By: Elsie Sy-Niebar


*‘What impact do I want to make today that will change the world tomorrow? How can you make a mark on Filipino American history?’ Clarissa Villacorta, NAFFA Nat’l. Executive Director

*The significance of our FILIPINO AMERICAN HISTORY MONTH, which sadly,… only a handful of Pinoys are aware of!

*Chicago’s 2020 budget shortfall is $838 Millions; plus Mayor’s City Hall office repairs costing us $220,000! Taxes are up!

*Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s old office suite at the Thompson Center, recently had also a ‘facelift’ to the tune of $275,000, courtesy of the billionaire governor’s pocket! Voila!

*On Pres. Trump’s Impeachment: ‘Is someone above the law?’, by Don Azarias, contributing Guest Columnist

Yes,Virginia! The month of October in America is celebrated by the US Congress as FILIPINO AMERICAN CULTURAL MONTH to recognize and honor us – Filipinos and Filipino Americans — like all other immigrants – our great contributions to this country! “Home of the Free. And Land of the Brave.”

Sadly, how many of us FILIPINOS and FILIPINO AMERICANS, especially our children who were born in this country, and those who came when they were young, are aware of this Cultural Celebratiom to honor us? A handful, I’m sure. WE are almost all too busy doing the daily grind in pursuit of our “American Dream” sometimes we don’ have enough time to sit down with our children to teach them our “ethnic culture,” starting with learning our Pilipino or Tagalog native language, unlike all other fellow immigrants. More so, I know of some families who, sadly, “do not have time to go to church because they have to go to work.” In fact, I know of families with small children who do not have time at home to talk about religious Faith and the importance of having God in the family.

In Illinois, it’s time for us Pinoys to recognize the community work of the Philippine American Cultural Foundation (PACF) under the current leadership of Ruben Salazar and Adeline Fajardo, and many others. Ruben is sending his “huge thanks to our publisher, Veronica Leighton, for publishing the whole October month schedule of the PACF programs. Indeed, it helps so much spreading the news of our Cultural Month. “Thank you Ate Vero,” Ruben said happily.

The following is a message from the NAFFA (National Association of Filipino Federation in America): “WE CAN ALL BE ENGAGED TODAY AND TAKE PART IN MAKING HISTORY. NAFFAA Enjoins Community to Create and Celebrate Filipino American History Month with their Families by Thinking of their Legacy and being Involved in Society.

October 1, 2019 (Washington D.C). — Every October, the United States observes Filipino American History Month (FAHM), 31 days of commemorating the history, experiences, and immeasurable impact of Filipinos in the United States. The US Department of State estimates that there are 4 million Filipino Americans, making them the 2nd largest Asian group in the USA.

Founded in 1997, members of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) have been actively involved in several key legislations that benefit the Global Filipino community, such as the Dual Citizenship Act (R.A. 9225) and the Overseas Absentee Voting Act of 2003 (R.A. 9189). They have also been instrumental in lobbying for the Filipino Veterans of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act of 2015, which awards a Congressional Gold Medal collectively to Filipino, Filipino American, and American veterans, in recognition of their service to the United States during World War II. This award was officially presented in a Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony in the U.S. Capitol last October 25, 2017.

NaFFAA recently concluded their 13th National Empowerment Conference in Los Angeles last August, where over 500 Filipino American civic and business leaders came together to tackle issues, such as civic engagement, advocacies, and the upcoming 2020 Census.

“It was always hard for me to understand and relate to my culture as a Filipino American in the U.S. I lived in Colorado where there were not many Filipinos around me to empower me and let me remember my roots,” said Patricia Ramos, a delegate from Denver, in NaFFAA’s Region 5. “Going to this conference and connecting with the community, helped me understand that there are other Filipinos who are trying their best to get their voices heard, and try to speak for other Filipinos whose voices remain as thoughts in their head.”

This October, as the spotlight focuses on Filipino Americans across the nation, NaFFAA enjoins its members to participate, celebrate their rich cultural heritage, and create their personal legacy and history by contributing to their community and engaging in society.”

Brendan Flores, National Chairman, said: “October is always a poignant moment to reflect on the impact our Filipino and Filipino American ancestors have made on this great nation. We proudly tell stories of our brave Filipino World War II veterans, our pioneering labor leaders in California, and even our parents and grandparents, whose brave and selfless immigration stories made our own stories possible. The heroism encompassed in all of that history is a potent reminder of the impact we stand to make. As we celebrate FAHM this year, let us take control of the narrative and strive to make an impact. Remember that every one of us, through the lives we lead here in the United States, are active contributors to the Filipino American story. Let’s continue to write that story, and in doing so, continue to make history.”

For the sake of our youth at my church, Faith Community Presbyterian Church founded by the Early Filipinos way back in the late 1940’s, one Sunday during our usual Sunday “Family Luncheon”, I read the half-page Via Times announcement re the whole-month celebration of our Filipino American Heritage Month. They were most inquisitive and interested in parol-(Christmas lanterns) making. I hope some parents would encourage their children to join the culturally- educational event.

From Carissa Villacorta, National Executive Director: “This generation has not only been a witness of historical movements that shifted the consciousness of individuals, governments, and societies but a prime figure as well. Whether it’s #BlackLivesMatter, #NeverAgain, #ClimateCrisis or #LoveIsLove, laws have changed because of voices that seem small when alone, but historically impactful when together. We enjoin each of the four million Filipino Americans to join NaFFAA and ask: How can I help my community today? What impact do I want to make today that will change the world tomorrow? How can I make a mark on Filipino American history?”

Yes, Maria and Juan: If you haven’t done it yet, please think about what you can do for our Mother Country back home as an American citizen. The world is your oyster. Dream big. I have one big dream. To have one day see Filipino American “Big guns” in the US government who can open the Golden Gate of Leadership to our current young generation. I wished I were younger!

HAPPY FILIPINO AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH, mga Kababayan! Let our Voices be heard everywhere. More so at the USA Congress like our fellow Hispanic immigrants and as of now – few ASIAN AMERICANS! God bless us all! God bless America. “Land of the brave and not of the faint-hearted.”

WHO IS ABOVE THE LAW? By Don Azarias, special political critic.

“I’m in the dark here and I need the guidance of those Democratic Party’s savants to help me get enlightened.

If the United States Constitution requires Congress to defend and protect our borders, as a sovereign nation, why do the vast majority of Democrats advocate open borders?

I don’t believe that anyone can respond to me with telling rebuttals because I’m fully aware of the Immigration Act of 1891, McCarran-Walter Act, known as the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952; Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996; Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act of 2002; Homeland Security Act of 2002; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Act of 2003 and Real ID Act of 2005. I have read these acts to the letter and to the best of my ability.

Still, I fail to understand and it’s too nebulous for me to comprehend why some members of Congress are advocating open borders. All I know is that they are the ones placing themselves above the law. Yet, they have the nerves to accuse President Donald Trump of trying to be above the law. Trump and his predecessors in the Executive Branch were not the ones who enacted those immigration laws.

In the final analysis, since it has the power, Congress can write laws that will suit its members. And they should stop accusing Trump of putting himself above the law.

Trump’s political foes, with the support of the liberal mainstream media, continue their onslaught on him incessantly. They are hell-bent on removing him from office since day one.

Nothing came out of the so-called “Mueller Report” – officially titled “Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election.” The report concludes that the investigation did not find sufficient evidence that the campaign “coordinated or conspired with the Russian government in its election-interference activities.” The attacks on and investigations of Trump should have stopped there.

But Trump’s political foes and the liberal mainstream media are not ready for closure. They still can’t accept the fact that he is the duly elected president of the United States. Day in and day out, they are coming up with multitude of charges accusing him of misconduct, high crimes and misdemeanors because their ultimate goal is to impeach Trump and remove him from office.

The presidency has been bad for Donald Trump’s finances, with his personal net worth falling from $4.5 billion to $3.1 billion over the past two years, according to the latest Forbes billionaires list. Trump also chose not to receive his $400,000 per year presidential salary which he donates to charity and various government agencies. It’s personal sacrifice for Trump that his pundits and critics won’t even acknowledge. All of the good things he does hardly appear in print and broadcast media.

There, you have it, ladies and gentlemen. Not only has Trump’s wealth shrunk significantly since taking office, the rigors and stress of running the most powerful office on the face of the earth could also have an adverse effect on the health of the 73-year-old billionaire. He should have been retired and enjoying life with his wife Melania, arguably the most beautiful First Lady the United States has ever had.” (Don Azarias)

Hear this, my fellow Chicagoans: Our new Lady Mayor Lori Lightfoot and her wife and daughter, at this writing are on vacation in Maine. Also to get away from her city-hall suite being renovated costing Chicago $220,00!

On the other hand, according to the news, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s fading state office suite in the Thompson Center just got a $275,000 renovation, courtesy of the billionaire governor’s pocket. Mayor Lightfoot suite bill according to the news from city hall, is being paid for with “generated by tax-increment financing.”

While majority of the mayor’s City Hall colleagues believed that her vacation is a good time for the renovation of her suite, some of her city colleagues disagreed. They said the mayor was supposed to ask taxpayers for another “post-election tax increases” to meet the increasing pension debt.

Speaking about Mayor Lori’s vacation, Alderman Ray Lopez, the mayor’s most outspoken critic said: “It’s kind of smacking the face of the taxpayers at a time when we’re gonna be asking to dig into their pockets a little further to help fund government to spend almost a quarter million dollars on repairs using outside contractors to expedite things. I don’t know how you can justify that in less than a week before, you’re about to drop the boom on the taxpayers. It shows a level of being tone-deaf to the financial constraints we’re dealing with as a city and what we’re gonna be asking our taxpayers to handle.”

Taxpayers already have paid a $2 billion price to help former Mayor Rahm Emanuel chip away at the city’s pension crisis. Mayor Lightfoot told reporters she would put more emphasis on cost-cutting to show the public that “we understand the pain and the burden they have been facing with taxes.”

That’s Chicago! Indeed, our kind of town on the map of the world! God bless Mayor Lightfoot and her city colleagues. Let’s all keep abreast.

HAPPY TUNE: Please don’t miss our Via Times and CPRTV’s Silver Anniversary & Grand Reunion of Past Awardees at HYATT REGENCY O’Hare in Rosemont, IL. HALL OF FAME for FILIPINOS/ASIAN AMERICANS/ FRIENDS Night to Remember. November 9, 2019

Executive producer: Ms. Veronica Leighton Tel: 773) 677- 2707.

God bless everyone! Happy Halloween!


President Donald Trump: having fun with his Democrat nemesis wanting him impeached?


TWO WORLD’s ELEGANT LADIES: The USA First Lady Melania Trump and ENGLAND’s Queen Elizabeth gleefully walk side by side like old friends with USA President Donald Trump, while his Democrat political nemesis want him impeached! Palace photo during the US president’s visit to the United Kingdom, few months ago.


HAPPY 77th BIRTHDAY, my Sweetheart, Dennis. Honey, I miss you everyday…(Elsie, your “Drama Queen”).


At Conrad’s LUAU birthday party last Sept 15, at the Drury Lane Oakbrook,with Dr. Ramon Lopez and his ovely wife, Marilyn, with me (Elsie) and a good friend, Richard Diesterheft.


Happy 80th Birthday to Conrad! May God continue to bless you and Norma and good friends like Drs. Manny and Remy Escalona with you in the picture! Your guests did enjoy the lively Hawaiian professional Luau performers! (Elsie)


Above photo shows Ruben Salazar, President of the Philippine American Cultural Foundation; Consul Ruben Gener; guest speaker Dr. Gabriel Esteban, first Fil-Am president of the De Paul University, since July 1, 2017; Philippine Consul General Gina Jamoralin, and Josephine Esteban, better-half of Dr. Gabriel Esteban. Consul Gen. Jamoralin described this year’s Kick-Off ceremony as unique, with the participation of a distinguished Filipino-American as guest speaker. A simple and unassuming man, Dr. A. Gabriel Esteban, 12 th President of De Paul University, has led the university since 01 July 2017. Consul General Jamoralin and Dr. Esteban also awarded three Filipino American visionaries (not in photo) – Ms. Venus Veronica B. Leighton, Ms. Adeline A. Fajardo, and Ms. Estrella R. Alamar – for their “significant contributions to history and for paving the way for the Filipino American community in the Midwest”. (Photo by Allen Morales)

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