Monthly Archives: February 2008 The Wiki for Filipinos and Filipinas Worldwide

-wikipilipinas-filipinaThis is a revised version of the press release for media outlets outside the Philippines that I had sent out on February 29, 2008.

Calling all Filipina bloggers worldwide! Join’s collaborative project with, the “Filipina Stories” Writing Contest, to celebrate Women’s History Month.

:-) :-D :-)



SUB-TITLE: About, a human-edited encyclopedia about Filipinos worldwide

Lorna Dietz
[email protected]
Skype phone: 415 508-5326 or lornadietz
For ID purposes only: Member, “Shape the Filipina Image Campaign” Committee of Filipina Women’s Network (


Gus Vibal of Vibal Publishing House, a respected name in the Philippines’ educational book business industry, is tenacious and unstoppable in his efforts to get the word out about “the joys of the wiki” for Filipinos and about Filipinos. Vibal’s substantial investment in, the hip ‘n free Philippine Encyclopedia, is accomplishing major milestones by attracting partnering organizations to collaborate with writing projects. Wiki writers can now take advantage of the opportunities to promote literacy and history in the following languages: English, Filipino, Cebuano, Waray, Ilokano, Bicol, and Kapampangan. Those who are familiar with Wikipedia’s platform will find wikiPilipinas’s format familiar territory.

A month-long program of activities has been organized to celebrate March as Women’s History Month in the Philippines. According to, a special portal called the “Encyclopedia of Philippine Women” will be launched during March 2008, compiling and detailing the achievements and triumphs of Filipinas everywhere. Vibal announced that “ will also host a Philippine Women Microsite containing selected scholarly texts, research documents and abstracts, as well as selected literary works from Filipina writers.”

Philippine-based bloggers are also providing an online community presence for the March activities through, an advocacy portal and news site that promotes an empowering “Reshaping the Filipina Image Online” campaign. Co-founders Noemi Lardizabal Dado, Dine Racoma, and Lorna Lardizabal Dietz collaborated with in launching a writing contest, “Filipina Stories,” for bloggers. Details about the writing contest are found at the main page of or The deadline for entries is March 15, 2008.

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Larry Formalejo: In His Own Words

Larry Formalejo in November 2007, San Francisco, CA - photo by Elmer Dolera, MY OPINION

I thought about this quote when I first heard the news about Larry Formalejo. “There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception.” (by Aldous Huxley, English Novelist and Critic, 1894-1963)

Larry Formalejo may have resigned as Mayor of the Town of Colma — and life will go on… Stepping down from a public office is not a sign of defeat. It means that Larry Formalejo knows his priorities. For many of Colma’s citizens and residents, seeing Larry continue to bring joy and happiness to their many community-based efforts in making Colma a better town to live and work in is what matters most.

I know there are parents out there who can empathize with Larry’s situation. What is common ground is that most parents are concerned when it comes to their children’s well-being and would work at finding out how they can comfort and best support their children during traumatic circumstances — and yes, without abusing their positions in the workplace or government.

In Larry Formalejo’s case, his role as a father was not what other public servants saw. They perceived Larry Formalejo as a mayor first, not as a concerned parent. Different perceptions. Different motivations.

Let’s remember the human factor of this situation. Larry, I commend you for having the courage and bravery to be a parent first.

This is the text of Larry Formalejo’s resignation letter. In his own words.

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Patrizio Buanne, the Italian singer who evokes Romance

Here is a treat for Valentine’s Day: The music of Patrizio Buanne, as introduced to me by Jacquie Lingad-Ricci of San Francisco, California.

Jacquie Lingad-Ricci loves Italian pop music so much that during our brainstorming sessions, she takes the time to introduce us to some of her favorite musical artists via YouTube. After all, she’s an adopted Italiana. Her son even speaks English, Italian — and Tagalog! So, when I asked Jacquie if Patrizio Buanne, her favorite singer, is better than “Il Divo,” she replied, “Absolutely!”

After hearing Patrizio sing on, I decided to go on a “research dig.”

Here’s what I gathered:

From Querida9,

A collage of Patrizio’s photos set to the music of “Close To You.” He IS gorgeous!

Click here to go directly to

From Wikipedia


Patrizio Buanne (born September 20, 1978) is an Italian baritone.
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The Story of Stuff: Educating Us About The Underbelly of Unsustainable Production and Consumption Practices

“More time to buy stuff yet less time for things that make us happy.”

These were the words that resonated with me as Annie Leonard guided us in her 20-minute online presentation, The Story of Stuff.” Part 1 of this amazing video is found here, courtesy of FreeRange Studios.

Annie Leonard speaks clearly about the hazards of living in a “planned obsolescence society.” At the end of this fast-paced video (it’s better viewed from the website), we are invited to spread the word and find more points of intervention.

Quotes from her talk: Seeing the big picture, or making the linear “old school” mindset non-linear. The new way is about “sustainability and equity.” We can’t continue with the old way. “Let’s create something new,” Annie calls out to us!

The video invites us to “Click here for 10 recommendations for another way.” For more details, click on the title below:

10 Little and Big Things You Can Do

1. Power down.
2. Waste less.
3. Talk to everyone about these issues.
4. Make your voice heard.
5. DeTox your body, DeTox your home, and DeTox the Economy.
6. Unplug (the TV and internet) and Plug In (the community).
7. Park your car and walk…and when necessary MARCH!
8. Change your lightbulbs…and then, change your paradigm.
9. Recycle your trash…and, recycle your elected officials.
10. Buy Green, Buy Fair, Buy Local, Buy Used, and most importantly, Buy Less.

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Introducing to Cebuano and other Bisaya-speaking friends

Vintage photos of OLD CEBU can be found at

Trainers at their post during the Inaugural Celebration of the Cebu Capitol Building, Cebu City. June 4, 1938. Photos taken by Dr. Mamerto Escano (provided by Fred Umabong), as seen in

Trainers at their post during the Inaugural Celebration of the Cebu Capitol Building, Cebu City. June 4, 1938. Photos taken by Dr. Mamerto Escano (provided by Fred Umabong), as seen in

:-) :D 8)

I was resting in my Chicagoland home in early November 2007 (after my back-to-back trips to Washington DC and The Netherlands) when I received an e-mail from one of my STC classmates. Our US reunion had just been published at a new online magazine, Thanks to a former childhood classmate from St. Theresa’s College in Cebu, Mike Mediano, he made sure we knew that the Bisaya-speaking community in the US has an online home they can call their “balay” or “ba’y.” The editors are Stella Antigua Peyton, May Toling Mediano, and Teresa Martinez Sepulveda. Yes, Tisay, it’s me — your old neighbor, Lorna.

May Mediano wrote about the reunion I hadn’t been able to attend — so I enjoyed looking at the photos and carefully read Marina Hamoy’s account of our reunion in Cebuano. Gee, my Cebuano is so-so because English has always been my first language. In high school, many of my classmates often poked fun at me, saying, “Ay, si Lorna, always spokening in dollars.”

That was many years ago.

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Ramiele Malubay: Filipina is Season 7′s American Idol contender

February 2008:

Simon Cowell was outvoted by Paula and Randy during Ramiele’s audition. Ramiele Malubay, this petite, talented Filipina American, is someone to watch out for. If you feel Ramiele deserves our votes, go ahead — and cheer for her this season!

Vote for her between 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight on Tuesday nights (after the show ends) at 1-866-436-57__ (find out what the last two digits are).

Click here to go to (courtesy of dEkN4te)


Click here to go to

Florida Fil-Am Ramiel Malubay sings the Dusty Springfield mid-’60s hit at the 2008 Top 24 American Idol.
Courtesy of lancerpntgrd


Click here to go directly to go to
Courtesy of aitvcut (thank you for your comments — see below)

Top 10 Females 2nd Show (’70):
Song: Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes – Don’t Leave Me this Way

Ramiele revealed she used to Polynesian dance when she was little and even gave viewers a brief demonstration on some simple moves… In addition, she also dances Filipino cultural dances… Following the judge’s comments, Ryan said, “Well Randy make a note. We won’t be hearing that this spring at the wedding, that song.” The comment — a reference to Simon potentially marrying girlfriend Terri Seymour — made Simon spit whatever he was drinking back into his cup… Ramiele revealed she changed her song choice “like four times” because she picked some really slow songs, and was worried about being called “Lullaby” instead of “Malubay.”

Randy said: “Listen, this was a little rough for me because I thought you were really good last week. This was just okay for me vocally. You can really sing, but the song choice for me is weird. I mean the 70s — my favorite time in music — there’s so many dope records that went out. To choose that and sing that and it’s just kind of okay for you, it wasn’t my favorite choice for you. It was just really okay. (boos) Just keeping it real!”
Paula said: “Ramiele, you’re also one to beat here. Your vocals are truly amazing. I feel kind of the same way, it just was a song that you powered through the same notes… I feel like you didn’t get to perform your magic. Having said that, you do have truly one of the most amazing vocals.”
Simon said: “Astonishingly I agree with Paula. The trouble with that song is, I’ve heard it so many times at ghastly weddings and stuff like that. I thought you were much, much better last week. I thought you showed more personality. I thought you stood out more. This was one of those performances which I’m not going to remember so well. (boos) You can boo all you want, I’m trying to be constructive. I think you’re terrific. I think you’re one of the Top 3 best singers in the competition (cheers), but I think it just wasn’t one of your bests.”


Click here to go directly to
Courtesy of IdolNews

March 05, 2008

Ramiele Malubay performs “Against All Odds” by Phil Collins on American Idol Top 16

Renaldo Lapuz talks about his American Idol audition with Simon Cowell

When I first saw the YouTube video clip of 44-year old Renaldo Lapuz’s “Gladiator” themed appearance for his American Idol audition, I went through a gamut of emotions. Incredulity, amusement, embarrassment, and then — appreciation. You see, Simon Cowell (and the rest of the American Idol group) understood that by giving Renaldo an audition, he was thinking outside the box and about the millions of people who aspire to make their dreams come true. Who knows what’s going to happen to Renaldo. He seems to exude innocence (the word isn’t naivete) about his admiration for Simon Cowell. It’s refreshing to experience Renaldo’s sweet generosity, innate spirituality, and courage to sing at an audition. A strong voice, an anthem-like original song for the interview… what else can you ask for? I don’t think Renaldo knows that he is a natural comedian. Let’s give this Filipino the 15 minutes of fame he deserves. He’s the “common tao” (ordinary people) who has been given an extraordinary opportunity to share with people: “If I don’t try, I will never know what I’m capable of.”

Click here to go directly to

Here’s the actual audition. Click here to go directly to

Support a Filipino-owned business: Manuel Ramirez launches Chill! Berry Frozen Yogurt in San Jose, CA

Move over, PinkBerry! Manuel Ramirez’s Chill! Berry at the Lollicup Tea Zone in the San Francisco Bay Area is a Filipino-owned business — and we’re here FIRST!

Please join Manuel at his grand launch on February 4, 2008. Chill with Chill! Berry!

Here’s your FREE Chill! Berry Frozen Yogurt coupon, $1 value, courtesy of Manuel Ramirez. Good till October 2008. Please print this coupon for redemption and let them know that Lorna Dietz gave this to you.

Manuel Ramirez and Chill! Berry $1.00 coupon, good till October 2008. Cut out this coupon or print page 1 of this blog entry to redeem your free Chill! Berry frozen yogurt. (from Lorna Dietz)

I met Manuel Ramirez, this engaging, hard-working Filipino American young professional a few years ago at the GMA Pinoy TV launch in the San Francisco Bay Area. He was busy handing out these “to-die-for” Lollicup slush and smoothie beverages (dessert!) with boba (“black pearls or tapioca balls”). Feeling giddy and extra-energetic because my blood sugar was so impressed by Lollicup’s Ube (taro or purple yam) ice-creamy smoothie — I kept in touch with Manuel. He’s been one of our sponsors at the Filipinas Magazine Achievement Awards (2006), delightfully making the Lollicup products available for us to feel “Proudly Pinoy!” We’re proud to support a Filipino-owned business.

Aside from being one of Lollicup USA’s regional distributors (independently-owned and operated), Manuel Ramirez offers Chill! Berry frozen yogurt. Now, my blood sugar is going to be singing praises because I’m a lover of frozen yogurt.

Here’s the news from Manuel.

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