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SF Fil-Ams pay tribute to Sen. Ninoy Aquino at Consulate event

Balitang America - Sat, 08/22/2015 - 06:32

SAN FRANCISCO – It has been 32 years since the death of Senator Ninoy Aquino — a death that ignited a people power revolution that ousted then President Ferdinand Marcos.

Kababayans in San Francisco marked this day of remembrance with a mass and get-together at the Philippine Consulate.

Members of the Aquino family, Philippine government officials, and various members of the community were in attendance.

“The significance of Ninoy is that we have to remember what happened 32 years ago so that the mistakes will not be made or we could do something faster and quicker if something happens again like losing our freedom and democracy,” said Lupita Kashiwahara, Ninoy’s sister.

“When it happened I always look back and realize that Ninoy was the spark. Without Ninoy, none of that would have happened. But others picked up the torch after Ninoy’s death and really awakened the Filipino people,” said Ninoy’s brother-in-law Ken Kashiwahara. “Ninoy is the one who restored freedom and democracy in the Philippines. He’s the one.”

Consul General Henry Bensurto Jr., a top adviser in the West Philippine Sea dispute with China, says he draws inspiration from the late senator who he says always did what was right and good for the Philippines.

“Our policy on the West Philippine Sea is not to create an enemy of China,” said Bensurto. “It is about standing up for our rights. This is part of the legacy of Ninoy. Sometimes it can be a lonely sad cause but sometimes standing up for what’s right means going against the grain.”

Lupita also says that her brother’s patriotism should resonate to all kababayans.

“Let us all remember we are Filipino, first and foremost, and that we should love our country above all else,” she said.

You can contact Rommel Conclara at [email protected] for more information.

Categories: Pinoy Migration

Pinay missionary missing in Massachusetts

Balitang America - Sat, 08/22/2015 - 06:18

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – Police in Lynn, Mass. are asking for the public’s help to find a Filipina missionary who went missing last Tuesday.

Joanna Soriano, 19, is visiting the US on a religious trip with her sister Jessica.

Police say she was last seen at a Walgreens pharmacy on Joyce St. in the city of Lynn.

She’s described as 5 feet 2 inches tall, 105 pounds, and with long black hair. She was last seen wearing a brown long-sleeve shirt, black pants, and black sneakers.

Anyone with information on Joanna Soriano’s whereabouts can call the Lynn Police Department at (781) 595-2000.

Categories: Pinoy Migration

Fil-Canadian festival puts creative twist on street food favorites

Balitang America - Sat, 08/22/2015 - 05:51

By Rachelle Cruz, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

TORONTO, Canada- The popular Kultura Filipino Arts Festival celebrated its 10-year anniversary at the heart of Yonge and Dundas Square, and capped off with the Philippine Street Eats Competition.

Categories: Pinoy Migration

Donald Trump: Boston beating is ‘terrible’

Balitang America - Sat, 08/22/2015 - 05:37

By Lorenzo Ferrigno, CNN

(CNN)Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump said Friday he “would never condone violence” after Boston police said two men beat a homeless man while making anti-immigrant statements.

“Donald Trump was right,” the two men said, according to police, as they beat the man with a metal pipe and then urinated on him. “All these illegals need to be deported.”

Trump tweeted on Friday that the incident was “terrible.”

“We need energy and passion, but we must treat each other with respect,” Trump said.

Trump is dominating the Republican presidential race with his controversial immigration proposals, which including building a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border, revoking citizenship of babies born in the U.S. to undocumented parents and deporting undocumented immigrants.

During a press conference earlier this week, Trump said that while he hadn’t heard about the Boston incident, it would “be a shame.” But he didn’t stop there, as he quickly went to applaud those who echo his views.

“I will say, the people that are following me are very passionate,” Trump said. “They love this country, they want this country to be great again.”

The two men, identified by police as Scott Leader, 38, and his brother, Steve Leader, 30, are being held in jail without bond. Authorities say they were on their way home from a Red Sox game when they came upon the victim sleeping near a train station, according to a police report.

Witnesses told police that the two men beat the victim with a metal pole repeatedly and walked away laughing, according to a press release from the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office.

The elder Leader brother, Scott, later told police they attacked him because he was “homeless,” “Hispanic,” and an “illegal immigrant.”

The victim told police that he awoke to the men urinating on him. He was brought to Boston Medical Center to be treated for a broken nose and serious bruising across his ribs, among other injuries, the press release said.

The victim is not undocumented, according to a Social Security number for the man listed in the police report but blacked out for privacy reasons. Social Security numbers are issued to U.S. citizens and authorized workers, according to the Social Security Administration website.

The Leader brothers, face a number of assault and battery charges as well as gross lewdness, according to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office. They are expected back in court on Sept. 3.

Calls to their lawyers were not immediately returned Thursday.

Categories: Pinoy Migration

Undocumented youth unfazed by anti-immigrant GOP race

Balitang America - Sat, 08/22/2015 - 05:00

LOS ANGELES – Despite Donald Trump and other GOP presidential candidates’ anti-undocumented immigrant stances, some kababayans in Los Angeles are more committed than ever to their cause.


Categories: Pinoy Migration

Fil-Am wheelchair racer wins gold at Parapan Am Games

Balitang America - Fri, 08/21/2015 - 07:41

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – Four-time Paralympic gold medalist Raymond Martin did it again at the 2015 Parapan America Games in Toronto, Canada last Saturday.

The Filipino American wheelchair racer took home three gold medals in the T-52 100, 400, and 1500 meters track and field races.

Martin also set Parapan Am records in the T-52 400 and 1500 meter races.

With a 2015 IPC Marathon world title already won this year, Martin looks forward to defend five world titles at the IPC Athletics World Championship in Doha, Qatar in October.

Martin says he will keep working on his favorite race, the 1500 meters, so he could get better and better.

Team USA got a total of 40 gold medals, placing third overall.

Brazil came in first place with 109 gold medals and Canada with 50 gold medals.

Categories: Pinoy Migration

“Pixels” star Adam Sandler talks about aliens and video games

Balitang America - Fri, 08/21/2015 - 07:29

Adam Sandler first made a name in Saturday Night Live and went on to become one of the most well-known comedians of our time. Yong Chavez had a chat with the funny man about aliens and video games in tonight’s Balitang Showbiz.

Categories: Pinoy Migration

LeBron thrilled to be back in Philippines, hopes to inspire kids

Balitang America - Fri, 08/21/2015 - 07:12

By Camille B. Naredo,

MANILA, Philippines – NBA superstar LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers drew a rapturous welcome from his fans and journalists at the House of Rise in Mandaluyong City on Thursday, where he formally started his “Rise Beyond Belief” tour.

James, who is making his second visit to Manila, said he is delighted to be back after getting a warm welcome from Filipino basketball fans when he first visited in 2013 for his “Witness History” tour.

“You guys always welcome me and my guys and my friends with open arms, so it’s always a pleasure,” James said during a brief press conference.

This time around, James is in town to serve as a mentor of sorts to young basketball players who are participating in Nike’s “Rise” program, and the four-time NBA Most Valuable Player hopes to impart some valuable messages to the contestants.

“I think, it’s more than teaching them the skill sets,” he said. “It’s about the inspiration that comes behind it. To tell them about the game, and it’s up to them to use that – the words that I tell them, and to use those to better themselves.”

James hopes that the “Rise” competitors and other Filipino basketball players will draw inspiration not just from the success that he has experienced in the NBA, but also from how he has overcome the challenges of his childhood to become one of the biggest sporting icons in the world.

“I think my story speaks for itself,” he said. “I was a kid who believed that I could make my dream become a reality. It’s going to take a lot of hard work and sacrifice, but I loved the game so much that I wouldn’t let anybody tell me what I can’t do.”

James also said that he “relates to these kids” who were picked by former Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes to take part in an intensive six-week training program wherein they focused on nothing but basketball.

The two-time NBA champion added that he is thrilled to again perform in front of the Filipino fans, who are expected to pack the Mall of Asia Arena Thursday night.

“I’m excited to be around those fans again. It was an exciting event two years ago. And I’m looking forward for the kids to get an opportunity to play in front of a crowd like that,” he said. “I think they should take that and soak it in, give as much as they can, but have fun as well.”

Categories: Pinoy Migration

Boyfriend guilty in murder of Fil-Am single mom

Balitang America - Fri, 08/21/2015 - 05:18

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – A Tennessee court has found 22-year-old Joshua Glenn Black guilty of premeditated murder, first-degree felony murder, and two counts of especially aggravated kidnapping in the 2014 stabbing death of 37-year-old Filipino American Nancy Lowry.

According to authorities, police responded to a 911 call on the early morning of April 23 to find Lowry covered in a pool of blood on the floor of her apartment.

The police also found Black in the apartment, covered in blood, as well.

Black did not attempt to flee the scene and admitted to a detective that he stabbed Lowry up to six times.

According to Stephanie Ingersoll of the Leaf Chronicle, Black’s attorney, Charles Bloodworth, told jurors in his closing arguments that this murder was not premeditated and that what happened was simply in “the heat of an argument.”

Bloodworth said Black and Lowry were in a romantic relationship and his client became upset when she did not want to be with him anymore.

Nancy’s brother Tom Lowry told Balitang America that he was surprised with the evidence and witnesses Black’s lawyer used in defense of his client, but was relieved with the verdict.

“Justice was served for the Lowry family yesterday,” said Tom. “We got more than what we expected and I think that will start the healing process for the family.”

Black faces up to two life sentences and is due back in court on Oct. 16 for sentencing.

Lowry was a single mother who leaves behind four children.

The family has set up a Gofundme account for the children’s trust fund.

You can contact Rommel Conclara at [email protected] for more information.

Categories: Pinoy Migration

Filipino cultural school celebrates its 50th anniversary

Balitang America - Fri, 08/21/2015 - 05:13

BELLFLOWER, Calif. – After an eight-week summer course, students at the Filipino Cultural School in Bellflower got to show off a new sense of Pinoy pride and knowledge.



Categories: Pinoy Migration

Oil rig company charged in explosion that killed 3 Filipinos

Balitang America - Fri, 08/21/2015 - 05:10

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – Federal prosecutors have filed criminal charges against Black Elk Energy for an oil rig platform explosion in 2012 that killed three Filipino workers and injured others.

Subcontracted Filipino workers Avelino Tajonera, Elroy Corporal, and Jerome Malagapo died in the explosion while other workers were burned and injured.

Black Elk Energy’s initial investigation blamed the explosion on the contractors.

The six-count felony charges allege that Black Elk Energy is to blame for the Nov. 26, 2012 Gulf of Mexico platform explosion.

The indictment claims that a construction supervisor who allegedly observed a spill on the rig failed to shut down operations.

Prosecutors say that was a critical error because a few hours later, a crew trying to weld on the cut pipe ignited the oil vapors and resulted to the explosion.

An initial hearing is set on Sept. 21 at the eastern district court in New Orleans.

Categories: Pinoy Migration

Trump, Bush trade blows at competing town halls

Balitang America - Fri, 08/21/2015 - 04:43

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – It was a town hall throw-down in New Hampshire for GOP presidential rivals Donald Trump and Jeb Bush. Both traded insults in an evening of sparring.


Categories: Pinoy Migration

Fil-Am Hollywood star Hailee Steinfeld pursues musical ambitions with “Love Myself”

Balitang America - Thu, 08/20/2015 - 07:55

An Oscar nominee, a box-office draw, and now recording star: all that at only 18 years old. Yong Chavez tells us more about Hailee Steinfeld’s latest Hollywood project.

Categories: Pinoy Migration

Quebec’s first Pinoy parliamentary candidate vows to help immigrants

Balitang America - Thu, 08/20/2015 - 07:49

By Krsytle Alarcon, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

MONTREAL, Canada – The heat is ramping up in Canada as candidates campaign for the election in October. Filipino Canadians are also vying for a spot to represent the country. A Pinoy candidate in Quebec hoping to get a seat in Parliament says he’ll help families and immigrants if he wins.


Categories: Pinoy Migration

Pinoy Panawagan – Dual Citizen Child

Balitang America - Thu, 08/20/2015 - 06:52

Our viewers Anjie and Ben ask Atty. Lou a question regarding their US-born child.

Need legal advice? Send your questions to [email protected] or call 1-800-999-9096.

Categories: Pinoy Migration

CNN/ORC Poll: Donald Trump now competitive in general election

Balitang America - Thu, 08/20/2015 - 06:45


Washington (CNN)Since announcing his campaign in late June, Donald Trump has quickly leapt to the top of the Republican field, leading recent polls nationally, in Iowa and in New Hampshire. And now, for the first time in CNN/ORC polling, his gains among the Republican Party have boosted him enough to be competitive in the general election.

The poll finds Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton ahead of Trump by just 6 points, a dramatic tightening since July. Trump is the one of three Republican candidates who have been matched against Clinton multiple times in CNN/ORC polling to significantly whittle the gap between himself and the Democratic frontrunner. He trailed Clinton by 16 points in a July poll, and narrowed that gap by boosting his standing among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (from 67% support in July to 79% now), men (from 46% in July to 53% now) and white voters (from 50% to 55%).

But Clinton still holds the cards overall in the race for the White House, leading four Republican contenders: She tops Trump and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker by 6 points each among registered voters, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush by 9 points, and businesswoman Carly Fiorina by 10 points.

Clinton maintains this edge in the general election race despite a growing perception that by using a personal email account and server while serving as secretary of state she did something wrong. About 56% say so in the new poll, up from 51% in March. About 4-in-10 (39%) now say she did not do anything wrong by using personal email. Among Democrats, the share saying she did not do anything wrong has dipped from 71% in March to 63% now, and just 37% of independents say she did not do wrong by using the personal email system.

And positive impressions of Clinton continue to fade. Among all adults, the new poll finds 44% hold a favorable view of her, 53% an unfavorable one, her most negative favorability rating since March 2001. A majority of women voters have a positive take on Clinton, 52% view her favorably, and her support among women appears to be the foundation for her general election advantages.

But the fading numbers haven’t hurt her against some GOP contenders. Clinton has her biggest lead over Fiorina, topping her 53% to 43% among registered voters. She leads Bush by a nearly identical margin, 52% to 43%. And Clinton tops both Trump (51% to 45%) and Walker (52% to 46%) by 6 points each.

All of those leads are boosted by sizable gender gaps.

Against Bush, Clinton leads 59% to 37% among women, while Bush holds an advantage among men, 51% Bush to 44% Clinton. Against Fiorina, the only woman among the major candidates for the Republican Party’s presidential nominations, women break 60% for Clinton to 39% for Fiorina, while men are about evenly divided, 48% for Fiorina, 46% for Clinton. The largest gender gap — 34 points — comes in a match-up between Clinton and Trump. Women favor Clinton by 23 points, 60% to 37%, while men break in Trump’s favor by 11 points, 53% to 42%.

At the same time, Clinton’s lead in the race for the Democratic nomination for president is narrowing, and the new poll suggests the best way for the former secretary of state to shift the momentum would be for Vice President Joe Biden to decide to sit this one out. Most Democrats, though, say they’d like to see Biden make a run for the White House.

Overall, 47% of Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters say they support Clinton for the party’s nomination. That’s down 9 points since July, and marks the first time her support has dipped below 50% in national CNN/ORC polling on the race.

At the same time, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has climbed 10 points since July and holds second place in the race with 29%. Biden follows at 14%, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley is at 2%, former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb has 1% and less than 1% back former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee.

And though support for Clinton’s nomination bid has slipped, she is the candidate most trusted by Democrats on four top issues, and remains the candidate to beat in general election match-ups.

Should Biden decide not to make a run for the presidency, his supporters would largely flock to Clinton rather than Sanders, boosting her numbers. With Biden’s backers re-allocated to their second choice, Clinton holds 56%, Sanders 33%, with support for O’Malley, Webb and Chafee unchanged.

Among those Democratic voters who are “extremely enthusiastic” about voting for president next year, it’s already essentially a two-person race. Clinton is the choice of 50% of such voters, with Sanders jumping to 38% among that group, Biden at 6%, and O’Malley at 2%.

Still, most Democrats say they do want Biden to make a go of it: 53% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters say they think Biden should run, 45% that he should stay out. Even among those who currently support Clinton, 50% say they think Biden should run.

Democratic voters aren’t necessarily convinced a Biden presidency would be better than a Clinton one, though: 35% say Biden would do a worse job as president than Clinton, 27% a better one and 38% say there wouldn’t be any difference between the two. Those who think Biden should run are more apt to say he’d do a better job than a worse one (41% better vs. 18% worse) but a sizable 41% say there ultimately wouldn’t be any difference between the two.

Fewer see Sanders as equivalent to Clinton, more say he’d do a worse job. Overall, 37% of Democratic voters think Sanders would do a worse job as president than Clinton, 31% that he’d do a better job, and 29% that there would be no difference between the two. That shifts among the party’s liberal voters, 41% of whom think Sanders would do a better job than Clinton, 34% think he would do worse than Clinton and 22% that there would be no difference.

Sanders has boosted his favorability rating in the last month, 35% of adults and 58% of Democratic voters have a positive impression of the senator, that’s up from 23% among adults and 36% among Democratic voters since July.

When Democratic voters are asked which candidate they trust to handle the economy, race relations, foreign policy and the income gap between rich and poor Americans, Clinton tops the list each time. Her biggest advantage comes on foreign policy, where 61% of registered Democrats say they trust Clinton over the rest of the field. Biden follows at 22%, and just 9% say Sanders is their top choice here. On the economy, 45% say Clinton would best handle it, 26% choose Sanders and 21% Biden.

Sanders fares best on the income gap, with 34% saying he would do the best job handling that issue, 7 points behind Clinton’s 41%. Though the margin is wider among those with incomes under $50,000 annually, 49% of Democratic voters in that group favor Clinton to handle the income gap, 28% Sanders.

On race relations, an issue that both top Democrats have addressed directly in interactions with Black Lives Matter activists in recent weeks, Clinton tops Sanders by nearly a 2-to-1 margin, 50% choose her while 26% say they trust Sanders most, 14% Biden. Democratic voters are broadly positive toward the Black Lives Matter movement, 59% have a positive take on it, 17% unfavorable, and 24% haven’t heard enough or don’t have an opinion.

The CNN/ORC Poll was conducted by telephone August 13-16 among a random national sample of 1,001 adults. The sample included 897 registered voters, 358 of whom are registered voters who are Democrats or independents who lean toward the Democratic Party. For results among those Democratic voters, the margin of sampling error is plus or minus 5 percentage points. For results among registered voters it is 3.5 points, and among all adults, 3 points.

Categories: Pinoy Migration

Armed Filipino arrested outside Disneyland

Balitang America - Thu, 08/20/2015 - 06:21

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – Disneyland and the Anaheim Police Department have put out an internal and citywide all-points bulletin and are on the lookout for a Filipino man who allegedly attempted a mass shooting spree at the happiest place on Earth.

Filipino Percival Agoncillo of San Mateo, Calif. was arrested last month outside the Disneyland main resort entrance in Anaheim after visitors reported a suspicious a man with the gun.

When officers reached the 44-year-old Agoncillo, they found that his gun was not only loaded, he was also carrying two magazines of ammunition.

The incident happened shortly before the nightly fireworks show, though Agoncillo never made it inside the park itself.

While authorities are trying to find a motive, reports say Agoncillo may have heard voices telling him to shoot people.

Agoncillo is out on a $20,000 bond and is due back in court on Aug. 27.


Categories: Pinoy Migration

Vina Morales to mark 30th year in showbiz with new album, concert

Balitang America - Thu, 08/20/2015 - 06:10

SECAUCUS, NJ – Thousands of people flocked to the 17th annual Fiesta in America at the Meadowlands Expo Center in Secaucus, NJ to celebrate Filipino culture and pride.

It’s also a Philippine trade show that promotes and connects Filipino American businesses to the community.

This years’ TFC Hour was headlined by “The Other Concert Queen” Vina Morales.

“Ilang beses na ba ako nakapunta dito sa New Jersey? Maraming beses na,” Morales said. “And I’m so happy na ngayon marami ring tao na dumalo kaya excited ako. It’s always like parang first time din na nagsho-show dito sa New Jersey.”

Known to many fans as “Cecilia,” Vina continues to play that role in “Nasaan Ka Ng Kailangan Kita”, — a kapamilya favorite teleserye now on its extended run on The Filipino Channel.

“So nasanay na rin akong tawagin nila akong Cecilia. So I’m sure pag may bagong teleserye ibang pangalan na naman ang itatawag nila sa akin,” she said. “Ibig sabihin yung mga kapamilya natin they always support the TFC shows.”

To celebrate her 30th year in show business in 2016, Vina is getting ready to record a new music album with Star Records.

Vina said, “Nagmeeting na kami, mga kanta, magrerecording na lang ako within this year and we also have a plan to do a concert next year, a big concert.”

You may contact Don Tagala at [email protected] for more information.

Categories: Pinoy Migration

Pinoy care home owners join push to improve industry’s image

Balitang America - Thu, 08/20/2015 - 05:53

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – Care home owners met with officials from the U.S. Department of Labor to ensure proper knowledge of state and federal labor laws.

6beds Incorporated is a California-based non-profit organization composed of many Filipino care home owners whose goal is to promote safe and affordable care for seniors and the disabled.

“This was a historic event today,” said 6Beds Southern California President Ron Simpson, MDA, Ph.D. “It never happened before. It shows the relationship and the respect that both federal and state labor has for 6Beds as an organization and what we have accomplished in the last year.”

“In one location at one time we had over a hundred members ask those intricate questions without any bias,” said 6Beds Southern California Vice-President Elizabeth Hengstler. “There were six different people between federal and state here asking questions that they’re kind of afraid to and remedy some of those issues and concerns that we have in this industry.”

In the past Balitang America has reported on investigations of care home facilities that were found in violation of labor laws that have resulted in thousands of dollars in back wages.

“What we saw historically in this industry is that business owners just pay a flat salary for all hours worked,” said Michael Eastwood, Assistant Director of the U.S. Labor Department Wage and Hour Division. “They didn’t keep track of the hours people worked. They didn’t pay the overtime and they didn’t pay the minimum wage. There are significant changes that are happening within the industry as business owners actually realize that they do have to follow the federal and state labor laws and what we’ve seen in 6beds and other organizations are helping us in to educate the business community on what those changes are.”

6beds members say that because of the on-going relationship and training with the labor department, more facilities are up to date.

“Many of us have started really doing it that’s why the latest news from the auditors is that they are now finding out more and more of us are being in compliance already,” said care home owner Fernando Nestor Uy Jr.

Moving forward, 6beds, in collaboration with the state and federal labor, plan to hold more training sessions for more care home owners throughout California to ensure compliance.

Categories: Pinoy Migration

Labor groups looking forward to US elections at APALA convention

Balitang America - Thu, 08/20/2015 - 05:02

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - When it comes to election season, one of the most influential bodies is the labor groups — an endorsement that carries the weight of as many as 12 million members.

Categories: Pinoy Migration