Opinion & Community

Mark Jimenez, ex-Manila congressman, passes away at 70

By ROSE-AN JESSICA DIOQUINO, GMA News
Businessman and former Manila representative Mark Jimenez has passed away, his family confirmed on Tuesday.

In a statement, the ex-lawmaker’s family said their patriarch passed away at 6 a.m. He was 70 years old.

His remains will lie in state at Funeraria Rey in Pandacan, Manila on Thursday and Friday, with Masses at 7 p.m.

His body will then be moved to the Heritage Park in Taguig City. A final Mass will be held there on Sunday, 8 p.m.

Jimenez, Mario Batacan Crespo in real life, left behind 13 children.

“He embodied a story for all of us, one of starting humbly, rising above all his circumstances and eventually choosing a life of service. This is the story we choose to remember him by, as his children, all 13 of us, and his chosen children, in District 6 in Manila,” the family’s statement read.

Jimenez was a classmate turned close ally of former President and incumbent Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, who once dubbed him a “corporate genius.”

He made a fortune in the United States in the 1980s, via a computer distribution company based in Miami, Florida, with extensive reach in Latin America.

He returned to the Philippines months before the 1998 presidential elections, and Estrada eventually named him adviser on Latin American affairs.

Jimenez ran and won as congressman for the sixth district of Manila in May 2001, after Estrada was ousted via “EDSA Dos.”

However, the House Electoral Tribunal unseated Jimenez in 2002 for alleged vote-buying.

The following year, he was convicted in Miami, Florida after pleading guilty to charges of election conspiracy and tax evasion, while working as a businessman in the US.

He served his two-year sentence in a US federal prison before he was extradited to the Philippines.

In 2009, he filed his certificate of candidacy for president, saying he was doing it to show everyone that he was a victim of human rights violations. —NB, GMA News

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Abu Sayyaf threat in Bohol 'contained'- AFP

MANILA – The military on Tuesday said it has contained the terror threat in Bohol as government forces are pursuing just two more members of bandit group Abu Sayyaf following recent clashes at the popular tourist destination.
In a Palace briefing, AFP Spokesperson Brigadier General Restituto Padilla said it was only a matter of time before government troops neutralize two of the remaining Abu Sayyaf bandits who recently attacked Bohol.
Padilla said one of the three Abu Sayyaf men at large has reportedly died due to hunger and “exposure to elements”. He said the remaining two are now “encircled” by government troops and “fighting for their survival.”
“We know where they are, generally in what area, and effort is still being done to pursue them,” Padilla told reporters.
“The assessment…is that these two are fighting for their survival. They don’t pose any serious threat anymore.”
The Abu Sayyaf, notorious for its kidnap-for-ransom activities, recently attacked the popular tourist spot in what authorities believe was an attempt to carry out another abduction.
But a gunfight with the military and the police foiled the supposed plan which, if successful, could have embarrassed the government while in the thick of preparations for the country’s hosting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meetings.
The initial gun battle resulted in the death of Abu Sayyaf leader Muamar Askali and three other members. Joselito Melloria, also a bandit leader who allegedly guided the group in the Visayan province, was also killed over the weekend with three other bandits.
ABU SAYYAF MEMBERS DOWN TO 300
Padilla said, the death of Abu Sayyaf leaders and members in Bohol was a serious blow to the terror group, which he said is now down to 300 members, from a high of 500.
“We were able to foil their plans, and these plans are no joke. The group we confronted, led by Abu Rami, is an elite group of the Abu Sayyaf,” Padilla said.
“This group has been the one behind the long-distance abductions. When I say long distance, they are part of those who may have hatched and may have been involved in Sipadan, Samal, and Dos Palmas.”
With the Abu Sayyaf suffering setbacks in recent weeks, the military has set the end of July as its new self-imposed deadline to “degrade” the group’s capabilities, Padilla said.
“By degrading the capabilities, it means to us [that] they will not be able to launch significant activities that will bring harm to our population and create chaos in our communities,” he said.
“We believe we are on our way to degrading them significantly. If we will go by statistics, they have not been able to launch significant disturbances,” he added.
Padilla added that the military’s “comprehensive approach” in tackling terrorism was bearing fruit, citing the surrender of 11 Abu Sayyaf bandits in Tawi-Tawi.
The Armed Forces is also hopeful that aging Abu Sayyaf leader Radulan Sahiron, who has reportedly been sending surrender feelers to the government, would soon lay down arms, Padilla said.
Meanwhile, Padilla also dismissed as untrue reports that several alleged Abu Sayyaf bandits have been spotted in other parts of the Visayas.
“All these information that came our way and came to the police’s attention were duly checked and verified and found to be untrue. This is part of disinformation to put a lot of worry on people’s minds so that it will affect our key industries,” Padilla said.
“We make this announcement to assuage fears of our citizens as well as those wishing to come to our country,” he added.

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SC junks Jinggoy bid to exclude Benhur testimony in PDAF case

MANILA - The Supreme Court on Tuesday denied with finality the plea of former Senator Jinggoy Estrada to exclude the testimony of “pork barrel” scam primary whistleblower Benhur Luy in his plunder trial before the Sandiganbayan for the alleged misuse of his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).
Sitting en banc, the high court junked Estrada’s motion for reconsideration of its Jan. 24 resolution “for not having raised any new and substantive arguments to merit a reconsideration.”
The high court also denied Estrada’s bid for the suppression and exclusion as evidence of the cash/check disbursement reports presented by the prosecution.
In its assailed resolution, the high court had ruled that there was no grave abuse of discretion on the part of the anti-graft court in allowing prosecution witness Luy’s testimony and admitting disbursement reports as part of the case filed by the Office of the Ombudsman.
In his petition, Estrada claimed that such evidence were obtained in violation of his constitutional right against unreasonable search and seizure, and were thus inadmissible as evidence.
He specifically questioned JLN (Janet Lim Napoles) Corporation files Luy had encoded, copied, and surrendered to the Ombudsman.
The high court ruled that since Luy is a private individual, Estrada cannot invoke the above-stated right, as the Constitution's bar on unlawful searches and seizures covers only government agents and law enforcers.
The SC also said that state witnesses, such as Luy, are granted immunity under Republic Act (RA) No. 6981, also known as the Witness Protection, Security and Benefit Act, so they may freely testify.
The immunity granted Luy was intended "to embolden him to testify despite the threats of criminal suit, and to enable him to help the government with his knowledge of the matters relevant to the PDAF issues,” the SC said in the January resolution.
Estrada is accused of allegedly pocketing P183.79-million in kickbacks from the alleged scam mastermind, the now jailed Janet Lim Napoles, for allocating portions of his PDAF to bogus foundations and/or non-government organizations linked to the businesswoman.
Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

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Mindanao State U grad tops electrical engineer exams

ABS-CBN News
MANILA - A total of 994 passed the Electrical Engineering Licensure Examination conducted in several cities this past month.
A total of 2,213 took the examination given by the Professional Regulation Commission's Board of Electrical Engineering in the cities of Manila, Baguio, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, Legazpi, Lucena and Tacloban this April 2017.
Kent Meyler Malones Samaranos of Mindanao State University - General Santos City topped the exam with a rating of 90.90.
Tied for second place were David Dela Cruz Flores from FEU-Institute of Technology, and Jenny Rose Vergara Repollo from the University of the Philippines Los Baños. Both got 90.50 percent.
Brian Baltazar Balmores from the University of the Philippines Los Baños came in third at 89.90.
1
KENT MEYLER MALONES SAMARANOS
MINDANAO STATE UNIVERSITY-GEN. SANTOS CITY
90.90
2
DAVID DELA CRUZ FLORES
FEU-INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY(FOR. FEU-EAST ASIA COLL)
90.50

JENNY ROSE VERGARA REPOLLO
UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES-LOS BAÑOS
90.50
3
BRIAN BALTAZAR BALMORES
UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES-LOS BAÑOS
89.90
4
VINCENT HABIG DIMAYACYAC
UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES-DILIMAN
89.75

CHRIS LLOYD RAYNOZA LAJARA
TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES-TAGUIG
89.75
5
JOHN RAYMOND BOCTUANON LUMAWAG
UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES-LOS BAÑOS
88.90
6
HAROLD GIL SINGSON NAVARRETE
MAPUA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY-MANILA
88.85

JADE MARK JAO TALABOC
MINDANAO STATE UNIVERSITY-GEN. SANTOS CITY
88.85
7
KYLE UY VOSOTROS
UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES-LOS BAÑOS
88.80
8
RAMON ECLEO EDNALAGA
UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES-LOS BAÑOS
88.75
9
FRANCIS GEORGE TAGANAHAN LOMAAD
UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES-LOS BAÑOS
88.70
10
RONALD IAN TRIVIÑO BORJA
TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES-TAGUIG
88.65

EARL OLINSKI BALMADRES FLORES
MINDANAO STATE UNIVERSITY-GEN. SANTOS CITY
88.65
Meanwhile, 1,817 out of 3,130 registered Master Electricians also passed the licensure exam.

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PECHANGA CELEBRATES MIDWAY POINT OF $285 MILLION RESORT EXPANSION WITH TOPPING OUT CEREMONY

A major milestone in the construction of the $285 million Pechanga Resort & Casino expansion was reached today. Dozens of construction members, elected officials, dignitaries, Pechanga Tribal members and Pechanga Team Members gathered to watch the topping out of the Tribe's massive addition that will make their resort/casino the largest on the West Coast. The mammoth expansion is now more than halfway complete.

This topping out included crews 14 stories up pouring the last 710 tons of concrete into the upper framing of the new hotel tower that will house 568 rooms and suites. A giant, concrete-filled bucket the size of a mid-size car was hoisted via crane to the top of the south hotel wing and its contents poured into the structure. A small, sacred oak tree also hitched a ride onto the top of building with the bucket, and was placed atop the tower as a symbol of strength and perseverance. The ceremonial tree will be planted on the resort grounds at the expansion's completion.

"Countless people, as well as more than 2,500 construction trades workers, have labored tirelessly to keep construction on schedule allowing us to celebrate today. This is the very spot new and existing visitors to Temecula and Pechanga will have their first impressions of our new resort come December. On this important day, we can look confidently toward our Tribe's and the Temecula Valley's future," said Edith Atwood, President of the Pechanga Development Corporation.

The project put more than 2,500 regional construction tradesmen and women to work for the two-year build. Materials used in construction have been largely sourced from Southern California. Builders have poured 81,000 tons of concrete to erect the Pechanga resort expansion's new hotel wing. More than 2,174 tons of reinforcing steel went into the structure, The base of the intersecting hotel towers is 70-feet wide and 13-feet deep with a large tunnel system allowing the more than 4,500 Pechanga Team Members to move easily through the property for the most efficient guest service. The hotel structure ascends 13 stories on the south and nine stories on the north.

 

When the entire expansion project is complete in December 2017, Pechanga Resort & Casino will offer a full-scale destination experience to visitors coming from California and beyond.

Snapshot of Pechanga When Expansion is Complete:
* Casino Square Footage: 200,000
* Event/Meeting/Convention square footage: 100,000 (indoor) 174,500 (outdoor)
* Number of Hotel Rooms: 1,090
* Number of Restaurants: 13
* Number of Pools & Spas: 13
* Number of Employees: 4,560
* Other Amenities: 2-level luxury Spa, Fitness Center, Championship 18-hole Golf Course, Concert Theater, Nightlife, Green Roof

The building was designed by Delawie architects, the original designers of Pechanga Resort & Casino when it was built in 2002. Lifescapes International is building the four-acre pool complex. Tutor Perini was selected as the expansion builder. CLEO Design is the lead for interior aesthetics.

 

 

Pic Captions :

Image 1 : Asian Medias interviewing Mr. Lee Torres - General Manager of Pechanga Resort & Casino

Image 2 : Pechanga Tribal Councils & Members

Image 3: Sacred oak tree lifting onto the top of building with the bucket, and was placed atop the tower as a symbol of strength and perseverance.

 

 

About Pechanga Resort & Casino 


Pechanga Resort & Casino offers one of the largest and most expansive resort/casino experiences anywhere in the United States. Voted the Number One casino in America by readers of USA TODAY and rated a Four Diamond property by AAA since 2002, Pechanga Resort & Casino provides an unparalleled getaway. Offering more than 3,400 of the hottest slots, table games, world-class entertainment, 517 hotel rooms, dining, spa and championship golf at Journey at Pechanga, Pechanga Resort & Casino features a destination that meets and exceeds the needs of its guests and the community. Pechanga Resort & Casino is owned and operated by the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians. For more information, call toll free 1-888-PECHANGA or visit www.Pechanga.com. Follow Pechanga Resort & Casino on Facebook <http://www.facebook.com/pechanga> and on Twitter @PechangaCasino <http://twitter.com/pechangacasino>. Pechanga Resort & Casino is open 24-hours. Guests must be 21 and older to enter the casino. 
 

Christine Allado to star in NYC concert before taking on ‘Hamilton’ role at West End'

NEW YORK CITY -- Singer and actress Christine Allado just snagged the roles of Peggy Schuyler and Maria Reynolds in the forthcoming London West End production of the Broadway hit musical “Hamilton,” produced, written and directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda.
“Hamilton” will premiere at the Victoria Palace Theatre on November 21.
Christine, 26, who is currently on a brief vacation in New York, will give her ‘kababayan’ a preview of her world-class talent at a concert on April 22 at the Sheraton La Guardia East Hotel in Flushing, Queens. The show will be produced and directed by “Miss Saigon” alum Miguel Braganza.
Recently Christine performed in a Manila with world-famous tenor Andrea Bocelli. Her most recent stage credential is “In the Heights,” also by Miranda.
“Hamilton” is based on Ron Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton, one of America’s founding fathers. The London production will also have Filipina Rachelle Ann Go appearing with Christine in the role of the other Schuyler sister, Eliza. Christine’s other credits include “Here Lies Love,” the rise of Imelda Marcos, a musical concept produced by David Byrne and Fatboy Slim.
Her website describes Christine as an emerging yet “all-around performer” whose classical soprano voice can ably sing pop and jazz. She trained at the Royal Academy of Music in London where she received a post-graduate degree in Music Theatre in 2013.
Her acting career started in the Philippines where she starred in productions such as “The Phantom of the Opera: Revue” (2009) as Christine Daea, “Hairspray” (2008) as Amber Von Tussle and “Joseph the Dreamer” (2009). At the time, she was taking up Business Administration at the University of the Philippines-Diliman. She had appeared in television programs of both GMA7 and ABS-CBN.
She moved to Hong Kong where she did more performances, playing leads in Disney’s “High School Musical” (2009) and “The Golden Mickeys” (2010). She was featured in Hong Kong’s Tatler magazine and other local media as a “breakthrough artist.” Being in Hong Kong allowed her to perform in nearby Asian cities, such as Bali, Macau and Kuala Lumpur.
“Her success in Asia sparked her desire to move on to a bigger platform. London was the next destination. She received her first break after wowing the judges at a music competition who just so happened to be Sir Tim Rice and Director Tamara Harvey. She then landed a featured role and understudied the lead in Tim Rice’s new musical ‘From Here to Eternity’ (2013). Her dream of being a professional artist on the London stage had become a reality and she continues to pursue a diverse and promising career as an actress and singer,” according to her website.
She described singing with Andrea Bocelli in an interview with Rappler. “I can’t say it was a dream come true because I would never in my wildest dreams have dared to imagine something like that would happen!”
Tickets to Christine’s New York concert are VIP: $100, and General Admission: $65. – Tambi Wycoco for The FilAm

Giant shipworm discovered in PH

MANILA -- Ever heard of the giant shipworm? Probably not. After all, its description seems to be the stuff of myth: a worm measuring 3 to 5 feet long that spends most of its life in a hard shell resembling a tusk.
Well, it is myth no longer, as scientists have just found live specimens of the giant shipworm, or Kuphus polythamia, right in the Philippines.
The shipworm is, in fact, not a worm, but a rare species of bivalve or mollusk, a group that includes mussels and oysters. To be more specific, it is a type of saltwater clam. First documented in the 1700s, the shipworm was partly responsible for the sinking of ships, thanks to its natural tendency to eat wood.
The Kuphus polythamia is slightly different from the regular, ship-sinking shipworms. While scientists have known of its existence for years courtesy of fossils, it is only now that they’ve been able to study it firsthand.
The recent specimens were discovered in Mindanao, Philippines, vertically planted head-down in the base of a lagoon, where they feed on marine sediment and mud. Though the site, which was once an area used for log storage, boasts an overwhelming stench, the researchers were able to gather five living giant shipworms for analysis.
Packing the creatures into PVC pipes, the team brought their cargo to the University of the Philippines.
“We really did not know what to expect,” Daniel Distel, a research professor and the Northeastern University Ocean Genome Legacy Center director, told Seeker. “Most clams are white or beige or pinkish inside.”
‘Like an alien creature’
Margo Haygood – a University of Utah College of Pharmacy medicinal chemistry research professor and a colleague of Distel – described what it was like first laying eyes on the animals.
“We turned the pipes upright and filled them with seawater and airstones and put the animals in to acclimate," she stated. "Before long, I looked into the pipe and could see a strong jet of water coming out of the animal’s siphon. It was alive!”
She added: “The animal inside is dark gray, shiny and floppy. It looks like an alien creature.”
“It was really quite amazing,” Distel stated, speaking about his experience opening the creature’s tube-shaped shell. “I didn’t even have any idea how to open it, but I thought: ‘Carefully.’ ”
Distel admitted being shocked at the animal’s color. “Most bivalves are greyish, tan, pink, brown, light beige colors. This thing just has this gunmetal-black color. It is much beefier, more muscular than any other bivalve I had ever seen.”
According to the scientists from the US, France, and Philippines who have examined the organism, it is the longest bivalve in existence (that we know of). It is slimy and black, with a big ugly head and a tail composed of two siphons. One siphon draws in water, while the other expels it.
The organism secrets a substance to create its tube shell, which is composed of calcium carbonate. Additionally, it creates a hard cap as a head covering. The creature’s growth, which compels it to submerge itself even deeper into the mud, urges it to reabsorb said cap.
“If they want to grow, they have to open that end of that tube, so somehow dissolve or reabsorb that cap on the bottom, grow, extend the tube down further into the mud, and then they seal it off again,” Distel told The Guardian.
Living on bacteria and fart gases
Unlike the usual wood-munching shipworm found in oceans, the survival of the Kuphus polythamia depends on hydrogen sulfide and a special type of bacteria.
Hydrogen sulfide is a compound which you can find in human flatulence and rotten eggs, and which can also be flammable, corrosive, and poisonous in large volumes.
The bacteria, which make a home in its gills, burn the hydrogen sulfide in “the same way we burn carbohydrate or sugar to make energy,” said Distel. The Kuphus polythamia then feeds on the sugar.
Living in the mud, which is rich in organic substances such as the stinky hydrogen sulfide, provides the animal with an endless supply of life-sustaining nutrients.
Thanks to the creature’s strange diet, is digestive system is smaller than the usual shipworm’s.
The evolution of giants
It is not known how the giant shipworm evolved to be this way, but its size is indicative of a healthy diet.
“Gigantism is usually an indication of ample nutrients,” stated Distel.
In contrast, it’s increasingly becoming more difficult for its wood-munching, ocean-dwelling cousin to find food, given how humans are no longer using wooden ships to sail the seas.
“Most wood gets in the oceans via erosion of coastal forests and riverbanks,” said Distel. “People like to clear forests away from coasts and riverbanks so they can build homes, businesses and resorts. We also like to build dams and have dammed most of the great rivers of the world. As a result, a lot less wood makes it to the sea.”
As wooden ships have contributed to the spread of shipworms to various countries, it is possible human activity helped the creature find its way to the shallow bays of the Philippines, where it then evolved into its current form.
Shipworms have even become part of human diet in some places. Its taste is described as “a little more earthy-tasting” than regular clams.
While Haygood believes the shipworm “is valuable just because it's so strange and marvelous,” she also claims these organisms have “potential as sources of industrial enzymes for converting cellulose to sugar and for new antimicrobial drugs.”
'Like finding a dinosaur'
Distel believes the team’s find to be extremely remarkable. “To me it was almost like finding a dinosaur – something that was pretty much only known by fossils,” he said.
The researchers would likely have never found the Kuphus polythamia had they not chanced upon a Philippine documentary, shared on YouTube, about divers who collected the creatures. To prevent shell collectors from disturbing the site, the animals’ location remains a secret.
TV presenter, biologist, and Ugly Animal Preservation Society president Simon Watts was happy at the discovery. “It might well be monstrous, but that does not mean that it isn’t marvelous,” he stated, adding that the Kuphus polythamia evolved to survive in a “pretty disgusting” environment. “If you are down living among murky dirt, then aesthetics are surely not your number one priority.”
The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. — GMA News

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FAHAM induction commemorates landing of first Filipinos in US

By Zen S. Laluna, Las Vegas Correspondent

Las Vegas, NV ─ The Filipino American Heritage and Arts Museum (FAHAM), the first ever to be established in Las Vegas, Nevada, hosts a Fundraising Gala-cum-Induction of Officers on Friday, April 21, 2017 at the Dallas Ballroom, Texas Station Hotel & Casino at 6:00 p.m. with a dinner-and-dance, art exhibit, cultural and fashion show, brief Philippine History presentation and vendor booths.
The event also commemorates the ”historic landing of the first Filipinos (then known as Indios Luzones or Luzon Indians) on October 18, 1587 aboard the Nuestra Señora de Buena Esperanza which dropped anchor in what is now known as Morro Bay in the Central Coast of California.”*
Keynote speaker and Installation officer Congresswoman Jackie Rosen (D/NV-Dist. 3 ) will address the significant economic, political, and social contributions of Filipino-Americans in the development of Nevada.
Among the inductees include Ditta Camomot, FAHAM founder-and- Publisher/Filipino American Heritage™Magazine; Salve Vargas- Edelman, National President/Board Chairperson; Dr. Thomas Stone, Ruel Rodriguez, Estelita Paulin, Motusi Alston, Gina Bea-Tritley and Lenida Balce- Sutton, National vice-presidents; Marilyn Ante, secretary; Ed Leano, treasurer; Rosemary Stone, chief Internet officer; and Chris Genobaga, chair/Advisory Committee.
Other festivities include a cocktail reception, Meet & Greet with recently elected government officials, and a Silent Auction. Proceeds from the Silent Auction and Gala Fundraiser will all go to the FAHAM.
Entertainment features the FAHAM Cultural Dance Group, Heart of Polynesia, Gina Kim Korean Dance Group, Filipiniana Dance Company of Las Vegas, Viktoria Vysoke, and Sharon Tanyag. A Philippine Tango Dance exhibition will be performed by Ed and Cora Leano, while Sean Argham and Estelita Paulin will showcase a Latin Dance exhibition.
The FAHAM (originally known as Filipino Heritage and Arts Museum, Inc. (FHAM, Inc. and a.k.a. Institution of Filipino-American Heritage (IFAH), was founded by Manuelita “Ditta” Camomot, M.Ed., M.A., in Newark, Delaware on January 8, 1995. It was incorporated on November 20, 1995. Following the induction, FAHAM founder Camomot will present Recognition Awards to several deserving recipients.
A 501(c3) non-profit organization, the FAHAM (or FHAM/IFAH) is dedicated to educate the next generation of Filipino Americans about their heritage by preserving Filipino American history, legacy, arts and culture through a vast collection of artworks, books, articles from writers, poets and artists; relics, artifacts and other expressions of fine arts produced over the centuries, and continued production of artworks, murals, pictures, hand-made products and dioramas, etc., that depict the different periods of Philippine history.
The FAHAM houses memoirs, narratives, biographical sketches and documentations of historic values and anthropology of living and deceased Americans of Filipino descent, clippings of Filipino Americans who made outstanding contributions in the fields of medicine, science and technology, communication, entrepreneurship, public affairs, community service, entertainment, literary, arts and culture, among others; and artifacts and objects of historical importance.
Salve Vargas Edelman, founder-president and executive director of Rising Asian Pacific Americans Coalition for Diversity (RAPACD), was appointed National President and Chairman of the Board for FAHAM. Her task? To establish the first ever Filipino American Heritage and Arts Museum in Las Vegas.
“It is a monumental task but our Philippine legacy matters. So, I am up to the challenge as always,“ says Edelman. In April 2016, the first FAHAM Arts Exhibit was held at the RAPACD Cultural Center for three weeks.
The FAHAM, according to her, is an extension of what she had previously conceptualized as SoVegas Pilipinas or the Philippine Village.
FAHAM (or FHAM/IFAH) is a staunch supporter of the RAPACD Cultural Center and the Twin Lakes Community Clinic located inside the historic Las Vegas Lorenzi Park.

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North Korea’s desperate situation

North Korea and its leader Kim Jong Un have no one to blame but themselves for their worsening global isolation. Only a certified fool or madman would threaten the rest of the world with nuclear war, which is precisely what Kim and his cabal of like-minded generals have being doing of late.
There is little doubt that the country’s economic and political survival is highly dependent on China, which has long tolerated the hermit kingdom’s intransigence.
Indeed, their logic is difficult to comprehend. North Korea insists on developing its nuclear arsenal because it insists that a US and South Korean invasion is imminent.
In fact, it is South Korea that should be prepared for a North Korean invasion. Between the two, the former is an economic powerhouse, while the latter is essentially an impoverished state, albeit with a huge military of more than a million troops.
With the recent suspension of imports of coal from North Korea – one of the country’s primary sources of export earnings -- China sent a signal that they have finally gotten tired of Kim’s sabre rattling.
There are other bad signs. Last week, flights between Pyongyang and Beijing were suspended for lack of passengers.
Meanwhile, diplomatic relations with Malaysia, one of the very few countries that has “normal” relations with North Korea, took a downward turn when a brother of Kim was assassinated in Kuala Lumpur airport, apparently at the behest of an unnamed and unknown North Korean spy.
Finally, US President Donald Trump took the threats of thermonuclear war against the US and its allies more seriously and sent a fleet of warships off the coast of North Korea. The message was loud and clear. Launch an attack on any of the friends of the US or even on the US mainland itself, and the retaliation will be swift, brutal and total.
Kim may or may not have a handful of nuclear warheads at his disposal, but the US has hundreds, perhaps thousands. If he believes he can win a nuclear war with the US, he is absolutely delusional. This is as good a reason as any for the Trump administration to adopt a policy of doing everything possible to remove Kim as head of state.
The North Korean leader derided as a “fat kid” had no training in governance, merely taking over the reins of power when his father passed away. He seems to think that leadership is a game of which there will be no consequences if he commits a fatal error in judgment.
Kim and his cabal have brought the world to the brink of nuclear war, one which will have no true winners. But the North Korean leadership insists on not only staying the dangerous course it has been taking for decades, but upping the ante.
Sometime soon, something has to give. Either Kim will do the unthinkable and launch a nuke, thereby assuring the destruction of his state, or he will be forced to back down and eventually resign.
Either way, the fate of the Kim family that has ruled North Korea since inception is assured. Their time will soon be over.

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