MARCH 2014

Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan Returns to Chicago March 14 and 16

Asia's leading contemporary dance company Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan returns to Chicago with Songs of the Wanderers, co-presented by The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago, the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University and The Joffrey Ballet. Performances are March 14 at 7:30 p.m. and 16 at 3 p.m. at the Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress Pkwy., Chicago.

Ticket Information

Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan performs Songs of the Wanderers March 14 at 7:30 p.m. and March 16 at 3 p.m. at the Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress Pkwy., Chicago. Single tickets are $25–68; tickets also are available as part of a subscription at The Dance Center (20 percent discount) or the Auditorium Theatre (30 percent discount). Tickets are available by phone at 800-982-ARTS (2787), online at or in person at 50 E Congress Pkwy, Chicago. Groups of 10 or more may purchase discounted tickets by calling 312-341-2357.

See Video Link:

A masterpiece of imagination and timeless inner tranquility, Founder/Artistic Director Lin Hwai-min's Songs of the Wanderers was inspired by the wealth of religious practices throughout Asia and Herman Hesse's account of Siddhartha's quest for enlightenment. A visually stunning paean to spiritual pilgrimage, the piece transforms ancient rites into mesmerizing dance theatre. The blend of Eastern and Western dance styles result in startlingly beautiful images, with absolute focus and control by the performers, all set to soulful Georgian folk songs.

Left photo: Scene from Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan’s “Songs of the Wanderers,” coming to Chicago’s Auditorium Theatre.

Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan

According to legend, Cloud Gate is the name of the oldest known dance in China, a ritual dance of some 5,000 years ago. In 1973, internationally renowned choreographer Lin Hwai-min adopted this classical name for the first contemporary dance company in any Chinese-speaking community: Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan. Cloud Gate's rich repertoire has its roots in Asian myths, folklore and aesthetics, but it brings to these age-old beliefs and stories a contemporary and universal perspective. Alphawood Foundation is the lead sponsor of Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan's Chicago presentation of Songs of the Wanderers, which is a co-presentation of The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago, the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University and The Joffrey Ballet. Additional funding is provided by the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation.

Above photo:Representatives of the sponsoring groups including the Auditorium, the Alphawood Foundation, the Joffrey Ballet and the Dance Center of Columbia College posing for a souvenir photo with guests and CASL officers. "Songs of the Wanderers" returns to Chicago's Auditorium on Friday, March 14 at 7 pm and Sunday, March 16 at 3 pm. (See ad for details) (PINOY Photos by Anong Santos)











Above photo: Representatives of the sponsoring groups including the Auditorium, the Alphawood Foundation, the Joffrey Ballet and the Dance Center of Columbia College posing for a souvenir photo with guests and CASL officers.
"Songs of the Wanderers" returns to Chicago's Auditorium on Friday, March 14 at 7 pm and Sunday, March 16 at 3 pm. (See ad for details) (PINOY Photos by Anong Santos)


DTWF fundraiser for Typhoon Haiyan victims exceeds expectations

Niles, Illinois-- Dance Time With Friends (DTWF) raised a net amount of $22,500 from a fundraising drive / dinner dance for the typhoon victims on Jan. 31 at the Chevy Chase Country Club in Wheeling, Illinois. This was made possible by The school's owners, Ed & Luming De La Cruz , the students and its generous donors.
Except for the venue, all services and prizes had been donated.The group decided to spring into action during the second week of December. A meeting was held to discuss the details and plot strategies. DTWF students contributed in various ways such as financially, artistically or reaching out to people and companies they have dealt with before as prospective donors. Initially, a goal of reaching $10,000 was set. To everyone's delight, the initial goal was exceeded by a wide margin.
The stated net amount will be sent to Caritas Manila – the chosen aid agency in the Philippines - via bank-to-bank electronic transfer.


Neighborhoods of the World Piyesta Pinoy at Navy Pier, March 23

The Philippine Consulate General and Philippine American Cultural Foundation in collaboration with Navy Pier would like to invite the community to attend the Philippine Celebration at Crystal Gardens in Navy Pier on Sunday, March 23 from 12pm -3pm. The event is part of the Neighborhoods of the World Program of Navy Pier to support the City of Chicago's mission of providing cultural entertainment to the public. The Fil-Am community will be represented for the third time.

Piyesta Pinoy is looking for performers, food vendors, merchandise vendors, artists, entertainers, and volunteers! If you and/or your group or organization would like to participate , send an email to
For more information,send an email to


(Read More Community News)



Philippines is like the U.S of 100 Years Ago: Exploitation, Corruption and Muckraking

By Mariano “Anong” Santos
PINOY Editor/Publisher

MARCH 2014

Pulitzer-winning author Doris Kearns Goodwin came out last October with another excellent account of American presidents. She has previously written books about Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. All were critically acclaimed.

Her latest, "THE BULLY PULPIT—Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism," is another engaging and excellent reading. Its relevance extends especially to the students and actors of Philippine political development—both past and present.

Above photo: THE BULLY PULPIT Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism. By Doris Kearns Goodwin, Simon & Schuster. 910 pp. $40

The book is about the relationship between two progressive U.S. presidents with contrasting personalities. Both were born into families of wealth and privileges. Roosevelt was a dynamo, an athletic and an outgoing politician. Taft was judicious, genteel and easy going. But they shared a common ground—that of the passion to fight and bring justice for the underdog.

The book is also about the relationship between political power and the crusading press. Emerging from the industrial revolution, the immense wealth created in the 1800s had made the gap between the rich and the poor Americans very wide. It was mitigated by the laissez-faire attitude of politicians on all levels of government. Corruption was creating havoc on the poor farmers, workers and small businessmen. Sounds familiar to the Filipinos of today?

This was America at the turn of the last century. Monopoly capitalists called the shots. The Morgans, the Vanderbilts, the Rockefellers, the Schwabs practically had politicians on their payrolls. These few robber-barons stunted competitions, exploited workers—women and children especially—and consolidated economic power on their hands.

Theodore Roosevelt saw these inequities, first as governor of New York and, then, as a successor to the assassinated President William McKinley. Roosevelt got it right when he learned that he could not rely solely on his fellow politicians to institute reforms. He instead turned to the crusading members of the press for help.

(Read more Philippines is like the U.S of 100 Years Ago: Exploitation, Corruption and Muckraking)



MARCH 2014

Climate Change: Weapon of Mass Destruction

Guest Editorial
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Perhaps the most fearsome weapon of mass destruction." That's how US Secretary of State John Kerry recently called climate change—a statement that represents a remarkable turnaround for a country that not only refused to sign the Kyoto Protocol but at one point even withdrew support from it.

The Kyoto accords were the first international agreement that recognized global warming as a threat to human life everywhere, and laid out a commitment by nations to reduce their greenhouse gas emission within a specified period of time to stave off the phenomenon. As many as 141 nations signed the Protocol, but not America and Australia.

It was then US Vice President Al Gore that spearheaded the establishment of the accords in 1997. President Bill Clinton went along and signed the agreement, but the US Senate withheld ratification, saying it would be too costly for US business to comply with the new emissions requirements. When George W. Bush became president, he went a step further. He pulled the United States out of the Protocol, calling it "an unrealistic and ever-tightening straitjacket" that would impose too much cost on the US economy.

The real reason, of course, was political. Bush, a Republican, was backed by Big Business and the wealthy ("the haves and have-mores," he once joked at a speaking engagement), who were overwhelmingly opposed to the science of climate change, and any policies arising from it that would impact on their business bottom lines.

Even now, the American Right is still staunchly in denial, especially after large swaths of the North American continent endured subzero temperatures early this year due to an extreme weather condition called the polar vortex. What global warming, Fox News and its cohorts crowed, when the country in fact was freezing?

But many scientists say the polar vortex was but a piece in a worldwide pattern of bigger, stronger, more destructive weather phenomena—either extreme heat or extreme cold, or too much rain or too little of it—that have come in the wake of the planet heating up to an unprecedented degree. And as more countries continue their drive to industrialization, following the example of countries like the United States (which is said to account for as much as 25 percent of worldwide greenhouse emissions), the ever-increasing presence of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide in the atmosphere will further destabilize the situation and bring the planet closer to catastrophe.

Supertyphoon "Yolanda/Haiyan," the strongest on record to hit land, appears now to be a prelude to more terrifying things. Only a few months after it devastated Central Philippines, the world has seen the jaw-dropping sight of floods in arid Riyadh, the river Thames in Britain breaking its banks and inundating the English countryside at record levels, Australia experiencing widespread drought, heat waves and wildfires brought on by its hottest-ever year, and the American South getting a taste of bitter cold when blizzards and sleet hit such normally humid places as Atlanta and Florida.

The storm surge that nearly obliterated Tacloban City was a stark warning. As more glaciers melt with the overheating atmosphere, ocean levels will rise, potentially flooding coastal cities worldwide. The increasingly warped weather will deliver even more calamitous destruction by way of category 5 typhoons or hurricanes, or massive drought that would decimate farmlands and human settlements, driving huge populations to hunger and misery.

Now the United States, after its craven refusal to join the international community in jump-starting the fight against global warming with the Kyoto Protocol, is belatedly sounding the alarm, calling for an "ambitious" new climate deal by 2015 that would replace the Protocol, which expired in 2012 without ever seeing the US government's signature on its rolls.

But any new accord on climate change cannot work if First World countries like America and Australia continue to hold the option to cop out of the deal. Neither would it amount to much if other top greenhouse gas producers such as India and China are excluded from legally binding standards that less-developed countries have to comply with.

The deal expected to be hammered out in Paris in December 2015 should be far-reaching enough, and enforceable enough, to make a real dent in the effort to halt the deterioration of the planet. Otherwise, more Yolandas can be expected—and not just in the Philippines.

(Read more Climate Change: Weapon of Mass Destruction)



MARCH 2014

 New Barriers to the U.S. Citizenship Process

By Rhodora Derpo

Immigration Attorney

Immigrant Rights Advocate

The Form N-400 -- the standard form that all legal permanent residents must complete as part of the citizenship application -- has been revised and will now contain 21 pages instead of 10. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will debut the new version of the Form N-400 starting on May 5, 2014. The new form will be more detailed and ask new questions about an applicant's ties to terrorist groups, militias, genocide, prisons, and military training. The changes are meant to guide immigration officials in determining which applicants should become eligible for naturalization; the changes were made, in part to make the form more efficient and easier to process.

However, some organizations that help U.S. green-card holders apply for citizenship complained that the changes would result in a more time-consuming process for the 8.8 million legal permanent residents (green card holders) eligible for citizenship nationwide. These organizations assert that the daunting process could ultimately intimidate people into not applying for citizenship. Eric Cohen, executive director of the Immigrant Legal Resource Center in San Francisco, states, "At a time when we are all trying to naturalize as many people as possible, this will be a lot more laborious, time-consuming and discouraging for some people to fill out." Jean Atkinson of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network adds, "We are concerned that the new form will impact the vulnerable populations we serve. It's safe to say the level of English it requires is significantly higher than the level required to pass the citizenship text."

(Read more New Barriers to the U.S. Citizenship Process)


MARCH 2014

One Snowy Day in February

By Jon Melegrito

Letter from Washington


The month of February will be remembered for, among other things, more snow than we've ever had in three years. The most recent storm shut down the city for a couple of days.

We hardly get any in our neck of the woods, so when it does this town goes bonkers. Even a dusting

Above Photo: DHS Legal Counsel Rob Silver (L) responds to Loida Lewis and JT Mallonga who urged DHS to grant TPS to Filipino nationals.

Above Photo: DHS Legal Counsel Rob Silver (L) responds to Loida Lewis and JT Mallonga who urged DHS to grant TPS to Filipino nationals.

drives people crazy. So you can imagine what 12 to 16 inches can do to their state of mind. Naturally, there was a rush to grocery stores to stock up on supplies (i.e. food, milk, toilet paper). Home Depot ran out of salt. And buses stopped running.

Metrorail managed somehow to get the trains moving. I had to go downtown that Thursday to attend a meeting at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). I couldn't dig my car out so walking two miles to the nearest Metro and taking the train was the only way.

Although the Federal government was closed, DHS officials did not cancel our appointment made earlier by Loida Nicolas Lewis, NaFFAA National Chair Emeritus and now National Chair of the US Pinoys for Good Governance (USPGG). Thanks to her connections with some high level officials, we got a much-needed conversation instead of a cancellation. The meeting included JT Mallonga, president of the Filipino American Legal Defense & Education Fund (FALDEF), myself representing NaFFAA and Angie Cruz representing USPGG.

A week earlier, Loida ran into DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson at a social event. He remembered her, having worked years earlier with the late Reginald Lewis, founder of TLC Beatrice. Renewed acquaintance led to the appointment.

(Read more One Snowy Day in February )



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