Monthly Archives: July 2007

The Filipina Woman’s Image Online: We Have The Power To Shape The Future

Yan Ang Filipina - Shape the Filipina Image Campaign, logo created & donated by Jonas DiegoOn July 21, 2007, during my first day at WordCamp for WordPress users, I spoke up and told my fellow conference attendees about the google bombing campaign my sister, Noemi Dado, and her friends were undertaking to take back the word Filipina online from its massive “dating and penpal websites” and put this word in a more balanced context. The loud applause caught me off-guard. The bloggers liked what they heard! A couple of bloggers came forward and chatted with me about taking back the word “Jew” online. A few other bloggers networked with me because they wanted to meet more Filipino bloggers.

This talk about “google bombing” the word “Filipina” started with a yahoo messenger chat I had with Noemi last June 26, 2007. She was asking my opinion about her blogger-friend, Dine Racoma, who described herself as “Sexy Mom, a Filipina freelance writer, researcher, problogger, and new media adviser.” Dine had posted “Whaaaat? Sexy Mom a Disgrace to Filipino Women? Seems Like an Attack to Bloggers per se.”

The result of our chat and Noemi’s other conversations and research was Noemi’s blog entry on June 27: How To Reshape The Sexy Filipina Image (Filipino Woman). I recommend that you read Noemi’s suggestions and implement your own google bombing campaign.

I’ve decided to adopt the “Yan Ang Filipina” logo that was created and lovingly donated by Jonas Diego. I hope more Filipinos and Filipinas will adopt this logo in their google bombing campaigns as well as on their blogs. We have the power to shape the future of The Filipina Woman’s Image Online.

I’d love to hear your views.

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“Thriller!” – How Cebu’s CPDRC Inmates Rocked the World With An Awesome Rehabilitation Activity, or “Broadcast Yourself,” is a part of the growing Social Web — where families and friends can share their experiences to others worldwide. Thus, when Marissa Aroy, our independent filmmaker-member of the Filipina Women’s Network (FWN), e-mailed our e-group about what 1,500+ prison inmates at the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (or CPDRC) were up to, she remarked: “Even incarcerated, my people are awesome!”

Only in the Philippines!

I’m so amused at what a unique public relations strategy this turned out to be, even if it probably started out as an innocent question: “What can we do to reinforce positive behavior in our inmates?” To whoever thought of this rehabilitation activity, keep up the good work!

Marily Mondejar, our FWN president, couldn’t resist adding a comment to the e-mail: “Can you believe this? Doing something positive and fun in prison (in the Philippines)! And I thought prison is not supposed to be fun.”


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Day One at Word Camp 2007 in San Francisco

I’m getting ready to go to Word Camp 2007, Day Two. Before I hop into the beautiful F-Line streetcar here at Fisherman’s Wharf, let me share some thoughts with you. [And if you're reading this before I can provide the necessary links, wait for the edits.]

Question: What happens when a marketing, public relations, and event management resource for the Filipino American community (that’s me!) goes to a “boot camp” like WordCamp 2007?

Answer: Information overload. Happiness, as if I’m in a candy store. A lot of questions about bridging traditional media and the blogging phenomenon being answered — and I’m just dying to write an article focused toward ethnic media.

However, I’m going to wait for my information-steeping process to gel a little more clearly in my head before I write a legible article or blog post. Let me sleep on it, ok?

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Take A Gratitude Break: Watch The Squirrels!

Bully, the squirrel, enjoys his nuts at our balcony (Winter 2007, Chicagoland)During the winter months in Chicagoland, my husband and I were not very happy being stuck in the condo, especially during the raging storms. The highlight of our days was “watching the squirrels.”

There were six squirrels who greeted my husband every morning at the balcony. One of them would boldly stand in front of him, as if to ask, “Stop your smoking already! Where’s my food?”

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July 2008: STC Cebu and UP Cebu Reunions

STC Cebu HS ‘73 Reunion in 2005, Monterey, CA excursion (photo courtesy of Firelli Alonso-Caplen)

July 19, 2007

When I was fact-checking the information about the upcoming Pre-Centennial Convention of the University of the Philippines Alumni Association in America, I bumped into some news about more reunions in Cebu for 2008.

Marissa Fernan, our ever-efficient classmate and oftentimes-mastermind of our grand reunions in Cebu (remember the 1993 and 1998 affairs?) — with apologies to Carmelita Villarosa, our STC-Cebu HS ’73 Northern America organizer — e-mailed our e-groups a few months ago with a reminder. Here is an excerpt from her March 26, 2007 e-mail:

We are celebrating our 35th in 2008 and the homecoming is scheduled on the last Saturday of July 2008 (July 26, 2008). Before or after the Homecoming, we are planning a regional Asian trip and we will eventually conduct a vote on the destination. Any suggestions? I would like to remind everyone that the idea of the tour, aside from being able to see a new place, is for us to bond with one another. So please send in your suggestions and also, if it’s convenient, we can fly off for the tour the Sunday after the Homecoming. What we can do so that people abroad are not out for too long, we can dispense with other pre-Homecoming activities and just concentrate on the tour. Maybe we can depart for the tour on July 27th and do 3-4 days.

Tata and I will re-activate use of our Yahoo Groups for the preparations of the 2008 Homecoming soon and I hope all of you will join in. Plan your leaves early and don’t miss out in this great opportunity to bond with your batchmates!

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University of the Philippines Alumni Association in America: Grand Reunion & Pre-Centennial Convention

Cable Car in front of San Francisco’s Cable Car Museum (photo lifted from 18, 2007

Everything is set for the annual gathering of U.P. graduates in America on September 1-3, 2007 at the Hilton San Francisco Financial District Hotel, 750 Kearny Street, San Francisco, California!

Today, I was on the phone with Ted Aquino, the president of the University of the Philippines Alumni Association in America (or UPAAA) and one of the board members of the U.P. Alumni Association of San Francisco, Inc., the host of this year’s annual gathering. I had never attended a U.P. reunion anywhere in the world so I was curious what the requirements for membership in the San Francisco organization entailed.

“U.P. graduates who live in the San Francisco Bay Area automatically become members of UPAASF,” Ted explained. “There are no membership fees. Whoever wants to volunteer is welcome!”

“I didn’t even know this, Ted,” I exclaimed in surprise. “I’m a member?”

“Yes, you’re a member,” Ted answered. (Now, I’m thinking, I had better tell Nerissa, Jacqui, Myrna, and all my U.P. friends here in the Bay Area about this.)

He provided more information. “Other chapters, such as the U.P. Association of Northern California (Berkeley) have membership dues. There’s also the newly-formed University of the Philippines Alumni Association – Sacramento.”

Well, let’s help spread the word! If you have any U.P. friends and family members who would like to spend a wonderful “Indian Summer” holiday/reunion weekend in San Francisco, they can register here.

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History Lesson: The Filipino World War II Veterans’ Battle for Equity, according to Rodel Rodis

October 29, 2005 at Wyndham Hotel - Filipino American Veterans from San Jose, California with Stephanie Reese & Joselito Pascual, photo by Sanny Leviste (

July 17, 2007

I was a typical immigrant from the Philippines who didn’t know anything about the Rescission Act of 1946 and the role of Filipino American and Filipino soldiers in World War II. It was a huge piece of artwork that was being prepared for the NaFFAA Y2K2 Empowerment Conference in San Jose, California, courtesy of Terry Acebo Davis, that alerted me to something that I missed since I first arrived in San Francisco in January of 1986. I can still remember Terry’s artistic interpretation: It was a photo of some frail-looking Filipino American veterans with somber faces looking right at me. I would eventually meet them and interact with them on a daily basis. They were some of the veterans who were active members of the Filipino American Senior Opportunities Development Council, Inc./Northside Community Center’s American Legion Northside Post 858. I have some of their oral histories on analog tape, ready for annotation.

Many of us believe that we need to build critical mass this year so that our veterans can get their benefits. If some policy-making leaders think that the Filipino community will finally give up on this battle for veterans equity, they had better get their heads straightened out. The “Filipino Spirit Prevails!” Never doubt the tenacity and perseverance of a Filipino when fighting for a cause!

I know, you might ask, “What does this plight have to do with me? I’m ekking out my daily living and I believe charity begins at home.” Well, dearies, we are interconnected. The past, the present, and the future. Think about it. Ever since the Treaty of Paris was signed between Spain and the United States in 1898, we’ve allowed people to disempower us. Why do we keep doing this to ourselves?

For you to understand that the veterans’ cause is also yours, you will have to make a personal connection. So, if you know a Filipino World War II veteran, talk to him or her. Record their stories… and remember to make these stories something to pass on to your children.

I received many e-mails about the importance of today’s date. I’m putting everything into perspective by having Rodel Rodis’s column about the origins of the Filipino veterans’ battle for equity as the introductory article here. There are also some excerpts from an e-mail I received from Lillian Galedo from the group, Filipinos for Affirmative Action, and the Co-Chair of the National Alliance for Filipino Americans Equity (NAFVE). Please go the NAFVE website for complete details.

P.S. Follow-up e-mails from July 18, 2007 are included in this post. The “call to action” is found in the press release sent by NaFFAA and an e-mail from my cousin, Clarice Veloso-Lugo. Makibaka!

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Major Ian Tudlong: An Online Postcard from a Filipino American Officer in Iraq

July 13, 2007

I first met Major Ian Tudlong in July of 2003 when Ora Seyler and I passed by Salinas, California (on our way to Los Angeles) to participate as a booth vendor for Barlin Real Estate Group in the Monterey-Salinas region’s yearly Filipino American outdoor festival. As I distributed marketing materials to the other booth vendors, I dropped by Marie Romero’s Arkipelago Books’ booth. Marie introduced me to Honolulu-based Dr. Eric Casino and then-Monterey-based Captain Ian Tudlong. Of course, at that time, I had a commuter marriage that allowed me to travel back and forth between San Francisco and Honolulu every month — and Ian was also on his way to Hawaii for foreign language studies.

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Loida Nicolas Lewis, The Lewis College in Sorsogon, and Training Tomorrow’s World Citizens

Good things happen when I spend quality time in writing “from the heart” — because my blog truly reflects a cacophony of experiences. Today, I choose to talk about some incredible people in my life. Go ahead and click on the green-highlighted names for some supplemental information about these “provocateurs of change.” Thank you to Robert “Bobby” Lim Joseph of the National Association of Independent Travel Agencies (NAITAS) for coining the term, “provocateur of change” to define his role-in-life after I had told him that I was “an influencer of change.” This conversation occurred in Bangkok, Thailand one humid afternoon in February, 2005. Bobby, I’ll finish my story about you one of these days.

Sometime in early June of 2007, during one of our rare phone conversations, Loida Nicolas Lewis gave me an update about her activities after she retired as Chairperson and CEO of the 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization, National Federation of Filipino American Associations (or NaFFAA) in October, 2006.

Let me share with you some tidbits about my relationship with Loida. I best summarized it in a nomination form that I recently submitted to the Filipina Women’s Network during its search for 2007′s 100 Most Influential Filipina Women in the U.S.

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