Daily Archives: May 30, 2008

Pinoys Among US Naval Academy Class of 2008

By Cynthia De Castro/Asianjournal.com

LOS ANGELES – More than a thousand graduates, including two Filipinos and about half a dozen Filipino-Americans, tossed their caps during the graduation ceremonies of the US Naval Academy Class of ‘08 in Annapolis, Maryland last May 23.

Graduates of Annapolis are commissioned as Ensigns in the Navy or as 2nd Lieutenants in the Marines.

Among the Filipino American new graduates are Geraldine Manalo, Laura Pattawi, Jerson Peredo, and Joanne So. Filipino graduates Ensigns Carl Catalan of Dumaguete City and John Berjuega of Catanduanes are two of 16 foreign students who graduated. They entered the Academy after topping competitive exams administered through the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) in Baguio City. The two new Philippine naval officers told ABS-CBN’s Balitang America, that beyond the state-of-the-art weaponry and tactics, the Academy has taught them the value of good leadership.

Another Filipino-American, Master Chief Bernard Quibilan of Cebu, was honored during the graduation rites. The highest ranking noncommissioned officer in Annapolis until his retirement earlier this year, Quibilan served like a second father to many of the midshipmen. In gratitude, the new graduates made him an honorary member of Class 2008.

In a study conducted by The Migrant Policy Institute (MPI) earlier this year, the Philippines was reported to have provided the most number of immigrants serving in the US military, many of them in the US Navy. Of around 65,033 foreign-born soldiers in the 1.36 million US Armed Forces, nearly 23 percent came from the Philippines; Mexico came a distant second with 9.5 percent.


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Asian Journal’s LA Editions Passes Verified Audit

by Joseph Pimentel/AJPress

LOS ANGELES – The Asian Journal’s Los Angeles Midweek and Weekend Editions recently joined the elite roster of publications that include the Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, among others, who met the rigid standards of Verified Audit Circulation.

“This is to reaffirm our commitment to our readers and advertisers. Having our circulation verified by this very reputable firm means that what we claim is what we actually print,” said Roger L. Oriel, Asian Journal’s Publisher and CEO.

Founded in 1951, Verified Audit is considered the leading independent third party media accreditation agency that authenticates the distribution of a newspaper, magazine and other forms of print and electronic media. It ensures the public, advertisers, media planners and marketing professionals the legitimacy of the media outlet.

Verified Audit is guided by a distinguished group of industry representatives. The Board includes publishers, distribution companies, associations, and consultants. These industry leaders assist Verified in shaping audit procedures and services to meet the needs of its members and the industry.

Their audits also provide advertisers and media buyers the assurance they need to make informed purchasing decisions—and afford media owners the tools that maximize their performance and demonstrate their efficacy to advertisers. The goal is to make sure that clients reach their target audience and provide valued advertisers as well as prospective clients truthful and accurate circulation figures.

For over half a year, the Asian Journal Los Angeles editions underwent a rigorous Verified Audit certification process. Verified Audit field staff studied the number of Asian Journal copies distributed at certain locations around the Los Angeles area and the number of copies remaining at the close of the distribution period.

The Asian Journal Los Angeles bi-weekly edition circulates an average of 70,000 copies across the LA and Ventura Counties. Verified Audit confirmed the Asian Journal’s distribution number and target audience. Distributed by a fleet of company-owned delivery trucks, this honor only affirms that Asian Journal is the true community newspaper of the Filipino American community.

The Asian Journal Los Angeles edition now joins local reputable newspapers such as the Long Beach Press Telegram and the Los Angeles Daily News.

The Northern California Asian Journal (SF)is also Verified-accredited.

The Asian Journal Los Angeles and Northern CA editions are the only Filipino-American newspapers to become full-fledged Verified Audit members to date.

Finally, this honor also attests to the Asian Journal’s commitment to providing news that is informing, empowering and serving the FilAm community.


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Final Push to Pass Equity Bill

By Joseph Pimentel/AJPress

LOS ANGELES – World War II veteran Franco Arcebal patiently waits. “We are so close,” he said.

Twenty-years ago, he walked into a Veteran’s Affairs office to find out that he had no veteran’s benefits. Since learning neither he, nor his fellow Pinoy soldiers, who fought with American troops during WWII would receive recognition or VA pension, he made it his life’s work.

“We’ve dreamt about this bill finally passing,” he said.

With the US House of Representatives in recess for the Memorial Day holiday, Filipino WWII veterans, advocates and their supporters gathered at the Philippine Consulate on Wednesday to strategize their final push for the passage of the FilVet Equity Bill to make the dream a reality.

It’s been a quiet month since S.1315 the FilVet Equity bill overwhelmingly passed the Senate floor last April. The measure would enhance life insurance benefits for disabled veterans, burial allowances and housing grants, and provides for $221 million in new pension benefits for Filipino WWII veterans.

After the Senate

FilVet advocates have a more daunting task after the measure’s stint in the Senate. Now they need to gather 2/3 of the 435 member House of Representatives to vote yes on the bill. The 290 votes would prevent delays, killer amendments and defeat, according to Eric Lachica of the American Coalition of Filipino Veterans.

The House of Representative will convene and most pundits expect the bill to be introduced in the next coming weeks.

Consul General Mary Jo Aragon said it’s time for the Filipino and FilAm community to contact their State’s representatives.

“We need to keep the pressure on,” she said in the FilVet meeting. “We have to let them know how important S. 1315 is to our community.”

Aragon, Consul Daniel Espiritu, and Ben De Guzman, the coordinator of the Washington DC-based National Alliance for Filipino Veterans Equity (NAFVE) hosted the meeting. Many Filipino WWII veterans dressed in their military uniform came out to share their thoughts. The biggest hurdle most Filipino WWII supporters foresee is the complacency in the community.

“When the Senate passed the bill, people were literally celebrating and dancing on the streets,” said Ben De Guzman. “But we are so far from that. It’s not over yet. We are standing on a razor thin edge. It’s either we make it across or fall off.”

Justice for Filipino American Veterans (JFAV) Coordinator Art Garcia warned that this is not the time for the community to become complacent.

“It’s normal to relax when we are near victory,” he said. “

’Bahala Na’ is the [attitude] that is so common in our community. But if we work harder, the sweeter the victory [will be].”

De Guzman said that the opposition mostly House Republicans and “blue dog” (fiscally conservative) Democrats are lining up to strike down the bill.

“We’re making history,” he said. “I always say that when people look back at this time, the members of the community are going to have to ask themselves whether they helped the cause or not.”

De Guzman said that the best way for the community to get involved is to start calling, writing, or visiting their representatives even if they’ve never done it before.

Garcia is already lining up his troop of supporters. JFAV has over 67 chapters nationwide.

“I’m issuing a press release so they can start to make their rounds of calls and visits,” he said. “I’m hopeful that this is going to pass this year.”


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Songs for GJay

By April Tiamzon/Asianjournal.com

NEW JERSEY — While most people strolled along the shore or went out of town for Memorial Day Weekend, some paid tribute to a memory of a little boy. Jose Gabriel Dela Rosa, also known as GJay, is a 7-year-old Filipino boy who was struck by a car in Pasadena, CA last April.

Now referred to as ‘Angel Gabriel’ by his friends and family, May 25 was indeed a memorable day for them. Through the combined efforts of GJay’s aunt, Jessica Ticzon and her boyfriend, Jay Legaspi, a local musical act fundraiser was organized. After the unfortunate incident, Jessica and Jay knew that GJay’s family would need help with paying the endless medical expenses. A week later, they reached out to their friends within the musical circle and invited them to perform.

Students and artists gathered from different high schools and colleges around the area in remembrance of GJay. The benefit was held at Babo Bubble Teahouse in Newport, Jersey City. With the kind generosity of Babo owner, John Sim, the teahouse provided an intimate setting which complemented the blend of acoustic music and celebration of innocent life lost.

Host Ashley Clack opened the evening’s commemoration with a poem and audience participation. Musical acts and poetry performances followed which included: HelloImDylan, Julian ‘JuCe’ Pormentilla, Marq Romero of Warholsoup, and poetic duo Two Warriors’ Mark Habana and Harry Ramos. Jay Legaspi concluded the tribute by covering Death Cab for Cutie’s, I Will Follow You into the Dark.

In just under three hours, almost $700 was raised from the $5, shirt sales, and donations. A kind soul who came just to purchase boba was touched by GJay’s story and donated a $50 check. KellyAnn Nipal and the rest of the Babo Staff, most of whom are still in high school and college also made a generous donation of $100. All proceeds from the evening will go towards the Jose Gabriel Dela Rosa Family Fund.

GJay’s story happened last April when “the family was visiting relatives from their home in the Philippines and had been in the country only a few hours when the collision occurred,” the Los Angeles Times reported. GJay and his father were hit by a car which jumped the curb following a collision with another vehicle, a fire department spokesperson said at the time. The boy’s father, 36-year-old Jose De La Rosa, was taken to the hospital in serious condition, but he got better Friday afternoon, she said. The boy’s mother also suffered minor injuries in the collision, as did the two people in the Altima. Old Town Pasadena was to be their first sightseeing destination. GJay was not even able to enjoy Disneyland or pick out a favorite toy at a Toys R Us since he passed away on the same day at Huntington Memorial Hospital.

Anyone wishing to assist the family may send donations to the Jose Gabriel Dela Rosa Fund, c/o Comerica Bank, 35 N. Lake Ave., Suite 120, Pasadena, Ca. 91101. Or visit http://www.gjaysworld.org.


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