Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Tao of Travel Photography: A Fusion of the Mind and Heart




By Vics Magsaysay

“...The ten thousand things carry yin and embrace yang.
They achieve harmony by combining these forces…”
--Lao Tzu



“Imagination is more important than knowledge,” says one of the greatest minds of all time, Albert Einstein. Three decades ago, before I embarked on a trip, I automatically imagined myself opening the gate of the house and feeling the wonderful and safe trip that I “had.” The same thing happened with all of my travel jaunts to compile stock shots of color slides of Philippine sceneries and people. Before my motorcycle moved more than a hundred yards from our gate, I “saw” myself in the comfort of the living room and contentedly viewed the awesome photographs that came out of the successful travel that was “about to unfold.”

Just recently, the book and movie The Secret became a sensational hit. It’s all about the law of attraction. The authors speak of the power of our mind and its ability to create our own reality. Our lives have been molded by our thinking—and non-thinking. The thoughts we project are responsible for the people we attract in our lives. I remember when I was on my way to Japan, upon showing the ticket in the airline counter, the attendant checked it and then handed me my boarding ticket. To my surprise, what was given me was an aisle seat instead of the one near the window. Being a nature photographer I always have a camera beside me just in case there’s a nice cloud formation or scenes outside the plane to shoot. Was it the fault of the attendant? Nope! It was my fault. I didn’t let her know what I wanted in advance so the law of average operated on my account that time. It’s the same thing with life; if we don’t plan or do anything, we are allowing the law of average to take effect. Webster’s dictionary defines Tao (pronounced “dào”) or “the way” as the central or organizing principle of the universe, moral life, etc. It also has an underlying influence in Chinese lives. Furthermore, it is the governing creative principle of an art, craft or other purposeful activity. It’s been said that the Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao. Lao Tzu, an older contemporary of Confucius, was persuaded to write down his teaching in the classic Tao Te Ching for posterity. To achieve harmony Lao Tzu admonished the importance of balance between yin and yang.

When we talk about photography, what comes to mind is the technical part—the aperture, speed, white balance, ISO, the lens, etc. To others it may look as if it’s nothing but technicalities. Little do we know that the non-technical aspect—creativity—equally plays an essential role to bring about harmony or beauty in a print. This is the yin or the passive part while the technical aspect is the yang or assertive part. Similarly, the subconscious or the creative mind is the yin and the conscious or analytical mind, the yang. To tap the power of our creative mind we have to relax and sort of “merge” with our subject. Photographers call this rapport—it is actually being in tune or in synch with your subject. What makes it easier is when we have this love and respect for our subject. Isn’t it when we are in love with a person, he or she is the only focus we have in mind…and everything completely becomes irrelevant? Even in nature photography, this love and respect are the basic ingredients of activating the law of attraction. Ansel Adams famous photograph of that moonlight in Hernandez, New Mexico was not taken by chance. There’s no coincidence to begin with. The master photographer was simply there at exactly the right time and at the right place. Why? Again, it’s the law of attraction at work. I do believe the Tao or “the way” has brought him to the scene because of his consciousness.

We are all too familiar with the saying, “To see is to believe.” The opposite—to believe is to see—proves to be more beneficial in my theory and observations. During my first visit in America in 1991, our family planned a two-week trip starting from California to Grand Canyon in Arizona and all the way up to Montana, to Washington and back south. Everything was all planned but it was late December and there was a heavy snowfall in the areas we were going. Making matter worse was the fact that there was a storm surging in the Northwest. Our relatives and friends were all unanimous in telling us not to go—it was wrong timing. I believed them because that was their reality. My reality that time was different: We were out there for a pleasant and exciting journey. As usual, I could “see” in my mind’s eye that we were “back” home and talking to the members of the family how great our travel was. Sure enough, every time we passed each State, it was sunny and our trip was not spoiled due to closed highways toward our destination. There were many instances that when I took shots of the sceneries we were there at the right time and the right place. Just like that boarding pass, in my recent trip, I got the seat near the window because I “told” the attendant, my subconscious mind, what I really wanted. In life, to get what we want, we have to basically know first what we want. We are all responsible for whatever we do in our lives. No one is to blame but us. Mea culpa; it’s my fault. Also, it’s “the way” of releasing us from resentment, anger, hatred or fear that is essentially the cause of many illnesses. If it’s got to be, it’s up to me.
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Published with permission: Vics Magsaysay
Website: www.yessy.com/vicsmagsaysay
Email: vicsmag@yahoo.com)
__________________________________________________________________________________

Copyright 2007: Vics Magsaysay This material may not be published, rewritten, broadcast or redistributed unless with written permission from the author.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Cebu's fresh grad Tisha Erasga bags "Ramp, Video DJ Hunt"


Winning over ten other young video jockey (VJ) hopefuls in “Ramp, The VJ Hunt,” sponsored by RCTV, 20-year-old Althea Therese “Tisha” Erasga adds one more side to her already multi-faceted self.

Aside from excelling in sports activities ranging from swimming to wall climbing, Tisha is a member of the Cebu Flag Football League for nearly three years now. “The open field is where I unwind. Four to eight hours a week of field practice relieves me of stress.”

Also involved in outside-of-school productions even way back her late high school years, Tisha values also what she learns in theater. “The stage is more than just shedding away your insecurities. This is where I learn professionalism, sincerity, and commitment.”

These are just a few of what piques the interest of this nursing fresh graduate of the University of San Carlos in Cebu City.

During the first runs of the VJ hunt (the reality show competition lasted four months, from January to May), Tisha was still in the final weeks of finishing her degree. While it would seem an unlikely extracurricular activity in between hectic schedules of school requirements and final exams, Tisha still went ahead with trying out for the opportunity to host.

“I am very much interested in hosting, but I didn’t place my studies second in the list. In fact, there was a specific task that had five activities and I had to decline in joining some parts of it as I had to take an exam. Right after the exams, I jumped in the nearest taxi and arrived at Bigfoot just in time to catch up with the third activity in the acting workshop,” Tisha recalls of the only task in the VJ hunt where she garnered a high score, getting second place in the acting lessons given by the International Academy of Film and Television.

Asked how she would define a 20-year-old, Tisha says it is to be mature enough to make decisions, and to aggressively do the things that can improve oneself.

With a profession to practice, sport competitions to join, and on stage stints to keep her up and about, Tisha will surely be busy keeping up with such ideals.

Peso continues to Strengthen; Diminishes OFW earnings

Singapore: Arroyo wants negative impact of strong peso on OFWs addressed

PRESIDENT Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Sunday ordered Socio-Planning Secretary Romulo Neri to draw up measures that the government could adopt to assist Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and their families following the negative impact of the continued strengthening of the peso on their lifestyles, particularly their spending capabilities.

Arroyo, in a speech before the Filipino community at the Suntec Convention Hall in Singapore, said the government is aware that while the peso continues to gain strength, it diminishes the earning of OFWs and the export industry.

Will Regine give up career for Ogie?; baby coming soon?

FUNFARE By Ricardo F. Lo
Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Regine Velasquez is ready to give up her career for love while her lover Ogie Alcasid said they might have a baby soon.
These were some of the not-so-surprising revelations made by the couple at a presscon in L.A. Funfare L.A. correspondent Tony Vizmonte was there. Here’s his report:
Members of the LA press, including dozens of showbiz aficionados like Evelyn Paez and Precy Concha didn’t wait long to hear the exciting answers to all the burning questions straight up from the stars themselves of Love 2 Laugh The Songwriter and The Songwrecker. It topbilled Ogie Alcasid and Ai-Ai de las Alas with their very special guests Regine Velasquez and Martin Nievera.
After dinner of delicious food catered at the Scientology Celebrity Centre International in Hollywood, the press conference started late at past eight.
What happened to Canada’s scandal wasn’t much the center of attention. It was the first public appearance of Regine and Ogie who finally admitted they are in a relationship.
“She is my girlfriend,” Ogie said. “I only came here for one reason,” declared Regine and pointed at Ogie. That statement alone met with applause.
So what’s next for them? “I am going to do a movie with Ogie, with an unknown title yet,” Regine said. “I am going to have a concert, a personal one in September. Then a baby,” declared Ogie in a casual manner. There wasn’t a reaction from the audience. This prompted Martin to say, “I don’t think they got it.” with laughter.
Asked if he’s going to drop a bomb that night, Martin jokingly said, “ It’s me and Ai-Ai all along for the past seven years.”
Ogie and Ai-Ai mentioned that the guest stars are even better than the main event. Martin also introduced girlfriend Katrina Ojeda, their son Santino and another son with Pops who were all seated in the audience. Martin is going home in July to celebrate his 25th showbiz anniversary.
(E-mail reactions at rickylo@philstar.net.ph)

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Basil Valdez coverage on Manila U.S. Times

Jed Madela in Concert


Jed Madela Serenades…US Concert Tour ‘07
When :
Saturday Jun 30, 2007 at 7:00 PM

Where :
Los Angeles Trade and Technical College
The Grand Theatre
400 West Washington Blvd
Los Angeles , CA 90015

Contact :
Tickets: Tony V. (818) 240-8397 and Rico Hechanova (626) 251- 5794


Jed Madela, not your ordinary Filipino singing Champion, is the champion of the world that every Filipino should be proud of. He made waves during the 2005 World Championships of the Performing Arts (www.wcopa.com ) in Hollywood California when he single-handedly won all major industry awards, 6 gold medals for all the 6 categories he joined in, the World Star Trophy and the most coveted and ultimate title “Grand Champion Performer of the World” besting over 3,000 acts (competing against dancers, singers, instrumentalists, actors etc..) from 52 countries all over the world!

Often referred to as “The Voice” and “The Singer’s Singer” by the Philippine press, Jed’s 2nd album “Songs Rediscovered” hit the double platinum mark. Recently, (June 2007), Jed released his most awaited 3rd album entitled “Only Human”. His famous rendition of Impossible Dream is included as a bonus track in this latest album. Jed is now a mainstay of ABS CBN’s Sunday noontime show ASAP 07.

Experience the difference of being in a Jed Madela concert! Aside from being treated to a powerful but soothing voice by Jed, he captures you and brings you to certain heights you’d get goose bumps after every song. His concert performances showcase the incredible range his voice can reach, without the irritating shrill. He satisfies the audience – from the text generation who prefers pop music to the baby boomers who delights in the classic and standard songs. His concerts in Manila are soldouts and people clamored for more. People sharply rose to their feet for standing ovations. Get your tickets today.

Pinoy World July-August issue is here: Subscribe Today



Los Angeles Contact: (For Events & Ads)
Jay Fermin ppp-us
Editorial & Marketing Associate
Pinoy World Magazine
Phone: (818)636-7454
Circulation: US, Philippines, Australia

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Kiko Pangilinan: Youngest Councilor to Senator



Los Angeles:
By Johnny Pecayo (Chairman & Editor:Manila U.S.Times)

Senator Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan, Senate Majority Leader, is the youngest to assume the post since 1937. He was the Special Guest of Honor and Keynote Speaker at the June 8, 9 and 10, 2007 celebration of the 109th Anniversary of the Declaration of Philippine Independence.

In the early stage of his political career, Pangilinan was elected as the youngest City Councilor in Quezon City in 1988. He became Minority Leader, Quezon City Legislative Council, from 1991-1992.

He holds a masters degree in Public Administration. His Area of Concentration: Strategic Management, which he obtained from the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
He earned his Bachelor of Laws degree from College of Law, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City.

A double-degree holder, Kiko, as he is fondly called, also finished his Bachelor of Arts in English degree, Major in Comparative Literature, College of Arts and Letters, University of the Philippines.
He went to La Salle Greenhills in Mandaluyong City for his secondary and primary education.

He has been a member of the Philippine Senate since 2001, and was recently re-lected with a commanding lead. Pangilinan occupies other responsible positions in the Philippine Senate, as Chairperson, Committee on Rules, with jurisdiction on all matters relating to the Rules of the Senate; the Calendar as well as Parliamentary Rules and the order and manner of transacting business and the creation of committees.

From August 2001 to present, Kiko has been the Senate Representative to the Judicial and Bar Council, a constitutional body tasked to review and recommend appointments of justices and judges in the Philippine Judiciary.From February 10, 2003 to January 2004, Kiko was the Chairperson, Committee on Education, Arts and Culture, which managed matters within the Senate jurisdiction relating to the promotion and development of the state education of the country and the preservation, enrichment and evolution of Filipino Arts and Culture.

From August 2001 to January 12, 2004, Kiko was the Chairman, Committee on Justice and Human Rights. He was and is a principal in the struggle for reforms in the Philippines Judicial System and the upholding of Human Rights. He also chaired the Committee on Urban Planning, Housing and Resettlement, as well as the Committee on Ethics and Privileges, with jurisdiction over matters relating to the conduct, rights, provileges, safety, dignity, integrity and reputation of the Senate and its members.

Senator Pangilinan authored and sponsored a number of important and relevant bills in the Senate, like the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act; Improvement on the salaries and benefits to justices, judges and memberf of the Judiciary; strenghtening and rationalizing the National Prosecution Service; Anti-domestic Violence Bill; curtailing Entertainment and Media Piracy in the Philippines; Anti-Money Laundering; Prohibiting the Imposition of Death Penalty; Human Rights Consciousness; National Service Training Program; Citizenship Retention Act; Filipino Overseas Absentee-Voting; Amending the Philippine Teachers Professionalization; Creation and conversion of various State universities and colleges; Creation of local courts; and Amending the Labor Code of the Philippines, by rationalizing the Composition and Functions of the National Labor Relations Commission.

Affiliation:
Pangilinan is the Chairman of the Liberal Party of the Philippines, the second oldest political party in the Philippines.

Mediaman:
Prior to getting elected senator, Kiko Pangilinan was Anchorperson, "Barangay Dos TV Show" ABS-CBN Channel 2 (2000-2001); Anchorperson, "Relos Report with Atty. Kiko" over DZMM 630 khz. (1999-2001); Anchorperson, "Batas" over DZMM 630 khz.(1998-2001); Co-anchor, "Hoy Gising" TV Show ABS-CBN (1993-1997); Legal Analyst, ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation, News and Current Affairs Department (1993-2001); Head, Legal Desk, ABS-CBN (1998-2001); and Anchorperson, DZMM Aksyon Ngayon (1994-1997).

Academe:
Senator Pangilinan was a lecturer on Civil Law, Political Law and Labor Law,Department of Management, Ateneo de Manila University (1993-2000).

International Conferences and Delegations:
The Senate Majority Leader in the following: -- Law and Justice: The Caseof Parliamentary Scrutiny Association of the Prevention of Torture, theInter-Parliamentary Union and the International Commission Jurist in Geneva,Switzerland, 25-27 September 2006; ASEAN 100 Leadership Forum,Singapore, September 28-29, 2005; Parliamentary Visit to the People's Republic of China, April 6-11, 2004; Asia Pacific Agenda Project Forum 2004, March 19-21, 2004; Tokyo, Japan; 4th ASEF Young Parliamentarians Meeting,October 17-20, 2002, Venice, Italy; Senate Representative to President GloriaMacapagal-Arroyo's State Visit to the People?s Republic of China and Hong Kong, October 28-November 1, 2001; and Financial Underpinnings of Terrorism, August 6-8, 2001, Washington D.C., U.S.A.

Awards and Recognition:
Testimonial of Appreciation to Senator Kiko Pangilinan, for institutionalizing CourtAnnexed/Referred Mediation Program in the Philippines and the establishment ofthe Philippine Mediation Center, San Fernando, Pampanga; Supreme Court of thePhilippines/Philippine Judicial Academy/Philippine Mediation Center/USAID &Asia Foundation presented. November 2006;

Most Outstanding Kapampangan Award for Public Service for 2002 -- San Fernando, Pampanga, October 2002;

University Medal of Honor for Exemplary Performance in Public Service --Angeles University Foundation, Angeles City, Pampanga, March 2002.

Certificate of Recognition -- Exemplary Contributions in the Field ofInvestigative Journalism and the Criminal Justice System, Crusade Against Violence (CAV) in 1996.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Basil "At Last" w/ Zsa Zsa & Agot" concert : a huge success


June 16, 2007, Pasadena: Basil Valdez's concert at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium was a huge success. He was joined on stage by guests Zsa Zsa Padilla who flew in to Los Angeles from the Philippines Friday, as well as by the Philippine bossa nova queen, the beautiful Agot Isidro. Joined by multitudes of fans, the concert started a little past 8 pm to the beautiful front act repertoire of Derek Santos. Under the direction of Kuh Ledesma's own legendary pianist Ray Cristobal, Basil crooned the audience over timeless songs of his original compositions as well as compositions by one of the most sentimental man of his time, the late songwriter George Canseco, who gave birth to songs that allowed hearts to heal over cathartic bliss in the hundreds of songs he wrote. He left behind a pop-culture legacy unmatched by many of his peers. From Canseco's pen came eternal Original Pilipino Music, most of which were interpreted by the country's ace balladeer himself, Basil Valdez. Joined by the sultry Agot Isidro in a duet and later by Zsa Zsa Padilla and her awesome audience connection, it was indeed a beautiful and memorable concert. More so because it was concert Producer (Katz Entertainment) & celebrity columnist Jackie Regala's birthday too !!. Basil rendered a lovely original just for her, one of my favorites too, the song "You." Enjoying the show were legendary photographer (Asian Journal) Andy Tecson & friends, Mr. Manny Martinez (President-Honda Pasadena) with his lovely wife, the young crowd on front row composed of Angelica Patolot, Britney and Mae Samson, two of 3 daughters of show producer, the lovely and always glowing Malou Samson(Red Fox Entertainment). Working the media coverage were Noli Yu & friend, Ted Talag, Jojo Marden of Balita Media and Balita's Photographer, Dr. Manny Ortega of PPCI and his better half, the charming Ruby Paguinto (Phil-Am Asian Journal), and the energetic Alex Pascual (AP media) and myself. Looking back,it was not work for me. It was a lovely evening of images and people and music. Basil culminated the show in the so uplifting rendition of Stephen Schwartz's songs from the Broadway stage musical "Pippin"; the classic songs "Magic To Do" and "Corner of the Sky." ....Awesome.....Certainly, Basil, Zsa Zsa & Agot brought out the best for a memorable evening of beautiful and timeless melodies. Reviewing my notes the day after, indeed, it was not just another concert. It was another brand new start for all who were there, reminding us all that there is still a lot of good yet to be. Music is indeed the universal language of the heart.
(Jay Fermin ppp-usa)

Saturday, June 16, 2007

"Corner of the Sky" lyrics (by Stephen Schwartz) rendition by Basil Valdez

EVERYTHING HAS ITS SEASON
EVERYTHING HAS ITS TIME
SHOW ME A REASON AND I'LL SOON SHOW YOU A RHYME
CATS FIT ON THE WINDOWSILL
CHILDREN FIT IN THE SNOW
WHY DO I FEEL I DON'T FIT IN ANYWHERE I GO?

RIVERS BELONG WHERE THEY CAN RAMBLE
EAGLES BELONG WHERE THEY CAN FLY
I'VE GOT TO BE WHERE MY SPIRITS CAN RUN FREE
GOT TO FIND MY CORNER OF THE SKY

EVERY MAN HAS HIS DAYDREAMS
EVERY MAN HAS HIS GOALS
PEOPLE LIKE THE WAY DREAMS HAVE OF STICKING TO THE SOUL
THUNDERCLOUDS HAVE THEIR LIGHTNING
NIGHTINGALES HAVE THEIR SONG
AND DON'T YOU SEE I WANT MY LIFE TO BE SOMETHING MORE THAN LONG

RIVERS BELONG WHERE THEY CAN RAMBLE
EAGLES BELONG WHERE THEY CAN FLY
I'VE GOT TO BE WHERE MY SPIRITS CAN RUN FREE
GOT TO FIND MY CORNER OF THE SKY

Keep it Simple




Tell me, I will Forget

Show me, I may Remember

Involve me, I will Understand

(from an ancient chinese proverb)

4th Largest US Bank opens Philippines call center

Charlotte, N.C.-based Wachovia (NYSE: WB), the nation's fourth-largest bank based on assets, entered the California banking market in 2006 with a small acquisition in Southern California and the purchase of Oakland-based Golden West Financial Corp., which operated World Savings. The bank's blue-and-green logo is already arriving in the Bay Area. They announced recently that they are opening a call call center in the Philippines.

.......And now my ten cents worth...

A good friend who is based here in Los Angeles asked me a few years back about opening a "call center" in the Philippines. I made some phone calls and connected him to other business folks as well as government compliance people. The idea that came to mind when I heard "call center" then was a group of about 30 people handling phones for his export import business. We made some connections, we talked about T1 Phone lines, buying bulk phone minutes in the hundreds of thousands (minutes), and Mayor's permit, location, the usual.

What escaped me then, and this is actually a big economic and social change in the Philippines right now, is that a "call center" is far from that. It could be contracted globally to anybody !!. Charter Broadband, Dell, Citi and the other big guys from the U.S. and Europe are going to the Philippines for affordable and very well trained labor pool.

Amazingly, for the past 5 years, the influx of "call centers" in the Philippines have quintripled, employing hundreds of thousands of our college graduates, who, without these call centers, would be under-employed and maybe on the worst case, un-employed. (Anim ang trabaho - kasi anim ployed).

Much more to my amazement, these call center "representatives" used to have been selected from affluent schools like De La Salle, Ateneo, UP, etc, and some were actually trained at accredited "International Schools." Guess what, now, Companies and Schools have invested in their own call center training programs and expanded the labor pool to all Filipinos who meet requirements.

The latest census showed too, that a typical "call rep" earns double the salary of an entry level bank employee in the Philippines, most of them are single, call centers are a 24/7 operations (they hire 3x the amount of employees than other industries), they are fun loving and very courteous, and most of all, they have suddenly a huge amount of disposable income. The result, more spending power towards the Philippine economy. As I interviewed a call center rep, she even boasted of having a Starbucks coffee shop and a McDonalds on the call center building where they worked. So, if you happen to need phone support for your latest laptop, dryer, car or any gizmos you just bought, and your call is routed to the Philippines, be proud. These call center reps deliver world class quality and service. It just makes me proud again to be a Filipino.
(Jay Fermin)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Basil Valdez " At Last" w/ Zsa Zsa Padilla & Agot Isidro, a night of beautiful music

June 16, 2007 at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium. It was exciting to meet and greet the legendary Basil Valdez at the Press Con held June 13 at American Honda Pasadena, (one of the main show sponsors). His music has inspired countless thousands with his uplifting repertoire, including myself during my wedding with the song: "Ngayon at Kailanman" rendition. He is a much awarded and multi talented artist who has proven great creativity in his 25 years as a legendary balladeer. Fall in love again and join the quiet spirited Basil this Saturday. The sexy and legendary Song Goddess and never aging (whats the secret?) Zsa Zsa Padilla, (whom I have worked with since... I won't mention the year, Zsa Zsa, I promise)which herself has proven to be a great artist with numerous talent singing & acting will join Basil on stage. She always deliver a high caliber performance which you should not miss. Also on stage will be the best looking (Julia Roberts twin?) scuba diver, interior designer, and the Philippine's bossa nova queen (her new album "The Island" I can't wait to get) Agot Isidro that commands the stage with her talent and her beauty. This will truly be a night to remember in the rich and plush venue of my home city, Pasadena. Be there and experience an evening of the most beautiful music that you have and will surely treasure .... I am looking forward to feel the music again. Basil "At Last", when you have a song in your heart, you can never be wrong. See you there. For Tickets, call Katz Entertainment at (562) 529-8680.

Many thanks to Honda Pasadena President Mr. Manny Martinez for the warm Honda hospitality; host of the Basil "At Last" Press Con and to the Jackie Regala, Producer: Katz Entertainment.



Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Basil Hits Los Angeles


Basil Valdez...at Last
When :
Saturday Jun 16, 2007 at 8:00 PM

Where :
Pasadena Civic Auditorium
300 E. Green Street
Pasadena , CA 91101

Contact :
Katz Entertainment


Telephone: (562) 529-8680

Monday, June 11, 2007

FAQ About Universal HealthCare

January 9, 2007
UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE IN CALIFORNIA....Arnold Schwarzenegger unveiled his universal healthcare plan for California on Monday and it looks....okay. Just. But I'd say that about any plan that keeps insurance companies in the healthcare business, so take it with a grain of salt. Given the political realities of California and the nation, it's probably about as good a plan as we could hope for.

(So does that mean I support it? I think so. Frankly, I go back and forth on whether cobbled-together plans like this one actually help things much, or whether they should all be opposed in favor of an eventual big bang. I may change my mind tomorrow, but for now I figure that a step in the right direction is a step in the right direction. I'll take it.)

Overall, the plan is about what you'd expect. Basically, it's an individual mandate (i.e., everyone is required to buy health insurance, the same way everyone who drives is required to buy auto insurance) with state subsidies for those too poor to afford coverage. There's a new tax on doctors and hospitals, and small employers are required to either provide insurance for their employees or else pay a 4% payroll tax. Insurance companies, for their part, are required to offer insurance to everyone, regardless of medical history, age, or occupation (aka "community rating," meaning everyone in a particular community gets the same rate.)

Problems? Sure. California Republicans are already lining up to oppose it, and this matters since tax and budget issues require a two-thirds majority to pass. (Apparently some Democratic supporters are claiming the plan needs only majority support, but this seems pretty iffy to me.) Steve Burd, the CEO of Safeway, points out that the 4% payroll tax is too low a figure to provide a level playing field, since healthcare sets back the average company about 7% of payroll. That may actually encourage companies to stop offering health insurance and instead simply pay the tax. Finally, although I haven't seen an independent analysis of the numbers, my gut tells me they look lowballed. I have a feeling the plan is going to cost more than Schwarzenegger is fessing up to.

Overall, I'm not a big fan of individual mandates. On the other hand, I am a big fan of community rating, and the whole plan might be worth passing simply to get that enshrined into law. Once community rating becomes established, I suspect there's no going back, and that might eventually lead to a more rational system all by itself.

So two-and-a-half cheers for Arnold's plan. It's not perfect, but few things in life are. For now, it's probably about as good as we're likely to get.

—Kevin Drum 1:00 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (109)

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Black Eyed Pea plays life coach to Amerasians


Inquirer
Last updated 02:16am (Mla time) 06/03/2007


ANGELES CITY, Pampanga, Philippines—Allan Pineda, more popularly known as apl.de.ap of the three-time Grammy Award-winning quartet the Black Eyed Peas, sang, danced and shared life lessons in his new role as kuya (elder brother) to young American-Filipinos or Amerasians who have been abandoned by their US servicemen-fathers.

“Samasan yu ing pamag-aral yu (You should do well in your studies),” Pineda told the youngsters in Angeles City, just outside Clark air field—the largest American air base in the Pacific before the US-Philippine bases treaty ended in 1991.

He spoke Kapampangan so fluently it was hard to believe he had been away for 18 years. The 32-year-old rock star was himself an abandoned Amerasian child, who eventually made it to the United States with the help of a charitable foundation and sponsor.

“Yes, Kuya Allan! We love you, Kuya Allan!” 50 or so young American-Filipinos, aged five to 20, chorused back during a forum held at the Angeles University Foundation here on Friday.

Still shaking off jet lag from Thursday’s flight from Los Angeles, Pineda easily gave in to their requests, singing parts of his group’s chart-busting songs. He also accommodated all the children who wanted to be photographed with him.

Dressed in a black suit and sneakers, Pineda made it known he remained a Filipino at heart.

Aside from talking to the Amerasian children, he has also promised to do two more tasks: Hold a benefit concert, possibly in December this year, after the Black Eyed Peas’ “Black Blue & You World Tour” in 13 countries, and work as endorser for the educational scholarship program of the Pearl S. Buck Foundation Philippines (PSBP) among Filipino-Americans in the United States.

All these he would do, he told the Inquirer, through the PeaPod Foundation, the charity arm of the Black Eyed Peas.

He earlier did benefit concerts for landslide victims in Leyte and tsunami victims in Indonesia.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Consular Service at Kalayaan 07

Consular Services at Long Beach Convention Center
PHILIPPINE CONSULAR SERVICES OUTREACH PROGRAM AT THE LONG BEACH CONVENTION CENTER ON 09-10 JUNE 2007

The Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles is pleased to announce that it would undertake a consular outreach program on Saturday and Sunday, 09-10 June 2007 at the Long Beach Convention Center to coincide with the Independence Day Events organized by the Kalayaan of Southern California (KOSCI) Inc. for the Filipino Community. The Honorable Mary Jo Bernardo Aragon, Philippine Consul General in Los Angeles, will lead a team that would provide consular services in Long Beach and the neighboring areas, such as processing of applications for Philippine passports, notarization of documents, and processing of dual citizen applications.

The Consular Outreach Program will commence from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Booth No. 154 inside Hall C of the Long Beach Convention Center located at 300 Ocean Boulevard, Long Beach, CA 90802.

For further details, please contact directly the Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles at telephone no. (213) 639-0980 until 85; fax number (213) 639-0990;
e-mail address at losangelespc@aol.com. Information on documentary requirements and fees could be viewed at the Consulate`s website at www.pcgenla.org.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

SIPA Parents Appreciation Day


Join us for the SIPA Parents Appreciation Day.

Date:
Friday, June 29, 2007

Where:
Temple Gateway Youth & Community Center, 3200 West Temple Street, Los Angeles, CA 90026-4522

Contact:
Tel (213) 382-1819 (x123) or email: info@espia.org

website: www.esipa.org

This event will be a day of celebration of another year of service in multi-ethnic Historic Filipinotown. This event will also help SIPA to identify, recruit, register, and enroll interested parents and other family members to learn more about how to become better, more positive and nurturing parents by joining the new SIPA Parents Club.

SEARCH to INVOLVE PILIPINO AMERICANS (SIPA)
For over 35 years, Search to Involve Pilipino Americans (SIPA), headquartered in Historic Filipinotown, has served this impoverished neighborhood as well as the greater Los Angeles Filipino American community with mission-fueled passion and relatively little fanfare. SIPA continues to provide health and human services as well as community economic development programs to the now diverse, multi-ethnic youth and families residing in the area as well as Filipino Americans all over Los Angeles County.

Philippine Press Photographers photo exhibit

Los Angeles:
Rene Villaroman/journalist and photographer
President, Press Photographers Philippines--USA

Our exhibit in connection with the Philippine Foods Festival at the New Otani Hotel's Azalea restaurant and Bar was officially opened by Consul General Mary Jo Bernardo-Aragon yesterday at 11:30 am. the ribbon cutting was attended by other Consulate officials as well as officials of the Philippine Tourism Authority. Do visit the exhibit and tell your friends to patronize the food festival and have a look at our photo exhibit. It will close on Friday the 11th. I enjoin everyone to have lunch there and those interested.
Let us also have a last briefing before covering the Kalayaan 2007 beginning on June 8 until 10. Thank you and Mabuhay!

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Pangilinan & Manzano at Kalayaan 2007

LOS ANGELES Asian Journal- Reelected Senator Francis Pangilinan and Optical Media Board chairman actor Edu Manzano will be the special guests during the 109th anniversary celebration of Philippine Independence on June 8-9 at the Long Beach Convention Center.

Lydia F. Soriano, president of Kalayaan of Southern California Inc. (KOSCI), which coordinates Kalayaan 2007, said Pangilinan, who ran as an independent and who topped the absentee voting in the United States and other parts of the world, will be the keynote speaker during the Gala Night dinner ball on June 9, Saturday, also at the Long Beach Convention Center.

Manzano, a veteran actor-TV host and former vice mayor of Makati, will co-host the Pageant Coronation and Awards Night on June 8, Friday, also at the Long Beach Convention Center.

Pangilinan and Manzano, along with other Philippine and US-based celebrities, will join the Independence Day festivities from June 8-9 at the Long Beach Convention Center, which include a Trade and Auto Show from June 9 to 10.

The Kalayaan 2007 trade show will be open to the public for free and will be held for the first time in an enclosed convention center. Thousands of Filipinos from various cities in Southern California are expected to join the two-day festivities, which include an all-day entertainment, cultural shows featuring Philippine arts, music and folk dance, games and contests, raffles, food booths, product and service booths, and an Asian-themed auto show.

A lot of prizes await those who will join the festivities, scheduled from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 9, and Sunday, June10.

Another new feature of the trade show is a community pavilion, where people can meet and exchange ideas. Various corporate sponsors will have booths to showcase their products and services. There will also be a training kiosk, and beach bar and food booths ready to serve different Filipino delicacies.

Tickets for the Gala Night are $50 per person. Seating is limited, so those who wish to attend the premiere event are advised to buy their tickets early. Attire for the occasion is barong tagalog for men and Filipiniana dress for ladies.

On Friday, June 8, the Coronation and Awards Night will be held starting at 6 p.m., also at the Long Beach Convention Center. The winners of the beauty pageant and the tennis, bowling and golf tournaments will receive their trophies and prizes during the event. The Kalayaan 2007 Ambassador of Goodwill to the Philippines, who will join a feeding and gift-giving mission for street children in the Philippines, will also be named during the program. Tickets for the Coronation and Awards Night cost $35 each, inclusive of dinner.

The Kalayaan Pageant was launched in Hollywood last Sunday, May 27, wsith the following KOSCI officers in attendance: KOSCI President Lydia V. Soriano, overall chairperson; Darna B. Umayam, Pageant honorary chairperson; Thelma Calabio, Pageant chairperson; Mylah de Leon, vice chairperson of external affairs; KOSCI Vice President Noel Omega and Dr. Carlos P. Manlapaz, Pageant committee member.

The contenders and the titles they are vying for include: Mattie Revolinski and Elvisa Rafanan (Kalayaan Queen); Shirley Lumanog (Kalayaan Ambassador of Goodwill); and Mrs. Kalayaan: Virginia Vivas, Elena Jovenes, Estelita Valtiendas, and Maria Elena Minoza Ferrer, and Ria Schneider. Other contestants are: Jacky Skelly and Mary Grace Concepcion, Miss Kalayaan; and the youngest, Jessicaliz Clavering, Mariah Ramos and Michelle Calabio for Miss Teen Kalayaan.

Every applicant should be of Filipino descent or heritage, of good moral character and possess a pleasing personality. The Kalayaan Queen must be 65-years-old or over; single, currently or previously married; Mrs. Kalayaan, 30 and above; currently or previously married; Miss Kalayaan, 18- to 29-years-old, and Miss Teen Kalayaan, 14- to 17-years-old must be single, never been married or had a child. Miss Teen must also have the consent of her parents to join the contest.

Cash prizes await successful major titleholders, along with the opportunity to represent KOSCI (Kalayaan of Southern California, Inc.) in all its humanitarian endeavors in the United States and the Philippines. For some, a round-trip ticket to the homeland could be a bonus with three days of free accommodation at Shangrila Hotel, and a chance to join the Ambassador and Consuls General Tour, photo-ops with the Philippine President and television appearances.

The Kalayaan 2007 events, organized and coordinated by the Kalayaan of Southern California Inc. (KOSCI), headed by its president, Lydia F. Soriano, kicked off with two successful sportsfest tournaments on May 5 and May 18. The events were organized by the Special Projects Committee, headed by Benjie Bautista, president of the Cavitenos of Southern California, Inc

The bowling tournament, with bowling tournament co-chair, Vicky Belo, was held on May 18 at the Cerritos Lanes with a four-man team line-up, after which the top five teams vied for the championship and runner-up positions. The tennis tournament was held on May 5 at the Cerritos East Park.

The golf tournament is scheduled on June 3 at Westridge Golf Club at 1400 La Habra Hills. Registration starts at 8 a.m. Co-chairs for the golf tournament are DOT-LA Director Annie Cuevas, DOT-LKA Deputy Director Manny Ilagan (213-487-4525), Louie Macapinlac (626-353-4210), Leo Borado (562-416-7162) and Philippine Press Club International president Lydia V. Solis (626-917-5503). Committee members are: Bill Sison, Fortune Mabasa, Allan Rivano (323-702-8353), Rene Custodio (909-576-1458), Edgar Gonzalez (626-780-3322), and Dick Lim (818-270-0740).

Registration on June 3rd starts at 9:00 A.M., with tee-off at 11:00 A.M. (shotgun-start). Tournament prizes include a hole-in-one on hole #7, Land Cruiser FJ40; hole-in-one on holes #3, 11, & 15, Toyota Camry LE from Keyes Toyota of Van Nuys, and other surprise prizes. Trophies will be awarded on June 8th at the Long Beach Convention Center during the Pageant and Sportsfest Awards Night for low gross (overall); low-net (overall, Class A, B, C, and Callaway).

Tournament fee of $120.00 includes green fees, cart, after-game buffet dinner, and after-dinner raffle ticket. You may call any numbers provided for more information.

Sponsors of all Kalayaan 2007 events are the following: United Capital Funding, WSNR Home Care Services, Harah’s Resort and Casino, American Home Escrow, MSM Mortgage Company, Ayala Investments (Philippines), Prepaid Card Services. KOSCI officials also acknowledged the support of media organizations, such as Ang Peryodiko, My Gringos, Asian Journal, Weekend Balita, Taliba, Manila US Times, Siklab, and Diaryo Pilipino.

For more information, please call the following: Overall and sponsorships, Lydia Soriano (562) 809-1995 and Noel Omega (818) 605-4417; Sportsfest, Benjie Bautista (323) 376-4032; Ads and souvenir program, Josie De Jesus, (714) 272-0300; Booths and Trade show, Leo Maranan (818) 642-7109; Pageant, Thelma Calabio (310) 600-9913, Ticket Gala sales, Zeny Sabocor, (323) 222-6531, Philippine Consulate, (213) 637-3026; Pageant Tickets, Danilo Fajardo (562) 787-1042; trip to the Philippines, DOT-LA (231) 487-4525.

Controversial Immigration Bill sets Debate

There is a chorus of reactions to the preliminary version of a comprehensive immigration bill set to be considered before the Senate takes a weeklong break for Memorial Day.

Debate in the Senate opened May 21 even before the legislation designed by a bipartisan negotiating team was turned into bill form and introduced. A vote on the bill could be taken as soon as May 24, or debate could extend into June.

Bishop Gerald R. Barnes of San Bernardino, Calif., chairman of the bishops' Committee on Migration, said in a May 17 statement that the important considerations for the bill include that it "is workable and includes family unity and a fair and realistic path to citizenship, a new worker program which provides participants a meaningful opportunity to obtain permanent residency, and the preservation of family unity as an integral part of the U.S. immigration system."

Leaders of Catholic Charities USA said they would also push for a bill that "sustains and reunites families, promotes the security of the nation ... (and) improves the economic prospects, health, labor protections and stability of all U.S. residents, including newcomers," among other criteria.

Catholic Charities joined the USCCB in saying the compromise bill is a good starting point, albeit not the optimal approach.

"As the compromise is currently written, we are very concerned about provisions that could lead to separating families and disrupting family life," said a statement from Father Larry Snyder, president of Catholic Charities USA.

The campaign spells out five principles for immigration reform:

-- To make family a priority in immigration law.

-- To insist that worker programs contain protection for U.S. citizen and migrant workers.

-- To allow for earned legalization for undocumented immigrants.

-- To restore due process protections for immigrants.

-- To respond to the economic, political and social root causes of immigration.

In California, parishes and religious communities in East Los Angeles held a Mass May 16 at Resurrection Church to pray for legislators "who will guide the destinies of millions of hardworking immigrants and their families, hoping that just and humane comprehensive immigration reform legislation will be passed this year."

"We support the enforcement of our laws," Archbishop Brunett said. "But while we do not support illegal immigration, the Archdiocese of Seattle has a long-standing tradition of outreach to immigrants and refugees. It is integral to our faith and teaching that we provide food, shelter and material assistance to those in need."

_____________________________________________________

BUT the main components of the Comprehensive Immigration Reform now being debated has a lot of concern to families:

Three Key Points On The Bipartisan Immigration Reform Bill's Plan To End Chain Migration

1. The Bipartisan Immigration Bill Reforms The Immigration System To Better Balance The Importance Of Family Connections With U.S. Economic Needs.

2. The Bill Will End Chain Migration, Which Allows Legal Immigrants To Bring Extended Family Members To The U.S., And Focus Future Family Immigration On The Nuclear Family And Parents. There will still be more family-based than merit-based visas, and the existing decades-long backlog of family-based applications will be eliminated within eight years.

3. Green Cards For Extended Family Will Be Rebalanced To The New Merit-Based System To Select Future Immigrants Based On The Skills And Attributes They Will Bring To The United States.

The Bipartisan Immigration Reform Bill Will Focus Future Family Migration On The Nuclear Family And Parents

In Place Of The Current System Where Nearly Two-Thirds Of Green Cards Are Awarded To Relatives Of U.S. Citizens, The Bill Reforms Our Immigration System To Better Balance The Importance Of Family Connections With The Economic Needs Of Our Country.


Green cards for parents of U.S. citizens are capped, while set-asides for the siblings of U.S. citizens and the adult children of U.S. citizens and green card holders are eliminated.

A new Parents Visitor visa is created to ensure that parents are allowed to visit their adult citizen children in the United States regularly and for extended periods of time.

The Diversity Lottery Program, which is susceptible to fraud and grants green cards through random chance, is ended.
The Bill Will Clear The Current Decades-Long Backlog Of Family-Based Applications Within Eight Years And Continue To Uphold The Importance Of Family Connections. During this time, the majority of green cards issued will go to family members. Even after family backlogs are cleared and the rebalancing of visas is complete, there will be more family-based green cards issued than merit-based green cards.

After The Backlogs Are Cleared, Rebalanced Green Cards Will Be Applied To The New Merit-Based System For Immigration. Once the backlogs of employment-based and family-based applications are cleared, there will be 380,000 green cards available under the merit-based system - up from 140,000 employment-based green cards today.

Family Members Of Z Visa Holders And Temporary Workers Will Not Receive Preference For Green Cards

Z Visa Workers May Not Petition To Bring Family Members To The U.S. Family members of Z visa workers must compete for green cards under the merit-based system, which awards points for attributes that further our national interest, including: skills and work experience, with added points for U.S. employment in a specialty or high-demand field; education, with added points for training in science, math, and technology; employer endorsement; ability to speak English; and family ties to the U.S.

Temporary Workers In The "Y" Program Face Strict Restrictions On Bringing Immediate Family Members To The U.S. The new "Y" temporary workers are eligible only for three, two-year terms in the U.S. and must spend at least a year outside the country between each term. To prevent Y's from setting down permanent roots in the U.S., the bill provides that these workers may be accompanied by their families during only one of these terms - and then only if they have the financial means to support them and if their family members will have health insurance. In addition, any Y who brings his or her family will be entitled to only two terms rather than the standard three. Finally, the bill caps the overall number of family members that Y visa workers may bring into the U.S.

Sorry for the long post; I am confused too about the Immigration Reform Bill. Let us see where compromise/s in the Senate will be before the bill gets to the White House.

Bush to Visit Pope Benedict XVI

Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- U.S. President George W. Bush is coming to the Vatican for his first formal audience with Pope Benedict XVI, a meeting seen on both sides as immensely important.

Vatican officials said the June 9 encounter would give the pope and the president a chance to sit down for a survey of dramatic situations around the world, including Iraq, where thousands of Christians have been forced to flee.

The Bush administration believes the audience will highlight the shared values and common objectives of the Vatican and the United States in light of the current problems in world affairs.

Blessings Poured


Report from Vatican City: Amidst pouring rain, hundreds of Assumption students and graduates from 34 countries including the Philippines attended the Canonization of now Saint Marie Eugenie, founder of the Religious of the Assumption order. President Arroyo, together with Assumption's Superior Mother General Diana r.a. and Maria Carmela "Risa" Bondoc, the filipina youth whose miracle healing of a brain ailment (since 1995 & confirmed in 2006)was instrumental in Saint Marie Eugenie's canonization on June 3, 2007 at St. Peter's Basilica, together with the presidential entourage, met with Pope Benedict XVI at the Sala del Trono at the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican. The President then had lunch with filipino priests at the Hotel Michaelangelo. She is scheduled to join her fellow assumptionistas for a Thanksgiving Mass June 4, 2007, Monday. From Rome, President Arroyo is scheduled to fly to Lisbon where she will meet Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva and visit the Shrine of Fatima.

Saint Eugenie’s order and the Fatima shrine both have large followings in the overwhelmingly Roman Catholic Philippines. On President Arroyo's arrival in Rome, going down the ramp of the plane, the President was welcomed by Philippine Ambassador to the Holy See Leonida Vera and Philippine Ambassador to the Republic of Italy Philippe Lhuillier, together with representatives of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a high ranking official of the Vatican representing the Pope.

From the Ciampino Airport, the President and her official delegation were immediately whisked to the St. Regis Hotel where they are billeted. She is scheduled to join her fellow assumptionistas for a Thanksgiving Mass June 4, 2007, Monday. From Rome, President Arroyo is scheduled to fly to Lisbon where she will meet Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva and visit the Shrine of Fatima.

From Portugal, Arroyo will proceed to China for an official visit to Chongqing and Shenzhen, which was originally scheduled in April. The trip had to be put off because the president’s husband needed heart surgery.

The president also just came back from a an economic trip to Australia and New Zealand.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

President Arroyo Departure Statement

Departure statement of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo: On her visits to Italy, Portugal & China
SATURDAY, JUNE 2, 2007 | FOREIGN RELATIONS


The sun never sets on the work of the Philippine President in the modern world. In the past two weeks, I have traveled across East Asia to reap greater tides, peace and prosperity for our nation; and I am embarking today for the Vatican and Portugal in a virtually uninterrupted voyage for trade, investments, peace, security and spiritual rearmament for the Filipino people.

Japan was for economic partnership. New Zealand was for peace. Australia was for regional security. I shall go to the Vatican to seek the Pope’s renewed blessings for our people, then to Portugal to reinvigorate century-old ties. On the way home, I shall pass by Chengdu in Sichuan, China’s largest province; and Chongquing, the fastest growing city in the world.

From the economic to the spiritual realm, the Filipino rules the future. From seven percent growth to fuel the fight against poverty, we take higher inspiration from the prospective canonization of the first Filipino Saint of this century. God has given us a wellspring of blessings as well as the fortitude and the armor to do good and prosper.

We are stitching the threads of history and strategy to gain the vantage point for the Filipino people towards the end of the decade. From political stability at home, we have to stretch our horizons to security in the region. From economic vibrance at home, we must derive broader alliances to leverage the excellence of the Filipino and the value of our natural resources.

Growth must defeat poverty, global cooperation must win the peace, trade must propel people-to-people exchanges that make us one world and one humanity. The panoply of aspirations, creeds and dreams in East Asia must drive a caring and sharing community.

We shall continue to forge on with the unity of the Filipino people behind the sails of our nation, the confidence of the world as a buoy in challenging seas, and the collective patriotism of our leaders to pave the way forward. We shall bring your warm embrace to all our compatriots in the lands I shall visit.

President Arroyo Embarks on Spiritual Journey

Sunday, June 3, 2007
ROME – President Arroyo was to arrive here last night to start her two-state swing to the the Vatican and Portugal. At the Vatican, she will attend the canonization of four Catholic saints along with three other heads of state and obtain what she called the “spiritual rearmament of the Filipino people.”

The presidential party was scheduled to arrive the Ciampino International Airport at 10:30 p.m. (4:30 a.m. Manila time) and was to be met by Italian foreign ministry officials and Ambassador to Rome Philippe Lhuillier.

They will proceed to the St. Regis Hotel where members of the official delegation are billeted. From Rome, Mrs. Arroyo will fly to Portugal for an official visit to meet with Portugese President Anibal Cavaco Silva and visit the Assembly of the Republic, a unicameral parliament of 230 deputies elected for four-year terms and headed by Prime Minister Jose Socrates.

Mrs. Arroyo left Manila at 2:30 p.m. flying from the Centennial Airport on a chartered Philippine Airlines (PAL) flight.

“I am embarking today for the Vatican and Portugal in a virtually uninterrupted voyage for trade, investment, peace security and spiritual rearmament for the Filipino people,” Mrs. Arroyo said in her departure statement. “I shall go to the Vatican to seek the Pope’s renewed blessing for our people, then to Portugal to reinvigorate century-old ties.”

She said: “God has given us a wellspring of blessings, as well as the fortitude and the armor to do and prosper.” The Philippines is the only predominantly Catholic nation in Asia.

With the country’s 6.9-percent gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the first quarter, she said the Filipino people “rules the future” from both the economic and spiritual realms.

Mrs. Arroyo will be joining Ireland’s President Mary MacAleese, Malta’s President Edward Fenech Adami and Poland’s President Lech Kaczynski in attending the canonization rites at the Vatican led by Pope Benedict XVI at 10 a.m. today (4 p.m. Manila time).

To be declared saints are: Maria Eugenie de Jesus Milleret, Karel Van Sint Andres Houben, Szymon z Lipnicy and Greco Preca. Blessed Marie Eugenie is the founder of the Religious of the Assumption order, which has established Catholic schools all over the world including in the Philippines.

Malacañang said the President’s presence during the canonization rites of Mother Marie Eugenie is very significant to her personally and to the Filipino people because she is an alumna of the Assumption Convent school in Makati City, where studied from elementary to college.

Blessed Marie Eugenie was born in Metz, France in 1817 and founded the religious order in 1839. She died in 1898 and was beatified by Pope Paul VI in 1975.

Today, the Religious of the Assumption are present in 34 countries – eight in Europe, five in Asia, 10 in American and 11 in Africa. Almost 1,200 nuns form 170 Assumption communities worldwide.

At 1:30 p.m. of the same day, Mrs. Arroyo will attend a luncheon hosted by the Assumption Committee for the Canonization at the Hotel Michaelangelo. This will be followed by a meeting with the Filipino community here at 4 p.m. at the Fontifico Collegio Filipino.

At 6:30 p.m., the President and members of the official delegation will meet with the Filipino Assumption delegation at the Sao Paolo VI, Piazza Paolo VI at the Vatican. The meeting will include a musical presentation titled “The Youth Pays Homage to Marie Eugenie.”

On Monday, Mrs. Arroyo will have an audience with the Pope at the Sala del Trono at the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican at 11 a.m. (5 p.m. Manila time), followed by a meeting with Vatican Secretary of State Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone.

From the Vatican, the presidential party will proceed to Ciampino Airport for departure to Lisbon, Portugal. – Paolo Romero, Pia Lee-Brago

PIXELODEON 2007


"Pixelodeon is an annual independent video festival recognizing innovation, inspiration, and community in global online video. This is our inaugural year! Over 300 videos, four keynote speakers, two dozen curators, and several hundred people interested in independent media will get together in one weekend to celebrate the diversity and talent of online video content. If you want to see what’s happening online and meet the people who are making it happen, this is the place to be." It will be at the American Film Institue, 2021 N. Western Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90027.
Okay, How Does It Work?
On June 9-10 in Los Angeles, California at the American Film Institute (AFI), we will have three theaters screening videos on movie-theater sized screens. Two of the theaters will screen videos selected by curators according to a theme they have selected. The third theater is the DIY Theater, which is curated by you (yes, YOU) on our wiki.

What Else Do I Need To Know?
Outside the theaters, conversations will be happening all over the AFI campus. This is a chance to talk with friends old and new, to widen your personal network, to interact with mainstream media representatives, and to find out about the incredible, diverse talent that is defining a new vocabulary for entertainment and information on the Internet. See you there.