Sunday, July 27, 2008

Gawad Kalinga's Tony Meloto on US tour: Visits Frontliners Media Group

Photo by Benny Uy (FMG)

GK's Tony Meloto visits FRONTLINERS Media Group in Los Angeles:

GK's Tony Meloto visits FRONTLINERS MEDIA GROUP at Salo Salo Restaurant in Cerritos to talk about his U.S. visit and the massive projects of Gawad Kalinga in the Philippines and other countries. Tony explained that 'helping the poor knows no boundaries - in creed, faith, background or wealth.' He exclaimed that a lot of U.S. corporations have started to embrace the vision of Gawad Kalinga. Tony Meloto plans to go to Washington D.C. where he will visit NBA Star Gilbert Arenas, superstar guard of the Washington Wizards who helped build a basketball court in a GK village in Quezon City. Mr. Meloto is also scheduled to visit a number of U.S. cities to promote Gawad Kalinga, the stellar organization that has paved the way for sustainable nation building. GK is tasked of transforming lives by building villages, providing livelihood programs, and enabling land ownership to hundreds of thousands of Filipinos.

L-R seated : Paul Cabigao, Joanne Cruz, Joel Pastor, GK's Tony Meloto, Amalia Meloto-Gonzalez, Rick Munda, Joe Cobilla,

L-R standing: Jay Fermin, Philip Ner, Willie Cheng, Albert Vargas, Joel Crecencia, Rick Gavino, Benny Uy, Art Ramos, Ver Penaranda, & Jun Camacho.

Friday, July 25, 2008

‘BETERANO’ Exhibit launched at Consulate: Mayor Villaraigosa gives Support

Photos and article by Jay Fermin PinoyWired All Rights Reserved

Los Angeles: The Frontliners Media Group (FMG) in cooperation with the Filipino-American Services Group Inc.(FASGI) launched the ‘BETERANO’ photo exhibit last July 8 at the Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles. Honorable Consul General Mary Jo Bernardo Aragon cut the ribbon to officially launch the multi-city traveling exhibit honoring the Filipino Veterans of World War II. Consul Aragon stated that “Our work is not done. We need to work some more so that due recognition be given to the Veterans. We are working hard with our friends in Congress.” Susan Dilkes, Executive Director of FASGI, added that “the exhibit is excellent, excellent and a key instrument in making people become involved by calling their U.S.Congressman” to pass SB.1315. She added that all of us have the moral obligation to help our forgotten heroes of World War II. Senate Bill 1315 (Filipino Veterans Equity Bill) is now pending at the U.S. House of Representatives and need 260 votes to pass.

‘BETERANO’ opened at its second venue at the Leonardo Da Vinci Art Gallery in Los Angeles City College (LACC) on Saturday, July 19, 2008 during the ‘Mayor’s Volunteer Day.’ Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa gave his support by proclaiming that “60 years ago we gave our promise to the Filipino Veterans. They marched in the death march of Bataan; they have fought in the jungle of the Philippines and then we have not kept our promise. Lets stand up for these men.” Close to a hundred veterans, most in their khaki uniform with proud medals hanging, were on hand to see the Mayor as well as view the ‘Beterano’ exhibit, a photography tribute to Filipino Veterans, which is showcased until July 31, 2008. More than 500 community volunteers also attended the event and enjoined in the various food booths and entertainment compliments of the City of Los Angeles.

Join us and experience the continuing plight of our Filipino World War II heroes depicted thru these memorable collection of Black & White images that brings awareness and show the urgency for support of the successful passage of the Filipino Veterans Equity Bill (SB.1315) now in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The traveling exhibit is planned to be visiting the cities of Cerritos, Carson, Walnut and other U.S. cities. The exhibit is open to the public and features a stunning collection of Black & White images of Filipino Veterans who not only fought for the cause of freedom but have been brave on their battle for their Veterans Benefits for more than 60 years.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Where's Senate Speaker Pelosi?

By Johnny Pecayo: Editor-In-Chief (Manila.US.Times)

The U.S. Speaker of the House must step up and deal with the plight of the Filipino Veterans of World War II.

For over six decades, the Filipino veterans who were commissioned by the United States Armed Forces of the Far East (USAFFE) to fight for America, now estimated at 18,000 from the original list of about 472,000, have been fighting for a war that they had already won but have yet to reap the benefits of.

It is on record that Filipino soldiers who fought against the Japanese in the Philippines were ordered by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt into service in the U.S. Army. When the war broke out, the Philippines was a colony of the U.S.. Therefore, the Filipino soldiers were American nationals serving the USA. They should have been entitled to full VA benefits had the Rider to PL 79-301, the Rescission Act of 1946, not taken those benefits away.

Where is Speaker Nancy Pelosi? No, we are not asking for the undisclosed location where she can be seen in person. We are asking about something more important than her present location. Where is the authoritative power, leadership and influence she possesses as Speaker of the House?

President Roosevelt once said: "The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men (and women) who can dream of things that never were.....The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts about today. Let us move forward with strong and active faith." And the Valiant World War II heroes responded to this call and put their lives on the line to fight for the freedom that all of us now enjoy.

It is hoped that Speaker Pelosi would follow her instincts and heed what President John F. Kennedy said: "There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long-range risks of comfortable inaction." She must act now before it is too late. For indeed, President Kennedy further stated: "Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction."

Since the passage last April 14 by the U.S. Senate of S. 1315, otherwise known as Veterans' Benefits Enhancement Act, by an overwhelming vote of 96-1, the expectation was that Speaker Pelosi would take the lead role in ensuring approval of this Bill in the Lower House, considering that her present leadership commands a "simple majority," or an equivalent of 218 members of Congress favoring its approval. To get S.1315 to pass the House, Speaker Pelosi will need all 230 House Democrats to support it and at least 60 House Republicans to reach the magic number of 290 (two-thirds of the 435 total number of House members) in order to call for a Suspension of the Rules that would avoid killer amendments that would delay, if not kill the bill.

The leadership of Rep. Darryl Issa (R-CA) can gather enough Republicans to join the Democrats in reaching the number of 290. It is believed that Rep. Issa, whose office in the Cannon House Bldg. we visited last week, can get 74 Republicans to vote for S.1315.

Speaker Pelosi is urged to heed what Gen. Douglas MacArthur said: "A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others." There are over four million Filipino Americans in the U.S. who are taxpayers and registered voters, including the unsung heroes now in their mid-eighties to nineties. These World War II veterans could barely walk the halls and long corridors of Congress, and they are badly in need of Speaker Pelosi's undivided support to reap the long overdue benefits due them.

SB.1315, provides $250 to $300 million over 10 years for the Filipino World War II veterans. If Speaker Pelosi would apply the resources of her office and crack the whip, to have this bill passed, an allocation of about $50 million for Filipino veterans will be needed in the first year and would steadily decrease over a 10-year period ($46 million in year 2, and $42 million in year 3, based on mortality rate of 10 a day).

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which prepared the estimate, took into consideration the fact that many of the Filipino veterans living in California (4,000) out of the total of 6,000 vets in the US) may elect to keep the Supplemental Security Income that they are currently receiving about $650 a month plus $200 from the state of California rather than the $900 a month they would receive as US Veterans Affairs pension because the veteran and his spouse would receive a higher monthly total SSI benefit of $1,500. They would not be entitled to combine both.

“Compressing” the bill from 10 to 5 would allow Philippine veterans the opportunity to receive $600 a month over a 5-year period rather than $300 a month over 10 years.

These are incredibly difficult times now for the 12,000 veterans in the Philippines who are all eagerly awaiting passage of S.1315 to help them cope with skyrocketing food and fuel costs. While the young activist members of the VEC and the Student Action for Veterans Equity should be admired for sticking to their principles, the veterans in the Philippines know that they cannot eat their principles or fill their gas tanks with them.

Robert Gnaizda, General Counsel of the Greenlining Institute, led a small delegation last July 17 to meet with Speaker Pelosi's senior staff, Melissa Shannon, comprising of Dr. Primo Andres, Chairman, Filipino American Leadership Council (FALCON); Johnny Pecayo, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of the MANILA-U.S. TIMES, who is Co-Chair of FALCON Public Relations; Maj. Gen. Delfin Lorenzana, Minister-Counselor and Head, Office of Veterans Affairs, Philippine Embassy; Gines Gallaga, Vice-Consul and 3rd Secretary, Philippine Embassy; Percival Abu, Veterans Service Officer, Philippine Embassy; Eric Lachica, Executive Director,American Coalition for Filipino Veterans; Jorge Corralejo, Chairman Latino Business Chamber of Commerce of the Greater Los Angeles Area; Ben de Guzman, National Campaign Coordinator, National Alliance for Filipino Veterans Equity (NAFVE); and four Filipino Veterans of World War II -- Guillermo Rumingan, Celestino Almeda, 91, (who rides in a motorized wheel chair); Joaquin Tejada, and Potenciano Dee, who had to beg off as he could not endure walking the long corridors of the Cannon Office Bulding that connects to the U.S. House of Congress.

Gnaizda, spokesman of the group, is a long time friend of the Speaker whom he has known even prior to Nancy Pelosi's becoming involved in politics.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Journey Concert: Wish You Were There

All Photos by Albert Vargas PinoyWired All Rights Reserved

(Article by Ed Rame, Taliba News)

Los Angeles: The evening of Wednesday, July 16, saw hundreds trooping to Irvine and packing the Verizon Amphitheater to full capacity to watch the performance of three popular 70s bands: Cheap Trick, Heart and Journey.

Festive air filled the concert area hours before the show started as fans eagerly waited the evening’s offering. Filipinos in the audience were there for one reason and one reason alone: watch their kababayan — Journey’s new lead singer no less — Arnel Pineda.

He didn’t disappoint. A dynamo even at 40, Pineda was all over the place, and impressed the crowd with his incredible energy. He sang, he jumped, swirled, twirled, twisted and did just about everything a performer would do to impress the crowd, which responded with screaming delight. He endeared himself to the hundreds of Pinoys in attendance when he acknowledge their presence and addressed them as "kababayan."

From the first series of fast Journey tunes that opened the concert, Pineda was strutting nonstop with incredible energy. His performance and interpretation of each song sounded no different from that of longtime vocalist Steve Perry’s, but nonetheless great on its own merit.

When keyboardist Jonathan Cain played the first few notes of "Open Arms," the audience roared in excitement. Soon, they chorused along to Pineda. It was, for many of those in the audience, one of the evening’s most heartwarming moments. For those of us who grew up in the ’70s and ’80s, the effect was magical as the familiar melody carried us down memory lane.

More hit songs followed until the band played "Faithfully", a song that immortalized the group in the entertainment world. Pineda, despite his diminutive size, proved that he is equally and incredibly talented as his band mates and could hold his own in the global entertainment scene.

Indeed, Pineda made every Filipino proud that night.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Arnel Pineda & Journey returns to rock Las Vegas

Article & all photos by Valerie Nerres
All rights reserved

Finally, the day that Las Vegas Journey fans had been waiting for since March 11th. The band's return and this time at the Mandalay Bay with none other than Heart and Cheap Trick. I got to the venue early and just crowd watched, slowly the casino started getting invaded by “Journey” concert T’s, conversations about the bands, incredible new addition, Arnel Pineda and a proud display of Filipino pride, all 12,000 people descending upon the Mandalay Bay Events center, under a full Las Vegas moon.

Journey’s North American tour supporting the bands 13th release “Revelation” began on July 9th in Denver, with sold out shows along the way to Las Vegas, this stop not being any different, the sold to capacity venue rocked July 19th.

I wasn’t able to see the beginning of Cheap Trick, due to the fact that I attended one of Journey’s meet and greets that took place just prior to the show. During the meet and greet, I was fortunate enough to meet Arnel and Jonathan Cain. There was about 20 or so of us in the room and my husband turned to me and said “There’s Arnel” I said.. “Where?” He was standing, his back to me. At the Planet Hollywood show, his presence and voice was so huge, here he was right in front of me, he’s tiny! I didn’t even recognize him at first. He turned around and greeted the people there with such a warm, friendly smile, his energy was so contagious, you couldn’t help but match the same huge smile on your face. I went up and introduced myself and told him that I had been one of the photographers at the Planet Hollywood show and showed him a few of my photos, he happily autographed two of them and posed for a photo. I just cannot say enough good things about him, in all honesty, it’s so refreshing and I truly believe that in Arnel, Neal found a diamond, he’s truly a gem. He’s a keeper. Since doing a recent interview with Neal, I was really looking forward to actually saying hello to him in person, he was absent from the meet n greet, but, being persistent as I am, I went up to one of the bands security people and kindly asked him if there was any way to get a photo back to Mr. Schon and have him sign it, he told me that he’d try and for me to write a note on the back with my number and he’d see what he could do.

I left the meet and greet very happy, and looking forward to seeing some live music, as I walked back into the arena, Cheap Trick was in the middle of their set, singing “ I want you to want me”, followed by “I can’t take it” and “The Flame” , “Surrender” and then “Good night”. I’ve honestly never been a huge fan of Cheap Trick, they were ok, I kept noticing that their sound was a little distorted from where I was sitting. I was impressed with 12 string bassist Tom Petersson, I’ve always been a fan of his.

At the end of their set, my phone rang and surprisingly was the cool security guy from the meet and greet. He told me that he had gotten my photo signed! I went up to him and thanked him for going out of his way for me that was probably the highlight of the night for me besides meeting Arnel.

Prior to Heart going onstage, I was approached and had to hand over my camera gear, I’ve never had to do that and felt really uncomfortable with that, I tried to explain that my lens was in a separate area than the body of my camera and that I’d never jeopardize anything by doing something I wasn’t supposed to do. I still had to turn it over. I did and went back to my seat and tried to not let it bother me. The Wilson sisters came out onstage and all I can say, is “WOW”. My first time seeing the band. Not sure what was going on with the sound, but it got progressively better as each band went onstage.

Opening with “Wild Child”, “Kick it Out”, “Straight on” one of my favorites of the night. Then going into “Magic Man”, “Mistral Wind”, “These Dreams”. I was beginning to wonder if I was going to like Heart better than Journey, they were THAT good. I have to say that even after 30 years of touring and singing Ann Wilson absolutely still had what it takes, playing not only the harder songs, but adding some more laid back folk rock. The crowd was absolutely into it. My favorite of course “Barracuda” which ended their set, but, they came back and did an awesome rendition of Led Zeppelin’s “Going to California” and then “Crazy on You”.

Finally it was the time everybody had been waiting for, Journey was up next. I went back towards the front to retrieve my camera and was really getting hassled by house security as to why I was there, did I have a ticket? It was beginning to make me feel very uncomfortable as it was clear by the pass around my neck that said “Photo” why I was there. I kept trying to explain to them and they kept pushing harder. I wasn’t about to let them ruin my night, so I just went past and into the press pit to shoot.

The house lights dimmed and Neal started the show with an incredible guitar solo, the way a rock concert should start, right? Arnel came out all guns blazing with my favorite at the moment “Never Walk Away”, I was so tempted to put my camera down and just rock out, but, they only give you the first 3 songs, so decided against it. He was full of energy and passion, jumping off the drum riser, dominating the stage at times going to his knees, tossing around his black hair, it was awesome to see. The band went into “Only The Young”, “Stone in Love” after which the photographers had to leave, I had to again check my camera down at guest services, forcing me to miss a few more songs, but came back to my seat just in time for “Change for the better”. Where my seat was, I was sitting on the side of the stage, great vantage point, as I could see the entire stage and Deen Castronovos massive drum kit and watch him pound it like it owed him money. The vibe from the band bounced back and forth between the audience and back to the stage. I looked up to watch part of the show from the massive screen’s above me since I was watching them from behind, basically. On to “Send her my love”, then the classic “Lights” had the entire venue singing along. I did happen to notice that next to the monitors they had a teleprompter with lyrics going up, which was interesting. Jonathan Cain came out and played a little bit of harmonica after “Wildest Dreams” next to Neal just prior to going into “Wheel in the Sky”. I loved how Arnel just went crazy towards the end of this song. Twirling “Round and round” along with Deen’s pounding drums, you couldn’t help but yell and scream, it was electric. Next up was “Be good to yourself” and “Any way you want it”. It was killing me, I wish I had my camera to take shots of Arnel just launching off the drum riser.

The band left the stage, the crowd stomping their feet, wanting more, they returned with “Escape”, then classic’s “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin”, at this point, I happened to look up at the monitors again and noticed Arnel, practically bare chested, buttons from his shirt had fallen off, or were they ripped off from leaning over the monitors and coming in contact with adoring fans? Didn’t matter, he looked like a rock star, you couldn’t help but smile. The band finished their set with “Faithfully”.

One thing that was again a highlight of the evening, was when 12,000 people poured out from the arena into the Mandalay Bay singing in unison woo-oh – oh oh, part of “Faithfully”………..The sound just sending chills through you. Like one big massive extended happy Journey family. What an incredible experience!! Absolutely the best concert of the summer, by far.

Journey is:

Arnel Pineda – Lead Vocals
Neal Schon – Guitars
Jonathan Cain – Keyboards
Ross Valory – Bass
Deen Castronovo – Drums

For more information, please visit

ARDA CEO, Mr. Howard C. Nusbaum to speak at AIREEC USA 2008

Los Angeles, CA, July 21, 2008 -The American International Real Expo and Conference (AIREEC) September 5-7 2008 to be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center aims to bring together over 10,000 attendees from over 30 countries in its commitment to stimulate globalization and business.

This year's theme is "The Business of Global Second Homes and Resorts" which responds to the tsunami of aging baby boomers entering their retirement years and the emerging "new rich" market from developing countries.

AIREEC is bringing in over 60 world renowned speakers, experts and leaders to talk about trends, updates, solutions, choices and options on the emerging "fad" of global 2nd homeownership.

One of the Keynote Speaker of AIREEC USA 2008 is ARDA's CEO. Mr. Howard C. Nusbaum, RRP is currently the president and chief executive officer of the American Resort Development Association (ARDA), the Washington D.C.-based professional association representing the vacation ownership and resort development industries.

Established in 1969, ARDA today has over 1,000 corporate members ranging from privately held firms to publicly traded companies and international corporations with expertise in shared ownership interests in leisure real estate.

The ARDA membership community includes timeshare owner associations (HOAs), resort management companies, industry vendors, suppliers and consultants, as well as owners through the ARDA Resort Owners Coalition (ARDA-ROC). It promotes the growth and development of the timeshare industry through a variety of capacities.

Timeshare, also known as vacation ownership, continues to lead in the hospitality sector with steady growth, due in large part to the industry's constant innovation developed in response to consumer lifestyle needs and vacation preferences.

As ARDA reports: Combined direct, indirect, and fiscal impacts in 2005 by the U.S. timeshare industry contributed an estimated $92 billion to the U.S. economy in 2005. This included $62 billion in consumer and business spending; 565,300 full- and part-time jobs; over $21 billion in salaries, wages, and related income; and approximately $8.5 billion in tax revenue.

The Timeshare industry will be one of the recipients of the 18 year travel boom that the baby boomers' will create in their pursuit to live their lifelong dream and distinctive "Life After Retirement", claims Susan Barlin, CEO of ECPI, the organizer of AIREEC USA 2008. The U.S. alone has about 78.2 million baby boomers (Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2005) that are looking to travel a lot and retire actively.

"Our message to American baby boomers is that they have many choices and options in how they can achieve their dream to retire luxuriously at prices they can afford if they will learn the solutions" says Susan Barlin, CEO of ECPI. "This 18-year travel boom has already begun as the first batch of baby boomers has turned 62 this year. This will bring big business, stimulate economies and benefit industries like Timeshare, Tourism, Airline, Hotel, Hospitality, Resorts, Developers and even Hospitals here and abroad." she exclaims.

Susan Barlin's tip was to continue to explore and provide for the needs of the baby boomers and you are going to be in a good business position for the next 18 years. And don't forget that the baby boomers are also the decision makers for their parents' retirement!

For more information, please contact Paul Eulalia at +1310.800.4907 or You may also visit our website at .

About ECPI: Expo and Convention Promotions, Inc. (ECPI) is founded in October 2005 by a group of individuals who, together, have gained success in the international real estate industry through 30 years of experience and expertise. It believes in a world with no borders, thus, opening infinite business opportunities to nations that participate in its events.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Historic Filipinotown celebrates with a Street Festival on August 2

Los Angeles, July 12th 2008. The street festival Los Angeles’ 6th Historic Filipinotown Festival on Saturday, Aug 2nd will feature a vast array of luminaries in eleven hours of stage entertainment, with free admission and free parking to everyone.

Nora Aunor, living legend and diva extraordinaire of Filipino movies and entertainment, has confirmed her attendance to this huge street festival. Ms Aunor will entertain her crowds of admirers in an incredible segment of voice, presence and charisma.

Vocalist and musician Mon David will be gracing this feast of luminaries. The Grand Prize Winner- 2006 London Int’l Jazz Vocal Competition , 2006-07 Awit Awardee, and 2004 Most Outstanding Kapampangan in Culture, Music & Arts will be feasting the crowds with the best of his repertoire.

Latin Rhythm Kings featuring Frankie Garcia’s Cannibal and The Headhunters and Rudy and Steve Salas of Tierra have also confirmed their performance. The well remembered album “Land of 1000 Dances” skyrocketed the original members of Cannibal group in the 60s as they toured with The Beatles. The original “Tierra” in early the 70s were very famous for their cover of the Intruder’s ‘Together’, which cracked the R&B Top Ten in 1980 and reached number 18 on the pop charts.

The renowned Kultura dance group, with a legacy of fourteen years and four hundred fifty performances, a regular in Ford Amphitheater and more mainstream artistic stages, will come grace the crowds with the best of Filipino culture. Kultura leads a robust bloc of folklore at the Filipinotown Festival, including the delightful talent from the Troy Philippine Dance Group, extraordinary and dramatic contributions from the Teatro Kandusay, All Philippine Cultural Ensemble and the charm of the Burlington School Children. In addition, segments of the other communities residing in Filipinotown will be honored: For a second year, Alvaro Vanegas’ Proyectos Saluda’s ‘El Mundo Hispano Saluda al Filipinotown 2008’ coalition brings a feast of Pan-American folklore to foster the union of Latin American communities and Filipinos: Lucrecia Navas and Nicaraguita Dance Group (Nicaragua), Cecilio Castro and Esplendor (Mexico), and David Leon and Eva Henriquez’ Concurso Internacional de Cumbia (Colombia) will be part of one hour of color and music. These groups are leading folkloric groups in their corresponding communities.
The Marvelettes Revue, the legendary R&B group which caused Motown to change the label’s focus to a smooth, orchestrated, harmonic sound that evolved from the original roots of rhythm and blues, has also confirmed their participation in the Filipinotown Festival. The Marvelettes will be performing their 1961 hit "Please Mr Postman" as part of a 45min grand review.

The vocalist Slim K captured almost 16 million viewers on his first major debut, on German national television in the early 90's at the legendary Saturday night show "Rudi Carrell Show". Slim K has performed and worked alongside the greatest acts in the 90s such as Backstreet Boys and Michael Jackson among others.
The complete lineup of this grand festival includes more extraordinary artistic talent for all generations: Justin Rivera, Ella Mae Saison, American Idol Finalist Camille Velasco Kick Rawks, VEU, Vent HipHop dancers among others. There will be live Latin talent such as Jared and Juanita dancers, and the very popular international-awarded Zorullo y la Dinamita (Aladino Manyoma) bringing everyone to their feet with old school mambo, cha cha cha, salsa and son.
The Crowning of HIFI Youth Ambassador will be another highlight of this year’s festival.

The stage begins at 11:00am and ends at 10:00pm. Location: This street Festival is on Temple/Westlake, in Los Angeles (two blocks East of Alvarado). Admission is free. Parking is free, at City of Angels Medical Center. There will be approximately 40 booths of food, goods and services. The festival will have all-day long Carnival Rides in one entire bloc for the whole family. There will be simultaneous activities such as Bus Tours over the Filipinotown District, the opening of the Smithsonian-endorsed Singgalot exhibit featuring 100 years of Filipino migration to the USA, and the extraordinary 5K Walk/Run organized by the Rotary.

For more festival info: Please visit

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

L.A. Mayor Villaraigosa to visit BETERANO exhibit during Mayor's Service Day July 19th

Los Angeles: The Frontliners Media Group (FMG) in cooperation with the Filipino-American Services Group Inc(FASGI) cordially invite you to the second leg of the ‘BETERANO’ photo exhibit at LACC Leonardo Da Vinci Art Gallery which will formally open on Saturday, July 19, 2008 at 9:00 am.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will be giving his support to the Filipino Veterans by viewing the BETERANO photo exhibit between the hours of 12:00 – 2:00 pm. Also expected to attend the opening will be U.S. Congressman Javier Becerra (California) and Councilman Eric Garcetti.

Join us and experience the continuing plight of our Filipino World War II heroes depicted thru these memorable collection of Black & White images that hope to bring awareness and show the urgency for support of the passage of the Filipino Veteran Equity Bill (SB.1315) now in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The ‘BETERANO’ photo exhibit will be a major part of the “Mayor’s Day of Service” on July 19, 2008 at Los Angeles City College. More than 500 community volunteers are expected to attend the event with information booths and entertainment from the City of Los Angeles.

The “Mayor’s Day of Service” on July 19 will mobilize the community for city pride led by local community groups in collaboration with the Mayor’s office. ( or call 213.922.9737)

The BETERANO photo exhibit will be at the Los Angeles City College ‘Leonardo Da Vinci Gallery’, 855 N. Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles, CA. 90029 starting July 19 to July 31, 2008 and will be open from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm.

The exhibit is open to the public. View the stunning collection of Black & White images of Filipino Veterans who not only fought for the cause of freedom but have been brave on their battle for their Veterans Benefits for more than 60 years.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

JOURNEY Rocks on with REVELATION Tour - CD/DVD Top 10 on Billboard's Charts

By Jay Fermin
Photos by Valerie Nerres Photography

Los Angeles: The legendary rock concert of the summer is definitely none other than JOURNEY with new lead singer Arnel Pineda. Since kicking off their REVELATION tour on U.S. soil in Denver, Colorado last July 9 and working their way thru the West Coast promoting their new CD / DVD REVELATION, and after a June whirlwind European run which kicked off in Madrid Spain and included shows in Germany, The Netherlands, England, Wales, and Ireland, now Journey comes home to the U.S. with concerts scheduled in San Diego’s Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre, Verizon Amphitheatre in Irvine (PW will cover this show July 16), Mandalay Bay Arena in Vegas and on towards the east touring the rest of the country with 55 shows playing to more than a million ticket holders.

Journey created quit a stir in the rock and roll world when in December 5, 2007, Neal Schon (lead guitarist) announced that they have the perfect replacement as the band’s lead singer in Arnel Pineda, whom Neal discovered thru viewing uploaded videos on YouTube. Arnel Pineda who hails from the Philippines, is proving to be the perfect vocals exhibiting great collaboration with the rest of the band members, namely Neal Schon (all guitars, backing vocals), Jonathan Cain (keyboards, backing vocals), Ross Valory (bass, backing vocals), and Deen Castronovo (drums, percussion, backing vocals). With Arnel’s vocals and outstanding stage moves, early reports from JOURNEY fan sites on the REVELATIONS tour and CD / DVD have been very encouraging and have given Journey a very promising rebirth. They are ready for the future.

Arnel stated in a recent interview that “It’s so exciting to sing with one of the best bands in the world. It will be a lot of hard work on my part and I’m actually looking forward to the scrutiny I’ll be getting from the hardcore JOURNEY fans. I know they ‘ll expect me to sound exactly like ‘the voice’ (alluding to Journey’s former lead singer Steve Perry who left the band in 1998), but that will never happen. I know there’s only one Steve Perry in this world.” Checking the comments on the forum of JOURNEY fan sites, it looks like Arnel has slowly earned their respect, with a voice that is distinctly still Arnel, and the sound purely true JOURNEY whom most of us have grown up with.

Amid the countless article coverage of Arnel’s fantastic voyage from a small band in the Philippines to now the lead singer of JOURNEY in magazines, TV, newspapers, and the web, what matters most is still the music. With REVELATION CD / DVD (Released June 3, 2008) enjoying top 10 on Billboard’s Top 200 Albums Chart since its release five weeks ago (Billboard Top #5 with 105,000 units sold on debut week), the three disk CD / DVD package is slowly becoming a promising Platinum album (RIAA ranking of 1 Million sold).

REVELATION spins off JOURNEY into another era of their signature massive concert touring, entering almost three and a half decade of classic rock. REVELATION CD / DVD is a compilation of 11 new songs mostly written by Jonathan Cain and Neal Schon, accompanied by 11 classic favorites on an accompanying CD, and a concert DVD. A new song entitled “Never Walk Away” (which came out as a CD single in Europe) blends the rhythmic vocals of Arnel and the classic heart-pounding drum sequence and soft lead of Neal Schon, reminiscent of the 80’s but places a stake in a new JOURNEY of the future. It has a beautiful melody and a very catchy chorus which for sure will be another popular audience sing-along piece. Slowing down for “Like a Sunshower”, Schon’s guitar lends a light and breezy feel, almost like a misty bar atmosphere reminiscing of a loved one and a stormy relationship most fans can relate to. Jonathan’s piano sets the mood and could be popular after a few times of listening.

Neal’s intro pluck of the upbeat “Change For the Better” brings the classic melodic chorus of the band and preaches to all of the need for change, the possibility of purpose. Excellent drum transitions by Deen waves the message of the song. Arnel’s vocals proclaims the lyrics of a new day for the better and proceed with more excellent guitar and fast paced bass combination by Ross Valory. The lyrics and melody of the chorus has the capacity to stay with you for days.

Perception and questions urgently collide in the savvy but hip and rocking ” Wildest Dreams” which is sure to become another anthem song of JOURNEY. The song is perfect for stage interaction between Arnel’s stage showmanship and Neal’s wireless strut of his guitars. This song will be a perfect performance act complete for the now well known Arnel jump-off from the drums platform!

“Faith In The Heartland” is a ferocious proclamation of being a proud working American that you can almost feel red, white and blue throughout the melody with Schon’s guitar lead flying like fireworks. “Give me something to believe in” Arnel sings, with a splendid almost melancholic jazz keyboard play by Jonathan while Schon squeezes some more out of the song. Originally released on the ‘GENERATIONS’ cd, this rendition is a little more stronger with the awesome magic of Journey’s producer, engineer, and mixer Kevin Shirley which made sure that the music must not only sound good but also feel good.

Jonathan’s classic keyboard intro and Arnel’s sharp voice sweetly brings out the emotion on the what will be the next wedding dj / radio favorite of the decade, “After All These Years.” The song relates the memories of raising a family, of how a partner in life stood tall in his absence. Neal’s guitar lets out an almost melancholic cry; a sure favorite with the ladies. (It could be a tear jerker in the realm of ‘Loved By You’ on the Arrival album). JOURNEY has a sure hit in the bag with this one.

Deen Castronovo leads the pack as he beat up the drum on “Where Did I Lose Your Love”. Arnel’s appeal to the refrain, almost lost in Deen’s superb drum beat and Jonathan’s dash of play on the keyboards with the high pitched lead guitar of Neal stirs up the emotion of the question: ‘how can I make you stay?’. Truly an amazing heartbreak song with a splendid piano and drum combination on the tail-end. The blitz attack of the drums leads into a quick fade out. Truly a superb huge sounding track.

“What I Needed”: A classic ballad spiced with jazzy percussion , the lyrics is sure to fire up lost emotions, and an almost Santana like lead by Schon cries for approval (Neal Schon played with the Carlos Santana Band in the 70s). Arnel’s vocals is perfect for the song and the Jonathan’s piano piece completed by Schon’s guitar play is by far the best among the new songs.

A rock band won’t be respected without revealing the deeper longing. JOURNEY captures the emotion with excellent vocals on the song “Turn Down the World Tonight”. The lyrics invites to withdraw from the business of life and spend quiet moments: ‘help me turn down the world tonight / take a quiet moment somewhere we can unwind / losing touch we forget to take time to share what’s in our hearts and speak what’s on our minds’. Definitely, Neal’s reverved lead moves up the emotion of the lyrics. Another JOURNEY new hit for sure.

“The Journey (REVELATION)” showcases the strings of Neal in a heavily synthesized instrumental piece (remember Boston, Styx, Led Zep?) which captures the new while bridging the old. Astral melodic tune which transcends the chords. This is a long awaited piece and stamps approval on the new era of JOURNEY. Superbly executed and mixed.

The awesome collection of the 11 new songs (12 in Europe release) is complimented by a second CD of Arnels rendition of favorite and timeless JOURNEY classics including: ‘Only the Young, Don’t Stop Believing, Wheel in the Sky, Faithfully, Any Way You Want It, Who’s Crying Now, Separate Ways, Lights, Open Arms, Be Good to Yourself (vocals by Deen Castronovo), and Stone In Love.’ Timeless Journey songs with an Arnel signature. These songs you can almost be certain, is being played somewhere in the world at any given time. These are the legendary and timeless anthem songs that made JOURNEY.

Accompanying the 2 CD set is a DVD of the concert on March 18 at Planet Hollywood La Vegas. It features a repertoire of 14 songs with splendid revival choreagraphic stage moves including Arnel’s energetic leap from the drums riser. However, early reports from JOURNEY fan sites have been drumbeating how Arnel is more energetic and exhibit greater showmanship on the concert road. His huge smile and perfect chemistry with the band and the audience surely makes the REVELATION world tour the concert not to be missed this summer. This is the new era of JOURNEY. This is rock and roll history in the making.

I am looking forward to review the new JOURNEY live at the Irvine Amphitheatre Concert on July 16. As Kevin Shirley said, I just don’t want to hear the music. I want to feel the music. However, don’t blame me if half the audience are Asians. Rock on JOURNEY.

Note: For concert schedule, please visit

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Eat Bulaga L.A. Grand Fiesta on July 19, 2008

Eat Bulaga, the popular TV game show in the Philippines will be coming to Los Angeles. 7:30PM at Los Angeles Sports Arena, 3939 South Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA 90037 Stars scheduled to be at the show are• JUDY ANN SANTOS & RYAN AGONCILLO • TITO, VIC & JOEY • DINGDONG DANTES • MARIAN RIVERA • PIA GUANIO • ALLAN K • FRANCIS M • JULIA CLARETE • ANJO YLLANA • PAULEEN LUNA • WALLY BAYOLA • JIMMY SANTOS • JOSE MANALO.

There will be Big Game Prizes, Hundreds of Giveaways, and a chance to win a $20,000 Jackpot Prize! Tickets $35, $50, $75 and limited VIP seats at $100. Tickets also available from Starmedia 818-549-9005 / 818-547-1456 / 818-913-5818 / Or Buy online at Carousel Pinoy Frontliners Media Group, a conglomerate of photographers, writers and TV broadcast reporters and videographers based in the United States is one of the sponsors of EAT BULAGA FIESTA SA L.A.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Frontliners Media Group launches ‘Beterano’ Photo Exhibit

By Rhony Laigo (Editor - Balita Media)

A group of more than 30 leading Filipino-American photographers based in Southern California will kick-off a four-day photo exhibit of images of Fil-Am World War II veterans, their families, and supporters starting July 8 at the main gallery of the Philippine Consulate in Los Angeles to launch a nationwide tour.

Frontliners Media Group will mount 16″x20″ photographs of aging Filipino veterans, some of whom are on the brink of death, who fought alongside American soldiers in the bloodiest world war against the invading Japanese Imperialist Army in the Pacific. The photos will depict their daily activities, struggles, and moments of unforgettable events while awaiting passage of a law that will grant them more pension money and other benefits.

In cooperation with the Filipino American Services Group, Inc. (FASGI), a non-profit neighborhood-based health and human care provider that has been helping veterans since 1981, the photo exhibit was conceptualized by the newly-established Frontliners Media Group in honor and to help promote the successful passage of SB.1315 in the U.S. House of Congress.

Photographs in the exhibit are in black & white, a format that tends to highlight the years that the veterans have lived through and, with the effects of lighting, put more drama in the composition of the picture.

According to the statement from the group, the July 8-11 exhibit is the start of the planned traveling photo exhibit to various photo galleries in Southern California and Nevada. It said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is scheduled to visit the exhibit at the Los Angeles City College on July 19 and who, according to the Frontliners Media Group, is expected to extend his support to the Filipino veterans.

Frontliners Media Group is composed of media photographers, videographers, and writers most of whom work for media outfits.