- Published in Opinion & Community
Rising Filipino boxing star Mercito "No Mercy" Gesta is set to face Jorge Linares for the WBA World Lightweight Title on at the Forum in Inglewood, CA. Gesta, who is a 30 year-old Cebuano fighter from San Diego, is coming off a KO victory last July and is looking to continue his winning streak against Linares, who is currently the no.1 ranked fighter in the lightweight division. Gesta has a record of 31 wins (17 KOs), 1 loss, and 2 draws. Lineares has a record of 43 wins (27 KOs), 3 losses (3 KOs) The fight with Linares will be Gesta's second world championship title bout.
LAS VEGAS -- Consul General Adelio Angelito S. Cruz graced the opening of the Art & Photo Exhibit on November 5, at the Asian Culture Alliance in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event was organized by The International Artist Group of Nevada (TIAGON), honoring the first responders to the October 1, deadly mass shooting incident in Las Vegas.
The Art & Photo Exhibit was spearheaded by Filipino-American Photographer Robert Torres of TIAGON and featured the works of artists/photographers Ben Torres, Nikon Torres, Christine Small, Bill Bon, Antonio Tanada, Bones Reyes, and Cesar Angeles.
The Asian Culture Alliance serves as a central location for social interaction of members who take advantage of the wide range of educational classes, as well as, social events, activities and services provided by ACA at no cost to participants. In addition to these events, ACA reaches out to the general public to share Asian culture by organizing and sponsoring various shows and festivals.
Tioseco explains that “Namamasko Po!” hopes to fill in that gap. “By supporting the creation of the first-ever digital Christmas caroling experience, we hope to spread more of the holiday cheer and deliver some of that uniquely Pinoy Christmas spirit wherever they are in the world.”
Question: I wanted to start my own business in the U.S. and in fact have sufficient money. However, I was told that I am not able to do so because I am not a citizen of a ‘treaty country’. Is there anything else I can do?
Answer: Yes, you can try the L-1A which actually requires considerably less money. You will have to either have your own company, or start a company in your home country.
Question: What is the L-1A?
Answer: The L-1A nonimmigrant classification enables a U.S. employer to transfer an executive or manager from one of its affiliated foreign offices to one of its offices in the United States. The L-1A intra-company transferee classification applies to qualified executives and managers within multinational companies. These individuals can be transferred from their foreign employer to work for up to seven years in the United States for an appropriately affiliated U.S. company.
Question: What if I am not a manager? Is there another type of L-1?
Answer: Yes. The L1B intracompany transferee classification applies to qualified specialized knowledge employees. Such individuals may be transferred from their foreign employer to work for up to five years in the U.S. for an appropriately affiliated U.S. company.
Question: What is the difference between the L-1A and the H-1?
Answer: Many employers in the United States routinely need temporary workers that are highly skilled. Therefore, there are various temporary work visas such as H1B and L1 (L1A and L1B) that allow the employers to hire foreign workers.
Question: Can somebody on the L-1 apply later for the Green Card?
Answer: As long as you were employed in managerial or executive position for one continuous year in the preceding three years (in U.S. or outside the U.S.), you can apply for green card in EB1C category immediately. ... Otherwise, you will have to be on L1A visa status for one year before applying for green card in EB1C category.
Question: Does the EB1C require a $500,000 investment or $1,000,000 investment?
Answer: No. This is not the EB-5 which does require that huge amount. The actual investment for the EB1C and the L-1 are much, much lower.
Question: What is the typical investment for the L-1A?
Answer: Many times, you can invest $10,000 to $20,000 only and that will be sufficient for the L-1A. The minimum for the E-2 would be about $75,000, so it is much less expensive. Also, businesses that do not qualify for the E-2 may very well qualify for the L-1A. It is just a matter of making sure it is prepared properly.
The nation's mental health environment proved to be at the vortex of holiday talks with some participants' voices on the active scene, wittingly and unwittingly, although that holiday was Thanks and Giving Day just past.
It was interesting to hear how commentaries emanated from some voices still active in academe; ditto listening to their co-professionals still holding on to their special areas as private practitioners, well-known in the same field likewise.
Clearly, the theme ran: "Definitely, no diagnosis is needed for Trump."
One foremost psychiatrist who remained quiet during the first part of a get-together, a colleague whose outstanding record in her field was heard to say: "You don't have to be a psychiatrist to know that there's something seriously wrong with Trump and that he is absolutely unfit for the presidency."
Several criteria were heard to surface; yet, high on the list is the deplorable degree POTUS chose to exhibit his views, and how he has given the definition of a fully narcissistic personality disorder.
Names of well-known academic experts in personality disorders have been quoted and did not deny the extent on their analyses of the 45th president dating back from his very early announcement that he was joining the quest for the presidency to bring alive "Make America Great Again," even before his predecessor's eight-year term would be officially over.
Any sane person would conclude that Trump's behavioral self was temporary, labeled in that manner owing to the enormity of the political milieu which rose against him in growing opposition after revelations were kindled by women who did not put a halt nor a denial on how they became victims of the disdainful conduct that surfaced from the elder candidate, Donald Trump. The women named were able to recount the repugnant stages of nadir they went through under Trump's choice of misbehavior inflicted on them as their experiences were written about while interviewed by the media.
Since those in academe are highly regarded in their chosen fields of endeavor, it was quite a jolt when the well-known entrepreneur Mark Cuban was mentioned as one who did not try at all to efface his attitude toward Trump. One member of a school of integrity focusing solely on professional psychology lauded Cuban for his anti-Trump views that emerged when Trump won the presidency in 2016.
Cuban did not spare his comments "Batshit crazy," was the expression that has never left the Cuban contribution to the still expanding barrage of all kinds of diagnoses on Trump.
It shouldn't be surprising at all to read what the nation's top journalists and writers have reiterated when they would be asked to rate the 45th president of the U.S.
There is a book entitled: "The Art of the Deal," co-authored by Trump; the other author, Tony Schwartz was not hesitant to name Trump with the label: "sociopath."
Well-read and a giant at her writing craft under her label as Washington Post columnist, Kathleen Parker deduced that the Trump behavior has been, from the announcement of his presidential run, reminiscent of an incurable "brain injury."
One noted psychiatrist admitted how numbers of personalities have approached him to bring about queries on Trump's mental status in "daily life." Their popular request: "How long can we keep on living, even merely tolerating, with the wrong chief executive?"
He was candid in responding to the practical query.
"Is he a narcissist or what?" Pre-election campaigns were quick to define the Trump's extent of narcissism, he was prone to lean on each time he described his response for queries on his business acumen.
The psychiatrist's reply: "I'm not supposed to respond to the question. To underline that point, the American Psychiatric Association issued a most recent reminder directed to its physician members reminding them to avoid psychoanalyzing the president..."
Reportedly, the aforementioned ethical standard was observed decades ago. In 1964, numbers of psychiatrists, in response to a magazine survey, openly questioned then-Republican nominee Barry Goldwater's fitness for office, specifically White House duty.
Several psychiatrists offered specific diagnoses that were aired by the media.
The fact remains. So many psychiatrists were more than willing to casually diagnose a person they had never met, embarrassed the profession: this particular move led to the codification of the so-called Goldwater Rule: "No professional opinions on people not having been personally examined should be aired out."
Since then, psychiatrists have zeroed in on the foregoing defined by the Goldwater Rule.
Instead, readers and listeners of various commentaries traced to mental health practitioners are frank in delineating their stand: there is a distinct void left by thoughtful professionals, now filled by speculations on the part of commentators, numbers of them lack the expertise to appropriately apply diagnostic labels.
Yet, those who feel otherwise who remain quiet about the 2016 presidential election winner believe they are part of an abdication of moral responsibility.
Who is the impartial American voter who has not been personally appalled by reports of the presidential candidate's indecorous behavior, already well-known when his quest for the nation's top elective position was sought?
Didn't he come across as cantankerous, vain, impulsive, demeaning, critical, cruel, and notably described as void of certain non-knowledge on what he was supposed to portray in seeking the highest position highly respected by the world-at-large? Economics, trade, diplomacy, all tests of qualifications that normally belong to a president were asked of him during the campaigns among his co-party challengers.
Yet, all critiques surfaced (and continue to surface) on how utterly ill-informed he was when he took over the reins of the presidency, and tragically, continues to add up every single day.
How he hasn't changed at all in today's panorama has been underscored. What has changed belongs to the ever-growing negative numbers that describe the chief resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, as he continues to ignore the ever-growing numbers who have, without changing their position, keep on organizing and joining nationwide protests?
Based on the manner by which he entered the White House bereft of knowledge of signal issues that the highest position of the land ought to face precisely, up to close to a year in his role as the chief executive, questions aimed at seeking answers continue to blur the spectrum.
Although noticeably far from normal areas of mental health that immediately surfaced as soon as the inauguration of the 45th president took place, numbers of protests continue to blur the scene with the populace demanding responses to their gatherings in cities which have the largest population figures.
The bottom line of most sensible commentaries that entered the picture even before the election results came about: the way Trump has been covered by the media; how he has been quoted on his numerous tweets, how heconducts himself in the few press conferences he's attended; all those prove: "Trump should never emerged as president; nor, has he disproven what is known: numerous shortcomings on his part revealing why the majority of the American people find it unacceptable to see him proceeding the way he has done for the past 12 months."
Early enough, the contradictions against a Trump presidency came out loud and clear:
1) He shouldn't be president because of how he disparages and continues to disparage women;
2)The extent to which he has denigrated Mexicans and Muslims has never been aired by any of his predecessors;
3) How he has demonized the media and impugns those who challenge him cannot be laid aside;
4) He cannot proceed to be president because he has vigorously rejected science and has demonstrated hardly any knowledge of interest when it comes to foreign and domestic policy.
What has been so lucid: he has endeavored to erase completely any of the accomplishments of the 8-year administration of his predecessor as he proceeds to belittle efforts that were hailed not just on these shores but abroad as well. For President Trump to replace them with unknowns that would serve as reminders of his almost non-knowledge of expertise in several points that should rank high as the president of the United States of America.
Returning to those psychiatrists' opinions, it would be tremendously welcomed by the American people if the POTUS will be willing to consult with specialists on all kinds of health: the physical and the mental aspects that will bode well for the rest of his term.
The foregoing would be a severe test on Trump's character which he is prone to referring to himself as the 'greatest' president who took over the title owing to the electorate's confidence and love for him.
US President Donald Trump likes to talk about “fake news” a lot. Anything that he feels reflects badly on himself as a person as well as his administration and presidency is automatically dismissed as fake news.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte? Not so much. Unlike his American counterpart, Mr. Duterte can dismiss any news he does not like because he truly does not give a damn, with few exceptions.
This is not to say that he is dismissive of all negative news about his presidency. When someone in his administration releases data that does not conform to the view that he has created about the state of the country, that government official can expect to be summarily dismissed, and later accused of wrongdoing.
Ask the average Filipino if extrajudicial killings (EJKs) are a fact of life in his country, and nine times out of 10 you will get a yes. Even from Duterte diehards. I know a few such Dutertards and they offer the same reason – those killed are mostly scum of the earth who deserve what they got.
But ask that same Pinoy how many of his countrymen have been victims of EJKs and you will get a blank stare, at best, or a wild guess, at worst.
So what’s the true number? Is it four thousand? Five thousand? Ten thousand? More?
The chances of getting an accurate answer are lower than low since no one really knows.
Ask the Philippine National Police and they will cite statistics that say only a handful – maybe two or three – have been killed by cops extrajudicially, and in all cases the policemen involved were rogues to begin with, and have been administratively charged and/or dismissed. Blah blah blah.
One reason for the huge discrepancy in figures may be because a good number of the EJKs were committed by men riding in tandem in motorcycles. There are literally hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of cases of men riding in tandem targeting supposed drug users or peddlers.
The Dutertards whom I know may be half right. Drug pushers deserve to be put to death for the ills they spread upon society, but only after they have been charged and proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt. It is the killing of drug users that I take issue with the Duterte administration. It is only in the Philippines where these drug addicts and dependents – who should be considered as victims – are considered criminals.
When I was in high school, most of us at least tried marijuana and other illegal substances. We were kids, not criminals. So if we were in high school during these Duterte years, does that mean that we should be put to death by tandem-riding assassins?
We all know the answer to that one. And just to prove that drug users can rid themselves of the habit, I am proud to say that the majority of the guys I smoked weed with back then are now productive members of society, either as professionals, top executives, or highly successful entrepreneurs.
There were tragic exceptions, of course. Those who could not escape the habit saw their health collapse when they should have been at the prime of their lives, and passed away with friends and family regretting that they never attained their full potential.
I will say it again and again: drug dependents do not deserve to be killed by the police or the vigilantes acting in the name of their idol, President Duterte. One figure that landed one executive of the administration in hot water came from the chief executive himself, who said early in his regime that there are at least 1.5 million Filipinos hooked on drugs.
Where he got this figure is not clear, but Mr. Duterte stands by it.
The EJKs have had a chilling effect on society. We have become jaded to the senseless killings.
In other cases, the motorcycle-riding killers snuff out lives of men and women who are not even involved in drugs in any way. To this day, a friend and colleague of mine who was killed by motorcycle riding assassins earlier this year has remained just one of the thousands of victims who may never find justice.
He has become just another statistic, and soon enough his case will be forgotten.
How many more will be killed extrajudicially during the Duterte administration?
Nobody knows. But if just 10 percent of the supposed 1.5 million drug dependents are targeted, that means 150,000 Filipinos will die in the name of Mr. Duterte’s war on drugs. If we put the number of killed thus far at 10,000, Then the police and the vigilante-assassins have 140,000 more to go.
Meaningless numbers? I think not.
Christmas for most immigrants is the time when they think about friends and family from the old country. The season also reminds many immigrants of the Christmas tradition and culture of their homeland including the many delicious foods that go with the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.
Many Filipino immigrants claim that they dreamed of celebrating “White Christmas” while still in the Philippines but after experiencing it, they have a “change of heart” and they now say that they miss Christmas in the Philippines. This explains why many Filipinos around the world travel to the Philippines during the month of December.
Here in the United States, we see an extraordinary number of “balikbayans” with their balikbayan boxes that are full of goodies lining at the check-in counters of airlines when Christmas time approaches. In airports, we often overhear many balikbayan travelers talking about how they will spend their Christmas vacation in the Philippines including conversations about the Filipino foods and delicacies that they crave and desire to have while in the Philippines.
Perhaps this is one of the reasons why the annual Parol Lantern Festival and Parade in San Francisco brought back the “Taste of Filipino Christmas” (also known as “Patikim ng Pagkaing Pampasko”) last year after the Patikim was shelved some years ago.
It is a brilliant idea to do a parol festival and the Taste of Filipino Christmas at the same time.
First, we as a people have a long held tradition of making parol lanterns and holiday Christmas decorations. Parol lanterns remind us of the Philippines including its Christmas culture and tradition. On the other hand, the Taste of Filipino Christmas is a food showcase where traditional Philippine Christmas foods are served to help reconnect overseas Filipinos to the Philippines and to their rural and agricultural roots. The Patikim also introduces non-Filipinos to our culture and our rich culinary tradition.
I still remember when the parol festival was first started in 2003 at the Yerba Buena Gardens. Filipino delicacies like suman, puto-kutsina, bibingka, arroz-caldo, and many other rice-based “kakanins” were served.
Most of these delicacies for Christmas are made from rice and agricultural produce like ube, coconut, taro root, yams, and cassava. From there, I started appreciating the connection between Filipino Christmas and agriculture and how a bountiful harvest contributes to the richness and blessings of the Filipino Christmas table. This connection is more visible in Philippine rural areas where agricultural is the main industry and livelihood.
Following what Pope Francis said that Christmas has been “taken hostage” by dazzling materialism and that it blinds many of us to the needs of the hungry, the migrants and the war weary, we should also realize the value and contributions of other people in our lives and in our livelihood including the community of farmers who produce the food that we eat daily.
In the Philippines, the “mall culture” of consumerism and conversion of agriculture lands into subdivisions and mall development real estate is putting agriculture in peril and jeopardy. What will happen if agriculture is totally neglected in the country?
Christmas then should also bring the message of loving and taking care of our farms and our farmers. It should inspire and influence young people to take interest in natural and sustainable agriculture and to advocate for its growth and protection. Christmas and our Christmas food table can also play a big part part in educating us and our loved ones to “go back to the basics” and to embrace healthy living and healthy foods as we celebrate Christmas and the birth of Jesus Christ.
Come to think of it, even before slow-food and slow-food preparation became popular and acceptable worldwide as healthy alternatives to fast food, our ancestors and elders in the Philippines have been slow-cooking their food for many years. For starters, just think about how ube halaya and kalamay are made!
So please if you have time, come join us at the social hall of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church (on Mission Street between 3rd and 4th Street) this Saturday, December 9, 2017 between 3-5PM for the Taste of Filipino Christmas. The parol and lantern parade will follow immediately after the conclusion of the Taste of Filipino Christmas.
Jojo Liangco is an attorney with the Law Offices of Amancio M. Liangco Jr. in San Francisco, California. His practice is in the areas of immigration, family law, personal injury, civil litigation, business law, bankruptcy, DUI cases, criminal defense and traffic court cases. Please send your comments to Jojo Liangco, c/o Law Offices of Amancio "Jojo" Liangco, 605 Market Street, Suite 605, San Francisco, CA 94105 or you can call him (415) 974-5336. You can also visit Jojo Liangco’s website at www.liangcolaw.com.