Thursday, January 31, 2008

It's Official: L.A.'s rock band Maroon 5 will be having a concert in the Philippines

After much speculation, it is official. Maroon 5 will be having a concert in the Philippines on March 5, 2008. Maroon 5 is an American rock band originating from Los Angeles, California. Comprising five members: Adam Levine (vocals, guitar), James Valentine (guitar, vocals), Jesse Carmichael (keyboards, vocals), Mickey Madden (bass guitar) and Matt Flynn (drums, percussion), the band is best known for hit songs including "Harder to Breathe", "This Love" and "She Will Be Loved".

Maroon 5 has won several awards for its debut album Songs About Jane. Released in June 2002, the album enjoyed major chart success, going gold, platinum, and triple platinum in many countries around the world.[1] In support of Songs About Jane, Maroon 5 toured extensively throughout 2003 – 2005, in which a live album was released, entitled Live - Friday the 13th. Original member Ryan Dusick left the band in September 2006, due to injuries sustained by the constant touring, and was replaced by Matt Flynn.

After a hiatus from the music scene, Maroon 5 released their second studio album, It Won't Be Soon Before Long in May 2007, five years after Songs About Jane. The second set debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 with first week sales of nearly half a million. The album has since gone on to become platinum with 1.6 million albums sold in the United States alone. The band performed in various performances throughout the summer and fall of 2007, including a North American tour with The Hives. They are currently touring with Dashboard Confessional in their world tour and, beginning March 28, 2008, they will tour with OneRepublic, Brandi Carlile, and Ry Cuming.

Maroon 5 will be having a concert on March 5, 2008 at the Araneta Coliseum. They will be the second international act brought to Manila by Viva Concerts and Events following the group "My Chemical Romance" who performed last January 25, 2008 in Taguig.

A project of Viva Concerts and Events, the show, billed Maroon 5 Live in Manila, will feature the band’s hits, including Harder to Breathe, the aforementioned This Love, She Will Be Loved, Sunday Morning and Must Get Out, all from Songs About Jane, the band’s multiplatinum-selling first album.

Also in its repertoire are selections from the band’s second album, It Won’t Be Soon Before Long. If you thought that the singles Makes Me Wonder, Wake Up Call, Won’t Go Home Without You and the upcoming If I Never See Your Face Again.

Maroon 5 has already released a few “live” albums (1.22.03 Acoustic in 2004 and Live — Friday the 13th in 2005) which the band’s fans (Filipinos included) must have played over and over again. But there’s nothing better than listening to them perform live.

Maroon 5 Live in Manila is produced by Viva Concerts and Events and is presented by SMART Buddy with San Miguel Pale Pilsen as major sponsor. Call 911-5555 for tickets and inquiries in the Philippines.

(Compiled by Jay Fermin ppp-usa)

Happenings at the O BAR

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Election Watch: The Unfamiliar World of Politics

Los Angeles: There are two kinds of elections in the United States; general and primary. A general election is used to fill an elective office. A primary election is used to select a party's candidates for an elective office. Tonight the GOP Republican Presidential hopefuls will face off in a debate at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley with CNN's Anderson Cooper moderating. This debate follows Arizona Senator John McCain's tuesday night win in the Florida primary and the fallout of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani from the race. You probably knew about this in the mainstream media.

However, I will not dwell on these statistics and Election chatter as we near Super Tuesday (after SuperBowl Sunday) next week's multi-state primaries wherein 17 states including California and New York will be voting for their presidential nominees. What this means is during the SuperBowl telecast, be prepared for a bombardment of political endorsements priced at $2.6 million for a 30 second TV spot. With issues blurred on the McCain and Romney camp, the GOP needs a true conservative candidate fast. The impact of this is that candidates may sell out completely, or, the fabric of American politics as we now know it will be decided for us by mainstream media. However, we can have the best choice.

You see, the first task of anyone who wishes to be president is get "mentioned" often - in print, radio and TV. They label this exercise "name recall." It works similar to product advertising. It somehow shows the public who is of presidential caliber. Or who has the most money.

Every candidate picks a strategy for their campaign. The tone, the theme, the timing, and the target audience are critical. Looking at the media horizon, one wonders why nobody even mentions Ron Paul, a 10th term U.S. Congressman from Texas. He held office from 1976 until present and is a medical doctor in his private life. Ron Paul is a strick constructionalist of the U.S. Constitution because he votes against any Congressional bill that is not authorized under a commonsense reading of the Constitution. Hence, people label him "Dr. No."

But reviewing his record, Ron Paul is dedicated to liberty and limited government in the likes of Thomas Jefferson. As such, he does not regard himself as "conservative" nor "liberal", but rather the only consistent position that is bankable to turn big government in Washington around. But these views often back-fire in his face.

If elected, Ron Paul pledges to bring the troops home immediately, abolish the IRS, and end the failed War on Drugs. He is personaly Pro-Life, having delivered many babies (being an OB-GYN doctor), but believes abortion is a matter left to the States. He believes in the federalist design of government wherein the power to govern rests in the different States.

Who supports Ron Paul though? If you drive on the 105 freeway westbound pass Bellflower Blvd exit, or on any other freeway, you will see on the overpass a home-made streamer crying out "Vote Ron Paul for President". Perhaps not as effective as a TV ad, but his grassroots campaign is slowly growing momentum. One indicator is his internet popularity among young voters, his guesting on the Bill Maher's show where he was received as a rock star, sitting side by side with Ben Affleck. He either wins or places in all of the televised debates event, although Fox News denies this. Recently, he raised over $5 million, and in fact got 1.2 million in just one week.

Ron Paul is also a star among the country's college students. Among the strangest statistics though is that he has raised more money (from among the GOP candidates) from military personnel. The soldiers in Iraq actually supports him while the mainstream media ignores him. The mainstream media wants the primaries to limit the candidates to a handful because they are now ready to crown the next president.

So the question remains, if people vote for Ron Paul, is it really a vote for the stronger Democrat which could be a Clinton or Obama? NO. Although Ron Paul is in the single digit among straw pollsters today, which is not an accurate gauge at this moment in the campaign, he is the only genuine GOP candidate: the only one who can neutralize the baggage of the Iraq invasion, the only GOP candidate who can beat Hillary's socialized medicine because he is an actual medical doctor, and balance the budget by slimming Washington's big government. In conclusion, Texas Congressman Ron Paul is the only GOP candidate who can actually beat Hillary Clinton in the general election. On top of that, Ron Paul is the only true conservative candidate running. As the analysts say, it's not all over yet till the presidential election ballot counting stops.

By Jay Fermin ppp-usa

Vox from the January/February 2008 issue of Jazz Times

Flippin’ Out (Freeham)
Jazz Times February 2008 Issue

That Filipino-American singer Charmaine Clamor is as drop-dead gorgeous as Nancy Wilson or Lena Horne is a nice bonus, but is beside the point. What really matters is that Clamor vocally resembles an amalgam of Wilson and Horne, a sumptuously elegant blend of silk and satin, trimmed with gutsy self-possession. It’s a sound that generated plenty of attention when, three years ago, she served up a delectable assortment of standards on her debut disc, Searching for the Soul. Now, with the release of Flippin’ Out, Clamor has moved a giant step forward, crafting an entirely new musical form; a hybrid of American jazz and Filipino folk music dubbed “jazzipino” (a term the album’s title anagrammatically toys with). Working alongside Tierney Sutton’s top-drawer trio—pianist Christian Jacob, bassist Trey Harris and drummer Ray Brinker—Clamor the inventive torch-bearer is still present with a rich, creamy cover of “I Hadn’t Anyone ’Til You,” a playfully sensuous “Candy” and a fresh take on “Sugar In My Bowl” that’s more hard toffee than honey-dipped.

She also has terrific fun with guest guitarist and percussionist Zaxariades on his delightfully buoyant “I Need a Lot of Love,” and bows to the classic American pop she was raised on with a brooding treatment of the Mario Lanza chestnut “Be My Love.” But, getting to the jazzipino point, Clamor opens with a clever paean to self-worth by reinventing Rodgers and Hart’s “My Funny Valentine” as “My Funny Brown Pinay,” mixing English and Tagalog lyrics. Then, singing in Tagalog and Bisayan while augmenting the trio with the Pakaraguian Kulintang Ensemble (a traditional Filipino assemblage of gongs and tribal gongs) and Abe Lagrimas Jr.’s ukulele, she fills the disc’s center with a five-part “Filipino Suite” comprised of one harana (a Filipino courtship song), a Filipino lullaby, and three examples of kundiman (the Filipino equivalent of an American torch song). In doing so, Clamor establishes herself as a dynamic new compass point in world music.

-Christopher Loudon

"Charmaine Clamor spins a web of magic every time she sings. Her expressive voice lets the words breathe and throb as she captures the essence of the lyrics and brings them to life. Clamor is one of the finest singers to come around in a long time."
-- Jerry D'Souza, ALL ABOUT JAZZ

"Flippin' Out marks further proof that Clamor will be the first great Filipina jazz singer. This album is a mold-shattering breakthrough that will be claimed a classic in years to come."
-- A. Scott Galloway, URBAN NETWORK

"Tearing up the jazz club scene recently has been Charmaine Clamor (pictured here), whose new recording Flippin' Out (FreeHam) is a fluid nod both to her jazz chops and to her Filipino heritage. It's quite a recording, as she moves effortlessly between the ultrasensuous and the ultrarhythmic, between smoke and fire."
-- Duncan Christy, DELTA SKY


February 14, 2008
Long Beach, CA 90802 Valentine's Day with Charmaine

Seabird Jazz Lounge
730 E. Broadway (1/2 Block West of Alamitos) Long Beach, CA 90802

Doors at 7PM for cocktails and supper
An evening of love songs -- in English and Filipino!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA -- With last year's success of its initial production Karim at Jasmin -- the first original Filipino opera -- MRG Services, Inc., is now poised to present yet another original production from its multi-award winning writer and composer, Dr. Ramon Sison Geluz. This time, Broadway musicals get the nod in TINA AND THE MAGIC MIRROR a heartwarming, romantic musical production about Valentina, a perpetual dreamer who celebrates her birthday by slipping in and out of a magic mirror that takes her on different funny adventures.

Songs from popular and endearing Broadway shows including "West Side Story," "South Pacific", "Camelot", and "The Phantom of the Opera" (among others) as well as other popular ballads are woven together in the plot that provides the romantic ingredient in the story.

The world premiere of TINA AND THE MAGIC MIRROR features the talented rising Broadway performer Lara Avengoza (in photo), who played the role ¡ "Diwata" in Karim at Jasmin, and who has performed in concert with singer Chris Lawrence and with the award winning vocal group "Three of a Kind". World renowned classical and jazz pianist Joselito Pascual co-stars with Lara Avengoza and will be the production¡¯s musical director. "Tina" also features the talents of singers Christopher Avendano and Joan Cano who played the roles of "Karim" and "Princess Rajita" in Karim at Jasmin, respectively. This much awaited Broadway musical production is being directed by Edith Andres.

MRG Services, Inc. Presents
The World Premiere Performance of
"TINA & THE MAGIC MIRROR: A Valentine Broadway Musical Comedy Show"
Written by Dr. Ramon Sison Geluz
With Special Guest Joselito Pascual
Directed by Edith Andres

Thursday, February 14, 2008
1045 West Rosecrans Avenue, Gardena, CA. 90247
Dinner: 7:00 pm
Performance: 8:00 pm

For ticket information, please call (562) 400-6661 or (714) 774-9058 or visit the website


Los Angeles, California; New York, New York — GINA ALEXANDER INC., - WWW.GINAALEXANDER.COM - creators of world-famous “Photo Handbags” that have garnered a huge celebrity-following --- including Halle Berry, Matthew McConaughey, Penelope Cruz, 50 Cent, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw and Green Day to name a few --- will sponsor a Benefit to launch the Hope Center Orphanage and Grief Recovery Plan for under-served children in the Philippines.

HOPE worldwide, Ltd., WWW.HOPEWW.ORG, is an organization that helps children all over the world, especially those whose lives have been ravaged by the AIDS epidemic, and was featured on Oprah Winfrey’s Christmas Special. The benefit will raise money specifically for Filipino children who are victims of child prostitution and sexual abuse.

Owner and designer Gina Alexander has a strong passion to protect all children, using her namesake company to help achieve that worthy goal. She has been active in children’s charities since the inception of her company. In addition, she was recently inducted as a member of the Board of Directors of “HOPE for Children”, an organization GINA ALEXANDER, INC. has donated monies to assist with children adoptions.

“Adopting my daughter inspired me to be more involved in adoptions,” says Gina Alexander. “I’ve helped friends and colleagues adopt from other countries like Russia , Ethiopia and of course the USA . But now I want to give my total focus to my people in the Philippines… after learning that the “Filipina woman” is the biggest import to other countries as caretakers, nannies, hostesses and learning how they are led into prostitution, I was moved to do something about it and be a positive role model for my Filipina sisters.”

“I have a deep love for my people,” affirms Gina, “and a strong desire to see more abandoned children in the Philippines become adopted by Filipinos in the USA . I’ve been a volunteer for HOPE worldwide for 17 years and HOPE for Children (its sister company) helped me adopt Katelyn, my daughter, at 2 weeks old; she is now 5. I always look at her and ask myself where would she be if we did not open our hearts and minds to adoption. Adoption is an incredible act of love.”

Gina Alexander’s Philanthropy Projects (GAPP) has already helped many underprivileged or abandoned children find happy, healthy homes, like Samuel Hadjian, Gina’s godson, who was adopted by the Hadjian Family from Ethiopia after the child was found abandoned on the steps of a church. The fundraising event for HOPE Worldwide, Ltd. will benefit the Center of HOPE in the Philippines and will take place on Sunday, June 01, 2008 at the Twin Palms Restaurant in Pasadena, California.

Among the many invited celebrities expected to walk the red carpet are: musician Kenny G, Sanjaya Malakar of “American Idol”, actress Kelly Hu (“X-Men”), Peter Jensen (former Quarter back for the NY Jets & NY Giants), actress and Grammy-nominated singer Tia Carrera (“Wayne’s World”, “True Lies”, “Relic Hunter”), actress Nia Peeples (“North Shore”, tv’s “Fame” and “Walker, Texas Ranger’), KTLA Morning News Early Edition co-anchor Cher Calvin, actress Victoria Rowell (“The Young and The Restless”), actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Janie Hendrix (sister of Jimi Hendrix and CEO of Experience Hendrix), of the Grammy-award winning “Black Eye Peas”, Moon Bloodgood of “Daybreak”, tv’s Carrie Ann Inaba (“Dancing with the Stars”, “Dance Wars: Bruno vs. Carrie Ann”) and actress Tamlyn Tomita (“The Joy Luck Club” and “Karate Kid”) with more celebrities and VIPS’s being invited daily.

ABS-CBN Global, N.A., The Filipino Channel (TFC) and Balitang America are the media sponsors of the star-studded gala.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Christine Gambito, 'HappySlip', is new Tourism ambassador

Consul General Aragon Inducts PPP-USA Officers into Office

By Johnny M. Pecayo
Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, MANILA-U.S. TIMES

CARSON, CA -- Consul General Mary Jo Bernardo Aragon of the Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles inducted into office Friday, January 24, the new set of officers of the Press Photographers Philippines-U.S.A. (PPP-USA), led by Dan Baltazar, president, 2008-2010.

The event was a double celebration, being the 12th anniversary ball of PPP-USA.


Inducted along with Dan Baltazar, were: Sid Guerrero, chairman of the board; Ding Carreon, first vice president; Bobby Saddul, second vice president; Irwin Jazmines, secretary; Bobby Crisostomo, treasurer; Noel Ty, asst. treasurer; Anthony Castillo, auditor; Noli Yu, asst. auditor; Jay Fermin, Jimmy Presto, Emy Bernaldo, Ricky Morales and Jim Hernandez, public relations officers; and Mylah de Leon, publicist. Larry Pelayo, parliamentarian, did not attend the induction rites.

Dean Guerrero, ESQ, is the designated legal adviser. Susan Barlin, Ben Basilio, Thelma Calabio, Gigi Garcia, Nora Guerrero and Lucila Hernandez are the advisers.

The installation of officers was memorable due to a huge turn out of guests that filled the Dominguez Hall of the Carson Civic Center here.

Josh Andowitt, publicist of GMA-7, hosted the event, along with Ranella Ferrer.


The induction proper was preceded by a couple of song numbers rendered by local talent Joseph Gelito, who spiced up the evening cracking some jokes to the audience's delight.

CONSUL GENERAL Aragon (back to camera) inducts into office the PPP-USA Officers for 2008-2010, led by its president, Dan Baltazar (5th from left), along with Irwin Jazmines, Bobby Saddul, Ding Carreon, Mylah de Leon, Sid Guerrero, Bobby Crisostomo, Noli Yu, Anthony Castillo, Jim Hernandez, Ricky Morales, Jimmy Presto, Emy Bernaldo and Jay Fermin. -- MUST PHOTO

SECOND shot of the Induction of Officers.

CONSUL GENERAL Mary Jo Bernardo Aragon, smiling, congratulates the newly inducted officers of PPP-USA. -- MANILA-U.S. TIMES' (MUST) photo

A new rising male recording artist, Sean Collado, rendered beautiful song numbers, including a Tagalong song, popularized by Martin Nievera.


Consul General acknowledged the importance of the photographers' role in media and the community, saying that a story is incomplete without the support of a good photograph.

THE EMCEES -- Josh Andowitt and Ranella Ferrer -- with Consul General Aragon. - MUST PHOTO

Dan Baltazar, newly-inducted president, known to be a man of few words, came up onstage with cajoling by emcee Josh Andowitt and, when he was finally standing infront of the podium delivered a brief message, thanking everyone for coming up to join the event, "which we consider as your show of support to our organization."

Sid Guerrero, Chairman of PPP-USA, delivered welcome remarks, acknowledging the presence of some VIPs in the audience, while Josh also acknowledged the members of the press present.

A special dance number was performed by Queenie Rodil, Miss Young Philippines Global 2008, interspersed with song numbers by Sean Collado.

A SPECIAL presentation by Queenie Rodil, Miss Young Philippines Global 2008. -- MUST PHOTO

Dance lovers could not wait for their turn to hit the dance floor and soon enough, the dance floor was filled with guests dancing to the tune of danceable music, provided by the Midnight Motion Band, led by Willie Manacsa.

Publicist Mylah de Leon, editor-in-chief of the Philippine Times, aptly calls them "The Clickers," describing further that "photojournalists are fantasists, conjurers, seers ... discovering through the marvelous globe of the human eye ... they find moments of surprise, acts of self-creation, hints of the surreal, convention bursting photo narratives that are total and absolute."

If I may add my own, "photojournalists are team partners of the publishers and editors, as the latter cannot do without them. They make people happy by simply taking snapshots of them. They are creative and subscribe to the adage -- 'Photos speak a thousand words, especially when a shot is excellently executed and engineered to the satisfaction of the person photographed.'"

"No staff box of any publication exists without the name or names of the publisher's favorite photographers."

Bobby M. Cuizon, Managing Director of RCBC California International, Inc., and Edgar C. Bulawan, Operations Manager, RCBC, expressed their full support to PPP-USA with sponsorship funds. Such support was truly appreciated by PPP-USA.


Rodel E. Rodis, January 28, 2008

After 1 ½ years of non-stop campaigning by Democratic and Republican presidential candidates, the rubber finally meets the road on the Super Duper Tuesday of February 5 when the following 22 states hold their primaries: Arizona, California, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, New Mexico, Massachusetts, Arkansas, Connecticut, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Montana, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Delaware, Alabama, Tennessee, Utah, Georgia, Kansas and West Virginia.
For the Democrats, these 22 states will award a total of 1,681 pledged delegates which is 51% of all those awarded nationally. For the Republicans (also known as the Grand Old Party or GOP), these 22 states will award 975 delegates which is 41% of their total number. The Democrats will award their delegates proportionately according to the percentage of the votes received above the threshold 15% minimum while the GOP will have the winner take all the delegates in many states.

For the Democrats, New York Sen. Hillary Clinton and Illinois Sen. Barrack Obama are the two major candidates remaining with former South Carolina Sen. John Edwards at the back of the pack. Edwards’ hopes are slim but he remains a candidate of hope, hope that Hillary and Barrack will be deadlocked at the convention and the delegates at the Democratic National Convention meeting in Denver in August will chose him as the alternative.

For the Republicans, the race has narrowed down to Arizona Sen. John McCain and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney with former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee hanging on barely. Giuliani went from a lead of 32% in the national polls to a current low of 12%, a precipitous drop brought about by his decision to skip all the presidential primaries until Florida, which he now has slim hopes of winning. Huckabee’s prayer is to land a vice-presidential slot.

Whoever wins his or her party’s nomination will make history. Hillary hopes to be the first non-male presidential candidate of a major party while Barrack seeks to be the first non-white to win that honor. Romney hopes to be the first Mormon to win while McCain, at 72, will be the oldest candidate. Giuliani will be the baldest (and first Italian-American) and Huckabee the first evangelical minister.

But the choice of either Barrack or Hillary is not just about being a major “first” but about changing America’s global image and its role in the world and its national priorities.

It has not been an easy choice for me as my college-age sons have urged me to endorse Barrack Obama, whose “Audacity of Hope” is not just the title of his book but also the challenge of his campaign. Barrack is this generation’s John F. Kennedy, the candidate whose fiery eloquence has moved the youth to look into the promise of the future as no candidate has been able to do since JFK. As the New York Times wrote, “he shows voters that he understands how much they hunger for a break with the Bush years, for leadership and vision and true bipartisanship.”

But I believe Hillary is more prepared to lead the country now because of her experience. When she was First Lady in 1993, she understood how critical it was for the US to have a universal health care system and she sought to create a health care system that would benefit everyone. Unfortunately, she was crushed by the powerful pharmaceutical interests and the American Medical Association. But now 47 million Americans are without health care and more than 100 million with health care do not have enough to cover them through catastrophic illnesses.

The countries with universal health care in Europe, Canada, China, Japan and other industrialized countries are moving forward while the US economy is bogged down by an inadequate health care system that only serves the rich and those with adequate health care coverage.

But now that the huge costs of health care is killing American industries and bankrupting states which are spending more to care for those seriously ill than they would otherwise have spent to keep them healthy, health care is now viewed as a right of everyone, not just a privileged for the few.

Hillary’s health care proposals, as the Times noted, “reflect a clear shift from her first, famously disastrous foray into the issue. She has learned that powerful interests cannot simply be left out of the meetings. She understands that all Americans must be covered — but must be allowed to choose their coverage, including keeping their current plans.”

Both Hillary and Barrack will work to shift the resources of the government from the Bush emphasis on helping the wealthy with tax cuts to helping the poor and middle income have health coverage. But Hillary will know how to do it, from experience.

Hillary is also closer to the Filipino American community than any of the other presidential candidates from either party. She is the only one who has addressed a major Filipino community gathering when she spoke at the national conference of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations in New York in 1999. Among her closest advisers are Filipino Americans including Loida Nicolas-Lewis, Irene Bueno, Irene Natividad, and Mona Pasquil. She also supports the Filipino Veterans Equity Bill and comprehensive immigration reform.

For those in California, as a community college trustee, I also urge a YES vote on Proposition 92, which seeks to guarantee funding for the 2.5 million students (including 4,000 Filipinos in the main campus of City College of San Francisco) currently enrolled in the 103 community college campuses in the 74 community college districts in the state.

As the Los Angeles Daily noted in its editorial endorsement, “in a perfect world, there would be no need for

Proposition 92, the community colleges funding measure on the Feb. 5 ballot. The state's community colleges would get their fair share of resources and influence in Sacramento, befitting public higher education institutions that benefit the most Californians. It's unfortunate, however, that this is not the case…In many years, the state has shortchanged community colleges by hundreds of millions of dollars. For years the community colleges - the best educational bang for the buck in the state - have been treated like second-class citizens when it comes to funding, despite being a boon to the economy by training needed workers.”

Please send comments to or log on to or write to Law Offices of Rodel Rodis at 2429 Ocean Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94127, or call (415) 334-7800.

The Art of Crying

PerryScope: Perry Diaz

After her loss to Barack Obama in Iowa, Hillary Clinton, who was stumping in New Hampshire for the first-in-the nation primary, was in a coffee shop taking questions from a group of women when someone asked her, "My question is very personal, how do you do it? How do you keep upbeat and so wonderful?"

Surprised at the nature of the question, Clinton was taken aback but she regained her poise and responded, jokingly, "You know, I think, well luckily, on special days I do have help. If you see me every day and if you look on some of the Web sites and listen to some of the commentators they always find me on the day I didn't have help. It's not easy." Then she got emotional and said, "It's not easy, and I couldn't do it if I didn't passionately believe it was the right thing to do. You know, I have so many opportunities from this country, just don't want to see us fall backwards." And with quivering voice and tears in her eyes, she said, "You know, this is very personal for me. It's not just political. It's not just public. I see what's happening, and we have to reverse it." Whoa! Suddenly, Hillary unmasked herself and for about 10 seconds she demonstrated that she's just like any other human being -- she has emotion.

It is interesting to note that the woman who made Clinton cry -- apparently unimpressed by Clinton's display of emotion -- admitted to the press that she voted for Barack Obama. However, political pundits believed that a lot of women voters were touched and may have caused the surge of votes for Clinton in the New Hampshire primary. Prior to the "crying" episode, polls showed that Obama had a 10-percent lead over Clinton. But on election day, Clinton snatched victory from defeat and beat Obama by two percent. Did the crying episode do the trick in swaying Obama supporters, particularly the women, to switch to Clinton?

As we all know, "crying" has always been used effectively, either "straight from the heart" or by design. Either way, children are good at it. With grown-ups, it's a different story. Generally, crying among women is acceptable. In some eastern cultures, crying by men is acceptable. But in western cultures, crying among men is generally perceived as a sign of weakness. However, there were great men who have cried in public. The last four U.S. presidents have done that.

On January 11, 2007, at a White House ceremony, a tear rolled down President George W. Bush's cheek as he posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor to Corporal Jason Dunham, a 22-year-old marine hero in Iraq.

On December 4, 2006, the president's father, former President George H.W. Bush broke down in tears when he addressed lawmakers, top administrators, and state workers in Tallahassee, Florida. Bush was talking about leadership and broke down when he mentioned his son Governor Jeb Bush as an example of leadership on the way he handled his loss in the gubernatorial election in 1994.

Time Magazine's controversial March 26, 2007, cover showed a photo of the late President Ronald Reagan with a tear running down his cheek from his right eye. The cover line was "How the Right Went Wrong." The tear looked real. However, there were two credits for the photo: David Hume Kennerly for the photo and Tim O'Brien for the "tear." Evidently, the photo was electronically altered to show a tear rolling down Reagan's cheek. But on numerous occasions during his presidency, Reagan had been photographed with tears in his eyes. And the American people loved it.

What do Americans think of their presidents crying? Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush have received positive reactions when they cried. But it hurt Sen. Edmund Muskie when he ran for President in 1972. It was reported by the media that he cried defending his wife from criticism during a press conference in Manchester, New Hampshire. Although it was not clear if he actually cried, he lost the presidential race.

But the most dramatic "crying" event was in 1952 when Richard Nixon ran for Vice President. In his celebrated "Checkers" speech, which was televised nationwide, Nixon said: "One other thing I probably should tell you because if we don't they'll probably be saying this about me too, we did get something – a gift – after the election. A man down in Texas heard Pat on the radio mention the fact that our two youngsters would like to have a dog. And, believe it or not, the day before we left on this campaign trip we got a message from Union Station in Baltimore saying they had a package for us. We went down to get it. You know what it was? It was a little cocker spaniel dog in a crate that he'd sent all the way from Texas. Black and white spotted. And our little girl Tricia, the six year old, named it Checkers."

And then, with quivering mouth and wet eyes, he said, "And you know, the kids, like all kids, love the dog and I just want to say this right now, that regardless of what they say about it, we're gonna keep it." After his speech, he sobbed.

The issue which prompted his "Checkers" speech was that he was caught taking money from a slush fund created by his supporters to pay for expenses not covered by his senatorial allowance. However, in spite of the "slush fund" scandal, Nixon won the election! Did Checkers get him elected or was it because he was the running mate of Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, the popular World War II hero?

While crying men are sometimes perceived as strong in character, crying women are perceived differently. In the case of Hillary Clinton, her crying in New Hampshire got the sympathy of women voters; however, she was roundly criticized by the media as "too emotional" for the job of President of the United States. Is there a double standard here? Or did Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush practiced the art of crying?

Next time Hillary would feel like crying in front of television, she should tell a story of how she felt when her two dogs, Zeke and Buddy, died in two separate car accidents. It would certainly be a good match for Nixon's "Checkers" speech.


Keeping Our Economy Moving Forward

Economic uncertainty is gripping Americans from coast to coast. The stock market has been volatile and the housing market is undeniably in a serious slow down. After eight years of tremendous trials ranging from a terrorist attack to corporate scandals to natural disasters, our economy has weathered a great deal. While I believe we have a solid economic foundation, it’s imperative that we address the areas that need the most attention to shore things up.

Congress and the President are working together in a bipartisan way to create a temporary economic growth package that will have maximum impact, while avoiding long term tax increases. Because we have seen that targeted tax relief can have a stimulative impact, I believe any package should include such relief. This could mean tax incentives for businesses that would help hire more workers, or temporary rebates that would encourage economic activity.

On the housing front, we need to do what we can to help struggling homeowners, without resorting to a bailout for the lenders who created the problem in the first place. I supported the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007, H.R. 3648, which President Bush signed into law in December. This legislation will help Americans avoid foreclosure by protecting them from higher taxes when they refinance their mortgages. But there is more we can do. We can take steps to modernize the Federal Housing Administration, which will help more Americans qualify for prime-rate federal home loans. We can also advance legislation to reform Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, so that they can be better regulated and more focused on their mission of helping Americans find affordable housing.

These are just some of the steps we can take to help Americans weather the current economic storms. But government alone cannot and should not do the job. We cannot resort to massive spending increases or tax hikes in the name of short-term economic stimulus that has long-term negative consequences. Whatever we pursue, the focus should be on continuing growth and helping American families plan for a brighter economic future.


David Dreier
Member of Congress

Sunday, January 27, 2008

14th Annual Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards Winners

The 14th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards were held on January 27, 2008 at the Shrine Exposition Center, celebrating also their Diamond 75th Anniversary in existence. The 14th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards® was produced again by the award winning producer/director Jeff Margolis and Jeff Margolis Productions (JMP). Working with the SAG Awards Committee (Yale Summers (Chair), Daryl Anderson (Vice-Chair), Shelley Fabares, Paul Napier and JoBeth Williams) and Producer Kathy Connell, Executive Producer Jeff Margolis and the JMP team assembles some of the industry's top professionals to create a show that celebrates the actor's take on excellence. Here are the categories & winners:


Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading RoleGeorge Clooney, Michael Clayton
WINNER: Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood
Ryan Gosling, Lars and the Real Girl
Emile Hirsch, Into the Wild
Viggo Mortensen, Eastern Promises

Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading RoleCate Blanchett, Elizabeth: The Golden Age
WINNER: Julie Christie, Away From Her
Marion Cotillard, La Vie en rose
Angelina Jolie, A Mighty Heart
Ellen Page, Juno

Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting RoleCasey Affleck, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
WINNER: Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men
Hal Holbrook, Into the Wild
Tommy Lee Jones, No Country for Old Men
Tom Wilkinson, Michael Clayton

Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Cate Blanchett, I'm Not There
WINNER: Ruby Dee, American Gangster
Catherine Keener, Into the Wild
Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone
Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton

Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
3:10 to Yuma
American Gangster
Into the Wild
WINNER: No Country for Old Men

Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture
WINNER: The Bourne Ultimatum
I Am Legend
The Kingdom
Pirates of the Caribbean:
At World's End


Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
WINNER: James Gandolfini, The Sopranos
Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Hugh Laurie, House
James Spader, Boston Legal

Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
Glenn Close, Damages
WINNER: Edie Falco, The Sopranos
Sally Field, Brothers & Sisters
Holly Hunter, Saving Grace
Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer

Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
WINNER: Alec Baldwin,30 Rock
Steve Carell, The Office
Ricky Gervais, Extras
Jeremy Piven, Entourage
Tony Shaloub, Monk

Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
Christina Applegate, Samantha Who?
America Ferrera, Ugly Betty
WINNER: Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Mary-Louise Parker, Weeds
Vanessa Williams, Ugly Betty

Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
Boston Legal
The Closer
Grey's Anatomy
Mad Men
WINNER: The Sopranos

Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series

30 Rock
Desperate Housewives
WINNER: The Office
Ugly Betty

Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
Michael Keaton, The Company
WINNER: Kevin Kline, As You Like It
Oliver Platt, The Bronx Is Burning
Sam Shepard, Ruffian
John Turturro, The Bronx Is Burning

Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
Ellen Burstyn, Mitch Albom's For One More Day
Debra Messing, The Starter Wife
Anna Paquin, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee
WINNER: Queen Latifah, Life Support
Gena Rowlands, What if God Were the Sun?
Vanessa Redgrave, The Fever

Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Television Series
The Unit

Voting for the Screen Actors Guild Awards® was done in two stages. The first, nominations balloting, is voted on by two nominating committees. These nominating committees are selected at random by computer in April of each year. The second stage of voting, the final balloting, begins once the nominations are announced.

Final ballots were prepared and mailed on December 28, 2007 to the entire active, paid-up Guild membership. And must be received back in a return envelope provided to the elections firm, Integrity Voting Systems, by 12 Noon on Friday, January 25, 2008.
Online voting was also provided with a six digit PIN given to SAG members. The recipients of the awards was announced at the 14th Annual Screen Awards Guild Awards® Sunday, January 27th at 8 pm ET/PT and aired on TNT and TBS.

The studios mailed screening DVDs to the full membership a few weeks ago. I interviewed a Filipino SAG member January 26, 2008 one day before the Awards night, on her ballot and how she voted but she was not at liberty to let me know who her choices were. But she confessed she watched and reviewed most of the FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION DVDS and that she did send in her ballot. That is guild democracy at its best among its 120,000 members.

Below is the official Press Release of the Guild to all its members:

Join the WGA for the “Day of Unity” on Monday, January 28

Join us for this special event honoring the collaboration of writers and actors, both on screen and in solidarity. Sponsored by the WGA Union Solidarity Committee and the Women's Committees of SAG and WGA.

When: Monday, January 28 - 12 to 3 p.m.

Where: Fox Studios
10201 W Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90064 (Century City)

Who: SAG Award nominees, WGA Award nominees, writers, actors and more!

(compiled by Jay Fermin ppp-usa)

YouTube Star Vlogger Happy Slip’s Happy Trip 'Meet & Greet' at Mag:Net Cafe at The Fort on February 7, 2008

She has done hilarious parodies of nosy Filipino relatives. She has made fun of Filipinos’ distinct accent when attempting to speak English. She has brought the common Filipino mispronunciation of the undergarment “half slip” to worldwide prominence, a blooper Pinoys are only too glad to own up to. After making videos that have made both Pinoys and foreigners laugh with her funny depictions of Filipino immigrant culture, “Happy Slip” finally goes on a happy trip to her motherland!

Filipina YouTube sensation Christine Gambito, more popularly known as vlogger (video blogger) “Happy Slip”, is a celebrity in the Internet world. This one-woman production team does practically everything—she is producer, scriptwriter, director, actor, cameraman, editor, musical scorer, production designer, and makeup artist all in one. Her channel on YouTube is one of the video file sharing network’s most subscribed channels, with thousands of subscribers from all over the world. In fact, her video Mixed Nuts garnered second place at the 2006 YouTube Video Awards for Best Comedy. And Filipino netizens are clearly not oblivious to her success; she was awarded the Best Podcast award at the 2007 Philippine Blog Awards.

For only the second time in her life, this global Pinay visits the country that inspired a significant part of her comedy. The Department of Tourism invited the Internet star to our humble shores to witness the beauty and diversity of the Philippine islands. For two weeks, Christine will be traveling to Boracay, Cebu, Palawan, Tagaytay, and Bohol, and she will also get to meet red-blooded Filipinos in their natural habitat! The comedic potential of her trip to the Philippines is boundless.

Christine’s trip to the Philippines wouldn’t be complete without interacting with the Pinoy fans who have been cheering her on from all the way across the seas. She will be meeting and greeting Pinoy fans and bloggers on February 7, 2008 at Mag:net Café, Bonifacio High Street. Lucky guests will get to learn about Happy Slip’s road to Internet fame from Happy Slip herself.

With all the exciting events lined up for Christine to enjoy, Happy Slip’s trip to the country will surely be one big happy slip into Pinoy life.

Christine Gambito Meet & Greet
February 7, 2008, Thursday
Mag:net Café, Bonifacio High Street
11:00AM – 3:00PM
The Fort, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, Rizal

Register here

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Press Photographers Philippines - USA 12th Anniversary & Officers Induction Ball

The Press Photographers Philippines-USA celebrated their 12th Anniversary and Inducted their new set of officers on January 25, 2008 at Dominguez Hall, Carson, California. Consul General Mary Jo A. Bernardo Aragon inducted the 2008 Officers. Incoming PPP Secretar Irwin Jazmines gave the introduction for ConGen Aragon. The celebration was hosted by GMA TV's Josh Andowitt and singer Ranella Ferrer and started with an invocation by Philippine Times' Mylah De Leon. Miss Young Philippines Global 2008 Queenie Rodil and 2nd Runner-up Gerrilyn Perez as well as Miss Teen Philippines-California Charlene Brandt graced the occasion with MYPG '08 Queenie Rodil doing a beautiful dance number to the delight of the packed crowd of members of the media, civic leaders, as well as city officials led by Carson Mayor Pro Tempore Elito M. Santarina. Department of Tourism Attache' Ms. Annie Cuevas and DOT Director Manny Ilagan as well as Manny Ortega (PPCI) and the man behind Manny Legaspi also attended the celebration. The corporate community also came out in full force and was represented by executives from Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) Los Angeles led by CEO/Managing Director Mr. Bobby Cuizon & wife Baby, COO Egay Bulawan & wife Beverly, West Covina Manager Raymond Rosal, Carson Manager Vic Benedicto, Los Angeles Manager Sonny Custodio, and Cerritos Manager Freddie Vitan.

Entertainment was provided by the Midnight Motion Band of Mr. Willie Manacsa with performances by Singer/Performers Joseph Gelito followed by Sean Collado. The seamless flow of the program directed by Henry De Jesus and the sumptuous food and lechon made the celebration complete. Congratulations to newly elected President Dan Baltazar, Chairman of the Board Sid Gurerrero, and to all the 2008 PPP-USA Officers.

(Photos & article by Jay Fermin ppp-usa: other photos by Henry De Jesus)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Christine "happyslip" Gambito Fil-Am Youtube star is new DOT ambassador

Filipino American Internet star Christine Gambito has been chosen as ambassador for Philippine tourism by the Department of Tourism. ABS-CBN's TV Patrol reported on Thursday that Gambito flew in to Manila for the launch of the DOT campaign to attract more tourists from the United States to come to the Philippines.

As Philippine tourism ambassador, Gambito will help generate interest among Filipinos in the US as well as Americans, to visit the Philippines.

Gambito first gained worldwide acclaim in 2006 when she began posting video comedy sketches on and her own site,

Her videos are hilarious insights into the lives of Filipinos struggling to retain their "Filipino-ness" in a foreign country, the US in particular.

Gambito, who goes by the handle "Happy Slip" on Youtube, became a byword among Youtube viewers because of her videos.

She chose "happy slip" because her mother used to mispronounce "half-slip" whenever she (the mother) would remind Gambito -- still a little girl at the time -- to wear one.

According to Gambito, her mother would pronounce "half-slip" as "hap e-slip". Gambito said that this led her to call the undergarment a "happy slip" and was later corrected by her classmates, who teasingly asked her if she wore a "sad slip" as well.

"It's huge. It really is. That's why I got emotional coming's a dream come true for me, " Gambito told ABS-CBN's Mario Dumaual, adding that she felt obliged to accept the post.

"To help appreciate the land where my parents came from and my heritage, it's priceless. It's my duty to come [to the Philippines for the launch]."

Gambito won second place for Best Comedy in March 2007 at the Youtube Video awards. Her comedy sketches have been viewed 30 million times on the popular video sharing Web site. With a report by Mario Dumual.

Friendster to expand RP operations


Due to impressive numbers of Friendster subscribers in the Philippines, company executives bared plans to expand presence in the country by increasing its manpower roster.

In an interview with BusinessMirror, David Jones, vice president for global marketing of online social networking site Friendster, said they are increasing the number of personnel in their Makati City office by hiring more people, mostly marketing executives, who will promote further awareness for the site.

Friendster was the 2007 recipient of the Webware 100 Award for best community site. The company has also been granted a number of social networking focused patents.

Friendster’s competitors include Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, Orkut, Piczo, Plaxo, LinkedIn, Visible Path and others.

“Yeah, we will be hiring additional people to help us in marketing the site in the Philippines. Friendster is really popular here that’s why we’re embarking on this effort,” Jones said.

A report by, a Web information service provider that tracks statistics of various web sites, including traffic details, showed that among the 1.26 billion Internet users that visited Friendster last December, around 8.5 million came from the Philippines.

“That’s about 10 percent of the total population of the country already, and that’s enormous,” Jones continued.

Other social-networking sites like Facebook and MySpace managed to attract around 490,000 and 570,000 visits, respectively from the Philippines. In the Asia-Pacific region, 26 million surfers visited Friendster compared to 14 million for Facebook and 9 million for MySpace.

Founded in 2002, Friendster is one of the web's older social networking services. Adults, 18 and up can join and connect with friends, family, school, groups, activities and interests. The site currently has over 50 million users. It's rumored that Google offered $30M to buy Friendster in 2003.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


MUSIC SAVES LIVES, the trusted conduit between music, entertainment and important life-saving causes, takes a new digital look at donation. Music Saves Lives has teamed up with unsigned artists Them Terribles, After Midnight Project, Run Doris Run, Ryan Gilmore, and Vogue and the Movement to register for the Donate Life California Organ and Tissue Donor registry. Each band on the tour has committed to giving away free digital downloads to concert-goers who attend register for the Donate Life California Organ and Tissue Donor. Concert attendees are asked to do two things: One, be a part of the Music Saves Lives / Donate Life California Organ and Tissue Donor and two, go on-line and learn about how easy it is to save a life by registering for the National Marrow Program through DKMS Americas.

MUSIC SAVES LIVES has registered over 7000 people under the age of 28 for the national marrow list through DKMS at concerts nationwide. Many of the bands that are involved with this west coast tour have supported Music Saves Lives in the last year by telling their fans that being part of the program can make a difference right where they live.

Donate Life California is a nonprofit Organ and Tissue Donor Registry dedicated to saving the lives of thousands of Californians awaiting life-saving transplants. On-line registration is available at

DKMS Americas marrow registration will be available on-line and in selected tour locations. The process only takes about 10 minutes using a simple and painless cheek swab, used for type matching of possible donors with leukemia patients waiting to be saved. All donors who register with DKMS Americas also become part of the WMDA (World Marrow Donor Association) and the NMDP (National Marrow Donor Program).

For information on MUSIC SAVES LIVES, please visit
For Information about this unique tour go to

PPP-USA Club 12th Anniversary & Induction Of Officers

PPP-USA Club 12th Anniversary & Induction Of Officers
When :
Friday Jan 25, 2008 at 7:00 PM

Where :
Dominguez Hall, Carson Civic Center
3 Civic Plaza,
Carson , CA 90745
Telephone: (562) 492-6702

Contact :
Sid Guerrero

Telephone: (323) 728-8126

Dear Sir/Madam:
Greetings! It is our pleasure to inform you that the Philippine Press Photographers-USA will be holding its 12th Anniversary and Induction of Officers 2008-2009 on January 25, 2008 at the Dominguez Hall of the Carson Civic Centre located at 3 Civic Plaza, Carson, CA 90745.

Please give us the honor to invite you to participate as one of our sponsors or advertisers in our anniversary celebration. We have different levels of sponsorship packages and souvenir program advertising rates for your review. At your convenience, please feel free to call us, Dan at Tel: 562-492-6702 or Cell: 310-528-0735 or Sid at Tel: 323-728-8126 or Cell: 213-369-2421.

We do appreciate your time and interest in this project and we look forward to your favorable response.

Thank you.

Warmest regards,

Dan Baltazar

Sid Guerrero
Chairman of the Board

Call your Senator to pass AB X11 in California for Healthcare Reform

A golden opportunity will be wasted. Health care reform here in California and at the national level will be dealt a body blow. And millions of Californians who could have been helped will be left to suffer the consequences of a deteriorating and dysfunctional health care status quo.

If you want to change the status quo and support reform this year, call your Senator now!

Click here to look up your Senator's phone number and call them today!

"ABx1 1 is a historic opportunity to get health insurance for 3.6 million Californians, 70% of the uninsured, and to help make health insurance more affordable for low and moderate income Californians.

"We cannot afford to waste this opportunity. And those without health care or without adequate health care cannot afford to wait for a complete and perfect solution."

Look up your Senator's phone number and call them today!

Olivia: young jazz artist's "Gentle Jazz" wins Best Jazz Artist Award

Ivory Music & Video is proud to announce that it has just released the newest addition to its growing roster of artists and performers. Presenting Olivia in her debut album entitled “Gentle Jazz”. Set to reintroduce Manila to the soothing sounds of Jazz, Olivia, who at 19 years of age is already a seasoned performer of the most luxurious hotels around is ripe and ready for a bigger stage to showcase her singing prowess.

Practically a “Best-Of-Pop-Jazz” kind of an album, “Gentle Jazz” is a 15 track album that includes the songs Oh Lori, All Behind Us Now, The Real Thing, Sweet Baby, The Way You Look Tonight, Sway, Loving You, My Cherie Amour, Just The Two Of Us, Say You Love Me and Love Is Answer. Olivia also roots herself in OPM with a reworking of the songs You and Laging Kapiling and a sample of her songwriting with Someday We Will Find Love.

Olivia started her career at the age of fifteen, then as fledgling band vocalist before her interest in Jazz deepened and switched as a soloist in the hotel lounge scene. She was the first ever Filipino awardee at the Astana Song Festival in Kazakhstan where she took home the award for best performance. She was also the youngest interpreter at a Metropop competition when she was just sixteen. Coming from a deeply musical family, the singer is daughter to Brenda Ponce Enrile Tirona, the other half of the Tirona Sisters that reigned supreme in the lounge scene of the 70’s. Her grandfather is renowned Filipino baritone, orchestra conductor Alberto Tirona, and granddaughter to singing celebrity Armida Siguion-Reyna and politician Juan Ponce Enrile.

Gentle Jazz covers the pop and jazz spectrum with songs such as Oh Lori , All Behind Us Now and The Real Thing. It also includes The Way You Look and Sway that just shows Olivia can go from pop and jazz, to standards and beyond. Olivia also samples some classic sounding jazz with a reworking of Madonna’s True Blue.

(compiled by Jay Fermin ppp-usa)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Join the 2008 SHELL Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition

The 2008 Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition, which is now on its 44th year, is the most prestigious and successful event of its kind in the world.

The Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition is an international showcase for the very best photography featuring natural subjects. The competition is owned by two UK institutions that pride themselves on revealing and championing the diversity of life on Earth - the Natural History Museum and BBC Wildlife Magazine.

Held annually, the competition aims to find the most stunning and original wildlife pictures taken by photographers.

Being accepted into this competition is something that wildlife photographers, worldwide, aspire to. Professionals win many of the prizes, but amateurs succeed, too. And that’s because achieving the perfect picture is down to a mixture of skill, vision, originality, knowledge of nature and luck.

Amateur and professional photographers of all ages worldwide can enter and get a chance to be named the 2008 Wildlife Photographer of the Year.

Each year thousands of entries are received and judged by a specially selected expert panel. The winners are announced at an awards ceremony that takes place each October at the Natural History Museum, London.

The 2008 Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition is open to anyone with an appreciation of wildlife and a passion for fresh, innovative photography. Entrants stand to win an impressive £10,000 prize if they are given the coveted title of Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2008 or £23,550 share a prize fund if successful in other categories.

The competition has 11 adult categories plus 4 special awards. You can even join the Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2008 if you happen to be 17 years old and younger.

Judges are typically looking for pictures that are memorable, either because of the behavior displayed or because of their aesthetic appeal - and ideally, both.

It will cost you £20 to enter online and £27 to enter by mail.

Deadline for submitting your entries is on March 24, 2008 by mail or March 31, 2008 for online submissions.

More info on the 2008 Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition at the Natural History Museum

Happenings at the O BAR

Monday, January 21, 2008

March 15 shall resolve the "Unfinished Business" Between Marquez and Pacquiao

By Johnny M. Pecayo
Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, MANILA-U.S. TIMES

MANNY PACQUIAO (right) back-to-back with Juan Manuel Marquez. -- MUST PHOTO By Chief Photographer Romeo M. Balboa

BEVERLY HILLS, CA -- The press conference held January 15 at the Beverly Hills Hotel brought two super fighters together -- Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez -- and attended by members of the mass media.

Richard Schaefer of the Golden Boy Promotions told the members of the press that the 12-round bout "unfinished business" will be completed by March 15 at the Mandalay Bay Resort Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The March 15 fight, a rematch of their May 8, 2004 legendary battle which ended in a draw, will be produced and distributed live on HBO Pay-Per-View, beginning at 9p.m. EST/6p.m. PST, as announced by Tony Walker during the press conference that took place at 1p.m. immediately after lunch.

EDITH MONTELIBANO (left) of GMA-7 interviews Manny Pacquiao, who said he doesn't mind being branded as "Mexican Killer" in boxing. -- MUST PHOTO

Introduced by Bob Arum, president of Top Rank, Manny Pacquiao, Three-Division World Champion, with a record of 45-3-2 (34 KOs), went straight to the podium from the presidential table and said: "I have a lot of respect for Juan Manuel Marquez and his professional accomplishments. He was a worthy opponent the first time we fought and he showed the true champion's heart to come back and stay in the fight after I knocked him down three times in the first round. This is a big fight that will require my hardest training. I have prepared and will continue to train harder for this upcoming fight. I will give the boxing lovers the best I could, especially my countrymen, who have always been very supportive of my boxing career."

JOHNNY M. PECAYO, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, MANILA-U.S. TIMES, with the World Class Boxer and the Philippines' Pambansang Kamao Manny Pacquiao. -- MUST PHOTO by Romeo Balboa

TV CAMERAMEN and Press Photographers covering the press conference, among them are Dr. Ed dela Vega, Dr. Manny Ortega and Romeo M. Balboa, MANILA-U.S. TIMES (MUST) Chief Photographer. -- MUST PHOTO

Juan Manuel Marquez gave a different message. "There isn't another fight I have wanted as much as this one," said the WBC World Super Featherweight Champion. "I won our first fight. He won the first round and I won the next 11. He (Pacquiao) has avoided me for four years, saying Pacquiao has been dubbed by other people as the "Mexican killer" but he is not, because he hasn't beaten me and he won't beat me. I will show him who is the better fighter on March 15."

MANNY PACQUIAO, with both hands raised, moments after beating Marco Antonio Barrera last year at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino. -- PHOTO COURTESY OF DR. ALLAN RECTO OF TEAM PACQUIAO

Oscar de la Hoya, President of Golden Boy Promotions agree,"Marquez vs. Pacquiao II is the fight that their fans have been waiting for, and we are extremely excited it is finally here. The first fight was very exciting but ended in a controversial draw. Juan Manuel is prepared for his chance to set the story straight not only for himself, but also for all of his fans, especially those from Mexico."

Fellow promoter Bob Arum, of Top Rank, stated, "There is something very special and unique about Manny Pacquiao. He really is the pride of the Philippines, a very exciting and charismatic athlete. However, Manny is going into the fight of his career, taking on champion Juan Manuel Marquez, who is driven by the fact that he is fighting for the entire country of Mexico."

Marquez (48-3-1, 35 KOs), from Mexico City, Mexico, captured his first world title in 2003, stopping former world champion Manuel Medina in the seventh round to capture the vacant IBF featherweight title. He unified the title by dethroning WBA champion Derrick Gainer to set the stage for his first mega-fight against Pacquiao. Following his majority draw against Pacquiao, Marquez successfully defended both title belts, winning decisions over Victor Polo and Orlando Salido, before traveling to Indonesia to face Chris John, where he lost a controversial decision. Marquez successfully advanced into the super featherweight division last year by dethroning WBC champion Barrera in March and successfully defending that title in November against Ricardo "Rocky" Juarez.

PACMAN is photographed with Tecate Model Vanessa Tabares. Tecate is one of the major sponsors of the March 15 "Unfinished Business" Marquez vs. Pacman II. -- MUST PHOTO

Dubbed "Republica Enemy No. 1," Pacquiao (45-3-2, 34 KOs), from General Santos City, Philippines, has blitzed through the best fighters Mexico has had to offer since 2003, including Erik Morales (KO 3, TKO 10), Marco Antonio Barrera (TKO 11, W12), Oscar Larios (W12), Emmanuel Lucero (TKO 3), Hector Velazquez (TKO 6), and Jorge Solis (KO 8).

The only "blemish" on this impressive resume was the draw against Marquez. Pacquiao was named 2006 Fighter of the Year by the BWAA and the Ring Magazine for his two spectacular knockout victories of Mexican icon and three-division champion Morales, as well as his dominating 12-round unanimous decision over former world champion Larios. The hard-hitting southpaw has won 21 of his last 22 bouts, including 2007 victories over Barrera and Solis.

Ticket Prices

Tickets for Marquez-Pacquiao II, priced at $600, $400, $300, $200 and $100, are now on sale and can be purchased at the Mandalay Bay box office and at all Las Vegas Ticketmaster locations (select Smith's Food and Drug Centers, Macy's West at the Fashion Show Mall, and Ritmo Latino).

The Marquez vs. Pacquiao II pay-per-view telecast, beginning at 9 p.m. EST/6p.m. PST on March 15, with a suggested retail price of $49.95, will be available to more than 61 million pay-per-view homes. The telecast will be available in HD-TV for those viewers who can receive HD.

TECATE MODELS Gigi Preciosa and Vanessa Tabares caught the attention of the members of the press. -- MUST PHOTO

Promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and Top Rank, in association with Romanza Boxing Productions and MP Promotions, and sponsored by Tecate Beer, Rock Star Energy Drink and Southwest Airlines, Marquez vs. Pacquiao II Unfinished Business will be for the WBC and vacant Ring Magazine Super Featherweeight World Championship.

For the Marquez vs. Pacquiao II fight week updates, log on to, or click on

"Filipino Monkey" is No Monkey Business

PerryScope: By Perry Diaz

On January 6, 2008, the United States was just a few seconds away from triggering a war with Iran -- and possibly ignite World War III. Three American warships were cruising down the Strait of Hormuz when five Iranian speedboats menacingly approached them. According to news accounts of the encounter, a radio transmission from an unidentified person called out in English, "I am coming to you. You will explode in a few minutes." The incident happened the day before President George Bush traveled to the Middle East on a diplomatic mission.

I searched the Internet for a video of the incident and the following was what I found: "I am coming to you," the unidentified person said. An American crew member responded, "Inbound small craft, you are approaching a coalition warship operating in international waters. Your identity is not known, your intentions are unclear. You are straying into danger and may be subject to defensive measures. Request you establish communications now, or alter your course immediately to remain clear of me. Request you alter course immediately to remain clear…" Then the unidentified person said, "You will explode after a few minutes." As one of the speedboats was heading towards one of the American warships, the American captain was about the give the order to fire when suddenly the speedboat veered away and the other Iranian speedboats followed suit.

The Iranians disavowed any connection to the mysterious. transmission. They claimed that they were just trying to get a reading on the American warships' ID. Some observers thought that the Iranians were just playing "chicken." If the mysterious person did not call out in the radio, the incident would probably have been dismissed as just another harassing act by the Iranians.

Many believed -- including American military staff -- that the mysterious voice was the "Filipino Monkey," a prankster that many believed has been making harassing transmissions on the international ship-to-ship radio frequencies.

Who is this "Filipino Monkey"? I googled it and I got more than 100,000 hits. But the most interesting information I got was from -- or Hoaxipedia. It said, "The Filipino Monkey is the name of an infamous rogue radio operator who interjects lewd jokes, threats, obscenities, and animal noises into ship-to-ship radio communications conducted on VHF marine channel 16 in the Persian Gulf." VHF Channel 16 is the maritime International Emergency Distress Frequency which requires all vessels to monitor for SOS calls and other emergencies.

Hoaxipedia further said, "The Filipino Monkey was first heard in the Persian Gulf around 1984, during the Iran-Iraq War. Despite the fact that VHF Channel 16 is supposed to be used only during emergencies, he would play music over it and taunt other seamen in a sing-song voice. He usually spoke in English. He had particular disdain for Filipino sailors -- as the name he gave himself would indicate. However, he was also extremely hostile to Iranians."

Hoaxipedia cited several incidents, one of which happened in 1987 when an Iranian warship locked its weapon radar onto a U.S. warship. The U.S. warship warned the Iranian vessel to stand down. The "Filipino Monkey" interjected, "Iranian warship, Iranian warship. You gonna get it now."

In another incident that same year, an Iranian gunboat confronted a cargo ship: "What is your cargo? What is your cargo?" The "Filipino Monkey" said, "Rockets, grenades, tanks, missile launchers, all bound for Iraq." The cargo ship frantically responded, "That was not me! That was not me!"

In the past 20 years, attempts to triangulate the location of the "Filipino Monkey" failed due to the large number of possible locations of the transmitter. The original "Filipino Monkey" is believed to be a group of Iranian pranksters who heckled American tankers and warships during the Iran-Iraq War. The "Filipino Monkey" today, however, could be any person who has access to VHF Channel 16. It is not uncommon for someone to call "Filipino Monkey… Filipino Monkey…" to provoke responses from everyone in the area.

By all indications, the original "Filipino Monkey" was not a Filipino. However, a large number of Filipinos work as merchant seamen. Today, there are approximately 250,000 Filipino seamen.

The recent incident in the Strait of Hormuz has made a lot of American military officers jittery at the prospect of an attack similar to the Al Qaeda suicide attack on the USS Cole in Yemen in 2000. Some U.S. military experts might be thinking that the "Filipino Monkey" provocation may have been deliberately planned by the Iranians. The questions are: If it would happen again, would the commander of the U.S. warships think twice before issuing an order to fire? Or would he rely on his instinct and issue an order to fire as soon as he deemed it necessary?

Indeed, the specter of another suicide attack on an American warship in the Persian Gulf is real and American naval commanders probably have standing orders of what to do in the event a similar attack occurs. Should they shoot first and ask questions later?

The "Filipino Monkey" is no monkey business. It is serious business. Peace in the Middle East hangs in the balance as long as the "Filipino Monkey" continues playing this dangerous game.


Sunday, January 20, 2008

Artist Raymond Legaspi: "Does The Tango" -- A Sneak Peek at his unique and creative treasure of artwork

Night of the fireflies / 36 in x 48 in / oil on canvas

Raymond Legaspi at the Ayala Museum exhibit in 2007.

An exhibition of paintings by Raymond Legaspi will be held at Ayala Musuem on March 25 - April 8, 2008 where his wonderful work in which he uses dasters as canvases within a canvas depicts scenes from his memories of Silay, in Western Visayas, where he spent much of his formative years and where he currently resides after spending 20 years in Manila as creative director for advertising giants like Ogilvy & Mather, J. Walter Thompson, and Arc Worldwide.

Raymond remembers most of the titas and lolas in his hometown of Silay as a group of happy, relaxed, and contented women who were always dressed in the ubiquitous daster and "Le Chic" sandal combination, a staple attire of the older women of a city that held the distinction being called the Paris of Negros in the early 1900s.

Minaya Store / 18 x 24 in / oil on canvas

Raymond uses vibrant impressionistic colors and rich textures to portray his subjects dressed in colorful dasters, as they go about various poses and activities endemic to provincial settings where time seems to stand still or at least inexplicably slow down to a crawl. Most of his paintings are a reflection of real lives of real people in Silay, captured on canvas by an artist whose 20 year exile from the place he never stopped calling home has given him the perspective of an observer that is made unique by his intimate knowledge of the place and its people that only a local can possess.

kapehan / 18 x 24 in / oil on canvas

Raymond is a multi-awarded advertising and design creative and was formerly the Executive Creative Director of Arc Worldwide. His job has brought him to several countries in Asia, Europe and the United States visiting museums and art galleries inspired him to pursue painting. Born 1964 in Silay City, Negros Occidental. He graduated at the University of Santo Tomas Collage of Fine Arts.

Check out a small sample of his unique and bold creative art of Filipino life on huge canvas:

Virgen de la Medalla Milagrosa / 48 in. x 60 in. / oil on canvas

Oye como va / 18 in. x 24 in. / oil on canvas

Dressing the Dolorosa / 36 in. x 30 in. / oil on canvas

It's pay day / 18 in. x 24 in. / oil on canvas

3 generations / 18 in x 24 in / oil on canvas

69 COMBI / 18 X 24 /Oil on canvas

(Compiled by Jay Fermin ppp-usa with permission from Artist)