Monthly Archives: October 2010

E-2010: Building The Next Generation of Community Advocates with NaFFAA’s Intergenerational Leadership

Somehow, I am finding the energy and the motivation to work on all three of my major projects: My new public relations consulting gig with GMA Network, Inc. through its flagship channels, GMA Pinoy TV and GMA Life TV, my “about-to-be revived insurance career” — where I get to recruit new insurance agents in 48 states — at http://YourInsuranceCareer.com (Team John Oei), and the E-2010: 9th NaFFAA Empowerment Conference this November 19-21, 2010.

For the past four months, I know I lost some more weight because I am TOO busy working on all three projects — one after the other. At least I now know (I’m new, remember?) that at GMA Pinoy TV / GMA Life TV, we have a very tight-knit, efficient team — especially after working on the “PNoy sa GMA Pinoy TV” interview. My heart goes out to my business partners in the insurance business, John and Vonny Oei, who make sure that I bring out the best of my talent and creativity in my marketing and copy-writing, aside from making sure that I take my vitamins.

Everything is as it should be.

I somehow found time to sleep — and best of all, I found time to pray, to meditate, and to reconnect with old friends and family. My husband can feel comfortable knowing that “Lorna has gotten her groove back!”

I’ve teamed up with my former mentor, Ben Menor, and a mutual colleague, Baylan Megino, to provide the first tier of conference management support before the rest of the NaFFAA leadership comes in and helps out. I’ve known for the longest time that this day was coming: the day we can open our doors and welcome everyone to the conference and shout: “Yippee! The YP’s are here — and they’re coming in strong!” (You have to see the slide show if you want to know what YP means.)

I am truly enjoying everything that I am doing in my personal and professional lives. I am unstoppable. I am unbeatable. My creative quotient is on over-drive (not the adrenalin!). My angels are with me every step of the way. Whenever I feel down and out, I allow my pity to wash over me BUT only for a few minutes. Then, I stand up and say to myself, “Lorna, it’s time to SHINE! Remember that you are using your gifts for the good — and that others will share their gifts with you.” Folks, it is AMAZING what a pep talk to yourself can do!

Although I had created a slide show invitation for the E-2010: 9th NaFFAA Empowerment Conference that has an upbeat, almost rhythmically-monotonous cadence, I created a second version — just for me — so whenever the going gets tough, the tough gets going… This conference is already a success because its mission is truly amazing.

Enjoy!

ONE OF MY PROJECTS:

Oct. 17, 2010 in New Jersey: 2nd Annual Lakad Tulong Features Fitness and Fundraising

Here’s a thought: If more people can walk for a cause, then it would be so easy to be healthy and wise! Physical fitness + fundraising + fun always benefit our Filipino American communities. The way my friend, Mohinder Mann, explained it to me during an ALS Walk I joined last month with his team: “The best part is that you get to meet old and new friends — and walk at your pace.” Go ahead — and join the 2nd Annual Lakad Tulong in New Jersey this Sunday, October 17, 2010! Spread the word! (Exclusive TV Media Sponsor: GMA Pinoy TV)

Here is a slideshow from the 2009 Lakad Tulong that Grace Labaguis, one of the GMA Pinoy TV / GMA Life TV consultants, provided so we can look forward to the kind of fun we can expect. Thanks, Grace!

I can also see many of our NaFFAA Region 1 colleagues are actively engaged in this event. Thanks to Roger Alama, Cora Reyes, Elsa Olsen, and Nena Kaufman (among the many, many volunteers) for supporting this wonderful “walk for a cause.”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Inquiries, please contact:
Nelsie Parrado, Board President – 201.794.7321
Corazon Reyes, 2010 Lakad Tulong Coordinator – 646.789.6788
Mark Habana, Public Relations Officer – 201.841.5518

SECOND ANNUAL LAKAD TULONG EVENT
FEATURES FITNESS AND FUNDRAISING

LAKAD TULONG, the annual walkathon fundraiser coordinated by the Handang Tumulong Foundation, Inc. (HTFI), will be held on Sunday, October 17, 2010 in Jersey City. Marking the event’s second consecutive year, the walkathon will feature fitness, while raising funds to build and maintain a disaster relief fund for victims of natural calamities in the Philippines. This year’s theme is “Walk for health, Walk to Help.”

In partnership with the Philippine Consulate General in New York (PCGNY), the foundation aims to surpass last year’s fundraising result of $12,000. To achieve this increased success, members of all communities and ages are encouraged to get involved as walkers, donors, sponsors and volunteers. Those who make the biggest impact will be recognized for their efforts. Forms and additional information are available on the organization’s website (see below).

“As a volunteer member of the organizing committee last year, what became evident to me was how a fundraiser like this bridges gaps and connects people of all ages, backgrounds and professions,” commented Mark Habana, the public relations officer of the foundation. “These disasters struck close to our hearts and it was inspiring to see a community step up to address them in an empowering and fun way.”

The walkathon program will validate the importance of health and fitness. A pre-walk warm-up session, coordinated by a licensed physical trainer, is planned. Following the three-mile walk will be dance segments featuring hip hop artists and “Dancing on the Square,” which is open to all attendees.

This year’s walkathon fundraiser will be held in Jersey City, NJ at 8:00 AM on Sunday, October 17, 2010. It is a 3-mile walk starting and ending at the City Hall of Jersey City at 280 Grove St.

All are welcome to support this initiative by raising funds, gathering pledges and participating in the walkathon as walkers or volunteers. Awards will be given to the organization that raises the most funds and the organization that brings the largest contingency of walkers. One individual will also be recognized for bringing in the most donations that day.

Registration is now open: $30 for adults, $10 for students with student IDs and seniors (age 70-80), free for seniors 80 years of age and older. Commemorative T-shirts will be available for the first 300 people that register on-site for the event. For sponsorship opportunities, please e-mail the foundation at [email protected] See the attached flyer for more details and contact information.

This event is sponsored by GMA Pinoy TV and GMA Life TV, Phil-Am Trading, Phil-Am Foodmart, Casa Victoria and Drs. Greg and Emelie Ongcapin.

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ABOUT HANDANG TUMULONG FOUNDATION, INC.
The Handang Tumulong Foundation is a not-for-profit organization whose primary purpose is to raise funds for the needy in the Philippines, the USA and elsewhere around the world, especially the victims of natural disasters and catastrophes. The Handang Tumulong Disaster Relief Fund is a readiness project for the victims of recurrent calamities in the Philippines. For more information, contact the foundation at [email protected] or visit the website at www.handangtumulong.org.

ABOUT THE PHILIPPINE CONSULATE GENERAL IN NEW YORK
The Philippine Consulate General in New York provides services and assistance to Filipino nationals residing in the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont. (www.pcgny.net)

New Jersey - 2010 Lakad Tulong poster with GMA Pinoy TV

EXCLUSIVE MEDIA SPONSOR: GMA PINOY TV / GMA LIFE TV

“Proud to be Kapuso!”

Oct. 9, 2010 on GMA Pinoy TV: KMG or “Kaya Mong Gawin,” the “Let’s Talk About Money” TV Show with Jojo and Maricel Quiroz launches its First Season

Kaya Mong Gawin TV Broadcast on GMA Pinoy TV

Kaya Mong Gawin at GMA Pinoy TV

Kaya Mong Gawin [KMG] starts its first season this weekend on October 9, 2010 at GMA Pinoy TV. KMG connects its viewers with top-notch financial experts and motivational personalities who provide insight about the plethora of resources available to them that is not always so openly publicized. The hosts, Jojo and Maricel Quiroz have a vast background in the financial world, as well as being published authors and motivational speakers to Filipinos across the globe.

The goal of the show is to educate viewers and empower them to take the reins off their own personal financial lives. Myth and misconceptions are uncovered to lead the viewers to the light and to financial fitness.

The show is opened by a light-hearted skit called, “The Opisina,” showcasing the interactions and mishaps of the “caricaturized” employees of Keyrose Corporation. The skit is intended to provide the audience a visual portrayal of the topics to be discussed during the episode and provide some fun comedic relief for viewers to enjoy.

Kaya Mong Gawin

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Oct. 10, 2010: Immigration Attorney Lou Tancinco Launches “Pusong Pinoy sa Amerika,” Season 5 on GMA Pinoy TV

Pusong Pinoy sa Amerika Season 5

Reaching Out to Filipinos with Immigration
Concerns Remains Heart and Soul of Show

Pusong Pinoy sa Amerika - Cast & Crew After a Hard Day at Work

SAN FRANCISCO, October 5, 2010 – Pusong Pinoy sa Amerika, the immigration show that has earned a wide following owing to its sensitive and heartfelt portrayal of concerns impacting the Filipino-American community and their relatives back home in the Philippines returns to its regular programming this Sunday, October 10.

Awaited with much anticipation from loyal viewers across the country, who now includes those who have been piqued by the show’s teasers and those who have heard of the new and improved show format, Pusong Pinoy sa Amerika Season 5 will mark the triumphant return, albeit for the fifth time, of multi-awarded lawyer Lourdes Santos Tancinco to the boob tube, and will usher in as well a new era of what an immigration show ought to be.

The excitement and buzz that is generating over by the show’s upcoming premiere this Sunday has all but buried the many aggravations and heartaches encountered by Tancinco in her pursuit to continue advocating for the immigrants’ cause through the television medium.

In 2007, Tancinco found herself without a network to carry her show. By some twist of fate, GMA Pinoy TV took a gamble on the feisty lawyer’s fledgling show, and soon after a partnership was born.

GMA Pinoy 7 Vice President for International Affairs Joseph Jerome T. Francia reserved the highest compliment for Tancinco when he described the lawyer as the network’s rising star during the show’s launch in September 23.

In his short remarks, Francia told the close circle of family, close friends and associates and a number of the community’s luminaries who gathered at the Bayanihan Center here to show their support to Tancinco, that in his sorties all over the United States to promote the network, Tancinco’s Pusong Pinoy sa Amerika has been one of the most watched programs, and that Tancinco is now one of their most recognizable talents among their stable of stars.

Not to be outdone, Senator Leland Yee, who also attended the launch, has proven to be one of the staunchest supporters fighting for Filipino-Americans’ rights and causes – whether it be for veterans’ benefits or protection of domestic violence victims – spoke glowingly of Tancinco as somebody who literally blossomed under his eyes.

While jokingly clarifying that “he is not that many years older” than Tancinco, Yee told the crowd that he watched Tancinco grow from the reserved young lawyer of years past to the confident and feisty advocate that she has become today.

Yee was among those who supported the show’s premier launch when its pilot show aired in 2006.

While not exactly departing from its goal to educate and inform viewers about their immigration issues and problems, Season 5 of Pusong Pinoy sa Amerika takes on a new challenge by adopting its theme of cultivating roots towards a sustainable immigrant community.

Along this light, the show dwells on family immigration primarily, and is committed to recognizing the many achievements that countless Filipinos who have displayed unprecedented success through sheer talent and hard work making them exemplary models of a generation that have been exposed to the ever growing contentious debate as to whether or not the influx of immigrants is beneficial to this country secondarily.

The immigrant community is at the crossroads, said Tancinco, in explaining how she and the crew behind Pusong Pinoy sa Amerika came up with the 13 episodes that comprise Season 5.

While the episodes of Season 4 dealt on fostering family reunification in general, Season 5 will dwell on the specifics to these processes, Tancinco said. Thus, viewers will be informed of the difficulties that many petitioners who are now undergoing visa processing for their relatives in executing Affidavits of Support amidst the recession and in a climate where unemployment, foreclosures and bankruptcies are rampant in Season 5’s pilot episode “My Petitioner, My Supporter.” Seeing the growing trend of permanent residents losing their green card as a consequence of “abandonment of residence,” Tancinco will attempt to help green card holders make informed decisions with the episode “Use It or Lose.” In the episode “In God We Trust,” Tancinco will attempt to showcase why fraud will not get those who are aspiring to enter the country as religious workers will not get them anywhere. Just because one sang in a church choir back home does not entitle that person the right to come here as a religious worker, she said.

Tancinco and her production team, headed by her executive producer Leonardo de Asis Jr., have devoted long hours in fine-tuning the episodes to make these more fun and exciting to the viewers by enlisting professional actors, including noted comedian Louella Albornoz and Los Angeles actor Josef Malonzo, in their mini-teledrama on the Visa 101 segment.

Season 5 will also see Tancinco hosting the show with a different co-host. Tancinco’s loss was the Quezon City government’s gain when long-time co-host Roderick Paulate of four seasons had to leave the show after winning a council seat. For Season 5, the co-host seat will be warmed up by a noted personality with many hats – singer, actor, director and entrepreneur Randy Santiago.

According to Tancinco, her co-host has hit the ground running. While acknowledging that not only his pedigree but also his sense of humor that have made her co-host a household name in the Philippines, Tancinco is not oblivious to the fact that her co-host came on board to be able to help out, which should be just the right boost that Tancinco needs. Add that to her network’s commitment of touching hearts and enriching lives, viewers can expect a winner with Tancinco’s Pusong Pinoy sa Amerika Season 5.

Written by: Milagros Wilfreda B. Roldan

Photo by: Kelly Kalagayan

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Oct. 10, 2010: GMA Pinoy TV’s Celebrity Chef, Ron Bilaro, of “Life…Pinoy Style” Runs Race To End Poverty

CELEBRITY CHEF RUNS RACE TO END POVERTY

Chicago, IL—Chicago-based, celebrity chef Ron Bilaro runs his first ever marathon on Sunday, October 10, 2010 for the benefit of Gawad Kalinga (meaning “to give care”), a global anti-poverty movement that was founded in the Philippines.

Bilaro, the host of the popular Fil-Am TV show, “Life…Pinoy Style,” which airs on Comcast and GMA Pinoy TV, is a long-time supporter of Gawad Kalinga. He has been preparing for the 26-mile Bank of America Chicago Marathon since March.

Running the marathon is not the first of Bilaro’s efforts to raise funds for the poor in his native country. In recent years, he has exhibited his culinary talent by preparing sumptuous dishes for private dinners benefiting the movement.

Born and raised in the Philippines, Bilaro has found success in the United States. He is one of the top graduates of the Le Cordon Bleu Program of The Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago (now called the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts).

After schooling, he worked his way up in restaurants first as a line cook and then as pastry chef. He became sous chef to Art Smith, who was then Oprah Winfrey’s executive chef. This opened doors for him as a much sought-after event planner and personal chef to prominent corporate personalities in the windy city and the west coast.

For a couple of years, Bilaro was also a food columnist for the Chicago Tribune, and published his first recipe book in 2009, and is now working on his second.

While the Fil-Am chef prepares expensive meals for his affluent clientele, he remembers the less fortunate back in his homeland, where 45% of the population lives on less than two dollars a day.

“Not many people know about the Philippines or the Filipinos or the poverty that is plaguing the country. I want to be able to help get the message out and somehow make a difference,” Bilaro says.

Gawad Kalinga builds homes and sets up livelihood, nutrition, health, and other programs for the poor, not only in the Philippines but in other countries as well, including Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, and Cambodia.

To make a pledge in support of Chef Bilaro’s run, please go to: www.active.com/donate/GKHeroesRun2010/chefronforgk.

Life...Pinoy Style host Ron Bilaro Nov 09
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Barry Picazo of Intramuros Restaurant Honors Pinoy Street Food With a 10-10-10 Festival

The first time I met Barry Picazo of Intramuros Restaurant, it was through Anthony Cruz Legarda of “Arkiteknik” fame who insisted on introducing both of us. Barry, a young retired financial wizard (at least, that’s what I thought of him) decided that his love for Filipino fusion cuisine was luring him to unexpected places, such as a Financial District “food court” on Third Street (about 25 steps away from Market Street) in San Francisco, California. His foodie experiment at that time was called “Mango Bay Cuisine.”

A few years later, Barry went on to help launch Patio Filipino Restaurant in San Bruno, California. It is well-known for its cozy ambience and Filipino-Spanish cuisine in a patio-like setting.

Then again, another restaurant concept that took advantage of multiple rooms and exponentially, more function room space, convinced this intrepid entrepreneur to take another leap of faith. Thus, a fine dining concept with banquet facilities named “Intramuros Restaurant” was born in South San Francisco, California.

I thought that Barry was quite innovative in using his social media techniques when it came to promoting Intramuros Restaurant. He would make me salivate with his short video clips on his Facebook wall about the lunch buffet specials, happy hour menus (It’s super-valued that I called them dinner menus!), Crab Feasts, Karaoke Nights, and lots of entertainment — from the classic to pop culture.

One of my friends once told me that Intramuros Restaurant is this decade’s version of the defunct Tito Rey’s Restaurant or the Mabuhay Gardens, where Filipinos and Filipino-friendly gourmands would gather to eat and make merry… and yes, especially to see who among their friends would drop in.

It’s all worth it, Barry! The late hours, the juggling of schedules, and aligning common purpose and vision with your business partners. I am so proud of your growth as a restaurateur (this is the foodie speaking!) because you have succeeded in making the Intramuros Restaurant an elegant “five-senses” delight that makes me proud to bring in my family and friends. I feel as if I’ve been a part of your growth… Yes, I still have some recipes to share but that will come during one of my visits (that is, if you can spare the time to foodie-chat).

Keep the Filipino cuisine coming! My cousin, Marisa Abad, was so happy that we took the time to enjoy your dining room (leisurely!) that she brought her friends there to celebrate someone’s 80th birthday party. Another classmate, Cynthia Bernaldez Gaabucayan, also brought her family there. So many friends are flocking to your sacred space in Filipino cuisine. Wait till I take my momblogger sister (aka a very popular food blogger in the Philippines with two blogs, Pinoy Food Blog and Food Photo Blog) to enjoy your exquisite culinary delights. I’m not saying anything to her. We’ll just go unannounced — and I will just have to see what my food blogger-sister has to say about the Intramuros Restaurant.

I’ll be coming back to this blog posting so I can update it.

Let’s ring in the TRIPLE 10 Celebration — on October 10, 2010 — or 10-10-10 — when Barry Picazo invites us to celebrate in style — where else? — at the Intramuros Restaurant in the San Francisco Bay Area. Bon appetit!

Pinoy Street Food Festival at Intramuros Restaurant, South San Francisco, California
Pinoy Street Food Festival at Intramuros Restaurant, South San Francisco, California

I’m also including one of your Crab Fest posters as a souvenir in my blog.

Intramuros - Crabs

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For those of you who want to know how to cook Intramuros Restaurant’s Crispy Binagoongan over Grilled Eggplant, click here for the recipe.

Here’s Christina Dunham from Filipinas Magazine Online with Barry Picazo in an episode from the Filipinas Magazine Show on GMA Pinoy TV.