Items filtered by date: Wednesday, 26 April 2017

The Latest Ivanka Trump Brand Scandal Reveals the Lie at the Heart of Her “Luxury” Image

Until this week, fashion brand Adrienne Vittadini’s biggest claim to fame might have been being name-dropped in the Lil’ Kim verse on the song “Get Money”: “Now you wanna buy me diamonds and Armani suits/ Adrienne Vittadini and Chanel Nine boots.” Adrienne Vittadini—the clothing brand, which has been around since 1979, shares a name with its founding designer—wasn’t quite the household name that Armani and Chanel were, but a mention among the likes of them was nothing to complain about. Now, a new report has thrust the brand into the spotlight, and instead of the luxe bedfellows Lil’ Kim associated it with, it’s in connection with a more controversial entity: Ivanka Trump and her fashion lines.

Business of Fashion reported Monday that G-III, the company that licenses Ivanka Trump’s clothing, had secretly relabeled some of its stock as Adrienne Vittadini before selling it to Stein Mart, a Florida-based discount chain. This scheme follows a months-long period in which Ivanka Trump’s clothing line has been a lightning rod, with activists calling for boycotts to express disapproval for Donald Trump’s presidency and Ivanka’s role in it, retailers dropping the line due to poor sales, Trump officials breaking ethics rules plugging it, and sales apparently enjoying a sweet publicity bump. Ivanka Trump officially resigned from her day-to-day role in her brand to serve her father and country in the White House, but she can still profit from it. And one could argue that she continues to promote her clothes and “brand” in everything she does.

According to BoF, G-III and Stein Mart acted without making Ivanka Trump’s brand aware of their nefarious plan to pass off the Ivanka merchandise, and G-III promised in a statement to BoF that it "has already begun to take corrective actions, including facilitating the immediate removal of any mistakenly labelled merchandise from its customer." Though relabeling was once a common practice that outlet stores might use to avoid associating “hot” brands with lowly discounters, BoF wrote, trying to do this and hide it from the brands involved might veer dangerously close to fraud. Adrienne Vittadini did not provide comment on its role in the switch, but it sure sounds like exactly the kind of shady and potentially illegal, not to mention controversy-adjacent, situation that no company in its right mind would willingly be a part of.

Though Ivanka Trump herself and maybe even her brand may ultimately have had nothing to do with this scandal, in a way it still reveals some less-than-savory things about both. BoF obtained photos of the label-switched garments, so the relabeling didn’t go completely without notice. But how distinctive and high-end can your fashion really be when it can be so easily relabeled as another brand’s? The Guardian reviewed Ivanka’s clothes in February and called the line “uninspiring”: “The collection shows a talent for taking the temperature of what was happening in design five years ago, which is par for the course in high street design.” Ivanka’s clothes look like the clothes of dozens of other brands in her category. With all apologies to Adrienne Vittadini, which never asked to be pulled into this, peruse the Adrienne Vittadini Facebook page or the Ivanka Trump collection: It all blends together, the same anodyne looks you would find at any midmarket store for “professional” women. Of course you can’t tell the Ivanka designs from the rest of the stuff on the racks—often, they’re made by the same parent companies, and the only real difference is that Ivanka makes money on the ones that have her name on them. Ivanka has said, “There’s so much value in the Trump name. And there’s such a deep connection to luxury and success.” This is all you’re really getting when you buy her clothes: her name. And why does that name continue to signal luxury when it’s being sold in a discount chain? The mysteries of branding.

In a flattering Vogue profile from last year, Nordstrom president of merchandising Pete Nordstrom said of Ivanka, “She said, ‘I’m serious about this; I’m not just a name, licensing a product without any involvement.’ She wasn’t asking for anything; there was no sense of entitlement.” (This was before Nordstrom dropped Ivanka’s brands.) Echoing that sentiment, an executive at G-III told Forbes, she’s “very involved on a weekly basis.” Why does this remind me of Melania Trump bragging that she doesn’t use a nanny or Donald Trump projecting his worst qualities onto others? It’s not totally fair to assume that Ivanka is a liar or scoundrel like others in her family, but, well, it also wouldn’t be totally realistic to give her the full benefit of the doubt.

With regard to how involved Ivanka was in her brand before she stepped down, consider this: She chose G-III as a licensor. As the Washington Post reported, G-III doesn’t provide paid parental leave to employees, an issue Ivanka has claimed is important to her. G-III is also the company responsible for getting involved in messes like the one we’re talking about right now. The clothes are manufactured in China, Vietnam, and Indonesia, with basically no transparency about the conditions they’re made under. (Ivanka has reportedly pushed to move some of the production to the U.S.) The relabeling snafu may not be Ivanka’s fault, but it also doesn’t speak to great judgement or leadership of her company.

So I don’t have any sympathy for Ivanka Trump—she licensed her brand, and she can lie in it. But poor Adrienne Vittadini. If I were that company, I would very much like to be excluded from this narrative. The Trump brand hardly means “a deep connection to luxury and success”—more and more, the only deep connection it boasts is to a wide and ever-expanding orbit of scammers.

By Heather Schwedel


  • Published in U.S.

Catwalk for a cause

SAN FRANCISCO - The Pilipino Senior Resource Center (PSRC), a 501(c)(3) a nonprofit organization that serves Filipino Seniors and families and Filipina Breast Cancer Clients/ Survivors residing in the South of Market District and other areas in San Francisco, along with the San Francisco Bay Area Ateneans (SFBAA), Share and Give and Ms. Gia Galicia will hold a Catwalk for Cause on Friday, May 5, 2017, 6:00pm at Fort McKinley Restaurant. The event is also sponsored by TFC- The Filipino Channel, Lifestyle Network – The TFC Premium Channel,and Delegata.

Catwalk for a Cause is hoping to raise funds to help two underprivileged Filipino groups, the Breast Cancer patients and survivors of San Francisco and the orphaned and street children in Manila, Philippines. Proceeds will be given to both Precious Heritage Orphanage for the orphaned and street children in the Philippines, and to PSRC’s Filipina Breast Cancer Support Services.

Gia Galicia is a Filipina fashion designer who loves doing charity fashion shows that raises money for charitable causes. She created the Share+Give Initiative to help make the world a better place by raising funds for the breast cancer victims and initiatives supporting children in foster care. She requested her friends to donate designer items, which will be auctioned off, together with some of her donation. Galicia assembled her friends, who were kind enough to donate designer item, which include Monique Lhuillier, Tadashi Shoji, Rebecca Taylor, Black Halo, Karl Lagerfeld, Christian Louboutin, Coach, Furla, and D&G. Moreover, Galicia’s fashion designer friends also pitched in like Otsirave by Carlo Evaristo, Adrine Karapetyan, Rolando Carlin, Yennie Lam, and Eva Mejl. “Let us be one in giving and sharing a hope to our less fortunate fellows,” said Gia Galicia. “Each money you give is a tomorrow for these cancer survivors and foster cared children."

The SF Bay Area Ateneans was created to keep SF Bay Area Ateneans connected through Facebook and LinkedIn for networking purposes, find common interests, enjoy each other's company, and be of service to each other, other Filipino-Americans and Filipinos in the Philippines. Its goal is to bring the core values and a sense of the Ateneo community here in the San Francisco Bay Area. There are currently over 300 members in Facebook, all aiming to be better in all that they do (Magis), to be men and women for others for the greater glory of God (Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam)

The mission of the Pilipino Senior Resource Center (PSRC is to provide comprehensive quality services for at-risk Pilipino Seniors and their families living in the South of Market area and surrounding neighborhood and counties of San Francisco where there are large Filipino populations. It was founded by Isidra Macaraeg in January 2006. In 2007, PSRC began subcontracting with Asian Pacific Advocates (APA) to provide Family Hotline Services. In 2008, PSRC was granted funding by the AVON Foundation and San Francisco General Hospital Foundation in order to provide comprehensive support services to breast cancer patients and survivors. Eventually, PSRC was also able to receive funding from To Celebrate Life Breast Cancer Foundation. In 2016, PSRC was awarded funding from the Asian Pacific Family Resource Network (APIFRN) for caregiver/parenting classes and family advocacy. PSRC serves over 800 clients annually, and that number continues to increase each year.

Catwalk for a Cause will be hosted by Cecile Gregorio Ascalon, the Executive Director of the Pilipino Senior Resource Center (PSRC). The event opens with the silent auction and cocktails from a no-host bar. A Filipino buffet dinner follows, while by DJ Gilby and live performers provide the entertainment. The main event of the evening is a Fashion Show featuring clothes by Gia Galicia and other esteemed designers. Dancing and conclusion of the silent auction will wrap up the evening.

For more information, please go to


Top FilAm women officials confront Trump policies

By Cherie M. Querol Moreno
SAN FRANCISCO – Filipino American women raising their voices against policies of the Trump administration is nothing new, given their participation in the January Million Women March and sister marches throughout the country coinciding with the inauguration of the 45th President.
But elected women of Filipino descent standing up to the new regime? Unprecedented, at least in this presidential term.
Last month Tani Cantil-Sakauye wrote a letter to U.S. Attorney General Jess Sessions asking federal immigration officers to cease pursuit of undocumented immigrants in courthouses.
Sacramento native Cantil-Sakauye is Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court, highest ranking official of one of the three branches of state government. She also happens to be a Filipino American and a Republican, the ruling party and party affiliation of Donald Trump.
She did not name specific courts. And while her letter did not rebuke current immigration guidelines, it challenged immigration agents’ activities in areas under her jurisdiction.
“Courthouses should not be used as bait in the necessary enforcement of our country’s immigration laws,” Cantil-Sakauye wrote in the letter that was also sent to Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly.
The first Asian American woman to lead the state high court expressed concern about “reports from some of our trial courts that immigration agents appear to be stalking undocumented immigrants in our courthouses to make arrests.”
In light of what an unidentified Judicial Council spokesperson said was the chief justice’s response to reports from judges and attorney noting the alarm caused by the presence of Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers, Cantil-Sakauye convened a California Immigration Information Resource Group to gather immigration resources in the state for dissemination to legal organizations and courts.
The spokesperson said “access, public safety, and retaining the integrity and sanctity of the courthouse,” motivated Cantil-Sakauye’s actions.
“Most Americans have more daily contact with their state and local governments than with the federal government, and I am concerned about the impact on public trust and confidence in our state court system if the public feels that our state institutions are being used to facilitate other goals and objectives, no matter how expedient they may be,” Cantil-Sakauye said in her letter.
Bill Ong Hing, a law professor at the University of San Francisco, supported the principle behind Cantil-Sakauye’s letter.
“The court is supposed to be this objective entity where you appear to get a fair resolution of problems,” said the director of the USF Immigration and Deportation Defense Clinic. “But when incidents like this happen at their home, which is the courthouse, it is viewed as a threatening place rather than as a neutral place. It really does undermine what the court stands for.”
In a similar vein, freedom from “discrimination, persecution, harassment and assault” moved the City Council of Daly City to unanimously approve a resolution “affirming commitment to support and respect all community members irrespective of immigration status.”
Passed February 27, the resolution was first introduced by current Vice Mayor Juslyn Manalo, a freshman Daly City Council Member and a Filipino American.
“Daly City is a culmination of cultures and immigrant communities,” Manalo aired her sentiment. “It was imperative that Daly City Council took a stand to protect and ensure all immigrants feel safe in our city. I am proud to bring this urgent issue to the forefront.”
The resolution followed Trump’s executive order gutting federal funds from cities that uphold sanctuary laws.
Sanctuary cities do not use city funding to implement federal immigration law. Law enforcement in such cities do not inquire immigration status of suspects.
San Francisco’s 1989 sanctuary ordinance stems from the movement where churches offered refuge to those fleeing civil war and persecution in Central America and could not gain asylum in the United States.
Local governments view sanctuary ordinance as a means to earn community trust, particularly in policing, according to a report in the San Francisco Chronicle.
“Some police departments say ... 'We don't want our police officers enforcing immigration law because if they do, victims and witnesses of crimes won't cooperate with us,' " said Kevin Johnson, dean of the UC Davis law school, told the Chron.
Daly City is among towns that do not require proof of immigration status for access to public services.
The Daly City resolution recognized the “fear and concerns among residents….about personal freedom, civil rights and the treatment of immigrants” as a consequence of the recent pronouncements and actions by the federal government.
“Although Daly City has historically acted in principle as a safe haven or sanctuary for all residents regardless of status or citizenship, the City Council expressed a concern that residents wanted a more definitive statement from local elected representatives about this longstanding ‘informal’ policy,” the press statement from the City Manager’s Office explained the resolution.
The release noted 52 percent as foreign-born among the town’s 112,000 residents, quoting from the Bay Area Census and the American Community Survey. About 12,000 or 21 percent are believed to be undocumented.
Manalo, who was born in Francisco, represents the majority population of color in Daly City, where she grew up with fellow Filipinos who account for almost 40 percent, according to unofficial estimates. She is one of four Filipino Americans on the five-member City Council led by current Mayor Glenn Sylvester, who is also Filipino American, along with San Francisco-born Michael Guingona and Quezon City-born Ray Buenaventura.
The resolution stressed the city’s “firm commitment to uphold the Constitution…and traditions of law and due process” while recognizing “the importance of public safety” and a “responsibility to provide appropriate cooperation with federal immigration agencies in matters involving felony criminal activity.”
But it emphasized as “irrefutable” that enforcement of federal immigration laws is the “sole responsibility” of the federal government. - RAPPLER



Professional licensing agencies may suspend or revoke a license issued for reasons enumerated in the California Business and Professions Code (BPC). For many who have criminal convictions, whether they are doctors, nurses, contractors, they will be served and must defend against an accusation that impacts their careers and livelihood. I had a client come in recently who is a pharmacist and had an underlying drug-related arrest. I did not represent him in his criminal case and he represented himself in his administrative hearing.
The outcome of the hearing meant probation for 5 years with terms that are extensive and very rigid. It is critical to hire an attorney who is experienced in direct and cross-examination, gathering evidence and highly skilled in conducting hearings. In California, the Attorney General (AG) is the representative of the various professional licensing boards. Even prior to the date of the hearings, I worked with the Supervising Deputy AG in providing her mitigating evidence such as character letters and evidentiary documents lessening the culpability of my client.
Even though an early termination of probation and a criminal expungement may not be conclusive in getting the Board to withdraw the accusation, it is an important factor that enables the judge and the board to reconsider the gravity of the charges.
If the board or its designee asks a licensee to provide criminal history information, a licensee shall respond to that request within 30 days. The licensee shall make available all documents and other records requested and shall respond with accurate information.
As a condition of renewal for a license that expires on or after April 1, 2009, a licensee who was initially licensed prior to 1/1/98, or for whom an electronic record of the submission of fingerprints no longer exists, shall furnish to the Department of Justice (DOJ) fingerprints for the purpose of conducting a criminal history record check and to undergo a state and federal level criminal offender record information search through the DOJ.
A licensee shall disclose whether, since the licensee last applied for renewal, he/she has been convicted of any violation of the law in CA. or any other state, the United States, or other country, omitting traffic infractions under $300 not involving alcohol, dangerous drugs, or controlled substances.
I have just mentioned some of the general criminal background checks that are in effect. It is critical that if you have been arrested of a crime, a review of your employee manual is necessary since reporting it to a supervisor may be mandatory. For example, for nurses, sections 2520.4 and 2520.5 of the Vocational Nursing, California Code of Regulations, both the licensee and the employer must report of any act listed in the BPC, Sections 2878, 2878.1 and 2878.5. The report shall be made to the board within a required time period a violation had occurred.
For licensed individuals, in all sorts of professions, if you have been arrested and subsequently convicted of a crime it means facing both the criminal and administrative consequences. It is important that the attorney that you hire for the administrative hearing be aware of the rehabilitation criteria. The Board has the final decision to revoke, suspend, or place the licensee on probation. Keep in mind as well that the facts of the underlying criminal case must be adequately explained to the board and the witnesses for the administrative hearings are generally the same for the administrative hearing.
Having the same criminal and administrative attorney represent the client in both venues is a benefit. I find that since I have knowledge and information about the criminal case and the reasons for the disposition and other critical information are available to me, it is more advantageous to my client. Frankly, to some of my clients, the board hearing is more stressful for them since it ultimately means their livelihood is at stake. While the criminal case if of equal importance, to many they know there is a conclusion to the criminal case. But if their license to work is taken away, it means their professional life is destroyed.
Thus, when the Board considers the disciplinary actions that should be implemented, the attorney must be able to advise the administrative judge of the rehabilitation possibilities of an individual article. If you are personally experiencing such issues, call me immediately at 310-601-7144 or email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Golden opportunity for Duterte

With the Philippines hosting the leaders of the 10 Association of Southeast AsianNations (Asean) this week, President Rodrigo Duterte has a golden opportunity to not only put his best foot forward, but also to impress upon his peers tha the is as sane and rational as any and all of them.
This is easier said than done, though. Over the weekend, he again showed the world the kind of strange man that he is, telling an assembly of the country’s young athletes that he would eat the insides of the Abu Sayyaf terrorists still hiding out in Bohol.
ThePhilippine president can always go back to his old explanation that he just has an eccentric sense of humor, and the Asean member-nation presidents and prime ministers can politely nod their heads in agreement and understanding.
Sadly, the chief executive of our motherland has other issues facing him that are not easily swept under the rug. For one, Mr. Duterte will still have to live down the recent filing of a case against him for crimes against humanity before theInternational Criminal Court.
His spokesmen have said that the filing of the case was a useless exercise intended to embarrass the president.
Perhaps, perhaps not.
Meanwhile,Mr. Duterte is still expected to play the part of gracious host to the utmost.There will be no room for the countless faux pas that has been the mark of his administration, almost from the start.
He must be the consummate diplomat where his Asean peers are concerned. And he must look the part. Mr. Duterte’s preference for casual attire is well known and documented. Even when he is dressed in the formal barong Tagalog, he has not always carried it well. He has worn it with slacks rather than formal trousers, and has been known to roll up its sleeves. Surely protocol officers from either Malacanang or the Department of Foreign Affairs can impart to the president the need for formality when meeting fellow heads of state.
ThePalace also announced that the president will be holding one-on-one talks with at least two of the leaders attending, which means that the talks are expected to be more substantial than the group talks.
Since assuming the presidency, Mr. Duterte has taken a number of foreign trips and has met with a variety of world leaders. Hopefully, he has learned the intricacies of being a member in good standing of the brotherhood of nations.By now, he should understand that he no longer Rodrigo Duterte, the president who can say and do what he wants. He is Rodrigo Duterte, the leader who represents the Republic of the Philippines and all its citizens.
In the previous instances when the Philippines hosted the Asean leaders, everything had gone smoothly. There was sufficient planning by the government to assure that the Philippines could be proud of how the very special guests were treated.
This week, we hope that the present administration can live up to what previous administrations had done to show the Filipino at his best.


Aguirre meets FilAms to defend Duterte’s human rights record

By RenePastor

NEW YORK CITY – Philippine Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre strenuously sought to explain that a potent critic of his boss, PresidentRodrigo Duterte, is not a political prisoner and that rogue police officers are being charged in court for murdering a mayor and a Korean businessman.
In a briefing at the Philippine consulate on 5th Avenue in New YorkCity, Aguirre said that Senator Leila de Lima, a former justice secretary in the previous administration jailed on drug charges, will not suffer the same fate as a mayor who was killed while in jail.
His answers were given in an unemotional tone.
"I really couldn’t believe what I heard because the Filipinos like her who is educated would believe the falsity in the reporting of the media," Aguirre said with some irritation of questions he got from one Filipina-American worried about the fate of de Lima.
Pointedly, the Fil-Am wanted to know whether de Lima "would be killed inside" her jail cell.
While the justice secretary seemed to have offered some offense at the notion, the possibility cannot just be waved aside given the two incidents where the government failed to secure the safety of its prisoners.
Rolando Espinosa, the mayor of Albuera, Leyte accused by Duterte of being a drug lord, was killed inside his jail by police whose claim that the mayor shot them was met invited ridicule in and outside the Philippines.
Aguirre insisted the investigation proceeded and the 19 officers involved were charged with murder.
He said Duterte vowed he will not interfere in the case and Aguirre saidthe president has been true to his word.
Aguirre also insisted that the scandalous murder of South Korean businessman Jee Ick-joo wason its way to resolution. A gang of police abducted, strangled and then triedto extort money from the family on the pretense that he was still alive.
What made the whole thing worse was that the Korean was murdered in the headquarters of the Philippine National Police in Camp Crame, drawing a shocked howl from Seoul.
An investigation showed "the police and even members of theNational Bureau of Investigation, the agency attached to the DOJ, were indicted," Aguirre said, adding though that "murder charges were filed versus the policemen, (but) those filed versus the NBI were dismissed because of lack of evidence."
The implications though are staggering and monstrous. The police are basically out of control, especially since Duterte promised to shield them from prosecution in his anti-drug campaign.
The justice official insisted that the Philippine government is not inany way backing the wave of vigilante-style executions of mostly poor Filipinos caught up in the wave of extra-judicial killings which have swept the country.
He then proceeded to "appeal" to Filipino journalists in the US that they should treat the anti-drug campaign of Duterte with respect.
Aguirre said Manila has the resources to investigate and prosecute the still unsolved killings of 7,000 to 8,000 Filipinos in the drug war.
"All 7,000 cases happened or were filed in different national prosecution services. As of today, we have the capacity to decide on these," he said.
Given the creaky nature of the Philippine justice system where many cases take years to resolve, if ever, Aguirre insisted the Justice Department has the capacity to solve those killings.
In the same breath though, he said there are vacancies "in theDepartment of Justice in excess of more than 1,000 prosecutors."
And then there is the need to get more prosecutors "to resolve the12,000 to 14,000 back log cases which we have inherited from the previous administration," he added.
"There is no state-sponsored killing in the Philippines,"Aguirre declared. –


The story of FAHSI and its visionary co-founder

By Cristina DC Pastor, The FilAm

NEW YORK CITY -- Jean Lobell is not your standard FilAm community leader.

She is hardly ever around, meaning not so much in the public eye. If she is, it’s because the organization she co-founded, FAHSI(Filipino American Human Services, Inc.), is lending support or leading awareness to a cause –immigration issues, senior or youth services, college access, or women’s issues — that’s dear to her.

When I met up with her at her office at the Community Resource Exchange, a management consulting firm where she is the Chief Program Officer, she appeared uncomfortable being photographed, even more so being asked questions.
“I don’t mind being interviewed in the dark,” she said smiling and with a hint of rectitude, as I was turning on the lights, opening the window shades in the conference room where I was setting up my video camera for the interview.

That’s Dr. Jean Raymundo Lobell of the FAHSI – kind of reserved, a little self-effacing, somewhat guarded, and probably wondering what the fuss is about and why she is being interviewed almost a quarter century after she co-founded the first social services organization in the Filipino community.
Not much is known about Jean and the idea she and lawyer Reuben Seguritan “hatched” when they set up FAHSI in 1993 as anon-profit organization. And so one afternoon in April, I had an opportunity to sit down with this tireless, spark plug of a visionary who has made it her lifetime commitment to work with organizations to support them in finding solutions to social problems.

“At that time,” Jean recalled, “we (Filipinos) were the only Asian American group that did not have a human services organization.”

Around the time also, she and Reuben were on the board of the Asian American Federation, a non-profit umbrella of community agencies in the fields of health & human services, education, economic development, civic participation, and social justice. AAF provided the encouragement as well as the seed grant that got FAHSI on its feet.

FAHSI was founded to serve sectors of the FilAm community that the FAHSI community needs assessment found to be underserved.
“In the early days, we were doing a lot of youth programming, and then eventually senior programming,” began Jean. It engaged and provided services to seniors and youth and connected undocumented immigrants to law agencies that could help with their status. Until the financial crisis hit. In 2008, FAHSI, like many other nonprofit organizations, had slowed down, almost never heard from. The talk of the community was FAHSI had folded. No one wanted to speak on the record, but many knew grants have stopped coming. During this difficult period, Jean was not on the Board ofDirectors.

“Funding got very tight. That was during the financial crisis,” she said. “We left our office in Jamaica. We didn’t have staff anymore. That was a challenging time.” It was at this point that the former executive director asked Jean to return to the FAHSI Board

Two years ago, FAHSI made a decision to revisit its mission and programs despite thread-thin resources. They received a grant from the Asian American Federation to do another community needs assessment and hold strategic planning which resulted in what is called “re-missioning.” This involved rethinking how to continue to best serve the community.

“Right now FAHSI is focusing on a systematic and integrated referral program,” said Jean.

“It’s unrealistic to address all of the issues that were surfaced in the community needs assessment – immigration, health, youth, senior and women’s issues, and college access — all at once. It requires a lot of funding and staffing. But if we can refer them to the right organizations, we can partner with those organizations and provide those organizations with some cultural competencies to better serve the Fil-Am community,” she said.

For example, Filipino women who are victims of domestic violence could be referred by FAHSI to organizations that specialize in assisting abused women since there is no FilAm organization that serves this population, Jean lamented.
The referral program is still in a “process of conceptualization and development,” she said. “We’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what should be our next move.”

Caught up in Martial Law

Jean came to the U.S. in 1966 on a Fulbright fellowship, landing at theUniversity of Minnesota where she completed a master’s degree in SocialPsychology.
As a condition of her fellowship, she returned to the Philippines and taught at the Ateneo Department of Psychology, eventually becoming its chairperson. She returned to the U.S. in 1969 to pursue her doctoral studies at Columbia University. While in the U.S., martial law was declared in the Philippines in 1972.

“I was going to return but I wasn’t sure whether it was the kind of political climate that I would like to be in,” she said. “My brother and sister were going to school here (in the U.S.) and my mother came here (to join us). In essence, we were caught up in martial law.”

With a doctorate in Organizational Psychology fromColumbia, Jean – whose parents are from Pasig and Bulacan – interned at ChaseManhattan Bank. This led to a formal position as an educational analyst. She left the bank as Assistant Vice President for Corporate Training andDevelopment, after nine years.

“From there I was headhunted to go to BankersTrust, which is now Deutsche Bank,” Jean continued. As a Corporate Director forExecutive Development, she traveled a lot. “Once a quarter, I would travel toAsia, another quarter to the Middle East. Twice a year I’d be in either London or Paris or Geneva.”

FAHSI was the product of her long and deep background rooted in community development.
“I’ve always felt that when you are fortunate enough to be able to be what you want to be, you have some obligation to give back, so to speak,” she said.

Jean lives in Westchester with her husband Alan whois a real estate developer. She has a son, James who lives with his family in Oberlin, Ohio. He works as an architectural preservationist in an architectural firm in Cleveland and his wife is a curator at the Oberlin College Museum. Her eyes sparkled in delight when asked about a grandson. Jasper is 4 years old.

“He’s just…great.”


Returning to the US after months of being outside

Question: I have been outside the US for 8 months and have friends who went back to the U.SA. and were forced to give up their Green Card and then enter on a B2 Visitor Visa. Will that happen to me?

Answer: If there is an absence of intent to permanently reside in US coupled with objective circumstances, lawful permanent residents (LPRs) can lose their status even if they visit the US often. An LPR may have multiple residences, but US residence must be the permanent one. In other words, LPR status may be lost if abandoned. Possession of reentry permit does not prevent DHS from inquiring as to whether the holder abandoned his residency; it simply prevents the DHS from relying solely on the duration of the absence as a basis to determine abandonment. Further, a reentry permit does not bar DHS from refusing admission to the holder and placing him in removal proceedings.

Question: This sounds scary. What do I do?

Answer: First of all, while it is possible to lose your residency, you cannot be forced to sign the paper giving up your right to be a lawful permanent resident. Thus, the first item you want to do is to NOT SIGN ANYTHING. It is your right to not sign and they cannot force you to sign. Additionally, DHS (the officer at the port of entry) cannot force you to take a B2 Visitor Visa instead. You must request to see an Immigration Judge. This will make is so that you will be placed into proceedings to see the Immigration Judge to argue whether or not your residency has been abandoned or not.

Question: How can I protect myself?

Answer: First, if you will be gone for a while from the US, you must keep your assets in the US. Keep a lease if you can. Pay US taxes. Hold furniture in the US. Keep the bank account, etc.

Question: Is there a maximum time that I cannot come back with my Green Card?

Answer: Yes. It will allow you entry to the U.S. up to 354 days after you have left. Thus, do not leave more than 1 year at a time.

Question: Is all lost if I’m gone more than 1 year?

Answer: No. You will be able to file an Application at the Consulate to show you did not abandon your residency in the US and to explain the reasons for the lengthy departure (i.e., taking care of your sick mother, testifying in some case, working on estate matters, etc.) and if granted, you will be able to get paroled into the US.

Question: What is the burden of proof? Meaning how much do I have to prove to win?

Answer: Once a colorable claim to LPR status is made, the burden is on DHS to prove abandonment by clear, unequivocal and convincing evidence. Thus, you must just show a reasonable claim that you did not abandon your residency and then DHS has a much higher burden of showing in fact you did abandon your residency. In fact, clear, unequivocal and convincing is an extremely high burden for them to meet. This makes winning on your part easier.


Developing Emotional Intelligence

Care Indeed’s staff and select caregivers attended a Town Hall meeting at Hilton Garden Inn Palo Alto where the topic of ‘Developing Emotional Intelligence’ was discussed. During this seminar presented by Jim Mitchell of Fred Pryor Seminars, they learned how to interact, communicate, and collaborate successfully with all types of people and personalities.

Care Indeed is a leading home care provider in the Bay Area. For more information about their services, please call (650) 328-1001or go to


Bi-National Conference Converges in Scottsdale, Arizona and Culminates in Jalisco, Mexico Inbox x

Phoenix, ARIZONA --- TheFederation of Philippine American Chambers of Commerce (FPACC) announced this week that the 2017 Bi-National Business Conference's (a.k.a. Federation 2017)"Early Bird Registration" is now open until April 30, 2017. TalkingStick Resort, a 4-star diamond resort hotel in the heart of scenic Scottsdale,Arizona, will be the venue of this value-packed "business tobusiness" gathering on November 10 to 12, 2017. Federation 2017 isorganized in collaboration with FPACC Foundation, Inc. and in cooperation withthe Filipino American Business Chamber of Commerce of Arizona.

Afterbarely taking a break from a successful trade mission and participation inthe Philippine Business Conference last October 10 to 15, 2016 which generatedmemos of agreements worth several billion pesos in industries such asinfrastructure, medicine, energy, telecommunications, and real estate,Federation 2017's theme of "Bridging Trans-Pacific Commerce in a ChangingWorld" is geared toward business matching opportunities among its chambermembers, affiliates, as well as government and industry leaders in the US andthe Philippines. A delegation from the Philippine Chamber of Commerce andIndustry's (PCCI) Philippines-US Business and Economic Council (PUBC) isexpected to attend the conference.

What'sunique with Federation 2017? Before and after the Arizona conference, businessleaders from the Philippines will maximize their trip by attending B2Bconferences in Seattle, Los Angeles, and Jalisco, Mexico where they expect tocontinue their business matching activities and sign up new business matches.The schedule for Federation 2017 starts with a Friday opening reception andcontinues with Saturday's plenary and topic-focused sessions, and culminateswith a Saturday Formal Evening Gala.

Oneof the highlights of the conference is the signing of a Memorandum of Agreementbetween the Ministry of Trade and Commerce of Jalisco, Mexico and their newbusiness matches, perfectly timed with the 450th anniversary and commemorationof the Philippines-Mexico Spanish Galleon Trade. Scheduled is a visit to thesalt factory that was started by Filipino slaves and a rediscovery of the townof Tequila where the Filipino "tuba" is brewed and is considered alocal staple. In the works is the search for the Filipino "mole"sauce that was brought to Mexico by Catarina de San Juan, y a Filipina slave.

The Early Bird Registration rate is $195 per delegate whichincludes the 3-day conference and gala dinner. The registration fees increaseto $250 per person, sliding up to $400 per attendee just before the conferencedates. For more information about participating in Federation 2017, includingsponsorships, advertising, and trade show booths, contact Charmel dela Cruz,Vice President for National Conference, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at

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