Sunday, October 02, 2016

NaFFAA calls for greater participation by Filipino Americans in U.S. society

National Federation of Filipino American Associations

For Immediate Release: October 1, 2016

Bing Cardenas Branigin
Jon Melegrito

NaFFAA calls for greater participation by
Filipino Americans in U.S. society

National Chair also calls for vigilance in ensuring fair depiction of
Filipino Americans in the media

Washington, D.C.

“As we celebrate Filipino American History Month, let us reflect on our many achievements and contributions to our nation’s cultural, social and political life,” said NaFFAA National Chairman Brendan Flores. “While we have made many gains as a community over the years, we need to continue amplifying our voices and asserting our presence by actively participating in our country’s electoral process.”
Flores notes that there are nearly 4 million Filipinos and Filipino Americans in the U.S. today, constituting the second largest Asian American and Pacific Islander group in the country. “But voting rates among Filipino Americans continue to be low,” he said. “And we are still poorly represented in state and national legislatures.”
To address this challenge, NaFFAA launched it’s FilAmVote program early this year, with the goal of increasing voter registration and voter participation in this year’s national elections. NaFFAA has also partnered with APIA Vote to bolster outreach to APIA communities across the country.

Denouncing Asian Stereotypes

        “But even as we hail the progress we’ve made, we continue to be concerned about the way our presence is perceived in the American mainstream and in the media,” Flores states. “I’m referring to recent news reports that NBC had put in development a comedy show about a mail-order bride from the Philippines.
“In a culture where we continue to strive for diversity and inclusion, NBC will be taking us many steps back if the network moves forward with this show. The last thing we need is a prime time television show that objectifies an Asian woman to be married off, via a catalogue, to a man she doesn’t know. That isn’t comedy. It’s called human trafficking and it’s simply unacceptable.”
Flores notes that “as of 2014, the International Labor Organization estimates there are 4.5 million people trapped in forced sexual exploitation globally. It is abhorrent that in 2016, we would allow for a company to promote and produce a show that perpetuates Asian stereotypes and human trafficking as an acceptable form of entertainment.”
A growing public outcry against NBC has reportedly forced network producers to cancel the project.

Need for cultural awareness

        “While we commend NBC’s decision, this is not the first time NBC has made light of Asian stereotypes,” Flores said. He recalled that in 1994, the NBC sitcom “Frasier” included an offensive joke about purchasing a mail order bride from the Philippines. Then Philippine Ambassador Raul Ch. Rabe protested to NBC executives, denouncing the joke as “racist and sexist.” In his letter, he wrote that “Our people are not chattel.” Rabe added that the Philippines passed a law in 1991 banning the mail-order bride business and other similar practices.
In 2007, ABC was forced to apologize for disparaging doctors trained in the Philippines in an episode of “Desperate Housewives,” after an on-line petition led by Filipino American author Kevin Nadal drew more than 50,000 signatures. ABC also removed the offending episode from all its platforms. In condemning the racially-biased and culturally insensitive remarks, NaFFAA pointed out the need for cultural awareness training among Hollywood writers, producers and actors.
 “We appreciate the leadership of various individuals and organizations who alerted us to the ‘Mail Order Family,’ which NBC was considering to produce,” said Flores. “We join this collective effort in denouncing any programming that presents insensitive and disrespectful images of our communities.”
GABRIELA USA, a grassroots-based alliance of more than 200 organizations advocating for Filipino women, condemned NBC for “exploiting women from economically disadvantaged backgrounds as perpetuated by the mail order bride industry.”
        Asian Americans Advancing Justice Affiliates issued a statement expressing their outrage over the network’s consideration of a show that “perpetuates the fetishization and commoditization of Asian women,” and “trivializes the predicament of women who are bought and sold into the sex slave trade or into abusive relationships with men they’ve often never met.”  
“The cancelation of this show is a result of the collective efforts of leaders nationwide with the Filipino-American community's best interest in mind,” Flores said. “This is a positive example of a unified message and its powerful impact." 

Honoring Filipino World War II Veterans

        “This month is also an occasion to acknowledge the support of U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives who have cosponsored a bill to award the Congressional Gold Medal to our Filipino World War II veterans,” Flores said. NaFFAA is among a number of national organizations pressing Congress to once and for all recognize the vital role Filipino and American veterans played in defending the Philippines and the United States during World War II.
In July, the Senate passed the bill, S. 1555. A companion measure in the House, HR 2737, has gained the support of 306 cosponsors to date, more than the two-thirds required.
        “We are calling on Speaker Paul Ryan and the House leadership to take immediate action, secure House approval and send it to the White House for President Obama’s signature,” Flores said. “We owe it to our veterans, who have waited for more than 70 years.”
        Flores adds: “We want to keep their stories alive so that their legacy of courage and uncommon valor will always be remembered and cherished by future generations of Americans. We also take pride in the vital role Filipino Americans continue to play in the American labor movement, the healthcare and education systems, arts and entertainment, business and politics, science and technology and other fields that enrich America’s landscape.
“Indeed, this time of celebration is an occasion for all Filipino Americans to rededicate themselves as citizens actively engaged in moving our country forward.”

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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. It is recognized by Washington policy makers, national advocacy groups and private industry as the Voice of Filipinos and Filipino throughout the United States. NaFFAA partners with local affiliate organizations and national coalitions in advocating for issues of common concern to Filipino Americans. As the largest national affiliation of Filipino American institutions, organizations and individuals, NaFFAA’s thirteen-member regions cover the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, the Marianas Islands, and American Samoa.

Saturday, October 01, 2016

Vote in the November 8th presidential, congressional, state and local elections- E. Pascual, Community Affairs Director

Vote in the November 8th presidential, congressional, state and local elections.  October 11th is the deadline to register in Georgia. Check your registration, change your address or register online as a Georgia voter by clicking on this link: REGISTER TO VOTE!
To register as a Georgia voter, you must be:
·         A US citizen
·         A legal resident of the Georgia county where you want to vote
·         At least 18 years old by November 8, 2016     
·         Not serving a sentence for conviction of a felony
·         Not been found mentally incompetent by a judge
If you are a registered voter but haven't voted in several years, please use the link above to make sure you haven't been dropped from the voter list. Several hundred thousand Georgians have been dropped from the list for not having voted in past elections.
To avoid problems, please type your name on the online voter registration form, EXACTLY as it is on your Georgia driver's license or Social Security card, with any punctuation marks that are on that card.
If you would like to volunteer your time to do voter registration next week, please email or message me.  We would like to do one more big push to make sure everyone who is eligible to vote in Georgia is duly registered.
For more information, please contact: Eleanor Mae Pascual, Community Affairs Director, Makabayan Georgia, Inc. Phone: 404-683-0606, Email:

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Veterans advocates call for passage of the Congressional Gold Medal Award for Filipino World War II Veterans

House of Representatives reaches critical threshold of 290 cosponsors
for bill to recognize service of Filipino WWII veterans
Washington, D.C. 
          Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba (Ret), chairman of the Filipino Veterans for Recognition and Education Project (FilVetREP), called on the U.S. House of Representatives today to pass the Congressional Gold Medal bill, which would once and for all recognize the service and sacrifice of Filipino World War II Veterans.
          This week, the U.S. House measure, HR 2737, gained 300 cosponsors, above the two-thirds threshold met by previous Congressional Gold Medal bills. The U.S. Senate had passed the legislation in July.
          “The overwhelming support of the American people, as expressed through their representatives in Congress, is very encouraging to our aging veterans,” says Taguba.  “They have over 70 years for the day of recognition to come with the passage of the Congressional Gold Medal, an honor they truly deserve. That historic day of reckoning is nearing. We are confident that before the year ends, they will be finally recognized for their valor and selfless sacrifice.”
          FilVetREP is calling on House leadership –  Speaker Paul Ryan, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi – to take appropriate action in this legislative session before the end of the year. “Given the short time frame left in this Congressional session, we hope they will move this bill across the finish line for our veterans.”
          Taguba also thanked the hard work of various individuals from Filipino American communities across the country, Asian American/ Pacific Islander advocacy organizations, Philippine Consuls General and Veterans Service Organizations for their “tremendous effort in reaching out to their Senators and Representatives in accomplishing this very important mission. Without their determination and diligence, we wouldn’t be where we are now.”
          The Filipino Veterans of WWII Congressional Gold Medal Act of 2014 was introduced in June of last year in the Senate and House as companion bills by their lead sponsors: Senators Maize Hirono (D-HI) and Dean Heller (R-NV) and Representatives Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) and Dr. Joe Heck (R-NV).
          On July 13 of this year, the U.S. Senate passed S. 1555, with a broad, bipartisan coalition of 71 Senate cosponsors. In commending the Senate’s action, Sen. Hirono praised the “heroism and courage of Filipino World War II veterans who were instrumental to an Allied victory in the Pacific theater.” Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) also said they should be recognized for their service and awarded the Congressional Gold Medal because “our nation’s Filipino veterans made tremendous sacrifices during World War II and played a big part in our victory.”
          Rep. Gabbard urged “timely passage” of the bill in a “Dear Colleague letter” in April of this year. “These loyal and courageous soldiers suffered, fought, and gave up their lives alongside their American counterparts throughout the war. Yet decades have gone by, and they are still waiting for their service to be recognized,” she said. “Today there are just 18,000 of these Filipino World War II veterans who are still alive today. Time is of the essence. We cannot afford to wait. I urge my colleagues to quickly pass this legislation so that these courageous men and women may be honored while they are still among us.”
          “Now that the House bill has achieved more than the two-thirds of its membership as cosponsors,
our veterans are significantly closer to their long awaited goal of national recognition of sacrifice and selfless service during World War II from the nation they so ably served,” Taguba said. “We deeply appreciate the leadership and dedication of Senator Hirono, Senator Heller, Congresswoman Gabbard, Congressman Joe Heck, and all the senators and representatives who cosponsored this bill.”
          FilVetREP, in partnership with its national Board of Directors, its Executive Committee, and hundreds of volunteers and partners around the country, is calling on the House of Representatives to pass this legislation without delay. In order to find out more about FilVetREP and how to get involved, visit the FilVetREP website at
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The Filipino Veterans Recognition and Education Project (FilVetREP), is a nonpartisan,501(c)(3) tax-exempt, community-based, all-volunteer national initiative whose mission is to obtain national recognition of, and inform the public about, Filipino and American WWII soldiers across the United States and the Philippines for their wartime service to the U.S. and the Philippines from July 26, 1941 to December 31, 1946. For more information about Filipino WWII veterans and how to get involved, visit our website at or find us on Facebook or Twitter.

Monday, May 25, 2015

"Thriller in Atlanta"

May 23, 2015

Atlanta, GA- "Former President Fidel V. Ramos, the 12th president and commander in chief
of the Republic of the Philippines squared off with former five times "real
deal" heavy weight champion of the world, Evander Hollyfield. It was dubbed
"Thriller in Atlanta" by Honorary Consul General Raoul "Ray" Donato. He and
his wife Peggy, together with the Fil-Am community leaders hosted a
reception for the former President and Mrs. Amelita Ramos in their
residence.  Ramos was honored by West Point in New York in the dedication of
a Presidential suite in his name at the Thayer Hotel last May 17, 2015. 
Evander Hollyfield recently had a "boxing" bout with Presidential Candidate
GOP candidate, Mitt Romney. Hollyfield and Mike Tyson achieved Notoriety in
a match on June 28th 1997 when Tyson bit Hollyfiled's ear.
Accordingly, Hollyfield made a comment that he thought Manny Pacquaio won
the fight in Las Vegas with Floyd Mayweather last May 2nd 2015."

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Turner talks to PHCG on Philippines

PHCG Raoul "Ray" Donato converses with founder of CNN Ted Turner today in the once a year by "invitation only" luncheon by the Buckhead Coalition Club. They discussed about the Philippines---Ted Turner stayed at the MacArthur Suite at the Manila hotel when he visited the Philippines many years ago. He may go again soon. Turner is the largest owner (2 million acres of land in the U.S. alone) in the United States. He was involved in the Atlanta Braves among other things.

Monday, January 05, 2015

The 8th Youth Leadership Award and Filipino Teachers in Georgia Appreciation Day

The 8th Youth Leadership Award and Filipino Teachers in Georgia Appreciation Day
James Tierra & Je'an Francis Cantilang

The 8th Youth Leadership Award and Filipino Teachers in Georgia  Appreciation Day

"It is not what is poured into a student that counts but what is planted." -Linda Conway

The board of Galing Foundation Inc. in partnership with the Office of the Philippine Honorary Consulate General in Atlanta announces the nomination process for its 8th Youth Leadership Award.

Selection Guidelines:

The Galing Foundation, Inc. Board and its designee will select one student from middle school and one student from high school. The student must be from the Filipino community whom you think have made valuable contributions to the school and community in the state of Georgia.

Procedure: Nominations may come from a resident of Georgia nominating a student of Filipino heritage attending a school in the state of Georgia. The nomination must be in writing and must be E-mailed to: and by no later than January 10, 2015.

I. Selection: A selection committee composed of 3 distinguished members of the Filipino community serving in the state of Georgia will make the final selection.

II. Criteria for selection will be based on the following:
A. Academic Excellence: Each nominee shall provide proof of academic achievement (report card) as well as active involvement in extra-curricular activities of the school.

B. Community Service: Willingly volunteers his/her time and resources to schools and/or communities through non-profit 501 ©3 charitable organizations in Georgia when called upon; (proof of rendered service to state and/or federal recognized charitable organization) benefiting communities in need. Please see attached YLA Service form 2014.

C. Leadership: Demonstrates self-initiative and commitment in promoting educational and charitable activities.

D. Character: Demonstrates genuine concern for others. Sets a positive example for youth to emulate and displays an exemplary disposition towards others.

E. Essay: Growing Up Filipino-American: A Personal Retrospective (minimum of 300 words)
This year's celebration will highlight some of the distinguished Filipino teachers serving in the state of Georgia.   

The more you work, study and develop your ability to contribute more to the lives and well-being of others, the better life you will have in all areas". - Brian Tracy, Motivational Speaker, Author.

Former Youth Leader Honorees:
2013 – Je’an Francis Cantilang (H.S.) of Locust Grove, GA.

2012 – Camille Mapua (H.S.) of Woodstock, GA
             Shereen Ragheb (M.S.) of Atlanta, GA
2011 – Kimberly Moriles of Jonesboro, GA
2010 - Jordan Alexandar Moratin of Grayson, GA
2009 – Joanne Kelly Utt of Senoia, GA
2008 - Janice Alcalde of Chamblee, GA
2007 – Omar Ragheb of Atlanta, GA
To receive nomination forms, sponsor or for more information, please call 404-925-2639 or email  GFI is is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 tax exempt charitable organization registered in the State of Georgia. EIN 20-5508331

The Youth Leadership Program 2014 is made possible through the generous support from

Dr. Cecile Bregman, Mr. & Mrs. Francis Cantilang, Ms. Marilyn Doromal, Makabayan GA,
Mr. James McSweeney, Ms. Didi O'Connor/Harry Norman Realtors, Ms. Eleanor Pascual and Ms. Pam Peterman.


Saturday, January 03, 2015

PHCG Atlanta and the Filipino community presents Liberation Medal to WWII veteran M. Sturm


November 14, 2014 in Atlanta, GA

The Philippine Honorary Consul General Raoul "Ray" Donato and the Filipino community in Atlanta presented a Liberation Medal to veteran Melvin S. Sturm for his service with the Third Fleet and in the United States Navy during WWII. "I feel blessed to have so many good years after the War when so many young men and women never made it home." - Sturm

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Philippine government to honor Corporal Glen Cocke at 7th Heritage Day in Nashville, TN on August 9

Philippine government to honor Corporal Glen Cocke at 7th Heritage Day in Nashville, TN on August 9
by Willy Blanco

Corporal Glen Cocke is about 90 years old now and lives in Nashville, TN, and one of the few remaining living US Army veterans who took part in the liberation campaign of the Philippines from the Japanese, from January 9 to August 15, 1945.
Corporal Cocke was a radio man at the #756 field Artillery Battalion that landed in Lingayen, Pangasinan on January 9, 1945 and they advanced down San Fernando Valley on their way to liberate Manila in February 1945.

Through his own account, they took a position east of Espana Street by the Chinese Cemetery, about two miles from Pasig River. They set an observation post in the Great Eastern Hotel, of which was a shell hotel after being destroyed by the Japanese forces. Their outfit was in combat in the Philippines especially in Manila for 120 consecutive days with bullets flying all over them.  

Please click on the following link to see a video interview by Dennis Paredes when he visited Corporal Glen Cocke last week;

Philippine Honorary Consul General Ray Donato is heading a Fil-Am delegation to visit Nashville, TN on August 9, 2014, to award a medal of honor and a badge from the Philippine government to Corporal Glen Cocke for his part in liberating the Philippines from the Japanese during World War 2nd.
The Filipino American Association of Tennessee, through the leadership of Ms. Jaycel Montealegre Fields will highlight the award ceremony at the 7th Heritage Day in Nashville, TN
(see flyer for details).

Please join the Philippine Honorary Consulate General and community leaders from the SE Region  to celebrate and to witness the awarding of Medal of Honor on behalf of the Filipino people, to Corporal Glen Cocke.
Nashville contacts are:
Dennis Paredes: 615-289-0498;
Jaycel Montealegre Fields: 931-398-0154;
Atlanta coordinator:
Willy Blanco 770-331-9540

Wednesday, July 30, 2014




Nominations to the Migration Advocacy and Media (MAM) Awards 2014 are now formally open.


Conceived in 2011 by the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) for the Celebration of the Month of Overseas Filipinos and International Migrants Day in the Philippines (December and December 18, respectively every year), Migration Advocacy and Media (MAM) Awards aim to recognize the significant role of the media in information dissemination and advocacy of news and concerns related to migration and development.


Eligible for the Awards are works by any individual, government and private media outlets, institutions and practitioners in the fields of print, radio, movie and television, advertising and internet based in the Philippines and abroad. Entries must have raised public awareness on issues on Filipino migration, advocated the cause of Filipinos overseas, or/and promoted a positive image of Filipinos overseas.


Entries to the Awards must be submitted on or before October 15, 2014 to MAM Awards Secretariat, Commission on Filipinos Overseas, Citigold Center, 1345 Pres. Quirino Avenue cor. OsmeƱa Highway (South Superhighway) Manila, Philippines 1007.


The Migration Advocacy and Media (MAM) Awards consist of six categories. The Print Journalism Award is conferred on best print media. The Radio Journalism Award is conferred on best radio program. The Television Journal Award is conferred on best television program (talk show, investigative journalism, TV special or documentary). The Film Media Award is conferred on best films and videos (full length or documentary). The Interactive Media Award is conferred on web-based publications. The Advertisement Award is conferred on best print, radio or TV commercial/advertisements on issues concerning migration.


Since 2011, this recognition has been conferred on 31 awardees and serves to highlight the role of media in tackling migration concerns in celebration of the Month of Overseas Filipinos in December.


For more information on the Awards, please call the MAM Awards Secretariat at (632) 552-4761 (632) 561-8291 (telefax), or email at To download the primer and nomination form, please check
Contributed by: The Office of the Philippine Honorary Consulate in Atlanta

Thursday, June 26, 2014

PHCG Donato at "After the Storm" Typhoon Haiyan fund raiser in DC

"The Philippine Honorary Consul General Raoul "Ray" Donato and Mrs. Peggy Donato of Atlanta, Georgia, attended the benefit concert entitled "After the Storm" at the John F. Kennedy performing Arts Center in Washington D.C. on June 16, 2014.  The event was a fund raiser for Typhoon Haiyan which devastated Central Philippines. It was a star studded evening by Broadway stars Lea Salonga, Lou Diamond Philip,, Black Eyed Peas, Grammy nominated tenor Rodel Rosel and Joffrey Ballet Christina Rocas.  PHCG Donato had breakfast at the residence of Ambassador Jose Cuisia III
with Lea Salonga and her husband Robert Chien and family. Others are friends of the Philippine Ambassador and Mrs. Victoria Cuisia.