The Filipino Express v27 Issue 50



The Filipino Express v27 Issue 50
VOL. 27 w
NO. 50 w
DECEMBER 20-26, 2013 w
(201) 434-1114 w
The Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center in Manhattan, New York. Photo by Sonny Austria
Residents, like this family in San Jose district in Tacloban, are rebuilding and have in fact started to celebrate the season
by putting up Christmas trees amid the rubble of their homes. Richard A. Reyes
Fil-Ams hail Aquino request for TPS
By Jon Melegrito
LAND OF BEAUTIFUL WOMEN. Bea Rose Santiago of the Philippines is kissed by runner-up Nathalie
den Dekker (left) of the Netherlands and second runner-up Casey Radley (right) of New Zealand
after winning the Miss International Beauty Pageant in Tokyo last Dec. 17. AFP
Filipino beauty is 2013
Miss International
WASHINGTON, DC -- FilipinoAmerican community leaders
hailed Philippine President
Benigno Aquino's decision to
formally request the US
government to designate
Temporary Protected Status
(TPS) for undocumented Filipino
nationals in light of the
devastation caused by
S u p e r t y p h o o n “ Yo l a n d a ”
(international name: Haiyan).
More than 200 community,
civic, church and labor
organizations across the US had
signed petitions, wrote letters to
members of Congress and visited
their home offices to enlist their
JT Mallonga of FALDEF
support for TPS. Despite signals
from the Obama administration
that it was favorable to granting
TPS, the Aquino administration
was mum about it for weeks.
Finally, Aquino's action was
officially conveyed on Dec. 13 by
Philippine Ambassador Jose L.
Cuisa Jr. to Rand Beers, acting
Secretary of the US Department
of Homeland Security.
Noting the “intense desire of
the Filipino-American
community to more effectively
assist victims,” the note verbale to
the US Department of State
requested “additional
immigration relief measures to
allow eligible Filipinos to stay
and work in the United States so
they could support the country's
long-term post-typhoon
recovery efforts.”
Page 4
Page 31
John Kerry warns
China: No more
air defense zones
Japan, ASEAN strike deal
By Tarra Quismundo
Bodies of passengers are covered in newspapers as they are laid
down on the road after a passenger bus plunged from an elevated
highway known as Skyway Monday, Dec. 16, 2013, in suburban
Paranaque southeast of Manila, Philippines. (AP Photo/Bullit
Asean-Japan Summit Leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations lock arms during the 40th
Asean-Japan Commemorative Summit on Saturday at the Main Garden of the Akasaka State Guest
House. They are (from left): Thein Sein (Burma), Benigno Aquino III (Philippines), Lee Hsien Loong
(Singapore), Nguyen Tan Dung (Vietnam), Hassanal Bolkiah (Brunei), Shinzo Abe (Japan), Hun Sen
(Cambodia), Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (Indonesia), Thongsing Thammavong (Laos), Najib Razak
(Malaysia) and Pracha Promnok representing Yingluck Shinawatra (Thailand). INQSnap this page to view
Associated Press
countries on Saturday
pledged to cooperate in
TOKYO, Dec. 15 -- ensuring freedom of
Leaders from Japan and navigation during a
10 Southeast Asian summit overshadowed
by concerns over
China's growing
assertiveness in the
region. A joint
18 killed after bus
falls from Skyway
By Bong Lozada and Kristine Sabillo
MANILA, Dec. 16 – Eighteen people were
confirmed killed and over a dozen others were
injured when a Don Mariano passenger bus fell off
US Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday
warned China not to impose an air defense zone over
the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) similar to
the one it declared over disputed islands in the East
China Sea last month, sparking fresh tensions over
territorial rows in the region.
“The zone should not be implemented and China
should refrain from taking similar, unilateral actions
elsewhere in the region, and particularly over the
South China Sea,” Kerry told a news conference in
Kerry also announced a fresh US infusion of $40
million (about P1.7 billion) in new assistance to help
the Philippines protect its territorial waters amid
tensions with China over disputed territory in the
West Philippine Sea. The amount, to be allocated
Page 15
Page 14
Page 4
December 20-26, 2013
Page 2
December 20-26, 2013
Page 3
Aquino back from Japan with 'overflowing good news'
By Christian V. Esguerra
President Benigno Aquino III attends the first session of Asean-Japan commemorative
summit at the state guesthouse in Tokyo Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013. Aquino returned
home Dec. 15, bringing with him what he called “overflowing good news” of investment
pledges, aid and loans from Japan. AP PHOTO/TORU HANAI
MANILA -- President Aquino
returned home Sunday, bringing with
him what he called “overflowing
good news” of investment pledges,
aid and loans from Japan.
The President was particularly
upbeat over one Japanese company
that indicated it would infuse up to
$300 million in fresh investments to
“expand its existing operation in the
“The meetings that we attended
were really worth it. They were
overflowing with good news,” Aquino
said in Filipino in his arrival speech
after spending three days in Tokyo
for the Asean-Japan Commemorative
The President declined to name
the companies, but said the amount
of investments they planned to put
into the country was “no joke.” He
cited one firm that was set to build a
manufacturing plant and a research
and development facility.
“I won't reveal all the details now
because they might be forestalled
(baka tayo mausog),” he said. “Let's
just wait for my participation in their
groundbreaking ceremonies so we
would know these companies.”
Among the companies Aquino
visited in Tokyo were Sumitomo
Metal Mining Co., Mitsubishi,
Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. and
Nidec Sankyo Corp. He also sat down
with officials of Nippon Keidanren,
the biggest association of companies
in Japan.
The President thanked the latter
group for sending help to victims of
Supertyphoon “Yolanda.”
He said the organization gave one
million yen on top of individual
d o n a t i o n s f ro m i t s m e m b e r companies.
The President also brought home
an additional “grant in aid worth 6.6
billion yen on top of the $53.1
million” provided earlier by the
Japanese government, said
Communications Secretary
Herminio Coloma, who was part of
Aquino's delegation.
Also offered up was a “postdisaster standby loan of up to $500
million,” Coloma added.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (2nd L) raises a toast with Brunei's Sultan Hassanal
Bolkiah (L) and members of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) during a
welcome dinner of the Japan-ASEAN commemorative summit hosted by Abe at his
official residence in Tokyo on December 13, 2013. Japan will pledge 20 billion USD in aid
to Southeast Asian countries at a 11-nation summit this weekend as it looks to shore-up
ties in a region increasingly dominated by China, reports said on December 13. AFP
Japan seeks ASEAN
backing on China with
$20 Billion pledge
Agence France-Presse
TOKYO, Dec. 14 -- Japan
pledged $20 billion in aid and loans
to Southeast Asia on Saturday, in its
latest charm offensive to woo
gl o b a l p u b l i c o p i n i o n i n a
territorial dispute with China.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
offered the cash over five years for
members of the Association of
Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
at a celebratory summit to mark 40
years of ties with the bloc.
The announcement crowns a
year of courting by Abe, who has
visited all 10 countries in the
grouping at least once since he
came to power last year, always
with one eye on wresting back
influence in the region from China.
“Together with ASEAN, I want
to build the future of Asia where
laws, rather than power, rule and
people who worked hard will be
rewarded which would lead to a
prosperous society with mutual
That apparently was an oblique
reference to his country's fractious
spat over the sovereignty of a small
chain of islands in the East China
Sea, where Japan is keen to garner
support for its view that Beijing's
behaviour is aggressive and
The case has taken on a greater
urgency since China's declaration
last month of an Air Defense
Identification Zone (ADIZ) over the
East China Sea including the
contested archipelago.
Beijing said all aircraft entering
the zone have to submit flight plans
and obey orders issued by Chinese
authorities, in an announcement
that was widely criticized as
That came after more than 12
months of confrontations between
Japanese and Chinese coastguards
in the seas near the islands, as well
as forays by military and
paramilitary planes, and shows of
strength by naval vessels.
Some fear the ADIZ in the East
China Sea is a forerunner to a
similar zone in the South China Sea,
which Beijing claims almost
Abe said Saturday that the 2
trillion yen ($20 billion) in loans
and grants is part of a bigger
“In this summit, I would like to
discuss relations between Japan
and ASEAN in the context of not
only our bilateral relations, but
a l s o i n t h e c o n tex t o f t h e
international community.
“I hope we will adopt a mid- to
long-term vision that would define
t h e way J a p a n a n d AS E A N
cooperate in the future.”
Japanese diplomats have
pushed hard for the joint
communique due at the end of the
meeting to be a relatively forceful
statement on the importance of
Page 14
December 20-26, 2013
Page 4
Fil-Ams hail
Aquino ...
From page 1
“(With President Aquino's move),
we are confident that the Obama
administration will now expedite the
granting of TPS on humanitarian
grounds,” says Ed Navarra, chairman
of the National Federation of Filipino
American Associations (NaFFAA).
“This is an urgent matter that directly
affects millions of lives.”
New York City, Dec. 19 -- On the steps of City Hall, New York City Council Member
Mathieu Eugene (second from right, behind the podium) and Council Member Daniel
Dromm (rightmost), hosted a press conference on Councilman Eugene's Resolution
2057, calling on the U.S. Congress to support and the U.S. Department of Homeland
Security to designate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to the Philippines. The TPS
designation would permit eligible Filipino nationals already living in the United States to
remain in this country while the Philippines recover from the recent devastation of a
category five typhoon. Also in photo are Fr. Julian Jagudilla, Migrants’ Center Director of
St. Francis of Assisi (second from left) and Atty. Rio Guerrero (third from left). Photo by
Elton Lugay
18 killed ...
From page 1
from the elevated Skyway
and landed onto a passing van
on the West Service Road in
Parañaque City early Monday,
police said.
Earlier, it was reported that
the fatalities have reached 22,
but the police said the official
count is 18.
The report said more than
10 bodies have been recovered
from the Don Mariano Transit
bus which was plying the
elevated Skyway on its way to
Pacita, Laguna, when it fell off
the expressway around 5:15
a.m. on Monday. Another body
was pulled out of a van that was
crushed by the bus after the
tragic fall.
Police Chief Inspector
Juanito Guinid Jr., Skyway Team
Leader, said bodies of the 17
victims have been taken to the
Amigos Funeral Parlor, while
the other remains at morgue of
the Paranaque Doctors
He said 16 others were
injured from the accident.
Police Superintendent
Elizabeth Velasquez said the bus
veered off the highway and
crashed onto a van passing
below in suburban Parañaque
city at dawn Monday.
Television footage showed a
number of bodies strewn
around the bus wreckage with
police officers milling around.
The van was an unrecognizable
pile of smashed white metal.
Ivy Vidal, spokeswoman of
the corporation running the
Skyway, said it was not clear
what caused the accident but
added that it was wet due to
Land Transportation
Franchising and Regulatory
Board Chairman Winston Ginez
s a i d t h ey wo u l d i s s u e a
preventive suspension order on
all the 78 units of the Don
Mariano Transit.
Ginez said they had already
talked to Dra. Melissa Lim,
owner of Don Mariano Transit,
who said they had recalled their
buses for inspection by the
Operator of bus was on 2011
'most dangerous list'
Don Mariano Transit, the
operator of the bus that fell off
Skyway on Monday morning
and killed at least 21 people,
had once topped the list of
most dangerous bus operators
in Metro Manila.
The Land Transportation
Franchising and Regulatory
Board (LTFRB) in 2011 came
out with lists based on bus
operators that caused the most
number of deaths, most
number of injured people and
largest cost of damage to
p r o p e r t y .
READ: Most dangerous Metro
Manila buses named
According to the LTFRB
list, Don Mariano Transit
caused the most damage to
property compared with other
bus lines. However, it was not
included on the top 10 list of
buses that caused the most
deaths and injuries.
LTFRB Chairman Winston
Ginez said they would
immediately issue the
preventive suspension order
for all the 78 units of Don
Mariano Transit, which is
owned by Dr. Melissa Lim,
pending investigation on the
Primarily humanitarian
Adds JT Mallonga, president of the
Filipino American Legal Defense and
Education Fund (Faldef): “The TPS
designation of the Philippines is
primarily a humanitarian one, which
allows Filipino breadwinners in the
US to be able to go home to the
Philippines for closure (in case of
death in the family) and to get them to
rebuild their lives.”
Currently allowed under
immigration laws for countries
impacted by a natural disaster
resulting in a “substantial, but
temporary, disruption of living
conditions,” TPS will provide
temporary immigration relief to
undocumented Filipino immigrants
currently residing in the US.
Many Filipinos have lost relatives
in the storm or suffered tremendous
hardships. “It is for this humanitarian
reason that there is an outpouring of
overwhelming support from across
the country for the designation of TPS
status for the Philippines,” Mallonga
Following intense lobbying by
community and civic groups, a
bipartisan group of 20 US senators
and 30 House members urged the DHS
to grant TPS status to Filipinos
affected by the disaster.
To put added pressure on the
Philippine Government, FilipinoAmerican community groups staged
vigils in front of consulates in Los
Angeles, New York and Washington,
DC. Community leaders also met with
consular officials, most of whom were
in favor of making the request.
On Dec. 10, leaders of the National
Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA)
and the Pilipino Workers Center met
with Ambassador Cuisa. After the
meeting, NDWA Coordinator Aquilina
Soriano said “the issue of TPS is
moving seriously through the
Philippine bureaucracy. Ambassador
Cuisia was very clear that they
understand the Philippine
government needs to make a request
for TPS. So it is great that there is no
confusion about that. Also, they
definitely have been feeling the public
support and pressure from all of us.”
Concerned about possible delayed
action by the Aquino administration
despite assurances that a decision will
be made by Dec. 25, NaFFAA leaders
called for nationwide rallies in front of
consulates across the US. “We are glad
the Philippine government acted
sooner rather than later,” Mallonga
said. “Now we have to ensure DHS
responds positively and promptly by
granting TPS to Filipinos.”
No deportations
In a letter to DHS in November,
Navarra wrote that “this benefit will
alleviate their fears of deportation to a
devastated country and allow them to
work and stay in the US temporarily.
With this authorization, Filipino
nationals can continue providing
material and financial support to the
homeland, especially at a time when
they are in dire need of help.”
Mallonga further explains that
there are precedents where the US
administration acted on similar
requests: “Following the devastating
earthquake which struck Haiti two
years ago, the US designated TPS to
Haitian nationals, allowing them to
continue living and working in the
country for 18 months. The same
should be done to Filipinos, and it
must be done soon.” Other nationals
from countries devastated by natural
disasters, such as Honduras, Sudan
and El Salvador, have also been
granted TPS before.
Not permanent residency
Adds Mallonga, who is also a
member of the American Immigration
Lawyers Association: “While TPS
provides temporary legal status for
Filipinos already in the US, it will not
necessarily lead to permanent
residency. Also, TPS does not provide
humanitarian aid or legal status for
people not already here.
“TPS may only be granted for 18
months. Beneficiaries will be granted
a temporary employment
authorization document as proof of
authorized stay in the US for that
period. Qualified TPS applicants will
then be allowed to remain in the US
with a work permit. This is only meant
to be a temporary immigration
When the Obama administration
announced the designation of TPS for
Haitian nationals in 2011, Mallonga
notes that the 100,000 to 200,000
Haitian immigrants estimated by the
Department of Homeland Security to
be in the US without authorization
were not subject to deportation. The
estimated 270,000 undocumented
Filipino immigrants will similarly be
given the same benefit if TPS is
December 20-26, 2013
Page 5
UN seeks $791M to fund recovery
By Ronnel W. Domingo
The United Nations is expected
to launch Monday an appeal for
donors to raise $791 million to
fund a yearlong Supertyphoon
“Yolanda” Strategic Response Plan
(SRP) that will help the mostaffected victims for a longer-term
Valerie Amos, UN
u n d e r s e c re t a r y g e n e ra l fo r
humanitarian affairs, will make the
call as part of the UN's consolidated
humanitarian appeals process.
The amount is more than twoand-a-half times the $301 million
that the UN asked for on Nov. 12,
when Amos visited the worst-hit
areas four days after Yolanda
(international name: Haiyan) made
landfall. That initial target was
itself increased to $348 million on
Nov. 22, as relief efforts went into
high gear.
Of the $791 million, 30 percent
($237 million) is funded.
Rodrigue Vinet, acting
Philippine representative of the UN
Food and Agriculture Organization
(FAO), told the Inquirer that $38
million of the total amount was
earmarked for the agriculture and
fisheries sector.
“Restoring agriculture is a top
priority of the Typhoon Haiyan
SRP,” Vinet said. “The FAO is
appealing for [such amount] to
ensure that affected communities
regain self-sufficiency, primarily
with the restoration of local
economies, agriculture and
Under the SRP, the FAO will
support around 128,000
households spread in the Visayas,
Bicol and Mimaropa regions.
Until November 2014
Vinet said the plan, which runs
u n t i l N ove m b e r 2 0 1 4 , wa s
designed to support the Philippine
government's efforts on immediate
relief and complement
M a l a c a ñ a n g ' s Yo l a n d a
Rehabilitation and Recovery Plan.
In the immediate aftermath of
Yolanda, the FAO accounted for $25
million of the UN's flash appeal for
the victims. The funds that did
come in were used to provide seeds
and inputs to rice farmers who can
replant on more than 55,000
Last week, the FAO again made
an urgent appeal for $5 million to
cover the emergency response for
the restoration of livelihoods
among 13,000 fishing and coastal
Cash for work
This was part of the yearlong
SRP and meant for the
rehabilitation of small-scale
infrastructure, such as fish landing
sites, through the provision of
materials and cash for work.
Through the strategic plan, the
FAO will also need $18.84 million
to help build resilience among
severely affected rice and corn
farmers, numbering some 61,000
It earmarked $6.7 million to
provide income and bring back
food self-sufficiency to 19,600
households of small-scale coconut
Another $2 million was set
aside to benefit 18,000 households
through the rehabilitation of agroforests and the establishment of
community-based tree nurseries.
Finally, under the FAO portion
of the strategic plan, $4 million
would support 17,000 households
engaged in backyard livestock
Officials of the FAO in the
Philippines had clarified reports
that all their post-Yolanda efforts
were in cooperation with the
Department of Agriculture and
meant to complement the
department's own activities.
Last week, Luiza Carvalho, UN
resident coordinator in the
Philippines, said the task of
meeting the needs for
humanitarian and early recovery in
the calamity-stricken areas had
remained enormous despite
progress in providing victims with
food, shelter and other critical help.
Int'l mission visit
Carvalho took part in a joint
international mission to Guiuan
town in Eastern Samar, and Ormoc
5,000 families in Samar
need livelihood aid
By Shiena M. Barrameda
TACLOBAN CITY -- More than
5,000 families of fishermen,
livestock and cattle raisers and
farmers are in need of immediate
livelihood assistance in Guiuan
town, Samar province, according
to the latest report from the
Office of Civil Defense of Eastern
Visayas (OCD 8).
This figure, collated by the
OCD, was released on Sunday to
further clarify the course by
which the government's
rehabilitation plan would take
for the livelihood of people
affected by the typhoon, said Ben
Linde of OCD 8.
Some 595 of these affected
families were involved in rice and
coconut farming, another 404
raised livestock for a living and
529 were raising cattle before
Supertyphoon “Yolanda” struck.
The families who were
involved in various methods of
fishing and seaweed farming
numbered 3,333, the OCD report
In an interview on Saturday,
UN spokesperson in Tacloban
City Gemma Cortes said the
government and all other
humanitarian organizations
involved in the rehabilitation of
Yolanda-affected areas in the
Philippines should focus most on
helping families involved in
agriculture and fisheries.
She said this was because
about 90 percent of households
in the places that Yolanda
devastated were involved in
trade and industries directly
related to agriculture.
On Dec. 14, Europe-based
organization Oxfam (formerly
Oxford Committee for Famine
Relief) started distributing palay
grains to farmers in Tanauan
town, Leyte province.
Ian Bray, Oxfam media officer,
said there were 1,004 sacks of
p a l a y, e a c h w e i g h i n g 8 0
kilograms, that were divided
among the farmers in Tanauan.
Other municipalities like
Palo, Mayorga, Dulac, MacArthur
and Julieta will also receive palay
seeds but Oxfam chose to start
with Tanauan with 15 of its
barangays (villages) because it is
mainly an agricultural town.
Bray said they saw the
distribution of seeds as an urgent
action because the farmers have
to catch up with this season's
planting period and harvest
“They have to get the seeds on
the soil so that they will have
something (income) for next
year,” he said.
United Nations Undersecretary General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos speaks
to survivors at the airport in Tacloban City on Nov. 13, 2013. Amos will make call on
Monday, Dec. 16, for donors to raise $791 million to fund a yearlong Supertyphoon
“Yolanda” Strategic Response Plan that will help the most-affected victims for a longerterm recovery. AP PHOTO/WONG MAYE-E
and Tacloban cities in Leyte
The mission included
representatives of the embassies of
Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan,
t h e N e t h e r l a n d s , N o r w a y,
Switzerland and the United
Kingdom, and the Spanish Agency
for International Development
Cooperation, as well as
representatives of the Philippine
Disaster Recovery Foundation.
The Department of Foreign
Affairs (DFA) will inventory
pledges made by foreign donors to
rehabilitate areas in Central
Visayas following reports that
some aid may not have reached the
intended beneficiaries.
Assistant Foreign Secretary
Raul Hernandez, DFA spokesman,
said the government had
scheduled a pledging session next
week, which the department would
monitor to ensure that the
donations reach their beneficiaries
and are well spent.
The output will be posted
online by the Department of
Budget and Management (DBM),
he said.
Transparency hub
“What we are trying to do now
is to be transparent with this
money and we hope that we are
able to account for every inflow of
this money and the use and
management of this assistance
t h ro u gh t h e Fo re i g n A i d
Transparency Hub that is being
managed by the DBM,” Hernandez
The DBM tracks down
donations and assistance coming
Page 6
December 20-26, 2013
Page 6
Fighting the darkness after storm
By Joey Gabieta
TACLOBAN CITY -- The bright
Christmas lanterns that light Sto.
Niño Church seem to be out of
place in surroundings that the
word devastation isn't enough to
For church leaders here,
however, they are a perfect fit for
a city and people looking for
symbols of hope, and perhaps,
d e f i a n c e ,
t o o .
The 10 lanterns, set up in the
church premises on Thursday,
shone brightly, as they were the
only source of illumination in the
pitch-black nights of the city that
lost power when Supertyphoon
“Yolanda” struck on November 8.
“The parol at this time is a
symbol of hope for all of us in the
midst of darkness,” said Fr.
Amadeo Alvero, one of the
assistant parish priests of the
church and spokesperson of the
Archdiocese of Palo.
“It can be a symbol of Christ
himself, who is the light,” he said.
Beyond being a symbol of
hope, Alvero said the lanterns
were a sign of defiance, of the
faithful's refusal to simply sit in a
corner and weep after losing
loved ones, sources of livelihood,
homes and nearly everything to
“With or without Yolanda, the
church will celebrate Christmas,”
he said. To light the lanterns, the
church used a generator it had
acquired following the storm,
according to Germaine Delicano,
personal assistant of Monsignor
Alex Opiniano, the parish priest.
LIGHTING, instead of cursing, the darkness. Sto. Niño Church in Tacloban City is aglow in
Christmas lights. Richard A. Reyes
As power rates rise, 'solar panels'
a hit on Quiapo sidewalk
By Erika Sauler
Alvero said the celebration of
Christmas in the middle of utter
destruction had become “more
fitting and meaningful, knowing
that we have a savior to save us
from our pain and suffering.”
Cristina Capambe, a 72-yearold resident of Barangay (village)
42-B, said the lanterns not only
made her feel the spirit of
Christmas but more importantly,
the courage that hope brings.
“These parols, for me, signal
that Christmas is with us now.
That despite what Yolanda
destroyed, faith was not among
those,” Capambe said.
“This makes me forget the
gloom caused by Yolanda in your
place,” said Trangie, a worker
from Manila who was hired to do
repair work on Sto. Niño Church,
which suffered heavy damage
when Yolanda struck.
Delicano said the lanterns
were old ones retrieved from the
church stockroom.
Their display usually starts
on November 24, when Catholics
celebrate the feast of Christ the
UN seeks ...
From page 5
from the UN, the Asian Development
Bank and the Arab Gulf Program for
Development, among others.
Early donations, worth $12
million, have been released to the
Philippines and are now being
administered by the Department of
Social Welfare and Development and
the National Disaster Risk Reduction
and Management Council, Hernandez
He spoke about the Philippine
foreign policy at a forum, which the
DFA organized at Saint Louis
University in Baguio City on Friday.
“With the incident in Yolanda, a
number of countries came to offer
pledges to us … We are a nation that is
friendly, [so] everybody is helping us,”
he said.
“Hopefully with the pledging
session, we will be able to raise the
needed amount in order to
King, until after the Christmas
Prior to the display of the
lanterns, churchgoers defied
personal tragedies and went to
daily Masses that were said at the
church despite the extensive
damage that it took from Yolanda,
which is estimated to cost at least
P20 million to repair.
The church lost its roof and
ceiling to more than 300kilometer-per-hour winds and
the belfry's ceiling was destroyed,
Life-size images of saints and
that of the Blessed Virgin Mary
were intact though thrown onto
the floor. Several wooden benches
facing the altar were stained with
There is no doubt among
church leaders and parishioners,
however, that the church,
believed to have been built in the
1700s, will rise again.
The lanterns, now glowing in
a city besieged by darkness, are a
testament to that.
rehabilitate and also reconstruct and
rebuild the areas affected by Yolanda,”
Hernandez told reporters after the
“We are very inspired by the
outpouring of assistance and
donations coming from the
international community,” he said.
Foreign donors
According to him, at least 64
foreign donors, governments and
multilateral organizations have
pledged and given assistance to the
victims. Among the biggest donors
are Japan and the United States.
“There are pledges of P23 billion
[and] about P3.6 billion [of the
amount] is in cash [while] the rest [of
the pledges] are in kind,” he said.
“Many of these pledges are going
to the [local] partners of foreign
donors, such as nongovernment
organizations, charitable institutions,
foundations, churches and other aid
agencies,” he said.
From P4,200, Sonny Oswa said his
monthly electricity bill went down to
P1,500 after turning to solar power to
run six electric fans at night.
For two years now, Oswa has been
selling solar panels on Raon Street in
Quiapo, Manila, a go-to area for
electronics enthusiasts.
A number of bargain hunters, eager
to reduce their household power
consumption, gathered around Oswa's
sidewalk table on Wednesday, asking
about the price and how the panels
work. For them, Oswa's wares could be
the answer to the upcoming rate
increase recently announced by
One customer asked him a series of
technical questions. Mel, 27, said he
used to work as a technical engineer at
an oil company, and that he came to look
for solar panels on Raon to reduce his
electricity bills.
Another buyer easily shelled out
P2,700 for a panel and an inverter for
quite another reason: Jelyn Sumiguin, a
25-year-old survivor of Supertyphoon
“Yolanda” who had evacuated to Manila,
said she would bring the equipment on
her trip back to Tacloban City, where her
neighborhood remained without power
“My uncle told me to buy a solar
flashlight. But it seems we can use more
(appliances) with a solar panel,”
Sumiguin told the Inquirer. Her family
survived Yolanda by climbing onto the
rooftop of their two-story house which
stood near the sea.
She and her family members
queued for three days before they could
board a C-130 military plane to Manila.
And then she encountered Oswa's
stall and found something that she
thought could be very useful for starting
life anew in devastated Tacloban. The
panels she was offered on the bangketa,
however, showed no signs that they had
been subjected to quality control or
safety inspections by the government.
There were also no visible labels or
markings indicating the manufacturer.
Depending on the wattage, the solar
panels were being sold at P9,500 to
P2,800 each, and came in
monocrystalline and polycrystalline
variants. Oswa said his supplier was a
Chinese businessman from Binondo
who imports panels manufactured in
Taiwan. Lately, he said, he had sold five
to 10 panels a day, many to Yolanda
survivors like Sumiguin.
December 20-26, 2013
Page 7
Angelhack CEO's 'anti-poor'
rants earn ire of SF Fil-Ams
By Vivian Zalvidea Araullo
by a tech startup CEO's tirade
against the poor in San
Francisco, leaders of nonprofit
agencies that serve low-income
Filipino immigrants are
demanding more than an
apology. They want Angelhack
CEO Greg Gopman to either
leave town or volunteer to help
the underprivileged of the city,
including struggling Filipino
Gopman ranted on his
Facebook page last week: “Just
got back to SF. I've traveled
around the world and I gotta say
there is nothing more grotesque
than walking down market st in
San Francisco. Why the heart of
our city has to be overrun by
crazy, homeless, drug dealers,
dropouts, and trash I have no
Moreover, Gopman asked
why San Francisco keeps its
poor citizens visible: “The
difference is in other
cosmopolitan cities, the lower
part of society keep to
themselves. They…stay quiet,
and generally stay out of your
way. They realize it's a privilege
to be in the civilized part of town
and view themselves as guests.
And that's okay.
Hercules' city council chose Myrna De Vera (center) as mayor until December in 2014.
Greg Gopman, courtesy of his Facebook profile
“In downtown SF the
degenerates gather like hyenas,
spit, urinate, taunt you, sell
drugs, get rowdy, they act like
they own the center of the city.
Like it's their place of leisure…
In actuality it's the business
district for one of the wealthiest
cities in the USA. It's a disgrace. I
don't even feel safe walking
down the sidewalk without
planning out my walking path.
“ Yo u c a n p re a c h
compassion, equality, and be
the biggest lover in the world,
but there is an area of town for
degenerates and an area of
town for the working class.
There is nothing positive gained
from having them so close to
Gopman's rant has already
been called “the worst social
media blunder of 2013” by
Huffington Post.
Gopman apologized one
day after the posting, but his
comments earned him the ire of
San Francisco residents and the
social media community. “I will
never participate in another
Angelhack event,” said one
Twitter user.
G o p m a n ' s c o m p a n y,
Angelhack, organizes events
and competitions for hackers
and software developers.
Filipina becomes mayor of Hercules,
San Francisco Bay Area
By Joseph Peralta
manager is very critical because he (or
she) is the one who is running the city.
The [city] council just sets the policy. I
cannot understate the importance of
finding the right people to fill the critical
roles of running the city and planning
our community.”
Another priority is economic
development and the sale of parcels of
land that are tied up in litigation. “The
most visible unfinished task is Sycamore
North,” De Vera said in her speech after
her selection. “This is the third winter
that it stands wrapped in Tyvek. The
$5.1 Ambac lawsuit must be settled and
its resolution lies in the sale of three
parcels of land.”
The three properties Sycamore
Crossings, Parcel C and Victoria
Crescent, are currently tied up in
HERCULES, California -- Council
member Myrna De Vera was selected by
the city council to become Mayor of
Hercules until December 2014,
following a vote during the city council
reorganization last December 10.
This is her second time to serve as
mayor of Hercules, a city of 25,000 in the
eastern part of the San Francisco Bay
Area. De Vera, who was elected to the
Hercules City Council in 2010, said the
faces many challenges in the year
Told to leave San Francisco
ahead, chief of which is finding a new
Tony Robles, board member
city manager and planning director,
of the Filipino nonprofit
both of whom have decided to pursue
Manilatown Heritage
other endeavors.
Foundation, said Gopman,
“We first have to find a city manager,”
whose Facebook page says he is
De Vera told the Asian Journal during a
a Florida native, should go back
break in the proceedings. “A city
to his hometown.
Page 8
Page 8
December 20-26, 2013
Page 8
NJ Division of Consumer Affairs Sues Dealer
of High-End, Used Luxury Cars for Alleged
Bait-and-Switch, Other Deceptive Practices
NEWARK, Dec. 17 -- Acting
New Jersey Attorney General
John J. Hoffman and the State
Division of Consumer Affairs
today announced a lawsuit
against 21st Century Auto Group,
Inc., a dealership that sells highend used luxury cars such as
Lamborghinis and BMWs, for
alleged bait-and-switch and
other deceptive tactics affecting
more than 80 consumers.
The lawsuit, filed by the
Division of Law in State Superior
Court in Union County, alleges
that the dealership, in
Springfield, committed multiple
violations of New Jersey's
Consumer Fraud Act and Motor
Vehicle Advertising Regulations.
“Our investigation
uncovered a pattern of allegedly
deceptive practices that dates
back several years and that cost
individual consumers hundreds,
if not thousands, of dollars, with
no regard for their rights or for
the law,” Acting Attorney General
Hoffman said. “This type of
conduct harms consumers and
tarnishes the reputation of an
entire industry. Our primary
goal is to obtain full restitution
for the customers allegedly
abused by these tactics.”
The Division of Consumer
Affairs has received 84 consumer
complaints to date. Consumers
allege the company exploited
them through numerous
unlawful, deceptive practices
including, among others: baitand-switch; refusing to honor
the advertised or agreed-upon
prices for vehicles; refusing to
return deposits after consumers
had canceled their sales
transactions; refusing to issue
warranties or to honor
warranties that had been issued;
requiring consumers to sign
blank sale documents; and
refusing to provide sale
documents after consumers
signed them.
“Our findings of a repeated
history of alleged manipulation
a n d d e c e p t i o n o f u nwa r y
consumers is disturbing and
necessitated action,” Director
Kanefsky said. “Whether a
consumer is buying a
Lamborghini or a Hyundai, they
have the right to be treated
ethically and honestly by the
The company also allegedly
failed to provide consumers with
title and registration to used
vehicles prior to their expiration;
and on one occasion allegedly
sold a used vehicle without
obtaining a lien release from the
prior owner.
Other consumers alleged
that they were drawn to 21st
Century by online ads promising
specific vehicles at specific,
attractive prices. When they
arrived at the dealership,
employees told them the vehicles
they wanted had been sold and
attempted to sell them higherpriced cars.
Investigator Kelly Fennell in
the Division of Consumer Affairs'
Office of Consumer Protection
conducted this investigation.
Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey
Koziar, of the Division of Law, is
representing the State.
Consumers who believe they
have been cheated or scammed
by a business, or suspect any
other form of consumer abuse,
can file a complaint with the
State Division of Consumer
Affairs by visiting its website or
by calling 1-800-242-5846 (toll
free within New Jersey ) or 973504-6200. Follow the Division of
Consumer Affairs on Facebook,
and check our online calendar of
upcoming Consumer Outreach
Filipina becomes
mayor ...
From page 8
purchase sale agreements and are
in the early stages of planning.
“The development plans on these
parcels will forever determine our
city's character, and future sales
and property tax revenues,” she
“The city's highest priority
d eve l o p m e n t p ro j e c t i s o u r
Intermodal Transit Center, planned
for alternative modes of
transportation train, bus, and ferry
and a surrounding mixed-use
waterfront development…this
important regional project still
needs millions of dollars more to
complete the next phases,” De Vera
went on.
T h e C e b u n a t ive f u r t h e r
mentioned the Hercules Municipal
Utility pending sale with Pacific Gas
& Electric and the Pinole/Hercules
Wastewater treatment plant as
other projects that need immediate
De Vera, who was vice mayor
before the city council
reorganization, added that
balancing the city's budget and
finding revenues, including inviting
unique and different business
establishments to Hercules, are
things that also need to be on their
priority list.
“That's what we should do,
which we have not done yet,” the
architecture graduate answered
when asked if the city was actively
CEO’s ...
From page 7
“Quit and leave San Francisco,
which has a deep history of labor,
people of color and civil rights,” said
Robles, who added that Gopman's
company seemed to produce nothing
of substance that contributed to
society. “Go back to Florida. Pick some
oranges and do some real work and
come back and give us a call.”
San Francisco officials enticed
tech companies like Gopman's to set
up shop and revitalize areas like the
South of Market, traditionally an
enclave for poor Filipino immigrants,
by offering them tax incentives.
The arrival of new wealthy tech
workers brought on a construction
boom, with developers snapping up
buildings that have been home to lowincome renters. This triggered one of
the biggest waves of evictions of lowincome residents that the city has
seen in 12 years.
Rudy Corpuz, who headsanother
Filipino nonprofit, United Playaz, is
personally affected. “My family has
been living in the South of Market
since the Sixties,” Corpuz said. “They
have a 'for sale' sign in their house
r i g h t
n o w.”
San Francisco's rent control laws
have kept the Corpuz family's rent low
for decades. But when the property is
sold, the Ellis Act allows the new
landlords to raise rent.
Many low-income renters now
being evicted are offered money to
leave. Corpuz said his family is fighting
the eviction.
“Sorry isn't enough”
The mayor of Daly City, David
Canepa, is also demanding that
Gopman apologize to him and his
recruiting businesses to come and
establish themselves in Hercules.
“We were thinking of having an
economic development group, like
we had with our legal and finance
groups of citizens, but we don't
have money for an extra economic
development office. Probably we
will have to recruit volunteers,” De
Vera said.
De Vera also became slightly
emotional during her acceptance
remarks as she described the trials
and tribulations she experienced in
t h e p a s t ye a r, i n c l u d i n g a
movement to strip her of her
appointment as vice mayor, as well
as facing complaints filed to both
civil and criminal authorities.
Through it all, de Vera said she
came out stronger and used her
troubles as motivations for
improvement. “I used last year's
trials as an opportunity to grow
and change…I read books on
leadership and self-improvement. I
practiced whatever I learned
during council meetings. I've made
peace with myself and others for
the sake of the greater good,” she
disclosed, as she thanked God, her
husband Manny, sons Mark,
Christian and Emmanuel, sister
Lorna, and her friends and
supporters for their unwavering
Previous to her election to the
City Council, De Vera served as
Hercules Planning Commissioner
from 2005 to 2011 where she
served both as chair and vicechairperson. She was also a
member of the Design Review
constituents. In the same Facebook
posting, Gopman said: “Why should
we have homeless shelters,
methadone clinics, strip clubs all in
the center of town. Move that shit to
Daly City.”
A Facebook campaign has been
organized, demanding that Gopman
donate to a local nonprofit that helps
the homeless. The campaign calls on
the public to send Facebook
messages to Gopman to publicly
apologize and help the homeless.
Daly City, a suburb adjacent to
San Francisco, has the highest
concentration of Filipinos in
Canepa said he sent a private
message to Gopman's Facebook page,
demanding an apology and extending
an invitation to tour Daly City.
Gopman, he said, has not responded.
University of San Francisco
political science professor and San
Francisco resident Jay Gonzalez said
Gopman's apology is not enough. “He
should deepen his social
engagement,” said Gonzales, who
suggests Gopman do something to
help disadvantaged citizens. “An
apology must be backed by action.”
Gonzalez said San Francisco's
officials must perform a delicate
balancing act. “They need to attract
revenue while at the same time take
care of the homeless and the
Like any city, San Francisco must
earn revenue to provide services, so
it can continue helping its less
fortunate citizens, Gonzalez
“But it doesn't give them an
excuse to put all its focus on the
revenue side. The people who make
up San Francisco are not just these
tech startups. They are also on the
streets, living in low-income housing,
they are seniors, immigrants and the
Page 9
December 20-26, 2013
Page 9
Typhoon Haiyan survivors receive donations
and support from Essex County College
NEWARK, NJ, Dec. 19 -- In the
wake of the devastation in the
Philippines caused by Typhoon
Haiyan on November 8, the Essex
County College (ECC) community
banded together to create the
Philippine Relief Drive.
“I am both gratified and
humbled by the incredible
outpouring of support for the
typhoon victims. As a proud alumna
(Class of 2012) of ECC, I am well
aware of the generosity of our
students and staff when it comes to
helping those truly in need,” said
Nicole Rapista, who grew up in the
The College's Urban Issues
Institute (UII) served as the
coordination point for the relief
drive, which began in earnest a
week after the typhoon struck,
leaving more than 5,000 dead and
an estimated 12 million people
directly affected. The planning
committee was composed of
students, faculty, administration,
staff and the local Filipino
“We are a (local) community
college, but we are global in nature,”
said Margaret Stevens, Director of
the UII. “Staff and students from
nearly administrative and academic
wing of the college donated clothing
items. In addition, students from
nearly every club contributed to our
collecting funds for our Red Cross
In a few short weeks, more than
a 1,000 items were donated by
students and staff throughout the
College, as well as monetary
donations. Donations cans from the
American Red Cross, emblazoned
with “ECC Cares” labels, were
scattered throughout both the main
Newark campus and the West Essex
c a m p u s i n We s t C a l d w e l l .
Additional cans for cash donations
were also scattered about the
campuses. The Inter-Club Council
representing various student
organizations oversaw the cash
“ We h a d c l a s s e s w h e r e
everyone, including the instructor,
contributed to the effort,” said
S h a w n Ye a r w o o d , S t u d e n t
Government Association vice
president. “I was so impressed with
the generosity of students and staff
Jamil Graham, Student Life &
Activities Office program
coordinator, was also impressed by
the collective effort. “Once again,
the ECC family has come through to
provide much needed
humanitarian relief to those struck
by a tremendous natural disaster,”
Mr. Graham said. “You can always
count on the generosity of the entire
College community and it makes me
proud to be a part of the family
Ms. Rapista was scheduled to
travel to Cebu/Leyte the week of
December 16 to assist in the
rebuilding of destroyed schools and
hand out relief goods.
“As this effort demonstrates,
something about pulling together in
times of human crisis brings out
Angelhack CEO’s ...
From page 8
(Rudy Asercion, executive director of West
Bay Multi-Service, a key nonprofit in the South
of Market area derided by Gopman, sent this
statement to the US Bureau: “San
Francisco is a city of tolerance. I suggest he do
some volunteer work for some of these agencies
that help. We want him to be a valued
community partner. The only way he can do that
is if he is able to volunteer and get himself
educated so he knows what the city is all about.
For him to be tolerant he needs to understand
and for him to understand he needs to get down
to the grassroots level. I suggest he volunteer at
West Bay.”)
people's most humane qualities,
and that's why the Urban Issues
Institute here at ECC made such an
effort to respond deliberately and
maximize outreach by calling upon
the college as a whole to coordinate
and work together,” said Professor
Stevens. “I hope in the future we can
be even more proactive and build an
even broader coalition for the
common cause of civic engagement
and humanitarian support.”
Working as a well-organized
team, the Essex County College
community have banded together
to create a Philippine Relief Drive to
help the survivors of the Typhoon
“My [MS] aunt also lost their
house. There is no communication
line to the areas I have not spoken
to them yet. There is no food and
safe water, no electricity. Peace and
order is of vital importance to
establish because there is much
looting and holdups, especially for
goods people's quest for survival,”
said Majuvy Sulse, President of the
Philippine Nurses Association of
New Jersey. “The rescue operations
are in the big cities. We are about 30
minutes away from the city and
relief has not reached us yet as per
friends who I have talked to in
Facebook and text.”
Survivors are in dire need of
clothing, socks, canned goods,
blankets, water, food and other
emergency assistance. The
Consulate General of the
Philippines in New York also listed
water purifiers, water containers,
Angelhack's twitter account has been set to
private. has contacted Gopman;
he has yet to respond. Gopman's new Facebook
profile picture, changed shortly after his
controversial posting, now shows an “I love SF”
A Facebook campaign has been organized,
demanding that Gopman donate to a local
nonprofit that helps the homeless. The
campaign calls on the public to send Facebook
messages to Gopman to publicly apologize and
help the homeless.
In his recent Facebook apology, he said the
thread might open a discussion about San
Francisco's poor, but only his Facebook friends
were allowed to comment
ECC alumnus Lev Zilbermints, Class of 1993, ECC Nursing Professor Majuvy
Sulse, ECC alumna Nicole Rapista, Urban Issue Institute Director Dr. Margaret
Stevens, Student Government Association Vice President Shawn Yearwood with
items collected for the relief effort.
tents, pillows, towels, hygiene kits,
cooking apparatus and utensils,
power generators and medical
supplies as necessary to help
The Philippine Relief
Committee set up boxes throughout
Essex County College to collect
donations in at least 13 locations on
campus. All boxes have images on
them, clearly stating their purpose.
Over 36 cans were distributed and
filled to benefit the American Red
Over a thousand donated items
were collected. Donations include
boys wear; girl wear; infant wear;
women wear; men's and women's
s h o e s ; c h i l d re n' s s n e a ke r s ;
women's pants and shirts; men's
wear; girls' wear; and
miscellaneous. All donations
collected by the ECC community
were brought to UII. They were
sorted, labeled, and packed in
Essex County College is an open
access community college that
serves the diverse needs of
students through comprehensive
educational programs, training,
and continuing education. Essex
County College is dedicated to
academic excellence and the
success of its students.
An Invitation from Mayor Steven Fulop
Free Christmas Concert in Jersey City
A spectacular Christmas
concert at the Historic Landmark
Loew's Theatre, 54 Journal
Square, on Saturday, December
21st at 7:00pm. The Jersey City
Mayor's Christmas concert will
feature the Orchestra of St. Peter
by the Sea, conducted by Father
[email protected]
Alphonse Stephenson.
Admission is free but it comes
with an optional twist… just wrap
a small toy to fulfill a child's
Christmas gift list! For more
information and to RSVP please
contact the Resident's Response
Center at (201) 547-4900.
Editorial & opinion
December 20-26, 2013
Page 10
So little regard
It's become a common refrain: Many foreigners who visit the
Philippines often remark about the little regard Filipinos show
for their own personal safety. The visitors see Filipinos dash
across highways, create their own counter flows or ride
motorcycles two or three at a time, without safety helmets on and
they marvel at how much we put ourselves at risk every day.
It takes a horrific accident like the bus spinning off the
Skyway in Parañaque City last Monday and landing on a delivery
van, killing 18 persons and injuring 16, to make us pause
collectively, and reconsider our lack of safety consciousness. And
then, for many of us, to get back to life as usual. This explains why,
only a day after that Skyway accident, which should have shocked
the country's sprawling bus industry into introspection, unruly
buses could be seen racing each other again on Edsa. Perhaps it
was the same on the provincial highways.
The sad truth is: We will never learn, until those caught
violating the most basic principles of road safety are not forced to
pay the steepest possible price. A bus company proven to be at
fault in the death of passengers or passersby should be put out of
business, period. A bus driver who survives a crash he was
proven to be responsible for should be stripped of his
professional driver's license, permanently. A highway or road
operator proven to be at fault and liable for a deadly accident
should be forced to pay a very steep fine, one that impacts on the
bottom line. And government officials proven to be at fault for
allowing bus companies with deadly records, for instance, to
continue plying the streets should be haled to criminal court.
We realize that there are many factors to consider. Quality
driver education, for instance, is a must, which means that the
actual process by which drivers receive the license to drive must
be revamped. As letter-writer Benjamin Agunod argues in
today's Letters page, the basic science behind hydroplaning
should be known by every driver: Only a small part of the tire
actually touches the road at any one time; in wet conditions, a
thin film of water would cause a vehicle to lose even that narrow
contact with the road. But judging from daily experience, many
Filipino drivers still do not drive at significantly slower speeds
when the rains turn our roads slippery.
Regular vehicle inspection is another must. The Don Mariano
bus that flew off the Skyway was travelling on very bald tires,
which would have made control of the bus problematic even
under normal (that is, dry) conditions. Serious periodic
inspection perhaps conducted at highway entrances and exits, by
a joint crew staffed by the police and the regulatory agencies,
with representatives of the road operator and the bus companies
would have called the attention of the driver of the Don Mariano
But these and other safety measures will not work unless the
most important initiative of all becomes a regular, indeed
ordinary, fact of life: Violators must be commensurately
Consider the Don Mariano bus company. As early as 2011, it
was named by the Land Transportation Franchising and
Regulatory Board the worst bus firm in terms of damage inflicted
on property. The following year, one of its buses crashed the
railing of a flyover on Edsa; the vehicle teetered on the edge.
Thankfully, no lives were lost. And last Monday, it deployed a bus
that wasn't roadworthy, manned by a driver whom many
Immigration Reform Is
Top Priority in 2014
The House of Representatives
wrapped up its affairs for 2013
without passing an immigration
reform bill. This despite the
continued and intensified protests
of immigration advocates to
pressure the House to vote on an
immigration bill before it closed its
2013 legislative calendar.
More than 1,000 advocates
showed up at the House last
December 12 and occupied for
about an hour the offices of more
than 200 Republican lawmakers.
Advocacy groups held marches,
prayer vigils, and completed a
week-long fast with several
members of Congress joining the
fast for 24 hours, to show their
Advocates were hoping to
pressure Speaker John A. Boehner
to bring to a vote a democratic bill
in the House which mirrors the
Senate's and offers a path to
citizenship to the 12 million
undocumented in the country. The
bill has 190 sponsors including
three Republicans. The chairman
of the Democratic caucus
Congressman Becerra of California
said that 26 Republicans had
expressed support for that bill
which would be enough to pass it if
Speaker Boehner allowed a vote.
Although immigration reform
did not materialize in 2013, many
remain confident that a
compromise will be reached in
2014. Democratic and Republican
House leaders promised that they
will address the issue early next
year. According to Republican
Congressman Robert W. Goodlatte
(VA), chair of the Judiciary
Committee, immigration would be
top priority in 2014.
Speaker Boehner also deems
immigration as a priority
legislation in the new year. Michael
Needham, chief executive of the
conservative advocacy group
Heritage Action said in an
interview that the speaker wants to
clear the way for immigration
reform next year and he has been
very clear of that. Speaker Boehner
even hired immigration policy
expert Rebecca Tallent to lead his
The budget deal that was
struck between House Republicans
and Senate Democrats is also seen
as a positive sign for immigration
reform in 2014. The bipartisan
budget deal rids threats of fiscal
c r i s e s s u c h a s g ove r n m e n t
shutdown for the next two years
and will allow lawmakers to
address major issues in the agenda
including immigration reform.
The staunch opposition of the
majority of House Republicans to
the proposed pathway to
Page 12
Wasteland operators
Page 12
Founded in 1986
Publisher/Editor-in-Chief: Lito A. Gajilan, Jr.
Columnists: Reuben S. Seguritan, Esq.,
Juan L. Mercado, Jonathan Suarez, Joel Baclit
Correspondent: Contessa Bourbon
The opinions expressed by columnists are their
own and do not reflect the opinion of the paper
nor that of the publisher
Contact us:
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 201-434-1114 Fax 201-434-0880
Inquirer's headline summed
up the festering issue: “Some
journalists had it coming, the
probers say.” They were referring
to t h e re c e n t k i l l i n g s t h a t
victimized three Mindanaono, not
“(He) berated targets like they
were the worst animals on earth,
cocked his gun on the air,
challenging (them) to a gunfight.”
Who did? The probers wouldn't
say. But that style fits Joas Dignos,
ambushed in Valencia, Bukidnon.
The other two are Michael Milo
in Tandag, Surigao del Sur, and
Rogelio Butalid in Tagum, Davao
del Norte. A faction of the
squabbling Davao del Norte
Electric Cooperative paid the tab
for Butalid's radio program. He
slammed their opponents within
the same co-op.
The victims “had donors that
were rivals of those they attacked,”
the probers noted. Isn't that
prohibited by the Journalist's Code
of Ethics?
Of course, said Msgr. Elmer
Abacahin who heads Cagayan de
Oro's media group. He confirmed
the investigators' findings, but
added: This was “not sufficient
reason to kill the victims.”
The dictionary included the
word “journalist” in 1693. The
word was then defined thus: “a
writer or editor for a news
medium… who aims at a mass
audience.” Since then, radio and TV
came on stream and the Internet
burst into the scene in the mid-
1980s. The advent of the new and
social media resulted in an
explosion of so-called citizen
Radio/TV stations in Europe
and the United States don't have
block-timers. Neither do radio/TV
stations in other Asean countries.
Here, “walk-in customers” can
plunk cash for airtime on the over
952 radio stations, which the
National Telecommunications
Commission oversees with a shaky
hand. That excludes “pirate
stations” like the one in South
Triangle, Quezon City.
With no questions asked, many
block-timers broadcast what?
News and comment, they claim.
Character assassination or praise,
for a price, critics counter. They
“give us the opinion of the
Page 12
December 20-26, 2013
Page 11
By Grace G. Baldisseri
Christmas is a season to be
jolly! Yet, for the survivors of the
earthquake and the super typhoon
that was Haiyan, how do they cope
with that tragedy this holiday
season? How could we be merry
when four million of our people are
still suffering out there in need of
the basic necessities of daily living?
In Tacloban City where there
are claims of neglect in the delivery
of services due to politics, the
people had proven once more that
despite their miseries, they set up
a huge Christmas Tree that stands
proudly in the center of the
devastated city for everyone to see.
N o t t h a t t h ey fo r g o t wh a t
happened a month ago but in the
spirit of this
Christmas season, they will
life worth
Ellen Tordesillas
What I'm relating is not a lifeand-death matter but it shows why
we are lagging behind with some of
our Southeast Asian neighbors.
Coping with Haiyan tragedy
also be one in asking God to bless
their land and forgive those
powerful men in government who
neglected them of help in moments
of crisis.
Here are some of the inspiring
messages I gathered from around
the world that will lift up our spirit
and be thankful, that despite our
difficulties we become stronger as
a people.
President Benigno C. Aquino
said: "Despite recent major woes
that hit the country in past months,
I am thankful for and heartened by
the "never-say-die spirit" of
Filipinos in coping with such
U.S. President Barack Obama
sent this note: "Michelle and I are
deeply saddened by the damage
wrought by Typhoon Haiyan but I
know the incredible resiliency of
the Philippine people. I am
confident that the spirit of
'Bayanihan' will see you through
this tragedy."
From the Vatican, here is Pope
Francis' message,"I ask all of you to
join me in prayer for the victims of
Typhoon Haiyan especially those in
the beloved island of the
A brief respite from the woes
and grief of the Sarangani residents
was the victory of their idol, Rep.
Manny Pacquiao on November 24
in Macau in his title fight against
Brandon Rios. He paid tribute to
the people of his province saying: "I
dedicate my victory to my
constituents." Pacquiao pledged
his support and immediately
attended to their needs as soon as
Ambassador Philip S. Goldberg,
the US ambassador to the
Philippines posted this note on the
embassy's website: When our
friends are in trouble, America
In a recent meeting I had with
Thomas Kong, reporter of World
Chinese Journal and a frequent
Philippine visitor, he said to me, "It
would take time for the Philippines
to recover from such a great
damage but knowing that you are a
country united in tragedy and
devastation, you will surely regain
your power and shine brightly in
Singer Rihanna also posted this
online: Navy, please keep the
Philippines in our prayers. I was
just there and this truly breaks my
Ambassador Muhamed
Sacribey, Advisor to the United
Nations High Representative for
the Alliance of Civilizations
declared: "My heart goes out to all
those affected by Typhoon Haiyan.
May God be your comfort. You will
rise again, Philippines!"
We are coping with our
country's worst tragedy with
strong determination to rebuild
our nation through faith in God,
quality service from our leaders
both in the national and local
government, active involvement in
the community; and most of all,
believing and supporting each
other no matter what indigenous
language or dialect we speak and
region we belong. After all, we have
only one country in our hearts, the
country we all love wherever we
are the Philippines.
Despite all odds, the Filipino
Express management and staff
wish all the survivors of both the
earthquake and typhoon Haiyan, a
blessed and meaningful Christmas.
Will PH be ready for Asean 2015 when
we can't do simple things right
on both side of the room occupied
by passengers dutifully filling up
the form.
We asked for the Customs
Declaration forms that usually go
with the Immigration Forms. The
lady in the Assistance Counter told
us to get them at the Customs area.
When the Jetstar plane I took
from Singapore touched down at
the Ninoy Aquino International
Airport about 10 in the morning
yesterday, I realized I haven't filled
up the Immigration and Customs
Declaration forms that are usually
distributed on the plane. I asked
fellow passengers if the flight
stewardess had distributed the
forms while many of us were
asleep and they replied, “None.”
While we were retrieving our
luggage from the carousel, a guy
was going around distributing the
Customs Declaration form. We
asked him why they were not
placed in the Immigration Counter
so we could have filled them up
when we were accomplishing the
Immigration forms.
When we got to the area before
the Immigration Counter, we were
told the forms were on the stands
The Customs guy said, “I don't
know. I was just told to distribute
this to you here.”
Thank you.
We s u r re n d e re d t h e
accomplished from to the Customs
officer. In my case, I passed through
the “Nothing to Declare” counter. I
a s ke d t h e C u s t o m s o f f i c e r
collecting the accomplished
Declaration forms, why were the
documents not distributed in the
plane and he said it was Jetstar's
So, okay, Jetstar failed to do
that. But why was it not distributed
together with the Immigration
Card so we could have
accomplished them together,
which would have facilitated our
exit. And why are these forms so
scarce. In other airports, you see
Page 12
Immigration counter, Manila airport
CSI: Manila returns
It's not true that there's a ban
on hammer sales at the mall. But
the order to regulate the sale of
hammers which is based on an
agreement signed between the
police and mall owners earlier this
year, after a similar attack by the
so-called “Martilyo Gang” reminds
me of a problem that once
supposedly stymied NASA, the
American space agency.
NASA's engineers were once
confronted with the problem of
finding a pen that would allow
astronauts write in space, where
there is no gravity to make ink flow.
According to the story, after
months of study and millions of
dollars spent, NASA developed a
pen that would write even in zero
The Americans were so proud
of their invention that they asked
their space-race rivals, the
Russians, if they had gotten around
to solving the writing-in-space
riddle. As a matter of fact, the
Russians said, they already had:
their cosmonauts used pencils.
Regulating sales of hammers
shows the dearth of common sense
in this government, whose leaders
like to play at being police
investigators. And the order
typifies the knee-jerk reaction of
officials who don't think things
through but who will jump at
every chance to appear like they're
in the middle of it all, “monitoring
the situation,” interviewing
security guards and what-haveyou.
CSI:Manila, starring President
Noynoy Aquino and his loyal
sidekick, Interior and Local
Government Secretary Mar Roxas,
rushed to SM North Edsa right
after the robbery gang struck at a
jewelry store, using the old ruse of
buying hammers at a hardware
inside the mall and using these
implements to smash display cases
before getting lost in the panicked
Sunday-night crowd to make good
their escape. The upshot of the
daring robbery was the revival of
the old agreement, which decreed
that people who buy hammers will
only get a receipt and pick up their
potential robbery aids when they
exit the mall.
How this order will stop
robbery gangs from using other
implements that can smash
display cases like golf clubs,
baseball bats and even frozen meat
products (as one friend suggested,
while christening this gang-to-be
the “Cold Cuts Gang”) was
obviously not considered. The
order, as far as I know, also did not
say if jewelry stores should have
better security arrangements,
including shatter-proof glass to
use in their displays and more
security personnel of their own,
since the malls don't really care
what happens to their tenants,
A l l w e g e t i s a n o rd e r
regulating hammer sales, because
the group (groups, more likely)
that pulled off the crimes used
hammers. Brilliant, right?
Speaking of the heads of
CSI:Manila, I read that Roxas has
defended his and Aquino's
presence at the mall because “it is
better to be criticized for being
there than for not being there”
when the lives of people are
endangered. Just like when he and
Aquino suddenly went to he
upscale Serenda condo complex, I
But Roxas must have forgotten
A q u i n o' s s o r d i d r e c o r d o f
disappearing during times when
d o z e n s , h u n d r e d s o r e ve n
thousands of people are
endangered, everything from the
bloody Rizal Park hostage-taking
to the landfall of Typhoon Yolanda
in Leyte. And, lest we forget, on the
very morning after the SM robbery,
CSI:Manila never got anywhere
near the place in Taguig where a
bus fell from the Skyway, killing 21
people instantly.
Instead, the Lone Ranger and
Tonto make an appearance only
when the businesses of big
Page 12
December 20-26, 2013
Page 12
CSI: Manila
returns ...
From page 11
campaign contributors are
threatened, like, yes, Serendra
and SM. Oh, and the fact that SM's
latest celebrity endorser or, as
the press release said, without
irony, the “new face” of the mall
chain was presidential sister Kris
Aquino didn't hurt.
And I can get why Aquino and
Roxas had to appear at Serendra,
because a terrorist attack had
supposedly taken place. But for
the President to show up at a mall
after a robbery elevates the status
Wasteland ...
From page 10
uneducated that brings us in touch
with the ignorance of the community,”
Oscar Wilde wrote.
Print media indicate what is “paid
ad.” This is published distinct from
editorial matter. Block-timers don't
own up who pays the tab for their
programs. But those praisedor
shellackedgive a fair idea of who pays.
Stations wash their hands, muttering:
“The program does not reflect the
management's view.”
“Pinabili lang ng suka sa kanto,
pagbalik, journalist na (Told to buy
vinegar at the corner store, he trotted
back a journalist)!” That putdown
reflects a key concern of “Crimes and
Unpunishment: The Killing of Filipino
Journalists.” Unesco and the Asian
Institute of Journalism launched the
book last December.
There were 408 “journalists”
covering the Bureau of Customs
during the Arroyo administration.
T h a t e q u a l e d 4 0 8 p rov i n c i a l
newspapers (32 are dailies). The mob
was about seven times the number of
foreign and local reporters accredited
by Malacañang.
“Most people claiming to
represent media are anything but,”
columnist Boo Chanco snapped.
“Many are from tabloids that have no
circulation and moonlight as 'fixers.'
Past officials tolerated the outsized
numbers because they hid dirt.”
of this “Martilyo Gang” to that of
the Moro National Liberation
Front or some really big threat to
the nation; the robbers' palms
must be sore from all the highfiving in the hideout.
Nice try, Mar, but I actually
liked you better in Tacloban,
when you were blackmailing the
officials of that city to sign a
waiver or “bahala na kayo sa
buhay ninyo.” (Perhaps there
were votes in 2016 to be had at
the mall but I doubt if you will get
any of them.)
There is no sympathy for
ordinary people in the CSI:Manila
mall tour, unfortunately, or the
Aquino-Roxas show would have
also gone to the Skyway crash
Publishers of major papers and
network managers should help sift
out those shams.
Today, the Customs press corps is
less 97. And Finance Undersecretary
John “Sunny” Sevilla, named by
President Aquino as officer in charge
of that agency, can tighten this
loophole further.
“At the new Customs port in Sasa,
Davao, 'Friday boys' are known as
warik-warik. They list media men for
funding,” Jun Ledesma of Sun.Star
Davao wrote. “I was also told some
can even facilitate the release of
Most “block-timers” operate in a
moral wasteland, where facts are few
and comments bear a price tag,
Viewpoint noted in 2009. “Where the
carcass is, there the vultures gather.”
Electronic gunslinging is abuse.
“Power without responsibility has
been the prerogative of the harlot
through the ages,” Irish statesman
Stanley Baldwin wrote.
“Block-timing is a primary fundgenerator for provincial radio
stations,” Melinda de Jesus of Center
for Media Freedom and
Responsibility (CMFR) noted earlier.
This proved to be the emerging
problem for the Kapisanan ng mga
Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP).
Programs with little accountability
proliferate in a country that works by
the revised “Golden Rule”: “He who
has the gold rules.”
A CMFR study found lack of
training and, even more significant,
scene, as well, making life difficult
for police investigators like they
did at Serendra with their
retinues of bodyguards and that
fellow who carries Aquino's Coke
and Marlboros. There is just
p re s i d e n t i a l “ u z i - i n g ” a n d
showing to the deep-pocketed
contributors that, yes, we are
doing our jobs even if nobody
elected us forensics experts and
amateur Sherlock Holmeses.
If these officials really cared,
they'd do something about the
obscene power rates and gasoline
prices, to name just two things
that they had been contracted to
do. But to reprise CSI:Manila?
I wish I had a hammer and a
couple of high-level heads to hit.
ethical sense. A quarter finished high
school while 13 percent “had no
record of educational attainment.”
There's little, by way of training on
objectivity, balance, fairnessand
avoidance of conflict of interest, as
journalism's code of ethics provide.
The KBP found fault with the noholds-barred coverage in the Luneta
hostage crisis. Eight Hong Kong
tourists died. And the Philippines
today still has to cope with the
diplomatic spillover, as China presses
for reparations. Fines were imposed
on major networks.
Still, this was a 180-degree turn
for the KBP from the Chavez vs
N a t i o n a l Te l e c o m m u n i c a t i o n s
Commission case of February 2008. In
that en banc decision, the Supreme
Court, lashed the KBP for playing
footsie with the Arroyo regime's gags
on the “Hello Garci” tapes.
KBP's Radio Code now prohibits
open-ended contracts for blocktimers. Identifying sponsors of blockt i m e p r o g ra m s w i l l i n c r e a s e
transparency. But the implementation
of existing measuresfrom
certification that the “block-timer”
adheres to the KBP's code to monthly
reportshas been spotty.
Indeed “our membership lists
remain porous,” observed a Cebu
Press Freedom Week editorial. “We've
still to flush out the hao-shiaos who
flaunt press cards or block-time
(E-mail: [email protected])
reform ...
From page 10
Citizenship for the 12 million
undocumented immigrants in the
country, however, remains the
biggest challenge.
Republican Congressman
David Valadao (R-Cal.) and Jeff
Denham, (R-Cal.) are pushing
their Republican colleagues to
sign a letter supporting
immigration reform. They are
looking to present the letter to
Speaker Boehner in January. It is
hoped that Boehner's passing the
bipartisan budget deal is
evidence that he might also be
willing to support an
immigration bill that is not
supported by the majority of the
Will PH be ...
From page 11
these forms aplenty at the
counter. The officer said, “I don't
Just a minor, simple matter
and we can't do it right.
I'm not sure if this
inefficiency can fall under what
economic experts call non-tariff
barriers. But I know this is the
kind of situation that explains
why visitors do not come out of
our airports impressed. If you
replicate that kind of situation in
other offices, conducting
business in the Philippines
becomes a stressful experience.
The workshop I attended in
Singapore was about Asean 2015,
when the 10-country Association
of Southeast Asian Nations,
would be integrated as a single
market, an Economic Community,
something like, but not exactly
like the European Union.
Part of Asean's vision, when it
was founded in 1967, was “to
establish a firm foundation for
common action to promote
regional cooperation in SouthEast Asia in the spirit of equality
and partnership and thereby
contribute towards peace,
progress and prosperity in the
Republican Party.
Meanwhile, immigration
advocates indicated that their
protests will intensify next year.
Frank Sharry, executive director
of America's voice said that
“Reform is a matter of when, not
if.” With House leaders signifying
that immigration legislation is
top priority next year, the
growing support from the
American people and the
unwavering determination of
advocates, 2014 looks to be a
promising year for immigration
(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 or
call (212) 695-5281.)
From a group of five Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines,
Singapore and Thailand, the
membership has grown to 10
including Brunei, Cambodia,Laos,
Myanmar, and Vietnam and
accounting for over a billion
Towards attaining that vision
of ASEAN that is peaceful,
progressive and prosperous,
member countries set a target for
an ASEAN Economic Community ,
inspired by the EU, by 2015.
An Asean Economic
Community would have the
following characteristics: single
market and production base;
highly competitive economic
region; equitable development;
and fully integrated into the
global community.
A single market base would
necessitate free flow of goods,
services, investments, capital,
and skilled labor.
Member countries have made
significant strides in this area ( a
good example is visa- free travel
within the ASEAN countries
except Myanmar). More need still
to be done.
In the Philippines, we have to
remind ourselves that doing
simple things right matter a lot.
So little regard
From page 10
witnesses described as lacking rest. The 30day suspension meted out on the bus company
is not a sanction; rather, it is a requirement of
the investigation process.
If the investigation proves, beyond any
doubt, that Don Mariano was criminally liable
for the horrifying death of 18 victims, is there
any reason its deadly track record should be
rewarded with a mere suspension, even one
lasting several months? It should not be
allowed to ply the country's roads ever again.
Behavior is reinforcement: That is one of
the fundamental axioms of psychology. If
perpetrators behind such “road safety” crimes
as last Monday's do not feel the full force of the
law, they will act as if the law has no force and
they will continue to show little regard for all
those lives they put at risk.
December 20-26, 2013
Page 13
Is This Submerged Rock
East Asia's Next Flashpoint?
By Lily Kuo
Defense One
The Green line outline's Japan's ADIZ set up by Japan. The blue dotted line is South
Korea's current ADIZ and the red line shows how far it will be extended. The gray dotted line
is China's ADIZ. AP/Lee Jin-man
There is a submerged
rock in the Yellow Sea that
seafaring Korean families
once believed to be the
home of the spirits of dead
fishermen. The rock's name
in English is Socotra Rock; in
Korea, it's referred to as
Ieodo, and in China the
Suyan Rock. Whatever the
language, it's at the center of
a new global hot zone that is
threatening to destabilize
relations in East Asia.
In response to China's
creation of a controversial
air defense identification
zone two weeks ago, the
South Korean government
has expanded its air defense
identification zone as well.
As of Dec. 15, Korea's ADIZ
will be about 66,480 sq. km
largerabout two thirds the
size of the countryand
encompass Socotra, which
China also included in its air
defense zone. South Korean
officials had asked China to
remove Socotra from its
ADIZ, but Chinese officials
refused. Further
complicating matters, the
rock also falls under Japan's
air defense identification
zone, though the country
doesn't make any claims to
Both China and Korea
say the rock, submerged
about five meters (15 feet)
below the sea's surface, is
part of their “exclusive
economic zones” (EEZ). UN
maritime law says that a
country's EEZ extends up to
370 km from its territory,
but also that submerged
rocks can't be claimed by
any country as territory.
(Nations can, however,
control and use the sea and
natural resources around
the rock.)
The conflict over this
l i t t l e - k n ow n ro c k h a s
mostly been overshadowed
by higher profile territorial
disputes like the
Senkaku/Diayu Islands in
the East China Sea, and the
Spratly Island chains in the
South China Sea. But in
some ways, Socotra is just as
pivotal. South Korea has
built a maritime research
station and helipad atop the
submerged rock, which sits
in the middle of most of
Ko re a' s i n c o m i n g a n d
outgoing sea traffic. Some
scientists think the reef is
home to natural gas and
mineral deposits. Korea is
also building a new naval
base on the nearby Jeju
Island, a move that some
security observers say is a
response to China's rising
military power.
For now, though, the risk
of conflict still appears low.
China hasn't responded to
Korea's new ADIZ, and the
two countries are in a phase
of relatively good
diplomatic relations,
characterized by increasing
trade. But if people start
glimpsing the top of the
rock, it might be time to
start worryingaccording to
Korean legend it's an omen
of imminent seaborne
December 20-26, 2013
Page 14
Japan set to buy $240B worth of hi-tech weapons
Agence France-Presse
TOKYO -- Japan announced
on Tuesday that it would buy
stealth fighters, drones and
submarines as part of a splurge
on military hardware that would
beef up defense of far-flung
islands amid a simmering
territorial row with China.
The Cabinet of hawkish
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
agreed to spend 24.7 trillion yen
($240 billion) between 2014
and 2019 in a strategic shift
toward the south and west of the
countrya 5-percent boost to the
military budget over five years.
The shopping list is part of
efforts by Abe to normalize the
military in Japan, which has
been officially pacifist since its
defeat in World War II. Its wellequipped and highly
professional services are limited
to a narrowly defined selfdefensive role.
Abe's plan to upgrade
Japan's military capability
comes with the establishment of
a US-style National Security
Council that is expected to
concentrate greater power in
the hands of a smaller number of
senior politicians and
Fears are growing in Japan
over the rising power of China,
with the two countries
embroiled in a dispute over the
sovereignty of a group of islands
in the East China Sea, and the
perennial menace posed by an
unpredictable North Korea.
Joint defense force
New guidelines approved by
the Cabinet on Tuesday said
To kyo would introduce a
“dynamic joint defense force,”
intended to help air, land and sea
forces work together more
Abe said the shift would
allow Japan's military to better
shoulder its responsibilities on
the global stage, through what
he has promoted as “proactive
“We hope to make further
contributions to the peace and
stability of the international
community through proactive
pacifism,” he said. “This shows
with transparency our country's
diplomatic and defense
Spending will be raised to
24.7 trillion yen over five years
from April 2014, up from the
present 23.5 trillion yen over the
five years to March 2014, but the
figure could be trimmed by up to
700 billion yen if the defense
ministry can find savings and
New hardware will include 3
drones, 52 amphibious vehicles,
17 Osprey hybrid choppers and
5 submarinesall designed to
boost maritime surveillance and
bolster defense of islands.
The spending will also
encompass two destroyers
e q u i p p e d w i t h t h e Ae g i s
antimissile system and 28 new
F-35 fighter jets, a stealth plane
far superior to the F-15s that
Japan currently has in service.
Analysts noted that much of
this kit will replace obsolete
equipment, but the shift in
military priorities is evident.
“The guidelines underscore
a clear shift of Japan's major
defense focus to the protection
of its islands in the East China
Sea,” said Hideshi Takesada, an
expert on regional security at
Takushoku University in Tokyo.
During the Cold War, Japan's
military was largely static, with
the majority of resources in the
north and east to guard against
any invasion by Russia.
Members of Japan Ground Self-Defense Force rappell down from a UH-60JA helicopter
during the annual live-fire drill at the Higashi Fuji training range in Gotemba, southwest
of Tokyo on Aug. 21, 2013. Japan's new defense plan, approved on Tuesday Dec. 17,
2013, calls for the purchase of stealth fighters, drones and submarines as part of a
splurge on military hardware that would beef up defense of far-flung islands amid a
simmering territorial row with China. AP PHOTO/KOJI SASAHARA
Changing dynamics
But changing dynamics and
in particular the rise of
Chinawhere double-digit rises
in defense spending are the
annual norm - mean that Japan's
armed forces need to be located
further south and to be able to
deploy to the country's many
far-flung islands. “The
g u i d e l i n e s s h o w J a p a n' s
readiness for practical defense if
China's bluff turns to be real
military action,” Takesada said.
Regional tensions were
ratcheted up last month when
China abruptly declared a new
air defense identification zone
over the East China Sea,
including overdisputed Tokyoc o n t ro l l e d i s l a n d s c a l l e d
Senkaku in Japanese and Diaoyu
in Chinese.
Abe on Saturday denounced
the declaration and demanded
Beijing retract it immediately
and unconditionally, after a
Japan, ASEAN ...
From page 1
statement issued after the summit
meeting refrained from an explicit
mention of China's recent declaration of
a maritime air defense zone over the
East China Sea. But it was the backdrop
behind the promise to cooperate to
ensure “freedom of overflight and
aviation safety in accordance with
universally recognized principles of
international law.”
“To the Chinese, we are calling on the
withdrawal of all the measures that
violate these general principles,”
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
said. He said Japan would stick to its
decision advising airlines to continue
their operations as they had before
China's announcement.
Japan seeks ...
From page 3
Freedom of navigation on the seas and in
the air.
Although unlikely to make any
explicit reference to China, any such
statement could be viewed as an implicit
Observers say Japan will find a
reasonably willing audience among the
four members of ASEAN who have their
own territorial disputes with China the
Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and
But all ten members of the bloc, which
also includes Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos,
Myanmar, Singapore and Thailand, have
summit with Southeast Asian
leaders where a joint statement
called for freedom of travel on
the seas and in the air.
Beijing issued a sharp
rebuke, singling out Abe for
“slanderous remarks.”
The guidelines also call for
Japan to boost its missile
defense system to counter “a
grave and imminent threat”
from North Korea.
“Raising tensions in this region is to
nobody's advantage,” Abe said in a
nationally televised news conference
showcasing what he called Japan's
“ s p e c i a l p a r t n e r s h i p” w i t h t h e
Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
The summit marks 40 years of ties
between Japan and ASEAN, a resourcerich region of more than 600 million
people. Abe has visited all 10 ASEAN
countries in the past year, seeking to
boost both security and business ties, a
warm contrast to frosty relations with
Earlier Saturday, Tokyo pledged 2
trillion yen ($1.9 billion) in aid to
Southeast Asian nations over the next
five years to help close the region's
development gap and improve its
disaster preparedness. It also promised
another $100 million to support the
Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund.
to tread a fine line to avoid irritating
China, whose vast economy is vital to the
That point was underlined by
Indonesian president Susilo Bambang
Yudhoyono ahead of his meeting with
A b e o n F r i d a y, w h e n h e s a i d
disagreements in Northeast Asia are
“pertinent” for the rest of the continent.
“In particular, it must be said that
good relations between China and Japan
are critical to the future of our region,” he
Abe's charm offensive has also been
aimed at drumming up business for
Japan's infrastructure-makers, with the
prime minister keen to boost exports and
help give the domestic economy a kick
after years of lassitude.
December 20-26, 2013
Page 15
Aquino hails Kerry assurance of US support
By Michael Lim Ubac
MANILA -- The renewed US
commitment to the security of the
Philippines made by US Secretary of
State John Kerry is music to
President Aquino's ears.
Besides highlighting the
strengthened relations between
Washington and Manila, Kerry said
during talks with Philippine officials
that the United States did not
recognize the air defense
identification zone imposed by
China over the East China Sea, and
Kerry warns
From page 1
through the US Global Security
Contingency Fund (GSCF), will be
spent over three years and used to
“enhance Philippine law enforcement
capabilities in securing maritime
borders and combating terrorism,”
the Department of Foreign Affairs
(DFA) said.
The new aid is intended to
complement a $32.5-million
assistance package, which Kerry
announced Monday in Vietnam, that
will help Southeast Asian nations
protect their territorial waters. Up to
$18 million of that money will go to
provide the Vietnamese Coast Guard
with five new fast patrol boats.
US presence
Ke r r y a r r ive d f ro m H a n o i
Tuesday afternoon for a two-day visit
that could fast-track a deal on
expanding the US military presence in
the Philippines as the territorial
dispute between Manila and Beijing in
the West Philippine Sea simmered.
Kerry flew to Manila as the United
States and the Philippines were in the
final stages of hammering out an
agreement allowing more US troops,
that America would continue to push
for the conclusion of a binding code
of conduct between China and
Southeast Asian nations in the East
Sea and the West Philippine Sea
(South China Sea).
Kerry left Manila around 2:15
p.m. Wednesday after a two-day visit
to the Philippines that allowed him
to discuss with the President the
broadening of economic and
security cooperation between the
two countries, and humanitarian
assistance to typhoon victims in the
aircraft and ships to temporarily pass
through the Philippines, where the
last US military bases closed in 1992.
Visiting the Philippines for the
first time since becoming the US
secretary of state on Feb. 2, Kerry met
with Foreign Secretary Albert del
Rosario at the DFA.
President Aquino was to play host
to Kerry at dinner in Malacañang
Tuesday night, after a one-on-one
He will also visit communities
devastated by Supertyphoon
“Yolanda” (international name:
Haiyan) last month, highlighting a
massive US humanitarian response to
the disaster that contrasted with a
modest contribution from China.
His visit to Tacloban City on
Wednesday will be brief.
PH warning
“Mr. Kerry will be visiting the
headquarters of USAID (US Agency for
International Development) in
Tacloban where he will be briefed on
the efforts they are taking there,”
Eduardo del Rosario, head of the
national disaster council, told
The Philippines warned last
month that China's declaration of an
air defense identification zone in the
East China Sea raised the prospect of it
doing the same in the West Philippine
Kerry paid a courtesy call on
Aquino, who played host to him at
dinner in Malacañang on Tuesday.
Before leaving the country, Kerry
traveled to Tacloban City in Leyte,
the area worst hit by Supertyphoon
“Yolanda” on Nov. 8.
Categorical support
Aquino said the commitment to
the country's security the United
States conveyed through Kerry was
“very categorical and very clear.”
He said the United States'
support for the Philippines, South
The Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei,
Malaysia and Taiwan claim territories
in those waters, nearly all of which
China insists it owns.
“Today, I raised our deep concerns
about China's announcement of an
East China Sea air defense
identification zone,” Kerry said,
referring to his discussions with Del
“I told the foreign secretary that
the United States does not recognize
that zone and does not accept it,”
Kerry said.
Beijing's East China Sea air
defense zone requires aircraft to
provide flight plans when traversing
the area, declare their nationality and
maintain two-way radio
communication, or face “emergency
defensive measures.”
The zone covers disputed Japancontrolled islandsknown as Senkaku
in Japan and Diaoyu in Chinawhere
ships and aircraft from the two
countries already shadow each other.
'Treaty ally'
Calling the Philippines a “treaty
ally,” Kerry said the United States
“strongly opposes the use of
intimidation, coercion or aggression
to advance territorial claims,” and
reiterated that Washington “remains
firmly committed to the security of the
Korea and Japan's position on
peacefully resolving maritime
disputes with China was a signal that
major players in the international
arena wanted to de-escalate
t e n s i o n s c a u s e d b y C h i n a' s
declaration of the East China Sea air
Communications Secretary
Herminio Coloma, said the issues
discussed by Aquino and Kerry
during their private meeting were
cooperation in economic
development, including expanded
trade and investment and US
assistance in hastening the
reconstruction of the communities
destroyed by Yolanda.
“They affirmed the two
countries' partnership in promoting
stability, the rule of law and
preserving freedom of navigation in
the West Philippine Sea (South China
Sea),” he said.
Both leaders also clarified points
in the framework agreement on
rotational presence of US troops in
the Philippines that would be
fleshed out in continuing bilateral
Philippines and the region.”
In January, the Philippines took
China to a United Nations tribunal
over the contested Panatag Shoal
(Scarborough Shoal), a resource-rich
fishing ground within Manila's 327kilometer exclusive economic zone
that the Chinese seized after a twomonth maritime standoff last year.
“The United States is committed
to working with the Philippines to
address its most pressing security
challenges,” Kerry said.
“That is why we are negotiating a
strong and enduring framework
agreement that will enhance defense
cooperation under our alliance,
including through an increased
rotational presence in the
Philippines,” he said.
Code of conduct
Kerry also said he supported the
efforts of the Association of Southeast
Asian Nations (Asean) to negotiate
with China a binding code of conduct
that would govern territorial disputes,
a proposal that has somewhat gained
headway this year with Beijing
agreeing to consultations.
Kerry said a code of conduct in
disputed waters was “key to reducing
the risk of accidents or
miscalculation,” as had occurred
between US and Chinese warships
that nearly collided in international
waters in the South China Sea on Dec.
5. Supporting the Philippines' taking
its territorial dispute with China to the
United Nations for arbitration, Kerry
said: “We think that claimants have a
responsibility to clarify their claims
and to align their claims to
international law. That's the way to
proceed in resolving any disputes in
the South China Sea - peacefully and
with international law.”
Shared principles
Malacañang said Kerry's support
for the government's decision to go
into arbitration strengthened the
Philippine position, also backed by
Japan and Asean, to seek a peaceful
resolution to its territorial dispute
with China.
C o m m u n i c a t i o n s S e c re t a r y
Herminio Coloma said Kerry's visit to
Manila was a clear message that the
United States supported freedom of
navigation and aviation in the region.
“Within the framework of
Philippine-US strategic partnership,
the visit's likely outcome is an
affirmation of shared principles in
meeting common challenges, as well
as tapping fresh opportunities,”
Coloma said.
Asked to elaborate on “shared
principles,” Coloma said: “[Common]
belief in the rule of law and in peaceful
settlement of disputes, freedom of
navigation and aviation.”
December 20-26, 2013
Page 16
December 20-26, 2013
Page 17
December 20-26, 2013
Page 18
December 20-26, 2013
Page 19
December 20-26, 2013
Page 20
Dr. Therese Lizardo-Escano with baby Blaise Rudy, Dr. Jude Escano with Jude Max, DoN Rudy Lizardo, the newly
weds - Dr. Kimberly Santos-Lizardo and Dr. Randy Lizardo, Dr. Lorie Lizardo, Choi and Derrick Lizardo
December 20-26, 2013
Page 21
The gift
gift of love. The gift of peace. The gift of happiness.
May all these be yours at Christmas
December 20-26, 2013
Page 22
Drs. Emilio and Felicisima Quines
named PIDCI 2014 Grand Marshals
New York, December 18, 2013 -- Six
months before the 116th commemoration of
the Philippine Independence Day
celebration, Philippine Independence Day
Council Inc. (PIDCI), which works year-round
for the biggest Philippine Independence Day
parade outside of the Philippines - held first
Sunday of June along Madison Avenue - has
officially announced former Philippine
Medical Association of America (PMAA)
presidents and long term medical mission
volunteers Drs. Emilio and Felicisima Quines
as grand marshals of next year's festive
parade, along with the all-day street fair and
cultural festival, attended by about 100,000
Filipinos from the New York Tri-State area
and Pennsylvania, visitors from neighboring
states and California, and Canada.
The Quineses stood out in the FilipinoAmerican community during the month-long
public nomination process, which was set in
November by the Chairman of the 2014
Grand Marshal Search Committee Olivia
David. “I first thought that the search process
could be pretty daunting, but it turned out to
be pretty easy, especially when the
nomination papers of Drs. Quines reached my
desk,” said David, who joined PIDCI's board of
directors in September.
PIDCI President Fe Martinez, former
(1997) Overall Chair Nelia Ferrette,
Philippine Consul General to New York Mario
de Leon, Jr, who is also an honorary adviser,
and current PIDCI board members officially
welcomed the new grand marshals to PIDCI
during an intimate dinner reception held at
the consul's residence in the Upper East Side
December 13.
2013 Mr. World Francisco Escobar, who
has expressed his interest this early to escort
first Filipino-American Miss World Megan
Young in next year's parade, was also in
attendance to celebrate with Drs. Quines and
other special guests, including 8-year-old
pianist-vocalist Rain Ascadera and teen
singer Desiree Wisotsky, who both
“I've known the Quineses for 25 years.
They were then presidents of PMAA. I
remember they both showed strong
leadership during the medical and dental
mission in Cabanatuan City. Both have warm
personalities and giving nature; they are
philanthropists who helped contribute to the
success of many organizations,” said Ferrette.
She added, “I highly recommend Boy and
Fely Quines. They have proven their
dedication, commitment and loyalty to the
Filipino community. They will positively
promote our culture and values.”
The Independence Day Parade Grand
Marshal is one of the highest honors
bestowed by PIDCI annually to an individual
(or a couple). The search recognizes an
exceptionally outstanding person (or a
couple) whose contributions have positively
impacted the local community and the
greater community as well. This special
honor is in recognition of excellent
leadership qualities, outstanding personal
achievements, contributions and service in a
specific field of endeavor, as well as in the
field of public service not only in the FilipinoAmerican community, but also in mainstream
Besides organizing and promoting the
parade, street fair and cultural festival on
June 1, the new grand marshals are also
expected to take part in various precelebratory events that will lead up to the
Philippine Independence Day celebrations
namely: Presentation of Candidates for Diwa
ng Kalayaan and Mrs. Kalayaan (February
15), Grand Marshal Gala (March 15), Mrs.
Kalayaan Pageant (April 12), Diwa ng
Kalayaan Pageant (May 3) and culminating
with the Independence Ball (June 7).
Dr. “Boy” Quines, together with his wife,
Fely, has accepted the challenge and said, “We
belong to the medical profession. We're
trained as physicians and that's what we do
best. So we offer and volunteer our best to do
the most good, to serve our community in
particular, and serve humanity in general.
We've been serving as medical surgical
volunteers from Abra to Zamboanga covering
tribal and underserved areas with the U.S.based PMAA, Association of Philippine
Physicians in New York (APPNY) and various
humanitarian projects with local volunteers
since the early '90s.
“During our separate terms as presidents
of the PMAA, we were intertwined with
adversities, calamities and disasters. But we
bounced back. We have our faith. It's like in a
sense, we, the Filipino people, are married to
each other. We're together in sickness and in
health. In health, when we're healthy, we're
happy. We enjoy each other's company, and
we celebrate. We call that our fiesta. In
sickness, during the time of need or sorrow,
we have our hope. We have the spirit of
togetherness helping each other out in times
of need and sorrow. That spirit we proudly
call bayanihan,” he added.
About Dr. Emilio Quines
Dr. “Boy” Quines was born in Baguio City
and grew up in the town of Tagudin, Ilocos
Sur. He finished his Doctor of Medicine at the
University of the East Ramon Magsaysay
(UERM) in 1966. He migrated to the United
States in 1967, where he finished his U.S.
trainings in rotating internship, medical
residency and fellowship at various medical
institutions. He worked for the Good
Samaritan Hospital Medical Center and
Martin Luther King Jr. Community Health
Center. He also served as attending physician
and associate clinical professor at NYCOM. He
is now retired and devoting most of his time
to community service and his family. He is
Medical Mission Volunteers Drs. Emilio and
Felicisima Quines, 2014 PIDCI Grand Marshals,
to lead biggest Philippine Independence Day
Parade outside of the Philippines
married to Dr. Felicisima David-Quines. They
are blessed with two sons and a daughter:
Emilio III, Alan and Lisa.
About Dr. Felicisima David-Quines
Dr. “Fely” David-Quines was born in
Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija. She finished
her Doctor of Medicine at the University of
the East Ramon Magsaysay (UERM) in 1968.
She migrated to the United States in 1968,
where she finished her U.S. training in
medicine at NJ College of Medicine, and
additional residency and fellowship for adult
and geriatric psychiatry at Downstate SUNY
Brooklyn and Kings County Hospital.
Currently, she is an attending physician at the
Adult and Geriatric Psychiatry SUNY
Downstate-Kings Hospital NY VA.
Philippine Chamber Rondalla of
New Jersey edifies audience at
Montclair State University Show
From left: Michael Dadap, Cordelia Gow, Nephtali De Jesus, Clarita Ramos (President), Flordeliza Yalong, JC
Soliven, Rosemarie Pablacio, Rudy Reyes, Aleth Vitiello, Dante Tolentino, Nathaniel Soliven, and Morgan
Hillsborough, NJ, Dec. 15 -- "I
am so glad I came to the concert. I
came with no expectation but
support for the Philippine Chamber
Rondalla of New Jersey's
commitment to rondalla music as
an expression of Filipino culture.
What I got from the concert was
confirmation of the gentleness and
kindness of Filipinos' ways of
asserting freedom, justice, love,
affection and healing that are
authentic to Filipino ways of being,”
reflected Grace Asagra Stanley,
Founder & President of Princetonbased Web of Compassion, after
watching PCR-NJ's concert last
Saturday, December 7, at the John J.
Cali School of Music, Montclair
State University. She added: “I
appreciate the "story-telling" on
global trading and its influences on
Filipino music. If music was taught
this way in school when I was
growing up, I would have chosen to
pursue music education.”
The concert Ms. Stanley was
gushing about was “Musical
Journey: Struggles for Cultural
I d e n t i t y ”, t h e c u l m i n a t i n g
educational program
accompanying the “Triumph of
Philippine Art” exhibit at MSU's
Segal Gallery. In line with the
theme of the exhibit, which
presented art works from the
imposition of Martial Law in the
Philippines in 1972 through today,
PCR-NJ formulated a program that
expounded on music epitomizing
key events in the Filipinos' struggle
to define their identity in their own
terms. The mood of the program
was set with the juxtaposition of
Constancio De Guzman's “Bayan
Ko” (“My Homeland”) and Felipe
Padilla De Leon's “Bagong Lipunan”
(“March of the New Society”).
Program facilitator, Michael Dadap,
described the former as almost a
second national anthem, written in
the kundiman song form so close to
every Filipino's heart, and the latter
as one imposed by the repressive
Marcos regime. The capacity
crowd, both Filipinos and nonFilipinos, heartily sang the reprise
of “Bayan Ko” that closed the
In addition to presenting
information about Philippine
music and compelling facts about
each of the selections, Michael
Dadap played classical guitar to
accompany mezzo-soprano, Aida
Gamboa, on a couple of numbers,
and played a few duets with solo
bandurrist, Leonor Llorin Paliguin.
Of Ms. Paliguin's performance,
another audience member, Roberto
Ticzon, commented: "Up until I
heard the virtuoso soloist play the
Singing Nicanor Abelardo's “Mutya ng Pasig” is Aida Gamboa, accompanied by Leonor
Llorin Paliguin on bandurria and Michael Dadap on guitar.
bandurria, I had always considered
it a folk instrument. Now, I know
that in the hands of a master, it is a
classical instrument on par with
the others. Just as Andres Segovia
elevated the status of the guitar,
hopefully Ms. Paliguin will do
likewise to the bandurria.”
PCR-NJ will next be sharing its
gift of music with the congregation
of the Assembly of God in Elizabeth,
NJ, on Sunday, December 22.
December 20-26, 2013
Page 23
Claire Lim-Moore’s ‘Don’t Forget the Soap’ Manila Book Launch last
December 6, 2013 at Fully Booked Bonifacio Global City. It was
attended by over 150 people including VIPs from the diplomatic and
business communities like: Ambassador Linglingay Lacanlale,
Secretary Alberto Romulo, Mrs. Lovely Romulo, Assistant Secretary
Millie Sta. Maria Thomeczek, Citibank Country Business Manager
Bea The Tan, Vicky Garchitorena, and Fully Booked owners Jaime
and Chris Daez.
Claire with Citi Philippines Consumer
Business Manager Bea The Tan
Claire with Carissa Villacorta, former Phil. Consul General in New
York Linglingay Lacanlale and former Phil. Deputy Consul
General in NewYork Millie Thomeczek
Claire with her family - Alex, Carlos and
Claire with Chris Daez, left, and Christine Laman
Marily Mondejar (center) Founding President of
FWN with two of the Global 100 Awardees: Loida
Nicolas Lewis (left) and Imelda Nicolas
The MHSAAUSAC East Coast
Chapter Christmas Party
EVA AIR New York
Offices Move to
Midtown Manhattan
The MHSAAUSAC East Coast Chapter had its third Christmas Party and
sixth for the Class of 1960. This year it was a lunch cruise around the New
York Harbor.
New Times Square location convenient for passengers, travel agents
NEW YORK (December 16, 2013) EVA Air has moved into
new, centrally located offices in Midtown Manhattan, overlooking
Times Square and a short walk or subway ride from Grand Central
Station. The offices house business operations and support
services for New York and the East Coast Region and serve as a
convenient and welcoming ticket office. As of December 16, 2013,
it is providing ticketing services to travelers and travel agents at
1450 Broadway, 31st Floor, New York, NY 10018 or by phone at
EVA has steadily and consistently upgraded services and
increased capacity on the important New York route since it
initiated flights in June 1993. It relocated passenger operations
from Newark to John F. Kennedy International Airport in 2011,
launched its luxurious Royal Laurel Class business cabin and
started serving the route nonstop last year (2012) and joined Star
Alliance this past summer (June 2013). It will introduce daily
service, increasing frequency from the current five flights a week,
in June 2014. EVA serves the route with comfortable, fuel-efficient
Boeing 777-300ERs and flies nonstop to Taipei.
The newest member of Star Alliance, EVA links an
international network of major destinations worldwide,
including dozens of cities in China and throughout Asia. From New
York, Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco, Toronto and Vancouver,
it offers more trans-Pacific flights from North America to Taipei
where, with just one easy stop, it provides onward connections to
more major business and leisure centers than any other airline. In
addition to working with ticketing agents in the airline's
conveniently located New York offices, travelers and travel agents
can book and buy tickets, select seats and more for flights
worldwide at
Seated L-R: Aurora M. Asuncion ‘60, Nestor De Castro ‘59, Baby Bleza, MD ‘60, Letty A. Poon
‘60. Second Row: Diane Pascual ‘62, Dottie De Castro ‘59, Perlita N. Reynaldo ‘60, Mien
Acosta, Lorna H. Acosta ‘60, Lito Gajilan Jr. ‘60, Clemencia S. Wong ‘60, Bert Villanueva ‘59,
two uninvited Argentinians who joined our group, Evaristo Valbuena ‘61. Last Row: Lolita
Tilsner, Lydia Valbuena ‘62, Romy Poon, Angie S. Gincel ‘60, Ed Venturanza ‘60.
Overseas Filipino Workers
help bring in investors
By Antonio Q. Alabastro
O ve r t w o d e c a d e s a g o ,
Filipinos introduced the first
hamburger, the first fast food
restaurant, the first bowling
center and the café concept to
N o w, s o m e B r u n e i a n
restaurant chains are coming to
the Philippines - and they are
being accompanied by some of the
pioneering Pinoys who honed
their skills and built successful
working relationships in Brunei.
More than diplomatic
maneuvers, overseas Filipinos
may yet be the secret to increasing
the country's international trade
and investment relations.
J i l l - M a r i Va r g a s - F i j o
remembered how she, along with
four management team members
and 10 crew leaders, opened the
doors of Jollibee to the people of
Brunei in 1987.
“Jollibee was the first fastfood
restaurant in Brunei. We were the
first to introduce hamburgers
here,” she said, adding that the
welcome was warm and
“It was a very successful
opening. Bruneians,
Singaporeans, Malaysians and
local Chinese patronized the
brand. Of course, Filipinos from all
over the different districts also
visited the outlet. It was the
Filipino fastfood giant's second
foreign franchise, after Taiwan.
Jill set up the first Jollibee at
the Seri Complex at Jalan Tutong,
The amount of remittances in
October increased the likelihood
that the government's full-year
growth projection of 5 percent
would be breached despite weak
global economic conditions.
“Sustained demand for skilled
and professional Filipino
manpower overseas supported
the steady rise in remittances for
the first 10 months of the year,” the
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP)
said in a statement.
Overseas Filipinos' cash
remittances in October were up 7
percent year-on-year. This was the
fastest expansion since January
this year, when remittances grew
by 8 percent.
This brought the remittances
since the start of the year to a 10month record high of $18.54
billion, up 6 percent from the year
Cash transfers for the 10month period from both land- and
sea-based workers reached $14.2
Page 24
Papua New Guinea
in the market for
Filipino teachers
By Tina G. Santos
BRUNEI PIONEERS. Vangie Mariano (left), and Jojo Hernandez (right) with
Fratini’s Director Adam Kalebic (3rd left), former Philippine ambassador to
Brunei and former Armed Forces Chief of Staff Alexander B. Yano and Dea
Roxas, Fratini’s marketing executive officer posing at Fratini’s restaurant in
next to the Utama Bowling lanethe
country's first bowling alley set up
by Filipino Louie Merino.
Along with Jollibee's flagship
p r o d u c t s l i k e C h i c k e n j o y,
spaghetti and hamburgers, local
products were also introduced like the popular nasi lemak (rice
cooked in coconut milk, served
with cucumber slices, boiled egg,
fried anchovies, and sambal, a
chili-based sauce), beef rendang
(beef cooked in coconut milk and
spices) and chicken curry.
Jollibee was a frequent caterer
in birthday celebrations in the
Istana Nurul Iman palace. The
royal children loved the Jollibee
mascots - smiling big Jollibee,
Hetty, Mr. Yum, Twirlie, among
others, said Jill.
The Filipino food chain hired
many local Bruneians and sent
them to Manila for management
Jollibee is now among the big
fastfood players in Brunei, with 13
stores in three out of four districts,
employing 67 Filipino and 225
Bruneian staff and crew.
When President Benigno
Aquino III was in Brunei two years
ago, he stopped by the 112-seater
Jollibee Serusop branch. “We
knew the President was allergic to
chicken so we prepared a special
Champ for Him. But there were so
MANILA -- More lucrative jobs
await Filipino teachers in Papua
New Guinea, according to the
Department of Labor and
According to Labor Secretary
Rosalinda Baldoz, 81 teachers and
lecturers are urgently needed for
deployment to Papua New Guinea
as part of the initial phase of
manpower recruitment under a
newly signed agreement between
the Philippines and that country.
She said that those who will be
hired could earn between
P700,000 and P800,000 annually.
“Papua New Guinea is in need
of lecturers and teachers to work in
the Department of Education. The
manpower recruitment is an
ongoing, yet urgent requirement,”
said Baldoz.
She added that those who will
qualify will be petitioned under the
Papua New Guinea government's
working visa status.
The manpower requirements
needed are lecturers on physics;
biology and biological technician;
b u i l d i n g a rc h i te c t u re ; c iv i l
Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz
engineering; surveying; drafting;
economic; management; and
electrical engineering (power and
The vacancies needed for
teachers/instructors are for motor
vehicle; diesel heavy equipment
fitter; heavy equipment fitter;
metal fabrication and welding;
automotive electrical; tourism;
housekeeping; mathematics A;
physics; chemistry; graphic and
drawing; ICT; academic subjects
Page 26
Moody's sees PHL economy
staying strong post-typhoon
Page 25
By Ron B. Lopez
months. The report is co-authored
by Chen and Shaoyong Beh, an
D e s p i t e t h e d e va s t a t i o n
Associate Analyst.
wrought by Typhoon Yolanda in the
The report said that the
Philippines and the likely lower
positive outlook for the banking
Philippines Gross Domestic
system is based on the assessment
Product in the following quarter,
of five factors: operating
the Moody's Investors Service still
environment positive; asset
expects the country's economy to
quality and capital stable; funding
be one of the strongest among
and liquidity stable; profitability
emerging markets.
and efficiency stable; and systemic
Moody's on Monday
support positive.
announced that it is maintaining its
“We expect the Philippines'
positive outlook on the Philippine
robust economy and low interest
banking system for the next 12 to
rates to continue being supportive
18 months, which has been stable
of borrowers' ability to service
since December last year.
debt. In addition, the low interest
In its latest report, Moody's
rate environment should result in
cited the Philippines' strong
the banks focusing on growing
foreign-currency liquidity and loan
higher-yielding segments like
growth over the stable outlook.
small- and medium-sized
“The positive outlook is in line
enterprises and retail,” says Chen.
with our expectation that GDP
It also advised the banking
growth in the Philippines, which
corporations to set up more
we expect will remain one of the
branches at rural areas and limit
strongest among emerging-market
the concentration at Metro Manila
economies over the next 12-18
after the restrictions are lifted in
months. In that context, credit
growth is likely to be in the range of
The positive outlook on the
13%-15% on an annual basis,
Philippine banking system is
while asset quality will be
consistent with Moody's positive
supported by the robust economy
outlook on the Philippine
Cash sent home by overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) grew at its fastest pace
in nine months to reach an all-time high of $2.06 billion in October, data
and relatively low retail credit
government's Baa3 rating.
released by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas on Dec. 16 showed.
penetration” Simon Chen, a
Moody's rates seven banks in
Moody's Assistant Vice President
the Philippines. These seven
billion and $4.3 billion,
Singapore, Canada and Japan, the
and analyst said.
commercial banks accounted for
BSP said.
Moody's reports were
63 percent of total banking system
contained in the “Banking System
assets at end-June 2013. Of the
OFWs based in the United
The central bank, which tracks
Outlook: Philippines,” which shows
seven, six ranked among the top 10
States sent home the most money
the entry of remittances in the
Moody's expectation of how bank
banks in the country by market
for the period, followed by those in
country, cited data from the
creditworthiness will evolve in this
share of total assets, it added.
Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom,
Philippine Overseas Employment
system over the next 12-18
Manila Bulletin
United Arab Emirates (UAE),
Page 26
Remittances hit alltime high in October
By Paolo G. Montecillo
December 20-26, 2013
December 20-26, 2013
Page 25
Cartel eyed in record
increase of power rates
The Department of Justice
(DOJ) will investigate the record
increase of P4.15 per kilowatt
hour (kWh) in power rates being
staggered starting this month in
Metro Manila and other areas as
the Department of Energy (DOE)
starts probing Manila Electric Co.
(Meralco) and its power suppliers.
The DOJ, through its Office for
Competition (OFC), announced
Monday its investigation after a
group of lawmakers and activists
petitioned it to conduct an inquiry
into the matter, citing possible
cartelization that led to Meralco's
sharp increase in generation
charge this month.
The DOJ has been designated
as the competition authority in the
country in Executive Order No. 45
series of 2011.
Created under the executive
order was the OFC, which can
receive any form of complaint as a
basis for inquiry or further study
on possible violations of laws
prohibiting cartelization,
monopolies, or combinations in
restraint of trade as defined in
competition laws.
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima
said she expected a report and
recommendation from the OFC to
be submitted by January next year.
“This is a test case for the OFC,”
Overseas Filipino
Workers ...
From page 20
many people that the President
skipped the meal we prepared and
spent time posing for photographs
with people,” retold Eriel “Joy”
Cortez, Jollibee Brunei's current
operations director.
“The President ended up just
having a drink. We gave the food
we prepared to his party,” he
“Jollibee is a brand now widely
accepted in Brunei. Often times,
Bruneians visiting the Philippines,
exclaim, 'Oh, you also have Jollibee
in Manila.' Some people think
Jollibee is from Brunei,” said Joy,
who took over from Jill in 1997.
Jill left Jollibee in 1997 to open
a café in 1997. “Before Ideal Grill
and Café, a Bruneian-owned
company, there was no café in
Brunei. Now, there are a lot of cafécafés. Jill eventually left Brunei to
rejoin Jollibee in Hawaii.
Some Filipinos who came in
with Jollibee have moved on to
work for Bruneian companies.
There's Stephanie Alvior, who
is now working for a bookstore
next to the Utama Jollibee branch.
There are about 21,000
Filipinos working in Bruneiabout
a 10th are nurses, doctors and
engineers; about a fourth are
domestic helpers, family drivers
and gardeners; and the rest are
mostly waiters and waitresses.
There are also a growing number
of entrepreneurs.
The Bruneians are a kind
people, say embassy officials,
noting that complaints of physical
De Lima said.
National interest
At a news briefing that was
attended by multisectoral group
leaders led by Akbayan Rep.
Walden Bello who had met with
her, De Lima said she had directed
the OFC to do its investigation as
early as last week because the
power rate hike was of national
Meralco has 5.2 million
customers in its franchise area that
covers 31 cities and 80
municipalities in Metro Manila;
the entire provinces of Bulacan,
Rizal and Cavite; and parts of the
provinces of Laguna, Quezon,
Batangas and Pampanga.
The franchise area is home to
24.7 million people, roughly a
quarter of the entire Philippine
“It is worth looking into,” De
Lima said, noting that the OFC has
the mandate to ensure the
constitutional policy of ensuring
that competition thrives.
“Collusion is the very
antithesis of the competition,” she
The OFC will determine
wh e t h e r t h e re wa s i n d e e d
collusion or market abuse by the
power firms.
“We need to know exactly
wh e t h e r t h e i n c re a s e s a re
justified,” she also told reporters.
Antitrust law
Asked what possible charges
could be filed against firms found
to be in collusion, De Lima said
these could be violations in the
antitrust law, and restraint of trade
and unfair business practices.
De Lima said she received the
letter-complaint handed to her by
The letter-complaint was
signed by Bello, Akbayan Rep.
Ibarra Gutierrez III, Ricardo Reyes
of Freedom from Debt Coalition,
Ma. Teresa Diokno of the Center for
Power Issues and Initiatives and
Wilson Fortaleza of the Partido
Manggagawa-Nagkakaisa Labor
They asked the DOJ through
the OFC to conduct an inquiry and
f u r t h e r s t u dy t h e p o s s i b l e
violations by Meralco, First Gas
Power Corp., SMC Global Power
Holdings, Aboitiz Power, Team
Energy Corp., AED Philippines and
DMCI Holdings of laws prohibiting
cartelization, monopolies and
combinations in restraint of trade
as defined in competition laws.
Bello told reporters that his
group could not believe that the six
When generation plants went down for unscheduled maintenance from Nov.
11 to Dec. 10, Manila Electric Co. was forced to purchase more expensive
electricity from the spot market controlled by the same power plant operators
and pushing up a near tripling of the expected rate increase. Inquirer photo
power suppliers would all have
unscheduled outages while the
Malampaya gas plant was being
serviced. The power shortage
prompted Meralco to buy
expensive electricity from the
Wholesale Electricity Spot Market
“We believe there is prima
facie (evidence). There is big
circumstantial evidence that there
was collusion and market abuse,”
Bello also said.
To b e c a l l e d t o t h e
investigation are the six power
companies, according to De Lima.
The DOJ will also invite members
of the academe and other experts
to give their side on the issue.
De Lima said she would also
ask the DOE to give its side on the
collusion allegations.
The OFC will also determine
whether the Energy Regulatory
Commission (ERC) was able to
fulfill its mandate, she said.
As part of their separate probe,
the DOE and the ERC have asked
Meralco and power suppliers to
share information with regulators,
according to Energy Secretary
Carlos Jericho Petilla.
Philippine Electricity Market
Corp. (PEMC) is also looking into
WESM data. PEMC operates
WESM, which is said to have
reflected power price spikes amid
the recent maintenance shutdown
of the Malampaya natural gas
Petilla said that this early,
company officials had not been
summoned to shed more light on
how the power generation and
related charges (such as taxes)
surged to P4.15/kWh amid several
plant outages and the switching by
Page 26
EU allots P59 Million
for Mindanao LGUs
By Nonoy E. Lacson
Zamboanga City -- The
European Union (EU) has allotted
P59-million in an effort to
improve local governance,
performance, and service
delivery of local government
units (LGUs) in the marginalized
communities in Central
JILL VARGAS-FIJO, Jollibee Brunei's
first country manager
As this developed, a
Memorandum of Agreement
(MOA) was recently signed in
abuse of domestic employees are
City between the EU
rare in the kingdom.
Foundation, Inc.,
Bruneians also get along with
to mark the beginning of the
Filipinos. Even Sultan Haji
MINDANAO ASSISTANCE. Representatives of the European Union and Mahintana
three-year project
Hassanal Bolkiah employs many
Foundation, Inc. sign a Memorandum of Agreement for a P59-million deal in an effort
Filipinos in his palace.
to improve local governance, performance, and service delivery of local government
participatory local revenue
units in the marginalized communities in Central Mindanao. (Nonoy E. Lacson)
Vangie Mariano, first came to
generation, and transparent
Brunei 29 years ago and worked
resource allocation and
as Jollibee Brunei's first assistant
utilization in the provinces of
partner organizations the
considerations for the selection
country manager. After 13 years
the areas to be covered was the
with Jollibee, she moved to
Cotabato, and South Cotabato
Organizations, and the Sarangani
potential for these LGUs to
Fratini's, Brunei's first Italian
involving a total of eight towns.
Province Empowerment and
improve their resources.
restaurant, as human resources
The selection, he said, was
and administration manager.
section program manager of the
Forum are tasked for the
done through the Department of
She has been working there
EU delegation to the Philippines,
implementation in South
the Interior and Local
for the last 10 years with another
using the Local
Filipino pioneer, Angelito “Jojo”
“they can make a difference for
Governance Performance
Hernandez, who came to Brunei in
the future of the municipalities,
According to Mahintana
Management System results as
1989 as a waiter. Jojo, who started
and for the population that would
Executive Director Martiniano
out in the food business as a
benefit from the services for a
Magdolot, they have selected two
Low-performing LGUs in
busboy at The Aristocrat in
of local legislation, revenue
Manila, is now Fratini's Food and
The Mahintana Foundation,
benefit the program.
generation, resource allocation
B eve ra g e M a n a g e r.
Inc. will implement the project in
Mahintana, a non-profit and
and utilization, and low locallyVangie and Jojo have their own
incomes and high
P - n oy fo o d s to r y : “ D u r i n g
and North Cotabato, while the
said that among the
Page 26
Page 26
December 20-26, 2013
Page 26
Japan's Nissan puts up
new sales unit in PH
Strategy to enhance the local market's awareness of the brand
By Amy R. Remo
Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. (NML),
Japan's second largest automotive
company, has established a new
Philippine unit that will serve as its
national sales company starting
early 2014.
The move is expected to further
enhance the local market's
awareness of the Nissan brand.
In a statement, NML said it had
formed Nissan Philippines Inc.
(NPI) through a new joint venture
with long-time partners Universal
Motors Corp. (UMC) and Nissan
Motor Philippines Inc. (NMPI).
The new company has capital
of 1 billion yen (or $9.8 million),
with Nissan holding a 51-percent
stake, while UMC and NMPI
controlling 24.5 percent each. UMC
a n d N M P I w i l l re m a i n t h e
producers of Nissan vehicles in the
EU allots ...
From page 25
dependency on Internal Revenue
Allotment, had been selected by the
Fo r h i s p a r t , S a r a n g a n i
Governor Steve Chiongbian Solon
expressed his commitment in
ensuring that the project will fulfill
its intention particularly for the
towns of Maasim and Malapatan,
Overseas Filipino ...
From page 25
President Aquino's state visit in
June 2011, we catered a very
special lunch for the President and
his entourage in this restaurant,
Vangie remembered.
Then there was another
occasion last year, when President
Aquino went to Brunei to attend a
royal wedding but had to cut short
his trip because a typhoon was on
“This is an important milestone
for Nissan. With NPI now as the
unified voice of Nissan in the
Philippines, we will be bolder and
more proactive in expanding our
business in this market. We look
forward to continuing to build our
presence in the Philippines
through this new partnership,” said
Takayuki Kimura, regional vice
president for NML.
”We will introduce new and
exciting products into the market
and strive to improve total
customer experience,” added Kenji
Naito, the newly-assigned
president of NPI.
NPI, to be headquartered in
Manila, will be responsible for
strengthening the branding,
marketing and sales strategy, and
dealer operations in the local
NPI intends to reinforce brand
and sales power by broadening the
product lineup and strengthening
sales and services across the
Nissan's new Philippine unit is
part of the Japanese carmaker's
strategy to drive growth across the
Asean region.
A key target of its Asean midterm plan is to more than triple
sales across the region to 500,000
units and corner at least 15 percent
of the market by the end of 2016.
Nissan further added that it
considered the Philippine market
an “important component of this
plan, and the establishment of NPI
is an illustration of the company's
commitment to the Philippines.”
Operating with about 236,000
employees globally, Nissan sold
more than 4.9 million vehicles and
generated revenue of 9.6 trillion
yen ($116.16 billion) in 2012.
since the two towns are anticipating
re ve n u e a n d t a x c o l l e c t i o n
The project is expected to
enhance “local revenues and
investments of the LGUs by at least
30 percent,” while “statutory and
mandatory obligations will be
complied by 80 percent” at its
The project is also inclined in
supporting the EU's objective of
“capacitating non-state actors, local
authorities, and the marginalized
communities in Mindanao for
poverty reduction and sustainable
Mahintana also noted that
“transparency of government
transactions in various agencies has
become more of a problem affecting
the capability of the people to
effectively participate in
democratic governance.” Manila
its way. He made it to the morning
wedding but to avoid getting
stranded in Brunei, he skipped the
royal banquet scheduled that
evening at the Istana Nurul Iman and
sped back to the airport around
noon. His party stopped to pick up a
pizza along the way. That, of course,
was Fratini's famous Pizza
Neapolitana, which he reportedly
a te o n t h e o l d a n d t r u s te d
presidential Fokker plane.
Vangie and Jojo were involved in
setting up eight Fratini's branches in
Brunei and Malaysia.
To day, after honing their
pioneering talents in Brunei, tables
are turned. They are coming home
with Bruneian investors to set up
their ninth branch in Makati at the
SMDC Jazz Residences and
Condominium in Bel Air.
International relations indeed
begin with friendly and sincere
relationships among people on the
Papua New
Giunea ...
From page 24
(math/science); general
mathematics; physics; chemistry;
biology; information technology;
physical education and library
Baldoz added that applicants
who meet the requirements will be
shortlisted and interviewed by
representatives of Papua New
Guinea's Department of Education.
The agreement between the
Philippines and Papua New
Guinea, which is in effect for five
years, spells out the framework for
areas of cooperation between the
two governments on matters
hit all-time ...
From page 24
Administration (POEA) showing
that approved job orders for the 10
months reached 675,966, of which
about 40 percent were for the
services, production, professional
and technical industries.
Bulk of the job orders came
from Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait,
Taiwan, Hong Kong and Qatar.
Apart from sustained demand
for Filipino workers, the BSP said
the continued expansion of
remittance networks of local banks
Cartel eyed ...
From page 25
t h re e M e ra l c o s u p p l i e r s to
alternative (and more expensive)
fu e l du ri n g t h e Ma la m p aya
“We cannot summon them
when we are in the middle of
gathering info. We are asking them
to provide info though and allow
the ERC team to inspect their
plants,” Petilla said.
Petilla said the DOE, ERC and
spot market operator PEMC
formally convened an investigation
on Dec. 13 although they started
gathering data earlier.
“As to the implementation of
the increase, this is not under DOE
responsibility,” Petilla said when
asked whether the department
could halt the staggered
implementation of the P4.15/kWh
power rate increase.
Meralco, which delayed new
billings by a week to consult with
regulators on the proposed
staggered implementation, is
initially passing on to consumers
some P2.41/kWh out of the total
P4.15/kWh increase.
The rest of the adjustment will
be done in two other months:
P1.21/kWh in February and
P0.53/kWh in March.
There have been allegations
both against Meralco and its power
Lawmakers, activists and the
DOE have questioned the decision
of several power plants to
simultaneously go on emergency
shutdown while the Malampaya
gas pipeline was undergoing
maintenance work (from Nov. 11 to
Dec. 10.) that further drove up
energy prices. Plants using natural
gas had to shift to more expensive
fuel just to keep on generating
Others have criticized Meralco
relating to laborhow to facilitate
labor market access and accord
labor mobility in accordance with
existing rules and regulations in
the Philippines and Papua New
Based on POEA records, OFW
deployment to Papua New Guinea
has been on the rise during the last
four years: 3,296 deployed in
2009; 4,134 in 2010; 9,084 in
2011; and 15,520 in 2012.
There are about 23,230
Filipino workers in Papua New
Guinea, majority, or 92.5 percent,
of whom are in production and
manufacturing, professional
services, administrative and
managerial workers, clerical
workers, sales workers, and
service workers.
made it more convenient for OFWs
to send money home.
“The continued presence of
bank and nonbank service
providers in foreign countries
through tie-ups and remittance
centers contributed to strong
remittance flows,” the BSP said.
About a tenth of the country's
population is based overseas. The
money they send home is a major
source of foreign exchange that
keeps the local currency strong.
Remittances are also among the
main drivers of consumer demand,
which contributes two thirds to
gross domestic product (GDP).
for allegedly not seeking securing
supply contracts early enough, thus
leaving itself vulnerable to spot
market volatility in November.
“We have to analyze first the
behavior of the market in the past
four weeks and will ask them to
explain depending on our findings,”
Petilla said.
Amid reports of other
distribution utilities in Luzon also
hiking power rates, the DOE
director for the electric power
industry management bureau,
Mylene C. Capongcol, said via text
message, “We will look into this.”
Meralco's supply mix
At a recent briefing of the ERC,
Meralco officials said electricity
from bilateral contracts (with
plants that switched to more
expensive fuel) accounted for about
50 percent of the power that
Meralco tapped in the supply
month of November.
Spot market prices at WESM,
which were even more expensive,
accounted for 11 to 12 percent and
the rest came from other
arrangements, such as the peaking
supply deal with Aboitiz Power
Corp.'s subsidiary, Therma Mobile
Inc., Meralco said.
Various parties such as Bayan
Muna insist that there has been a
pattern of “suspiciously
synchronized power outages” over
the years and that spot market
prices have been trading at high
levels even in times of low demand
such as Sundays and holidays.
“Now these power utilities are
singing the same old tune again.
The Malampaya facilitysupposedly
scheduled for a maintenance
shutdown only once every two
yearsis now being shut down
almost every year, and, as always it
is also accompanied by
unscheduled outages of other
power plants” Rep. Zarate said.
“As can be seen, this has
become an annual event and the
consumers are always the victims
and at the losing end.”
December 20-26, 2013
Page 27
Celebs asked: 'Where to,
what now?' This Christmas
By Jecelyn V. Macahindog
Christmas is one of the busiest
seasons of the year. It is also that
special time when people take that
much needed break, travel or
simple go idle.
For most celebrities, though,
even the holiday season is hectic.
This year, Christmas has taken on a
deeper meaning following the
devastation the country has been
through. While some will still be
busy with work, everyone we
asked is hoping for time to spend
with their loved ones.
Half Pinay “American Idol”
runner-up Jessica Sanchez was in
the country recently for a twoweek mission for her hearingimpaired kababayans.
For the 18-year-old singer,
Christmas should be spent with the
family and that is why despite her
busy schedule, Jessica has found a
way to feel the Yuletide spirit
despite schedules abroad.
“I started Christmas this year
before Halloween. I had my
Christmas tree up. I started
C h r i s t m a s s h o p p i n g b e fo re
Halloween so all presents under
the Christmas tree are in my
house,” she related during her
most recent press conference, a
day before flying back to the US.
“We're gonna be opening
presents the day before Christmas,
the night before (Christmas Eve),
because we're driving to San Diego
and I'm singing there, and then we
drive right back to LA, and then I fly
to the Philippines the next day and
I get here for New Year's. I'm gonna
be busy (too) after Christmas,”
Jessica shared.
Also on work mode this
Christmas are Rocco Nacino and
Eugene Domingo, who both play
leads in their respective Metro
Manila Film Festival (MMFF)
entries opening on the 25th.
“I'll be busy promoting 'Pedro
Calungsod: Ang Batang Martir.'
Wala nga ako sa Pasko, so first time
ko na ise-celebrate ang Pasko na
hindi ko kasama ang pamilya ko so
medyo malungkot ako,” Rocco said
in an interview aired on “24 Oras.”
Eugene, on the other hand, said
she will have “a very fulfilling
Christmas kasi, by that time,
pinapasok na ng mga tao ang
'Kimmy Dora: Ang Kiyemeng
Prequel' at nandoon naman kami
sa malls to thank them.”
O t h e r K a p u s o s t a r s a re
planning to spend the holidays,
staycation style.
Julie Anne San Jose said she
Jasmine Curtis-Smith
Jessica Sanchez
will be spending Christmas “sa
bahay lang siguro with my family
and friends.”
Louise delos Reyes noted that
it has been a tradition “(namin) na
kasama 'yung family.”
“Dapat pupunta akong San
Francisco to visit my sister pero
nagrequest siya na dito na lang
mag-Pasko dahil miss na nga niya
lahat ng mga kaibigan niya rito,”
Lovi Poe shared.
Regine Velasquez and her
family will go to her sister Cacai
Velasquez-Mitra's place “for the
first time kasi nandoon ang
parents ko.”
Dingdong Dantes would rather
not details his Christmas plans
because of his continuous relief
effort projects for the “Yolanda”
survivors in the Visayas regions
Dingdong Dantes
Jessy Mendiola
but assured, “definitely kasama
namin ang mga families namin sa
Christian Bautista wants to
personally fly to Leyte and give
inspiration for the people there. “If
I have time to go to Leyte
personally on a C130, I'll go.”
Fil-Aussie Kapatid talent
Jasmine Curtis-Smith has been
celebrating Christmas in the past
few years with her sister Anne.
This year, however, she isn't sure
“I'm actually waiting for my
mom to tell me what her plans are
kasi she's having many medical
procedures where she has to
attend to many things. She
underwent a procedure kasi for
her knee this year. She's getting
better naman but she's just being
Maxene Magalona
cautious about it. Hinihintay ko
lang talaga na mag-okay 'yung
doctor niya. I'm hoping na
makauwi siya dito (from Australia)
so we can spend Christmas
together but if she can't come, I'll
find a way to fly over there and
spend Christmas with her,” she
Christmas remains happy even
though Francis Magalona is not
with his family anymore, shared
the late rapper's daughter Maxene
“I'm sure it's gonna be very,
very happy as usual. Every
Christmas, kahit wala na si Papa,
it's still that moment that we get
together and every Christmas, we
talk about him palagi. It's the best
thing you can have knowing that
Page 28
Vic Sotto claims
MMFF top spot
Xian Lim and Kim Chiu
Kim Chiu, Xian Lim
filming new movie
MANILA -- Cameras have
started to roll for the second bigscreen team-up of Kim Chiu and
Xian Lim after their box-office hit
"Bakit Hindi Ka Crush ng Crush
The two Kapamilya stars said
they are “very excited” about
their new movie because it has
something new to offer.
“Kakaiba siya dahil ibang
istorya, ibang characters at
siyempre iba 'yung aabangan
nilang mga surprises. Siyempre
iba ngayon, ibang story, ibang
energy, so sa lahat ng nag-enjoy
sa 'Bakit Hindi Ka Crush ng Crush
Mo,' this is something different
and something to look forward
to,” Lim said.
Describing it as a feel-good
movie, Chiu, for her part,
reported that all of them in the
cast are in high spirits.
“Siyempre hindi mawawala
don ang pagi-enjoy nila sa movie
kasi parang ang saya-saya,
nakakagaan ng loob. Ito mas
masaya ito, mas may puso about
family,” she said. “Masaya and
para lang kaming naglalaro sa set
and I hope 'yung energy namin sa
set ay madala namin sa pelikula.”
Known for her strong and
loyal fan base, Chiu said she and
Lim would not have made it this
far if not for the undying support
of their followers.
“Happy and thankful kay God
kasi sa lahat ng opportunities na
ibinigay sa amin sinusuportahan
Vic Sotto
MANILA -- Days before the
grand opening day of the 2013
Metro Manila Film Festival
(MMFF) in theaters, comedian Vic
Sotto is already claiming the boxoffice top spot for his movie "My
Little Bossings."
Directed by Marlon Rivera, the
film centers on the life of Torky
Villanueva, played by Vic, who
works as a bookkeeper for
millionaire cash management
specialist Barbara Atienza (Kris
The story will start to unfold
when Barbara will entrust her son
Justin (James "Bimby" Yap Jr.) to
Torky. The latter will try to balance
his family life with his niece Ica
(Aiza Seguerra), a street kid
named Ching (Ryzza Mae Dizon)
and Justin when they all live under
one roof and face each other's
personal conflict.
"This is about a father and his
daughter, relasyon ng mag ama at
ng mga anak. Relasyon ng
dalawang magkaibigan na bata na
galing sa dalawang magkaibang
Page 28
MMFF 2013: 'Pedro Calungsod, Batang Martir'
Directed by Francis Villacorta; stars Rocco Nacino,
Christian Vasquez, Robert Correa, Ryan Eigenmann,
Jestoni Alarcon, Jao Mapa, Isadora Vilasquez, Marc
Justine Alvarez, Johnron Tañada, Mercedes Cabral.
This historical-adventure-dramatic film traces the life
of young Filipino catechist Pedro Calungsod (Nacino), who
joined Fr. Diego San Vitores (Vasquez) in the San Diego
Mission in the Marianas. The young assistant and the
priest were executed in Guam in 1672. In October 2012,
Calungsod was canonized. Villacorta said today's youth
could learn many things from the life of the Filipino saint:
“He was ordinary, but his dedication to God was
inspiring.” Nacino admitted that playing Calungsod was a
huge challenge. “I had to learn Spanish and Cebuano.”
Page 28
December 20-26, 2013
Page 28
Another Filipina shines
in int'l beauty pageant
By Robert R. Requintina
The Philippines continued its
winning streak in competitions
abroad after Miss Philippines
Koreen Medina won third
runner-up at the 42nd Miss
Intercontinental beauty contest
held in Madgeburg, Germany, last
Saturday night, the highest
Filipino candidate to place in this
pageant since 1994.
Medina, 18, of Quezon City,
also won the Miss
Queen of Asia and Oceania in one
of Europe's most popular beauty
This is the third straight time
this year that the Philippines won
third-runner up in international
pageants. Ariella Arida was third
runner-up at the Miss Universe
pageant held in Moscow, Russia,
last Nov. 9. Ali Forbes won the
same honor at the Miss Grand
International contest in Bangkok,
Thailand, last Nov. 19.
The last time the Philippines
made a splash in the beauty
pageant was in 1994 when Maria
Soveitskaya Bacud also won third
Miss Russia Ekaterina
Plekhova won the 2013 Miss
Intercontinental crown. First
runner-up honors went to Miss
Puerto Rico Aleyda Ortiz. Miss
Colombia Margarita Peralta won
Koreen Medina
second runner-up while Miss
South Africa Kayla Nel was fourth
Others who made it to the Top
15 semifinals were
representatives from Argentina,
Costa Rica, Cucaraco, England,
Germany, Hungary, New Zealand,
Panama, Poland and Thailand.
Medina is a mass
communications freshman at St.
Paul University. She enjoys
singing, dancing, acting and
modelling. Given the chance, she
wants to pursue a career in show
business. At the 2013 Mutya ng
Pilipinas pageant, Medina
received five special awards
namely Mutya ng Sheridan, Best
in Talent, Mutya ng Zen Institute,
Mutya ng Careline and Mutya ng
Lancaster Hotel Manila.
The Miss Intercontinental
crown valued at US$361,446
(roughly P16,265,070) holds the
record for the most expensive
pageant crowns. Designed by
FUQI China, the crown has 720
diamonds. Manila Bulletin
Anne Curtis nudges MMDA
on 'misbehaved drivers'
By Jecelyn V. Macahindog
Anne Curtis has taken to Twitter
to express her sentiment over the
vehicular accident involving a
passenger bus that fell off the
Skyway in Parañaque City Monday
morning, which claimed the lives of
about 20 people.
She wrote, “Praying for all the
lives lost on the bus accident this
morning and the loved ones they left
behind. Such sad news. ”
Anne, in a series of posts, has
called on the government and the
Metropolitan Manila Development
Authority (MMDA) to consider an
alternative system for public
“I hope this is a wakeup call to
the government and MMDA. This
isn't the first time. Bus drivers are
some of the most misbehaved
drivers on the road. They are scary.
Always after a quota they need to
reach. The(y) don't stay in their lines
and speed like crazy
“Maybe it's time we have
government run & owned bus
transportation. Just like any other
Kim Chiu, Xian
Lim ... From page 27
kami ng mga tao. At, of course,
thankful kami sa mga fans kasi para sa
amin kasi kung hindi dahil sa kanila
hindi kami magiging successful,” Chiu
“Siyempre sobrang thankful kasi
Vic Sotto ... From page 27
mundo. Dito, it doesn't really matter
kung ano ka or sino ka basta ang in-offer
mo ay tunay na pagkakaibigan," the "Eat
Bulaga" main man said.
According to Vic, he's certain that
the movie will garner good box-office
results as it caters to all ages, people
from all walks of life. He said that they
will not only present a comedy movie
but a film for the whole family.
"We made it a point that it's for the
whole family, wala siyang tina-target na
edad. All bases cover," he said.
"I personally wanted to present
something new, hindi fantasy. This time
I really wanted to try new things, iba sa
Enteng Kabisote. This is one movie na I
can say na pelikula talaga. Lahat
pwedeng manood," he added.
"My Little Bossings" is the first
movie project of Vic and Kris' son James
"Bimby" Yap Jr.
The seasoned comedian revealed
that he had actually talked to Kris in the
past to guest Bimby in one of his films,
but the Kapamilya actress preferred her
son to top bill his first big screen debut
with Vic.
"Nagdadalawang isip nga ako na
baka hindi pumayag si Kris na isama si
Bimby, but okay naman. He's a good kid,
Anne Curtis: 'Bus drivers are some of the
most misbehaved drivers on the road’
country. Maybe it would bring more
discipline? .”
Apart from Anne, a number of
celebrities have also expressed their
sympathies to the victims of the road
accident on Twitter:
B i a n c a
G o n z a l e z
(@iamsuperbianca): “Many
dead/injured as bus drives over
skyway onto Bicutan. Bus drivers
Page 30
sa dami ng projects namin, movie,
taping, mall shows, nandon talaga sila
so 'yun part sila ng career namin so
sana mas dumami pa sila,” she added.
Chiu and Lim are hoping their
second film would be as successful as
“Bakit Hindi Ka Crush ng Crush Mo,”
which earned more than P100 million
during its run. The new movie is set to
be released in theaters nationwide in
he's a good boy... masunurin."
Vic shared that in the early shooting
days, he made sure to build a wall
between him and Bimby so that they
wouldn't get too comfortable as their
characters always disagree with each
"Nung first few shooting days
parang hindi pa niya alam kung anong
nangyayari sa paligid niya, but after
awhile naging comfortable na siya with
Ryzza, me, director and everyone. Dun
na lumbas yung talent niya."
"At the start I made it a point that I
wouldn't get close to him. Ayokong
maging kumportable sa kanya, or siya
sa akin because of the role kasi marami
kaming issues sa isa't isa. Towards the
end we've grown closer."
Asked about Bimby's performance
in the movie, Vic said he's certain that
this will not be the boy's last foray into
acting or even movies.
"Considering that this is his first
m ov i e a n d s a n ay s iya s a m ga
commercial, but for him to carry the
character from action hanggang sa pagcut ng director, I can give him a very,
very high passing grade. Magaling
palang umarte ang batang ito."
Produced by OctoArts Films, M-Zet
Productions, APT Entertainment and
Kris Aquino Productions, "My Little
Bossings" will open on Christmas Day.
Celebs asked: ... From page 27
you have that family's support,” she shared.
Pinay Maria Mercedes Jessy Mendiola, for her part, wants to spend more
time with her family, coming from an earlier admission that she will have to
tape for her show on Christmas Day.
“Gusto ko naman makasama ‘yung pamilya ko. Kasi for the past two
months, trabaho ako ng non-stop. Sana mabigyan ako ng oras para sa kanila,”
the 20-year-old Kapamilya actress told ABS-CBN News. Manila Bulletin
December 20-26, 2013
Page 29
Vice Ganda on
Anne Curtis, Sotto's
drug-test proposal
Comedian-TV host Vice Ganda
incident. “She forces herself to go to
work every day, to not read the
comments on Twitter. I know she's
deeply affected, but she's being the
professional that she is. She has a lot
of commitments and knows she can't
attend to them if she succumbs to
He added, “She's doing a great
job, not falling apart. She knows that
taking a break will not help. I told her
to just keep busy.”
Vice recalled a conversation they
had days after news of the incident
broke. “It was my day-off from
'Showtime'; she called and said, 'I
wish you were here.' I went to the
studio just to be with her.”
By Marinel R. Cruz
“I see nothing wrong with drug
testing. We should all aim to be
h e a l t hy a n d d r u g - f re e ,” s a i d
comedian-TV host Vice Ganda, in
support of Sen. Vicente “Tito” Sotto's
suggestion that ABS-CBN conduct
random drug tests for its talents.
Sotto's recommendation
followed widespread accounts of a
drunken scene in a bar involving
Anne Curtis and, allegedly, fellow
Kapamilya star John Lloyd Cruz.
Curtis reportedly called Cruz “[a
drug] addict.”
Just coping
“Only those who actually take
drugs would [object to a test]. I am
not judging them; we all have our
reasons for doing the things we do,”
the comedian told a group of writers
during a gathering for his new film
“Girl, Boy, Bakla, Tomboy.”
Vice said Anne, his cohost on “It's
Showtime,” was trying her best to
cope with all the flak she got after the
Cry, pray, wait
Said Vice, who went under
scrutiny a few months back because
of a rape joke he made during a
concert, “I know what she is going
He counseled his beleaguered
colleague: “No amount of support
from us will make the pain go away.
All you can do is cry, pray, and wait for
it to blow over.”
Vice added, “Anne knew she
committed a mistake. That's why she
apologized. I told her the criticisms
would not stop [anytime soon] but
that it would stop, eventually.”
“Girl, Boy” a comedy by Wenn
Deramas, is an entry to the 2013
Metro Manila Film Festival, which
starts on Christmas Day. Vice hopes
this film will equal, if not surpass, the
box-office success of “Sisterakas,” his
entry last year.
“Girl, Boy” also features Maricel
Soriano, Ruffa Gutierrez, Joey
Marquez, Ejay Falcon and Cristine
Quizon Family Launches
New Game App
The late Dolphy's family will
lead the launch of a new game app
featuring the late “Comedy King”
as protagonist-hero. The Quizon
family has partnered with iGen
Technologies, a US-based software
product development and
consulting services company
(with an office in the Philippines),
in developing the game “in
memory of Dolphy.”
AT THE nominations announcement (from left): Miss Golden
Globe 2014 Sosie Bacon, actors Olivia Wilde, Aziz Ansari and
Zoe Saldana, and HFPA president Theo Kingma. Photo by
Ruben V. Nepales
FIL-AM Robert Lopez and his wife, Kristen Anderson-Lopez,
earned a Golden Globe best original song nomination for “Let
It Go,” sung by Idina Menzel (center), from the animated film,
“Frozen.” Photo by Ruben V. Nepales
Fil-Am composer is a
Golden Globe nominee
By Ruben V. Nepales
LOS ANGELES -- FilipinoAmerican Robert Lopez and his
wife, Kristen Anderson-Lopez,
were among the people who woke
up Thursday morning to find they
had been nominated to the
Golden Globe Awards. Robert,
award-winning cocreator of
“Avenue Q” and “The Book of
Mormon” - whose father is partFilipino - and Kristen nabbed a
best original song nod for their
powerful ballad, “Let It Go,” sung
by Idina Menzel from the
animated film, “Frozen.”
“We are so grateful to the
H o l l y w o o d Fo r e i g n P r e s s
Association (HFPA),” said the
couple. “We put a lot of ourselves
into 'Let It Go,' and working with
Disney and Idina Menzel was a
dream come true for us.”
As the nominations were
announced early morning at the
Beverly Hilton, one nominee
screamed in Paris and another,
wearing ear plugs, was awakened
by his partner.
Those were among the
nominees' reactions as Olivia
Wilde, Aziz Ansari and Zoe
Saldana read the nominations at
the Beverly Hills Ballroom. The
presenters, along with Miss
Golden Globe 2014 Sosie Bacon,
daughter of Kevin Bacon and Kyra
Sedgwick, were introduced by
HFPA president Theo Kingma.
Below are some of the
reaction comments of some of the
nominees. The Golden Globe
Awards will be held January 12 at
the Beverly Hilton.
Ser Chief to the rescue
Richard Yap admits that his rise to stardom gave him better
opportunities in helping the less fortunate.
“Well, as much as possible, we don't like to publicize it but we try,”
Yap told “Umagang Kay Ganda.” Among those whom the actor, more
popularly known as Ser Chief on ABS-CBN's hit daytime TV series “Be
Careful With My Heart” (BCWMH), have been reaching out to are “those
who work for me, who work with me, and also those people who need it
like 'yung mga typhoon Yolanda victims.”
Year 2013 proved to be a successful one for Yap, who caps it with the
Best Drama Actor trophy from the PMPC Star Awards for Television.
The 46-year old is only too happy to enjoy the Yuletide break with
his family. “We'll be celebrating Christmas and New Year with my family
abroad. We'd like to spend quiet time together.”
Meanwhile, Yap eschewed rumors that his on-screen partner,
actress Jodi Sta. Maria, is pregnant in real life as her character is on
“They associated it with real life. Kasi, nung nagka-dengue siya,
pinalabas sa show. So, they might be thinking we're doing the same
thing now, but, sorry to say, hindi…” he explained laughing. Manila
Richard ‘Ser Chief’ Yap
Viber makes
a connection
By NR Ramos
What would it take for the head of a
company to promote any of its services?
Apparently, for Talmon Marco, the
Israeli-American CEO and founder of
Viber, some dancing on national TV
would be in order.
Thus, Marco appeared recently on
“It's Showtime” to spread the word
about Viber, a mobile platform that
enables free messaging and calls on
multiple devices and platforms
including smartphones and desktops.
The downloadable game titled
“Dolphy Clean Up,” which features
a character patterned after the
looks and demeanor of the iconic
funny man, is described by its
creators as both “funny and
According to Eric Quizon,
“Dolphy Clean Up” aims to educate
people especially children on the
Page 30
Viber CEO Talmon Marco and Viber country manager Crystal Lee (Photo by
Page 31
Rampador Alindog)
December 20-26, 2013
Page 30
We asked the stars: Why should we celebrate
Christmas this year after a string of disasters?
Aiza Seguerra
A way to
move on
Aiza Seguerra
Christmas is one of the ways
we can move on. We move on
when we have something to
look forward to. Otherwise,
lalo lang malulugmok ang mga
tao. Christmas is one of the
best holidays ever. If there are
people who are unhappy,
ngayon natin lalo dapat ishare 'yung kasiyahan at mga
blessings natin. And let us all
be grateful for our family,
friends… everyone.
Isang bagay lang naman ang
dapat tandaan nating lahat na
t ayo' y p a t u l o y p a r i n g
nabubuhay. Para mas maging
makabuluhan ang mga
susunod nating mga bukas,
LJ Reyes
dapat huwag tayong mawalan
ng pag-asa. At ngayong Pasko,
i-celebrate natin 'yun.
Yeng Constantino
Christmas symbolizes hope. It
reminds us that we shouldn't
stop living, even though we're
grieving. We can celebrate it
this year differently by sending
help to those affected by the
LJ Reyes
We should remember that
Christmas is a celebration of
the birth of Jesus, our savior.
We don't need to celebrate it
with an abundance of food and
material things. It simply
means we remember him on
this day. This year, I will be
Enzo Pineda
spending the holidays with
half-siblings on my daddy's
side. Before I had Aki (her son
with actor Paulo Avelino), I
often celebrated Christmas
with my mom and sister in
the United States.
Enzo Pineda
Christmas means hope; it's
not just about gift-giving. Our
attention should be on God.
After all the tragedies we
witnessed in the news, we
should forget about sadness
and focus on happiness and
The holiday season allows us
to spend quality time with
our loved ones in spite of our
busy schedules.
Vic Sotto and Pauleen Luna
Pauleen in
Vic's heart
By Jecelyn V. Macahindog
In a recent appearance on
“Bandila” though, the 59-year-old
comedian, more known as
“Bossing,” felt the need to speak his
heart out when pressed about the
Asked by host Boy Abunda
“Kung bubuksan ko ang iyong puso
Anne Curtis ...
From page 28
please mag-ingat at wag kaskasero!
Madaming buhay nasa kamay ninyo.”
D i m p l e s
R o m a n a
(@DimplesRomana): My prayers for
the souls&families of those involved
in the bus/van accident that
happened earlier today along SLEX,
magpapasko pa mandin .”
Daphne Osena Paez
(@DaphneOP): “So sad for the
innocent people who died in that bus
accident. It's Christmas and their
families have to deal with grief. RIP.”
Malaysian actress Carmen Soo
(@carmensoo) also wrote: “Sad
morning. RIP to those who lost their
lives in the bus accident.” Carla
Quizon family ...
From page 29
importance of trash segregation and
proper disposal.
It will be available initially in the
App Store for iPads (starting today,
Dec. 15), and very soon for iPhones.
It is expected to be purchasable in
Goggle Play for Android mobile
devices in early 2014. The Quizon
family will also launch the game app
in the Bay Area, Los Angeles and Las
The Quizons gave life to the
concept through Dolphy Aid Para sa
ngayon, anong pangalan ng babae
ang nakasulat?” Vic responded
with a sheepish smile, “Tinatanong
mo pa?”
Boy answered, “Oo nga, dapat
hindi na tinatanong.”
Then before wrapping up the
interview, Vic blurted, “Sagutin ko
na rin - Pauleen.”
Page 31
Dunareanu (@ItsCarlaD), on the
other hand, said: “Just watched the
video about the bus accident this
morning… wow. Prayers for the
families affected…”
In a report by ABS-CBN News
online, the Land Transportation
Regulatory and Franchising Board
(LTFRB) has already issued a 30-day
preventive suspension for all 78 units
of Don Mariano Transit.
According to LTFRB chairman
Winston Ginez, the owner of the bus
company has agreed to recall all the
buses and that all of its bus drivers
are also ordered to undergo retraining.
In 2011, a Dimples Star
Transport bus fell off the Skyway,
resulting in three casualties. Manila
Pinoy Foundation, Inc. which
channels the late actor's advocacies,
particularly his care for the
environment and safety of the
common tao. The same foundation
was behind the success of “Dolphy
Alay Tawa,” a fundraising tribute
and benefit concert held last year, a
few months after the passing of the
Comedy King.
On that note, Epy Quizon stated
“A certain percentage of the
download proceeds will be directed
to efforts being made to rehabilitate
and reconstruct communities in the
Visayan region affected by
'Yolanda.'” Manila Bulletin
December 20-26, 2013
Page 31
Filipino beauty is 2013
Miss International
By Armin P. Adina
Heart Evangelista
Marian Rivera
Back to back
once more:
Heart and Marian
By Nestor Cuartero
coincidence, a twist of fate,
fo r m e r f re n e m i e s H e a r t
Evangelista and Marian Rivera
find themselves in the same
boat showing them in various
states of undress, all in the
name of some heady
The two actresses grace the
2014 calendars of Tanduay
Rhum and Ginebra San Miguel,
Two years ago, in 2011,
Marian and Heart exploded an
intoxicating media war on the
set of “Temptation Island” in
Viber makes ...
From page 29
More than just talking about the
inroads made in the country by his
company, Marco busted out some
moves something he admits he didn't
think he would be capable of doing,
particularly on TV.
“On the way there, I was actually
thinking that it would be like a talk
show, like Conan O'Brien,” he told
Bulletin Entertainment laughing. “I
didn't expect that I would be dancing
o r a n y t h i n g l i k e t h a t .” H e
nevertheless added, “I had fun, it was
His appearance on the show is
part of Viber's effort to “connect” with
his company's millions of Pinoy
“Most of our users are the young,
mobile set and I've heard that the
show caters to them as well,” he
Apparently, on its third year,
Viber brandishes the image of a fun
company that identifies itself with the
youth. To boost the aim, Viber has
been steadily supporting various
musical events across the country.
“Music is a big part of our users'
lifestyle,” says Crystal Lee, brand
country manager. “And we want them
to realize that we support them by
sponsoring a number of big musical
Only a month ago, Viber cosponsored a local concert of worldrenowned DJs Axwell, Nicky Romero
and NO_ID. “Prior, we also had several
Laoag City over a petty
jealousy issue.
The issue has since been
forgotten, replaced by more
positive developments in the
careers and personal lives of
t h e t wo a c t re s s e s , wh o
incidentally belong to the
same network, GMA-7.
Curiously, they are now
being pitted together again as
pin-up, calendar girls.
At this point, a drama
series co-starring the two
sexy, talented, beautiful
actresses on equal footing isn't
a bad idea for the network in
2014. Manila Bulletin
club events. We also co-sponsored
Swedish DJ and music producer Otto
Knows when he came in for a
performance last Dec. 14,” adds Lee.
Next year, though, Viber is
branching out to lend support to
other genres. “We are planning to
organize several festivals in 2014 and
we hope to involve some of our rock
bands,” says Lee.
What's more, Viber is bringing
the fun to various parts of the
archipelago in their aim to touch base
with other key cities across the
region. “A big part of the plan,” Lee
adds, “is getting involved in various
events like the Maskara Festival in
Bacolod, the Sinulog in Cebu, and the
Dinagyang in Iloilo.”
More than hanging loose and
having fun, though, Viber has shown
it is serious about the services it
offers. In the aftermath of typhoon
Yolanda, Viber enabled Pinoys to
contact friends and loved ones across
the globe for free via Viber Out.
“It wasn't for release yet at the
time but the disaster made it a
necessity. We wanted to be of help
and we thought that the best way to
do so is to make it available to our
users,” says Marco.
Today, Viber Out is now available
globally, allowing users to make lowcost calls to any mobile or landline
phone number worldwide.
“We are just beginning. Viber will
continue to improve its services,
keeping our users connected
anywhere, anytime at the most
affordable rates possible,” Marco
promises. Manila Bulletin
Binibining Pilipinas Bea Rose
Santiago was crowned 2013 Miss
International in the beauty
pageant held in Tokyo Tuesday
night, Dec. 17.
The Masbate-born
international model bested 66
other contestants in the
competition's 53rd edition, held
at Shinagawa Prince Hotel Hall in
In September, two Filipino
beauties won honors for the
country: Mutya Datul in the Miss
Supranational contest in Belarus
and Megan Young in the Miss
World pageant in Indonesia.
The Philippines has been
most successful in the Miss
International beauty pageant in
the major international
competitions, winning five times.
Santiago's victory came eight
ye a r s a f t e r P re c i o u s L a ra
Quigaman scored the Philippines'
fourth victory in the Miss
International pageant. Three
other Filipino women had won
the crown: Gemma Cruz (1964),
Aurora Pijuan (1970) and Melanie
Marquez (1979).
On the eve of the pageant,
Santiago posted on her Twitter
account (@bearose21): “Lord
bless me! Give me confidence and
strength for tomorrow. I want to
give a Merry Christmas to the
During the final round of the
competition, where the five
finalists delivered their messages,
Santiago said that if she became
the next Miss International, she
would “uphold international
camaraderie and international
sympathy. I will continue the
message of hope. Whatever
calamity may come to us, as long
as we have each other, there will
be hope.”
In her victory speech,
Santiago thanked Bb. Pilipinas
Charities Inc. (BPCI) chair Stella
Marquez Araneta, the first Miss
International winner, for training
Other winners
Nathalie den Dekker of the
Netherlands placed second, while
Miss Friendship Casey Radley of
New Zealand finished third in the
Tokyo pageant.
Miss Colombia Lorena
Hermida and Miss Hungary
Brigitta Otvos were the other two
Santiago earned the right to
represent the country in the
global tilt when she won the Bb.
Pilipinas-International crown in
the 50th edition of the Binibing
Pilipinas pageant in April. There,
she was also proclaimed Bb. Avon.
Hirofumi Hashimoto,
president of the International
Cultural Association of Japan,
wh i c h o r g a n i z e s t h e M i s s
International pageant, was one of
the judges in the national contest.
He also assisted in awarding
Santiago her local title.
That competition also
produced Datul, 2013 Miss
Universe third runner-up Ariella
Arida, and 2013 Miss Tourism
Queen International semifinalist
Cindy Miranda.
Mutya contest
Santiago's first foray into the
local beauty pageant scene was in
the 2011 Mutya ng Pilipinas
contest, where she represented
the Filipino community of
She was proclaimed 2011
Mutya ng Pilipinas-Overseas
Oscar bets coming to town
Showing at SM Aura are the
world's best films, featured in
the country's longest-running
international film festival.
Now on its 15th year, the
Cinemanila International Film
Festival unveils a unique lineup
that includes several movies
vying for slots in the best foreign
language film category of the
coming 86th Academy Awards.
Among the Oscar contenders
that will be shown at this year's
Cinemanila are “Iloilo”
(Singapore), “Neighboring
Sound” (Brazil), “The Missing
Picture” (Cambodia), “In Bloom”
(Georgia), “Winter of
Discontent” (Egypt), “Heli”
(Mexico), “The Rocket”
(Australia), “The Great Beauty”
(Italy) and “Transit”
Most of the films in the
Cinemanila lineup premiered at
Cannes, Berlin and other top
international festivals.
For the complete lineup, visit
the fest's website at The
Cinemanila International Film
Festival is ongoing until Dec. 22
Pauleen in ... From page 30
A May-December romance if it
were true, the Vic-Pauleen tandem
is one of the most talked-about
issues the past year. There have
been reports saying that the two
Kapuso stars got secretly married
and are thinking of settling down.
They both denied it.
In a guest appearance on “Kris
TV” prior, Vic admitted that he had
thought of closing his doors on
He shared, “There's a phase in
Iloilo (Singapore)
Transit (Philippines)
The Rocket (Australia)
at SM Aura Cinema Premier,
Taguig City. The 15th Cinemanila
International Film Festival is
presented by the city of Taguig,
the Cinemanila International
Film Festival Foundation and SM
Aura Premier.
my life na 'yung mindset ko ganoon
na, I'll be single for the rest of my
life. Inisip ko rin, malalaki na 'yung
mga anak ko at may kanya-kanyang
pamilya na 'yan in the future, so
sino ang maiiwan sa akin?”
Then, Pauleen came along. “In a
relationship, you talk about that.
It's not a good relationship if you
don't talk about those things, right?
If you don't want to talk about it,
parang naglolokohan lang kayo, eh
kahit naman noong bata pa ako eh
hindi naman ako nakikipaglokohan
talaga,” Vic said.
Pauleen, on the other hand, has
been more open with her romance
with Vic, as seen on her Instagram
page. Her profile display has
consistently featured her and Vic's
sweet photos together. She even
posted recently a photo of Vic with
the caption: “My happy man.”
In past interviews, Pauleen
maintained that Vic is her true love
and always come into defense
pertaining to her relationship with
the veteran actor-host. She was
quoted as saying, “Masaya kami and
what we have is something real.”
December 20-26, 2013
Page 32
PH athletes bag three more
gold medals in Nay Pyi Taw
By Emil C. Noguera
ALKHALDI: I'm fine now. Raffy Lerma
Alkhaldi moves on
after swim fiasco
By June Navarro
NAY PYI TAW, Myanmar, Dec. 15
-- Jasmine Alkhaldi clutched a pair
of stuffed toysowls, the official
mascots of the 27th Southeast
Asian Games - as she entered the
athletes' village Friday night.
The London Olympian held
them so tight that nobody dared
pry them from her grip.
“This serves as proof and
reminder that I won the gold,” said
the comely 20-year-old Filipino of
Saudi descent.
Alkhaldi was forced to return
the gold medal, her first in any
international meet, in the women's
100-meter freestyle after
organizers upheld the protest of
Thai officials that there was a false
start and the race should be
The technical officials later
ordered a re-swim even after
Alkhaldi had been awarded the
medal along with the stuffed toys
and the Philippine flag raised at
Wunna Theikdi swimming pool.
In the re-swim, she settled for
the bronze behind winner
Natthanan Thunkrajang of
Thailand and Singapore's Ting Wen
“I'm fine now. I think there's a
reason for everything. I have to
move on and focus on my next
events,” said Alkhaldi, whom Saudi
Arabian social networks tagged as
the third Saudi woman to compete
in the Olympics.
Alkhaldi, who beat
Singaporeans Ting and Xiang Qi
Lim in the disputed race, can still
get back at her rivals in the 50 and
200 free in the next two days. She
earlier qualified in the finals of the
100 butterfly set late last night.
With the cruel twist, the
Philippines lost a fourth gold in
these Games. It would have been a
first victory in the pool since 2009
“This one they can't take away
from me,” said Alkhaldi, pointing to
the beige owl stuffed toy on her left
The Philippines bagged three
more gold medalstwo in golf and
one in tae kwon doin the 2013
Southeast Asian Games in
Naypyitaw, Myanmar.
Junior golfer Princess
Superal won the women's
individual crown against silver
medalist Yin May Myo of
Myanmar and bronze medalist
Tatiana Wijaya of Indonesia.
Superal then connived with
Katrina Marie Briones and Clare
Amelia Legazpi in copping the
women's team title.
The national poomsae
(forms) team also lived up to the
expectations as Dustin Jacob
Mella, Raphael Enrico Mella and
Vidal Marvin Gabriel had a
flawless performance to earn the
men's poomsae team gold medal.
They scored 7.920 points in
beating Indonesians Maulana
Haidir, Muhamad Fazza Fitrac a hya n t o a n d M u h a m m a d
Abdurrahman Wahyu (7.590
points) and Thais Chaiyasit
Kwanboon, Pongporn Suvittayarak and Poonpattara Bunlop
(7.550 points).
Gabriel added one more
silver in the men's individual
category. He scored with 8.035
points. Unheralded Thaw Zin
Han of host Myanmar
surprisingly won the event with
8.400 points while Anh Minh Le
of Vietnam settled for bronze
with 7.970.
Ma. Carla Janice Lagman,
Rani Ortega and Rinna Babanto
were the biggest casualties after
failing to defend the women's
team crown.
The trio got 7.665 points,
good enough to win the bronze
medal. Vietnam (7.950),
Thailand (7.785) and Indonesia
(7.670) took the top three spots.
The women's poomsae team
composed of Lagman, Ortega and
former member Francesca
Alarilla, topped the 2009 edition
in Laos and 2011 Games in
The Philippines raised its
gold-medal haul to 17. Other gold
medalists are Henry Dagmil,
Archand Christian Bagsit and
Eric Cray of athletics; Daniel
Parantac, Jessie Aligaga and
Dembert Arcita of wushu; Josie
Gabuco, Mark Barriga and Mario
Fernandez of boxing; Ramon
Franco of karatedo; Mark Galledo of cycling; Nestor Cordova of
rowing; the men's compound
archery team; and the men's
basketball team.
As of 4:30 p.m. (Wednesday
in Manila), defending champion
Thailand is still on top with 66
golds, 63 silvers and 57 bronzes
followed by Myan-mar (52-4149), Vietnam (51-48-54),
Indonesia (47-59-67), Malaysia
(27-25-49), Singapore (23-2131), Philippines (17-21-26),
Cambodia (5-7-14), Laos (4-824), Brunei (1-1-4) and TimorLeste (1-0-2).
Fil-Japanese Syuri Kondo
to introduce professional
wrestling in the country
By Crispina Martinez - Belen
Filipino-Japanese Syuri Kondo
was in town recently to turn over a
donation from her colleagues in
Japan to victims of super-typhoon
“Yolanda.” The ceremony of
donation was held on Nov. 30 at
Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria and
was delivered to the Rotary Club
Southern Pampanga District 3790.
Another reason for Syuri's visit
was to introduce professional
wrestling in the country. Simply
known as Syuri and by her ring
name KG (for Karate Girl), she is a
professional wrestler, shoot boxer
and kick boxer. She currently plays
for the Wrestling New Classic
(WNC) promotion, where she is on
her second reign as the WNC
Women's champion.
There are many wrestling fans
in the Philippines but the sport
itself is not played professionally
and this is why Syuri and execs of
t h e Re i n a Wo m e n' s Wo r l d
Championship (RWWC) came over
to establish a professional
wrestling promotion.
RWWC has had a long standing
relationship with the Philippines.
“We have started working on a
project that aims to establish a
training center for professional
wrestling in the Philippines,”
related Ankei “Riki” Tamashiro,
RWWC president.
On Jan. 25, 2014, that project
will finally be realized with the
first wrestling tournament in the
country to be held at Ynares Sports
Arena in Pasig City. Syuri will
headline the tournament.
So why did Syuri become a
wrestler when she could have
been a movie or TV star as was her
initial dream? “Ang dream ko
talaga maging sikat na artista,”
Syuri said through interpreter
Susan Ishimura. She has dabbled
in music, working with a female
singing group Apple Tale on a
collaboration called “Apple Tree
with Syuri” and they released their
debut album on Jan. 13. The next
year, Syuri came up with her first
Page 33
December 20-26, 2013
Page 33
Syuri Kondo
Fil-Japanese ...
From page 32
Gravure DVD titled “Watashi.”
When a big talent center in
To k y o a u d i t i o n e d f o r
prospective actors, Syuri was
among the hopefuls. Syuri, who
is into karate, was lucky enough
to be among the 10 chosen. But a
talent in the talent center saw in
her the potential of becoming a
wrestling champion so he
encouraged her to turn into
wrestling instead.
The 24-year-old Syuri also
worked as a model for fashion
magazines and was a movie bit
player after high school. But fate
led her to professional wrestling.
After retiring the Smash Diva
Championship in 2012, Syuri
became part of the roster of the
promotion that followed Smash
called Wrestling New Classic.
And last Nov. 18, WNC and
RWWC announced that Syuri
had signed a dual contract with
the two promotions, making her
the first female wrestler to hold
such a contract and distinction.
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 49 Sudoku
Solution to Issue 49 Crossword
Djustin and Raphael Mella and Vidal Marvin Gabriel flash top form en route to a gold medal feat in the men's poomsae
of the 27th SEA Games in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar. Joey Mendoza
We could have done better - PSC chief
By Marc Anthony Reyes
Philippine Sports
Commission chair Richie
Garcia yesterday said the
country's delegation could
have done better as the 27th
Southeast Asian Games nears
the homestretch in Burma
“We lost some gold medals
that we should have won. We
are OK. but we could have done
better,” said Garcia, referring to
losses in boxing, wrestling and
Garcia said he's still waiting
for the results of the last few
events before he can make an
overall picture of the SEA
Games campaign.
The Philippines is hoping to
finish strong in taekwondo,
judo and athletics to achieve
the new target of 25 golds from
the original goal of 30 wins
predicted by PH chef de
m i s s i o n J e f f Ta m a y o .
Help Wanted
December 20-26, 2013
Page 34
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Experience helpful.
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with excellent
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skills and able to
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Good salary.
Email resume,
Attn. President:
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Two Bedrooms
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Email resumes:
[email protected]
Fax resume:
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baths and parking
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Contact person: Joy
Phone: 201-234-7152
Email: [email protected]
The Filipino Express is only
$40 a year for 52 issues
December 20-26, 2013
Page 35
May the
blessings of Christmas
be with you today
and always.
December 20-26, 2013
Page 36

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