Remembering Senator Daniel Inouye, from NaFFAA

1.	Sen. Daniel Inouye participates in a Filipino World War II veterans commemoration at the World War II Memorial in Washington, DC.

1. Sen. Daniel Inouye participates in a Filipino World War II veterans commemoration at the World War II Memorial in Washington, DC.

Community activists join Sen. Inouye in a victory celebration after Congress passed the Filipino Veterans Equity Compensation (FVEC) fund on Feb. 17, a provision in the 2009 economic stimulus package

Community activists join Sen. Inouye in a victory celebration after Congress passed the Filipino Veterans Equity Compensation (FVEC) fund on Feb. 17, a provision in the 2009 economic stimulus package

The shortened URL of this press release is http://bit.ly/senatordanielinouye (senatordanielinouye).

For Immediate Release: Remembering Senator Daniel Inouye, From NaFFAA – By Bing Branigin and Jon Melegrito

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Bing Branigin, 202-361-1024
Jon Melegrito, 202-361-0296

Remembering Senator Daniel Inouye

Washington, D.C., December 17, 2012 — “Sen. Daniel Inouye never wavered in his life-long commitment to the cause of Filipino World War II veterans, which he championed with passion and persistence during his nearly 50 years of service in the U.S. Congress” says NaFFAA National Chairman Eduardo Navarra. “He was a strong advocate for justice on behalf of our veterans who were unfairly denied official recognition and rightful benefits as U.S. veterans when Congress passed the Rescission Act in 1946.”

Sen. Inouye passed away tonight at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center . He was 88.

“But his legacy in valiantly fighting for all veterans will always remain alive in the hearts and minds of all Americans,” adds Navarra. “His moral courage, vision and leadership inspired us to keep on waging the battle in the halls of Congress and in the public arena. It was Senator Inouye’s resolve, despite many setbacks and obstacles in the legislative struggle, that galvanized congressional support, ultimately leading to a long-awaited victory.”

On February 17, 2009, the U.S. Congress approved the Filipino Veterans Equity Compendation (FVEC) fund, a rider in The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, that once and for all restored the status of Filipino World War II veterans as U.S. veterans, and provided them with a one-time lump sum payment. The victory came only a few days before the 63rd anniversary of the Rescission Act.

But it was Sen. Inouye who led the effort over the years to craft the provision that achieved at least partial equity for Filipino World War II veterans. In the contentious debates around the issue of equity and compensation, Sen. Inouye always urged his colleagues to embrace the veterans’ struggle for justice as a matter of honor and dignity. “The historic vote in Capitol Hill was due in large measure to our champions in Congress who were determined to rectify an injustice,” said Greg Macabenta, former NaFFAA National Chair, who also acknowledged the hard work of another senator from Hawaii, Daniel Akaka, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Rep. Bob Filner of San Diego.

Former NaFFAA National Vice Chair and White House Commissioner Rozita Lee, who was a constant presence in Capitol Hill during critical hearings and national lobby days, said Sen. Inouye was “truly a great champion for our causes. We will miss his voice, but we know that his fighting spirit lives. We are immensely grateful that we have had the opportunity to work with him in waging a very important campaign.”

Adds Gloria T. Caoile, former White House Commissioner and founder of FilAmVote NaFFAA: “He was a remarkable man who inspired us with his wisdom and integrity, steadfast devotion and drive. We are a richer community because he touched our lives with dignity and grace. Thank you, Senator Inouye!”

PHOTOS by Bing Cardenas Branigin

1. Sen. Daniel Inouye participates in a Filipino World War II veterans commemoration at the World War II Memorial in Washington, DC. http://naffaar8.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/naffaa-1-sen-daniel-inouye-participates-in-a-filipino-world-war-ii-veterans-commemoration-at-the-world-war-ii-memorial-in-washington-dc-by-bing-branigin-inouye-img_0278.jpg

2. Community activists join Sen. Inouye in a victory celebration after Congress passed the Filipino Veterans Equity Compensation (FVEC) fund on Feb. 17, a provision in the 2009 economic stimulus package. http://naffaar8.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/naffaa-community-activists-join-sen-inouye-in-a-victory-celebration-after-congress-passed-the-filipino-veterans-equity-compensation-fund-on-feb-17-a-provision-in-the-2009-economic-stimulus-package.jpg

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The National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) is a private, non-profit, non-partisan tax-exempt organization established in 1997 to promote the active participation of Filipino Americans in civic and national affairs. NaFFAA is composed of 12 regions with a national office in Washington, D.C. that monitors legislation and public policy issues affecting Filipino Americans. NaFFAA partners with local affiliate organizations and national coalitions in advocating for issues of common concern.

National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA)
1322 18th St NW, Washington DC 20036-1803
email: [email protected]
phone: 202.361.0296
web: http://www.naffaa.org

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Please contact Bing Branigin at 202-361-1024 or Jon Melegrito at 202-361-0296 for more information. The shortened URL of this press release is http://bit.ly/senatordanielinouye (senatordanielinouye). Distributed by NaFFAA Region 8 Media Group. [email protected], http://naffaar8.com.

Rest in Peace, Alex Esclamado: Our Hero, Our Friend

Alex Esclamado Memorial Service on November 17, 2012 in San Francisco, California

UPDATE on November 26, 2012

This just came in from Noor Ebne Lucero Esclamado via the NaFFAA Facebook page moderated by Lorna Dietz. Thank you to the PADRE BURGOS family and friends for sharing the slideshow of the necrological services for our dear friend and hero, Alex Esclamado. It would be a good idea to visit Padre Burgos during our sojourns to the Philippines and see what we can do with the leaders of tomorrow — who came in solidarity to celebrate the life of our Founding Chair.

The description on YouTube:

Published on Nov 22, 2012 by nesclamado2008
The vehicle carrying the remains of Alejandro Esclamado drove from Buenavista Chapel to Padre Burgos IFI Cathedral. While waiting for the funeral procession almost 500 hundred students of Saint James College of Padre Burgos lined up along the street of the school. The passing of the funeral procession the students offered flowers and sang the ALMA MATER song which Alejandro Esclamado composed almost 60 years ago. A confetti and flowers fell from the municipal building which the municipal officials pay their last respect to the man who helped his father the late Mayor Teodorico P. Esclamado,Sr. along with other fellow burgosanons in creating Padre Burgos an independent municipality.
The mass was led by his brother Bishop Vic Esclamado. Tributes and eulogies were given to the deceased leader. Speakers were Hon. Nadette Zulaika Boniel, Hon. Crispina Poblete, Hon. Ricardo E. Borces, Hon. Rosario Maglinte and Hon. Brian Gilles who sang The Imposible Dream one of Alex’s very favorite song. Daughter of the departed Grace Esclamado Groothoff made a thoughtful and inspirational response.
The Esclamado-Borces family would like to thank to those who attended the services, who came to the prayer and viewing the last 2 nights and for honoring the late Atty. Alejandro A. Esclamado.

Photographer: Maria Theresa Borces\ Dreamers Photography
Edited by: Noor Esclamado


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November 16, 2012

Hello, everyone!

This is the first day, since November 6, Election Day, that I am able to sit down and grieve for Alex’s passing, unedited (yes, I have an editor).

From TOFA-NY and Hurricane Sandy, the Elections, Las Vegas (FPACC Business Summit, AyalaLand International Marketing, and my healthy coffee business), my sister’s Hercules City Council meeting, San Jose (honoring Senator Leland Yee at The Alavardo Project’s program), San Francisco (preparing for Kulinarya 2013), I have been like a gypsy traveller, sleeping in many people’s homes. This has been quite a journey for me in the past few weeks. Being linked and connected to many Filipino groups works for us in NaFFAA — especially when we seek fellow travellers in our shared purposes as ONE COMMUNITY. See: http://www.scribd.com/doc/95196375/ONE-COMMUNITY-A-Call-to-Action-in-NaFFAA-Region-8-Northern-CA

About Alex Esclamado:

Alex was more than a mentor to me. He was a very dear friend. When I greeted him on his birthday just before he and Luly left for the Philippines, he insisted that the three of us would have lunch at Max’s in Vallejo’s, and wanted to pick me up in Hercules. We all got busy — and we were not able to do it. It’s all right. It was the thought that counted.

I avoided meeting Alex for the longest time. His notoriety (the good and the bad things people say) preceded him. And I didn’t even know much about him — only that he was feisty — and an incredible and amazing warrior for the Filipino community. At the Y2K2 NaFFAA Empowerment Conference in San Jose, he dropped by our table — and I introduced myself to him. I remember that he looked at me, “Ah yes, Lorna Dietz,” as he shook my hands. Alex was quite charming and gracious!

What I did not know was Alex had this knack of scouting for talents in the community. I did not know that he was studying my work as I volunteered under the guidance of Ben Menor — and worked with Greg Macabenta at the first-ever 1st Global Filipino Networking Convention’s Media Conference.

What I recall is that during the 2003 NaFFAA Region 8 Summit in San Jose, I worked on his arrangements to represent NaFFAA National at this event. This was where we finally got to know each other, one-on-one. I had one of my mentees accompany me at that time, (currently) Lieutenant Colonel Ian Tudlong of the US Army, who is assigned in NATO, Europe — who also got to know Alex. Through the years — from Iraq to Afghanistan to Turkey — I make sure Ian meets my fellow Filipino advocates. It is all part of my succession planning strategy.

The Alex I met felt he had nothing left to share with his beloved Filipino community advocates. I innocently asked him, “What about me? I’m new. I want to know what to tell people about you and your work.”

It was during this night that I felt Alex empowered me with a responsibility, not a task. For the lack of a better term, I felt I was being “knighted” for a very special purpose — but that I couldn’t tell anyone until many years later. My memory is very clear about this moment.

Alex had stood up from his seat and looked at me. He said, “You know, Lorna, I am already old. I am ‘la-os.’ It’s your turn. Use your gift of public relations for the Filipino community.”

We both spoke Cebuano, our common bond. “La-os” means “out of fashion” or “useless,” depending on how you interpret the term.

I replied,”Thank you, Alex. You are definitely not la-os. You can share a lot with new people like me in the Filipino community.”

When I privately asked Ben Menor, who was my employer at that time, “What does Alex want from me?” — Ben replied, “He wants to share his stories with you. When he is gone, you’ll be one of those who will share these stories.”

Rozita Lee, NaFFAA National Vice Chair Emeritus, told me last week that everyone that Alex met got that same feeling of “being empowered” to do something greater, something more purposeful — to advance the Filipino community forward into an empowered future in mainstream America.

I was determined to prove to Alex that he was wrong — that he had a lot to share with emerging advocates like me. Thus, we made an arrangement to chat on our cellphones every day, not just to check in, but for me to learn something new. This was quite a commitment — and from October 2003 to January 2005, I listened to his stories. When Princess Emraida Kiram and I scheduled our phone calls to Alex so we could keep him amused, we told Luly about our friendly competition for Alex’s attention.

The Third Global Filipino Networking Convention In Cebu.was Alex Esclamado’s last major project in NaFFAA. At the last day of the convention, I learned later from Luly Esclamado how sick Alex really was at that time because he had brought his brother with him. Our friendship was tested that night — and friends such as Patrick Gregorio, Jenny Franco, Loida Nicolas Lewis, and Marlon Pecson were witnesses to how Alex and I were able to clarify our concerns with a dialogue at 2:00 am on a Sunday morning — and truly celebrate the success of the convention.

One of the stories that Alex shared with me applies to all of NaFFAA’s leaders — and our community’s advocates. He said, “During my time, I would make the decision — and let the others buy into my decision. Today, it is very democratic — and it is about CONSENSUS. Just remember this!”

This perspective is how I lead — I check, double-check, and triple-check. I even have the sage, Ben Menor, as our NaFFAA Region 8’s Facilitator and Adviser. In a way, since Ben is Alex’s adopted son and brother, I chose Ben to help us through all the changes that NaFFAA Region 8 is going through, especially in succession planning.

I learned from Alex Esclamado that we all have to study the people who are emerging as leaders in their own fields of endeavor. We have to become talent scouts. Then, as we study their works, we need to identify if these leaders are doing what they do for the higher good — and truly want to help other people to do the same — to achieve their highest potential as human beings. The last part — which is easier said than done — is to share your talents and skills in every new project. Every project begets new leaders and advocates.

In 2004, Alex, Luly, and I worked on the “Alex Esclamado Profile” for a couple of national and international leadership awards. I am glad that I had helped out in this project. I can now share it with the world. http://www.scribd.com/doc/112197839/In-Memoriam-Alex-Esclamado-History-Background-and-Achievements-as-of-2004

As I write this note to all of you, I invite you to come and celebrate the life of Alex Esclamado with us this November 17, 2012 — and come and meet his community children and partners — and give every one of his family members a tight embrace.

For everyone who wants to share their special story about Alex Esclamado, please email Jon Melegrito at [email protected]

This Impossible Dream of Alex Esclamado — Filipino community empowerment — and what we call ONE COMMUNITY empowerment — is being manifested into real life.

I am very excited about the future — and the way Ben Menor says it: “Don’t wait! Alex never waited.”

Warmest regards,

Lorna Lardizabal Dietz
Regional Chair, NaFFAA Region 8

In Memoriam: Alex Esclamado – History, Background, and Achievements as of 2004

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Here is the USTREAM livestream archive of the Memorial Service for Alex Esclamado. Shortened URL is http://ustre.am/ceTg



Video streaming by Ustream,/center>

The video quality is not very good but the audio quality makes up for it.