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November 15, 2013 1

Donaire wins
Mentor charged
Universe runner up
Pinoy Kali
Distracted driver?
Vol. XXIII, No. 1 Online: www. November 15, 2013
Oldest FilVet in US passes away at 102
oldest known Filipino American
World War II veteran living in
the United States passed away
last November 5, just days after
being discharged from a hospice
to spend his nal days in his
home here.
Centenarian Maj. Alberto
C. Bacani was the rst Filipino
veteran recognized by the Sec-
retary of the US Department of
Manila Mail marks 23rd founding anniversary
FAIRFAX, Va. As the Manila
Mail marks another year of its
existence, carrying this news-
paper has been a test of resolve,
commitment and sometimes, just
plain physical endurance.
Of the one-dozen Filipino
Americans who gathered on
Nov. 15, 1990 to give Metro DCs
growing Filipino American com-
munity a medium of information
and its own voice in the capital of
the greatest nation on earth, only
two remain today.
The Mania Mail is the lon-
gest existing tabloid-sized fort-
nightly English-language Fili-
pino American newspaper in the
Washington DC metropolitan
Aided by a group of volun-
teer columnists, reporters and
photographers, the newspaper
has increasingly been recognized
by Ofcial Washington and
won accolades from prestigious
organizations in the Metro DC
The two remaining Manila
Mail holdouts are Alberto
Bert Alfaro, former magazine
editor, senior political reporter
and foreign news editor of the
Manila Chronicle who later
became the bureau manager of
the Philippine News Agency in
Washington D.C. and New York;
and Atty. Januario Warie
Azarcon who is often dubbed as
a lawyer-journalist and writes
Manila Mails widely followed
immigration notes.
Both, along with Jojo de la
Rosa, wife of Fred dela Rosa,
former labor attach in the Phil-
ippine embassy, worked against
all odds to keep the newspaper
alive despite the problems that
marked its existence since its
founding 23 years ago.
With the aid of several
volunteers and the support of
advertisers, the Manila Mail con-
Continued on page 21
Special to Manila Mail
By Jonathan Melegrito
they have done so many times
before, Filipinos and Filipino-
Americans across the United
States have mobilized for fund
drives to support relief efforts in
the Philippines after the devasta-
tion of super typhoon Yolanda
(international name: Haiyan) on
Nov. 8.
The super typhoon killed
hundreds, according to the gov-
ernment tally, but some local
ofcials in hard-hit Samar and
Leyte islands say the toll could
reach 10,000 (as this paper went
to press, authorities were still
retrieving bodies from remote,
isolated communities).
Here in the Washington,
D.C. metropolitan area, the
Continued on page 22 Centenarian Maj. Alberto C. Bacani
Continued on page 23
Typhoon survivors appeal
for food, water, medicine
Bloated bodies lay uncollected
and uncounted in the streets
and desperate survivors pleaded
for food, water and medicine as
rescue workers took on a daunt-
ing task Nov. 11 in the typhoon-
battered islands of the Philip-
The hard-hit city of Taclo-
ban resembled a garbage dump
from the air, with only a few
concrete buildings left standing
in the wake of one of the most
powerful storms to ever hit land,
packing 147-mph winds and
whipping up 20-foot walls of
seawater that tossed ships inland
and swept many out to sea.
Help. SOS. We need food,
read a message painted by a sur-
Continued on page 12
Survivors seek ight out of Tacloban
TACLOBAN, Philippines
(AP) Thousands of typhoon sur-
vivors swarmed the airport here
on Nov. 12 seeking a ight out,
but only a few hundred made it,
leaving behind a shattered, rain-
lashed city short of food and
water and littered with countless
Four days after Typhoon
Haiyan struck the eastern Phil-
ippines, assistance is only just
beginning to arrive. Authorities
estimated the storm killed 10,000
or more across a vast swath
of the country, and displaced
around 660,000 others.
Tacloban, a city of about
220,000 people on Leyte island,
bore the full force of the winds
and the tsunami-like storm
surges. Most of the city is in ruins,
a tangled mess of destroyed
Continued on page 12
Survivors wait for relief goods near airport.
Soldier lifts child as crowd rushes to board C-130s at Tacloban airport for
Feed the Hungry volunteers man NBC 4 Talkatone Nov 12.
November 15, 2013 22
November 15, 2013 3
Hong Kong: Pinoy tourists, no; maids, yes
HONG KONG, China. This
favorite Filipino destination
because of its proximity and bar-
gain shops could be a thing of
the past after authorities made
it tougher to visit, retaliation
for Manilas failure to apologize
for a 2010 hostage incident that
killed some of its residents.
Lawmakers here voted
last Nov. 9 to scrap longstand-
ing visa-free access for Filipi-
nos visiting the city. However,
they decided to scrap another
proposal that make life tougher
for thousands of Filipino house
helps and nannies working there.
Previously, Filipinos travel-
ing to Hong Kong for less than 14
days neednt get a visitors visa.
They also voted to pass a
non-binding motion by People
Powers Albert Chan Wai-yip
calling on the government to
impose sanctions on the Phil-
ippines for the Manila hostage
deaths, the South China Morning
Post reported.
Hong Kong Chief Execu-
tive Leung Chun-ying earlier
warned that he would impose
sanctions if Manila failed to meet
the demands of the families of
the eight Hong Kong citizens
killed by dismissed Manila cop
Rolando Mendoza and the seven
people injured in a botched
rescue attempt during the 2010
Luneta hostage incident.
The demands include an
apology by President Aquino,
compensation to the families,
and the adoption of unspecied
corrective safety measures by
the Philippine government.
Malacaang said the gov-
ernment would keep commu-
nication lines open with Hong
Kong as it urged everyone to
remain calm amid the lawmak-
ers vote to impose economic
sanctions on the Philippines.
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November 15, 2013 44
Donaire stops Armenian via 9th round TKO
Former world champion Nonito
The Filipino Flash Donaire
proved his mastery over Arme-
nian ghter Vic The Raging
Bull Darchinyan in their highly
anticipated grudge match here
last Nov. 9.
They fought for the rst time
in July 2007. Donaire knocked
out the then-unbeaten Arme-
nian in the 5th round which
rst caught the attention of top
boxing promoters.
In a 10-round match that
served as the featherweight
debut for both men, it was the
37-year-old Darchinyan who
seized control in the middle
rounds. At the end of the 5th
round, he staggered Donaire
with a urry of punches in the
nal seconds, and the Filipino
boxer had to be saved by the bell.
Donaire returned the favor
on the 9th round when he landed
a massive left hook on Darchin-
yan that forced him to his knees.
The Armenian beat the 10-count
but was clearly on wobbly legs.
Donaire was awarded a techni-
cal knockout victory at the 2:06
mark of the 9th round.
He immediately dedicated
the victory to his countrymen
in the Philippines, devastated
by the super typhoon Haiyan
(Yolanda). First and foremost,
prayers to people in the Phil-
ippines who were hit by the
typhoon, he said. Please have
your prayers for people in the
It was Donaires rst ght
since losing to Cuban boxer
Guillermo Rigondeaux in April.
It was a sorry loss for
Darchinyan who was report-
edly leading in two of the three
judges cards at the time of the
stoppage. Donaire improved his
record to 32 wins against two
losses, and announced after the
ght that he intends to seek a
rematch against Rigondeaux,
who handed him his rst loss in
11 years.
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Nonito Donaire oors Vic Darchinyan in Texas grudge match.
Pinay trafcking victim testies in House probe
FULLERTON, Ca. Filipina
human trafcking victim Angela
Guanzon told members of the
House foreign affairs commit-
tee earlier this month that the
threat from trafckers and abu-
sive employers remain prevalent
and urged stronger legislation to
stem the dangers.
The hearing was held last
Nov. 4 at the campus of Califor-
nia State University in Fuller-
ton by the House foreign affairs
committee chaired by Rep. Ed
Royce of California. Guanzon
was joined by Carissa Phelps,
who was forced into sexual slav-
ery while living as a runaway on
the streets of California.
I came to the United States
on a lawful visa with the prom-
ise of a good job, Guanzon told
the panel. I was so excited to
go I did not ask many question.
When I got my visa to go to the
United States my passport was
taken and I was told it would
be held for me until I got to the
United States.
I travelled with about 10
other workersWhen I got to
the US things were very differ-
ent than I thought. I was told I
owed $12,000 for my transpor-
tation and the visa. I was told I
would have to work for 10 years
to pay this off. I was then forced
to work at a retirement home for
the elderly located in a suburb of
Los Angeles.
I worked 18 hour days and
had to sleep on the oor in the
hallway. I and my co-worker,
Jayson were threatened that if
we tried to escape, I would be
deported by calling the police
and telling them that we stole
something from her. This went
on for two years, Guanzon
Human trafcking is
todays slavery, Congressman
Royce declared emphatically.
The lives of over 20 mil-
lion people, mostly women and
young girls, across the globe
have been impacted in a negative
way by the scourge of human
trafcking, he explained.
In 2000, the groundbreak-
ing Trafcking Victims Protec-
tion Act was passed. Among its
many initiatives, this law created
the State Departments Ofce to
Monitor and Combat Trafck-
ing in Persons, and instituted the
annual Tier Rankings of coun-
tries around the world, Royce
The State Department
didnt welcome this focus. The
diplomats didnt want to rock
relations with other countries,
but he claimed that as a result
of this more than 130 countries
have enacted their own anti-traf-
cking laws. But the solon noted
enforcement was still lagging.
Rep. Ed Royce with Angela Guan-
November 15, 2013 5
Pinay mentor charged for slapping student
teacher in Baton Rouge, La. was
allowed to post bail after volun-
tarily surrendering to authorities
following an alleged assault on a
wheelchair bound student ear-
lier this month.
Nerelyn Soreta was freed on
a $10,000 bond last Nov. 4. She is
one of about 300 Filipino teach-
ers who were found to be victims
of human trafcking in 2010.
She was reportedly caught
in a cell phone video allegedly
slapping a nine-year-old special
needs student at the Jefferson
Terrace Elementary School. The
kids mother reported the inci-
dent to the East Baton Rouge
Sheriffs ofce on Nov. 30.
A sheriffs ofce press
release said deputies watched
the video allegedly showing
Soreta pushing the childs face
with her hand and striking her
several times on the leg.
Soreta was charged with
simple battery of the inrm and
faces six months in prison if con-
East Baton Rouge Parish
School System Superintendent
Bernard Taylor Jr. said the stu-
dent uses a wheelchair and is
It is not behavior that is
condoned, not behavior that is
supported and not behavior that
is tolerated, he said.
Soretas lawyer Yigal Bander
denied the charges and insisted
her client was innocent.
Soreta is now on administra-
tive leave with pay until further
Nerelyn Soreta
November 15, 2013 66
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November 15, 2013 7
November 15, 2013 88
November 15, 2013 9
30,000 green card holders serving in US military
Veterans Day, the White House
announced that more than 30,000
immigrants (green card holders)
are serving in the US Armed
The White House said
Nov. 11 said the country cel-
ebrates the men and women
who have contributed to making
our Armed Forces the nest the
world has ever seen. The success
of our military, and indeed, our
nation as a whole, is rooted in the
dynamism, courage and sacrice
demonstrated by generations of
immigrants who have answered
the call of duty.
Since the birth of our
democracy, immigrants from all
corners of the world have fought
for American independence and
defended our ideals. As of May
2013, more than 30,000 lawful
permanent residents were serv-
ing in our Armed Forces.
This Administration rec-
ognizes that to selessly commit
yourself to defending a country
that is not yet fully your own is
to act beyond the call of duty.
Today, we thank our immi-
grant veterans for protecting
and strengthening their adopted
It cited the case of Eliza-
beth Liz Perez-Halperin, a
Wounded Warrior and White
House Champion of Change, is
a shining example of the drive
immigrants bring to our Armed
Forces. Lizs father joined the
U.S. military shortly after immi-
grating to the United States from
Mexico. He came to this country
in search of the American Dream,
and compelled by its promise,
chose to serve under its ag.
Stories like this fuel Presi-
dent Obamas commitment
to foreign-born servicemen,
women and families. In 2002,
then-President Bush issued an
Executive Order that allowed for
the immediate naturalization eli-
gibility for active-duty U.S. mili-
tary service members, as well
as those who had recently been
discharged. Expanding upon
the Bush Adminstrations admi-
rable efforts, President Obama
has continued to support immi-
grants serving in the Armed
Forces through U.S. Citizen-
ship and Immigration Services
(USCIS) initiatives that stream-
line procedures and help quali-
ed individuals navigate our
complex immigration system.
Since 2002, more than 92,700
men and women have become
citizens while wearing the uni-
form of the U.S. military.
November 15, 2013 10 10
PH-US military pact talks hit snag
MANILA. Philippine Defense Sec-
retary Voltaire Gazmin admitted a pro-
posed pact to expand American military
presence in the country has hit a snag,
delaying a possible accord before the end
of the year.
Negotiations began in August and
appeared to proceed smoothly after meet-
ings held in alternating fashion in Wash-
ington DC and Manila. The agreement
would allow larger numbers of US troops
to have temporary access to Philippine
military camps and pre-position military
hardware and supplies in the country.
Gazmin said one key issue involves a
US failure to clearly accept Philippine con-
trol over and access to temporary Ameri-
can facilities to be set up in local camps.
They cant say yes or no but what
will happen if we wont have access?
Those bases will look like their bases,
Gazmin was quoted in one interview.
Still, he said they are optimistic a
solution would be found.
Philippine negotiators have been
told to ensure that any agreement would
comply with the Philippine Constitution
and that the US would not have exclu-
sive use of any facility established within
selected Philippine military camps.
Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary
Carlos Sorreta explained earlier they had
to hew closely to the limitations of the
Constitution and current laws on the con-
duct of foreign military forces in the Phil-
ippines to forego with the need for Senate
ratication of the agreement.
No date has been sent for the next
The Philippines had welcomed the
increased US military presence in the
country to offset Chinas increasingly
aggressive conduct in the South China
US and Philippine ofcials negotiate to allow increased American military access in the Philip-
November 15, 2013 11
Another Pinoy oil worker dies in Gulf
remains of a Filipino welder who
fell from an offshore oil plat-
form in the Gulf of Mexico last
Nov. 3 has been found and will
is being repatriated to his family
in the Philippines, the Philippine
Embassy said here.
Philippine ofcials identi-
ed the slain worker as Peter
Jorge E. Voces, 38. His body was
recovered by divers from the
United States Coast Guard at the
accident site at around 10:30 a.m.
on Nov. 5.
It is with deep sad-
ness that we learn about
the loss of our kaba-
bayan, said Ambassador
Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. Our
thoughts and prayers are
with his loved ones in the
In Chicago, Consul
General Leo Herrera-
Lim also extended his
condolences to Vocess
family and assured them
that the Philippine Con-
sulate General there will
facilitate the repatria-
tion of his remains and
will make the necessary
representations with his
employer to secure his
We will do every-
thing possible to bring
Mr. Voces home at the
soonest possible time,
Consul General Herrera-
Lim said.
Both Ambassador
Cuisia and Consul Gen-
eral Herrera-Lim also
expressed the appre-
ciation of the Philippine
Government to the US
Coast Guard Sector New
Orleans for spearhead-
ing the search and rescue
effort for Voces.
Two cutters, two helicopters,
two xed-wing aircraft and six
civilian offshore supply vessels
were involved in the search for
Voces that was mounted imme-
diately after he was reported to
have gone overboard on Sunday
An ofcial of Houston-
based Talos Energy said Voces
was a member of a derrick barge
crew that was contracted by its
subsidiary, Energy Resource
Technology, to dismantle one of
its platforms at Vermillion Block
200, located some 55 miles south
of Freshwater Bayou in Louisi-
Talos Energy representa-
tive David Blackmon said Voces
was apparently knocked off the
platform by an empty storage
tank that fell with him into the
waters around 100 feet deep at
around 7:30 p.m.
Consul Romulo Israel Jr.
said he was informed by the
Coast Guard that their divers
found Vocess body pinned
in the wreckage in waters just
below the platform.
He said Mr. Vocess remains
were brought ashore and turned
over to his employer, Offshore
Specialty Fabricator LLC, based
in Houma, Louisiana.
Embassy Welfare Ofcer
Saul de Vries said Voces was a
registered overseas worker who
was deployed as a welder/tter
by 88 Aces Maritime Services,
a licensed manning company
based in Manila.
Vocess death brings to
four the number of Filipinos
who died while working in off-
shore oil platforms in the Gulf
of Mexico. Three Filipinos died
and three others were seriously
injured in the 16 November 2012
explosion at the oil platform they
were working on some 154 miles
from Sundays accident site.
The safety of Filipino offshore oil workers is questioned.
Fil-Ams aid Yolanda victims
For American Citizens who have relatives in the
Philippines, please email:
Provide detailed information on the person that
you are looking for: Name, City etc. Also provide
detailed contact information.
For non-American citizens, the Philippine
government has setup a website posting the names
of known deceased Real time information will be
posted along with a phone number.
November 15, 2013 12 12
vivor in large letters on the rav-
aged citys port, where water
lapped at the edge.
There was no one to carry
away the dead, which lay rotting
along the main road from the air-
port to Tacloban, the worst-hit
city along the countrys remote
eastern seaboard.
At a small naval base, eight
swollen corpses including that of
a baby were submerged in water
brought in by the storm. Ofcers
had yet to move them, saying
they had no body bags or elec-
tricity to preserve them.
Authorities estimated the
typhoon killed 10,000 or more
However, with shattered
communications and transpor-
tation links, the nal count was
likely days away, and presiden-
tial spokesman Edwin Lacierda
said we pray it does not sur-
pass 10,000.
I dont believe there is
a single structure that is not
destroyed or severely damaged
in some way every single
building, every single house,
U.S. Marine Brig. Gen. Paul
Kennedy said after taking a
helicopter ight over Tacloban,
the largest city in Leyte prov-
ince. He spoke on the tarmac at
the airport, where two Marine
C-130 cargo planes were parked,
engines running, unloading sup-
Authorities said at least 9.7
million people in 41 provinces
were affected by the typhoon,
known as Haiyan elsewhere in
Asia but called Yolanda in the
Philippines. It was likely the
deadliest natural disaster to
beset this poor Southeast Asian
Please tell my family Im
alive, said Erika Mae Karakot
as she stood among a throng of
people waiting for aid. We need
water and medicine because a
lot of the people we are with
are wounded. Some are suffer-
ing from diarrhea and dehydra-
tion due to shortage of food and
Philippine soldiers were
distributing food and water,
and assessment teams from the
United Nations and other inter-
national agencies were seen for
the rst time Nov. 11. The U.S.
military dispatched food, water,
generators and a contingent of
Marines to the city, the rst out-
side help in what will swell into
a major international relief mis-
Authorities said they had
evacuated some 800,000 people
ahead of the typhoon, but many
evacuation centers proved to be
no protection against the wind
and rising water. The Philippine
National Red Cross, responsi-
ble for warning the region and
giving advice, said people were
not prepared for a storm surge.
Imagine America, which
was prepared and very rich, still
had a lot of challenges at the time
of Hurricane Katrina, but what
we had was three times more
than what they received, said
In some cases the devasta-
tion has been total, said Secre-
tary to the Cabinet Rene Almen-
In Tacloban, residents
stripped malls, shops and homes
of food, waterand consumer
goods. Ofcials said some of the
looting smacked of desperation
but in other cases people hauled
away TVs, refrigerators, Christ-
mas trees and even a treadmill.
An Associated Press reporter
said he saw about 400 special
forces and soldiers patrolling
downtown to guard against fur-
ther chaos.
Brig. Gen. Kennedy said
Philippine forces were handling
security well and U.S. troops
were looking at how to open up
roads and land planes and heli-
copters in order to bring in shel-
ter, water and other supplies.
Philippine President
Benigno Aquino III declared
a state of national calamity,
allowing the central govern-
ment to release emergency funds
quicker and impose price con-
trols on staple goods. He said the
two worst-hit provinces, Leyte
and Samar, had witnessed mas-
sive destruction and loss of life
but that elsewhere casualties
were low.
Typhoon survivors appeal... from page 1
Father holds kids in front of makeshift hut waiting for aid.
houses, cars and trees. Malls,
garages and shops have all been
stripped of food and water by
hungry residents.
The United Nations said
it had had released $25 million
in emergency funds and was
launching an emergency appeal
for money.
Just after dawn Tuesday,
two Philippine Air Force C-130s
arrived at its destroyed airport
along with several commercial
and private ights. More than
3,000 people who camped out
at the building surged onto the
tarmac past a broken iron fence
to get on the aircraft. Just a dozen
soldiers and several police held
them back.
Mothers raised their babies
high above their heads in the
rain, in hopes of being priori-
tized. One woman in her 30s lay
on a stretcher, shaking uncon-
trollably. Only a small number
managed to board.
I was pleading with the
soldiers. I was kneeling and beg-
ging because I have diabetes,
said Helen Cordial, whose house
was destroyed in the storm. Do
they want me to die in this air-
port? They are stone hearted.
Most residents spent the
night under pouring rain wher-
ever they could in the ruins of
destroyed houses, in the open
along roadsides and shredded
trees. Some slept under tents
brought in by the government or
relief groups.
Local doctors said they
were desperate for medicines.
Beside the ruined airport tower,
at a small makeshift clinic with
shattered windows, army and
air force medics said they had
treated around 1,000 people since
the typhoon for cuts, bruises, lac-
erations, deep wounds.
Its overwhelming, said
Air Force Capt. Antonio Tamayo.
We need more medicine. We
cannot give anti-tetanus vaccine
shots because we have none.
International aid groups
and militaries are rushing assis-
tance to the region, but little has
arrived. Government ofcials
and police and army ofcers
have all been caught up in the
disaster themselves, hampering
The USS George Washing-
ton aircraft carrier was expected
to arrive off the coast in about
two days, according to the Pen-
tagon. A similar sized U.S. ship,
and its eet of helicopters capa-
ble of dropping tons of water
daily and evacuating wounded,
was credited with saving scores
of lives after the 2004 Asian tsu-
Survivors seek flight... from page 1
Obamas saddened by loss of lives, extensive damages
ident Obama said in a satement
Nov. 10 the US was saddened by
the extensive damage done by
the super storm and will assist
in the Philippine governments
relief and recovery efforts.
Michelle and I are deeply
saddened by the loss of life
and extensive damage done by
Super Typhoon Yolanda. But I
know the incredible resiliency
of the Philippine people, and I
am condent that the spirit of
Bayanihan will see you through
this tragedy. The United States
is already providing signicant
humanitarian assistance, and we
stand ready to further assist the
Governments relief and recov-
ery efforts. Our thoughts and
prayers go out to the millions of
people affected by this devastat-
ing storm.
On Nov. 11, US Secretary
of State John Kerry said that as
we commemorate Veterans Day
here at home, the State Depart-
ment is working with Team
Rubicon to deploy a team of
incredible, courageous Ameri-
can veterans to the Philippines
and all the areas damaged by
Typhoon Haiyan. Just as they
did after Hurricane Sandy, these
veterans will be using the skills
they learned in uniform to help
others recover from this terrible
The State Department also
is cooperating with the Philip-
pines Typhoon Disaster Relief
Fund established by The mGive
Foundation, a U.S. nonprot
organization, to coordinate
donations via mobile phones to
benet victims of the typhoon.
Kerry said that since the
start of this calamity, the United
States has been working closely
with our partners in the Philip-
pines to provide rapid and effec-
tive relief. Our embassies in the
Philippines and Palau are in
close and constant contact with
their partners in local govern-
ments to direct aid to the right
places. When I spoke with Phil-
ippines Foreign Minister Albert
del Rosario, I assured him of our
full commitment to providing
all necessary assistance.
A U.S. disaster assistance
response team was among the
rst international groups to
reach Leyte province, one of
the hardest-hit regions. Experts
from the U.S. Agency for Inter-
national Development are work-
ing closely with Philippine agen-
cies to evaluate the damage and
identify the best ways to help
those who have suffered losses
from the storm. Within hours,
the U.S. embassy in Manila
provided substantial nancial
assistance for health, water and
The U.S. government is
organizing emergency ship-
ments of critically needed mate-
rial to provide shelter to the
hundreds of thousands of Fili-
pinos driven from their homes
by this unprecedented typhoon.
We are also organizing emer-
gency shipments of food and
hygiene supplies to thousands
of families. Pentagon person-
nel are also deeply involved,
providing logistical support to
make sure relief gets to the right
locations as quickly as possible.
Non-governmental organiza-
tions, charities and private relief
organizations are also on the
I want to assure the people
of the Philippines and the many
Americans of Filipino heritage
that we are working as hard as
possible to provide essential
assistance to help the Philippine
people and their government
recover from this tragedy.
Kerry said.
Filipino and American troops load boxes of food .and water.
Long lines form outside airport to get relief goods being distributed by the
November 15, 2013 13
Expat Pinoys around world seek word from kins
NEW YORK (Reuters)- Fili-
pinos from the United States to
Asia sought word from loved
ones in their homeland and
prayed for missing and displaced
family after a super typhoon
swept through the central Philip-
pines killing an estimated 10,000
In Hong Kong, where some
160,000 Filipinos work, most as
domestic helpers, there a sense
of helplessness amongst the
many thousands from the worst-
hit Visayas archipelago amid
a widespread communications
My son and my mum are
there and I dont have any news
about them. There is no Internet
connection and no telephone
connection, its all broken, said
Flynn Blancaber, a 30-year-old
domestic helper whose home is
close to a beach on Panay island
in the western Visayas.
I just dont know what is
happening there.
Luz Viminda Guzman spent
a frantic weekend calling and
texting before nally getting
through to her 33-year-old son
from the town of Albuera on
the west coast of hard-hit Leyte
island, for a one-minute call
before the line cut.
I really cried knowing
theyre okay, said Guzman, a
55-year-old domestic helper, her
voice choking with emotion.
When he said we have no
more house, I said never mind.
Whats important is youre safe.
If we dont have a house we can
start again, and whats important
is I can hear your voice and my
grandsons are okay, Guzman
said, her family now living from
hand to mouth in a tent beside
their gutted home.
Filipino groups in Hong
Kong, the vast majority Roman
Catholics, have been appeal-
ing for cash donations and are
planning counseling sessions
and prayer vigils for those with
family impacted by Typhoon
In the San Francisco suburb
of Pinole, about 150 Filipino
parishioners prayed during
mass at Saint Joseph Catholic
Church for relatives and friends
unaccounted for from the super
typhoon, which left more than
600,000 people homeless.
In the New York City bor-
ough of Queens, televisions in
restaurants, bakeries and other
shops along a 15-block thor-
oughfare dubbed Little Manila
were tuned to news from the
Philippines, with residents com-
miserating over frantic efforts to
get in touch with missing loved
Asuncion Hipe, a nurs-
ing assistant, said she had been
unable to reach her three sisters
and a nephew in remote Samar
province, where the storm made
its initial landfall and authori-
ties said at least 300 people were
Expat Filipinos in Boston and Canada pray for the victims of the typhoon .
Photo shows Welcome Tacloban sign while city itself is attened by the
Hulk of two ships washed ashore mix with debris and survivors in Tacloban.
PH envoy cries during climate summit in Poland
WARSAW, Poland - The
devastation caused by Typhoon
Haiyan cast a gloom over U.N.
climate talks that kicked off Nov.
11 as the envoy from the Philip-
pines broke down in tears and
announced he would fast until
a meaningful outcome is in
Delegrate Naderev Yeb
Sanos emotional appeal was
met with a standing ovation at
the start of two-week talks here
where more than 190 countries
will try to lay the groundwork
for a new pact to ght global
Sanos tears, which he
wiped away with a red handker-
chief, made other delegates at the
COP19 react emotionally as well.
Speaking of the link between
extreme weather and climate
change that scientists have said
is wreaking havoc all over the
world, Sano urged members of
the summit to take action.
We can x this. We
can stop this madness.
Right now, right here, he
told delegates in Warsaw.
Choking on his
words, he said he was
waiting in agony for news
from relatives caught in
the massive storms path,
though he was relieved to
hear his brother had sur-
In the last two days
he has been gathering
bodies of the dead with his own
two hands, Sano said.
In solidarity with my coun-
trymen who are struggling to
nd food back home ... I will now
commence a voluntary fasting
for the climate, he added. This
means I will voluntarily refrain
from eating food during this
(conference) until a meaningful
outcome is in sight.
U.N. climate chief Chris-
tiana Figueres also made refer-
ence to the devastating impact
of the typhoon in her opening
speech, and urged delegates
to go that extra mile in their
Naderev Sano, Philippines delegate to the Warsaw climate confer-
ence, breaks down in tears talking about the devastation brought
upon his country by super typhoon Haiyan. (Reuters)
November 15, 2013 14 14
Nov 9 (Saturday) 6pm-
12:00m APODCAA 7th
Annual Dinner Dance, Fort Myer
Community Center, Arlington,
VA. $40. Contact: Romy Valle
240-751-3356 or rgvalle1952@
Continuing through Nov.
24 Joey Manlapaz Art Exhibit,
Cycles, Bikes & Bins. Exhibi-
tion runs. Gallery Plan B. 1530
Fourteenth St. NW (between P
& Q Streets) Washington, DC.
Contact: 202-234-2711 or www.
Continuing through Nov
30 Nilo Santiago Dream Series
Exhibit Aurora Hills Public
Library, 735 S 18th St, Arlington
Continuing through Nov
30 DAY of the DEAD Show (Rec-
yled Art) includes Nilo Santiiago
piece, Arlington Central Library,
1015 N Quincy St. Arlington VA
Continuing through Dec
29 Paul Ta edo Photogra-
phy, Greenspring Gardens
Horticultural Center, 4603
Green Spring Rd. Alexandria,
VA 703.642.5173. Meet theArt-
ist/Reception on November 3
at 1-3pm. Contact Paul Tanedo
at 703.915-4556
Continuing through Jan
23, 2014 (Monday-Thursday)
9am - 10pm, (Friday) 9 am -
6:30 pm. Durant Art Center
27th Anniversary Art Exhibi-
tion Young at Art. Includes
Filipino artist Nilo Santiago.
Durant Art Center ,1605 Cam-
eron St, Alexandria , VA.
Nov 12 (Tuesday)
6:30 pm Philippine Arts Letters
and Media Council (PALM )
with Philippine American Foun-
dation for Charities (PAFC) Book
Launch of Emelina Galangs
Angel de Luna and the Fifth
Glorious Mystery. Young adult
ction. Philippine Embassy.
Contact: Bing Branigin at 703-
Nov 16 (Satur-
day) 2pm 5pm PAFC Dr. Jos
e Rizal Youth Awards, Romulo
Hall, Philippine Embassy, Wash-
ington, DC. Contact: Aylene
Mafnas 703 868 5660.
Nov 16 (Saturday) 6:00-
12:00 midnight Feed the Hungry,
Inc. Handog 2013. Hilton
Alexandria Mark Center Hotel,
5000 Seminary Rd., Alexandria,
VA. $75. Music by Swinging DJ.
Formal attire. Contact: Lottie
Buhain 703.978.2709 or lot197@
Nov 16 (Saturday)
7:30pm. Filipino Community
Mass, St. Bernadette Catho-
lic Church, 7600 Old Keene
Mill Road, Springeld, VA
22152, Coordinator: Ed Tiong
(703) 403-5624
Nov 23 (Saturday) 6:00pm-
11:00pm PNAMWDC Medical
Mission Dinner Dance Fund-
raising. St. Columba Parish Hall
- 7804 Livingston Rd. Oxon Hill,
MD 20745. $30. Contact: Alice
Andam - (703)216-0671 or pre-
Nov 23 (Saturday)
5:30 USTAAA 4th Anniversary
Gala &Thanksgiving Masquer-
ade Ball.Fairfview Marriott,
VA. Prepaid $65, at door $70.
Free parking. Contact: Amy
Quinto atamysdesign@hotmail.
Dec 1 (Sunday) PAFC, Phil-
ippine Embassy and FOCUS,
Paskong Pinoy. Features eight
FilAm choirs and Allan Chan.
American Legion Post 176,
6520 Amherst Avenue, Spring-
eld, VA 22150. Free, donations
encouraged for Yolanda typhoon
victims. Contact: Ador Carreon
Dec 7 (Saturday) 6:00 pm to
12:00 midnight. Marinduque-
nos of the Capital Area, Inc.
2013 Dinner Dance @ New For-
tune Chinese Restaurant, 16515
Frederick Avenue, Gaithersburg,
MD 20877. $50 adults, $40 teens.
Contacts: Ruby Solomon (703)
Dec.7 (Saturday) 7pm to
12pm. CHSNAF-MWDC Christ-
mas Party and Induction of
ofcers will be held on from
Our Lady of Good Counsel,
Vienna,Virginia. Contact - Ruby
deLeon 703-307-3198
Dec 7 (Saturday) 5:30pm-
12:00mn Mabuhay, Inc. Pasko
2013: Ang Paskoy Pag-ibig.Sher-
aton Washington North Hotel,
4095 Powder Mill Road, Belts-
ville, MD 20705
Contact Person: Manny
Lopez (301)452-7305
Dec 7 (Saturday) 2:00-
6:00p.m., Marinduquenos Asso-
ciation of the Capital Area,
Inc. (MACA, Inc.) Christmas
Party, Plum Gar Community
Recreation Center, 19561 Scen-
ery Drive, Germantown, MD,
20876. Contact leomonroyo@ for further information.
Dec. 8 (Sunday) 4:00-
7:00pm PAFC Pasasalamat/
Christmas Party and Election of
Board Members & Ofcers.Free.
Lincolnia Seniors Center, 4710
N Chambliss St, Alexandria,
VA 22312. Elections for mem-
bers only. Inquiries regarding
PAFC elections may be sent to
Elvie Melegrito at elviemele@ Holiday party open
to members and friends of
PAFC. Contact: Aylene Mafnas
November 15, 2013 15
November 15, 2013 16 16
Around DC in Pictures
Virginia Governor -elect, Terry McAliffe, with Vida Benavidez far right
during the pre-election get together with supporters at DNC ofce in Tysons
Corner, McLean, Virginia.
Gabby Riego de Dios, posed infront of his paintings during the IMF/World
Bang staff Filipino American Art Exhibit, held at the IMF Atrium last Novem-
ber 7. Several area Filipino American artists participated in the week-long
L to R: Atty. JT Mallonga, president, Filipino American Legal Defense and
Education Fund., Inc. Johanna Puno Hester, President, Asia Pacic Ameri-
can Labor Alliance (APALA), and Gregory Cendana, Executive Director,
APALA, at the 1st Gala and Awards Night of FALDEF, held in New Jersey,
last October 26, 2013.
The Philippine Cultural Center, Virginia Beach, Virginia hosted over 200 guests for a fund raising drive for the
victims of the recent typhoons in the Philippines. (From left) Enrico Pobre, Ms. Joey Albert, and Leonard Tengco,
Virginia Beach School Board. More fund-raising efforts are being plan next month by newly-elected State Delegate
of Virginia Beach, Ron Villanueva.
Filipino Americans in the Metro
DC area show they support to the
fund raising efforts of the Philippine
Nurses Associations of Metro DC
area, and the National Federation
of Filipino American Association
(NaFFAA), at the Immanuel on -the-
Hill Church, Alexandria, Virginia,
last November 8. Filipino Ameri-
can tenor Allan Chan, Jr., Xi Wang,
Soprano, and Michael Koon, pianist,
gave an outstanding performance to
the delight of the crowd.
L to R: Xi Wang, Soprano, Allan
Chan Jr., Min. Emil Fernandez, Cul-
tural Ofcer, Philippine Embassy,
and Bing Branigin, fund raising
project ofcer and Board of Gover-
nor, NaFFAA. There was a reception
after the fund raising benet concert
for Philippine typhoon victims held
at the Immanuel Church on-the-Hill,
Alexandria, Virginia, November 8,
Nita Cacanindin, community leader in Virginia Beach collects donations for
the victims of the recent typhoon in the Philippines, Yolanda. State Delegate
and re-electionist of Virginia Beach, Ron Villanueva, turned his election cel-
ebration into a mini-fund-raising event last November 9, at the Philippine
Cultural Center. A bigger fund raising event for the Yolanda typhoon victims
will be held next Friday, November 15th in Norfolk, Virginia.
(From left) Bing Branigin, Board
of Governor, National Federation
of Filipino American Associations
(NaFFAA), Rene Calandria, Phil-
ippine American Chamber of Com-
merce, Minister Emil Fernandez,
Philippine Embassy Cultural Of-
cer, and Ador Carreon, Chairman
of the board, Philippine American
Foundation for Charities (PAFC),
at the rst fund raising event by
the community for the victims of
typhoon Yolanda . The concert was
held at the Immanuel Church-on-the
Hill last November 8. Major televi-
sion broadcast network and print
media covered the event sponsored
by the Philippine Nurses Associa-
tion of Metropolitan DC area, and
the National Federation of Filipino
American Associations (NaFFAA).
PNAMDC will use the money for
their annual medical mission in
the Philippines. Because of the
urgent need for help in the Philip-
pines, NaFFFAA will give its share
to typhoon victims. Businesses
and community leaders not able to
attend are now pledging that they
will contribute to the NaFFFAA
efforts to help the Philippine Red
Cross in providing assistance to the
affected areas.
Jervin Reyes (center) and his friends performed several songs during the Art
Exhibit of Filipino American Artists at the Atrium of the IMF building last
November 7, sponsored by the Filipino staff at the IMF-World Bank group.
November 15, 2013 17
November 15, 2013 18 18
Balladeer at Ft. Washington PH Center
By Dino dela Rosa
Dale Adriatico, the Filipino
balladeer, who was very popular
in the 60s, is having a one night
concert on Sunday, Nov. 24 at 8
p.m. at the Philippine Multi-Cul-
tural Center in Fort Washington,
As a boy, Dale started his
singing career in provincial sing-
ing contest, discovering his own
ability through his winnings. In
his 20s, he was dubbed as The
Reluctant Frank Sinatra of the
Philippines (not of his choice).
However, the tag brought him
to numerous countries in Asia,
Europe and the Americas.
Dale was a kilabot in the
early 60s long before Jun Polis-
tico, Hajji Alejandro and Marco
Sison. Hes a brilliant singer
who could play various musi-
cal instruments; all without any
formal schooling. He was also
being billed as the Frank Sinatra
sound-alike as was the practice
in those days, except that Dale
gave Sinatras songs his own
avor and interpretation.
In 1962, he left for Hong-
kong then proceeded to Eng-
land after being discovered by
a songwriter based in London.
His travels around the world
took Dale to Asia, Europe, the
U.S. and Australia. In Australia,
he acquired Australia citizenship
in 1971 and topbilled shows at
the Motor Club on George Street
in Sydney. It was in Australia
that opened a new horizon for
him in his involvement in a
series of commercials for TV.
Dale was almost 60 when he
was summoned by The Lord to
walk the path of Godliness. Only
then did he become conscious of
his purpose, his existence on
earth. Finally he is able to iden-
tify the miracles in his past. It was
then he realized that the artistry
that carried through the hurdles
in life was a gift; a gift from that
carried him through the hurdles
in his life was a gift a gift from
God. Dale learned to look at life
in a different perspective, grate-
ful and thankful for his second
chance and the chance to know
the truth for that Jesus is The
Christ and is real and not a myth
or a mere gment of ones imagi-
nation. For tickets to his show,
call 571-551-9144.
Kimmel of Channel 7 in
hot water over slur
Jimmy Kimmel is in hot
water with critics from
the Chinese and Asian
American slamming him
by allowing a kid to say
we should kill everyone
in China.
On Nov. 9, hundreds
of protesters targeted
ABC Studios in Burbank,
Houston, and Phoenix to
protest the Oct. 16 seg-
ment of Jimmy Kimmel
Live where one of the
late night hosts tiniest
guests suggested the
United States should
repay its $1.3 trillion
debt to China by killing
Chinese. Both ABC and
Kimmel have since apol-
ogized for the comment,
and are no longer airing
Kids Table.
ABC said at the
time, We offer our sin-
cere apology. We would
never purposefully
broadcast anything to
upset the Chinese community,
Asian community, anyone of
Chinese descent, or any com-
munity at large. Our objective
is to entertain. Kimmel added,
I just want to say I am sorry. I
apologize. It was certainly not
my intent to upset anyone.
However, Chinese-Ameri-
can groups and protesters refuse
to accept the apology. ABC
Studios has not responded to
Yahoo TVs request for comment
regarding the protests.
Jimmy Kimmel
November 15, 2013 19
Pinoy martial arts taught in new school
CROFTON, Va. A martial
arts school that opened here last
month is propagating Filipino
ghting techniques that are win-
ning adherents and rekindling
interest on Philippines martial
arts beyond boxing champion
Manny Pacquiao.
The Tryumph Academy of
Martial Arts in the Crofton Prin-
cess Center was the product of
self actualization about their
Filipino roots, explained twins
Alan and Anthony Sanidad.
While they teach various
martial arts (Taekwondo, Kick-
boxing, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, etc.),
Alan said they focus on the three
main forms of Filipino martial
arts Arnis, Eskrima and Kali.
There are just as many
family styles as there are islands
in the Philippines, Alan averred.
But he said they follow the Mar-
caida Kali style championed by
the Brotherhood of the Blade.
He said they have been
traveling up and down the East
Coast, sharing their knowledge
with other martial arts schools.
Our goal is to spread our
culture through Kali to Filipi-
nos and non-Filipinos alike, he
explained. Their school is home
to Kali Master Kuya (elder
brother) Doug Marcaida.
Unfortunately Kali is
not known to Filipinos in the
West and even in the homeland
because for many years hidden it
was hidden within the families.
On top of that many Filipinos
were born into the colonial men-
tality that everything outside of
the Philippines is better, leav-
ing the actual practice of Kali
to parks, backyards and base-
ments, Alan added.
Martial arts school in Crofton, Va.
promotes Filipino kali and other
ghting techniques.
Fil-Am feted by Fairfax County
FAIRFAX, Va. Filipino
American Rose Desabilla
Armour of Brambleton, Va.
was among 62 Fairfax County
employees recognized for out-
standing performance at a Nov.
8 awards.
Fairfax is one of the largest
counties in the Commonwealth
of Virginia, employing more
than 550,000 workers. Armour is
a business analyst for the Police
Armour was honored for
being regularly tasked with
managing large projects for the
Police IT Bureau although proj-
ect management is not one of her
assigned tasks.
A county employee for six
years, Armour is responsible for
providing end user administra-
tion and support for the Records
Management System (RMS),
which involves regularly work-
ing with employees from many
county agencies. She also serves
as the back-up administrator
to the TeleStaff time and atten-
dance system, covering this posi-
tion while performing her own
duties for several months earlier
in the year.
Rose exemplies every
good quality asked for in an
employee, says Lt. Robert Blak-
ley, supervisor of the IT Bureau.
She is so indispensable to our
operations that we couldnt have
successfully completed all our
projects without her dedication
and excellent work.
Born and raised in Davao,
Philippines, Armour graduated
with a degree in Management
Engineering from Ateneo de
Manila University.
Rose Desabilla Armour (holding plaque) is anked by (from left) Fairfax
County Executive Edward L. Long, Jr., Board Chairman Sharon Bulova and
Supervisor Penny Gross. (photo by Jon Melegrito)
Paaralang Pinoy offers culture lessons
VIENNA, Va. The Paaralang
Pinoy, a Filipino culture and
language enrichment program,
is opening enrolment for kids
Grade 1 through Grade 5.
The school is a project of the
Filipino Ministry of Northern
Older children are encour-
aged to volunteer as ates and
kuyas (big sisters and broth-
ers) for community service
The classes will be held
at Our Lady of Good Counsel
church (8601 Wolftrap Road,
Vienna, Va. 22182).
Nov. 24 4:00-6:00 PM - De
Sales Hall - Mamasko tayo 1
(Lets celebrate Christmas):
Parol-making workshop. Chil-
dren will learn how to make a
parol (star lantern). This activity
is jointly sponsored with OLGC.
Snacks served. Cost $15 for rst
parol kit, and $12 for each addi-
tional kit.
Dec. 15 3:00-5:30 PM
- St. Josephs Center, OLGC
Mamasko tayo 2 (Lets celebrate
Christmas): Panunuluyan.
Children will learn about Pan-
unuluyan, a reenactment of
the nativity story often held
on Christmas Eve during the
Advent Novena of Masses or
Simbang Gabi. Snacks served.
Children will also watch mem-
bers of the Filipino Ministry
rehearse for a Panunuluyan, to
be featured in a Simbang Gabi at
OLGC on Dec. 21, 7:00 p.m. The
Dec. 21 event will begin with the
Panunuluyan before Mass and
end with a salu-salo (reception)
at DeSales Hall after Mass. Cost
TBA, minimal.
November 15, 2013 20 20
November 15, 2013 21
PH bet dedicates Ms. Universe finish to Yolanda victims
MANILA. It was an emo-
tional win for Miss Philippines
Ariella Arida, the only Asian to
reach the nals, who nished 3rd
runner up in the Miss Universe
2013 pageant in Moscow, Russia
last Nov. 9.
Arida dedicated her victory
to her countrymen who were
devastated by Super Typhoon
Haiyan (Philippine name:
Yolanda), the worlds most
powerful typhoon this year. The
death toll is feared to reach the
Venezuelas Gabriela Isler
won the title, besting 85 other
candidates during the corona-
tion night held at Crocus City
Hall in Moscow which hosted
the 62-year-old pageant for the
rst time.
Said to have one billion
viewers in over 190 countries,
the event was announced in the
opening minutes to be dedicated
to the Philippines and Viet-
nam, neighboring countries in
the path of destruction of super
typhoon Haiyan.
The runners-up, in order,
were Spains Patricia Rodr-
guez, Ecuadors Constanza Bez,
Arida, and Brazils Jakelyne
The Philippines bet was
notably the only Asian in the
Top 5.
Dubbed an early favorite
leading up to the nals night,
Arida earned a spot in the Top 16
after winning the ofcial online
In the nal round of the
pageant, Arida was asked by
juror Tara Lipinski: What can
be done about the lack of jobs
for young people starting their
careers around the world?
Aridas answer: For the
people who have lack of jobs, I
do believe that we people should
invest in education and that is
my primary advocacy, because
we all know that if everyone of
us is educated and well aware
of what we are doing, we could
land into jobs and we could land
a good career in the future. Edu-
cation is the primary source and
ticket to a better future.
Of the ve nalists, Arida
was the only candidate who
answered in English and without
an interpreter.
With her 3rd runner-up
nish, Arida replicated the suc-
cess of Shamcey Supsup, the
Philippines candidate in the
2011 pageant. Janine Tugonon
and Venus Raj nished 1st run-
ner-up in 2012 and 4th runner-
up in 2010, respectively.
The Philippines is still
hoping to produce its third Miss
Universe winner after Gloria
Diaz in 1969 and Margie Moran
in 1973.
Ariella Arida
tinues to perform the role that it
has set out to do in 1990: to pub-
lish an independent and impar-
tial newspaper that is beholden
to no one except to the public
that it serves.
Twenty three years ago,
Bert, the only journalist in the
Gang of 12, agreed to edit the
newspaper provided someone
would provide the funds to pay
for the printing of the newspa-
He said he did not want to
edit a newspaper that would fold
as many others had done due to
lack of funds. That condition was
met when the Forex Organiza-
tion led by Jimmy Carino and
Chit de Jesus agreed to adver-
tise in every issue. The revenues
would be enough to pay for the
initial printing of 2,000 copies of
the Manila Mail.
The advertiser also agreed
to Alfaros condition that there
would be editorial indepen-
dence. As a veteran journalist, he
was aware that advertisers often
inuenced the editorial content
of a newspaper.
Not only did Forex abide
with these terms; Chit de Jesus
volunteered to serve as the com-
puter layout artist and Jimmy
allowed the Manila Mail to use
the facilities of the Forex ofces
in Alexandria, Virginia. The role
of the other members was to help
in the distribution and solicita-
tion of more advertisements.
After the rst issue was
launched, the group formed
the Salakot Corporation and
the newspaper was formally
launched at a reception at the
National Press Club with the late
Philippine Ambassador Pablo
Suarez as guest of honor. Because
the Manila Mail had no funds for
the occasion, the tab was picked
up by the Forex Organization.
Two years after its incep-
tion, members clashed over how
to increase circulation and boost
its funds. This resulted in the dis-
solution of Salakot.
Not wanting to see the end
of the newspaper, Bert, Warie,
Jimmy and Chit, and Jojo agreed
to continue with the publication.
The result was the formation of
a new group called Maya Media
Inc. This arrangement lasted for
more than a decade.
In September, 2008, 18 years
after its establishment, Jimmy
Carino and Chit de Jesus met
with Bert and Warie in a Virginia
restaurant to announce the sad
news. They said that due to the
unfavorable business conditions,
Forex was pulling out of Maya
Media Inc. This left Bert and
Warie with a tough decision to make.
Bert, who had by now been
getting a little stipend for his
editorial work and commissions
from advertisements, met with
Warie to decide whether to con-
tinue with the publication.
Again, Bert and Warie felt
that even with the little funds left
by Maya Media Inc, the adver-
tisements would be enough to
pay for printing cost. Bert also
agreed to dispense with his fee
and advertising commission
while Warie agreed to cover up
for any little decit that occurred
along the way. They also agreed
to form the Manila Mail Com-
munications, Inc. with Warie
as president and Armando R.
Alfaro, Luisa G. Reyes and Jojo
dela Rosa as members. Bert
remained as editor-in-chief and
chief operating ofcer of the
Manila Mail.
Last year, Winona Cueva
volunteered to serve as editor
and administrator of the Manila
Mail online version www.manil- The entire issue of the
Manila Mail, along with updates
of the news, can be accessed
through this website.
On August 31, 2013, Bert
named veteran TV journal-
ist Rodney J. Jaleco as editor-
in-chief while he remained as
founder and executive editor.
Bert continues to assist Rodney
and oversees the nances of the
Manila Mail to ensure that it has
enough funds to keep the news-
paper growing into the future.
Bert Alfaro, founder-executive editor
Atty. Warie Azarcon, president
Rodney J. Jaleco, editor-in-chief
Group photo taken in last years anniversary party hosted by Oscar and Evelyn Bunoan at their residence in Fairfax,
Manila Mail marks... from page 1
November 15, 2013 22 22
US report absolves Pinoy oil workers
United States Department of
Interior report has concluded
that Filipino oil workers cant
be held liable for a Nov. 16, 2012
explosion at a Gulf of Mexico oil
platform that killed three work-
ers and seriously injured three
The DOIs Bureau of Safety
& Environmental Enforcement
instead shifted the onus of
responsibility for the tragedy to
Texas-based Black Elk Energy,
which owned the offshore plat-
form, and at least four of its con-
We welcome the release of
the BSEE report that concluded
that the deaths of three Filipino
workers and the serious injuries
sustained by three other Fili-
pino workers were the result of
a series of failures on the part of
Black Elk Energy and its contrac-
tors to create a culture of safety in
the work environment, Ambas-
sador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. said in a
A copy of the report was
given to Cuisia by BSEE Director
Brian M. Salerno.
The BSEE said the accident
happened because Black Elk
Energy failed to establish an
effective culture of safety and
communicate risks and precau-
tions to its contractors who were,
in turn, blamed for failing to
follow proper safety precautions.
We are greatly relieved
to learn from the ofcial BSEE
investigation report that the Fili-
pino workers were not respon-
sible for the tragedy, contrary to
earlier assertions made by Black
Elk Energy President John Hoff-
man who had wrongfully attrib-
uted the accident to our work-
ers, Cuisia said.
Media reports attributed to
Hoffman had implied that the
Filipino workers triggered the
explosion and re because of
their supposed incompetence
and lack of English language
skills. Cuisia demanded and
later got an apology from Hoff-
It had always been our
position that our workers could
not have been responsible for the
accident and that they were actu-
ally the victims of a terrible acci-
dent that could easily have been
prevented, Cuisia said.
The BSEE report said the
explosion was triggered by the
welding work the Filipino work-
ers were ordered to perform on
a pipeline connected to what
they were made to believe were
empty storage tanks that appar-
ently still contained dangerous
The Filipino workers who
were on board the ill-fated plat-
form all had extensive experi-
ence in offshore oil platforms
in the Philippines, the Middle
East, Europe and other parts of
the world, Ambassador Cuisia
said. And like majority of Fili-
pinos, they all speak and under-
stand English.
Napoles a nut too tough to crack even for Miriam
MANILA. Even the feisty
Miriam Defensor Santiago could
not get alleged pork barrel scam
mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles
to spill the beans, prompting a
lawmaker implicated in the deed
and is now in the United States
to declare the charges were all
Senator Jinggoy Estrada
ew to San Francisco earlier this
month even as he colleagues
spent nearly six hours to grill,
cajole or otherwise convince
Napoles to give up her accom-
plices. She testied for the rst
time last Nov. 7 before the Senate
blue ribbon committee.
Napoles rst tried to ask
for an executive session, citing
the sensitivity of the issue. But
after the committee turned
it down, Napoles repeatedly
invoked her right against self-
Its all pure hearsay,
Estrada said in an interview in
San Francisco. He is one of three
senators whose names have been
dragged in the P10 billion pork
barrel scam.
I am not guilty. I have done
nothing wrong. I did not steal
a single centavo sa ating mga
kababayan (from our country-
men), stressed Estrada.
Despite already facing a
plunder case, along with Napoles
and fellow senators Juan Ponce
Enrile and Bong Revilla, Estrada
was allowed to travel to the US
on November 2, supposedly for
a long-scheduled medical trip for
his wife.
We were seeking a second
opinion for the medical condition
of my wife, Precy, because she
discovered a lump on her breast.
I was here earlier, four days ago,
I submitted all her medical docu-
ments and the reason why she
wasnt able to travel with me
together was because my eldest
daughter was hospitalized, he
Estrada stressed he will
return to the Philippines to face
the charges against him. As
I said, I was born in the Philip-
pines. I was raised in the Phil-
ippines. I will die in the Philip-
pines. In due time, I will prove
my critics are wrong.
Back in Manila, lawmak-
ers appeared bent on making
Napoles name names, fuel-
ing speculations she was being
used to go after the adminis-
trations political opponents.
Nakakaawa nga po yung mga
senador at mga congressmen
na nada-drag ang pangalan nila
(Poor senators and congressmen
abecause their names are being
dragged) she told the Senate
Even Senator Defensor-
Santiago, famous for wilting
down uncooperative or evasive
witnesses, failed to get Napoles
to talk about the scam when
she repeatedly invoked her right
against self-incrimination to
almost every question that the
lady senator asked.
Veterans Affairs under the 2009
Filipino Veterans Equity Com-
pensation law.
Retired US Army General
Antonio Taguba, on behalf of the
VA Secretary, presented the rst
US government Equity check
of $15,000 to Bacani on April 8,
2009, during a reception at the
Philippine Embassy marking the
anniversary of the Bataan Day.
Bacani was born in the
Northern Luzon province of Isa-
bela on January 14, 1911.
He spent 10 days as a pris-
oner of war after allied US and
Filipino forces surrendered to
the Japanese Imperial Army fol-
lowing the fall of Corregidor
Island in 1942.
He said he was dried under
the sun facing two machine
guns of the Japanese. He was
later honorably discharged from
the US Armed Forces in the Far
East (USAFFE).
Bacani was a school prin-
cipal and teacher in the Philip-
pines. He retired as a registrar
in the University of the East in
1976 before immigrating with his
family to the US.
Here, he worked as a librar-
ian at the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency in Crystal
City, Va. Bacani recalled with
pride the EPA division library
reading room was named after
him when he retired after 34
years of federal service at the age
of 98.
Bacani is survived by his
three children, Dr. Robert Bacani,
Lyda Miranda, and Milagros
Cabagnot; 15 grandchildren;
and 31 great-grandchildren. He
was predeceased by his wife,
Saturnina, and children, Vina
Narciso and Jose Alberto Bacani.
He was interred at the
Quantico National Cemetery in
Virginia, beside his beloved wife
Saturnina who passed away last
Bacani was an active
member of the Washington-
based advocacy organization,
the American Coalition for Fili-
pino Veterans. He regularly lob-
bied senators, congress members
and American presidents on sev-
eral veterans equity bills.
His passing occurred barely
a week before the annual Veter-
ans Day celebrations in Wash-
ington that he and other Filipino
World War II veterans attended
in the past.
This year, the Friends of the
National World War II Memorial
(Friends) and the National Park
Service (NPS) paid tribute to the
more than 16 million men and
women who served with the US
armed forces during World War
Veterans Day is the time to
recognize our World War II vet-
erans to whom we owe an enor-
mous debt of gratitude, said
Friends Chairman Retired Army
Lieutenant General Claude
Mick Kicklighter.
Our World War II veter-
ans who served overseas, as
well as all those who served on
the home front, literally saved
the world and Friends is proud
to lead the effort in celebrating
them and the spirit of unity of
the American people during this
pivotal time in our nations his-
tory, he stressed.
Maryland Governor Martin
OMalley gave the keynote
address and presented a wreath
at the Freedom Wall along
with veterans from World War
II. OMalleys father, Thomas
Martin OMalley, served as a
bombardier in the US Army
Air Forces in the Pacic the-
ater during World War II.
Two of the nine surviv-
ing World War II Medal of
Honor recipients attended the
ceremonies: Wilburn K. Ross
and George T. Sakato.
Oldest FilVet in US... from page 1
Fil-Am faces prison for distracted driving
SAN DIEGO, Ca. A Filipino
American mother faces up to six
years in jail for a car crash that
killed one motorist after police
say she didnt apply the break on
Ypanto Nicolas, 31, of San
Diego, is scheduled for jury trial
on December 5 at the Orange
County Courthouse.
According to the Philippine
News, Nicolas was arrested on
January 26, 2012 by the Cali-
fornia Highway Patrol and
charged with one felony count
of vehicular manslaughter with
gross negligence. She is out on
a $100,000 bail.
According to the Orange
County District Attorney, Nico-
las was speeding on I-405 on
April 27, 2011. Nicolas is accused
of failing to brake or slow down
and crashing at approximately
80 miles per hour into the back of
a Hyundai sedan, which was just
starting to move after being at a
full stop in trafc.
The vehicle was driven by
23-year-old Deanna Mauer, a
softball star at San Jose State Uni-
versity. After crashing into the
victims car, Nicolas is accused of
losing control of her own vehicle
and also crashing into the center
divider. She was transported to
a hospital and treated for minor
lacerations. The victim was
transported to the University of
California Irvine Medical Center
and pronounced dead as a result
of brain death due to vertebral
artery transaction.
Her lawyer, Eric Lampel,
disputed speculations according
to a Philippine News report that
Nicolas was texting on her cell-
phone prior to the collision. He
stressed that the collision was an
According to investigators,
the victims car was pushed into
the car in front of her and then
traveled and struck the center
divider before coming to a stop
facing southbound in the north-
bound lanes.
After crashing into the vic-
tims car, Nicolas is accused of
losing control of her own vehicle
and also crashing into the center
divider. She was transported to a
hospital to be treated for minor
lacerations. The victim was
transported to the University of
California Irvine Medical Center
and pronounced dead at 6 p.m.
that day as a result of brain
death due to vertebral artery
Senior Deputy District
Attorney Alison Gyves of the
Homicide Unit said it became a
criminal act because There was
negligence involved as Ms. Nico-
las was not paying attention to
what was going on around her.
Because of that, we dont charac-
terize it as an accident.
Lampel said they are pursu-
ing information that could show
it was not a distracted driver
situation or a manslaughter case.
Nicolas is a respiratory ther-
apist and mother of one child.
November 15, 2013 23
National Federation of Fili-
pino Ame rican Associations
(NaFFAA) and the Philippine
Nurses Association of Metro DC
(PNAMDC) committed half the
proceeds of a Nov. 8 joint fund-
raising concert that was sched-
uled two months ago. The other
half has been slated to fund the
nurses medical mission to the
The concert held at the
Immanuel Church on the Hill in
Alexandria, Va., featured local
musicians whose performance
was motivated by their desire to
help. It was especially emotional
for Allan Chan Jr., Tenor and lead
singer of the evening, because of
his personal connection to the
devastation that reportedly took
thousands of lives.
He is the son of Luluth Pala-
cios Chan and Allan Chan Sr.
who hail from Tacloban, Leyte,
perhaps the hardest hit because
of a ve-meter high storm surge
that simply engulfed the city of
200,000 because it is surrounded
on three sides by the sea.
My fathers hometown was
hit very hard, and is completely
wiped out, Chan said. The
little help we can do tonight will
go a long way over there.
In a last minute addition to
the repertoire, the singer gave a
moving rendition of Bayan Ko
(My Country).
Its a song about freedom
from oppression, he explained
to the organizers. But it may
as well be a song about freedom
from death and destruction.
The church was lled to capacity,
with pews packed with people
from the community giving gen-
erously, on top of the $25 admis-
sion fee. Many in the audience
raised their hands when asked
if they have relatives who were
affected by the typhoon. With
no direct communications in the
hard-hit areas, waiting for word
about their loved ones was, to
them, the most difcult.
At the Philippine Cultural
Center in Virginia Beach, Va.,
local artists also pulled their
creative resources together for a
fundraising concert on Nov. 9.
A national effort is currently
underway to bring together Fili-
pino American artists to hold a
benet concert. Wilma Consul,
a Washington DC-based perfor-
mance artist and former reporter
for National Public Radio, is ini-
tiating a Music Aid for Pinas,
similar to one sponsored by
actors and artists here in the US
in response to natural calamities.
Its Bayanihan time, folks,
Consul said. Our beloved coun-
try is mourning. Lets mobilize,
organize and work.
Photographer Paul Tanedo,
whose works are currently on
exhibit at the Garden Springs
Park in Alexandria, Va., plans to
donate a portion of the proceeds
from sales of his framed digital
Other community organi-
zations, like Feed the Hungry,
were already on the ground
in the Philippines on Day One
implementing emergency assis-
tance. Some of our board mem-
bers immediately ew to Manila
to assist our volunteers, says
Gloria Caoile, a FtH director.
We have not nished our
work in Bohol but we are assess-
ing what can be done for victims
of Yolanda. Feed the Hungry
is also reaching out to Ameri-
can corporations, like Schwab,
Google and Microsoft to help
out. Donors are directed to the
FtH website, feedthehungryphil.
org, for more information.
All our efforts will make
a difference, Caoile adds. We
just need to roll up our sleeves
and walk the extra mile. Lets
keep the faith and together we
will help save lives.
Rene Calandria, editor of
Pinoy Herald, said he is forging
a partnership with Worlds Apart
One Heart Inc., a humanitar-
ian organization, to sponsor a
fundraiser on Nov. 17 to benet
the people of Tacloban and his
hometown of Carigara in Leyte.
In addition to emergency
relief like food, shelter and medi-
cine, rebuilding their lives will
be a long-term concern, said
Calandria, who is also incom-
ing President of the Philippine
American Chamber of Com-
merce. Im appealing to every-
one in the community to pitch
Ador Carreon, Board Chair-
man of the Philippine American
Foundation for Charities (PAFC),
has also disclosed that proceeds
of the Dec. 1 Paskong Pinoy will
go to a relief fund.
Our fundraising efforts, for
the most part, have been directed
to help the poor and needy in
the Philippines, Carreon said.
Their survival and long-term
needs are of utmost concern to
PAFC has already donated
$1,000 through the Philippine
Red Cross.
Meanwhile, aid organiza-
tions based here are joining the
growing international effort to
help victims of killer typhoon
Yolanda even as one United
States lawmaker urged his gov-
ernment to expand its assistance
to a longtime ally.
Help is urgently needed
from the American people to
reach those in greatest need in
the Philippines, said World
Food Program USA chief execu-
tive ofcer Rick Leach.
WFP has mobilized an
immediate US$2 million for the
response, but will be appeal-
ing for more funds as the needs
become clearer. As a preliminary
measure, 40 metric tons of forti-
ed biscuits are due to be own
in from Dubai in the coming
WFP is already mobilizing
to respond to this disaster with
critical emergency food relief
and stands ready to help families
and children impacted by the
storm, he stressed. Donations
can be made at www.wfpusa.
org or by texting the word AID
to 27722 to instantly donate $10.
The local NBC afliate
(Channel 4) is planning to do a
phone bank to help its viewers
donate for Filipino typhoon vic-
tims. The mainstream TV chan-
nels here have been providing
extensive coverage of the heart-
breaking losses in Tacloban City
and other equally devastated
Philippine communities.
An initial 7 tons of medi-
cines and medical supplies
worth about $600,000 from the
Virginia-based Asia America Ini-
tiative (AAI) have arrived in the
Philippines in the next 24 hours.
Severe weather and natural
calamities during recent years
have challenged the people in
the Philippines like no other
country in the world, said AAI
President Albert Santoli.
A second shipment of medi-
cines is being gathered by the
Direct Relief organization and
supported by American donors.
It is expected to support 30,000
typhoon victims for one month.
We are honored to have
hard-working local partners like
the Philippine Red Cross and pri-
vate organizations on both sides
of the Pacic such as One World
Institute and IPI Foundation. I
respect the courage and perse-
verance of the Filipino people of
all religions and cultures, San-
toli said.
Rep. Joseph Heck (3rd Dis-
trict, Nevada) sent an urgent
request to Dr. Rajiv Shah,
administrator of the US Agency
for International Development
While I realize we currently
provide considerable assistance
to the Philippines, events such
as super typhoon Haiyan require
the consideration of additional
aid, he wrote.
In light of the devastation
and loss of life, I encourage you
to immediately move to provide
emergency disaster assistance to
the Republic of the Philippines.
The difculty to commu-
nicate with severely damaged
areas also raised fears not only
among Filipinos here but rela-
tives of Americans living in dev-
astated areas as well.
For American citizens who
have relatives in the Philippines,
please email: acsinfomanila@ . Provide detailed
information on the person that
you are looking for: Name, City
etc. Also provide detailed con-
tact information.
For non-American citizens,
the Philippine government
has setup a website posting
the names of known deceased
Real time information will be
posted along with a phone
Gawad Kalinga USA (GK
USA), through its spokesman
Benedict Oliver Dichoso is col-
lecting funds to provide 20,000
food packs for the typhoon vic-
tims. A food pack cost $5 and
includes water, rice, canned
food, and noodles, Dichoso
points out.
GK Philippines Teams are
on the ground now and will dis-
tribute the food packs. We are
receiving donations at http:// Please
pass on this information.
With direct communications
virtually non-existent in the days
after the storm, social media,
like Facebook, has been a useful
forum in the community for
providing information, comfort,
support and synergy in prayer.
This digital bayanihan (shared
workload/burden) effort has
always helped Filipinos survive
to overcome the aftermaths of
storms, earthquakes and violent
volcanic eruptions.
What humbles me is the
grace the Filipinos have in deal-
ing with what they are given,
says Munam Villorante Good-
win of Bethesda, MD.
I saw a mother who fash-
ioned a hammock made of blan-
ket for her baby in an evacua-
tion center. She is smiling as she
pushed and pulled, lulling her
baby to sleep. No whining, no
This attitude was appar-
ently picked up by CNN, which
described in its broadcasts the
Filipino people as unbeliev-
ably resilient, long suffering,
good natured, uber friendly,
loyal, ingenius, and a bunch of
survivors. At the end of the day,
the Filipinos will just shake off
the dirt from their clothes and
go about their business and
SMILE. They do not complain
much, they will bear as long as
they can. Maybe this is why they
were given the privilege of
bearing the burden of the stron-
gest typhoon ever recorded. The
indomitable spirit at its nest.
While many in the cyber
community applauded CNNs
tribute, there were a few who
took umbrage. CNN, dont tell
us who we are, posted Gem
Daus, a University of Maryland
professor. It is not a privilege to
not know where your loved ones
Another Filipino Ameri-
can professor, Dawn Bohulano
Mabalon, added a stinging criti-
cism of industrial capitalist soci-
eties that created global warm-
ing, and now us poor people
have to be models of resilience
and piety and faith in order to
bear the consequences of your
wasteful, destructive lifestyles?
Another posted: And they
forgot to say noble savages.
Given the magnitude of the
destruction and the frequency of
more storms to come, the Fil-Am
community leaders are mindful
of the tremendous challenges
ahead. It takes people years to
recover from a catastrophe like
this and rebuild their lives, says
NaFFAA National Chairman
Ed Navarra. We can only try
our best to alleviate a lot of their
Fil-Ams mobilize for... from page 1
Filipino American tenor Allan Chan after concert benetting victims of typhoon Yolanda which devastated his par-
ents hometown in the Philippines.
November 15, 2013 24 24
On the Content of Native Dances
ative, an adjective, is typ-
ical, indigenous, of the
Philippines, by the Phil-
ippines, in the Philippines. And
nowhere is this adjective more
apparent, more emblematic, than
in the countrys folk dance. It is
in the folk dance that one sees
and feels the creators love for
his birthplace, for the ways of
life he has been living, his pas-
sion for his works and plays, his
surroundings, the afnity for his
deeply-rooted culture.
Take, for example, the most
popular Tinikling, named after
a long-legged bird. It depicts the
life in a barrio, and by extension,
in an agricultural region of the
country. As is with this bird, a
farmer hops for life and skips the
danger everyday living entails.
The dance creator has seen in his
lifetime the struggles of a tikling
bird to escape the lure of bamboo
traps. The movement of the danc-
ers feet he has choreographed,
feet escaping the impact of two
bamboo poles clashing, por-
trays how life, for him, has been.
He has identied himself with
the bird, he feels what the bird
should feel facing the danger,
if the bird should have the feel-
ing; he is the dancer in constant
watch for the clashing poles, his
fear of an ear-splitting sound
of two cymbals in a symphony.
A Filipino, to him, is a bamboo
The popularity of this dance,
now recognized and appreciated
internationally, however, has
rested on an audiences reac-
tion every time the dance is per-
formed. The appreciation comes
when an audience perceives
the dance itself as a way of life,
charged with feelings and sensi-
bilities, and only when the audi-
ence succumbs to these feelings
and sensibilities, the merging of
the audiences emotions with the
virtual life being portrayed, only
then does total enjoyment comes.
The artistry of the dance and the
dancers is well dened; when
the choreographed movement
is without the emotions, the set
pattern of steps is reduced to a
gymnastic exercise, dead.
Folk dances in the Philip-
pines, almost without exception,
are variants of the Philippines
way of life. The steps, the cos-
tumes, the stage settings may be
different, but the image evoked
always is the homogeneity of the
people of the islands. The theme
is the survival from an imagined
crisis, a threatening storm or
ood to wipe out rice crops and
vegetation, the unannounced
intruders, or a catastrophic
change in ones environment,
all these come to an end. When
they pass, the life continues, the
happy gaits and smiles remain.
From Laoag in northern
Luzon to the Tawi-Tawi Islands
in the south, folk dances, by
regions, may be different in
external appearances, but they
all express an idea the way feel-
ings, emotions and other per-
sonal sensations come and go,
how all these give a Filipino his
personal identity, the inner life
that makes him what he is, his
inside history, and to a greater
extent his part of a nations cul-
ture. The objectication of a sub-
jective life is what makes folk
dances works of art.
Typical of the artistry exhib-
ited is in Kuratsa, a irtation
dance rst introduced in Leyte
showing the exuberance and
gaiety of its inhabitants, or in
Cariniosa, which literarily
means amiable or gracious,
expressing the emotion of a
maiden yearning for her lover, or
better yet, in La Jota Moncade-
nia, a take from the Spanish Jota
and rst performed in Moncada,
Tarlac, evoking merriment in the
combined Spanish and Ilocano
dance steps. Equally evocative
is in Itik Itik, rst performed
in Surigao, a playful imitation
by female dancers of ducks wad-
dling and playing in mud pud-
Not to be ignored are Bina-
suan, Subli, Pandanggo sa
Iaw, Maglalatik, and Palo
Dances in Sulu and Tawi-
Tawi are traditionally mimetic
in form and portrays the occu-
pations of their inhabitants.
In Laugka-Baluang, a male
dancer mimics an angry monkey
in a style that creates an illusion
of an ill-tempered monkey that
is at once funny and intimidat-
ing. Igal Kussah a male dancer
assumes the illusion of a boar
trying to crack a coconut, with
unsuccessful result. Linggisan
a female dancer imitates a bird
in ight, while Kabh Kabah
dancers imitate mating but-
teries. In Pagkamun, a sea
mantis is being mimicked, while
in Pangasik, a dancer simu-
lates a mating rooster.
Occupations portrayed are
in Igal Buwan, torch-bearing
male dancers in a ritualized
religious event, and in Tauti,
showing the intricacies of catch-
ing a catsh.
All these dances would not
have come about without the
creativity and ingenuity of their
creators and the institutions they
fostered The Bayanihan Folk
Arts Center, now an institution
organized under the proddings
of Helen Benitez of the Philip-
pines Women University, has
successfully introduced Philip-
pine culture to the major cities
in the world. The dance troupe
not only gained recognition but
prizes as well. The Filipinescas,
under the Leonor Oroza Goqu-
ingcos guidance, have intro-
duced creative innovations and
daring dance style to the other-
wise traditional forms of danc-
Without the performances
of the Baranggay Dance Troupe
of the Philippine Normal Col-
lege, under the direction of Paz
Cielo Belmonte, of Palakis and
Balambang, we, the poten-
tial audience, would forever
be ignorant of how the natives
of Benguet and Kalinga in the
Mountain Province live their
lives as evoked in their dances.
And without the troupes per-
formances of the Singkil and
Silat , our knowledge of the
Muslims way of life and reli-
gious rites would forever be in
These dances, that are
native to the Philippines, create
an image of personal identity
for our enjoyment. We enjoy at
seeing ourselves. We thrill at
each performance because we
share the feelings and emotions
evoked by the dance and by the
dancers, we feel the threat of
danger and the evasion, failures
and triumphs, the dawning and
setting of the sun, and the for-
ever happy aftermath. We feel,
we share, we recognize that in
watching a performance we see
ourselves as participants in the
forever moving, evolving, pat-
tern of culture and in weaving
the threads of the nations his-
Target: President Aquino
f theres such a thing as a
silent siege, its whats being
thrown at President Aquino.
The objective: to chip away at his
popularity and make worthless
his endorsement of Mar Roxas as
presidential candidate in 2016.
The drop the other week
in Aquinos poll numbers isnt
coincidental; its partly the dirty
tricks campaign against him
bearing early fruit. Expect the
siege to continue.
You can see it in a subtle but
sustained ow of letters to news-
paper editors, taking advantage
of every possible peg to put
Aquino down. The letters so far
have tried to portray the Presi-
dent as incompetent and lazy
but the more shrill among them
irt with suggestions of either
impeachment or forced resigna-
Some commentators in
print and radio have also been
on the Presidents back, even to
the extent of calling him names.
Expect the badmouthing to esca-
late and be more overt.
Who might be behind this
Mr. Aquino has stepped on
a lot of political toes in the three
years hes been in ofce. Hes
put a lot of people in humiliating
situations, exposing their past
misbehavior to the searing light
of the sun for everyone to see.
Hes made a lot of people angry.
Any one or group among these
people currently twisting in the
wind could be behind the plot to
diminish Mr. Aquinos standing
with the people and erode his
Aquino-bashers may be
motivated either by their own
belief that the President is doing
a lousy job or by paper that the
central bank guarantees as legal
For the rst suspects,
domestic appreciation for Aqui-
nos efforts sofar is widespread.
And abroad, credit rating agen-
cies and global business leaders
have been giving the Philippines
high marks, practically endors-
ing Aquinos governance as the
key to the investment-rating
upgrades. So the Presidents
detractors must have other
Having said this, and while
praise has been coming his
way, the President must further
improve the governments per-
formance, especially in making
sure the recent economic growth
benets the poor.
His high poll numbers up to
this point make him a formidable
endorser in 2016. And so those
who are nursing their own ambi-
tions to get to where PNoys desk
is currently, and are not likely to
be endorsed by him, naturally
want to make him a weak or
insignicant anointer of the next
president. They could be behind
the moves to make Aquino an
ineffectual kingmaker in 2016, or
worse a lame duck even before
that time.
Aquinos ace so far is his
chart-busting numbers in the
surveys. Consistently, the people
have given him rave reviews so
far, building him an impregnable
wall against the manufactured
complaints over his performance
in ofce. This has made the task
of the Aquino-bashers tough up
to this point.
But the dip in the Presidents
survey numbers recently will
give his detractors a glimmer
of optimism. They might even
toast themselves as doing a good
job of whittling down Aquinos
standing among the masses.
No doubt Mr. Aquinos
press handlers are able to dis-
cern whats going on; they dont
have to read the tea leaves to
know that their boss is under a
subtle but continuing siege. They
and their principal should expect
the sniping to continue in the
coming months and build up to
a crescendo in 2015 all the way
to 2016.
Of course its the essence
of democracy to have a robust
agora of ideas, an exchange of
differing opinions, and a healthy
give-and-take in public fora. The
president and all public ofcials
are open targets for criticism
because they are the servants of
the people.
But criticism must be fair
and based on facts, not on mere
conjecture or worse, on fabri-
cated insinuations or outright
falsehoods. Public discourse
must be responsible and honest,
and not just name-calling and ad
hominem arguments.
We the people must put
Aquino on his toes at all times
to keep him alert and honest. We
must put his feet to the re and
continue to breathe down his
Continued on page 30
November 15, 2013 25
an an Ombudsman who
has a backbone, instead
of a wishbone, make a
Read last weeks Court of
Appeals decision that upheld
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio
Morales order to re 10 Navy
men. They were implicated in
the 1995 death of Ensign Philip
Pestano who refused to load hot
timber and drugs.
Associate Justice Jose Reyes
Jr. wrote 9th divisions decision:
Carpio Morales rightly reversed
earlier dismissal of charges by
previous ombudsmen Aniano
Desierto and Merceditas Gutier-
rez, it said,. Both had turned a
blind eye to the evidence
Sixteen years and four
months, noted an Inquirer edi-
torial January last year.. Thats
how long it has taken the death
of ...Pestao to be recognized for
what it has been: cold blooded
murder. Conviction remains
a long way off...But it offers a
glimmer of hope that closure will
grace this case.
Well, conviction came ---
An Ateneo honor student,
Pestano graduated from Phil-
ippine Military Academy. As
RPS Bacolod City cargomaster
Pestano refused to load 14,000
board feet of illegal logs -- a Sulu
governors gift to Admiral Pio
In September, Pestano was
shot in his cabin as the ship
meandered on a bizzare hour-
and-a-half trip from Cavite
to Roaxs Blvd. Normally that
trip takes 25 minutes. Logbook
entries disappeared. Sans inves-
tigation, the Navy ruled within
24 hours: Suicide.
Within four months of
Pestaos death, comrades dis-
appeared in mysterious circum-
stances, the UN Human Rights
Commission in Geneva found.
P02 Zosimo Villanueva
tipped Pestano on drugs stashed
in 20 sacks of rice aboard the
ship, then Senator Fred Lim
revealed. Villanueva was lost
at sea--- but his three compan-
ions survived. Only a bloodied
speedboat was found.
PO3 Fidel Tagaytay was
BRP Bacolod Citys radio opera-
tor. He vanished when sum-
moned to testify. Wife Leonilas
efforts to trace his whereabouts
were brushed off by the claim
that Tagaytay was absent with-
out leave. Nobody in the Navy
bothered to look.
Ensign Alvin Farone con-
tacted Marissa, Pestaos sister,
Mariissa saying he wanted to
tell what really happened to
Philip. He died before he could
do so.
Then, Lt (Carlito Amoroso
(PMA class 1994) moonlighted
as close-in security for Admiral
Carranza. Amoroso was not a
crew member of BRP Bacolod
City. Yet, he tagged along on
trips from Tawi-Tawi and to
Navy HQunmanifested. Was
he riding shotgun for those con-
troversial logs earlier or drugs?
Amoroso became scarce
since then. Did he resign? Or has
he been tucked into a low-prole
post? The Navy isnt keen on
locating, much less asking him
questions. Lim fumed: To date,
as like the others, (Amoroso) got
Immigration Notes
By J.G. Azarcon, Esq.
of petitions
after death of
n the past, if the petitioner
dies while the visa petition
is pending, the beneciary
would not be entitled to seek
approval of the petition. The law
changed with the amendment of
Sec. 204 (l) of the Immigration
Act in 2009.
Under current law, an alien
seeking immigration benet
through a deceased qualifying
relative may obtain approval
of a visa petition or adjustment
application and refugee/asylee
relative petition if the alien meets
the following illegibility require-
Resided in the United States
when the qualifying relative
Continues to reside in the
United States on the date of the
decision on the pending petition
or application;
Is at least one of the following:
the beneciary of a pending
or approved immediate relative
visa petition;
the beneciary of a pending or
approved family-based visa peti-
tion, including beneciary and
any derivative beneciaries;
any derivative beneciary of
a pending or approved employ-
ment-based visa-petition;
the beneciary of appending
or approved Form I-730, Refu-
gee/Asylee Relative Petition;
an alien admitted as a deriva-
tive T or U nonimmigrant;
or a derivative asylee.
The Immigration Service
denes qualifying relative as
an individual who immediately
before death, was: the petitioner
or principal beneciary in a fam-
ily-based petition; the principal
beneciary in an employment-
based visa petition; the peti-
tioner in a refugee/asylee rela-
tive petition; the principal alien
admitted as a T or U nonimmi-
grant; the principal asylee who
was granted asylum.
First: Unmarried sons/daughters
of US citizens Jul 01, 2001
A: Spouses/minor children of
permanent residents: Sep. 08, 2013
B: Unmarried sons/daughters 21 years
of age or older of permanent residents Mar. 01, 2003
Third: Married sons/daughters of citizens Jan. 08, 1993
Fourth: Brothers/sisters of citizens Apr. 22, 1990
First: Priority workers Current
Second: Professionals holding advanced
degrees or persons of exceptional ability Current
Third: Skilled workers, professionals Dec. 15, 2006
Other Workers Dec. 15, 2006
Certain Religious Workers Current
Fifth: Employment creation/
(Million or half-million dollar investor) Current
Mortgage Process
in a nutshell
pplying for a mortgage
is a process. For some,
it is easy but for others
it is like pulling teeth. It has
lots of characteristics wherein
one borrower cannot be identi-
ed with other borrowers. Each
situation is unique and a profes-
sional analysis is always recom-
Let us talk about the mort-
gage process in general. Mort-
gage application is like you are
in a court. There is a judge, a
petitioner, and a lawyer. A case
is being presented by the lawyer
on behalf of his client and the
judge will make the decision. In
our mortgage application, it is
quite similar. The borrower is
the petitioner or the applicant,
the lawyer is the loan originator,
and the judge is the underwriter.
The underwriter is a person des-
ignated to make a decision on the
loan application. He or she can
approve, deny or make a counter
The initial step is to have
a conversation with an experi-
enced loan ofcer (LO). The LO
will assist you in explaining the
different programs available.
A good LO would ask several
questions based on your nan-
cial situation and overall objec-
tive. It is best recommended you
provide to your LO all the nec-
essary nancial documentation
and information so the LO could
help you make an informed deci-
There are also other avenues
to get ideas about mortgage loans
and buying a house. Some of the
counties and not-for-prot orga-
nizations have instituted pro-
grams you can attend especially
if you are a rst time homebuyer.
These home buying seminars are
usually free of charge.
Among others, there are
three (3) basic things we need
to know about securing a loan.
These factors are mostly applica-
ble to any kind of credit applica-
tion. Let us use the acronym CIA
to remember easily. The letter
C stands for Credit, I stands for
Income, and A for Asset. Any
lender would like to assess the
borrowers capacity and capabil-
ity to repay the loan. That is part
of their risk management.
Credit is known to the lender
by pulling credit report. Under-
writers do not see their borrow-
ers. The credit score is one of the
rst things they want to know.
The higher the credit score,
the more chance one would be
approved for a loan they want
and typically would get a better
rate. In todays environment,
creditors have some overlays in
their program underwriting that
would be very challenging to
avail a loan for lower credit score
applicants. It is very important
one has to protect their credit by
paying their bills on time if not
ahead of time. It sometimes does
not matter how much you owe
but how well and diligently you
pay your obligation.
Income is also an important
factor in getting a loan. Nor-
mally, lenders would require for
at least 2 years of work history.
Income is used to calculate the
debt to income ratio (DTI). This is
being calculated by dividing the
total monthly obligation (includ-
ing the mortgage payment) from
the monthly income.
The monthly obligation is
the minimum payment for your
installment loans and/or credit
card debts showing on your
credit report. More obligations
not showing on the report such
as child support, alimony and
the like are also counted. Other
types of income could come
from Social Security, Retire-
ment, Pensions, Disability, and
others. Child support and Ali-
mony, if properly documented,
are acceptable income as well.
Part-time income, overtime, and
bonus would help to increase the
loan amount approval or could
be used as compensating factor.
Copy of the pay-stubs and tax
returns are proof of income.
Asset would be needed for
down payment and to pay clos-
ing costs. Your lender would
require you to submit your bank
statements. These assets should
be liquid or available for with-
drawal anytime. The funds from
your retirement accounts like
401K, Thrift Savings Plan, 403B,
etc. can also be used when nec-
essary. Down payments could
vary on the different types of
loan you want to get. The higher
the down payment is the lesser
amount of loan you need; there-
fore, lower monthly payment.
There are multiple kinds of loan
program. The Federal Housing
Administration (FHA) would
Continued on page 30
Continued on page 30
November 15, 2013 26 26
(Rice Noodles Saut) (Simply Vegetarian)
his is one of the most favor-
ite dishes in the Philippines
and it is gaining popularity
throughout the world. Pancit is
always being served in every
party or celebration among Fili-
pinos including Filipino-Amer-
icans, as we believe it signies
long life and good luck.
I will demonstrate this dish
at WUSA Channel 9 on Tuesday,
November 19, 2013 and during
that time, will also showcase
other popular Filipino dishes
and desserts.
Serves 10-12
1 pack thin rice noodles
(Bihon - 16 oz.)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup nely chopped onions
1 cup thinly sliced button
mushrooms or tree ears
2 cups vegetable stock or
1/2 cup soy sauce (Philip-
pine brand preferred)
1 cup julienne carrot
1 cup thinly cut celery
1/2 cup tiny diced tofu
1/2 pound coarsely chopped
Chinese cabbage
1/4 cup snow peas
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Wet the rice noodles with
cold water, drain excess water
and leave it wet for at least 10
minutes (do not soak). When
soft, separate the rice noodles
with your ngers. Set aside.
Heat a wok or large skillet
with vegetable oil. Sweat the
onions for 2-3 minutes and add
the mushrooms, carrots, celery
and tofu and saut for another
2-3 more minutes.
Add 2 cups simmering veg-
etable stock or water and mix
in the rice noodles while main-
taining high heat. Add the cab-
bage, while constantly mixing
the pancit until all the sauce is
absorbed by the rice noodles.
Add the snow peas and sprinkle
some black pepper at the last
minute of cooking.
Best if served immedi-
ately while the pancit is freshly
Chefs Tips: This dish can
be cooked even in a moments
notice, as long as the ingredients
are prepared ahead of time. The
stock or water should be sim-
mering ready. Also, pancit can
be sauted with bits of chicken,
pork or shrimps, if preferred.
Editors Note: Master Chef
Evelyn: 100 Most Influential Fili-
pina Women in the U.S., 2009, Fili-
pina Womens Network; MHC Most
Outstanding Migrant Award in
Culinary Arts, 2011; PAFC Dakila
Special Achievement Award, 2011;
Owner/Chef, Philippine Oriental
Market & Deli, Arlington, Virginia;
Founder and President of CHEW
(Cancer Help Eat Well) Founda-
tion, a 501 (c) (3) public charity
formed to help and cook pro-bono for
Filipino-Americans who are afflicted
with cancer and other serious ill-
nesses; Culinary writer; Member,
Les Dames dEscoffier International,
Washington DC Chapter; Member,
International Cake Exploration
Society, Member, Culinary Histo-
rians of Washington, D.C.; Master
Chef, French Cuisine and Patisserie,
Le Cordon Bleu, London.
he Captain called the Ser-
geant in. Sarge, I just got
a telegram that Private
Jones mother died yesterday.
Better go tell him and send him
in to see me.
So the Sergeant calls for his
morning formation and lines up
all the troops. Listen up, men,
says the Sergeant. Johnson,
report to the mess hall for KP.
Smith, report to Personnel to
sign some papers. The rest of you
men report to the Motor Pool for
maintenance. Oh by the way,
Jones, your mother died, report
to the commander.
Later that day the Cap-
tain called the Sergeant into his
ofce. Hey, Sarge, that was a
pretty cold way to inform Jones
his mother died. Couldnt you be
a bit more tactful, next time?
Yes, sir, answered the
A few months later, the
Captain called the Sergeant in
again with, Sarge, I just got a
telegram that Private McGraths
mother died. Youd better go tell
him and send him in to see me.
This time be more tactful.
So the Sergeant calls for his
morning formation. Ok, men,
fall in and listen up. Every-
body with a mother, take two
steps forward.... Not so fast,
On the rst day of Grade 3
class, Kaloys math teacher asked
the students to count to 50. Many
of them did very well, some get-
ting as high as 37. But Kaloy did
extremely well; he made it to 100
with only 3 mistakes. At home
he told his Dad how well he
had done. Dad told him, Thats
because youre a dela Cruz, son.
The next day, in English
class, the teacher asked stu-
dents to recite the alphabet.
Some made it to the letter K
with only one mistake but Kaloy
outdid them again. He made it
all the way through Z, missing
only the letter M. That evening
he once again brought his Dad
up to date and Dad explained
to him, Thats because youre a
dela Cruz, son.
The next day, the boys were
dressing up after Physical Educa-
tion. Kaloy noted that, compared
to the other boys in his grade, he
seemed overly well-endowed.
This confused him. That night,
he asked his Dad, Dad, they all
have little tiny ones, but mine is
ten times bigger than theirs. Is
that because Im a dela Cruz?
No, son, explained Dad,
thats because youre 18!
During a press conference
on morality...
Reporter: Sir, how many
women do you believe must a
man marry?
President: 16!
Reporter: Why?
President: Because the priest
says: Four richer, four poorer,
four better, four worse. A total
of 16.
Erap, Joe De V and Fred Lim
are soliciting campaign funds
from the Sultan of Brunei. The
Sultan has a very intelligent
horse, who understands Eng-
lish but is lame. Sultan says he
will donate a million dollars to
the candidate who can make the
horse laugh, cry and run.
Joe says, Me rst. He puts
his face in front of the horse, and
starts wiggling his huge ears.
The horse enjoys the breeze, but
does not laugh. Joe takes out
money and waives it in front
of the horse while making sad,
crying sounds. The horse ignores
the money, and refuses to cry.
Joe then slaps the horses
behind, and starts shouting
Heyaah. The horse ignores
him and refuses to run.
Lim comes up next. He
looks at the horse and says, If
you dont laugh, Ill kill you!
Horse didnt laugh. He walks
over to the other side and says,
If you dont cry, Ill have you
salvaged. Horse didnt cry.
Finally, he stands beside the
horse and says, If you dont
run, Im gonna cut off your leg.
Horse didnt run.
Erap comes to the front.
He whispers something in the
horses ear. The horse bucks
and laughs so loudly, the Sultan
thought it was going to die. Erap
whispers again. The horse starts
to weep copiously. Finally, Erap
whispers again, and the horse
takes off running like a shot.
Joe and Fred are amazed.
What did you say to the horse
rst? asks Joe.
Erap: I told him Im the Vice-
President of the Philippines.
Fred: And how did you
make him cry?
Erap: That Im going to be
the next President of the Philip-
Why did he run away?
they both asked.
Erap: I told him if he didnt
start running now, I was going
to bring him back to the Philip-
pines, and make him a registered
Filipino voter.
Isang gabi pumasok si Kikoy
(bagong salta) sa isang mama-
haling restaurant & bar sa Wash-
ington, D.C. Tumabi siya sa dala-
wang Amerikano na nakaupo sa
bar. Hindi malaman ni Kikoy
kung ano ang oorderin niya
kaya hinintay niyang mauna ang
dalawang amerikano. Umorder
yung unang Amerikano: Johnny
Walker, single. Umorder din
yung pangalawang kano: Jack
Daniels, single. Si Kikoy naman
ang umorder... sabi sa bartender:
Francisco Dimaculangan. mar-
ried. (Ayos!)
Isang araw, nag-uusap yung
dalawang mag-kaibigan, si Joey
at si Mark.
Joey: Alam mo, Mark, talag-
ang napaka-bobo ng boy naming
si Pedro.
Mark: Wala iyan! Sinisiguro
ko sa iyo, mas bobo yung boy
naming si Jose.
Nag-talo silang dalawa....
Joey: O sige, patutunayan
ko sa iyo a. Watch this! Pedro,
halika dito!
Pedro: Yes sir! What can I do
to you?
Joey: Eto piso, bumili ka ng
apat na case ng beer.
Pedro: Yes boss! Coming up!
Joey: O Mark, bilib ka na ba
sa kabobohan niyan, piso... bibila
siya ng apat na case ng beer.
Mark: Wala pa rin iyan kay
Jose, ikaw naman ang manood....
Jose, halika dito sandali!
Jose: Yes Sir! Ano po iyon?
Mark: Pumunta ka sa opi-
sina ko, tignan mo kung nan-
doon ako.
Jose: Yes Sir! Pupunta na po
Mark: O Joey, kita mo
naman na mas bobo pa iyan
kaysa kay Pedro mo.
Later, nag salubong yung
dalawang boy.....
Pedro: Jose, alam mo, ang
bobo talaga ng amo kong si Sir
Jose: Wala iyan....mas bobo
si Boss Mark ko.
Pedro: Hinde! Mas bobo si
Sir Joey, isipin mo, binigyan ako
ng piso para bumili ako ng apat
na case ng beer... e alam naman
niyang hindi ko kayang buhatin
ang mga iyon mag-isa!
Jose: Mas bobo naman si
Boss Mark noh! Pinapupunta pa
ako sa opisina niya para tignan
kung nandoon siye... e may tele-
pono naman siya!
November 15, 2013 27
Mabuhay ang
Manila Mail!
ow! The Manila Mail
turns 23! Like the
oak tree, it is proudly
standing strong and resilient like
the bamboo tree. It has weath-
ered the test of time and has not
missed a single issue. The econ-
omy went up, down, up, down
but it just went going, going,
going, like the popular battery. It
has seen ve U.S. presidents and
about eight Philippine Ambassa-
dors in Washington, D.C.
Proudly, this newspaper
has had only one Editor-In-Chief
since its inception, the esteemed
and amiable veteran journal-
ist Bert Alfaro. After his recent
well-deserved retirement, the
baton was handed to an excellent
choice, Rodney Jaleco, a reticent
but dynamic successor.
I congratulate one and all,
the Manila Mail family, for the
continued support and great
sense of volunteerism to sustain
the newspapers existence. Like-
wise, we extend appreciation to
the readers and supporters with
whom we share a common goal
of giving service to the Filipino
American community. I am
just happy to be a part of this
endeavor by giving a little glim-
mer to life through this column,
the Kutitap. May we have
many more Manila Mail anniver-
saries to come.
I am most thankful that
every year, this day was set apart
for rendering thanks for all the
goodness that we received. On
this particular day, we express
our gratitude for all Gods bless-
ings, big and small. To follow
this pathway, we also express
the grace of gratitude to those
who, in one way or another, have
made our daily life a little easier,
happier or better. I believe that
that the more we experience the
sense of gratitude with sincerity,
gratefulness comes natural and
easy to express. In fact, we dont
have to wait for the next Thanks-
giving Day para magpasalamat
sa mga gracia ng Diyos at sa mga
taong tumutulong sa atin.
As I recall, my mother
instilled in me and my siblings,
the wisdom of, It is better to
give than to receive. She added,
When we give, we forget it and
when we receive, we shall not
forget. Thank goodness she
did not impart these lessons in
life when we were young, oth-
erwise, there would have been
so many comments of unfair-
ness and whys to explain. Can
anyone imagine how a little child
would react if he or she did not
receive anything on Christmas?
As we get older, however, we get
schooled in our mistakes, and
learn to focus on whats lack-
ing, missing, inadequate, and
painful. Thats why gratitude is
so powerful because we learn
to notice whats right instead of
whats wrong. Like plants, we
turn toward, not away, from
the light. From my mother, we
learned the true meaning of
what she taught us, that we are
in a better position and is blessed
for giving help to less fortunate
people and when giving, not to
expect anything in return. Pas-
alamat tayo sa Diyos at tayo ang
tumutulong at hindi ang tinutu-
lungan. It is more blessed to give
than to receive.
What Else Are We
Thankful For?
Oh, so many more things-
big and small, tangible and intan-
gible. When we focus on what
we truly need, as opposed to
what we might like or want, life
gets much simpler, and its much
easier to feel grateful. Funny, but
what I was thankful for earlier
in life was much different from
what I am thankful for now.
I thought about it and the list
turned out to be not that long, in
fact, short: food, shelter, family,
health, and things meaningful
to do. And, I came to a conclu-
sion that the rest of the stuffs of
life are just wants like acquiring
a cinema size television, expen-
sive European car, big diamond
ring, a fur coat, shopping spree,
etc. These are not important any-
As we go on with life, our
motto becomes Less is more.
We now want to live in mod-
eration, simpler, healthier and
restful life. When the children
are done with college, stable
and living independently and
responsibly, it is like winning the
jackpot. We now have more time
for ourselves, the house is quieter
and our needs are less. This is
the opportune time to down-size
in a number of areas. Surely, this
is a real big thing to be thankful
for, for parents. Moving on, the
saying, Health is Wealth is
another big thing to pray for and
be thankful for. Health conscious
and mindful of what we eat now,
I read the ne prints to know the
nutritional values of the food
being purchased. Food shopping
is an activity that we enjoy much.
We do not mind going to three
groceries stores in an afternoon
to get the all ingredients on my
list - especially sh, vegetables
and fruits. Parallel to cooking,
food shopping is pleasurable
and therapeutic for me because
we actually experience choos-
ing the right ingredients focus-
ing on the health values but not
splurging beyond our budget.
Another activity that we enjoy
is going out to have quiet dinner
with close friends. With them,
our pace is slow and warm as we
seize moment of being together.
Here, we are thankful for
being able to simplify our life-
Aware of the intangible
things that we experience in life,
we embrace each day and appre-
ciate little things that bring satis-
faction and happiness that actu-
ally comes from small morsels of
pleasure. These are not-so-terri-
bly-signicant everyday activi-
ties. Mine would include having
my cup of coffee in the morning,
watching the news in the TV,
watering and talking to my
beautiful white and lavender
orchids by the window. When I
get our mails from our mailbox
by the driveway, I could not help
but take a look at the tiny yellow
owers of the humble weeds that
grew beside the post of the mail-
box. The weeds were obscure,
but the little owers gave some
colors to that rather uninterest-
ing spot.
So, on Thanksgiving Day,
we shall gather around the table
laden with food with our family
and friends to thank God for the
food that we are about to receive
from Thy bounty through Christ
our Lord. At saka marami pa
tayong dapat na ipagpasala-
mat. We add to give thanks for
all the blessings and graces that
we received, the gift of life, good
health, family and friends and
safe daily living.
Meanwhile, savor the juicy
the turkey and enjoy the fun with
your family and friends. Like
last year, we were invited by our
wonderful friends, Dr. Rene and
Inday Alvir, to celebrate Thanks-
giving at their lovely home. They
were the perfect hosts and I say,
Inday cooked the best Turkey
in town, crunchy outside and
juicy inside. She made all the
side dishes from the scratch and
I swear, nothing came from the
can. A gourmet cook, she only
does it on special occasions like
Thanksgiving Day and Christ-
mas Day. She especially arranges
her home in style during these
occasions. There are other cou-
ples whom they also invite regu-
larly to celebrate said occasions.
My husband and I look forward
to be with them and join the fun.
The Perfect Storm
his is the hardest article
to write. Distractions
from the recent Philip-
pine calamity, Super Typhoon
Yolanda, made my synapses go
haywire. Thoughts germinate
but expire from lack of cohe-
sion. I was sorely tempted to let
the deadline pass and suffer the
wrath of the editor-in-chief. But
my alter ego shamed me. So this
will be very short but alas, not
very sweet. My usual sense of
humor has deserted me.
The Philippines was recently
abused by a long list of nature-
and man-made blights. War in
Mindanao. Flooding in Luzon.
Earthquake in the Visayas. Add
to that the continuing saga of
hogs and hogettes running wild
in the house of horrors. They are
enough to make one burrow into
a hole and disappear for a while.
But this Super Typhoon
Yolanda wreaked devastation
of proportion not experienced
in written history. Our family is
still reeling over sad news from
relatives in the hardest hit area of
Tacloban. I sincerely hope by the
time this issue goes into print,
our two remaining relatives
who remain unaccounted for are
found safe.
Because the Philippines is
located within the Pacic Ring
of Fire, earthquakes and volca-
nic eruptions will occur. And its
location in Southeast Asia makes
it a rst target for typhoons.
There is not another body of land
to blunt the onslaught.
Run away from water.
Hide from the wind. This is the
mantra I hear from the Weather
Channel here in the US. For the
victims in Tacloban and the
surrounding areas, there was
nowhere to run to or hide. The
whole area, it turned out, was
a disaster pit. Tacloban became
the perfect target for this perfect
When the winds and the
rains left, the waste and destruc-
tion in their wake left a people
bereft of food, shelter, and sadly,
family. There was anarchy and
looting. The locals were hungry,
angry, and hopeless. Not only
debris littered the land. Decaying
bodies were everywhere with no
morgues or funeral homes to
shelter them. The casualty esti-
mates will make this a health
issue nightmare very soon and
the spread of disease very fast.
Relief was slow and the
frustration level quickly reached
its peak. The ferocity and magni-
tude of Yolanda rendered what-
ever previous emergency pre-
paredness protocol inoperable.
But these are irrational times. No
amount of explanation would
placate the masses in dire need
of even the most basic of neces-
From the President to the
lowly volunteer in the trenches,
your mettle will be tested. Expect
it. Prepare for it. I pray for your
safety and pray you nd the
strength to face this seemingly
insurmountable task ahead of
you. God bless us all.
Vet meets Sec. Hagel
From left, Eric Lachica, executive director, and Maj. Jesse Baltazar
(USAF ret.), of the American Coalition for the Filipino Veterans take
up issue of Filipino American veterans when they chat with US Secre-
tary of Defense Charles Chuck Hagel, at the Veterans Day Break-
fast in the White House, November 11, 2013.
November 15, 2013 28 28
I am 23 years old
oy o boy, I cant believe it. Do you
know that the Washington Tsismis
is now 23 years old! Yes, 23 and
that during all that time there has been a
succession of volunteer Tsismosos who
took time out to contribute to this column.
Hurrah!!! Congratulations to me and to
all those who participated in keeping Tsis-
mis alive.
Now it can be told. Among those
worthy of acknowledgement through the
years are Tsismosas with skirts or pant-
suits, Tsismosos with receding hairlines,
gray hairs or wrinkled faces and young
Tsismosos. Their names are written in
disappearing ink, so its not possible to
reveal them. To all of them, the heartfelt
gratitude of Washington Tsismis.
Where are the USP4GG (US Pinoys
for Good Government) who have sup-
ported President Benigno S. Aquino III?
The President is now being criticized by
more and more major Manila publications
which previously supported him.
He is being pilloried for his refusal to
divest himself of the controversial Devel-
opment Fund which senators and con-
gressmen have allegedly used to enrich
themselves with the help of Janet Napoles.
The criticism is now targeting even
ambassadors like Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. in
Washington D.C. Symbolic of the popu-
larity of Ambassador Cuisia among Fili-
pino Americans who have been following
his work was the comments from various
individuals and groups who know what
the ambassador has been doing for the
good of the Philippines and Filipinos in
the US.
Political ambassadors who are busi-
nessmen are used by developed coun-
tries, including the US, because they
spent their own money to hold receptions
and dinners for top ofcials in the coun-
tries where they are posted. The US State
department or the Philippine Department
of Foreign Affairs do not provide career
ambassadors with extra money to host
similar social affairs.
Heres one Tsismosos observation
about the Manila newspapers:
One newspaper, owned by a Chinese
Filipino, used to be supportive of the Pres-
ident. But lately, its pages are replete with
critical stories about Aquino. Recently, the
owner and columnists, including former
political ambassador Roberto Tiglao
(appointed by President Gloria Arroyo),
have started attacking him.
Tiglao has included Amb. Cuisia as
his target knowing full well that in the
foreign service appointments of business-
men as ambassadors is par for the course.
He knows that the most effective ambas-
sadors are those who have the money to
hold receptions or dinners with ofcials
of the host country in the performance of
their duties. Career ambassadors, as well
as envoys like Tiglao who had no money
to spend, are less effective in major capi-
tals because they lack the funds and the
prestige to act as the alter ego of the Presi-
Another publication owned by Fili-
pino businessmen close to Arroyo but
later became pro-Cory and pro-PNoy, is
changing its tuneStories and columns
are now criticizing the President.
The Daily Tribune, reportedly owned
by former President Joseph Estrada, has
been anti-Aquino throughout its exis-
tence. Ditto for the Manila Standard
Today which was pro-Cory, later pro-
Arroyo and now anti-PNoy. The Philip-
pine Star is pro-Pork because its owner is
Speaker Sonny Belmonte who favors the
continuation of Pork.
Among Filipino politicians, offense is
the best defense. If PNoy is also being tar-
geted as top Pork-user, it is because those
who have been charged with pocketing it
want to deect the charges against them.
So expect more expose about misuse by
Malacanang of billions of pesos in Pork.
Other Porkers are charging the whis-
tle-blowers in court even if the charges
against them are blatantly clear.
Heres the latest report about bad
Pinoy behaviors. In a recent gathering that
included free food, the organizers failed to
predict the number of people who would
be present. Thus, there was an acute short-
age of food. There was a mad scramble
for food. Some cautioned some partici-
pants to leave some for the others, but no
one listened. There were some attendees
who even made pabalots.
So, in the 23 years of Tsismosos exis-
tence, nothing much has changed as far as
behavior of some Pinoys are concerned
The only saving grace are the young ones,
Pinoys who were born or grew up here in
Some bad habits that refuse to die,
especially at occasions where free food is
- Criticizing the host if the food
Time to unite and remember
As if Filipinos need reminding, the gut-wrenching images of bodies
strewn on the streets of Tacloban City provided another glimpse of
nature ran amuck. The calamity spawned by super typhoon Yolanda
(Haiyan) dominated world news for days, revealing and dissecting
the effects of the most powerful typhoon in over three decades.
The Filipino community in the United States has mobilized
quickly to raise funds and support relief efforts for typhoon victims.
The offer to help has also come from nations and concerned organiza-
tions like, from the US government to groups like the American Red
Cross, UNICEF and the Catholic Relief Services, among others.
The Manila Mail, which is celebrating its 23rd anniversary with
this issue, stands as one with the dozens of Filipino American organi-
zations in the Metro DC region and the rest of the United States that
are mounting various initiatives for calamity victims.
This has become a singular moment for Filipinos, wherever they
may be and regardless of their economic standing or political per-
suasion to move forward shoulder to shoulder, in the cadence of the
bayanihan, cognizant that it is only in sharing this burden can Fili-
pinos rise back from this terrible blow.
This is also an occasion when the tiny corps of volunteer journal-
ists manning the Manila Mail can take comfort and satisfaction in
their work. Apart from being a voice of the Filipino American com-
munity, the Manila Mail can also be a catalyst for action, a conduit for
information, a sounding board for ideas on how better we all can help
our brethrens in need in the Philippines.
More importantly, the mainstream global media will nd another
disaster to report but the needs of orphans and widows created by
super typhoon Yolanda, or the imperatives of building from the
rubble of Tacloban City and other ravaged communities will only
grow over time.
It will be left to Filipinos, in America, in the Philippines or any
other part of this expansive world, to remember. And for the Manila
Mail to remind them should they forget.
Continued on page 30
November 15, 2013 29
Untruth and
n the days leading to the par-
tial federal shutdown, the
Republican controlled House
of Representatives passed a bill
proposing to fully fund the gov-
ernment but required postpone-
ment of the individual mandate
in the Affordable Care Act for
one year arguing that Obam-
acare was not ready for prime
Hell bent on launching his
legacy legislation, Pres. Obama
and the Democrats did not blink.
We will not delay Obamacare
even if it meant a government
shutdown. And thats what we
got, a shutdown and the launch-
ing of Obamacare.
The Obamacare rocket ship
was about ready to blast-off
when Health and Human Ser-
vices Secretary Kathleen Sibelius
got a mayday call. Houston, we
have a problem. The boosters
are not working. There is no lift.
Sibelius sends a text message to
Obama- should we abort? The
White House replies- no, just put
the engines on neutral and con-
sider it part of launch protocol. In
the meantime, go to the Amazon
website and order a repair kit for
the Obamacare rocket ship.
Now we know that Obam-
acare indeed was not ready for
prime time. After spending close
to $200 Million over three and
a half years for a website that
was intended to allow interested
applicants to enroll in the federal
insurance exchange, the system
miserably failed. Instead of thou-
sands of enrollment expected on
opening day, the number was
just a magnicent six according
to media reports.
As is the way in Washing-
ton, bureaucratic and political
fumbles lead to Congressional
hearings. The HHS administra-
tor and website contractors were
asked to testify. It appears that
there was no adequate testing or
dry run in a simulated environ-
ment and the decision to proceed
with the launch was more in
keeping with a political sched-
ule, oblivious of the gross de-
ciencies in the system.
This was like General Barry
Obama tasked with the D-Day
invasion of Normandy and
launching the attack without
bothering to ensure that his bat-
tleships were seaworthy. Hubris
or incompetence? It is not for me
to say.
Now there are calls to delay
the individual mandate in Obam-
acare. The business mandate was
already unilaterally postponed
by the administration. Even
some Democratic senators who
are up for re-election in red states
are now talking about delaying
the deadline for enrollment and
waiving penalties.
That is not music to the ears
of the White House. Any delay
would only validate the claim of
Republicans that Obamacare is
not ready for primetime and it
would appear that the House bill
proposing to fund the govern-
ment and delay Obamacare for a
year was the sensible alternative
after all.
While the website asco con-
The 23
ovelist William S. Bur-
roughs, who was drawn
to opiates and political
unrest, was credited with perpet-
uating 23 enigma that connotes
good albeit eeting fortune. In
1967, he wrote a short story and
called it 23 skidoo, an old
American slang that apparently
stemmed from a 1900s New York
City skyscraper on 23rd Street
where men would congregate
and watch the swirling winds
produced by the structure raise
the skirts of women walking by
(hence the word, skidoo which
as you can image was a big
thing during that era).
However, the 23 enigma
has come to represent conr-
mation bias which means we
see what we want to see in num-
bers. Still, its a hefty number
it takes 23 seconds for blood
to circulate through the human
body; tantrists believe the male
sex cycle is 23 days; Alexander
the Great was 23 years old when
he cut the Gordian Knot and the
Knights Templar had 23 grand-
masters; the ideal orbit for a sat-
ellite is 23,000 miles above the
earth; Michael Jordan wore 23
for the Chicago Bulls; US Cav-
alry legend George Custer was
promoted to general at age 23;
Sesame Streets Bert is a member
of the national association of W
lovers, which is the 23rd letter of
the alphabet, etc.
As a latecomer, we can only
listen to the tales that the old-
timers tell about how the Manila
Mail was born, in a smoke-lled
backroom, Brandy glass on one
hand and a deck of cards on the
other; talking about the need for
a Filipino newspaper in Wash-
ington DC in between raising
the ante and the abject surrender
of a folded hand. It just sounds
right for a newspaper to breathe
life in a poker game, its fathers a
roomful of cronies who believed
in the need and soundness of the
Joseph Pulitzer was a pen-
niless Civil War veteran when
he landed a job as a reporter for
a German-language daily in St.
Louis. William Randolph Hearst
persuaded his mining tycoon
father to buy him the San Fran-
cisco Examiner. They waged a
nasty circulation battle but came
together in manufacturing the
Spanish-American War which
thrust the United States as a
global power player for the rst
The New York Times was
founded in 1851 (as the New
York Daily Times) by one-time
Republican National Committee
chairman Henry Jarvis Raymond
and banker George Jones to pro-
mote the conservative cause. The
Chicago Tribune, born in 1847,
tried to be politically neutral but
bashed foreigners and Roman
Catholics in its editorials.
Rudolph Murdoch trans-
formed journalism into a lucra-
tive, global mega-empire.
Whatever the reason, news-
papers are created for a purpose
and with a clear agenda. The
Manila Mail, conceived as an
independent and impartial
journal, has a niche market that
it has strived to serve for over
two decades. Over the years,
other Filipino newspapers in the
Metro DC region have come and
gone or transformed into other
media, but the Manila Mails sin-
gular vision of offering a credible
Continued on page 30
Paul Taedo : Searching
for a Sense of Place
t was Tessa, six-year old
daughter of Bobby and Mar-
garet Lacson Ecarma, who
cut the ceremonial ribbon to
ofcially open Paul Taedos
photo exhibit one recent Sunday
afternoon at the Green Springs
Garden Horticultural Center in
A feast for the senses, Paul
himself describes it.
These incredibly beauti-
ful photographs, after all, are
images seen through the eyes of
a child: The pure innocence, the
spontaneity, the tireless energy,
the total surrender to the forces
of nature, the rhythms of the
earth, the whispers among the
trees. Its almost as if Pauls pho-
tographs are suddenly owing
seamlessly in the graceful move-
ments of a child and one can no
longer tell the dancer from the
dance as she romps outside in
the park, doing cartwheels and
somersaults. The images, freed
from glass and frame, spills over
into the yard, mixing in with
fall colors at their peak, rustling
under a glorious autumn sun.
This time its a child that
rouses a village. A village that
has felt so much pain and loss
lately. In every season, there is a
time for everything.
A time to cry and a time to
And a time to put it all
together again.
Painted Photographs. Asked
what he did differently from last
year, Paul initially gives a rather
technical answer: Its pretty
much the same as the last one
except for the look or choices
where I mixed in some traditional
more subtle images that are not
so graphic. The previous show,
which had a more contemporary
look, had stronger, geometric
elements, patterns and color. The
rst one was inuenced by my
notion of what would be catchy,
especially for the many children
who see the images. Except for
those elements, this show is like
a continuation of the rst.
OK, thats the photogra-
pher/artist simply responding
to a question that doesnt begin
to capture the power and magni-
tude of the incredible experience
of creation.
As one familiar with Pauls
transition from black & white
photography to color, I am con-
stantly awed as much by the
mastery of a very challenging
craft as the complete pursuit of
a passion that knows no bounds,
relentless, owing as the song
goes, like rivers to the sky.
The transition happened,
Paul recalls, just walking around
his neighborhood in Annan-
dale in the winter and spring of
2012, taking pictures of trees and
shrubs, leaves and bulbs, ow-
ers and blades of grass. It was a
totally different experience, he
remembers then, the evolution
from night to day, from dark to
light, from anguished faces to
vibrant owers.
Aptly titled The Other Side
of the Fence, last years photo
exhibit was a labor of love one
year in the making.
Continued on page 30
Continued on page 30
Paul and Susan Tanedo. Photo by Jon Melegrito
November 15, 2013 30 30
sumed the media for weeks now,
thats really not the sole factor
in the ultimate success or failure
of Obamacare. Technical glitzes
can be xed in due time. The
bigger question is the substance
of the law and its impact on the
insured and the uninsured. Will
the numbers as represented by
the administration add up? What
happens if there are not enough
healthy and paying enrollees to
cover the costs of providing ben-
ets to the subsidized individu-
After thousands of people
received cancellation notices of
their health insurance policies
from their insurance companies
as a consequence of Obamacare,
Pres. Obama has to wiggle out of
his categorical promise that if
you like your insurance, you can
keep it; if you like your doctor,
you can keep your doctor,
He probably is not aware
that we are now in a world of
video replay because he now
claims that what he actually
said was that you could keep
your plan if it has not changed
since the law was passed.
This reminds me of a famous
politician named Bill who is a
master at denial when he said-
it depends upon the meaning of
is when you say is.
More and more insured
individuals are now coming
forward complaining of policy
cancellations as a consequence
of an HHS rule that if there was
a change in the insurance plan
after the passage of Obamacare,
it will not be grandfathered
and the new plan must provide
the mandated coverage. People
are shocked to nd out that
it will cost them more in pre-
mium and deductibles. Because
the mandated coverage is one-
size-ts-all, even menopausal
women and men will have to
pay for plans that cover mater-
nity expenses. Call it what you
may, the designers of Obamacare
believe that they know better
what is good for you.
Former Speaker Nancy
Pelosi tipped her hand when she
said- Lets pass this law so that
well know whats in it. Major
labor unions that campaigned
for its passage are now having
buyers remorse. They are seek-
ing exemptions from Obam-
acare. Now we know. Nobody
knew whats in it.
platform to inform and educate,
and ventilate views by, about
and for Filipinos have remained
the same.
Beyond whatever this
papers founding fathers may
have discussed as they crafted
its charter, the Manila Mail has
grown with the public it aims to
serve, the burgeoning Filipino
American community. Its long-
term prospects are inextricably
intertwined to its market niche.
So just like Shakespeare
(born and died on April 23) who
espoused beauty in the eye of
the beholder, the signicance of
turning 23 is in how you see the
Manila Mail. For me, its a magi-
cal number, an age that suggests
hard-earned experience married
to a future of promise and poten-
The 23 enigma... from page 29 Untruth and... from page 29
So, what next?
Im hoping to somehow
fuse my two genres of work that
may become a portrait of myself.
How to do that is still a question
to me, though i feel condent
that they will get in a way thats
justiable to my senses. Ive been
preoccupied with that thought
for a big show or get together
of then and now. Sort of like an
evolution. The former (people
pictures) were about others and
this newer ones are about heal-
ing to appease myself of the
daily struggle for survival and
keeping myself sane. Almost 30
years here in America and I still
cant shed the feeling of being
uprooted. Im constantly search-
ing for my place.
But, in a positive way, the
struggle keeps me going, build-
ing that portrait that is Paul
Taedo. Whatever that is. And
yes, Im condent, I got the right
In struggling for a sense of
place, Paul views American cul-
ture like a big sky, the blank
canvas that invites you to be
what you want to be. That is
something you have to realize
and allow yourself to use. The
monster is in freeing the mind
and letting it soar.
Realistically, it is more like
riding the waves. How good
you are at it. There are no real
barriers or hindrances to where
you want to go. Life is such that
theres no clear, clean, easy path.
It does not exist. But it is a given
that the road has to have curves
and bumps. It makes the jour-
ney worth taking. Struggle is a
good thing. I feel Im soaring as
I continue to search for meaning,
appreciating life and discovering
myself. How far and how high
its going to go? I dont know.
But it doesnt matter.
But what matters is his
source of energy, inspiration
and support to keep on going.
It seems to be a given that I
make something positive out
of myself, Paul muses. It is a
mindset. That, I take to heart as
my reason for existence. It is a
responsibility to the world we
live in and especially to those
people that love you. I have a
strong woman for a mother and
a very honest man for a father.
There are very strong women in
the family.
That says a lot. Its that feel-
ing you get when you look up
to that photograph of that giant
tulip jutting towards the blue sky
called Great Day. It makes you
feel small. You have to measure
up to those that nurtured you.
In gratitude. Though I attended
school, I do not have a real edu-
cation to lean on. I rely mostly on
my instinct for anything in life. I
trust and I wing it. I think God
equipped me with a decent com-
pass inside me. And then I found
Susan. An incredibly amazing
perfect partner. We didnt have
anything when we came to this
country almost 30 years ago.
Life was tough but we were
mostly happy. We took risks. We
love to hold hands and jump in
the dark. Then theres our two
daughters, Francesca and Car-
mela. All strong women. Im in
a good place. The thought keeps
me going.
Send your comments to
neck so he knows were watch-
ing him.
But we cannot just throw
accusations at him indiscrimi-
nately and without proof. Unless
we have a personal or paid-for
Target: President Aquino... from page 24
only require 3.5% down pay-
ment. If you are an eligible vet-
eran, a 100% nancing could be
obtained. Other types of loan
would require at least 5% down
payment. Some states have
down payment assistance for
qualied buyers. Appropriate
gifts are also acceptable sources
of funds for the transaction. Sell-
ers are allowed to pay closing
costs, if they agree.
There are other factors that
are being looked at on each and
every application. Yet, credit,
income and asset are important
elements in the loan applica-
tion. Some borrowers may have
the income and asset but if their
credit is poor, an approval is
very challenging. They may have
the necessary credit and asset
but with no income, then a loan
could not be approved.
If a loan is declined, how-
ever, a borrower should not be
discouraged to pursue. The more
we know the situation, with the
guidance of a professional loan
ofcer, the better chance one
would have to prepare for the
next application. Thus, the hope
of buying the dream house will
be a reality.
Until next time.
Ramon M Llamas, NMLS#:
483757, has been in the lending
business for more than 20 years. He
has helped thousands of homeowners
save money in their mortgage needs,
purchase or refinance. Any ques-
tion, please email him at homemort- or call his cell
at 703.980.3984.
The joys of home... from page 25
served is not rst class
- Scrambling to fall in line
ahead of others.
- Failing to keep quiet when
the host speaks.
- Loading their plates with-
out regard for others.
-Talking when their mouths
are full.
Why is it that Filipino Amer-
ican restaurants are thriving and
getting big publicity in New
York while those in the greater
Washington D.C. area remain
incognito and are often made the
target of criticisms? Is it because
Pinoys in New York are more
avante garde than those in DC?
Washington Tsismis... from page 28
Paul Taedo : Searching... from page 29
off scot-free,
From May to Sept. 1997, the
Senate committees on human
rights and national defense
examined the Pestano case.
Senate Report No 800, written
by the late Senate President and
former Supreme Court chief jus-
tice Marcelo Fernan, concluded:
Pestano was bludgeoned, then
shot and his body rigged to
appear as suicide.
Identify the persons who
participated in the deliberate
attempt to make it appear that
Pestao killed himself, Fernan
wrote then Ombudsman Aniano
DesiertoIn response, Desierto
ordered the Military Ombuds-
man: Archive the Pestao case
since evidence is patchy Desi-
ertos record as ombudsman
was so tainted that former Sen.
Taada refused to even
address him directly.
Over 15 years have elapsed
since death of the victim,the UN
noted. Authorities have yet to
initiate an independent inves-
tigation. No suspect was pros-
ecuted, or tried, let alone con-
victed, This breached the Inter-
national Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights.
Like Desierto, Ombuds-
man Merceditas Gutierrez also
refused to see Pestanos parents.
But in August, 2007, Gutierrez
wrote the UN, saying: the Pes-
tano slay, indeed, merited fur-
ther investigation. She then did
nothing. Zero. Zilch. Nada.
When Gutierrez nally
acted on Pestao plea, she dis-
missed it, then Inquirer colum-
nist now publisher Raul Pan-
galangan wrote To add sting
to the injury, she served her
dismissal order on Pestaos
parents day after they signed the
impeachment complaint against
Backbone... from page25
Arrogance wilted into
whimpering when, in March
2011, the House of Representa-
tives voted to impeach Gutierrez,
She became the second ofcial
after President Joseph Estrada
to be impaled Raps ranged from
Gutierrez inaction on scams,
delay in investigation of ensign
Philip Pestaos death, to losing
9 out of every 10 cases it
led. She was trashed for
shoving under the rug charges
against Pres. Gloria Macapagal
Arroyo and the First Gentleman
in the ZTE roadband scandal.
The Supreme Court dis-
missed, on Februarty 2011, Guti-
errez bid to block mpeachment.
The House impeached her
with 212 votes and 46 against (
There were 4 abstentions) Guti-
errez bristled at at the imsy
decision, adding she ready to
face Senate trial.
Gutierrez crumbled on April
29 and quitShe personally
handed her resignation letter to
President Aquino who promptly
accepted it
We in Sulu and Tawi-Tawi
already knew the truth right
after news of Pestanos murder
broke recalled Inquirer col-
umnist. Noralyn Mustoffa The
Senate and the UN found the
truth after their own investiga-
But their ndings amounted
to nothing under the admin-
istration of Gloria Macapagal-
Arroyo. It had to take Conchita
Carpio-Morales, an appointee of
President Aquino, to right some-
thing unjust.
Ramrod-straight Ombuds-
man Conchita Carpio Morales
made a difference. Who shall
nd a valiant woman? asks the
Book of Proverbs. Far, and from
the uttermost coasts is the price
of her.
November 15, 2013 31
November 15, 2013 32 32

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