REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the flu is spreading fast in America, with activity spreading from 36 to 43 states just within the last week.
Just this week, six children have died from the flu, according to the CDC. That brings the total number of pediatric deaths to 21 so far this flu season.
The severe flu season had been predicted as experts warned of a mismatch of strains in the flu vaccine.
A CDC spokesperson says one of the flu viruses mutated becoming the more severe H3N2 strain.
Despite the mismatched vaccine, Americans are urged to get the flu shot. It is said to reduce your risk and provide some protection from the virus.
MANILA – After the commission on elections approved the use of the Precinct Count Optical Scan machines for the 2016 polls, former Comelec Commissioner Gus Lagman, also an IT expert, claimed these machines can be rigged.
Lagman said the PCOS system is even more dangerous than manual voting because it is difficult to guard against the tampering of election results stored in the machines’ memory cards.
“Madaling matamper ng technicians ang impormasyon sa memory cards, walang makakaalam,” Lagman said.
Lagman also reveals several politicians have come to him after learning from political operators of the possibility of rigging the elections.
Lagman says this gives Smartmatic, owners of the automation system, tremendous power over the elections.
But Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes merely laughed at Lagman’s claims.
He said there are adequate measures to guard the people’s votes.
It’s a new year and a new season for two popular TV shows. Yong Chavez tells us all about the return of “American Idol” and “Glee” this month.
PASADENA, Calif. – It’s an annual New Year ’s Day tradition in Southern California and despite near record low cold temperatures thousands camped out in the streets of Pasadena for the annual Tournament of Roses Parade.
Among the floats and celebration a Filipina American was honored during this year’s parade.
High school student Gabrielle Current was chosen to join the 126-year-old parade’s royal court.
“It’s such an honor,” said Current. “I grew up going to the Rose Parade all my life. I’ve lived in Pasadena since I was little so looking up to the girls, it was just an honor being called to the top 25. When I heard my name, when it was being called to the royal court it was such a dream come true and I loved every minute of it.”
The scholar student has modeled for Macy’s, Target and Pottery Barn but getting into the Rose Parade is not easy.
She had to compete with 800 other high school seniors in the Pasadena area.
Six princesses and one queen were chosen.
“You go through a round of four to five interviews and then judges are looking for poise confidence, how well you can carry yourself in public speaking ability, but also academic achievement,” said Current. “So they’re really looking for a well rounded girl to represent Pasadena.”
But it was well worth it and despite the freezing weather Current was all smiles during the festivities.
“We actually had pajamas, had layers, body warmers all over but you couldn’t really tell because we were all so excited so we weren’t focusing on the weather,” said Current.
Beauty runs in her family. Her mother was a former Mutya ng Pilipinas talent winner while her father was the Mr. Asia USA winner.
Current has yet to decide which college to go to but she plans to pursue a career in the entertainment industry.
She also plans to visit the Philippines.
She was recently honored by the Filipino community at a Fabulous Filipinas book launch.
WOODSIDE, NY - The roasted pork belly roll or lechon liempo is becoming a hit among kababayans here in the US as the latest must-have in Filipino gatherings.
“We’re so used to having a big lechon, but no one ever eats the head or legs,” Payag Filipino restaurant customer Romeo Pastor said. “This is the best presentation for lechon because they only take the most delicious parts.
“Lechon is really a famous delicacy in Cebu, and many new food trends have emerged over the years from pork belly,” Payag Filipino Executive Chef Rap-Rap Cruz said. “Early 2000, they started it in Cebu and we’re bringing it here to America.”
While it may be more challenging to cook a a whole suckling pig at home or in restaurants like Payag, Chef Cruz says cooking a slab of pork belly is as easy as roasting turkey.
Here’s how to make it:
First step, debone a 10-pound pork belly, then rub the pork slab with seasonings and stuff it with herbs.
Cruz said, “We have lemon grass, we have green onions, garlic, pepper and our special spices at Payag.”
Roll it, tie it with butcher’s twine, and roast it in an open fire or in a regular oven.
Five hours of roasting later and you have a crispy and juicy pork belly lechon roll that can serve up to 15 people.
Payag owner Rena Avendula said, “ On Thanksgiving we called this the new turkey. I think it’s the new trend — the new lechon.”
At $50 to $80 dollars a roll, it’s a more affordable choice for lechon lovers.
Peter Jacobs, a San Franciscan visiting New York said, “If you’re a little bit skittish about seeing the full pig when you’re eating, it’s nice not to. But I’m not skittish. I just find it real tasty and delicious.”
Peter’s partner, Onie Tibay said, “It’s delicious. It’s tender, juicy, and tasty.”
After becoming a big hit in the Philippines, Chef Cruz says this 2015 the pork belly lechon roll is expected to make its way to more Filipino communities in the US.
LAS VEGAS – This year’s International Consumer Electronics Show, the world’s largest trade show, is set to begin Tuesday in Las Vegas.
But over the weekend, organizers gave a preview of the latest must-have gadgets this year which include extraordinary wearable gear.
Many of these items have something to do with fitness from calorie to impact detectors, to smart bikes, and this jacket for cyclists created by Visijax that lights up and changes colors according to your arm position while biking.
“More people will cycle more often if they felt safe,” said Mark Bernstein of Visijax. “So what we designed is a cycle jacket that’s a good quality cycle jacket. It’s breathable. It’s waterproof, Teflon coated. And then we’ve added the electronics, about 23 LEDs.”
If there’s now a light-up jacket for cyclists there is also this smart bike that track’s a bike’s exact location in case it gets stolen.
Also making a debut this year is a device that you wear on your head to detect your brain’s stress level.
“You put it on your head like this and it sends your brain activity to the app,” said Thibaud Dumas of My Brain. “The goal is to help people cope with stress. Sessions are 15 minutes or less, three times a week. You increase your ability to cope with stress in the long term.”
Other interesting devices at the CES include a ring which doubles as a pointing device that controls smart phones and tablets.
Move over selfie. The new word in future technology is called the “allie”.
This allie video camera created by IC Realtech records all directions at the same time, and with a swipe of a finger you can see all angles while the video is playing on your device.
“There’s no more direction,” said Matt Sailor of IC Realtech. “You place it in the middle of the room you’re entire apartment’s under surveillance with one wire, and it’s accessible via you’re iPad, any of your phones.”
The 2015 International CES will last until Friday this week and big companies such as Microsoft and Samsung will have their own exhibits.
Samsung is rumored to be unveiling its next phone in the Galaxy series, the Galaxy S6, to select partners.
From wearables when you are out and about to home technology, this year’s CES will be showcasing new products that will be beneficial to consumers this year.
VANCOUVER, Canada – A Filipino couple who worked as temporary workers in Canada faces deportation after their immigration consultant allegedly falsified information in their applications for permanent residency.
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement deported about 53,000 undocumented immigrants in 2014 compared to 2013, according to the bureau’s new report.
Despite an influx of illegal border crossings last year, the ICE report shows that there were around 315,000 thousand deportations in 2014 compared to about 368,000 in 2013.
The 2014 removal figure includes more than 91,000 criminals.
Mexico tops the country with the most number of deportations at close to 177,000.
About 300 people were deported back to the Philippines last year.
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – It’s only been two days but thousands of undocumented Californians have already begun applying for drivers licenses.
Preliminary data from the California Department of Motor Vehicles says that so far 17,200 undocumented Californians have applied for drivers licenses under Assembly Bill 60.
AB60′s implementation began earlier this month and would allow undocumented immigrants to drive legally in the state.
DMV reminds applicants that they must make an appointment to begin the AB60 process. However, walk-ins are only allowed at four recently opened processing sites.
Those locations include Granada Hills, Lompoc, Stanton, and San Jose.
An anonymous viewer wrote Atty Lou concerning California’s new drivers license program for undocumented immigrants.
Need legal advice? Send your questions to [email protected] or call 1-800-999-9096.
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – It was a tragic New Year’s Eve for an elderly Filipino couple in El Cajon, Calif.
Police say Merlin and Rosie Mondejar were jaywalking across a street on New Year’s Eve when they were both struck by separate cars.
They were taken to the hospital where 80-year-old Rosie died.
Merlin was released from the hospital after being treated for minor injuries.
The El Cajon police department says that the drivers of the vehicles that struck the Mondejars have cooperated with the investigation and it appears that alcohol was not involved.
The police remind pedestrians to be cautious when crossing streets, especially at night.
According to her Facebook profile page, Rosie was a retired registered nurse.
A memorial fund has been set up on gofundme.com to help pay for Rosie’s funeral expenses.
SAN JOSE, Calif. – According to a 2014 study by the University of Scranton, the top New Year resolution was to lose weight and only eight percent were successful in achieving that goal.
Weight loss is a popular resolution because people want to look and feel better; however, Filipinos should make this resolution a priority for other reasons.
According to a study by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Filipinos are at risk for heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension.
But before you start putting down tons of money on a gym membership or buying the latest extreme home workouts, this Fil-Am personal trainer says you can lose weight without spending a dime.
J.R. Cabauatan is the Program Director for Health and Wellness at the YMCA of Silicon Valley. He also has over four years of personal training experience.
J.R. says that weight loss can start with three basic necessities that don’t even require exercise.
The first is drinking plenty of water.
“It’ll flush out all the bad toxins in our organs and all the good nutrients that we’re getting from the good food we are eating – water helps circulate all those good nutrients,” said Cabauatan.
Depending of your activity level, water intake varies for everyone. On the average J.R. recommends that men should consume three liters a day while women should consume two to two and a half liters.
Also, getting our full night’s rest will help us stay on track towards weight loss.
“When we’re sleeping for eight hours a day that’s when our brain is healing, repairing itself,” said Cabauatan. “If we are not getting enough rest we will not be able to make proper decisions. Our emotions are not going to be balanced properly and that’s going to lead to making bad decisions when you’re deciding what to eat a lunch that day.”
Finally and obviously, nutrition is paramount to weight loss but what exactly are we suppose to eat?
J.R. recommends visiting choosemyplate.gov. to help those create a healthy meal plan and to answer all our questions about nutrition.
“It gives you a general understanding of what nutrition is and what are the different food groups and what’s in different foods so I would recommend people to go there as a foundation,” said Cabauatan.
He reminds us that we need to acknowledge that we want to change for the better in order to successfully achieve our weight loss goal.
“People should be focused on just healthier eating habits. What you eat is not as important as why you eat,” said Cabauatan. “Before you start counting calories or eating more carbs, fat, protein, whatever you want your diet to be or look like – really take the time to listen to your body and listen to the signals that tell you you’re full or you’re hungry.”
J.R. shares with us three basic exercises that targets the entire body and could be done at your convenience. It was so easy even I could do it.
Going out for a walk is great cardio to get your entire system going.
“30 minutes of a walk, it doesn’t need to be a run, is good enough,” said Cabauatan.
Body squats can be done anywhere and works out your entire lower body.
“I’m going to have you squat down on your heels like you’re about to pick up a box and come back up,” said Cabauatan. “And when you come back up I want you to squeeze your quads and squeeze your glutes.”
And the plank is an exercise that truly activates your core.
“You want your back to be straight,” said Cabauatan.” Your shoulders right above your elbow. You want to make sure you’re breathing the whole time. Tighten up your core. Knees are off the ground and you want to hold it for at least 20-30 seconds, if you can hold for a minute that would be good too.”
J.R. says that a lot of people find it hard to keep this resolution because the results do not usually come fast but he reminds us not to give up.
“Just get started,” said Cabauatan. “Health and wellness isn’t a two month or a three month thing. It’s really a lifestyle. For a lot of people if their weight is an issue and they’re not happy with their weight hopefully they understand that the weight wasn’t put on in a matter of months. It may have happened over time and to lose that weight safely and to keep it off that weight loss will have to be gradual and again over time.”
Regardless what your resolutions are JR reminds us that we need a lot of consistency and a positive attitude to achieve our goals.
Before we count down to 2015, Manny the Movie Guy gives us his list of top movies of 2014. Which films made the cut? Let’s find out from Manny.
2014 ends on a high note for the stars and producers of the movie “American Sniper” as it topped the box-office in its initial release. Our Hollywood correspondent Yong Chavez tells us more about the movie.
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – A Filipino face will be front and center at the iconic Rose Bowl Parade.
Gabrielle Current has been selected as a Royal Court Princess for the 126th Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena. Calif.
A high school senior and model, Current was chosen among 800 girls for the seven-member royal court.
The court for one of the world’s most watched parades and one of the south land’s biggest New Year’s Day events is chosen through several criteria, including poise, personality, public speaking, academic achievement, and community and school involvement.
MANILA, Philippines – A Filipino-American actor has been included in Entertainment Weekly’s list of 25 Stars on the Rise in 2015.
Conrad Ricamora gained notice for his role as gay IT guy Oliver in the hit Shonda Rhimes TV series “How to Get Away with Murder”.
He showed off his acting and singing chops as Senator Ninoy Aquino in “Here Lies Love,” a hit musical by David Byrne and Fatboy Slim about the life of former First Lady Imelda Marcos.
“Ricamora returns to the stage— where we first grew fond of him in the Off Broadway disco hit Here Lies Love. Now taking center spotlight in Broadway’s new revival of The King and I, the year of Ricamora has arrived,” Entertainment Weekly said.
Ricamora will star as Lun Tha in the Lincoln Center Theater’s upcoming production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I, which features Japanese actor Ken Watanabe as the King of Siam and Kelli O’Hara as Anna.
The musical also features Fil-Am actress Ruthie Ann Miles, who played Imelda in Here Lies Love, as Lady Thiang.
Ricamora, whose father is from the Philippines, was cast in Here Lies Love in 2012. At that time, he was finishing his master’s degree from the University of Tennessee.
“Just on a whim I was reading The New York Times, and I saw that they were doing a show based on Imelda Marcos and the People Power Revolution in the Philippines,” he explained. “And with my intuition I thought, ‘I think I should be in the show’ because my father is from the Philippines and I can sing rock and pop music pretty well. So I just flew up and auditioned and they liked me,” he said in an interview with Playbill.com.
The Filipino-American actor won the 2013 Theatre World Award for his role in Here Lies Love.
By Ryan Chua, ABS-CBN News
MANILA – Despite the bad weather caused by Tropical Storm Seniang, tourists continue to flock to Boracay Island as preparations are underway for New Year’s Eve festivities there.
But as Ryan Chua reports, boat trips to and from the island were limited on Tuesday, stranding many passengers.
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – As you spend time on deciding what outfit to wear or which party to go to on New Year’s Eve, police officials are also hoping that you are putting the same effort into figuring out how you will be getting home safely.
Their warning is simple: Don’t drink and drive.
And before you take the wheel while intoxicated here’s what you need to know.
The national limit for one’s blood alcohol content or BAC is .08 percent.
You can measure your BAC just 15 minutes after you consume your first drink based on your impairment and a change in your behavior.
Your BAC level will remain within safe limits if you consume only one “standard” drink per hour.
But what exactly is a “standard” drink?
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism a standard drink is equivalent to half an ounce of alcohol which means one 12 oz. beer, one 5 oz. glass of wine, or one a 1.5 oz. shot of distilled spirits.
But the amount of drinks it will take to reach a BAC level of .08 percent can vary from one person to the next, depending on multiple factors.
These factors include age, gender, rate of consumption, drink strength, body type, hydration, metabolism, medication you are on, food you’ve consumed, alcohol tolerance, and your overall health.
“We want to encourage everybody that once they had their first drink they should not drive,” said California Highway Patrol Officer Art Montiel. “They need to have a plan before they go their parties, their celebrations so that they know once they have a drink they are going to have a different way to get home.”
Officer Montiel says that the California Highway Patrol will implement its Maximum Enforcement Period to ensure a DUI and fatality free holiday for motorists.
“The MEP or the Maximum Enforcement Period is during the holiday we would have all the officers available come out and basically saturate the roads with stopping people for pretty much anything – any mechanical violation, any violation in order for us to be able to talk to the driver and to make sure they have not been drinking,” said Officer Montiel. “Last year we had a total of 450 arrests statewide and 14 people were killed at this time. We want to make sure this year we are going to minimize that amount.”
Officer Montiel encourages all party-goers to take advantage of some free public transportation services or to designate a sober driver.
“We want to encourage you to go out, have fun, and celebrate but we want to make sure you have a plan to get home safely,” said Officer Montiel. “Don’t let your celebration turn into a tragedy.”
The maximum enforcement period on California highways will begin at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 31 and continues through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 4.
LOS ANGELES – It’s been a month since the announcement that some 4 million undocumented immigrants may get relief through President Barack Obama’s executive order.
With work permits and legalized stays on the horizon experts and advocates are now looking at how to care for these immigrants after they come out of the shadows.
California laws had prevented immigrants living in the country illegally from access to government fined health care. But under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program or DACA, beneficiaries have been able to access services from state funded MediCal. The same is expected from the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability program or DAPA.
“Through DACA and the health care access that is available for DACA recipients, I’m kind of excited that I’d be able to take care of myself again,” DACA recipient Seth Ronquillo said.
“We already know through USCIS that certainly people eligible for relief will be receiving deferred action and that’s certainly a status that’s eligible for California,” Ron Coleman of California Immigrant Policy Center said. “We’ve always covered this population and have continued to do so without changes to existing law.”
Asian Americans Advancing Justice found that many Asian families have availed of Covered California, the state’s version of Obamacar. As the executive orders are enacted, they expect many more to enroll.
Currently Asians make up one fifth of the nearly 2 million enrollees in the Obamacare-created system.
“There will be more people eligible at least for medical,” Asian Americans Advancing Justice’ Doreena Wong said. “Then they will come forward and remember that group in the DAPA, whose parents are undocumented now. But they will at least have legal status and they will be lawfully residents or citizens. So those people those mixed status families will be eligible. So those people will be enrolled either in Covered California or MediCal.”
The work permits under the executive order, are also expected to help the once undocumented workers find better jobs, leading to employment sponsored health care.
California lawmakers are also trying to find a more permanent and concrete solution to health care for undocumented workers, including the Healthcare for All Bill that is making its way through the state legislature.
You don’t have health insurance? Well, be prepared to pay higher fines.
Obamacare-mandated fines are going to go up in 2015, and the IRS is ready to collect.
This coming tax season, people will have to report to the IRS whether they had health insurance in 2014.
In 2014, people who did not have health insurance were fined $95 per person or 1 percent of household income, whichever is more.
In 2015, the fine will increase to $325 and 2 percent of income, whichever is higher.
The fine is expected to even go higher in 2016. An average of about $1,100 based on government figures.