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Updated: 18 min 10 sec ago

LA activists call for PNoy impeachment following SONA

Wed, 07/30/2014 - 03:55

By Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

July 29, 2014

LOS ANGELES – Activists took to the streets of Los Angeles to voice disapproval for Philippine President Benigno Aquino III’s most recent State of the Nation Address (SONA).

The color theme for the protest outside the Philippine Consulate was peach. Activists called for the president’s impeachment amid what they called a failure to address corruption issues.

“We also recognize his impeachment will not solve everything. It doesn’t address the root causes or root problems of the Filipino people. Corruption is just one of them. But we know the power of the people to organize, to be in the streets, to call on the impeachment of President Aquino will be one victory,” said Bayan USA regional coordinator Theresa Jaramilla.

Alex Montances of the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns said, “We really lost trust in the Philippine government and the Aquino administration, especially because Aquino said he’s supposed to be fighting corruption. Yet in his own administration, even with him and DAP, we are seeing incredible corruption”.

Aquino’s fifth SONA comes as the Supreme Court has ruled the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) partly unconstitutional.

However, Aquino continued to argue that the DAP program has helped improve the economy and the lives of many Filipinos.

“Stating that the ruling of the Supreme Court he did not agree with it, shows that he’s still willing to defend the presidential pork barrel. He’s still willing to defend a system of corruption,” added Jaramilla.

Two impeachment complaints have been filed against the president over DAP.

While many of the alleged corruption involve money, activists also blame President Aquino for another type of corruption, one that costs human lives – alleged extrajudicial killings and kidnappings.

Activists claim that Aquino has not only lagged in prosecuting past administrations for human rights violations, but that another 170 suspected political killings have taken place since he took office in 2010.

Categories: Pinoy Migration

Winter Olympian arrives in LA to train for figure skating competition

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 07:16

July 28, 2014

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – The ice prince is back.

Winter Olympian Michael Martinez arrived in Los Angeles on Sunday night with his mother and brother.

Martinez will resume his US training in California as well as New Jersey in preparation for October’s Grand Prix in Chicago.

Martinez recently signed a P9 million a year sponsorship with ShoeMart before he left the Philippines.

“It feels great to be back here, kasi naka train na ako and learn the new quad,” said Martinez.

Categories: Pinoy Migration

Online makeover for Mango Tours website

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 07:08

July 28, 2014

A Filipino travel agency gets an online makeover to better serve its customers in the high tech age.

Categories: Pinoy Migration

Philippines’ biggest rock voices of the ’90s banding together

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 07:03

By Yong Chavez, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

July 28, 2014

A special treat is in store this weekend for Filipino rock music lovers of the ’90s. Yong Chavez takes us behind the scenes as the musicians of “Mga Bokalista ng mga Banda ng Dekada Nubenta” get ready for their big show in Los Angeles.

Categories: Pinoy Migration


Tue, 07/29/2014 - 07:00

July 28, 2014

Atty Lou joins us in the studio to answer three immigration questions from our viewers.

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

Categories: Pinoy Migration

ISYU RESULTS – July 28, 2014

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 06:55



Categories: Pinoy Migration

Filipino golfers take home top prizes in US tournament

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 06:54

By Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

July 28, 2014

GLENDALE, Calif. – There were big wins for the Philippines this past week in the amateur golf world, but none were bigger than the victory that took place in Arizona last Saturday.

The Philippines’ Princess Mary Superal won the most coveted amateur golf title – the US Golf Association Junior Girl’s World Championship – beating Mexico’s Marijosse Navarro in an overtime finale.

Balitang America talked to soft-spoken Superal at the Callaway Junior World Championships where she placed tenth place, days before she went to Arizona for the US Girl’s Championship.

“Sana na nalo hopefully,” she said. “Hopefully.”

Princess went on to become queen of amateur golf’s biggest tournament.

The happiest place on earth was packed with happy Filipinos as Filipinos won big at the Veritas Junior Golf World Championships in California.

After four days of play, medals were given to 13 Filipino golfers at downtown Disneyland.

Four of the medals were gold.

“Siempre exhausted,” said Carl Corpus, who placed first in the 12-year-old boy’s division, “Pero natutuwa parin ako kasi from two down na habolan yung kalaban ko, so nagging champion.”

“Nakaka pressure din kasi, it’s international competition,” said Richnell Albano, who placed second in the 14-year-old boy’s division.

The tournament lasted all last week, with matches taking place in Pasadena.

The youngest winner, Andrew Chua, took home gold in the seven-year-old boy’s division.

All three medals in the girl’s 13-year-old division went to Filipinos: Harmie Constantino, Ashia Nocum, and Kayla Nocum.

“It feels great,” said Harmie Constantino, who placed first in the 13-year-old girl’s division, “Great siempre kasi it’s all of us.”

The Veritas tournament, which brought in over 300 international contestants, has become an annual celebration for some of the Philippines’ top golf prodigies while Constantino captured her second gold in three years.

Ten-year-old Annika Pineda-Cayabyab has now won gold three years in a row.

For many young golfers these stateside wins are a ticket to bigger things, while the younger ones are eyeing shots at the Olympic runs in the near future.

Superal’s skills have earned her a college scholarship in Alabama.

Categories: Pinoy Migration

Aquino asks nation for support during SONA

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 05:40

By Balitang America Staff, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

July 28, 2014

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – President Bengino Aquino III gave an emotional plea to the Filipino people to trust its government.

President Aquino choked up as he talked about how his parents fought for democracy and how he would not let his critics and detractors take away from his administration’s achievements.

“Wala pa tayo sa puwesto, inaatake na tayo,” said the president. “Sanay na tayong sinalubong na negatibong komentarismo sa almusal, pang-aalipusta sa pananghalian, insulto sa hapunan, may intriga pa bilang midnight snack.”

During his State of the Nation Address on Monday in Manila, Aquino called on the nation to support his reforms as he faces his most challenging times in office.

The Supreme Court recently declared parts of his P145 billion peso economic stimulus fund illegal.

Aquino stressed economic gains through his Disbursement Acceleration Program or DAP, saying it provided over 220,000 students with scholarship to the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority or TESDA.

Aquino says more than 60 percent of TESDA graduates are now employed. He says an additional 1.65 million Filipinos were able to find jobs as of April 2014.

President Aquino also praised various infrastructure gains during his administration saying that it was able to sign and award projects worth P62 billion from 2011 to 2014, which included the building of roads, schools and airports.

Aquino also boasted of his administration’s speedy relief and rescue efforts to three major disasters: the Zamboanga City siege in September, the 7.2-magnitude quake in Bohol in October, and the super typhoon Yolanda in November.

Categories: Pinoy Migration

Fil-Ams stage ‘People’s SONA’ in New York

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 05:00

By Don Tagala, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

July 28, 2014

WOODSIDE, New York – Even before President Benigno Aquino delivered his State of the Nation Address (SONA) before Congress, more than a dozen progressive Filipino organizations took to the streets in Woodside, New York, Sunday.

“Sawang-sawa na kami sa ganitong gobyerno,” DJ Arucan of Gabriela Philippines said. “Ang panawagan namin impeachment o yung sukdulang pagpapatalsik sa isang regimen na – inutil na pinabayaan ang mamayang Pilipino,” DJ Arucan of Gabriela Philippines said.”

Five years into President Aquino’s term, this “People’s SONA” claims that President Aquino has failed to deliver his promises, especially when it comes to “Daang Matuwid.” It was his campaign battle cry against graft and corruption that won him the presidency in 2010.

“His straight and narrow path has been nothing but crooked and corrupt,” Jennine Ventura of Gabriela, New York, said.

“Mga appointee niya at sa mga kapartido niya marami ring guilty dito subalit wala pa sa kanila ang nasasampahan ng kaso,” Gary Labao of BAYAN-USA said. “Pinalinaw niya sa sambayanang Pilipino na wala siyang pinagkaiba sa panahon ni Marcos, sa panahon ni Arroyo, sa panahon ni Estrada at panahon ni Ramos, lahat sila pare-parehong mapagsamantala at nagnanakaw sa kaban ng bayan.”

Meanwhile, Aquino supporters, who recently held a protest against China’s bullying, believe otherwise.

“He is the best president, I believe, because he is able to make the Philippines rise up. We are now the new Tiger in Asia,” community leader Loida Nicolas Lewis said.

“I really feel personally that the Philippines has been very blessed for having President Aquino, for the first time, we have something that is really a democratic Philippines,” Joe Ramos of US Pinoys for Good Governance said.

But for Filipino migrant workers, they said Aquino failed to address the issues and needs of overseas Filipino workers, especially when it comes to human and labor trafficking of OFWs.

“During Benigno Aquino’s term, we have also seen migrant workers in the US subjected to terrible conditions. We have seen hundreds of cases of abuse and trafficked workers,” Lorena McRae of Philippine Forum said.

McRae says the Philippine government has yet to shut down unscrupulous and abusive recruitment agencies as well as prosecute those that prey on unsuspecting OFWs.

McRae said, “Itong mga tao na nagta-traffic ng migrant workers ay i-black list, tanggalin na yan sa sistema nila, hindi eh, nakakapasok pa rin sila eh.”

Being President Aquino’s second-to-last SONA, whether they’re Aquino allies or otherwise, Filipinos in New York all agree that kababayan voters can do better by choosing Aquino’s successor in 2016 more wisely.

Categories: Pinoy Migration

Aquino outlines country’s militarization during SONA

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 04:58

By Balitang America Staff, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

July 28, 2014

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – During his State of the Nation Address, President Benigno Aquino III also talked about his government’s efforts to increase security.

Aquino talked about the modernization of the armed forces of the Philippines due to the acquisition of brand new assets including:

-Eight Sokol combat utility helicopters
-Three AgustaWestland 109 helicopters
-The first landing craft utility ship built in the Philippines
-Two FA-50 lead-in fighter jets
-17 additional refurbished UH-1 helicopters
-brand new M-4 assault rifles

But legal counsel for US Pinoys for Good Governance Ted Laguatan said his group was disappointed that despite talks of strengthening the Philippine military, Aquino made no mention of the Philippines’ territorial dispute with China. He said the president missed an opportunity to call on Filipinos to show courage against China.

“This is a major issue,” Laguatan said. “China is invading the Philippines. Taking over islands, now building a military base and rushing the construction. This is a terrible threat to the national security of the Philippines.”

Categories: Pinoy Migration

Jersey City to hold fundraiser for Pinoy couple killed in tornado tragedy

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 04:50

By Balitang America Staff, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

July 28, 2014

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – In light of last week’s tornado tragedy in Cape Charles, Va. that took the lives of a Filipino couple from New Jersey, Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop and Jersey City Youth Foundation have decided to dedicated half of the money raised on Tuesday at a school supplies fundraiser to the three children the deceased couple left behind.

Lord Balatbat and wife Lolibeth Ortega, both 38-years old, were killed when a tornado toppled a tree that fell on their tent while on a camping trip in Virginia last week.

The three Balatbat children were among the dozens of people injured after the tornado swept through the camp site.

The fundraiser will be held at the Zeppelin Hall Restaurant and Biergarten in Jersey City on Tuesday.

Categories: Pinoy Migration

Philippines’ Princess Superal wins coveted US Golf Assoc title

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 07:36

By Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

July 26, 2014

The Philippines’ Princess Mary Superal won the US Golf Associations’ Junior Girls World Championships Saturday afternoon in Arizona in a sudden death overtime match. The coveted tournament is regarded as one of the top amateur tournaments in the world.

Balitang America spoke to her last week at the Callaway Junior World Championships in San Diego. She spoke about how it feels to be one of the few Filipinos to qualify for the US Girls Championships.

“Sana na nalo, hopefully. Hopefully,” said the soft spoken 17-year-old, as she finished 10th at the Callaway tournament.

Superal left shortly after the Callaway to begin the week long USGA tournament in San Diego.

Superal beat Mexico’s Marijosse Navarro in the 37-hole finale.

You can contact Steve Angeles at [email protected] for more information.

Categories: Pinoy Migration

Filipina nurse found dead, live-in partner arrested for murder

Sun, 07/27/2014 - 03:11

By Don Tagala, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

July 26, 2014

Winslow, NJ – A pizza deliveryman found the lifeless body of Filipina nurse Jennifer Bongco on the side of the road at Erial and Wiltons Landing Road in Winslow, N.J at around 12:30 a.m. Friday.

Authorities say the 41-year-old nurse was stabbed to death.

By Friday night, US Marshals arrested Bongco’s live-in partner, 52-year-old Kevin Ambrose, in Atlantic City.

He was charged with murder.

Police say Ambrose allegedly stabbed Bongco several times before dumping her body and taking off in her car.

It is still not clear why the Pinay nurse was murdered.

But the victim’s sister posted a Facebook instant message from Ambrose calling Jennifer and her daughter “pigshit” on Friday.

Bongco’s sister also wrote on her social media wall that the arrest of Ambrose is just the beginning of their fight for justice for her sister Jennifer.

The investigation is still on going.

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

Categories: Pinoy Migration

Review: Dwayne Johnson’s “Hercules” an enjoyable ride

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 08:46

By Manny Dela Rosa, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

July 25, 2014

Two big films are slugging it out at the box office this weekend. Can Scarlet Johannson’s super powered brain in “Lucy” clobber the Rock’s film about the legendary Hercules? Let’s find out form Manny the Movie Guy.

Categories: Pinoy Migration

Pharrell’s new video features former TFC talent

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 08:33

By Yong Chavez, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

July 25, 2014

A former Kapamilya is featured in the latest music video of a multiple Grammy winner and one of the most in-demand recording artists and producers of our time. Yong Chavez tells us about Pharrell Williams’ latest song.

Categories: Pinoy Migration

ISYU RESULTS – July 25, 2014

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 08:30


56% – YES
44% – NO

Categories: Pinoy Migration

Texas Turkish group continues support for Typhoon Yolanda victims

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 08:13

By Balitang America Staff, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

July 25, 2014

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – It’s been more than eight months since Typhoon Yolanda or Haiyan struck the Philippines.

But help for those devastated by the storm, help continues to come in different forms.

In Houston, Texas, the Turkish Coalition of America or TCA recently presented a check of $25,000 to the Filipino American Chamber of Commerce to aid in the relief efforts in the Philippines.

The TCA contributed a total of $100,000 dollars to help those devastated by Typhoon Yolanda.

US Congressman Pete Olson and officials of the Turkish Consulate of Houston were present during the turnover of funds.

Meantime, overseas Filipinos are also doing their part to help in the relief efforts in Tacloban by purchasing up-cycled bags which create jobs in the devastated areas. They also donate backpacks to child survivors.

The project called “Taclob” sells backpacks at $100 each.

So far, close to $5,000 has been raised of the $157,000.

Taclob is selling their backpacks exclusively on their website

Categories: Pinoy Migration

Tennessee Pinoys give back to community and beyond

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 07:45

By Balitang America Staff, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

July 25, 2014

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – A Filipino-founded and led nonprofit organization based in Tennessee is making a big impact in the community.

Helping Hands Worldwide Services, founded by Fidel Pinote ten years ago, has around 150 members with four chapters all over the state.

The group provides school supplies to struggling students, and also reaches out to lonely seniors in nursing homes.

The group also extends help to poor families in the Philippines.

“The mission for our Helping Hand is to help the people not only in the local community where we live in but also extended to the Philippines,” Pinote said. “What we’re doing is feeding a lots of children in the Philippines as well as here in the US.”

“It’s actually an awesome feeling,” Helping Hands Vice President Mila Vasquez said. “It’s something that indescribable because before in the Philippines, I was in the receiving end and then now, it’s kind of like living the American Dream. And now it’s my turn to give back to the community.”

Helping Hands also plans to hold a free medical mission this weekend at the Columbia Central High School in Columbia, Tenn. They expect to help and treat up to 2,000 patients.

Categories: Pinoy Migration

US Filipinos urge firmer approach from PNoy against China

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 07:15

By Rommel Conclara, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

July 25, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO – On Thursday, Filipinos from all over the U.S. and in various parts of the world took to the streets for a day of action against China’s so-called bullying of the Philippines in the disputed West Philippine Sea.

With President Benigno Aquino’s State of the Nation address approaching, these protesters want him to take a firmer approach against China’s increasing presence in the West Philippine Sea.

The Chinese are reportedly rushing land reclamation military bases projects in disputed areas they claimed within Philippine territory.

Ted Laguatan, legal counsel for the U.S. Pinoys for Good Governance, says the Philippines needs to reclaim these seized territories and needs the help of its allies in doing so.

“We hope that President Aquino will take decisive action and that the Philippines together with the U.S. and Australia and Japan as a collective force started with the Philippines will destroy this future Chinese bases,” said Laguatan. “We hope he does that!”

The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs recently released aerial photographs showing Chinese construction activity on Mabini Reef in the West Philippine Sea.

“The construction of that military base on Mabini Reef poses a threat to the entire Philippines that’s beyond the issue of oil,” said Rodel Rodis. “It involves also for U.S. national interest the fact that so much of the commerce that comes to the United States comes through that area in the South China Sea.”

China’s foreign minister dismissed the protests by declaring that China has “undisputed sovereignty” over the entire South China Sea.

The Chinese press also stated that the construction was merely to renovate the living facilities for troops stationed there.

Meanwhile these Filipinos hope that the United States will continue to play a factor in addressing the territorial dispute.

“We still hope the United States will be behind us in all these undertakings,” said Charito Benipayo. “And we believe the United States will not leave us alone. They will work hard for the Philippines to continue peaceful sovereignty and peaceful arbitration with China and the whole world.”

A ruling is set for 2016 in the arbitration case between china and the Philippines but these Filipinos are saying China will have claimed many of the Philippines’ territories by then.

“That’s the reason why we are holding our rally at the U.N. Plaza, said Rodel. “We are directing ourselves to the United Nations. Issue the arbitration issue now we don’t want to wait till 2016. It may be too late by then.”

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

Categories: Pinoy Migration

New Poll: PNoy scores low on issues that matter to Filipinos

Sat, 07/26/2014 - 06:45

By Balitang America Staff, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

July 25, 2014

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – As President Benigno Aquino III prepares to deliver his State of the Nation Address this weekend, a new Pulse Asia survey showed his administration getting low scores on issues Filipinos deem important.

The survey shows that 41 percent of the people disapprove of the way the Aquino administration has controlled inflation; only 26 percent approved on the president’s performance on this issue.

On the issue of reducing poverty, 33 percent disapproved of the way the Aquino administration has handled it, while only 32 percent approved.

But the Aquino administration got high scores — 54 percent approval — on how it has fought criminality.

Only 14 percent disapproved of how the Philippine government handled the issue.

Categories: Pinoy Migration