By: Elsie Sy-Niebar


*CHICAGOans — on Tuesday, February 26, please GO OUT and VOTE for OUR NEXT MAYOR and other Public Servants!

*Gong Hei Fat Choy! ‘Happy New Year’ 2019 Year of the Pig!

*The Filipino American Community Hosts the annual celebration of the Chinese Lunar New Year 2019, with Atty. Aurora Austriaco as executive Chair

*FLASH! ‘Bill Daley for Mayor’ was endorsed by former US Vice Pres. Al Gore and Congressman Bobby Rush!

*A Young FILIPINO American entrepreneur found shot dead on a snow-covered street in Morton Grove, IL

*Cindy Flores invites business entrepreneurs to the Federation of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce in US first SUMMIT MEETING on Feb. 22-24 at Hyatt Regency Hotel

*COLDEST SNAP this Winter makes “Chicago, Truly A City that Works’


Welcome to 2019 Year of the Pig! The Pig, according to the Chinese zodiac sign reading, is a symbol of prosperity, sincerity and honesty, the ideals best suited for any POLITICAL LEADERS, especially for the MAYOR of CHICAGO! Out of the bagful of candidates who raised their flags earlier during the nomination period, the following are those who were “qualified” although some “run in” candidates can also get into the voting process, according to reports.

The OFFICIAL CANDIDATES FOR MAYOR on Tuesday, February 26 mayoral elections are as follows, in alphabetical order: GARY CHICO, Chairman, ILL State Board of Education, 2011-2015; WILLIAM M. DALEY, former White House Chief (under Pres. B. Clinton) and former US Secretary of Commerce under Pres. B. Obama; AMANA ENYIA, Director, Austin Chamber of Commerce; BOB FIORETTI, former Alderman; LA SHAWN FORD, Member, ILL House of Representatives; NEAL SALES-GRIFFIN, Northwestern University Professor; JERRY JOYCE, former States Attorney; JOHN KOZLAR, Aldermanic candidate; LORI LIGHTFOOT, former president of the Chicago Police Board; GARY MacCARTHY, former Supt. of the Chicago Police Dept., SUSANA MENDOZA, ILL Comptroller, and member of the House of Representatives; TONI PRECKWINKLE, President of Cook County Board; former Alderman; PAUL VALLAS, Former Chief Executive, Chicago Public Schools, and WILLIE WILSON, Business owner of Medical supplies.

All the above candidates are great. However, human nature dictates us — the voters — to decide who to vote for on behalf of the good of the majority. Am talking here about their concerns for the people particularly the “marginal communities” like our Asian American community. Of all these candidates— so far, only two candidates have reached out to our Filipino American community. They are Atty. Jerry Joyce who is married to a Filipino American doctor; and William “Bill” Daley whose late father, Mayor Richard J. Daley was loved by our Early Filipinos for coming to their community gatherings. Then, followed by now retired, Mayor Richard M. Daley (who was my former Boss), me as his office liaison to the Asian American community, and as a human services assistant to the Commissioner. Nonetheless, OUR RIGHT TO VOTE is a very important responsibility on our part. Please exercise that responsibility by using YOUR RIGHT TO DECIDE WHO YOU WANT TO VOTE for our next MAYOR Of CHICAGO! Our kind of Town!

A little bit more “cultural education”, specially to OUR YOUTH WHO READ VIA TIMES, about this Year of the Pig according to the Chinese Zodiac. Also, on the lighter side, let me share with you a little bit about our Asian history related to the Chinese who are very much a part of our Filipino civilization since time begun.

According to the Chinese Zodiac sign, the year 2019 is the Year of the Pig. The Pig is a symbol of prosperity. The Chinese Legend says that people born in the year of the Pig are sincere, good-natured and honest. Let me share with you the “Ancient Chinese Secret” I’ve learned from my Chinese Ancestry: According to my late Mother, Mrs. Iluminada Sy Villanueva, her father (my grandfather) named Sy Kian Sy, a very successful businessman in our small town, always observed the Chinese New Year tradition by following ancient practices by placing a pig’s head at his Chinese Gods’ altar (similar to the picture I got here) decorated with red crystal silk and various Chinese symbol cut-outs, with a Chinese background music playing all day and night during the celebration. Their house was well-decorated in red, the “good luck color”; spic- and- span clean to get rid of last year’s bad luck. Pockets must clink-clanking” with coins as sign and sound of joy and prosperity. Cleaning stops at the start of the New Year so as “not to drive the good luck away.”. Everyone must be dressed in polka-dotted red design. Symbol of money! The New Year celebration called chunjie lasts for more than two weeks!

The General Characteristics of the Pig Zodiac Sign 2019 according the the Chinese mythology I’ve researched: The Pig belongs to the group of water signs, it represents the beginning of winter and is the birth month of wood. The Pig symbolizes the plant germination and the birth of a new life form. Consequently, the Year of the Pig can bring a new start in the international relationships and a new social order and, in some countries, can lead to new regimes and new governments. Let’s hope the Zodiac Pig’s influence will rob its magic in the current struggling governance of President Donald Trump, to open up the eyes and hearts of his Critics.

The Pig is also considered a “Traveling Star”, that’s why the Year of the Pig will stimulate traveling more than other years. The tourism industry will greatly benefit from this.

The Pig, according to the Chinese belief is a life-lover archetype. In 2019, we all need to learn how to “take advantage in an intelligent manner — everything that’s beautiful in life”. During this year, all the qualities of the Pig sign will find a way to express themselves: firstly, the gentleness and the generosity. Therefore, we’ll need to be more attentive to others and, on a collective level, all the altruistic initiatives will be favored. Another great quality of the Pig is the joy to live, and the Chinese astrologers believe it would be difficult to find another zodiac sign exulting as much optimism as the Pig. This characteristic can be an inspiration for all of us, giving us a better mood and a 100% zest for life. Hopefully.

Caution! As all Chinese zodiac signs, the Pig also has its weaknesses. Endowed with an extraordinary imagination, the Pig sometimes lacks realism and can be content only with dreaming, instead of acting. This year we need to avoid this inclination which might take us out of the race before the finish line. Not least, the Pig is naive: his kindness prevents him from seeing treachery, which makes him an easy target for unscrupulous people. Therefore: be a bit more “suspicious Pig” in 2019 and try not to see life in pink all the time. Interesting, isn’t it?

BILL DALEY for MAYOR: ENDORSED BY former Vice President AL GORE who said: “Today, I have the pleasure of spending time in your great city (Chicago) with my friend Bill. Bill and I got to know one another during our time at the White House. I’ve relied on him during important moments in my career, and I want others to know that they can rely on him as Mayor of Chicago. During his time in public service and while working in the private sector, Bill has shown us he is a strong leader who gets things done. He is committed to addressing the greatest issue of our generation: the climate crisis. Bill understands the threat that the climate crisis presents and the role that big cities must play to address it. He is the right person to tackle this issue head-on. That’s why he has my support.”

Endorsement from Congressman BOBBY RUSH, a highly-respected politician in the mainstream, and one of the “legendary” builder of the African American sector, who, once upon a time was considered by the late Mayor Richard J. Daley (the father) as no less than a “street gang” leader of Black Panther. Showing the true color of his forgiving heart, last Friday, Cong. Davis stood side by side by Bill Daley and announced – “Bill Daley, is the man for the job.” Reflecting on the past political rivalry, he added: “No permanent friends, no permanent enemies, just permanent interests.” Touching.

Rush said he had heard from many who say they’re tired of the Daley name in Chicago politics. He said“Bill Daley is a Daley with an old name, but Bill Daley has new, innovative and creative ideas that will result in a better Chicago.” Talking about Bill Daley’s work at the White House, he added: “Bill Daley, my choice for our next mayor, had worked for both President Clinton and Pres. Obama. “To me, he passed with flying colors.”

“I know that the Daley name is an old name,” he added. And called the other candidates in the race for mayor “all fine people. “But we need a mayor who is up to the job and can get things done for Chicago on his very first day,” the Congressman pointed out.

Citing Daley’s work in both the Clinton and Obama administrations, Rush said his choice for mayor is “tried, tested,” and has come through “with flying colors.” When asked how Daley would benefit the African American Community, Rush explained: “I won’t do anything politically without thinking about its impact on my community.

Daley’s final response: “Cong. Bobby Rush and I have been on the same side on some issues and fights on opposite sides. But it is much better being on Bobby Rush’s side than being against Bobby Rush,” Daley said with a grin.

The Murder of a young Filipino in Morton Grove, IL: The body of 30-year-old Anthony del Barrio from Chicago, was found , sometime before 9:30 am. last Sunday, Jan. 20, on the 8800 block of Oleander Avenue, according to a resident who was about to shovel the snow from the night before, police report said. As of press time, the Morton Grove police officers and the North Regional Major Crimes Task Force are investigating the case as a homicide. According to police report, the victim does not live in Morton Grove. Police investigators also do not believe the victim was shot where his body was found. Victim’s pick-up truck was found one block away and a half-away from where his body was found, said Morton Grove Police Cmdr. Paul Yaras.

The victim, Antonio del Barrio, was the son of Janet and William del Barrio, with two sisters Jocelyn and Marilyn Vargas. Anthony is the grandson of one of our community leaders, Myrna Cordero, who told this writer: “Young as he was, Anthony did not spend time having a good time. He was a very determined young man, so he put up his own small business called TKO Junk Removal. He was doing good and was going to buy a new pick up truck,” the grieving grandma Myrna told me. The mother of the deceased is too hurt to talk about the murder of her beloved son.

Marilyn Vargas, the victim’s sister was also quoted as saying: “He was an all-around guy. Very generous and devoted to our parents. He was always at home. If he wasn’t working, he was with my mom. He took care of our parents.” The death of Anthony is “very suspicious,” Morton Grove police officers said. Homicide investigation is go-ing on. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Morton Grove Police Department at 847-470-5200.

Chicago’s Coldest Snap this early winter 2019 truly makes “Chicago, the City that Works’: Having lived in Chicago for 41 winters, this year’s winter is one of the coldest, chilling spill which kept me home for two weeks, even missing my Sunday church. Signs of getting the chill of being old? Yes. But, Baby, it’s really freezing outside.” Well, this year’s historic cold spill kept Chicago’s schools and businesses closed, thousands of flights cancelled, and has modified transportation schedules mandated by “disaster proclamation”. I feel sympathetic to the policemen, firemen, Chicago street workers, social workers, and all those involved in social services freezing outside. Which brings back nostalgic but heartwarming memories of my work at the Chicago Dept. of Human Services. Been there. Done that. Picking up homeless folks (with the cops and other social workers) under the bridge, behind or in between buildings, or on the streets. Or from crowded and cold “warming shelters,” from the homes which did not have heaters, or hot water and other warming facilities in the dead of winter! Our office was also turned into shelters with rows and rows of folding beds. We watched the people without sleep all night. Oh, yes, it was not easy but the emotional and physical fatigue was usually transformed into spiritual joy upon seeing the smile on the faces of AMERICA’s homeless under our care as “public servants”. A huge SALUTE to our police officers, street workers; engineers; social workers; everyone who sacrifice their lives to save other peoples’ lives. Let’s keep these dedicated public servants and our City in our prayers. Let’s give them a Round of Applause and to CHICAGO, THE CITY THAT TRULY WORKS FOR HER PEOPLE!

The Asian American Coalition of Chicago (AACC) will host its 2019 lunar new year gala on Saturday, February 23, 2019 at 5:00 pm at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare, 9300 W. Bryn Mawr, Rosemont, Illinois. The black-tie event is the largest Asian-American event in the Midwest which welcomes the Chinese Lunar New Year of the Pig with the theme “One World. One Vision.” The gala is an opportunity for Asian Americans to come together, take a stance of unity and promoting and celebrating diversity. Every year a different Asian community takes turn in hosting the Lunar New Year Gala. This year, the gala is hosted by the Filipino American community, with Aurora Abella-Austriaco, as executive chair. She is a partner at Valentine, Austriaco & Bueschel, P.C., past president of the Chicago Bar Association, past President of the Illinois Real Estate Lawyers’ Association and Commissioner for Illinois Courts Commission.


In keeping with my Chinese Ancestry, I keep this small Altar of my “Chinese gods” with the Buddha and some animals worshiped by my late Grandfather Sy Kian Say, who died when my Mother was a teenager. But I tried to keep the Chinese Wisdom considered by many as “superstitious”, for the love and respect to my Chinese Ancestors. (Elsie Sy Niebar) Photo by Erica Castillo


“I believe in Bill Daley. We got to know each other during our time at the White House. I’ve relied on him during those important moments in my career, and I want others to know that they can rely on him as Mayor of Chicago. Bill understands the threat that the climate crisis presents and the role that big cities must play to address it. He is the right person to tackle this issue head on. That’s why he has my support.” This was a part of former Vice President Al Gore’s endoresment for Bill Daley for Mayor last week.


Above photo is Anthony R. del Barrio, the victim of a homicide shooting in Morton Grove, last January 20. His case is under homicide investigation.


Tessa Comprado Tiangco with some friends took a brief respite from Chicago wingdings to join friends at the annual “DINAGYANG FESTIVAL” in my home province of Iloilo. It is a colorful musical street dancing celebration among the Ilonggos. In photo from left are: Sally Lagman, Nenet Jover Eastwood; Gilda Perlas; TESSA TIANGCO,, Beth Eastwood Dayrit; from Jakarta) and Malou Javellana.


Tessa Comprado Tiangco with her sister, Tita Bonzon, from Virginia, USA. “No words can best describe the DINAGYANG presented by various tribes but “AMAZING” giving the judges a hard time to pick the winners,” says Tessa.

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