JULY 2020


Online Tagalog Class for Beginners, Aug. 3-21


An online Tagalog Class for Beginners aged 12 years or older begins on Mon., Aug. 3 until Aug. 21 through the Zoom App. Students will learn the Basics of Tagalog which will be taught by volunteer Instructor John Paul Dela Rosa who is former high school teacher of Tarlac National High School in Tarlac, Philippines.


There will be nine 50-minute Sessions for 3 weeks on Monday,Wednesday, and Friday.
1. Balay Tagalog Beginners Level 1 Class 101 (11:00 AM US Central Time)
2. Balay Tagalog Beginners Level 2 Class 102 (6:00 PM US Central Time).


Mr. Dela Rosa moved to the United States as a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant (FLTA). He is currently affiliated with Northern Illinois University (NIU) in DeKalb, IL assisting the primary instructor of Tagalog in teaching language courses at NIU. Mr. Dela Rosa also advises a student-run organization on campus, the Philippine Students Association (PSA).


The cost is $90 for a Full Class or $60 for students. Payment may be sent to piyestapinoy@gmail.com via Chase Quick Pay or Zelle or by PayPal to fanhs.greaterchicago@gmail.com.

Please register as soon as you can. Follow the registration Links below:
1. Balay Tagalog Class 101 (11:00 AM US Central Time) https://forms.gle/pRc19vmKHRtoKm3q8
2. Balay Tagalog Class 102 (6:00 PM US Central Time) https://forms.gle/4ubbYQsx3Tx66SuH7



DFA: Over 51,000 overseas Filipinos return home amid COVID-19 pandemic


By Daphne Galvez

MANILA—Over 51,000 overseas -based Filipinos have been brought home amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said a total of 51,113 OFWs have been repatriated since February 2020.


More than half or 29,302 of the returning OFWs are sea-based workers while the rest (more than 21,000 or 42%) are land-based.


“The most recent repatriates arrived from Japan, Norway, Oman, Saudi Arabia, UAE, USA, and Vietnam,” the DFA said in a post on June 22.


The foreign affairs department has chartered four flights this week for 1,464 OFWs from Saudi Arabia and Macau.


Meanwhile, 30 stranded Filipino migrant workers from India and Sri Lanka returned to the Philippines on board BRP Davao del Sur last June 19, the DFA said.


“The DFA, together with its Philippine embassies and consulates around the world, remains fully committed to bringing home our nationals abroad amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” it said.


All returning Filipino migrant workers are required to undergo a 14-day quarantine in government isolation facilities or hotels accredited by the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ). (INQUIRER.net)


Friday, July 24th (USA) at 9:00 pm / 7:00 pm / 10:00 pm EST and July 25 (Philippines) 10:00 AM


Virtual Online Event: Stories from the Homefront and Beyond - with artists from the PH and US, July 24-25


A virtual open mic event will be Live Streamed on Facebook on Friday, July 24 at 9 PM-11 PM CDT, which is also at 7 PM PST/ 10 PM EST. It will include storytellers, poets, singers, musicians, spoken word and visual artists dedicated to social justice work. Visit https://www.facebook.com/events/s/raising-voices-stories-from-th/2494453600657150/?ti=icl&ref=110


Another Live stream will be held in the Philippines on July 25 from 10 am to 12 pm.


They call for solidarity and unity among cultural workers in upholding everyone's duty to defend human rights, democracy and fight for social justice.


Featured artists from the Philippines: 

*Mae P. Paner (Juana Change) performing an excerpt from “Tao Po”

*Ariel Bernardo Jebulan, Mary Abigael Estacio, Ann Murray Tan, Rielle Donado - Musicians for Peace

*Ann Murray Tan- Liga ng Kabataang Propagandista 

*Max Santiago - Ugat Lahi Artist Collective 

*Rody Vera - Independent Playwright/Director/Actor


Featured artists from the US:

*Maya Arcilla- Malaya Chicago-MW

*Love Jordan - Gabriela Chicago

*Anthony Bacay- Migrante

*Ginger Leopoldo- CIRCA-Pintig 

*Cesar Conde- Independent Visual Artist







Trump freezes green cards, work visas until end of year


President Trump extended a freeze on green cards for new immigrants and signed an executive order to suspend new H-1B, L-1, J and other temporary work visas for skilled workers, managers and au pairs through the end of the year.


The goal of the move is to protect 525,000 jobs as part of the White House response to job losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic, said a senior administration official, who spoke to reporters on the condition of anonymity. NPR first reported the impending order on June 20.


The order targets H-1B visas, which are designed for certain skilled workers such as those employed in the tech industry, as well as L-1 visas, which are meant for executives who work for large corporations.


But other workers will also be affected, including foreign au pairs who provide child care. Professors and scholars are not to be included in the order, the official said. There will be a provision to request exemptions. The order is not expected to affect immigrants and visa holders already in the United States.


Business groups are expected to oppose the move. But groups that want less immigration cheered it.


(Read more "Trump freezes green cards, work visas until end of year")

July 8 rally at Chicago Philippine Consulate






CHICAGO-On July 8, a rally organized and led by the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP) Midwest, BAYAN Midwest, and the Malaya Movement Against Tyranny and Dictatorship in the Philippines - Chicago-Midwest, took place at the Consulate General of the Philippines to protest the signing of the Anti-Terrorism Bill by President Duterte. 


This Anti-Terrorism Law is yet another manifestation of President Rodrigo Duterte’s authoritarian regime that will continue to erode democratic governance in the Philippines and further exacerbate state-sanctioned violence.


The Law provides Duterte’s administration with full judicial authority to define what constitutes “terrorism,” consolidating this power through the creation of an Anti-Terrorism Council that is empowered to order mass arrests without warrants, detain individuals and groups without due process and for mere suspicion of being involved in ‘terrorist’ organizations, authorize the large-scale surveillance of individuals perceived to be terrorists, and remove penalties for wrongful detention.


This Law violates the 1987 Philippine Constitution’s Bill of Rights by eliminating free speech and violating the people’s right to privacy, criminalizing and silencing dissenting voices, and scrutinizing people based on mere suspicion.  


The impact of this legislation will be felt far and wide.


(Read more "July 8 rally at Chicago Philippine Consulate")



PH Consulate schedule of services under Phase 4 of Illinois’ reopening plan


CHICAGO–In line with Phase 4 of the State of Illinois' five-phased reopening plan, the Philippine Consulate General in Chicago, starting on June 29, will be open to the public four times a week, every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Health & Safety Regulations for Applicants Coming to the Consulate

For the mutual protection of all clients and Consular personnel, the following regulations are hereby imposed:


1. A strict appointment system will be implemented in compliance with social distancing rules and to maintain a 10-person limit at one time. No walk-ins will be allowed.


2. To make an appointment, the applicant must fill up and sign a Health Declaration Form.


Health Declaration form in English: www.chicagopcg.com/healthformenglish.docx


Health Declaration form in Tagalog: www.chicagopcg.com/healthformtagalog.docx


3. Only clients with appointment will be allowed entry to the Consulate's client waiting are. Accompanying family members and friends of the client should wait outside the building, except for senior citizens and persons with disability (PWD) who may bring one companion to assist.  Minor applicants (below 18 years old) should be accompanied by his/her mother; if the mother is not available, she may authorize the father in writing to accompany the minor. The accompanying person will also be required to submit a Health Declaration Form.


(Read more "PH Consulate Schedule of Services under Phase 4 of Illinois' reopening plan)


(Read more Community News...)


JULY 2020 

By Mariano "Anong" Santos & Jon. D. Melegrito

PINOY Publisher/Editor

Notes on the 244th year of American Independence


...“"Our liberty cannot be guarded but by the freedom of the press, nor that be limited without danger of losing it." -- 1776.”


Thomas Jefferson, (April 13, 1743- July 4, 1826), drafted the U.S. Declaration of Independence (1776); third U.S. President (1801–09).

IN this age of the internet, the delivery of information has seen radical transformation, notably on how fast news can reach us. Everyone who has an I-phone or a laptop can call himself a news correspondent or even a journalist.


The responsibility to be fair, balance and accurate is often thrown by the wayside, thus, fake news proliferates. It becomes even more dangerous when the purveyors of lies and deception are the very persons that the masses have entrusted the helms of government.


How can our democratic way of life survive in this environment?


It did not take very long for the guardians of the true freedom of the press to become the very victims of those who employ trollers and tweeters of toxic messages that are used as weapons to grab power and trample
on basic human rights.


Lately, we take sanctuary in our homes to protect ourselves from a killer virus. We wear masks and observe distancing in our fervent hope that we don’t fall into the pool of unfortunate victims of this deadly pandemic.


(Read more "Notes on the 244th year of American Independence)


It's not just Maria Ressa's arrest. Coronavirus is accelerating crackdowns on press freedom across Asia

WITH fears of the coronavirus and restrictions on crowds still in effect, there were no defiant protests when journalist Maria Ressa emerged from a Philippine courtroom on June 15, convicted on a dubious charge of “cyber libel.”

Neither were there massive demonstrations in early May, when the country’s largest broadcaster, ABS-CBN, was forced off the air just as independent reporting and accountability over the COVID-19 response were arguably most needed.


“It was timed for the pandemic,” says Ressa, who was one of the press freedom “Guardians” featured as TIME’s 2018 Person of the Year. “Because at any other time there would have been people out on the streets.”


An outspoken critic of President Rodrigo Duterte’s deadly war on drugs, Ressa has long been in legal crosshairs, facing 11 court cases in 2018, and eight warrants for her arrest in 2019. But she says the pandemic has “exacerbated” suppression of the media.


Rights groups agree. They say crackdowns on the press are unfolding across the world — and escaping public backlash — as governments use the health crisis as a pretext to hound critics and tighten control.


Globally, the number of regimes hostile toward journalists was already on the rise.


(Read more "It's Not Just Maria Ressa's Arrest. Coronavirus Is Accelerating Crackdowns on Press Freedom Across Asia)


JULY 2020

by PINOY Editorial Cartoonist Jym Andalis for JULY 2020 ISSUE

Grievous blow to Freedom of press


Inquirer News Service

Philippine journalism took a grievous blow June 15 with the conviction of Rappler CEO and executive editor Maria Ressa and former researcher-writer Reynaldo Santos Jr. on a case that stemmed from a cyberlibel complaint filed by businessman Wilfredo Keng.

In the context of recent developments including, among others, the swift passage in Congress of the proposed Anti-Terrorism Act, the call by a government functionary for the deportation of a Taiwan-based Filipino worker who had criticized the Duterte administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the shutdown of ABS-CBN, the guilty verdict was not surprising.

Chilling effect

But it was shocking nonetheless, and bids well to generate a chilling effect on journalists’ efforts to shine a light on dark corners and hold up a mirror to the society in which they live.


“We’re a cautionary tale,” Ressa said of her and Santos’ conviction for which Judge Rainelda Estacio-Montesa of Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 46 handed down a prison sentence of six months and a day up to six years.


Indeed they are — a grim narrative that began with Keng’s filing of a complaint at the National Bureau of Investigation in 2017, or five years after Santos’ piece was first posted (May 2012) on the online news website and three years after it was reposted (February 2014) to correct a typographical error.


(Read more "Grievous blow to Freedom of press"...)


JULY 2020

Letter from Washington

By Jon Melegrito


Reimagining Public Safety

AMONG the law enforcement reforms being considered, in response to the May 25 police killing of George Floyd, is the use of unarmed social workers instead of cops in responding to nonviolent calls.


                    Right pic: Mhai De Leon-Scott.


In this proposal, trained “crisis intervention” professionals will handle certain emergency situations, such as mental health, substance abuse, family disputes and school discipline. This would relieve overburdened police with critical functions they themselves prefer not to do.


This “unarmed model of crisis response” are now carefully being studied in police departments across the country, notably in Los Angeles.


“Unarmed service providers may be a better fit in instances when having a weapon present would only escalate a situation,” said one Los Angeles City Councilman. “It’s unfair to ask officers to do the job of a social or public health worker.”


Positive responses from police themselves are very encouraging. The LA Police Protective League, which represents more than 9,000 of the LAPD’s 13,000 employees, has been “talking about this for a long time, and I’m glad that it’s being talked about more robustly now,” said Robert Harris, the union’s director, according to the Daily News of Los Angeles.


“For these calls that don’t necessarily need a law enforcement response, can we shift that response to somebody else?” Harris said.


The death of Floyd in Minneapolis has sparked calls to “Defund Police,” a controversial and misleading term which critics have understandably defined as eliminating police departments entirely.

(Read more "Reimagining Public Safety”...)


JULY 2020


By Fr. Tirso Villaverde

 COVID-19 and the “New Normal”

FOR my Catholic readers, many of us have already gone through the Reopening Phase of parishes all across the Archdiocese of Chicago.

As we all have noticed, the experience of worship was a lot different and many—if not all—of the precautions require becoming accustomed to them.


Some may find them disruptive to our normal worship experience and we may find ourselves resisting them. Others are appreciative of the fact that parishes are taking every precaution to keep everyone’s health and safety at the forefront of everyone’s attention.

Like a VIP

Whatever our individual opinion about the steps parishes have to take to reopen, let us simply consider them from the Christian call to care for one another.

For one, parishioners of the various parishes first have to “register” for Mass. For the time being, it allows parish volunteers the clear resource to be able to generate the necessary record for contact tracing if that ever became necessary.

Then, when parishioners arrive at church for Mass, they found that they were greeted at the door by a volunteer and escorted to the next available pew. Being escorted to a pew makes each and every person coming to church feel like a VIP.


(Read more "COVID-19 and the “New Normal”...)



JULY 2020

By Alberto Gonzales

Immigration Attorney

(708) 916-3077


The Whirlwind that is U.S. Immigration Law

Note: This article is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship or to constitute legal advice. This article provides a general overview only and should not be relied upon in lieu of consultation with an immigration attorney. 

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise throughout the United States and the government begins to reopen the economy, immigration law continues to change rapidly. Following the Supreme Court’s decision on DACA, the Trump administration issued an executive order expanding on the categories of visa holders subject to his earlier immigration ban.

The Supreme Court’s decision on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) blocked the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) attempt to end DACA and vacated its rescission of the program. The court ruled that the Trump administration did not follow proper procedures to end the program nor did it account for how reliance of DACA recipients on the program would affect them.


In all, it appears that DACA will revert to its 2012 version, which includes accepting new applications for processing and the possibility of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) granting advance parole travel permits to DACA recipients.

Despite this good news, the Supreme Court did not rule on the legality of DACA as a program, nor did it issue any protections to its recipients. DHS can—and probably will—attempt to end the program in a manner that satisfies proper procedures. As of the writing of this article, USCIS has not updated their website to reflect the Supreme Court’s order regarding first-time DACA applicants or advance parole applications.

The week following the DACA decision, on June 22, 2020, the Trump administration expanded on its April 23 immigration ban through an executive order. Originally, the ban suspended entry of any individual who was outside of the U.S. on the date of the executive order; did not have a valid immigrant visa; and did not have a valid official travel document that permits travel to the U.S., such as advance parole. See our May article for more details, including exceptions to the ban.


(Read more "The Whirlwind that is U.S. Immigration Law...")



Featured Sponsors




The Philippine Weekly

Writes 30



PUBLISHER Orlando P. Bernardino bids goodbye with his June 26 edition of the paper that lasted more than 35 years. His letter thanking readers and advertisers was co-signed by his wife, Lourdes Cuyugan-Bernardino and his daughter, Lori B. Leonardo. In the cover of Pinoy's maiden issue (Feb. 2000), Orly was featured as one of the 12 movers and shakers of the community--one of the few who remained so, 20 years later.

IL COVID-19 cases count


SPRINGFIELD- The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is reporting 1,231 new confirmed cases of coronavirus as of July 27 totaling 172,655 positive cases in IL in 102 counties and 18additional deaths totaling 7,416.


The total of confirmed cases in DuPage County alone on July 26 is 10,880 according to the DuPage County Health Department with 506 confirmed deaths in that county. 


EU bans U.S. travelers


AFTER four months of travel bans due to Covid-19, Europe opened to visitors on July 1 from some 54 countries. Not to the U.S., Brazil, Qatar, Russia or the Philippines.


But yes for Australia, Canada, China, Costa Rica and Turkey.
The list of approved countries will be reviewed every two weeks.


As officials fail to decide which countries will make it to the welcome list, and those who will not.


On the criteria being used to determine the two lists, EU guidelines were released two weeks ago that took into account the infection rate in countries concerned--based on epidemiological data.


Considerations for types of travel amid COVID-19


Travel increases your chances of getting and spreading COVID-19. We don’t know if one type of travel is safer than others; however, airports, bus stations, train stations, and rest stops are all places travelers can be exposed to the virus in the air and on surfaces.


These are also places where it can be hard to social distance (keep 6 feet apart from other people).

Consider the following risks for getting or spreading COVID-19, depending on how you travel:


Air travel

Air travel requires spending time in security lines and airport terminals, which can bring you in close contact with other people and frequently touched surfaces. Most viruses and other germs do not spread easily on flights because of how air circulates and is filtered on airplanes.


However, social distancing is difficult on crowded flights, and you may have to sit near others (within 6 feet), sometimes for hours. This may increase your risk for exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19.


Bus or train travel

Traveling on buses and trains for any length of time can involve sitting or standing within 6 feet of others.


Car travel

Making stops along the way for gas, food, or bathroom breaks can put you and your traveling companions in close contact with other people and surfaces.


RV travel

You may have to stop less often for food or bathroom breaks, but RV travel typically means staying at RV parks overnight and getting gas and supplies at other public places.


These stops may put you and those with you in the RV in close contact with others.


Learn more about how to protect yourself from COVID-19 on different types of transportation on CDC’s website Protect Yourself When Using Transportation.

completely free