NaFFAA National Newsletter for February 2013

NaFFAA National Newsletter, February 2013 by Lorna Dietz

Myrna Lardizabal de Vera: There’s a new mayor in Hercules, California

Myrna Lardizabal de Vera

Myrna Lardizabal de Vera

Myrna Lardizabal de Vera’s remarks on Mayorship are found here at the Hercules Patch.

Excerpts of Myrna Lardizabal de Vera’s acceptance speech (when she was sworn in as Councilmember) last December 14, 2010 can be found at the Hercules Patch.

Lorna Dietz’s Notes: Myrna de Vera also created her own website (with a lot of help from Google and initial guidance from her new media publisher-sister, Noemi Lardizabal Dado). She personally maintains her website’s content. Mayor Myrna is an aspiring novelist.



Press Contact:

Lorna L. Dietz
Vice-Chair, NaFFAA Region 8, Northern CA Media Group
[email protected]

Myrna Lardizabal de Vera: There’s a new mayor in Hercules, California

July 5, 2011, Hercules, CA — Myrna Lardizabal de Vera was appointed as the new mayor of Hercules, California at 7:17pm on June 21, 2011 during a special Council meeting at the City of Hercules’s Council Chambers. The 20-year resident of Hercules, California, according to a political observer, was accelerated into office as a result of many factors that stimulated a “fast track” within the city government. After serving in the Planning Commission for five years, De Vera had run for a seat in the city council during the November 2, 2010 elections, pledging “The Right Change, based on Competence, Commitment, and Character.”

Myrna de Vera and John Delgado were elected as Council members and assumed office in December 2010. After Mayor Ed Balico resigned in January 2011 and Vice-Mayor Joanne Ward took over the vacant position, de Vera was appointed as the city’s new vice-mayor. The June 7, 2011 Special Elections resulted in a successful recall of Mayor Ward and Council member Donald Kuehne. Three members of the grassroots recall movement were sworn into office as the newest council members on June 21: Dan Romero, William Wilkins, and Gerard Boulanger. After the ceremony, Myrna de Vera was appointed as Mayor and John Delgado as Vice-Mayor.

It has been less than a month since a new council has been in place, all freshmen council members, with Mayor Myrna de Vera as the oldest “rookie.” De Vera seems to take everything in stride. According to Mayor Myrna, good governance practices are critical to the city’s success in its financial recovery.

Tom Lochner of Contra Costa Times best explained in his article, “Hercules Councilman-Elect, despite resume padding, plans to accept seat,” dated June 11, 2011, how the recall drive started.

“The recall occurred at a time of public anger over the city’s financial crisis and over its business relationship with a company that Nelson Oliva founded and that he said he transferred to two daughters shortly before he became city manager in April 2007; that company, NEO Consulting Inc./Affordable Housing Solutions Group, had $3 million in city contracts over a three-year period, approved by the City Council. But the pivotal event that triggered the recall drive was the council’s firing in December of interim City Manager Charlie Long, who had publicly disclosed the gravity of the financial crisis, and its reinstatement of Oliva from medical leave, if only temporarily. Oliva resigned in January under an agreement that gave him a year’s salary and benefits.”

Mayor Myrna de Vera, during her first address at the City Council meeting, immediately assessed the developments of the first half of 2011 and articulated the direction of her administration for the remainder of the calendar year.

“The past six months have been filled with tough decisions and painful cuts. Projects shelved, contracts cancelled, and the most sobering of all, the laying off of 40 percent of our city staff. City morale is at its all time low.

But many recent changes have been positive. We started engaging the community through citizen ad hoc committees, achieved transparency through a more open city hall culture. We also laid the groundwork for the next stages of change.

We have a long way to go. The council’s priorities are to restore the people’s trust in our city government, build strong city leadership, put our finances in order, and develop new sources of revenue.”

After de Vera stated the kind of workload that was expected of the city council and staff, she added:

“During my oath-taking speech last December, I talked about the journey we are embarking along a steep and rough terrain. Today, we are continuing on this road to recovery, driving our car balanced with the four wheels of community, family, finances, and faith.

What is our destination? We are driving toward achieving our vision of the City of Hercules, free of corruption and fiscally-sound, a city with a transparent council, responsive to the will of the people. Together, we are heading to our vision of a Hercules that — once again — shines, a city we can be once again proud of.”

Myrna de Vera is originally from Cebu City, Philippines. She was selected as “Woman of the Year” by the Hercules City Council, and given a Special Recognition Award by the Hercules Chamber of Commerce in 2010. Myrna de Vera was awarded as one of 2009’s 100 Most Influential Filipina Women in the U.S. under the “Policymakers and Visionaries” category by the Filipina Women’s Network.

De Vera owns and manages an insurance agency in San Francisco. Her husband, Manuel, and she have been residing in Hercules with their three sons, Mark, Christian, and Emmanuel since 1991.

For the Asian American community in Hercules, Mayor Myrna de Vera symbolizes the relevance of diversity, reflecting the city’s population, in political empowerment. She is the sixth American of Filipino ancestry to sit in office. Vice-Mayor John Delgado is also one-quarter Filipino. The former Filipino American mayors were Goni Solidum, Andy Paras, Ed Manuel, Frank Batara, and Ed Balico. Myrna de Vera is also the first Filipina woman mayor of Hercules, California. For more information about the City of Hercules, go to You can reach Mayor de Vera by email at [email protected].

# # #


Myrna de Vera and her siblings visited Seafood City in Concord, California. Adin Martin Villanueva, who takes care of Seafood City’s Northern California Events, asked Myrna to speak to shoppers. You can also catch a glimpse of Rudy Fernandez (formerly of the Antioch City Council) who is a community developer at Seafood City, Concord, CA.

Oct. 15, 2009: Philippine Disaster Relief Coalition Updates – A One-Stop Shop at Customs for Relief Goods


From: PCG-SF: Cultural Section
Date: Thu, Oct 15, 2009 at 12:28 PM
Subject: LTR-563-2009 6th Letter from Consul General Marciano Paynor, Jr. re. Appeal for Assistance to Victims of Typhoon Ondoy

Dear Colleagues,

Attached for your information and dissemination is the 6th Dear Kababayan Letter on the in kind donations including used clothing for the victims of typhoon Ondoy and Pepeng; and the establishment of the DOF One Stop Shop to process all donations at customs.

Thank you very much.

Lyn Sesante
Cultural Officer

Philippine Consulate – San Francisco – LTR-563-2009 Dear Kababayan 6 – Donation of Relief Goods

* * * * *



1) Rally to support typhoon victims on Sunday Oct 18 3 – 6 p.m. at Seafood City Lobby and breakfast brunch happening that morning 8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Filipino Community Center on 820 Sonoma Blvd., Vallejo. Contact Eloise Scott 707.642.5643 or Norma Placido 707.643.8057

2) Filipino American History month activities. The state (& nation) are starting to celebrate the month of October as Filipino American history month – the first recorded landing of FIlipinos was on October 18, 1587 on a Spanish Galleon at Morro Bay on the coast of California. We have FREE activities this weekend at our local musuem:

Vallejo Celebrates Filipino American History Month:

For more information on the events listed below, contact Mel Orpilla 707.477.1159 / Belle Santos 707.477.4361 / Lionel Galiste 707.334.1646.

Saturday, OCTOBER 17
Vallejo Naval & Historical Museum, 734 Marin Street, will hold “Free Family Day” on Saturday, October 17 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. celebrating Filipino American History Month. Documentary videos featuring local Filipino experiences, panel presentation on “Growing up Brown in V-Town”, and presentation by Larry Asera on “Five Generations – From Sakadas to the Boardroom.”


10-11 a.m. Video presentation:

Remember Our Manongs (Elders), Sonoma County’s Filipino History (DVD) – This feature length documentary film explores the history of the earliest Filipino immigrants in Sonoma County. Mostly single young men, they began arriving in California in the 1920s. The manongs’ (elders) story is one of tenacity and endurance coupled with an extraordinary sense of community. In the film, their inspirational story is told by surviving family members, descendants of former employers, and other key figures in Sonoma County. Sponsored in part by the California Council for the Humanities, the film was produced in 2008 by a core team of mostly Filipina Americans impassioned with the determination to ensure that the manongs will always be remembered.

11-12 “Five Generations – From Sakads to the Boardroom” by Larry Asera

The grandson of one of the Filipino immigrants who first settled in Hawaii in 1906 and then migrated to California in 1925, Larry, dubbed as the energy czar of Vallejo, has accomplished many “firsts” for a Filipino in America in the fields of politics and business. He will present his research on his family history that spans multiple generations.

Noon – 1 p.m. Growing Up Brown in V-Town Panel

Marian Argonza Escobar Hopwood
Lala Llacuna
& more……

Oct. 13-14, 2009 – Typhoon Ondoy (Ketsana) Disaster Relief Updates from San Francisco

Please check the previous postings for October 2009. This posting will be updated. Please check in again. Thank you.

October 14, 2009


From Dexter Ligot-Gordon, former NaFFAA National Youth Chair (on Facebook): Rep. Speier’s H. Res 800 passes House, offers condolences to typhoon victims in the Phlippines, urges administration to maximize relief efforts.

(Editor’s note: Please scroll below for details about the Filipino Community Forum with Congresswoman Speier that will be held on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2009.)

From: Megur, Alyson
Date: Wed, Oct 14, 2009 at 3:07 PM
Subject: Speier Philippines Resolution passes House

For immediate release

October 14, 2009

Speier Philippines Resolution passes House

WASHINGTON – Today, the House of Representatives passed House Resolution 800, authored by Congresswoman Jackie Speier (San Francisco/San Mateo County), expressing its deepest sympathies for residents of the Philippines in the aftermath of recent natural disasters.

“The historical and cultural links between the Philippines and the United States run deeper than any flood waters.” Congresswoman Speier said in her speech on the House floor. “I urge my colleagues to support House Resolution 800 to show our friends, the good people of the Philippines, that – as they stood with us in World War II – the American people stand with them at this, their time of greatest need.”

Speier introduced the resolution after two monster storms hit the Philippine archipelago in close succession, killing more than 600 people and forcing millions from their homes. “House Resolution 800 recognizes the hardship caused by Tropical Storm Ketsana and Typhoon Parma and salutes the resilience and strength of the Filipino people,” Speier said. “My resolution also urges the United States government to continue providing emergency relief, logistical support and financial assistance and to work with Philippine officials and non-governmental organizations to improve disaster preparedness programs to mitigate the heartbreak, havoc and loss of life that could be caused by future storms.”

The Resolution passed by unanimous consent, with both Democrats and Republicans speaking in support.

A list of aid organizations helping those affected by the tragedies in the Philippines and American Samoa, as well as a video of Rep. Speier’s floor speech this afternoon, can be found at:

# # #

Mike Larsen
Communications Director
Office of Congresswoman Jackie Speier
211 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-3531
(202) 957-4340 (press only)

[email protected]

* * * * *


Philippine Disaster Relief Coalition

Everyone is welcome to attend these coordinating meetings.

From: Marivic Bamba
Date: Tue, Oct 13, 2009 at 5:24 PM
Subject: REMINDER: Philippine Disaster Relief Coalition meeting, WEDNESDAY, 7PM AT GROUND FLOOR

Hello all — Just a friendly reminder about our meeting this Wednesday, October 14, 2009 at 7pm at the FIFTH FLOOR (Social Hall) of the Philippine Consulate/Philippine Center, 447 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA.

All Committees should be prepared to give a brief report on their respective activities. The Fundraising Committee has been meeting the past week and this week to finalize the details of the November 28 concert and telethon. A report will be given during the meeting.

Also a few highlights from the last meeting:

1) Consul General Paynor gave the following donation guidelines:
-Clothing donations are prohibited under Philippine Law;
-Donations to DSWD are tax-exempt (although the Office of the President is still paying the taxes)
2) Our group is now named Philippine Disaster Relief Coalition (PDRC)
3) Fundraising Committee is planning a major Live Concert and Telethon on November 28 with Martin Nievera as host. Other celebrities will be tapped and more details will follow.
4) Committee reports:
-Political Committee is hard at work lobbying various elected officials and government agencies;Committee is renamed to Government Relations
-Donation Points is renamed Operations Committee
-Media Committee will publicize activities of PDRC

See you on Wednesday, on the GROUND FLOOR of the Philippine Consulate, 447 Sutter, at 7pm.

Many thanks, Marivic (Viki)


Community Forum with the Filipino American Community & Congresswoman Jackie Speier

Please click here for House Resolution 800.

Media organizations seeking to speak to Congresswoman Speier prior to – or after – the vote should contact Mike Larsen in Rep. Speier’s office at (202) 225-3531.

Alyson Megur Stamos (from Congresswoman Jackie Speier’s office) invited you to “Forum with Filipino Community Members” on Saturday, October 17 at 11:00am.

Alyson says, “Hope you can make it this Saturday to South SF. Please feel free to invite anyone you think would be interested. Looking forward to seeing you there!”. (Note from NaFFAA Region 8 Media Group: Please forward this message!)

Event: Forum with Filipino Community Members
What: Informational Meeting
Start Time: Saturday, October 17 at 11:00am
End Time: Saturday, October 17 at 12:30pm
Where: Joseph A Fernekes Recreation Building
781 Tennis Drive, South San Francisco, CA

To see more details and RSVP, follow the link below:

The Facebook Team

October 13, 2009 – House Resolution 800 – Speier’s Philippine disaster resolution set for Wednesday vote


From: PCG-SF: Cultural Section
Date: Thu, Oct 8, 2009 at 2:30 PM

Dear Colleagues,
Attached is the 5th Dear Kababayan Letter signed by Consul General Marciano A. Paynor, Jr., for your information and dissemination, please. Thank you very much.

Lyn Sesante
Cultural Officer

LTR-540-2009 – Dear Kababayan 5 – Sagip Tulong Program of the Office of the President & Caritas

* * * * *


October 14, 2009 (6:58 p.m., San Francisco)

This just came in from Odette Keeley, the blogger who shares her family’s story of survival in Cainta, Rizal. Odette is the Chief of Staff of New America Media, the first and largest collaboration of Ethnic News Organizations.

This Pinay’s Pen: The Scars Left By Typhoon “Ondoy”/Ketsana On My Family

By Odette Keeley, Oct 14, 2009 4:58 PM

As Tropical Storm Ketsana’s–“Ondoy”in the Philippines–destruction made headlines all over the world on Monday, Sept. 28th, I could not reach my family in the Philippines. Power and phone lines were down in Metro Manila and the surrounding provinces where my family lives, and cell lines were clogged.

My sister in Los Angeles, “Ate” Reby, had only gotten a text message from my mother the night before: “Reby, pinasukan ng baha yung bahay. Lubog yung kotse. Kami ng daddy na-stranded sa bubong…” [Floods entered the house. Our car is submerged. Your father and I were stranded up on the roof].

Reby and I thought it unimaginable that they would be trapped on our own roof, which tops a 2-story house on the highest point of the subdivision. Finally I reached my sister Jocelyn and in subsequent conversations with my mother, both of us often breaking down in tears, we were able to piece together their terrifying tales. For the first time since any typhoons hitting the Philippines, my family found themselves in Ground Zero, as if they were in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina.

Continue reading here.

* * * * *


We received this email from Benito Miranda in Southern California. We copied the email’s contents “as is” so there might be some typographical errors. Spain is sending quite a substantial amount of Euros to help out the Philippines.

From: Miranda, Benito M
Date: Mon, Oct 12, 2009 at 10:38 PM
Subject: Letter from Ana Ugarte, Philippine Ambassador to Spain

Sent: Thursday, October 8, 2009 15:31:02
Subject: Letter from Ana Ugarte, Philippine Ambassador to Spain

My dearest Kababayans,

I arrived in Spain to assume my position as Ambassador of
the Philippines to Spain last July 23, 2009. I was told that
technically I could perform my duties as Ambassador however
I wasn’t a full fledged ambassador until I had presented my
credentials to the King. That big day was scheduled on Sept
28, 2009..The activities I attended during the weeks that
lead up to this day have been significant. These included:
my courtesy calls to the Spanish Ministers of20Foreign
Affairs, A visit to the Feria de Madrid for the gifts fair
& meetings with its directors, a visit to the Madrid
Stock Exchange & meetings with its directors, a visit to
the Museo Naval of San Sebastian where I was the VIP visitor
of their ongoing exhibit of the Basques in the Pacific,
attendance of a Filipina nun receiving her temporal vows in

During this little time I realize how genuinely the Spanish
love the Filipinos… They have a sincere “cariño” for our
country and people that is in describable and I have received
NOTHING BUT PRAISES. Our OFW’s are treated with respect and
in many altercations with Spanish authorities are ALWAYS
given the benefit of the doubt. Their childlike enthusiasm
for our country & people is fascinating and most heart-warming. ..

The concern & expression of sadness I have received for
the victims of Typhoon Ondong is beyond belief…The embassy
continuously receives calls from people asking where to send
donations. This morning I was called by the Directora de la
Agencia de Cooperacion Internacional para el Desarrollo to
officially give us notice that Spain will be sending 1M Euros worth of aid
to the Philippines. A cargo plane will be departing tomorrow from the military
base at Torrejon. I asked if I could attend to witness the departure and to
personally thank those numerous NGO’s involved with the operation…

Spain is the largest donor of development and emergency aid to the
Philippines in all of Europe. Yet our kababyans do not know this.
We do not see Ambassador Luis Arias photo kissing babies or handing over
emergency kits to those in need. Spain remains under the
radar and does not seek publicity and yet all of their good
will remains unnoticed and on the contrary is always the
butt of criticism by our politicians.

Spain needs proper public relations and I write this hoping
that my friends can assist me in helping a country that
deserves a better image.=2 0I am open to your suggestions. ..I
would like to send press releases and pictures of all our
activities.. Please forward them to your contacts in the media…

Que os parece?

My day with the King was one of the most exciting days of my life….

Mabuhay ang Pilipinas… .y que…Viva España!!

Un abrazo muy fuerte…


* * *


FROM Isabel Lozano, Charleston Pierce and other Special Friends

WHEN: Wednesday, October 14, 2009 at 7:00pm
WHERE: TEMPLE, San Francisco
540 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA
FOR MORE INFORMATION: [email protected]

We need to come together as beacons of light, lenders of love, and providers of sanctuary for those less fortunate than us. Disaster has struck undoubtedly due to the climate changing effects of global warming and the realities of a third world country’s unpreparedness to deal with it.

We know many have perished, are missing and that there are those who are in pain, homeless and stricken w/ typhoid from the flood waters of the South Pacific typhoons in Manila and don’t even know it. Then there’s us living here in a land rich with wealth where the worst worry is “where are we going to eat next with our reduced paycheck?”, and not “when are we going to be able to get something to eat?”

Please come out and support the cause by joining us on this very special evening- ’cause IT IS REAL, it’s LIVE, and it is VERY MUCH NEEDED. Your contributions as well as attendance could literally save lives and bring hope to those who need it most.

COST: Only $10 at the door. Please donate more if you would like to and if you can….


Oct. 7-9, 2009 – Typhoon Ondoy (Ketsana) Disaster Relief Updates from San Francisco

To read Oct. 2-5 updates, click here.
To read September 30 updates, click here.

This posting is updated as fast as we can humanly possible. Thank you for your patience.



Updates from Keith Kamisugi (through Odette Keeley of New America Media):

The highlights:

Tonight, Friday, October 9, 2009 – 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Program starts at 7 p.m.

* Senator Leland Yee, Assemblymember Jerry Hill, S.F. Board of Supervisors President David Chiu, AC Transit Board Member Joel Young, S.F. City College Board Member Steve Ngo and Philippine Consul General to San Francisco Marciano Paynor, Jr. are expected to attend.
* Proceeds will be donated to ABS-CBN Foundation for the typhoon victims.
* Event chair Keesa Ocampo will be available on-site for interviews.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Assemblymember Fiona Ma, S.F. Dist. Attorney Kamala Harris, S.F. Board of Supervisors President David Chiu Serve as Honorary Co-Hosts of Oct. 9 Benefit for Victims of Typhoon Ketsana. Honorary co-hosts also include S.F. Assessor Phil Ting, S.F. school board vice-president Jane Kim and member Hydra Mendoza; more than 20 community organizations part of event coalition.

SAN FRANCISCO (Revised Oct. 9, 2009) – A coalition of community leaders and organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area have teamed up to help raise awareness and funds on behalf of more than 700,000 people displaced as a result of the floods that inundated 80 percent of Metro Manila in the Philippines last week. Typhoon Ketsana (known in the Philippines as Ondoy) claimed the lives of hundreds of Filipinos in the worst such calamity in the region’s history.

WHAT: Benefit for Victims of Typhoon Ketsana (Ondoy)
WHEN: Friday, October 9, 2009 – 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Program at 7 p.m.
WHERE: Lot 46, 46 Geary Avenue, San Francisco, Calif.
WEB: – for radio/audio, should be used.
EDITORS: Event chair Keesa Ocampo and other organizers are available for interviews.

The event will be hosted by Aimee Allison, host of KPFA’s Morning Show with featured DJs Chief Xcel of Blackalicious, DJ Big Rich, DJ Romeo and peformances by Kristine Sinajon, Gabe Bondoc and Patrick Landeza.

The “Benefit for Victims of Typhoon Ketsana (Ondoy)” is supported by a number of elected officials serving as honorary co-hosts, including U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, Congresswoman Jackie Speier, Board of Equalization Chair Betty Yee, Senator Leland Yee, Assemblymember Fiona Ma, Assemblymember Jerry Hill, SF. Mayor Gavin Newsom, S.F. District Attorney Kamala Harris, S.F. Assessor Phil Ting, S.F. Board of Supervisors President David Chiu, S.F. Board of Education Vice-President Jane Kim, S.F. Board of Education Member Hydra Mendoza, AC Transit Board Member Joel Young and S.F. City College Board Member Steve Ngo. Philippine Consul General to San Francisco Marciano Paynor, Jr. is also an honorary co-host.

Community organization partners for the event include: ABS-CBN Foundation-USA, Asian American Bar Association, Asian American Journalists Association, SF Chapter, Asian Business League, Bay Area Asian Pacific American Legislative Staffers, Bliss Entertainment, Chinese for Affirmative Action, Citizen Hope, Clubworks, DineForChange, Drink for a Cause, Fil-Am Chamber of Commerce Santa Clara, Filipina Women’s Network, Filipino American Arts Exposition, Filipino American Chamber of Commerce of San Francisco, Filipino Bar Association of Northern California,, Inspire Hope Institute, Kaya: Filipino Americans for Progress, Manilatown Heritage Foundation, National Federation of Filipino-American Associations, Philippine American Press Club USA, Philippine Consulate General – San Francisco, San Francisco Fil-Am Jazz Festival Community, San Francisco-Manila Sister City Committee, and Young Filipino Professionals Association.

Organizers are requesting a $20 donation at the door. Proceeds will be donated to the ABS-CBN Foundation, which has served over 100,000 families to date. Advance tickets available, as well as complete event and contact information, at

– 30 –

Version 10/09/09


From: Jacqui Conclara
Date: Fri, Oct 9, 2009 at 2:02 PM

Dear Friends in the Fil-Am Media,

Please find attached the latest press release on LBC’s Typhoon Ondoy Project. Starting October 8, LBC can no longer accept donations containing used clothing in behalf of the Typhoon Ondoy victims.

Sincerely, Jacqui

Jacqueline P. Conclara
Coordinator, Marketing Dept.
LBC Mundial Corporation/LBC Foundation
363 East Grand Avenue
South San Francisco, CA 94080
Tel. No. (800) 338-5424, ext. 3040
Fax No. (866) 647-3561


Contact: Patricia G. Garcia/Jacqueline P. Conclara
Tel. No. (650) 876-0410; 1-800-338-5424, ext. 3024/ext. 3040
Email: [email protected]; [email protected]


South San Francisco, Calif. – By virtue of Republic Act (RA) 4653, which was passed in 1966, LBC Mundial Corporation (LBC USA) can no longer accept donations of used clothing in behalf of the victims of Typhoon Ondoy (international name: Ketsana) beginning October 8.

LBC was informed of this directive from the Philippine government only last October 7 at a community meeting at the Philippine Consulate General (PCG) in San Francisco.

The meeting, organized by local Filipino community leaders, was held to discuss fundraising activities for the families affected by typhoon Ondoy.

“Used clothing as donations is prohibited under Republic Act No. 4653, thus the Bureau of Customs can seize/apprehend said importation,” stated a letter to the community from Consul General Marciano A. Paynor, Jr.

The letter further explained that “donations in kind (except used clothing) shall be exempted from custom duties and taxes provided that these are directly addressed to the Department of Social Welfare and Development.”

LBC wants to apologize to all individuals and Fil-Am organizations that have shown their solidarity to their “kababayans” affected by the flood.

“We understand and appreciate how much time and effort were spent by Filipinos in the U.S. to gather these donations of used clothing. We are all heroes to Ondoy’s victims. Unfortunately, we need to follow the law and the directive from Malacañang,” said Hugo Bonilla, LBC USA’s president and CEO.


Meanwhile, LBC will still continue to provide free sea cargo and money remittance services to other in-kind and cash donations to the typhoon victims.

Cash donations sent through LBC USA will still be remitted to the Sagip Kapamilya project of ABS-CBN Foundation, Inc.

According to the PCG in San Francisco (PCGSF), the Department of Social Welfare and Development has released a list of priority relief items for the typhoon victims.

These includes: food, non-food, mats, blankets, flashlights, emergency lamps, tents, generators, water container, hygiene kits (bath soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, laundry soap, feminine napkins) baby diapers, and slippers.

The PCGSF also released a separate list of priority relief needs from the Department of Health.

These includes medicines for wounds, the common colds, skin diseases, diarrhea, typhoid fever and cholera as well as intravenous supplies, and other medical supplies and equipment.


Typhoon Ondoy – Congresswoman Jackie Speier of 12th District Introduces House Resolution 800


For the complete slideshow, click here.


Philippine Consulate General
447 Sutter St., San Francisco, CA 94108
415-433-6666 ext. 313 (public information section)

San Francisco, 07 October 2009 – The San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) donated several boxes of canned goods, noodles, candies, and other food items as part of their humanitarian assistance to victims of Typhoon Ondoy in the Philippines.

SFPD Captain Eric Quema, a Filipino American and one of the ranking police officers in the Bay Area, handed over the donations to Philippine Consul General to San Francisco Marciano A. Paynor, Jr. today at the consulate.

The donations from the SFPD included food items given by Captain Quema, Inspector Milanda Moore and other personnel of the Special Investigations Division as well as those collected from Lt. Louis Espinda, Sgt. Ray Cruz, Officers Dizon and Gummo and police personnel from the Bayview Police Station.

Consul General Paynor, Jr. welcomed the donations from the San Francisco police force as “indicative of their concern for the situation in the Philippines.”

“We have a number of Filipino Americans in the San Francisco Police Department who still have families and relatives in the Philippines. Their and their colleagues’ immediate response to the call for humanitarian assistance for the flood victims will add to the on-going relief effort being undertaken by the Bay Area Filipino American community,” he said.

Captain Quema is one of the founding members of the SFPD Police Exchange Training Program (PET) with the Philippine National Police (PNP). The program, conceptualized nine years ago by SFPD officers with Filipino ethnicity, has now expanded to include other police officers from San Francisco’s culturally diverse communities. Under the exchange program, the SFPD and their PNP counterparts share best practices on key areas as counter-terrorism, defense and security, and law enforcement. END


October 6, 2009


AF-USA is waiving its 5% service fee on all donations for Typhoon Ondoy until the end of October 2009!

AF-USA Partners with Companies for their Employee giving program


Ayala Foundation USA

Some of the biggest and most prestigious names in the world of business are listing Ayala Foundation USA in their employee giving and corporate matching programs. Chevron, AmGen, Microsoft and PG&E are just some of the companies that have listed AF-USA as another vehicle by which their employees can spread the fire of volunteerism.

Continue reading here.

FWN 100 Selection and Gala Awards Host Committees
Date: Wed, Oct 7, 2009 at 1:40 PM
Subject: Invitation to the Awards Gala (Oct 30) honoring The 100 Most Influential Filipina Women in the U.S.


URGENT APPEAL: Women and girls in the Philippines need your support – many of them single mothers and shelters for domestic violence, rape victims and survivors – affected by the typhoons that recently hit the Philippines – the worst in 40 years.

Filipina Women’s Network has collaborated with Feed the Hungry to ensure women, girls and the shelters are not neglected. To donate, please go to and indicate on your donation “FWN Women & Children Fund Disaster Relief”.

Maraming salamat!
The FWN Board



Oct. 2-5, 2009 – Typhoon Ondoy (Ketsana) Disaster Relief Updates from San Francisco

See September 30, 2009 updates here.

October 2, 2009

We are documenting the latest information that we received from our reliable sources and contacts. Please confirm whatever you get here. We do our fact-checking as quickly and humanly possible. We have also been advised that as a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization, there are certain words and actions we cannot use/do, such as “lobbying,” “political,” “political endorsements” and “political fundraising.” Thank you. – Lorna Dietz, NaFFAA Region 8 Vice Chair

* * *

From: Jose Pecho
Date: Sun, Oct 4, 2009 at 10:51 AM
Subject: Only $100,000 from US Government for Victims of Typhoon Ondoy

Dear Friends:

NaFFAA in conjunction with other community organizations will seek the support of US Senate and Congressional leaders to provide the Philippines, Asia’s oldest democracy, more emergency and humanitarian aid.

An amazing $100,000 has been provided the Philippines by the US government. In comparison the European Commission in the Philippines has provided over $2 Million in assistance. Below my signature line, is an article providing assistance information from countries who have pledged or donated to help the typhoon ravaged portion of Manila.

There are 4 million Filipinos residing in the US. If each of us pledged $10 each, it would raise a whopping $40,000,000! This amount would make a bigger impact than any government or country could do and would go a long way toward helping the 800,000 families displaced by this catastrophe.

We hope to provide further information in the days ahead on how you personally can help. Please go to for further details.


Jose Pecho, Chair
Region 8, Northern California
National Federation of Filipino
American Associations (NaFFAA)

By Kristine L. Alave
Philippine Daily Inquirer First Posted 21:33:00 10/02/2009
Filed Under: Foreign Aid, Foreign affairs & international relations, Ondoy, Weather

MANILA, Philippines—Donations for the relief and recovery assistance in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Ondoy” from the international community has reached over half a billion pesos, the Department of Foreign Affairs said.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo reported to President Macapagal-Arroyo that donations from various governments have reached P566 million as of Oct. 2. The National Disaster Coordinating Council, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Philippine National Red Cross and other agencies have been authorized to receive the donations, which will greatly complement the government’s efforts.

“The Philippine Government is deeply appreciative of our international partners’ swift response to our call for aid. The DFA will work with the NDCC, DSWD, PNRC and other agencies to ensure that these donations reach our distressed kababayans as soon as possible,” Secretary Romulo said.

Ondoy, which whipped Manila Saturday, caused severe flooding in the metropolis and nearby provinces.
The government said nearly 300 people died from the disaster, which also displaced hundreds of thousands of Filipinos.

The European Commission in the Philippines has allotted 2 million euros (P138 million) in urgent relief funding, the DFA reported. The Embassy of Spain in the Philippines has ordered the release of 150,000 euros (approximately P10 million) for food aid, while Spanish organization Accion Contra el Hambre donated 250,000 euros (approximately P17 million).

The Swiss government also issued CHF250,000 (approximately P11 million) to support emergency related operation which will be funded by the Swiss Red Cross to the Philippine National Red Cross. The French Foreign Ministry has earmarked initial 10,000 euros (P690,000) to the Philippine National Red Cross as its initial contribution.

Germany is providing 500,000 euros (roughly P35 million) in emergency humanitarian aid for the victims, which will be placed at the disposal of German humanitarian aid organizations The combined European aid reached P254 million.

Aside from the European partners, other countries like the US and Canada sent financial assistance to the victims. The US government donated US$100,000 for relief efforts, while Canada pledged Canadian $5 million (approximately US$4.7 million).

China pitched in US$100,000 check donation; US$10,000 to the PNRC; while Chinese firm Huawei donated US$30,000. Singapore raised US$30,000 and a further US$20,000 in seed money to jumpstart a donations drive by the Singapore Red Cross.

The Republic of Korea has donated emergency relief assistance in the form of rice, tents, medical supplies and other essential items worth $300,000 coursed through the Department of Social Welfare and Development. A Korean company, OCI Company Ltd., also donated $50,000 through the Philippine National Red Cross.

The Japanese government is sending $220,000 worth of relief goods to the Philippines. Australia pledged Australian $1 million (approximately US$879,000) to support response and recovery activities.

The UN World Health Organization has launched earlier a $42,000 relief fund. The UN World Food Programme has also stepped up its efforts to provide immediate relief to the typhoon victims.

Basic necessities such as food, clean water, shelter, clothes, and medicines were in short supply in many communities and evacuation center.

A delegation of UN workers is set to arrive in Manila on Saturday to help in the relief and rehabilitation operations. UN WFP executive director Josette Sheeran said the organization will have a three-month emergency operation to bring food and other assistance to people affected by Ondoy.

See a similar news article here.

* * *


October 1, 2009

Hello all — Thank you all so much for taking the time to meet last Tuesday evening at the Philippine Consulate. It was truly a strong showing of unity, compassion, and generosity. Many of us are involved in a myriad of relief efforts and the consensus of the meeting was that we, as well as the flood victims, will benefit from consolidating and streamlining our charitable efforts. This will save us valuable time/resources, avoid re-inventing the wheel, and duplication of efforts. Also, all agreed that this tragedy/disaster was an opportunity for our community to unify and harness our talents/skills to assist the flood victims. Moreover, we hope to create a formalized emergency response system and infrastructure to address future disasters, emergencies, and calamaties.

In an effort to move forward with such objectives, discrete tasks were discussed and division of labor identified.

There may be more steering Committees that will be formed along the way so stay tuned.
Overall Coordination: Marivic Bamba
Co-Coordinator: Bernadette Roco

Everyone is encouraged to participate, all your ideas are welcome…so please don’t be shy. Many of the members are already working hard at their respective tasks. Mark Grafilo of KAYA, Chair of Political Committee, has sent out notices on advocating support from USAID.

By the way, we urge all members to join Facebook as it is an effective media tool to publicize our activities and notify all of upcoming activities.

As we resolved at the meeting, we will be meeting EVERY Wednesday at 7pm at the Philippine Consulate, 5th floor Social Hall.

See you all next Wednesday, October 7, at 7pm. Please check with the Reception Area since the meeting venue might change. It might take place in the first floor, 447 Sutter Street.


Mar. 12, 2009 Press Release: US Department of Veterans Affairs Now Accepting Claims

For our Filipino World War II Veterans:

Here are the related entries on this website. The information you are looking for could be there.

Where you can find the Claim Form and the Frequently Asked Questions – Click on Feb. 23, 2009: Filipino Veterans Equity Compensation Fund – Form 21-4138(CF), Statement in Support of Claim

The first press releases:

Click on Feb. 19, 2009: Update on Filipino WWII Veterans Benefits from the US Embassy in Manila

Click on Feb. 20, 2009: Updates for Filipino American WWII Veterans’ Lump Sum Benefits

The End of the Rescission Act – Click on Feb. 18, 2009 in San Francisco: Candlelight Rally To Commemorate The 63th Anniversary Of The Rescission Act

🙂 🙂 🙂


Philippine Consulate General
447 Sutter St., San Francisco, CA 94108
415-433-6666 ext. 313 (Public Information Section)

12 March 2009

US Department of Veterans Affairs Now Accepting Claims

The US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently announced that it is now accepting claims by WWII Filipino Veterans for cash payment under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act 2009 in various locations in Manila. Claims must be submitted by 16 February 2010.

VA and the Embassy of the United States in Manila have provided locations in the Philippines where Veterans can apply immediately. The list has been posted at

To receive information by mail, United States residents may call 1-800-827-1000. Philippine residents may call 632-528-2500 (within Metro Manila) or from outside Manila at 1-800-1888-5252. In addition, Filipino Veterans may request information via email at

The VA Regional Office in Manila will process all claims for this benefit. Therefore, US residents should mail the application to the Department of Veterans Affairs, Regional Office, PSC 501, FPO AP 96515-100.

VA also announced that payments do not affect other benefits Veterans may be receiving.

# # #

Celebrating Rodel Rodis’ 18 years of service as City College of San Francisco Trustee

Congratulations to Rodel Rodis, Esq., one of the co-founders of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) and the founder of the Global Filipino Networking Convention (, for his 18 years of service as a City College Trustee of the City College of San Francisco.

Download your invitation here:

Board President Lawrence Wong & Board Vice-President Dr. Natalie Berg cordially invite you to join the City College community in celebrating three-term Board President Rodel Rodis’ 18 years of service as a City College Trustee.

When: Tuesday, January 27, 2009
What Time? 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Where: The Green Room. Veterans War Memorial Bldg.
401 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco
featuring buffet Asian cuisine, music by the Standard Time Band
and special guest, Classical Guitarist Michael Dadap

Tribute to Rodel Rodis 27 January 2009 at the Green Room San Francisco – Checks Payable to West Bay Pilipin…


San Francisco Bay Area Residents Go To Vallejo’s Foreclosure Prevention Clinic

Since this clinic was confidential in nature, we will not be publishing any photos.


Pre-Christmas, JP Morgan Sponsored Foreclosure Clinic
Draws 250 Homeowners and Their Future under Obama

Vallejo, CA – Responding to the urgent cry for help of homeowners threatened with the loss of their homes, Mabuhay Alliance and the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA), two state and nationwide community organizations conducted the first foreclosure prevention clinic in Solano County last December 13, 2008. 

The principal sponsor of the clinic was JP Morgan Chase, which after meeting with Mabuhay Alliance, NaFFAA, and other community groups, recently developed one of the nation’s most far reaching foreclosure prevention and loan modification programs. JP Morgan has just acquired Washington Mutual.

The clinic was held at the Solano Community College (Vallejo Center) and was attended by more than 250 homeowners facing foreclosure. Also attending the clinic and endorsing it were several government officials, including Vallejo Mayor Osby Davis and Suisun Mayor Pete Sanchez.

Mayor Davis, impressed with the purpose and the turnout, requested that Mabuhay Alliance and NaFFAA coordinate another clinic soon after President-elect Barack Obama takes office. Both organizations will meet with the mayor next month to plan the clinic. It is expected that all the major banks and officials of the new Obama administration will observe the next clinic.

Mabuhay Alliance and NaFFAA predicted that if President-elect Obama follows some of the suggestions developed at the clinic, the vast majority of homeowners facing foreclosure this Christmas will have a more prosperous and secure Christmas in 2009 in their own homes. Some of the suggestions,  which JP Morgan Chase may follow or advocate are:

* A foreclosure moratorium until loans are fully and adequately modified in accordance with the FDIC/IndyMac proposal;

* Hedge fund investor pools that hold up to 80% of mortgages should be compelled to follow the JP Morgan/IndyMac approach of lowering interest rates, forgiving principal, and ensuring that no more than 31% of income should be allocated to mortgage related payments;

* Support the US Treasury’s proposal to create new homeownership opportunities free from predatory lenders. The Treasury suggestion which Mabuhay Alliance and NaFFAA fully support is to create government guaranteed 30 year fixed rate mortgages at 4.5%;

* Ensure that moderate-income homeowners are treated like  wealthy homeowners under the tax system. The method suggested is to guarantee a $5,000 a year tax credit for every homeowner.

Mabuhay Alliance and NaFFAA, along with the Greenlining Institute, plan to meet with the new Obama administration officials and the major banks in February to ensure that the goal of seeing “every family in its own home next Christmas” is achieved.

Other corporations and agencies that attended the clinic were Wells Fargo, US Bancorp, IndyMac, Washington Mutual, United Way and the FDIC. James Buckingham a real estate attorney in Benicia, CA volunteered to provide free legal advice for distressed owners at the clinic. He noted he would further provide his services on a sliding scale for homeowners of moderate means. 


The involvement of NaFFAA in the City of Vallejo’s Foreclosure Prevention Clinic started with an agreement among Greg Macabenta, NaFFAA National Chair, Faith Bautista, Mabuhay Alliance’s Executive Director, and Robert Gnaizda, General Counsel and Policy Director (as well as co-founder) for the Greenlining Institute to help beleaguered homeowners in Northern California. Since the City of Vallejo was the first American city to declare the “housing foreclosure crisis, supporting local, state, and federal efforts to address the crisis and urging lending institutions and loan servicers to take certain remedial actions,” Mabuhay Alliance’s first foreclosure prevention clinic in collaboration with NaFFAA Region 8 and United Way Bay Area was also held in the City of Vallejo last December 13, 2008.

Local volunteer counselors, recruited by NaFFAA, were trained by team members of Mabuhay Alliance last November 17-18, 2008. There were many lessons learned during this first collaboration which are expected to benefit the future NaFFAA-collaborated workshops in the 12 regions. The roll-out of other foreclosure prevention clinics nationwide will start in 2009.

NaFFAA Region 8 has also acquired the resolutions from Solano County and the City of Vallejo as well as the statement from local Filipino American community leaders in Solano County regarding how they took action on the housing foreclosure crisis. The Filipino American community in Solano County, led by community leaders such as Reverend Doctor Tony Ubalde, Francis Neri, Lynn Mamaril, and Eloise Escano Scott (who was instrumental in gathering over 600 signatures) were tenacious in getting their local government officials to address the crisis and declare a moratorium. Other NaFFAA regions who haven’t started working at the local legislative level regarding obtaining such resolutions will find these documents helpful.


12132008 Flier for Today’s Foreclosure Clinic


Seattle Confab to Spotlight State of The FilAm Community: Philippine President, Her Excellency Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo to Address NaFFAA 8th Empowerment Conference

August 28, 2008

Contact: Ning Rogge, Media Relations Manager
NaFFAA 8th Empowerment Conference
Tel. 206 949 9676; [email protected]

Seattle, WA – In just a few weeks, hundreds of community leaders members and advocates throughout the United States and other countries will gather in Seattle to discuss how to “Forge a New Filipino American Agenda for the 21st Century” and promote the welfare and well-being of Filipinos and Filipino-Americans by fostering unity and empowerment.

The National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA), will hold its 8th National Empowerment Conference, a three-day event on September 26-28, 2008 at the Westin Hotel in downtown Seattle. Since its founding in 1997, leaders from across the nation and around the world convene every two years to discuss how Filipinos can help each other improve their quality of life.

Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will be the keynote during the Gala event on Friday, September 26, 2008. Over 1,000 attendees are expected.

“We are really looking forward to hearing what President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has to say to us. We are a diverse community, some of us are third, fourth generation Filipino Americans, but regardless of how far back we can trace our Filipino ancestry, we remain attached to the culture. We would also like her to hear how we are very much part of day to day struggle to have the quality of life we hope for, as Filipino Americans. NaFFAA is a young national organization, only 11 years old, yet has had major successful projects such as dual citizenship for global Filipinos. But we are still and will continue to fight in the United States for Equity for Filipino WWII Veterans, for voter education, civil rights advocacy, better educational and business opportunities. It is good for President Arroyo to hear all that.” states Kern.