JUNE 2015

SAMANTHA Vasich-Bruno (right) is the first Filipino-American and Asian-American female firefighter to join the Chicago Fire Department last fall. She was one of the recipients of the Humanitarian Service Award representing the Filipino community from IL Sec. of State Jesse White during the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Celebration May 12 at the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago. She poses with Asian-American liasion to the Secretary of State Carmen Estacio (L). ConGen Generoso Calonge was also the recipient of the Special Award. (PINOY Photo by Edna Pavel)



Free Citizenship Workshops May Be the LastHundreds of Immigrants to Continue on Path to Citizenship

What:              Possibly final New Americans Initiative citizenship workshops

When:             Saturday, June 27, 2015
                        9:00 am to 12:00 noon

Where:           Truman College, 1145 W. Wilson, Chicago IL 60640
                        Instituto del Progreso Latino, 2520 S. Western, Chicago IL 60608

For what may be one of the last times, the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) and their partner organizations will host a citizenship application workshop in the Chicago area on Saturday, June 27th.  As State funding for the New Americans Initiative citizenship program will be suspended as of July 1, with no guarantee of renewal, ICIRR is urging immigrants to attend the upcoming workshops, which are free and offer comprehensive citizenship application information and support.

Trained staff and legal counsel will be on-hand to explain, in multiple languages, the complicated citizenship application process and ensure that those eligible have the documentation and financial assistance they need to file their paperwork.

So far, ICIRR and their partner organizations have successfully helped more than 100,000 immigrants become American citizens – a process that increases an individual’s annual income and bolsters state tax

Cardinal Tagle to celebrate mass at Holy Name Cathedral, June 13

Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle will celebrating mass at the Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago on Saturday, June 13 for the 5:15 Vigil Mass. The Cardinal leads 2.8 million Catholics in Manila and was recently elected as President of Caritas International.

Piyesta Pinoy returns to Bolingbrook, June 20

BOLINGBROOK, IL-Piyesta Pinoy sa Chicago returns in the summer with Piyesta Pinoy sa Bolingbrook on Saturday, June 20 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. at the Bolingbrook Performing Arts Center, 375 Briarcliff Rd. Bolingbrook, IL next to the Bolingbrook Village Hall and Town Center.

Piyesta Pinoy will provide a special forum for artists, vendors and performers to share their crafts, works and talents in promoting the Filipino American arts, music, cuisine and cultural heritage; to unite the Filipino American communities in and around the greater Chicago area; to promote and preserve the Filipino culture and heritage; and to foster collaboration amongst different groups, organizations, clubs, businesses and individuals. Last year’s official attendance was 4,500 over a 12 hour non-stop entertainment schedule that featured a famous celebrity artist from the Philippines (Dingdong Dantes), four musical bands plus a main stream country singer (Andrew Salgado), several local cultural music and dance groups among the performers. Mayor Roger Claar of Bolingbrook and Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White along with the Jesse White tumblers were also in attendance.

Applications for sponsors, donors, business and cultural booth tables are now open. Please visit us online at http://piyestapinoy.org/ for details.

(Read more Community News.....)


JUNE 2015 

 PNoy tells Fil-Ams in Windy City: “You ain’t seen nothing yet!”


President Benigno S. Aquino III greets Consul General Generoso D.G. Calonge, Philippine Consulate General OF CHICAGO, upon arrival at the O’Hare International Airport for his working visit to Chicago May 6. (Photo by Ryan Lim / Malacañang Photo Bureau)

By TJ Burgonio
Inquirer News Service

CHICAGO—Shaking off jet lag, President Aquino May 6 rallied Filipinos here to chase the “Filipino dream” of a better Philippines beyond 2016.

“The future of the Philippines is in your hands,” he told the Filipino community at JW Marriott Hotel in downtown Chicago, stressing the significance of the 2016 presidential vote in perpetuating the administration’s reforms.

But as leader of the ruling Liberal Party, Aquino neither made any reference nor endorsed any candidate for President.

Ahead of the President’s visit, Chicago-based accountant Edilberto Ortiz posed the question for Aquino: “Is this good government going to continue?”

“There’s a saying: You ain’t seen nothing yet,” Aquino said, raving about the Philippines’ accomplishments.

The President thanked the crowd of 550 Filipino professionals, among other migrant workers, for casting overwhelming “absentee votes” for him in the May 2010 elections.
Then he outlined his administration’s gains in its anticorruption campaign.

JUNE 2015


The Philippines as refuge (Again)

Rohingya migrants from Myanmar with airdropped food May 13. A boat carrying them and scores of others, including young children, was found floating in Thai waters (Andaman Sea); passengers said several people had died. About 25,000 left Myanmar and Bagladesh in the first three months of 2015. Each paid $1800 to human traffickers for a promise of a job in Malaysia. While other countries refused them sanctuary, the Philippines offers to take them until they are settled elsewhere. (Photo by Christophe Archambault/Agence France)

By Ma. Ceres P. Doyo
Guest Editorial

In the past month of May, I had been receiving updates on the Muslim Rohingya refugees who continue to sail in droves from Burma’s (Myanmar’s) Rakhine State to Southeast Asia. They are unwanted even in their country of origin and they are looking to distant shores where they can live in safety and peace.

Much has been written about who they are, why they are, where they come from. The fact is that thousands of the Rohingya have been adrift at sea and looking for shore. Many have died at sea and even on land after disembarkation. Six mass graves have been discovered in Malaysia. Hunger, disease and violence have taken their toll on these hapless refugees who find themselves without a country, without citizenship, without a homeland to call their own.

Indians, Bolsheviks, German Jews, Vietnamese...

Much, too, is being said about the Philippines as a country that has taken in, over the centuries, refugees of all races and religions, victims of political persecution and discrimination—from the so-called White Russians fleeing the Bolsheviks to the German Jews who were in danger of incineration by the Nazis during World War II and, only three decades ago, the Vietnamese fleeing a war and an imminent communist takeover.

(Read more The Philippines as refuge (Again)...)


JUNE 2015

Honoring a Proud Legacy


By Jon Melegrito

Letter from Washington



Last month’s celebration of Asian Pacific American history and heritage (APAHM) and my own participation heightened my appreciation of our community’s achievements in this country.

There was the White House Summit on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, which brought together over 2000 registered participants from across the country for a day-long series of discussions and cultural performances. Within the same week, there were leadership seminars, film screenings luncheons and gala dinners. There was also a protest action. (More on this later.)

Everyone came to celebrate. And with good reason. As President Obama said in his proclamation of AAPI Heritage Month, we have “forged a proud legacy that reflects the spirit of our Nation – a country that values the contributions of everyone who calls America home.”

What immediately comes to mind are the Filipino farmworkers who came to this country in the 1920s. They may be the “Forgotten Asian Americans” (the title of Fred Cordoba’s book), but President Obama’s mention of the grape fields of Delano is a helpful reminder that Filipinos were leaders and trailblazers who fought for “equal treatment, and a better tomorrow for all Americans.”


(Read more DC Fil-Ams from both parties gear up for '16 US presidential polls...)



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