"In societies where Robbing Hoods are treated like a celebrity it is but natural to expect political parties to act like a Mafia syndicate" Political Jaywalker "In a nation where corruption is endemic people tend to confuse due process with aiding and abetting criminals" Political Jaywalker "War doesn't determine who is right, war determines who is left" Bertrand Russell "You have just one flash flood of money, you keep your people poor. It's like a time bomb and it's scary" Philippine Lawmaker

Filipina educator-columnist in LA for book-signing

"Forty Years of Writing in America," just off the press, dwells on the reflections, perspectives and insights of Ludy Astraquillo Ongkeko, Ph.D., growing out of a plethora of experiences and more than four decades of living, writing and teaching in the U.S.

Major themes are embodied in the seven chapters of the book that weigh on her adopted land's influences and offer compelling alternatives not only for her own ethnicity to mull over, but also to others who similarly left their original homelands in the quest of a new life in America.

Now based in Reno, Dr. Ongkeko will be in Los Angeles, her longtime place of residence, for a book-signing event 2-6 p.m. on Saturday, February 14, at the SIPA Multi-Purpose Room, 3200 West Temple Street corner Robinson, Historic Filipinotown, Los Angeles 90026. The entrance is through the SIPA parking lot.

The author is a product of two educational systems: the University of the Philippines (public) where she completed her bachelor degrees as a college scholar and the Graduate School, University of Southern California (private) where she was awarded graduate degrees in journalism and communication.

Before she migrated to the U.S. with her family in the sixties, Ludy Ongkeko was a reporter on beat at the Manila Daily Bulletin. She was also a contributor to the following metropolitan publications: Sunday Times Magazine, Manila Times Magazine, Saturday Mirror, Weekly Women's Magazine, Freedom Magazine, Kislap-Graphic, and The Nation.

For close to 30 years Dr. Ongkeko held a tenured faculty position at USC, during which period she also was an editor of an academic publication in that university. In 1971, spurred by her strong commitment to "give back to my community," she became the first columnist of the Philippine News, the first Filipino American weekly distributed coast-to-coast in America. She also has served in various capacities as president, board member, and adviser of many civic and community organizations in the Los Angeles area.

In the book's preface Ambassador Edgardo Espiritu, the principal envoy of the Philippines to the United Kingdom, says:
"While in the U.S., Ludy consistently and tirelessly battled for the recognition and upliftment of the Filipino -- pushed herself to the brim to make her country of origin proud of her. That daunting task will never be enough to say and put across the countless things Ludy has accomplished for her countrymen in the U.S., and the Philippines as a whole. We have in her a jewel of a woman, gifted, caring, and a real treasure of the Philippines and her adopted country. It will take another volume of a book like this to know about this amazing Filipino American."
"Forty Years of Writing in America" is a 450-page hard-cover with color photos. The price is set at $32.95.

Photo: Ludy A. Ongkeko, Ph.D

Dionesio C. Grava - Part-time community journalist based in Los Angeles and editorial writer at Forum Asia.

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