Daily Archives: February 11, 2008

API, FilAm Votes Crucial in Cali Win for Hillary

by Rene Villaroman/Asianjournal.com

LOS ANGELES — New York Senator Hillary Clinton notched a very crucial victory in California on Super Tuesday, beating Illinois Senator Barack Obama by almost a quarter of a million votes and gaining slightly in the delegate count.

Clinton’s camp has been attributing her success to the overwhelming support of the Hispanics, Asians and Pacific Islanders (API). She also scored well from women, 45 years old and older. Obama scored very well with African-Americans and men 45 years old and younger.

The victory in the Golden State, however, is diminished lightly by Obama’s own showing, having won 13 states to her seven. Currently, the race for the Democratic Party’s nomination for President could extend all the way to the national convention slated in August. This prompted Wall Street Journal columnist Gerald Seib to comment that “the Democratic fight between Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton seems certain to continue, and it is showing a clear divide between whites and blacks, between Hispanics and non-Hispanics, between women and men, and between older and younger voters.”

The Ethnic Vote

Hillary has been wooing the Asian and Pacific Islander communities from the very beginning. This eventually led to the creation of the Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) for Hillary. Chaired by Congresswoman Doris Matsui, the organization believes that “Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have a huge opportunity to make a difference in this election.” The group has different subgroups according to various ethnicity. The Filipino American community, in New York, is headed by industrialist Loida Lewis.

Asian Journal asked San Fernando Valley civic servant-leader and entrepreneur Noel Omega to provide a perspective on the magnitude of the API, and the FilAm community’s role in helping Clinton win California.

Omega said that Clinton won because Asians and Pacific Islanders, including Filipinos, perceived her as more experienced and as having more credibility.

“Our society has a matriarchal influence, so we are on the level with girl power, and in this case, Asians and Pacific Islanders felt that Obama’s eloquence is not enough to cut it past Hillary’s sheen,” Omega observed. “Hillary’s stand on healthcare endears her to the vast field of FilAm healthcare workers and with seniors.”

“And, let us not forget that Clinton has a long-running brand power with Asians and Pacific Islanders,” he added.

Omega also confirmed that Hispanics and Asians and Pacific Islanders played a swing vote role in Hillary’s California win.

FilAm ballot

“FilAms should realize that as the second largest group of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States and in California, we could claim – statistically speaking – that we made a definite difference on Super Tuesday. However, we need to work on increasing our voter registration and voter turnout to reach our documented full potential in the relevance scale as an electorate,” Omega said.

FilAms headed out to the polls on Super Tuesday and made sure their votes were counted.  Jojo and Abbey Abot, cast their votes at one of the three precincts at the Filipino-American Community of Los Angeles (FACLA) headquarters on Temple St., in Historic Filipinotown.

“We need change, and by voting we hope that we could bring them,” said Abbey who voted for Senator John McCain. Jojo, an independent, voted for the propositions.

Avelino Miguel, a custodian at the FACLA headquarters, observed at least 100 Filipinos cast their vote there from 1 until 5 pm on Tuesday. Lita Ocuma, a precinct coordinator in the Echo Park district, said that during the noontime period FilAms showed up in large numbers at a precinct at Manila Terrace.  She said that around 50 percent of FilAm registered voters had cast their ballot by 4 pm.

Florencio Carlos, who came with his young son, was concerned about the economy, but he did not reveal his candidate. “I sell flowers in the Flowers District in Downtown,” Carlos said. “I also have a large family, so my greatest concern is being able to provide for my family and to be able to buy medical insurance.”

 FilAm’s civic duty

Omega observed how FilAms shared in the excitement that the Democratic presidential aspirants. He opined that this election is unique and rare in that there are no incumbent candidates in the primaries. “This has not occurred since the 1928 presidential elections,” Omega noted. “I feel that this election has the clean slate effect; that no matter who wins, there will be change.”

The FilAm community could contribute to these changes if it could rally its members to register in yet greater numbers for all elections, according to Omega. He suggested maintaining current and accurate census of the Filipino population and to not depend on the periodic government count. He said that is the only way “we can level with the powers-that-be effectively,” He adds: “We should be more vocal and visible during campaign ramp-ups. One of our disadvantages compared to other less populous Asians and Pacific Islanders – the Chinese, Japanese and Koreans in particular – is the miniscule amount of political contributions we generate as an ethnic group.”

“Although we have pockets of generous political contributions in our community, to be sure, we are generally perceived as stingy and need to greatly improve in this area. In politics, money is the fuel of the campaign – thus, money ranks high among factors for political influence,” Omega noted.

Some FilAm civic leaders are quite proactive in the area of political mobilization efforts. However, the community needs to be more effective and widespread in this arena. “We are, unfortunately, not yet well coordinated or effective enough to reach the level established by the Chinese, Japanese or Korean political machinery,” Omega said. “Here in the San Fernando Valley, the FilAm community is just beginning to organize our voting and political technology machinery.”

“We should do this pervasively across the USA where there are enclaves of Filipino voters,”  he added.


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GMA Urged to Resign

by Jherlyn Meneses/Asianjournal.com

SENATORS and militant groups urged President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo Thursday to resign after Rodolfo Noel Lozada Jr.’s  testimony on the anomaly-tainted ZTE  broadband deal.

Members of the militant Anakpawis party went to the streets in key cities in Metro Manila to revive the call for Pres. Arroyo’s resignation. Carrying placards that flashed “Gloria, RAT – Resign, Alis, Talsik!,” demonstrators said that the Year of the Rat might be the year for Arroyo’s exit.

Anakpawis reiterated that Arroyo should step down from her post after former Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr. and ZTE key witness Rodolfo Lozada testified that massive corruption and abuse of power were perpetrated by Arroyo’s close allies.

“We’ve had enough of Arroyo’s arrogant, illegitimate and corrupt leadership. Her seven-year reign has worsened the economic and political situation in the country,” Anakpawis asserted.

Anakpawis lauded Lozada’s revelation about the overpriced $329 ZTE deal that further implicated former poll chief Benjamin Abalos and First Gentleman Mike Arroyo.

“His role as a key witness in the anomalous ZTE deal is crucial in unearthing more corrupt practices of the Arroyo administration,” the group said.

Anakbayan group also made an “emergency protest action” in certain areas in Metro Manila to show support for Lozada and for truth and accountability to the shelved National Broadband Network (NBN) project.

Renato M. Reyes, Jr., secretary general of Bayan, said that Malacañang and the Philippine National Police conspired to abduct Lozada and silence him by making him sign manufactured documents. “This is another low point for an already discredited administration,” said Reyes.

Militants staged a “Black Friday” protest-caravan and denounced what they described as “gross corruption and abuse of power” under the Arroyo administration. They rallied at the Senate to support  Lozada’s statements on the ZTE deal.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson said Arroyo has lost all her moral ascendancy to stay in Malacañang and that it is time to call for snap elections.

“If there’s any moral fiber left in her, she should resign now and allow the Filipino people to express their choice via a fresh mandate,” Lacson said. “A snap election may very well prevent a destabilization effort and worse, an unconstitutional take-over by some interest groups,” he added.

Senate Blue Ribbon committee chairman Alan Peter Cayetano said Lozada gave several details, implicating members of Arroyo’s family in the $329.5-million broadband mess. While Cayetano did not elaborate, he said the information that Lozada gave was damaging enough to enrage people to take to the streets.

Malacañang executives, on the other hand, deflected calls for Arroyo’s resignation and for snap elections, saying that these came from politicians who want to bring her administration down.

Presidential Spokesman Ignacio Bunye said that Cayetano and Lacson’s involvement in the issue only shows their real intent.

“They are not after truth and justice, and making laws. They simply cannot wait for the 2010 elections and they want to bring this administration down now,” Bunye said.

Lorelei Fajardo, Deputy Presidential Spokeswoman, said that Arroyo will continue focusing on her work as president despite Lacson and Cayetano’s call for her resignation.  She said that the President  is “used to” allegations linking government officials to this anomaly.


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NFL Hero is FilAm

by Cynthia De Castro/Asianjournal.com

LOS ANGELES – In America, the championship game of the National Football League (NFL) called the Super Bowl is the most-watched US television broadcast.

This season, the New England Patriots made an astounding record-breaking performance in NFL history, with a flawless record of 17 wins and zero losses that qualified them for the championship game in Super Bowl XLII.

One of the most outstanding Patriots in NFL history is linebacker Tedy Lacap Bruschi (pronounced Brew-ski), the only Filipino American to play in Super Bowl XLII.

Americans usually don’t use their mothers’ maiden names for their middle names. Tedy Bruschi was once asked in an interview if his “unique middle name” had any special meaning. Bruschi answered, “It happens to be my mother’s maiden name. Her name was Juanita Lacap before she married my dad. My sister, my brother and I all have the same middle name. It’s sort of a way of showing respect to your mother’s family. That way the Lacap name can live on.”

Bruschi’s mother is Juanita Lacap, a Filipina who married Anthony Bruschi Sr., an American of Italian descent. Their marriage ended in divorce when Bruschi, the youngest of three children, was only five years old. Lacap later married Ron Sandys, a professional tennis player.

A 12-year veteran of the NFL, Bruschi has played his entire career with the New England Patriots. He is the only player in NFL history to return four consecutive interceptions for touchdowns and the only Patriots linebacker to return multiple interceptions for scores in a single season. His career total, four picks returned for scores, ranks second in Patriots history. He is tied for fourth in NFL history among linebackers.

Tedy has been the heart and soul of the Patriots defense for a decade. But more than his achievements in the League, Bruschi’s personal success made him a hero in the eyes of Americans. Tedy’s life story has given inspiration to many. He has exemplified the adage that one can overcome and beat the odds through courage, perseverance and hard work.

In 2005, Bruschi was at his peak – he had just won 3 Super Bowls and was playing his first Pro Bowl. He had a great family life with his wife, Heidi, and their three young sons, Tedy Jr., Rex and Dante.

A few days after the Pro Bowl, Bruschi awoke with a strange numbness in his left arm and leg. He tried to fight the numbness, thinking that he had slept on his side wrong. But soon after, his head began to ache and his vision became blurry. Heidi called 911 and the greatest challenge of Bruschi’s life began.

Bruschi, then 31 and in top physical shape, had suffered a stroke. His affliction was traced to a congenital heart defect. He suffered partial paralysis and endured months of rehabilitation.

Many assumed that his football career would be over, but not Bruschi. He worked through months of intense physical therapy. He started the long road back to normalcy, which initially did not include football. His motivation included being able to play with his boys and taking on a nebulous front-office job with New England.

But as his vision came back and doctors saw his progress, it became OK to think about getting back on the field. After having surgery to repair a hole in his heart, Bruschi vigorously began an improbable comeback.

Last year, Bruschi wrote a book about his experience with his stroke and his recovery, entitled Never Give Up: My Stroke, My Recovery, and My Return to the NFL. In his memoir, Bruschi spoke with candor about how his family confronted the reality of his life-threatening affliction, his initial plans to retire from the NFL, and the moment that he told his wife that he was ready to play football again.

On October 16, 2005, it was announced that Bruschi had been medically cleared to resume playing football. He rejoined the team on the practice field three days later. The Patriots officially activated him on October 29. Bruschi’s first game back was Oct. 30 against Buffalo, and he had 10 tackles in the victory. It was almost as if he had never been away from the game.

“I’ll always remember being on the field and starting next to Tedy that game after he came back from a stroke,” fellow linebacker Mike Vrabel recalled. “I remember the reaction from the fans and the reaction from the players. It was special.”

He is the first NFL player to come back to the field after suffering a stroke, and was named the 2005 NFL Comeback Player of the Year. He also won the prestigious Ed Block Courage Award and now serves as one of the Patriots’ team captains.

Today, fully recovered and back at the Super Bowl as one of the unbeaten New England Patriots’ defensive leaders, Tedy has become a spokesman for the American Stroke Association. A symbol of inspiration, especially to stroke survivors.

“People have talked to me about being an inspiration to them and a lot of stroke survivors talk to me. I respect that and I am humbled by it. It is something that I am proud to call myself: a stroke survivor,” he said.  “My doctors tell me that their patients light up every time they tell somebody, ‘This is the same thing Ted Bruschi went through. If he can get back to playing professional football, then you can be a normal, functioning human being also,'” Tedy added.

Bruschi’s inspirational story has made him a hero to Americans. But the fact that he is half-Filipino and proud of it makes him especially more to his fellow Filipinos.


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Filipina Domestic Workers Sue Bergen County Couple

by Momar Visaya/Asianjournal.com

NEW YORK — Two Filipina domestic workers have filed lawsuits against a Bergen County couple for years of unpaid minimum wage and overtime pay, according to the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) New Jersey–Asian American Legal Project (NJ-AALP).

The case was filed in court last December and up to this day, the Filipina workers and their lawyers are still waiting for response from the defendants, who have until next month to do so.

“This situation involves egregious violations of basic wage and hour laws,” said Ivy Suriyopas, AALDEF Staff Attorney.

The two workers, both immigrants from the Philippines, had worked in the home of their Bergen County employers for six years. They worked seven days a week, cooking, cleaning, and taking care of their employers’ home and family. Their workday started as early as 6 am and frequently went well past midnight.

Despite the fact that each worker often labored up to 120 hours a week, their employers paid them each merely $400 a week without any overtime pay. “The workers dedicated long days and nights for their employers. And in return, their employers paid them what amounts to pocket change,” Suriyopas added.

After leaving their jobs in August 2007, the workers contacted AALDEF NJ-AALP this fall after reading about the organization in a community newspaper. One of the workers, Ms. Castro, who did not wish her real name to be disclosed, said, “I worked so hard to take care of their family. I just want what I am owed according to the law. I want justice.”

“When they read about a similar case in the papers, that was when they decided to assert their rights,” Suriyopas told the Asian Journal.

AALDEF, with pro bono counsel Troutman Sanders LLP, filed the federal complaint on behalf of these workers in the US District Court for the District of New Jersey.

Suriyopas added that domestic workers who might find themselves in a similar situation must first try and discuss the issue with their employers.

“Sometimes, even the employers do not know the law. At least, when domestic workers discuss with their employers, there is a possible opportunity to reach an amenable settlement and everyone is aware of what is at stake,” Suriyopas advised.

If the employer still won’t recognize the issue, then it is time to elevate it to those who know, like lawyers and members of service organizations who specialize in workers’ rights.

“While the workers were unsure about their rights under minimum wage and overtime laws, their gut feeling was that their employers were wrong. Federal and state labor laws exist to protect workers from this type of abuse, and we are glad to assist the workers and other immigrant workers like them in fighting for their rightful wages,”AALDEF Staff Attorney and Equal Justice Works Fellow Alexander Saingchin said.


(AALDEF NJ-AALP opened its office in Newark, NJ last July and since 2005 has conducted free legal clinics in northern and central New Jersey to assist Asian immigrants and Asian Americans with employment and immigration law questions.

NJ-AALP, an initiative of the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), is dedicated to addressing the unmet legal needs of Asian Americans in New Jersey. Individuals seeking assistance may contact the AALDEF NJ-AALP helpline at (888) 406-1555.)

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Julaton Wins Second Pro Fight

by Joseph Pimentel/Asianjournal.com

TEMECULA – Ana “The Hurricane” Julaton bested Carley Batey in a junior featherweight match at the Pechanga Resort and Casino last February 7.

Despite not being at her best, Julaton won via split decision against the 27-year-old former marine. Julaton had been suffering from bronchitis a week prior to the match.

Batey, the No. 8 ranked woman boxer in the US, gave Julaton more than she can handle for six rounds of a bout that was close throughout. Batey showed the never-stand-down marine spirit against Julaton. She would often stand toe-to-toe with Julaton taking and trading punches. Meanwhile, Julaton displayed her quickness and punching accuracy.

Batey started most of the rounds aggressively pursuing Julaton by throwing more misses than hits. Julaton had precision in her punches. She would often work inside a clinch by throwing a series of body combinations and finishing it off with upper cuts.

In the third round, a welt started to form over the top of Julaton’s left eye. Julaton’s camp was not sure whether the welt came from a punch or from one of the many incidental head butts. By the end of six rounds, the two ringside judges scored the bout for Julaton, one judge for Batey.

Ringside observers had the match closer than the judges scorecard.

Batey felt she won the match.”The match was back and forth,” she said. “She was only throwing one punch at a time. I was never hurt. Her punches were not effective shots.”

Batey said that throughout the fight, Julaton was the one who initiated the clinching. She was very disappointed with the judge’s decisions.

“I felt like I had the much stronger combinations. Maybe if Freddie Roach wasn’t in her corner, I might have won,” she insinuated.

Julaton commended Batey for giving her a tough fight.

“I knew, coming into the match, she was going to be tough,” admitted Julaton. “Watching the tape [of her previous match] I knew Batey was going to come after me. I just tried to set up and capitalize [my punches].”

“I would have liked to have worked the outside more,” she added.

Julaton’s trainer Roach said his young prodigy still has a lot to learn.

“Ana needs to work on how to fight in a clinch,” he said. “She was only using one hand. I would have liked it if she used both.”

Roach was surprised by the judge’s decision as well.

“I had us winning five [rounds] to one,” said Roach. “But I’m not a judge. Carley’s a tough opponent. I knew coming into the fight she was going to be aggressive.”

Batey’s record falls to 3-3-2. With the win, Julaton improved to two wins, zero losses. Julaton said her lack of experience showed in this fight. She’ll be hitting the gym more determined.

“I need to work on my head movement, jab more [and] throwing punches from the outside more,” she said.

Angelo Reyes, Julaton’s manager and trainer, said he might have plans for Julaton to fight on either February 22 or the Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez undercard.


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Filipina Unlawfully Killed in British Hospital Malpractice

by Maria Sunantha Quibilan/Asianjournal.com

A FILIPINO woman who died shortly after childbirth was found by an inquest jury on Tuesday to have been “unlawfully killed.” Her death resulted from being mistakenly given an epidural through her arm.

Mayra Cabrera, 30, gave birth to son Zac at the Great Western Hospital in Swindon, Wiltshire in western England – the same hospital where she worked as a nurse – on May 11, 2004. She died of a heart attack following the delivery when Bupivacaine, a potent epidural anesthetic meant to be administered to the spine, was wrongly fed into her arm via an intravenous drip. Her son survived.

The jury identified gross negligence by the hospital, particularly the substandard storage of drugs on the maternity unit, as what led to the death.

Arnel Cabrera, Mayra’s husband, was originally informed that an amniotic fluid embolism was the cause of his wife’s death. A year later, after instructing a lawyer to look into the case, he found out that she had in fact died due to a drugs blunder.

Midwife Marie To allegedly came on duty right after Mrs. Cabrera gave birth and wrongly attached Bupivacaine to her IV drip. To, however, denied responsibility and insisted that she thought the anesthetic was either saline solution or a blood volume expander to boost blood pressure.

During the month-long hearing, it was revealed that two other deaths in UK hospitals over the last ten years were caused by the intravenous administration of Bupivacaine.

After an initial police investigation into Cabrera’s death, the hospital administration, Swindon & Marlborough NHS trust, admitted liability, but no criminal charges were filed.

However, after Tuesday’s verdict – the first time in British legal history that an unlawful killing verdict was found against an NHS corporation, and not merely against an individual within the corporation – the prosecution said that it will review the case further after it receives the police files from the inquest.

Lyn Hill-Tout, CEO of the Swindon and Marlborough NHS, in a statement to reporters after the inquest said, “For a tragedy to be caused by shortfalls in care is something for which we are deeply sorry,” she said. “Mayra’s death was avoidable. The verdict reflects that. We have been criticized for a number of failures which we accept, deeply regret and from which we have learned important lessons.”

Mr. Cabrera, although “very satisfied” with the outcome of the inquest, said that reliving the circumstances surrounding the death of his wife felt like “torture.”

He said in a statement: “Mayra was my love and my life. On 11 May 2004 we were overjoyed when our son, Zac, was born. However our life together was ripped apart by the action of a midwife who failed to check the fluid she gave to my wife. She had six opportunities to check this fluid. Had she done so, Mayra would have been alive today.

“The midwife’s failure to accept responsibility or show any remorse for her actions has made me very bitter and angry. I cannot forgive her and now hope that the police and Crown Prosecution Service will prosecute her for manslaughter.

“The inquest has also revealed that the former chief pharmacist (at Great Western Hospital, Swindon) and the Swindon & Marlborough NHS Trust itself must share some of the blame for failing to ensure that the drug Mayra was given was locked away safely.

“I hope and pray that the trust and the NHS will learn lessons from this episode so other patients do not suffer a similar fate to that of Mayra.”

Mr. Cabrera is currently facing deportation from Britain with his son Zac, now three years old, because of the automatic change in his immigration status upon his wife’s death.  In 2003, he had been granted permission to stay and work in the country on the basis that his wife was also working there, having been initially recruited by the NHS and coming to the UK in 2002.

He continued in his statement: “I understand that the Immigration Minister, Liam Byrne, has been reconsidering the Government’s decision to deport me and my son from this country, which I have grown to love. It was Mayra’s wish to bring up our son in our newly-adopted country and I hope that the Government will show true compassion as well as honouring Mayra’s memory by righting the wrong that an NHS hospital has done to us.”


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Pinay Director Sets Sight on Hollywood

by Rene Villaroman/Asianjournal.com

BURBANK — A twenty-two year-old film director, Aimee Galicia Torres is seeking the help of the community in producing her second movie – a full feature film titled Nothing But Dreams. Torres, a FilAm, pitched her project as a drama about two childhood friends and their endeavor to find happiness and follow their dreams.

Burbank-based Aimester Productions LLC, Torres’ production company has been actively pursuing actress and Rape Abuse and Incest Network (RAIN) spokesperson Christina Ricci to star in her second film. She also informed Asian Journal during an interview at the Barnes & Noble bookstore on Wednesday, that her co-producer, Cherla Lewis, has succeeded in having Two-and-Half Men star Charlie Sheen to read the script.

The young, gifted director from San Bernardino County is determined to see her second film through.

“Essentially, what this film will do is inspire people to pursue and follow their dreams,” Torres said. “Because so many people nowadays are doing nothing, and they are wasting most of their time in jobs they are unhappy with.”

“Being twenty-two, I admit that it was very hard getting here. There was a lot of pressure, especially being young and female,” she admitted. “But I had a lot of confidence in my abilities. That’s what essentially got me to this place.”

Film directing has been her dream since she was a young girl growing up in Fontana. “My parents put me through acting school but I didn’t want to act. I wanted to direct,” she said. “Every time I go to a movie theater and watch a movie, I wanted to be the person wanting to make the audience to feel something.”

In 2003, after graduating with honors from high school, Torres received a diploma from the New York Film Academy in Universal City after going through an intensive one-year filmmaking course. Thereafter, Torres enrolled in a Professional Stunt Training course under the tutelage of Tony Snegoff, Gary Baxley and Steve Hart in Topanga, followed by a course in Precision Stunt Driving at the Bobby Ore Motorsports in Camarillo. Later on, she also received a Master Make-up Diploma from the Cinema Makeup School in Los Angeles.

Her training in all these peripheral fields had been preparation for her ultimate goal – directing. She had worked as a cinematographer for three years.

“I am union-eligible and I’m just waiting to pay my dues to join the Cinematography Guild,” she said. “I’ve been doing that (cinematography) about three years now, and some of my works have shown in film festivals — from the New York Film Festival to the Hollywood Digital Video Festival.”

She worked her way up, beginning from the time she loaded film in the camera department, then graduating to gaffer, then first assistant camera person, before becoming a cinematographer.

“A gaffer is pretty much the first in command after the director of photography,” she explains. “They set up all the lights, and they are in charge of rigging.” She said that as a cinematographer, part of her job was to read lots of scripts, and that had helped her develop her scriptwriting skills.

Personal First Movie

The first movie that she wrote and directed was a 25-minute short, titled Father You Sinned. It is about a psychologist trying to repress her childhood past. “She discovered during an encounter with a patient that she was sexually abused when she was younger,” Torres related. “That she was molested by a priest.”

“I wrote the script [that was] based on personal experiences in my past. My aunt had a friend who was a priest [who] actually molested me when I was younger. When I was a sixth-grader until I was about 12. I haven’t talked to my aunt since I was a junior in high school,” Torres confided.

Torres told Asian Journal that she is working to get this film out to be seen by more people because she wants to bring awareness about sex abuse.

“Not just the molestation issue by priests, but just to bring it out in general. Molestations are happening every day, and I would like people to know that even though the molestations were done only a couple of times, it could affect victims for the rest of their lives,” she continued.

Father You Sinned was shot in about two weeks and cost $50,000. The project was financed through her mother’s credit cards. It had a three-day screening at the AMC Universal Studios beginning in 2006. A representative from the Philippine Consulate attended and was pleased with the movie.

“We plan to continue screening the film, but right now the plan is to for us to distribute it independently,” she said. She is also working at building alliances with civic organizations, including ABS-CBN’s Bantay Bata, to help in getting the movie screened in the Philippines, and in other countries.

‘Nothing But Dreams’

Her second film, Nothing But Dreams, will begin principal photography in May. “I’d really like to start pre-production in March, but that would depend on whether we could get 35 percent of the ($11 million) budget in place by then,” she said. The prospective actors also had asked Aimester Production to have the seed production money in place before they would commit to the project.

“Being a filmmaker is very odd for me, coming from a Filipino family,” Torres said. She noted that most Filipino parents want their children to be doctors and nurses. “I’m very lucky to have a mother (a registered nurse) who is supportive,” she said.

Gunning for Hollywood

Torres’ ambition is to be able to make a difference through the work that she puts out. “I want to be a role model. It’s very important for me to create an impact on people,” she offered. “I’ve never done drugs and never smoked. My hard experiences had built me as a person that I am now. I don’t take anything for granted.”

“I want to be the first female to win “Best Director” in the Academy Awards. That is my ultimate goal,” she said modestly. “It’s not that I’m being cocky or anything like that. I’m a very humble person. I just know that I’ll be able to make a movie that can qualify for something.”


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Fil-Am Designer Unveils Collection in NY Fashion Week

by April Tiamzon/Asianjournal.com

NEW YORK — To take part in the recently-concluded New York Fashion Week, Fil-Am men’s wear designer Andy Arcangel showcased his Fall/Winter 2008-2009 Menswear Collection with a runway show last February 7 at at one of Manhattan’s premiere dance clubs, Club Element, in the lower east side section of New York City.

Friends, loyal customers, and industry folks were among the attendees who previewed the designer’s first winter collection. The evening’s theme was influenced by military colors fused with luxury-inspired, earthen and neutral tones. His past 2 fashion shows, also held during New York fashion weeks, presented spring/summer garments.

While the designer’s role model in the industry is currently Dolce and Gabbana, his design philosophy is not exactly as high-end.

The collection featured fun going-out shirts that have been the trademark of the label for 8 years now and have been a hit with his customers who keep coming back for more. Production of new lines has officially begun this year, and thus, the collection also showcased other menswear pieces like vests, pants, and suit jackets in rich and fun wool fabrics.

The designer’s target demographic includes fun, hip, trendy customers in the New York area. The Philippine-born Arcangel moved to the US from the Philippines after graduating cum laude from the University of Santo Tomas in Manila. He then attended the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City and obtained his Master’s Degree in Business from Saint Peter’s College in Jersey City.

“Our customers love music,” stated Arcangel. “They listen to all kinds of music – old, new, pop, rock, r&b, electronica, etc. They never leave home without their MP3 players. And they like their clothes to reflect their fun, well-rounded, rock n roll attitude. That’s where we come in. Our clothes are fun, hip, and definitely rock ‘n roll.”

Together with business partner and good friend Dino Lomboy, they operate The Arcangel Menswear store, located in Manhattan’s East Village. The store features the menswear collections of Arcangel and other men’s products like caps, t-shirts, scarves, and pants.

Overall, 45 designs were displayed by 19 male models. Among the models for the evening were: Joey Alvarez, Jordan Brooke, Temur Dzidziguri, Jovaughn Jones, Mike Kohl, Anton Lembersky, Scott Lind, Aleksandre M, Mike Maciagiewicz, Nathan Madden, Dartel McRae, Richard Murray, Johnny Peguero, Matt Perella, Anthony Priolo, Mark Rubin, Corbin Smith, Dwyll Williams and Eugine.

Andy Arcangel Fall/Winter 2008 Collection


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