Tuesday, January 15, 2008


An email was sent to me by a good Filipino friend. He was consumed by rage. When I read it, I too was very angry and a little suspicious. Later, I found the same email posted on Yahoo Answers ( Philippine category) making even more Filipinos angry. I decided to do some investigation. Before I tell you the results of my investigation, I want you to read some selected quotes from this long and ugly email.

(title) filipinos.....*make me puke* (Art Bell)

" Filipinos have begun to infest the United States like some sort of disease."

"Their extensive involvement in the U.S. Armed Forces is proof of the trashy kind of qualities all filipinos tend to exhibit on a regular basis."

" Nothing respectable has EVER been created by filipino people during our entire human history."

" The only filipinos that can live successfully in Japan are the filipino prostitutes. But that's the case for most filipino people no matter where they live in the world. "

"Asian...... these people are actually more closely related to African americans and Mexican americans. "

"Nothing good has ever come from Philippines and I don't believe anything good ever will."

" You country is a disgusting and filthy place."

There is no question that the person who wrote this email is an ignorant ugly racist, .....

................but it was NOT Mr Art Bell.

I suspected there was something wrong not just because the email was poorly written but also because I knew Mr Bell was married to a Filipina and had expressed his love of the Philippines on his radio program many times
Not only was his wife Filipina, he was living and working in the Philippines when this email was first published. His is family was immediately accosted with hate mail and death threats. For their safety he was forced to move his entire family to Nevada.
Investigation traced the original email (1998) through
the University of California San Diego to a Philippine Internet chat room (Pinoytok) which is now defunct. Indication are that the email was written by a Filipino to hurt Mr Bell and his family. Dispite Art Bell posting the proof of this ugly fraud to his web site, it was again published by the Philippine Daily Inquirer (2001). The reporter, Leah Salterio "Showbiz Tidbits" failed to verify her source. The Philippine Daily Inquirer almost immediately published a retraction but the damage was done. Art Bell and his family had to go into hiding again. Death threats were made.
I do not understand why Filipinos are willing, almost eager , to believe the ugliest things if it is said about a foreigner. The latest gossip is that all foreigners have AIDS-HIV. A teacher at Silliman University even told this to her students. It defies logic and common sense to believe such trash. Think about it. Why would a person with AIDs come to the Philippines when the finest FREE medical treatment for the disease is in America. It makes no sense.
At one time it was actually against the law to spread ugly hateful gossip in the Philippines. People who violated this law had their lips burned. There are a lot of people in Dumagete City, both Pinoy and Foreigner who should feel lucky that law is no longer on thye books.
Be an Everyday Hero before you believe ugly gossip and hurt others, do the research, find out the truth. Mr Bell and his family could have been killed based on a total lie.


The Iranian people have a lot in common with the Pinoy culture. They have very strong family values and enjoy a passion for friendship and beauty. They also enjoy going on picnics and family outing. Each weekend the rugged Alborz Mountains are alive with Iranians seeking the peace and beauty of nature's bastions.
Tehran is nestled at the foot of Mount Tochal. Each evening as the stars twinkle in the black desert night, one star seems to rest near the crest of this rugged rocky peak. It is not a star but the light from a small rock chalet. The only way to reach this sanctuary is a long arduous climb. On the weekend hundreds of students and familys make this trek.
I and my Iranian counterpart, police lieutenant Mortiza Nabavi, were drinking a little tea before we began our long climb down. Being the only foreigner I attracted a lot of attention. We drank our tea and played a little "gol-va-zi" with some students from Tehran University. After awhile the conversation drifted to the American participation in the raging Vietnam War (1973). I suddenly found myself the center of a lot of youthful hostility.

"Americans are war mongers, ravaging the freedom loving people of Vietnam"
"Why can't the Americans live in peace with their brothers and sister?"
"Love is the answer; not war"

I paused for a moment, then said quietly, " You are right. I agree with you. We all should live in peace and brotherly love. In fact we could set the example right here in Iran. Lets take all the tanks, airplanes and guns in Iran, melt them down and make tractors and plows. Lets have Iran take the billions it spends on defense and build schools and hospitals all over this beautiful country."
I waited a moment to let them savor the thought, then added, " .......and twenty-four hours after you are done all those things, Iraq will occupy Tehran." They knew what I said was true. "Peace and love only work if everyone wants them to."
I went on to explain that the freedom loving people of South Vietnam asked us to help repell the communists from the north. "When that job is done America will return home...... those of us still alive."
The tragic irony of that conversation was that after the revolution (1979), the Ayatollah Khomeini executed most of Iran's top military commanders, several of them were my personal friends. Iraq's president, Saddam Hussein, mistakenly felt this weakened Irans ablity to defend itself and he invaded. Millions of Iranians, probably including those same peaceloving idealistic students, were tragically slaughtered in the war that followed. Peace and prosperity are the rewards of bravery and vigilance.

The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing...Say a prayer for all those who stand up for what's fair and moral.

-- Author:Unknown

A Filipino friend of mine sent me some horrific pictures of atrocities committed by so called local "freedom fighters". The victims of these atrocities were innocent civilians, women and children. My Everyday Heroes for today are all those brave Philippine soldiers who leave the comfort of their homes to combat evil and try to bring peace to this beautiful land.


Over one thousand seven hundred years ago the Chinese called it "Ma-Yi ". One hundred years later they had shortened the name to "Ma-i". The people of this verdant country were reknown for their honesty. Chinese merchants recorded, once a deal was struck, the people would never cheat you. The most honest country in all of Asia.
A scant two hundred years later Ruy Lopez De Villalobos christened that special Asian country the " Filipinas " and thus it remained for another three hundred years. When America "bought" the Filipinas from Spain, they changed the name to the "Philippine Islands". Once the Philippine people won their long political and military struggle for freedom they chose the name "Republic of the Philippines".
Long before the Philippine people cast off the cruel yoke of colonial oppression various leaders had searched for a new name for this unique and beautiful land. The KATIPUNAN General Artemio Ricarte proposed that the islands be re-named the " Rizaline Republic" in honor of Jose Rizal. Jose Rizal himself, in his moving farewell poem, called his beloved homeland " Pearl of the Orient Sea". Even President Ferdinand Marcos joined the list of notables and suggested the name "Maharlika" ( ).
Over the years a litany of people have contributed a long list of suggestions. During World War II, "Tokyo Rose" ( Iva Toguri D'Aquino) called the Philippines "Orphans of the Pacific". Katherine Mayo in her book enigmatically called us the "Isles of Fear". Explorer and anthropologist Arnold Landor called us the "Gems of the East". Other suggestions have been, the "Emerald Islands", "Treasure Islands of the Pacific", "Isles of Hope", and even "Land of Morning" None of these names seem to resonate with the Pinoy people.
As a guest in this beautiful country, I do not get to make any suggestions or even cast a vote in this quest for the best name. But as long as my generous host will let me; I would like to call the Republic of the Philippine simply, "my home".


Many of you have heard the story of the dying starfish. For those of you who might have missed it; it goes something like this.
There was a horrific typhoon. Millions of starfish were tossed upon the beach where they were dying in the hot sun. Amid the carnage a lone figure was picking up starfish and throwing them back into the ocean. A man came up to the starfish rescuer and said, " You are wasting your time. You can not possibly save all these dying starfish. Look at them. There are millions of them !" The young man just continued to toss starfish into the water saying, "I saved that one, I saved that one, I saved that one."
That is sort of the spirit of the "Bisaya Kami" organization. They are a small group of Filipinos and Americans based in Pittsburg California. Lead by Princesita "Percy" Fiscus and a dedicated circle of friends they take on almost Herculean tasks. This thriving little Filipino community club has held fund raiing events all year long. Then when a disaster strikes here in the islands they are there trying to help. During the terrible typoon and mudslide that devestated Lyte in 2006 they donated their clubs entire treasury. Early this year, they made another donation to a local orphanage( Casa Miani-Arvedi in Talay; see the photo). Admittedly their struggling little club does not have much to give, but in true Christian spirit they give all they have. If you would like to join Percy and Richard and their friends William and Tessie drop them an email at princesitaf@yahoo.com.
Bisaya Kami carries a lesson for all of us. No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted. We can all do something. To borrow from my friends Diane Pool and her husband, "Better to light one candle than to curse the darkness" The Christmas season is here. Save one "starfish"; sponsor a child in school, better yet sponsor an entire school or orphanage.
Be an Everyday Hero and give back a little


It is not politically correct to stereotype people, but everyone does it. You can always tell the "bad guy" in a movie. He acts and looks like a bad guy. Sadly in "real" life it is often not that simple.

Take the Pinoy stereotype of Australian men. Many Filipinos think Australian men are hard drinking brutish wife beaters. Like most stereotypes this is grossly unfair and often simply wrong. Take the case of "Tom"

Tom is a handsome young man with a mild Australian brogue. Working most of the year in the construction trade has given him a strong athletic body. Tom saves his money all year so he can travel during constructions off season. Most people would spend their vacation partying and having fun, but not my friend Tom. He spends his hard earned vacation time helping others. He helps them not by giving them money but by giving them the use of his time and strong arms.

When I met Tom he was digging a huge cistern for a local mental facility. Later he plans to fix that hospitals dirty kitchen and then create a french drain down the middle of the compound. That drain will allow the stagnant water to drain off and improve the hospitals sanitation. When I last saw Tom he was creating a gravel walkway so patients and staff will not slip as they walk between hospital buildings.

I have never seen Tom drunk or even take a drink. You wont find him dancing the night away at the local disco either. He lives a quiet peaceful life helping other people.So the next time you feel tempted to stereotype someone, be an Everyday Hero and remember Tom. Never judge a book by its cover. Get to know a person before you pass judgement or label them.


Just when things are going good something happens to mess-up those good things.

I was invited to talk at the organization "Little Children of the Islands". This promising invitation would allow me to tell you about this wonderful organization and the great work they are doing. I was invited by security officers at the airport to attend a "Counter Terrorism" Seminar. With the knowledge I would gain I would be able to give you a peek behind the security blanket. I would be able to give you an appreciation of how these hard working officers protect your lives. We might even get some suggestions on how we can help them keep us even safer. I had a lead on a grassroots Filipino organization called "Bisaya Kami", This organization was the creation of our own Princesita "Precy" Fiscus and it is based in California. They are dedicated to helping local charities and assisting with disaster relief. Then there is Mrs Hunt from Liberdad, who along with several others is sponsoring local scholars and helping them break the chains of poverty. I met a fantastic Australian named Tom, who spends most of the year working in construction so he can earn enough money to come here and work on his own private charitable projects. He is currently repairing a dirty kitchen for a local hospital. There is my friend Jack, in Cebu, who established a non-profit organization to house, feed, clothe and educate our smallest most vulnerable citizens. The Department of Agriculture was briefing me on their box garden project which can help improve the diet of our most needy citizens. I was working with marine experts on a project to address the "red tide" threat which can kill children and our older citizens. . I had dozens of Everyday Heroes to tell you about but circumstances have interfered. Sadly I have had to call a temporary halt. I even had to leave my new bride and rush back to America.

My only relative has been battling breast cancer for several years but recently she went into total renal failure. The doctors gave her only six months to live. I thought I had lost her; I even wrote her eulogy. Then I discovered she simply refused to die and now she requires constant care . As her closest relative she needed me and I could not abandon her. Last week I took an early morning flight back to Las Vegas. I do not know when I can return home to the Philippines but like General MacArthur, I WILL RETURN.

I am sorry if these important Everyday Heroes columns are delayed but I will tackle them as soon as I return. In the meantime I will try to keep my column as entertaining as possible tackling a variety of what I hope you will find to be interesting subjects. I hope you will bear with me during my time of personal trial.


Jenny Lind Elmaco is one of my favorite columnists. She writes well and chooses very interesting topics. Unfortunately her column on the "Flaws of US Health care" falls short of her usual excellent performance. I must admit her viewpoint is the most popular one. Out of 161 reviews of Michael Moore's documentary (?) film "SICKO", only 13 were negative. But sadly just because you stand with the majority does not mean you have the correct opinion.

First, I have a big problem with any investigative documentary film which starts with a conclusion and then gathers only material that supports that conclusion. It is by its very nature disingenuous and most frequently simply wrong. Jenny said Moore was "brutally honest"; that is only true if you approve of hiding half of the truth and then calling it being "honest". Michael Moore mixes real problems with a ton of half truths and then paints an unreal depressing picture of the finest health care system in the world. He pompously proposes a socialist approach as a better answer to the health care "problem" (?). He attempted to support this bogus contention by citing more half truths and distorted facts.

Second, lets take a look at a FEW of the lies and half truths in the film. Moore cites France, Britain and Canada as sterling examples of how government sponsored universal health care can work. He ignores the fact that 87% of the French people do not like their health care system. Moore cites 18,000 uninsured American citizens that die each year but he fails to mention that 15,000 French patients died in one month from inadequate health care. The British system has a two tier base. You have free medical care or you can pay for your own health care. Sounds good but when you are poor you only have the free system. In that free system you can wait up to two years for a medical appointment, especially if you need a specialist. According to Moore, Canadians wait for "20 to 45 minutes" to get their free medical care. When it was pointed out to Mr Moore that Canadians have to wait so long for medical treatment they often sneak cross the border to America by the bus loads. He was told that Americas northeast border area has become the nations fastest growing medical service communities. He then vacillates and says, "even if we got the waiting times wrong, America can create a medical service that eliminates that problem". Conveniently Michael fails to explain exactly HOW that can be done.

Third, lets look at a few things Michael Moore forgot to mention. Ever wonder why the vast majority of medical breakthroughs come from American medical services and research facilities. Why do thousands of American doctors and medical researchers work themselves into almost total exhaustion? While I am sure a few of them are motivated by humanitarian concerns, but the majority are simply "greedy". The man who discovers a cure for cancer with become a billionaire over night. The profit motive is EXACTLY why America has the best medical treatment in the world. It is also why we have so many doctors. When you put the government in charge of paying for medical services they will cap them. No doctor will be able to buy his BMW and the number of medical students will drop drastically. When shortages force a lowering of professional standards, the medical profession will soon be filled by less qualified people instead of the best and brightest.

Finally, I was once a member of a "universal non-profit" medical system. The service was terrible. I once thought I could outsmart the overloaded system. When I got sick I waited until two in the morning to go to the emergency room. I figured nobody would be using the facility at that hour. WRONG! I still had to wait until 6:30 before someone finally saw me. You can just can imagine what it was like in the daytime. If you were not bleeding to death you might not be seen for several days.

The truth is there is a federal law that prevents public medical facilities from refusing service to anyone. Even if a sick or injured person can not pay for treatment they must be treated. That is why people who can pay their medical bills are charged $22 for an aspirin.
They are paying for all those patients Michael says can not afford medical care.

Ms Elmaco, you are too intelligent to just accept Michael Moore's garbage without checking the facts; I can only assume you wanted to believe he was right. That is kind of sad, but evidently most people would rather believe the worst rather than investigate. Admittedly there are some major problems with the American medical system but it is not as bad as Moore wants you to believe and if we adopt his solution the system will be a whole lot worse.

Be an Everyday Hero and research these ad homonym attacks before you believe them. Next you will be believing the ridiculous story that President Bush bombed the twin towers.