former ambassador Rodolfo Dumapias (second from left on the front row) pose during a recess of the California State Historical Resources Commission hearing at the Los Angeles City Hall last October 26, 2018. Photo by Abner Galino

    According to Dumapias, the founders of the L.A. Philippine Women’s Club and its junior unit, the L.A. Philippine Junior Women’s Club, were active members of the Filipino Christian Church since its beginning. The said organization just recently celebrated its 57th founding anniversary.

    The historic church, Dumapias added, provide venue for the rehearsals of youths learning or preparing for performances of Filipino folk dances and songs.

    “Whenever the Philippine Consulate General and FACLA needed to present cultural programs or participate in television and citywide multicultural shows, their participants met and rehearsed at FCC. There was no other place large enough and free to use except the generous use of the church,” Dumapias recalled.

    “As president Philippine Junior Cultural Organization of the youth club for several successive terms, we represented the Philippines in the Miss Universe Parade, Christmas Parade in Disneyland, TV shows and at the International Institute.”

    The Filipino Cultural School was opened in the mid-sixties in the said church and the school offered studies on Philippine customs and tradition, Tagalog, history, folklore, songs and traditional dances.

    Dumapias said that if the national historical recognition would be accorded to the Filipino Disciples Christian Church, “it will open doors for future generations” of Filipino Americans to understand their roots and to take part in keeping their ethnic culture alive.

    The state’s historical commission chaired by Marshall McKay, among other agendas, heard the nominations for national register of seven sites within the Los Angeles county.

    In 1951, because the leaders of the Filipino Christian Fellowship were low-wage earners, didn’t have credit history and were discriminated by bankers, the Disciples of Christ Board of Church Extension provided the “downpayment, and granted the Filipino Christian Church the full real estate loan without qualification” to purchase a property at 301 North Union Street, Los Angeles.

    In that property rose what will come to be known as the Filipino Disciples Christian Church.

    On May 5, 1998, the church, which was made more prominent by its German Gothic Revival architecture, was designated as Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 651 by the City Council. It remains as the city’s lone historic cultural monument with Filipino origins.

    All these remarkable acts, events and people — which illustrated the potency of faith, hope and human compassion were recognized and honored in a recent resolution unanimously passed by the City Council and subsequently signed by Mayor Eric Garcetti.

    The resolution was presented to Don Dewey, co-regional minister of the Disciples of Christ Pacific Southwest Region last July 22, 2017 at the plenary hall of the church at Union St.

     

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    ABS CBN’s People’s Queen launches in Hollywood

    October 20th, 2018

    By Abner Galino and Joy Marino*

    One of the producers, Glenn Meehan, congratulates the cast and crew of People’s Queen during its launch at the Penthouse in West Hollywood. Photo by Joe Cobilla

    ABS CBN International has unwrapped its first English-speaking reality show Tuesday with an all-Asian cast in a fabulous launch party in West Hollywood.

    The show is titled: The People’s Queen.

    It will be jointly hosted by Cecilio “Cece” Asuncion and beauty pageant critic Voltaire Tayag.

    Asuncion is also the owner and director of Slay Model Management in Los Angeles.

    The beauties who will live in a mansion for six weeks during their journey to the “crown,” are Katarina Rodriguez, Michelle Thorlund, Nikita McElroy, Jennifer Levy and Katrina Dimaranan.

    The women will be coached on fashion and self projection, and as well as subjected to intense challenges and trials that would measure their capabilities, skills and aptitude as to be worthy of the honor of becoming the “People’s Queen.”

    Jun del Rosario, one of the show’s producer, said People’s Queen fits into one of the most popular passions of Filipinos as the show caters to the details and workings of beauty pageants and beauty queens.

    Del Rosario added that ABS CBN International is aspiring to create more programming in the US “as part of our growth here in the community.”

    We will represent diverse voices, we will represent diverse stories,” del Rosario said.

    The show’s other producers are Olivia de Jesus, John Lazatin and Glenn Meehan.

    The show will premiere on October 24 on ABS CBN’s TFC-TV, MYX TV, Lifestyle Network and Metro channels.

    Video on demand (VOD) platforms will be announced soon.

    *Joy Marino is the advertising manager of Weekend Balita, a well respected Filipino community paper in Los Angeles.

     

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    LA: Gearing for the storms and looking for money

    October 19th, 2018

    By Abner Galino

    Sandy Close (at the rostrum) of the Ethnic Media Services poses a question to Los Angeles County Department of Public Works officials composed of (from left to right) Kerjon Lee, Edel Vizcarra, Jolene Guerrero and Eric Batman during a press conference at the Oxford Basin in Marina Del Rey last week. Photo by Abner Galino

    LONG ago, engineers design cities to make storm water go away as quickly as possible. Today, with the upsurge in urban dwellers and with the day-to-day weather conditions growing increasingly erratic and extreme, such designs no longer work for cities and its dwellers.

    The Los Angeles County Department of Public Works (LADPW) has since rolled out a game plan intended to capture the water, clean it, make it safe and make the structural component of the conservation efforts to work for everyone.

    But always one of the big questions is: Where to get the money?

    On October 4, the media was afforded a close look at how a storm water management system works. A press conference was held at the Oxford Basin Multiuse Enhancement Project in Marina Del Rey.

    LADWP experts saw an opportunity to broadcast the 65 percent chance that Los Angeles County will get an El Nino winter, and along with it, drumbeat for conservation efforts and the modernization plan for the county’s 100-year-old water infrastructure.

    It’s a two and a half cent per square foot of impermeable area parcel tax for private property in LA County. It’s gonna generate roughly US$300 million a year to build projects that you see behind me,” said one of the speakers, Edel Vizcarra of LADPW, pointing to the Oxford Basin facility behind him.

    Vizcarra was talking about Measure W, a storm water funding measure that will be on the ballot on November 6.

    According to him, projects such as the Oxford Basin could be built around the county when the said measure gets the voters’ approval.

    According to Vizcarra about “two thirds of our water that we use here in LA County comes from outside sources” and this supply can be cut back if drought strikes the region.

    Media people walk around the perimeter of the Oxford Basin in Marina Del Rey as a Los Angeles public works official explains how such a structure is helping conserve water and, at the same time, improve the quality of life in the community. Photo by Abner Galino

    Measure W could generate money to build systems similar to the Oxford Basin and other watershed-based projects; while about 40 percent of the funds would go back to the cities in the form of local returns. 

    For every dollar that’s generated on a parcel in a disadvantaged community, they get a dollar and ten cents,” Vizcarra added.

    Money from the said measure would also be spent creating school curriculum meant to increase awareness on water conservation and related matters, job trainings, et cetera.

    October 1st, this past Monday, is what we call our water year. And on Sunday, September 30, was the end of our previous water year,” Eric Batman said, senior civil engineer at the LADWP.

    Batman said the “odds are tilted in our favor” as far as the possibility of LA county getting more rain during this so-called water year.

    Every year we make sure that we go out before the storm season starts and make sure that our facilities are ready to go,” Batman added.

    Another LADPW official, Jolene Guererro, told the media that the Oxford Basin was developed in 1959 to capture storm water. It was re-built in 2015 and was fitted with structural enhancements to adapt to the native ecosystem.

    They cleaned up the sediment, they added native plants around the edges that could help capture some of the pollutants that flow with the rain water,” Guerrero said.

    Guerrero noted that the Oxford Basin didn’t just improved the water quality in the area but also improved the community, noting the walking trails that were added to its design.

    Some 100 billion gallons run down the curbs and drain into the ocean every year. Measure W will help build the infrastructure to filter toxins before they enter local waterways and flow onto the beach.

     

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    Can a food supplement really alleviate symptoms of autism?

    October 17th, 2018

    By Abner Galino

    Dr. Susan Barlin stresses a point during a product presentation at the Double Tree Hotel in Carson City last week. She also presented a video about a teenager with autism who whose aggressive behavior was alleviated through a regular dose of a dietary supplement called IMUREGEN. Photo by Jun Camacho

    ONE in four children or adults with autism may show aggressive behavior such as hitting others, destroying property or throwing temper tantrums.

    On moments of anger and frustration, persons with autism sometimes lash out at their caregivers or family members who take care of them. In some cases, persons with autism are even aggressive to themselves.

    Because of this, some parents worry about their safety and that of their child with autism and/or his/her siblings.

    Studies though haven’t found a reason to even consider that autism may lead to intentional violent behavior. Doctors, on the other hand, suggest that caregivers and/or families should instead look for ways to ease aggression in individuals with the disorder; among them: alleviating problems with sleep, attention and anger rumination.

    Last week, Dr. Susan Barlin, a successful real estate executive and now a networking executive, presented a segment of her television show in the Philippines wherein a male adolescent with autism was initially shown with aggressive behavior.

    The parents of the teenager with the disorder were distraught. The mother was even crying during the interview.

    However, after the teenager was given a regular serving of ImuRegen, supposedly a food supplement in capsule or liquid form, the aggressive behavior just vanished.

    To the delight of the parents, their son showed cheerful and obedient attitude, not only towards them, but as well as to every one else who interact with him daily.

    Apparently, Barlin said, ImuRegen has helped the teenager because it has provided nutrients to support healthy sleep patterns and increases a person’s energy level.

    It has essential amino acids that enhances mental and physical health. It also has forms of oligopeptides and peptides (proteins) that include lipids and nucleoproteins,” Barlin told the Filipino American crowd who attended the presentation at the Double Tree Hotel in Carson City.

    Our product increases the body’s immunity and affect cellular regeneration, thus it helps a lot in the rebuilding of body tissues and rejuvenating the basic organs of our bodies,” Barlin explained.

    At the end of her talk, Barlin, CEO of Forever Healthy Products, said that the products that she was endorsed can only be had through multi-level marketing, otherwise known as networking.

    I know the stigma that goes with networking companies nowadays. I just want to drive home the fact, that unlike other businesses that thrived on duping people into investing and then scooting away with their money, Forever Healthy is a legitimate company with legitimate products that really help promote health,” Barlin said.

    This is not a get-rich-quick scheme.”

     

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    “Call her Ganda” screens in Los Angeles

    October 16th, 2018

    By Abner Galino

    Jennifer Laude. Photo by philippinereporter.com

    THE much talked about documentary about a transgender Filipina who was murdered by an American serviceman in Olongapo City four years ago got another screening in Los Angeles early this month.

    Call her Ganda” is about murder victim Jennifer Laude, her mother Julita who pursued justice for her death, US Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton (who was accused, tried and convicted for the killing), the lawyers who represented the victim and the transgender journalist who pursued the story.

    The recent Los Angeles screening which was held October 6, was sponsored by the Sundance Documentary Film Program and the Pilipino Workers Center (PWC).

    The film dealt with the themes of homophobia, colonialism and the arrogance of U.S. military forces abroad.

    In 2014, then 26-year-old Laude, was found dead in a bathroom of a motel room. Her head was submerged in a toilet.

    Laude was said to be sex worker who met Pemberton, then a 19-year-old marine soldier, in a disco.

    Pemberton apparently snapped and killed Jennifer when he discovered that she was a transgender. The killing caused a political firestorm.

    Three women were prominently featured in the film: Jennifer’s mother Julita, Meredith Talusan, a transgender investigative journalist and Atty. Virgie Suarez, the victim’s lawyer.

    The film begins with Julita tearfully displaying her slain daughter’s bedroom. Then, the movie went on to show the tumult that followed after the story of her death hogged the headlines.

    Another transgender activist (whose name I failed to recall while writing) was also featured prominently in the film.

    The said activist was present in many protest actions and court hearings. She sees Jennifer’s death as a defining moment in the history of the Filipino transgender movement.

    Hateful tweets against transgender people were also shown in the film apparently to demonstrate how ignorance continues to reinforce a culture of violence against gays, lesbians and transgenders.

    Also, for many activists who joined the protests, the greater issue was the Philippine sovereignty, as the content of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) seems to violate it. The VFA allows the U.S. government to retain jurisdiction over military personnel accused of committing crimes in the Philippines, except under special circumstances.

    Although quite brief, there was a scene in the film where Pemberton’s mother told a journalist that her son has no bias toward transgender people because his sister was a lesbian.

    A short history of the Philippines and its colonization by the US provided context to the film.

    The election of President Rodrigo Duterte and his criticisms of the United States were also presented. Although, even Duterte’s supposed anti-US stance doesn’t seem to change the treatment being accorded to the US soldier.

    Pemberton was found guilty of homicide for Laude’s slay on December 1, 2015 and was sentenced to serve a jail term of six to 10 years. He is serving his sentence in a detention facility inside the Philippine military headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

    The devotion and perseverance of the victim’s mother Julita, lawyer Suarez and journalist Talusan provided the movie with an emotional strength.

    The film was directed by PJ Raval, produced by Kara-Magsanoc-Alikpala, Marty Syjuco and Lisa Valencia-Svensson.

     

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    Can “Unlovable” get some love from Pinoy viewers?

    October 7th, 2018

    By Abner Galino*

    Filipino American actor Abe Pagtama poses with “Unlovable” co-writer and main actress Charlene DeGuzman. The movie was directed by Suzi Yoonessi. Photo by Gabe Pagtama

    I got four friends named “Joy” on my Facebook alone. Two of them are my real friends. And all of the four are Filipinas.

    Some 50 years of American colonization, which left more a than a million Filipinos dead during its first three years (Philippine-American War — February 1899 to July 1902), left us too with such names as Joy and Jake that compete with Spanish names such as Maria and Mario.

    In the movie “Unlovable,” Joy is a second generation Filipino American. As I understand it, Joy is in great part an impersonation of Charlene DeGuzman, the woman who owns the story, co-wrote it with Mark Duplass and played the character in the movie.

    In real life, Charlene DeGuzman is a “kayumanggi” (brown) stunner. My wife threw the compliment shortly after we were introduced to her by Filipino American actor Abe Pagtama (who played Joy’s father in the movie) before the showing of “Unlovable” at the ArcLight Cinema in Santa Monica.

    The movie was then participating in the Buzz section of the Los Angeles Film Festival which ended on September 28. (I erroneously said that it was competing in the said film festival and I apologize to Unlovable’s cast and crew).

    My wife and I agreed that Charlene was more charming and willowy than Joy who was raggedy for the most part in the movie — which was just fine, considering the ordeal that she has to go through in the movie.

    I don’t know about Charlene, but I didn’t see anything Filipina in Joy anymore. Not that it was a fault in the creation of Joy’s character. On the other hand, Joy was even a near-perfect example of many culturally unrecognizable second-generation immigrants.

    But then, Joy’s predicament has nothing to do with her being an offspring of immigrants. Sex addiction is a disorder that does not distinguish on age, race and gender.

    For a short while though (through the roles played by Filipinos Abe Pagtama and Gigette Reyes), the movie showed how culture and awareness could impact someone’s resilience against the malady.

    Expectedly, the more patriarchal a society is, the harder it is for sex addiction victims to be understood, especially when the sufferer was a woman.

    The amount of suffering was wackily portrayed in the movie when Joy attempted to kill herself. She confessed to “having a gaping hole in her soul” and wrote a suicide note that said: “She died doing what she loved: wanting to die.”

    Joy ended up cleaning up the floor of colorful and slimy puke – a result of trying to overdose from cough syrup and cake.

    I’m not so sure, but I have a feeling that Filipino viewers would opt for a tearful interpretation of the said scene. You know, we Filipinos love to see our actors cry and scream over the slightest swing of emotions.

    I know that it is even harder to infuse hilarity on acts that present a chain of misfortunes and sufferings. But you couldn’t blame me for asking, it’s one of those cultural things.

    Joy, an actress on a kids’ show who kept a dozen stuffed animals, soon lost her boyfriend, her job and her home.

    By the way, Joy also has a drinking problem, which probably aggravate the other affliction, or vice verza.

    The boyfriend told Joy to get help so she joined a support group where she met Maddie (played by Melissa Leo). Maddie set her up in her grandmother’s backhouse for a 30-day recovery plan.

    Joy met Maddie’s recluse brother Jim (played by John Hawkes). Maddie and Jim were not in good terms. Jim lives in the main house and takes care of their grandmother. Jim and Joy awkwardly built a sort of friendship.

    It turned out Jim was a songwriter and soon the duo were playing music together in the garage.

    My expectation was Jim and Joy would fall in love despite the age gap. (Jim was the older one.) But they didn’t.

    Despite the joy that Joy found in the friendship, she still relapsed. In rage, Joy ticked off the pink masking tape strips that she routinely plastered on the wall to mark her days of sobriety.

    By the way, before the heightened drama, Joy discovered that a recovering sex addict used to live in the same backhouse room and that woman succeeded in killing herself.

    This and other things, helped Joy to regain her senses and encouraged her to give herself another chance.

    Charlene as Joy was convincing. And so were John and Melissa.

    “Unlovable” is a good movie with good actors. It is not a feel good movie. In fact, I stepped out of the movie house with a heavy heart, fully aware that there are many more “Joys” out there who are desperately trying to be understood by loved ones; and trying to break free from the choking clutch of such an affliction.

    The movie was directed by Suzi Yoonessi.

    *This story was updated

     

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    PNP Global Police Community Relations drumbeats in LA

    October 5th, 2018

    By Abner Galino

    PNP-PCRO Chief Supt. Rhodel Sermonia and Consul General Adelio Cruz,

    A CONTINGENT from the Philippine National Police, particularly from its Police Community Relations Office went to Los Angeles last week (September 21) to drumbeat for their so-called “Global Police Community Relations” program.

    The chief of the PNP-PCRO, Chief Supt. Rhodel Sermonia, and his men held a town hall meeting at the Philippine Consulate Office in Los Angeles wherein they explained the details of the said program and at the same time asked for support from the Filipino American community.

    “We want to connect to all our kababayans abroad. We want to be able to answer their questions or concerns like about ‘yung anak nila nalulong sa droga at hindi na pumapasok sa klase. Nakulong ‘yung kamag-anak nila at hindi na nila alam kung ano na ang nangyari,” explained Sermonia after a video presentation by his team.

    Sermonia said that through the Global PCR website and as well as through other social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook, Filipinos abroad will be able to report crimes from abroad and/or seek assistance from Philippine-based law enforcement.

    “We want to be able to address their problems, including emotional problems, in connection with their loved ones that they left in the Philippines,” Sermonia told the Filipino American crowd.

    Sermonia also said that among the goals of the Global PCR is to connect with other international law enforcement groups and develop collaborative programs with them in order to help distressed Filipinos overseas.

    Consul General Adelio S. Cruz expressed elation over the choice of the PNP-PCRO to hold its first overseas campaign for Global Police Community Relations at the Philippine Consulate’s office in Los Angeles.

    “We must take advantage of this opportunity that the PNP is reaching out to each and every kababayan all over the world. Ano man po ang kailangan nilang tulong, kahit nasa Pilipinas po, magagawan nila ng paraan,” Cruz said during a brief speech.

    Cruz added that he wants the Philippine Consulate General office in Los Angeles to be the first consular post to register with the Global Police Community Relations website.

    In a booklet distributed during the town hall meeting, the Philippine government agencies on board with the Global PCR were listed as; the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), the Department of the Interior and Local Governments (DILG), the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the Department of Tourism (DoT), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA).

    The Global PCR is a social media platform that overseas Filipinos/overseas Filipino workers (OFs/OFWs) can use for free if they want “fully interactive websites or portals.”

    These portals are networked together and linked to the Global PCR (http://globalpcr.hubhuman.org) and such will allow open communications between the Global PCR and the OF/OFW groups around the world through email, social media and mobile applications for text messaging.

    The network would also allow individuals to create their own online and/or offline events which could range from conferences, to sports events and other social activities.

    Members of the site would have the ability to create unlimited number of “fully branded interactive websites and pages for their business and personal pursuits.”

     

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    Fil-Ams remember 46th Philippine martial law anniversary in LA

    October 3rd, 2018

    By Abner Galino

    Filipino Americans, mostly youths, line up the sidewalk in front of the building that houses the Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles to recall the 46th anniversary of the declaration of martial law in the Philippines. Photo by Ren Arrieta

    ON September 21, just as a group from the Philippine National Police (PNP) was presenting the mechanics of one of their programs for overseas Filipinos in a building housing the Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles, a motley group of Filipino Americans demonstrated in front of the same building to denounce the 46th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law in the Philippines.

    The demonstrators who could be seen and heard from the window of the Philippine Consulate General on the 5th floor of the building, offered prayers for the victims of human rights violations, particularly those who were tortured and killed during the 20-year rule of President Ferdinand Marcos.

    Carrying placards and banners, the protesters fell into two lines on the sidewalk. With their lines facing each other, the protesters chanted slogans denouncing martial law and as well as the current government of President Rodrigo Duterte whom they accused of having anti-democratic tendencies.

    Photo by Ren Arrieta

    We take this history with us to expose Duterte’s actions that have killed and harmed the lives of thousands of Filipinos, and for repeating this violent history after declaring martial law over the whole island of Mindanao in 2017,” said one of the speakers of the demonstration.

    The rallyists also called for the end to the TRAIN Law (Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion) which was supposedly causing the prices of goods to rise up, making daily survival harder for the poor. They also called on the Duterte government to stop the persecution of known political personalities and to end its attacks on the truth and press freedom.

    One of Duterte’s critics, Senator Leila de Lima, has been in jail on supposed trumped up charges. Another government critic, Senator Antonio Trillanes is on the risk of going back to jail after his amnesty was revoked. Protesting alleged corruption in the government and the military, Trillanes, then junior military officer participated in an uprising called the Oakwood Mutiny in 2003.

    The speakers also mentioned the International People’s Tribunal (IPT) in Brussels, Belgium which they said was helping raise awareness on the ongoing violations of human rights in the Philippines.

    The said demonstration was participated by members of BAYAN-US, Anakbayan, Gabriela and Migrante International.

    In a related incident, Filipino Americans composed of faith leaders, students and church members gathered at the First United Methodist Church of Wilmington for an evening of prayer service to commemorate the 46th anniversary of the declaration of martial law in the Philippines.

    The mass action was sponsored by the National Ecumenical Forum for Filipino Concerns (NEFFCON) and Malaya, a US movement against killings and dictatorship in the Philippines. It brought together different religious denominations in the South Bay area, particularly the members of First United Methodist Church of Torrance, United Methodist Women, Intervarsity at Cal State Long Beach, and the Iglesia Filipina Independiente.

    September 21st is not an ordinary day for Filipinos as we mark the declaration of martial law, a decree that spells human rights violations, tyranny, and fascism in the Philippines,” said Fr. Lito Mombay of Iglesia Filipina Independiente and NEFFCON in his welcome remarks.

    Just as we are doing in advance today, Filipinos in the Philippines and all over the world will gather in solidarity for a mass and prayer service to commemorate martial law and say never again to tyranny and never again to dictatorship.”

    There were prayers and songs and speakers discussed the historical significance of martial law and the importance of remembering the past.

    The group also honored and prayed for the souls of Father “Tito” Paez, Father Mark Ventura, and Father Richmond Nilo — Catholic priests who have all been killed within last year for their respective involvement in activism and social works.

    William Lazarte from the First UMC Torrance urged the faithfuls to find hope in the example of prophet Habakkuk and “to trust in God alone, for that is the essence of true faith. A faith that defies circumstances; a faith that uplifts the downtrodden; a faith that speaks for the voiceless; a faith that empower the weak; a faith that stands up to the tyrants and bullies; a faith that exposes the lies and upholds the truth; a faith that comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comfortable. And finally a faith that steadfastly trusts and believes that God was, is and will always be in control.”

    Organizer Janelle Rivera of Anakbayan Long Beach and NEFFCON reflected on the victims of martial law in her prayer, remembering the over 300,000 people in Marawi that were displaced and forced to live in overcrowded evacuation centers after their homes were bombed to rubble.

    All of this suffering,” Rivera said,“is only to advance the interests of big landlords, businessmen, and the military. But God’s kingdom is an upside down kingdom that protects the interests of, not the rich and powerful but, the poor and powerless.”

    Those in attendance were reminded that “those in power want us to forget (the past) because they are the ones who benefit when we are silent,” stated Janelle Viray of NEFFCON and one of the organizers of the service.

    Therefore we are called to not stay silent, we must interrupt indifference, we must shed light on our true history and current concrete conditions, we must continue to speak out for justice for the targeted victims of the Marcos regime and each subsequent regime after him. We must not allow the tools of control, power, and oppression to remain in the hands of dictators and fascists,” Viray said.

     

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    2018 “Best Picture of the Year” competition opens on October 1

    September 26th, 2018

    By Abner Galino

    Jhay “JhayO” Otamias shows the trophy and the Manny Pacquiao victory photo that won him the top spot in the Pamana ng Lahi’s Best Picture of the Year 2017 photo contest. Photo © Teodoro Yap

    THE 2018 “Best Picture of the Year” competition is set to open on October 1, as the Filipino American History Month is celebrated throughout the US.

    The photography contest, which is on its second year, is jointly sponsored by the Philippine Institute of Language, Arts and Culture (PILAC) and the Filipino American Community of Los Angeles (FACLA).

    Deadline for the submission of entries will be on October 13 and the awarding of winners will be on October 27.

    FACLA is the organization that runs the Filipino Cultural Center (FCC) at 1740 W Temple St., Los Angeles. It is where the entries are to be put on display and as well as where the ceremonies will take place.

    Last year, the “Best Picture of the Year” photo contest was won by Jason “JhayO” Otamias, a boxing photo enthusiast from Torrance. The second place went to the prolific and award-winning painter Bienvenido Sibug. The third place went to Irwin Jazmines. The three winners were given trophies and cash prizes.

    The photograph of Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao with his arms in raised in victory after beating Mexican-American Jesse Vargas won the first place for Otamias. The photo was taken on November 5, 2016 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

    (Read More: http://beyonddeadlines.com/2017/11/02/pamana-ng-lahi-exhibit-closes-on-high-notes/)

    Most of Otamias’ work could be seen on Philboxing.com the largest boxing portal outside of the US. He also contributes to the GMA network through Chino Trinidad and to Rappler.com and Spin.com

    A five-person jury picked the three winning photos from a pool of 21 entries.

    The panel was composed of Maestro Dexter Grey (formerly a concert pianist), Romeo Balboa (professional photographer), Cao Yong (Chinese artist and photographer), Cesar Angeles (Public Information Officer of Philippine Consulate in Los Angeles) and Fernandico Gonong (president of Filipino American Community of Los Angeles (FACLA).

    Here are the guidelines for the photo contest:
    1. Participants should be Filipino or Filipino American.
    2. Entry should have been taken from October 1, 2017 to October 1, 2018.
    3. Subject/s of entry should be about Filipinos in the US, Filipino Americans and/or about Philippine arts, culture and events.
    4. Entries should have been published in local newspapers, the social media and or the internet for whatever purposes (dates and places of publication should be indicated in the entry.)
    5. Entries should be submitted before October 20, 2018; printed on minimum size of 10 x 8 inches frame (cardboard frames will be accepted and as well as other kinds of frames); titled and bearing the name of contestant, date when photo was taken and where/when published.
    6. Three outstanding photos will be chosen by a five-member panel to be selected by PILAC.

    Judging criteria:
    1. Relevance/importance to the Filipino American community
    2. Composition, display of photographic skills
    3. Impact on viewers
    4. Less use or absence of technological enhancement

    No member of the Pamana ng Lahi organizing team can join the contest, as well as members of PILAC and FACLA.

    Entries can delivered personally between 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. every Saturday or they can be mailed to the Filipino Cultural Center at 1740 W Temple St., Los Angeles 90026.

     

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    Janice Javier to sing with musician father in LA (To raise funds for the rehab of her voice)

    September 24th, 2018

    By Abner Galino

    Janice Javier clowns behind her musician father Rollie in this recent photo.

    ROLANDO “Rollie” Javier used to be the “famous” musician in the family. After all, he had a short stint with the “Hotdog,” the popular Filipino band that set out the classic songs “Manila” and “Annie Batongbakal” into the airwaves.

    “That was 1978,” Rollie recalled, “I stayed with them for a short while until I got into another band, a 12-man band.”

    Well, that was one for the books for sure. But the said feat has since been eclipsed on September 2013 when his daughter Janice became one of the four finalists in the well-liked television show “The Voice of the Philippines.”

    Janice was so impressive that while she was still competing in the talent show, she was also guested in popular TV noontime shows such as Showtime, ASAP, and the Singing Bee game show.

    Rollie’s daughter lost The Voice of the Philippines Season 1 crown to Mitoy Yonting but that did not dampen her star’s shine.

    Janice went on to perform with the icons like Gary Valenciano, Apl.de.Ap, Morisette Amon, Lolita, True Faith and Zsa Zsa Padilla, among others.

    A band vocalist in Bangkok, Thailand before she joined the Philippine competition, Janice later got back to performing with bands around Asia, US and Australia.

    Janice has since won the Awit Award for Best Performance by a Female Recording Artist and was nominated for the Awit Award for Best Dance Recording.

    Last year, Javier released her self-titled debut album that contained songs such as “Imagine,” “I Believe I Can fly,”

    “Greatest Love of All,” “Chain of Fools,” “He’s Out Of My Life,” “Why Can’t It be” and “Starting Over Again.”

    Unfortunately, Janice’s powerful voice has been damaged recently after she had a vocal chord surgery to remove a polyp. She has been under stringent care for two months and has since stopped performing due to her post surgery condition.

    Rollie revealed that some of the songs in Janice’s repertoire for her upcoming concert on September 30 at the Josephine’s Restaurant in Cerritos have been adjusted to be at least half a note lower than the original.

    “Yung mga dati na kayang-kaya niyang kantahin, medyo pinababaan muna para hindi siya masyadong mahirapan,” Rollie intimated.

    Another concert has been set on November 9 at The Alpine Village Restaurant in Torrance.

    “Music is her passion and her life. Her ultimate purpose is to give joy and happiness to everyone by sharing her God-given talent. Through ‘The Voice for Life Encore’ benefit concert event and with your generous support, the proceeds will help cover her medical expense needs in the Philippines,” wrote a blogger at Carpe Diem, a Los Angeles based on line site.

     

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    Pinoy vs Pinoy fights fail to excite fans

    September 19th, 2018

    By Abner Galino

    Nietes and Palicte exchange blows during their fight last week at the The Forum in Inglewood, California. Photo by Jhay Otamias

    BOXING fans are probably the most uninhibited of all sports fans. And when fights were boring, they certainly knew the things to shout away to unshackle themselves from the humdrum.

    That’s just what exactly happened last September 8 at “The Forum” in Inglewood, California.

    That Saturday had been touted for its historic significance for Philippine boxing fans and as well as for the anticipated explosive duel between Donnie “Ahas” Nietes and Aston “Mighty” Palicte for the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) super flyweight division crown.

    Nietes and Palicte both fought skillfully but no bomb exploded. The boxing fans filled up the void.

    Inadvertently, the judges provided the meat for some post-game excitements by ruling that the Nietes-Palicte fight was a “split draw.”

    All the excitements were confined to the verbal assaults that went the way of the two of the five judges who were deemed to have erred in their scoring of the Nietes-Palicte match up.

    I couldn’t blame them, particularly the Filipino scribes, as the decision indeed robbed Nietes of what should have been another world title in a fourth weight class.

    It would have been another world record for Nietes (41-1-5, 23 KO) who used to be world champion in the 105 lbs., 108 lbs., and 112 lbs. divisions.

    The same can be said of Palicte, who also holds an impressive record of 24-2-1 (win-loss-draw), and who told the media during a pre-fight conference that he was dedicating the fight to a son who was then celebrating a birthday —and fittingly, because that would have been his first world crown.

    Why the Nietes-Palicte fight turned out to be a dud is beyond me.

    The average punches thrown in a boxing match is said to range from 500 to 600 punches on a 12-rounder. The computers counted about the same numbers of punches for both Nietes and Palicte — which indicated that while the Filipino fighters didn’t hold back, they apparently missed their targets a lot.

    Interestingly, fans also observed dull moments during another championship fight between Filipino fighters last May 26 in Fresno, California.

    The fight between two Filipino fighters who were both known to possess aggressive boxing styles, International Boxing Federation (IBF) bantamweight champion Jerwin Ancajas and Jonas Sultan, also failed to explode the fireworks when on top of the ring.

    Of course, it would be unfair to say that that was deliberate.

    On other hand, there is this nagging desire to find out what went really wrong on both well-publicized fights between these world-class Filipino boxers.

    Back home, Filipino boxers fight exciting fights against one another. Otherwise, boxing wouldn’t have came up as the country’s most loved sports next to basketball.

    But why such kind of match ups turned out to be duds when played in international boxing arenas?

    I guess there are many, particularly here in Los Angeles, who want that mystery figured out.

    But setting this aside, the bout between Nietes and Palicte was one for the Philippine boxing history books. The same goes for the match up between Ancajas and Sultan that was fought in Fresno.

    Exactly 93 years ago was the last time that two Filipino fighters fought against each other for a world title belt. It was fought between the legendary boxer Francisco “Pancho Villa” Guilledo and Clever Sencio.

    That fight happened in Manila and was won by “Pancho Villa,” who had held the world flyweight title for two years prior to that bout against a compatriot.

    Of course, we have reasons to celebrate.

     

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    Hollywood welcomes RP’s Wish bus 107.5

    September 17th, 2018

    By Abner Galino

    Wish Bus 107. 5 innovator Kuya Daniel Razon poses with wife Arlene (on the left) and DJ Jelly (on the right) before the start of the show at the Universal CityWalk performance stage. Photo by Rudy Autor

    THE Philippines’ iconic radio bus, known as the Wish Bus 107.5, has been duplicated in Los Angeles — a city known as the world’s entertainment capital.

    The choice of Filipino American YouTube sensation AJ Rafael as the Wish bus USA’s first performer on board provided a somewhat encapsulated message as to the purpose of the gargantuan undertaking.

    AJ Rafael performed with three other musicians inside the Wish Bus 107.5 amidst posters of the Philippine Air Lines (PAL) in the backdrop.

    Rafael’s group was the only band that played inside the Wish Bus 107.5 as the rest of the performers did their acts on the Universal Citywalk’s performance stage.

    “I am so honored to part of this,” Rafael told the media during the red carpet walk.

    PAL, one of the event’s major sponsors, was represented by its Los Angeles senior account manager Maricel Wall.
    Wall expressed pride in PAL’s involvement in the historic event.

    Thousands of Filipinos from different states of US, and as well as from Canada, flew to Los Angeles to witness the unveiling of the Wish Bus 107.5 at the Universal Citywalk grounds last Saturday (September 8).

    Philippine media personality, Daniel Razon, the man behind the trailblazing concept, told the crowd that the arrival of Wish bus 107.5’s in the US was just the start of Wish FM radio global expansion.

    “Above all, we are thankful to God for allowing us to walk this extra mile. And now that we have reached Hollywood, we are looking forward to be moving a notch higher again. We are planning to move not only here in the US, but in other parts of the globe (as well). The next stop that we are looking at is the Middle East,” Razon said.

    A very young Filipino American artist Michael Keith, pumped up the show — not only through his remarkable talent to sing and dance — but as well as through his ability to connect with the crowd.

    “I am so happy to be here and be part of this event,” Keith said as he posed for photographers before the start of the show.
    Talents from the Philippines kept the energy up, chief of them DJ Robin Nievera, Annie Nepomuceno and Michael Regalado.

    Nievera was amply helped in hosting the show by a former Miss California contestant Maaikee K, another Filipino American talent and Los Angeles local.

    Filipino artists gather on stage for a final number. They are (from left to right) Perf de Castro (his back facing the crowd), AJ Rafael, Annie Nepomuceno, Jonathan Buencamino, Robin Nievera (partly hidden), Michael Regalado, Michael Keith and host Maaikee K. Photo by Rudy Autor

    A group from the 1990’s Philippine music scene, the Introvoys (who are now based in Los Angeles), spiced up the show with its rock ‘n roll songs.

    Original Pilipino Music (OPM) lead guitarist Perf de Castro was among those who performed on stage.

    The management of Wish FM, the Philippine’s number one FM YouTube channel, initially envisioned the “Wish Bus” to become a stage for Filipino artists to showcase their talents worldwide.

    But since its operation, the Wish Bus has also hosted international artists like David Archuleta, Jasmine Thompson, Dua Lipa and The Moffatts.

     

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