Daily Archives: June 21, 2016


June 22, 2016


By Arturo P.Garcia

13434745_10206884894226202_811854845269529001_nLos Angeles—It was a golden anniversary, 50 years worthy of celerating and remembering.

As dentists and guests from all over California and from the Philippines, came to celebrate their 5o years anniversary at the Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, their guest speaker Dr. Ralph Del Brunner summed it up;

“This event proved the power of organized dentistry California Dental Association and the Southern California Filipino Dental Society (SCFDS), for we can work together.”

The Development and Growth of the SCFDS13450907_10206885225954495_1846135689788037040_n

Dr.Bunner waxed romantic and traced the growth and development of organized dentisty from the 1960’s to the present.

“ The Governor of California was Ronald Reagan, the President was LBJ and the issue then was the Vietnam War. Gasoline is $ 32 cents per gallon and we used silver to fill the cavities then,” to the delight of the crowd.

Dr.Harley Orzame, the SCFDS treasurer gave the welcome address He said, “ organized dentistry and advocacy is the trademark of the SCFDS.

We did not only passed the law, we organized to make a curriculum for foreign dentist, help them pass the exams, and gave scholarship and help to train them to be good dentists.

Not only that, we advocated for community service to the Philippines and help a lot of community. An example is during the Thypoon Haiyan in Central Philippines. ” Dr.Orzame told the crowd.

SCFDS’s 50 Years Of Advocacy and Community Service13450031_10206884897306279_3838331221989410821_n (1)

SCFDS President Rene Calugcugan meanwhile paid tribute to all past president and officers of the SCFDS for running the organization for 50 years. “ For that we are forever grateful.”

Sponsors and the SCFD officers were awarded and recognized for their community service and exemplary contributions to the SCFDS.

The plaques and certifications of recognition came from the City of Los Angeles District 13 Council member Mitch O’ Farrell , the California Assembly District 51 Jimmy Gomez and the Office of the City Mayor Eric Garcetti.

A Special Achivement Award was given to Dr.Orlando Cagatao , one of the founders and President of the SCFDS. He was awarded by SCFDS President Dr.Rene Calugcugan and R.Virginia Castelo, SCFDS Executive Director.

SCFDS Highlights Filipino Cultural Tradition13483052_624597574363961_5484678428626764723_o

While the dinner was being served, the guests and the dentists were regaled by the Igorot Dancers from the St.Benedict and Holy Trinity Youth Group and a Folk Dance Group Of the St.Peter Catholic Community who presented the rich Filipino cultural heritage.

It’s the SCFDS way to highlight the rich Filipino cultural tradition by presenting the dances of the north and the southern Philippines. They were also given a special number from the father and daughter duo of Dr. Ephraim Dela Cruz and Dr. Nina De la Cruz-Tamares.

The closing remarks was given by Dra. Maria “Charade” Moran. The evening went on with dancing and picture taking.

A golden anniversary indeed to remember.



June 21, 2016


By Arturo P. Garcia

One an activist from Manila said about the comrades from the North,” If you see the highway from Manila, when you go the left, that’s the way to the north.”

Well, the connotation of what he was saying or joking about is that comrades from North Luzon are die-hard leftists. And that was the meaning “ the road to the north is the left way.”

But what he failed to mention is that the roads in the north most of all are zigzag roads. Not only zigzag but also steep, narrow and dangerous. So many have paid for their lives traversing these roads especially up and the down the mountains.

I remember one comrade in 1981 from Manila who asked me, “Can you tell me some of the stories of our comrades from the north. I really wanted to understand your situation. . Some comrades say you from the north are warm-hearted. But you are also grim and determined. I really want to know why.”

I just smiled and said, “Whenever you are ready, I am ready to tell you some stories.”

And after maybe two hours of story telling, I left her dumbfounded, shocked and crying. Honestly, I did not enjoy our session. But I know I had to do it.

That is one of the reason why it was very hard for me to write and tell stories about my time with the comrades from the north, It is a struggle for me. A very great struggle for me.

Thus, watching “Game of Thrones” or GOT is very therapeutic for me. It brings back sad and happy memories because it tells the story of people in real life. A case of art imitating life. Just in a very melodramatic fashion.

How they, the characters in GOT were affected by their experiences. How they became bad, scheming and filled with intrigues., cynical because of betrayals and hopeful in the face od adversities.

How they became and bring out the best and the worst in people. May they be Kings, Queens. Lords, Military leaders, Knights, servants, priests or counselors or just simple people.

How they perform their duties, their line of work, in their battles. And of course, how they lost and won it despite all odds.

I loved the term “ The North Remembers” I still remember when people came to us after the EDSA Revolution of 1986 and told us frankly:

“Comrades, if you have plans to lay down your arms and surrender, please leave your firearms to us. We remind you that your comrades and our people paid those firearms in blood. It was the fruit of countless years of our struggle. We will continue the fight if you decide to leave.”

Definitely, I felt insulted by those words but listening to the masses, it strengthens our resolve and reaffirms our faith that we are on the right track.

Thus we opposed the ceasefire of 1986-1987 but as loyal soldiers we followed democratic centralism. And after the Mendiola Massacre and the breakdown of the 60-day ceasefire we were proven right in opposing the peace talks.

And that’s the reason they called, the North Luzon as “the way to the left.” People don’t know that the north suffered like the fate of the House of Stark and their allies in GOT.

The AFP for the last 30 years crushed the guerilla bases in Marag Valley, Paco Valley, Zinandungan Valley, Ifugao, Eastern Abra, Eastern Isabela and Cagayan.Killed tens of thousands in series of massacres, torched their houses, and deprived them of their life, liberties, properties, rights and dignities as a people.

Thus, I just smiled and shake my head over the the revolutionary movement bubbly optimism about the peace negotiations, ceasefire and so-called reforms under the Duterte regime.

They should remember that they too negotiated with the Aquino Regime in 1986. They musts study and lear the lessons paid in blood more than 30 years ago.

Let this be their warning; THE NORTH REMEMBERS. The epople never forget and always remembers.

We hope that they have learned their lesson by now.



June 21, 2016


By Arturo Garcia

Two days from now,on June 23, the British people will vote on a referendum on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, often shortened to combining the words “Britain” and “exit, following the ‘Grexit’ or Greece Exit that did not prosper as an example.

Brexit is a political goal that has been pursued by various individuals , advocacy groups, and political parties since United Kingdom
(UK) joined the precursor of the European Union (EU) in 1973.

The turn of event turned for the worst when a pro-Brexit patriot shot and killed an anti Brexit parliament member Jo Cox in broad daylight, shouting: “Britain First.” Now the pro and anti Brexit advocates are in a stalemate.

There is a big implication for immigrants in UK and in EU on this referendum. There are a lot of Filipinos in Britain. There are more than 218,000 FilBrits in the United Kingdom. The second largest after Italy ( 271,000). For our brothers and sisters in England and those living in the EU countries, this will have a very great effect on their lives especially if the Cameroon capitalist reforms takes effect years from now.

For some progressive British political analysts, this is a ploy by the ruling class led by Prime Minister David Cameron who sought an agreement with other European Union leaders to change the terms of Britain’s membership. The deal is very one sided, in favor of the ruling class and against the working people especially the immigrants in England.

The UK wanted to get out of the burden of subsidizing the rest of the 15 members of the EU like what Germany. The Netherlands and France do. But this is for the benefit of the whole Europe. And yet the UK wanted to keep its capitalist freedom for itself.

He says the deal, which will take effect immediately if the UK votes to remain in the EU, gives Britain “special” status within the 28 nation club, and will help sort out some of the things British people say they don’t like about the EU, such as high levels of immigration and giving up the ability to run our own affairs.

The main points of the deal are: on Child benefits – Migrant workers will still be able to send child benefit payments back to their home country –

Mr Cameron had wanted to end this practice – but the payments will be set at a level reflecting the cost of living in their home country rather than the full UK rate. A very clear British capitalist accumulation on the backs of the working people.

On Migrant welfare payments – Mr Cameron says cutting the amount of benefits low paid workers from other EU nations can claim when they take a job in the UK will remove one of the reasons people come to Britain in such large numbers (critics say it will make little difference).

He did not get the blanket ban he wanted. New arrivals will not be able to claim tax credits and other welfare payments straight away – but will gradually gain the right to more benefits the longer they stay, at a rate yet to be decided.

Keeping the pound – Mr Cameron has said Britain will never join the euro. He secured assurances that the eurozone countries will not discriminate against Britain for having a different currency. Any British money spent on bailing out eurozone nations that get into trouble will also be reimbursed.

Protection for the City of London – Safeguards for Britain’s large financial services industry to prevent eurozone regulations being imposed on it

Running its own affairs – For the first time, there will be a clear commitment that Britain is not part of a move towards “ever closer union” with other EU member states – one of the core principles of the EU.

This will be incorporated in an EU treaty change. Mr Cameron also secured a “red card” system for national parliaments making it easier for governments to band together to block unwanted legislation.

If 55% of national EU parliaments object to a piece of EU legislation it will be rethought. Critics say it is not clear if this would ever be used in practice.

In summary, this is British autonomy under the EU’s centralized system. Well, Britain is an island and wanted protection for itself.

They want to have their cake, the EU cake and eat it too.

Let us see how the BREXIT referendum on June 23 goes.