Tag Archives: Fil-Am

Bay Area Boxer Julaton Battles to a Draw

by Joseph Pimentel/AJPress

LAS VEGAS – All FilAm female boxer Ana “The Hurricane” Julaton wanted for her birthday was a win by knockout.

Unfortunately, some birthday wishes don’t come true.

Last July 5, the now 28-year-old Julaton battled undefeated Johanna Mendez to a draw in a bantamweight match during the undercard of the Ricardo Torres vs. Kendall Holt championship bout at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino.

It was Julaton’s second fight in ten days and one has to wonder if that had something to do in her less than stellar performance. Julaton’s last fight against Salana Jordan in Lemoore ended in 37 seconds of the first round. Mendez proved to be a tougher opponent with the match lasting all six rounds.

The 18-year-old Mendez confounded the Filipino with her slippery style. Julaton was the aggressive fighter throughout the match, while Mendez sat back and waited to counterpunch.

The style proved to be effective against the stronger Julaton. Early in the bout, Julaton landed a few overhand rights that snapped Mendez’s head back. It appeared Julaton would dominate the smaller fighter.

However, Mendez adjusted in the mid-rounds. Mendez waited for Julaton to come in and attack before catching Julaton with a few blows of her own. Every time Julaton came in, Mendez would throw a punch, clinch or move to the left or right.

In the fourth round, Julaton suffered a gash over her right eye from an incidental headbutt.

With blood flowing down from one side of her face, Julaton appeared frustrated with Mendez’s style. Julaton chased the quicker Mendez around the ring and would land the stronger and more effective punches, however, not enough to sustain a considerable attack.

Mendez did not land any significant blows but threw and landed enough punches to convince some of the judges that she won a few rounds.

Ringside judge Richard Ocasio scored the bout 58-56 for Mendez. Judge Bill Graham had it 55-59 Julaton. Judge Paul Smith scored it 57-57 even.

After the match, Julaton was clearly disappointed with her performance.

“I would have been happy with the win but a draw – it’s not a win, it’s not a lost so I’m still considered undefeated,” said Julaton. “But I look at it differently, coming in everybody knows I have Manny Pacquiao’s trainer [Freddie Roach] in the corner and we wanted to win. I can’t blame the judges… I just have to get back to work.”

Roach said they have a lot of work to do. Mendez exposed a part of Julaton’s game that future opponents might try to capitalize on against her, according to Roach.

“It was a very close fight,” he said. “She [Mendez] had a very difficult style. She sort of just waited and counterpunched. I thought Ana was the aggressor. I thought Ana made the fight happen. If it weren’t for her there wouldn’t be a fight…but it’s a learning experience and Ana will learn from it.”

“Mendez had a very difficult style,” he added. “She waited and counterpunched. The girl set precedence on how they fight Ana now. We’ll have to change that up. We’ll jab a little bit more, use feints. It’s a work in progress.”

Other Undercard Matches

Glen Gonzalez of North Cotabato, Philippines won a unanimous decision against Robert DaLuz in the same undercard of the Holt vs. Torres championship bout. The 22-year-old southpaw outpointed the slower DaLuz in their six-round match.

Holt vs. Pacquiao?

Kendall Holt made a statement with his impressive first round knockout win against Ricard Torres for the WBO Junior Welterweight Championship belt. With Pacquiao possibly moving up in weight again to 140 pounds, Holt wants his piece against the Filipino champion.

“Everybody keeps saying ‘Ricky Hatton against Pacquiao’, but how about me,” said Holt to the Asian Journal after the match.

Pacquiao’s camp has expressed his desire to fight British people’s champion Ricky Hatton, if Pacquiao ever moves up to the 140-pound junior welterweight division.



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LAPD Seeking Quick Extradition of FilAm Gang Members

by Joseph Pimentel/AJPress

LOS ANGELES – Although it’s been more than 10 months since their arrest in the Philippines, FilAm brothers Marvin and Pierre Mercado have yet to be extradited to the US to face murder and attempted murder charges.

“It’s been an unusual long habeus corpus hearing,” said Sergeant Walter Teague during a press conference outside the Los Angeles Police Department’s Downtown Bureau. “We have sent over further evidence. I’ve offered to testify. Whatever the Philippine authority need I am 110 percent and the LA police department will provide them. We have provided some more [evidence] and hope it could expedite the process.”

On Thursday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and LAPD officials made its first announcement about the two fugitives capture since their arrest in the Philippines last September.

The Mercado brothers had been hiding in the Philippines for the past 11 years.

Teague said that Marvin and Pierre were members of the Asian Boyz gang in the 1990’s. The two brothers are wanted in connection for their roles in a crime spree that claimed the lives of 12 people and other criminal activities including home invasions, robberies, burglaries, assaults and drive-by shootings in the Greater Los Angeles area, according to Teague.

The two then fled to avoid arrest and prosecution for alleged murder, attempted murder and robbery charges in mid-1990.

Marvin was on the FBI’s Most Wanted List since 1997 and featured on America’s Most Wanted.

Last year, Philippine Immigration Authorities nabbed the two brothers in their condominium in Quezon City. They are being held on immigration charges. The FBI later confirmed it was indeed the alleged suspects.

Teague did not elaborate as to how they were apprehended.

“They were identified and arrested,” said Teague.

Teague has followed the Mercado’s trail for the past decade. He was part of the original LAPD Asian Task force along with the FBI that investigated the Asian Boyz gang.

“Right as our investigation was coming into fruition, several members of the gang including the Mercado’s fled the country…everyone was rounded up and brought to trial except the Mercado brothers.”

“That trial was the largest multi-defendant, death penalty case in California history,” he added. “Seven members of the Asian Boyz were convicted and sent to prison. But the Mercado’s escaped justice and remained at large.”

One of the Asian Boyz gang members convicted was another FilAm, David Evangelista. All seven-members were sentenced to life-in-prison.

Teague said that Marvin faces six-counts of murder. His brother, Pierre, faces attempted murder charges. Each faces a possible life sentence.

Teague did not give a timetable as to when the two brothers will be extradited.

“We are still working with authorities,” he said.


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FilAms in LA Media Share Success Stories

by Joseph Pimentel/Asianjournal.com

LOS ANGELES — Hard work, perseverance, and a little luck are the keys to success that mainstream FilAm TV broadcasters Maria Quiban of Fox News and Denise Dador of KABC shared to young FilAm co-eds at the “Filipino in the Media panel” discussion held at Loyola Marymount University last November 13.

LMU’s Filipino American Experience class sponsored the event. It was the first class about FilAm history at LMU since 2005.

Professor Florente Ibanez said the class is a way for younger FilAms to learn about their heritage.Students in the class not only learn about the FilAm experience but also about their contributions in the US.

“There’s a thirst among young FilAms to know about their roots,” said Ibanez. “Us, Filipinos are trying to discover ourselves because it’s not taught to us. When we think about Asians, we think about Chinese and Japanese but the Philippines has a long relationship with the US people don’t recognize.”

“I wish I had this kind of event to go to when I went to school,” said Moderator Winston Emano to the thirty students in the audience. “This is an important event for the younger generation of FilAms who are not used to seeing themselves on TV or other forms of media. If we don’t have people who represent us in the media who’s going to tell our stories and accurately?”

“It is a rarity to see ourselves on screen,” he added. “We have here two of the very few faces representing us and disseminating the news for the Southern California audience.”

Broadcast beginnings

“When I grew up, proper Filipino children went to law school and medical school,” said Quiban. She was born in Cebu, Philippines and raised in Hawaii.

“Parents expected you to have special careers generally not in the media. Back then it wasn’t considered a real professional career so for generations we weren’t encouraged to go in that direction,” she added. “But when I moved to Hawaii, I saw people on TV like me,” she added. “It inspired me and I know it inspired a few others and it’s like the old adage ‘if I can do it, you can do it.’”

Tough job

“Of all the people who go into broadcasting [career] only two or three percent ever make it to a major top 10 market,” Dador said about the stiff competition in the industry. “You have to really want this job.”

Dador started her broadcasting career while at Mills College in the Bay Area. She was a host of Manila Manila, a FilAm TV talk show. Famous comedian Rex Navarette was her cameraman during those days.

She said ideally incoming broadcasters and TV reporters work their way up from a small media market before the larger networks hire them.

“You have to make a lot of sacrifices,” she said. “You have to move away from your home town. You miss your friends and your family. Your social life suffers. It’s really hard to meet somebody in the industry. Reporters are either single or divorced.“

After graduating, Dador left for Fresno, a smaller media market. She then moved to Detroit, Michigan.

“I was the only Asian American person in Detroit for the longest time,” she recalled. “For years, I was the only one. I think when I left they hired another one.”

Dador said the industry is full of jealousy and backstabbing.

“Detroit was a tough place to work,” she said. “I might have felt I was being discriminated against not so much because I was Asian but the fact that I was young and up-and-coming.”


“If you come in here wanting to become a big star, you’re not going to make it,” Dador revealed. “You have to come in here and have a genuine passion to give information. If you do make it, don’t forget about your community.”

“I had a lot of mentors,” she added. “Asian American reporters and anchors whom I admired would come and speak to the class and talk about how difficult it was. They had families, they had long hours in their jobs, but they came here because they felt it was important to talk to the students.”

“They had to choose that night between their families and their students and I thought ‘wow that was so cool that they chose to be with us.’ That kind of stuck with me,” she said.

No one road

Being a teen mother, Quiban did double duty taking care of her son and going to school. Quiban discovered broadcast journalism in college. She got her break when she met a TV producer for a Filipino TV show while working as a waitress.

She revealed she started from the bottom.

“I would be on the set, clean the floors. One day, the news reader got sick –  ‘I swear I didn’t poison her,’” she joked. “I raised my hand and told them I could do it. And I’ve been doing it ever since.”

“If there is one message that I want to tell all of you is that there is no one road,” she added. “I started in news in Hawaii and fortunately, I didn’t have to move to Yuma or Fresno for my start.”

She encouraged the students to “go for it and don’t be afraid. If you’re in Los Angeles, you can find a job in Los Angeles.”    Joanna Nuval, a 20-year-old Communication Studies major, said she felt empowered after listening to Dador and Quiban speak.

“I can identify with them,” she said. “They are someone just like me. Seeing ourselves in the media is empowering and raises my awareness of other Filipino issues.”

Carissa Caparas, a 19-year-old Communication and Asian Pacific Studies major said she felt the same way.

“I admire that they have a lot of Filipino pride,” she said. (www.asianjournal.com)


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Galing Pinoy: A FilAm on Comedy Central

By Joseph Pimentel/AsianJournal.com

AFTER a hilarious panel performance, FilAm comedian Jo Koy gives his audience yet another jocular reason to smile.

On November 6, during the taping of E! Cable Television Network ‘Chelsea Lately,’ Koy announced that he is set to have his own show on cable TV. ‘Chelsea Lately’ is one of E!’s top-rated shows and is hosted by female comedian, Chelsea Handler.

“I’m coming out with a new comedy series that will be shown on Comedy Central,” said Koy to the audience as he left the set to the green room.

Comedy Central signed Koy to a one-year, one-season deal last August. He is being represented by one of the most illustrious talent group in Hollywood Creative Artist Agency (CAA).

Koy said that the format of his show is going to be similar to Carlos Mencia’s “Mind of Mencia,” but with a Filipino flavor.

“It’s going to be a variety show focusing on different topics like growing up Filipino and Asian and just growing up in general,” he said in an interview with the Asian Journal.

“I want this to be about us,” he added.

Koy also recently filmed a 30-minute performance on Comedy Central’s “Premium Blend” program.

Koy permitted the Asian Journal to accompany him during the taping of his panel appearance on ‘Chelsea Lately.’

Koy was part of a panel which included Dr. Drew Pinsky from Loveline and Star Magazine Editor Bonnie Fuller. They talked about different topics including magician David Copperfield’s recent legal woes, Sarah Jessica Parker voted as the un-sexiest woman alive and other things going on in pop culture.

During the taping, the audience laughed their loudest when Koy made fun of the issues.

“Chelsea is great,” he said after the show. “She’s awesome. She was just really quick [and] on-point. I’m just happy that I sat right next to her.”

“My favorite jokes of the night were [about] Star Jones. I thought that was funny,” he added. “And Sarah Jessica Parker when I said ‘if she had a brother that they would look exactly the same.”

“Overall, I gave my performance an eight or a nine. It was fun.”

Filipino Roots

Born in Tacoma, Washington, Koy started performing since he was young child. Koy is half-Filipino, half-Caucasian. However, he relates with his Filipino side the most.

“My [Filipino] mom raised me and my sisters,” he said.

Koy’s pale complexion is not typically Filipino, but he is definitely Pinoy. Koy’s comedic routine normally includes jokes about growing up Filipino. He would joke about how his mom would point things with her lips or pick things up with her feet.

A crowd favorite, Jo Koy also impersonates the way his mother mispronounces her P’s and F’s.

“My mom would always ask me, ‘Josef, are you going to the Laugh Pactory.’ Are you going to be punny?”

Koy credits his mother for his comedic and acting talents. At an early age, he and his sister Rowena (a Las Vegas singer) were always encouraged by their mother to participate in school talent shows and impromptu performances in front of family and friends.

“My mom used to force us (my sister and I) to these school talent shows,” he reminisced. “She would get all into it. My sister and I did a Michael Jackson performance and my mom made the rhinestone gloves just like Michael Jackson.”

From Open Mic…

Koy started his career as a comedian after high school doing open mics in a Seattle coffeehouse.

“I remember having to perform while the workers would grind coffee,” he said. “I bombed. I wasn’t any good.”

However, it wasn’t until his family moved to Las Vegas, Nevada where he seriously considered a career in comedy. In 1996, he started making a name for himself at comedy clubs in and around Las Vegas. He finally got a break when he tried his luck at the Catch a Rising Star comedy club at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino.

He said a talent coordinator from Los Angeles helped him land his first television appearance on the nationally syndicated show BET’s ‘Comic View.’

A week before the September 11, 2001 attacks, Koy won at the prestigious Showtime at the Apollo.

For the next few years, Koy bounced around the college and comedy club circuit. He has opened for comedians Dave Chappelle, Mike Epps, and rapper Snoop Doggy Dogg. He has also performed overseas for American Troops in Japan, Korea and Okinawa in the USO tour.

Koy’s career began to flourish when he moved to Los Angeles. He became a regular at the world famous Laugh Factory. The birth of his son motivated him even more to make it in the tough business and gave him comic relief as well.

“It’s one thing to be a struggling artist but another when your kid is starving,” he said.

Laugh Factory Owner Jamie Masada told this reporter two years ago that “Jo Koy is going to make it in this industry. He has everything. He is a mixture of Adam Sandler, Chris Rock and Jim Carrey.”

Last year, he received his biggest break when he performed on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Koy sported a jacket with a small Philippine flag above his heart. He was the first Filipino to be on the show.

“They don’t allow logos of any kind but I felt it was important to represent being Filipino,” he said.

His performance garnered him a standing ovation. He is only one of three comedians in the history of the show ever to receive a standing ovation. Following that momentum, he performed for the Jimmy Kimmel Live Show before touring the nation with Carlos Mencia’s Punisher Tour.

Earlier this year, the Entertainment Trade Publication Daily Variety mentioned Koy as one of the “10 comics to watch” of 2007.

Comedy Central saw his enormous popularity and pounced on Koy when the opportunity arose.

“It took me 12 years to make it,” admits Koy. “It took eight/ nine years just to get an agent. I deserve this because I worked hard.”

Not bad for someone that never received any formal acting or comedic training.

Writers Strike Impact

After Koy signed the deal with Comedy Central last August, the Writers Guild of America went on strike and had a slight effect on the production of his show.

For the past few months, the show has been in pre-production.

“It doesn’t affect me so far,” he said. “Since my show is new, it’s non-WGA but eventually, we are going to look for writers that are WGA affiliated.”

Koy said he understands the writers’ plight.

“I want them to get what they are fighting for because it’s only a matter of time before I’m in their shoes.”

Asked when the show was to be aired, Koy said, “we go in full production mode in January. Right now, we’re waiting for the strike to end and [we are] hoping that it will be settled within the next few months.” (AJ)

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