Category Archives: Writings and Musings

Most of these works have been published

My Guide for An iPhone 4S User

It’s been a while since I acquired my iPhone 4S. My blackberry had “died” on me. Sigh! Then, here I was, grappling with Apple’s quirky ways of texting. I swear, what’s next? Thus, I decided to set up a content curation so I wouldn’t feel so lost. If you’re like me, then you’ll enjoy my collection of videos to “guide the dumb guiding the dumb.”

Sulu and Sabah: A Peaceful Request Turned Deathly for the Messengers

An Island in the Archipelago of Sulu

Yolanda Ortega Stern: From the Moro Art Contest for Peace (2004)Our special blogger for this posting is Yolanda Ortega Stern (“Manang YO”) of the One World Institute, a private health and education foundation that provides humanitarian services to areas in conflict, where no one dares to go and help out. I have been moderating a community blog for OWI since late 2010. Please watch out for updates in this posting. The newest update will be the first entry after this introduction.

For a look at Manang YO’s educational columns, please read her opinion-editorials in her MINDANAO SERIES embedded below. Manang Yo told me that her columns will be a historic chronicle of failure — and intentionally waited before writing a new one. Now that a few predictions have come to pass, please read her columns. We look forward to a new one.

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I have also started Yolanda Ortega Stern’s content curation about the Philippines-Sulu-Sabah-Malaysia situation, taken from her Facebook postings. This allows many newbies to learn more about the situation through Manang YO’s real-time OP-EDs and compilation of news sources. Quotes from her Facebook commentaries are also included.


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Sulu, Philippines: The men at Lahad Datu are standing up for their poor families. Photo: Circa 2013 AP (After Peace) They feel they have no country.

An Island In Sulu Archipelago: Where People Dream of Peace

Dr. Yolanda O. Stern, Charter President of the Federation of Philippine American Chambers of Commerce (FPACC) signs a Memorandum of Agreement with Nur Misuari, Chairman of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) after the signing of the Peace Pact between President Fidel V. Ramos and Chairman Nur Misuari. (1996)


Looking Back at Kulinarya 2011, A Filipino Culinary Showdown in San Francisco, California

Here I am, writing “backwards,” i.e., documenting my work for KULINARYA 2011, A Filipino Culinary Showdown in San Francisco, California. The event was held on January 21, 2012 at the Carnelian by the Bay Restaurant (Behind Ferry Building at The Embarcadero), San Francisco. The PILI nut was the food ingredient that took center stage and the Philippines’ KULINARYA TOURS were also highlighted.

Of course, I am “drooling” over the prospect of KULINARYA 2012, the 3rd Filipino Culinary Showdown, being convened later this year — but I promised to keep my mouth shut until the organizers make their official announcements.

I am making more time to document some of my written works and audio-visual creations in this personal blog. I keep reiterating to my nieces and nephews that all I can give them are my experiences (through this blog) and sharing my memories and learnings, whenever we reconnect… I miss them! Fortunately, nowadays, I interact with three of my nephews almost every day — and sometimes, in between my viral marketing and public relations work, I get to share my culinary experiences with them.

FOR EXAMPLE: Last night, it was all about PASTA. I taught Christian that the only way to learn if his spaghetti noodles are cooked “al dente” IS to actually taste them, semi-raw — and then done to perfection. Of course, I did not teach him how to throw a spaghetti noodle against the wall to see if it would stick or not. And yes, I also taught him how to “refresh” his refrigerated noodles inside a colander — over hot running water in the sink.

I hope to share more of these culinary experiences with my nieces and nephews.

In the meantime, this is what I did for our hardworking professionals at the Philippine Department of Tourism in San Francisco. Thank you, Rene de los Santos, Debbie Gallano, Gabby Agcaoili, and the rest of the team for giving me this opportunity to sharpen my culinary writing skills and PR capabilities.

FIRST, here is the promotional video that I created for the event. There is also a youtube video: http://youtu.be/QEa5FTfHRUw

SECOND, I was given the writing assignments on a Friday — and I had to turn all of them in on a Monday. It was quite an exhilarating writing adventure for me with this KULINARYA magazine BUT I had my recent 3-month trip to the Philippines that helped me with some of my writings as well as the permissions of my friends in the Philippine tourism industry for their photos, words, etcetera.

The KULINARYA Magazine was a supplement inside the San Francisco Examiner Magazine on its Thursday, January 19, 2012 edition. More than 80,000 copies were distributed throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and copies were also available at The Examiner racks on the same date.

I wrote and I edited the following:

1. About the 2nd Kulinarya (summary, a mash-up; the “higher notch in the culinary world” didn’t come from me; whoever edited this, thank you! You made my original “higher good” relevant and meaninful to foodies)

2. The Pili Goes Gourmet! (article based on research and mash-up; I didn’t write the top portion or recipes in this page)

3. Philippines: Where Green Cuisine Means A Healthier Lifestyle (article)

4. TRENDING: “It’s More Fun in the Philippines!’ (article; the original article went viral on youtube by pinaswatcher6, who had uploaded a GMA News broadcast re: the new slogan on January 8, 2012, and had asked my permission to use my article — after I asked their permission to quote them; see http://youtu.be/kkbW-w5UkMI). As of today, August 25, 2012, this video, with my accompanying article has 8,574 hits on Youtube.

5. Top 10 Things to do in the Philippines (edited from Gab Agcaoili’s beautifully-written 2,000+ words to a precise 500 words)

Come to the Jan. 21, 2012 2nd Kulinarya: Filipino Culinary Showdown in San Francisco, CA!

I am looking forward to KULINARYA 2012!

:-)

For those foodies who want to learn more about Filipino cooking in conjunction with all the good, the “bad” and the healthy cuisines, here are some blogs for you to consider:

Lorna Lardizabal Dietz’s Diabetes Life Notes

Noemi Lardizabal Dado’s Pinoy Food, Pinoy Cooking, Filipino Food Recipes and Photoblog

Noemi Lardizabal Dado (mother) and Lauren Lardizabal Dado (daughter) in Pinoy Food & Other Cuisine: Food PhotoBlog and Events

:-D

I also have some content curations that you can embed in your own blog or save in your foodie archives.

Cake Decorating Ideas for Nilda Tudtud Abellanosa and Nardith Obera Fuentes

The KAPUSO’s Sweet Taste of Success: Ice-Cream and Desserts in the Bay Area

Gluten-Free Recipes for my niece, Lauren Lardizabal Dado

ONE COMMUNITY: Three Filipino American candidates for the CA State Assembly in November 2012 Elections





If you’ve moved, this is the easiest way to register!
Fill it out, print it, and mail it!

Imagine what it would be like when we have Rob Bonta, Chris Mateo, and Dr. Jennifer Ong at the California State Assembly! Filipino Americans will have more of a VOICE. Yes, we already have our representatives who we’ve elected and supported. Yet nothing resonates like VICTORY in our hearts and minds when we can say, “Pinoy yan! Pinay yan!”

MEET OUR STARS OF COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT!


Rob Bonta
Vice-Mayor of Alameda, CA
http://www.robbonta.com


Dr. Jennifer Ong
Commissioner, Alameda County Commission on the
Status of Women
http://drjenniferong.org


Chris Mateo
Vice-Mayor of Lathrop, CA
http://chrismateo.com

June 6, 2012, Personal Thoughts.

I have not written in my RadiantView blog for a while now. I know I need to document my activities in the past few months. Yet, nothing is sweeter than victory — in the PRIMARY ELECTIONS.

Today is a special day. I can smell HISTORY IN THE MAKING. I can feel it in my bones.

I woke up early this morning (4:00am) and the first Facebook notification I read was Ben Menor’s status update (which he wrote at 2:00am).

Ben Menor wrote:

History is in the making! Congrats to Rob, Chris and Jennifer in making it to the November election. This is beyond anyone’s imagination to see all of you do so well. It is not impossible to see all three of you at the State Legislature. Your time in history is now and do not let up for a second because the momentum is on your side. Congrats to your campaign team.

Last Sunday, my personal communications specialist had called to remind me that the FILIPINO VOTERS in one East Bay city in the San Francisco Bay Area were the SWING VOTE for one particular Filipino American candidate. Thus, I sent out a reminder invitation to a press briefing and rally. I was blessed that I had one TV correspondent answer my call — even if it was a last-minute request.

“I’ve never had to work this hard on my personal time!” One of our strongest activists shared with me. I empathized with her lack of sleep yet I was hopeful that her work would shine through and make her candidate win.

AND HER WORK IS SHINING LIKE DIAMONDS.

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WHAT’S NEXT?

Our work has only just begun. We can actually be there when HISTORY HAPPENS.

As the second largest Asian population in California (next to the Chinese Americans), we have this tremendous opportunity to rally behind these three AWESOME role models of COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT!

When I was elected as the Regional Chair of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations-Region 8 (Northern CA) last March 16, 2012 at the AT&T-sponsored NaFFAA-Region 8 Community Empowerment Summit at Hana Zen-Pier 39, my closing remarks focused on the FILAM VOTE.

Here are my personal thoughts and calls to action about how we can help GET OUT THE VOTE!:

1. I will follow up with ethnic media (ok, that’s New America Media) on how we can collaborate in increasing and enhancing the visibility of these three Filipino American candidates for the California State Assembly in mainstream media. How do we report about these candidates to our local media outlets?

2. I will follow up on Genevieve Jopanda’s chat with me last September 2010 (at the Fairmont San Jose) about how we can make the FILAM VOTE “sexy!” That’s the marketing parlance for “exciting, amazing!” “Exciting” and “Amazing” are generally what gets HIGH RATINGS with our Filipino broadcast networks (GMA Network, Inc., ABS-CBN, and TV 5). So, I will keep pursuing these networks with my QUESTION: When can we work on a project that is common ground for all these TV networks? Meaning, set aside your differences, and help us make these three FilAm candidates win! (HINT: One US-based Filipino broadcast network official articulated his personal thoughts to me last July 2011 about what would work. Let’s see what the other two networks have in mind.)

3. I will follow up with my personal mentors Gloria Caoile, Rozita Lee, and Ben Menor since I am such a newbie — and push them (even if it is late at night) for more advice and recommendations — so my family and friends can help support these wonderful candidates.

4. Everything is all about grassroots community organizing. Let’s keep listening to each other as we move forward. Push for our voters’ political awareness. Push for political activism!

During my April 28, 2012 TV interview with Joy Dodds of the Filipino Journal (KTSF, Comcast Channel 8 in nine counties in the San Francisco Bay Area), Joy asked me what the difference is between political awareness and political activism. Fortunately for me, I had had a recent discussion with Ben Menor about this topic. Ben is our NaFFAA R8 Strategic Facilitator and Adviser, a very wise “manong.” This was what he explained to me — and this is what I replied to Joy’s question.

Definition of POLITICAL AWARENESS – Knowing about it
Definition of POLITICAL ACTIVISM – Doing something about it

5. Maximize TWITTER! And for all the slacktivists and activists, if you tweet, it’s as simple as adding the hashtag #FilAmVote.

Here is the simple call-to-action I provided during our NaFFAA Region 8 Community Empowerment Summit last March 16, 2012.

WHAT CAN YOU DO RIGHT NOW?

Share your TWITTER name with us. You can follow us at @naffaausa. Email us at [email protected] If you don’t know (yet) how to tweet, there are easy lessons here: Look at #4 at http://radiantview.com/blog/a-radiant-digital-view-mga-kapuso-social-media-tips-for-2011/

2. When you tweet, use hashtag #filamvote.

Examples:

@drjenniferong Looking forward to your talk: March 16 #NaFFAA R8 Community Empowerment Summit http://NaFFAAR8.com @NaFFAAUSA #filamvote

@RobBonta Looking forward to your talk: March 16 #NaFFAA R8 Community Empowerment Summit http://NaFFAAR8.com @NaFFAAUSA #filamvote

3. Join the open FilAm Vote group on Facebook, moderated by NaFFAA FilAmVote Co-Chair, Rudy Asercion: https://www.facebook.com/groups/301024073262911/

4. LIKE our new NaFFAA Region 8 Facebook Community Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/NaFFAA-Region-8-Northern-California/206254976138415

5. Check out our website at http://NaFFAAR8.com and the national website, http://NaFFAAUSA.org for #FilAmVote updates.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU FOLLOW @naffaausa AND HASHTAG #filamvote? Your tweets will be captured by our daily curated newsletter, NaFFAA #FilAmVote Daily.  http://bit.ly/nzurFs

This means that, at any given time, in real time, we will know the “State of the #FilAmVote” in AnyTown, USA — just as long as you inform us.

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When Ben Menor and I co-wrote the theme for the NaFFAA Region 8 Community Empowerment Summit, Ben had told me: “The theme is ONE COMMUNITY. Get our community empowerment role models — Rob Bonta, Jennifer Ong, and Chris Mateo — up front and center. They will share what it will take to be a ONE COMMUNITY.”

For my personal blog, I am sharing what this call of ONE COMMUNITY means to many Filipino empowerment advocates. Please pass it on! It could help get your Filipino American candidate elected in your city or state — or nationally.

Our Strength: ONE COMMUNITY!

In November of 2010, the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) convened its 9th Empowerment Conference in the San Francisco Bay Area with NaFFAA Region 8, Northern California as the host and organizer of “Empowerment 2010.” The theme of E-2010 was “Building the Next Generation of Community Advocates in an Intergenerational Environment.”

Today, NaFFAA Region 8’s leaders are taking advantage of the political atmosphere, economic conditions, public policy, and the Filipinos’ transcontinental success by using its existing infrastructure, skills, talents, resources and other tools so they can implement a master plan for community empowerment in 2012.

NaFFAA Region 8’s other resounding call to action is: “To empower Filipino communities so they can participate in supporting individuals who desire to hold public office that support the advancement of causes for the Filipino community.”

What does it take to empower these highly-qualified political candidates so that they will be inspired to do their best in order to win? It takes ONE COMMUNITY.

NaFFAA Region 8 believes in coalition-building, connecting dot after dot after dot, mindful that its leaders and supporters have been advocating AND are advocating for community groups and individuals to take action in supporting achievable empowerment objectives. The master plan includes providing a platform for our communities to establish activities for community empowerment as a non-profit organization. Rocking the vote through NaFFAA’s #FilAmVote (http://bit.ly/nzurFs) also means meeting these candidates who can share the nuts and bolts of community empowerment as well as interact with their constituents in a series of gatherings — from socials to workshops.

“ONE COMMUNITY.” What does this mean to NaFFAA Region 8? Through ADVOCACY, our voices and actions will always act as “the glue” that binds the shared hopes and aspirations of our authentic and unique communities.

Can you help us empower more highly-qualified Americans of Filipino ancestry to take a leap of faith in their credibility and strength of character so they can become true servant leaders in public service?

Can you stand on the shoulders of our elders and take the best of their wisdom and experiences so we can walk together, fearlessly and jubilantly, on the roads — less travelled — as ONE COMMUNITY?

Can you support us in becoming ONE COMMUNITY?

ONE COMMUNITY – A Call to Action in NaFFAA Region 8, Northern CA

NOTES:

1. The Star of Empowerment is special to NaFFAA. It was created by BREN BATACLAN for the NaFFAA 9th Empowerment Conference in 2010.

2. I am very proud of my new NaFFAA Region 8 executive board members. They keep me humble.

Here they are:

Lorna Dietz, NaFFAA R8 Chair; Genevieve Jopanda, NaFFAA R8 Vice Chair; Clarence Madrilejos, NaFFAA R8 Youth Chair; Tina Novero, NaFFAA R8 Secretary; Jinni Mabalot Bartolome, NaFFAA R8 Treasurer; Jose Pecho, NaFFAA R8 Chair Emeritus; Ben Menor, NaFFAA R8 Strategic Facilitator & Adviser and NaFFAA R8 Santa Clara County Chair; Charito Benipayo, NaFFAA R8 Alameda County Chair & NaFFAA R8 Adviser; Rudy Asercion, NaFFAA R8 San Francisco Chapter Chair; Rodel Rodis, Esq., NaFFAA R8 Adviser & NaFFAA National Legal Counsel

Arizona Gem Show 2011: Short Readings from Yolanda O. Stern’s Book on Natural Pearls, “Sex and the Wild Pearl”

From the book on natural pearls, "Sex and the Wild Pearl," by Yolanda O. Stern

For those of you who are not yet aware about my 2011 project, “Pearls for Peace” at the One World Institute, now you know! Yolanda Ortega Stern, whose “Projects for Peace” totally engaged my curiosity about natural pearls in the Sulu Archipelago in Southern Philippines, shared the story of Basil Anik, the Fisherman-Artist, who created unique brooches, with the $25 per brooch donations going toward feeding the artisan-interns who work with him. There will be more pearls that I will be asking for donations from all of you, of course. I say: “Enjoy my pearls for peace because they go toward supporting sustainable livelihood in areas of conflict.” (HINT: I am accepting your on-going orders!)

Manang Yo,” our fond nickname for this philanthropist, and her husband, Dr. Tom K. Stern, the philanthropist and best-selling “I-can’t-put-down-this-novel-because-it-is-so-thrilling!” author, devote time dealing with “the trade,” where they supply the natural pearls from T. Stern Natural Pearls or SternPearls.com to the people who work on this world’s unique and rare treasures and transform these natural pearls into exquisite (and very expensive) pieces of jewelry. Tom K. Stern is the inspiration behind the founding of the Natural Pearl Society.

On January 31 to February 6, 2011, at the Arizona Global Gem and Jewelry Show, Yolanda O. Stern will be one of the members from the Natural Pearl Society who will be educating “the trade” about the history, care, science, marketing, and the romance of natural pearls. Yolanda’s much-anticipated book about SEX — not sex for homo sapiens but about “SEX AND THE WILD PEARL” — is coming soon to our neighborhood. As a special preview, “Manang Yo” will be giving a couple of short readings (from her book) during this gem show.

Check out the schedule of Yolanda Ortega Stern’s readings of her book on natural pearls, “Sex and the Wild Pearl,” at the Arizona Gem and Jewelry Show at the Hotel Arizona here.

You can imagine what the book launching events are going to be like: VERY EDUCATIONAL!

Pearls for Peace – Basil Anik 2010 December Catalog

OWI Benefit Drive for 2011 – A Diamond Necklace for Philanthropy for Peace

Finding a good personal injury lawyer after the San Bruno Explosion: To sue or not to sue PG&E

“To sue or not to sue PG&E?” This is my community service announcement for Sept. 13, 2010.

This morning, I woke up with an “Aha!” moment: MOHINDER MANN. I know that in the case of the San Bruno explosion, victims and displaced families would be looking for advice and referrals re: good personal injury attorneys. I know someone really well: Mohinder Mann of http://themannlawfirm.com/ in San Jose, CA. (Yes, this is definitely my testimonial about someone whose work and achievements I believe in — and you don’t have to live in San Jose to check him out.)

On Sunday, Sept. 12, I had an opportunity to reconnect with Mohinder Mann, the chair of our South Bay multi-ethnic coalition, when his daughter led our team (through the ALS South Bay Walk; see http://bit.ly/9cV5Ev) in raising funds for The ALS Association. Mohinder Mann’s wife, Robin, suffers from ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). I have personally volunteered with this amazing social justice advocate (aside from his work in other community causes such as the fight to keep JTS Northside Community Center under the Filipino leadership that built it) that Mohinder’s colleagues have honored him with very special awards and recognitions in the past many years.

Do you remember the Toyota auto recall case?

“February 9, 2010 – The Mann Law Firm was one of the first law firms in the country to sue Toyota for the sudden acceleration of one of its vehicles in 2007, which ended up killing Mr. Troy Johnson. More than two years ago, federal investigators in the United States discovered that some Toyota vehicles accelerated unexpectedly, the Washington Post reports… In October 2009, Toyota announced that it was recalling approximately 3.8 million Toyota and Lexus autos because their floor mats could trap the gas pedal, causing sudden acceleration. Then in January 2010, Toyota advised the NHTSA that approximately 2.3 million vehicles in the United States have a defect that can cause the accelerator to stick.”

Please call 408-287-1600 for free advice and ask for Mohinder if you have a friend who needs good, solid advice. Or email Mohinder directly at [email protected] Or fill out the form at the website.

You might be asking me why I am referring my friend, Mohinder Mann. How do you say “thank you” to someone who tirelessly volunteered and helped my Filipino American community stand up for its rights after being unjustly treated? By sharing with other people that you know someone who will fight for their rights — after astute due diligence, of course.

GETTING TO KNOW MOHINDER MANN

Mohinder Mann The Personal Injury Attorney
Mohinder Mann: The Personal Injury Attorney

Mohinder Mann at the Fundraiser for Hurricane Katrina Press Conference in early September 2005
Mohinder Mann at the Fundraiser for Hurricane Katrina Press Conference in early September 2005

Mohinder Mann and his wife, Robina Mann (to his right), have a photo with community advocate-friends
Mohinder Mann and his wife, Robin Mann (to his right), have a photo with community advocate-friends

Overseas Filipinos Worldwide’s Open Letter to President-Elect of the Philippines, Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Overseas Filipinos Worldwide’s Open Letter to President-Elect of the Philippines
Highlights Recommendations for Addressing Migration and Development Issues

KOWLOON, Hong Kong – May, 25, 2010 – A network, composed of overseas Filipinos worldwide based in many countries and in the Philippines, recently wrote an open letter to Senator Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, president-elect of the Republic of the Philippines. The open letter highlights the perspectives unique to migrant Filipinos and offers solutions that could impact transformational, positive changes in policy making. After many years of collaboration and cooperation, the group, which represents various organizations implementing projects in the Philippines and in their host countries, offers a starting reference point for the incoming administration, led by President-Elect Aquino, to more effectively harness the Philippines’ migration gains into mechanisms for the development of the Philippines and its hometown communities.

The open letter points out several key economic points, among them:

 Migration gains are mainly remittances by overseas Filipinos to their family members, approximately USD17 billion, and are the primary source of livelihood for millions of Philippine households.

 At 10.8% of the country’s GDP, migration gains are also the third biggest source of the country’s foreign currency reserves, acting as the primary driver of the Philippine economy, thus shielding the country from bankruptcy during the current economic meltdown and the 1997 financial crisis.

 The Filipino diaspora, estimated currently at about 10 million Filipinos working or residing in 239 countries and territories worldwide, have sent donations to the Philippines for various humanitarian causes, such as disaster relief, medical missions, school houses, and other infrastructure. These contributions have supplemented local and national Philippine government deficits and, as of 2003, have already amounted to USD218 million, per central bank figures in that year. Not included are other investments made by OFWs in real estate, education, and health care for their family members, and consumer goods and services.

The group emphasizes the urgent need to push for genuine poverty alleviation after 30-plus years of heavy reliance on labor export, and as thousands of Filipinos continue to leave every day for overseas jobs or contracts. Although the “Philippine model of overseas migration” is considered an ideal model for other migrant-origin countries to emulate and copy, the group believes that social costs that migration has incurred have not been successfully addressed by past administrations. They cite examples of countries such as South Korea, Ireland, and Italy, once considered labor-exporting countries, that evolved from their “migration hump” by taking advantage of their workers’ remittances, investing them to develop local infrastructure, shipyards, factories, and other industries. As a result, a “brain gain” occurred. Many of these expatriates left their high-paying jobs abroad, convinced that their home countries’ governments were effective and that they could trust their country’s inspired leadership.

The open letter frankly addresses Senator Aquino: “Shall we continue to send out our people and rely on remittances and without any development objectives in sight? Conversely, don’t we have the talent to formulate a road map toward self-sufficiency over a period of time, in order that the hemorrhage of talents could be stopped, that a crisis in our dysfunctional families and society at large could be averted, and so that our people do not have to take migration as a forced option? If long-term migration goals are set now, the government could, in the meantime, work on some basic but urgent deployment and migration issues in order to clear the way toward having a genuine and serious program on translating migration gains for use in human development.”

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Financial Fitness: Hazel Valera, Credit Rebuild Coach and Debt Arbitrator

Hazel Valera is clearly my NUMBER ONE credit empowerment coach for personal credit and business credit. I found some videos online that will give you more information about Hazel Valera. Please note that the laws on Credit are always changing. What you hear Hazel Valera talk about in these videos could be laws that have changed recently. I am sharing these videos so you will understand why I value her as my credit empowerment coach. More power to you, Hazel!

THE 3 C’S OF CREDIT – Credit, Capacity, and Collateral: What it takes to get a real estate loan

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