By: Elsie Sy-Niebar


*PIWC 2019 Executive Chair EDWIN PINEDA distributes $30,776.98 net proceeds to 10 Charitable Recipients!

*POLITICAL Guest Writer Don Azarias explains CHINA’s Intrusion in the West Philippine Sea

*JERRY CLARITO of FAHRA LED DEMONSTRATIONS in front of the China Consulate; followed by another in front of the Philippine Consulate; he INVITES the public to listen to Leni Velasco speak about the Human Rights situation going on in the Philippines today

*NAFFAA Reacts to the USCIS decision to end the Filipino World War II Veterans Parole Program

*Watch out DRIVERS! Tougher driving violations are in effect!


NAFFAA: Largest Coalition of Filipino American Organizations Objects to Trump Administration Move to End Family Reunification Program for Filipino American World War II Veterans

*Advice to Seniors to avoid from falling down


Another round of of applause to EDWIN PINEDA, Executive Chairperson of the Philippine Independence Week Committee (PIWC) 2019 which netted $30,776.98 profit which he donated to various charitable institutions in the Philippines and in Chicagoland. The hard work given by the PIWC 2019 Officers and Members were all worth it in terms of the joy they gave to the needy recipients. Of the above net profit, $5,949.37 went to the PIWC Board of Trustees. The rest were given to the following charitable institutions in the Philippines as follows: Gawad Kalinga Foundation, $5,500; Bantay Bata Foundation, $2000; Feed the Starving Children, $2000; Pandan Elementary School in Angeles City, $1000; Pandan High School Scholarships, $1000; Catanduanes Project, $1000; locally – Sampaguita College Scholarship, $1000; Magnificent Lions, $1000; Voices District -I-A $1000; and Transfiguration Church, $1, 398.11.Total donations: $17, 848.11.

China’s Intrusion in The West Philippine Sea, by Guest Political writer Mr. Don Azarias

The current issue between the Philippines and China which does not seem to bother Philippine President Duterte in spite of the complaint of the Filipino people, raises questions among some of us who are not clear about the issue. I am very happy when political commentator Don Azarias, a former radio announcer in the Philippines, agreed to, once again, be our guest political commentator for Notebook explaining “China’s invasion.”. Here’s Don’s very scholarly explanation:

“On July 12, 2016, the Philippines won the arbitration decided by the United Nations Arbitral Tribunal in the Hague, Netherlands.

With regard to the Philippines’ claim on those disputed islands, shoals and reefs that are within its 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), the Tribunal concluded that there was no legal basis for China to claim historic rights to resources within the sea areas falling within the ‘nine-dash line.’

Having found that certain areas are within the ‘Exclusive Economic Zone’ (EEZ) of the Philippines, the Tribunal found that China had violated the Philippines’ sovereign rights in its exclusive economic zone by (a) interfering with Philippine fishing and petroleum exploration, (b) constructing artificial islands and (c) failing to prevent Chinese fishermen from fishing in the zone,’ the tribunal statement said. That is a very strong, ironclad verdict.

As to why the Philippine government seems to have relinquished that right and embraced China’s hard line and bullying stance, to signify an act of capitulation, is beyond me.

Although China refuses to recognize the Tribunal’s decision, the mandate of the United Nation still could have served as a leverage against China and would have been supported by members of the Free World countries on moral grounds. That and a little “persuasion” from the United States and the Western Alliance would have been enough for China to comply. I am certain of one thing: The United States and member-countries of the Western Alliance, like Australia, New Zealand and European nations won’t hesitate to flex their military muscles in order to discourage China from militarizing and blockading the China Sea which serves as an important route for their merchant ships to sail with trillion dollars’ worth of trade. Freedom of passage in China Sea is the economic lifeblood of industrialized nations and they made it clear that they are ready to go to war with China should it militarizes China Sea in order to prevent free navigation.

History will show that China had no qualms about using its superior strength and size when waging a war against weaker nations. Look at what it did to Tibet, Vietnam and its other smaller neighbors. It doesn’t really care about world opinions every time it uses military force. And it won’t give a damn on what the world will say if and whenever it attacks the Philippines.

Did China care what the world would say when it invaded Tibet in 1959 and still continue to execute Tibetan people?

Did China care when it shot dead several Vietnamese fishermen in the Gulf of Tonkin in 1979?

Did China care when it killed hundreds of Vietnamese soldiers in 1988 over the Spratly Islands dispute?

Did China care when it massacred thousands of people in 1989 in what is now known as Tiananmen Massacre?

And do you think that China would care what the world will say if it takes the Scarborough Shoal and the Spratlys or even the Philippines by force?”(Don Azarias)

JERRY CLARITO of FILIPINO AMERICAN HUMAN RIGHTS ALLIANCE (FAHRA) invites the public, especially Filipino Americans to listen to the “conversation” about the human rights situation going on in our Home Country. He said: “Join us in an intimate conversation with Leni Velasco, founder of the artist-activist collective Dakila and Executive Director of Active Vista, as she shares the Philippine human rights situation which she presented recently, at the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Dakila (nobiity), Philippine Collective for Modern Heroism, is a group of artists, students, and individuals committed to working together to creatively spark social consciousness formation towards social change. Active Vista is a human rights education program to empower audiences in bringing about relevant social change. http://”

BONUS: Excerpt of “Tao Po”, a one-woman play by Mae Paner on Extra Judicial Killings. This “Conversation” will be held on: August 28, 2019, Wednesday, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at the Philippine American Ecumenical Church – 3533 N Albany Ave, Chicago,Illinois 60618 POTLUCK please. Please email for more information.

Participating Organizations are: Circa Pintig Theater Group; Filipino American Human Rights Alliance (FAHRA) Chicago; Knights of Rizal-Central USA; Malaya Movement-Chicago; Nat’l. Federation of Filipino American Associations (NAFFAA-Region 3 West; Philippine American Ecumenical Church (PAEC); Philippine Time Publications/FilAm MEGASCENE; US Pinoys for Good Governance (USPGG).

National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NAFFAA), the largest Coalition among Filipino American organizations objects to President Trump’s administration to end the Family Reunification Program for Filipino American

World War II veterans’ Parole Program. Contact: Carissa Villacorta, Executive Director, tel. 202) 803-1353:

Washington, DC —On Friday August 2, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced its plan to terminate two family-based reunification programs: the Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program and the Filipino World War II Veterans Parole Program. These programs were enacted in 2014 and 2016, respectively, to allow for certain family members of Haitian immigrants and World War II veterans from the Philippines to be allowed to come to the US, or remain here, before their immigrant visas or green cards are available.

In response to this issue, NaFFAA Officers issued the following statements regarding the ending of the Filipino World War II Veterans Parole Program:

Brendan Flores, NAFFA National Chairman: “Our brave Filipino World War II Veteran warriors risked their lives to fight for the United States, and this parole program was put in place as a way to honor their service and to acknowledge the dwindling amount of time left to reunite these brave heroes with their families. It was only a few short years ago that I had the honor and privilege to witness then-Speaker of the House Paul Ryan honor our Filipino American WWII veterans with the Congressional Gold Medal at the US Capitol. This honor was the culmination of a true bipartisan effort to recognize the extraordinary contributions and sacrifices of these brave men and women. Ending this program now diminishes the legacy of our proud Filipino American WWII veterans, and is an unfortunate rebuke to the very few remaining veterans, whose opportunity to reunite with their families will end with this action.”

Carissa Villacorta, Executive Director: “Remaining together as a family, defending sovereignty and fighting for what’s right are very important values for Filipinos. It was because Filipino soldiers fought with their lives many decades ago that American families enjoy many freedoms today.”

“We call upon this administration to uphold the Filipino World War II Veterans Parole program of 2016. We are one nation of immigrants coming from different backgrounds who must continue to share values, resources and courage to stay strong together.”

Welcome our new advertiser, UNIQUE and MARKETING PROMOTION! True to its “uniqueness” this agency, can create “giveaways” for your clients, something that they can use like pens, shopping bags, and other office pharapharnelia. “We have several samples of promotional “kicks” to “sell your business”, says Ron Navarro, who, for a long time, runs an Accounting office left by his late Dad, the late Ric Navarro. To know more about Unique Marketing, check out the ad in this issue. And call Ron for more information.


*Talking while driving

*Seen holding or operating a cellphone while driving

*Texting or talking on cellphone while stopped at red light

*Texting while traffic is on a standstill. Punishment when caught for three violations: one calendar year suspension! UGH!


*Don’t climb staircase. If you do, hold on firmly to staircase railings.

*Do not rapidly twist your head. Warm up your whole body first.

*Do not bend your body to touch your toe.

*Do not stand to put on your pants. Put on your pants while sitting down.

*Do not sit up when lying face up. Sit up from one side (left hand side, or right hand side) of your body)

*Do not twist your body before exercise. Warm up whole body first.

*Do not walk backwards. Falling backwards can result in serious injury.

*Do not bend waist to lift heavy weight. Bend your knees and lift up heavy object while half squatting.

*Do not get up fast from bed. Wait a few minutes before getting up from bed.

*Do not over force defecation. Let it come naturally.

For years now, I have been doing these precautions. So I may add: During winter time when the streets are covered with “watery wet snow,” please be very very careful by not walking on it alone. Use your cane. In winter time, I bring along my folding cane, a birthday gift from my thoughtful friend, Vida Catalla. It is very handy and helpful. If you don’t have it and you felt like falling while walking specially on a busy street, don’t hesitate to ask help from the younger generation around you to hold your hand so you won’t slide or fall. Most of them are more than happy to help. Please share this information to senior citizens you know. Give her/him a copy of VIA TIMES. By doing so, you can save a life.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME. Come August 24th. Thank YOU LORD. For your Gift of Life so I can continue to serve your children using the spiritual strength you Gift me. Everyday. Amen.


EDWIN PINEDA, Philippine Independence Week Committee (PIWC) 2019 Executive Chair, has a good reason to smile after submitting his transparent report showing all proceeds went to several good charitable causes. Congratulations, Edwin! (Photo be Rosie Reed)notebook2

Filipino American Human Rights organizations rallied in front of the China Consulate this month. In photo from left to right are: Rico Cadayona, Jerry Clarito, Connie O’Toole, Josie Disterhoft, Edmund Nabua, Naty Panopio, Merci Opena, Ray Villar, Bishop Eli Pascua, Ellen Balmadrid, Juanita Burris, a Puerto Rican friend/sympathizer Joe Balmadrid, Ella Basilio, and Ruben Salazar.


Message of the July 22, 2019 United People’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) 2019 rally in front of the Philippine Consulate General Office in downtown Chicago: End Duterte’s Treason, Terror & Dictatorship in the Philippines.


“ONE OF OUR VERY OWN” RUNNING AS COOK COUNTY JUDGE: Angelina Bhandari, announced in Facebook that her sister, Atty. Aileen Bhandari. daughter of the late Asteria Bhandari and her husband, Ben Bhandari, saying : “My sister, Aileen Bhandari is running for Cook County Judge in March 2020. She is amazing and a great attorney. We would be grateful if you could share this news with everyone in Cook County.” Aileen is currently working as Cook County Attorney. She is shown in above photo with Rob Martwick. Aileen is married to Sam Davis, Jr., a businessman. Go for it, Aileen. Be a feather on our Asian American Caps! (Tita Elsie)


Filipino World War II Veteran Rudy Panaglima thanks President Obama for authorizing the Filipino World War II Veterans Parole Visa program at a June 9, 2016 press conference. Looking on are Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI). Photo by FilVetREP.


Old friends, new friends who met at Mer Tan’s 80th birthday, from left are Myrna Gonzales, Virgie Cagandahan, ViaTimes publisher Veronica Leighton, unidentified, Notebook columnist, Elsie Sy-Niebar, Meg Advento, Leslie Brizuela and Ludy Redor.


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