Items filtered by date: Wednesday, 08 November 2017

From St James Catholic Church of Fremont

St James Catholic Church of Fremont, California recently held a community church based fund raising for the renovation of the church headed by their Parish Pastor.  Those who graced the occasion are (L-R) Daly City Planning Commissioner Ray Satorre; Fil-Am actress, Rebecca Quintana and Tessie Ricafort, co-chairman of the event at Fremont.

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Our Unfinished Life Stories

And they shall call him Emmanuel, which means, God is with us—Matthew 1:23 
Do you sense an unfinished story between the way things are and the way they should be in your own life?  Do you feel that a crucial page has been suddenly and unfairly ripped away from your story?  Even if we finish another chapter, our life stories will still go unfinished.
The story of an unfinished life rings true of the struggle we face daily.  It puts its finger upon the emotional tug-of-war I am engaged in.  Yes, there is hope, but its reality is seen on the far horizon.  Hope’s coming promise slowly unfolds with each passing day. 
I often sense this unfinished story most with the people I love.  How I want to empower them to be all that God has made them to be.  But the truth is, I too am a broken human being living in a broken world, ministering— as best as I can—within my broken circumstances.  I need to learn to let go and trust that God will finish their stories as well as mine.
Why?  Because God also sees our unfinished lives and the way they should be.  He actively chose to be the solution, by sending Jesus into the world, not just to fix our lives, but to be with us, to give us a hopeful future, and to live in and through us by the power of his Spirit. 
Being made aware of our unfinished stories, we can celebrate life with so much hope.  Why do I say this?  As we experience the unending struggle, we can better understand just how great the gift of God is by being present to transform us—right there in the midst of our messy relationships.     

 

 
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McCafé seasonal favorites return to McDonald’s

OAK BROOK, Ill. – It’s beginning to look like the holiday season with the return of the most festive beverages from McCafé: Peppermint Mocha and Peppermint Hot Chocolate. These popular, seasonal specialty beverages are available in participating U.S. restaurants nationwide starting November 1 for a limited time.

McCafé Peppermint Mocha: Made with espresso beans that are sustainably sourced from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms and served with steamed U.S.-sourced whole or nonfat milk, and peppermint chocolate syrup. The drink is garnished with a whipped topping, which has no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives and a delicious chocolate drizzle.

McCafé Peppermint Hot Chocolate: Freshly brewed and silky smooth with a hint of mint chocolaty goodness and served with a whipped topping, which has no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives along with a delicious chocolate drizzle.

McDonald’s has also added a splash of holiday cheer to its new McCafé cups. This year’s seasonal hot cups are red and feature glistening stars touting “Wonder in Every Sip”– meant to inspire the joy of the holiday season. The seasonal hot cups are Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified and available beginning November 6 through the holiday season or while supplies last. By 2020, McDonald’s is committed to sourcing 100 percent of its coffee around the world from sustainable sources and 100 percent of its fiber-based packaging from certified sustainable or recycled sources.

“These festive McCafé beverages deliver enticing flavors that are holiday favorites,” said Elina Veksler, senior director of McCafé Menu Innovation. “For many, nothing comes before coffee – even during the holidays, which is why our Peppermint Mocha is made with café-quality espresso made from 100 percent Arabica beans. Our customers are sure to enjoy our delicious Peppermint Mocha and our other seasonal favorite, Peppermint Hot Chocolate.”

For a limited time at participating restaurants, McDonald’s will be offering any small McCafé specialty beverage, including Peppermint Mocha and Peppermint Hot Chocolate, for $2.

In September, McDonald’s elevated the McCafé experience and introduced new café-quality espresso beverages to its McCafé lineup – Caramel Macchiato, Cappuccino and Americano – all part of the brand’s greater journey of raising the bar on everything. New coffee makers were also introduced to nearly all of McDonald’s 14,000 U.S. restaurants earlier this year, helping prepare the espresso-based beverages with a consistent, flavorful taste.

For those looking to stay cozy inside, customers can get their favorite McCafé drinks delivered to them with McDelivery on UberEATS.

To determine which McDonald's locations in your area are participating in restaurant delivery, simply download the UberEATS app, input your delivery address, and you will see a list of participating McDonald's restaurants in your area (if McDelivery on UberEATS is available in your area). Changing the delivery address will also change the available McDonald's restaurants shown in the UberEATS app.

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Duterte sets aside P500M for treatment, housing of injured soldiers

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte has set aside P500 million for wounded and disabled soldiers, including those who fought in Marawi City.
Speaking to Philippine Marines on Tuesday, November 7, Duterte said he already ordered the release of the funds to build homes for the soldiers and pay for their treatment and recuperation.
"The other day, I told Defense Secretary Lorenzana that I’d be releasing P500 million for the wounded and disabled soldiers, just for them," he said.
The President ordered the National Housing Authority to build houses near cities where soldiers can stay as they recover from their injuries or adjust to their disability.
"I’ll build something like a convalescence village near urban cities, where the soldiers can have a better access to the hospitals and of course the training for the prosthesis," said Duterte.
Assuring soldiers "there is life after Marawi," the President cited the case of South African sprint runner Oscar Pistorius who competed in the Olympics despite having no legs below the knee.
Pistrorius has been dubbed "Blade Runner" since he uses blade-like carbon-fiber prosthetics to run. Pistorius also gained infamy for killing his girlfriend in 2013.
"I guarantee them that for those who are really wanting to stand again, the use of prosthesis and titanium – the best example is the Blade Runner who killed his lover, but he was a very good runner using titanium," said Duterte.
The President also repeated his promise to raise the salaries of law enforcers.
He vowed that by January, the military, police, and members of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology and Bureau of Fire Protection would see an "almost double" increase in their salaries.
The speech did not end without Duterte again vowing his total support for the military and police.
"I love my soldiers and I love my police and you can be very sure that I am there when the moment needs me. 'Andiyan ako sa tabi ninyo (I am there, by your side)," said the Commander-in-Chief.
During an event earlier that day, Duterte also conferred the Order of Lapu-Lapu, rank of Kampilan upon 5 soldiers wounded in Marawi. – Rappler.com

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The world-at-large as viewed by Chinese President Xi Jinping

Who considers itself as the world's other superpower?
Not one that prepared lengthily for that role, of course.
Yes, concrete signals have been coming from Chinese President Xi Jinping who has been heard by world observers who had the same, apt descriptions akin to aggrandizement to the maximum, entailed by articulating new leaders on whom much has been decried.
Verbiage akin to petty aggrandizement to the maximum on the new POTUS has been exposed by China's press in articulating their own position as a world power, zeroing in on their myriad beliefs about their sound economy.
Chinese leaders have not hesitated in having signaled that China" sees itself, to get to a more precise description: "sees itself as the other super power, positioning itself as an alternative, if not rival to the United States."
In addition, the Chinese president was heard to declare: "China can do so, says as much about America's decline as it does China's rise."
Other news reports zeroing in on President Jinping have indicated very strongly: "In part China's new stance toward the world, and the way it has been received, are a result of the continued strength of the Chinese economy; the growing political confidence of the party under its chief leader."
Yet, voices that contradict say: "changes are occurring against the backdrop of the total collapse of political and moral authority of the United States in today's world."
Historians and economists sensibly indicate: "China has aggressively sought to improve its image in the world." To make this point in its full strength, facts and figures were ascribed to China's having spent "billions on foreign aid, promising trade, investment, and opening Confucius Institutes to promote Chinese culture."
In the face of China's aggressive spending, U.S. economic analysts have been very vocal. The aforesaid experts insist that their country must "look now to the rest of the world."
How the U.S. is politically paralyzed seems to be a given, as exemplified by noted Republicans against their Republican chief-of- state.
Citing its major inability: how America is 'unable to make major decisions against the background of a ballooning debt; its investments in education; infrastructure; science and technology, are but a few of the pressing needs that confront the 50 states of the Union.
Politics, a vast many an unpleasant talk, has been largely to blame, according to former U.S. leaders of note.
Never in the nation's recent history has politics emerged as a primary branch of reality TV, almost day-in-to-day-out insults, degradations, colored by bias and racial overtones.
International statements coming from principal nations all over, admit how America's historical leadership role in the globe has been rudely pushed away by what has been known over the recent past eleven months or so, as the most narrow and cramped ideology meant to completely debunk and erase all that took place in the past eight years under former President Obama.
Truth to tell, foreign policy has been rendered to the back burner as a wholly partisan ridiculous game, foremost of which can be told: the White House's breaking agreements, shifting course and reversing policy in its entirety just for the sake of scoring what might not even be considered "political points" across the length and breadth of the U.S. nation itself.
The East Asia Summit seems evident to appear on the scene at what has been described by neutral observers as: "the very end of a long trip to Asia that features a robust agenda, designed to be a full demonstration of Washington's commitment to the region" it can no longer ignore the way it's been going on since Trump took over on January 20, 2017.
All astute political analysts who have chosen to stick to principle strongly aver to the summit as the sole opportunity for the current president of the U.S, to sit down and collectively engage his Asia-Pacific counterparts on the main political and security issues of today's pressing needs belonging to the world.
Stronger voices have lent their say: "Trump will actually be in the Philippines, where the summit is being held, as it gets underway.
"Departing as it begins can only be viewed in no other way as a snub and will undermine whatever else Trump may have achieved in the previous 11 days."
The Summit will reveal what it's supposed to be its intent: to be on the front burner and to stay on the same burner for the sake of universal peace as economies are anticipated to globalize and the centralization of national governments will be at the vanguard of international credibility.

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Medical Journal updates

Today, about 1.25 billion people smoke cigarettes, and one billion deaths from tobacco-related illness are expected this century, ten times more compared to the toll in the 20th century. The deadly habit accounts for one in five (or, 1.4 million)  cancer deaths all over the world annually. Each year, around the world, 10.9 million tobacco-related cancer of the lungs are diagnosed. This does not even include other pulmonary, gynecological and cardiovascular disabilities and death tolls as a consequence of smoking.

"We know with cancer, if we take action now, we can save 2 million lives a year by 2020 and 6.5 million by 2040," said Dr. Judith Mackay, a World Health Organization senior policy adviser.

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New studies have shown that even light activities in and around the house, like daily mundane endeavors of daily living (climbing stairs, cleaning the house, cooking, running after the kids, garden works, etc) help prolong life. Especially the ones that make you perspire. Of course, daily regimented exercises will do a lot more. But simple household chores have a positive health effect on longevity as well.

“Elderly couch potatoes were much more likely to die within about six years than those whose lives included regular activity no more strenuous than washing dishes, vacuuming, gardening and climbing stairs”, according to the study of adults aged 72 to 80 published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in old age can be prevented by eating a diet rich in fish, according to two new studies in the US Archives of Ophthalmology. Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) abundant in fish are already proven to protect the heart and the brain, to reduce the risk of developing heart attack, stroke and Alzheimer’s.

“A study of 681 elderly American men showed that those who ate fish twice a week had a 36 percent lower risk of macular degeneration…In the other study, which followed 2,335 Australian men and women over five years, people who ate fish just once a week reduced their risk by 40 percent,” according to the report. The American study also revealed that smokers double their risk of developing macular degeneration and blindness. Those who do not like fish may take good quality fish oil capsules. Check with your physician if this is right for you.

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The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that “probiotic yogurt --Lactobacillus- and Bifidobacterium-containing yogurt (AB-yogurt) -- enhances the effectiveness of quadruple therapy for eradicating residual Helicobacter pylori (stomach) infection.” This bug is the cause of gastric ulcers, which used to be treated with surgery, but since the discovery that gastric ulcer is caused by Helicobacter pylori, it is now a medical disease, treated with pills. A big boon to better quality evidence-based patient care.

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Exercise-induced muscle damage, which happens to most athletes, can be minimized to a great extent by drinking tart cherry juice, reports the British Journal of Sports Medicine. For those who exercise at home, drinking tart cherry juice will certainly not hurt. This is, indeed, a welcome new to those who  exercise. 

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Soft drinks, which I call liquid candies, are toxic to the body, especially to children. All of them -- cola or uncola, regular or diet, caffeinated of decaffeinated -- increase the risk for metabolic diseases. The harm to our body does not manifest immediately; it takes years to develop. By then, the damages would have been done. Prevention is obviously the key.

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To prevent cardiovascular illnesses, metabolic diseases and cancer, diet alone is not enough. Daily exercise, abstinence from tobacco and moderation in alcohol intake are a must. The American Heart Association has revised its former decades-old recommendation that stressed mainly healthy diet as the regimen to prevent these illnesses. 

"The previous recommendations mainly stressed the importance of a healthy diet; the new (revised) ones broaden that concept to include the importance of a healthy lifestyle pattern”, lead author and chair of the AHA's Nutrition Committee Alice Lichtenstein, DSc, from Tufts University in Boston, Mass, said in a news release. "The two go together — they should be inseparable."

A simple walk around the block (or brisk-walking if tolerated) for about 30 minutes does wonders to our cardiovascular, pulmonary, and immune systems, warding off not only cardiovascular and metabolic diseases but also deadly cancers.

Warning: Processed foods increase the risk for cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Sample of these are hot dogs, sausages and other deli meats, and other food items that have gone though processing. Fresh is better and healthier than processed food items.

The AHA 2006 detailed recommendations are as follows:

  • Consume an overall healthy diet. 
  • To maintain a healthy body weight, balance calories consumed with calories burned. 
  • Increase awareness of calorie content of foods for portions typically consumed and of daily caloric requirements. 
  • Set a goal of at least 30 minutes of physical activity daily. 
  • Consume a diet rich in a wide variety of fruits and vegetables (not fruit juices), especially those that are deeply colored (spinach, carrots, peaches, and berries). 
  • Prepare fruits and vegetables, minimizing saturated fats from red meats and transfats.
  • Choose nuts and high-fiber foods. 
  • Consume 2 servings of fish, especially those relatively high in omega-3 fatty-acids (eg, salmon, trout, and herring) at least twice weekly. 
  • Children and pregnant women should follow Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines for avoiding mercury-contaminated fish (eg, shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish). 
  • Limit intake of saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol by choosing lean meats, vegetable alternatives, and fat-free (skim) and low-fat (1% fat) dairy products and minimize intake of partially hydrogenated fats. 
  • Minimize intake of beverages and foods with added sugars. 
  • To consume NO more than 2300 mg of sodium daily, choose and prepare foods with little or no salt. Middle-aged and older adults, African Americans, and those with hypertension should consume no more than 1500 mg of sodium daily. 
  • Limit alcohol intake to not more than 1 drink per day for women and 2 drinks per day for men (1 drink = 12 oz of beer, 4 oz of wine, 1.5 oz of 80-proof distilled spirits, or 1 oz of 100-proof spirits). 
  • When eating out, be aware of portion size; select vegetables and fruits; and avoid foods prepared with added saturated or trans fat, salt, and sugar. Eating fruits first before the meal is better than eating them after the meal for physiologic reason.

Visit philipSchua.com     Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Family members accompanying or following to join beneficiary of immigration petition

How does the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) treat the spouse and child (under 21) of the beneficiary of an immigration petition? What status and benefits does the INA give them?

When a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident files a petition for a relative (called “beneficiary” in Form I-130) who is eligible for a preference visa allocation under INA § 203(a), (b), or (c), the spouse or child of such beneficiary shall be entitled to the same status, and the same order of consideration provided under the same subsections, if “accompanying or following to join” the beneficiary. See  INA § 203(d). 

The beneficiary who has a spouse or child is called the “principal alien” meaning an alien from whom another alien derives a privilege or status under the law or regulations. 22 CFR § 40.1(q). The spouse or child is called a “derivative beneficiary”

WHAT CONSTITUTES “ACCOMPANYING OR FOLLOWING TO JOIN”

The law is very specific – in order to be eligible for the same status as the principal alien, the derivative beneficiary must be “accompanying or following to join” the principal alien. “Accompanying or accompanied by” means not only an alien in the physical company of a principal alien but also an alien who is issued an immigrant visa within 6 months of: 

(1) the date of issuance of a visa to the principal alien; 

(2) the date of adjustment of status in the United State of the principal alien; or

(3) the date on which the principal alien personally appears and registers before a consular officer abroad to confer alternate foreign state chargeability or immigrant status upon a spouse or child. See 22 CFR § 40.1(a)(1). 

After 6 months, the spouse or child is not “accompanying” the principal alien but is “following to join” such principal alien. 

WHAT IF DERIVATIVE PRECEDES PRINCIPAL ALIEN TO U.S.?

An “accompanying” relative may not precede the principal alien to the United States. 22 CFR § 40.1(a)(2). 

A U.S. citizen filed a petition for his married daughter (principal alien) and her husband, Santiago (derivative beneficiary), both Filipinos. Santiago traveled to the U.S. ahead of his wife so that Santiago could earn enough to pay for his wife’s ticket. An immigration officer admitted Santiago in San Francisco without asking where his wife was. When Santiago had saved enough money, he asked his wife to come to the U.S. but his wife’s visa had expired. Santiago then petitioned for her and their children as relatives of a lawful permanent resident. The legality of Santiago’s presence in the U.S. was challenged. The INS determined that Santiago was excludable at entry, and ordered him to voluntarily leave the country or be deported because his visa was invalid since he was not “accompanying or following to join” his wife but had come ahead of his wife. The Court of Appeals affirmed the INS’s decision. Santiago v INS, 526 F.2d 488 (9th Cir. 1975).

The cases of Paglinawan and Catam (both derivative beneficiaries) are similar to Santiago. Their wives were the principal aliens. They were admitted to the U.S. at Honolulu without their wives. The court upheld the INS determination that they were excludable at entry because they were not  “accompanying or following to join” their spouses. Santiago v INS, 526 F.2d 488 (9th Cir. 1975).

A Pakistani (principal alien)  had a visa as the brother of a U.S. citizen His child, who was also given a visa as a derivative beneficiary, traveled to the United States ahead of his father in order to beat the deadline because the child was turning 21. He told the immigration officer that his father had remained in Pakistan. However, his father had died while he was enroute to the U.S., although the child did not know about the death until he was admitted to the U.S. The Board of Immigration Appeals held that the child was deportable because his immigrant visa was not valid for admission because he was not “accompanying or following to join” his father, but had preceded his father. The Court of Appeals affirmed. The court explained that the term “accompany” according to Webster’s Dictionary means “to go along with” and “to go with or attend as a companion or associate”. Matter of Khan, 14 I&N Dec 122 (BIA 1972); Santiago v INS, 526 F.2d 488 (9th Cir. 1975). 

In all these four cases which were consolidated as one before the Court of Appeals, the court rejected the aliens’ argument that the Government should be estopped from asserting their excludability, holding that there was no affirmative misconduct on the part of the immigration officials.

However, there is an exception to the “accompanying” rule. Naulu, a married alien woman, was admitted to the U.S. as a nonimmigrant visitor and did not depart when her authorized period of stay expired. She was ordered deported. Subsequently, her husband gained lawful permanent resident status in the U.S. Naulu sought to reopen the deportation proceedings so that she could apply for adjustment of status. The Board ordered the case reopened, holding that once the principal alien gains permanent residence, his spouse or child already in the U.S. as nonimmigrants can adjust status as a person “accompanying or following to join” the principal even though the spouse or child preceded the principal alien to this country as a nonimmigrant. Matter of Naulu, 19 I&N Dec 351 (BIA 1986). 

CAUTION: The relationship between the principal alien and the derivative beneficiary must exist before the principal alien gains permanent resident status as well as at the time the derivative beneficiary seeks entry as an immigrant or applies for adjustment of status. A spouse or child of an alien who is classified as an immediate relative is not eligible for benefits under the “accompanying or following to join” rule but must file a separate visa petition. See Matter of Naulu, 19 I&N Dec 351 (BIA 1986). 

RECOMMENDATION: A principal alien should travel to the United States immediately (on the same day if possible) upon receiving an immigrant visa. Damn the expense. Death could overcome you. Woe unto your derivative beneficiaries if you die. You can always go back to the Philippines after your derivative beneficiaries arrive in order to “take care” of the things you were unable to do. 

(Atty. Tipon has a Master of Laws degree from Yale Law School where he specialized in Constitutional Law. He has also a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of the Philippines. He placed third in the Philippine Bar Examination in 1956. His current practice focuses on immigration law and criminal defense. He writes law books for the world’s largest law book publishing company and writes legal articles for newspapers. He has a radio show in Honolulu, Hawaii with his son Noel, senior partner of the Bilecki & Tipon law firm, where they discuss legal and political issues. Office: American Savings Bank Tower, 1001 Bishop Street, Suite 2305, Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.A. 96813. Tel. (808) 225-2645. E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Website: www.bileckilawgroup.com. He served as a U.S. Immigration Officer. He is co-author with former Judge Artemio S. Tipon of the best-seller “Winning by Knowing Your Election Laws” and co-author of “Immigration Law Service, 1st ed.,” an 8-volume practice guide for immigration officers and lawyers. Atty. Tipon has personally experienced the entire immigration cycle by entering the United States on a non-immigrant working visa to write law books, adjusting his status to that of a lawful permanent resident, and becoming a naturalized United States citizen.)

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Don’t let ICE Agents Bully You!

Question: I have a friend that was ‘visited’ by ICE Agents. They told him that he had no rights and that he was going to detention for 20 years unless he signed the voluntary deportation papers. Is this true?

Answer: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (or ICE) is a U.S. federal government law enforcement agency under the jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). ICE has two primary components: Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO). However, how they have been conducting their deportation enforcement falls short of falling under the law.

In sum, under regulations prescribed by the Attorney General, an officer or employee of the Service may carry a firearm and may execute and serve any order, warrant, subpoena, summons, or other process issued under the authority of the United States. The authority to make arrests under paragraph (5)(B) shall only be effective on and after the date on which the Attorney General publishes final regulations which (i) prescribe the categories of officers and employees of the Service who may use force (including deadly force) and the circumstances under which such force may be used, (ii) establish standards with respect to enforcement activities of the Service, (iii) require that any officer or employee of the Service is not authorized to make arrests under paragraph (5)(B) unless the officer or employee has received certification as having completed a training program which covers such arrests and standards described in clause (ii), and (iv) establish an expedited, internal review process for violations of such standards, which process is consistent with standard agency procedure regarding confidentiality of matters related to internal investigations.

Now, given their authority, that is what they can do. However, they CANNOT force you to sign a voluntary deportation paper. They CANNOT force you to give up your right to fight your case in front of a deportation immigration judge. They CANNOT force you to sign anything.

Question: The ICE official came to the door of my friend and pretended to be a police officer and said “Hello. Please open up - We are the police and doing an investigation”. Is that legal?

Answer: The use of this type of tactic, is particularly egregious in heavily immigrant cities such as Los Angeles and San Francisco, where police and elected officials have tried for decades to distinguish their cops from federal immigration agents, in an effort to convince immigrants living illegally in their cities that they can interact with local police without fear of deportation. The president’s announcement of his intent to dramatically increase the number of people ICE apprehends for deportation has increased concerns by immigrant advocates that the tactic will grow even more prevalent.

There is something fundamentally unfair about ICE exploiting local and state policies that are trying to improve public safety by promoting immigrants trust in law enforcement. Thus, the bottom line is that there are many ways of fighting your case. Do not let ICE officials intimidate you and force you into a corner. Stick your ground and don’t sign anything and request your hearing in front of an Immigration Judge.

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Dreams came true for these 2 Global Tawag ng Tanghalan North America champions

LAS VEGAS --- After a rigorous round of auditions that had judges listen to 147 hopefuls across the U.S. and Canada, narrowing it down to 20 semi-finalists, and eventually just 10 finalists, two winners have been declared.  
 
As the house lights dimmed, the spotlight shone on the stage, and 10 finalists waited with bated breath, hosts Ginger Conejero and Eric Nicolas announced the champions for the night: Jing Wenghofer from Chicago, Illinois and Steven Paysu from Fontana, California.
Photo 2 all singing
 The remarkable evening ended with all 10 finalists sharing the stage with judges Constantino, Santos, and Valera in performing “The Winner Takes It All.” (Photo courtesy of Ricky Resurreccion)
 
Wenghofer could not believe the announcement. She was emotional when she recounted that “I wasn't sure if I really heard my name, but someone in the audience shouted my name. I immediately looked up and said my thanks to God. My eyes were teary and my heart was overflowing with happiness.”
 
When Paysu saw that Global Events Marketing and AdSales Head Ricky Resurreccion was holding a bouquet of flowers after calling the first winner, the former already assumed that the second champion would also be female. He was surprised when host Nicolas called his name. “It was a feeling of fulfillment and excitement at the same time. I thanked God right away quietly.”
 
Paysu’s winning entry was “Everything I Own” by Bread, while Wenghofer performed “Hinanakit” (Resentment) by Imelda Papin.
 
Photo 3
 Global Tawag ng Tanghalan North America finalists enjoying the sights and sounds of Vegas. (L-R) Jamil Pidlaoan (California), Rachel Bergado (California), Danielle Jade Laganson (Alberta), Steven Paysu (California), Marie Joy Amaro (Texas), Alexis Amber Magsambol (California), Elizabeth Sooy (New Jersey), Venus Therese Ramos (Manitoba), Abigail Natnat (Ontario). (Photo courtesy of Haphi Llaneza)
 
Global Tawag ng Tanghalan judges Pop Rock Superstar Yeng Constantino, King of Teleserye and Movie Theme Songs Erik Santos, and OPM Icon Rey Valera all said that it was a challenge judging the 10 finalists. There was a certain pressure being in Las Vegas, as expressed by Valera. He said, “Mahirap i-entertain mga tao dito dahil nakita niyo na lahat ng entertainer. Iba talaga ang Vegas.” (It is very difficult to entertain the people here in Vegas because they have already seen all sorts of entertainment. Vegas is truly special.)
 
Both North America champions just wanted to sing and share their talents as singers, but life got in the way. Now, they have this opportunity to shine and share their gifts with the rest of the world. Paysu shares that he put a hold on his dreams because he prioritized his family first. He then confides, “Now, I feel that it is never too late to pursue your dreams. At my age, right now, I would have not imagined that this time would still come but thanks be to God and Tawag ng Tanghalan for the blessing and opportunity I have been given. I will be forever thankful for allowing me to shine again on stage and believing in the talent that God has given me.”
 
Photo 4
 
Global Tawag ng Tanghalan North America finalists strike wacky poses in Vegas. (L-R) Abigail Natnat (Ontario), Elizabeth Sooy (New Jersey), Alexis Amber Magsambol (California), Venus Therese Ramos (Manitoba), Marie Joy Amaro (Texas), Steven Paysu (California), Rachel Bergado (California), Danielle Jade Laganson (Alberta), and Jamil Pidlaoan (California). (Photo courtesy of Haphi Llaneza)
 
Wenghofer is a music teacher so she can impart wise words to her students. She tells them to “Never stop pursuing your dreams. Keep practicing, follow your heart and keep trying. And most importantly, pray. His answer might not be the one you are asking for, but believe that everything will come at the right time."
 
This seems like the right time for Wenghofer as she gets to represent North America, together with Paysu, in the Tawag ng Tanghalan Global Cluster Finals that will be held in the Philippines from December 11-16this year. They will be competing with other regional champions from Region 2–Europe, Region 3–Middle East, Region 4–Hong Kong/Singapore/Malaysia, Region 5–Japan/Taiwan/South Korea, and Region 6-Australia/New Zealand/Papua New Guinea/Guam/Saipan.
 
Photo 5
 
Global Tawag ng Tanghalan “Hurados” (Judges) (L-R) Erik Santos, Yeng Constantino, and Mr. Rey Valera, with comedian/host Eric Nicolas, entertain the crowd during the Meet and Greet at Seafood City. (Photo courtesy of Haphi Llaneza)
 
 
 
The Finalists Take Over Vegas
 
Prior to competing at the Global Tawag ng Tanghalan North America Region Finals at the Ed W. Clark High School, the 10 finalists had a day to enjoy the sights and sounds of the Entertainment Capital of the World. It was a good chance for the 10 contestants to get to know one another while playing tourist, since it was the first time for some of them to see Las Vegas.
 
The finalists also had a closed-door performance for the judges the day before the Region Finals, and a meet and greet at the Vegas branch of Seafood City. All the finalists enjoyed their time out on the town, and the overall experience. 
 
Elizabeth Sooy from New Jersey expressed how she “love these people and the experience.” Danielle Jade Laganson from Edmonton, Alberta shared that she was “glad to call the other nine incredibly talented singers my new friends.” Laganson also added that even if they came from different parts of the U.S. and Canada, they still connected as one through their “love and passion for singing and for music.” Marie Joy Amaro of Texas said that it “did not feel like a competition. We helped each other and we encouraged each other like we were a team, a family.”
 
ABS-CBN Global Head of Events Ricky Resurreccion also soaked in the overall atmosphere of family. Resurreccion admitted that this region finals was “the most intimate event TFC Live has ever mounted.”  He added that it was “a welcome respite from doing huge venues. The talent was raw and pure, and the energy was palpable. One could also sense the genuine affection that immediately clicked among the finalists. It was a blast!”
 
Photo 6
The finalists enjoy their Meet and Greet at Seafood City. (L-R front) Venus Therese Ramos, Marie Joy Amaro, Alexis Amber Magsambol; (L-R standing) Steven Paysu, Elizabeth Sooy, Danielle Jade Laganson, Jamil Pidlaoan, Rachel Bergado, Abigail Natnat. (Photo courtesy of Haphi Llaneza)
 
Next Stop: Manila, Philippines
 
Wenghofer and Paysu will be going to Manila for the Global Cluster Finals that will take place from December 11-16. During that whole week, all global finalists from the six different regions will compete against each other. Of these, only two winners will be chosen, and these two will then move on to join the Tawag ng Tanghalan “Huling Tapatan” (Grand Finals) in March 2018.
Photo 7
 
ABS-CBN Global Head of Events Ricky Resurreccion (center) is flanked by the Global Tawag ng Tanghalan North America finalists (L-R) Elizabeth Sooy, Jing Wenghofer, Danielle Jade Laganson, Venus Therese Ramos, Abigail Natnat, Rachel Bergado, Jamil Pidlaoan, Alexis Amber Magsambol, Marie Joy Amaro, and Steven Paysu. (Photo courtesy of Haphi Llaneza)
 
 

 

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