December 28, 2012-January 3, 2013 - Asian Journal Digital Editions

December 28, 2012-January 3, 2013 - Asian Journal Digital Editions

We’ve got you covered from Hollywood to Broadway... and Online!Volume 6 – Issue 5 • 16 PagesDATELINEUSAFROM THE AJPRESS NEWS TEAM ACROSS AMERICASEATTLE—US Immigration and CustomsEnforcement reached its highestnumber yet of companies audited forillegal immigrants on their payrolls thispast fiscal year.Audits of employer I-9 forms increasedfrom 250 in fiscal year 2007 tomore than 3,000 in 2012. From fiscalyears 2009 to 2012, the total amount offines grew to nearly $13 million from $1million. The number of company managersarrested has increased to 238, accordingto data provided by ICE.The investigations of companies havebeen one of the pillars of PresidentBarack Obama’s immigration policy.When Obama recently spoke aboutaddressing immigration reform in hissecond term, he said any measureshould contain penalties for companiesthat purposely hire illegal immigrants.It’s not a new stand, but one he willlikely highlight as his administrationlaunches efforts to revamp the nation’simmigration system.“Our goal is compliance and deterrence,”said Brad Bench, special agentin charge at ICE’s Seattle office. “Themajority of the companies we do auditson end up with no fines at all, but againit’s part of the deterrence method. Ifcompanies know we’re out there, lookingacross the board, they’re more likelyto bring themselves into compliance.”While the administration has usedthose numbers to bolster their recordDECEMBER 28, 2012-JANUARY 3, 2013White House criticizespassage of SpendingReduction BillLOS ANGELES—The Obama administrationissued a stern rebuke, after Republicans in theHouse of Representatives passed legislationthat replaces looming defense cuts for ones inMedicaid and other social programs.The fiscal showdown between Republicansand Democrats in Washington continuedon Thursday, with Speaker John Boehner’sPlan B measure failing to garner any supportand House Republicans, instead passing theSpending Reduction Act of 2012, which divertsan estimated $110 billion in defense anddomestic cuts slated for next year, for massivecuts in social spending.White House Deputy Press Secretary for theEconomy, Amy Brundage, issued a statementshortly after the legislation narrowly passed bya vote margin of 215-209. No Democrats supportedthe measure and 21 Republicans alsovoted against it.“[The bill] entirely eliminates federal fundingfor services like Meals on Wheels – whichserves 1.7 million seniors – by getting rid ofthe Social Services Block Grant,” said Brundagein the White House blog.“This would also eliminate federal funds forchild care and related assistance for 4.4 millionTHE ASIAN JOURNAL YEAREND REPORTIN 2012, as in past years, the Asian Journal chronicled issues andcovered events that affected the Filipino-American community. Theyear was particularly important to Filipino-Americans after a studyvalidated their rising number and growing economic and politicalpower in the country. Among others, the study made America moreaware of this community’s strong influence. This year, too, the nationcontinued to witness Filipino-Americans’ character, talent andskills in politics and sports. Love for their home country and their“bayanihan” spirit, meanwhile, continued to endure even as membersof the community individually and as a group made their marks inAmerica the past year.The Asian Journal news team presents, in no particular order, thetop personalities and events that either made headlines in the Filipino-American community or put the group in the spotlight in 2012.1. Filipinos in America: A forceful power blockLast June, the Pew Research Center released a report that highlightedthe “rise of the Asian Americans.” The study revealed thatAsian Americans have surpassed Hispanics in the number of newimmigrants to the US, potentially changing the socio-political dynamicsof the nation in the years to come.The findings said this group is a power block which consists ofelectorates who are highly-educated and highly-skilled, have higherincome, and are hardworking. The Pew Research further showed thatFilipino-Americans are currently the second largest Asian group inthe country, next to Chinese-Americans. Now numbering 3.4 million,Filipinos in America account for 19.7 percent of the Asian group,while the Chinese account for 23.3 percent at 4 million.Most Filipino-Americans are residing in the West Coast, of which2.5 million are adults aged 18 years old and above, the Pew StudyTHE Philippines last Dec. 26 denounced China’sdecision to strengthen islands at the center of territorialdisputes in the West Philippine Sea (SouthChina Sea) as a violation of international law.“Sansha City has been a subject of a Philippineprotest as its administrative jurisdiction encompassesPhilippine territory and maritime zones inon immigration enforcement, advocatessay the audits have pushed workers furtherunderground by causing mass layoffsand disrupted business practices.When the ICE audit letter arrived atBelco Forest Products, managementwasn’t entirely surprised. Two nearbybusinesses in Shelton, a small timbertown on a bay off Washington state’sPuget Sound, had already been investigated.But the 2010 inquiry became aPH hits China plan to fortify Sanshamonths-long process that cost the timbercompany experienced workers andmoney. It was fined $17,700 for technicalitieson their record keeping.“What I don’t like is the roll of thedice,” said Belco’s chief financial officerTom Behrens. “Why do some companiesget audited and some don’t? Eithereveryone gets audited or nobodydoes. Level the playing field.”Belco was one of 339 companiesPH is17th mostgenerouscountryTHE Philippines is 17th in thelist of the world’s most generouscountries, results of a study conductedby a British organizationshowed.The country entered the top20 list of the World Giving Index2012, a study that measured thegenerosity of 146 countries basedon their “giving behaviors” suchas donating money to a charity,volunteering for an organization,and helping strangers.According to the Charities AidFoundation (CAF), the Philippineshad a giving index score of45 percent. The country sharedthe same spot with Finland andTrinidad and Tobago.It also said that the Philippines’world giving score exceeded itsfive-year average.the West Philippine Sea,” the Department of ForeignAffairs (DFA) said, referring to China’s announcementthat it would develop Woody Island inthe Paracels and other islands in the sea that thePhilippines and other Southeast Asian countries aredisputing.“China’s action to fortify Sansha City is an attemptto reinforce its excessive nine-dash claim,which is a violation of international law, especiallythe United Nations Convention on the Law of theSea,” said DFA spokesman Raul Hernandez.Hernandez said the Philippines would pressahead with its political, legal and diplomaticTop Newsmakers of 2012said, as reported by website, with their high quality of education, strong ethics and positiveThe study also showed Filipino-Americans are considered as “more value system. (Cynthia de Castro)well-off” compared to other Asian Americans and the entire US populationin general. They have a median annual family income of $75,000m The year 2012 was a big one for the immigrant community in the2. Obama’s DACA makes waves in immigrant communitythe second highest, next to Indian Americans. This is despite having US. On June 15, Pres. Obama made a bold announcement as he laida comparatively low median personal income of $43,000. Poverty out the plans for an administrative policy that would grant undocumentedimmigrants a two-year reprieve from deportation proceedingsincidence among Fil-Ams, meanwhile, is low at 6 percent comparedto other Asian groups which at 12 percent and the US national averageof 13 percent.The administration emphasized the rationale behind the policy theyand permit to work in the country.Some 47 percent of Filipino-Americans aged 25 and above are called Calling it the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).bachelor degree holders, which isIt said that the “undocumented immigrantyouth, who were broughthigher than the national percentageat 28 percent, the study America through no fault of theirFilipino-Americans have a moreown, have grown up to live American“positive view” of raising children,lives, earned American education, arewith 64 percent saying that inculcatingFilipino values and heritage putspaperwork.”Americans themselves except for the“the right amount of pressure” for kidsTwo months later, on August 15,to do better in school.the US Citizenship and ImmigrationIn politics, Filipino-Americans areService (USCIS) started accepting applicationsfor the DACA program. Ofthe most moderate among the Asiangroups. Of the group, 42 percent regardthemselves as moderate while 33nation, the USCIS has approved onlyover 100,000 applications across thepercent view themselves as conservative.Some 20 percent, meanwhile, seeof September 27.27 applicants for the two-year grant asthemselves as liberal.Among the 27, two previously undocumentedimmigrants who are nowFigures in the study showed thatthat Filipino-Americans may trulyDACA status grantees were clients ofbecome a significant power block in

An AP review of audits that resultedin fines in fiscal year 2011fined in fiscal year 2011 and oneof thousands audited that year. shows that the federal governmentis fining industries acrossEmployers are required tohave their workers fill out an I-9 the country reliant on manualform that declares them authorizedto work in the country. Cur-hired immigrants. The data pro-labor and that historically haverently, an employer needs only to vides a glimpse into the resultsverify that identifying documents of a process affecting thousandslook real.of companies and thousands ofThe audits, part of a $138 millionworksite enforcement effort, Over the years, ICE hasworkers nationwide.rely on ICE officers scouring over switched back-and-forth betweenmaking names of the com-payroll records to find namesthat don’t match Social Security panies fined public or not. Lately,numbers and other identification ICE has emphasized its criminaldatabases.investigations of managers, suchThe audits “don’t make any as a Dunkin’ Donuts managersense before a legalization program,”said Daniel Costa, an rest for knowingly hiring illegalin Maine sentenced to home ar-immigration policy analyst at immigrants or a manager of anthe Economic Policy Institute, Illinois hiring firm who got 18a Washington, D.C., think tank. months in prison.“You’re leaving the whole thing Many employers also wonderup to an employer’s eyesight how ICE picks the companies itand subjective judgment, that’s probes.the failure of the law. There’s no “Geography is not a factor.verification at all. Then you have The size of the company is notis the government making a subjectivejudgment about subjec-is not a factor. We can audit anya factor. And the industry it’s intive judgment.”company anywhere of any size,”FROM THE FRONT PAGEBench said. He added ICE auditorsfollow leads from the pub-spokesman declined comment. legality of a company’s work-“Usually the company will spenders to follow the law. A Heinz to see the burden of proving the fine is the least of it,” she said.lic, other employers, employees Bench didn’t have specifics on force go from the employer to more on legal fees. But it is aand do perform some random what percentage of fines come the government. She’d like to huge headache for the companyaudits.from companies having illegal see a type of program, such as E- to lose workers.”But ICE auditors hit ethnic immigrants on their payroll, as Verify, be implemented with the Wood said she’d like to see thestores, restaurants, bakeries, opposed to technical paperwork I-9 employment form. E-Verify is agency go after more criminalmanufacturing companies, construction,food packaging, jani-Julie Wood, a former deputy private employers that checks a that treat workers inhumanely.fines in recent years.a voluntary and free program for charges and focus on companiestorial services, catering, dairies director at ICE who now runs a workers eligibility.(Manuel Valdes/Associatedand farms. The aviation branch consulting firm, said she’d like “At the end of the day, the Press)of corporate giant GE, franchisesof sandwich shop Subway and asubsidiary of food product companyHeinz were among somePH is 17th most generous...of the companies with nationalNetherlands (53 percent), Indonesia (52 percent),name recognition. GE was fined CAF noted that while the Filipinos scored a poor United Kingdom (51 percent), Paraguay (50 percent),Denmark (49 percent), Liberia (49 percent),$2,000.32 percent in terms of monetary donations, theirIn fiscal year 2011, the most high sense of volunteerism gave them a score of Iran (48 percent), Turkmenistan (48 percent), Qatarrecent year reviewed by AP, the 44 percent.(47 percent), Sri Lanka (47 percent), Hong Kongmedian fine was $11,000. The The Filipinos’ sense of volunteerism, the report (44 percent) and Oman (44 percent).state with the most workplaces said, was fifth highest in the world and was the top CAF, however, observed a decline in charitablefined was Texas with 63, followedby New Jersey with 37. The country also earned a high mark of 58 per-“According to our report, hundreds of millionsin Southeast Asia.acts all over the world in recent years.The lowest fine was $90 to a cent in helping strangers.fewer people have helped others than was the caseMassachusetts fishing company. Australia topped this year’s world giving index last year,” said John Low, CAF chief executive.The highest fine was $394,944 to with a score of 60 percent. Ireland (60 percent), “This has inevitably resulted in a dramatic reductionin charitable support for millions of vulnerablean employment agency in Minneapolis,according to the data and the United States (57 percent) filled the sec-people the world over,” Low added.Canada (58 percent), New Zealand (57 percent)released to AP through a public ond to fifth spot, scoring high in terms of monetary The World Giving Index 2012 was compiled usingdata collected throughout 2011 and surveyedrecords request.donations.A Subway spokesman said the Other countries included in the top 20 were The over 155,000 people. ( advises franchise own-White House criticizes passage of Spending...children; services for nearly 1 million disabled individual;and child protective services which serve1.8 million at-risk children.”“They also dismantle programs that help homeownersand prevent foreclosures, one of the mostcritical sources of federal assistance for homeownerswho are struggling with foreclosure and needloan modifications,” she added.“Not only would this limit the home preservationoptions available to struggling homeowners butwould also undermine efforts to support the housingmarket’s fragile recovery.”“This bill is a step backwards and it’s nothingmore than a dangerous diversion,” she said. tor Reid on legislation to avert the fiscal cliff,” saidAlthough the White House immediately slammed Boehner. “The House has already passed legislationto stop all of the January 1 tax rate increasesthe passage of the bill, there was really no needto make such a statement. Many political pundits and replace the sequester with responsible spendingcuts that will begin to address our nation’s crip-don’t expect the Spending Reduction Act to go anyfurther than the House.pling debt. The Senate must now act.”The Democrats are in control of the Senate and With the fiscal cliff looming, the President andPresident Barack Obama most certainly would veto Congress will resume talks again after the Christmasbreak knowing they only have less than a weekthe measure, if it reaches his desk.Plan B fallsto come up with a proposal to avert a potential economiccrisis.The passage of the Spending Reduction Billcame right before Speaker John Boehner’s (R- “The President’s main priority is to ensure thatOhio) “Plan B” legislation, a proposal that would taxes don’t go up on 98 percent of Americans andraise taxes for Americans who earn more than $1 97 percent of small businesses in just a few shortmillion.days,” said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney,in a statement.Both measures seek to avert the “fiscal cliff”which will take into effect come January 1, 2013. “The President will work with Congress to getBoehner, though, failed to garner any support this done and we are hopeful that we will be able tofrom his own GOP caucus and opted not to put the find a bipartisan solution quickly that protects themeasure through a vote.middle-class and our economy.” (Joseph Pimentel/“Now it is up to the president to work with Sena- AJPress)

plans to resolve its dispute withPH hits China plan to fortify...Bloomberg, still quoting the21st Century Herald, said thefunds for Sansha would also beness and financial news agency for airports, ports, piers and other spent on marine law enforcementBloomberg quoted the 21st CenturyBusiness Herald as saying as law enforcement vessels, supstructionof some facilities hadimportant infrastructure, as well and ocean fisheries and that con-China over Panatag Shoal (ScarboroughShoal) and seven islands that China had approved plans to ply ships and other projects to be already the Spratlys in the West airport, pier and other infra-saying in a statement.have protested China’s creationinvest at least $1.6 billion to build established,” Jiang was quoted as The Philippines and VietnamBesides the Philippines, Brunei,Malaysia and Vietnam claim territorial disputes with its South-implement a platform for San-China built Sansha in June forstructure on islands involved in “In the long term, we need to of of the sea that is home to east Asian neighbors.sha’s development,” Jiang added. the administration of the Paracelssea-lanes vital to global trade and The report quoted Jiang Dingzhi,governor of China’s Hainan Sansha is a garrison town on The DFA said Sansha’s jurisdic-Garrison townand the Spratlys.vast deposits of oil and gas.Taiwan also claims parts of the province, as saying that the plans Woody Island, one of the islands, tion covered the Kalayaan Islandsea, nearly all of which China insistsis part of its territory. Sansha’s development in the long claiming in the Paracel archipel-an integral part of the Philippinewere intended as “a platform for reefs and atolls that Vietnam is Group in the Spratlys, which “is$1.6-billion investment term.”ago in its part of the area that it territory falling under the municipalityof Kalayaan in PalawanIn a report on Monday, busi- “Sansha’s immediate work is calls East Sea.take over for him, SpoelstraTop his 16th year with theteam - and fourth as a headcoach- led the Heat to a 46-20 record, first in their division,and marched towardsthe Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC). The organization,based in Los Angeles, CA conducted free legal clinics, and provided freethe NBA championship forlegal counsel and representation to the many undocumented youth.the second straight year.“This is our collective first step in a multicultural movement to passThe Heat defeated a talentedupstart Oklahomathe DREAM Act and immigration reform,” APALC president and executivedirector Stewart Kwoh had said in a press conference.Thunder squad in five gamesMany political pundits point to the DACA program and a progressiveto capture the NBA Championship.Spoelstra becameapproach to immigration reform as the key factors to Obama’s successfulbid for earning the immigrant community’s vote in the Novemberthe first Filipino-American2012 elections. (Mico Letargo)and Asian American head3. Filipino-Americans win seats in November pollscoach to win an NBA title.The 2012 presidential election will go down in history as one ofIt was Spoelstra’s secondthe closest ever. In the Filipino-American community, this electionchampionship, his first as awas also historic since more than a dozen had won elected positions head coach. He served as anduring the polls. assistant when the Heat wonThe winners’ circle in California include Rob Bonta who won a seat for the title in 2006.the State Assembly District 18. His win has made history, being the firstTo celebrate, SpoelstraFil-Am in the California State Assembly. Jose Esteves, meanwhile, was -whose mother is from San Pablo Laguna- brought the Larry O’Brienreelected as mayor of the city of Milpitas while Christopher Cabaldon Trophy home to the Philippines, a nation known to love basketball withran unopposed for reelection bid a passion. There he also met with Pres. Aquino and conducted an NBAas West Sacramento city mayor. clinic for Filipino kids.Incumbent Jim Navarro was able In his fifth year, Spoelstra and the Heat are at it again. As of December,to retain his seat in the Union City the Heat are in first place and favored to repeat as NBA champions inCouncil2013. (Joseph Pimentel)Filipino-Americans also won 5. A year Manny Pacquiao would rather forgetseats in various Board of Trusteesfor community college and schooldistricts in the Golden State. Theseinclude Rudy Nasol, Vince Songcayawon,and Wendy Ho.Outside of California, severalFilipino-Americans also ran successfulcampaigns for congressionalseats as well as local andregional posts.In Hawaii, Henry Aquino (38thDistrict), Romy Cachola (30th District),and Gilbert S. Keith Agaran(9th District) ran unopposed forseats in the House of Representatives.In the State Senate, Will Espero and Donna Mercado Kim ranunopposed, while Donovan dela Cruz won a seat.Kymberly Marcos Pine won a seat in the Honolulu City Council,together with unopposed candidates Joey Manahan and Ron Menor.Also, Gregor Ilagan was elected to the Hawaii County Council, whileDon Guzman won a seat in the Kahului Council in Maui County.In the East Coast, incumbent Virginia 3rd district representative RobertC. Scott, the first American of Filipino descent to serve in Congress,was reelected to an eleventh term. Leonard Tengo, meanwhile, nabbeda seat in the Virginia School Board for the Centerville School District.Meanwhile, Jessica O’Brien got elected as Judge for the Cook CountyCircuit Court in Illinois. (Mico Letargo)4. Confident coach Erik Spoelstra captures NBA championshipAlways on the perpetual hot seat as leader of arguably one of thebest teams in the NBA, Filipino-American head coach Erik Spoelstra setaside the criticisms against him and brought home the championshipfor the Miami Heat in 2012.Like the year prior, the Heat were perennial favorites when theyentered the strike-shortened 2011-2012 NBA season. But one thingcritics said was holding the team back. That is their young, inexperiencedhead coach Spoelstra.There was a lot of gossip about how the young coach was receivedin the sports community. Rumors swirled that Heat president Pat Rileywould step down from his executive perch to take over the team. Otherrumors hinted at retired 11-time NBA champion Phil Jackson takingover the talented Heat team whose lineup included the Big Three ofLebron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh.But the 42-year-old Spoelstra better known as “Coach Spo” was neverworried. With the confidence of Riley, the man who many thought wouldprovince.”showing the entire sea as part of“For this reason, the Philippines its territory.does not recognize Sansha City The Philippines and Vietnamand the extent of its jurisdiction have protested the new maritimeand considers recent measures rules and the map on the newtaken by China as unacceptable,” Chinese passport and refused toHernandez said.stamp visas on it.New border rulesOther members of the Associationof Southeast Asian NationsIn late November, Hainan provinceannounced new maritime have expressed fears the new Chinesemaritime rules could lead torules that would allow its borderpatrols to board, search and expel armed confrontations in disputedforeign ships that enter what it parts of the sea.considers its territory in the sea. The United States, which hasThe new rules, believed to have declared it has a “national interest”in freedom of navigation inapproval from Beijing, wouldcome into effect on Jan. 1. the sea, has asked China to clarifyChina also issued a new passporton which is stamped a map border rules. ( extent and purpose of the newIt’s been a forgettable year for Filipino boxing superstar and SaranganiCongressman Manny Pacquiao. Having won 15 straight fightssince 2005, Pacquiao suffered two shocking defeats and many morepersonal controversies in 2012.After a close win against Juan Manuel Marquez to end the year in2011, the partying Pacquiao left his playboy ways and other “vices” todevote himself to God.Daily Bible study sessions and singing of hymns replaced late nightdart and karaoke gatherings in Pacquiao’s penthouse in Los Angeles.The devout Catholic was ambiguous as to exactly which religion he’scurrently practicing. He said he’s a “born-again.” Is that a Christian? ACatholic? Evangelical? To this day, no one is still quite sure.

The Driving Force Behind LADOTbyCYNTHIA DE CASTRO / AJPressIT has been said that Los Angeles Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa chooses only the best and the brightest to workfor him.Thus, when he announced last tion (LADOT), with a combined budget of over US$8.3 billion . the recently adopted city-wide bicycle plan.year that our kababayan Jaime He led signature transportation initiatives for the mayor, includingthe successful 2008 Measure R half-cent transportation sales work. “The challenge for Los Angeles is to expand the overall ca-In an interview with, de la Vega talked about hisde la Vega was his nominee forGeneral Manager of the Los AngelesDepartment of Transporta-Born to leaddriving. This includes: expanding the rail system (which is fastertax as well as the 30/10 initiative and America Fast Forward. pacity of the transportation system and create viable alternatives to tion (LADOT), it proves that de la “Jaime is an experienced public policyand more reliable than bus); maintaining a robust bus systemVega belongs to LA’s crème dela leader and manager with extensive experienceworking in city government,near-term); making policy decisions that make tran-(because rail will not connect every neighborhood in thecrème. As General Manager of LADOT, reforming departmental operations,and developing and imple-system and bus lanes); and facilitating developsitmore effective (such as the city’s transit priorityJaime de La Vega is responsiblefor leading the department, as menting transportation projectsment patterns (transit oriented development) well as day-to-day operations. at both the local and regionalso that people have choices and can takeHe manages a multi-faceted level,” Villaraigosa said of Detransit, cycle, or walk instead of driving.organization with over 1,700 employeesand an annual budget of ership, management ability,role in supporting the evolution of Losla Vega. “Jaime has the lead-“LADOT will continue its leadershipUS$493 million (FY 2012-2013).and dedication to the CityAngeles from an auto-centric to a multimodalcity. This includes: operating theDe la Vega’s work is tremendously challenging. His organization of Los Angeles to successfullylead the Departmentsecond largest bus service in Los An-enforces state and local parking laws; provides traffic control servicesto support public safety agencies and special events; designs, of Transportation.”geles County (after MTA); continuing tooperates, and maintains the most advanced traffic signal system Upon his appointmentpartner with MTA to make its bus servicein the US; operates the second largest bus service in Los Angeles by the LA City Council, Demore efficient (e.g. priority signals and busCounty; supports private development and public works projects, la Vega said in a press release:Plan; improving pedestrian safety; sup-lanes); implementing the city’s Bicycleincluding major new transit lines, through traffic managementplans and review and approval of signal and striping plans; maintainsthe city’s traffic signal system, road markings, and regulatory portation is home to somebusway program; and working with“The Department of Transportingdevelopment of MTA’s rail andsignage; implements the city’s bicycle plan; operates the city’s over of the hardest working andDepartment of City Planning on new39,000 on-street parking meters and 118 off-street parking facilities;and regulates taxis, ambulances, and pipelines in the city. who are advancing cut-Making an impact in the commu-most innovative employeestransit-oriented plans.”Aside from his work at LADOT, de la Vega is also a voting alternateon the Southern California Regional Rail Authority (Metrolink) out the City. I look forwardMarried with three daughters, de lating-edge projects throughnityBoard of Directors representing the Los Angeles County MetropolitanTransportation Authority (MTA). Metrolink oversees a five-what is broken within theFernando working with them to fixVega lives in Woodland Hills in the Sancounty commuter rail system operating seven lines and 512 route management system.”De la Vega wishes more Filipinos wouldmiles, with an annual budget of US$568 million (FY 2012-2013). De la Vega is currently workingon the largest transportationwhere you can really make a differencebuild a career in public policy because that’sEducation and careerBorn in London to a Filipino father and a British mother, de la infrastructure building projectand create impact in the community.Vega moved to California with his family in 1971, when his father in City history including: doubling“There’s a lot of work to be done. Youfound a job here.the amount of rail; finalizing the synchronizationof the city’s traffic signals;truly work hard,” he said in ancan overcome challenges, if you justInfluenced by his father (who is an architect), de la Vega chose togo into urban planning. “ I wanted to make the city a better place to supporting construction on the I-interview. live in,” said Jaime who graduated summa cum laude from CaliforniaState University at Northridge (CSUN) with a Bachelor of Arts commutes by up to 20405 which will reduce dailydegree in Urban Studies. He also holds a Master of Arts in Urban minutes; and im-Planning from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). plement-i n gDe la Vega worked as an independent management consultantserving various public sector clients in the Los Angeles area. From1993-1995, he was consulting for the Office of the Mayor, from1993-1995 and then became the Assistant Deputy Mayor and seniorpolicy advisor to Los Angeles Mayor Richard J. Riordan from1995-2001. He was a member of the Los Angeles County MetropolitanTransportation Authority Board of Directors from 1999-2001and was Mayor Riordan’s voting alternate in 1997.He then served as Budget Director for Los Angeles City AttorneyRockard J. Delgadillo from 2002-2005.From 2005-2011, de la Vega served as Deputy Mayor for Transportationfor Los Angeles Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa. He wasresponsible for developing and implementing Mayor Villaraigosa’stransportation agenda at the MTA, Los Angeles World Airports(LAWA), and the Los Angeles Department of Transporta-EVEN during theChristmas season, thePhilippine National Police(PNP) continues toprepare and plan securitymeasures to ensure safeand fair elections in May2013.PNP chief DirectorGeneral Alan Purisimahas taken the first step forpeaceful and orderly elections by meeting with seven of the 15police commanders of provinces declared “high risk.”“So far, I am satisfied with the security preparations of mypolice commanders, from the regional down to city and municipallevels,” said Purisima, who met with police provincial directorsof Abra, Pangasinan, Pampanga, Ilocos Sur, La Union,Cagayan, and Nueva Ecija last Sunday.Purisima said the meeting was meant to enable him to assessthe implementation of the election security campaign planin the provinces.He said the police force has long been preparing the bestelection security campaign plan to ensure the peaceful andcredible conduct of the midterm elections next year.THE Commission on Elections (Comelec)stands to save millions of pesos from ballot paperdue to the shortened list of party-list groups thatwill participate in the 2013 polls.Comelec commissioner Rene Sarmiento saidthe purging of party-list groups would also benefitvoters because they no longer have to dealwith a lengthy ballot paper next year.“It’s really better if we can have shorter ballotTHE six-month suspension of Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia andthe filing of plunder and administrative charges against PangasinanGov. Amado Espino Jr. will not ruin the chances in the coming midtermelections of the 12 senatorial candidates of the ruling LiberalParty (LP), Malacañang said .“The (LP) candidates will carry their own. These are peripheraland separate issues from what the voters will be concerned withcome May 2013 when they troop to the polling places,” deputypresidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said.Her declaration was in response to concerns that LP-led senatorialbets may suffer potential backlash from the administration’streatment of the governors of the two vote-rich provinces.Malacañang also warned that Garcia and her supporters arecourting trouble with their defiance of the suspension order.“It is clear that that suspension was a valid order, at least until itis overturned by the courts, so she is obliged to follow the law. Itcan’t be that if you don’t want the decision, you will not follow. Thatwould lead to chaos,” Presidential Communications Developmentand Strategic Planning Office Secretary Ricky Carandang said.“Governor Garcia has a recourse and if the courts rule that shehas to stay, then she will stay. But, in the meantime, she shouldcomply with the valid order and all government officials are alsoobliged to follow the law and encourage their fellow governmentofficials to abide by the law,” Carandang said.Asked if Palace officials were disappointed by Vice President JejomarBinay’s reportedly advising Garcia to defy the suspension order,Carandang said they were not. (Delon Porcalla/ during holidays, PNP still preparing for 2013 pollsPurisima reiterated his directive to continue house visitationsas part of the effort to account for loose firearms and firearmswith expired licenses.Task Force SAFE has been aggressively conducting operationsto account for a total of 552,338 firearms with expiredlicenses and some 25,000 others that have not been registeredat all, based on the information relayed by the police intelligencecommunity.During the first week of the Oplan Katok from Dec. 9 to 15,police elements accounted for 36 assorted loose firearms,while 926 guns with expired licenses were renewed and 187guns were surrendered.Police said the renewal of registration for 49 firearms arebeing processed after over 2,939 home visitations conductedin various areas nationwide as part of Oplan Katok.In an effort to account for firearms with expired registration,police authorities started conducting house visitation of delinquentfirearms owners to remind them of the consequences ofkeeping unlicensed firearms. Delinquent firearms owners weregiven options, either to surrender the firearms or renew thelicenses.Purisima said some 60 armed groups are now the target ofpreemptive strikes by the police while 47 other possible armedgroups are continuously being monitored. ( to save millions from ballot paperpapers. We cannot yet quantify but we’ll surelysave millions of pesos. Voters will also go througha shorter list, and queuing will also be short.There are many pluses if we have shorter ballots,”Sarmiento said.In the 2010 polls, the ballot was 26 inches long,primarily due to the 187 party-list organizationsthat joined the elections.Sarmiento said the paper used for the ballots inthe 2010 elections was imported from Canada.“I’m sure the paper that will be used next yearwill also be imported, plus special ink will alsobe used, and there will be barcodes and securitymarks that would really cost millions. So wecould really save a lot if we have shorter ballots,”he said.So far, only 83 party-list groups have been declaredqualified to run in the next elections.WHILE 52 party-list groups were given reprieve in their disqualificationby the Commission on Elections (Comelec), another wouldhave to give up hope of joining next year’s midterm polls.The Supreme Court (SC) has junked the petition filed by Kabalikatng Bayan sa Kaunlaran (Kabaka) of 5th Manila Rep. Amado Bagatsingquestioning the decision of the poll body to deny its applicationfor accreditation.In a two-page resolution promulgated last Dec. 4, the high courtupheld Comelec’s finding that Kabaka is a political party and thereforenot qualified to participate in the party-list elections. The SCdismissed petitioner’s argument that the poll body committed graveabuse of discretion.“In any event, the petition would still be dismissed for failure tosufficiently show that any grave abuse of discretion was committedby the Commission on Elections in rendering the challenged resolutionwhich, on the contrary, appears to be in accord with the factsand applicable law and jurisprudence,” reads part of the notice ofthe ruling signed by SC clerk of court Enriqueta Vidal.The SC also cited a technical ground in dismissing Kabaka’s petition.It explained that petitioner failed to comply with the requirementsmandated by the Rules of Court, particularly the submissionof duplicate original copies of the assailed Comelec ruling.Petitions of several other disqualified party-list groups have beendismissed by the SC, but it did not make its ruling available.Last Nov.13, the SC issued a status quo ante order sought by severalgroups disqualified by the Comelec.At least seven more groups also made a last-ditch effort to securea status quo ante order from the high court by filing petitions whenthe SC was already on break. ( Comelec had disqualified 269 groups, including60 organizations whose accreditation itcancelled for failing to get two percent of the totalvotes cast for party-list system in 2007 and 2010polls.Of this, 52 have managed to get status quoante orders from the Supreme Court (SC), whichmeans their disqualification is not yet official.(Sheila Crisostomo/ Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) confirmed that theNew People’s Army (NPA) has been selling permits to campaignto politicians in their areas of jurisdiction since October.Armed Forces spokesman Col. Arnullfo Marcelo Burgos Jr., onWednesday said that besides implementing the “no permit, nocampaign” policy, the rebel group continues with its extortion activitiesto generate more funds for their armed struggle.He said that in 2011 alone, the NPA collected some P300 millionfrom extortion and possibly much more during election periods.“Despite their projection of being a pro-poor guerilla organization,the NPA continues with their extortion and harassment activitiesto accumulate funds for their armed violence,” Burgos said.“This illegal practice has brought tremendous damage and sufferingto business establishments and individuals and eventuallycaused the further decline in their mass based support,” he added.NPA’s imposition of permit to campaign (PTC) fee was confirmedby Lt. Col Noel Vestuir, commanding officer of the 20th InfantryBattalion, 8th Infantry Division, based in Magsaysay, Lopede Vega, Northern Samar; and Lt. Col. Eugenio Julio Osias IV,spokesman of the 4th Infantry Division based in Camp EdilbertoEvangelista in Patag, Cagayan de Oro City.Vestuir said that the NPA have been selling permits to local politicianswho will be running in the coming elections but the candidatesare denying it.Osias said that the AFP is addressing the situation by conductinginformation and awareness campaign, and gatheringintelligence that would lead to the apprehensions of NPA rebels.(

Top Newsmakers...and courage to serve God in theLeading up to his bout against midst of adversities. On April 2,undefeated Timothy Bradley, 1672, at the age of 17, San PedroPacquiao’s religious conversion was martyred in Tumon, Guam,took center stage.together with San Vitores.Not only were people wonderinghow he could promote peace of the 17th-century teen martyr,To celebrate the canonizationand God’s work while working as nearly one million Filipino RomanCatholics gathered in centrala violent boxer. Then, a monthbefore the fight, the issue of gay Cebu City last November. Pres.marriage came up. Pacquiao was Aquino joined the celebrationasked his thoughts on the sensitive as Calungsod’s flower-deckedissue but the writer misquoted and wooden statue arrived at a shrineindirectly attributed a passage in built in his honor. Cardinal Ricardothe infamous book of Leviticus as Vidal urged the faithful to emulatethe Filipino’s saying.Calungsod’s love for Christ andThe article went viral and the sacrifice for his fellow men.Filipino champion’s image took The statue of St. Pedro Calungsodwas then brought in from Cebua major public relation hit. Gayand Lesbian groups denounced City, Philippines to the US in timePacquiao and thousands of people for the special celebration amongsigned a petition for Nike to drop Filipino American Catholics. Thethe popular Filipino boxer. special mass honoring St. PedroAlthough the writer eventually Calungsod was con-celebrated atadmitted the foul up, things got St. Genevieve Catholic Church,worst for the Filipino.Panorama City, last Nov. 30.The long-time reigning WBO Bishop Oscar Solis presided overwelterweight champion appeared the mass, also celebrated by have dominated his bout against Fr. Alden J. Sison, pastor of St.Bradley only to see two of the Genevieve Church, with 12 priestsjudges score the decision in his and two deacons. Hundreds ofopponent’s favor.parishioners attended the eventWith a boxing date looming in and a reception followed after thethe Fall, many expected Pacquiao mass. (Cynthia de Castro)to avenge his loss, and rematch 7. The most fatal typhoon andBradley to reclaim the title and set the wrath of ‘Habagat’up a lucrative $100 million dollar Among the typhoons thatfight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. wreaked havoc in the Philippinesfor 2013. Instead, his team opted in 2012, typhoon Pablo (internationalname Bopha) that hit South-to fight Marquez for the fourthtime in December.ern Mindanao in December wasTraining like a madman with the most fatal one, with death tollknown steroid dealer Angel marked at 1,000 and is still climbing.Amid rescue operations and“Memo” Herredia, the 39-year-oldMarquez knocked down Pacquiao retrieval searches, Pres. Aquinoin the second and landed a crushingknock out counter punch in of national calamity.”declared the country under “statethe end of the sixth round for the The typhoon’s devastation wasvictory.a rallying point for the global Filipinocommunity who tried to helpEvery dog has his day, they say.You can only give a guy so many victims in whatever way they can.chances before he overcomes. Likewise, the international communityalso showed their support.Even the Washington Generalsbeat the Harlem Globetrotters.After suffering the brutal knockout,many now question the 33-year-old Pacquiao’s future insidethe ring. A potential $100 milliondollar fight against Mayweather isoff the table. How will the Filipinorecuperate with such a stunningdefeat? (Joseph Pimentel)6. San Pedro Calungsod, secondFilipino saintNearly 350 years after his shortlife, Pedro Calungsod was canonizedlast Oct. 21 by Pope BenedictXVI. He became the second Filipinosaint after St. Lorenzo Ruiz.St. Pedro Calungsod was born US Sen. Harry Reid encouragedon July 21, 1654 in Ginatilan, Cebu Filipinos to draw strength fromin the Philippines. Since his childhood,Calungsod has devoted himmunityand moving towards a neweach other in rebuilding its comselfto God. He was educated and path. He also sympathized withtrained in the Jesuit seminary in the families of Filipinos in NevadaCebu. When he was only 14 years “who have loved ones, family, orold, he left the Philippines to join friends in the Philippines” whothe mission of Blessed Diego San were victims of the recent typhoon.The senator further men-Vitores to the Ladrones Islands,now known as Guam.tioned that the “United States hasCalungsod served as the mass begun to provide the Philippinesassistant of San Vitores, an almostblindJesuit priest popularly known relief assistance and I will continuewith monetary and emergencyas Padre Diego. The Filipino also to monitor the damage caused byassisted the priest in baptizing the this tragic natural disaster,” addingthe “US has begun to providenative Chamorros. Calungsod alsoled his fellow young missionaries the Philippines with monetary andin constructing mission chapels emergency relief assistance and Iand he taught the natives the will continue to monitor the damagecaused by this tragic naturalCatechism of the Church in theirown language and through songs disaster.”and dances.Meanwhile, monsoon rainsHowever, many of the natives in informally tagged Habagat wasGuam resisted the Gospel. Pedro not a typhoon but it was likenedwas said to have spent long hours to one given the torrential rainsof prayer which gave him strength and thunderstorms it brought inCentral Luzon.Heavy rainscaused riversto overflow andhouses andbuildings weresubmerged. Therains eventuallytook away 95lives, destroyed8,428 homes,and washedaway agriculturallands. (Ju- lie Matienzo-Rodillas)8. Sandy shows East Coast“bayanihan spirit”When Hurricane Sandy wreakedhavoc in New York and New Jerseylast November, it destroyed homesand left people without power fordays. The hurricane affected morethan 60 million people in the Easternseaboard, when it met withtwo other powerful winter stormsystems, creating a disastrousstorm and damaging billions ofdollars worth of property.Many Filipinos were affected by the storm – some lost powerfor days, others had their homesflooded and a number lost theirhomes altogether. It was becauseof this need to help that other Filipinocommunity leaders gatheredtogether in the spirit of “bayanihan”to help those in need.The Philippine Consulate Generalin New York called on thecommunity leaders to check ifthey knew of Filipino families whowere affected. Among those whoresponded to the call was JulietPayabyab. The call for help thenwent thesocialnetworkroute,via Facebook,torecruitvolunteersandappealfor donations.Otherorganizationsandindividuals responded to this calland donations began to pour in,which included clothes, blankets,comforters to canned goods andrice. The volunteers also calledthe affected families to check theirspecific needs.GMA International (GMA PinoyTV) stepped in and became thebig donor of all rice cookers, bagsof rice, towels, detergents, dishwashingliquid, socks, personaleffects, gloves, hats, scarves forwinter and more which were allspecifically requested by the familiesaffected.“The recipients are all basementrenters who lost their placeand all belongings. They are nowstaying with their friends but needto move out as soon as possible.Some don’t have stable jobs andnot qualified for FEMA assistance.Majority are teachers in Brooklyn,”Payabyab shared.Financial help was also givento them by other groups such asHandang Tumulong Foundation,AFTA, FAR, and some collectionsfrom the community. (MomarVisaya)9. PH economy becomes one of“most improved” in the worldDespite various controversiesin the country, the outstandingeconomic performance of thePhilippines in 2012 has caught theattention of the local and internationalbusiness communities.Last September, the economywas considered one of the mostimproved in the world according

PRESIDENT Benigno AquinoOPINIONThe spirit of the seasonSINCE it’s that time of the year again – the season for sharing,giving and hope, we are holding off on the issues, the politics, thedisputes, the arguments and everything else disheartening.Instead, the Asian Journalwe should not forget the simplicityand humility of the very firstwould like to take this opportunityto focus on the good things Editorial Christmas – how our Savior wasthat 2012 has brought upon us,born in a humble manger and whybefore she officially bids us farewell.There is still a lot to be thankful for, and The best gift we can give to our loved onesHe was the best gift we ever had.the Christmas season is the best time to look this Christmas, is the gift of time. The gift ofback and remember them.lengthy conversations and laughter, despite theOf course, 2012 also had its share of imperfections,but what matters is that Pinoys are re-are fortunate to live in a generation where milesdistance. Technology is at our disposal and wesilient and that our spirits remain undaunted at are bridged by technological capabilities.the face of adversity.Most Pinoys abroad feel a longing to spendNot only that, we also value the concept of Christmas back in their homeland. For thoseteamwork – Pinoys across the globe are doingtheir share to keep the Philippine economy best gift their families and friends could everwho can afford it, coming home is perhaps, theafloat, despite trying times.have.Thousands of miles away from home, yet Pinoysabroad are investing their hard-earned US – a bountiful dinner, a slew of holiday par-As we celebrate in our own ways here in themoney on remittances and boosting the real estatemarket in the Philippines. It is this constant the joys of having a simple, yet heartfelt Christtiesand a lot of gift-giving – let us not forgetstriving and toil for the security of our loved mas.ones, which make us a unique people.Unlike the world’s economy, the holiday seasonneeds no saving. It is up to us to see its trueHowever, the spirit of Christmas should notbe dependent on material gifts and comforts meaning.alone. As as predominantly Christian nation, Have a blessed holiday season! (AJPress)Street TalkGREG B. MACABENTAIN the wake of the pre-Christmasmassacre of 20 school childrenand 6 teachers and schoolofficials in Connecticut, NationalRifle Association CEO WayneLaPierre is once more being portrayedas TheGrinch who’s stealingthe joys of the season.Like the predictable blamepassingand pompous proposalsthat follow every natural catastrophein the Philippines, shootingsprees in America staged bymentally unbalanced individuals,many of them in their teens, unleasha familiar torrent of protestsagainst the easy availability in theU.S. of high-powered firearms,and proposals for stricter guncontrols.But the gun lobby in Americaand the attitude of Americans,as a whole, are more powerfulthan the grief of parents andthe citizenry. It is unlikely thatany legislation that will tend todeprive Americans of the right tokeep and bear arms, enshrinedin the Second Amendment tothe Constitution, will gain anytraction.What could happen is lessresistance from opponents ofgun control to laws restrictingpurchase and ownership of highpoweredautomatic weapons.CommunityVoiceIII has just achieved a triumphthat has eluded every FilipinoPresident in our history andFAITH BAUTISTA ANDmatches, and perhaps exceeds,CORA MACABAGDAL-ORIELthe triumphs of America’s mostsuccessful President in the twentiethcentury, FDR.Against all odds, President Aquino took on and bested the CatholicChurch, the tobacco industry, the liquor industry, Filipino billionaires,such as Eduardo Cojuangco, Lucio Tan, former First Lady ImeldaMarcos and our great and highly popular world boxing champion,Manny Pacquiao.The President’s victories will have clear and immediate benefits tothe Philippines. But, more importantly, they are a signal to the world,including international bankers and investors, that the Philippines isgovernable and can achieve, within a democracy, what many believecan only be achieved through authoritarian governments, such asthe economic progress in China and Singapore.Family planning and Sin taxes Could help double our incomeand create millions of jobsFamily planning has been the key to economic growth in Japan,China, Korea, Singapore and Thailand. We oppose the authoritariantype of family planning that has led to China’s one child per familylaws. But, we do note that over 80% of Catholics in the United States,including Filipino American Catholics, practice family planning eventhough it is strongly opposed by the Catholic Church.The percentage of the population in the Philippines that supportfamily planning could be just as high as in the US. The vast majorityof our poor understand that ten poor children per family is not arecipe for quality education, adequate housing or good jobs. Unlikeother Asian nations that support family planning, either informally orformally, our poor nation’s population continues to explode. It wasless than 35 million when President Marcos first came into officealmost 45 years ago. Today it has tripled to over 104 million.With over 80% of our population being considered poor by thestandards in other Asian nations and at least 20 million that the UnitedNations contend live in extreme slum conditions, these reforms werelong overdue.Although our great and well-spoken boxing champion MannyPacquiao may be correct in his statement made only a few days afterhis losing battle with Marquez that, “Only God has power over this,”there may be another interpretation. Specifically, it is for the peopleof the Philippines, not the Church to interpret God’s will.The substantial increase in the sin taxes on tobacco and liquormay be equally admirable triumphs for President Aquino since thetobacco and liquor industries spend more in trying to defeat thesetax increases than what is lawfully spent in any Philippine Presidentialelection.Long-term positive consequences of a strong Democraticallyelected leaderIt has been a long time, far too long, since our nation has had astrong and respected democratically-elected leader. The accomplishmentsPresident Aquino achieved just before Christmas willbe an immediate Christmas gift to the people, much as PresidentAquino stated when he signed The Sin Tax Reform of 2012 atMalacañang. The Sin Tax Reform laws will generate a minimum of$500 billion pesos over the next ten years since the tax increasesFEATURESAquino’s triumphs could make the Philippines a rising Asian starThat has already happened inCalifornia, which has some of thestrictest gun laws in the US.To purchase a handgun in California,one has to have a HandgunSafety Certificate obtained bypassing a written test. Privatesales of firearms must be donethrough a licensed dealer andhandguns sold by dealers haveto be listed in a roster of weaponscertified for sale.Firearms sales are recordedby the state and require a tendaywaiting period. Most of all,the California State Constitutiondoes notexplicitly guarantee an individual’sright to keep and bear arms.However, many of California’sgun laws are being challenged inthe US Supreme Court, based onthe Second Amendment.In many other states of theUnion, the sale and purchase offirearms, including assault weapons,is unrestricted. People maycarry concealed weapons andeven openly carry them.This could explain why the USleads the world in terms of gunviolence. According to media reports,compared to 11 homicidesin 2008 in Japan, which does notallow private ownership of guns,except those for hunting andsports (and only after stringentclearance procedures), the US,had 9,484. Records indicate thatCalifornia and six other stateswith the strictest gun laws rankamong the top ten states withthe lowest per capita rates of gunare indexed to inflation.Equally important in the short run and far more important in thelong run, these Presidential successes are a signal to the internationalbanking and investors communities across the world that thePhilippines is on its way as our next successful Asian nation. This willalmost immediately enhance the Philippines’ credit rating from junkto investment-worthy and thereby help promote economic growthrates that could soon rival those in China.Because the sin tax revenue will be allocated for universal healthcare(including new public clinics and hospitals) and encourage themodernization of our substandard infrastructure, economic growthis likely to surpass virtually every Asian nation. This includes Japan,Vietnam and Korea. Also due to family planning, it is likely that wewill curtail our unsustainable population growth (tripling over thepast two generations and more than twice the growth rate throughoutthe rest of Asia). We will also finally be able to properly plan for jobgrowth at home. Perhaps within less than a generation, as Thailandand Korea have demonstrated, our best jobs will be in the Philippines,not in the United States, Singapore or the Arab world.A large number of Filipino Americans talk and dream about returningto the Philippines when they retire. Perhaps these reforms willalso encourage our well-educated and inspired Filipino Americanyouth to also return to the Philippines to help direct our motherlandtoward a bright and glorious future.Give a child a gun for Christmas?deaths.But despite overwhelmingempirical evidence that restrictionson gun ownership result ina reduction of gun violence anddeaths, America’s macho culture– routinely glorified in HollywoodWesterns and Rambo films – simplyhad a reverse effect on thecitizenry following the massacrein Connecticut.Reacting to news that strictergun laws would make it moredifficult for Americans to buy firearms,especially high-poweredones, the sale of these weaponshave gone through the roof. Inventoryin many gun stores hasrun low. Like folks stocking up onfoodstuff in anticipation of a hurricane,people have been rushingto buy their weapons before thelaws make it difficult to do so.Their attitude, it seems, is that,if there are crazed gunmen roamingthe streets, they had betterbe in a position to protect themselves.Thus, the race to stock upon firearms.NRA’s LaPierre couldn’t havestated this attitude more clearlywhen, in response to the outcryagainst gun violence, he proposedposting police and armedsecurity guards at schools.“Think about it. We care aboutour money, so we protect ourbanks with armed guards. Americanairports, office buildings,power plants, courthouses —even sports stadiums — are allprotected by armed security.“We care about the President,so we protect him with armedSecret Service agents. Membersof Congress work in offices surounded by armed Capitol Policeofficers.“Yet when it comes to the mostbeloved, innocent and vulnerablemembers of the American family— our children — we as a societyleave them utterly defenseless,and the monsters and predatorsof this world know it and exploitit. That must change now!”Refusing to concede that theproliferation of guns is one ofthe root causes of gun violence,LaPierre also passed the buck toanother bogeyman:“There exists in this country acallous, corrupt and corruptingshadow industry that sells, andsows, violence against its ownpeople. Through vicious, violentvideo games with names likeBulletstorm, Grand Theft Auto,Mortal Kombat and Splatterhouse.And here’s one: it’s calledKindergarten Killers. It’s beenonline for 10 years. How come myresearch department could find itand all of yours either couldn’t ordidn’t want anyone to know youhad found it?“Then there’s the blood-soakedslasher films like ‘American Psycho’and ‘Natural Born Killers’that are aired like propagandaloops on ‘Splatterdays’ and everyday, and a thousand music videosthat portray life as a joke andmurder as a way of life. And thenthey have the nerve to call it ‘entertainment.’...Achild growing upin America witnesses 16,000 murdersand 200,000 acts of violenceby the time he or she reaches theripe old age of 18.”The reaction to LaPierre’sproposal was one of derision,as reported in US media. MayorMichael Nutter of Philadelphiacalled LaPierre’sproposal of armed guards inschools “insane” and added thatthe man “had clearly watchedtoo many old Westerns.” MayorBloomberg of New York calledLaPierre’s speech “a shamefulevasion of the crsis facing ourcountry.”It is obvious that the proponentsof stricter gun laws andthose against them are diggingin and hanging on to their rationales,shutting their ears to thearguments of either side. Andthat is the tragedy following themassacre.Among those with whom I havediscussed the senseless killings,no one has conceded that bothPresident Obama and LaPierrehave a point. Obama has proposedstricter gun laws. LaPierrewants armed guards in schoolsand public places and controls onthe pervasive culture of violencepropagated by media and theentertainment industry.I recall the wild and woolydays back in Manila before thedeclaration of martial law, wheneveryone and his uncle carried agun. That included me. It was partof the macho culture. It was reminiscentof LaPierre’s rationale:carry a gun to protect yourselffrom crazy gun wielders.Then one day, while accompanyingmy wife to Divisoria, aburly man bumped her. Whetheror not he did it on purpose didnot matter to me. I instinctivelyreached for my gun. Mercifully,I stopped to think: Am I going toshoot someone FOR THIS? Suddenly,my gut reaction made absolutelyno sense. It was the factthat I had a gun that caused meto react the way I did. I realizedthat I was about to become thecrazy gun wielder that I neededprotection from.The next day, I left the gun inthe house and never took it outagain.It’s simple logic: No guns in thehouse within easy reach meansthat the crazy Adam Lanzas willhave no weapons for mass killingsand impulsive macho men likeRolito Go will have no gun to useon defenseless motorists.On the other hand, until someonehas a brighter idea to protectAmerica’s school children, doesn’tit make sense to shield them theway America protects the nation’spresident? And LaPierre is right.A daily dose of killings in videogames and on TV and films willcontinue to raise generations ofpotential Adam Lanzas. And oneday, something’s got to give.Meanwhile, how many of usbought toy guns for our kids thisChristmas?(

10. PH staunchly defends stake in SpratlysDATELINE PHILIPPINES2012 year of rebuilding for PHTop the World Economic Forum or WEF. For the first time after thereport’s inception in 2005, the Philippines landed at the top half ofthe overall rankings in the 65th spot. From its lowest rank in 2009, thecountry rebounded and advanced to 22 places this year with improvedrankings cited in the mentioned criteria.Among the impressive progress that the country has gained was thegrowing business confidence in the government. This, along with itsguarantee of transparency, were cited as key indicators on improvedrankings. The cutting of red tape in government agencies and theplan of building more infrastructures were also lauded by the WEFand other business analysts. Moreover, a more aggressive spendingon the government’s end, domestic consumption, a booming businessprocessing outsourcing industry, and remittances coming from migrantFilipino workers around the globe also contributed to the economicprogress of the country.Last November, the National Statistical Coordination Board reportedthat the Philippines posted a growth of 7.1 percent in the third quarter.Such report exceeded expectations of the business community. Thesurprising growth even convinced most economists that the Philippinesis Asia’s new tiger economy.Believing that under good governance, everyone will benefit in duetime, the Aquino administration is hopeful for more positive yearsahead. It remains hopeful that growth in the economy will soon be feltand reflect through more jobs, reduced impoverished communities,and a government free of corruption. (Julie Matienzo-Rodillas)The territorial dispute over the Spratlys Islands has been an ongoingissue that was much talked about in Asia and the world. Ownership ismuch sought after given the abundance of sea life in the islands as wellas the sizable reserves of oil and natural gas available there.The six-way dispute between the governments of Brunei, Malaysia,China, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam, has been going on fordecades. But 2012 was a particularly eventful year, especially for thePhilippine government, given several tense encounters with China onthe islands.In April, a Philippine warshiphad tried to arrest Chinesefishermen who wereallegedly taking Philippinegovernment-protected marinespecies from the area.Chinese Maritime shipsprevented the arrest. Thatsame month, a Philippinearchaeological ship was toldto immediately leave partof the islands as ChineseForeign ministry asserts thatthis was an “integral part ofthe Chinese territory.”Last November, the Chinesegovernment startedissuing new passports thatfeatured a map of the entireSouth China Sea. It wasa strategy that seemed toforce other governments torecognize China’s territorialclaims, an Associated Press report stated. Stamps on the passports would indicate their recognition of China’s claims that they were disputing,it noted. The Philip-pines, like Vietnam, refused to stamp the passports and said Chinesevisitors carrying the new passport will be stamped on a separate pieceof paper.At the summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations orASEAN last November, the Philippines and China openly clashed.Philippine President Aquino raised the issue of the sea row at themeeting which prompted Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao to state that thedisputed area have been “Chinese territory since ancient times and nosovereignty dispute exists.”Meanwhile, the ongoing conflict in the islands became a point ofinterest for the United States as it wound down involvement in Iraqand slowly started its “pivot” to Asia which aimed to renew diplomaticties with Asian countries by, among others, promising more militaryresources. (Dymphna Calica-La Putt)by AUREA CALICAments on the economic and “Through hard work, deft decision-making,and intense po-“By all indicators, this was thefor the country.”Philstar.compolitical fronts should convinceMANILA—Year 2012 was a even skeptics that the nation is in litical will, the President has laid best year for the Philippines inyear of “rebuilding and restoration”and the time when the na-“The many achievements of and inclusive growth. Through it tion and pride for the reclaimedgood hands.down the foundations of justice a long time, a time for celebrationbegan to feel the “full effect the Aquino administration in all, he continues to clean house, standing of our country as weof political will used correctly,” 2012 should put those doubts eliminate waste, and put primacy stand shoulder-to-shoulder withpresidential spokesman Edwin to rest. At home and around the on restoring public trust in our other rising nations of the world,”Lacierda said .world, the Philippines has becomerecognized as a bastion of He called the past two and a “We turned the corner, fixedinstitutions,” he said.he stressed.Lacierda said the reforms putin place by the Aquino administrationas well as its achieve- Lacierda said.“a period of continued renewal crooked ways of the past, andstability and good governance,” half years of the administration the damage wrought by theestablishedfurther that the straightpath is the only way forward,” hesaid.Natural disasters and tragedies– including the death of Interiorand Local Government SecretaryJesse Robredo in a plane crash– failed to break the spirit of Filipinos,he said.“As the administration embarkson 2013, there is all themore reason for Filipinos to travelon the straight path under theleadership of President Aquinoand the adherents to his noblecause,” he said.One of the biggest achievementsof the administration, Lacierdasaid, was the signing of thehistoric framework agreementbetween the government and theMoro Islamic Liberation Front.The accord, Lacierda said,has set the stage for a final, enduringpeace in Mindanao. Hesaid it can be considered oneof the first successful dialoguesbetween a government and aMuslim separatist movement inmodern era.Palace: CJ removalan ‘achievement’In a statement issued after thepress briefing, Lacierda countednot only the controversial trial butalso Arroyo’s arrest for plundercharges as among the government’sfeats the past year.“The message is clear: If a ChiefJustice can be impeached– and aformer president put under hospitalarrest for alleged plunder andelectoral sabotage—then so cananyone; a crime is a crime, regardlessof wealth or status in society,”Lacierda said.The Palace official said thatAquino’s accomplishment’s inMANILA—Malacañang counted 2012 should quiet doubts that thethe impeachment of former Chief president can reform a governmentwith “an entrenched cultureJustice Renato Corona over allegedinconsistencies on his Statementof Assets, Liabilities and Net According to Lacierda, the inter-of corruption.”Worth and betrayal of public trust national community, for one, hadas among the administration’s majorachievements this year. as a “true leader” in diplomatic af-recognized and admired AquinoPresidential Spokesperson EdwinLacierda told reporters Thurs-to achieve 7.1 percent economicfairs and for spurring the countryday that Corona’s removal from and the subsequent appointmentof Maria Lourdes Sereno to the Philippines has become recog-“At home and around the world,the post are steps under President nized as a bastion of stability andBenigno Aquino III’s judicial reformagenda.he continues to clean house, elimi-good governanc ... Through it all,“Once new justices are in place nate waste, and put primacy onwe can hope that the judiciary restoring public trust in our institutions,”the spokesperson said.will be in step with the executivebranch in advancing reforms in He added that the Frameworkthe particular branch of government,”Lacierda said, adding that had caught the attention of theAgreement on the Bangsamoroformer peace negotiator Marvic world as a major step in the peaceLeonen’s appointment to the SupremeCourt as associate justice “This is among the first suc-process.“sustained the momentum of reform”in the system.ernment and a Muslim separatistcessful dialogues between a gov-Corona, installed by former movement in the modern era, andPresident Gloria Macapagal Arroyo,had also been criticized by peacefully handle such conflictscould set the template on how toAquino’s officials as a “midnight” across the world,” Lacierda noted.appointee.(Camille Diola/

DECEMBER 28, 2012-JANUARY 3, 2013peopleeventsartscultureentertainment

An Asian Journal MagazineBy MOMAR G. VISAYA / AJPRESSO say that the year 2012 hasbeen challenging is quite anTunderstatement.It was a year that tested our collective limits, no thanks to ahurricane named Sandy. With the temperature dropping to the low30s, and power yet to be restored, we learned how to adjust well. Wealso opened our pockets to help the people who were more badlyaffectedthan us.Then, we heard of Pablo, wreaking havoc in the Philippines. In itswake, the super typhoon left millions without power and homes. Itwill take awhile before they fully recover.And then just last week, we were shocked beyond belief as wewatched the news unfold on our television sets - the massacre ofchildren in Newtown, Connecticut. We all offered a silent prayer to thefamily and friends of those who were killed, and thanked the heroesfor preventing what could easily have been a much-worse scenario.The year 2012 was a roller-coaster ride for most of us, but it is nodifferent from previous years as we met people and organizations thatinspired us.Filipino FoodIf, for anything,2012 was theyear that Filipinocuisine made itbig in New York.Our FilipinoFoodie Guide inNYC (February)introduced ourpalates to oldand new Filipinorestaurants acrossthe city. From thetraditional Cafe81 to the modernMaharlika; fromPurple Yam, Taldeand Umi Nom inBrooklyn to KumaInn and Grill 21;from the recentlyopenedJeepneyand Pig and Khaoto the LumpiaShack, our tastebuds were on fire.2012 alsomarked the yearwhen the firstFilipino-AmericanPaul Quichef won the titleof Top Chef. Texas-based Paul Qui bested 29 other chefs in his questto become Top Chef, going toe to toe against fellow finalist Chicagochef Sarah Gruenberg in the finale at the Black & Blue restaurant inVancouver. Among the Filipino-Americans who competed in theprevious seasons of the show, the closest ever that a chef came towinning the title was in the second season of Top Chef: Just Desserts,where pastry chef Sally Camacho came in second.We celebrated Filipino cuisine again in November with the“Inuman and Pulutan” event at the Philippine Center, a sold-out eventthat showcased Filipino chefs and their wonderful and deliciouscreations. We sure hope that the trend continues in 2013 and beyondso dining in Filipino restaurants would be as common (and normal) aseating in a Thai joint in Hell’s Kitchen.Entertainment - TelevisionIn the field of television, hands down, 2012 was the year ofJessica Sanchez. She may have lost to Phillip Phillips but she won theJessica SanchezRoshon Feganhearts of many, and became thehighest-placed Filipino-Americancontestant on all ten seasons ofAmerican Idol.Just a few days after thesuccessful finale, Jessica hasfound herself performing beforethousands of people at thePBS Memorial Day Concert inWashington, DC. Then, in NewYork, where she made the roundsof the various TV shows — fromLive with Kelly to Good Day NewYork to the Today Show.We caught up with thebubbly teen after her appearanceRaymond Escalanteat the Today Show, where she wasinterviewed by host Matt Lauer.“It has not sunk in yet, I still can’t believe I am here,” she exclaimedthen, visibly excited from a high of performing a couple of songs insidethe famed NBC studios of the Today Show.Asked how American Idol has changed her life, Jessica revealedthat now-classic toothy grin, and replied, “It has changed dramatically.This (pointing to the growing mob of fans) is not normal. It gave meanother step to succeeding in my career, it is very exciting.”Other Fil-Ams made waves on the reality TV front, among themDisney star Roshon Fegan who showed the world through DancingWith the Stars that he has the moves of a graceful dancer.Then there’s Raymond Escalante, the designer who made waveson NBC’s Fashion Star, making it all the way to the finals. The showfeatures host and executive producer Elle Macpherson, along withcelebrity mentors: Jessica Simpson, Nicole Richie and John Varvatos.The series gave 14 unknown designers the chance to win a multimilliondollar prize to launch their collections in three of America’slargest retailers.Anna Maria Perez de TagleGeorge SalazarTheaterFilipino-Americantalent alsoshoneonstageas variousBroadwaymusicalsshowcasedFilipinoperformerslike AnnaMaria Perez de Tagleand George Salazar onGodspell; Adam Jacobson Lion King (he leftaround October);J. Elaine Marcos onPriscilla, Queen of theDesert (which closed inJune after 23 previewsand 526 performances)and Catherine Ricafort,Albert Guerzon andGerard Salvador on Angry White Male by Happy Asian GirlsMamma Mia.Then, there’s Prison Dancer, The Musical.Performing a limited run as part of the New York Musical TheatreFestival (NYMF), Filipinos who fell in love with the viral YouTube videosand the subsequent incarnation as Prison Dancer, the web series playedoff-Broadway at St. Clement’s.“The first time we started writing the script, we knew what wewanted to do. New York is the realization of that dream and we’re justso excited for the audience to see what we have been working on fora while now,” said composer and lyricist Romeo Candido, one of thecreators.At NYC Fringe Festival, the Filipino talent was also represented viaMarisa Marquez, who staged Angry White Male by Happy Asian Girlsalong with her co-creator Siho Ellsmore.FilmI Am GhostVarious films fromacross different genrescaught our attention thisyear.At the TriBeCa FilmFestival, we celebratedthree films createdby Filipino directors:Journey’s Don’t StopBelieving by RamonaDiaz,New York-baseddirector Vince Sandoval’sfilm Señorita wasscreened at the AsianAmerican InternationalFilm Festival, along withBwakawthe films of four other Filipino and Filipino-American directors whosefeature-length and short-films were included in the festival.Among these films were “I am a Ghost” directed by H. P. Mendoza,“Johnny Loves Dolores” directed by Clarissa de los Reyes (short - “Inthe Name of Love” series), “Comrades” directed by Paolo Bitanga (short- “How To…” series) and “Bleached” directed by Jessica dela Merced(short - “In the Name of Love” series).We also raved about Bwakaw, the Philippine entry to the 2012Academy Awards.SportsThe brightest star in the field of sports for Filipino-Americans isfour-time Paralympics gold medalist Raymond Martin.Martin, an 18-year old Filipino-American born with a congenitaldisorder known as arthrogryposis, won four gold medals in wheelchairtrack at the London Paralympics. The University of Illinois freshmanRaymond Martinwas named as Paralympic SportsMan of the Year by the U.S. OlympicCommittee for winning all four Paralympic races he entered – the 100,200, 400 and 800 meters.He raced under the T52 classification, one of four categoriesoutlined by the Paralympics for wheelchair track athletes who arequadriplegic, or with “limited shoulder, arm and hand functions todifferent degrees and no trunk or leg function.” Wheelchair racers areclassified by their mobility, with T54 the most mobile and T51 theleast.We caught up Martin during one of his training sessions atBayonne Park Track in Bayonne, New Jersey where we saw how muchhard work he has put in to make sure that he’d be in tip-top shapecome competition time.Asked back then what winning a gold medal would mean to him,Martin said, “It would mean a ton. The Paralympic games, they don’tget better than that. It would be great to win gold for our country.”He credits his family as the biggest reason for all the successhe has been reaping recently – from making it to Team USA togetting nominated to ESPN’s ESPY Awards to his gold medals at theParalympics.“They have played a huge role from the very beginning and thesupport has just been overwhelming. There were times that I wouldn’tcame to the US as childrenwant to go to practice and my parents would tell me, ‘Hey, you have togo!’,” Raymond shared.NewsAnother Filipino who made waves and giant strides in 2012was Pulitzer Prize winner Jose Antonio Vargas, who wrote a coverfeature for TIME Magazine and ended on its cover along with otherundocumented immigrants.“Professionally, this is the best thing I have ever done. The photoshoot was probably one of the best days of my life. I was very, veryhappy with it,” Vargas told the Asian Journal when we saw him. “Peoplehave been asking me how I measure success,” he added, pausing for amoment and grabbing the issue of the magazine, “This is success.”Last year when he started Define American and set the goalto elevate the conversation on immigration, people raised theireyebrows. “This is exactly what I am talking about, we are elevatingthe discussions,” he said.It was about a year ago before the TIME feature when Vargas wrotehis coming out essay, published by the New York Times Magazine. In it,he disclosed for the first time ever, that he was undocumented.He says he gets hate mails all the time, but he has learned to dealwith them properly.“If you want to have a conversation, you must come with morethan ‘You’re illegal’. That will not get us anywhere,” he said.Vargas has been living in the United States for almost 20 yearsnow and he says he is not moving anywhere anytime soon.“Until they drag me out of here, I am not leaving. Now, if theygive me green card or a visa, I’d go to Cebu or Boracay. I really want totravel, and write while I travel,” he shared.TechnologyIn the field of technology, one Fil-Am lorded it over at the NYC BigApps 3.0 Competition.The competition challenged developers to create and developuseful online and mobile applications using city data. From findingthe best restaurant to the nearest parking spot, from searching for thebest school for your children to the subway schedule, web apps havebeen very helpful to every New Yorker who has access to the web.After about a hundred competitors presented their projects, one roseto the top of the heap: NYC Facets. The men behind the winning app:Filipino-American developer Joel Natividad and his partner Sami Baig.“NYCFacets is a labor of love that Sami and I put together over thepast three months when we decided to jump into the entrepreneurialwaters with both feet,” Joel Natividad, a 20-year IT veteran said. “Wetried doing something on the side before, but as we quickly found out,it’s either you focus on it completely or don’t bother doing it at all.”Natividad and Baig won the Best Overall Application grandprize of the competition,something they didn’t quiteexpect as they faced toughopponents. NYCFacetsgarnered top scores from ajudging panel that includeda number of luminaries inthe fields of technology,venture capital, and Citygovernment. The winningapp sought to streamlineand simplify the process foraccessing, understanding,and utilizing thetremendous amount of dataavailable in the City’s NYCOpen Data portal.The year 2013 is fullof hope, let us collectivelypray that it will be headsand shoulders better than2012.

An Asian Journal MagazineImmigrationCornerATTY. MICHAELgroom would not be includedGURFINKELunder that petition. You wouldhave to petition your spouseunder the F-2A category (greenIN a previous article, Icard spouse petitioning spouse),discussed various situations and they might have to wait anwhere marriage would affect additional five or more years fora person’s eligibility for a visa, their priority date to becomeand situations where it might advantageous to marryEmployment-Based Visas,before being processed for the such as Labor Certification (EBgreencard. Here are some more 1, 2,3):situations dealing with the effect Marriage will not affect aof a marriage on a person’s person’s eligibility for a visa basedeligibility for a visa:on a petition by an employer. InIt may be advantageous to marrybefore your immigrant visa is issued(or you adjust status).Brother or Sister of USCitizen (F-4):It is always permissible tomarry if you are under petition byyour US citizen brother or sister.Your marriage will have no effectwhatsoever on your eligibilityfor a visa in the F-4 category. Infact, if you marry before yourimmigrant visa is issued (or beforeyou adjust status in the US), thenyour spouse can be included,or added on, as a derivativebeneficiary of your brother orsister’s petition. If you get yourvisa through your brother orsister’s petition as “single” andmarry afterwards, your bride orBY MONET LUI MET Joey in a beautypageant. I am so impressed by hisdedication and talent in fashionand beauty pageant scene.Although we didn’t get a chanceto really connect, I am privilegedto share a bit of his inspiring story.Joey Galon graduated withB.A. Degree in Fashion andTextiles design from San Franciscoand Business Administrationfrom San Diego State. He beganhis creative career in marketing,public relations and specialevents in the fashion industry,producing high profile fashionshows. This experience allowedhim the opportunity to establishnew product launches, designsets, choreograph shows, andwork exclusively with top couturedesigners and their collections,including many well known supermodels.Mr. Galon contributedhis creative eye doing visualdisplays and event planning forrenowned retail companies suchas I. Magnin, Neiman Marcus andArmani among others.Aside from his educationaland professional career infashion, Mr. Galon has beena beauty pageant aficionadosince the early 80’s. He has beenfollowing Miss Philippines-USAPageant, a preliminary to the MissPhilippines Universe, World &International Pageant in Manila,Health@HeartASexpensive asmedicationsPHILIP S. CHUA,are today, thisMD, FACS, FPCSquestion ismost relevant.And even if they were free, no one would want to throwaway and waste such valuable items if they were stillpotent. Yes, drugs do expire and lose their potency andeffectiveness at some point. But the issue is whether theexpiration date on the drug container the endpoint atwhich it is totally useless and should be discarded.Many of us have probably faced the dilemma wherewe had an upset stomach, headache, or diarrhea, andthe only drug we found in our medicine cabinet had anexpiration date past a month or a year or two ago. Is themedication still potent? More importantly, is it even safeto take it?The Harvard Medical School Family Health Guideused a column published in PsychopharmacologyToday to provide clarification on this important issue.The expiration date printed on the medication box andor bottle really stands for a certain “legally required”information, but not what it actually infers, and not whatwe might think it means.When the expiration date printed on the medicationcontainer has passed, most of us will surely think thedrug is expired and worthless, and throw the medicationaway.In 1979, a law was passed in the United Statesrequiring drug manufacturers to stamp an expirationdate on their products, the date at which they canguarantee the full potency and safety of the drugs.The information we have in our column today aboutthis issue came from a study conducted by the US Foodand Drug Administration (FDA), per request of the USmilitary.When would marriagehurt my petition?fact, it may be advantageous tomarry before your immigrant visais issued (or you adjust status).That way, your spouse would beincluded under the employer’spetition, and would be eligibleto receive a visa the same timeas you.Derivative Beneficiaries:If a child is a “derivativebeneficiary” under their parent’spetition (i.e. their parent is beingpetitioned by an employer (laborcertification), or by a parent (F-1or F-3), or brother or sister (F-4)and that derivative child (eventhough under 21) gets married,the child would no longer beconsidered a “child”, and, thus,ineligible to receive a “derivative”visa.As you can see, there arecertain situations where it is“bawal” (or prohibited) to getmarried, while in other cases, itmay be to your advantage to getmarried. That is why if you havequestions about whether or notit is “safe” to marry, I suggest thatyou seek the advice of a reputableattorney, who can evaluate yoursituation and tell you whether ornot it is best to get married beforegetting your green card.* * *TELECAST SCHEDULETFCSundays5:45pm PSToriginalSundays1:50am PSTreplayANC USSaturdays9:30am PSToriginalThursdays•7pm PSTreplayANC PHILSundays1:30am PhiloriginalFridays•11am PhilreplayJoey Galon: Living his dreams and his passionPhilippines.He designed his first pageantgowns in 1983, which hasencouraged him to study fashiondesign in college.Mr. Galon has since beenExecutive Director for localpageants in the Miss Americaprogram, worked as staff memberfor Miss USA, Miss Universe,coached countless pageantdelegates and has judgednumerous pageants across thecountry and internationally.His more than twenty yearsexperience in fashion andpageant involvements, plustwo decades of dedication inpersonal development and publicspeaking, have led him to openan additional business called“Runway for Life.” Runway forLife is a personal development,pageant coaching and wardrobestyling organization. Runwayfor Life paved way for him tobe a keynote speaker in variousevents both nationally andinternationally, teaching hisself-empowerment and personaldevelopment courses to hundredsof students.His clothing line, Joey GalonAtelier was officially launchedat Miss USA 2010 in Las Vegas.It showcased his collectionof evening gowns made forpageantry.Mr. Galon was recentlyhired as a Catering Executivefor Culinary Arts Catering, aninstitution responsible for eventswith chief contracted clients:Smith Center for the PerformingArts and the Springs Preserve inLas Vegas.He was also part of the realityshow series, Model Latina, as thisseason’s official Model Coach to14 models.Recently, he flew to New YorkCity to film his second realityshow, a brand new fashion series(from the same producers whocreated Project Runway) on thenew Lifetime Network: 24 HourCatwalk. The show was aired earlythis year. 24 Hour Catwalk featuredhim as one of the nation’s up andcoming new designers, competingfor the grand prize to gain fullsponsorship and marketing ofhis burgeoning clothing linecompany.Watching beauty pageantsannually on TV is his family’sfavorite past time. It was like theSuper Bowl for him.He designed his sister’s firstevening gown for a competition,without any prior experience.Inspired by this new foundinterest, others noticed hisDo drugs really expire?Since the military has a massive and expensivestockpile of medications, which it has to discard andreplace every few years, the research was done forobvious economic incentive.The study revealed that “90 percent of more than100 drugs, both prescription and over-the-counter, wereperfectly good to use even 15 years after the expirationdate,” retaining most of their original potency.Following this scientific investigation by the US-FDA,it is apparent that the expiration date does not stipulatethe exact date at which medication is no longer effectiveor has become unsafe.According to the Harvard Guide, “medicalauthorities state expired drugs are safe to take, eventhose that expired years ago.” While the potencydiminishes with time, 90 percent of the medicationsare generally still effective, even “15 years after theirexpiration date,” as we quoted earlier.Of course, there are some exceptions. There aredrugs whose stability and potency diminish fasterand last shorter. Examples of these are nitroglycerin,insulin, liquid antibiotics. Tetracycline was listed as a rareexception, still controversial.The report further stated that excluding the above,“most medications are as long-lasting as the ones testedby the military.”If the “expired” pain pills taken still works, or the“expired” anti-hypertensive medication continues tocontrol the blood pressure well, or the “expired” antidiarrheadrug still controls diarrhea, obviously they arestill potent, effective, and useful. So, why throw themaway?One way to help preserve the potency ofmedications is to keep them in a cool dark place orrefrigerated. Sunshine and heat diminish the potency ofdrugs.Continued on Page 5creative talents, which eventuallyled to fashion design school.After school, he vowed thatwhat his education has taughthim was not for him to keep, butto share.He bring forth today, originalinfluences in his evening gowns.A good fit, well-made gowns,style and color that reflectshis personality, are his mostimportant motivation in hiscreations.Joey’s personal approach tohis designs, targets the pageantmarket because women arecelebrated formally duringthe evening gown segmentsof competition. Every womanshould celebrate her beauty,better in a beautiful gown!It was not an easy transitionwhen he entered the specialevents industry. Joey takes thesame approach to color, balanceand symmetry when designinggowns, to events.Joey says, “I’m just livingmy dreams and my four mainpassions: Special Events, Fashion,Personal Development Trainingand Keynote Speaking.”To you Joey, Mabuhay andGod bless!***

An Asian Journal Magazine(Aug. 9, 1963 - Feb. 11, 2012)On thePEP FrontPeople, Events,PlacesBOBBY T. YALONG2012 Newsmakersand HeadlinersTHEY seemingly destinedto create a bombastic blastand indelibly stamp theirunprecedented marks in theannals of the field they’re knownfor in 2012. The year saw a longroster of remarkable achievers,disheartening catastrophes,untimely demises, and significanttriumphs that made up a list ofnews makers and headliners.Topping the list is thehorrendous Newtown, CT -basedSandy Hook Elementary Schoolshooting rampage by 20-yearoldAdam Lanza last Dec. 14. Thisresulted in the killing of 12 younggirls and 8 boys aged six to sevenplus six school staff members thatdrew international mourning andleft the community in fear.In a related event, Canadianteen-age killer, adult movie actorand model Luka Rocco Magnotta(born Eric Clinton Kirk Newmanin July 24, 1982) finally landedin police custody after a massiveinternational manhunt. Hegrabbed the spotlight once morewhen he was named Canada’s“Newsmaker of the Year.” Theunlikely choice sparked publicdisgust and dissatisfaction with theCanadian press. But Prof. RomayneSmith Fullerton of the University ofWestern Ontario defended the titlesaying, “It had sex, it had murder,it had an ostensibly good-lookingvillain, it had intrigue, it had socialmedia and international elements!”Who could face MotherNature’s wrath when sheunleashed her rage via superHurricane Sandy? The Oct .28devastation brought powerfulwind and rain and left behindmassive destruction to life andproperty. The unimaginablemagnitude was even made worseby the Nov. 5 nor’easter thatblustered and walloped the Eastcoast’s geographical landscapeespecially in the tri-state area.The Philippines was not spared from the same pitiful the height of the Christmas (June 26 at situation after mega-typhoon celebration. Eight people were 66), formerleukemia, singer Andy WilliamsPablo (international code name confirmed dead in Quezon City, Miss Philippines-World 1967 Maita from accidental drowning due to (Dec. 3, 1927 - Sept. 25, 2012)Bopha) hit Davao OrientalSan Juan, Metro Manila, and Gomez (July 12 at 64) veteran drug overdose; singer-songwriter of bladder cancer, and footballand the Compostela Valley. It earlier, in Divisoria. Thousands of actor-director-and producer Celso Donna Summer (Dec. 31, 1948 player-coach Joe Paterno (Dec. 21,literally erased an entire piece residents were left homeless and Ad Castillo (November 26 at 69), - May 17, 2012) from cancer;1926-Jan. 22, 2012) of lung cancer.of geographical mass fromunder the care of the government. and multi-awarded movie director Bee Gees member Robin GibbPhilippine Celebrity scandalsthe Southern Philippine map.Celebrated celebrity deaths Marilou Diaz-Abaya (October 8 at (Dec. 22, 1949 - May 20, 2012)The scandalous trial ofThe displaced victims haven’t in the Philippines57).from cancer; astronaut-explorerpilotNeil Armstrong (Aug. 5, Renato C. Corona last May, theformer Supreme Court judgerecovered yet and there cameBased on the number of times International celebrity deaths:typhoon Quinta on Christmas Day their deaths were published and Even in their passing, celebrities 1930 – Aug. 25, 2012) died of unending feud between formerthat extensively damaged Cebu, searched Philippine Comedy were given the utmost measure complications resulting from a actress-talent manager AnnabelleLeyte, and other neighboring King Dolphy and Interior and of respect and idolatry. This year, cardiovascular procedure; TV host Rama and former starlet NadiaVisayan regions.Local Government Secretary a bevy of big name stars and Dick Clark (1929 - April 18, 2012) Montenegro, Annabelle againstAmid the wide occurrence Jesse Robredo both made it to popular figures finally lost their of massive heart attack, singer former movie actress Amaliaof rain and cold winds, another the top list of the Philippine 2012 luster following their deaths. Etta James (Jan. 25, 1938 - Jan. Fuentes, and Annabelle (again?)devastating element, fire wrought newsmakers.Other celebrities Still, they maintain the proverbial 20, 2012) of leukemia; beauty against movie columnist-producerdevastation in Manila and some who passed away with fanfare “once a star, always a star” status: salon entrepreneur Vidal Sassoon Chito Alcid created wide mediaparts of the Philippines during were actor-director Mario O’Hara Topnotch singer Whitney Houston (Jan. 17, 1928 - May 9, 2012) ofContinued on Page 6BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY FOR SALE SERVICESEMPLOYMENT

An Asian Journal MagazineEast West Bank finances a $90-million loanfor the Export-Import Bank of ChinaBEIJING—East West Bank, a subsidiary of East West Bancorp, aEast West Bank, headquartered in Pasadena, California, is amongpremier bank focused exclusively on the United States and Greater China the 30 largest banks in the United States. East West Bank has been and Greater China markets and operates over 110 locations worldwide,markets, announced that East West Bank has financed a US$90 million ranked by Forbes magazine as one of the top 10 best banks in America including in the United States markets of California, New York, Georgia,loan for the Export-Import Bank of China (China Eximbank). Officials from for the last three years. East West Bank recently provided a US$20Massachusetts, Texas and Washington. In Greater China, East West’sthe National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the State million credit facility to Bona Film , a leading film distributor in China, presence includes a full service branch in Hong Kong and representativeAdministration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) attended the agreement to fund upcoming productions and to acquire the distribution rights to offices in Beijing, Shenzhen and Taipei. Through a wholly-ownedsigning ceremony in Beijing. Five other international banks including international films in China.subsidiary bank, East West’s presence in Greater China also includes fullMizuho Bank and Bank of America were also present at the ceremony.Headquartered in Beijing, China Eximbank was founded in 1994 service branches in Shanghai and Shantou and a representative officeThe US$90 million loan facility is part of China Eximbank’s US$1.39 billion and is a state bank owned by the Chinese government. China Eximbank in Guangzhou. For more information on East West Bancorp, visit thetransportation external debt program for aircraft chartered to provide financial support to promote the export and Company’s website at“We are very pleased to work with the Export-Import Bank of China,” import of Chinese products, assist Chinese companies with theirsaid Andy Yen, Executive Vice President of East West Bank. “East West offshore projects and outbound investments, and promote Sino-foreignBank is committed to serving as the financial bridge between the United relationships and international economic and trade cooperation.States and China. The financing East West Bank has provided will helpEast West Bancorp is a publicly owned company with $21.8 billionsustain the strong growth of the aviation industry in China. We look in assets and is traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under theforward to a long-term partnership with the Export-Import Bank of China symbol “EWBC”. The Company’s wholly owned subsidiary, East West Bank,and future opportunities to contribute to the growth of other critical is one of the largest independent banks headquartered in in China,” concluded Mr. Yen.East West is a premier bank focused exclusively on the United StatesTugonon back from Las Vegas, thanks PinoysMANILA—Miss Universe first runner-up Janine Asked about the judges’ decision declaring her asMari Tugonon came home from Las Vegas, where first runner-up when many believe she should haveshe successfully competed with 88 other beauties won the crown, Tugonon replied, “Judging is subjective,from around the world.right?Tugonon waved to the cheering crowd at theOf course all of the judges were looking for variousNinoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 2 qualities in a contestant. But what is important for mewhen she disembarked from Philippine Airlines flight is that I did my best. And the reaction of the crowd wasPR 107 from Las Vegas.great,” she said.Tugonon thanked her fellow Filipinos, including “Miss Universe Olivia Culpo and I have becomethose in Las Vegas, who cheered for her during the friends, shoot several times together and most of all,coronation night.she is also nice,” she added.“Thank you very much to all Filipinos here, inMeanwhile, Bataan is preparing a grandLas Vegas and in other countries who prayed and homecoming for Tugonon, who hails from Wakas, Orioncheered for me. I really felt your support in Las Vegas,” town, about eight kilometers away from Balanga.Tugonon said.Gov. Enrique Garcia Jr. said they have prepared “Organizers of the Miss Universe pageant were various programs to welcome Tugonon, who he said really amazed at the Filipino crowd who gathered at showed the whole world that “Bataan can very well the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino during the compete with other races when it comes to beauty,coronation night,” Tugonon said.brains and strength of character.” ( active. The objective is to family love, good health, peace, andDo drugs really...prevent them from getting HPV and prosperity for all the years to come!spreading the virus to future sexual For a holiday gift of health,From Page 3are discovered each year, and about partners.please visit www.philipSchua.comHopefully, the money-saving 4,290 of these women die of thisSince boys are part of the health Email: scalpelpen@gmail.cominformation above will be useful malignancy. Although much rarer, equation, the question is whether to***when you are confronted with this anal, oral, and penile cancers, like give the vaccine to boys of the same particular issue about expiration cervical cancer and cancer of the age, in order to completely break date of medications. If in doubt, vagina and vulva, are caused by the cycle of HPV infection. In view consult with your physician or simply human papilloma virus (HPV). of new studies that suggest the buy new stock of the drug.The wonder vaccine isvaccine might be effective for other Vaccine that prevents cancer Gardasil (Merck) in the United forms of cancers, the idea of giving In November 2005, we discussed States and another one is Cervarix shots to boys also became more a revolutionary and soon-to-bereleasedvaccine that was found to The commonest side effects of Unfortunately, some(GlaxoSmithKline) in effective in preventing cancer the vaccine, which are usually mild uninformed or misinformedof the cervix (mouth of the womb) are itching, pain, redness, swelling parents, even in the Unitedalmost 100 percent. It was eventually and bruising on the injection site, States, are unwisely denying their approved by the US FDA in late 2009 and headache and fever.daughters this cancer-preventing and widely available today.The Gardasil vaccine isand life-saving vaccine because of In the United States, about recommended for young girls unfounded fears.12,710 new cases of cervical cancer ages 9 to 26 before they become Here’s wishing you and your

An Asian Journal MagazineCalendar of EventsacrossA mericaThe Filipino community is invited to the Rizal Day Wreath-laying ceremony at the monumentof Dr. Jose P. Rizal at 9:30am, 701 E. Carson Street, Carson, CA 90745. This event willbe held in commemoration of the 116th anniversary of the execution of Dr. Jose P. Rizal onDecember 30, 1896. Participants will include Consul General Maria Hellen M. Barber-de laVega, Deputy Consul General Dan Espiritu and Philippine Consulate General staff; and membersof the Dr. Jose P. Rizal Monument Movement: Mon’chito’ G. Mandap, president; AnteroPagunsan, vice president; Lydia V. Solis, secretary; Gil Mislang, asst. secretary; Techie Emperador-Quiatchon,treasurer; Zeny Sabocor, asst. treasurer; Carmelita Paule, auditor; Josie E. deJesus, business manager; Naomi P. Armada, public relations officer; and Dr. Ludy A. Ongkeko,advisor. Steering Committee members: DOT Director Annie Cuevas-Lim, Lucy Babaran, NoelOmega, Leo Maranan, Virginia Vivas, Bing de la Vega, Dr. Manny Baculi, Ed Ronquillo, RossJoya, Sonny Costa, Evelyn Enriquez, Joe Cobilla, James Dullas, Rene Galano, Susan Dilkes,Lolita Bandong, Teddy Ortega, and Tony Berango. For information, contact Mon’chito’ G.Mandap at (626) 823-8752.Calling all graduates of Pangasinan Normal School of Bayambang Pangasinan Class of’63. A small group of alums is planning a Golden Reunion in 2013, and would like all othergraduates to join in planning and, of course, attending the celebrations in the Philippines. We are excited to get in touch with as many of our cohorts as possible or if you may of some who is a graduate of the class of ’63, please pass this information along to them. If you’re interestedand would like to join the thus-far small committee, please contact Engr. Ernie Llanes at(323) 459-4869 (cell) or (323) 661-7745 / Or call Mina CasipitValenzuela at (847) 678-4261/email: We all look forward to gettingMANILA—The ghetto called established by Macuja, foundertogether after 50 years with everyone and catching up! And please remember that we would Aroma reeks of putrefying trash and artistic director of Balletlike to gather as many graduates as possible, so please pass the information along to anyone collected by its residents for Manila who is married to businessyou may know.recycling. Half-naked children tycoon Fred Elizalde.with grimy faces play on muddy The outreach program ofdirt roads lined by crumbling Ballet Manila — which runs ashanties of tarpaulin walls,dance company and a schoolcracked tin roofs and communal by the same name — initiallyEveryone is invited to join the Babmanense Town Fiesta on January 26, 2013, from 12pm toilets.accepted 40 students from Jessa’sto 4pm at the Hilltop Community Park on 9711 Oviedo Way, San Diego, CA 92129. ThisFrom this Manila slum of charity-run school in Manila’sevent will be an annual celebration of our hometown of Bamban, Tarlac. There will be a mass garbage collectors emerged an Tondo district dump site. Somecelebration as well as a potluck feast. The fiesta is hosted by the 2012-2013 San Diego ChapterBambanense Officers. For more information, please get in touch with Arlene Arcilla at Balote who at the age of 10 was have been accepted.unlikely Cinderella: ballerina Jessa dropped out, but new batches(858) 780-0890 or Hazel Esguerra at (805) 822-4095.plucked out of her grubby life by Today, the program has 55a ballet school to prepare her for a scholars, aged 9 to 18, from five life on stage.partner public schools such asTo all members of HAC High School Class 1968 (the “Victors”): Come join us in celebratingour 45th High School Reunion and be a part of Batch ‘68’s history. Let’s prove that after in 2008, Jessa has performed in school along with 60 payingIn four years since her audition Jessa’s. They train daily after45 years we remained united and we never forget to look back and pay tribute to our alma various productions, including students.mater. Our reunion will be on January 26, 2013, from 1pm - 11pm at the Holy Angel UniversityMain Bldg. Quadrangle in Angeles City, Philippines. For Batch ‘68 members overseas, and a local version of Cinderella. with what I do now. I earn moneySwan Lake, Pinocchio, Don Quixote “I can help my parents moreplease contact any of the following to confirm your attendance: Cynthia Ocampo (,(702) 361-2846, (702) 353-3233; Yolanda Garcia (ybuan.yolanda@gmail. time in August to compete in a plastic bench in her shorts andShe rode a plane for the first from ballet,” said Jessa, sitting oncom); Renato Franco (; Albilio Lansangan, Jr. (jun.lansangan@gmail. the 2012 Asian Grand Prix ballet t-shirt, her long hair loose. Thecom).competition for students and slim teenager, perhaps so usedyoung dancers in Hong Kong, to dancing on her toes, wouldwhere she was a finalist.often have her toes pointed at the The 14-year-old Jessa’swooden floor even while sittingTayo na sa Arellano! Rekindle the fire of long-lost friendships and re-connect with high unlikely success is as much a during the classmates. And create new, exciting memories! GREEN means GO! The Cayetano celebration of a unique effortBehind her, the plywood wallArellano High School Class of 1963 (Golden Jubilee) and Class of 1988 (Silver Jubilee) invites by the Philippines’ most famous of the family shack was adornedthe entire Cayetano Arellano High School alumni community to the 68th Grand Alumniprima ballerina, Lisa Macuja, with pictures of her in gossamerHomecoming on February 10, 2013, to be held in Manila, Philippines. Jubilee tickets areto help slum kids of Manila by tutu on stage. Sharing the spacenow available for USA and Canada residents! Please contact the 2013 Arellano Homecoming providing them a scholarship and were frames of ballet certificatesTeam via email at or or via telephone at (818) classical ballet training for six to and a newspaper clipping years.the garbage picker-turnedballerina.A pair of satin pointeMore than a quarter of theSoutheast Asian nation’s 94shoes lay on top of a gym bag,million people live in abject a few meters (yards) from sacksMembers of the alumni communities of General Roxas Elementary School and Manuel poverty, many in sprawlingof used plastic bottles and otherRoxas High School are all invited to the upcoming reunion on February 16 – 23 2013 at the and unsanitary shanty towns garbage piled up outside theGen. Roxas Elementary School in Roxas District, Quezon City. For more information, you may like Aroma in the capital city. door of her cramped home. Jessacontact Rene Aquino (based in Florida, USA) at or +1407-699-9522, or Despite a reecent economic and other kids are trained in theRuby Ferniz (based in the Philippines) at or +632-345-2464.upturn, there are not enough rigorous Russian Vaganova balletfull-time jobs. Education skills are and are required to keep up withlacking and incomes are low. At their academics in school. Theyleast 3,000 Filipinos leave their are provided a monthly stipend offamilies behind every day to seek 1,200 pesos to 3,000 pesos ($30The Santa Maria Ilocos Sur Association of Nevada invites you to the 9th Biennial Santa employment $73) depending on their balletMaria Ilocos Sur Global Reunion in Las Vegas. The event will be held on Saturday, April 27,Jessa, who would have likely level, as well as meals, milk and2013, from 6PM until 12Midnight at the Tuscany Hotel and Casino on 255 East Flamingofollowed her family to a life of ballet outfits. They also receiveRoad, Las Vegas, NV 89169. For more information, contact Alex Pena at (702) 373-9522 or garbage picking, had not much of fees of 400 pesos to 1,500 pesosadpena@cox.neta future to look forward to.($10 to $37) for each performance.“I used to tag along with my Pointe shoes alone cost $50father and mother when they to $80 a pair — a fortune for collected garbage in the evening,” someone eking a living on $2 aJessa said in her home about the day — and wear out within weeksCalling all Ledesmas! Come join and meet relatives at our first-ever grand family reunionsize of a shipping container with a or days, said be held next year in Bacolod, Victorias and Silay, Philippines. Reunion dates are May 24small attic.The daughter of a former– 26, 2013. All Ledesma branches are invited to attend. You are one of 6K descendants soHer family would gather trash senior trade official, Macuja wascome and meet the rest of your relatives. For more details, contact the media committee atfrom houses in the nearby Quiapo 18 years old when she received09178843349, 09173607234, or Facebookpage is Familia Ledesma of Jaro, Iloilo. Continuous updates are posted.district or rummage for scrap a two-year scholarship at themetal in the huge garbage dump Vaganova Choreographic Institutenot far from home.(now the Academy of RussianThat was until her successful Ballet) in Saint Petersburg in 1982,audition for the Project Ballet where she graduated with honors.Futures dance scholarshipShe was the first foreignFrom Page 42012 Newsmakers...mileage that consistently landed on the front pagesof newspapers and television exposures.International political sceneThe death of Japanese-American and US Senatorfrom Hawaii Daniel Ken “Dan” Inouye last Dec. 17 dueto respiratory complications was deeply mourned byhis political colleagues and the Filipino community.A WW II veteran welfare advocate, Inouye was thesecond longest serving senator in the US history, (thefirst being Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia), and haveserved his office for five decades. He was 88.The reelection of Democrat candidate BarackObama reaffirmed his destined leadership as the44th President of the United States of America whenhe defeated Republican bet Mitt Romney, formerGovernor of Massachusetts.Local Fil-Am newsmakersJersey City, NJ has had its own share of attentiongrabbingheadliners when WW II veteran Sir Fred T.Diaz passed away last Nov. 3 due to colon cancer. Thefollowing day, 38 year-old and father of five TristanMichael Mananghaya met a freak accident on thejob that ended his life. Last Sept. 29, well-knowncommunity leader and entertainment impresarioMilagros Beltran Mendez succumbed to colon cancera couple of weeks after blowing her 61st candle.On the sports frontMaintaining supremacy demands a highlystrategized scheme to defy the gravitational forcepulling one’s status down. “Even the best has to fallsometimes!” so hashtagged in YouTube videos ofPeople’s Champ and Pound-for-Pound boxer MannyPacquiao following his defeat from the killer punch ofMexican’s “El Dinamita” Antonio Marquez during theirDec. 8 bout in Las Vegas, NV. It was Pacquiao’s secondloss after his controversial June ring match againstTimothy Bradley.Fortunately, another Filipino, Nonito “theHawaiian Punch” Donaire, victoriously hoisted thePhilippine flag and made a justified repatriationvia his third-round-knock-out victory over Mexicanbrawler Jorge Arce during their Dec. 15 Texas clashfor the WBO Super Bantamweight crown.Highest paid athletesBased on Forbes Magazine survey, the topfive athletes who received the highest salary andwinnings plus endorsements this year are: FloydMayweather (35, boxing) $85 million in winningsalone, Manny Pacquiao (34, boxing) $62 million fromwinnings and endorsements, Tiger Woods (36, golf)$59.4 million from winnings and endorsements,LeBron James (27, basketball) $53 million from salaryand endorsements, and Roger Federer (30, tennis)$52.7 million from winnings and endorsements.Entertainment arenaDespite the advent of hi-tech entertainmentgadgets, the wide screen remains to be a favoritepastime. The top five biggest money makers of2012 are: The Avengers with $673, 357, 910; TheDark Knight Rises with $448,139,099; The HungerGames with $408, 010, 692; The Twilight Saga:Breaking Dawn with $281,993,000; and Skyfall with$279,972,000.Highest paid movie actors and TV actressesTom Cruise-$75 million, Leonardo Di Caprio – $37From a Manila slum emergesan unlikely ballerinamillion, Adam Sandler – $36 million, Dwayne Johnson– $36 million, and Ben Stiller – $33 million.Highest paid actresses: Kristen Stewart – $34.5million, Cameron Diaz - $34 million, Sandra Bullock- $25 million, Angelina Jolie - $20 million, and CharlizeTheron - $18 million.Highest paid TV actors: Ashton Kutcher of “Twoand a half Man” - $24 million, and Hugh Laurie of“House” - $18 million. Columbian actress Sofia Vergaraof “Modern Family” - $19 million, and Kim Kardashianof “Keeping it up with the Kardashians” - $18 million.On the Beauty Pageant sideFilipino women have been known to possesssuch distinct appeal and peculiar aura that wasonce again proven by the Philippines’ bet to theMiss Universe 2012 contest, statuesque JanineMari Raymundo Tugonon of Balanga, Bataan. Shealmost snatched the most coveted title from MissUSA Olivia Culpo during the 61st annual pageant.She finished 1st Runner-up last Dec. 19 at PlanetHollywood Resort & Casino. But the5’9” beauty-andbrainsolive-skinned stunner impressed Filipinos andforeign observers alike for her witty response duringthe Q & A portion.On accumulated wealth and fortuneFor 2012, the richest people in the world are:Carlos Slim Helu (72, Mexico) - $69 billion, Bill Gates(56, USA) - $66 billion, Warren Buffett (82, USA)- $46 billion, Larry Ellison (68, USA) - $41 billion, andBernard Arnault (63, France) – 37.5 billion.Pop CultureWho could argue with success? The viral trendingand infectious beat of Korean popstar Psy has totallyconquered the music scene and also upstagedcurrent releases in all genres. After its release last Julyprincipal ballerina for the KirovBallet in St. Petersburg beforereturning to the Philippines,where she worked as artist-inresidenceat the Cultural Centerof the Philippines and a principaldancer at the Philippine BalletTheatre.Macuja, 48, founded BalletManila in 1994 with the aim ofmaking the high art of classicalballet more accessible to commonpeople. The dance companyhas held performances in malls,schools, town halls and remotevillages of the archipelago. Sheset up the scholarship program in2008 as a way of paying back forher good fortunes.For Jessa and the other slumchildren, it opened a whole newworld. Literally so, when sheflew to Hong Kong for the balletcompetition.Her glee while on a rollercoaster in Disneyland wascaptured in a photo in her humblehome.During the competition inHong Kong, she said she often feltnervous and shy to be dancingamong well-off peers. But sheovercame her fear, rememberingMacuja’s advice “to persist despitethe odds and to not let povertyhinder me.”As a company apprentice shemakes around 7,000 pesos ($170)a month, sometimes more, fromstipend and performance fees.The money is not enough to lifther family from poverty, but ballethas given her a choice in life.Her father, Gorgonio, workspart-time as a construction workerbesides collecting garbage. Hismeager pay is insufficient to feedhis large family of six childrenand two grandchildren. One sonworks in a factory while anotherdaughter collects garbage.Jessa’s childhood dream isto become a school teacher. Butshe also wants to dance as aprofessional ballerina. She saysshe is challenged by the feistyacting and difficult dance turns ofthe Black Swan character in SwanLake and aspires for that role.For Jamil Montebon, anotherProject Ballet’s beneficiary, thescholarship was a life saver.The troubled 18-year-old hasleft his broken family in a violentslum community not far fromAroma.He became a ballet scholar at13 but then dropped out of highschool and ballet last year after afight with his mother. During histime off from ballet and school,he collected garbage and workedin a junk shop. At night he wouldgo drinking with other kids whooften clashed with rival gangs,then sleep in a church where hegot one free meal a week.He was later accepted backinto the program, which demandsthat children keep good gradesand stay out of trouble. Aftershaping up, he moved into BalletManila’s dormitory.“I think that the key reallyis that these kids have beengiven hope, and that hope willtransform their lives,” Macuja said.(AP)15, the three-minute-thirty-nine-seconder “GangnamStyle” instantly topped local charts and receivedmixed to positive reactions around the world. LastSeptember, just two months in YouTube, it wasrecognized by Guinness World Record as the most“liked” video and by December 25, it has reached atotal viewership of 1.05 billion times surpassing JustinBieber’s “Baby.”Psy, born Park Jae-Sang on Dec. 31, 1977, is agraduate of Boston University and Berkley Collegeof Music. A singer, actor, rapper, dancer, and recordproducer, Psy earned the title Viral Star of 2012and his song’s refrain “Oppa Gangnam Style” wasconsidered as one of the famous quotes of 2012 andwas entered into the Yale Book of Quotations.By the end of 2012, Gangnam Style, a Koreanneologism that refers to a lifestyle associated withthe Gangnam District of Seoul, has topped the musiccharts in more than thirty countries and well-liked byeven notable political leaders, dignitaries, showbizpeople, and by everybody regardless of sexualorientation, creed, economic and social status, orlifestyle.2012 has indeed been another colorful andrewarding year to some but for the majority, it willbe one of the most trying years of their lifetime. Forwhatever there was and whatever there will be in thecoming year, it always depends on how we translateour past experiences into worth-learning trials andhow to combat the challenges ahead. For life is howwe make it and we only live on borrowed time, so wemight as well make the most of what we could do.Here’s wishing you all a Happy and Prosperous NewYear! For comments and suggestions, please

An Asian Journal MagazineGLUTASOME: The Glutathione formulation thathelps prevent Skin Aging, and protects cells fromRadiation damageGlutathione (GSH), a substance tone. High levels of Glutathionethat scientists are now calling has been found to be a retardantthe ‘master antioxidant,’ is now to the proliferation of Tyrosinaseshowing up in many cuttingedgeskin and beauty products production of Melanin. Within the skin, thus allowing for lessin today’s market. Though less Melanin, the skin is allowednot necessarily a top-of-mind to achieve a lighter tone.household word that can This property has causedalso be tricky to pronounce, Glutathione to become aGlutathione, a naturally popular ingredient in skinwhiteningproducts, especiallyoccurring compound in ourbody that is produced in the in the Philippines, where it isliver, holds great promise in the available in the form of soap,process of cell regeneration. health drinks, capsules, andWhile high GSH concentrations injectables. Because of a widein the body have always been range of antioxidant qualitiesassociated with healthy cell it possesses, some considerregeneration and protection GSH as a Fountain-of-Youthfrom free radicals, it should be nutritional supplement.noted that Glutathione plays Though this may seem like ana key role in the prevention of unbelievable claim, comparingskin aging, cellular protection scientifically observablefrom radiation damage. phenomena to a mythologicalGlutathione’s benefits are fountain, it is undeniable thatmaximized when combined with Glutathione’s rejuvenatingVitamin C and Phospholipids qualities are gaining widespreadin a liposome-based delivery renown. While scientificsystem. Each ingredient brings studies continue to pursuespecial neutraceutical power to a more measurable and tangiblepioneer formulation technology results on Glutathione, presentdaydata remain impressive onfound in Glutasome. Currently,only Glutasome combines these their own.three ingredients in an ingestible, Research suggests that thesynergistic form delivered process of aging itself involves,through a nanotechnologyengineeredgel.oxidation. It is commonlyat least in part, increasedThe Prevention of Skin Aging witnessed that metals rust awayIn plant and animal tissue, due to the stresses of age andthere is an enzyme called constant use. Human cellsTyrosinase that is responsible undergo a process that canfor the production of Melanin. be compared to this “rusting”Melanin in turn gives the skin or pro-oxidation, but cannotits color, and an overabundance be solely isolated as the mainof melanin causes a darker skin cause of the progression ofaging. While the body does has suggested taking in 1,000produce its own supply of GSH to 3,000 miligrams of Vitamin Cin the liver, multiple factors can (ascorbic acid) daily for optimaldecrease its optimal production skin care. These dosagesincluding illness, exposure may actually help reduce theto environmental toxins and appearance of sun damage andradiation, and the simple wrinkles.process of aging.Vitamin C holds an importantWhile trees grow a new ring function in synthesis of collagen,for each year of life, human cells the compound primarilyrespond to aging with impaired responsible for keeping the skinduplication, resulting in little, firm and full of dexterity. Agingyet cumulative, glitches in cell affects the levels of Vitaminreplication. For example, the C and Glutathione within thecells of a human in his or her dermis and epidermis. Ingestedprime will generally duplicate Vitamin C may also aid in woundhealing,ease dry skin, andand repair themselves withgreater accuracy than those of decrease skin octogenarian.Phosphatidylcoline, deliveredOxidation contributes to as ingested phospholipids,the wrinkling of the skin and complete a synergy withabnormal pigmentation. Skin Glutathione and Vitamin C,complexion looks worn and enabling them to play a keytired. Age spots or blotches role in overall skin rejuvination.accumulate, perhaps due to Phospholipids represent a typeexposure to UV rays. Although of skin or covering for every cell.a combination of dry and oily Think of a layer of plastic wrapskin is also possible, aging skin holding the contents of a cellcommonly tends to be dehydrated in place. These lipid-proteinwith thinning areas and perhaps complexes maintain the cells’the overall complexion taking integrity, aiding in biologicalon a parchment-like texture. ordering. Phospholipids areA breakdown in collagen necessary for the health of alleventually leads to sagging, cells. As with Glutathione andexamples of which are droopy Vitamin C, the body’s productioneyelids and flaccid jowls. of phospholipids decrease withDisturbances in Glutathione age, making supplementation ametabolism may be a key wise choice.element in understanding why Only Glutasome can provideand how we age. Antioxidant all three vital ingredients for“alliances” created heightened this synthesis in one dosage,results in skin care. In particular, namely Glutathione, VitaminGSH and Vitamin C form a bond C, and Phospholipids. Thusto make the skin look more regular intake of Glutasomeyouthful in appearance. can prove to be extremelyDr. Karen E. Burke, from the beneficial in this pursuit ofDepartment of Dermatology of maintaining a good level of cellMt. Sinai School of Medicine, regeneration.

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