Who will Tell Our Story in America?

I came to America as a teen-ager. I have read, watched and heard all about the American story from the White, Black, Hispanic, Asian perspective. But how about my story, why is the Filipino story in America so scarce? These types of questions lead me to seek out works that is Filipino centric. The works of Jessica Hagedorn (Book: Dogeaters), Carlos Bulosan (Book: America Is in the Heart), and Doroteo Ines (Short Film: A Filipino in America) are some of the great contributors to Filipino-American literature/film.

Back in college, I met this enthusiastic film major that always have great ideas. His name is Patricio Ginelsa. He wrote and directed “Miss Teen Raffle Ticket”; this was a play about two Filipino-American teenagers of immigrant parents, Chris and Vicky (Note: I forgot the character’s names so I am using the actors names instead); sorry Patricio). The story is about how immigrant parents have very high expectations of their children; so high that it can lead to conflict and even further widening the culture/age gap between them. To complicate things, the two teenagers have a secret relationship that results in pregnancy. I will not tell you the entire story as Patricio plans on making this into a movie one of these days.

I just love that play, even though the characters were flawed, it spoke of the issues that confront Filipinos today in America. I feel privileged to have been a part of that play. As we performed, you can tell that the audience appreciated seeing the human condition portrayed in the Filipino context. The play was shown way back in 1998 at the University of Southern California at the Pilipino-American Cultural Night.

Patricio has been instrumental in propagating Filipino centric movies. Patricio was actually one of the associate producers of the “The Debut”. One of Patricio’s most recent works is a Black Eyed Peas MTV, the Apol song. He wrote the story and directed the BEP MTV. This MTV is Filipino to the core; a Filipino World War 2 veteran in a nursing home, reminiscing about his youth and juxtaposed with images of real Filipino World War 2 veterans fighting for their rights in Washington. His works is just amazing.

People like Jessica and Patricio are rare, so we must support these individuals and others like them as much as we can to ensure that our stories are told.

To learn more about Patricio Ginelsa please visit the following sites:
http://kidheroes.net/aplsong.htm (the Black Eyed Peas MTV)
http://www.lovethatlumpia.com/ (Lumpia)

To learn more about Jessica Hagedorn’s play Dogeaters visit the site below:
http://www.esipa.org/happening/ (Dogeaters, the play)


iVol Blog Notice: Public School Teacher Training Program Fundraiser

Isulong Mo Foundation, is organizing a fundraising
project entitled “isa.dalawa.takbo!” This is a fun run
for the benefit of our Teacher Training Program for
Public Schools. This event will be held on March 6,
2005, 8:00-11:00am at the UP academic oval.
Registration fee is P150. Registration starts at 7:00
and the race will start promptly at 8:00am. The
starting line will be at the new stage at Sunken

This will be a great event for you and your family! We
will have special prizes for the most unique
individual (solo flight award), the most unique couple
(together forever award), and the most unique family
(pangpamilya award). There will be 3 catagoies during
the race, 1 ikot for kids 8-12 years old, 3 – 5 ikot
for 13 and above.

Help us raise funds for the upcoming teacher training
programs for public schools in the Pasic City area.

For registration inquiries, contact jam at
0917-8456206 or Marla at 0917-9721987 OR email us at
isulongmofoundation@yahoo.com. You may also log on to
our website at www.geocities.com/isulongmofoundation

Thank you very much!

We hope to see you there!

Peanut: Hanging Out

Peanut 3 Posted by Hello

Peanut 2 Posted by Hello

Peanut Posted by Hello


I am Sick and Tired of my Template!!!!

I am sick and tired of my template. I would have changed my template a long time ago, but I am afraid of losing all my blog-add ons such as my tag-board, sitemeter, RSS feed, etc. Do you know how to change templates without disturbing my blog-add ons? Hellllllllllllpppppppppppppppp!!!!!!!!!!


Solution to Poverty Part IV: Results of Initial Micro-Loan Programs in the Philippines

The Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants conducted a study of the progress of micro-financing in the Philippines. The results of the study are discouraging. The study revealed that incidences of loan defaults among micro borrowers were high; so high that government micro lending programs could not continue, as funds could not be replenished. Many of the borrowers felt no need to pay the loans as they thought it as a grant (read entitlement). The study highlighted the failure of government and private enterprises in implementation of micro-financing.

But how about the people who got the micro-loans, what did they do with the money? Its ok to have some borrowers default, but to the point that the entire program could no longer go on? This is a bad reflection on Filipinos. The poor and middle classes always condemn Marcos, Ramos, GMA, et al for their thievery. But in this one instance, a good number of poor Filipinos were given loans to build businesses, but what did they do? They defaulted because they felt the loans were grants; no matter how they rationalize it in their minds what they did is thievery. Their act has now prevented others from having a chance.

The good news is the government and private entities have since adapted and are slowly implementing more effective micro lending programs. The following are the key measures adapted by government and non-government entities regarding micro lending policies:

1) Differentiate social from financial intermediation programs. (Direct credit programs of the government were unsuccessful because of high overhead costand high incidence of non-payment of loans. People mistook the creditextended by the government as social assistance, which they do not need torepay. In this regard, to avoid the said misconception, the government shouldrefrain from acting as direct financial intermediary and let the non-governmental organizations act as financial conduits).

2) Initiate reforms that will create a financial system conducive to the operationsof financing conduits. (The financial and market reforms that took place inthe Philippines included the lifting of the interest rate ceiling; liberalization ofbank entry and branching; adoption of market-oriented interest rates;termination of subsidized rediscounting programs and government’s directlending programs).

3) Enact laws upholding the fight against through microfinance. (Social Reformand Poverty Alleviation Act and the General Banking Law 2000).

4) Take on strategies promoting microfinance as a primary tool to fight poverty.(National Strategy for Microfinance prepared by the National Credit Council).

5) Synergize anti-poverty efforts with non-governmental organizations and otherstakeholders to develop a common goal to attain (Philippine Coalition forMicrofinance Standards).

To see the entire study, please visit http://www.picpa.com.ph/articles/vision.pdf


Blog Review: Gigi Goes Gaga

When I first visited Gigi goes gaga, I was instantly impressed with the quality of the articles. Her articles are typically about her past, may it be distant or recent. Gigi makes it a point that you see the place where she’s been; not only that she makes sure that you see deep within her – Only to realize you are looking at yourself. She boldly tells you the lessons she learned in her life--. Her writing has a universal quality to it; so universal it does not matter if you are male or female or from America, Africa or Manila.

My favorite articles from this blog are COMING TO AMERICA PART 1 and COMING TO AMERICA PART 2.

Go Visit her blog at http://www.gigigoesgaga.typepad.com/

Two Divergent Poles Up for Gigi Goes Gaga! :)

How Has Micro-Financing Faired in the Philippines?

I found a comprehensive article which describes how Micro-Financing has faired in the Philippines.

Here is the link to the article:


I will post an analysis later.


Its Tax Season Once More

If you are a working stiff like me and from the USA, you should have gotten your W - 2 by now. I am an accountant by training, so I have been doing my own taxes ever since; this is not to say that I specialize in tax preparation. Truth is, you don't need accounting training to put together tax returns. There are detailed instructions available from the Internal Revenue Services that you can pick up at your local post office or download online. I have friends that get their tax returns prepared by H & R block, which charges a hefty price, that’s a waste of money! I will do my taxes today since I got my W - 2 and other statements that I need to do my tax returns.

Divergent Poles: Blog Review

One of the threads in pinoyblog is about blog recommendations. Recently, Loving Cielo (http://lovingcielo.blogspot.com/) says that he likes my recommendations. Since I am having severe writers block regarding micro-finance, poverty, corruption, tragedy of the commons, etc. I have decided to write blog reviews! Maybe if I write something lighter it will help me with my writer's block! :D

I will start reviewing blogs from my blog roll! So watch out for my blog reviews!


Kung Hei Fat Choy!

Happy Chinese New Year! Posted by Hello

Kung Hei Fat Choy! Happy year of the Rooster!

Did you ever wonder how the Chinese name a particular Chinese Year? I was browsing one of my favorite websites, Tsinoy.com (www.tsinoy.com), and low and behold they have an article explaining how they name a new year.

Here is how the Chinese name a new year:

1. By an animal (like a mascot).

There are 12 animal names; so by this system, year names are re-cycled every 12 years.

2. By its Former Name.
The new year is the year of Yiyou. By this system, the Name of the Year is repeated and re-cycled every 60 years.

3. It is Year 4702 by Chinese calendar.

Years of the Rooster:

1909, 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017

To read the entire article go to the following link!

Go to a Coffee Tour at Amadeo, Cavite!

A friend referred me to the website (http://www.amadeocoffee.com/index.html) of the Municipality of Amadeo, Cavite; its an awesome website. Amadeo is a leading producer of Coffee in Cavite. The municipality of Amadeo has taken the initiative to revitalize the coffee industry. They even have an Adopt-a-Farm Project. Here is a small blurb about the program from the Amadeo website:

The Adopt-a-Farm Project is an original and innovative concept of the Municipality of Amadeo which aims to turn under-utilized and idle lands become productive. The project – an integrated component of the 10-year National Road Map for coffee endorsed by the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture and the National Coffee Development is also envisioned to provide extra income and generate jobs in the farmside.

Isn’t that cool!

They even provide coffee tours of the municipality. The tours include the following:
- Organization farm
- Adopt a farm (investment opportunities talk)
- Traditional farming
- Milling
- COOP store for coffee tasting, pahimis blend
- Lunch
- Barako farm

Visit their website now for more information!


A Relaxing Day Off!

My manager actually gave me the day off today. I have been working on one client for an entire year preparing the company for compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley (for more info go to http://www.sarbanes-oxley.com/). Its been a grueling year, with 10 to 12 hour days my normal working hours. It’s a wonder I have been pretty active in updating my blog!

So, ceased the opportunity to take it easy today. So what did I do today?

I brought my car to the Honda Service Center to get an oil change. While my car was getting serviced I went to the park to eat breakfast and take a walk with my pet peanut. Peanut and I had a vanilla latte and chicken salad sandwich for breakfast at the park. We took a nice slow walk. After that we went home. I just finished giving Peanut a bath and she is fast asleep while I type this post! Cute dog, before she went to sleep she took her collar and as if to tell me put this on me. Awwwww… So I did! A nice slow day; just what I need to recharge.
Will get back to discussing problems, solutions and other serious matters in a little bit, I need to relax my mind for a few days.

Plagarize Me Not!

Do you know how tough it is to come up with original content? Its not easy. I would say it consumes you to the point of insanity. So next time you see interesting content in the internet, make sure you give credit where credit is due if you are going to repost it. Is that clear!? Good.


Kape: A Philippine Coffee Cookbook

Kape: A Philippine Coffee Cookbook Posted by Hello

Kape: A Philippine Coffee Cookbook is a great read. It is very educational as far as the coffee industry in the Philippines and full of tempting coffee and pastry recipes. Chit Juan and Vicky Veloso-Barrera are the authors of this book. Chit Juan is very impressive; as the Figaro Coffee Company's CEO, she has turned her love for coffee to a crusade to save the coffee industry in the Philippines while making mega bucks at the same time. Figaro Coffee Company has distinguished itself by offering true blue Filipino Coffee such as Kapeng Barako.

So next time you have an urge for a caffeine high; head over to Figaro and support one of our own and in the process support our coffee farmers and keep capital circulating locally.

Our nation needs more visionaries and doers such as Chit Juan to re-invigorate stagnant industries such as the coffee industry. Perhaps when we have more people like her, our hopes for a better Philippines will be well founded.