By: Elsie Sy-Niebar



*Filipino-Australian ‘girlfriend’ of Las Vegas shooter Stanley Paddock became ‘instant news celebrity’

*First, ‘Feuding Trump’; now ‘Feuding Ivana and Melania’

*For love of Country, join the FAHRA or Filipino American Human Rights Alliance-USA

*PIWC’s Merry-Go-Round spins on Nov. 5 to elect PIWC 2018 Chair: Edwin Pineda? Jane Cannon?

*WWII Vet Manong Santi Ballesteros, 95, called to ‘Come Home’; and so was Fil-Am Community Mover and Shaker Flo Villegas

About Filipino American History: The Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) is proud to announce “Filipino Americans: Making History for 425 Years” as the theme for this October’s Filipino American History Month commemorations across the nation. The month of October was chosen because the fi rst recorded presence of Filipinos in the continental United States occurred on Octotber 18, 1587, when some “Luzones Indios” came ashore from a Spanish galleon at what is now Morro Bay, CA.

In November of 2009, both the United States House of Representatives and Senate offi cial passed laws – House Resolution 780 and Senate Resolution 298, respectively, offi cially recognizing October as Filipino American History Month. “Much history-rich, enlightening, inspirational and at times sad — in four centuries in America has made the Filipino American experience to be a unique and instinctive odyssey deserving to be shared with all Americans and others of goodwill,” Dr. Fred Cordova, who with his wife Dorothy founded FANHS and proclaimed October as Filipino American history Month in 1992.

Throughout the United States, the thirty FANHS Chapter, colleges and universities, museums, and other community groups, will commemorate October with a number of activities and events. In San Francisco Bay Area; the Filipino American Jazz Festival; the Yoshi’s Jazz Clubs in San Francisco and Oakland; Vallejo, Alameda, Sonoma and San Jose. And, of course, in Chicago, celebrated last October 6 at the Thompson Building by Gov. Rauner, in cooperation with the the Philippine Consulate General and Consul General Generoso Calonge.

WHAT IS FAHRA-CHICAGO? FAHRA which means Filipino American Human Rights Alliance is a new USA- based group of concerned Filipino Americans who decided to band together to promote human rights in the Filipino American community. This will be done through civic reflection (usap-usapan) and people working together (bayanihan spirit), by being knowledgeable and aware of the events happening here in the U.S. and in the Philippines. Examples of these are the impact of Trump’s rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood

Arrivals or DACA to thousands of undocumented Filipinos and the displacement of thousands of children and women due to aerial bombings and armed conflicts in Marawi city, respectively.

FAHRA-Chicago was established in 2016 in response to President Trump’s anti-immigrant and other anti-people policies and President Duterte’s brutal war on drugs and his efforts to glorify the 14 years military dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos.

The following are some of the activities conducted by FAHRA- Chicago in 2016-2017: December 2016, Celebration of the International Human Rights Day; May 2017; Partnered with the representative of In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity Movement (iDEFEND), the largest human rights formation in the Philippines, conducting educational forums about the Human Rights situation in the Philippines and the impact of Duterte’s Martial Law to the Filipino people.

Recently, July 2017, FAHRA-CHICAGO collaborated with other FAHRA chapters in L.A., San Francisco, New York, and D.C. in convening the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission hearing on the human rights consequences of the ‘war on drugs’ currently underway in the Philippines. The hearing provided policy recommendations for ensuring accountability for human rights violations and for addressing the problems of drug abuse and traffi cking. The Commission said that although extrajudicial killings have been a major human rights concern for some time, the Department of State recognized such killings increased sharply over the last year. According to Philippine National Police (PNP) statistics, 7,025 drug-related killings were carried out between July 1, 2016, when Duterte assumed offi ce, and January 21, 2017, an average of 34 per day.

Last month, September 2017, FAHRA CHICAGO participated in the protest rally against Trump’s rescinding of DACA; conducted a community dialogue on the worsening humanitarian crisis in Mindanao and the human rights crisis enveloping the whole country; held a memorial service for the victims of the Marcos Martial Law and honored the martyrs who fought the Marcos military dictatorship. September 29: Secured the support of US Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D9-IL) to (1) co-sponsor the House version of the Senate Bill 1055, the Philippines Human Rights Accountability and Counter narcotics Act. This important bill would restrict the export of certain defense items to the Philippine National Police, support human rights and civil society organizations in the Philippines, and report on sources of narcotics entering that country. Secured the Congresswoman’s support in the call for the return of the Bells of Balangiga to the church from which they were taken. Church bells belong in the church calling the faithful to worship. Thanked the Congresswoman for co-sponsoring the H.R. 3865, the Filipino Veterans Fairness Act of 2017 which will right a shameful wrong created when Congress rescinded a promise to Filipino veterans of World War II over 70 years ago and make sure the Filipino Veterans and their families receive the benefi ts they need and deserve.

This month of October 2017, FAHRA-Chicago will partner with EANP (Ecumenical Advocacy Network on the Philippines) by visiting members of Congress in Washington D.C. to gather support in passing the Senate Bill # 1055, the Philippines Human Rights Accountability and Counter narcotics Act to arrest the worsening human rights violations in the Philippines, H.R. 3865, the Filipino Veterans Fairness Act of 2017, and the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This coming December 10, 2017, FAHRA will celebrate the International Human Rights Day.

FAHRA is calling on all Filipinos and Filipino Americans, particularly the Younger Generation, to please join this group in keeping with this old adage, “The Youth, the Future of our Fatherland” and “In Unity there is Strength.” For more information, please call Jerry Clarito at 224-619-6677 or email: balitaan. (Contributed by Jerry Clarito, one of the most active community advocates in Chicagoland, who was elected in the general election as Park District Commissioner of Skokie Village, Illinois).

FILIPINA Kababayan in the News: Being in the news worldwide is something we look forward to, but not when the news is “Deadly News” like what happened last October I in Las Vegas, when Stephen Paddock put together an arsenal of guns and opened fi re to the 22,000 plus concert-goers, killing 59 people and injuring hundreds. While we also mourn for such tragedy, we, Filipinos got jolted upon knowing that ‘One of our Very Own’ was “associated as the girlfriend” of the shooter who ended up shooting himself to death during his shooting rampage.

According to news reports, the Pinay, Marilou Danley, 62, a Filipino-Australian, is the livein girlfriend of Stephen Paddock, which according to reports, is a “ wealthy high-stakes gambler, turned the deadliest shooter in modern history.” News reports said that Paddock wired $100,000 to the Philippines to an account under Danley’s name. When she arrived from the Philippines at the LA International Airport, she was placed on a wheelchair and escorted by the FBI agents out. The Law Enforcement, however, did not believe she was involved in the shooting.

In tears, one of Marilou’s sisters was quoted as saying: “I know that she doesn’t know anything as well, like us. She was sent away so that she will not be there to interfere with what he’s planning.” In the news, another sister was quoted as saying: “Marilou Danley is my sister. She is a good person and a gentle soul. A mother, a grandmother, a sister, a friend,” said one sister. The sisters believe their sister might have information that can help the investigation. “No one can put the puzzles together. No one. Except Marilou,” one sister said. “Because Steve is not here to talk anymore. Only Marilou can, maybe help,” quoted in a news report.

Who’s the true First Lady? Ivana or Melania? We are all aware of, “poor Donald” being castigated left, right, back and front by his critics including from his GOP. Now, he’s caught in between two “Homegrown Feud” between first wife Ivana and current wife Melania. According to a recent television interview, Ivana insisted she is “the real First Lady since she was the President’s first wife. On her ABCTV “Good Morning America” interview, Ivana bragged about her close relationship with her ex-Donald saying, “I have a direct number to the White House.” Melania Trump’s aide called Ivana’s statement “attention-seeking to sell (her) books” titled Raising Trump. Let’s see what happens. Next.

The PIWC 2018 CHAIRMANSHIP ELECTION is definitely set on Sunday, Nov. 5, from 1pm to 3 pm., at St. James Church, 7400 W. Foster, Chicago. The end of the Merry-Go-Round,” said Madam Faye Mendiola, incoming Board of Trustee President, effective Jan. 1. Getting the feel of the most dramatic search for PIWC 2019 Commander- in-Chief, I called Edwin to share with our VT readers how he looks, feels, whatever… about the election. His quick response: “Jane Cannon, my opponent, and I, are friends. We share the leadership experience. All I can say about me is, it all depends upon our PIWC Voting Family. I have the experience, professionalism, dedication, and honesty. I believe in the importance of Transparency reporting and spirit of cooperation. Am praying for what is best for our Fil-Am community.”

I found out that Jane and her husband, Dave are vacationing in London. However, Jane also told me that she is happy to be nominated and will thrive to do her best for the good of the community. After all, she also has a vast leadership experience. Good luck to you both. Stay as Friends.

Santiago Reodica Ballesteros Sr., 95, passed away last October 8, 2017 at his home in Downers Grove, surrounded by his loving family. Born December 30, 1921 in the Phillippines, he was the father of Maria Corazon Ballesteros, Santiago (Virginia) Ballesteros Jr., Noel (the late Edna) Ballesteros, Edna (Bonifacio) Wagan, Lea (Eduardo) Apor, Dalia (Emiliano) Urata, Jose (Romarie) Ballesteros, Pearl “Pow” (Maria Christina Abay) Ballesteros Abay and the late Santiago (Virginia) Jr. Ballesteros. The wake last Friday, October 13, was held at West Suburban Funeral Home & Cremation Services. Interment was held private the following day after a mass at St. Scholastica Church, Woodridge.

I would like to thank Tessa Comprado for this information. Sadly, Tessa told me that Mr. Santi, who taught her and Lilibeth Castagna how to dance, “was like a father to us. We are going to miss him.” To me, WWII Vet Manong Santi, as most of us at the Rizal Center called him, was a gentle soul who offered to help everyone. Oh, yes, he was a great dancer! Dance with the Angels, Manong.

Condolences to our friend, Lita Villegas, on the death of her beloved husband, FLORENCIO VILLEGAS, and to Flo’s children (with first wife Nene Villegas) on the passing away of their beloved Dad, FLO VILLEGAS. Sorry, I did not receive any information from the person I sent my email request. God will welcome another gentle soul like Flo, one of the active “think tank” at the Rizal Community Center during the good old days with the True Pioneers and Founders working hard to build the current Filipino American Community in Chicago. And the Dr. Jose Rizal Center. Rest in Heaven, Flo.

Autumn chill is in the Air. Get ready for Mr. Winter. Remember Him. Always.#




Where have all the Philippine Barongs, gone? Th ese VINTAGE PIC of the EARLY FILIPINOS IN CHICAGO is a “testament” that indeed, Filipinos are the most “Americanized” immigrants from Asia. Know anyone? (ESN) (Courtesy: Bings images)


FAHRA-CHICAGO met with US Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky last September to gain her awareness and support. From left are Juanita Burris, the Congresswoman, Jerry Clarito, Chicago Coordinator, Pastor Bert Villaluz, and Abbey Eusebio, Constituent Advocate, Offi ce of Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky U.S. Representative (D9-IL)


Marilou Danley, 62, the Filipina girlfriend of Stephen Paddock, who opened fire to the open-air concert in in Las Vegas last Sunday, October 1, was met and escorted by FBI agents upon her arrival from the Philippines, at the Los Angeles International Airport, last Tuesday, October 3.


Drs. Manny and Remy Escalona, working hard at the Lions Candy Day.


Elsie, “courted” by “Michael Jackson-turned the Beast” at Hilda Sy’s joyful 70th Happy Birthday celebration at Allgauer’s Hilton last Sept. 30. Photo by Dr. Manny Escalona


HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HILDA! show at center above with her “Gang of Friends” namely, Arlene Inocencio, Rogelyn Maroon, Cynthia Metoyer, Miriam Chen,, Nila Sajor, Nelia Ladlad,HILDA SY, the celebrant; Dr. Remy Escalona, Elizabeth Vasich, Elsie Sy-Niebar, Chaz Patron, and Veronica Leighton. Photo courtesy Dr. Manny Escalona)


AP Photo President Trump and Melania visit the murder scene in Las Vegas


Ivana Trump, President Trump’s first wife, claims “I am the real First Lady” which of course, makes Melania mad. Getty’s image


Doc Manny Escalona turned-roving-photographer; “Michael Jackson” (Enrico Hampton), Neneth Miranda and unidentified friend. A scene from the blazing birthday party of Hilda Sy, at the Allgauer’s Hilton, last Sept. 30th.

About administrator

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Scroll To Top