Items filtered by date: Tuesday, 11 April 2017


The Department of Foreign Affairs - Overseas Voting Secretariat (DFA-OVS) announced today 07 April 2017, that after four (4) months of overseas voter registration, that commenced last 01 December 2016 and will end on 30 September 2018, a new milestone has been established by garnering 105,333 new OV registrants, surpassing the previous high of 103,048 set over the same period during 2014-2015 registration drive.

The overseas voter registration in preparation for the 2016 elections netted a cumulative total of 1,376,067 active registered overseas voters. The 826,881 new registrants for the 2016 elections, was more than a 100% increase over the 398,554 new registrants for the 2013 elections. Of the almost 1.4 million registered overseas voters, 590,440 were in the Middle East and Africa, 334,215 in the Asia Pacific, 263,316 in the Americas, 138,757 in Europe, and 49,339 were Seabased. The attainable target for this registration period is 1.1 million OV registrants, which would net a cumulative total of 2,130,000 active registered voters for the coming national elections.

“This is once again an evidence of the hard-work and dedication of the men and women of our Foreign Service who are aggressively campaigning to encourage more overseas Filipinos to participate in this on- going electoral exercise. Our media partners and other OV stakeholders are also playing a vital role in disseminating overseas voting awareness among our kababayans abroad,” said Undersecretary Ariel Y. Abadilla, who is concurrently Chairman of DFA-OVS.

All Filipino citizens who expect to be abroad from 13 April – 13 May 2019 during the overseas voting period for the 2019 Elections, at least 18 years old on 13 May 2019, and not otherwise disqualified by law, may register as an overseas voter, at all Philippine Foreign Service Posts including the three (3) Manila Economic and Cultural Offices (MECO) in Taiwan and Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Al-Khobar (for an updated list please go to or REGISTER AND VOTE ! END


Filipino from Dumaguete wins top illustrator award

By Lydia V. Solis
Chief Correspondent, Southern California

LOS ANGELES – Asher Ben Alpay, 27, a concept artist based in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental, won the illustrator award at the Annual 33rd L. Ron Hubbard Achievement Awards in Science Fiction and Fantasy on April 2, at the historic Wilshire Ebell Theater here.
Presented by the Author Services, Inc. and Galaxy Press’s Writers and Illustrators of the Future Contest, the awards show opened with Fire Fan Dancers from EMCirque, the Hollywood and Las Vegas based Circus and Entertainment Production Company.
Cash prizes and trophies were handed out to the winners at a stage “bedecked with visually stunning medieval set predominated by a pre-historic period dragon with blinking red eyes and smoke emanating from his enlarged ferocious nostrils.” He was surrounded by a castle with towers, a mote, and dazzling damsels.
Asher wasn’t able to attend the Medieval Fantasy formal event where a Knight in Shining Armor presented envelopes to award presenters and a miniature dragon dropped from the ceiling to deliver winning envelops to judges. Asher only participated via video; however, “he will receive his prize, just the same,” according to publicist Steve Moyer.
Asher’s initial submissions were Assassination, Art of Asher, and Demon Queen.
“The last one I sent is included in a book that is being published now,” he explained. “That one was the final part of the contest. The first three were my entries to be eligible to move into the next stage of the contest.”
Our illustrious illustrator, the 4th quarter winner, sketched “The Long Dizzy Down,” in a story by writer Ziporah Hildebrandt of Shutesbury, MA, the 4th quarter winner. It’ll be included in the book, L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future, Volume 33, which is available for purchase from, Books-A-Million (, (Barnes & Noble) or Galaxy
“The story is about the distant future where humans and intelligent machines can communicate telepathically,” offered Asher. “As a huge fan of science fiction the story is really intriguing and intense. It really stirred up my imagination.” He added that he reads a story about 10 times before he even starts sketching.
The 33rd Annual L. Ron Hubbard Achievement Awards celebrated winners of the Writers and Illustrators contest, honoring 12 writers and 12 illustrators from around the world for their excellence in the genres of Science Fiction and Fantasy. Awards for each of the Quarterly Finalists of the Writers and Illustrators Contests were presented by actors Marisol Nichols and Jim Meskimen.
Twenty-seven world renowned Science Fiction and Fantasy writer and illustrator judges picked one grand prize writer winner and one grand prize illustrator winner from the field of 12 quarterly writer winners and 12 quarterly illustrator winners. And the grand prize ‘Dreamers and Dragons’ winners are writer Jake Marley from Garden Grove, CA, and illustrator Michael Michera from Pabianice, Poland.
Following the 1982 release of his internationally acclaimed bestselling science fiction novel, “Battlefield Earth,” written in celebration of 50 years as a professional writer, L. Ron Hubbard created the Writers of the Future Contest in 1983, to provide a means for aspiring writers of speculative fiction to get that much-needed break. Due to the success of the Writing Contest, the companion Illustrators of the Future Contest was created in 1988. Submissions for the Writer and Illustrator contests over the years have come from 186 countries.
Asher could be the first Filipino and Southeast Asian to win the illustrator award.
Alpay was born in Mabinay, Negros Oriental, which he describes as a “small and mountainous town in the Philippines.”
Interviewed via Email, he said that his father was his first inspiration when it comes to art. “At a very young age,” he stated, “I was already exposed to the acrylic paintings, charcoal and ink illustrations used by my father. (He proudly mentioned that some of his father’s works are in a museum in Escalante City, Negros Occidental.) “I have been drawn (to art) ever since my hands could hold a pen or pencil,” he continued. “I stopped drawing in college and after I left school, for practical reasons, I went back to working as a graphic designer and eventually made my way back doing art. I’m a self-taught artist in the field of digital art. The social media – through forums, articles, art blogs and websites – has helped me push my craft and imagination one step further and I gained a bit of recognition in the online community.”
Asher continues doing what he loves. He works fulltime as a freelance artist and designer for private companies and clients.
“I’m always in search of new accomplishments and experiences,” he concluded.


McDonald’s USA Unveils Next Big Change: Fresh Beef Quarter Pounders

Latest Step in Building a Better McDonald’s Will Bring Fresh Beef, Made-to-Order
Quarter Pounder burgers by mid-2018

OAK BROOK, Ill. (March 30, 2017) – McDonald’s USA today announced that by mid-2018, it will serve fresh beef, prepared when ordered, in all Quarter Pounder burgers across the majority of its restaurants. The fresh beef burgers, cooked right when ordered, are the latest step the company has made to meet customers’ changing expectations. All McDonald’s burgers use 100 percent pure beef with absolutely no fillers, additives or preservatives.

“Over the past two years, we’ve made a series of bold, tangible changes for our customers,” said McDonald’s President and Chief Executive Officer Steve Easterbrook. “Serving All-Day Breakfast, moving to cage-free eggs and testing delivery are all proof of our commitment to build a better McDonald’s. And we are committed to transforming more aspects of our business, including offering a more modern and enjoyable dining experience, adding new levels of convenience and technology, and making more positive changes to the food we serve.”

Delivering fresh beef, cooked right when ordered, in Quarter Pounder burgers is one of the company’s latest customer-led initiatives that builds on several other recent milestones, including:
In 2015, the company announced a number of changes to how it serves and sources its food by offering All-Day Breakfast, committing to only sourcing cage-free eggs by 2025, and committing to only serve chicken not treated with antibiotics important to human medicine* that was completed nearly a year ahead of schedule in 2016.
Last year, the company removed artificial preservatives from several menu items, including Chicken McNuggets and eliminated high fructose corn syrup from the buns used on Big Macs, Quarter Pounders, hamburgers, cheeseburgers, Filet-O-Fish and McChicken sandwiches.

“Today’s announcement is part of a continuing food journey for McDonald’s,” said McDonald’s USA President Chris Kempczinski. “Over the last two years, we have accelerated the pace of change around how we source and serve our food. Delivering fresh beef that’s prepared when our customers order their food is just another example of how we are raising the bar. We’re just getting started, and can’t wait to show you what’s next.”

“This represents a strong partnership between McDonald’s, Lopez Foods and their other beef suppliers to support this initiative and deliver McDonald’s quality standards,” said Ed Sanchez, President and Chief Executive Officer of Lopez Foods. “It was exciting to be part of the test and we look forward to bringing fresh beef to more McDonald’s customers in 2018.”

Quarter Pounder burgers using fresh beef, cooked right when ordered, were initially tested in 325 restaurants across the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas area and 77 restaurants in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Quarter Pounder burgers include the Quarter Pounder, Quarter Pounder with Cheese, Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese, the Quarter Pounder with Cheese Deluxe and Signature Crafted Recipe burgers.

“We received overwhelmingly positive feedback from customers and employees and we’re proud to have been part of a test that is creating a watershed moment for McDonald’s,” said McDonald’s Dallas/Fort Worth Franchisee Joe Jasper. “This test was driven by the Franchisees, our region and insights from what our customers are asking for when they visit McDonald’s.”

About McDonald’s
McDonald’s USA, LLC, serves a variety of menu options made with quality ingredients to nearly 25 million customers every day. Nearly 90 percent of McDonald’s 14,000 U.S. restaurants are independently owned and operated by businessmen and women. Customers can now log online for free at approximately 11,500 participating Wi-Fi enabled McDonald’s U.S. restaurants. For more information, visit, or follow us on Twitter @McDonalds and Facebook


* Farmers still use ionophores, a class of antibiotics that are not prescribed to people, to keep chickens healthy.


Strong voice comes from founder of Southern Poverty Law Center

It's 2017. But the fight for justice and tolerance has never been abandoned, thanks to an Alabama-born lawyer who, when still in his boyhood, tells his story "as the son of a poor Alabama cotton farmer who witnessed grave injustices," against "my African American neighbors and was inspired to earn my law degree so that I could fight for the rights of those with no other champions."
In his autobiography, Morris Dees says: "I was honored when the American BarAssociation chose to publish my book as the first in a series about lawyer spursuing justice."
The aforesaid book, "A Lawyer's Journey," relates how the author worked on his cases that came to him "over the past 40 years,"as Dees considers how "blessed" he has been in carrying out his work with lawyers, investigators, and others "who have a real passion for justice."
The Center, founded in 1971, modestly described by Dees as having "brought tough challenges and unforgettable moments of triumph," was responsible for putting up the fight against the United Klans of America who were found"liable in the lynching death of a black teen."
"I'll never forget the day I stood with our staff in a Mobile, Alabama courtroom as an all-white jury found the aforementioned 'United Klans of America' liable.
"It was poetic justice when the group was forced to turn over the deed to its national headquarters to the victim's mother."
Dees recounts another experience in his fight against racial injustice.
"Equally memorable was the day I walked through the ashes of our building after it was firebombed by the Klan. Not a single employee quit because of that arson.Instead, we rebuilt and we grew stronger than ever.
"And there was the heartbreaking moment when I held my sobbing young daughter in 1984while Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents and guards searched the woods around our home for armed intruders who were determined to stop our work for justice, equality and tolerance."
Standing out as one of the Center's humble pride is how it does not receive government funds and accepts 'no fees' from clients who have been recipients of assistance.
The Center is financially supported by those who are called the Friends of the Center; each supporter believes in the fight for justice and tolerance through pledging 'modest amounts' each month to cover legal and educational programs.
Interestingly, the Friends of the Center provide the financial security of the organization's cause.
The founder says how 'impossible' it is to predict how 'lengthy' or how 'costly,'their 'legal actions' will be.
Dees amplified his statement when he pointed out how one case the Center won, lasted more than 20 years.
The Center has a Teaching Tolerance staff dedicated to spreading the message of tolerance and changing the 'hearts of young people across the country.'
Awe-inspiring is learning about how the Center's lawyers and investigators have pledged to fight for justice in court, no matter how long the hours or how difficult and dangerous the work would entail.
In sum, the author's autobiography is a modest but significant contribution that led Dees to the front lines of the civil rights struggle and his ongoing crusade opposing hate groups.
In A Lawyer's Journey, it narrates how a courageous and often lonely journey of a skilled and described 'controversial trial lawyer,' does parallel the nation's struggle to ensure freedom and equality for its citizenry.


Contempt of Court

The primary purpose of the contempt power is to preserve the effectiveness and sustain the power of the courts. The secondary purpose is to protect and enforce the parties’ rights by compelling obedience to court orders and judgments. Examples of this would be failure to appear when subpoenaed, screaming profanities in court, and failure to obey a court order.
The judge may impose sanctions such as fines or jail for someone found guilty of contempt of court. For criminal cases, sanctions typically are a jail term and fines that are intended to punish. Probationary terms may also be imposed. As for civil contempt, sanctions may include a fine or a jail term that ends when the offending behavior ends and money damages may be awarded to the injured party.
To prove contempt the prosecutor or complainant must prove four elements: existence of a lawful order, knowledge of the order, ability to comply and the failure to comply. As referenced, my client had attorneys and an accountant to insure that effective and full compliance with court proceedings would be effectuated.
I have a case now in which the opposing party in a divorce case is facing numerous contempt charges for failing to provide financial information as ordered by the Court. The crux of the case generally falls on the factors of the “Respondent/Defendant’s” ability and willingness to comply with a court order. Another relief that could be requested is attorney fees incurred in filing an affidavit of contempt in the family court case scenario.
I have defended several clients in numerous counts of family law contempt cause of actions pertaining to financial obligations such as child support, spousal support and attorney fees (financial issues). Another area where contempt is brought forth is in violations of a visitation order or restraining orders. My most recent case is about noncompliance and overt disobedience of a court order requiring the other party to provide financial documents for “discovery.”
The four factors to be proven: valid court order, knowledge of the order, ability to comply with the order, and willfulness of conduct must all be proven beyond a reasonable doubt in both the civil and criminal arena. Since the court can impose up to five days per count of jail, a maximum of 180 days of jail would trigger the right of the Respondent/Defendant to request a jury trial.
The power to punish for contempt is broad and carries with it great responsibility to apply it judiciously and only when contempt is clearly and unequivocally shown. Defendants in criminal matters should be given every opportunity to exonerate themselves. Criminal contempt sanctions should be only utilized after the judge has determined that civil contempt remedies are inappropriate.
It is incumbent and prudent if you are the party that is attempting to get a contempt action initiated and successful that you hire an attorney that have both the experiences and expertise in both the criminal and civil arena. While in family law (civil) court is not the criminal arena, the constitutional rights afforded a criminal defendant will be required, including but not limited to, a right to an attorney, right to a speedy trial, and a right to remain silent.
It is a complex matter that will require you to get an attorney not only to decipher the pleading requirements but also to effectively win the case in trial.
Any questions, call me at 310-601-7144 or email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



24 March 2017, Los Angeles – Philippine Consul General Adelio Angelito S. Cruz joined the commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the Bataan Death March held at the White Sands Missile Range, a U.S. Army testing area in New Mexico, on 19 March 2017. Considered to be the largest commemoration of the Bataan Death March outside the Philippines, the annual march was started by Army ROTC Department of the New Mexico State University in 1989.

A record number of 7,200 participants joined the event, composed of both military personnel and civilians, including eight survivors of the 1942 Bataan Death March.

This year’s commemorative event was made even more significant by the recent signing of the Congressional Gold Medal Act of 2015 on 14 December 2015, recognizing Filipino and American World War II veterans for their service. END.

  • Published in Media


TORRANCE, CA, March 28, 2017 – Discovering Opportunities is a milestone that is the first of its kind in promoting Philippine products in the United States and beyond.
Organized by Pangasinan Brotherhood-USA, a 501(c)(3) in cooperation with the Philippine Trade & Investment Center-Los Angeles, EC Ferrer, CHB Inc., Provenance Holdings Corporation dba PLANET63 and Health Evolution, LLC, have teamed up to put together an event for the purpose of promoting Philippine-made products globally. This event invites wholesalers, distributors, importers, retailers and anyone who is considering establishing an e-commerce business. This event hopes to bring attention to the many well-crafted, one-of-a-kind, and innovative products that are manufactured and processed in the Philippines. The event will take place on Wednesday, April 26, 2017, 8:30 am to 12:00 pm and will be held at the Toyota Auto Museum in the City of Torrance. The address is 19600 Van Ness, Torrance, CA 90501.
This free seminar and showcasing event will cover topics from product sourcing, utilizing online directory portals, shipping practices such as U.S. Customs and Freight Forwarding, to creating an e-commerce website.
According to Ferdinand “Bong” Soriano, lead convenor of the event, “ a system of “active selling/promotion” has to be created to consistently promote Philippine products. Data from these types of events are critical to the Philippine manufacturers. It gives them a perspective on how they will enter the US market and beyond. Also, Mike Pestano of Health Evolution, LLC stated “ there is a tremendous importance in creating and engaging social media communities thus create a robust e-commerce website.”
There has already been a great amount of attention regarding products from China. This is a chance to truly focus on the great products of the Philippines manufacturers. The products range from electronics, coconut products, jewelry, clothing, furniture, food and beverages, etc. Pangasinan Brotherhood-USA along with Provenance Holdings Corporation dba PLANET63 created and initiated this project in an attempt to create opportunities for small to midsized Philippine manufacturers to promote their products in the United States and beyond. Also, an avenue or a series of marketing activities are being created to consistently provide “active” selling that would help keep a “top-of-mind” awareness of Philippine products in the United States and beyond.
Provenance Holdings Corp dba PLANET63’s will spearhead the activities in the coming months that will bring attention to Philippine products as a whole. Provenance Holdings Corporation will be organizing future trade expos focused solely on Philippine products and supplementary content such as YouTube shows that will add to the awareness. Provenance Holdings Corporation dba PLANET63 is an International Trade Management and Marketing Company located in Rancho Cucamonga, CA.
Interested parties may visit our FACEBOOK page “PLANET63”to register or just email us to confirm your attendance or learn about companies participating, you may also contact:Philippine Trade & Investment Center-Los Angeles -Rowena Namay 213-388-1029; EC Ferrer, CHB Inc. - Eddie Ferrer & Jackie Ferrer 562-422-6492; Health Evolution, LLC; Nicole Parker & Mike Pestano 714-451-6294 and Ferdinand B. Soriano 909-851-1493.
Admission and Parking are free including refreshments but limited seating.

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