Daily Archives: October 2, 2008

Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles

by Joseph Pimentel/AJPress

Over 50 Years of Public Service.

The Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles (PC-GLA) is a haven for those Filipino nationals needing assistance.

From consular services which includes the issuance and renewals of passports, economic diplomacy, authentication/ legalization of documents, visa issuance, and civil registration to the solemnization of marriages.

“That’s just the basic,” said Eric Sierra of the Philippine Consulate of Los Angeles.

“We also provide assistance to nationals for any Filipinos in distress or needs help.”

The Philippine Consulate Los Angeles has been serving the Filipino community since the 1950’s.

According to its website, the PCGLA serves as an adjunct of the Philippine Government in the overall task of promoting and protecting the national interests of the Philippines and its citizens in the areas/localities under the Consulate’s jurisdiction.

The PCGLA serves more than 1. 4 million Filipinos in its jurisdiction which, includes Southern California (San Luis Obispo to San Diego Counties), Southern Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.

Sierra said the Consulate in Los Angeles averages more than 200 people a day.

“I know for passports alone, there are 100 people a day,” he said. “Others go there for authorization and legalization of documents”

Besides consular services, the Consulate also actively promotes the Philippine Culture in the Southwestern United States, tourism to the islands, business and real estate development and helps foster the ever-growing Filipino-American community for which it serves.

Consulate officials attend two to four Filipino events every weekend, said Sierra.

“We try to attend all the expos and Filipino gatherings that we are invited to,” added Sierra. ”

They also help Filipino organizations organize large events inside Rizal Hall of the consulate offices and have conducted special town hall meetings regarding topics important to the Filipino and FilAm community.

Forum topics have included the ZTE scandal and Filipino WWII Veterans. They have also hosted a slew of visitors including former President Fidel Castro, National Artist of the Philippines for literature Dr. Alejandro Roces and Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA) Executive Director Cecile Guidote.

The Consulate also assists newly arrived Filipino nationals with seminars. There is a post arrival seminar that discusses about making the transition to life in the US. The consulate refers other programs such as Tagalog language learning or legal services.

The PCGLA is located at 3600 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 500, Los Angeles, CA 90010. If you have any questions or concerns please call (213) 639-0980, fax (213) 639-0990 or e-mail: losangelespcg@earthlink.net.   (www.asianjournal.com)

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‘Congress, get back to work!’–LA Mayor

by Cynthia de Castro/AJPress

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa called for Congress to put politics aside and get back to work for the American people to solve the financial crisis.

The full text of the Mayor’s statement on the financial crisis on Wall Street and Congressional actions released Tuesday, September 30, is as follows:

“By now, you no doubt know that the House of Representatives failed to pass financial rescue legislation today as planned, and the markets have been hit hard as a result. As mayor of one of the cities hardest hit by our nation’s foreclosure crisis, I implore our Congress to put politics aside and get back to work for the American people. This is not the time for partisan bickering. Too much is at stake. Too many families and employers are at risk.

“Now, let me be clear: no one, and I mean no one, should be happy about the federal government having to devote hundreds of billions of dollars to bail out failed lenders and investors. This economic crisis was inflicted upon the American people by corrupt power brokers and a reckless lack of federal oversight.

“But the consequences of doing nothing to fix it would be simply intolerable. The credit market could collapse. Small businesses would struggle or fail to meet payroll. Families would be shut out of the housing market, and would have no ability to get a car loan or student loan for college. On the City side, tax revenues would plummet and construction projects would be delayed or canceled. Bonds would become more expensive and pension contributions would go through the roof.

“This crisis is no longer about Wall Street or Washington politics. It’s about families and small businesses in small towns and big cities across the nation.

“It’s time for Congress to get back to work.”   (www.asianjournal.com)

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Filipinos’ Passion for Fashion

by Momar Visaya/AJPress

NEW YORK – Last week, a veritable who’s who in the fashion industry converged in the city to celebrate Fashion Week where the Spring/Summer 2009 collections of famous designers were presented.

The historic Bryant Park was transformed into one giant tent, where all the fashion shows and some after-parties are held. This is also where industry insiders, designers and buyers meet and match.

“It is a very tough industry, it is so hard to get in,” Grace Edwards, a Filipina designer told the Asian Journal. “This is an opportunity for businesses and buyers to take a look at next year’s trends and for a week, they will be looking at a horde of designs so your collection must really stand out.”

Among this year’s designers whose collection gets showcased in a fashion event is Monique Lhuillier.

Lhuillier is known for her exquisite bridal gowns but through the years she has also designed ready to wear clothes, which are as elegant and timeless as her gowns. Her designs have also graced numerous red carpet events and editorial spreads in fashion magazines.

Already, there’s a long line of celebrities who have donned her design during their wedding days. The list includes, among others, the singer Pink who wore an ivory and black gown during her wedding day; Lost’s Emilie de Ravin who had a lacey long gown; Private Practice lead star Kate Walsh who wore a custom-made gown for her Ojai wedding; TV host Ali Landry; singer Natalie Imbruglia; Kevin Costner’s wife Christine Baumgartner, and Britney Spears during her infamous wedding to Kevin Federline.

According to reports, Lhuillier’s spring collection at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week showed her ability to pull off more relaxed looks.

“She offered outfits in billowy chiffon, feminine organza and, surprisingly, denim. A pleated cocktail dress with embroidered Aztec cap sleeves elevated denim to a whole new category. There also was a chambray jacquard cocktail dress with a crisscross pleated halter top that was lovely,” the Associated Press said.

“This season I used dry crisp fabrics, straw-braiding techniques, basket patterns and wave prints,” the designer wrote in her notes to the crowd at her show.

Today, Monique Lhuillier is considered one of the leading innovative fashion houses in terms of design, quality and brand image.  The Monique Lhuillier boutique, in the heart of Beverly Hills, offers world-class service and a wide selection of her latest Ready-to-Wear and Bridal collections as well as some custom offerings.

Her designs have been showcased though various Fashion Week shows and for spring/summer 2009, Lhuillier explained that it is all about the skin this time.

“Evening is about layers of sheer fabrics giving the illusion of seeing lots of skin. Billowing shirts, draped bodices and weightless volumes accented with copper and bronze beading,” Lhuillier said.

Her famous designs have been featured on such fashion forward television shows as Sex and the City and Will & Grace, and is a favorite among many noteworthy celebrities. Her Ready-To-Wear collection has been worn by megastars such as Sarah Jessica Parker, Jennifer Connelly, Janet Jackson, Debra Messing, Angelina Jolie, Sharon Stone, Mariah Carey, Sarah Michelle Geller, Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon, Marg Helgenberger, Amber Tamblyn, Elisha Cuthbert, Jorja Fox, Holly Hunter, Tiffany Thiessen and Jamie Lynn Sigler.

Compared with Lhuillier, Grace Edwards is a novice. She’s not a household name. Not yet, at least.

At the young age of 50, Edwards is trying her best to make it in this cutthroat world of fashion. She has been fortified by time, experience and the numerous challenges that she had to face along the way.

Edwards and her husband moved to New York in 2000, shortly after the death of Jack, their middle child who succumbed to severe asthma attack.  He was only 23.

A couple of years later, Edwards worked at Henri Bendel, an affluent retail store where she believes she began to realize that she had a passion for fashion. “I was looking at the stuff that we were selling there and noticed the prices. I told myself, ‘I can do this,’” she related.

Three years later, she launched her own line: Grade Edwards, Inc., a clothing design company focusing on haute couture.

Her ascent to fame and her struggles are all documented through Start Up 2, an online reality series that featured three small business owners and produced by AOL Small Business and Entrepreneur.com.

Andy Arcangel

Andy Arcangel and his partner Dino Lomboy run Arcangel Men’s Wear in the hip East Village area of Manhattan.

Arcangel’s passion for fashion came at a young age, when he still had no idea what fashion was. Growing up in a middle class family in Sta. Mesa, Manila, Arcangel witnessed his mother create their own curtains, table covers and blankets.

“I used to watch her and I remember being wide-eyed in amazement about how raw materials could turn into such beautiful finished adornments for the house. That was how my love of fashion and fabrics started,” Arcangel said in previous interviews.

He moved to the New York in 1997 and this ignited his passion for design. He enrolled in fashion courses at the Fashion Institute in New York City and soon earned a master’s degree in Business Administration from Saint Peter’s College in Jersey City.

During last week’s fashion week events, Arcangel showcased his own summer 2009 collection with a runway show at a loft in Chelsea.

“This collection is inspired by summer in Mexico,” Arcangel said before the show started. His collection can best be described as eclectic. Some pieces had floral and psychedelic designs while others were just bursting with colors. Most were fun going-out clothes that have been a trademark of the label for eight years now.

This is the fourth fashion show that Arcangel has staged in time for the Fashion Week.  (www.asianjournal.com)

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