Opinion & Community

Christine Allado to star in NYC concert before taking on ‘Hamilton’ role at West End'

NEW YORK CITY -- Singer and actress Christine Allado just snagged the roles of Peggy Schuyler and Maria Reynolds in the forthcoming London West End production of the Broadway hit musical “Hamilton,” produced, written and directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda.
“Hamilton” will premiere at the Victoria Palace Theatre on November 21.
Christine, 26, who is currently on a brief vacation in New York, will give her ‘kababayan’ a preview of her world-class talent at a concert on April 22 at the Sheraton La Guardia East Hotel in Flushing, Queens. The show will be produced and directed by “Miss Saigon” alum Miguel Braganza.
Recently Christine performed in a Manila with world-famous tenor Andrea Bocelli. Her most recent stage credential is “In the Heights,” also by Miranda.
“Hamilton” is based on Ron Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton, one of America’s founding fathers. The London production will also have Filipina Rachelle Ann Go appearing with Christine in the role of the other Schuyler sister, Eliza. Christine’s other credits include “Here Lies Love,” the rise of Imelda Marcos, a musical concept produced by David Byrne and Fatboy Slim.
Her website describes Christine as an emerging yet “all-around performer” whose classical soprano voice can ably sing pop and jazz. She trained at the Royal Academy of Music in London where she received a post-graduate degree in Music Theatre in 2013.
Her acting career started in the Philippines where she starred in productions such as “The Phantom of the Opera: Revue” (2009) as Christine Daea, “Hairspray” (2008) as Amber Von Tussle and “Joseph the Dreamer” (2009). At the time, she was taking up Business Administration at the University of the Philippines-Diliman. She had appeared in television programs of both GMA7 and ABS-CBN.
She moved to Hong Kong where she did more performances, playing leads in Disney’s “High School Musical” (2009) and “The Golden Mickeys” (2010). She was featured in Hong Kong’s Tatler magazine and other local media as a “breakthrough artist.” Being in Hong Kong allowed her to perform in nearby Asian cities, such as Bali, Macau and Kuala Lumpur.
“Her success in Asia sparked her desire to move on to a bigger platform. London was the next destination. She received her first break after wowing the judges at a music competition who just so happened to be Sir Tim Rice and Director Tamara Harvey. She then landed a featured role and understudied the lead in Tim Rice’s new musical ‘From Here to Eternity’ (2013). Her dream of being a professional artist on the London stage had become a reality and she continues to pursue a diverse and promising career as an actress and singer,” according to her website.
She described singing with Andrea Bocelli in an interview with Rappler. “I can’t say it was a dream come true because I would never in my wildest dreams have dared to imagine something like that would happen!”
Tickets to Christine’s New York concert are VIP: $100, and General Admission: $65. – Tambi Wycoco for The FilAm

Giant shipworm discovered in PH

MANILA -- Ever heard of the giant shipworm? Probably not. After all, its description seems to be the stuff of myth: a worm measuring 3 to 5 feet long that spends most of its life in a hard shell resembling a tusk.
Well, it is myth no longer, as scientists have just found live specimens of the giant shipworm, or Kuphus polythamia, right in the Philippines.
The shipworm is, in fact, not a worm, but a rare species of bivalve or mollusk, a group that includes mussels and oysters. To be more specific, it is a type of saltwater clam. First documented in the 1700s, the shipworm was partly responsible for the sinking of ships, thanks to its natural tendency to eat wood.
The Kuphus polythamia is slightly different from the regular, ship-sinking shipworms. While scientists have known of its existence for years courtesy of fossils, it is only now that they’ve been able to study it firsthand.
The recent specimens were discovered in Mindanao, Philippines, vertically planted head-down in the base of a lagoon, where they feed on marine sediment and mud. Though the site, which was once an area used for log storage, boasts an overwhelming stench, the researchers were able to gather five living giant shipworms for analysis.
Packing the creatures into PVC pipes, the team brought their cargo to the University of the Philippines.
“We really did not know what to expect,” Daniel Distel, a research professor and the Northeastern University Ocean Genome Legacy Center director, told Seeker. “Most clams are white or beige or pinkish inside.”
‘Like an alien creature’
Margo Haygood – a University of Utah College of Pharmacy medicinal chemistry research professor and a colleague of Distel – described what it was like first laying eyes on the animals.
“We turned the pipes upright and filled them with seawater and airstones and put the animals in to acclimate," she stated. "Before long, I looked into the pipe and could see a strong jet of water coming out of the animal’s siphon. It was alive!”
She added: “The animal inside is dark gray, shiny and floppy. It looks like an alien creature.”
“It was really quite amazing,” Distel stated, speaking about his experience opening the creature’s tube-shaped shell. “I didn’t even have any idea how to open it, but I thought: ‘Carefully.’ ”
Distel admitted being shocked at the animal’s color. “Most bivalves are greyish, tan, pink, brown, light beige colors. This thing just has this gunmetal-black color. It is much beefier, more muscular than any other bivalve I had ever seen.”
According to the scientists from the US, France, and Philippines who have examined the organism, it is the longest bivalve in existence (that we know of). It is slimy and black, with a big ugly head and a tail composed of two siphons. One siphon draws in water, while the other expels it.
The organism secrets a substance to create its tube shell, which is composed of calcium carbonate. Additionally, it creates a hard cap as a head covering. The creature’s growth, which compels it to submerge itself even deeper into the mud, urges it to reabsorb said cap.
“If they want to grow, they have to open that end of that tube, so somehow dissolve or reabsorb that cap on the bottom, grow, extend the tube down further into the mud, and then they seal it off again,” Distel told The Guardian.
Living on bacteria and fart gases
Unlike the usual wood-munching shipworm found in oceans, the survival of the Kuphus polythamia depends on hydrogen sulfide and a special type of bacteria.
Hydrogen sulfide is a compound which you can find in human flatulence and rotten eggs, and which can also be flammable, corrosive, and poisonous in large volumes.
The bacteria, which make a home in its gills, burn the hydrogen sulfide in “the same way we burn carbohydrate or sugar to make energy,” said Distel. The Kuphus polythamia then feeds on the sugar.
Living in the mud, which is rich in organic substances such as the stinky hydrogen sulfide, provides the animal with an endless supply of life-sustaining nutrients.
Thanks to the creature’s strange diet, is digestive system is smaller than the usual shipworm’s.
The evolution of giants
It is not known how the giant shipworm evolved to be this way, but its size is indicative of a healthy diet.
“Gigantism is usually an indication of ample nutrients,” stated Distel.
In contrast, it’s increasingly becoming more difficult for its wood-munching, ocean-dwelling cousin to find food, given how humans are no longer using wooden ships to sail the seas.
“Most wood gets in the oceans via erosion of coastal forests and riverbanks,” said Distel. “People like to clear forests away from coasts and riverbanks so they can build homes, businesses and resorts. We also like to build dams and have dammed most of the great rivers of the world. As a result, a lot less wood makes it to the sea.”
As wooden ships have contributed to the spread of shipworms to various countries, it is possible human activity helped the creature find its way to the shallow bays of the Philippines, where it then evolved into its current form.
Shipworms have even become part of human diet in some places. Its taste is described as “a little more earthy-tasting” than regular clams.
While Haygood believes the shipworm “is valuable just because it's so strange and marvelous,” she also claims these organisms have “potential as sources of industrial enzymes for converting cellulose to sugar and for new antimicrobial drugs.”
'Like finding a dinosaur'
Distel believes the team’s find to be extremely remarkable. “To me it was almost like finding a dinosaur – something that was pretty much only known by fossils,” he said.
The researchers would likely have never found the Kuphus polythamia had they not chanced upon a Philippine documentary, shared on YouTube, about divers who collected the creatures. To prevent shell collectors from disturbing the site, the animals’ location remains a secret.
TV presenter, biologist, and Ugly Animal Preservation Society president Simon Watts was happy at the discovery. “It might well be monstrous, but that does not mean that it isn’t marvelous,” he stated, adding that the Kuphus polythamia evolved to survive in a “pretty disgusting” environment. “If you are down living among murky dirt, then aesthetics are surely not your number one priority.”
The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. — GMA News


FAHAM induction commemorates landing of first Filipinos in US

By Zen S. Laluna, Las Vegas Correspondent

Las Vegas, NV ─ The Filipino American Heritage and Arts Museum (FAHAM), the first ever to be established in Las Vegas, Nevada, hosts a Fundraising Gala-cum-Induction of Officers on Friday, April 21, 2017 at the Dallas Ballroom, Texas Station Hotel & Casino at 6:00 p.m. with a dinner-and-dance, art exhibit, cultural and fashion show, brief Philippine History presentation and vendor booths.
The event also commemorates the ”historic landing of the first Filipinos (then known as Indios Luzones or Luzon Indians) on October 18, 1587 aboard the Nuestra Señora de Buena Esperanza which dropped anchor in what is now known as Morro Bay in the Central Coast of California.”*
Keynote speaker and Installation officer Congresswoman Jackie Rosen (D/NV-Dist. 3 ) will address the significant economic, political, and social contributions of Filipino-Americans in the development of Nevada.
Among the inductees include Ditta Camomot, FAHAM founder-and- Publisher/Filipino American Heritage™Magazine; Salve Vargas- Edelman, National President/Board Chairperson; Dr. Thomas Stone, Ruel Rodriguez, Estelita Paulin, Motusi Alston, Gina Bea-Tritley and Lenida Balce- Sutton, National vice-presidents; Marilyn Ante, secretary; Ed Leano, treasurer; Rosemary Stone, chief Internet officer; and Chris Genobaga, chair/Advisory Committee.
Other festivities include a cocktail reception, Meet & Greet with recently elected government officials, and a Silent Auction. Proceeds from the Silent Auction and Gala Fundraiser will all go to the FAHAM.
Entertainment features the FAHAM Cultural Dance Group, Heart of Polynesia, Gina Kim Korean Dance Group, Filipiniana Dance Company of Las Vegas, Viktoria Vysoke, and Sharon Tanyag. A Philippine Tango Dance exhibition will be performed by Ed and Cora Leano, while Sean Argham and Estelita Paulin will showcase a Latin Dance exhibition.
The FAHAM (originally known as Filipino Heritage and Arts Museum, Inc. (FHAM, Inc. and a.k.a. Institution of Filipino-American Heritage (IFAH), was founded by Manuelita “Ditta” Camomot, M.Ed., M.A., in Newark, Delaware on January 8, 1995. It was incorporated on November 20, 1995. Following the induction, FAHAM founder Camomot will present Recognition Awards to several deserving recipients.
A 501(c3) non-profit organization, the FAHAM (or FHAM/IFAH) is dedicated to educate the next generation of Filipino Americans about their heritage by preserving Filipino American history, legacy, arts and culture through a vast collection of artworks, books, articles from writers, poets and artists; relics, artifacts and other expressions of fine arts produced over the centuries, and continued production of artworks, murals, pictures, hand-made products and dioramas, etc., that depict the different periods of Philippine history.
The FAHAM houses memoirs, narratives, biographical sketches and documentations of historic values and anthropology of living and deceased Americans of Filipino descent, clippings of Filipino Americans who made outstanding contributions in the fields of medicine, science and technology, communication, entrepreneurship, public affairs, community service, entertainment, literary, arts and culture, among others; and artifacts and objects of historical importance.
Salve Vargas Edelman, founder-president and executive director of Rising Asian Pacific Americans Coalition for Diversity (RAPACD), was appointed National President and Chairman of the Board for FAHAM. Her task? To establish the first ever Filipino American Heritage and Arts Museum in Las Vegas.
“It is a monumental task but our Philippine legacy matters. So, I am up to the challenge as always,“ says Edelman. In April 2016, the first FAHAM Arts Exhibit was held at the RAPACD Cultural Center for three weeks.
The FAHAM, according to her, is an extension of what she had previously conceptualized as SoVegas Pilipinas or the Philippine Village.
FAHAM (or FHAM/IFAH) is a staunch supporter of the RAPACD Cultural Center and the Twin Lakes Community Clinic located inside the historic Las Vegas Lorenzi Park.


North Korea’s desperate situation

North Korea and its leader Kim Jong Un have no one to blame but themselves for their worsening global isolation. Only a certified fool or madman would threaten the rest of the world with nuclear war, which is precisely what Kim and his cabal of like-minded generals have being doing of late.
There is little doubt that the country’s economic and political survival is highly dependent on China, which has long tolerated the hermit kingdom’s intransigence.
Indeed, their logic is difficult to comprehend. North Korea insists on developing its nuclear arsenal because it insists that a US and South Korean invasion is imminent.
In fact, it is South Korea that should be prepared for a North Korean invasion. Between the two, the former is an economic powerhouse, while the latter is essentially an impoverished state, albeit with a huge military of more than a million troops.
With the recent suspension of imports of coal from North Korea – one of the country’s primary sources of export earnings -- China sent a signal that they have finally gotten tired of Kim’s sabre rattling.
There are other bad signs. Last week, flights between Pyongyang and Beijing were suspended for lack of passengers.
Meanwhile, diplomatic relations with Malaysia, one of the very few countries that has “normal” relations with North Korea, took a downward turn when a brother of Kim was assassinated in Kuala Lumpur airport, apparently at the behest of an unnamed and unknown North Korean spy.
Finally, US President Donald Trump took the threats of thermonuclear war against the US and its allies more seriously and sent a fleet of warships off the coast of North Korea. The message was loud and clear. Launch an attack on any of the friends of the US or even on the US mainland itself, and the retaliation will be swift, brutal and total.
Kim may or may not have a handful of nuclear warheads at his disposal, but the US has hundreds, perhaps thousands. If he believes he can win a nuclear war with the US, he is absolutely delusional. This is as good a reason as any for the Trump administration to adopt a policy of doing everything possible to remove Kim as head of state.
The North Korean leader derided as a “fat kid” had no training in governance, merely taking over the reins of power when his father passed away. He seems to think that leadership is a game of which there will be no consequences if he commits a fatal error in judgment.
Kim and his cabal have brought the world to the brink of nuclear war, one which will have no true winners. But the North Korean leadership insists on not only staying the dangerous course it has been taking for decades, but upping the ante.
Sometime soon, something has to give. Either Kim will do the unthinkable and launch a nuke, thereby assuring the destruction of his state, or he will be forced to back down and eventually resign.
Either way, the fate of the Kim family that has ruled North Korea since inception is assured. Their time will soon be over.



Volunteers Needed for 41 Park Improvement Projects Statewide

Volunteers remove invasive plants as part of CSPF’s Earth Day Restoration and Cleanup.SAN FRANCISCO – On Saturday, April 22, 41 state parks across California will be the focus of California State Parks Foundation’s (CSPF) 19th Earth Day Restoration and Cleanup presented by Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E). In addition to being a presenting sponsor, PG&E employees, friends and family will be on hand at 10 state parks. More than 4,000 volunteers are
needed to help with environmental improvement projects statewide.
California’s state parks receive great benefits from the work
completed by volunteers during the annual Earth Day Restoration
and Cleanup. This year, food storage lockers at campgrounds will
be installed prior to the busy summer season, fencing and gates
will be repaired, native and drought tolerant vegetation will be
planted, rain barrels will be installed and trash will be removed to
create a more welcoming and sustainable environment for visitors. Businesses and individuals are needed to actively participate with
their communities to help steward and care for California’s 280
treasured state parks..

“Earth Day is definitely one of my favorite days of the year. I am deeply moved to see people from across California working together to restore our treasured parks that are near and dear to us all,” said Susan Smartt, interim executive director of CSPF. “The out-pouring of support during this annual celebration makes a difference everyone can feel great about when they visit their favorite state park,” said Smartt.
PG&E is providing a $200,000 grant to CSPF for the supplies and materials needed to complete 10 Earth Day projects in Northern and Central California. Other sponsors include Target, Oracle, Edison International, Union Bank, Intel, The Nature Conservancy, and Microsoft.

“Over the many years that I have been involved with this event, I have been especially impressed with the dedication of my PG&E colleagues and how they involve their children and neighbors. It teaches all of us respect for the parks and outdoors and instills a sense of good stewardship which is critical for the future of these resources,” said Tom Esser, a PG&E employee and volunteer who has participated for 15 years.

CSPF project sites across California:
Angel Island State Park (PG&E sponsored) – Marin County
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park – San Diego County
Asilomar State Beach – Monterey County
Auburn State Recreation Area – Placer County
Benicia State Recreation Area– Solano County
California Citrus State Historic Park – Riverside County
Candlestick Point State Recreation Area (PG&E sponsored) – San Francisco County
Carlsbad State Beach – San Diego County
Carmel River State Beach – Monterey County
Castle Rock State Park – Santa Clara County
China Camp State Park – Marin County
Coast Dairies State Park, Panther Beach – Santa Cruz County
Crystal Cove State Park – Orange County
Cuyamaca Rancho State Park – San Diego County
Doheny State Beach – Orange County
Folsom Lake State Recreation Area (PG&E sponsored) – Sacramento County
Grover Hot Springs State Park – Alpine County
Half Moon Bay State Beach (PG&E sponsored) – San Mateo County
Henry W. Coe State Park (PG&E sponsored) – Santa Clara County
Huntington State Beach – Orange County
Lake Perris State Recreation Area – Riverside County
Lighthouse Field State Beach – Santa Cruz County
Malibu Creek State Park – Los Angeles County
McConnell State Recreation Area – Merced County
Millerton Lake State Recreation Area (PG&E sponsored) – Fresno County
Montaña de Oro State Park (PG&E sponsored) – San Luis Obispo County
Mt. Diablo State Park (PG&E sponsored) – Contra Costa County
Natural Bridges State Beach – Santa Cruz County
Portola Redwoods State Park – San Mateo County
Rio de Los Angeles State Park – Los Angeles County
Rio del Mar State Beach – Santa Cruz County
San Clemente State Beach – Orange County
San Elijo State Beach – San Mateo Campground – San Diego County
San Pasqual Battlefield State Historic Park – San Diego County
Sinkyone Wilderness State Park– Mendocino County
Sonoma Coast State Beach (PG&E sponsored) – Sonoma County
Sugarloaf Ridge State Park – Sonoma County
Sunset State Beach Park, Palm Beach – Santa Cruz County
Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve and Beach – San Diego County
Trinidad State Beach – Humboldt County
Twin Lakes State Beach, Seabright Cove – Santa Cruz County

Since its inception in 1998, CSPF’s Earth Day Restoration & Cleanup program has resulted in 83,785 participants contributing more than 334,301 volunteer hours’ worth nearly $6.6 million in park maintenance and improvements. Additionally, nearly $5 million has been raised through the Earth Day program to benefit state parks and the millions of Californians who rely on them for recreation, education, and inspiration.

To volunteer on Earth Day, visit calparks.org/earthday or call 1-415-262-4400. Space is limited, so advance registration is required. Parking fees are waived for Earth Day volunteers.
In-kind sponsors include Subway Restaurants and Peet's Coffee.

Media sponsors for 2017 include: KTVU-TV Channel 2 and KICU-TV, the Breeze 98.1, Half Moon Bay Review, Marin Independent Journal, Edible Silicon Valley and World Journal in San Francisco Bay Area; Santa Cruz Sentinel; the Sonoma Media Group including Froggy 92.9 and KSRO in Sonoma; KSOF-AM, Soft Rock 98.9 and KALZ in Fresno; Chino Hills Champion, San Clemente Times, Dana Point Times, The Capistrano Dispatch in Orange County; KLOVE/Air1, KKDO 94.7, KHITS, Entercom Sacramento, Auburn Journal and Folsom Telegraph in Sacramento; KSTT-FM and KVEC in San Luis Obispo; Riverside Press Enterprise in Riverside; and North County Sun, KSON, Sunny 98.1 and FM 94.9 in San Diego.

About Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric energy companies in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to nearly 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com and pge.com/news.

About California State Parks Foundation
The California State Parks Foundation is a member-supported nonprofit dedicated to protecting and improving our state parks and expanding access to their natural beauty, rich culture and history, and recreational and educational opportunities for all Californians, now and in the future. For more information about the California State Parks Foundation, visit calparks.org.

Media Please Note:
For further details about the California State Parks Foundation’s 19th Earth Day, to schedule an interview, or for high resolution images, please contact Christina Mueller at (415) 215-3033 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
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FAJ leader: ‘Never give up’

By Cherie M. Querol Moreno

Editor at large


OAKLAND, Calif. - Emotions are bound to pour out when the grass-roots organization Filipino Advocates for Justice marks another year of championing social justice next week.
"Isulong! Honoring our past, current, and future leaders," set for April 27 at Impact Hub Oakland, will be a celebration of collective accomplishments. More importantly, it will be a recommitment to honoring the legacy of the organizer who is stepping down after nearly four decades of leading the charge for the voiceless and underserved.
For 37 years, Lillian Galedo has directed FAJ, born in 1973 as Filipinos for Affirmative Action. That length of service exceeds the average career, but Galedo, 69, is anything but typical.
"I decided a while back I wanted to be a 'free agent' before I turned 70, shed my non-profit responsibilities, just community activism as a 'free agent'," Galedo explained the transition to this writer. "My retirement from FAJ was something I decided about three and a half years ago. The board has known for about three years, and we have been succession planning for over two years."
The timing of her departure could not have been less ideal, given the surge of anti-immigrant attitude since the presidential campaign and now with the aggressive policies in the administration of Donald Trump.
Not so fast: Galedo is not forsaking her mission.
Her activist flag will remain unfurled in her “lifelong commitment to progressive social change and community organizing”
"Who knew Trump would win? Like everyone else, I assumed Clinton would win," she expressed a prevalent sentiment. "I'm leaving my job at FAJ but not retiring from activism. There's plenty for all us to do."
Galedo will be passing the torch to Geraldine Alcid, whom she counsels to "never give up, work collaboratively in building strong movements." With causes teeming, she advises to " make sure to take care of yourself and family, (because) what we're doing is protracted social change."
She rolled off her short list of action items:
"Over the next few years I'll continue to fight for rent control and just-cause eviction in Union City and Alameda, and as an individual for progressive elected officials in both those cities." She vows to "remain involved in advancing immigrant rights and strengthening the resistance to the Trump Administration's racist, regressive and harmful policies."
FAJ morphed out of FAA, which was founded to wrest parity for Filipinos. In 2012, the pioneering group renamed itself Filipino Advocates for Justice to “better capture who we are and what we do,” Galedo told this writer while planning their 38th anniversary fund-raiser at the time.
Her involvement with the Filipino community began in opposition to the Marcos dictatorship and evolved into Filipino immigrant and Filipino American organizing as waves of newcomers arrived to flee the repressive regime and the poverty it engendered and ignored.
Social services provided lifelines for the weary newcomers. With mainstream agencies ill-prepared to respond with cultural sensitivity and linguistic competence, the responsibility fell on Filipino associations, clubs and organizations to fill the gaps in the spirit of "bayanihan."
"FAJ definitely struggled some years, with respect to funding..., but we have always attempted to be relevant to the big issues impacting the more vulnerable sectors of the Filipino community," the tireless leader looked back. "We come from a 'never give up' framework, strive to play a role in alleviating the suffering in our community, build leadership among the most vulnerable in our community; advancing progressive policies; build vibrant social justice movement."
The organization has acquired cachet because of its resolve, unwavering in pursuit of its objectives. No FilAm from her generation comes to mind as matching Galedo's ability to inspire engagement to confront the powerful on behalf of the marginalized multitude. None has consummated change who was not in elected office or owned a corporation.
With Galedo at the helm in the 1980s, FAJ in its earliest iteration advocated for amnesty added to IRCA (Immigration Reform and Control Act) in 1986, won implementation of a bilingual education plan in Oakland, and reformed excessive punitive disciplinary policies in Union City.
In the 1990s, her team formed FilCRA (Filipino Civil Rights Advocates), a national Filipino organization that rejected anti-immigrant policies in the state and nationwide, such as Prop 187, welfare reform, harmful immigration enforcement policies, English-only policies, and an attempt to end bilingual services.
New issues emerged with the new millennium, particularly after Sept. 11, 2001.
FAJ "defended the jobs of airport screeners who were falsely scapegoated for the 9/11 attacks," disproportionately affecting Filipinos who made up 60 percent of screeners in the Bay Area,” said Galedo.
The organization began rallying caregivers, ultimately helping establish the California Domestic Worker Bill of Rights and initiating advocacy for greater labor protections for domestic workers.
As the Filipino population (immigrant and U.S.-born) soared, FAJ ignited voter registration drives. They set their sights on violence prevention in Union City and Oakland and halted development of the Union City hills.
This decade, FAJ won a domestic worker bill of rights. They helped fight for sanctuary city in Alameda. Recently they won just cause eviction in Union City; getting close to just cause eviction and completed profile for Filipino registered voters in Northern California, finding nearly 50 percent of Filipinos eligible to vote are not registered.
The rise of the Filipino population boggles even this seasoned warrior.
"The community's grown beyond my imagination," she said. "Thirty-five years ago Filipinos in the Bay Area probably numbered a little more than 100,000. Now the community's about 500,000-strong in the S.F. Bay Area, and are one of, if not the largest Asian population in California. And I never imagined that after all these years the community would still be predominately foreign born. It speaks to the continuing relevance of immigration on our community's growth."
She likes how her people have paid attention.
"The community is also much more empowered and civically engaged than when I started, except for the anti-martial law movement, which I participated in. Some cities have very large Filipino communities who have assumed positions of municipal leadership over the last 25 years. The Filipino community exerts local political power, and is helping to build citywide progressive coalitions in Union City and Alameda and other cities across ethnic lines, and is involved in building the progressive movement. We finally elected the first Filipino to the California state legislature."
District 18 (D- Oakland, Alameda, San Leandro) representative to the California Assembly Rob Bonta's political star rose simultaneously with Galedo's community leadership.
Many years a member of the FAJ board, Bonta's ascent to the state Legislature reflects the efforts of area activists who learned to build and nurture alliances, stayed in focus, believed in their endeavors and trusted their leader.
The current Assembly Assistant Majority Leader offers a loving tribute to the woman who once watched over him and his siblings over 40 years ago while his parents - her fellow activists - marched with clenched fists to unionize farm labor:
"Lillian Galedo is an institution and is simply irreplaceable," the fifth highest ranking Assembly representative told this writer. "Her unquenchable thirst for justice and her work in the trenches-- literally for decades-- transforming lives one day at a time is without peer and sets the standard for future generations. There will never be another like her."

For more information on Isulong visit isulong.eventbrite.com. For FAJ, contact Judith Olais (510) 465-9876 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Filipinos in California, New York and New Jersey can now ship to the Philippines for less cost and added convenience.

LBC, the Philippines’ leading company in parcel, courier and cargo deliveries, has flexed their rates and upped the notch for their various services, much to the delight of their customers in the region. They are announcing that their Air Cargo is now ready to cater to customers whose parcels weigh a minimum of one pound.

LBC’s superb parcel prices in California are the following -- For the first pound, deliveries to Manila and Luzon are now charged $8 with $5 for every additional pound; Visayas is charged $9, with an excess fee of $5.50 while Mindanao is charged $10, with an excess rate of $6.00.

For New York and New Jersey, parcel prices for the first pound to Manila and Luzon are also at $8 with $4.50 on top of every added pound. Visayas carries a fee of $9 with an excess charge of $5.50; while Mindanao is charged $10 with a going rate of $6 for every excess.

To complement their new rates for parcels, they have also introduced more affordable rates for their courier services. From the states of California, New York, and New Jersey to Manila and Luzon, the first 1/10TH of a pound will be charged only $8. Visayas and Mindanao, on the other hand, will be charged $9 and $10 respectively. In all regions, parcels exceeding 1/10th of a pound will be charged $.70.

Add-on values for the valuable customers here in the US includes 7-to-10 day delivery, and free pick-up of parcels weighing ten pounds and above. Consignees will also receive free delivery for parcels six pounds and above. No fee for parcels picked-up by consignee at the branch, and a free SMS notification is also available.

What’s better news is that LBC now accommodates parcels, regardless of the packaging they come in, with definitely zero charges!

Filipinos in Northern America can conveniently transact at any of LBC’s 27 branches in the region. Truly, LBC has continued their responsiveness to the growing needs of the Filipino public, both in the Philippines and abroad.

LBC is the Philippines’ market leader in retail and corporate courier & cargo, money remittance, and logistics services. With a growing network of over 6,400 branches, hubs & warehouses, partners, and agents in over 30 countries, LBC is committed to moving lives, businesses, and communities and delivering smiles around the world. Listed in the Philippine Stock Exchange through LBC Express Holdings, Inc., LBC aims to deliver value to all of its stakeholders, as it has for over 60 years. Founded in 1945 as a brokerage and air cargo agent, LBC pioneered time-sensitive cargo delivery and 24-hour door-to-door delivery in the Philippines. Today, it is the most trusted logistics brand of the Global Filipino. LBC can move it for you: visit www.LBCexpress.com, or call telephone +632 8585 999 (Metro Manila), 1 800 10 8585 999 (Provincial), +632 9086 522 (Solutions) and follow LBCExpress (Facebook and Twitter).


Sexually Transmitted Diseases

It is quite alarming that forty-five to fifty percent of men and women in the United States have HPV – genital Human Papillomavirus – infection. This information was recently reported by the Center for Disease Control’s National Center for Health. It is, indeed, the most common sexually transmitted disease in the country. Here are the details, which are conservative statistics since this does not include institutionalized higher risk individuals, like prisoners, addicts, and the homeless:

“Using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 2011 to 2014, researchers found the following:
Oral HPV prevalence was 7% for adults under age 70. The prevalence of high-risk oral HPV was just 4%.
For adults under age 60, the prevalence of genital HPV was 43% in 2013 to 2014. It reached 64% among black adults. Non-Hispanic Asian adults had the lowest prevalence at 24%.
Roughly 23% of adults had high-risk genital HPV, with the highest prevalence among black males (40%).

HPV and cancer
There are more than 108 different types of genital HPV, more than 30 of these are sexually transmitted, causing infection involving the skin of the penis, vagina (vulva), cervix, and even the anus and rectum.
US government statistics show that 25 percent of men and 20 percent of women have the strain of human papilloma virus or human wart (virus) that causes cancer. To protect individuals who are 25 and younger from acquiring this HPV-related cancer, the vaccine listed below is available today.
Cervical cancer
Cervical cancer is malignant tumor of the cervix (mouth of the womb). It is the second most cancer in women and the third most common gynecologic cancer, the second being cancer of the ovary. The most common gynecologic malignancy is endometrial (inner wall of womb) cancer, which is the fourth most common cancer in women. The first being cancer of the breasts, followed by colorectal cancer and lung cancer. Cervical cancer develops in women at the mean age of 50 years old, although it can occur in women as young as 20. In the Philippines it is the number 2 most common form of cancer among women. In the United States it accounts for least 3000 deaths, and globally, about 300,000, annually.
How prevalent is cervical cancer?

More than 20 million of Americans have HPV infection. In the Philippines, there are about 5000 new cases of cervical cancer each year. By age 50, about 80 percent of American women will have acquired genital HPV. However, more alarming than that is the fact that there are between 10,000 to 25,000 women walking around (not seen by physician) who have undiagnosed pre-invasive lesions in their cervix. If diagnosed early, these women could be saved. For every four survivors of breasts cancer, there are less than 3 women who survive cervical cancer, which shows how virulent cervical cancer is.

What causes cervical cancer?

Human Papilloma Virus (HPV, also known as genital herpes virus) accounts for most, if not all, cervical cancers. At least 50% of sexually active men and women are infected with genital HPV, especially those with multiple partners. There are about 20 million American men and women infected with HPV, many linked with abnormal pap tests, genital warts and cervical cancer. It is estimated more than 10,000 new cases of cervical cancers are discovered annually. Between half a million to a million Americans have genital warts, transmitted thru sexual contacts. The so-called high risk HPV may cause positive Pap test, and it could cause cancer of the cervix, vulva, vagina, penis, anus or rectum. The low-risk , milder form, causes single or multiple bumps of genital warts (kulugo) and could be cauliflower shaped.

Is the cure for cervical cancer?

Better than the cure! A vaccine that prevents cervical cancer has been in use since it was introduced in June 2006 and found to be “effective 100%, in the short term, at blocking the cancer and lesions likely to turn to cancer” (like the pre-invasive lesions), according to drug manufacturer, Merck & Co.

The vaccines, which are genetically engineered, Gardasil and Cervarix, which block infection caused by two of the more than 108 types of human papilloma virus (HPV), strains 16 and 18. These two sexually transmitted viruses are responsible for about 70% of cervical cancers. HPV, in one form or the other. The other strains of the virus cause painful genital warts, and sometimes, cervical cancers too. The newer versions of these vaccines are effective for more strains of HPV.

How early should the vaccine be given?

Students in grammar school, middle school and high school should be vaccinated before they become sexually active, because once they catch HPV infection, there is no cure; herpes is for life. This was the recommendation of Dr. Gloria Bachmann, director of The Women’s Health Institute at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in Brunswick, NJ., who said this vaccine is a “phenomenal breakthrough. This is, today, the standard of care.
Can oral sex cause cancer?
The most common cause (70 percent) of throat cancer is oral sex with a partner who has active HPV infection. About 4 percent of adults who practice oral sex will have oral infection with a high-risk form of cancer-causing HPV. Experts say head and neck cancer will surpass cervical cancer as the most common cause of HPV-related cancer by 2020. Without being flippant, the use of seran wrap or plastic film to cover the female pelvis (similar to the use of condom for males), if oral sex is to be practiced at all, could be of some protection against HPV contamination. However, the CDC review of 138 peer-reviewed scientific studies showed that the use of condom is not effective in reducing the risk of STDs. Out of 100 women who used condom religiously, 37 of them still developed HPV. At least 1 percent of condoms are defective.
Syphilis higher among homosexuals
While society regards syphilis as an STD of the past, it is actually still very much with us, domestically and globally. Rarer than it was a century ago, syphilis remains a much dreaded disease.
Men who have sex with men have much higher rates of syphilis infection, according to a study. The rate is 106 times more than the rate of syphilis among heterosexual men, and 167 times higher than the rate of infection among women.
Homosexuals had a rate of 309 cases per 100,000 population for a primary and secondary syphilis, compared to 2.9 and 1.8 cases per 100,000 for heterosexual men and women, respectively. The region with the highest rates are located in the Southern region, with a rate of 748 per 100,000 in North Carolina.
This may sound like over simplification and quite obvious, but the best way, the surest way, to prevent getting any sexually transmitted diseases is not to have sexual contact with someone infected, or possibly infected, with HPV/HIV/Syphilis/Gonorrhea.

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‘The paradox’  

The word “resurrection” is often used or spoken when a person refers to or talks about the risen lord Jesus Christ. The risen lord is the reason why Christians celebrate Easter.
Christians also relate resurrection with redemption.
In the context of the passion of Christ, it refers to his mission as the Son of Man who came to offer himself in obedience to God's redemptive plan. God’s redemptive plan is said to be the deliverance of humankind from sin and evil.
“Insurrection” may sound the same as resurrection but definitely has a totally different meaning.
Insurrection is the act or instance of rising in revolt, rebellion, or resistance against a established civil authority or government. It is an uprising led by an organization, a group of individuals, or some collective formations.
I thought of writing about resurrection and insurrection in connection with the present leaders of the two countries that are dear to the hearts of many Filipino-Americans. I am referring to the United States under the leadership of President Donald Trump and the Philippines under President Rodrigo Duterte.
Many supporters who voted for these two presidents, not to mention the fiery speeches of both when they were still campaigning for their respective positions, zero in on their campaign line about being “tired of the status quo and the existing political establishment” and that drastic change is needed and necessary to bring things in order for both the U.S. and the Philippines.
Both Trump and Duterte were viewed and accepted as “outsiders” and “anti-establishment” candidates who were not extensions or representatives of the status quo.
There was “massive craving for change” despite the fact that both the outgoing presidents that Trump and Duterte succeeded, President Barack Obama and President Benigno C. Aquino Jr., were enjoying immense support and popularity as they headed out of office. The people in the U.S. and in the Philippines looked and opted for “alternative leaders” who can “shake” the political establishment and both Trump and Duterte were seen as the best fits judging by the number of votes that they received (although in Trump’s case he lost the popularity vote count to Democrat Hillary Clinto but still got enough votes to gain the electoral college’s nod).
Trump and Duterte from their own pronouncements, words, and propaganda strongly believe that they are the saviors who can effect “fast change” and “get things done” by effectively bypassing the bureaucracy and the opposition.
Both also manifested the so-called “messianic complex.”
But the issue that many have with Trump’s “Make America Great Again” is the fact that immigrants, Muslims, women, LGBTQs, refugees, and liberal democrats are again being bashed and blamed for the so-called maladies affecting the U.S. at present.
For Duterte, he talks about the failure of the past Philippine administrations in eradicating society’s problems associated and related to the use of illegal and dangerous drugs. His campaign line was mainly eradicating the “drug problem” in the country as he claims that the country has been “infested” with drug addicts and drug pushers for many years now and that there is a need to “save the future generations of Filipinos.”
For Duterte, he claims that his war on drugs is meant to prevent the Philippines from becoming a “narco-state” which he claims was the destination where the country was headed before he took office.
He even claims that he is “willing to die” just to accomplish his task of saving and preventing the country from being a narco-state.
The so-called messianic complex is so strong on Trump and Duterte that their supporters belief in their so-called “calling” and “mission” as presidents of their respective countries lead many to ignore their more serious flaws and faults as leaders. This is what I will refer to as the paradox of our time.

Jojo Liangco is an attorney with the Law Offices of Amancio M. Liangco Jr. in San Francisco, California. His practice is in the areas of immigration, family law, personal injury, civil litigation, business law, bankruptcy, DUI cases, criminal defense and traffic court cases. Please send your comments to Jojo Liangco, c/o Law Offices of Amancio "Jojo" Liangco, 605 Market Street, Suite 605, San Francisco, CA 94105 or you can call him (415) 974-5336.

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