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April is Month of Fools & Poets


By: Veronica Leighton


Happy Easter to all, though belatedly! With the erratic high and low temperatures that we have experienced in this year’s spring April month, and has been giving problems not only to humans like us but also to nature’s flora and fauna, all living creatures that are wondering if the weather is still winter or spring. Yes, we have experienced unusual dips and rise of spring temperatures, from as low as one digit and rising to the 70’s temperatures, believe it or not.

We celebrate the Day of Valor or Araw ng Kagitingan, now a holiday in the Philippines, every 19th of April. This is a special day that honors and commemorates the Filipino fighters that died defending our mother country against the Japanese forces, particularly in the last fort of defense, Bataan and Corregidor. I remember as a young girl listening to the courageous stories of the Filipinos who fought hard to defend their families and their country. I don’t have to go far in mentioning that both my mother and father, and some uncles, fought and worked with the guerrillas. Interesting but horrible stories for a young girl to listen to.

Our columnists Joe Mauricio, Elaine Lehman, and Elsie Sy-Niebar memorialize our World War II heroes and talk about them in their most interesting columns.

With a heavy heart, I am bringing you a sad news about the demise of your favorite Social Security columnist, Mayra Salazar. Mayra wrote her SS column that updated our readers about SS topics for the last ten years. Here’s a short note from Mayra’s loving family: “It is with a sad heart to inform you that Mayra lost her battle with pancreatic cancer on February 23. Though she appreciated all of us and knew we would want to shower her with love, Mayra decided to keep her battle private, and was adamant that we respect her wishes, so we did. As you know Mayra was a vibrant, caring individual, and had a true passion for public service. Mayra had over 37 years of federal service.” You will be missed by your VT family and readers, Mayra!

On a happy note, I would like to announce that Mr.Doug Nguyen, Regional Communications Director, SSA, takes over Mayra’s position as VT’s SS columnist starting in this issue. A former member of the VT family, Doug used to write the original SS column for many years before his job move to Washington, D.C. office. Welcome back to the VT-fold, Doug.

Our house poet, Victoria Smith tells us that April is National Poetry Month, and would like “to begin this month’s column with praise for the poetry of her literary masterpiece brought about by binging on the BBC series, “Middlemarch,” based on George Eliot’s classic novel.”

Listen to your favorite columnists’ precautions on your health and life, Melody Dizon, in taking the popular transport, Uber and Lyft; Pastor Nancy Abiera on “Embracing Pain and Hit the P.O.T.”; Atty. Janice Dante, giving valuable tips about immigration papers; and Dr. Robert Boyer’s topic about the “Philippines leading on Climate Change,” sounds incredulous but true. Our Dear Tita Eza column by Pureza Pacis, is getting more following everyday for its realistic, true-to-life human stories asking for her wise advice.

Mother’s Day, celebrated on every second Sunday of May, is not here yet but it’s coming soon. The reason for our Mother of the Year Visitacion Tan’s early cover is because she and her popular entertainer son, Nick Vera Perez, are leaving for the Philippines the whole month of May for NVP’s hectic scheduled concert performances in the Philippines. They plan on bringing tons of copies with them to the Philippines, they say. Congratulations to Visitacion & NVP and the whole entourage of NVP1 World Entertainment.

Enjoy the April showers mixed with snow(at times), in this crazy spring weather!


Doug Nguyen, Regional Communications Director, SSA

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