Tag Archives: Filipino

The Last Hurrah: Filipino WWII Veterans Waiting Anxiously for Bill

by Joseph Pimentel/AJPress
LOS ANGELES – In what may be its last ditch effort for this Congressional session, Filipino World War II groups are preparing for a make or break September month to seek the passage of the Filipino WWII Veteran’s Equity Act.
“Right now, we are gearing up for the fall,” said Ben De Guzman, the coordinator of the National Alliance for Filipino Veterans Equity (NAFVE) to the Asian Journal from Washington DC. “We’re trying to prepare a national action week to mobilize the community before congress comes back. This is really it. We have three legislative weeks left before they [members of the House of Representatives] campaign.”

Executive Director of the American Coalition of Filipino Veterans Eric Lachica seemed more optimistic.

“We’re hoping that our champions will live up to their pledge. We are within reach,” said Lachica.

House Resolution 760 is a bill that would provide Filipino WWII veterans to receive equity veterans affairs (VA) pension. There are less than 18,000 surviving Filipino WWII soldiers, 13,000 of which still reside in the Philippines.

A version of the bill has already passed the Senate floors under S. 1315, the Veterans Benefits Enhancement Act of 2007. According to the Senate bill, Filipino WWII veterans residing in the Philippines to be eligible for an annual payment of $3,600 ($300 a month) and married veterans would be eligible for $4,500. The annual payment for surviving spouses would be $2,400, according to the Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate of the S. 1315 bill.

However, since its overwhelming favorable vote in the Senate earlier this year, the House version has received less fanfare amongst Republicans and blue dog Democrats and currently at an impasse in the appropriations committee.

With only a few months left in the congressional calendar, Filipino WWII groups and advocates are feeling a sense of urgency. Though technically they have until the end of the year to get the bill passed, Republicans and Democrats in the House are preparing for their re-election campaign and focusing on the upcoming Presidential elections.

It’s the reason why September is the month to get anything done.

“If we don’t get this bill passed by September,” said De Guzman. “Realistically we are done for this congressional session and would have to start over again next year.”

Jump Start

Congressman Bob Filner (D-CA), who has championed the bill for several years, has tried to jump start talks before the House left for recess. De Guzman said Filner set off “fireworks” proposing an amendment for a lump sum payment to the veterans as opposed to the proposed annual payment.

“What he really wanted to do was to jump start talks again,” said De Guzman. “It worked. Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi (D-CA) spoke on the Filipinos WWII veterans’ behalf. Of course, Steve Buyer (R-IN) [ranking member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs] opposed it. Chet Edwards (D-TX) [Head of the Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee] gave his support. So in that sense it was positive.”

“Filner’s feeling the same frustration we’re feeling,” added De Guzman. “We’re at an impasse. Nothing is happening.”

The reason for the impasse is simple – money. Creating spending to any veterans groups such as for Filipino veterans would mean taking away money from another source. To fund the Filipino veterans equity bill would mean to eliminate a special monthly pensions for severely disabled veterans over 65 who are also receiving pensions for wartime service.

Giving money to veterans in the Philippines rather than US disabled veterans is a hard pill to swallow for some Republicans, according to De Guzman.

“We are very disappointed how it is being characterized,” explains De Guzman. “In reality, the money set aside for the Filipino WWII veterans would not really take away from the disabled veterans. The disability pension was not being distributed correctly so really it’s restoring the original intent.

“The problem is that our champions and Democratic supporters have allowed the Republicans to set the debate terms and standards,” said De Guzman.

Veterans Fatigue

While De Guzman of NAFVE and Lachica are working behind the scenes in Washington, many members of the community nationwide are feeling veterans’ fatigue.

This past year, it has been a roller coaster ride for Filipino WWII veterans, grassroots groups and their supporters. It’s been full of ups and downs with many members of the community screaming for joy but some feeling woozy from the ride.

The momentum from the Senate passage earlier this year seemed to have waned during these past few months.

Lachica said it’s time for the community to make a last push effort.

Lachica is on his way to Denver for the Democratic National convention to rally support.

“During this recess time, community members should make an appointment to see their congressperson just to remind them about the Filipino WWII veterans equity bill,” said Lachica.

Lachica added that the ACFV is hosting a number of community forums in the West Coast to update veterans and supporters of what’s going on in Capitol Hill.

“We are very close to our goal,” he said. “I think we have enough members of the House to support this bill.”

De Guzman is asking for community supporters, grassroots groups and more importantly the WWII veterans not to give up.

“We are a community that has never engaged in a campaign like this before,” said De Guzman. “I know it’s hard to deal with this veteran’s fatigue but the veterans have been marching 60 years. We’re asking the community to continue their support for the next month. We have fought the fight but we need to do another week, another month of making phone calls to our congressperson so we could look our veterans, the manongs, in the eye and say we did everything we can for you. If we win, great. If we lose, we go back to the drawing board to focus on the 111th but we did what we could.

“Our manongs marched for more than 62 years, we’re asking the community to march with them for the next 62 days.”


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ADOBO: A History of the Country’s National Dish

By Cynthia De Castro & Rene Villaroman/AJPress

The Filipinos imbibed, imitated and improved the cooking styles of their colonial masters. Thus, Filipino cuisine reflects its culture and history. As the local saying goes, Philippine food was prepared by Malay settlers, spiced by the Chinese, stewed by the Spanish and hamburgerized by the Americans.


is the result of the eclectic influences, both regional and historical, that come together in many Filipino dishes. ‘’Philippine cooking probably reflects history more than a national cuisine,’’ says Cecilia Florencio, a nutrition professor at the University of the Philippines in Manila.

Even before the Spaniards came, early Filipinos cooked their food minimally by roasting, steaming or boiling. To keep it fresh longer, food was often cooked by immersion in vinegar and salt. Thus, early Filipinos could have been cooking its meat in vinegar, which is the basic process in making adobo.

From the Chinese traders came soy sauce and thus this ingredient found its way into the meat being cooked in vinegar. Salt was slowly taken out from the recipe and replaced with soy sauce. However, there are adobo purists who continue to use salt in their adobo marinade.

The colonization of the Philippines had a big impact on the evolution of Philippine food, and adobo was one of those Spanish-inspired recipes, along with others like morcon, paella, embotido, pochero and caldereta, that have not only survived hundreds of years of popularity but have undergone infusions of other ingredients.

The Spanish influenced our local cooking with their marinades and sauces. Some say that adobo is related, albeit distantly, to adobado, a tasty Spanish concoction that consists of pork loin cured for weeks in olive oil, vinegar and spices and simmered for several hours. But the recipe is quite different.

The Spanish word adobo means seasoning or marinade, according to Wikipedia. The noun form is used to describe the actual marinade or seasoning mix, and the term used for meat or poultry that has been marinated or seasoned with the adobo marinade is referred to as having been adobada. For the grammarians, this is a first-person singular present indicative form of adobar, a verb meaning to marinate.

The old Spanish word adobar could be where the early Filipinos got the word for their most famous dish. In Spanish cuisine, however, adobo refers to a pickling sauce made with olive oil, vinegar, garlic, thyme, bay leaf, oregano, paprika and salt. The word adobo is also used in Mexican and Caribbean cuisine. The Mexican adobo refers to a piquant red sauce made from ground chilies, herbs and vinegar sold canned or jarred. The Caribbean adobo usually refers to a dry rub of garlic, onion, oregano, salt and pepper.

But the Filipinos’ adobo is the most famous the world over. Filipinos selected their favorite condiments and spices — vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, bay leaves — used them to stew chicken and/or pork, and gave it a Spanish name.

This just goes to show that no matter how many cultures may add to the Filipinos’ range of food cuisine, you can’t keep their culinary identity down.


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Requiem for a champ

Along with Pancho Villa and Filipino Super featherweight slugger Manny Pacquiao,Gabriel “Flash” Elorde, WBC Junior lightweight champion of the 60’s. He was named “The greatest world junior lightweight boxing champion in WBC history” in 1974. The junior lightweight division has since then evolved into what is now the super featherweight in the World Boxing Council.

According to Wikipedia, Elorde was the WBC Junior lightweight (Super featherweight) champion from March 20, 1960 until June 15, 1967, making him the longest-reigning world junior lightweight champion.

“In the fascinating history of boxing, Gabriel ‘Flash’ Elorde stands out as the greatest of all time, not merely for his incredible skill and raw courage but even more so for the exemplary human qualities that shone like a beacon among the heroes of our time,” Ronnie Natahanielsz wrote about the boxing champ. Elorde had 44 title fights, 15 of which were for world titles.

The International Boxing Hall of Fame (IBHOF) regards Elorde as the best fighter not only in the Philippines, but in the Asia-Pacific region as well. Elorde and Villa are the only two Filipino fighters to join the ranks of IBHOF in New York.

Born on March 25, 1935 in the farmers’ town of Bogo,Cebu in the Philippines, Gabriel “Flash” Elorde was the youngest in a family of sixteen.

Elorde was no stranger to poverty. Ronnie Natahanielsz, a close friend of Elorde, wrote in an article that “Elorde worked as a pier hand, a dishwasher on an inter-island cargo boat and a pinboy in a bowling alley to punch his way to the world lightweight crown, in the process winning international acclaim and hearts of millions of his countrymen.”

At barely 16 years of age, the famed southpaw became a professional fighter — a champ that cut across the whole spectrum –from bantamweight to lightweight.

At 17, Elorde won the oriental bantamweight title against Horishi Hiroguchi in Tokyo, Japan. He won by unanimous decision with all three Japanese judges scoring the fight in his favor. Elorde has since then earned the respect and admiration of Japanese boxing fans.

In a non-title bout, he outpointed all-time featherweight champion Sandy Saddler in 1955. A 1956 rematch in Cow Palace in San Francisco, this time with Saddler’s featherweight title on the line, left Elorde with a cut eye. He lost the fight TKO on the 13th round. The eminent Carlos P. Romulo, Philippine Ambassador to Washington, told Elorde “you may have lost the fight, but you won the hearts of Americans by your gallantry.”

Although still a ranked contender, Elorde never got another title shot for the rest of the decade. In 1957, Elorde won the Philippine lightweight title over Tommy Romulo and the Orient lightweight belt a month later after beating Hideto Kobayashi of Japan in Nagoya.

In 1960, during the inauguration of Araneta Coliseum (regarded as the Mecca of Philippine sports and entertainment), Elorde won a seventh round knockout victory over Harold Gomes, world junior lightweight champion of the United States.

Elorde was afforded a ticker-tape parade and a courtesy call from President Carlos P. Garcia after the match. The whole nation, including celebrities, ubiquitously rejoiced his victory as world champion.

However, his inevitable decline came in 1966. He lost the oriental lightweight title to Yoshiaki Numata and a rematch with Carlos Ortiz at Madison Square Garden. In June 1967, Elorde lost the world junior lightweight crown to Numata, a title that he held on to for almost seven and a half years.

After he retired, Elorde became a prominent commercial endorser and is fondly remembered for his famous line in a San Miguel Beer commercial –“isang platitong mani” (a saucer of peanuts).

The champ was only 49 years old when he succumbed to lung cancer on January 2, 1985. He retired with a record of 88 wins (33 KOs), 27 losses and 2 draws and a career that spanned for more than ten years.

In 1993, Elorde was enshrined in the Boxing Hall of Fame.


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Lord of the ‘ring’

A SHORT but great life — this is how we can describe legendary Filipino flyweight boxer Pancho Villa.

Born as Francisco Guilledo on August 1, 1901 in Iloilo, his nome de guerre “Pancho Villa” was given to him by Paquito Villa, a Filipino ice plant manager who managed his career along with American boxing promoter Frank E. Churchill (although some reports claim that he adopted his name after the famous Mexican revolutionary). Touted by the Associate Press as the greatest flyweight of the century, Villa was also the first world champion from Asia.

When he was 11 years old, Villa befriended a local boxer and later on went to Manila with him. Later on, the 5’1″ Villa would spar with friends, which attracted the attention of local boxing afficionados. In 1919, Villa had his first professional fight against Kid Castro. In two years, he claimed the Philippine flyweight title from “Terrible Pondong.”

Explosive and unrelenting in the ring, Villa placed the Philippines on the map by defeating the toughest flyweights in the US and Europe. In 1922, he received an invitation from famed boxing promoter Tex Rickard and won his first international fight against Abe Attel Goldstein in Jersey City. He then later on fought and defeated Frankie Genaro the same year. By this time, Villa had caught the attention of boxing aficionados.

Having been in the American phase of his career for only four months, he fought and defeated American flyweight champion Johnny Buff on September 15, 1922 in the 11th round. However, Villa lost his title the following year to Genaro on points that were widely criticized by boxing fans. His defeat to Genaro proved to be the fateful twist in his boxing career. Jimmy Wilde, a Welsh-born boxer and former world flyweight champion had decided to get out of his recent retirement and sought the then vacant world flyweight championship in a fight to be staged in the US. Although Genaro was the logical choice to fight against Wilde, Villa’s growing popularity convinced promoters that the latter would prove to be the better draw.

On June 18, 1923 at the Polo Grounds in New York, Villa was cheered to victory by over 20,000 screaming fans. It only took Villa seven rounds to knock out Wilde — via a crashing right to his jaw.

The death of the king

Being the king of the ring, Villa also lived a lifestyle that is fit for royalty. Rising from rags to riches, he was famous for his magnificent wardrobe, his collection of silk shirts, pearl buttons, gold cufflinks and his royal entourage. He had his own group of servants — one to massage him, another to towel him, a valet to put on his shoes, another to help him to put his trousers, still another to comb his hair, powder his cheeks and spray him with expensive perfumes. Loved for his extravagance, he was adored by Filipinos but was perhaps more idolized as a showman rather than as a boxer.

Although he successfully defended his title several times in the US and the Philippines, and was considered as an invicible force, Villa’s death was outside the kingdom of the ring. During a scheduled non-title fight against Jimmy McLarnin in July 4 1925 at Oakland, Villa’s face became swollen due to an ulcerated tooth. On the morning of his fight, Villa’s tooth was extracted and despite the pain and swelling, he still insisted on going ahead with McLarnin and lost. Three days later, Villa had three more tooth extracted after an infection was discovered. In spite of being advised to rest, Villa went on partying with his friends. His condition worsened and by July 13, 1925, he was rushed to the hospital where it was found out that the infection had spread to his throat. While in surgery, Villa lapsed into a coma and died the following day at the young age of 23.

His fights were legendary, his brief life as colorful. Villa has continued to be one of the greatest fighters in the world. In 1994, he was enshrined into the New York-based International Boxing Hall of Fame, one of the only four Asians. (www.asianjournal.com)

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Pinoys Assimilate Faster

by Momar Visaya/Asianjournal.com

MAKATI CITY – Filipino immigrants have assimilated faster than other ethnic groups in the United States for the last 25 years according to “Measuring Immigrant Assimilation,” a study recently released by a New York-based think tank.

The Manhattan Institute for Policy Research published findings of the report measuring immigrant assimilation based on census and other data to devise an assimilation index to measure the degree of similarity between the United States’ foreign-born and native-born populations.

“This is something unprecedented in US history,” reported author and Duke University Associate Professor of Public Policy Jacob Vigdor said, according to the Washington Post. “It shows that the nation’s capacity to assimilate new immigrants is strong.”

Filipino immigrants scored 49 out of 100 points on the assimilation index, well above the average 28 and falling second only to Canada which scored 53. Cuba followed with 43 points while immigrants from Korea and Vietnam scored 41.

The institute conducted research on immigrants from 10 countries where large numbers of them originate and the list includes China, India, Mexico, El Salvador and Dominican Republic.

It is said that the index provides the most detailed estimates to date of the assimilation levels of immigrant groups in the United States. Noted immigration scholar Stephan Thernstrom called the index, “an invaluable contribution to our understanding of the vital issue of immigrant assimilation.”

Assimilation Index

According to the institute, the index is a quantified measurement based on the comparison between foreign- and native-born people in three categories: economic, cultural, and civic factors.

The index included questions on civic factors, such as rates of US citizenship and service in the military; economic factors, such as earnings and rates of homeownership; and cultural factors, such as English ability and degree of intermarriage with US citizens. The higher the number on a 100-point index, the more an immigrant resembled a US citizen.

Immigrants from the Philippines, Canada, Cuba and Korea scored 100 points in the economic assimilation category. The economic index compares the labor force, educational attainment, and home ownership patterns of the foreign- and native-born.

For cultural assimilation, immigrants from Canada topped the poll with 100 points, with the Philippines and Vietnam following at 72 points, followed by El Salvador and Dominican Republic at 71. This was based on the ability to speak English, the number of marriages with those born in the US, the number of children, and marital status.

Immigrants from China, India, Korea and Vietnam showed a lower degree of cultural assimilation than Filipinos. Filipino immigrants are assimilating to the American society fairly quickly, ranking second in civic assimilation after Vietnamese immigrants.

The authors of the report said civic assimilation is to some extent an “even stronger indicator of immigrants’ intentions than cultural assimilation” as “the choice to become a naturalized citizen, or to serve in the United States military, shows a tangible dedication to this country.”

Immigrants from China, India, and Mexico showed relatively slow rate of assimilation, scoring below the average with 21, 16, and 13 points respectively.

The Mexicans, considered as the largest immigrant group in the United States today, is the least assimilated. This is a report finding that Howard Husock, vice president for policy research at the institute found “striking”.

In his article “The Assimilation Factor,” Husock said, “But the most striking finding is much less positive. The current overall assimilation level for all immigrant groups combined, measured on a scale of zero to 100, is, at 28, lower now than it was during the great immigration wave of the early 20th century, when it never went below 32. What’s more, the immigrant group that is by far the largest is also the least assimilated. On the zero-to-100 scale, Mexicans — 11 million emigrated to America between 1980 and 2006 — score only 13.”

They do assimilate, according to Husock, but “it’s extremely slow”.


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Fit to Stand Trial?: Suspect in Murder of Filipino Hotel Worker to Undergo Evaluation

By Sunantha Mendoza-Quibilan/Asianjournal.com

LOS ANGELES – The man accused of strangling to death a 46-year-old Filipino hotel worker two years ago is set to undergo a second evaluation to determine his competency to stand trial.

Jose A. Torres, 47, who is currently being held on a $1 million bond, turned himself in to authorities on June 30, 2006, hours after police found the body of his former girlfriend and co-worker stuffed in a locker in a small room at the Best Way Inn & Suites (now known as the Days Inn). Her hands and feet were tied with wire, and a wooden cross and flowers were at her feet.

One of the issues in this case has been the mental health of Torres who, upon confessing to the killing of Reynes, had asked for the death penalty. After being arrested, he was placed on suicide watch, and has been held at the Garner Correctional Institution, a Newtown facility for inmates with mental illnesses.

While Torres was found competent to stand trial by a team from the Connecticut State Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services in February 2007, an independent evaluation by psychiatrist Kenneth M. Selig initiated by Torres’ attorney revealed “differences.” “Competence” in legal terms means that a defendant is capable of understanding the proceedings and assisting his own defense.

“I am unable at this time to conclude that they [the findings of the mental health department] are wrong, but I remain convinced that he (Torres) is mentally retarded and may be incompetent,” Selig wrote in a letter to the court in March 2007.

He recommended that Torres take a neuropsychological test with a bilingual doctor, which is under way, and that Torres also undergo another competency evaluation.

The second evaluation was requested by defense lawyer Peter E. Scillieri, an attorney from the public defender’s office, on Wednesday during Torres’ appearance in New London Superior Court. Judge Susan B. Handy granted the request, with no objections from the prosecutor, Lawrence Tytla.

The victim, Reynes, was on a temporary work visa as an accountant, although her co-workers said she was in fact working in the hotel’s laundry. She had been living and working at the hotel since 2003 and was supporting a husband and two children in the Philippines at the time of her death.

The owners of the motel have paid a settlement to the family of Reynes, according to James Williams, the family’s attorney. A confidentiality agreement prohibits Williams from divulging specifics, but it appears that the settlement was negotiated before the family filed a lawsuit.

Williams said that he will continue to serve as the representative of Reynes’ family throughout Torres’ trial. “The family still has a very significant interest in making sure this thing is seen through and handled appropriately,” he said.“We want to see justice served.”


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Filipino Tourists Hurt in Pasadena Crash: 7-year-old boy still in critical condition

by Rene Villaroman/Asianjournal.com

PASADENA – A 7-year-old Filipino boy was critically injured and his father was seriously hurt when a Toyota Corolla jumped the curb and hit the victims while they were crossing Colorado Blvd. at Fair Oaks. The Toyota Corolla was subsequently involved in a collision with a Nissan Altima.The Filipino family had only arrived in the US hours before the tragedy. Old Town Pasadena was their first sightseeing destination.

“The child was in “full arrest when he was taken to Huntington Memorial Hospital last night. The accident happened at 6:30 pm.Pasadena Fire Department Spokeswoman Lisa Derderian announced.

Jose de la Rosa, 30, father of the boy, suffered major injuries. They were all rushed to Huntington Memorial Hospital.

Asian Journal contacted Huntington Memorial on Friday, and spokeswoman Andrea Stradling said that the boy is in critical condition.

“The father is seriously injured and the mother is fine,” Stradling added. “For privacy reasons, we can’t release any more information,” she said. “The family and the relatives of the victims do not wish to speak with the media. But if there is a further need to release more information, we will call a press conference.”

Pasadena Police Department Spokeswoman Janet Pope-Givens told Asian Journal that Fire, Police and Traffic personnel were at the scene of the accident in one minute.

“This is a tragic accident, and the department is conducting an intensive investigation,” Pope-Givens said.

As of press time, no charges have been lodged against the driver of the vehicle.

“The result of the investigation will be forwarded to the District Attorney and the Prosecutor’s Office by the Pasadena Police Department, which is headed by Chistopher Vicino,” Pope-Givens said.


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Filipino Medical Workers Set to Get $3M in Back Wages

by Cynthia De Castro/Asianjournal.com

THE US Labor Department charged on Tuesday a US medical staffing firm with violating a foreign labor program after it allegedly owed almost three million dollars in back wages to its Filipino workers.

The New York-based Advanced Professional Marketing Inc. (APMI) and its president, Marissa Beck, were charged by the department with violating provisions of an immigration law that authorized employers to bring non-immigrant workers into the United States under the H-1B program.

An investigation by the department discovered that APMI has underpaid 156 H-1B guest workers from the Philippines employed as physical therapists in hospitals and other medical facilities in the New York metropolitan area. The department directed APMI and Beck to return almost three million dollars in back wages to the Filipino workers.

The department sent a “determination letter” enumerating the results of the probe on March 11, assessing penalties totaling 512,000 dollars for the alleged violations by the company.

Advanced Professional Marketing Inc and Beck could request a hearing on the issue before a US Labor Department administrative law judge within 15 days, the statement said.

The H-1B program permits employers to temporarily hire foreign workers for jobs in the United States in professional occupations such as computer programmers, engineers, physicians and teachers. However, the H-1B workers must be paid at least the same wage rates as are paid to US workers who perform the same types of work or the prevailing wages in the areas of intended employment.


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Asian Contemporary Art Fair Hits New York City: Filipino Painter’s Work Highlighted in Seoul-based Gallery

by Momar Visaya/Asianjournal.com

NEW YORK — The first-ever Asian Contemporary Art Fair debuted at Pier 92 on the Hudson River from November 8 to 12 and enticed more than 20,000 guests during the four-day affair.

The fair featured 76 exhibitors from 10 different countries and the top galleries from the international art market. Hundreds of artists, both young and old, from different Asian countries such as China, India, Japan, South Korea and Vietnam participated.

In the midst of them all stood Leslie de Chavez, the lone Filipino painter, represented by Arario, an art gallery based in Seoul.

De Chavez’s work, alongside Korean artist Hyung Koo Kang’s dominated Arario’s booth at the exhibit. Kang’s huge, monochromatic portraits featured fellow artists, such as Auguste Rodin, which was one of the paintings on display. De Chavez’s work, depicting women, shared the limelight.

De Chavez’s paintings focus on “unique Filipino scenes, culture and history,” according to Jeeah Choi, Arario Gallery’s curator.

“His paintings are dark — literally, since he begins each work by painting the canvas black,” Choi explained.

Two of his paintings at the fair are unusual, because, as the New York Sun described it as “mildly — and, no doubt, ironically — pornographic”.

One was called “Lilly”, a schoolgirl, wearing a T-shirt with an image of Andy Warhol’s “Marilyn”. The racy painting had Lilly pulling up her skirt to reveal her lacy underwear.

The other one, called “Asian Wave”, shows a pair of naked women with the words “here 2 stay”.

“Lilly” and “Asian Wave”, both oil on canvas measuring 195 by 150 centimeters, cost $18,000 each (16,000,000 KRW (Korean won) or 774,000 Philippine pesos).

A third one was slightly hidden from view. It is called Unang Dalaw (First Visit) and in the market for $15,000.

De Chavez held a solo exhibit earlier this year in Beijing and Seoul where most of his paintings were sold. Next year, Arario will bring a solo exhibition of his new work to Switzerland. Plans were also being made to bring some of his paintings to the newly opened Arario Gallery, a 20,000-square-foot space on West 25th Street.

De Chavez is currently based in the Philippines. He stayed in Korea for a year as part of the Neo-Emerging Artists residency. He graduated cum laude from the University of the Philippines with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.


Six life-size statues of Mao Zedong made of shiny stainless steel by Guangci greet visitors at the exhibition’s entrance. Ken Johnson of the New York Times noted his reappearance in works by some of the artists in the exhibit was noted by.

“The vaguely mocking way he is so frequently represented in contemporary Chinese art hints at a deeper post-traumatic anxiety and, perhaps, an urge to exorcise him,” Johnson said.

Billed as the first international art fair to focus exclusively on contemporary Asian art, the exhibit had collectors, artists, dealers and art-lovers during the four-day affair.

There was also a special 26-artist group exhibition organized by the independent curators Eric C. Shiner and Lilly Wei called Simulasian: Refiguring ‘Asia’ for the 21st Century. It aimed to examine “the ways in which today’s artists are questioning, and enlarging, the definition of ‘Asian-ness.’” (www.asianjournal.com)

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