Thursday, June 28, 2007



Her life was not going so good. She never would have won a beauty contest, but now things were even worse. She had trusted the wrong person, now she was an unwed mother. Her son was a treasure; but it was not likely any man would marry a woman with a child. She also had no education or job skills so her chances of finding good employment were not very good either. Her family was very poor and her own future seemed equally bleak.
Suddenly, a chance meeting on the internet sparked a romance. He was not handsome and was many years older than her, but he loved and respected her. After they were married, he began the adoption of her son. He even bought some farmland, so her family could start feeding themselves and earn a modest living. God had finally forgiven her mistakes and blessed her and her son.
It did not happen like it does in the movies. He was just walking down the hall when suddenly he stiffened and fell forward. The heart attack killed him before he hit the floor. Her life turned upside down and came to a crashing halt. She was suddenly a widow and her son again had no father. There was no money for food or rent. She still had no job skills or education. She was right back where she started only now there was a hole in her life where there once had been a loving husband.
I know personally at least five women who have suffered a similar life disaster. One woman’s loving Filipino husband went to Cebu and was murdered. She was left destitute with a house full of children. Another woman’s young husband was murdered this year and she has five children. Just this week a nice lady lost her husband to cancer and was hard pressed just to pay for the funeral. I know of two incidents where the wife died leaving the husband with the burden of raising his family alone.
I think I know, psychologically, why we do not prepare for these disasters. We want to keep the self delusion that we will live forever. The harsh truth is we will all die and death can come at any moment. If you love them you must prepare and protect them NOW not tomorrow.
All of you Everyday Heroes, instead of making those you love totally dependent on you; make them totally independent. Educate them and prepare them in case you are not there. Give them job skills and a career. Create an educational trust fund. Keep an emergency bank account to pay for unexpected medical expenses. Get health insurance. If you love them, be an Everyday Hero…. PROTECT THEM NOW NOT LATER !


Did you know that in America the initials “KKK “are the very embodiment of everything evil. The KKK or Klu Klux Klan was / is a secret society born out of the chaos of the American Civil War. The organizations ideology advocated white supremacy, anti-Semitism, racism, anti-Catholism, homophobia, sexism and nativism. They spread their ugly ideology by using intimidation and even murder.

Now for the rest of the story.

The Philippines has their own KKK, except here those initials are the embodiment of everything GOOD. The Katipunan or KKK was a nationalistic partisan secret society founded to oust the Spanish colonial government. Katipunan ideology was a combination of nationalism and egalitarianism. It was nationalist by seeking Filipino freedom from Spanish oppression and egalitarian, in that it believed in the equality of all mankind regardless of class, race or gender. Some of the leaders in the revolution were Filipina. The Philippine people were fighting for equality between the sexes some 30 years before we granted it in America. The Philippines is second in the world for gender equality.


A friend at Foundation University sent me an interesting article. I want you to read some thought provoking extracts.

by INTEL General Manager Robin Martin

Filipinos tend to dwell too much on the negative side, and this affects the perception of foreigners. The negative perception of the Philippines is way disproportionate to reality. Let us all help our country by balancing the negative with the positive especially when we talk
to foreigners, whether based here or abroad. Looking back and comparing the Philippines today and 1995, I was struck by how much our country has progressed physically. Consider the following:

1. The great telecom infrastructure that we have now did not exist in 1995. Since then billions of dollars have been invested in both fixed line and cellular networks producing a system with over 5,000 km of fiber optic(s). From a fixed line capacity of about 900,000 in 1995 we now have over 7 million. Cellular phones practically did not exist in 1995; now we have over 11 million.
2. The MRT, many of the EDSA flyovers, the SKYWAY, Rockwell and Glorietta 4, the Fort, NAIA terminal 2 and most of the new skyscrapers were not yet built in 1995.
3. If you drive to the provinces, you will notice that (many of) the national roads are now of good quality.
4. Philippine exports have increased by 600% over the past eight years…Philippine mangoes are now exported to the US and Europe.

Additional tidbits :
1. INTEL has been in the Philippines for 28 years. The Philippines plant is where Intel's most advanced products are launched, including the Pentium IV. By the end of 2002, Philippine operations became Intel's biggest assembly and testing operations worldwide.
2. TEXAS INSTRUMENTS The Baguio plant is the largest producer of DSP chips in the world. DSP chips are the brains behind cell phones ( the ) Baguio plant produces the chip that powers 100% of all NOKIA cell phones and 80% of Erickson cell phones in the world.
3. TOSHIBA laptops are produced in Santa Rosa, Laguna.
4. If you drive a BENZ, BMW, or a VOLVO, there is a good chance that the ABS system in your car was made in the Philippines.
5. TREND-MICRO, makers of one of the top anti virus software PC-Cillin… develops its "cures" for viruses right here in, Quezon City.
6. Today a majority of the top ten U.S. Call Center firms in the U.S. have set up operations in the Philippines, we are the best in the world in terms of value for money.
7. America Online (AOL) has 1,000 people in Clark answering 90% of AOL's global e-mail inquiries.
8. PROCTOR & GAMBLE has over 400 people in Makati doing back-up office work to their Asian operations including finance, accounting, Human Resources and payments processing.
9. Among many other things it does for its regional operations network in the Asia-Pacific region here in Manila, CITIBANK also does its global ATM programming locally.
10. This is the first year ( 2003) ever that the Philippines will be exporting cars in quantity courtesy of FORD Philippines.
11. The government is shedding off graft and corruption slowly but surely. This is the first time in our history that a former president is in jail and facing charges of plunder. Next time you travel abroad and meet business associates tell them the good news. A big part ofour problem is perception and one of the biggest battles can be won simply by believing and by making others believe. This message is shared by good citizens of the Philippines who persevere to hope and work for our country.

Making your focus constantly on the negative is MORE than just depressing. I feel that negativity is largely responsible for slowing the economic growth of the Philippines AND giving us the false reputation of being the “Most Corrupt Nation In Asia”. HOW ? Annually there is a survey to determine the most corrupt Asian country. A relatively small group of businessmen tell the world what they think about corruption here in the Philippines. If all those businessmen have heard, all year long, is the "NEGATIVE"; then of course those businessmen are going to give a negative report. Foreign investors, fearing corruption, turn to other countries to build their factories hurting the Philippines. I am sorry, but instead of embracing the “most corrupt” label, President Arroyo should have challenged it. We put a sitting Philippine President in jail for corruption. Name another nation that has done that.

One Pinoy blogger stated that a "nation that looks to the past or the present is stagnant". I strongly disagree. Lessons from the past and the present are the keys to improving the future. Inspiration, from past and present, gives impetus and power for progress. Those who do not know or appreciate history are doomed to repeat it. We all need role models and heroes to inspire us to try; to believe in ourselves; to constructively engage the future.

NONE of the problems that face the Philippines are unique to the Philippines. EVERY nation has wrestled with them. Many are still fighting them NOW, just like we are. If all you look for is the "darkness" you miss the sun rise. Be an Everyday Hero “think and speak positive”; be constructive not destructive.


I feel foreigners have got this undeserved and ugly reputation for speaking badly about the Philippines. The actual truth is the overwhelming majority of foreigners respect and honor their host. The crime here is you only hear about the few foreigners who do misbehave. One of the reasons I volunteered to write this column was to recognize and tell you about the “silent majority” you rarely hear about.
Now it is time to point out another shame; Filipinos who speak badly about their own country. The shame is not in their being critical of their own country. I am very critical of my own country. As citizens we have that right. What bothers me about much of the Pinoy self criticism I have read is that most offer no solutions and are often inaccurate, even destructive.
One Filipino wrote on his blog quoting President Manuel Quezon. “I would rather have a Philippines run like hell by Filipinos than a Philippines run like heaven by Americans”. Then the blogger added, “….and we got our wish”. His entire blog is one long rant on how bad it is in the Philippines. I could not find one positive or constructive suggestion from this Pinoy expatriate living in Australia.
I challenged one Pinoy critic to come up with some solutions and all he could say was, “Kill them all and start over”. That is hardly a realistic or practical solution.
A local leader in this community said to a room full of people, “Filipinos have never produced anything for the world except pretty women”. Wrong.
History is written by those in power and those in power almost never acknowledge the work of those subjugated or without a voice. The Philippines has been dominated by other nations for almost all of its history
Prior to Philippine colonization by Spain, the Philippine people carried on a thriving trade with other countries, including Java, Sumatra and even China. Beyond normal exchange of food items, Filipinos were known for their textiles and gold craft. They mined their own metals, when much of the world barely knew what metal was and how to process it. Early Filipinos not only had their own language, they also created their own alphabet. The letter in the center of the Philippine Katipunan flag is pronounced “ka” and means “freedom” in pre-Spanish Filipino. Early visitors to the Philippines found her people to be highly cultured and literate.
There is evidence that early inhabitants of Palawan practiced trepanning (drilling holes in the skull to relieve pressure). This medical practice is still used today to relieve cranial pressure. The high percentage of healed patients indicates an early knowledge of how to fight or prevent infections.
Despite the early indications of Filipino medical skills, the Spanish would not allow the people to learn or practice medicine until the mid 1800’s. Who knows what Filipinos might have been able to contribute if only the ruling powers had allowed them to develop to their full potential?
Most people know that Magellan was killed by Chief Lapulapu when he “invaded” this country. This example should have been emulated by other Asian nations. It would have prevented the rape of Asia by western powers. What many people fail to appreciate is that the Philippines was the first Asian nation to revolt against colonization and the first Asian country to establish a republic.
It is hard to historically match the determination and courage exhibited by the Filipino people in their quest for freedom. The American Department of Defense estimates that 217,000 Americans lost their lives fighting for their Independence and freedom. In just this single insurrection against America, Filipinos lost over 600,000 lives. Their 100 year struggle for freedom against four modern nations is unmatched in bloody courageous sacrifice. They led Asia, by heroic example, in the overthrow of empirical tyranny.
As to “Filipino contributions”, in their few short years of independence they have done very well: (for example)
Diosdado Banatao, an engineer created the GUI (graphical user interface). Without this vital program, your computer would be limited to a green screen and only text displays. There would be no color or pictures.
Dr. Alberto Aguilar discovered the drug “wonder drug” Erythromycin literally saving millions of lives. Gonzalo Catan Jr. created a water-based insect buster. His discovery makes use of 21 useful microorganisms to kill flies, mosquitoes, termites, ants, roaches, ticks, fleas and lice. Maria Carlita Rex-Doran also produced a bittermelon concoction used for diabetes mellitus and HIV infection.
Dr. Ramon Barba discovered that spraying mango trees with potassium nitrate induced flowering all year round. This technology made the Philippines a leading world exporter of mangoes and mango products. The Philippine mango is rich in vitamin K and is known as the sweetest in the world. Working for the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Dr. Rodolfo Aquino, helped to develop IR8, the 1966 strain of the rice that launched Asia's "Green Revolution."
Dr. Ricardo Lantican led a corn research program that saved America's corn industry from the Southern leaf blight. Dr. Nic Liquido pioneered the research on light-activated dyes that now control many fruit flies. This was a significant contribution to the fruit growing industry world wide.
Dr. Baldomero Olivera, discovered conotoxins, a bunch of biomolecules in Philippine marine snails now used in international neuroscience research. His contribution will significantly impact neurological science.
Immunologist Eduardo A. Padlan, together with Dr. D. R. Davies, used x-ray crystallography to study the antibody, which is helpful in diagnosing cancer cells and in understanding the human immune system.
Ned Teves, an anesthesiologist, invented the endotracheal tube cardiac monitor used in surgury. Wilmo Orejola, a surgeon, created the harmonic scalpel, an ultrasonic surgical knife that doesn't burn flesh.
Francis Duhaylongsod, a surgeon invented minimally-invasive cardiac surgery. This uses smaller cuts and reduces recovery time significantly. The ''Fracture Classification Manual'' used all over the world, was written by Ramon Gustilo, a surgeon with nine patents for artificial bone replacement systems. Juanito A. Simon, a metallurgist, formulated “Tribotech” a motor lubricant used by McDonnell Douglas on AH-65 Apache helicopters. Rodolfo Arambulo developed “Multishock”, a bullet that increases firepower of an ordinary gun. It is the first of its kind. Dr. Jose B. Cruz an engineer created the automatic control system for the Patriot missile
These are just a few of thousands of Filipino contributions. In just a few short years Filipinos have contributed significantly to the world and the only thing this “local leader” revealed was his own lack of knowledge.
I call on all of you, Filipino and Foreign guest alike, stop concentrating on the negatives and focus more on the positives. Be constructive not destructive. It does make a difference. You will not only find your life here more enjoyable but you will help create a better Philippines. Filipinos are solving many of their problems. Filipinos are making progress daily. This is a great country with even greater potential, lets work together to help not hurt.

Friday, June 15, 2007


Did you know my first computer, like all that were available at the time, was very primitive when compared to the ones we have today. It had no pictures and was regulated to just text and two colors. It came with pounds of code manuals and was very difficult to operate. The user almost had to program it every time they used it. You had no video games and researching was limited to packaged programs without pictures.
When I compared my old computer to my new one it is like the difference between night and day. My plasma screen monitor brings the world in full vivid color into my office. I can call up pictures and even complete art galleries. Businesses can send me a full color catalog enabling me to buy what I want over the internet. I can send my personal photo around the world and even video phone my friends thousands of miles away. The Negros Chronicle uses state of the art computers to bring you the most current news and photos, in full color.

Now for the rest of the story.

Filipino Diosdado Banatao wrote an innovative computer program that is responsible for turning that night into day. His development of the Graphical User Interface (GUI) program literally changed the face of computers around the world. His program made full color graphics possible.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


The movie “300” is a dramatic presentation of the gallant stand of Spartans at the Pass of Thermopylae. The Persian king, Xerxes, sent over 170,000 troops to conquer Greece. This handful of brave Spartan’s halted that invasion for three days. They gave Greece, with their lives, the precious time needed to gather troops and eventually defeat the invading Army.
The Spartans at Thermopylae knew they faced certain death but they never wavered. When told that, “…Persians arrows will blot out the sun” the Spartan commander Leonidas responded, “Good; we will fight in the shade.” When Xerxes demanded they surrender their arms, he was told, “Come and get them”. The Spartans used the narrow pass to limit the enemy’s ability to fight effectively. These warriors faced five to one odds, yet slaughter ten’s of thousands, before being betrayed and butchered. Their sacrifice is a tribute to courage and honored and is respected around the world.
There have been two major block buster movies about the gallant battle for freedom at the Alamo. Two hundred eighteen Texans held Santa Anna’s 6,100 man army mired in blood and battle for thirteen days. Those thirteen precious days gave Sam Houston time to gather an army and eventually defeat the Mexican invasion.
The Texans at the Alamo knew they faced certain death but they never wavered. The cry “Remember the Alamo” has been an American call for bravery and courage ever since. The Texans used the heavy walls of the mission to hold back the enemy. These warriors faced twenty seven to one odds yet slaughtered thousands of the enemy before they were over run and butchered. Their sacrifice is a tribute to courage and honor and is respected around the world.
There has never been a movie about the Battle of Tirad Pass. A young 24 year old Filipino boy named Gregorio Del Pilar, commanded a sixty man platoon of volunteers. His mission was to prevent the 3,000 troop 33rd Infantry Regiment (Texas) from capturing President Aguinaldo and crushing the Philippine struggle for freedom and independence. Facing certain death Gregorio wrote in his diary, “…I realize what a terrible task that has been given to me and yet I feel this is the most glorious moment of my life. What I do is done for my glorious country. No sacrifice can be too great”. There were no thick walls or any narrow pass. The “boy general” and his men gallantly held off the invading army on an empty hill top for six hours. Eventually he was shot in the neck and died amid the bodies of his fallen comrades.
The Filipinos at Tirad pass knew they faced certain death but they never wavered. Gregorio rallied his men with the cry, “We will die fighting; not fleeing like cowards”. These warriors face fifty to one odds, more that the Alamo or Thermopylae, yet they fought bravely to the last man. Their sacrifice is a tribute to courage and honor and is UNKNOWN outside of the Philippines. Lieutenant Dennis Quinlan, of the 33rd Infantry Regiment, honored his brave adversary by placing a marker on the grave which read, “An Officer and a Gentleman”. This is high praise and respect from your enemy.
Fort Del Pilar, the Philippine “West Point”, is named in Gregorio’s honor.


Did you know for generation’s pneumonia was called the “Old People’s Friend”.
A sardonic way of saying pneumonia eased the old people's passage into the afterlife. Millions of people around the world annually lost their lives to this fatal disease. Alexander Fleming received a British knighthood for discovering penicillin used to treat this dreaded disease.
Penicillin changed the face of medicine. It not only helped to remove pneumonia as a killer, but it also proved an effective treatment for a wide range of other potentially fatal streptococcal infections.

Now for the rest of the story.

Filipino scientist Abelardo Aguilar discovered soil from the Illoilo region had some interesting antibacterial properties. He sent samples to his employer, the American drug company, Eli Lilly. This led to the discovery of a broad spectrum antibacterial medicine, Erythromycin. Alexander Fleming received world fame and a knighthood for discovering Penicillin; Abelardo Aguilar discovered and even more effective antibiotic, but neither he nor the Philippines were ever paid or even recognized for their contribution.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Did you know the story that the classic children’s toy, the yoyo, was originally created by Filipinos as a weapon and used for both hunting and jungle warfare. The truth is that story is a myth started by the Duncan Yoyo Company as a marketing ploy. Historians are not sure, but they believe the yoyo was probably invented in China . We do know that the Greeks had yoyo’s 200 years before there were people living in the Philippines . The Mayans even used yoyo’s as far back as 700 AD.
Over the centuries the yoyo has had a variety of names. It was called a “Quizes” in England and “L’emigette” or “Incroyable” in France . In America , before Donald Duncan, it was called a “Whirligig” or “ Bangalore ”. The name “Yoyo” probably comes from “Jou-Jou”, another French name for the toy. Many notable people have enjoyed playing with this toy. France ’s Napoleon and King Louis XVII relaxed with a yoyo. President Richard Nixon liked to play with them and Abbie Hoffman even used one to make a political statement while appearing before Congress.

Now for the rest of the story.

The yoyo has become international. Over fifteen countries hold national championships. Touring Yoyo Teams draw huge crowds. Trick shots like “Walking the Dog” and “Shooting the Moon” are standard with most yoyo enthusiasts. The popularity of the yoyo has helped built one of the largest toy companies in the world. This company grosses billions each year.
None of this would be possible without a simple contribution made by Filipinos. While Filipinos did NOT invent the yoyo; what they did was invent the continuous loop string that allows for all the tricks. Without that simple modification none of those tricks and tournaments would be possible.


He was getting old and paunchy, and his hair was falling fast
He sat around the Legion Hall, telling stories of the past.
Of a war that he once fought in, and the deeds that he had done,
In his exploits with his buddies; they were heroes, every one.

And though sometimes to his neighbors, his tales became a joke,
All his buddies listened quietly, for they knew whereof he spoke.

But we'll hear his tales no longer, for old John has passed away,
And the world's a little poorer, for a soldier died today.
He won't be mourned by many, just his children and his wife,
for he lived an ordinary, very quiet sort of life.

He held a job and raised a family, going quietly on his way;
And the world won't note his passing. though a soldier died today.
When politicians leave this earth, their bodies lie in state,
while thousands note their passing, and proclaim how they were great.

Papers tell their life stories, from the time that they were young,
but the passing of a soldier, goes unnoticed and unsung.

Is the greatest contribution, to the welfare of our land
some jerk who breaks his promise, and cons his fellow man?
Or the ordinary fellow, who in times of war and strife,
goes off to serve his country, and offers up his life?

The politician's stipend, and the style in which he lives,
are often disproportionate, to the service that he gives.
While the ordinary soldier' who offered up his all,
is paid off with a medal, and perhaps a pension, small.

It was not the politicians, their compromises and there ploys,
who won for us the freedom, that our country still enjoys.

Should you find yourself in danger, with your enemies at hand,
would you really want some politician with his ever waffling stand,
or would you want a soldier, his home, his country, and his kin,
just a common soldier, who’d fight for freedom until the end?

He was just a common soldier, and his ranks are growing too thin,
but his presence should remind us, we may need his like again.
For when countries are in conflict, we find the soldiers part
is to clean up all the mess, that the politicians start.
If we cannot do him honor, While he's here to hear the praise,
Then at least give him homage, at the ending of his days.

Perhaps just a simple headline, in the paper that might just say;

Author Unknown

Friday, June 8, 2007


Every time I pick up a local paper I shudder. There seems to be an endless stream of college and university students who are victims of robbery and even murder. I have racked my brain trying to come up with possible ways to keep our children, our nation’s treasure, safe while they grow and learn. I came up with a couple of ideas so I contacted my friend Dr Ben Malayang, President of Silliman University.
I found I was behind the “power curve” once again. Dr Walayang and his staff were also very much concerned about this seemingly growing danger. They are very aware that parents trust them to keep their children safe and are dedicated to that goal. Not only had Dr Malayang and his staff thought of every security measure I had suggested but they had come up with few of their own.
Some of the Security Programs under consideration are:
· STUDENT SAFETY HANDBOOK / BROCHURE: While most safety procedures are common sense it never hurts to re-enforce good habits. Many of the students have had a protected life and are not used to thinking defensively.
· ESSAY CONTEST: The theme would be “How Can We Improve Security On Campus”. Many of these students are brilliant and tapping into that fertile resource could prove beneficial.
· ESCORT SERVICE: Most students realize they should not walk alone, especially at night. Sometimes traveling in a group is not possible. Using volunteers from various campus organizations a lone student could call for an escort.
· SELF DEFENSE TRAINING: Here there are two potential programs under consideration. First, there are several excellent martial arts school in the area. The Universities current excellent physical training program could be augmented with a short intense self defense course. A second option would be to give PE course credit to students at approved martial arts schools.

This is just a sample of the many innovative programs that Dr Malayang and his staff are looking at to improve campus security. It must be a comfort to parents sending their children to the university to know that the President is just as concerned as they are for their children’s safety and doing something about that concern. Dr Malayang and his excellent staff are my Everyday Heroes for this week.

Thursday, June 7, 2007


Did you know they say and I believe, history is written by the victors for their own purposes. You do not always get the full and accurate picture just reading one source. For almost a century the full role of blacks in American history was sorely neglected. Then with the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s blacks began to discover the hidden truth. They began to discover their people had played an active role in the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, the Indian Wars and even two World Wars. They began to have pride in their own role in American history. They discovered new role models and new heroes.

Now for the rest of the story.

In the American Civil War more than twenty Filipinos served and fought bravely to end slavery and preserve the American union. Felix Baldberry served with the 11 th Michigan Volunteers and was wounded. Prince Romerson was a sergeant with the U.S. Cavalry. Joseph Castor served on Old Ironsides, a sister ship to the USS Monitor. Manuel Santos was a seaman on the USS Monitor.
When the Confederate ship Merrimac attempted to sink the USS Minnesota. The Monitor bravely sailed between the two ships. What followed was a heavy pitched battle at point blank range. The brave seamen of the Monitor, including Santos, inflicted so much damage on the iron clad Merrimac that she withdrew and was never again a major threat.


Did you know many American’s felt the Philippines abandoned us in Iraq. They allowed the terrorists to blackmail them into withdrawing their troops. Many Filipinos never understood why their country was involved in Iraq in the first place. Iraq, after all, was an “American problem”.
Let’s look at the facts. Angelo De La Cruz, an overseas worker in Iraq, was kidnapped by the terrorists. They threatened to kill him unless the Philippines withdrew their military forces from Iraq. After offering the terrorists a 6 million dollar ransom, which was refused, President Arroyo reluctantly withdrew her troops. Thankfully the terrorist kept their word and Mr. De La Cruz was released and returned safely to the Philippines.

Now for the rest of the story.

The terrorist actually “shot themselves in the foot.” They lost much more than they gained from this small blackmail scheme. The fifty-one man Philippine military unit, commanded by BG Jovito Palaran, was only involved in humanitarian projects. Like their role in Vietnam, they were helping the people not killing them. When the Philippine troops were “forced” to leave, the Iraqi people were angry with the terrorists NOT the Filipinos or the Americans.
The question remains should the Philippines have been in Iraq in the first place? Beyond the fact that Filipinos have a long history of humanitarian service to individuals and nations around the world, they may have a personal stake in this war.
When the bomb went off in Mindanao, three people were killed. It had been triggered by a cell phone call. Later a second bomb was discovered in Zamboanga City and that same cell phone “trigger” was captured. What does this have to do with Iraq? On that “trigger” cell phone was a call to Iraqi diplomat Husham Husain from the Abu Sayyaf. Is Mr. Husain the Abu Sayyaf’s connection to Al Quida? I do not know, but Philippine Intelligence saw fit to throw him out of the country. If the terrorists win in Iraq, not only does America lose but so do the Philippines.


Did you know there have been many pivotal events in American history; the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the Civil War, World War One to name just a few. The passing of the 1964 Civil Rights Act was one such major event.
The names of the men and women who fought, suffered and even died in the fight against racism, prejudice and bigotry will echo down the dusty halls of history for generations.
Most people know the names of black people who fought for equal rights. Names like Rosa Parks, Medgar Evers and Martin Luther King are known around the world. A few people in the world even remember the names of white people who marched and fought. Names like Andrew Goodman and Michael Schermer who died fighting for other people’s rights and equality.

Can you name any civil rights fighter that was “brown”?

Now for the rest of the story.

His name was “Frank Atonio”, he and his friends were Filipinos and Samoans working for the Ward Cove Packing Company of Alaska. They sued Ward Cove Packing Company for employment discrimination claiming the company hired brown skin workers for low paying dock work and reserved the high paying office jobs for people with white skin.
They lost in the lower court but then tenaciously refused to give up. They won their appeal in the District Court. Ward Cove Packing took the fight to the Supreme Court where a split 5 to 4 decision gave them the final win. The blatant unfairness of the Supreme Court’s decision prompted Congress to pass the 1991 Civil Rights Act correcting the court and other inequities in the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
Filipinos championed civil rights and fought for racial equality in America.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007


Did you know Beriberi is a tragic disease that causes dramatic weight loss and even death. For centuries it destroyed lives around the world. It is caused by a lack of thiamine in the victim’s diet. A good source of thiamine is the hull of rice kernels; unfortunately most countries remove the hulls before cooking. As most Asians eat 300 pounds of polished rice annually, untold millions of them suffered and died from this horrible disease.

Now the rest of the story.

In 1947 the Philippine Health authorities started the “Baatan Experiment”. The people were given a dietary supplement of thiamine, iron and niacin. The incidence of beriberi was reduced by 90% in the test areas. The Philippine Health authorities developed a pathology that literally save millions of lives around the world.


Did you know America spends over 700 million dollars on shrimp annually. We consume 725 million pounds of the little critters every year. That is almost half of the world’s commercial consumption. It is America’s favorite seafood.
Shrimp are a basic ingredient in oriental cooking. Beyond being eaten themselves, shrimp are used as a soup base, sauce thickener and general seasoning. Shrimp flakes are fed to tropical fish and used as feed pellets on aquaculture farms. Shrimp are even used in bandages by the U.S. Army in Iraq. It helps to stop bleeding and saves lives.
Over half of all the shrimp consumed in America comes from the Louisiana Gulf.

Now for the rest of the story.

The dried shrimp industry in Louisiana was started in 1895 by Filipinos. After harvesting tons of the little creatures from the Mississippi delta the shrimp were boiled in huge kettles of salt water. Later the boiled shrimp are spread on drying platforms. To remove the heads and hulls the workers would perform “dancing the shrimp”.
One of America’s major seafood industries was created by Filipinos.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007


Did you know we were actually winning the World War II. There was no question the Philippines would soon be free again. The horrible tragedy is that thousands of innocent defenseless prisoners of war and civilian internees were being slaughtered before we could rescue them. The Los Banos interment camp held over 2,147 men, women and children all destined to be executed unless we could free them. While there were only 243 prison guards, there were over 8,000 enemy marines within striking distance.
Troops from the 11th Airborne Division, 130 strong, under the command of MG Swing accepted the challenge. The result was the most successful rescue mission ever recorded. All the prisoners were rescued and only two Americans were killed and two wounded.
Chief of Staff and former Secretary of State, General Colin Powell, proclaimed:
"I doubt that any airborne unit in the world will ever be able to rival the Los BaƱos prison raid. It is the textbook airborne operation for all ages and all armies."

Now for the rest of the story.

There were 800 Filipino troops on that historic raid. A cynic might think they just provided support for the Americans but that cynic would be wrong. The first enemy sentry was killed in hand to hand combat by a Filipino. Filipinos were in the thick of the fighting and without their valor and courage the raid would have failed. Starting with a 19 year old Filipino named Frank who snuck in and out of the heavily guarded prison coordinating the raid to LTC Gustavo Ingles and his Philippine guerrillas, they all served with courage and valor. LTC Ingles commanded an amalgamation of five diverse Filipino units, including a Marxist Hukbalahaps unit, former cadets from the Philippine Military Academy, a Chinese squadron and even President Quezon’s Own Guerrillas (PQOG).