Daily Archives: May 11, 2016



May 11, 2016

Los Angeles– Good News!
A new policy change from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced Monday will allow Filipino World War II veterans to unite with family members delayed in the Philippines for decades by an immigration backlog.
The policy change is called “parole,” and will allow veterans’ family members in the Philippines to bypass the logjam to join their elderly parents in the U.S. The program begins June 8, and USCIS estimates that the family members of approximately 2,000 to 6,000 veterans would be eligible.

In this March 27, 2015 photo, Filipino World War II veteran Artemio Caleda holds up a family photo at his home in Ewa Beach, Hawaii. In June 2016, a USCIS policy change will allow his children to apply to enter the United States without having to wait in an immigration backlog. Dennis Oda / /Honolulu Star-Advertiser via AP file

The announcement was great news for 85-year-old Rudy Panaglima of the D.C. Metro area.

For more than 22 years, he has waited for the processing of his two sons’ immigration papers. Both of them are in their 50s and married. The prospect of having his sons join him in the U.S. brought a sense of relief to Panaglima.

“We are old already and we need some assistance from a caregiver,” Panaglima told NBC News.

His wife of 58 years, Pura Panaglima, said they would apply. “Oh yes, because we are alone here, we need a helper, someone to take care of us,” she told NBC News. “If it’s possible for them to come I’m so very happy for that.”

Rudy Panaglima said he was just 13 when he joined approximately 260,000 Filipinos who answered the call of President Franklin D. Roosevelt to join the fight in WWII in the Philippines. From his role as a Philippine guerrilla, he ultimately became a member of the U.S. Army in the Philippines. But when the war ended, the Rescission Act took back the promise of benefits and started the long fight for the veterans for equity pay and benefits.

Former U.S. President Harry S. Truman signed The Rescission Act of 1946, which exclusively disenfranchised Filipino veterans and their families access to their rightful benefits. This racist law has endured for 69 years, but we demand NO MORE! Justice and equity for our lolos and lolas now!

Former U.S. President Harry S. Truman signed The Rescission Act of 1946, which exclusively disenfranchised Filipino veterans and their families access to their rightful benefits. This racist law has endured for 69 years, but we demand NO MORE! Justice and equity for our lolos and lolas now!

RELATED: Forgotten: The Battle Thousands of WWII Veterans Are Still Fighting

Panaglima was one of 18,000 surviving vets to win a lump sum payment in 2009. But the ability to reunite with their children still in the Philippines has been elusive.

In the end, it was a community effort that has won them that right.

“We are encouraged that the Filipino World War II Veterans Parole Program is finally being implemented so that our country can more fully honor the bravery and sacrifices of these aging veterans,” Christopher Kang, the national director of the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans, said in a statement. “NCAPA has advocated for this program, and we hope that the veterans are reunited with their families as quickly as possible to ensure they receive the care they need.”

RELATED: New Policy Paves Way for WWII Filipino Veterans to Reunite with Family

Eric Lachica of the American Coalition of Filipino Veterans called the policy change “a happy ending for our Filipino heroes.”

“It has been almost a year since Obama issued his presidential memorandum in July,” Lachica told NBC News. “We deeply thank our Asian American champions in the U.S. Congress and advocates in the community for their kind-hearted persistence to help our elderly heroes and their patient children.”

Follow NBC Asian America on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr.



A Campaign Full Of Grace

May 11, 2016

A Campaign Full Of Grace

Grace Poe

By Jeff Canoy

It was a scene straight out of the movies.

Y’know, that ‘slow clap moment’ usually reserved for sports movies. The one where the underdog finally gets that elusive moment in the sun. When the talented yet insecure player finally musters up the courage to make the three-point shot at the last second, hit the puck after a triple deke move or reach the touchdown zone or whatever (I may or may not know anything about American football). The one where the adrenaline-pumping musical crescendos begin. That crucial cutaway where the bleacher crowd stands up and starts to quack in unison because holy crap Iceland is about to win and those pesky ducks needs some cheering.

That part where the tinkling piano music is cued to make you feel good because damn it, even through frailty and hopelessness, anyone can uplift themselves into true winners with hearts of gold.

Sen. Grace Poe had that moment last night.

The woman in white was greeted with cheers from her campaign staff as she stepped inside their headquarters, a few hours after polls closed and elections results came in punishingly quick.
She came there to tell her team — and the country — that her fight is over. She was conceding to frontrunner Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

I covered Sen. Poe when she was appointed MTRCB chief in 2010. I followed her too when she ran for senate in 2013, surprising pundits when she topped that race. This time was different however. I devoted the last six months of my life following her presidential bid — covering her, understanding her and challenging her.

Last night, our work as embedded reporters officially ended. And we had to bid farewell to the many Grace Poes we met in the campaign.

There’s the interview version of Grace Poe. One who is practiced. Paint-by-numbers kind of thing. One who knows when to mention her famous parents, when to appeal to emotions and when to crack the perfect one-liner. One who also has an arsenal of quotes from FPJ’s beloved movies. One careful with phrasing, downright clinical at times. And when all else fails, motherhood statements become clutch.

In debates and sorties, she’s well-researched. The nerdy version of herself shines through. Her public speaking skills in full display— one who is quick to think on her feet, hitting emotional beats at the right moment and connecting with the audience. Grace understands people.

One of my favorite moments of the campaign happened in Catarman, Northern Samar. Poe was in the middle of a campaign speech in a typhoon-hit covered court when rain began to pour. The roof was desroyed and had yet to be fixed by the local government. With rain coming in, Poe didn’t stop talking. She walked closer to the crowd, pressed on and got drenched with the crowd. “Hindi pwedeng kayo lang ang mababasa.”

Then there’s the Star Trek version of her. She knows how to steer clear from kobayashi maru-type questions. We asked her once how she can accept an endorsement from a convicted plunderer. We ended up talking about her push for the Freedom of Information Bill. If pivoting from an issue is an Olympic sport, she’d be a gold medalist.

In the minutes after an interview, we get a more candid version of Poe: the ultimate Tita of Manila. After the cameras stop rolling and the microphones are tucked away, she’d usually spend a couple of minutes with reporters. Topics are as random as survey sampling.

“Ma’am, bakit nawala kayo kanina? Baka may secret meeting ka naman.”

“Bumili ako ng cake doon sa kanto. Pasalubong ko sa anak ko.”
“Shopping and eating sidetrip tayo sa pupuntahin natin. Maiinis lang si Chiz pag di ako nag-concentrate sa kampanya pero we have to enjoy a little.”

“Nung nagpa-tonsillectomy ako ‘nung bata ako, dinala ng tatay ko si William Martinez at Gabby Concepcion sa hospital para hindi ako matakot (laughs)”

“Punta tayo doon.”

“Bakit ma’am?”

“Pa-picture tayo.”

She also has her infamous “taray” moments — her eyes rolling from Batangas all the way back to Virginia. This happens when critics become relentless in their questioning of her citizenship. And when journalists start mentioning her husband or her children — good luck. She once called a reporter a “machine gun”. Her death stare is unparalleled too.

Last night, Poe bid goodbye to the embedded reporters. “Thanks,” she said. “No regrets.”

Her concession speech was met with tears from her campaign team.

Those who clocked in more field time than us. Those who spent countless nights planning and mounting her sorties. Those who defended her when she was called inexperienced, a foundling and an Amgirl. Those who had to deal with a demanding set of reporters assigned to cover Poe’s campaign trail. Those who tirelessly believed in her effort to change the status quo.

It was a concession, yes. It was an admission that they lost. That even after all the sacrifices and political maneuverings, they don’t get to wear the crown and wave to the crowd.

Yet last night was far from a pity party. More of a congratulatory one.

A night of solid pat-on-the-backs followed by “Good job, everyone.

We fought a good fight” sentiments. None of that “What went wrong?” business.

The night was more cathartic than forensic.

And I think it’s because of how Poe — or “mudrakelz” as they called her — carried herself in defeat.

It’s a version of her that has remained constant in the campaign: full
of grace.


LikeShow more reactions


Art Garcia
Write a comment…




May 11, 2016


Los Angeles —Repost @kmb_la – Today is the death anniversary of Andres Bonifacio, our founding father of the Kataas-taasan, Kagalang-galangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan, or otherwise known as the Katipunan. He led the Philippine Revolution and sought independence from Spanish colonization.
On May 10th, 1897, the Aguinaldo self-established  government murdered him by death squad for believing in the right of the people towards self-determination. Power to the people, forever.
Despite what American historians say, Andres Bonifacio was the first president of the Philippines.
Originally an underground anti-Spanish society, the Katipunan was transformed by Bonifacio into a revolutionary government.
As a means to reclaim indigenous identity and differentiate from the colonial terms “Filipino” & “indio,” Bonifacio’s government was known as the Sovereign Country of the Tagalog Nation.
The Katipunan stated that “Tagalog” stood for “all who were born in this archipelago” and not just those who were ethnically Tagalog.
Unlike Aguinaldo, Bonifacio was intent on creating a sovereign and independent nation free of foreign influence. He may have succeeded too if Aguinaldo hadn’t executed him.#Bonifacio #Supremo #Filipino #Disobey#ProPeopleYouth #KmB #Katipunan #History#Community #Solidarity #SocialJustice#SelfDetermination #APAHM2016 #APAHM#AAPIHM #AAPIHM2016