Congressional Gold Medal Presentation Ceremony to honor Filipino WWII Vets, Oct. 25

Washington, DC. -- Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House, disclosed Sept. 14 that the U.S. Government will honor Filipino World War II Veterans during a Congressional Gold Medal ceremony at the Emancipation Hall at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center, in Washington D.C. on Wednesday, Oct. 25 at 11 am.

       The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest civilian honor the U.S. Congress can bestow.  Pursuant to Public Law 114-265, a single gold medal has been struck to honor the service of more than 200,000 Filipino soldiers who fought under the U.S. flag in World War.

Having waited for 72 years for this recognition, it is estimated that less than 15,000, mostly in their 80s and 90s, remain alive today. Veteran families are expected to attend.

The Filipino Veterans Recognition and Education Project (FilVetREP) spearheaded the national campaign to secure this long-delayed recognition. It is the officially-designated liaison to the U.S. Mint, which handles the design and minting of the Congressional Gold Medal. Plans for the presentation and distribution of bronze replicas at a dinner event following the ceremony are underway which will be held Oct. 25 evening at the Ritz Carlton in Tysons Corner, Va. For more info about Filipino WWII veterans and how to get involved, visit or find us on Facebook or Twitter.


CELEBRATE October as Filipino American History Month

CHICAGO–The Consulate General of the Philippines invites the Chicagoland and Midwestern states' community to celebrate the Filipino American History Month (FAHM) this October with numerous activities and workshops dedicated to the history, culture and contributions of the Filipino Americans to the nation. In 2009, the US Congress passed H. Res. 780 recognizing October 2011 and every October thereafter as Filipino American History Month (FAHM). Since 2011, the Philippine American Cultural Foundation (PACF) has been working to consolidate and promote the various events in celebration of FAHM every October.

FAHM planned events in 2017:

Oct 1 to Oct 31: "Filipino History Unveiled Through the Art."* Display of the collaborative mural by 5 FilAm artists from Chicago and 5 artists from the Philippines and art work of local Filipino American artists Monica Acosta, Paul Balan, Tita Brady, Fred de Asis, Lea Rivera and Susan Silvano. At Trickster Arts Gallery, 190 S. Roselle St., Schaumburg, Illinois.

Oct. 1 Sunday 2pm – Stage Play Reading Series for 26th Season CRIERS FOR HIRE written by Giovanni Ortega at the Hana Center 4300 North California Ave, Chicago Sponsor – CIRCA/Pintig, Contact, 312-956-9489

Oct. 4 Wednesday 6-8 pm – Tagalog 101.* Classes begin on October 4 for 10 (ten) weekly sessions every Wednesday at 4300 N. California Avenue, Chicago, IL 60618. Sponsor – AFIRE Chicago, Contact Naomi Salcedo

Oct. 7 Saturday 7pm – Stage Play Reading Series for 26th Season Nanay written by Lani Montreal at the Hana Center 4300 North California Avenue, Chicago, IL, Sponsor – CIRCA/Pintig, Contact, 312-956-9489

Oct 7, Saturday at 11am – 5pm World Dumpling Fest at Millennium Park – Chase Promenade South, The PACF Performing Arts and Kapwa Cultural will perform cultural dances. Sponsor—FAHSC, Contact Tito Ruben (630)969-2971

Oct 7, Saturday at 1 – 4pm FAHM Exhibits at SIJ Parish in Niles Sponsor – NAFFAA, Contact:  Jelly Carandang,   847-679-7058 or

Oct 7, Saturday, 6-12 mn – FAHM Celebration Dinner Dance*, Venue: Penna’s of Sterling 38400 Van Dyke Avenue, Sterling Heights, MI 48312. Sponsor: NaFFAA-Michigan, Contact Tony Kho at (248)755-6122 / Becky Tungol at (248) 755-6119.

Oct 8, Sunday 2-5 pm – Michigan Filipinxs: Our Spaces in History, at the Philippine American Cultural Center of Michigan (PACCM) located at 17356 Northland Park, Court, Southfield, MI. Sponsor – PACCM, Contact Aurora Harris

Oct 12, Thursday at 6:30pm -  CINEMA SOIRÈE: The Murder of William Jones at Amli River North | 71 W. Hubbard Street | 12th Floor Club | Chicago 60654, By invitation only, Sponsor -  The Sampaguita Group | Website:

Oct 14, Saturday at 12 – 4pm – FAHM Exhibits in Skokie, Sponsor – FANHS-Midwest & NaFFAA, Contact: Jelly Carandang,   847-679-7058 or

(Read more FAMH activities in October...)


Memorial service and forum for victims of Martial Law, Sept. 18 & 21

CHICAGO--The newly formed Filipino American Human Rights Alliance (FAHRA-Chicago) will hold a memorial forum on Monday, September 18 from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm at Budlong Woods Chicago Public Library, 5630 N. Lincoln Ave. in Chicago.The forum will honor the heroes who fought to dismantle Marcos martial law that imprisoned 70,000 and tortured 34,000 tortured, according to Amnesty International, while 3,240 were killed from 1972 to 1981.

A forum and memorial service will also be held on Thursday, September 21 from 5:30 to 8:30 PM at AFIRE offices at the Hana Center, 4300 N. California Avenue, Chicago, IL 60618.

It has been 45 years since the 1972 martial law, but the victims have not forgotten – thousands of people were subjected to various forms of torture. Political prisoners were electrocuted, beaten up, and strangled, burned with a flat iron or cigars, and water was poured down their throats, then forced out by beating. Women were stripped naked and raped.

The Alliance will also call for the lifting of Duterte’s martial law as the humanitarian crises spawned by the Marawi siege have worsened; children are dying in the refugee centers. There are more than 200,000 persons dislocated from Marawi City and the neighboring municipalities. FAHRA-Chicago believes that Duterte’s martial law will not solve this recurring and resurgent war and conflict in Muslim Mindanao as Marcos' martial law failed to stop military conflicts in Mindanao. There are also grave concerns in the ever-widening human rights violations in the country as Duterte nurtures the culture of impunity in the military. For more information, or to RSVP contact


Gabriel Esteban and his wife Josephine (seated 3rd and 4th fr. L) pose with some of the attendees of the event Aug. 17 hosted by Consul General Generoso Calonge (6th fr, L). Historical Society president Ruben Salazar (Standing, 2nd fr. R ) was the facilitator for the Q&A. (Photo by C. Santiago)

New DePaul president feted at the Consulate

CHICAGO--Dr. A. Gabriel Esteban, Ph.D. was feted by the Consulate General of Chicago Aug. 17 at the Kalayaan Hall of the Consulate at 220 S. Michigan. Dr. Esteban, who was born and raised in the Philippines, has recently assumed his position as the 12th President of DePaul University, America’s largest Catholic university, thus earning the distinction of being the first lay leader of the Vincentians – founded institution of higher learning in its 119-year history. Dr. Esteban previously served as president of Seton Hall University in New Jersey.

Consul General Generoso DG Calonge, in his opening remarks, acknowledged and thanked Dr. Esteban for his outstanding achievement in and commitment to making higher education available to individuals from all walks of life. The event was co-sponsored by the Filipino American Historical Society of Chicago with its president, Ruben Salazar, facilitating the open forum.

During the meeting, Dr. Esteban shared his personal success story. He comes from a minority group in mainstream U.S. society and overcome adversity to proudly bear his Filipino heritage in the privileged places of honor and service he attained throughout his career as an educator. Dr. Esteban holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics and an MBA from the University of the Philippines, a master's in Japanese business studies from Chaminade University in Hawaii, and a doctorate in business administration from University of California, Irvine.

Cultural Officer Anna Liza Alcantara announced the upcoming events of Chicago PCG including the marking of the Philippine National Heroes Day on Aug. 30. A fellowship and reception, sponsored by UNIMART and FAHSC, capped the event.

(More stories on COMMUNITY NEWS PAGE)




 Is a con game playing out at Rizal Center?

By Mariano "Anong" Santos

PINOY Publisher/Editor


We aren’t robbers, you and I
To rob a fool, you don’t need knives:
Just flatter, tell him sweet lies,
And he is yours for life.

— B.Okudshava, “Of Gluttons, Braggarts, and Fools
(The Con Artists Duet)”

ABOVE PIC: Dr. Rufino Crisostomo is (seated 4th fr. left) shown Aug. 19 at the hall named after him led by Elaine Lehman (seated on his right) and Alex Gonzales (seated right) who allegedly succeeded Crisostomo. The original FACC board demanded the resignation of Crisostomo and that of Lehman in its resolution passed last April. A court suit vs. the new board is pending. (Rizal Community Center FB Photo)

Many in our community in Chicago have encountered all sorts of con artists, scammers, fraudsters, grifters…daring us all: “Catch me if you can!” They come aplenty, in various guises.

The slick pro from the west taught his fraternity bros how to stage auto accidents to claim hefty insurance money. One of them got side-swiped by their dented scheme. He got seven years in the slammer and got deported, to boot.

The poor doctor who vouched for the fraudster’s fake disability was hoping to get into her “patient’s” pants. What he got her to do was for her to do him in to the feds! Is that divine justice or what!?

How about the savvy entrepreneur who flaunted the name of Michael Jordan as one of his “investors” and lured select moneyed individuals to invest in his hot “Mr. Coffee” franchise in Manila? (At least Manny can still afford to laugh every time he recalls his bad deals with this impostor.)


Dr. Vio Jonson had close relationship with the woman who gypped Christian individuals, nay, congregations—entrusting her their jewelries, credit cards and real estates –in exchange for rich return for the “small” investments or a new church building or a fast appreciation and sale of their houses or investment properties.

This grifter did not even have a real estate license. (She used her late husband’s.) Her victims were left with nothing and… nothing to say on record. (They are too embarrassed to report to the police.) Vio even saw the PASS he headed passed into oblivion. Now Vio sits as a new FACC director?

This grifter did not even have a real estate license. (She used her late husband’s.) Her victims were left with nothing and… nothing to say on record. (They are too embarrassed to report to the police.) Vio even saw the PASS he headed passed into oblivion. Now Vio sits as a new FACC director?

How about the guy who unabashedly calls himself the smartest Filipino in the U.S.? He was able to sweet-talk his relatives and friends to cough up $12K each in his fake corporation that was to produce abundant rice in Mexico to meet the big demand in Chicago?

One wonders if they had the guts to file a complaint at Liza Madigan’s office, as directed by this writer and another editor of a weekly. The smart guy was reported lately recruiting people to get his “lucrative” Asian food distribution business going.

(Read more "Is a Con Game being played out at Rizal center"...)




Nuclear brinkmanship



Editorial Cartoon by Jym Andalis

For a moment, it looked like the world was heading straight to the brink of nuclear war. But somehow, over the last few days, and with neither the United States president nor the North Korean dictator losing face, tensions have cooled, or been allowed to cool. We can breathe a sigh of collective relief, until the next act of brinkmanship.

US President Donald Trump’s throw away threat to retaliate against North Korean rhetoric with “fire and fury like the world has never seen” was both jejune and horrifying.

Essentially, the man in charge of the world’s largest military with enough nuclear weapons to end life on earth warned the man in charge of the world’s most secretive society developing both nuclear weapons and the delivery system to launch them to stop making threats.

“North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States,” Trump said.
An American president threatening a nuclear strike against an enemy for mere (and indeed all-too-familiar) rhetoric — this was something new, and it spooked many capitals around the world.
Trump had spoken without notes, without any preparation, without the message discipline required when speaking of the possible use of nuclear weapons.

An American senator who served in the military, endured years as a prisoner of war, and retains generally hawkish views on the use of American military power voiced concern about Trump’s language.

“I take exception to the President’s comments because you’ve got to be sure that you can do what you say you’re going to do,” Sen. John McCain said. “The great leaders I’ve seen don’t threaten unless they’re ready to act and I’m not sure President Trump is ready to act.”
Shortly after Trump’s fire and fury comment, the Kim Jong-un regime responded by saying it was preparing to target the US territory of Guam.

Whether Pyongyang does have the capability to reach Guam with a nuclear-armed missile is still a matter of conjecture, but it is becoming clearer that, under a ruthless dictatorship determined to go nuclear at all costs, North Korea has effectively neutered all attempts to include it in a nuclear nonproliferation agreement.

But in the last few days, the following took place:

(Read more "Nuclear brinkmanship"...)



By Jon Melegrito

Letter from Washington



Remembering hate crime victim Joseph Ileto

The country is still reeling from the brazen acts of bigotry, hate, racism and violence during the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, VA. last month. During these tragic events, torch-bearing white nationalists turned their message into violence as a driver rammed his car into a crowd of peaceful counter protesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer.

Right pic: Fil-Am postal worker Joseph Ileto was murdered in 1999 by a white supremacist.

White supremacist and former KKK leader David Duke praised President Trump for his “honesty and courage” in embracing the protesters’ despicable values. “This represents the turning point for the people of this country,” Duke said. “We are determined to take our country back. We’re going to fulfill the promises of Donald Trump. That’s what we believed in. That’s why we voted for Donald Trump because he said he’s going to take our country back. And that’s what we gotta do.”

In a statement issued the day after violence erupted in Charlottesville, Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) said the protests organized by white supremacists “represent a manifestation of hate and bigotry that has unfortunately continued to rise over the past two years in particular; their actions inspired by xenophobic and prejudiced rhetoric and policy.”

A large majority of Americans today agree that the actions of these white supremacists are antithetical to American values of inclusion and equality.

Anti-miscegenation laws

“While many have expressed shock at the white nationalists who brought their full measure of hate and anger to the streets of Charlottesville, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, African Americans, Latinx, and LGBT communities are all too familiar with the true face of racism seen yesterday,” Advancing Justice, an Asian American civil rights organization, declared. “As Asian Americans, our own history is deeply intertwined with white supremacy-driven bans and prohibitions including the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, so-called alien land laws, anti-miscegenation laws, and the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II.”

White supremacy, Advancing Justice adds, is “inherently violent towards communities of color and religious minorities.”

The events in Charlottesville reminds me of Filipino American postal worker Joseph Ileto. A white supremacist killed Ileto, shortly after shooting five people at a Jewish community center in Los Angeles.

(Read more "Remembering hate crime victim Joseph Ileto"...)




By Fr. Tirso Villaverde

Calling all Catholics--come home!

Recently, I met with a couple who was planning a wedding. They were both raised Catholic but they admitted to me that they were not as active in the practice of the faith as they ought to be. One of the questions they asked me was “What constitutes an active Catholic?” This question seems to be a good one for all of my Catholic readers to ponder.

To be clear, being an active Catholic is not a matter of having a checklist of different activities that we have to be doing in order to consider ourselves to be an active Catholic. Catholicism is a commitment to following Christ in the Catholic Church. Therefore, it must be understood more as a way of life than a set of “rules” or practices. It is a way of life that must permeate every aspect of one’s being.

Let us consider the following analogy which I use on various occasions. Let us imagine that we call ourselves a true and skilled basketball player. However, the only trouble is that we never pick up a basketball. We do not even know how to dribble a basketball—which is one of the most basic skills any basketball player needs to be able to do. Can we consider ourselves to be an actual basketball player in name and in fact? Whether we want to admit it or not, the answer must be “No.” We are only fooling ourselves into thinking that we are an actual basketball player without having the skills to back it up.

Likewise, we can buy all of the gear that basketball players use—for example, the outfit and the shoes, etc. We can look like a basketball player. But, again, unless we actually get out there and play the game on a regular basis, it is tough to consider ourselves a real player.

(Read more "Calling all Catholics--come home!"...)




Featured Sponsors




ISFFA Induction Dinner, Oct. 20

The International Society of Filipinos in Finance and Accounting (ISFFA) is inducting their 2017-2019 officers on Friday, October 20 at Victoria in the Park, Mount Prospect, IL at 7:30 PM.ISFFA welcomes other finance and accounting professionals from the Chicagoland to listen to speakers, for food, drinks, networking and dancing.

Registration is at 6:30 PM. Visit their website For more info, email or call Andrew/Charlene at 312-240-9500.

completely free