MAY 2014


Ambassador Generoso Calonge replaces Leo Herrera-Lim as Chicago Consul General

The Secretary of Foreign Affairs has appointed Hon. Generoso D.G. Calonge as the incoming Chicago Consul General to replace outgoing Consul General Leo H. Lim who departed for his new post on April 17.

Ambassador Calonge is a career diplomat whose career in the Foreign Service spans almost three decades. He has served in Philippine diplomatic missions in Washington DC, Moscow, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Saipan in various capacities, as well as in the Department of Foreign Affairs' Office of the Undersecretary for Policy, Office of the Undersecretary for International Economic Relations, Office of the

Consul General Generoso "Gene" Calonge with his wife Atty. Gloria Salazar Calonge.

Undersecretary for Special Concerns, Office of Legal Affairs, Office of Intelligence and Security Services, Office of Middle East and African Affairs, and Office of Asia and Pacific Affairs.

He earned his bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of the Philippines, Manila in 1976, completed his degree in Law from the University of the Philippines, Diliman in 1985, and then moved on to finish his Masters of Laws from the prestigious Harvard Law School in 1988. Ambassador Calonge also attended Officer Cadet School of the Australian Army as a Military Science scholar from 1978-1979 under the Philippines-Australia Defense Cooperation Program.
Ambassador Calonge is married to Atty. Gloria Salazar Calonge and has three children, namely Golda, Nikki and Joshua Benedict.

Outgoing Consul General in Chicago Leo Herrera-Lim will be serving as the new Philippine Consul General in Los Angeles with jurisdiction over Southern California, Southern Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. Consul General Leo Herrera-Lim departed for his new post April 17. He has served as Consul General in Chicago since May 2010.

Before departing, Consul General Herrera-Lim expressed thanks to all the gracious and kind-hearted Filipinos and Filipino-Americans. He said, "I am very much inspired by the success of our efforts and partnerships in Chicago and the US Midwest towards increasing the awareness and respect for our people and our community. I look forward to the bigger responsibilities that await me in Los Angeles."

Educational dinner by Drake & Son on funeral planning, May 22

The Drake & Son Funeral Home will offer an educational dinner on pre-planning for your loved ones at the Little Quiapo Restaurant, 6259 N. McCormick, Chicago, IL on Thursday, May 22 at 5:00 p.m. Dinner will be provided. Guests must RSVP by calling 773-561-6874 or emailing


Rebuilding the Visayas…Decadance, May 9 at Holiday Inn in Rolling Meadows

The economical and human recovery will take years rather than months. Show your support and continue to help rebuild the communities in the Visayas. Come and join us on Friday, May 9 at Holiday Inn-Rolling Meadows Grand Ballroom, 3405 Algonquin Rd., Rolling Meadows IL 60008. The event will start at 6:30 pm until midnight. Bring along your friends for a night of fun and dancing with DJ Boyet Almazan showcasing the dance music of the 70s, 80s, and 90s. Let us join hands and help raise funds for the victims of the Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda).

DecaDance is a brand developed by three friends, Erick Maniquis, Teddy Dario, and the DJ himself Boyet Almazan. Their story makes this event more special as they share some history with us. Let us meet them up close and personal.

Decadance with Boyet Almazan just celebrated their 10th year anniversary at the Salon de Ning in The Peninsula Manila Hotel last August 31, 2013. Deacdance plays there every Friday night. They continue their celebration by kick starting their US Tour at Chicago. Tickets are now available for just $25 at all Forex offices . For more information, call 1-888-FOREX 98 or (630) 595-8080.

Beleaguered FACC to hold elections, May 24

CHICAGO--After a long hiatus, the Filipino American Council of Chicago is tentatively set to hold an election on Saturday, May 24, to be held at the federation's headquarters, Jose Rizal Cultural Center, 1332 W. Irving Park, Chicago.

FACC president Thelma Bascos, who assumed the presidency after Rene Abella stepped down over a year ago, was scheduled to meet her board of directors April 28 for the group's monthly meeting to firm up the plans of the election of the officers.

A replacement for Florante Llanes, chairperson of its commission on elections, who died April 13 is also expected to be decided at this meeting.

Reliable sources revealed that Dr. Rufino Crisostomo, an active member of the Order of the Knights of Rizal--one of the few active member-organizations of the FACC is the favorite among those who are being groomed to head the beleaguered federation.

Dr. Crisostomo was elevated vice president when Mrs Bascos took over the presidency. "It is a big challenge to head the FACC which facing a deep financial problem due to lack of membership and the increasing demand to upgrade the Rizal Center," said Dr. Crisostomo who claimed that he is overwhelmed by the problems of the Council.

The $6000 netted from a fundraiser held in March was reported not even enough to catch up with the accounts payable of the council.

Meanwhile, another dinner-dance is scheduled on Thursday,July 3, at the Lone Tree Manor in Niles in celebration of the Philippine-American Friendship Day. The proceeds will go to the upkeep of the Rizal Center. For tickets, Call Carmen Estacio at 773-661-2021.

(Read More Community News)



Again, No Lessons from the past

By Mariano “Anong” Santos
PINOY Editor/Publisher

MAY 2014


Left: Admiral George Dewey directing the mock Battle of Manila Bay, May 1,1898. US' total casualty: one engineer who died of heat stroke.

U.S. President Obama finally visited Manila, April 28. He was scheduled to drop by last year but he scrapped his plans because of the budget-standoff in Washington. During his brief stay, he assured President Aquino that the U.S. will honor its commitment to help defend the Philippines.

Because of China's aggression in the South China Sea, Filipino leaders could hardly wait to roll the welcome mat for U.S. troops to use again the bases they vacated in September 1991 when the Philippine Senate had ended the U.S. lease on 37 U.S. military installations including the strategic Subic Naval base.

Vietnam, Taiwan, Brunei and Malaysia have similar territorial disputes with China but they are not relentlessly pursuing to sacrifice their sovereignty with any foreign power. Japan has, of course, to comply with a military treaty that it entered into with the U.S. right after it surrendered in 1945 when WWII ended.

Nationalist writer Manuel Almario wisely noted in a recent article that Japan's military treaty with the U.S. has more teeth with regard to protecting Japan's interest if China declares war over its claim over islands now occupied by Japan. The treaty categorically requires the U.S. to come immediately to the aid of Japan, a former enemy of the U.S., if Japan is attacked by an enemy.

Self Interest

This cannot be said with that mutual defense treaty of the Philippines with the U.S. which carries a weak clause that even if the Philippines is attacked by an outside power, a U.S. military intervention needs first the approval of the U.S. Congress. Well, remember last year when Obama wanted to attack Syria but he had to get first the consent of Congress which promptly rejected his request.

That's similar with the agreement that the Philippines has with the U.S. You can bet that a war-weary U.S. will think twice about getting embroiled in a military conflict with China. It is all about self-interests. On what are those? U.S. is now dependent on its external borrowings on Chinese's huge cash surplus. Then there are Apple's, WalMart's, Skidmore, Owing & Merrill's, etc. multi-billion corporate investments in China.

(Read more Again, No Lessons from the Past)



MAY 2014


A Spillover in President Obama's Asian Tour

"It's Up To Them." Uncle Sam (to Filipinos)--"You can take your choice;--I have plenty of both!" [artist: Joseph Keppler, Jr.]


By Juan Mercado
Philippine Daily Inquirer

There's a spillover for Filipinos in US as President Barack Obama's swing through Asia on April 28-29 where Obama made a Manila stopover.

The US "pivot to Asia" lifted our line of sight, albeit briefly, from insular concerns like pork barrel. Instead, we were confronted by a powerful China, rouge nuclear threats, and a faltering Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) pact.

The enhanced defense cooperation agreement was signed by Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and US Ambassador Philip Goldberg before Obama met President Aquino, April 28. It will run for 10 years, but is renewable. It updates the Mutual Defense Treaty, which underpins the first of America's five alliances in Asia.

Polls here consistently report that four out of five Filipinos welcome US presence. About four million Filipinos comprise the second-largest group of Asian-Americans. Trade with the United States ($22 billion) is second to Japan.

Philippine expenditures are petty cash beside China's 175-percent increase in military spending. Manila's other track is increased cooperation with Australia, Japan and Korea, aside from the submission to the United Nations of a maritime dispute with China for international arbitration.

(Read more A Spillover in President Obama's Asian Tour)



A Window of Opportunity for Immigration Reform

By Jon Melegrito

Letter from Washington













Above Photo: Filipino American community activists joined thousands of immigration reform supporters at a rally on Capitol Hill last year. (Photo by Jon Melegrito)

Buoyed by Obamacare's apparent success in signing up 8 million citizens, advocates for immigration reform are stepping up their efforts to move an equally important bill that has so far been thwarted in the U.S. House of Representatives.

It's been a year since the Senate passed a bi-partisan comprehensive immigration reform measure. The passage of S. 744 was a high point for the reform movement.

Reagan Granted Amnesty

Thanks to extremists and die-hard ideologues, however, the bill is sadly stalled in the House.

The last time Congress enacted sweeping immigration reform was back in 1986, the same year People Power in the Philippines toppled the Marcos Dictatorship. That year, President Reagan gave safe refuge to his friend Ferdinand by allowing him to spend exile in Hawaii. That same year, Reagan did a similar act of leniency by basically granting amnesty to an estimated 5 million undocumented immigrants. The bill Reagan signed granted a path to citizenship and called for tighter border enforcement. Described as the largest legalization program in U.S. history, the law awarded green cards to about 2.7 million immigrants, including about 1 million farm workers.

Homeland Security estimates there are now, 30 years later, more than 11 million immigrants without legal status.

When President Obama took office in 2009, he vowed to secure passage of universal health care and immigration reform. He succeeded in achieving the former, a "big time" historic accomplishment. But the latter has frustrated him.

During a month-long action in April, Filipino Americans joined members of the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA) in solidarity fasts to strengthen public support for the President's agenda. Asian American Pacific Islanders (AAPIs), the majority of whom are immigrants, are deeply impacted by a broken immigration system. More than 1.3 million, including 110,000 Dreamers, live in the shadows without lawful status. Filipinos suffer the longest because of decades-long family visa backlogs, waiting up to 22 years to reunite with loved ones in the U.S.

Pathway to citizenship

Before the nationally-coordinated fasts, immigration activists have also taken up militant tactics, such as confronting House Speaker John Boehner during his breakfast and storming House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's residence in Arlington, Va.

(Read more A Window of Opportunity for Immigration Reform )



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