Monday, June 26, 2017

Another ‘Jeff’ has ax to grind vs Pacquiao

By Alex P. Vidal

FAIRFAX, Virginia -- The Aussie who has ax to grind for 17 years against Manny Pacquiao (59-6-2, 38 KOs) is also known as “Jeff” but he isn’t Jeff Horn (16-0-1, 11 KOs), WBO’s No. 1 welterweight contender, who will fight Pacquiao for WBO 147-lb crown in Brisbane, Australia on July 2.
Jeff Fenech, now 53, is a former undisputed world super bantamweight champion, who went wild in Manila on October 14, 2000 when his unbeaten ward, Nedal Hussein, lost a controversial 10th round TKO to Pacquiao for the WBC international super bantamweight title at the Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo City, Philippines.
Fenech, who insisted until now that Hussein had been robbed, nearly attack famed referee Carlos Padilla, who stopped the fight due to Hussein eye injury.
Fenech accused Padilla of administering a “long count” when Hussein knocked down Pacquiao in the fourth canto of the 12-round championship fight.

SLOW

Padilla, third man in the ring during the 1975 “Thrilla in Manila”, was accused of allowing Pacquiao to clear the cobwebs with a slow count.
Fenech filed a protest but Pacquiao’s win had been upheld.
He was not impressed with Pacquiao’s talent. Fenech criticized the Filipino politician for his weak chin saying Hussein could have finished off Pacquiao in the fourth round had the fight was officiated by a neutral referee.
Fenech and Hussein had been asking for a rematch that never materialized until Hussein, now 41, decided to retire after losing to Takashi Uchiyama by knockout for Oriental Pacific Boxing Federation (OPBF) super featherweight tiara in Tokyo on September 8, 2007.
Now that Pacquiao’s title defense will be held in their home court with an estimated paying fans of 55,000 or more, Fenech has advised Horn he can upset Pacquiao at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Queensland Australia if he uses the right tactics.
Fenech recently told Grantlee Kieza of the Courier Mail: “Just bash the bloke in close. It’s no more Mister Nice Guy now. I’m not saying break the rules but you have to rough Manny up. Jeff, do everything to hurt him in close. Twist him, twist his knees, use your weight advantage, bully him--bang your shoulder into him. Manny can punch at a distance, Jeff. Close the distance. Stay on his chest and make him feel all of his 38 years.”

STAR

Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum, meanwhile, has praised Horn as a future major star saying he expects a viewing audience of 10 million on ESPN.
“If Jeff Horn, win or lose, performs as well as I think he will, he will end up to be a major star in the United States just because so many eyeballs have seen him,” Arum said on June 26 as he watched Horn train. “And I really believe that Jeff Horn will give an outstanding account of himself. This is a great, great, great opportunity. The fight will be shown free to the American public on ESPN, the largest sports network in the world. ESPN is going all out to promote the event. We’re looking forward to an audience as large as 10 million in the United States and maybe larger…. it will dwarf anything Manny Pacquiao has done in the United States in the 15 or 16 years that he’s been fighting.”

Sunday, June 25, 2017

By not killing a single cop, NPA rebs embarrass gov't

"My aim, then, was to whip the rebels, to humble their pride, to follow them to their inmost recesses, and make them fear and dread us. Fear is the beginning of wisdom."
-- William Tecumseh Sherman

By Alex P. Vidal

FAIRFAX, Virginia -- Enemies of the state can score a moral victory even without killing a single police or army.
This was manifested by the brave New People's Army (NPA) cadres who raided the Maasin Police Station in Iloilo province in the Philippines on June 18.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) have been portraying NPA rebels as ruthless bandits who robbed and killed unarmed civilians in remote villages.
If the AFP could not stymie the leftist rebels in actual combat, they managed to clobber them in propaganda war what with their vast technological and media resources, let alone plant derogatory imputations against the outlawed armed guerillas in the people's minds.
But the rebels belied all the negative propaganda levelled against them when they didn't touch a single cop with a ten-foot pole during the June 18 blitzkrieg.
They could have annihilated all the nine cops caught flat-footed.

MONSTERS

The NPA showed to all and sundry that they were not monsters, after all, as portrayed by government forces.
That they, too, are merciful human beings who would not kill people without any justifiable reason.
And the government tagged them as "terrororists."
A terrorist, in the mind of an ordinary citizen, plants bombs, shoots at anyone in sight, and create mayhem in society.
A terrorist commits mass murders and kills including women and children.
A terrorist shoots a cop and any military officer at any given opportunity.
Instead, the NPA raiders just immobilized the uniformed policemen after neutralizing them as they seized several high-powered firearms that infuriated Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Reynaldo "Bato" Dela Rosa, who visited Massin recently.

BLOW

It was a major blow against the Duterte administration and a grand moral victory for the NPA.
Here's a case where an enemy raid became celebrated and became talk of the town nationwide, but not a single casualty was reported on the part of authorities.
Some people will now start to doubt if the NPA rebels are really merciless mass murderers and terrorists.
Joma Sison is really brilliant.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

'I never saw my mom's face, but...'

"Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do."
-- Pele

By Alex P. Vidal

FAIRFAX, Virginia -- Polly Binuag was teenager when recruited to work as babysitter in the orphanage of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary in Manila.
In 1989 or after 14 years of taking care of new-born babies and up to six-year old tots, Sister Marietta, the orphanage superior, sent Polly to Michigan, USA to work for the family of one Dr. Jamora, the nun's brother.
"I was chosen (to go to Michigan) over the other babysitter (in the orphanage) because I knew how to cook, do gardening work, and other household chores," Polly recalls.
Polly received $200 per month while working in Michigan. After six years when her employer failed to give her a salary increase and a green card as allegedly promised, she wanted to go back to the Philippines.
But after realizing that she had four poor brothers and sisters back home in Ifugao relying for her support, Polly changed mind.

NEW JERSEY

"Tumakas ako papuntang (I fled going to) New Jersey to work with a Filipino family," she narrates. 
Polly's first employer allegedly kept her passport and refused to hand it over to her since she arrived, thus she left Michigan without proper documents.
In New Jersey, Polly was forced to call the first employer in Michigan and asked for apology in exchange for her passport.
"Luckily, my (first) employer sent my passport by mail and was not anymore angry at me," she stresses.



In her second employer, Polly became homesick "and I wasn't anymore happy," she admits.
With the help of a friend, Polly landed in her third employer in Virginia where she found a "new home" for 13 years.
"I have been working in the United States for about 30 years now, and I am proud to say that even if I have no enough money, I was able to help my family in Ifugao," Polly explains.

HELP

She was able to help some of her nephews, nieces, grandchildren and great grand children finish their studies.
"One of them is now a permanent employee in our town as electrical engineer; the other is a nurse in Saudi Arabia; the other an accountant in Hong Kong; and one a criminology graduate," Polly reveals. "My heart is happy and I feel a sense of fulfillment inside."
Polly says she is proud of her sacrifices and accomplishments in the United States.
"This is the life that God wanted me to live," she hisses. "It's God's blessing why I am here in the United States."
Polly grew up without remembering her mother's face, who died when she was three.
"Because we had no camera at that time, we have no photo or any family album. I have no idea how my mother looked like," she laments.
Polly says she admired her father who died in 1989 "because he showed his love for us his children and he never remarried after our mother died."
"My advice to the young generation is they should not lose hope amid difficulties. They should always ask God's help so they can survive. If may tiaga may ilalaga," Polly concludes.
She plans to come home "for good" in six to seven years.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

A salute for new U.S. capitol dome

"From the U.S. Capitol Building to the White House, our national symbols that represent freedom to so many of us, were built by people who were anything but free."
--Gary Ackerman


By Alex P. Vidal

WASHINGON D.C. -- When I returned here from New York City for the fourth time on June 3, 2017, the first imposing monument that greeted me when I emerged from the Union Station was the newly-refurbished golden U.S. capitol dome.
I visited this city once in 2015 and twice in 2016, and all I could see was a fifty-two miles of metal scaffolding pipe like a wiry cage surrounding the dome's interior with functional but symmetrical lighting.
I already saw the "ugly" structure in the background of TV anchors reporting from Washington D.C. I had to visit the place personally to confirm what I saw on TV, especially when I watched Fox News and CNN.
A five-layer doughnut made of rope and fabric was also installed in the Rotunda to catch any falling debris during the repair.
It was not a good sight for tourists, in other words.
After two years of meticulous repairs led by Architect of the Capitol Stephen Ayers, FIFA, along with architect-of-record Hoffman Architects, the historic landmark was back to its former glory before President Donald Trump's inauguration in January 2017.


CAST-IRON

The ellipsoidal cast-iron edifice, completed in 1866, had reportedly undergone serious deterioration and suffered from water infiltration through pin holes in the Statue of Freedom.
Its exposure to rain, snow, sleet and sun reportedly caused damage to it exterior shell including: the tholos balustrade, the base of the cupola and the boilerplate balcony level.
Its last significant renovation reportedly occured more than half a century ago.
The dome was finished in three coats of paint, totaling 1,215 gallons, with the top coat color named "dome white," according to an article written by Chelsea Blahut and Wanda Lau.
According to the writers, the project was budgeted at $60 million and was completed under budget and on time.
"It was so important for us to have this project done by the presidential inauguration. We call this Capitol and the West Front our nation's stage, and as our nation's stage, it needs to be beautiful, and that's the time that everyone across this great country and across the world will be watching," Ayers was quoted as saying.
The project had reportedly improved the quality of the Capitol Dome and provides protection from the elements for the next 50 years to preserve one of the United States' most iconic structures.

I was on my way back here from New York City anew June 11, 2017 midnight.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

'Don't fear death for we will all go there'

"The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time."
 -- Mark Twain


By Alex P. Vidal

FAIRFAX, Virginia --  A septuagenarian Fil-Am religious leader has called on all faithful in the Philippines and the United States to unite and rally behind President Rodrigo Duterte as the latter faces the "difficult" task of solving both the insurgency and terroristic problems in his first year in office.
EVANGELISTA

"I support the style of President Duterte. I can connect with his brand of leadership. We all need to support him," suggested Mariano C. Evangelista, preacher and head of the Falls Church-based Christian Evangelization Ministry.
Evangelista, 83, one of the first Filipino civil service recruits to serve in Vietnam War in 1964, said religion is not a hindrance to serve God and the country.
Duterte has to succeed as president because the Filipinos' problems on ISIS-backed Maute terrorism and the insurgency from the left are not ordinary, warned Evangelista, an Ilocano who has lived in the US for at least 30 years.


ENGAGE

Maute rebels continued to engage government troops in bloody battle in Marawi City and refused to surrender. The gunbattle has been raging for over three weeks now and killed hundreds of protagonists from both sides, including civilians caught in crossfire.
Duterte has decalred Martial Law in Mindanao.
The peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army (CPP-NPA) are also in jeopardy amid efforts from both sides to resume them.

"You maybe a born again, a Baptist, a Catholic, a Hindu, a Buddish, a Muslim, a Seventh Day Adventist, a Mormon, or an Iglesia (Ni Kristo), God doesn't discriminate," sighed Evangelista. "We all need to unite. Let us not fear death because we will all go there anyway. That alone can give us salvation and peace of mind."
He said he believed in the statement of fomer US President George W. Bush who reportedly claimed in a TV interview that "the Philippines is the richest country in the world."


RICH

"I knew what President Bush meant. He meant that the Philippines is the richest in the world because of the bullions of gold that have been hidden in various islands during the World War II," Evangelista, a highly-respected community leader in Falls Church, Virginia, explained,
"Until now, the gold bars are still there (in the Philippines) and thousands have died just to protect their secret locations."
According to Evangelista, the late President Ferdinand Marcos knew some of the codes where the bullions of gold were hidden.
"That's why Marcos was already rich even before he became president," he argued. "He was ousted not by the People Power as what we all have seen on TV in 1986. He was ousted by a powerful person because Marcos knew too much and refused to be manipulated."



Monday, June 5, 2017

DOT fund for New York parade ‘intact’

By Alex P. Vidal

FAIRFAX, Virginia – Even if she did not attend the 119th Philippine Independence 27th Annual Parade in New York City on June 4, 2017, Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Wanda Corazon Tulfo-Teo decided to retain the $100,000 she had pledged for the event and didn’t withdraw the “donation” as feared earlier, it was learned eve before the parade.
Philippine Tourism Promotions Board Chief Operating Officer Cesar Montano, the source of Teo’s alleged “displeasure”, represented the DOT.
Montano, Teo’s subordinate, joined Miss Universe 2015 Pie Wurtzbach, Miss World 2013 Megan Young and Miss International 2016 Kylie Verzosa.
Sources told us earlier Teo “felt bad” after parade organizers sent the invitation to attend the parade to Montano instead of Teo.
“Secretary Wanda, a good friend of mine, felt she was bypassed thus she was contemplating on withdrawing the amount the DOT had earlier pledged for the event,” said a source who refused to be named but was “sacked” two days before the parade when the Teo story, which was leaked exclusively to this writer, was traced from her.

CONFIRMED

Dr. Prospero Lim, president of the New York-based Philippine Independence Day Council, Inc. (PIDCI), confirmed to this writer on May 28 that Teo “decided to withdraw” from the parade but did not specify why.
“Just give us a good write up,” Lim appealed.
The Parade was held on Madison Avenue (38th-27th Streets) in busy Manhattan. It used to be held on Fifth Avenue.
Singers Martin Nievera, Asia’s Nightingale Lani Misalucha, American Idol’s 11th Season 1st runner-up winner Jessica Sanchez, New York-based Ms World-Philippines 2014 Valerie Weigman, current Grand Champion Global Pinoy Singing Idol, Shane Ericks, and comedian Mikey Bustos also joined the biggest parade of Filipino community in the United States.
PIDCI’s 2017 Parade Grand Marshals Drs. Rod and Ellen Castillo spearheaded the parade with the Mrs. Kalayaan and Diwa ng Kalayaan and their court with Dr. Lim and the PIDCI Board of Directors, the Philippine Consulate General in New York.

PARTICIPATE

Hundreds Fil-Am Organizations and local beauty queens and kings from all over the US and government officials also participated in the parade.
This year’s PIDCI officers and Board of Directors are: President – Prospero A. Lim, MD; Vice-President – Raul Estrellado; Secretary – Joycelyn Aligarbes; Treasurer – Nora Galleros; Internal Auditor – Annie Ortiz; General Counsel – Manny B. Quintal, Esq.
Directors- Anthony Bautista, Olivia David, Dora Koltsidis, Rely Manacay, Beth Manalo, Ronie Mataquel, Bert Olimpo, Nonoy Rafael, Levi Tejada,Shiran Ybanez; Antero Martinez – Executive Director, Gheng Pingol – Special Assistant to the President and Honorary Adviser Consul General Ma. Theresa D. De Vega.

Others who joined the parade were: Mrs Kalayaan 2017-Lourdes Romero Saleh, Mrs Kalayaan Fil-Am 2017-Jodi Michelle Orencia, Mrs Kalayaan Philippines 2017-Rosalie Rabeje, Mrs Kalayaan Luzon 2017-Ann Constantino Beck, Diwa ng Kalayaan 2017-Ramona Munsayac, Bituin ng Luzon-Jasmine Sta Cruz, Bituin ng Visayas-Pearl Reyes, Bituin ng Mindanao-Leah Elizabeth Wong

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Ben Palma and News Express

"Don't be dismayed by goodbyes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends."
-- Richard Bach


By Alex P. Vidal


NEW YORK CITY -- The first editor of News Express, a bi-weekly community paper in Western Visayas, Philippines, has joined our media colleagues who recently departed.
The death of Ben Palma in his hospital bed on May 27 in Iloilo City came two weeks after Antique journalist Rey Alcalde died also in the hospital.
They thus joined our colleagues Lydia Pendon, Marcos Villalon, Teddy Sumaray, Bob Bacaling, Atty. Rex Salvilla, Dra. Vicky Primero, Ivan Suansing, Rowena Barte-Zulueta, Joe Sepulvida, Tony Laniog, Eddie Laczi, German Gonzales, Boy Pablo, Sol Genson, Mark Sumagaysay, Rene Porras, Alex Sumagaysay, Tony Masculino, Nap Nava, Lito Jimena, Edwin Alcozero, Atty. Fraulin Penasales, Atty. Frermin Sornito, and Suzanne Pastrana, to name only a few, who passed away in recent memory.
We were with Ben Palma, columnist and "editor" since the first issue of New Express, "the best alternative", rolled off the press in March 1988.


OFFICE

Our first office was at the mezzanine floor inside the St. Elizabeth Billiard and Bowling Alleys (SEBBA).
After two issues, we transferred to the Immaculate Concepcion Bldg. on Ledesma St., Iloilo City in the Fortune Printing Press office before we found a new home on Guanco St. in 1992 (News Express is now located in Jaro district).
The late and well-loved Inocencio "Pops" Malones, who owned the Fortune Printing Press, was the publisher. Managing editor Agnes Espano-Dimzun was the de facto editor-in-chief. Jing Torres, Atty. Teopisto "Pet" Melliza, Femia Pedregosa and yours truly were members of the editorial staff. I was also the paper's sports editor. Jessie Terre and the late Hiligaynon professor Santiago Alv. Mulato were contributors in Hiligaynon page. Now Journal Visayas publisher Giovannie Vaay was circulation manager assisted by Jessie "Onyok" Laranja.
Mariano Malones, now mayor of Maasin, Iloilo, was our business manager assisted by Ramon Vego.
In 1990 or two years after News Express was born, Palma, backed up by his late buddy, Numeriano Cajilig, Jr., staged a "coup d'etat" and asked the court to stop Publisher Pops Malones from using the name of News Express.


VERSION

Palma went on to publish his own version of "News Express", a low-quality four-paged tabloid to sustain and justify his rebellion.
Pops and the original News Express team remained intact. For a while, we were compelled to use the name "Fortune News" to sustain and justify our existence, business, and public identification.
Palma was a virtual one-man army in his "News Express", which relied entirely on dubious Land Transportation Office (LTO) advertisements for survival.
After a brief court battle, Palma lost not only the right to use the name of New Express; he lost his position and regular column, The Square One (in the aftermath of Palma's defeat, he resumed column-writing in The Sentinel together with editor-in-chief Manuel "Boy" Mejorada, Dean Art Jimenez, photojournalist Alan Fajardo, and chess buddy Romeo "Butch" Paloma). 


ASSUME

Full-time community journalist Melliza wasn't yet a lawyer when he assumed as News Express editor. Aside from writing for The Sentinel, Palma became a hard-hitting commentator when he joined the broadcast industry in dySI in the early 90's, where he earned the monicker as "Boyong" (tenacious).
He disappeared from media works for some time and became a part-time contractor.

A former chess champion and contemporary of the first Asian grand master Eugene Torre, Palma tried to revive in mid-90's a glorious chess career that made him famous in the 70s and 80s, but was dejected badly when he was foiled by an unheralded Bacolod youngster, Trinie Olmedo, in a title match of a regional chess championship held at the Sarabia Manor Hotel in Iloilo City.
Despite his notoriety as Boyong, Palma was a favorite drinking buddy of who's who both in the political and media mainstream.
He was sometimes referred to as the "father rock", a tag known only to some enterprising media characters.
Farewell, Boyong. Rest and peace, Mr. Father Rock!