Daily Archives: June 6, 2016

Fil-Ams mark PH independence, have message for Duterte


June 06, 2016

Fil-Ams mark PH independence, have message for Duterte

By: Nimfa U. Rueda
Philippine Daily Inquirer
12:05 AM June 6th, 2016

NUJP-USA Vs DuterteLOS ANGELES—Hundreds of Filipino-Americans paraded through the historic Filipinotown district in Los Angeles yesterday (Sunday in Manila) to celebrate the 118th Philippine Independence Day.

Cheering crowds watched a marching band, local beauty queens on floats, community leaders in a convoy of cars, Harley-Davidson motorcycle riders in formation, and dozens of participants marching while waving Philippine flags.

A group of youths, dressed in Igorot costume, danced in the streets.

“We want to show everyone that Filipino-Americans are united and have a great deal to contribute to the community, this city and the nation,” said Bernie Ganon, assistant executive director of the nonprofit Filipino-American Service Group Inc., one of the event organizers.

More than 30 organizations participated, including the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines-USA Chapter, whose members paraded a banner with a message for President-elect Rodrigo Duterte: “Stop Media Killings.”

“It’s not just about celebrating Philippine independence, it’s about freedom—and reminding Filipinos to fight for real freedom in the homeland,” said another organizer, Arturo Garcia, national coordinator of Justice for Filipino American Veterans.

“It’s a very significant time to celebrate Independence Day since we have new leadership back home,” said Ganon, who is also president of Fil-Am International. “I hope that the new leadership tries to become more inclusive and not foster partisan politics and regionalism.”

One longtime parade-goer, 79-year-old Aurora de la Cruz Medina, came dressed in colorful Filipiniana attire.

‘Cherish freedom’DrOrlyKOR-HFT

“I’ve been attending Independence Day parades and events here and in Carson for many years,” said Medina, a resident of Long Beach who hails from Hagonoy, Bulacan. “These events are important to me. They remind us to cherish our freedom. We have to be a good model for the next generation and show them that we continue to defend our freedom for their sake.”

Medina said she hoped the new Philippine leaders would steer the government in the right direction so the country could overcome its many challenges, including the exodus of talented and skilled Filipinos to other countries in search of greener pastures.

“It’s sad that we have a brain drain in the homeland,” she said. “For example, my three children—an engineer, a manager in the aerospace industry and a supervisor in the US Navy—excel in their fields and they have been contributing their skills to America when they could be helping our home country instead.”


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THE Historic Filipino Town in downtown Los Angeles was wrapped with Philippine colors on Saturday (June 4) as thousands of Filipino-Americans paraded through the streets for the so-called 4th Kalayaan Parade.

Participants included more than 30 Filipino-American organizations, beauty pageant contestants, bike riders, a marching band, journalists and an array of community leaders and personalities.

A colorful Philipppine jeepney owned by the Pilipino Workers Center (PWC) led 30 other floats and vehicles that joined the parade as they weaved the streets of the Historic Filipino Town.

Members of the United Cordillerans of Los Angeles who showed up dressed in their colorful customary garbs greatly enhanced the display of Philippine colors.

Hundreds of Filipino Americans stood on the sidewalks and cheered as the parade passed by.

The parade ended at Parkview St. where a short program was held to emphasize the significance of celebrating Philippine Independence Day.

Among those who caught the attention of the crowd were the members of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP-USA) who carried a streamer saying: President-elect Duterte: Stop the media killings!

A detail of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) presented the American and Philippine flags during the singing of the national anthems at the start of the program in front of the headquarters of the Filipino American Service Group (FASGI).

Council Member Mitch O’ Farrell of District 13 of Los Angeles and Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez of District 51 both gave speeches on the significance of the 118th Philippine Independence Day celebration which taken from the day when Filipino revolutionaries declared their independence from Spain on June 12, 1898.

There were singing and other performances during the program.

The organizations that composed the 4HFT Independence Day Committee (4HFTPIDC) were the following (in alphabetical order) : ALLIANCE PHILLIPINES, ANSWER-Los Angeles, Binibining Pilipinas-USA 2016,Benguet 13/Benguet Organization of Southern California, Cordillera Association of Los Angeles, District 13 Office of Councilmember Mitch O’ Farrell, Echo Park Community Coalition (EPCC), EPCC Mayor Jerry Esguerra,

Filipino American Community of Los Angeles Inc.(FACLA) Filipino American Service Group Inc. (FASGI), FILAMS FOR HILLARY, FILAM BAND, Filipino American Press Club of California (FAPCCA)FILAM INQUIRER, Justice for Filipino American Veterans (JFAV). Knights of Rizal (KOR)-Historic Filipinotown Chapter Kabataang Makabayan Pro People Youth (KmB) Band, LAKAMBINI NG KALAYAAN 2016,

National Union of Journalists in the Philippines (NUJP)-USA, Outreach for Christian Fellowship (OCF), Office of California Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez, District 51. Pinoy Harley Riders Club (PHRC), PCC/Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP)-Alumni Association-USA, People’s Community Organization For Reform and Empowerment (People’s CORE), Pilipino Workers Center of Southern California(PWC-SC), Pangasinan Brotherhood-USA, Philippine Independence Day Foundation-Carson City,Queen of Asia Pacific (QAP, SUNDAY JUMP and Sapphire Media Regency(SMR).


Alliance News
Los Angeles—Many FilAm leaders voice their concerns over some dangerous tendencies of President-Elect Rody Duterte especially his adversarial position on the media and the working press during the celebrations of the 4th Historic Filipinotown Independence Day Parade and Program in Los Angeles, Last June 4, 2016.
Thousands of Filipino Americans and their allies paraded around the Beverly-Temple Corridor also known as Historic Filipintown Distirct since 2002. This is one the scores of early and a month long celebrations of the 118th Independence Day Commemoration on June 12, 1898.Arturo Garcia, the 4th HFT Parade Coordinator explained, “ This is in unity with the Filipinos in the homeland. The 118th Independence Day from Colonial rule from Spain is significant in the sense, this was the first successful Asian revolution from foreign domination and made the Philippines, the first democratic republic in Asia.

This is the Filipino American trademark or our DNA in America. That is why we are happy that this parade becomes bigger and more successful every year.” Garcia added.

Reactions to Duterte


Ms. Bernie Ganon, President of FILAM International raised alarm over the partiality of Duterte on Ferdinand “Bongbong “Marcos Jr. over the Vice President Elect.Rep. Leni Robredo.

Ganon said,”Duterte is fostering partisan politics and regionalism and that is uncalled for a President. He must remember he was elected as the President of ALL Filipinos not only of Mindanao and because he is a friend of Bongbong Marcos.”

Arturo Garcia of Alliance-Phillipines said,” Duterte must act presidential and not a be a tough guy (siga) that he is. He must not be adversarial to the media and must stop issuing sweeping statements that encourage media killings.

Look at how he justified clear gender oppression on the case of GMA reported Mariz Umali. To his die-hard loyalist, please do not justify his actions because of his Bisaya macho image or language.You that that wolf-whistle in Manila or any Tagalog area, you will be courting trouble . There is no excuse to insulting the Filipina women hood.”

Garcia , also the Knight of Rizal Commander in Historic Filipinotown added,” No matter how he say that is not his intent, when he curse the media and does sweeping statements that the some of the media people are corrupt, he is being counter-productive and encourage vendetta-killings.”

Other Views on DuterteEPCC MAyor JerrY Esguerra

On the other hand, Jerry Esguerra of BANTAY PILIPINAS-USA favors Duterte stand on the Philippine claim to Sabah and his consistent stand on bilateral ties with the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

Esguerra said, “ Aquino’s puppetry to the US led us to nowhere. With Duterte, we have now a bright relations with China. That favors our fishermen in the Scarborough Shoal.

At least with China, our trade relations will benefit us unlike the unequal trade relations with the Americans, Japanese and the Australians. China never occupied the Philippines. Unlike the Spanish, Americans and the Japanese.

Besides now we see prospects of advances in the peace agreements with the NDF. Look at what Aquino has done for six years. It is all human rights violations and warfare. And yet, Duterte has not began his term but the peace talks with the CPP and the NDF is moving.” Esguerra added.