201-434-1114 - Filipino Express



201-434-1114 - Filipino Express
Why Bill Gates'
foundation supports
IRRI Page 20
VOL. 29 w
NO. 16 w
April 17-23, 2015 w
201-434-1114 w
Aquino: World should
fear China's moves in
disputed sea
MANILA -- China's efforts to stake
its claim to most of the South China Sea
should spark fear around the world,
President Aquino told Agence FrancePresse on Tuesday, April 14.
“Does it engender fear? Yes, I think
it should engender fear for the rest of
the world,” Aquino said in an exclusive
interview in Malacañang. Aquino said
China's reclamation activities on reefs
and islets in contested parts of the
South China Sea, and other actions to
assert sovereignty, threatened access
to international shipping lanes and
fishing grounds there.
He also warned that, while he did
not believe China intended to engage in
a military conflict over the territorial
disputes with the Philippines and other
Asian nations, that was a possibility.
“The question of it escalating to
something beyond everybody's control
should be at the top of the minds of all
world leaders,” he said.
China claims sovereignty over most
of the South China Sea, including areas
near the coasts of other Asian nations,
using a line that first appeared on
Chinese maps in the 1940s.
The Philippines, Vietnam,
Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan have
overlapping claims. Inquirer.net
PH gains international support
Page 3
China, Russia military activity growing
in Asia-Pacific - US Page 3
ONE DOWN, MORE TO GO. Janet Lim-Napoles listens to the verdict by the Makati Regional Trial Court for the serious
illegal detention of her former finance officer and confidant, Benhur Luy, in the first of several cases lodged against her
which blew wide open her alleged criminal activities in the P10-billion pork barrel scam. Niño Jesus Orbeta
Napoles gets life sentence
By Kristine Felisse Mangunay,
Maricar B. Brizuela, Nancy C.
MANILA -- “This is God's
justice.” Benhur Luy sent this
text message to the Inquirer
after the Makati Regional Trial
Court (RTC) on Tuesday, April
14, found Janet Lim-Napoles
and her brother Reynald “Jojo”
Lim guilty of illegally detaining
him and sentenced them to life
imprisonment, or a jail term of
up to 40 years.
In a 26-page decision, RTC
Branch 150 Judge Elmo
Alameda said Luy's narration of
events before and during his
detention from Dec. 19, 2012, to
Page 6
World Bank: BBL can't ensure peace,
new threat groups emerging
By Christine O. Avendaño
The government has to
contend with other armed
groups, including new threat
groups, after achieving peace
with the Moro Islamic
Liberation Front (MILF), Sen.
Francis Escudero said on Friday,
April 10, citing a World Bankfunded study of the conflict in
The World Bank study titled
“Rebellion, Political Violence
Poe went up 10 percentage points
and Shadow Crimes in the Sen. Francis Escudero. Inquirer file photo
to 31 percent in March from 21 percent
Bangsamoro: The Bangsamoro
in December, as shown in the latest
Conflict Monitoring System
It said information was the Bangsamoro” between the
SWS poll results published on
( B C M S ) 2 0 1 1 - 2 0 1 3 ” wa s “critical in dealing with the government and the MILF.
Thursday, April 16, by BusinessWorld.
undertaken to provide data that potential recurrence of conflict
International Alert UK
Only five percentage points
would help in understanding a f te r t h e s i g n i n g o f t h e Philippines and the World Bank
Page 6
the conflict in Mindanao.
Comprehensive Agreement on
Page 6
Grace Poe closes in on Jojo Binay
in latest SWS presidential poll
By Kristine Angeli Sabillo
Senator Grace Poe surged in the
latest Social Weather Stations (SWS)
electoral survey and closed in on Vice
President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay, who
remained in the lead.
Hillary Clinton in White House race
Former first lady earns high praise from Obama
WASHINGTON -- Hillary Rodham
Clinton says she's running for
The former first lady and
secretary of state made her 2016
plans official on her campaign
website Sunday, April 12.
She says in a video that “everyday
Americans need a champion. I want
to be that champion.”
Clinton is aiming to be the first
Supporters listen to a speech during the ‘Ready for Hillary Rally in New
York, Saturday, April 11, 2015. AP photo/Craig Ruttle
female president.
Clinton enters the Democratic
primaries in a strong position to
succeed her 2008 rival, President
Barack Obama.
Following Sunday's
announcement, she's expected to
travel soon to early voting states,
including Iowa and New Hampshire.
The announcement is expected
to trigger a donor deluge from a vast
network of supporters who have
long waited for her to officially enter
the race, a move that would allow
them to contribute directly to her
2016 election effort.
Clinton's campaign-in-waiting
has organized for months behind the
scenes, bringing on key staffers and
advisers, plotting outreach
operations and strategizing.
Page 8
Fil-Am leaders back Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid
Page 8
April 17-23, 2015
Page 2
April 17-23, 2015
Page 3
China, Russia military activity PH gains int'l support
Strongest US reaction vs China buildup in PH sea
growing in Asia-Pacific - US
Associated Press
WA S H I N G T O N - - T h e
commander of U.S. forces in the
Pacific said Wednesday, April
15, that major land
reclamation by China at
outposts in the South China Sea
could allow it to exert more
influence over the contested
area and deploy military assets
such as long-range radar and
advanced missile systems.
Adm. Samuel Locklear also
told the House Armed Services
Committee that Russia has
escalated military activity in
the Asia-Pacific in recent
months to a near Cold Warlevel.
Locklear's area of
command straddles a vast area
of land and ocean where the
Obama administration has
tried to elevate America's
presence, and where other
major powers jockey for
influence. He was addressing a
hearing on U.S. military
strategy and posture in the
In the past year, China has
c o n d u c te d m a s s ive l a n d
alter natural rock formations in disputed
waters, which could affect territorial
Malacañang on Saturday, April 11, claims such as the case brought by the
said it was the Philippines' peaceful Philippines in the United Nations.
approach to dealing with its maritime
Speaking on government-run radio,
dispute with China that drew support deputy presidential spokesperson
from the international community, Abigail Valte said the government was
including from US President Barack committed to a peaceful resolution of the
Obama, who reacted strongly on Philippines' territorial dispute with
Thursday, April 9, to China's massive land China in the West Philippine Sea, taking
reclamation in the South China Sea.
its case to international forums for
discussions and to the United Nations for
Obama scores China bullying in South arbitration.
China Sea
China's land reclamation in South
“Where we get concerned with China China Sea waters within the exclusive
is where it is not necessarily abiding by economic zones of its smaller neighbors,
In this Feb. 7, 2013 file photo taken by Japan Air Self-Defense Force and
international norms and rules, and is including the Philippines and Vietnam,
released by the Joint Staff Office of the Defense Ministry of Japan, Russian
using its sheer size and muscle to force drew sharp criticism from Obama on
fighter jet SU-27 flies over the sea off the Japanese island of Hokkaido
countries into subordinate positions,” Thursday.
when the Defense Ministry said two SU-27 jets, including the one shown
Obama told a town hall event in Kingston,
I n M a rc h , I n d i a a s s u re d t h e
in this photo, briefly intruded into Japanese airspace prompting Japan's
Jamaica, ahead of the Summit of the Philippines that it had its support in the
air force to scramble jets. Japan's government said Wednesday, April 15,
Americas in Panama.
promotion of a peaceful settlement of
2015 that the number of scrambles by the country's warplanes has
“We think this can be solved maritime disputes in the South China Sea.
surged in recent years to levels nearly matching the Cold War era amid
growing activity by China and Russia in the region. AP
diplomatically, but just because the
Also in March, Malaysian Defense
Philippines or Vietnam are not as large as Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said
China doesn't mean that they can just be Malaysia stood for the peaceful
reclamation at previously construction projects at eight
elbowed aside,” Obama said.
resolution of the maritime disputes and
submerged reefs in the South outposts in the Paracel and
It was the strongest US reaction so far would promote peace and stability,
China Sea despite a U.S. call for Spratly island chains, including
to China's land reclamation following maritime security, unimpeded trade and
a freeze on such construction what appears to be an airfield
publication of pictures that, according to freedom of navigation and overflight in
to give time for diplomacy to at Fiery Cross Reef, which is
analysts, showed how Beijing was trying the South China Sea.
work between China and its also claimed by Vietnam, the
to create “facts in the water” to
“These statements and those of other
neighbors in Southeast Asia.
Philippines and Taiwan. It's
strengthen its territorial claims in the nations reflect growing international
Locklear said China has one of many disputed, tiny land
South China Sea.
concern over these reclamations that are
Page 9
aggressive reclamation and
features in that ocean. u
The Department of Foreign Affairs contrary to
(DFA) on Saturday, April 11, welcomed
international law, especially the 1982
the statements of support from Obama United Nations Convention on the Law of
and other countries that recently the Sea (Unclos), and undermine our
criticized China for aggressively collective effort to build regional security
reclaiming land at contested reefs in the and stability,” the DFA said in a statement.
South China Sea, apparently trying to Inquirer.net
FA chief: US vows presence in disputed
waters amid China reclamation Page 6
By Nikko Dizon
April 17-23, 2015
Page 4
Wartime haven for Jews in Marikina remembered
By Jovic Yee
Unknown to many Marikina
residents, their city has a special
place in the story of the Jewish
people during World War II.
Before the war reached the
Pacific, refugees fleeing the
Holocaust were welcomed by the
Philippine Commonwealth
government and given safe haven in
a site now bordered by Katipunan
Avenue and Aurora Boulevard.
Their housing community was
under Marikina's jurisdiction up to
the early 1940s before it was made
part of Quezon City, according to
Marikina tourism and cultural
affairs head Poncianito Santos Jr.
The land was also part of the
private estate of then President
Manuel L. Quezon, whose “Open
Doors” policy paved the way for the
issuance of Philippine visas to Jews
escaping the Nazi genocide in
This chapter in the city and the
country's history is being
remembered this week through a
photo exhibit as part of Marikina's
385th founding anniversary
Israel Ambassador Ephraim
B e n M a t i t ya u s a i d t h a t b y
welcoming a persecuted people,
“the Philippines in many ways
earned a moral victory which could
be the highlight of your national
“In relation to what others did,
you did the opposite in very difficult
Marikina Mayor Del De Guzman (left) with Israel Ambassador Ephraim Ben
Matityau open the photo exhibit at City Hall on Monday, April 13. Lyn Rillon
The Marikina Hall was built for their use on his private estate.
conditions. It was not easy to (have)
an open heart and an open door in
those days,” Matityau said at the
opening of exhibit held at City Hall.
In the literature it provided for
the occasion, the Israeli Embassy
recalled how the Jewish people
“suffered the full ferocity of the
culture of hate and racial
supremacy exercised by so many of
the so-called Enlightened Nations.
With danger to their lives in Europe
looming, [they] looked for a beacon
of hope to escape certain death, but
shelter was hard to be found and
hearts, like doors, were shut.”
“In all that darkness, a ray of
hope came unexpectedly from a
remote place of the world - the
Philippines,” it said.
10,000 visas for Jewish refugees
and even considered raising the
number to 100,000. The Jews
started arriving in the country in
1935 and totaled around 1,300 by
Before the Japanese invasion,
they briefly savored the peace and
managed to engage in farming while
using a building on the Quezon
property called Marikina Hall,
Santos said.
Some 250 Jews from Marikina
were later rounded up and moved
by the Japanese to the University of
Santo Tomas internment camp for
foreign civilians, while an
undetermined number were
scattered in the war-torn
metropolis, caught in the crossfire
It quoted Quezon as saying: “It is
my hope, and indeed my
expectation, that the people of the
Philippines will have in the future
every reason to be glad that when
the time of need came, their country
was glad to extend to a persecuted
people, a hand of welcome.”
The wartime President was
most moved by stories of “Jewish
suffering” as relayed to him by the
Freiders, five Jewish brothers from
the United States who had put up a
successful tobacco business in
Manila, the embassy said. “(He)
decided that it was his moral
obligation to open the doors of the
Philippines to those people in
Manila allotted as many as
Paris . Versailles . Lourdes . Zaragoza . Barcelona
Montserrat . Lisbon . Fatima . Santarem
Batalha . Nazare
NEVERS (St. Bernadette - Incorrupt Body)
(13 Day Journey)
May 14 - May 26, 2015
and left to fend for themselves, said
Jeffrey Yap, cultural officer of the
Israeli Embassy.
Marikina Hall did not survive
the bombing during Liberation.
After the war, Santos said, the Jews
gradually left the country, some for
the US or Australia, others settling
in what would later become the
state of Israel.
The site of their housing
community now hosts the Quezon
City campus of the Philippine
School of Business Administration.
In 2007, a monument honoring
the Filipino people and
commemorating Quezon's Open
Doors policy was unveiled at the
Holocaust Memorial Park in the
Page 5
April 17-23, 2015
Page 5
Obama, Castro hold 'candid' historic meeting
PANAMA CITY, Panama -- Barack
Obama and Raul Castro held the first
face-to-face talks between US and
Cuban leaders since 1956 in Panama
on Saturday, April 11, vowing to
pursue their historic effort to bury
Cold War-era enmity.
Sitting together in a bluecarpeted room, Obama thanked
Castro for his “spirit of openness and
courtesy” during their interactions,
while the communist leader stressed
that the negotiations will require
Obama also sought to calm
tensions with another leftist nation
and a Cuban ally, speaking briefly
with Venezuelan President Nicolas
Maduro for the first time, telling him
Washington did not seek to threaten
The Obama-Castro meeting,
which lasted more than an hour, was
the climax of their surprise
announcement on December 17 that,
after a year and a half of secret
negotiations, they would seek to
normalize relations that broke off in
“This is obviously a historic
meeting,” said Obama, who spoke
first after they sat down in polished,
wooden chairs for their talks on the
sidelines of the 35-nation Summit of
the Americas in Panama City.
‎”We are now in a position to
move on a path toward the future,” he
said, adding that the immediate task
was to reopen embassies.
Castro, 83, broke into a smile
when Obama acknowledged that the
two sides will continue to have
differences on human rights and
other issues. After Obama spoke, the
two men stood up and shook hands.
Saying he agreed with everything
Obama said, Castro acknowledged
that the two governments can still
have differences but “with respect of
the ideas of the others.”
“We are willing to discuss
everything but we need to be patient,
very patient,” he said.
“We already expressed to some
American friends in other occasions
that we are willing to talk about
When Castro said he hoped the
US and Cuban delegations will listen
to their presidents' instructions,
Obama laughed.
The two leaders, who had spoken
on the phone in December and on
Wednesday, shook hands again and
reporters were ushered away for a
closed-door discussion.
Obama told reporters later that
the conversation was “candid and
fruitful” and that he did not shy away
from telling Castro that Washington
would keep airing concerns about
democracy and human rights.
They both had already made
conciliatory speeches moments
earlier during the summit, sitting at
an oval table with some 30 other
regional leaders.
Addressing the leaders next,
Castro declared: “President Obama is
an honest man.”
Such words would have been
unimaginable in the days that his
brother, Fidel Castro, was at the helm
from 1959 until an illness sidelined
him in 2006.
Raul Castro was the first Cuban
Wartime haven
for Jews ... From page 4
Israeli city of Rishon LeZion.
This week, through old, black-andwhite photos of the refugees, the Jewish
p e o p l e' s g ra t i t u d e a l s o r e a c h e d
With this aspect of Marikina's ties with
Republican candidate.
US President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro shake hands at the
Summit of the Americas in Panama City, Panama, Saturday, April 11, 2015. AP
leader to attend the summit in its 21year history. US-Cuban tensions have
vexed Washington's relations with
the region for decades.
“This shift in US policy
represents a turning point for our
entire region,” Obama told the
Differences remain
“The dialogue signals the end of
the last Cold War battles in this
hemisphere,” said Geoff Thale, Cuba
expert at the Washington Office on
Latin America policy forum. “But I
don't think that they will become
best of friends overnight.”
During their private talks, Obama
and Castro discussed the embassy
negotiations and instructed their
teams to swiftly resolve lingering
issues, a senior US official said.
Israel being highlighted only now, Yap said
the embassy and the local tourism office
are now working to find out if there were
Jewish refugees who had stayed much
longer in Marikina and even managed to
raise a family here.
Plans are also underway to put a
historical marker on the site where
Marikina Hall once stood, Yap said, to
celebrate “the Filipino-Jewish bond during
mankind's most trying times.” Inquirer.net
Castro mentioned his desire to
see the end of the US embargo, which
forbids most trade and American
tourism to the island. Obama has
urged the US Congress to end it.
Addressing a key Cuban demand,
Obama told Castro that he would
decide whether to recommend
removing Cuba from a US list of state
sponsors of terrorism in the “coming
days,” the official said.
While Obama pointed to polls
showing most Cubans and
Americans back the diplomatic thaw,
some in Congress and on the 2016
presidential campaign trail oppose it.
“This president has shown he is
willing to do what nine previous
presidents of both parties would not:
cave to a communist dictator in our
own hemisphere,” fumed US Senator
Ted Cruz, a Cuban-American
Venezuela tensions surface
But as Obama sought to turn the
page on Cold War-era tensions with
Cuba, a spat with Venezuela also took
the stage.
Maduro criticized Obama, but the
US leader had already left the room to
head to a meeting with Colombian
President Juan Manuel Santos.
“I respect you, but I don't trust
you, President Obama,” Maduro said.
He urged Obama to lift sanctions
against Venezuelan officials accused
of committing human rights abuses.
The order has particularly
irritated Maduro because it calls
Caracas a US national security threat.
After Maduro complained that
Obama had ignored his pleas to hold
talks since the Venezuelan leader was
elected in 2013, it emerged that the
two briefly spoke on the sidelines of
the summit.
Obama “reiterated that our
interest is not in threatening
Venezuela, but in supporting
democracy, stability and prosperity
in Venezuela and the region,” said
Katherine Vargas, a White House
While Castro has taken
Venezuela's side in the dispute, he
praised Obama for saying he did not
really believe that Caracas posed a
threat to the United States.
Maduro's other leftist allies
rallied behind him.
“Our people will never again
accept tutelage, meddling and
intervention,” said Ecuador's
President Rafael Correa. Inquirer.net
April 17-23, 2015
Page 6
FA chief: US vows presence in disputed
waters amid China reclamation
By Niña P. Calleja
Foreign Affairs Secretary
Albert del Rosario on
Wednesday, April 15, said he
will fly to Washington in two
weeks to discuss with the US
officials the China-led
reclamation works in the
disputed areas in South China
Sea and the possible US
support in terms of air and
naval equipment.
In a live television
interview on Wednesday
morning, Del Rosario
confirmed that the United
S t a te s h a s p ro m i s e d i t s
presence in the West Philippine
Sea (South China Sea) amid
reports of China's massive
reclamation activities in seven
Philippine-claimed marine
“According to the new
Department of Defense
Secretary of the United States
they are already looking at
deploying to the Philippines
various advance air and naval
equipment… We welcome this,”
Del Rosario said, noting that
these equipment will require
the US presence in the areas.
Del Rosario disclosed its
plan to go to Washington D.C.,
World Bank ...
From page 1
put up the BCMS to “monitor and
analyze conflict, particularly
violent conflict with the
Bangsamoro and adjoining
The BCMS collected conflict
data from 2011 to 2013 from the
Philippine National Police and
five credible print media sources
in five provinces.
(Escudero's office provided
the Inquirer a copy of the World
Bank study.) With other armed
groups in the region, Escudero
said the passage of the proposed
Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL)
would not be an assurance of
lasting peace in Mindanao.
The World Bank study looked
into and analyzed data on conflict
in the provinces of Basilan, Lanao
del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu and
Tawi-Tawi where there were
2,578 violent incidents of
Secretary for Foreign Affairs Albert Del Rosario. AP file photo
in United States in two weeks to
meet with US Defense
Secretary Ash Carter and US
Secretary of State John Kerry
on the possible US military
presence in the contested areas
in South China Sea.
“We are setting up these
meetings. I want to meet with
members of Congress who
control the purse strings in
terms of what the Philippines is
looking for,” Del Rosario said.
D e l Ro s a r i o s a i d t h e
Philippines has been successful
in winning the international
support for its opposition to
the massive reclamation
activities of China which he
said were aimed at defining its
“excessive” nine-dash-line
United States President
Barack Obama has recently
criticized China for “using its
sheer size and muscle” to
elbow out smaller countries
like the Philippines and
“We are at this point
seeking additional support
from the US in terms of being
a b l e to t a ke a s t ro n g e r
position… which is to uphold
the rule of law,” Del Rosario
said. Inquirer.net
violence from 2011 to 2013.
The five provinces make up
the bulk of the proposed
Bangsamoro autonomous region.
“The BBL will only provide peace
between the government and the
MILF,” Escudero said, reiterating
his call to government peace
negotiators to be “candid, honest
and not raise false hopes that the
BBL will bring peace to
Iqbal acknowledged that the
BBL “may not be a complete
formula” for peace. But with the
BBL, he said, “the situation will
change significantly.”
The passage of the BBL by
Congress is part of the peace
agreement signed last year by the
government and the MILF.
Escudero said the World
Bank study showed that the BBL
“will not really provide lasting
peace with the armed groups in
“But admittedly, it may lessen
the groups fighting the
government [with the
achievement of peace with the
MILF],” Escudero said.
For the government to settle
the peace and order problem in
Mindanao, it has to “engage all
other groups as well and not just
the MILF because all other
groups that were excluded will
still pose serious security threats
to Mindanao and our country,” he
added. Inquirer.net
The MILF, however, sees the
BBL as a tool that would make the
other armed groups in Mindanao
“With the BBL, other armed
groups will lose legitimacy
because the issues related to the
Moro conflict are being
addressed,” Mohagher Iqbal,
chief peace negotiator of the
MILF, said at a recent round-table
d i s c u s s i o n i n D ava o C i t y
sponsored by the National Union
of Journalists.
Napoles gets ...
From page 1
March 22, 2013, rescued by National
Bureau of Investigation agents, was
“credible and cohesive.”
The court also asked Napoles to pay
P50,000 as an award of civil indemnity
to Luy who “suffered anxiety and fright
as a result of his detention” and another
P50,000 for moral damages.
Napoles also is facing plunder
charges in connection with the alleged
P10-billion racket involving the
diversion of congressional Priority
Development Assistance Fund (PDAF),
or pork barrel, to ghost projects and
bogus nongovernment organizations
Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy
Estrada and Ramon Revilla Jr. are
detained for their alleged involvement
in the PDAF scam.
Napoles, who came to the
courtroom under heavy guard, held
hands with her lawyer, Bruce Rivera, as
the decision was read. At times she was
seen conversing with her lawyer. She
showed no emotion upon hearing the
guilty verdict.
'Not surprised'
Rivera later told reporters that he
“kind of expected” the decision. “We
weren't surprised because we felt that
this is not an ordinary case,” he said,
noting that there was “public interest”
involved. He said he planned to appeal
the decision.
In August 2013, Luy accused
Napoles, a cousin, and her brother of
illegally detaining him at Bahay ni San
Jose and at the South Garden Pacific
Towers in Taguig City, a Catholic retreat
house in Magallanes Village, Makati
City, after they reportedly found out that
Luy was having separate business
transactions allegedly involving the
Napoles claimed that Luy had
volunteered to go on a three-month
spiritual retreat and that he was not
detained against his will.
Alameda said in his decision that
the prosecution was able to establish
that Luy was illegally held captive for
three months.
“It is clear from Benhur's testimony
that the accused indeed threatened and
intimidated him,” Alameda said.
She did not testify
Napoles did not testify during the
nearly two-year trial, but only
submitted a memorandum arguing that
the only evidence or act where the
prosecution established her
participation in the crime was when she
uttered, “Ikulong na 'yan, ikulong na
Grace Poe ...
From page 1
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separated her from Binay who lost one
point, going down to 36 percent in
March from 37 percent in December.
The survey, which has sampling
error margins of ±3 points for national
percentages, and ±6 points each for the
geographical areas, was conducted
from March 20 to 23 among 1,200
Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte
also surged by 10 points, getting 15
percent of the total responses.
Duterte overtook four other
potential candidates and tied with
'yan (jail him).” This was on Dec. 19,
2012, when Napoles confronted him
about his alleged PDAF transactions
with lawmakers without her
“The discourse of Janet in her
memorandum cannot be given any
evidentiary value because she did not
testify. Her arguments were not
established by direct testimony. Her
failure to testify prevented the
prosecution from examining her to test
her credibility,” Alameda said.
The judge also said that while Luy
was in detention, Napoles had “ample
opportunity” to order his release but
she never did.
“Clearly, she willingly agreed to be
part of the conspiracy with her brother
Jojo. Her inaction can be construed as
assent to their evil deeds,” Alameda
“This is God's justice. I am happy we
have proven we were telling the truth,
but on the other hand, I felt sad because
Madame Janet is family. I am constantly
praying for her and her family,” said Luy
in his text message to the Inquirer.
Many thanks
Luy thanked his former counsel
Levito Baligod, the Department of
Justice prosecutors and the other
employees of Napoles who testified
against the businesswoman.
Luy also mentioned the NBI Special
Action Force headed by Assistant
Regional Director Rolando Argabioso
who rescued him from the posh
condominium unit of Napoles in Taguig
City two years ago.
“Argabioso's team believed me and
stood up against the power and
influence of Ms. Napoles then, I owe to
them my gratitude,” Luy added. He
added that Argabioso's team
surmounted pressure from powerful
Luy also mentioned the role of the
media, particularly the Philippine Daily
“The PDI lent its credibility and I'm
glad I did not fail them,” he said.
Luy's mother, Gertrudes, became
emotional after she heard the guilty
verdict. “God is good,” she told
After the promulgation, Napoles
was taken back to her detention facility
at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City. The
clerk of court, Diosfa Valencia, said that
there was still no order from Judge
Alameda if Napoles would be
transferred to a regular jail facility.
As for Lim, who remains at large,
Valencia said that the case against him
was ordered archived, meaning it will
be reopened once Lim is arrested and
the court gains jurisdiction over him.
Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas,
who went down to 15 percent from 19
The mayor leapt past Senator
Miriam Defensor-Santiago (11 percent
in March, up from 10 percent in
December), Manila Mayor Joseph
Estrada (up 11 percent from nine
percent) and Senator Francis “Chiz”
Escudero (eight percent in March, down
from nine percent).
Other presidential contenders
mentioned in the survey were Senator
Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. (now
seven percent from three percent) and
Senator Alan Peter Cayetano (four
percent from three percent). CB.
April 17-23, 2015
Page 7
'Clogged waterways
degrade PH as sick
man of Asia'
By Aries Joseph Hegina
A leader of a civic organization said that as long as
the river systems in Metro Manila remained clogged
with household and industrial waste, the Philippines
would continue being the “sick man of Asia.”
In a cleanup drive held at Estero de Pandacan in
Manila on Tuesday, April 14, ABS-CBN Lingkod
Kapamilya Foundation Inc. chair Gina Lopez
highlighted the importance of having a clean
environment in contributing to healthy and
sustainable communities.
She said that if Filipinos want to have the Pasig
River cleansed, the esteros in various parts of Manila
should be free from garbage.
“If river veins are blocked, our country becomes
the sick man of Asia. If esteros will not be cleaned,
Pasig River will remain polluted,” Lopez said.
The foundation has already rehabilitated various
waterways in the city such as those in Paco, Uli-uli and
San Miguel, among others.
She said that since these waterways have been
rehabilitated, communities living near the esteros
have become happier and healthier.
The cleanup drive is part of the program called
Earth Jam 2015, one of the buildup programs of the US
Embassy for 2015 Earth Day cooperation with ABSCBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation Inc.
US Ambassador Philip Goldberg led the cleanup
with the help of youth volunteers from Young South
East Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) and
community leaders. Some American staff members of
the US Embassy also joined the environmental
A concert was held after the cleanup headlined by
“The Voice of the Philippines” season one winner
Mitoy Rentoy, “Pilipinas Got Talent” winner Jovit
Baldivino, rock band Razorback and former Guns N'
Roses guitarist Ron “Bumblefoot” Tahl. RC.
Goldberg urges Filipinos: Do
your part in Pasig River rehab
By Aries Joseph Hegina
US Ambassador to the
Philippines Philip Goldberg
asked Filipinos to work
c o l l e c t ive ly i n o rd e r to
rehabilitate the Pasig River, the
main waterway that crosses
Metropolitan Manila.
In a clean-up drive led by
the US Embassy in cooperation
with ABS-CBN Lingkod
Kapamilya Foundation at
Estero de Pandacan in Manila
on Tuesday, April 14, Goldberg
said that citizens living near
the polluted waterways should
understand the economic and
environmental repercussions
of dumping household waste.
“This is a huge effort. As
you can see, the waterways
that feed into the Pasig River
are used basically as garbage
dumps,” Goldberg said in an
“It really is something that
people need to understand, the
environmental damage it (has)
done, the economic damage it
(has) done, all of the things
that need to be corrected. That
is why we need to do our part
He said that Filipinos need
to realize that the huge amount
of nonbiodegradable materials
dumped to esteros feed to the
Pasig River and subsequently
flow to the Manila Bay.
“There is huge amount of
plastics and other kinds of
nonbiodegradable materials in
the waters so we all have to do
something about it and work
collectively,” he added.
Goldberg said that the US
has contributed more than $46
million in biodiversity and
environmental initiatives in
the country.
He also emphasized that in
a wider perspective, the US is
also one with the country in
combating climate change.
“In a larger sense, we have
worked with the Philippines
and countries around the
world to deal with climate
change,” he said.
Goldberg recalled that
with the effects of
environmental degradation,
issues concerning the
environment have taken a key
space on the world stage.
“I would say as 15, 20, 25
years ago, during my career,
environmental issues were not
as front and center as they are
now,” he said.
“But we realized that the
Earth is in danger from the
effects of environmental
degradation. And as a world,
we have to come together to
save the Earth.”
The cleanup drive is part of
the program called Earth Jam
2015, one of the buildup
programs of the US Embassy
for 2015 Earth Day. Youth
volunteers, community
leaders and US Embassy staff
also joined the initiative.
A concert was held after
the cleanup, featuring “The
Voice of the Philippines”
season one winner Mitoy
Rentoy, “Pilipinas Got Talent”
winner Jovit Baldivino, rock
band Razorback and former
Guns N' Roses guitarist Ron
“ B u m b l e f o o t ” Ta h l . R C .
April 17-23, 2015
Page 8
Fil-Am leaders back Hillary
Clinton's presidential bid
White House Brief: Things to
know about Hillary Clinton
By Nimfa U. Rueda
Associated Press
Filipino-American community
leaders have backed former First Lady
and secretary of state Hillary Clinton,
who announced Monday, April 13, that
she would seek the presidency for a
second time.
Irene Bueno, co-chair for the Asian
Americans and Pacific Islanders Ready
for Hillary, on Tuesday, April 14,
released a statement saying the former
secretary of state “will promote an
agenda that provides the opportunity,
support and tools Asian Americans and
Pacific Islanders need to realize their
Bueno said Hillary's candidacy will
address issues affecting Fil-Ams and
other groups in the AAPI community,
including immigration reform, access to
education, health care, housing and
opportunity for entrepreneurs.
Hillary will also champion
eliminating gaps in services to seniors
and job training to help address income
inequality, she added.
The AAPI group led by Bueno
includes as honorary chairs US Senator
Mazie Hirono and 10 Asian American
members of US Congress. It is part of the
national Ready for Hillary movement
that focuses on grassroots organizing
and has a network of 135,000 donors.
“We need (Hillary's) vision,
leadership and dedication to public
service, and our AAPI and Filipino
community is part of that vision,” said
Fil-Am Gene Benavides, a member of
Ready for Hillary National Finance
“Please join me and others in
supporting Hillary for America and help
begin the conversation why Hillary
should be our next president.”
A national survey showed that 73
WASHINGTON -- Here's a
look at key things to know
about Hillary Rodham Clinton
as she steps into the 2016
Democratic presidential
Loida Nicolas Lewis. Sonny Austria/TFE file photo
percent of AAPIs voted for President
Barack Obama in 2012 and these votes
will translate into votes for Hillary in
2016, said Melissa Ramoso, California
state chair of the Filipino American
Democratic Caucus.
In a recent public event in
Washington DC, National Federation of
Filipino American Associations (Naffaa)
National Chair Emeritus Loida Nicolas
Lewis - a supporter and close friend of
Hillary - called on Fil-Ams to participate
in the 2016 elections.
“(The 2016 elections) is going to be
vey important,” Lewis said. “Indeed, we
can be the swing vote in states like
Virginia where our numbers are large.”
M e a n w h i l e , Fo r e i g n A f f a i r s
Secretary Albert Del Rosario has
extended best wishes to Hillary.
“Secretary Hillary Clinton is a very
close and long-standing friend of the
Philippines,” said Del Rosario in a text
message to select reporters. “We extend
to her our best wishes.” Inquirer.net
The Brief
She's one of the most
recognized women in the
world and starts the race in a
dominant position in the
Democratic primaries. As first
lady to President Bill Clinton
during the 1990s, she was a
driving figure in a failed health
care overhaul and lived
through the tumult of multiple
ethics investigations and the
trauma of her husband's
impeachment. She
rebounded, winning a Senate
seat representing New York in
2000, then embarked on a
Clinton ...
From page 1
On Saturday, April 11, the
campaign team hunkered down
in Clinton headquarters in
Brooklyn, New York, where
upcoming campaign manager
Robby Mook reportedly
delivered a memo to staff urging
teamwork in the months ahead.
“We are a diverse and
talented family … and have each
other's backs,” the memo states,
according to Politico, perhaps in
an effort to avoid the infighting
among top aides that marred
Clinton's 2008 run.
Praise from Obama
The 2016 campaign goal,
the memo adds, is “to give every
family, every small business, and
every American a path to lasting
prosperity by electing Hillary
Clinton the next president of the
United States.”
On Saturday, Clinton earned
high praise from Obama,
although experts warn she will
have to tread a fine line in how
closely she aligns herself with
the incumbent.
“She was a formidable
candidate in 2008. She was a
great supporter of mine in the
general election. She was an
outstanding secretary of state.
She is my friend,” Obama said at
a regional summit in Panama.
“I think she would be an
excellent president,” Obama
The US press has been
awash with fevered will-she-orwon't she for months.
Her Sunday announcement
is expected to be followed by
low-key campaign swings
through Iowa and New
Hampshire, states that hold the
first votes early next year to
determine the parties'
Clinton, 67, has a team of
organizers in Iowa, a fertile
political probing ground ahead
of national elections.
After the campaign launch,
Clinton should “jump on a bus
In this March 23, 2015, file photo, former Secretary of State Hillary
Rodham Clinton speaks in Washington. Clinton launched her 2016
presidential campaign on Sunday, April 12, 2015. AP photo/Pablo
Martinez Monsivais
2008 Democratic presidential
bid that faltered against
Barack Obama. After Obama
won the White House, Clinton
joined his administration,
serving for four years as his
secretary of state. If
successful, she'd be the first
and barnstorm through Iowa
touching all 99 counties and
meet with people in cafes and
other small venues” as she
reintroduces herself to
Americans, Iowa State
University professor Steffen
Schmidt told Agence FrancePresse.
Leading in polls
The one-time US senator
and wife of former president Bill
Clinton leads opinion polls
among Democrats, some 60
percent of whom say they would
vote for her in the primaries,
according to the website
A humble approach may
help dispel doubts about Clinton
raised in recent weeks, after it
was revealed she used a private
e-mail account while secretary
of state from 2009 to 2013.
Deleted e-mails
But she could face
uncomfortable questions about
the issue from voters, including
why she deleted thousands of emails that she described as
personal, then wiped her server
Clinton would be the biggest
political headliner to enter the
race, although not the first.
Conservative Republican
Sen. Ted Cruz, 44, made a
splashy presidential campaign
launch last month, and on April
7 fellow Sen. Rand Paul, a
libertarian-leaning first-term
Republican, threw his hat in the
Clinton's rollout may well
steal the thunder of another
Former Florida governor
Jeb Bush, son and brother of two
presidents, is exploring a run
and would be considered a
Republican front-runner should
he enter the fray.
Campaign strategy
Clinton's campaign for the
November 2016 election will
emphasize her plans to deal
with economic inequality and
will tout the historic nature of
her bid to become the first
woman US president, aides say.
The strategy described by
woman to achieve a majorparty nomination in the U.S.
and the presidency.
Resume review
Lawyer, senator, diplomat.
In Arkansas, she worked as an
Page 9
Clinton's advisers has echoes of
Obama's successful 2012
reelection campaign. He framed
the choice for voters as between
Democrats focused on the
middle class and Republicans
wanting to protect the wealthy
and return to policies that led to
the 2008 economic collapse.
The advisers said Clinton
would argue that voters have a
similar choice in 2016. Clinton
also intends to sell herself as
being able to work with
Congress, businesses and world
Clinton is not expected to
roll out detailed policy positions
in the first weeks of her
campaign. Advisers said she
planned to talk about ways
families could increase takehome pay, the importance of
expanding early childhood
education and making higher
education more affordable.
But after decades in the
public eye as first lady, a US
senator and secretary of state,
she could face a challenge in
showing a more down-to-earth
side while connecting with
ordinary voters.
Ma ny Democra t s have
eagerly awaited Sunday's
announcement since the day in
June 2008 when Clinton pulled
out of her primary battle against
Obama with an expression of
regret that she could not crack
“that highest and hardest glass
ceiling this time.”
In New York on Saturday,
April 11, at the final event put on
by “Ready for Hillary,” a group
not connected with her
campaign that's worked for the
p a s t f e w ye a r s t o s t o ke
excitement for it, enthusiastic
supporters joined elected
officials and local party leaders
to celebrate the launch to come.
Opinion polls show Clinton
has a huge lead over potential
2016 Democratic rivals, and few
are expected to enter the race.
At least one West Coast
bundler began making calls to
top donors this past week, and
will place another round of calls
after the announcement Sunday,
the source said. - Reports from
AP and AFP. Inquirer.net
April 17-23, 2015
Page 9
White House
Brief ... From page 8
attorney at one of the state's top law
firms while Bill Clinton served as
governor. She quickly asserted herself
as her husband's adviser after he won
the White House in 1992. Both Clintons
were a lightning rod for the right during
the White Hours years; in the Senate,
she struck a bipartisan tone at times - an
approach expected to be seen in her
2016 campaign. Her Senate vote for the
2002 Iraq invasion became a point of
contention in 2008 with nomination
rival Obama, who spoke out against the
“dumb war” at the time. At the State
Department, she was a hawkish
member of Obama's national security
team who helped lay the foundation for
multi-nation nuclear talks with Iran.
Personal story
The daughter of a small-business
owner and homemaker, Clinton grew up
in suburban Chicago. As a senior at
Wellesley College, she delivered a 1969
commencement speech that earned
national attention, and enrolled at Yale
Law School, where she met Bill Clinton.
After working as a child advocate,
Clinton followed her Rhodes Scholar
future husband back to Arkansas, where
he launched his political career. The
couple's 35-year-old daughter, Chelsea
Clinton, gave birth to her first child,
Charlotte, in September.
Calling card moment
Two speeches - a 1995 address in
Beijing and her final campaign event in
2008 - serve as twin pillars as she heads
into a second campaign. As first lady,
Clinton declared in a speech to the
China, Russia ...
From page 3
Locklear said the artificial islands
would allow China to provide basing
and resupply for its large and growing
fleet of maritime security vessels. He
said China eventually could deploy
missiles and radar on them, providing a
platform for enforcing an air defense
identification zone if it tried to
establish one in the South China Sea.
“It allows them to exert basically
greater influence over what's now a
contested area,” Locklear said.
China claims much of the South
China Sea, and Beijing has asserted its
right to undertake any activity in
territories it claims. In late 2013, China
unilaterally declared an air defense
zone over disputed, Japanese-held
U n i t e d N a t i o n s ' Fo u r t h Wo r l d
Conference on Women that “human
rights are women’s rights and women's
rights are human rights.” The speech
challenged human rights abuses of
women and helped set the tone for
Clinton's work years later in the State
Department. Her 2008 speech,
delivered after Obama locked up the
nomination, told supporters they had
made “18 million cracks” in the glass
ceiling, denoting the number of primary
votes she won. It left the impression of
unfinished business and the potential
for a woman eventually to win the White
House. Her critics remember her for
blaming her husband's scandals on a
“vast right wing conspiracy.”
Reading list
Clinton penned “Hard Choices,” a
memoir of her time as secretary of state
and promoted the book around the
country in 2014. The book generated
mediocre sales and Clinton stumbled at
times during the book tour, saying in one
interview that she and her husband
were “dead broke” when they left the
White House. While they faced large
legal bills from the Whitewater
investigation, the couple made millions
after Bill Clinton's presidency and the
comments were considered tone-deaf.
Clinton was already a publishing
powerhouse at that point - her 2003
memoir, “Living History,” sold more than
1 million copies. During her husband's
presidency, she released “It Takes a
Village” in 1996, a book that discussed
her work in child advocacy and steps to
help children become productive adults.
Other books: “Dear Socks, Dear Buddy:
Kids' Letters to the First Pets,” in 1998,
and “An Invitation to the White House:
At Home with History,” in 2000.
islands in the East China Sea. The U.S.,
Japan and others have refused to
recognize the move.
Locklear also noted an increase in
Russian military activity in the AsiaPacific, with long-range maneuvers
toward the U.S. in the past few months.
He said Russia is improving its strategic
nuclear deterrent on its east coast in
the northern Pacific, and its submarine
forces, which operate in the Arctic and
in Northeast Asia.
He said there was a greater Russian
military presence in Southeast Asia this
year, too.
U.S. ally Japan said Wednesday that
the number of scrambles by its
warplanes has surged to levels nearly
matching the Cold War era amid
growing activity by China and Russia.
Hollywood actors, Fil-Ams renew
drive for return of Balangiga bells
By Cecile Caguingin Ochoa
LOS ANGELES -- Hollywood
actors joined hands with
Filipino community groups on
Saturday, April 4 at an Indigogo
“launch party” at the Pilipino
Workers' Center (PWC) to
revitalize the campaign to
return the Bells of Balangiga
from Wyoming to Samar, Leyte.
This coming-together of
American entertainers and
Filipino writers and activists
from Northern and Southern
California is seen as
unprecedented by local leaders
The Indiegogo campaign, “A
100-Year Journey Home,”
launched by The Committee to
Return the Bells intends to raise
funds as well as awareness of
the controversy behind the
historical artifacts.
Some 114 years ago, the
bells of the town church of
Balangiga, Samar were seized
as war booty by retaliating
A m e r i c a n s o l d i e r s , a f te r
Filipino rebels attacked and
wiped out one of their
detachments. The Bells have
been in a US Air force base in
Wyoming. Over the years,
several high-level efforts have
been made to recover the bells;
t wo U S p re s i d e n t s eve n
promised their return.
The campaign features a
short film narrated by Danny
Glover, interviews with US
Congressman Dana
R o h r a b a c h e r a n d
conversations with Hollywood
personalities. World boxing
champion Manny Pacquiao is
the Committee's honorary
The campaign is led by its
president, Logan Clarke, a
former actor in the Philippines
(he played opposite Pilar Pilapil
in “Sunugin ang Samar”) and
here and world renowned
private investigator. Clarke
brought in friends to the
Committee including actors
J o h n S ava g e ( “ T h e D e e r
Hunter”), Martin Kove, best
known for his portrayal as the
evil karate sensei John Kreese
in “The Karate Kid trilogy,” and
award-winning author Michael
Pare' (“Eddie and the
PWC Director Aqui Versoza sings “I'm Go' Stand” by Sweet Honey in the
Rock, launching the Indiegogo campaign in the Filipino community. From
left: Campaign headliners Logan Clarke, Vincenzo Carranzo and John
Savage (“Deer Hunter”). Photo by TETBEE
Cruisers”). Clarke said he had
met with Pacquiao, who is busy
training for his May 2 fight with
Floyd Mayweather Jr., several
times both in Manila and here
and “Manny believes in this
campaign and very interested
to be a part of it.”
Filipino American actor
Lou Diamond Philips is also on
the committee. “As soon as Lou
completes his filming for
another movie, he will join us in
meeting the communities; he's
very interested,” said Clarke.
PWC Executive Director
Aquilina Versoza, who leads a
national organization that
advocates for the rights of
domestic workers and
temporary protection for
immigrants “without papers,”
noted the significance of
forming the Return the Bells
Committee, which she expects
to lead to legislative action in
the US Congress.
She was impressed that
Hollywood celebrities with
mainstream recognition like
Danny Glover would embrace
the campaign. She is hopeful
that the campaign could build
mainstream networks that
would eventually revitalize
other local community goals.
“Personally for me, this is
an important campaign
because it is part of our history
that shows the Filipino
aspirations for freedom,”
Versoza said. “It is very clear
that religious items are not to
be kept as the spoils of war. As
[email protected]
long as the bells are not
returned, it is a stain on
America. Let's have a timetable
for the return of the bells to its
rightful place, the Philippines.”
Fil-Am writers and
historians attended the
Campaign launch of its
Indiegogo fundraiser, including
Carlene Sobrino Bonnivier and
Greg Villanueva (co-authors of
Filipino town: Voices from Los
Angeles). “Balangiga is a sad
part of Filipino and American
history, but the story deserves
to be known by Filipinos and
Americans, and I intend to
promote it as much as I could,”
said Bonnivier.
Villanueva, who is an
architect and a pillar of the
Historic Filipino town
movement, said, “It is
significant for the launch to be
in downtown LA because we
have a very large community in
this area who may not have
heard of the bells of Balangiga. I
have certainly not heard much
about this until the most recent
Well known muralist Eliseo
Silva whose mural, “Gintong
Kasaysayan,” is featured in a
government sponsored
“Unidad Park” among his other
paintings across the U.S. and
the Philippines, expressed
commitment to the campaign.
Multi-awarded Filipino
author and professor Oscar
Penaranda, one of the
proponents of the campaign,
Page 13
April 17-23, 2015
Page 10
Validation in Vegas
Before the first punch is thrown, before Michael Buffer
drawls his trademarked invitation for fans to get ready to
rumble, the May 2 (May 3 in Manila) bout between Filipino ring
icon Manny Pacquiao and undefeated American superstar Floyd
Mayweather Jr. has been tagged with superlatives.
It's the “Fight of the Century,” according to the hype. Others
have been so bold as to call it the “Fight of the Millennium.”
Well, why not? For five years, fans, pundits and journalists
have clamored for this fight to happen, begging through every
available media platform for the two pound-for-pound greats to
decide once and for all who should rightfully sit on boxing's
mythical throne.
Now that it's soon to happen, everyone is assuring everyone
else that it would be the sport's most important fight ever.
And yet we have only one metric by which this fight can be
judged: The fact that it is expected to gross close to $400 million
will make it the richest fight ever, and it isn't even close. There
already is the guaranteed $200-million purse that the boxers
will share on a 60-40, Mayweather-slanted split. And then there
are the pay-per-view and ticket prices, already the most
expensive that boxing has ever seen.
But history will remain the final judge on where this fight
will stand in the annals of sports and fight culture. Comparisons
to Hagler-Hearns and to Ali-Frazier have been whipped up by
the publicists of the two camps - quite unfairly, if we may say so.
After all, we can now look back at the two boxing classics with a
discerning eye, and we can only view Pacquiao-Mayweather on
the basis of what the two fighters have accomplished so far.
Pacquiao, the former street urchin who rose to boxing
superstardom by blurring weight class lines on the way to an
unprecedented eight division titles, is a ring dynamo, a
bottomless well of energy whose blazing mix of speed and
power is a sight to behold.
Mayweather, though accused of cherry-picking his way to
greatness, is undeniably the most cunning craftsman of his
generation. And no matter how critics look at it, 47-0 is no easy
feat, not when you're painting bull's-eyes on your back with an
air of arrogant flamboyance, practically egging on the world to
try pin that one loss on you.
In itself, the road they took to get where they are now
guarantees that this fight deserves a spot in the sport's
pantheon. What spot exactly, it is for them to show.
Pacquiao's role in pushing this fight to legendary status is
hardly in doubt. We know that the Pacman will stride into the
ring with every intent of putting on a show for the fans. His camp
has promised a blitz right from the opening bell.
With Mayweather, we can only guess. The American has
been known to rely on ring smarts, defense and accurate but
limited punching to build his perfect record. His fights have been
criticized for being too calculated, too… boring. But with his
legacy on the line, it would be too much to expect him to change
his ways.
And yet, we must ask him. The five-year striptease before
this fight was finally signed deserves an explosive closure. The
price people have to pay to watch this fight demands a fight for
the ages. Mayweather can stick to his formula, but in a sport
where style makes fights, he must come out with a willingness to
put on a show for the fans.
It is not enough that these two warriors clamber into the
Philippine EB-3 Visa Preference
Rolls Back Seven Years
After leaping seven years
forward in the past twelve months,
the May 2015 Visa Bulletin shows
that the cut-off date of the
Philippine employment-based
third preference (EB-3) for skilled
workers, professionals and other
workers will roll back by seven
years and three months from
October 1, 2014 to July 1, 2007.
The rapid forward movement
s i g n i f i c a n t ly i n c re a s e d t h e
demand for immigrant visa
numbers under this category such
that a retrogression will be
required to keep the visa number
use within the annual limit.
Philippine nationals who are
scheduled for interview at a U.S.
consulate may be issued visas as
they have already been allocated
for them. Meanwhile, Philippine
nationals in the U.S. with EB-3
priority dates earlier than October
1, 2014 should file for adjustment
of status before the end of April.
The EB-3 cut-off date for all
other countries except China and
India will move forward by three
months, to January 1, 2015.
The cut-off date for China's
employment-based third
preference for skilled workers and
professionals will move by four
months to May 1, 2011 and other
workers by three months to
November 15, 2005. Meanwhile,
EB-3 cut-off date for India will
move by eight days to January 15,
The employment-based
second preference (EB-2) will
remain current for all countries
except China and India. China's
second preference cut-off date will
move by one year and two months
to June 1, 2012 while India's cut-off
date will advance by more than
seven months, to April 15, 2008.
Also, the employment-based
fifth preference (EB-5) will remain
current for all countries except
China. The EB-5 investor visa
category for China will retrogress
with a cut-off date of May 1, 2013.
This will be the first time that this
category will have retrogression
for any country. All the other
employment preferences will
remain current for all countries.
The family-based preferences
(F-1 to F-4) will move slowly. The
worldwide preference cut-off
dates are as follows: F-1
(unmarried sons and daughters of
U.S. citizens) August 15, 2007; F2A(spouses and children of
permanent residents) - September
1, 2013; F-2B (adult unmarried
sons and daughters of permanent
residents) September 15, 2008; Fu
Page 12
Buzzwords rehashed
Page 12
Publisher/Editor-in-Chief: Lito A. Gajilan, Jr.
Columnists: Reuben S. Seguritan, Esq.,
Juan L. Mercado, Joseph G. Lariosa
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do
not reflect the opinion of the paper nor that of the publisher.
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 201-434-1114 Fax 201-434-0880
2711 John F. Kennedy Boulevard, Jersey City, NJ 07306
Emerging issues produce new
buzzwords. You see that in the
spread of slash-and-burn (kaingin)
agriculture in once-timber-rich
areas like the province of Palawan.
Today kaingin has blistered the
towns of Aborlan, Rizal and
Quezon in the south, plus Roxas
and Taytay over in the north.
Slabs of once-lush forests of
Puerto Princesa, plus stretches on
the western coast, nudging
national-highway sectors, have
been seared by kaingin.
Palawan Gov. Jose Alvarez
grapples with a complex problem.
In-migration jacks up pressure.
And so does the razing of primary
forests for palm oil plantations,
notably in Sofronio Española town
and Brooke's Point.
The province still has over
666,338 hectares of forest, plus
8,000 ha of mangroves. But they
offer patchy comfort, given the
troubled history, note leading
nongovernment organizations.
K a ing in-b listered slop es
cannot stem soil erosion or rain
runoff. That results in massive soil
erosion. Recall how killer logs and
soil, unleashed by typhoons,
smashed Lanao del Sur and
plastered Misamis Oriental. Many
victims are still missing today.
When the Spanish colonizers
came in 1521, lush tropical
rainforest blanketed 90 percent of
the country, or 27 million hectares.
Two years after the Americans
took over, about 70 percent or 21
million ha remained forested. The
first modern logging operations, in
1904, started in Negros. Philippine
mahogany (dipterocarp) entered
the world market.
Between 1934 and 1941,
forest cover dwindled to around 17
million ha. In-migration rose with
population growth. Settlers, for
example, started to occupy the
Mount Makiling Forest Reserve.
Forests continued to dwindle
a f t e r Wo r l d Wa r I I . “ T h e
Philippines is the first Asian
country to liquidate its forest
wealth,” Patrick Durst of the Food
and Agriculture Organization
(FAO) records.
From less than 500,000 cubic
meters in the late 1950s, logging
“baron” exports crested at 11.1
million cubic meters in 1974.
Page 12
April 17-23, 2015
Page 11
Sovereignty or security?
No sooner had the Philippines
gained her independence from the
United States on July 4, 1946 than
the Philippine Statehood
Movement started. Although it
never reached the numbers to
force a referendum, the movement
was kept alive by statehood
advocates who firmly believe that
the future of the archipelago can
best be guaranteed by maintaining
political, economic, defense, and
financial ties with Mother America.
At a time when Pax Americana
is waning, America has to do
something to improve her standing
in the region, not just increasing
her military presence but also
reestablishing herself as a Pacific
power. And by “Pacific power” I
mean, permanent political,
economic, and military presence in
the Asia-Pacific region, not the
“interloper” that China sees or
pictures - her to be.
In my article, “What price
sovereignty?” (January 20, 2014), I
wrote: “The question of Philippine
sovereignty has been debated over
and over again since 1991 when
the Philippine Senate voted to
reject the retention of American
bases. The nationalists were
convinced that the Philippines
didn't need the protection of the
U.S. against foreign invasion. They
asserted that continued presence
of American bases was an affront to
Philippine sovereignty. However,
they didn't demand for the
rescission of the U.S.-Philippine
Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT),
which obligated the U.S. to defend
Philippine territory in the event of
foreign invasion. It's like them
saying, 'We don't want you around
but we expect you to defend us if
we were invaded.' Indeed, it's a
love-hate relationship that is
nurtured to this day.
“But two years after the U.S.
bases were closed in 1992, China
seized the Panganiban Reef
(Mischief Reef) in the middle of the
night. And the Philippine Armed
Forces couldn't do anything to take
By Perry Diaz
it back. “As an afterthought to the
Senate's folly of booting out the
Americans from Philippine soil,
which left the Philippines at the
mercy of a foreign country who'd
use force to nibble at our territory,
the U.S. and the Philippines signed
a Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).
According to the Philippine
Department of Foreign Affairs, the
VFA states that US forces in the
P h i l i p p i n e s h ave to fo l l o w
Philippine law and have to adhere
to behavior that is consistent with
Philippine law. The Senate ratified
it on May 27, 1999, which makes
one wonder how the senators who
voted to remove the U.S. bases in
1991 voted this time around? But
once again the nationalists went up
in arms claiming that VFA violates
the Philippine constitution.
“But the nationalists had
backed off when China took
possession of Panatag Shoal
(Scarborough Shoal) in August
2012. China then roped off the
narrow and only opening to the
shoal's lagoon; thus, preventing
Filipino fishermen from getting in.”
Building artificial islands
Since last year, China had been
dredging sand and rock from the
sea floor and depositing them on a
coral reef until the dredged
material breaks the surface; thus,
start forming an artificial island.
One of these islands is Fiery
Cross Reef (Kagitingan Reef),
which is one of six Chinese military
installations built within the
Philippines' 200-mile Exclusive
Economic Zone (EEZ) in the
disputed Spratly islands. It has
been occupied by 200 Chinese
troops since 1988 when UNESCO
agreed that China build weather
stations in the South China Sea as
part of a global oceanic survey.
A photo taken in 2005 showed
that China had built a fortification
around it, which included five
naval guns, four gun
emplacements, helipad/basketball
court, nursery, weather radar, pier,
observation post, and quarters for
military personnel. In all
appearances, this was a military
installation, not a weather station.
“Unsinkable aircraft carriers”
Today, reclamation work
around the Fiery Cross Reef has
expanded from the small outpost
measuring 1,032 square meters to
a total land area of more than
90,000 square meters of which one
side of the reclaimed area is three
kilometers long, which is long
e n o u gh fo r a r u nway - a n
“unsinkable aircraft carrier.” A
harbor is also being built, which
experts believe could handle
Page 13
Supreme Court, that it's a good
deal. But it has to be better
recognized that it's only a first step;
there are other Moro groups that
must be brought into the fold, too.
In 13 months the President will
step down. He'll want to be able to
leave with a strong level of
achievement, a legacy of change.
The GDP numbers look good, the
country is in excellent financial
shape, and there's a level of
confidence not seen since Fidel V.
Ramos left. But there's been little
improvement in the lives of the
p o o r. T h e c o n d i t i o n a l c a s h
transfers have been a big help, but
they are not a solution. They are
only a life jacket until a job is
created. Jobs haven't been created,
and millions of Filipinos have yet to
be lifted out of dire poverty (see my
April 2 column, “Primum nil
nocere”). And anyway, the CCT was
launched by Gloria Arroyo. Mr.
Aquino just greatly expanded it.
So, what can he do? Here I'm
talking, not about improvements,
but about radical change, “going
where no man has gone before.”
F i n a n c e S e c re t a r y C e s a r
Purisima has suggested something
I fully support, and I hope the
President will, too. It can't be
achieved in his limited time, but it
can be well started. And that's
radical tax reform.
Well, how would you like to not
pay any income tax?
Secretary Purisima is
suggesting just that, but not for
everyone, only for those that most
need not to. Anyone earning less
than, say, P1 million per year (a
final number is yet to be decided as
this could be a bit high), will no
longer pay income tax. And small
Page 12
whole house (and the Senate and
the palace, as well) with her.
“Janet's handlers in
government have offered her a
deal that will get her out of jail on
appeal, if she stays silent,” my
source told me. “If she decides to
be a good girl and shut her mouth,
she'll be out in no time on a
If Napoles starts squealing,
she's basically going to rot in jail
or at least spend the next four
decades ruing the day she broke
her vow of silence. (Understand,
while the pork barrel scandal
basically ran on a steady diet of
revelations provided by Luy, Janet
herself has never admitted
anything, much less implicated
any of the officials in Congress or
the Executive who benefited from
her largesse.)
According to my source, Janet
was also promised that the whole
pork barrel controversy will go
away if she follows the gangster's
policy of omerta. She was, after all,
convicted on the illegal detention
charge, not on any suit relating to
facilitating the systematic theft of
billions of pesos in Priority
Assistance Development Fund
allocations - something that no
one in Malacañang or Congress
really wants, because it would
immediately and logically lead to
their own incrimination as Janet's
It's Janet Napoles' choice,
really. And given her past
actuations, I'm betting that she
stays quiet as she awaits the time
when she will be set free way
before her 40-year sentence ends.
No one will be the wiser. No big
fish lands in jail like Janet while the
Page 12
Opinion A tax revolution
By Peter Wallace
“Dare to go where no man has
gone before.”
That's leadership, and
President Benigno Aquino III has
shown it in putting honesty at the
forefront of his administration.
Several very influential (and hence,
previously untouchable) people
h ave b e e n p ro s e c u te d . B u t
progress has been slow. Of the 327
cases (with an estimated tax
liability of P65 billion) filed against
tax evaders, 283 are still pending
with the Department of Justice, five
have been dismissed with finality,
and only 39 (a mere 12 percent of
all cases) currently pending with
the courts - which will take forever.
In the attempt to align the tax
effort to GDP goals, the internal
revenue commissioner has been
ruthless in closing gaps in tax
payments. But there is need for the
tax evaders caught to be more
ruthlessly prosecuted, and for a
cooperative court to convict them.
It's a little bit of a “Catch 22.” If
i n c o m e t a xe s a re l e s s , t h e
temptation to evade them is
lessened, particularly if the risk of
being caught is increased - and,
particularly, if the penalty if caught
is more draconian. The intent is to
make tax evasion a predicate crime.
Outside of this, the President
has found it difficult to break the
stultifying bureaucracy in which
this country is mired - and achieve
T h e DA P ( D i s b u r s e m e n t
Acceleration Program), though,
was one, and frankly I applaud him
and Budget Secretary Butch Abad
for introducing it; it got things
moving. That it was
unconstitutional was an
interpretation of a Supreme Court
too focused (as I've said often) on
legality, not social good. The DAP
was good for society, and money
wasn't being stolen as in the case of
the PDAF (Priority Development
Assistance Fund), which deserved
to go.
The peace agreement on the
Bangsamoro very definitely could
be where no man has gone before, if
it can be completed. But he
deserves credit for getting it as far
as it went. Mamasapano was an
unexpected derailment. Now he
must get the peace process back on
track from a much weakened
position. He'll need all his
persuasive powers to convince
Congress and, inevitably, the
Janet gets it
A Makati court threw the book
at Janet Lim Napoles yesterday,
sentencing the controversial
businesswoman to 40 years in
prison for illegally detaining her
own relative, pork barrel scam
whistle-blower Benhur Luy. And
nobody uttered a word.
Malacanang Palace, which was
earlier rocked by allegations that
the highest officials in the land
were among Napoles' clients in her
lucrative - but hardly unique business of turning congressional
projects into private funds for
public officers, didn't even
mention the story. No one in either
House of Congress, where many
legislators of every political stripe
were believed to have profited
directly from Napoles or through
Napoles-like schemes, said
anything, either.
Napoles, her eyes shielded by
her sunglasses, was silent during
yesterday's sentencing. Her
lawyer made the obligatory noises
about seeking an appeal, even as
his client was remanded to the
Women's Correctional jail in
Mandaluyong to start serving her
severe sentence.
Luy himself was not even in
court, for a still undetermined
reason. Relatives of his who were
present were guardedly joyful,
perhaps because even they were
shocked that Benhur's threemonth detention in a house in
posh Magallanes Village under the
watchful eye of Napoles' brother
Reynald (who remains unindicted
and at large) really merited such a
harsh penalty.
But overall, a conspiracy of
silence greeted the verdict handed
down on the woman who was at
the very center of the recent pork
scandal that once forced a clearly
panicked President Noynoy
Aquino to personally meet
Napoles in Malacanang when she
surrendered and which landed
three senators in jail. It was as if
N a p o l e s wa s n eve r o f a ny
importance and her jailing was
nothing really remarkable.
Then I get a call from someone
close to the case, who provided me
with a lot of valuable insights into
the Napoles case in the past, when
it was still obligatory headline
material. The message, in brief,
was that the sentencing of “Ma'am
J a n e t ,” a s s h e w a s o n c e
reverentially called by Mar Roxas,
was really intended to test if she
would now start singing like a
canary and attempt to bring the
April 17-23, 2015
Page 12
Janet gets ...
From page 11
other 70 or so pork barrel
entrepreneurs (and the
legislators who directly handled
their own pork through dummy
NGOs) get off scot-free, as well.
It's the daang matuwid, after
all, where those in power are
counting on the short attention
span of the public to bury their
sins until they are no more. And
that is really the bigger scam.
The subtext in the
allegations made by Senator
Antonio Trillanes against two
A tax ... From page 11
businesses will be exempt, too.
Corporate income tax will be
reduced to 25 percent in a
series of steps, with particular
“safeguard” tax ratios acting as
switches before lowering.
Lower income taxes will draw
more foreign investment,
which means more jobs and
more tax revenues.
Will anyone object to such
an eminently sensible thing to
do? I hardly think so. But there
must be something to replace
the revenues lost. And that
should be an increase in the
value-added tax from 12
percent to 14 percent. Here, of
course, there will be objection,
as far too many are against a
cost increase in anything
regardless of whether it's a
good and necessary thing or
justices of the Court of Appeals
who allegedly received scads of
money in exchange for issuing a
permanent injunction against
the suspension of Makati Mayor
Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay is
really the continuing battle for
control over what remains of
what was once the most
powerful law office in the land,
the one known simply as The
The fact that the formerly
ubiquitous lawyer Pancho
Villaraza has been accused by
Trillanes as having handed over
P50-million bribes to two
justices handling the younger
Binay's case only means, to
observers of the legal
profession, that Mar Roxas' top
political strategist (and
Villaraza's former partner)
Avelino “Nonong” Cruz is using
the senator to hit back at his exfriend in the law office.
Of course, everyone knows
that The Firm is still undergoing
a messy divorce, with the
factions of Villaraza and Cruz
continuing to squabble over
money, clients and assets after
the breakup. And Cruz is still
with Roxas, who is going all-out
to demolish Binay in a bid to
make himself a viable
presidential candidate.
not. It's a much more sensible
thing: You pay when you spend,
not when you earn. And remove
the too-many exemptions; keep
them only on all fresh food,
education and health, which,
after all, are where the poor
spend all their money. Senior
citizens, who've paid their dues,
will also remain exempt.
Tax on oil products can also
be raised. It's a proven thing
that we can afford it. We were
paying P35.20 per liter for
diesel just four months ago, and
doing okay. We're only paying
P28.7/liter now. That's a drop
of P6.5/liter, a percentage of
which can reasonably become
an excise tax - a tax that will be
determined by oil prices. All
these will be done in stages as
the government can afford it.
Another dramatic reform is
to give the Bureaus of Internal
Revenue and of Customs
autonomy from the Salary
Standardization Law so
employees can be given salaries
commensurate to their
abilities, and hired and fired
related to their abilities. There
will be no security of tenure.
Current employees will be
given the option to retire with a
generous payout, or join the
new BIR and BOC on the
condition that continued
employment will be dependent
on performance. Fail and you're
fired, no appeal or recourse.
These are bold concepts
that can be started. They need
Congress' approval, and that
will be hard when it comes to
increasing VAT and oil taxes,
but they are an essential part of
the whole equation.
Starting all these is going
where no man has gone before.
That's a legacy to leave behind.
Buzzwords ...
From page 10
Exports then slumped to 841,000 cubic
meters in just a decade. Forest cover
dwindled to 18 percent. That's below
the 30-percent safety benchmark.
Loss of habitats threatens 89
species of wildlife, mostly endemic to
the Philippines. “A prima donna of log
exporters in the '70s, we became a
wood pauper in the '80s,” observed the
“Penury and hunger drive
kaingineros to slash and burn trees for
a harvest or two,” notes former United
Nations forester Napoleon Vergara.
Confronting illicit loggers who bankroll
politicians often proves lethal.
“Green” priest Neri Satur was shot
in 1991 for confiscating “hot logs” in
Bukidnon. Catholic radio journalist
Gerry Ortega campaigned to protect
indigenous communities and was
gunned down.
Botanist Leonard Co was shot while
doing research in Leyte in 2011. Co was
“probably the last of classically trained
botanists in plant taxonomy and
systematics.” The military never proved
its claim that Co was “caught in a
crossfire with communist guerrillas.”
That record haunts Palawan,
despite indications of a slow
turnaround from the pits. There was an
annual increase of 54,480 ha in total
forest area between 1988 and 2003, say
official forestry statistics. That rise is
continuing, albeit more slowly than
most would want.
Asia and the Pacific are starting to
reverse forest loss, asserts the FAO in
the 2011 study “Forest Beneath the
“Primary forests nonetheless
continue to be chain-sawed,” as in
Samar, for exampleby a logging firm
owned by imprisoned Sen. Juan Ponce
Today's 30- to 40-year logging
cycles do not provide sufficient time for
forests to recover, argues the Biological
C o n s e r va t i o n j o u r n a l . B a s i l a n
demonstrated that even before the Abu
Sayyaf began to run riot.
“Peak timber” shoves against forest
Philippine EB-3
Visa ... From page 10
3 (married son and daughters of U.S
citizens) February 22, 2004 and F-4
(brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens)
August 1, 2002.
The Philippine cut-off dates are: F1 February 1, 2005; F-2A September 1,
2013; F-2B April 22, 2004; F-3 August
15, 1993 and F-4 October 22, 1991. A
retrogression of the F-1 category is a
possibility in the next several months.
Beneficiaries of employmentbased and family-based preferences
who have priority dates earlier than the
aforementioned cut-off dates and are
currently in the U.S., must file their
adjustment application in order to get
certain interim immigration benefits
limits, observe Australian National
University scientists. Harvests first
surge, peter out on a peak, then plunge
into free fall.
“Peak timber” is spurred by slow
growth of commercially viable species.
“Logging in the tropics tends to focus on
a small fraction of trees.” Abandoned
tree stumps symbolize extensive
collateral damage.
A “second wave clearance” problem
emerges, as Mindanao demonstrates.
Roads bulldozed by loggers open once
remote areas to a flood of land-hungry
shifting cultivators - and yet more
illegal loggers.
The impact of bulldozers and
yarders dragging logs through fragile
tropical soil is severe. “In retrospect, it
would probably have been better from
an environmental perspective to rely
on the carabao power that small-scale
illegal loggers depend upon.”
Tree survival rates are low in
erratic government reforestation
efforts. Under the Arroyo
administration, more than 72 centavos
out of every peso was spent on salaries
in the Department of Environment and
Natural Resources.
“We've long gone over the peak,”
says agro-forestry specialist Patrick
Dugan, coauthor of “Forest Faces.” We
must “now focus on options for turning
the situation around.”
The first step to climb back up the
peak is to adopt - then enforce “policies that create incentives for
people to plant, harvest and sell trees.”
This would tamp down pressure to
harvest from the natural forests.
Second, address the lack of tangible
and sustained support to help millions
of small-scale farmers living on steep
slopes, and apply improved land use
methods. Only then will they jettison
the unsustainable but the sole farming
system they have.
That would also crib “the prevailing
attitude that any cutting of trees is ipso
facto a criminal act.”
Hopes for the future rest with
people given a stake in planting and
thereafter protecting forests, writes
BBC's Mark Kinver. The alternative is
that old buzzword: disaster.
such as employment authorization and
travel permit. Those with pending
adjustment applications will be
allowed to remain in the U.S. and work
here until the adjudication of their
adjustment applications.
Among the documents required to
file for adjustment of status, in addition
to Form I-485 and related forms, are
the applicant's photographs, medical
examination report, affidavit of
support, copy of passport and I-94,
copy of birth certificate, and if
applicable, copy of the applicant's
marriage certificate and official proof
of termination of any prior marriage.
(Editor's Note: REUBEN S. SEGURITAN has
been practicing law for over 30 years. For
more information, you may log on to his
website at www.seguritan.com or call (212)
Validation ... From page 10
ring. They must give the fans the show they deserve. Hagler-Hearns and AliFrazier are now classics, best remembered for the startling skill and bracing
artistry that marked them. For Pacquiao-Mayweather to earn its place up
there, it cannot rely on hype and labels. It must be a validation of the fighters'
History is mostly written through the eyes of its witnesses. And for Manny
Pacquiao and, most especially, Floyd Mayweather Jr., there will be millions of
witnesses to their tussle. There will be millions of witnesses deciding this
fight's place in sporting history. And many of these witnesses will have burned
a hole in their pockets for their slice of the action.
It is up to the two fighters to make sure that when history comes around to
judging their bout, they would be ranked up there among the legends.
April 17-23, 2015
Page 13
Sovereignty ...
From page 11
warships, tankers, and
submarines. Compared to the
o t h e r C h i n e s e re c l a m a t i o n
projects, Fiery Cross Reef might be
China's main naval and air base in
the Spratlys.
From a military standpoint,
China would be able to reach any
point past the First Island Chain
and within striking distance of the
Second Island Chain (from the
Kuril Islands to Guam, Marianas
Islands, New Guinea, Borneo,
Malaysia, and Vietnam). Australia,
which is beyond the Second Island
Chain, would be reachable by
missiles launched from these
artificial islands.
The close proximity of these
Chinese “unsinkable aircraft
carriers” to the Philippines would
render the Philippines
indefensible. With no military
capability to fight a war, the
Philippines is helplessly at the
mercy of China, which begs the
question: Would the U.S. come to
her aid?
Disastrous war
With the U.S. embroiled in
several wars in the Middle East and
Eastern Europe, to engage China in
territorial disputes with her
neighbors over the Spratly Islands
could be disastrous to America
economically and militarily. It
would therefore be prudent for the
U.S. to stay away from a crisis
halfway around the world, which
some geopolitical experts believe
is not worth fighting for.
In such an event, the U.S. would
be more predisposed to use
diplomacy in settling disputes
between China and the
Philippines. However, once China
had taken possession of the
contested islands, it would be
difficult, if not impossible, to
diplomatically convince China to
return the islands. With nothing to
trade them with, China wouldn't
give up an inch of territory for
The Philippines would
therefore be left on her own to take
the Spratly islands back. And that
would mean going to war against
China. But what kind of weapons
would the Philippines use against
China? Or does she even have the
ability to transport troops to the
contested islands?
Hard choice
And this is where the
Philippines has to make a hard
choice: sovereignty or security?
Since the country doesn't have the
means to defend her sovereignty
and territorial integrity, she has to
build her military assets from the
ground up. But that takes a long
time and it requires tens of billions
of dollars, which the government
doesn't have.
The next best thing is to allow
the U.S to bring her Seventh Fleet
b a c k t o S u b i c B ay a n d t o
remilitarize Clark Air Base. “What!
Allow the Americans to come
back?” you'd hear the nationalists
and their leftist allies shout. “No
way are we going to give up our
sovereignty to the Americans!”
they'd say.
But has anybody ever, ever
asked them the question: “How are
you going to defend your territory
from Chinese aggression?” Silence.
Then, they say: “We'll defend our
country to the last drop of our
blood!” Sure they'd do that. But
would they succeed in expelling
the invaders if each and every one
of them bled to death?
And this is where security
should be the number one priority
of every country to protect her
territory. Look at Singapore. Her
land area is no bigger than Clark
Base, but she has enough
warplanes and warships to fill up
Clark Base and Subic Base. Look at
Bangladesh, a third or fourth world
country, if there were such a thing.
Recently, Bangladesh signed a
contract with China to buy two
corvettes and two submarines;
and she only has 360 miles of coast
line compared to the Philippines'
22,548 miles! Isn't there
som et hin g w ron g w i t h t he
On April 28, 2014, the U.S. and
t h e P h i li p p i n e s s i g n e d t h e
Enhanced Defense Cooperation
Agreement (EDCA). The purpose
of EDCA is to strengthen the U.S.Philippines security relationship
by allowing the U.S. to station
troops and operations on
Philippine territory. But the
agreement clearly states that the
U.S. is not allowed to establish a
permanent base and also
stipulates that the U.S. is not
allowed to store or position any
nuclear weapons on Philippine
territory. That's like tying Uncle
Sam's hands behind his back and
yet expect him to defend his little
brown brothers who have no
means of defending their beloved
A t t h e e n d o f t h e d ay,
something has to give. The
Philippines has to choose between
sovereignty and security. She
cannot have it both ways.
([email protected])
280 Luis Munoz Marin Boulevard
Jersey City, NJ 07302
From right: Author Greg Villanueva, musician Carlos Zialcita, Carlene Bonnivier,
Oscar Penaranda and actor Logan Clarke at the Indiegogo launch. Photo by Tet
Valdez/Evangeline Rodriguez
actors ...
From page 9
told the group at PWC that his
grandfather was in the
Philippine-American War, among
revolutionaries who resisted the
American occupation of Samar.
He was part of the planners of the
surprise attack on American
soldiers in Samar, which led to the
retaliatory massacre of villagers
by American soldiers.
“You know I am a Waray and
my relatives are from Samar who
told me that my grandfather
worked with General Lucban, the
Filipino commander of the
uprising in Samar and General
Mojica, both captured in Leyte.
After the Balangiga massacre, my
grandfather went underground
with a prize on his head.”
Penaranda will join the
Committee to bring back the
religious icons to the Philippines
and said he was “excited to go
back to Balangiga and talk to
people there.”
The Indiegogo campaign will
last 45 days and the funds raised
will finance a short documentary
produced by Hollywood writers
and actors.
For those who would like to
support the campaign, go to the
website, www.bring
thebellsback.org and share on
your Facebook, Twitter, email to
friends, make a small donation. If
30 percent of the campaign's total
goal is raised in the first week, it
will be one of Indiegogo's “pick of
the month” that means exposure
to over 15,000 people in one click.
April 17-23, 2015
Page 14
Memories of old Manila
By Amadis Ma. Guerrero
The war destroyed Ermita and
left its residents destitute. One by
one, the families left their snooty,
Spanish-speaking district which had
been their home for one hundred
years of solitude, and settled down in
the suburban towns or in other
places in the city.
Ermita's parish church had also
been damaged beyond repair, and a
new one had to be constructed. The
plaza in front faced the US Embassy.
Much later, markers were built in
memory of my grandfather, poetjournalist Fernando Ma. Guerrero;
his younger brother Dr. Manuel S.
Guerrero, founder of Gota de Leche;
and their nephew Leon Ma. Guerrero,
the writer-diplomat.
“Can you imagine all those
Guerreros confronting the American
Embassy,” Anding Roces once wrote or something along those lines.
Mercifully, the Malate church, a
heritage landmark, was spared.
My widowed grandmother
Remedios, my widowed mother
Estrella, and a widower uncle-in-law,
Antonio Zacarias, moved to Malate.
My mother was very attached to my
grandmother. They had spent the end
of the war searching for my missing
father, Tristan Ma., a doctor. His body
was never found.
“No quiero separarme de mi
suegra (I don't want to leave my
mother-in-law),” my mother once
told one of her relatives.
We lived in a rented house on
Tennessee (later Gen. Malvar) corner
decades later, during one of our
After graduation, it was on to
Ateneo high school in Loyola Heights,
Quezon City. But that's another story.
And another city.
The old Avenida Rizal in Santa Cruz. LAKBAYPILIPINAS.COM
Mabini; the streets were named then
after American states. In front of our
residence was the beautifully named
When It Is a Gray November in Your
Soul café run by lshmael Bernal.
Within walking distance were Indios
Bravos and Hobbit House.
My mother would take my sister
and me to the Chinese restaurants in
Quiapo and Binondo, like the popular
Panciteria Carvajal. She spoke
Chinese, having spent some years in
China, so the Chinese owners would
treat her like an honored guest.
Wonderful musicals
I trace my love for plays and
movies to that period. The movie
houses of my youth were Ideal, State,
Ever, Scala, Lyric, Capitol, Avenue and
Times. They were located in Santa
Cruz, Avenida Rizal, Quiapo, and the
Escolta, then a fashionable district.
Botica Boie was the place to be seen.
We saw all those wonderful MGM
musicals like “Seven Brides for Seven
Brothers,” “Showboat,” “Singing in
the Rain,” “The Great Caruso,” and
“The Toast of New Orleans.” My
favorite singing stars were Kathryn
Grayson, Jane Powell and Ann Blyth. I
felt that Mario Lanza shouted too
much and wonder why he is
remembered today, while poor
Kathryn (who had a trained soprano
voice), Jane and Ann are forgotten.
Grade school was spent at
Ateneo de Manila on Padre Faura,
Ermita, where shell-scarred
buildings were reminders of the war.
A low wall separated the school from
the Assumption Convent. Once we
heard screaming from the other side,
and we climbed the wall and saw that
a game, probably basketball, was in
progress and the Assumptionistas
were cheering their respective
After classes, some students
liked to play basketball. One time, the
ball sailed over the low wall and
landed in a flowerbed on the other
side. “The nuns were so mad,”
laughingly recalled one classmate
End of an era
The 1960s found me employed
as a deskman-correspondent in the
Associated Press right beside the
Manila Times on Florentino Torres
Street, Santa Cruz, near Chinatown,
thanks to a recommendation from
favorite aunt, Carmen Guerrero
By 1969 I had joined the Graphic,
edited by Luis “Monk” Mauricio, in
Port Area. I was in good company
working with the likes of Ninotchka
Rosca, Pete Daroy, Louie Teodoro,
Tony and Jing Hidalgo, Mila Aguilar,
Monina Mercado and Chato
Garcellano. George Sison wrote a
society column which later got him
into trouble.
Martial law was imposed in
1972. We lost our jobs and our
freedom. It was the end of an era and
the beginning of a more sinister
Soon Manila lost its luster, giving
way to upstart towns like Makati,
Mandaluyong and Pasig, which
b e c a m e we a l t h i e r a n d m o re
progressive cities.
But Manila remains the capital,
the seat of power. She has a name that
resonates, and a 400-year history.
And she is the only Philippine city
that is known all over the world.
April 17-23, 2015
Page 15
Sumilon, Cebu: How to
‘sell' a tourist island
By Amadis Ma. Guerrero
The high-end Bluewater
Sumilon resort, one of three such
Bluewater properties, lies on the
island of Sumilon off Oslob,
southeast Cebu.
It is accessible via ferryboat
from Dumaguete City, normally a
one-hour ride.
In the background is the island
province of Siquijor. And in the
distance you can see the outline of
The Sumilon resort
([email protected]) has
everything - well, almost
everything - that you can expect on
an island getaway.
There is an historic
watchtower and a more modern
l i g h t h o u s e , a n i m p r e s s ive ,
blindingly white sandbar, which is
the first thing you see when the
boat docks; a natural lagoon with
mangroves facing the open sea, fish
feeding, elegant rooms, pools, a
restaurant by the bay, and
frolicking with friendly butandings
(whale sharks).
A boat cruise around the island
costs P1,500, good for a maximum
of five persons per boat.
A day tour costs P7,000 with a
President Aquino officially declared
2015 as ‘Visit the Philippines Year’
minimum of two persons. This
includes fullboard meals, airport
transfers (Cebu or Dumaguete),
butanding experience, Tumalog
waterfalls experience and island
Since 2011, hordes of tourists,
domestic and foreign, have been
descending on the Tan-awanOslob beach facing the resort.
T h e f r i e n d l y, g i a n t s e a
creatures are right there near the
shore, attracted by the alamang
(tiny shrimps) fed to them by the
boatmen. You can almost reach out
to touch them. Some of the media
team members swam along with
them; and there was a long line of
boats, with the passengers
wearing lifejackets.
The boatmen each earn P700
on a normal day, more during the
holidays and festival days.
There are around 140
fishermen, accounting for earnings
of up to P1 million a day, according
to tourist guide Raul Nacario.
The fishermen get 60 percent
of the money; the Oslob local
government, 30 percent; while the
rest goes to Barangay Tam-awan.
If for some reason, as in force
Shifting sands attract both
local and foreign visitors.
majeure, there is no sighting of the
butanding, don't expect a refund.
Business booming
There are other surprises in
green-laden southeast Cebu, like
the six-level Aguinid Falls and the
towering Tumalog Falls (P30 for
each kid and P50 for each adult),
the 1830s church of stone in Oslob
and, beside it, an 1890s “Cuartel,”
Snorkel Marine Sanctuary
Page 19
April 17-23, 2015
Page 16
April 17-23, 2015
Page 17
Bolinao: White-sand beaches and many more
By Gabriel Cardinoza
BOLINAO, Pangasinan -Beyond its pristine white-sand
beaches, the coastal town of
Bolinao in western Pangasinan
has more to offer to visitors.
Tourists can explore Bolinao's
caves and coral beds, learn about
its history and culture, or enjoy a
cruise with lunch on Balingasay
Bolinao, facing the West
Philippine Sea and with a
population of 75,000, is at the end
of a four-and-a-half-hour drive
from Metro Manila. Buses take
tourists to the town on runs that
take five and a half hours.
Although the Pangasinan and
Ilocano languages are widely
spoken in Bolinao, the town has its
own language, Bolinao or BinuBolinao.
“The Bolinao culture is still
very alive, especially on Santiago
Island,” said Myrna Aguila, the
town's tourism officer. The island,
located off the northern tip of
Pangasinan, has six of Bolinao's 30
“People there still practice
bayanihan. If somebody gets
married, everybody helps in the
preparation. During fiestas, homes
are open and visitors can just go in
to eat,” Aguila said.
Margaret Celeste, chair of the
Movement of Bolinao Concerned
Citizens Inc., said residents were
fierce defenders of the
ENCHANTED FEELING. Tourists enjoy the cool natural spring water inside Enchanted Cave, one of 11 caves in Bolinao
town in Pangasinan province. The pool, 2.13 meters deep, can accommodate 16 people and is accessible through a
14.02-meter descending stairway. Willie Lomibao
environment, always ready to
stand up to any threat.
In the 1990s, the residents
opposed the construction of a P13billion cement plant in the town,
prompting the Department of
Environment and Natural
resources to reject the
proponent's application for an
environmental compliance
Tourists appreciate the town
and its attractions, and always
return, encouraging the
construction of resorts and other
lodging facilities over the last five
Responding to the increase in
tourist traffic, Bolinao's tourism
office has drawn up itineraries for
visitors who want to explore the
A day tour, for instance, always
begins with the highlights of the
town's history.
Guests are taken to the 406year-old St. James the Great
Church and led to the nearby
Spanish well before proceeding to
the town hall.
A marker in front of the church
says that in 1324, Franciscan
missionaries led by an Italian
priest named Odorico celebrated a
Mass in the town, way earlier than
the recorded first Mass in the
Philippines, on Limasawa Island in
Southern Leyte, in 1521.
Pilgrim tour
For pilgrims, part of the day
tour is a visit to St. Clare
Monastery in Luna village.
The monastery was
established following the visit of
Mother Jeronima de Asuncion of
the Order of St. Clare (Poor Clares)
and a Franciscan friar to the town
in 1621. A marker was built near
the port to commemorate the
From the town center, tourists
travel to Patar village, 19
kilometers away. After a short stop
at Balingasay River, they go to Cape
Bolinao lighthouse and then to the
white-sand public beach in Patar.
Tourists staying for another
day in Bolinao can enjoy a
“cascades tour.”
“It's a trip to the falls and the
tour starts early in the morning,
between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. so that it
will not be too hot,” Aguila said.
Bolinao boasts of three
waterfalls: the Tara Falls in Tara
village and the Bolinao 1 and
Bolinao 2 falls in Samang Norte
Tourists have to trek for about
15 minutes to get to the falls,
where they can enjoy a dip in the
clear waters.
From Tara Falls, they can have
a two-hour river cruise with lunch
of choice seafood on Balingasay
The cruise, offered by the
floating restaurant Sungayan Grill,
costs P1,000 per group of 10 or
P2,000 for a group as big as 30,
excluding food.
Page 19
April 17-23, 2015
Page 18
Consul General De Leon (Right) addresses the audience comprised of young professionals, students,
community leaders and youth advocates. (Photos by Dondee Santos)
Consulate Interfaces with New England
Youth for the First Time in Successful
Leadership and Mentoring Seminar
BOSTON, MA, 13 April 2015 The
second leg of the Leadership and
Mentoring Seminar: Empowerment
for the Emerging Generation
spearheaded by the Philippine
Consulate General was held for the
New England youth last 11 April at
Stokes Hall in Boston College,
About 70
participants comprised of students,
young professionals, youth
advocates and some first-gen
community members filled the
lecture hall to discuss the secondgeneration Filipino-Americans' role
in the community's affairs.
Consul General Mario De Leon
opened the program, and thanked
the event co-host Philippine Society
of Boston College, and planning
partner Jennifer Coliflores for
helping the Consulate organize the
successful seminar. In his remarks,
ConGen noted the importance of
involving the youth in community
planning, as he believes the future of
the Filipino-American community
lies with the second- and third-gens.
He recognized that the Consulate,
along with the senior organizations
in the community, should be
responsible in honing the youth to
have the proper frame of mind to
accept this role. He added that the
purpose of the Leadership and
Mentoring Seminar is for the young
Fil-Ams to have the confidence to
assume leadership starting from
their own youth organizations,
professions, the community, and the
greater US society in general.
The speakers for each of the
modules shared their expertise on
the topics assigned and welcomed a
healthy discourse on issues from the
young attendees.
Ms Alpha Sanford, a UP Dilimangraduate and currently Assistant
Headmaster at Randolph High
School lectured on “Understanding
the Filipino”. She related her
immigrant story and highlighted
that Filipinos are sought after in the
world for their high educational
attainment and work professional
ethics, and encouraged the
participants to proudly display their
Filipino identity and values, and stay
true to their narrative or story of
being a remarkable FilipinoAmerican.
Dean Mary Grace Almandrez of
the Brown University Center for
Students of Color gave an emphatic
presentation on “Leadership and
Motivation”. She described her
struggles growing up in a
predominantly foreign community
as a young immigrant Filipino child
from Olongapo but recounted how
she discovered to embrace her
The weather was perfect for a conversation among the young professionals, community
members and student leaders in Boston College. Consul General De Leon (center, front row)
poses with participants. (Photo by Dondee Santos)
From left: Ms Jocelyn Santiago, Ms Alpha Sanford, Vice Consul Khrys Corpuz, Ms
Jennifer Coliflores, Dean Mary Grace Almendraz, Ms Adette Coliflores pose after
the program (Photo by Dondee Santos)
Counterclockwise from top right: ConGen speaks with a participant; Northeastern
University student leader verbalizes his realization that they are leaders in their own
award-winning organization; Participants discuss among themselves lessons
learned; PSBC Co-President Brian Limbo adds that his peers need to feel
empowered to participate more in the community; A Massachusetts 2nd-gen Fil-Am
asks “How many of you speak Filipino?” and raises that the youth should exert
effort in learning the language. (Photos by Dondee Santos)
identity and make the most of her
Filipino upbringing to enrich her
character, education, career, and
personal life. She taught the
participants to break the stereotype
and seek for leaders among the
community and promote leadership
of Filipinos in their organizations,
corporations, and the greater US
Imparting her knowledge as a
Certified Public Accountant, Ms
Jocelyn Santiago, community leader
from the Filipino-American
Friendship Society of New
Hampshire, held an interactive
lecture on “Financial Functions of An
O r g a n i z a t i o n ,” t o p r o v i d e
frameworks for young community
leaders and prospective founders to
s e t - u p t h e i r ow n n o n - p ro f i t
organizations under the guidelines
set for 501(c)3.
More practicable and
transferrable skills were shared by
Tinsel and Twine Partner, Ms Adette
Contreras in her presentation,
“Events and Real Life.” Drawing
from her experience as an events
designer, she disclosed some tips on
how the participants can maximize
their attendance in any event they
attend from formal galas, to
business mixers and social club
gatherings. She related the
importance of approaching the right
persons, highlighting one's own
strengths (or having someone do it
for you), and being purposeful in
o n e' s p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n t h e i r
organization and presence in a party
or gathering.
Two groups of panelists then
rounded up some topics raised in the
earlier lectures to and discussed
questions and comments from the
The first Panel Discussion
focused on “The Second-Generation
Americans' Introduction to the
Community”, moderated by Ms
Jennifer Coliflores. Philippine
Society of Boston College (PSBC)
officers Isabella Rosales and Julian
Mondonedo related their student
organization's involvement in the
community, citing that their annual
event “Bayanihan, Spirit of the
Philippines” fulfills their effort to
promote the culture, talent and
social programs of the country to the
whole Boston College community.
Youth member from New Hampshire
Calvin Santiago shared how he was
eased into his mother's community
organization and said that to hold
the young community members'
interest, the programs of the
organizations must also cater to
their needs such as socials and
school placement. AmeriCorps City
Year Boston volunteer Philjay Solar
noted that he was fortunate to grow
up with a strong Filipino community
in his hometown but also
acknowledges that the youth
participation in the community's
activities are dwindling. All of the
panelists agreed that the secondand third-generation Fil-Ams are
willing to take on more roles in the
community if only they would be
given guidance and the confidence
by the elders to lead their own
projects and working groups.
As a way to encourage the
attendees to go into social
entrepreneurship and inform them
of organizations welcoming them
into their company, four leaders
spoke during the Panel Discussion
“Strengthening Our Bond to the
Philippines Through Civic
Engagement and Social Enterprise.”
CEO and Chief Builder of Next
Day Better Ryan Letada opened the
discussion by sharing his
experiences dealing with Filipino
influencers in tech, business, arts,
food, who he features in his global
speaking events. As a Fullbright
fellow and FYLPro alum, Ryan
informed the young attendees of
these opportunities available to the
Filipino-American youth and how
tremendously he was helped by
these once-in-a-lifetime chances.
Re c e n t B ro w n U n ive r s i t y
graduate, Mr Rexy Josh Dorado
explained the organization he
founded, Kaya Collaborative, a
fellowship opportunity for students
interested in immersing themselves
in the culture and social issues of the
Philippines. Kaya Co. places each
fellow into a customized internship
with a social venture in Manila,
based on the individual's unique
skill set and the organization's
specific needs. Kaya Co. curates each
of these projects specifically to
ensure experiential value for the
fellow, capacity-building potential
for the organization, and long-term
impact for the target community. On
their first year alone in 2014, Kaya
Co was able to send interns to social
enterprises in the Philippines and
seek for more funding and
sponsorships to increase that
number this year.
Young entrepreneur Ms Rowena
Sy-Santos, Business Development
Director of Bagong Kulturan Pinoy
Inc. (BKP), invited volunteers to
their organization which aims to
promote literacy and love of reading
among children in underserved
communities in the Philippines. BKP
provides children's books to partner
schools in the Philippines and
manages reading programs help
develop the young students' reading
and thinking skills.
Tech professional David Zarraga
stated that his involvement in the
community began because of his two
young sons. Their family joined the
Iskwelahang Pilipino, an
organization that holds bi-weekly
lessons in Filipino language, music
and arts to create an environment
where their children will have the
opportunity to learn about their
Filipino heritage. Later on, he
added, his involvement increased
when he learned of the presence of
Gawad Kalinga in Massachusetts and
started participating in their
programs to support beneficiary GK
communities in the Philippines.
In closing, Vice Consul Khrystina
Corpuz whose portfolio in the
Consulate includes Community
Relations with the Second-Gens
rounded up the discussions by
noting to the first-gen leaders in the
audience that the young ones are
willing and able to learn and take on
leadership roles, and encouraged
them to empower the youth
members in their organizations to
transition leadership. She also
echoed the desire of the participants
to give back to the Philippines, but
not in the way that is traditionally
done by their parents or elders in the
community. The second-generation
Fil-Ams' idea of giving back is by way
of socially-relevant programs and
civic projects that impact the lives of
kababayans back home in a wider
scale in terms of education,
livelihood sustainability, literacy
and health services.
The first LMS was launched in
New York last September, and two
more seminars are planned this year
for the youth of Connecticut and
April 17-23, 2015
Page 19
Igorot finds worthwhile
venture in Lakbay Norte tour
y Amadis Ma. Guerrero
The lagoon is one of the favorite spots of tourists visiting Sumilon
Sumilon, Cebu ...
From page 15
or barracks for Spanish soldiers. It is
summer and business is booming in
Sumilon Island and Oslob. Room rates at
the resort range from P30,000 for a
single deluxe room to P55,000 (during
the peak season) for a luxurious twobedroom villa good for four persons.
Margie F. Munsayac is the person in
charge of sales and marketing of the
resort, which is located on a 24-hectare
“There are different types of
marketing,” she says of her work at the
resort, which is geared towards the A-B
market. “Mostly PR-based, media
invites, digital social media, and word of
The resort started with 14 rooms
which, Munsayac says, was “A good
investment in a way.”
Bolinao: Whitesand beaches ...
From page 17
Balingasay, the Ilocos region's
cleanest river, boasts of century-old
mangroves growing on its banks, which
stretch for 5 km up to Bolinao 1 and 2
“On a good day, there are even
migratory birds perched on the
mangroves along the way,” Aguila said.
For tourists opting to stay for three
days, they can go snorkeling at
designated spots around Santiago
Island. Located in Lucero village is the
town's giant clams nursery, near the
island's fish sanctuary.
The giant clams are from the
University of the Philippines' Marine
Science Institute (UPMSI) marine
laboratory here.
The UPMSI nursery is not open to
tourists, so the institute transferred the
clams to the municipal government's
giant clam nursery to enable visitors to
see them. Councilor Genaro Caasi, chair
of the town council's tourism
committee, said scuba diving would be
added to tourism activities in Bolinao
after the Department of Tourism had
identified suitable dive sites.
Exploring caves
Tourists can also explore three of
the town's 11 caves. These are the
Then when the butanding came, they
added more rooms and air-conditioned
cottages, until a full-fledged resort
“ We p a c ka g e d i t a s a fa n c y
destination, aimed at the corporate and
diving markets, and families,” Munsayac
She describes the place as “great for
b ra i n s to r m i n g a n d d e - s t re s s i n g
corporate people.”
What about the return on
investments (ROI)?
“Ideally, for hotels and resorts, that's
seven years,” the marketing executive
says. “We are now on our 9th year, so ROI
na.” She notes, however, that it is very
expensive to run an island resort.
“We have to transport everything to
the island, pay freight. We're trying to be
self-sufficient, that's why we planted an
organic garden. We have a 24-hour
generator, so our next target is solar
energy,” she says. Inquirer.net
Enchanted, Wonderful and Cindy's
caves, all in Patar.
The Enchanted Cave has a pool of
spring water 1.52 to 2.13 meters deep
and can accommodate 16 people. It is
accessible through a 14.02-m
descending stairway.
The compound where the cave is
located has been developed into a resort
that has a kiddie pool, picnic sheds and
function spaces. Fossilized shells of
giant clams dug up from the area adorn
the site.
Every guided tour of the town
always ends in a “market encounter,”
where tourists are taken to the town's
public market to buy binungey
(glutinous rice cooked in a bamboo),
shop for souvenirs or buy dried fish.
Bolinao is 280 km north of Manila.
The town can be reached through the
North Luzon Expressway and the SubicClark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx).
From the SCTEx's Tarlac exit,
travelers cross the Tarlac River to hit the
Romulo Highway, which takes them to
Camiling town.
Fro m t h e re , t rave l e r s e n te r
Pangasinan and reach Bolinao after
passing through the towns of
Mangatarem, Aguilar, Bugallon,
Labrador and Sual, Alaminos City and
Victory Liner and Five Star Lines
offer daily trips to Bolinao from Metro
Manila. One-way fare is about P500.
To advertise, please call
Young and personable
entrepreneur Mac Baldos is
from northern Philippines.
He spent his growing up
years in Benguet, Mt. Province
and Baguio City amid
ecological wonders like the
Terraces in Banaue and Batad
and the caves of Sagada, that
cool, captivating mountain
town that has attracted
adventurous tourists,
domestic and foreign.
Like Hemingway's Paris,
the beauty of the Cordillera
mountain ranges is a moveable
feast for Baldos; he carries it
with him wherever he goes.
His mother Estella is a fullblooded member of the
indigenous Kankana-ey ethnolinguistic group. His father
Fernando, on the other hand, is
from Ilocos Sur.
They met at the Philippine
Military Academy (PMA) in
Baguio, where Fernando, who
was with the military police,
was stationed.
Baldos later took up
business management at
Letran College in Intramuros,
Manila, and applied what he
learned in various jobs. For six
years, he was involved in
Tourists marvel at Ifugao's
rice terraces
insurance, but the scenes of his
childhood and early youth
never left him and so, backed
by his parents and two siblings,
he decided to make a venture
out of these rich experiences.
In Sept. 2014, the Baldos
family established a travel
agency with the registered
name Ethan-Keon - after
Baldos' nephew and son,
respectively, but better known
as DC Travel.
“We are the owners as well
as the employees
Page 22
April 17-23, 2015
Page 20
Bill Gates. AFP file photo
Why Bill Gates' foundation
supports IRRI in Los Baños
By Nestor Corrales
Senior Officials of the Bill and
Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF)
have visited the International Rice
Research Institute (IRRI) in Los Baños,
Laguna to get updates on the food and
nutrition programs the foundation has
been supporting.
“We are thankful that the BMGF has
come for updates on the food and
nutrition security initiatives that they
support,” Robert Zeigler, Director
General of IRRI said in a statement.
“The foundation is a staunch
partner in applying the best of science
so that people in the rice-eating world
will not go hungry,” Zeigler added.
The IRRI said senior officials
including Pamela Anderson, Director
of the Agricultural Development
Program, and Gary Atlin, Senior
Program Officer visited the site and had
a tour at IRRI's research facilities.
Scientists gave briefings to the
BMGF officials on key advances,
including the latest on climate change-
ready rice and healthier varieties that
aim to help solve micronutrient
deficiencies, which afflict about 2
billion people globally.
IRRI scientists showed to the BMGF
team experimental rice plots for the
development of flood- and droughttolerant rice.
IRRI said the stress-tolerant
va riet ies hold t he p rom ise of
improving the livelihoods of the
world's poorest farmers who till lands
most vulnerable to climate change.
The Inquirer earlier reported that
Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates had a
six-hour “confidential” visit at the
IRRI's headquarters in Laguna.
Immigration sources have said that
Gates arrived in Puerto Princesa City
on April 4 on a private jet with US
registry number N887WM.
The American billionaire has
evaded the public until he was sighted
at the IRRI headquarters on
Wednesday (April 8) morning.
IRRI is a major grantee of the BMGF.
$100M in economic losses incurred
yearly due to China's reclamation
Matikas Santos
C h i n a' s m a s s ive l a n d
reclamation in several reefs in
the West Philippine Sea is
causing the destruction of an
estimated 300 acres of coral
reefs which results in economic
losses of around $100 million
each year, the Department of
Foreign Affairs (DFA) said
Monday, April 13.
“China's massive
reclamation activities are
causing irreversible and
widespread damage to the
biodiversity and ecological
balance of the West Philippine
Sea (South China Sea),” DFA
said in a statement.
“China has pursued these
a c t i v i t i e s u n i l a t e r a l l y,
disregarding peoples in the
surrounding states who have
depended on the sea for their
livelihood for generations. The
destruction of 300 acres of
coral reef systems resulting
from the reclamations is
estimated to lead to economic
losses to coastal states valued
at US$100 million annually,” it
Satellite images released
online have shown China's
massive reclamation in Fiery
Cross Reef, Johnson South Reef,
Mischief Reef, Subi Reef,
Cuerteron Reef, Gaven Reef,
and Hughes Reef. These are all
submerged maritime features
in the Spratly Group of Islands
just off the coast of Palawan.
Along with the land
reclamation, China is also
constructing massive
structures believed to be
military bases.
China's land reclamation in
the exclusive economic zone
(EEZ) of the Philippines is seen
as part of its aggressive
expansionist policy in the
region believed to be rich in oil
and natural gas resources.
According to the United
States (US) National Oceanic
a n d At m o s p h e r i c
Administration (NOAA), coral
reefs are vital maritime
ecosystems that provide
valuable support for marine
species such as providing
habitat and breeding grounds.
“Storehouses of immense
biological wealth, reefs also
provide economic and
environmental services to
millions of people. Coral reefs
m ay p rov i d e g o o d s a n d
services worth $375 billion
each year. This is an amazing
figure for an environment that
covers less than 1 percent of
the Earth's surface,” it said in its
Aside from reclamation,
China has also repeatedly used
force to prevent Filipino
fishermen from going to reefs
in the Spratly Islands to fish.
The Philippines has filed an
arbitration case before the
Page 22
Gov't bidding out PAL among world's 'most
P17-B port project reliable' airlines - study
The government is seeking
bidders for the P17-billion Davao
Sasa Port project in Southern
Philippines in a deal that aims to
modernize the seaport into an
international-standard facility, the
Department of Transportation and
Communications said in a
published invitation.
The project, which is expected
to draw large port operators in the
country and possibly overseas, is
the first seaport public private
partnership deal being rolled out
under the administration of
President Aquino. The DOTC invite
indicated that the instructions to
bidders would be made available
starting April 14, 2015.
The bidding winner will
develop, operate and maintain the
port project for 30 years, the DOTC
The invite showed that the
modernization project covered the
improvement of the existing port
and the establishment of
“dedicated” container handling
facilities with initial design
capacity of 1,900 container ground
slots up to a minimum of 2,700
container ground slots.
It also includes the
construction of a new apron,
development of a linear quay,
expansion of the back-up area,
provision of container yards,
warehouses and the installation of
appropriate container handling
“The project will involve the
Philippine Airlines, the a fleet.”
Ethiopian Airlines, Air China,
nation's flag carrier, was
WanderBat said that British Airways, Saudi
listed among the world's PAL's international flights Arabian Airlines, Cathay
most reliable airlines.
tend to be delayed 47 Pacific, Chilean Airline, Tam
In a study made by travel percent of the time. The Airlines, Japan Airlines,
website WanderBat, PAL study also showed that the Egypt Air, Etihad Airways,
ranked 21st out of 22 most age of its 51-plane fleet is Malaysia Airlines, Southwest
reliable airlines.
about 4.2 years.
Airlines, Qantas, Aeroflot,
The study considered
PAL flies to more than 40 China Airlines and Air Berlin.
three factors on determining international and domestic
PAL recently reopened
the ranking of the airlines: destinations.
its Manila to New York flight
on-time performance which
The travel website hailed after an 18-year break.
determines “how frequently Qatar Airways, which flies to
The nation's flag carrier
flights are on time, delayed more than 144 destinations was recently under fire after
and cancelled”; checked worldwide, as the most P r e s i d e n t i a l D e p u t y
baggage cost which tells “the reliable airline in the world.
Presidential Spokesperson
number of bags you get to
Other airlines, which Abigail Valte slammed the
check for free, as well as the r o u n d e d u p t h e m o s t inefficient handling of the
cost of checking additional dependable airlines, include: airline of passengers during
Page 22
b a g s a f t e r y o u r f r e e Emirates, China Eastern the Holy Week rush. A. J.
allotment,” and fleet which Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Hegina/AC. Inquirer.net
describes “the average age of China Southern Airlines,
April 17-23, 2015
Page 21
Hybrid strawberry jumpstarts CamSur farm
By Juan Escandor Jr.
OCAMPO, Camarines Sur -- A
pioneering farmer, who introduced
a hybrid strawberry variety that
thrives in the sweltering heat of the
lowlands, continues to make use of
advances in agriculture technology
and organic farming to build up his
When Leo Libreja, 38,
established his strawberry farm in
Ocampo, 27 kilometers southeast
of Naga City, he knew it was the
start of something big.
Two years ago, Libreja tended a
small plant store along the national
h i g h w a y, s e l l i n g a h y b r i d
strawberry variety, as well as
assorted herbs and ornamental
plants to passersby.
Today, Libreja is the proud
owner of a two-hectare farm that
allows him to expand his
strawberry plant production and
meet rising demand.
Libreja sells the hybrid
strawberry plant for P300 a pot.
Libreja, who used to earn a
small income tending to the small
store, now sees an average of
P100,000 a month from the sale of
strawberry plants that are ready to
bear fruit.
'Bahay Kubo' concept
With two more hectares of
adjoining land available for
expansion, Libreja says he is toying
with the idea of turning the farm
into an agri-tourism site featuring
THE STRAWBERRY farm in Pinit, Ocampo, Camarines Sur.
STRAWBERRIES in the form of hearts are sold in time for Valentine's. Photos by Juan Escandor Jr.
a “Bahay Kubo” - a concept culled
from a popular children's song. It
contains lyrics such as “sitaw,”
“bataw” and “patani” - native
vegetables that may be grown
alongside strawberries and lettuce
at the concept farm.
At present, Libreja can only
produce about 300 plants a month.
He has to turn down hundreds of
orders because of the limited
production capacity of his present
Curious strangers visit the
farm to see for themselves the
hybrid variety that thrives under
tropical conditions.
Libreja does not tire of
experimenting with different
technologies to improve the plants
he cultivates. Eventually, he found a
Libreja, an agribusiness graduate
of Camarines Sur State Agricultural
College (now Central Bicol State
University of Agriculture), was
able to go to Hawaii in 2003
through a grant from the
Department of Agriculture (DA).
He made full use of his time at the
College of Tropical Agriculture and
Human Resources of the University
of Hawaii Minoa.
He believes that strawberries
growing under the sun get the full
benefits of photosynthesis, which
makes the plants bear sweeter and
more aromatic fruits than the
h i gh l a n d a n d c o l d - we a t h e r
Libreja also experimented and
d e ve l o p e d f a r m m o d e l s o f
sustainable farming, such as
Poverty incidence in PH
seen to decline sharply
way to enable the strawberry normally found in temperate
regions - to thrive in a tropical
He employs organic
t e c h n o l o g y t o n u r t u re t h e
strawberry he developed from
cuttings in Hawaii, which he
crossbred with a variety from
Baguio City.
It took two years of
experimentation before he pinned
down the variety that could adapt
to the high temperature and low
The hybrid is the result of a
happy marriage between the
Baguio variety, which spawns
more runners (planting materials),
and the Hawaii variety that bears
bigger fruits, he says.
growing ornamental and food
plants and aquaculture fish in
small areas.
After Hawaii, he learned
everything there is to know about
hydroponics technology, drip
irrigation and other scientific
Libreja is now improving a
technique he calls “aquaponics,”
where he uses fish culture to
provide nutrients to the plants he
has cultivated.
At the farm, Libreja is
developing the prototype of
aquaponics for strawberry and
lettuce, which are suspended
above water and fed nutrients of
Page 22
fish wastes.
Rate of economic growth to accelerate in '15, '16, says WB
IMF cuts forecast for US,
upgrades Europe and Japan
By Paolo G. Montecillo
Associated Press
Poverty in the Philippines may
fall sharply in the next two years if
the government can sustain efforts
that lead to higher growth and more
jobs, the World Bank said in a new
report. The Philippine economy will
grow by a faster rate this year and
the next, the World Bank said,
beating all other major Southeast
Asian markets.
The country's economic engines
will be fueled by higher government
spending, and revenue from migrant
remittances and business process
outsourcing (BPO) receipts.
“Philippine growth is still one of
the fastest among the major
economies in the East Asia region,
trailing only China,” the multilateral
lender said in its East Asia and Pacific
economic update.
“Strong remittances, falling oil
prices, and upbeat consumer and
business sentiments indicate
stronger growth in 2015,” the bank
said. For 2015 and 2016, growth is
expected to clock in at 6.5 percent,
faster than 2014's 6.1 percent.
The projection for 2015 is
slightly lower than the World Bank's
previous forecast late last year, a cut
that was in line with the outlook for
the rest of the region.
Meanwhile, the rest of Asia is
expected to grow by 6.7 percent,
slower than 2014's 6.9 percent.
A s a re s u l t o f s u s t a i n e d
economic performance, poverty
levels in the Philippines are expected
to decline by nearly a third to 10.9
percent by 2017 from 2012's 15.4
People who earn less than $1.25
a day are considered poor by the
World Bank. In the near-term, the
World Bank said the Philippine
government should focus on sticking
to the planned spending program in
its budget. Meanwhile, election
spending in 2016 will provide a
boost to consumer demand, helping
keep growth levels up.
“Historically, first half domestic
demand growth is around 2.4
percentage points higher in an
election year compared to a nonelection year,” the Bank pointed out.
The more long-term goal of
eradicating poverty will need
structural reforms that lead to
higher investments in
infrastructure, health and education.
Enhancing competition by
breaking up monopolies and the
simplification of regulations to
promote job creation will also be key.
The World Bank likewise urged the
creation of policies for protecting
property rights to encourage more
“In the near-term, attention is
needed in raising revenues equitably
and efficiently to finance the much
needed investment in physical and
human capital,” the World Bank said.
“Attention is also needed in
expanding the scope and ensuring
the impact of the universal health
coverage and conditional cash
transfer programs,” it added.
WA S H I N G T O N - - T h e
International Monetary Fund,
citing the consequences of a
strong dollar, is downgrading its
outlook for the U.S. economy but
raising its forecast for Europe and
The IMF predicted Tuesday,
April 14, that the American
economy will grow 3.1 percent
this year and next - a
performance the fund
characterized as “robust.” But the
U.S. outlook was down from the
IMF's January forecast of 3.6
percent growth in 2015 and 3.3
percent growth in 2016. The
American economy advanced 2.4
percent last year.
The IMF forecast that the 19
European countries that use the
euro currency collectively will
expand 1.5 percent in 2015 and
1.6 percent in 2016, up from a
January forecast of 1.2 percent
growth this year and 1.4 percent
next. The eurozone grew just 0.9
percent last year.
Japan growth
The fund expects Japan to
grow 1 percent this year and 1.2
percent next year, versus an
earlier forecast of 0.6 percent this
year and 0.8 percent in 2016. The
Japanese economy shrank 0.1
percent in 2014.
The IMF expects the world
In this Thursday, April 9, 2015
photo, International Monetary
Fund Managing Director Christine
Lagarde speaks at the Atlantic
Council in Washington. AP
economy to grow 3.5 percent in
2015, barely up from 3.4 percent
last year and unchanged for its
January forecast. It raised the
outlook for global economic
growth in 2016 to 3.8 percent, up
from a January forecast of 3.7
The international lending
agency also left unchanged its
prediction that the Chinese
economy will grow 6.8 percent
this year and 6.3 percent in 2016.
That marks a sharp deceleration
from last year's 7.4 percent
expansion, already the slowest
for China in two decades. But Gian
Maria Milesi-Ferretti, the IMF's
deputy director for research, told
reporters the slowdown in China
reflects the country's transition
from growth built on oftenwasteful investment in factories
and real estate to slower but
steadier growth built on
spending by Chinese consumers.
“We think it is a good slowdown
for China,” he said.
Most of the world's
economies are benefiting from
sharply lower oil prices. The price
of a barrel of oil has plunged to
less than $52 a barrel, half what it
was a year ago.
Since June 30, the U.S. dollar
has climbed 29 percent against
the euro and 19 percent against
the Japanese yen. A strong dollar
makes U.S. products more
expensive, giving European and
Japanese exporters a price
M o r e o v e r, t h e Fe d e r a l
Reserve is expected to raise
short-term U.S. interest rates this
year after keeping them near zero
for more than six years. The
European Central Bank and the
Bank of Japan are moving the
opposite direction, pursuing easy
money policies meant to
stimulate economic growth.
The IMF warned that the U.S.
faces long-term challenges,
arising from low population
g ro w t h a n d u n i m p re s s ive
productivity gains. Inquirer.net
April 17-23, 2015
Page 22
PH improves ICT ranking
Philippines climbed two
notches to 76th out of the 143
economies assessed by the
World Economic Forum
(WEF) for the Global
Information Technology
Report 2015 as the country
continued to show
improvements in terms of
leveraging the benefits of
i n fo r m a t i o n a n d
communications technologies
The Philippines ranked
78th out of the 148 economies
studied in 2014 and 86th out
of 144 countries in 2013, data
from the report's Networked
Readiness Index (NRI)
The Global Information
Technology Report 2015
assesses the preparedness of
an economy to fully leverage
ICT in terms of ICT
infrastructure, cost of access
and the presence of the
necessary skills to ensure an
optimal use; uptake and use of
ICT among governments,
business and individuals;
business and innovation
environment, and the political
and regulatory framework,
and the economic and social
impacts accruing from ICT
The report used four subindices - Environment
(political and regulatory, and
business and innovation);
Readiness (in terms of
infrastructure, affordability
and skills); Usage (individual,
business and government),
and Impact (economic and
social). Within these
subindices are 10
subcategories [or pillars] and
53 individual indicators.
Of the four subindices, the
Philippines got the highest
ranking in the Impact
subindex where it placed
62nd. The Philippines also
ranked 74th in terms of usage,
84th in terms of the
environment and 85th in
Of the different indicators,
the Philippines showed
marked performance in terms
of quality of management
schools, where the country
ranked 40th out of 143
economies, quality of
educational system (29th),
adult literacy rate (40th), use
of virtual social networks
(25th), capacity for
innovation (30th) and impact
of ICTs on new organizational
models (40th place).
G l o b a l l y, S i n g a p o r e
topped the overall ranking of
network-ready countries in
2015, bumping Finland to
second place. Third was
Sweden, followed by
Netherlands (4th), Norway
(5th), Switzerland (6th),
United States (7th), United
Kingdom (8th), Luxembourg
(9th) and Japan (10th).Amy R.
Remo. Inquirer.net
12 gov't agencies to implement reforms
$100M in
economic ...
From page 20
International Tribunal on the Law of the
Sea (ITLOS) to question China’s ninedash line claim which it says is based on
“historical facts.”
“We should not allow China to
distract us from the real issues in the
South China Sea, which are China's
illegitimate “nine-dash line” claim, and
China's unilateral and aggressive
behavior in asserting that claim, as
exemplified by its massive and
unrestrained reclamation,” DFA said in
its statement.
Despite repeated protests by the
Gov’t bidding ...
From page 20
development of the existing Davao Sasa
Port in Davao City into a modern,
international-standard container
terminal that will improve trade access
to Mindanao and the Philippines by
providing a dedicated containerized
port in the region,” information on the
PPP Center's website showed.
“This will, in turn, support the
region's growing agro-industrial sector,
spurring economic growth in
Mindanao,” it added. Davao City is a
primary trade and tourism hub in
Mindanao and is considered one of the
Philippines against China since the
Scarborough Shoal standoff in April
2012, China has continued to assert its
might in the region.
US President Barack Obama has also
criticized China saying it was not
following international rules.
“Where we get concerned with
China is where it is not necessarily
abiding by international norms and
rules, and is using its sheer size and
muscle to force countries into
subordinate positions,” Obama said in a
recent town hall event in Kingston,
“We think this can be solved
diplomatically, but just because the
Philippines or Vietnam are not as large
as China doesn't mean that they can just
be elbowed aside,” he said. Inquirer.net
country's fastest growing cities.
The DOTC added in its bid invite that
the Davao Sasa modernization project
would be implemented in two stages.
This means bidders will first need to be
pre-qualified before they are allowed to
submit technical and financial offers for
the PPP deal.
The department added that the
auction is open to interested Filipino
and foreign participants.
The World Bank of the Philippines
and International Finance Corp. were
earlier tapped by the DOTC and
Philippine Ports Authority as
transaction advisors for the PPP deal.
Miguel R. Camus. Inquirer.net
Starting a business to require only 6 steps, 8 days
By Amy R. Remo
MANILA -- Twelve
government agencies have
committed to implement
re fo r m s m e a n t t o h e l p
improve the ease of doing
business in the Philippines as
the country seeks to boost not
only its rankings in global
competitiveness reports, but
also the capacity of the local
micro, small- and mediumsized enterprises.
The reforms would
primarily address two main
problem areas - starting a
business and paying taxes - as
identified in many global
competitiveness reports such
as the the Ease of Doing
Business Report by the World
Bank-International Finance
Corp., according to Guillermo
M. Luz, co-chair for the private
sector of the National
C o m p e t i t ive n e s C o u n c i l
According to Luz, the
reforms would significantly
cut the processes involved in
starting a business to only six
steps and eight days from the
existing set-up requiring 16
steps and 34 days.
E-government initiatives
for the accessible and
convenient online
transactions for payrollrelated payments to
Philippine Health Insurance
Corp. and Home Development
Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG) will
also reduce the number of
payments from 36 to 13 a year.
“These game changers are
effective beginning this month
in the head offices of the
partner agencies and Quezon
City and will soon spread
across the country,” Luz said.
“This is a big leap forward
in terms of ease of doing
business. We've been working
on this for many years and
we've seen the improvements
in rankings. Over the past five
years, we've seen a 53-place
improvement in our Ease of
Doing Business [rank].
We've seen 33 notches
improvements on the World
Economic Forum's Global
Competitiveness Report; a 49step improvement in the
Corruption Perceptions Index,
and 33-step improvement in
the Economic Freedom Index,”
a d d e d Tr a d e S e c r e t a r y
Gregory L. Domingo.
strawberry ...
From page 21
He also dreams of producing
strawberry by-products, such as jam or
candies, and handmade paper made of
strawberry leaves for visiting tourists.
Heart strawberries
He is also starting to discover how
to make irregularly shaped
strawberries - fruits in the shape of a
heart, square or one with multiple
Igorot finds ...
From page 15
Said Baldos, “It's like everything
evolved around us.”
DC Travel's Lakbay Norte project
focused on journeys to well-known
destinations in the North, the places
where the family grew up or visited
Lakbay Norte was marketed
through Tao Philippines online and
eventually, the program won clients
through word of mouth and
recommendations from enthusiastic
The parents shelled out about
P200,000 to put up the company. Baldos
is head of operations and lead guide
during the trips, which begin in Manila
and take four days and three nights. The
main activities are trekking and caving.
The destinations covered are Banaue
and Batad, with its amphitheater-like
terraces, Sagada, Baguio and, on the
way back, Mt. Pinatubo, which
continues to fascinate foreigners
because of the cataclysmic eruption
during the early 1990s.
The vehicles used are a company 4by-4 and a hired jeepney for the bumpy
mountain roads, with the foreigners
enjoying the view while riding atop the
Baldos makes it a point to hire a
edges, apart from the common coneshaped variety.
In February, he was happily
surprised by the result of his timed
application of organic foliar during the
period the strawberry plants were
bearing fruits. The plants bore bigger
fruits shaped like hearts.
Libreja does not keep his trade
secret and, instead, gives away the
technology of cultivating the hybrid
strawberry variety to his clients, from
backyard gardening to plantation
establishment - anyone who is
interested in learning from him.
local guide in Batad, where there are
many guides who consider themselves
lucky if they get hired once a week.
“This will provide food for their
families,” said Baldos.
Americans are joining the tours this
year, while from October to December
last year, the trekkers were all
Europeans: Germans, Dutch, French,
Greeks and Czechs.
The Baldos family's investments
appear to be paying off.
From October to the end of 2014,
there were eight trips made. And more
will follow this year.
“We're starting to grow,” Baldos
“Tourism is growing in the
Philippines and that's the reason we
started this project,” he explained. “And
the government is assisting [in the
tourist trade]; they are more helpful.”
But more than the income, Baldos
said he gets fulfillment from being able
to share his culture with the tourists
from here and abroad. It is also his way
of paying tribute to his roots.
“Igorot culture is rich, and I am part
Igorot. Seeing the beauty of the
Cordillera is very uplifting, very
inspiring. And as a young entrepreneur,
I want to share this with other people,
especially foreigners who are not
familiar with it, who don't have
something like this back home,” he said.
April 17-23, 2015
Page 23
Marian, Dingdong: Yes!
A baby is on the way Nora Aunor, Cherie Gil, Filipinos bring
Marian craving for 'White Rabbit,' 'Hawhaw'
Nora Aunor (seated, second from left) joined the other winners and jury members of the recently
concluded Aiffa held at the Borneo Convenion Center, in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia on Saturday (April
11) evening. Mammu Chua
By Arvin Mendoza
home five awards from Malaysia
anak eh isa sa mga mahahalagang
bagay para magkaroon ng isang
By Bayani San Diego Jr.
producer who attended the stage with Hong Kong action
Kapuso Primetime King and pamilya,” Dingdong added.
hero Jackie Chan, who was given
Queen Dingdong Dantes and Marian
Marian said every time she talks to
The Philippines made waves
Gallaga, who is in Manila, the Asean Inspiration Award.
Rivera formally announced on Dingdong about the baby, she gets
at the recently concluded 2nd told the Inquirer: “I am so happy
The country scored big with
Monday, April 13, that they are emotional. “Sabi ko ito 'yong isa sa
A s e a n I n te r n a t i o n a l F i l m for Cherie. No Filipino actress 17 nominations this year.
expecting their first baby.
mga pangarap ko na gusto ko
Festival and Awards (Aiffa) held can do what she did in our film.
In the Aiffa's inaugural
“ N a g - b u n g a a n g a m i n g mangyari sa buhay ko, na maging
at the Borneo Convenion Center, Bravo!”
edition in 2013, the country won
pagmamahalan at nabiyayaan kami isang mommy… so ibinigay siya sa
in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia on
B e s t d i re c to r we n t to four trophies. Alessandra de
n g Pa n g in oon n g isa sa mga akin.”
Saturday (April 11) evening.
another Filipino, Joseph Israel Rossi and Anita Linda won best
pinakamagandang regalo na pwedeng
Marian opened up about her
The country won a total of Laban who won for “Nuwebe.” actress and supporting actress,
ibigay and that's the gift of life,” morning sickness experience and
four trophies in the official Laban told the Inquirer via SMS: respectively, for “Santa Niña,”
Dingdong told Jessica Soho in GMA's how she gets dizzy even during short
competition, plus a special “I am shocked, surprised, but while Bugoy Cariño won best
news broadcast “24Oras”.
grateful. Competition was stiff.”
supporting actor for “Alagwa.”
Dingdong said that their unborn
“Sabi ko ok lang kaya kong tiisin
The country's winning
The Asean Spirit Award was Emmanuel Quindo Palo's “Santa
child is an answered prayer.
lahat ng sakripisyong 'yon kung ang
streak started with 25-year-old given by festival organizers to Niña” also won best film-drama
“'Yon din ang isa sa mga dahilan kapalit naman ay napakagandang
Benjamin Tolentino who won Filipino filmmaker Carlo Obispo that year.
kaya po nagpursigi kami magpakasal biyaya sa Panginoon,” she said.
best editing for Ralston Jover's for “Purok 7.”
Other Filipino celebrities
is to really build a family. And alam
The couple were also asked
Filipino producer Mammu were invited to the event this
Page 24
natin na parang 'yong pagkakaroon ng
Tolentino, who is in Manila, Chua, who attended the event, year.
told the Inquirer: “More than related that Obispo was at a loss
Actor Piolo Pascual
anything else, I am glad that a lot for words upon accepting the performed at the ceremony,
more people got to watch our s u r p r i s e awa rd . “ H e wa s while siblings Ruffa Gutierrez,
film [in Malaysia]. It wasn't able speechless.”
Richard Gutierrez and Raymond
to get a commercial release in
The country's biggest honor, Gutierrez presented awards.
our country.”
however, was the Asean Lifetime
Actress Mercedes Cabral and
Then came Cherie Gil's Achievement Award given to best actor nominee Allen Dizon
“expected” win as best actress Superstar Nora Aunor.
graced the awards show, too.
for Peque Gallaga and Lore
Two years ago, Malaysian
Aunor, Laban and Obispo
Reyes' “Sonata.”
actress Michelle Yeoh was were honorees in past editions of
By Nestor U. Torre
Gil was a shoo-in for the accorded the same honor that the Inquirer Indie Bravo Awards.
honor, according to Dennis Aunor received.
TVJ. Inquirer.net
Recently, we thought our eyes
Evangelista, a Filipino managerThis year, Aunor shared the
were playing tricks on us when we
switched to ABS-CBN's “Umagang
Kay Ganda” and saw new child star,
Alonzo Muhlach, being featured.
What made the feature so
unique was the fact that Alonzo
was interacting with cohost Ariel
Ureta - the very same TV host who,
decades ago, gave Alonzo's dad,
Niño Muhlach, his big TV break!
Since Alonzo is his dad's veritable
Comedienne Ai-ai delas Alas
User @theamazingaljon
is reportedly headed to her first
said: “Ms. Ai kapuso kana? Yayy!
carbon copy, the “flashback” link
Praise Jesus. Ang balita ko 4 na
was charged with nostalgic
After spending 16 years in
show na ang nakaabang sayo sa
overload - and déjà vu significance.
Alonzo Muhlach
ABS-CBN, the actress is said to
GMA! All glory to God po kung
If memory serves, the then 3have signed an exclusive contract
totoo man yun!”
ye a r - o l d N i ñ o m a d e a b i g costarring with “Dream Dad's”
with GMA 7 after her contract
Another Instagram user
impression on viewers when Ariel find, Jana Agoncillo, in a film.
p it sroqu e015) sa id:
encouraged him to ad-lib in
On point of talent, Alonzo
network last March, showbiz
“Mapapanpood ulit kta sa tv sa
offhand conversations with him on acquits himself well in scripted
writer and host Ricky Lo
gma na nga lang ok lng atlis
TV. Niño had a precocious knack scenes. If Niño keeps him from
reported on Thursday, April 9.
makikita ulit kta yehey!”
for chattering away about this and getting swellheaded, he should do
L o s a i d t h a t a n
Delas Alas followed the lead
that in a delightfully natural way - very well, indeed. There's a good
“unimpeachable source” told
of host Willie Revillame, Miss
and, before anybody knew it, he chance of that happening because,
him that delas Alas will have a Ai-ai Delas Alas. Inquirer photo
World 2013 Megan Young and
was getting movie offers - and a thanks to his own father's wise
daily talk show, a sitcom said to
host Iya Villania who recently
child superstar was born!
handling of his huge income as a
be with Vic Sotto, a soap opera, process is painful&hard. But I transferred to the Kapuso
Niño is now mentoring his child superstar, Niño ended up
and a Sunday show.
know that when You are silent, station.
lookalike son on his ascent to with a small fortune. All Niño has
She has not yet issued an You are doing something for me.
Her son, Sancho, earlier
stardom, and his efforts are to do is recall what his father did
official statement on her alleged Amen!” she posted on Thursday.
inked an exclusive contract with
transfer. But on her Instagram
The said quote stoked GMA 7 last December.
turning out to be very successful. and apply it to Alonzo's fledgling
account, she said that she is rumors of her career shift, with
The “Comedy Concert
Alonzo is a scene stealer on “Inday career - and they'll be A-OK!
leaving her plans to God.
netizens wishing that they will Queen” first had her comedy
Bote,” and is reported to be Inquirer.net
“Lord, I know Your plan is again see their idol on the small show in the Kapuso network in
always the best. Sometimes the screen.
1997. Inquirer.net
Niño Muhlach mentors
lookalike son
Ai-Ai delas Alas transfers to
GMA 7, to do 4 shows - report
April 17-23, 2015
Page 24
Heart Evangelista: 'Definitely,
I'll have my baby next year’
By Nestor Corrales
No doubt she is happily
Almost two months after
her wedding with Senator
Francis “Chiz” Escudero at the
exclusive Balesin Island in
Quezon, actress Heart
Evangelista said she has “welladjusted to married life” and to
being a mom to the twins of her
“It's been a fun actually,”
Evangelista told INQUIRER.net
at the sidelines of a bridal fair in
Pasay City.
Despite her hectic schedule,
she said she always find time to
s p e n d t h e d ay w i t h h e r
“We are both home buddy.
We both love to cook and we're
both carefree,” she said.
She said she has a “very
good” relationship with her
husband's twins. “Now that
we're married, I feel more
comfortable because in the
beginning, I was a little unsure. I
was afraid, how will I behave in
front of them,” she said.
Evangelista said she treats the
kids like her own.
“I treat them like my own,
like little kids and it's getting
better every day, especially now
that it's summer we have more
time together,” she said. The
actress said she stays with
Escudero and the kids in
Sorsogon whenever they have
“We just usually stay at
Vicky Morales is
quick on the draw
By Rito P. Asilo
Don't be fooled by Vicky Morales'
cool and nonchalant demeanor on
TV. The lovely news anchor of GMA
7's “24 Oras” and “Good News” and
host of “Wish Ko Lang” is ballsier
than you'd give her credit for - as our
recent chat with Vicky proved.
Her views are sensible but
unbridled - from the RH law and the
“right way” of helping “Wish Ko
Lang's” needy beneficiaries, to
broadcasters opinionating about the
Vicky shares, “This bantering
style during newscasts is being done
more often now - but, I've always Vicky Morales. Sensible but
been uncomfortable with it. You have
unbridled views.
to be careful, because what you say
can influence people. So, we limit our
banter to lighter topics - nothing too want to give up 'homework time'
sensitive or politically colored.
with them. Now, I get home at 8:30
Has she always wanted to be a p.m., just as they're about to sleep newscaster? Vicky beams, “Initially, I which gives me enough time to pray
Heart Evangelista promises Sen. Chiz Escudero that she “will
wanted to be a physician like my dad with them.
always be in love” with him. August dela Cruz
(Dr. Dante Morales, a cardiologist),
What are her most cherished
but the kind of life he lived - always memories on “Wish Ko Lang” (which
home. We like staying at home. although she admitted that she
rushing to the ER to attend to his is celebrating its 13th year)? Vicky
We are being home buddies has the “certain freedom or
patients - didn't appeal to me. It's a recalls with fondness, “The 'Good
watching TV, talking, cooking, independence” now.
noble but not very family-friendly Samaritan' series sticks out, because
those things,” she said.
According to her, she wants
it took us a year to refine it. Seeing
She revealed that Escudero to have two kids although her
“My mom was shocked when I man's inherent kindness always
loves to cook.
husband would joke that he
decided to take Rep's summer brings tears to my eyes - people
“Chiz also loves to cook so wants five.
theater workshop as a kid, because would give away their last P20 to
that's our thing,” she said,
“Niloloko niya ako na lima o
she knew how painfully shy I was! It help others in distress, kahit
adding that Escudero has apat. Ako siguro baka maximum
was a way for me to get out of my maputulan sila ng kuryente!
always been responsible about ko na yung two. Gusto ko kasi to
shell. I always thought I'd be a Situations like that restore your faith
household stuff.
make sure na pantay yung
businesswoman because, in grade in humanity.
ibibigay ko sa kanila, na
school and high school, I used to
“We do follow up stories, too Plans on having a baby
matututukan ko sila,” she said.
dabble in small businesses - I would but, sometimes, we get disappointed,
Evangelista said she does
“Siguro if ever talagang
bake cookies and sell them to my because they don't turn out the way
not want to rush things
Page 26
you expect them to. Also, I had a
“If my children (7-year-old twins debate with my staff about helping a
Leon Alfonso and Filippo Luis and couple with 15 children. If you can't
Daniela Simone, 4) end up in this support all of them, why have so
profession, I'll guide them all the way. many?
But, children have minds of their
“That is why I support the RH law
own nowadays, perhaps because of - I'm against promiscuity, but I am
social media.
prochoice. We want to give people a
“They're the reason why I chance to make something out of
hesitated when I was asked to join themselves - but, let's help them the
Actress Empress Schuck is
actress then told her parents,
'24 Oras' last year, because I didn't right way!” Inquirer.net
three-months pregnant.
especially her mother - ready
T h e 2 2 - ye a r - o l d G M A
for their anger and violent
Network star made the
candy pa rin. Kulay puti pa rin. Puro
revelation on Saturday, April
“Hinanda ko na yung sarili
puti 'yong hinahanap ko. Di ko alam
11, to fellow Kapuso Jennylyn
ko,” (I prepared myself) Schuck
kung bakit,” she said.
Mercado over Startalk, the
related. “May mga violent
“Tapos ayoko ng pabango na
P h i l i p p i n e
reactions talaga sa una.” (There
sobarang tapang…medyo naliliyo po
From page 23
EntertainmentPortal (PEP) has
are really violent reactions, at
ako,” she added.
Before the announcement, the
whether they want a boy, a girl or a
Schuck chose to reveal her
“Siyempre nagalit siya. Nacouple neither confirmed nor denied
condition to close friend
disappoint siya,” the actress
“Isa lang po,” both answered in the pregnancy rumors that erupted
Mercado who went through a
said of her mother's reaction.
on social media few days ago.
similar early pregnancy when
“Pero pagkatapos naman nun,
On Saturday, “Marian Rivera”
“With regards to the gender po
she was 21 years old, PEP said.
naging okay na siya.”
eh kung baga one step at a time. even became a trending topic on
In the interview, Schuck
She was thankful for her
Sobrang nagpapasalamat lang kami Twitter, with the couple's fans raving
said she was three-months
boyfriend who became
na may biyaya kami na isang buhay about the coming of their new baby.
pregnant by boyfriend model
protective of her. “Hindi niya
Marian is currently busy with her
so siguro ok na kung kahit anong
Vino Guingona, grandson of
ako iniwan.”
new TV series “The Richman's
ibigay samin,” Dingdong said.
former-Vice President Teofisto
But while accepting her
Marian also revealed her food Daughter,” while Dingdong has his
Guingona Jr. and nephew of
unplanned pregnancy, Schuck
cravings at the onset of her “Pari 'Koy.”
Senator TG Guindona III.
said marriage was another
Dingdong and Marian tied the
According to her, reality
thing. “That's another
“Noong isang araw pa ang knot last December 30 at the
was slow to sink into her after
responsibility,” she was quoted
hinanap ko ay White rabbit, 'yong Immaculate Conception Cathedral in
she found out that she was on
as saying.
Young actress Empress Schuck is
candy na kinakain ang balat…tapos Cubao, Quezon City. Inquirer.net
the family way.
Marriage, she said, “[ay]
no'ng isang araw Hawhaw. Yong
“Tapos bigla akong nag- thankful of the support of her isang bagay na pinaplano
breakdown. Iyak ako talaga,” family and boyfriend Vino t a l a ga . K a i l a n ga n p i n a g (Then I suddenly broke down. I Guingona. Richard A. Reyes
uusapan at pinaghahandaan.”
cried hard) she was reported as
(is something one really
Schuck said supported her in prepares for. It needs to be
The first person she talked her time of need.
talked about and prepared for.)
to was Guingona and then her
Accompanied by Vino and CB. Inquirer.net
older sister, both of whom her manager, Becky Aguila, the
Empress Schuck pregnant; says
ex-VP Guingona's grandson is father
Dingdong ...
April 17-23, 2015
Page 25
Hearty fare, rockeoke and declarations of
love at Swatch party for Matteo Guidicelli
Batangas Governor Vilma Santos-Recto and Senator Ralph Recto. Inquirer file photo
My husband admitted he once
had an affair - Vilma Santos
B a t a n ga s G ove rn o r Vi lm a
Santos-Recto revealed on Monday,
April 13, her husband, Senator Ralph
Recto, once had an affair with
another woman.
Santos-Recto, in an interview on
Winnie Monsod's “Bawal ang
Pasaway” aired Monday night on
GMA News TV, said the senator
admitted to her about his infidelity.
“Tinanong ko, totoo ba itong
ganyan-ganyan?' Sabi niya, 'Totoo,' (I
asked him, 'is it true?' And he said it
was true),” she said.
Santos-Recto said they had an
agreement that if such problem
ensued, Senator Recto should just
admit about his pecadillo rather
than her discovering it from other
Santos-Recto said she has
forgiven her husband, who she
revealed was crying when he said
sorry to her.
“O, sige. Next time, be careful. I
told him,” said Santos-Recto.
When asked about the
possibility of her husband siring an
illegitimate child, Santos-Recto said
there could be none.
“Siguro naman kung mayroon,
lumabas na iyon, 'di ba? (I think if
there's one, he or she should have
come out in the open already,
right?)” Santos-Recto told Monsod.
Santos-Recto also recounted
Recto was only 21 years old when
they met.
“He is 10 years younger than me.
He was 21 and I was 31 years old. He
was still in school at the time and he
didn't know I was,” Santos-Recto
They have only one child, Ryan
Christian Recto.
Prior to her marriage to Recto,
the veteran actress-turned-public
servant sired a son, actor-hostmodel Luis “Lucky” Manzano, with
former partner, actor Edu Manzano.
Ed Glorious Cabading, OJT
The roof deck of the Swatch
& Swatch Center in Makati
served as the venue for the 25th
birthday party of actor and
S wa t c h e n d o r s e r M a t t e o
The evening started with an
eight-course, sit-down dinner
for 25, specially prepared by
restaurateur Margarita Fores.
The highlight of the meal, which
included beer-battered fish and
chips and Italian desserts, was
the grilled beef trio - steaks
being the celebrator's favorite.
Guests sat down at tables
with wooden letters that
doubled as decor and party
tokens. Matteo prepared the
cutout letters himself, writing
his name and terms of
endearment or words of respect
for each invitee.
After dinner, everyone
descended to the ground floor
where a rockeoke party for 300
was set up. The space was
designed to look hip, young,
energetic and masculine qualities associated with
Bicycles mounted on metal
scaffoldings served not just as
accent pieces but also as
dividers. Trophies dotted the
silver walls to represent
Matteo's drive for excellence
and numerous achievements in
various fields.
A photo wall spelling out the
traditional birthday greeting
with giant wooden Scrabble
tiles was flanked by two largerthan-life Love Game Swatches.
Last question
Billy Crawford welcomed
guests with a game, “How well
do you know Matteo?” Trivia
included Matteo's first pet (a
pig), what he wanted to be when
Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Guidicelli
he was 5 years old (a priest), and
what his favorite Cebuano
specialty is (lechon with puso or
wrapped rice).
The last question, however,
elicited the loudest, rowdiest
reactions. “Who is the love of
Matteo's life?” Billy asked. The
answer: Sarah Geronimo.
The popular singer, actress
and TV personality surprised
Matteo with her performance of
Ed Sheeran's “Thinking Out
Loud,” which made Matteo
Sarah coordinated the
surprise program with Matteo's
mom, Glenna. Matteo and Sarah
attended Sheeran's concert in
Manila last March 12.
Before blowing out the
candles on his cake, Matteo sang
John Legend's “All of Me.”
“Alam niyo yung wish ko?
Everybody says it's too show
biz, but my wish is more
happiness and acceptance,” he
L a t e r, S a r a h t h a n k e d
Matteo's family, friends and
Swatch's Virgie Ramos for
welcoming her “with open
arms” before turning her full
attention to the birthday boy.
“Maraming salamat sa
pagmamahal mo. I know that
you have a good heart. You are
now becoming a man. I pray that
you will continue, Lovey, to seek
God so that you will become the
man that God has planned you
to become. OK? OK? Ako man
ang makatuluyan mo o hindi,
OK? OK? I love you. I love you. I
love you very, very much,” she
When the applause
subsided, the party continued
well into the night with
rockeoke performances by
Matteo's friends and family.
April 12 Inquirer.net
Film with Filipino actress in
title role opens in Denmark
By Bayani San Diego Jr.
Screen grab from Kris Aquino's Instagram account
Kris Aquino, son Bimby rushed to
hospital after minor car accident
TV host-actress Kris Aquino
and son James “Bimby” Aquino-Yap
were rushed to St. Luke's Medical
Center in Taguig City after a minor
car accident on Tuesday, April 14.
Aquino said their Cadillac
Escalade was bumped from behind
by their backup car Toyota Innova
along Epifanio de los Santos
Avenue (Edsa) after an armored
vehicle swerved in front of them,
causing the Escalade and the Isuzu
in front of them to stop abruptly.
She said they were all wearing a
seatbelt but the impact made them
dizzy so they had to rush to the
According to her, she and her
son both experienced an elevated
blood pressure.
“When we arrived my BP was
170/100 & Bimb's was 130/90,”
Aquino posted on her Instagram
The actress said she and her
son were sent home after
undergoing medical exams.
Aquino added she would be
absent on her ABS-CBN talk show
“A q u i n o a n d A b u n d a
Tonight.”NC/RC. Inquirer.net
It was a high-tech screen
test. Filipino actress Mercedes
Cabral “auditioned” for the title
role in Frederikke Aspöck's
“Rosita” via Skype. In fact, she
had come rather highly
Cannes-winning Filipino
filmmaker Brillante Ma.
Mendoza gave Cabral's name to
the Danish director whom he
met in Marrakesh, Morocco.
Mendoza previously directed
Cabral in the internationally
acclaimed films “Serbis,”
“Kinatay” and “Thy Womb.”
Cabral recalled, “After an
exchange of email, Frederikke's
producer and my manager
(Shandii Bacolod) set up a
Skype meeting for us.”
Coffee and beer
The cyber chat turned out to
be candid and a tad
unconventional, she recounted.
“There is a seven-hour time
Mercedes Cabral says costars like Jens Albinus (left) helped her in every
way they could. She plays a mail-order bride. Cabral describes costar
Albinus as “patient and brilliant.”
difference between Denmark
and the Philippines. So while
Frederikke was having coffee, I
was drinking beer.”
On Skype, she admitted that
she had never experienced
w i n t e r, ( t h e d i r e c t o r
remembers the actress' hair
being blown every which way
by an electric fan). When she
arrived in Denmark last year for
the shoot, Cabral was daunted
by the freezing weather.
Impressive system
“I had never seen snow
prior to this trip,” she said,
adding that the weather was
“the biggest challenge, but the
staff made sure I was warm and
comfortable.” She spent a total
Page 26
April 17-23, 2015
Page 26
Film with Filipino
actress ...
From page 25
Director Paul Soriano and actor Buboy Villar pose before the fans during the premiere night of the film
“Kid Kulafu”, held at Power Plant Mall in Makati City. Arvin Mendoza
'Kid Kulafu' delivers a knockout
By Arvin Mendoza
Watching director Paul
Soriano's latest opus “Kid
Kulafu” is like being hit
squarely in the face by Manny
Pacquiao's lethal one-two
punch combination.
Unlike any other movie
depicting Pacquiao's life, the
film ships back its viewers
during his childhood when he
begins to dream big and
embark on his ambitious
The lush mountains of
Bukidnon serves as young
Manny's home, the place
where he first experienced
worldly miseries brought by
extreme poverty.
A traumatic event, where
the whole family gets caught in
middle of a hostile encounter
between rebels and
government forces, seemed to
have a lasting imprint on
Manny's mind.
The family had to move to
General Santos City and start
of two months in Copenhagen and
Hirtshals, a small fishing town on the
northern tip of Denmark. “We devoted
two weeks to script reading and
rehearsals,” she said, “the rest of the
time to actual filming.”
She was impressed with the
shooting system. “We shot every day,
except on weekends, for eight to 10
hours. We had 12 hours of rest between
shoots, so we could get sufficient sleep.”
How she wished the same efficient
work style were the norm in the
Philippines! “I hope the way we make
movies and TV shows improves
Cabral noticed that most actors in
Denmark had formal training. “They
didn't get into the industry just because
they were good-looking. They really
worked hard.”
Baastrup Nielsen. Albinus starred in
Lasse Hallström's controversial film,
Much as she had “so much fun” at
work, Cabral said she picked up a lot of
pointers from the Danish thespians.
“They were absolute professionals patient, understanding and brilliant.”
It was a “collaborative” work
environment, she said. “Our director
had a clear vision and was very specific
about what she wanted from us in
every scene,” Cabral said. “But she was
open to suggestions. She made sure I
was at ease on and off the set. She even
invited me to dinner with her family.”
In “Rosita,” Cabral plays a mailorder bride torn between a lonely old
man and his son. “Our goal is to make
people more aware of complications
that can arise from this situation,” she
C a b r a l w i l l t r a ve l b a c k t o
Copenhagen for the premiere of the
film, which opens in Danish cinemas on
April 16.
After “Rosita,” the actress has three
independently produced Filipino films
lined up - Pedring Lopez's horror flick
“Binhi (The Seed),” Ralston Jover's
drama movie “Dog Show” and Jay
Altarejos' advocacy film (on domestic
violence) “Love Hurts.” Inquirer.net
anew. Manny had to collect
bottles of Kulafu, a liquor
She had to work double time to
brand, for his uncle Sardo
keep up with coactors. “I didn't study
(Cesar Montano) in exchange
acting; I consider myself lucky that I got
for the help he extends to his
to work with these amazing actors and
family. With his uncle as his
learn from them. They encouraged me
mentor, Manny discovers his
to contribute to every scene.”
flair for jabs and hooks. From
These coactors include Jens
then on, he becomes strongAlbinus, Mikkel Boe Følsgaard, Julie
willed and unstoppable,
Agnete Vang, Mads Riisom and Lise
keeping his desire to end the
ordeal of his family while
shaping and giving meaning to
his own destiny. Soriano's
Page 28
the wedding.
“I am very blessed to have a husband
From page 24
that is very normal at home actually not
even at home. He is such a normal guy
gustong-gusto ko baka makahabol ako
that he forgets he is a politician so I am
ng three somewhere down the line,” she
not pressured,” she said.
According to her, Escudero will
She said she would give it a year to
always tell her, “just be yourself.”
have her own baby.
“Definitely, I'll have my baby next
Relationship with parents
year,” she said.
The actress said she and her parents
“I already have two little kids beside
are okay.
me. Kumbaga nag-advance ako,
“My parents are okay. I think I am
kumbaga nagpa-practice ako sa kanila
the only one that can understand our
in preparation for my own,” she added.
kind of setup which doesn't really
She said she is making sure she is
bother me as much as before when I
healthy in preparation for having a baby.
want a little bit younger,” she said.
“I make sure I am healthy. I need
She admitted that she wants a
everything. I am making sure everything
“certain way” but has realized that she
is perfect,” she said.
“cannot change their ways.”
“At the end of the day, what's
Falling in love with Senator Chiz
important is we have life, were living
“I was already in love with him
and we cannot waste time,” she said.
before I met him,” Evangelista admitted.
She said she and her parents “see
She said she admired Escudero for
each other as much as we can.”
“what he stands and for just everything
“I am with them all the time and
of who he is.”
hopefully, with a lot of prayers susunod
“But the moment I met him, he went
na rin si Chiz,” she said.
beyond my expectations. I did not
It could be remembered that
imagine him to be who he is so that
Evangelista's parents were not in favor
sealed the deal,” she said.
of Escudero to be their daughter's
“Definitely, it's a dream come true.
husband. To show their disapproval,
Even more than a dream,” she added.
they did not attend the wedding.
“As long as there is life there is hope.
Perfect Wedding
So, let's wait for that,” Evangelista said.
Evangelista said their wedding in
Balesin was “perfect.”
Promise to Chiz
It's so perfect that it will take me
She said Escudero is “very sweet.”
more than a lifetime to remember every
“His language of love is service,” she
detail of the wedding,” she said.
She said she is so “blessed” to have a
Asked about her message to her
husband that did everything for her.
husband, she has this to say, “Thank you
“It will forever linger in our life
so much being a blessing in my life. You
because it was really an experience to
changed me and my life permanently
remember,” she said.
and I will forever be grateful to God for
finally giving you to me. I waited for such
Being married to a politician
a long time and I finally have you, so
She said she was overwhelmed after
thank you.” AC. Inquirer.net
Heart Evangelista ...
April 17-23, 2015
Page 27
Kapwa Ko, Mahal Ko, 39 years
of unwavering public service
Thirty nine years on the air and
counting, the Philippines' longest
running public service program
Kapwa Ko, Mahal Ko (KKMK)
shows no signs of slowing down as
it remains committed to its mission
of improving the welfare of
indigent Filipinos across the
country, especially children
afflicted with cancer.
Since 1975, the program has
served as a bridge between
patients in need of financial
assistance and the generous
donors who wish to make a
difference in other people's lives.
Subsequently, the Kapwa Ko, Mahal
Ko Foundation, Inc. was
established to further the
program's dedication to public
W i t h K K M K Fo u n d a t i o n
President Dr. Orly Mercado and
KKMK Foundation, Inc. Board
Director Connie Angeles, who also
serve as the program's hosts, the
Foundation continues to promote
its health advocacies and extend
medical assistance to Filipinos.
In 2014, the Foundation came
to the aid of residents affected by
the earthquake in Bohol through a
medical mission conducted in the
area. Along with partners in the
private sector, KKMK also took part
in the restoration of the Tacloban
City Hospital which was turned
over to the local government in
August of that year.
Continuing its advocacy of
raising the standards of public
health, the Foundation also
conducted 118 medical missions
nationwide, which benefited a total
of 105,936 patients last year. With
the help of the private sector, other
non-government organizations
and the local government units,
KKMK was able to provide free
check-ups and laboratory
procedures to the beneficiaries.
Also in the same year, Kapwa
Ko, Mahal Ko's long-standing
project “Batang Kapwa” or “Batang
K” saw 13 of its beneficiaries
graduate from the program.
“Batang K” helps children afflicted
with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia
(ALL) and their families find
financial assistance for the
patient's chemotherapy. The
program also boosts the children's
morale through support group
Moreover, the Foundation has
heeded the call of over 800 patients
who came to their office in the form
of medicines and financial
assistance for laboratory
procedures and surgical needs,
while 592 patients were referred to
hospitals and medical institutions.
With 39 years of unwavering
commitment to public service to its
name, Kapwa Ko, Mahal Ko moves
closer towards its vision of raising
the quality of life of Filipinos in
KKMK Foundation, Inc. President and program host Dr. Orly Mercado,
left, and KKMK Foundation, Inc. Board Director and program host
Connie Angeles
KKMK’s Batang K program also boosts the morale of children diagnosed
with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia through fun group activities such as
the BK Christmas Party.
Lea Salonga
“Delano Manongs”
Fil-Am films on PBS in May
GMAKF’s Operation Bayanihan team handed out relief goods to over 20,000 individuals in the
conflict-stricken area of Maguindanao.
Kapuso Foundation conducts
Operation Bayanihan in Maguindanao
5,000 families receive relief goods from GMA, partners
GMA Kapuso Foundation,
GMA Network's socio-civic
arm, recently rolled out its
Operation Bayanihan program
in Maguindanao, effectively
serving 5,000 families affected
by the ongoing armed conflict.
In partnership with Solid
Shipping Lines, ARMM Heart,
Department of Health-ARMM,
and Department of Public
Works and Highways-ARMM,
the Kapuso Foundation team
handed out relief goods
consisting of rice, noodles and
canned goods.
GMAKF was among the
first to provide relief
operations in Maguindanao. In
Mamasapano, relief goods
were distributed to 3,320
families. Meanwhile, 621
families in Sharif Saydona and
1,059 families in Sharif Aguak
also received support from the
GMAKF's team had to
travel for seven hours from
General Santos City to
Cotabato just to reach the
communities affected by the
conflict in Maguindanao.
Didith Nucum, GMAKF relief
operations project staff, said
they were stopped several
times by armed men.
"We talked to them and
explained our intentions. We
had to rush every now and
then for our safety. It wasn't
easy but what pushed us to
keep moving were the people
waiting for us who needed our
help," says Nucum.
When the team finally
reached the evacuation center,
all of the fear they experienced
on the road banished.
"The people greeted us
with a smile and it was
priceless. We could never
imagine how they can still
manage to smile knowing that
a few kilometers from them, a
war is going on," recalls
“While we continue
praying for the stability of our
country and the safety of its
people, the Foundation is also
working to create a concrete
and positive impact in the lives
of our fellowmen,” says GMA
Kapuso Foundation EVP and
COO Mel C. Tiangco. “They can
rest assured knowing that,
wherever there is a Filipino in
need, the Foundation will also
be there, because that's what
bayanihan and being a Kapuso
is all about.”
SAN FRANCISCO -- Films produced
by Filipino Americans are among the
works to be shown on PBS in May by the
Center For Asian American Media
CAAM's yearly celebration of Asian
American and Pacific Islander Heritage
Month, in May 2015, features a slate of
programming including a Filipino
American Lives series of three
documentaries. Films by other Asian
American directors like Wayne Wang
(“The Joy Luck Club”; A Soul Of A
Banquet) fill the slate. From gamechanging labor movements to the many
cuisines of Asia to the significance of
iconic public transit, this year's
programming illustrates some of the
many diverse stories of Asian and Asian
American culture.
by Tony Award winning actor and
singer Lea Salonga)
Marissa Aroy (30 minutes) .Director
Marissa Aroy puts the spotlight on
trailblazing labor organizer Larry
Itliong and the Filipino farm workers
instigated a defining moment in the
American farm labor movements. Often
overlooked in history, Itliong help lead
Filipino, Chicanos and other ethnic farm
workers in the Delano California Grape
Strike of 1965, which then brought
about the creation of the United Farm
Workers Union. The documentary uses
interviews as well as archival and
present-day footage to illustrate a story
that highlights the many struggles and
achievements of the movement
JEEPNEY by Esy Casey and Sarah
Friedland (30 minutes). The artistic and
vibrant modes of public transportation
known as the jeepney represent a totem
of tradition in the Philippines. Director
Esy Casey goes beyond the exterior of
the decorated ex-WWII military
vehicles and follows the lives of three
people who share a connection to the
jeepney: Gerry, a witty driver who has
deep affection for tradition; Lhudz,
whose remarkable artwork appears on
the vehicles; and Manny, who grew up
near a US military base and watched the
evolution of the jeepney. With the vivid
and historically rich jeepney, the
documentary uncovers deeply personal
stories and the effects of globalization.
HARANA by Benito Bautista (60
minutes). After his father's death,
classically trained musician Florante
Aguilar returns to the Philippines after
12 years. While there, he is reintroduced to the music of harana, a
tradition where Filipino men would
sing under the window to declare their
love for a particular woman a serenade.
Florante travels to provinces and meets
some of the surviving harana musicians.
From there, they help a young man
serenade his object of affection which
grows into a resurgence of the long l ost
art. The men start performing in
prestigious concert halls and record the
first authentic harana album in 50
years. HARANA captures a tender side
of the Philippines that is rarely seen.
Check your local PBS listings for
days and times for when the episodes
will air. Inquirer.net
April 17-23, 2015
Page 28
Mayweather wears Philippine-inspired
shirt during media workout
By Mark Giongco
Manny Pacquiao and Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach laugh at the custom-made
speed ball that has Floyd Mayweather’s face on it. The customized speed ball was given
by lawyer Robert Shapiro, who is known for representing OJ Simpson in a highlypublicized murder trial 1995. AP
‘Time for Floyd to lose,’
says 'underdog' Pacquiao
By Bong Lozada
Manny Pacquiao doesn't talk a lot of
smack, but this time he did, and he just
laid it down.
In an interview for HBO's “At Last”
which BoxingScene.com posted,
Pacquiao described himself as the
“underdog” for his welterweight
unification megafight against Floyd
Mayweather Jr. on May 2 at MGM Grand
Garden Arena.
“It is time for Floyd to lose,”
Pacquiao said. “When I enter the ring on
May 2, it will be no different than when
David faced Goliath.”
“I was an underdog in the
negotiations for this fight. I have been
the underdog in the wagering on this
fight. I am the underdog to win the fight
by the media who are covering it,”
Pacquiao said. “The odds that this fight
would happen, five years after our first
negotiation, was considered a long
shot. And I love it. I love it all.”
‘Kid Kulafu’ ...
From page 26
treatment of “Kid Kulafu” is nothing
less than raw and untamed,
humanizing the characters to the point
of immortalizing them.
Perhaps he recognizes the linear
structure inherent in the story, with his
obvious thirst only to tell a zero-tohero tale. And so he knows better than
hurry the exposition of the narrative.
He lets his characters breathe, enjoy,
muse and fret. He bids the audience
welcome and feel the angst, the
desperation, the growth and the hope
tucked in helms of the story.
Moreover, the film's cool, crisp and
classy cinematography is very
impressive. The playful shots will make
the audience stare agape at the screen,
turning plain moments to an exciting
adventure. The musical score, too, was
spot-on, enlivening the scenes in a very
a f f e c t i n g m a n n e r. P l e a s i n g l y
memorable was Manny's dream
sequence. It was short and chimerical,
but it managed to give off enough dose
of cathartic effect.
Alessandra de Rossi, meanwhile,
was one helluva fun to watch as
Manny's mother, Dionisia. She
effectively plays her role, banking on
her usual antics and impulsive
behavior which add brightness to the
Pacquiao and Mayweather will attempt
to unify the WBO, WBA, and WBC
Welterweight titles in a fight that took
six years to make.
Both fighters are argued as the best
of their era with Mayweather going
undefeated in his professional career
and Pacquiao the only boxer to hold
world titles in eight weight divisions.
“I love being the underdog because
every time I have been the underdog in
a fight I have won,” Pacquiao said.
Oscar Dela Hoya, Marco Antonio
Barrera, and Lehlohonolo Ledwaba
were all, as Pacquiao said, favored to
“destroy” him. He obliterated all three.
“Being the underdog inspired me in
training. Winning those fights gave
hope and inspiration to those who
needed it. It gave proof that someone
like me, born in poverty, who came from
the dirt, can achieve success against all
odds with hard work and prayer. Being
an underdog has always spurred me on
to greater heights,” he said. Inquirer.net
He's an American, but
Floyd Mayweather Jr. chose
to wear a Philippinesinspired shirt during only
media day before fight week
Wednesday morning (Manila
The shirt's design had an
image of Mayweather
himself covered in the
Philippine flag's colors with
an enlarged yellow sun at the
back of his head.
“”I love the Philippines. I
love all the Philippine fans,”
Mayweather said in an
interview with GMA News.
Mayweather hosted his
open workout at his gym in
Las Vegas that was attended
by media outfits from around
the world and actor David
The training session is
Mayweather's last public
appearance as he locks down
his gym to keep his focus
ahead of his $300 million
fight against Filipino boxing
WBC/WBA welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. (C) is
escorted by members of his security team and advisor Sam Watson
(R) as Mayweather arrives at the Mayweather Boxing Club to work
out on April 14, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mayweather will face
WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao in a unification bout
on May 2, 2015 in Las Vegas. Ethan Miller/Getty Images/AFP
icon Manny Pacquiao on May
2 at the MGM Grand Garden
Ever since the Fight of the
Century between Manny
"Pacman" Pacquiao and
Floyd "Money" Mayweather
Jr. was announced, everyone
and anyone has had
something to say about who
will eventually emerge
victorious. Inquirer.net
film's wretched atmosphere. But when
she does her job as a mother, one can't
help but admire her warmth and love
for her family. De Rossi's portrayal
always turns effectual, compelling the
audience to empathize with her.
Cesar Montano, Jake Macapagal
(Dizon) and Alex Medina (Manny's
father Rosalio) all did their part well,
save for some inconsistencies in the
language and accent, where their
tongues would suddenly slip from Gen
San's vernacular to Tagalog.
Of course, most of the tear-jerking
scenes were induced by Buboy Villar's
eloquent performance as the young
Pacman. The young actor was a
surprise: displaying forceful acting
chops and mighty stamina in the
boxing fights.
His breakdown scene, after the
tragedy involving his cherished
comrade Eugene (Khalil Ramos), was
so movingly sharp it pierces a knifelike
torment to the bone, leaving one
completely scarred and sobbing.
Soriano genuinely makes full use of
Villar's fiery zeal for his craft. He clearly
knows when and how to strike a chord
on people's hearts. His ability to
portray Manny's derelict state as a
budding boxer, his battles along the
way, his triumphs and downfalls, his
concern for his family and friends and
his undying love affair with his chosen
Page 29
April 17-23, 2015
Page 29
Online community offers scholarships to
young Filipinos 'who have a gift in math'
By Maila Ager
‘Kid Kulafu’ ... From page 28
sport could not be matched with wordy compliments.
For some, Kid Kulafu may just stem from a cheap liquor
or a comical moniker for a neophyte athlete. But for many, it
is a lasting insignia of Pacquiao's inspiring hard work,
passion and dedication.
“Life is harder than boxing,” Manny said in the film. It's
true. But he did hold out to black eyes, bruises and body
pain, much more to life's ultimate challenges. He proves
you can catch the sun, the moon and the stars, if you set
your heart and mind to it.
Overrated or not, commercialized or not, propaganda
or not, one thing is for sure - “Kid Kulafu” is a knockout of a
movie! IDL. Inquirer.net
Yo u r M a t h G u r u . c o m
(YMG), a website that
initially began as an online
community to help others
on questions about
Mathematics, is offering
Filipinos a chance to get
scholarships worth about
$1.1 million (P49.1 million)
a year.
The application process
for the Filipino scholars is
ongoing and will last until
May 31, 2015, Enrico Paolo
Bugarin, executive director
of the YMG Scholarship
Program for the
Philippines, said in a
Bugarin said YMG is
open to third year and
fourth year high school
s t u d e n t s ; h i gh s c h o o l
graduates; and first to third
year college students. The
applicants, he said, may
come from private and
public high schools; private
higher education
institutions (HEIs); and
state universities and
colleges (SUCs).
Local universities and
colleges (LUCs), he said, will
HOW TO PLAY: Place a number from 1 to 9 in each empty cell so that each
row, each column and each 3x3 block contains all the numbers from 1 to 9
Solution to Issue 15 Sudoku
Solution to Issue 15 Crossword
also have a chance to submit
their own applicants as well
as students who are taking
up degrees in other sciences
are also eligible for the
scholarship program.
“Once qualified, the
succeeding candidate will
be able to obtain the college
degree in the field of
Mathematics without
worrying about the costs,”
Bugarin said.
“This is because YMG
will cover the tuition fees
and miscellaneous
expenses. It also includes
allowances for meals,
payment for books, and
dormitory fees,” he added.
Bugarin said YMG will
shortlist around 400-500
students before the final
evaluation of the top 25
candidates. Selecting the
final list of YMG scholars
will be done through
assessment of documentary
requirements, personal
interviews, and evaluation
of their essays on why they
deserve the scholarship.
Applicants who have
achievements and awards,
highlighted by their
outstanding involvement
and participation in their
respective communities,
will have an advantage.
YMG may also hold a
Mathematics competition
through an Olympiad to
help decide on the final list
of scholars, one unique way
to show that it is an online
community that promotes
Math by hosting
competitions and handing
out monetary rewards, said
“YMG and I are looking
forward to changing the
lives of our Filipino
students. We want to use
Math as an avenue for
improvement in the lives of
our scholars. It is also
mutually beneficial for us
because we believe that
their personal development
will allow us to encourage
more students to pursue the
subject even further,” the
YMG executive said.
Once the winners are
chosen, the names and
schools will be published in
newspapers throughout the
country. The grant will then
be coursed through the
schools of the YMG scholars.
In case the scholar
graduates with money left
in the scholarship fund, the
remaining amount may be
awarded to the student as a
graduation gift, provided
that they complete the
course they have enrolled
“I hope Filipino
students who have a gift in
math can take advantage of
this opportunity and be able
to help families rise from
their financial situation,”
Bugarin added.
YourMathGuru.com is a
website operated by
YourMathGuru, Inc., which
aims to establish and unite
students who share a
common love of
Mathematics. YMG offers
help with algebra,
geometry, trigonometry,
calculus, analytic geometry,
complex variables and
combinatorics. Limited
assistance is also available
for basic physics and
For more information
on the YMG scholarship,
interested parties can visit
/the-ymg-scholarshipprogram. Inquirer.net
1. Swindle
6. Dwarf buffalo
10. Russian emperor
14. Dynamism
15. Cuts off
16. "Where the heart is"
17. Willow
18. Satyr
19. Female sheep (plural)
20. Pleasant in personality
22. Pepper____
23. Consumed food
24. Adjust again
26. 4th Hebrew letter
30. Composure
32. Adhesive
33. Decorated
37. Jump
38. Merchandise that is
39. Extremely
40. Cast off in scales
42. French for "Queen" 1. Henhouse
2. A flexible pipe
43. Frothy
3. Arab chieftain
44. Not on target
4. Mimics
45. Tabs
5. Low-pitched
47. Liveliness
6. Seaweed
48. Court order
7. Newbie (slang)
49. Nationalism
8. Iridescent gem
56. Relating to aircraft
9. A star-shaped
57. Curved molding
58. Egyptian peninsula
10. Reflexive form of
59. Lascivious look
60. Decays
11. "Holy cow!"
61. Canvas shelters
12. Catkin
62. Countercurrent
13. A musical pause
63. How old we are
64. S S S S
21. Greatest possible
25. East southeast
26. Expunge
27. Pinnacle
28. Unit of bread
29. Informative
30. Devoutness
31. A single time
33. Snare
34. Wreaths
35. Sea eagle
36. Not the original
38. Dispersion
41. A parcel of land
42. Rejoinder
44. Japanese apricot
45. Belief system
46. Employed
47. Iron
48. Welt
50. All excited
51. French for "Head"
52. Fastens
53. Hotels
54. Satisfy
55. A young lady
April 17-23, 2015
Page 30
Help Wanted u
Jobs u
Personal u
We place:
Live in Live Out Full Time Part Time
Complete your online application today!
Social Services
Professional Entry Positions
Available in the NJ Judiciary:
Probation Officer
Probation Officer Bilingual
(in Spanish & English)
$44,914 + benefits
To view job description, application
information & requirements visit:
Closing date April 27. 2015
Wanted Med-Tech
with experience.
4 days/week
Part time
(10 am to 6 pm)
CP Medical Lab
33 Bowery SB205
New York, NY 10002
Please call
Fax Resume’ to
Or email to
[email protected]hoo.com
A facility in
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Jersey is looking for
the following
Live-in personnel:
Cook and
Laundry person
General housekeeping
duties. Cleaning,
occasional cooking.
Other help in
Must be legal.
Call Sydelle
April 17-23, 2015
Page 31
April 17-23, 2015
Page 32

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