Chicago ConGen's unprecedented move: Monthly Dialogue
with the Community
"The third Wednesday of the month will be for the concerns of Filipinos under my consular jurisdiction," declared Generoso Calonge, the newly appointed Consul General in Chicago. This unprecedented move was made known early July when he first made his first public appearance.
Right photo: Chicago Philippine Consulate General Generoso Calonge
The first of his promised "dialogue with the community" took place August 20 at 5:30 pm right after the regular office hours and lasted for about one and half hour. "I was not able to start last month because of my participation in the 9th Ambassador Consuls General Tourism Directors
Tour in Manila," he explained to no fewer than two dozen area community leaders and media persons.
Many of those who came took notice of the tense and cool reception of the other consular personnel who at some point aggressively told those who came that they would not be let in if their names are not in their list of those who called in for reservation.
Many claimed that they actually called or confirmed their intention to join the dialogue and this highlighted the persistent and common complain about the poor telecommunication system in the consular office. The problem became the top topic for the afternoon and ConGen Calonge said he makes sure an improvement will be made.
"The World of Extreme Happiness," Goodman Theatre,
Sept. 13-Oct. 12
CHICAGO--Filipino migrant workers will see themselves in Sunny, the young farm worker who moves to work as a factory worker in a big city. "The World of Extreme Happiness" is an inspiring play and on its world premiere at the Owen Theater of Chicago's Goodman Theatre from Sept. 13 to Oct. 12. This celebrated work from Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig is called "bruisingly funny" by Time Out London. It celebrates the perseverance of the human spirit.
When Sunny is born in rural China, her parents leave her in a slop bucket to die because she's not a boy. She survives, and at age 14 leaves for the city, where she finds work in a factory and attends self-help classes in pursuit of a coveted office position.
But when Sunny's attempts at self-improvement lead to calamitous consequences for a fellow worker, she questions the system she's spent her life trying to master. Savage, tragic and desperately funny, The "World of Extreme Happiness" is a provocative examination of individuals struggling to shape their destinies amid China's dizzying economic transformation.
Eric Ting directs stage actress, Jennifer Lim who won critical acclaim in "Chinglish" and who leads an all-Asian cast. Cowhig was born in Philadelphia and had lived in Virginia, Okinawa, Taipei and Beijing where she stayed for five years. She said in an interview that she was inspired among various Pulitzer Prize winning writers like Arthur Miller and Studs Terkel—who are known for their sympathy for the common workers.
Cowhig further added that the theme of her play also reflects the disillusionment of millions of workers in China in seemingly unattainable social goal of achieving the equivalent of the American Dream. "Extreme Happiness" was successfully stage in London. From Chicago, the play will move to its Broadway debut in February.
Tickets from $10 are now on sale at Goodmantheatre.org/Happiness or call 312-443-3800, or at the box office at 170 N. Dearborn St., Chicago.
A Tour in time of storms
By Mariano “Anong” Santos
LEFT Photo: PINOY publisher Anong Santos (R) poses with the Detroit participants including Rebecca Tungol (2nd fr. L) who won the top prize of Western Union raffle of a round trip to the Philippines while Efren Balancio won an I-Pad.
It was 10 years ago that the Ambassadors, Consuls General, Tourism Directors Tour of the Philippines was launched. Until last year, Filipino Canadians were part of this annual project but last January, those neighbors up north, ventured into their own, "Winter Escapade."
In its decade of existence, there was only one year that it was called off, thus this year's is the 9th ACGTDT, not the 10th. Without the Canadians, the number of participants dwindled to fewer than 50 per cent of the usual numbers or just 260.
Notwithstanding the declaration of the spin doctors that this year's tour was a success, as a participant, this year's tour should have been mercifully cancelled.
'Season of Creation'
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The "Season of Creation" campaign of the Archdiocese of Manila is well named. Similar campaigns are held in many countries as a celebration of the Earth during the month of September. In the Philippines, it will run on Sept. 1-Oct. 5, with the aim of encouraging Filipino Catholics to be "more proactive in protecting and preserving the environment." Celebrations of the Mass, such as the opening Mass to be officiated by Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, will be joined with an information campaign on pressing environmental problems throughout the archdiocese's many parishes and communities.
The archdiocese embarked on this laudable campaign last year, when the Season of
Creation stretched out over six weeks, with each Sunday celebrating a specific element of nature: fire, water, air, earth, "halaman" (plants) and "tao" (humans). In an interview then with the Church-run Radio Veritas, Tagle cited the importance of what the archdiocese was trying to do: "I am hopeful that through our environment-centered programs and catechesis, the faithful in our parishes, schools and communities will be moved to action in protecting and caring for nature. I also hope they join us in encouraging others to do the same as stewards of God's creation."
(Read more 'Season of Creation)
By Jon Melegrito
Letter from Washington
"So, what are you waiting for?"
Photo: DHS officials (L) and Fil-Am leaders and Embassy officials (R) discuss on the topic of Temporary Protected Status (TPS). (Photo by Jon Melegrito)
That was the question running through our minds when Filipino American community leaders met with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials on Aug. 13. They had requested Philippine Amb. Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. to convene the community's top national leaders for a "dialogue." Which was rather unusual because it's been community leaders seeking to meet with these officials to grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Filipino nationals. And now here they are coming to us.
And so we gathered at the Philippine Embassy. Loida Nicolas Lewis, Chair of US Pinoys for Good Governance (USP4GG), newly-elected NaFFAA National Chair JT Mallonga and Father Patrick Longalong, Vice President of the National Association of Filipino Priests drove in from New York. Lawyer & columnist Rodel Rodis flew in from San Francisco.
(Read more 'So, what are you waiting for?')