JULY 2017


Ten youth essayists participated in the philippine independence week committee (PIWC) 2017 Essay Writing Contest in Chicago on May 7 2 at the EBG Systems inc . They pose with PIWC Chair of the Essay Writing Contest Josefina P. Abaya-Wee Sit (seated, R,) who organized the contest. The topic was the Pros and Cons of a Philippine Vacation. Essayists are Angela Mihma Achanzar, Seri Cho, Audrey Galimba, Jocelyn Mercado, Joey Pascarella, Louis Pascarella, Kayla Tejero, Joshua Patrick Ramos, Juliana Vargas, and Reijhay Vargas. Cash prizes were awarded to the top five winning essayists during the PIWC Gala Night Dinner Ball on June 17 at the Marriot O’Hare Hotel. (Photo by Edna Pavel)


Consulate General of the Philippines in Chicago asks for letters of support and postcards for displaced Marawi residents

The Consulate General of the Philippines aims to aid the internally displaced residents of Marawi by showing support to the members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in their #OgopMarawi (Help Marawi) campaign. The Consulate and the Midwest community are encouraged to send letters of support or postcards to military troops in Marawi City. This act of kindness and thoughtfulness will boost the morale of AFP soldiers who are risking their lives to maintain peace in Marawi.

All letters of support and postcards may be sent to the Consulate General at the following address: #OgopMarawi
Consulate General of the Philippines
122 S. Michigan Avenue, Suite 1600
Chicago, IL 60603

The Consulate General will forward these postcards and letters to the Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila for onward transmittal to the Philippine Army who will distribute them to our soldiers who are engaged in counter terrorism operations in the area. Contact the Consulate General’s Cultural Officer, Anna Liza F. Alcantara, at (312) 583-0621, or email the Consulate at chicagopcg@att.net for more info.

Meet, Ask & Learn from a Venture Capitalist, July 19

The Philippine American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Chicago, Inc. (FABEX), as part of its Progress and Success Series, will feature a Meet, Ask and Learn from Venture Capitalist Len Batterson, Chair & CEO of Batterson Venture Capital, LLC on Wed., July 19 from 6:00-8:30 PM at the Lincolnwood Town Center, 3333 Touhy Avenue Lincolnwood, IL 60712, lower level next to Carson Pirie Scott.

Len will discuss “Why AOL got funded and how yours could too?” Len will share how he led one of the first investments in AOL, what he and his firm currently nvest in and what you should do to get a venture capitalist, angel investor or family and friends to invest in your company or start-up. Bring your business plan and speak with Len about it. Admission is $25 per person. Limited Seating, Food and drinks available. Lots of free parking. Mingle with fellow owners and entrepreneurs to exchange business cards. RSVP at Eventbrite at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/meet-ask-and-learn-from-a-real-vc-tickets-35564864467. To RSVP and sponsorship inquiries to atabangay@gmail.com.


Home away from home

First Place-PIWC 2017 Essay Writing Contest

May 27, 2017
By Audrey Galimba
10th Grade- AC Flora High School
EBG Systems, Inc., Chicago
Nelson Galimba and Melanie Palomares- (Parents)


I shut the front door behind me as I step into my house, taking off my shoes and taking a deep breath, and I smile as I inhale the delicious, comforting aroma of my favorite meal, nilaga. The radio is playing, and I hear chatter from the dining room. I walk towards the voices, which I quickly recognize as my parents'. In hushed whispers, they speak, absorbed in their conversation, without so much as a hello for me.

Immediately, I am suspicious. How often are both of my parents home before I am? In addition, not a day goes by when my mother doesn't greet me with a “So how was school today?” as soon as she sees me. I set my backpack down slowly, still watching the two of them.

My parents exchange a glance before suddenly turning towards me.

“What would you think,” my father starts. “If we said that,” my mother adds. “We were thinking about going to the Philippines!” they both exclaim triumphantly.

Disbelief flashes across my face as I process this. The Philippines? I think to myself. I haven't been there since I was a small child. I smile excitedly, thinking of finally being able to see the country and its culture for myself, finally going to the setting of all of the stories that my parents and grandparents tell, the fond memories of their childhood and more adventurous days.

In addition to being closer to the Filipino culture and my family's past, going on this journey would undoubtedly allow us to make memories as a family, and even though I cringe a little internally, thinking of the hot summer sun and my Lolo's stories of mosquitoes massive enough to carry away children (which I know are exaggerated, but I still shudder at the thought), as well as being away from home for so long, I am excited to think of the opportunities that might await, and the experiences we might gain from going home. I realize that it is home even if I was not born there.

Going to the Philippines means being closer to the Filipino culture that is in my heritage, not just to say that I am Filipino, but to experience the culture, to be among those who speak the language and know the customs and live the lifestyle.

(Read more "Home away from home")


NaFFAA seeks applicants for EPYC Ambassadors Program; Application deadline extended to July 21

The National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) announces the official launch of the Empowering Pilipino Youth through Collaboration (EPYC) Ambassadors Program. Through this program, NaFFAA seeks to equip young leaders to refine their skills and learn new strategies in order to better serve their communities. The EPYC Ambassadors Program is a one-year commitment focused on the growth of Fil-Am young leaders through leadership development, civic engagement, and advocacy.

Ambassadors will participate in monthly “train-the-trainer” webinars, conduct outreach through in-person events, social media, and a capstone initiative called “My EPYC Project.” Applications are open until Sunday, July 21 at 11:59pm ET.

Applicants must be between ages of 18 to 34 at the time of application, and must be currently enrolled in a degree-seeking program OR have graduated from a degree-seeking program no more than 2-3 years before the time of application. For more information, email epyc@naffaa.org.

Leyte local execs appeal for food, water for quake victims

ORMOC CITY, Leyte – Local officials were appealing for food and potable water, especially to at least 20 barangays that were badly affected by the earthquake that shook Leyte and cut off power supply on July 6.

The tremor, the strongest to hit the province in recent years, also killed two people in Ormoc and in nearby Kananga town and wounded more than 200 people.

“We need generator sets to pump the water wells,” appealed Mayor Richard Gomez, as residents could not tap the surface water since the rivers and springs and become muddy following the earthquake.

Affected were mostly mountain barangays that were accessible only through motorcycles due to rough and muddy roads.

The Energy Development Corp. (EDC), which operates a geothermal plant in Ormoc, lent three generator sets in Ormoc and another in Kananga.
The earthquake also damaged the runway at the Ormoc airport, two major highways, one footbridge and two bridges.

Gomez said the earthquake triggered landslides in four barangays –Cabaon-an, Cabintan, Tongonan and Gaas.

(Read more "Leyte execs appeal for food, water for quake victims")


knights of Rizal (KOR) and Ladies of Rizal during the Wreath offering at the Rizal Monument in Chicago's Margate Park on June 19.


Central USA KOR Commemorates 156th birthday of PH National Hero Jose Rizal

CHICAGO--The Central USA Area Command of the Knights of Rizal (KOR), Ladies for Rizal, and leaders and members of the Filipino American community, were joined by the staff of the Philippine Consulate in Chicago in commemorating the 156th Birth Anniversary of Dr. Jose P. Rizal on Monday, June 19, 2017.

The annual celebration was marked with the wreath offering at the Dr. Jose P. Rizal Monument at Margate Park between Marine Drive and Lake Shore Drive in Chicago at 9:00 am, led by Consul General Generoso DG Calonge,KGOR, Commander of the Maynilad Chapter and Mariano A. Santos, Commander of the Central USA.

The program also included a flag ceremony and an inspirational message from Dr. Ramon Lopez, the great grand-nephew of our national hero.

A reception followed at the Margate Fieldhouse where leaders of KOR Chapters of Chicago, Magiting, Malaya and Maynilad and Ladies for Rizal led by Lady Carmen Estacio provided brief remarks for the occasion. Sir Allan Capati, KCR, of Peoria gave the report for Magiting while Sir Randy Famacion, KCR, for Malaya.

Nominations for service awars were also announced. Nominees were led by outgoing Consul General Calonge who was cited for his outstanding performance as the top representative of the Philippine government in the area.

(Read more "Central USA KOR Commemorates birthday of Jose Rizal")

The Central USA Knights of Rizal, Ladies for Rizal and the Philippine Consulate in Chicago led by Mariano Santos, KCR; Lady Carmen Estacio, respectively; and ConGen Generoso Calonge, KGOR; pose for a souvenir photo after a cultural luncheon commemoration of the 156th birth anniversary of National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal at the Margate Field House June 19. On hand was Dr. & Mrs. Ramon Lopez, a great-grand nephew of Rizal.

(More stories on COMMUNITY NEWS PAGE)


JULY 2017 


Fil-Am actor, Jose Llana, underscores
the relevance of “The King and I” to modern theater-goers

By Mariano "Anong" Santos

PINOY Publisher/Editor


“It is so sad that more than 60 percent of the Filipinos approved of the administration in the Philippines,” bewailed Llana.

left PIC: Rave reviews for Jose Llana as Ferdinand Marcos in David Byrne’s “Here Lies Love.” (Photo: Progressive Pulse)

CHICAGO—“The King and I” made its Broadway debut in 1951 and 66 years later, it remains one of the most enduring musicals in the annals of American stage history. It continues to enchant audiences with its melodious songs and, to the surprise of no one, its story is even more relevant today in the Age of Trump, and much more, to Filipino Americans, in the Time of Duterte.

This is a view shared by Jose Llana, who is playing the title role in a much acclaimed revival of the beloved Rodger-Hammerstein classic that is currently in this city’s roadshow engagement until July 2. “The message resonates louder in the present political climate,” said Llana in a recent telephone interview with PINOY.

“The King and I” is based on the memoir of a British schoolteacher, Anna Leonowens, who was hired by King Mongkut of Siam (Thailand) in the 1860s to educate his children and wives with western culture and teach them to speak English.

But the problems of colonialism, tyranny, anti-intellectualism, sexism, misogyny, slavery and feminism-- all noted in Anna’s diary during the time of Queen Victoria—alas, rear their ugly heads today, giving the revival of this musical its contemporary relevance.

Llana, who won critical reviews playing Ferdinand Marcos in David Byrne’s “Here Lies Love” when it premiered in New York three years ago, was interviewed by PINOY shortly after President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao.

“It is so sad that more than 60 percent of the Filipinos approved of the administration in the Philippines,” bewailed Llana. “The Filipino youth seems to have not learned the lessons of history…the influx of money from their parents working abroad made them feeling affluent and indifferent to compelling issues like human rights,” he added.

(Read more "Fil-Am actor Jose Llana underscores relevance of 'The King and I'"...)


JULY 2017


Donald Trump’s historic mistake


By Laurence Tubiana


Editorial Cartoon by Jym Andalis

Paris—US President Donald Trump has announced that the United States will no longer participate in the 2015 Paris climate agreement, the landmark United Nations treaty that many of us worked so hard to achieve. Trump is making a mistake that will have grave repercussions for his own country, and for the world.

Trump claims that he will try to renegotiate the deal reached in Paris, or craft a new one. But leaders from around the world have already hailed the agreement as a breakthrough for the fight against climate change, a victory for international cooperation, and a boon to the global economy. That remains true today.

Among the many challenges we face today, climate change is unique in its global scale. It affects every element of life on this planet—from ecosystems and food production to cities and industrial supply chains. Viewing climate change as strictly an “environmental” problem misses the point entirely.

We might charitably assume that Trump simply does not understand the implications of his decision. And yet, regardless of what Trump thinks, we know that he is surrounded by advisers who know very well what is at stake.

On the campaign trail, Trump promised to create jobs and protect American workers from the ravages of the world. And he signed off his tweet announcing that he had made a decision on the Paris accord with the words, “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”

But Trump’s decision undermines every one of these goals, and it goes against the wishes of a vast majority of Americans, including many of his own supporters. By turning his back on the Paris agreement, he is increasing Americans’ exposure to the devastating effects of climate change—many of which they are already experiencing. Moreover, he is undercutting jobs in the thriving renewable-energy and electric-vehicle sectors, which are increasingly employing the very workers he purports to represent.

(Read more "Donald Trump’s historic mistake"...)


JULY 2017

By Jon Melegrito

Letter from Washington



FilVetREP Chair Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba (Ret.), (far R) briefs the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) about the Filipino WWII Veterans Congressional Gold Medal (CGM). (right) April Stafford, Chief of the U.S. Mint’s Office of Design Management, presented to the Commission on Fine Arts June 15 meeting one of the candidate designs for the Filipino Veterans of WWII CGM Program. As soon as the U.S. Sec. of the Treasury approves the final designs, the U.S. Mint is expected to begin minting the coin this summer. (PINOY Photos by Jon Melegrito)

Congressional Gold Medal for FilVets slated for minting this summer

In the past two months, the Filipino Veterans Recognition & Education Project (FilVetREP) has been meeting with the U.S. Mint’s Office of Design Management in providing significant input and recommendations to the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) and the Commission on Fine Arts (CFA). Both independent agencies are responsible for reviewing designs proposed for memorials, coins and medals.

It will be recalled that Congress passed legislation in December awarding the Congressional Gold Medal (CGM) to Filipino World War II veterans, in recognition of their service to the United States. After it was signed by President Obama, the measure became Public Law 114-265.

The law appropriated $30,000 for the minting of the gold coin. This process includes designing the coin itself and having both the CCAC and CFA review the designs.
On January 17, the FilVetREP team headed by Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba (Ret) held its initial meeting with the U.S. Mint’s Office of Design Management. Gen. Taguba was appointed as official liason by Sen. Mazie Hirono and U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, sponsors of the CGM bills. At this meeting, the FilVetREP team presented possible themes, text, photos and graphics that would be useful to the assigned artists and illustrators.

On February 15, FilVetREP team met with the nine members of the CCAC. The presentation included screening of the documentary, “Duty to Country,” and a discussion of all the artistic, political and historical themes and elements that would inform the design process.

Closest surviving relative

A kick-off meeting with the six artists assigned to the project was held on March 22. A month later, the artists completed 43 candidate designs based on the instructions provided by the CCAC. FilVetREP then reviewed each obverse and reverse designs for historical/technical accuracy and appropriateness. After three rounds of feedback and suggested modifications, the team narrowed down its selection to seven of the front (obverse) and three of the back (reverse). On May 22, a meeting with the U.S. Mint led to the selection of the top three designs, which were presented to the CFA on June 15.

(Read more "Congressional Gold Medal for FilVets slated for minting this summer"...)




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LBC Cargo USA and Canada have created a competition that will show their customers’ artistry and vision with the 2018 calendar as their canvass. The LBC Calendar Design Competition's theme is “The Way We Move It in the Philippines”. Artwork must be able to clearly depict the unique ways Filipinos move, may it be through cultural activities like traditional or modern dancing or way of life like transportation.

The art tilt is open to all LBC Customers and non-customers and their families. Submission entries will be accepted until July 31, 2017. Other details of the contest can be viewed at www.lbcexpress.com. Twelve winners will be chosen, each to take home $500 with their artwork to be featured in LBC’s 2018 Collectible Calendar. Winners will be announced mid-August and calendar will be released by Thanksgiving.

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