"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

Fil-Am Events Updates

(To be included in this compilation, kindly submit your event to dcgrava@aol.com)

Leaders of BAYAN USA, GABRIELA USA, the United Methodist Church, and Melissa Roxas, survivor of abduction and torture will hold a press conference to condemn the Maguindanao Massacre and the US-Arroyo government's Oplan Bantay Laya. Venue for the Dec. 3 presscon, 2:00-3:00 PM, is the Echo Park United Methodist Church at 1226 N. Alvarado St., Los Angeles, CA 90026.

BAYAN USA will be mobilizing a series of protest actions and forums over the next seven days across the United States leading up to International Human Rights Day. Speakers will represent BAYAN-USA, Sisters of Gabriela Awaken! (SiGAw) - GABRIELA USA, AnakBayan Los Angeles, Habi Arts, the Ecumenical Forum for Filipino Concerns, and Melissa Roxas.

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The 10th anniversary of APA Community Toy Drive will be on December 3, 6-9 pm at the Japanese National Museaum (369 E. First St., LA, CA 90012). For admission bring a new unwrapped toy worth at least $15 or a minimum $15 donation. More information at website.

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Chicago, IL - The Philippine American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Chicago (PACCGC) celebrates its long-awaited 25th anniversary by hosting three events on Saturday, December 5, 2009 at the Wyndham O'Hare Hotel, 6810 North Mannheim Road, Rosemont, Illinois.

(1) The Leadership Conference's panelists are expected to share their insights, expertise, and practical tips on how to develop inclusive business practices that will maximize the participants' economic empowerment objectives. (2) From 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm, Mabuhay Alliance will hold its Business Forum. Admission is free and pre-registration online or through Cindy Flores at (312) 925-7812, Nancy Harrison at (773) 428-8002, or Marie Espero at (708) 443-5764. (3) PACCGC's 25th anniversary celebration, the "Timeless Gala and Dinner Ball," commences at 6:30pm with no-host cocktails and a reception. Tickets are $65.00 per person.

The Federation of Philippine American Chambers of Commerce is led by Jaime Lim from Oregon. The Mabuhay Alliance, a non-profit organization, is an advocate for empowerment and recognition of ethnic minorities, especially Pan- Asian Americans, Latinos and Afro-Americans. The Business Forum is expected to be the first of many events that will be hosted by the group in Greater Chicago.

For more details, call Nancy Harrison, Chair, Leadership Conference, Business Forum (773) 428-8002; Marie Espero, Chair, Gala/Dinner Ball (708) 443-5764; Cindy Flores, Over-All Chair (312) 925-7812 or (312) 738-0201; or Ely Natividad, PACCGC President (773) 457-3402.

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The Babae Ensemble will present "Pinay Stories: Connection, Memory, Roots" on Friday, December 4 and Saturday, December 5. Doors open at 7:30 pm at Off Market Theater, 965 Mission St. #250, San Francisco, CA 94104. An all-Filipina cast with stories that will inspire, empower, and uplift; evenings of original written work, theater, and performance. Pinay Stories is a national cultural arts project of GABRIELA USA that centers on collecting creative efforts of Filipino women in the United States reflecting their life stories, journeys and current lives.

$12 admission. For tickets, visit website.

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"Filipino Hoops and Heritage Night" will be held by the Los Angeles Clippers of the National Basketball Association (NBA) on Saturday, December 5, 2009 during its game against the Indiana Pacers at the world famous STAPLES Center in downtown Los Angeles. A portion of the proceeds will benefit local Filipino community nonprofit organizations, as well as relief efforts for Typhoon Ondoy and Typhoon Ketsana in the Philippines.

The event will feature Raymond Townsend, the first and only Filipino basketball player to ever play in the NBA. Special Philippine cultural, dance, and vocal performances will occur during pre-game festivities and at halftime. There will be a showing of a 30-second "Follow Your Dreams" video vignettes played on the scoreboard video screen, featuring Filipino celebrities who have realized their dreams in several fields. The evening starts with a meet and greet reception from 5:30pm – 6:30pm at the City View Terrace inside STAPLES Center. Pre-game entertainment begins at 6:30pm, followed by tipoff at 7:30pm.

Discount tickets are available in special Filipino Hoops and Heritage Night seating sections, for $15 (upper level center), $35 (200's level), and $47 (lower level 100's) by visiting website. All tickets include a free collector's edition Filipino Hoops and Heritage Night T-shirt. The meet and greet is open to the first 500 FHHN attendees with lower level (100's) tickets, on a first-come, first-served basis.

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Holiday Casino Night & Poker Tournament Fundraiser organized by the San Francisco Fil-Am Chamber of Commerce on Saturday, December 5th, 6 pm (101 Brentwood Drive South San Francisco, CA 94080). Proceeds will benefit the West Bay Pilipino Multi-Service Center. This fundraiser culminates a string of activities throughout the year, from engaging networking at different partner restaurants, to supplier diversity seminar for Filipino entrepreneurs and small businesses. Buy tickets by Nov. 30 or call/email Teresa at (415) 440-0910, Milko at (415)218-7123. For more information, please visit website.

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Everyone invited to join Los Angeles Council President Eric Garcetti's Holiday Gathering on Monday, December 7, 6pm - 8pm at the BRAND NEW SILVER LAKE BRANCH LIBRARY (2411 Glendale Blvd. Los Angeles, CA.) A food drive for the needy is also going on so, bring non-perishable items if you are able. Contact Ryan if you have any questions! RSVP by calling 323-957-4500.

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Simbang Gabi Commissioning Mass and Ceremony on Tuesday, December 8, 2009 at 7:30 p.m. at the Saint Mary's Cathedral of the Assumption (1111 Gough Street in San Francisco). It is an annual lighting ritual of traditional parol lanterns to commence the celebration of the novena of masses of Simbang Gabi held in various parishes in the Archdiocese.

Before the concelebrated mass there is a procession of parol lanterns from each parish to be lead by the Cathedral's Tala Lantern and candle lights dancing to be performed by the youth. Incorporated in the liturgy is the blessing and lighting of the parol lanterns which each parish will bring back to their respective churches to commemorate the Star of Bethlehem of the story of the nativity. For more information, contact, Nellie Hizon at (415) 699-7927 and for the annual parol lantern festival, send email or call 415-348-8042.

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Preparations are underway for the 7th annual "parol" lantern festival. The Tala Awards will be bestowed to the best lantern designs to be announced after the parol stroll on the 12th of December at Jessie Square (east plaza of St. Patrick's Church) in San Francisco. The theme for this year is "Light the way, be counted" in conjunction with the upcoming census 2010. In addition, with the Tala Awards' Grand Prize of $500, second and third prizes, and Directors' Choice Award, the US Census and parol organizers would recognize contingent that brings in the most number of participant-strollers and expresses the theme collectively.

The Bayanihan Community Center on 1010 Mission Street and 6th Street hosts parol making workshops every Friday from 5 to 8 pm. This is open to the public. Donation accepted to cover the cost of supplies and materials in producing the lanterns. For more information, email, or call 415-348-8042.

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Becca Godinez will perform in a Christmas Concert on Saturday, December 12, starting at 7:30 PM. Venue is the Heritage Forum, Anaheim, CA. Ms. Godinez has performed in concerts, in theatre plays and musicals, has written words and music for herself and other artists, recorded albums, and hosted a musical variety show on TV. She won awards in the 10th Tokyo Music Festival and a duet with Morris Albert of "Feelings" fame won first place in an International Song Festival held in Houston.

For some time Ms. Godinez withdrew from public life to be with her inner self but ever the artist, she had since been back on the scene with many of her songs now reflecting on her Christian faith as seen on her CD entitled, "Road to Humble". A Christian CD is on the works and Becca has become an active participant at her church's music ministry.

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The Filipina Women's Network will celebrate Mona Pasquil, California's interim lieutenant governor, at its FWN Salo Salo on December 17, 2009, Thursday, 6pm, at Patio Filipino (1770 El Camino Real, San Bruno, CA 94066. Limited seating. No registrations at the door. To RSVP, please call 415.935.4FWN (4396) or register online.

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The Southern Leytenos Association in USA (SLAUSA) has scheduled a Potluck Christmas Party on December 19 (Saturday) from 6 pm – midnight. Everyone urged to bring their favorite holiday dish or dessert to share. Bring the whole family as well. Venue: Quest Learning Center (11975 Artesia Blvd. , Artesia, Ca 90701 Tel. (562) 246-0498)

For more information please call anyone of the following: Boy or MJ Nombrado, Tel. Nos. 310-952-9345, 310-951-1736, 310-951-1677; Rene Catigan, 562-983-0705, 562-883-2095; or Lito Batino: 714-524-1406, 714-213-5298.

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Ongoing through February 8, 2010, "Fashioning Domesticity, Weaving Desire: Visions of the Filipina" at the Pacific Asia Museum (46 North Los Robles Avenue Pasadena, California 91101, Tel. (626) 449-2742)

Hours: Wednesday through Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Admission: $9 for General Admission, $7 for Students and Seniors, Free for Children Ages 11 and Under, Free for Members, Free to All Visitors on the Fourth Friday of the Month

The exhibit explores the canonical images of the early to mid 20th-century Filipina as civilized and wild. Through textiles and photography, this exhibition addresses two key performative issues: the fashioning of domesticity and the weaving of desire.


Intersections: World Arts/Local Lives at the UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History, UCLA Campus.

Museum admission is free. Shown is one of our nation's most important collections of art from Africa, Asia, the Pacific, and the Americas that celebrates the richness of world arts and considers the roles these works of art play in peoples' lives.

Although they are scattered throughout the exhibit, there are a number of artifacts from Southeast Asia (Burma, Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia) including ancestor figures, puppets, masks, and other sculptures. There is also a five-minute film on Indonesia: "Sisilia Sii Weaver" which focuses on ikat weaving techniques on the island of Flores.

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

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